Playing With: Pragmatic Villainy
Basic Trope: A villain refuses to do something horrible, not out of kindness, but because it's a stupid thing to do.
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- Straight: The city of Cort surrenders to Emperor Evulz, and he orders that the inhabitants be spared. When asked why, he replies that it will give other communities the incentive to surrender.
- Exaggerated: Evulz ends up doing massive amounts of good accomplishing his goals. After all, his troops need good roads to travel efficiently and the trade funds them, good supply of medical care and giving it away gets him their loyalty and a demonstrates great deal of intelligence. Only his questionable but expedient actions make him qualify as a villain. Without those he'd be nearly saintly.
- Downplayed: Evulz gives his perceived enemies quick deaths instead of wasting time torturing them, because it's a waste of his time and torture doesn't get good information anyways.
- Evulz is a Villain with Good Publicity and needs to keep it that way.
- Hey, Evulz is a pragmatist. His society is set up around doing the extreme that needs to be done, for which most view him as evil, but he's by no means going to do anything negative just for the hell of it.
- Evulz can only do so much evil before the civilians will either revolt or get wiped out.
- Evulz has a far greater goal.
- Evulz claims he's only sparing the people of Cort to make other communities surrender, but it's really because he isn't as evil as he claims.
- Evulz appears to being ready to spare the people of Cort, then slaughters them
- Double Subverted:
- Evulz really was doing it for pragmatic reasons, but eventually realized that playing the part of Noble Demon would give him more leverage and decided to pretend his "real" reasons were moral all along.
- Only because Evulz knew they were feigning surrender.
- Slaughtering the people of Cort was an idea of one of Evulz's Stupid Evil subordinates, whom Evulz executes.
- Parodied: Evulz never actually does anything evil at all, and in fact donates regularly to charity and helps old ladies cross the street, but keeps up with the Evil Gloating as he does so, gleefully pointing out to anyone who will listen how these acts of kindness totally further his evil goals.
- Zig Zagged: It's hard to tell whether or not Evulz is acting out of pragmatism or genuine goodness, with plenty of evidence for both.
- Enforced: The fandom is infamous for tearing apart Stupid Evil. The executives know their audience well affecting the plot accordingly.
- Lampshaded: "Mr. Mayor, I may be a brutal conqueror, but I'm not a fool".
- Invoked: Evulz has studied the behaviors of other villains to see where they went wrong, and resolves not to make any of their mistakes.
- Defied: Evulz is a crazed, sadistic lunatic who loves being a crazed, sadistic lunatic.
- Discussed: "One reason Evulz is so dangerous is because he doesn't do evil deeds when there's no point".
- Conversed: "Finally, a movie villain who acts rational!"
- Deconstructed: Evulz is such a Slave to PR, the other villains mock him for it.
- Reconstructed: But Evulz has shown that he's Eviler Than Thou and verbally rips through the rest of them on how Stupid Evil Card Carrying Villainy is, proving that he's closer to his goals than anyone else.
- Played For Laughs: Evulz is essentially a humanitarian, but the heroes considered him a criminal mastermind by shouting "That monster, how dare he feeds those starving orphans and building houses for the homeless!"
- Played For Drama: Because how Dangerously Genre Savvy Evulz is, and because he doesn't play the Villain Ball, the heroes have a hard time facing him without ruining their own image as well.
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