->''"So of course Aquaman's worst enemy is a guy with underwater powers, because if Aquaman's worst enemy had, say, highway overpass powers it wouldn't be much of a show. 'Doctor Turnpike has snarled traffic again? What am I supposed to do, tell a couple giant squid to crawl to Ohio and stop him? Call me if there's a tidal wave or something. I'm good with tidal waves. Did you know that the Japanese call them 'tsunami'?'''
-->-- '''Lore Sjoberg''', ''[[http://www.bookofratings.com/legionofdoom.html The Book of Ratings]]''

It's our hero, the Egregious Trope-Man! [[LuckilyMyPowersWillProtectMe With his amazing trope-related powers]], he always saves the day!

But oh no! Here comes the Legion of Evil: [[MorallyAmbiguousDoctorate Dr von Trope]], [[KickTheDog The Dog Kicker]], TheChessmaster, {{Superdick|ery}}, [[{{Macekre}} Mr. Macekre]] (''and'' his [[{{Bowdlerise}} Brotherhood of Bowdlerization]]), [[{{Jerkass}} Sir Jerkass]], and the [[VillainSue villainous]] MarySue! Together they'll bring about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt...

Wait, you mean ''all'' his villains have trope-related powers? What's up with that!? Where are all the bank robbers, {{mutants}}, [[TimeTravel time travelers]] and [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot magical alien robot monkeys]]?

Yes, it seems that for the vast majority of heroes, many if not all of their opponents will share the same powers, backgrounds and personalities as our heroes. {{Super Speed}}sters will face other speedsters, [[PsychicPowers Psychics]] will fight psychics, [[DoAnythingRobot Robots]] will battle robots, and {{Badass Normal}}s will fight other badass normals.

Deeper than that, villains will often have similar motivations and personalities to the hero as well. A light-hearted, jokey hero will get lots of equally light-hearted villains to [[YouFightLikeACow exchange insults with]], while a dark, angsty hero will get a RoguesGallery of emo villains to have dark, nihilistic discussions with mid-battle. A hero with an animal theme will end up being constantly annoyed by animal themed villains, while an [[ElementalPowers Elemental]] hero will always find bad-guys with [[ElementalRockPaperScissors comparable elemental themes]].

Even when characters are ''known'' to live in a shared continuity such as the TheDCU or MarvelUniverse, villain types will rarely leak from one comic to another - ''SpiderMan'' rarely finds himself up against the PoweredArmor villains ''IronMan'' faces on a daily basis. Of course, a shared continuity makes this much easier to justify, too. SpiderMan isn't going against the powered armor villains because IronMan has it handled, that's why.

There are a number of reasons for this trope:
* If someone wants to read about giant robots or motorbike-riding badasses, that's probably the kind of thing that interests them, so more of the same is always welcome.
* It might be easier to work with WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief if the character doesn't have a hundred different sub-genres wedging in their own mythology. This is based on what Blake Snyder would call "the rule of Double Mumbo Jumbo," meaning that an audience will accept only one type of magic in a movie. For example, you can't have aliens and vampires in the same movie.
* It's difficult to write plausible stories for a character with [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway more gimmicky powers]]. A FlyingBrick is effective against a range of adversaries, while if your only power is psychically controlling cupcakes, you'll more likely than not find yourself facing a range of fearsome baking-related foes.
* If your hero is not all that powerful, putting them up against a galaxy-eating EldritchAbomination is going to end in tears - "[[ComicBook/FantasticFour Galactus]] would kill CaptainAmerica." Mismatches like that are just asking for trouble.[[note]]Fun fact: In "What if The Avengers Became Pawns of Korvac" Captain America found himself in the classic Ultimate Nullifier standoff against Galactus. Unlike Reed Richards however, Cap pulled the trigger, erasing them both from existence.[[/note]]
** The reverse is also true as powerful heroes fighting guys below their weight class does not play well into drama: {{Superman}} versus purse snatchers is sort of humiliating for everyone involved.
*** The RoguesGalleryTransplant frequently ties into this trope as a result. Sometimes, when a villain is created for a particular hero's RoguesGallery, it eventually becomes clear that he's better suited for another hero.

In story, this can be [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in a number of ways:
* There is only one basic type of enemy around, or only one type of superpowers exists in this universe (though subtypes are possible). This only holds for a stand-alone series - crossovers with other comics make this justification untenable.
** {{Devilman}} fought demons, simply because Demons were the only real threat.
* The Hero's job is to fight that type of enemy. Other enemies fall under other jurisdictions.
** The BRPD from ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'' fights supernatural threats, because that is the BRPD's purpose.
* The Hero may be obligated to fight one type of enemy for some reason.
** WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom only fights ghosts, because it was partially his fault that ghosts were released in the first place.
* The Hero's power only works on a certain type of foe, or is somehow limited.
** Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}'s powers are most effective underwater. Thus, his foes are aquatic.
* The Hero's powers attracts like-minded villians: Iron-man's PoweredArmor appeals to the engineer in PowerArmor-wearing villians; the Hulk's strength from radiation appeals to villians who want to use radiation to power themselves and their henchemen; the animal totem of Spiderman calls forth the likes of genetic engineers that will themselves attempt other animals in themselves or in their allies, exceptions such as Sandman, Electro or Hydroman are not far fetched as much as an element replaces an animal and becomes the focus of the wild side in them; Batman's insanity appeals to the insane and his gimmicks to those prone to them.

The effects of this trope are generally more pronounced in adaptations, which usually only have time to showcase one or two villains. Hence, rather than get bogged down with dozens of different origin stories for all the different types of villain, the gallery will be streamlined and backstories tweaked so that less explanation is required to get the story going.

This trope often overlaps with PlotTailoredToTheParty, when a disproportionate number of villains appear who to have powers similar to those of a minor or useless hero in a HeroesUnlimited setting show up, just to give the hero something to do.

Of course, pitting heroes against villains that generally outpower them can be a good way of spicing up an ongoing series. [[CrowningMomentofAwesome Crowning Moments of Awesome]] result when this is handled well, and the hero comes up with a creative way to beat the bad guy.

In some series, particularly {{Long Runner}}s that have been developed over many years or even decades, some members of the RoguesGallery may not fit the theme. Franchise/{{Batman}}, for instance, has gathered a respectable number of enemies who have actual super-powers, although the overall theme of his RoguesGallery is that of the crazy BadassNormal whose crimes are based around some sort of specific theme.

Finally, depending on the hero, his or her RoguesGallery may have ''multiple'' themes. Not all of {{Spider-Man}}'s enemies fit the AnimalMotifs theme, but the ones that don't tend to be the results of science gone bad. Indeed, some spider-villains (Doctor Octopus, the Lizard, the Scorpion) fit '''both''' themes. This is pretty much destined to happen in well established and long running series, so most superhero comics fit this.



[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Just about every villain in ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' is either a Pokemon trainer of some kind or a Pokemon of some kind. Or both, in the case of Mewtwo.
* This is very prevalent in SuperRobot shows. Usually, HumongousMecha are used to fight equally giant {{Robeast}}s:
** The ''Mazinger'' franchise:
*** ''Anime/MazingerZ'' fought Dr. Hell's Mechanical Beasts.
*** ''Anime/GreatMazinger'' fought Mykene's Warrior Beasts. The Mykene army also was split in seven thematically-organized divisions: the armies of Superhumans, Evil Ghosts, Mammalian, Avian, Aquatic, Insect and Reptilian Battle Beasts.
*** ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' was an alien-created HumongousMecha fought robots created by an alien civilization.
** ''Manga/GetterRobo'' fought cybernetic dinosaurs, robotic demons, insect-like alien races or any other EldritchAbomination foolish enough to attack Earth.
** ''Anime/KotetsuJeeg'' fought the Haniwa Phantom Gods, ancient statues reanimated and transformed into spectre-like giant monsters through sorcery.
** ''Anime/{{Raideen}}'' fought robotic demons.
** The ''Anime/RobotRomanceTrilogy'':
*** ''Anime/CombattlerV'' fought Campbellians Slave Beasts and Magma Monsters.
*** ''Anime/VoltesV'' fought Beast Fighters, fighting robots that mimicked Earth animals.
*** ''Anime/{{Daimos}}'' fought Battle Robots and Mecha Warriors.
** ''Anime/{{Zambot3}}'' was another "alien robot fighting other alien robots" situation. In this instance, its enemies were the Mecha Bursts.
** ''Anime/{{Daitarn3}}'' waged war against the Mega Borgs.
* ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'': The FiveManBand fought the armies and animal-shaped giant mechas from Galactor.
* Saints in ''SaintSeiya'' only seem to fight similarly armoured enemies, with similar [[KiAttacks Cosmo]] based powers. {{Justified|Trope}} in early arcs since their enemies were Saints from the Sanctuary, just like our heroes. Later on, not so much.
* Naturally, just about every recurring villain in ''Anime/YuGiOh'' is an evil gamer of some sort. Even before the Duel Monsters card game took over the show, most of the villains who weren't random thugs tried to challenge Yugi to a game, often with the intent of dethroning him as the King of Games.
* The heroes of ''{{Cyborg 009}}'' often found themselves up against evil cyborgs created by the same evil organization that created them. The titular character in particular tends to fight foes with the same [[SuperSpeed acceleration]] power as him, because they're [[KryptoniteIsEverywhere the only ones who can really give him a good fight]].
* In ''ChronoCrusade'', most of what Chrono and Rosette fight are demons, with the occasional supernatural beast. However, like the ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}'' example in the description, the religious order they work for only focuses on destroying those types of creatures.
* In ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', every villain from Part 3 onward is a [[FightingSpirit Stand]] user. Which is a bit jarring, since the previous 2 arcs mainly involved fighting ''vampires'', with an assortment of other foes such as cyborg Nazis.
** Also, Part 3 specifically had Stand users themed around horror movie monsters.
* In ''KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'', the protagonist starts by learning martial arts to fight only regular bullies, progresses through fighting teenage delinquents who are martial arts users, and eventually ends up fighting martial artists who are actively opposing [[MartialPacifist Martial Pacifism]]. We don't actually see him fighting ordinary delinquents (except a little in the earlier period).
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'' nearly every major antagonist is a powerful mage or magical monster. The only exceptions were a pair of martial artist brothers who spent a lifetime training to counter mages and got curbstomped by Natsu anyway, and the BigBad King Faust of the Edolas arc who was an ordinary person piloting a magical HumongousMecha. Some of the main ''Fairy Tail'' characters also fights different types of enemies. Natsu either fights the BigBad -- since he is a) TheHero and b) his SuperMode is usually the only thing powerful enough to beat the BigBad -- or other Dragon Slayers. Erza more often than not fights other weapon users. Lucy usually has to fight other mages who use SummonMagic; one of her more powerful enemies was a fellow Stellar Spirit Mage. Grey's foes have less in common: a water manipulator, a fellow ice maker, a guy who could make things soft, and (his most powerful foe to date) a guy with the power to slow down time in a localized area and summon magical motorcycles.
** The one time Natsu's main opponent wasn't the BigBad or a Dragon Slayer was the Deliora arc. He fought against the DragonWithAnAgenda who was actually much stronger than the BigBad.
* In ''{{Naruto}}'', WordOfGod has it that each of the main villains were designed to be a foil to some aspect of the heroes' personal philosophies or ethics. The Land of Waves arc set this up well, with Zabuza articulating and representing pretty much all of the villainous themes that all subsequent major villains symbolised in one way or another- the series is ''loaded'' with this trope. Some of these "bad guy" themes are:
** Contempt of Bonds: While Naruto is a poster boy for the PowerOfFriendship, nearly all of the villains in the series are Missing-Nin- ninja who have defected from their village, for whatever reason but in most cases after committing some serious crime. Sasuke left the Leaf because he felt that his bonds were holding him back from his potential; Akatsuki symbolise the cutting of their bonds to their village by scratching the symbol on their headbands; in ROOT as well as the old "Bloody Mist" nin are required to kill their classmates in fights to the death so that bonds and emotions don't get in the way of completing their mission; the Mangekou Sharingan usually requires murder of friends and family members to be attained. Several villains try, and sometimes succeed, to kill their old mentors or parental figures as well, as well as their old friends.
** Transcending Humanity: As Zabuza articulated, ninjas are human, even if they try not to be. Most of the bad guys take this and run with it, doing all sorts of horrible things to themselves to become something other than human- Orochimaru, Sasori, Kabuto, Kakuzu and Danzou all use all sorts of body modification jutsu on themselves (several heroes and hero-clans do this too, but the bad guy versions are usually a lot more radical and inhuman, sometimes intentionally). Others are more psychological- this was Itachi's original justification for massacring his clan (to "test my capacity"), while Nagato thinks he has evolved to become [[AGodAmI a god]], something Madara and Orochimaru aim for more literally.
** Peace: Naruto and other good guys want to make the world more peaceful. Likewise, Pain and [[spoiler: Itachi]] are both {{Well Intentioned Extremist}}s using more radical measures to attain or maintain the peace; Orochimaru, meanwhile, believes WarIsGlorious which was one of his justifications for attacking the Leaf Village- he had grown tired of the peace, and wanted to start a war. Danzou is somewhere in the middle, basically believing ninja should frequently engage in battle, brutality and political backstabbing so that they can be tough enough enforce the peace for their respective villages.
** Human Weapons: The tension between the idea that ninja are both living weapons to be used as tools, and human beings with feelings and dreams. Haku to Zabuza and both to Gatou; the Sound ninja (esp. Kimmimaro) to Orochimaru; ROOT to Danzou; Akatsuki and Sasuke to Madara; Team Hawk to Sasuke. Pain both tries to avert this trope (thinking his fellow Akatsuki should work together and respect each other) and takes it to an extreme (using dead ninja as extensions of his own body and mind). The jutsu Edo Tensei (where dead ninja are resurrected as zombie pawns) and Sasori's human puppets both invoke this theme literally.
* As a Bakumatsu-era swordsman, [[Manga/RurouniKenshin Kenshin Himura]] tends to fight other swordsmen.
* ALL DragonBall main villains after and including King Piccolo up to Omega Shenron from [[Anime/DragonBallGT GT]] were FlyingBricks with the [[KiAttacks ability to control Ki]] (the only exceptions are the Androids, and they were really never the big bad of their arc, and had energy attacks that were functionally the same as Ki). Although to be fair, the villains were all very creative and different from the last
* ''OnePiece'': While they tangle with the Marines a fair amount, the Strawhats still primarily fight other pirates who are competing in the Grand Line.

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* The ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' mostly fight other mutants and anti-mutant terror cells. The most frequent non-mutant adversaries they face are aliens such as the Brood, the Shi'ar, and/or enemies thereof, and Mojo and Spiral, as well as the occasional magical enemy like Belasco. On several occasions, they've also been pitted against contract killer Arcade.
** ''X-Men'' is a prime example of villains being {{Retool}}ed to fit the pattern too: Juggernaut (who originally got his powers from a gemstone possessed by a deity) became a mutant in TheMovie, while alien Spiral became a mutant in the UltimateMarvel continuities.
* While IronMan's [[ArchEnemy archnemesis]] is the magical/[[GreenRocks alien powered]] psychic Mandarin, most of the rest of his Rogues Gallery consists of people like Iron Monger, the Crimson Dynamo (and there have been ''fourteen'' [[LegacyCharacter Crimson Dynamos]]), Dreadknight, Controller, Titanium Man etc, all of whom wear PoweredArmour.
** It should be noted that the Mandarin isn't so much magic-powered as it's alien tech that just looks like it's magic-powered.
** Another underlying theme is how Iron Man's enemies are related to capitalism in some way. [[YellowPeril The Mandarin]] was created when Mao Zedong was at the height of his power in RedChina and has since gone on to become a reactionary feudalist who wants to turn back the economic and social clock to the days of Imperial China. The Titanium Man, the Unicorn and the Crimson Dynamo represented [[SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet Russia]] at a time when the UsefulNotes/ColdWar was at its height. The American villains also apply, too-the original Blizzard was a dishonest employee fired by Tony Stark for stealing from the company, the original Firebrand was an anarchist who wanted to destroy big business, and guys like Obadiah Stane and Justin Hammer were {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s who utilized underhanded and illegal means to get a competitive edge on Stark, who, while amoral and hedonistic before the near-death experience that made him a superhero, was never as cut-throat as either of them. Obadiah Stane's son, Ezekial, is an anarchocapitalist libertarian.
* There's nary a ''Comicbook/GhostRider'' villain who isn't a demon or demonically powered.
** And if they aren't either of those, they have a wicked sick awesome vehicle. This and the above occasionally overlap. The few who don't fit either category are artifacts from his days as a more normal superhero, where none of his villains would've looked out of place fighting Captain America or the Fantastic Four. Granted, guys like the Water Wizard and the Orb weren't exactly the greatest threats the world has ever seen...
** Archangels have also been added to his rogues gallery.
* Virtually everyone [[StaticShock Static]] fought got their powers from the same [[SuperSerum chemical accident]] Static himself did.
* Comicbook/{{Aquaman}}'s entire RoguesGallery has almost no non-ocean related villains. Admittedly, there was a lot of variety among them otherwise, and once he moved to Sub Diego, there was a lot of more usual crime to foil (like robbery and such).
** Marvel's {{Sub-Mariner}} has the same thing going on, even though he can also fly. It's when people mess with that formula that things get weird.
* ComicBook/MartianManhunter's enemies either have Shapeshifting or psychic abilities to match him, are martian themselves or have something to do with [[KryptoniteFactor fire]]
* [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] and [[JustifiedTrope justified]] during Creator/JMichaelStraczynski's [[ComicBook/JMSSpiderMan run]] on ''[[Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}} The Amazing Spider-Man]]''. A character named Ezekiel talks about this phenomenon for the ''X-Men'', ''Captain America'', and ''Thor'', as well as Peter's own tendency to fight animal-themed villains - such as Doctor Octopus, the Vulture, and the Rhino. And the Scorpion, and the Jackal, and the Black Fox, and the Black Cat, and the Grizzly, and the Gibbon, and the Kangaroo, and the Walrus, and the White Rabbit, and...
** The main theme of Spidey's gallery, however, is Power and Responsiblity. Like Spidey, many of his enemies got their powers by chance, either being offered it by somebody out of nowhere (Rhino, Scorpion, Eddie Brock) or like Peter as the result of a science experiment GoneHorriblyWrong (Ock, Osborn, Sandman, Curt Connors). The both cases they chose to use their powers irresponsibly, and unlike SpiderMan they were ''always'' either looking for it or at least given the choice not to attain it or reject it, rather than having it totally thrust on them as Peter did (Ock, Osborn and Connors all had accidents, but there were ''also'' always messing with science and power they should not have been, or at least should have been more careful with- thus, they pursued power irresponsibly).
** Later Ezekiel used it again as an argument for totemic theory of Spidey's origin - the fact that Peter was fighting more magic-themed villains (Morlun, Shatarra, Shade) lately was supposed to be a proof that his powers come from Spider-God Anansi. Subverted when it was revealed that most of those guys [[spoiler: were supposed to be Ezekiel's enemies and Peter was fighting his battles]].
*** Most of Spider-Man's enemies either had AnimalMotifs and/or were the results of science gone bad. More generally than that, several villains who became {{Rogues Gallery Transplant}}s when it became clear they were outmatched by their original adversaries (Boomerang vs. the Hulk, anyone?) mean that almost all of Spidey's rogues (with the exceptions of Doctor Octopus and the Green Goblin) are street-level villains.
**** When you think about the potential some of these street-level villains' powers and skills have they become much more than street-level. Sometimes it's even blatantly clear how strong they can be. The fact that most of the these guys are still stuck fighting Spider-Man, and haven't moved on to bigger levels of villainy than doing things like robbing banks, can be explained by a lack of ambition, as well as by the fact that Spider-Man wouldn't be a match for such seemingly unbeatable villains on his own.
** It's also worth noting that Spider-Man's main villain, [[ComicBook/NormanOsborn the Green Goblin]], has inspired a [[LegacyCharacter legacy]] of his own and a couple {{Jack The Ripoff}}s. Then you have [[IAmLegion Venom]], who keeps spawning, so that Peter's rogue gallery can basically be summed up as about 50% animal, a bunch of {{Puppeteer Parasite}} aliens, assorted goblins and a few, like [[ShockAndAwe Electro]] and [[DishingOutDirt Sandman]], who are just kind of "other."
* Most of Franchise/{{Batman}}'s RoguesGallery are out and out lunatics without any real superpowers. Some have argued that this is an indicator of Batman's own obsessive nature - he too is almost mad, in his own way. In addition, since Bats himself is just a RichIdiotWithNoDayJob, making his villains equally normal [[CompetitiveBalance keeps things balanced]] - Batman would be ''screwed'' if someone like [[RealityWarper Mxyzptlk]] decided to make the short journey from [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Metropolis]] to Gotham.
** Ironically, Batman ''did'' have his own interdimensional imp villain, Bat-Mite. In fact, Aquaman had one as well, Qwisp. Neither appeared in continuity in decades - until Qwisp popped up as a villain in Grant Morrison's run on [[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica JLA]] in the 90s. Morrison was also the one to bring back Bat-Mite.
*** It's debatable in that Bat-Mite wasn't as ''malicious'' as Mister Mxyzptlk was to Superman, and he leaves on his own accord if he really angers Batman. Also, Bat-Mite admires Batman, unlike Mxyzptlk. WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfBatman had his heart in the right place, if his actions did more unintended harm.
** There's also a theory that Batman's Rogues each exemplify a single aspect of his personality, but taken to extremes: Two-Face the Batman/Bruce Wayne duality, the Joker his mental instability, Scarecrow his use of fear as a weapon against criminals, and so on.
** And this isn't counting the list of Bat Rogues who are essentially [[EvilCounterpart "Batman, except at this causal fork in his life, Bruce went one way, and this guy went the other".]] To illustrate. Oswald Cobblepot is also the orphan of rich parents, except Bruce's parents loved him and wanted him to not value material possessions. Tommy Eliot is in the same boat as The Penguin, except that Hush actually killed his parents to get to their inheritance faster, and then trained himself into a Jack of All Trades of Batman-like proportions for... some reason. Roman Sionis's parents were good friends of the Waynes, only they put on a show of being charitable philanthropists while being greedy dicks in private, the duality leading to Sionis's obsession with masks. Also, Jason Todd is an official Batman-trained caped crusader... who kills (as a way to stop the [[CardboardPrison revolving door policy of Arkham]]), etc.
** One could also potentially argue that there is a much more secondary, but still fairly common theme among many of Batman's foes. Specifically, they seem to fit classic horror tropes such as MonsterClown (The Joker), monster (Clayface and Killer Croc), mad doctor (Hugo Strange, Professor Pyg), zombies (Solomon Grundy), bats (Batman himself and Man-Bat), and less obvious ones like killer plants (Poison Ivy), living dolls (Scarface) and living scarecrows (Scarecrow).
** ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'' villains move away from being themed around general street-level insanity to more Spider-Man-like power levels and science. Some of them are still pretty damn crazy but less psychologically riveting and more well...sciency. Stories featuring Mad Stan, Spellbinder, Blight and an older Bane and Mr. Freeze explore some very plausible futuristic concepts and with the series being set in a future Gotham it's possible the creators were aiming for this overall theme.
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange had a lot of mystic opponents. This seems to be because it was stated MANY times that he has no greater strength or agility than any other man. Oddly enough, in his early adventures, he [[KungFuWizard let his fists do the talking]] about as often as he whipped up a spell to take care of things. {{Justified|Trope}} when he was the Sorcerer Supreme and it was his job to protect the [[{{Muggles}} mundane world]] from supernatural threats.
* WonderWoman's best villains are definitely female, possibly because she's the one major heroine who [[WouldntHitAGirl writers felt comfortable]] pitting against non FemmeFatale villainesses. The only major WonderWoman villain who isn't female or a misogynist is Ares, the God of War and ancient enemy of the Amazons and Themyscira.
** They also tend to be mythological and/or magical in nature, like WonderWoman herself.
** As of The Comicbook/{{New 52}}, she's been rubbing elbows with the gods. Her first major enemy is [[WomanScorned Hera]], then [[PsychopathicManChild Hades]], then [[WickedCultured Apollo]] and Artemis. She's currently being set up to go head to head with another of Zeus' [[ReallyGetsAround many many MANY]] children, specifically his firstborn son.
* Most Comicbook/IncredibleHulk villains are big and very strong - heck, many of them are even green. Those who aren't, like Leader and MODOK, tend to be exact opposites: small, weak but very intelligent, with lots of high-tech to help them. But still often green.
** And then, that whole strong and green thing is because several have a similar origin. In the film ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', Leader and the Abomination actually got their powers ''from'' the Hulk, and Doc Samson likely would have too.
* {{Captain America}} is mostly known for fighting symbols of some un-American concept - many of them represent fascism or Nazism (CaptainAmerica has met the [[StupidJetpackHitler clone of Hitler]] several times, not to mention his [[ShadowArchetype personal nemesis]] the Red Skull), some represent communism, and other, less obvious political positions represented by his villains include OneWorldOrder (Flag-Smasher), censorship (The Watchdogs, MoralGuardians gone vigilante), blind patriotism to corrupt government (many, many "evil" Captain Americas), vigilantism (the Scourge of the Underworld), technocracy (Advanced Idea Mechanics), unrestrained capitalism (Roxxon Corporation), and corrupt labor unions (Serpent Society), though the writers are usually careful to note that these are extreme versions of their viewpoints, and that they aren't commenting on the philosophies themselves. On the other hand, he's messed with many non-political villains, including the [[AxCrazy Animus]], [[PlayingWithFire Solarr]], the [[WeirdTradeUnion Serpent Society]], the [[ButtMonkey Porcupine]], and even other heroes' enemies, including the [[Comicbook/{{Spider-Man}} Scorpion]], [[Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} Mister Hyde]], and Marvel's version of the [[Comicbook/GhostRider Scarecrow]].
** In that vein, he also tends to fight a lot of [[NebulousEvilOrganization Nebulous Evil Organizations]]. He's clobbered whole rooms full of {{Mooks}} from A.I.M., HYDRA, U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M., and more.
* Averted by ComicBook/TheFlash, who has only a few speedster villains. In fact, the only speedster a given Flash is likely to face is their personal EvilCounterpart. His rogues gallery is otherwise populated by a very eclectic group, with few villains having much in common with one another. Ironically, the Flash rogues are a rather tightly knit group in spite of this.
** Indeed, Captain Boomerang was a Flash villain, but his [[LegacyCharacter son]] Captain Boomerang Jr. is not -- and the son is the speedster.
** Practically the only way that they could be considered themed is in a purely symbolic way, of a man of science defeating the old superstitious ways of thinking. Ex. Captain Cold (Water), Heatwave (Fire), Gorilla Grodd (animals), Abra Kadabra (Magic), Trickster & Pied Piper (Folklore) etc.
*** Given that virtually all the main Rogues use technological gimmicks (even Abra Kadabra), it may be more of a case of science vs. science. This has become less significant in recent comics, but in the Silver Age, each of the Rogues represented a scientific concept (heat, reflections, elements) so that Barry Allen used his superior understanding of the science involved to defeat them. Flash Fact!
*** The Flash villain theme is derived from their middle-American roots. "Central City" is an {{expy}} for St. Louis and the American midwest, which when The Flash first came out in 1959 was the center of American self-image and culture - the "American Dream". The vast majority of Flash villains are ''self-made men'', who ''achieved'' their abilities. As such they represent the Dark Side of the American Dream, those who achieve for their own selfish ends. Gorilla Grodd is both a renegade from his own culture and a violation of "natural law" (talking gorilla). As such he represents the dangers of the Radical Outsider (foreigners, Communists, subversive thinking, etc). The Flash Villains' Theme is the FabulousFifties!
** Isn't another recurring theme of the Rogues their collective suffering from CutLexLuthorACheck Syndrome, where so many of them have developed fantastic scientific achievements and use them to commit petty local robberies?
* Averted by ComicBook/TheMightyThor, oddly enough. While Goldilocks did fight divine villains from Asgard (most notably his evil half-brother [[ArchEnemy Loki]] and the seductive [[FemmeFatale Amora]], also called the Enchantress), Thor also quickly gained a rogues gallery of recurring mortal villains that could just as easily have been enemies of Spider-Man or the Hulk, including the Wrecker, the Absorbing Man, the Grey Gargoyle, Mister Hyde, and the Cobra. Many of these guys would also become {{Rogues Gallery Transplant}}s when they branched out and started tangling with other mortal heroes.
** Not always averted. In additions to a few evil Norse gods, he also frequently fights mythological creatures such as giants, trolls and dark elves. Recurring foes include Ulik (troll), Malekith and Kurse (dark elves), The Executioner (half-giant) and Surtur (fire giant)
* Comicbook/FantasticFour villains tend to be of the "EvilGenius bent on world conquest" mold, (like DoctorDoom, the Mad Thinker, the Wizard, Diablo, Maximus the Mad, the Red Ghost and his Super-Apes, even Mole Man...) or alien would-be [[GalacticConqueror Galactic Conquerors]] (like Blastaar and son, Annihilus...)
* {{Superman}}'s enemies don't have an immediately obvious unifying theme, but a closer glance shows that the underlying connection between this collection of {{mad scientist}}s, [[AlienInvasion alien invaders]], {{cyborg}}s, [[RoboticPsychopath robots]], and ray-gun wielding gangsters is one of pulp science-fiction. There's not a single Superman rogue who wouldn't be out of place in a thirties pulp novel, or a 1950s B-movie, which given Superman's status as a popularizer of many sci-fi tropes, makes perfect sense.
* GreenLantern has a lot of enemies who can--like him--create weapons and monsters out of thin air: Tattooed Man, Star Sapphire, Evil Star, Effigy, etc. The grandaddy is of course Sinestro, a former Green Lantern with a yellow power ring.
** Recently played even straighter with the introduction of entire Corps to oppose the GL Corps who use power rings of different colors, such as red, orange, and black. Sinestro, mentioned above, starts his own Yellow Corps as well. Also inverted by giving Green Lantern some new allies who also use power rings of different colors, such as blue and indigo.
* Most of [[Comicbook/{{Spawn}} Spawn's]] enemies are demons, angels or people from his past life.
* The ComicBook/BlackPanther regularly tangles with villains who are tailored to fight an African king, ranging from political rivals who seek to usurp his throne (Man-Ape and Erik Killmonger), apartheid-supporting white supremacists (the Supermacists), and outsiders who seek to loot the country's wealth for themselves ({{Arch Enemy}} Klaw). More recently, he (or rather his [[DistaffCounterpart sister, who's taken up the mantle due to him literally being at death's door]]) took on Morlun, an enemy of {{Spider-Man}} who feeds on animal totems, including that of the Panther.
** This is in addition to his frequent tussles with fellow African heads of state like Moses Magnum, Dr. Crocodile, and Afrikaa.
* The Comicbook/DoomPatrol specialize in weird cases and opponents.
* Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} fights a lot of [[PsychoForHire mob-employed costumed killers]], or martial artists with a supernatural bent. These two themes frequently cross-over (eg. Elektra and Lady Bullseye and both agents of the Hand- a mystical ninja cult- as well as professional assassins; Kingpin recently took control of the Hand).
** More generally, Daredevil, Spider-Man, Darkhawk, Comicbook/MoonKnight, [[ComicBook/LukeCageHeroForHire Luke Cage]] and [[ComicBook/ImmortalIronFist Iron Fist's]] rogues all tend to be either street-level villains, or more powerful crime lords and mercenaries.
* Many of [[Comicbook/{{Starman}} Jack Knight's]] enemies were carnies like the Ragdoll, Bliss and his mook Crusher.
* {{Sleepwalker}}'s enemies are either street-level villains (the Chain Gang, 8-Ball, Spectra, the Bookworm, Lullaby, Mr. FX, the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, etc.) or demonic entities (Cobweb, Psyko, Mr. Jyn, Eddie Cicala).
* Comicbook/SwampThing routinely encounters plant-based enemies. Sometimes this was handled well. The elemental Wood-Rue, for example, was an old DC loser who was revived as a hideous and terrifying foe. Sometimes it went not-so-good, such as when Swamp Thing fought vegetable aliens flying vegetable space ships with vegetable weapons. Yeah.
* The TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles usually fight villains of the mutant and ninja varieties (the latter primarily being members of the Foot Clan). They also fight a lot of SuperScience themed villains and villainous creations, such as Baxter Stockman and his robotic Mousers.
* [[WordOfGod According to Scott McCloud]] each member of [[ComicBook/{{Zot}} Zot's]] rogues gallery represents a different, harmful vision of the future, with their threat levels directly corresponding to how likely he considered that future to be. Though [=McCloud=] admits he screwed up on the last part with [[CorruptCorporateExecutive the Blot]], a fairly minor villain who represented a corporate-run future.
* [[ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog Archie's Sonic Comics]] took the "nature vs mechanics" theme of the first Sonic game and extended it, giving a few villains other than Robotnik and Eggman who used technology to reach their goals; Snively, ADAM, Iron Dominion (and Iron Queen), and The Dark (Egg) Legion. Many of these started by serving Robotnik/Eggman or are serving him now.
** They also use a number of Magical villains; Ixis Nagus, Enerjak, Mammoth Mogul, Iron Queen (again), [[spoiler: Geoffery St. John]], and Dr. Finitivus.
* The ComicBook/{{Runaways}}' initial enemies were their own parents, collectively known as the Pride. Afterwards, they often fought against people who were somehow connected to the Pride, either former allies or old enemies.
* The ''ComicBook/MetalMen'' mostly fight robots. Usually they're robot aliens or monsters and the question of who built them is never addressed. [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in Metal Men #20, when the Metal Men read their fan mail and find that readers are pretty tired of robot monsters and want them to go up against something else.


[[folder: Film ]]

* Despite his rep as a poster-boy for anti-Communism (in the novels, true enough), Film/JamesBond most commonly fought corrupt capitalists (Film/{{Goldfinger}}, [[Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe Karl Stromberg]], [[Film/{{Moonraker}} Hugo Drax]], [[Film/AViewToAKill Max Zorin]], [[Film/TomorrowNeverDies Carver]], [[Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough Elektra King]]) or apolitical spies, ex-spies, traitors, criminals and terrorists ([[NebulousEvilOrganization SPECTRE]], [[Film/LiveAndLetDie Kananga / Mr Big]], [[Film/TheManWithTheGoldenGun Francisco Scaramanga]], [[Film/ForYourEyesOnly Kristatos]], [[Film/{{Octopussy}} Kamal Khan]], [[Film/TheLivingDaylights Brad Whitaker]], [[Film/LicenceToKill Franz Sanchez]], [[Film/GoldenEye Alec Trevelyan]], [[Film/CasinoRoyale2006 Le Chiffre]]). The most common motives are profit, revenge or simply pure ego and megalomania, or some combination of the above. The Red Menace ''is'' present but it is usually in the background, either Red China quietly pulling the strings (''Film/DrNo, Film/{{Goldfinger}}, Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'') or the Soviet Union as incidental players, or even victims of the bad guys themselves. [[Film/FromRussiaWithLove Rose Klebb]], [[Film/{{Octopussy}} Orlov]], [[Film/AViewToAKill Zorin]] and [[Film/TheLivingDaylights Koskov]] are all rogue Soviet or ex-Soviet agents, and a few henchmen work or used to work for the Reds, but Bond never fights the Russians or Chinese head-on and usually avoids them completely.
* The ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' series naturally enough deals with pirates like Barbossa and Blackbeard, corrupt colonial agencies like the East India Trading Company, and ocean-related myth and magic such as Davy Jones and his crew, the undead pirates of the Black Pearl, and sea monsters like the Kraken and Sirens.
* Franchise/{{Godzilla}} mostly fights other {{Kaiju}}. This is justified by the setting (there aren't many other kinds of adversary around) and the fact that a giant monster ripping your city apart is probably the only reason you'd ''ever'' risk calling [[GodzillaThreshold the big lizard]]. On a deeper level, said kaiju tend to be either [[AlienInvasion aliens]] ([[ArchEnemy King]] [[PsychoForHire Ghidorah]] and his [[{{Expy}} expies]], Dhesighidorah and Kaiser Ghidorah, [[EvilKnockoff Mecha]][[MechanicalMonster godzilla]] [[RoboticPsychopath I]], [[PsychoForHire Gigan]], [[EvilTwin [=SpaceGodzilla=]]]) whose origins contrast with Godzilla's role as a rather reluctant protector of earth, or fellow mutants ([[EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs Anguirus]], [[GiantFlyer Rodan]], [[TunnelKing Baragon]], [[GiantEnemyCrab Ebirah]], [[{{Planimal}} Biollante]], [[TheSwarm Desto]][[HeroKiller royah]], [[AntiVillain Titanosaurus]], [[BigCreepyCrawlies Megaguirus]]) who, like Godzilla, have become monsters through no fault of their own (some, like [[MuckMonster Hedorah]] and [[GoneHorriblyWrong Orga]] are a fusion of both). It's worth noting that while several of the mutant kaiju have become Godzilla's allies, all of the aliens have remained evil to the end.
* Apparently indicated by the first two ''Film/IronMan'' films that IronMan would have to deal with {{Corrupt Corporate Executive}}s, [[spoiler:and revealed to still be the case in ''Film/IronMan3''.]] This trope is frequently used by some fans to defend [[spoiler:the Mandarin twist in ''Iron Man 3'']] by saying [[spoiler:the Mandarin's original, more magic-like concept wouldn't have fit the theme of the movies]].
* Every villain in [[Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan The Amazing Spider-Man franchise]] is created, intentionally or accidentally, at Oscorp.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Played pretty straight in the first 2 seasons of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', then vampires were [[VillainPedigree almost completely phased out]] in favor of other types of demons and sinister humans. Though the overall magic/monster theme still prevailed.
* In ''TheWeirdAlShow'', all of Fatman's villains are either food based or have an evil plan that's food based.
* Superdude from ''Series/AllThat'' has a tendency to fight dairy-based villains, such as Milkman, Cow Boy, Butter Boy... This is unfortunate for him, since he is [[WeaksauceWeakness lactose intolerant]].
** [[FridgeBrilliance Maybe these are the only villains left to fight him because they would be the only ones he couldn't just use his superman-esque powers to defeat in a matter of seconds.]]
* Almost every ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' series has this by design. The magically-empowered [[Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger Magiranger]] only fought mystical creatures, the police-themed [[Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger Dekaranger]] fought criminals, the [[Series/NinpuuSentaiHurricaneger Hurricaneger]] fought space ninjas...no matter what the power set, expect the villains to match accordingly. The few aversions include:
** ''Series/RescueSentaiGoGoFive'' (that's ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue'' to the West) has all-tech heroes up against all-magic villains.
** ''Series/TensouSentaiGoseiger'' has angels vs. space aliens, then angels vs. cryptids and angels vs. robots. Although the trope is finally played straight when the real BigBad turns out to be a FallenAngel.
*** In a similar vein to Goseiger, we had ''Series/SeijuuSentaiGingaman'', a mystical elements-of-nature-themed team. They fought, in turn, biker bugs, samurai marine life, mythical monsters, and again finally robots.
* The ''Franchise/KamenRider'' series tends to have this more often than not. In a general sense almost all Riders and villains have some degree of AnimalMotifs. In a more specific sense magic Riders tend to fight magical enemies and technological Riders tend to fight biological anomalies. Justified in that the Riders themselves are usually {{Phlebotinum Rebel}}s, using the villains own power against them.
* The recurring villains of ''Series/DoctorWho'' in contrast to the Doctor, an eternal champion of peace and co-operation, mostly tend to be armies (the Daleks, the Cyberman, the Sontarans, the Silurians, the Ice Warriors) or megalomaniacal geniuses (the Master, Davros) who are bent on waging war in one way or another.
** The revival has also seen a few new types of enemies. Enemies who are in some way un-knowable or beyond comprehension, and enemies who are more automated systems that can't be reasoned with and are merely doing their jobs.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' antagonists were usually classified into two groups. Aliens closely knit with shady government cabinets or freaks of the week that weren't necessarily alien but connected with the alien/government myth arcs sometimes.


[[folder: Tabletop Games]]

* ''MutantsAndMasterminds'' does this with most of its sample rogues galleries. The Centurion, for example, fight enemies with names like August Roman and Nero. The best example, however, might be their Batman {{Captain Ersatz}}, The Raven, who (odd exceptions like Dr. Sin and Luna Moth aside) fights villains named for EdgarAllanPoe stories or characters: Lenore, The Conqueror Worm, The House of Usher, The Red Death, etc.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Since ''Franchise/MetalGear'' is a military-themed series, one could reasonably expect every game to pit the protagonist against an army (and not, for instance, on any other sort of black ops mission). But beyond that, every game features an oddly-themed SuperSoldier QuirkyMinibossSquad with an assortment of unique fighting styles.
** Except for the B&B Unit in [=MGS4,=] who were all sexy women in robotic battle suits named after a combination of the names [=MGS1=] and [=MGS3=] villains.
* Be it the Robot Masters of the original ''VideoGame/MegaMan'' series, the anthropomorphic cyborg Mavericks of ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' or the ancient ruin guardian mechs of ''VideoGame/MegaManLegends'', bosses in this series are robots, sentient, piloted or otherwise.
* Franchise/CrashBandicoot fights animal mutants similar to himself and mad scientists, the only exception to this seem to be [[EvilMask Uka Uka]], [[LargeAndInCharge Papu]] [[WitchDoctor Papu]] and alien racer Nitros Oxide.
* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' games are centered around various types of zombies and the corporations that created them.
* The villains of ''FreedomForce'' are, like the heroes, riffs on the motifs of the Golden and Silver Ages of Comics. Though enemy to enemy, there's no theme to them they're all exactly the sort of foe the Fantastic Four or Spider-Man would have fought in their early days.
** In the sequel they travel back to fight Nazis, and the new supervillains represent Nazism/superscience, Italy and Japan. Oh, and a supernatural Communist foe to contrast the clean cut technology fuelled Freedom Force in the present day.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Appropriately enough for a comic about a heroic MadScientist, most of the antagonists in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' are either evil Mad Scientists or the minions and/or creations thereof.
** Because in the Girl Genius world, those are the only villains out there - until The Other returns. [[spoiler: Oh wait, she's a MadScientist too.]]


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Spoofed in ''WesternAnimation/{{The Fairly OddParents}}'' [[ShowWithinAShow in-show]] comic book "The Crimson Chin", where each of the villains is themed around a different body part and metal. The Copper Cranium, the Bronze Kneecap, the Iron Lung...
* ''[[WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers CaptainPlanet]]'' villains are all polluters, poachers and other haters of ecology (appropriately-called "eco-villains").
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'', at least at first. The showrunners wanted to present the Decepticons as major threats, so the Autobots faced off against human villains.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'' episode "Super Hero":
-->"Yeah, see, then they gotta pick another day... to do the crime, and... he'd rain it out again! So... haha... he's a step ahead!"
-->--Master Shake Explaining how The Drizzle fights crime by controlling the rain.
* Generally averted in the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' animated series, considering the sheer range of bizarre villains it featured. Even the general theme of quirky harmless villains didn't really hold up--there was very little amusing about Slade, Trigon, or the Brotherhood of Evil, for example.
** That said, enemies that would face a single Titan primarily were often tailored to them--Robin often faced evil or amoral martial artists (Slade, Red X, Katarou), Starfire aliens (Blackfire, the Gordanians, the Chrysalis eater), and Raven supernatural beings or events (Malchior, Trigon, and her own repressed demon nature), for example.
** Just to round out the list: Beast Boy faces empowered teen archetypes (The geeky Control Freak, the wannabe Adonis, or the rebel Punk Rocket) and Cyborg deals with tech villains (Atlas, Fixit, Gizmo and Brother Blood, who turned himself into one by copying Cyborg's own tech.)
* Most of ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'''s major enemies are aliens or alien-related in some way, though it's not a hard-and-fast rule--his RoguesGallery also includes an EvilutionaryBiologist and a couple of dark mages, for example.
** Technically however, said dark mages are more his cousin Gwen's enemies than his, so you could argue Ben fight mostly aliens and scifi-themed villains, while Gwen faces mostly magic-related ones.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'', not only are Rex's powers most effective against [[BodyHorror EVOs]], but he also works for Providence, an organization dedicated to fighting and studying them. As a result, with a couple of exceptions almost all of his villains are [=EVOs=] or EVO-related.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' has a [[TropeOverdosed gloriously ridiculous clash]] of modern tech-based villains and ones themed around [[HeroicFantasy Sword and Sorcery]]. Quite a few villains and temporary antagonists are other Gargoyles and clans too.
* ''WesternAnimation/SWATKats'' villains were all magical, terrorist, mutant or robotic anthropomorphic cats.
* Half-ghost WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom mostly fought other ghosts as well as the occasional ghost hunter.
* ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'':
** Played for laughs in the episode "Return of Birdgirl", where the Justices League (a composite parody of the ''Comicbook/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' and the [[UsefulNotes/AmericanCourts U.S. Supreme Court]]) was constantly being interrupted by emergency messages asking for help with threats outside of their jurisdiction. A rampaging giant ape? You get hung up on (and Not-Scalia calls you a moron). If "someone has made an appeal to the Doctrine of Precedent in fav -- Ahh! Giant Ape!", though, they're on their way!
** In general, the series revolves around cases that use alternate interpretations of old Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters to parody social issues and current events when the series ran. For instance, "Return of Birdgirl" had Harvey arguing same-sex marriage before the Justices League on behalf of [[WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest Doctor Quest and Race Bannon]], who previously fought over custody of Jonny and Hadji in the pilot.