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-->--'''[[WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}} David Xanatos]]''' does it again
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'': David Xanatos is a charming, suave man who always thinks ten steps ahead. Having revived the Gargoyles in modern day, Xanatos befriends them while manipulating them into stealing technology for him while pretending to be an innocent party. After being defeated and sent to prison, Xanatos sets up further plans to make himself look like a model citizen while securing an early parole for his lover Fox, while constantly tricking the Gargoyles into handling problems for him. Even his own wedding shows Xanatos's endless capacity for maintaining an advantage: warping himself and all the wedding guests into the past, Xanatos ends the adventure by having a rare coin set aside to be sent to himself a thousand years in the future when it will be worth a fortune, allowing him to kick start his own career. Rarely at a loss for a contingency and never losing his smile, Xanatos is rarely ever one-upped in series and often proves his boast that nothing is beyond his capacity to control.
** Xanatos's creation, [[EvilTwin Thailog]], is one as well, solidified when he betrays and then ''outwits'' his maker in his very first appearance, leading a fearful Xanatos to speculate that Thailog may be even smarter than he is. Going by the comic continuation, Thailog seems to have inherited his ''father's'' fondness for [[XanatosGambit schemes that profit him no matter the outcome]] as well.
** Let's not forget Xanatos' wife, Fox, who also managed to outsmart him on one occasion. He even refers to her as his equal! His proposal to her amounted to "We get along, we'll have good kids, and we're the only ones as smart as each other."
* Megatron of ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'': He's a user and abuser of his followers, a gloating sadist who enumerates the ways he's beaten his enemies as he's standing over them in his moment of triumph, a master manipulator who is only served by his underlings' treachery (to the point of keeping two victims of ChronicBackstabbingDisorder around just to keep himself sharp)... and yet he carries off scheme after scheme with audacity, panache, and an almost vaudevillian flair. Nor does he work in small potatoes; his schemes include [[spoiler:''two'' bids to rewrite history]] as well as [[spoiler: consuming his namesake's spark to add to his own personal power.]] In the sequel, he manages to become a God. Magnificent. Bastard. [[MemeticMutation Yesss.]]
** His ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'' counterpart also comes close, if not equal with him. This guy manipulates Sumdac to repair his body, avoids the mistake of his predecessors by killing [[spoiler:[[TheStarscream Starscream]]]] the first chance he gets, coaxed the Constructicons into his employs with just a couple barrels of fine oil, and he OutGambitted Starscream to ensure that [[spoiler: the Omega Supreme clones didn't imprint on Starscream ''or'' Megatron himself, but on the loyal Lugnut.]] And when he got physical, [[LetsGetDangerous he got physical]]. In a rather defining moment that puts him in this trope, after receiving the Allspark Key which grants him a new body, he subsequently pummels Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots. When Optimus effectively tells him to bring it on because he won't give up the location of the Allspark, Megatron reveals he already has the Key which will lead him directly to it and that he was only kicking the crap out of Optimus for his own amusement.
* Impostor Dan, from ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'' After stealing Dan's identity, and endearing himself to everyone in town, he is finally taken down by Dan. Being a Magnificent Bastard, he gets out of prison and becomes a telemarketer. He uses his position to drive Dan insane, using a hidden transmitter to act as the voice inside his head, renting an apartment, just to capture them both, and knowing the characters so well that he can place traps exactly where they will be. When Dan chases him with a baseball bat, he gets a cop to taser him twice. He even manages to do all this while being completely likable, suave, and normal.
* Dolf from ''WesternAnimation/AlfredJKwak''. While he may start off as a mere naughty kid and a bit of a bully, as the series progresses Dolf becomes more and more [[CleverCrows devious]] and [[CreepyCrows evil]], to the point where he becomes an ''Adolf Hitler Expy''. After years of being abroad, Dolf returns to Great Waterland and manages to stage [[TheCoup a coup d'etat]], removing the King from his palace and even amassing an army. After falling from power, he returns again after the King has abdicated and now partakes in the first democratic election. In order to get ahead of the other candidates, he hires foreigners to [[BigDamPlot damage the dam that keeps the land from being flooded]]. He then ''drops out'' of the race, saying he has to help the people and can't waste time on elections. He then publicly funds repairs of the dam, making him immensely popular and boosting his chances at the election once he reenters. The only witness, a jellyfish spy called Lispel, attempts to blackmail him, which promptly [[BlackmailBackfire backfires]] when Dolf attempts to ''shoot him to death'' in order to eliminate any chance of his plans being foiled. Had Lispel not survived the shooting and informed Alfred, Dolf's plan would have succeeded.
* Megabyte from ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot''. The [[EvilSoundsDeep low]], [[EvilBrit British]] baritone voice of Creator/TonyJay certainly helps, but this is one of the few cartoon villains that has never suffered from any sort of VillainDecay, and is actually considered more dangerous as the series progresses.
** His most magnificent moment (besides the guitar duel) is when he took advantage of the web invasion and subsequent EnemyMine situation [[spoiler:to strand Bob, Mainframe's champion, in the web]].
** While Daemon is more powerful and dangerous, Megabyte's return in season 4 evoked much more fear from the main cast. What makes this so Magnificent is how his dispatching of Bob is so ''un''-magnificent. He shoves him and presses a button. Dead easy. It also helps that [[spoiler:judging by the season four cliffhanger, ''[[TheBadGuyWins he wins]]'']].
* [[TheDragon Princess Azula]] from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. She's a sociopathic firebending prodigy, but she does it with such ''style'' and [[TheChessmaster planning]] that you can't help but admire her (but hopefully not [[DracoInLeatherPants too much]]). She manipulates everyone around her, including her own brother, and her plans in the second season require her to out-maneuver another [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]], Long Feng, which she does, effortlessly. She managed to [[spoiler:conquer Ba Sing Se, and by extension the whole Earth Kingdom, by taking advantage of the political instability with only her wits and two (non-Bender) friends and, in the process, nearly killing Aang with a lightning blast ''in the middle of his TransformationSequence'' in the second season finale.]] She's only ''14''. [[spoiler:However ultimately her magnificence is short-lived and all of her accomplishments are rendered a moot point. Despite her cunning, she [[EvilCannotComprehendGood couldn't understand the basic concepts of good]] by [[MachiavelliWasWrong mistreating her allies, causing them to betray her]]. This in turn caused her to suffer a ''massive'' VillainousBreakdown, and [[HumiliationConga eventually suffer defeat at the hands of Katara and Zuko]]. Meanwhile her uncle liberates Ba Sing Se and her father is defeated by the Avatar. Karma's a bitch, ain't it?]]
** Azula is succeeded by [[BigBad Amon]] in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', who has obtained this status in record time, SIX EPISODES! Everything this guy does only gain him more followers. He sends a threat to city hall, knowing that they won't listen and just heighten security at the Pro-bending Arena. He then has his fellow equalists disguise as simple audience members and sneak in their weapons by hiding them in their popcorn. Turns out he wanted the entire police force there so he could take them all out at once before they could stop him and show the whole stadium how powerless they were. He also [[WildMassGuessing might have paid off the Pro-bending referees to not call out the Wolfbats team's cheating to ensure that they'd win the match]], so Amon could then make an example of them by taking away their bending. And he knows how to take advantage of the situations: he always makes sure that people see the truth of his extremist beliefs that benders abuse their powers. It helps that the first thing we ever see him really do in the show is [[KickTheSonOfABitch taking bending powers away from dangerous crime bosses.]]
** Korra Book Two brings us Varrick, the goofy, charismatic UnclePennybags of an executive who befriends our heroes in the first few episodes before talking them into helping him escalate a regional conflict into a full-scale war, smuggle in weapons, organise a small military coup, and buy up everything they own ''whilst still keeping them completely convinced that he's on their side''. As he cheerfully puts it, "If you can't make money during a war, then you just plain can't make money!" By the time anyone finally realizes he's only out for himself, he's already succeeded in [[spoiler:stealing all of Asami's remaining goods then convinced her he's "saved" her company by buying it out]]. He then gets the only person who suspects him thrown in jail, and, if Bolin hadn't happened to spot the boat left by his soldiers, he likely would've succeeded in [[spoiler:kidnapping President Raiko]] and convincing Republic City to send troops to the war front, earning him even more money. Even when he's jailed, [[GracefulLoser he's not phased by it]], since his company made the prison and he designed himself a LuxuryPrisonSuite in the likely event he ended up in there. He then lends the Krew his personal battleship as an act of goodwill. [[spoiler:He ends the season escaping justice by taking advantage of the chaos Vaatu is causing and using a hang-glider which he ''just happened'' to have smuggled into his jail cell in the event an aerial escape opportunity presented itself]]. When he's next seen in Book 3, it's in Zaofu, [[KarmaHoudini being treated as a guest of honor and going completely unpunished for any of his actions]]. Su Yin trusts him and believes he deserves another chance. Throughout the show Varrick manages to be surprisingly ingenious in his plots, CrazyPrepared for any eventuality, and [[AffablyEvil genuinely affable]] to the Krew even as he's manipulating them or screwing them over for his own interests.
** As of Book 4 we can now add its BigBad Kuvira to the list. Like Amon, Kuvira is a VillainWithGoodPublicity who has so far managed to outmaneuver anyone who's challenged her. She even breaks Amon's record and earns her status in '''one episode!''' In "The Battle of Zaofu" [[spoiler:she anticipated that Suyin would try to attack her and set up a clever BatmanGambit to capture them making it look like they were the aggressors while maintaining her VillainWithGoodPublicity status. That forced Korra to challenge her to a one-on-one duel for Zaofu, which Kuvira wins (though granted, the fight was full of IdiotBall moments on Kuvira's part and she only won due to something she couldn't have planned on). She then attempts to kill Korra, which works out either way because it would either eliminate the Avatar or force Jinora and Opal to violate the duel. The latter gives her just the excuse she needs to invade Zaofu. And though Bolin and Varrick managed to escape, Bataar Jr. has seen enough of the spirit vine experiment to restart the project with Zhu Li's help. In other words, [[TheBadGuyWins she won decisively]].]] And then there's "Kuvira's Gambit" [[spoiler: Kuvira knows that Republic City has been warned of her coming attack, so she moves up the schedule to one week instead of two. In addition, they believe that she is transporting the cannon by rail, so they attempt to disable rail transport; anticipating this, she deploys the cannon on a Colossus instead. And when presented with a SadisticChoice of leaving Republic City or never seeing Bataar Jr again, her response is to (Though not without a great deal of regret) ShootTheHostage.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AladdinTheSeries'' has Mozenrath, comparable to Jafar from the ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' movies. (See also the film example section.) Even though the confidence was always there, Mozenrath was able to back up his smugness from the get-go. His very first plan involved using Genie as bait for a magic-devouring monster, in order to make Aladdin capture it for him, thus setting up a simple but yet effective XanatosGambit. While it didn't last for long, Mozenrath did indeed end up with the beast under his control. Aladdin and his friends did face many capable enemies during their adventures, but Mozenrath was the one who really [[KnightOfCerebus made them sweat]], always pulling something from his sleeve to put the odds back in his favor. If that wasn't enough, the lad was also blessed with a [[DeadpanSnarker silver tongue]] that really got our heroes on the nerves. Really, he spends one episode just sitting on his throne, snarking and gloating to a locked up Aladdin, and it still didn't end in a complete loss for him. After all, there's a reason why he's the only villain to ever hear Aladdin say the words "You win".
* Dogbert on the series ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'' whose "religious belief" is "that everyone exists for the sole purpose of entertaining me." On one episode, he sets up a carnival booth where you "knock a street urchin off a beam with a baseball and win a toy." In another, he convinces Congress to abandon all holidays in favor of National Dogbert Day (The traditional Dogbert Day feast: the bald eagle. He wanted something special) for the sole purpose of being annoying. (The same reason he invented Secretary's Day.)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'': L. Thompson Lincoln, better known as "Tombstone," is the "Big Man" of crime in New York City, running all criminal activities with a flawless, business-like approach. Introduced after sending numerous supercriminals against Spider-Man, Tombstone calmly and charismatically offers to pay Spider-Man to look the other way for some of Tombstone"s activities, and frames the hero as a criminal when he refuses the offer. Displaying numerous moments of honorable qualities, be it helping to locate a bomb at one of his parties at the cost of his own life or even saving the lives of one of his closest henchmen, Tombstone is also an excellent VillainWithGoodPublicity, convincing the entire city that he is an upstanding, charitable man, depsite his monstrous appearance. No situation catches Tombstone off guard for long, as he attempts to be the voice of reason when the Green Goblin starts a gang war, and even publicly assists Spider-Man in dueling numerous villains to keep up his appearance, only to then betray and attempt to murder the man once out of public eye. Unlike most every villain in the series, Tombstone gets off scot-free, easily paying his way out of prison and returning to his former seat of glory, with only surface-level damages to organization.
* {{ComicBook/Darkseid}} from the ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' and ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague''. Even though {{Superman}} usually won the day, he took every defeat (and victory) with the same steely expression. Even when Darkseid was beaten on his own planet, Superman threw his body to his slaves on Apokolips and said they could do whatever they wanted to with him. The slaves began to pick up their cherished leader and take care of him. While being carried off, Darkseid gave a confused and horrified Superman a parting line:
-->"I am many things, Kal-El, but here...I am God."
** Lex Luthor from the same series tends to shift between MagnificentBastard and SmugSnake constantly, usually depending on his current plan. He was clearly in the MagnificentBastard zone when he delivered a CurbStompBattle to The Question and told him that the Luthor-For-President campaign was a load of crap:
--->"President? Do you have know how much power I'd have to ''give up'' to be President? That's right, conspiracy buff. I spent ''$75 million'' on a ''fake presidential campaign''. ''All just to tick Superman off''."
* Derek Powers from ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond''. Manipulated a city with his company, and only grew more deadly when he gained radioactive powers. Using his money, intel, and connections, he kept people under his thumb and proved to be a deadly opponent for the new Batman.
** His son Paxton also qualifies, arranging for his father's exposure to the public and eventual demise despite Batman's best efforts to stop him. He does next to nothing in Season 2, but then again, why bother? He had [[TheBadGuyWins already won]] in his first appearance!
* V.V. Argost from ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretSaturdays''. Bold, manipulative, cunning, and brilliant, a master of misdirection with a showman's flair, more often than not he wins by the end of the episode and has proven to have a large array of technology and knowledge, as well as in impressive collection of cryptids and ancient artifacts, in his goal to TakeOverTheWorld. [[spoiler: Indeed, he succeeds so well that it proves to be his undoing, as he is killed when he absorbs two forms of supernatural power which prove incompatible.]]
* [[WesternAnimation/ThePowerPuffGirls Mojo Jojo]] can be this at times. While his plans tend to be hair-brained, sometimes he's shown enough savvy and [[ManipulativeBastard manipulation]] to casually perform things that people rarely notice until they happen (the "Powerpuff Girls Rule!" special is a fine example.) The movie played this straight.
** There's also HIM, who always means business when dealing with the Girls. He tends to end up doing something that involves manipulating one of the Girls' feelings (Bubbles) or something on the grand scale.
* Carmen Sandiego. In the mid-90's cartoon version, ''WesternAnimation/WhereOnEarthIsCarmenSandiego'', she was as slick and suave as a female James Bond, but would steal priceless artifacts either just for the thrill or for a huge not-so-evil plan (in one episode, she stole several rare statues to make the worlds largest chess game) and would constantly bait and taunt the two detectives trying to catch her, all for the sport of the hunt (even though she was the prey.)
** Her [[EvilCounterpart eviler counterpart]], Maelstrom, also qualifies. To put it clearly, he was for Carmen in her Acme detective past what Carmen herself is to Acme detectives now.
* The Evil Manta from ''WesternAnimation/TheLittleMermaid'' series, a terrifying large manta ray voiced to menacing perfection by Creator/TimCurry, surpasses even Ursula at being a formidable, manipulative, and very efficient nemesis.
* Taurus Bulba was the closest thing that ''DarkwingDuck'' had to this trope. He managed to run an operation from behind bars, and make his escape by turning his prison cell into a mobile aircraft. Like the Evil Manta mentioned above, Creator/TimCurry providing the voice really helps matters.
* WickedCultured DiabolicalMastermind Valmont from ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' was a contender in the first two seasons, prior to his VillainDecay in the later ones.
* Rataro from ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011''. Elegant, sophisticated, and tyrannical, Rataro has his own agenda for domination and couldn't care less about Mumm-Ra, who may also be a strong qualifier for this trope.
* Chase Young from ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', mostly during the second season in which he debuted, would meticulously manipulate events so that even if the monks won, Chase would benefit from it, mostly with regard to his plans to corrupt Omi. This lead to him, on several occasions, helping the monks in order to gain Omi's trust, as well as manipulating other villains to force Omi into situations where he would have to resort to underhanded tactics not approved of by his friends.
* [[spoiler:Rava]] from ''WesternAnimation/GaltarAndTheGoldenLance''. When she's assigned to take down Galtar, she actually ''succeeds'' in capturing him, and only ultimately loses because [[spoiler:she also used the assignment to set ''Tormack'' up, tried to pull an IHaveYouNowMyPretty and imprisoned Galtar when he refused, and Tormack and Galtar pulled an EnemyMine to restore the [[StatusQuoIsGod status quo]].]] In a series where the villains tend to be generally a touch more credible than most similar action cartoons of the age, [[spoiler:Rava]] is still the most dangerous of them all.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'':
** Loki has a right. In "Thor the Mighty," he impersonates the Leader to hire the Wrecking Crew to steal a gamma device on Earth in order to distract Thor, even as he claims to the Frost Giants of Jotunheim that Asgard was planning their genocide, all to lead the Frost Giants against Asgard in Thor's absence and punish Odin for lying to him about his true parentage. [[spoiler: In the two-episode Season One finale, it is revealed that Loki engineered the Breakout and the formation of both the Avengers and the Masters of Evil to increase Thor's attachment and feelings of obligation to Midgard, while he escaped from the Isle of Silence during the Odinsleep, usurped the Odinforce from his adoptive father in his state of hibernation, and conquered all Nine Realms except Midgard and Muspelheim. Loki, via Enchantress, then planned to use the Casket of Ancient Winters he would obtain from Malekith to conquer Midgard until Malekith double-crossed Enchantress and was killed by the Avengers. Subsequently, Loki instructed Enchantress to set the Masters of Evil on the mission to align the Norn Stones with the interdimensional fault-lines to break down the barriers between the Nine Realms and bring his army and dominion to Earth. It would have worked too if Baron Zemo had been more gullible and less ambitious.]]
** The above-mentioned Baron Zemo also perfectly suited to this category. In addition to being a brilliant scientist, Zemo also is an exemplary tactician. This is shown in all four of his main appearances.
*** In "Living Legend," [[spoiler: Zemo has Zola send his Doughboys in an attack on Liberty Island to distract the Avengers, knowing that they would leave the recently revived and highly disoriented Captain America behind at Avengers Mansion. Zemo uses the diversion to break into the mansion and take on Cap in one-on-one combat, intent on slaying the man that he feared the Red Skull had lain waste to decades ago. Only Black Panther's intervention prevented Zemo from dealing Cap the CoupDeGrace, and even then Zemo used the Wasp's intrusion to cover his escape by throwing a live explosive at her, predicting that Cap's response would be to rush to her defense.]]
*** In "Masters of Evil," [[spoiler: Zemo acts as general of the Masters of Evil, isolating the various Avengers and picking them off in their weakest moments. Enchantress lures Wasp into a location where she is ambushed by the other Masters by disguising herself as Whirlwind. Crimson Dynamo takes out Tony Stark while in his lab tinkering with his Iron Man Armor. Enchantress and Abomination use the element of surprise to knock Hulk through a magic portal leading to Jotunheim. Captain America is taken out after the Masters cut out power to the building while Cap was in a training room session. Lastly, Thor is summoned to Avengers Mansion, now under the Masters control, by an Avengers ID Card and defeated through all the combined efforts of the Masters. Only Zemo's inability to locate Ant-Man, egotistical refusal to execute the Avengers in his captivity until all were rounded up, and inability to predict [[SpannerInTheWorks Black Panther and Hawkeye's interference]] (due to them not being Avengers in "Living Legend") cost him the battle.]]
*** In "This Hostage Earth," [[spoiler: Zemo uses the Masters to scatter the Norn Stones across the planet at key magical "fault-lines" in order so Enchantress could summon Asgard's armies to Midgard at a dilapidated WWII HYDRA research facility. Knowing Enchantress would then turn on him with the armies of creatures under his control, [[OutGambitted Zemo placed a mind control collar on her]] and was only defeated thanks to Thor summoning Mjolnir through the Enchantress's force field with sheer willpower and short-circuiting the collar.]]
*** In "Acts of Vengeance," with [[spoiler: Enchantress figuratively thirsty for his blood, Zemo has Zola tell Enchantress a false location to divert her onto the wrong path and sends Crimson Dynamo into a hopeless battle against her to give himself the time needed to entreat the Avengers for refuge. Even when the Skrull Cap chooses to let Enchantress have him, [[CrazyPrepared Zemo has a contingency in the form of the Norn Stone of Muspelheim]], with which he ultimately condemns Enchantress to possession by [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Surtur]].]]
** The second season features the machinations of the Skrull [[spoiler:ComicBook/CaptainAmerica]], who really utilizes people's trust in [[spoiler:Cap]] well in order to further the Skrulls' plot for Earth. [[spoiler:Preying on the Avengers' trust in the real Cap to keep them under surveillance without Iron Man to get in the way of plans, as well as dealing with the Hulk by having him voluntarily revert to Bruce Banner and letting Gen. Ross's Hulkbuster units detain him are two instances of this star-spangled phony's magnificence in bastardry.]]
* Skipper from ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' qualifies. He happily has outmoded gender stereotypes, is openly speciest, prefers violence to solve everything, has willingly admitted that his ideal future is a post apocalyptic scenario that involves roving bands of irradiated mutants, and his team WILL succeed in whatever it is they are doing. This has ranged from escaping a zoo, preforming a good deed for a day, stealing fish while disguised as King Julien, and [[ItMakesSenseInContext defeating a giant MP3 player with the power of musical mind control from taking over the city with an evil dolphin at the helm]]. Unlike most of the rest of the entries, Skipper is the hero of the story.
* While [[WesternAnimation/{{Cyberchase}} The Hacker]] suffered from VillainDecay, a new villain named Ledge becomes this when he [[spoiler: tricks the Cybersquad, and Hackerizes them (minus Inez)]] and he [[spoiler: Hackerizes almost all of the citizens in Sensible Flats,]] [[DisproportionateRetribution all to impress the Hacker]]. And, that he succeeded in hurting the Cybersquad more than The Hacker ever did made him a dangerous foe.
* [[WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko XANA]] wasn't initially much of this, but four seasons of evolution through Jeremy's abuse of the Return to the Past made it gradually smarter and more powerful, turning it into a [[TheChessMaster Chessmaster]], then a ManipulativeBastard, and eventually going toward MagnificentBastard territory. His status is best shown when he succeeds at destroying the core of Lyoko and takes possession of new Lyoko warrior William Dunbar to serve as his personal avatar to carry out his plans in the final season.
* Belphegor, the main antagonist of the ''"Belphegor"'' French animated series could qualify as one. He's a DiabolicalMastermind, good at manipulating people and anticipating everything that's thrown at him, so he's never ''once'' caught or his identity revealed. You have a trap door in your house that he's conveniently standing over? Well too bad, he knew and had already made it unresponsive to your device! It helps that he [[SinisterSurveillance has cameras installed almost everywhere in Paris]], uses his mooks to spy, steal and kidnap for him (in the few cases he doesn't just do it himself), and apparently has enough money and access to high-tech gadgets and top secret, untested military technology, that can make a mad scientist drool at the thought. To actually make him lose his cool, you have to do something pretty terrible or disruptive to his plans, that could cause a really angry response. Otherwise, everything you do is met either with boredom, slight amusement or mild annoyance on his part.
* Professor Moriarty in ''WesternAnimation/SherlockHolmesInTheTwentySecondCentury'' fits the trope beautifully. He's the ManBehindTheMan, the DiabolicalMastermind, and the EvilGenius... but dog''gone'' if he isn't smooth about it! He fully embodies a Victorian gentleman and a ruthless criminal, and he practically ''purrs'' when he has the upper hand.
* [[ArchEnemy Vilgax]] from ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' ''was not'' this in the original series (he was more something in the vein of TheJuggernaut), but got turned into one in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'' to make up for the VillainDecay he had suffered in the previous sequel ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce''. Having lost his empire, he impersonated an EldritchAbomination amongst human adorators, manipulated them into leading him to said Abomination's heart, faked submission and eventually OutGambitted [[DidYouJustScamCthulhu the creatures, taking its power for himself]]. And when Ben still successfully defeated him and took the power from him, he attempted to convince Ben into going KnightTemplar using the power. He almost succeeded.
** Earlier in ''Ultimate Alien'', there was Aggregor; the guy is an incredibly savvy and remains unstoppable for his whole story arc by tricking the protagonists into reaching his goals for him. He only get ''one'' defeat in all his appearance, and it took [[spoiler:Kevin [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificing]] his sanity by [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity absorbing energy from the Ultimatrix]] to finally defeat him. Sadly, he ends up as an AntiClimaxBoss when Kevin inflicts a CurbStompBattle on him and [[HijackedByGanon takes over as the new bad guy]], but he still remains a memorably competent villain]].
** Zs'Skayr / Ghostfreak falls into this category too. He rode the DNA of another alien into the Omnitrix so that he could manipulate whoever ended up with it into doing his dirty work. It was heavily implied that he was behind the transformations that Ben didn't choose, a large amount of which resulted in Ben turning into . . . well, him; Ben acted meaner whenever he was transformed into him, which means that Ghostfreak was influencing him to some degree. He ended up summoning his minions to Earth while Ben was transformed into him (presumably controlling him entirely, which it was revealed he could do) with a plan to bring him back to life and turn Earth into a world of darkness just so that he could roam the planet without having to wear his outer skin. In the end, it was only his sheer arrogance that got him killed (twice) by exposing himself to sunlight without his outer skin, and the second time he went back into the Omnitrix while leaving his body to die. Oh yeah, and he played Vilgax in ''Alien Force'', taking control of his planet just so he could get another chance to take Ben completely. The only way for him to be permanently destroyed was for [[spoiler: the Omnitrix to be destroyed, which Ben did after getting the Ultimatrix]]. Oh, and [[spoiler: he STILL survived by escaping to Ledgerdomain off-screen, and he is back to cause even more trouble with a new master plan in ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse''.]]
** Princess Attea in ''Omniverse'', who ends up a KarmaHoudini after successfully ousting her father from power and taking complete control of her own planet through intricate planning, and had come dangerously close to claiming Earth too!
** Proctor Servantis, the creepy yet charismatic leader of the Rooters, is also a qualifier considering just how far and how long his master plan spanned.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'': Professor Pericles -- the show's BigBad -- definitely qualifies. Every episode he shows up in, he gets ''exactly'' what he wants, usually at the expense of the gang. [[spoiler: He's only finally OutGambitted in Season 2, Episode 13, when the gang pulls a Batman Gambit on him and the rest of the original Mystery Incorporated to get them to reveal the location of their pieces of the planeospheric disc, leaving Pericles and his comrades with nothing. However, he rebounds big-time, unleashing genetically mutated creatures of his creation upon the area in order to draw out his enemies, successfully claiming the disc, ensuring that his partner Ricky is unable to turn on him, and holding the entirety of Crystal Cove in his talons so that the way to the cursed treasure, and his master the Evil Entity, is paved for him.]]
** The only other ScoobyDoo villain who qualifies is Ben Ravencroft, the charismatic book author descended from a witch from "The Witch's Ghost" movie. He has two things in common with Pericles: his status as this trope, and [[spoiler: the fact that his downfall comes from his success in his ultimate goal.]] Oddly enough, he bears a striking resemblance to David Xanatos. Also, he's voiced by Creator/TimCurry.
* ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' gives us Black Knight. From posing as a Reasonable Authority Figure, keeps her own true power hidden to use at later date when necessary, plays politics with the [[BiggerBad Consortium]], and pulling off a successful [[TheStarscream Starscream]] to gain [[AGodIAm supreme power.]] She even admits that she wants power, believing that you have to admit it to yourself to get it. Throughout it all, she shows absolute NervesOfSteel, is soft-spoken, polite, acts as a FriendlyEnemy despite being a ruthless foe, and so forth. Even when defeated, she ultimately escapes and becomes a KarmaHoudini.
** Van Kleiss also reaches this level toward the end of the series, fooling everyone through ObfuscatingInsanity and [[HijackedByGanon taking the reigns as the main villain back from Black Knight.]]
* Greg Weisman, responsible for the above Magnificent Bastard of ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', has also produced The Light of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', a LegionOfDoom [[note]] consisting of ComicBook/VandalSavage, Ra's al Ghul, ComicBook/LexLuthor, Queen Bee, Ocean Master, the Brain, and Klarion the Witch Boy, with Ocean Master being replaced by Black Manta in Season 2[[/note]] to erase any conception of the Legion of Doom as campy or incompetent. Unfortunately, some audience reactions indicate [[VillainSue they may be too far in the other direction]]: when every scheme the heroes foil is actually a distraction from The Light's true plan, tension becomes reduced and the initial 'wow, what a twist, what an awesome group of villains' becomes 'sigh, time to watch the heroes waste their time and then ''not'' find out what The Light was actually planning, how exciting.' [[spoiler: Well, at least until "The Summit", penultimate episode of the second season, in which the Light, while not completely defeated, certainly has their immediate plans blow up in their collective faces (with some help from the heroes), resulting in Black Manta and the Brain being captured, Ra's al Ghul being killed (albeit temporarily), and ComicBook/VandalSavage and Klarion fleeing the planet aboard War World]].
* Abraham Kane of ''WesternAnimation/{{Motorcity}}''. He's a VillainWithGoodPublicity and lots of money, usually able to talk to the Burners through a screen (to make himself appear larger) rather than face to face, which makes him look impressive. The Duke of Detroit is also this at times, although more of a FriendlyEnemy. As he's a LargeHam, he often likes to oppose the Burners in style, particularly with lots of lights and music, as well as firing at the Burners with [[AbnormalAmmo limousines as ammo.]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'', Lana decides to get even on Cyril for cheating on her by having sex with everyone else in the office. At least that's what she tells Cyril. In reality, she makes all the guys pay her for the privilege of ''saying'' they had sex with her.
-->'''Gillette:''' [I'm] confused. If you told every guy the same thing, then they all know that none of them had sex with you, so they're all going to realize that they're all lying.\\
'''Pam:''' Hey, yeah!\\
'''Random office guy outside door:''' Wait a minute...\\
'''Lana:''' But remember: They're ''dudes''.\\
'''Second random office guy outside door:''' What?\\
'''First random office guy:''' Uh... I had sex with Lana. \\
'''Second random office guy:''' Me too.\\
'''Gillette:''' Lana Kane, you magnificent bastard.
** From the same show, Malory Archer is another anti-heroic example. She has a natural gift for playing both sides of a conflict in such a way that [[KarmaHoudini her actions only ever have consequences for other people]]. The only time it ever failed her was when Pam beat her up at the end of "El Secuestro".
* In ''WesternAnimation/TronUprising'', General Tessler. Legitimately, his tactics should earn him a ZeroPercentApprovalRating, but his AffablyEvil persona and carefully cultivated bag of half-truths leave Beck as a HeroWithBadPublicity, and earned him the loyalty of Paige [[spoiler: even after he slaughtered her friends from the medcenter]].
* The Choten from ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaijudo}}''. Few tropes could better define The Choten. He is an extremely sick person, but there is no doubt about him being incredibly badass. [[spoiler: As he shows at various points in the series, but especially the first season finale, he knows how to roll with defeat like a real {{chessmaster}} too]].
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'':
** Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious:
*** His maneuverings during episodes like "Destroy Malevolence", where he sends Padme on a diplomatic mission [[spoiler: that [[XanatosSpeedChess just so happens]] to lead her right into General Grievous's hands]] and "Heroes on Both Sides" where he discovers that Mina Bonteri is responsible for sponsoring the Separatist bill to end the war and her subsequent fate, etc. seem to show that the guy can play the odds and adapt like only a MagnificentBastard could.
*** Even his seeming mistake in forcing Dooku to turn on Ventress provokes a protracted struggle between Dooku and the Nightsisters, leaving his apprentice busy, weakened and with no one to rely on, so that he's unable to possibly challenge Sidious.
*** Recently, he assures the Jedi that Maul and Savage are "just petty crooks" and that they should focus on the Separatist threat... so he could deal with the Nightbrother duo himself as Darth Sidious.
*** [[spoiler: He manages to pull this off again in Season 6 when he manages to frame Fives for attempting to assassinate him, fooling everyone into thinking that he had gone insane and convincing even the Jedi that control chips are necessary to keep the clones from going berserk.]]
** Hondo Ohnaka was introduced as this, being clever enough to try and ransom Dooku to the Republic, and then capturing the Jedi sent for him so he could demand more. Even when that went South, he's still kicking seasons later, working for whatever side works best for him, though he's become more CrazyAwesome and less of this trope along the way.
** Cad Bane is a master of this from the get-go, managing to successfully take the Galactic senate hostage, break Ziro out of prison, and get away completely scot-free in his ''[[EstablishingCharacterMoment first]]'' episode. From that point onwards, his plans get crazier and clever as they go on, from disguising himself as a clone trooper and hiding aboard a dropship of ''[[RefugeInAudacity actual clones]]'', leading two Jedi masters into a booby-trapped ''[[CrazyPrepared space station]]'', to breaking out of prison ''again'' by instigating no less than Boba Fett himself into starting a riot... Every time he appears, he one-ups his previous insane plan, and almost every time, he gets away.
** Darth Maul:
*** He earns the title in "Eminence". Over the course of a single episode, he goes from near-death in the void of space to commanding a veritable ''army'' of criminals through little more than words and a careful application of force.
*** He definitively earns the title in "Shades of Reason", successfully concocting a plan that allowed Pre Vizsla to conquer Mandalore with the public's support, then using Vizsla's pride to manipulate him into [[spoiler:a duel that ended with Vizsla dead and Maul, as per Mandalorian tradition, as the new leader of Death Watch, and, through a puppet Prime Minister who Maul himself installed, ruler of Mandalore]].
** [[spoiler:Barriss' plan in the Season 5 finale qualifies her as one. If it hadn't been for Ventress (and a moment of BondVillainStupidity in leaving Ventress alive), Barriss would have gotten away with bombing the Temple while Ahsoka was executed for the crime.]]
** Count Dooku during "Rise of Clovis" and "Crisis At The Heart". He and Darth Sidious are both working on the scheme, but he's the one that carries the plan out and plays Clovis like a flute the whole time.
* In ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender'', Prince Lotor quickly ascends to the position after his father's disappearance, easily besting Throk in battle and also a master of portraying himself as a benevolent ruler who many planets would prefer to risking rebellion with Voltron. He goes on to launch a highly audacious XanatosGambit involving a parallel reality, and sure enough one of the ways he could win pans out.