Or maturing his felonious little plans,
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
Is quite as great as any honest man's.
The heroes are on the ropes, the Evil Overlord has been awakened from his ancient slumber and his kung fu is stronger than theirs. While the heroes are licking their wounds, they wonder what unspeakable evil he's plotting, and the camera makes a cut to...(Dramatic Pause!)...the villain trying out some jeans and t-shirts at Hot Topic.
Similar to a Gilligan Cut with a villain as the Gilligan, Villains Out Shopping is a humorous cut to the villain doing or enjoying a perfectly mundane hobby unrelated to torture or being evil in general. Occasionally, the hero will join in and go Go-Karting with Bowser, and they generally won't attack villains during such activities, if only due to the market being a Truce Zone.
A similar situation is one where the hero has mistakenly concluded that one of the usual villains has committed a crime, when really, it was a different one. The hero will knock down the villain's door to discover... them trying on leather pants. Like we said, a crime.
Generally used to humanize the villain, who, more often than not, is Affably Evil and/or a Punch-Clock Villain; as such, do not expect the Complete Monster to engage in this, except perhaps to subvert it (however, even they can do this without subverting it, since they can have also harmless interests and know how to blend in).
If someone makes the argument that the villain's actions prove shopping is evil, they're committing the Hitler Ate Sugar fallacy.
See also Welcome to Evil Mart, which is an establishment that caters specifically to villains who have off-time. Kingpin in His Gym and Mob-Boss Suit Fitting are subversions, as the villains may initially seem to be enjoying some downtime but are actually training for/planning further villainy. Not Me This Time may occur if the heroes attack the villain because they didn't anticipate a shopping trip. A fanfic about the shopping trip is a Curtain Fic.
For the heroic version, see Heroes Gone Fishing.
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- Western Animation
- Darth Vader goes to Disneyland.
- It's unclear whether or not the two girls in this Japanese commercial ever do anything typical of the Ninja (because that's what they obviously are) but here they're just playing a friendly game of tag.
- This hilarious commercial from Spectrum features The Grim Reaper, the Wolfman, the Mummy, and a Mad Scientist commuting to work much like any commuters do, nonchalantly talking about their villainous and non-villainous plans. For instance, the Mummy talks about summoning the Apocalypse right after taking his twin sons to soccer, while the Reaper complains about his cable TV going out. In a second commercial, they're playing cards.
- Skeletor saved with MoneySupermarket.com and now he feels... epic!
- In "The Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley, the Purple People Eater explains that although he does like to eat people, his real reason for coming to Earth is to get a job in a rock-and-roll band.
- A Sherlock Holmes radio drama about Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee had Professor Moriarty detailing to Holmes his exact plans for the day:
Moriarty: "At four PM, I shall return home for a nap and an early dinner... ...At seven, I shall go the gala at Buckingham Palace and blow the place to kingdom come!''
- Dungeons & Dragons will inevitably have many examples.
- The Yozi of Exalted are Eldritch Abominations trapped in personalized hells, but universally share a deep and masterful appreciation of music. The King of Hell even leads regular city-wide song-and-dance numbers through the streets. This might have practical benefits given the nature of Hell, but still.
- In Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000, when not raining plagues and disease on the mortal realms, Father Nurgle enjoys tending his garden. It's a garden devoted entirely to disease, but hey! It's just a garden by another name, right? Nurgle is generally depicted as a kind and generous grandfatherly figure who likes spreading his presents.
- In the Classic and New World of Darkness:
- Fate magic in Mage: The Ascension and Awakening inverts this. Doing random errands and wandering around on impulse is how entropy manipulation gets you to the person or item you're seeking.
- Goblin Markets in Changeling: The Lost are strictly enforced Truce Zones chock-full of useful gear and contacts, so it's not uncommon for this trope to come into play, whether it's rival Freehold members buying Christmas presents, Hobgoblin mercenaries on their days off, or privateers auctioning off their slaves to the True Fae.
- One piece of Kickstarter material for Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine had Jenna Moran meet the Headmaster of the Bleak Academy while he was doing his laundry in Fortitude. Apparently the students at the Bleak Academy can forge Abhorrent weapons, monsters and all varieties of dark magic, but can't build a washing machine or brew detergent.