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"Power don't come from a badge or a gun. Power comes from
lying. Lying big, and gettin' the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you've got 'em by the balls."
, Sin City
The New Era Speech
is all well and dandy, but it presumes the villain has some reason to be halfway honest
about things. And let's face it, it's usually for no better reason than to amuse themselves.
However, your more devious villains
find it more amusing to put all their craft of eloquence into a speech that the members of the audience - but usually not the surrounding characters
- know flies in the face of everything that has happened.
The audience won't know whether to shake their fist in rage
or their head in admiration
A common case is that the villain has just scored a major coup, and now has to give a speech of deep sorrow and swift action regarding said coup. At other times, it'll be a masterful work of damage control, where the damage isn't so severe that they'll require a Motive Rant
instead. In any case, chances are it will rally the Gullible Lemmings
to their side at a vulnerable moment. Either might overlap with New Era Speech
Anime and Manga
- Light Yagami gets a particularly infuriating one in Death Note - perhaps twice in the same episode, depending on how much emotional melodrama you think a monologue can stand before it stops being a speech. Actually, come to think of it, he does this in nearly every episode, to some degree.
- Shortly after his father's death, when Matsuda is questioning whether capturing Kira is right or wrong, Light says that history will favor the victor; Kira will be seen as a criminal if he's caught, and will be seen as justice if he prevails. While this is meant to come across as a suggestion that the investigation team will be vindicated if they are successful, it also represents Light's belief that the world will soon come to accept him.
- In Episode 7 Light gives a very convincing one to Naomi about how awesome working together on the taskforce is going to be right before he kills her.
- The Smiler in Transmetropolitan gave a few of these. Some of them even had specific threats to Spider Jerusalem.
- Whether he was addressing his companies board of directors or the White House press corps, Lex Luthor always tried to be as inspirational and upbeat as possible.
- From the Death Note post-apocalyptic AU The Faceless Light gives an inspiring one to the Ragtag Bunch of Misfits in the wastelands in order to get himself an army. This is Lampshaded by Matt who is in awe of his manipulative abilities.
- From the Death Note political AU Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything guess what this speech is about? Answer: Light's bill that would make it impossible for first time offenders to appeal their cases and make even lesser criminals eligible for capital punishment.
"What great or noble work could we achieve if we think it enough? I see that some of you expect some rousing speech to make up your minds for you, but you won't get that from me. I want you to make up your own minds. There's no tangible prize and glory as the outcome, and none of you will personally feel any benefit from the bill I want pass, except in the knowledge that you will improve lives for others. It is a selfless goal. I go into this knowing that I will split the party. Some of you will never support me again. Those of you can stay and those can go as you see fit, but those who go will, in time, be envious of those who stayed with me. Take a firm step forward, as firm as your principles. I think some of you need to find your principles again. Be impartial. Be as gods. See what is right and follow it towards resolution. We are the law makers and in our hands are the possibilities of humanity. As it stands, we allow these wrongs to be carried out in our name and under our authority when we have the power to alter the course and prevent these crimes. We could create a better world for the people we represent. The cause is no legacy we inherited; we inherited a legacy of passivity from previous governments, and I do not want to repeat that. We are all guilty. We cannot blame others for what we had the opportunity to change. Let's not affix blame to others, for we, ourselves, allowed this to happen.
Acceptance is the enemy, selfishness and fear of change is the barricade. Those before us could no more ignore what has happened than if they had been blind. We must see with our eyes open and observe the suffering and injustice and hear the stories, for no two are the same, and find the answers. That is our purpose, and I think we've lost that. We must find ways to ensure that no single person ever suffers again in this country. This is a social sickness which has grown and spread for years, decades, perhaps for all of time. I don't accept that it's endemic in the human soul; only guidance and provision is needed. It won't be instantly resolved by the passing of one bill, not even in our term here in government, but it is a step which will one day find an end. I blame no one. Not one person, not one group of people. It is cowardice to think that enough has been done and that we can do no more but continue the status quo, for what we could do is too great a task. It is a great task, but it is no useless endeavour. No one weak in spirit has ever won anything. We should never be satisfied that we have done enough, for there will always be need for change. We should not turn from it. I want extreme goodness. I want to work for some ideal which, one day, I will be proud that I had some small hand in and that I lived in these times. Empathy is the source of humanity and without it we cannot understand or hope to change. Dedicate yourself to humanity, or else leave this building. We would be inhuman ourselves. This is a moment of change. You are in this room at the start of a new era. Be proud."
- In The Flight Of The Alicorn The Blueblood family give one at their Fancy Dinner which is followed by a Patrick Stewart Speech and a murder.
- Palpatine's speech in Revenge of the Sith.
- Happens twice with the Joker in the film Batman (1989).
- His speech on TV, where he claims that he isn't a killer and that Batman is the real villain.
- His speech to the crowd at the parade, where he says that they should trust him because he's giving away free money and again insults Batman...just before trying to kill them with poison gas.
- In The Lion King, Scar gives one of these to Mufasa's pride of lionesses as a eulogy after the latter's death and Simba's disappearance, before assuming the throne.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane gives a very rousing speech about stealing power from the corrupt and making Gotham stronger. The whole thing is a charade to humiliate Bruce Wayne, he has no intention of sparing Gotham.
- In The Mask of Zorro Montero gives one upon his return to California.
- In Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Paine's speech near the end is one of the best. Also Taylor criminalizing Mr. Smith using his media machine is basically this trope on an enormous level.
- Rob Pierre, at the end of an early Honor Harrington book, uses one to solidify his, you guessed it, Reign of Terror.
- A bit later, a Grayson Steadholder commits an epic dodge against all possible accusation, drastically souring the basic end-scene formula for most of the books up to that point... but we learn four books later that his payload isn't too great. (He is involved in an evil plot that does succeed to a substantial degree, but this time, he's the patsy.)
- Lord Ferris does a damage-control variation in Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint. After a lengthy Time Skip, the sequel, Privilege of the Sword, shows that the speech has paid its dividends well.
- Black Jewels: Dorothea gives a damage-control one in the beginning of Queen of Darkness. She finds it amazing that people are so desperate and/or stupid to believe it.
- Eric delivers one in Divergent after Al commits suicide.
- A for Andromeda: When Kaufman announces that Intel has effectively taken over Azaran, the translator shows his disapproval by talking loudly over him. Also this scene:
Kaufman: "The army and all other branches will report directly to the President. The present parliament will not be called back into session. Help will continue to be provided by..."
(Translator gives long stream of Arabic)
Kaufman: "...a new international technological and trading consortium..."
(Kaufman glares at translator)
- In the Babylon 5 S 03 E 14 episode "Ship Of Tears" there's the ISN anchorwoman's bold-faced lie that the previous broadcast was the work of anti-government terrorists.
- Boardwalk Empire: Nucky is a master of the Bastardly Speech who can be defending the black community and demonizing it in the next phrase thanks to the montage.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Joyce: (to Angel) You get out of this house, or I will stake you myself!
Spike: You're a very bad man.
- In S 3 E 15 "Consequences" when Buffy starts to confess to Giles, Faith saunters out from his office. She puts on a sad face and says, "It's okay, Buffy. I told him." Buffy looks like a huge weight has been lifted, but it falls again when Faith says, "I had to. He had to know what you did." Oh, burn.
- Torchwood: Miracle Day: Danes' speeches are actually quite inspirational — it's just a pity they're coming from a Dark Messiah who's only interested in publicity.
- In 24 Charles Logan delivers a eulogy for David Palmer and is promptly arrested afterwards when his role in Palmer's assassination among others things is finally exposed.
- In the Supernatural episode "I'm No Angel", the villainous Bartholomew has his Unwitting Pawn Buddy Boyle give a speech celebrating the descent of the angels to earth and urging his listeners to invite them into their hearts. Given that Supernatural's angels tend to be Lawful Stupid if not Lawful Evil and can possess anyone who says that they may, this is obviously part of a plan to have his allies take over a lot more innocent people's bodies. After the speech, Bartholomew tells Buddy that God will reward him for his assistance. Since Supernatural's God is missing and presumed dead, this is obviously a lie.
- Final Fantasy VII has Rufus Shinra's introduction, where he states that his plans are to turn the Planet into a police state. Thankfully, he's not that serious about it.
- Vayne in Final Fantasy XII is introduced with a remarkably low-key Bastardly Speech. It's so well-done that the only reasons you know he's the villain are that he's incredibly pretty, and the guards apparently don't want to make him angry.
- Of course, given Vayne's Anti-Villain status, it arguably qualifies at least partially for Rousing Speech, but it's still mostly this. Even though the guy's got good intentions, it's pretty clear he's a master manipulator who enjoys having power in his own hands - the speech is proof of his intelligence and character.
- Ondore's speech in the Get On With It Already prologue qualifies in retrospect, but for the fact that the man can't decide what freaking side he's on. However, at the moment, he was acting as a mouthpiece for Vayne.
- The first Terran campaign in Starcraft ends with the rebel leader-turned-emperor Arcturus Mengsk giving a New Era Speech to the war-torn remains of the Terran Confederacy. He's upfront about how he intends to force everyone to join his empire and rule as a dictator "for your own protection", but not about the part where he engineered the Alien Invasion that brought down the Confederacy in the first place. Needless to say, when the truth comes out, the public is incensed.
- Warcraft: In Varian's short story, Archbishop Benedictus gives one that sounds like a sermon preaching hope on the surface, but actually sounds more like subtle Twilight Hammer propaganda when you think about it.
- Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog has the song "Everyone's A Hero" (which mixes this with "The Reason You Suck" Speech), in which Captain Hammer talks about how much he cares about the homeless— all the while comparing them to dogs (Lassie, but still) and calling them Scary Alcoholic Bums. While the audience cheers along, his "girlfriend" Penny, who does charity work with the homeless, is shown as absolutely disgusted by what he's saying.
- Parodied in The Simpsons episode, "Secrets of a Successful Marriage," where Homer tries to justify telling Marge's secrets to the marriage class he's teaching. (Unsurprisingly, unlike with the other examples here, she doesn't fall for his BS.) And of course, being Homer, it's more a collection of quotes from movies he saw.