The guy may seem plush and huggable on the outside, but inside... he's a monster.
~ Buttercup describing Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear's true nature.
Faux Affably Evil is a term referring to villains who, at a glance, are similar to those who are the Affably Evil type, but with a lack of sincerity to their affable and sympathetic nature. Such villains are rarely, if ever wrathful or patronizing in front of the heroes, but they do not actually show geniune empathy towards others; as such, they are sounding polite but not acting it which causes their villainy to stand out more rather than less.

In some works, Faux Affably Evil villains break the Fourth Wall and reveal their true nature to the audience, while pretending to be nice in front of the protagonists. Arrogant villains who give a sarcastic apology to their foes also fall under this category. However, the characters of the story and audience alike might not be aware of the Faux Affably Evil villain's true colors until they reveal them. They could appear very much as a friend or ally before betraying the heroes, good examples including Dawn Bellwether and Ernesto de la Cruz. These kinds of villains are commonly regarded as surprise villains who can even have the audience fooled by their "friendly" attitudes.

Despite their lack of sincerity, some of these villains can actually be remorseful due to the fact that sometimes the hero can reach them in heart (usually done with Pure Goods). They also can be either insecure, redeemable or both (e.g. Marina Arusu). In fact, some Faux Affably Evil villains can even be heroic in some cases much like psychopaths (e.g. Darth Vader, Violet and Walter White).

On the other hand, many of them can be Pure Evil, as they can use "flattery" and "elegant" demeanors to get whatever they want and achieve their goals; Emperor Palpatine, Lord Voldemort, Scar, Jenner, Joker, Judge Claude FrolloFriezaThe Master, The BeldamEgo, Mysterio, William Afton, Kefka Palazzo, Dimentio, Bill CipherPennywise, Makuta Teridax, Isaac Ray Peram WestcottThulsa Doom, Terence T. D'Arby and Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear are all very good examples of this.

Note: just because a villain is extremely evil, doesn't mean they fall under faux if they're hostile to everyone (e.g Montgomery de la Cruz, Shao Kahn and Victor Krane)

  • However, this rule doesn't apply to villains like Micah Bell and Zhan Tiri who are hostile to almost everyone if they are superficially nice to at least one person.

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