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Which is worse? Gru's villainous past coming back to haunt him, or his eldest daughter finding love?

Just because you can give up a life of crime doesn't mean everyone will believe you.
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Despicable vs. Devoted is a Despicable Me fanfiction created by Kyle Wilson.

The Gru family is getting new neighbors. And not just any new neighbors: a famous superhero and his family. Devan Preston, better known as Devoted Devan, was a superhero that Gru has had countless battles with in the past, and was also Lucy Wilde's best friend when they were kids. Together with his wife Susan and his son Alex, the Prestons get themselves settled in their new home.

... that is, until Devan finds that the now-repented supervillain Gru is his new neighbor. Consumed by his losses against Gru, Devan only believes that his retirement from villainy is a cover for yet another sinister plot, that the children under his care were being abused, and that Lucy had been brainwashed into marrying him. He vows to bring Gru to justice once and for all, but Gru still wants to try to get along with him for Lucy's sake.

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As if that wasn't enough, Alex falls in love with Margo and makes it his sworn duty to win over her heart, awakening Gru's Overprotective Dad instincts. Even worse, the infamous supervillain Hypno-Joe escapes from prison and, believing Gru's repentance is a cover too, wants to persuade him into take over the world with him—with Susan as his mindless puppet wife.

The story was in the works for many months before it was finally finished on November 10th 2019. On February 8th 2020, Kyle re-released the story on DeviantArt, adding illustrations to each chapter, as well as a title page (pictured) and concept art of the original characters.


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Despicable vs. Devoted provides examples of:

  • 10-Minute Retirement: Devan quits the superhero life out of shame for how horribly he treated Gru, up to and including refusing to save him from falling to his death. He comes back when his son is in danger.
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Kyle has admitted that Chapter 13 is not his favorite chapter. The author's note at the end explains why.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adult Fear: Gru's daughters are put in danger in the third act, as usual. Except this time, rather than being put into a life-threatening situation, they are brainwashed by Hypno-Joe into thinking they're supervillains so they would pick up from where Gru left off.
  • An Aesop: Don't immediately judge people by their past mistakes.
  • Alliterative Name: Devoted Devan.
  • Arc Words: "The perfect world." These three words were often used by Hypno-Joe or the narration that concerned him whenever he brought up his plans to take over the world.
  • Beat the Curse Out of Him: At the beginning of the story, Devan snaps Susan out of Hypno-Joe's spell by punching her in the forehead. This gets discussed later in the story when the girls fall under the same spell. Gru and Lucy refuse to do the same for their daughters and find another way to wake them up.
  • Big Bad: Hypno-Joe. His hypnotic powers and constant jailbreaks cause a lot of the story's problems.
  • Boys Have Cooties: Edith, naturally, is grossed out by Margo and Alex's relationship.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Victims of Hypno-Joe do not hold back in a fight with their loved ones, as demonstrated by Susan and the girls.
  • Break the Cutie: The girls burst into tears when they see Gru about to fall to his death in Chapter 14. Then later, in the ending, they felt guilty about the destruction they caused as hypnotized supervillains.
  • Broken Pedestal: Hypno-Joe was furious when he finds out that Gru's retirement from villainy is legitimate, given how he looked up to him.
  • Call-Back: Because this is a Despicable Me fanfic, expect a lot of references from previous movies to show up for this story.
    • From the first movie:
      • Margo mentions in Chapter 6 how she almost fell to her death following her kidnapping of Vector, and says she still has nightmares about the incident sometimes.
      • Margo's perplexed reaction to Gru's infomercial bit in Chapter 12 mirrors her reaction to seeing him as a "dentist" for the first time.
      • The anchor man from MSNBC News returns in Chapter 16.
      • When Gru rescues the girls from Vector, Margo took the longest to save. This is also the case when it came to awakening them from Hypno-Joe's spell in the climax.
    • From the second movie:
      • Lucy says "I choose Gru" in Devan's nightmare, which is what she said during her Love Epiphany in that movie. Likewise, Margo as a Knight in Shining Armor in Alex's dream is a reference how she was dressed for Agnes' birthday party.
      • Margo is still a little sore about Antonio breaking up with her. She also hasn't forgotten about the Overprotective Dad side of Gru.
      • Agnes is often compared to the Minions in terms of appearances, due to her yellow shirt and blue overalls. To that end, her villain look resembles the Minions mutated by PX-41—purple shirt with black overalls.
      • When Margo lets Alex drown in her villain trance, she says "I hate boys," which is exactly what she said regarding her breakup with Antonio.
    • From the third movie:
      • Gru's family tradition of villainy plays a big part in this story. In fact, the story opens with Dru's already-established ambition to follow that tradition.
      • Dr. Nefario has recently recovered from accidentally freezing himself in carbonite, a la Han Solo.
      • Hypno-Joe forces Gru to watch Evil Bratt with him in Chapter 9.
      • Lucy strongarms Gru in Chapter 12 in a similar manner that she does after she finds out Gru went behind her back.
    • From Minions:
      • Villain Con is mentioned in Chapter 3.
      • It's revealed at Villain Con that Gru purchased his freeze ray from Dr. Nefario, something that's explored in Chapter 10.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Averted. The girls are revealed to have gotten out of the habit of calling their father "Gru" and their mother "Lucy" after at least a good year living with them.
  • Cardboard Prison: No matter how many times Hypno-Joe is arrested, he always finds a way to break out of prison. Not to mention the fact that he plans further schemes in his cell.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Devan has one of Gru brainwashing Lucy in Chapter 5, appropriately titled "Dreams".
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In Chapter 12, the Quick-Access Warp Zone was built to make it easier for Margo and Alex's dates. Then it gets used quite a bit in the climax.
    • In Chapter 13, Gru uses a healing ray to cure Agnes' wound when she gets injured. These were later used to free the girls from a hypnotic trance they were placed under.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Susan. Hypno-Joe is always trying to turn her into his wife, and the story mentions that this is far from the first time she is kidnapped by one of Devan's enemies.
    • The girls become this in the last act when they are hypnotized to become supervillains.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: Hypno-Joe was meant to give this look, as seen here.
  • Death by Adaptation: Scarlet Overkill was revealed in the last chapter to have passed away.
  • Demoted to Extra: The Minions are heavily cut down in this story, spending most of it in AVL prison.
  • Disney Death: It appears Alex drowned to death in quicksand in Chapter 19. Luckily, Susan uses a machine from Gru's lab to suck up all of the quicksand, while the girls perform CPR on his unconscious body.
  • Downer Ending: An In-Universe example with The Adventures of Valiant Virgil, where the title superhero fails to save his wife. It was enough to make Alex cry.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Hypno-Joe loves his aunt, Scarlet Overkill, and the last scene of the story has him visiting her grave.
  • Evil Costume Switch: After Hypno-Joe makes the girls think they're supervillains, they don new clothes that make them look more sinister.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Hypno-Joe turns Gru's daughters into villains so they would carry on the family tradition. But because he forgot to make them obedient to him, they turn on him and throw him off a cliff, nearly killing him.
  • Exiled to the Couch: Susan does this to Devan for refusing to save Gru.
  • Expy:
    • Let's see... the story's Big Bad is an infamous supervillain that seems to have some magic power to woo women, looked up to Gru in his evil schemes to the point of wanting to work with him, was furious to find out that he retired from villainy, and his ultimate plan involved taking someone Gru loved and making them evil. Are we talking about Hypno-Joe or are we talking about El Macho?
    • Alex is this to Nico from the the third movie. They're both socially awkward but nice kids who fall in love with Margo, going as far as to call her a goddess. Unlike Nico, however, Alex gets the girl.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Chapter 7 opens with this. As Gru is disposing of his evil inventions, he tries to come up with a clever thing to say. This is what he came up with.
    "Goodbye, evil inventions. You may have corrupted me the first time, but the time you have corrupted me was the time that you corrupted the... I mean, the time you corrupted... time is... OH, FORGET IT!"
  • Fighting Back Is Wrong: Chapter 6 gives us this exchange between Margo and Alex when they were talking about the Antonio incident.
    Alex: Why didn't you punch the jerk in the face?
    Margo: My dad says I shouldn't resort to violence because it's not ladylike, or something like that.
  • Flat "What": Margo's reaction to Gru's random infomercial bit in Chapter 12.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • While bonding with Alex, Margo says she's glad she has no ambition to become a supervillain like Gru, to which Alex agrees that it "wouldn't be all that great". Hypno-Joe would later make the girls think they're supervillains.
    • When Gru and Hypno-Joe are watching Evil Bratt and get to Special Guest Scarlet Overkill's scene, Hypno-Joe looked briefly sad. We later find out that he's her nephew, and that he was mourning her passing.
  • God: Chris Melandandri is this to the story's universe. Maybe.
    [Devan] probably wasn't even at a church. He may have just wandered into a studio lot in his desperation. Who could tell?
  • Good Counterpart: Alex to Antonio. Antonio was implied to be a bad boy, but Alex is a good kid. Margo fell head over heels for Antonio right away, but her feelings for Alex take more time to grow. Finally, Antonio dumped Margo, but Alex stays with Margo to the end.
  • Grapes of Luxury: Chapter 2 opens with Hypno-Joe being fed grapes by Susan, who he had just made fall in love with him.
  • Harmless Villain: Dru puts up a good fight against Gru and Lucy in the beginning of the story, but shows enough restraint towards them to not do them any serious harm.
  • Hero Antagonist: Devan, a famous superhero, spends the vast majority of the story pursuing Gru, a reformed supervillain.
  • Hypno Pendulum: Hypno-Joe uses this on Susan to put her in a trance in Chapter 1.
  • Hypnotize the Princess: Hypno-Joe makes Susan fall in love with him very early on, and the story suggests that this is far from the first time.
  • I Have No Son!: Hypno-Joe was disowned by his parents prior to this story's events.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While the story puts Devan in the wrong for his repeated accusations towards Gru, we mustn't forget that he committed a lot of serious crimes as a supervillain.
  • Just Friends: The story makes it abundantly clear that Devan and Lucy were not romantically involved when they were younger. They were Like Brother and Sister at best.
  • Knockout Gas: Used by Lucy on Dru and the Minions (and accidentally Gru) in Chapter 1. Then by Margo on Devan in Chapter 19.
  • Large Ham: Devan's personality is to be as overdramatic and hammy as possible—often to the embarrassment of the other characters.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Margo says that The Lorax and How the Grinch Stole Christmas! are her favorite Dr. Seuss stories. Edith's response?
    "Of course they are."
  • Literally Loving Thy Neighbor: Alex and Margo's subplot in a nutshell.
  • Love Potion: Love Potion #10, a love serum that Dr. Nefario invented for Gru during his villain days. It's empty as of these story's events, but that doesn't stop Devan from assuming that was what Gru used to make Lucy marry him.
  • Mama Bear: After spending the entire story either a Damsel in Distress or someone who watches the action from the sidelines, Susan finally does something to save her son in the penultimate chapter.
  • Murder by Inaction: Devan and Gru's fight in Chapter 14 ends when the former refuses to rescue the latter from falling to his death, ignoring the girls' desperate pleas to help him. Lucy saves him instead, though Gru still got hurt, and Devan regretted his decision.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Gru realizes in Chapter 11 how overprotective he was of Margo. Because of this, he allows Alex to date her.
    • Devan immediately felt guilty about refusing to save Gru from falling to his death in Chapter 14, to the point where he temporarily gives up the superhero life.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The girls hypnotized into becoming supervillains was inspired by an interview with Miranda Cosgrove about an idea she wants to see for the fourth movie.
    • Agnes' rocket-powered tricycle from "Training Wheels" appears in Chapter 17.
    • Two regarding Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem:
      • In Chapter 8, Hypno-Joe calls Gru "the master villain" and "the scourge of humanity". Gru introduces himself as both titles in the ride's preshow.
      • The climax involves the girls taking control of a hovering vehicle, just like they were for the majority of the theme park ride.
  • Neat Freak: Hypno-Joe cringes whenever his hypnotized victims show any signs of drool in their relaxed state.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Devoted Devan's face was meant to resemble that of William Shatner. Considering his over-the-top personality, it's not hard to see the resemblance.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Hypno-Joe was thrown off a cliff, fell into various sharp rocks, and splashed into the ocean with various injuries. The story makes it seem unlikely that he survived. But in the final chapter, he is still alive, albeit greatly injured.
  • No-Sell: Hypno-Joe cannot control Devan, since he's strong enough to resist hypnotic powers. AVL agents, likewise, are given mental protection as per standard protocol. Ironically, that protection does not apply to the lead director.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Gru's dialogue is not written in his Russian accent, and the same principle applies to Dru.
  • Not Quite Dead: Hypno-Joe survives his nasty fall from the cliff, but the injuries he suffered in the process make it hard for him to walk.
  • Obviously Evil: Hypno-Joe. The narration in his first scene—where he's hypnotizing Susan to fall in love with him, mind you—describes his appearance to be "looking like a cliche supervillain from a melodramatic silent movie".
  • Official Couple: Margo and Alex.
  • One-Word Title: Chapter 5 ("Dreams") and Chapter 9 ("Movies").
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: When Gru tells Margo that he's okay with her dating Alex, Margo seems skeptical about this change of heart at first, even thinking Hypno-Joe got into his head.
  • Original Character: Devan, Susan, Alex, and Hypno-Joe.
  • Papa Wolf: What sets off the climax. Devan insisted on staying retired out of shame for refusing to save Gru. But as soon as Devan heard his son was in danger, he immediately suits up, comes out of retirement, and goes to save him.
  • Prayer Is a Last Resort: Chapter 12 ends with Devan praying to a picture of Chris Melandandri, founder of Illumination, for a sign.
    Devan: O mighty God in heaven, I am in desperate need of your guidance. My wife, my best friend, and those three little girls are in very real danger, and I have no idea how to break the hold that scoundrel has over them. I've traveled all over the world, and I have no leads for a cure. I am completely lost. Please, lord, give me a sign that there is hope for all of those poor souls.
  • Prison Changes People: Subverted with Hypno-Joe. While he is uncomfortable in prison every time he's arrested, it makes him want to wreak even more havoc, rather than improving his behavior.
    Hypno-Joe: You see, all that time in prison has made me want to be better—better at villainy, of course.
  • Production Foreshadowing: Continuing Illumination's tradition of putting characters from future movies onto Margo's shirt, this story has Mario on her shirt as a reference to the upcoming Super Mario Bros. movie. When she's hypnotized to think she's a supervillain, it changes to Bowser.
  • The Promise: What drives Gru's desire to make amends with Devan is his promise to Lucy that he would.
  • Prone to Tears: Alex cries at least twice in this story. The first time is over the Downer Ending of the movie he and Margo were watching on their first date. The second time was when he was about to drown to death courtesy of a hypnotized Margo.
  • Quicksand Sucks: What almost kills Alex in Chapter 19.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Of course a superhero that Gru has battled with so many times is not going to immediately believe he's changed.
    • Devan tries to file a police report against Gru in Chapter 5. But with no clear evidence to convict him on, the police doesn't have a case.
  • Riddle for the Ages: The story never explains why Fred McDade had to move.
  • Shipper on Deck: Devan, Susan, Lucy, and Agnes are all in full support of Alex and Margo's relationship. Gru eventually becomes one too.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Illumination's other movies. There are brief mentions of both Dr. Seuss movies in Chapter 4, Hop in Chapter 5, and the upcoming Shrek reboot in Chapter 18. Also, in Chapter 11, Margo wins a plush of Captain Snowball in a crane game, and the girls watch Sing in Chapter 15.
    • Also one to Star Wars, which carries over from the third movie. The story compares Nefario's situation of being frozen in carbonite to that of Han Solo. It also mentions that unlike Han, Nefario has no memory of the incident.
    • Alex sings "California" by Phantom Planet while the Prestons were moving to—you guessed it—California.
    • Love Potion #10 is an obvious parody of "Love Potion #9." The characters even joke about it.
      Dr. Nefario: You know, like "Love Potion #9". But better!
      Gru: Yeah, I got it, it just wasn't funny.
    • Gru finds The Love Bug in the junkyard.
    • The Lost Episode of Evil Bratt features the title character hijacking a yellow submarine. Considering Scarlet Overkill, a villain who loves England, was a Special Guest in that episode, the reference makes sense.
  • Show Within a Show: Returning from the third movie is Evil Bratt, but there's also a superhero movie called The Adventures of Valiant Virgil. Both are watched by the characters in Chapter 9, appropriately titled "Movies".
  • Shrinking Violet:
    • Alex's shyness and social anxieties are his defining character traits.
    • Lucy was also this in her youth.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Hypno-Joe has a pointy nose, just like Gru.
  • So Proud of You:
    • Susan says this to Alex when she sees how well he treats Margo.
    • Lucy says this to Gru after he willingly lets Margo date Alex.
  • Starter Villain: The story begins with Gru and Lucy chasing Dru as he engages in villainy, picking up from where the third movie left off.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Hypno-Joe has green eyes and a Sinister Schnoz, just like Scarlet Overkill, whom he is related to.
  • Talking to the Dead: The last line of dialogue in the story is Hypno-Joe talking to his deceased aunt, apologizing for failing her, and promising her that whatever happens, he will always love her.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: Susan gets knocked out with this in Chapter 9 upon running into Hypno-Joe.
  • Very Special Episode: Parodied with the lost episode of Evil Bratt in Chapter 9.
    Clive: Hi. I'm Clive the Robot. Tonight's Evil Bratt was a very special episode about hijacking. But the fact of the matter is, it's no fun and games. It's serious business. To learn more about hijacking, visit your local library. Some poor fellow probably left his tank parked there for you to hijack and blow up the library. Good night.
  • Villainous Legacy: Gru's family tradition of villainy is talked about a lot in this story, and becomes a central plot point for Hypno-Joe's actions.
  • Villainous Rescue: The girls' betrayal of Hypno-Joe to become the only villains comes as he was about to kill their parents.
  • Villain Respect: However you define Dru as a "villain" here, he shows a great deal of admiration for all the good that Devan does as a superhero.
  • Was Too Hard on Him: Alex and Susan feel guilty for their What the Hell, Hero? moment with Devan, especially considering it leads to his temporary retirement.
  • We Can Rule Together: Hypno-Joe makes this offer to Gru when he breaks out of prison to meet him with a plan to put the entire world under his control.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Alex and Susan were furious at Devan for not even trying to save Gru, and they very well let him know. Their harsh scoldings lead him to retire from the superhero business.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: We're never told where the Prestons used to live before they moved.

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