open/close all folders
Anime & 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.
- Subverted for Dark Yugi/Pharaoh Atem of Yu-Gi-Oh! at first. Initially, he starts out as Yugi's Superpowered Evil Side, an Ax-Crazy Knight Templar borderline sociopath, who challenged the Asshole Victim of the day to a game and punished them horrifically when they lost, especially when they cheated. As it turns out, he wasn't like this in life. Interestingly, Yami Yugi's obsession with enforcing justice (or some form of punishment) is arguably the result of ancient attitudes he still carried, but it's implied he had more mercy for his enemies in Ancient Egypt and his early persona was the result of being sealed in the Puzzle for millennia. Character Development and spending time with Yugi and the gang help him subvert the trope entirely.
- The OVA for Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love has King Tut trying to take over New York City. During The Roaring '20s. And the only people capable of stopping him are a Magitek Steampunk spec-ops team who masquerade as a theatre troupe.
- In Inferno Cop, Inferno Cop finds a villainous pharaoh after he travels to Egypt and takes a nap inside a sarcophagus.
- 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 (also in the arcade game) 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.
- There is a fantasy-universe equivalent in Emperor Samala of Stygia of Red Sonja: The Art of Blood and Fire. Egyptian architecture, slave labor, a massive tomb containing objects he is taking with him into the afterlife all drive the point home.
Films — Live-Action
- Most works based off the Book of Exodus from The Bible, like The Prince of Egypt and The Ten Commandments have the Pharaoh Ramses as the Big Bad. Prince of Egypt also featured Pharaoh Seti, who orchestrated the original mass infanticide against the Hebrew slaves.
- Stargate uses the general imagery, although the bad guy was the god Ra.
- The movie Land of the Pharaohs, in which the Pharaoh's determination to have the ultimate tomb becomes oppressive.
- In X-Men: Apocalypse, En Sabah Nur is revealed to be an ancient, allegedly divine pharaoh who ruled for millennia through Body Surfing into powerful mutant hosts and assimilating their abilities. Upon awakening in the present day, he promptly tries to destroy modern civilization to recreate a regime in which "only the strong survive".
- The Bible:
- The two Pharaohs from Book of Exodus are notorious for torturing Israelites, from ordering his subordinates to commit infanticide, to denying the existence of God despiting acknowledging him.
- The Pharaoh is even worse in Islam. Besides what he does in the Exodus, he had his magicians cut their hands and feet on opposite sides and crucify them on the trunks of palm trees because they acknowledged Allah. He also had his own wife tortured to death for embracing Moses' faith as well.
- Inverted 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.
- Cthulhu Mythos:
- One of the many forms of Nyarlathotep, the most actively evil Eldritch Abomination, is the Black Pharaoh, a haughty Egyptian pharaoh wearing a brightly colored robe. He also used to be worshipped in Ancient Egypt. Notably appears as such to the protagonist in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath.
- Lovecraft also mentions a mad pharaoh Nephen-Ka in his short story The Haunter of The Dark, as well as Distaff Counterpart Queen Nitocris (who may have actually existed, but if she did, probably didn't rule over "ghouls and other horrors").
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In Pathfinder's Golarion setting, the Ancient Egypt-esque country of Osirion has suffered through several of these. A few notables include several Pharaohs who studied and worshiped various Eldritch Abominations, two who became liches and ruled for centuries as undead monstrosities, one whose decadent lifestyle caused his ancestors to rise as Mummies and tear him apart, two who joined the cult of Rovagug the Great Destroyer, the Pharaoh of Forgotten Plagues who built a place called the House of Oblivion as a material plane anchor for Ahriman and his Div minions, and the four Pharaohs of Ascension whose golden age was sustained by a horrifically abused slave underclass. The Mummy's Mask adventure path is about one of them rising from the grave (as a mummy, of course), and having to be stopped from taking over Osirion again.
- Magic: The Gathering: The world of Amonkhet is entirely based on Ancient Egypt, so it's no surprise it would be ruled by a Pharaoh. Unfortunately, the "God-Pharaoh" whose return Amonkhet's inhabitants so eagerly await is Nicol Bolas.
- In Dungeons & Dragons:
- Ankhtepot's drive to become immortal and a great ruler drove him to inflict such cruelties on his people that he was killed, cursed with undeath as a Mummy, and trapped in the Ironic Hell of Ravenloft. There, he is "Pharaoh" of only a tiny nation-state.
- The classic 1e module I3 Pharaoh includes Amun-Re of the House of Mo-Pelar, who cursed his kingdom upon his death, and whose regretful, wandering spirit implores the player characters to loot his theft-proof tomb in order to lift the curse.
- 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.
- The main boss of the desertic Neksdor Kingdom in Miitopia is a giant pharaoh mask fought in a pyramid.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bender from Futurama episode "A Pharaoh To Remember" forges an inscription on an Egypt-like planet making him the pharaoh. 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 collateral 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 ones too.
- Monster High Ramses de Nile (Cleo and Nefera's father) is shown to be like this, especially in the Aristocrats Are Evil part.