Quotes / Punch Clock Villain

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     Film — animated 

"I relate to you, Ralph. When I hit bottom, I was crushing man’s skull like sparrow’s egg between my thighs. And I ask myself, "Why must you be such bad guy, Zangief? Why can't you be more like good guy?" Then I have moment of clarity: If Zangief is good guy, who will crush man’s skull like sparrow’s egg between thighs? And I say, "Zangief, you are bad guy. But this does not mean you are bad guy."
Zangief at the Bad-Anon meeting, Wreck-It Ralph

    Film — Live-action 

"I work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There's not a lot of money in revenge."
Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

"Selling guns is like selling vacuum cleaners: you make calls, pound the pavement, take orders. I was an equal-opportunity merchant of death; I supplied to every army but the Salvation Army. I sold Israeli-made Uzis to Muslims; I delivered Communist-made bullets to fascists; I even shipped cargo to Afghanistan while they were fighting my fellow Soviets. I never sold to Osama bin Laden, not on any moral grounds; back then, he was always bouncing cheques."
Yuri Orlov, Lord of War

Vitaly: She really doesn't know how you pay for all this?
Yuri: We don't talk about it. How many car salesmen talk about their work, huh? How many cigarette salesmen? Both their products kill more people every year than mine. At least mine has a safety switch. If those guys can leave their work at the office, then so can I.

Henchman: Should we take La Miranda tonight?
Carlos Santana: Nah, I don't like to work on the weekends. Tonight... it's karaoke!

"I realized they were stronger than we. Because they could stand that these were not monsters. These were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love. But they had the strength—the strengthto do that. If I had 10 divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral, and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling."
Col. Walter Edmund Kurtz, Apocalypse Now

Dr. Kaufman: Vait! I am just a profezzional doing a job!
Bond: Me, too. [shots him]

Patrice: Please, understand... please try- [gunshot] Aah! ...there's a boat by the quay... please understand, it was all business. It wasn't personal!
Bryan: It was all personal to me. [five gunshots]

"Honor will not put food in my belly nor shoe my horse."
Bowen, Dragonheart

"I'm a soldier, not a monster. Even though sometimes I work for monsters."
Simon Gruber, Die Hard with a Vengeance

"At the same time as trying to lead a good life, I have to reconcile myself with the fact that, yes, I have killed people. Not many people. Most of them were not very nice people."
Ken, In Bruges

"People of Tolkien's generation had a problem identifying evil. They had no difficulty recognizing it, they had to live through it. But the puzzling thing was that this seemed to be carried out by entirely normal people. And indeed Tolkien, who was a combat veteran, knew that his own side did things like that too. The nature of evil in the 20th century has been curiously impersonal. It's as if sometimes nobody particularly wants to do it. In the end you get the major atrocities of the 20th century being carried out by bureaucrats. Well, the people who do that kind of things are wraiths. They've gone through the wraithing process. they don't know what's good and evil any more. It's become a job or a routine. You start out with good intentions but somehow it all goes wrong. So it's a curiously distinctive image of evil, and I should say it's also a very unwelcome one. Because what it says is, it could be you. And, in fact, under the right circumstances, or I should say the wrong circumstances, it will be you. When people say that this kind of fantasy fiction is escapist and evading the real world and so on, well, I think that's an evasion. It's actually trying to confront something that most people would rather not confront."
Tom Shippey, "J. R. R. Tolkien, Creator of Middle Earth" (The Fellowship of the Ring DVD extra)


"Down there are people who will follow any dragon, worship any god, ignore any iniquity. All out of a kind of humdrum, everyday badness. Not the really high, creative loathesomeness of the great sinners, but a sort of mass-produced darkness of the soul. Sin, you might say, without a trace of originality. They accept evil not because they say yes, but because they don't say no."
The Patrician, Guards! Guards!

"Men like him would kill at their lord's command, rape when their blood was up after battle, and plunder wherever they could, but once the war was done they would go back to their homes, trade their spears for hoes, wed their neighbors' daughters, and raise a pack of squalling children."

"Lots of people in history have only done their jobs, and look at the trouble they caused."
Aziraphale, Good Omens


"'Once ze rockets are up, who cares vere zey come down?
Zat's not my department', says Wernher von Braun"
Tom Lehrer, "Wernher von Braun"

"They say he didn't take no crap from the State Line Gang
What the hell they talking bout?
I'm just a hard working man with a family to feed"
Drive-By Truckers, "The Buford Stick"

"Crazy madmen on a leash
Or young men who lost their way?
Grand illusions of the Reich
May seem real at times
Panzers on a line form the Wehrmacht's spine
Lethal grand design
What about the men executing orders?"
Sabaton, "Wehrmacht"

    Live-action TV 

"I am not the enemy. To be the enemy, I must have some personal stake in what happens to you. I'm not interested in that at all. I'm here to do a job, nothing more. You are a name, a file, and a case number. That is all. I have no desire to inflict pain but I will do so, when and as it is required."
Interrogator, Babylon 5

Sisko: You don't know what any of this is about, do you?! You work here! You see these people every day, how they live! And you just don't get it!
Vin: What do you want me to say? That I feel for them? that they got a bad break? What good would it do?
Sisko: It'd be a start.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Past Tense Pt. 2"

     Tabletop Games 

"For some, working for a subsidiary of Pentex is simply a way to get a paycheck - an apathetic belief that suits the Wyrm's plans perfectly."
Werewolf: The Apocalypse Core Rulebook (Revised)

"I get my crime over the first thing in the morning, and then, ha! ha! for the rest of the day I do good—I do good—I do good!"
Sir Despard Murgatroyd, Ruddigore

    Video Games 

"Look, I was told to walk in a certain pattern, over and over, until something interesting happens! [Beat] WELL I DON'T SEE YOU GETTING A JOB!"
Some Mook on His Phone, Saints Row IV

"I'm not a "crazed gunman", Dad, I'm an assassin! ....Well the "difference" being, one is a job, and the other's a mental sickness! ... Put mum on the phone."
The Sniper, Team Fortress 2, "Meet the Sniper"

Jill Valentine: Don’t lie to me! Umbrella is the reason why this whole mess began!
Carlos Oliviera: Look, we’re just mercenaries. Hired hands. You really think the master would tell his dog why he has to retrieve the stick he just threw? If you want answers, you should talk to someone else.

Beat: Quit screwin' with us!
Kariya: Um, villain? Screwin' with you is my job.

Spider-Man: You again?!
Silver Sable: Down, boy, my contract with Trask expired 10 minutes ago.

"Stop fighting back! You're gonna get me fired!"
Hyperion Engineer, Borderlands 2


"I would rather you not see it as personal. I am a professional."
Abner Vanslyk, Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name

    Web Original 

"I get a chuckle out of the way Vader sort of resignedly moves over before he begins to choke the guy giving him crap about the Force. You can almost hear him thinking, “Ugh, this crap again? I slaughtered every Jedi, only to have to eat shit from this prick?”''

"It's long past time that Mulder took the fight to the enemy and I was cheering when he finally confronted the Smoking Man on his own territory. The image of him as a lonely man watching movies and sticking cigarettes into beer bottles is an enduring one, his loveless life is something that we would return to time and again in the series. He lets us in on why he keeps his secrets so closely guarded – if people were to know the things he knows it would all fall apart. He sees himself as protecting the world, not deceiving it."
Doc Oho on The X-Files, "One Breath"

"Frobisher is meek and awkward. The first scene where he meets with the Prime Minister where we see him in silent closeup, pointedly not even making eye contact with the Prime Minister as he sits, leaning forward in his chair, on edge and looking awkward, just waiting as the PM reads. He is a man who can’t even demonstrate any boldness in ordering a death, simply silently, without words, handing a folder to his secretary and looking up at her nervously, as if afraid she’ll argue, and who fidgets nervously with a pen afterwards.

This is, of course, the entire point of the character - that he is a small and ordinary man who does horrible things out of the most banal reasons imaginable: because they are his job. And ultimately he is chewed up and spat out by the very system he served, the victim of the logic he protected. He is the banality of evil incarnate. "

"Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority."
Stanley Milgram, of the infamous Milgram Experiment, The Perils of Obedience

"In addition to that, [German villains] tend to come with a certain kind of flair…but, most crucially, you can rely on them to be very, very evil 24/7. Well, perhaps not really 24/7, but 9-5/4, plus 9-noon on Fridays. They are unionized, after all. In their off time, they’re not necessarily evil…although they can still be quite annoying, in a gratingly arrogant way, even when refereeing a Junior League game on a Saturday."
— The rant for 'The B-Movie Comic,

    Western Animation 

Mirror Master: Gentlemen, we live in brutal times. Last week, to make ends meet, I was reduced to hijacking a tractor trailer full of sports cars.
Captain Cold: That is so beneath you. At least knock over a bank!
Trickster: Gotta visualise!
Captain Cold: "Visualise"? What the heck does that mean? If I don't "visualise" a mortgage payment soon, the wife will have me bagging groceries for a living!
Justice League Unlimited, "Flash and Substance"

"We've got it great here. And for the first time in my life I'm actually good at my job. My team is way ahead of the weather machine and germ warfare divisions."
Homer Simpson, The Simpsons, You Only Move Twice

    Real Life 

"As I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me. They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are only doing their duty, as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life."
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn

"I was never an anti-Semite. ... I personally had nothing to do with this. My job was to observe and report on it."
Adolf Eichmann

"When in the summer of 1941 he [Hitler] gave me the order to prepare installations at Auschwitz where mass exterminations could take place, and personally to carry out these exterminations, I did not have the slightest idea of their scale or consequences. It was certainly an extraordinary and monstrous order. Nevertheless the reasons behind the extermination programme seemed to me right. I did not reflect on it at the time: I had been given an order, and I had to carry it out. Whether this mass extermination of the Jews was necessary or not was something on which I could not allow myself to form an opinion, for I lacked the necessary breadth of view."
Rudolf Höss, Commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp

"They’ve got to survive, a job to do, it’s every day inch by inch, little compromises, little ways of telling yourself this is how you should lead your life and suddenly then these things can happen. I mean, I could make a judgement myself privately, this is a terrible, evil, horrific man. But the job was to portray the man, the human being. There’s a sort of banality, that everydayness, that I think was important... 'You don’t understand how hard it is, I have to order so many metres of barbed wire and so many fencing posts and I have to get so many people from A to B.' And, you know, he’s sort of letting off steam about the difficulties of the job."
Ralph Fiennes on playing Amon Goeth, Schindler's List

"If you meet a doctor who cannot look at blood, pus or open wounds, he is in the wrong profession. If you meet a lawyer who doesn't like criminals or dictators, it's the same thing."
Jacques 'Brilliant Bastard' Vergès, Esq., interview with Der Spiegel

"I like Red Pyramid. He's cool. He's just a guy with a job."
Andrew Mason, producer of Silent Hill

"Stormtroopers in particular, I think, have been an underexplored area, and I've always taken the view that many of them are honorable professionals who end up being evil in the movies mainly because their leadership is corrupt, from Palpatine on down."