Villains have an urge to gloat. There's something irresistible about twisting the knife that last little bit before finishing things. Rather than activate the needlessly complicated Death Trap right away, they will pause to outline their Evil Plan to the hero and often including information on how to stop it. This can give the hero the time they need to escape, but just as often the hero will simply sit there and wait. It's rude to interrupt someone when they chat before trying to kill you. Of course, on the other hand, trying to pull this kind of speech on a Pragmatic Hero or an Anti-Hero can quite easily and even literally blow up in the villain's face.
Even those who plan to simply shoot their enemy may stop by to share details of their plans first. It seems that heroes get more information out of being interrogated than their interrogators do. Thanks to the Unspoken Plan Guarantee, this removes any chance the villain had at success... unless it already happened.
Sometimes, it's all part of The Plan. What good is revenge if they think it all was plain bad luck and don't know you're out to get them for killing your stepmother's brother's favourite cat? A character who thinks The Hero holds him in contempt may lay out the plan in hopes of getting his respect.
Heroes are only slightly less prone to such fits of Genre Blindness. They are just as ready to explain the whole game plan to a partner when the opponent stands just out of arms reach and even more eager to "make a point" about the reasons exactly why the other side has to go down. It's like proclaiming the verdict of a makeshift jury.
Many anime use this as a technique to drag out the fights.
Dates at least as far back as the movie serials of the 1940s (especially those made by Republic).
This is, in general, a very Discredited Trope that's very often parodied or subverted, but just as often played straight.
When the villain falsely thinks it's Just Between You And Me, you have an Engineered Public Confession.
When the villain takes advantage of their solitude to tempt The Hero, it's What You Are in the Dark. Contrast Nice Job Fixing It, Villain.
Truth in Television: As any prankster knows. Though not quite so much in the case of criminal or truly despicable behaviour, as guilt and/or fear of consequence usually overshadows the sadistic joy of mischief, and certainly any urge to reveal it.
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Anime and Manga
In Fullmetal Alchemist, Ed lures Cornello into his broadcast room and tricks him into gloating about manipulating the townspeople with the microphone on.
There's also an example where Ed shows Genre Savvy. After Father reveals several of his plans, Ed comments something "since you've told us your plans, I assume you intended to kill us".
A similar incident, where Lust shows that her core is actually a Philosopher's Stone, and Mustang points out that the only reason she's telling them this is that she has no intention of letting them live.
Used intelligently in Death Note: Light likes to gloat in front of his victims, but he does it discreetly and only when they are in their absolutely final moments. Ray Penbar sees a train's sliding doors close on Light, who mouths him a farewell just before Ray's heart attack kills him, Naomi Misora has Light's identity revealed to her one second before the Death Note takes over her mind, and the last thing Ryuzaki sees in this world is Light, standing over him and wearing a Slasher Smile no-one else can see. However, this pattern, though not the trope, is itself subverted when Light's final plan goes horribly wrong; the evidence against him may have been explainable if he hadn't shouted that this was his win.
In Samurai 7, Ukyo tells Kanbei, right before his planned execution, that he's planning to destroy Kanna Village and take over the world.
Parodied twice in Black Lagoon, when two separate villains get the drop on our AntiHeroes, only to spend so much time talking about how they've won that they don't get an actual shot off before Revy guns them down wordlessly while saying "Shut the fuck up!" as she pulls the trigger. Of course, one of them had the foresight to wear a bulletproof vest...
Particularly notable is that nearly every villain helpfully explains their powers for the heroes' benefit - this is eventually given a Lampshade Hanging and Double Subversion when Calipha refuses to disclose her Devil Fruit's name and properties...and Nami guesses them perfectly.
Crocodile reveals the bomb that is set to go off in Alubarna when facing Vivi in the palace, as a way of mocking her desire to save everyone. While he does try to finish her off, Luffy and Pell manage to save her, and she uses the knowledge about the bomb to find the cannon, but he left out a little detail about the bomb being on a timer though.
Strangely enough, it's subverted by chatty villain Blackbeard, who blows off Crocodile's question of why he's in Impel Down after just becoming a Warlords of the Sea. Maybe a factor on why it succeeds.
Lampshade Hung for laughs with broadaxe wielder Sentoumaru, who refuses to tell anything about himself saying he's the most tight-lipped person, then promptly revealing the exact information he just said he wouldn't reveal... And excusing himself that he wanted to reveal that when called out on his slip.
The big bad delivers a monologue to the heroes in s-CRY-ed via a remote video feed that serves to keep them in place long enough for his Kill Sat to get in firing position.
In one episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex an assassin just has to tell the Major that she will now kill her, once she had shut down all the controls for her cybernetic body. Too bad someone sneaks in to reconnect the controls while the assassin is taking her time to make it look like an accident.
Among others, Barragan, Shinji, and Shunsui have all completely described their powers to their respective opponents. Not quite "completely" in Shinji's case, it turns out. But Aizen's so broken it didn't matter.
Aizenloves this trope. He has routinely spent as many pages as he possibly could when given the opportunity to monologue about his plans, intentions, and knowledge. If you consider Aizen is a Magnificent Bastard whose plans have been going on for, at least, a century, he must have been holding his gloating for one HECK of a long time. Since he has endured Gotei 13 for so much time, it's only fair to assume he wants payback and talk their ears out on how weak, immature or otherwise flawed they are. Not to mention his gloatings are supposed to make people enraged and throw them out of focus so they can be defeated, cue to Hiyori getting cut in half by Gin. Case in point: during the original reveal at the end of the Sould Society arc, Aizen spends nearly two episodes explaining his plan, and even getting interrupted by a giant punch from Komamura can't stop him.
Invoked in Mezzo DSA episode 3 by Mikura, who says to a client who betrayed the DSA, "Since you're a villain, act like one and give an explanation."
Tobi from Naruto does this CONSTANTLY. He pretty much likes to show up, say something important, and then leave.
Tobi exploits it at least once: such as when he explains his plan to the Kage because he needs them to know it to be able to make his move.
Also, in the current arc, the resurrected characters have the control of their mind and mouth but not their body (most of them anyway). This leads to weird situations where these characters try to kill their opponents while explaining them how they can be defeated and telling them to dodge their attacks.
In chapter 578 of the manga, Itachi explains his plan on how to beat Kabuto right to his face. The latter is only amused.
In the Eighth movie of Dragon Ball Z, Paragus ends up exposing to the Z-fighters that he lured the heroes onto New Planet Vegeta for an elaborate trap that involved Comet Camorie colliding with the planet, so he could conquer Earth, as well as most of the universe, completely uncontested. However, this backfires when his son Broly ends up becoming enraged enough by Goku's presence to completely break free of Paragus' control and go berserk, and eventually taking revenge on Paragus for attempting to brainwash him.
Also, during the series, Piccolo invokes this trope after Cell drains his arm, asking to be told of his origin and goals before being fully absorbed. Cell obliges, and his narration lasts long enough for Piccolo to finish preparations to regenerate his arm, returning to full strength.
Subverted in Tiger & Bunny, as Albert Maverick has a rather good reason to go into detail about his schemes when confronted by Barnaby: he's buying time for the drugs he slipped into Barnaby's drink to kick in so he can safely edit his memory. Again.
Happens so many times in Fushigi Yuugi until they get to one monologue in which Nakago actually reveals that he had anticipated every single thing the heroes did in response to his plan, and then thanks them for it.
Done in the prelude of the Kyoto Arc in Rurouni Kenshin, when Kenshin was fighting the assassin Akamatsu Arundo. Said assassin said that he would tell Kenshin who sent him - if he died. The two proceed to fight, with Kenshin appearing to be defeated. Keeping his promise, Akamatsu tells Kenshin's corpse that he and Saito Hajime were sent by Udo Jin-e's superiors in order to clean up after Kenshin's previous run-in with Jin-e. Oh, Kenshin's not dead.
Obviously, Jagi did not read the Evil Overlord List, otherwise he would not have told Kenshiro that he was responsible for turning his best friend evil and screwing up his life.
Subverted and lampshaded in chapter 11 of the graphic novel Watchmen.
"Veidt: I'm not a Republic serial villain. Do you seriously think I would explain my masterstroke if there remained the slightest chance of you affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five minutes ago."
Also, the people he's talking to aren't really his enemies but former comrades, and he believes that he can convince them that he's right. He partially succeeds.
In Mighty Avengers #11, Doctor Doom monologues in thought bubbles while calmly threatening the heroes, and finishes the thought with "...but I'll be damned if I'm going to stand here and explain myself to you!!!"
Lampshaded in normalman, as the Ultra Conservative tells Normalman "I'm going to make you listen to my insidious Master Plan!" (while unrolling a Ko-Ko style "little list".) Because it's in the contract: "On capture by the Party of the First Part, the Party of the Second Part must listen to a) Origin Story or b) Master Plan." However, before we can find out what it is, Captain Everything and Sergeant Fluffy burst in shouting "You aren't going to bore the audience to death with your insipid Master Plan!"
Lampshaded in Y: The Last Man. Radical misandrist Victoria, leader of the Daughters of the Amazon, has tracked down Yorick, the last man alive, and is starting a speech about how he's going to pay for the crimes of all his gender when Yorick interrupts her with: "Geez, you Amazons don't know when to just shut up and kill a guy!"
During his second meeting with Miasma, Magog is captured and comments on how much he hates this trope. He tunes out the villain and the text is replaced with scribbles and gibberish until he starts listening again.
Senator Roark gives one to John Hartigan in Sin City. Unlike most versions of this trope, the Senator is getting away with it and they both know it.
In All Fall Down, AIQ Squared delivers this in the final chapter, explaining how and why Siphon was manipulated into a position where she would be helpless to prevent her powers being stripped from her, killing her in the process.
Lampshaded in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW). As Chrysalis begins to describe what will happen should the Mane 6 miss the deadline, a fillynapped Scootaloo blurts out that she's about to reveal her evil plan to the heroines. Annoyed at the interruption, Chrysalis cuts off communication.
Subverted in With Strings Attached. After capturing and/or disabling the four, Brox responds to some anguished “Why?”s with “The joke is funnier if you don't know why now.”
Subverted in Kyon Big Damn Hero when Haruhi got kidnapped. Even when she tried to get information from her captor he answered he was only doing his job kidnapping her so he wasn't trusted with any so he wasn't trusted with any important info.
Happens between Lewis and the Bowler Hat Guy in Meet the Robinsons in the orphanage: Lewis demands "What did I ever do to you?", at which point BHG tells him the story of his long and ridiculously pathetic life, and also that Lewis is Cornelius Robinson.
Played straight and subverted in Monsters vs. Aliens. The main villain Gallaxhar does decide to exposit why he essentially committed genocide against his own people and at the same time wanted to repopulate the Earth with clones of him, but he was telling her while he was hooked up to the cloning machine, which had him being sporadically muted when the machine lowers down, causing a lot of his speech to be skipped over and thus his full reasons being unknown. When the machine stops and says that he'll kill her since he told her all she needs to know, she gives a blank confused stare.
In probably the most famous example in animated films, in The Lion King Scar has Simba hanging over a raging inferno, ready to toss him in. But Scar can't resist taunting him. "Here's my little secret: I killed Mufasa!" Of course, this revelation finally frees Simba from his lifelong (and unnecessary) guilt over his father's death, which gives him the Heroic Resolve necessary to turn the tables on Scar.
In Frozen, Hans tells Anna of his plan to leave her to freeze to death, and accuse Elsa of treason so she can be executed, so he can rule Arendelle with both sisters out of commission.
What makes this even more dastardly is the fact that he did this to speed up the curse and kill Anna faster by psychologically breaking her.
Films — Live-Action
The page quote is spoken with just a sprinkling of sarcasm. It's a Genre Savvy nod to the trope, which has been lampshaded in the film twice by then as a 'Classic Movie Mistake'; the second in an Ironic Echo.
Despite popular belief, rarely played straight in James Bond. Bond often has the gist of the plan figured out, and though the villain often gloats, they rarely have to explain too much, at worst clearing up the details.
Subverted in the very first Bond film, Dr. No, though not with the Big Bad or even The Dragon, but a mere Evil Minion, Dr. Dent. He says, "You might as well know, as you won't live to use the information. I'm working for —" and in a swift motion, Dent grabs his gun and aims it at Bond, who replies with one of his most famous Pre-Mortem One-Liners: "That's a Smith and Wesson, and you've had your six."
Justified in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, where just for once Blofeld actually has a sensible reason for keeping the captured Bond alive and explaining the plot to him: Bond's credibility will lend weight to Blofeld's threat to the United Nations.
Lampshaded in the card gameBefore I Kill You, Mister Bond (which became James Ernest's Totally Renamed Spy Game after legal threats).
Subversion in Goldfinger: Auric blabs about his master plan to a bunch of goons, not Bond. Bond just so happens to be peeking in. Then Goldfinger kills the goons; however, he made sure they told their people to cooperate before he eliminated them. Then inverted, when Bond himself explains the plan to Goldfinger, and why it is doomed to fail. Initially Bond thought the plan was a heist, but when Goldfinger says it isn't, Bond realises what the true plan is, and tells Goldfinger that it's actually quite brilliant.
You think Blofeld is going to explain his plan, but...
James Bond: What do you intend to do with those diamonds?
Blofeld: An excellent question. And one which will be hanging on the lips of the world quite soon. If I were to break the news to anyone, it would be to you first. You know that. But it's late, I'm tired, and there's so much left to do. Good night, Mr Bond.
Later on when Bond arrives at the oil rig base Blofeld gives him the grand tour and explains his plans fully. Justified since the plan is to hold the world hostage with a Kill Sat for money- and he's already made his demands and threat known, and is only telling Bond what targets he might choose. Bond has already figured out how to stop it as well.
Mild inversion in Tomorrow Never Dies- the Evil Plan turns out to be less heinous (though still heinous) than what the heroes thought it was (they thought Carver was trying to start World War IIIFor the Evulz and for rating; he's actually in a Big Bad Duumvirate (of sorts) aimed at installing a new Chinese government via nuking the old one and blaming it on the British, with his ally emerging as a Villain with Good Publicity when he takes over the country and negotiates a truce (Carver is still after ratings). Also a perfect example of how Bond movies subvert this trope- they were already trying to foil his plan before he even explained it.
Inverted towards the end of Licence to Kill, with Bond revealing his reasons to the villain, Sanchez, before killing him.
In Five Graves To Cairo, the captive British officers egg Rommel into explaining his Cunning Plan as involuntary double agent Bramble eavesdrops. He finally catches on and snaps "I offered you twenty questions, that was twenty-one!"
In Dogma, the villain taunts the heroes in this way, but then defies it.
"I've seen enough Bond movies to know that you never give away all your secret plans, no matter how close you are to success."
At the end of The Crow, crime lord Top Dollar gives the avenging Eric Draven the speech after he impales him through the back. He admits that he's ultimately responsible for the death of Eric and his girlfriend Shelley, and expresses admiration for what he considered a Worthy Opponent. As he gets ready to slit Eric's throat, Eric gives back what Top Dollar's owed - the combined memories of 30 hours of pain as Eric lay dying from his wounds.
Possible first subversion was in the film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Tuco is surprised while in the tub by an old rival, who starts talking about how his revenge is at hand. Tuco, unimpressed, shoots the rival, then notes "When you have to shoot: shoot, don't talk," before finishing him off Gangsta Style.
A slightly over-wordy homage to this moment appears in Van Helsing:
Aleera: Anna, my love. It is your blood that shall keep me beautiful. What do you think of that? Anna Valerious:(Drives a stake through her chest) I think if you're going to kill somebody, kill them! Don't stand around talking about it!
Subverted in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. One of the villains' allies decides to tell Kirk and McCoy the master plan, but they are beamed to safety by Spock before they get to hear a word of it.
Kirk:No! No! Of all the — son of a — Couldn't you have waited two seconds? They were just about to tell us the whole thing!
Chekov:You want to go back?
In Iron Man 1, Obadiah Stane gets to do this with Tony Stark. He paralyzes Tony with a sonic device which has effects lasting 15 minutes, and proceeds to remove the arc generator from his chest, gloating all the way. The flaw in this plan is that Stane doesn't know there is an old generator Tony can use, but due to the temporary paralysis, it comes much closer to working than similar gloating plans. This is also an interesting variation in that the gloating didn't actually harm the villain's plans... He had to tip his hand to get the generator, which was after all attached to our hero, anyway.
Justified and/or Played with in the film version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen when the heroes find a phonograph that the villain had planted on the Nautilus. In the recording he reveals all of his plan up to that point, but as a twist, there is a high-pitched noise also on the record that only Mr. Hyde can hear that is the trigger mechanism for several bombs that were also planted aboard the sub by The Mole (Dorian Gray). He reveals this at the end of the recording right before they start going off. Of course they still live.
In Return of the Jedi, Palpatine gleefully explains his trap to Luke... But there isn't anything Luke can do and the Rebels fall into it. And not only that, Palpatine's gloating is not just for fun, he needs to get Luke angry, upset, and hating him for the Dark Side to kick in.
Spoofed in Sky High. Gwen, after outlining her Evil Plan to turn all of the superheroes into infants and then raise them again as villains, then tells The Commander (who has been turned into an infant, and who she is cradling in her arms) that this is the best villainous speech she's ever given, and it's too bad that he can't understand a word she's saying.
Subverted in Damnatus in that G'guor does kill Nira half way through his Evil Gloating. Not to be put off, he continues monologuing to the spirit stone she was carrying.
Inverted in Minority Report when Anderton explains Burgess' plot to him (and the audience) at the end of the film after Burgess has fully enacted his plot. Anderton's actions cause Burgess to commit suicide.
Inverted in the 1994 Street Fighter film where it's the heroes who scupper their plans by revealing it to the villains. Chun Li, Honda and Balrog have M Bison and Sagat in a tent together which they plan to blow up with a lorry loaded with dynamite. However, they leave a video behind to gloat to the villains which of course gives Bison and Sagat time to escape.
Lampshaded in Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. The eponymous cat outlines her evil plan to the captive heroes, pointing out that she needs to do something to kill the time until her satellite moves into position.
In True Lies Harry does this while bound to a chair, and under the effect of truth serum, just as Samir prepares to inject him with him poison. So they don't take him seriously until he demonstrates his abillity to do what he promised.
The Operative does this in Serenity, but he makes sure to paralyze his victims first so that he can kill them immediately after his speech.
Clove is about to kill Katniss in The Hunger Games but gloats about how her pack killed Rue for too long. She gets killed by Thresh.
Lampshaded and partially subverted in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. While Duke is being taken in for Viper conversion, he tries to grill McCullen on his master plan. McCullen sees through the attempt and indulges him anyway, but leaves the critical detail out to avoid spoiling the surprise. Though Duke does indeed foil the part of the plan McCullen told him about, Zartan disguised as the President would go on to kill off most of the Joes in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, including Duke.
Played with in Star Trek Into Darkness. Khan waits until Kirk has been all but fully beamed off the Vengeance before revealing he is going to destroy the Enterprise.
Played with in Shooter. When Swagger confronts Sandor, the villain's plan has already happened. Instead, Sandor explains what they did, why they did it, and the role Swagger played in it. Also justified, in that a heavily armed kill team was coming and Sandor had to delay him until they got there. Swagger would've known if he was lying, so he had to tell the truth.
Turns up in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Mildly justified in that the monologuer is trying to distract Cap and Black Widow from the bunker-busting missile heading straight for their heads.
During the climaxes to the first 6 books, Harry Potter's main strategy was to make the villains talk, as a way to buy some time and think of a way to get the hell out. In the final book, his plan is to keep talking himself, to both try and get the big bad to step down after realising he is well and truly screwed either way, and to tell everyone why the big bad is screwed, and if he is killed they can just mass kill him.
Dumbledore gets Malfoy to explain how he got Death Eaters into the school at the end of book six. He then points out how this just proves Malfoy isn't actually going to go through with it - if he wanted Dumbledore dead, he wouldn't stop to chat.
In Men at Arms, Commander Vimes muses about how it's better to be at the mercy of an evil man: "The evil like power, power over people, and they want to see you in fear. They want you to know you're going to die. So they'll talk. They'll gloat. ... A good man will kill you with hardly a word."
Wolfgang: What is it you want me to say, Your Grace? Something like "you are going to die anyway so I might as well tell you", perhaps? Vimes: Well, it'd be a help. Wolfgang: You are going to die anyway. Why don't you tell me?
Used slightly oddly in the novel The City of Dreaming Books. The villain just seems to enjoy giving this speech, even when it's completely unwarranted. In fact, many of his victims point out that they never would have known he even had an Evil Plan, had he not told them about it in great detail before disposing of them.
Last time I told them everything, giving it away like a fool, how I was going to do it, how escape was impossible. And they just listened, smirking.
Subverted in James P. Hogan's story The Assassin. The title character is sent to liquidate a scientist who had defected from his side, succeeds, but is then captured. His interrogators then introduce him to his "deceased" target, who has developed technology to duplicate people. Since they can duplicate the prisoner as many times as necessary, they can simply try every interrogation strategy... including honest explanation and persuasion.
Played straight and lampshaded in the Ciaphas CainHERO OF THE IMPERIUM novel Duty Calls, where Cain meets with the Inquistor that's been trying to kill him through the whole book. The Inquisitor waits until he thinks Cain is on his side before revealing the whole plan. The Lampshade Hanging comes from the villain's name, Ernst Savros Killian, which bears a striking resemblance to a certain James Bond villain.
Subverted in R. A. 's Homeland. Alton DeVir asks the Faceless Master why he is about to kill him. The Faceless Master refuses, because "You broke my mirror!"...even though Alton only broke it while running from the Faceless Master after the Faceless Master first attempts the assassination. Alton reflects that that doesn't make any sense before the Faceless Master's apprentice shoots him from behind.
Double Subverted in Lois McMaster Bujold's The Vor Game. The Big Bad decides to reveal her plan to Miles before sending him away to attend to some business for her. Some time later, Miles decides that she couldn't possibly have told him her actual plan for the moment and uses this (and the two other plans she's thought of, told to people, and discarded) to deduce her current plan. Then he decided that plan is too obvious and goes with the second option. Yes, it dissolves in a Gambit Pileup. How did you guess?
There's just one thing I'd like to know before I die. How did you know?
Know about what?
Warrior Cats: Hawkfrost does this at the end of Sunset. His plan wasn't particularly complicated, but before trying the strike the killing blow, he felt the need to tell Brambleclaw that he was just testing him. And of course, after Brambleclaw impales him, he remembers something else important and says a little extra as he bleeds to death.
The Berlin Memorandum by Adam Hall. The neo-Nazi Big Bad not only explains his master plan to British spy Quiller, he is so confident in its success that he lets Quiller go. Subverted however in that a) the master plan is bogus anyway, and b) it's actually a Nice Job Guiding Us, Hero gambit — the Nazis hope Quiller will contact his base in an attempt to avert the plan, thereby exposing its location to them.
The villains in the Alex Rider series have a habit of doing this.
Lampshaded by Alex when he says that one of the downsides of being a criminal is that you can't tell people about your crimes
Is it indiscreet to ask how you discovered this tunnel?"
"Sir," the captain answered me, "there can be no secrets between men who will never leave each other."
I ignored this innuendo and waited for Captain Nemo's explanation.
In Juliet Marillier 's Daughter of the Forest, the villain has the heroine in his power and planning to burn her as a witch. He takes to visiting her in her cell to gloat. As he is convinced she really cannot talk, he lets slip some things he might otherwise not have divulged. Of course, when she does regain her voice, she tells his nephew (and his enemy) all about it.
The Sphinx does this in the final book in Fablehaven, after having Seth in his clutches, he actually tells him that his victory is so assured, he'd like to have one honest conversation with one of his respected nemeses. He then goes on to explain in detail his origins, his source of power (and weaknesses thereof) and all the other things that usually pertain to this trope. He then has Seth sent to his dungeon, and, for the most part, doesn't really suffer any consequences from this particular discussion.
Becomes a plot point in the third book of Mistborn, when the Big Bad, a certified Eldritch Abomination, manifests to the heroine for no other reason than to gloat, but she can't figure out what he's getting out of it. She then realizes that it's just to satisfy his ego- leading her to the correct conclusion that he's on some level human and fallible.
Partially subverted in L. Neil Smith's The Venus Belt. "I'd already had the cliche' interview with the head villain, and I still didn't know what the hell was going on."
Deliberately lampshaded (along with much else) in John M Ford's How Much for Just the Planet?. The (phony) villain's Card Carrying Villainy prompts a running commentary from the Genre Savvy Aperokei ("A man of your taste would never kill anyone before the last reel"), receiving the pleased response "There's the fellow! I knew a man of your experience had to have seen a few Republic serials."
In the Paladin of Shadows book Choosers of the Slain a rapist and murderer does this to a would-be victim, not knowing that she's wired.
"Don't insult my intelligence, Doctor Hoole! I may like to gloat over my victims, but do you think I would reveal a secret that important, even to the doomed? My employer wouldn't look kindly on that. And I don't intend to be killed a second time."
Subverted in Lolita. Humbert tries to get Quilty to sit down and listen to why he's being "executed", but Quilty is too high on drugs to really comprehend what's happening. He ends up staggering about the house complaining mildly each time Humbert shoots him.
After The Golden Age, the supervillain Destructor would always do this to his captives. The main villain of the story says he's not going to make the same mistake... and then goes and does it anyway.
An interesting variant happens in Neverwhere. The Marquis de Carabas knows Croup and Vandemar will never spill any information on their employer or plans unless they know he's about to die, or is already dead. So he lets them kill him. Knowing that he secretly put a piece of his life in safe hands, just in case.
Hadanelith in The White Gryphon does this after having Amberdrake and Skandranon captive. Skan lampshades this in the beginning by asking, "Good gods, does every half-baked villain have to boast about what he’s going to do before he does it? Can’t you just kill us so we don’t have to endure your boring speech?” Hadanelith retorts that he wants them to know everything so that they can suffer in not being able to thwart his plan. Skan and Amberdrake then proceed to feign boredom instead of interest to keep Hadanelith talking.
In Pact, this is endemic amongst mystic practitioners, who, in addition to all being afflicted with Cannot Tell a Lie, gain power by making and fulfilling promises. A good villainous monologue is essentially just a promise to the audience that something is going to happen, which means that many practitioners will take the time to inform an opponent that, by the way, they're going to attack them soon, and then go ahead with the attack and gain power when they succeed. Generally speaking, these sorts of opponents, who often have large reservoirs of power thanks to these tactics, are at least as dangerous as the ones that decide to go with Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?.
Most of the villains in Relativity are Genre Savvy enough to avoid this, but one villain, Rasmas, plays it straight and to the hilt. When he captures the heroes, they try to keep him talking to buy themselves time to escape, but they don't need to because he's so desperate to brag about how brilliant his plan is.
Averted in Death Is Forever. The Big Bad feels obliged to "fill in the blanks" of the events prior to their meeting for James Bond before moving out and leaving him to be killed, but refuses to reveal the machinations of his main operation when questioned about it. Luckily, an offhand comment that Bond remembers hearing from a henchman sets him on the trail of the grand Evil Plan.
Nicely Lampshaded the episode "Utopia", where the newly regenerated Master says to The Doctor: "Why don't we stop and have a nice little chat while I tell you all my plans and you can work out a way to stop me, I don't think!"
He goes and does exactly that with the Time Lords in "The End of Time Part 2". He definitely knew by that point that it's a bad idea to tell your nemesis your plan, and yet he tells it to the President of the Time Lords, a man with near godlike technology at his disposal.
This of course happens in a great deal of Doctor Who serials, both Classic & Nu-Who, but a notable subversion is in City of Death:
(upon finding six Mona Lisas hidden behind a wall)
The Doctor: May I ask where you got these?
Count Scarlioni: No.
The Doctor: Or how you knew they were here?
Count Scarlioni: No.
The Doctor: They've been walled up a long time?
Count Scarlioni: Yes.
The Doctor: I like concise answers!
Count Scarlioni: Good.
This gets brought up again in The Robots of Death:
The Doctor: I see. You’re one of those boring maniacs who’s going to gloat. Are you going to tell me your plan for running the universe?
Taren Capel: Oh no Doctor. I’m going to burn out your brain. Very very slowly.
Of course he spills the beans about his plan a few minutes later, but it's still a good line.
The Doctor tries to deliberately - not to mention directly - invoke this in "The Vampires of Venice" when surrounded by said vampires:
Eleventh Doctor: Tell me the whole plan!
[The vampires simply hiss at him]
Eleventh Doctor: One day that'll work...
Parodied in "The Lodger" when Craig, the ordinary guy the Doctor is lodging with, begins to tell the Doctor all his fairly modest ideas for how the call centre he works at can streamline effectively and what he wants to do with his life out of the blue, before realizing out loud that he's telling all of this to a complete stranger. Obviously referring to the countless maniacs who like to monologue at him, the Doctor assures him that he's not the first.
The Doctor: I've got one of those faces. People never stop blurting out their plans when I'm around.
The demons in Supernatural have a bad habit of doing this. Meg, Tammi, even Azazel have given up easy victories this way. Other monsters' modus operandi tend to be exposited in other ways, from arcane research.
Lampshaded by Dean in "Devil's Trap" with, "Listen, you mind just getting this over with, huh? Cause I really can't stand the monologuing." This turns out to be a slight mistake when his organs start to, y'know, liquefy.
Surprisingly averted when new Big Bad Lilith has both heroes helpless. Sam tries to bargain with her; she points out he has nothing she wants, and Dean tries to prompt a bit of monologuing. "So, is this your big plan, huh? Drag me to hell. Kill Sam. And then what? Become queen bitch?" Lilith simply replies "I don't have to answer to puppy chow," and sets the hellhounds on him, killing him before immediately attempting to kill Sam. It didn't work, but not for want of trying at least, and it wasn't until the next season we actually found out what her plan is
Lampshade Hanging in Sledge Hammer!: when an assassin has Sledge tied to a Death Trap, he tells him how he intends to kill the captain. Sledge responds by saying, "I'll never understand why you guys explain your whole plan before you kill somebody."
Subverted in the Pushing Daisies episode "Dummy." The murderer makes a full confession while the heroes are wrapped in body bags and locked inside a car, so they can't actually hear a word of what he's saying.
Cindy: Because it's funny. And because you won't remember it.
In both the miniseries and novel Neverwhere the villain Islington explains his plan to the heroes. This partly justified, as he believes his plan cannot be stopped, and he genuinely wants to convince the heroes to join him. The page quote is from the DVD commentary.
In the Season 7 opener "Image in the Sand," Sisko is attacked by a Bajoran religious fanatic, who says "You will never find the Orb of the Emissary!" Immediately after, Jake knocks the assassin out and calls for medical attention.
In Loyalty, one of the later Horatio Hornblower TV films, Hornblower and his men taken prisoner after a traitor on their ship hands them over to the French. Hornblower is invited to dinner, where the traitor reveals that he is neither the only traitor nor even the biggest traitor in Admiral Pellew's squadron. Hornblower notes that it would be cruel to send him to his death without even telling him who the traitor is. Of course, The Mole is Dangerously Genre Savvy, and simply agrees that it would be cruel, before sending Hornblower back to his cell.
In the Red Dwarf episode "Stoke Me a Clipper", some random Nazi villains try to do this to Ace Rimmernote (what a guy!); one orders the other one to "Take him into the hold, take ten minutes to explain our entire plan to him, and then throw him out of the plane."
In Heroes, Sylar tells Alejandro that he plans on using Maya as a toy after he gets her to harness her plague power. It's justified in this case, as he is perfectly aware that Alejandro won't understand a thing he says anyways, as Alejandro does not speak nor understand English.
The Middleman: I confront him, get him off on the monologue, you go around...
Wendy Watson: ...switch off the machine while he's distracted?
The Middleman: Dang skippy.
The murderer in the 4th episode of Elementary wasn't planning on doing this to Sherlock after he gloated to her that he'd caught her out - she was going to just shoot him - but Sherlock goaded her into it, to give himself time to pick his handcuffs. "I'm about to die, so, now's your chance to share! It's good to share!"
The Avengers. In "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station" the Genre Savvy villain handcuffs Steed to a pipe so he can explain his Evil Plan with the help of a model train set.
Villain: I had you brought here to witness the final phase.
Mr Gently Benevolent: I'm not falling for that old "You ask me, I tell you, you foil my plan" trick again. Pip Bin: Just give me a hint? Mr Gently Benevolent: Oh, all right.
Parodied in Nebulous, when the eponymous professor is captured by the evil Klench.
Nebulous: Surely you're going to outline your brilliant plan? Dr. Klench: Why should I? The information's no use to you. Nebulous: To... satisfy my curiosity? Dr. Klench: It's irrelevant. Any minute now you're going to be a dead body.
Feng Shui's Spy archetype has the unique schtick of spending a Fortune point to get a reluctant or hostile NPC to tell them something they shouldn't, and it's best used when captured to get a villain to engage in a Just Between You And Me speech. Also, Seed of the New Flesh, the Architects sourcebook, has a Criminal Mastermind archetype that has "Slave to the Cheese" as their unique weakness — which not only requires you to make this kind of speech to enemies you capture or nonlethally defeat, but also precludes just shooting your foes (as well as forcing you to prevent others from doing the same) in favor of elaborate deathtraps and other Bond villain-style ways of toying with your prey.
In the Marvel Super Heroes RPG, the section on villains actually outlines this in game terms: villains get a Karma bonus for telling the heroes their plans.
In Exalted, an Infernal Exalt who has offended his or her demonic masters can atone by behaving like a Card-Carrying Villain. One method is called "Infernal Genius Declaration," and involves showing off to a captured and helpless enemy by delivering a monologue describing his or her evil plan in great detail. The Infernal will receive this atonement, incidentally, whether this monologue leads to their plans being thwarted or not.
Car Wars. Autoduel Quarterly magazine Volume 7 #2, adventure "Mutant Zone". If the PCs are captured they're taken to Blob, the mutants' leader, who explains his plans to use braintape technology to put the mutants' minds into the brains of human beings.
Champions adventure The Coriolis Effect. After the Black Enchantress captures the heroes and takes away their powers she explains her plans to them.
Danger International. The Investigation Script has "Enemy Tells You His Plan" as a standard practice for the scenario's villain if the PCs are captured.
Time Lord, the 1990s Doctor Who role-playing game, gave villains a negative skill called "Gloating", which would compel them to waste time monologuing if they had captured the Doctor and/or a companion.
Pokémon Live! defies this. Delia wants to avoid this trope, so she tells Ash about her past before Giovanni can.
A very similar moment occurs in Advance Wars: Dual Strike (which was made by Intelligent Systems, the same people who made Thousand Year Door). When questioned about Black Hole's recovery, Teen Genius Lash responds: "Duh! Like I'd tell you that!"
Subverted and lampshaded in Baldur's Gate 2: You have the option of asking the Big Bad what he's planning, and he flatly responds, "No, you warrant no villain's exposition from me." You have to go the extra mile of asking one of his treacherous lieutenants or finding and reading his diary.
One of the Big Bad's hirelings even muses, "No doubt he feels a villain is always undone in the exposition. I cannot say I blame him. I have many a dead friend that boasted when silence would have served."
Subverted in Final Fantasy VI, where the heroes, while sneaking through the Magitek Factory, overhear Kefka rambling about his desire to awaken the Warring Triad statues, but Kefka still seems to succeed in that plan, even though the heroes overheard him.
The fact that the heroes, at the time, had no idea what he was talking about may be a factor in that. They don't learn what the Warring Triad is until it's already too late.
Don Corneo from Final Fantasy VII comes to mind. Is it because he's ready to die? Sure of victory? Or just clueless? Guess.
However short-lived it was, Corneo's "victory" was that he got Cloud to stop walking away to answer the stupid question. Had he (Cloud, that is) just kept on walking, he could have gotten to Sector 7 in much better shape than he did, not to mention much sooner.
Barthandelus in Final Fantasy XIII does this just before sending you to a training ground.
However, Barthandelus is a pathological liar, and thus it's debatable just how much of what he says is just a way of manipulating the party and how much of what he says concerns his actual plans.
This happens in zOMG twice, although both times it was just a distraction while the villain in question was preparing his method of attack. During the Big Bad's monologue, one of your crew members will hang a lampshade.
Done by Liquid Ocelot to Old Snake before their final duel in Metal Gear Solid 4, though one could say that it's perfectly legitimate for him to do so because (1) he's Ocelot and (2) his true plan had already succeeded.
Done all the time in the Metal Gear Series. Liquid and Solidus in particular seem to love doing this. It was toned down a few notches in part 3 and most of part 4, but it still takes up lots of time, especially considering Snake's tendency to ask for clarification.
The book In the Darkness of Shadow Moses implies that the above part about Liquid was actually a subversion, as they were actually fully aware that they were being listened in on, but deliberately continued talking about their "plans" in order to keep the mission control fooled.
In Portable Ops, Lt. Cunningham, after Snake boarded the elevator, explained that he was actually working for the Department of Defense and not for either Gene or for the CIA, and explained that the DOD planned on having Gene launch a nuke at the Soviet Union in order to tarnish the CIA's reputation as an efficient intelligence group, and later nuke the San Hieronymo Peninsula to eliminate any involvement from America, even using a Soviet-made Davy Crockett just for good measure, and exposits the fact that Snake was also being used by the DOD. Justified in that he did actually think Snake would side with Cunningham (hence why he told him), which Snake proved him wrong by attacking him.
Double subverted in Metal Gear Solid with Ocelot (albeit retroactively): After the second torture session with Snake, he exposits that his "true" plan was to restore Mother Russia to former glory. However, in Metal Gear Solid 2, he makes it clear that he actually has no interest in resurrecting Russia to its former glory, and in fact, for all he cares, it could rot, even demonstrating it by betraying and gunning down Gurlukovich. However, the third torture session has him admitting that he actually plans on reigniting conflict, feeling that the lack of it is causing people's true feelings to be surpressed, was played completely straight, especially when you take into account his actions as Liquid Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid 4.
Ocelot's loyalty was actually subverted in the first game's post-credits dialogue, when it's revealed he was reporting to the President of the United States.
Parodied in one of the bonus scenes from Bomberman 64: The Second Attack, where the Big Bad, after reviewing his plans aloud with no one else in the room, comments "It's not much fun making speeches about my plans without an audience..." After a pause he followed this up with maniacal laughter (which he happens to end almost every sentence with).
Resident Evil 4 had a particularly bad example. Saddler's plan revolves around kidnapping The Presidents Daughter, infecting her with the Virus, having her rescued, and then have her take control of the United States from within. And he goes and tells her rescuer the entire plan as she's being rescued. Smart move, villain.
Used in several games of the Tales Series, though often it's because the villains tend to be Well Intentioned Extremists or Knight Templar who feel the need to claim the moral high ground; some even hope to to recruit the heroes using such a speech. Ironically enough, it's averted in Tales of Phantasia where the villain never reveals his plan until he's dying — and if he'd taken five minutes to explain his motivation it probably would have helped convince the party that the villain isn't the monster he was made out to be.
At the end of The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal, the Physical God Almalexia explains to the Player Character how she convinced him/her that another god, Sotha Sil had gone insane and tried to attack the capital city of Mournhold, while it was all in fact orchestrated by her so that she could kill the other two gods of the Tribunal, turn the player into an unwilling martyr, and rule as the sole remaining god herself.
Her reasons for doing so seems to be twofold: one, she used to be the possibly loyal, possibly not wife of Nerevar, and is convinced you are his reincarnation, and two, her grip on reality is not the best anymore.
In her defence, there's really no damage done by it — Almalexia had to tip her hand anyway, since the next step of the plan is killing you. Since you'd presumably defend yourself either way, the monologuing doesn't give you any hint about how to stop the evil plan that self-preservation wouldn't already point to.
An interesting one in Starcraft II: The Dark Voice will eventually conquer the Universe and destroy the Zerg, Protoss and Terrans. Only when the Last Stand of the Protoss has played its last trump card (Artanis) will the Dark Voice reveal that the only one that could have stopped it was Kerrigan, who was long dead by that point. The twist? The Overmind saw all this in a vision, and shared it with Tassadar, who passed it to Zeratul, who showed it to James Raynor, allowing a different future to occur and possibly foiling the Dark Voice. While the Dark Voice did wait until he was utterly sure of victory to reveal his one weakness, even that isn't enough in a Universe with creatures that can see the future.
Can happen in Fallout: New Vegas near the end of the Omerta quest line, with one of the mob bosses. On the other hand, it takes a pretty high Speech skill to get him to talk, so it might be a subversion.
Grim Fandango lampshades this trope near the end, when Manny finally confronts the Big Bad Hector... only to subvert it in a rather horrifying way.
Manny: Is this where you tell me all about your secret plan, Hector? How you stole Double N tickets from innocent souls, pretended to sell them but secretly hoarded them all to yourself in a desperate attempt to get out of the Land of the Dead?
Hector: No. *turns around and shoots Manny with a sproutella dart*
Arthas:Let me tell you a little secret, Blazer. The sword you're wielding is a key — using it, you would be able to not only undo the summoning but you might also be able to release the soul of your dear friend, Yimo.
Blazer: (pauses) Why should I believe you?
Arthas:I never lie. I'm simply telling you because there is no way you can defeat me... And I would love watching you die in agony, realizing that you failed them all... again.
At the end of Broken Saints, Big BadLear Dunham spells out, in detail, his motives and the origins of his big plan to the heroes. The whole point of him telling them (and of their involvement in the plot at all) was so they would be inspired by his vision and join him as his chief apostles.
General Gray in the Jump Leads issue Who Wants to Rule the World? averts this, despite being an otherwise textbook case of Contractual Genre Blindness. After all, "before I kill you, let me tell you my plan" only works if you have any actual intention of killing the person you're talking to.
Nale: Whew, OK. Hopefully that got my natural urge to digress into a complete explanation of my evil plan out of my system. I don't want to go all "Bond villain" and forget to finish the job.
Roy tells Belkar how they plan to cheat the system by negotiating the latter's crime down from murder to manslaughter, then accepting a deal with would knock 5 years off the four year minimum sentence... right next to Hinjo (who's a nice guy, but also Lawful Good) who promptly hands down a stiffer sentence so Belkar can't weasel out of his punishment.
Hinjo: Belkar Bitterleaf, for the crime of voluntary manslaughter , I sentence you to to spend a term in prison equal to...6 years.
Hinjo: Yeah, well you probably shouldn't have discussed how you plan to beat the system in front of the guy charged with upholding the system.
The page image comes from a scene where Xykon gives Vaarsuvius a Breaking Speech by outlining the wizard's core mistake in how s/he approached their earlier battle. Naturally, Vaarsuvius learns from what Xykon has to say and takes corrective action.
Elan's father later gives one to Elan. He explains every detail of how his plan is going to go, including his own death (that is, the father's death, not Elan's). Explaining The Plan gives him the better result because of a Go Mad from the Revelation effect.
Redcloak gives it a shot when Tsukiko figures out part of his plan. Then he takes control of her undead servants and has them kill and eat her, then each other. And that's why you don't mess with Redcloak.
Hilariously subverted in Schlock Mercenary, where gate-cloned captain Tagon and Brad are captured by the Gatekeepers, interrogated, and are about to be executed. Tagon tries to stall the Gatekeeper by asking him if he's going to reveal his nefarious plans, but the Gatekeeper points out how silly a mistake that would be, and then kills both of them. He even refuses to tell the narrator any details, saying he's under standing orders not to reveal any secrets to the narrator.
In The Gamers Alliance, Nergal the God of War confronts the heroes in the Ruined Kingdom and reveals how he was responsible for bringing them together by guiding the events along and explains how he'll be using their actions to spark a conflict which will lead to an all-out war. That too is all part of the plan to make the heroes so angry at the revelation that they'll go on to oppose him and thus help fuel the war.
Not to mention that Captain Hammer gloated to Horrible an act earlier that he was going to sleep with Penny just to piss Horrible off.
This review of Genetos ends with a subversion, or rather, reveals that the entire review was a subversion. One review actually reviews the game while the other spouts nonsense the entire time, at the end it's discovered that his nonsense dialogue was being scrambled, and that actually he was revealing a master plan.
The villain in Greek Ninja does this with Sasha (he also hits on her, but that's unrelated).
In Worm, having outmaneuvered Coil, Tattletale is more than willing to explain to him precisely how she had outmaneuvered him before Skitter shoots him in the head. Amusingly, she only got the opportunity to do this because Skitter got him to monologue about his own plans and how he had outmaneuvered them.
In Darkwing Duck, Negaduck explains in minute detail just how each Death Trap will kill its Justice Duck victim when he throws... the Switch!.
Spoofed in an episode of The Simpsons, where thanks to Homer, Bond loses his card game bet against Ernst Stavro Blofeld. As he's being carried off by the henchmen Bond exclaims, "That's impossible. I don't lose. I never lose! Well, at least tell me your plans for world domination!" Blofeld replies, "Oh no, I'm not falling for that one again."
Kim Possible: In the movie A Sitch In Time, Future Shego has victory in the palm of her hand... until Dr. Drakken (now her sidekick) talks her into gloating. Listing all the times Drakken himself has lost because of his own monologuing would cause this page to collapse under its own weight.
In one particular episode, this happened to Drakken three times in a montage sequence that lasted maybe a minute, tops. The last time, Kim and Ron manage to escape before Drakken could get as far as "And so, Kim Possible, you must watch as I— GAH!!!"
In the first episode, Shego had convinced Drakken not to gloat while carrying out the mission. Good girl.
At one point, Drakken even delivers a visual presentation to Kim on how he intends to dispose of her.
Kim's high school rival Bonnie is attached to her in "Bonding" and interrupts Professor Dementor's ranting to ask why he doesn't just get on with his plan. Annoyed, both Dementor and Kim tell her that that's the way these things are done.
Transformers Animated has this happening between two villains. Starscream has Megatron cornered and helpless, but being something of a Large Ham, he of course takes time to gloat. Bumblebee then bursts in, scoring a direct hit on Starscream with his stingers... which does nothing. He then goes berserk, mostly concerned that, as he put it:
Starscream:You interrupted my SPEECH!
This is likely Sneekly's greatest flaw in The Perils of Penelope Pitstop. It seems he has an obsession with explaining every little detail of every Death Trap to her, which either gives her information she needs to escape from it or gives her - or the Ant Hill Mob - time to do so. (And he never learned.)
Beast Wars also played with this in the episode "Dark Designs", where an attempt to brainwash Gentle Giant Rhinox into a Predacon goes off without a hitch... then goes straight to the Pit. When the evil Rhinox has Megatron backed into a corner, he starts up with this, to which Megatron responds: "Sometimes Predacons gloat too much!"
From an episode of Duckman: "They never just kill ya. There's always a lecture."
Animaniacs featured a villain in one episode who was contractually obligated to do this sort of thing.
Parodied in the Invader Zim episode "Tak: The Hideous New Girl," where Tak explains part one of her plan to cause The End of the World as We Know It to Zim and then immediately enacts it. When she tries to explain the rest of the plan however, Zim, being Zim, repeatedly interrupts her with screaming until a frustrated Tak simply leaves.
And in a later episode:
Zim: I'm infecting this city with genetically enhanced vermin. But you'll never know!
Dib: But... you just told me.
Zim: YOU'RE LYING!
In "Room With a Moose" Zim admits that he's telling Dib his evil plan because he's the only human smart enough to appreciate it. Plus it involved a flight through space, so they had time to kill anyway. It was still enough for Dib to thwart it, though.
Dr. Zin to Dr. Quest in Jonny Quest TOS episodes "The Robot Spy" and "The Fraudulent Volcano". Justified in the former when Dr. Zin notes that he thinks showing off his robot does no harm considering that his enemies will not be able to stop it leaving. When the Robot makes a break for it, Quest, Race Bannon and staff of the military base learn that their enemy wasn't bluffing as they are stymied for a way to bring the machine down.
Constantly parodied Subverted, Inverted and LampshadedOnce an Episode in Phineas and Ferb when Perry the Platypus is captured by Dr. Doofenshmirtz in his lair. Sometimes Perry and Dr. Doofenshmirtz act as good friends, though Perry never fails to thwart the villain anyway. The Evil Gloating thing seems to be part of the Secret Agent/Evil Scientist contract. Doofensmirtz even says that since Perry's his nemesis, he has to tell him everything. Sometimes with visual presentations, pop-up books or musical numbers complete with backing dancers.
Exploited in the Justice League crossover episode of Static Shock, where Braniac explains his plans to Static and Gear to distract them until he can attack.
Used repeatedly — and lampshaded at least once — in The Tick:
Chairface Chippendale:(with the Tick, Arthur and American Maid at his mercy) Ah, this must be the part where I reveal my sinister plot!
In one episode of Storm Hawks, a mook comes up with a plan to become an Ascended Extra. When he captures the heroes by sheer luck, he decides to get back to his master plan. Upon seeing the Storm Hawks' eager faces, he adds, "Which I won't discuss in front of you!"
In the "South Park" episode "La Petite Tourette", Cartman explains his master plan to Kyle while dressed in a purple bathrobe and serving him Scotch...well, actually apple juice. Basically, he behaves like a Bond villain.