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Playing With / Affably Evil

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Basic Trope: A bad guy is genuinely polite and nice even if they're unambiguously evil.

  • Straight: Emperor Evulz is looking to dominate the world, but he is actually a very nice, pleasant person to know, as long as you don't get in his way.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Evulz looks like a kind, polite person, but it's all an act.
    • Advertisement:
    • Evulz is a complete Jerkass who happened to be in a good mood that day.
    • The polite Harry is shown doing very suspicious things, but it turns out he was good after all. He was just caught at all the wrong moments.
  • Double Subverted:
    • But the act itself was an act to restore his cred as an evildoer. He's actually a pretty nice guy.
    • Evulz Becomes the Mask and starts being genuinely nice.
    • Evulz decides that being nasty to everyone all the time is too much effort and leaves him lonely, so he starts being more friendly to his minions and foes. This terrifies them even more, as they're waiting for the other shoe to drop.
    • It turns out that the suspiciousness was Foreshadowing of his sheer lack of concern for collateral damage when pursuing what's right.
  • Parodied: Evulz is so friendly that he's hardly a real threat at all.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Emperor Evulz looks like a polite person. It's an act. But it isn't. Wait, yes it is. Can he make up his mind already?
    • Depending on who the villain is dealing with, the affability is either sincere or a cruel façade.
  • Averted:
    • Emperor Evulz is rude, plain and simple.
    • Harry is a nice guy with strictly moral standing, despite being an outlaw.
  • Enforced:
    • The author is trying to deliver An Aesop that evil comes in all shapes and sizes.
    • "Villains are often mean and nasty. Let's create one who's your average everyday Nice Guy."
  • Lampshaded:
    • "For a villain, he acts a lot like a normal person."
    • "I may be your enemy, but that doesn't excuse being uncivil."
  • Invoked: Evulz tries to become a nicer, more polite person, in order to improve people's opinions of him, even if they do see his goals as "evil".
  • Exploited: After his conversations with The Hero, Evulz realizes that he knows everything about him now and can use it against him.
  • Defied:
    • "I will not serve dinner for my prisoners! I'm evil, damn it, and I'm going to be a dick!"
    • Emperor Evulz ponders being nice for a change... and promptly rejects the idea, laughing evilly all the while, in favor of scaring people into submission as usual.
  • Discussed:
    Alice: All right, time to go confront Emperor Evulz! Even though he's evil, I'm sure he won't mind if we drop by and have a chat.
    Bob: Alice! He's not some friendly movie villain, he's evil.
  • Conversed: "It's weird how, in some movies, the villain is a totally normal guy except for his evil plots. Kinda makes you paranoid, right? Anyone could be evil..."
  • Implied:
    Alice: You escaped! It wasn't too scary, was it?
    Bob: I've definitely had worse captors.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Emperor Evulz is so affable that he actually wins several times thanks to his ability to get along with others, while the Jerkass Anti-Hero drives away any possible allies he may have had.
    • Empress Evulz is an outgoing, charismatic, friendly and socially adept person. This is the reason WHY she became evil; everyone likes her so much that they enable her evil actions. Her victims forgive her too easily, the authorities let her off lightly, none of her peers criticize or censure her, her minions never disobey her orders, any objective reporting of her evil actions gets ignored or dismissed as Malicious Slander, and she is basically untouchable.
    • A lot of the people Evulz kidnaps develop Stockholm Syndrome.
    • Even if Evulz retains a pleasant tone, people are still going to hate him for his crimes. His likability will soon vanish.
  • Reconstructed: Evulz is only temporarily immune to consequences, as their villainy comes to light before the Point of No Return.
  • Played For Laughs: The villain's cheerful blabbing allows the heroes to make an escape, leaving him talking to himself.
  • Played For Drama: The villain really is a nice person, but he's not the villain because he wants to be.

You're most welcome to head back to Affably Evil any time you like. I even left cookies there for you. But, just so we are clear, I won't take "no" for an answer.

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