We may be the bad guys, but we aren't bad bad! We put the good in bad!
~ Meowth explaining Team Rocket's ideals while refusing to help Faba.
Bad man. Good manners.
~ Ron Stoppable's description of Señor Senior, Senior.

Villains who are genuinely polite and friendly in spite of being villains. They will frequently both speak and act in an extremely polite and thoughtful manner even to the heroes they face (though some of them may be two-sided about it and might occasionally provoke or insult them during a fight, though that is a rare sight for them) and their friendly and considerate nature often comes as a surprise to both those heroes and possibly also the viewer. That said, they are still capable of losing their temper and will sometimes (temporarily) shed their polite nature if faced with defeat. Only true Affably Evil villains will regain (and retain) their polite nature after facing their defeat and will more likely than not, respect the hero even more.

Since politeness is a redeeming trait, it is not uncommon for affably evil villains to be redeemed or at least have the potential for redemption.

To be genuinely Affably Evil, the following criteria must be met:

  1. The affable nature is not an obvious facade that the villain is only maintaining to manipulate others. Affably Evil villains really ARE that nice or at the very least, have good manners.
  2. There is a difference between Affably Evil and Faux Affably Evil villains. The latter is a villain who sounds polite but would clearly throw you in front of a bus without a second thought. For a villain to be Affably Evil, they must not be that heedless to the lives and well-being of others, and their niceness can redeem them. Android 16 is an example.
  3. Affably Evil villains are usually only willing to hurt/kill people who actually get in their way and to everyone else, they are a perfectly nice, amiable person; Faux Affably Evil villains do not show that kind of empathy and therefore, them sounding polite but not acting it just simply highlights their evil more rather than downplay it.
  4. Affably Evil villains have lines they won't cross. A Faux Affably Evil villain could easily act polite, but still blow up planets or kill children as a lifestyle. However, it is quite possible for a genocidal villain, a Harbinger for Rebirth or even a cataclysmic villain to be Affably Evil unless they have such standards and/or lines they are not willing to cross (e.g. Thanos and Count Bleck).
  5. These types of villains are never pure evil and will most likely have their limits of how far their evil-doing goes.

They are also the opposite of heroic jerks who are heroes that act rude or standoffish.

Pure Evil villains can NEVER qualify, because these villains are not genuinely polite or friendly to anyone, this counts as a redeeming quality and would present the villain in a positive way as Pure Evils are always selfish, hateful, uncaring, hostile and iredeemable. However, a Pure Evil villain can be (and is very often) Faux Affably Evil. Similarly, Pure Evil villains can also be Sophisticated and/or Friend of a Hero‏‎ if they were once true friends of the hero in the past.

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