[[quoteright:225:[[VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TN8218_lichKing_2.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:225:[-Not Orcus, but far too [[SlouchOfVillainy comfy]] to get up.-] ]]

->"''Sorry, Kimmie. The Supreme One always delegates.''"
-->-- '''Future-Shego''', ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' - A Sitch in Time

Deep in {{Mordor}}, at the top of the EvilTowerOfOminousness, the EvilOverlord awaits. He has his LegionOfDoom, the ArtifactOfDoom and any other DoomyDoomsOfDoom you can think of. His power is vast and he is poised to strike and destroy all we hold dear at any moment.

Any moment now.

Aaaaaany moment...

Looks like we have a case of Orcus On His Throne. A villain with great power and the potential to wipe out the Forces of Good turns out to be an [[BrilliantButLazy awfully retiring]] sort. Sure, they're out there somewhere being evil, probably [[OffstageVillainy oppressing someone else]], but they don't actually seem to do much; they just sits about [[SlouchOfVillainy resting on their laurels]] or at most [[KingpinInHisGym maintaining an active training regimen]], waiting for the heroes to come and overthrow them. One wonders how they ever mustered the ambition to climb to their position of power in the first place.

Named for a line in the Third Edition ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' Manual of the Planes, where it mentioned that Orcus, the lord of the undead, might once more be on his throne, [[AccidentalInnuendo one bony hand clutching his terrible rod]]. The original justification for this was based in the way ''D & D'' works; by not having Orcus (or any other given major villain) actively doing anything, but prepared to strike out against the forces of good, the dungeon masters who were buying the source books and playing the game could have the villains do whatever they wanted or needed them to do for their custom-built campaigns.

Relatedly, this is a very common trope in VideoGames, where the villain waits passively in their throne room while the hero is [[LevelGrind leveling up]], killing [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil increasing tiers of their minions]], StormingTheCastle, occupying [[AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs each base]] and [[WeWait methodically foiling]] their plans. If the BigBad is coming, why not just wait and prepare yourself? But if the BigBad is sitting by their Lava Pit of Doom, for whatever reason, just waiting for the Hero to arrive, then of course the Hero has to make their way all the way there.

In the villain's defense, [[DystopiaIsHard maintaining order in one's domain can be a really time consuming task]], what with all [[YouRebelScum those Rebel Scum]], [[SurroundedByIdiots stupid henchmen]], [[TheStarscream backstabbing lieutenants]], and the other daily tasks an EvilOverlord has to face everyday. And any tactician will endorse the benefits of a fortified position surrounded by your most powerful servants. Then again, what kind of EvilOverlord doesn't take the time to smell the roses, pillage a village, and give a hero a good FinalBossPreview every once in a while? They deserve a little "me" time, too!

The BigBad might also be spending all their time offscreen searching for a PlotCoupon (LostSuperweapon, ArtifactOfDoom, etc.) that would render conventional means of conquest [[GoldenSnitch unnecessary]]. Why waste time and effort commanding the LegionOfDoom when you could conquer/corrupt/destroy the kingdom/country/world/galaxy/universe with the push of a button? When they ''do'' get off their throne, expect them to be a MobileMenace. Still, it's easier to send [[{{Mooks}} their minions]] out to do this instead, which is probably another reason they never have to leave the castle. In the case of a NonActionBigBad, the villain acts like this because personally, they ''don't'' have power, or at least not the sort that would be [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking useful in direct combat]], and they primarily work through their subordinates.

Villainous counterpart to TakeYourTime. Compare NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering. Contrast RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething and FrontlineGeneral. The opposite of this is RiskingTheKing. Not to be confused with - though principally very similar to - BiggerBad. See also ThePawnsGoFirst for when the BigBad chooses to let their minions fight a particular battle for a while before intervening. Similar to OffstageVillainy, where we only know the villain is evil because the author says so; with Orcus On His Throne, we only know the villain is ''dangerous'' because the author says so.

----
!!Examples
[[noreallife]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Queen Beryl, and to a lesser extent her lieutenants, in ''Franchise/SailorMoon''. In [[Manga/SailorMoon the original series]] Queen Beryl would do nothing but sit on her throne looking at an orb. Especially egregious early on, where even though it was clear that even just one of Queen Beryl's lieutenants was a problem for all the Sailor Scouts, they would often only come in one at a time while the rest would just stay back at their base and wait around. Queen Beryl did come out to attack the scouts in one episode in ''Anime/SailorMoonCrystal'', but she doesn't do anything except make the screen wavy and then leaves after just one attack that didn't even hit her.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'':
** Lordgenome spends most of his screentime doing the SlouchOfVillainy while ordering around his lieutenants. However, once Simon reaches him, [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking it's all too clear why he gets to lounge around]]. And why he ''has'' to, since [[spoiler:the very Spiral Power he possesses is exactly what he was trying to protect the Earth from by forcing humans to live underground.]]
** [[spoiler:The Anti-Spiral King]] doesn't even show up until the penultimate episode and doesn't directly fight the heroes until the final one. In their case it's justified by their battle tactics, which involve giving their opponents a small but obtainable chance of victory, providing hope, only to snatch it away at the last second to induce maximum despair. Going all out at the first opportunity doesn't fit that.
* ''Manga/DragonBall'': In the King Piccolo Saga, King Piccolo typically sits on his throne in Emperor Pilaf's airship while his "children" do the fighting for him. He finally steps in personally after the deaths of Cymbal and Tambourine, and [[CurbStompBattle beats Goku so thoroughly]] [[DisneyDeath that Goku is presumed dead afterwards]].
* The Emperor of Darkness, the BigBad of ''Anime/GreatMazinger'', the sequel of ''Anime/MazingerZ''. He spent the whole series sitting on his throne in the underground as his generals led the war against the surface, and he never left the Underworld, not even when [[spoiler:all generals of his army were killed off]]. The only thing he did in the entire series was [[spoiler:bring Dr. Hell, BigBad of the former series, back to life]] to lead his army, which did not work exactly well. He not even was [[spoiler:KilledOffForReal]] in that series, but in a manga chapter of ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' (the version penned by Gosaku Ota), the last part of the ''Mazinger'' trilogy.
* ''Manga/ExcelSaga'' has Il Palazzo, who sits on his throne playing dating sims and guitar while Excel and Hyatt do all the actual work. This, despite having (in at least the anime) psychokinetic powers that let him tear through an squadron of Ropponmatsus without the slightest effort, as well as at least some level of SuperStrength and SuperSpeed. Among other things, he is unscathed by a half-dozen or so Ropponomatsus latching onto him and self-destructing, catches a mini-missile launched at his face with one hand before throwing it aside like a piece of junk, and zips across the floor too fast to follow and {{Neck Lift}}s the original Ropponomatsus... then proceeds to behead them by squeezing his fists shut. In the manga he has various technology-based powers, most notably teleportation, but it takes him over ten volumes to discover most of them due to his amnesia. He is eventually either cured or overtaken by a secondary personality (it's unclear to say the least), and gets off his throne to personally lead the conquest of (the economy of) Fukuoka.
* Quite literally the [[PersonOfMassDestruction Phoenix King]] from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'', as he is ''expected'' to do nothing but sit on his throne and shed light and heat so his subjects enjoy a comfortable life. Saffron, the latest incarnation, can [[PlayingWithFire vaporize mountains with heat beams]] whenever he feels like it, and yet he suffered an ''incomplete'' maturation that deprived him of control. One wonders why his previous, perfect, embodiments didn't go out and raze the world unopposed.
* {{Justified|Trope}} in ''Anime/CodeGeass''. TheEmperor has since left the conquering to his elder children Schneizel and Cornelia because he's busy preparing to [[spoiler:"kill the gods."]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Sosuke Aizen, despite being the BigBad for much of the series, seems content to wait on the sidelines looking [[{{Bishounen}} pretty]] until he's forced to intervene. Of course, then the [[KnightOfCerebus Vandenreich]] arrive and their leader averts this - he sends in the [[DangerouslyGenreSavvy elite fighters first, and *then* the mooks]], and on top of that, ''personally'' leads the assault on the good guys, a few chapters after he first showed up. They end up [[spoiler:drastically decimating the Gotei 13 and killing their leader, with at most 6 causalities on their own side.]]
** Baraggan was like this in his backstory, too. He'd consolidated his power in Hueco Mundo so effectively that he had nothing left to do there but sit on his throne, and he was considering dividing his army in two and making them fight just to relieve his boredom. Why he didn't try attacking the Soul Reapers, the eternal enemies of the hollows, isn't addressed.
* Father, the BigBad from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' is the perfect example; the only thing he does until the day of the eclipse at the end of the series is sitting down in his throne, letting the homunculi carry on his plan.
* Two ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'' examples: Deathsaurus in ''Anime/TransformersVictory'' and Gigatron in ''[[Anime/TransformersRobotsInDisguise Transformers Car Robots]]''. You could almost tell that Leozack and Black Convoy, respectively, were the real Decepticon leader of each series.
* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya'' the Pope [[spoiler:Gemini Saga]] spend most of its time waiting for Bronze Saints to come in the throne room on top of the Sanctuary.
* ''Anime/{{Shinzo}}'' has Lanancuras, who technically has a good reason to sit on his throne: it's his prison. Except he never tried breaking out until AFTER the barrier maiden had discovered the power to keep him there, which is three hundred years (five hundred in the dub). And he does absolutely nothing during that time. This is the result of a second-season {{Retcon}} that revealed him as TheManBehindTheMan of the original BigBad.
* Knives from the ''Manga/{{Trigun}}'' anime fits this to a tee. The ability to destroy cities? Check. [[FantasticRacism Rabid hatred of humanity]]? Check [[spoiler:he looks human but isn't, he's actually a plant.]] Sits in an oasis in the middle of nowhere for the entire series? Check.
* Great Demon King Chestra in ''Manga/ViolinistOfHameln'' follows this trope in letter, but, amusingly, not in spirit. He stays on his throne until his crippled body regenerates both legs, yet this does not prevent him from bringing his magic to bear against armies that challenge his minions as soon as he appears in the story.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'':
** DIO, in Part 3 sends assassins to try and kill Jotaro Kujo and company rather than seeking them out and killing them himself for much of the story arc. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], because for one, he's a vampire who can't survive in direct sunlight, and for another, he spends the time integrating his head to his old nemesis Jonathan Joestar's body and can't fight, himself, without the 100-year-old body falling apart on him before he completes its integration.
** Kira Yoshikage in Part 4, after [[spoiler: stealing Kosaku Kawajiri's face and identity]], decides to just stay in hiding rather than go after Josuke and co. It isn't until he fails to hold back his SerialKiller impulses and gets found out by [[spoiler: Kosaku's son]] that he's forced to get proactive again.
* [[TheChessmaster Jellal]] from ''Manga/FairyTail'' is quite happy to send out minions to attack the Tower of Heaven's intruders, rather than fight himself. In the next arc, [[spoiler:Laxus]] sits in Kardia Cathedral while everyone fights his team and tries to avoid a set of magical traps. [[JustifiedTrope There's a reason for the second example though]]: [[spoiler:Laxus may hate Fairy Tail's reputation enough to try and take over the guild, but he's not truly a bad person, and won't admit to himself that he doesn't have the guts to deliberately kill someone.]]
* Pasdar, the BigBad of the first half of ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' would sit on his throne... if he had a butt. Instead he justifies this trope by being a giant grotesquely horrifying mechanical head that's growing out of the ceiling. When he eventually grows a body, it requires a huge amount of energy to do, so much so that he has to assimilate most of Tokyo to do it.
* The Former Crimson King from ''Manga/SamuraiDeeperKyo'' spends nearly the entire manga doing this until he finally gets up and fights in the last 10 chapters or so.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'':
** Almost every BigBad in ''Anime/DigimonAdventure'' has this problem. Devimon separates the kids and instead of killing them himself he lets his black gear possessed minions do it, while he broods on Infinity Mountain. Myotismon is perfectly content to let Demidevimon try to cause strife amongst the children instead of attacking them himself (initially), and each Dark Master waits until their comrade has been defeated and the Digi-destined reach their territory.
** ''Anime/DigimonXrosWars'' has Bagramon, [[BigBad leader of the Bagra army]]. He doesn't do much for 50 episodes except sit in a chair, looking menacing. In the last 2 episodes he finally takes matters in his own hands, literally.
* {{Justified|Trope}} on ''Manga/AkazukinChacha''. The reason BigBad Daimaoh is always inside his castle is because the SealedGoodInACan set a spirit barrier around it that damages him if he tries to leave, thus only [[TheDragon Sorges]] and other minions can go out.
* Takuma Saiou of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''. Barely any of his interactions with the main cast serve any purpose throughout the first half of the season. Halfway, he gets a [[KillSat weapon of mass destruction]] that allows him to destroy the world, and he literally spends days doing nothing but contemplating whether he should destroy the world or not and he pretty much falls out of focus, until some weird split personality crisis makes him give away the keys to the satellite to the heroes.
* [[GalacticConqueror Frieza]] from ''Manga/DragonBallZ'' definitely qualifies. Basically ''his entire army'' had to die before he finally decided to get out of his chair and do something, despite the fact that he could've very, very easily curbstomped anyone on the planet.
* Zagato of ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' stays at the Water dungeon for the entire story and sends out his minions one by one, only confronting the Magic Knights when they come to him. In the anime adaptation he does intervene a couple of times, but one of them is via remote magic.
* Usually subverted in ''Manga/OnePiece''. A quite large percentage of the villains are introduced sitting on comfortable furniture, often surrounded by their QuirkyMinibossSquad, and may continue to do that for the next few chapters, but as soon as they realize that the Straw Hats or other heroes are a serious threat, they will step up to fight them. Played straight with Gekko Moriah, whose shtick is laziness, and a couple of other villains who simply are so arrogant that they think even their weakest henchmen can defeat any opponent.
* The ''Anime/PrettyCure'' franchise has many {{Big Bad}}s of them, they are all dangerous and could destroy the world, but they depend more on their minions.
** Justified with Jaaku King from ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure''. He was somehow bound to the Dusk Zone and he wanted to find the remaining Prism Stones. They are tiny, he was LargeAndInCharge, so he was forced to depend on his minions. In the sequel, his minions try to revive him, so this trope isn't played anymore [[spoiler:or inverted, as his [[TheDragon Dragon]] Baldez is revealed to be (a part of) himself]].
** Akudaikahn from ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCureSplashStar'' wants to destroy the seven fountains and he orders his minions to find them. He doesn't do anything until the heroines arrive to face him. [[spoiler:It's later revealed that Akudaikahn isn't even the BigBad, it's Gohyan who disguised himself as his [[TheDragon dragon's dragon]].]]
** Desparaia and the Director from ''Anime/YesPrettyCure5''. They do almost nothing until all of their minions were killed or left them or disappeared. And in Desparaia's case, she doesn't do that much when she stands up from her throne. The Director even has a floating chair to sit in wherever he arrives.
** Justified with Moebius from ''Anime/FreshPrettyCure'' [[spoiler:who is revealed to be a supercomputer and he can't do anything to enslave the parallel worlds until he gets [[MacGuffin Infinity]]]].
** Subverted with Mephisto from ''Anime/SuitePrettyCure''. He doesn't do anything to find the music notes until he is tired of his minions' failures, so he has to take action himself. And he succeeds.
* ''Anime/RoninWarriors'' has Talpa, a frighteningly powerful demon emperor, who spends most of the time sitting back in his castle, giving orders to his Dark Warlords. The number of times he actually confronts a hero in battle can be counted on one hand. Justified in that he needs the armors of both the Warlords and the Ronin to physically manifest in the mortal world.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Comicbook/{{Fables}}'', Mr. Dark originally comes to Earth to wreak revenge on the Fables who he thinks have abused his power. But after he discovers they have fled their New York place of residence, he decides to build his domain there and wait for the Fables to come looking for him. However, this trope is subverted in [[spoiler:issue #100. After Frau Totenkinder has learned [[SealedEvilInACan how to Box him]], she comes to New York to face Mr. Dark, and almost defeats him but not quite. This near-defeat makes Mr. Dark finally abandon his throne and come after the Fables, who are forced to flee Earth altogether.]]
* ComicBook/{{Darkseid}} from Franchise/TheDCU, despite being a major BigBad who ruled an [[{{Mordor}} entire planet]] with an iron fist, had access to [[{{Magitek}} incredibly advanced technology]], and possessed [[AGodAmI divine powers]] that could smite just about anything in the universe, didn't get around to committing much actual villainy (outside of the original ComicBook/NewGods series anyway). Justified by his obsession with the "Anti-life Equation", a formula that removes the free will of anyone that hears it. In ''ComicBook/FinalCrisis'', when [[spoiler:he finally has a chance to use the Equation, he immediately enslaves the population of Earth, has his son Orion killed, launches a campaign to subdue the Earth's heroes, and nearly conquers the Multiverse.]]
* Comicbook/TheKingpin is a street-level version of this trope. He can and has fought the likes of Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} and Comicbook/CaptainAmerica but prefers to keep the illusion that he is a legitimate businessman (or at least a fat mob-boss) and has his mooks do much of the fighting. When it comes time to throw down, however, it turns out that [[StoutStrength all that weight is pure muscle]] and despite his size, he is a skilled and even agile martial artist.
* The Goblin King in the ''ComicBook/SuperiorSpiderMan'' saga is this, acting behind the scenes and building up his army but not actively attack Spidey in any meaningful way. It isn't until the final arc, "Goblin Nation", that he finally does something. And he does it in a ''big way''.
* The BigBad of ''Comicbook/LokiAgentOfAsgard'', [[spoiler:[[FutureMeScaresMe Old!Loki]]]], who has StoryBreakerPower, and the benefits of foreknowledge, but no real inclination to use it for anything more than trolling. For a long time, they were quite content to [[PlayAlongPrisoner kick back in their cell]]. The explanation for this is that [[spoiler:Old Loki]] is a time traveller and when they actually mess with the present they could very well [[TemporalMutability derail it into something else]] or even [[NiceJobFixingItVillain better]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfiction]]
* Titan from ''FanFic/MyLittleUnicorn'', befitting of his GenericDoomsdayVillain status.
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'':
** Titan spends most of his time until the FinalBattle in the Dark Heart of Everfree, where he is apparently unraveling the enchantments placed by Celestia and Luna on Equestria so he can impose [[LawfulEvil his brand of order]] once again. Subverted somewhat in that he is actually fought multiple times, mostly through avatars of himself, but not always.
** Prince Empyrean walls himself in his palace and not seeming to actually do anything much. It's justified in his case, since he is a SpoiledBrat who, despite wielding the power of Celestia, has none of her skill and experience and is way too scared at the thought of endangering himself.
* Baron Zeppeli from ''Fanfic/TealovesSteamyAdventure''. He does directly menace Tealove and Minty in his introductory scene. After this, however, he's content to just sit in his zeppelin, watch Tealove's progress through his crystal ball, and [[GambitRoulette boast that everything is proceeding exactly according to plan]]. He completely disappears from the story without doing anything more, or even explaining what his plan ''is''.
* Lord Maledict from ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'' is this until Episode 63, when he is so aggravated by Tsali's failures that he shows up personally to challenge Sonic and his friends - [[CurbStompBattle and promptly wipes the floor with them]]. It explicitly justified, as he's both TheChessmaster and trying to run a gigantic universal empire at the same time.
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness'': Throughout Acts III and IV, Hokuto relies on his {{mook}}s, CoDragons Jovian and Jacqueline, and/or his {{Unwitting Pawn}}s (i.e. Kuyou) to fight Tsukune's gang for him or carry out {{Hostage Situation}}s while he either does something to advance his plans along or simply pulls a VillainExitStageLeft; this happens to the extent that Tsukune and co. explicitly call him a DirtyCoward on multiple occasions. He finally fights on his own when Tsukune corners him at Alucard's grave... and even with his RestrainingBolt, he thoroughly ''spanks'' Tsukune. When he decides to go OneWingedAngel, he [[spoiler: actually manages to [[HeroKiller kill Tsukune]], only for a SuperhumanTransfusion from all four Shuzen sisters to revive him as a pureblooded vampire, which directly leads to Hokuto's undoing]].
* In ''Fanfic/TheBridge'', [[spoiler:[[BigBad Bagan]]]] requires vast amounts of energy to leave his realm, though he can influence the outside world in minor ways. In the meantime, his minions gather sources of energy for him to absorb so that he can finally get involved personally.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/KillBill'', evil supervillain assassin kung-fu samurai guy Bill sits in his plush Central-American villa, waiting for The Bride to work her way through his subordinates and seek him out for a personal duel. His only real action was to warn (and possibly bail out) his brother.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': Emperor Palpatine in the Original Trilogy (not so in the prequel trilogy, where he's TheChessmaster playing both sides for his own benefit). But then, he's got an Empire to micromanage and plots to set in motion; he has [[TheDragon Darth Vader]] to do the in-person chasing after of Rebels.
* In ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', [[spoiler:Voldemort]] sits out most of the climatic battle. This is partially justified: Harry has been systematically [[spoiler:destroying his Horcruxes and Voldemort is understandably worried that Harry might succeed in killing him if given the opportunity]]. It still counts because he lets minions pound away at Hogwarts' protective shield to no effect, only to singlehandedly bring it down in a fit of rage. He could have conceivably destroyed the entire castle if he had been so inclined.
* Hades in Disney's ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'' is surprisingly passive. Despite being [[PhysicalGod a god]] with an arsenal of [[KillItWithFire fire based abilities]], he never fights Hercules directly, instead sending out [[HalfHeartedHenchman Pain and Panic]] or some [[MonsterOfTheWeek monster from Greek myth]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that he doesn't want his treacherous nature to be exposed by directly attacking the son of Zeus.
* Mickey in ''Film/KillingThemSoftly'', who does not spend one single iota of effort to pursue the thieves he was specifically ordered to Boston to kill. Unusually, his doing so is not actually a plot hole; [[DeconstructedTrope it's a very deliberate illustration]] [[TropesAreTools of just how far organized crime has fallen.]]
* ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'':
** Thanos shows up in the stinger to ''Film/TheAvengers'' to reveal that he was the unseen backer of Loki's attempt to take over earth, and ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'' shows that he is also behind Ronan the Accuser and is seeking the Infinity Stones. Despite being TheDreaded, at least to those who know of him, he has yet to take any direct action. For bonus trope points, in every scene featuring him in the above films, he's actually sitting on a throne.
** In ''Film/AvengersAgeOfUltron'', [[spoiler: he finally gets off his ass in the Stinger to get the Infinity Stones by himself.]]
--->[[spoiler:'''Thanos''': Fine. I'll do it myself!]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Uhl Belk from ''[[Literature/TheHeritageOfShannara The Druid of Shannara]]'' literally cannot move from where he stands[[note]]Belk can move around when he really wants to- such as when he went to steal the Black Elfstone- but being, after all, the ''Stone'' King, it's against his nature to do so except in dire need[[/note]], but his son slowly pushes the boundaries of the domain every day.
* Galbatorix from the ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' spends a good forty years preoccupied with [[spoiler:his [[SoulJar Eldunarya]], which he has to break and control to use the full power of]]. His unwillingness to fight the Varden directly is lampshaded in the second book, when LaResistance leader Nasuada reflects that "Galbatorix's pride" is the best defense that she has against him. Also it is suggested in the third book that Galbatorix is inactive because of [[spoiler:his obsession to find the name of the [[LanguageOfMagic Ancient Language]] which would grant him near omnipotence.]]
* Creator/JRRTolkien does this with his villains in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', but only towards the ends of their careers -- he had a theme of deliberate VillainDecay and TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget, with smart people with real goals turning to evil but evil itself corrupting them and gradually turning them into cardboard cutouts. Together with this, they start out going out and kicking ass by themselves (e.g. Morgoth fights Tulkas personally at the dawn of time, Sauron comes out to fight Huan in ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'') but eventually becoming throne-bound. Might have to do with how Morgoth got utterly pwned by Tulkas, and Sauron got humiliated by a Glorified Super Dog. Often after one too many of such direct interaction had a painful outcome (e.g. Morgoth after his duel with the elven king Fingolfin, though killing him, was left permanently wounded, Sauron after his defeat/half-death and loss of the Ring in the War of the Last Alliance). As the rhyme says,
-->''One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne\\
In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie.''
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'', Voldemort puts world conquest on the back burner for a year while he tries to get hold of the prophecy. Averted from the end of that book onwards, however: though of course most of the "grunt" work goes through his minions, Voldemort starts kicking ass [[spoiler:after he is revealed to the wizarding world]] and doesn't stop (notably, tracking down and killing a few witches and wizards his Death Eaters might find troublesome, like [[spoiler:Amelia Bones]]). The only times he gets "lazy" are when he's a powerless ghost and when there's a job he has a good reason to avoid doing.
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's novel ''[[Literature/{{Foundation}} Foundation And Empire]]'', it turns out the Galactic Empire has become this, thanks to psychohistory. A strong Emperor cannot allow strong subjects (who will certainly depose him instead). A weak Emperor will be deposed by strong subjects. And, a strong Emperor can't get involved on the galaxy's fringes (where the nascent Foundation is) since civil war will draw him back home.
* In ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', Thresh is probably the best example of this. He's the largest and strongest of all the tributes, but spends most of the Games waiting in a wheat field and living off of the food that he finds there. [[spoiler: But then his district partner Rue dies, which finally forces Thresh to go on the offensive and hunt down the remaining Career tributes.]]
* [[EvilOverlord Supreme Overlord Shimrra]] from the ''Literature/NewJediOrder'' is like this, though it doesn't stop him from playing politics in his court and having an impact on the plot in that matter. [[spoiler:Probably also justified in that [[TheManBehindTheMan Onimi]] couldn't let Shimrra get too far away from him for long without risking his MindControl slipping.]]
* Otha of ''Literature/TheElenium'' is a literal and justified example -- he's a TheCaligula who lives for excess and has been around for millennia (and was never terribly bright on top of that). The end result is that while he's the most powerful sorcerer who's ever lived and TheEmperor of half the continent, he's physically too fat to even stand up and ''has'' to rely on minions if he wants to accomplish anything. Of course, the real main villains of that series are the GodOfEvil who Otha worships and the MagnificentBastard who acts as TheDragon anyway.
* Justified in the ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' and subverted in the sequel series, the ''Mallorean''. Torak, the BigBad of the ''Belgariad'', was critically wounded in the backstory, and literally cannot rise until the appointed time. In the ''Mallorean'', Zandramas keeps ''very'' busy, continually attempting to sabotage the Child of Light's efforts. The heroic B-team even unknowingly runs into her at one point, whereupon they watch her eat one of her rivals for Big Bad status alive.
* [[EvilOverlord The Lord Ruler]] from ''Franchise/{{Mistborn}}'' seems to have a bad case of this, hanging around in his palace and not exerting himself even when his whole capital is going up in flames. [[spoiler:Justified because he's a PhysicalGod so powerful the rebellion was never a threat to him at all - he just wanted to let his minions get mauled for awhile before acting, [[MagnificentBastard to remind them why they needed him]].]]
* Justified and subverted in ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' with the Crimson King. Until Roland and his gunslingers destroy Algul Siento, Randall Flagg is either fleeing the gunslinger or trying to frustrate his plans, but the King does nothing. Then when the King ''does'' get off his throne, it's only to run to the titular Dark Tower, where he is then trapped and can only attempt to frustrate Roland's attempted entry.
* Fulbert from ''Literature/{{Malevil}}'' sits in his fortified manor in La Roque. He tricked the villagers into letting him keep the food and weapons, there isn't much they can do but suffer his abuse and cruelty. For the most part he is content to live a lazy life of post-Apocalypse "decadence" at the expense of others. He also takes no real action against Malevil itself, [[spoiler: until the end when he convinces a rogue military commander who captured La Roque that the castle would make a better base of operations.]]
* In ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'', [=DomDaniel=] spends his day sleeping on a throne on the ''Vengeance'' while Jenna and Boy 412 are stealthily going around on his ship.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novel ''Discworld/{{Sourcery}}'' we learn that Unseen University was more or less created to invoke the trope, because the plural of wizard is war. The university exists to give wizards something to do other than trying to kill each other, or at least ''structure'' the killing to reduce collateral damage. Wizards are forbidden to marry (and are implied to be bound to chastity) because the eighth son of an eighth son is a wizard, but the eighth son of the eighth son of an eighth son is a Sourcerer with access to magic as far beyond wizards as wizards are beyond, say, CMOT Dibbler. Sourcerers eventually fall into Orcus-on-his-throne-itude because reality pretty much reshapes itself around their whims so they don't ''have'' to do anything, and those that aren't killed by their peers wind up just getting bored and going ... elsewhere.
* Creator/LloydAlexander's ''Literature/ChroniclesOfPrydain''. Arawn, despite being the "Death Lord", works primarily through proxies like The Horned King, Morgant, Magg, Achren and Pryderi and leaves Annuvin just once to steal [[spoiler:Dyrnwyn]]. It's [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that Arawn can be killed when he leaves Annuvin and takes a mortal shape, and would rather not risk his own life when he has a horde of deathless Cauldron Born. Arawn is also portrayed as more of a trickster or Old Scratch figure who prefers to get what he wants through manipulation and guile rather than overt shows of force. It's also unclear just how great Arawn's personal power is; it may be quite sensible for him to work through proxies and agents.
* [[GodOfEvil Lord Foul the Despiser]] from the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfThomasCovenant'' almost never leaves his lair (though where exactly said lair ''is'' varies depending on the current sub-series); WordOfGod notes that he does his best work through proxies. Basically, Foul's not the kind of guy who just ''kills'' you, he manipulates events long-term so you end up killing ''yourself'' for him. His chief minions, the three Ravers, on the other hand, are disturbingly good at showing up ''exactly'' when they're least convenient.
* [[TheCaligula High Lord Kalarus]], a major villain in the middle three books of ''Literature/CodexAlera'', develops a bad case of this is book four, ''Captain's Fury'', despite having been a highly active and proactive villain in the previous two volumes. [[spoiler:Completely justified. He survived the fight he got into with Bernard and Amara at the end of the previous volume, but in the process fell from a great height and it was made clear he was no longer in good enough physical shape to be getting out and about under his own power.]]
* ''Literature/EmpireOfTheEast'':
** At first it's more a case of "Orcus Stuck In His Prison Cell", since the demon- [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Orcus himself!]]- was tricked into confinement millenia ago. Then once the BigBad has finally decided to summon him (and discovered that Orcus, rather than just another demon you can force to serve you, is actually [[BiggerBad The Biggest Bad There Is]]), Orcus takes an active role in the final battle of the story, attacking his enemy Ardneh.
** The other BigBad of the series, Emperor John Ominor, is quite happy to remain in his capital for the first two books and let his agents deal with LaResistance. This is quite sensible, however, since Ominor has an entire empire to manage, with rebellions and insurgencies going on in many places at once, with the rebellion in the West not being obviously more serious than any other until the third volume. Once the West has made clear that it is the primary threat to the empire, Ominor takes personal command of the armies fighting the West.
* In the ''Literature/RainbowMagic'' series, most of the time, Jack Frost is content to dispatch his goblins to retrieve or protect the artifacts. It's only when they fail at the tasks repeatedly that he goes to do something himself. This is played for drama in the movie, where the fact that he does this while the snowman army does all the work makes them turn on him.
* Zig-zagged in Michelle West's HighFantasy saga (sub-series ''The Sacred Hunt'', ''Literature/TheSunSword'' and ''The House War''). The overall MythArc is kicked off in the first series with the reveal that Allasakar, local GodOfEvil and BigBad is ''not'' on his throne in the Hells, raising the question "Where is he and what's he up to?" Turns out Allasakar and his demons are gearing up to invade the mortal world. Then played straight in the second series; [[spoiler:Allasakar made it over, but the heroes of the first series managed to frustrate his plans somewhat and weaken his power. He spends most of this series hanging out in his new stronghold in the mortal world, bringing more demons over and playing chessmaster from the shadows without personally involving himself until he knows he's ready.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' in general has {{Big Bad}}s who subscribe to this trope. Sometimes they have a reason for this; other times, however, they're content to sit around and berate their underlings' continual failures until the final five episodes or so.
** Lord Zedd from ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' is one of the most egregious examples of this; he's been shown to be capable of clobbering [[PopularityPower Tommy]] with little effort, but spends most of his time sending ineffective minions after the rangers and yelling at everybody.
** ''Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive'' had Flurious, the smartest and most powerful of the four competing factions of enemies attacking the Rangers that season. After being a major threat in the first three episodes, he spends the next 27 lazying around in his arctic base, letting the other villains do all the work. It isn't until the finale that he swoops in and attempts to make a grab for victory.
** Lothor from ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' is indeed ''very'' powerful, just not quite powerful ''enough'' to carry out his ultimate plan, so he deliberately plays up this trope [[spoiler:and sending monsters and generals to their deaths just to fill up the abyss of evil so he can absorb that power once it overflows.]]
** Justified in the case of Venjix of ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'', a computer virus inhabiting a hard-drive cylinder. Once he builds a robot body, he starts to have a more active role.
** Master Xandred of ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai''. He has a good reason for staying in the lair (he'd dry out and die in minutes if he crossed over to the human world) and he gets more active later, but in the early episodes he didn't even do any scheming; he just spent most of his time saying "Yeah, do whatever; I need some [[FrothyMugsOfWater medicine]] for this freakin' headache."
** ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' has the Ultimate Alliance of Evil, composed of every one of the series villains. All they ever seemed to do was throw parties for themselves. Even Astronoma, who took command of assaulting Earth, played this role. That being said, they shook it off with a vengeance in the series finale, where they launched a coordinated assault on the entire universe. They defeated the Rangers and all their allies very quickly, [[spoiler: and required a DyingMomentOfAwesome from Zordon to lose.]]
** Dark Specter might be the worst example of this in the series. He's portrayed as the UltimateEvil and TheManBehindTheMan for all of the Zordon-era villains (Rita, Zedd, The Machine Empire, Divatox, Astronema, etc.). Sadly, he never once fights the Power Rangers, and he never ''does anything'' other than give orders/make idle threats, and spends the entire season being unknowingly plotted against by his subordinates. In Part 1 of the GrandFinale he's killed by TheStarscream, though to his credit he at least [[TakingYouWithMe takes him down too]].
* This applies to almost half of all the {{Big Bad}}s in ''Franchise/SuperSentai'', ''Franchise/PowerRangers''' parent show; they spend most of their screen time in the show in their throne, sitting like a living furniture, and only get off their asses in the GrandFinale to fight the heroes in giant form.
** ''Operation Overdrive'''s Flurious seems to be in keeping with ''Boukenger'', in which Gajah (the villain Flurious essentially [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute replaced]]) mostly winds up hanging back, only really doing anything of significance after one of the other factions has one of their plans fail, in at least one case using the flaming wreckage of the failed plan as the foundation for his own. And then he turns out to be the BigBad after showing up sporadically.
** You know we said about Master Xandred above? His ''Series/SamuraiSentaiShinkenger'' counterpart, Chimatsuri Dokoku, is the same, only he's not taking medicine - that's ''sake'' and he spends all his time [[DrowningMySorrows drinking himself into a stupor]].
* While ''Franchise/KamenRider'' doesn't do this trope much due to how their villains are structured, they do fall for this trope occasionally, though these reasons are {{justified}}.
** ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'' has the BigBad not do anything while his loyal Horoscopes do the work for him. Justified because he doesn't really care if they live or die, provided that their Switch is intact so that [[spoiler:he can invoke the Dark Nebula]]. Though it's only when it gets close to the end [[spoiler:after he mortally wounds his dragon when he realizes the latter's double life]] that he manages to kick the heroes' asses.
** ''Series/KamenRiderWizard'' subverts this trope. The Wiseman can actually just zap away the mana from Haruto ''on his throne'' (really, it's a stone bed thing but still), ensuring he won't be defeated easily. He still sits on his throne and lets his mooks do the work for him, but [[spoiler:he does do stuff when he's the White Wizard.]]
* Arthur Petrelli from ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' gained practically godlike power in the first few episodes he appeared in. After that he spent most of his time sitting in his base, drawing pretty pictures and sending out his incompetent minions occasionally. You'd think an unkillable guy with power over time and space could be a bit more proactive. Admittedly he thought he already had everything he needed for his master plan, and when he found out that he was lacking the last component of the formula for the SuperSerum he wanted to make... he and the rest of the cast were BroughtDownToNormal that same episode, so he couldn't use his powers to get it.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** The Mayor did precious little villainy, even counting what he delegated to his minions or [[TheDragon Dragon]]; hell, the second Dragon came to ''him'' looking for work. Being a NonActionBigBad limits his options, and by the time the heroes even know he's a villain he's already unkillable and just needs to wait for the time of [[OneWingedAngel Ascension]], but this doesn't explain why he did nothing about the Master or Angelus, given their plans would have severely wrecked his plans.
** Glory was like this in the fifth season. She was powerful enough to kill Buffy easily, but she spent most of the season hanging around her penthouse and sending ineffective minions out to do her work for her. In her defense, she was established as not being mentally all that stable (she needed to [[MindRape eat people's sanity]] on a regular basis just to maintain any sort of coherent thought) and it's implied that [[SharingABody Ben is the dominant of the two beings]] for most of the season, so Glory was ''unable'' to come out to play most of the time. Only by the last few episodes of the season is she able to come out for more than a few hours before her energy was depleted, and she spent that time being much more proactive.
** [[spoiler:The First Evil]] was like this in the seventh season. The entire season is spent warning, warning, warning that eventually an army of uber-vampires will arise to destroy the world, but it never actually happens. Finally, in the last episode... they '''still''' don't arise. Buffy and the potential slayers decide they're simply tired of waiting for them to attack and go attack them instead. In it's case, being MadeOfEvil means it has no physical form, and ''must'' rely on its minions to actually do things.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Roleplay]]
* Even though he is [[BigBad the main antagonist]] in ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'', the titular Godmodder doesn't actually do stuff that often. Usually he either summons entities or blocks attacks.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** [[TropeNamers Orcus]], of course, through most of his history. {{Justified|Trope}}, in that not only is he in an EvilVsEvil war with various other Demon Lords, but also with the Fallen Devils as well. Back in First and Second Edition however he was a real terror; first he died, then he came back from the dead, terrorized the planes, killed a bunch of gods [[CListFodder nobody cares about]], and died again. He hasn't been the same since his second resurrection. In 4th Edition, Orcus is fully statted out for combat in the Monster Manual. Clearly he's gotten a bit more active if he needs epic-level heroes to face him. What's more, he's not only the most powerful monster in that book, but he got himself put on the cover.
** Asmodeus' true form is a serpent the size of a galaxy, so his avatar can't go far from it for long periods of time, and he is enough of a MagnificentBastard that he doesn't have to do much personally to be the most evil and powerful creature in existence. 4e offers another justification for Asmodeus; [[SealedEvilInACan Hell is his prison]] and he can't leave. It's worth noting that he wasn't imprisoned there to protect the mortal world from him, but to protect the other gods from him. He became a god through deicide, and the other gods are scared shitless of him (and potential copycats).
** Orcus' arch rival Demogorgon tends to do the same thing. His excuse is that he considers the wars with devils and other demons a necessary annoyance, and his true interest is researching the nature of the Abyss. For the record? Demogorgon is said canonically to be more powerful than Orcus, and at least in some versions, was the demonic equivalent of Asmodeus himself.
** Justified for Zuggtmoy -- she spends most of the "Temple of Elemental Evil" sitting around because she's magically bound to her throne. If the [=PCs=] smash the binding spells in the course of the adventure, she's perfectly willing to "thank" them in person.
** Many, many Darklords in the ''TableTopGame/{{Ravenloft}}'' setting. The most extreme example is Soth, who spent decades literally just sitting on his throne because he didn't care any more. It has been theorized that the Dark Powers let him escape Ravenloft because he ceased to be of any interest, in contrast to Darklords like Strahd, Drakov, or Azalin whose existence is a constant cycle of YankTheDogsChain.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** Of the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils daemon Primarchs]] only a handful have left their daemonworlds and attacked the Imperium on a regular basis. Mostly because they don't actually give a crap about the Imperium anymore; they have godlike powers and rule entire worlds that are shaped according to their whims, so they have very little reason to leave their homes and go kick some mortals around. [[BloodKnight Angron]], the most active, is a bit different as he exists to kill things, and mortals are more fun to kill than demons (as demons can't truly die). Not to mention it takes an enormous amount of energy to actually summon them to the physical world... and every time poor [[EvilSorceror Magnus the Red]] ventures out, [[RunningGag the Space Wolves stab him in the eye]].
*** This goes double Lorgar and Fulgrim. Every other daemon-primarch assaulted the Imperium at least once. Lorgar has spent the last ten thousand years meditating on the nature of Chaos, while the Word Bearers are ruled by his lieutenants. Fulgrim left his legion shortly after Horus Heresy and even the Emperor's Children can't find him. The Emperor's Children no longer have any kind of unified command structure after that incident with World Eaters, Kharn and a flamethrower.
*** Thanks to TwinSwitch antics, it's ambiguous as to whether Alpharius is alive, whether his twin brother Omegon is alive, or whether they're both alive. Whatever the answer is, they haven't been heard of in ten thousand years.
** The Emperor is effectively sustained by life support on his throne, and has been for ten millennia. He's ''less'' of a villain, [[EvilVersusEvil but this is WH40K we're talking about]].
** [[GodOfEvil The Chaos Gods]], when they aren't stuck in their literally eternal EnemyCivilWar, rely on their [[TheHeartless daemons]] and mortal followers to cause havoc in the Materium. In their case they're just '''so''' powerful that they physically can't manifest in or influence the Materium in any way. Their ultimate goal is to permanently merge the Materium and Immaterium, which would give them free reign over everything.
** Asdrubael Vect, ruler of the Dark Eldar, is an ''in-game example''. His model is a floating open-topped tank, which he's had a throne installed on, and while there are rules for him leaving the vehicle he's very expensive, so doesn't get to go out in person much. In the lore he's TheChessmaster and EvilOverlord, so it's justified that he doesn't get stuck in all that often.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': The Deathlords once unleashed the Great Contagion, a plague that wiped out 90% of all life in Creation. Then they did nothing but plot for millennia. Somewhat justified, in that their [[EldritchAbomination Neverborn]] masters really hate failure and have dolled out some nasty punishments already; if one of them's going to come up with a fiendish plan to destroy Creation, they're going to make damn sure it ''works'' first. Additionally, they all want to be the one to destroy the world themselves, which means they spend a lot of time keeping an eye on each other to make sure no-one else gets the glory. (Some treatments, such as Eye and Seven Despairs, or the Lover have been presented as being more interested in the distractions and satisfactions of existence, and have strayed from the path of seeking Oblivion as anything other than lip service.) This, more than any other reason, is likely why the Neverborn have deliberately set about having the Death Lords unknowingly train their own replacements (that being the Abyssal Exalted).
* ''TabletopGame/CthulhuTech'':
** Hastur. Sure, the Rapine Storm does all of his dirty work, but if a Great Old One - even a weakened one - actually entered the MeleeATrois himself, it would be over very quickly. It's implied that he's actually ''unable'' to leave his domain on the Plateau of Leng, but he's an EldritchAbomination, so it's hard to say for certain.
** Nyarlathotep assumed a human form and runs a MegaCorp which secretly helps almost every cult in the setting. He could probably drive a small country mad all by himself, but for some reason he lets his secret network of cultists do all the heavy lifting.
* ''TabletopGame/InNomine'':
** God and Lucifer come across as this - they might intervene in small ways (i.e., via divine or infernal interventions on certain rolls), but will not appear in person (until Armageddon, maybe).
** The Superiors from both sides, to varying degrees. Yves, Archangel of Destiny, Kronos, Demon Prince of Fate, or [[TheChessmaster Malphas]], Demon Prince of Factions, prefer to work through others.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' reveals that this tends to happen to Liches. Powerful evil spellcasters who have achieved immortality, and thus have all the time in the world to discover even ''more'' powerful magic, along with the additional powers their undead state grants? They should be ruling the world, right? While it's true that many start out with EvilOverlord ambitions, as the centuries pass the concerns of the mortal world matter less and less to them. Lacking the need to eat and sleep, they spend all their time on their research, [[WhoWantsToLiveForever until even that bores them]], and a creeping lethargy sets in. Eventually they may cease to function entirely and become barely sentient (though incredibly powerful) ''demi''liches.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaI'' Ganon doesn't seem very concerned on actually gathering the Triforce pieces, even though the dungeons are full of monsters (who are supposedly his minions).
** Ganondorf in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime''. Sure, Hyrule Castle Town is deserted apart from [=ReDeads=] and the castle is transformed into his evil lair, but the rest is relatively safe from him. He has his minions spreading terror, Zora's Fountain has been frozen solid, but he's just sitting in the castle waiting for Zelda to show up. You'd think he'd go after Link when he starts gathering the PlotCoupons, but no, he doesn't. He makes just one appearance after you take down Phantom Ganon, but that's just to get rid of him in a YouHaveFailedMe moment and taunt Link about how "the real me won't be so easy" before returning to the castle.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' Ganondorf sits around in his Forsaken Fortress, only actively doing something twice in the game ([[spoiler:the destruction of Great Fish Isle and the kidnapping of Zelda]]).
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', once Zant gets HijackedByGanon he just seals himself inside Hyrule Castle and does nothing. Same with Zant after the fourth dungeon (where he appears to revive the boss).
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOracleGames'' General Onox shows up in the beginning, captures [[BarrierMaiden Din]], sinks the Temple of Seasons, then retreats to his Fortress of Doom. It never occurs to him to finish off Link before he gets the PlotCoupons and invades the Fortress. Compare this to Veran in the other game, who is actively trying to build the [[TowerOfDoom Black Tower]] and interacts frequently with Link.
* Bane in ''VideoGame/PuzzleQuest: Challenge of the Warlords''. He actually appears outside of his citadel a few, but despite the fact that the player has already ruined most of his progress, he's pretty lazy at that point.
* Kefka in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI''. After [[AGodAmI becoming a god]], ruining the world and wiping out many cities, he doesn't exactly do much afterwards, at least nothing the player is made aware of. It is implied by talking to [=NPCs=] though that Kefka spent the year Celes was in a coma randomly firing the [[DeathFromAbove Light of Judgment]] at anyone who irritated him, just because he could. Then the Returners stormed his tower and he decided pissing on the ashes of the world wasn't fun anymore. There's also the theory that he was so bored for that year he actively waited for the heroes to band back together and fight them one last time because really, when you become an all-powered God of Magic who rules a dead world, what else is there to do but smack down anyone who opposes your rule?
* In ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', Chaos does remarkably little for being the God of Discord and the BigBad of, possibly, the entire series. Sure, he [[spoiler:nukes Cosmos]] that one time, but aside from that one moment, he spends the game doing an impressive SlouchOfVillainy on his throne until someone finally shows up to fight him. [[spoiler:It's mostly because the endless repeating cycles of his war with Cosmos have burned him out to the point that he just doesn't ''care'' any more. He is slowly driven to self-destruction, to wipe out both sides of the conflict permanently]]. In the end, Chaos and his army are defeated from the inside out, through entropy. Which is perfectly in his nature.
* ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'':
** Bowser's tendency to wait around doing nothing while Mario comes for him is {{lampshaded}} in the ''VideoGame/PaperMario'' games, where his minions are shown to do things like host game shows and go on field trips to while away the boring hours of sitting around being evil.
** Justified in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioSunshine'', where Bowser is on vacation and his son is the one causing all the trouble. When Mario finally catches up to him, he's lounging in a giant hot tub.
** Bowser Jr. seems to put his dad to shame in the active villain department. Whereas his pop practically invented the practice of game villains sitting in their castles waiting for the hero, Junior is constantly wreaking havoc throughout the course of the game. This happens in ''VideoGame/NewSuperMarioBrosWii'' as well: Junior shows up to taunt you at the end of each level and occasionally attacks in his airship. Meanwhile, Bowser doesn't appear in the game at all until the very last stage.
** Smithy, BigBad of ''VideoGame/SuperMarioRPG'', is never seen until the confrontation at the end of the game. That said, since it's implied that he ''personally forges every member of his mechanical EvilArmy by hand'', it could be argued that he's a little busy.
* Subverted in the older computer RPG ''VideoGame/UltimaVII'', where the Big Bad plays mind games with the player ''before the player generates his character and enters the gameworld''. Within the gameworld, you're never quite certain either, as the Big Bad (named the "Guardian") continues to try to [[MindScrew Mind Fuck]] the player - sometimes by helping the player with hints, sometimes by misleading the player with those same hints. [[spoiler:The player's ultimate goal in ''VII'' is to prevent the Guardian from entering the gameworld and Ending The World As We Know It - this is not revealed to the player until near the end of the game.]]
* Every ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' villain strategy, starting with Dr. Wily, has been "wait for Mega Man to fight his way to each Robot Master who themselves are waiting for him in a airlocked room, beat them, go through one more level and possibly fight all the copies of the Robot Masters in a row before fighting the main villain of that game. The implication, of course, is that Wily is controlling his various Robot Masters to take over the world. When Mega Man inevitably defeats them, he barricades himself in his massive, well-defended fortress, hoping it will be enough to keep the Blue Bomber away. Through the magic of video game protagonist determinism, it never is.
* In the first ''VideoGame/MortalKombat'' game, Shang Tsung is a literal example; he doesn't get off his throne, which he watches much of the tournament from, until the player defeats Goro. BigBad Shao Kahn in much the same way in subsequent games, only getting involved in the FinalBattle, and not doing much except watching until then, and he seems to have ''quite a few'' places to do so (there are several arenas where he's in the background). Ironically, ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', where Raiden's altering of the timeline changed the events, Shang Tsung is a lot more active in the Story Mode where the first tournament is concerned. ''Goro'', on the other hand, has his own throne in the arena named after him, and doesn't do much except watch the other people fight. (Of course, you could probably rationalize that he's sizing everyone up via observation, seeing as he's the one who fights the winner.)
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', nearly every villain is found within their lair, or in some cases prison. From Onyxia in her lair, to the Lich King on his Frozen Throne, Illidan in his Black Temple. Justified with the Lich King, who, although this is debated and flip-flopped endlessly, is struggling with the two souls inside his own head, and one of them is actively holding him back. Though [[spoiler:he also reveals that even though he could have crushed the party the second they entered Northrend, he ''intentionally'' let them survive and carve their way to his thone room, where he would one-shot the raid party and raise them as his newest undead minions once they actually got to him since they obviously proved themselves to be strong.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'':
** Dracula seems to be waiting in his throne room in most games. He'd have a much better chance if he were to attack the intruding Belmont the instant they enter the Castle, with his Bosses helping out. It's not like Belmonts use stealth. Given a possible explanation hilariously in [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vrze-nKw9zQ this parody video]], where Dracula doesn't have any time to get out of his throne room after he wakes.
** Dracula was also like this in the ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow Lords of Shadow]]'' series. According to lore found in game, the massive army[[note]]''500,000'' strong[[/note]] seen at the beginning of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2'' had apparently been besieging his castle for ''months'', but Dracula never bothered to join the battle until they finally breached his throne room. [[spoiler: This is because, unlike the Dracula from the classic Castlevania games, This Dracula is a TragicHero[=/=]FallenHero who had long since [[DespairEventHorizon given up on the world]]. Being nigh unkillable, he didn't give a rat's ass what the Brotherhood of Light was up to, and the only reason he entered the fray at the end was [[ThenLetMeBeEvil to humor them.]]]]
** Justified by Brauner in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaPortraitOfRuin'', as sealing himself in a painting behind a protective barrier allows him to create more "masterpieces" with which to exact his revenge and ensures that no meddling vampire hunters or reapers can reach him. In fact, his downfall is a direct result of his daughters getting impatient and deciding to take the fight to the heroes.
* Happens in ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain: Soul Reaver'', where Raziel goes through dungeons to kill his brothers. Although a couple are trapped and can't move most seem to know he's coming and can't be bothered to seek him out. Kain on the other hand avoids him only to manipulate. Dumah takes it the most literally, partly because he's the only one left with enough humanity to actually be able to ''sit'', and partly because he's nailed down to it when you find him. Zephon is fused with the wall and literally cannot move from his "throne room". Rahab can only move underwater and is extremely vulnerable to sunlight, while Raziel cannot enter the waters, and mostly roams well-enough lit areas, for Rahab to be uncomfortable tracking him down. As for Melchiah... it is possible he hadn't known for long enough, since Raziel had showed up quite recently.
* [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen Zeal]] in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''. Once the [[UnderwaterBase Ocean Palace]] has risen and been reconstructed as the [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Black Omen]], in the year 12,000 BC, she has a direct line to Lavos (which he apparently tolerates) which grant her and the Omen an eternal existence. Even if you visit in [[CrapsackWorld 2300 AD]], centuries [[AfterTheEnd after Lavos brought about the end]] [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt of the world]], she has never actually done anything with her vast powers and it's evident she never will. Random {{NPC}}s in previous eras will just comment on how pretty and shiny that malevolent [[OminousFloatingCastle floating castle]] with the ominous [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast name]] looks in the morning sun, implying that Zeal [[TakeOverTheWorld doesn't even bother]] ''[[TakeOverTheWorld ruling]]'' [[TakeOverTheWorld the world]]. Then again, if you try to enter the Black Omen in 2300 AD, it's clear that Queen Zeal has lost her mind and doesn't have enough sanity left to actually ''do'' anything with the power at her command other than admire the wreckage.
* In ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'', [[MasterComputer FATE]] has already succeeded in opening the seal to the [[McGuffin Frozen Flame]] using Serge's body, and she can control the mind of every single inhabitant of El Nido via the Records of Fate. What reason could she possibly have to let Serge and [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters his small army]] infiltrate Chronopolis, other than brag to them in person about erasing Prometheus? And for an almighty, otherdimensional creature of GaiasVengeance that has [[OmnicidalManiac vowed immediate annihilation upon humanity]], the Dragon God seems pretty content just chilling atop [[OminousFloatingCastle Terra Tower]], keeping an eye on the Frozen Flame, and waiting for the heroes to arrive.
* The vast majority of villains that aren't SealedEvilInACan are like this in the ''VideoGame/WarioLand'' series, with Captain Syrup in the first game being seen to do absolutely nothing other than sitting in the throne room before the final battle (although averted in the second, where she's a RecurringBoss). The Black Jewel in ''VideoGame/WarioWorld'' just lays dormant in a treasure chest until the final battle, and The Shake King in ''VideoGame/WarioLandShakeIt'', after taking over the world, [[MalevolentMugshot putting his face on everything]] and capturing the princess, just sits on his throne waiting for Wario to enter, in complete darkness. Although in that case, the time out penalty is Wario being warped to his boss arena, so it may not be completely unjustified.
* Kagan in ''VideoGame/BloodRayne 2'' plays this straight almost to the complete description. In earlier years he was a Nazi commander who got his hands dirty in field work until a booby-trapped MacGuffin blew up in his face (not quite a defeat, nor facing a superior enemy). In the game he's occasionally shown in cutscenes, surveying his domain and getting surly with the help, but is only encountered near his throne.
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock'': Being an AI, SHODAN might not have the option of hunting you down and murdering you personally, but that doesn't stop her screwing with your head with taunts and threats as she sends her minions to destroy you. She does mess with doors and other remote-controllable equipment when she can, though.
* Every final end boss of the ''[[VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins Ghouls 'n Ghosts]]'' series, especially Lucifer, who doesn't even get off his throne when actually fighting.
* In ''Lords of Midnight'', based on ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', the BigBad Doomdark patiently waiting in his fortress HQ for the good guys to arrive and fight him.
* Played straight for a large majority of bosses in ''Franchise/FireEmblem''. They basically just sit there as you wipe out their minions. Although sitting on thrones gives them a large boost in their stats - they can dodge better, tank better, and thrones even '''heal''' them - this makes defeating them much easier due to their very limited range (in fact, some such enemies don't even have a ranged attack, so by doing nothing but sitting on the thrones you can easily pick them off from a distance).
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Shadow Dragon]]'' justifies it in the case of the BigBad Medeus: his resurrection is not yet fully complete, and as a result he is physically incapable of leaving his castle.
** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Path of Radiance]]'' Ashnard never actively interacts with the heroes before the final battle. You later find out he has a very good reason for this: he's a SocialDarwinist BloodKnight who wants to see if the heroes are worth his time before fighting them himself.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfMightAndMagic'':
** The Demon Sovereign in ''V''. Justified in that he's been imprisoned in the last war and needs his Demon Lords to do the job. His primary goal in this game and ''VideoGame/DarkMessiah'' is to free himself from the metaphorical Throne [[spoiler:and in two of the endings of the latter he succeeds]]. Other villains in the game also tend to do this after reaching their primary goals.
** Markal, after taking over the Griffin Empire. Justified by being caught up in the war with demons trying to capture Isabel. And he does launch a massive invasion of the Sylvan Elves' homeland [[spoiler:lead by his newly vampirized [[TheDragon Dragon]] Nicholai]].
* The various evil villains in ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' don't seem to do very much between quests, and the bosses like the King Black Dragon pretty much just sit around and wait for the players to try and kill them. Extra credit goes to the vampyre Lord Drakan of Morytania, whose Throne-bound behavior is so extreme that it inspires [[spoiler:his own sister to arm LaResistance with her own race's KryptoniteFactor and have an interesting conflict]] rather than put up with it anymore. To be fair, no one has seen him for centuries and we only have [[spoiler:Vanescula]]'s word for it, who it is strongly implied is not giving the player the whole story.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonGatesToInfinity'', where [[spoiler: Kyurem]] goes to deal with the hero personally after his followers fail to do the job.
* Draak, the BigBad of the PC adventure game ''VideoGame/{{Darkstone}}'', is like this. It's somewhat {{justified|Trope}} in his case, as he's so corrupt he doesn't have a chance of collecting the MacGuffin pieces the player character is seeking. All he can really do is send out his hordes of evil and hope that they sufficiently screw things up for the Pure of Heart. In one of the randomly-generated quests, he actually does put in an appearance (in human form, as opposed to his usual dragon body), but all he does is make some snarky comments and threats before wandering off and letting a minion fight for him.
* The Illusive Man in the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' universe does most of his villainy/[[WellIntentionedExtremist Well Intentioned Extremism]] from [[CoolChair his chair]], but it's acceptable, since he's a leader, not a soldier. Plus, if you had an office as awesome as his, you'd never want to leave either. In the book ''Literature/MassEffectRetribution'', the Illusive Man does personally supervise a project... which promptly gets ambushed by a whole army of turians. His escape confirms our hypothesis about his combat skills, as, though he ''can'' fight, he's hardly end boss material.
* Played with in ''VideoGame/EvilGenius''. While the player (as the titular CardCarryingVillain) can send his minions out into the world to commit various acts of camp villainy, most of your time is spent maintaining the evil base. And once they obtain enough loot to keep their minion's loyalty up, the player's avatar will probably spend all their time skulking in their sanctum out of the way of wandering assassins. There's also how every enemy agent will be gunning for your PlayerCharacter, so the best bet is to put him deep in the belly of the lair. At most, you can have him [[YouHaveFailedMe execute a random minion]] for a quick stats boost of all those nearby.
* Xemnas in ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts358DaysOver2'' spends the entire game sitting on his throne and making vague proclamations as to the aims of the organization. This a a particularly fun example, because ''Days'' has you playing as one of the minions that Xemnas does his dirty work through. It works for Xemnas, since his entire aim is to absorb a Kingdom Hearts strengthened by the hearts released by Heartless destroyed by Keyblades. There's nothing he can personally do to aid that goal, so sending his minions to die in battle also helps--less to share.
* [[TheEmpire The Order]] from ''VideoGame/{{Strife}}'' is utterly apathetic to the point of absurdity. When your mercenary hero isn't runing around the town with an arsenal of obviously illegal weaponry, he's sneaking into the Order's facilities to wreak havoc and murder guards ''en masse'' - and yet the Order never bothers to as much as send a bunch of assassins after him, and the {{mooks}} encountered around town still treat you like any other citizen. The Order's high-ups basically just sit on their asses and wait patiently until the hero arrives to kill them. The only point in the game where they actually take action is if you accidentally destroy the "power tap" [[LaResistance The Front]] uses to hide themselves from The Order's scanners - a bunch of {{mooks}} will then pop up at the doorstep of the Front's secret base, supposedly a "scanning crew" (who nevertheless are unable to detect a bustling base which is just behind a secret door in a next room).
* ActionRPG ''VideoGame/MetalWalker'' reveals the final boss, and the source of the island's problems, is [[spoiler:a supercomputer]], justifying why the Metal Masters are sent out in [[spoiler:its]] stead. [[spoiler:Supercomputers ''can't walk''.]]
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** Subverted in in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' by Witherfang, who is found in the inner sanctum of its own turf, but [[spoiler:couldn't be called 'evil' even while she was bound by a curse]].
** Mother in ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]'' never leaves her heavily secured chambers; even while her most crucial agents are dying in the field, all she can do is throw tantrums. This chamber is naturally where the FinalBattle takes place. Justified for her at least as she doesn't appear to be physically capable of leaving said lair.
** Also subverted by the Arishok in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', who just looks like he's been lounging in the same spot with the rest of his qunari for years, [[spoiler:but was rather searching for the relic Isabela stole from them and keeping as much as he can in line with the Qun while trying not to let the chaos, weakness, corruption and strife of Kirkwall get to him.]] When he gets off that chair, a DuelBoss ensues.
* ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear X2: Overture'': Zepp's current leader just sends Potemkin to do some errands most of the time. Justified in that this is Potemkin we're talking about: He can handle it.
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'': Rachel spends most of her time teleporting around, "observing" (she's canonically one of the most powerful beings in the game, and is referred to as Princess by her subordinates). However, her "observations" can sometimes help people, and she actually does fight the big bad (though there is implications that she shouldn't be doing so).
* Deconstructed in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment''. The BigBad spends the entire game attacking you through pawns and intermediaries and killing off anyone who's been in contact with you, but will never face you personally until you crash into its lair and confront it yourself. People you talk with (such as Coaxmetal) explicitly describe this as the BigBad's FatalFlaw, and in the end you even figure out why -- [[spoiler:the BigBad is ''afraid of you'', and wants to avoid you at all costs because of what you two meeting will entail for you both.]]
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'':
** Darth Nihilus in [[VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublicIITheSithLords the second game]]. You hear from everyone that this guy's dangerous, eats planets, is hunger personified, etc. He comes out of hiding ''once'' and is a 30-second BossBattle once you catch up to him. He has a very good reason for avoiding you[[note]]The same reason as his boss battle being so short: the hole in the Force that you are is the Kryptonite to his Force-draining hunger.[[/note]], but he doesn't know that.
** Malak in first game is not quite as bad, but he clearly prefers to send agents after you than pursue you himself. Granted, he is in midst of managing a massive interstellar war against the Galactic Republic, so it's not as though he has nothing else to do. Also, you do confront him once in person before the end of the game, but that's somewhat inadvertent: you have already been captured by Admiral Karath and are in the midst of escaping when he arrives; he does not seek you out. Nevertheless, considering that he knows that you and Bastila are by far the biggest threats to him and his ultimate victory, and that he knows, or should know, exactly where you are going on your quest, it is more than a little strange that he does not bother coming after you personally when he knows that you are still relatively weak.
* In both ''Lightning Warrior Raidy'' games, every boss and mid-boss is far too busy raping and fornicating with their prisoners to go stop the protagonist rampaging through the dungeon. On the other hand, the floor design is made so that Raidy has to come to them anyway, so it all works out.
* Escaton of ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic VIII'' spends the entire game sitting on his throne waiting for the Elementals to reach the Ravenshore Crystal (which would cause TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt). Justified by him not keeping an eye on the mortal realm and [[spoiler:not ''wanting'' to complete his plan]]. It is also implied that ''not'' sitting on the throne, or at least remaining in the Plane between Planes could weaken the spell. Since he doesn't actually have any ''agents'' in the other planes (the Elementals are being influenced towards a specific course of action), that means he can't really do anything until you get to him.
* In the first two ''[[VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon FEAR]]'' games, Alma was an active threat, either directly hindering the player or killing his allies, or even directly attacking him at certain points. In the third game, however, she is [[spoiler: pregnant with her third child]] and can't do much more than randomly appear in the form of ghostly apparitions. On the other hand, her influence is still very strongly felt, considering she's a RealityWarper whose mere presence has driven most of the people in the city insane, and her [[spoiler: birth contractions]] are powerful enough to knock down skyscrapers.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 4}}'''s Spartan Ops co-op campaign, Covenant remnant leader Jul 'Mdama is never seen in combat, despite the fact that as a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Elite]], he likely [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority earned his rank through his personal asskicking abilities]].
* ''VideoGame/RadiantHistoria'': Queen Protea does absolutely nothing of note, lounging in luxury while her city falls to pieces and a rebellion brews right under her nose. [[spoiler:This is an intentional move by her [[DragonWithAnAgenda retainers]], [[CoDragons Dias and Selvan]]; as long as they ostensibly do anything she says and keep up her illusion of power, they can persue their own agendas freely.]]
* Nicely Subverted in ''VideoGame/RealmOfTheMadGod''. [[BigBad Oryx]] spends most of the game bragging about the power of his boss minions from afar. When you kill all of said bosses, however, he summons you to fight your way through his castle, after which you fight him in a showdown.
* The Syndicate in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird''. They take a proactive role in the story exactly twice: once in the beginning, when they give the Saints a reason to come after them, and once at the beginning of Act II, when they blow something up and frame the Saints for it. Otherwise, they spend the entire story sitting on their butts, waiting for the Saints to show up and start trouble, and never striking back or trying to reclaim what they lost.
* [[BigBad Mundus]] in ''VideoGame/DMCDevilMayCry''. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], as his ImmortalityInducer is in his throne room. Most of the game is spent trying to get him [[VillainousBreakdown mad enough to forget this.]]
* Double subverted in ''VideoGame/VampireNight'' when [[BigBad Auguste]] was about to stand up and face Albert and Michel, only to be stopped by his lover Diane.
* {{Defied|Trope}} in ''[[VideoGame/GargoylesQuest Demon's Crest]]'', in which as soon as you clear the first level, you have the option to storm [[BigBad Phalanx]]'s castle and catch him off guard. If you keep putting it off, on the other hand, he'll have more time to prepare himself and his traps, in addition to figuring out how his crest works.
* Laodecia does little to drive the plot in ''VideoGame/ShinSuperRobotWars''. Lu Cain and his grunts drive the plot in the Earth Route, with Master Asia and the Devil Gundam interfering here and there. Char Aznable drives the Space Route plot until he is defeated. When Laodecia steps up to fight the Londo Bell in the Space Route, it turns out the Zyflud has the most HP of any of the bosses on that route and can put a hurting on the [[CombiningMecha SRX]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Ristar}}'' has Greedy the Tyrant, who you don't see until the final battle, and even then he sits on his throne and sends minions at you at first.
* King Kenji of Infernal Tokyo sits alone in the Reactor Chamber of the JGSDF's Camp Ichigaya in ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV''. It's a JustifiedTrope - he's so depressed and bloodthirsty he willingly has himself locked down there so his bloodlust won't kick in, letting the citizens above carry on their business.
* Melac, one of the bosses in ''VideoGame/AzureStrikerGunvolt'', never even bothers to get up from his throne, even during his boss fight. It is [[JustifiedTrope justified]], however, by the fact that he's a psychic with the power to create wormholes at will and that his fancy chair also doubles as [[{{Mecha}} floating combat robot.]]
* Played with in ''Videogame/StarControl II'', with both the [[BigBad Kzer-Za]] and [[BiggerBad Kohr-Ah]]. There really isn't ''much'' reason to enter their spheres of control (other than a small incursion for one crucial quest), so for the majority of the game there will be zero contact with either of them. And although they are directly responsible for the entire premise of the game and pretty much everything about its setting, they do not directly influence ''any'' of the action during much of the game itself. On the other hand, this is mainly because the Kzer-Za and Kohr-Ah are busy ''[[EnemyCivilWar fighting each other]]''. [[spoiler:Once that fight is over, however, the Kohr-Ah will suddenly become extremely active, triggering the TickingClock to GameOver.]]
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'':
** Literature/BabaYaga, the main antagonist of ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryI'' spends the entire game, and even the backstory, [[{{Pun}} cooped up]] inside her chicken-legged hut. She never performed any villainy to provoke the Baron into trying to get rid of her, and relayed her curse on the Baron and his family through the commander of the troops sent to drive her out of the valley. She herself never acts against the Hero, either. The first time the Hero encounters her, she turns him into her personal errand boy... and that's it.
** The Brigand Leader spends [[spoiler:her]] entire time in the back office of the brigands' fortified lair in the south of the valley, preferring to act via minions such as the Warlock. It's not until the Hero actually makes his way through the fortress for the final confrontation that it's revealed [[spoiler:that the Brigand Leader is actually a BrainwashedAndCrazy Elsa von Spielberg.]]
** In ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryII'', BigBad Ad Avis is TheManBehindTheMan, ruling Raseir in secret through the Emir, with most of his dirty work being done through either the Emir, his own minions such as Khaveen, or the Elementals he sends to attack Shapeir. It's not until the Hero arrives in Raseir (after the Hero tips off his presence by saving one of said pawns being punished [[YouHaveFailedMe for displeasing him]]) that Ad Avis takes an active hand in the events of the game.
** The Demon Wizard in ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIII'' hides out in the Lost City in Tarna, and directs events either through subordinates, or via possession, and doesn't confront the Hero until he attacks the gate between realms.
** In ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'' the Dark One, Avoozl, has no choice but to sit around and wait for things to happen, [[spoiler:seeing as he's trapped partially summoned and imprisoned in the Cave of the Dark One]]. BigBad ([[AntiVillain sorta]]) [[spoiler:Katrina]] spends most of [[spoiler:her]] time in Castle Borgov, periodically venturing out only to [[TheChessmaster manipulate the Hero]] into retrieving the rituals necessary to free the Dark One. [[spoiler:Katrina]] only directly interferes after the Hero rescues [[spoiler:Tanya]], and during the EndGame.
** ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryV''. All of the events are being orchestrated by [[spoiler:Minos]], who spends most of his time relaxing on his private island while supporting [[spoiler:Elsa]]'s bid for the throne of Silmaria, and using [[spoiler:Bruno]] to first assassinate the previous King, then take out the other competitors and Rakeesh, and finally begin the process of breaking the pillars to release the Dragon of Doom. He shows up periodically in council, but otherwise, the Hero only encounters him when he goes to rescue Elsa ([[spoiler:at which point Minos commits suicide to bring his plans to fruition and unleash the Dragon]]).
* The Lord of the Dead in ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow''. His throne has become part of him, so he can't move around any more. He's further bound to his throne by shackles and chains.
* Justified in the original trilogy of the ''VideoGame/DragonQuest'' series. It's implied that the villain of the first game, the Dragonlord, has all but won and probably isn't aware that someone is seeking out the armor and sword that can help kill him, so he has no reason to leave his base at Charlock Castle. Likewise in ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIII'', Zoma has already ''won'' and there are no threats left to go out and eliminate. Baramos from the same game might be a straightforward example, although it turns out that he himself had been delegated by Zoma.
* The title character of ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys'', Freddy Fazbear, is the least active of the murderous animatronic characters, content to stand on stage. [[spoiler:Then night 4 and 5 come around. Freddy wasn't being lazy. He was analyzing your strategy. And that's when he joins the fray.]]
* The [=DomZ=] in ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil'' are content to sit back and let LaResistance go about their goal of instigating a popular uprising, with the [=DomZ=] Priest not even making an appearance until just before the penultimate boss. In their case [[spoiler:this is exactly what they wanted, as it was a BatmanGambit to trap all their foes at once.]]
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife'':
** In ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' the Nihilanth doesn't do anything against Gordon directly until he's literally right in front of it. In its case, directing an interdimensional invasion ''and'' personally keeping open the rift its forces are using with its mind means it's far too busy to bother with one person, regardless of [[OneManArmy how many of its soldiers he kills]].
** In ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' Breen is an odd case, as while he does just sit in his office until Gordon arrives being a NonActionBigBad means he can't really do much else, and he's much more proactive than most examples; it's repeatedly made clear that until Nova Prospekt all the Combine soldiers Gordon fights are either targeting him personally or targeting LaResistance outposts in an attempt to find him. The Combine Advisors play this completely straight, as they don't even wake up until their home is about to get blown up. They get off their thrones (or stasis pods, in this case) by the time of ''Episode Two'', and they waste no time in getting down to business.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Ilya from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight''. Her Berserker is the strongest of the servants currently participating in the Holy Grail War and she's an extremely powerful magus on top of it -- but besides her first appearance in which she almost effortlessly subdues both Shirou and Rin combined, she never takes another offensive action afterwards, in any of the three routes, despite how that she could probably flatten all the other participants [[spoiler:except for Kotomine and Gilgamesh]]. This is probably because [[spoiler:she is the vessel for the Holy Grail, which takes over her body when it activates, so she has no reason to even try.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}!'', Khrima is frequently shown waiting like this. Sometimes he gets impatient when Karn's out LevelGrinding instead of advancing the plot, and wishes he'd brought a Game Boy or something. He's occasionally shown researching lasers or [[VillainsOutShopping playing Scrabble]] or something. Subverting this forms the basis of a short arc: Khrima says he's tired of waiting for the heroes to do stuff, and along with one of his lieutenants, decides to go steal a mini-CosmicKeystone to use as a water cooler.
* ''Webcomic/TheWotch''. Melleck Xaos pretty much subscribes to this philosophy. When he does bother doing anything, it's usually to banter with his minions or [[TheHeartless create some new Fallen]]. The few times he ''does'' get involved in a fight he usually [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown stomps a mudhole in his enemies]]. Furthermore, it's revealed early in the story that one of Xaos' few limitations is that [[spoiler:he can't escape the dimension he rules due to a powerful curse. He spends most of his time either sending his minions to "test" the Wotch or hunting down the artifacts that will allow him to circumvent his imprisonment.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** When Xykon is first introduced he appears to be this, sitting down in his lair waiting for the heroes to arrive (and watching them on his crystal ball, with picture-in-picture for when the party gets split up). However, after his defeat, he becomes a ''much'' more proactive villain. But then he goes back to warming the seat on his throne (in a manner of speaking; he's a bone-cold lich) after [[spoiler:conquering Azure City]]. He explicitly states that even crafting magical items takes up only 8 hours of his day, and, for lack of anything else to do, he has taken to offbeat torture of his prisoner, forcing gladiatorial sport on his slaves, and has developed a liking for [[Series/AmericanGladiators Zombie Gladiators]]. Xykon stated in StartOfDarkness that, with the immortality of lichdom, time is on his side, and he can afford to dilly-dally as much as he wants.
** Nale sees his father Tarquin as an example of this and resents him for it. He doesn't understand why his father is content to spend his dwindling days in the lap of luxury when he has the resources and skill to conquer the world and rule it forever. Although from Tarquin's point of view, it's entirely reasonable, as he's a very active Chessmaster [[spoiler:who is actually constantly expanding and reinforcing his empire though an elaborate continent-wide campaign of manipulation.]]
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' the Dimension of Pain demons were a recurring threat for several years, had their own BSideComics for a while, and became major antagonists during the "That Which Redeems" storyline. Yet the Demon King, the guy who's in charge of the dimension and bosses [[TheDragon Horribus]] around barely appears, and actually seems barely interested in or even aware of the demons' actions. That is until Torg [[http://sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/041201 interrupts him on the toilet]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** The [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Black Queen]] doesn't really do much except sit on her throne and make [[TheDragon Jack Noir]] wear silly outfits. [[spoiler:Subverted later on, as Jack completely shakes the game up as soon as he kills her and takes her power and has shown no signs of stopping]]. It is implied that the Royalty in Sburb are limited in what they can do till certain conditions are met as it is part of a "game". Jack in the B1 universe and DD and the Condesce in the B2 universe demonstrate just how broken the game can be if the royals start acting GenreSavvy.
** Subverted with [[BigBad Lord English]], who doesn't enter the story until fairly late in the comic, but not because he's just sitting around. [[spoiler:He has to prepare everything so that he can even enter the universe in the first place and has been manipulating nearly everyone since the very beginning to do so. When he finally ''does'' make his presence known he [[TheJuggernaut more]] [[ImplacableMan than]] [[EldritchAbomination makes up]] for sitting around.]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' has Lord Tedd, an evil alternate-dimensional version of one of the main characters who hasn't made any significant actions since his introduction (although it is later learned that he did [[spoiler:create the Goo Monster that the first story arc was centered around]]).
* Emperor Kreedor from ''Webcomic/DubiousCompany'' is this both literally and UpToEleven. Throughout the story he has personally done NOTHING to carry out his evil plans, instead relying on his elite squad of goons to carry out his goals. In the meantime, the only things Kreedor can be counted on to do are issue orders, yell at his minions, and call out every so often for whatever bit of pampering he wants to undergo next. Even gaining immense, world-threatening godlike powers has done nothing to convince him to actually get off his throne and actually ''do'' something.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Fire-Human, from the ''Machinima/WaterHuman'' series, spends the entire series sitting on his throne and playing UsefulNotes/NintendoDS games. When TheHero is captured and delivered to his fortress, he just sends the captors away because he's too busy playing, and never realizes whom they brought.
* After WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic succeeds in taking over Molossia in ''WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'', he spends all of his time watching ''Series/HogansHeroes'' instead of actually running the country [[spoiler:though not before wiring up the entire place to explode in case of "nasty-wasties"]].
* In the ''Literature/MetamorKeep'' storyverse, Nasoj is quite content to just bide his time instead of making another attempt to destroy the keep and conquer the midlands. However, zig-zagged in that there is one arc dedicated to him assaulting the keep.
* In Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos, half the time Slendy just stands there. [[DependingOnTheWriter It varies.]] However, most of the time, after a certain point, whenever he actually ''shows up,'' either it's going to be a WhamEpisode, [[DecoyProtagonist it'll take out the current protagonist]], or just end the story outright.
* The godmodder in ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'' has a tendency to not do very much other than occasionally brainwashing and summoning new minions. Until he gets pissed off, then he goes on a rampage and obliterates the battlefield.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Shego does this during her stint as [[EvilOverlord The Supreme One]] during ''[[TheMovie A Sitch in Time]]''.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': Fire Lord Ozai filled out this trope to a tee for two and a half seasons. "You must defeat the Fire Lord before he takes over the world" was the mantra. In the last season he makes up for it, however. WordOfGod comments that he was designed this way from the start, saying the first villain they designed for the show was Ozai and that they imagined him "leading from the comfort of his own throne" up until the end.
* Subverted in the first season of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' with Amon, who was ''extremely'' active with his equality plans.
* Prince Phobos of ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}''. This becomes a plot point in the second season finale- [[spoiler:the Guardians are trying to lure him to a place that will rob his powers if he enters, but he throws a wrench in that plan by simply being too lazy- or as [[NobleDemon Raythar]] puts it, "doesn't want to muss his hair"- to leave his throne room until his forces are victorious.]]
* Van Kleiss of ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'', though with [[JustifiedTrope good reason:]] his powers only work if he is in contact with his native soil of Abysus. Most of his plans involve him trying to avert this somehow, with varying degrees of success. As long as his powers are active (or he has some plan in the background that will ''get'' his powers active), he's perfectly willing to leave home to fight the good guys directly. After Van Kleiss [[spoiler:got a new powerset that doesn't tie him to Abysuss]], he became quite the MobileMenace, helped out by how one of his minions has [[TeleportersAndTransporters impressive teleportation powers]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/PacManAndTheGhostlyAdventures'', [[BigBad Betrayus]] is this. Losing his body and being reduced to SealedEvilInACan seems [[BrilliantButLazy to have made him really lazy]]. Despite having powerful PlayingWithFire abilities, he just sits on his throne watching his minions on TV. He says it's his ''job'' to do so! The fact that he's ''[[DirtyCoward terrified]]'' of the thought of Pac eating him and spitting out his eyeballs helps.
* Mr. Selatcia of ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'' is notorious for always ordering his secret tribunal to wait and observe Dethklok without interfering... despite how the tribunal's stated purpose is to get rid of Dethklok. Eventually this annoys two of his underlings so much that they begin secretly attempting to murder the band. When Selatica finds out, he is [[YouHaveFailedMe VERY unhappy]]. Selatica's plans require Dethklok to be alive, and the real reason he's leading the tribunal is to ''prevent them'' from carrying out their mission.
* The [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Queen of the Crowns]] in ''[[WesternAnimation/AdventuresOfTheGalaxyRangers Galaxy Rangers]]'' rarely leaves her well-appointed palaces, instead making use of [[PoweredByAForsakenChild Slaverlords]], paid mercenaries, and {{Mooks}} to do much of the heavy lifting. Justified by the fact that she ''does'' have an Empire to run and that her palaces have the necessary equipment to mash her enemies down for LifeEnergy. Why waste time going to them when you can trick your enemies into coming to you?
* ComicBook/{{Darkseid}} in the Franchise/{{DCAU}} is a bit more active than his comics counterpart, but he's still pretty passive for an evil alien tyrant. This is justified in that after his first attack on Earth it was under the protection of New Genesis. The final episode of ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Unlimited'' has Darkseid coming back from the dead and so angry that he's decided being passive is for wimps. He immediately decides to invade Earth, and when an aide reminds him that New Genesis will retaliate, Darkseid tells him that's where he's going next after he's done turning Earth into rubble.
* Zordrak of ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' is a gargantuan EldritchAbomination who could probably trample the Land Of Dreams under his foot, let alone with any of his dark spells (such as the power to place his spirit into another being). For some reason however his duties rarely exceed sitting on his throne and chewing out his [[HarmlessVillain far less fearsome mooks]], the Urpneys, who he instead charges with the duty of stealing the title MacGuffin the large majority of the time. There was at least one case when his throne was equipped with a jet engine; he {{Curb Stomp|Battle}}ed the good guys, they [[SummonBiggerFish Summoned a Bigger Fish]] - an entire living planet - the two engaged in a BeamOWar, which Zordak was winning... then the good guys pulled the plug on that engine.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' episode "Triple Takeover", Blitzwing makes a football stadium his new headquarters and has the Constructicons build a giant highway maze around it. He then gets the Autobots' attention by firing into the city. He then waits in the stadium for the Autobots to come to him, occasionally sending the Constructicons into the maze to deal with them. By the time they finally reach him, [[VictoryByEndurance they're exhausted and injured]], and he casually tramples them and [[AtopAMountainOfCorpses makes a throne from their bodies]].
* Lord Darkar in ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' is initially active, nearly killing Aisha and freeing the Trix, but he then spends the rest of the time scheming in his castle and operating through minions.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'''s premiere for its third season portrays King Sombra in this way during the flashback to his [[TheDarkTimes oppressive rule]] over the Crystal Empire. This case is more [[JustifiedTrope justified]] than most considering his ZeroPercentApprovalRating; all of his subjects are kept enslaved by him and his BlackMagic, with no army of {{mook}}s to shoulder the grunt work for him.
* Mumm-Ra, in the original ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats'', rarely leaves his citadel, except when powered up into Mumm-Ra the Everliving, and even then he can't bear to spend much time away from it. Justified when it turns out that the "Ancient Spirits of Evil" are either bound by unbreakable arcane laws or else major-league {{jerkass}}es; they will grant the power that Mumm-Ra uses to become Mumm-Ra the Everliving to ''anyone'' who stands in the mystical chamber and invokes them in the proper manner. As proven when ''[[SmallAnnoyingCreature Snarf]]'' does so and becomes "Snarf-Ra the Everliving". Also, Mumm-Ra cannot survive outside of his coffin for more than 24 hours.
* General Mudula fills this role in ''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan'', sending monsters and mooks after the protagonists but not bothering to go after them personally. However it's quite justified since he's too busy managing his new empire and crushing rebellions to be bothered to chase after three measly enemies, regardless of how important they are.
* ''WesternAnimation/BarbieInAMermaidTale2'' has Eris in the finale--though it's justified in that she ''has'' to stay on the throne or she won't gain the power to spin merillia.
* During the second season of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', Megatron could have left the underground base of operations he'd set up any time he wanted, and there was no one on Earth who could stand in his way. But Earth didn't interest him, nor did going out of his way to kick around a lowly Autobot repair crew. In fact, Megatron stayed in not because he was taking it easy, but because he had a project in the works that he intended to use to bypass Cybertron's defenses, and it kept him too busy to go out.
* Justified in ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack''; Jack's sword is the only thing that can kill Aku, so he mostly hides in his lair and sends minions out to do his dirty work, and he only ever attacks Jack personally if Aku has some advantage he's sure will let him win.
* WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget's foe Dr. Claw is the ''embodiment'' of this. The closest Gadget ''ever'' got to a face-to-face confrontation was the opening sequence of the show (and even then, it was a booby trap left by the villain). Other than that, Claw didn't seem to leave his dark control room or his fancy limousine for even a minute, where he directed the actions of his minions remotely, keeping the good guys - and the viewers - from even seeing his face.
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