From the very first page of Don Rosa
's very first story, and he's already throwing several references to Carl Barks
' stories at you.
A single shot, scene, line or panel full of Continuity Nods
. Superhero Trophy Shelf
's Super Trope
Sometimes shows up as an extreme form of Back for the Finale
, where everybody
in the show comes back for the Grand Finale
When a work is made primarily of these, or is driven by continuity concerns, it's known as Continuity Porn
Compare to Reference Overdosed
, which consists of an abundance of references to something outside the show's universe.
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Anime & Manga
- In episode 25 of Best Student Council, almost every one-shot character from the previous episodes shows up to act as a distraction when the Student Council storms the Jinguuji Conglomerate.
- The second OVA of Fairy Tail has snippets of the series in a High School AU setting.
- A series of reaction shots over the multi-episode finale of Fairy Musketeers eventually features everyone ever seen in the series that's still alive and not an enemy.
- Naruto features Kabuto resurrecting nearly every deceased character in the series, along with nearly every living character fighting in the Shinobi War.
- In the Crayon Shin Chan episodes based on Star Wars, the Cantina scene has appearances of many characters from the Big Damn Movies, who otherwise never appear on the series proper.
- Persona 4, like the Video Game example below, has a scene in episode 15 filled with callbacks to Persona 3.
- A mini cavalcade occurs at the end of the first arc of Digimon Adventure, with a bunch of characters from across the arc showing up to help the chosen children build a raft.
- Almost all the one-shot characters from Digimon Savers, and more, can be seen helping in episode 47.
- In Digimon Xros Wars: The Young Hunters Leaping Through Time, characters from all the previous seasons' ''universesMM return to help in the last two episodes.
- In Trigun Maximum, right before Vash heads out for the final battle against Legato and Knives, he has a brief 3-page flashback to everyone he's met over the course of the series... and even some characters that only appeared in the anime!
- As Yahiko prepares to face off against Kenshin in the final chapter of Rurouni Kenshin, he is instructed to "think back to all the battles he's fought" before striking; this of course is an excuse for a two-page spread with portraits of nearly every villain and supporting character to have appeared in the series (even ones Yahiko never met).
- The final chapter of Franken Fran features Fran's Dying Dream (almost), in which she dreams to attend a party where the guests are every single character who ever appeared during the manga. When she's about to meet her "father", Professor Madaraki... she is saved and wakes up.
- Medaka Box has had the various one off characters or defeated villains show up every so often in a neat example of the creator remembering the entirety of the story, but chapter 187-189 have every single named character, no matter how small, show up. Chapter 190 goes a step further and shows each one of them left individualized well wishes for Medaka. A true accomplishment for the creator, to have made and juggled the personalities, no matter how shallow, of all of these characters. For those not in the know, this totals to a stupendous one hundred individual and easily recognizable characters.
- The Pokémon ending Te o Tsunagō has nearly every major character and nearly all their Pokémon making an appearance.
- Gundam Build Fighters is filled with references to previous Gundam series, with main characters from previous shows making cameo's in the background of scenes, every robot in the series being based on mobile suits from older Gundam shows, and numerous characters repeating quotes from previous series.
- A chapter of Black Jack (possibly intended to be the series finale, but eventually new chapters were written) has the titular Black Jack board a train and meet every recurring character he's come across during the series.
- The cover of JLA/Avengers #3 shows everyone who had ever been an Avenger or JLAer to that point, even if they're not otherwise involved in that particular Intercontinuity Crossover. Although the plot was as such that every one of them was technically involved in the conflicts of issues 3 and 4. Especially 4, which is filled with these - it's George Perez drawing a battle that involves every Avenger, every Leaguer, and possibly every supervillain ever culled from the timestream.
- The cover for issue #24 of the ongoing Batgirl series, the final issue before the DC relaunch in September 2011, contains every single character to ever appear in the series. This includes villains, allies, civilians and people who only appeared in individual issues.
- The Grant Morrison Batman series took this to new heights in every panoramic shot of the Batcave, showing almost every Batmobile, numerous helicopters, and trophy cases with outfits worn for only a few comics (including Stephanie's Robin outfit).
- The comic for Buffy the Vampire Slayer restarted with issue #51. The storyline Note From The Underground, running from #47 to #50, brought nearly everyone Back for the Finale. Angel and Faith played major parts and the rest of Angel Investigations got cameos. There were references to Riley Finn, Spike and Maggie Walsh, and a splash page of former foes included the Mayor, the Master, former Slayer Yuki, the Gentlemen and Glory. A vampire from the first issue of the comic was brought back from the dead to fight Buffy again, which was acknowledged in-universe but not explained. Kendra and the First Slayer appear as part of a vision sequence also featuring the historical Slayers from Tales of the Slayers, and there's a flashback recap of the TV show. There's even the return of Pike as a major character, and the Big Bad leading the Scourge turns out to be Adam.
- In the Fear Itself tie-in, The Deep, Doctor Strange summons a two-page spread of "Defenders, Secret Defenders, even those who were only Defenders-for-a-Day" to stop Attuma from crushing Namor and his allies.
- Having previously established that Superman villain Dominus has the power to create pocket universes around Superman (in his first appearance, he created four, homaging The Golden Age of Comic Books, The Silver Age of Comic Books, The Bronze Age of Comic Books, and Superman-of-the-Future Imaginary Tales), their final battle in Superman: King of the World is an Alternate Continuity Cavalcade, in which Superman briefly becomes Kingdom Come Superman, DC One Million Superman, and others.
- The first volume of The Sandman has a scene where Morpheus goes to an old storage room of the JLA to recover one of his missing regalia. It is full of references to other JLA adventures.
- The celebration in the first part of Astérix in Corsica brings back friends from a wide range of earlier Asterix adventures, and includes numerous references to those stories. In order of arrival:
- Petitsuix, the Helvetian innkeeper from Asterix in Switzerland.
- Huevos y Bacon, father and son, leaders of the lone Hispanian holdout village against the Romans from Asterix in Spain.
- Instantmix, the Rome-based Gaulish restaurateur from Asterix the Gladiator.
- From Asterix in Britain, Asterix' cousin once removed Anticlimax, Hibernian chieftain O'Veroptimistix, Caledonian chieftain McAnix, Anticlimax' village chieftain Mykingdomforanos, and British innkeeper Dipsomaniax.
- From Asterix and the Banquet, resistance leader Jellibabix from Lugdunum (Lyon), innkeeper Drinklikafix from Massilia (Marseilles), and boat captain Seniorservix from Gesocribatum (Le Conquet).
- Winesanspirix, the Arvernian innkeeper from Asterix and the Chieftain's Shield.
Films — Animation
- Toy Story 3 has quite a few scenes filled with hardly anything but references to the first two movies. Most notably, the opening scene consisted of a combination of Toy Story's "Andy playing with toys"-themed opening and Toy Story 2's fake-out action opening, with references to another short scene in Toy Story 2 where Andy played with his toys.
- In the The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn, which was based on the Tintin comic books, the walls of Tintin's room are covered with newspaper clippings referencing his previous adventures, and the opening credits are animated into a sequence referencing many characters and landmarks from the books.
Films — Live-Action
- In Die Another Day James Bond visits Q's secret lab and discovers many of the old inventions from the previous films.
- Even earlier, Bond does something similar when taking his leave of absence in On Her Majesty's Secret Service; snippets of the themes from the earlier films are even used as leitmotifs.
- Dante Hicks, Randal Graves, Willam Black, Steve-Dave Pulasti, Walt the Fanboy, Tricia Jones, Alicia Jones, Banky Edwards, and Hooper LaMante all come out of the premiere of the Bluntman and Chronic film premiere in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. All but Dante, Randal and Banky are making their first appearances in the film.
- The SURVIVE meeting in 'Saw 3D'. Almost every survivor from the previous films, brought together for one brief scene.
- Towards the beginning of Back to the Future: Part III, the audience explores the 1955 Doc's home from the first film, seeing many props once again, including his mind-reader and the scale model used to explain their plan for the lightning strike.
- The Collector's headquarters in Guardians of the Galaxy is essentially one big treasure trove of Continuity Nods to previous films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In addition to displaying holograms of the previous two Infinity Stones revealed so far—the Tesseract from The Avengers and Captain America: The First Avenger and the Aether from Thor: The Dark World—the Collector can be seen keeping a Dark Elf and a Chitauri soldier in two of his cages. After the credits, we also find out that one of his cages housed Howard the Duck all along.
- Every book in the series Ricky Ricotta's Mighty Robot ends with the villain getting thrown in jail next to the villains from the previous books.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, every single surviving character from previous books comes back and does something. Exceptions are Moaning Myrtle, who doesn't even appear, and Gabrielle Delacour, who comes back back but does nothing.
- The High King, the final book of the Chronicles of Prydain, is similar to the Harry Potter example above. Almost every character that's appeared in the series comes back, a few characters that have only been spoken of up to that point actually appear, and almost every dead character is referenced in some way. As with Deathly Hallows, everyone that comes back does something, except for Glew, who comes back and does nothing.
- The final trilogy in The Sword of Truth brings back a significant number of characters from throughout the series in major and minor roles. Even dead characters and some that barely got a mention after their book play a part.
- In the final book of The Wheel of Time series, Rand and Mat reunite after spending many books apart, and almost immediately begin bragging to each other about all of their accomplishments since they'd last met. Rand's feats are certainly more impressive in the grand scheme of things ("I cleansed saidin, I win."), but Mat's the one who gets the last word ("By the way, I'm the one who rescued Moriraine.").
- The Last Battle (the last book in The Chronicles of Narnia) features appearances from every single significant character of the previous six books (the exception is Susan, who is mentioned but doesn't appear).
- The ending of the Scrubs episode "My Finale" has JD walking down a hallway full of every character who appeared in more than one episode, and a few that only appeared in one. Yes, even the dead ones.
- The end of the 1985 TV-movie version of Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass had all the characters from both parts showing up at the castle when Alice became a queen. Later, when she was back home, they all serenaded her from the mirror.
- In the first mid-season finale of Glee, the kids do a performance for Mr. Schue after winning Sectionals - with all the choreography being a mashup of previous numbers. In the series Grand Finale "Dreams Do Come True," everyone who was a member of New Directions for more than an episode appears in the final number "I Lived" note .
- In the first episode of the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer where a shape-shifting villain takes, in quick succession, the form of every Big Bad from the past six seasons (barring Angelus and Willow in favor of Drusilla and Warren), and finally, that of Buffy herself.
- The final episode of season 6 of How I Met Your Mother has references throughout to a variety of gags, such as Lily's body-pillow of Marshall and the return of the driver, Ranjit.
- Doctor Who:
- A few new series episodes have gone out of the way to reference the previous Doctors. They all appear as sketches in a notebook, projections from an alien data-storage device, a vision through a psychic headbutt and as holograms shown when the Eleventh Doctor explains that Earth is under his protection.
- A very early example: The end of The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve. Steven, after a very severe What the Hell, Hero? moment, announces that he's leaving for good. In the TARDIS, the Doctor, now without companions, has a little Soliloquy in which he talks about his first three companions, all of whom had left. Then new companion Dodo shows up, along with Steven, who changes his mind, and the Doctor explains to Steven how much she looks like his granddaughter.
- Upon first regenerating, the Fourth Doctor starts enthusiastically babbling lines out of context from various Third Doctor stories ("The brontosaurus is large, and placid.") before passing out again.
- When the Fifth Doctor was dying at the end of The Caves of Androzani, he hallucinated all his companions (of that incarnation) gathering around encouraging him to regenerate. (And the Master encouraging him to give up and die.)
And in his first episode, newly regenerated, he ran through the personalities of the First, Second and Third Doctors before settling on his own.note He even finds Two's recorder.
When he's being mindscanned in Resurrection of the Daleks, decreasingly distinct pictures of all his companions (in all his incarnations) appeared on the screen, running in backwards order.
- In the Tenth Doctor episode School Reunion, the Doctor and Rose meet former companion Sarah Jane Smith. Rose and Sarah Jane, each trying to prove herself to the other, take turns naming the strangest things they've seen during their travels. The two manage to reference over a dozen storylines in about half a minute.
- The bar scene in Russell T Davies' last episode as producer, head writer and writer The End of Time Part Two, contains eight alien species from the show's history (two of whom are Human Aliens), four of whom have only made one full appearance. And the song playing is the one the Chorus Girls performed in Daleks in Manhattan.
- A Ganger duplicate of the Eleventh Doctor goes through impressions of the First, Third, Fourth and Tenth Doctors before catching up in The Almost People. For bonus points, it's actually Tom Baker's voice asking "would you like a Jelly Baby?"
- In A Good Man Goes to War, the Battle of Demons Run had the Doctor assembling an army of one-off characters from previous episodes. In addition to the new characters Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax, his army included the pirates Henry and Toby Avery, a squadron of Dalek-enhanced Spitfire planes, and the black marketeer Dorium Maldovar. For bonus points, Rory went into battle in full costume as "The Last Centurion", and was introduced as such by Amy in the opening.
- Asylum of the Daleks boasts every Dalek model ever built, and recreations of some missing ones, while the later episode A Town Called Mercy has the Doctor naming the last few major villains of the revived series.
- Series 7's finale, The Name of the Doctor, has appearances by all eleven Doctors up to that point — the Eleventh obviously still played by Matt Smith, and the other ten using a mixture of body doubles and archive footage. There's even a scene showing the First Doctor and Susan stealing the TARDIS, with Clara's help.
- The Day of the Doctor manages to top the Series 7 finale with all thirteen Doctors — including a first official appearance by Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor — charging into the fray during the climactic battle (again, via archive footage).
- In Time Heist, images are played of the Androvax, a Sensorite, Captain John Hart, Abslom Daak, a Slitheen, a Terileptil, The Gunslinger and the Trickster. In the case of Abslom Daak, this firmly cements him as a Canon Immigrant.
- The final episode of Seinfeld had a lot of minor characters on the show coming back to testify against the main four.
- And the season four finale featuring the culmination of the year-long story arc about the Show Within a Show featured various characters from the season watching the pilot.
- In the episode "The Andrea Doria", George tries to prove that he's suffered more hardships in his life than Mr. Eldridge, an Andrea Doria survivor. He tells the stories of what happened to him in various earlier episodes.
- Every episode of Police Squad! ended with Frank listing all the other arrestees that that episode's culprit would be joining in prison, although this never got to very high levels as the show only had 6 episodes.
- The Movie A to Z for Kamen Rider Double shows all the people that W has helped crowded together at the base of Fuuto Tower. Their belief in W seems to be what helps unlock CycloneJokerGoldXtreme.
- The spinoff of Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures shows and mentions many of Sarah Jane and Jo's prior adventures with the Doctor in the episode Death of the Doctor. The ending alludes to the status of many previous Doctor Who companions.
- In season 6 premiere of Desperate Housewives there's a shot from Paul Young's earlier life filled with this. It's then taken Up to Eleven in a brief scene of a garden party, where practically everyone from season 1 is present despite of some of them not being seen in the series in six years. This means they hired several actors years past to sit in a garden chair for three seconds.
- Shows up again in the series finale — the very last scene shows the ghosts of many of the major and supporting characters who have died over the course of the show, watching as Susan moves away from Wisteria Lane.
- In the opening scene of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger all 34 previous Super Sentai teams are shown (minus some Sixth Rangers) creating a Badass Army.
- The Legend War is one of the Gokaiger concepts brought over to Power Rangers Megaforce, which starts as an adaptation of Tensou Sentai Goseiger. At first, it's seen only as Troy's dream, but it's yet to be seen (although very likely) if it wasn't exactly a dream. Also, the small Power Ranger figures lining the walls of the team's base (which are modified Ranger Keys from the teams that were adapted for Western audiences) counts as this too, at least while the show is going about adapting Goseiger.
- In GoGo Sentai Boukenger, there's a fight in the Precious bank, where every Artifact of Doom from the whole season is kept. Satoru and Ryuuwon do battle with many a MacGuffin of the Week that hadn't been mentioned since its original appearance.
- In Stargate SG-1, one episode required every Stargate in the galaxy to be linked together. A dozen Stargates from various worlds that SG-1 had visited in the past, including Earth's main Stargate and the original Alpha Site were then shown opening.
- One scene in the House finale featured several familiar faces from the past. The episode as a whole saw the return of every former team member plus Stacy. That's every significant character who appeared in a double digit number of episodes (plus Dominika, who appeared in 6), except Cuddy. They just couldn't get Lisa Edelstein.
- The entire series finale of Chuck is one big parade of Continuity Nods, bringing back: Fulcrum, the Ring, the Wienerlicious, Jeffster!, Casey's Desert Eagle, and Mama B, and heavily focuses on the entire history of the Intersect mythology including references to Bryce, Stephen, Ted Roark (virtually unmentioned since Season 2) and Hartley/ Volkoff. In fact, much of the entire final season itself serves the purpose including appearances by Daniel Shaw, Director Graham and Sarah's adopted little sister who was mentioned once in the series's fourth episode, and was never brought up again prior to that point!.
- Likewise, the final episode of Farscape served up a Continuity Cavalcade during it's "previously on" segment, by showing clips of almost every one of the previous episodes in about five seconds.
- Red Dwarf: Back to Earth featured a continuity cavalcade when the boys from the Dwarf are transported to the real world.
- In the sci-fi shop They Walk Among Us, Rimmer finds a piece of artificial snake skin, "like the one the polymorph turned into", a reference to the Series 3 episode "Polymorph". A moment later, when Kryten beams a photo of the Red Dwarf cast onto a nearby television screen, the TV is showing the iconic clip from "Polymorph" in which Kryten is removing Lister's rapidly shrinking boxer shorts (actually the polymorph) when Rimmer walks in on them.
- Noddy, the clerk at They Walk Among Us, has a number of suggestions on how the crew can find propmaker Swallow's business establishment, Nose World:
I know! Holly HOP Drive!note Rimmer:
Back on Red Dwarf
. (others ad-lib similar comments) Noddy:
Er... matter paddle!note Lister / Rimmer:
It's on the Dwarf
! / Back on Red Dwarf
Timeslides, where you walk into a photograph and (makes slurping noise)
!note Kryten / Lister:
It's on Red Dwarf
, sir. / Back - on - Red Dwarf
Got it! Beam there! (the
Red Dwarf crew groan) Lister, Rimmer: (in unison)
That's Star Trek! Cat:
That's not us, sir. We don't do that, sir.
- With the exceptions of Lana Lang, Pete Ross, and Whitney Fordman, just about every original cast member came back for the Smallville series finale.
- Murdoch Mysteries
- In the episode "Winston's Lost Night", Winston Churchill is surprised by the other names in Inspector Brackenreid's autograph book, all Historical Domain Characters from previous episodes.
- In the episode "Murdoch on the Corner", an Establishing Shot of Constable Crabtree's home includes his shares ("Who Killed the Electric Carriage?"), his Business Machines Co. stock ("Invention Convention") and his novel Curse of the Pharaohs("The Evil Eye of Egypt").
- A lot of spells the Russos have used over the course of Wizards of Waverly Place come back in the Grand Finale, either as an answer to a quiz question or a spell that they use in the competition.
- In the premiere of 24: Live Another Day, when Mark Bodreau, the White House Chief of Staff, opens Jack's file we briefly see a list of confirmed kills Jack's made throughout the course of the original series.
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: In one episode, Frank commandeers a tour boat and begins regaling the Japanese Tourists with plots from previous episodes.
- The Star Trek: Voyager episode "Shattered" is all about revisiting the events of previous episodes thanks to a Negative Space Wedgie.
- Frank Zappa was fond of doing this. He made a Continuity Nod to his previous albums on the album covers and lyrics of most of his later albums.
- The Beatles' song "Glass Onion" is full of references to previous Beatles numbers.
- Kane gives a delightful speech about his past while in an anger management class on the August 27, 2012 edition of Raw. Hilarity Ensues.
"I grew up locked in a basement, suffering severe psychological and emotional scarring when my brother
set my parents on fire. From there, I shifted around among a series of mental institutions until I was grown, at which point I buried my brother alive ... twice. Since then, I've set a couple of people on fire and abducted various co-workers. Oh, and I, uh, once electrocuted a man's testicles
. Years ago, I had a girlfriend named Katie
but let's just say that didn't turn out too well
My real father is a guy named Paul Bearer
, who I recently trapped in a meat locker. I've been married
, divorced, broke up my ex-wife's wedding
and tombstoned the priest. And, for reasons never quite explained, I have an unhealthy obsession with torturing Pete Rose.note
- Magic: The Gathering's Time Spiral expansion. Nearly every card in the set contains a reference to one or more famous (or not-so-famous) older cards. Its sequel Planar Chaos could also count, though it instead focuses on Alternate Universe versions of things. Even the third set in the block, Future Sight, built on the theme of exploring possible futures, managed to get in on the act. All three sets are themselves named after cards from earlier sets.
- The final battle of Dragon Age: Origins includes this; several of the characters you met earlier in the game will show up to help you kick the Archdemon's ass, in addition to the many unnamed Red Shirt members of your army.
- Roger's quarters on the SCS DeepShip 86 in Space Quest 6: The Spinal Frontier features mementos from all his past adventures, including the Xenon Army Knife from SQ1, the Labion Terror Beast Mating Whistle from SQ2, and the SQ4 Hintbook.
- Persona 4 has the characters go on a trip to Tatsumi Port Island, including a jaunt to Gekkoukan High School.
- Mass Effect dove head-first in this direction, judging by all the effects of importing your Old Save Bonus from the first game into the second, which then pass into the third. From major decisions affecting the overall plot, to receiving emails from one-off characters who were previously Quest Givers, you have a very good reason to continue a given version of Commander Shepard in his/her quest to save the galaxy.
- Unfortunately, bugs or designer oversight do tend to show up in these situations. In Mass Effect 2, regardless of how you handled him in Mass Effect, Conrad Verner will claim that you shoved a gun in his face. Other than that and a few other examples the writers have been very diligent about transferring your decisions from the first game to the second and third.
- However, some bugs in the first two games have since been addressed in Mass Effect 3. If in the original Mass Effect you did not threaten him with said gun, he will apologize about making the claim that you did.
- Possibly the single best instance is just before the final battle sequence in Mass Effect 3, where you can call up all of your former party members and chat with them about their role in the upcoming fight.
- Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, surprisingly enough, brings back almost every Gym Leader and Champion from the series in one massive Bonus Boss Rush. Including Red.
- In Max Payne 3, one of the Nostalgia Levels takes you through a cemetery where all the dead from previous games are buried.
- In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, the "Greatest Five" Dual Crush attack summons the five Belmonts: Richter, Leon, Trevor, Juste, and Simon to attack all enemies. Occasionally, Trevor and Simon would appear in their original NES sprites.
- The museum in Ultima X is a repository for artifacts that had fallen from the Avatar's Bag of Spilling over the series.
- MOTHER 3 features a boat ride through a museum of sorts filled with items from the previous game (EarthBound).
- In Tomb Raider 3, in Lara's mansion, there's a trophy room with several artifacts from the previous games.
- Rachet And Clank Into The Nexus: In the last world, there's a museum that features not just some of the worlds visited and weapons used, but all the villains and even some animals from all the series.
- On historical anniversaries, civic groups sometimes organize gatherings of all surviving holders of a particular office, many of whom may have not been seen in a public forum for many many years. For example, see this 2009 photo-op◊ featuring all the surviving governors of Alaska. It became standard for the new President of the US to get a photo taken with all the living former presidents.
- Other times, people do big group photos of related individuals simply because it's cool. The most notable is probably A Great Day in Harlem, a 1958 image of 57 of the greatest Jazz musicians alive at the time.
- This picture from the 1927 Solvey conference◊ is a similarly gobsmacking collection of great physicists from Albert Einstein to Marie Curie.
- At some sports Halls of Fame, they will introduce all the living Hall of Famers who made the trip. The most notable of these is the Baseball Hall of Fame, since they usually get the most people to show up, including some in poor health and others who rarely make public appearances.
- At the Academy Awards ceremony in early 1998, the Academy celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Oscars by having all still-living Oscar-winning actors and actresses (including Best Supporting winners) stand on the stage together, with that year's winners taking their places last. Amusingly, Jack Nicholson won his third acting Oscar that year, so he essentially joined...himself.
- It is popular in the culture to portray Heaven this way, especially if it is a Fluffy Cloud Heaven (or Hell, for all of history's villains).