"Irresponsible children. My patience is stretched miles beyond its threshold. Embrace your wounded; you will be joining them in hell."In order to add more drama to a series which has been, up until that moment, lighthearted and comedic in nature, a villain is introduced which is played completely straight, in contrast to the bumbling and comedic villains the heroes have faced before. This villain's arrival is usually heralded by a sudden downturn in humor, to show the audience this guy means business. In other words, a catalyst for a drastic change in mood toward the dark and dramatic. In some depictions, particularly Lighter and Softer ones, said villain may still have some light-hearted or comical traits, but still gives a much higher sense of dread and genuine threat to the heroes than previous adversaries. Some cases of the trope may be harder to define by comparison in a particularly ineffective Rogues Gallery, though a clear cut example at the very least can actually place the protagonist in real danger compared to the Harmless Villain that poked his poodle in a previous arc. A typical symptom of Cerebus Syndrome. A Knight of Cerebus is very likely to be Dangerously Genre Savvy, but also runs the risk of becoming a Villain Sue. Arguably a subtrope of Threshold Guardians. See also Dead Serious, Not-So-Harmless Villain. The show may Shoo Out the Clowns first. Often, this results in a case of Vile Villain, Saccharine Show. When this kicks off Cerebus Syndrome, his arrival is a Gut Punch. Sometimes, this type of character can be a Complete Monster if they have no redeeming traits and do terrible things by the standards of history in an initially more lighthearted series.
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