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Vile Villain, Saccharine Show
Nothing illustrates friendship better than hopelessness, Nightmare Faces, and green slime.

Okay, so you have a villain who is legitimately intimidating and frightening. Maybe they try to destroy all positive emotions, or maybe they turn people into twisted shambling abominations, or maybe they're plotting genocide. Point is, they're actually a fairly creepy villain. The irony is that they're stuck in a Sugar Bowl.

As one could probably tell, this trope is about villains in normally lighthearted fiction that are so disturbing, or even terrifying, on some level that they kind of clash with the tone of the show/game/whatever. Because of this type of villain's ability to ruin the mood of the story they're in, this trope can overlap with Knight of Cerebus or Complete Monster. If a series has a lot of villains like this, then it's taking a ride on the Cerebus Rollercoaster.

A violation of Genre Consistency. Compare and contrast the Crapsaccharine World, where it's not just the villain, but the entire world that is rotten to the core. A major cause of Sugar Apocalypse and Surprise Creepy.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Mon Colle Knights is cheerful and wacky and the enemies usually are the Terrible Trio. When they're not, there's Reda, with his bloodstained wings and a fondness for driving people to suicide and subjecting things to splooshy transformations. The english Gag Dub toned him down and edited some scenes.
  • The Pokémon anime is usually light-hearted and normally has a goofy and incompetent Terrible Trio composing of two delinquents and a talking Meowth as the primary antagonists, but it still has:
  • The Big Bads of the Pretty Cure franchise are usually like this. One of them is an entity that existed before everything and wants to plunge everything into nothingness, another is a life-hating Eldritch Abomination that turns every planet he visits into sand dunes, yet another is a monster born out of humanity's collective negative emotions, etc etc... This is a series that is (supposedly) for little girls in elementary schoolyears.
  • Fruits Basket is an adorable series about a cute high school girl who befriends a lot of pretty boys and the hijinks that ensue. Then we are introduced to Akito, who we learn has been committing various forms of physical and psychological abuse on various family members, and has no problem with doing the same to any "outsiders" who look like they're butting in. Later, Akito actually becomes sympathetic when her mother, Ren, is revealed to be even worse.
  • Although it's about World War II, Axis Powers Hetalia manages to be pretty goofy while focusing on the general incompetence of the nations. While there is fighting, it's portrayed as comical punches and cartoonish damage. In the movie Paint it, White!, we are introduced to invading aliens called the Pictonians. The Pictonians quickly conquer nearly all of Earth, transform most of humanity into their species, and abduct them as slaves. Everything the nations do to fight them fails, and they very nearly lose at the end, when all of them but Italy are turned into Pictonians. While screaming.
  • Despite Tenchi Muyo GXP being a lighthearted adventure comedy Tarant Shunk still tries to behave as a real and scary Ruthless Modern Pirate. It doesn't help him much. Though arguably Tenchiverse is usually so lighthearted precisely because most of its important characters are Cosmic Entities on vacation. There's really no credible threat to them possible, which is why they're engaged in those comedic shenanigans just to kill the time.
    • Kagato from the original OVA and Tenchi Universe was no slouch himself.
  • The original Dragon Ball was considerably more lighthearted than the much more well-known Dragon Ball Z. Most of the villains were dealt with comically, and only a few were shown to pose a serious threat to Goku and his friends. Then came Tao Pai Pai. Tao Pai Pai is a Psycho for Hire who cares only about profit and ruthlessly and remorselessly wipes out anyone who gets in his way with his bare hands. After he murders Upa's father and defeats Goku in battle, he laughs at Upa and tells him that he's lucky that he's still alive, meaning that he has absolutely no problem killing children. One of his worst offenses has got to be when he forced a tailor to overwork on making an outfit for him in about three days...which he rewarded by killing him. When he returns to Karin's Tower to look for the one Dragon Ball he neglected to find, he grabs Upa and throws him against the tower (fortunately, he was saved by Goku). After his defeat, he was rebuilt into an Ax-Crazy cyborg who wanted nothing more than the deaths of both Goku and Tenshinhan. He's arguably the Knight of Cerebus for the entire series. While the Z Fighters heavily outmatch him in Dragon Ball Z, he still has no redeeming qualities.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Were Back A Dinosaurs Story is a cutesy film about dinosaurs being sent to our time to make children happy. Nothing scary about that at all. Well, except for the creepy old scientist Professor Screweyes, who runs a Circus of Fear, has children sign a contract in their own blood, and is eaten by birds at the end of the film.
  • The Disney Animated Canon has a disturbingly/wonderfully high occurrence of this trope:
    • The Evil Queen (Grimhilde) from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, while most of the film is very cutesy and whimsical, she takes her pursuit to preserve her narcissistic self image to dark extremes. She ordered her Huntsman to assassinate Snow White and bring her heart as proof of the deed. When he failed, she took matters into her own hands, becoming a frightening looking hag who conducted a poisonous apple that would've put her into a deep sleep. Her response was that her caretakers, the dwarfs would've buried her alive, not knowing the truth.
    • Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty. The story was very lighthearted till she showed up and sentenced baby Aurora to death for a petty reason, though it is more likely it for the hell of it. All the heroes could do was stall for time, which only worked because her minions thought babies stayed the same age, but once she sends her raven, Aurora is soon ensnared by her powers and is put into a deep sleep by a spindle created by Maleficent. She captures the one prince that could undo the spell and have him wait for a hundred years so Aurora would go mad from the sight of an aged and broken man, implying that even with the counter-curse to her death sentence, she could twist it to something worse. And since she is so high in the Sorting Algorithm of Evil, and by high, she is easily a Reality Warper who was so beyond the heroes in power, that the fairies had to cheat along the way in order to even do her in. She also turns into a scary dragon with power to match that almost manages to defeat the prince, "almost" meaning the fairies had to intervene in order to even land a deathblow.
    • The Disney version of Claude Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame is, for all intents and purposes, a medieval stand-in for Hitler. The movie was already more adult than is normally thought of for Disney, but it was still shocking. More disturbingly, Frollo is one of the most realistic Disney villains ever produced, and he doesn't have an iota of comedic qualities. There's a reason why many see him as the darkest villain the company has ever made.
    • The Princess and the Frog gives us Dr. Facilier, a voodoo witch doctor willing to sacrifice all of New Orleans to pay off his debts to dark voodoo entities. Although he gets in on the light, jazzy theme of the movie with a cool Villain Song, it's still clear that he's selfish, relentless and bad to the bone. That he murders the comic relief in cold blood on screen cements this. And then there's his Family-Unfriendly Death...
    • Pinocchio:
    • Oliver & Company is a very lighthearted movie, featuring talking cats and dogs. However, the storyline is a loose Setting Update of Oliver Twist, and its human villain Sykes — the counterpart of the novel's Bill Sykes — is a Loan Shark played utterly straight. There's nothing cool, funny, sympathetic, or even hammy about him. He's just a cold-blooded thug who wants his money now and doesn't care what he has to do to get it.
    • Jafar in Aladdin has shades of this. Because the movie was an action-packed zany comedy, animator Andreas Deja decided to keep Jafar very subtle in contrast. (This can be seen in the art style. Nearly everything else in Agrabah has soft, rounded lines and bombastic colors, while Jafar has several sharp angles and muted colors.)
    • Mulan is the story of a girl who goes into the army to save her father's life. While the movie is comedic much of time (and has a non-threatening dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy and a cute little cricket), the Big Bad Shan-yu is implied to kill vast numbers of people. The aftermath of his handiwork makes a Mood Whiplash from a song about getting a girl to seeing the most straightforward example of War Is Hell in a Disney movie. The scene with the destroyed village also has a subtle implication that the Infant Immortality was averted with the appearance of a doll without its owner. Further, of the Disney villains listed here, he's the one whose sidekicks are also scary, mostly competent, and definitely not wisecracking parrots.
    • Professor Ratigan of The Great Mouse Detective spends most of the film as the epitome of the Faux Affably Evil, Evil Is Hammy villain (this is helped by being voiced by Vincent Price, who is very obviously really enjoying himself), so it's easy to forget that he kidnaps frightened children and has no qualms about threatening them or getting them killed — a throwaway line in his Villain Song refers to "those widows and orphans you drowned". Then his temper gets pushed that little bit too far, and... Holy Shit.
    • 101 Dalmatians has Cruella DeVil — for all her campy vampiness, her basic goal is still to kill and skin a bunch of puppies to make them into fur coats.
    • Scar, from The Lion King. Simply put, he gets the honor of committing the first onscreen murder in a Disney film.
    • Wreck-It Ralph has the Walking Spoiler that is King Candy/Turbo. He becomes even more vile during his Villainous Breakdown in the climax, and more vile still after getting assimilated by a Cybug. The worst part of all this? He's ruling over a saccharine world, making him a villain who seems saccharine at first but just gets viler and viler!
    • Beauty and the Beast has Gaston. While he starts out as a fairly comedic foil for Belle, as the movie goes on, he turns into one of the most realistic depictions of a possessive abuser ever shown in a kids' movie. By the time he's having Belle's father committed under false pretenses, leading a mob bent on murder to the castle, and stabbing the Beast immediately after the Beast saves his life, he's become one of Disney's most menacing villains.
    • The Fox and the Hound starts off as a cute dog/fox bonding story, and ends in a fight with an utterly terrifying bear.
  • In a (semi) Live-Action example, Judge Doom from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The film initially seems like a classical family movie until we meet him. We discover that not only is he responsible for all the bad things that happen in the movie, but he's also the same psychopathic murderous toon who killed Eddie Valiant's brother long ago and he was planning the genocide of his own species to profit him.
  • Toy Story is a lighthearted series where the main conflict is usually within the heroes as opposed to external. Villains tend to be either Obliviously Evil or relatively harmless. Until Toy Story 3, that is, where we meet Lotso, a sadistic teddy bear overlord of a day care center who subjects new toys to being broken by toddlers, tortures, brainwashes, imprisons, and attempts to murder the heroes, and eventually leaves them to die in an incinerator AFTER THEY SAVE HIS LIFE!
  • Hopper in A Bug's Life is a ruthless tyrant who delights in the fear he instills in the ants, and was fully prepared to publically execute their queen to keep them compliant. He even admits to his minions that they don't even need the food the ants provide, implying his actions are motivated purely by sadism.
  • Charles Muntz in Up is a delusional and sociopathic murderer who kills anyone who he even thinks threatens his discovery.
  • Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland has the Nightmare King suddenly show up in a world that was just plain Sugar Bowl till then, ruling over a section of Slumberland known as Nightmareland, the place where nightmares come from.
  • Osmosis Jones: For the most part, this is a lighthearted parody of Salt and Pepper cop movies with copious amounts of Toilet Humour for the kids all set inside the human body. Enter Thrax. He's portrayed as a mix between a supervillain and an international terrorist who travels between human hosts (which in the context of the movie are self-sufficient city/nations for countless micro-organisms) and destroys them, for no other reason than fame (if he can kill a human in less than 48 hours he'll get a chapter in every major medical text). Also, the slightest touch from his claw is enough to kill other microbes in a spectacular and horrible fashion, burning them from the inside out until they finally explode. Then, just to ratchet up the Nightmare Fuel even further, at one point he counts out his previous victims; the one he's most proud of is "a child who didn't wash her hands like she was told."
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 has Lord Shen, an evil peacock tyrant who is bent on destroying kung fu with heavy artillery, terrorized many innocent pigs and bunnies with his army of wolves, and he almost pushed the entire panda species (which includes Po) to the point of extinction! All of this is enough to make Tai Lung, the snow leopard villain of the first Kung Fu Panda film look like a scaredy cat. When Shen's right hand and the leader of the wolves objects to him opening fire on his own soldiers to get at the heroes, Shen responds with a dagger to his back, making it the first time in a Dreamworks movie a villain actually offs someone onscreen.
  • The Brave Little Toaster is a cute musical film about talking electrical appliances, but then we meet the Junkyard Magnet...
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
    • Sponge Bob Square Pants is a lighthearted series with an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. Then The Movie comes out, where we're introduced to Dennis, a somewhat comedic but still surprisingly terrifying hitman hired to kill SpongeBob and Patrick using sharp spiked boots. Also, Plankton turns out to be Not-So-Harmless Villain, framing Mr. Krabs for stealing Neptune's crown and getting him frozen, then later coming back in anticipation of seeing Mr. Krabs get burned to death. If that's not passing the Moral Event Horizon, brainwashing and enslaving all of Bikini Bottom certainly qualifies, especially since it's implied that the fish that were wearing the bucket helmets were awake and conscious while under control!
    • Also in the movie, there's the cyclops diver, who captures sea creatures and painfully kills them using the heat of a bright lamp, then sells the dried-out remains as knick-knacks (although whether or not he knows the fish are sapient and screaming is left as an exercise to the viewer).
  • Despicable Me has Miss Hattie and Mr. Perkins. Although Big Bad Wannabe Vector ended up getting some punishment of some sort, these two both manage to get away with everything!
  • Brave gives us a sweet mother-daughter bonding story...with a villain, Mor'du, that happens to be a red-eyed, twelve-foot-tall bear with a taste for human flesh. As well as plenty of scenes that could have come right out of a horror movies, such as Mor'du watching a young Merida in the forest, Merida going into a castle and having Mor'du sneak up behind her after she's learned his gruesome origin story, and the end fight, where absolutely nothing hurts him except a bear of similar size and a multiton rock.
  • Madagascar 3 follows a parade of colorful animals, some escaped form the New York zoo, others part of a circus. The villain, Chantelle DuBois, ostensibly an animal control officer, is out to murder the protagonist by any means necessary. Even after the escaped lion in question is safely contained in the zoo, she still tries to kill him (and an innocent sea lion!) and steal his corpse so she can add it to her collection of trophies.
  • FernGully: The Last Rainforest takes place in a forest filled with fairies and wildlife and copious amounts of scenery porn. The main villian is Hexxus, the spirit of destruction who first takes the form of a smoke monster and later looks like a demon straight from hell.
  • The Iron Giant starts off looking basically like a funny, cute Wish Fulfillment story about a lonely young boy who befriends a giant alien robot while dodging a bumbling, ineffectual government agent... until said agent locks him in a shed and threatens to take him away from his mother if he doesn't tell him what he wants to know. Oh, and then chloroforms him.
  • Cats Don't Dance has the Ambiguously Human Darla and Max, who try to drown a group of animals in a soundstage and God knows how many Hollywood workers.
  • Ice Age is one of the forerunners of the family-friendly CGI comedies. Its villain is Soto, a sabertooth tiger who wants to murder a human baby.
  • Rise of the Guardians is an animated adventure film focusing on a team of Santa Claus, The Sandman, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost that protects children. The villain is Pitch, the living embodiment of childrens' nightmares, who commands an army of monstrous shadows and murders one of the core team members in cold blood (he gets better) and in the finale is willing to kill an innocent child in order to boost his power.
  • Coraline is an animated fantasy film about the titular heroine who wishes her busy parents would pay more attention to her and is, for the most part, pretty lighthearted. The main villain is the Other Mother, AKA the Beldam, a villainous creature who lures children to the Other World with false gifts and love to feed on their Life Force. She assumes a more monstrous form as her plan unravels and it's heavily implied that Coraline is the latest in a long line of victims and possibly the first to escape her clutches.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sarris from Galaxy Quest. It's a lighthearted Actor Role Confusion comedy with endearingly innocent aliens and the cast of a Star Trek Expy... and the villain is a sadistic, genocidal maniac, not above murdering underlings who fail him, who takes a specific glee in forcing Jason to Break the Cutie by explaining the nature of their "historical documents" to a culture that has no concept of fiction. And he looks creepy, too.
  • The 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz, unlike the book, portrays the Land of Oz as a Sugar Bowl, but the Wicked Witch of the West remains being just as mean (If not meaner) than her literary counterpart. Even though the movie is definitely not a horror film, by any stretch of the imagination, many serious film buffs still consider the Wicked Witch to be one of the scariest cinematic characters of all time.
  • And In Oz: The Great and Powerful, there is Evanora, The Wicked Witch of the East, who manipulates her formerly good sister Theodora, turning her into the Wicked Witch of the West.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy is generally pretty lighthearted and fun... that is, with the exception of Ronan the Accuser. Disgusted with the Kree for signing a peace treaty with Xandar to end the war that resulted in the loss of his father and grandfather, Ronan immediately separates himself from the rest of the Kree and doubles his efforts to find what Thanos had requested of him so that he will annihilate Xandar; once he realizes that that item is actually an Infinity Stone, he immediately ceases their partnership and vows to come after Thanos once he's done scouring Xandar clean of life. He's a genocidal maniac and brutal zealot who thinks that wiping out an entire planet as retribution for two deaths is a totally acceptable course of action, and his incredible cruelty towards enemy combatants and callousness when confronted with his actions further hammers home how truly loathsome the guy is.

    Literature 
  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, by Roald Dahl, has the sudden intrusion of a Horde of Alien Locusts into an outer space sequence that until then is mostly whimsical.
  • Redwall; it seems like a happy fluffy world full of cuddly talking animals. Then you meet the villains, who made this the first book series to get its own Complete Monster page.
  • Tove Jansson's The Moomins take place in Moominvalley which is, at least at a very quick glance, somewhat of a saccharine world in the early novels and some of the adaptations. Then we are introduced to the Groke. The revelation in later stories that she's a Tortured Abomination rather than consciously evil may make her less, or even more, horrifying depending on your taste.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Even though Seinfeld is not exactly a cheerful show (it's actually quite cynical), Joey "Crazy Joe" Devola still adds a surprising dash of darkness to it.
  • An in-universe example appears on Star Trek: Voyager with the Show Within a Show The Adventures of Flotter, a series of fantasy holonovels for children. One of the title adventures involves a character called the Ogre of Fire, who shows-up, vaporizes the main character in front of the child's eyes, and then torches the setting to the ground.
    • Whoever designed The Adventures of Flotter was very twisted; some of the characters talked to Naomi Wildman (a child) about the ways he and his friends could kill Neelix. Right in front of him.
  • Yogoshimacritein - The true Big Bad in Engine Sentai Go-onger. Not only is he more evil than his son, but he's also a very Bad Boss, killing off his two minions once they double-cross him to help the Go-Ongers. He also has access to a device that deletes people from existence.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze—a High School version of Kamen Rider penned by the same guy who made Gurren Lagann—seems cheerful, right? Wrong. The monsters, known as Zodiarts, are actually fellow students—many of them having lots of psychological issues—alongside the teachers who actively are giving them the means to become evil. In fact, it has the most amount of monsters out of all the Kamen Rider Series with a total of at least eight that are trying to kill teenagers.
  • The Aquabats! Super Show! is a surreal children's show that runs on pure silly camp. Then in the season finale Space Monster M shows up murders superheroes before the team's very eyes, devastates a city, and vows to destroy the earth.
  • Malcolm in the Middle has Grandma Ida. While she is Played for Laughs, there's no denying that she's probably the most evil character on the show.
  • Once Upon a Time in Wonderland is notably Lighter and Softer than the series it spun off from. The Big Bad, however, is Jafar, bastard son of the Sultan of Agrabah, Evil Sorceror, and all-around monster. Every episode has him doing something despicable: torture, murder, attempted murder, manipulation, and turning his lover into his serpent staff. He also has a particularly dark backstory that features his equally horrible father attempting to drown him when he was a child among other things.
  • Kickin' It's Sensei Ty started out this way; in The Pilot he ordered a student to break Jack's leg. Let me restate that - he ordered a teenage martial artist to break another, younger one's leg in tournament play. He's gotten broader and sillier since.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Thunderbirds has the Hood, who regularly causes disasters that could potentially kill hundreds or thousands of people, just to force International Rescue into action so that he can try to copy their technology.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • It may be a bit inaccurate to call WWE "saccharine," but when most of the bad guys are just cowardly Smug Snakes and brutish Jerk Jocks, it definitely makes The Wyatt Family stand out.

    Video Games 
  • Kirby is in LOVE with this trope, being a Sugar Bowl with some really nasty major villains.
    • The most common recurring villain, Dark Matter, is an Eldritch Abomination who appears in a multitude of disturbing forms. These include the basic cycloptic dark ball with yellow dots on its back, or a cloaked knight appearing as the first form of Kirby Dream Land 2's True Final Boss, Miracle Matter, a 20 sided die that appears as the Final Boss of Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, and Zero from Kirby's Dream Land 3, the boss of Dark Matter who cuts its own iris and bleeds as an attack, and later it rips its own iris out. It is reincarnated as 02 in Kirby 64 as the True Final Boss, a creepy angel thing with a blood-dripping eye.
    • From Kirby Super Star there is Marx, first appearing to be a cute jester-like creature balancing on a ball, he manipulates the Sun and Moon to fight and sends Kirby to stop them as part of a plan to wish for ultimate power. He is killed, but his grotesque soul appears as a Bonus Boss that terrifyingly screams when you defeat it.
    • Kirby Mass Attack has Necrodeus, the monster that split Kirby into ten pieces, and the Skull Gang, his minions. It doesn't help that his name translates to "Death/Corpse God".
    • Kirby: Canvas Curse has the lesser-known Drawcia Soul; the soul of a painting that came to life. Not only does it look and act like an Eldritch Abomination, but it has a high-pitched, warped and rather disturbing scream to go with its apperance.
  • Earthbound combines this with Mood Whiplash, in the final fight, in what had started as a funny and lighthearted game, with Giygas, a horrible Eldritch Abomination with more than a few similarities to Azathoth that you cannot defeat in the normal manner and whose attacks are so powerful your mind cannot comprehend them, but the fourth wall doesn't protect him from you.
  • Mother 3 has Porky Minch, who commits an array of disgustingly horrible acts,note  ultimately because he was bored.
  • Real Overlord Zenon in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. She's made even more horrifying in the infamous worst ending. And yet, thanks to the magic of reincarnation, she's also the hero's love interest.
  • Ni GHTS Into Dreams has a relatively cutesy and bright-colored aesthetic to it (much like Kirby, but to a lesser extent), but the bosses, in addition to being (arguably) the most difficult parts of the game are Eldritch Abominations that look like something out of a Tim Burton movie.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • All the Mario villains appearing in the RPGs. You've got the weapons-crazed Smithy in Super Mario RPG, the X-Naut leader Grodus and the demonic Shadow Queen he is seeking to free in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the Ax-Crazy Monster Clown Dimentio in Super Paper Mario, the super-creepy Cackletta in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the invading Shroobs in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, the force of evil that's the Dark Star in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, none other than Bowser himself powered up into an Eldritch Abomination that can warp reality in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team... That's a fair amount of disturbing villains in the otherwise quite light-hearted series.
    • Smithy in particular set the standards as the villain of the first Mario RPG. After traversing the Mushroom Kingdom which as to be expected is bright, colorful and full of wacky and strange enemies... you find the portal to Smithy's realm and find it a dark, gloomy, mist-covered factory full of machines and ghosts.
    • Antasma from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team was this to the cute and colorful Pi'illos in the game's backstory, looking like something out of a nightmare in contrast. And even though the game proper sees him get upstaged by Bowser as the main threat, he still looks pretty creepy compared to the other characters.
    • Arch-Enemy Bowser sometimes counts underneath all the ham. He is Great Demon King Koopa after all, and can cause major damage when he's actually trying. He tries on two separate occasions to remake the universe in his own image, which is exactly what Dimentio wanted to do, but old Bowser did it by stealing from a powerful cosmic caretaker of baby stars with nothing but his Airship fleet and his army. Dry Bowser is him resurrected as a huge demonic skeleton. And there's Giga Bowser....
    • Luigi's enemy King Boo might count too, if you look into Luigi's Mansion close enough. The Portrait Ghosts (who are allied with him, apparently) are a family and servants, some of them children, and many of their biographies give them sympathetic backstories and suggest that they may have died in very unpleasant ways. One of them even befriends Luigi. Given that King Boo created the Mansion as a trap to lure Mario and his friends to their doom it is entirely possible that the Portrait Ghosts were Unwitting Pawns all along, putting King Boo on the same level as Dimentio in terms of what he's capable of.
      • Then Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon happened, in which it's revealed that his defeat turned him into a complete and utter sociopath perfectly willing to do anything to make Luigi and Gadd suffer as much as possible, even attempting to destroy the fabric of the universe. He's not just as bad as Dimentio in what he's capable of doing. He's as bad as him in what he does.
  • Cave Story is a pretty cheery-looking game with Ridiculously Cute Critters, a Quirky Miniboss Squad with a memorable Catchphrase and a main character who's Badass Adorable incarnate. And you're facing a Mad Scientist who is irredeemably evil. It gets even creepier when you enter the Brutal Bonus Level. Ballos is not only creepy, but his story is really depressing. He destroys the kingdom because he went insane from torture.
  • Pokémon
    • Darkrai, the main villain of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Explorers games. Prior to the game's events, he steals artifacts responsible for the balance of the universe as an attempt to destroy both space and time and in the process, he makes one of the gods evil and crazy, then he wipes the hero(ine)'s memory clean and turns him/her into a Pokémon. Later, when this doesn't work, he decides that the easiest way to get rid of his aforementioned archnemesis is to make him/her commit suicide!
    • Not to say the other games aren't proofed against this trope, either. On one hand, you have Ridiculously Cute Critters in beautiful grassy fields. On the other hand, you have cheery antagonists like Yakuza stand-ins involved in Pokémon trafficking and murder, eco-terrorists that nearly end the world, emotion-hating and omnicidal Cyrus, murderous misanthrope Purple Eyes, notorious childbreaker Ghetsis, genocidal lunatic Lysandre, and worst of all, the abominable cabinet of mind-rapists known as Cipher.
      • In the main series, the best example is probably Pokémon Platinum. The Sinnoh games are arguably among the cutest in the main series so far (because of the music, the many pre-evos, and in fact most of the new mons introduced that generation, notably) but the mascot legendaries are among the most powerful ever (at least in-story) and Platinum ups the ante with a sinister Ghost/Dragon Eldritch Abomination (that isn't a villain per se, but an antagonist) that lives in an appropriate Eldritch Location. The contrast with the rest of Sinnoh can be stunning. And it's awakened by the actions of the above-mentioned emotion-hating and omnicidal Cyrus.
      • Pokémon Black2 and White2 are right up there, too, with Team Plasma and the aforementioned Ghetsis actually freezing part of the continent using the power of Kyurem, a creature nearly as terrifying as Giratina. Furthermore, Ghetsis forces one of the other two dragons to merge with Kyurem to make it even stronger.
  • Spyro the Dragon
    • The series takes place in a dreamlike environment with mostly cute characters... but occasionally has genuinely creepy enemies. The Dark Passage level from the first game is rife with these as is Haunted Towers.
    • The Metropolis level from Spyro 2 is a rather jarring break in an otherwise cutesy game, with its psychotic cows in space suits who stare angrily and shoot you, as well as exploding pigs who come flying at you out of nowhere (and they will always hit you unless you kill them first). The robotic sharks in water levels are horrifying, especially when you try to go in there without a submarine (you are killed instantly). And also there are levels where plants can eat you. There are quite a few bosses who are pretty unnerving as well.
    • The Sorceress in 3, who steals all the baby dragon eggs because she wants to kill them and use their wings for an immortality spell. Yikes! No wonder her Dragon did a Heel-Face Turn after she found out! The most disturbing part is that she didn't need to kill the hatchlings, she just didn't want them squirming about while she cut them off. Scorch, the 3rd boss, is pretty damn creepy as well, being solely created for the purpose of brutally murdering the heroes. Granted the manner the Sorceress reveals her evil plan fails to be that terrifying at all...
    The Sorceress: What did you think I was going to do with all those eggs? Put them in a zoo?
    (mook in the background giggles quietly)
  • Wario Land 3 has enemies and bosses typical of the series... and then there's Rudy the Clown, who turns this Up to Eleven via Interface Screw and sudden subversion of a core game mechanic. Not only is he a powerful demon (blood-red teeth and Evil Laugh not shown) who becomes even more disturbing when he Turns Red, but he's the only thing in the game that can actually kill Wario, and the game auto-saves if he does. Fortunately, all this does is let you skip the cutscene before the fight next time, and most consider him an Anticlimax Boss once you know how to dodge his lethal attack.
  • LeChuck from the Monkey Island series can be truly threatening sometimes. And even when he's more humorous, his entire concept of being a demon zombie pirate is incredibly vile.
  • Rez the evil cyborg overlord from the Gex series. In addition to being incredibly creepy looking was downright Nightmare Fuel when you read between the lines. Judging from the fact that he has sentences like "NO HOPE" "30 DAYS IN THE COOLER FOR TALKING" "YOUR WORK IS THE REASON YOU LIVE" and "EMOTIONS ARE CRIMINAL" written throughout his lair it was heavily implied that he was using slave labor. Not to mention the sweatshop vibe the place gives off.
  • Lord Arktivus Brevon from Freedom Planet is an alien warlord who's as vile as they come, in what would otherwise be a lighthearted romp in the style of the early Sonic the Hedgehog games. You don't have to go further to learn of this than the game's opening sequence, in which he breaks into a palace with his army and beheads its king on-screen and in front of his son, who he promptly and painfully brainwashes to serve him. Whenever he shows up, expect things to get serious, and fast.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Care Bears, of all franchises, tends to have this in spades, what with Professor Coldheart, the Spirit in the Book, Dark Heart, No-Heart and others all dedicated to the removal of any ability to feel emotion. Appropriately, Professor Coldheart has the (relatively) lightest/softest/most saccharine look, but the resemblance of his tactics' to pedophiles' could be said to make him simultaneously the creepiest.
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The G1 My Little Pony continuity has a lot of villains who came close to enacting a Sugar Apocalypse.
    • The initial specials have Tirek, a demon-centaur who wanted to turn the ponies into an army of demonic dragons with his "Rainbow of Darkness", and Katrina, a catwoman sorceress who plotted to enslave the ponies into gathering ingredients for her Fantastic Drug of choice, "witchweed potion".
    • The movie has The Smooze, an all-consuming Blob Monster unleashed by a Card Carrying Villainess and her bumbling daughters.
    • The series proper has:
      • Squirk, a tyrannical sea monster who wanted to reclaim part of his undersea kingdom by flooding Dream Valley.
      • Crunch the Rock Dog, a huge dog made out of stone that hates all things soft, has the power to turn anything he touches to stone and turn normal rocks into sharp-toothed monsters to stalk his prey. The way he and his rock minions chased after the Bushwoolies, turning them to stone one by one, seems right out of a horror movie.
      • Grogar the demon ram sorcerer, who captured unicorns by intercepting their teleporting powers, and wanted to banish the main characters to another dimension. He also threatens to do the same to his mooks.
  • The G4 My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic continues the franchise's tradition of cute ponies being menaced by terrifying villains.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • Him, one of the scariest (and most daring) villains on a Cartoon Network comedy ever; he even turned Townsville into a living hell on Earth when the girls accidentally traveled forward in time. But at least Him has comedic traits, which is more than can be said for...
    • Dick Hardly. He tricks the girls into giving him some Chemical X, and then starts making shoddy knock-off Powerpuff Girls to sell around the world and become rich. He has them made intentionally poorly, so that they fall apart and he can sell more of them, and when he sees a perfect Buttercup copy, he angrily orders it to be melted down for its excess Chemical X. When the girls go to his factory to stop him, he starts draining their Chemical X, nearly killing them. And when the Professor offers to become Dick's slave and make Chemical X for the rest of his life in exchange for the girls' safety, Dick laughs at him and says that he'll destroy the girls and keep the Professor as a slave.
  • Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons has always been distinctly darker than anybody else in a cast of hundreds. Especially prevalent in his third appearance, "Cape Feare", in which he forgoes evil plans and just tries to slice Bart to pieces with a machete, crouched and approaching with dark rings under his eyes. Perhaps to balance this out, Sideshow Bob episodes are also frequently Denser and Wackier, even in the show's earlier, more "down to earth" seasons. In "Cape Feare" alone, Sideshow Bob is driven through a cactus patch, walks through a pile of rakes and gets trampled by circus elephants. He later sings the entire score of H.M.S. Pinafore as a final wish to Bart before attempting to murder him (complete with makeshift props, costumes, an issue of Playbill with his picture on the cover, and a giant Union Flag unfurling behind him during the grand finale).
    • Cecil Terwilliger is definitely a Up to Eleven version of Sideshow Bob. He tried to kill two children and his own brother.
    • Mr. Burns, especially in the earlier seasons. Freudian Excuse aside, his Kick the Dog moments are much more frequent than those of other Simpsons villains. The few excuses he is given seem so disconnected from his evil, he is hated throughout Springfield, (Who Shot Mr. Burns has even Snake Jailbird apologizing for not being around to shoot him).
  • Father from Codename: Kids Next Door. A shadowy figure with control over fire, who brainwashed five children into thinking they were his/being evil? Add that to the fact that he is always beaten by the skin of everyone else's teeth and you've got a very threatening villain for such a harmless show.
    • And then once Father went through massive Villain Decay, The Movie gave us Grandfather, Father's father (and Numbuh Zero's), who possesses many of Father's abilities as well as the ability to turn all the people in the world into undead senior citizens.
  • While a few of them do play nice, most of the diesel engines in Thomas the Tank Engine are very vocal about their desire to overtake the steam engines and aren't above trying to hurry that day along. At least twice, they've tried to smelt down other engines and escaped any consequences.
  • Phineas and Ferb is a show that invokes Rousseau Was Right and usually has a Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, which makes the presence of the unnamed Drill Sergeant Nasty in "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted" all the more surprising. He spends the entire episode coldly and sadistically pounding out any creativity and happiness from the duo to the point they essentially become mindless drones. He even dies in the end. He's also a literal nightmare, so the show can get away with this.
    • Then, the crossover with Marvel presented Red Skull. Given his history and what he does, his evil stands out A LOT, compared to the Drill Sergeant Nasty and Doodenshmirtz-2. His evil plan was to destroy the Tri-State Area, and he modified one of Doofenshmirtz's inventions to drain matter and living energy from other beings.
  • Teen Titans sometimes has this trope. The show itself is usually lighthearted, and most of the one-shot villains are comical (with a couple of notable exceptions)- but lets take a look at some of the Big Bads. Slade is a creepily emotionless diabolical mastermind who runs on blackmail, Mind Rape, Hannibal Lectures and Foe Yay, and delivers No Holds Barred Beatdowns to several characters in surprisingly vivid fashion. Then there's Trigon, who's Satan and wants to use the show's main Woobie, who's also his daughter, to bring about The End of the World as We Know It- and he actually succeeds in causing Hell on Earth for two episodes. Fun times. Both villains (as well as Brother Blood) were toned down a lot for the cartoon. For much of the '80s, the Teen Titans was one of DC's darkest books. The fact that they were able to make it a kids' show is a feat for the ages.
  • Adventure Time is more crapsaccharine than saccharine (though the characters inside don't seem to care), but some villains are a cut above the rest:
    • Hunson Abadeer is the soul-sucking Lord of Evil, who rules the Nightosphere (which is a Chaotic Evil Hell) and has a One-Winged Angel form Lovecraft would have been proud of. He does genuinely love his daughter Marceline, but the way he expresses his love is twisted at best.
    • The Lich seeks to eradicate all life, kills things simply by being near them, looks like a half-rotten corpse, his possession of Bubblegum is straight out of The Exorcist, he kills Billy and uses him as Living Bodysuit, kills Prismo, is a master of manipulation and Mind Rape, and he's voiced by Ron Perlman. He's the only villain in the entire series that is played dead seriously (pun intended), and he is all the more terrifying for it. It's implied he's the embodiment of the first bomb of the Mushroom War, making him the avatar of the apocalypse.
    • The Fight King, who tricked friend warriors into fighting his Gladiator Ghosts, and then eventually forced them to fight and kill each other for his own amusement. Just like The Lich, he is a completely serious villain without any comical trait.
    • Me-Mow threatens to kill Jake if he doesn't assassinate Wildberry Princess for her, and at one point injects him with half the poison. Once she's discovered she tries to blind Finn with a knife.
    • The Destiny Gang are a band of marauding thugs that terrorise and plunder a village, burn it down purely out of spite, then set Finn's house on fire while his family are still inside (including his infant sibling). The two-part episode in which they appear features The Lich and finally confirms that Ooo is set After the End, and they are still one of the darkest things about the episode.
    • Ricardio is not only a blood covered giant organ with a scary looking face and hideous biomechanical limbs, he's also the closest thing to a rapist they could get away with having in a kid's show.
  • Transformers
    • The Transformers Animated version of Megatron, given the show's colorful and cartoonish nature.
    • Shockwave, who murdered Blurr in an incredibly horrifying manner, Wasp, being in a continuity where his insanity isn't played for laughs and is completely terrifying for it, and Lockdown, a freelance assassin Transformer who's caused Ratchet to have war flashbacks.
    • Lockdown's whole body is a Swiss-Army Weapon whose left arm and leg don't match his right. Why? He butchers other Transformers for their parts to increase his power, or just to keep as trophies.
    • Prometheus Black/Meltdown is a rare human example in the series. While the other human villains in Animated are deliberately used as filler and to exemplify the Decepticons as a greater threat, Meltdown manages to be geuinely depraved and terrifying. Case in point — in his second appearance, he was experimenting on humans to try and create human transformers (he'd already done at least two adult humans, one of them his former lawyer, and was planning to use 8-year-old Sari Sumdac as his next test subject).
  • The Classic Disney Shorts have The Mad Doctor, who is an evil doctor bent on cutting up Mickey's dog Pluto as part of a lab experiment. Later, he actually threatens to cut open Mickey Mouse himself! Fortunately, he only exists in one of Mickey's nightmares.
  • Zordrak of The Dreamstone. A gargantuan bellowing Eldritch Abomination with a serious Hair-Trigger Temper that frequently abuses or even exterminates his Slave Mooks the Urpneys for the slightest irritance. While also managing to be rather funny, he's a pretty creepy guy, even when not compared to the cutesy residents of the Land Of Dreams.
  • The Night Master from Yin Yang Yo. While he still retains comedic features, he is a really dangerous and intimidating villain compared to the Ineffectual Sympathetic Villains in the show. It went so far that he was responsible for the Woo-Foo extinguish, killing all the Woo-Foo's knights, Master Yo being the only survivor.
  • Gargamel of The Smurfs qualifies for this designation, though not always.
    • Gargamel was only the Smurfs' most persistant enemy. They had ones that were far more dangerous, and some that were not laughable at all. Nemesis, a warlock who was introduced late in the series, was the best example. His goal was to gain immortality by stealing the Smurfs' Long Life Stone, and an accident in the past had made his face so hideous that most people couldn't bear to look at him. His skills in black magic were greater than Gargamel could ever fathom.
    • There was also Gargamel's godfather Lord Balthazar, a far more competant wizard. The show's Never Say "Die" policy was severly compromised in his first appearance, when he used a gun (he didn't refer to it as such, but it was clearly a blunderbuss of some sort) against the Smurfs, killing their pet duck. (He later got better, due to Swiss Army Tears.) Balthazar mellowed a great deal in future episodes where he really didn't really care about the smurfs at all, but his plots to predict the future often made him a dangerous threat.
    • Another example was the Wicked Witch Chlorhydris, who was so full of hate that she wanted to make the entire world feel the same way, eradicating everyone's ability to feel happiness and love. While such goals are not uncommon for villains in a series like this, Chlorhydris did some downright sadistic things in pursuit of it, like kidnapping the wood elf Laconia and using her wand to kill the flowing plants in the forest - not caring in the least that doing so was causing Laconia to die an agonizingly slow death as she felt their pain. (Unlike most villains in the series, Chlorhydris was given a backstory; apparently, she was once in love with a wizard who left her at the altar, and apparently, the heartbreak was enough for her to want to deny all of creation what she had once had.)
  • Some of the oldest Looney Tunes shorts had villains that made even Yosemite Sam look timid. The 1949 Porky Pig cartoon "Bye, Bye Bluebeard" had a Serial Killer (that's right, a serial killer) named Bluebeard who would likely have given most of today's children nightmares. (Forget the fact that he was hideous, stood 6' 11 tall, actually had a long, blue beard, and the most nightmarish Evil Laugh in Looney Tunes history, he nearly decapitated poor Porky using a homemade guillotine; Porky was saved when a mouse (who Porky had been chasing earlier, who decides to flip a coin to decide what to do) tricks Bluebeard into eating some bombs disguised as popovers, causing the villain to explode.
  • Dr. Blowhole in The Penguins of Madagascar. In his debut episode he planned on flooding the world, just because of all the embarassment humans put him through when he was a circus dolphin. And in his second appearance, he intentionally meant to drown Skipper when he gave him amnesia. And that, after his first appearance, some of the other episodes went through Darker and Edgier territories.
  • A Finnish Children's show called The Moomins stars a family of cute claymation hippos — occasionally visited by the Groke, some void/cold/death incarnation that can apparently kill things just by standing near them. It also moves like some kind of demon ghost.
  • Darkwing Duck is a show where even the Devil (who's a loser) has comedy value. Taurus Bulba, however, had none. He had Gosalyn's grandfather murdered, and when he was trying to get the code for the Waddlemeyer Ramrod he threatened to drop Gosalyn off a building if Darkwing didn't get the code. He was presumably killed in the explosion that destroyed the weapon, but Steelbeak and FOWL later brought him back to life as a near-indestructible cyborg, assuming he would accept their offer of employment. They were wrong. He not only turned it down, he destroyed the place in rage calling them out for "forgetting small details, like... asking my permission". All played completely seriously.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has Eddy's brother. Sure, the show itself was a Sadist Show, but everything that happens to the Eds up until his appearance is played for laughs and could be considered lighthearted enough. Come the end of the movie, this guy manages to genuinely harm both his own brother and Edd, and he's been abusing the former for years. What all the typical bullies in the show witness him doing is horrific enough for them to redeem themselves and accept the Eds as their friends once and for all.
  • XANA from Code Lyoko. The show takes place in a boarding school that appears to be a rather light-hearted, comical setting, with a ridiculous gym teacher, a Lovable Alpha Bitch and characters making jokes, but as soon as XANA starts acting, we suddenly get stuff such as Killer Wasps/Rats/Birds invasions, Giant Destructive Teddy Bears, place where Everything Is Trying to Kill You, Zombie Apocalypse, cataclysms, Demonic Possession, and the list goes on. And just in case this wasn't scary enough, XANA itself never appears in person.
  • Dora the Explorer normally only has Swiper, but some of the Big Bads in the double-length specials qualify — especially the Witch from "Dora's Fairy Tale Adventure", who put Boots in a never ending sleep For the Evulz and was genuinely evil.
  • Meatman from the Camp Lazlo episode of the same name is much more intimidating and terrifying than you'd expect from a show like this.
    Lazlo: Please, Meatman! I'm sorry I called you stinky, smelly, and stupid!
    Meatman: But that's how I like my dinner. Stinky... smelly... and STUPID!
  • The original Ben 10 is often goofy with a Silver Age feeling, but some of the aliens monsters fought by the protagonists even as one-off threat were outright disturbing. Then there is Vilgax, an Evil Overlord who tried to cut off the protagonist's arm to get his watch, and Kevin 11, an Enfant Terrible with psychotic tendencies who wanted to kill thousands of people to gain money.
    • Ghostfreak is so damn creepy Ben hates to use the form. It gets worse when it is revealed that the omnitrix not only houses the DNA but the memories of Ghostfeak, and he just so happens to be a maniac who wants to take Ben's body and use it for his own ends. As long as his form is stored in the omnitrix he can always come back.
    • While Sequel Series Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien are too dark by themselves to qualify for this trope, subsequent sequel Ben 10: Omniverse went for a Denser and Wackier approach, making the show even more goofy than the original show... while giving us as a villain the Egomaniac Hunter Khyber, who is an alien Serial Killer.
      • "Of Predators and Prey" reveal Malware, a psychopathic Galvanic Mechomorph who was shown to have murdered people of his species. He tried to crash a school bus to distract Ben, trying to murder a bunch of innocent kids. "Showdown" reveals that he ripped out and destroyed Ben's Feedback form for no other reason than to spite Ben. The event left Ben traumatized and is visibly afraid of Malware. As if that weren't bad enough, he then proceeds to blow up his own homeworld.
  • The Fairly Oddparents is a cheerful series whose antagonists have at comical features, or themselves are incompetent. Except for Miss Doombringer. Unlike Crocker, her desire to find Fairies isn't to prove people right or conquer the world, she's just Ax-Crazy and wants to tear the wings off of Fairies to mount on her wall!
    • The Destructinator from the episode "Wishology". An Omnicidal Maniac dedicated to the destruction of other worlds and willing to kill a 10 year old boy. He is so atrocious he was the first and only character in the series to be Killed Off for Real.
    • In-universe, Vicky is often seen as this by other characters.
  • The Old Crazy Farmer/Janitor from Beavis and Butt-Head. Although, probably played for laughs, he certainly is much more frightening and creepier villain than any other.
  • Jake's father ("Mad Dog" Morgendorffer) from Daria. Even to be a mentioned character, he is the only villain in the entire series that has sociopathic traits. Violent, impulsive and Domestic Abuser.
  • King of the Hill has Trip Larson from the Halloween episode "Pigmalion". Not only does he try and transform Luanne into his ideal woman, he tries to kill her with a pork processing machine. He is known widely as the most memorable and frightening villain that had the entire series. Before of "Pigmalion", no other villain tried to kill someone young in the cast of the show in a so horrible way.
  • Donbot from Futurama. While the other villains are very ridiculous and over-the-top, Donbot's attempts to kill the Planet Express crew are played entirely seriously.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is Darker and Edgier than previous Scooby Doo series, but is still child-friendly. Two of its villains are The Freak of Crystal Cove and Professor Pericles. The former blackmailed the original mystery gang into leaving town and took the baby of one of them hostage and raised it for 18 years, threatening to harm him if they ever came back. The latter murdered Ed Machine, and the Gang's friend Cassidy Williams and later experiments with genes to create a mutant army of cattle that cause wide property damage and killed at least 29 people. He later puts mutated cobra larvae into his former master's spine.
    • The Grand Finale sees the release of the Nibiru Entity from his Sealed Evil in a Can and makes Pericles and the Freak look tame in comparison. He kills Pericles by possessing him and mutating his body into a hideous Eldritch Abomination, then proceeds to eat Brad, Judy, and Mr. E alive. Not stopping there, he turns Crystal Cove into Hell on Earth and eats the entire town on screen while summoning an army of monstrous Mooks. All in all, he's the Scooby Doo verse version of Satan. He's also the only villain in the series to be Killed Off for Real, his demise erasing him from time and making it as if he'd never existed.
  • Similiar, The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo has titular 13 Ghosts (sometimes called demons). While some of them are goofy, few are quite nasty. Maldor the Malevolent, first ghost they fought, was menancing dark sorcerer, attempted to kill the gang with magic, imprisoned and threatened a wizard to get magic wand that would let him conquer the world and trapped Daphne in magic sleep Scooby barerly managed to break. Time Slime was outright sadistic, even for ghosts' standards, and managed to terrify Scooby so much he got Heroic BSOD and only broke from it when Vincent showed him vision of the future in which Time Slime turned world into a postpocaliptic wasteland, corrutped Flim Flam and Scrappy and drove Shaggy and Daphne insane. Nicara is Femme Fatale, who makes wizards fall in love with her and then drains their magic powers and almost did that to Vincent. Rankor actually looks like classic demon and, in order to prove himself worthy joining group of ghost trying to destroy the world, turned Vincent into stone, attempted to kill the gang and then some plane passangers.
  • Dr. Robotnik gets this treatment in Sonic Sat AM, which was the Darker and Edgier continuity for Sonic the Hedgehog in its day. Admittedly, Mobius in this series is a Crapsaccharine World at best (cutesy talking animals... who are hiding from a relentless army of robots in a world that's growing increasingly poisonous and polluted), but he's the guy responsible for making it so crapsack, his favorite method of conquest is herding sentients into a machine that transforms them into helplessly obedient machine slaves, and he's so creepy even his main toady (who is also his nephew) is scared to death of him.
  • While Courage the Cowardly Dog is pretty creepy and no stranger to Nightmare Fuel, most of the villains have some sympathetic motive or backstory or are otherwise Laughably Evil. But there are some who can take villain level much, much further. In order of appearance:
    • Katz, arguably the Big Bad of the series and Courage's attitled Arch-Enemy is simply put, the most disturbing example of a sadistic, psychopathic Serial Killer played straight on a kid's show. Never Played for Laughs, his MO is to set up false businesses to lure victims, then murder them in brutal ways when he's done (Feeding them to spiders, turning them into appliances or candy, etc). And it's heavily implied that the family is the latest in a long line of victims and possibly the only ones to escape.
    • Benton Tarentella, one of the lesser known villains, is a Zombie director who was a Serial Killer when he was alive, murdering people with his partner while pretending to film them. When he died, he still continued his murderous work. His debut episode had him attempt to revive his partner so they could devour Muriel.
    • Mad Dog is a vicious gangster who regularly abused his girlfriend Bunny and implied to put her in prostitution. When Bunny's friend Kitty tried to get her away from him, he threatened her. This caused Bunny to assume all dogs were evil. Much like Katz, Mad Dog is played completely seriously and is basically a Domestic Abuser played horrifically straight on a kid's show.
  • Danny Phantom has many villains that, while powerful and dangerous, have many Affably Evil moments are still have standards, such as not fighting or harming humans during Christmas. "The Ultimate Enemy" features Danny's future self, Dark Danny. Not only is there never an attempt where he acts Faux Affably Evil, but all of the destruction and death he's responsible for are played serious.


Playing with a TropeConsistencyCliché Storm
Villainous HarlequinSliding Scale of Antagonist VilenessThe Bully
Vicious VacVillainsVillain Antagonist
Vicious VacAdded Alliterative AppealVillainous Valour
City of WeirdosImageSource/Comic BooksPlanet Looters

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