It is only proper that the world be set to rights. However, if we were to unite the entire world the ignorant masses would be unable to keep pace. Therefore, we will start here. And just to be extra prudent and avoid pushing ourselves too hard, we will go one step further and focus here. Conquering one city is a reasonable plan that allows for some leeway for setbacks, don't you think?
Supervillains are, as a rule, ambitious
. From your typical Evil Overlord
to a Mad Scientist
to a pair of lab mice
, any bad guy worth their Spikes of Villainy
will have a grand plan to Take Over the World
Then there's this brand of villain. Either they set their sights low, or it just doesn't occur to them to aim higher. Whatever the reason, they focus their plans in one specific location, usually the City of Adventure
where the heroes happen to also live. There's nothing special about that particular town or city. No hidden source of power, no Weirdness Magnet
attracting trouble, nor any particular personal reason for the bad guy to target the place.
In some cases that particular location could be Step One in an ultimate take over the world scheme. Usually it just seems to never occur to the villain in question to simply move their operations someplace less troublesome.
This trope is primarily used for comedy, as in most serious works the villains are properly ambitious. It's also most commonly seen in kids shows in the west.
See also Poke the Poodle
. Not to be confused with Taking Over the Town
, which involves isolating a town from the outside world so you can loot it.
- Many villains of Discworld set their sights on ruling Anhk-Morpork
Manga & Anime
- While after world domination and despite the fact they were on a moonbase capable of transporting their monsters anyplace they wanted, the first Big Bads of the Power Rangers series always and without exception attacked Angel Grove.
- Excel Saga's Il Palazzo believes in pacing oneself, so he starts out by conquering the city, then Japan, then the world.
- Soon after its foundation, the World Domination Club in Twinkle Saber Nova realizes that they cannot Take Over the World with their current strength, so they decide to Take Over the City first. But the city is too large for them, too, so they start with their school.
- Phineas and Ferb villain Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz concocts plan after plan in which to conquer the entire Tri-State Area.
- The title character of Megamind showed little interest in conquering anything beyond
Metrocity Metro City.
- Lampshaded in an episode of Johnny Test when Mr. White & Mr. Black ask why the show's villains always seem to attack Porkbelly.
- In a Superman TV special faux documentary, Evil Genius Mad Scientist Brainwave recommends beginning villains start small, for example, taking over their next door neighbor.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron had one Mad Scientist who tried that.