Playing With / Anti-Villain

Basic Trope: A villain that is morally ambiguous.
  • Straight: General Drake is a villain who follows a strict moral code and does what he does because he sees the heroes as ineffectual in getting good done.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed: General Drake is basically a Drill Sergeant Nasty, but he does have standards, and cares about the people working under him.
  • Justified: General Drake has a sympathetic Back Story and comes from a setting where the heroes are either incompetent, Knight Templars, or corrupt. Overlaps with Hero Antagonist.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted: General Drake realizes his mistakes and is trying to keep himself on the blurry line of anti-villainy.
  • Parodied:
    • General Drake likes to think of himself as villainous, but in reality, he is a true hero whose fellow villains aren't even convinced of his evil.
    • "The fools! They called me mad! We'll see who's laughing when I end world hunger and cure cancer! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAA!"
  • Zig Zagged: General Drake continues to cross the line between hero and villain, depending on the situation.
  • Averted: General Drake is a traditional villain with all that entails, only having enough sympathetic traits to make him believable.
  • Enforced:
    • "Hey, we need a counter-point to our Anti-Hero... Let's make General Drake sympathetic!"
    • "Complete Monsters don't appeal to audiences. People don't want to see a guy to murder babies & puppies after beating the crap out of them. People want a more complex villain. Let's give them what they want & in return, we'll get all their money."
  • Lampshaded: "You sure are very heroic for a villain."
  • Invoked: General Drake intentionally acts as a morally ambiguous villain so as to capitalize on Protagonist-Centered Morality.
  • Exploited: The Hero tries talking General Drake into his side by letting him know that they can work together.
  • Defied: General Drake tries as hard as possible to deny his good side so that he doesn't have to be upset with himself.
  • Discussed: "Don't feel bad that we defeated him, he was evil!" "But he was trying to save the world... just differently."
  • Conversed: "Why does General Drake seem to be more heroic than the hero in this show?
  • Deconstructed:
    • Being so close to the blurry moral line of Villainy and Heroism causes General Drake to be constantly wracked with guilt and eventually have a complete mental breakdown.
    • Due to General Drake's ambiguity, the cops don't know whether he's a hero or a villain this week. To be on the safe side, they shoot him anyway.
  • Reconstructed:
    • ...but returns to power to continue mission after deciding that what he has been doing is really for the better.
    • He takes the villain's position to heart and tries to either help the villain (if possible, to do so within good morals) or work harder to prevent people from becoming like the anti-villain (as in, he works to prevent the tragedies that resulted in the anti-villain to become a villain).

Back to Anti-Villain.