When a character, most often TheDragon, TheRenfield, or SycophanticServant breaks out the BigBad. Most commonly done either in the form of freeing the BigBad from a TailorMadePrison or breaking out the SealedEvilInACan. Sometimes, this will be part of an EvilPlan thought out by the sealed entity. Generally, one of three possible outcomes occurs:

# The person or thing being broken out is fully cognizant and quickly gets back on their feet, barking out orders as though nothing happened.
# The person or thing being broken out is heavily tired by their long captivity, and must be minded by their liberator. Perhaps his mental faculties are in order, but his body is not, perhaps the opposite. Regardless, it will normally take anywhere from a few days to a few years to recover. Rarely, this state can be permanent.
# The liberation backfires, and the entity kills, enslaves, or otherwise harms its allies. Often a consequence of unleashing the SealedEvilInACan (because EvilIsNotAToy), and may lead to an OhCrap or MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment.

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!!Examples
'''The person or entity is fully cognizant'''

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', Kimblee comes to save Pride by blowing open the prison that Hohenheim made for him.
** In [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime adaptation]], Greed is freed from several centuries of captivity by virtue of Barry the Chopper hitting a fortuitously placed "self-destruct" button. Greed then frees other captives, namely the chimeras who become his henchpeople, [[MadScientist Shou Tucker]], and [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Zolf]] [[PsychoForHire J. Kimblee]]. The latter would be an example of type 3 in respect to Greed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/X2XMenUnited'', Mystique plays a critical role in breaking Magneto out of his [[TailorMadePrison plastic prison]], by injecting iron into the bloodstream of one of the security guards so that he can kill the guard by extracting it from him and use it both as a weapon and a transportation method.
* [[Film/{{Transformers}} "I... am... MEGATRON!"]] You'd never guess it if you'd [[AllThereInTheManual just watched the movie]], but his minions had different ideas of what type this example was.
* Storm Shadow busts Cobra Commander out of Einsargen Prison at the start of ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation''. Although initially disoriented, Cobra Commander quickly recovers.
* El Indio's gang break him out of prison early in ''Film/ForAFewDollarsMore'', and he jumps right into action.
* ''Film/DeadInTombstone'' opens with the Blackwater Gang storming a prison to free Red as he is about to be hanged.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/TwentyFour'', Andrei Drazen breaks out [[spoiler:his supposedly dead father, Viktor Drazen]], in 10 PM of Day 1.
* On ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', this happens to Nate after he goes to prison at the end of season two to save the rest of his crew. Though, the actual escape is largely of his own making. For bonus points, [[WeHelpTheHelpless his crew also takes down the corrupt warden]] at the same time.
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' has an episode where a bunch of Centipede soldiers break Edison Po out of prison. While not ''the'' boss (that would be [[spoiler:John Garrett]]), Po is higher up in the Centipede organization than the soldiers (and is the most powerful member to have a name and face at the time). To illustrate how in charge he is, when one of the soldiers tells him "Time to go", his response is to sit there, continue eating his soup, and correct the soldier: "Time to go, ''sir''."
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''Deadlands'', the ''Heart O' Darkness'' adventure requires sneaking into a massive island prison and breaking out one of [[TheDragon the biggest baddies in the Weird West.]] At first glance, he seems weak and barely able to move. [[spoiler:What lands him on THIS list and not on the one below is that he IS fully cognizant. Once freed of his cell, he's fine, but he doesn't want to help the party in the slightest.]] Then there's TheReveal of who you've been working for...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Dr. Wily [[CrazyPrepared planned for his capture]], and was broken out by 4 Robot Masters in ''VideoGame/MegaMan7''.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/ArmedWithWings 3'' where it is the greater evil [[GodOfEvil Network]] who breaks out his subordinate, [[EvilOverlord Vandheer Lorde]]. [[spoiler:But played somewhat straight in that it is Vandheer who is the FinalBoss, not Network]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', GadgeteerGenius Bakuda goes on a massive bombing spree, entirely as a distraction so that her gang can break into prison and free Lung, her boss. Lung immediately takes charge of the gang, using the momentum from the bombing spree to launch a massive gang war that prompts [[BadGuysDoTheDirtyWork every other supervillain in the city to join forces against him.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wildfire}}'': Some goblins spent most of an episode trying to release their boss. When he eventually escaped, despite the goblins having been defeated, there was no reason to believe he was any less powerful than before. [[spoiler:Fortunately, he was defeated again]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'', Minion constantly does this with his boss, Megamind. Of course, Megamind's "prison" cell is a very comfortable home for him, so it's not usually a big issue.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' as a variation of this. The episode, ''Deception,'' is about Obi Wan, disguised as a wanted bounty hunter, arrested and is sent to the Republic Jurdiciary Central Detention Center. Once there, he tries to befriends an inmate, Moralo Eval, as, and this is where the variation comes into play, he is hired by Count Dooku to kidnap Chancellor Palpatine. Rumors spread and it must've gotten to the Senate, so they brought Obi Wan to the case to stop him. But in this episode, Moralo is the head boss of the episode as he, Obi Wan, and [[spoiler:Cane Bane]], breaks out. The episode after that, ''Friends and Enemies,'' continues to have Moralo as the leading role until Dooku takes role of the head boss in the next two episodes ''the Box'' and ''Crisis on Naboo.'' So really Moralo is the brains of the operation.
* In the episode of ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'' where Ritchie becomes Static's partner, the Metabreed busts Ebon out of jail. All it took was removing the [[PowerNullifier power restricting suit]] he was wearing before he was back in action.
[[/folder]]

'''The person or entity is only partially cognizant'''

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the beginning of ''CodeGeass R2'', the Black Knights fetch Lelouch/Zero. It falls into type 2 because he is amnesiac after the TimeSkip.
* Still in great shape, but certainly past his prime was [[{{Dragonball}} Piccolo Daimaoh]]. He managed to curbstomp Goku the first time they met, before he got rejuvenated by the Dragon Balls. Also, sort of Type 3 for Pilaf, who, even if he didn't get killed, also got no gratitude from Piccolo and got ditched pretty quickly.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/ArtemisFowl: The Opal Deception'', Opal Koboi is broken out of her mental clinic-prison by the Brill Brothers. She is mentally cognizant, but extremely physically weak (even by pixie standards), and it takes several days in a muscle-massager to get her back into shape.
* Partially applies to Lord Voldemort in ''Literature/HarryPotter''. While Wormtail never had to break him out, he ''did'' have to a) find, b) feed, and c) nurse his master back to health. For almost a year.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is [[CampGay Ghirahim's]] entire motivation in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword''. [[spoiler:Surprise surprise, he pulls it off without too much trouble.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Occurs to recurring baddie Jammerhead in the ''[[TMNT2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Fast Forward]]'' episode "Enter the Jammerhead", after he had been imprisoned during his last appearance. The "partially cognizant" bit comes from the fact that he was suffering from a system crash (Jammerhead is at least partially cybernetic) that had left him catatonic.
* In one episode of ''TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'', Cordoth's daughter tried to undo his banishment. When he was finally brought back, it was revealed he let himself go and was quite overweight.
[[/folder]]

'''The breakout backfires on the liberators'''

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* [[spoiler:Zeref]] from ''Manga/FairyTail''. [[spoiler:At first he's "sleeping" and harmless, and he doesn't want to use his powers. Then, his dark side awakens and the first thing he does is to kill Hades, Master of the Grimoire Heart Dark Guild who wanted to resurrect him and use his powers.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Part of the plot of ''Film/ThreeTenToYuma''.
* Unusual example: In the movie of ''Film/MysteryMen'', Captain Amazing arranges for Casanova Frankenstein's release from the jail so he can gain publicity by fighting him. It doesn't go well.
* The parody and pastiche ''Film/KungFuHustle'' does this for laughs, when the Axe Gang has an inept patsy with [[ChekhovsSkill a knack for picking locks]] break out the BigBad from his prison. Throughout the prison, the film sends up horror cliches, including the blood-flooded corridor, before revealing the BigBad to be an old, unkempt, flabby-looking man. Naturally, it turns out his kung fu is virtually unstoppable and he winds up taking over the Axe Gang.
* The Creator/CliveBarker film ''Film/LordOfIllusions'' opens with the EvilSorcerer Nix being defeated by his closest follower Philip Swan from sacrificing a female child and buried in a magical harness. Nix's cult spends the rest of the film trying to resurrect Nix and succeed at the end. The [[OurLichesAreDifferent undead]] Nix expresses his gratitude to his followers, but then reveals himself to be a sadistic OmnicidalManiac and promptly kills them all for their blind obedience.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the backstory of ''TheWheelOfTime'', Lanfear did this accidentally, thinking [[GodOfEvil the Dark One]] was just an untapped magical power source. When "the Bore" was drilled into his [[SealedEvilInACan Can]], evil and brutal chaos was unleashed on the world. Now that he's been re-sealed, the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Forsaken]] plan to break him out again--this time completely. They ([[TheDragon mostly]]) don't understand that ''fully'' breaking him out involves destroying the world itself, and themselves.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This happened in ''VideoGame/PaperMario'': The Thousand-Year Door. [[spoiler:Grodus freed the Queen of Darkness, who promptly destroys Grodus's body.]] However, [[spoiler:The Shadow Sirens]] intended it to happen all along.
* In the third game of ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'', [[spoiler:Wily collects the four Tetra Codes so he can awaken Alpha, the prototype Internet to, well, destroy the internet. Alpha then proceeds to eat Wily and Bass.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries The New Batman Adventures]]'' has two goons driving the Ventriloquist insane so his criminal mastermind alternate personality Scarface can emerge. When he does come back, he sets up a grand heist. When getaway is imminent, he tries to kill the goons for forcing him out early.
-->'''Scarface''': When the arms think they're smarter than the brains, it's time to amputate.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman'' has Black Mask's thugs organizing their boss's liberation from the GCPD. As soon as Black Mask is free, he electrocutes his right-hand man and hands the reins over to a random goon.
-->'''Black Mask''': You, you're my new Number One.
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'': If not for Jackie, Shendu would have probably killed the Dark Hand at the end of Season 1.
[[/folder]]

'''Examples for which revealing the nature would constitute a spoiler'''

[[folder:Film]]
* In the first ''Film/{{Hellboy}}'' film, there is a female Nazi seeking to reincarnate Rasputin. [[spoiler:Results in type 1.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Lilith [[spoiler:and Ruby]] of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' plot to break [[{{Satan}} Lucifer]] out into the world and start The Apocalpyse. They succeed with the help of [[UnwittingPawn Dean and Sam.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* In ''Literature/SeptimusHeap: Flyte'', [[spoiler:Simon Heap]] is breaking out [=DomDaniel=] to take over the Wizard Tower and give him the [=ExtraOrdinary=] Apprenticeship.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The villains of the first ''WildArms'' game spend most of the first act attempting to unleash the sealed Mother, who will ostensibly lead them in their conquest of the planet. [[spoiler:It's a bad enough Type 3 that the Dragon simply allows the heroes to kill Mother before resuming said conquest himself.]]
* Both subverted and played straight in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. During the ''Legacy DLC'', Hawke is forced to release [[spoiler:Corypheus, one of the ''first'' Darkspawn]] from an Ancient Grey Warden Prison with the intent of slaying him, in order to prevent a group of Rogue Wardens or Ghoulfied Carta who are vying to break him out ''first''. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, Corypheus manages to [[BodySurf possess]] a nearby Grey Warden just before Hawke strikes the killing blow and escapes.]]
[[/folder]]

'''Parodies'''

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Dr. Drakken is left in prison for the first half of season 4, and he's constantly waiting for rescue from his henchmen. On two occasions, other villains show up to liberate his sidekick Shego, but they completely ignore him. In one case, the jailbreaker is Drakken's own cousin, Motor Ed, who takes the time to wave goodbye. When he does get busted out, it's by an alien suffering from mistaken identity.
[[/folder]]