[[BigBad Big bads]] die. That is a fact of any story... [[TheBadGuyWins most]] [[DownerEnding of]] [[YankTheDogsChain the]] [[InvincibleVillain time.]] That being said, when the BigBad dies too early in the story's narrative, when due to the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil, a KlingonPromotion, or being on the wrong end of EvilerThanThou, it quite expected that a new guy will somehow take his place, usually with his own {{Mooks}} to do his dirty work.

Except sometimes not.

MookCarryover is when Mooks of the previous BigBad (TheDragon, TheEvilGenius, TheDarkChick, or just the GoldFishPoopGang) end up working for the new guy. How they managed to avoid death by either the hand of TheHero or their new boss varies: [[TheStarscream they may have betrayed their own boss,]] [[NotQuiteDead or were only mostly killed by the hero, and pitched their resume to the new guy.]] [[TheMole Or they may have been always working for the new blood, and just pretending to be loyal to the other one.]] Whatever the case, they are a familiar face among a bunch of new villains. This trope can be considered the Inversion of ReplacementMooks.

Whether they are still effective or not depends on whether they [[VillainForgotToLevelGrind remembered to keep their skills sharp,]] [[JokeCharacter assuming they were very skilled in the first place.]]



[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The mooks of the ''ComicBook/{{Thunderbolts}}'' are just guys in cool armor with guns. When Swordsman bribes/hires a bunch of them for himself, while staging a coup against ComicBook/NormanOsborn, he spraypaints them in his colors. They don't last long, but they are mooks who get a palette swap and a new boss.
* ''Star Wars: ComicBook/{{Legacy}}'', when Darth Krayt dies, the entire Sith Empire works for Darth Wyyrlok for a while.
* Manute of ''ComicBook/SinCity'' goes to work for Wallenquist after Ava Lord's death.
* ''Comicbook/SuperiorSpiderMan'': After Franchise/SpiderMan [[spoiler:(ComicBook/DoctorOctopus in Peter Parker's body)]] kills members of his RoguesGallery, their surviving mooks seek employment and protection from [[ComicBook/NormanOsborn the Green Goblin]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Jaws somehow survives being dropped into a shark tank in the middle of the ocean at the end of ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe''. When the original [[TheDragon Dragon]] is killed in ''Film/{{Moonraker}}'', Jaws is hired as his replacement.
* The character Ogre in ''Film/RevengeOfTheNerds'' shows up in the sequel in a different chapter of the Alpha Beta fraternity. The brothers he had in the original film are all gone, apparently defeated. Although later, [[spoiler:they ditch Ogre after he's served his purpose as dumb muscle, leaving him to join the all-accepting nerds as ''their'' dumb muscle]].
* Lobo, the hulking henchman played by Tor Johnson in ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster'' shows up again under a different Big Bad in ''Film/NightOfTheGhouls'', heavily scarred and apparently undead.
* Throughout the course of ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', many of the mobsters' goons turn to ComicBook/TheJoker (after some "auditions").
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' has an interesting one. The clones were created by the Jedi, and they continued to serve the Empire, and one Jedi in particular. Also, pretty much all the Imperials in the ExpandedUniverse who don't fall under DefectorFromDecadence.
** ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'' revealed that by the time of the original trilogy the clones had all retired and been replaced by conventional soldiers with relatively poor training; the armor style is just similar.
** In ''Film/TheForceAwakens'', the First Order also uses stormtroopers but they're specified not to be clones.
* A deleted scene in ''Film/BillAndTedsBogusJourney'', the robot duplicates were somehow able to send the same fear based nooks after Bill and Ted that The Devil used to torture them in Hell.
* In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', Magneto inherits Sebastian Shaw's henchmen after his FaceHeelTurn.
* In ''Film/DemolitionMan'', Associate Bob works for whoever's taking the lead at the moment: first Dr. Cocteau, then Simon Phoenix, then Edgar Friendly (an implicit HeelFaceTurn).

* In the ''Literature/LoneWolf'' books, the death of all the Darklords at the end of the Magnakai series sure throws their troops in complete disarray and makes them an easy pick for the forces of Good, but it doesn't lead to their complete destruction. Thus, in the Grand Master series, slews of [[{{Mooks}} Giaks]], [[EliteMooks Drakkarim]], [[GiantFlyer Kraan, Zlanbeasts]], [[MookLieutenant Vordaks]], [[TheUndead Helghast]], [[EvilSorcerer Nadziranim]] and other foul monsters still exist, although for the most part locked in civil wars in the Darklands. The aim of some of the new antagonists, like Archdruid Cadak or High Warlord Magnaarn, is precisely to regain control of these armies and resume conquest of Magnamund.

* ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'':
** After Darken Rahl, ruler of D'Hara, is killed in the first book, large portions of his armies end up working as the expeditionary forces for the BigBad for the rest of the series.
** Also semi-inverted, in that the ''rest'' of Rahl's armies pledge allegience to the ''hero'', Richard, after Rahl is killed. Richard at first believes this is a simple case of YouKillItYouBoughtIt, but later finds out [[spoiler:that it's because he's [[LukeIAmYourFather Rahl's rightful heir]].]]
* In ''Literature/{{Mistborn}}'', after [[spoiler:[[EvilOverlord the Lord Ruler]]'s]] death, many of his most powerful minions, notably [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Koloss]] and [[ImplacableMan Inquisitors]], start working for new BigBad [[spoiler:Ruin]]. Justified in this case because the Lord Ruler created these beings and built a psychic "back door" into them so that he could always control them; with him out of the way, the far more powerful [[spoiler:Ruin]] was equally capable of exploiting said "door". His human minions are a much more mixed bag, with some joining the heroes and others various BigBadWannabe kings.
* Across Creator/JRRTolkien's Middle-Earth, many of the same creatures that once served [[{{Satan}} Morgoth]] transferred their loyalty to [[Literature/TheLordOfTheRings Sauron]] when he took over as BigBad. In this case, that would be because Sauron was TheDragon to Morgoth, so most of these minions would have been used to taking orders from him anyway. Notably, however, the EliteMooks such as the Balrog, the Dragons, the smarter Drakes, and possibly the mysterious Vampires that are mentioned exactly twice in the Silmarillion do ''not'' switch sides, something that Gandalf mentions Sauron finds irritating. Sauron makes up for this by breeding colossal armies of individually-weak Orcs, which are both far more pliant and far less like to assert independence.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' / ''Franchise/SuperSentai'':
** ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' has Lord Zedd usurp Rita Repulsa as the series villain, but he keeps all of Rita's old henchmen under his employ (they technically always worked for him anyway). He even upgrades the Putties to be [[EliteMooks tougher]], provided nobody hit the [[AttackItsWeakPoint obvious emblem target on their chests.]]
** ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger'' has Vancuria, who was immortal and couldn't be killed anyway. So when a new villain took control of the Infershia army, she always stuck around. In fact, because of said immortality, and a HeelFaceTurn, she outlasts almost all of them. The other Dragon, Wolzard, was similar, though he did go rogue a few times, and the various Infershia leaders used the same army of {{Mooks}}. ''Series/PowerRangersMysticForce'' did the same thing.
** The Bibi soldiers from ''Series/TensouSentaiGoseiger''. [[spoiler:Except here they are all actually underlings to the ''real'' BigBad, who is working under all three of the show's baddies.]]
** In ''Film/KaizokuSentaiGokaigerTheMovieTheFlyingGhostShip'', nearly all the mooks from all over the ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' franchise appear as a single army to fight the Gokaigers.
** ''Series/PowerRangersDinoCharge'': After Sledge dies (off-screen) when his ship crashes, Heckyll/Snide takes over and claims all of Sledge's minions and prisoners as his own.
* At the end of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' Season 1, she kills TheMaster, but the Annointed One is still around to be the BigBad of Season 2 -- except early in Season 2, Spike comes along and kills ''him'', taking over his operation.
* Officer Braca (later Lieutenant) in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' was second-in-command to most of the series' big bads, in order. He just kept trading up.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'' after Erwich is killed by his superior, his remaining goons turn to him.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** It's normal for a Goa'uld to take over a fallen Goa'uld's troops (even if ''he'' killed the former owner of the army. The soldiers see the Goa'uld as gods, and so wouldn't rebel against ''any'' of them.) Apophis shows up with Sokar's "Red Guard" as well as his usual Serpent Guard after he makes the rival who'd captured him pay for [[WhyDontYaJustShootHim not just shooting him]], and Hathor's second appearance has some of Apophis' Serpent Guards along with the Horus Guards you'd expect her to have. (She's known to use {{Brainwashing}}, though.)
** Subverted when Ba'al turns up using Anubis' [[SuperSoldier Kull warriors]] in season 8. Everybody thinks he got them in the above manner, [[spoiler:but Anubis actually isn't dead and Ba'al is under his command]].

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* The Beer City Bruiser took Dalton Castle's "[[PersonalMook Boys]]" after TagTeam partner Silas Young defeated Castle in Wrestling/RingOfHonor, without them dropping any of the obvious [[AgentPeacock Dalton Castle traits]], much to Young's disgust.[[/folder]]

* ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'':
** A lot of Tuma's Skrall soldiers leave him after he's been humiliatingly beaten. When [[BigBad Makuta]] arrives to wreak havoc, they join his army.
** Roodaka actually attempted to set up such a scheme. She convinced Sidorak to put Vakama [[MookLieutenant in charge]] of his [[SpiderSwarm Visorak horde]], then [[TheStarscream betrayed her "king"]] and let Keetongu kill him. So now the horde belonged to Vakama, who has in secret been answering to her, not Sidorak. Except the Visorak stopped following Roodaka when they saw her abandoning their former leader, and Vakama also had a change of heart and returned to the good guys, promptly disbanding the Visorak horde and leaving Roodaka with no one to rule over.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheUnwoundFuture'' has the "worked for the true villain" kind.
* Revolver Ocelot. Throughout the first three games (''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', and ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater''), he is working for the BigBad as TheDragon. And at the end, he reveals that he was really working for someone else, and the third game is a {{Prequel}}, so he's at this for a while. This changes in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'', where he finally decides it's time to be the big bad himself. [[GoodAllAlong Except he's not.]] It's complicated because it's Ocelot.
* ''VideoGame/EpicBattleFantasy'' has mooks from the first two games appear in the third game as Akron's mooks.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'' you're invoking this trope by taking control of the previous Overlord's tower and minions. [[spoiler:The final level sees him turn up to reclaim them, forcing you to regain their loyalty the old fashioned way.]] In fact there have been a whole chain of Overlords over the years, but they all use the same sort of Minions and even a couple of the same individuals. In the second game they actively recruit a new Overlord as a child and raise him to be their new boss.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFight'' and its SNES sequels has passed the BigBad baton from Belger's Mad Gear Gang (the first game) to an international subsidiary of Mad Gear run by Belger's (previously unknown) [[TheDragon Dragon]] Retu (2) to Black and his Skull Cross Gang (3). Regardless of the main villain, [[GiantMook the Andore family]] is always under the employment of these gangs, and as such, are the only recurring enemies throughout the series.
* In ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'', Bat is originally a mook working for a Tribe you are fighting to defeat in order to form an alliance with them, but then later joins another Tribe and then kinda sort of does his own thing (becoming a Big Bad in his own right).
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** In ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory'', Bowser encounters a few Monty moles who used to work for him. Turns out they've gone over to Fawful's side.
** This is actually a pretty common trope in the Mario series. Oftentimes you'll notice mainstay mooks working for {{Big Bad}}s that have deposed Bowser as the game's antagonist. In a variation, they may just be [[UndergroundMonkey different versions]] of these same enemies themed for the new antagonist in question.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' does this retroactively, wherein Ganon's usual Moblins and Bokoblins serve as Ghirahim and [[spoiler:Demise]]'s minions instead. [[spoiler:Given that Ganon the living incarnation of Demise's hatred, this makes sense]].
* In ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', after ComicBook/{{Batman}} defeats [[spoiler:ComicBook/ThePenguin]], his henchmen will join [[spoiler:ComicBook/TwoFace]]'s gang. They even change their style to match [[spoiler:Two-Face's by darkening half of their Penguin mercenary uniform]]. They are just as dangerous as before, since they kept their guns.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Tarquin and Malack are the general and high priest of the Empire of Blood, but they have served these roles many times under previous countries and rulers. [[spoiler:Secretly invoked and subverted: they and four others all work in shifting pairs to appoint puppet leaders that keep them out of the spotlight, kill them, find a new puppet, and change country names so people don't realize. By this method they are now the de facto rulers of a third of the continent. Only a few people have noticed that amid the general chaos of conquest increasingly large amounts of territory belong to three countries, and the same six people keep showing up as advisers to their rulers.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'':
** The Enforcers; Finn, Ratso, and Chow (and sometimes Hak Foo), who were always brought in by the current season's BigBad. Valmont, Shendu (possessing Valmont), Daolon Wong, Tarakudo, and finally Shendu's son Drago. The latter [[AvertedTrope averts it however]], by firing them not long after.
** Inverted with the Shadowkhan, who are introduced as the EliteMooks of Shendu, but are revealed to have originally served Tarakudo; Shendu basically stole them.
* A flashback in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' reveals that Henchman 24 previously worked for Phantom Limb (the then henchmen 9, the future Monarch, promises to make him his Henchman #1 someday). As they all are part of the larger Guild of Calamitous Intent, it's implied that a henchman might switch villains during the course of their henching career.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'':
** At the end of season 1, a large number of Phobos' orcs defect to rebels, as Phobos didn't treat them terribly well, either. Come season 2, and the orcs now make up a major part of Elyon's army.
** For a more villainous example, a number of Phobos' named minions decide to form a group called [[AvengingTheVillain the Knights of Vengeance]] under the guidance of new BigBad Nerissa. She continues to use them until she's powerful enough to create a QuirkyMinibossSquad that's entirely her own.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'': Not a exactly a textbook example, but when Airachnid was put in stasis, Megatron and the Decepticons were quick to appropriate her [[GiantMook Insecticon]] hive for their own use.