Follow TV Tropes


Villains Out Shopping / Live-Action Films

Go To

  • Drake/Dracula in Blade: Trinity visits a goth store soon after he is reawakened from his slumber. He is so disgusted by the sight of what the goths think reflects the nature of vampires that he ends up killing the two clerks managing the store.
  • The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes: A Faux Affably Evil example occurs when Chili and a crony talk about murdering Dexter, an innocent college student, because He Knows Too Much. They also discuss going on a fishing trip near where they plan to hide the body once Dexter is dead.
  • The deliciously silly D.E.B.S. starts with a spy organisation being briefed that supervillain and mass murderess Lucy Diamond is back in town and has been revealed to be meeting with a notorious Russian assassin at a local restaurant. It's a blind date.
  • The murderous anti-hero protagonists of The Devil's Rejects stop to get ice cream in one scene.
  • The Godfather opens with a mafia wedding, though the top members of the mob are still working. Later, we see Don Corleone out shopping for oranges, which is only shown because it immediately precedes a mob ambush.
    • He is also shown growing the tomatoes and playing with his grandson in scenes that have no relations to mafia or crime whatsoever.
  • In The Godfather Part II, a younger adult Vito and his family visit Corleone for a vacation, before he gets revenge against the Don who murdered his father, brothers, and mother when he was a child.
  • The Proposition reveals what irredeemably evil outlaws do in their spare time: recite poetry and sing folk tunes.
  • Quentin Tarantino loves this trope:
    • The crooks in Reservoir Dogs discuss music, film, old phone numbers and the morality of tipping before leaving to commit a diamond heist.
      • One of them also brings a fast food cup to their safe spot after the heist, implying that he stopped for lunch between the robbery (where he also kidnapped a cop) and the meetup.
    • Pulp Fiction is mostly about all the things that crooks chat about before, during and after their criminal exploits. One of the most famous scenes involves Jules and Vince discussing fast food nomenclature in Europe, while the second half of "The Gold Watch" would never have happened if mob boss Marsellus Wallace hadn't gone grocery shopping that day.
    • Advertisement:
    • Jackie Brown is essentially a meditation on growing older wrapped in a caper plot.
    • Kill Bill has a couple of points where members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad are shown after they give up their life of assassination: getting married, working as a bouncer at a local nightclub, and raising a daughter. This is between assassination attempts and bone crunching ninja mayhem. Even the Crazy 88's, who are still assassins, enjoy living the fine life and are seen lounging around a restaurant, ordering a pizza (even though it's not on the menu) and playfully mocking a Buddhist monk for looking like Charlie Brown.
    • In Death Proof, Stuntman Mike gobbles nachos and gabs about the film industry before he goes on his murderous rampage.
    • The 4th chapter of Inglourious Basterds has a bunch of Nazi soldiers at a pub, drinking and playing pub games to celebrate the birth of a private's son. The main heist involves ambushing Nazis who are attending a movie screening.
    • In From Dusk Till Dawn, the bar scene can be seen as that with the Gecko Brothers and their hostages as they are casually enjoying shots. (This even applies to Richie, who is a sadistic rapist and murderer but still capable of being chummy when he's in a mellower mood.) Of course this is long before the bar staff go on a vampiric rampage.
  • In Mr. Brooks, Earl Brooks and his imaginary friend Marshall work on crosswords while on the lookout for potential victims.
  • It Happened Here (1966). A montage shows German soldiers playing tourist in Nazi-occupied London, mixing with the locals and chatting up girls.
    • While filming in London, a group of Bundeswehr panzer officers were surprised to see the World War II-era costumed soldiers. They inspected the extras, and pronounced their uniforms "absolutely correct."
  • One of the only genuinely (and possibly unintentionally) amusing moments in the otherwise mortifying Star Wars Holiday Special comes when one of the sinister imperial officers, in the middle of ransacking Chewbacca's house...sits down and watches a Jefferson Starship music video on Chewie's TV. Not because it's rebel contraband or anything, just kicking back and watching the performance, and, judging by the big goofy smile on his face, genuinely enjoying it. It's an oddly humanizing moment, and certainly the only subtle moment of comedy to be found in the entire special.
  • Boyz n the Hood. After Ricky's murder, Doughboy and his friends set out to find and kill those responsible. When they finally find Ricky's killers, they're... eating dinner and having casual conversation at a fast-food joint. Cue drive-by.
  • In the original version of The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, when he isn't issuing threats or demands, Mr. Blue passes the time while waiting in the hijacked subway car for the delivery of the ransom by...doing a crossword puzzle.
  • Due to how The Hunger Games is told from the first-person perspective, there isn't a lot of time to show what the bad guys are doing. The film invokes this by showing President Snow taking a break from having the districts' children fight to the death by tending to his rose garden.
  • Professor Moriarty gets a few of these in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Holmes first meets him at Cambridge, where he is helping a student. Later, we see him on a lecture tour and signing copies of his book. Not to mention, horror of horrors... feeding pigeons!
  • In one scene, Mickey Cohen in Gangster Squad arrives at the aftermath of one of the squad's attacks, having been interrupted in the nefarious crime of walking his dog.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: In the opening scene, as the disguised Soviets head to Hangar 51, the driver of the lead car gets into a drag race with some American teenagers and is clearly enjoying himself.
  • The Djinn of Wishmaster goes shopping for a suit in the first film. It's not used to humanize him however, as he simply uses the opportunity to Kick the Dog one more time by condemning some poor clerk to another horrific fate.
  • Tombstone: When the travelling show comes to town, The Cowboys show up en masse, and seem to have a genuinely good time and be very appreciative of the performance. They even give Fabian a standing ovation for his rendition of the St. Crispin's Day speech.
  • In The Beastmaster 2 Arklon and Lyranna take a break from evil antics to go clothes shopping. They both really get into it.
  • In Captain America: The First Avenger, when they first meet, Red Skull tells Steve that he's a great fan of his films.
  • Night Watch: Zabulon is shown regularly relaxing with a fighting game. Subverted as he's actually using it as a medium for divination, predicting and influencing how certain fights will go in the future.
  • In Red Dawn (1984), the first Soviet soldiers that the teens kill are out taking pics of the national monument and landscape.
  • The first thing we see the ultra-genocidal Mad Titan Thanos doing in Avengers: Endgame is...relaxing on a tranquil farm, harvesting some crops and cooking himself a meal in solitude, right up until the Avengers come a-knockin'.
  • The Sweeney (2012): The meeting of career criminals Regan takes as a planning session for robbery is, in fact, a barbeque, and the attendees know nothing about the Big Bad's plans. The villain set this (and them) up as a deliberate distraction from the gang that is actually going to commit robbery.
  • Godzilla vs The Sea Monster can be considered this for Godzilla to some degree. Up until this point in the series, Godzilla has been portrayed as a monster whose creation by the Atomic Bomb causes him to punish all humanity out of rage. Here though, he's just taking a vacation of sorts away from humanity until he's awoken by the heroes. Lately, when encountering Dayo (a human native worshipper of Mothra) he just brushes her off just so he can resume taking his nap, only to be awoken by a Giant Condor and the Red Bamboo.
    • A non-comedic example occurs in the original Godzilla (1954), when after thoroughly destroying the city of Tokyo twice in the first two acts, Godzilla's final moments on Earth are spent peacefully resting at sea.
  • Scary Movie: Parodied when the Ghostface killer calls up Shorty. After they start goofing off with each other, it turns out that the killer is just relaxing at home and watching a football game—in full costume.
  • In The Manchurian Candidate (1962) the Red Chinese psychologist Yen Lo comes to America to examine his brainwashed subject. After a preliminary conversation he announces he's going to Macy's with long list of things to buy from his wife.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane sits in a corner knitting during the Kangaroo Court scene.
  • Played with in Tim Burton's Batman (1989). The Joker and his gang visit an art museum. No, they're not there to rob the place; nor do they kill anybody (though they do temporarily put them to sleep with knockout gas). All they want to do is admire the paintings and sculptures...that they are "improving" by crudely splashing them with paint, slashing them, breaking them, etc. He does stop one of his gang from slashing Figure with Meat by Francis Bacon because he kinda likes it. But then, of course, the Joker's true reason for going to the museum is revealed: he had lured Vicki Vale there by pretending to be Bruce Wayne inviting her to dinner at the museum café, with the intention of kidnapping her or torturing her, or both; Batman's rescue attempt is how he and Vicki end up meeting.
  • Receives more focus in Day Night Day Night than the actual terrorism. And not just shopping (generally buying food), also brushing teeth, clipping nails, and various other mundane things for the last time.
  • James Bond:
    • Goldfinger takes a break in the Swiss Alps to buy some fruit from a roadside vendor.
    • No Time to Die: Bond and Paloma infiltrate a SPECTRE meeting only to find they are holding a birthday party for their boss, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. However, it turns out they knew Bond was coming because the greatest birthday present for Blofeld would be the death of James Bond...
  • One scene in Super Mario Bros. features Koopa ordering pizza. The guy taking his order even treats him like any other customer, even though the guy can see that he's the despotic dictator ruling his city with an iron fist. This implies Koopa knows the guy and it's a regular occurrence (there's even a Koopa Special named after him). The scene serves absolutely no purpose.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • After the castle scene, N'Goo Tuana is seen playing the piano at a diner, and he is pretty amazing at it.
    • The next morning, all of the possessed tourists were playing in the beach and dancing to the song "Words To Me" by the band Sugar Ray, who are also possessed, before turning on Shaggy and Scooby.
  • Gangs of New York has a Truce Zone example in the form of Satan's Circus, the rowdy tavern on the Five Points where all of the locals - including the gang members, who have agreed not to attack each other there - can go to take part in immoral and probably illegal but not exactly villainous activities, like drinking themselves stupid or gambling on dogfights. Amsterdam Vallon even walks in at the same time a group of Street Performers decide to come inside, playing fiddles and singing folk tunes to everyone's delight. The Nativists play cards at a table off in the corner - although Bill does stab one of his men in the hand. And Amsterdam and another one of Bill's men wind up having a trivial argument and agree to settle the matter with a vicious fight.
  • Untouchable Glory has the hero find the villains lounging on a boat playing cards, drinking Coke and listening to music.
  • The Martians in Mars Attacks! are shown reading Playboy, drinking martinis, and bowling with Moai statues.
  • The sadistic, needlessly violent criminals in RoboCop are seen twice watching the same dumb comedy show that the rest of the population enjoys, and their leader also makes a comment that he never misses a Detroit Tigers game.
  • A trailer for the 2017 Continuity Reboot of Power Rangers (2017) shows Rita having a donut at a Krispy Kreme as her forces wreck the city around her.
  • In the third film in the Taken series, Liam Nelson's character Brain Mills, tracks down four assassins that tried to run him off the road, to a gas station/liquor store, where they were shopping for booze and the lead assassin, flirting with the girl at the cash register.
  • In Fast and Furious (the fourth film in the series), the Big Bad Braga and his right hand man Phoenix are visiting a church note  and betting at a cock fight respectively, when the heroes come for them, just before the climax. Also, earlier in the film, Braga is seen at a party sharing drinks with his new drivers and other business associates, all while planning on executing said new drivers, after they complete their job.
    • In the first film, Dom's rival Johnny Tran and his gang are attending the "Race Wars" competitions and competing fairly just like everyone else. Things only go south, after Jesse, one of Dom's pose members, gets in over his head and bets his dad's old ride, then runs off, before Tran can collect his car.
  • In Home Alone, Harry tells Marv that they'll grab dinner before coming back to the McCallister house. Earlier, when Kevin uses Angels With Filthy Souls to scare off Marv, he remarks that the voices sounded familiar, suggesting that he's seen the movie too.
  • In Die Hard, Hans tells the hostages that Mr. Takagi is dead while helping himself to the party buffet. Later, just before fighting the SWAT team, Uli sneaks a candy bar from the concession stand he is covering behind. Incidentally, these were both moments the actors themselves contributed.
  • At one point in The Dark Tower (2017), Walter breaks into Jake's apartment and proceeds to... cook some chicken, since they don't have any on Mid-World and he's missed the taste.
  • In Clear and Present Danger, we're first introduced to Colombian drug lord Ernesto Escobedo in a batting cage hitting baseballs. At various other points in the movie, we see that he has a bowling alley in his home and that he's helping his kid learn how to ride a horse.
  • Cold Pursuit: During the middle of a turf war, White Bull and his crew take some time out to enjoy a day at the snow at the ski resort, with most of the mooks having a snowball fight and Avalanche going paragliding.
  • Grosse Pointe Blank: Martin Blank, a hired killer, is attempting to do this by attending his high school reunion and reconnecting with his old girlfriend. Various other killers and some corrupt federal agents make this impossible.
  • Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines: Sir Percy starts formulating his plan to cheat in the air race when he takes notice of the seaside resort at Dover, causing him to head over for some fun at the beach.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), there's a scene with Robotnik enthusiastically dancing and getting down to "Where Evil Grows" by The Poppy Family in his lair (complete with red disco lighting and being chased by a virtual T. rex) while Sonic's quill is being scanned, only to be surprised by Agent Stone standing nearby and watching with his coffee.
    Robotnik: AAAAAAAGH!
    Stone: I just thought you might like a latte with steamed Austrian goat milk.
    Robotnik ...What do I look like, an imbecile? Of course I want a latte. I LOVE THE WAY YOU MAKE THEM!
  • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter confronts Aaron Davis after he's just gone grocery shopping.
  • In Se7en, Mills and Somerset head to the apartment of John Doe, the man who they believe is the one behind the murders based around the Seven Deadly Sins. While they're standing outside his apartment, John returns home from the grocery store. But when John realizes who the two are, he drops his bag of groceries and open fires on them.

Alternative Title(s): Film