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[[caption-width-right:244:[[Music/DollyParton Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living...]]]]
->''"There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal, kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do."''
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Like a [[HiredGuns mercenary]], but with none of the [[PsychoForHire sociopathy.]]
These are characters who have no real grudge against the heroes, but [[JustFollowingOrders are simply doing a job]] they're [[IControlMyMinionsThrough getting paid for]]. After hours, they're [[AffablyEvil totally personable Joes]] who go hang out like anyone else. Most Punch-Clock Villains are not even particularly mean. Even if they are, their defining quality is that they don't really like their job (they might even see it as a chore), are there only for the reward and they more than likely don't care even for the evil plan itself. Clear cut cases, will not be bad outside their job as it would undermine the existence of this trope.
Used to be an odd device but has become increasingly frequent due to the popularity of superhero parody, where minions are portrayed as sympathetic employees for unreasonable bosses. In addition, nearly all anime featuring a comedic villain usually has these, who are frequently cute characters.
Conversely, if played ''seriously'', the emotional detachment that the Punch-Clock Villain displays when they knowingly contribute [[MoralEventHorizon to various atrocities can be chilling]], and audiences may see them as a monster. Depending on the nature of the story this trope can make a villain either more relatable to an audience or more hateful. If they're employed in a violent capacity, they may be an ApologeticAttacker or insist that it's NothingPersonal.
Many Punch-Clock Villains may execute a HeelFaceTurn at the very, VERY end of the film, should the BigBad totally lose it.
If they'd rather PetTheDog and don't even willingly participate in any criminal activities, they might be the most innocent character on an evil side: the MinionWithAnFInEvil instead; if they got into evil because the superhero team fired them for misbehavior, they may be a HeroWithAnFInGood. People using this trope as an excuse for their crimes regardless of the truth of their claims, are JustFollowingOrders; real-world examples should go there.
Related to VillainsOutShopping and GoodAllAlong. May overlap with ChurchgoingVillain or FamilyValuesVillain. Compare ObstructiveBureaucrat. The opposite of VisionaryVillain and PsychoForHire. For the AntiHero version, see PunchClockHero. Not at all related to [[ClockKing villains who love their clocks]], or to villains who [[RingRingCRUNCH punch their clock]].
* [[PunchClockVillain/AnimatedFilms Films — Animation]]
* [[PunchClockVillain/LiveActionFilms Films — Live-Action]]