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"That dude... scares me."

The good guys don't always have to be warm and cuddly, or even all that attractive for that matter. Sometimes, they're even downright scary.

This trope mostly applies to Friendly Neighborhood Vampires, Noble Demons, Uncanny Valley Girls, etc. -- nonhuman characters get this a lot, in fact. But it can also be applied to a Well-Intentioned Extremist or somebody else who is fully human, but unnerves allies and audience members with their methods or mannerisms. It can also follow a Heel Face Turn, if the character switching to the side of good retains some moral ambiguity or monstrous traits. Psycho Sidekicks and good-guy (or at least harmless) versions of Stalker with a Crush can fall under this, as well.

Contrast Handsome Devil and Villain with Good Publicity, which are inversions, and Face Monster Turn, in which a good character changes sides after becoming creepy. Creepy Awesome may also apply, especially in the case of particularly Badass characters.

Compare Good Is Not Nice and Dark Is Not Evil, which are sister tropes, and the Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant, who is usually also Creepy Good (unless, of course, they're evil). If it's the main character who's Creepy Good, it's a case of Horrifying Hero.

Examples of Creepy Good include:


Anime and Manga

  • Hallelujah in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, the other personality of Allelujah, is a Crazy Awesome psycho that'll do anything to stay alive and enjoys killing people. The others don't see much of him outside of battle, though.
  • One Piece: Zoro and Robin are the only members of the Strawhats to have killed in the past. Usopp, Nami, and Chopper frequently find them both "creepy" or "nuts" depending on the situation.
    • Nico Robin was an assassin (and still doesn't have any problems with snapping the Mooks' necks), used to be The Dragon, and frequently makes morbid comments about death. Her power to grow body parts from any surface also adds to her creep factor.
    • Zoro is willing to chop his own feet off to join a fight and creeps the others out with his sheer determination and willpower, not to mention his monstrous strength.
  • Hiruma from Eyeshield 21: "So scary... and yet so reliable!"
  • Bleach
    • Kurotsuchi Mayuri takes "mad scientist" to its most extreme, creepy end (and looks quite a bit like a deranged clown to boot). He has also repeatedly demonstrated that he cares nothing about other characters' lives, except in so far as it benefits himself.
    • Zaraki Kenpachi and Madarame Ikkaku are both obsessed with and greatly enjoy fighting, to the point of very nearly being Combat Sadomasochists.
    • Urahara Kisuke functions as a team mentor, but his secretive mannerisms and tendency to know everything give him an unnerving edge.
    • Kurotsuchi Nemu takes emotionlessness to new heights, leaving her dangling on the edge of the Uncanny Valley.
    • Even the main character, Kurosaki Ichigo, has a few creepy tendencies, and Urahara himself, also on this list, said, "You're one scary kid."
  • Dr. Franken Stein from Soul Eater. To put this into perspective, he routinely 'experiments on people' and told his partner he switched two of his toes when he was sleeping. He didn't; he was just screwing with him, but the fact that everyone found this a believable thing for him to have done really says it all.
  • Faust VIII from Shaman King joins up with Yoh, the protagonist, despite him introducing himself by trying to vivisect Yoh's sidekick. He looks and acts depraved but is generally good-natured otherwise.
  • In Gunslinger Girl, the cyborgs.

 Alphonso: It's just the thought of these little girls who can kill terrorists and speak three languages, and here they are singing Beethoven in the bitter cold. It's a shame they have to be cyborgs.


Comic Books

  • Batman
    • Some interpretations of Batman's membership in the Justice League are portrayed this way. Everyone has their seat at the table, and Batman's off in a corner being quiet (if you notice him at all).

      This crosses pretty well with his status as Crazy Prepared. The rest of the League is creeped out that this guys has files on how to kill/maim/disable the rest of them. That, and being creepy is Batman's schtick.
    • There's also The Question, who even Batman thinks is a little unhinged.
  • In DC Comics, we have The Creeper, adequately enough. The guy is so batshit loco that even The Joker considers him a lunatic!
  • In the early days, Spider-Man was often seen as creepy by many fellow heroes in the Marvel Universe, even as recently as The Nineties, as seen when he and Nova fought the Tri-Sentinel. Prominent reasons for this were his face-covering mask with giant menacing bug-eyes and his penchant for contorting himself in strange ways. Also, while it isn't canon, Wonder Woman mentioned he was creepy during his second Crossover with Superman. This is often due to Spidey's costume, his ability to cling to any surface, and his knack for showing up out of the blue, to say nothing of the fact that he is often a Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • When Iron Man made his debut, he had an all gray suit of armor. A passerby mentioned how creepy he looked in such a dark color so he repainted the suit gold in order to avert this trope.


Fanfiction

  • In Operation: There Is No Operation, a Codename: Kids Next Door fanfic, V8 is this to the rest of the KND, being the local Exalted Torturer who works with them.
  • Nobody Dies: Rei and her sisters. Everyone in the story reacts like they're the scariest things around (even the Angels are considered less threatening), what with the Stealth Hi Bye, the kidnapping people through air vents, and general strangeness. Even the fans refer to this version of Rei as Terrifying!Rei. However, they're all good and kind at heart (even if they have possibly the most bizarre ways of showing it), and would do anything to protect those they care for.


Film

  • Elise in Insidious is a creepy old lady with Psychic Powers who talks about Things Man Was Not Meant to Know as if she's discussing the weather... but she's legitimately trying to help the protagonists save their kid from evil spirits.
  • Most of the characters of The Nightmare Before Christmas. The people of Halloweentown aren't evil (except for Oogie Boogie, who's ostracized by the rest of the townsfolk), but they're scary both by nature and because it's their job. They do nearly ruin Christmas, but out of lack of understanding rather than malice, and Jack eventually has a My God, What Have I Done? moment and sets things right.


Literature

  • Harry Potter: Luna Lovegood is a mild version of this, in that she spouts horrific conspiracy theories and seems to be attuned to whole levels of magic the other characters can't access. She even gets stuck with the nickname "Loony Lovegood" because everyone else thinks she's crazy. It's probably a good thing that the movie left out the huge portraits of her friends she painted on her bedroom wall that were linked with chains made of the word "friends".
  • Misha, the ghost boy in The Farwalkers Quest, fits. Ghosts aren't very common in the world, and he can only really communicate with the protagonist in her dreams, during which she sees his true form.
  • In the Inheritance Cycle, Elva is an infant with violet eyes and an adult's voice in a child's body, which scares the hell out of many adults. She is (ostensibly) on the good side, but she isn't above using her power of knowing what someone's future pain is, someone's fears, or hopes for manipulation of powerful people for her own benefit.
  • Nightside: Razor Eddie, "Punk God of the Straight Razor", is described as "an extremely disturbing agent of good. The forces of good didn't get a say in the matter". Fair enough, since he's a reformed -- but not retired -- Serial Killer who targets those who threaten children and the homeless and has been known to leave buildings soaked in blood but conspicuously absent of corpses.
  • Discworld
    • The Igors are (usually) good guys, but tend to creep out a lot of people, due to their Mix-and-Match Man prowess.
    • Carrot gives off this impression to some, if only because they're unable to tell if his seeming pure-heartedness is genuine, or an incredibly convincing ruse to get what he needs.


Live Action TV


Play-by-Post Games

  • Honorable Hogwarts loves this trope. Jason, Aldous, Lena, Mandos, and Abel are just the main-character examples. And considering the site's aggressively gray morality, more characters will likely be introduced who fit this trope later on.


Toys

  • Onua from the Bionicle series, at least in his first incarnation. He's a hunchback, his body is completely black, he lives underground, he has gigantic bladed claws for hands, and like all other Toa he wears a mask that completely obscures his face. And through the series the poor guy is one of the most helpful and useful characters. Seriously, though, in some of the promotional art he looks like a monster that's about to attack Tahu.


Video Games

  • From Ar Tonelico 3: Knell of Ar Ciel: Even after Soma makes a Heel Face Turn and start helping the heroes, she's still creepy as hell, due in no small part to her spectacular Slasher Smile. Her Limit Break in particular is disturbing. Of course, it helps that she's a Monster Clown.
  • The Medic from Team Fortress 2: A Deadly Doctor who performs Meatgrinder Surgery, can pull a pretty decent Slasher Smile, and is able to scare even the Heavy.
  • Faust from Guilty Gear is a freakishly tall, demented, sometimes Ax Crazy Deadly Doctor who wears a Brown Bag Mask... and yet is still indisputably good.
  • Justice from the Dragon Age Origins expansion is an spirit inhabiting a decayed corpse. He also happens to be noble, just and genuinely looking to help mortals. However, by the start of Dragon Age II, he has changed.
  • Skylanders has shades of this for some of his members. Most notably, the ones classified as "Undead", including Chop Chop, a skeleton knight; Ghost Roaster, a ghost who has the habit to eat other spirits; Hex, an undead elven Necromancer with bone-based spells and a taste for grim lines; and Cynder, a redeemed Black Dragon who despite being portrayed as a nice character is known to still creep out some of her teammates.
  • Tales of the Abyss: The setting's foremost retired Mad Scientist and widely believed to be a Necromancer, Jade Curtiss can definitely pull this off when he wants to, although he spends most his time as a Deadpan Snarker.
  • The Diablo series:
    • The second opus allows the player to incarnate a Necromancer who uses bone-based spells, summons skeletons and golems made of blood, can use poison-based attacks, and has a liking for dark comments, but is otherwise a good guy.
    • The third game introduces, as a player character, the Witch Doctor, who, in addition to summoning creatures such as spiders, poisonous frogs, or zombie dogs and bears, is a Nightmare Fetishist, but is portrayed as one of the nicest characters amongst the playable classes.
  • Planescape: Torment:
    • The Nameless One. Even if played as the nicest and noblest person ever, he will still be a corpse-like man covered by horrible scars.
    • Also Morte, who despite being a floating skull is the only party member who's actually good aligned.


Web Comics

    • Lota ("Longshoreman Of The Apocalypse") may be the most reasonable AI around, but his quirks and choice of mechanical avatars don't exactly help him to win the trust of people.
  • In Wapsi Square, Shelly's conscience tends to appear as a creepy little girl, so even though she is unambiguously good, she tends to frighten people encountering her for the first time.
  • Goblins
    • K'seliss the lizardman, who manages to creep out the goblins with his particularly brutal fighting style.
    • To a lesser extent, Kin the Yuan-ti, who escapes a Mook by creeping him out and then scaring him into dropping her leash (It Makes Sense in Context).


Western Animation

  • Teen Titans: All of the other four members of the team find Raven unsettling to some degree.
  • In Adventure Time, Marceline may be an ally, but Finn and Jake are still terrified of her.
  • Ben 10 occasionally has this. Several of Ben's alien forms are downright creepy: Wildmutt is a savage-looking beast with no eyes and impressive fangs; Ripjaws looks like a mermaid merged with some creepy fish from the deep; Big Chill is a skeletal-looking insect with a ghastly voice, ghost-like powers, and grim reaper-esque cape-wings; Swampfire and Wildvine are Plant Aliens with disturbing vine abilities; and three aliens Ben acquired (Benmummy, Benwolf, and Benvicktor) are based on classic horror monsters. Ben remained a good guy while using all of these forms. That said, he has no problem taking advantage on his alien forms' creepiness to scare his opponents...
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