Failure Equals Treason YKTTW Discussion

Failure Equals Treason
When a Big Bad\'s minions are defeated or fail him, said villain beleives that they did it on purpose.
(permanent link) added: 2011-10-27 07:54:49 sponsor: aschwartz07901 (last reply: 2011-12-05 08:54:33)

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This is a very specific form of Genre Blindness that occurs when a Big Bad has never heard of, (and thus fails to take into account) the law of Hanlon's Razor. This means the he/she is so paranoid and/or insane, that he believes that anyone who fails him is not incompetant but a deliberate traitor. In otherwords, he believes that his mooks actually can beat the hero, but that they chose not to. Villains will typically display symptoms of this after sending out mooks to kill/capture the hero, since they will innevitably get there asses handed to them by badass Hero. This usually lead to one or more mooks getting the You Have Failed Me treatment. Any Comic book or Reoccurring TV show villain that follows this trope gets extra Hypocrite points for executing mooks who fail to stop the hero who has continually kicked the villain's own ass countless times.

The rarest form of this trope is basically Sanity Slippage. It occurs when the villain takes this trope Up to Eleven to the point where the villain becomes so demented that he even starts using Insane Troll Logic or Bat Deduction to justify executing a supposed "traitors". In some cases, the villain becomes so deranged that the villain will execute minions when they succeed in carrying out orders that have unintended consequences like a Genocide Backfire! This form of the trope is so satisfying and funny to watch it qualifies as a Villainous Breakdown!

contrast with Properly Paranoid



  • Scipio Bellorum, Smug Snake and General Ripper extraordinaire from Stuart Hill's The Icemark Chronicles is a fervent believer in this trope.
  • Lionstone IV in Simon r green's Deathstalker novels is made of this trope. Just read the end of the 3rd book. she calls her admiral a traitor for refusing to obey orders that he doesn't even have enough manpower to accomplish!
  • Near the end of the 5th Harry Potter book Umbridge accuses Snape of being deliberatly unhelpful when he points out that she already used up all his Truth Serum. She's actually right, and indeed the bottle he originally gave her wasn't real in the first place, but there's no way she would have known.

Live Action TV
  • An early character in Alphas has such ability to predict cause-and-effect ("twenty moves in advance") that he is incapable of comprehending that other people just can't see all the consequences of their actions: any time something bad happens to him, he immediately assumes somebody did it deliberately.

Video Games
  • Almost every Villain in Batman: Arkham City with the exception of Two-Face, and (possibly Joker)

Western Animation

Real Life:
  • Joseph Stalin
    There are no Soviet prisoners of war, only traitors.
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