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A deadly tactic often used by a Villain with Good Publicity. The heroes, after much strife and turmoil, have finally managed to uncover proof of the villain's evil plans and are able to go public with it. When the villain gets wind of this, they discredit the proof in the place they best know how: the court of public opinion. In a nutshell:
Yes, that's right. The all-encompassing evil that embodies the spirit of Kick the Dog? It's a joke now. If you're lucky, it might show up on a late night talk show. But no one, ever, is going to take it the slightest bit seriously now. After all, how can something so hilarious possibly be a crime against humanity?
However, this trope can backfire against the villain if their ultimate goal relies on things like being able to convincingly intimidate an enemy. A villain who comes off as amusing (and not in an Affably Evil manner) will often be viewed as a practical joker, and subsequently be ignored. Alternatively, this trope is what causes most Narm under the "failed Crowning Moment of Awesome" heading, since a Crowning Moment of Awesome is badly undercut when the character in question engages in accidental comedy.
This is the logical in-universe extension of Laughably Evil. See also Sarcastic Confession and Refuge in Audacity. Contrast with Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor. Often a causing factor of Draco in Leather Pants—if the villain makes you laugh, how can he be bad? But no matter how amusing they are, never forget to Beware the Silly Ones.
- Mukrezar from Dungeon Keeper Ami is a soulless, murderous bastard who completely wiped out all life on an entire continent, apparently for kicks. He is also an unrepentant torturer who apparently finds screams of the tormented 'soothing'. He is also a terrible cook. Despite this, he is an amazingly quirky and charismatic leader and manages to pass himself off as Plucky Comic Relief.
- Shown at the ending in The Men Who Stare at Goats, and as happened in Real Life. All of the news story that the main character has been writing that shows up is that the prisoners were forced to listen to Barney music 24 hours a day. Which is actually a pretty terrifying prospect when you think about it, but since it's the butt of a joke nobody does.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show: This can also assist in a Draco in Leather Pants fandom: Dr. Frank N Furter may be psychotic and a Manipulative Bastard, but he's so great with the yuks that quite a few people aren't even bothered by it.
- Muppets from Space: Ed's penchant for being laughed at defuses his threat with a BFG, and actually makes him Earth's ambassador to the GonzAliens.
- Barney from How I Met Your Mother; his treatment of women in sociopathic at best, but he is mostly seen as a loveable rogue.
- A variation is used against villains in Dean Ing's story "Very Proper Charlies", in which a media policy of portraying terrorists as pathetic laughingstocks undercuts their ability to terrorize people.
- Kefka comes across as an unusually silly character. He dresses like a clown, seems to have a few screws loose, and is just all around goofy. At first.
- This is the only way that Black Mage of 8-Bit Theater can be both a Complete Monster as well as The Woobie of the series. His utter incompetence, not to mention his Cosmic Plaything status, prevents anyone from taking him seriously despite the fact that he would very quickly destroy all life if given the opportunity.
- "Marik's Evil Counsil of Doom" specials of the Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series run on this. The videos feature the series main villains plotting to destroy Yugi and Take Over the World (or in the case of Zork, destroy the world). They are completely ineffectual, but absolutely hilarious, and at times endearing.
- Dragon Ball Abridged: Nappa is made to appear almost as if all of the things he does are because of being stupid instead of malicious.
- In one episode of Pinky and The Brain, Brain's plan was to take over the world by overwhelming everyone with the Tear Jerker "Brain's Song", then take advantage of their weakened mental state to assert dominance over them. Unfortunately, his last scene on a vibrating food field caused him to shake in spasms while stating his demands, and everyone falls out of their depressed crying state laughing uproariously at Brain's absurd remonstrations of "I'm the o-o-o-o-o-o-o-overlord!"
- In the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "The Return of Harmony, pt 1", Discord has escaped from his can and signs of his return are everywhere. Even the God Empress is terrified, and she immediately sets the ponies on a mission to use the Elements of Harmony to save Equestria again... while Pinkie Pie is too busy being ecstatic that eternal chaos comes with chocolate rain and seems to think the local God of Evil is a big party animal. She quickly changes her mind however after being Mind Raped.