TV Tropes Needs Your Help
View Kickstarter Project
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here
and discuss here
"18. I will not have a son. Although his laughably under-planned attempt to usurp power would easily fail, it would provide a fatal distraction at a crucial point in time."
The male offspring (or Nephew
) of the bad guy
Their personality can vary a lot from sniveling wannabe
who pushes his familial connections
, a kid
who idolizes his dad and is more mischievous than truly evil, a carbon copy of their dad
, a spoiled Royal Brat
, or a selfish scumbag who would kill his own dad to seize power
. Could even be a "Well Done, Son!" Guy
Why are they so evil? Is it In the Blood
, do bad guys just make lousy parents, or are they only loyal to their father
Often the one who seeks to avenge the villain
and sometimes they'll come out of nowhere with no prior hint to their existence. Though it's not uncommon for them to show no concern whatsoever
for the death of their parent.
A Sister Trope
to Daddy's Little Villain
(the Distaff Counterpart
Differs from Mad Dictator's Handsome Son
in that they almost never change sides and are often truly evil. Contrast Evil Parents Want Good Kids
, where the son's evil may mark them as an Inadequate Inheritor
to the father.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Pride in Fullmetal Alchemist. Somewhat of a subversion since he's actually over three centuries old, but he still sees himself as his father's loyal child.
- Code Geass. Schneizel fills this role, pitted against his exiled and rebellious half-brother Lelouch.
- Helmeppo, son of Axe hand Morgan in One Piece. He's a sniveling jerk who does whatever he likes as his dad controls the town. He eventually realizes his dad doesn't care about him, and manages to do a Heel-Face Turn.
- Prince Lotor/Sinclaine, son of the villlain Zarkon/Daibazaal in Voltron/Go Lion goes under the greedy scumbag who hates his dad.
- Freeza's son Kuriza in Neko Majin Z is a parody of this. Freeza himself was one to King Cold, with the twist that the son is the primary villain and we never even hear about his father until after Freeza's defeat. Cold retrieves and upgrades Freeza's body, only for them both to be curb-stomped by Future Trunks the minute they set foot on Earth. Just to rub salt in the wound, Goku would have teleported to Earth and done the exact same thing if Trunks hadn't shown up.
- Also, the Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z started off as "Ma Junior", son of Demon King Piccolo in Dragon Ball. Though technically he's more of a reincarnation.
- Garlic Jr also counts, even though we never see Garlic Sr except for one flashback.
- Ukyo of Samurai 7 starts out as the spoiled son of the wealthy merchant who owns the city to which our heroes come to recruit samurai to protect the village. Strange appearance, gentle voice, Royal Brat tendencies when not immediately satisfied. Lives a sybaritic lifestyle with a large kidnapped (but not unwilling) harem and is immune to repercussions for anything he does—until Kikuchiyo slices his car in half, provoking a meltdown and revenge for his first time feeling physically threatened. Or something. It's not for the car, anyway.
- And then he turns out to be running a Evil Plan with assassinations and things to edge his father out and take over. And otherwise to have a mind and ambition.
- And then he turns out to be adopted. Specifically, to be one of the Emperor's many clone-children, whom he scattered across the kingdom among peasants and merchants to see if that would produce a worthy heir, since all the ones he raised at court were judged idiots. Ukyou, who was originally seeded into a village and clawed his way up, undergoes a lengthy test of his leadership abilities where he basically proves that he's a Magnificent Bastard. Emperor is very pleased and declares Ukyou his heir instead of killing him. Ukyou, naturally, murders daddy dearest that night. Thus, Emperor Ukyou becomes the final Big Bad after having been an early distraction kind of threat.
- So basically, he's this twice, and Starscreams them both.
- Gihren Zabi of Mobile Suit Gundam is his father Degwin's Evil Chancellor, Dragon-in-Chief, and eventually, Starscream.
- Flattop Jr in Dick Tracy.
- Mongul in the DCU is the son of the original Mongul. He is also far, far, FAR worse; if his father was a Blood Knight douchebag with some genuine Magnificent Bastard moments, his son is an arrogant, manipulative, and depraved monster who kickstarted his career by punching his own sister's head off, and from there displayed some of the most consistently disgusting behavior short of Darkseid or Vandal Savage that the DCU has seen in a long time. Of course, he eventually fucks with Sinestro and meets some much-needed karmic retribution.
- Ezekiel Stane is the come out of nowhere variety. He took revenge on Iron Man for his father's death 20 years prior (real time).
- Harry Osborn is the "Well Done, Son!" Guy variety combined with a boatload of drugs and the mistaken belief that Spider-Man killed his dad.
- Victor Von Fogg from PS238.
- Baron Helmut Zemo, the son of Baron Heinrich Zemo.
- In a sort of odd reversal, in the 1990's New Gods series, Yuga Khan popped up outta nowhere. "Yuga Khan?" Um, yeah. He's Darkseid's father. He's so horrifically badass, Darkseid basically hid in the basement when Daddy returned, until the latter managed to get himself imprisoned on the Source Wall. Again. It sort of makes Darkseid an Overlord jr. by means of retcon. Never heard from again, of course.
- The Awesome Slapstick had Dr. Denton, Destroyer of Worlds, a five-year-old genius who built a giant robotic teddy bear. It's never shown if his parents were also Mad Scientists, but he does get chided for building robots indoors.
- The Amulet graphic novels give us Prince Trellis, whose dad clearly hated him from the day he was born, giving him a name like that. Said father is the evil elf king who's been despoiling the world for years since a huge magical power-up drove him insane, and he does not give a damn about his child. Faint shades of Royal Brat at first, mostly huge inferiority complex.
- Trellis really wants to please his father, but his morals are increasingly a problem, until after being informed his father has approved killing him if he keeps giving trouble, he turns traitor to help the main characters do a heroic thing. They do not actually notice that he did this, so the second book ends with Trellis completely alone on a hill, watching the heroes' house walk away.
- Worth noting that these elves are sort of greyish with nasty sharp pointy teeth, and Trellis is about three times as human-looking by the end of his Heel-Face Turn as he was early in the first book.
- Sin City gives us the Yellow Bastard, the heir to the Roark crime/political family, who is appropriately enough named Junior.
- Scott Evil and Mini-me to Dr Evil in Austin Powers.
- Chris D'Amico (Red Mist) in Kick-Ass.
- The most famous aversion of all comes in The Empire Strikes Back:
Vader: "Luke, you have not yet realized your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me, and I will complete your training. And with our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict, and bring order to the galaxy... Luke, you can destroy The Emperor! He has foreseen this! It is your destiny! Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son."
- Dune has House Harkonnen this way. Headed by Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, human life is of little consequence to the Baron or his nephews, the brutish Glossu Rabban and Harkonnen's heir Feyd-Rautha.
- Ironically, it's the Baron's grandson and granddaughter (whose relation to him was hidden, and who are also the children of his arch-enemy, who he tried to kill) and later great-grandson who actually become overlords, although the first is a subversion, the second is possessed, and the third is a Necessarily Evil Dark Messiah.
- Mordaunt, son of Milady (a rare example of the Overlord Jr. being the son of a female villain) in the sequels to The Three Musketeers.
- In Brilliance of the Moon, the third Tales of the Otori book, one of the main villians is Iida Nariaki, the nephew of Iida Sadamu, the Big Bad from the first book.
- Klitch of the Redwall book Salamandastron has an argumentative but mutually-admiring relationship with his father Ferahgo, the Knife Nut warlord. When Ferahgo thinks Klitch had plotted to kill him, he reacts with a distinct "better luck next time" vibe.
- Draco Malfoy of Harry Potter has elements of this, though it turns out he's more like The Dragon Jr., and while he never does a Heel-Face Turn, by the climax of the sixth book he's learned he's just not cut out to be truly evil, either, and his position is mostly as Harry's Rival and the books' Alpha Bitch / Jerkass for all occasions.
- Kalarus Brencis Minoris in Codex Alera manages to be a snivelling wannabe, a spoiled brat, a selfish scumbag, and a "Well Done, Son!" Guy all at once. His dad is shown to be abusive, but how well Brencis Jr. took to the bigotry, sexism, and pleasure in casual sadism, murder, and rape that his father taught him kills any hint of this being a Freudian Excuse.
- In the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, Antorell, the son of head wizard Zemenar, isn't actually a kid, but is still something of a Harmless Villain who wants to impress his father but doesn't ever really pose a credible threat to main characters unless he has other wizards with him.
- In The Chathrand Voyages, the Shaggat Ness has twin sons, Pithor and Erthalon, who are every bit as insane, idolize him and work hard to support his rule and later return (despite his habit of setting their clothes on fire while they're asleep). While the Shaggat is an Ax-Crazy maniac, however, the sons are more just weird, especially Erthalon, who thinks he's destined to be king of a colony of monkeys on a remote islandnote . Yeah.
- Haplo of The Death Gate Cycle essentially starts out as this (yeah, he's not Lord Xar's biological son, but the two consistently frame their relationship as surrogate father/surrogate son and are about as close as an Evil Overlord and his Dragon can be), and Haplo does all he can to lay the groundwork across the multiverse for Xar's coming rule. However, as Haplo's Character Development gradually kicks in across the series, he begins to realize that maybe Xar is no longer the good lord Haplo believed him to be; following his Heel-Face Turn, Haplo becomes Xar's enemy (albeit with much regret on both sides) though in the end Haplo willingly offers his life to Xar to prove that he still believes in him, and that Xar's other adviser Sang-drax- a demonic entity in humanoid form- is their mutual enemy. Yeah, Haplo has a complicated relationship with his adopted father, and by extension this trope.
- A Song of Ice and Fire. Ramsay Bolton is the bastard son of the evil Roose Bolton. Roose raped Ramsay's mother, then took him as his heir after Ramsay had Roose's trueborn son murdered. Roose is annoyed by Ramsay's overt evil and lectures him about keeping his sadistic hobbies on the down-low, like Roose does.
- The Ballad of the White Horse has Harold, Guthrum's nephew. Unlike most other examples, he's stupid enough to be The Brute and thus the first member of the Four Bad Band to die - in fact, the only named character to die before Book Six.
- The War of the Flowers: Lord Nidrus Hellebore, the architect of the plot to unleash Old Night into the mortal world, has a son named Anton who takes after his father in terms of evil, if not necessarily ambition. Born to a life of idle luxury and raised by an Evil Sorcerer, Anton becomes a sadistic hedonist who takes glee in torturing Hellebore's enemies, including the daughter of his ally, who betrays him out of love for the protagonist.
- Thrax, son of Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd from Power Rangers Operation Overdrive. He seeks to avenge his parents' magic-induced Heel-Face Turn at the end of Space.
- Subverted, more or less, with King Mondo's eldest son Prince Gasket from Power Rangers Zeo. He aspired to be The Starscream, but then fled like a coward when his very angry father confronted him.
- Smallville's Lex Luthor was apparently raised to be the "resents his father" variant, complete with multiple references to Alexander and other great conquerors. Although at first he was too nice, he later goes totally off the deep end and becomes the feared character we always knew he could be.
- Even if you don't feel Uther is especially evil, Arthur from the BBC's Merlin qualifies completely. Bit of a "Well Done, Son!" Guy, extremely loyal to his father, although he increasingly questions his most hardline policies, particularly on magic. (Which is logical, because Uther's stance on that particular matter is heavily irrational.)
- Stargate SG-1: Klorel, son of Apophis. Since the Goa'uld are a race of Explosive Breeders and Puppeteer Parasites with Genetic Memory and several more layers of Bizarre Alien Biology, including Klorel having a "human" brother named Shifu... Well, it is too bad the character was Put In A Jar Through A Gate.
- Howlyn, the Big Bad of season 5 of Earth: Final Conflict, is an Atavus who ruled prehistoric Earth millions of years ago, when his kind were forced into hybernation by a meter shower. His son Yulyn wants nothing to do with Howlyn and refuses to kill to feed. He wants to return the Atavus to their homeworld, where they don't need to do that.
- Olies Gil from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger is the son of the Zangyack Emperor, who has yet to be seen onscreen, but he's the one who orders the attack on Earth. Of course, the "damned pirates" are always in his way, so it's just a matter of time now until Daddy shows up to see why his son hasn't conquered Earth yet...
- Episode 37 confirms that his Dragon was effectively his babysitter, and that he was aware of this the entire time. He pulls out all the stops against the Gokaiger, but is killed in the following episode. Enter one very annoyed Overlord Senior.
- John Ross Ewing III, in The Revival of Dallas. Considering who his father is, it should come as no surprise.
- Herbert von Krolock in Tanz Der Vampire, who not only acts as The Dragon to his father, but whom Word of God states is personally responsible for Alfred's nightmare during the "Carpe Noctem" dance sequence.
- Dungeons & Dragons example; while this hasn't been confirmed, it has been suggested that Demon Lord Graz'zt is this to Archdevil and God of Evil Asmodeus. Whether he's the rebellious (but still evil) son, or secretly still working for his father, is also up to speculation.
- Lixer is a much better example, since he is confirmed to actually be Asmodeus' son and is far more competent (if slightly weaker personally) than Graz'zt could ever hope to be.
- Joseph Prosek II note in Rifts is this to his father Karl, Emperor-For-Life of the Coaltion States. Surprisingly, while he is arguably even more evil than his father, he is also a completely loyal, loving son, content to serve as Minister of Propaganda while patiently waiting for his father to step down. Karl is equally devoted to his son, and both stand side-by-side in their iron fist in a velvet glove rule.
- Dr Wily has a son in Mega Man Battle Network, Regal, that also took up villainy. Regal's MUCH worse than Wily is, hands down. Wily actually did a Heel-Face Turn to stop him, out of sheer horror at Regal's misdeeds.
- Rico Jr., son of the demon lord Rico Sr., in Dokapon Kingdom. He has traits of the Royal Brat, Enfante Terrible, and carbon copy of his dad.
- Several Examples in Fire Emblem... In Blazing Sword there's the sniveling Erik, son of the greedy Darin. There are a ton in Genealogy of the Holy War, specially Scorpio towards his long dead father Andrei.
- Subverted with Danan's younger sons Johan and Johalva, since they're more of anti villains and one of them can be spirited to the hero's side by Larcei, the girl they both have crushes on. Their also anti villainous older brother Burian is a subversion - he fights for familiar honor rather than Danan himself, and as he dies he says he's fought for the wrong side.
- Even more subverted with Julius who manages to strip his father Arvis out of all his authority.
- Boy!Morgan in the Future Past DLC maps of Fire Emblem Awakening. Not in the normal story, however, where he's a rather sweet Momma's Boy instead. It's, however, averted with any other boys fathered by the Avatar and by the Avatar himself if he gets possessed by Evil God Grima (his loyalites don't lie with his very evil father Validar, but with Grima itself)
- Ogura from The Legendary Starfy has multiple sons as bosses. The mom question is avoided as he created them magically.
- Allen O'Neil Jr., son of Allen O'neil in Metal Slug Advance. He's basically a weaker version of his father and even has the same maniacal laugh.
- The Witch Boy of Overlord II is the son of the Evil Overlord of the former Overlord. However he never plays sidekick to his father since the original Overlord ended up stuck in hell after he takes it over at the end of his adventure.
- Rufus Shinra in Final Fantasy VII. His dad tried to Take Over the World with money, once he gets done in by the game's Big Bad, the son vows to do the same but with fear instead.
- Cesare Borgia, son of Pope Alexander VI in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, though he's for the most part the Dragon-in-Chief.
- In the second Robopon game, it's revealed Dr. Zero, the first game's Big Bad, is this.
- In Star Fox, Andross' nephew Andrew is this. In Star Fox Assault, Andrew pilots a giant robot that fights in a similar way to Andross, prompting Falco to say, "What's this, an Andross wanna-be?"
- Sektor is revealed to be one of these in Mortal Kombat 9. He's the son of the Lin Kuei Grand Master, willingly gets transformed into a cyborg in both timelines, and in the original timeline, he kills his father and becomes the Grand Master himself. However, in plotline terms, this is for all of about five minutes, as Sub-Zero has taken that title from him and incapacitated him by the time of Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance.
- The Super Mario Bros. series has Bowser Jr., who looks a lot like his dad, admires him greatly, and is more of a mischievous troublemaker.
- Bowser had the Koopalings, six other sons (and one daughter) who are also chips off the old block, though they were later retconned into being siblings, but not his kids. Ludwig in particular was generally treated as Bowser's heir before the introduction of Bowser Jr.
- Ash from Galerians.
- Poppy Bros. Jr. is this to Poppy Bros. Sr. in Kirby's Pinball Land
- In Girl Genius Gilgamesh Wulfenbach, the heir of Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, current dominating super-power in Europe. When we meet him he has some experience, fenced and has a Lightning Gun in development, but didn't even stash a Death Ray or two. Later when left to his own devices he became more impressive, though fully met the Baron's high standards only by defeating a mechanized army. Single-handedly.
- When they were preparing to fight off a horde of slaver wasps, Agatha didn't believe him until he'd insisted several times in a loud voice he didn't have any weapons hidden in his lab that she just hadn't been able to find.
: What kind of an Evil Overlord
are you going to be
- Notably, Klaus conquered Europe to save it from itself, and Gil is still the leading Romantic Interest of the protagonist, and is almost ridiculously nice for someone in his position, although still very badass when he needs to be.
- However, Agatha's fashion clank (don't ask) provides an alternate interpretation and wardrobe as a more typical "spoiled, cowardly son of a great man", complete with Overlord Jr. stock lines:
- The Fourth is about Lord Tiberius Skärva the Fourth, latest in a long line of ineffective Adventure Game overlords. He kind of resents being compared to his father though (whose ghost keeps showing up to criticize him).
- It seems that Nale of The Order of the Stick played this role to Tarquin when he was younger. However, by the time the comic begins, Nale has already tried and failed to overthrow his father and has fled into exile, now bent on killing his estranged Good Twin Elan in order to prove his villainous credentials. Later on, Tarquin tries to bring him back into the fold, but he resists and ultimately goads his father into killing him.
- Jobe Wilkins, of the Whateley Universe. Son of Emperor Wilkins (aka supervillain Gizmatic), the ruler of Karedonia. Jobe is a Royal Brat, and a brilliant (if sociopathic) Mad Scientist even though he is only fourteen. If he isn't destroying opponents with hideous bio-warfare inventions, he is destroying opponents with martial arts expertise. His father's only regret is that Jobe prefers biological inventing instead of mechanical inventing.
- In chargesdotcomdotbr Tonin series, Vilano's youngest son decided to show his willingness to follow his deceased father's footsteps by forsaking his original name and renaming himself "Vilano Segundo" (Vilano the Second).
- Senor Senior, Jr.: son of Senor Senior, Sr. from Kim Possible. He's a lazy young model who isn't too interested in villainy, but will grudgingly lend a hand to his dad in taking over the world.
- However, he has been shown to have inherited some of his father's diabolical nature. At one point, he turned his father in... for billions of dollars in reward money. This would enable him to bail his dad out and rebuild the family fortune which they had been scammed out of.
- Jose Von Reichter in Cyber Six. He's just as much of a nasty piece of work as his old man, though he seems to eschew his father's overt Nazi ideology in favour of being a horny little freak.
- Zuko of Avatar: The Last Airbender should have been this, but he couldn't measure up, so his little sister fills the role instead. He did seem to become this for a while, when he thinks he finally gained his father's respect, but when his father plans to commit genocide on the Earth Kingdom, Zuko makes a full Heel-Face Turn.
- Subverted with Tarrlok and Amon in The Legend of Korra. As children, neither of them wanted to follow Yakone's dream of ruling Republic City and taking out the Avatar, but they ended up attempting to do so anyways, albeit with different motives
- In the animated television series to Disney's The Little Mermaid, there's an episode involving a stingray-merman (who is evil) training his young son to be evil (even singing a whole Villain Song about it). The little stingray boy is conflicted between pleasing his dad and being himself.
- Lloyd Garmadon from Ninjago.
- As of season 2 of Young Justice, Kaldur has become this to his father, Black Manta. It's actually subverted, he was good all along.
- Pete Jr. in the Donald Duck cartoon "Bellboy Donald" is a Bratty Half-Pint, with a copy of his father's personality. In his newer form from Goof Troop this is inverted with him being completely different from his dad in almost every conceivable way (except his appearance which became closer), fearful and resentful of him, and an entirely sympathetic character.