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Filler Villain
"I'm a throwaway villain! Fear my generic motives!"
Anubis, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Movie trailer

A new one-off Big Bad created just for a Filler arc. Not the most dignified place for the villain, because that means the villain will have less effect on the actual canon than the weakest Mooks in the real arcs. This puts the writers in an awkward position because they have to somehow make the villain a credible threat to the heroes, yet at the same time maintain that the threat is relatively new or extremely region contained to explain why such a huge threat wasn't a problem for the rest of the series - rather problematic if the heroes are already facing the upper tiers of the Sorting Algorithm of Evil in canon.

Mostly common in Anime based on Manga, since the filler is used to help avoid overtaking the manga, or it could be in a Non-Serial Movie. Either way, the villain wasn't in the source material, so of course he/she/it would have no effect on the actual canon. This can also cost him his Joker Immunity and all of them will die by the end.

Rare in Western media, but it does happen. The thing is that there has to be no canonical appearance, or even a mention of this villain after the arc. And the arc has to be filler, not just one that isn't mentioned (so Onslaught doesn't count).

There is a 75% chance that most of them will be Generic Doomsday Villains as well.

A Sub-Trope of Canon Foreigner.

Compare to the equally inconsequential Monster of the Week.

This is available in the Trope Co. catalog.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Almost all of the Dragon Ball movies featured villains separate from the manga and TV series. However, they mostly consist of "re-imaginings" of previous foes/ situations, some of which are more obvious than others. However unlike most examples, they are memorable and some like Broly, Cooler, and Janemba are Ensemble Dark Horse characters for managing to almost kill Goku in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • YuYu Hakusho has The Movie where the villain is this. Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged did that movie, and gave the name of the trope in the last part.
  • Sailor Moon did this when Sailor Moon R Overtook the Manga by using the aliens Ail and En and their energy-eating tree, Makaiju, to fill 13 episodes. They are never referenced again, though the Sailor Moon R Non-Serial Movie seems to draw some inspiration from it with the flower-obsessed alien Fiore and his evil life-eating Xenian Flower. Fiore looks markedly similar to Ail and shares his voice actor (Hikaru Midorikawa) and the flower shares An's (Yumi Touma). The villains from the other two movies might also count, although it worth noting that the Sailor Moon S movie, as well as the Ami's First Love special, are actually adapted from the manga side stories (which tend to use a lot of unique villains).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Big ones are Noah, Dartz, and Ziegfried, but other dozens of minor ones exist. Dartz is such a charismatic and threatening character that some fans were actually surprised that he was indeed a filler character.
    • Noa and Gozaburo are worth noting because the latter is an actual character from the manga who serves as a Posthumous Character there. In the anime he's revealed to have been in hiding and has become the Big Bad of the Filler Arc with Noa as The Dragon.
  • Naruto: Many, many, MANY filler villains during its season-long filler arcs so as not to overtake the manga.
    • Aoi Rokusho of the Land of Tea arc, is notable for actually injuring a cast member, Sasuke. This is because they inserted the filler arc in between the return of Tsunade and Sasuke's defection. As a result, Sasuke had to be hospitalised again for the start of the next arc. Still, not many remember this filler villain's name.
      • More importantly, he was actually a major figure in the background of canon character (albeit a minor one) Ibiki Morino; namely he's indirectly the cause of all of those scars.
  • Bleach does its filler material as season-long arc stories. As a result, every filler arc has a filler villain.
    • The Bount Arc had the Bounts, led by Big Bad Kariya. The anime was so fond of this that it deliberately inserts a couple of filler scenes later on during Ichigo's vizard training just to bring back Kariya for a few random moments.
    • The Captain Amagai Arc also has a filler arc villain. Captain Amagai himself.
    • The Zanpakuto Unknown Tales Arc has a filler arc villain in the form of Muramasa and his master, insane shinigami Kouga Kuchiki.
    • The Invasion Arc's filler villain is Kageroza Inaba who is nothing more than a puppet for the real filler villain, Oko Yushima.
  • One Piece has a whole bunch of these, of widely varying quality and power level. Foxy, an actual canonical villain from the manga, seems to have been demoted to filler villain, showing up randomly in a couple of filler arcs, and forming a Goldfish Poop Gang with subordinates Hamburg and Porche.
    • A filler villain, Don Achino had the amazing power of controlling heat. This allowed him to control the lava on his frozen volcano island. Given that a major villain of a later arc is made of lava, the implications are astounding...yet he will never actually have an effect on the plot due to his Filler Villain status. Though, it's definitely worth noting that Oda wrote that particular filler arc, and the powers of Don Achino and the other lava-man are still completely different. (Don controls heat and can move lava, but the other is a logia-type actually made of it.)
    • The movies, as well, typically have villains that don't even amount to Goldfish Poop Gang status, aside from the movies that revisit/reimagine story arcs.
      • Though there is an exception to this rule in the form of Shiki from One Piece Film: Strong World, considering that his movie is actually canon and he has been referenced in the manga (specifically, he was the only person prior to the Impel Down arc to escape Impel Down). Z, from One Piece Film: Z, would also count, as his movie was originally slated to be canon like Shiki's, but there were too many discrepancies between the movie and the manga to make it official.
  • A few villains in Wedding Peach. Wedding Peach Abridged even refers to them by this trope name.
  • In Fist of the North Star, we have:
    • Joker, Shin's right-hand man whose main purpose was to serve as an informant between Shin and many of the villains of the week that were sent out to get Kenshiro. He actually has a bigger screen-time than any of Shin's playing card-themed henchmen from the manga (along with the Godland Colonel and Jackal for that matter).
    • The renegade Gento Koken successors, Taiga and Boltz, are essentially stand-in for Jakoh's sons from the manga, Jask and Shieno, who were omitted from the anime version.
  • Mao of Code Geass qualifies as this. Apart from setting up a little of CC's background, and letting Lelouch know about the real circumstances of Suzaku's father's death, his mini-arc does not advance the plot at all, he's disposed of easily, with no character development and little real threat to the main cast.
  • Fairy Tail's Daphne arc features Daphne, a crazy woman obsessed with creating an artificial dragon to get back at everyone who didn't believe her when she saw a dragon as a child.
    • Played with in the Key of the Starry Heavens arc, where the villain first appears to be Byro Cracy, the Earth-land version of one member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad from the Edolas arc; he leads a group composed of counterparts of the rest of the Edolas villains, plus three completely original characters. Then it turns out they're being manipulated by Oracion Seis, the villains from the manga's Nirvana arc, who are led this time by Midnight, The Dragon to the Nirvana arc's main villain Brain. In an even more interesting case than the Fullmetal Alchemist example above, not only were the new villains designed by the original mangaka, but the whole arc itself is referenced in the manga as something that happened offscreen.
    • The Movie features Prince Kriem, a power-hungry prince who wishes to become immortal so he can conquer other lands and not die. He is one-upped by Dist, the leader of the Carbuncle guild hired by Kriem who wishes to become immortal for...not particularly explained reasons. Unless one counts The Movie's tie-in prequel manga/OVA, which shows that Dist first became obsessed with immortality because his pet weasel died when he was a little boy. Yeah.

    Comic Books 

     Fan Fic 

    Literature 
  • Neo BloodClan in Warrior Cats, whose whole existence is to give Ravenpaw's Path villains. They are beaten easily, never mentioned again, and have zero impact on the plot. They don't even make sense in the overall canon. They're just.........there.

    Toys 
  • Although they are more accurately an ensemble of Elite Mooks than a single villain, the Bohrok-Kal from BIONICLE were created by LEGO to fill the space between the defeat of the Bahrag and the return of Makuta.
    • The Morbuzakh plant in the first half of 2004 was this, because the villain sets only got released during the summer. In fact, it didn't even have a toy, unless one counts that Morbuzakh sponge that came out in Germany as part of a magazine promo.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 

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alternative title(s): Fillain
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