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"As for Mr. Pin and Mr. Tulip, all that need be known about them at this point is that they are the kind of people who call you 'friend'. People like that aren't friendly."

No matter how informal people are (or say they are), there are some forms of address that are simply inappropriate between two people if they haven't developed a personal relationship that merits their use: pet names (like "Snookums" or "Honeybunch") and terms of endearment ("my dear", "darling", "honey", and the like). Now, add in stalkers, obsessive villains, or powerful enemies and an otherwise inappropriate pet name becomes downright creepy. Another term along these lines that more indicates frustration than any additional creep factor is "buddy" or "pal," which when used between strangers often indicates that a fight is about to break out soon.


It implies a non-existent closeness, or that the addressed somehow belongs to the addresser. Even if the one using these endearments doesn't mean the target harm, there's an undercurrent of wrongness in the way the addresser thinks and acts that makes them seem mentally unstable and dangerous. (Unless it's just an act designed to irritate or distract the enemy and get him off his game.)

Usually, the nicer the pet name is, the worse the fate in store is. A form of Casual Danger Dialog, and a menacing variation of Flirting Under Fire. Some forms of "Take That!" Kiss function as a non-verbal variant. Generally a "milder" form of I Have You Now, My Pretty. Casual or informal forms of someone's name (like Tom for Thomas) don't count as this. Contrast with Hey, You!, where the use of inappropriate forms is meant as an insult. Contrast with Insult of Endearment, which is the inverse situation where people express friendship with insulting language. See also With Due Respect, where using formal terms of respect implies the opposite. May be rebuffed with "They Call Me Mister Tibbs."



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Ranma ½:
    • Kodachi Kuno is (one of) Ranma's obsessive Stalker with a Crush even though Ranma can't stand her, and she refers to him as either "Ranma-sama", "sweetums", or "darling".
    • While Tatewaki refers to girl-form Ranma as "pig-tailed girl", "my love", "my Venus", and Akane as "my dear Akane" and the like.
    • His other stalker (and fiancée), Shampoo, calls him "airen" (husband).
  • Full Metal Panic!:
    • Gauron calls Sousuke "honey". It's very, very wrong. The weirdest part is that it's hard to tell if he sincerely means it, or just doing it to annoy Sousuke. Or both. He's also partial to "my precious boy", "darling", and "Kashim". It's HEAVILY implied that Gauron genuinely loves Sousuke in some twisted way.
    • In the novels he also calls Kaname "Kana-chan". Something only her best friend Kyoko calls her.
  • Johan from Monster at one point described Tenma as "my dear/favorite Doctor Tenma".
  • Tokyo Mew Mew: Kisshu, Ichigo's stalker and enemy, refers to her with such names like "honey", "my toy", and "kitty cat".
  • From Naruto:
    • Orochimaru adds -kun to the end of the name of almost any young male character he comes into contact with (Itachi-kun, Naruto-kun, Sasuke-kun, etc.). Kind of creepy if you think about it. He refers to Sasuke as "my Sasuke", and Naruto and Sasuke as "cute" and "beautiful" respectively.
    • The Filler Villain Fuka refers to Naruto as "boy" (in the Japanese version) and "cutie" and "sweetie" (in the English version).
    • Kabuto also refers to Naruto and Sasuke as "Naruto-kun" and "Sasuke-kun" as well.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: In both the original and the English translations, Pegasus generally adds boy to the end of people names, such as "Yugi-boy" and "Kaiba-boy".
    • In the dub Yami Marik constantly throughout their duel, called Mai "my dear" as a pun on her name.
  • The perverted villain Nnoitra Jiruga in Bleach gave Orihime the nickname "pet-sama" ("lady pet") or "my pet".
    • The arrancar Loly calls Orihime "Orihime-chan" (which can be translated to "Orihime baby", "little Orihime" or "dear Orihime")
    • And in the Bount filler arc, the Ax-Crazy Dark Action Girl Yoshi called her opponent Rukia "cute".
    • Gin calls Rukia "Rukia-chan" while he plays mind games with her.
    • Faux Affably Evil Tsukishima calls nearly everyone by their first name. In a series where villains either go with Full-Name Basis or Last-Name Basis, this is especially notable.
  • Durarara!!:
    • Izaya typically calls his rival/enemy Shizuo "Shizu-chan" and Shizuo in turn calls Izaya "Izaya-kun". In this case it's not meant to be affectionate.
    • He also calls refers to Mikado as "my cute little kouhai".
  • Zombie Loan: Shiba is attracted to Michiru because of her "abnormality" and often calls her "cute."
  • Rosario + Vampire: Hitomi constantly rants about how "beautiful" Moka is, while trying to kill her or turn her to stone.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Recoome of the Ginyu Force adds 'chan' to Vegeta's name while beating him half to death.
    • Cell at one point calls Android 18 "my little peach." It's pretty disturbing given that he's a giant bug, especially when he finally absorbs her after doing the same to her twin brother. He enjoys absorbing 18 WAY too much.
  • CLOVER: Bors tends to call the protagonist "Little Prince" or some variation.
  • Gregory Horror Show: Gregory calls the First Guest "my friend," and the (female) Second Guest "my dear." It makes both endings creepier.
  • Togainu no Chi: Gunji has nicknames for practically everyone; Ji-ji (old man) for Kiriwar, Papa for Arbitro, and Shikiti for Shiki. However, the best example of this trope is when he starts calling Akira "neko-chan" ("kitty or "kitten").
  • Death Note: After just meeting Light, Misa starts calling him cutesy nicknames like "light-darling" or "Raito-Naito", in a Stalker with a Crush manner, though she wouldn't let any harm come to him, and makes it clear that he's free to rebuff her.
    • L, a twenty-something man, always calling Light (a teenage boy) "Light-kun", as a form of semi-mocking, semi-serious respect for a dangerous rival.
  • In +Anima Fly calls Cooro "his angel". As if his obsession with the boy and Big Brother Is Watching behaviour wasn't creepy enough…
  • Blue Exorcist has this in the first meeting between Rin and Satan. The latter calls the former his "darling boy" and says Rin could just call him "daddy." This is 1) while possessing Rin's adoptive father and 2) before he attempts to drag him to the demon realm.
  • Katekyō Hitman Reborn!: Byakuran and Mukuro refer to Tsuna as "Tsunayoshi-kun". And Julie Katou finds Chrome to be "so damn cute".
  • Grell of Black Butler often calls Sebastian "darling" or "Sebas-chan". Also, Aleister Chamber develops an interest in Ciel and refers to Ciel as "little Robin" (when Ciel was disguised as a girl) and "cock robin" (when he's dressed normally).
  • Tyki of D.Gray-Man generally refers to Allen as "boy". Allen himself is on first-name basis with the Noah, strangely enough, but Road calling him just "Allen" is considerably creepier (the others constantly use his full name, "Allen Walker", even to his face).
  • In Black Cat Creed refers to Train as "my precious Train" and "my Heartnet".
  • Osanai (in the English dub) refers to Paprika as "my dear".
  • In Zatch Bell! episode 1 Eido refers to Suzy as "cutie".
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Dearka Elsman has many nice names for Miriallia during his time as a prisoner on the Archangel.
  • In Aquarion Evol, Kagura won't ever stop yammering about his "smelly wench"note  Mikono. This is due to reincarnation and Kagura's past life as a magical flying dog. Which simply adds to the creepiness.
  • In Yakitate!! Japan, the Ambiguously Gay rival baker Mokoyama calls Ken Matsuhiro "Ken-chan" to wind him up.
  • In the English dub of Hellsing Ultimate, Integra's Evil Uncle Richard calls her his "lovely little niece," and a "budding little fraulein" while hunting her down in order to take the Hellsing family headship, granted to her by her dying father just hours before.
  • Alcyone from Magic Knight Rayearth calls Clef her "dear teacher" as she attacks him with summoned monsters. When facing the girls, she uses pet names like "sweetie" and "cute little Magic Knights" while she unleashes deadly ice magic.
  • In Magi, Ren Gyokuen has this to say to the son whose ass she just solidly kicked: "All you have to do is be my adorable little Hakuryuu for the rest of your life."
  • Kanae in the sequel manga of Tokyo Ghoul calls Mutsuki "kitty cat".
    • In the dub of the anime, Tsukiyama refers to Kaneki as "sweet Kaneki."
    • Eto calls Kaneki "my dear Kaneki".
    • Torso calls Mutsuki "my Tooru".
    • After Furuta defeats Eto he comments that he has Rize's kagune "just like my dear Kaneki".
    • Sasaki/Kaneki would always be called “Sensei” by his doting and adoring subordinate Mutsuki. After Mutsuki becomes more villainous and their attraction to Sasaki/Kaneki is warped due to tragic circumstances the term “Sensei” becomes more endangering.
  • In Diabolik Lovers Laito often calls Yui a "little bitch" (bitch-chan). It's supposed to come off as domineering and humiliating with some sort of endearment attached to it, like the word "pet".
  • Kamigami no Asobi: Loki refers to Yui as "kitty".
  • Ferid refers to Yuu and Mika with -chan attached to their names in Seraph of the End. Given Ferid's character it comes across as disturbing. He also calls them "lovely" or "dear" in chapter 43 (depending on the translation) and sometimes refers to Yuu as "cute". There's also the times he refers to Yuu as the "beloved Yuu-chan", "precious angel", or "precious princess" that Mika wants to rescue.
    • Ferid also calls Guren "my lion" while beating him up in battle.
    • Crowley, Yuu's enemy, calls him "my cute little livestock".
  • During her introductory scene in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Preica Testarossa refers to her daughter as "my dear Fate". There is zero parental affection in her voice (not to mention the fact that the line was immediately preceded by a double dose of child abuse and victim blaming), but Fate is too much of a Love Martyr to see the obvious subtext and takes her words at face value.
  • Himiko Toga in My Hero Academia uses First-Name Basis or nicknames for people she likes, such as "Deku-kun" or "Ochaco-chan". Considering she's an Ax-Crazy serial murderer, this tends to creep out most people she calls by their first names, with only her fellow League of Villains members tolerating it.
  • In The Brave Fighter of Legend Da-Garn, De Butcho, who serves as the second enemy commander, calls Hotaru -one of heroes- "Geraldine". After his Heel–Face Turn it becomes more as an endearing nickname.
  • Duel Masters: Kokujo, who defines himself as the "bad guy", calls Shobu "sweet boy" and "schoolboy".
  • Galilei Donna: Cicinho quickly takes to calling Hazuki bambina, Italian for 'babe', in order to annoy her.
  • The Great Mission to Save Princess Peach!: King Koopa refers to Peach as "Peachy-chan" (Peach Sweetie in Japanese), much to her disgust.

    Asian Animation 

  • One comedian has a sequence in which he's going to run away from anyone who calls him "big guy," because that conversation will never end well. As in, "Hey, big guy. What's your blood type?"
  • Greg Behrendt has a bit about how people who are obviously angry at him will address him as "friend," including his father, who would say things like, "Hey friend, get your hand outta the cookie jar!" It seems like a friend would let you have a cookie.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • The Joker's many nicknames for Batman. To name a few there is "Batsy", "honey pie", "my detective", "bats", "my dear Batman", "darling", "honeycakes", and "my dear Dark Knight". It usually depends on the author whether this is an expression of Foe Yay, if the Joker is just using it to irritate Batman, or if this is another example of just how obsessed he is with the Bat.
    • While being a heroine and thus, not quite as creepy as the others listed, the Femme Fatale Looker of the Batman and the Outsiders calls everyone "darling", whether friend or foe. Batman once took exception to this...
      Batman: Thank you, Looker... but drop the "darling".
      Looker: (smirking) Very well... "dearest".
    • Lady Shiva has made it clear she intends to kill Tim Drake in a martial arts duel. She also seems fond of him as a clever former student and warmly refers to him as "little bird". She's even willing to work alongside him to an extent if he can talk his way out of her killing him in an entertaining enough fashion.
  • New Gods: Granny Goodness, the most twisted and creepifying of Jack Kirby's Apokolips characters, calls everyone she's torturing and brainwashing "my precious", "poppet", and similarly maternal terms. This trope truly comes into play for her when she is addressing those who have escaped her, such as Mr Miracle and Big Barda.
  • Scott Pilgrim: Gideon Graves' usage of "buddy" and "amigo" towards Scott Pilgrim.
  • Katchoo of Strangers in Paradise forbids her on-again, off-again lover David to call her "baby," because it's a reminder of her hated past as a call girl known to clients as "Baby June." She assures him that "honey's okay." At the conclusion of the series, when she and Francine finally get together for good, she says, "Then I love you… and you can call me baby."
  • Superman:
  • In The Sandman, The Three constantly use motherly affectionate terms towards the other characters they encounter, which becomes a bit disturbing when they use those terms while in the form of The Kindly Ones.
  • In Runaways, the Pride all use affectionates towards their respective kids, with varying degrees of actual affection behind those terms. As a possible Ironic Echo, Nico starts using more affectionate terms towards her teammates as she becomes more Machiavellian in the third series.
  • One crossover between The Flash and Wonder Woman had the Flash fighting against Cheetah, who repeatedly called him "lover" in order to creep him out.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Devil Hulk persona, a large, scaly, red-eyed lizard-person representing all of Bruce's worst aspects, likes to refer to him as "my darling boy". Years later, it turns out he's genuinely fond of Bruce, and is actually annoyed that Bruce's own self-loathing and daddy issues warped what he was trying to say into something so creepy.
  • Justice League: Generation Lost: Max Lord calls Blue Beetle "hombre" and "chico" while torturing him, echoing his sarcastic way of referring to Wonder Woman as "Princess" right up to the moment she snapped his neck. Like Wondy, Jamie has the last laugh in the end.
  • Ratchet & Clank Comic: Not what Ratchet meant, but lampshaded none the less.
    Ratchet: Easy, pal, no one's looking for any trouble.
    Extra 1: General Glahm ain't your pal, furball!
    Extra 2: General Glahm ain't got no pals!

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Body of Lies. Despite his casual use of torture, one of the scariest things Hani Pasha does is repeatedly addressing his ally Ferris as "my dear". It is clearly not a translation mistake, as the rest of his English is flawless, but rather a subtle way of adding to his uncertain and unsettling attitude towards Ferris.
  • Star Wars:
  • In The Dark Knight, Joker spots Rachel during a hostages situation and says, "Hello, beautiful!" while theatrically slicking back his hair.
  • No Country for Old Men: "What business is it of yours where I'm from… friendo?"
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, the initially threatening "'Ello, poppet...." from Pintel and Ragetti towards Elizabeth Swann turns into a genuine term of affection by the third film.
  • Peter Pan (2003 version) has Captain Hook once refer to Wendy as "my beauty". A line directly from the book, no less.
  • The Wicked Witch of The Wizard of Oz tends to refer to Dorothy as "my pretty", and at least once as "my dear".
  • Averted (perhaps inverted?) in The Matrix, where Agent Smith consistently refers to Neo by the formal name "Mr. Anderson", except for twice where he uses Neo's nickname.
  • Scabior, the head Snatcher in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 to Hermione. After he captures Hermione, he calls her "my lovely" and sniffs her hair.
  • In The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Horvath calls Dave "sweetheart" in one scene. Whilst pinning him up against a wall and putting his cane against his mouth to silence him.
  • In Sweet Smell of Success, Hunsecker constantly refers to his sister as "dear". It's lampshaded by another character how creepy this is.
  • Dracula's bride Aleera of Van Helsing seems very interested in Anna, calling her "my love" and making claims like "I know what lurks in your lusting heart."
  • In Spider-Man, Green Goblin comments to Mary Jane, "Hello, my dear".
  • In Red Eye, Jackson Rippner occasionally refers to Lisa Reisert by the pet name "Leese."
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010) Freddy refers to Nancy as "my little Nancy".
  • The Djinn in Wishmaster constantly uses terrifyingly inappropriate terms of endearment towards Alex while murdering everyone around her, such as "Spare me, child!", and "If it's any consolation sweet Alex, that hurt like hell!".
  • President Snow uses the endearment "my dear" towards Katniss occasionally in The Hunger Games. It's decidedly creepy, considering his status and personal vendetta against her.
  • Krall says, "My old friend" under his breath near the climax of Star Trek Beyond. It's a misleading callback, as he's actually referring to the ship Franklin, not to Kirk himself.
  • As part of his Motive Rant, Franz Oberhauser/Ernst Stavro Blofeld from Spectre mockingly calls James Bond a "cuckoo" because Bond was favored by Oberhauser's father when they were younger, causing Oberhauser to commit Patricide out of pure jealousy.
    Oberhauser: You know what happens when a cuckoo hatches inside another bird's nest?
    Madeleine Swann: Yes - it forces the other eggs out.
    Oberhauser: Yes. [pointing to Bond] Well, this "cuckoo" made me realize my father's life had to end. In a way, he's responsible for the path I took. [turns to Bond] So thank you, cuckoo!
  • In Lost in Space, Dr. Smith gives Penny Robinson the nickname "Penny Precious" while bossing her around. This becomes even more insidious when the Robinsons arrive in the Bad Future where Smith murdered all of the Robinsons except Will.
  • In Batman & Robin, Poison Ivy seduces Robin for most of the film and calls him several pet names when flirting with him, calling him "Pretty Birdie", "Polly", "My Love" and "Little Robin". The last of these is after she finally kisses him and tells him it is time to die.

  • In The Dresden Files, Lara Raith tends to refer to Harry Dresden as "wizard mine" and is quite affectionate with him. She also makes it clear that she doesn't want him to be another thrall of the White Court, but rather wants him as an equal partner to her.
    • She also refers to Thomas as "brother mine," so it's up to personal interpretation as to whether it's antiquated linguistics or not, since she also acknowledges the sibling bond between herself and Thomas.
    • Queen Mab occasionally uses terms like "darling child" (in between using other terms of the "puny mortal" type,) and Harry's Fairy Godmother does, too, though far more frequently. The Godmother's case is a strange example of this trope, because everything suggests that she is genuinely fond of Harry in a vaguely maternal way, but still manages to be creepy as hell.
  • Mr Large in the CHERUB Series has a habit of referring to the Cherubs as "cupcakes" or "muffins".
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: Count Olaf usually just refers to the Baudelaires as "orphans" but with Violet it's usually, "my dear", or just constantly mentioning how pretty she is. He even tried to marry her in the first book. Even if it was just for the money… creepy.
  • Emperor Jagang in The Sword of Truth books calls female characters he usually intends to rape, torture and/or kill (which is to say, all of them) "darlin'".
  • Discussed a few times in the Discworld novels, including The Truth, as seen in the page quote. Given similar treatment is the word "pal" from the mouth of the guy in a dark back alley carrying a heavy, blunt weapon or "friend" from a bar/inn/pub owner.
    • Also played for laughs, as in Small Gods when Om addresses a Tsortean solar deity with "Hey, sunshine?", just before hitting him over the head.
    • In Wyrd Sisters, during an argument between Nanny Ogg and Granny Weatherwax, Granny objects when Nanny calls her "my good woman", retorting "I'm not anyone's 'good woman'!"
    • In the short story "The Sea and Little Fishes", the part of Mrs Earwig's patronising speech that really gets Granny's back up is "I'm telling you this as a friend". Later, Nanny reflects that no-one remotely friendly would say that.
    • Vetinari addresses Vimes as "my dear Vimes" on a couple occasions. It's only vaguely menacing, though; mainly he's just being condescending about Vimes' cynicism being slightly less absolute than his own. He also addresses Moist von Lipwig as "my dear Mister Lipwig" once, while implying he might throw him in the dungeon, and occasionally calls other people "my dear ____" as well. It goes with the rest of his send-up of a certain stock villain type thing.
    • Night Watch: The Agony Aunts, those terrifying and implacable enforcers of Seamstress justice (especially in the days before Vetinari), like to refer to people they have at umbrella-point as "dearie" or "kind sir".
  • Bellatrix of Harry Potter. The cruelest example either being in Order of the Phoenix or Deathly Hallows.
    • In a decidedly less creepy, more mischievous variation, the Weasley twins. Either they're trying to rile Ron up, they're launching a sales pitch, or a prank is on its way.
    • Also on the good guys' side, Dumbledore consistently refers to Voldemort as "Tom", which pisses Voldy off something fierce.
  • Sparhawk, David Eddings' cynical protagonist in The Elenium and The Tamuli always refers to anyone who isn't a known ally as "neighbor." When questioned about this, he says that "friend" seems too close, but "neighbor" is just close enough to paint him as creepy to his enemies, and polite to neutral parties (e.g. innkeepers).
  • Rosa Klebb in From Russia with Love likes to call the people she's torturing "my pretty one," "my dove," "my child" and in general talk to them as if she's their mother. And she only gets creepier.
  • Dracula: Right from the start, Dracula calls Jonathan his friend. Repeatedly and emphatically. Even after Jonathan has figured out what Dracula plans to do to him, and after Dracula knows he knows, too.
    • In an astonishing bit of Ho Yay, when Jonathan stumbles across Dracula's brides, Drac storms in and tells them that "He is mine!"
  • Constantly (and creepily) used by Chauvelin on Marguerite Blakeney in The Scarlet Pimpernel.
  • In the original French text of The Phantom of the Opera, Erik begins to use the familiar form with Christine. This is after he's kidnapped her for the second/third time, and is threatening to blow up the entire area if she doesn't agree to marry him.
  • Emperor Ozorne from Tamora Pierce's The Immortals quartet was so evil that he managed to make enemies of the Stormwings. Once they tricked him into turning himself into one of them, we get this little exchange with one of the Stormwings:
    Ozorne: I have magic! I-I have Stormwing magic!
    Rikash: Of course you do, sweetheart. Do you know how to use it?
    • After Ozorne escaped, Rikash called him "my precious."
  • In Guardians of Ga'Hoole, "Auntie", who is put in charge of caring for children in a villainous orphanage, comes across as very creepy because of her inappropriate terms of endearment (and insistence on them using same for her). It turns out that she eats eggs.
    • Nyra has a tendency to call her enemies "darling."
  • Vidia in the Disney Fairies books "dears" and "darlings" everyone, but she is not a nice person.
    • Subverted in the movies though. By the end of the third movie, Vidia reforms, joins Tinker Bell's gang and drops the fake endearments altogether.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Sansa is the Hound's "little bird" and Littlefinger's "sweetling."
  • Drake starts calling Astrid Beautiful in Plague while threatening to come up and whip her and, it's pretty strongly implied, possibly more.
  • Richard Northwoods in Daughter of the Forest repeatedly calls Sorcha "my dear" and similar names. Even (or especially) when she's been locked up for months and he only visits her to gloat.
  • The Screwtape Letters: My dear, my very dear Wormwood, my poppet, my pigsnie...
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses: Similarly to the Dresden example above, Rhysand and his "Feyre darling"s.
  • The titular hero of The Saint has a tendency to call villains pet names and terms of endearment; the more frequent and inappropriate the name, the closer the villain is to death.
  • In Hush, Hush, Patch frequently refers to Nora as "angel". It's probably more meant as an affectionate nickname, but depending on how you see his actions (particularly how he spends much of the first book seriously considering killing her)...
  • In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Willy Wonka tends to address the Golden Ticket tour group members as "my dear [blank]". Mr. Wonka is not a villain, but he is a Trickster, and as the book progresses he uses such sweet talk to "politely" discourage others from questioning him, defuse the parents' anger at him when their bratty children are horrifically imperiled, etc. This tends to be dropped in adaptations, perhaps because it sounds so creepy in practice.
  • The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign's Yandere antagonist refers to Kyousuke as "brother" whether she is threatening to kill or complimenting him. It shows both how unfeeling she is and her imperfect grasp of human language, as they are not related familially.
  • Alice, Girl from the Future:

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Angel, Power-that-was Jasmine tends to call her minions things like "sweet boy" and "my love." This comes off as even creepier as before she was corporeal she disguised her voice as Evil Sounds Deep.
  • Arrowverse: Vandal Savage always addresses Kendra, who despises him, as "My love."
  • In the Firefly episode "Objects In Space", Jubal Early constantly refers to River as "darlin'" while speaking to her, and trying to hunt her down. Taken in context with the rape threats he makes toward Kaylee and the other equally disturbing commentary he makes over the course of the episode, it comes out very, very wrong.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Spike calls people "love" even when killing them. In British English, however, it's pretty common to informally refer to just about any female as "love," similar to the usage of "dude" in American English. Though the Foe Yay aspects are lampshaded when he's fighting Buffy or Nikki Wood.
    • Angelus calls Buffy "lover" and "Buff" numerous times, just to remind her exactly how he turned evil.
  • Doctor Who: The Master has a habit, especially in the Classic Series, of referring to the Doctor as "My dear Doctor". This isn't limited to just the Doctor either. In the webcast Scream of the Shalka the Master tells the Doctor's latest companion that he is by no means fond of her.
    Alison: So why do you call me "My dear"?
    The Master: I call everyone that.
    • Justified by the fact that the Doctor and the Master were good friends as children and in a certain twisted way, especially in the Doctor's 3rd and 10th incarnations, still are friends. Also a good bit of Foe Yay in there too. Shalka has a further justification in that it takes place in an Alternate Continuity where the Master has undergone a Heel–Face Turn.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Cersei calls Sansa "little dove" on various occasions, mostly while Sansa is a prisoner of the Lannisters.
    • Euron calls his nephew, "Little Theon" once at the Kingsmoot and then during his attack on the Black Wind, despite the fact that he wants to murder him and Yara.
  • In Sherlock, Jim constantly flirts with Sherlock, using terms like "honey" and "sexy". Quite whether he means it or is trying to creep Sherlock out (or both) is not altogether clear.
  • Used constantly on Burn Notice. All the bad guys think Michael's pretty.
  • Londo in Babylon 5 does this often enough to make others suspicious:
    Londo Mollari: Mr. Garibaldi, do you really think I would do such a thing to you... My good and dear friend.
    Michael Garibaldi: In a minute.
    Londo Mollari: You are right, but I did not.
    • The trope here is in Londo's inflection and the adjectives, since he also uses "my friend" for people he really is friends with.
  • Once Upon a Time Rumpelstiltskin's "dearie".
  • Played for Laughs in Scrubs where in order to annoy Dr. Cox, Turk calls him "baby." Dr. Cox himself constantly refers to JD with girl names when not calling him Newbie.
  • In the Monty Python episode "Whither Canada?", a talk show host asks his guest, Sir Edward Ross, if he may call him Edward. This is fine with Ross, as is the subsequent request for permission to call him Ted. The host then crosses the line by calling him, in rapid succession, "Eddie baby," "sweetie," "sugar plum," "pussy cat," "angel drawers," "Frank" (after prominent Real Life political commentator Robin Day's hedgehog), and "Frannie Knickers," at which point the increasingly irritated Ross gets up to leave.
  • The generally malevolent Sue Sylvester does this with several people in Glee, most memorably calling Kurt "Porcelain".
    • This is actually a subversion, since she seems to have a soft spot for Kurt and he himself picked out "Porcelain" as her personal nickname for him after he told her he was offended by her having called him "Lady" until then and actually was the only teacher who actually did something proactive about his bullying problem.
  • Supernatural:
    • In 5.10 "Abandon All Hope...", Lucifer addressing Castiel as "Hello, brother" before trapping him inside a ring of holy fire so he can raise Death unimpeded and destroy the world. The angels are technically siblings, but Lucifer's creepily calm tone implies a level of brotherhood and mutual comfort that is entirely absent in the following conversation.
    • In 6.20-6.22, the demon Crowley calls Castiel "kitten" and "sweetie".
    • And then there was also Alastair and Dean. With all the implications of "poking and prodding", Alastair acting like an stalker ex-boyfriend and even calling Dean "Daddy's little girl".
    • Lucifer referring to Sam as his "bunkmate" and calling him his "little bitch in every sense of the term".
  • In Oz Schillinger calls his enemy Beecher "sweet pea".
  • In The Vampire Diaries Klaus is very fond of this one. He calls numerous women "my love", among them being Elena, whom he drained to death, Katherine, whose family he massacred and compelled to self-mutilate; and numerous Victims Of The Week. Surprisingly he does not call call Caroline — the only one he has shown romantic interest in — by any endearments.
  • On Farscape, most everyone is on a Last-Name Basis with Crichton, except for Scorpius and Maldis.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Q frequently addresses Captain Picard as "mon capitan," which is how a junior officer would address his captain in French, even when Q is using his powers to torment Picard and the rest of the crew. However, Q does seem to like Picard in the way that a child would like a pet that he's prone to teasing.
  • Gotham: Barbara tries to convince Jim that he's just as evil and unstable as she while having him tied up and trying to force him to marry her. She calls him "baby" and "my little monster".
  • In Falling Water, Isla repeatedly calls Burton "dear" while invading his dreams.
  • General Hospital's Karen Wexler gets very edgy and uncomfortable whenever her mother's old boyfriend would call her "Carrie". Flashbacks show that he would call her this whenever he sexually abused her. The first sign that she's getting herself together is when she snaps at him to stop calling her that.
  • As the World Turns' matriarch Kim, incensed at her grandson, snaps, "Let me tell you something, kiddo. . ." At this point, everyone onscreen and everyone watching cringed, knowing that he was about to get an epic "The Reason You Suck" Speech, as Kim only used that term when she was especially angry.
  • In Damnation, Connie Nunn's use of "my dear child" for her adopted ward Brittany is less a display of affection and more a statement of ownership, as she's traveling with Brittany as part of her cover.
  • In Deadly Class, if Brandy-Lynn is calling you "sweetheart", it's probably not affectionate.
  • In EastEnders, abusive husband Trevor calling his wife Little Mo "Cinderella" (which used to be an affectionate nickname) was a sign of trouble to come. At the end of the storyline, when the relationship had finished due to his violence and affair with Donna, Trevor tried this again while taking Little Mo hostage - only for her to respond "And who was Donna - Snow White?"

  • Disturbed:
  • "Dance With The Dragon" by Dark Sarah:
    I know why you're here,
    Don't try to escape, my dear,
    You've been naughty I know
    By trying to steal something of my own
  • Taylor Swift's Revenge Ballad "Look What You Made Me Do" says:
    Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
    I've got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ladies, be on guard if Sweet Saraya calls you "Princess" (and if she says she wants to "play", run).

    Real Life 
  • A combination of this trope and N-Word Privileges is the reason why using "brother" or "sister" to refer to a Black person is generally reserved only to other Black people.

  • Little Shop of Horrors: "Cutie! Sweetness! Seymour! Babydoll…" and then she makes his life a living hell without knowing it.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • He may technically be correct, but it doesn't make Liquid's uses of "dear brother" any more friendly.
  • Goro Majima of the Yakuza series is very fond of calling his rival Kiryu Kazuma "Kazuma-chan."
  • In Max Payne, Vladimir Lem addresses some characters namely, those he plans on betraying or has betrayed, including the eponymous character, as "dearest of all my friends."
    • Also the woman he's sleeping with and will betray. He does a lot of betraying. And on the in-game commercial for his nightclub, he refers to the listener — i.e., every single person in the city — as "dearest of all my friends" as well. We don't even need these spoiler tags. A guy who refers to a (John Woo violent) city as "dearest of all my friends" is either the final boss or an elderly shopkeeper with Mystic Secrets.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, there's a thief in the pirate afterlife who is fond of saying "friend" in a way to suggest that he isn't your friend and probably shouldn't be trusted. He does point out that he is a thief, after all, though.
  • Jester talks like this toward Lady in Devil May Cry 3. "Its time for your spanking, my dear!" He also refers to Dante as "my boy."
    • Although this trope gets muddied a bit when it's revealed that Jester is really Arkham, Lady's Father. Also worth mentioning is that he's the only character to refer to her as "Mary," the name given to her from her mother that she's since abandoned.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Fake King Zant keeps addressing Midna as "my Midna." Although the game does not specify the reason for this, it's a common fan theory that he was one-sidedly in love (or at least obsessed) with her.
  • Wesker calling Claire "dear heart" in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica.
  • Lezard in the Valkyrie Profile series invokes this trope often. Calling Lenneth "my Lady Love" or "my beloved" in the first meeting and admitting to being a stalker, then later using similar terms when she comes to kill him for screwing over not one but two timelines trying to seduce her is probably not a healthy crush.
  • In the point-and-click adventure game Myst, the no-good brother duo of Sirrus and Achenar are each trying to convince the Stranger (otherwise known as the player) that they should be let out of their respective prisons, and they accomplish this by backstabbing each other. Sirrus in particular shows his disdain for his sibling by referring to Achenar as his "dear brother". Constantly. Oh, and both brothers use "my friend" in a similar Terms of Endangerment context, particularly when you choose a bad ending, and the brother you've just freed uses the same term to highlight your fate — now you're stuck in his prison for all eternity.
  • Dragon Age II: Fenris gets this treatment from his former master; he was "my little wolf". When you find out that certain implications are entirely accurate, it takes on a whole new level of disgusting.
  • From Xenosaga, Albedo's frequent referral to MOMO as "Ma belle pêche" ("My beautiful peach") or a variant of said phrase.
  • Kuja from Final Fantasy IX refers to Garnet as "my canary".
  • In BlazBlue Hazama invokes this when speaking to his arch enemy and protagonist Ragna, calling him "little puppy" and "Rags".
  • The way the Soldier in Team Fortress 2 addresses allied Medics as "sweetheart", "cupcake", etc. isn't exactly threatening, but it certainly sounds rather discourteous. He also sometimes calls the Medic "Sally", which has some interesting implications considering the fact that the Soldier (at least the BLU one) is named Jane. Soldier will also growl "come'ere, cupcake", right before he uses his Taking You with Me taunt kill.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Bowser does this an awful lot in regards to Mario, with about 20 different nicknames given to him in the cartoons and another 4 or so in the games. Super Coward Bros, Pesky Plumber, Faucet Face and Two Bit Tortinelli Taster are just a few of who knows how many names Bowser calls him…
    • Kamek plays it a bit more straight across multiple games, calling Yoshi names such as "cutie", "Yoshi-baby", and "Yoshikins", just before siccing giant monsters on him.
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising Hades refers to Pit as "Pitty Pat" and Palutena as "Pretty Palutena".
  • In Namco × Capcom, Saya refers to Reiji as "boy" and complements how handsome he's become. Reiji, for his part wants her dead because she killed his father.
  • Silent Hill 4: Walter Sullivan is portrayed this way in Fanon, whereas in the game itself he doesn't have much to say to Henry directly.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Damon Gant's overly genial mannerisms even after being accused of murder go deeper and deeper into this trope.
  • He'll join a bunch of terrorist defectors, try to drop him with AMRAAMs, incinerate him with the TLS, and decapitate world governments with a giant ICBM from the cockpit of his Cool Plane, but Pixy will always call Cipher "buddy".
  • Ekoro, the childish Body Snatcher in Puyo Puyo 7, adds -chan to his (female) targets' name. He keeps this trope in the sequel, where he continually uses -chan to address the heroine and calls Satan "oji-san" or "oji-sama".
  • In Nier, Tyrann refers to Kaine by the Ironic Nickname of "Sunshine". She shoots it back at him in Ending C and D.
  • Just before the final battle of Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, King Boo taunts Luigi in a very friendly-unfriendly way.
    Hey, if it isn't my good buddy Luigi! Or is it Baby Luigi? I can't tell from here! Hey, remember when you sealed me in a painting for all eternity? That was a laugh, I can tell you!
  • Eliza in Skullgirls has the character selection quote of "Let's dance, darling." She goes even further for Ms. Fortune and describes her as "my pet", "dangerous prey" and "forbidden fruit". And it's not friendly, given that she has other quotes like "Your place is below me" and "Down where you belong!" when doing an air throw.
  • From Outlast, psychotic Serial Killer and implied rapist Eddie Gluskin does this to every man he encounters.
  • Mettaton of Undertale constantly calls the protagonist "darling", "sweetheart", "beautiful" and the like, even while he repeatedly tries to kill them. the Killer Robot thing is an act, but he keeps it up even after he drops it and tries to kill them for real
  • Handsome Jack from Borderlands2 and subsequent sequels employs this trope very often. Expect to hear pets names like 'pumpkin', 'cupcake', or 'buddy' — unless he's royally pissed off.

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius: "Why yes, Klaus dear!" When the Other is flirting with you, things are bad.
  • In Looking for Group, Tavor addresses Cale as "brother". Then again, when he was first introduced, he really was a nice guy, and it seems to be implied that all elven knights address one another as "brother". Later in the story, though, this trope is played straight when he (or rather his ghost) is driven insane by the death of his King and Princess (implied to be his family) and destruction of the kingdom, and tries to kill Cale and the Archmage.
  • In the web comic Maggot Boy, Davey goes to meet the doctor who dissected him when he was freshly undead. She calls him "sweetheart" and says "I missed you terribly". Davey is less than civil.
  • Nose from Namesake seems to give sweet little nicknames to both his allies (Vanessa is "little bird") and the people he's been ordered to kidnap or kill ("habibti" for Emma and "little princess" for Elaine). The results vary.
  • The Search For Henry Jekyll: Hyde regularly uses pet names when menacing people. Also falls into Foe Yay territory, as he is more than willing to go further in his flirting in order to unsettle his opponent.
  • Awful Hospital: Characters keep using food-related nicknames (such as 'meatlet,' 'soupstuff,' 'morsel,' etc.), and it's not just a figure of speech, they really would like to eat whoever they're addressing.

    Web Original 
  • N'Ktane in Tasakeru is fond of using these. It's practically a calling card, as another character is able to recognize that she's possessing someone by her usage of "my pet".
  • Henry and Gail from Off the Page and into Life tend to call one another "dear" and "love" while fighting. Henry especially likes calling Gail "Gaily," mainly because he knows she only allows her father to call her that. He's also fond of "lovebug." (It should come as no shock that these two have crushes on one another.)
  • RWBY: Adam repeatedly calls Blake "my darling" and "my love" during their confrontation in "Battle of Beacon" and "Heroes and Monsters." Word of God is that he was abusive in the past, so it's a very dark invocation of the trope as Adam begins hurting her and those who she loves.
  • Dzwiedz 24 tends to call anyone attacking him (particularly bosses and other players) "buddy" or "sonny".
  • Hazbin Hotel: Alastor the Radio Demon calls Vaggie "dear" right before making it terrifyingly clear that if he actually wanted to hurt anyone at the hotel, she wouldn't be able to do a damn thing to stop him.

    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • In "Seaplane!" Kurt, who tried to seduce Linda (and failed miserably), calls Bob "friend" when Bob confronts him. Bob is obviously offended that someone would call him that after trying to sleep with his wife.
    • In "O.T.: The Outside Toilet", Max Flush calls Gene "Baby Boy Belcher" after finding it written on the name tag from his flour sack baby project.
  • In Kim Possible, Shego calls her teenaged foe names like "pumpkin", "princess", "cupcake" and "Kimmie". The surface tone of the remarks is dismissive, but some fans have a different interpretation.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Slade likes to refer to Robin as "my boy" and Terra as "my dear apprentice". In the episode "Birthmark" Slade kept mockingly referring to Raven as "birthday girl".
    • Blackfire seems to like calling Starfire "sister dear".
    • When Beast Boy turns into big cat, fails, and retreats, Jinx takes a Menacing Stroll after while calling him "kitty".
    • In the episode "Spellbound" Raven fell in love with Malchior who lived in a book. However he turned out to be a Mailer Daemon, who was really just tricking her into releasing him from the book. He kept referring to her as "my sweet Raven".
    • Kitten keeps calling Robin "Robie-poo" even after she gives up on making him her boyfriend and just wants him dead.
  • Danny Phantom: Vlad typically calls his enemy Danny "Daniel" or rarely, the more affectionate "little badger." In Vlad's debut episode, before Danny knows he's evil, he refers to Danny as "son," with Danny politely commenting that he doesn't like anyone but his dad to do that. This perfectly ties into Vlad's desire to get rid of Jack and marry Maddie, which would make Danny and Jazz his adopted children.
  • Darkwing Duck: In "Disguise the Limit", Darkwing, after transforming himself into Negaduck, calls Gosalyn "shnookums" while chasing her and Launchpad with a burner.
  • Another Joker example; in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, Joker frequently refers to Bruce Wayne by his first name. Decades earlier, he tortured and brainwashed Robin (Tim Drake) into revealing Batman's secret identity.
    ''But all too soon the shocks and serums took their toll, and the boy began to share such secrets with me. Secrets that are mine alone to know... Bruce.
  • South Park:
    • "Canada on Strike" makes an Overly Long Gag out of this:
      Stephen Abootman: If you don't stand with your fellow Canadians, then you are a rat!
      Terrence: Don't call me a rat, buddy!
      Stephen: I'm not your buddy, friend!
      Phillip: He's not your friend, guy!
      Stephen: I'm not your guy, buddy!
      Terrence: He's not your buddy, friend!
      Stephen: I'm not your friend, guy!
    • Cartman calls his enemy Kyle "my little monster" in "It's a Jersey Thing".
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Azula calls her brother "Zu-Zu". While using an Embarrassing Nickname for a brother might seem fairly normal, Azula has spent her whole life either callously manipulating or outright trying to kill him.
    • Ty Lee once called Sokka "cutie," and was was occasionally shown to have a Villainous Crush on him. However, even though Ty Lee is technically a villainess (until her Heel–Face Turn), she's a genuinely friendly Genki Girl, so this instance does not have the same level of menace that Azula has with "Zu-Zu".
  • Ben 10: Alien Force. Mike Morningstar. "Lovely Gwen." As of "Couple's Retreat", it is official that this is NOT just Gwen's mana. Also blows up in Morningstar's face spectacularly, given that his obsession with Gwen manages to turn the now near-omnipotent Charmcaster against him.
  • Totally Spies!:
    • In "Stuck In The Middle Ages With You" an evil guy who wants Clover to be his queen calls her things like "babe" and "queeny".
    • In "Wild Style", after Clover gets turned into a Cat Girl the villainess of the episode calls her a "pretty kitty".
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has the Delightful Children frequently refer to operatives of the Kids Next Door by first name instead of Code Name (most frequent is calling Numbuh One "Nigel"). When operatives do this to each other it's usually as sign of them being close, but the Delightful Children do it as a pretense of politeness and to belittle the organization as a whole, like a parent who insists on using their child's Embarrassing First Name.
  • Variation in Young Justice, where Sportsmaster addresses Cheshire and Artemis as "little girl" and "baby girl," respectively. Variation because a) Cheshire is just as much of a villain as he is, though will not compromise the people she loves, and b) because Sportsmaster is hers and Artemis' father, and according to Word of God, these have always been his pet names for them. He's still perfectly capable of putting all kinds of vicious wrongness into it, particularly in one scene where he's trying to convince Artemis to betray her team.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Gideon Gleeful is the type of guy who will call you "friend" before trying to cut out your tongue with a pair of lamb shears.
    • Bill Cipher is the type of demon who will call you by a personalized nickname while trying to persuade you to fuck yourself over with a combination of Deal with the Devil and Jackass Genie. In "The Last Mabelcorn," Dipper Pines, who Bill nicknamed "Pine Tree," is shown to be so afraid of Bill that he freaks out when he thinks that Stanford, who he believes may have been possessed by Bill was about to call him by that nickname.
      Stanford: Just put the gun down, p-
      Stanford: I was going to say 'please!'
  • Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero:
    • Rippen occasionally calls Penn "my boy" or "dear boy", with mock sincerity. At one point Penn returns the favor by calling him "Old Rip".
    • The Milkman refers to everyone, including his enemies, as "friend." Especially when he's about to kill them.
  • Eska from The Legend of Korra refers to Bolin as "boyfriend" and her "feeble turtle duck".
  • In The Simpsons episode "Trash of the Titans", the sanitation commissioner who was replaced by Homer tells him "you are going to crash and burn, my fat-headed friend." Homer being Homer, he takes the last word to heart.
  • God-Emperor (emphasis on the god) Horde Prime from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power usually calls people "child" in a way that's either condescending or controlling - or both - and to underscore his intentions of having the whole universe become his worshipful slaves. If he starts calling you anything along the lines of"little sister" like he did to Catra, though, you should really be worried, because his 'family' is a Hive Mind he uses to Body Surf...and it means he's planning to make you part of it.

Alternative Title(s): Term Of Endangerment


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