Sure it Tastes Like Diabetes
. But wait, what's that aftertaste? Cyanide
Put simply: character behavior which looks or sounds sweet but is just as hurtful and cruel as a direct attack — perhaps more.
Characters such as Magnificent Bastard
, Devil in Plain Sight
, Enfant Terrible
, Deliberately Cute Child
, Bitch in Sheep's Clothing
, and some Alpha Bitches
are all likely to pull off acts of Sugary Malice. A Wounded Gazelle Gambit
is in itself merely malicious, but the fake victim can make it sugary by for example gently "forgiving" the "abuser".
A character who is Obliviously Evil
, Totalitarian Utilitarian
, Principles Zealot
, Well-Intentioned Extremist
or similar might also pull off this kind of behaviour — sometimes without even realizing that his actions are in fact malicious. Such characters might cheerfully murder innocents, figuring that they have a good reason for doing it — maybe that the good outweighs the bad
or even that their victims are better off dead
. Or they might play Black Comedy Rape
or Romanticized Abuse
in some misguided belief that it is okay... maybe inspired by a Marital Rape License
or a Scary Amoral Religion
. However, in any case, the characters must understand that their actions are abuse or murder or whatever it is they are doing, and still actively choose to do it, otherwise it's Obliviously Evil
, not Sugary Malice
Compare Faux Affably Evil
Anime and Manga
- In Sangatsu No Lion, Kyoko is telling the stories of Rei's upcoming opponents as if she actually cares. However, her real intent is to lead Rei to his downfall out of her own interests.
- In Never Let Me Go, Ruth has a bit of this, fueled by her fear of being left alone.
- Far worse, however, is the polite kindness that the system shows its victims while pushing them down into despair and death.
- The Camp Chippewah counselors in Addams Family Values actually seem to enjoy tormenting Wednesday, Pugsley, and the other "weird" kids like this.
- It's extra disturbing given that, from their perspective, their victims are Acceptable Targets. After all, the Addams kids (and the other outcasts) CHOOSE to be weird and not fit the mold of normal! (Yes, that apparently includes people born with funny names, that have a disability, or that are simply different ethnicities. They really should try harder to just fit in with the good, properly white and preppy kids!)
- James H Schmitz's Telzey Amberdon short story "Novice". Telzey's Aunt Halet cloaked her malicious intent behind a pleasant fašade.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dolores Umbridge tortures students — but she's very polite about it, in a grandmotherly way. And just look at all those cute little kittens!
- Two short Goosebumps stories veer into this territory. The first, "Please Don't Feed The Bears," is about a girl who gets dragged to a cutesy teddy bear theme park until she realizes that the workers actually are living teddy bears and try to turn her into one as well. The second, "A Holly Jolly Holiday," is about an evil video tape that turns people into the diabetes inducing Christmas-themed heroine Susie Snowflake.
- Everybody Loves Raymond. Marie often made insulting comments to Debra while pretending to give friendly advice...though Debra increasingly began employing it as well. However, when it came to her interactions with Ray, Debra delivered the malice sugar-free.
- In the The Man From UNCLE episode "The Gazebo in the Maze Affair", the villain's wife, Edith Partridge, initially appears to be a sweet, if not-entirely-there, old lady who is oblivious to her husband's evil. It soon becomes apparent that she's pulling many of the strings, and she tortures the heroes — and gives her husband instructions on how to torture them "properly" — without ever changing her sweet manner.
- Anna in the V remake is pretty much the poster child for this. So sweet and innocent. And of course she is of peace, always. Even when she incites civil unrest, has people tortured to death and generally plots the destruction of mankind. Especially when she does those things.
- Arsenic and Old Lace centers on a certain pair of sweet old ladies who are inviting gentlemen over to drink homemade wine and then poisoning them.
- In The King of Fighters XIII, the best example is Mature. She speaks softly and in a borderline flirty way to her upcoming rivals, and it's almost immediately followed by a very aggressive quip about her wanting to see them bathed in blood after she kills them.
- Mother May-Eye from Teen Titans, a Reality Warper with a side-order of mind-control, is by far the scariest of all the villains the Titans faced (not that it's an area of great competition).
- Daemon from ReBoot, though she honestly doesn't see her actions as malicious.
- In an episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, the Gromble is sick and the substitute teacher is the lunch lady, who decides to get back at the students for all the food fights she's had to deal with over the years. She does so by making them eat human desserts, as in chocolate pudding and cupcakes, which are all poisonous to monsters. In this case, it was literally Sugary Malice.