, Needs a Better Description
Sometimes, a villain's biggest problem is that his forces are diminished to the point where they can't stand up to the hero.
Most often, it's a side effect of Shoot the Messenger
, You Have Outlived Your Usefulness
, and You Have Failed Me
. The villain may think We Have Reserves
each time he kills someone, only to find out in the end he used his reserves up. Usually the villain has a terrible case of Genre Blindness
to allow this to happen.
It can also result from a case of Screw This, I'm Out of Here!
which steams from the Mooks
having enough of the Bad Boss
routine or because they're not getting enough pay, if they're getting any at all.
This trope also applies when a villain is too stupid to not leave behind a platoon of guards when he sends his men into battle, thus leaving his base vulnerable to direct attacks.
Can be avoid if villain has a Mook Maker
, unless it is destroyed by the heroes.
Live Action TV
- A Horrible Histories song about Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard, suggested that he liked to do this so he wouldn't have to share his treasure with so many people, and that it led to his downfall when he was boarded and didn't have anyone left to help defend.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, one arc has him facing off against a man who keeps sending bad-guy Ninja after him, and killing any who screw up. When the Doctor comes knocking at his door, he finds out he killed all of his Mooks, leaving him defenseless.
- Noted but averted with Xykon, the Big Bad Lich of The Order of the Stick. Xykon should encounter this trope, since he constantly uses his goblin minions as cannon fodder (in one case, sending tons of them to die in order to form a ramp) or killing them for his own amusement. However, "luckily", Xykon and his goblin second-in-command, Redcloak, can raise the dead as zombies.
- Invoked in one episode of Aladdin where after Abis Mal told his men who failed him they would be executed, Haroud warned that he wouldn't have any men left if he kept that up.
- In one episode of Sheep in the Big City, the General kept dropping his men through Trap Doors. Eventually, when he and his right hand man were chasing the titular character in a helicopter, they lost control of it because the General had dropped the pilot through the trapdoor.
- In the third Futurama movie, "Bender's Game", Momon insisted on all her forces being sent into battle, which left her lair defenseless for Fry to invade. It also didn't help that all her minions ended up getting killed. True, she won in the end, but the trope was still in affect.
- In one Fractured Fairytale featuring King Midas, the king called for his board of directors to help him become popular with his subjects, and executing those who failed him. At the end of the cartoon, he has no directors left.
- This trope is probably the reason Megatron puts up with Starscream.
- In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, Doof-2 sent his army of Mecha-Mooks into Dimension-1 to conquer its tri-state area. Unfortunately, instead of making more, he sent the ones that were enforcing his own tri-state area, enabling the resistance to make their move.