Villains Out Shopping

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"I find your lack of asthma inhalers disturbing."


When the enterprising burglar's not a-burgling (not a-burgling)
When the cut-throat isn't occupied in crime ('pied in crime)
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling (brook a-gurgling)

And listen to the merry village chime (village chime)
The Pirates of Penzance, "When A Felon's Not Engaged In His Employment" [1]
Look, Perry the Platypus, just because I'm evil doesn't mean everything I do is evil.
Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, Phineas and Ferb

The heroes are on the ropes, the Evil Overlord has been awakened from his ancient slumber and his kung fu is stronger than theirs. While the heroes are licking their wounds, they wonder what unspeakable evil he's plotting, and the camera makes a cut to...(Dramatic Pause!)...the villain trying out some jeans and t-shirts at Hot Topic.

Similar to a Gilligan Cut with an Affably Evil or Punch Clock villain as the Gilligan, Villains Out Shopping is a humorous cut to the villain doing or enjoying a perfectly mundane hobby unrelated to torture or being evil in general. Occasionally, the hero will join in and go Go-Karting with Bowser, and they generally won't attack villains during such activities, if only due to the market being a Truce Zone.

A similar situation is one where the hero has mistakenly concluded that one of the usual villains has done a crime, when really, it was a different one. The hero will knock down the villain's door to discover...them trying on leather pants. Like we said, a crime. (Unless it's David Bowie wearing them.)

Generally used to humanize the villain. Don't expect the Complete Monster to do this, other than perhaps to try to subvert it. For the heroic version, see Heroes Gone Fishing. A fanfic about the shopping trip is a Curtain Fic.

Not Me This Time may occur if the heroes attack the villain because they didn't anticipate a shopping trip.

Kingpin in His Gym and Mob Boss Suit Fitting are subversions, as the villains may initially seem to be enjoying some downtime but are actually training for/planning further villainy.

Examples of Villains Out Shopping include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • Kyoko from Black Cat before her Heel Face Turn fits this trope very nicely. She is shown outside of the Apostles as being a normal school girl that text messages and goes clothes shopping.
  • During an episode of Black Lagoon, Revy and Rock are made to deliver news on a shipment to proto-Magnificent Bitch and mob queen, Balalaika. They find her...busy in the middle of a several-hour marathon of doing post-production and slicing on porn films that her cartel is distributing; all the while complaining loudly that she should really have an intern for doing this and wishing for someone to shoot her.
    • Revy calls Shenhua at home to seek her help, and as Shenhua talks on the phone, you see her apartment mates Sawyer the Cleaner and Rotton the Wizard playing video games. Not so odd in Rotton's case, since he's a pretty decent guy, but definitely this trope for Shenhua and Sawyer, who are quite psychotic.
    • Since pretty much every character in the series is a Villain Protagonist, any time they are "off the job" would probably qualify for this.
  • Mayuri Kurotsuchi from Bleach is a rare "Good Guy" example of this trope. His various omake episode appearances include offering to change Renji's zanpakuto Zabimaru into an attractive woman (even providing a pamphlet) and filling in for his daughter at a "Shinigami Womens' Society" meeting. His character sheet, too, lists his various hobbies, which include reading every single line of the "Seireitei News Letter" and publishing his own surprisingly popular personal health article, of all things. However, a more literal example of the trope could be applied to Gin Ichimaru, who hosts his own amusing "Bad Guy" version of the Shinigami Golden Cup omake.
    • Gin, Tousen, and Aizen are also seen at the end of one OVA casually sipping tea in the mortal world. Gin cheerfully advises the audience to "be careful on your way home." Especially with Aizen's Moral Event Horizon and being a Complete Monster...
    • In the latest ending credits (as of this writing), every character, villain or not, is seen in street clothes in the mortal world, participating in evening activities. Only one who defies this is, naturally, Ulquiorra; instead of doing anything, he's out in the rain in an overcoat, still looking the same. No bags, no indication of what he's doing, and no one around him.
  • A large chunk of Chrono Crusade (manga version) shows The Sinners doing strangely...normal things. Aion goes out shopping for Fiore and even sneaks in a gift for her. In a later scene, he discusses his evil plans with his group at what appears to be a normal family dinner. Flashbacks show Chrono and Aion drinking together, Aion teasing Chrono about his crush on a girl, Chrono doing laundry, etc. At one point, when one of the heroes is kidnapped by the bad guys, she even points out at the breakfast table that everything seems very...normal.
  • In Cyber Team in Akihabara, the Quirky Miniboss Squad spend much of their time being normal people, and even end up befriending the protagonists in their off-time.
  • Arguably, Death Note and Code Geass use this as an Invoked Trope with the behavior of their respective Villain Protagonist and Byronic Hero when they are aware they are under surveillance. Light, of course, has his infamous potato chip eating scene, and Lelouch has a perhaps better example in the second season, where he goes on a sort of date with Shirley at the mall and is observed by both his fellow classmates and the government, and manages to pretend to be oblivious to both, and to enact a scheme as Zero while on the date.
    • In Death Note, Teru Mikami subscribes to a gym (though it does factor into Light's plan).
      • And if you don't take in to consideration that Misa Amane is the Second Kira, she's actually a pretty fun person, as well as a very successful entertainer (model, Idol Singer, actress, etc). Don't cross either her or Light and you'll be okay.
      • Light and Ryuk have been known to hang out watching wrestling matches and playing video games in between murder plots.
  • In D.Gray-man, when Tyki is invited over to the main villain's lair, he ends up having to help one of the Earl's favorites, Road Kamelot, with her homework.
    • The Noah family in general would be a normal, happy family, enjoying family dinners and helping each other out when they need it, if not for the whole "wanting to destroy the world/kill God" thing.
    • Tyki also has friends from before he awakened as a Noah. Whenever he's not being an evil henchman, odds are, he'll be with them. This was actually how he met Allen the first time.
  • There are almost as many chapters focused on En's family than on Kaiman in Dorohedoro. The term 'Villains' isn't exactly appropriate though.
  • Lord Il Palazzo, from Excel Saga, seems like the typical Evil Overlord. But when his operatives are out doing his bidding, he's left to his own devices. Plotting world conquest? No, just playing video games, learning guitar, reading comics, and teaching himself foreign languages.
    • Much of the manga is spent following Excel and Hyatt (and later Elgala) as they try to hold down a succession of low-paying jobs, trying to make ends meet.
  • Baptistin out buying French bread for the Count of Monte Cristo in Gankutsuou is quite memorable. The manga even includes an omake that shows him kneading bread with Bertuccio and launching into a tirade (complete with images of him throwing around breads and pastries to admirative crowds) about how he's going to become the best baker in Paris. The two-page omake then ends on the Count and his servants eating and decreeing that, really, Baptistin's bread isn't very good.
  • Organization XIII from the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga do this: Zexion drinks tea and makes tsukemono (Japanese pickled vegetables), Lexaeus reads manga and solves puzzles, Vexen likes to complain about people not realizing/outright ignoring his seniority, Larxene reads Marquis de Sade, Axel reads books about cooking, and Marluxia and Larxene have dinner together.
    • In the 358/2 Days Manga, you also have Xaldin, Zexion, and Demyx playing Twister.
    • And the actual game of 358/2 Days shows us what Axel and Roxas like to do when they're off duty: hang out on the Twilight Town clocktower and eat ice cream, as shown in one of the previous page illustrations. In the same game, the other Organization members lounge in their castle's equivalent of a living room.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has Chao managing a restaurant while she plots to break The Masquerade. She even goes to the point of doing an ad for it on a jumbotron type thing after she finishes her Evil Gloating.
  • When Nagi (in both his My-HiME and Mai-Otome incarnations) isn't messing with people's heads for fun, he's sometimes seen reading from his favorite book and/or enjoying the local scenery.
  • Several scenes with Hayate and the Wolkenritter in the first half of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's feature one or more of the antagonists hanging out with Suzuka, having a nice dinner at home, or literally out shopping, in a manner reminiscent of scenes featuring Nanoha's family and friends. This is in between or even during scenes where the Wolkenritter are beating the crap out of the heroes and stealing their Mana. Of course, all they want is to be a happy family, anyway.
    • Semi-used in StrikerS. Shortly after the new cyborgs are activated, most are seen relaxing in baths, sipping tea, or, in Scag's case, getting a trim from his secretary. The only one who doesn't relax is Sette. This serves to emphasize her position as the most robotic of the Numbers.
    • Arf is introduced relaxing at a hot springs while Fate looks for the Jewel Seed. She encounters Nanoha with her friends and, unimpressed with her, threatens to eat her if she gets involved. The next episode shows her having dog food for dinner before checking on Fate.
  • Mazinger Z: Several times, when the heroes infiltrated into one of the submarine fortress of Baron Ashura's, he/she was taking a relaxing shower (and he/she did not appreciate being interrupted. Nobody -including the heroes, Ashura's minions and the audience- did, in fact). And often he/she was shown playing organ or drinking a glass of fine wine in his/her private chambers.
  • Once his initial arc introducing him as a bad guy in Mythical Detective Loki Ragnarok is over, Heimdall spends nearly all of his time getting dragged out shopping by Frey.
  • While this is never directly referred to, the Big Bad in Noir is mostly seen in the beginning of the series...picking grapes, writing letters, and taking walks in the sunshine. This has the effect of making her more creepy than the previous mafioso punks and thugs.
  • In Saint Seiya, the Sanctuary Pope aka Saga, the Gemini Gold Saint, was often shown either bathing or showering. Since he was a strong fighter with quite a nice body, this was used as Fan Service for the female viewers. He wasn't the only one, though: in the anime-only Ansgard saga, the Brainwashed and Crazy Princess Hilda was often shown feeding her pet crows and tending to her small garden.
  • In the second season of Slayers, while the party gets sidetracked from their main quest by the royal family, Zelgadis complains that Xellos will get ahead looking for the bible. Cut to Xellos enjoying a nice glass of water at a local cafe.
  • Trigun has a rather chilling example in often showing the Psycho for Hire and Omnicidal Maniac Legato snacking on junk food while plotting to make Vash's life a living hell.
    • It was cake...or possibly steak. In the manga, it was definitely steak, not very cooked, and he was eating it with his arms still pinioned to his sides by his self-torture sarcophagus. And this was about where Midvalley decided it was embarrassing to be obeying this guy and tried a coup. No dice, partner.
    • In the anime, Legato is often seen in the background, calmly eating soup in a bar. At one such occasion, he witnesses some local thugs trying to molest a woman... and calmly mind-controls them to kill each other, continuing to finish his soup all the while and then leaving without saying a word.
  • Kyo'ichi, already an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain Butt Monkey in Vampire Doll, is degraded even further when the protagonists find him shopping for groceries, having swapped his Impossibly Cool Clothes for a sweater. In another blow to his villainous reputation, he only shops at that store because the ladies running it find him to be The Woobie and give him free stuff.
  • In X 1999, when Seishirou and Fuuma are not out murdering people or destroying Tokyo, they enjoy eating ice cream and other not-so-evil things. Which drives home how much of a heartless bastard they can both be, saying things like, "What a pity, the ice cream shop will be gone because of our earthquake".
  • Pegasus from Yu-Gi-Oh was once depicted eating dinner and reading a comic as the various duelists unwittingly aided his evil scheme. The comic's apparently the inspiration for Pegasus' nigh-unbeatable Toon World deck.
  • In Zettai Karen Children, when Hyoubu Kyosuke isn't organizing his evil organization for battle, he's playing video games against Weasel Mascot Momotaro. And losing.
  • On two occasions in Naruto, members of Akatsuki are seen having dumplings for lunch; once in the beginning of the Return of Itachi arc with Itachi and Kisame, and once in the Three-Tails Arc with Deidara and Tobi.
  • Envy from Fullmetal Alchemist, despite being a Complete Monster, was revealed in one of the video games to have a thing for...chocolate parfait. Yes, how fearsome.
  • While Gray and Gray Morality means that no one is clearly a villain, there are still plenty of Antagonist Out Shopping scenes in Darker than Black. First, for the British agents- April visiting a host club and complaining when the hosts collapse from drunkenness after she out-drinks them. Her partner November 11 is shown to have a Funny Answering Machine, and is a fairly nice guy when off the job.
    • In the same episode, November 11 is kidnapped by Amber's henchman Maki, a Creepy Child, and Amagiri, who have just finished blowing up several embassy buildings. Maki spends his spare time learning Japanese and complains about burning his tongue from his Remuneration of drinking hot milk.
      • A later episode has Amagiri complaining about how his Remuneration of eating hard boiled eggs is bad for his cholesterol.
  • Baccano! does this much in the same vein as Darker than Black. One particularly memorable example is when Ax Crazy Psycho for Hire Claire Stanfield casually hits up Rachel for a lunch date so he can ask her how he can get this girl he likes to notice him...
    • In one of the light novels set in 2002, the leader of SAMPLE starts one of their cult meetings by apologizing for his lateness - he kept dying on the final boss. Those Japanese shooters are hard.
  • Tentai Senshi Sunred is made of this trope, featuring villains with crappy part time jobs, the head of the evil organization getting lost in a department store, and sentai monsters having domestic squabbles about who ate whose ramen, among other things. The ending theme is set to a heartwarming sequence of the evil organization having a family dinner around a cozily small table.
  • An example which overlaps with Go-Karting with Bowser- in an episode of Busou Renkin, the Affably Evil villain Papillon wants to meet and talk with the heroes at a neutral location, and they chose the local burger joint. The waitstaff are horrified by Papillon's signature stripperific butterfly outfit and try to subtly indicate that they'd prefer him to carry out. It gets even funnier when the Large Ham Big Good Captain Bravo shows up in his costume and, like Papillon, is adamant about eating in the restaurant, and indicates his desire to eat there regularly.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Taruto, Pai, and Kish are once shown eating parfaits while complaining about global warming.
  • A variation occurs in Yu Yu Hakusho, as demon hunter Sensui spares a demon, Itsuki, after the latter asks for one more day of life so he can see the finale of his favorite TV show. This small request catalyzes the change in Sensui's belief of demons being mindlessly evil threats to the belief that they are rather human - and sometimes better people than actual humans.
  • During his Face Framed in Shadow period, Dio of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure was often seen lounging and reading books in his hideout with A Glass of Chianti.
  • Pokémon features the Team Rocket trio in this trope semi-frequently.
  • Even though the rest of his crew is doing questionable things, in One Piece, we meet our likely final Big Bad Blackbeard just having some cherry pie and ale in a random bar.
    • The cover stories after the war also show the Marines lounging around, most notably, Admiral Akainu cutting a bonsai.
      • The CP9 members actually go shopping during their Cover Story while they wait for Lucci to recover. After he does, they go bowling.
      • Cover-stories in general focus on defeated villains trying to deal with their lives after being clobbered by the Straw Hats. Wapol ends up forming a conglomerate, Hatchi fulfills his dream of owning a Takoyaki stand, and Gedatsu starts up his own hot-spring resort. The rest of the Baroque Works Officer Agents start up another Spiders Cafe.
  • The anime version of Ryuusei no Rockman had a Filler arc which showed several of the main villains as Punch Clock Villains. Libra, in particular, took up a job as a Game Show Host and wrote a book, proving himself to be far better at entertaining humans than trying to destroy them.
    • The manga MegaMan Gigamix has some of the Robot Masters get part-time jobs at an amusement park. They dub themselves "The Part-Timer Squad" and consider their duties Serious Business; when they're on the clock, they see nothing wrong with helping MegaMan and ignoring Wily's orders, as making customers happy is more important to them.
  • Douglas Rosenberg, the Big Bad of El Cazador de la Bruja, spends much of the second half of the series on vacation, in order to avoid raising unwanted attention, but the casual comments he makes, like "fishing requires patience", imply that, at the same time, he's keeping a close eye on the protagonists.
  • The fourth Hellsing OVA ED features the Millennium Organisation destroying London completely...Then moving on to Japan, not to destroy it, but to become otakus. All this, while Schrödinger strolls happily in the foreground. While in no way canonical, it is absolutely hilarious to watch The Major, Captain, and Doktor amongst the other prominent members of the organisation walking around acting all nerdy.
  • Androids 16, 17, and 18 did this alot in Dragon Ball Z. One scene even literally had 18 shopping for new clothes.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena applies this trope to the student council members in the filler episodes, and to the point of eeriness with Akio near the end of the series.
  • When new villain, Vilagilio, appears in Rinne no Lagrange, he seems to be a serious deal. In the very next episode he spends most of time goofing out at the beach and goes drinking with Madoka's uncle after they got into a fight over a coat they both wanted to buy.

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • While being one of the most horrible villains in the DC universe, Darkseid has also done some surprisingly normal things, like work at a Burger Fool, buy Earth porn and later watch it (purely for "research" purposes), and was once even mugged, and spent most of the time just analyzing the experience.
    • Don't forget sitting on couches.
  • In the ninth issue of Judd Winick's Outsiders, the demon Sabbac inflicts third degree burns on resident tank Grace. The scene cuts away after a strategic retreat by the eponymous team, and when next Sabbac is shown, he's trying on a new suit. This is partly subverted in that he's murdered everyone working at the shop in incredibly gruesome manners.
  • In the J. Michael Straczynski run of Spider-Man, Morlun, a villain who absorbs life energy, is out for Spidey. The hero and a mentor wonder what he's plotting and what evil rituals he's performing to prepare himself, cut to...Morlun trying out evil leather pants, and wondering whether they make his butt look big.
    • Another Spider-Man example is in Marvel's Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man # 1, where Peter goes into a movie theater to catch a screening of an old sci-fi flick, and ends up sitting next to Quentin Beck - aka Spidey's foe Mysterio. Beck doesn't know who Peter is, and Peter doesn't recognize Beck in the dark, so the two foes wind up chatting back and forth about their mutual appreciation for film.
  • In Thunderbolts, Atlas hangs out at a sports bar and discovers Man-Killer, a psychotically misandrist criminal, laying low by tending bar there. In this case, however, he, having been there before as a former criminal himself, manages to strike up a small friendship with her.
  • Done occasionally with the Nomad in Beau Peep, although the Legion were aware he was an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain, they were less sure about his alter ego, the Desert Shadow.

Sgt Bidet: He's out there somewhere, Peep. A ruthless, bloodthirsty killer.
(Cut to the Nomad under a palm tree with a bag of sweets)
Nomad: Oh goody, nothing but red ones left!

  • Stilt-Man's funeral in Punisher War Journal is made of this. The Rhino angrily demands to be let in before quietly suggesting that the establishment should be handicapped-accessible, the Eel good-naturedly tries to keep Dragon Man from freaking out, etc.
  • In one issue of Uncanny X-Men back in the 1990s, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, and Colossus are out at a bar. The Juggernaut also happened to be there, just out for a drink and to try and pick up chicks. Peter had just broken up with Kitty Pryde, and Wolvie wanted to teach him a lesson. Cue Wolverine causing Colossus and Juggernaut to get into a Bar Brawl. That pretty much destroyed the bar. Juggernaut won. He then paid for the damage.
    • Another example occurred when members of the X-Men came across Juggernaut in New York City, where he was nefariously...opening a bank account. The time-traveling uber-sentinel Nimrod showed up and attacked the lot of them.
    • There's also the time during Grant Morrison's run on New X-Men when Wolverine and Sabretooth happened to run into each other in a bar restroom.
  • In the first issue of Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil, the Sinister Six, Spider-Man's main group of villains, casually travel throughout New York, their appearances disguised by Mysterio's illusions. Amongst their daily activities are riding on the bus and buying hot dogs. Somewhat inverted as they do commit some villainy by using Mysterio's illusions to trick the guards of an armored car to give them their cargo, but they maintain their rather friendly banter while doing so.
  • The first arc of Gotham City Sirens, starring Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and Catwoman, starts not when any of the three launch an Evil Scheme to conquer the world or blow up a factory, but rather when they are attacked after Hush spots Harley when she is out shopping (And she is even paying for her purchases).
  • Subverted in one Empowered story. We see a group of ninja hacking a body into 100 pieces (per the client's request) whilst one ninja is monitoring and idly browsing the web in the next room.
  • In Godland, villains Friedrich Nickelhead and Basil Cronus spend their time together making normal idle chatter, for instance: discussing Field of Dreams and the appropriate emotional response to the ending. For the record, Nickelhead feels it was a cheap attempt at emotional manipulation, while Cronus holds that it takes a heart of ice to not be moved by it. A flashback shows master villain the Tormentor grumbling about his screenplay being subjected to Executive Meddling and deciding to inflict "the cruelest of all tortures -- legal action" on the studio.
  • Happened regularly with The Tick (animation), both heroes and villains, no matter how terrible or larger than life, ended up doing a lot of mundane stuff. In fact, the more terrible or larger than life they were, the more likely you were to see them at a convenience store or something similar. The ninjas had regular part time jobs.
  • In the second issue of Mega Man, the Short Circuits shows Wily lounging by the pool and getting his hair cut, all the while using Cut Man for Mundane Utilities.
  • While Namor's villain status is in more or less continual dispute, this does occasionally happen. At one point, he's seen surrounded by tanks protesting that he can't surrender, he's not here to invade...he just wants a bagel.


Fan Fics[edit | hide]

Film[edit | hide]

  • 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 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 Devils 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.
  • 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 bank robbery.
    • 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 behaviors in Europe.
    • 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. Of course, this is between assassination attempts and bone crunching ninja mayhem.
    • In Death Proof, Stuntman Mike gobbles nachos and gabs about the film industry before he goes on his murderous rampage.
    • The fourth 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 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.
  • 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.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In the second Thursday Next book, Lost In A Good Book, Aornis Hades, the sister of the last book's Big Bad, is followed to find out her Evil Plan. The report on her finds her actually shopping for clothes in Topshop, and stopping for coffee and carrot cake.
  • "The Villain Sucks" Song, Moritat (also known as Mack the Knife) from the Threepenny Opera is an example of this - Macheath is introduced calmly strolling on the street a song detailing his various horrible crimes play calmly in the background. This is especially true in the film from the 1930s, where he actually takes time to admire his wanted poster and listen to the song, behaving without a care in the world.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, we have a literal case of the villain out shopping. The Persian goes down to Erik's lair to confront him about kidnapping Christine. Erik, in turn, has an affable, almost normal conversation about the little things he's picked up for his captive darling.
  • In the Tom Ripley series, the Affably Evil protagonist spends his free time painting for fun, gardening, and chatting with his adoring housekeeper.
  • Something of a subversion. In The Thrawn Trilogy, the viewpoint character, Captain Pellaeon, walks in on his Grand Admiral looking over his art collection, both holographic and real. Several times. But then, studying art is how Thrawn picks up on the psychology of his enemies, so it's not as innocuous an activity as it seems
    • By that point, you really have to stretch to call him a villain, but in the Hand of Thrawn duology, the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Remnant, Pellaeon, spends most of both books waiting for the New Republic's answer, and at one point, the book cuts in on him playing an AT-AT simulator with a subordinate, because it's enough of a change from his usual duties that he can enjoy it. And, he adds, because it gives him a better idea of an AT-AT's capabilities, so he can command them better.
  • In Tom Clancy's Red Rabbit, the protagonist, CIA Station Chief Ed Foley, is talking about Ice Hockey to a fellow traveler on the Moscow Metro, and he wonders if the person is a KGB agent. He is unsure since the person seems to be such a fan, until he realizes that, probably, there are many KGB agents who are ice hockey fans.
  • In Soon I Will Be Invincible, Villain Protagonist Dr. Impossible goes incognito to his archnemesis' funeral, then spends some times relaxing at a local Starbucks. Which is right where he's sitting when the local superteam finds him, leading to a knock-down, drag-out brawl (which he wins, despite being unprepared).
  • Hannibal Lecter literally goes shopping upon his return to the United States in Hannibal. He stocks a picnic basket with fine china, high-end silverware, elegant damask napkins, and a cranial saw with skull key.
  • American Psycho: Patrick Bateman has to return some videotapes.
  • In East of Eden, Cathy, whom John Steinbeck describes as "a monster born to human parents", goes to church to see her son be an altar boy, and reads Alice in Wonderland.
  • Night Watch, seeing the nature of most antagonists. Anton has to explain to his apprentice Svetlana (who, like most rookie Watchers, is a bit overzealous and has troubles coping with the Enforced Cold War between Light and Dark) that yes, a Dark Mage next table has a right to spend a night in a restaurant with his human family, just as they two do, and that no, they cannot intervene unless he actually does something evil.
    • In the next book another Dark Mage is late to a briefing with the Big Bad because he was...feeding ducks.
    • Later on, after Anton partakes in a friendly game of soccer with some random humans to take his mind off his current mission, he muses that he can just as easily picture a Dark One doing the same thing, especially if an old and experienced one, who's got satiated with the more sumptuous pleasures and comes to appreciate the simple ones.
  • In The Dresden Files, tthe current Merlin of the Council, Arthur Langtry is an antagonistic Jerkass rather than an outright villain, but he is set up as a consummate politician and extremely powerful wizard who can stop armies of vampires in their tracks with a flick of his wrist. This makes Dresden somewhat nonplussed when he sees the Merlin making himself a sandwich between Council debates.
  • In Warrior Cats, Tigerstar spends quite a lot of time hanging out with pretty she-cats. Meanwhile, Magnificent Bastard Sol has a meet and greet with the heroes in The Forgotten Warrior.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Weyoun of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine gets a few of these moments. There's one where he is analyzing (or trying to analyze) a painting, and even asks Major Kira (a good guy who is under an occupation force that is under his command) what she thinks of it...genuinely, with no sinister undertones whatsoever. There's also a clip from the final montage of the fabulous episode "In The Cards" showing Weyoun thoroughly enjoying the crack-pot "Cellular Regeneration And Entertainment Chamber". Like I said, fabulous.
    • Also ordering various meals through the food replicator. He explains that while his taste buds were shaped by the dominion leaders to perceive only one specific taste (a native type of nut from their homeworld) in order to keep them humble, he loved experiencing various types of textures and crunchiness in alien cuisine.
    • Invoked in "Defiant" when Gul Dukat laments to Sisko he'd rather be doing this. Before he got called to deal with the Maquis stealing the Defiant to attack Cardassian ships, he was about to head back home so he could go to his son's eleventh birthday party.
  • When the big bad of season 7 of Twenty Four escapes to his house because his first plan fell apart around him, what's the first thing he has to do? Make excuses as to why he has no time for his girlfriend. How does he get to his house after his plan is foiled? Public transportation. What does he do once he gets there? Starts to make himself a sandwich. Meanwhile, the real Big Bad, Hodges, is shown to be watching the day's events and is already having a sandwich, with his sidekick encouraging him to relax.
  • Happens several times on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, commonly for Big Bads.
    • Glory, near-unstoppable hell goddess, got regular cuts to her bathing or trying on new dresses. She is even literally shown going to a shop to buy supplies for an evil ritual...from the heroes.
    • Mayor Wilkins would always find time to attend to his public duties and look after himself while trying to become a giant demonic snake. The Mayor's checklist demonstrates this. After one ritual, we see that his list says, "Call Temp agency", check. "Become Invincible", check. Next item: "Meet with PTA".
    • Or on Angel, after Darla comes back to life and Drusilla turns her back to a vampire (it's complicated), one of the things they do is...clothes shopping. It does involve doing horrific things to the sales clerks, but still...
  • In the new Doctor Who series, the Master is shown enjoying The Teletubbies while simultaneously planning mass genocide.
    • This is a Call Back to a 1970s episode where the Master watches an episode of The Clangers while simultaneously...
    • One of the novels has the Third Doctor grimly wonder what evil scheme the Master might be up to now...cut to the Master patiently waiting for his order in a Chinese takeaway.
    • "Frontier in Space" : the Master has just captured the Doctor and Jo, strapped them into his prison ship, and started flying towards his base of operation. He trades some evil banter with the Doctor, sits down at the consoles and...picks up a book and starts reading. Hey, even diabolical masterplans have boring bits in it.
    • And the book is War of the Worlds, no less...
  • Heroes
    • A scene with everybody's favorite Ax Crazy Draco in Leather Pants Sylar features him eating an ice cream cone.
    • The entire first season, we kept hearing about this shadowy, diabolical mastermind called Daniel Linderman. What's he doing when we finally see him? Making chicken pot pies. He even gives a little speech about how to make one.
    • Elle really likes Slusho's.
  • Lost
    • When not murdering, kidnapping, or generally terrorizing the Survivors, the Others enjoy book clubs, barbecues, and friendly games of football and ping pong in their hidden, well-guarded commune.
    • The members of a terrorist cell Sayid infiltrates spend their time playing Half-Life.
  • Supernatural did this with new Big Bad Lilith in the Season 3 finale, No Rest For The Wicked. It's hours until Dean's Deal with the Devil comes due and he goes to Hell. To prevent this, the brothers are planning to go after Lilith. At which point, we cut to Lilith...having a birthday party. Admittedly, this birthday party involved terrorizing and murdering the family of the little girl she'd possessed (this is Supernatural, after all), but it was still a birthday party.
    • Interestingly Averted with a later villain, Crowley. While much more Affably Evil than Lilith or even Lucifer, when he becomes the Big Bad of Season 6, he's only ever shown torturing monsters or making deals with Castiel.
  • The Wire is about the lives of both cops and drug pushers, so there's an awful lot of this in every episode. Some notable examples include:
    • In season one, a major break in the case comes from the complete chance event of Detective McNulty spotting underboss Stringer Bell while both are doing their shopping.
    • A particularly metaphorical scene in the first episode features several hoppers taking a break to play checkers with a chess set. Their boss tries to teach them the rules to chess, drawing parallels to the drug trade to help them out.
    • Also, Herc and Carver bump into Poot and Bodie at the cinema when they're all out with girlfriends.
    • Similarly, the squad only learns what adult Avon looks like because they observe him coaching a cross-town basketball game.
    • When stick-up man Omar Little runs out of Honey Nut Cheerios, he walks through the most dangerous streets in Baltimore in his bathrobe to buy some more. As he passes by, drug dealers toss him their stashes and run for their lives.
    • Even Marlo Stansfield, the closest example of a pure evil character, is shown picking up chicks in bars and planning a celebratory trip to Atlantic City.
  • During the early seasons of Miami Vice, it was common to see the week's given drug dealer/pimp/gun-runner etc, doing the most diabolical things, like...hanging out on the beach, dancing at the club, and, of course, trying on leather pants in some trendy Miami shop. Well, not leather, because leather and the Miami heat don't mix, but you get the point.
  • The reimagined Battlestar Galactica Reimagined does this with the entire Cylon race. Throughout Seasons 1 and 2, the viewers get clues that the Cylons are planning something with the nuked Colonies, having left several cities intact and brought heavy machinery to clean up the mess, but otherwise showing no clues as to what they are doing. Given the Mind Screwy nature of the show, the audience isn't sure what to expect. Then, towards the end of Season 2, we get a Cylon point-of-view episode where we learn that Cylons are repairing the infrastructure, spending time in coffee shops, working in gardens, sitting and chatting around parks, and generally doing the stuff done by the humans they displaced. Including killing each other every now and then.
    • New Caprica and Season 3 onwards also treat us with glimpses of life aboard the Baseships. Apparently, when not committing genocide and shooting civilian ships, Cylons spend their time living in their personal Happy Place, doing Thai-Chi naked, listening to the ramblings of Hybrids, repeatedly committing suicide to get a glimpse of things not meant to be known, and bickering with each other on every decision.
  • UK Sketch Comedy Big Train loves this trope. One recurring sketch has what is essentially Ming The Merciless doing his daily chores, such as cleaning the house, checking his mail, and angrily yelling out the answers to questions of a quiz show he's watching on TV. Another sketch has Wolfman and Dracula hanging out in a public toilet (apparently at a conference of some sort), bad mouthing the other monsters. Which results in an Awkward Silence when The Mummy walks in.
  • The mutants from Vintergatan liked to get out and get backrubs—perhaps a bit more villainous considering they forced one of the heroes to do it, but still. Also, The Count from the newest installment, At The End Of The Milky Way, is, from time to time, seen playing with small figurines, complete with making silly voices for them.
  • Standard fare on every incarnation of CSI and Law and Order. When the criminal is apprehended, they will, the majority of the time, be in the middle of something incredible mundane. Justified in that most 'bad guys', in this case, are not career criminals, and have generally committed crimes of passion or opportunity, rather than opting for the life of a supervillain, but see it enough times and you'll become very wary of the fellow ahead of you in line for ice cream.
  • One of the people behind Criminal Minds stated that the aim in the episode "The Big Wheel" was to showcase a day in the life of a serial killer. This was definitely a non-humorous use, as it only emphasised the tragic situation the UnSub was in. A few other episodes have done it as well.
  • Due to having a Serial Killer Killer protagonist, much of Dexter features him eating breakfast, going to work, eating lunch with his sister, and spending time with his girlfriend and the kids. We see the Ice Truck Killer do his day job and spend time with his girlfriend. And Dexter actually goes shopping with Miguel Prado, though that was for knives and things.
  • In Game of Thrones, the murderous, incestuous twins Jaime and Cersei Lannister are seen doing such terrible things as having breakfast with their family, giving their condolences to a grieving mother, and giving friendly advice to a young man about to leave home for the first time.


Stand-Up Comedy[edit | hide]


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Dungeons & Dragons will inevitably have many examples.
  • When not raining plagues and disease on the mortal realms, Father Nurgle enjoys tending his garden. It's a garden devoted entirely to disease, but hey! It's just a garden by another name, right? Nurgle is generally depicted as a kind and generous grandfatherly figure who likes spreading his presents.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, the player can often find him or herself in situations where Sith soldiers or even Dark Jedi are "off duty" in a lounge, bar, or simply keeping to themselves. This is the entire point of the world of Manaan, where a neutrality treaty has forced enemies to work in close proximity to each other without fighting. The player can even accept sidequests from some of these characters to help them out. This is somewhat justified in some cases where the player can choose to support the Sith for their own purposes.
    • The sequel has a rather hilarious conversation tucked into Dantooine, where the player confronts one of the mercenaries plaguing the planet, while he's placidly (and helpfully) spelunking. As he says, even professional killers need hobbies.
  • The Pigmask Army from Mother 3 may be soldiers of an evil regime, but they sure love rock concerts!
    • Lucas and his party also encounter some pigmasks who are in the middle of a discussion about whether they hang up their masks when they use the bathroom.
  • Before one battle with the Turks in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud and his pals listen in on their conversation about who they all have crushes on.
    • If you immediately went to Costa Del Sol after getting off the cargo ship, you can catch Hojo chilling on the beach, being attended to by women.
      • This may actually be one of the very few instances where a Complete Monster falls under this trope. Of course, at this point we don't know really know about most of his horrible crimes against nature.
    • Not to mention, the entire Wutai sidequest has the Turks invoking this trope, by having Rude and Reno remind Elena that they're on holiday (no really) when she tries to fight the protagonists. At the end of the quest after you've rescued both Yuffie and Elena, they decide that they're "still on holiday" when they get a call from their boss telling them to catch Cloud.
  • Except for Xemnas and Saix, all the members of Organization XIII are shown to be pretty relaxed outside of their missions in Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days. The good guys among them, Axel, Roxas, and Xion, make it a pattern to go eat ice cream atop Twilight Town's clock tower after each mission is accomplished.
  • Persona 4 examples, though their true natures are unknown until far later in the game. You can find Namatame on the streets. He will talk about how he got a new job recently and is trying to recover from the reporter he loved dying. Adachi also shows up on some days in Junes. He likes to buy cabbage.
    • And then there's that gas station attendant that likes to make small talk with you and only works when it rains...
  • In the "Heaven's Feel" scenario of Fate Stay Night, Shirou ends up having a rather cordial conversation with a major villain of the two other arcs in a Chinese restaurant while the other is busy eating mapo doufu. While the character has been mostly personable so far in the arc (and even asks the protagonist if he wants some of his doufu), knowing what he is capable of in the other two scenarios makes this a major example of this trope.
    • It's never entirely certain if Kirei isn't trying to kill Shirou through the doufu.
    • This is the point of the "fun disk" Hollow Ataraxia, where every antagonist and protagonist are shown basically just trying to have a normal life in Fuyuki City. Including Caster's Cosplay Otaku Girl hobby, Caster sweeping up staircases by herself because she doesn't believe in wasting mana, Lancer attempting to hold down a job as a grocery boy, and the main antagonists Gilgamesh and Archer getting into a fishing contest because they both wanted to annoy Lancer after he insulted them while fishing. Also, football. And arguments over food. Everyone in Fate Stay Night show up except for Kotomine, because he would attempt to be villainous even in these circumstances.
  • And Tsukihime has an extremely bizarre conversation during Kohaku's route, between Shiki and one personality of the game's Big Bad, on a downtown sidewalk, as the two drink coffee and have a cordial chat on how society judges murderers like them. It's notably the only path where Shiki doesn't fight -- or even make an enemy of -- either of the Big Bad's personalities, due to that little chat and its end result of the Big Bad recognizing Shiki as "the better killer".
  • In the superhero MMORPG City of Heroes, instead of wandering monsters, you'll find groups of Mooks standing around committing crimes like breaking and entering or purse-snatching...or sometimes you'll just find them standing around having Seinfeldian Conversations. Though they'll still attack your hero on sight...
  • World of Warcraft has several occasions where you can overhear enemy Mooks chatting about very mundane things. Examples include a blood elf mob (in Quel'Danas) wanting to get a house by the sea when the war is over, a human guard (in "Escape From Durnholde") chatting about his/her coming vacation, and the members of a demon-worshipping cult (in Terokkar) who talk about playing leatherball, going to a nearby town for some drinks, and having difficulties controlling an Eldritch Abomination they summoned. Oh, and you usually end up killing all of them.
    • Rival player territories can also have a similar effect. From what this player experienced (and heard of), the first time you travel to the territory of the opposing faction (In this Horde player's case, the Alliance), it feels like a dangerous mission deep behind the frontlines where only unknowns exist and the enemy lives in their wholly alien ways. Cue sneaking into Stormwind and finding level 1's running about and naked players dancing on mailboxes. Just like Orgrimmar. Or finding players who use emotes to break the language barrier.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Fawful at one point says to the heroes: "Now that out of the way I have made you, Fawful thinks he will go to the mall. Bye!"
  • Happens occasionally in Ratchet and Clank. In Tools of Destruction, most of the flying missions end with the pirates running off to yoga class or some other weird thing, and leaving a boss behind.
  • All of the Myst villains describe aspects of their lives in their journals. Sirrus writes about gardening and exploring Spire, Achenar writes about the local wildlife and the construction of his various outposts, Gehn writes about finding frogs for his pipe, and Saavedro writes about making plant hybirds. It helps humanize them as well as inform you about their antagonistic deeds.
  • Commonly found in the Streets of Rage series. Female mooks are enjoying the night life at a club when you bust in to beat them up, and several mooks can be found sleeping on benches, eating, or brushing their hair before they spot you.
  • There's a superb, but all too brief, one of these in a high-speed chase in the ice level of MDK - at one point, the hero and his pursuers, busy in a firefight whilst iceboarding, crash right through a small guardhouse - which contains a mook sitting in an armchair, reading a paper, who gets briefly swept along with the rest of the fight for a few seconds (continuing to obliviously read the news) before being obliterated in the hail of bullets.
  • Touhou, being fairly lighthearted, has game installments like Shoot The Bullet and Double Spoiler (in which our honest and trustworthy Intrepid Reporter conducts interviews!), and non-game installments which are even more Slice of Life about Gensokyo and its inhabitants, humans and youkai alike.
  • In Final Fight, some of the gang members are just hanging out in the subway train and Bay Area before encountered. Bred was shopping inside the gas station while his car got mauled by the heroes.
  • In Chrono Cross, one of the more comedic Multiple Endings has Dark Serge, Kid, and Harle visiting the bar in Termina.
  • The very first scene in Thief had a pair of guards talking about going to the bear fights latr, one of them being disgusted at how soft and harmless the bears have become compared to the killing machines they were in his youth.
  • In the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver, the player character can visit the Goldenrod City Department Store while disguised as a member of Team Rocket. The civilian NPCs make some bemused comments about you.


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Homestar Runner cartoon Cheat Commandos: Shopping For Danger! revolves around this premise. The villainous Blue Lasers are at the supermarket, picking up their groceries, which the Commandos assume must be part of some sort of plan to "make it snow at the beach". It turns out that they're half-right; the Blue Laser Commander was convinced that the mildewy grout in his shower was the reason his organization couldn't crush the Cheat Commandos.
  • Legendary Frog's cartoon "The Return of Ganondorf" has Ganondorf from The Legend of Zelda come back after being defeated by Link, claiming to have reformed. Link doesn't believe him though, so he keeps trying to spy on Ganondorf to catch him being evil, but only succeeds in seeing him playing Saria's Song, getting a drawing from him after sneaking into his room, and watching him at Zelda's slumber party as everyone does the Chicken Dance.
    • The drawing he made for Link (I'm sorry I made you sad) doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny.
    • Also from Legendary Frog, in the "One Ring to Rule Them All" series, Sauron, the Dark Lord of Mordor, enjoys eating pizza, making shrink-e-dinks, and cooking.
  • The Gag Dub series The Skeletor Show reveals what the villains from He-Man do in their off-hours. (Going on blind dates, yammering on about skincare products, singing to themselves, etc.)


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Eight Bit Theater: When loser sociopath Black Mage unexpectedly finds himself without his despised bunch of "allies" (aka The Light Warriors), he enjoys the freedom from their quest to fulfill his lifelong dream of... becoming a cobbler's apprentice. After murdering the previous owner of a cobbling shop (the man made the mistake of rebuffing Black Mage's application), Black Mage takes over as the new owner. (The amazing thing, knowing Black Mage, is he did ask beforehand, but the more amazing thing is that he actually sticks with the job.) Turns out, he is surprisingly good at making shoes. Something of a wasted talent, what, with all his usual plans for death and destruction and sacrificing orphans to the Dark Gods, that is.
    • In true Black Mage form, though, he does make shoes out of the COBBLER HE SLAUGHTERED.
  • In Clan of the Cats, Dracula has been revived after years of being dead. The first thing he does is...go shopping for Dracula memorabilia.
  • This DMFA strip.
  • In Everyday Heroes, Mr. Mighty steps out his of front door one morning to find his arch-nemesis, Dr. Unpleasant, volunteering as a school crossing guard.
  • The entire point of The Last Days of Foxhound, which mostly shows the titular group when they aren't performing super duper top secret missions or plotting global revolutions.
    • At one point, it's taken literally with Sniper Wolf getting her prescription for Tranquilizers refilled.
  • A Miracle of Science has a variation: the villain is seen doing things such as pruning his plants or conducting an orchestra, but it's always for the purpose of improving his machines (e.g. the pruning is a performance test for a motion controlled robot), as his Science-Related Memetic Disorder makes it impossible for him to do anything that isn't related to his obsession; he may be out shopping, but he's only shopping for things that will assist his plans.
  • The hero and the villain are both shopping in this page of The Non Adventures of Wonderella.
  • A few strips in The Order of the Stick have gags where the characters talk about how evil Xykon is, and then cut to him doing something incongruous, like playing Yahtzee or setting up a goofy death match of the undead.
    • In this strip, he actually does go shopping. At QuestBuy.
    • Inverted later when Nale comments on the dedication of the heroes, then the story cuts to them playing Parchessi (although Belkar - who is a short order of Sociopathic Hero, with extra sociopath and hold the hero - joins in, so it's still kind of a straight example).
  • From Sinfest: 1, 2
  • Pretty much the whole point of the "Meanwhile In The Dimension Of Pain" Filler Strips in Sluggy Freelance was to show what the Dimension of Pain demons (who try to steal Torg's soul every Halloween) do the other 364 days of the year. Even when the demons return to canon strips for the "That Which Redeems" arc, we still see them take breaks from slaughtering the human race to do more mundane things, like shopping (albeit for pre-packaged human souls).
  • We first meet Butterfly in Collar 6 when she's out walking her slave.
  • The Mega Crossover Fanficcomic Roommates 2007 (and for a lesser extent its Spin-Off s Girls Next Door and Down the Street) tends to run on this, if for no other reasons than most of the characters are Villains and out of their own continuity. So they are out shopping, at work (the local university is an interesting place), doing laundry, having a movie night, eating sushi, having picnics, and playing video games amongst others.
  • Samurai Princess: Nicholas and their pet raccoon engage in banter while having some ice cream at cafe after shopping.
  • The Adventures of Superhero Girl: Superhero girl runs into a shopping ninja.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog is this trope like red is a color. When he isn't building freeze rays (Stops time. Tell your friends.), Billy (AKA the titular Doctor) is doing laundry, checking mail, and trying to work up the courage to confess his feelings toward an ordinary girl named Penny.
  • A Very Potter Musical has Voldemort arguing with Quirrell about laundry in his first scene. Later in the show, they go out and get drunk, talk about watching She's All That, and rollerskate.

Newsreader: Voldemort blogs about [his return to power] on his new FlooTube channel.
Voldemort: I'M GONNA FIND HARRY POTTER AND I'M GONNA [bleep] IN HIS [bleep]!
Newsreader: Also does a review of 17 Again.
Voldemort: Well, it was a little slow at the beginning, but come on: Zac Efron! Zefron! 'Nuff said.

  • Obligatory Whateley Universe example: In the Bad Seeds' Christmas story, the Seeds (all children of supervillains), when they aren't trying to steal energy from Seraphim or beat up the supervillain leaving She-Beast's real name on crime scenes, are using their time in New York City to shop. Legal shopping for Christmas gifts. Except Sociopathic Hero Jobe, who is using his downtime to do biological research and argue over the phone with other researchers, which turns out to be an enormous Chekhov's Gun.
  • This delightful gem from Kajet begins with Castlevania Big Bad Dracula enjoying some delicious pot roast...when he is informed of a Belmont in the castle (PFFFT). (Caution, lots of cursing)
  • In Survival of the Fittest, Danya, when not kidnapping hundreds of high school students at a time and forcing them to fight to the death, is shown to enjoy spending quality time with his loving wife and adorable eight-year-old daughter.
  • The Spoony Experiment features a Mad Scientist villain named Dr. Insano, who plots to take over the world with science. Despite claiming to have killed thousands with his army of robotic suicide squirrels, and winning the 2008 presidential election, what we mostly see him doing is sitting around Spoony's house, helping with reviews (and occasionally doing his own), and fixing an Atari Jaguar CD.
  • The only formal interview Lord Doom, the primary Big Bad of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, ever gave to any member of the press was to a seventeen year old high school girl who asked nicely in an open letter posted to the internet. The inquiry intrigued the master villain, and the girl got international fame (and a very, very interesting story for her school newspaper) when he agreed to her request. While the interview started off as the standard piece, it eventually descended into a three-page discussion about classic rock music, James Bond films, favorite books, and where one could find the best pizza on the planet.
  • Marik Plays Bloodlines is an entire miniseries of this, spinning off from Yu-Gi-Oh: The Abridged Series. Yugi's mortal (if rather kooky) enemy is apparently taking time off at some unspecified point to LP Vampire: The Masquerade, complete with fellow villain Bakura snarking at him in the background.
  • The Luthor/Green Goblin debates in the I'm a Marvel, I'm a DC pastiches on YouTube.
    • Later installments of the series feature Villains and Heroes Out Shopping (or drinking, anyway), as they focus on both sides relaxing, unwinding, and shooting the breeze at their local drinking holes. In typical fashion, the hero bar is a rather calm, sedate place where water costs $4.99 because most superheroes don't drink booze (except, notably, Iron Man), whereas the villain's hangout is generally a bit more raucous.
    • Taken even further by the "Goblin Bloggin'" segments by the same author, in which Green Goblin hosts a YouTube vid-blog, and generally furthers the impression, gained over the previous 'Marvel / DC' installments, of being quite an Affably Evil Anti-Villain with a deluded crush on Harley Quinn in this universe (albeit one with a psychopathic hair-trigger temper, an almighty grudge against Tony Stark, and a slightly uncomfortable obsession with Willem Dafoe).


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • An episode of Batman the Animated Series opened with The Joker and Poison Ivy...in Arkham bickering over the TV remote.
    • In "Harley's Holiday", a 'reformed' Harley literally goes shopping—and takes the pet hyenas for a walk. Of course, when she buys a dress at a clothing store, she leaves with the dress before the cashier can remove the theft alarm from it. The shoplifter alarm starts ringing and the security guard comes over to try to explain that the cashier needs to remove the tag for her, but Harley sort of...freaks out, thinking she was going to be arrested again. Hilarity Ensues.

Harley: I'm havin' a bad day! I'm sick of people trying to shoot me, ride over me and blow me up! ...I didn't get to keep my new dress, and I actually paid for it!

    • Also in Batman the Animated Series, viewers are privy to humorous shades of domesticity in the relationship between the Joker and Harley Quinn. For example, after he kicks her out of the gang in "Harley and Ivy", he is unable to find his socks and forgets to feed their pet hyenas.
    • And then there's that Christmas episode where Harley and Poison Ivy kidnap Bruce Wayne and brainwash him to pay for all their Christmas shopping. Batman is not amused.
    • An amusing subversion: the episode with The Creeper has him tearing through a series of outfights in a shop while the bored woman at the till looks on. You thoroughly expect him to abscond with the clothes sans payment...except Batman traces his identity because he used his former self's credit card.
    • "Almost Got 'Im" mostly consists of the villains hanging out playing poker, drinking tea, and swapping Death Trap stories without being up to any evil schemes (except for the Joker...).
  • The humorous Beach Episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender featured Zuko, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee of the Fire Nation hanging around at a beach resort acting like normal kids (well, as normal as a Quirky Miniboss Squad, one brooding Anti-Villain, and one megalomaniacal Psycho for Hire can act), with the show's heroes only briefly appearing in a B-plot featuring them being chased around by "Sparky Sparky Boom Man".
    • Also used in the episode 'The Waterbending Scroll', where the villains (well, Iroh, who isn't exactly a villain) do go shopping. It's later shown that the Lotus tile he was seeking to buy was really a secret password for the Lotus Society, thus he was actually trying to make contact with local operatives for his secret society.
    • A scene in the Grand Finale has some Fire Nation soldiers making small talk and discussing someone's birthday, when just minutes before, they were getting ready to launch a campaign of genocide.
    • Many of Iroh and Zuko's subplots in season two (e.g. Iroh starting up his own tea shop) could count as this depending on whether or not you regard them as villains at that point. The best example is Tales of Ba Sing Se, in which Iroh shops for a picnic basket and Zuko goes out on a date with an Earth Kingdom girl.
  • In an episode of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, Buzz reacts to a string of mysterious disappearances by calling Emperor Zurg via videophone. Apparently, he was in a business meeting with pretty much every other recurring villain/henchman on the show, conveniently clearing them all. However, he adds that he DOES have some great plans lined up for the next fiscal year.
  • One episode of Codename: Kids Next Door has a literal example of this, where the heroes and villains are fighting over a box of breakfast cereal in the supermarket!
  • Norm the Genie from The Fairly OddParents did this after becoming a fairy godparent, except it wasn't literal shopping. It was car racing, Hawaii, wish-granting, flirting, restaurants, etc. Probably because now that he was a Fairy, he had to follow their rules and laws, or risk losing his new status and freedom and going back to the lamp as a Genie.
    • The Thanksgiving storybook does this with Vicky, though it's technically her family (who we know she terrorizes on the show) doing the shopping. In this book, Timmy finds that Vicky is alone on Thanksgiving because her family went out to get cranberry sauce and their car broke down, and, for once, Vicky is actually worried for them.
  • In Freakazoid!, the titular hero has encountered The Lobe at least twice while the latter was shopping. He expresses amazement at this, saying "Lobe? I thought you were terrorizing [name of place] with some kind of [silly sounding weapon]!"
    • The Lobe decides he needs a break from villainy and goes to a restaurant, where everybody knows him by name, and he's their favorite guest. Mind you, he does cut this short to help out Freakazoid, but demands a chase scene before he does so.
    • Queen Cobra is also shown having decorated her villainous lair with Chinese Lanterns, as per Freakazoid's suggestion, off camera, sadly.
  • The trope is used in the Gargoyles episode "Her Brother's Keeper" where Elisa Maza shadows David Xanatos from the air while the villain is driving in order to get something incriminating on him. Unfortunately, Xanatos is well aware that Maza is following him and casually notes "Let's go shopping" as a completely innocuous activity in order to frustrate her.
    • Xanatos, however, is Xanatos Gambit. Shortly after he begins shopping for diamonds, two members of The Pack attempt to rob the place. The events are convoluted, but the result is Xanatos recruits Maza's brother as his helicopter pilot and bodyguard. The Pack is controlled by Fox, who is Xanatos's girlfriend and later wife. Xanatos claims he set the whole thing up, but it's hard to tell if he's being truthful or just playing mind games.
  • Invader Zim has at least two such events. In "Mortos De Soulstealer", Dib summons the titular demon to eat Zim's soul, but in order to regain enough power to do this, Mortos must prepare...by eating fast food, getting new pants, petting puppies, and hitting on a goth chick at the fair.
    • The whole episode "Zim Eats Waffles" is about this and Dib's inability to catch Zim being evil. Dib has a hidden spy camera in Zim's house, but rather than doing evil things, Zim...eats waffles and putters around like it's a lazy Saturday. Of course, his lazy Saturdays involve rampaging cyber-zombies and flesh-eating robot squid. Demon squid.
  • Justice League had a variation: the episode "Flash and Substance" opened with a conversation between various minor villains in a bar frequented by other minor villains. They chat and drink (milk—he has ulcers) and welcome a fellow minor villain heartily when he shows up, newly released from jail.
    • Later in the same episode, it turns out that Flash knows all about their little "hole-in-the-wall on Third."
  • A common plot has Kim Possible outright attacking a shopping villain for a crime they didn't commit. It doesn't matter if said villain should be in jail right now for what they did do in previous episodes.
  • Used repeatedly on Phineas and Ferb with Perry the Platypus and Dr. Doofenshmirtz (expected, as the two basically exist to parody every action and spy movie trope in existence).
    • In "Unfair Science Fair Redux", Perry and Doofenshmirtz literally go out shopping together to get supplies for Doof's latest Evil Plan—in the store, they encounter Perry's boss Major Monogram and his intern Karl, also out shopping. They stare at each other awkwardly and back away without saying anything.
  • One episode of The Powerpuff Girls had the Gangrene Gang using the Powerpuff Hotline and sending the girls after other villains. They arrived to find (in turn) Mojo Jojo sleeping, Fuzzy Lumpkins bathing, and Him doing aerobics.
    • In "Just Another Manic Mojo", Mojo Jojo spends the first half of the episode going out to buy some eggs for his breakfast. He doesn't even steal them.
    • In "Meet the Beat-Alls", Mojo, Moko, Fuzzy, Princess, and Him are shown in a grocery store buying items that are all white.
    • Another episode had Him working at a pancake restaurant.
  • Practically every episode of A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. It's almost never Red Herring. He's usually revealed to be on a paper route, and never happy to be interrupted.=
  • In the episode of The Simpsons in which Sideshow Bob was released from prison, Bart laments his inability to know what Bob is thinking. Cut to Sideshow Bob, wondering whether they still make that shampoo he likes. Cue Jarring chord.
    • At the end of the same episode, when Bob is sent to jail with his brother Cecil, Chief Wiggum says "who knows what diabolical schemes they might concoct?" Cut to Bob and Cecil having a Wimp Fight over the top bunk. After losing, Cecil asks where the menus are.
    • At the beach, Chief Wiggum is told by his wife to relax, since he's on vacation, to which he dramatically replies, "Crime doesn't take a vacation." Whip Pan to the Springfield Mafia throwing a beach ball around; one mobster plaintively cries "Careful, you'll pop it!"
    • A literal example in "The Old Man and Lisa" where after losing his fortune, Mr Burns has to shop for himself. Hilarity Ensues.
    • Another episode has Mr Burns, during a lull in his evil scheme, casually asks Lisa how things are going with her in her life. She responds by angrily berating him on his diabolical plans, causing him to irritatedly remark that she never switches off, does she?!
  • Megatron of Transformers: Beast Wars tends to do a lot of this. At one point, we find him taking a nap in his command chair, but more notable and frequent is his habit of relaxing in a hot tub while he schemes. He even has a rubber ducky. As Megatron is both a Magnificent Bastard and a Large Ham, the rubber ducky itself has become something of an icon among the fans.
  • Word Girl had a variation when, while fighting another villain, the heroine encounters recurring nemesis Dr. Two-Brains making his way home after a trip to buy crackers (which he will put stolen cheese on).
    • Another episode has Becky go shopping with her mother, only to find Tobey out shopping with his mother as well. Although in this case, he had an evil plan going at the same time. (Actually, Tobey's plans often grow out of him doing innocuous activities like this trope and just letting his temper get the best of him in the middle of doing it.)
  • Robot Chicken adores this trope; among their most popular skits are "Villains in Traffic" and "Darth Vader Calls".
  • The Venture Brothers is particularly fond of this trope, since it often focuses on the after-hours activities of super-scientists and super-villains.
    • "Hate Floats" has Phantom Limb and Dr. Girlfriend shopping for cutlery at the mall.
    • In "Tag Sale, You're It!", Dr. Venture has a yard sale, and just about every villain he's ever faced shows up.
    • "Return to Spiderskull Island" features the old Team Venture gang and their former archvillains getting together at the titular island for Jonas Venture Jr.'s inauguration of the Jonas Venture Sr. museum. Team Venture is miffed that the villains seem to be making more table money selling autographs than they are.
    • When Rusty gets out of being arched for his group therapy night, Dean, Hank, Sergeant Hatred and the entire Monarch mook contingent go see a movie at the same theater.
  • In Danny Phantom, The Guys in White were briefly seen shopping in the mall before their sensors alerted them to Danny

"Why do they call it a White Sale when none of the clothes are white?"

    • It's also been confirmed that Vlad Plasmius is a huge Green Bay Packers fan and presumably interrupts his evil scheming whenever there's a game on television.
  • Done in the Batman the Brave And The Bold episode "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure." After promising Mera and Arthur Jr. that he'll stop running off on heroics during their family vacation, Aquaman sees Sportsmaster on the road next to him. Initially excited at the opportunity to fight something dropped into his lap, he then realizes that Sportsmaster's family is in the car and he's on vacation too.
  • Cinderella had Lady Tremaine giving a music lesson to her daughters.
  • One Hundred and One Dalmatians has Cruella De Ville who likes shopping and visiting old school mates.
  • Beauty and The Beast has Gaston who does lots of things when he's not plotting evil such as decorating his place with antlers, taking part in spitting contests, drink beer with his buddies and even attempting to play chess. And no one does any of those things like he does!


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • A New Yorker review of books on The French Revolution described how, at the height of the Terror, Maximilien Robespierre lived a normal life at a respectable boarding house, eating toast every morning with his favorite marmalade and flirting with his housekeeper's daughters (although not too much, as he was a rather prudish guy). After this, of course, he would go to work and sentence lots of people to the guillotine.
  • In 1940, after the fall of France, many people assumed that Britain would quickly make peace and that the war was effectively over. Hitler certainly thought so, taking a post-conquest break to do a little sightseeing in Paris. Hitler was also fond of drawing Disney characters and Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs was one of his favorite movies. Joseph Goebbels wrote that he was "very pleased" to be given Mickey Mouse merchandise as a gift.
  • At a Fugazi concert, Guy Picciotto chastised two violent audience members, who he saw before the show "eating ice cream like little boys... ice-cream eating motherfuckers, that's what you are."
  • Bandits Bonnie Parker, of "Bonnie and Clyde" fame, and Charles Bolles, better known as "Black Bart," were known for writing light-hearted poetry about their crimes.
  • In World War I, during Christmas, the Allies and Central Powers forces on one part of the trenches stopped fighting and enjoyed games of association football, shared brewskeys, and, all and all, had a good laugh. Fighting resumed after that day. Some officers were more accommodating than others. In nearly all the cases, the soldiers were later transferred to different parts of the front. Even before this, there was the Gentlemen's Agreement between many opposing officers to mainly shoot grenades over each other's head, rather than aim at one another. Aside from this, there were areas where the trenches of each side were only several feet from each other...and soldiers would exchange cans of one thing for cans of another with the other side.
  • James J. Bulger's entry on the FBI Ten Most Wanted list notes that he loves libraries, historic sites, and animals, and goes for walks on the beach and in the park with his partner. It sounds like an eHarmony profile.
  • There are many photos in history books of Nazi soldiers posing next to famous landmarks in the countries they've just invaded, like the "Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel" here, or enjoying a swim in the Atlantic.
    • Speaking of Those Wacky Nazis, there's footage of several nazis on a playground merry-go-round having fun. It's about as close to the page's picture as real life can get.
    • Also speaking of the nazis, Hitler spent more time not plotting genocide and world domination as history would lead you to believe. His wedding may also count, considering the circumstances (mainly the fact that the Red Army was at his doorstep with the intent to mount his head above Stalin's fireplace).
  • Many students have bumped into the Sadist Teacher at the shops.
  • This kind of effect can happen before and after a zombie walk, when the zombies are in costume but not in character and mill about riding public transit and buying snacks and so forth.
    • Not only zombies but everytime an actor gets out of character but keeps the costume on, regardless of what it is.
    • 1994's LA earthquake resulted in Edward Wiley/Gul Toran and Armin Shimerman/Quark driving home in full Cardassian/Ferangi makeup to check their families.
    • This was apparently quite common at Paramount Studios, with actors going home after a late night's filming still in makeup and just bringing back the prosthetic bits the next morning.
    • Likewise, go to any anime/Star Trek/Star Wars...well, ANY convention where cosplay is popular; going to the food court or nearby stores/restaurants will inevitably bring some spectacularly hysterical moments.
      • A similar effect can show up whenever the local educational establishment encourages wearing one's Halloween costume to school. Entertainingly, the older the participants, the more likely group costumes are, which can result in things like Batman and the Joker sitting around peaceably, eating lunch together.
  • Kim-Jong Il was a fan of basketball and was delighted when Madeline Albright gave him a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan, to the point he had a museum built specifically for its housing. He even owned all footage of Jordan playing for the Chicago Bulls.
    • He was also a noted cinephile with an extensive movie library.
  • After Osama Bin Laden's assassination, investigators found footage of him glued to the television, and also discovered that he was a big fan of American soft drinks.
    • Also, he and one of his high-ranking officials loved volleyball, and were so good at it that they weren't allowed to be on the same team, because then the other al-Qaeda volleyball dudes wouldn't stand a chance.
    • Oh, and all his computers were full of porn.
  1. (perhaps better known as "A Policeman's Lot Is Not A Happy One")