"I needed someone who acts like a friend but secretly delights in the misery of all people."
Namekian Warrior: That's it, what the hell are you doing? Freeza: Oh, sorry, it's a little hobby of mine. I hear these heroic speeches so wearily often, so I started making a mental list of how many times I've heard certain lines. Namekian Warrior: You—you insane bastard! Freeza: One hundred and ninety!
A villain whose polite mannerisms only serve to enhance their evil.
They lack a villainous demeanor, yet they are truly, wholly, and unrepentantly evil regardless. This kind of villain maintains a friendly, courteous mask even as they commit incredibly heinous acts. Unlike Affably Evil characters, whose niceness is genuine, Faux Affably Evil villains adopt this pleasant persona. An Affably Evil villain will treat The Hero like a friend, and will be reluctant to make an enemy of them. A Faux Affably Evil villain will throw in a jolly "Ooh, my friend, aren't we having a lot of fun?" as they are torturing them.
A Faux Affably Evil character's demeanor is an act. At heart, they're utterly soulless, but they mask it with a pleasant, polite, "normal" attitude, perhaps because they have social standards to live up to or because their pleasantness reflects their sheer enjoyment of evil. It's anyone's guess what this kind of villain will do if they suffer a Villainous Breakdown; maybe they will drop all pretenses and find that they are Not so Above It All or maybe they will fall into a state of Dissonant Serenity, blabbering off-kilter pseudo-mannerisms as they lapse into their final and greatest puppy-murdering spree.
Do not confuse with Laughably Evil, which is a villain who is funny rather than polite. While many Faux Affably Evil villains are also Laughably Evil, many other villains are one but not the other. Compare and contrast Affably Evil (whose niceness is sincere) and this Trope's opposite, Noble Demon (whose demeanor is evil in contrast to their actions). For the Evulz is a common motivation, though using this trope as a form of Obfuscating Stupidity is also possible. Also see its downplayed counterpart Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, where a Jerkass is hiding behind a Nice Guy facade, and Stepford Smiler, when a miserable or mentally unstable person is hiding behind a cheery and sweet facade. May also overlap with Soft Spoken Sadist. Contrast with Good Is Not Nice, which is a good character that just isn't polite. Not to be confused with Sophisticated as Hell where the affable demeanour hides a coarser personality.
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Anime and Manga
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure gives us Dio Brando. He's a smooth talker with legions of crazy-devoted followers, but at his core, he's completely self-centered and evil.
Kakyoin notes this in the case of Terence T. D'Arby: "You give the impression of a gentleman... but you are the worst kind of madman."
Muska from the Studio Ghibli movie Castle in the Sky fits this trope to a T. He pretends to be an affable, trustworthy man in service of the government, until he reveals he intended to use Laputa as his personal battle ship to dominate the world. He turns downright scary when the protagonists appear to foil his plot.
Dr. Hell from Mazinger Z has a good helping of It's All About Me, but always keeps an educated, polite behavior and mannerisms, even when he is going to dissect someone to turn him or her into his next enslaved Cyborg.
Deidara. Just as loud as Hidan and more flamboyant, yet he is stated by Pain to have joined Akatsuki only for shits and giggles.
In fact, Deidara was forced to join Akatsuki after losing a bet against Itachi. It doesn't make him any less of an example of this trope, however - while really desperately trying to pass off as a "cool" villain he has to put up a humungous effort to hide his rampant insanity. That is, until the very end..
Genma from the new season of Darker than Black is a pretty laid back guy who initially seems to be Plucky Comic Relief and keeps that attitude even after it becomes clear that he is a vicious psychopath. The first indication of his Faux Affably Evil nature is a train hijacking he does, wherein to create a distraction, he runs down tons of people and shouts out something like (paraphrased) "All aboard" with the mangled corpse of the actual conductor beside him. Also fitting this trope is the fact that while he's clearly a Depraved Bisexual pedophile, he expresses this through behavior and commentary that is disturbingly similar to your typical Lovable Sex Maniac.
Gauron from Full Metal Panic! has a very quirky, highly amusing personality - while going around rampaging and killing people. Including his employers and co-workers. He has no redeeming qualities and has almost every vice and evil you can think of (being an Ax-Crazy, pedophilic rapist and necrophiliac that will kill anyone and everyone, just because, and gets jealous of and tries to kill a 16-year-old girl just because she's the girl Sousuke likes). But let's face it - it is very amusing to watch him mass murder while he cracks horrible jokes and acts all happy.
From earlier on, there's Kaguro. He styles himself as a Magnificent Bastard and is conversational with Yoshimori when they fight. He's more towards the Ax-Crazy end of the Blood Knight spectrum. And he murdered Gen and is only an ayakashi because he was so completely insane as a human.
Frieza is fairly polite, when he's in a good mood... and an Omnicidal ManiacEvil Overlord, who will kill anyone who he feels is a threat to his power, in fear that someone will surpass him, going as far as driving entire species to extinction, or blowing up planets just because he feels like it.
Freeza: Hello. Allow us to introduce ourselves. My name is Freeza and we're a traveling improv group. Here, let me give you a demonstration: My men shall play a group of drunken sailors, and you're a bunch of baby seals. And... Go!
Perfect Cell was also a rather good sport in battle... Until he started losing, that is.
Muruta Azrael of Gundam SEED. His charismatic nature and excitable personality lead to a lot of morbidly funny scenes (and who can forget the infamous 'YATTA!' scene), but he's also a genocidalsociopath bent on wiping out every Coordinator that exists.
Code Geass brings us Schneizel. He seems like a nice, charming man. Of course, he's a Britannian Prince, so not so much. He's introduced when authorizing the death of his sister's politically inconvenient, racial minority, Knight Of Honor, and proceeds to become the final villain, manipulating a mentally unstable genius into developing a nuclear weapon, then displays no particular concern as to how it is used, or who it kills, plans to destroy all the world capitals, and successfully destroys two Britannian cities. That's right. Britannian. As in, his own country. One of them was held by his self-declared enemy, and the other... well, just because his enemy was there.
Prince Clovis. Nice Guy, most of the time. Except when he's authorized illegal experimentation behind his father's back, and tries to kill a district of third class citizens to hide it. Not much screentime, though.
Chang, who is openly friendly with the Lagoon Company. During his Breaking Speech moment with Rock, he reveals that his friendliness doesn't mean a thing.
Envy of Fullmetal Alchemist can sometimes be fairly amusing and seem like a Friendly Enemy, but it's all an act, and Envy is by far one of the most cruel and sadistic characters in the series. Father also might qualify. He can seem polite and reasonable and is even kind of goofy in his first meeting with the Elric brothers, but beneath it all, he's devoid of empathy towards anyone, and there's plenty of scenes which show him savoring opportunities to torment humans.
Solf J.Kimblee most certainly qualifies, too. He's shown many shades of Wicked Cultured and can be polite, charming, and an all-around charismatic fellow...when he's not making bombs out of women, children, and any other poor saps within arm's length.
Fuhrer King Bradley comes off at first as a charming family man and Reasonable Authority Figure. He's actually a ruthless homunculus, Wrath, who ordered the war in Ishval.
Big Bad Aizen. Sure, he pretends to be a charming, laid-back guy, but in reality, he's just being condescending; other people are insignificant insects to him and he doesn't hesitate to tell them this, when he doesn't need them anymore. When he realizes Urahara's smarter than he is and Ichigo's a lotstronger than he is, the Mr. Nice Guy -act goes right out the window.
Tsukishima, in contrast to his Card-Carrying Villain partner, Ginjo. He acts polite and serene almost all the time, even while he Mind Rapes people with Fake Memories. When someone suffers a mental breakdown due to conflicting memories, the facade drops, revealing a sadistic monster.
Also Quilge Opie from the Wandenreich arc, a sadistic Quincy commander who, in the Japanese version, talks in polite speech when addressing his opponents and talking about the bad things he plans to do.
Gargoyle from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water. He's willing to kill anyone so that his plans could go accordingly, yet he is so polite and refined towards his foes. Especially with Nemo and Nadia (who he calls Princess).
Trigun's Legato Bluesummers does a bit of this, although he is as freaky-evil as possible in his first meeting with Vash, specifically.
The anime version of Knives does a bit of this whenever interacting with Vash. Notably, his cheerful "yo, Vash!" upon their reunion in July, while sitting on a desk next to the just-murdered corpse of its owner, whom Vash was coming to visit. A similar but more elegant friendly greeting appears when Vash arrives for the final battle. However, because this demeanor only applies to his brother, and because he would probably not do anything to said brother if Vash just got out of his way, this may be more of a single-target Affably Evil.
Johan, the title character of Monster, has this as his specialty. He charms, he smiles, he seems to care and he's such a beautiful and brilliant young man... as he uses you and kills you and if he takes enough of an interest in you, he will probably take the time to kill all your hopes and dreams, first.
Michio, the protagonist of MW, really has a friendly personality, but is really a criminal who commits atrocious crimes for fun.
The Caster/master pair in Fate/Zero usually act like normal people, even while shredding little children to bits with Combat Tentacles because they were bored. Caster himself enjoys pretending to be nice before horribly murdering someone for the extra shock value; his master seems to be just completely desensitized. Oddly enough, they also have the best relationship of all the master/servant pairings, despite the master having no magic.
The good relationship is justified in-universe: When a master summons a servant without a catalyst (for example Kiritsugu used Avalon to summon Saber), the grail picks the Heroic Spirit who's personality is most similar to the master's.
Picodevimon from Digimon Adventure presents himself as a friend to several of the heroes and proceeds to utterly deceive them, all with an oily polite demeanor. He drops this facade when his plans go awry, though.
Joker from Smile Pretty Cure! acts like a fun guy, is almost always smiling, and speaks to Pretty Cure as if they're just having casual conversation...while he drives them to soul-crushing despair and laughs how they'll never defeat the Bad End Kingdom or revive the queen.
Keith White of Project ARMS has shades of this. He is very calm and polite towards the protagonists, before trying to kill them in the most violent, horrific way possible. In a flashback, it's shown that he spoke kindly to Alice when she asked him for a special present for her birthday and, upon hearing her request was to go outside with the other experimental children, he calmly hit her.
Rosario + Vampire gives us Hokuto Kaneshiro. He makes friends with Tsukune, supports peace at Yokai Academy, is a strong, determined leader, and has a close friend... in the form of dancing-mad Kiriya Yoshi, and only because Kiriya is the one who gave him monstrel blood so he could fend for himself. Go on, Tsukune. Look away for a moment. You'll find everyone beaten to the ground, and Hokuto standing there with a stick in his hand, insisting that emotions are pointless. Oh, and don't expect him to be any better a year after you and Moka kick his ass - sure, he might have helped you stop his own plan, but he's still going to strangle you with his inconsistently-changing monstrel hand, gloating that you can't protect your girlfriend. Ouch.
In Attack on Titan, the Beast Titan politely asks Mike about his equipment and removes it without harming him. He then proceeds to tell the other Titans that they may have their way with him, since he's finished with his business.
Sugou from the ALO arc of Sword Art Online. He talks to both Kirito and Asuna as if they're friends, but both of them, as well as readers know right off the bat of just what an asshole he is. He threw it away sometime after.
Arlong keeps a calm tone even as he slaughters humans out of sheer racist superiority, calmly lying to Nami for 8 years that if she gets enough money he'll let her go, then hires a corrupt marine to steal all the treasure she gathered just as she reached her goal, and calmly telling her to just start over as he just laughs at her!
Crocodile seems like a calm and reasonable enough guy, but the second he gets (or fails to get) what he wants or finds out you've failed him in ANY way he drops the politeness and orders your death in the same calm tone.
Blackbeard is this and a bit genuinely Affably Evil. He might at first come off as a friendly sort of guy with a big smile on his face, but could quickly turn to killing and mocking you, all while wearing the same exact smile. Though for all his unpleasantness he does seem to genuinely care about his crew, despite gaming all of his newer members by making them fight to the death and taking the survivors. Granted they were among the most evil and unrepentant criminals in all of Impel Down but still. Plus his friendly demeanor whenever it shows for the most part IS genuine, which makes him all the more evil.
Caesar Clown is even worse, He managed to sucessfully manipulate various prisoners and Brownbeard's Crew into becoming his underlings by coming off as a great scientific hero to them "curing" them of their afflictions (with Help from Trafalgar Law) when in fact He's the one who poisoned them.The guy also came off as a kind caring "Master" to many children who ended up on Punk Hazard for his treatment of their diseases, when in reality he's been lying to their faces, they were kidnapped to be his Guinea Pigs, he's been drugging them for well over a year with his Fantastic Drug candy turning them into giants, worst part is that many of them might not live for 5 more years because of all the drugs they've ingested Caesar has done all of this without so much as breaking his polite facade even once around them, he's basically a mix of Frieza and The Joker. Funny enough he's played by Ryusei Nakao.
Nui Harime from Kill la Kill acts like she a particularly saccharine schoolgirl, keeps complementing people, and flirts with all the pretty girls around her. And yet, she is pure evil, and thrives in it. Probably the most telling instance of this is Nui's reaction to when The Hero, Ryuko, tries to start a fight her without even activating her battle transformation:
"But enough about me! Show me your Godrobe! Are you holding back because I'm dressed like this? Didn't you see what short work I made of that Goku Uniform back there? You shouldn't hold back with that Godrobe of yours. Still not convinced? Well, I'll show you something neat. Here we go! Ta-dah! Yup, it's the other half of your Sword Scissor! Fresh off your father's corpse!"
During his time as king of Gotham's criminal underworld, the Black Mask had some great lines. Considering he built his empire on a mountain of corpses, and his hobby is torture, a lot of it Crosses the Line Twice.
James Gordon Jr. is a very well-mannered and thought-to-be-rehabilitated psychopath. Is also a very recent villain.
Yanno, I have always been Crazy Awesome, but I vary between being a Noble Demon and being Faux Affably Evil, depending on my current state of sanity/writer. When Nolan North voiced me, he played a Composite Character version, with the personality and dashing good looks of Deadpool in the main universe (in which my morality and sanity varies) and the motivation of Ultimate Marvel Deadpool (in which I am a Cape Buster and straight up villain).
In Fall Out Toy Works, Baron makes himself out to be perfectly civil in his business dealings and serves as a mall Santa for orphaned kids...but it's very much an act and only the most oblivious would be fooled.
Dr. Eggman fits this to a T in a side story involving him rebuilding Lien-da, one of his underlings. He talks to her in a jolly, friendly mannered way, smiling the whole time while simultaneously showing her and then installing the bomb that will kill her if she attempts to betray him. "You'll all go up like a fireworks festival. Very festive. Very colorful."
Decepticon Justice Division leader Tarn quotes literature and plays fine music while he and his teammates torture you to death. His preferred method of killing isn't even violent—he's capable of modulating his voice in a way that lets him destroy your soul. Of course, that's only after his buddies have run out of ways to mangle you.
Yuuka Kazami in the Touhou fanfiction Imperfect Metamorphosis takes great pride in being a gracious host and pleasant conversationalist, and is completely unapologetic about her passion for torture, rape, and mass murder. Indeed, part of the reason everyone finds her so terrifying is that no one knows how much of her pleasantry is an act, and she is just as likely to affectionately pat someone on the head as she is to casually crush their skull.
Mr.Evil'sOriginal Character Lord fits this to a T. He hardly goes a sentences without a ridiculous rant and crazy laugh, all whilst he is mind raping his victims, slaughtering over a billion people, and thinking of killing an innocent girl as a good way to pass the time.
His other Original Character Alexander Sovereign comes close, as he can talk about a grand war that would make the first two look like child's play, all while speaking in a polite tone. The only reason he bypasses this is because he has no emotions to begin with.
One of the leaders of the HCS, in Human Curiosity. When he finds that England has escaped confinement, he smiles, politely addresses him, and then beats the ever-loving tar out of him. He then has England dragged downstairs and forces him to look at the frozen corpse of Portugal and, when England tries to attack him, calmly says to not act out or else he'll be killed and frozen next.
Marble from My Little Castlevania begins as a sweet, sensitive, stuttering mare. Later on, she still has a very pleasant and perky attitude, but has poisoned many foals with a deadly toxin that will kill them in a few hours, extorts Twilight Sparkle for the cure, and threatens and torments her friends.And she does it all with a smile! Then it turns out she was being possessed by Actrise, so this trope applies more to the latter.
Voodoo King Damballa of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades, or rather the side story Month of Sundays, laughs and makes smart talk with the Cosmic Hunting Dogs and is such a jovial guy... who's currently under contract with Shotaro and revived him as a crazy marionette with nails for teeth and is currently doing that to Haruto Souma and Eiji Hino.
Films — Animated
Rumpelstiltskin in Shrek 4-Ever After. Right up until his victims sign the Deal With The Devil, he is all politeness and sweet talk. Then he laughs manically at their doomed fate.
Fairy Godmother from Shrek 2.
Rothbart from The Swan Princess - he killed the king and kidnapped the titular princess in order to gain control of the kingdom - because he learned the first time around that stealing it was not the way to go, and constantly remains one step ahead of the heroes - if not for blind luck, the main characters would be dead. He's also a Deadpan Snarker of sorts and never loses his temper.
Jafar from Aladdin is closer to this than to the Affably Evil he's sometimes listed as. Affably Evil might kill you, but it couldn't hurt to sing about humiliating you and make your girlfriend watch right?
In Aladdin: The Series there's Mozenrath, Disney's most charmingly diabolical teenager. "Okay, then. Everybody else expires at dawn, while I blow away Agrabah. Then, say, noon-ish, I return and devise some way to destroy you."
Shan-Yu from Mulan, depending on how you take his mild tone of voice. When the Huns catch two Imperial scouts, he kneels down and adjusts one of their scarves and compliments them for finding the Hun Army. He even lets them go, to tell the Emperor he's coming. And then has one of them shot In the Back. Also when he says that they should go through the village to 'return' a doll to a little girl.
Shan Yu: Go! Tell your Emperor to send his strongest armies. I'm ready.
The two soldiers scurry off, one after the other.
Shan Yu: How many men does it take to deliver a message?
The Great Mouse Detective: Ratigan. This is ultimately one of the things, as mentioned above, that makes his Villainous Breakdown all the more terrifying; he puts up a slick and suave exterior, but we occasionally see hints of his feral nature kept just under control...until the final showdown.
"My dear Bartholomew, you've... gone and upset me."
Wreck-It Ralph: King Candy. Oh, King Candy. At first glance, this little Mad Hatter knockoff seems about as harmful as a cube of taffy. But it becomes slowly clear that he's infinitely more malicious than he lets on. It also helps that he's an excellent liar, and Dangerously Genre Savvy enough to have everyone, up to and including the audience, eating out of his palm.
Frozen: Prince Hans, as part of his status as The Sociopath. Again, he's good enough to fool the audience.
The Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood is quite cheerful and polite on the surface, but it's just to toy with people. He'll take from the church's poor box, a blind beggar's cup, or a crying child's birthday present, and he'll enjoy every rotten moment of it.
Tangled: Mother Gothel's domineering mother act and her general manipulative personality is this in spades.
Bradley Uppercrust III from An Extremely Goofy Movie. He's polite to team prospects (though passive-aggressive to non-prospects and others) but never means any of it. He's ruthless enough to deliberately endanger his opponents and leave his own right hand man to die.
Nigel, the sadistic Dragon-in-Chief in Rio. He rarely outright insults someone, and tends to talk in a calm, friendly manner...while relishing in his villainy and "convincing" someone to be his Mook by dropping them from several hundred feet.
Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West is a great example. He is a ruthless and sadistic murderer who behaves in a likeable and reasonable way when is not angry or killing people.
Mitch Leary (John Malkovich) in In the Line of Fire, who slyly pretends that Agent Frank Horrigan (Clint Eastwood) is his friend in their phone conversations, but is really sneering at him most of the time.
Peter Stormare as Lucifer, in what's easily the best scene of Constantine. Lucifer manages to be hilarious and genuinely creepy at the same time.
Freddy Krueger, the main monster of A Nightmare on Elm Street. He's good at making a sardonic joke every now and then, but he's scary, at least partially because of it. This is more apparent in the sequels — in the first film, he doesn't talk much.
Alan Rickman also does this beautifully in Die Hard. "Mr. Takagi. I could talk about industrialization and men's fashions all day, but I'm afraid work must intrude, and my associate here has some questions for you."
Nero from Star Trek has his share of killer lines, despite, for the most part, being a humourless Omnicidal Maniac. For example, his response after giving Starfleet a whooping:
Pike: This is Captain Christopher Pike of the Federation Starship Enterprise. Nero: Hi, Christopher. I'm Nero.
Referred to, in some circles, as the "Speed-dating moment." It's oddly fitting.
Jason Lee as Azrael in Dogma. "I'll have a...Holy Bartender."
Eddit Quist of The Howling. "Go on, bright boy. Call it a gift."
A lot of James Bond villains are this. They have an outwardly cheerful, friendly and/or suave personality, yet when things don't go their way, their true colors are revealed - be it Auric Goldfinger having Jill Matherson killed by painting her goldnote "epidermal suffocation" after Bond catches him cheating at cards, Franz Sanchez beating his girlfriend and ruthlessly killing those he thinks have betrayed him and Le Chiffre becoming a desperate wreck and torturing Bond in order to get his money back.
Even Zorin might have been creeped out by one of Walken's lesser-known but still memorably malevolent characters: James Houston, the Manipulative Bastard of the direct-to-video low-budget film Vendetta. A filthy rich New Orleans plantation owner in the 1890s who desires to become even richer, Houston has no qualms - absolutely none - about (secretly) instigating two incidents of ethnically charged street violence (namely, the assassination of the city's police chief and a mass lynching of Italians) just so he can take over the profitable immigrant businesses down on Decatur Street. Completely shameless and with about as much emotional capacity as a mannequin - and gets a literal Kick the Dog moment as he watches a staged dog fight and takes an almost scientific interest in how the weaker dog realizes it is beaten and rolls onto its back to allow its throat to be torn out. The worst part? James Houston was a real person...and never got any sort of comeuppance for his part in one of the bloodiest race wars in U.S. history, as the movie's epilogue explains.
Virtuosity's Sid 6.7 is a better Joker than most portrayals of the Joker (and has a natty purple suit to match). At one point, he decides to make music from the assorted screams of his terrified hostages. Loves his work.
Inglourious Basterds has Col. Hans Landa. "Oooh! That's a Bingo! Is that how you say it? That's a Bingo?"
Actually, Landa is one of the most thorough implementations of this trope in cinema. In every situation where he showcases his (extremely exaggerated) politeness and cheerful disposition, both he and his counterpart are perfectly aware that Landa is a clear and present danger. Landa is a master interrogator, and his prime technique is to put his victim in a number of most uncomfortable situations possible, all the while blocking the "escape" by behaving as if his companion is thoroughly enjoying the conversation. He pointedly ignores any non-verbal signs of distress from his victim, while forcing him or her to respond in kind - thus preventing any way of retreat, either polite or defiant. Should the victim try to break off the conversation, it would be the victim who transgressed - and that would sink him/her even deeper. Landa even pushes his method to the limits for his own enjoyment - such as when he laughs hysterically, mocking the explanation of von Hammersmark's broken leg (only to apologize a second later), or pours a round of wine, perfectly amiably and as a gesture of peace... to his handcuffed charges. In the latter case, he doesn't even have to savor the wine - quite the opposite, that would make him a petty villain; while the fact he didn't even touch his glass makes the gesture even more disconcerting. Not only his affable manner lets him drive the knife as deep as he wants - it allows him to utterly confuse his victim and make every new strike a complete surprise.
Jules in Pulp Fiction plays this trope to the hilt in the scene in which he acquires the briefcase. Jules acts chipper and polite toward a bunch of young men who are clearly terrified of him and know that he's there to do horrible things. He starts politely imposing himself, aware that they have to agree to his requests to continue his friendly facade. Even after shooting one of the men, he continues acting polite until he finally breaks into scenery-chewing villainy.
The main villain of The Spirit, the Octopus, has shades of this. He talks to the hero like an old friend, even while having him tied up and detailing his plans to torture him. His reactions to his own bizarre Mad Science is pretty mundane, too.
"Now that is just plain damn weird. Don't you think that's just plain damn weird?"
Jack Nicholson's portrayal of The Joker in the Tim Burton Batman movie qualifies as this, like in his scene with Vicki at the museum and his scene with Bruce and Vicki at Vicki's apartment.
Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs happily chats along with the other members of the gang, cracks jokes, never raises his voice once or use many bad words in the same breath as he explains how he executed an unarmed 20-year old girl for touching the alarm of the jewelry store they were robbing, and sings and dances along to a song played while he's cutting someone's ears off for the hell of it. It underlines that he is The Sociopath and doesn't really care about his fellow robbers or any of the stuff he's doing.
Maxim Horvath from The Sorcerer's Apprentice. He's polite. He's charming. He's impeccably dressed and well-mannered. He's witty, intelligent, clever, well-read, culturally literate, and erudite. And he's perfectly willing to slaughter much of the planet's population as part of his plan.
"Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive..."
Also, Grand Moff Tarkin in the original:
"Charming to the last. You don't know how hard I found it, signing the order to terminate your life."
A pretty blonde Southern woman in C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America (which is based on the premise that the South won the Civil War and slavery has survived into the 21st century) hosts a slave auction on the Internet and delightfully coos over some cute "pickaninnies" - black children being placed on the auction block. Probably intended to be Affably Evil - or, come to think of it, just plain affable - in-universe, but due to Values Dissonance, it's more this trope for us.
Sebastian Shaw from X-Men: First Class. Polite and rarely raises his voice, even when facing an enraged Erik Lehnsherr out for his blood, the man is a former Nazi who shot Erik's mother to make him use his powers and later murdered another mutant for trying to lie to him.
Some of the best conversations in The Matrix trilogy are between Neo and Faux Affably Evil Agent Smith, who famously insists on calling Neo "Mr. Anderson" even in the thick of battle. One of the best, from Reloaded:
Smith: Now here I stand because of you, Mr. Anderson; because of you I'm no longer an Agent of the system, because of you I've changed, I'm unplugged, a new man, so to speak; like you, apparently free. Neo: Congratulations. Smith: Thank you.
The Butcher in Alex Cross is very polite in his phone conversations with Cross, even addressing him as Dr. Cross. He never raises his voice, and he expresses admiration for one of his victims' ability to withstand pain under the torture he inflicted on her.
In Chinatown, this is the facade that Noah Cross hides behind. Beneath, Cross is a living example of what a man is capable of doing if he had no moral scruples and no law to stop him.
Cross: See, Mr. Gittes, most people never have to face the fact that, at the right time, and the right place, they're capable of ANYTHING.
In Taken 2 the Big Bad Murad has a trope-defining conversation with Lenora, where he politely tells her that he knows she is completely innocent in his grudge against her husband and that he admires her bravery, for which he is going to send her home...in pieces.
Manfred von Karma is edged towards this in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorneylive action movie. The murder trial against Edgeworth even starts out with him introducing himself to Phoenix and basically saying "May the best man win". And as anyone who played the game would know, it turns out the entire thing was one long plan to get revenge on Edgeworth.
He'd better. The actor did try to imitate Stewart in his role as Picard's clone in Star Trek: Nemesis.
The Goblin King in The Hobbit An Un Expected Journey, while thoroughly unpleasant and evil, was rather jolly and articulate. Gollum was another example because no matter how cheerful and enthusiastic and adorable he is, he still intended to eat Bilbo.
And of course, Smaug himself in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, true to his portrayal in the book: eloquent, intelligent, and actually a rather polite conversationalist. Though whatever you do, do notinsult his vanity, because he is downright terrifying when angered.
In most of the Wishmaster movies, the Djinn puts up a pleasant veneer towards his victims while preparing their agonizing deaths. He tends to drop the façade when he switches back into his true demonic form because then there's just no point in even pretending, especially towards the end, when he loses his patience with victory so close in his grasp.
However, during that scene, (and generally when he's happy,) he's more true Affably Evil; in that Establishing Character Moment, while overseeing that brutal brawl to the death, he looks away from it to expansively invite Dr Schultz to join him (he doesn't stop the fight, it's still going on in the background, he just ignores it while greeting his guest), then when his slave wins he throws him a hammer and orders him to perform the Coup de Grâce on the broken and begging loser, and when he does so Candie promptly showers him with warm congratulations, gives him a drink and tells him (sincerely) to enjoy it. We later see a genuinely affectionate and friendly relationship with head house slave Steven.
However he certainly becomes Faux Affably Evil when things don't go his way; when his runaway slave D'Artagnan has been chased up a tree by the dogs, his affable demeanour never changes, and his tone of voice suggests wounded disappointment rather than real anger. However, as the conversation continues to the money he paid for D'Artagnan, he humiliates the broken slave in front of everyone by asking him if he knows what "reimburse" means. He then has him killed by being ripped apart by the dogs.
Actually, comparing Candie from when he is happy to when he isn't illustrates the difference between Affably Evil and Faux Affably Evil, the latter is possibly best exemplified when, after Steven exposes Django and Schultz's scheme he maintains his demeanour in a rather more sinister tone to put them on edge, before flipping into Chewing the Scenery-level anger and threat-making, and then alternating between the two states to scare everyone, during all of which he is never actually rude, and he never fails to use "mister" or "doctor" when addressing his fellow white men. His Evil Gloating after his victory also takes this form, as he offers Schultz dessert and cites Southern courtesy as the reason for his insisting that Schultz shake his hand, but here his courtesy is clearly for the purpose of rubbing Schultz' defeat in his face.
Death Proof. While stalking his victims, Stuntman Mike takes the guise of a cheesy but occasionally charming guy to hide being a murderous pervert. After getting run off the road, he tries to give his second batch of would-be victims a cheery salute for surviving, but they're not playing around.
Agent Kruger from Elysium can act pretty playful and chatty while stalking and brutally maiming his prey. That and when he interrogates Frey, he tells her to cover the eyes of her daughter, because he doesn't like to commit violence in front the kids.
The younger Magpyrs from Carpe Jugulum fit. To poke fun at the goths/vampire wannabes, dressed in all black and always gloomy and angsty (most of the time), but normal people, Pratchett presents their inverse: colorfully dressed and cheerful vampires who are murderous and Chaotic Evil.
Carcer in Night Watch is an unrepentant serial killer who will gleefully deny all responsibility for his crimes with a charismatic grin, and then casually stab you between the ribs before you can argue.
Mr. Teatime can be this way. Especially in the Sky1Hogfather TV film.
Vanity Fair has this in Sir Pitt Crawley of whom the narrator comments "he was fond of drink, of swearing, of joking with the farmers' daughters: he was never known to give away a shilling or to do a good action, but was of a pleasant, sly, laughing mood, and would cut his joke and drink his glass with a tenant and sell him up the next day; or have his laugh with the poacher he was transporting with equal good humour." Notably, the narrator explicitly comments that if the character was slightly more honest, he would be a very successful scoundrel, but instead, is simply too crooked to prosper.
In The Death Gate Cycle, Sang-drax treats Haplo like an old friend, and it's made clear he does it just to mess with him rather than out of any feelings of genuine affection. He's also shown to be capable of sounding positively cheery when describing the Fate Worse than Deathhis people have planned for the whole universe. Genuinely thwart his plans, though, and he gets very nasty very quickly.
Voldemort exhibits this trait a few times, mostly in Goblet of Fire when he makes some terrible "hand" puns to Wormtail during a related task. From what the reader sees of his younger days, he was even more of this trope before his sanity was completely gone.
Dolores Umbridge is worse than Voldemort, and possibly more hated to boot. She makes Hogwarts into a dictatorship, but her office is decorated with gambolling pictures of kittens, and she wears knitted sweaters and bows in her hair. Magnified by the fact that while Voldemort does his terrible deeds towards an end with some sort of magnificence, and was prepared to embrace his Pureblood enemies as allies if they turned, Umbridge merely gets off on her ability to make people suffer.
Sauron. Over and over again; the charming snake in the ear of anyone who listens.
Smaug. Intelligent, articulate, wickedly charismatic, and a polite conversationalist. He has a fondness for riddle-games, and actually enjoys himself during conversation with Bilbo (initially). He's charismatic to the point that Bilbo is sorely tempted to take off the Ring and reveal himself, and even manages to make Bilbo doubt the intentions of Thorin. However it's also a very bad idea to piss him off, as Smaug proves downright terrifying when angered.
In the Redwall series, Ferahgo the Assassin is this. As the narration puts it, he "smiles a lot, but he never jokes".
Roose Bolton is always polite and soft-spoken, and has a rather amusing dry sense of humor. He's also a cold-blooded sadist that casually threatens to cut off a child servant's tongue for talking too much, and allows his son to rape and torture as much as he wants, so long as it advances his plans.
Littlefinger sits uneasily between this and Affably Evil. He always has a joking, flippant attitude even around people he's about to backstab (which is everyone), and that does seem to be genuine to the extent that he acts the same way around those he (probably) isn't plotting against. What makes him more Faux Affably Evil is that he seems to lack genuine emotion and empathy toward others; even when he's helping somebody, it seems to be more for selfish reasons of wanting to have them around for his own sake, rather than genuine concern for their well-being.
Nicodemus is a 2000 year-old human who made a pact with a Fallen Angel to essentially inflict as much misery and pain on the world as he could; in his own words, he believes in Armageddon as less of an event and more of a mindset, one that he wants to share with the world. He is also incredibly polite and friendly and civil, even while he's got you tied up and offering you a choice between recruiting you for his organization or getting your throat cut. The affable demeanor hides a genocidal monster and doesn't waver even when he's getting ready to unleash a deadly plague across a country or while his minions are kidnapping and torturing a twelve-year-old girl.
Even more so Duke Ortega of the Red Court. Nicodemus is polite whenever he has no reason not to be, generous when it costs him nothing, and appreciates the "artistry" of a classical painter and a serial killer on equal terms. Ortega is a pure barbarian who has spent his unlife carefully learning to pretend to have ethics, manners, and reasons for his actions beyond the basic infliction or avoidance of pain for those times the fiction proves useful.
Virtually everyone in the Winter Court who's not too savage to have a conversation with has this going on.
The In Death series: A number of the murderers in the series are very much this. Sure, they will act like they're so nice and polite, but that is just an act. A number of them are The Sociopath, which might explain it.
The Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Henry "Hank" Jellicoe, despite having elements of Affably Evil, might actually be this. Cross Roads reveals that he is at least a He-Man Woman Hater and at most a Straw Misogynist. He treated his wife Louise like she was just a servant and didn't care if she overheard his conversations on the illegal dealings he made. She managed to escape him, and he has never been able to find her. He very much wants to kill her for having the nerve to leave him years and years ago!
The Supreme Custodian in Septimus Heap has mannerisms and charisma, but readily throws people he dislikes into jail and is otherwise a pretty nasty person.
Uriah Heep may well be literature's most triumphant example of this trope. Even as he openly hints his scheming to the main character, he constantly put on a fawning, "'umble" air.
Aro, head of the Volturi from Twilight puts forth a very charming persona to hide how power hungry and ruthless he is.
Berys in Tales of Kolmar clearly enjoys himself when doing various terrible things, and at those times is usually rather cheerful and upbeat.
In Bram's Stoker Dracula and most of its adaptions, the Count gives a polite and inviting first impression, if somewhat unsettling. The guest usually dismiss the last part under cultural/foreign differences.
Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will. Go safely and leave something of the happiness you bring
The Big Bad of the Song of the Lioness quartet, Duke Roger. He plays up the What's Up, King Dude? angle by telling the pages to be informal with him and acts like a Cool Uncle to Jon... while plotting to kill him so Roger is first in line for the throne again. George calls him Alanna and Jon's "smilin' friend" and Alanna is suspicious of him for being too friendly.
Ozorne in Emperor Mage plays nice for much of the book, being very civilized and sometimes personable around the delegation from Tortall. While this is genuine around Daine because she helped his treasured birds, but every other character, even her monkey friend Zek? His true colors are without any warmth at all. Hints of this trope show in the next book, but they stop by the end.
In Across the Universe, this fits Luther. He hides the joy he takes in inciting unrest amongst the already unhappy population of Godspeed and love of rape with a pleasant public demeanor. One rather creepy scene has Amy (who Luther had been stalking and trying to rape) bump into him in public. She's in disguise and he doesn't recognize her, so he nicely asks her if she'd like to come see a protest being set up. The instant he figures out who she is, he begins to act terrifyingly predator-like around her.
During Galaxy of Fear the Big Bad, in his first appearance outside of Villain Opening Scenes, is condescending, looks at an infected girl like she's a piece of meat, and does some quite heartless things. But for the most part he also radiates mocking friendliness, praises the resourcefulness of the heroes - even though that admiration turns to rage whenever they thwart him - and exits the book with an "Excuse me once again."
Legacy of the Dragokin: Man in Shadow is casual and affable at all times, even when threatening to rape the person he's talking to. By the way, said person was already a victim of rape and he might have known this.
Nicolae Carpathia, The Antichrist from Left Behind, initially seems to be the humblest, most empathetic Son of Satan you'd ever meet, and comes across as a Well-Intentioned Extremist at worst. However, this is all entirely an act; in truth he's a completely self-centered sociopath and a two-dimensional thug. The movie version of Nicolae actually appears to be more genuinely Affably Evil, although still a ruthless megalomaniac.
From the Chroniclesof Narnia: The White Witch, Jadis, demonstrates a personality like this in both The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and The Magician's Nephew. In the former, she ensnares Edmund with food and drink and promises of power. She is far subtler in the latter, however, with words so honeyed you could hardly believe so "fierce" a person had said them. Her affability and feigned concern for Digory's mother nearly succeeds in persuading him to disobey Aslan, but her genuine lack of concern for anyone that isn't useful to her trashes the whole thing.
Alex: (rips the book out of mug victim's hands) Excellent, really first-class. But what is this here? What is this filthy slovo? I blush to look at this word. You disappoint me, brother, you do really.
Victim: But - but - but...
Sarafine from The Caster Chronicles, despite her words to Lena, never actually meant half of what she was saying.
'Allo 'Allo!: Essentially, any Nazi character in a lighthearted series could be considered this way, therefore implicitly being given a Villainy Discretion Shot. For example, Herr Flick of this show is the kind of character who, in a serious work, would be the Torture Technician, but is a very funny and likable parody of the stock "Hollywood Nazi" Secret Police officer. "You do have a soft side, Herr Flick!" "Yes, I almost failed my Gestapo exam because of it."
Babylon 5: Lyndysty. She is a charming, sweet, and beautiful little Centauri, delighted to be engaged to Vir Cotto, and she personally put to death hundreds of Narns.
The Brother Cavil model (the Ones) of Cylon display this sort of behaviour. Cavil, despite being depicted as the most out and out evil of the Cylons (perhaps the only one), is continually making snarky asides and hilarious observations about his fellow Cylons and humanity. This was even brought up by one of the others when he cracked a joke after having been shot on the orders of the speaker.
Natalie (a Six): Is there anything that isn't fodder for a joke with you, or is that really how you see our very existence, as some sort of nihilistic punchline? Cavil: Nihilistic punchline, I like that. But quite honestly, I'm feeling very serious. Getting riddled with bullets affects me that way.
Also this exchange, which occurred before we found out:
Chief Tyrol: How do you know I'm not a Cylon? Cavil: Well, because I'm a Cylon and I've never seen you at any of the meetings.
It gets even funnier when we find out Tyrol is a Cylon, but neither he nor the "regular" Cylons, aside from Cavil who wanted the Final Five to not know they were Cylons, knew it. Even better when you realise that there were Cylon meetings happening aboard Galactica. Yes. He just admitted to being a Cylon and meeting other Cylons and got away with it!
Herrick would seem to fit. In the first episode, he spends the first half his introductory scene making nice with the hospital staff, and the second half talking about world domination and the hypothetical idea of turning terminally ill children into vampires. This is highlighted in the season finale when we see that he turned that mousy cafeteria worker, who is apparently now his lover.
In a later season, he resurfaces with amnesia, and Nina takes the opportunity to take him in and try to teach him to live a better life. When he regains his memories, he threatens Nina with a knife, and then calms her down and says that he's very tempted to spare her for taking care of him and protecting him. Then, he stabs her anyway so people wouldn't think he went soft.
The historical gangster Arnold Rothstein is a good example of this, as a contrast to the Affably EvilVillain Protagonist Nucky. Rothstein is cold, ruthless, and amoral, but has a polite and somewhat charming manner, and gets his fair share of good lines.
Rodrigo is somewhat Faux Affably Evil as well. He cares about his family, but with most other people he's figuring out how to manipulate and deceive them and is only polite as long as he has to be. (He also threatened to excommunicate a city.)
However, particularly in season 2, Rodrigo's loyalty to the city and people of Rome is very sincere, and when he finds out that the cardinal responsible for charity has three palaces while the peasants starve, he is genuinely disgusted and tries to improve Rome for the benefit of the commoners rather than just himself. While it is true that he drops the mask of civility with people he needs to bully and manipulate, he is generally quite nice to people unless there is some real benefit to being nasty, and he never indulges in wanton cruelty with anyone who hasn't wronged him first. Rodrigo is a rare character who is both genuinely Affably Evil as well as Faux Affably Evil, depending on who he's dealing with at any given time.
Gustavo "Gus" Fring. The owner of Los Pollos Hermanos will gladly refill your soda, wipe down your table, smiles with customer service, and makes generous donations to the police. What a great guy. Mess with his meth operation, though, and he "will kill your infant daughter."
Walter, by Season 5, has become this, especially around Skyler where even the lines meant to sound loving sound more like a kidnapper speaking to his hostage, and just about everything he says to other people, including his partner, Jesse, and even his own son, is nothing but manipulation to achieve his own ends.
Angelus. Actually, come to think of it, all villains from those two shows are this to some degree.
Glory's a pretty good example of this too. She's actually rather funny, and acts affably toward the Scooby Gang...while she's torturing them and draining their sanity. She's even rather civil to Dawn, shortly before she attempts to ritually sacrifice her.
Sahjhan from Angel is a witty demon who spends a good amount of time making jokes. He also lives for chaos and feeds on violence.
Sahjan: I flitted back and forth through time, changed a vision here, rewrote a prophecy there...flitted in a manly way.
Also from Angel, Nathan Reed, Lindsey and Lilah's superior at Evil Inc. Wolfram & Hart. Unlike Affably Evil Holland Manners, Nathan doesn't really care if Angel kills Lindsey or Lilah, because that would actually serve the firm's plan to make Angel evil.
There's also Vaughn, Michael's handler in season 4. He puts a lot of effort into the pretense of being a nice guy. He convinces Michael to work with him against worse people, tries to claim that other people from the Organization were just bad apples, he's always polite and doesn't seem to take offense to Michael going against him or even Michael kicking him out into a raging hurricane. But in the season 4 finale, he abruptly drops any pretense of being affable:
Note that 10 seconds before this, he was cheerfully inviting Michael out for drinks with a smile on his face.
Tyler Brennen is perhaps the show's best embodiment of this trope.
Chuck: Aleksei Volkov. He can seem like a pretty nice guy, and is able to convince Chuck that he was one of the good guys until he outlived his usefulness. He's also perfectly willing to kill his Right Hand Man and love interest, just to keep her from living without being at his side.
Dark Shadows: Barnabas Collins. Part of the fun with Barnabas was the Dramatic Irony between everyone believing him to be a perfect gentlemen while the audience knew that he was lying through his teeth.
While the Master varies Depending on the Writer and/or actor, one of his constant traits is the ability to be charming and polite one moment, then ruthless and brutal the next, switching on a whim. Nowhere is this more evident than in his interactions with the Doctor, particularly the Roger Delgado incarnation, which would often be quite pleasant if one ignored how he would invariably be discussing his plans to cause widespread death and destruction.
The Following: Joe Carroll often acts like a doddering former literature professor/author who's affable, a loving father figure to his family, and enjoys tweaking main character Ryan Hardy with teasing barbs. The reason why he's no longer a literature professor is because he was revealed to be a serial killer, his "family" is a literal death-worshiping cult of fellow serial killers, and Ryan Hardy is a former FBI agent whose life he's trying to make a living hell. Every second he acts Affably Evil is all the creepier for how much the show emphasizes how bad he is.
Jaime Lannister, who spends most of the time smiling, making self-deprecating jokes and retaining his dignity in bad situations, and the remainder of it ruthlessly killing anyone, from children to his own distant cousins, who 'was in my way'. As the series progresses (and particularly in the books), Jaime is given more Character Development and becomes more of an overgrown jock who has never really properly grown up, but who is slavishly loyal to those few people he does love, namely Cersei and Tyrion. As the series progresses, his affability seems more and more to do with his hurt ego, and his attempt to injure Bran was more of a last ditch attempt to protect his sister/lover, who would have been killed along with her children if their affair had been caught by the king. He's still not heroic, but he's not a card-carrying villain, either.
Green Wing: It's all but stated that, of all people, Dr. Angela Hunter is this. This Clip sums it up.
Hell on Wheels: The Swede. Sure he'll put on a good show and ham it up for audiences from time to time. But there hasn't been a character yet that he hasn't snitched about, knocked their tent down, tried to get hanged, or stabbed in the face with a fork.
Heroes: Sylar, the smirking, hero-slaying, brain-stealing supervillain.
Homicide: Life on the Street: Luther Mahoney, one of the few recurring villains. He's a drug lord who poses as a community activist, and at first, his affable demeanor is all part of his Villain with Good Publicity facade. After a while, though, he's clearly doing it just to mock and enrage the detectives, rubbing their noses in the fact that they can't prove he's a child-murderer, rather than the lovable local hero he says he is.
Jekyll: Benjamin affects mannerisms more appropriate for a goofy used car salesman than the kind of guy who buys a zoo just so he can throw a child into the lion pit.
Kamen Rider Den-O: One of the things that makes Kai so frightening is his ability to keep a well meaning expression and tone of voice while being completely Ax-Crazy. When he finally snaps in the finale and sets loose a huge army of Imagin on the city while preparing to release a blast of temporal energy to erase it from time, he still keeps this personality, making him downright disturbing.
Benjamin Linus is pretty damn close to pure sociopathy. However his demeanour is genuine, if slightly twisted, and he does have a high level of respect for his enemies, especially Jack. He's also wonderfully sarcastic and deadpan, bizarrely compelling, and gets all the best lines.
"No, John, we don't have a code for 'there's a man in my closet with a gun to my daughter's head.' (Beat) Although we obviously should."
From Lost, we also have Anthony Cooper, Locke's father. He gives off the impression of being polite, charming, and very fatherly, giving Locke the relationship he always wanted. But beneath it he is a thoroughly unrepentant, sociopathic monster who couldn't care less about the innumerable lives he has destroyed. His crimes include scamming countless people out of their money including Sawyer's parents leading to their deaths, murdering a young man who correctly identified him as a con artist, taking John's kidney and severing all ties with him, and pushing John out of a building, resulting in his paralysis. And he does it all with a sadistic grin and a charming word.
Moses Jones: Matthias Mutukula from this BBC miniseries, whos is an African warlord-in-exile. Usually polite and well spoken, especially towards people he needs something from, but it only takes one wrong word for his pleasantries to become laced with threats. Threats he has no qualms in carrying out, such as having a restaurateur's teeth smashed in with a claw-hammer after the police speak with her. Then there's all the standard African Warlord atrocities he committed back when he was in power.
Croup: You find us funny, Messire Marquis, do you not? A source of amusement. Is that not so? With our pretty clothes, and our convoluted circumlocutions—
Vandemar: I haven't got a circumlo—
Croup: —and our little silliness of manner and behavior. And perhaps we are funny. But you must never imagine that just because something is funny, Messire Marquis, it is not also dangerous.
Once Upon a Time: Captain Hook. His polite and gentlemanly exterior masks his black heart. Rumplestiltskin, Regina and Cora all tend to this persona in their more calmly and sadistically evil moments, as well.
Person of Interest: Root, who likes to chat casually with people and torture them at the same time.
Reaper: Satan. He's evil, but he's just so cheerful about it that you have to love him. Until you disappoint him.
Every single militia member, except for Major Tom Neville, is this. Captain Jeremy Baker in "No Quarter" acts like he's your best pal...but he certainly doesn't hesitate to send loads of soldiers to get shot by a sniper rifle. Sergeant Will Strausser acts so polite, but this sociopath is a complete monster who has no qualms about rape, which is what he tried to do to Rachel Matheson in "Nobody's Fault But Mine". Sebastian "Bass" Monroe takes the cake in this trope though, like when in "Clue" he tried treating Nora Clayton to dinner...and when she tried to kill him, he sent her off to be tortured for 21 straight days, and actually says that she should remember that he tried asking her nicely.
Drexel in "Sex and Drugs" qualifies. The first thing he does is to put a gun to Miles Matheson's head, pull the trigger, and then laugh his head off and claim that it was just a joke when it turns out that the gun isn't loaded. He tries to act like he's such a gracious and polite host, but he's actually violent, sadistic, sociopathic, Ax-Crazy, and politically incorrect. He is also a drug lord who deals in heroin.
Robin Hood: The Sheriff of Nottingham in the BBC series kind of fits this, being a Smug Snake with an extremely cruel sense of humor, yet hard to loathe given the humorous way he goes about his crimes. Notably, his insults against Robin generally are accurate in identifying unpleasant aspects of his character, and similarly, the Sheriff is very effective in mocking his humorless and angsty Dragon, Guy of Guisbourne.
Sherlock: Jim Moriarty. His often cheerful and verycampy behavior doesn't really detract from his terrifying presence in the show.
Played straight with Detective Vic Mackey. Much is made toward the fact that over the course of the series, all of the police officers in the Farmington District Precinct turn a blind eye towards Vic's evil, largely because of his charisma, leadership skills, and fratboy humor. Even the ones who know Vic is a monster who shot a fellow police officer often fall victim to the spell, to such an extent that Claudette Wyms (Vic's "arch enemy") fires her hand-picked, 100% non-dirty cop replacement because he was too squeaky clean.
Antwon Mitchell from season 4. The infamous scene where he kills a young girl to blackmail Shane Vendrell with the crime after Shane gets all uppity towards Antwon showcases actor Anthony Anderson's ability to mix unrelenting sadism with a sly sense of humor, as he humiliates Shane with his cruel actions.
Sons of Anarchy: Ethan Zobell, the charming, nattily dressed Neo-Nazi businessman. Politely attending a business meeting one day, ordering a woman raped the next.
Star Trek: The Original Series: The episode "Plato's Stepchildren" has Parmen, leader of the Platonians. He passes himself off as an enlightened student of Plato, when he's really just a sadistic coward who delights in torturing his servant Alexander and mind raping his "guests".
Garak is a rare example of a Faux Affably Evil character on the side of the heroes. However, his Strange Bedfellows eventually turn him into more of an Affably Evil character, and eventually into an outright Anti-Hero. He's more Affably Evil when we first meet him, his Faux Affably Evil days having occurred off-screen before the series starts.
Gul Dukat is a straight example. Because of their different values, most Cardassians are Affably Evil. However, Gul Dukat lacks the selflessness of most Cardassians. Whereas most Cardassians do what they do for the greater benefit of Cardassia, Dukat only cares about himself, taking his narcissism to hallucinatory and Ax-Crazy levels towards the end.
Gul Dukat may have become this by the end, but he was genuinely troubled by some of the terrible things he did to the Bajoran people and had to construct elaborate Well-Intentioned Extremist justifications for his actions to make himself okay with them. And he did have a great deal of fondness for both his half-Cardassian bastard daughter and main protagonist Benjamin Sisko. At least at first, much of his affability was probably genuine. Then"Waltz"happened...
Kurros, the chipper dealmaker played by Jason Alexander in "Think Tank." He offers protection from a race of bounty hunters that are after Voyager, and a number of other services, asking in return only the chance to examine Seven of Nine's Borg implants. Except that he has no intention of returning Seven. And guess who took out the bounty in the first place?
Alastair aka Picasso with a Razor loves to smile and chat up his victims as he's carving them up. He also inverts the trope in the episode "On the Head of a Pin", when he becomes Dean's torturee and spends the whole time dispensing advice, commenting on Dean's technique, or reminiscing about the good ol' days back in Hell, when he apprenticed Dean in the arts of mutilating people.
Lucifer is another prime example. Apparently, being locked in a Hell cage for a few millennia works up an appetite for conversation. He treats Sam with affection, and never insults his victims or even raises his voice. But, despite his charm, he's squarely in the Faux Affably Evil camp because... well... he's the devil and stuff... In the season 5 finale "Swan Song", Dean finally manages to annoy him too much. He drops the act and shows just how affable he really is.
Crowley is presented as an Affably EvilNoble Demon in series five, but season six reveals that he's more Faux Affably Evil, as he starts getting more and more into torture. He's obsessed with bargains (as befits his "king of the crossroads" status) but will take on any persona which will get the job done.
Dick Roman, the leader of the Leviathans. Having stolen the identity of a billionaire businessman, he likes to talk in a friendly, forward thinking fashion while planning the enslavement of mankind. Best exemplified by him talking to a subordinate about turning his failure into a "teachable moment" by making him eat himself.
The Thick of It: Malcolm Tucker is perfectly capable of being very polite when it suits him. It usually suits him as the setup for a string of abuse so painful you may find it psychologically impossible to move for several minutes afterward.
Russell Edgington. While more of a True Neutral in the book series, he starts out as very Affably Evil in the series...up until his lover is killed and he progresses into insanity. Combined with his 3000 years of age, his mental instability makes him the most dangerous thing in the entire series.
Marnie Stonebrook. At first, she hid in her shell of being shy and reclusive, then turned into Affably Evil territory...before she had her Villainous Breakdown.
Maryann Forrester applies.
The X-Files: The Cigarette Smoking Man is usually courteous when dealing with Mulder and/or Scully, speaking gently and making a show of concern over their problems. He drops the act and acts nasty toward Skinner, whom he basically considers hired help.
It has been said that Satan doesn't come to you as a scary and intimidating devil, but rather, he will appear to you in a seemingly nice and appealing way. He's known as the Prince of Lies for a reason.
Asmodeus in Dungeons & Dragons. Despite being probably the most evil being in the setting and responsible for countless acts of torture even against his closest allies, he's always portrayed as urbane, unflappable, and chillingly reasonable.
Very common with Devils, who are Lawful Evil. In most cases, Devils usually want mortals to make agreements with them of their own free will, but they are an always Evil race for a reason.
The Thenardiers in Les Misérables are more Laughably Evil to the audience, but in the context of the play, they use their politeness to do their evil - putting on a polite, friendly face while they snatch away your wallet when you aren't looking. The characters who are aware of their deeds seem to think this just makes them more sadistic, and they certainly come off this way to the audience (especially when their only concern during the June Rebellion is what they'll get from looting the corpses even when their daughter is among them) while their silliness still makes them among the most popular characters.
One of the first missions for the Sith Inquisitor has them join a sith lord in torturing an acolyte for information. The sith lord in question would seem like an amiable personality were it not for the fact that he's instructing you in torture.
Lord Drowl is very excited to try out a poison called quell.
Arguably Lord Zash in the Sith Inquisitor story, but she may be genuinely nice (in her own opinion, anyway), depending on how you see her personality. True, she will try to hijack your body to extend her own life but it could be that she really just doesn't see a reason for you to object and thinks she's doing a favour for you as well, since, after all, you get to host her.
And of course player characters can exhibit this behaviour as well; it would seem that the Imperial Agent and Sith Inquisitor have the most conversation options to that end, though it also depends on the player's own interpretation of the character, naturally. It works with all classes, though: due to the nature of the dialogue system, you can threaten the lives of innocent children one moment and make polite conversation the next.
Charnel of Sacrifice, the amusingly bloodthirsty God of Death who also gets some great lines.
Charnel: "I am Charnel. God of Strife, God of Slaughter, God of DEATH! Where there is pain, I'm there. Where there is suffering, I flourish. Where there is joy...Yes, well, one could hardly have joy without another's suffering, no?"
Despite being relatively calm and collected, Dr. Eggman Nega, Eggman's alternate-dimension counterpart in the Sonic Rush Series, is much more vicious than that Affably Evil doctor we all know and love.
In Super Mario RPG, when Mario and his entourage finally meet Smithy, he at first seems far more polite and civil than most villains in the game. This is a facade, however, as he quickly proves just as nasty as the rest of the Smithy Gang, AND have an uncontrollable temper as well.
In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Hazama / Terumi is the Big Bad who set the plot in motion for an unclear reason, who takes delight in fucking with everybody for the sheer lulz of it all. At first, he is a straight example of Affably Evil, being polite and reasonable while clearly having something off about him, and then in the second game when his cover is blown, he drops the act and becomes this trope.
About half the cast of Team Fortress 2 are either this or normal Affably Evil. The Scout is just an asshole, The Spy is coldly professional, and The Sniper and Engineer are nice people when not being paid to kill, but the rest would probably do this for free, whether it's because death is just a normal side-effect of their hobbies (Demoman, Medic), they're crazy (Pyro, Soldier), or they just plain like killing (Heavy, Scout).
GLaDOS of Portalfame, who gets progressively more entertaining as she reveals her psychopathic nature.
Gla DOS: Burning people! He says what we're all thinking!
Alpha Protocol has Konstantin Brayko, a brutal Russian mob boss who is a rather sadistic and brutal individual, but ends up more entertaining than disgusting due to a strange obsession with the 80s and just how plain loopy he is.
Okage has Evil King Stanley Hihat Trinidad the XIV, a Living Shadow that spends most of the game attached to Ari. Despite being a Harmless Villain (most of the time), making it no secret that he intends to take over the world, he provides a majority of the hilarious dialogue found in the story. Mostly found in his interactions with fellow party member, the HeroRosalyn.
Professor Putricide from World of Warcraft is a funny, quirky old Mad Scientist who sewed his "children" together from a pile of corpses, and spends his time creating deadly plagues for the Scourge to use in their war against the living.
From Dual Destinies also comes The Phantom. He's one evil motherfucker, but, in Blackquill's words, he "cannot talk without another man's face", many of which aren't nearly as bad. Thus, both the affability and quirks of whoever he's impersonating and his own ruthlessness and sociopathy mix and come off like this.
Vincent from Silent Hill 3, who tends to flip-flop around in this area: yes, he's a jerk, subtly insults you, and is a member of The Order. But he also doesn't want to resurrect The Order's God, and sends you off on a quest to acquire an item to supposedly beat said God. Why does he help you? Because if God were to be resurrected, he wouldn't be able to make any more money.
Walter Sullivan from Silent Hill 4 is this full force, the first time you meet him he's simply a soft-spoken man who sits on a flight of stairs and talks to you, leaving behind an item afterwards for you to take. You then find out that he's the serial killer who had chained you inside your apartment after he tries to kill your neighbor. Also, the item he gives you is useless and possesses your inventory box should you put it in there.
Kerrigan becomes like this in Brood War. No longer just a bloodthirsty zealous slave to the Overmind, she develops a prepossessing, well-mannered, and regal demeanor to her guests and allies (that is, before she betrays them and lets them be devoured by the Swarm). Mengsk also qualifies.
At a fairly early juncture in Shin Megami Tensei, you encounter Ambassador Thorman, who is deeply concerned about JSDF leader Gotou's attempts to use demons to prevent the americans' peace efforts and wants your aid. He's actually the norse god Thor himself, acting on orders from the most holy YHVH Himself, and intends to drop his Mighty Hammer (that is, several ICB Ms) on Tokyo to annihilate everything in it, including the JSDF, the demons, innocent civilians, american troops, and the heroes. Yes, even if you decide to take his side.
The Illusive Man in Mass Effect is incredibly polite, classy, and cultured. Even when he gets pissed, he barely raises his voice at all. He does this just to make it very difficult for someone to tell whether he's lying or not.
He drifts very clearly into this trope in the tie-in novels; while preparing a treacherous subordinate for a Fate Worse than Death, he speaks in a regretful tone about how there is nothing personal in this, how much he enjoyed working with him, and how sorry he is that he must make this necessary sacrifice. What separates him from true Affably Evil in this exchange is that it is personal (he was furious when the man betrayed Cerberus), he deliberately puts the man through more pain than is strictly necessary for the experiment, and he acknowledges to himself later on in the book that he had allowed his desire to see the hideous retribution in person cloud his judgement.
Ghirahim of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword describes himself as having a sense of dignity fitting his position, but he declares his intention to torture, and later, kill Link in as painful a manner as possible when his plans to revive his master don't follow through.
Otani Yoshitsugu from Sengoku Basara, in the English dub (the Japanese version is Obviously Evil), is constantly affable and polite (provided you haven't pushed his Berserk Button) even as his overt misanthropy and ambitions to spread misery to every human on Earth makes it clear it's all just an act.
Surprisingly, there's only one truly good example from the No More Heroes series. Destroyman adores causing pain and killing people, with a nasty Evil Laugh when he succeeds and a lot of Evil Gloating. Amazingly, he is really good at selling himself as a normal mailman. When he came back in the second game, however, one half of him was like his past self but more convincing...while the other half was Ax-Crazy, obviously angry but also really loving doing what he did.
In Ultima 7: The Black Gate, we have Batlin. A kindly sage and former druid, who is the head of the Fellowship and always working hard to help the people of Britannia. On the other hand, the Fellowship is a cult intended to subvert Britannia, spread distrust in the Virtues and Lord British, and pave the way for the Guardian to take everything over. In a hard-to-find dialogue (you have to cast the all-destroying Armageddon spell to get it) you find out that Batlin is driven by pure nihilism, having learned that (supposedly) nothing exists beyond death. (In the sequel, he is attempting to gain immortality for this reason.)
FFX's Seymour Guado invites the heroes to his mansion, lays out food for them before seeing them, proposes to the heroine, and acts generally mild-mannered and soft-spoken. But when the heroes prove to be detrimental to his plan to kill everyone in the world, he holds no qualms about unleashing the terrors of hell against them. Even when preparing to engage your party members, he manages to sound affable:
"Ah, of course. "Protect the summoner even at the cost of one's life." The Code of the Guardian. How admirable. Well, if you're offering your lives, I will have to take them."
The Boss may seem reasonable and even jovial at times, but if you cross him, he will not hesitate to end you utterly, no matter what the cost and regardless of how many lives are lost in the process - especially if you harm one of his lieutenants.
Far Cry 3 has Hoyt Volker, who acts very friendly towards his men and enjoys a round of poker with them. He's also a ruthless slave trader who forces prisoners to run across a minefield, burns one of his men alive for disloyalty and generally kicks the dog at every opportunity he gets.
This seems to be a trait of the villains in the game. Vaas is simultaneously humorous and horrifying, acting very personable with his victims, joking and talking plainly with underlying menace just before committing some new atrocity. Buck, meanwhile is a highly intelligent, witty individual who never the less revels in the fact that he is a completely depraved sociopath, such as making jokes about how he's going to rape one of Jason's friends while speaking to him.
David from The Last of Us, a personable, soft-spoken man who leads a gang of cannibals and and attempts to rape Ellie at the end of his boss battle.
The Big Bad Xykon is a sadistic monster with no redeeming qualities, not to mention kind of a dick, but he can be very funny and charming (even Redcloak, who loathes Xykon and has been subtly manipulating him for years, admits that Xykon can be good company but warns Jirix that this does not mean that Xykon can be trusted one iota. Xykon's Breaking Speeches tend to be very conversational in tone if not subject matter, and he "kindly" offers mercies when his enemies are plainly outmatched by him, like:
Xykon: Bring the phylactery back, and I'll let you keep two internal organs of your choice. Act fast, this offer is for a limited time! (Fires a Meteor Swarm at the fleeing heroes)
Bangladesh Dupree from Girl Genius, who derives much endlessglee from torture, murder, and mass destruction. Her upbeat personality and casual attitude only make her more likeable — to the audience, at least. Most other characters rather fear her. Contrast to the Other who showers cutesy and "darlings" all the time, but tries too hard.
Also, Castle Heterodyne, which has an attitude rather like that of the aforementioned HK-47 and a fanatical devotion to the Heterodynes. Except it's the size of a vast, sprawling complex and a lot more creatively vicious.
Used liberally in The Last Days Of FOXHOUND, where at least half the jokes are mostly Mantis and Ocelot making each other's life a living hell.
The main cast of Narbonic, except Artie and early Dave.
Yocchi from Yamara. There's hardly anything "redeeming" about her, as she happily plays villain, but...She manages to be so stylish and funny even in the To the Painsequence that even her victim doesn't seem to hold too much of a grudge, and after all, she herself is known to beToo Kinky to Torture, cheerfully crazy, andThe Chew Toy to boot, so it's somehow hard to blame her.
Black Hat Man from XKCD, he has no qualms with killing and actively attempts to hurt and humiliate random strangers, but will calmly and politely explain why most of the time.
The evil wizard Faden from Exiern, like Mister J, is in the evil game as much for the lulz as anything else.
Alaster Wight of Suppression treats everyone as his best buddy despite being a self proclaimed "sadistic badass bastard". He's got a smile that's equal parts Chesire and Slasher.
Alaster: Hey, buddy, since we got that sorted out, how about you just drive your stupid little bomb someplace else? (Beat) Oh right, I killed you. Well, that doesn't mean you can't make yourself useful.
Cal V1n of Weapon Brown is charismatic, enjoys jokes (especially his own), and is quite friendly. Up until he decides that you need to die. For any reason, including "because it would be funny", "because you're annoying", and "because I can". Even leaders of The Syndicate are terrified of him, for the simple fact that he's an unstoppable killing machine who only does what he's told due to some severe mental conditioning, and that is of questionable effectiveness.
Part of this comes from the fact that he was transformed into a living weapon at the age of seven, and his first actions upon gaining his powers were to kill every other test subject. He was impossible to control without mental conditioning, and it's implied that the conditioning won't hold for very long.
Angelo, from Our Little Adventure. He's quite the little monster, but acts fairly polite and friendly most of the time. The main reasons he is so good to his minions are because they serve him on a pseudo-religious level and his husband Brian (whose kindess is quite a bit more genuine) advised him to.
General Levaughn Matsui "Hugo" Xinchub from Schlock Mercenary can carry on polite conversations, but still has no problems with murder and other mayhem to serve his goals, smiling at the thoughts of death and destruction that serves his purpose.
Doc Scratch from Homestuck pretends to be a pleasant old man with a soft spot for young ladies. In reality, he is a conniving, devious villain, who has imprisoned an innocent girl in his house who is now a Death Seeker because of it, is the cause of a previously peaceful planet becoming a Crapsack World, and in spite of never once lying, manages to convince every single one of the children that they are destroying the Green Sun, when in reality they were creating it. The kicker? His only reason for doing this was to prove that they are "S u c k e r s."
In late Act 6, Aranea has unexpectedly shown this trait. She's just trying to help, guys! And if a few people get permanently killed or mindscrewed along the way, well, it's all for the greater good, right?
"Howdy-ho neighbors! Could we borrow the Book of E-ville, and all of your souls? Don't get up, we'll help ourselves!"
Dragon Ball Multiverse: U4 Buu. Even as he's absorbing the entire stadium, he doesn't fail to crack a few jokes, but it's clear from, well, the fact that he's absorbing the entire stadium shows that he has no remorse or desire to hold back.
Terrence in KateModern is this 60% of the time (he has a terrible temper, though).
This is a popular way of characterizing villainous characters in the more light-hearted fandom-based online roleplaying games.
Simon Talbot from The Descendants makes up terribly punny names for his various experiments. For example, he asks if 'Cadmus' is too cutesy for a project involving inflicting Body Horror on a captive to splice dragon genomes into her. He then names her after a Disney villain.
Wyoming from Red vs. Blue fits this to a T. He has a polite, cool-headed and consistent demeanour, though as befitting this trope it's very insincere. Whenever he kills an enemy or victim, he always gives an insincere "sorry".
His boss and the main antagonist for the Blood Gulch Chronicles, O'Malley fits this even better. He's a Large Ham that is always entertaining, with an equally fake polite demeanour. Unlike Wyoming, however, he's largely incompetent- until the last part of the fifth season when he almost gets given the opportunity to go all Omnicidal Maniac on everybody's asses.
Mimeo of the Whateley Universe. He cheerfully chats with another super, while really setting the guy up to be hunted forever by Mafia hitmen.
Coil of Worm, is polite, reasonable, and acts friendly, but employs child molesters and murderers, wants to take over a city for no real reason beyond his own egotism, and commits gruesome murders when he's absolutely sure there will be no evidence.
Eric Cartman, full stop: He's a spoiled 10-year-old sociopath, but he's willing to pretend to be nice to get what he wants. The gloves come off the second he doesn't get what he wants.
Due to their reliance on random humor and excessive Comedic Sociopathy, a lot of characters in Seth McFarlane's shows come off this way due to lacking consistant noble or redeeming qualities. Roger from American Dad! may be the king of this trope, however; he has an extreme Lack of Empathy that shows an indifference for his family and friends' well being, and frequently commits all sorts of callous or outright murderous acts for minor indulgences or offenses, and so it goes without saying that he is a fan favorite.
This trope was also played perfectly with Steve's mentally retarded friend Barry turning out to be conniving, cunning and British; this is thus extended when he forces others to perform trivial things (such as play board games) at gunpoint. He is a completely different person without his meds.
Carter Pewterschmidt, father of Lois in Family Guy. Proud to be an asshole, he uses his mass fortune to be a Jerkass to people - yes, that includes orphans. Yet, he's a fun guy and a kid at heart.
Let's not leave Peter Griffin out as well, he's a close second to Roger, with his mental disability as a poor excuse.
Prior to the mass Flanderization of the cast, Stewie was cast a psychotic mastermind vehement on taking over the world and killing anyone who gets in his way (particularly his mother), usually making for some of the show's earliest laugh-out-loud moments. Granted, as time passed in the show, Stewie's personality calmed and he gained redeeming aspects, ironically making him one of the few genuinely sympathetic characters in the show.
The version of the Green Goblin presented in The Spectacular Spider-Man. He's a playful character with an oddball sense of humor, but by the end of the second season, there's no doubt whatsoever that he's also the most ruthless and dangerous villain on the show. Until he takes the mask off, and he's just Norman Osborn, that is; despite being the same person, he acted completely different when out of costume.
Codename: Kids Next Door: The Delightful Children are freaky insane children who, despite being well-behaved around adults, are incredibly cruel to other children. However, they end up providing some of the most hilarious lines on the show, and they are fan favorites.
Season 2 villain Discord, in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He keeps up the act even while he mind rapes the Mane cast! The first time it slips — and the only time in the first part of a two-part episode — is when Fluttershy proves too accepting of her own faults for this to work on her and he gets furious. And the sudden snap just made it all the more frightening. He lets it slip again twice in the second part, first by taking obvious sadistic glee in finally breaking Twilight — mind you, this isn't just being happy he won; he'd already won by that point, and is just delighted to see his last opponent emotionally devastated and utterly crushed on top of it. Later it slips in favor of fear rather than malice when he realizes that all his plans thus far have failed and he's about to be defeated by the Elements of Harmony.
Taken a step further in "Keep Calm and Flutter On" when he's assigned to live with Fluttershy until he can prove he's been reformed. He makes nice, despite continuing to wreak havoc with the laws of reality because he claims he's more comfortable that way, and eventually pretends he's actually had a Heel-Face Turn. All the while trying to scheme his way out of being eventually turned back to stone when he drops the guise. Ironically, he ends up Becoming the Mask and becomes her genuine friend.
To a lesser extent, the minor antagonists Flim and Flam from later in the series fit this trope.
The Venture Bros. has many examples, such as the Wicked Cultured Phantom Limb who will maintain a polite and gentle attitude while he murders you with a simple touch.
Wile E. Coyote behaves like this when he goes after Bugs Bunny. A perfect example of this occurs in "Operation: Rabbit".
Wile E.: Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Wile E. Coyote, genius. I'm not selling anything nor am I working my way through college. So let's get down to cases: you are a rabbit, and I'm going to eat you for supper. Now, don't try to get away. I'm more muscular, more cunning, faster and larger than you are, and I'm a genius, while you could hardly pass the entrance examinations to kindergarten. (Bugs looks bored and yawns) So, I'll give you the customary two minutes to say your prayers.
Bugs: I'm sorry, mac, the lady of the house ain't home, and besides, we mailed you people a check last week. (goes down into his rabbit hole)
Wile E.: (returning to his den) Why do they always want to do it the hard way?
In Reboot, Megabyte's sophisticated mannerisms and pretense of wanting to conquer Mainframe/the entire Net to establish order all hide his true predatory nature. The few times he drops the act, he's a snarling monster.
In Danny Phantom, Vlad Masters/Plasmius has a polite facade, but underneath is a monster wanting world conquest and to bang the heroes mom.
Mom from Futurama is a ruthless corporate raider and abusive parent who puts on a sweet old lady routine and fat suit for her TV ads. In her first appearance in "A Fishful of Anchovies", she drops the act when she finishes cutting a TV ad, and again when Fry gets in her way.
Calling Dipper "friend" while trying to cut out his tongue and kill him definitely qualifies Gideon Gleeful for this trope.
Despite being insane, Barry from Archer is actually friendly and polite, at least until things go wrong. The cheerfulness doesn't even go away while he kills Jakov, which makes him even creepier.
Sylvester Sneekly puts on the facade of a kind and caring guardian to the titular heroine. Even as The Hooded Claw he never loses his cool and remains calm and composed even as he explains to Penelope in great detail how his perils work, using terms around her such as "my dear sweet Penelope" only breaking the calm when his perils fail or to take out his anger on his henchmen, and even then his snarky tone remains. Even as Sneekly he gives off very subtle hints to Penelope that HE IS The Hooded Claw and she still doesn't get it because she's a Wide-Eyed Idealist and would never think her guardian would be such a horrible man.