The inevitable problem with making everything you do into a Big Event is hitting a plateau of excessiveness. This is done to maintain a sense of urgency or, more likely, shock value via PlotLeveling.

The problem occurs when the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction super-weapons]] have to go from killing thousands to millions to ''billions''. Or the [[JokerImmunity crazy villain]] hits the artistic plateau of sin and, from then on, just becomes a mass murderer. There's also the good chance the writers will use the opportunity to pick some ThrowAwayCountry to be the place where millions die, but that number is so huge that it becomes almost impossible to relate to, and the heroes' reactions just don't seem like enough. This runs counter to the {{superhero}}ing idea that ''any'' number of people getting hurt is wrong; this makes the main characters seem ineffectual and induces apathy in the readers.

This also creates a paradox in ComicBookTime, where huge numbers of deaths have to start being overlooked to make ''any'' reaction credible.

The natural antidote to this is to use something ''other'' than people being StuffedIntoTheFridge to convince the audience of the importance of the story.

May also happen at the top end of the SortingAlgorithmOfEvil. Leads to a condition where TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed. Related to AMillionIsAStatistic.


* In the Creator/DCComics series ''ComicBook/FiftyTwo'', the entire population of Biyala (one of Franchise/TheDCU's {{Qurac}}s) is killed in a single issue. Despite the horrified reactions of characters at the time, this had never been mentioned before (since ''52'' was a prequel), and the few times it was brought up again, it was "Dangit! Some people died!" rather than being a horrible, culture-breaking genocide.
* First, ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'' went up against a terrorist organization with the numbers and power to attack three major cities in the course of a few days. Then, they took on an enemy that had conquered an alternate reality Earth and turned an entire country into a rape camp. Then they took on ''God''. Then...
* Over at Creator/MarvelComics, meanwhile, the killer robot Ultron has wiped at least one entire country (of the {{Ruritania}} variety) off the map.
* Sinestro. With an army of Yellow Lanterns behind him. Plus Superboy Prime. Plus Hank Henshaw, who ''also'' has Superman's powers (and [[{{Immortality}} can't die]] [[DeathSeeker no matter how much he wants to]]). Plus '''the motherfucking [[spoiler:Anti-Monitor]].''' After the Sinestro Corps War, what the hell can be considered a threat to the [[GreenLantern Green Lanterns]]? Satan? God? [[MemeticBadass BATMAN!?]]
** Well, judging from the previews, it looks like the next big threat is the Sinestro Corps, plus two ''other'' equally evil Corps based off of Rage and Greed, and just to top it all off, [[spoiler:an army of zombies with power rings drawing power from the Anti-Monitor's corpse]]. So yeah, that threat can be topped.
* [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Dark Ranger]] struggles with this. For a time, Dark Ranger was constantly having to upgrade his gear to compete with the increasingly dangerous supervillains he was facing.

* ''Fanfic/FairyDanceOfDeath'': By design, for any good game. As the players progress through the World Tree, each new level presents a more difficult challenge than the last. In some cases, such as the 25th gateway boss, the DifficultySpike is lethal.

* The season finales of the new ''Series/DoctorWho'' tend to play with this rule. Sometimes it's just the Doctor's life at stake, while other times the whole universe is threatened. The {{Big Bad}}s for each story arc and what they threaten are as follows:
** The Daleks (Earth)
** The Daleks + Cybermen (Earth)
** The Master (Earth and the Galaxy)
** Davros (all of creation)
** The Time Lords (all of creation)
** The Silence (the Doctor's life + all of creation as an unforeseen side-effect)
** The Great Intelligence (the Doctor's life + all of creation)
** The Master again (Earth)
* Pretty much ditto for ''Series/{{Buffy the Vampire Slayer}}''. Season one: The Master, a vampire lord. Season 2, Angleus, a possibly more vicious vampire, if not powerful, and, of course, a more personal threat, seeing as it was Buffy boyfriend having a {{Face Heel Turn}} that Buffy herself was partly responsible for. Season 3, the Mayor, a century old sorcerer who can't be injured or killed, and is a VillainWithGoodPublicity. Season four was Adam, a demon/human/cyborg hybrid that was so strong, it took [[spoiler: tapping into the primal forces of the Slayer]] to defeat him. Season five was Glorificus, a hell-god capable of destroying all reality. To top this, Buffy went with the "personal enemy" again, this time being her best friend, Willow, taking the FaceHeelTurn. In season seven, Buffy fought the personfication of all evil. Now in season eight, she has to deal with Twilight, a powerful... something that can easily beat her physically, and who has a massive cult behind him. Plus the United States military and the [[{{Hero With Bad Publicity}} general public]] are against her. Oh, and a couple of rogue Slayers.

* ''Roleplay/SayakaQuest'': Skadi. A triple-Witch spawned from a natural 100 on the difficulty role and the second most powerful Witch fought to date.

* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has experienced this a fair few times. The relentless doom 'n' gloom of the setting starts getting tricky for Games Workshop to top. They constantly use "most world-shattering event in the history of humanity" type-language in order to make it look like this is really the big one; the gamers just shrug and go "yeah whatever, we've seen it all before". The 5th Edition re-boot attempted to get past this by saying "no seriously guys, everything's screwed". The fans were, by and large, not taken in. StatusQuoIsGod after all.
* Averted for ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy'', where TheBadGuyWins actually happened... just in time for the new game, ''TabletopGame/WarhammerAgeOfSigmar''.

* The first four ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' generations followed this pattern. Team Rocket of Generations I and II were a pretty standard organized crime syndicate. In Generation III, Team Magma and Team Aqua sought to use Hoenn's legendary Pokémon to expand the land or sea respectively, risking widespread destruction worldwide. Then in Generation IV, Team Galactic's leader sought to reshape the universe to his will with legendary Pokémon that can warp time or space.
** Zig-zagged in subsequent Generations. The scheme of Generation V's Team Plasma was mostly limited to impacting Unova, Generation VI's Team Flare secretly sought to wipe out almost all life on the planet, and Generation VII had [[spoiler: Lusamine recklessly unleashing Ultra Beasts all over Alola]] or [[spoiler: Necrozma stealing Alola's light.]]

* The DCAU version of the Joker may be an exception, although this was largely mitigated by what broadcast standards allowed the show. Joker's plans tended to focus on his original trademark convoluted plots of many different types, everything from selling poisoned fish to just messing with someone's life, rather than outright murdering anyone in cold blood -- thus explaining the rarity of his trademark non-wacky pistol. Nonetheless the direct-to-video ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' [[WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyondReturnOfTheJoker movie]] saw fit to censor a few disturbing bits.
** Ironically, his ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' version points out that this trope is why [[spoiler:he doesn't want Batman to die; while he's around,]] the Joker can continue to threaten hundreds, if not thousands, of lives at once, instead of becoming the one-off petty crook he was before.