They're not the BigBad; they're too small time for that. Heck, they're not even MonsterOfTheWeek level. But they're not working for another villain, either, so they're not really {{Mooks}}. These are {{Villains}} whose duty is to show up for a single scene, maybe two if they're lucky, and cause some minor trouble before the heroes [[CurbStompBattle kick them into next week]] and move on to the ''real'' plot.

Why bother including such a meaningless bad guy? It could be the story was running a little light on its action quotient and needed an excuse for some mindless violence. Maybe the writers wanted to show what the heroes' lives are like in-between more significant adversaries, or create an EstablishingCharacterMoment for a hero we don't know very well yet. Maybe the episode was running a little short, and they had to fill up an extra five minutes with ''something''.

Or maybe, while the Bit Part Bad Guys themselves aren't important, something that happens during the fight with them is. The hero might meet the GirlOfTheWeek by saving them from one of these villains, or maybe it's during one of these quick fights that the {{Superhero}} will discover something's wrong with their powers, or maybe, because the hero was busy taking this bad guy down, they weren't at home to stop someone from getting [[DamselInDistress kidnapped]] or [[StuffedIntoTheFridge worse]], which may even elevate them to the level of SmallRoleBigImpact.

Whatever the case may be, the Bit Part Bad Guy always gets the short end of the butt-kicking stick. They'll almost always be quite low on the SlidingScaleOfVillainThreat and, compared to the rest of the story, on the silly side of the SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness. Now it must be said that all this doesn't mean that they are necessarily [[IneffectualSympatheticVillain ineffectual]] or not a threat to a random citizen, it just means that they are small fries in a much bigger pond. They can be quite dangerous and evil on their own for non-powerful heroes and will often in fact be given KickTheDog or PoliticallyIncorrectVillain traits, if only to justify their getting a comeuppance. The best hope a Bit Part Bad Guy has is to make a strong enough impression during their brief appearance that audiences demand they be brought back again, possibly upgraded to MonsterOfTheWeek status. Only once in a scarlet moon can such a villain even dream of [[FromNobodyToNightmare becoming Big Bad material]], though. Their tendency to think small and opportunistically look for [[EvilIsPetty easy targets]] generally disqualifies them from becoming someone with grander plans or vision of any sort.

Common varieties include [[BankRobbery Bank Robbers]], [[BadGuyBar Thuggish Bar Patrons]], Muggers, and generally StupidCrooks. Also known as the LowlyCriminal.

SubTrope of BitCharacter and PlotIrrelevantVillain; SuperTrope of MuggingTheMonster. Common in a BatmanColdOpen, when said ColdOpen doesn't feature a recurring villain; however, Bit Part Bad Guys can show up anywhere in the story, up to and including right before (and after) the climax.

See RandomEncounters for the [[VideoGames Video]] and TabletopGames version of this trope.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' has occasional appearances of {{Yakuza}}, TriadsAndTongs and sundry thugs, most of whom exist just to be beaten up or killed in horrible ways by major characters.
* The Snake Baron's bandits in the first story arc of ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' basically exist for Guts to show off his repeating crossbow skills and his [[{{BFS}} gigantic sword]] for the first time. The Female Apostle from the very first scene in the manga also acts as this, showing how ruthless Guts can be.
* ''Manga/MutekiKanbanMusume'', being a deconstruction of the FightingSeries PlayedForLaughs, presents protagonist Miki as she encounters an unfortunate thief, minor {{Yakuza}}, and JapaneseDelinquents, all of them only there to [[MuggingTheMonster Mug the Monster]] and give her an excuse to {{curbstomp|Battle}} them, and then be forgotten.
--> Hey Missy, [[BumpIntoConfrontation are you going to pretend that you didn’t bump into me?]] You shouldn’t distress us [[BlatantLies ordinary citizens]]. Maybe you should pay me as an apology.
* ''Manga/CodenameSailorV'' has a few ordinary bandits and other criminals who exist only to show that Minako wants to humiliate the police by stealing their job, introduce a number of police officers as recurring characters and explain why Sailor V is a celebrity by the time of ''Manga/SailorMoon''.
** The plot of one chapter was kicked off by Sailor V wasting time in beating up two bullies, thus not having time to change back into Minako to take part to a lottery and winning a vacation to Hawaii as Sailor V.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Creator/MarvelComics have loads of these villains who show up in single issues or possibly in the middle of larger story arcs just to get beaten up: [[ComicBook/SpiderMan The Rhino]], [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor The Wrecking Crew]], and [[ComicBook/XMen The Blob]] just to name a few. That's not even getting into the numerous nameless crooks that crime-fighting superheroes beat up on a regular basis, who are lucky enough if they even get a line in.
* ''ComicBook/SinCity'':
** The beginning of ''A Dame To Kill For'' features the private investigator main character spying on an [[DomesticAbuser abusive boyfriend]] and beating him up when he tries to hurt his mistress.
** Also in ''ADTKF'' is a brief scene where Marv shows up to take out some bad guys at Kadie's. This is subverted in that Marv was a secondary character in that story.
** ''Hell And Back'' also features a brief scene when Manute shows up to fight Wallace. Manute was working for a different mob boss that had ties to the BigBad but otherwise, this was a bit part for him.
* Generally any of the petty criminals ''ComicBook/JudgeDredd'' deals with on a daily basis are this, particularly in one shot strips. Even in some of the Mega Epics, Dredd can be seen cracking skulls or getting into firefights with minor criminals while musing over the greater storyline.
* In a ''Comicbook/BatgirlRebirth'' Annual, eco-terrorist villain Red Spur shows up in the two first pages and is chased away by Comicbook/{{Batgirl}} and Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} before the beginning of the main plot.
* In ''Comicbook/ManyHappyReturns'', super-villain Rebel harasses Comicbook/{{Supergirl}} several times until the Girl of Steel gets tired of beating him up and scares him away stating he was not important. He was ''something to do'' until the real BigBad came along.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[à Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità]]'', [[spoiler:the rude chef, the homophobe, and the bully were all minor villains of sorts. Although [[NoNameGiven not given names]], they do play a part in the plot.]]
* ''Fanfic/TheVow'' has a group of bandits led by a mongoose called Haun, who kidnap Lady Lianne in hopes of a high ransom. In addition to her being rescued from them by Lord Shen providing action and relationship development, the [[KickTheSonOfABitch sadistic way]] Shen executes Haun [[ItsPersonal personally]] serves as one of the warning signs of [[ForegoneConclusion what he becomes in the future]]. Most of the other bandits die as well, and the rest aren't heard of again.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ABugsLife'' has an example in the smallest way possible both figuratively and literally with the Fly Brothers who do not even interact with Flik at all and only antagonise Francis causing a huge misunderstanding that leads to Flik mistaking the Circus Bugs for warriors and hiring them.
* ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'': The two brontotheres Carl and Frank are there only to make Sid latch on to Manny for protection after they attempted to murder him.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'', Bomb Voyage's confrontation with Mr. Incredible is significant only in that it gives Buddy an opening to try to get recruited as a sidekick and puts the hero under enough pressure to sharpen [[StartOfDarkness the rudeness of his rejection]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* All over the place in all three of the ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'' movies.
* The bank robbers from ''Film/DirtyHarry'' were basically there so Harry could show off his skills with the .44 Magnum and deliver his famous "Do you feel lucky?" speech.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}''
** Two muggers show up at the beginning of the first Tim Burton ''Film/{{Batman}}'' movie, robbing an innocent tourist family (with one mugger pulling a KickTheDog moment by turning his gun on the family's kid), laying down the fearsome reputation of "the bat" and then getting their asses kicked by the Batman.
** Just about every ''Batman'' film since then has featured at least one such character. ''Film/BatmanReturns'' included a brief scene with a nameless, nondescript mugger (and, it is strongly implied, [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar rapist]]) who exists only as an AssholeVictim to get butchered by Catwoman -- and, of course, to establish that Selina Kyle has [[TookALevelInBadass Taken a Level in Badass]] after all the injustices done to her and will never be the same again.
** ''Film/BatmanForever'', on the other hand, featured an entire street gang sporting a weird combination of tribal face paint and ''Tron''-like glow-in-the-dark uniforms who are so eye-catching that they veer dangerously close to EnsembleDarkhorse territory. What makes this so jarring is that they only appear in one scene, and then only as an opportunity for Dick Grayson (the future Robin) to demonstrate his latent fighting skills and also to work through his great anger at having seen his entire family murdered by the [[TheDragon Dragon]] of the film, Two-Face. (Interestingly enough, a lot of planning went into the creation of these one-shot villains, with the film's costume designers studying Aboriginal rock paintings to get a feel for how they should look.)
** ''Film/BatmanAndRobin'', by virtue of its [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters notoriously Biblical cast of characters]], has ''two'' instances: the punk bikers whom Dick Grayson and Barbara Wilson race on motorcycles through a tunnel in the "bad" part of town; and ''another'' group of Day-Glo, tribal thugs who exist only for Bane to have somebody to beat up.
* ''Film/InTheLineOfFire'' begins with Clint Eastwood's character busting unimportant counterfeiters while undercover.
* Creator/StevenSeagal's ''Film/OutForJustice'' features some random goons in a bar ripe for beating up.
* The 1978 ''Film/{{Superman}}'' movie has a mugger go after Lois Lane... with [[ClarkKenting Clark Kent]] right next to her.
* In ''Film/SupermanReturns'', Superman's first act upon returning is against a pack of bank robbers, armed for bear.
* The two muggers that try to rob the blinded Jenny soon after the first shootout of ''Film/TheKiller'', only to get beaten up by Ah Jong.
* The first humans the T-800 interacts with in the first two ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' movies, with the parallel scene in ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'' being a bit more of a tonal inversion of the biker bar scene from ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''.

* Block and Tackle of the ''Literature/HIVESeries'' have little impact on the story besides what others tell them to do. They are simply generic mooks who happen to be mean, and show up to terrorize the protagonists in every volume whether or not they contribute to the plot. They're usually gone in five pages or less.
* Duke, a villain from the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' book ''The Lost Warrior'' is one of these. His only reason for existing was so that Graystripe could fight someone in the first book, and out of all the villains in the series, he is one of the quickest to go down.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** As the show continued, vampires gradually lost their VillainPedigree, going from [[BigBad Big Bads]] to MonstersOfTheWeek, to {{Mooks}}, until in the later seasons (around Season 3 or so) they appeared almost exclusively as Bit Part Bad Guys. We'd see Buffy patrolling the graveyard, quickly dispatching a few vampires who don't even get a single line, then we'd shift scenes to the real plot of the episode. Other kinds of demons would occasionally fill this role, too, but since those required more expensive makeup effects then vampires, they tended to be saved for more important roles.
** To the point where it was lampshaded ''in song''.
* While occasionally having one or two episodes devoted to them, the Weevils from ''{{Series/Torchwood}}'' fall under this. If any character needs to be [[ContrivedCoincidence in a specific place at some point during the episode in order for the plot to work]], more often than not they'll be hunting a Weevil.
** They're so minor, "weevil hunting" is the excuse Jack and Ianto use when they need to sneak out of work for some alone time.
** The Blowfish in "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" is basically used to set up Torchwood Three's status as EveryoneKnewAlready and Jack's return.
* Poor old Cenred from ''Series/{{Merlin}}''. He was only incorporated because the [[BigBad Big Bads]] Morgana and Morgause needed his army to overrun Camelot, and he never gets to fight either Arthur ''or'' Uther before he's killed off in a classic case of YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness.
** It happened again with Helios in series three, a warlord whose sole purpose is to provide the man-power for a takeover, and then die in battle.
* The subjects of the BatmanColdOpen in [[Series/{{PersonofInterest}} ''Person of Interest'']].

* Invoked by Ash regarding Ed, in ''Theatre/EvilDeadTheMusical''. Then doubly subverted, because Ed gets a song - "Bit-Part Demon" - before [[spoiler: he gets shot, likely because [[FridgeBrilliance not being a Bit Part Bad Guy meant he really was a potential threat]]. This is [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by Ash immediately afterward]].
--> '''Ash''': [[spoiler: Now you'll have a bit part... in hell!]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AceAttorney'' games often include one of these as the culprit for the first trial that serves as a tutorial for new players.
* ''Videogame/FalloutNewVegas'':
** The Powder Gangers are a gang of escaped convicts. They're probably the weakest faction in the game and play no role in the main story line, beyond being warm up for players at the beginning.
** Other than possibly The Fiends and White Legs-who both have a loose alliance with The Legion and are genuine threat to the region-pretty much any group of raiders in the games are this.
* The general formula in the VideoGame/{{Touhou}} series is that the first two bosses will have absolutely nothing to do with the plot, and the third will actually kick the main plot off (either by being loyal to the villains or leading you to them). These bit part bosses are often quite popular (one eventually starred her own game!) and most of them are grouped together in fanworks. Exceptions to both rules exist though.
* Urbzville in ''VideoGame/TheUrbz'' is terrorized by 3 villains, Urangoo [=McBain=], Kiki Blunt and Harry Snivel, who show up once in a while to mug the local Urb and generally cause trouble. However, once the player perform the district's Power Social move on them, they'll leave for good.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' games almost always have the opening chapter deal with the protagonists army facing bandits or pirates [[RapePillageAndBurn raiding villages]]. [[VideoGame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight Gazzak]] and [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade Batta]] are particularly memorable examples. Occasionally criminals will show up after the early chapters as [[FillerVillain filler baddies]] outside of the main conflict.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' Oasis takes down some [[ random convenience store robbers]], establishing her as a [[VigilanteMan Vigilante Woman]] for the "Phoenix Rising" StoryArc.
* Arguably Daimyo Kubota from ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. While it's noteworthy that Kubota is a competent villain and hangs around in the comics or a fairly decent stretch of time, in the end he's just a scheming noble whose ambition is to take over his particular DeadlyDecadentCourt, largely by political manipulation and taking advantage of the local justice system. By comparison the comic's BigBad is a sadistic and cruel PersonOfMassDestruction who [[ItMakesSenseInContext killed an entire room of paladins with a bouncing ball]], is looking to TakeOverTheWorld, and stands a pretty decent chance of actually destroying the world along the way. Kubota is pretty small time in comparison, regardless of the amount of attention he got in a minor story arc. Lampshaded when [[spoiler:V casually murders Kubota]] and then asks in exasperation "Now can we PLEASE resume saving the world?"
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', the mugger that [[ threatens Sarah and Grace in the dark alley]] serves only to let Grace [[ reveal her half-squirrel form and telekinesis]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' often begins its episodes with Rex beating the tar out of a rampaging EVO and usually curing it afterward.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' did this occasionally, in one case with Batman and Superman fighting some sports-themed villains while [[CasualDangerDialog casually talking about Captain Marvel]]. Apparently they're so caught up in the conversation they ''forget'' what the bad guys were even after in the first place.
* The Box Ghost from ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''. Until he gets his hands on ''PandorasBox'.
* The general census amongst ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'' fans was that, should Carmendillo make appearance, he usually fills this role.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' had a lot of these, usually of the bizarre monster variety.
** However, Control Freak made a good enough impression during his brief fight in "Fear Itself" that he was later made the main villain of a couple episodes.
** Also Dr. Light was used as the punching bag to show Raven losing control of her emotions briefly. Which leads to a funny CallBack when Dr. Light shows up again:
--->'''Raven:''' Remember me?\\
'''Dr. Light:''' I'd like to go to prison now.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' had a lot of these, mostly in the [[BatmanColdOpen Cold Opens]], but many times as a way to start or end the story proper.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' has a ton of these, especially in earlier seasons. Ultimately, [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Count Spankulot]] is the only one to graduate to full-on MonsterOfTheWeek.
* Amazing Rope Guy from ''WesternAnimation/WordGirl'', whose incompetence is to the point that when criminals go on the rampage after she is weakened by a Kryptonite equivalent, he's the only one she catches.
* ''WesternAnimation/SWATKats'' has a couple in its extensive RoguesGallery.
** In "The Giant Bacteria", Morbulus [[DiscOneFinalBoss seems to be the episode's main villain]], complete with a unique gimmick (360 degree vision, due to literally having [[ExtraEyes eyes in the back of his head]] as well as the front). Then he runs into [[MadScientist Dr. Viper]]. [[WeHardlyKnewYe It doesn't end well for him]].
** Chopshop shows up for the first half of one episode ("SWAT Kats Unplugged") and is never seen or mentioned again. The main reason he's remembered is because fans still debate whether T-Bone meant it literally when he called him a "laughing hyena".