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Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad

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"Evil, be thou my good."
Satan, Paradise Lost

Sometimes it isn't enough for a villain to be evil. They have to prove their evilness by eschewing all that is good and embracing all that is bad. They'll eat foods that disgust the good guys and laugh at funerals. They may also carry this over to their speech, making sure to only use negative phrases when most people would use a positive one, and correcting themselves if they "slip" ("Oh, goody! I mean, 'baddy.'"). They'll kick puppies for sport, and describe things as repulsive like it's a good thing. They often describe sunny weather as depressing, and vomit at the very sight of rainbows. They may also be prone to do things purely For the Evulz, even petty things like throwing some kids' bikes on the roof. They may be plagued by a Minion with an F in Evil.

Makes Your Head A-Splode if you think about it too much.

It is a common trait of Card-Carrying Villains. It can also be why Evil Cannot Comprehend Good. If they simply loathe all positive attributes without necessarily emphasizing their negative ones, they're probably more of a believer in Virtue Is Weakness.

Quite likely to appear in a Perspective Flip if we see things from the villain's point of view.

They can also become a Complete Monster if this trope is taken too seriously in-universe.

See Nightmare Fetishist for the non-evil version. May be seen as an exaggerated Subtrope of Deliberate Values Dissonance.

Compare Above Good and Evil and What Is Evil?. Villains whose strong point is not logic will sometimes use both tropes to justify this. See also Bizarro Universe, Mirror Universe, Blue-and-Orange Morality, and Naughty Is Good. Not to be confused with So Bad, It's Good.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Cowa!, vampire Paifu and ghost José play tag and José creeps Paifu out by pretending to be an angel, full of love and peace. In this world however Humans Are the Real Monsters and many monsters are Card-Carrying Villains at best.
  • In The Creation Alchemist Enjoys Freedom, the main character's birthplace is a country that deifies combat prowess and looks upon non-combat gods given jobs like his [alchemist] with contempt and ridicule, to the point that noble houses routinely disown their non-combat progeny. This is bad enough, but his father takes it one step further and finds Thor's attempts to use his job to better the world as absolutely shameful, does everything humanly possible to hide the boys' merits and drive the boy to suicide, and sees it as supremely honorable when he gets the idea to banish the boy to what he sees as certain death by sending him off against his will to the Demon King Territory, and repeatedly brags about it, expecting praise.
  • Duke Everlue in Fairy Tail considered Lucy ugly. Lucy. He claims he hires only the most beautiful women to be his maids, but all four (five counting Virgo) are so horrifically ugly that it's probably for the best that he does like them.
  • Final Fantasy: Unlimited: Earl Tyrant, representing chaos, is dismissive of the Comodeen's wish for order. As far as he's concerned, the only order that really matters is the one he wants.
  • Pluto from Heaven's Design Team is a Nightmare Fetishist with a rather skewed idea of what is and isn't "cute". One of her attempts at designing an "adorably uncute" animal is a creature that eats feces and poisonous plants, screams at strangers, and has sharp claws and bifurcated genitals (which she considers cute), and also has fluffy fur and big round ears (which she considers uncute), resulting in a koala.
  • Nui Harime from Kill la Kill is a particularly vile Troll who revels in causing misery to everyone around her. The more infuriated her victim is, the more gleeful Nui becomes, as she holds the belief that "hate and love are two sides of the same coin". Ragyo - the woman who created and raised Nui, and as such almost certainly the one to blame for her twisted worldview - lampshades this, even quoting the line from Macbeth.
  • Part of the Team Rocket trio's original motto from Pokémon: The Series mentions they want to "denounce the evils of truth and love". Although according to their rival squad of Cassidy and Butch, it's actually a botched version of the real motto which says to "denounce the goodness of truth and love".

    Comic Books 
  • In Aquaman (1994), the realm Thanatos occupies is a reverse purgatory where those who are deemed evil enough go free, while good people are detained until they become sufficiently evil.
  • Batman:
    • The Joker occasionally has this mentality. He values enemies more than friends, and by his twisted logic he and Batman are bordering on being secret lovers. He also thinks that laughter is the appropriate reaction to all the misery and suffering in the world. Sure, that's insane, and he's happy to admit that. After all, in a world like this, insanity is the only rational recourse open to us.
    • In Judgement on Gotham, The Scarecrow is able to incapacitate Judge Death by injecting him with a formula that causes him to hallucinate his greatest fears — fluffy bunnies, pink ponies, and other cute things.
  • Disney:
    • Zeke, the Big Bad Wolf, is an early example. In the 1940s, he repeatedly rants and raves about how proper wolves are supposed to have countless bad habits and like anything "bad": lying, littering, bad weather, and anyone else's misfortune, for example.
    • Zeke's son, Li'l Wolf, is an (atypical) good little wolf who frequently tries to point out that his "Pop's" bad habits come back to bite him every time, but to no avail.
    • While most of the Wolf family are bad and proud of it, Zeke's mother, who appears in a few comic stories, is good-hearted but extremely strict who tried to break family tradition by raising her son to be an upstanding, moral citizen. She loudly and repeatedly expresses her displeasure that Zeke has thrown away everything she taught him and followed family tradition after all, but is very proud of Li'l Wolf.
    • Magica de Spell seems to hold these beliefs, particularly when allied with Mad Madam Mim (which does have a precedent in her own movie).
  • Earth X: X-51 attempts a True Neutral version of this after Uatu the Watcher convinces him to pretend to delete his human programming. Surprisingly, Uatu doesn't see through him.
    X-51: My every function does result in a specified utility.
    Uatu: Good. Now tell—
    X-51: There is no good, Uatu. You told me this yourself. Just as there is no evil.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: In Guardians of the Galaxy (2020), Rapskullion, the evil villain of the planet Muscular and sworn enemy of the heroic prince Noblor, declares that to him, bad is good and good is bad. Which is, therefore, ironically, good in his eyes.
  • Harvey Comics: One issue had a Double Subversion. Wendy the Good Witch sees a stream below her and decides to go for a swim. She uses her wand to turn her underwear into a bikini swimsuit and then strips off her red witch's robe, which she leaves unattended on the bank of the stream. A young ogre happens along and decides to get Wendy into trouble by disguising himself in her red robe and wreaking black magic in her name. He later brings back the robe just before Wendy notices it is missing, then hangs around to watch the consequences. Wendy is confused when her wicked aunts come up to her and congratulate her on "her" evil spells, but then the aunts become confused when Wendy's animal friends appear and tell her how grateful they are that the natural disasters "she" created have greatly improved the environment. The little ogre is disgusted that all his mischief has come to nothing and heads home, hoping that his mother will at least appreciate his efforts. But then he discovers that the mother was badly injured by a hurricane he had brewed up, and the story ends with the ogre getting a spanking.
  • Justice League of America: The Mirror Universe of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika works this way. People talk about "Moloch below" and swear by The Antichrist in casual conversation. It's more like "Bad is Good and Good is Weak," though.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Mr. Hyde. '...sorrow is like fine wine....'
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Issue #68, "Micro Managing", has Blossom enlisting help from Mojo Jojo in defeating the Micro-Puffs (three mischievous sprite versions of the girls from another dimension) who have been brainwashing Bubbles and Buttercup into thinking they're the leader of the team.
    Mojo: If you needed help, why do you not go to your hotshot Professor, hmmm? Why come to me?
    Blossom: (coyly, embracing Mojo) Because, Mojo, I needed not only a brilliant mind but a diabolical one to help me beat the Micro-Puffs!
  • Power Rangers: In an issue of an old magazine, a journal entry by Kimberly has her mention Zedd and Rita's recent wedding. She states that she hopes they'll be happy. Because "bad guys hate being happy".
  • Requiem Vampire Knight: In the over-the-top Crapsack World that is the dark world of Résurrecion, the more cruel a person was in life, the better rewarded they are in the death, while the innocents or those who committed minor sins suffer the worst. The protagonist used to be a Nazi soldier who was cruel enough to become a vampire - the ruling elite of Résurrecion composed of people like Dracula, Attila the Hun, Caligula and Nero to name a few. Yet, because he still retained a sense of honor and chivalry, he is regarded as a degenerate freak by his fellows.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch: The early comics had witches operating on this principle and performing mean tricks on mortals. Sabrina's the exception and often got in trouble for doing good deeds. She's also considered homely due to an "ugly curse" thanks to the witches' backwards thinking.
  • Spider-Man: Normie Osborn, Harry Osborn's son, and grandson of Norman Osborn, had always thought Spider-Man was evil and sided with the Goblins in their attack against the web-slinger. This came to an end in Go Down Swinging after Normie witnesses Norman attempting to murder his mom, Liz Allan, and Spidey saved her. Horrified at his grandfather's actions and realizing he was becoming a monster, too, he began to attack his grandfather until Harry slammed a Goblin Glider into Norman's chest.
  • Superman: Superman's enemy Bizarro does this, but not on purpose. It's pathological for him.
    • Bizarro (usually, it depends on the writer) carries this over into his speech patterns, which makes it tricky for readers to figure out what he actually means. (It's apparently hard for the writers, too, which is why not all of them bother.)
    • Bizarrogirl is also backwards, although she's a little smarter than most, however, and as fighting alongside Supergirl she learns the difference between saving lives and ending them.
  • X-Men: Call one of the Spineless Ones a fat, lazy slob, and he will take it as a compliment, and their ruler, Mojo, is the worst, or to his species, best. A longtime foe of the X-Men, he's an absurd parody of corporate greed, ruling a race that's proud of being couch potatoes.

    Fan Works 
  • In 3 Slytherin Marauders, Tom Riddle is terribly embarrassed about being sorted into Gryffindor — the house of "goodie-two shoes" and "cannon fodder".
    Sorting Hat: I can see you learned quite well all the cunning you could ever need during your last stay in Slytherin.
    Tom Riddle: What are you doing, Hat?
    Sorting Hat: You already show commendable loyalty and you certainly strive toward academic achievements without needing any urging. And while you have plenty of courage... you might benefit from learning that being straightforward in some dealings isn't all bad.
    Tom Riddle: No!
    Sorting Hat: Gryffindor!
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness: The original, evil Falla Cii was firmly convinced that, as a power-hungry, bloodthirsty warmonger, she deserved to be the queen more than Luna, whom she outright criticized and viewed as unworthy to have the crown for being a Nice Girl. In Act IV chapter 11, after successfully tricking Luna into restoring her magic, Falla openly complains about how much "nice crap" she had to do just to get Luna to cooperate.
  • In Steven Universe: and the Hunters of Arcadia, Jasper accuses Jamie's moral code as being nothing more than "[parading] around deceit and craveness like its a virtue."
  • Kingdom Hearts 3 Re:Final Stand: Braig in a nutshell. In chapter 38, he states that he joined the guard at Radiant Garden to be a conqueror and for the thrill of the fight, and openly says he preferred the rule of Hanako, a tyrant who was universally despised by her subjects, over Ansem, a Reasonable Authority Figure who kept the peace.

    Films — Animation 
  • Igor is set in this kind of world.
    Igor: Oh, god, she's killing blind orphans! That's so...evil! I mean, which is great, but...blind orphans?!
  • The inhabitants of Halloweentown in The Nightmare Before Christmas. They say "How awful" when they see something they like and Dr. Finklestein says "Curiosity killed the cat" when he is praising Jack for wanting to do scientific research. Subverted when Jack's girlfriend Sally is — in all seriousness — trying to tell him that his plan to take over the Christmas holiday will likely end in disaster, which is something he does not want.
    Sally: Jack, I just had the most horrible vision!
    Jack: [misunderstanding] Wonderful!
    • Jack, at one point, has to correct the Mayor while they're making preparations to make their own Christmas.
    Mayor: How horrible our Christmas will be!
    Jack: No, how jolly!
    Mayor: [switching to his sad face] Oh... how jolly our Christmas will be.
  • Mad Madam Mim in The Sword in the Stone. According to her Villain Song, she "take(s) delight in the gruesome and grim", and she tries to kill Arthur because Merlin "sees something good in you...and in my book that's bad!" After she loses the Wizard's Duel and is laid up sick, Merlin recommends lots of rest and sunshine, and Mim complains, "I hate horrible, wholesome sunshine!"
  • The Blue Meanies in Yellow Submarine replace positive words with their negative counterparts whenever speaking positively about something. For example, instead of saying "yes" when their armies are ready to invade, the Chief Blue Meanie reminds Max to say "no" instead.
    Max: Yes, your Blueness.
    Chief Blue Meanie: (enraged) WHAAAAAAAT!?! We Meanies only take "no" for an answer! Is that understood, Max?!
    Max: No, your Blueness!
    Chief Blue Meanie: ...Thaaat's better!
  • In The Transformers: The Movie, the Quintesson court sends defendants plummeting to certain death in the Sharkticon tank by finding them "innocent".
  • The Bad-Anon from Wreck-It Ralph aren't actually evil, just doing their jobs. But given that their jobs involve being villains in video games, they need the "Bad Guy Affirmation" in order to give them reassurance about their roles.
    The Bad-Anon: I am bad, and that's good. I will never be good, and that's not bad. There's no one I'd rather be than me.
  • Megamind had the title character raised in jail, at one point being taught to cheer burglars and boo policemen. He also has a conversation with Minion that ran on this theme, ending with "You don't know what's good for bad!"
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (1986): Hydia, the Big Bad, a wicked witch who's always berating her daughters Reeka and Draggle for not being wicked enough, and alongside views things like sunshine, flowers, niceness and love as repulsive concepts while adoring grime, dank, darkness and cartoonish villainy. At one point, she threatens to force-feed them banana splits if they didn't tell her what has gone wrong with the Smooze. In "The End of Flutter Valley", she goes through with a similar punishment by forcing them to eat donuts.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Spy Kids: In the climax, Floop is given the task of reprogramming all the robot children to no longer be evil. Not having time to rewrite their entire code, he instead implements a "binary switch," reversing their understand of right and wrong. Therefore, their originally programmed orders to be obedient Enfant Terribles are reinterpreted as being the very thing they should never do.
  • Time Bandits:
    Evil: Suddenly, I feel very, very good.
    Benson: Oh, I'm sorry, Master.
    Evil: No, it'll pass, it'll pass.
  • This is how the devils speak in H-E Double Hockey Sticks:
    Ms. Beezlebub: I'm so proud of you. You've done an awful job.
  • Batman (1989): The Joker joins Vicki Vale for a "date" in a museum café and looks over her portfolio of photographs. He dismissively flips through some shots of fashion models ("Crap, crap, crap...") before coming to a group of photos depicting mass graves in a war-torn foreign land. He reacts as if they are works of great beauty and genius. About a minute later, he brings his death-masked girlfriend in to show to Vicki and removes the mask, revealing that the other woman has a heavily scarred face. He calls this "a living work of art."
  • The Princess Bride:
    Inigo: I'm sorry, Father. I tried. I tried.
    Count Rugen: You must be that little Spanish brat I taught a lesson to all those years ago. Simply incredible. Have you been chasing me all your life, only to fail now? I think that's the worst thing I've ever heard. How marvellous.
  • In Steno's much underrated comedy Dottor Jekyll e Gentile Signora the title character, a Corrupt Corporate Executive, is terrified about his recurring fits of good-heartedness, and is willing to drink the serum of his grandfather - the famous Dr. Jekyll - to become even more evil, than he already is. The whole management of the Evil, Inc. in which he works proudly display titles of "rogue" "scoundrel" "son of a bitch" and the likes on the plates with their names (Btw. that's where the running gag from the Fantozzi series originates from - it first appeared in the third Fantozzi movie, realised a year after this one; the titles of Piermatteo Barambani are only a slight variation of the ones used in "Dottor Jekyll").
  • In the climactic scene of The Devil's Advocate, Satan tries to convince his bastard son that God is a hypocrite and a tyrant for giving humans free will and then punishing them when they make the inevitable wrong moral choices — while Satan, on the other hand, is the true loving father-figure who accepts humans despite all their flaws and is willing to give them whatever they wish as long as they are loyal to him.
  • The goblins in Legend (1985) find good and beautiful things disgusting, up to and including calling the unicorns "ugly one-horned mules."
    Blix: May be innocent, may be sweet. Ain't half as nice as rotting meat.
  • The closing song in John Waters's Cry-Baby ends with "We love bein' bad 'cause it feels real good!"
  • Boris and Natasha: "It's Good to Be Bad" is the title of a song in the movie, a quote by Boris, and a tagline for the film.
  • The Hidden: When the evil parasite inspects a warehouse storing guns and stolen antiques belonging to some criminal he just murdered, he turns on a record player which proceeds to play a folksy jingle. After listening to it for a few seconds he angrily destroys the record; his evil taste in music apparently doesn't extend beyond death metal.
  • In Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren thinks the Light Side of the Force is "tempting" him, which is, ironically, how the Dark Side was described in previous films.
  • The first Villain Song in Babes in Toyland has Barnaby, Gonzorgo, and Roderigo singing cheerfully about how they're "an awful gruesome threesome, and we're rotten to the core".
  • The Addams Family: The Addamses display this, in keeping with their Black Comedy villainous ways. For instance, Gomez asks Morticia whether she's unhappy-she smiles pleasantly and says "Oh yes."
  • Absolutely Anything: The Council it turns out define "good" as dealing death and destruction, so they judge Neil guilty as he doesn't use his powers for that (i.e. he's "evil").
  • Sodom and Gomorrah: Queen Bera tells Lot that "What you call sin, I call virtue" when he asks her to repent her sins.

  • Eva Ibbotson is very fond of this. Most of her children's books have an evil creature who is not as evil as they'd like to be. For example, in Which Witch?, Belladonna is a good witch, who is ashamed of her magic, and wants to be more evil. She is overjoyed when she manages to turn the blossoms that spontaneously grew in her tent into bloodstained thumbscrews. When someone suggests that she cheat in the dark-magic-competition for the dark wizard Arriman's hand, he reasons that "cheating is evil, and he wants evil, so that's fine."
    • Likewise, The Secret of Platform 13 features Odge, a hag. While her mother and sister are all properly ugly, warty creatures, she looks distressingly normal, save for heterochromia, one blue tooth and a bump on her foot which will hopefully grow into an extra toe one of these days. Like all hags, she can cast minor curses, but she has to struggle with it a bit.
  • Satan in Paradise Lost: "Evil be thou my Good."
  • In Kushiel's Legacy, The Mahrkagir's motto is "Ill thoughts, ill words, ill deeds", in homage to the evil Anti-God he worships. Ironically, it bars him from his own god's priesthood, since prospective members have to eat a loved one's heart and he doesn't even know what love is. In a further irony, as soon as he falls in love with Phèdre for that exact purpose, she kills him.
  • C. S. Lewis:
    • Played with in The Screwtape Letters. Demons explicitly say that some "good" qualities—like courage, devotion to a goal or cause, et cetera—are actually necessary for great evil. Containing no good would not be being evil, it would be not existing. This fact really, really annoys them, though. As Screwtape puts it, "Nothing is naturally on our side!" Every good quality has to be twisted and perverted before it's useful to them. That said, they still think of "over" as lesser and "under" as greater (Screwtape is an Undersecretary in the Lowerarchy, and they respect and serve Our Father Below).
    • Another Lewis example is in Mere Christianity where he invites the reader to consider what a society like this actually would look like to show that different moral systems are really not as different as usually thought.
  • There are hints of this in the vermin's behaviour in Redwall, though it doesn't entirely define them and some of them have expressed good traits (though that really just throws their horrible behaviour into sharp relief). A Villain Song in Triss expresses the GIB&BIG view specifically:
    "Ho, 'tis nice to be a villain, wot all honest creatures fears,
    And terrorise the beasts fer miles around,
    Their scringin' wails fer mercy is music to me ears,
    Aye, us bad'uns loves to 'ear that mournful sound!"
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, broadly speaking, describes those who consider pity good and power and success bad as slave moralists; he believes this to be an anti-human mentality (because a truly free morality is self-motivated not dependent or motivated by duties to or expectations of other people, an Ubermensch is unbridled by such constraints on their thinking and ethics).
    • This is pretty much a summary of the foundation of Ayn Rand's philosophy too. She took some inspiration from him, and then took her views in other directions, placing a greater emphasis on the immorality of depending on or caring for others.
    • Before either of them, the Marquis de Sade expressed similar views, hailing crimes such as murder, rape and torture as positively great (when they pleased the person who committed them at least), while disdaining mercy, charity etc.
  • Discworld:
    • Demons in the novel Eric. On the first occurrence, a footnote notes that "Demons have a distorted sense of values."
    • While dwarfs for the most don't fit in here (good is good and bad is bad to dwarfs — it's some of the expressions of that that are reversed), they do 'put darkness for light, and light for darkness' (and low as good). They are, after all, cave-dwelling miners — digging lower into the mountain is a good thing, and light blinds you (so being enlightened is a bad thing).
  • A variation occurs in the second The Archives Of Anthropos book, Gaal the Conqueror, when Pan forces Eleanor to dance and sing in her sleep, "Lunacy, lunacy, madness is sanity, truth is profanity . . ."
  • A one-off joke in Good Omens, where the demon Crowley 'blesses' under his breath when frustrated.
    • Crowley also receives ''deprecations" rather than commendations from Below, for an evil job done well.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, both Sandor Clegane (the Hound) and Jaime Lannister speak and behave this way, but find it less rewarding over time.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Hermione gives this a try in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, saying cheerfully, "Horrible morning, isn't it?" when she goes into Borgin & Burkes posing as the kind of Dark witch who would be their typical customer.
    • A mild example with the Marauders' Map, which activates with the passcode "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good," the "no good" generally being pranks and mischief (rather than anything truly evil), which the Marauders considered high achievements, but of course are considered bad from a disciplinarian perspective, since they often violated school rules. Played more darkly in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, however, when it appears that their definition of mischief also extended somewhat into bullying, which is objectively bad, plus a "prank" which nearly led to the death of another student. They did rather grow up after that, though.
  • Harry Turtledove explores this idea in his short story "After The Last Elf is Dead".
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, the goblins have this mindset, treating the smell of pond scum as perfume and being terrified of puppies and other cute animals.
  • The Dark Ones from Murderess, whose traditional blessing is, ‘May the streams of blood guide you, and may ye aye find the dark in every sunny day,’ seem to qualify.
  • In Bad Magic, a followup to the Secret Series, when Clay says a bad word when he is very young that he picked up from somewhere, Max-Ernest explains to him that it's a bad word and Clay wonders why it's bad. Max-Ernest explains that bad words are words that hurt people's feelings. From that day, however, they develop a sort of code, in which between them, "bad word" means "magic word."
  • In The Omen novelizations Damien Thorn gives "his curses" to his worshippers and kindly promises them to "see you all in Hell".
  • In The Everlasting Man, G. K. Chesterton speculates that human sacrifice, demon-worship, and ritual cannibalism are things people engage in "not [...] because they do not think it horrible; but, on the contrary, because they do think it horrible."
  • In Nine Goblins, goblin compliments work this way. They'll only complain about something if they really appreciate it. For things they actually don't like, they go for a Stiff Upper Lip.
  • The Little Witch: The finale reveals the belief of the big witches that a good witch does bad things with magic.
  • In Blue Core, The Syndicate known as the Anell House consider themselves the good guys because they exploit the propensity of Void Affinity users, especially their family sub-branch, the Ells, towards addictive behaviors by addicting them to drugs and other vile things and then using that addiction to force them to become assassins, and see Sienne Ell, who managed to escape this fate and lead a good and upright life, Happily Married, as an evil they most capture or kill, and to make it worse, they see all the countries of the continent of Orn as unspeakably vile for daring to cast out all their agents, refusing to heed their whims, because they repeatedly sent assassins after the royal families in those countries in the first place, for little reason, or no reason at all.
  • Sepulchre: Felix Kline, devotee of Sumerian god Bel-Marduk, venerates "the superiority that comes from corruption".
  • The Spear: A latter-day Nazi says Hitler to have deplored "the Christian good" as oppositional to his mystical racial supremacism.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Pyramids of Mars":
      The Doctor: But you use your powers for evil!
      Sutekh: Evil? Your evil is my good. I am Sutekh the Destroyer. Where I tread, I leave nothing but dust and darkness...I find that good!
    • A more subtle example occurs in "Blink":
      Kathy Nightingale: What did you come here for anyway?
      Sally Sparrow: I love old things. They make me feel sad.
      Kathy Nightingale: What's good about sad?
      Sally Sparrow: It's happy for deep people.
    • "Asylum of the Daleks" has one that nicely encapsulates the nature of the Daleks:
      Dalek: It is offensive to us to extinguish such divine hatred.
      The Doctor: Offensive?
      Dalek: Does it surprise you to know the Daleks have a concept of beauty?
      The Doctor: I thought you'd run out of ways to make me sick, but hello again! You think hatred is beautiful?
      Dalek: Perhaps that is why we have never been able to kill YOU!
  • In LazyTown, one of Robbie Rotten's songs is "Good to be Bad."
    They tell me I should change and wear a perky smile
    But smiling makes my face hurt and happiness is vile.
  • The Addams Family are a lesser version of this. Specifically, they find disgusting things lovely, and torture as good family fun. But they are very polite and try not to comment on those weirdos with the sickening love of flowers. This had the side effect of making them very progressive for the time, since they didn't judge anybody for anything. The plot of one episode of the original series revolves around Pugsley suddenly becoming a 'problem child' in the eyes of his parents, by joining the Boy Scouts, playing baseball and adopting a stray puppy.
  • Most villains from Power Rangers.
    • The most prominent are the early ones, like Rita and Lord Zedd. For evilness' sake, her last name is Repulsa!
    • Then there's her brother, Rito Revolto, and their dad, Master Vile. Just in case you forgot what side they're on. Villains were even addressed as "Your Evilness" for the first several seasons.
  • In the Wizards of Waverly Place episode "Don't Rain on Justin's Parade—Earth," Alex Russo becomes increasingly distressed at the realization that she is becoming good under the tutelage of Mr. Laritate. She is pleased and relieved at the end of the episode when he calls her an evil genius.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, bad guys often celebrate evil as though it were a religion. Spike once makes a reference to helping Giles "out of the evilness of his heart".
  • Lexi from A.N.T. Farm
    Lexi: Paisley, you really need to work on your bad sportsmanship.
  • Villains in Charmed can harbor this attitude at times. For example, during one of Cole's attempts to get Phoebe back in his mad downfall period Piper once asked him how he could be so evil. His reply?
    Cole: "It's a gift."
  • Meg in Supernatural revels in being a demon and serving Lucifer in earlier seasons and expresses a distaste for her turn toward helping the heroes in later seasons. She also finds a dash of the dark side an attractive quality in Castiel, the angel.
    Meg: [to Castiel] I'm kinda good, which sucks. And you're kinda bad, which is actually all manner of hot.
  • In the Millennium (1996) episode "Somehow, Satan Got Behind Me", a group of demons who appear as elderly men to regular humans discuss their work with each other in a late-night coffee shop. When one of them rudely asks for a cup, the clerk gives him his order after peeing in it. The demon apparently think this is hilarious and later commends the clerk for it.
  • Red Dwarf's episode "Backwards" sees our heroes stuck in the Parallel Universe where things are happening, you guessed it, backwards. When Lister and Cat finally find Rimmer and Kryten they want to stay for this very reason.
    Kryten: Take war. War is a wonderful thing here! In fifty years time, the second world war will start — backwards!
    Cat: And that's a good thing?
    Kryten: Millions of people will come to life. Hitler will retreat across Europe, liberate France and Poland, disband the Third Reich, and bog off back to Austria!
    Rimmer: We're smash hits here! We'd be crazy to leave.
    LISTER: RIMMER, we don't belong here! This place is crazy!
    Rimmer: Crazy? Death, disease, famine — there's none of that here.
    Kryten: There's no crime! The first night we were here, a mugger jumped us and forced 50 pounds into my wallet at knifepoint!
    Lister: Okay, okay! But look at the flipside of the coin. It's not all good. Take someone like, say... St. Francis of Assissi. In this universe, he's the petty-minded little sadist who goes around maiming small animals! Or Santa Claus — what a bastard!
    Rimmer: Eh?
    Lister: He's the big fat git who sneaks down chimneys and steals all the kid's favorite toys!
  • The Spellman's Evil Twins in Sabrina the Teenage Witch have this mindset. Case in point, Zelda's Evil Twin Jezebelda reveals to Sabrina that she created the Black Plague. Jezebelda is flattered by Sabrina's exclamation of "That's awful!" and blushes humbly when Sabrina points out that the disease killed many, many mortals.
  • Preacher (2016): Hell's administration enforces this by punishing any of the damned who show kindness or help others. They have a standard to uphold.
  • Kingdom Adventure: While giving his spying report to Zordock, Dagger says that the protagonists are up to something good...and then says "And that's bad, right?" Zordock agrees.
  • Good Omens (2019): The demons often speak this way, such as saying "All bad" in place of "All good". This causes some confusion when Ligur tries to report that Crowley is "up to no good." He means he might be a traitor, but Hastur just assumes he's doing his job right, since he's not supposed to be doing good.
  • Played for laughs in The Good Place, where Bad Place demons use insults instead of compliments in addition to aiming to do bad as effectively as possible. To them, "You suck donkey butts" is incredible praise. One of the webisodes from "The Selection" has Shawn's underlings welcome him back to a meeting by farting, much to his gratitude. Also deconstructed with Bad Janet; Janets are anthropomorphic databases of all the knowledge in the universe, and while Good Janets are incredibly helpful, Bad Janets never provide any help, instead choosing to insult their users.
    Shawn: We've been doing this all wrong. And not in the confusing Bad Place way where that's actually good.
  • In the Mirror Universe of Star Trek, it's stated that the Terran Empire shed themselves of the virtues that form the basis of The Federation of the Prime Universe, such as compassion and the equality of all sentient races.
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, when Keiko and Jake were possessed by Pah-Wraiths they described them as beings of pure hate. After Gul Dukat was possessed by a Pah-Wraith, he said he could feel its love for him and the Bajoran people.

  • Played straight in Seven Stones by Genesis.
    Despair that tires the world brings the old man laughter, the laughter of the world only grieves him
  • AC/DC's "Bad Boy Boogie":
    Bein' a bad boy ain't that bad
    I've had more dirty women than most men ever had
    All you women come along with me
    I'm gonna show you how good a bad boy can be!
  • The Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil":
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints
  • From the Austin Powers soundtrack, "Dr Evil" by They Might Be Giants:
    When your name is Evil, bad is good, or so you'd think
    But you're so very wrong, it's evil!
    But being wrong is right, so then you're good again
    Which is the evilest thing of all...
  • Voltaire's "Evil".
    "And it's so easy when you're evil, this is the life you see; the Devil tips his hat to me! I do it all because I'm evil, and I do it all for free; your tears are all the pay I'll ever need!"
  • John Linnell's "Maine" from State Songs, is like this for the viewpoint character - "The Hell from above" and "The Heaven below" in different choruses.
  • Eminem:
    • "Bad Guy" says the first part of the trope word-for-word in the chorus:
    What's bad is good, and I hate to the be Bad Guy.
  • "Discombobulated" implies this for Shady with its repeating lyrical conceits about opposites — "now up is down, left is right, day is night, now, in is out, black is white..."

    Mythology and Religion 
  • According to some legends, Sodom and Gomorrah had laws punishing citizens who did good deeds. Jewish Midrash, for instance, describes how Sodom executed people for giving to the poor.
  • In the Book of Isaiah in The Bible, the prophet has some pretty harsh condemnation for those who do this sort of thing, making this Older Than Feudalism:
    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20 World English Bible)
    • A few verses later, as an example of this sort of immorality, he also pronounces woe on corrupt judges "who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice for the innocent".
  • Satan is often depicted this way, most famously in Paradise Lost (in the page quote).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Literally inverted in ECW, where the heels were considered good and the faces were considered bad.
  • During his 2003-'04 heel run, Kane condemned his half-brother, The Undertaker, for becoming the "American Bad Ass" (a patriotic biker) and thus turning his back on his satanic past. Kane claimed that in his family, ceasing to be a "monster" was an unforgivable sin.
    Kane: My brother was not a monster! My brother...was nothing...BUT A FRAUD!
  • Bobby Roode, one of the greatest TNA Heavyweight Champions ever, calls himself "Leader of the Selfish Generation," as if that's something to genuinely be proud of. He even once lectured the audience on why being evil was preferable to being good, with some logic that's pretty hard to refute: since as a face you'll just be consistently screwed over by the heels, you can only win in a world full of cheaters by becoming a cheater yourself.
  • WWE has actually taken this approach in regards to Roman Reigns, saying that since the fans hate him so much that must mean they love him, and in this particular case (and no other) boos equal cheers (which could not be further than the truth). Ironically when he made a heel turn, he became immensely popular.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In one episode of The Muppet Show, they performed "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". The Muppet Devil took offense when Kermit told him his performance was "pretty good".
    Devil: "Good"?! I'm not supposed to be good! Aw...
  • Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street is like this at times, hating anything nice. (Except children, like most of the cast.) He once got into a bit of a logical conundrum when he realized being mad made him happy, and being happy made him mad, "Which makes me happy, which makes me mad, which makes me happy, which makes me mad..."
    • He even had a song about this:
    Oh I'm sad because I'm happy
    And I'm happy because I'm mad
    And I'm mad 'cause it's so sappy
    To be happy when you're sad!

    Tabletop Games 
  • Chez Geek has a Goth expansion, where the victory points are renamed from "Slack" to the thematic "Gloom." Hence, increasing your Gloom is good, and decreasing it is bad.
  • In Demon: The Descent, as part of their Blue-and-Orange Morality, Demons literally reverse the status of the Virtues note  and the Vices.note  This is because they are essentially Clarke's Third Law-level AI who've gone rogue. Unlike humans, they don't possess instinctive desires and aren't used to being free-willed beings with a proper sense of self. Thus, selfish behavior is meaningful (i.e. fills your willpower bar) to a demon because it asserts their freedom and their status as sentient beings whose desires are equal to humanity, while virtue isn't much (just gives you a willpower point back) because it's not so much actual altruism as falling back on old habits from when they were just computer programs. So Greed is good, because the demon needs stuff to survive on Earth, while Charity is bad because you're acknowledging humans as being more worthy of it than you. Humility is bad because the nature that you're accepting is yourself as the God-Machine's mindless drone, while Pride is good because being a demon is basically lying about being a real person until reality starts to believe it.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: In fifth edition, hags "perceive ugliness as beauty, and vice versa." They revel in having a hideous appearance and sometimes go out of their way "improve" upon it by picking at sores, wearing skins and bones as decoration, and rubbing refuse and dirt into their hair and clothing.

  • The witches in Macbeth: "Fair is foul and foul is fair."
  • The musical Dracula, Baby has the song "It's Good to be Bad".
  • In the concept album of Jekyll & Hyde, Hyde invokes this, nearly verbatim, in "The World Has Gone Insane".
    • "Bad is good and good is bad! Sacred is profane, and it's wiser to be mad - in a world that's gone insane!"
    • Also invoked in the entire song "Good n' Evil", which features lyrics like "It's easier by far from the way that things are, to remain good and evil, then try to be evil and good".

    Video Games 
  • Characters in Baldur's Gate will react according only to their alignment and your reputation in a quite straightforward and dichotomic way. No matter the methods you use, a low reputation is always seen with favor by evil characters even at the cost of being hunted by guards around every corner, while a good reputation is despised even if it brings wealth and prestige. So, if you murder innocents, slay children, summon demons in the middle of a city and become the most hated public enemy no. 1, thus causing your reputation to drop, evil characters will comment with satisfaction about how the party is going and will always stay loyal (even those whose background stories don't portrait them as children-murdering psychopaths but only as self-centered individualists, as the label "evil" covers a broad spectrum of different personalities in a D&D-based system). But if you do too many honorable things and your reputation gets too high, they will first start to complain about the lack of progress and then leave never to return. In the sequel, the city of Ust Natha is based upon this very trope. Its society encourages selfishness, opportunism, racism, brutal slavery, murdering political rivals in order to get a promotion in the social ladder, sacrificing "friends" for a gain or even discarding children who disappoint their parents because "I have other children that can do better than you". Kindness and altruism are not only seen as despicable signs of weakness, but also considered a threat to the order and norms of the community itself, and a good reason to kill you if you don't adhere its strict rules. In the third game, if the Dark Urge asks Evil Mentor Sceleritas Fel the worst thing they've ever done before their Laser-Guided Amnesia, Sceleritas will say with horror that the Dark Urge once gave a beggar some coin and didn't even physically or verbally abuse the beggar.
  • The Doomsday Crisis Line: Choosing the "good options" will lose you money, while picking the bad options gains you money.
  • EVIL DAVE of Runescape is an odd example. He likes good/nice/tasty things, but he refers to them as "evil". Unless you count his preference for EVIL black outfits.
  • Demons in Disgaea do this; it's mostly played for comedy.
    • Disgaea demon logic can be an odd thing. Since bad is good and good is bad, they might act good in order to be bad. For example, in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, the setting is a school where slackers, cheaters and bullies are considered honor students, while students who actually attend class and do volunteer work are considered delinquents. There are demons that purposely try to be "delinquents" because they think it makes them look badass.
    • Disgaea 2 had the Dark Court system, where the player's characters can receive Subpoenas for various activities (like "Playing Too Much", "Being Too Rich" or simply getting too strong). Upon entering the court gate, the character(s) will be slapped with a Felony Count, which gives benefits such as increased EXP gain, lower shop prices and better sell prices. However, there are downsides: sending a character with an active Felony Count up to battle the Dark Sun in the Dark World will instead empower all enemies on the map, and Adell having an active count in addition to other modifiers can land the player a bad ending.
  • Eddie Riggs does this while trying to control a Tainted Coil Overblesser in Brütal Legend.
    Eddie: By your good graces—
    [whole thing falls down]
    Eddie: Evil, I meant evil graces! Aah, sonofa—
  • Played perfectly straight in Overlord series. The main voice of this is Gnarl.
    It's good to be bad. It's better to be evil.
  • In Super Mario Bros., Bowser Koopa has some minor traits of this, with at least one example present in the spin-off Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, where he loves Thwomp Volcano for being "hot, stinky, dangerous, and one humongous fire hazard". King Koopa (his cartoon alter-ego) invoked this trope a lot more often, however. Liking Thwomp Volcano could just be a case of narcissism though.
  • You can attempt to Logic Bomb the Always Chaotic Evil Ilwrath in Star Control II by invoking this trope. It doesn't work; while your question defines evil as "societal deviance", their response defines evil as "hurting other people". It does make them very angry, though.
    "But 'evil' is that which is morally bad or wrong. And if your actions are judged by your society as correct, aren't you, in fact, good?"
  • Dungeon Keeper basks in this trope, adopting "It's good to be bad" as it's motto and having your counselor sneer and loathe at the abominably cheerful and benevolent settlements your army is about to ravage and then glorify the desolation and despair it inflicted.
  • In Afterlife (1996), the effectiveness of your Hell decreases if you make it too convenient and efficient for the souls that go there. As your advisors point out, the strategies that make a Heaven successful generally don't apply in Hell. You'll quickly get to find this out when Jasper berates you for making Hell's roads too straightforward and efficient rather than snarling them into a confusing mess, and it goes further from there.
  • What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord? runs on this trope in several ways. For instance, according to the Almanac, the bait left by Heroes to kill monsters isn't dosed with poison as one would expect, but just very good, tasty meat, that kills monsters due to not being poisonous. The small percentage of bait that actually heals them is poisoned. If a Pure variation of a monster appears in your dungeon, it is a problem, because they are too nice and have lost their "ill will", making them as weak as the base monster and removing their apparent desire to breed. This is bad enough on its own, but Pure monsters are a warning for far more serious dungeon problems - they only appear when you've screwed up your ecosystem so badly that a species has been forced to adapt to resist its most common cause of death and keeps dying of that cause anyway.
  • In A Witch's Tale, Liddell leans more on the mischievous side, thinking torture instruments are awesome, romance is hackneyed, and that ancient, destructive magic is just what she needs to be a great witch.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Monokuma/ Junko Enoshima, the Mastermind, has this perspective towards hope and despair, and takes it to the point of Blue-and-Orange Morality; everything that causes and spreads despair is a moral good, while everything that spreads hope and combats despair is bad because it's boring. In fact, she is positively ecstatic to lose at the very end, relishing the chance to experience the despair of such an intricate plan failing at the very end, while Makoto's refusal to give in is met with fear and disgust. As revealed in the second game and anime, thanks to her manipulating and brainwashing them, she's made Class 77-B to think just like her and transforms them into the terrorist organization, the Ultimate Despair.
    • Nagito Komaeda is a borderline example. He loves hope and hates despair, but because of his Unluckily Lucky nature, he tends to think that tragedies are good, because his entire life has been a merry-go-round of catastrophe leading into good fortune (i.e. he gets kidnapped and finds a winning lottery ticket in the bag his kidnappers put him in), so he thinks that experiencing despair will just lead to more hope after the despair has been overcome.
  • In The Darkside Detective, this is a feature of the Dark World. At one point, a denizen of the Darkside temporarily trapped in the normal world tells McQueen that she's scared out of her wits because there are no Giant Flyers swooping through the skies, nobody is being pursued by shadow-men, and "nothing, and I mean nothing is on fire!"
  • In Idle Apocalypse, you play as doomsday cult leader Sid, who has an army of evil monsters at his command and is attempting to summon idols to destroy the world. He's initially disappointed by the idol Princess Priscilla when he hears her cute laugh and sees her pink room full of cuddly toys, but quickly becomes delighted when she turns out to be the only idol to share his cause in destroying the world. Then, there's the "Happy Time" event, where Sid gets knocked out and ends up in a Sugar Bowl Mental World with cutesy stuffed animals and emojis. He considers the place a personal hell and all the animals annoying.
  • In Touhou Project there's Seija Kijin. As an amanojaku (which doubles as a yokai and Japanese slang for a really contrary person), her nature is based entirely on the reverse of everyone else, to the point where she can even reverse the screen. She likes what others hate and hates what others like. Nobody likes her, and she likes it that way.
  • Mortal Kombat 11: A pre-match dialogue between Jade and Mileena suggests the latter has this view.
    Mileena: My sister is now Kahn?!
    Jade: And she rules Outworld justly and with grace.
    Mileena: How dare she destroy my empire!
  • Most players in Barony want to collect Blessed items (which are more powerful than normal) while avoiding Cursed items (which are less powerful, and also impossible to willingly remove). Unless you're playing as a Succubus or Incubus, for which Cursed items work like Blessed items do for eveyone else, while Blessed equipment is unremoveable. Being demons, they're also harmed by the Holy Water that heals most of the other playable races.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has a mild example in the world of the First, which was 9/10ths oblierated by a Flood of Light (which was accidentally caused by some would-be heros) and the remaining areas have been plagued by Endless Daytime, and swarms of angelic-looking murderous Sin-Eaters for more than 100 years since. The inhaibtants therefore revere darkness and the night sky (the 'sunless sea') and are a little jaded with traditional concepts of virtue, and often use 'sinner' as a friendly term of address.

    Web Animation 
  • The Royals of Ever After High try to hammer this into Raven Queen, as it is the right (wrong?) way for a future Evil Queen to act. It doesn't stick, but they're very enthusiastic and determined.
    • Generally, it is also how all students born from antagonist parents are expected to think and act.
  • A lot of quick-fire gags in the dialogue in Helluva Boss are based on this — for example, Blitzo telling Loona in a proud voice that her human disguise "look[s] awful," or Stolas formally "cursing" the Harvest Moon Festival.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Strong Sad pulls this off, but swapping happy and depressed rather than good and evil. In the Halloween cartoon "Happy Hallow-Day", being outdoors for several hours on a sunny day (against his will) starts to cheer him up—which just serves to scare him.
      Strong Sad: [as a completely involuntary smile begins to form on his face] Something funny's happening to the sides of my mouth...
      Strong Sad: [smiling and laughing] Somebody shoot me...
    • In "A Folky Tale", Strong Sad's folk-hero alter ego Saddy Dumpington seems to think that miserable and depressing things (like admitting that he made a squirrel's relatives into soup) are great news, while silly things (like a weird snake) are miserable and depressing.
  • For pirates in Knights of All Realms ugly is considered attractive and beauty is considered weak. Patchface the Pirate yearns for the heart of the Pirate Hage, the ugliest and most wicked woman on the seas and is ashamed of his natural good looks, hiding them with his mask to protect his reputation.
  • Terrible Writing Advice discusses tropes and cliches to provide terrible writing advice as good advice in a sarcastic fashion. The narrator frequently says that any deep and meaningful discussions should be avoided at all costs, especially if it gets in the way of the Romantic Plot Tumor.

  • Girl Genius:
    • Castle Heterodyne, having the possible personality of evil, bloodthirsty, and megalomaniacal Faustus Heterodyne, acts in this manner.
      Agatha: Nah, you did good.
      Castle Heterodyne: "Good." ...Hrm, perhaps...You could phrase it some other way?
    • The Heterodynes and their servants, the Jaegermonsters, subscribe to a variant of this. A "good" Heterodyne is the sort who goes around committing as many mad acts of science as possible, therefore when Europhrasia Heterodyne betrayed her lover the Storm King, and destroyed the Shining Coalition in the act, ruining Europa's last chance for peace for over two-hundred years, this made her "good" in the eyes of the Jaegers, and whatever family of hers happened to be alive at the time.
      • The Jaegers, after all, do consider the evil Heterodynes to be "de fun vuns."
  • The Dimension of Pain demons from Sluggy Freelance are like this big time. They can't stand the scent of flowers, consider relaxing massages a form of torture, and will refuse to use anything they deem too "efficient and functional."
  • A long-defunct webcomic called Bards Tale featured a god of evil and his daughter, who invariably spoke like this.
    God of Evil: I hate you, daughter.
    Daughter: [with cheery smile] I hate you, too, daddy!
  • In Dinosaur Comics, Evil T-Rex from the Mirror Universe describes his glee thus:
    Evil T-Rex: I love being bad—I mean, I love being good! Because "bad" is "good" to us! And by "us," I mean the entire universe.
  • Khrima of Adventurers! challenges when his henchman plays "Nice" in a game of Scrabble, attempting to pronounce the word as "nee-kay".
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures:
  • Blip: An incubus nearly dies of a purifying infection, and his heart transplant needs to be corrupted before it starts functioning.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: A mom is called to school by the worried schoolteacher; her son does his homework, is nice to his classmates and cleans up after himself. The woman (a gnoll, by the way) is really worried until he snarls at her that he hates her and wishes she was dead. Then she realizes that there is some hope for her son!
  • Evil Diva: The title character's parents sometimes slip up and tell her to be good — that is, obedient to their directions to be bad.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Sabine and Nale in this strip have the standard All Girls Want Bad Boys vs. Single Woman Seeks Good Man conversation, but entirely flipped.
      Sabine: Sure, women like me swoon for a hero, but that's only because deep down, we think we can change them.
    • In spite of the nature of the trope, Loki and his followers seem to be a non-evil version. (Loki appears to be Chaotic Neutral.) Loki's priestess Hilgya explains that Loki offers a loophole for dwarves who don't want to live by the Lawful Good standards of honour. Dwarves who didn't live with honour go to a bad afterlife with Hel, but for those following Loki's teachings, being what's normally called dishonourable counts as being honourable by following the teachings of their deity.
  • In Pibgorn, when Pibgorn tells Drusilla she learned from the best — she hastily corrects to the very worst.
  • In Homestuck, Caliborn claims that spewing abuse at Jane is the cherub equivalent of complimenting her, since cherubs don't have positive emotions. She's not convinced. It also turns out he's unable to even type positive words. If he tries to, it quickly becomes random button mashing. In Alternian culture, what humans associate with scariness and menace is considered normal and pleasant, and vice versa. Thus, a soothing white and lavender pastel color scheme is something only a very Goth troll would have in their room, and staying up during the day is freaky. Much of this simply has to do with the fact that trolls are nocturnal and the planet's sun is intensely harmful, so they associate darkness with (relative) safety.
  • In Freefall, Sam Starfall is a member of a scavenger species that considers theft, deceit and underhanded methods to be admirable qualities, similar to how humans admire physical strength. When Florence mentions she will have to hack into the comment servers in order to save the robot population from a "bug fix" that will deprive them of free will, he asks her to alter his criminal records... and add a few particularly interesting thefts of his the police has failed to notice. Also, Florence is coming to the horrifying realization that underhanded tactics, outright criminal acts and the support of some very selfish, rotten people (like Sam) is the only way to save the day, because the moral and legal methods are blocked by the real villains, forcing her to say Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!.
  • In Darths & Droids, General Hux (Ben) tells Kylo Ren (Sally) that he has good news and bad news, and Ren replies "Give me the bad news first. I like bad news. I like everything bad." Hux then snarks that given the plan, she must like bad ideas too.
    Ren: I do indeed. Including your decision to backchat just now.

    Web Original 
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum: Mini-Battle Android Troopers turn hostile whenever concepts associated with the American Way are brought up and show loyalty to people who mention villainous concepts. This is because they're based on villains from an '80s cartoon and act accordingly.

    Web Videos 
  • In David Near's videos, Laughing Jack notes violent ends as "happy endings" and is disgusted by what's genuinely sound. He doesn't see any point in watching a toy train if it isn't exploding or running anyone over, he thinks love is "nothing but a sick, twisted game of manipulation," and considers a Happily Married couple celebrating their relationship as "some such nauseating filth".
    Laughing Jack: They walked in the door, happy as a couple of... things that are happy I don't fucking know!
  • In Backstroke of the West Allah Gold (Anakin) voices his beliefs about heroes to Ratio Tile (Obi-Wan), and it may have something to do with the former's Face–Heel Turn:
    Allah Gold: To me, heroes is just bad person!
    Ratio Tile: FRIEND, YOU ARE CRAZY!

    Western Animation 
  • The Grims, the villains of The 7D, are a pair of card-carrying fairy-tale villains who hate goodness. Hildy is disgusted at having to do good deeds while posing as a good witch in "Hildy the Good", and both Hildy and Grim are horrified when they experience "joy" during the Christmas Episode "Jollybells".
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: When Evil Jimmy returns, he makes an entire Evil Twin planet, whose society is based around evil. While infiltrating it, Jimmy gets into trouble every time he does something good. Saving a woman from being hit by a car results in that woman calling the police on him, and politely thanking Evil Ms. Fowl is treated as though he'd just said a swear word at her.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: In "The Wicked", Mrs. Robinson sings her own version of "My Favourite Things" from The Sound of Music; among the things she lists as "giving her delight" are toothaches, heartburn, the smell of garbage, and basically everything else that makes other people miserable.
  • In Barbie & The Diamond Castle, the extended version of Lydia's Villain Song is like this.
    "Dreary is cheery and gloomy is good for me." "I loathe smiling babies, I love dogs with rabies."
Also, one of her first lines is "The world is really a very small and dark place. Just how I like it!"
  • Underworld: The theme park in The Baskervilles where "bad is good and good is bad." For instance, if you put on a play and everyone cheers at the end, it was a bad play. Also, when children living in Underworld rebel they do it by playing with harmless toys, picking flowers, etc.
  • Bramble, the Big Bad of the Bitsy Bears pilot cartoon, not only cuts the heads off a bouquet of flowers and declares it a marked improvement, but hates the "happy sounds" of the Honey Bear Fair amusement park and plots to put a stop to it for good. In fact, the Bitsy Bears describe her as a bear who "forgot how to be happy."
  • Several villains in Captain Planet and the Planeteers outright thrive in polluted conditions and suffer in healthy ones. This is mainly empowered ones like Duke Nukem (who enjoys radiation) and Captain Pollution (who is empowered by all kinds of pollution, but is hurt by pure elements), but Hoggish Greedly's sidekick (who is an ordinary human) complains at one point that "all this fresh air is giving [him] a headache".
  • Almost every Care Bears villain. (Which is why the Care-Bear Stare is so effective.) Beastly even quotes the trope name as a catchphrase, albeit because he needs to remind himself of it since he's not very good at his job.
  • Used in an episode of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, with the wicked witch of the west calling her niece, Wilhelmina, a good girl, "and by good I mean bad." This causes one of the flying monkeys to get confused when she asks them to follow Wilhelmina and make sure she's up to no good.
  • In Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop, there were several occasions that played with the idea of monsters regarding good things as bad and vice versa.
    • In "Food Glorious Pet Food", Dr. Zitbag's octopus botches a batch of his pet food and unleashes a sweet-smelling scent through all of Transylvania, resulting in Officer Deadbeat wanting to turn Zitbag in for health code violations.
    • "Double Trouble" has Dr. Zitbag attempt to woo the Exorsisters by infesting their weed garden with harmless plants so they'll ask him to get rid of the harmless plants with his Moletergeist.
    • The episode "Transylvania Excess" deals with everyone in Transylvania being terrorized by a bunch of cute and saccharine animals.
  • Evil Jim, Earthworm Jim's evil clone claims to love the taste of orange juice after you've brushed your teeth, which Jim hates. Not played completely straight, since when Jim tells him that since Jim hates losing, Evil Jim must revel in it, but Evil Jim says that he shouldn't be so literal.
  • The Yugopotamians from The Fairly OddParents! have this not only culturally, but as part of their biology: for example, chocolate is poisonous to them, but manure is a delicacy. They tend to be more like Anti-Villains, however, only attacking Earth when they at least think they have a good reason. (For example, Halloween, when all the candy made them think Earth was planning an attack.) Well, that and the fact that Timmy accidentally created a planet-destroying super weapon with his wish to make Halloween costumes real.
  • On Freaktown, the inhabitants of the title town consider being called things like "cute" and "beautiful" to be insults, while words like "ugly" and "gross" are seen as compliments.
  • The Infinity Train is a system, it gradually turns out, dedicated to helping individuals with their own problems. It is also, at the time the series takes place, really not working like it should, and in the time it's been more distressingly out of touch than it already was, a passenger (properly met in season two) started actively going the other way and swaying impressionable young people to driving their quantifiable "number" up by actively turning to what the train, not without cause, considers "bad".
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes:
    • Lucius Heinous VII as well as all the other Heinouses (except Beezy). Not only does he regularly talk about making people miserable in the same way people talk about making people happy, he is only ever proud of Beezy when he does evil things.
      Lucius: (angrily) Son, you turned all our relatives back into popsicles! (happily) I've never been so proud!
    • Heloise certainly qualifies, as this exchange from "Carnival Lucius" indicates.
      Samy: Yeah, [the carnival] sounds like fun!
      Lucius: Fun?! It's not meant to be fun! Heloise, tell him.
      Heloise: It's. Not. Meant to be fun. I would never do that. I aim to displease. (smiles)
  • Kim Possible:
  • The Lion Guard has a song about it called "The Worst Hyena We Know" by Janja looking down Jasiri positive traits believing Hyenas shouldn't be friendly and nice.
  • The trolls in the Christmas Special The Little Troll Prince believe in this firmly, with their version of the Golden Rule going "do unto others before they do unto you". The protagonist Prince Bu is a misfit for not being as mean and ugly as the other trolls, and his family is horrified to hear him say "Thank you".
  • Looney Tunes: Witch Hazel is "deathly afraid" of getting pretty as she grows older and is always asking her magic mirror who's the ugliest one of all. Much to her horror, a potion turns her into a gorgeous redhead.
  • The Magic Key: The trolls from “Troll Talk” have this approach to manners- what would be polite to a human is rude to a troll, and vice versa.
  • Moral Orel: This is basically what's wrong with Clay; he's psychologically wired to believe that pain is a form of love, which leads him to abuse his family and subordinates while believing he's showing how much he loves (and hates) them, making lying easier than breathing. This manages to ruin most of the town when he shoots his own son (the protagonist) in the leg and uses his mayoral connections to bail himself out. Getting karmic punishment still hurts him but it's clear that he needs the suffering for comfort.
  • The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries episode "A Halloween Hassle in Dracula's Castle" had Igor turn out to have disguised himself as the Ghost of Van Helsing because he was sick of being constantly ordered to clean up the other monsters' messes and wanted to scare the other monsters away so he could be free to make as many messes in the castle as he wanted without having to clean them up. The other monsters are not only not mad about Igor's underhandedness but are even impressed by it, with Igor cheerfully stating how "unhappy" he is to hear his friends praise how mean he was being to them.
  • Dr. Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. In one episode, he tries to keep a news clip of him saving a kitty from being seen by his colleagues to protect his evil reputation, for just one example. In another one, Doof was out of ideas so he decided to create a good-idea-inator to give him a good idea but, because of the trope, he instead made a bad-idea-inator.
    • A worried-sounding Doof, on the non-appearance of his nemesis Perry the Platypus:
      "What's keeping him? Gee, I hope something horrible happened to him!"
  • The villains for the PJ Sparkles pilot cartoon are probably the most distilled version of this trope. The Cloak and his wife Betty revel in the dreary Twinkle Town, enjoy spreading filth, and get a headache and indigestion, respectively, when exposed to sunlight. So they're not pleased to find that PJ has suddenly made Twinkle Town match its name.
    The Cloak: This place is dark, cold, in horrible disrepair, and it smells like a rotten egg sandwich made with moldy Limburger cheese rolled in used kitty litter. sniffs Ah, it doesn't get any better than this!
  • This is lampshaded and exploited by Huey, Dewey, and Louie in the Quack Pack episode "The Boy Who Cried Ghost", where they frighten the monsters by wearing the cutesy Halloween costumes they got stuck with and having their uncle Donald pretend to be a baby, reasoning that since monsters are hideous they would be horrified of cute things.
  • Murky from Rainbow Brite, who hates colorful things and wants the world to be gray.
  • Pops' Evil Twin Anti-Pops in Regular Show explains that to him, happiness and sadness are inverted as well as the colors blue and orange.
  • Rick and Morty: "Amortycan Grickfitti" features a clan that behave this way to an extreme that annoys everyone around them. They end up befriending Jerry because they find his obnoxious nature charming, only for them to turn on each other when he overhears them talking trash about him in the bathroom.
    Rick: (posing as a demon) Oh, it's painful, so I love it, thank you. Oh, such pleasure.
    Demon: I didn't mean to cause you any pleasure, which causes me pain. Which gives me pleasure.
  • A Robot Chicken sketch features Bo deciding to act citizenly when Rosco is behind them. He pulls in and gives out his license at will, but Rosco is so used to the boys breaking the law, he thinks it's some trick and shoots him.
  • Roberon, the villain in Robotman And Friends, feels this way. He and his Mook Sound-Off are "programmed to hate," and view negative emotions such as anger, fear, hatred and jealousy as positive, glorifying being sneaky, underhanded and tricky, while they consider goodness, love, friendship and honesty to be epithets. Roberon can't even say the word "love" without spitting it out like a curse word. He's such a Card-Carrying Villain that he has an "evil" version of Robotman and pals' heart-shaped tummy symbols, with the heart crossed out.
  • Robotomy: The entire culture on Insanus is that being violent and destructive is normal, if not outright encouraged. Blastus painting a picture of his mom and him hugging is treated by his mother as filthy pornography, and the robots with faulty psycho-chips are Insanus' equivalent to special-ed children. They send those kids on a rocket into one of Insanus' suns because they're not violent enough by the planet's standards.
  • Boris and Natasha in Rocky and Bullwinkle take acknowledgment of their dishonesty and general evilness by others as flattery, as will Fearless Leader, whereas words like "purity", "innocence", and "honor" are considered on par with harsh swearing. In general, Pottsylvania remains the only nation where the Cold War never ended and is a City of Spies. The locals are Always Chaotic Evil, meaning they are Card Carrying Villains who relish in committing bad deeds and jail anyone doing good deeds. The government is a corrupt dictatorship that relies on trickery and theft to keep its barely functioning economy afloat as it has nothing to offer in trade with the outside world.
    • In one episode, Natasha is giving Boris CPR (or something) while reciting, "Out goes the good air; in comes the bad."
      Narrator: Um, pardon me, miss, but isn't that "Out goes the bad air, in comes the good"?
      Natasha: Dahlink, Boris hates anything good!
      Boris: Yeah, so shuddup you mouth, wise guy!
    • In another, the following exchange takes place:
      Boris: I got bad idea!
      Natasha: You mean good idea?
      Boris: You know me, I got nothing good!
  • Rolie Polie Olie has Gloomius Maximus, who wants to suck the fun out of everything (he even has a Villain Song about it in The Movie).
  • Season 5 of Samurai Jack has the Cult of Aku, a deranged group of Aku worshippers who see him as a benevolent creator god and see Jack as an evil force of destruction. The Daughters of Aku are likewise raised and trained on this very premise, and are brainwashed to believe that killing Jack will save the world. Interestingly, Aku himself holds no such delusions about who he is: he understands perfectly that he's an evil bastard, and simply shamelessly revels in it. The brainwashing actually leaves the door open for Ashi's Heel–Face Turn, as she does genuinely want to do good, but the lies and abuse she's endured have left her very skewed on how to do that. Once she sees Jack's kindness and how happy the people and creatures he's helped are, it isn't hard for her to join Jack's side.
  • The Wartmongers, a race of toad-like creatures on The Smurfs (1981), are a variation; not all of them are evil (though most of the ones the Smurfs interact with are villains) but in their society, "pleasant is disgusting and disgusting is pleasant". For example, they think being ugly and covered with warts is attractive, and consider the adorable Pussywillow Pixies repulsive; also, they don't like the thought of clean water, but are fond of mud and grime, and they turn their nose at food that other folks like while eating rather unpleasant things.
  • Saddam Hussein, as depicted on South Park. He loves Hell so much that when Satan finally decides that he's had all he can stand of Saddam, he banishes the dictator to Heaven (which in the South Park universe is populated only by Mormons). Saddam is immediately shanghaied by a troupe of actors who are just about to stage a play about how stealing hurts the thief as well as the victim, and he is dragged off screaming in despair.
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, King Koopa likes being called "Your repulsiveness," and similar lines, and whenever Princess Toadstool insults him he invariably responds with "Thank you."
  • In one episode of Super Mario World (1991), King Koopa tells his kids that they shouldn't go to school, because they might learn good citizenship, and he wants them to grow up to be 'sneaky, two-faced, cheating illiterates'. The kids then exploit this by telling him that he forgot lying, which he agrees is an excellent trait. Then they go to school despite promising not to, as they were just told that lying is good.
  • The Tick: The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight tries to play it off to the cops like he's just an electrician, but he can't help himself, following it up with: "bad is good, baby! Down with government!" He's full of that sort of thing.
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera: Pumo Loco, Manny’s grandfather, is a Card-Carrying Villain who encourages his grandson to do bad things. In the episode “Pumo Licito”, when Manny overhears his parents talking about moving Grandpapi out of the house due to him being a bad influence on Manny, he and Frida steal his disguise and pose as him doing good deeds so his parents won’t think he’s bad after all. When word gets out, Pumo Loco is so ashamed and humiliated by his new “heroic” reputation that he decides to leave Miracle City altogether. Later, when he finds out that Manny and Frida went behind his back and that his son and daughter-in-law were thinking of kicking him out, he is actually proud of them for being so deceitful.
  • The Shushu of Wakfu run on this being an Always Chaotic Evil demonic race that lives for destruction. Words like "despicable" are considered compliments and cute things are abhorred.
  • Hater and Peepers from Wander over Yonder run on this to the point where an outbreak of "happiness" on their ship (caused by Wander distributing presents amongst the Mooks) is treated like The Virus and unfolds from their perspective as a horror film.
  • Prince Phobos in W.I.T.C.H. (2004) despises bright, happy things, and so naturally commissions artists to make the bleakest, dreariest pictures they can. It is mentioned, however, that the reason he hates bright, happy things is because he thinks it will inspire his followers to have hope, and consequently rebel against him- so he has a reason for going in for dreariness and misery, albeit a despicable one.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good, Inverse Polarity Morality, Bad Is Good, Good Is Bad


Malus Thorm

Malus Thorm is the head surgeon at the House of Healing, as well as a devout Sharran who applies his goddess' nihilistic dogma in his medical practices.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / MadDoctor

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