"Evil, be thou my good."Sometimes it isn't enough for a villain to be evil. They have to prove their evilness by eschewing all that is good and embracing all that is bad. They'll eat foods that disgust the good guys and laugh at funerals. They may also carry this over to their speech, making sure to only use negative phrases when most people would use a positive one, and correcting themselves if they "slip" ("Oh, goody! I mean, 'baddy.'") They'll kick puppies for sport, and describe things as repulsive like it's a good thing. They often describe sunny weather as depressing. They may also be prone to do things purely For the Evulz, even petty things like throwing some kids' bikes on the roof. They may be plagued by a Minion with an F in Evil. Makes Your Head A-Splode if you think about it too much. It is a common trait of Card-Carrying Villains. It can also be why Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. If they simply loathe all positive attributes without necessarily emphasizing their negative ones, they're probably more of a believer in Virtue Is Weakness. Quite likely to appear in a Perspective Flip if we see things from the villain's point of view. See Nightmare Fetishist for the non-evil version. May be seen as an exaggerated Subtrope of Deliberate Values Dissonance. Compare Above Good and Evil and What Is Evil? Villains whose strong point is not logic will sometimes use both tropes to justify this. See also Bizarro Universe, Blue and Orange Morality, and Naughty Is Good. Not to be confused with So Bad, It's Good.
— Satan, Paradise Lost
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Part of the Team Rocket trio's original motto from the Pokémon anime mentions they want to "denounce the evils of truth and love". Although according to their rival squad of Cassidy and Butch, it's actually a botched version of the real motto which says to "denounce the goodness of truth and love".
- One of the villains in Black Butler is a depraved angel that is pit against the demon deuteragonist and the demon's young master. Said demon is very likely evil himself, but he and his master are clearly portrayed as being in the right in this particular conflict because they are fighting for the fate of many innocent people. To hammer in this trope even more, the angel's goal is to "purify' London, said angel is white winged, and the demon's true form is not fully shown but said to be revolting.
- Duke Everlue in Fairy Tail considered Lucy ugly. Lucy. He claims he hires only the most beautiful women to be his maids, but all four (five counting Virgo) are so horrifically ugly that it's probably for the best that he does like them.
- In Kill la Kill, Nui Harime has this mindset. Ragyo lampshades this, even quoting the line from Hamlet in the English Dub.
- In Justice League of America, the Mirror Universe of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika works this way. People talk about "Moloch below" and swear by the Antichrist in casual conversation. It's more like "Bad is Good and Good is Weak," though.
- Zeke, the Big Bad Wolf, is an early example. In the 1940s, he repeatedly rants and raves about how proper wolves are supposed to have countless bad habits and like anything "bad": lying, littering, bad weather, and anyone else's misfortune, for example.
- Zeke's son, Li'l Wolf, is an (atypical) good little wolf who frequently tries to point out that his "Pop's" bad habits come back to bite him every time, but to no avail.
- While most of the Wolf family are bad and proud of it, Zeke's mother, who appears in a few comic stories, is good-hearted but extremely strict who tried to break family tradition by raising her son to be an upstanding, moral citizen. She loudly and repeatedly expresses her displeasure that Zeke has thrown away everything she taught him and followed family tradition after all, but is very proud of Li'l Wolf.
- Magica de Spell seems to hold these beliefs, particularly when allied with Madame Mim (which does have a precedent in her own movie).
- Mr. Hyde in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: '...sorrow is like fine wine....'
- X-51 attempts a True Neutral version of this in Earth X after Uatu the Watcher convinces him to pretend to delete his human programming. Surprisingly, Uatu doesn't see through him.
X-51: My every function does result in a specified utility.
Uatu: Good. Now tell—
X-51: There is no good, Uatu. You told me this yourself. Just as there is no evil.
- In Judgement on Gotham, The Scarecrow is able to incapacitate Judge Death by injecting him with a formula that causes him to hallucinate his greatest fears - fluffy bunnies, pink ponies, and other cute things.
- Call one of the Spineless Ones a fat, lazy slob, and he's take it as a compliment, and their ruler, Mojo, is the worst, or to his species, best. A longtime foe of the X-Men, he's an absurd parody of corporate greed, ruling a race that's proud of being couch potatoes.
- Superman's enemy Bizarro does this, but not on purpose. It's pathological for him.
- Bizarro (usually, it depends on the writer) carries this over into his speech patterns, which makes it tricky for readers to figure out what he actually means. (It's apparently hard for the writers, too, which is why not all of them bother.)
- Bizarrogirl is also backwards, although she's a little smarter than most, however, and as fighting alongside Supergirl she learns the difference between saving lives and ending them.
- An issue of Harvey Comics had a double subversion. Wendy the Good Witch sees a stream below her and decides to go for a swim. She uses her wand to turn her underwear into a bikini swimsuit and then strips off her red witch's robe, which she leaves unattended on the bank of the stream. A young ogre happens along and decides to get Wendy into trouble by disguising himself in her red robe and wreaking black magic in her name. He later brings back the robe just before Wendy notices it is missing, then hangs around to watch the consequences. Wendy is confused when her wicked aunts come up to her and congratulate her on "her" evil spells, but then the aunts become confused when Wendy's animal friends appear and tell her how grateful they are that the natural disasters "she" created have greatly improved the environment. The little ogre is disgusted that all his mischief has come to nothing and heads home, hoping that his mother will at least appreciate his efforts. But then he discovers that the mother was badly injured by a hurricane he had brewed up, and the story ends with the ogre getting a spanking.
- Similarly in the early Sabrina the Teenage Witch comics had witches operating on that principle and preforming mean tricks on mortals. Sabrina's the exception and often gets in trouble for doing good deeds. She's also considered homely due to an "ugly curse" thanks to the witches backwards thinking.
- In an issue of an old Power Rangers magazine, a journal entry by Kimberly has her mention Zedd and Rita's recent wedding. She states that she hopes they'll be happy. Because "bad guys hate being happy".
- Issue #64 of The Powerpuff Girls: "Micro Managing" has Blossom enlisting help from Mojo Jojo in defeating the Micro-Puffs (three mischievous sprite versions of the girls from another dimension) who have been brainwashing Bubbles and Buttercup into thinking they're the leader of the team.
Mojo: If you needed help, why do you not go to your hotshot Professor, hmmm? Why come to me?Blossom: (coyly, embracing Mojo) Because, Mojo, I needed not only a brilliant mind but a diabolical one to help me beat the Micro-Puffs!
- In the over-the-top Crapsack World that is the dark world of Résurrecion in Requiem Vampire Knight, the more cruel a person was in life, the better rewarded they are in the death, while the innocents or those who committed minor sins suffer the worst. The protagonist used to be a Nazi soldier who was cruel enough to become a vampire - the ruling elite of Résurrecion composed of people like Dracula, Attila the Hun, Caligula and Nero to name a few. Yet, because he still retained a sense of honor and chivalry, he is regarded as a degenerate freak by his fellows.
- In the Spider-Man series, little Normie Osborn, Harry Osborn's son and grandson of Norman Osborn, had always thought Spider-Man was evil and sided with the Goblins in their attack against the web-slinger. This came to an end in Go Down Swinging after Normie witnesses Norman attempting to murder his mom, Liz Allan, and Spidey saved her. Horrified at his grandfather's actions and realizing he was becoming a monster, too, he began to attack his grandfather until Harry slammed a Goblin Glider into Normal's chest.
- In 3 Slytherin Marauders, Tom Riddle is terribly embarrassed about being sorted into Gryffindor — the house of "goodie-two shoes" and "cannon fodder".
Sorting Hat: I can see you learned quite well all the cunning you could ever need during your last stay in Slytherin.
Tom Riddle: What are you doing, Hat?
Sorting Hat: You already show commendable loyalty and you certainly strive toward academic achievements without needing any urging. And while you have plenty of courage... you might benefit from learning that being straightfoward in some dealings isn't all bad.
Tom Riddle: No!
Sorting Hat: Gryffindor!
- Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: The original, evil Falla Cii was firmly convinced that, as a power-hungry, bloodthirsty warmonger, she deserved to be the queen more than Luna, whom she outright criticized and viewed as unworthy to have the crown for being a Nice Girl. In Act IV chapter 13, after successfully tricking Luna into restoring her magic, Falla openly complains about how much "nice crap" she had to do just to get Luna to cooperate.
- In Steven Universe And The Hunters Of Arcadia, Jasper accuses Jamie's moral code as being nothing more than "[parading] around deceit and craveness like its a virtue."
Films — Animation
- The movie Igor is set in this kind of world.
Igor: Oh, god, she's killing blind orphans! That's so...evil! I mean, which is great, but...blind orphans?!
- The inhabitants of Halloweentown in The Nightmare Before Christmas. They say "How awful" when they see something they like and Dr. Finklestein says "Curiosity killed the cat" when he is praising Jack for wanting to do scientific research. Subverted when Jack's girlfriend Sally is — in all seriousness — trying to tell him that his plan to take over the Christmas holiday will likely end in disaster, which is something he does not want.
Sally: Jack, I just had the most horrible vision!
Jack: [misunderstanding] Wonderful!
- Mad Madam Mim in The Sword in the Stone. According to her Villain Song, she "take(s) delight in the gruesome and grim", and she tries to kill Arthur because Merlin "sees something good in you...and in my book that's bad!" After she loses the Wizard's Duel and is laid up sick, Merlin recomends lots of rest and sunshine, and Mim complains, "I hate horrible, wholesome sunshine!"
- The Blue Meanies in Yellow Submarine. They even say "no" instead of "yes". Try not to think too hard about that..
Max: Yes, your Blueness.
Chief Blue Meanie: (enraged) WHAAAAAAAT!?! We Meanies only take "no" for an answer! Is that understood, Max?!
Max: No, your Blueness!
Chief Blue Meanie: ...Thaaat's better!
- In The Transformers: The Movie, the Quintesson court sends defendants plummeting to certain death in the Sharkticon tank by finding them "innocent".
- The "bad guys" from Wreck-It Ralph need this as necessity given their jobs:
The Bad Guys: I am bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
- The thing is, none of them seem to actually be evil; they're all just doing their jobs.
- Megamind had the title character raised in jail, at one point being taught to cheer burglars and boo policemen. He also has a conversation with Minion that run on this theme, ending with "You don't know what's good for bad!"
- Hydia, the Big Bad of My Little Pony: The Movie was a wicked witch who was always berating her daughters Reeka and Draggle for not being wicked enough. At one point, she threatened to force-feed them banana splits if they didn't tell her what had gone wrong with the Smooze.
Films — Live-Action
- Time Bandits
Evil: Suddenly, I feel very, very good.
Benson: Oh, I'm sorry, Master.
Evil: No, it'll pass, it'll pass.
- This is how the devils speak in HE Double Hockey Sticks:
Ms. Beezlebub: I'm so proud of you. You've done an awful job.
- Batman: The Joker joins Vicki Vale for a "date" in a museum café and looks over her portfolio of photographs. He dismissively flips through some shots of fashion models ("Crap, crap, crap...") before coming to a group of photos depicting mass graves in a war-torn foreign land. He reacts as if they are works of great beauty and genius. About a minute later, he brings his death-masked girlfriend in to show to Vicki and removes the mask, revealing that the other woman has a heavily scarred face. He calls this "a living work of art."
- The Princess Bride:
Inigo: I'm sorry, Father. I tried. I tried.
Count Rugen: You must be that little Spanish brat I taught a lesson to all those years ago. Simply incredible. Have you been chasing me all your life, only to fail now? I think that's the worst thing I've ever heard. How marvellous.
- Rugen takes delight in torture and imprisonment; while he's The Dragon instead of the villain, he's a far, far more vile character for his open and brutal sadism. Even he, though, is repulsed by the concept of draining fifty years out of Wesley— unless it's only that now he doesn't have a subject for his torture experiments.
- In Steno's much underrated comedy Dottor Jekyll e Gentile Signora the title character, a Corrupt Corporate Executive, is terrified about his recurring fits of good-heartedness, and is willing to drink the serum of his grandfather - the famous Dr. Jekyll - to become even more evil, than he already is. The whole management of the Evil, Inc. in which he works proudly display titles of "rogue" "scoundrel" "son of a bitch" and the likes on the plates with their names (Btw. that's where the running gag from the Fantozzi series originates from - it first appeared in the third Fantozzi movie, realised a year after this one; the titles of Piermatteo Barambani are only a slight variation of the ones used in "Dottor Jekyll").
- In the climactic scene of The Devil's Advocate, Satan tries to convince his bastard son that God is a hypocrite and a tyrant for giving humans free will and then punishing them when they make the inevitable wrong moral choices — while Satan, on the other hand, is the true loving father-figure who accepts humans despite all their flaws and is willing to give them whatever they wish as long as they are loyal to him.
- The goblins in Legend (1985) find good and beautiful things disgusting, up to and including calling the unicorns "ugly one-horned mules."
Blix: May be innocent, may be sweet. Ain't half as nice as rotting meat.
- The closing song in John Waters's Cry-Baby ends with "We love bein' bad 'cause it feels real good!"
- Boris and Natasha: "It's Good to Be Bad" is the title of a song in the movie, a quote by Boris, and a tagline for the film.
- The Hidden: When the evil parasite inspects a warehouse storing guns and stolen antiques belonging to some criminal he just murdered, he turns on a record player which proceeds to play a folksy jingle. After listening to it for a few seconds he angrily destroys the record; his evil taste in music apparently doesn't extend beyond death metal.
- In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren thinks the Light Side of the Force is "tempting" him, which is, ironically, how the Dark Side was described in previous films.
- The first Villain Song in Babes in Toyland has Barnaby, Gonzorgo, and Roderigo singing cheerfully about how they're "an awful gruesome threesome, and we're rotten to the core".
- Eva Ibbotson is very fond of this. Most of her children's books have an evil creature who is not as evil as they'd like to be. For example, in Which Witch?, Belladonna is a good witch, who is ashamed of her magic, and wants to be more evil. She is overjoyed when she manages to turn the blossoms that spontaneously grew in her tent into bloodstained thumbscrews. When someone suggests that she cheat in the dark-magic-competition for the dark wizard Arriman's hand, he reasons that "cheating is evil, and he wants evil, so that's fine."
- Likewise, The Secret of Platform 13 features Odge, a hag. While her mother and sister are all properly ugly, warty creatures, she looks distressingly normal, save for some Mismatched Eyes, one blue tooth and a bump on her foot which will hopefully grow into an extra toe one of these days. Like all hags, she can cast minor curses, but she has to struggle with it a bit.
- Satan in Paradise Lost: "Evil be thou my Good."
- In Kushiel's Legacy, The Mahrkagir's motto is "Ill thoughts, ill words, ill deeds", in homage to the evil Anti-God he worships. Ironically, it bars him from his own god's priesthood, since prospective members have to eat a loved one's heart and he doesn't even know what love is. In a further irony, as soon as he falls in love with Phèdre for that exact purpose, she kills him.
- Parodied in a story by James Thurber: "Bad bye!"
- The villains in Niel Hancock's Circle of Light series talk like this.
- C. S. Lewis:
- Played with in The Screwtape Letters. Demons explicitly say that some "good" qualities—like courage, devotion to a goal or cause, et cetera—are actually necessary for great evil. Containing no good would not be being evil, it would be not existing. This fact really, really annoys them, though. As Screwtape puts it, "Nothing is naturally on our side!" Every good quality has to be twisted and perverted before it's useful to them. That said, they still think of "over" as lesser and "under" as greater. (Screwtape is an Undersecretary in the Lowerarchy, and they respect and serve Our Father Below)
- Another Lewis example is in Mere Christianity where he invites the reader to consider what a society like this actually would look like to show that different moral systems are really not as different as usually thought.
- The Bible: Isaiah 5:20 has "woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter", making this Older Than Feudalism.
- There are hints of this in the vermin's behaviour in Redwall, though it doesn't entirely define them and some of them have expressed good traits (though that really just throws their horrible behaviour into sharp relief). A Villain Song in Triss expresses the GIB&BIG view specifically:
"Ho, 'tis nice to be a villain, wot all honest creatures fears,
And terrorise the beasts fer miles around,
Their scringin' wails fer mercy is music to me ears,
Aye, us bad'uns loves to 'ear that mournful sound!"
- Friedrich Nietzsche describes those who consider pity good and power and success bad as slave moralists; he believes this to be an anti-human mentality.
- This is pretty much a summary of Ayn Rand's philosophies too.
- Demons in the Discworld novel Eric. On the first occurrence, a footnote notes that "Demons have a distorted sense of values."
- While dwarfs for the most don't fit in here (good is good and bad is bad to dwarfs — it's some of the expressions of that that are reversed), they do 'put darkness for light, and light for darkness' (and low as good). They are, after all, cave-dwelling miners — digging lower into the mountain is a good thing, and light blinds you (so being enlightened is a bad thing).
- A variation occurs in the second Archives of Anthropos book, when Pan forces Eleanor to dance and sing in her sleep, "Lunacy, lunacy, madness is sanity, truth is profanity . . ."
- A one-off joke in Good Omens, where the demon Crowley 'blesses' under his breath when frustrated.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, both Sandor Clegane (the Hound) and Jaime Lannister speak and behave this way, but find it less rewarding over time.
- Hermione gives this a try in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, saying cheerfully, "Horrible morning, isn't it?" when she goes into Borgin & Burkes posing as the kind of Dark witch who would be their typical customer.
- Harry Turtledove explores this idea in his short story "After The Last Elf is Dead".
- In the Rainbow Magic series, the goblins have this mindset, treating the smell of pond scum as perfume and being terrified of puppies and other cute animals.
- The Dark Ones from Murderess, whose traditional blessing is, ‘May the streams of blood guide you, and may ye aye find the dark in every sunny day,’ seem to qualify.
- In Bad Magic, a followup to the Secret Series, when Clay says a bad word when he is very young that he picked up from somewhere, Max-Ernest explains to him that it's a bad word and Clay wonders why it's bad. Max-Ernest explains that bad words are words that hurt people's feelings. From that day, however, they develop a sort of code, in which between them, "bad word" means "magic word."
- In The Omen novelizations Damien Thorn gives "his curses" to his worshippers and kindly promises them to "see you all in Hell".
- Doctor Who, "Pyramids of Mars":
The Doctor: But you use your powers for evil!
Sutekh: Evil? Your evil is my good. I am Sutekh the Destroyer. Where I tread, I leave nothing but dust and darkness...I find that good!
- A more subtle example occurs in "Blink":
Kathy Nightingale: What did you come here for anyway?
Sally Sparrow: I love old things. They make me feel sad.
Kathy Nightingale: What's good about sad?
Sally Sparrow: It's happy for deep people.
- "Asylum of the Daleks" has one that nicely encapsulates the nature of the Daleks:
Dalek: It is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred.
The Doctor: Offensive?
Dalek: Does it surprise you to know the Daleks have a concept of beauty?
The Doctor: I thought you'd run out of ways to make me sick, but hello again! You think hatred is beautiful?
- A more subtle example occurs in "Blink":
- In LazyTown, one of Robbie Rotten's songs is "Good to be Bad."
They tell me I should change and wear a perky smile
But smiling makes my face hurt and happiness is vile.
- The Addams Family are a lesser version of this. Specifically, they find disgusting things lovely, and torture as good family fun. But they are very polite and try not to comment on those weirdos with the sickening love of flowers. This had the side effect of making them very progressive for the time, since they didn't judge anybody for anything.
- The plot of one episode of the original series revolves around Pugsley suddenly becoming a 'problem child' in the eyes of his parents, by joining the Boy Scouts, playing baseball and adopting a stray puppy.
- Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street is like this at times, hating anything nice. (Except children, like most of the cast.) He once got into a bit of a logical conundrum when he realized being mad made him happy, and being happy made him mad, "Which makes me happy, which makes me mad, which makes me happy, which makes me mad..."
Oh I'm sad because I'm happy
- He even had a song about this:
And I'm happy because I'm mad
And I'm mad 'cause it's so sappy
To be happy when you're sad!
- Most villains from Power Rangers.
- The most prominent are the early ones, like Rita and Lord Zedd. For evilness' sake, her last name is Repulsa!
- Then there's her brother, Rito Revolto, and their dad, Master Vile. Just in case you forgot what side they're on. Villains were even addressed as "Your Evilness" for the first several seasons.
- In the Wizards of Waverly Place episode "Don't Rain on Justin's Parade—Earth," Alex Russo becomes increasingly distressed at the realization that she is becoming good under the tutelage of Mr. Laritate. She is pleased and relieved at the end of the episode when he calls her an evil genius.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, bad guys often celebrate evil as though it were a religion. Spike once makes a reference to helping Giles "out of the evilness of his heart".
- Lexi from A.N.T. Farm
Lexi: Paisley, you really need to work on your bad sportsmanship.
- Villains in Charmed can harbor this attitude at times. For example, during one of Cole's attempts to get Phoebe back in his mad downfall period Piper once asked him how he could be so evil. His reply?
Cole: "It's a gift."
- Meg in Supernatural revels in being a demon and serving Lucifer in earlier seasons and expresses a distaste for her turn toward helping the heroes in later seasons. She also finds a dash of the dark side an attractive quality in Castiel, the angel.
Meg: [to Castiel] I'm kinda good, which sucks. And you're kinda bad, which is actually all manner of hot.
- In the Millennium episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me", a group of demons who appear as elderly men to regular humans discuss their work with each other in a late-night coffee shop. When one of them rudely asks for a cup, the clerk gives him his order after peeing in it. The demon apparently think this is hilarious and later commends the clerk for it.
- The Spellman's Evil Twins in Sabrina the Teenage Witch have this mindset. Case in point, Zelda's Evil Twin Jezebelda reveals to Sabrina that she created the Black Plague. Jezebelda is flattered by Sabrina's exclamation of "That's awful!" and blushes humbly when Sabrina points out that the disease killed many, many mortals.
- In one episode of The Muppet Show, they performed "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". The Muppet Devil took offense when Kermit told him his performance was "pretty good".
Devil: "Good"?! I'm not supposed to be good! Aw...
- Preacher (2016): Hell's administration enforces this by punishing any of the damned who show kindness or help others. They have a standard to uphold.
- Played straight in Seven Stones by Genesis.
Despair that tires the world brings the old man laughter, the laughter of the world only grieves him
- AC/DC's "Bad Boy Boogie":
Bein' a bad boy ain't that badI've had more dirty women than most men ever hadAll you women come along with meI'm gonna show you how good a bad boy can be!
- The Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil":
Just as every cop is a criminalAnd all the sinners saints
- From the Austin Powers soundtrack, "Dr Evil" by They Might Be Giants:
When your name is Evil, bad is good, or so you'd think
But you're so very wrong, it's evil!
But being wrong is right, so then you're good again
Which is the evilest thing of all...
- Voltaire's "Evil".
"And it's so easy when you're evil, this is the life you see; the Devil tips his hat to me! I do it all because I'm evil, and I do it all for free; your tears are all the pay I'll ever need!"
- John Linnell's "Maine" from State Songs, is like this for the viewpoint character - "The Hell from above" and "The Heaven below" in different choruses.
- Eminem's "Bad Guy" says the first part of the trope word-for-word in the chorus:
What's bad is good, and I hate to the be Bad Guy.
Myths & Religion
- Literally inverted in ECW, where the heels were considered good and the faces were considered bad.
- During his 2003-'04 heel run, Kane condemned his half-brother, The Undertaker, for becoming the "American Bad Ass" (a patriotic biker) and thus turning his back on his satanic past. Kane claimed that in his family, ceasing to be a "monster" was an unforgivable sin.
Kane: My brother was not a monster! My brother...was nothing...BUT A FRAUD!
- Robert Roode, one of the greatest TNA Heavyweight Champions ever, calls himself "Leader of the Selfish Generation," as if that's something to genuinely be proud of. He even once lectured the audience on why being evil was preferable to being good, with some logic that's pretty hard to refute: since as a face you'll just be consistently screwed over by the heels, you can only win in a world full of cheaters by becoming a cheater yourself.
- WWE have actually said they take this approach in regards to Roman Reigns, saying that since the fans hate him so much that must mean they love him, and in this particular case (and no other) boos equal cheers.
- In Demon: The Descent, as [part of their Blue and Orange Morality, Demons literally reverse the status of the Virtues note and the Vices.note This is because they are, essentially, hyper-advanced sentient computer programs that have gone rogue and no longer respond to the will of the God-Machine that created them. Thusly, from their viewpoint, traditional human virtues either imply subservience to the God-Machine or risk their continued survival, whilst traditional human vices further cement their independence and status as rebels against the God-Machine's tyranny. For example, Charity is evil to a Demon because it means the Demon is giving away valuable resources that could be needed to survive or to help other Demons, and doing so for nothing, whilst Pride reaffirms the Demon's self-esteem and certainty in its existence as an independent being and not a cog in the God-Machine.
- Chez Geek has a Goth expansion, where the victory points are renamed from "Slack" to the thematic "Gloom." Hence, increasing your Gloom is good, and decreasing it is bad.
- The witches in Macbeth: "Fair is foul and foul is fair."
- The musical Dracula, Baby has the song "It's Good to be Bad".
- In the concept album of the Jekyll & Hyde musical, Hyde invokes this, nearly verbatim, in "The World Has Gone Insane".
- "Bad is good and good is bad! Sacred is profane, and it's wiser to be mad - in a world that's gone insane!"
- Also invoked in the entire song "Good n' Evil", which features lyrics like "It's easier by far from the way that things are, to remain good and evil, then try to be evil and good".
- EVIL DAVE of Runescape is an odd example. He likes good/nice/tasty things, but he refers to them as "evil". Unless you count his preference for EVIL black outfits.
- Demons in Disgaea do this; it's mostly played for comedy.
- Disgaea demon logic can be an odd thing. Since bad is good and good is bad, they might act good in order to be bad. For example, in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, the setting is a school where slackers, cheaters and bullies are considered honor students, while students who actually attend class and do volunteer work are considered delinquents. There are demons that purposely try to be "delinquents" because they think it makes them look badass.
- Eddie Riggs does this while trying to control a Tainted Coil Overblesser in Brütal Legend.
Eddie: By your good graces—
[whole thing falls down]
Eddie: Evil, I meant evil graces! Aah, sonofa—
- Played perfectly straight in Overlord series. The main voice of this is Gnarl.
It's good to be bad. It's better to be evil.
- In Super Mario Bros., Bowser Koopa has some minor traits of this, with at least one example present in the spin-off Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time, where he loves Thwomp Volcano for being "hot, stinky, dangerous, and one humongous fire hazard". King Koopa (his cartoon alter-ego) invoked this trope a lot more often, however.
- Liking Thwomp Volcano could just be a case of narcissism though.
- You can attempt to logic-bomb the Always Chaotic Evil Ilwrath in Star Control II by invoking this trope. It doesn't work. It does make them very angry, though.
"But `evil' is that which is morally bad or wrong. And if your actions are judged by your society as correct, aren't you, in fact, good?"
- Dungeon Keeper basks in this trope, adopting "It's good to be bad" as it's motto and having your counselor sneer and loathe at the abominably cheerful and benevolent settlements your army is about to ravage and then glorify the desolation and despair it inflicted.
- In Afterlife, the effectiveness of your Hell decreases if you make it too convenient and efficient for the souls that go there. As your advisors point out, the strategies that make a Heaven successful generally don't apply in Hell. You'll quickly get to find this out when Jasper berates you for making Hell's roads too straightforward and efficient rather than snarling them into a confusing mess, and it goes further from there.
- What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord? runs on this trope in several ways. For instance, according to the Almanac, the bait left by Heroes to kill monsters isn't dosed with poison as one would expect, but just very good, tasty meat, that kills monsters due to not being poisonous. The small percentage of bait that actually heals them is poisoned.
- If a Pure variation of a monster appears in your dunegon, it is a problem, because they are too nice and have lost their "ill will", making them as weak as the base monster and removing their apparent desire to breed. This is bad enough on its own, but Pure monsters are a warning for far more serious dungeon problems - they only appear when you've screwed up your ecosystem so badly that a species has been forced to adapt to resist its most common cause of death and keeps dying of that cause anyway.
- In A Witch's Tale, Liddell leans more on the mischievous side, thinking torture instruments are awesome, romance is hackneyed, and that ancient, destructive magic is just what she needs to be a great witch.
- In Dangan Ronpa, the Big Bad has this perspective towards hope and despair, and takes it to the point of Blue and Orange Morality. In fact, she is positively ecstatic to lose at the very end, relishing the chance to experience the despair of such an intricate plan failing at the very end, while Makoto's refusal to give in is met with fear and disgust.
- In The Darkside Detective, this is a feature of the Dark World. At one point, a denizen of the Darkside temporarily trapped in the normal world tells McQueen that she's scared out of her wits because there are no Giant Flyers swooping through the skies, nobody is being pursued by shadow-men, and "nothing, and I mean nothing is on fire!"
- Homestar Runner. Strong Sad pulls this off, but swapping happy and depressed rather than good and evil. In one Halloween cartoon, being outdoors for several hours on a sunny day (against his will) starts to cheer him up—which just serves to scare him.
Strong Sad: [as a completely involuntary smile begins to form on his face] Something funny's happening to the sides of my mouth...
Strong Sad: [smiling and laughing] Somebody shoot me...
- The Royals of Ever After High try to hammer this into Raven Queen, as it is the right (wrong?) way for a future Evil Queen to act. It doesn't stick, but they're very enthusiastic and determined.
- Generally, it is also how all students born from antagonist parents are expected to think and act.
- Terrible Writing Advice discusses tropes and cliches to provide terrible writing advice as good advice in a sarcastic fashion. The narrator frequently says that any deep and meaningful discussions should be avoided at all costs, especially if it gets in the way of the Romantic Plot Tumor.
- For pirates in Knights Of All Realms ugly is considered attractive and beauty is considered weak. Patchface the Pirate yearns for the heart of the Pirate Hage, the ugliest and most wicked woman on the seas and is ashamed of his natural good looks, hiding them with his mask to protect his reputation.
- Girl Genius
- Castle Heterodyne, having the possible personality of evil, bloodthirsty, and megalomaniacal Faustus Heterodyne, acts in this manner.
Agatha: Nah, you did good.
Castle Heterodyne: "Good." ...Hrm, perhaps...You could phrase it some other way?
- The Heterodynes and their servants, the Jaegermonsters, subscribe to a variant of this. A "good" Heterodyne is the sort who goes around committing as many mad acts of science as possible, therefore when Europhrasia Heterodyne betrayed her lover the Storm King, and destroyed the Shining Coalition in the act, ruining Europa's last chance for peace for over two-hundred years, this made her "good" in the eyes of the Jaegers, and whatever family of hers happened to be alive at the time.
- The Jaegers, after all, do consider the evil Heterodynes to be "de fun vuns."
- Castle Heterodyne, having the possible personality of evil, bloodthirsty, and megalomaniacal Faustus Heterodyne, acts in this manner.
- The Dimension of Pain demons from Sluggy Freelance are like this big time. They can't stand the scent of flowers, consider relaxing massages a form of torture, and will refuse to use anything they deem too "efficient and functional."
- A long-defunct webcomic called Bards Tale featured a god of evil and his daughter, who invariably spoke like this.
God of Evil: I hate you, daughter.
Daughter: [with cheery smile] I hate you, too, daddy!
- In Dinosaur Comics, Evil T-Rex from the Mirror Universe describes his glee thus:
Evil T-Rex: I love being bad—I mean, I love being good! Because "bad" is "good" to us! And by "us," I mean the entire universe.
- Khrima of Adventurers! challenges when his henchman plays "Nice" in a game of Scrabble, attempting to pronounce the word as "nee-kay".
- Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures :
- Demons have a weird sort of Blue and Orange Morality that sits on the borderline between this and Might Makes Right. So destroying things and killing/eating people because you feel like it is good, but restraining yourself and caring what others thing about is bad.
- A recurring example is that Kria is disappointed that her daughter does everything she can to act with Being sensibilities, meaning she doesn't go on rampages and break the furniture:
Lorenda: I hate you! I'm going to my room!
Kria: Lorenda! You get back down here and throw a tantrum in this room full of rare fragile vases or else!
- Blip: An incubus nearly dies of a purifying infection, and his heart transplant needs to be corrupted before it starts functioning.
- Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: A mom is called to school by the worried schoolteacher; her son does his homework, is nice to his classmates and cleans up after himself. The woman (a gnoll, by the way) is really worried until he snarls at her that he hates her and wishes she was dead. Then she realizes that there is some hope for her son!
- Evil Diva: The title character's parents sometimes slip up and tell her to be good — that is, obedient to their directions to be bad.
- Sabine and Nale in this strip of The Order of the Stick have the standard All Girls Want Bad Boys vs. Single Woman Seeks Good Man conversation, but entirely flipped.
Sabine: Sure, women like me swoon for a hero, but that's only because deep down, we think we can change them.
- In Sinfest:
- In Pibgorn, when Pibgorn tells Drusilla she learned from the best — she hastily corrects to the very worst.
- In Homestuck, Caliborn claims that spewing abuse at Jane is the cherub equivalent of complimenting her, since cherubs don't have positive emotions. She's not convinced. It also turns out he's unable to even type positive words. If he tries to, it quickly becomes random button mashing.
- In Freefall, Sam Starfall is a member of a scavenger species that considers theft, deceit and underhanded methods to be admirable qualities, similar to how humans admire physical strength. When Florence mentions she will have to hack into the commnet servers in order to save the robot population from a "bug fix" that will deprive them of free will, he asks her to alter his criminal records... and add a few particularly interesting thefts of his the police has failed to notice. Also, Florence is coming to the horrifying realization that underhanded tactics, outright criminal acts and the support of some very selfish, rotten people (like Sam) is the only way to save the day, because the moral and legal methods are blocked by the real villains, forcing her to say Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!.
- The Order of the Stick: In spite of the nature of the trope, Loki and his followers seem to be a non-evil version. (Loki appears to be Chaotic Neutral.) Loki's priestess Hilgya explains that Loki offers a loophole for dwarves who don't want to live by the standards of honour. Dwarves who didn't live with honour go to a bad afterlife with Hel, but for those following Loki's teachings, being what's normally called dishonourable counts as being honourable.
- The Grims, the villains of The 7D, are a pair of card-carrying fairy-tale villains who hate goodness. Hildy is disgusted at having to do good deeds while posing as a good witch in "Hildy the Good", and both Hildy and Grim are horrified when they experience "joy" during the Christmas Episode "Jollybells".
- Saddam Hussein, as depicted on South Park. He loves Hell so much that when Satan finally decides that he's had all he can stand of Saddam, he banishes the dictator to Heaven (which in the South Park universe is populated only by Mormons). Saddam is immediately shanghaied by a troupe of actors who are just about to stage a play about how stealing hurts the thief as well as the victim, and he is dragged off screaming in despair.
- Evil Jim, Earthworm Jim's evil clone claims to love the taste of orange juice after you've brushed your teeth, which Jim hates.
- Not played completely straight, since when Jim tells him that since Jim hates losing, Evil Jim must revel in it, but Evil Jim says that he shouldn't be so literal.
- In Barbie & The Diamond Castle, the extended version of Lydia's Villain Song is like this.
"Dreary is cheery and gloomy is good for me." "I loathe smiling babies, I love dogs with rabies."
- Also, one of her first lines is "The world is really a very small and dark place. Just how I like it!"
- Sir Darkly from Sushi Pack is made of this trope.
- The Yugopotamians from The Fairly OddParents! have this not only culturally, but as part of their biology: for example, chocolate is poisonous to them, but manure is a delicacy. They tend to be more like Anti Villains, however, only attacking Earth when they at least think they have a good reason. (For example, Halloween, when all the candy made them think Earth was planning an attack.)
- Well, that and the fact that Timmy accidentally created a planet-destroying super weapon with his wish to make Halloween costumes real.
- Underworld: The theme park in The Baskervilles where "bad is good and good is bad." For instance, if you put on a play and everyone cheers at the end, it was a bad play.
- Also, when children living in Underworld rebel they do it by playing with harmless toys, picking flowers, etc.
- Fenella from Chorlton and the Wheelies
- "The Lion Guard has a song about it called The Worst Hyena We Know by Janja looking down Jasiri positive traits believing Hyenas shouldn't be friendly and nice.
- Murky from Rainbow Brite, who hates colorful things and wants the world to be gray.
- The Tick: The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight tries to play it off to the cops like he's just an electrician, but he can't help himself, following it up with: "bad is good, baby! Down with government!" He's full of that sort of thing.
- Prince Phobos in W.I.T.C.H. despises bright, happy things, and so naturally commissions artists to make the bleakest, dreariest pictures they can. It is mentioned, however, that the reason he hates bright, happy things is because he thinks it will inspire his followers to have hope, and consequently rebel against him- so he has a reason for going in for dreariness and misery, albeit a despicable one.
- Almost every Care Bears villain. (Which is why the Care-Bear Stare is so effective.)
- Bramble, the Big Bad of the Bitsy Bears pilot cartoon, not only cuts the heads off a bouquet of flowers and declares it a marked improvement, but hates the "happy sounds" of the Honey Bear Fair amusement park and plots to put a stop to it for good. In fact, the Bitsy Bears describe her as a bear who "forgot how to be happy."
- The villains for the PJ Sparkles pilot cartoon are probably the most distilled version of this trope. The Cloak and his wife Betty revel in the dreary Twinkle Town, enjoy spreading filth, and get a headache and indigestion, respectively, when exposed to sunlight. So they're not pleased to find that PJ has suddenly made Twinkle Town match its name.
The Cloak: This place is dark, cold, in horrible disrepair, and it smells like a rotten egg sandwich made with moldy Limburger cheese rolled in used kitty litter. sniffs Ah, it doesn't get any better than this!
- Lucius Heinous VII from Jimmy Two-Shoes.
- His father, Lucius Heinous VI, even more so. Presumably all of his other predecessors also qualify. Heloise is also an example.
- Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. In one episode, he tries to keep a news clip of him saving a kitty from being seen by his colleagues to protect his evil reputation, for just one example.
- In another one, Doof was out of ideas so he decided to create a good-idea-inator to give him a good idea but, because of the trope, he instead made a bad-idea-inator.
- A worried-sounding Doof, on the non-appearance of his nemesis Perry the Platypus:
"What's keeping him? Gee, I hope something horrible happened to him!"
- The Wartmongers, a race of toad-like creatures on The Smurfs, are a variation; not all of them are evil (though most of the ones the Smurfs interact with are villains) but in their society, "pleasant is disgusting and disgusting is pleasant". For example, they think being ugly and covered with warts is attractive, and consider the adorable Pussywillow Pixies repulsive; also, they don't like the thought of clean water, but are fond of mud and grime, and they turn their nose at food that other folks like while eating rather unpleasant things.
- Boris and Natasha in Rocky and Bullwinkle take acknowledgment of their dishonesty and general evilness by others as flattery, as will Fearless Leader, whereas words like "purity", "innocence", and "honor" are considered on par with harsh swearing.
- In one episode, Natasha is giving Boris CPR (or something) while reciting, "In with the bad air; out with the good."
- In another, the following exchange takes place:
Boris: I got bad idea!
Natasha: You mean good idea?
Boris: You know me, I got nothing good!
- The Shushu of Wakfu run on this being an Always Chaotic Evil demonic race that lives for destruction. Words like "despicable" are considered compliments and cute things are abhorred.
- A Robot Chicken sketch features Bo deciding to act citizenly when Rosco is behind them. He pulls in and gives out his license at will, but Rosco is so used to the boys breaking the law, he thinks it's some trick and shoots him.
- Roberon, the villain in Robotman And Friends, feels this way. He and his Mook Sound-Off are "programmed to hate," and view negative emotions such as anger, fear, hatred and jealousy as positive, glorifying being sneaky, underhanded and tricky, while they consider goodness, love, friendship and honesty to be epithets. Roberon can't even say the word "love" without spitting it out like a curse word. He's such a Card-Carrying Villain that he has an "evil" version of Robotman and pals' heart-shaped tummy symbols, with the heart crossed out.
- In the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, King Koopa likes being called "Your repulsiveness," and similar lines, and whenever Princess Toadstool insults him he invariably responds with "Thank you."
- Several villains in Captain Planet and the Planeteers outright thrive in polluted conditions and suffer in healthy ones. This is mainly empowered ones like Duke Nukem (who enjoys radiation) and Captain Pollution (who is empowered by all kinds of pollution, but is hurt by pure elements), but Hoggish Greedly's sidekick (who is an ordinary human) complains at one point that "all this fresh air is giving [him] a headache".
- Kim Possible:
- In the series finale, Drakken and Shego team up with Kim and Ron against an alien invasion:
Drakken: My greatest plan ever!
Ron: To save the world?
Drakken: [dismayed] Do not make me say those words!
- In another episode, Kim gets Shego's help by threatening to publicize her past life as a superhero, which would ruin her evil reputation.
- In the series finale, Drakken and Shego team up with Kim and Ron against an alien invasion:
- The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Wicked", Mrs. Robinson sings her own version of "My Favourite Things" from The Sound of Music; among the things she lists as "giving her delight" are toothaches, heartburn, the smell of garbage, and basically everything else that makes other people miserable.
- The trolls in the Christmas Special The Little Troll Prince believe in this firmly, with their version of the Golden Rule going "do unto others before they do unto you". The protagonist Prince Bu is a misfit for not being as mean and ugly as the other trolls, and his family is horrified to hear him say "Thank you".
- Hater and Peepers from Wander over Yonder run on this to the point where an outbreak of "happiness" on their ship (caused by Wander distributing presents amongst the Mooks) is treated like The Virus and unfolds from their perspective as a horror film.
- This is lampshaded and exploited by Huey, Dewey, and Louie in the Quack Pack episode "The Boy Who Cried Ghost", where they frighten the monsters by wearing the cutesy Halloween costumes they got stuck with and having their uncle Donald pretend to be a baby, reasoning that since monsters are hideous they would be horrified of cute things.
- Used in an episode of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, with the wicked witch of the west calling her niece, Wilhelmina, a good girl, "and by good I mean bad." This causes one of the flying monkeys to get confused when she asks them to follow Wilhelmina and make sure she's up to no good.