How did you get back here before us?! Yzma:
Ah... How did we, Kronk? Kronk:
Well, ya got me. [pulls down a chart displaying the progress of the previous chase]
By all accounts, it doesn't make sense.
When they aren't slouching
on a throne
, villains can really move around a lot more quickly and easily than seems possible.
While it takes heroes months
to gather five Plot Coupons
, trudging slowly through swamps, deserts, and arctic tundra, The Dragon
get there moments before the heroes do
and waltz off with each piece.
If the hero is trying to outrun Jason Voorhees
, who seemingly just trudges along, he'll be surprised to discover that thanks to Offscreen Teleportation
he just rounded the bend ahead of him and beheaded him with a machete. If on the other hand the hero is in their Supervillain Lair
and is trying to catch them, the villain will always be a corridor length away and probably lead him into a Defensive Feint Trap
filled with sharks
. Even if the heroes can teleport
, the bad guys will have the superior Villain Teleportation
that can outperform the heroic version by leaps and bounds.
This is of course a standard way to give the heroes a really
hard time against the bad guys, who can be everywhere the plot needs them to be despite any logical difficulties they'd have moving around. In a Horror
setting, this is used to instill fear in a victim as they can no more outrun the slowly oncoming Implacable Man
than the too fast by far monster.
Compare Teleporting Keycard Squad
, Already Undone for You
, Drop-In Nemesis
Not to be confused with No Delays for the Wicked
, that has more to do with villains rarely suffering random setbacks that couldn't be predicted
or regularly happen to normal people, and their evil organization/masquerade working unnaturally flawlessly.
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Anime And Manga
- Used frequently in Samurai Deeper Kyo. The heroes spend over fifteen volumes of the series navigating their way through the Mibu complex while the villains, the Taishirou in particular, seem to be able to pop up wherever they need to be and then back to their lairs without the slightest delays. They hop in for meetings with the Big Bad mere minutes after they've been messing with the heroes who spend over half of the series just trying to get to the same place.
- Any villain from a Slasher Movie, natch.
- Friday the 13th's Jason is most famous for this, but actually didn't really become this until the last third of his original film series; before then, he relied on carefully stalking and ambushing to make a kill, and could be outrun or evaded, but he usually found them again due to being much more familiar with the woods around Crystal Lake. The remake's version of Jason has this trait, but it's justified; over the years he's been at Camp Crystal Lake, he's dug a large network of tunnels so he can get around quickly and without being seen.
- Lampshaded in The Emperors New Groove, after a drawn-out chase where the heroes finally managed to evade the villains Yzuma and Kronk, went to the secret lair... and found the villains already there. Even Kronk acknowledges that this makes no sense.
Live Action TV
- The Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation play this trope deadly straight. The Enterprise encounters them in a part of the galaxy that it would take the Federation's fastest ship almost a decade at maximum warp to reach. The Borg reach the Federation in a little less than a season and a half later. This is actually given an in-universe explanation; the Borg have developed trans-warp conduits that basically allow them to deploy almost anywhere in the galaxy.
- The Xindi from Star Trek: Enterprise use a similar tool that they use to launch two of their attack probes against Earth. Further exacerbated by the fact that at this point in Trek history, most of Earth's Starfleet can barely manage Warp 3.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Dalek," the eponymous Dalek has an astonishing ability to keep up with the fleeing Rose and Adam. The Dalek is just moseying along at a Dalek's usual slow glide, and it has to stop and fight its way through two ambushes, while Rose and Adam are running flat-out... yet somehow, when the vault door closes and cuts Rose off, the Dalek is right there behind her. (Later episodes show Daleks flying at high speed, but this one never displays such an ability on-screen.)
- Metroid Fusion has several sequences where you have to either outrun or hide from SA-X, who always seems to show up at the worst moment. There's actually several of them.
- Pyramid Head. Given that the town itself is a Genius Loci, Pyramid Head can appear wherever it wants him to.
- Bowser and Antasma in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, who end up popping up two steps ahead of Mario and Luigi's entire journey up to the halfway point. They appear in front to steal the Plot Coupon, then appear in front of the bros a whole bunch more times to gloat about how their plan is succeeding perfectly. Possibly justified by how one can fly and the other one gets carried around the island by him.
- Two-Edge from ElfQuest always seems to crop up where he's least expected, even after being seriously wounded by one of his victims.
- Dick Dastardly in Wacky Races. He's always well in front, enough to stop to set up booby traps for the other racers. If only he'd stop trying to cheat he'd win every race.
- The Green Goblin in The Spectacular Spider Man is like this, popping up seemingly at will all across New York, making him unpredictable and difficult to track- per his Mooks, he doesn't even have a base (he finds them, rather than the other way around). Spidey therefore has to let Goblin come to him, rather than go looking for him like he would with other Big Bads.
- Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender made a habit of doing this in season 2, constantly popping up at the worst possible times for the heroes. This was actually explained in the episode The Chase, in which she uses a tank-like vehicle to keep up with the Gaang while they had to stop to sleep.