Jack Slater: Sir, are you a henchman?
No, I only go as far as lackey.
The opposing side is fleshed out by being given one or two one-off henchmen, not unlike the ones you usually fight, but having them slack off, have no motivation, and complain about it to their coworkers. Sometimes they honestly suck, but sometimes, they just don't care. All that matters is that it's their job
, and they're bad at it. Compare Minion with an F in Evil
who are more enthusiastic, but also more clueless.
Compare Those Two Bad Guys
and Mauve Shirt
, who are part of the main cast rather than one-off characters and who tend to be more dangerous and sometimes more dedicated.
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- Little Gloomy: Boris, Simon von Simon's hunchbacked lab assistant. Boris has literally no interest in Simon's plans, it's just that Mad Scientist lab assistant is the only job he can get.
- Bone: The two recurring rat creatures were supposed to go and kill the heroes. They bungled it rather badly in every attempt, to the point where the heroes deliberately let them live because they're too incompetent and unmotivated to pose a threat.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Pintel and Ragetti from Barbossa's crew decline into this trope after their first (energetically violent) appearance.
- In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Ford almost succeeds in convincing the Vogon guard that his job sucks so much that he shouldn't even bother throwing him and Arthur out an airlock. In the end, the guard admits he likes the shouting aspect too much to give it up, but he'll be sure to take a good long look at his life, once he throws them out the airlock.
- Late in The World Ends with You, one Support Reaper is found in the streets who was too lazy to go to the emergency meeting and skipped work that day. As they were handing out one-way tickets to Instrumentality that day, it's all the better for him.
- Razorbeard's henchman in Rayman 2: The Great Escape.
- Biggs and Wedge from Final Fantasy VIII sit between this and Those Two Bad Guys. They're actually decently motivated, and really DO try - well, at least Biggs does - but they always get beaten up and demoted, and then moan about it. At the end, when they've been assigned to guard the door to the boss lair, they see you coming - and then just up and quit, walking off to find a better career.
- Demyx from Kingdom Hearts II... until he actually decides to fight you. Ironically, he technically isn't even half-hearted — as a Nobody, he has no heart at all. Don't tell him that, though.
- Johnny Sasaki of Metal Gear, the poor Butt Monkey.
- Breath of Fire 3: Most of the guards in McNeil's mansion. Depending on the guard, they can let you pass either after you bribe them, find their missing wallet or go beat up the guard dog so that it gets the blame instead of them.
- In Henchmen for Hire this trope is played in an unusual way
- The main characters, who are a trio of henchmen, don't really think badly of the superhero community, and even refuse to fight superheroes if they can help it, but one of them actually contacted a hero because the villain they signed up with was going to far to fast in his book, and she was a little Ax Cray
- Jenn from Sturgeons Law is this trope in a nutshell (except on a team of Villain Protagonists).
- The Venture Bros.: Basically every Monarch henchman, every time they talk. When the Flying Cocoon's engines failed mid-flight, none of them were willing to go into the engine room to fix it because "that place is spooky, man." 21 and 24 are kind of borderline. 21, at least, is completely clueless to his costume's features (like functioning wings and night vision).
- Kim Possible: Shego, despite being The Dragon. She'd much rather lounge around painting her nails or reading magazines while snarking at Dr. Drakken, though when she does get motivated (usually by Kim's arrival), she can be quite the dangerous villain.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: Emotionless Girl Mai fills this role. An example of this is during the Season Two Finale when confronted by Toph and Sokka, she decided not to put up a fight at all.
Another example earlier in Season 2 episode "The Drill", Mai refuses to chase after the heroes after they jump into a pipe containing slurry, the mixture of water and rock created as a byproduct by the drill.
- Thundercracker in The Transformers.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Bebop and Rocksteady are very much this trope. At the orders of their boss Shredder, they fight the Turtles and seem to have fun doing this; Shredder also gives them other, more laborious duties that they don't enjoy as much; but to all appearances, what they really want to be doing is just playing around, like children. They are actually reflective enough to realize that their relationship with Shredder is that of a lazy slave to his master; but while they may feel a little uneasy with the lifestyle of a Punch Clock Villain, they rarely seem to have any kind of wish that they could quit and do something else with their lives.