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Obviously Evil / Western Animation

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  • Samurai Jack's enemy Aku, the Shapeshifting Master of Darkness, is about as obviously evil as they come. He's got natural spikes on his shoulders and elbows, an Evil Laugh, he's as hammy as they come, and to top it all off, his eyebrows are made of fire! Well he is Made of Evil. It's a bit hard to come off as benevolent when you're an Eldritch Abomination of Chaotic Evil. His name is literally the Japanese word for 'evil'.
  • King Koopa and the Koopa Pack in The Super Mario Bros Super Show!, due to its pastiche nature, offered most genres' worth of Obviously Evil design. Because it's a comedic show, though, the lowest mooks are occasionally given Affably Evil moments when they think nobody is looking.
  • The basis of Captain Planet. The producers obviously believed that kids wouldn't be able to tell Exxon apart from Ecover, so they portrayed villain like this. Hoggish Greedly had a pig-face, Verminous Skumm looked like some kind of human/rat hybrid, Sly Sludge was short, fat, greasy, and overall unattractive, and Duke Nukem was made of some kind of glowing yellow bricks.
    • Averted by Looten Plunder, who is proportionate and in good shape, if not downright good looking. Subverted by Dr. Blight, who other than the scarred half of her face, is a rather attractive woman. Zarm is a less-obvious example.
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  • Family Guy once had a cigarette company taking over Peter's factory. They were pictured very true to the trope. South Park had some fun and reversed the standard roles, so the cigarette factory workers were a friendly bunch with no negative ambitions, while Rob Reiner's anti-tobacco activist group was Obviously Evil behind closed doors.
  • Legend of Korra has Unalaq, Korra's uncle and the Big Bad(sort of) of Book 2. How Korra fails to immediately realize he's up to no good when just about everyone else does is completely baffling.
  • ReBoot manages to play this straight, subvert, invert, and lampshade this trope with the strange tolerance Mainframe and its guardian Bob gives towards viruses. In the world of computers, viruses can't help but obey their evil programming, which is why Bob doesn't like killing them, but wishes to reprogram them. But the two viral strains in Mainframe are far too powerful for Bob to ever capture or control, and he won't call for help, so the city endures two years of chaos before it goes too far (and THAT'S before the series starts).
    • Played Straight: Megabyte and Hexadecimal are destructive and look the part. Megs is in all secondary colors (and looks suspiciously like Apocalypse), Hex is red and black and both are riddled with Spikes of Villainy, talons and sharp teeth. Bob really hopes to convert these two... Somehow... Both manage Affably Evil moments, but Megabyte's are just moments where there wasn't anything evil to do and Hexadecimal seems to get the excuse that she is mentally unstable and her Heel–Face Turn was more Bob really, really wanting to convert her than her deciding to do good.
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    • Inverted: The series biggest Big Bad was a French-accented, brightly colored ingenue supervirus who's based off Joan of Arc.
    • Lampshaded: "Maybe it's a benign virus..." The virus is ten feet tall, clawed and red-and-secondary-colored. "Oh, yeah! You can tell by looking at it!"
    • Subverted: When Megabyte's brainwashed mooks go from secondary colors to normal, this is usually the cue that they are no longer evil. Not so, at all.
  • Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget. Never has a villain fit this trope without ever showing his face. His deep, sinister voice was enough to show viewers he was bad news.
  • Sperg from Grim Adventures, although he's more of a Jerkass.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) Skeletor: The man has a naked skull for a head, people, the color scheme and creepy HQ are flat out redundant.
    • Subverted in the 2002 show with the Speleans, a species of evil looking bat people that are actually quite friendly.
  • In a flashback in the direct-to-DVD movie Barbie & The Diamond Castle, three muses are shown. One is dressed in a simple blue tunic, another in a royal purple tunic, and the third has an elaborate costume in muted shades of purple and red, with dark eyeshadow. Yeah, guess which one turns evil.
    • Averted in the picture book, where Lydia is shown wearing a white tunic in the flashback.
  • Trigon the Terrible from Teen Titans. Not that he can help it, though, as he's a red, four-eyed demon the size of a skyscraper who doesn't care about labels pitiful mortals might give him. The Brotherhood of Evil, on the other hand, has no excuse. At least the Brotherhood of Evil didn't get weird like they do in the comics.
  • Subverted by Tombstone of The Spectacular Spider Man. He's an albino Scary Black Man with teeth he's apparently filed to fangs... and he's still a Villain with Good Publicity. That, folks, is the sign of a true Magnificent Bastard. If someone did say anything, he could just say the accuser was discriminating against him because of his looks. Overt prejudice isn't really the issue — the Uncanny Valley is. Tombstone is freaky-looking and is every so often outright accused of being the Big Man, but he's invested enough effort into his Villain with Good Publicity campaign that he's still accepted as a beloved pillar of the community, so much so that the police take his word over Spidey's on at least one occasion.
  • The Simpsons gives an example of this concerning Mr. Burns's bid to buy Santa Little Helper's brood.
    Lisa: [whispering] Mom, don't give the puppies to him, he'll be mean to them.
    Marge: Hmm... she's right, Homer. There's something about his face I don't trust.
    [Burns stifles an evil chuckle while looking really malevolent]
    • Or when Homer wants to sell Bart's elephant (It's a Long Story), Lisa again points out that the prospective buyer is not to be trusted:
      Lisa: I'm pretty sure this guy is an ivory dealer. His hat is ivory, his boots are ivory, and I'm pretty sure that check is ivory!
      Mr Blackheart: Little girl, I've been many things: Whale hunter, seal clubber, President of the Fox Network... and like most people, yeah, I've dealt a little ivory.
    • There was also the time Reverend Lovejoy preached that "The Devil walks among us!" in one of his sermons. Bart leaps on a guy sitting in front of him who bears a resemblance to several traditional depictions of Satan proclaiming "I got him!"
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes gives us Lucius Heinous VII, who is red with horns, has a first name similar to "Lucifer" and a last name that is literally synonymous with "evil", and runs a city called Miseryville. Heloise wears a blood red dress and has a scar on her forehead.
  • From ThunderCats, the ghastly wizened mummified warlock Mumm-Ra. Quite scary transformation, also.
  • Most Jonny Quest villains are really unsubtle in their constant dog kicking, their blatantly selfish, malevolent motives, and their choices of wardrobe and lighting. For instance, Dr. Ashida in "The Dragons of Ashida" is such an arrogantly megalomaniacal cackling Yellow Peril Mad Scientist that he makes the series' Big Bad, Dr. Zin, seem Affably Evil and restrained by comparison.
  • Danny Phantom: Vlad Masters. Fittingly, his ghost form looks like Dracula.
  • If you can't tell that Van Kleiss from Generator Rex isn't a nice man just by looking at him, his voice (courtesy of Troy Baker) should do the job.
  • Lord Darkar, the Big Bad of the second season of Winx Club, is what he says about himself: "Fists of iron, eyes of fire, and wit as sharp as a sword." He's Chaotic Evil, his armor is based off of a skeletal phoenix, and his name suits him well as he is a being of darkness, making it a Name to Run Away From Really Fast. He's got Spikes of Villainy, an Evil Laugh, Black Eyes of Evil, Villainous Cheekbones, and dark magic. He has quite a scary transformation, too. His profile even suggests that his helmet can pull up to reveal his terrible face.
  • Shows up a number of times in Adventure Time. Lampshaded a few times, such as in "Ricardio the Heart Guy" and "Wizard".
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • Monsuno has the Eklipse organisation; it's led by Dr Emmanuel Klipse, a Mad Scientist dressed in red and black with a Beard of Evil, a Faux Affably Evil attitude, and the Monsunos he produces and sells are red. He is so obviously evil that even when he shows up and offers a deal to the protagonists, they are immediately aware they shouldn't trust him.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated
    • Played with Mayor Jones. Even before being revealed as the Big Bad of season one, he is clearly an amoral Jerkass, fulfilling this trope in hindsight.
    • Played for Laughs in the episode "The Gathering Gloom", where Velma immediately identifies the creepy gravedigger, Count Evallo Von Meanskrieg, as the Graveyard Ghoul that's been terrorizing people, but no one believes her because it seems too obvious. This is a guy whose aptitude test actually shows he's pure evil, and is prone to muttering, "''(mumble mumble) evil and what-not."
    Velma: Guys? Guys! You see that? He's growling at me! Actually growling.
    • George Avocados was a suspect in multiple episodes for various reasons, but only became a villain after Mystery Inc. inadvertently destroyed his livelihood by ruining his chances for mayor and blowing up his avocado farm. And in the episode where he finally turns, he's pretty much the only suspect.
    George: And I suppose you're wondering, after so many prior misdirects, why now.
    Daphne: Actually, no. Not really. We kinda always knew you were evil.
  • Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters seems to have a liking for playing with this trope. The Choten is a blonde, long-haired guy dressed costume, specialized in Water Creatures, with a rather Affably Evil attitude, while his Dragon, Alakshmi, is a dark-skinned, white-haired woman with a strong tendencies to Psychotic Smirks and trained in using Darkness Creatures, her favourite being Razorkinder Puppet. As the show goes on, it's made quite clear that the real Monster is the Choten, while Alakshmi (though not exactly nice herself) is a more sympathetic Anti-Villain.
  • Who Killed Who?: As a gag, when the detective pushes a button marked 'RING BELL FOR SUSPECTS', the butler, maid, and chauffeur come in, and they all look rather sinister. It then turns out that they're actually pretty cheerful.
  • In Adventure Time "The Lich" (Formally The Lich King before fear of being sued by Blizzard) there is nothing subtle at all with his appearance. (Dark hood, horns, skeletal body with flesh still hanging off) even the creator's pre-production notes state in large letters "THE LICH KING ISN'T FUNNY!"
  • Completely lampshaded in Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, when Buzz's best friend and closest teammate, Warp Darkmatter goes rogue and joins Emperor Zurg. When asked about his betrayal he says along the lines of 'Wasn't it obvious? My name is "Darkmatter" '
  • Ivanhoe: The King's Knight features one of its Norman villains Philip de Malvoisin as a pale-skinned, black haired man. There is no one else, Norman or otherwise, with such a look and he looks genuinely sinister.
  • Pound Puppies and the Legend of Big Paw had Marvin McNasty. A cackling, purple suited, sharp toothed man who looks like the lovechild of Renfield and the Penguin? Nah, nothing suspicious about him!
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Chancellor Palpatine secretly being Evil All Along was never that much of a surprise to begin with, but in the film series, he at least kept up the appearance of being a kindly old man when not in his Darth Sidious persona. Here, he's given a much more openly villainous design, with large, dark shadows around his eyes and a tendency to Clasp Your Hands If You Deceive. He frequently plays an Obstructive Bureaucrat and has a fondness for Kicking Dogs even when there is no real benefit to doing so.
  • Played with in Avatar: The Last Airbender in regards to Zuko. He starts out as the heroes' first antagonist who's bald, scarred, and clothed in the red and black colors of the Fire Nation. However, it becomes clear after several episodes that he's actually a rather sympathetic antagonist with an incredibly sad backstory of how he got scarred and he eventually does a Heel–Face Turn.
    • Tellingly, he appears "bald" (actually all his hair is done in a restricting top knot), in the first season, but as his more sympathetic qualities pile up, he gets a Significant Haircut that gives him a more Troubled, but Cute look.
  • Councilor Zottornick from Princess Sissi has a pale scrawny face, is bald and has a deep sounding voice. With him looking like that, one should really wonder why Empress Sophia trusts him so blindly. He really looks like a trustworthy person, don't you think?
  • Over the Garden Wall:
  • The Pirates of Dark Water features the evil pirate Bloth, who is evil. He is fat, balding and sports fangs, in addition to some type of Mad Max apparel. Even still, in their first meeting, Wren doesn't judge him by his appearance, being willing to work with him until he eventually shows his true colors.
  • Jiminy Cricket pokes fun at this in a House of Mouse sketch parodying "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)":
    Avoid anyone who has a fiendish cackle, a sinister smile, or a diabolical glare— not necessarily in that order.
  • This is something of a tradition among the Decepticons of Transformers. More often than not, they even design their ships to be unnecessarily spiky and menacing. Examine their Transformers: Prime designs, for example. Megatron is a huge grey behemoth with Shoulders of Doom, Red Eyes, Take Warning and prominent razor-sharp fangs. Starscream is similarly red-eyed, but with a perpetual hunch and a diabolical smirk seemingly spot-welded on his face. They don't get more benevolent-looking from there.
    • The Predacons of Beast Wars inherited a lot of the Decepticon blatancy and then combined it with a selection of traits taken from bugs and dinosaurs for additional unpleasantness; it's hard to imagine who would look at, say, Tarantulas, a spider-bot with a mouthful of razor-sharp fangs, and conclude that he's in any way a positive addition to the team. Even the Predacons who were created from repurposed Maximal shells still end up broadcasting their villainy; Inferno, for example, is a giant pyromaniac fire ant with a Slasher Smile and glowing red eyes. When the Fusors debut, it's not hard to guess which of them will stay with the Predacons and which will join the Maximals given that one of them combines the traits of stereotypically noble wolves and eagles, and the other is a scorpion with a snake for a tail and turns into a sort of teal Darth Vader thing.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: The plot of the first couple of episodes has Adora realize that she was lied to all her life and the Horde are actually the bad guys, but it has to be said that the Horde didn't do much to sell the deception. They field armies of Faceless Goons, their symbol is a set of batlike wings, Adora was personally raised by an Evil Sorceress in a creepy mask who uses dark magic, and their HQ is in a place called the Fright Zone. Hordak, the founder of the Horde, is a seven-foot-tall man with fangs, glowing red eyes and a skull-like facial structure who wears black and red armor. In fact, Adora seems to be the only one who was actually fooled, as trying to tell her best friend and fellow solider Catra about her realization gets an Everybody Knew Already response.
  • The short lived and relatively obscure late '80s cartoon Little Clowns of Happytown has the villain Awful B. Bad. You can't get much more obviously evil than that.
  • Ziard, the inventor of Dark Magic in The Dragon Prince, has long, unkempt black and white hair, and wears dark robes decorated with skulls and black feathers. Subverted, as it turns out he was actually reasonably well-intentioned.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: Invoked In-Universe by Ensign Boimler when he and Ensign Mariner encounter a very suspicious-looking Ferengi.
    Boimler: He could not be any more Ferengi — the big ears, the beady eyes, the greedy thing they do with their hands.
    Ferengi: (performs greedy hands gesture) Hyoo-mon. Myah.
    Boimler: Ferengi are the most untrustworthy race in the galaxy. He probably just wants to lure us over there so he can mug us.


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