3.16.2011

Why Villains Always Spill The Beans

Have you ever wondered why, when given the chance, the bad guy always lays out his whole evil scheme?

You sly dog! You got me monologuing!

 I mean, I think the first thing they would point out in the bad-guy handbook is the simple fact that as soon as you let the hero know your plans, they'll escape with that very valuable information and ultimately defeat you.

So, why do they do it? I was contemplating it the other day and I think I understand.

Haven't you ever had an idea that was so flipping brilliant that you wanted to share it with everyone around you, including random passers-by?  I have. It's why I blog, in fact, so I can share my brilliance.  (Feel free to take a moment to look around, soak it all in...not feeling it?  Really?  *deflating like a noisy, slobber-filled balloon*)

Especially when their villainous plans are so well thought out, take years to perfect, require loving care to execute--heck yeah, they'd want to tell someone all about it!  What good is an evil plot without a healthy dose of bragging?

We all want to be heard.  Even when we're misguided, jaded villains.  So let's give bad guys their moment in the sun.  Let's applaud their hard work, their brilliance, their moxie!

And then, let's BEAT THEM at their own evil game!

14 comments:

A.B. Fenner said...

Such a good point! And this also plays into another failing of many bad guys: hubris.

Every time my hubs and I are watching a movie and a bad guy starts monologuing, we totally use that line (that's in your caption) from "The Incredibles." :)

Juliemybird said...

Something I learned from watching too many crime dramas in college: real psychopaths *have* to tell their brilliant plan to someone. It disturbs me quite a bit, actually. So it's not just in movies and such, but apparently a part of real, human psychoses as well. You never see a serial killer scratching his head over his motivations. *shudder*

Michael Offutt said...

Monologuing is a good way to get the information out to people as well.

Jeigh said...

I agree, Michael, of course the reader needs to know. I used to think it was just a cheesy plot device to lay everything out so crystal clear, until I realized I monologue all the time, although my monologues aren't particularly evil :)

Sarah said...

I think that The Hunger Games is a great example of a story where the villain (or the heroes, for that matter) don't tell too much.

Jeigh said...

True, Sarah. Suzanne Collins is a genius!

Christine Tyler said...

Juliemybird's comment on this is interesting--and creepy!

I was totally under the impression that monologuing was a tacky plot device, but you're right Jeigh! We all want to be heard, don't we. I'd never seen this as a natural thing, but it makes sense!

Addison Jamari said...

In Shakespeare's Richard III the main character seems to use this technique to connect with the audience, it's only later in the play when he stops monologuing that people seem to stop enjoying his evilness and root against him. But I suppose that only works when the bad guy is the main character, though I found Syndrome to be rather adorable as far as bad guys go :-)

Rachael Harrie said...

Jeigh, what an awesome post! Your point: "Haven't you ever had an idea that was so flipping brilliant that you wanted to share it with everyone around you, including random passers-by?" - love it! I'm still chortling :) And of course, it all makes total sense now ;)

Hugs,

Rach

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Great post and new follower:) I gotta say, I love it when I stumble across a villain who only spills enough to let us understand his motives a bit. .. but not so much that we find him less scary/threatening/menacing etc. An equilibrium, you know?

Callie Leuck said...

Great line from The Incredibles -- and completely sums up my frustration with ALL VILLAINS ALL THE TIME. In fact, my writing drive springs from a childhood quest to find an intelligent villain--or create one if necessary. I'm kind of obsessed with villains.

But you bring up some intriguing points. Thanks for the thoughts! Good to know other people are thinking about this trend, too. :)

ali said...

Haha! I love this! Plus, Kim Possible, Phinneas and Ferb and The Incredibles wouldn't be nearly as much fun without their braggadocios villains!

Jess said...

I love this post--it made me smile because I'm brainstorming a villain scene and wondering if he should do the evil monologue or not :)

Diana said...

Good post. Made me giggle thinking about my own villian. New follower :)