Admiring the Abomination
"You know, this is the part of the day that I look forward to most... when I know there's something bizarre out there. I just don't know what it is. It's like a grab bag of disturbing events, don't you think?"
—Walter Bishop, Fringe
The Dreaded Killemall rises from the deep and stomps through Manhattan, squishing everything in its path! Alice starts to panic. Charlie braces himself for a futile last stand. And Bob is.... grinning like a loon?
"It's the rare Purple Killemall! I knew they existed! It can generate enough force per square foot to crush iron. How cool! It could destroy us and never even notice!"
Alice and Charlie exchange worried glances, terrified that their friend has gone off the deep end... but no. Bob has spent his lifetime researching Killemalls. Or he has the only copy of a book that describes them and has always wanted to see them. Or he risked his reputation on the fact that they exist and now is vindicated.
Never fear, viewers: Bob's fanboy trance will last only a moment and then he will swiftly come up with a plan to defeat the Killemall, or it will turn out that he knows its one weakness.
Obviously this trope can apply to more mundane threats, usually natural (like tornadoes, or sharks).
- A Filler scene in Dragonball Z has Ginyu (In Bulma's body) watching Freezer's last transformation and fighting with Goku, commenting on how great and powerful he was and confusing the hell out of Gohan, Krillin and Piccolo.
- L from Death Note. He only takes on cases that interest him and though understated he finds his Kira suspect, Light Yagami, to be quite fascinating and regards him as a Worthy Opponent (Foe Yay Ensues). L gets very annoyed at the appearance of a Second Kira, a copycat killer, because it's not HIS Kira and not playing by the same rules. In the live action movies he has a clear Pass the Popcorn moment when watching Light manipulate Naomi Misora on the monitors.
Souichiro Yagami: We have to stop this!
- Doctor Strange has one of these moments in a Marvel Adventures title. ("Such magnificent power. It could destroy us at whim.")
- In the Tintin story The Shooting Star, Prof. Hippolyte Calys is excited about the upcoming end-of-the-world meteor, saying such absurdities as "It will destroy the world tonight. Tomorrow, everyone will know my name for discovering it!"
- Several in the Alien movies.
- In Alien, Science officer Ash acts like this toward the title creature.
- Bishop displays this sort of behavior in Aliens when studying a Facehugger carcass, implying that he'll turn bad by drawing parallels to how Ash, the other synthetic person that once came into contact with the Aliens, reacted to the creature. It's a Red Herring; Bishop remains a good guy.
- Also in Resurrection when Dr. Gediman admires the Newborn (and to a certain extend, the normal Aliens).
- In the film and the Expanded Universe material, Ray Stantz of the Ghostbusters gets boyishly excited by a lot of the weird, gross, terrifying stuff they encounter.
- Matt Hooper in Jaws: "...what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution."
- Keyes in Predator 2:
Harrigan: You admire the damn thing.
- In the Ciaphas Cain novel Caves Of Ice, the Omnisiah worshipping enginseer who accompanies Cain when he discovers a Necron tomb while searching the mines below the processing plant his unit's guarding can't understand why Cain wants to blow up the entrance to it and call in the navy to bomb the place into oblivion. He changes his mind after he's the only survivor of a group of "Cogboys" who entered the tomb; he eventually gleefully helps drown the tomb in promethium.
- In Dracula, according to Van Helsing, the Count "must indeed have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. If it be so, then was he no common man: for in that time, and for centuries after, he was spoken of as the cleverest and the most cunning, as well as the bravest of the sons of the 'land beyond the forest'"
- In Blood of Elves by Linus Pitt, "Master Tutor and Lecturer in Natural History at the Oxenfurt Academy" during a river cruise spontaneously turned into field trip for him. He offers to name the creature "...geraltia pitti", but Geralt tells him to name it after an annoying brat that traveled with them and almost got devoured.
"What a specimen, what a specimen," Pitt quickly noted, thrilled no end. "Prehensile cephalic limbs, four pairs of chelae... Strong tail-fan... Sharp claws..."
- Dragon expert Lady Sybil has this reaction to the Noble Dragon in Guards Guards.
Sybil: Do you realise we're very probably seeing something no-one has seen for centuries?
- Near the end of The Illuminatus Trilogy, the main characters are captured by the Leviathan, a mountain-sized, aeons-old unicelluar life-form.
"Let it come closer for a while," Hagbard said. "I want to get a good close look. I've never had a chance like this before, and I may never see this creature again."
- The late Steve Irwin (aka The Crocodile Hunter) always reacted to wild animals, particularly the very dangerous ones, with a blend of respect and boyish glee. Given how he died, some may regard this as a cautionary tale.
- Doctor Who does this practically Once an Episode - the Doctor is sort of an intergalactic Crocodile Hunter. In the new series, this is deconstructed when Queen Victoria (It Makes Sense in Context) declares The Doctor to be persona non grata in England due to his flippant treatment of horrible monsters.
- In the old series story "The Green Death," after he kills the giant insect that the giant maggot has evolved into, he says that it's beautiful.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Giles occasionally gets excited over the Monster of the Week. "A werewolf! One of the classics!"
Giles: Grave robbing? That's new. Interesting.
- A big part of Walter Bishop's character in Fringe.
- An episode of CSI featured a Mad Artist Serial Killer that killed people and used rigor mortis to pose their corpses. At one point the team interrogate another artist played by Jeffrey Tambor who had met the killer at some point. While he thought the killer's regular sketches were trash, when he is shown the photos of the corpses he is in awe at their artistic value. Never the less, he helps them catch the killer.
- Ghostbusters the Video Game has Egon admiring Ivo Shandor's work from time to time. He's quick to add that he was completely evil. Ray reminds Egon to "stick to the Light Side." "It's hard."
- Mass Effect 1 has both Liara and Shiala expressing regret over the destruction of the Thorian as it was an unique and ancient life-form.
- Crysis 2 has Jacob Hargreave admiring the Ceph bioweapon currently decimating humanity:
Hargreave: Cleaning up - it's ingenious, isn't it. Think of the Argentine Cattle Crisis two years ago. Or the British BSE outbreak in the last century. The issue was not slaughtering the animals, that was easily done. The problem was disposal. What do you do with the millions of rotting corpses? Well, there you see the answer the Ceph have evolved. They wipe us out, they break us down, they reduce the environmental impact almost to zero. Exemplary.
- From Xkcd: Okay, never mind, what's wrong with scientists is that you do see wonder and beauty in everything. Oh god, it's moving!
- Girl Genius Sparks are known to do things like open city gates so they can take a closer look at the enemy war machines/mutants/etc. that are attacking them at the time.
- Biologists LOVE finding new and creepy things. They also love finding OLD and creepy things. This is not an attractive fish. This is not an alien. It is a squid. This is not a xenomorph, it is a shark with detachable jaws.