An antagonist can be classed on three orthogonal parameters:

* [[SlidingScaleOfVillainThreat How much danger they, or their plans, pose.]]
* How effective they are.
* [[SlidingScaleOfAntagonistVileness How much the audience is supposed to hate them.]]

This is a method of quantifying the second one.

Note that this does not cover any degree of sympathy; rather, it covers how probable their success is. To expand on this scale's orthogonality to the other two: it is entirely possible for a CompleteMonster to fall at 'credible' or even 'low' on this scale (for example, a monster who is merely chief [[TheDragon henchmen]] to, say, Ming The Merciless); and it is possible to have a villain who bats at the level of {{Superman}}, but is so dumb that most of his threat comes from the fact that his plans will inevitably fail in a spectacular way.

Further, please do not add in Villainous organizations, groups, or nations to the Examples section at '''High''' or '''Infinite''' levels, and be particularly aware of FanMyopia.
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[[index]]
'''None:''' The villain succeeded in his evil scheme, but it wasn't destroying the world at all, it was... [[PokeThePoodle to step on a flower?!?]] Or alternatively, there's no villain at all.
* HarmlessVillain
* MinionWithAnFInEvil
* CrazyCatLady
* PeekABogeyman
* The most agreeable examples of TheExtremistWasRight
[[/index]]
* ''Examples:'' The ''LeagueOfSuperEvil'', Swiper from ''DoraTheExplorer'', [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} Team Rocket]] (Pre-''Best Wishes''), Professor Chaos of WesternAnimation/SouthPark.

[[index]]
'''Low:''' [[VillainBall The villain can be safely allowed]] to [[HoistByHisOwnPetard foil their own scheme.]]
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain
* NoOneRespectsTheSpanishInquisition
* VillainousHarlequin
[[/index]]
* ''Examples:'' Most ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' villains, Dr. Drakken from ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', ''InvaderZim'', [[VideoGame/SuperMarioBros Waluigi]], [[WesternAnimation/AdventureTime The Ice King]], [[WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures The Dark Hand]], many villains written by DeanKoontz, [[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb Dr. Doofenshmirtz]], the [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS1E19ADogAndPonyShow Diamond Dogs]], [[MobileSuitGundamZZ Mashmyre Cello]] ([[TookALevelInBadass in the first half of the series]]), [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Dr. Eggman]] (from ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' to ''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed'').

[[index]]
'''Credible:''' [[EvilOverlordList Rarely succeeds]], but only because heroes take action.
* EvilOverlord
* TheEmpire
[[/index]]
* ''Examples:'' Most [[DisneyAnimatedCanon Disney]] villains, the Master from ''Series/DoctorWho'', Ming the Merciless from ''ComicStrip/FlashGordon'', The Galactic Empire from ''StarWars'', [[{{Transformers}} The Decepticons]] (occasionally highly effective), [[VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft Twilight's Hammer]], [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender The Fire Nation]] (whenever [[MagnificentBastard Azula]] isn't available as a strategic consultant), [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra Tarrlok]], [[Franchise/{{Fallout}} The Enclave]], [[LordOfTheRings Sauron]] during the late Third Age, [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Dr. Eggman]] (pre-''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'' and post-''VideoGame/SonicUnleashed''). [[SuperMarioBros Bowser]] fits here, but is frequently highly effective against anybody other than the Mario Brothers. The typical villains from PowerRangers / SuperSentai also fall into this category.

[[index]]
'''Inadvertent:''' May succeed without realizing it, so heroes must be especially cautious.
* HumansAreTheRealMonsters
* HumansAreMorons
* HumansAreCthulhu
* NonMaliciousMonster
* ObliviouslyEvil
* MikeNelsonDestroyerOfWorlds
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds
* HeroWithAnFInGood
* NatureIsNotNice
[[/index]]
* ''Examples:'' The crew of the ''Series/RedDwarf'', the Red King in ''Literature/ThroughTheLookingGlass'', the replicants of ''Film/BladeRunner'', [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Everfree Forest creatures]]

[[index]]
'''High:''' Almost always succeeds when not thwarted by a hero and have a decent number of victories under their belt; expect them to [[YouCantThwartStageOne get a secondary goal completed]] even when they lose.
* MagnificentBastard
* TheChessmaster (when evil)
* HeroKiller
* CorruptCorporateExecutive
* TheMenInBlack (when evil)
* CompleteMonster
* ManipulativeBastard (when evil)
* NoNonsenseNemesis (when evil)
[[/index]]
* ''Examples:'' [[DoctorWho The Daleks]], [[WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}} David Xanatos]], [[WesternAnimation/YoungJustice The Light]], [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Gendo Ikari]], [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI Kefka Palazzo]], [[ASongOfIceAndFire Littlefinger]], [[VideoGame/BlazBlue Hazama/Terumi Yuuki, Relius Clover, and Izanami]], [[StarWars Palpatine]], [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Grand]] [[TheThrawnTrilogy Admiral]] [[MagnificentBastard Thrawn]], [[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Princess Azula]], [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra Amon, the Dark Spirits and Unalaq]], [[DragonballZ Freeza, Cell, and Majin Buu]], [[Anime/ElHazardTheMagnificentWorld Katsuhiko Jinnai]], [[CodeLyoko XANA]], [[WesternAnimation/KimPossible Shego]], [[Film/TheDarkKnightSaga Ra's al Ghul, the Joker, and Bane]], [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Bowser]] whenever the Mario Brothers aren't around, [[{{Smallville}} Lionel Luthor and Brainiac]], [[GundamSEED Rau Le Creuset]], [[Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam Haman]] [[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Khan]], [[TheSilmarillion Morgoth]] (pre-War of Wrath) and [[TheLordOfTheRings Sauron]] (pre-Third Age), [[CallOfDutyBlackOps2 Raul Menendez]], [[{{Inuyasha}} Naraku]], [[PuellaMagiMadokaMagica Kyubey]], [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic Nightmare Moon, Discord, Queen Chrysalis, King Sombra, Lord Tirek]].

[[index]]
'''Infinite:''' [[TheBadGuyWins The villain will always win, and the heroes will always lose, even if the heroes should by all rights win]]. This may be due to the villain being truly all powerful, or the heroes being utterly incapable of confronting them in the first place, let alone stopping them. At best, the heroes could delay or annoy the villain, but the villain will triumph in the end regardless and the heroes must evade or escape the villain now that its goals are met.
* InvincibleVillain
* EldritchAbomination (esp. in stories where you can't [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu punch them out]])
* CosmicHorrorStory
* GodIsEvil (unless there's some sort of good [[TheAntiGod Anti-God]] that can meaningfully oppose Him. [[TheSalvationWar Iron chariots work, too]].)
* YouCantFightFate
* RageAgainstTheHeavens
* DownerEnding
* ShootTheShaggyDog
* VillainSue
* DiabolusExMachina
* AsLongAsThereIsEvil
[[/index]]
* ''Examples'': Many, many horror stories where the protagonists die or suffer a FateWorseThanDeath. ''Film/FinalDestination''. The works of Creator/HPLovecraft. {{Villain Sue}}s. ''Literature/BattleRoyale.'' [[Literature/NineteenEightyFour Big Brother.]]
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