Subpages cleanup: Complete Monster

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Complete Monster Cleanup Thread

Please see the Frequently Asked Questions and Common Requests List before suggesting any new entries for this trope.

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edited 7th Nov '17 9:59:04 AM by Fighteer

I think I see your point about Gaston's desire to kill the Beast, but why does it matter that he thinks he's helping Belle's family or that Nuclear Man might not know that what he's doing is wrong? Are you saying that only Card Carrying Villains can be complete monsters?
First of all, from the Knight Templar trope page:
Very prone to It's All About Me. Because Knights Templar usually have high-minded goals, many are resistant to the Complete Monster treatment, though they're not immune, especially if the acts they commit in pursuit of those goals are truly heinous and horrific.
So no, being a Card-Carrying Villain is not necessarily a requirement to be a Complete Monster. Having obviously sympathetic traits, not being Obliviously Evil, is what really keeps you out of CM territory. But even a nonsympathetic character is not necessarily a CM. A nameless mook may not generate sympathy, but they are not a CM! A CM must ALSO commit acts that would cross the MEH.

In the case of Gaston, his Knight Templar tendencies do make him marginally more sympathetic, mitigating but not excusing the seriousness of his crimes against Belle. This is where the MEH comes into play. Even in a G-rated musical, IMHO he doesn't ever actually reach my MEH.

In the case of Nuclear Man, he is argubly portrayed too sympathetically to be a CM. The fact that it isn't 100% certain whether he really understand the consequences of his actions supports the portrayal of him being easily influenced by The Power of Love. Nuclear Man is not a good guy by any stretch of the imagination. But he is sympathetic enough to fall outside CM territory.

Are you just assuming that the evil doctor (who's name I don't know how to spell) who auctioned off that super soildier had done it multiple times, or were there others in the movie who betrayed Poison Ivy that I don't remember? Just to be clear, I was only talking about the version of the character who's in the movie, not in any other Batman media. When did she ever seem to regret that her enemies' actions led her to genocide?
No. I think Ivy may have believed Wayne entterprises also betrayed her, having funded Dr. Woodrue's work which resulted in her betrayal, etc. She's also sympathetic in that she seems to have a genuine love for her plants, and the heroes regretted killing her.

Well, an entire race can be complete monsters, can't they? Last I checked, the Daleks from Doctor Who were listed as such.
I suppose you can have a Planet of Hats where the hat is CM. But I'm not sure the klingons qualify. Even in TOS, the klingons weren't always portrayed as CMs. They could be Played for Laughs and were portrayed as Affably Evil.

Are horrendous deeds ever justified?
Perhaps. The bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were "horrendous deeds" IMHO. But they may - I emphasize may - have been partially responsible for preventing millions of deaths due to allowing the war to continue.

Justification itself is a sliding scale. From Justified Trope:
The protagonist uses a glowy sword because he fights sentient shadows.

In other words, it doesn't have to meet legal or scientific justification standards, it just kind of makes sense. If the character was driven mad by evil experiments, it might justify committing some crimes that might meet the MEH.

edited 7th Nov '10 12:57:31 PM by FrodoGoofballCoTV

On a sidenote, someone recently questioned the removal of Oogie Boogie:
78 carla8th Nov 2010 10:41:05 AM from panama city, panama
Most people in real life are pretty horrified by the thought of murder, so does that count as "truly horrendous"?

i'll fall back on something i think i've already mentioned... somewhere (there are like 1700 threads about this trope, i swear): for me, personally, killing in general DOES count (technically speaking) as a "truly horrendous" act, on its own. thou shalt not kill and all that jazz.

however, these things should not be taken on its own, but in context. whether the act is truly horrible has a lot to do with the motivation/intent behind it. that's when you fall back on the other criteria... under our regular society norms, for example, killing cows to eat their meat: just normal. killing in self-defense: traumatic, not necessarily horrific. killing people who stood in your way while you were robbing a bank: horrible, but you get sent to jail so you can "rehabilitate." going on a serial raping/torturing/killing spree just because you feel your life is not exciting enough: YOU ABSOLUTELY SICK MONSTER.

similarly, each "truly horrific act" has to be judged on its own context. in the case of briar cudgeon, taking into account that he's merely demoted (not even jail time! barely community service!) even when he tried to kill all the main characters, and that the characters he tried to kill are not in any way horrified by him even after he tried to kill them, i would say his actions are not considered "truly horrible" in the context of the fowlverse.

also, re: planet of CMs, yeah, you can have an entire race of Complete Monsters— so long as the race as a whole fits the five criteria when compared to OTHER races in the same universe. the daleks couldn't all be Complete Monsters if there weren't other races of NON-Complete Monsters to be truly horrified by them.

(i question the daleks, actually. sure, they can be horrible, but from what i've seen of the whoverse, the doctor tends to Badass Boast them quite a few times, like he's not horrified by them but simply determined to beat them— perhaps a little annoyed that they keep popping up. and i've heard that there have been a few good daleks, although i haven't yet seen those moments myself).
79 Fighteer8th Nov 2010 11:29:15 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Well, the few "good" Daleks would be covered under My Species Doth Protest Too Much. But when you have an entire species that behaves in a horrific manner, one has to examine whether they truly have a moral choice. It's the same reason why the Xenomorphs from Alien don't count; they are constructed for the purpose of being living weapons. They have an automatic Freudian Excuse in that they can never decide to be good or recognize that their actions are wrong. Further, it's their creators who are really to blame, and it may not even count in that case if their creators are simply amoral or are acting morally from their own point of view. (Similar example: the Buggers from Ender's Game.)

As far as simple murder goes, this is a point where reality and fiction diverge. In real life, killing someone is a horrifying act. In fiction, Mooks and Redshirts get mown down by the bushelful. Just killing people, or trying to, isn't nearly enough to qualify for Complete Monster in my opinion. The only case in which it could possibly count is in children's works where killing really is something rare and horrifying.

If you want a Real Life analogy, consider the man in Connecticut who just got sentenced to death in the home invasion case. That is the kind of person who gets the CM label - someone who commits crimes so heinous that death is the only conceivable punishment.

edited 8th Nov '10 11:31:10 AM by Fighteer

80 Elle8th Nov 2010 07:28:33 PM , Relationship Status: I wanna know about these strangers like me
Hey, it just occured to me there might be a valid branch for stuff like the Daleks, creatures that act Complete Monster-ish because they were made that way. Monster By Design? Or do we already have that?
81 carla9th Nov 2010 08:53:40 AM from panama city, panama
re: murder— basically what fighteer said. the idea of this trope is that it should be very specific. a Complete Monster should be a rare kind of behavior even among villains. if everybody who murders someone was a Complete Monster, it becomes People Sit on Chairs— it's just "villains." that's not a trope.

re: daleks and other completely evil races— well, i've only seen the daleks a few times, i'm not really caught up on Doctor Who (or caught back, technically, since i've only seen the first season of the new series and random episodes of the, uh, third season?), so maybe i should keep my thoughts about the daleks to myself.

still, Complete Monster is a characterization trope. can one really apply characterization tropes to entire races? technically they still have some characterization as a group, and they could even have character development as a group, but that would mean they fall under Planet of Hats, right? (funnily enough, i notice the daleks are not listed in that page). i think it would be a good idea to have a trope for races that are inherently monstruous, i have no data but it sounds like something that happens pretty often. Monster By Design sounds like a good idea.

EDIT: just remembered Always Chaotic Evil. the daleks are listed there.

edited 9th Nov '10 8:54:47 AM by carla

... if the logic of the Complete Monster applies to people in real life, would it be a good idea to create a real life example section so long as it was limited to the most obvious examples?
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
[up]That would really lead to Internet Backdraft.

Besides, why is it even necessary? We're about cataloguing tropes. Real Life occurrences are a secondary concern at most.
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
Pronounced YAK-you-luss
Much as The War on Straw is for characters created to represent certain standpoints in a ridiculous manner, Complete Monster is for characters created to represent complete and utter evil. Since people in Real Life are not designed for a purpose, they cannot be Complete Monsters.
What's precedent ever done for us?
85 Fighteer9th Nov 2010 05:26:29 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
@carla: To clarify, Villain is a trope. It may be an Omnipresent Trope, but it's still a trope. Similarly, death is a trope, because it's narratively significant.

@The other posts: That's correct, CM is a deliberate characterization choice by an author, and since Real Life doesn't have an author, it can't have Complete Monsters (or, indeed, tropes at all, but that's a different conversation). Anyway, Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement.

edited 9th Nov '10 5:28:25 PM by Fighteer

86 Serocco9th Nov 2010 10:31:35 PM from Miami, Florida , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
laculus and fighteer: I can understand your reasoning; since humans tend to be deeply flawed, they are pretty much the epitome of Gray and Grey Morality - most of the time. There HAVE been people that qualify as, or are near-unanimously considered to be Complete Monsters, but only in the sense that they can be pretty detestable assholes. Still, that's a story for another time.

At any rate, do any of the listed Bleach villains qualify as Complete Monsters?
In RWBY, every girl is Best Girl.
^Well, for what its worth, Shrieker and Aizen definitely qualify, IMO. Oh, and Grand Fisher too.

edited 10th Nov '10 6:32:27 AM by SomeNewGuy

88 Paireon10th Nov 2010 10:54:14 PM from Wherever you go there you are , Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
Gah!!! It's gonna be a major headache catching up to this discussion (sorry 'bout the hiatus... I got a new job!grin).

To address some concerns (most of which were already talked about, just want to give my 2 cents): Being a Card-Carrying Villain isn't a prerequisite to Complete Monsterdom, because you don't need to be a cackling megalomaniac to commit horrendous acts. Also, not all murderers are complete monsters, nor are all complete monsters murderers; it has more to do with the how than the what. As for Villainy Discretion Shot, maybe it should be replaced in the main article by Offstage Villainy, which would convey the same message with less confusion.

Also, you always have to remember that the overall tone of the story, and the nature of the setting, are among the most important factors to consider in labeling a Complete Monster; to take just 2 80's cartoon examples, an unrepentant murderer who shot someone in cold blood would probably count in a Sugar Bowl like Care Bears, but would be barely more evil than the main baddies in a more action/military-oriented show like G.I. Joe.

edited 10th Nov '10 10:59:09 PM by Paireon

I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me.
89 carla11th Nov 2010 08:14:13 AM from panama city, panama
wow. death is a trope. considering everybody dies one way or the other, i am actually astounded about this. certainly i thought the types/circumstances of death could be considered tropes (hence why Death Tropes is an index), but not death itself. but i'll take your word for it, fighteer. smile

as far as Bleach goes, i can't for the life of me remember who shrieker is, and the only moment i remember seeing grand fisher was in ichigo's flashback (i hear he became an arrancar? eh, i must've skipped that part). i think aizen may count, though. everything he's done seems horrific enough, he's certainly played seriously, he does not regret anything he's done— if anything he's incredibly smug, and considering the manga is not over yet, and he doesn't seem particularly aggravated that he was captured, i'm thinking no redemption in his future. him having a Freudian Excuse hasn't even been hinted (as of now it seems like everything he does, he does for the power... or For Science!!, maybe).

the only point i feel could be contested is whether the other characters react to him with horror; most of them certainly do, namely the good guys (and there are so many of them that it's kind of overwhelming, tbh), and some of his own Elite Mooks have thought him a monster, but i think there were several arrancar who pretty much thought everything aizen did was right, and they followed him because of that. so i don't know...

looking at that list, though, i have to wonder. szayel? seriously? granted, everything he did was horrible and, well, vomit-inducing (ugh! Brain Bleach, please. no pun intended), and even compared to mayuri he's by far the freakiest thing this manga has given us. but, really, the dude with the pink hair and the elton john glasses, whose resurreccion is a form with butterfly wings and tentacles called "fornicaras," that works by creating voodoo dolls of people? i totally get why some would consider him a Complete Monster, he's a horrible, horrible being, but if it were up to me, i wouldn't add him to the list. i'd say he's played about as seriously as mayuri is, and mayuri, while he was probably born past the MEH, has been Played for Laughs a few times. his evilness has been Played for Laughs. i personally don't count them on my CM list.
90 Serocco11th Nov 2010 02:22:53 PM from Miami, Florida , Relationship Status: Faithful to 2D
^ Yes, Szayel is the the dude with the pink hair and the elton john glasses, whose resurreccion is a form with butterfly wings and tentacles called "fornicaras" that works by creating voodoo dolls of people..... who also happened to demolish the organs of his opponents (played seriously) and essentially raped a girl to near-death to resurrect himself (played seriously). His mannerisms are pretty questionable, but his actions certainly aren't.

In a nutshell, Mayuri was a horrendous monster back then, and now, he's an entertaining asshole, but he still has potential to return back into that "horrendous monster" persona, depending on what he happens to do later on. Basically, he's up there, but his actions before he became the resident quirky jerkass were hard not to cringe at.

edited 11th Nov '10 2:28:34 PM by Serocco

In RWBY, every girl is Best Girl.
91 carla12th Nov 2010 05:32:14 AM from panama city, panama
[up] yes, i'm aware of that. i'm not contesting his place on the Complete Monster list, i'm not going to edit him out or anything. i just personally don't see him as one. his mannerisms make me take him far less seriously than he was intended.

but perhaps i'm just too cynical for this type of manga. evil grin
Compared to someone lke Johan fom Monster, Szayel DOES seem like a joke by comparison, but hey, the same can be said of Frieza or the Joker, and look at how monsterous those guys have proven to be.

Yeah, it's your own opinion, but whether or not Szayel's portrayed as a joke doesn't really matter, considering he's best-remembered for what he did to Nemu. Just saying.

edited 12th Nov '10 6:16:37 AM by BlackKnightZero

^Well, for what its worth, Shrieker and Aizen definitely qualify, IMO. Oh, and Grand Fisher too.

Shrieker and Grand Fisher qualify, but probably not Aizen. Fun fact: Even though the trope descriptions for Complete Monster, Magnificent Bastard, and Generic Doomsday Villain say they're all mutually exclusive to each other, Aizen is listed on all three pages.

Edit: Looks like someone has already removed Aizen from Generic Doomsday Villain.

edited 12th Nov '10 6:30:22 AM by silver2195

Currently taking a break from the site. See my user page for more information.
94 carla12th Nov 2010 07:15:06 AM from panama city, panama
it's not about a comparison. like i've said before, i'm not familiar with Monster, but either way i don't subscribe to comparing villains from different works to "measure" complete monstrosity. IMO, you can have a Complete Monster in a dark, cynical drama as much as you can have one in animation for children. whether or not they're more/less of a Complete Monster has nothing to do with anything, as long as they fit the criteria. you either are a Complete Monster, or you aren't, independently of whether unrelated characters have committed much more horrible actions than you have.

it does depend, however, on how the character is presented. a character that is portrayed as a joke cannot be a Complete Monster— that's what tropes like Laughably Evil are around for. for this trope, it's not just what he does and how horrible it is, it also involves how other characters react to what he does, and how the work handles other evil characters.

now, as applied to szayel, i don't think he's necessarily portrayed as a joke. i don't think that's what kubo intended. i think he's portrayed as... quirky (in the widest definition of the word). one might consider him Evilly Affable (i believe he's listed on that page, actually). his quirks just lead me to see him as a bit of a joke; he's certainly atrocious, possibly one of the most atrocious and disgusting characters i've ever known, but when i think back on him, what stays with me are his quirks, more than his atrocities (and thank god for that. i don't want to have the image of the tentacles seared into my brain, thankyouverymuch). much like with mayuri.

however, i don't matter when it comes to the criteria; what's important is that the characters never treat him as a joke. they're certainly revulsed or scared of him. so i think he can fit the criteria as they are stated.

i was just stating personal preference— you might remember him for the nemu deal, but i remember him for the pink hair and the elton john glasses and the butterfly wings. there's really no need to get defensive on the topic. i was just expressing surprise that everybody seems to take him so seriously; i always assumed there were more people out there who thought like me. but hey, if it turns out my cynicism makes me unique, i've no problem with that. [lol]

[up] i've always considered aizen more of a Magnificent Bastard, myself. but again, i think he fits the criteria for CM-ness, or at least makes a good enough case for it. the only thing that leaves me hanging is that we haven't exactly been shown what's going through his head, nor gotten enough backstory to make an informed judgement on a few of the criteria. and, of course, the series isn't over yet.

edited 12th Nov '10 7:24:14 AM by carla

Also, what is the point of distinguishing between Others and Others 2 in the video game section?
96 Fighteer12th Nov 2010 09:28:58 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Too many examples broke the folder.
I think I will add a couple more series folders then.
I am not sure that a Villainy Discretion Shot should automatically disqualify someone. I have a good example to back this up: Mr. Blonde from Reservoir Dogs.

He provides the page quote for Complete Monster : Film, but almost everything he does that is evil is covered by a Villainy Discretion Shot. The only evil thing he does on camera is cut off a cop's ear and prepare to light him on fire... which is admittedly pretty horrible.

But this is a movie where almost every other character kills at least one person on camera and even the protagonists frequently talk about how Cops arn't real people. Several of them casualy discuss the number of cops they killed (though these are also covered by a Villainy Discretion Shot).

That said... Blonde's off camera escapades are numerous and horrible. But we never see them, though they do get referenced several times throughout the film. He is presented in such a way that the audience is supposed to have no sympathy for him, most of the other characters (at least those we are supposed to sympahtize with) see him as a complete psycho, and everyone involved is quite happy when he gets killed near the end of the movie.

So... is he a Complete Monster? Most would think so, and he does provide the current page quote, but after reading this thread I'm not so sure.
99 Fighteer12th Nov 2010 11:25:40 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Part of a Villainy Discretion Shot is that it's intended to distance the audience from the character's evil so he/she can avoid crossing the Moral Event Horizon. What you're talking about sounds more like a Gory Discretion Shot when it's just to save the audience's sensibilities, not lessen the impact of his actions.
100 carla12th Nov 2010 12:19:10 PM from panama city, panama
[up][up] yep, that's not a Villainy Discretion Shot at all. that's just off-camera villainy. see this thread for more info on Villainy Discretion Shot.

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