A scene from Checkerboard Nightmare's concept
for a new comicbook.
Burns: I'm absolutely evil.
Bart: You're preaching to the choir, man.
Appealing to my better nature? I'm a villain! Here is My Card
! "Eve L. Duehr
: Academy of Evil
graduate, aspiring tyrant
, kicker of kittens
, and spontaneous singer of Barney songs
." I crossed the Moral Event Horizon
while still in grade school
and have never once looked back. And you think you can talk me out of my evil deeds
Villains like this may be greedy, violent, Bad Ass
, etc. but most importantly, they are Evil
. It's in the job description. They refer to themselves
as Evil, with a capital "E". Stretch it out to "Eeeeeevil" for emphasis. (They may even pronounce the "I" with emphasized shortness. Ee-vill. Like the froo-it of the dev-ill.) Terminal cases even require their minions to call them "Your Evilness
". In fact, calling them evil, vile, ruthless, or any generally negative epithet will backfire
and be received by these villainous types as the kindest of compliments.
The Card Carrying Villain demands to be respected and feared and on top of the heap over everyone else
because Evil Is Cool
and Good Is Dumb
Thus, they are expected to Kick the Dog
and never Pet the Dog
. If they acted differently, they'd lose their Evil ranking
. Especially ironic if the reason they fell
was because they wanted freedom from constraints on their actions. Whatever action they as a good guy wanted to do is considered "bad", so they have to do other bad things as well now. After a while, they usually forget about whatever goal it was that turned them Evil
in the first place. So...in a very odd way, they're very much The Fettered
; since their actions are bound by the expectation of Evil.
There are, in general, three spheres of Card Carrying Villainy:
- Control - the Villain wants to rule; be it a gang, a city, a state, the country, the world, or a similar goal, and have everyone else below them obey their every whim.
- Corruption - the Villain wants to turn other people Evil. Give in to The Dark Side!
- Destruction - the Villain wants to destroy and kill for its own sake. Taken to the extreme, the first and second spheres may recognize that this includes them as well, so this often results in Evil Versus Oblivion or Eviler than Thou if the villain teams up with the heroes so they can Take Over the World at a later date. (You can't take over the world if it's not there!)
A Black Cloak
, a low-ranking Terrible Trio
, an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain
, or someone who's succumbed to The Dark Side
is usually most likely to identify themselves this way.
A subversion is for these folks to not
actually be cruel, greedy, or unnecessarily violent, but just doing their jobs
. A Noble Demon
is a Card-Carrying Villain
who talks the talk, but has a tendency to hold back or even help from time to time.
If not done right (and it is very, very easily done wrong)
, that is to say, if the card is too serious or obvious
, the result can be cheesy, annoying, and Anvilicious
. Though, in comedy situations/shows, this fate is usually averted, as it's a humorous thing (and thus right in place). It can also be used with a darker twist - showing a person so beyond redemption, so beyond what we call usual morality, that he is literally impossible to argue and reason with.
In the final stage, you have a villain who insists on justifying their actions because "it's what villains are supposed to do
"; see Contractual Genre Blindness
Not to be confused with My Card
, where the villain emphasizes their evilness in this trope, My Card
actually deals with a business card (and is not always for villains). For people who fight using cards, see Death Dealer
. Oh, and this is also not to be confused with the villains in Yu-Gi-Oh!
, as everybody seems to carry cards
in that series.
Contrast with Knight Templar
, a villain who completely believes that they are good. They can become a Card Carrying Villain if they have a Heel Realization
and decide to keep being a villain anyway. Also contrast Moral Myopia
, where the villain doesn't consider the evil he's doing to others to be wrong.
Card-carrying villains are particularly likely to do something For the Evulz
Expect them to have relations with the dark
and/or have evil powers.
Many if not most examples of Ron the Death Eater
are also this.
See also Always Chaotic Evil
, Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad
, Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid
, Stupid Evil
, Eviler than Thou
, and Punch Clock Villain
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- In Dilbert, Catbert is the "Evil Director of Human Resources". That's right, he's got the word "evil" in his job title. And he lives up to it with glee:
Dilbert: My boss is preventing me from transferring to a great job.
Catbert: That's outrageous! There shouldn't be any great jobs in this company.
good evil example:
Alice: How many of your policies are formulated for the sole purpose of gratifying your sadistic tendencies?
Catbert: All of them. Some are just more noticeable.
- Phil The Prince of Insufficient Light.
- The "villains" of Conspiracy Theories frequently seem to have no motivation other than being evil. Why are doctors and scientists insisting there's no link between vaccines and autism? Because they're evil. Why did those evil Jews cause the recession? Because they're evil. If a motivation is offered, it will be "money" as though doing evil things causes money to materialize out of thin air.
- Satan is often depicted in this manner. In the Bible at least, he comes off more like a Knight Templar.
- The ironically named Mr Gently Benevolent in the Dickens parody Bleak Expectations. Also, the less ironically named Hardthrashers and their cousins, the Sternbeaters, Whackwallops, and Grimpunches.
- Thoroughly embraced by Floyd Mayweather Jr., who actively and gleefully seizes the black hat in the build-up to any of his big fights. Initially, the boxing ur-example would have been Muhammad Ali, but he eventually became the most beloved figure in boxing, even today.
- During the 80s, the Miami Hurricanes reveled in being the college football team America cheered against.