Nepharious Pharaoh

The other stock Egyptian style villain alongside the Mummy.

The appearance of this character is pretty recognisable, chances are, you will see a striped head dress, called a 'Nemes', and perhaps some sort of ancient looking robe with sceptre.

And if the work in question isn't set in Ancient Egypt, they may be found sealed inside some kind of tomb or pyramid and vow to curse any explorer who comes near.

In video games, this character has a 50% chance of being the Boss found in Shifting Sand Land, with the Mummy being the other.

See also Aristocrats Are Evil and Mummy, the latter is arguably a sub trope.

The Trope Maker, Trope Codifier, and Ur-Example is probably The Bible, with that nasty pharaoh as one of the villains of the Old Testament, making this Older Than Feudalism.


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    Anime And Manga 

  • Soul Eater: Witch necromancer Samantha tries to summon Wrath of the Pharaoh, a malevolent spirit residing in the Pyramid of Anubis. The sarcophagus of the Pharaoh is perfectly symmetrical, making it impossible for the Super OCD Kid to destroy it. Then the Pharaoh steps out of the sarcophagus to give the final strike, and he is revealed to be horribly asymmetrical. Cue Kid's Berserk Button hitting the floor.

    Comic Books 

  • Black Adam in the Shazam (Captain Marvel) comics. After learning how to use the word "Shazam!" to gain super powers, he overthrows the pharaoh of Egypt and assumes the throne.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The villain Kang the Conqueror (who may or may not be a future version of Doctor Doom) first appeared as the pharaoh Rama Tut; he had gone back in time to ancient Egypt to conquer from there.
    • The Living Pharaoh, an X-Men villain who later became upgraded to The Living Monolith when he learned how to grow to colossal size.
    • There is also the Fantastic Four villain, the Sphinx, who physically resembles the Living Monolith, and has some of the same motivations: restoring Egypt to its former glory.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW) has supercriminal Pharaoh Phetlock (AKA Phoney Pharaoh) in Power Ponies, most likely based on King Tut from Batman.

    Fan Works 


  • The two Pharaohs from Book of Exodus are notorious for torturing Israelite, from ordering his subordinates to commit infanticide, to denying the existence of God despiting acknowledging him.
    • Averted for the Pharaoh in the Book of Genesis, he is a Reasonable Authority Figure who seems to appreciate Joseph a lot and is kind to his family when they arrive. He was willing to accommodate Joseph's relatives in Goshen, a particularly fertile area of Egypt where they would be able to graze their flocks (and also where they would be separate from the Egyptian populace, as Egyptians tended to look down on shepherds). This Pharaoh also promoted Joseph as his Vizier for his deeds.
  • In the Secret Series, Lord Pharaoh is a prime example of this: evil, single-minded dedication to living forever and quite possibly taking over the world someday.
  • Dios the High Priest in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel Pyramids — effectively the ruler of the kingdom, manipulating a succession of essentially benign but hopelessly confused Pharaohs — for seven thousand years. Pratchett offers a subversion of this idea, suggesting that the pharaoh is essentially a powerless figurehead and real power resides elsewhere in an Ancient Egypt-like country.
  • The Armenian national epic David of Sasun has Melik, the evil Egyptian king. He was probably based on the pharaoh from Exodus, and given the fact that Egypt has never actually conquered Armenia, is also probably a sort of No Celebrities Were Harmed Expy of the Arab caliphs or Turkish sultans.
  • One of the many forms of Nyarlathotep, the most actively evil Eldritch Abomination in the Cthulhu Mythos, is the Black Pharaoh, a haughty Egyptian pharaoh wearing a brightly colored robe. He also used to be worshipped in Ancient Egypt.
  • The main villain of the first novel in the Island Rus series by Sergey Lukyanenko is an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who pursues the Time Traveling heroes throughout history.

    Live-Action TV 
  • King Tut, one of the supervillains from the 1960s Batman. He wore clothing appropriate for a pharaoh and liked to use Egyptian-themed dialogue. He was actually Professor William McElroy, an Egyptologist at Yale University. Every time he gets hit on the head he develops a split personality that thinks he's a reincarnation of the original King Tut. Hitting him on the head again restores his original personality.
  • Stargate SG-1 also uses the general imagery for the Goa'uld, at least the first ones encountered.
  • Doctor Who has Sutekh, a Sufficiently Advanced Alien with an Egyptian theme and Mooks disguised as Mummies from the Fourth Doctor story, "Pyramids of Mars."
  • Electra Woman And Dyna Girl featured a villain known only as The Pharaoh. It was implied by the narrator that he was somehow an actual pharaoh, despite being played by the very American Peter Mark Richman. And despite it being nearly two thousand years after the last pharaoh had ruled Egypt.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Warhammer 40,000, the Necrons have always had some Egyptian-ish design elements, but as of their 5th edition codex they have embraced this trope. The Necron leaders in the new codex are called "Phaerons" and their armour and headgear has some very obvious Egyptian influences. A lot of the Necron lords also have Egyptian-esque names, such as Imhotek (strangely enough, the ones that don't seem to have Polish names. Go figure).
  • The Tomb Kings of Warhammer are this, as the priests who were supposed to grant them entry to the afterlife instead brought them back as undead corpses. In an interesting variation, they all still think themselves the rightful rulers of Khemri, which doesn't go well with the previous and following rightful rulers of Khemri.
  • In LEGO Games' Ramses' Pyramid, the Mummy King, who wears the stereotypical headdress, is both this and The Mummy.
  • Scion has the specter (Titan-corrupted ghost) of pharaoh Akhenaten as a powerful servant of Aten, the Titan of Light and designated enemy of the Egyptian pantheon.

    Video Games 
  • Pharaoh Man is one of the Robot Masters fought in Mega Man 4. He's not an actual pharaoh, though he was originally built to explore pyramids. His stage begins as a Shifting Sand Land and progresses into a Temple of Doom.
  • Tutankoopa in Paper Mario is the boss of Dry Dry Ruins and keeper of one of the kidnapped Star Spirits. He attempts to frighten Mario away from the ruins, even calling himself the "remorseless king of the desert" in his first warning.
  • Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love has King Tut trying to take over New York City. During The Roaring Twenties. And the only people capable of stopping him are a Magitek Steampunk spec-ops team who masquerade as a theatre troupe.
  • Vampires Dawn has Pharaoh Ustrah. While he isn't really important in the first game, he becomes one of the main villains of the second game.
  • Dark Pharaoh Tekahn in World of Warcraft is the leader of a faction of very sphinx-like creatures who allied themselves with Deathwing, the Big Bad of the "Cataclysm" expansion.
  • For the most part, averted in, well, Pharaoh. With one or two exceptions, the current ruler of Egypt isn't too bad, but piss him off too much and he considers it a rebellion, and sends his army against you. Once you achieve the title you can't do anything worse than refuse to answer requests, which quickly gets you a game over.
  • The main villain of the Egypt section of The Secret World is Akenaten, changed from simply establishing a new religion into an Omnicidal Maniac. His reign is described in this style. Players fight a "sealed in a tomb" version at the end of this storyline section.
  • De Strega: Raone's outfit is meant to invoke the effect, what with the nemes he wears.
  • DuckTales 2 has the boss of Egypt's stage, a duck pharaoh who's guarding the ancient treasure of Egypt.
  • In Rome: Total War, you may very well end up viewing the head of the Egyptian faction as this; it's the strongest non-Roman faction in the entire game.
  • The Pharaoh Zombie from Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time starts out armored in a sarcophagus (which has a TON of health but makes him walk slow), but once it's destroyed, it reveals the mummy underneath who is extremely fast without the heavy sarcophagus.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Bender from Futurama episode "A Pharaoh To Remember" forges an inscription on a Egypt like planet making him the pharoh. He immediately goes about devising ways to terrorize his slaves and designing his own monument so that he will always be remembered.
    "Citizens of me! The cruelty of the old Pharaoh is a thing of the past!"
    [crowd cheers]
    [crowd cheers, then is confused]
  • The first act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Museum Madness" had Bogus come upon a young child-like pharaoh who behaved this way, after he and Ratty accidentally wind up in a secret chamber hidden within the Egyptian exhibit of the museum. Although to be completely fair, the kid pharoah actually possessed an ancient scarab that had been stolen for many centuries, but Bogus was able to reclaim the scarab and return it back to its rightful place after making quick work of the child.
  • King Bob briefly becomes one of these in one episode of Recess, when he changes his title to Pharaoh Bob and makes the other kids work like slaves to build a mud-brick pyramid in his honor.
  • In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "King Ramses' Curse", the ghost of the titular pharaoh arrives to haunt anyone who possesses his stolen tomb slab even if it was stolen by someone else, casting three deadly curses on them if they refuse to return the slab and he doesn't care about casualties...
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Irwin's grandfather was one and soon Irwin followed his example and under his guidance he brainwashed everyone in Endsville and become Tuten Puten the Nerd King. But unfortunately for him all good things have to end and all evil too.

Alternative Title(s): Nefarious Pharaoh