[[caption-width-right:350:[[ParanoiaFuel One of them wants to kill you]]. [[note]][[HeyItsThatGuy Probably the one]] [[UsefulNotes/VladimirPutin at the bottom.]][[/note]]]]

->''"Well, what else is there to do when life turns on you and you've retreated into some small room? You look out your window. You see people come in and out of this phone booth. The same ones every day. You make up names for them. You imagine their stories. But eventually, you get tired of imagining and follow one of them. And you hear all of his lies. And you decide that his sins should be punished. Some guy shouting into a cell phone full of self-importance isn't gonna notice me."''
-->-- '''The Caller''', ''Film/PhoneBooth''

This is when a villain doesn't look like a villain, and is even more terrifying because of it. This does not apply to particularly handsome or charming villains - that goes under EvilIsSexy. Characters following this trope look completely ordinary. You could pass them on the street and [[BeneathNotice never notice them]], let alone suspect they murdered someone just the other day.

In fantasy and science fiction shows, this is often what makes {{Mundanger}} villains so terrifying. While the normal beasties the protagonists hunt down and slay are obviously fantastic monsters that don't exist in our world, ''these'' monsters could be living right next door.

Please note: The identity of many of these villains may be part of a [[TheReveal reveal]], so please use spoilers wisely.

An EnfantTerrible is usually one of these. Contrast ObviouslyEvil and DevilInPlainSight. Compare ManchurianAgent, where they genuinely are like everyone else until triggered. Related with but not to be confused for TheyLookLikeUsNow, where previously inhuman beasties learn to pass for human. TheNondescript is when their "normalness" is taken so far that people can't even remember what they're like.

This is TruthInTelevision. [[ParanoiaFuel Who knows? Maybe one of the tropers could just be this.]]



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''{{Anime/Monster}}'': While the BigBad is [[FaceOfAnAngelMindOfADemon an exception]], the most evil and dangerous characters are often the most ordinary-looking: Hartmann and [[spoiler:Franz Bonaparta]] come to mind.
* In the "Greenback Jane" arc of ''Manga/BlackLagoon'', Jane and the protagonists are pursued by a band of bounty hunters. One of them eschews the series' ClusterFBomb style and speaks in GoshDangItToHeck terms and at face value is a wholesome, Mr. Rogers-ish guy. It turns out, he's a {{pyromaniac}} who previously torched his wife so that he could smell her flesh burn.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' villain Yoshikage Kira actively cultivates this image, making himself as nondescript as possible to disguise his SerialKiller activities.
* In ''DragonballZ'', Krillin is surprised to find that Androids 17 and 18 (immensely powerful cyborgs that caused a BadFuture in an alternate timeline) look just look like regular people you'd see walking down the street. This is justified as they were once human, although even then they both happened to be juvenile delinquents.
* The Titan Shifters in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan''. The revelation that they exist becomes a source of extreme paranoia for the military, since there is absolutely no way to detect them. [[spoiler: As of ch. 60, there are 5 known Shifters, one of which is the Main Character Eren Yeager (though even he wasn't aware of this)]].
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'', Light Yagami being the smart, charming, supposedly kindhearted honor-student son of the Chief of Police makes it difficult for many of the characters to take L's accusations seriously. L seems to be the only one who ''really'' believes that Light is Kira until very close to the series' end.
* This is a common theme in ''Anime/HellGirl''. The evil person during most episodes are often seen as ordinary or even [[VillainWithGoodPublicity respectful]] by other people, leaving the victim no choice but to summon Ai Enma (Hell Girl) for revenge, knowing they're damning their souls too.
* ''Manga/{{InuYasha}}'': Sango reflects at one point that, according to her father, the most dangerous kinds of {{youkai}} are those that can [[VoluntaryShapeshifting assume human form]].
* In ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'', Ghouls look exactly like humans and are nearly indistinguishable from them. Some humans even wonder whether they really exist, and express surprise when discovering that Ghouls look human. This is driven home when Ken Kaneki manages to score a date with a beautiful girl, and their wonderful evening ends with her trying to eat him. [[TheHunter CCG]] Investigators are trained to watch for very subtle signs someone might be a Ghoul, but even then the law restricts them from acting until they actually see a Ghoul's GameFace.
* In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', this is made quite apparent. Each arc has a different villain, who is always just one of the group beforehand. In some cases it's clear who the villain is, and in others the tension is increased by the fact that it could be anyone and no one looks like they could be it. Additionally, the ultimate villain also appears to be just like everyone, except maybe for a slight apparent fondness for the macabre.
* In ''Anime/SerialExperimentsLain'' the Knights of the Eastern Calculus, who form the current incarnation of an AncientConspiracy able to hack reality itself thanks to the BigBad, are an executive, a fat nerd and a housewife who plays videogames with her son.
* In ''Manga/BokuDakeGaInaiMachi'', the culprit behind multiple strings of child kidnappings and murders is [[spoiler:Yashiro Gaku, the charming and seemingly well-intentioned elementary school teacher]].

* Thessaly the witch in ''ComicBook/TheSandman''. She appears to be a mild-mannered glasses-wearing citizen - like Clark Kent in a way. Except for the part where Superman doesn't obsessively hunt down and kill anyone who attempts to hurt him.
** This is one of the nightmare-fueling qualities of the ''Collectors'' story as well. On one end of the spectrum, you have [[SerialKiller cereal fans]] who look like sweaty, loserish sexual predators you'd steer clear of at any costs. On the other, you have those who are ordinary-looking in the extreme... and just as vicious.
* Mr Fun from the ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' mini-series ''ComicBook/BatmanFamily''.
* Kevin from ''ComicBook/SinCity'' is just a guy in a sweater and glasses. You wouldn't believe that he is a martial arts master, to say nothing of his knack for eating people. For extra uncanny points, it's a Charlie Brown sweater. Ratcheted up by casting Elijah Wood in the film.
* Most Franchise/{{Batman}} villains, even if they start out as relatively normal criminals, wind up disfigured and/or embracing some kind of super-villain gimmick. But not James Gordon Jr., an ordinary, bookish-looking lad who happens to also be a sociopath and serial killer.
* Kevin Thorn from ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'' looks like a completely ordinary guy, but is in fact the personification of storytelling, whose goal in "The Great Fables Crossover" was to erase the Fables universe from existence and start from scratch.

* TropeNamer: The scene at the end of the first ''Film/TheAddamsFamily'' movie where Wednesday and Pugsley are showing off their Halloween costumes to their family. When asked by Margaret why she's not wearing a costume like her brother, Wednesday announces that she IS in costume as a "homicidal maniac" because "they look just like everybody else."
* Norman Bates in ''Film/{{Psycho}}''. In the book, he's written as middle-aged, homely at best, and a bit creepy (much like his inspiration, Ed Gein), but Hitchcock thought it would be more interesting to make him look wholesome.
* Jigsaw in the ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'' movies. Extra points because [[spoiler:he's dying of brain cancer]].
* John Doe in ''Film/{{Se7en}}''. Combine a very subdued performance by [[spoiler: Kevin Spacey]] with a name like "John Doe" (the default name assigned to unidentified male corpses) and you've got a killer who is both chilling and credible.
* Creator/RobinWilliams has also played a couple of very troubling antagonists in ''Film/OneHourPhoto'' and ''Film/{{Insomnia}}'' as well. While this borders on PlayingAgainstType here, his character in ''OneHourPhoto'' was scary because he could have been ''any random photomat clerk'', and he nearly faded into the background anyway.
* Patrick Bateman from ''Film/AmericanPsycho''. Bateman is apparently such a cookie-cutter yuppie that people keep mistaking him for other yuppies.
* Garland Greene in ''Film/ConAir'', played by Steve Buscemi. The other cons comment on how he doesn't look like an infamous mass-murderer.
* Virtually all of the people Creator/BruceWillis' character has [[PsychicDreamsForEveryone psychic flashes]] about in ''Film/{{Unbreakable}}'' are seemingly ordinary people who have done or are looking to do bad things. [[spoiler:The biggest case being a janitor who is a SerialKiller (who also doubles as a rapist).]]
* ''Film/{{Devil}}'', which is about five average people trapped in an elevator, one of whom is Satan.
* The Beast from ''Film/KungFuHustle'' turns out to be a dumpy old guy in his underwear. Much of the appeal in general of Kung Fu Hustle is how the martial arts masters turn out to be the most regular, unflattering-looking people in the movie, while the suave, Hollywood-ish Axe Gang are a pathetic joke.
* ''Film/TheNightOfTheHunter'': Harry Powell is either this or a DevilInPlainSight, depending on how sensitive your [[DetectEvil Evildar]] is. To all appearances, a charming and folksy preacher and the best stepfather a KidHero could ever want. Actually a KnifeNut [[TheBluebeard Bluebeard]] SerialKiller.
** A TV-remake of ''Film/TheNightOfTheHunter'' had Harry played by [=Gerald McRaney=], who is possibly best known for appearing in the ''TouchedByAnAngel'' spinoff ''Promised Land''. He played a dad. A dad possibly a lot like yours. Put some role association together, and you have prime ParanoiaFuel.
* In the comedy film ''Film/TheManWhoKnewTooLittle'', the main character (Bill Murray) thinks he's in a TuxedoAndMartini simulation game and, when informed about TheBaroness, thinks that she is this elderly woman dressed as a dominatrix ("It was our anniversary!"). TheBaroness is a real person, a TortureTechnician / MadDoctor. She is a middle aged woman of average appearance, maybe even pretty, and she acts completely calm and normal. The film sends the message that unlike in the world of ''Film/JamesBond'', villains in the real world aren't always ObviouslyEvil with a convenient RedRightHand.
* Mr. Baek of ''Film/SympathyForLadyVengeance''. After a very emotional buildup, a parent of one of a serial killer's victims says, "But you look just like a normal person."
* Lampshaded in ''Film/EightMM'' when Nicolas Cage's character tracks down and unmasks the SnuffFilm performer "The Machine" to reveal [[spoiler:some ordinary bald guy with glasses.]]
-->'''Machine/[[spoiler: George Higgins]]:''' "What did you expect? A monster?"
* Creator/DylanBaker's [[SerialKiller serial killing]] school principal in ''Film/TrickRTreat''.
* In ''Film/BehindTheMaskTheRiseOfLeslieVernon'', the slasher killer of the title is, while out of his costume, a normal-looking guy. [[spoiler: Because he ISNT Leslie Vernon, he really is just some random guy]]
* ''Film/TheHandThatRocksTheCradle'', where the antagonist's true intentions are made incredibly clear to the audience and the protagonist, but the latter has to spend the whole movie trying to ''prove'' it.
* Ben from ''Film/ManBitesDog''. Sure, he's a hitman and serial killer, but other than that there's absolutely ''nothing'' weird about him.
* ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'':
** This was supposed to happen in ''Film/TheTerminator''. Creator/LanceHenriksen was James Cameron's first choice to play the Terminator and had already appeared in-character at a fundraising event. Arnie originally auditioned for the role of Kyle Reese before switching roles to make the Terminator look much more imposing and threatening; Henriksen ended up playing one of the cops instead.
** In ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', the default appearance of the shape-shifting villain is a fairly nondescript man (Robert Patrick), as opposed to the lantern-jawed Schwarzenegger. This really brings out the tension in the first part of the movie, before the audience knows that Arnold is the good guy this time around. Or would have, if [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil every single trailer and commercial]] hadn't capitalized on the awesome T-1000 effects and the line "How do you terminate a Terminator?" thus spoiling the surprise.
* Dominic Greene in ''Film/QuantumOfSolace''. According to director Marc Forster, Greene was deliberately styled without make-up, in order to symbolise the 'hidden evils in society'.
* A nice one in the Bruce Willis movie ''Film/{{Red}}''. The operatives bump into[[spoiler: a thoroughly ordinary middle-aged woman at the airport, with the most paranoid among them insisting she's a killer, while the others assume he's just crazy. Then after she's released, she turns up again - with a rocket launcher.]]
* From ''[[{{Film/Halloween1978}} Halloween]]'' [[spoiler:in the final minutes of the original film, Laurie manages to rip off Michael's mask. For a few seconds his face is clearly visible and he appears to be just a completely ordinary man.]]
* When the cops in ''Film/TheresSomethingAboutMary'' mistakenly think that Ted is a serial murderer, they remark that they never look like how you expect them upon seeing Ted.
* In ''Film/TheWorldsEnd'', the alien replacements all look like regular humans... until they attack.
* Implied to have been the case with Freddy Krueger in ''Franchise/ANightmareOnElmStreet'', who - in life - was the janitor at the local elementary school and wore a crumpled brown fedora and a tacky Christmassy sweater, and was secretly murdering (and possibly molesting) kids for years. Of course, by the time we meet him, he's an undead monster with burns all over his body, so his appearance is a bit more striking.
* In the end of ''Film/MemoriesOfMurder'', [[spoiler: a young girl describes a man who is more than likely the killer, and says that he looked "ordinary" and had a "normal" face. This suggests even further that the handsome Hyeon-gyu Park, the main suspect of the case, really was innocent.]]
* Franchise/HannibalLecter in the movies looking perfectly normal, lacking the [[RedEyesTakeWarning maroon eyes]] and [[RedRightHand a sixth finger on his right hand]].
* ''Film/GhostInTheMachine'': When Terri learns that Hochman was the killer who recently died, it's noted that he just looked like a normal guy.
* While the Cenobites of ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}'' are terrifying, mutilated demons, most of the human villains fit this trope to a t, which is fitting considering the series commentary on sadistic cruelty hiding everywhere. Most noteable is Frank Cotton from the first two films, who looked like a handsome, regular man before he was turned into a skinless monstrosity, but in reality was a sadistic SenseFreak.

* In ''Literature/DragonBones'', after killing a would-be rapist, Ward mentions that the man didn't look much older than him, maybe even younger, a mere boy. He reminds himself that the man would have killed him, too, if he had given him the chance.
* ''Literature/DragonBlood'' has an ordinary-looking, grandfatherly old man, who wants to teach his grandson his trade ... which happens to be torturing. The contrast between his genuine disappointment that the boy doesn't want to follow in his footsteps, and the fact that he is ''torturing a woman'' makes the scene all the more horrible.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'':
** The Tickler is a brutally efficient TortureTechnician, but Arya notes that he's a completely unexceptional and ordinary-looking man while not plying his trade.
** Later in the series we meet Qyburn, who combines this with AffablyEvil to give him a "grandfatherly" appearance, masking his true colours as an EvilutionaryBiologist and TortureTechnician extraordinaire.
** Roose Bolton is one of the most evil characters in the series (even if he [[VillainWithGoodPublicity does his best to hide it]]) and is described as a man of average height and build with a plain face and no particularly distinguishing features except for his pale complexion and CreepyBlueEyes.
* ''Literature/{{Dexter}}'' goes to a lot of trouble to seem like just an average guy.
%% * ''Literature/{{Hater}}'', a book by David Moody, and the movie of the same name.
* Though not a villain (just a conman), Moist Von Lipwig from Literature/{{Discworld}} is blessed with an unmemorable face and always wears some attention-grabbing but easily removed articles to ensure he can disappear whenever he wishes.
* In the ''Literature/GentlemanBastard'' series, Locke Lamora is occasionally described as skinnier than average, but otherwise he has a particularly unexceptional appearance that helps him blend into his disguises.
* Dr. Impossible from ''SoonIWillBeInvincible'' is a short guy just this side of middle aged. When he walks down the street in his civvies, he's completely unremarkable. With his costume on, [[SuperVillain however]]...
** He may not count, though, since he's not particularly 'terrifying'.
* The Yeerks from the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' are aliens that control sentient beings by tunneling into their heads through their ear canals and spreading themselves around the brain, sinking into the cracks, etc. So the protagonists are aware that anyone they know could be a 'Controller.' Like Jake's brother Tom, their Vice Principal Chapman, and many more throughout the series.
** To really drive the paranoia home, it's not at all uncommon for the Animorphs to cause a public spectacle... and start getting attacked by random members of the crowd.
* In the TamoraPierce Literature/CircleOfMagic novel ''Shatterglass,'' the serial killer turns out to be [[spoiler:one of the Hindu Untouchable/Dalit {{Expy}} characters who have been constantly on the outskirts of the protagonists' radar, cleaning, being abused, and biding their time]].
* The Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/{{Snuff}}'' has Stratford the ProfessionalKiller, who looks pretty indescribably normal until you take a good look in his eyes or he gets angry.
--> And ''that'', sir, is when he looks like Stratford.
* In ''AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'', the Bank of England has been robbed by a man who [[CriminalDoppelganger unfortunately resembles]] protagonist Phileas Fogg. The British consul in Suez remarks that the description given is that of an honest man, to which the detective Fix declares that great robbers always look like honest men; the ones who look like rascals are too easily caught.
* In ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Take A Thief]]'', the BigBad has what Skif's mentor calls "a face-shaped face."
* In the ''Literature/ProvostsDog'' novel ''Terrier'', Beka and her mentors search for the Shadow Snake, a kidnapper and child murderer named after the local [[ThingsThatGoBumpInTheNight Boogeyman]]. They are shocked to learn the Shadow Snake's true identity: [[spoiler: the grandmotherly proprietor of the local pastry shop.]]
* In ''Literature/PerdidoStreetStation'' the city of New Crobuzon's militia forces are basically this trope. The majority of the militia is made up of agents that walk around the city like any normal person. This is used as a in great effect when [[spoiler: a strike breaks out and eventually leads to fighting between two crowds. The militia have people in both. Even the crowd that's on strike.]] They could be anywhere at anytime and you would only know when it's already too late.
* The Silencers in ''Literature/TheFifthWave'' by Rick Yancey. Used to chilling effect early in the novel when Cassie finds an injured soldier dying in an abandoned convenience store, but doesn't know if he's a Silencer or not [[spoiler: and so shoots him out of fear. It turns out he was perfectly human]].
* [[EnforcedTrope Enforced]] by the Grey Men in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', assassins who are cloaked in a supernatural glamour that makes them look ordinary and forgettable... ''so'' ordinary and forgettable that you almost forget seeing them at all when they were the ''only'' person you passed in an otherwise empty hallway just before coming across a dead body.
* Creator/AgathaChristie loves this trope. The murderer is always someone who looks completely normal, and whom the reader would never have suspected.
* ''Literature/RedDragon'' spends a lot of time dealing with the day-to-day working life of Francis Dolarhyde, its eponymous SerialKiller, the sheer mundane nature of which make his horrific murder sprees all the more unsettling. In a twist, the killer thinks of himself as hideous and disfigured, because of a harelip he had as a child... except that it's barely noticeable after all the surgery he got for it.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''. The fact that the demons and monsters can and will look like anyone else is very heavily used on the show.
* Not often used on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', but this quote deserves mention.
--> '''Willow''': ''(in reference to a murderer)'' It could be anyone. It could be me! ...it's not, though.
* Some of the [=UnSubs=] in ''Series/CriminalMinds'' are sleazy looking, creepy, brutish or in some way unusual, but the vast majority look like regular people. In one episode, a woman is being followed by an obsessive stalker who isn't identified until the third act, at which point you realised he was standing in the background of half her scenes. Another noteable one is the unassuming killer from the episode "Lucky", in reality a devil-worshipping cannibal.
* Two of ''Series/ColdCase'''s most notorious killers embodied this trope to a T. One, George Marks, was overweight, balding--and a rabid misogynist who kidnapped women by disguising himself as a cop, then forced them to strip to their underwear and run through the woods for hours before finally finishing them off with a gunshot to the chest. The other, John Smith, was incredibly average looking and well-mannered, easily tempting his victims to walk away with him. And, you know, his name was John Smith, which is probably the blandest name in human history.
* The ''Series/GameOfThrones'' versions of [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire Roose Bolton and Ramsay Snow]]. Rather than the ObviouslyEvil father-son duo of the books, the show has replaced the hush voiced [[EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette pale lord whose face is described as coming across like a mask]] and his [[FatBastard hulking]], fish lipped brute of a bastard with [[Creator/MichaelMcElhatton a handsome older gentleman]] and [[Creator/IwanRheon a charming, energetic youth]]. [[TheSociopath Do not]] [[TortureTechnician be fooled.]]
* The villain of the pilot episode of ''Series/{{Grimm}}'' is a mailman who wears loafers and cardigans, collects porcelain figurines, does needlepoint, makes homemade chicken pot pies, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick and eats people]]. [[note]] He's a Blutbad.[[/note]]
** All wessen, since most of the time humans cannot see their true form.
* The defendant in the ''Series/LawAndOrder'' episode "Hubris" is a mild-mannered real estate salesman and a regular [[TheCasanova Casanova]] with the ladies. As it turns out, he also murdered his girlfriend, the old couple who were employing her, and ''her 6-year-old daughter'', all to cover up a fifth murder that he had already committed years before. And while the detectives know he did it because they see security camera footage of the crime (suppressed at trial, [[OffOnATechnicality natch]]), ''the audience'' never sees him doing anything criminal or sinister at all. To the very end of the episode, this mass murdering scumbag just looks like everyone else.
** The BigBad of the ''LawAndOrderSVU'' season 13 finale/season 14 opener is a frumpy, average-looking woman who is first introduced tending to the animals on her farm. She looks more like an elementary school teacher than someone who's engaged in sex trafficking, arranged a string of murders, and is using her prostitution business to blackmail half the cops and prosecutors in the state of New York.
* On ''Series/{{Lost}}'', a show filled with so many pretty yet stupid people, it's mild-mannered ferret-faced chartered-accountant-lookalike [[MagnificentBastard Benjamin Linus]] who really runs the table.
* The Yin Yang Killer from ''Series/{{Psych}}''. [[spoiler: Turns out she was standing right there among the crowd in the background of nearly every scene.]]
* The killer in "[[Recap/SherlockS01E01AStudyInPink A Study in Pink]]", the first episode of ''Series/{{Sherlock}}''.
** [[TheChessmaster Moriarty]] looks snazzy in a suit, but he also has no problem blending in and convincing others that he's just a normal guy on several occasions. When he's wearing his baseball cap and jacket, you wouldn't give him a second glance on the street.
* This trope happens a lot on ''Series/TheXFiles'', since the villains usually take pains to blend into society and are only outed when unnatural things start to happen:
** Eugene Tooms in the episodes "Squeeze" and "Tooms".
** Also Donnie Pfaster of "Irresistible".
** John Lee Roche, the serial-killer-of-girls on "Paper Hearts", looks and talks like a balding salesman, which he was before he got caught.
** The vampire town in "Bad Blood."
** The villain in "Folie a Deux" was a giant monster, disguised as a human being in a normal company.
** Though not a villain, the alien in "The Unnatural" lived convincingly as a human baseball player.
** The brain-eating man in "Hungry" took pains to disguise himself. Undisguised, he resembled a cross between a bald man and a shark.
** The Alien Bounty Hunter can shape-shift into anyone he wants.
** The Super Soldier human/alien hybrids are indistinguishable from humans until you look at the back of their neck. Or they kill you. Whichever comes first.
* Heroic variant: The Regents in ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' are not at all what Artie expected. However, they all look a little ''too'' ordinary...
** Some artifacts are a non-human version of this. Who would have suspected that the tip jar at a food truck was behind a mini-ZombieApocalypse?
* In the ''Series/BabylonFive'' episode "Intersections In Real Time," Sheridan has been captured and is being tortured in a prison cell somewhere. The TortureTechnician is a mild-looking bureaucrat who administers ElectricTorture and [[TamperingWithFoodAndDrink poisoned food]] likes it's just another day on the job. WordOfGod is that this was all intentional, as he wanted to remind his fans that not all evil men ''act'' evil. At the end of the episode, we discover that [[spoiler:the government has a seemingly unlimited supply of these guys and will simply swap them out until the prisoner breaks]].
* ''Series/BreakingBad'' contrasts the over the top antics of the AxCrazy Salamanca clan with the ordinary looking members of Gus's criminal organization. The Salamancas rely on intimidation and crazy violence for their reputation. Gus prefers to blend in and appear to be extremely boring and affable. He also goes to great lengths to make sure that his underlings do not attract any unnecessary attention. Walt strides the line between these two extremes as he knows that he has to be as nondescript as possible but his pride and ego constantly prompt him to do things that will get him noticed. Further, [[spoiler: Todd is a heartless, casual sociopath who looks like one of the show's more boring or typical characters. While he looks like an ordinary man, after killing an innocent little boy his reaction is, "Shit happens."]]
* To an extent, BOB from ''Series/TwinPeaks''. He basically looks an extra from a bar scene - a denim-clad old man with stringy grey hair who smells like burnt motor oil. In fact, given that his entire presence in the show is basically a case of ThrowItIn, his appearance is mostly modeled on what the set dresser happened to be wearing the day he got accidentally caught in the shot. On the other hand, you probably couldn't have a conversation with him, since he mostly runs around snarling at people and hiding in the woods.
** This also applies to [[spoiler: Leland Palmer]], seemingly a perfectly normal [[spoiler: family man and lawyer]]... who is actually [[spoiler: a SerialKiller who has been raping his own daughter for years, under the DemonicPossession of the above BOB.]]
* ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryAsylum'': [[spoiler: Dr. Oliver Thredson]], a compassionate and upstanding psychiatrist who is [[spoiler: actually the infamous serial killer, Bloody Face]].
* In the series ''Series/AdamTwelve'', Reed and Malloy were helping a female officer conduct a rape-resistance class at a local college. When one of the attendees asked what would a rapist look like, the lady cop pointed to the pair of heroes and said, "Just like them. A man."
* Most of the accused on Canadian courtroom series ''Series/ThisIsWonderland''. Since most of the show was set in small claims courts or mental health court, most of them ''were'' normal people who had just made terrible mistakes or had been put in a terrible situation. This made the rare appearance of a genuine monster all the more startling.
* In the ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' episode "Pick Me Up", the [[EvilVersusEvil dueling serial killers]] Walker and Wheeler both look fairly inconspicuous as a young drifter and a middle-aged trucker, respectively. Walker discusses the trope proper:
-->'''Walker:''' Your genuinely dangerous individuals -- they almost never ''look'' crazy. They don't have any weird tattoos, they don't have any weird stitches on their face, funny-shaped heads. They are NOT predictable.
* In ''Series/{{Graceland}}'', FBIAgent Paul Briggs has a confrontation with the always masked [[TheCartel cartel]] [[ProfessionalKiller hitman]] who years earlier forcibly addicted Briggs to heroin and killed a bunch of his fellow agents. In the aftermath of a GunStruggle, Briggs pulls the hood off the dead assassin... and [[AntiClimacticUnmasking sees the ordinary face of some guy he doesn't know]]. Briggs goes as far as to lampshade this trope and berate himself for having expected anything else. (Unknown to Briggs, the real assassin is still out there... and he's also a guy who Briggs doesn't know and looks just like everyone else.)
* As in the movies, Series/{{Hannibal}} Lecter lacks the red eyes and polydactyly on his right hand.
* In ''Series/TheAmericans'', Elizabeth, Phillip and their handler, Claudia are KGB operatives, but speak with flawless American accents.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Dahlia Hawthorne from ''VideoGame/PhoenixWrightAceAttorney'' looks just like an ordinary human being, but she's actually one of the most vicious villains in the series.
* [[spoiler:Adachi]] from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}''
* From ''VideoGame/LastWindow'', we have [[spoiler:the incredibly ordinary-looking [[http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ly9lx1zOuG1r4ym0no7_250.jpg Dylan Fitchar]], who we discover is a mole for Nile, the crime syndicate that is behind every terrible thing that happens to people in both this game and HotelDusk.]]
* There are tons of examples from [[WesternRPG western RPGs]] that feature many different [[NonPlayerCharacter NPCs]]. Often the character models of some of the most evil characters, such as [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil Bann Vaughan]] from ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' or [[CorruptPolitician Nassana Dantius]] from ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' don't really look that much different or more sinister than the character models of any of the other [[NonPlayerCharacter NPCs]] of their race.
* In ''MitadakeHigh'', every sprite looking the same except for their hair and gender can easily provide you with this trope, as one out of the players has to be the killer. Subverted (at least for the characters) if the killer is the "Creepy Red-Haired Guy".
* ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork 3'' has one subplot in which a bunch of ''generic [=NPCs=]'' turn out to be undercover World 3 agents planted in a strategic location ''specifically'' to provide cover stories for a more conspicuous (and [[ContinuityNod well-known]]) agent.

* Dongsoo Seon from the [[KoreanWebtoon webtoon]] ''{{Webcomic/Bastard}}'' looks like an ordinary father and businessman. He's actually a SerialKiller who's been murdering women for years. His son Jin even discusses this trope, noting, "Amazingly enough, [[BeneathNotice no one suspects a murderer if he has a child with him]]."

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* Terrence from ''KateModern''.
* The majority of characters in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' are [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Ordinary High School Students]], meaning that oftentimes people who choose to play the game fit this trope in some way or another. This is particularly true in regards to v4, where there has been an increased focus on realism. Many, many characters in [[DevelopingDoomedCharacters pre-game]] come off as people who you could easily find at your school in real life, but once you get to in-game... well, it brings out the worst in people. [[BigBad Danya]] himself can fit as well, as aside from bearing scars from attempts on his life he's described as someone who wouldn't particularly stand out in a crowd; Bryan Calvert even says Danya looks like his father.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'', the Clock King is the only self-created supervillain in the series to avoid the tropes in the EvilMakeover index. Aside from his gadgets, he's just a guy in a nice suit.
* This was used to great effect with the [[BigBad Fire Lord]] in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. You only ever get to see his silhouette against a wall of flames for most of the show's run, and when his face is finally revealed [[spoiler:he looks like a completely normal and even fairly handsome man.]]
** Similarly, Amon in ''WesternAnimation/LegendOfKorra'', whose creepy mask, unexplained AntiMagic powers and mysterious backstory made for a truly terrifying villain. Under the mask [[spoiler:and scar makeup, he looks like a completely normal Water Tribe man in his thirties]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', most of the villains that received major story arcs were usually beings on par with {{Physical God}}s and other supernatural entities with sinister and terrifying appearances that were all bent on taking over Equestria. Then we are introduced a unicorn named Starlight Glimmer, whose appearance, voice and name are so ordinary that it seem like she was taken from a database of background ponies and thrust into the role of an arc villain on a whim. This is very intentional as her entire philosophy is based on [[AssimilationPlot conformity and not standing out]], and it serves to make her [[JustTheFirstCitizen hypocrisy]] and [[TotalitarianUtilitarian insanity]] all the more striking.