Evil Tastes Good
"I ate the soul of a monk once. It tasted like chocolate."
—Richard the Warlock, Looking for Group
Evil doesn't just feel good, it also tastes good. Any Evil Overlord worth their cape will often describe their past evil deeds, current plot, or at least kill with taste related adjectives like "Delicious", "Sweet" or "Juicy", and their urge to do evil as a "Thirst", "Craving" or "Hunger".
The Seven Deadly Sins describe materialism and overindulging in earthly pleasures as sinful and wrong, and out of the seven deadlies Gluttony is one of the least glamorous. So when villains use taste to describe evil you just know there's something creepy and ugly about them, no matter how attractive they are. For much the same reasons Lust is why Evil Feels Good, and most villains like to describe their power in tactile and addictive terms like "Strong", "Smooth", and "Intoxicating". This might explain why some villains get Drunk on the Dark Side.
See also: Exotic Entree, Finger-Lickin' Evil, You Taste Delicious, Horror Hunger, Licking the Blade and A Glass of Chianti. Contrast Being Evil Sucks. Combine with Delicious Distraction for humorous (or horrifying) results. (Usually) not to be confused with I'm a Humanitarian.
Anime & Manga
- The beautiful Maestro Delphine in Last Exile luxuriated gluttony and decadence. Her egocentrism and villainy were reinforced by her pointing out a special meal she's sharing with the lead takes several thousand liters of water to grow, enough for several families to live on in their water-scarce world.
- The evil organization Florsheim in Tentai Senshi Sunred, a parody of Sentai series, is made up a bunch of womanly villains and monsters who apparently read a few too many Home Living magazines...
- In Volume 4 of Monster, the Neo-Nazi gangster called "the Baby" continually compares the arson he plans to commit against the Turkish section of town to a fine meal, with the destruction of the chemical warehouse as the "main course". When it's prevented by Tenma, he sadly notes, "My main course has gone cold..."
- In the first anime of Fullmetal Alchemist, the homunculi gain their powers by eating "red stones", which are made from people. Envy gives some to Wrath while Hannibal Lecturing him into a Face Heel Turn. Envy remarks on his enjoyment for the taste of them.
- Given that the the only way to kill an immortal in Baccano!! is to "devour" them, an Evil Tastes Good metaphor is practically required to show up. The Light Novels don't even try to dance around it, going straight for the cannibal implications of Szilard Quates's murder spree.
Quates: I always did like the taste of brain fluid.
- The Gluttony chapter of the book of Eibon in the Soul Eater manga.
- Yami Malik of Yu-Gi-Oh! often states in the manga that he will "devour" his victims and their emotions will add "spice".
- Aipos of Mnemosyne entire reason of dicking the world over is because the resulting time spores containing pain and suffering tastes good.
- Inukami! has Jesei who feeds on despair. He says nothing is more delicious than provoking despair. Naturally this means pushing people past the Despair Event Horizon.
- In Lucifer Hell produces a highly addictive drug called Pain, which is distilled from the suffering of the damned (specifically it is masochistic suffering as Lucifer notes early on that all the people in Hell are there because they feel the need to be punished). Exactly what it tastes like is never elaborated on but it is highly addictive. When the damned are given hope the taste is spoiled.
- Superman villain Parasite often describes the powers he steals in culinary terms. Superman's power set is Parasite's favorite meal, though he's not averse to stealing other powers.
- Literal case in Requiem Vampire Knight. As one character explains to the protagonist in the first issue, the blood of innocents is rather bland, compared to that of sinners, which seems to be more potent.
- Silverwolf's Harry Potter fic, The Twelve Disasters of Christmas, has list of reasons to join Voldemort that include "You know you want to join Voldemort. If you do, he'll give you candy canes.", "Joining Lord Voldemort is good for the digestive system.", and other food related enticements.
- Harry Osborn in the third Spider-Man movie uses this trope in a Double Entendre. After manipulating Peter into thinking Mary Jane has dumped him for Harry, he tells a waitress asking him about the pie he's eating that it "tastes so good."
- Hexxus in Ferngully describes spreading pollution, devouring animals and destroying the environment with quasi-sexual glee in "Toxic Love", a Villain Song ode to Evil Feels Good and more so, Evil Tastes Good. Even more evident in the extended version. While the in movie version danced around it, the extended version has him outright state: "I feel good, a special kind of horny."
- Sarah Michelle Gellar has an Evil Tastes Good scene in Cruel Intentions.
- In The Polar Bear King, the Witch infuses her wedding feast with a moderate amount of Evil for her guests (including the Devil himself). Too much evil is apparently fatal.
- "The hunger has returned to Mr. Brooks' brain. It never really left."
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry describes getting a heady feeling from using the Imperius Curse, stronger and more effective than firewhisky.
- In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Edmund finds his first quite literal taste of evil very good, specifically of the White Witch's
drugsTurkish delight. It soon not only tastes less good but is actually kind of nauseating... but it's so hard to stop.
- In the Thomas Harris book Black Sunday, the terrorist leader Fasil is eating a rich Swiss chocolate bar, and licking the remaining melted chocolate off his fingertips, admitting that if the Israeli Mosad ever knew of his pecadillo in how much he loved chocolate they'd probably have a means to catch him.
- Irial from Wicked Lovely. Yum.
- Versed in The Bible as a form of Aesop in the book of Proverbs: "A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing. For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city, To call passengers who go right on their ways: Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him, Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell." (Proverbs 9:13-18)
- "Revenge is a dish best served cold" is often attributed to the 1782 French novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos. This, however, is not true; the possibly first use of the phrase occurs in another French novel, Mathilde by Eugène Sue (1841). The line was famously said in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan; this particular usage has been parodied or referenced many times since:
- In an episode of Freakazoid! a villain, voiced by Ricardo Montalban himself, proclaims that "Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins."
- At the beginning of Kill Bill this quote is attributed as "an old Klingon Proverb."
- Parodied on The Simpsons by Sideshow Bob: "Revenge is a dish best served family style!"
- From the series premiere of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe:
Skeletor: Revenge is like jivare stew; it tastes best served cold.
"Revenge is a dish best served with mayonaise and those little cheesy things on sticks." Osric the Loopy, planetary governer of Corania (appointed 756 M41,removed from office by the Officio Assassinorum 764 M41)
- Parodied yet another way in Get Fuzzy, where Bucky uses this line on Satchel. To which he replies: "Like gazpacho!"
- Both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem describe drinking blood as both sensual and delicious, the best and only rush vampires have left. From the Masquerade revised core book:
What is it like? My dear, words can not describe it. Imagine drinking the finest champagne and the sensation of the most sensual lovemaking you've ever experienced. Overlay that with the rush the opium fiend feels as he takes that first breath on the pipe, and you have some sense, some tiny, infinitesimal sense of what it feels like to drink the blood of...a human being.
- Also, in both game lines vampires can devour the soul of another vampire, which aside from giving them more power, and being even worse than cannibalism, tastes/feels better than drinking blood. It's also addictive.
- Quite a few bits of flavour text in Magic the Gathering cards. An example.
- Would iliaster, from Infernum, count? This is the spiritual essence of a soul, physically torn away and polluted with anguish and suffering, and demons must consume it to survive. Iliaster is also used for things like engine fuel and the basis for medicines. Basic iliaster, called plasm, is actually noted as "crude, tasteless and unsatisfying"—demons who can afford it prefer to soak meat and, occasionally, vegetables (best not look too closely at either) in the stuff to add some more flavor and texture. Strain, iliaster generated from souls forced to labor on through exhaustion, apparently tastes better (though it's only as "nutritious" as plasm), but is mainly used as the demon equivalent of petrol. Agony, generated from souls kept conscious despite intense physical pain, is very potent (five times stronger than an equivalent dose of plasm) and is generally regarded as the wine of Hell. Sorrow, produced through psychological pain, is twice as nutritious as Agony and is the closest thing demons have to sacramental.
- In Stargate Atlantis, the Wraith need to drain life energy from others in order to survive. Whether this is evil is up for debate; they have to do so in order to survive, after all. But there's no mistaking the almost-rapturous joy that the Wraith experience while draining others, as well as the incredible pain that their victims go through. (The process is so traumatic that the Wraith actually have to strengthen their victims using a special chemical in order to prevent them from dying instantly of shock.) Most Wraith are also very malicious and sadistic, so they probably qualify as an example of the trope. Worth noting is one of Todd's lines in a recent episode. While offering the Atlantis crew some food they picked up during a culling, he mentions he hopes the fruits "taste as good as the farmers who grew them." An early episode had an unusually droll Wraith comment that "Unfortunately, your last chef proved far more appetizing than the meals he prepared." Although he was a single episode baddie, after a season or so some of the ideas behind that character evolved into the character of Todd.
- At various points in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, vampires like Drusilla would liken the taste of someone's blood to "cloves and honey", and life force draining warlocks would say it tasted "like strawberries". And Glory described a mind she had eaten as a "nummy treat". Spike even goes as far as referring to humans as "Happy Meals with legs". On the other hand, when asked what evil itself tasted like, Willow made a face and described it as "a little chalky."
- The Master in Doctor Who. All the time. "You are indeed a worthy opponent, Doctor. It's what gives your destruction its... piquancy."
- Sylar in Heroes occasionally describes his acquisition of powers in culinary terms, talking about his "hunger" to "consume" or "sink his teeth into" the "delicious" powers of others. There is widespread fan speculation that he steals superpowers by eating the brains of superhumans. Even after the whole "brain eating" thing was explicitly Jossed, the characters continue to refer to Sylar's desire for power as a "hunger" and his process of taking the powers of others as "feeding". Potential victims (the Level 5 Villains) are referred to as a "smorgasboard" and a "buffet".
- In Mike Mignola's short-lived (read: one episode) "The Amazing Screw On Head", the following exchange occurs
Emperor Zombie: You let me down. You went on and on about how sweet the candy was, then told me not to put it in my mouth and got mad at me when I did.
- Brutal Legend: The evil Emperor Doviculous is an S&M covered demon who coos with pleasure or mutters "Delicious," when he scores a kill in multiplayer.
- He's voiced by Tim Curry, Nuff' said.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, evil literally tastes good.
- Albedo from Xenosaga has this quote: "AHHHH, YEEEESSS? FEED ME YOUR HOSTILITY, PIERCE ME WITH YOUR HATRED!!"
- GM Yodai Higashizawa in The World Ends With You appears to have taken pointers from Fawful on food-based puns:
- "The proof is in the pudding. The pudding ... of their doom!"
- "The plates have been licked. Dessert is imminent."
- Akechi Mitsuhide from Sengoku Basara is very fond of eating-related analogues.
- Fawful from the Mario & Luigi series makes several food metaphors. About Doom. And mustard.
- At one point he talks about drizzling rage dressing on a salad of evil.
- In Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Descole drops the line, "Witnessing your downfall will be... delicious".
- Ghirahim, main villain of The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, licks his lips in every fight with Link. It's more of an example of "Violence Tastes Good", considering his personality.
- Sabine clearly enjoys this trope in this strip of Order of the Stick, where she drains Roy's life-energy. She says it has a deep woodsy flavour, with a hint of sage and no bitter after-taste. She adds, "Four stars! I'll have to recommend dining on you to all my fiendish friends!"
- Later parodied: Two hobgoblins tell a rookie at the granary that they whip the human slaves so that their cries of pain will make the food they're carrying taste more evil... then tell him they're just joking.
- The undead continue to embrace this trope, however. In this strip, a wight drains the levels from one of Haley's followers and comments that it was "delicious, but the portion was too small." Then his buddy spots Haley.
- And in this strip, the voices in V's head like the trope as well.
- And brain sucking has all kinds of tastes!
- Also subverted: in the prequel book Start of Darkness, a pre-lich Xykon goes on about his... strange relationship with bad coffee. The first thing he and his minions do after he's been turned into a lich and escaped his confinement is return to the old Greasy Spoon... only for him to find he can no longer taste anything. He flips out.
- If you ask Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater, the only thing better than pie is EVIL pie.
Red Mage: This meatloaf is great! Aren't you glad you came back to the mortal realm so you could enjoy this stuff, BM?
- Absurd Notions, in its earlier years, has a comic annotated with the statement that revenge, like meringue, is sweet and best served cold.
- Parodied in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja when the good doctor visits Sebastian, the vampire that runs the Red Cross in this strip:
Catering Chef: Would you like some baked ziti, sir?
- Also parodied a few pages before where Sebastian describes how he feeds a cow dairy products to make it fat, then butcher it, feed the steaks to infants, and then suck their blood. To quote Sebastian, "It is so decadent."
- In Demonology101 a Witness comments that the food at the wedding of Isaac Jenner and Madeline is delicious. Apparently evil doesn't just taste good, it makes a fine shrimp dish too.
Banai: Trust a Jenner to have the best served wedding I've been to in the last twenty years.
- Richard from Looking for Group LFG once drained the soul of a monk. "It tasted like chocolate," he said.
- Khrima took classes on baking evil cupcakes.
- In Life and Death, Steve has heard that the living soul of a mage tastes like strawberries.
- This Dominic Deegan shows this comic, When you eat a soul...
- In Sinfest, Satan has a taste test.
- Dr. Steel has mind control cookies! And cupcakes! (Well, maybe not so much the cupcakes. Dr. Steel calls the batch he made in The Dr. Steel Show Episode 2, "disgusting".)
- In an episode of Girl Genius Radio Theater, even the good guys cannot deny that caramel tastes better when infused with pure evil.
- In the popular fan-videos entitled "The REAL Legend of Zelda,"a humorous (if NSFW) take on Ocarina of Time, it seems Ganondorf has gone into the Breakfast Food area of business, for when Link is in a store, intending to buy bombs, Navi notices a box of Ganon-Flakes, and proceeds to force Link to buy them.
- Gargamel wanted to eat The Smurfs, expounding at length about their succulence, despite having never eaten one before. Or turn them to gold, he's never been all that clear on his motivation.
- Robot Chicken did a sketch in which a flashflood killed all the smurfs, who were then picked up by Gargamel. He cooked them and ate a bite with great anticipation, before realizing they tasted horrible, lamenting the years he had wasted hunting them, and ordering Chinese food.
- Invader Zim is rife with these. In all the wrong places.
Zim: "Delicious! Delicious! I'm normal!!"
- Taken literally on Teen Titans: when evil candy start attacking Cyborg, he eats them and then comments, "I never knew evil tasted so good."
- He was hungry! You'd eat anything if you're hungry!
- In another episode, Cyborg eats a sapient cube of evil "Nufu" (living tofu, though why pro-meat Cyborg would do so in the first place is never addressed). He was apparently fond of the taste.
- Most of the meat-based food Cyborg ate at Mega Meaty Meat was made of nufu. And to make it more disturbing, it was nufu originally in the form of its manager Bob.
- Both of these are In Name Only, since Cyborg isn't evil, it's just that he (and his teammate Beast Boy) are generally depicted as individuals for whom "hungry" is not so much a condition as a personality trait.
- Inverted in Codename: Kids Next Door. One episode features a villaness old grandmother attacking by having her sentient food Mooks force themselves down the kid's throats. The solution is to eat the food, although its obviously disgusting.
- Unless you're Numbah 2, the one kid who can willingly gulp down her concoctions.
- Powerpuff Girls features sentient broccoli alien invaders that the girls and all the kids in town have to eat to defeat.
- Dumping cauldrons of melted cheese on them from the windows of their houses didn't hurt.
- Another more literal form is Captain Hook in Disney's Peter Pan, the crocodile has been trying to eat him in every chance he can get, since he tasted his hand.
- Eric Cartman describes "the tears of unfathomable sadness," caused by him killing Scott Tenorman's parents and grinding them up into chili as "yummy."
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force there is the Broodwich, a sandwich created in hell which transports anyone who eats it into another dimension where some creature with an axe is hellbent on killing you.
- Common YouTube Poop source: M. Bison yells "This is delicious!" in a ham-tacular manner while watching Guile get his ass kicked by a mutant.
- In the pilot for Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, when Grim makes his first appearance, A giant vortex appears. Billy asks what it is, so Mandy takes a bit on her finger, tastes it and says that it's a swirling vortex of pure evil. She then has a second helping.
- In the Kim Possible episode "Odds Man In", Dr Drakken uses a chain of gourmet cupcake shops to disguise his new strategically placed lairs, much to the shock and disappointment of the heroes, who had been eating them throughout the episode. In another episode, he intends to brainwash the American military by putting mind-control serum in their sandwiches.
- Turtle soup is widely regarded as a delicacy, and in the past was often made from (currently endangered) sea turtles.
- Turtles are largely endangered because of shrinking habitats, not because evil gourmands can't get enough turtle. One should be careful about judging a food preference as "evil". If it's on the menu, it's certain to be farm-raised. If in doubt, ask the waiter, because turtle is quite tasty.
- Actually, many turtle species, especially those in North America and in East Asia, are threatened or endangered because of people poaching them for gourmands. In many cases, said species are often rare, difficult to cultivate, or that said gourmands simply prefer the taste of wild caught over farm-raised.
- To ensure tasty veal, calves may be prevented from getting any exercise at all.
- Clarification: that means that there are farms where baby cows spend most of their short lives in pens so small that pacing isn't even an option. All so people can eat veal.
- Further Clarification: this type of veal production is on the way out, and has been for years.
- Clarification: that means that there are farms where baby cows spend most of their short lives in pens so small that pacing isn't even an option. All so people can eat veal.
- Some foie gras producers force feed their geese so much food that the birds' stomachs may rupture.
- Just for clarity, force-feeding is how you get most foie gras (it's the quickest method, and, in France, is legally the only method by which the end product can be called "foie gras". The other way is to wait until it's time for winter migration, when the liver is fatty anyway). It's just that not all foie gras producers are so inept as to burst the stomachs of their geese. Also, geese don't have a gag reflex, so it's not clear if the minute-long feeding each day is actually painful.
- In The Bible, eating pigs is described as an "abomination" and in some Abrahamic traditions (not just Judaism), people refuse to eat pork for this reason. In cultures that do eat pigs, bacon is considered one of the tastiest foods.
- Shark fin soup is considered a Chinese status symbol, its high cost marking it as a special food at weddings and banquets. To source the fins, sharks are finned alive, then tossed back into the sea to die slowly—shark meat is not as economically valuable as the fins, so their fin-less bodies are left to sink to the ocean floor, unable to swim, where they will be defenselessly preyed upon or die slowly. Add to this that shark fins taste bland and that the soup would otherwise be plain-tasting if it didn't contain fish broth as well.
- Another Chinese food, is Bird's Nest Soup. (What is it with the Chinese and their diet?!) Which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin. A soup made out of a bird's nest. The bird being the swallow. Which makes its nest by using its spit in place of cement. (Am not making this up. Harvesting these spitwads/nests means that the birds have a hard time breeding, and are thus, dying out....because their spit is delicious.
- Cracked.com brings us The 6 Most Sadistic Dishes from Around the World, for those moments when you're feeling just a little too good about being human.
- It is illegal in the United States, France, and most of the western world to capture, sell, or cook the endangered ortolan (the bird, not the Star Wars species). And in response, resourceful gourmets pay great sums to get the dish. Anthony Bourdain, who wrote about an underground feast featuring ortolans, describes them as "one tasty f—ing bird.”
- Interestingly, a common ritual is for the ortolan-eater to cover his or her head with a napkin while eating the bird. This is sometimes explained as preventing the ortolan's odors from dissipating and reducing interference from the other senses. But one legend ascribes this practice to a priest who felt so guilty about what he was eating that he was trying to hide from God.