I can't shake this weird feeling about Ricardio. I think he's... a villain! Jake:
Why? Is it because his face is so foldy and dramatic?
A lot of fiction out there has a tendency to employ incredibly black and white perspectives
to the characters and their actions. Due to the belief that its target demographic (usually children or dumbasses
) can't understand subtler shades of evil, many works of fiction create a stark contrast between the heroes and villains. When this happens, the creators will bring in their Obviously Evil®
Design Team. (Of course, another reason obvious villains are used in some fiction is simply because everyone loves a badass villain
If a work of fiction indulges in Obviously Evil®
, every villain will be a Card-Carrying Villain
, usually Colour-Coded for Your Convenience
in shades of black and red
. There won't be any Well Intentioned Extremists
, Knights Templar
or pretty much anyone that doesn't accept and accentuate their evilness. If you see anybody that might seem to be a shade of grey on the side of the villains, it will usually basically be a hero with a slight bit of behavior modification to work with the villains
(and an inevitable Heel-Face Turn
coming up during Sweeps
). If the villainous group is a governing body, it will always be an Evil Empire
with a 0% Approval Rating
. There aren't any Punch Clock minions
that just accepted the job because it's work, but, instead, Always Chaotic Evil Faceless Goons
that act like miniature versions of the main villain and provide no guilt whatsoever, when they get killed by the truckload. The Dragon
will always be The Starscream
and never have any ulterior motive beyond a lust for more power. There will never be any Worthy Opponents
or Tragic Villains
or any kind of antagonist presented sympathetically as this doesn't accentuate the author's need to make the bad guys ALL
The goals of the villains and their organization are always incredibly eeeeeevil
, with one of five purposes
: world domination
, world destruction
, or antagonizing the heroes
. Nobody on the side of evil will ever Pet the Dog
(except maybe the none-too-subtle Heel-Face Turn
candidate). Even their imagery is blatantly made as a contrast to the heroes, with lots of skulls
, Spikes of Villainy
, and other assorted things. Imagine a villain whose entire body is made of Red Right Hands
, stitched together with thread made from the skin of dead puppies
and you're beginning to get the idea.
Fiction that relies on this is almost always Anvilicious
to a fault, being the most extreme example of Black and White Morality
. If the writers don't like X, they can just have someone Obviously Evil doing X
Note that it's possible to have Obviously Evil figures in a normally more subtle setting; frequently, the justification is that the character is so far gone into his Card Carrying Villainy
(or some brutal variation of Blue and Orange Morality
) that he doesn't care what other people think of him.
There are actually two aspects to this trope:
The first is Obviously Evil Behavior, where the villains act in extremely vicious and unnecessarily cruel fashion to heighten their evilness
may overlap with Stupid Evil
. Extremely common in fan fiction were authors use this as a shortcut to establish the "Bad Guy" of the fic and often happens to the author's least favorite character
. Prone to Rape as Drama
. See Kick the Dog
The second is Obviously Evil Appearance were the villain merely appears evil
. Unlike behavior, the appearance tropes are just steriotypes that have been drilled into our head over the years and as such make for prime subversion fodder when they appear on heroes
(After all, who would expect Skeletor's
skull-faced mug up there to appear on a good guy
). Even when they appear on certain types of villains
they can still be used for the subversion aspect as people who have grown up on "Spikey-armor = Iredeemable" can still get thrown for a loop when it appears on a character presented sympathetically. If the villain of the series is a Knight Templar
of Villain with Good Publicity
then having a hero with an "obviously evil appearance" can create an interesting commentary on the nature of good and evil as the "Evil" looking hero battles the "Heroic" looking villain. See Dark Is Not Evil
Compare Black and White Morality
, Black and Grey Morality
, and Villainous Fashion Sense
. Not to be confused with Devil in Plain Sight
or Obliviously Evil
, though the former can overlap. Contrast Dark Is Not Evil
, Grey and Grey Morality
, and Morality Kitchen Sink
Tropes invoked in the establishment of this style include:
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Highschool of the Dead has Koichi Shido. Let's see. He has Scary Shiny Glasses, wears all black, has pale white skin and his introduction consists of him deliberately kicking a student into the zombies. The main cast just sees him as a douchebag rather than a villain with a God Complex.
- Dragon Ball has Majin Buu's true form, Kid Buu. Let's see. He has black eyes, is batshit insane, completely motiveless in his acts, has absolutely zero conscious, and his introduction consists of him blowing up Earth simply because it was there.
- Double Subverted in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei with the schoolgirl Mitama Mayo. While she really is as evil as she looks, people end up assuming that she could not possibly be evil because nobody is that obvious anymore. Making it more obvious, her Meaningful Name (which the series is filled with) means "exactly as (she) looks"
- Surprisingly, 'Gundam' plays with it.
- Zeta Gundam's Yazaan Gable is introduced by Scirocco to be an animal and Blood Knight but then appears with a cute turtle tattooed on his chest.
- G Gundam's Big Bad is named Devil Gundam (Dark Gundam) and is shown to be fighting a fighter squadron at its first appearance, but the others...
- On the topic of Gundam and other mech series, there's something interesting in Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Martian Successor Nadesico and Gundam 00, where although not all of the antagonists are all that evil, they use ships and mecha which are creepy and insectine looking, contrasting with the heroic-looking craft of the protagonist. You'd think someone would have realized that this is an image-problem.
- Dasil Galette from Gundam AGE looks more evil when he is an adult
- Played with a bit in an episode of Slayers. Lina is fighting Vrumugun - a creepy-looking, narrow-eyed sorcerer in dark grey robes with a sinisterly glinting red jewel on his forehead. When Amelia tries to join in on Vrumugun's side Lina says Vrumugun is the real villain:
Lina: Amelia, think! Who looks like a bad guy here?
Amelia: <thinks hard for a few moments> Both of you!
- Dr. Hell, the Big Bad of Mazinger Z, has pale purple skin and a long white Beard of Evil, also being prone to maniacal laughter. Oh, and his name is Dr. Hell. The bizarre part is that his backstory involves betraying a group of companions in order to get some Phlebotinum, which means that someone, somewhere, was willing to trust him.
- The modern remake Shin Mazinger shows him before his Start of Darkness, where he actually looks no more evil than your standard Mad Scientist... but he's still named Dr. Hell and still the Big Bad of the series. This makes it surprising when it turns out he was also trying to keep an even greater evil in check.
- Emperor of Darkness, Big Bad from Great Mazinger was a giant being made of flame. He certainly did not seem someone nice.
- King Vega from UFO Robo Grendizer was brown-skinned, sported a Beard of Evil, and his face was vaguely beastly.
- Though a spoiler in the manga, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood doesn't even try to hide the fact that Bradley is evil. In one episode, a rogue alchemist charges at him in a dark alley, all in black and white except for the color red, before Bradley easily disposes of him while Ominous Latin Chanting plays in the background. This happens in the first episode.
- Given that he's the head of a military dictatorship, it wouldn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that he's not the nicest guy in the world. And he's called the frickin' Fuhrer. His evilness was never the biggest surprise about him anyway; that would be his being a homunculus.
- Some of the real nasties in One Piece can be pretty obvious in their appearance. Apart from the hook hand, Crocodile looks like a mob boss. Akainu simply seems more realistically drawn and has a Yakuza tattoo. Blackbeard is a big, fat, ugly guy missing some teeth and a nose that looks like it's been broken a few times. Gecko Moriah is an obese, chalk-white, demonic-looking man with horns, no chin and a neck about triple the length it should be, with razor sharp teeth and an odd resemblance to a balloon animal. On the other hand, Warden Magellan is probably a subversion, since, despite the fact that he looks like a demon and is sporting an outfit that appears to have been inspired by the Third Reich, he's practically a Hero Antagonist: he just wants to keep the world safe from some nasty, nasty pirates.
- Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. He has pale skin, almost yellow eyes and always has the same cruel facial expression. Hell, the very first thing he does when he arrives at the Joestar's residence is brutally kick Jonathan's dog!
- The Big Bads in the Digimon Adventure series - Devimon, Daemon, and Vamdemon had full-blown demonic appearances; Piedmon was a Monster Clown; and Etemon was an Elvis impersonator.
- Professor Cobra in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Aside from the name, he begins forcing students to duel with Des Belts, which drain their energy upon defeat, and laughs evilly while disappearing for long tracts of time to his lair, with no one questioning where he went.
- Lampshaded in the English dub.
Adrian: And speaking of walking clichés, I wonder how Viper is doing.
- There's also Dr. Faker in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL. Who promises to use the Numbers to cure Kite's brother of illness. Gee, Kite, is it possible he's deceiving you?
- Actually, you cannot blame Kite that much, since Dr. Faker is his father. Also, it's later revealed that Faker is really trying to cure his youngest son the whole time.
- Tron with his permanent Slasher Smile and his freaky mask looks much more malicious than Dr. Faker, and his motivation is less noble than Faker's. He has a got reason to wear it.
- Ironically, Cobra (see above), Tron and Faker were dupes, being used as pawns by an even worse villain in all three cases. Faker might even qualify as a Well-Intentioned Extremist, technically.
- There's also Number 96. It's hard to get more Obviously Evil than that.
- Gin Ichimaru from Bleach screams 'villain' from a mile away. Except, we find out his motives were more noble than previously thought. His way of achieving them, however...
- The moment you see Orochimaru from Naruto, you know that he's pure evil.
- Fate Testarossa from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha openly invoked this trope when she first appeared complete with blood-red eyes, a Stripperiffic black leather getup complete with Dracula's spare cape, a Sinister Scythe to match, and a fearsome fox-like creature at least as big as she is for a familiar. This impression did not last long.
- Hades Vandein from Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force is obviously scheming something, and he is not a normal citizen like he pretends to be. He also disguises his fights as self-defense. Nobody of the heroes who are not Thoma or Lily buys his innocence. He is also a big contrast to the Hückebein Family, who are Card Carrying Villains. It's so obvious that it hurts.
- It takes one look at him in the moment of his introduction to tell that Yakushiji Tenzen of Basilisk is the main villain. He's not too over the top, but... just look at him. His anime version is wearing a white cloak, combined with long black hair that looks like a pair of horns and he's got that perpetual rape-face complete with Guyliner. His live action incarnation takes it one step further by making him look like Sephiroth. You can't get more evil that that.
- Vento of the Front from A Certain Magical Index invokes this trope with her appearance and mannerisms, which consists of multiple facial piercings and a generally Jerkass attitude, making people hostile towards her since her power, "God's Divine Punishment", activates only when there are people who feel hostile towards her. Those people are then deprived of oxygen, putting them at a comatose state until she deems that the punishment is enough.
- Windaria's Lagado. He wears a black cloak with a face mask and calls someone off the road from behind a rock for a suspicious plan.
- Sabrina in Pokémon Special and the anime, thanks to her pre-HGSS design that looks somehow menacing. Probably why she was a villain in those two adaptations despite being Chaotic Neutral at worst in the original games.
- Most of the villains from the Pretty Cure franchise, especially the Big Bads. Specific examples include Dark/Jaaku King, Akudaikaan, almost every single member of Nightmare, Pierrot, and King Jikochuu. A lot of them are huge and monstrous-looking. Subverted with the Desert Apostles and Minor Land.
- Kagerou Project:
- The Big Bad of the series, The Wide-Open Eyes Snake - particularly when he is possessing Konoha, due to a near all-black ensemble, the frequent use of Hidden Eyes whenever they first show up, the Slasher Smile, the red - sometimes yellow - eyes, and the near constant state of arousal they seem to be in when bad things happen to the cast, particularly when he kills them himself.
- Azami follows a very similar description, it turns out to be a total subversion; despite her apparent maliciousness in early appearances (the Identity Amnesia Haruka suffers when she seems to force him into Konoha's body stands out), she was Good All Along, and was in fact world-weary, bitter, and had no real control of anything rather than downright evil.
- Attack on Titan: Raise your hand if you were surprised Annie was the Female Titan.
- Jack Kirby's Fourth World. Darkseid of Apokolips and his minion Desaad are trying to find the Anti-Life Equation. The visual doesn't help, either. The nicest guys in Apokolips seem to be torture mistress Granny Goodness and televangelist/propaganda minister Glorious Godfrey, so you know it's bad (and the rest of Darkseid's retinue? Try to guess what kind of people Kalibak, Virmin Vundabar, Lashina, Bernadeth, and Mad Harriet are).
- Ceryx, the Big Bad - maybe, this book doesn't reveal much - of Artesia. All his teeth are sharp, chains and hooks hang from his thighs, he is surrounded by perpetual darkness, and he leaves bloody footprints wherever he walks.
- Magneto named his group the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Seriously, just drop the "evil" and you'd come across much better. Modern writers noticed this, and retconned the "Evil" part as being a sarcastic comment on how humanity sees mutants in general, and those who want more mutant rights in particular. When the group pops up in modern adaptations, they're usually just the "Brotherhood of Mutants." When Mystique was running the gang herself, ostensibly for the US government, she gets smart about the name and calls the team, "Freedom Force."
- Averted by Susan Veraghen of Grendel. Arguably the only truly non-evil Grendel of the entire series (every last one of the others either starts out or ends up as a conscienceless psychopath), she looks like a Sith Lord, complete with huge muscles, spikes and full-body tattoos.
- Double subverted by the jolly Joker in Batman, who is colorful (although in purple and green) where Batman's costume is more akin to that of a traditional villain. Then again, clowns aren't generally viewed as all that benevolent.
- Two-Face, Killer Croc, and the Scarecrow, though the latter is justified (his whole purpose it to scare people to begin with after all).
- One of the greatest of the Green Lantern Corps was a man with reddish purple skin, a Snidely Whiplash-style mustache and a clear superiority complex named Sinestro. Go on and guess how his tenure ended.
- In Dick Tracy, you would think the cops would just arrest every hideously deformed citizen they spot. Not a single one can say they have no involvement in organized crime.
- Then we have Captain America's old enemy the Red Skull. The name alone(coming after what his 'face' looks like) is bleedingly obvious a tip-off and this is without mentioning he sided with the Nazis. Can't get much more Obviously Evil than that.
- Inverted with Blue Devil.
- The Horde from Strikeforce: Morituri are a race of barbarian Planet Looters who deliberately avoid conquering Earth simply for the fun of terrorizing the populace and think nothing of slaughtering helpless slaves and children. An early terror tactic was to eject large numbers of captured humans outside the Earth's atmosphere, allowing them to burn up in re-entry so people on the ground could see the streaks representing their burning forms.
- The Anti-Monitor◊ from Crisis on Infinite Earths.
- Mister Sinister. If his name isn't huge enough of a red flag, just look at him◊.
- The Mighty Thor (now called Journey into Mystery): Loki was recently reincarnated as a child (without his adult memories), and is facing this in-universe: Everyone other than Thor (and he has reservations) is essentially saying "He's Loki, so he must be evil." Loki is trying very hard to make his reputation work for him, and in dealings with people like Mephisto is desperately trying to channel his evil past self (often making comments to his companions on how fun it is to talk like you're an evil, powerful trickster when you're really just a kid).
- Lampshaded with the Quantum Decomputer in Atomic Robo:
Robo: Computers that are evil have all kinds of unnecessary ornamentation. This thing's venting steam! Why's it doing that? It's like nature. Like rattlesnakes or poisonous toads. It wants you to know its dangerous.
- Doctor Strange's foes who fit this trope include Dormammu (covered in Spikes of Villainy, with a skull-like head surrounded by flames) and Shuma-Gorath (Starfish Alien with a single staring red eye in the center of his tentacles). Satannish, Mephisto, Chthon, Sligguth, N'Gabthoth...
- Almost all villains in Les Légendaires. As if their Arch-Enemy being named Darkhell wasn't enough, the guy also is a Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette and a Malevolent Masked Man who lives in a dark castle in the middle of a always dark and hostile wasteland, has a strong taste for Evil Laugh and uses an army he created himself through magic mutations. His generals use the codename "Shadow" as a rank, they include a Lizard Guy, and his most trusted Dragon is his Dark Action Girl daughter Tenebris. And yet, he's such a good Manipulative Bastard that he still gets some people trusting him. Ironically, he turns out to have a slightly softer side in later books.
- Subverted with his daughter Tenebris, who does have a significant softer side and eventually commits a Heel-Face Turn.
- Ceyderom is a Cyborg Pirate Captain with a clawed cybernetic harm, a mowhak, a metallic inferior jaw and a red cybernetic eye. And we are supposed to think this guy is nice ?
- Anathos' physical form is red with large horns, has Spikes of Villainy, and use attacks such as "Devil's Breath". The guy's typical expression usually is a Psychotic Smirk. And just in case this was still not enough, he seems to make a hobby of crossing the Moral Event Horizon as many times as possible.
- Count Kasino was a Jerk Ass and a Smug Snake Aristocrate who hired two elite assassins as his bodyguards and hardly made any secret of the fact he was a ruthless dictator in his region.
- Averted with Abyss, who, other than his Meaningful Name (which he is smart enough to hide at the beginning of the story), actually is an incredibly competent Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Once he reveals his Game Face, however...
- Inverted with Ghost Rider. (For the most part...)
- From Spidey's Rogues Gallery we have Venom, Carnage, and whatever other symbiote villains are in there. Just the gaping, drooling mouths filled with More Teeth than the Osmond Family is enough, but add in the claws, creeping tendrils, and their penchant for red and black colorations, and you have a whole family of obvious evil. Inverted, however, with the few good symbiotes: Toxin and Anti-Venom.
- Another Spidey villain, the Hobgoblin, is actually a bit more obviously evil-looking than his predecessor, the Green Goblin. His original appearances showed him almost always In the Hood with Glowing Eyes of Doom, and when his mask is shown, he looks like... well... a goblin. He also has the Goblin staple weapons of jack-o-lantern pumpkin bombs, bat-shaped throwing blades, and a demon-headed bat-glider. When the Jason Macendale version got possessed by a demon, the obvious evilness of him went Up to Eleven, adding reptilian skin and eyes, sharp fangs, and Hellfire-producing powers. This was intentional on Hobgoblin's part (especially Roderick Kingsley) as he's a huge Attention Whore who loves playing the part of villain.
- The Demons from Spawn are hideous deformed beings with fangs, claws and horns. Even their human forms don't help; for example, the Violator takes the form of a Monster Clown when posing as a human. Averted however with God and the Angels, as well as Spawn, who despite being a Humanoid Abomination with a disfigured face, black and red suit and downright creepy powers, is at worst a Anti-Hero.
- Marvel Comics villain Annihilus. If the name isn't a massive hint, he's a giant screaming Omnicidal Maniac bug-monster. Lampshaded to hell and back in Ultimate Fantastic Four by The Thing.
The Thing: Dude, your (Reed Richards) translator just told us his name was e-vil, or nil-ate or some crap like that. That's a frikken clue train pulled right up to the station!
- Roark Junior aka That Yellow Bastard from Sin City. An interesting example in that he wasn't always this way. He used to look like a normal enough guy, but after Hartigan basically mutilated him in a gunfight Junior received extreme, experimental reconstructive surgery thanks to his powerful senator father (not out of any actual care for Junior but out of desperation to have a legacy). The surgery had some really nasty, rough effects on Junior's body with the result that he now resembles a yellow, goblin-esque being. Of course Junior was always a scumbag; if anything, the surgery just made he look as awful on the outside as he is on the inside.
- Judge Dredd: The four Dark Judges are probably the most visually evil out of Judge Dredd's enemies. Their names are Judge Death, Judge Fear, Judge Fire, and Judge Mortis, their uniforms are black and adorned with human bones, they willingly became undead abominations through black magic, and want to kill all life.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Smasher Sullivan in The Secret River
- Voldemort of Harry Potter. Red, snake-like eyes, bleach-white skin, and clawed fingernails. Justified as the method of his immortality mutates him gradually and made him this way. Then there's his lackey, Wormtail, who follows Animal Stereotypes. Out of the original generation of wizards, who was it that became a traitor? Yep, the one who turns into a rat. Also justified in that Animagi take the form of the animal which best embodies their personality.
- Subverted, however, with Snape, who spends the whole series wearing black, being mean to the heroes and in general acting like a typical villain. He turns out to be a good guy, albeit one who happens not to like the protagonists and has really complicated motives.
- On the other hand, the Carrows with their twisted faces, squat and ugly bodies and constant wheezing (and they Crucio anything that moves) makes their alignment painfully obvious.
- Inverted with Voldemort's teenage appearance: handsome, slim, well-groomed, polite — in stark contrast to some of his peers, which becomes a plot point.
- Sirius Black is a subversion. When we first hear about him, he's described as looking Obviously Evil with a skull-like face, yellow teeth, and matted black hair. He's played by Gary Oldman in the movies. Then we get to The Reveal where we find out he was actually a good guy all along. After this happens, his description in the books becomes more favorable. For the films, they stop making Gary Oldman up to look scary at this point. It's attributed to him recovering from his time in Azkaban, but the result is the same.
- Bellatrix Lestrange is an inversion where she is described as being a beautiful woman (pre-Azkaban, at least) when she is actually one of the most evil characters in the series.
- Delores Umbridge. The way she dresses screams Most Definitely Not a Villain, her name is a pun on insulting and resentment, she openly speaks out against somebody that saved Hogwarts four times and was prophesized to do it several more times, and uses medieval disciplinary methods. How the Ministry of Magic hasn't caught on to this is a mystery.
- We know James of Twilight must be evil, because he's the only one of the vampires who is described as having a nondescript face, rather than being unbelievably beautiful. Also, he and his companions are dirty and dressed in worn clothing, rather than wearing designer labels all the time like the good vampires.
- If The Grand Ellipse is any indication, Those Wacky Nazis have created a new version of this trope. The villainous empire of Grewzia is full of tall blond guys, everyone from it is habitually punctual, and its national language consists mostly of hard consonants. This society is not an expy of the Nazis, and beyond appearances has almost nothing in common with them—this stuff's just our cue that they're bad, bad people.
- Since most of the villains in The Kingdom Keepers series are Disney Villains, it's natural this trope is in effect. Special mention goes to the new character Jez, who has pale skin, black hair, and her name is short for Jezebel. To Finn's credit, he does begin to suspect her...
- The Harkonnen in Dune are sodomites, love wanton slaughter, their leader is an obese glutton who cannot move without technological aids, their homeworld is a cesspool of pollution and so on.
- The Hunger Games President Snow is described as having Snake-like eyes and the smell of roses and blood.
- The Boltons in A Song of Ice and Fire have a flayed man as their sigil and live in a place called the Dreadfort. They wear armor that has screaming faces and exposed muscles styled onto it.
- Zahhak in The Shahnameh is an oppressive ruler with brain-eating snakes coming out of his shoulders.
- He only got the brain-eating snakes after he took over, since it was a result of the deal with Ahriman that let him take over. Presumably he was a little less obviously evil beforehand, though since he was an Evil Vizier you never know.
- Many villains of the Redwall series. Let's see... An ugly rat with a heavy whip-like tail, scars, a cape made of bat wings and clasped with a mole skull, a war helmet decorated in blackbird feathers and stag beetle mandibles, and an eyepatch: Check. A dark-cloaked rat-weasel creature with dead black eyes, dark fur, and snake-like movement: Check. A gray fox that wears a wolf skull as a helmet and a wolf pelt as a cape, with long iron claws on his arms: Check. A cult of black-robed rats led by a purple-robed rat who wields a mouse-skull scepter and serves a gruesomely deformed polecat who rules a slave-driven underground kingdom: Check. A ferret that wears terrifying warpaint, a necklace of teeth and claws, stains his fangs red, wears a blood-stained cape, and has a six-clawed paw sheathed in a heavy gauntlet: Check. The list goes on.
- Averted, however, with several villains that are explicitly described as regal and attractive, such as Vilu Daskar, Vilaya the Sable Quean, Emperor Ublaz, and especially Ferahgo the Assassin, who uses his decidedly un-evil appearance to his advantage.
- Played with in Childhoods End where the overlords, Aliens who arrive to govern Earth, make much ado about not showing themselves to Humanity until it is 'ready' because they would and do indeed appear obviously evil. The ultimate analysis of significance of their appearance at the end of the book is somewhat ambiguous.
- Trapped on Draconica: Evil Overlord Gothon wears armor that makes him look like a demon.
- The Silmarillion has some interesting examples. Morgoth and Sauron were both shape-shifters, and could take any form they chose. Sauron would in fact take on pleasing forms. Morgoth however (once he finally did become a God of Evil) decided he liked having an obviously evil form, and used it so much he got stuck in it. After Sauron destroyed Númenor, he was punishing by being rendered unable to take a pleasing form ever again, so he took an obviously evil form by default.
- This trope is justified in Tolkien's Middle Earth, where evil has a really noticeable corrupting influence on everything it touches. This is why many of the villains in the Middle Earth stories tend to be so obvious.
- All of the main villains from the original Shannara trilogy are like this- their names alone are tip-offs. The first book's Warlock Lord is an undead tyrant in a Black Cloak who rules over the Skull Kingdom; the second book's Demons are, well, Demons are and presented as a ravening, hateful horde of Always Chaotic Evil monsters; the third book's Mord Wraiths are basically an entire organization of mini-Warlock Lords, down to sharing his fashion sense.
- Subverted in the Sequel Series The Heritage of Shannara. The first few Shadowen the protagonists run into are horrible monsters, leading to the impression that all Shadowen are like that. Except it doesn't work that way. The obviously evil Shadowen are actually the weakest ones, who lacked sufficient control of their magic to stop it from mutating them. The most powerful Shadowen- like Rimmer Dall- can pass themselves off as ordinary humans almost flawlessly, until they choose to reveal themselves.
- Lord Zedd from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. He appears to be made of exposed muscles partly covered by gleaming metal skeleton-like plating; he wears long metal claws over the ends of his fingers; his face is a skull-like metal mask with a fang-filled Glasgow smile and the two eye sockets merged into a red, Cyclops-like visor; what appears to be his brain is exposed where his scalp should be; he has creepy plastic tubing with... something... flowing through it running up and down his limbs; and he wields a magical staff (that used to be a giant venomous snake) with a giant razor-edged Z on it. He is, in fact, bad. No, really?
- While Buffy the Vampire Slayer isn't always black and white in terms of morality, you can't get much more Obviously Evil than the First Evil, an entity that is the source of all evil. The Master falls into this category too, like everyone who calls himself The Master.
- Played kinda weirdly with the Mayor. Sure, we knew he was evil from the start, but that was only because of the incredibly not-subtle hints that had been dropping as early as the previous season. But even with the hints, he still falls in Affably Evil. So, he's Obviously Affably Evil.
- Evil Willow looks very Obviously Evil.
- The overwhelming majority of Doctor Who antagonists fit this mould due to a combination of how the moral ambiguities usually focus on the Doctor's actions rather than those of the monsters, and near-universal use of Evil Is Hammy. A few more notable or played with cases:
- Subverted by "The Sensorites" which uses the ugliness of the Sensorites for the first cliffhanger. They turn out to be much better than the humans. Then double-subverted once an Obviously Evil Sensorite shows up and starts out-hamming everyone else in the room...
- Maaga in "Galaxy 4" is Obviously Evil from the get-go (despite the whole story subverting Beauty Equals Goodness in a very Anvilicious way), but the Doctor still runs off to commit genocide against the Rills on her word. Vicki and Steven, to their credit, are more sceptical.
- Exaggerated in "Power of the Daleks". Genre Blind Mad Scientist Lesterson has rescued a bunch of Daleks from a downed space capsule that insist that they are his servants (in exchange for him powering them). The Doctor insists that they are evil, but Lesterson refuses to listen... until he observes them making Nazi salutes with their plungers and chanting "we will get our power! We will get our power!"
- Most of the Doctor's moments of being Dangerously Genre Savvy are when he's worked out that the man in Nazi-esque clothes who can't get through a sentence without scenery-chewing is obviously going to turn out to be evil, even though he hasn't done anything yet. For instance, the Second Doctor does this in "Power of the Daleks" after noticing one of the characters has undergone an Evil Costume Switch.
- None of the Atlanteans in "The Underwater Menace" seem to realise that Zaroff, the giggling Large Ham Mad Scientist with a ridiculous German accent who openly admits to wanting to blow up the Earth, is dangerous and totally bonkers, no matter what the Doctor says. In fact, he's so obviously evil that when the Atlantean Chief asks him how he knows Zaroff is bad, the Doctor is shown to struggle to articulate it in the manner of someone being asked to explain a ludicrously basic concept (he's reduced to asking 'have you looked into his eyes?' and pulling Zaroff-like faces).
- Deconstructed (and this phrase used) in "Robot", when Sarah infiltrates a weapons development institute in order to find a mysterious robot the Doctor thinks is there. When she gets there a creepy and disdainful Mad Scientist makes the robot jump her, claims it was a joke, orders it to kill her, claims this was to prove it wouldn't, and then blackmails her. When Sarah returns to UNIT she tells the Brigadier that the organisation is 'obviously evil' and they need to stop them. The Brigadier says that while he believes her, he needs more to go on than that - he could lose his position if he goes in without due cause, and if they went through the red tape of obtaining the due cause the organisation would get a large advance warning and be able to clear everything up.
- Davros in "Genesis of the Daleks" onwards. Nobody who looks like Emperor Palpatine in a wheelchair, shouts about extermination, and openly admits he'd destroy every living thing on the planet if he could just For the Evulz, is possibly going to be a good guy. Nevertheless, in "Genesis of the Daleks", both his own native Kaleds and even the racist enemy Thals who view Kaleds as subhumans openly trust him.
- A less smack-in-your-face example: LINDA sure let Victor Kennedy push them around for a while.
- Subverted at the end of "Deep Breath" We're introduced to Missy. A woman who dresses like Mary Poppins and gleefully says she runs Heaven Nothing indicated her as being evil, yet most fans were Genre Savvy enough to know that there was no way she "couldn't" be a villain. Turned out she's The Master
- Even Battlestar Galactica has an obviously evil character: Brother Cavil, AKA Number One. A cynical, perverted old man who dresses in pure black, sometimes with a black hat, and takes pride in hating life.
- On the other hand they often are priests. In many religions they have black motives and/or black clothes.
- In Merlin, one would think that someone would notice Morgana turning to the camera to give a comically evil grin every time she's on screen in Series 3...
- At least with Morgana they have the excuse of not wanting to believe that she's become evil (Gwen appears to be have been in outright denial until it became impossible to ignore). A lot of the other villains, like Knight Valiant, Edwin Muirden and Cedric (especially once he's possessed) are so obviously evil it makes you wonder how Camelot stayed standing before Merlin came along.
- A particularly prominent example is Lord Agravaine from series 4, who was so Obviously Evil that it greatly pushed the boundaries of suspension of disbelief that the rest of the cast didn't notice what he was up to. This rapidly led to him becoming one of the least popular characters ever to appear on the show.
- While not specifically on TV, a Spanish Class video series called "En Busca de la Verdad" (In Search of the Truth) has Turron, a man who dresses in a black trenchcoat, wears a dark hat, his face is never shown, and creepy music plays every time he appears. Nonetheless, most students laugh upon seeing him for the simple fact that he is so obvious. This is eventually subverted, however.
- The Borg in Star Trek. Not that they would hide their attitudes anyway...
- The Psycho Rangers in Power Rangers in Space. They roll-call how much better they are then the rest of the Rangers, and then Psycho Pink comes out with "But we're EVIL!"
Psycho Black: We're faster than you!
Psycho Blue: We're smarter than you!
Psycho Yellow: We're stronger than you!
- The Source in Charmed. Wears a black hood, carries a dark sword and revealed to have half a face with tribal markings on it.
- A strange case happened in the sixth season finale where the sisters found a parallel universe which was an evil alternative to their one (where the humans/witches were evil and demons were good). Their evil counterparts wore a lot of black leather and sported punk rocker hairstyles. Though they weren't as blatantly evil as most of the villains as they did join forces for the greater good.
- Glee's Sue Sylvester often fits this trope to a T with her nonchalant and often outrageous declarations of her evil intentions. Occasionally zig-zags only to return to her evil ways in the next episode.
- Exaggerated to the point of ridiculousness in Liō: everyone who's evil has bad teeth. It's almost a Red Right Hand, except there's nothing in-setting to explain why they would all have bad teeth and why "good" (sorta) characters all have nice teeth.
- In Popeye Saves The Earth, this is invoked by the names of Bluto's polluting companies — Earth Pavers, Never Green Logging, Blutonium Waste, and Spill Oil Co.
- Played with in Warhammer 40,000 - that guy in the black armour with the skull mask screaming out litanies of hatred ("SUFFER NOT THE UNCLEAN TO LIVE!") against everybody else than him and everybody on his side? He's a Space Marine chaplain - and arguably one of the setting's ambiguously 'good' guys. Then there's the Space Marine chapters with names like Flesh Tearers and Soul Drinkers. That scar-faced woman with a cybernetic arm riding into combat against civilians on a tank adorned with spikes, crushing them under her wheels while incinerating them with hi-tec flame throwers? Also arguably relatively good.
- The oddities of naming conventions are discussed hilariously here.
- The Troperiffic setting has plenty of straight examples as well, such as giant all-consuming psychic insects and invincible undead robotic servants of star-eating Eldritch Abominations. Then there's Chaos Space Marines, the poster boys of this trope. Their armour tends to be covered with skulls (they like trophies) spikes, horns, and the occasional pieces of flayed human skin and they worship dark gods and summon daemons. While some (like the Khorne Berserkers) might leave helpless civilians alone (as they want a Worthy Opponent), most just tend to slaughter everybody in their way in order to raise their standing in the eyes of the Chaos Gods or just because they like to rape and murder.
- A Khorne Berserker not killing people? KHORNE DOES NOT CARE FROM WHOM THE BLOOD FLOWS, ONLY THAT IT FLOWS
- BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
- SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE!
- And then there's the Orks, who are big, green, brutish, warlike, loving-to-fight, lots of horns, guns, horrible to each other (and especially Gretchins)... who just want a good fight and will actually leave a planet if they don't put up a good enough fight, or they've killed everyone who can, so they can come back and fight again. As they say, Orkz wuz made for foitin' an' winnin'!. One could actually argue that the Orks are the least evil of all of the factions.
- There are some heroes — look at Ibram Gaunt, a humane badass. Who dresses in a pseudo-Nazi uniform decorated with skulls.
- It is very tricky applying this to the verse because of the sheer level of Alternate Character Interpretation and Unreliable Narrators. The three factions that can in no sense be considered even halfway sympathetic, however, fit this trope like above. Besides the bugs, robots and Super Soldier destroyers and their wiping-planets-completely-free-of-life antics, we have the Dark Eldar, with black, spike-covered equipment and units named after demons. Torture and treachery are their favorite pastimes. They eat souls. Their actions created an Eldritch Abomination of Squick that wiped out most of their race, and they kept on with business as usual.
- Black and Gray Morality doesn't help either. Many characters would be Obviously Evil if it weren't for their opponents being Eviler Than Thou.
- Most demons in Dungeons & Dragons. Consider Orcus, the Demon Prince of the Undead, who is a gigantic, bat-winged, goat-headed, grotesquely obese monstrosity who carries a wand with a skull on top. Yeah, trustworthy, that guy.
- The Coalition States in Rifts is The Imperium of Man Lite version; a collection of xenophobic humans with aggressive intentions, a hatred of anything non-human or magic-using, with armies of fanatical soldiers, genetically engineered dog-men and robot soldiers for the purpose of reconquering North America. Oh, and all their armors, ships and robots have skull and bones for decoration, earning them the nickname "Deadboys".
- Agarest Senki: There is the outstanding example of Giganda. The minute you see him, he displays a lot of evil tropes. Black Eyes of Crazy, the dark armor of a Black Knight, always going on about "the Plan", and generally looking very different than his fellow Larva.
- Baten Kaitos: Wiseman is an almost comically exaggerated example. Let's see... completely inhuman voice, always talks about 'the power of human hearts', and this◊ is his character portrait.
- Battalion Wars: The Xylvanians.
- BlazBlue: Hazama might not be the most triumphant example of this trope, simply because he comes across as such a snazzy lookin' smooth criminal at first glance, but once you see his Eyes of Gold or Psychotic Smirk you just know he's up to no good. In the sequel he stops pretending to be one of the good guys and instead throws himself head first into complete immorality and gleefully revels in depravity. It doesn't get the least bit better when you realize that "Hazama" roughly translates to "otherworldly", he has a prominent snake motif and has a shady but gentlemanly demanour. "Hazama" is also merely one of his many nefarious nicknames, the others including such endearing aliases as "Black Susano'o", "The True Evil" and his Phase 1 body is named "Kazuma Kvar". However, his true name, "Yuuki Terumi", is a fairly safe ("Yuuki" means "courage")... until you realize that before he became known as "Satan", God's right hand angel went under the name "Lucifer", which meant "Lightbringer"... So yeah, there you have it folks; Hazama is none other than the BB verse's own take on Evil Incarnate.
- This video game company is known to play a lot with this trope:
- The Orcs and their Horde from WarCraft played this trope straight in the first game and more in the second, but eventually subverted it starting with Warcraft III, where it was revealed they had been corrupted by the Demons (who play this trope very straight), and were actually a decently neutral species before that. They ends up freeing themselves from the Demons' corruption and helped the Humans' Alliance to defeat the Demons. Ironically, by World of Warcraft, they have come to appear more sympathetic than the humans, due to the Alliance's recent Kick the Dog moments.
- Consider the Pit Lord, a neutral (mercenary) hero from the expansion: a huge reptilian centaur-like demon with a giant spear, bat wings and More Teeth than the Osmond Family, with names like Destromath, Malvengeroth and Brutillus. And lines including "This will please me!"and "To the slaughter" (when told to attack), "I come from the darkness of the pit", "I go to destroy!", "Tremble before me!" and various rumbles and roars.
- The buglike Zerg from StarCraft: dark colours, bug-like and monstrous. In a game where almost everything is Grey and Gray Morality, the zerg are clearly far more on the dark end of the spectrum.
- In a similar vein, The Undead in Warcraft III, though a small faction ended up joining the Horde and as such became "good" guys... though their clear position remains complicated.
- While Diablo plays this trope straight with most of the antagonists, who are almost all blood-thirsty, cannibalistic, Always Chaotic Evil demons, it includes some aversions.
- Zoltan Kulle, who is voiced by Steve Blum at his hammiest, and will pull an Evil Laugh every time he teleports out (which is fairly often).
- City of Heroes:
- The Darkness: The Darkness 2 has Brother Victor, a heavily scarred, subhuman-looking Evil Cripple. Lampshaded repeatedly by other characters; one describes him as looking like "Nosferatu on crack".
- Dark Souls: Lautrec of Carim likes to end his ominously voiced chats with sinister laughter. Also, like his spiritual predecessor Yurt from Demon's Souls, he wields a nasty assassin's weapon. He ends up killing the Firelink Fire Keeper Anastacia requiring you to hunt him down to get her soul back.
- Demons Souls: The NPCs Yurt the Silent Chief, Miralda the Executioner and Mephistopheles. Yurt has his deep, menacing voice, his black, Sauron-like armor and a sickle described to be an assassination weapon. Miralda has a hood that wraps around her skull and a guillotine axe. And Mephistopheles has all-black clothing and what looks like a Guy Fawkes mask. That's not getting into when you actually meet them closer, with Yurt killing people in the Nexus, or Mephistopheles getting you to do it and backstabbing you later. Miralda just attacks you.
- Disgaea: Vulcanus. This gets lampshaded like crazy, especially in the remake with the Prinny Commentary on. Even if they the characters didn't lampshade it, you would be able to tell that he is obviously evil. I mean, just look at him...
- Doom 3: Dr. Betruger. It's not enough that he's a disfigured obviously insane scientist. It's not enough that he has a sinister voice to accompany that. No, he has to have a name that gives it out. "Betrüger" is German for "betrayer", so...guess what he ends up doing in the game?
- Dragon Age II: The Lyrium Idol starts glowing red the moment it is picked up and turns out to be an Artifact of Doom that drives people mad and when reforged turns into a BFS that glows and sounds rather like a red lightsaber.
- Dragon Age: Origins: The Darkspawn are Always Chaotic Evil until Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening and look the part. Also, what tipped you off that Loghain was evil? The sinister music that started when he showed up, the Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette appearance, or the black armor with Shoulders of Doom?
- Dragon Quest: Large amount of villains in this series are obviously evil, especially Zenitha trilogy remakes and Dragon Quest VII, where villains are oversized monsters with no resemblance of human. Dhoulmagus from Dragon Quest VIII are very much Kefka clone by appearance.
- Dungeon Keeper and Evil Genius: Playing one of these is the point of these games. The former covers the red-and-horns-and-skulls variety; the latter the secret volcano lair with totem-pole sentry guns. It's actually a strong strategy in Evil Genius to keep the piranha tanks and sawblades tucked away as a last resort defence for your most vital rooms, as secret agents entering your base only to find nothing but entirely un-sinister soup kitchens will just wander off bored to seek out something more perilous. (Oddly, the cackling megalomaniac executing unfortunate minions in the corridors is oft ignored entirely.)
- Dynasty Warriors: Dong Zhuo, who viewed honour as an outdated custom, duty as useless and he only cares about his gold, women, and land. He is fat, has a diabolical Evil Laugh, has a sword that has shark teeth along the blade and is heavily armored and is generally difficult to defeat. In more than a few games, he even says, "If I can fulfill my ambitions, I can burn down a capital city... or two... OR THREE!!" In Real Life, he might just be even worse.
- Eien no Filena (which translates to "Eternal Filena"): This SNES JRPG falls headlong into this. The Evil Empire has no redeeming qualities, and there exists not a single second of any of the bad guys being even Affably Evil.
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: The only way Ancano could be any more obvious would be if lightning struck every time you initiated conversation with him. Even in the game, no one trusts him and with good reason, because he's openly a member of the resident nazi-elves, he's a massive jerk and he does everything in a very suspicious manner.
- Mannimarco from Daggerfall is a mysterious hooded figure (All you can see of his face are creepy glowing eyes) who lives in a cavern underneath a crypt, and has undead guards, while making deals for power and is one of the most powerful/intimidating necromancers Tamriel has ever known. Though this is downplayed in Oblivion in which his mortal form note retains almost none of the intimidation.
- Fable III: King Logan is easily the most evil appearing person in the game. It later turns out he's simply being Necessary Evil in order to raise enough money to fund his armies to combat the game's true villain, The Crawler. And as you can probably imagine, that thing fits this trope much better than Logan does.
- Fallout 3:
- "President" John Henry Eden. His accent is suspiciously British (because his voice actor is ALEX THE DROOG). It sounds extremely sinister, and his messages about the Enclave have the undertone of "If you get in our way, you'll be zapped with laser rifles."
- On top of that, if you played Fallout 2 before Fallout 3 then you already have experience with the Enclave and how they really behave.
- Final Fantasy:
- There are many villains in this series that clearly look evil at first sight, but none other take the cake than Exdeath from Final Fantasy V. Lets see here....He's a tree made up of countless evil souls in the form of a Tin Tyrant, complete with Spikes of Villainy, Shoulders of Doom, and an Evil Laugh. His castle is made of the bodies of people he didn't like, his Leitmotif features Psycho Strings, and his every line announces his diabolical evilness. Concept art◊ has him swirling something like A Glass of Chianti, but eviller (you can tell because chianti doesn't give off poison fumes or come in that color). His name is Exdeath for crying out loud!
- Take a peak underneath the armor and add some more horror to that flame.◊
- Final Fantasy IV's Golbez. Another Tin Tyrant, a big, booming voice, named after a mythological poisonous fly, and has placed a personal hand in destroying half the known world. He's very obviously an evil guy except he is not; he is being manipulated by a Bigger Bad into scouring the planet in preparation of an alien invasion. He redeems himself in the sequel.
- Seymour from Final Fantasy X never hides the fact he's the villain. While not looking particularly villain-like, he speaks and acts incredibly creepy making it impossible to believe he's a good character for a second. And it doesn't help that his trademark summon is a gigantic mummified corpse. Interestingly, Tidus catches on to this immediately upon meeting him, while the Yevon-worshiping members of the party are too star-struck by the fact that he's a Maester to notice. This gets referenced during the party's first battle against him.
- Fire Emblem: Shin Ankoku Ryu (Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, the Updated Re-release of the first game):
- Garnef/Gharnef. In the original, he was simply a Black Cloak. But in the remake he has a hunchback, Pointy Ears glowing yellow eyes,clawed hands and pale, seemingly rotting skin. His new artwork speaks for itself.◊
- Ashnard, King of Daein. Dark costume? Check. Spikes of Villainy? Check. Evil grin? Check. No redeeming qualities whatsoever? Check. Big black dragon to ride around on? Check and mate. The last one's a subversion though.
- His mount Rajaion was a member of the Laguz dragon tribe, a sentient creature that he enslaved and drove mad to use as a weapon, a process that eventually resulted in Rajaion's death... leaving behind a grieving widow and a child he never got to meet. So I guess you could say that Ashnard subverts the trope by appearing extremely evil... and then actually being more evil than he looks. And that's not counting what he did to Almedha and Soren.
- Izuka looks like Wormtongue from Lord of the Rings.
- Validar is similar to Ashnard in that he does his best to make sure everyone knows he's a villain. His design includes long black robes, long and pointy nails, unnaturally grey skin, red eyes, an absurdly low neckline, and a goatee. Other similarities include trying to release a dark god and being a terrible father.
- In fact, Fire Emblem is full clock of obviously evil. Either they are horrendously ugly bandits, old and fat commanders, maniacs for hire, sinister looking magicians, dudes and gals with a smirkish smile, or overly Bishōnen Magnificent Bastards who intentionally wear either black or white robes and evil make-ups.
- Halo: "I? I am a monument to all your sins." Also, his name is Gravemind and he's made of dead bodies. Who do you think he leads?
- From Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep comes Master Xehanort. He's bald, has golden eyes, a silver goatee, wears a Black Cloak, walks around hunched over with his hands clasping behind his back, the only smile he knows how to give is a Psychotic Smirk, and his Keyblade◊ is adorned with Spikes of Villainy, demonic wings, and a horned face. Yet the heroes are all shocked when he turns out to be the villain, and one even trusts him as a mentor. This twist is strictly in-universe, the game makes it obvious to the player that he's evil in the opening cutscenes, when he sabotages the Mark of Mastery exam with dark powers and directly says to The Dragon he's just putting on an act to fly under the radar for now. The CG trailer for Birth By Sleep in the secret ending of Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix+ foreshadows Xehanort's battle with the three heroes. In the trailer there's no dialogue, no subtitles, you've never seen any of these characters before, and there is absolutely no context for this scene at all. It's still perfectly obvious who the villain in the confrontation is.
- Knights of the Old Republic:
- All of the Sith in this game and the sequel are pretty disturbing-looking (except for maybe Visas and Darth Bandon). The shot with Malak without his mechanical collar? Darth Nihilus, whose Black Speech is so evil it doesn't get subtitles?
- In the sequel, barely anyone reacts to the revelation that Kreia is a Sith, since they never trusted her in the first place.
- The MMO spinoff Star Wars: The Old Republic generally uses the same aesthetic for the Sith, made even better with the decent chance that the Sith in question is a Pureblood Sith, who have red skin and horned faces.
- The Sith Inquisitor storyline has an unusual example in Lord Zash, who is polite, friendly, and helpful to the Player Character, which stands out among the majority of NPCs that enjoy reminding you of your low status. Thing is, this behavior is so out of character for a Sith Lord that everyone and your grandfather thinks she's up to something. As it turns out she intends to kill and posses you, so their fears were justified.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- Most villains, especially Ganondorf and Vaati. Ganon calls himself the King of Evil and Prince of Thieves, plays the Ominous Pipe Organ and altogether should set off alarm bells for miles around. Vaati is already suspicious in 'human' form, let alone when he's in the standard One-Winged Angel form involving a gigantic eye and bat wings.
- Agahnim◊ from A Link to the Past trips pretty much every Untrustworthy Bastard alarm at first glance, yet is trusted enough by the royal family to get into a position where he can mentally dominate the entire palace guard and army and murder the king. In the international versions of the game he's a wizard which he could possibly pass as, while in the Japanese version he's a priest!
- And Chancellor Cole from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Never trust a villain who looks like a leprechaun, wears two top hats at once, has inverted eye colour and a Slasher Smile with More Teeth than the Osmond Family, of the shark-like variety.
- Hilariously, in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Ganondorf starts out as a member of the Gerudo who pledges to serve the King. Zelda is the only one before Link shows up who realizes that Ganondorf is evil and tries to tell her father, who doesn't believe her. On the other hand, the series does subvert it in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess with Zant. While he was desperate to rule the Twili kingdom, the royal family actually did notice the greed and insanity that consumed him (granted it was rather difficult to miss) and passed over him as ruler, instead giving the title to Midna. He just decided to serve Ganondorf and took the throne anyway...
- Inverted Trope in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Batreaux is a demon and looks evil, but he's actually a nice guy.
- It doesn't help that he had supposedly kidnapped a little girl (who was actually staying at his place overnight because it's dangerous at night), who was screaming at the top of her lungs as you approach his house (playing a "scream as loud as you can game", what else?), and the fact you enter in to find him standing directly above her menacingly (all part of the game).
- The game does play it straight however, with its Big Bad Ghirahim who is a bizarre but none the less Ax-Crazy narcissist, and Bigger Bad Demise, whose true form is 10 foot expy of Akuma with flashing hair, pitch black skin, a muscle build that makes steroid abusers look slim, and an evil looking version of the Master Sword.
- Yuga in The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is this. After all, he's a creepy magician style character who looks a lot like Ganondorf's Distaff Counterpart, so it shouldn't surprise absolutely anyone that he's one of the main villains of the game.
- LittleBigPlanet: The Negativitron from Little Big Planet 2. Eldritch Abomination? Check. Tons of purple and black? Check. Four Hellish Pupils? Check. Fanged mouth and Devil-style horns? Check. Alternates between an Evil Laugh and Mighty Roar? Double Check.
- Lunar: Ghaleon of the series is an obvious Card-Carrying Villain. He has White Hair, Black Heart and red, slanted, evil-looking eyes. His voice itself should clue you in that he's evil seeing as he speaks in borderline Creepy Monotone. Still, the main character doesn't figure it out until he does an Evil Costume Switch, kills the White Dragon (or in the case of the Saturn / PSX version, captured and used as fuel for the Grindery. Yeah, a worse fate) and kidnaps Luna. It's a Subverted Trope later, when he does a Heel-Face Turn to stop the Big Bad of the second game.
- Mass Effect 1:
- Saren Arterius... more cybernetic parts than is necessary? Check. Chalk-white scale plates as opposed to the usual Turian gray? Check. Cold blue glowing cybernetic eyes? Check. More spiky-faced than you usual Turian? Check. Barefaced?note . Yep... In fact, his one arms is a Geth arm (the enemies of the first game).
- According to Word of God, Saren was intended to have a 'normal' model for most of the game, with the existing model only used after Sovereign implants him with cybernetic devices to reduce his doubts. It's somewhat odd for Shepard to react so strongly to how Saren has changed, when he hasn't visibly changed at all.
- Subverted by Nihlus, who had skull-like face paint and a less-than pleasant name. However he serves as The Obi-Wan and a friend of Anderson... For about less than an hour into the game.
- Mega Man Battle Network:
- In this series, Dark Chips (evil battlechips which slowly corrupt your Navi and sap your hit points if you use them) truly look evil, with glowing purple icons and scary-sounding, robotic descriptions such as "USE LARGE SWORD AND SLICE".
- Dr. Regal takes this to ridiculous levels in his introduction. Beard of Evil? Check. Monocle? Check. Extremely polite? Check. Smug Grin? Check. Mentioned as being from "Nation Z, the infamous military country"? Check.
- Dr Weil anyone? A cyborg with visible metal extensions in his flesh, a Beard of Evil. Oh, and he more or less shows that he's D r W e il.
- In Mega Man Star Force, we have Mr. King, who is certainly known around the world as a famous philanthropist, the game wastes absolutely no time revealing that, yes, he is the Big Bad.
- Metal Gear Solid: The Grey and Gray Morality makes it difficult to find any truly evil characters in the entire series. But then you get Psycho Mantis and Vamp, who really leave no trace of doubt that they need killing, and soon. Psycho Mantis has almost white skin and always walks around in tight black leather with an SS-Longcoat and a freaking gas mask. Vamp is also extremely pale, but has a Beard of Evil, an eastern European accent, and also wears a Badass Longcoat, but shirtless. His first appearance is slaughtering a Navy SEAL team single handedly with knives and drinking the blood of his victims. And he loves licking blood from his knife (he was the one from the page picture).
- Mortal Kombat: Has a number of characters who qualify, but the most prominent example is Evil Overlord Shao Kahn, ruler of the Death World Outworld. Skull helmet, copious Spikes of Villainy and a grim throne to sit upon. He towers over all other characters and verbally abuses anyone, who would dare to challenge him. Noob Saibot is another such type; a being of pure shadow spawned from the depths of hell after years of taint and death corrupted the soul of Elder Sub-Zero/Bi-Han.
- My Sims: Morcubus from this series. Aside from having a Name to Run Away From Really Fast, he carries a very prominent Beard of Evil, and in your first case of the Wii version of MySims Agents, he claims that his (it's really Poppy's) dog's name is "Killfang".
- Neverwinter Nights:
- Examine some of the villains closely. Could you see any of them (except maybe Desther, the actually effective mole or Maugrim, who doesn't really look evil, he is just insane) as good guys? The half-demon elf? The white dragon? The black-skinned white-haired almost nude drow queen (though she does get some help on that front by being the villain of an arc where your closest allies, who are mostly good guys, are also black-skinned white-haired drow)? The giant red guy with the trident, goatee, and horns?
- Desther, convincing? The same Desther that spends all his screentime up to The Reveal viciously badmouthing you and Aribeth and downplaying the plague's threat? The same Desther whose Helmites give out "blessings" that give an ominous red glow? The same Desther who instantly becomes defensive and dismissive every time you hand Fenthwick evidence of the Cult's existence (which you can point out if your Wisdom is high enough)?
- Overlord: The title character is a Tin Tyrant who usually starts out equipped with a battleaxe and commands a legion of Chaotic Stupid minions (albeit ones that are Ugly Cute).
- Phantasmagoria 2: Paul Allen Warner, which Spoony takes great pleasure in mocking ("I heard that, Curtis") during his Let's Play of the game.
- Pokémon Black and White: Ghetsis is extremely obvious. From running an gang (remember, in the Japanese versions of the games they call them 'Gangs' not 'Teams'), to nearly letting slip his true goals in casual conversation, to dressing like well, the guy wears a robe with eye balls on it. Not to mention the red scouter type thing on his right eye (might as well be an eye patch). And yet, people oddly enough, actually listen to him. One of the best parts of the game is when Cheren (one of the main character's rivals and one of the smarter characters in the games) is shocked when Ghetsis turns out to be evil!
- For Pokémon X and Y, you have Team Flare's Big Bad Lysandre. He's not revealed to be the villain until later. The hair and clothes are Red and Black and Evil All Over, which are Team Flare's colors, the he waxes philosophically about beauty, and his theme song that plays while you and him talk is ominous, to say the least. Later on, it's shown that the cafe that he owns is, in fact, Team Flare's favorite hangout. It's so painfully obvious, the players were surprised to know it was (supposed to be) a secret. If his comment about "replacing old filth with new filth" in his Coumarine Holo Caster message to you doesn't set off alarms, you may be genre blind. Hell, the only reason there's any ambiguity over his status as the Big Bad is that Az is an MORE sinister looking person who's behavior practically screams that he's some sort of Man Behind the Man, except he's not. Az is actually an Atoner who is wholly against Team Flare's agenda.
- Subverted with Darkrai in the main series, a Pokemon which is one of the most evil looking Pokemon you can find, and puts anyone who comes across it into eternal nightmares which can only by cured by Cresselia. The nightmares it gives are an involuntary defense mechanism, and it honestly means no harm.
- Pokemon Mystery Dungeon:
- Zig-Zagging Trope in this series. While some evil-looking Pokemon (Generally Ghost, Poison, and Dark types) do end up being villains, just as many are neutral or good.
- Rescue Team plays it straight with Gengar, a red eyed, purple, spiky, and perpetually grinning Ghost type. Most would immediately assume that he's no good the moment he makes his first appearance and he proceeds to back it up moments later. He ends up becoming a Jerk with a Heart of Gold after some sobering experiences, though.
- Explorers has Dusknoir, who looks like a one-eyed Grim Reaper. While he tries to pass himself off as good initially, he makes a very dubious remark shortly after his introduction that will immediately make most players call his true intentions into question, and sure enough, he ends up being a bad guy. He ultimately repents by helping to save the world in Sky, however. Later on, it introduces Darkrai, who looks a living shadow; appropriately evil for the deeds he commits in the story, such as nearly plunging the world into eternal darkness, and trying to convince you and your partner to commit suicide.
- There's also Team Skull, whose ranks consist of Koffing, Zubat, and Skuntank; all of them purple, and overall not looking like the first bunch of Pokemon you should be trusting (Which of course, some characters do end up doing...). On the other hand, there's Team AWD, consisting of Arbok, Weavile, and Drapion; all black and/or purple and all of them based on animals with rather unsavory reputations. However, despite being made out to be evil on Explorers of Time's boxart, they're neutral at worse, simply providing you with advice in all of the games, and being mistaken for bad guys in Sky due to a lie.
- Gates To Infinity has Kyurem, whose soulless yellow eyes don't exactly scream "good guy" and while initially not seeming that villainous otherwise, he makes a suspicious remark like Dusknoir that makes it very clear that he's hiding something. Even more evil looking is Hydreigon, who's got plenty of black and red on him along with Black Eyes of Crazy, and he cements the evilness by attacking Munna in the game's opening. Except it later turns out that the scene was an illusion and that it wouldn't be a stretch to say that he's actually the nicest guy in the world. Then there's Cofagrigus, who despite being a red eyed, animated sarcophagus with a sinister smile, is merely a friendly, but creepy collector of gold bars.
- Resident Evil: Was it really surprising that the man wearing all black, sunglasses indoors, and mysteriously disappears at the beginning of the game would turn out to be the villain? Not to mention his very flawed excuse the only other time you meet him over the course of the game. What's worse is that Jill actually seems to trust Wesker over Barry during the residence meeting. In Chris's story, Wesker does do Barry's job of providing occasional off-screen assistance so you could almost excuse him for trusting Wesker. Almost.
- Lisa Trevor, is a subversion. While being a hulking mutated berserker, is a tragic victim, who was kidnapped by Umbrella note and heavily mutated on, with almost every virus known in the series before the fourth game. She kills everything in sight, but that was because the experiments drove her feral, killing any humanity she had left, except for her determination to be reunited with her mother whom she thinks is still alive.
- Return To Krondor: Bear, for starters. The head scribe for the jail, due to his shrill voice that sounds like a talking weasel and a Villainous Widow's Peak. Journeyman Jorath, due to his oily voice, and his politically incorrect, racist attitudes toward Keshians, and a Villainous Widow's Peak. The necromancer leader Sidi, although he certainly did an impressive job sounding calm and normal at one point.
- Re VOLUTION: The Corporation has a logo resembling a big, evil-looking winged skull (death's-head). It also has posters saying "Power And Control," as well as "The Corporation Is The Sun Of Your New Life!" plastered all over the place.
- Rival Schools: Raizo Imawano, the principal of Justice High School, has huge stature, anevil monocle, and his fingernails sharpened into claws... but all evil acts he commits are a result of brainwashing.
- RuneScape: Lucien is a hunchback with a black robe complete with a face-hiding hood in human form. In real form, he has a skull for a face, flings black magical skulls as attacks and black smoke come off him continuously.
- Samurai Warriors:
- Oda Nobunaga has a Beard of Evil, a black and red ragged cape, and a black sword with a purple, glowing aura. Considering that everyone else is fairly normal, with a regular weapon, he stands out a little bit. But then, he's designed to be an Anti-Hero, Magnificent Bastard or Jerk with a Heart of Gold, so this Nobunaga is at least much safer than...
- The Sengoku Basara version of Nobunaga, both game and the anime version. Spikes of Villainy? Check. Beard of Evil? Check. Well-known villain voice actor? Norio Wakamoto, double check. Makes speeches about opening portals to Hell on Earth and refers to himself as the Demon King? Check. Dramatic Thunder and Ominous Latin Chanting whenever he makes a public appearance? Oh, you better believe check. And just to make absolutely sure anyone who sees him knows that he's a Card-Carrying Villain, he drinks sake out of a human skull. While sitting on a throne decorated with skulls. Which is itself seated on a giant pile of human skulls.
- His second-in-command, Akechi Mitsuhide, is almost as bad. He's Lean and Mean, with White Hair, Black Heart and purple lipstick, wears bondage gear, wields a Sinister Scythe and uses food-related metaphors concerning all his atrocities. Mitsuhide successfully pulled a Kefka on Nobunaga in Real Life, and the series doesn't even bother to try to hide it. For the record, the anime incarnation is less than successful.
- Section 8: Prejudice: Salvador. A bald, ugly blue-skinned giant wearing blood red armour... Who would have guessed?
- Sonic the Hedgehog (2006): The villain of this game. He introduces himself as Mephiles The Dark. When asked about himself, he falls silent and changes the subject. He looks like an evil twin of Shadow the Hedgehog (who himself already looks like an evil twin of Sonic the Hedgehog). It's almost mind-boggling that Silver didn't realize Mephiles was a bad guy the very first time they met. He moves like a puppet, has soulless, feral eyes, and NO MOUTH (yet his face moves when he talks). And that's when he is a Shadow doppelganger, to say nothing of his powered up form, which is crystal-like, emits blue flames, and has red scleras with green glowing cat irises. And is voiced by Dan Green. On top of that, his name is a corruption of Mephistopheles
- Black Doom in Shadow the Hedgehog. He is gigantic, has nearly godlike powers, is the head of an empire in space, has an ultra deep voice, can detach an eye from himself to observe things in detail and to accompany allies, desires total power and control, has a near infinite army of bloodthirsty monsters, and is named Black Doom. For some reason, Professor Gerald Robotnik, himself a good man at the time he met Black Doom, thought that helping Doom get the Chaos Emeralds was a good idea.
- The Deadly Six in Sonic Lost World. The name says it all, but their leader, Zavok, is the biggest example as he's red and black, has Evil Eyebrows and is almost a Bowser expy.
- Soul Series (Soul Calibur): Nightmare: full dark blue armor, glowing red eyes, a BFS that stares back and a 'funny' right arm. The third and fourth iterations added in a giant fanged mouth on his chest in case any players were unclear on it.
- Street Fighter:
- M. Bison. Let's just say a guy who wears a red Nazi uniform, has a near-constant Slasher Smile and calls his power "Psycho Power" probably isn't going for subtlety.
- We also have the even more evil-looking Akuma, who ironically is less evil than Bison, that always looks royally pissed off, wears black and a has blood red symbol for heaven on the back of his shirt and has blood red hair.
- Super Mario Bros.:
- Bowser, at least when not go-karting with his foes. Evil Laugh? Check. Boasting? Check. Plans for world domination? And beyond. He's also a giant monster with red eyes and spikes, which helps.
- Wario and Waluigi. Their physical features are exaggerations of the Mario Bros´s bodies, and their personalities are also counterparts. Wario is a Fat Bastard who subverts this trope a slight bit because he is an anti-hero, even if a Sociopathic Hero. Waluigi sports (sometimes) purple glowing eyes and is just as twisted as Wario, but instead of being an sociopathic anti-hero like Wario, he is a tragic anti-villain
- The RPG villains before Super Paper Mario (and after, with Mario and Luigi 3) are the same way, boasting about their evilness, trying very obviously evil plans and saying 'I am evil' in every last word. Wario Land and Donkey Kong Country are the same way.
- Antasma from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. Seriously, just look at his official art◊. He even looks like a living nightmare!
- Out of all the ghosts in Luigis Mansion and its sequel, the two that are most obviously this are Bogmire and King Boo himself. The former doesn't even look remotely humanoid, appearing as a living shadow in the form of some sort of nightmare monster, the latter is well, King Boo, with glowing eyes of doom and an appearance in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon which looks creepy as hell, especially in Treacherous Mansion.
- Supreme Commander: Inverted Trope with the Cybran nation, whose units all have a red and black color scheme similar to Nod and have a spiky insect like appearance or anything done that makes units in an RTS look more menacing, are overall the nice guys of the game's factions compared to the "ends justify the means" UEF and the genocidal Aeon (they're so extreme they make the UEF's extreme actions seem rational).
- Tales of Xillia 2: Redau. He's got black hair, a red and black suit, narrow yellow eyes, and a devious smirk and voice that make it obvious he's a Smug Snake. He proves it a few minutes after you meet him by blackmailing Ludger.
- Zettai Hero Kaizou Keikaku Darkdeath: Really, how evil can you be if your name is 'Evilman?! Subverted. He's not as evil as he initially seems.
- Josef Capek in Shikkoku No Sharnoth. However, he turns out to be more sympathetic than he appears. He's simply not entirely sane anymore and hasn't been sleeping for months. ...Somehow.
- Zouken Matou from Fate/stay night. He looks like some sort of deformed little troll man and has jetblack eyes. Plus he manages to talk in a sinister fashion all the time - despite not having any audible clues - even before you realize that he is not the world's friendliest, cheeriest grandfather. The rest of the cast averts (Medea) and subverts (Berserker) this though.
- Ace Attorney has Manfred Von Karma, a terrifying guy with a booming voice, who even Miles "Demon Persecutor" Edgeworth considers ruthless. It's quickly made clear that he is not above forging evidence and using underhand tactics to get what he wants (like hiding incriminating evidence, and tasering Phoenix and Maya to steal the evidence they'd acquired), and values a flawless record over putting the truly guilty in prison. It probably doesn't come as a surprise to many when it's revealed that he was the one who killed Gregory Edgeworth, for proving he used false evidence and thus putting a mark on his perfect record.
- In Trials and Tribulations, Pheonix and Maya meet Furio Tigre. Who looks like Phoenix, except his skin is pure red, has scars over one eye and much spikier hair. Guess who the murderer was...
- In Virtue's Last Reward, Dio is so repugnant that the reveal that he's actually a terrorist who has planted bombs all over the warehouse is... actually very surprising since it's so unsurprising.
- Despite the fact that Hatoful Boyfriend displays everyone as birds (not counting the few second pseudo-human visual of their human appearance), it's easy to tell that Doctor Shuu is not a good guy. Not because everybody tells the player over and over that he is evil. But Shuu is a partridge bird, definitely a lot more on the chubby side than the rest of the cast.
- Dominic Deegan has a bit of Double Subversion going on with this trope. While some villains have always very specifically employed this (e.g., the blind Infernomancer), others start out as more grey entities that, provided they can't be reformed by the main cast, will eventually embrace this trope.
- Evil Chancellor Magon from this Sluggy Freelance strip would set off plenty of evil alarms even if he didn't stab a friend in the back in his first appearance.
- Inverted in the Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal strip here, and subverted here.
- The Order of the Stick: Xykon is a lich of the 'fully decayed to a skeleton state' variety, complete with evil red eyes and a badass crown.
- Sirleck of El Goonish Shive is introduced with his speech bubbles having wavy outlines and white on black lettering. Dan lampshades his Obvious Evilness in the commentary
- The Private Villa of Corrupted Citizens in Sonichu. Membership is completely voluntary.
- Darths & Droids: The player Jim, being Wrong Genre Savvy, stays convinced the entire Prelogie that Sio "Bubble", The Good Chancellor, is the Diabolical Mastermind behind everything, because of his goatee. While playing as Qui-Gon Jinn.
- Wizard School features a race of villains with spikes, tusks, horns, etc. Even the Genre Blind protagonist can work out that the faculty member who stole the priceless artifact is probably the one with fangs, cackling and muttering "You fools!"
- Take a look at Her Imperious Condescension and Lord English from Homestuck and tell me they're good guys.
- Samurai Jack's enemy Aku, the Shapeshifting Master of Darkness, is about as obviously evil as they come. He's got natural spikes on his shoulders and elbows, an Evil Laugh, he's as hammy as they come, and to top it all off, his eyebrows are made of fire!
- King Koopa and the Koopa Pack in The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, due to its pastiche nature, offered most genres' worth of Obviously Evil design. Because it's a comedic show, though, the lowest mooks are occasionally given Affably Evil moments when they think nobody is looking.
- The basis of Captain Planet. The producers obviously believed that kids wouldn't be able to tell Exxon apart from Ecover, so they portrayed villain like this. Hoggish Greedly had a pig-face, Verminous Skumm looked like some kind of human/rat hybrid, Sly Sludge was short, fat, greasy, and overall unattractive, and Duke Nukem was made of some kind of glowing yellow bricks.
- Averted by Looten Plunder, who is proportionate and in good shape, if not downright good looking. Subverted by Dr. Blight, who other than the scarred half of her face, is a rather attractive woman. Zarm is a less-obvious example.
- Family Guy once had a cigarette company taking over Peter's factory. They were pictured very true to the trope.
- South Park had some fun and reversed the standard roles, so the cigarette factory workers were a friendly bunch with no negative ambitions, while Rob Reiner's anti-tobacco activist group was Obviously Evil behind closed doors.
- ReBoot manages to play this straight, subvert, invert, and lampshade this trope with the strange tolerance Mainframe and its guardian Bob gives towards viruses. In the world of computers, viruses can't help but obey their evil programming, which is why Bob doesn't like killing them, but wishes to reprogram them. But the two viral strains in Mainframe are far too powerful for Bob to ever capture or control, and he won't call for help, so the city endures two years of chaos before it goes too far (and THAT'S before the series starts).
- Played Straight: Megabyte and Hexadecimal are destructive and look the part. Megs is in all secondary colors (and looks suspiciously like Apocalypse), Hex is red and black and both are riddled with Spikes of Villainy, talons and sharp teeth. Bob really hopes to convert these two... Somehow... Both manage Affably Evil moments, but Megabyte's are just moments where there wasn't anything evil to do and Hexadecimal seems to get the excuse that she is mentally unstable and her Heel-Face Turn was more Bob really, really wanting to convert her than her deciding to do good.
- Inverted: The series biggest Big Bad was a French-accented, brightly colored ingenue supervirus who's based off Joan of Arc.
- Lampshaded: "Maybe it's a benign virus..." The virus is ten feet tall, clawed and red-and-secondary-colored. "Oh, yeah! You can tell by looking at it!"
- Subverted: When Megabyte's brainwashed mooks go from secondary colors to normal, this is usually the cue that they are no longer evil. Not so, at all.
- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) Skeletor: The man has a naked skull for a head, people, the color scheme and creepy HQ are flat out redundant.
- Subverted in the 2002 show with the Speleans, a species of evil looking bat people that are actually quite friendly.
- In a flashback in the direct-to-DVD movie Barbie & The Diamond Castle, three muses are shown. One is dressed in a simple blue tunic◊, another in a royal purple tunic◊, and the third has an elaborate costume in muted shades of purple and red, with dark eyeshadow◊. Yeah, guess which one turns evil.
- Averted in the picture book, where Lydia is shown wearing a white tunic◊ in the flashback.
- Trigon the Terrible from Teen Titans. Not that he can help it, though, as he's a red, four-eyed demon the size of a skyscraper who doesn't care about labels pitiful mortals might give him. The Brotherhood of Evil, on the other hand, has no excuse.
- At least the Brotherhood of Evil didn't get weird like they do in the comics.
- Subverted by Tombstone of The Spectacular Spider Man. He's an Evil Albino Scary Black Man with teeth he's apparently filed to fangs... and he's still a Villain with Good Publicity. That, folks, is the sign of a true Magnificent Bastard. If someone did say anything, he could just say the accuser was discriminating against him because of his looks. Overt prejudice isn't really the issue — the Uncanny Valley is. Tombstone is freaky-looking and is every so often outright accused of being the Big Man, but he's invested enough effort into his Villain with Good Publicity campaign that he's still accepted as a beloved pillar of the community, so much so that the police take his word over Spidey's on at least one occasion.
- The Simpsons gives an example of this concerning Mr. Burns's bid to buy Santa Little Helper's brood.
Lisa: [whispering] Mom, don't give the puppies to him, he'll be mean to them.
Marge: Hmm... she's right, Homer. There's something about his face I don't trust.
[Burns stifles an evil chuckle while looking really malevolent]
- The Agony Booth's recap of Quest for Camelot has this to say about Lord Ruber, one of Camelot's knights:
"...he's so clearly the odd one out — a brutish hulk amongst his clean-looking fellow knights — that I'm amazed he was even in the running to be a knight at all. I'm not one to the judge by appearances, mind you, but it's obvious this surly guy is bad news."
- What's more baffling about Rupert is that at the beginning of the movie, he seems to be putting no effort at all into hiding his evil nature. When he starts acting up against Arthur, the knights' remarks suggest that this is typical behavior for Rupert.
- The Critic also noted how Gary Oldman has a tendency to play Obviously Evil characters - in a previous review, the Critic continuously pointed out how clear it was that Oldman's character of Doctor Smith was evil and yet no one seemed to notice.
- The Critic also points out a couple of times in his own Quest For Camelot review that Ruber is Obviously Evil. Apart from Ruber's introduction, he also lampshades Ruber's black clothes and horse later in the review.
- But it's worth it for that downright hilarious shot at the beginning of the movie in which we get a panning shot of the Knights of the Round Table: a line of identical-looking generic men, and then one with green skin, yellow eyes, and a banana-shaped head.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes gives us Lucius Henious VII, who is red with horns. Heloise wears a blood red dress and has a scar on her forehead.
- From Thundercats, the ghastly wizened mummified warlock Mumm-Ra. Quite scary transformation, also.
- In general, Jonny Quest villains are really unsubtle in their constant dog kicking, their blatantly selfish, malevolent motives, and their choices of wardrobe and lighting. For instance, Dr. Ashida in "The Dragons of Ashida" is such an arrogantly megalomanical cackling Yellow Peril Mad Scientist that he makes the series' Big Bad, Dr. Zin, seem Affably Evil and restrained by comparison.
- Danny Phantom: Vlad Masters. Fittingly, his ghost form looks like Dracula.
- Lord Darkar, the Big Bad of the second season of Winx Club, is what he says about himself: "Fists of iron, eyes of fire, and wit as sharp as a sword." He's Chaotic Evil, his armor is based off of a skeletal phoenix, and his name suits him well as he is a being of darkness, making it a Name to Run Away From Really Fast. He's got Spikes of Villainy, an Evil Laugh, Black Eyes of Evil, Villainous Cheekbones, and dark magic. He has quite a scary transformation, too. His profile even suggests that his helmet can pull up to reveal his terrible face.
- Shows up a number of times in Adventure Time. Lampshaded a few times, such as in "Ricardio the Heart Guy" and "Wizard".
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic plays this straight with Nightmare Moon, but averts this with the arguably worse Discord.
- Also played straight with the villains of the season 2 finale, Queen Chrysalis and the changeling army, which all look like some kind of freaky horse-insect-demon hybrid, complete with monochromatic eyes, sharp fangs, and jet-black bodies. Chrysalis' obviously evil personality can also be seen in her disguise, though it doesn't help that said disguise is supposed to act like the opposite of her.
- Both of them are topped by the villain of the season 3 premiere, King Sombra, who is essentially the pony equivalent of Sauron.
- Monsuno has the Eklipse organisation; it's led by Dr Emmanuel Klipse, a Mad Scientist dressed in red and black with a Beard of Evil, a Faux Affably Evil attitude, and the Monsunos he procudes and sells are red. He is so obviously evil that even when he shows up and offers a deal to the protagonists, they are immediatly aware they shouldn't trust him.
- Played with in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Even before Mayor Jones is revealed to be the Big Bad of season one, he is clearly an amoral Jerkass, fulfilling this trope in hindsight.
- Played for Laughs in the episode "The Gathering Gloom", where Velma immediately identifies the creepy gravedigger, Count Evallo Von Meanskrieg, as the Graveyard Ghoul that's been terrorizing people, but no one believes her because it seems too obvious. This is a guy whose aptitude test actually shows he's Pure Evil, and is prone to muttering, "''(mumble mumble) evil and what-not."
Velma: Guys? Guys! You see that? He's growling at me! Actually growling.
- Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters seems to have a liking for playing with this trope. The Choten is a blonde, long-haired guy dressed costume, specialized in Water Creatures, with a rather Affably Evil attitude, while his Dragon, Alakshmi, is a dark-skinned, white-haired woman with a strong tendencies to Psychotic Smirks and trained in using Darkness Creatures, her favourite being Razorkinder Puppet. As the show goes on, it's made quite clear that the real Monster is the Choten, while Alakshmi (though not exactly nice herself) is a more sympathetic Anti-Villain.
- Who Killed Who?: As a gag, when the detective pushes a button marked 'RING BELL FOR SUSPECTS', the butler, maid, and chauffeur come in, and they all look rather sinister. It then turns out that they're actually pretty cheerful.
- In Adventure Time "The Lich" (Formally The Lich King before fear of being sued by Blizzard) there is nothing subtle at all with his appearance. (Dark hood, horns, skeletal body with flesh still hanging off) even the creator's pre-production notes state in large letters "THE LICH KING ISN'T FUNNY!"
- Completely lampshaded in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, when Buzz's best friend and closest teammate, Warp Darkmatter goes rogue and joins Emperor Zurg. When asked about his betrayal he says along the lines of 'Wasn't it obvious? My name is "Darkmatter" '