->''"You compare this insignificant nothing to Zarbon and Dodoria? Was that a joke? Ha! Either you brought the most cowardly of all my troops to my welcoming party, or the Frieza Force has become woefully faint of heart. How do you expect us to run an empire that strikes fear across the galaxies while we're cowering from a handful of Saiyan garbage?!"''
-->--'''Frieza''', ''Anime/DragonBallZResurrectionF''

Whether you consider it short for villain credentials or villain credibility, it's a measure both of how much respect a villain gets among his fellow rogues and of how credible a threat the do-gooders and the authorities consider said villain to be. It's earned through successful completion of bold, daring and devious deeds; in other words, nothing so pedestrian as robbing bank or holding up a liquor store will suffice. It can also be lost in a heartbeat if one runs afoul of [[ScoobyDoo meddling kids and their talking dog]].

A specific villainous version of a KarmaMeter. Often a major motivation factor for a CardCarryingVillain or NobleDemon.

A supertrope to ArsonMurderAndAdmiration, a more comedic take on the concept. Compare FameThroughInfamy. Contrast UnintentionallyNotoriousCrime, where a villain gets ''too much'' cred. Do not confuse with VillainRespect, which is directed at heroes.


[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* ''Franchise/DragonBall'':
** In the original ''Dragon Ball'' series, Mercenary Tao has a reputation as a cold, ruthless assassin that he takes pride in; he goes so far as to refuse to pay a tailor for doing a week's worth of work on his uniform in three days purely because doing so would ruin said reputation.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZResurrectionF'': While Frieza is mostly after Goku just for revenge, he does take a moment to point out that he can't be taken seriously if he's afraid to fight some filthy monkey on a backwater planet.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', a pirate's bounty is often used as a rough estimate of how dangerous they are, and bounties are often discussed as though they were PowerLevels[[note]]The bounty does not scale the actual power of a person. It indicates how the World Government is thinking about the criminal, how many crimes they know from the criminal and how many crimes can be leaked to the public[[/note]]. Pirates with high bounties will use them for bragging rights and to recruit crew members who want to work for the toughest pirate on the seas.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* One [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ''ComicBook/TheFlash'' story has the Mirror Master get upset that he's only ranked as the third most successful criminal in the prison newspaper, so he breaks out to commit more crimes in the hope of raising his standing.
* A [[UsefulNotes/TheSilverAgeOfComicBooks Silver Age]] ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'' story has the Joker and Clayface commit crimes using each other's M.O.s so that each can claim the title of Public Enemy #1.
** The same basic gimmick was used in Poison Ivy's debut story in the 1960s, where she arranges the capture of three other female criminals -- Public Enemy numbers 1, 2, and 3 -- so that she can step forward and take credit for various previously unsolved crimes.
** And used again in a story in the 1970s where rumors of Batman's murder sweep through the underworld, prompting the villains to assemble a JokerJury of their own to evaluate the Villain Cred of the various supervillains (ranging from ComicBook/TheJoker to ComicBook/LexLuthor to ComicBook/{{Catwoman}}) claiming to be Batman's killer.
** In the Signalman's origin, he was a small-time crook who arrived in Gotham and attempted to form a gang only to be told he needed to build a reputation first. He adopted the costumed identity of the Signalman and used signal clues to taunt Batman in attempt to build up his rep.
* In ''Magazine/HeavyMetal [[ComicBook/JudgeDredd Dredd]]'', a wannabe criminal tries to make a name for himself by being the one person who's bad enough to kill Judge Dredd. Obviously, since this is Dredd we're talking about, this turns into an EpicFail. Doesn't stop him from trying at least two more times with similar results.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'': After ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' ended, Discord (who has the ability to break the fourth wall) holds a funeral for Bill Cipher, saying he admired his ability to invoke chaos and deals with the devil.
* ''Fanfic/TheBridge'': Queen Chrysalis decides she needs to do a VillainTeamUp to have any chance of defeating the heroes and considers her options. She sees Discord as stupid and Tirek as useless, but expresses admiration for King Sombra, citing his power and intelligence.
* In ''Fanfic/InstinctsOfAFearfulBody'', each core Red Lotus member becomes worried by Amon over the the course of the story as he demonstrates his powers.
* ''Fanfic/FatesCollide'': Kirei Kotomine says he had admired Mercury Black's father Marcus for being such a notorious killer and was surprised to find out he was dead. Since Mercury hated his father, he is disgusted to hear him be praised.

* An anti-hero example comes from the Creator/StevenSeagal film ''Film/AboveTheLaw''. After being informed that he's now number four on the FBI's Most Wanted list, Nico quips that he wanted to be number one.
* In the third ''Film/{{Riddick}}'' movie, the mercs are impressed with Riddick's balls when he suddenly appears out in the open, walking toward their camp for a pow-wow. Becomes a DiscussedTrope with Riddick to Vaako in the Directors Cut.
-->'''Riddick:''' They say you lost your nerve, Vaako, [[TheStarscream after that big swing and a miss]].
-->'''Vaako:''' Is that what they say?
-->'''Riddick:''' Now what are you gonna do to get that cred back? What's the big play? Something splashy.
* In ''Film/DemolitionMan'', the BigBad Simon Phoenix tries to unfreeze a cryo-prison full of psychotic murderers. When he hears that [[SerialKiller Jeffrey Dahmer]] is among the convicts, he joyfully expresses admiration for the guy.
* ''Film/DeathWarrant'': The killer known only as "the Sandman" is a renowned figure in the prison due to his love for killing cops. When he's first brought to the prison, the other cons give him a huge ovation.
* ''Film/HalfBaked'': Parodied when the newly-imprisoned Kenny complains that he's "not getting the respect a cop-killer deserves." While he did [[MetaphoricallyTrue technically]] kill a member of the police force, that member was a ''diabetic horse'' that he accidentally killed by feeding it too many sweets.
* ''Film/{{Daredevil}}'': After Daredevil narrowly defeats the Kingpin and then leaves him for the police, Kingpin threatens to tell everyone his secret identity. Daredevil stops him by pointing out his cred will go down the drain once everyone finds out he got beaten by a blind man.

* ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'': the second book has two Mafiya goons discussing Artemis Fowl Jr., one grumbling that the kid has an Interpol listing and he doesn't.
--> Thirteen years old and with an active file? I am thirty-seven, and still no Interpol file.
* In ''Literature/InterviewingLeather'', the titular villainess describes two different types of crime she commits. To enhance her VillainCred, she does loud flashy attacks in which she rants, breaks things, terrorizes the citizens, dares the local superheroes to try and stop her, etc. To [[OffscreenVillainDarkMatter pay the bills]], she leads her henchmen in quiet efficient robberies that draw far less attention (unless something goes wrong).

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* A consistent element through ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' and ''Series/{{Angel}}''. The Watcher's Council records the exploits of demons and vampires, and the underworld community in general seems to have pretty good word of mouth. Angelus had particularly good cred, something Angel occasionally traded off of. Even the Master held Angelus in high regard, intending to appoint him as TheDragon. The Mayor was keen to have Angelus on his team, as well. At one point Darla and Drusilla managed to attract a group of demons to serve them simply by introducing themselves (and de-earing one person who'd never heard of them). Spike had a particularly good reputation for having killed two slayers despite being barely two hundred - [[WritersCannotDoMath or 126, or a vampire for 120 years]]. Several enemies come to town specifically because killing a Slayer would be good for their reputation. Wolfram & Hart is another example. Even Sahjhan is familiar with the firm's reputation, being as it exists in other dimensions, as well.
--> '''Nostoyev:''' Used to be quite the terror back in the day. Haven't heard much of you lately, though.
--> '''Angel:''' Haven't heard much of you, ''ever''.
* In the ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' episode "Pick Me Up", [[EvilVersusEvil two rival serial killers]] called Walker and Wheeler pick off the passengers of a bus crew that they come across in the northwest. They both despise each other for their respective {{kill steal}}s and treading on the other's "territory", but are also quite impressed by the other's ingenuity and brutality. Walker in particular prizes Wheeler on decapitating one of his victims [[ImprovisedWeapon with a baggage compartment door]].
* The ''Series/BlakesSeven'' episode "City at the Edge of the World" features Creator/ColinBaker as VillainOfTheWeek Bayban the Butcher, a homicidal psychopath who is the '''second''' most wanted man in the Federation and is upset that, as he sees it, some SJW revolutionary has "stolen" his rightful position.

* In the ''VideoGame/EvilGenius'' game, this is your genius' Notoriety, which increases as you sucessfully complete Acts of Infamy. It also riles up the good guys something fierce, so you have to strike a balancing act.
* If your karma rating is 'very evil' in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', other evil characters will make impressed comments, give you supplies and caps to appease you, and give you special quest and dialogue options.
* In the [[InNameOnly videogame adaptation]] of ''VideoGame/TheGodfather'', you get "respect" points that make you more powerful. Acts that earn you respect range from [[NeighbourhoodFriendlyGangsters helping shopkeepers]] and [[CorruptCop bribing police officers]] to murdering enemy gangsters and blowing up their safehouses.
* In the first two ''VideoGame/SaintsRow'' games, Respect is earned by completing side jobs and spent to access story missions. Since ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'', it's become straightforward experience, unlocking access to character and gang upgrades.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Overlord}}'' series: Not only are you explicitly a villain, but you get ranked on how evil you are via KarmaMeter.
* ''VideoGame/LiberalCrimeSquad'' has Juice, which represents your street cred as a member of LaResistance and goes up as you slaughter hordes of [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking soldiers, cops, and workers who refuse to join labor unions]].
** Forget killing people, pulling feats such as hacking the CIA Supercomputer, being the lawyer who gets him a Not Guilty verdict on the charge of Treason he/she/xe got in the act, ([[AFoolForAClient or doing both]]) is both less risky and gives more street cred.
* Occurs in ''VideoGame/CityOfVillains'', as the basic currency Infamy (corresponding to the heroic currency Influence and the Praetorian currency Information). You can even give it to other people, because you're increasing their reputation at the cost of your own due to "selling out."
** There was also a Villain tip mission that was explicitly about discovering that you were only number two on Nemesis' Threat List, and taking the fight to Nemesis just to be moved up to number one. (Shock Treatment, number three on that list, joins you in order to be raised up to number two)
* Demons from the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series tend to be rather concerned about their reputation for "evilness," but most of them aren't very good at it beyond things like [[PokeThePoodle not washing their hands or cutting class.]] This is probably for the best, since demons who are good at bad (e.g. [[BonusBoss Baal]] and [[VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories Zenon]]) are kind of scary.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog'', Dr. Horrible's primary goal through Act I and Act II is to earn enough cred to get into the Evil League of Evil. He eventually succeeds...but at a ''horrible'' price.
* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed in]] Literature/{{Worm}} as a sort of metaphorical 'shield'; after all, if you're ''just that terrifying'' nobody will start a fight in the first place, essentially giving you a free victory. Grue is the one who first talks about this, but it's eventually embraced by [[VillainProtagonist Skitter]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' learns that her EvilCounterpart Shego [[{{Backstory}} used to be]] part of a superhero team, and uses that [[SlaveToPR to blackmail her]] into helping her defeat this week's villain:
-->'''Kim''': Because if you don't help, I'll tell the the world you used to be a good guy.\\
'''Shego''': You wouldn't!\\
'''Kim''': I've got a website, and I'm not afraid to use it.\\
'''Shego''': Ugh, [[CardCarryingVillain my evil reputation]] would be ''shot!''
** One recurring gag is that [[ButtMonkey Dr. Drakken's]] VillainCred is so weak that people haven't heard of him -- worse, they sometimes mistake him for [[AlwaysSomeoneBetter Professor Dementor]].
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': After much evil perpetrated around the Tri-State Area, Dr. Doofenschmirtz rescues [[PetTheDog one kitten]] from a tree, and risks the complete loss of his evil-genius status.
** His worst Christmas is also his ''best'' because it was the first Christmas bad enough to make him hate the holiday. Before that he was unable to summon up more than a passionate, burning indifference -- not enough motivation to try to ruin it, as a good villain should.
* One ''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'' episode is all about [[EvilTwin Nega Duck]] learning he lost his Public Enemy #1 spot to [[TheGhost Dr. Slug.]] This prompts him to start a massive crime spree to reclaim his throne.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/ThePowerpuffGirls'', a MonsterOfTheWeek claims that many of the monsters who attack Townsville go there just for a chance to fight the girls, because it's a good way to build up villain cred.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'': The episode "Jailbreak!" reveals that every criminal in Bikini Bottom looks up to Plankton; they outright describe him as "criminal royalty."
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'': Sportsmaster is obsessed with this in to the point where he's willing to betray his former bosses and ally with his hated daughter just to restore it [[spoiler: because Aqualad killed his heroine daughter Artemis without him being involved. When it turns out she's alive and it was all a trick to help Aqualad in his deep cover mission, Sportsmaster accepts the cred loss to help keep their cover, because their success would be an even bigger blow to the Light than anything he could do by himself.]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'' "The Man Who Killed Batman" provides us with one-time character Sid 'The Squid', a small time crook who wished to gain some cred as a big shot... And succeeded when he got in a scuffle with Batman and, completely by accident, ''apparently killed him''. Then it's {{Deconstructed}}. As the real life saying goes, "[[ThePerilsOfBeingTheBest when you're king of the hill, everyone else wants to knock you off]]". First, he becomes a target for another crook looking to earn cred for himself by taking down the guy who killed Batman. Then, he's kidnapped by The Joker, who [[http://youtube.com/watch?v=Ld0uIhst3TA tries to kill Sid]] for [[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou depriving him of the chance to kill Batman himself]]. Finally, he goes to [[TheDon Rupert Thorne]] for help in getting away from Gotham, but after Sid tells his story Thorne decides that there's no way Sid can be telling the truth, as surely nobody could survive such dangers through sheer dumb luck, so Thorne comes to the conclusion that Sid must be [[ObfuscatingStupidity putting on an act]] as part of an attempt to take over Thorne's drug racket. After all, if someone is tough enough bring down ''the Caped Crusader himself'' then why wouldn't Thorne see him as a rival? Of course, Batman was alive after all, [[HesJustHiding letting people think he was dead]] and keeping Sid alive through these misadventures in order to follow him and find out who was running the crime ring. In the end, Sid ''did'' get some prison cred as the man who ''nearly'' killed Batman and then proceeded to make fools of the Joker and Thorne.
* ''WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder'' has the Galactic Villain Leaderboard, which ranks who are considered the most powerful, evil, and important villains in the galaxy. Lord Hater originally had the top slot, but lost it thanks to Wander, though his position fluctuates throughout the series and he eventually does make it back to the top five. When [[KnightOfCerebus Lord Dominator shows up]], she very quickly skyrockets to the top and remains there until the series finale.