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The New Era Speech is all well and dandy, but it presumes the villain has some reason to be halfway honest about things. And let's face it, it's usually for no better reason than to amuse themselves.

However, your more devious villains find it more amusing to put all their craft of eloquence into a speech that the members of the audience - but usually not the surrounding characters - know flies in the face of everything that has happened. The audience won't know whether to shake their fist in rage or their head in admiration.

A common case is that the villain has just scored a major coup, and now has to give a speech of deep sorrow and swift action regarding said coup. At other times, it'll be a masterful work of damage control, where the damage isn't so severe that they'll require a Motive Rant instead. In any case, chances are it will rally the Gullible Lemmings to their side at a vulnerable moment.

Examples of Bastardly Speech include:

Comic Books

  • The Smiler in Transmetropolitan gave a few of these. Some of them even had specific threats to Spider Jerusalem.
  • Whether he was addressing his companies board of directors or the White House press corps, Lex Luthor always tried to be as inspirational and upbeat as possible.

Anime and Manga

  • Light Yagami gets a particularly infuriating one in Death Note - perhaps twice in the same episode, depending on how much emotional melodrama you think a monologue can stand before it stops being a speech. Actually, come to think of it, he does this in nearly every episode, to some degree.
    • Shortly after his father's death, when Matsuda is questioning whether capturing Kira is right or wrong, Light says that history will favor the victor; Kira will be seen as a criminal if he's caught, and will be seen as justice if he prevails. While this is meant to come across as a suggestion that the investigation team will be vindicated if they are successful, it also represents Light's belief that the world will soon come to accept him.


  • Palpatine's speech in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Happens twice with the Joker in the film Batman (1989).
    • His speech on TV, where he claims that he isn't a killer and that Batman is the real villain.
    • His speech to the crowd at the parade, where he says that they should trust him because he's giving away free money and again insults Batman...just before trying to kill them with poison gas.
  • In The Lion King, Scar gives one of these to Mufasa's pride of lionesses as a eulogy after the latter's death and Simba's disappearance, before assuming the throne.


  • Rob Pierre, at the end of an early Honor Harrington book, uses one to solidify his, you guessed it, Reign of Terror.
    • A bit later, a Grayson Steadholder commits an epic dodge against all possible accusation, drastically souring the basic end-scene formula for most of the books up to that point... but we learn four books later that his payload isn't too great. (He is involved in an evil plot that does succeed to a substantial degree, but this time, he's the patsy.)
  • Lord Ferris does a damage-control variation in Ellen Kushner's Swordspoint. After a lengthy Time Skip, the sequel, Privilege of the Sword, shows that the speech has paid its dividends well.
  • Black Jewels: Dorothea gives a damage-control one in the beginning of Queen of Darkness. She finds it amazing that people are so desperate and/or stupid to believe it.
  • Eric delivers one in Divergent after Al commits suicide.

Video Games

Web Originals

  • Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog has the song "Everyone's A Hero" (which mixes this with "The Reason You Suck" Speech), in which Captain Hammer talks about how much he cares about the homeless-- all the while comparing them to dogs (Lassie, but still) and calling them Scary Alcoholic Bums. While the audience cheers along, his "girlfriend" Penny is shown as absolutely disgusted by what he's saying.

Western Animation

  • Parodied in The Simpsons episode, "Secrets of a Successful Marriage," where Homer tries to justify telling Marge's secrets to the marriage class he's teaching. (Unsurprisingly, unlike with the other examples here, she doesn't fall for his BS.) And of course, being Homer, it's more a collection of quotes from movies he saw.
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