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"Whether you like it or not you are all part of my crusade! And I will fill the void with straight edge!"
Cm Punk, WWE Smackdown

A sister trope or sub-trope of Pure Is Not Good, this is when a villain lives a temperate and orderly lifestyle, free of drugs, tobacco, alcohol, illicit sex and other such vices. Such a villain will probably be Lawful Evil and keep to a schedule.

Often a trait of a Knight Templar. See also Villainous Valour, Evil Virtues and Family Values Villain. Compare Smug Straight Edge and Even Evil Has Standards.

Examples:


Anime and Manga

Comic Books

 Johnny: "[When I tried to tell her I wasn't going to rape her] I said 'lady, I wouldn't rape you with a ten foot pole.' But now that I think about it, if I had to do it... I'd use that pole."

Film

 Largo: Vargas does not drink. Does not smoke. Does not make love.

    • In the novel, these things are actually written to be true of the mastermind Blofeld, and Vargas, though a killer, is a man of noted self-control; in the movie, he comes across as a spooky and awkward figure. (Largo continues: "What do you do, Vargas?")
  • Frank Lucas in American Gangster refuses to live the ostentatious lifestyle of his peers. Justified, in that this helps him avoid police attention. In fact, the one time when he lives up to the gangster stereotype, wearing a flashy fur coat that his wife got him, ultimately leads to Ritchie noticing him and his subsequent downfall.
  • Doyle Lonegan from The Sting. Either celibate or Ambiguously Gay, a sober country-club-member banking gentleman whose only vice is poker ...and he cheats. Also, his real money comes from his numbers racket, and he won't hesitate to murder anyone who cons him out of a single payment from a single runner on a single day of it.
  • Harry Powell in The Night of the Hunter, he usually kills the women he finds sexually attractive

Literature

  • Most mystery stories have this; the villain would be fairly obvious otherwise.
  • Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter. For that matter, the corruption in the ministry (which Umbridge embodies) can be considered this, when they put order and peace over good and justice.
  • Mal'akh of The Lost Symbol overcame a lifetime of drugs and debauchery with the intent of making himself the perfect sacrifice to complete a ritual that he believes will turn him into a god.
  • Several Dean Koontz villains fit this to a T, the better to conceal their true monstrous nature and seem normal and orderly to the world. When darkness falls and the possibility of being caught is null, however, all bets are off for what they will do.
    • The sadistic and arbitrary serial killer in Dean Koontz's Intensity always keeps his word, has a well-ordered and scrubbed clean house, and even paid for his purchases made at a gas-station after killing the attendant...because he is a killer, not a thief.
  • Vorbis from Small Gods. An ascetic religious man who truly believes in his holy war. Vetinari may also be an example, though he's a benevolent dictator rather than a straight villain. (Benevolent in the sense of the Inquisition, mind.)
  • Ian McDonald's The Broken Land had a villain who drank lots of herbal tea.
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's The Curse of Chalion, libertine Dondo dy Jironal sets out to become influential with Teidez, the heir to the throne, via alcohol, carousing, and so on. When Dondo dies, his brother Martou, the Big Bad, has some trouble dealing with Teidez, due in part to Martou's Straight Edge tendencies.
  • Pinkie Brown in Brighton Rock. He's revolted by sex and the idea of opening himself up to another person, and similarly scared of the loss of control involved with drugs and alcohol. Sharply contrasted with the drunken, Really Gets Around hedonist Ida Arnold.
  • San Khay of Matthew Swift who lives a fiercely regimented lifestyle, exercises hard, always eats healthily, and never partakes in smoking or drugs.
  • Karla from Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy (a less than mediocre story, admittedly) is said to have quite escetic tastes, the only pleasure he indulges excessively in being his fondness for camel cigarettes.

Live-Action TV

  • Dexter, of, well, Dexter. Although the main reason he engages in clean living is due to the Code of Harry: It's his way of avoiding drawing attention to himself, his way of hiding in plain sight.
    • Trinity also qualifies, since he's not shown engaging in any "vices" other than domestic abuse and serial murder.
  • The Mayor from Buffy the Vampire Slayer doesn't drink and gets extremely cross with people who swear (even if they are demons). He also gently turns down the advances from his Tyke Bomb, making her a surrogate daughter instead. His idea of fun time is going out for frozen yogurt. And he wants to kill the entire town to become an immortal snake demon.
  • Granny Goodness on Smallville. Makes for a sharp contrast with Desaad.
  • Gus on Breaking Bad is very friendly and well-mannered, has a cordial relationship with local law enforcement, and owns a chain of chicken restaurants and the largest methamphetamine operation in the Southwest.
    • While he makes his fortune distributing drugs, he has nothing but contempt for the users. Being dependable and professional are his primary values, and junkies are known for neither.
  • Servalan from Blake's Seven certainly has a taste for the finer things in life but has a horror of moral decadence and goes to great lengths to clean up the Wretched Hive of Freedom City.

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40000 has Lelith Hesperax, the head of the Dark Eldar Wych Cult of Strife. Wyches are essentially the gladiators of the Dark Eldar, and their leaders (the Succubi / Archites) use the most advanced combat drugs, poison or arcane wargear in the setting to dart around and kill anything before it can as much as look at them. In contrast, Lelith comes with two knives, blades in hear hair, and just enough cloth on her so you can't really say she's naked. And not chain or power knives, either - just regular mono-edged knives which she is so good with, she treats as power weapons. In short, she uses none of the "crutches" other wyches do, and yet is, by far, the fastest, most skilled, and, what wyches value almost as much as winning, the most stylish of them all.
    • The Word Bearers worship all four Chaos Gods and support the other branches of the Chaos Space Marines on the principle that they all serve Chaos in their own way. The Word Bearers do have a problem with the way the Emperor's Children and other Slaanesh worshipers being too self-indulgent and decadent.

Professional Wrestling

  • Currently, CM Punk in WWE. Notable for the fact that he won his third World Heavyweight Title this way (the first two were as a face), and has been announced, at his own insistence, as "The only straight-edged World Heavyweight Champion" in the WWE.
    • This was his gimmick in Ring of Honor as well, complete with saying that Straight-Edge makes him drug-free, alcohol-free and better than you, even feuding with wrestlers over their past drug issues, and his breakout moment in ROH lore was a promo against Raven revolving their... differences on intoxicants.
    • And then there was his feud with Jeff Hardy; let's just say that those two guys live extremely contrasting lifestyles, and I'm not talking about Hardy's music band, either.

Theater

  • Malvolio from Twelfth Night could be an example of this. Although he may not be portrayed as evil necessarily, he is certainly a villain, one who is power hungry, mocking, and oppressive to the members of Olivia's household.

  Sir Toby: Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, that there will be no more cakes and ale?

  • The "precise" (Jacobean for "puritanical") Angelo in Measure for Measure is another example; his first action as regent of Vienna is to resurrect a law that makes extramarital sex a capital offense, and when he issues a Scarpia Ultimatum to the sister of a man condemned under this law, it's because he finds her virtue a turn-on (she's a novice in a convent).
  • Shakespeare also invokes this trope in dialogue when he has the title character in Julius Caesar remark that he prefers "men...that are fat, / Sleek-headed men, and such as sleep o' nights," and that Cassius is clearly untrustworthy because he "loves no plays" and "hears no music." Whether Cassius actually counts as an example is a matter of interpretation.

Video Games

  • This is the party line of Caesar's Legion in Fallout: New Vegas, which officially forbids alcohol, chems, and general "profligacy." Subverted in the case of the high-ranking Aurelius of Phoenix, whose office contains items like beer, lingerie, and "strange meat". (however they might confiscated goods)
  • In Peasant's Quest, a full-length adventure game in the Homestar Runner website, there's a standard fantasy ogre thing called the "Kerrek". Outside of it, there's a clip of Strong Bad at his computer -- a bit unusually, for him -- trying things like "Make Friends With Kerrek" and "Buy Kerrek a Cold One"; the latter of these triggers the message that the already-violent Kerrek is a teetotaler and is offended. (In the actual game, this action was edited in to make the Kerrek go faster.)

Western Animation

  • Rikki Kixx is a straight-edge rocker in Metalocalypse. As it turns out, he is unable to indulge in alcohol or drugs for a variety of legal, professional and health reasons, and is promoting sobriety solely to deny people the joy that he himself can no longer feel.
  • Judge Claude Frollo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a particularly brutal deconstruction

Real Life

  • Adolf Hitler, sort of- he was known to despise smoking, disliked drunkenness and may have dabbled in vegetarianism. His regime also promoted healthy living, did some of the earliest research on the negative effects of smoking, built homes for unwed mothers, and introduced some early animal rights laws; not everything the man did was absolutely evil, even if he was a horrible dictator, and despite the fact that a lot of this tied into his desire to forge a "master race". However, he was rumoured to have had an affair with and/or sexually abused his niece, although it has proven very difficult to pieces together an accurate picture of their relationship from amid the rumours and propaganda of contemporary society.
    • Hitler LOVED children and dogs, and in a pure way. Both children and dogs are obedient, which is what he likes the best.
    • Although his late-life cocktail of drugs might seem to disqualify him, these were, as with Elvis, prescribed to him by crappy doctors. Believe it or not, nobody at the time knew exactly what methamphetamine did or how nasty of a drug it was.
    • The exact nature of Hitler's sexuality is heavily debated by historians. The US government compiled a psychological profile (the first of its kind) on Hitler during the war, which accurately predicted that he'd fight to the end and ultimately commit suicide rather than surrender. Even this profile, however, states that it is difficult to determine exactly what Hitler's sex life was like, as they just had unverifiable scraps of rumor to go on, often contradictory. During the early years of the Nazi party in Weimar Germany, several German newspapers ran exposes on his bizarre personal life, but Hitler had his goons kill them, then hunt down and destroy every copy they could find. Nonetheless based on these scattered reports, the psychological profile concluded that there was certainly something unusual about Hitler's sex life. Other parts of the report based on more public information concluded that Hitler met most of the medical criteria for some form of Psycopathy (utterly manipulative, incapable of remorse, unable to mentally accept personal fault for anything, etc.). One of the major hallmarks of Psychopathy is extreme sexual perversion and obsession, not so much the actual pleasure but in the transgressive nature of it. On the other hand, there were other reports that he was very squeamish about women. The psychological profile therefore offered the tentative conclusion that while Hitler was embarrassed about sex and maintained a public facade, there might be some substantiation to the rumors that when he was having sex with a woman, he'd engage in...er...various dominance-based "excrement play" type activities.
  • Roman society considered a man who did not drink to be evil because he was unwilling to risk revealing his motives when under the influence. Caesar got a lot of flak from his rivals, particularly Cicero, for refusing to drink heavily even once in a while.
    • Apparently it's considered rude in Japan to not go drinking with your coworkers after work. By not getting drunk, you're refusing to open a vulnerability to them, which is important to ensure loyalty to the group. If you can't be blackmailed, it's too easy for you to betray the company.
  • There have been a few isolated (but generously publicized) incidents of violence and crime coming out of the Straight Edge movement itself (mostly from "hardliners," the Knight Templars of the scene).
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