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Fashion-Victim Villain
Tremble before my bathrobe of DOOM! Or else I'll kick some ice!
Joel: You can bet that anybody seriously interested in world domination is going to end up looking like a real snickerdoodle.
Dr. Forrester: (wearing a pirate costume/fruit hat) What's that supposed to mean?

The heroes have had it. They've been captured and tied up, and can only watch mutely and impotently as the Evil Overlord's final plans unfold. The large, oversized doors at the far end of his cavernous control room swing open, and in walks the Big Bad himself in an ominous swirl of purple fog...

Wait. Is that a cocktail dress he's wearing? Is that a bone in his nose? Hoop earrings in his ears? A pink satin turban? Clown makeup?

Did the Evil Overlord suddenly forget that he was in a serious action-adventure and decide to play dress-up with a trunkful of his mother's old castoffs?

Uh-oh. It seems we have a Fashion-Victim Villain on our hands.

This trope comes into play whenever a villain decides to don an outrageous, over-the-top costume, usually replete with Dark Colors, Shoulders of Doom and Spikes of Villainy, thinking it will make him look like a fearless, all-powerful Bad Ass. Instead, it makes him look pitiable and ridiculous, if not slightly unhinged.

It's not hard to see why this should happen. Villainy, as a profession, tends to attract flamboyant personality types. Still, this is no excuse for dressing up as a gothic drag queen during the least appropriate times, and no amount of inhuman strength, dog-kicking, or Magnificent Bastardness can restore a villain's menace once it's been undercut by a move like this, at least most of the time. (Unless the villain happens to be a Monster Clown, and the over-the-top costume and makeup is part of his/her schtick.)

The Fashion-Victim Villain most often dresses in this manner during moments of triumph or when they're first meeting with the heroes (in a failed attempt to impress them). Sometimes they may dress like this unintentionally — a radiation suit, designed for the very utilitarian purpose of protecting the villain, may have ridiculously large hips or a phallic helmet, or be colored with loud shades. Either way, one can expect the audience watching the show to chortle a bit upon seeing the villain's new threads. The heroes themselves may mock the villain for his lack of taste, but just as often will let it pass without comment (especially if they have other, more pressing matters on their minds). The villain's allies and henchmen probably won't dare to even crack a smile around the villain (when he is around).

Of course, it was also stated in the Evil Overlord List #29, which stated "I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion." Still, that's no excuse for not doing it well.

May overlap with Highly Conspicuous Uniform if the Mooks are fashion victims, too. May overlap with Embarrassing but Empowering Outfit if the tacky duds are the source of the villains's powers.

A subset of Narm. Compare What The Hell, Costuming Department?. Contrast Man of Wealth and Taste.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • If you're a female villain or Monster of the Week in Sailor Moon, you will have a bad outfit. The rare exceptions are good guys turned into bad guys (Black Lady, Mistress 9) or the Big Bad (Galaxia, Nehellenia, Beryl), and some of them have questionable tastes.
  • Code Geass R2
    • After seeing Lelouch's and Suzaku's new outfits after episode 21, the fanbase spent weeks snickering childishly. The actual outfits really aren't that bad, being designed by CLAMP... but... well, they... are... designed by CLAMP. Lelouch's outfit is the better one of the two, but the Nice Hat just pushes it past the "Pope/Not Pope" outfit threshold. Suzaku looks OK while wearing the cape, but then he takes it off and you see he has skin-tight shoulders. The fact that their arms and legs are so long (as expected of most character designs from CLAMP) doesn't help.
    • A CLAMP artbook shows that the Nice Hat could have been worse. the original version looked like nothing so much as a kite; the hat he does wear in the show is merely the base of the original.
    • CLAMP also designed an outfit for C.C. to go along with Lelouch's and Suzaku's. It actually looks pretty good, but unfortunately doesn't show up in the series (she does finally wear it in one of the last Picture Drama features).
    • For some, the overly fancy looking ornamental sword Lelouch carried was usually taken more seriously after he got fatally skewered by it in the last episode while others have said that the sword actually ruined the aforementioned scene for them.
    • Several Britannia nobles have hairstyles out of date by at least a hundred years, including the Emperor. The British just really love wigs.
  • About half of the main villains in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure suffer from this. You probably won't find many fans, even hard core ones, who disagree with the statement that the characters look like they're from a glam version of Fist of the North Star.
    • The Pillar Men wear nothing but loincloths and over-the-top Aztec accessories.
    • Most villains would never be able to get away with half of the costumes Dio wears throughout Part 3. Also, his Renfield, Vanilla Ice, has an even sillier outfit.
    • Diavolo borders on, but comes up just short of Creepy Crossdresser.
    • Pucci and Kira suffer from this the least, as Kira wears business suits and Pucci wears his priest outfit. The President in Steel Ball Run also averts this somewhat, at least as far as clothes - he wears a suit and a Badass Longcoat. His hair, on the other hand, looks like he ripped the banisters off several model staircases and glued them to his skull.
  • Gundam
    • Gundam 00
      • After the first episode of the second season (or after the release of season 2's first character sketches), the fandom has been snickering hard upon the... outfits used by Ribbons and their followers. It is really difficult to take a man in pastels seriously. Especially when he has a "chest window". And the less said about their party outfits, the better. Hilling Care, WTF is up with that tux of yours?
      • Graham Aker was a whole lot cooler when he wasn't wearing a goofy samurai outfit as Mr. Bushido.
      • The Trinity Team with their white and yellow spandex bike shorts definately count as well. Nena looks fine in hers, but the problem is that Johan wears spandex shorts and Michael's own pants are horrible as well.
    • Okay, so Olba Frost from Gundam X wears a purple and white jacket. Fine, doesn't look that bad with the rest of his clothing. But the electric blue boots? Oh crap, that CLASHES.
    • Gundam SEED Destiny
      • Lord Djibril doesn't get out much. Which is a good thing, since his yellow suit and blue lipstick make him look like a complete idiot (he actually is a complete idiot).
      • The less said about Yuna's pajamas, the better. You won't be able to easily escape from them, though: they've become a huge Iconic Outfit.
    • Victory Gundam
      • Fuala Griffon thinks she rocks a look via using cat bells as earrings and putting on a pink spacesuit. She doesn't.
      • Also, the Zanscare meetings become unintentionally hilarious when you see either grunts or commanders wearing really stupid-looking old-fashioned wigs. Even people who do realize the parallels between the Zanscare "fashion" and traditional looks associated to some officer posts are... weirded out, to say but politely.
  • Bleach
    • Harribel. Her outfit wouldn't be so bad if she actually kept it on. Alas, her Espada tattoo is located on her enormous boobs so she needs to go topless to show it off. It only goes downhill from there.
    • Oh, you think Harribel is bad? Remember Nnoitora? Remember that spoon thing behind his head? Remember the Parachute pants? Remember the shoes?
    • Bad as Harribel's ultimate form is, there is nothing that the creator could come up with to top Charlotte's ultimate form. It reaches Jojo's-level of sending the fandom into fits of laughter. He's supposed to be an over-the-top parody of Magical Girl anime.
    • What about Aizen's banana suit? The form-fitting dress, high heels, and butterfly wings aren't much of an improvement. To say nothing of that tacky mullet.
    • Ginjo's new outfit. Did he take up fashion clues from AIZEN?
    • The Vandereich mostly avert this trope due to them Putting on the Reich, but Kirge Opie wears the FVV medal with pride. Lennon Specs? Check. Weird hat? Check. Horrible spoon shoes? Check. VERY ugly bowl haircut on one side of his head? Oh baby, Check Please. It's bad enough that Ichigo makes fun of it.
    • To say nothing of Busby's mohawk or the freaking Masked Luchador in the group.
  • Creed from Black Cat has a rather over-the-top villain outfit. It looks more like an overdone, flamboyant JRock drag, being open-chested and having large black feathers lining it.
  • Fist of the North Star. This is a show where your garden-variety mook runs around in makeup, and clothing that wouldn't look out of place on Conan the Barbarian if it weren't pink. And has a mohawk.
  • Specialty of Mamoru Nagano. Probably the best example would be Possoidal, the Big Bad of Heavy Metal L Gaim. It takes a special kind of person to wear curtain-rods as epaulettes. And then there's at least half the cast of The Five Star Stories...
  • While Naruto generally averts this, with most villains having outfits much simpler than average for shonen (probably a necessity because everyone moves around so much), two examples still stick out: Orochimaru's otherwise normal usual outfit with the huge purple rope he wears as a belt that is tied up in a ribbon on his back (Sasuke after the Time Skip also has a rope-belt like that, but it's tied at the front and much smaller) and the outfit Sasuke wears after fighting Itachi and joining Akatsuki with the ridiculously over-sized collar.
  • Agon of Eyeshield 21 seems to incorporate everything that screams "douche" (rather appropriate given that he's a Jerk Jock) in to his look which frankly makes his popularity with the ladies rather perplexing. This is a 17-year-old Japanese boy who wears dreadlocks, sunglasses, and a gold chain around his neck at all times. To say nothing of the huge dragon tattoo on his back and his horrendous clothing choices (wearing an animal print dress shirt to a date is just all kinds of wrong...)
  • Smug Snake Shapiro Keats from Dancougar likes his purple eyeliner and has the fashion sense of David Bowie.
  • In Shiki, if you are one of the titular Shiki, if you aren't a mook, you get a fabulous outfit. Tatsumi apparently has cat ears as expressive hair and an outfit which probably gets him a lot of willing female Shiki. Then there's the Shiki who apparently is Vampire Lady Gaga. Sunako has utterly insane hair and a Victorian dress, and Megumi's fashion fails could get a page of their own.
  • In City Hunter, there's an In-Universe example with one of the Villains of the Week: after he managed to capture both Ryo Saeba and the girl he was protecting, a fashion designer, said girl accuses him of poor fashion taste upon seeing his clothes; this flusters him, as when they meet later after Ryo and the girl made their escape, he has put up more tacky clothes, and inevitably gets further mocked by the protagonists, to his embarrassment.
  • Tiger & Bunny gives us Jake Martinez, who manages to be terrifying while looking like... Well, picture the phrase "glam rock serial killer".
  • Envy of Fullmetal Alchemist, who's running around in a skirt, and a tanktop, and has his/her/its hair in what looks like a palm tree. First-Anime!Wrath is as bad or worse, since it's that same outfit on a ten-year old boy.
  • In the first Appleseed movie the officers of the Olympos Regular Army wear completely ridiculous teal uniforms.
  • While not a villain per se, at least not an outright one, Mello's outfits in Death Note are often bizarre, to say the least.
  • When Sugata joins the Glittering Crux in Star Driver, he comes out wearing... this. Even in a show full of Camp Straight, and bad fashion choices, his outfit just goes beyond.
  • Enishi Yukishiro from Rurouni Kenshin. What's with the blue muscle shirt, Chinese pants and Lennon Specs? Does he dress in the dark?
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman: Your average Galactor captain of the week will have a terrible costume fashion-wise. Spikes, masks, bright colors, capes, usually all tied together with an animal theme. An aversion was a sign of Heel-Face Turn and Redemption Equals Death.
  • Black Butler: the demon Sebastian's too-terrifying-to-comprehend true form has stiletto heels: [1].
  • Papillion from Busou Renkin is most definitely a deliberate example. After his transformation into a homunculus, he then dons...this. Most characters are weirded out by his bizarre fashion sense (except for his family and Cloudcuckoolanders like Kazuki and Captain Bravo.) Anything else he wears post-transformation will be equally strange and unsettling.
  • Episode 17 of Kill la Kill had Ragyo Kiryuin wear something that looks like a cross between Kefka, Rita Repulsa and Walpurgisnacht. Given that she is filthy rich and a fashion designer, this is most likely an intentional parody of extravagant "haute couture" outfits worn by real life celebrities - Ragyo has been nicknamed "Lady Gaga" by the fans for a good reason.
    • She takes this even further in the final episodes with Shinra-Kouketsu.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Comics
    • This flash animation gives us Marvel's less than stellar choices in villainous fashions. At least Galactus and Loki have an excuse.
    Galactus: I CARE NOT FOR THE OPINIONS OF LESSER MORTALS REGARDING MY HAT.
    Loki: He's got a point! I'm a god! Why should I care what people think of my appearance?
    • In the tie-in comic for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Dante even comments, upon looking at him, that adding a cape and a cane, Galactus would be the biggest pimp he'd ever seen.
    • Also from Marvel, we have Black Talon. Deadpool's encounter with him says it all.
    • And Mysterio, who wears what appears to be an upside-down goldfish bowl on his head. This is especially hilarious because he's supposed to be a Master of Illusion, yet he apparently has never thought that it might be a good idea to create the illusion that he isn't wearing an upside-down goldfish bowl on his head. Eventually they caught on, and when his illusionary gas was enhanced by Dr. Doom, he went around town with the rest of Spider-Man's Rogues Gallery in various disguises — a metal band, a punk band, and a schoolboy — with the rest of them as schoolgirls. They didn't know how they appeared.
      • A charming cartoonist named Katie Cook has lampshaded the fishbowl effect.
      • The exact same thing was done in the first Spider-Man Playsation game, if "What If?" mode was activated.
      • It seems that everyone has made fun of Mysterio's headgear — Marvel Ultimate Alliance has Spidey bringing it up if he's part of your team on the helicarrier, for example. In fact, "fishbowl for a head" is Spidey's favorite method of addressing him.
      • They fixed that in Ultimate Spider-Man where he loses the fishbowl and instead just has a vaguely head-shaped cloud of fog drifting above the metal device he wears around his shoulders. It's actually rather creepy but still, the beads he wears around his left hand look kind of silly.
      • He's been described as having been dressed by the Liberace Space Program.
    • Electro is another Spider-Man villain who gets a lot of gaffe for his costume. The main thing is that mask resembles a starfish made of lightning bolts, but the rest of his lightning bolt-bedazzled costume is pretty ridiculous too. The Spectacular Spider-Man averts this by giving him an army green insulation suit, and having his mask become real electricity that obscures his face. It's considerably cooler looking. A number of other adaptations avert it these days by going with his Ultimate Marvel version, a blue-white electric Energy Being.
    • A rather unknown (for a reason) Marvel comic called Thunderstrike featured a villain called Carjack (WHOSE specialty was, well, carjacking. Truly a worthy opponent to the successor of the Norse god of thunder), who had dreadlocks and wore a brown trenchcoat, purple pants, huge boots and gloves and a Dr. Doom-style metallic mask.
  • The Flash villain The Rainbow Raider, whose armor, wristbands and boots are painted in blazing rainbow stripes. Admittedly, he is colorblind, so it's not really his fault, but still.
  • Doom Patrol villain Codpiece. He has a laser cannon mounted exactly where you would guess he does from that name, and while he was actually pretty damn dangerous with it, the costume was no less hilarious for many reasons. Then again he fought The Doom Patrol who are... weird...
  • Deimos from The Warlord. Between the pixie boots, the bare midriff, the long, dangling loincloth, the random high collar and the huge sleeves, there's something here for everybody to laugh at.
  • Sometime during the '90s, DC introduced Nightwing's future self from an alternate reality. He started a out as a good guy before being turned to the dark side rather quickly. He wasn't the first Bat-family member to do so, or the last, but certainly the worst dressed. Spikes of Villainy. Mullet. Nipple piercing. Only half a shirt, but an enormous 1970's collar to compensate. Surely it all made sense in the mind of a madman. Then it in a shocking twist, it he was actually just some guy who had no relation to Nightwing whatsoever and wasn't really from the future. It was the '90s. His name was Deathwing. Let's play him off.
  • In Flight 714, Tintin's arch-nemesis Roberto Rastapopopulos, who had until then shown an impeccable taste in clothes, suddenly decides to put on a bizarre pink-and-cream cowboy outfit. He then undergoes a long and painful Villain Decay through the story and the cartoonist later admitted that it was the clothes that did it. Seeing his villain in that outfit had made him lose all respect for the guy.
  • Keith Giffen's Mister Nebula, a parody of Galactus, might as well be the best example of this trope, considering instead of eating planets, this guy travels around the Universe in his Nebulamobile, redecorating planets according to his own sense of aesthetics, which has a distinctive tasteless flair. DC released a trading card series in the early 90s; Nebula's bio stated that the only place in the universe safe from his villainy is Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • A lot of Golden/Silver Age villains have costumes which look somewhat outdated today, which is why it's a good thing a lot of them have been updated. They include (and are not limited to...)
    • The Melter's original costume
    • Kang the Conquerer
    • The Green Goblin
    • Toad
    • Some of the Wasp's many, many costumes
  • Robin's first reaction when seeing The Flamingo, a master assassin who eats people's faces, and wears (well see for yourself) was "I was expecting scary, not gay".
  • No bad costume list could ever be complete without the first Chronos from The DCU. Bright yellow boots; black and white striped leggings (vertical stripes at that); a red, yellow and green leotard with an hourglass symbol on the chest; and a flowing yellow cape with a high collar, topped off with a white wrestling mask that has a clock's hour and minute hands painted on it. Mercifully, the outfit was replaced for his appearance on Justice League Unlimited.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Films featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 seem to love this trope.
    • Operation Double 007 has the main, middle-aged male villain dressing in a flowy silver caftan and (at the end) a skintight red pleather suit.
    Joel: You're dressed as a space angel. Why?
    Traxartus: Give her something of yours, then... something billowy and soft...
    Crow: Wait — something of mine...
    Mike Nelson: My name is Pleasance and I am funky!
    • The main villain from Cave Dwellers, with his ridiculous "Swan Helmet".
    • Prince of Space has the Phantom of Krankor and his chicken suit... with no freaking undergarments. Shots below the waist were quite terrifying to behold for all the wrong reasons.
    • The cone-headed invaders from Invasion of the Neptune Men.
    • Xenos, the evil priest king from Outlaw of Gor. Even the fact that he was played by the incredibly Badass Jack Palance couldn't make up for the fact that he was wearing a long dress and a hat that looked like an opening seed pod.
  • A utilitarian example occurs in the James Bond film, Dr. No. The protective suit the title character wears at the end of the film is Narmtastic.
  • The above was parodied at the end of the first Austin Powers movie. The clear see-thru suit Dr. Evil is wearing seems to serve no useful purpose, other than making him comically slide off chairs whenever he tries to sit on them.
    Dr. Evil: Mr. Powers, how do you like my quasi-futuristic attire? I designed it myself.
  • The Masters of the Universe movie. Frank Langella's golden Skeletor costume, acquired after he achieves ultimate power, plows a line right through Narm and crosses back over to Awesome again. It's like a gay metallic Chiquita-Banana-ator.
  • An example occurs in the live-action Dr. Seuss movie The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T. The costume the title mad conductor wears at the end is probably the most flamboyant example of this trope ever made. The villain's dress-up routine even gets its own song written about it.
  • Batman
    • While the franchise is partially based around silly costumes, Riddler's light-up jacket from Batman Forever qualifies. Riddler spent the entire movie getting steadily more ridiculous, culminating in a costume containing five thousand pounds of glitter. It's so bad he makes a joke about it:
    Riddler: Like the jacket? It keeps me safe when I'm jogging at night.
    • Two-Face's outfit in the same film gives him a run for his money. The "evil" half of the costume incorporates a fluorescent-pink-and-black zebra stripe suit and a yellow leopard-print shirt and tie combo. (He also has a tuxedo with the "evil" half patterned on a Hawaiian shirt.)
    • Mr. Freeze from Batman & Robin wears a bathrobe. With polar bear slippers. Just another nail in the series' coffin.
  • Xerxes in 300 wears a gold cape and speedo and is covered in gold chains and facial piercings. The facial piercings are a shared trait among the Persians, while the speedo seems to be a universal trait in the film's warped version of reality.
  • Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon, especially in the 1980 movie.
  • Averted in Labyrinth: clothes that would look ridiculous on a lesser man actually look pretty spectacular on David Bowie.
  • In its deconstruction of superheros, Watchmen features a lot of snide comments about the intentionally silly costumes that heroes and villains wear. Veidt's bright purple-and-gold suit and mask are overtly compared to Studio 54 excess.
  • Todd Spengo from Mom and Dad Save the World. Then again... everyone on the planet of Spengo has bad fashion sense.
  • Evilene in the Sidney Lumet version of The Wiz wore a large, garish-looking dress which, like many items in the movie, seemed to be made of garbage.
  • A rare narmless example is Anton Chigurh of No Country for Old Men. His bizarre appearance and mannerisms only contribute to his utterly terrifying presence.
  • Zorg (and his weird head-covering... thing) in The Fifth Element, though the whole universe is filled with outrageous fashion.
  • This is almost the point of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Perhaps the bustier is more of a Creepy Crossdresser thing (mm, Fetish Fuel), but as Frank-N-Furter is so pale, his green surgical scrubs reflect up into his face and makes him look like a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog in drag, and a grade-A fashion victim.
  • The Big Bad from Warriors of Virtue definitely qualifies as this. And in a movie about ninja kangaroos no less.
  • Darius Sayle in Stormbreaker. Because nothing says "scary villain" like Mickey Rourke in a white pimp coat and Jack Sparrow makeup.
  • Gozer from Ghostbusters.
  • Matthew Patel in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is dressed pretty ridiculously, to the point where someone actually thinks he's dressed like a pirate. Patel responds defensively:
    Matthew Patel: Pirates are in this year!
Patel is deliberately portrayed as a typical over-the-top Bollywood villain.
  • Even for the '80s, Velvet Von Ragnar, played by Gene Simmons from the movie Never Too Young to Die, had hilariously bad fashion sense.
  • The top page quote refers to Profion's sidekick Damodar in Dungeons & Dragons, who wears neon blue lipstick for... some reason. Damodar becomes the Big Bad in the sequel, somehow losing his badassery.
  • In Zoolander, Mugatu looks like an unholy mixture of Satan, Cruella DeVille, and a poodle. He also dresses up as a young German boy during the brainwashing scene in a discutible attempt of looking like a child.
  • Funnily enough, Javier Bardem's two best-known characters fall prey to this trope. But where Skyfall's Raoul Silva has a tendency to dress oddly, Anton Chigurh's strange 70s haircut only serves to make him scarier.
  • Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. After switching to the metal full-head helmet, suddenly his skinniness becomes more apparent and he looks like a bobblehead or lollipop. One of the few cases where Shoulders of Doom might help.
  • Kick-Ass 2: The Motherfucker's new costume is pieced together from bondage equipment, and thus is black leather covered in zippers and chains. He's even treated as this In-Universe.
  • Let's face it, the helmet that Shaw wears and Erik takes in X-Men: First Class, to block telepathy is a little ridiculous looking. Lampshaded by Shaw when he invades the CIA building where Xavier's team is staying, and on learning Xavier isn't present quips, "Well, at least I can take this silly thing off." And as silly as it looks with Shaw, it's even worse when Erik has it repainted into the same color scheme as the comic book and adds the horns to the front.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 has had plenty of movies that feature this trope (see above). Even Dr. Forrester himself, after Joel and the bots discuss world domination schemes and costumes following the Undersea Kingdom short in the Attack of the Giant Leeches episode.
    Joel: You can bet that anybody seriously interested in world domination is gonna end up looking like a real snickerdoodle.
    Dr. Forrester: (in a ridiculous outfit) What is that supposed to mean?! I’ll deal with you later! Back to the drill, Frank. You will bow down before me, Son of Jor-El! Bow down!
  • The Master's outfit from the end of the Doctor Who movie. Seriously. Pictures here. The outfit is supposed to be Time Lord formal wear, most famous for its abundance in "The Deadly Assassin". The serial was aired twenty-one years before the movie however, so introducing it without any explanation nor the outfit's Nice Hat results in this trope. It's very much not the Time Lord clothing of the classic series, either; it's like someone saw Time Lords with their giant formal collars, thought that the collars were made of fabric and part of the robes (which means that the gigantic evil pointy collar droops a bit), and then dyed the whole thing black, red, and gold so we could tell that the guy possessing his murder victim's corpse was evil.
  • The short-lived Sid and Marty Krofft superheroine series Electra Woman And Dyna Girl featured some truly crazed villain outfits, but special mention must be paid to evil musician Glitter Rock, who wore a huge sparkling green afro wig paired with equally enormous star-shaped sunglasses. Glitter rock musicians' outfits tended strongly to the ridiculous, even for the '70s. Glitter Rock's outfit was ridiculous by glitter rock standards.
  • In The Mighty Boosh, Vince is such a fashionista that he'll always comment on the villain's taste, whether good or bad. Vince himself makes some pretty eccentric fashion choices.
  • Every Goa'uld overlord on Stargate SG-1 qualifies for this trope. Bad taste must be encoded in Goa'uld DNA. Along with Dr. Doom rhetoric.
    • Ba'al swings widely: from looking like he's wearing a bathrobe to leather longcoats... (And don't forget the biggest aversion—the rather spiffing suit he wore when pretending to be an executive on Earth!)
    • Zipacna is the worst: His first appearance he wore what looked like a straw hat and a Hawaiian shirt. This is supposed to be "traditional" Mayan dress, given that he's impersonating one of their deities.
    • There's also Lord Yu-huang Shang Ti, the Jade Emperor, who not only dresses like a Chinese emperor, but he actually was the first Chinese emperor, meaning he created this style.
  • The Riddler Unitard was so hated by Frank Gorshin, his actor on the 1960s' Batman series, that he designed a new outfit for himself. The green three-piece suit and bowler hat with question mark tie that resulted is now the character's most common outfit.
  • While Ming in the short-lived Flash Gordon TV series avoids this most of the time, preferring to pass himself off like a benevolent dictator of a Third World country ("Ming the Merciless" is what his subjects call him behind his back) by wearing a military uniform, he does wear an ornate robe in an episode where Mongo commemorates the Sorrow, a manmade cataclysm that destroyed the previous Mongo civilization and left their world in ruins. Ming's Dragon Rankol wear a long black robe and some sort of a metal plate on his head.
  • The Romulans of Star Trek: The Next Generation wore truly hideous uniforms with massive shoulder pads in patterns that looked like they were taken from curtains. And in the two-parter "Unification", we see this fashion sense extended to the civilian population. Word of God grew to hate these costumes, so Star Trek: Deep Space Nine would give the Tal Shiar better-looking uniforms, and Star Trek: Nemesis got rid of them for good.
    • A lot of hostile and friendly species on Star Trek tended to have rather questionable fashions, in fact: those Romulan fashions were borrowed liberally from the Vulcans. Cardassians in early appearances looked a lot like the later ones except for wearing really dorky clothes, and the Ferengi, villainous or heroic, almost always wore clothes with loud colors and tacky designs as part of their "oily used car salesman" aesthetic.
    • In the DS9 episode "Improbable Cause", when Romulans were suspected of an attempt on Garak's life, Odo quipped "Considering those uniforms of theirs, you'd think they'd appreciate a decent tailor."

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Triple H's entrance from WWE Wrestlemania 22 definitely qualifies here, for the worst Conan outfit ever. Should have saved that one for Halloween, Trips... Not that face John Cena's homage to Al Capone was much better.
  • Damien Demento, especially his hairy Venus flytrap shoulder pads.
  • When Goldust turned back to heel at one point, he became The Artist Formerly Known As Goldust, who wore garish, disturbing outfits.
  • Nelson Frazier (Mabel/Viscera/Big Daddy V) used to wear body suits that resemble balloons or garbage bags (especially the latter when he was Viscera), then pajamas, and finally pants and suspenders but no shirt (his cup size must be bigger than even the most well endowed Divas).
  • Zack Ryder wore bright purple tights with different length pants legs, a see-through jacket (which closer inspection shows to really be an extremely gaudy dress shirt), swimming goggles, and a headband on his first ECW appearance. Just in case that look wasn't bad enough, he also spiked all of his hairs straight up. Thankfully, his outfit became more bearable as time went on, as he acquired solid jackets, ditched the goggles for shades, and found sensible tights.
  • Inverted at SummerSlam 2010 in the WWE.Divas' Title match. The heel Alicia Fox wore a respectable outfit while her opponent Melina came out decked in a yellow and orange ensemble complete with an excess of feathers and a garish Aztec headdress.
  • Speaking of Alicia Fox, during her title reign, she had a nightmarish pink and silver outfit that consisted of a skirt and sports bra covered in fringes and tassels, making people wonder if she'd robbed a pińata from some kid's birthday party. She keeps doing it now she's gone and given herself red hair and insists on wearing the pink pińata gear, giving her the look of a melting iced-cake.
  • Beth Phoenix showed up at SummerSlam wearing a cross between a 50s waitress uniform and a nurse's costume. Sadly she's brought out even more of them since.
  • At Payback 2014, for the Shield versus Evolution match, almost everybody kept it simple. The Shield were in their typical SWAT-team tactical vests, and and Randy Orton and Triple H wore their typical black trunks. Batista, on the other hand, out of absolutely nowhere, chose that night to debut a set of trunks, shin-guards, and armband/elbow-pad/sleeve things that were an alarmingly bright shade of blue. Comparisons to everything from the Smurfs to the Power Rangers to Megaman soon followed. What makes it stranger is that he never wore those blue trunks before (instead wearing red or black,) and walked out of the company the next night (a planned walkout, as he needed to leave to promote Guardians of the Galaxy,) making their appearance all the more sudden and unexplainable. And this doesn't even begin to get into his wearing of leather vests and skinny jeans (which, on his muscular build, look strange and uncomfortable, not to mention making it impossible to properly do his Batista Bomb, leading to one noticeable blowout on Raw.)

    Video Games 
  • Many villains in the Final Fantasy series. A lot of the Amano designed villains look particularly effeminate, all the way back to Final Fantasy II which gave us Emperor Palamecia, his sexy black lipstick, and his multi-colored hair. These include...
    • Kuja from Final Fantasy IX is the most over the top example of this trope, what with his man-thong. Not shockingly, his original character design was done by Amano, and was one of the few that made it to the final game relatively intact.
    • Seymour, with his chest-baring technicolor robes and Picasso-esque hair follows close behind, though at least he can keep his manliness intact.
    • Kefka from FFVI, although being a Monster Clown, is one of the few where this look actually makes him menacing.
    • Not even the women are safe. While Edea from Final Fantasy VIII (designed by Tetsuya Nomura, not Amano) looks suitably goth in her pitch-black dress (and, being a witch, she doesn't require much freedom of movement) Ultimecia wears an eye-searing red evening gown with a plunging neckline... plunging all the way to her naughty bits, a split skirt, and painted feet instead of shoes. That's before discussing her makeup, too.
    • Dirge of Cerberus has Nero. One L Per noted simply, "He has a jockstrap. On his face."
  • Zaki from Live A Live wears a lizard. And nothing else.
  • Dantel, the final boss of the laughably awful Mortal Kombat ripoff Survival Arts is best described as an "incredibly cheap and hilarious white trash ripoff of Shang Tsung". Or more like "Amakusa on the change from someone's couch cushions".
  • Pokémon
  • Yggdrasil in Tales of Symphonia. It's a jumpsuit. Also, it is extremely disco and leaves absolutely nothing whatsoever to the imagination. Except his gender.
  • Almost everyone from Mortal Kombat, but special care must be taken to name Shinnok, Quan-Chi, Sindel, Shang Tsung in MK3, Kano in MK3, and many others. For some reason they don't seem so goofy in the game (except Shang Tsung and his dorky fighting stance), but if you've ever seen pictures of the actors wearing their actual costumes, it is very hard not to laugh. Most of the Earth Realm warrior look rather normal, particularly dressed down characters like Lu Kang and Johnny Cage. Unless doing everything shirtless counts. Sonya, and the ninjas (well, male ninjas anyway) also look rather normal.
    • The Lin Kuei cyborgs would be a bit more menacing if they weren't bright red and yellow. There's a reason Sektor and Cyrax are referred to as "Ketchup and Mustard".
  • Jeanne from Bayonetta wears a red jumpsuit with a huge poofy collar and a bow just above her ass, open-toed, high-heeled sandals, and fluffy tassels on her guns. However, she has nothing on Balder, who wears a dead white peacock stole, a golden quarter mask, and an earring-attached monocle over said mask. And a single glove.
  • This is invoked with the Soda Poppers in Sam and Max.
  • Alpha Protocol:
    • Konstantin Brayko.
    Michael Thorton: How many gay cheetahs gave their lives for this jacket?...
    • Henry Leland is more restrained, but still has a deeply unfortunate (yellow, with orange and red stripes) taste in shirts and ties. Thorton comments on it, but never to his face.
    • One such comment is about how the only thing Leland and Brayko seem to have in common is a similar taste in shirts and ties. Ouch.
  • Atelier Iris' Palaxius and his horrible, horrible man-sideboob.
  • One of Big Bad Sadler's The Dragons Ramon Salazar from Resident Evil 4. Not only does he look like a wrinkly literal manchild, his outfit makes him look like a mini-Napoleon wannabe that makes it practically impossible to take seriously (if not for his better dressed towering mutant mooks).
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, Big Bad Wannabe Benny wears a checkered suit that makes him look like a used car salesman. Once he's dead, NPCs and companions will keep mentioning how his real crime was that suit. Benny is based on real-life mobster Bugsy Siegel, who owned a similarly hideous suit.
  • Evil Genius
    • Shen Yu (a Fu Manchu expy) wears a long, ornate robe of yellow, black, red, and white, complete with a dragon medallion the size of his head and a jade jewel in his forehead. He's almost completely bald, save for a single ponytail. He appears to be wearing blue eye shadow and has perfectly-groomed eyebrows, a ridiculous mustache, and painted fingernails.
    • Some of the henchmen aren't much better, such as Jubei (an Anime-inspired samurai) and Moko (a tribal protector).
  • The obscure Japan-only Data East game Garyo Retsuden takes place in Three Kingdoms-era China, and for the most part, the enemy forces don't look out of place there. At least until you reach the final boss. Red-and-yellow garb you'd normally expect to see in a superhero comic, wild blond hair, red eye-mask, green gloves...you get the idea. Even better, he's none other than Lu Bu. Yes, that Lu Bu.
  • Dark Souls
    • A hilarious example in an NPC Black Phantom called Xanthous King Jeremiah (Jeremiah the Yellow King in Japanese). As expected from his Boss Subtitles, he wears yellow getup, which is about as close an equivalent to a near gold yellow yogist's gear (think Dhalsim) with an overly huge, pointy suppository-shaped turban. Even the item description snarks about its color which "hurts the eyes".
    • The yellow turban however, is a legacy item from Demons Souls, where it is awarded to players who play the role of a Boss in a certain map. While the Dark Souls example doesn't do anything special (except being traded for a very rare ring), the Demons Souls variation gives an increase in magic damage, at the cost of wearing what looks like a custard tornado.
    • Another unfortunate example is Demons Souls' Garl Vinland. Say what you will about his supposed villainy (or rather, lack thereof), but the man is very knightly and very badass-like, if not for his squid head-shaped ornament on his helmet. The nicknames "Squid-head" and "Squid-knight" are particularly frequently mentioned.
  • Hitman: Absolution has the Saints, a group of female assassins who dress in fetish nun outfits. Not even the Agency understands why.
  • Soul Calibur 3- as if Asteroth didn't have enough going against him with his low tier rating (well, aside from his Good Bad Bug), his alternate costume from the first two games (an executioner's hood and Spikes of Villainy coming from his shoulders) got modified into a claw hammer hat and nails protruding from his shoulders. So much for his having any chance of being taken seriously.
  • Terrormisu in Wario: Master of Disguise. Yeah, there's nothing much to say other than making your Big Bad look like a fifty plus year old Princess Peach cosplayer makes them look about as far from menacing or badass as you can imagine. It just has to be seen to be believed.
  • Validar from Fire Emblem Awakening. As if his inability to rock the very Stripperiffic Sorcerer outfit wasn't bad enough, his horrible pineapple-like hairstyle and these... uh, earrings really don't help.
  • While what's evil depends on your alignment, the fusion of Lucifer and Walter in Shin Megami Tensei IV. A gold outfit that bares the chest and a weird distorted head? They might have been going for something that mixed otherworldly with regal, but what they got just looked ridiculous. The second form is a bit more impressive, though underwhelming.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Big Bad of Apollo Justice Kristoph Gavin is frequently mocked by the fandom for his shoes.
  • Gilgamesh from Fate/stay night seems to love tacky, ridiculously over-the-top outfits and accessories for his "casual" clothing. Pretty much the only normal-looking outfit he has is the track suit he wears in Unlimited Blade Works. And this is to say nothing of his golden armor.
  • Arbitro from Togainu no Chi

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Flander's Company loves using in-universe examples of this trope:
    • The antagonists from season 2, the C.C Corporation, were a company in charge with designing suits for superheroes; their fashion designers, Déborah Levinski and Maxcence, had such a horrible sense of fashion that Carla used it to push Cindy to demission merely by ordering them to do a relooking for her.
    • Then we have supervilain-wannabe Kevin, who joins the C.C Corporation later. He dresses such a ridiculously and horribly flashy way that a mere look at him cause pure pain to Hippolyte. Carla even states once that his mere haircut was "an invitation to murder".
    • While Aegis are a Knight of Cerebus with relatively acceptable costums, their member Pyro has a clear poor sense of fashion, which was lampshade by Mello. Hippolyte describes her as "a Godzilla ŕ la Drag Queen".

    Western Animation 
  • The Animaniacs episode "Good King Yakko" (a pastiche of Duck Soup) has the Warners meeting with an evil dictator from a neighboring country. They mock his formal, pseudo-historical garb.
    Wakko: Oh boy! The clown is here!
    Dictator: This is the uniform of a great man!
    Yakko: Does he know you're wearing it?
  • When Valmont from Jackie Chan Adventures is possessed by the demon Shendu, Shendu forces him to wear sorcerer's robes, which Valmont comments on looking like a dress.
    Shendu: This is not a dress, it is a sorcerer's gown!
    Ratso: Isn't a gown a dress?
    Shendu: NO!
    Ratso: Oh. (beat) Yes it is.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: All Hail Phoenix King Chicken Head! Let us say Ozai looks rather more imposing stripped to the waist (or at least without the helmet, which he abandoned after the coronation).
  • Transformers: Some Decepticons have a bit of..a crazy color scheme.
  • The Contessa from Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego??
  • The Venture Bros.
    • Doctor Venture explains this to his son:
    Dr. Venture: Every professional nemesis has weaknesses. One, they wear goggles. Peripheral vision is shot! Two, helmets with logos and stuff on them? A guy with a big metal piece of punctuation on his hat can't turn his head fast!
    • Among the tons of examples of actual characters, The Monarch stands out quite nicely in black and orange spandex with armored bits and huge butterfly wings.
    • St. Cloud, ultra-rich fanboy and Billy and Pete White's arch-enemy, is an interesting case. His regular outfit (a plum-coloured suit and round glasses) is definitely not an example. However, in his first professional encounter with his nemesis, he dresses up in a truly ludicrous outfit that includes a black robe and a Greek helmet with a cloud and lightning-bolts attached (punning on his name). He also has a tendency to dress up as a reference to various media, for example dressing like a Spartan from 300 (complete with painted-on abs) when in Greece in the episode "Spanakopita!".
  • Kim Possible
  • Ben 10
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold:


Excessive Evil EyeshadowVillainous Fashion SenseFemme Fatalons
Eyepatch of PowerStandard Superhero SuitsLeotard of Power
Fashions Never ChangeCostume TropesFeather Boa Constrictor
Fashionable EvilVillainsThe Fatalist
Fair for Its DayYMMV/Home PageFaux Symbolism
Fair for Its DayYMMVFaux Symbolism
Cosmopolitan CouncilImageSource/Live-Action FilmsWhat The Hell, Costuming Department?

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