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Beware the Silly Ones

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He'll go back to being adorable once he's through eating you.

Mr. Croup: You find us funny, Monsieur le Marquis, do you not? A source of amusement. Is that not so? With our pretty clothes, and our convoluted circumlocutions-
Mr. Vandemar: (murmuring) I haven't got a circumlo...
Mr. Croup: -and our little silliness of manner and behavior. And perhaps we are funny. [...] But you must never imagine, that just because something is funny, Monsieur le Marquis, it is not dangerous.

So you've got a person who might fulfill the role of comedic relief. For the most part, both the fans and the characters in-story see them as just a great big doofus. Possibly, they spend more time acting ridiculous or laughing in the face of Serious Business than getting dangerous. Sure, they might rant up and down about how they're going to conquer the world in the name of Evil with a capital E or drive the villains to suicide through bad jokes, but in the end they seem to pose little threat to all present.

There's just one thing most people forget: acting silly does not mean you aren't a One-Man Army. The villain can be really dangerous despite being Laughably Evil; in fact, their silly nature may even add to their evil because of the unexpectedness of it. It could be a façade. It could be that they just do it for the lulz. Or maybe they are so badass that they find even the most dangerous scenario to be either just a joke or just a daily, normal thing. A well-hidden Berserk Button can be pressed. In any case, beware the silly ones.


Often achieved by way of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass. Can be a variation of Underestimating Badassery. Compare Harmless Villain and Not-So-Harmless Villain. Also compare Fighting Clown. Contrast Miles Gloriosus. May overlap with Cloudcuckoolander, at least by appearances. Helps avoid having to Shoo Out the Clowns. If it's this same silliness that makes them dangerous, it may overlap with Crazy Awesome. May make you liable to Threat Backfire. See also Beware the Nice Ones if they're kind and caring and Beware the Quiet Ones if they're known for their near silence. In case the silly one is just acting silly and is actually downright serious, that's Obfuscating Stupidity.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Pictured above is Gluttony from Fullmetal Alchemist. Of all of the homunculi, he's the only one who's played for laughs, since he's fat, dumb, and overall acts like a lovable dope. There's also the fact that he's very innocent, and only does what he does because his higher-ups tell him to, and he genuinely doesn't see any wrong in what he's doing. However, as his name suggests, he has a bit of a hunger streak. In the manga and Brotherhood, it's not helped when he's reminded of Lust's death by Roy Mustang's hands, which drives him into the monstrous state also shown above.
    • In the 2003 anime series, he becomes this after Dante steals his rational thought, leaving only his infinite hunger in its place. This leads to him becoming a crazed abomination that attacks friend and foe.
  • Matsuda Touta from Death Note has a well-earned reputation as The Ditz, to the point where he's a Phrase Catcher of the words "Matsuda, you idiot!". When Matsuda realizes that Light is actually Kira, he breaks emotionally and shoots Light's hand when he tries to use a piece of the Death Note. When Light tries again, Matsuda (who was once or twice hinted to be a decent marksman despite his silliness) flies into a furious Unstoppable Rage and then turns Light into swiss cheese with a barrage of bullets, only prevented from delivering the Coup de Grâce by the other officers.
    Matsuda: I'll kill him! I'LL KILL HIM! HE HAS TO DIE!
  • Etemon in Digimon Adventure. Yes, he's a wannabe rock star comedy monkey, but that never stopped him from curbstomping the protagonists every time they saw him. The fact that he's a level higher than them and can negate their ability to powerup helps tremendously. He also managed to throw their leader, Taichi, back to the real world, resulting in the break up of the team left behind in the Digital World. He did it by dying, mind you, but that was a lot better than his predecessor Devimon did. He comes back and kicks off the series's Running Gag of killing Leomon at least once a series.
    • Pinocchimon and Piemon are silly, fun-loving, Mega level sociopaths. The latter gets bonus points for also being a Monster Clown.
  • Another Digimon entry would be the protagonists of the V Tamer manga Taichi and Zeromaru. They call themselves the "100% Combination" as up to the story start, they haven't lost a match with paired together. That record holds throughout most of the series, even against mon of a higher level. They are also prone to Victory Dances, and other bouts of light-hearted messing about, not even five seconds after they've won.
  • Prince Clovis from Code Geass is depicted as a buffoon and is loved by his siblings, but he ordered his men to indiscriminately slaughter everyone they came across in order to cover up his mistakes. One wonders what other atrocities he might have gone on to casually commit had Lelouch not shot him after interrogating him. The fact he had also captured an immortal and was experimenting on her suggests even more skill than initially seen.
  • Pegasus Crawford / Maximillion Pegasus from Yu-Gi-Oh! is more or less this trope. Most of his dialogue is that of mockery and he acts like a playful child. But underneath that is a cold, calculating villain who through ultra-powerful cards and mind reading can prove to be a dangerous opponent. And when you start beating him, he drops the goofiness and becomes dead serious. This attitude is best represented through his Toon Monsters: Very silly looking creatures, but with enormous power that is difficult to beat. When they are destroyed, Pegasus becomes much darker...
    • The toon monsters themselves embody this trope, as do toons in general, as described in other sections.
  • Jaden Yuki from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is known for his optimistic, happy-go-lucky attitude and is a nearly constant source of comic relief. He's also one of the best duelists at the academy. And when Season 3 happens, well...
  • In Black Butler, we have Lau. You know, the goofy guy who constantly barges into the Phantomhive mansion and irritates the crud out of Ciel? it was all an act. Oh, and he was the head of the Chinese mafia.
    • Also Madame Red. The red-dressed, haired and eyed aunt of Ciel who sees him as her surrogate son? She's half of Jack the Ripper, punishing prostitutes for requesting abortions while she can't have kids because of an accident that also killed her husband; the other half being her seemingly-stupid but highly sociopathic shinigami butler Grell Sutcliff.
      • Grell still fits this trope when in she's in her true shinigami form. Throughout the show, she spends a lot of time being essentially a walking punchline. It's very easy to forget that she's capable of killing people in cold blood, and that she's a strong enough fighter to hold out against Sebastian for several minutes (most people manage about two seconds).
    • The three bungling servants at the Phantomhive mansion. While they seemingly behave incompetently, the truth of the matter is Sebastian hired them as bodyguards to protect the mansion. Bard's a former soldier, Mey-Rin's an ex-professional assassin, and Finny has superhuman strength. The three managed to effectively force a gang of mobsters to retreat in their failed attempt to attack the mansion.
      • Well, they don't so much "force a gang of mobsters to retreat in their failed attempt to attack the mansion" as "brutally murder a group of seven highly trained assassins who were going in to kill them all." The most used sound effect in that chapter was Splat.
    • The Undertaker. He's a ridiculous Cloudcuckoolander who demands payment in jokes. He's also a highly trained shinigami, and as such can be extremely dangerous when he wants to be. Basically, Black Butler has an entire army of comic relief characters, and all of them are capable of doing very unpleasant things to you.
  • Mr. Percival Pompous, as he's called in the 1960's version of Astro Boy, seems a ninny comic relief from his whiny voice and habit of falling on his face; when action is needed, though, he's a tough fighter and a crack shot. Plus a reasonably good detective.
  • In Trinity Blood, we get a rare heroic example. Abel Nightroad is portrayed as a complete and utter moron throughout the entirety of the series. But beware! Threatening ANYone he cares about is a really bad idea. "Nanomachine Crusnik 02, output 40% approved." <<< This phrase activates an utterly terrifying demon monster that eats vampires. Moron, indeed BEWARE!
    • And just before the manga ended abruptly, female lead Esther meets a goofy, scatterbrained, lost-without-his-butler English gentleman named Cain.
  • One Piece lives and breathes this trope. Many a villain is introduced as an apparently harmless weirdo who does things such as accidentally hypnotizing himself more than once, humorously disagreeing with the protagonist about the taste of a pie or just plain looking and/or talking funny. A few chapters later they turn out to be truly dangerous, usually without losing any of their silliness.
    • For that matter, some of the Straw Hats can qualify as this. The Captain Luffy may appear like a clueless idiot who only likes to eat meat but should you cross him, it won't be pleasant. Likewise with Cowardly Lion Usopp.
      • By the end of the Time Skip, the entire crew count as this. They might be one of the most eccentric pirate crews in the world-but they're also one of the most powerful and legendary ones as well, having trounced several Warlords of the Sea and living to see another day after screwing with Emperors and ruining their plans.
    • Some of the Devil Fruit powers people have are also ridiculous in premise but incredibly strong in the hands of those who wield them. This includes:
      • Kaku, who, with the Ox-ox Fruit: Model Giraffe, has the power to turn into a giraffe. Initially, no one takes him seriously—not his opponents, and not his fellow assassins. But as he is already an accomplished martial artist, he uses his giraffe's long limbs for additional reach and force, and once he transforms, he begins with a kick so strong, it tears off the upper floors of the building he's in, and he proves to be just as big of a threat as he claims to be.
      • Giolla uses her Art-Art Fruit to spontaneously create whatever new art piece she wants by transforming things into her cubist style. This soon reveals itself to be a Story-Breaker Power, because whatever weapons she transforms loses their effectiveness in battle, and any people she transforms loses all of their Devil Fruit powers and fighting skill they might have had. This soon ventures into horror as she can also take said transformed people and merge them with other transformed objects, upon which they'll lose consciousness in a few hours and die shortly afterwards. She keeps a collection of artistic corpses as her private collection.
      • Diamante, whose Ripple-Ripple Fruit powers allows him to cause anything in physical contact with him to ripple like a sheet of fabric. To start, he wears a sheet of steel like a cape, allowing him to block most attacks. He can also use this power to store a large amount of weaponry on himself, including a series of flattened cannons that shoot confetti, only said confetti is actually spiked balls that revert in midair and rain pain down all around him.
      • Charlotte Cracker has the power of the Biscuit-Biscuit Fruit, which allows him to generate an unlimited amount of biscuits. Nothing states that his biscuits have to sustain a normal, expected biscuit shape, however, and Cracker uses this power to create a never-ending, always-regenerating personal army of humanlike biscuit constructs to do his fighting for him.
      • Baron Tamago ate the Egg-Egg Fruit, which allows him to split open like an egg if he takes what is otherwise a lethal cutting or blunt force attack, and he reincarnates as a chicken. The chicken form, however, is stronger and faster than his base form (who is already incredibly strong to begin with), creating a nasty surprise to anyone who fights Tamago and thinks they have the upper hand. Worse even, he has a rooster form beyond that, complete with cock-a-doodle-dooing, that is even stronger; enemies who could keep up with the chicken form tend to call it quits before it even comes to facing this one.
  • Right, so, in Naruto, there's this group of bad guys. After one bites it, this minion of the Man-Eating Plant guy gets promoted to full miniboss-status. He seems kinda lame, but as it turns out, he's not only the organization's founder and secret leader, he's explicitly carrying out the Evil Plan of one of history's most powerful ninjas.
    • And now, he's become the Ten Tails' host. Remember, the last man who did that was the Sage of Six Paths, a man who could have killed Hashirama , The "God of Shinobi" with about as much effort and in as much time as it would have taked to look at him. He also created all ninjutsu and the Tailed Besats. By himself.
    • His partner Deidara was a candidate as well. Sure, his banter about art and his violent temper are funny, but he was able to take out Gaara and didn't do so bad against Sasuke either.
      • Speaking of Gaara, his demon Shukaku certainly qualifies. While he is amusing to watch and acts like a violent drunk, he is still very dangerous and was more than a match for the boss toad Gamabunta.
    • Might Guy as well. While the guy is a legitimate goofball, Itachi (the man who almost single-highhandedly wiped out one of Konoha's strongest clans) still considered him as a legitimate threat. In fact, he's one of the few characters capable of taking out a member of Akatsuki by himself.
    • Hell, a lot of the cast would fit this trope in some way. You've got Jiraiya, a hopeless pervert and Large Ham who is also so good at what he does that Pain has to hide half of his bodies just to defeat him. Guy's student, Rock Lee delivers Sasuke his first real beatdown of the series, kicks Madara so hard he splits in half and usually has to be a victim of The Worf Effect to be defeated. Even Naruto counts, being a notorious prankster and hyperactive idiot, as well as a serious heavy hitter. He gets his silliness from his mother, Kushina, who survived being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice an hour after giving birth to him and managed to restrain the Kyuubi with chakra chains just to protect her child.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • The Ginyu Force, five goofy manchildren whose poses are Serious Business as they play rock-paper-scissors to decide who fights who and bet candies on who wins. Their power levels and/or their physical and special abilities are no laughing matter. Guldo alone would have killed Krillin and Gohan had Vegeta not stepped in. The 3 together were absolutely no match for any one of the other four.
    • Also the last villain of the series, Majin Buu — a fat, childish, bubblegum-pink creature, which nevertheless was rightfully seen as the most dangerous entity in the universe.
    • Goku, especially when he was a kid. Because of how naive and childish he was he had no problem playing hide-and-seek with his enemies, choosing to eat over fight, or just act like a goofball in the middle of a battle. Despite this, he still kicked his opponent's butts and not let's get started on what happens when he is serious. This is downplayed when he is an adult since most of his silly moments happens outside the battlefield. When he fights, he usually drops all the silliness.
    • Yajirobe is usually a comic relief character in Dragonball Z; he's a slob who spends most of his time eating, and has No Social Skills. However, he was able to turn the battle between Goku and Vegeta around by ambushing Vegeta (who had assumed giant ape form) and slicing his tail off, forcing him to assume humanoid form again and letting Goku regain the advantage.
      • Earlier on in Dragonball, he manages to fight (an albeit tired) Goku for a while, and had killed off one of King Piccolo's demon children, who (aside from Piano, were all capable of fighting Goku to a standstill) even shrugging off several of his attacks. So Yajirobe is seriously dangerous and superpowerful, just very much so Overshadowed by Awesome.
    • From the canon movies and Dragon Ball Super we have Beerus, a Physical God who naps for decades at a time, obsesses over food, and has a butler with him at all times to keep him out of trouble. He is also among the most powerful beings in the universe, second only to Whis, and curb stomps everyone he has ever fought, including Super Saiyan God Goku.
    • Dragon Ball Super later introduces Toppo, a denizen of Universe 11 who leads a group called the Pride Troopers. The Pride Troopers are basically Super Sentai, and he poses, names his attacks, and repeats the word 'justice' constantly. He also is being scouted as a potential God of Destruction and can fight Goku on even footing. He ends up being the penultimate opponent of the Tournament of Power for Goku and his allies.
    • The original series had Shen, a normal guy who managed to get to the final 8 of the Tenkaichi Tournament by sheer dumb luck, since he always managed to trip or curl up in a way that succeeded on knocking out or throwing off the ring anyone who fought with him by mere mistake... or so he wants you to believe. In the fight against Yamcha he drops the silly act and reveals he's actually Kami, the god of Earth, borrowing a human body to enter the tournament undetected and fight against Piccolo. The name Shen was a clue, as it's half of Shen-Long's name.
  • Pokémon:
    • Team Rocket would actually succeed in many of their schemes if the twerps didn't get involved. In Best Wishes, the silliness is completely dropped for Jessie and James, and at a minimum for Meowth. XY returns them all to clownish villains, but retains shades of their previously found deadliness, making this trope ever prominent.
    • The Pokemon Poacher brothers from the Larvitar storyline in late-Johto were portrayed this way, while Butch and Cassiday got flanderized into this.
    • There are also just gobs of individual Pokemon in the show that were depicted this way. Some of the best examples include Wobbuffet and the Bellsprout Ash almost lost to in the Indigo League. Wobbuffet became almost entirely a joke character later on, but had a sudden moment of badassery in the first episode of XY.
    • Mew spends most of its screentime in Pokémon: The First Movie flying around acting cute and silly, in contrast to the serious villain Mewtwo. But when Mewtwo attacks it at the climax, it completely drops its aloof, adorable demeanor and retaliates with equal force. It then engages in a pitched battle with Mewtwo, seemingly as content as he is to fight to the death before Ash intervenes.
    • Ash himself became this in the Sun and Moon series. Due to his Keet mannerisms and slapstick goofiness getting exaggerated, he doesn't get taken seriously that often. When he battles or faces the threat of the week however, he shows them just how long he's been doing this. If you need further proof, this time he finally wins a League even with a team of just five Pokémon.
  • Bleach: Mashiro Kuna is a former shinigami who is 100+ years old, looks to be somewhere in her 20s, and acts like an eight-year-old. Her appearances highlight her as a joke character who has tantrums in the middle of murder investigations because her partner won't pay attention to her protests that she's hungry. She fights by kicking things to death and occasionally fires off lasers with an area of 20+ yards.
  • Rurouni Kenshin has Kenshin, who is usually a polite, obvious moron ... and, if you push him too far, the legendary assassin Hitokiri Battousai.
  • The main character of Sasuga no Sarutobi is a perverted, meatball-shaped, troublemaker who jokes about everything. He's also near-invincible in battle.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
    • Apachai Hopachai is a Manchild Friend to All Living Things Genius Ditz, whose field of genius happens to be destroying things with his body. "Things" definitely includes buildings and helicopters as well as people. He's known as the Death God of the Muay Thai Underworld for a reason.
    • Ma Kensei is a Dirty Old Man who will go to ridiculous lengths to match up against attractive female opponents when duels are divided up, intends to wear the luchador mask Diego Carlo provided for him in the Master-Disciple Tag-Team Match, and acts with a lack of restraint and dignity exactly opposite to what you would expect a man known as "The Master of All Chinese Bare-Fisted Styles" to. Yet he still lives up to that title spectacularly.
    • Kii Kagerou hands out pamphlets to instruct others in how to avoid being accidentally killed by him, thinks every woman he meets is some undefined previous acquaintance known as "Mi-chan," and is more prone to Art Shift than perhaps any other minor character in the series. He has also killed more people than he can remember.
  • Lord Death of Soul Eater. The goofy face, goofy voice, and general jokester personality can make you forget he's the guy who handed the Kishin his ass in a bag made of his own skin all those years ago. And be warned, Lord Death is by no means rusty.
  • Vash the Stampede from Trigun. He acts cowardly and stupid, providing general comic relief through out the show, but is in fact incredibly dangerous. If you piss him off (by hurting... pretty much any living thing) he can — and will — execute six precision quickdraw shots on your body, any one of which could cripple you. Why six, you ask? Because his revolver only has six chambers.
  • This often happens to be the case with characters from Fairy Tail. If a character looks or acts in a manner that seems strange, don't be surprised if turns out that they can kick 20 flavours of ass.
  • Fay D. Fluorite from Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- is a big source of comic relief, but when push comes to shove, you don't want to be pitted against an insanely powerful, well-trained mage who knows hand-to-hand combat and is skilled with both a normal bow and a crossbow. Not to mention that he gets turned into a Vampire half way through the series, complete with Wolverine Claws which he makes good use of as Fei Wang Reed's Mooks learn the hard way.
  • The Millenium Earl in D.Gray-Man looks like an obese grinning goblin with an umbrella that makes him fly like Marry Poppins and often ends his speech bubbles with a heart. Despite this, though, do remember that he's the God of Evil.
  • Pandora Hearts: Xerxes Break, the clownish servant of the Rainsworth family that constantly eats candy and carries around a doll on his shoulder. He was once The Red-Eyed Ghost, an infamous Illegal Contractor that murdered over a hundred people being pulled into the Abyss. He's also a Master Swordsman and has a contract with one of the most powerful Chains, the chain-killing Mad Hatter.
    • Also, Jack Vessalius counts, too. That sunshine demeanor and friendly attitude conceals a dangerous and insane underside. Same with Oz. Oz is also quite deadly when provoked. Try to insult Alice and he will cut you down with B-rabbit's scythe. Since he is also B-rabbit, that counts, too.
    • And we can't forget Vincent. He mostly comes off as dangerous to the audience, and a Poisonous Friend to Gil, his older brother, but to most of the characters he's that goofy noble who falls a sleep in the hallways due to an apparent lack of control over his power. Don't you believe it! He's cold and lethal, and if you try to hurt Gil, he will kill you.
  • Sailor Moon examples:
    • Usagi Tsukino/Sailor Moon is a ditzy schoolgirl who cries, whines and eats a lot. But she's also a powerful Magical Girl who will fight with teeth, nails and magic to protect those she cares for. And in the first anime she actually tried to murder Minako's rival in love (thankfully, Minako talked her down, and in time she mellowed out).
    • Minako Aino/Sailor Venus, whom Usagi / Sailor Moon's character was based off of, is comically over-the-top, occasionally makes bad jokes, and uses Malapropisms like no tomorrow. She's also The Leader of the Senshi, extremely powerful (the most powerful of the inner guardian senshi in the manga), capable of scaring the arc villains senseless with her sheer power, and has a habit of brushing off excruciating attacks that cause all of the other Sailor Senshi to pass out from pain, and killed her own true love because he was with the Dark Kingdom, only offering him a single chance to stand down before she killed him and going through it the moment he tried to attack.
  • Enji Koma of Tokyo Ghoul is a prime example of not judging Ghouls based on their every-day personality and looks. Most of the time, he's a goofy Big Brother Mentor to the other staff at Anteiku, and brags about being a Retired Badass. He's generally dismissed by the younger employees, but proves he isn't all talk when CCG raids the cafe. Turns out, he used to be the leader of one of the most infamous gangs in Tokyo and spending his days serving coffee hasn't dulled his strength in the least bit.
  • One-Punch Man: Watchdog Man is a generic-looking guy dressed up in a McGruff knockoff suit who seems permanently out of it and apparently took the term City Watchdog way too literally. He also got assigned to the most dangerous city in the country because of his skill, and by the time they could ask him if there was anything to report, there really was nothing to report because he had already killed every monster.
    • Saitama himself is a silly-looking bald guy wearing an even sillier-looking yellow costume. His superhero name is actually "Caped Baldy". He is often seen to be more preoccupied with his groceries or something else equally mundane rather than the Monster of the Week... but make no mistake: that's because he is at such a ridiculous power level that his mundane life is paradoxically more challenging than his superhero deeds. Threaten innocent people in his presence, and, well... you'll see for yourself why he is the main protagonist of a series titled One Punch Man.
    • Many of the "S-Rank" heroes fit this trope in one way or another. Puri-Puri-Prisoner, a bizarre combination of Camp Gay and Manly Gay who lives in prison by choice and frequently rips his clothes off in battle because, well, his Super Strength makes reasonable fighting styles unnecessary. Tank-Top Master, who "uses the Tank-Top fighting style," whatever that means, but, again, super strength, and probably has the most oversized muscles of all the heroes. Pig God, an impossibly obese man who eats constantly; he also eats and digests his enemies. And, of course, the number-two hero in the world, Terrible Tornado, a name which seems to refer to her obnoxious, childish personality; until you see her in action, absolutely annihilating Godzilla-sized monsters with overpowered telekinesis.
  • Yukiko Kudo, mother of Detective Conan's Shinichi Kudo, is frequently shown to be a ditz with a mischievous streak. She has proven time and again, however, to be a reliable ally in times of need. In the Mystery Train arc, she confronts an old friend who is a member of the bad guys' organization code named "Vermouth" and successfully distracts her long enough for a plan to fake Haibara's death to be implemented while convincing Vermouth that she had successfully stopped them.
  • Every single recurring character from City Hunter has a measure of silliness, ranging from Kazue (the sanest one) having infiltrated a large corporation by getting engaged to the son of the CEO to Ryo's perverted and generally insane antics (when he got drunk and came home with various objects, a statue of Colonel Sanders, and a toddler, he and Kaori were surprised only at the toddler, because it was the first time he brought one home). All of them are also incredibly dangerous, ranging from Kazue being able to prepare poisons that kill you in five minutes or make you impotent to Ryo being a One-Man Army who can use a revolver to put six bullets in the same hole at fifteen meters and a rifle to shoot a belt from one kilometer away. Even Kaibara is this: on one side he's almost as much of a goofball as Ryo, on the other he's one of the few men in the world who can match Ryo with a handgun and controls a gigantic syndicate.
  • Shigechi from part 4 of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure in his first appearance wasn't threatening in the slightest. He's a fat, dimwitted, greedy kid, and his Stand, Harvest, is a large number of tiny figures that can seek and bring him small stuff. However, when he turned on Josuke and Okuyasu, he not only showcases how terrifying a Stand like his can actually be (fighting one big enemy is much easier then fighting hundred tiny ones), but also used surprisingly clever tactics that allowed Harvest to overpower both of them at the same time. In fact, even though both Josuke and Okuyasu have incredibly powerful Stands themselves, they had to resort to trickery to defeat him.
    • Pesci from Part Five is a babyish, cowardly member of the Assassin Squad with a head resembling a pineapple and no discernible neck whose stand, Beach Boy, is a fishing rod with all the power that suggests. When Prosciutto, his 'brother'note  is killed, Pesci gets serious and, despite his seemingly weak Stand power, forces Bucellati to acknowledge that between Pesci and Prosciutto (whose stand ability was to make everyone within a kilometer or so of his position rapidly age to death), Pesci was the more dangerous.
  • Pandora's Actor in Overlord looks silly and acts so hammy that Momonga is somewhat ashamed of having created him. However, as a powerful doppelganger, he can replicate any of members of Ainz Ooal Gown. While he can only use 80% of the originals' power, that makes him versatile enough to adapt to any situation and exploit any weakness.
  • Several characters in Zatch Bell! have nonsensical powers that are nevertheless put to good use in battles of wit.
    • Kanchome is a duck-billed boy in pajamas whose spells are all about trickery and illusions. Although cowardly and unconfident at first, he learns to stand for himself and protects his allies with clever use of his powers. Eventually he gains a spell that grants him absolute control over a target's mind and is only defeated because of a cheap nuke shot from final villain Clear Note.
    • Belgim E.O and Unko Tintin are two giant undead themed demons who put the heroes through some hilarious situations, only for things to take a sharp turn for the worse as they turn out to be terribly dangerous opponents.
    • Momon is a rabbit-monkey pervert boy who used his detection and mobility powers to avoid encountering enemy demons. When it's finally up to him to protect the main cast, though, he makes a fool out of Zeon and his underlings and successfully buys enough time for Gash and Kiyomaro to get back to the game.
    • Purio is a gonk-looking demon kid who can only perform support spells that immobilize his enemies. He's quite a threat when providing backup for a powerful partner, but it's downplayed in that later on, while he does last to the top 10 of the King Tournament, he does so by avoid all combat and goes down without a fight thanks to Clear Note.
  • Issei Hyudo of Highschool DxD is a complete goof. A not exceptionally bright, extremely loud, and 110% perverted doofus. He's also the bearer of Ddraig, one of the two immensely powerful Heavenly Dragons. And when someone pisses him off, that perverted fool soon lays them out in extremely quick fashion.
  • Played with in Durarara!!. Izaya Orihara is initially introduced as being one of the people Mikado is not to ever cross. He is known to be highly unstable and amoral, even doing horrifically unethical acts for the hell of it. However, he gives weird nicknames to people, skips around the city, watches children's anime and has walked down the street while pretending to ride a motorcycle. That said, he is still the cause of a fair amount of strife in the series.
    • Shinra as well, to a somewhat less obvious extent. He obsesses over Celty and as a result often receives jabs or punches, he is usually cheerful and brutally honest to the point where he blatantly asks to dissect Shizuo multiple times. He also has been known to randomly switch his 'I' pronouns while speaking, constantly wears a lab coat and makes bad jokes. However, he explicitly states he would commit genocide or become a complete villain in order to please Celty and nearly tries to kill Aoba with a scalpel after he threatens her.
    • Even Masaomi fills the trope. He makes crappy jokes, peppers his speech with random English words until Mikado asks him to speak normally and even tries pick-up lines on adult women. He is also the leader of a colour gang and is able to take on many people at once in a fight.
    • Chikage is a Chivalrous Pervert often followed by several girls at once, has his gang wear odd, white tiger-print clothing and once goes off on Masaomi for involving him in a plot before having it pointed out that he involved himself. He is a highly competent fighter who should, under no circumstances, be messed with unless your name happens to be Shizuo Heiwajima.
    • Walker and Erika. Extreme otakus who will torture you and set things on fire.
  • Akame ga Kill! has Sheele. She is so awkward that she can not handle even the smallest chores without causing chaos. But she is also a good fighter and a very effective contract killer.
    • Another example is Leone. Most of the time she behaves like a playful party girl who likes to drink a lot. But she does not tolerate injustice, she kills her opponents cruelly and mercilessly, and she is by far the most physically strong in her entire group.
  • In Claymore there is Dauf. He is not exactly smart, but he had third place among the first-generation warriors, and is one of the strongest Awakened Being there is.
  • The anime InuYasha shows a heroic example with Jinenji. He is a half-demon, and the prime example of a Gentle Giant. But when he fights, he is a very strong opponent.
  • Tamako Kaneda from Battle Club is very clumsy and often injures herself. She is absent minded often forgetting the names of people she just met, where she was going and what she was doing. She’s also a natural wrestler with incredible moves.
    • Tondemon Higashi the head coach of the Wrestling Club may appear as just a perverted old man, but he’s a wrestling legend. He was all-japan strong man champion eight times in a row and after his retirement he raised numerous champion wrestlers.
  • In World Trigger, Ikoma is fond of the Dynamic Entry, posing for and talking to nonexistent cameras, wearing Cool Shades when in battle, likes to summarize everything his teammates tell him in the heat of combat, and just being an overall Large Ham with No Indoor Voice when confronting opponents. However, he also has a sword capable of some of the fiercest Razor Wind projectiles and is a very skilled tactician, using said summarization to keep track, in his head, of the entire battlefield and all of its participants. He is also otherwise a Combat Pragmatist, knowing when to keep quiet and how to best use the terrain around him to give him any edge he can find. Case in point: When they first meet, Ikoma sees right through the main characters' plan to defeat him, resulting in he and his team wiping the floor with them—and when an explosion takes out the last remaining main character, Ikoma dramatically poses with the burst in the background.

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel's Spider-Man. Peter started the silly and laidback badass hero cliche, and still does it in some instances. Spidey (in many crossover books or his own stories) is widely infamous for being a walking teenage nerd cliche with supernatural witty humor, and comes off as a borderline super troll that rarely stays quiet or take situations seriously when teamed up with the majority of serious heroes. However, Peter Parker is still one of the most seasoned professional heroes, as well as one of the smartest and most competent supers in the entire Marvel collective. It's safe to say, anyone who is a big deal in the earthbound/non magical hero/anti hero/villain community knows that even if he's the snarkiest goofball around, it's not smart to get on his bad side. Even Deadpool knows this. And when he stops cracking wise...
  • Spider-Man has a little-remembered villain named "The Spot". And he is traditionally treated with exactly the same respect that somebody who is named that deserves — especially since his "costume" consists of a white body suit covered in black spots. But he's actually, much like the more famous Electro, a case of a villain with legitimately dangerous powers being turned into a Memetic Loser by being given a bad costume design and/or name as well as being presented as an idiot. Those spots on his body? They're not a costume choice; they're portable holes that've been welded to his skin. Long story short, the Spot is the human nexus for a Portal Network, after falling into what was basically a dimension of Dimensional Shortcuts. As such, he can create free-floating arrays of portals that link anywhere he desires, and can do so whether he's existing in this dimension, or hiding inside of the interstitial space inside of the spots. This allows for many different varieties of Weaponized Teleportation, from using spots to deflect or return enemy attacks (which he can do even with the spots on his body), to his own unique version of Confusion Fu based on a combination of hiding in another dimension and attacking from random points and teleporting his opponents against their will, to closing portals when somebody is only part-way through them. The 90s cartoon series famously showed what he could do if he wasn't treated as an idiot, with him kicking Spidey's ass for most of his debut episode (luckily, he had also picked up a case of Adaptational Heroism). Then Brand New Day showed him hunting down a Russian mobster, where he was presented as Paranoia Fuel incarnate In-Universeand he succeeded in using his powers to brutally kill his target, despite Spidey attempting to stop him. He's since been established to be a justifiably feared Contract Killer with a sadistic streak.
  • Superman:
    • 99% of the time, Mr. Mxyzptlk just wants to use his awesome Reality Warper powers to play harmless practical jokes and be a funny pest. As for that 1% of the time, be afraid. (Or seriously creeped out.)
    • The original Toyman looks silly what with his huge bowtie and 19th century children's haircut, but back in the 90´s he killed Cat Grant's child.
    • The gap-toothed Prankster also looks and behaves funny until he tries to kill anyone with his gimmicks.
    • Since he's not right in the head, Bizarro will talk or behave in an accidentally comical way until he displays his dangerous powers which mirror those of Superman.
    • In Supergirl story arc Bizarrogirl, the eponymous Bizarro is a loony, but she is still a super-powerful loony. Kara learns this the hard way when Bizarrogirl almost turns her to stone. Later she manages to petrify the whole godship with Supergirl's aid.
  • Batman's Rogues Gallery consists of numerous villains who qualify.
    • The Riddler mostly got into crime just to play mind games with Batman for fun. But from Commissioner Gordon's perspective, he's a Magnificent Bastard.
    • The Joker is portrayed this way in some cases, too. Once he paid for doughnuts with play money with his face on it. Play money impregnated with his special formula, which was absorbed through the clerk's skin.
      • Harley Quinn, though it varies more with her. It's easy to forget that she was a brilliant psychologist, and can revert to that personality to both apply those skills to mess with her opponent's head and to pass as normal far better than the Joker can. In her most recent incarnation, it's implied the Joker actually considers her more of a successor than a sidekick/girlfriend. Harley's issue of the Joker's Asylum series explicitly lampshades this. You do not want to stop her from getting to her "pudding" on Valentine's Day.
    • Joker's Asylum: Penguin. The Penguin was on a date, when a chef laughed while looking in his direction. It might not even have been about him. He seriously considers murdering the guy with the steak knife until his date asks him what he's doing. He says it was nothing, puts down his knife, and they never speak of it again. Less than two months later, the chef's life is systematically ruined, everything good in it has been destroyed or taken away from him, and he hangs himself in a bus station restroom. More discussion of the Penguin here.
  • Granny Goodness is laughed at for being an old lady super-villain, until you remember that 1. She's the only minion of Darkseid who doesn't get her ass kicked on a regular basis by super-heroes/Orion and 2. She's the Goddess of Horrific Child Abuse on Apokolips, which means that whenever she is not scheming against Darkseid's enemies, she's routinely crossing the Moral Event Horizon with young girls and boys. Being a super-villain is certainly a hard job and despite her age, she is still around, so you know she's good. Also, being around Darkseid for any amount of time and not getting the Omega Beams or Omega Sanction speaks volumes as to how dangerous she truly is. Just imagine how bad her abuse has to be for it to qualify as "horrific" on Apokolips.
  • Ragdoll from Secret Six, no doubt. He's a master of the non sequitur, he's also perfectly capable of wrapping around you like a python and willing to snap your neck at the drop of a hat. He even gets a rant about people assuming he's just the comedy relief while attacking the rest of the team (and winning).
  • Alfie O'Meagan from Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja likes cookies and milk, plays video games, collects comic books, and has sandbox battles stomping on toy soldiers. Problem is, he's also a Psychopathic Manchild Reality Warper...
  • Mad Jim Jaspers from Marvel's Captain Britain comics - ran around an alternate universe England with a gang of ludicrous criminals, committing ludicrous crimes... and happened to be a Reality Warper of such magnitude that his entire universe had to be destroyed to prevent the Jaspers Warp from contaminating the multiverse at large. And his main universe equivalent is even more powerful... and a member of Parliament.
  • Zodon from PS238 is a Jerkass and the comic's bigtime Chew Toy, with most of his plans ending him up in greater trouble than he started. Problem is, this is usually because one of the teachers or the students got in his way — if they hadn't, the trouble — and much bigger amounts of it — would be someone else's.
    • For an early example, Zodon's idea of a prank on Captain Clarinet was crashing an airplane full of passengers, intentionally preying on his phobias of flight and failure just to make him cry, and completely uncaring about the possible civilian casualties in the process.
  • Ambush Bug is a normal human in a ridiculous green suit amongst the gods of The DCU. In his heyday, he defeated a group of enemies with little to no effort while utterly humiliating them and could take on Superman or Supergirl before essentially defeating himself. Nowadays he's more relaxed.
  • Squirrel Girl looks and acts doofy, has one of the silliest powers in comics, yet has defeated such omnipotent baddies as Doctor Doom and (seriously!) Galactus!
  • The Violator from Spawn. Taking the form of a pudgy clown, he's primarily around for comic relief. But at any time, the seemingly harmless clown can morph into a demonic killing machine, easily capable of kicking Spawn's ass.
  • Plastic Man is a zany, rubbery man who spouts silly jokes while having cartoonish adventures. He's also one of the most powerful members of the Justice League; even Batman, who has contingency plans to neutralize any of the League members in case they go rogue, is actively wary of him. On at least one occasion, he single-handedly took down a villain who had easily beaten Superman. When Martian Manhunter turns into Fernus, the Burning Martian, retaining his shapeshifting and Superman-level strength but losing his Kryptonite Factor, Plastic Man is Batman's contingency plan for that eventuality.
  • Deadpool. A madcap goofball with weaponized Your Mom jokes who thinks he's in a comic book and has conversations with his thought captions. He is also insanely good with every weapon known to man, sometimes to the Bullseye level where it's pretty much a superpower, and he has Confusion Fu going for him, as well as a Wolverine-class Healing Factor. He is an exceptionally deadly fighter and you really would rather have him on your side. Though people on his side tend want him to just shut up already even if he is the best they've got. Even Galactus could only take so much. People not on his side also want him to shut up already, not only because he's annoying but because he weaponizes annoyance: if you're paying to attention how annoying he is, you risk failing to notice the sword coming at your throat.
    • That, and he's a Creator's Pet - and knows it.
    • Several characters have commented that it's a good thing that he is a silly one, and also genuinely tries to do the right thing (although his insanity means that his definition of the right thing is probably not shared by everyone else), and will not harm innocent people or allow them to be harmed. If he had Sabretooth's or Bullseye's personality his body count would be astronomically higher and consist mostly of innocent people...
  • Foolkiller: In the limited series, Backhand, a local NY drug lord described Foolkiller as "crazier than The Punisher...He don't come off like no soldier or cop. More like being yelled at by your momma or a preacher". Admittedly, it is rather silly to lecture the person that you are about to kill, as they don't exactly live to benefit from the lesson imparted. Some of his kills occur after a brief debate in which he pokes holes in the other person's argument, then calls them a fool, hence the name.
  • Dr. Dinosaur from Atomic Robo. He may seem silly and incompetent, but out of all of the villains not only is he the one who survives, but he survives Jenkins. Nobody else has been able to do that yet.
  • Fables (being made up of fairy-tale characters) has a few examples.
    • On the villainous side, we have the Nome King who is initially an incompetent Blood Knight brute to the Adversary. Upon getting power of his own he takes Stupid Evil to new levels, and his legal system is so ridiculous that a defence attorney brags about how brilliant he is at his job because he's managed to get a relatively humane form of execution for his client (who hasn't actually had a trial, even a show-trial), but his insane slaughter of innocents is not played for laughs.
      • Mister Dark has Talkative Loon tendencies so pronounced it's difficult to know whether he counts as Faux Affably Evil or genuinely Affably Evil, but since he is clearly introduced as a massive threat, they actually serve to make him creepier.
    • On the heroic side we have Bufkin the flying monkey, who generally acts as comic relief with his gullibility, heavy drinking and simian interest in his own feces, but as a former captain of the flying monkeys and Fabletown's main librarian, he's a lot more dangerous than people realize when push comes to shove.
    • Fabletown also has Flycatcher, who wears a goofy frog hat and is on permanent janitorial duty since he keeps eating flies. Then, after suffering a Heroic BSoD, he magically Took a Level in Badass and founds an Undefeatable Little Village and defeats several powerful armies single-handedly, all while remaining a pacifist.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Brainstorm is by all appearances a typical Mad Scientist, suggesting and designing weapons of unspeakably insane intentions. Then he goes and causes stars to go out. And then there's the fact that he's secretly a Decepticon agent, and all that wacky insanity is a cover for a much darker personality.
    • The Scavengers are this. They're a misfit group of the worst Decepticons in existence (in the sense of not being any good at it), who show up every now and again to have a wacky misadventure usually caused by their own incompetence and bickering. Despite this, they've survived nasty encounters with the Decepticon Justice Division, Fortress Maximus, and Scorponok, and may have even saved the universe off-panel (by playing Jenga). In the final battle with the Functionists, they join the heroes and help save the day.
  • In The Multiversity, Captain Carrot, as bizarrely amusing as he may seem, is no slouch when it comes to heroics or combat. This became apparent in the very first issue, when he nonchalantly shrugged off an attack from Earth-8's Behemoth (an Expy of the freaking Hulk), then proceeded to knock him flat on his ass with one punch. You don't argue with Cartoon Physics.
  • Negan from The Walking Dead is an eccentric, Ax-Crazy Cloudcuckoolander who swears a lot, thinks of the most random things to say off the top of his head, has an over-the-top personality that confuses his own followers, and likes to speak to his baseball bat Lucille as if it were a person, mentioning how she turns him on when she strikes. However, he's also one of the most infamous villains to enter the series and is a credible badass Hero Killer.
  • Being as close as a horror comic as Disney would allow, Monster Allergy has a few such characters:
    • Any tamer with a silly personality. Tamers are just monsters that look like humans with the power of the Dom, that allows them to control monsters with their voice and do a few other things... And, as shown by Zick, who has a rather silly and neurotic personality, can brainwash a flying Eldritch Abomination into hurling itself into the sun.
      • Leon Sinestro is a complete goofball... Who happens to have the Dom of three tamers (his own, his late father's, and another dead tamer) and wants to murder Zick and Elena for their part in his father's death.
    • Like every monster of his species, all sharing the species' name, Bombo is a nice and dimwitted Big Eater, most notable, in his case, for being the Plucky Comic Relief and having been sentenced to a detention oasis (the monster equivalent of jail) for being unable to fully control his appetite and being kept there long after he managed to get it under control. The scariest thing about him is that he looks like the calm form of an All-Eating Bonz, a race of monsters prone to terrifying rampages in which they eat everything and everyone in sight until they calm down, Then in the first issue of the sequel Zick, his best friend, was about to be killed by his own out-of-control Dom... And Bombo suddenly morphs similar to a rampaging Bonz and eats it. He could have done it at any moment, but he's just too nice to do it unless his friends are in danger and defenseless.
    • Timothy may be a tutor, the ruling species of monsters, but looks like a hairless and humorless cat and has a sarcastic and melodramatic personality (after recounting something he had done and being cheered by the monster of the Barrimore Detention Oasis he went on to recite the weather report just to prove they'd cheer him to suck up to him) and a penchant for some ridiculous plans. Being the tutor of the Barrimore Detention Oasis means it's their jailor, responsible to keep the inmates safe from the Dark Phantoms and evil monsters that live around it (the whole reason detention oasis are called like that: they're the safe spot in areas extremely dangerous for monsters, and are put there as a deterrent against break-outs), has zero compulsions about killing those threats on the spot if he can do so without risking his charges, and, being a Star Tutor, he did something awesome that earned him the greatest medal of honor a tutor could get.
      • Natural Tutors (the tutor subspecies Timothy belongs to) in general are this: they are all "odd" in various ways, consider a cat form an excellent disguise, and can, and will, put down on sight any Dark Phantom or out-of-control evil monster on sight. Then there's the Tutor Maxims, Natural Tutors who have been promoted to be rulers of the monsters' suspended cities and granted greater power in the process, who are just as silly as their non-promoted brethrens if not more, but have been promoted because they were just that good at what they do and could be trusted with the greater power.
  • Disney Mouse and Duck Comics:
    • Super Goof is Goofy's superhero alter ego, complete with Flying Brick powers.
    • The Evronians from Paperinik New Adventures. When they don't have orders from high-caste members they're quite the goofballs. When they have orders... A Bad Future had them conquer Earth in three months, and Super Goof exists in the PKNA continuity.
  • In 52, Sobek at first seems like the Black Marvel family's funny pet, a silly talking alligator with a bottomless stomach. And then it turns out that he's actually Yurrd the Unknown, the Horseman of Famine, an Animalistic Abomination powerful enough to kill a Marvel.
  • Doom Patrol is populated with heroes and villains that are utterly ridiculous on paper. Reality Warper baddies who take the form of Punch and Judy puppets? A heroine who has a different power set depending on which of her personalities is fronting at the moment? Eccentric rich guy who enhances his telepathy and telekenetic ability just to impress the heroine he's crushing on? One shot villain named The Codpiece who takes Compensating for Something Up to Eleven? Unholy Matrimony between a French gorilla with enhanced intelligence and a Brain in a Jar? And yet, the more ridiculous the hero/villain was, the more dangerous they ended up being. It's not a shock, then that this was the title that gave us the "silly only until he chooses not to be" Beast Boy, who is chronically cracking jokes, but can and will change into a cobra or dinosaur if he feels it's necessary to ruin a bad guy's day.
  • The Sandman: The queen of them all might be Delirium herself. The youngest of the Endless, she seems to be one of the least malicious members of her Anthropomorphic Personification family, but there are times where she reminds everyone that she used to be Delight, before something Very Bad happened to break her mind. And as the personification of madness, she has no trouble causing atrocities and chaos if it amuses her or even without intending to hurt someone; Blue and Orange Morality is in effect even more for her than her siblings.

    Fan Works 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Enduring a day of tension between Germany and Japan, Italy reached his Rage Breaking Point after Germany pulled a Browning Hi Power on Japan while Japan pulled out his katana on Germany.
  • Keeper Mukrezar is a pink-haired elf who comes across as fairly likable, and despite a less-than-perfect record for succeeding in his many, many schemes, he clearly has a lot of fun with his chosen profession. He is also one of the most cruel and sadistic Keepers in history and is responsible for transforming the idyllic Avatar Isles into a volcanic toilet.
  • Socrates, normally the Cloudcuckoolander and Jerk with a Heart of Gold among the heroes of Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, still has his moments of seriousness. Probably the most jarring moment he's had is the entirety of "Have You Seen This Tiger?", wherein he becomes extremely angry for the first half.
  • Obsidian from The Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning. When heroine Vale first meets him in the Training Center, he comes off as rather silly, with his friendly, if a bit superior, attitude toward Vale and his comment about being like a magpie and liking shiny things. He isn't seen exhibiting any skills with a weapon... and then, he gets the highest training score of all twenty-four tributes. To say nothing of the serious and competent skill he displays in the bloodbath.
  • The Pony POV Series:
  • This and O.O.C. Is Serious Business are used horribly effectively in The Measure of a Titan with Starfire. When she is upset enough to go out looking for criminals to brutally beat each night until she passes out from exhaustion, so much so that the crime rate drops as all the baddies try to stay under the radar, it cannot be a good thing.
  • Wolfang Richler does not seem like a very imposing villain at first, despite using his magic to blast off a statue's head. He babbles to himself, he seems to not believe people let themselves age, and his interactions with Jonahs paint the picture of a very lonely, immensely bored immortal. When Jonahs joins back up with his friends, we learn Wolfang turned two guards to stone, simply for getting in his way, and later in the same chapter seems to teleport all over the place, kills people with absurd ease and nonchalance, and during his conversation with Sarasho, we see he wants to set up a universe wide civil war.
  • Heroic example from Poké Wars. Mew is an immature, childish and just plain silly Pokémon. However, he is a Legendary and one of the more powerful ones too. His powers include changing into any Pokémon he desires, command of all known Pokémon attacks and at will teleportation.
  • Ahuizotl in The Two Sides of Daring Do. He's a Large Ham who's just as over the top always...and also a sadistic psychopath and Knight of Cerebus who's plots are less about conquest and more about destruction For the Evulz. He's also a frighteningly powerful physical opponent with Super Strength and a straight up Lightning Bruiser when in the water. In a straight up physical fight, he beats the hell out of both Daring Do and Yearling and leaves them both with broken bones. He still puts Daring Do in death traps...because he wants to leave her Dying Alone in a slow, horrible fashion. AK Yearling outright says that he's such a monster that she had to play him for laughs so her producers would let her keep him in.
  • In Hope for the Heartless, two of the invisible creations of the Fates are described this way. They're nearly all the time fun-loving and optimistic prankster sidekicks who squeeze enjoyment out of nearly every situation, no matter how bad it might be. However, if you touch something they care about, they instantly turn into something Mother Nature herself couldn't rival in vindictiveness and malice.
  • Aiko Uzumaki, the main character of Vapors is very much this. In her downtime off of missions, she writes fantasy stories, uses glittery vanilla shampoos, and happily goofs around with her friends while she can. She is also the personal apprentice of Hatake Kakashi, responsible for foiling several of Akatsuki's plans, on first name terms with three kages and three jinchuriki, and was labeled an S-class threat before her sixteenth birthday.
  • In Sonic X: Dark Chaos, Eric the Hedgehog is definitely this. Sure, he seems like a harmless crazy version of Sonic at first glance... until he unleashes his machines. And his starships. And his Super form -which allows him to create huge guns from thin air. Oh, and it's implied he's far more than just a loony on top of that.
  • Dante's Night at Freddy's is a crossover fic that features Dante having to do a stint as a night watchman at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza after taking his young daughter there for her birthday and subsequently putting his fist through an arcade machine. Even in his fifties and deprived of his weapons, the haunted animatronics are absolutely no match for Dante, who ends up killing all four of them in incredibly silly and ironic ways. Such as killing Bonnie by repeatedly crushing her head with the door and punctuating each impact with a sarcastic "Whoops", killing Chica by frying her with electric wiring, and killing Foxy by gouging out Foxy's eye with his own hook hand and then carving him up with his own teeth, all the while taunting him in pirate speak.
  • In A Brighter Dark, the main character Corrin can be a bit hard to take seriously at times. She drinks, sleeps with pretty much any man who asks, has trouble with her studies, and has never heard a curse word she didn't like. Nonetheless, get on her bad side, and she will utterly annihilate you with her sword skills.
  • Ibuki Mioda on The Pre Despair Kids, having been manipulated into becoming a remnant of despair.
  • Princess Cadence in The God Squad. Silly, goofy, constantly talks about sex... but threaten Shining Armor and she won't kill you. That is too quick. She'll just sterilize your entire race so you can watch your entire culture slowly die.
  • Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Lord of Sevii. When she learns Neville was killed she unleashes a pulse of Veela magic that nearly kills the heroes and villains alike.
  • Clopin, Kaylie's Touceet, in Pokemon Opal And Garnet is just like his namesake: he is hilarious, fun-loving, and silly most of the time, but if you ever think about hurting his friends... WELCOME TO THE COURT OF MIRACLES! (In other words, he will annihilate you with Guillotine. So watch out.)
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Sweet Surprise, the Full Moon of the Luna Guard, may seem like a ditz, but she holds her rank for a reason.
  • Child of the Storm: Albus Dumbledore, Bunny-Ears Lawyer and Cool Old Guy, is also a very knowledgeable and dangerous wizard, even more so than his canon counterpart. When attacked by four wizards, trained by HYDRA specifically to take him down, he casually defeats them with two absent-minded spells, and is viewed with respect by everyone from Nick Fury to Mab to Odin himself.
    • Tony Stark, meanwhile, is so eccentric that his antics are a Running Gag in and out of universe, and is incredibly scatterbrained, especially when he's focused on a project. But he's also the Iron Man, once built a suit that - even incomplete - was described by a flabbergasted Director Wisdom as "a planetary scale emergency all by itself", and repeatedly flies rings around people in replicas of his armour with nonchalant ease. Accordingly, everyone, friend or foe, treats him with at least grudging respect (even if it's often accompanied by exasperation from his friends).
    • Doctor Strange, however, arguably takes the cake. He rarely seems to take anything seriously, often making pop-culture references at the most inappropriate moments, dresses in strange and colourful clothes, and has a thoroughly mischievous sense of humour, which often involves stealing small (and not so small) objects that are supposedly under the very highest security, mostly for the hell of it (examples so far include Mad-Eye Moody's wooden leg from its owner, a phoenix feather containing Harry's mind from Maddie Grey's back pocket, and Loki's detached head from the most secure part of Asgard's palace). All of which serves to cover for an epic amount of personal tragedy. However, he's also the most powerful mortal mage alive, has centuries actually, 500 millennia of experience fighting Eldritch Abominations for a living, and thanks to his absolute mastery of Time Magic and skills as a Seer, makes a policy of knowing (almost) everything. He has an exceptionally well-earned reputation as The Dreaded, and if the jokes have stopped, he's about to show why. Even Skyfathers are unwilling to cross him, and for good reason - if nothing else, the crazy bastard is more than happy to swipe the Tesseract and threaten them with it. He's best known, however, for being a Magnificent Bastard whose mastery of the Xanatos Gambit means that ultimately people (by which we mean everyone from Badass Normals to the freakin' Endless) do what he wants them to, even when they know he's manipulating them.
  • Pinkie Pie in Just Another Day used to be the most dangerous assassin in Equestria who'd use her unique abilities to kill people. When someone threatens to expose her past to her friends, he's found drowned in the middle of the lake the next day.
  • Pinkie Pie again in Good Trooper Gilda. Acts pretty much like her canon counterpart, barely graduated at the military academy, she's an intelligence officer trying to end the rebellion in the Griff Isles, and Gilda refers to her as "the scary pink mare who likes to talk about mass murder and partying with survivors" because she has seen her doing just that right after finding out enough information to realize she had planned the mass murder.
    • According to major Bureau, head of the personnel in the Griffin Isles, half the officer corps and the entire intelligence corps of the Isles want to get rid of Pinkie but they can't, in part because any objection levied against her is without evidence or exposed as malfeasance from the accuser, and in the one exception the accuser was hit by a bale of hay fallen from an air delivery van a thousand feet in the air. Hence why Bureau turned from obstructionist to extremely helpful once Gleaming Shield (formerly Twilight Sparkle) showed up with an objection from Princess Cadance, as he had hope they could finally get rid of "that pronking disaster area".
      She's a menace, but she's an arrowproof menace!
  • Ash's Duskull (Spectre) in Challenger is a mischievous spirit who likes to hide in shadows to spook people and wear Ash's hat. According to Agatha, he's also been around since she was a child and the only reason he's not a match for her entire team is because he hadn't found a trainer to bond with yet. When one of Agatha's Gengar provokes him by trying to bond with Ash, Spectre tackles it into the Distortion World and utterly kicks it's ass.
  • Pierre LaPorte from Maim de Maim as we find out. He's weird and borders on Cloudcuckoolander but we find out that, under his weirdness, he's a pedophile and its implied that he's probably committed some crimes against children before finding his way to Japan.
  • Misty's Psyduck in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines is an even bigger example than in the anime, since he's portrayed as being a bit of a Cowardly Lion and Brilliant, but Lazy. Case in point, he'll intentionally trip over to hit his head so as to trigger his psychic attacks if needed, and if his trainer is in danger, he'll do anything it takes to protect her.
  • Episode 7 of Final Stand of Death, Celebrity Deathmatch Fic, three of the henchmen of Marilyn Manson finally gives to see Fusion Gundam up close. They assume they weren’t as much as a threat as they thought. However, back in Episode 2, Spur, ALL BY HERSELF, almost killed members of blink-182 after Mark makes the sounds of a chainsaw, which ended her former life as Emma "Baby" Bunton. Same with the other Spice Girls.
  • White Sheep (RWBY):
    • Salem is a Doting Parent who spends most of her time talking about her sex life and trying to get her children to produce grandchildren. However, she is still the all-powerful Queen of the Grimm; early on, Salem wants to destroy Vale to get Jaune back, and Cinder barely manages to convince her it's a bad idea. She could and would do it—the problem is that Jaune would resent her for it.
    • Related, part of the reason Cinder talked Salem down was because it would threaten the existing plan, where Cinder gets the rest of the Fall Maiden's power. Cinder thinks she's tricked Salem, but Salem is well aware of her ambitions. She doesn't particularly care, but she still considers murdering Cinder for even trying to trick her.
    • Early on, it seems like Salem's plot to set Cinder up with Jaune by having her be his babysitter was just a silly plan caused by not understanding humans (children who grow up together usually end up Like Brother and Sister, not in a Childhood Friend Romance). However, that was merely the best possible outcome, in Salem's mind. Lavender mentions that the actual plan, to imprint Jaune on Cinder so that Cinder would care for him and be tied more closely to the family, worked perfectly—despite Cinder's protests to the contrary.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Tai Lung's attempt to kill Master Shifu was interrupted by Po. The snow leopard scoffs at the idea that this comical panda could possibly be the Dragon Warrior, only to find out the hard way that he most definitely is!
  • Disney's Willie the Giant from Fun and Fancy Free. In the first scenes of the Mickey and the Beanstalk segment of the film, Willie is introduced as a terrifying kleptomaniac who seems more storm cloud than giant. In his second entrance, he appears as a goofy shapeshifter with a fondness for pink bunnies, and an inability to pronounce the word "pistachio." Oh, and he's also a Big Eater who almost accidentally eats the Disney power trio of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy. But don't confuse his playfulness for dimwittedness like Mickey, Donald and Goofy tried to. Count yourself lucky if he keeps you as a literal souvenir in a box, rather than squishing you like an insect. And when Willie gets really riled up, he also wields an iron morning star the size of a two-story house.
  • Wreck-It Ralph's King Candy doesn't look all that intimidating at first glance. He's basically a CGI Expy of the Mad Hatter. But then comes The Reveal and by the time the movie ends, you will believe the Mad Hatter can be a legitimately dangerous villain.
  • The Lion King:
    • Ed. Sure, he seems goofy and bumbling, with that laugh and blank wall-eyed stare, but Scar found out the hard way he can be deadly serious.
    • On the heroes' side, there's Rafiki the baboon. Don't let his old age or cheerful eccentricity fool you; he's perfectly capable of unleashing a can of whoopass with his Simple Staff.
  • Robin Hood: Prince John is extremely infantile, but if you mock him badly enough, he will not let you get away with it.
  • Flik from A Bug's Life is a light-hearted clown for most of the movie, but has a darker side which shows itself at the end when he tricks the Big Bad into getting himself killed.
  • Dave the Octopus from Penguins of Madagascar, is more than a little off his rocker, but the fact that he was able to concoct such a plan, gather an army of minions, and create that entire base as well as a human alter ego pretty much cements him into this trope.
  • Unikitty from The LEGO Movie fits this trope to a T. At first, she comes of as flighty Cloudcuckoolander princess who wants to have fun all the time, but when she's pushed too far … well, let's just say there's a reason she provides the page image for Rage Breaking Point.
  • Another Disney example, is Denahi from Brother Bear. When we first meet him he's the highly immature, prankster and comic relief. But after his older brother dies due to a bear attack, he becomes serious and try’s to be more wise, unfortunately his little brother tries to avenge their older brother's death by killing the bear. By the time Denahi finds kenai, all is left of him is his torn clothes. Overcome with grief and anger over both of his brothers deaths, he decides to hunt down the bear responsible, unfortunately the bear in question is his little brother who was turned into a bear. Throughout the movie Denahi tracks kenai down, showing crazy good tracking skills, not to mention making traps, and throwing spears with almost complete accuracy, complete with killing intent, becoming the implacable man, and starts having a sanity slippage towards the climax, tragically no longer resembling the immature prankster from the beginning. Even Kenai says he no longer recognizes him. He does get better though.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse: To all appearances, Spider-Ham is a goofy comic relief character. When he faces off against the Scorpion, the villain laughs at him. Scorpion then learned the hard way that you really don't want to mess with someone when they operate by Toon Physics and you don't.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Tuco (The Ugly) of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly may be a Laughably Evil goon, but he is every bit as dangerous as Blondie (The Good) and Angel Eyes (The Bad), nearly killing them both on several occasions. Prior to the final shootout, Blondie makes sure to empty Tuco's gun rather than face him in a gunfight.
  • Yoon Tae-Goo (the Weird) of The Good, the Bad, the Weird qualifies. He provides most of the comic relief and is more prone to amusing mishaps than the Good and the Bad, but this does not mean he isn't capable of being incredibly dangerous. (Fittingly, he's an Expy of Tuco.)
  • In The Hobbit, with the exception of Thorin, all the dwarves in the company range from mildly goofy to downright mad at times. But they are all a force to be reckoned with when it comes down to a fight. Radagast the Brown is absent-minded and has bird poop in his hair but there is a reason why he is one of the most powerful wizards in Middle Earth, including banishing a swarm of attack spiders from his home, brings a hedgehog back from the brink of death, leads a pack of wargs on a merry chase and manages to fend off the Witch King.
  • Komodo from Warriors of Virtue needs to be seen to be believed. He drops all the E and just runs full throttle every step of the way. However, without giving much away, there's are numerous very good reasons everyone is terrified of the guy. It's no surprise that, in an otherwise poor film, he's the most entertaining and memorable part.
  • Mr. Right is about an Adorkable Cloud Cuckoolander of a young woman named Martha who encounters the titular character, a reformed hitman named Francis who goes around killing people that try to hire him as an assassin because "killing is wrong." His gimmick is wearing a red clown nose while doing this, he dances everywhere, he's a total Cloud Cuckoolander, and thanks to his ability to see the world in Bullet Time and his ridiculous reflexes, he is unbelievably deadly. It turns out that part of the reason he was interested in dating Martha is that he could sense that she could do what he does (which he demonstrates by throwing knives at her and her automatically catching them), and by the end of the film she is just as deadly as he is, with her own silly gimmick to go along with her deadliness (cat ears, in her case)
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Briefly exhibited by Koba when attempting to steal weapons from the humans. Here's a helpful tip of advice; if a violent, intelligent, species of ape infiltrates your facility and starts to act like a circus animal, something is clearly not right and you probably shouldn't let it sit down next to you, nor should leave a sub-machine gun within its reach.
  • In The Magnificent Seven (2016), Faraday is the jokester of the group, appearing very easygoing but if he is driven to kill, he can be seen as even cruel. He is merciless and very fast on the trigger and frequently uses tricks and misdirection to throw people off guard.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Much of the films' humor comes from the contrast between just how silly the Guardians seem...and just how badass they are when they decide enough's enough. Gamora is the only one who averts the trope, but even she's prone to being The Comically Serious and the closest they get to Only Sane Woman.
    • Peter "Star-Lord" Quill's just a harmless, goofy, kinda squishy human well, Half-Human Hybrid with a dorky hero handle and precious Walkman given to him by his mom, quite amicable, and the weakest party member of the Guardians in a straight up brawl. But he's freaking brilliant when it comes to Confusion Fu, distracting one Big Bad by challenging him to a dance-off buying the heroes enough time to nail him with an Infinity Stone, and when Ego the Living Planet manages to piss him off by revealing that he killed Mama Quill and followed it up by destroying Peter's prized Walkman? Yeah, living planet ends up regretting it.
    • Drax the Destroyer: He looks dangerous...until he starts talking. He's a Boisterous Bruiser with no concept of tact and a massive case of Blunt Metaphors Trauma. Also a Knife Nut who dove into a creature's mouth and started stabbing it from the inside.
    • Rocket Raccoon: A cybernetically-enhanced Rascally Raccoon who looks harmless...until you notice his unhealthy love of weaponry bigger than he is, all the dirty tricks he set up while waiting and his foul language (well, as foul as Disney will allow). Basically, while Drax looks dangerous, and becomes silly the instant he opens his mouth, Rocket looks harmless and silly until he opens his mouth.
    • Groot. A goofy looking tree creature only capable of saying "I am Groot." Decides to start dancing to Electric Light Orchestra in the middle of a battle. And even when baby-sized, managed to thrash the Space Pirate who "watered" him by dumping a foul alcoholic beverage on him.
  • The titular gunslinger from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a skinny, sesquipedalian, singing dandy, but he's an absolutely lethal shot and downright brutal to his enemies. Effectively, he's a deconstructed Screwy Squirrel, a hilariously zany man who leaves a trail of corpses in his wake.

  • Tom Bombadil from The Lord of the Rings is some weird sort of forest-dwelling humanoid of mysterious origin. He happily skips along and sings wherever he goes, and is one of the most aloof, nonsensical people you could meet in Middle-earth. He also happens to be at least as old as Treebeard, has control of the huorns of the Old Forest and the barrow-wights of the Barrow-downs, and is so powerful that the One Ring itself has no hold over him.
    • Gandalf the Grey enjoys fireworks and a good pipe, occasionally makes jokes, and seems to enjoy acting like a harmless old man to fool the opposition. When he drops the facade...well, let's hope that you're on his good side.
  • Mr. Croup in Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere even lampshades that just because something is silly doesn't mean it can't be dangerous. Then he and his associate Mr. Vandemar crucify the person who found them funny. While arguing whether circumlocution is a grammatical technique or a body part. (The former, if you were wondering.)
  • Count Fosco in Wilkie Collins' classic sensation novel The Woman in White is the Victorian-era poster boy for this trope.
  • Discworld:
    • Nanny Ogg in Discworld is a prime example, looking like an amiably-wrinkled, sexual-innuendo-prone old woman, with a mind like a razor. She's been Granny Weatherwax's friend since they were girls.
    • Otto von Chriek from The Truth speaks in HEAVILY accented Vampire Vords, throws in a blah here and then (blah), is addicted to flash photography, which is bordering on a suicidal hobby for a vampire, and towards the end of the book clears a room of armed guards before ending it with a kiss to the forehead of their employer.
    • Lampshaded in a later book when someone realizes that Otto does this deliberately to blend in.
      Little fussy Otto, in his red-lined black opera cloak with pockets for all his gear, his shiny black shoes, his carefully cut widow’s peak and, not least, his ridiculous accent that grew thicker or thinner depending on whom he was talking to, did not look like a threat. He looked funny, a joke, a music-hall vampire. It had never previously occurred to Vimes that, just possibly, the joke was on other people.
    • Pepe from Unseen Academicals seems like a goofy, Camp Gay fashion designer, but that's only when he's on the job. Off the clock, he's a hard-drinking, wise-cracking, street-smart fellow who's a veteran of the mean streets of Ankh-Morpork. What plants him firmly in this trope is a scene at the end of the book where Pepe corners street thug Andy Shank in a dark alley and carves out an eye as a warning to leave Trev Likely and his friends alone.
  • The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden is perpetually sarcastic, spouting pop culture references at the drop of a hat and is generally quite friendly. He is also powerful and skilled enough to give the Senior Council pause, and terrifies pretty much every bad guy in the series. And just ask the Red Court about what happens when you mess with someone he loves, especially as of Changes. Oh, wait. You can't. There is no more Red Court.
  • Albert Campion, protagonist of most of Margery Allingham's books. He might act like a silly ass, natter on about his mouse's birthday, and compulsively make jokes, but you should never underestimate his mental or physical capabilities. Ever.
    • Also, Alastair Barber from "Mystery Mile" who appears to be an embarrassingly-talkative bore who has a penchant for throwing food at acquaintances, is actually the Big Bad who runs a criminal network that is feared across continents.
  • Similarly, Lord Peter Wimsey plays the idiot man about town to the hilt, including carrying the requisite cane and monocle, and babbling on at the drop of a hat. The cane and monocle are secretly tools. Lord Peter is unstoppable as a detective. And it is seldom mentioned, but he is a war hero.
  • While Bast's lighthearted and, well, silly demeanor often provides some much-needed comic relief in The Name of the Wind, you really do not want to get on his bad side. As a Fae, he often cares only for his own whims and desires... and he will happily string a fiddle with your guts and make you play it while he dances, should you get in his way.
    • Master Namer Elodin is a Cloud Cuckoolander who once lit another master's robes on fire because they annoyed him. He is also a Master Namer, meaning that he has power over fire, air, stone, iron, wood, and almost certainly loads more. Essentially, he's the most dangerous human character, and not one to be trifled with. Fortunately for Kvothe, he's got a lot of patience.
  • In Supernaturally, Jack seems to act like an immature teenager. He uses his Portal Door ability to appear in a girls' locker room and to appear in Evie's room to jump on her bed. However, he is secretly behind all the random paranormal encounters that Evie keeps having, because he wants to use her to get rid of the faeries. When she doesn't agree to do this, he banishes her into the Faerie Paths.
  • Isaac Asimov's "The Mule": Magnifico Giganticus appears first as a rather pathetic clown before being revealed as a mutant with Psychic Powers known as the Mule who conquers a significant portion of the galaxy and nearly destroys the titular Foundation forever.
  • Camp Gay Dandy Lord Akeldama in The Parasol Protectorate. He might dress outrageously and live in an overdecorated townhouse with a horde of Pretty Boy drones, but he's still a very old vampire. And those drones of his? He's trained them to be so effective at collecting gossip that he often knows more than the actual government.
  • Animorphs:
    • Sixth Ranger and resident alien Ax is frequently played up as a comedic character, his infatuation with taste and tendency to play with sounds used for easy laughs. But when push comes to shove, Ax is the most dangerous of the Animorphs, beating out even Rachel. His feats include killing a rogue crocodile in The Reaction (after it beat half the team), defeating Visser Three in single combat as early as The Decision and even killing a Tyrannosaurus Rex in In the Time of Dinosaurs. This is highlighted pretty effectively in The Separation, when even Mean Rachel doesn't want to tangle with him.
    • And of course, Marco. The team's resident clown (if somewhat of a sad one), he spends half of his time making bad jokes and the other half viciously picking apart every plan of his friends and his enemies. In terms of planning he is the most ruthless Animorph—he does what he has to do, up to the point of once pushing his own mother off of a cliff. (She's the host body to Visser One. And they both survived, anyway.)
  • Oh, no. Hercule Poirot is investigating those murders I committed. But wait, he seems to be bumbling, he's very much the Funny Foreigner, and he's fallen for my Red Herrings. Maybe he's lost his touch with age. I think I'm safe. I—What the? How did he figure out... Damn! He got the goods on me for this murder and then tricked me into revealing what he hadn't known for sure.
  • In Lois Lowry's novel Number the Stars, Annemarie (at her mother's directions) acts like a "silly, empty-headed girl", convincing the Nazi soldiers that's what she is, instead of someone carrying a package vital to the Resistance.
  • In Chronicles of Amber, in Knight of Shadows when Merlin is pursued by a ghost construct of a Chaos Lord he asks the ghost construct of Benedict to buy him time. Benedict stalls for time waving his sword seemingly with none of his usual precision, cutting off enemy's buttons and occasionally pinching the enemy's nose. He's that much better. Also of note is that Benedict, Merlin and some others often use fencing techniques with wild and deceptively crude swings.
  • Master Ferus, Etherealist. Clear Cloudcuckoolander. Forgets to wear his clothes at home, sometimes. Can't function without an enormous collection of various clutter. Can't operate doorknobs. note . And when his home is invaded, he draws enough 'etheric' energy through their gauntlets that it melts all of the copper wiring within them; this is then... forcibly returned. The resulting charred corpses are horrible enough to give his apprentice Nightmare Fuel without even looking.
    • It's also discussed in that series that while you should beware of the silly etherealists, it's the ones who aren't silly that you should be outright terrified of: All etherialists are at least a little crazy, and if their madness doesn't express itself in some relatively harmless and amusing quirks, it's likely to express itself in something far darker and more dangerous - like Madame Cavendish, who's obsession with propriety drove her to force a man who interrupted her during tea and insulted her to claw his own eyes out.
  • Curdle and Telorast, two ghosts possessing the skeletons of tiny dinosaurs in the Malazan Book of the Fallen, are presented as wacky comic relief for the first two books they appear in. Then Dust of Dreams hits and reveals them to be ancient dragons who almost succeeded in conquering the Throne of Shadow.
  • In Warrior Cats, Graystripe sometimes comes across as this. He's Firestar's fat, fluffy friend, with a tendency to swoon over pretty she-cats, a habit of being a helicopter parent (to the point of one exasperated queen sarcastically inquiring about whether he was pregnant too), and an inability to lie convincingly. He's also a loving father and a loyal warrior who will end you without a moment's hesitation if you cross him or anyone he cares about.
  • Harry Potter gives us Headmaster Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards. He's a Bunny-Ears Lawyer, and is often distinguished by his waist-long beard and hair, twinkling eyes, and colorful robes. He's eccentric, funny, has a passion for Muggle candy, and even his own staff sometimes have trouble taking him seriously. Dumbledore is also the most powerful wizard alive, famous for defeating one of the most powerful Dark Wizards ever, and the other contender for that title sees Dumbledore as The Dreaded.
  • A Practical Guide To Evil has a few examples:
    • Kairos Theodosian, Tyrant of Helike. At first he just looks like some kind of insane Royal Brat in the mold of a Joffrey Baratheon. It takes him less than a chapter to show how he earned his name. And, he keeps his foot on the accelerator. Even then, he's clearly embracing old-fashioned Evil Is Hammy style of villainy, making bizarre decrees and laws (such as outlawing foul language). His cackling font of ostentatiously Classic Evil is quite deliberately hiding a metric tonne of meta-awareness under all that ham. For starters, he's actively using his appearance of being "just another nutso Tyrant" to hide the extent of what he's capable of not just from the Calamities, but the Wandering Bard as well. Every hard-core, very nasty trick he's pulled has been a shell game used to attain goals beyond the obvious ones, yet others have been slow to realize this thanks to the show he makes of juggling obvious villain balls.
    "I had something for this,” he said. “This tower will be your grave? No, Anaxares said that was second-rate. This isn’t over yet?"
    The gargoyles flanking the throne animated and began flapping their stone wings, grabbing the Tyrant by the shoulders. The dragged him upwards, heading for the stairs. The boy suddenly inhaled.
    "Oh! I’ll get you next time, heroes!" he said shaking his fist in their direction.
    • Almorava of Symra, The Wandering Bard. An Ashuran hero who joins The Lone Swordsman's party before the rebellion begins in southern Callow. Ridiculously dressed, constantly throwing back enough alcohol to kill a herd of livestock and a less-than-competent musician and singer, The Bard at first appears to be little more than comic relief. The jury's still out on how much of her silliness is an act, but there's certainly more to Almorava of Symra than meets the eye. She has the Genre Savvy that is the hallmark of her profession, with an understanding of the workings of fate rivaled only by the Black Knight. She has a tendency to appear (literally) whenever anything particularly plot-relevant is going on; no matter how much violence is directed her way she always manages to escape just in time; she seems to know intimate details of events she should be far too young to have witnessed and if nothing else, her liver must be superhuman. The epilogue of Book 2 reveals that The Wandering Bard is actually some kind of body-hopping immortal entity that has lived since long before elves arrived on Calernia. The precise nature of this entity is still mysterious but it seems to always exist as a storytelling-based Name and although it switches bodies and identities it retains all of it's memories. It's also apparently scary enough to bully the Forever King. At the conclusion of Book 2 Almorava of Symra dies (apparently of alcohol poisoning) and the name passes on to a new host named Aoede of Nicae.
    The Wandering Bard grinned nastily, the white cut of her teeth like a slice of sharp moonlight.
    “This is my game,” she hissed. "Amateurs are not allowed."
    She leaned forward.
    "Crawl back to your forest, Emerald Swords," she said. "And tell your owner that if he ever tries anything like this again, he will rue the day."
    • On The "heroic" side of things we have Robber. Constantly making jokes, puns, and extremely crass poems, he leads an all-goblin cohort of the XV legion, dedicated to reconnaissance, sabotage, assassination and all forms of irregular warfare. He also supposedly has a jar filled with eyeballs. Catherine is very grateful he's pointed at her enemies rather than her.
  • Wyatt Rendall of Heretical Edge. Looks like a security guard prone to hilarious overreactions like mistaking bumping into someone for an assassination attempt. Also appears paranoid. Actually an exceptionally skilled security magic specialist using that persona to conceal his skills, and is actually Properly Paranoid because his behaviour is a result of discovering a conspiracy targetting him. The most notable demonstration of his skill a spell he developed that uses the energy of the target's death to reveal everyone involved in killing them, which a galaxy spanning empire of magic specialists can't counter besides by trying to keep him from recasting it.
  • The Mercy Thompson novel, "Iron Kissed", has Tim Milanovich. On the surface, he appears to be a goofy but friendly nerdy young man with an interest with medieval things and no luck with women. But in reality is an evil and cunning person who stole some fae artifacts and would murder his friends in a heartbeat. He is also very petty as he tricks Mercy into drinking from a fae goblets that puts her under a spell and then proceeds to take advantage and rape her.
  • In Star Wars Legends, a stand-out example is Wes Janson. Happy-go-lucky prankster, Manchild extraordinaire, friendly with all of his squadmates...and able to shoot an enemy dead with one blaster pistol shot at a hundred paces. He's normally a Friendly Sniper, but when he's in a pinch, he's all business.
    • Another is Yoda, most prominently in Dark Rendezvous. Bit of a Cloudcuckoolander, to be sure, and absolutely a Bunny-Ears Lawyer who loves to gently tease his students and even fellow Jedi Masters. He has bizarre taste in food, and it's noted that even Jedi who would follow him to the gates of Hell would rather not even sit with him while he's eating, much less share his food. But he's also been a Jedi for almost a thousand years, during which he learned a lot, saw a lot, and went through dangers most people couldn't even dream of. He is the greatest master of the Force in the galaxy, excepting only Darth Sidious, and a Master Swordsman with almost no peers. You really do not want to make him angry.
  • Quite a common theme in the works of Rick Riordan. The titular characters of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard are Deadpan Snarkers extraordinaire, who enjoy exchanging Snark-to-Snark Combat with their friends and goofily lampshading the weirdness that is their lives. But they are also very, very dangerous-Percy especially is a Master Swordsman who's survived fighting no less than four Titans and too many other enemies to face-by the sequel series, even without the Curse of Achilles, he's still a One-Man Army.
    • Many of the gods and goddesses, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Norse, also apply-Poseidon enjoys Hawaiian shirts, Hermes, Apollo, and Thoth are Bunny Ears Lawyers, Bast teaches a course on cat-napping, Heimdall often acts like a Phoneaholic Teenager, Odin once spent several days in a blizzard to learn the secrets of the IPhone, Loki seems to like the Red Sox, and so on-but these beings have been around for millennia, battled all kinds of monsters, and each is, of course, a Physical God. Even as irreverent as Riordan's protagonists are, they still have a healthy fear of pissing off the gods.
  • Mulch Diggums in Artemis Fowl is a Big Eater with little to no sense of occasion and a petty thief. He's also an Action Survivor, very dangerous in his own way, and really not someone you want to cross.
  • In the The Supervillainy Saga, Gary Karkofsky is an Idiot Hero or Guile Hero depending on his circumstances. He is a pop culture nerd, barely controls his powers, and has a Motor Mouth. However, he punches heavily above his weight class, often defeating gods or powerful archvillains.
  • Treasure Island:
    • When the reader encounters Ben Gunn, he has been marooned for three years and is somewhat addled, speaks of himself in the third person and has an unhealthy obsession with cheese. However, he was a full member of Jeremiah Flint's crew, alongside stone-cold killers like Blind Pew, Billy Bones and Long John Silver (though the story implies he was something of a Butt-Monkey), and proves his allegiance to the main characters by sneaking into the mutineers' camp and bludgeoning two of them to death without being noticed.
    • Similarly, Squire Trelawney is an Upper-Class Twit of the first water, a Horrible Judge of Character and given to pompousness, but after seeing him shoot the first time the other characters decide to spend their time reloading the muskets and let the squire do the shooting.
  • Six of Crows: Jesper likes to joke; in fact one of the first things he does is tell too many jokes during Kaz's meeting with Geels. He's the team's sharpshooter and useful in a fistfight as well.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24: In season 5, it's revealed that Charles Logan is not actually the President Buffoon that he played himself up as in seasons 4 and 5, but in fact a full-blown President Evil. No one could have possibly expected that he, of all people, would actually prove himself as the most Worthy Opponent to JACK BAUER since Nina Myers, especially after how much he had played up his Obfuscating Stupidity previously. After his defeat in season 5, he returns as a very competent ally in season 6 who actually proves to be a key player in stopping the terrorist threat despite his limited screentime. Come season 8, he's back to the villain side and is so good at manipulation that he pulls a Corrupt the Cutie on the new president despite his reputation as a scumbag still carrying over from his season 5 actions.
  • Angel has the Groosalugg, a benevolent demon with human ancestry and an almost human appearance. Due to his demonic origins, he has physical powers that are on the same level as the titular hero. However, he is not exactly characterized by cleverness.
    • In the fourth season, a demon appears, known only as 'The Beast'. And he's strong enough to easily defeat all heroes in a fight. At the same time, it also becomes clear that he cannot be smart enough to be the true Big Bad.
  • Babylon 5: Emperor Cartagia might be a decadent goofball party animal, but he's also a wildly unstable tyrant who might have you tortured to death on a whim and would cheerfully throw his entire homeworld under the bus to satisfy his delusions of godhood.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: You honestly wouldn't consider Glory a threat, at least a major one, if you weren't aware of her strength or that she is a God in Human Form.
  • Rick Castle of Castle fame is a fun-loving geek of a bestselling mystery author, prone to coming up with ludicrously outlandish theories on the murder of the week. Threaten Beckett, or worse his daughter Alexis, and you're done: he's shot three criminals and used the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on one of his daughter's kidnappers.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor just wants to have a bit of fun. "There's no point in being grown up if you can't be childish sometimes," they say. They've been accurately described as a "madman with a box", and no one with their dress sense (no matter how much it changes) could ever be taken seriously. They've also stopped more villainous plots and saved more lives than could possibly be counted, and is outright feared by some of the most evil beings in existence.
    • As befitting an Evil Counterpart, the Master sometimes shows shades of this. The Anthony Ainley and John Simm incarnations especially loved to bust out the Evil Laugh and add some flair to their villainy, while the Michelle Gomez incarnation seemed to enjoy pop music (well, one song in particular), but there is a very good reason the Doctor continually regards the Master as their worst enemy.
    • Nardole, introduced in the 2015 Christmas special as The Ditz, and who later becomes the Doctor's "valet" of sorts, was solely comic relief until the end of "Oxygen", when he gives the Doctor a blistering "The Reason You Suck" Speech for putting himself in life-threatening danger when he has a duty to be guarding the mysterious Vault underneath the University of Bristol. In addition to this, hints have been dropped that he has some kind of criminal past, and it's been revealed the ditzy behaviour from "The Husbands of River Song" was a case of Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Rygel from Farscape is a deposed Hynerian (small, toad-like creatures) royal with an ego the size of a dwarf star and a tendency to either flee from battle or fart helium when pressed into a corner. He's also, at times, killed the man who spent years torturing him and paraded his head about on a stick, and tortured captive enemies to death for information.
    • Then there's "Coup by Clam," where Rygel has officially had enough of a blackmailing poisoner's shit, and thus bites his nose off, then poisons him in such a way that he can't possibly cure himself.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Judge Carl Robertson, Uncle Phil's old mentor, has become a Scatterbrained Senior. However, when Phil runs for Robertson's judicial seat, he reveals himself to be a ruthless politician: getting Will arrested for unpaid parking tickets note , and unleashes a brutal smear campaign on Uncle Phil. He actually ends up winning the election in a landslide...only for Will to tell him to drop dead, which causes him to have a fatal heart attack.
    Judge Robertson: (to Phil) Oh wake up, knucklehead. You're in the big leagues now. I may be old, I may be senile, and I haven't been able to find my car for the past half hour, but I can beat you in a political campaign any day. You're dead meat, Tiny.
  • Phoebe Buffay from Friends may seem like a sweet Granola Girl with a kooky sense of humor, but she was tough enough to mug older boys when she was just a teen living on the street.
  • Walter Bishop from Fringe is a somewhat addled old man who constantly gets the name of his FBI overseer wrong, has an unquenchable taste for a different food each week, and often consumes drugs of his own making. In this context, it's somewhat hard to remember he was consigned to an asylum for years after a lab experiment that killed several of his assistants. And, when he's hooked up to the parts of his own brain, removed to destroy extremely sensitive knowledge, he shows how much of a righteous bastard he once was. He can also bring the fury in his current state — in "The Bishop Revival", he finds an ageless Nazi scientist has been using his father's research to design aerosolized poisons that target certain genetic markers. His response, in turn, is to design his own toxin, track the man down at a conference on peace and tolerance he'd been planning to target, and dispassionately cause him to asphyxiate in the middle of the gathering.
  • Uncle Howee from The Haunting Hour episode of the same name. He's a wacky, over the top children's performer who acts alongside his puppet rabbit and clock man in a cartoony fashion. However, when his number one fan Cynthia is bullied by her big brother Jared while he babysits her and immediately tries ditching her to hang out with his friends, Uncle Howee leaves his fictional world and enters the real world where he uses his Reality Warper powers to punish Jared for his cruel behavior. It ends with our clownish children's performer dragging Jared back into his show, where the bully is turned into a lifeless puppet forced to entertain on his show forever.
  • Alfie from House of Anubis may be the class clown, but he's no pushover, as he has proven to be a useful presence in Sibuna — and if he is serious about something, you better not stand in his way. He yelled at Fabian and Patricia when they wanted to have breakfast instead of rescuing the currently-trapped Amber, and then later was the one standing up against Sinner!Fabian- to the point of pressing Fabian's Berserk Button and getting away with it.
  • Douglas from The IT Crowd may or may not have killed his first wife.
  • Rudy of Kickin' It is your standard Disnick Kid Com Adult Child Big Brother Mentor, unless something really bad is about to happen at which point the writers remember what a third-degree black belt karate instructor's supposed to be capable of.
  • Merlin is the Plucky Comic Relief of the knights who is constantly abused for laughs, but beneath the joking exterior is an extremely dark Anti-Hero who's also a Person of Mass Destruction, bordering on Physical God by the end of the series. Arthur and most of Camelot are unaware of this. It's also a bad idea to threaten anyone he cares about!
  • Officer Schnabelbach (River of Spouts, referring to his Motor Mouth) in the German crime series Morgen hör ich auf (loosely inspired by Breaking Bad) is introduced as yet another ineffectual police officer with fondness for smalltalk and charming women but his third appearance establishes him as the criminal police's Only Sane Man who found a hint to the protagonist's crimes and correctly suspects them.
  • The Mads of Mystery Science Theater 3000 are usually just Affably Evil Harmless Villains, but they all have their moments of genuine evilness.
  • The Nanny: Fran Fine may come off as nasal, big-haired, and desperate, but, people tend to forget she is also a hypermanipulative master of the Cool and Unusual Punishment, most often in the form of forced proximity with her overbearing mother. She's also skilled with Jewish guilt, and can reduce feelings of triumph to bitter sadness with a snap of her fingers.
  • Tony DiNozzo from NCIS acts like an overgrown frat boy, and to some extent he is. However, much of it is Obfuscating Stupidity to keep the bad guys from realizing that he's a highly-trained agent who can ruin anybody's day if he's pissed-off enough.
    • One of the one-shot characters in "Secrets", Clarence Tobett, is a thin, extremely nerdy-looking guy. He is also a Real-Life Superhero who works with reducing gang violence in the D.C. area, and he One Hit KOed an ex-marine-turned-hitman with a surprise uppercut when he attempted to attack Gibbs, Tony, and Ziva. Even Gibbs was impressed with that defensive move.
  • Detective Deeks from NCIS: Los Angeles is the Plucky Comic Relief of the team—unless Kensi is in danger. Then he becomes a ruthless and deadly bastard.
  • Power Rangers:
    • In the original show, Squatt and Baboo didn't do much except go on errands and mess up while doing it. But in one episode they took initiative on their own and built their own monster, the result of which, a turtle-like creature named Shellshock, was a terror. He had a stoplight mounted atop his body that could cast a freeze ray from the red light and a speed ray with the green one and had a veritable Swiss army knife of weapons stored in his shell. The first battle was a disaster for the heroes; he froze most of them with his red beam and made Trini unable to stop running with his green one. (Even worse, this made her the only one able to look for the cure, which she managed, despite Rita making it even harder with a squad of Mooks getting in the way.)
    • In the second season, some cases of Near-Villain Victory came at the hands of some pretty ridiculous Monsters of the Week.
      • Beamcaster was a radio-themed monster who spoke like some weird DJ, but used Mind Control to entrance the whole city, and even hypnotized the entire team. To fight him, Zordon had to call up Rocky, Aisha, and Adam (who had not yet taken up the mantle) and get them to help, a prelude to the episode where Jason, Zach, and Trini, would Pass the Torch to them.
      • Scatterbrain was even sillier-looking. Created by Lord Zedd from a kaleidoscope, he was a… guy with a really big kaleidoscope for a head. Still, his memory wiping power got the entire team, and this time, Bulk and Skull were the ones who got the heroes out of the mess, albeit by accident. (Sadly, they were affected slightly too, so although they were the heroes, they didn’t remember it.)
    • When Rita teamed up with Zedd, they didn't do much better as a team then they did alone; with a few exceptions:
      • In one episode, Rita tried to use a spell to turn Kat into her slave again, but missed. She hit a wall instead, creating a monster called the Brick Bully. He looked ridiculous, but it seemed this monster by misfire was pretty potent. His first battle with the heroes resulted in him turning all of them except Kat and Billy into bricks (or rather, reducing them in size and sealing them inside bricks) and while Billy tried to find a way to reverse the effect, he didn't just sit around. He started consuming bricks and cement, turning into a stronger monster. Billy had to confront him alone to prevent him from getting stronger, ultimately taking him down in his own Moment of Awesome. Still, it was a brutal fight.
      • And that wasn't the last "monster by misfire" that resulted in a problem. During Power Rangers Zeo, Rita tried the same thing, but missed Kat again (clearly her aim hadn't improved) hitting her purse. (Ironically, a homemade one she didn't like.) The Impursonator was the result, and she was clearly the strongest monster Rita had ever created, despite looking relatively harmless. The Rangers couldn't scratch her, not with their handheld weapons or their Zords, her rubbery skin making her impossible to hurt, and even worse, when King Mondo's monster appeared, she was able to hijack the Super Zeo Megazord and take it for a joyride! (Fortunately for the city as a whole, Mondo's monster had stolen the other one - as it had been designed to do - and they decided to fight each other for a while.) Ultimately (after a two-parter) she combined with Mondo's monster, and was dispatched via the combined efforts of three Megazords working together.
    • Lothor of Power Rangers Ninja Storm. He spends most of the series sitting on his throne and cracking meta-jokes while his henchmen fight the Rangers for him, but is still a dangerous opponent whenever he can be bothered.
    • Divatox of Power Rangers Turbo probably takes the cake. Screechy enough to make Rita sound like Beyonce, completely incompetent, and managed to Mind Wipe herself on one occasion. Then the season finale happened...
  • Shawn Spencer from Psych is a perfect example of this. A complete jester who never takes anything seriously and seems harmless enough...until his loved ones are put in harm's way. Then he will hunt you down until you're "behind bars or dead". quoted from an episode where Shawn takes down the man who shoots his father.
  • Sherlock's Jim Moriarty. Criminal mastermind. Also, one of his first lines was an Or Are You Just Happy to See Me? joke.
  • Jack O'Neill of Stargate SG-1 likes to play dumb and joke around, but gets things DONE. Also, his irreverence and jokes frequently annoy the Goa'uld and their Jaffa, who are infuriated because Jack doesn't take them seriously. This is, possibly, his intention, although it fails to work on Ba'al.
  • Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation generally acts arrogant and snarky, but he's still a Reality Warper with god-like power and if you piss him off, he can and will use those powers to screw with you. Perhaps the best demonstration came from his single appearance in Deep Space Nine, after Sisko has demanded that Q leave the station:
    Sisko: Perhaps you and I should continue this discussion in private.
    Q: Excellent idea. (Everyone but the two of them vanishes) You were right! This is an excellent idea!
    Sisko: Sisko to ops. (There is no reply)
    Q: (quietly menacing) All gone.
  • One of Ultraman Taro's most ridiculous foes was Live King, a big-bellied, duck-faced kaiju with grape-like things dangling around his neck, a jovial personality, and a "roar" consisting of hearty guffaws. As silly as he sounds, he was able to regenerate From a Single Cell so long as there was oxygen, which made him completely immortal on Earth; not to mention that his raw physical power meant Taro couldn't simply pick him up and carry him off to space for an easy kill. It got so bad that the Mother of Ultra had to intervene to help Taro subdue Live King and finally destroy him for good.
    • Bunyo from Ultraman Leo proved to be even deadlier. This alien looked like a cartoonish Little Green Man from a low-budget B-Movie and acted like a buffoon, failing to impress even Commander Black, who hired him to kill Leo in the first place. However, Bunyo reveals himself to be completely Ax-Crazy and kills Ultraman Leo by hacking him to pieces with a saw with utmost glee. Only Ultraman King's intervention prevented Commander Black and Bunyo from taking over Earth afterwards, but even then Leo was challenged by the alien's Super Spit.
  • Negan from The Walking Dead, much like his comic book counterpart, is the most odd person to ever enter the series since he is a random Cloudcuckoolander who cusses like there's no tomorrow, talks to his lucky bat, and puts on a goofy front, but he nonchalantly threatens Rick's Badass Crew into kneeling before him after he personally executes their friends Abraham and Glenn by beating them to death with his baseball bat covered in barbed wire.

  • Norman Sheffield was the first manager of the band Queen, and (allegedly) decided to take financial advantage of the newly-famous musicians, them being naive to the world of recording contracts and such. The leader of these goofy longhaired glam rockers later wrote "Death on Two Legs", which he said was "Dedicated to a motherfucker of a gentleman", and filled with so many acidic insults it was essentially a musical "The Reason You Suck" Speech.

  • The Tres Horny Boys of The Adventure Zone: Balance are incredibly silly and crack jokes wherever they go. Working together, however, they can be a force to be reckoned with.
    • Special mention should go to Taako, who's definitely the wackiest of the group. He's a Lovable Coward who's named after tacos, has an absurdly high-pitched and squeaky voice, keeps loose pudding in his pockets, and highly enjoys fucking with people. He's also a hyper-competent Transmutation Wizard and Guile Hero, who uses his powers in incredibly creative ways to get the upper hand on enemies, and has a way of manipulating people that easily gets him what he wants.
  • In The Hidden Almanac, Pastor Drom is usually the ditzy comic relief. When Mord asks Drom how she would conquer a technologically advanced society, her answer involves two asteroids, nuclear winter, and food laced with highly addictive drugs. She also keeps a shotgun under her bed, a second one under the sink, and a pistol.
  • Doug Eiffel from Wolf 359 speaks mostly in pop-culture references, is willing to lock himself in a freezing room for 16 hours over a tube of toothpaste and refuses any plan that contains violence in any way. He's also a recovering alcoholic and a convicted felon, outsmarted a scientific genius with nothing but a cigarette and a voice modifier, survived 180 days in a non-functioning spacecraft by repeatedly freezing himself, and he's broken his Actual Pacifist status to kick Kepler's ass after he threatened Doug's deaf daughter.
  • This happens with Morton Koopa in the Interstitial Actual Play one-shot ''A Rush of Sugar to the Head. He's an absolute goof with a silly voice and consistently cheerful demeanour regardless of his situation. He murders Wreck-It Ralph with a hammer.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • A case of Hoist by His Own Petard: Sometimes, Heels in ECW would throw out open challenges and the worst they would leave with was a bruised ego. After Justin Credible d. Chris Chetti at ECW Ultimate Jeopardy 97, November 8, 1997 (televised on the November 15th show), his manager Jason "The Sexiest Man on Earth" got on the mic and talked about how, out of 30 or so guys in the locker room, he was one of the few who could actually wrestle and that "it sucks" only working as a manager. So, since he was in his "street clothes," he issued an open challenge for a "street fight." Cue "Let Me Clear My Throat" by DJ Kool, and out comes...The Blue Meanie with Super Nova? Jason dismisses Meanie at first, but finally agrees. While it's not much of a match, and even less of a "street fight" (referee John Finnegan blocks Meanie from attacking when Jason ducks his head through the ropes), it qualifies as Jason basically treats Meanie as a joke the whole time...until Meanie comes up with a testicular claw into a schoolboy rollup for the pin! (For an example of how much worse this could have turned out for Jason, see Too Dumb To Live.)

    Puppet Shows 
  • Miss Piggy, full stop. She's a veritable empress among drama queens, insufferably vain, yet charmingly foppish, and is constantly comedically pining for the love of her employer, Kermit The Frog, who, half the time, doesn't notice her affections, and the other half is living in mortal fear of her affections. But, don't forget that a large part of her charm is that she's also a take-charge Action Girl who can become a Person of Mass Destruction at the drop of a (designer) hat. Plus, don't press her buttons if you want to live, i.e., don't insult her or her abilities, don't ever threaten her loved ones, and most importantly, don't make pork jokes in her presence. Well, you can if you want to, but, as The Muppet Movie demonstrated, she'll then open a six-pack of extra-strength whoopass on your minions, and violently install you in your own Mind Rape device with extreme prejudice.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! game has its share:
    • Wind-Ups are a bunch of cards that look like Cute Machines, but once had a strategy called a "Wind-Up Lock" so lethal that several of the key cards were Limited or Banned completely.
    • Gadgets are cards with monsters that look like Funny Robots, and yet, they were once part of the obscenely-powerful "Crumbling Tower" strategy that required them to be Limited and Elemental Hero Stratos Banned.
    • The Madolche are monsters that look like the residents of some cloyingly sweet Sugar Bowl, but more support, including Hootcake and Puddingcess' Xyz form quickly made them a force to be reckoned with.
    • At one point, there was an extremely popular deck combining some of the most powerful pendulum monsters in the game. The deck was nicknamed Pepe, and some of the key cards include a plushie, a clown, a couple of guys in silly hats, and a cartoon monkey with a gigantic grin.
  • Clan Malkavian from Vampire: The Masquerade is one and all incurably insane in some form or another. Some insanities may be "harmless," but the nutjobs are still vampires with all the inhuman strength and resilience that entails. If the guy babbling in the corner thinks you're interrupting the conversation with the voices in his head, they might convince him to tear your arms out and beat you to death with the wet ends. Oh, and one of their clan skills, the one that scares the hell out of other clans, is to "share" their madness with you if they feel like doing so, which makes the aforementioned death look preferable.
  • Princesses of Spades from Princess: The Hopeful have an ideal based on outside the box thinking and spreading humor, which has resulted in them gaining a reputation as lazy and immature pranksters. The crossover section of the game's wiki, however, mentions that some of them managed to con some of the True Fae into leaving the physical world forever.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Downplayed by the Mordian Iron Guard. They wear bright, garish colors into battle, and maneuvers around complete with goose-steps like they're in a parade rather than a battlefield. But they're one of the most disciplined regiment around, so disciplined that they won't break formation even under fire, and that Commissars are considered superfluous for them.
    • Da Orks are the comic relief faction of the game. A wandering horde of fight happy aliens, with the personality of Football Hooligans and the jargon and speech patterns of a Cockney barfly. These goofy greenskins however are dangerous. Able to make ramshackle heaps of iron and scrap into death machines by their latent psychic abilities, big, strong and numerous in number. Many an opponent has underestimated them, only to meet their end at their hands. As The Beast Arises shows, the one time all the Orks got their shit together (thanks to the greatest Warboss to ever live) they nearly crashed a Battle Moon into Terra itself. Not even Horus got that close to wiping the Imperium off the galactic map. And even these Orks paled in comparison to their original form as the Krorks — the Krork degenerated into the Orks due to no longer being in constant warfare with enemies as powerful as the ones they were originally created to fight (namely the Necron Empire and the C'tan at their peak). The potential to become Krorks again should they fight sufficiently challenging foes is still there.

    Video Games 
  • Wheatley from Portal 2 starts off as a chatty, dense little Robot Buddy, who attempts to guide Chell through the facility and keeps her under GLaDOS's radar. While his advice isn't always helpful, he saves Chell multiple times and is generally quite nice to her. That is, up until the very end of Chapter 5, during the Core Transfer-scene. After Wheatley is put in charge of the facility in GLaDOS's place, he - at first - attempts to get Chell out. Except when the lift is almost at the top, he starts laughing, which quickly turns into an Evil Laugh. Wheatley's Face–Heel Turn is set in motion, and when GLaDOS reveals that Wheatley was built with the express purpose of being stupid, he completely loses it. He stuffs GLaDOS's consciousness in a potato and punches you both down an elevator shaft, into Old Aperture. Wheatley has now become the new Big Bad, and not only does he have one hell of a grudge against you, his gross incompetence in running the facility paired with the fact that Aperture uses a nuclear reactor as a power source make him a more dangerous villain than GLaDOS could ever dream of being.
  • Maria Renard from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood. Oh what's that? Silly little 12-year-old who attacks using animals and heals herself with desserts? You must've missed the part where she can cheese the entire game and her power surpasses that of the Belmont clan. In a subversion, when she grows up she has enough power and skill to fight one-on-one with Alucard.
  • Henry from Fire Emblem Awakening is this trope taken to its logical conclusion.
    “Oh, don't let all the joking around fool ya— I've got kind of a thing for killing.”
  • Setsuna from Fire Emblem Fates is an extreme Cloud Cuckoolander and Butt-Monkey, to the point where several other characters are absolutely baffled that she managed to become Hinoka's retainer. However, Hinoka chose her because Setsuna is a genuinely skilled archer who's capable of pulling her weight on the battlefield despite all her quirks.
  • Florian from Overlord II is a bumbling, useless buffoon whose entire purpose appears to be to embarrass the elven race, right up until it's revealed that he is actually the Big Bad and built The Empire purely so he could transform himself into a god. He also happens to be the one who triggered the magical disaster that turned everyone against magic in the first place.
  • Demyx from Kingdom Hearts II is a great example. The first time you run into him, on Hades' lair, he is running away from him. Then, during the battle at Hollow Bastion, you have to fight him. Pushover, right? No.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has Dr. Eggman. The patron saint of Hoist by His Own Petard, he even ends Sonic Adventure 2 on surprisingly amicable terms with the heroic members of the cast. Considering how useless he seems to be, you almost start to feel sorry for him. And then you turn around and take a look at his track record. His original shtick of sealing animals inside his robot minions, either to provide power or AI or just plain For the Evulz (or some combination of these reasons) already catapults him far past the Moral Event Horizon, and has demonstrated enough Offscreen Villain Dark Matter to construct his very own Death Star-esque Doomsday Machine note , as well as two Airborne Aircraft Carriers in the same game. Consider also that Sonic Unleashed starts off with Sonic tearing his way through Eggman's space fleet. Let's read that again: Eggman's space fleet. It's not that Eggman sucks as a villain; it's that Sonic is just that good (that, and Eggman has an unfortunate habit of trying to harness the power of Eldritch Abominations that are far beyond his control). And even then, he eventually gets complete control of one!
    • Dr. Eggman in Sonic Adventure 2 starts off the plot by personally destroying a big chunk of a top secret military installation and hacking the computer security system surrounding the Sealed Evil in a Can. And the first thing he did after getting the ARK and the Chaos Emeralds was blow up half the moon and give the entire world a 24 hour "surrender-or-die" demand. Eggman is over confident, but his track record kind of warrants it.
    • The aforementioned Sonic Unleashed opening shows what happens when anyone —Sonic included— underestimates Eggman, as it ended with him nullifying Super Sonic and breaking the Earth in pieces.
    • The ending of Sonic Chronicles. Eggman doesn't go with the rest of the gang to stop Ix, claiming he needs to operate some groundside machine to let the others through. Thanks to the differential time flow inside Ix's prison, by the time Sonic et al get out, Eggman's rebuilt Eggmanland and may well have taken over the world.
    • And then there's Sonic Colors. Not only was he the Big Bad for the entirety of the game, but had it not been for a broken piece of a robot damaging a vital component of his latest weapon, he would've succeeded in his ultimate plan to mind-control the entire population of Earth with Sonic and Tails none the wiser.

      Eggman had also managed to enslave three planets and an inhabited Asteroid Thicket, as well as build the largest space fleet seen yet, completely under Sonic's nose, and covered much of the land on all of the planets and asteroids with his own metal facilities. He would've completely snuffed Planet Wisp of life as well had Sonic not caught on in time, and he may have succeeded with Sweet Mountain.

      Really, Colors would have ended up as a victory for Eggman if it weren't for one simple fact: The hero was actually being proactive rather than atypically reactive. Rather than wait for the villain to begin his rampage, the hero decided to investigate his machinations without any reason other than he is an irredeemable villain!
    • There's also Sonic Forces. In that game, Eggman has actually taken over the world, thanks to a mysterious gemstone called the Phantom Ruby. With the help of a former mercenary named Infinite, they have defeated Sonic and took him to the Death Egg's prison cells. He even shows up with a Phantom Ruby-powered Death Egg Robot near the end of the game; but was defeated by a trio consisting of Sonic, Classic Sonic, and the Avatar.
  • Porky Minch from EarthBound is a cowardly fat kid with a stupid name. By the final act, he's acting as the herald of a deranged cosmic entity.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • Crash is essentially a Looney Tunes character in Bandicoot form. He's a complete Cloud Cuckoo Lander who also manages to be one of the prime sources of slapstick humor, and always wears a large goofy grin on his face. But don't let the goofy exterior fool you; he's adept with many forms of technology and has thwarted most of his foes through his quick thinking. Considering that N.Tropy and even Uka Uka couldn't take him out, it goes to show that Crash is not one to be taken lightly.
    • Cortex is this to an extent in the later games. Even with him being reduced to a mere Butt-Monkey as well as being more suggestive and campy, he can remind anyone why he is the series' main Big Bad in an instant, most notably in Crash: Mind Over Mutant.
  • The comic relief character in any BioWare game usually doesn't appear harmless per se, but he/she/it is usually one of the scariest people on your team.
    • Baldur's Gate: Minsc set the tone. Over the top Boisterous Bruiser who screams stuff like "Evil, meet sword. Sword, meet evil!", gets distracted by the sight of squirrels, and takes advice from a hamster. Capable of mowing down mooks by the dozen, especially if he goes berserker.
    • Neverwinter Nights was one of the first, bringing Deekin Scalesinger with its first expansion. A kobold bard whose songs are the wrong kind of good, and constantly makes some of the silliest, lampshade-laden observations possible. By the third expansion, he's also the best support character you can get, and also an epic-level adventurer who's got enough draconic blood to sprout wings and fiery breath, not to mention being the only one capable, without your intervention, of telling an archdevil to go screw himself when asked to betray you.
    • Knights of the Old Republic: HK-47 isn't the most effective combatant on your team note , but he's an assassin droid tailor-built by the greatest Sith Lord in recent memory and has a very impressive kill count.
    • Jade Empire: The prime source of comic relief is Black Whirlwind. He's half again as tall as anyone else on your team, he's got more chest hair than every other person in the game combined, and he dual-wields axes that look like the main character might have trouble lifting one.
      • Also, you can ask him about his past, and be regaled with cheerful and silly stories that prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that he's a terrifying sociopath who is capable of killing anyone for any reason, sees nothing wrong with this, and should not be allowed to be anywhere near innocent people.
    • Dragon Age II: Merrill's social unawareness and clumsiness form a major portion of the humor in the game. She's also a blood mage with no spells other than those designed to inflict very painful deaths.
    • Mass Effect trilogy: Jeff "Joker" Moreau is the snarktastic guy who flies the ship, and would snap in half if you picked him up and shook him hard. He's the guy who fired the shot that killed Sovereign. By the third game, he's considered the best pilot in the Systems Alliance, and possibly all of Council space. By a significant margin, at that.
    • Mass Effect 2: Mordin Solus is an unintimidating salarian doctor who sings Gilbert and Sullivan and participates in children's shows about science. He also has purely offensive combat powers, used to be part of the salarian Special Tasks Group (his outfit is a lab coat worn over a commando uniform), and once killed a krogan by stabbing him (or possibly her) in the face with a pitchfork.
    • The Volus in Mass Effect 3 multiplayer are 3-foot tall mole men with an obsession with cash, and while they can't exactly take on a 10-foot tall mech by beating it with its face like a krogan can, they have a lot of tech and biotic powers that manage to turn enemy troopers into so many red smears.
      • Now you can add the Batarian Gauntlet to their equipment. With it, they can punch their enemies in the nuts so hard it causes their heads to explode. Explanation 
  • BioWare loves this trope so much that in Dragon Age II, the protagonist can be played with this personality. Snarky!Hawke frequently using Buffy Speak and Obfuscating Stupidity to lure their opponents into a false sense of security that they can't possibly be that dangerous, right? In reality, s/he frequently shows him/herself to be arguably the most intelligent of the three possible personalities. A good example would be when the party runs into a group of slavers.
    Slaver: Why, look here boys, Volunteers! Clap 'em in irons and let's see what the Tavinters will pay for them.
    Hawke: I'd make a terrible slave. I talk too much.
    [suddenly draws knife and puts it to the leader's throat before the bastard even has time to blink]
    Hawke: ...And, I do That.
  • And then Mass Effect: Andromeda, also BioWare. Snark!Ryder comes across at times as the last person who should be given a position of influence and power, but all Ryders get some beautiful lines in. At one point, Invictor, a leader from the evil alien antagonist faction, keeps taunting Ryder with messages that begin, "I am Invictor!" and then go on to describe something horrible. Ryder responds to one about how he would kill any captives, but he wouldn't bother taking any, with:
    "I am Pathfinder! Rar-rar-rar-raaaah."
  • Yandere Simulator has the Photography Club, a group of easy-going students who like to joke and pal around...until the school's atmosphere drops to critical levels. Then they become the most dangerous obstacles in the game, patrolling the school halls in search of the murderer. If they catch you in the act, they'll take a picture and have it sent straight to the cops, immediately robbing you of any chance to win Senpai's heart.
  • Mega Man (Classic) has Dr. Wily who, like Robotnik, loses to a blue guy on a regular basis, but at the same time is a brilliant scientist capable of creating robots with great powers. His greatest creation, Zero, even outlasts Dr. Light's last creation, X, and saves all of humanity (though X was active for much longer).
  • King K.Rool of Donkey Kong Country fame is easily one of Nintendo's goofiest villains; he's a fat crocodile king with a Mad Eye who is obsessed with stealing DK's banana horde, and is known for taking on multiple personas in relation to his plans. However, beneath the silly exterior lies one of Nintendo's most ruthless and unrepentant villains, whose plans escalated from stealing the Kong family's banana horde in order to starve them, to eventually trying to wipe them out along with the entire island with the Blast-O-Matic.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Bowser is often portrayed comically and sometimes Mario will indeed be Go-Karting with Bowser or challenging him to other games, but it's clear that he would probably succeed in taking over the world if Mario and Luigi and allies didn't keep thwarting him. The fact that he managed to actually kill an empowered dark version of himself and pretty much came close to actually ruling the entire universe in the Super Mario Galaxy games pretty much confirms this.
    • Mario himself. He's VERY happy-go-lucky, doesn't think twice about Go-Karting with Bowser, and is sometimes a straight-up Cloudcuckoolander due to his overall lack of consistent traits. He's also incredibly strong and very nearly never loses a fight, even if his opponent has an unfair advantage.
    • Wario and Walugi can be this at times. They're always involved in wacky plans when it comes to outdoing the competition, look (and act) pretty strange and bizarre for a pair of humans, and are always outdone by the Mario Bros. However, when push comes to shove, they can be more competent than people actually give them credit for: Wario's taken down plenty of bizarre and uncanny creatures/monstrosities in his own series, and in Mario Party 3, Waluigi took on Bowser in a one-on-one fight and won. Heck, in Mario Super Sluggers, they probably would've even killed Mario with their Bullet Bill had Bowser not intervened.
    • Fawful in the Mario & Luigi series. Oh he may be funny with his similes and engrish and funny comments... but he manages to conquer the entire kingdom/world unresisted, mind controls pretty much the entire population and unleashes a monster that wants to destroy reality. He's especially this in Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, where he gets promoted from The Dragon in the form of a villain's sidekick to the Big Bad and driver of the entire storyline.
    • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon has put King Boo here, going from a snarky, sympathetic Well-Intentioned Extremist to an insane, unfettered sociopath with a vindictive streak ten miles wide who nearly destroys the universe in a mad bid for revenge.
    • All the villains of Super Paper Mario are pretty silly, especially Dimentio. They plan to destroy the multiverse, and succeed in destroying at least one universe. And Dimentio turns out to be The Starscream...
  • Most characters from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door are silly in their own right, but these two really stand out:
    • Lord Crump is a bumbling goofy trash talker who is allegedly Grodus's most incompetent henchman, but when the chips are down he repeatedly shows himself to be a savvy schemer, adept at laying traps, and a real threat in battle since he plays dirty and either brings along his X-Nauts or the Magnus Von Grapple to give himself an advantage.
    • Doopliss. He's laid back, fun-loving, has a sharp mouth, and when faced in battle he has very low stats (being less of a threat than the local enemies). He's also a mercilessly cruel Voluntary Shapeshifter who utilizes a powerful magic only usable by people who keep their name a secret from everyone. Said magic lets him transform an entire village into pigs and outright steal a person's entire identity and appearance, leaving the victim a featureless shadow who can't even say their name anymore. Mario falls victim to this mid-battle, making him now unable to harm Doopliss at all who intends to kill Mario and keep his body for good.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The original silly villain was Garland "I will knock you all down!" from Final Fantasy I. Who knew that the very first boss you fight would wind up being the final boss, Chaos, in a huge Evil Plan?
    • Kefka Palazzo of Final Fantasy VI. Over the course of the game he goes from a cackling nutjob in clown makeup, with fairly unremarkable combat abilities, to a Physical God (but still a cackling nutjob in clown makeup, with the exception of the final boss fight).
      • This carried over to the Dissidia Final Fantasy games. Yes, he's the Chaos Warrior most likely to crack a joke about farting, and has a walk silly enough to get him into the Ministry, but, when the situation calls for it, he's incredibly conniving and dangerous. In fact, it even turns out that he's the one who jumpstarted the rivalry between Cloud and Sephiroth!
    • And let's not leave out Gilgamesh, of Final Fantasy V. Every times he opens his mouth, it's for either a badass boast, a biting insult, or some random pop culture reference. Sometimes all at once. And, despite being both a complete nutter and the source of most of the game's funniest moments, he's still able to level entire armies singlehandedly, survive onslaughts from ancient sealed monsters, and oneshot an endgame boss. And this is before he started hopping The Multiverse.
    • Vauthry during the Shadowbringers story in Final Fantasy XIV is a hugely obese man that rules Eulmore with an iron fist; what he says is the law and everything he does is righteous and just in his eyes. Anyone who crosses him even slightly are either kicked out of the city, killed, or get turned into a Sin Eater. When Alphinaud insults him and walks away, Vauthry throws himself to the floor and bangs his fists in a tantrum and demands to have Alphinaud killed. The scene makes him look increidbly childish and it's easy to dismiss him as a big fat baby that can't get his way. Much later on, he brainwashes his citizens to attack the Scions and player character when they arrive in the city to confront him. By the time the heroes reach him, Vauthry becomes eerily calm while stating he is going to get his revenge on the Scions for killing his precious Sin Eaters. Vauthry then reveals that he is a Sin Eater himself and flies away while uprooting a mountainside into the air to make a new paradise for himself. He also proves to be very deadly in battle when confronted for the last time.
  • Purge, from Space Channel 5 (part 2). At first, he seems just as goofy and camp as everyone else in the game. He constantly giggles, pelvic thrusts, and dons a sparkly purple disco suit for your penultimate dance-off. With Michael Jackson and a giant laser at your side, all it should take is one attack to finish him off! ... "Tch, yeah right!"
  • Kaos, the Big Bad of Skylanders, is an Expy of Invader Zimnote . His first battle with the heroes ended with the Core of Light, the only thing keeping Skylands safe from the forces of Darkness, destroyed along with most of their HQ and all the Skylanders plus their Big Good MIA.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Ghirahim, the Big Bad of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, could be considered an inversion, as the "beware" side was seen first when he mentions that he created the tornado to capture Zelda. He displays his silliness in his campy lines and hand gestures after Link gets to meet him.
    • The Yiga Clan in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Their obsessions with Mighty Bananas, combined with the goofy Large Ham persona of their leader, may lead you to think that the Yiga Clan are just comical foes like the Bokoblins. But then you learn about Dorian's backstory as a former Yiga Clan member. The Yiga Clan, in response to his defection, killed his wife and now threaten to kill his children if he does not give up information about Link and Kakariko Village. Even when he complies to their wishes, the clan members decide to execute him for outliving his usefulness, and would have succeeded if Link had not intervened. Despite their goofy demeanor, they are still a ruthless and murderous clan carrying out Ganon's will.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series since practically the beginning, the Lizard Folk Argonians were largely considered a joke among the fandom and in-universe. Given their tendencies towards being Cloudcuckoolanders, coming up with Zany Schemes, being a Slave Race to the Dunmer, and having names like Hides-His-Eyes, Scouts-Many-Marshes, and Nine-Toes, it isn't hard to see why. That all changed when, in between Oblivion and Skyrim, they took several levels in badass as a race. They were one of the few races to not only successfully endure the Oblivion Crisis, but to take actually take the fight to the invading Daedra, forcing the invaders to close their own Oblivion Gates because Argonians were invading Oblivion. When Morrowind, homeland of the Dunmer, was devastated following the Red Year, they took the opportunity to invade, biting back for generations of enslavement while capturing Morrowind's plentiful valuable ebony reserves. By the time of Skyrim, it is strongly implied that that they're one of two nations who could hope to stand against the Aldmeri Dominion, the other being the Redguards of Hammerfellnote . Their development into a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass race is implied to be a result of the Hist, sentient and possibly Omniscient trees native to the Black Marsh who the Argonians worship. Young Argonians drink the sap of the Hist to grow, and the Hist can communicate with the Argonians via visions transmitted in the sap. It is said that the Hist foresaw the Oblivion Crisis and other coming troubles, so they've been changing the Argonians to make them stronger and more aggressive tools of war. It also works to justify their changing appearance throughout the series.
    • Sheogorath, Daedric Prince of Madness, is such a character throughout the series. He can go from an extremely silly, borderline Great Gazoo, one moment to planet-hurlingly Ax-Crazy in the next.
    Sheogorath: Now you. You can call me Ann Marie. But only if you're partial to being flayed alive and having an angry immortal skip rope with your entrails.
    • This is also the case for Sanguine, the Daedric Prince of Debauchery and Hedonism. As "fun" and affable as he might seem, it is important to remember that he represents the "darker" aspects human nature as well. For all the revelry, his actions turn someone into an alcoholic. For all the fulfilled lust, there are broken relationships and failed marriages. He exists to tempt mortals into sin through vice. Not to mention that some people can derive pleasure from things other than getting drunk and laid every night. Things such as murder and torture, for instance.
    • In the series lore, the Tang Mo, an Akaviri race of "monkey-folk", are said to be kind and brave but also simple and mad. Despite this, they are able to raise armies when they must in order to defend themselves from their many hostile neighbors, always succeeding.
    • In Morrowind, Mages Guild Archmage Trebonious Artorius is one. He is an extremely talented Battlemage, but he is utterly incompetent at managing Guild affairs. To keep him from causing problems elsewhere, his mainland superiors, in a combination of Kicked Upstairs and Reassigned to Antarctica, put him in charge of the Vvardenfell Guild branch, the branch in the most backwater district of the Empire where he would do the least damage. He spends his days giving his underlings (who consider him a Pointy-Haired Boss) Impossible Tasks (like counting all of the silverware in Vvardenfell or digging a tunnel to the mainland) while acting petty and immature to those who offend him. One option for taking over the Guild is to defeat him in a duel to the death. Need we remind you that he is still a very talented Battlemage?
    • Skyrim has Cicero, the mad jester and Keeper of the Night Mother. At first his wheezing giggle, eccentric personality and high-pitched voice are merely obnoxious. Then he attacks Astrid, wounds Veezara and disappears to the empty Dawnstar Sanctuary, after wounding Arnbjorn (a werewolf) in hot pursuit. He will continue to taunt the player from the shadows of the Sanctuary as the player fights through a legion of Spectral Assassins, though he grows increasingly panicky as the player continues to progress, and finally surrender, already mortally wounded from his encounter with Arnbjorn... except he lied; he was not mortally wounded, and if you decide not to spare him he will get up and prove way tougher than any scrawny, bleeding jester should have any right to be. He will make mincemeat out of you if you aren't ready.
  • Jasper Batt Jr. from No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. Setting aside the fact that he used his pizza empire to climb to the top of the UAA and was the one who ordered the hit on Bishop, most players will think, "He's just a scrawny, bucked-tooth nerd with a hilariously bad sense of fashion. How bad can he be?" Then they actually fight the guy and he turns out to be one of the most irritating bosses in video game history.
  • A heroic example: Tyrell from Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is blatantly set up as the bumbling sidekick. He starts the game by getting into trouble over his head and breaking valuable equipment, he makes fun of the bad guys' names, he identifies an extinct settlement as such by the lack of food, and he flips out and attempts a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on Arcanus. Wait, what?
  • Sho Minamimoto of The World Ends with You seems not such a big deal when he first appears. He's just some annoying Reaper who screams in a megaphone and makes junk sculptures while talking in math metaphors. Even when you first fight him, he's not too bad. Oh, and he unleashed an army of nearly indestructible monsters on the UG and managed to come back to life in a new body that ends up being one of the hardest optional bosses in the game. Also, HE'S TRYING TO KILL GOD AND ALMOST DID IT TWICE.
    • There's also Joshua, a smug, spoilt 15 year old Jerkass who becomes your partner in the second week. He's pretty weak for a while, with powers that include dropping pianos from the sky with his cellphone, constantly teases (and occasionally flirts with) Neku, is the only male character who can wear girl's clothing the moment he becomes playable, and is the only person in the entire game who can use a mobile, apparently because he didn't get the message about them being banned. Level him up enough and he becomes the most powerful partner of them all, reigning huge beams of holy light down on to enemies with his cellphone rather than pianos. He's also the Big Bad. And God.
  • Steven Heck of Alpha Protocol is a very silly individual: he rambles on about conspiracy theories involving the Federal Reserve having William McKinley assassinated and the government tinkering with the price of strawberries to control people's minds, gives Word Salad Titles to every covert operation that occurs in Taipei, is willing to use the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on someone to get him to remember where he put his car keys, and takes Time Cube quotes seriously. He is also, however, one of the most dangerous men alive, capable of wiping out entire rooms full of soldiers and elite intelligence operatives singlehanded. His method of dealing with the Chinese Secret Police agents who have Mike Thorton pinned down in the Taipei subway perfectly captures Heck's mix of silly and lethal:
    "During the pursuit, Steven Heck (at Agent Thorton's request) arrived to offer emergency backup. Said backup came in the form of Heck crudely mounting a minigun to a subway car and firing wildly at Chinese secret police officers as his train passed the platform."
  • The modrons in Planescape: Torment are practically comic relief, behaving like socially awkward and poorly programmed robots that are very easy to kill. Then you get hit by the Mechanus Cannon spell for the first time - the first spell to get its own cutscene - and they cease to be as funny.
  • The final Team Fortress 2 "Meet the Team" video reveals something very disturbing about the Pyro: that he, she, or it (take your guess) doesn't see the world the same way everyone else does. The Pyro sees a rainbow blower, a bubbler; and lollipops, everyone else sees searing flames, explosive flares, and a mean fire axe. Pyro cheers for joy in a psychedelic dream world; others see Pyro cheer in sadistic glee, a burning town for a backdrop. In a way, it makes the Pyro even scarier.
  • Star Control has its fair share of ridiculous aliens who are much more dangerous than they seem.
    • The Spathi are these ridiculous clam creatures who live in perpetual fear of virtually everything. They also advanced from the Bronze Age into the Atomic Age in under a century in response to the arrival of the Evil Ones (they wanted to escape to the Moon, you see), and a Spathi Eluder is one of the best ships in the game as long as you fight like a Spathi (AKA running away the entire time (they're extra-fast), blindly firing homing missiles behind you, while the decoy crew compartments soak up all the damage). A human veteran of a war against them compared them to "mobile, cowardly clams armed with howitzers".
    • Orz are weird things that look like floating parrot faces, with a Starfish Language so alien your translator needs to make guesses, which leads to insanely strange conversations about *parties* and *campers*. They're also one of the few races confirmed to have entirely wiped out another, and are, as a whole, just one creature; each individual Orz is just one of its *fingers* in this dimension.
    • Pkunk are essentially a pacifistic offshoot of a species of proud warriors, that devolved into space hippies with a fondness for word salad metaphors, visions about mundane stuff and arguing with the supposed spirits giving them their visions. Some of their beliefs are very real, however, including the one about reincarnation; this manifests in their ships, which are already decent and charge their power by having their crew insult you, can spontaneously resurrect themselves after getting destroyed. Not a good idea to get on their bad side. Their flimsy little ships are also absolutely devastating against the game's final boss.
    • Thraddash would seem like ineffective brutes; they themselves tell you they're on their 19th attempt at having a civilization (they nuked themselves to hell 18 times already), and they lose more ships to infighting than to the enemy. However, their Torch ships have vicious afterburners that make them impossible to even touch if properly controlled, and their bullets, while weak, cannot be blocked by anything. Hence, a competent pilot can kill anything through Death of a Thousand Cuts and be untouchable in return.
    • The Utwig are essentially space emos, due to entering a collective depression after breaking their beloved artifact (the Ultron). Even before that, they were silly, what with having a culture revolving around expressing every emotion through a mask, including those involving bodily excretions (they burned them all aside from their mask of ultimate shame to atone). They're also one of the most formidable races out there, having ships with absorbing Deflector Shields that make them almost indestructible if properly used. This is even shown in-game, if you fix the Ultron; they join the war, and proceed to hold off the Kor-Ah (your main antagonists) for an entire year where most other races couldn't do anything other than get wrecked.
  • The Goof-off/Jester/Gadabout class of Dragon Quest III is just that - they will often disregard your commands and do something random and useless. Plus, they have all around low stats so they do very little even when they follow orders. Then they get a free class change into a Sage, which is one of the best classes in the game.
  • Solt and Peppor of Chrono Cross are the Quirky Miniboss Squad, He Knows About Timed Hits, and Goldfish Poop Gang all rolled up into two rather silly and bumbling brothers. That is until they call out their superior, Karsh, for the murder of Dario, upon which they drop all the silliness and become a genuinely challenging boss fight dropping their general stupidity and using potent elemental attacks.
  • League of Legends is full of these characters, both gameplay and lore wise.
    • Veigar, is generally seen as ridiculous in large part thanks to being short, having a very high pitched voice, and then there's the whole scheme to steal Bandle City's monument-thing using helium balloons and horseshoes. He also happens to have one of the highest burst damage potentials in the game, as well as being one of only two characters that has a potentially infinite offensive scaling.
    • Dr. Mundo. He's huge, he's purple, he talks in the third person, he has a silly voice, and he has silly dialogue. He is also a serial killer who regularly engages in human experimentation.
    • Tahm Kench exploits this trope. A giant, fat catfish humanoid with a comically tiny hat atop his big head, two coats sewn together to fit on him, and an almost stereotypical Cajun accent. Which leaves his victims vulnerable, as this goofy fish man is in truth a man-eating, deal-making, soul-stealing demonic monstrosity that can go anywhere in the world like it's a casual stroll because to him, it's all just a river, and he's its king.
  • The Tales Series loves to do this with its mole characters. There's usually one traitor per game, and while they mix it up enough to keep you guessing, it's often the biggest idiots who screw you over the hardest:
    • Tales of Symphonia has Zelos, team Butt-Monkey and The Casanova, turn on you last second and hand Colette over to the Big Bad. In a way, this scene can double as a Beware The Silly Ones for the villains; they, too, underestimate Zelos, and in certain paths that enables him to save the entire party and rejoin you with a key plot item. Even before his defection is revealed and in spite of his goofiness and apparently dumb behavior, he's still The Chosen of Tethe'alla (read: The Chosen One with Angelic power), much smarter than he looks, a brilliant tactician, and a capable swordsman on par with Kratos.
    • Tales of Vesperia has Raven, who acts like a grown-up and less flirtatiously successful version of Zelos. He, too, hands your female protagonist over to the Big Bad, and then reveals himself to be Captain Schwann, and then promptly kicks your ass so hard he's That One Boss for a lot of people. Like Zelos, the Big Bad makes the same mistake, and Raven returns to you later, despite the fact that the villain could literally kill him at any time.
    • Tales of Graces has a temporally inverted version of this. The bewaring comes first and the silly second. Young Richard is relatively quiet and melancholy, but then he gets possessed by the Big Bad Lambda and goes on the rampage. You spend most of the main plot bewaring of Richard and his terrifying winged form and his Voice of the Legion...and then he gets better, and Richard in the future arc is a Troll and a completely incomparable Large Ham goofball with his own line of fruit snacks.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising is an Affectionate Parody of Greek mythology with No Fourth Wall and boasts a colorful cast of wacky characters. Characters who, despite appearances, should not be taken lightly.
    • There's Pit, the titular hero himself. He's a flightless angel who loves to banter and joke, even Breaking the Fourth Wall. Most of the humor in the game comes at his expense. But this is a guy who can take on entire armies at once (sometimes multiple armies at the same time) as well as take on several gods with nothing more than the weapons he wields..
    • Palutena, the Goddess of Light and the Big Good of the series is more of a Genki Girl than a goddess, a certified Deadpan Snarker who trolls Pit every opportunity she gets. But if the situation calls for it, she's just as capable of kicking ass. In chapter 3, if Pit takes too long to defeat Hewdraw, she'll summon the Sacred Goddess Clobberlaser to oneshot it. She also serves as the boss of Chapter 20, showing just how powerful she can be when she decides to cut loose.
    • Hades is essentially this game's Tim Curry. His flamboyant, snarky and sometimes flirtatious attitude makes it hard to take him seriously. But this is the God of the Underworld and is as every bit as powerful as a Physical God should be as his fights with Pit will attest. This is a guy who can and sometimes will destroy entire countries for fun and is cunning enough to get entire nations to fight each other over a nonexistent item.
    • Thanatos, the God of Death is basically an Expy of The Mad Hatter. He's childish, goofy, and a bigger Butt-Monkey than Pit himself. But he is likewise far from harmless. This is especially in the anime short Thanatos Rising where he effortlessly defeats a human army and takes control of their Trojan horse tanks. And he nearly kills Pit soon after.
    • Viridi, the Goddess Of Nature, is one of the snarkiest characters in the game and looks (and acts), like an eight-year-old brat. But as her debut chapter shows, her capacity for destruction is deadly real thanks to her Reset Bombs.
    • Phosphora, Viridi's Dragon, is a laid-back and flirtatious Valley Girl... one who has the power of the storm at her disposal and like Pit, is just as capable of taking on gods. Thanatos learns this the hard way.
    • Pyrrhon, the self-proclaimed Sun God, is the biggest Ham in the game and the epitome of the over-the-top superhero parody. His loud, boisterous attitude makes it hard for anyone to take him seriously... At least until it's revealed that he was using everyone's help to take control of the Aurum Brain and become the strongest god in existence. But then his plan backfires a few minutes later.
  • It'd be hard to list all the Touhou characters who don't qualify as this, due to their wacky plots and hijinks, and the dangerous (or potentially-dangerous) powers they're capable of using.
  • Dawn of War II: Retribution: While Warhammer 40K orks are plenty silly in general while also being plenty deadly, the ones followed in the Ork campaign take both these traits further than usual. The silly? They treat a gigantic war machine like one'd treat a puppy (complete with walks), have a stealth specialist that once tried to hide in lava, and their leader is a space pirate, complete with hat and attire, among many moments of gleeful lampshading and general black humor. The dangerous? This band of lunatics easily stomps several recently-defected chaos bases, take down the Eldar campaign's own hero, finish off an entire craftworld, manage to track down a Space Marine chaptermaster through logic alone (where even the Eldar failed at first, mind you), beat the living hell out of him when he had ascended to greater Daemon only minutes ago, and blow his head off with a captured asteroid, and, to top off these and many other acts of wanton looting and burning, depending on the optional missions taken, they simply leave on their new ship, looking for more planets to loot. The new ship being a gigantic dreadnought that had been stuck in the Warp for so long it was basically the Event Horizon's bigger brother. Oh, and their leader also mugged Inquisitor Adrastia for her Nice Hat.
  • The Boss from Saints Row. Has been known to do such things as streak, vehicle surf, vehicle surf naked, spray feces on buildings from a stolen septic truck, dress up as a sex doll, dress up as a toilet, wield a dildo bat and fart bombs, get electrocuted by licking a flagpole during a thunderstorm, auction themself off as a sex slave, star in a godawful B movie, sing along very badly to 80s songs, and participate in amateur night at a strip club. Also, has killed more people than the average war, became president of the United States, has a suit of Powered Armor and a time machine, is currently God-Emperor of the universe, and was handpicked by Satan to be his successor until two of their subordinates caused enough trouble to get them permanently banned from Hell.
  • If you choose Male Voice 8 for him, the Future Warrior from Dragon Ball Xenoverse can be this. But hey, that's Abridged Nappa's voice you're using, so what did you expect?
    • You can also create a male Majin character, which much like his ancestor is fat and goofy-looking while also being able to take on some of the most powerful individuals in the series.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Caesar's Legion. Look past their constant misuse of Latin and their ridiculous costumes (sports gear kitbashed to resemble Roman legionary armour) and you'll see nothing more than a pack of misogynistic slavers and cruel sadists who possess the cunning, ruthlessness and numbers to pose a grave threat to the people of the Mojave and, unless someone stops them there, potentially far beyond.
    • The entire Think Tank, along with Dr. Mobius. They're severely displaced in both time and general common sense, they frequently screw up their own experiments or just take extremely stupid directions to start with, and are so disconnected from reality they think your fingers are penises. Generally, they mix their Mad Scientist-tier intelligence with general stupidity brought on from several factors to hilarious effect, with each member bringing their own quirk to add to it. And then you realize they want your help to escape the Big Empty, and just what they intend to do with the Mojave Wasteland. An ending cut from the game lets you know that, had they run rampant, they'd have turned the entire Wasteland into their own personal laboratory, and would've killed millions in experiments both cruel and idiotic. Even their previous exploits show some of this danger: Mobius alone was capable of building a giant robot scorpion that'd easily trample a small army. Borous made Cazadores and Nightstalkers, more or less because he just wanted to. The five working in tandem subdued Ulysses. And every single thing you find in the Big Empty that tries to kill you? They made all of them.
  • Undertale:
    • Sans is introduced as a terrifying presence stalking you through the woods...up until he lets loose with a ridiculous "whoopee cushion in the hand" gag. From that point on, he presents himself as a lazy, laid-back comic relief character who'd rather hang out with you at the local restaurant than actually do his job. As he eventually confesses, he even promised Toriel he'd watch over and protect you...and if it hadn't been for that promise, he would have killed you when he first laid eyes on you. It's implied he knows far more about the situation than he lets on, and even Flowey, in certain lines, admits he's terrified of Sans, and considers him the most dangerous monster in the Underground. If you kill absolutely everyone you run across, you find out why. Painfully. Sans will decide that he can't ignore such a threat, and fight you himself. He is, by a wide margin, the most difficult challenge in the game.
    • His brother Papyrus also fits the trope, although on a lesser scale. When introduced, he's a bumbler whose unrelenting naivete and obsessions with puzzles and spaghetti hinder his goal of joining the Royal Guard. He repeatedly tries to capture you with tricks and traps throughout Snowdin, with no success. Even when he decides to fight you himself, his attacks are inaccurate, he's easily distracted by flirting, and his supposedly legendary "Blue Attack" is totally ineffective... until gravity kicks in. What follows, although not on the level of most of the late-game fights, is one of the game's first real challenges. Indeed, if you compare stats, Papyrus is, going by raw strength, the third most powerful monster in the Underground (and yes, that means he's stronger than Undyne). Undyne even says that the reason she won't let Papyrus join the Royal Guard isn't because he's weak, but because he's too innocent and nice, and she's scared he'd get "ripped into little smiling shreds" if she let him fight an actual bad guy. It is often theorized that his battle would be even harder if Papyrus wasn't too nice to want to hurt you. This is corroborated by his dialogue if you spare him on a previously No Mercy playthrough, which strongly insinuates that he can use Gaster Blasters.
  • In Runescape, Dimwit the Goblin, AKA Yelps, is a scrawny, wannabe game-show host who lives up to both of his names. His sole purpose in life was to operate a Wheel of Fortune Expy and to get punched in the face by a crude machine as part of said minigame, and he reveled in this. However, his voice when he cheered players on was apparently so annoying that 42% of the playerbase voted to have him killed off. No one expected this to occur in the form of a boss fight wherein the tiny goblinoid transformed into a spinning, teleporting dervish capable of dealing massive, rapid damage, summoning groups of high-levelled minions, becoming temporarily invincible, and sporting a health bar exceeding that of the literal mother of all dragons.
    • Sliske looks and acts like a hunchbacked snarky clown when he's not double-dealing or outright forcibly controlling mortals into becoming his undead thralls, murdering Guthix, kidnapping Death and the Dragonkin to bring about a new God War, or urging you to cripple Zaros, his own patron god. Possibly the worst part is that he manages to be darkly hilarious even while committing the aforementioned atrocities.
  • In Tales of Maj'Eyal, the Embers of Rage expansion includes Nektosh the One-Horned, an undead minotaur who thinks he's part-unicorn on account of his two horns twisting together into a spiral. He's fought about a third of the way through the campaign, and has given at least one hammy speech that would put Skeletor to shame. The magical beam he can shoot from his "horn" is the most powerful attack in the entire game. (It's easy to see where he's pointing it and get out of the way, but still...) This is because he has an ancient Sher'Tul wand stuck in his "horn" - it's running out of energy, so his last few blasts won't be as impressive as the first few, and eventually he runs out of ammunition entirely.
  • Green Lantern from The LEGO Movie: The Game, like his movie counterpart is annoying, dopey, and just a little too interested in Superman. In the movie he's only there as Comic Relief and to take a beating, but in the game he's not only the only character with flight and a projectile-type attack, but is also the only character capable of moving green bricks. Once he's unlocked there's little reason to use any other character unless you need their unique abilities for a specific task.
  • Sheath from Project X Zone 2 speaks in broken English and acts bubbly and air-headed. While she's a fairly manageable enemy normally, in the penultimate stage, she's piloting the 9-9 Mini-Mecha, which has a massive range, is mobile, and can hit for tons of damage. Underestimate her and she'll do to you what she does to the Japanese language.
  • In Persona 5, the Shadow Selves your party targets are often ridiculous looking, but they rule their own Palace and serve as major Boss Battles. These include: a giant-headed, lazy-eyed pink demon wearing nothing but a crown, cape and underpants; a gray haired man dressed like a Jidai Geki lord in a tacky golden kimono, too much white face paint, and giant fake eyebrows; a purple fly (and fly) man with a mustache, bad comb-over and white tuxedo; a bubble-helmeted blue alien straight out of a sci-fi B-movie; and a Black Knight wearing the evil version of the hero costumes from a children's Sentai TV Show Within a Show.
  • While most players know that Badass Adorable creatures run rampant in Pokémon, there are still a few 'Mons that are hard to take seriously on the surface. For example, Vanilluxe; the double-scoop that tops off a line of smiling ice cream cones. Goofy-looking, sure, but statistically tied with Lapras as the strongest non-legendary Ice type. It's got especially good special attack, learns Sheer Cold naturally, and as of Generation VII it gets Snow Warning as an ability.
    • Palossand and to a lesser extent its pre-evolution Sandygast. They are living sandcastles, with a spade still stuck in them. How dangerous can they be, really? Well, they are haunted living sandcastles, not exactly the most badass object to haunt. And then you find out that Sandygast can Mind Control anyone who puts a hand in its mouth to be his slave. Now think, who would be most likely to do that? And Palossand are able to trap creatures in sand vortexes and Life Drain them until they straight-up die, their vengeful spirits turning into new Sandygast.
  • The Battle for Middle-Earth 2: As noted under the literature section above, Tom Bombadil's weirdness is matched only by his power. In the game, he skips merrily along, crushing anyone he smacks into. His one ability, Sonic Song, causes a shockwave which knocks entire ranks of enemies flying. He also has 5000 hit points, meaning you'll need a lot of firepower to bring him down.
  • Tom Bombadil does it again in The Lord of the Rings Online. In this game, he rambles nonsensically about his past and the place he lives in, and at one point goes so far as to accidentally (maybe) scatter Bingo's manuscript all over the Old Forest and Barrow-downs. He's also the one who saves the player during their first encounter with Sambrog the Wight-lord, and is personally responsible for the cursed spirits haunting the Red Swamp. Long ago, a sect of Arnorians was assigned to keep watch over his sister-in-law, but failed to do so, allowing her to turn evil. Tom cursed them in much the same way Isildur cursed the Dead Men of Dunharrow — they may never depart the world until their oath is fulfilled. Tom Bombadil may act silly, but he can be downright nasty when he wants to be.
  • F.A.N.G. from Street Fighter V. He has a weird fascination with the number 2. Has a ridiculous Ultra move and prances around like a child. But underneath it all he is Bison's second-in-command and is a deadly assassin who can kill you in seconds with his poisonous touch. He also threatened to kill Sean and Li-Fen, who are no younger than roughly 14 and 7, respectively, without a second thought.
  • Yuan from Shenmue II is an effeminate Villainous Crossdresser (or unusually mannish woman, depending on the region) who serves as an ineffectual comic relief Sissy Villain for the most part. Then you reach the upper floors of the Yellow Head building, and he/she comes striding out of an elevator towards Ryo, wielding a fucking chainsaw.
  • "John Doe" from the Batman The Tell Tale Series. Granted no fan would normally ever underestimate The Joker, but this iteration of him seems much more innocent and much less capable and threatening than other iterations due to his lack of experience as a criminal. He's so childish with his obsession with selfies, wanting to settle differences over milkshakes, and naive crush on Harley that he seems far too simple to be a threat. Emphasis on seems. Throughout the game and sequel he repeatedly shows himself to be much smarter and more capable than he looks: he repeatedly saves Bruce's skin with spur-of-the-moment thinking in Arkham Asylum and The Pact's Hideout, repeatedly escapes, fights off, and even kills armed Agency members, and of course swiftly figures out Bruce is Batman by using only very disparate clues. It's largely unclear though if he's intentionally Obfuscating Stupidity or if his mind is so broken he himself doesn't even realize it.
  • Though pretty much all the characters in Brave Fencer Musashi are fairly silly to a degree, the trophy goes to the Leaders Force members. They're petty, childish, constantly argue over who the leader of the team is, and Ed phonetically spells his stuttering in letters, but they're also among the last bosses in the game and will deliver a pretty solid beatdown if you underestimate them.
  • From Pokémon Colosseum, you have Miror B. A Disco Dan with a Salsa Leitmotif that he turn on and off at will, and a Pokéball-colored Funny Afro that's bigger than his head? Easy peasy! Wait, is he throwing 4 Ludicolo that are each 10 levels above your team, hit like trucks and have thanks to their Rain Dance some Regenerating Health, while you can't even do some Level Grinding because all of your Pokémon save two cannot gain XP at this point in the game, and their types means that at that point you have few Super Effective attacks against them? Yep, that's an Early-Bird Boss alright.
  • The Multi-Tier Type machine lifeform in NieR: Automata is a comically tall Stubby made out of the torsos of multiple Stubbies stacked on top of each other. It has no arms or any method of attack whatsoever, and simply lumbers around awkwardly until the player slaughters them. Later in the game, though, these extra torsos get equipped with guns and start rotating, turning these previously harmless enemies into walking Bullet Hell generators.
    • Emil is just a cheerful, spherical disembodied head with a child's voice attached to a tuk tuk. Not a character to take seriously in the slightest. There are certain things you can do to trigger a couple boss fights with him, however, at which point he quickly reminds the player that not only was he a Person of Mass Destruction in the original Nier, but he was able to single-handedly hold off the alien invasion for thousands of years.
  • Johnny Cage from Mortal Kombat is Hollywood royalty and acts the part completely. Vain, selfish, always cracking jokes and never seeming to take things seriously. The other kombatants mock him for either his films, lack of discipline, or simply his attitude. Even Raiden doesn't give him any respect. But he's just as capable in kombat as anyone else. Oh and he beat the shit out of an elder god who was threatening his family. No really.
  • Mushroom Parents in Dark Souls I. They look hilarious with their stubby limbs, and their children are completely helpless cannon fodder, both of which has led many a player to allow one to get within striking distance and realize just how absurdly durable they are, right before they get utterly destroyed in a single punch.
  • Zigzagged with Z-Mega in Super Cosplay War Ultra. He's very blatantly based on Rugal Bernstein, infamous SNK Boss from the The King of Fighters series, only he's comically weak, all his specials being a sillier version of their original versions (i.e., his Repukken has him throwing bowling balls at his opponent, and his God Press has him shoving a cake in his opponent's face.) The only particularly hard thing about him is that you get one round to beat him, and if you don't your run instantly ends in a bad ending. But then there's an upgraded version called Shin-Z, based on Rugal's God Rugal incarnation from Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium, who's fought at the end of Battle Royale mode and is just as much an SNK Boss as you'd expect.
  • Dante from Devil May Cry is fits this trope incredibly well. He constantly messes around with the demons trying to kill him, such as pretending to fall for Dagon’s Alluring Angler Fish trick by flirting with the Rusalkas, playfully sits on the flaming tail of Berial, treats the giant Cerberus like a puppy, and acts like the deadly Cavaliere Angelo is just Trish in an oversized halloween costume. The reason he acts like this, however, is because he’s just that powerful that none of these are an actual threat to him. He could easily defeat any demon that faced him, but that’s not nearly as fun for him. Not to mention that, despite using conventional weapons such as swords, gauntlets and guns, he also tends to use strange objects as weapons, including a guitar, a briefcase, a motorbike, and a cowboy hat. And these are just as powerful and useful to him as slicing them up normally. However, should the situation get serious, Dante stops toying with his enemies and becomes deadly. The only times he’s done this are at the end of Devil May Cry and Devil May Cry 3, and when facing Urizen and Vergil in Devil May Cry 5.

    Visual Novels 
  • There are quite a few comic-relief characters in the Ace Attorney series, several of which have committed crimes.
  • Akiko in Akatsuki no Goei is incredibly silly and tends to flirt with Kaito despite being his mother's age even if she doesn't look it. However, people who know her well are actually scared of her. For good reason, given that she blackmails Satake for trying to hide Kaito's past from him and even Genzou will not act against her. She even calls him Genzou-kun like he was still a student and gets away with it.
  • Haruka from My Harem Heaven Is Yandere Hell is peppy and energetic and she can get carried away with herself sometimes. Unfortunately, she's clingy and possessive of Yuuya and is also one of the Yanderes available.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend is a game in which the silliest characters often turn out to be the most dangerous. Your maths teacher is constantly falling asleep and is rather airheaded even aside from that, but he's using a false identity to fulfill a quest for vengeance and is fully willing to kill for his goals. That weird manga club kid who acts like he's a YA hero all the time actually produces hallucinogenic pheromones which he's not immune to but which he can use to draw others in and thwart them in the strangest way imaginable. The developmentally delayed track team captain spends the majority of his route talking about pudding and freaking out over the strangest things, only for it to turn out that he is a Physical God who in his route ascends to the heavens and remakes reality in his image. Generally speaking, nobirdie in Littledove Hachiman City should be underestimated for even a second, because they're all very capable of some very strange things, and when more than one of these characters cross paths it tends to turn the game into a horror game or make it awesome.
  • Doki Doki Literature Club! has Monika, who at first seems like your standard High School Girl from a typical Harem; adorable, peppy, and overall quirky, especially when it came to literature. However, after progressing through the game and having to deal with your best friend's suicide, horrible glitches and visuals, and the deteriorating mental health of one of your possible love interests, you then uncover the source behind these horrors: Monika, who has been Self-aware since the beginning and is a flat out Reality Warper who's fully willing to tamper with the game's code, mess with the girls' personalities, and even delete the remaining girls herself from the game's code in order to make sure she has you to herself. Her actions alone shift the game into Psychological Horror.

    Web Comics 
  • Black Mage is The Chew Toy of 8-Bit Theater and spends most of his time stabbing Fighter and failing to get into White Mage's pants. A few times, however, he's acquired enough power that he decides he doesn't need his companions. On these occasions, he shows in no uncertain terms that he's not joking about being an Omnicidal Maniac, and he has come very close to wiping out reality. On one occasion, he finally succeeded in murdering the rest of the Light Warriors only for Sarda to resurrect them just to screw with Black Mage. In fact, he's a Chew Toy precisely because he is so dangerous; it's in reality's best interests to keep him both abused and alive, because the abuse keeps him distracted from any actual goals and the last time he died he took over Hell and nearly tore reality to shreds.
  • Khrima from Adventurers! spends most of the story as comic relief, since he's laughably bad at conceiving with evil plans and his minions are (for the most part) about as threatening as a wet sock. It's hard to take him seriously as an Evil Overlord, especially when compared to Eternion later on. Despite all this, he still manages to be a very tough Final Boss with no less than four One-Winged Angel forms.
  • Marmalade was introduced as a harmless mook in Dark Legacy Comics but when he became self-aware, he became a monster.
  • Lord Kyran from Emergency Exit is usually depicted as both silly and harmless then you get moments like this and this.
  • The Jaegermonsters known as da Boyz in Girl Genius are variously-hued, apparently dim (except for Dimo, who is often the Only Sane Man of the trio) Funetik Aksent speaking comic relief...until it's time to fight, and then readers are reminded that they are brightly-colored Mad Science-engineered Super Soldiers who do not just have pointy teeth and sharp nails for decoration.
    • Hell, just Jaegers in general. They all have that accent, all of them like their hats big and shiny, and all of them would joyfully run into a huge, bloody battlefield like a kid would into an amusement park, before tearing up entire squadrons barehanded. Even their generals, who are several centuries old, have no qualms joking around in a skirmish, to the point four of them decided to have a little body-count competition, with one of them spending most of the battle getting the rules straightened out, during an invasion on their hometown. And they stomped the everloving hell out of the invaders, with the general that wasted most of the battle winning the competition by way of blowing up the airship carrying the entire force.
  • Homestuck: Gamzee goes from a goofy, stoner Love Freak while drugged out on sopor slime to a frighteningly effective Slasher-esque killer when sober.
    • The Courtyard Droll counts too. Despite working for the evil Dersites, he's a Cloudcuckoolander whose version of torture involves swapping hats with someone - and a terrifyingly effective assassin with a bodycount that includes both Jade and Jake's dreamself. For comparison, Hegemonic Brute, The Big Guy of the agents, managed to accumulate zero kills before his death in both universes.
    • John, Jade and Nepeta also count. With the exception of Gamzee, they are the silliest of the heroes. Nepeta is able to kill large wild animals with her bare hands, John, upon becoming a wind god, creates a massive tornado which he uses to drill to the centre of a planet to retrieve a massive bomb, In Cascade, he creates lava tornadoes and defeats the largest enemy seen in the game with a single hit, and sometime later becomes the first person to land a hit on Bec Noir, dealing about 1/10th of his health in damage off of one hit. When Jade reaches God Tier, she becomes fused with her 'dog' Becquerel, making her probably the strongest member of the group.
  • Head Alien of It's Walky! fame generally comes off as a cartoon villain, constantly dreaming up plans doomed to be easily foiled by the introduction of the heroes, who never passes up the opportunity to show his love for dramatic tension, even when doing so hinders or even cripples his plans. He always managing to further some goal every time he is effortlessly crushed, and all it takes is a moment of talking before he's got you trapped with a Breaking Speech, eating out of his hand doing exactly what he wants.
    • The title character himself counts, considering he spends much of the series as a Manchild. Even if it's partly an act.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Xykon spends much of his time as borderline comic relief: much of his villainy appears to be of the card carrying variety, and many of his interactions with his supposed subordinate Redcloak imply that the latter is the far more intelligent of the two. This all obscures the fact that Xykon scares the pants off of Redcloak; even though he's the high priest of an evil god, Redcloak's goal is equality for goblins, orcs, and other races that are normally just cannon fodder, while Xykon's goal is more or less "Take Over the World and inflict as much pain and mayhem as undeadly possible".
    • Even with the heroes out to stop him, he's a credible threat to the entire world. They kind of beat him the first time kind of by accident, but since then they've been lucky to get away with their lives when tackling him (and not always so lucky), and that's with him conquering a city and beating its forces at the same time. (With Redcloak's help.)
    • The time when he took on the entire roomful of Sapphire Guard makes this even more apparent. He starts out by tossing a super bouncy ball at them, which was inscribed with a Symbol of Insanity that made them kill each other. Xykon got a whole lot less funny all of a sudden. He even commented that he could've just kept to the air and blast all of them. The only reason he had the Sapphire Guard kill each other was because he thought it would be "going the extra mile".
    • Xykon's Batman Gambit in Start of Darkness: Xykon tempted Redcloak into killing his brother Right-Eye to protect him. The Breaking Speech that follows speaks for itself.
      Xykon: So therefore, you're just going to continue following me and doing whatever I order you to do. Because as long as you're loyal to me, I'll let you pretend this never happened. We'll just go about our daily business, and you can hide from the horrifying truth of what you've become - namely, a murderer who just killed his baby brother in cold blood. And hey, we can pretend that you don't really have any options about any of the despicable actions I ask you to take here on out rather than acknowledging that, like Right-Eye, you do in fact have a choice. But unlike Right-Eye there, you're too chickenshit to ever make it. You'll obey me forever now, because I give you an excuse for your inexcusable behavior. Now, are you going to stand there and tell me I'm wrong? Didn't think so.
    • Also, Elan, as Kubota found out the hard way. Bards can already be surprisingly dangerous, and ever since Elan took a prestige class that gives him special abilities and bonuses based on swashbuckler novel-esque narrative conventions he's become a very competent battler. He will crack a terrible pun with every thrust of his rapier, and the pun will make it strike true and hard.
    • In the Linear Guild, Thog the half-orc. Because he's a funny, ditzy, childlike blithe spirit, people (readers especially) tend to forget that he's a killing machine prone to Unstoppable Rages when he gets bored (like, say, if he runs out of ice cream).
    • The Monster in the Dark is this in two directions simultaneously. Firstly, it was introduced as a terrible monstrosity only to turn out to be somewhat dim-witted and quite possibly harmless. Secondly, after spending a long time behaving in a very child-like and friendly manner and doing nothing else, we got a few clues that the MitD might in fact be an exceptionally powerful (and thus potentially dangerous) creature. Its true nature has yet to be revealed, but from what we know, his very lightest whack will send you flying through the nearest wall, and a stomp of his creates minor earthquakes, among other mysterious feats. Most recently he joined Xykon, Redcloak, and a new character in clearing out a cave full of monsters. All the others came out visibly damaged - including Xykon! The Monster in the Darkness comes out still carrying his bucket of red paint. As in, he presumably did it all one handed.
  • Brian Souballo, from Our Little Adventure. He is hard to take seriously as the Big Bad as he's friendly and a bit of a Cloudcuckoolander. His cheerful demeanor was only ruined once by an old magic teacher he was trying to recruit for the empire. Read about it.
  • Jareth from Roommates. Let's see he seems like a keet, blond, prankster with questionable level of self-preservation instinct who only wants to have fun. Did we mention that he can warp time and space? Manipulate memories and dreams and more? And he also has a Superpowered Evil Side not above trying to kill his own friends (almost succeeded only a Chekhov's Skill saved them first time, the second he actually killed his best friend (who took the shot for the Love Interest / Morality Chain), he got better but still).
  • Sluggy Freelance: Torg is ina wacky mood!
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic:
  • Coyote in Gunnerkrigg Court has incredible power at his command. Most of the time, he just uses it to have fun without causing (too much) trouble. On occasion, however, he uses it for very cruel acts.
  • Cucumber Quest: YA BOY NOISEMASTER, the second of the Disaster Masters to show up. While smarter than the first he's a colorful hammy DJ who's Jive Turkey demeanor hides a cunning mind. His "hype man" personality is later revealed to be an act used to annoy his boss, and underneath that he resents the Nightmare Knight and tries to defy his role in the story by blowing up an entire city.
  • There are a lot of downright clownish characters in Awful Hospital. Almost all of them have it within themselves to bring you to a gruesome end. Given that the titular hospital's located in the Noisy Tenant universe, which you can see in the Web Original folder, it's only natural.
  • Sparky from The Last Mechanical Monster. A ninety-nine year old supervillain who's completely out of touch with modern society after serving a sixty-four year prison sentence. Pretty amusing comedy there, right up until he restores one of his flying, flame throwing robots...
  • Tiffany of Precocious spends most of her time painting on walls, sleeping in an adorable manner, and digging in her backyard when some random whimsy doesn't strike her. But she also has a non-aggression pact with the local mob.
  • Silver from The Angel with Black Wings seems like she's goofing off and just pulling harmless pranks with people but she can get very strict when it comes to the angels rules and also one of the powerful angels in the series.

    Web Original 
  • At times, Dr. Insano of The Spoony Experiment and Atop the Fourth Wall seems like an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, but there have been times where he's been a somewhat legit menace, such as the times he took control of the giant robot Neutro, discovered the Anti-Comic Equation (with Warrior #1, a comic so irredeemably awful it distorted the space-time continuum), and hired Squall to assassinate Spoony. Despite all this, Spoony still let him assist him with the review of the awful film, The Clones Of Bruce Lee.
    • One could argue that wasn't exactly a reward for good behavior.
    • Also, according to some interpretations of the Continuity Snarl, that one was a clone.
  • The Noisy Tenant series of Creepypasta is an entire mythology of this. It's an entire building complex of whimsical, decrepit recreations/mockeries of modern places, like Silent Hill designed by the same people who did Pee-Wee's Playhouse. And it's filled with funny and whimsical inhabitants like Dr. Phage, a smiling man-sized bactereophage with a ridiculous bow-tie who performs horrible and unnecessary surgeries on people who end up in his office. Or Harmburger, a tottering anthropomorphic hamburger who tries to slaughter people in his freezer of alien meats or, with the help of similarly whimsical/horrible cronies resembling an anthropomorphised barbecue grill and meat grinder, brainwashes all of humanity with his tainted meat, which also infects them with horrible parasitoid brain-flies that are then sold to some other dimension, in the ARG/creepypasta.
  • The Evil League of Evil in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog features such silly gimmicks as Dead Bowie and Fake Thomas Jefferson, but they're all unrepentant murderers at the very least.
    • It says something that the League's leader is a horse that seems to be universally recognized as the embodiment of all evil.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device has a few examples:
    • "Little Kitten". He's the series' Butt-Monkey, constantly insulted by everyone and Comically Missing the Point half of the time. He's also the Captain-General of the Custodes and capable of calling down copious amounts of whoopass: He's shown good enough aim and reflexes to shoot a flipped coin out of the air to make sure it landed the way he wanted it to, easily survives any kind of psychic abuse by the Emperor without any injuries to show for it, and in terms of tactical acumen has outsmarted both the Emperor and Tzeentch himself, even if it was in a children's card game.
    • The Custodes themselves. As Fyodor finds out the hard way, though their ways might be silly and more than slightly homoerotic, they're still very much the elite among elites of the Imperium's fighting forces.
    • Cegorach. He looks like a deranged clown and speaks in Joker font, but he is a Physical God and quick to educate the ignorant on Why Not To Annoy Deities 101. He has utterly terrified the above Custodes just by cracking bad jokes about strippers at them, leaving them traumatized even when he was going to let them pass anyways, and effortlessly evicted an entire Chaos Warband from his library after toying with them for a few minutes.
    • Magnus. He might spend most of his time used as a punchline for the Emperor... but it's the Emperor who's taunting the incredibly powerful psyker. Karamazov and the assembled Inquisition army learn this to their detriment when Magnus nonchalantly sends them into the Warp with little more than a gesture.
    • Kaldor Draigo joins these ranks as well. Even after having gone friggin' insane due to warp exposure, to the point he's become a sort of power-armored, bearded Screwy Squirrel, he's every bit as Sue-ish as he always was and even if you're a Demon Primarch who just went One-Winged Angel he'll take you down before you can blink.
  • The Evil Mastermind, an Evil Genius from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, is this. He favors grandiose schemes within schemes within schemes within schemes. (Whaddaya want? He's a super-intelligent twelve year old boy.) Most of the heroes consider him a joke. But you know, he did almost poison New York City's whole water supply that one time. And other time he actually had control of the nation's air traffic control systems for nearly half an hour...
  • Generator (Jade Sinclair) of the Whateley Universe. She's cute, she's wacky, she invents crazy stuff, she looks like she's only ten... She stopped a supervillain with the powers of the werewolf by nailing him to a tree with railroad spikes. She destroyed a Syndicate hardsite by killing their minions and making it look like she had turned them into zombies. She once broke a close friend out of a magical trap... by firing an anti-tank weapon at it. She's weaponized her hair barrettes, makeup compact, and at least one of her plushy toys. Her shoulder angels nearly caused open warfare across the Whateley Academy campus.
  • Elliott in Rplegacy's Dark Clouds Gathering fantasy crossover RPG is a good-natured goofball most of the time. God help you if you mess with any kids when he's around to see you doing it, though.
  • Even if he's a complete fool who doesn't know what he's doing, even if he is Affably Evil, Nappa from Dragon Ball Z Abridged is still virtually unstoppable to the most powerful human.
    • In the #CellGames video series, Kenshiro proves to be this. After defeating or forcing to retreat Yusuke Urameshi, Yami Yugi, Ryu and Ken and Sonic and Knuckles, Kenshiro walks us and... wants to know if Cell has "bug meat". All the while Cell mocks him, calling him a hobo and, once he performs the Hokuto Hyakuretsu Ken, mocks the attack as "tickling". Until Kenshiro tells him "You Are Already Dead" and causes Cell to explode. Unlike the mooks Kenshiro normally fights, Cell regenerates from this, but it doesn't do him any good— he explodes again less than a minute later, and Kenshiro didn't even have to touch him.
    • Cell himself counts in the main series. The best way to describe him is being a Laughably Evil Knight of Cerebus where both components are played in equal measure. He can genuinely be a source of Nightmare Fuel, but he's always making jokes and acting like a snarky, immature Genki Guy. While he can be entertaining and make you laugh, his scenes still mirror canon and are treated with the same gravity. In fact, the fact that Cell treats everything so flippantly only solidifies how cruel he is. The best display of this is this exchange while he is fighting Trunks:
      Perfect Cell: I'm impressed! Behind all that angst and ridiculous hair, there's a real fighter!
      Trunks: And behind that insufferable smarm there's a dead man!
      Perfect Cell: Trunks... you couldn't fathom the amount of dead men behind me.
  • There have been many occasions on Death Battle that deliberately pitted a funny and light-hearted character against a Darker and Edgier counterpart, and on nearly every one of those occasions, the silly character has won. The crowner has to be Rainbow Dash giving a Curb-Stomp Battle to Starscream.
  • In Critical Role, Scanlan Shorthalt has all the appearances and mannerisms of a Quirky Bard, and Sam Riegel has stated in interviews that he explicitly tried to make the dumbest character possible. However, Scanlan has had several badass moments throughout the series (thanks to 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Bards being incredibly powerful and versatile spellcasters,) including taking on an entire manor filled with armed guards by himself in Episode 31, severing Percy's connection to Orthax in Episode 35, paralyzing a Goliath warchief that was tossing Grog around like a ragdoll only a minute ago in Episode 52, slaying a Pit Fiend and stopping the Efreeti guards of the City of Brass from arresting Vox Machina in Episode 76, and holding his own in a Wizard Duel against freaking Vecna in Episode 114.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Taylor is a weird goofball that runs an electronics store. He's kind of annoying and unhelpful, but he'll shift into hyper-competent berserker mode if you insult his store.

    Western Animation 
  • Cartoon characters in general. People rarely think about it cause it's always Played for Laughs, but cartoon characters are repeatedly shown to be capable of numerous feats of strength, speed and durability far beyond any natural living creature. Which means that if they were to manifest in our world (Or crossover with a more realistic setting) picking a fight with them would be a VERY bad idea. This is actually examined in Who Framed Roger Rabbit where Toons are real, their only weakness is The Dip, and apparently the only reason they're not a serious threat is because they (save for one) would rather be funny than hurt people.
  • This happens a lot in Adventure Time, since the world the show takes place in is both a Cloudcuckooland and a World of Badass. Some of the most notable examples are Finn, a goofy Idiot Hero teenager who has nonetheless been taking down omnicidal Eldritch Abominations since childhood; Jake, a lazy Talking Animal who has been shown going full-on Papa Wolf in protection of his brother or children; and Ice King, a comedic Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain whose powers are in fact near Physical God levels and who can be fairly disturbing and sociopathic sometimes.
    • Ice King gets special mention. You'd damn near think he's comic relief or a heart breaking character. But every once in a rare while, Simon loses control of the powers. When he does; it's not pleasant.
  • Dr. Robotnik as he appeared in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is regarded as less competent than his deadly serious Sonic Sat AM counterpart. But he and his robot minions Scratch and Grounder execute any number of formidably dangerous plans to take over Mobius that only fail because of Sonic, and they often succeed at capturing or otherwise incapacitating Sonic. It often happens that Sonic's actions do nothing more than undo the damage that Robotnik had already done.
  • Aladdin: The Series:
    • One episode had the recurring villain, Mirage, convince Chaos, who was visiting, to make a little, well, chaos, in the palace of Agrabah where Aladdin and Jasmine are holding a dinner for some nobles. Chaos is a silly blue cat with wings. He also has more power in his whisker than a palace full of genies, can grant his own wishes, shrunk Jasmine to the size of an insect and nearly got her stepped on by her own husband when she ordered him to stop his mischief, and was able to poof up an Evil Twin that Aladdin was forced to fight to a near standstill after Genie mentioned the only predictable part of Aladdin's adventures was he always won. Chaos terrifies Mirage, who is the current personification of evil, and who has proven quite capable of offing the heroes and wiping Agrabah off the map. And after the series, Chaos appeared one last time in a short Aladdin comic in Disney Adventures in a Deus ex Machina type ending by stripping the powers of a devilish entity known simply as "Evil", who was near to defeating Aladdin, when he felt things were getting too predictable.
    • The Genie himself gets a couple of surprisingly scary moments, despite normally being a lovably goofy lug. Especially when one takes into account that, since he's no longer bound by the rules of the genies by virtue of being freed of his lamp, he's now capable of killing people if he wants. One time this is shown with Gregarious, a robot who can hypnotize anyone. As soon as the robot sets its sights on Aladdin, Genie comes over as a shop on TV hostess, all while still acting goofy and piledrives the robot through the floor using a hammer he whipped out of Hammer Space! He still acts cheerful and goofy the entire time he's doing this.
  • Archer:
    • Cheryl and Pam are for the most part a cheerful head case and a horny, fun-loving Gasshole respectively, but Cheryl is also a pyromaniac who once threatened to crash a helicopter she was a passenger on just to drag a confession out of her brother, and Pam is a full-blown badass who paid for college by fighting in underground combat leagues— killing more than a couple of opponents in the process. In fact, the thirteen tally marks tattooed on her back are heavily implied to be a body count—and it should be noted that at this point in the series, that tattoo is wildly out of date.
    • "Doctor" Krieger is an objectively insane cloudcuckoolander, but he insists that he's not a serial killer. Oh, and there's a chance that he's one of The Boys from Brazil.
  • Ty Lee from Avatar: The Last Airbender is a bubbly, cheerful acrobat who babbles about reading people's auras and does things like walking on her hands for no particular reason, but when she actually fights, she is more terrifying than an army of Firebenders.
    • Also Avatar Aang, the only person scarier than Ty Lee. He is generally a bit "air-headed", enjoying penguin rides, fruit pies, and bad jokes, not to mention that he is a Technical Pacifist. But there's a reason it's Technical Pacifist: provoke him, and he can and will Mind Rape you and rip out your soul.
    • King Bumi appears to be a crazy old man who loves candy, bad jokes and ridiculous outfits. However, he's also one of the strongest Earthbenders in the world, and took back an entire city from the Fire Nation in under eight minutes (Granted, the Fire Nation soldiers were depowered due to an eclipse, but that doesn't stop Bumi from crushing tanks like beer cans and throwing buildings across canyons). Oh, and since he had been restrained at the time, he did all that by earth bending with his face.
    • Iroh is a jovial, fun-loving, tea-sipping old man who is also an ally to Team Avatar, but as Azula can attest, there is a reason he's called "The Dragon of the West". Not to mention that during the Day of Black Sun, he broke of out his prison cell all by himself. Without Firebending.
    • By the end of the series, Sokka himself grows into this. He is a jokester and a bit stubborn and has no bending. Put him to the test though and he'll come through with some amazing plans on the fly while still a competent fighter in his own right. And that boomerang of his? Across the tv series and the sequel comics, Zuko, Azula, and the Combustion Man have all been struck with it, lethally so in the latter's case.
  • The Vreedle Brothers introduced in the Ben 10: Alien Force part of the franchise are idiots. Idiots with a tremendous overabundance of firepower and love of using it.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog is a timid, cartoonish dog who is also the show's prime Butt-Monkey and source of Amusing Injuries. But don't be fooled: He can be a huge Determinator when the time calls for it, and has saved his owners, Nowhere, and sometimes the entire world from all sorts of supernatural horrors through his quick thinking.
  • Jose from Cyber Six is a pint-sized little kid who throws tantrums, has a beyond ridiculous Leit Motif, and goose-steps from place to place. It's enough to make you forget he's a Mad Scientist with a genius-level IQ who has failed to kill Cyber Six thanks to dumb luck alone on more than a few occasions. It’s also implied he would have become the Big Bad had the series gotten a second season.
  • The Dragon Prince gives us the sort-of villainous Sibling Team of Soren and Claudia. Soren comes off as a Dumb Jock in terms of personality, but is also the youngest Crownguard ever and can fight Rayla, a trained elf assassin, on even terms. Claudia is a Genki Girl and Cloud Cuckoo Lander, but also extremely skilled at Dark Magic for someone her age.
  • The Urpneys of The Dreamstone were usually incompetent and meek even by Harmless Villain standards. However several episodes imply that were it not for them being the Sleeping World's Cosmic Playthings and the heroes being Born Lucky, they could likely pull a lot of schemes off. Both "Albert's Ailment" and "The Spidermobile" have them in full control for almost the entire episode, only losing due to a last second fluke allowing the heroes to get the stone back.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • Fenton Crackshell is a henpecked Momma's Boy who tends to get the worst of it in most of his appearances...until he puts his surprising cleverness, determination, and the Gizmosuit to work, at which point it becomes evident why he gets called an expy of Robocop.
    • Launchpad McQuack could sometimes be dismissed as a Cloudcuckoolander and a ditz, but under pressure (such as when the boys are threatened), he reveals himself as more clever than is immediately apparent and capable and courageous enough to be genuinely heroic.
  • Ed, the biggest of the three titular characters in Ed, Edd n Eddy, is the walking personification of loveable goof. Dumber than a box of rocks (except for comics and horror/sci-fi movies) the only times he doesn't have a big dopey smile on his face is when he's too confused, or running away from someone. He has occasionally shown himself to have an astonishing amount of strength, but usually only as part of a gag. THEN came the episode where he was furious the entire time because he had a rock in his shoe, and laid waste to all in his path. Including ripping an entire tree-trunk from the ground. Even Sarah, Ed's nearly-as-strong and eternally tormenting little sister that rules over him (and Jimmy) with an iron fist, was terrified of what Ed was doing.
  • In spite of the silliness of the show, the villains from Freakazoid! managed to be more or less serious enough to appear dangerous. But if you look at him from the perspective of the bad guys, Freakazoid himself completely nails this Trope.
  • The train clerk from Frosty the Snowman. Karen asks for a ticket for Frosty to the North Pole, and he springs into action, stamping multiple tickets and getting tangled in them all while accompanied by goofy sound effects. When Karen admits they don't have any money, the clerk loses it and with a shout of "No money, no ticket!", slams his window shut.
  • Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. One of his plots involved carving the image of his face into the moon. On the other hand, he has a knack for coming up with a lot of crazy plans, and some were Crazy Enough to Work if it wasn't for G.I. Joe and betrayal by his minions.
  • Goofy, when he gets Drunk with Power and put in charge in "Sandwich Makers".
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Old Man Mcgucket, the local kook, has proven himself perfectly capable of mass destruction. In "Legend of the Gobblewonker" we learn he builds highly-destructive Humongous Mecha as a coping mechanism for rejection and loneliness, and in "Land Before Swine" it's implied he ate his way out of the belly of a pterodactyl. Justified in "Society of the Blind Eye", when he revealed to be a former genius scientist, who vent insane after using his mind-erasing gun on himself too many times. In the same episode he defeats the leader of the Blind Eye society by walking towards him, ignoring all shots from his memory-erasing gun, which doesn't on him due to his insanity, knocking said gun out of his hands and headbutting him into unconsciousness.
    • And then there's Bill Cipher from "Dreamscaperers", an Eldritch Abomination whose goofy appearance and laid-back personality hides massive amounts of power and a twisted sense of humor. When he graduates to full Big Bad in Season 2, he becomes more vicious and manipulative, but never loses his "silly" personality, even when he breaks into Earth's dimension and brings about "Weirdmageddon" in the season finale.
    • And that's completely ignoring Stan Pines, who goes through great lengths to make as much money from each and every situation he finds himself in. Stuff his great nephew in a wolf-boy costume and make him dance for money? Get into a wheel-of-fortune-esque television show through pure greed and selfishness, only to tragically lose because he literally didn't know what the word "please" was? Par for the course. But if you threaten Dipper's or Mabel's lives, he's quick to beat the shit out of you and anyone you may have helping you. As a horde of bloodthirsty zombies could attest, if they weren't currently dead. Again.
    • Subverted with Sheriff Blubs and Deputy Durland in "Irrational Treasure". You'd think they'd start acting competent after getting order concerning an Ancient Conspiracy, but they're still as idiotic and useless as before.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy
  • Skeletor from Filmation's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) was portrayed in a ridiculous manner at times, but there's no doubt that if He-Man and his allies didn't exist, he would have been able to create much chaos and, possibly, take over Eternia completely.
  • The Hollow: He frequently acts melodramatic and campy but he is still The Grim Reaper and can be very threatening at times.
  • Stumpy from Kaeloo can actually be quite dangerous. The most notable example is Episode 105, where he manages to very nearly erase the rest of the main four from existence, and then takes over the animation studio.
  • Invader Zim:
    • Most of the time, the title character either falls victim to his own Genius Ditz nature or completely fails to properly use his extremely advanced technology. The few times he's half-way competent however show that he is very good at causing large scale mayhem and destruction, even if sometimes he destroys the wrong thing.
    • In one episode, Zim locks GIR into "Duty Mode" (the red-eyed, serious version), and he promptly becomes much more evil and competent than Zim himself, including deciding that Zim is a threat to the mission and needs to be eliminated. Long story short, Zim just barely turns him back to normal in time to prevent a Klingon Promotion.
  • Justice League:
    • Unlimited episode "Flash and Substance" focused on the Flash and his Rogues Gallery. Flash's villains might be incredibly silly theme-based, pun-spouting Punch-Clock Villain holdovers from the Silver Age, but when the fighting breaks out they're able to easily take out Orion and fight competently against the Goddamn Batman.
    • Flash himself is an excellent example. Wise-cracking hero with a friendly and cheerful disposition, constantly flirting and a hopeless romantic... who is also one of the most conscientious of the League in regards to collateral damage, regularly talks villains into giving up, and, if that doesn't work, can single handedly defeat living gods like Brainiac merged with Luthor.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Harmless Villain Drakken and Dragon Dark Action Girl poster girl Shego would arguably be Not So Harmless Villains without someone to foil their plans. Once, they attempted to build an army of cute little toy robots.... 100,000,000 of them.
    • The first movie reveals what happens if the heroes were out of the picture.
    • Ron could also fit: when he is temporarily made a villain in one episode, he's unstoppable. Shego (who rightly shows disdain for her boss Drakken's incompetence and demonstrated in the first movie how incredibly dangerous she'd be if she treated villainy as more than just a job and applied herself) is terrified of Evil!Ron.
      • When he's back to his normal self, and two villains threaten Kim's life in the finale, man oh man, is he FURIOUS. Needless to say, it doesn't end well for them.
      • In the Bad Future of "A Sitch In Time", he utterly trashes Drakken (who is now super-buff), after Shego reveals that it was she who broke up the Kim/Ron team by getting Ron's mother transferred to Norway.
    • Lucre was also a surprisingly effective villain with his lame gimmicks.
    • Kim too. Earlier seasons, she was joking around with the villains, but when that didn't work, she resorted to her fists. Oh, and, push her too far-and it's not pleasant.
  • Varrick from The Legend of Korra may act flighty and absentminded, but he hides behind that ditzy exterior a ruthless Corrupt Corporate Executive who is willing to start a civil war between the Southern and Northern Water Tribes just to grab a few bucks from the conflict.
    • Bolin was never exactly a slouch in a fight, but his rather simple pro-bending style, coupled with his personality, led to him being more of a backup comic relief for the first two books. Once he learns how to lavabend, however, he becomes a force to be reckoned with, shows of his raw power stopping fights before they even start.
  • Looney Tunes:
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Adrien Agreste/Chat Noir, a wise-cracking goofball of a superhero who also happens to possess the second-most powerful Miraculous in the world and the ability to destroy anything he touches.
    • The various villains that Hawk Moth creates also fall under this category. Many of them possess goofy and saccharine designs and names, strange and outlandish powers and comedically weak motivations (justified in that their negative emotions are amplified when under Hawk Moth's influence). With that said, almost all of them are big enough threats that not only warrant both Ladybug and Chat Noir working together to combat on equal footing, but also cause massive collateral damage in the process.
      • Special credit goes to Party Crasher in season 3, who looks like a ridiculous Disco Dan...and is a No-Nonsense Nemesis who delivers a Curb-Stomp Battle to Ladybug and Chat Noir, even though they also had backup from three other superheroes.
  • The Duke of Detroit from Motorcity. Dresses like a really rich guy out jogging, is Large Ham personified, and loves to break out into random karaoke. He's also one of the most influential people in Motorcity, with enough wealth and artillery at his disposal to make your life a living hell, anytime he sees fit.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Discord is a cheerful, fun-loving, reality warping trickster who enjoys chocolate rain, cotton candy clouds, and corruptting and breaking ponies and laughing at their misery as their entire world crumbles around them, literally and metaphorically. But underneath it all, the other ponies (especially Fluttershy) learn that he's not all bad.
    • Also, don't ever break a Pinkie Promise...
    • On that note, don't mess with the Cutie Mark Crusaders. After Babs Seed pushed them hard enough, they rigged a trap in a parade float that would make The A-Team blush (To music that sounded suspiciously like the A-Team's theme, no less) and lured Babs into stealing it with a Batman Gambit. The only reason it failed is because the CMC had a change of heart and saved Babs from it.
    • The "World Famous" Flim Flam brothers are a pair of con men who keep their sights set relatively low, aiming to scam small groups of ponies out of money or farm land. Then the Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you think about their Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000 and realize they're a pair of Gadgeteer Geniuses who can create a vehicle that is years ahead of any other technology in the world. Then the Season 5 Finale comes around and shows that, if nobody holds them back and they ever decide to set their sights a bit higher, they could and would reduce everything in sight to a pollution-choked wasteland dotted with smoke-belching factories, causing a Bad Future equatable to if Sombra or Chrysalis succeeded.
    • Spike is often the butt of jokes and seldom taken seriously for his childishness, naiveness, and overall immaturity with his "silly little waddle" and his Precocious Crush on Rarity. It's almost enough to make one forget that he's not just a child but a child dragon who's Made of Iron and armed with powerful enough fire breath to melt solid metal or a stadium-sized block of ice in seconds. It's worth pointing out that King Sombra and the Timber Wolf King, two opponents who engaged Spike directly, are two of the few villains who ended up dead and both as a direct or indirect result of Spike's actions.
  • An episode of Phineas and Ferb had a Bad Future that occurred after Candace manages to bust her brothers, which also results in Perry being taken out of commission for a few months. Without anyone to oppose him, Dr. Doofenshmirtz manages to take over all of the Tri-State Area. Admittedly, the actions of Moral Guardians helped him, but not being opposed was still a factor.
  • The Powerpuff Girls:
    • Bubbles. She may act goofy and ditzy most of the time, but she's just as good as her sisters when it comes to kicking villains' asses.
    • The overwhelming majority of the Rogues Gallery are regularly beaten handily by the girls, but whenever they find a way to keep them at bay, they can have Townsville completely at their mercy. Him, despite being a effeminate nut job, was revealed to have created a Bad Future in a timeline where the girls were absent, while Mojo Jojo, in spite of his usual tautological buffoonery, has came this close to destroying the girls more than once.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Bullwinkle J. Moose is one of animation's grand doofuses. But when Rocky is injured by Boris Badenov's gang in the "Picayune Pot" serial, Bullwinkle goes after them bent on tearing them limb from limb.
  • Reddy, from The Ruff & Reddy Show, is a goofball and a little cowardly. But mess with Ruff or anyone smaller than its antagonist, then all bets are off. Reddy will fight.
  • Aku from Samurai Jack is so downright silly and hilarious at times that new viewers can be forgiven for seeing him as a Harmless Villain if their first episode is something like "Aku's Fairy Tales" or "Jack vs. Aku". In episodes like "Jack Under the Sea" or "Jack and the Zombies", he reminds you just how terrifying the shape-shifting practically invincible embodiment of evil can really be.
    • For a non-villainous example, there's that Totoro-like Gentle Giant that follows Jack around in Jack and the Creature. It's big, goofy-looking and incredibly dimwitted, but when it sees Jack being overpowered and viciously beaten by a gang of robot bounty hunters, the Creature transforms into a gargantuan murder-machine with More Teeth than the Osmond Family and absolutely trashes all the robots with no trouble at all.
    • Scaramouche the Merciless is a flamboyant, scatting robot with a taste for the musical, a tendency towards double entendres ("Whip it out!") and who generally calls everyone "babe", even Aku (who he regularly calls on his smartphone). He is also a vicious assassin who has no problem (moral or otherwise) slaughtering an entire village to draw Jack out, and one of the few enemies in the fifth season who's actually put up a big fight and come close to actually killing Jack, thanks to his musical capabilities letting him control surrounding debris and his own blades, as well as being a skilled swordsman with a sonic-powered weapon.
  • In The Secret Show, a villain simply known as 'The Clown' appears and babbles on about taking over the world, while seeming completely ridiculous. The main characters decide to ignore him in favor of more visible threats, and The Clown, unopposed, takes over the world in short order.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Plankton is, at his best, a Laughably Evil villain, and at his worst, a pitiable Designated Villain whose only crime is that he's The Rival to Mr. Krabbs. However, in The Movie, he frames Mr. Krabs for the theft of Neptune's crown and gets him frozen in ice, and takes over Bikini Bottom and makes everyone his slave.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: The title character, Star Butterfly, is a flighty, impulsive teenage girl... who, with or without her magic wand, can kick serious butt when she or her loved ones are threatened. This is most vividly demonstrated in the season one finale "Storm the Castle".
  • Steven Universe:
    • Smoky Quartz definitely qualifies. Being a fusion between Steven and Amethyst, they were created out of their collective insecurities, which makes them look... unconventional. They are rather chubby, have a third arm growing out of their elbow, uses a yo-yo as a weapon and constantly makes jokes and puns. However, when it comes to battle, they easily overpower Jasper, while proving, that their yo-yo attacks are both dangerous and unpredictable.
    • Hell, Amethyst herself. She's always fooling around and seems upbeat and carefree, and though she's not the most competent member of the team, she's perfectly capable of holding her own in combat. This is because while she may be a run, she's still a Quartz gem, a born solider, which gives her a real edge in combat notably against Pearl.
    • Peridot doesn't seem all that dangerous after her Heel–Face Turn, since she's lost her limb enhancers and is a newer, weaker gem type without a gem weapon or shapeshifting abilities, in addition to her quirky and comedic personality. Then it turns out she has "metal powers" that allow her telekinetic control of metal. By the end of season 3, she ends up poofing Jasper with a well-placed metal rod through the chest and by season 4 she can lift cars.
    • In Pink Diamond's backstory, her pleas to the other Diamonds to let her abandon her colony (Earth) so the organic life that would be spared were rejected. After her countless requests fall on deaf ears, she shapeshifts into Rose Quartz to start the rebellion as someone the Diamonds can't ignore. Given that Pink was the silliest and most childish of the Diamonds, her look of shear rage after she takes on the form of a Quartz is terrifying.
    • Spinel from the movie qualifies. Her animation style and movements are heavily reminiscent of a 1930s cartoon, and her purpose is as a playful 'best friend', but when Pink Diamond leaves her to her Earth colony, with Spinel stuck on an aging garden for 6000 years, she comes back to Earth with a vengeance and control of a drill injecting poison that gradually kills all organic life on Earth.
  • The Joker doesn’t really surprise anyone. But in the Superman: The Animated Series episode, "Worlds Finest", he surely does to both Superman and Lex Luthor. Despite Batman warning Superman that the Joker has kryptonite and "to expect the unexpected" from him, Superman brushes that off. He at least wears his lead suit when confronting the Joker, but lets his guard down since the kryptonite seems to be ineffective. The Joker than reveals he was prepared.
    Joker: Silly me, I forgot the acid!
He burns Superman’s suit and uses the kryptonite, and then proceeds to dance around Superman while electrocuting him to death! If Batman didn't show up he would have killed him. The silliness doesn't stop there, as Joker keeps using a bag of marble grenades throughout, and when Luthor tries to double cross him, Joker gets the jump on him, and then proceeds to use a military Jet to destroy every building in Metropolis built by Luthor, purely out of spite!!!
  • Otto, from Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!, may come across as a clown, but some clowns are quite handy with chainsaws.
  • In TaleSpin an antagonist's threat level is directly proportional to their zaniness. For example, Don Karnage is a complete goofball and very serious threat, whereas Shere Khan is a straight-laced Corrupt Corporate Executive and helps the heroes as often as he antagonises them. Don Karnage was something of a villainous Butt-Monkey undone as much by his own Awesome Ego as he was by the efforts of the heroes and the fact that his gang of Sky Pirates was made up of idiots, but there was always an icy menace behind Karnage's buffoonery reminding you that he would not hesitate to kill someone if it would benefit him.
  • Teen Titans:
  • Transformers Animated: Prometheus Black/Meltdown, despite his Disco Dan style outfits and cartoony Mad Scientist nature is, by far, the most dangerous human villain on the show. That may not seem like much, considering the other villains, but he's almost on the same level of evil as the Decepticons. While other human villains at most got a single episode of being at all dangerous, Meltdown was consistently portrayed as a genuine threat nearing if not equaling the Decepticons — who in this continuity, are incredibly dangerous threats that are more than a match for the team on an equal playing field. Between his skills in the aforementioned mad science, and a touch so corrosive that even the Dinobots quickly learned to fear it, this is far from unwarranted.
    • Also Henry "Headmaster" Masterson, who speaks in Totally Radical L33t L1ng0 and possesses a device that can remove the heads of Cybertronians, and who threatened to blow up Michigan in his first appearance.
    • Among the Decepticons themselves, there's several cases of this.
      • Blitzwing, with his Split Personality and his wacky Random face is such a riot that sometimes you forget he's a merciless giant war machine who's armed to the teeth and capable of hunting you down by land or by air. Hell, his Random face has access to the abilities of both his other personalities, usually mutually exclusive, so it's technically the more dangerous of the three.
      • Swindle is an Arms Dealer with mannerisms based on Ron Popeil.
      • Despite his overinflated ego and propensity for running his mouth, Starscream can be surprisingly cunning and dangerous.
  • Transformers: Prime gives us Knock Out, a Brilliant, but Lazy Decepticon doctor who has shown that when pressed, he ccan be very effective in combat (just ask Arcee and Bumblebee). He's also something of a Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant.

    Real Life 
  • The teddy-bear cholla, a cactus native to the deserts of the American southwest, from a distance looks as cute and fuzzy as the name implies. Those fuzzy-looking spines, however, frickin' mean business! Entire segments of the plant will break away and cling to their victim like a gigantic, vampiric cockleburr. This is also simultaneously the teddy-bear cholla's main defense against herbivores and their primary form of reproduction (in that the segments sprout as soon as they're removed from their victim). They tend to grow in patches, making large swaths of the Sonoran Desert impassable. The cactus is so devious that locals like to repeat an old wives' tale that claims plants are able to reach out and stick passers-by, which, by the way, inspires its other common name of "jumping cholla."
  • The platypus is an odd animal, even among the grab-bag of evolutionary oddities that make up the ecology of Australia. Possessing a duck's bill, a beaver tail, and otter-like feet, it further distinguishes itself by being one of only five species of mammals to lay eggs. Beware the male ones, though, as they produce a venom that causes excruciating, intractable pain in humans that lasts for weeks, and is noted for not responding to analgesics like morphine. This venom is not actually fatal - but a dose of morphine that is will not make a dent in the pain. Physically severing the nerve transmitting the pain signal is actually considered valid medical treatment to platypus venom. From Cracked:
  • Guess which animal in Africa has killed the most people? Black mamba? Lion? Leopard? Hyena? Human-baby-eating-monkeys? No, my friend. It is the hippo. Yep. The big fatty with cute little ears. Word of advice: When in Africa, don't ever go near where a hippo lives, because they are territorial and if they see you, they will chase you and you better have a runaway truck nearby, because they are faster than they look. Why should you be so worried about escaping an angry hippo? Why is the death rate so high? Hippos aren't afraid to bite. And the lesson is? Don't antagonize an animal that's eager to bite you with teeth as big as bowling pins! There's a reason why Steve Irwin was afraid of them.
  • Caterpillars are a perennial source of visual amusement for humans. After all, the typical caterpillar is soft, fuzzy and too interested in eating to notice the big humans poking and gawking at it. However, there are some caterpillars that, despite looking rather peculiar or ridiculous, are actually dangerous. One offender is the caterpillar of the puss moth, which is a big, fat, green caterpillar. If threatened, it rears up to show off its big, pink head, which it sinks into its neck, so that one sees a face with what appears to be a pair of lips underneath its mouth. Any predator (animal or human) that does not get the hint to leave it alone from this threat display will then find out that the "lips" serve as the opening to a gland that squirts out a jet of caustic formic acid. The caterpillar of the flannel moth is far worse, appearing as a disheveled and strangely adorable ball of fluff. Do not touch any caterpillar with the nickname "asp!" The fluff hides numerous venomous spines that cause excruciating pain, comparable in agony to snakebite, and, with the added bonus of causing bleeding, blistering rash at the site of contact.
  • Rhubarb looks a lot like celery with a red or pink stalk (it can have a green stalk too, so beware). The leafstalks of both plants are edible, as are Celery leaves. Rhubarb leaves, however, have so much oxalic acid concentrated into the tissue so as to be deadly. While oxalic acid is what gives rhubarb its deliciously tart flavor, in large quantities, it can cause immense harm, in that, at toxic doses, crystals of oxalic acid will form in the blood, and when the blood is filtered through the glomeri of the kidneys, these crystals will lacerate the tissues of the kidney, so that the poisoned person will bleed to death by urinating blood.
  • Mosquitos. They're annoying little pests with big doofy eyes and who buzz around dopily, with hobbies that include leaving behind an itchy bite, buzzing in your ear, and ruining outdoor events, and they go out in one swat. Wouldn't it be scary if they were responsible for more human deaths per year, or total across history, than any other organism on the planet and our only means of warding them off is avoiding them or hiding from them with repellent and hoping they don't happen to bump into us? Yeah, that's actually the case.
  • Domesticated pigs. Fat, often pink creatures with curly tails that look too tubby for their little legs, stuff themselves on near everything and look ridiculous when they're running around. As any farmer will tell you, though, pigs are incredibly dangerous when riled, and have been known to kill and eat their caretakers if they're provoked into it (or if the caretaker is just knocked unconscious into their pen). Suddenly, the scene of 12 year old Dorothy falling into the Pig Pen isn't that overdramatic anymore, huh?
  • Chimpanzees are known for being human-like, to the point where they are dressed in human outfits. Also, they can make a funny, huge, toothy grin they flash for the cameras, it makes them look devilish. The bad thing is, it's not a grin, but a mouthful of very large teeth being bared. Despite their small size, they're strong enough to literally tear a human limb-from-limb with their bare hands.
  • The Woolly Mammoth is an actual scary animal, being large and with massive tusks that could definitely hurt someone on the wrong end of them. They went extinct in large part because very silly looking hairless apes without any claws, sharp teeth, and half their size decided that the mammoth was delicious and nutritious. Turns out said apes are the most intelligent animal by miles as well as the one with the best stamina within the animal kingdom in addition to a communication ability that can vocalize very large amount of complex information. This combination meant that no matter how far the prey ran, these apes could go further, were a Scarily Competent Tracker and could always find you, and could call for help. These Silly Apes are now the dominant species on the planet, have no natural predators, and other apex predators would rather avoid than outright hunt them, only eating them if they are very, very, desperate. And some predators find that these apes do not taste good at all.
    • This particular ape is, in fact, so dangerous, it has been known to wipe out entire species without even trying—simply as a byproduct of their everyday activities.
  • Cockatoos are probably one of the cutest, funniest birds to exist under the sun. They imitate noises. LOTS of noises. They get loud when they don't like something, or just need to get it out of their system. And this is all if they're raised correctly. If abused or neglected, they're very bitter, they bite often, and when they feel threatened, they puff up to look like bigger, more monstrous animals.
  • Poultry birds such as chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks all share the common trait of waddling around, making silly noises, and being food. They also all share the common trait of being much more aggressive (as well as smarter) than they're given credit for, all having the means of inflicting painful and even serious injuries on humans, living in flocks, and will eagerly and seriously ruin your day if you run afoul of them.
  • Panda bears: Cute, fuzzy, little pandas love to roll around, play with each other and their humans, and nibble on bamboo. But we have the Bears Are Bad News trope for a reason-do not mess with them.
  • Genki Sudo is known for his flashy entrances, bizarre in-ring movements and the overall appearance of not taking his match seriously. He has a 15-4 win-loss record thanks to his amazing grappling skills.


Video Example(s):


Knock Out vs Arcee and Bumblebee, Round 2

Despite being the comic relief for the 'Cons, Knock Out can be a formidable opponent when he gets serious, as Arcee and Bumblebee figure out.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / BewareTheSillyOnes

Media sources:

Main / BewareTheSillyOnes