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Admiring the Abomination

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Captain Snow sure has his priorities straight.

The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. I admire its purity. A survivor, unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.
Ash from Alien, describing the Xenomorph

The Dreaded Killemall rises from the deep and stomps through Manhattan, squishing everything in its path! Alice starts to panic. Sir Charlie braces himself for a futile last stand. And Ed is... grinning like a loon?

"It's the rare Purple Killemall! I knew they existed! It can generate enough force per square foot to crush iron. It could destroy us and never even notice! It's as glorious as I dreamed it would be!"

Alice and Sir Charlie exchange worried glances, terrified that their best friend has gone off the deep end... but no. Ed has spent his lifetime researching Killemalls. Or he has the only copy of a book that describes them and has always wanted to see them. Or he risked his reputation on the fact that they exist and now is vindicated.

Never fear, viewers: Edward's fanboy trance will last only a moment and then he will swiftly come up with a plan to defeat the Killemall because he knows its one weak spot — or that it melts when scritched under the third elbow — or that it merely has a large twig lodged under its highly sensitive dorsal crest. In more comedic works or works in which It Can Think, Ed may even graduate to full-fledged Fluffy Tamer and gain a Cool Pet in the Killemall... though it might befriend him alone and continue to be hostile to the rest of the team.


Obviously this trope can apply to more mundane threats, usually natural (like tornadoes, or sharks).

Compare Villain Respect, Misaimed Fandom, Nightmare Fetishist, In Love with Your Carnage, Measuring the Marigolds, Ugly Cute, The Xenophile, and Arson, Murder, and Admiration. Contrast Wowing Cthulhu.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Hange Zoe from Attack on Titan has an unhealthy fascination with Titans and her response to seeing Eren's partially transformed arm is to beg to touch it.
  • The 1989 anime Baoh (based on the manga of the same name), features the creation of a humanoid bio-weapon that naturally turns on its creators. Dr. Kasuminome, the head of the project, is Baoh's final victim, and can't help gushing about it's remarkable killing capacity, even while his body's gushing blood when eviscerated by Baoh.
    Dr. Kasuminome: "Oh Baoh, my beautiful creation, my great work of art- you are truly... magnificent!"
  • Claymore gives us Dae, who becomes obsessed with seeing Priscilla in all her glory after discovering her severed arm, which still held an insane amount of power. When he finally does find her, he spends the entire time gushing about her, creeping out his companion Rubel in the process.
  • L from Death Note. He only takes on cases that interest him and though understated he finds his Kira suspect, Light Yagami, to be quite fascinating and regards him as a Worthy Opponent (Foe Romance Subtext Ensues). L gets very annoyed at the appearance of a Second Kira, a copycat killer, because it's not HIS Kira and not playing by the same rules. In the live action movies he's clearly entertained to watch Light manipulate Naomi Misora on the monitors.
    Souichiro Yagami: We have to stop this!
    L: We're just getting to the good part.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, Laios is quicker to awe at the dangerous monsters of the dungeon than be actually wary of them. Played straighter when, upon laying eyes on Falin's chimera transformation for the first time (which he has just seen kill several people) his first thought is to admire how cool it looks before he starts worrying about her monstrous state.
  • A in installment Doraemon The Movie that takes part at the bottom of the ocean has this happen. Nobita, who up until that point has been ridiculed by his friends for telling them of the existence of giant octopus (and he did see it), is overjoyed when the monster appears and smash their undersea camp. The other kids lampshade his improper rejoicing.
  • A Filler scene in Dragonball Z has Ginyu (In Bulma's body) watching Freezer's last transformation and fighting with Goku, commenting on how great and powerful he was and confusing the hell out of Gohan, Krillin and Piccolo.
  • Hellsing gives us the Doctor's reacting to Alucard summoning an army of hundreds of thousands of familiars with a combination of euphoria and excitement.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: Manatsu grew up as a big fan of Kaiju media, and she becomes captivated by Harugon as a result, praising "him" for his monstrous appearance and even expressing a willingness to be crushed by him.
  • Lapis Re:LiGHTs has Tiara of the group LiGHTS. She loves taking care of plants and has a special fondness for carnivorous and outright dangerous species, like Mandrakes. These can shriek loud enough to paralyze humans and she is especially proud of being able to "listen to their songs".
  • Nyaruko: Crawling With Love! gives us Yoriko Yasaka, who treats the Lovecraftian deities living in her house as normal guests, and even considers their actions adorable, mainly because their job is to protect her beloved son Mahiro (and they've saved both his and her lives already). She even gives her approval to Nyarko (Nyarlathotep)'s romantic pursuit of Mahiro. However, she makes it VERY clear that if any lines are crossed, deities or not, the forks are coming out — and she has them scared shitless.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Strange has one of these moments in a Marvel Adventures title. ("Such magnificent power. It could destroy us at whim.")
  • Fluttershy's comment that "Nature is so fascinating!" from a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) comic book has achieved memetic status on the internet. Now people are posting it combined with all kinds of abhorrent nature facts.
  • In the Tintin story The Shooting Star, Prof. Phostle is excited about the upcoming end-of-the-world meteor, saying such absurdities as "It will destroy the world tonight. Tomorrow, everyone will know my name for discovering it!"
  • In Totally Awesome Hulk, Lady Hellbender is a Collector of the Strange who is upset that the heroes have shrunk down the various Kaiju they've defeated. She is also in complete awe of Fin Fang Foom (a massive, evil dragon) when it appears and wants to add it to her collection. And once the Hulk proves himself to be as strong as he boasts he is? She immediately captures him and tries to take him away.
  • In Sin City, Manute worships his mistress Ava Lord as a goddess precisely because she's such a cold-blooded manipulative sociopath.
  • The Punisher MAX features Lt. Wood, a Delta Force officer tasked with bringing the Punisher in. He openly admires his ruthless vigilantism, even quoting the below Alien line. Maybe...
    Other Delta soldier: ...You serious?
    Lt. Wood: Jesus, I hope not.

    Fan Works 
  • Discussed in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel fic Bring Me to Life' Angel reflects that Dark Willow's flaying Warren Mears alive is an act that Angelus would have truly admired.
  • Child of the Storm: When the Winter Soldier first shows up, practically everyone in the HYDRA/Death Eater alliance is scared silent... except for Gravemoss, who practically squees.
  • In Code Geass: Paladins of Voltron, from the Britannians point of view, Lloyd. First from he sees the Blue Lion, then later on, he has a major Nerdgasm when he sees Voltron in all of his glory.
    Lloyd: This-This is-! I can't even-! OOOoooOOOoooOOHHHH! This is amazing! I never thought I'd see such a thing in my entire life!
  • In Code Prime - R1: Rebellion, Lloyd can barely contain his enthusiasm whenever he’s in the presence of a Cybertronian. Regardless if they're Authobots, who Britannia is at war with, or Decepticons, who Britannia is “allied” with. He's also fascinated with the Spark Extractor in R2, prompting Jazz to ask Cecile how she puts up with him on a regular basis.
  • In Common Interests a mother Pendragon shows up to reclaim the baby Harry and his friends hatched from a stolen egg they found.
    Draco: So beautiful . . . and so deadly.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger:
    • The first time that Jaune encounters a terentatek, Nihilus speaks through Jaune and identifies the creature by name while talking with a mixture of fear and respect.
    • As opposed to everyone else who reacts to Darth Nihilus's appearance with terror and hostility, Cinder finds the Sith Lord intriguing and watches in admiration as he mercilessly kills dozens of students during the Vytal Festival.
    • When Darth Nihilus sees the Grimm in-person for the first time, he describes them as beautiful and feels envious of whoever created them.
  • Johanna Smith-Rhodes' attitude to the most dangerous creatures on the Discworld. It is commented of her that were they aware of each others' existence, she would get fan-mail from Steve Irwin. Witness her animal-handling abilities in Nature Studies and Slipping Between Worlds.
  • In The Contract and the Guide Harry refers to Snape's Dark Mark as a "magnificent piece of magic" shortly before removing it.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects, Zin spends an awful lot of time caressing the glass of the tank the first Assassinoid grows in, and seems to really find his insectoid creations in general to be things of beauty, particularly the Formicoids and Hymenoptoids, describing them in glowing terms as "fearless and devoted warriors" and "my loyal friends."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Several in the Alien movies.
    • In Alien, Science officer Ash acts like this toward the title creature.
      Ash: The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility.
      Lambert: You admire it.
      Ash: I admire its purity.
    • Bishop displays this sort of behavior in Aliens when studying a Facehugger carcass, implying that he'll turn bad by drawing parallels to how Ash, the other synthetic person that once came into contact with the Aliens, reacted to the creature. It's a Red Herring; Bishop remains a good guy.
    • Alien: Resurrection:
      • Dr. Gediman admires the Newborn, as well as the normal Aliens.
      • Ripley 8 has an odd fascination with the Xenomorphs as well due to being a hybrid clone.
    • The comics are no better, either. Every single villain is quite willing to escalate from waxing poetic about the Xenos to have many people killed in order to admire the Alien's complete lack of pity as they kill. It is somewhat implied that this is one of the side effects of the Xenomorphs' innate psionic capabilities, but many of them were also established to be sociopathic bastards beforehand.
  • In Devil Girl from Mars: when Nyah unleashes her giant robot and gives a demonstration of its powers, everybody runs away, but Prof. Hennessey hesitates before doing so as he is clearly fascinated by the mechanical monster.
  • The Fly (1986) has a unique example: Seth Brundle, a brilliant scientist, comes to see himself in this manner as his inexorable mutation into a fly-human hybrid continues and grows progressively more gruesome. He shows off his ability to Wall Crawl to his despairing lover, dubs what he's becoming "Brundlefly", and stores many of the body parts that are decaying and falling off of him in his medicine cabinet, aka "The Brundle Museum of Natural History". After all, he is becoming something that's never existed before. "Don't you think that's worth a Nobel Prize or two?" It's something of a Gallows Humor coping mechanism for him, as he knows that the transformation is ultimately a sort of terminal illness that's slowly robbing him of his humanity, and unable to be reversed.
  • In the film and the Expanded Universe material, Ray Stantz of the Ghostbusters gets boyishly excited by a lot of the weird, gross, terrifying stuff they encounter.
  • Glass: When Joseph reveals to Kevin that Elijah indirectly killed Kevin's father in the Eastrail 177 train incident, all Elijah can do is marvel at the Beast's creation, despite the latter being an inch from killing him in retaliation.
    "It's all evidence, you see? If that train crash hadn't happened, Kevin wouldn't have been left alone with his mother. If Kevin's mother wasn't allowed to continue to abuse him, then The Beast wouldn't have had to be born. What are the odds that David Dunn and Clarence Wendell Crumb would be together that day? Amazing! I created you as I created David. It just took longer: 19 years. They almost convinced me I was crazy! I create superheroes. I truly am... a mastermind."
  • Godzilla:
    • In Godzilla 2000, after Godzilla wipes out both the Millennians, and Orga, Anti-Villain Katagiri, the head of CCI and main human baddie who had spent the entire movie trying to kill Godzilla (and the main human hero) just stares up at Godzilla, allowing the Monster King to kill him. Best described as both a Villainous BSoD and a Dying Moment of Awesome
    • Doctors Ichiro Serizawa and Vivienne Graham of Godzilla (2014) have a quasi-religious attitude towards Godzilla, with Dr. Graham even calling him "a god, for all intents and purposes." Serizawa believes that Godzilla is essentially the personification of the balance of nature and the only hope humanity has of neutralizing the M.U.T.O.s, even if he has to kill people and destroy cities in the process. Admiral Stenz understandably thinks them naive for this.
    • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), a US senator calls Serizawa out on his apparent admiration of Godzilla during a hearing early in the movie. Serizawa, unashamed, replies "I admire all forms of life."
  • In the film The Incredible Hulk, Dr. Samuel Sterns becomes enamored of the power and potential of Bruce Banner's mutation, in spite of the danger. Rather humorously, the actual Abomination (the character) he's quite terrified of.
  • Matt Hooper in Jaws when he talks about the shark: "...what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution." There are many quick lines like this in the boat with both Hooper and Quint marveling at this particular shark's incredible strength, tenacity, intelligence, and unpredictability.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • Muldoon from Jurassic Park sees the Velociraptors as Worthy Opponents, to the point his last words are complimenting them for sneaking up on him.
      Muldoon: Clever girl.
    • In Jurassic World, Simon Masrani is both terrified and captivated by the Indominus rex. And although Hoskins sees Owen's Velociraptors as mere tools of war, he's also shown to be rather awe-inspired by them. He tentatively asks Barry if he can touch a restrained Delta, which he does with all the jittery excitement of a little boy.
      Claire: Think it'll scare the kids?
      Masrani: The kids? This'll give the parents nightmares.
      Claire: Is that... good?
      Masrani: It's fantastic.
  • In Komodo, Oates expresses admiration for the komodos, calling them beautiful animals from a scientific standpoint.
  • Pacific Rim:
    • Dr. Newton Geizsler has an absorbing love for Kaiju as biological masterpieces. So gushing is his admiration that he refers to a Kaiju as "twenty-five hundred tons of awesome" in front of a Jaeger pilot whose brother, as Newt is well aware, was killed by a Kaiju. His lab partner, Dr. Hermann Gottlieb, refers to Newt as a "Kaiju groupie", implying his attitude isn't actually that uncommon.
    • There's also at least one cult who worship the Kaiju, even making their temple inside one's skull. They believe that the Kaiju are The Scourge of God sent to punish them for their sins.
    • In Pacific Rim: Uprising, the Kaiju-worshipping cult has grown large enough to stage a rather nasty demonstration at PPDC Headquarters, and Newt has a kaiju brain in his room that he treats like a girlfriend and drifts with on a regular basis, leading to the Precursors controlling his mind and making him nearly destroy the world.
  • Pitch Black: Upon seeing the huge swarms of vicious night-dwelling flying monsters emerging from underground, Riddick can only whisper: "Beautiful".
  • Keyes in Predator 2:
    Harrigan: You admire the damn thing.
    Keyes: Not for what it does, Harrigan. For what it is. For what we can learn from it.
  • Mr Robinson in Predestination speaks kindly of the terrorist called the Fizzle Bomber and how he helped their organization become better at saving lives. Lampshaded by The Barkeeper: "You sound as if you admire him".
  • In Star Trek: Nemesis, Picard has a healthy level of respect and fear for the very heavily armed Reman warbird Scimitar.
    Picard: She's a predator.
  • In Suicide Squad (2016), Waller becomes fascinated about the Enchantress' ability to create an instant army by transforming regular people into monsters. You can just tell she's considering what she can do with it once it's under her control.
  • Dr. Clayton Forrester from 1953's The War of the Worlds could be one of the earliest modern examples. He says of the Fighting-Machine, "This is amazing!"
  • X-Men Film Series:
  • In Deadpool 2, Deadpool gushes over seeing Juggernaut as he rips Deadpool in half.
  • Dr. Okun in Independence Day can barely contain his enthusiasm for the aliens' technology and anatomy.
    Okum: The last twenty-four hours have been really exciting!
    President Whitmore: "Exciting"? People are dying out there! I don't think "exciting" is the word I'd choose to describe it!
  • The Thing from Another World: Dr. Carrington's attitude regarding the Thing, in a nutshell. Unfortunately, he is so astonished at seeing an actual alien that he assumes the Thing is a being with great knowledge that it could share with mankind (instead of a homicidal brute, which it actually is and all the other characters note), and pulls a number of dastardly acts in an attempt to understand it (and make contact with it).
  • Resurrection (1999): Detective John Prudhomme expresses admiration about the killer's intellect to avoid detection while his more inexperienced partner is just disturbed by how insane such a person would have to be. John changes his opinion after his partner becomes another victim.
  • In Venom, Carlton Drake gets multiple scenes where he rambles about how great symbiotes are and how much humans kind of suck in comparison. Naturally, when Riot bonds with him, he rolls over in record time.

  • In the Ciaphas Cain novel Caves Of Ice, the Omnissiah worshiping enginseer who accompanies Cain when he discovers a Necron tomb while searching the mines below the processing plant his unit's guarding can't understand why Cain wants to blow up the entrance to it and call in the navy to bomb the place into oblivion. He changes his mind after he's the only survivor of a group of "Cogboys" who entered the tomb; he eventually gleefully helps drown the tomb in promethium.
  • Everybody Loves Large Chests The protagonist attracts a gaggle of of attractive women, despite being a flesh-eating mimic.
  • Dragon expert Lady Sybil has this reaction to the Noble Dragon in Guards! Guards!.
    Sybil: Do you realise we're very probably seeing something no-one has seen for centuries?
    Vimes: Yes, it's a bloody flying alligator setting fire to my city!
  • In Dracula, according to Van Helsing, the Count "must indeed have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man: for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the 'land beyond the forest'".
  • In Dragon Bones, when Ward sees a Basilisk, he admires its beauty, so fascinated that he hardly notices anything else. Luckily, he is not the one about to be fed to the monster, and he does manage to avoid its gaze. A much milder example occurs when Ward sees a live dragon for the first time ... but of course, protecting dragons is his family's (woefully neglected for the past few centuries) job, and the dragons are benevolent, usually.
  • Near the end of The Illuminatus! Trilogy, the main characters are captured by the Leviathan, a mountain-sized, aeons-old unicelluar life-form.
    Hagbard: Let it come closer for a while. I want to get a good close look. I've never had a chance like this before, and I may never see this creature again.
    Dillinger: You'll be seeing it from the inside with that attitude.
  • In Meg, almost everyone who encounters the Megalodon has a mix of this and gut-wrenching fear. The fear usually becomes dominant since being that close to the Meg usually means it's going to try to eat you.
  • In Momo, when the kids play explorers in the South Pacific. The smart boy playing the professor does this with the "schum-schum gummilastikum" (as it's called in the original German text) and protests when the captain wants to shoot it. Someone knows his tropes.
  • At one point in Otherland, one of the heroes notes that as evil and twisted as Jongleur is, there is something magnificent about a man who's set out to defeat death itself.
  • In President's Vampire Konrad flat-out admires the nauseating and Squicky effects his poisons and viruses have on people, even going as far as pausing his evil plan for a few minutes so that he can admire their effect on one unlucky visitor. He generally loves viruses, and the worse the effects, the more he appreciates them.
  • In H. P. Lovecraft's The Shadow Over Innsmouth, the protagonist can't help but admire the alien beauty and intricate craftsmanship of the jewelry produced by the otherwise-repellant Innsmouth people. This foreshadows not only that he is one of them, but also that, at the end of the book, he will accept and even embrace his heritage.
    They had not been even savages—for what indeed had they done? That awful awakening in the cold of an unknown epoch—perhaps an attack by the furry, frantically barking quadrupeds, and a dazed defence against them and the equally frantic white simians with the queer wrappings and paraphernalia . . . poor Lake, poor Gedney . . . and poor Old Ones! Scientists to the last—what had they done that we would not have done in their place? God, what intelligence and persistence! What a facing of the incredible, just as those carven kinsmen and forbears had faced things only a little less incredible! Radiates, vegetables, monstrosities, star-spawn—whatever they had been, they were men!
  • The Stormlight Archive:
    • Shardbearers — nobles who fight in ornate Powered Armor and Soul Cutting BFSes that are believed to be holy relics — are even more dangerous than usual against soldiers who have never seen one before, because they are often tempted to just stand and stare at the awe-inspiring sight, even as they are cut down.
    • Shallan has this reaction to the chasmfiends, house-sized crustaceans that eat humans and move far faster than should be possible. When she and Kaladin find one in the chasms, he keeps having to drag her away while she tries to get a better look at it for her sketchbook.
  • David from The Reckoners Trilogy is at once an Epic-killing Reckoner and a massive Epic fanboy, frequently gushing over how cool some Epics' powers are while plotting how to assassinate them. At one point, he enthusiastically compliments an Epic on her abilities while they're fighting each other to the death, and shortly thereafter tops that by asking her for an autograph. She's... nonplussed.
    Loophole: What is wrong with you?
  • Done by a biologist during a river cruise in The Witcher novel Blood of Elves. Geralt tells him to name the creature after an annoying brat that traveled with them.
    Pitt: [thrilled] What a specimen, what a specimen. Prehensile cephalic limbs, four pairs of chelae... Strong tail-fan... Sharp claws...
  • In Diane Duane's X Com novel, one of the base scientists talks admiringly about the biology of the Ethereal aliens, to the point of suggesting that humans could modify their own genetics in similar ways. This is a tip-off that he's a traitor.
  • Inverted in The Dresden Files, as the Fallen Angel Anduriel actually admires how horribly, terribly evil its human host Nicodemus is. Most of the Fallen hosts end up being puppets to their demonic "partners", but Nicky is mostly human still because the eldritch monster he's partnered with for centuries honestly doesn't think it can do a better job.
  • In an omake chapter of There Was No Secret Evil Fighting Organization, a very powerful and very crazy telekinetic uses his powers to create a new planet, ripping the required minerals out of asteroids and kidnapping scientists to create a horde of bioengineered fantasy creatures. After much shock and disbelief, the US tentatively send a diplomatic team out to the planet, among which is Shiori Kaburagi, who (canonically) lives in Japan and was born there. The implication being that she fought to get on the US team, just so she could risk her life seeing the magical stolen Frankenstein world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Raina in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gives this impression. She appears to work in her incredibly unethical, extremely illegal, and very dangerous field primarily to get the opportunity to be close to and create super beings. She's thrilled at the chance to get to talk to The Clairvoyant, even though the reason is because he just killed her predecessor, and is very disappointed when he turns out to be just a very well informed person without superpowers, especially because he doesn't share her interests.
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: When Ash brings the Necronomicon to occult book dealer Lionel Hawkins, the man can barely contain his glee. And when Ash comes up with his rather moronic plan to summon a demon for interrogation, Lionel is thrilled at the prospect.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Giles occasionally gets excited over the Monster of the Week. "A werewolf! One of the classics!"
      Giles: Grave robbing? That's new. Interesting.
      Buffy: I know you meant to say "gross and disturbing".
      Giles: ...Yes, yes, yes of course. Uh, terrible thing. Must... must put a stop to it. Damn it.
    • In "Bad Eggs", Tector Gorch (a vampire) makes the mistake of stopping to admire the Bezoar, thinking it's cute. It eats him.
  • The late Steve Irwin (a.k.a. The Crocodile Hunter) always reacted to wild animals, particularly the very dangerous ones, with a blend of respect and boyish glee. Ironically, he was killed by a creature that's largely harmless.
  • An episode of CSI featured a Mad Artist Serial Killer that killed people and used rigor mortis to pose their corpses. At one point the team interrogate another artist played by Jeffrey Tambor who had met the killer at some point. While he thought the killer's regular sketches were trash, when he is shown the photos of the corpses he is in awe at their artistic value. Never the less, he helps them catch the killer.
  • Doctor Who does this practically Once per Episode — the Doctor is sort of an intergalactic Crocodile Hunter.
    • "The Green Death": After Three kills the giant insect that the giant maggot has evolved into, he says that it's beautiful.
    • "Robot": While battling a robot intent on killing him, the Doctor is able to disable it by putting his hat over its eyes. It suddenly stops moving, and he Hubristically goes right up to it, smiling and whispering to himself, "Extraordinary. Extraordinary." Of course, this just leads to the robot karate chopping him in the neck.
    • This is deconstructed in "Tooth and Claw", when Queen Victoria (It Makes Sense in Context) declares the Doctor to be persona non grata in the British Empire due to his flippant treatment of horrible monsters.
    • "The Girl in the Fireplace": Ten examines the delicate clockwork on elaborately costumed (18th Century French Versailles) killer clockpunk robots, and exclaims "You are beautiful!"
    • "Planet of the Dead": Christina gives the Doctor a What the Hell, Hero? when he expresses his admiration for the all-devouring Horde of Alien Stingrays, but then admits that she's impressed too.
    • "The Beast Below": Eleven does this to a Space Whale while standing in its mouth. He even says he'd love to see the stomach, then hastily adds "but not right now".
    • "The God Complex": Eleven simply cannot help but sneak a glimpse of the homicidal Minotaur, even while he and his companions are hiding from it.
    • "Asylum of the Daleks": The leader of the Daleks explains that they don't simply destroy the aberrant (and therefore imperfect) Daleks because they find the hatred born of their insanity to be beautiful. When they add that perhaps one reason they haven't (yet) destroyed the Doctor is similiar (they find his hatred of them beautiful), he isn't amused.
    • Twelve sums this trope up in "Under the Lake":
      The Doctor: Every time I think it couldn't get more extraordinary it surprises me. It's impossible! I hate it! It's evil! It's astonishing! I want to kiss it to death.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Cersei seems quite impressed with Gregor Clegane's killing power in Season 4 and is keen to ensure he retains it after his near death. She's also very curious about Qyburn's Mad Doctor talents, giving him the patronage the Citadel so emphatically refused, and she's obviously very pleased by the results: Ser Robert Strong.
    • Cersei seems quite disappointed during a flashback to her teens when Maggy the Frog is an ordinary-looking woman and not a terrifying monster as described.
    • Qyburn himself is the only member of Cersei's party not paralyzed with horror and disgust when they are presented with an active Wight as proof of the looming Zombie Apocalypse. While everyone around him is suitably terrified, he gets out of his chair and sneaks in for a closer look, as if he's just seen what he wants for his next Name-Day.
    • Euron is one of the few people to observe the undead Gregor Clegane with admiration instead of horror.
  • The Jeff Corwin Experience: Jeff Corwin clearly has a lot of respect and admiration for venomous snakes and dangerous reptiles. However, despite displaying a similar level of Manchild glee, Jeff also tended to be much more cautious than Steve Irwin when it came to the overall handling of certain animals or situations.
  • A downplayed example from Psych, but in the Season 4 finale, Mary Lightly finally meets Mr. Yang, the infamous murderer he spent several years tracking when he accompanies Shawn and Gus to get answers out of her regarding Mr. Yin at the asylum. When she acknowledges his presence when he points out someone had to be working with her, he has this gleeful admiration on his face.
  • In Ripper Street, Inspector Reid's fascination with technological progress often leads him to express admiration even when said technology has been used for evil purposes. Case in point, the episode I Need Light where the bad guy is exploiting the (anachronistically early) invention of the motion picture camera in order to make snuff films. Reid takes time to point out that the technology is amazing.
  • Sledge Hammer!'s glorification of violence sometimes leads him to approve of the villain's ways, played for laughs. Such as in "To Sledge, With Love":
    Captain Trunk: These animals are violent and destructive, with no respect for authority.
    Hammer: Don't worry, Captain. I won't be suckered in by their virtues.
  • In an early episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the station is afflicted by an engineered virus a Bajoran geneticist had intended to use against the Cardassians, which first afflicted victims with aphasia and then gave them a deadly fever. It was designed to be adaptable and very hard to treat, and Dr. Bashir calls it a work of genius while he's trying to find a cure.
  • On Star Trek: Voyager, the Doctor has a brief moment of this while examining Borg nanoprobes. "They're efficient little assimilators. One can't help but admire the workmanship."
  • Teppei from Ultraman Mebius tends to burst out in admiration of any historical Monster of the Week.


  • Invoked and discussed in the The Last Podcast on the Left three-parter about Carl Panzram, a serial rapist and mass murderer from the early 1900s. Marcus Parks says that true-crime authors love Panzram due to his Affably Evil tendencies and well-written confessions. By the end of the series, Henry Zebrowski decides that Panzram is his favorite Heavy Hitter.
  • Invoked in Fat, French and Fabulous, on a episode about serial killers Burke and Hare, when Janel clarifies that she is not impressed by the number of victims they killed in the space of a year, merely surprised.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Urza from Magic: The Gathering spent millenia preparing for the war against Phyrexia. But the longer he fought them, the more his methods began to emulate Phyrexia's and the more he came to admire Phyrexian technology. This eventually reached a head when he and his allies ventured into Phyrexia itself to destroy it. As they ventured deeper into Phyrexia, Urza realized that it embodied everything he ever wanted the world to be. When Urza finally entered the heart of Phyrexia, Yawgmoth asked him what he desired. Urza then betrayed his allies and everything he once fought for by bowing down to Yawgmoth, claiming that he only wished to stand by his side.
  • The Cult of the Beast God in the Mecha vs. Kaiju setting revere the giant monsters, and attempt to placate them with prayer and offerings. It's a Path of Inspiration — the real objects of its veneration, known only to the inner circle, are the Oni, who are pretty much the bad guys of the entire setting.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Adeptus Mechanicus have a notoriously poor record when it comes to uncovering Necron Tomb Worlds. They become awed by all the shiny, advanced technology, poke a little too far, wake the Necrons up, and die horribly.
    • Also, radical Inqusitors tend to end up this way. Often used to highlight just how far they've fallen into heresy.
    • One Eldar philosopher called Uthan the Perverse admired the Orks for being a culture (such as it is) that has found a way to thrive in their crapsack galaxy, as since they are simple and barbaric, they're largely happy being so and aren't bothered by the Big Questions. In contrast, he thinks his own race has already failed miserably and that humanity is also on the road to ruin.

    Video Games 
  • The Amazons in Age of Wonders: Planetfall lean towards this trope. For them, it's not enough to use genetic engineering to breed a bloodthirsty Tyrannodon from the ground up. It's not enough to tame that Tyrannodon and ride it to war. Clearly, it is necessary to also outfit said Tyrannodon with laser cannons.
  • In the Alien Campaign of Aliens vs. Predator (2010), your character, Specimen 6, is saved at birth by Weyland when she shows special intelegence in dodging the traps for the chestbursters. And once more at the end of the Alien Campaign, Six is captured rather than killed due to the 6 brand on her forehead.
    • Karl Weyland also states in an audio log that he seeks to be more like the Xenomorphs, admiring their adaptability and survival adaptions.
  • In Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, when Kain comes across the mutants in Dark Eden, while he finds the sight of them horrifying, he admits to having some admiration for the mind that created them.
  • Crysis 2 has Jacob Hargreave admiring the Ceph bioweapon currently decimating humanity:
    Hargreave: Cleaning up — it's ingenious, isn't it. Think of the Argentine Cattle Crisis two years ago. Or the British BSE outbreak in the last century. The issue was not slaughtering the animals, that was easily done. The problem was disposal. What do you do with the millions of rotting corpses? Well, there you see the answer the Ceph have evolved. They wipe us out, they break us down, they reduce the environmental impact almost to zero. Exemplary.
  • General Castor of Dawn of War 2: Retribution openly admires the Tyranid Hive Tyrant, mostly because its head will look perfect on his trophy wall.
    Castor: Aim low.
  • While she's not studying a monster per se, Merrill in Dragon Age II has a moment in the Legacy DLC where she expresses fascination over the magical powers of an altar dedicated to the Old God Dumat. Keep in mind that Merrill is a Dalish elf and the Old Gods were the deities of the Tevinter Imperium, which, according to legend, once crushed the elven civilization of Arlathan and turned them into slaves.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Iron Bull reveals that the Qunari revere dragons for their power and believe that their horns are due to the Qunari having some kind of connection to dragons. At the same time, the Qunari do not hesitate to slay dragons because they embody raw chaotic fury, and the Qun abhors chaos. Bringing Iron Bull with you to fight high dragons is one way to gain approval from him.
  • Pokey Minch from EarthBound speaks highly of the universal cosmic destroyer Giygas, and eventually becomes his right-hand man. This admiration is short-lived, however, as he pulls the plug on the machine sustaining Giygas's mind and proceeds to call him an "almighty idiot."
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In Morrowind, Mages Guild Master Wizard Skink-in-Tree's-Shade offers a quest in which he asks you to trap the soul of an Ash Ghoul for study. Additionally, he offers several quests related to vampires. While not quite a Nightmare Fetishist, he does have a healthy respect for these creatures.
    • Hermaeus Mora, Daedric Prince of Knowledge, in Skyrim practically lures the player into believing this towards him. Sure he's shifty, malevolent, and downright creepy, but in the end he helps you like a best friend.
  • Escape from Butcher Bay: After Riddick bombs the elevator a couple of guards are escorting him in, it crashes into a deep, subterranean part of the planetoid inhabited by large and extremely vicious creatures. Both guards only have the torches mounted on their weapons to see with, while Riddick can, of course, see everything with his eye shine. When one of the guards is effortlessly grabbed and ripped limb from limb by one of the monsters, Riddick simply murmurs "beautiful..." in an awestruck manner.
  • In God of War III, Aphrodite and her handmaidens react this way to Kratos, who has been in a god-slaying rampage across Mount Olympus, yet the look on their faces upon seeing them with Aphrodite proceeding to invite him into her bed.
  • Ghostbusters: The Video Game has Egon admiring Ivo Shandor's work from time to time. He's quick to add that he was completely evil. Ray reminds Egon to "stick to the Light Side." "It's hard."
  • Mass Effect has both Liara and Shiala expressing regret over the destruction of the Thorian as it was an unique and ancient life-form.
    • In Mass Effect 2, The Illusive Man wants you to preserve the Collector Base for Cerberus, in order to study its technology. A base that was liquefying kidnapped humans to turn into a Reaper. One of your followup dialogue options reads 'This place is an abomination'.
    • Much later, in Mass Effect 3 Garrus explains to a handy crewman how perfect the Reapers are as Eldritch Abomination killing machines. When the crewman is horrified, Garrus adds that if you can't respect your enemy's strengths, you'll never truly understand them.
      • Similarly, the turian primarch remarks to Shepard that the soldier in him admires the Reapers' proficiency at warfare (in particular, that they're better at turian tactics than the turians are). The turian in him knows he's watching the death of 14,000 years of civilization.
    • Most of Paragon Shepard's teammates repeatedly think that they must have gone off their rocker, since Shepard seems to have a consistant need to seek out, befriend and then earn the loyalty of every ridiculously scary alien race in the Galaxy. Highlights include having a Geth wearing part of Shepard's former armour as a tribute to them, having an Odd Friendship with the Rachni Queen and semi-adopting a teenage Krogan.
    • Inverted with the Reapers, who freely acknowledge that they have come to admire Shepard's uncanny knack of being able to repeatedly thwart them. In the second game, after Shepard was temporarily killed, the Reapers even ordered that Collectors to try to retrieve their body for study, simply because they couldn't fathom how a single human could be so utterly dangerous!
      Harbinger: Shepard! You have become an annoyance!
    • A more straightforward inversion comes in the form of the Leviathans, an Eldritch Abomination race that admires Shepard for being the first thing in any cycle to scare the Reapers. It is due to this that they agree to help them in this cycle.
      Leviathan: None have possessed the strength in previous Cycles. Your own species could be destroyed with a single thought. But you are different. I have witnessed your actions in this Cycle: the destruction of Sovereign; the fall of the Collectors. The Reapers perceive you as a threat. And I must understand WHY.
    • Mass Effect: Andromeda: A logical Ryder will express admiration for the kett's intelligence, drive and hard work, while also acknowledging that everything about it is horrible, as does Dr. T'pero.
    • Peebee's reaction to first seeing the thirty-foot high robotic killing machine that is a Remnant Architect? Gasping in awe and calling it beautiful.
  • Monster Hunter 4 and 4 Ultimate has the Guildmarm, who crushes hard on monsters. She especially treats the Brachydios as if it was the man of her dreams.
    Guildmarm: "Those strong arms! That explosive personality! And he's right there in the Volcanic Hollow...Oh, I could faint! Be a dear, Doodle, and give him a wink for me, okay?"
  • Cynthia, from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, loves learning and teaching new facts about the Creation Trio. Especially, Giratina.
  • Blitz in Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall is downright impressed by the MKVI, a massively cyber-modified troll that's had its sentience and humanity surgically removed by all the chrome and wants you to keep it. All your other party members are disgusted and want it dead.
    • Racter in Shadowrun: Hong Kong is utterly awestruck by the sight of the Yama King, Quian Ya, and can only marvel at how magnificent the Queen of a Thousand Teeth is. This coming from a guy who's utterly terrified of the Triad boss you spend the whole campaign working for.
  • Inverted in Super Robot Wars X. Mazinger ZERO, the Eldritch Abomination, admires Wing Gundam Zero enough to call it an epitome of "design sophistication."
  • From Warframe, a good portion of Earth's content revolves around Councilor Vay Hek and his Grineer soldiers attempting to conquer a region known as the Plains of Eidolon. Unfortunately for them, one of the many difficulties of occupying the region are the Eidolon creatures that haunt the area at night. Upon seeing the terrible might of an Eidolon Teralyst for the first time as it slaughters his soldiers:
    Vay Hek: "It's... beautiful... it's so beautiful... KILL IT."
  • World of Warcraft: During her Warbringer cinematic, Azshara met with the Old God N'zoth and was shown a vision of the Black Empire which one dominated Azeroth. Where most mortals are driven insane on seeing a glimpse of the Empire, Azshara's response was a stunned "Magnificent". She repeats this admiring word later when she sees that N'zoth has agreed to her deal and transformed her people into the naga.

  • Curse Quest: An owl-bear hybrid (ulvorn) attacks Walrus, and Avalon seems to be excited to see the fight. After the Owl Hunter kills the ulvorn, Avalon can visibly be seen crying. In a similar fashion he cheers on the ulvorn creatures at the end of the chapter that fight Mogarth.
  • Girl Genius: Sparks are known to do things like open city gates so they can take a closer look at the enemy war machines/mutants/etc. that are attacking them at the time.
  • The Glass Scientists' main character admires all forms of abominations, be it zombie dogs or werewolves and crusades to make others see them the same way he does, even succeeding at times.
  • Kill Six Billion Demons: The Knights Belligerent are Blood Knights in a very literal sense, with a creed that contains phrases like "Let us cut God to see if he bleeds!" Upon encountering the effectively immortal Omnicidal Maniac Jagganoth and basically finding out that the answer to the aforementioned question is no, and fuck you, their reaction was to start worshipping him.
  • Lovely Lovecraft: Noyes calls the shoggoth trapped at Miskatonic a "glorious beast."
  • Pixie and Brutus: Pixie befriends a spider after complementing its web.
  • In Skin Horse, when Sweetheart describes the Necropolis to her teammates and Officially Not a Mad Scientist Virginia Lee:
    Sweetheart: Over the decades, various zombie plagues have spread there, producing its current population of over one million undead. It's an empire of flesh-eating horrors. Any questions?
    Dr Lee: Are all the pathogens biological or has nanotech been introduced? What happens when plagues interact? Have new strains evolved?
    Sweetheart: Do that thing again where you convince us you're not mad.
  • From xkcd: Okay, never mind, what's wrong with scientists is that you do see wonder and beauty in everything. Oh god, it's moving!

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Not an abomination per se, but Hank Pym gets distracted by all the cool things Simon Williams can do during their fight in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
    Hank: You were able to expand the ionic energy! That's amazing!
  • A Running Gag on Kim Possible.
    Ron: That would be so cool if it wasn't going to hurt us.
  • From South Park: Cartman only works with Cthulhu because of his ability to strike terror and misery into people he hates... and his friends. Actually, it's implied that Cthulhu is the one admiring Cartman.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • When Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Luminara are captured by Genosian zombies and about to be mind-controlled by brain slugs, Obi-Wan is far too interested in the process.
      Obi-Wan: No, wait, I want to see how it works!
      Anakin: I don't think Luminara wants to see how it works.
      Luminara: No, I don't.
      Obi-Wan: I'm curious. The more we know, the better!
      Luminara: [recoiling as the worm is brought to her] I disagree!
      Anakin: So do I.
      Obi-Wan: Come now, the ear or the nose? Which will it enter?
      Anakin: [sigh] I'd say the nose.
    • Captain Tarkin admires the design of the Citadel, a brutal Separatist maximum-security prison, even as the Jedi are helping him escape from it. Ahsoka calls him out on it, but Anakin concedes that he has a point.
    • Maul hates and fears Sidious, but once Order 66 is issued, and he realizes the full scope to which his master manipulated the war, he can't help but acknowledge the genius of the old man.
    Maul: (giggling madly) Brilliant! Brilliant! I was not privy to my master's plan, but now I see it! He turned the Jedi's own army against them!
  • Steven Universe: In "Alone at Sea", Jasper points out that Lapis' treatment of her was quite inhumane, though since Jasper only appreciated strength, she actually admires it.
    Jasper: [to Lapis] I thought I was a brute, but you... you're a monster.
  • From Turtles Forever: The original animated incarnation of the Shredder absolutely gushes with unrestrained admiration as he watches a video file on the much more powerful and deadly Utrom Shredder, Ch'rell, from the then-current version of TMNT. Then he actually gets to meet Ch'rell. Let's just say it doesn't bode well for 1987 Shredder. In fact, by the end of the movie, it's not good for every single existing universe within the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle multiverse.
  • The Ultimate Spider-Man incarnation of Norman Osborn is in awe when seeing his son turning into Venom and trying to kill him.

    Real Life 
  • Biologists LOVE finding new and creepy things. They also love finding OLD and creepy things. This is not an attractive fish. This is not an alien. It is a squid. This is not a xenomorph, it is a shark with detachable jaws.
    • It is fun to go on a walk with a group of biologists. If someone mentions that there's a really big spider in that bush over there, everyone will come running and admire it — about the opposite of the reaction you get from the average person.
  • Winston Churchill had this attitude towards Adolf Hitler for his role in Germany's economic recovery.
  • Storm chasers can often do this (and it's even gotten the derisory nicknames "stormgasm" and "tornadogasm" from their almost-orgasmic sounds on seeing a tornado). The reason for it is from the storm chaser's perspective is that they have invested time, money, and more into getting the perfect video of a tornado + the adrenaline rush of seeing one, especially a historic one = this reaction. Unfortunately, however, it's often taken for/seen as self-indulgent disrespect to the victims of tornadoes and severe storms, even if no disrespect is intended.
  • Expect to be looked at as if you're doing this if you like spiders, and are called upon to remove some particularly big and beautiful specimen. Especially weird if you live in Europe and there are no spider species venomous enough to really endanger humans. (Of course, a biologist may have this attitude to a real dangerous animal, too, see above.)
  • For some longtime residents of New York City, its time as the Big Rotten Apple is missed since the cost of living was lower then and the proliferation of corporate domination of its public space has robbed the city of some of its singular character.
  • Why do movie villains like Putting on the Reich? Of course it is a very easy shorthand to show how Obviously Evil they are, but there has to be some admiration for the Nazi aesthetic, even if only for the Forbidden Fruit aspects of it. Everybody knows Nazis are evil, but damn those uniforms tailored by the actual Hugo Boss.
  • "Rubber-necking" while passing an accident scene can be considered this.


Video Example(s):


Deadpool's favorite character

Deadpool is a massive fan of the Juggernaut.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / AdmiringTheAbomination

Media sources:

Main / AdmiringTheAbomination