I take it that this is the portion of the conversation where I reveal my plans to you? Harry:
What have you got to lose? Nicodemus:
And apparently you expect me to tell you of any vulnerabilities I might have as well. I am wounded by the lack of professional respect that implies. Harry:
Some villains don't play by the rules
. A point comes when a typical Genre Blind
villain would make the tiny, critical but common mistake that would lead to their defeat like every other villain before them in an identical situation.
But this time, the villain has an attack of Real Life
common sense and uses their genre savviness
to their advantage. No need to waste your breath asking Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?
— they do!
In brief, a villain that's read (or even written) a rule or two on the Evil Overlord List
, and will usually bring attention to this very fact
. Though they don't always overlap, being Dangerously Genre Savvy does help on the road to being a Magnificent Bastard
and/or No-Nonsense Nemesis
. Bonus points if the action is only superior if one assumes that the world runs on narrative logic rather than reality.
This trope can also apply to Darker and Edgier
heroes who use their Genre Savviness to bump off villains.
A subversion of the Villain Ball
. The opposite of Contractual Genre Blindness
. Compare Flaw Exploitation
, and Fake Weakness
. May lead to Defied Trope
and (from there?) Reality Ensues
open/close all folders
- The SI from Sleeping with the Girls is very much this, probably because he has watched all of the anime and read the manga of the universes he lands in, and so knows the tropes that guide them.
- NewChaos from The Open Door shows touches of this. For just one example, they are aware that there are universes with even Bigger Sticks out there, as well as ones which near their level and can make up the differences with Reserves, and try to tread lightly around these.
- In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, In particular, Voldemort WROTE an equivalent of the Evil Overlord List, and made a Horcrux out of the Pioneer Plaque, which is currently outside the solar system...
- In Uninvited Guests, Aizen's latest plan is to steal Ichigo's main character status, thus giving everybody on his side Plot Armor.
- I think that qualifies as Making the Fourth Wall Your Bitch.
- Tamers Forever Series:
Piedmon: I know of your powers, Digimon tamer. I won't allow you to digivolve!
Takato: Hey, that's definitely not fair!
Ruki: He's got a point. It's about time an evil Digimon came out with this idea.
Takato: Ruki, you're NOT HELPING!
- Despite his unstable psyche, Daemon also proves to be rather savvy. He sends his troops out to retrieve Takato to avoid any risk to himself, and when they fail, he stops beating around the bush and sends his most overwhelmingly powerful weapon (himself) to annihilate the Tamers.
- Part of the reason Imperfect Metamorphosis is composed of an increasingly elaborate series of Gambit Pileups is that nearly every faction is well aware of how things work in Gensoukyou, and do everything they can to counter any opposition (and counter their counters, et cetera). Unfortunately, the Genre Blindness of Team 9 repeatedly screws things over, and the one time everyone's Genre Savvy fails them (predicting Rin Satsuki is a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds despite her still not wanting to hurt anyone) it causes no end of grief.
- Inner Demons: Even though she believes herself to have already killed the other Element bearers by locking them inside a burning building, the first thing Queen!Twilight Sparkle does after setting herself up as Equestria's new Evil Overlord is to dispatch one of her chief lieutenants and a platoon of Elite Mooks to Ponyville to confirm whether or not they're dead.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Whispers: Nightmare Moon interrupts Celestia's first attempt to activate the Elements of Harmony by charging her.
- Queen Of All Oni:
- Jade, due to having once been a hero herself, knows all the tricks of the trade and is using them to her advantage. For starters, she's avoiding World Domination plots and focusing on personal gain, since she knows overreaching is what led to past Big Bads being made Sealed Evil in a Can. When she punished Valmont for his betrayal and realized she'd done so in such a way that the heroes could capture and interrogate him, she immediately cleared out her lair before he could lead them to her though she made the mistake of leaving Daolon Wong behind to be captured.. And then there's the Batman Gambit that was Operation Steel Lightning, which ONLY failed because of Agent Wisker's unforeseen interference. And even then, she managed to get info on the tablet locations.
After being weakened by her encounter with Lung, Jade decides to put the hunt for the masks on the back burner until she finds the remaining Teachings tablets and uses them to restore herself and gain power, and a better position to bargain with the Generals. But she's still sending her minions after the masks anyway, to keep the heroes distracted in a Xanatos Gambit; if she gets the mask, that's good, but even if they lose, they keep the heroes busy long enough to find the tablets.
There's also the Tailor-Made Prison for any heroes they catch, designed so that they literally can't move. It's commented that Jade's not taking any chances of escape in the design.
Also, after seeing the Chronic Backstabbing Disorder afflicted Shendu betray his allies in the past, the Enforcers know not to trust him as far as they can throw him with the Ox Talisman, and shoot down his offer of employment when attempting to steal the Talismans.
When in the Vault of Endless Night, Ratso and Chow fall into a monster-filled pit. Jade isn't worried, lampshading how the Enforcers have a Joker Immunity by saying that they have a knack for living.
She also realizes that she's about to tempt fate by saying that she's about to win and stops herself (but the guardian is still released after she takes the tablet).
She has also taken measures against having her vulnerability to onions being used against her, using her eye-covering bandanna to protect her eyes, and wearing a similar one over her mouth after Viper throws part of an onion down her throat.
- Finn shows shades of this as well, as when he's using Kuro's mask to fight the heroes, he hangs back and uses the Squid Khan to wear the heroes down without having to risk himself. Earlier, when Viper was trapped in the aforementioned prison, he ordered Right to watch her constantly, making a James Bond reference as he does so.
- In Kage, Jade is as Genre Savvy as ever. Firstly, she is smart enough to give a fake name to Miranda and Nerissa in an attempt to leave them with little information about her in the event of a double-cross. She also manages to (apparently) fool them by saying she was tired from her previous battle after they see her instinctively escape into a shadow to avoid getting crushed by a rockfall, and they raise the question of why she didn't escape on her own. A few chapters further into the story, when Nerissa doesn't get mad at the Knights for failing to beat the Guardians, she realizes immediately that Nerissa is letting them off easy for some reason.
- The entire cast of Adventures of the writer do this far too much.
Especially Wolfie, who is essentially omnipotent due to the fact that he uses his laptop to edit the story he's a charater in.
- The Stars Will Aid Their Escape: Herald, aside from managing to manipulate the entire story to his favor, also admits that the Elements of Harmony might actually work on him, and so states that he will kill the Bearers if they so much as try to use them. In the end this backfires on him.
- In the Pony POV Series, it's shown in Patch's story in "Gaiden: 7 Dreams/Nightmares" that Grogar counts. He used the Rainbow of Light fragment he found to tether his city to the mortal world, as well as remove his weakness to the bell that constantly defeated him before. He doesn't tell Patch the last part until she's kicked the bell and nothing happened. When his minions fail to stop her, he attacks her himself and averts Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy by scoring several direct hits — even though he's defeated and sealed away again, he leaves her with third degree burns and a limp for the rest of her life.
- Alexander Sovereign from Ben 10 Fanfic Hero High: Earth Style and even more so in Sphinx Academy. Due to having no emotions he is never blindsided and cannot suffer Villain Decay, all the information that the team got on him he personally leaked, and took many situations into account to where he was even aware that the people against him would consider using a nuke to kill him even if would take 400,000 innocent people with him.
- The point of divergence in Game Theory is that Precia possesses this trait. She treats Fate much better than her canon counterpart because it yields better results, and she is well aware of Finagle's Law so she doesn't tell anyone what her actual plan is, and carries out the most important part before the TSAB launches their attack.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Doomsday Ascending has Ascentia Kortai, who carries no ignorance to the scope of her power simply by virtue of being an Original Character, when an Original Character villain shows up she immediately removes any and all canon characters from the vicinity where they might become horribly destroyed, and seems to understand Mary Sue cliches and uses them to her advantage. She also frequently disregards the attempts by the Princesses to flex their authority; she even treats them as equals when she meets them.
- A Future of Friendship, A History of Hate: When Ruinate abducts the Mane Six in Episode 2, he intentionally leaves Twilight behind, because he figures if they're all together, there'd be too much of a chance that they might be able to get loose and use the Elements of Harmony on him. Then, after explaining to his captives how he plans on using their lifeforces to immunize himself to the Elements, he begins right away while Twilight is still passing through his challenges to try and reach them. And by the end of the chapter, even when they do manage to use the unlocked Elements on him, it turns out the whole reason he empowered his heralds in the first place was so that the Elements of Hatred would keep him from being re-banished, allowing him to escape.
- Friendship Is Optimal: The artificial intelligence Celest-A.I., who is not only aware of how humanity would expect an evil A.I. to act and deliberately avoids this, but also knows how those trying to stop her would react and takes precautions against them, such as moving her servers deep within Earth's crust where they can't be attacked, and convincing the one person who can force her to shut down to emigrate to her virtual world.
- Downplayed in Calvin and Hobbes: The Series - when Calvin and company find the Lightning Man, he shows a rather disturbing knowledge of them, something that they find disturbing. This is negated when it's revealed that he just got the information from the Brainstorms over Christmas dinner, which the heroes call him out on.
- Mr. Cosmo from ''Sinful Behaviors'' has traits of this. He is aware of the power of the magic chalk and how Rudy stands some chance of beating him, so he makes sure to trap Rudy in his hideout in the real world were, even if Rudy has magic chalk, it's useless to him.
- Another example is when he put something sharp under the door to Snap's cell so that the zoner is unable to use his 2D powers to get out.
- At one point, Mr. Cosmo separates Rudy, Penny, Snap, and Skrawl. Mr. Cosmo does not assume that Penny won't be able to find help, so he immediately has her taken to Draow's room to try to have her killed.
- Apparently, taking Jen's blood in the previous story gave Voldemort common sense. In Black Princess Ascendant, he walks to the Potter house (while he can't find it anymore, he did visit it under a previous Fidelius which lets him know where the house should be), casts every anti-transportation ward he can, then launches fiendfyre directly at where the house should be. He acknowledges that the Potters might still escape but that even if they do, they'll know that he's not fucking around this time.
- Beelzebub from Sonic X: Dark Chaos. In episode 67, he lures Cosmo into coming alone to his lair. And then when Chris shows up, he kidnaps him too and basically brags to the Blue Typhoon that he has their friends in his grasp. Why did he do all of it? He wanted to study Tails's Shroud infection, and Beelzebub knew that Tails loved Cosmo and would do anything to protect her even if it meant facing a Demon leader alone. He wanted to make Tails angry on purpose to study the effects. And just in case anything went wrong, he installed a self-destruct mechanism and escape pod in his room.
- Maledict himself stops screwing around by the end of the story. After capturing the Metarex leaders and Tsali, he lures Sonic and the rest of the Metarex to an area completely covered with artificial anti-Warp fields. And just in case they try anything funny, he holds the entire galaxy hostage in exchange for the Chaos Emeralds with the Galaxy Crusher - which is positioned outside the Milky Way to prevent any attacks. Only the intervention of his aide Firmus D'Arnazhee and a Big Damn Heroes attack by an Angel fleet saves the galaxy from annihilation.
- Ganondorf in Tangled In Time, he doesn't kill Link as an infant because Link would be reborn and raises him as his son so Link would be too attached to fight him. Notably, Ganondorf makes sure that Link doesn't know to how use weaponry and it pays off when Link is forcibly time-traveled and aged into a teenager and barely knows how to fight with a sword.
- This is the reason why in Bungle in the Jungle: A Harry Potter Adventure only amateurs and idiots use fire on any Inferi being used to guard something. Since they're kept in one location, all kinds of traps can be set to go off if someone uses a fire spell. According to Bill, one of the more common ones is to fill the area with a flammable gas or liquid to incinerate any intruders.
- In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Stargate crossover Zeppo: Halo, Angelus is far more cunning than his canon counterpart. Rather than immediately announce his return, he along with Spike, Drusilla, and over 30 vampires try to kill Jenny first since she's the only one who might now how to re-ensoul him. Likewise he makes a point to act exactly the same as Angel around Buffy so she doesn't realize he's changed.
- The villains in Power Rangers GPX tend to be this, given that the Rangers themselves are Genre Savvy, but the Big Bad of the "sequel", the Elf Commander Ragnar, is this story's Crowning Example. First, he refuses a Duels Decide Everything and Combat by Champion situation with the Red Ranger. Second, he recognizes the threat the Rangers can be and takes them seriously. Third, he recognizes the Queen can thwart his plans, so he not only manipulates her, but takes over the military, just in case. Fourth, he sets up a barrier surrounding the Rangers' city to prevent reinforcements and finally cripples an unmorphed Ranger so he can't deactivate that shield. Then there's also taking advantage of the Rangers' unwillingness to kill monsters.
- In The Rise Of Darth Vulcan, arguably the most dangerous thing about the titular Villain Protagonist isn't his vast magical power or his ruthless, cynical personality. It's the fact that he's read both the Evil Overlord List and the Laws of Power (among other such Genre Savvy guides) and is more than capable of putting such information to tactical use; outside his first couple of encounters with the Mane Six, and getting captured after being knocked out in battle (which hardly reflects on him, given the circumstances), he's been able to stay ahead of, and even manipulate, his enemies throughout the fic. Even when he is captured, he just takes advantage of the situation to drive a wedge between Celestia and Luna before finally escaping, after which he relocates his forces to a new lair, and sets up a series of bolt holes for groups of them to escape to in case of attack, with only him knowing where all of them are, just in case.
- In Sean Bean Saves Westeros, the "real life" Sean Bean is transported into the land of Westeros of A Song of Ice and Fire. Sean has read all (season-one-current) books in the series. That gives him a huge edge in surviving the political machinations of Westeros. In addition, his study of British history and lifetime as an actor come in handy. Now living as Ned Stark, not just playing him on TV, Sean Bean needs every advantage he can get.
- Voldemort in the one-shot How to Win Friends and Take Over the World. Instead of killing Lily, he upholds his promise to Severus and simply stuns her (negating the trap she laid) and uses a curse that suffocates Harry instead of the Killing Curse (thinking a quick painless death was too good for him).
Films — Animated
- Syndrome from The Incredibles doesn't automatically assume No One Could Survive That when Mr Incredible falls off the cliff into a waterfall. He throws a grenade after him to make sure. And then sends down some weird scanning drone. Doesn't work, but full marks for effort. If he was fully Genre Savvy, he would have then killed his secretary after practically letting her die. And not worn a cape, and realized the problem with his plan to have his hyper-intelligent, self-aware, learning killer robot roll over in defeat for him. In short, Syndrome is very Dangerously Genre Savvy, but he's also arrogant and overly theatrical, and sometimes these two traits will overrule his common sense and make him do something purely for the spectacle and/or ego boost. This leads directly to his downfall.
- One of his mooks was actually decently Genre Savvy as well. The one hunting Violet used dirt to find her hiding in water, and was stopped from shooting her dead only when Dash intervened. The rest of them though...
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: After indulging in typical Nothing Can Stop Us Now Evil Gloating, the Wicked Queen suddenly stops mid-Evil Laugh to ponder, "But wait!" pause "There may be an antidote! Nothing must be overlooked!" Unfortunately that's as far as her savvy goes, because she scoffs at the notion that her Show White could actually be revived by true love's first kiss. She says out loud that the dwarfs will think Snow White is dead, and will bury her alive. (In some written versions her remarks are less family-friendly, reasoning that the fairest girl in the land must have had her first kiss, and more, a long time ago.)
- In The Great Mouse Detective, when Ratigan learns that Basil is on the case, he realizes that it is inevitable that the great detective will track him to his lair. So he sets a trap for him there. And, because he's such a Magnificent Bastard, he also sets up a decoy trap in the bar that fronts his hideout so that Basil will easily avoid it and be lulled into a false sense of security. Too bad he then proceeds to blow it by not just having his pet cat eat him. Bonus points for realizing that crushing Basil's self-esteem and sending him into a Heroic BSOD was the most effective tactic to try.
- Disney's Cinderella has Lady Tremaine. When she realized that Cinderella is the girl that the Prince has fallen in love with, she locked Cinderella up in the tower where no one could hear her cries and kept the key on hand. When that failed (thanks to Cinderella's mice friends), she tripped the footman carrying the glass slipper so Cinderella wouldn't have proof she was the right girl. That backfired when Cinderella reveals she carried the other half of the pair of slippers.
- Sykes from Oliver & Company was also shown at one point to be of this trope. At one point, Oliver's friends arrived to rescue Jenny from Sykes, and attempted to infiltrate his base by disguising themselves as a Pizza Delivery. Sykes deduces that the guy wasn't actually a Pizza Delivery person because he doesn't recall ever ordering pizza that day, and arms himself with a gun.
- Sleeping Beauty's Maleficent and her raven are made of this. The raven figures out that Aurora was hiding in a forest cottage after seeing the fairies' streams of magic, knowing that if the good fairies are there, so is Aurora. Maleficent has Aurora fall into her trap while the fairies are leaving her alone, then captures Prince Phillip and chains him because he's the only one to break the spell. Also the story implies fairies are powerless without their wands, so she turns to a dragon which nearly kills him, something that doesn't even have a need a wand to begin with. If not for Supernatural Aid in effect, she would've won. If you look closely after the prince plunges that sword into her chest, you'll see her lunging at him with her jaws wide open, implying that she was intending to kill him as she died. That's right, even in death, she's Genre Savvy!
- In Titan A.E., the heroes come across a regular guard Mook who is this when attempting a Trojan Prisoner ploy.
"You're lying. He's not a slave and you're not traders. Look at the way he stands. He doesn't carry himself like a slave. Probably ex-military. Akrennians always threaten before asking a favor, it's tradition. And your robes are made out of bedspreads
- Prince John from Robin Hood has a surprising moment of being Dangerously Genre Savvy. Earlier, he and his men failed to see through Robin and Little John's gypsy costumes. So when Prince John stages an archery tournament, he is more perceptive, seeing through Robin's stork disguise (which is actually pretty convincing) and sets a trap for Robin once his guard is down. Although, possibly he didn't so much see through the disguise as reason that only Robin Hood could have shot the way the stork did.
- My Little Pony Equestria Girls:
- Sunset Shimmer from the first film tries to be this, but only really manages to do so as part of the backstory (explained in detail in the comics).
- In My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, The Dazzlings are all over this. They are smart enough to go first after the human Luna and Celestia before they can stop their plan. Then, after the Rainbooms' failed attempt to stop the Dazzlings early in the film, Adagio figures out they have magic. She manages to manipulate them into arguing with each other after coaxing Trixie into trapping them so she and her cronies can feed on their magic, making it a Near Villain Victory.
- Frozen gives us Hans, a villain savvy enough to even fake Love at First Sight, do a romantic duet with the heroine, stand up to the oily Duke of Wessleton to look like the good guy, and come off overall as an entirely reasonable young prince. He only slips up when Anna thinks she can get True Love's Kiss from him to save her from a curse and he decides to explain how that won't work since he was just using her and leaves her to die. The Reveal of all this is as chilling as the movie's title, because this villain made sure no one saw it coming…except perhaps fans who were expecting the plot twist where the true villain is never obvious.
- Mother Gothel from Tangled has the foresight to know that she'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar with Rapunzel. Rather than being a cold stepmother figure to her and giving her motive to run away, she instead impersonates Rapunzel's birth mother and uses her love as emotional blackmail to keep Rapunzel in the tower forever. Gothel also gets points for realizing that Rapunzel is missing from the tower after seeing a riderless horse nearby. She ultimately fails the test, however, when she underestimates Flynn's love for Rapunzel and inadvertently allows him to cut off her hair, killing Gothel in the process.
Films — Live-Action
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Mayor made himself invulnerable before enacting his Evil Plan.
- Matthew Keller, from White Collar, knows the FBI playbook better than most agents. He's also a cunning Chessmaster capable of thinking five or six moves ahead. This makes him the series most dangerous villain by a long shot.
- Stargate SG-1:
- Anubis. The best example is probably that he tries to kill off the heroes even before his first on-screen appearance.
- And Ba'al. There's a reason why this guy has outlived all other villains in the Stargate Verse. Notable for not believing his own A God Am I propaganda, unlike every other Idiot Ball carrying Goa'uld. In Stargate Continuum, he actually used the Jaffa desire for freedom to recruit them as allies, instead of just forcing them into slavery (though they still apparently consider him a god; whether or not they worship him as one is not clear). Instead of approaching Earth with the usual melodramatic Large Ham speech, he claims to come in peace. The best part is that he was serious about both claims, the former because he presumably considered it unwise not to honor his deals and the latter because he was so fond of Earth culture that he didn't want to ruin it. With a loyal and grateful Teal'C and the ingenious Earth humans on his side he could become even more powerful than he already was. His downfall in that scenario was that he became Genre Blind when it came to his queen and failed to realize that while Vala was sneaky but loyal, Qetesh in Vala's body was a betrayal waiting to happen.
- Senator Kinsey does this in his own way, recognizing the Tropes of the program as an excuse to shut down the SG program, because counting only SG-1's encounters with the Goa'uld, they don't look like that big of a threat to account for keeping the program on-line. He wasn't exactly a villain, but his political agenda was suspiciously antagonizing to the Earth's survival.
- Crowley on Supernatural. He correctly deduces Lucifer's inherent hatred of Demons, while his Demonic compatriots are all blind to this. In season six, he takes the Winchesters very seriously as a threat and takes appropriate steps to foil them (including faking his own death), even pointing out all the Big Bads who were killed or defeated by failing to do just that. He uses the Winchesters to dismantle the Leviathans while staying on the sidelines. All this means he ends up outliving every other villain on the show.
Am I the only game piece on the board who doesn't underestimate those denim-wrapped nightmares?!
- In the Doctor Who story "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky", the Sontaran leader acts like a military leader instead of marauding invader, which is a distinct rarity in the series. "A general would be unwise to reveal his strategy to the opposing forces!", he says, refusing to reveal anything about their plans, and even keeps his cool after the Doctor started taunting them for using "cowardly tactics" (which is probably the worst insult you can give to a Sontaran). And when the master plan (turning the Earth into a Sontaran cloning world) fails, the General decides to go with the next best thing and use his enormous battleship to conquer the Earth conventionally (naturally, they fail as well).
- The Sontarans as a species also do this. Sci-fi law dictates that all relentless alien armies must have an obvious weak point. Rather than try to hide it, the Sontarans actually leave their weak spot (on the back of their necks) unprotected and unhidden on purpose. It forces their troops to keep pushing forward no matter what and never retreat, since retreating would mean exposing their weak points.
- In the Key to Time story arc, the White Guardian gives the Doctor the task of recovering the six pieces of the Key to Time before the evil Black Guardian's servants succeed in gathering them, so the Doctor goes on a season-long epic travelling from planet to planet finding and collecting pieces. When he reaches the final piece it's in the hands of the Black Guardian's servant - who skipped straight to the last piece and then spent all his effort laying a trap for the Doctor there, knowing that the Doctor would bring the rest of the pieces with him when he arrived.
- In the new series' season three finale, Martha Jones describes her task as a journey to assemble a weapon, split into four pieces scattered across the globe in four different countries, which is capable of killing a Time Lord outright. After her capture she openly laughs at the Master for having bought that story, which she fed to a known mole, and she almost definitely got captured on purpose.
- "Asylum of the Daleks" demonstrates that even the Daleks, usually the epitome of Bond Villain Stupidity, can be this.
: You're going to fire me at a planet
? That's your plan? I get fired at a planet and expected to fix it? Rory
: In fairness, that is slightly your M.O. The Doctor
: Don't be fair
to the Daleks when they're firing me at a planet!
- Arthur Petrelli from Heroes seems to know all of the tricks of the trade for being a villain. When Hiro looks into the past and sees what made Arthur what he is, Arthur wipes away every memory of Hiro's in the last 15 or so years. He recruits Sylar and makes sure to assist in his reformation from psychopathic serial killer to empathic anti-hero. He mentally rapes the head of the opposing organization, who happens to be his own wife. He isn't above killing his own sons if it means that he can further his plans. He makes sure that everyone in his organization knows exactly what will happen if they go against him, whether it's sending them back to their previous horrible life or killing them.
- Power Rangers
- Lothor of Power Rangers Ninja Storm seems to have noticed that all previous Power Rangers villains used the same plan (send a monster to attack the town, when the Rangers show up make it grow huge) over and over again, with the same result (the Rangers kill the monster.) So he devised a plan which took advantage of the Rangers beating him in every episode. Turns out dead monsters get sent to the Abyss of Evil, and if you overload it with too many (say, by killing them with your giant combining mecha) the Abyss will overflow and evil will cover the Earth, making Lothor all-powerful in the process. Oops. Subverted on one occasion where he tries to turn multiple monsters giant at once to overwhelm the rangers, but can't because he "didn't pay for the memory upgrade" on the device which grows them.
- Venjix of Power Rangers RPM did it a little differently. He sent in subtle infiltration and infection agents, and at the same time sent in big, noisy crushing monsters. The rangers were so busy fending off the latter that they never noticed the former until it was too late.
- The original Green Ranger, immediately recognising a group of teens dressed in red, blue, black, yellow and pink as the rangers' civilian forms, as well as starting a fight at giant size, waiting for the rangers to call the Megazord, then shrinking down and hijacking it. When the rangers start to gain the upper hand in direct confrontations he sneaks into their Mission Control, destroys all the equipment, and kills the source of the rangers' powers.
- Power Rangers S.P.D. likewise has the defected A-Squad shooting at the main Rangers during their Transformation Sequence. It doesn't quite work, but points for trying. Flurious tries a similar move in Power Rangers Operation Overdrive by flash freezing the Rangers as they start to morph as well as all of San Angeles. It only slowed down the morphing process a little.
- Super Sentai gives us Basco from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. He will not fall for a Fake Defector, and the reason he has such a suspiciously large air vent in the jail cell is that he is waiting on the other side of the vent with his pistol drawn.
- In Tokumei Sentai Go Busters, after Enter sees the Go-Busters defeat the MegaZord he summoned he immediately asks his boss for permission to delay their attacks for a while and build up energy, then summon multiple MegaZords at once. Fortunately for the protagonists his boss is too impatient to allow it.
- Reality TV producers try to avoid these players; the show has to be entertaining to keep the ratings up, whereas truly dangerous players - not just incredibly overconfident types who brag about their accomplishments and genre savvyness to the Confession Cam - just keep their mouth shut a lot of the time. Unless they become the Fan Favorite, which does lead to high ratings, at which point the producers will often slant the rules to keep them around.
- On Survivor: Samoa, Russell Hantz established himself as this right from the get-go. Knowing that the early game was spent trying to establish your resources (fire, shelter, etc.), Russell sabotaged his team by hiding tools and food. He then explains (via Confession Cam) that he's counting on the fact that the producers hid the Hidden Immunity Idols on the island before the game started, based on the history of the show. Later, in the Heroes Vs. Villains season, Russell counted on the other survivors not having watched his previous run (because it hadn't aired on American television yet) to build his all-female alliance again and undermine everyone else. The fact that Russell didn't count on the social aspect of the game (which led him to lose in the final two and final three of his first two seasons) is an inversion of this trope.
- Kristina Kell established herself as this from the get go just as well, like Russell did. She knows that the two Wesleys returning are both Dangerously Genre Savvy, so what do you do? She immediately went idol hunting, and managed to find it without clues faster than anyone has ever done before, and tried to tell everyone that Rob had to go. But Boston Rob had his own plans...
- Jonny Fairplay from the Pearl Islands season copied wholesale the tactics of Rob Cesternino, a Genre Savvy fanboy from the previous season. No one on his tribe caught on, and it worked wonders. But what really sets him apart is that, realizing that there would eventually be a "loved ones visit" (where you get to see a family member or friend for a day), he faked his grandmother's death in advance of going on the show. His grandmother would be one of the pre-selected people for the loved ones visit, and after she doesn't answer, the production staff then moved down to the next person on the list. This guy, when he shows up, informs everyone that Jonny's grandma died. Almost everyone, including the host himself, bought into it. Jonny's influence? Again, the previous season, where Jenna received leniency from her tribe mates for her bad behavior because her mom was terminally ill.
- From the American Big Brother:
- Dr. Will knew that if you won competitions, people often target you as a threat when you fail to win or can not win one by default, so what did he do? He got everyone to intentionally think he was completely worthless and easy to beat so they targeted people who were actually lesser threats than he was. Despite winning a total of zero challenges, he is still considered one of the best people to have ever played the show.
- In a similar vein, Kevin from Season 11. When the twist was announced that whenever your "Clique" had won Head of Household, you couldn't be nominated for eviction, he had the perception to consider not voting to evict Casey because even if he won, he and his best friend Lydia would be immune. Similar to Dr. Will, he intentionally threw important challenges so the other alliance wouldn't target him. When the house was told that there was a special twist coming and that nobody was safe, he actually tried to win the veto because that was the only way he could be safe. When his alliance was forcefully put on the block when said twist was used, he actually voted against the alliance's "leader" because he knew he had to go sooner or later and that he was the swing vote. Then after that, power shifted and he intentionally tried to make himself seem easy-to-beat so that Jeff, Jordan, Michelle, and Russell would save him for last. Then after he is put on the block and might actually go, he convinces Jeff to shoot himself in the foot and evict Russell, stacking the odds against Jeff the very next Head of Household competition. Then, he intentionally took Natalie and Jordan to the final three, knowing he could beat Jordan in the finals, and that Natalie would take him to the finals if she somehow won the final head of household. (He even had plans to vote out Natalie because he knew Jordan had fewer "allies" in the jury house) However, what he did not expect was Jordan to suddenly pull a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, win the final head of household, and evict him. (And Jordan knew that Kevin could have beaten her, anyways.)
- In season 13, Kalia zig-zags this. She knew that she could not just grovel to the veterans because they would toss her the first chance they got. So she aligns with Daniele, who jumped ship from their alliance and cut off on her own...and considers that if it's her and Daniele in the finals, the four remaining vets would vote against Daniele, so she intentionally tried to not seem like she was sociopathically pushing her way through the game as well to further ensure Jeff would vote for her. This would have worked if she wasn't Genre Blind to her being Honor Before Reason (and nominating Lawon because he misunderstood the twist) and if Pandora's Box hadn't conveniently saved Rachel and Jordan in the most blatantly contrived bailout in reality TV history EVER.
- From the same season, Shelly attempted this (and failed). She begun to continuously check the Fortune Teller prop in the house, hoping for a twist that would benefit her. Instead, this was actually Pandora's Box.
- Wil from Season 14 was essentially a human lie detector. Several times while he was up on the block other players would come talk to him, telling him that he was just a pawn, he was entirely safe, nobody was going after him, etc. He saw RIGHT THROUGH every single lie they told him, but played along with it before going into the Diary Room and blatantly stating he didn't believe a word the others were saying, even calling Janelle out on her fake tears.
- Deconstructed in a very harsh fashion with Meeka Claxton on VH-1's Basketball Wives. She looked at a lot of blogs about the show along with blogs that deal with the cast. From that point, she based their personalities on what was written about them. Not only that, after reading those blogs, she thinks that she knows Basketball Wives like an open book. It turns out great when Evelyn and Jennifer, the popular side that Meeka was trying to be on, start to get annoyed by her behavior. Tami, on the other hand, keeps telling Meeka that she should get to know the cast for herself instead of basing it on what other people say. Unfortunately, she doesn't, and it only gets better from there. In Italy, Meeka starts lying about her encounter with Tami and Royce, claiming that Tami said Evelyn and Jennifer are the "fake side", when Tami actually said "popular". She even threw insults about Tami towards Suzie, who is known for being a chatterbox that doesn't keep secrets. The insults from Meeka came out of Suzie when Tami was trying to agree to disagree with her. But wait, it got even better. After finding out that Meeka is still speaking ill of her, Tami and the rest of the crew go to a club. A huge argument from Tami and Meeka start to blow up and she punches her in the face. Meeka decides to fly back to Miami, leaving Italy, and leaves a letter saying that Tami is classless and that she hopes that Tami isn't causing any problems to the cast. Tami's response? "Dear Meeka, write this letter to someone who gives a fuck." She is now considered The Scrappy of the show by most of the cast, and by lots of viewers.
- In the premiere episode of Nikita, Nikita brazenly shows up at party to threaten Percy, the head of Division, confident he won't attack her in a room full of politicians and government employees. Then she discovers that Percy had anticipated the possibility and has some of his people waiting for her.
- It was also revealed that Percy has set up "black boxes" all over the world containing all of the U.S. government's dirty secrets from the past twenty or thirty years; if Percy dies, that information goes public and presumably brings down the government.
- Demonstrated (very rarely) by Special Guest Villains on Batman:
- The first Mr. Freeze was this because instead of a Death Trap, he just shoots Batman with his freezing gun.
- Catwoman was this as well when she simply had a drugged Batman thrown from a twelfth story window! Once again he was prepared.
- One bad guy tricked Batman into a Death Trap. He actually makes death traps for a living and wanted Batman to show him how to escape out of the one he just made. He had two hitmen waiting outside for when Batman and Robin escaped to shoot them both.
- Dr. Mark Sloan of Diagnosis: Murder, of all people, demonstrated a shocking amount of Genre Savvy in a multi-part arc in which he was kidnapped by the deranged son and daughter of a serial bomber who had been executed as a result of Sloan's investigation. Even as a hostage he succeeded in playing the siblings against each other while providing clues to his son the cop and other partners in crime-solving that led them to the kidnappers. A federal agent assigned to the case supplied the lampshade; "Some people you should not kidnap! I swear, if Mark Sloan is your enemy, shoot him in the head, otherwise he will make you suffer!"
- Scotty, any time Kirk and Spock left him in command of the Enterprise in Star Trek.
- The Reaper (a.k.a. George Foyet) from Criminal Minds. The man is even willing to nearly lethally stab himself in order to throw the FBI off his trail. Talk about Crazy-Prepared.
- In the Not Only... But Also parody of Thunderbirds, the villain easily defeats the team by cutting their puppet strings.
- Abed on Community has an encyclopedic command of tropes which has kept him and the members of the study group alive long into a Zombie Apocalypse, two Paintball Wars, and piloting a space simulator.
- Wizards of Waverly Place: Alex knows she's going to get her way, and she'll be a Smug Snake till it happens. Averted in later seasons, where Alex is wrong more and more frequently.
- Wonder Woman: Queen Hippolyta knows that Steve Trevor will be worshipped by the Amazons at Paradise Island. To avoid that, she plans to send one of the Amazons with him to his own country. And then:
Princess Diana: "But all the girls will want that task."
Queen Hippolyte: "I know. To forestall any ill feelings, I have planned a tournament of athletic games, by which I alone will determine the strongest, nimblest, and most likely candidate for the assignment."
- Princess Diana is denied access to the tournament, so she throws a tantrum and retires to the summer palace... only to participate in secret and win, to show her commitment and knowing that her mother will forgive her.
- Iain Harrison from Top Shot realizes from day one that as long as the teams remain evenly matched, the competition will remain relatively fair. He therefor sabotages his own team, breeding discord so subtly that the show's own producers failed to notice. Red Team's total collapse eliminates several serious competitors early on and paves the way for Iain's total victory in Season 1.
- In QI, you'd expect Alan Davis to be Genre Savvy through sheer experience, and sometimes he deliberately picks up the Idiot Ball for comedic value, but he does on occasion trick other people into saying the forfeit answer, such as in the "Jungles" episode.
- Nukus from Beetleborgs is smart enough to trick the Beetleborgs into destroying all the monsters he brought back, allowing him to combine them into one, much more powerful monster, then manipulate them in a situation in which said monster destroys their Humongous Mecha, and then pull off The Starscream and succeed, becoming the second season's Big Bad. While he's not more successful than his predecessor, he still shows his savviness; when the Beetleborgs becomes powerful enough to actually fight with him on equal footing, he gets himself a power-up, when they win a war over the control of an extremely powerful Humongous Mecha, he goes to create its Evil Counterpart for himself. In the second season finale, he seems to realize he was so successful in the previous season partly because of him being an Outside-Context Villain (being the only monster not brought from Art Fortuns' comics, but a drawing of his evil brother Les) which he no longer is (as all baddies in the second season have been created by Les), so he starts experimenting with his powers and creates a boderline Eldritch Abomination to fight the Beetleborgs.
- Though his gimmick since his 2005 Heel-Face Turn has been being Genre Savvy enough to outwit even Triple H and Ric Flair, in 2009 Batista upped his game to this level, by attacking The Undertaker with a steel chair during his entrance.
- Chris Jericho did a similar thing in his 2009 feud with Rey Mysterio - Mysterio has a habit of bumping heads with young fans wearing replicas of his mask... so Jericho went and got himself a Mysterio mask and T-shirt, bumped heads with Rey during his entrance, then jumped over the barricade and assaulted him.
- In a Royal Rumble match, you're eliminated by being thrown over the top rope and having both of your feet hit the ground. Thus, there's often a show-off spot where someone is thrown over the top rope, catches hold of it, and 'skins the cat', pulling themselves back up over the rope and back into the match. Most famously, this was used by Shawn Michaels to win the 1995 event when his opponent turned his back and assumed he was knocked out. In the 2001 Rumble, Steve Blackman was thrown out by Kane, snagged the ropes, and got in the classic position to recover...and then Kane smacked him over the head with a garbage can, crushing his Hope Spot.
- And then you have John Morrison doing this.
- Kofi Kingston hand-walked to safety at the 2012 Rumble so his feet wouldn't hit the floor.
- In 2003, Shannon Moore being this trope (if not dangerously anything else) enough to stick around so that his personal Jesus Matt Hardy, Version 2.0 could land with both feet on him, and thus not the floor, and remain in the match.
- In short, any spot where a wrestler skillfully exploits this two-part technicality tends to signify awareness.
- Then you'd think Zack Gowen would technically never be able to be eliminated. You know, since he has only one leg, after all.
- Both Macho Man Randy Savage and Bob Backlund have found themselves thrown through the ropes onto the ground (therefore not being disqualified), and used this to recuperate and wait out a couple more disqualifications before returning to the ring.
- Santino Marella showed that he was...perhaps not dangerously, but rather Hilariously Genre Savvy when, after realizing that he had no chance of taking out Triple H or John Cena from an overseas battle royal, he spared himself any further punishment by grabbing himself by the collar and eliminating himself.
- Sting used to be one of the most Genre Blind characters in pro wrestling... until Immortal showed up. The Story Arc has caused Sting to go from Good Is Dumb to Dangerously Genre Savvy. Since this happened, he's not only been a much better judge of character, but managed to plan for the interference they'd use against him to win the title.
- So far, almost EVERY Money in the Bank winner is this, cashing it in while the champion was down and exhausted from a grueling match or other beatdown. (The two exceptions are Rob Van Dam, who merely went for "home turf" advantage in a no-DQ match at ECW One Night Stand, and John Cena, who lost his opportunity thanks to outside interference from The Big Show).
- The champions themselves have grown savvy of this as well. When Punk won the WWE Championship at the MITB 2011 PPV and was about to leave the company with it, Vince immediately grabbed a headset and demanded that Alberto Del Rio, the winner of the RAW MITB match of that night, cash in on him now. It didn't work on Punk for three reasons: 1. Punk had enough time to recover from that grueling match with Cena; 2. Punk is the only guy other than Edge to cash in the MITB briefcase twice; and 3. Vince was calling for Del Rio right in front of him. Punk then proceeded to kick Del Rio in the head just as he arrived, shrug, blow a goodbye kiss to Vince, and run off with the title.
- In WCW, Eddie and Chavo Guerrero were feuding, with the stipulation that Chavo had to wrestle Stevie Ray of Harlem Heat immediately before their match. Chavo tapped out to Stevie Ray's pre-match handshake, leaving him fresh for the next match.
- In virtually any tabletop game, a lot of groups have the Veteran Player, that guy who knows the game so well that he over-thinks things, not in a way a character would, but from past experience. Not maliciously, but instinctively. And God help you if you have two of them.
- New players check doors and chests for traps. Veterans check the ceilings. And Dangerously Genre Savvy veterans let somebody else check the ceilings.
- Strangely enough, the other option for veterans is Contractual Genre Blindness.
- Acererak, the lich responsible for the Tomb of Horrors, clearly knows your average group of adventurers very well. The whole place is littered with Schmuck Bait and ways forward that are hidden behind much more obvious paths, the Rule of Three is exploited, and he even made a low-grade copy of himself, complete with illusion of a Collapsing Lair and a bag of loot containing a map to a faraway, nonexistent dungeon.
- In A Shoggoth on the Roof during the song "To Life" (based on Lovecraft's Herbert West—Reanimator), when Herbert reveals that in order to reanimate Dr. Halsey, he first had to kill him. While first claiming that he used an "ingenious plan", it is quickly revealed that he "just shot him".
- In Twice Charmed, Lady Tremaine realizes that Cinderella might be recognized by the Prince, so she tells Franco to shrink her. Then, she has him use his magic to make Anastasia and Drizella graceful and beautiful so they'll catch the Prince's eye.
- In BIONICLE, Big Bad Makuta cast the Physical God Mata Nui into an unending sleep, allowing him to fill the resulting power vacuum (the reason he didn't just kill Mata Nui is because that would bring about The End of the World as We Know It). Good enough for most kid-franchise villains, but Makuta knows that some heroes will come along and wake Mata Nui up Because Destiny Says So. Rather than fight it, he plans for it to gain even more power. It works. During a crucial part of the awakening, he's able to commit Grand Theft Me and, as the universe's new Physical God, he sends Mata Nui's spirit into exile.
- There's also Tuma, the leader of one of the tribes on the world that Mata Nui ended up on. Now, on this world, Gladiator Games have become Serious Business with valuable resources riding on the outcomes. Instead of just sending fighters to win those resources in the arena for him, Tuma used the fights to study the other tribes and then sent in an army to just take them (having figured out that the tribes were too caught up in their rivalries to ally against him).
- Lycidia from Okashina Okashi. After overthrowing the Queen of a RPG kingdom, she has the castle hallways remade (#62-63), her soldiers trained in basic marksmanship (#56), listens to her messengers (#91)...
- Given that lampshading any imaginable fantasy tropes is the basis for The Order of the Stick, there are lots of cases of this.
- Lord Kubota as one of the villains.
Give me the antitoxin! I know you have one! Kubota:
Twelve Gods, why would I be carrying the antitoxin on my actual person? I drank it twenty minutes ago, it will be effective for the rest of the hour.
- This is also a sly reference to how antitoxin works in the tabletop game. Antitoxin doesn't act as a magic cure: it just increases your resistance to poison and ability to shake it off. Thus, it's most effective to take antitoxin before you get poisoned in the first place.
- Also V when he/she waxes off Kubota to get rid of any distractions later on.
- Tarquin may as well be the Greek God of this trope. He tops them all by deducing the fact that he MUST be able to run an evil empire successfully because heroes need something to thwart. From #763:
You're a bard
, right? How many stories have you heard in which a single hero vanquishes a wicked empire? Elan:
I dunno... dozens, I guess. Tarquin:
What is the one thing they all have in common? The one fact they all share? Elan:
The hero always wins! Tarquin:
Arguable. No, the one thing they all have in common is this: the wicked empire exists.
It has existed for some time, and will continue to exist if no heroes intervene. Don't you see, Elan? The rules of drama to which you subscribe as a bard
tell us that such tyrannies can exist — indeed, must
exist — and persist long enough that no one realistically thinks that they can be defeated. Else, where's the drama in a hero opposing them? And if such kingdoms are necessary, why shouldn't I rule one?
- He takes it even further when he points out that if Elan defeats him, it will be the greatest story ever and he'll become a legend, making it clear to Elan that no matter whether he's overthrown or not, Tarquin wins.
Tarquin: That's the beauty of it all, my son. If I win, I get to be a king. If I lose, I get to be a legend.
- Tarquin even wrote a manual for his prison guards, "We do not have surprise inspections. Ever." Likely the guards of the entire fortress, not just the prison, have these too going by how thorough Tarquin is.
- Tarquin is so savvy that he can figure out what the heroes know about his team based on how his team are all talking about their secrets. I.e. the fact that Malack is a vampire has been revealed because they're openly talking about it instead of obliquely referring to it as a "condition" or something otherwise vague.
- Ultimately, Tarquin could be viewed as a deconstruction of the idea. He tends to treat people like plot elements or narrative pieces instead of like people, and thus is cruel and vengeful to people who don't fit the "story structure." He even kills his son Nale, commenting that he was just cluttering up the narrative (though his main reason for killing him was unrelated) and almost immediately afterwards tries to turn Elan into the main protagonist by ordering his army to kill the rest of the Order except for Haley.
- With #931, Elan takes a big step towards this. His plan for dealing with his father involves defying tropes, and assumed the Order would fuck up protecting Girard's Gate and get it destroyed. Which they did, but it was intentional this time.
- Redcloak is also a very good example. Unlike his boss, he actually uses military tactics instead of relying on brute strength; he refuses to rely on classic elementals as Elite Mooks, instead using stronger and rarer ones; after some Character Development, he refrains from using the We Have Reserves tactic; he avoids taking unnecessary risks like fighting the enemy one-on-one; and when he needs to keep a secret, he ensures that all the witnesses to it are dead.
- The Kid Radd extra "2-D Dictator Training" consists of Gnarl teaching other villains how to be like this.
- Bun-bun from Sluggy Freelance demonstrates this from time to time.
You waste time toying with me while someone else is toying with you!
you're invulnerable, but ... Bun-bun:
Here's where you'd start playing head games with me, but ... (Bun-bun's Living Shadow hurls Mrs. Claus into the air) Bun-bun:
Sorry, we accidentally launched you into orbit!
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja has 80s action movie star Frans Rayner, who invented all ninja movie tropes since they were based on his true story. However, he doesn't quite get it until he comes back in the Army of One story, and invokes the Conservation of Ninjutsu by cloning the Doctor for a one-on-one-hundred fight.
- Doc realized what Frans was doing, and switched sides, thus dividing the ninjutsu between them again.
- Rayner also only has one physical weak point which through training he is able to move about his body. Naturally, he eventually moved it to his leg which he then had amputated.
- Jack Noir of Homestuck is normally just supposed to be The Dragon to the King and Queen within the game of Sburb. His ambition however, drives him to deliberately break the rules and then proceeds to singlehandedly carve a bloody swath across the battlefield as well as Prospit itself, instead of sitting back and letting the normal order of the chess war proceed. Word of God states this is why he's the most dangerous character of the series; he's willing to cheat to achieve his goals.
- Truck Bearing Kibble (which is very much like The Perry Bible Fellowship in its humor) has this cartoon which either features a puppeteer very dedicated to his art, or a puppet who knows that to Take a Third Option is sometimes the better choice.
- Akuma TH's version of Robotnik wised up and built a mech with an armored cockpit, preventing the heroes from attacking the usual weak point. Unfortunately, he forgot to take precautions against Shadow simply teleporting into the cockpit with Chaos Control. The Undertaker (No, not that one) has this occasionally as well — when he invents an attack that homes in on and chases down a specific target, he designs it so that it will simply pass through him if the target tries to return it to sender. Unfortunately, they have their moments of Genre Blindness as well.
- It's the entire premise of Erfworld, where a gamer geek gets sucked into a reality where the laws of nature seem to have been replaced by fantasy wargame rules. For example, early on, Parson needs to find a way to keep Ansom's approaching army from besieging Parson's city. Parson has a much smaller army, so he sends his units to attack just Ansom's siege engines and then retreat. Parson knows that because his side keeps retreating, Ansom will assume he's winning, and therefore won't pay much attention to his minor losses. By the time he realizes what's happening, his siege engines have sustained 60% losses, seriously hurting his chances of taking Parson's city quickly.
- That was just the beginning. His unconventional tactics lend him as a legend on his own side and an Eldritch Abomination in the eyes of his enemies (worth noting that his universes rules are of course different from Erfworlds).
Sizemore: It was magnificent warlord. Horrifying... but I can't describe it. I actually modified terrain type like a titan!
- Mynd from Bob and George started out with jokes being made at his expense (he started out lampshading his introductionary role in the comic and looking for a light switch in the dark) and having not read the comic, but when he goes full tilt on his attack on the Mega Man universe, he becomes a savvy Knight of Cerebus. In fact, the author intended to have Mynd spend a week finally going on an Archive Binge on the comic, culminating with his discovery◊ of the Evil Overlord List. Non-Alternate Mynd proved to be similarly savvy, and actually did go on an Archive Binge of the comic.
- In Adventurers the party encounters this enemy after setting themselves up for the battle with the boss of the Ice Cave.
- Gort the Villain Protagonist of Darken fame, decides, instead of playing it like a good villain should, that he would just get one of this assassin allies to stab the hero in the back whilst the hero is lecturing his nemesis.
- Vole the Ex-Jager of Girl Genius just proved himself to be an example of the trope. Also, Smarter than the Average Jagermonster, when he told Gil and Tarvek, currently surrounded by motion detecting death clanks, that if one of them jumps up to distract the FMADDsnote , the other might be able to get away in time to rescue Agatha. Needless to say, they both tried to make the sacrifice.
Tarvek: You know, perhaps we should have discussed this.
- Ironically, he makes a big mistake right afterwards. Namely, he forgets the number one rule for surviving in Girl Genius: do not make a Spark angry. Ever. And then pissing off Gilgamesh of all people...
- In Final Blasphemy, Dr. Wily employs several robot clones of himself, has the robots attack Jeremy all at once, catches him off-guard with hidden battle armor under his labcoat, equips said armor with protection in case of a Groin Attack, and also employs at least one human clone. When Jeremy kills the latter, it makes him a murderer.
- Jigsaw of Zodiac Zodiac qualifies. What fool would keep such a weakness exposed ? indeed.
- In Spinnerette, the evil drider Spinnerette (they used to compete over who should be entitled to use the name) reveals that she figured out easily Heather's identity through pure deduction. Rather than use it against her friends and family, she instead pretended to have reformed and invited Heather into a death trap.
- Colonel Glass provides a textbook example here, complete with a Shout-Out to this very site. The Slasher Smile is just the icing on the cake.
- In Minion Comics, Von Gernsbach is challenged to reveal his evil plans, and retorts by asking if he should do this because "you will die soon, and so I spill all the plans, and then there is the escaping and the foiling?" He reveals his plans anyway, because "the ranting. The ranting, it is my greatest love."
- Biggs of all people, from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , shows that he is not as clueless as he looks.
- In Looking for Group, soldiers chasing after Benny and Tah'vraay leave them the following message:
Benny: DOWN! (arrows fly, some hit)
- This Brawl in the Family strip has some Thwomps facing away from the reader, and one of them catches Mario off guard and squishes him.
- Ichigo Kurosaki from Omni Bleach Abridged in some situations is this to a level that he practically borders the 4th Wall.