Mooks / Live-Action TV

  • The Batman Rogues Gallery (in the Adam West series, at least) employed mooks. A particularly nicely named group were the Penguin's Grand Order of Occidental Nighthawks (GOONs).
    • Some villains in the 1990s animated series followed suit, most memorably Mr. Freeze's thugs who wore heavy, hooded fur coats. Since their employer produced pure cold, this may have been less about adhering to a theme, and more about staving off frostbite.
      • Joker started off with a few minions of his own, but between his financial troubles and his reputation as a Bad Boss, it was eventually down to just him and Harley.
      • Bad as he was, he had one recurring henchman in the comics before Harley: Southpaw, his left-hand man. He also had Mo, Lar, and Cur in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Usually in Doctor Who, villains like the Daleks and Cybermen have a commander, such as the Dalek Emperor and Davros for the Daleks, and the Cyber-Leader or Cyber-Controller for the Cybermen, or even The Master for both, who's in charge, and the rest usually fufill the role of mooks.
    • Averted in the episode "Dalek", where there's only one of the titular enemy, and who's given a personality before it dies.
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers. Suited guys with metal masks will usually come along with the Monster of the Week to dance around in the background while the Power Rangers pick them off. The first time a different kind of these guys are fought, the rangers will have to morph up in order to take them down, but after the first battle which has the rangers figuring out how to defeat them, they can thereafter be fought and taken down without morphing at all. Each villain had a different variety; let's just list the Power Rangers ones: Rita and Zedd used Putty Patrollers, which became Tenga Warriors in Season 3; The Machine Empire used Cogs...If you care... 
    • Some Power Rangers seasons reuse Sentai mooks, while others use originals. Simple rule: if Rangers most often fight them unmorphed, they are originals (Z Putties, Piranhatrons…) Otherwise, Sentai footage will be reused, and most fight happen while morphed.
    • Starting with Power Rangers S.P.D., there is sometimes a multi-layer cannon fodder system where you've got your generic mooks, your rarer but tougher mooks, and even an Elite Mook that's as good as or even tougher than the Monster of the Week. However, expect the higher levels to stop being so tough very soon after they appear.
    • The Putties had lots of personality too. Seriously, Jason even encountered a particularly smart one that could drive.
    • Many Tokusatsu shows such feature henchmen for the heroes to fight.
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger even has Mooks on the side of good with the Kuroko (stagehands. It Makes Sense in Context.)
    • The password for a computer program made by Power Rangers Zeo Blue Ranger Rocky was "mook." This password would be visibly typed in by a Machine Empire Mecha-Mook called a Cog in order to steal the software and create the monster Silo.
    • The whole concept of Mooks being easy for the heroes to defeat was even lampshaded in one episode by King Mondo, where he complained, "What's the point of building more Cogs when the Rangers are just going to reduce them to scrap metal?!" (This led to a henchman getting an idea which was sort of a new approach, but it still didn't work in the end.)
    • The Mooks do get glory at times, though; the finale episodes of Turbo, Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed Rescue, and Time Force all featured armies of Mooks storming the rangers' home bases, and ultimately destroying them.
    • And their usefulness is lampshaded in one episode of Operation Overdrive; one of the Big Bads, Kamdor, notes that while he can create monsters, Flurious and Moltor both have armies of foot soldiers. And it's proven earlier in the episode that numbers make a big difference; if the Rangers hadn't shown up, he and his Dragon Miratrix would have likely been defeated. Kamdor subsequently brainwashes a group of stuntmen playing ninjas to fight for himself, but while they help, the spell only lasts for that one episode.
    • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's movie Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger the Movie: The Flying Ghost Ship, the Gokaigers face a multi-seasonal army of grunts who have Mook Pride. When looked down upon as cannon fodder, they insisted that they weren't just goons, they were valiant warriors of evil! They're told that they are just cannon fodder, and go on to experience typical mook results when the Gokaigers lay into them. They merge into a giant gestalt Mook, but quickly fall to infighting and get destroyed because, as Captain Marvelous puts it, "Once a mook, always a mook!"
      • Funnily enough, the main spokesmook was a Nanashi. They didn't talk in Shinkenger.
      • Ironically, the only mooks not present for the aforementioned giant gestalt Mook (the Combined Combatant) were the Gormin, the foot soldiers of the current seasonnote .
  • Kamen Rider: Every evil organization in the Showa era had its own Mooks, which were usually just people wearing themed luchador-style costumes, to the point where the term for such characters (Sentoin, literally "Combatant") has become a catch-all term for Tokusatsu Mooks of all stripes. They're less common in the Heisei era, to the point where some shows had one-shot Monsters of the Week "demoted" to Mooks for the purpose of crossovers. Special instances are noted below.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki had three low-level Mirror Monsters — Raydragoons, Sheerghosts, and Gelnewts — which were essentially just the wild animals of Mirror World; they weren't contracted to anyone and weren't party of anyone's plots, they just wanted to eat. Thus, a horde of them is less an organized fighting force and more a school of piranha looking for a meal.
      • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight did as mentioned above and mass-produced Ryuki's Gelnewt to serve as a Mook. A Kamen Rider Den-O movie made afterwards actually ended up using Gelnewts as Mooks specifically because there were so many costumes left over from Dragon Knight.
    • Kamen Rider Faiz put a unique spin on this trope by having its Mooks be pseudo-Kamen Riders; in this case, the Riotroopers used a mass-produced and scaled-back version of Faiz's own gear. "Mook Riders" would go on to appear in a few later series including Gaim, Ex-Aid, and Wizard, though the latter only happens in The Movie.
    • Kamen Rider Blade didn't use Mooks, but late in the series when the Battle Royale ended in favor of the Black Joker, black monoliths appeared around Japan and started spitting out monsters called Darkroaches intent upon killing off humanity. The Movie, Decade, and subsequent crossovers turned Darkroaches into Blade's regulation Mook, with the movie introducing the recolored Albinoroaches and Decade making an Elite Mook called the Bossroachnote .
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto had low-level enemies called Salisworms, who would molt into more powerful forms and become full-fledged Monsters of the Week if left alive long enough; this was especially problematic since this molting also granted them Super Speed, making them a much greater threat.
      • Kamen Rider Gaim does something similar, with Invase starting off in a weak "Elementary" state and evolving into more advanced forms if they manage to consume the Fruit of Helheim. And as mentioned above, it also had "Mook Riders" in the form of the Yggdrasil Corporation's Kurokage Troopers.
    • Kamen Rider Den-O had the Big Bad produce a hit squad of three almost identical Imaginnote  to kill Den-O; during the Final Battle he mass-produced them, which resulted in their becoming the series' Mooks.
    • Kamen Rider Kiva had the Rat Fangire, a Monster of the Week who first appeared in 1986; he escaped destruction and survived all the way to 2008, gaining the ability to perform a Doppelgänger Attack. Naturally, the fact that there were multiple costumes made for this means the Rat Fangire became Kiva's representative Mook in later crossovers.
    • Kamen Rider Decade: Due to its nature as a Milestone Celebration crossover, Decade didn't have its own unique Mooks but instead tended to use the ones from whichever show's world he was visiting at the moment. When Decade's enemy was cemented as Daishocker, he was likewise met with Daishocker Combatants, who wore the same costume as the original Shocker Combatants but could launch themselves as living missiles.
    • In the 999th and 1000th episodes of the Kamen Rider franchise, we get Mookdom taken to its logical conclusion: In Kamen Rider OOO, the main villains create the Monster of the Week from people's desires. This one's created from the rage of a former Shocker Combatant whose name actually is "Mook" ("In Sendo" — see above) who is pissed at the years and years and years of Mooks having their butts handed to them by Kamen Riders. He goes on to spawn a small army of footsoldiers from across franchise history... or rather, Yummies (OOO's monsters) in the form of them. Apparently, foot soldier job satisfaction is about as low as you'd expect... but they take pride in it.
    • Kamen Rider Wizard lampshaded the general uselessness of Mooks by having the Phantoms' leaders only really using them to delay Wizard, since they fully realized that such weak creatures were never going to defeat Wizard outright. They also served an important meta-purpose: Kamen Rider Beast needed a constant supply of Mana to keep his Bond Creature satisfied, and since he couldn't defeat every single Monster of the Week he'd usually get to mow down entire platoons of Ghouls. In The Movie Wizard is teleported to a land where Everyone is a Magic-User, including the police and the king's palace guards, meaning he gets to fight Kamen Rider Mages instead of Ghouls.
    • Kamen Rider Drive worked similarly to Kabuto and Gaim, where Roidmudes would start in generic low-class forms before evolving into ones with greater powers. However, because only 108 Roidmudes were originally madenote , they couldn't just be thrown around willy-nilly. As such, if an Advanced Roidmude ever has support, it'll be two or three Low-Class Roidmudes at best. Naturally the movies throw this out the window with any number of excuses, including an Outside-Context Villain who can assimilate and copy any technology or a Bad Future where the Roidmudes subjugated humanity and mass-produced themselves.
    • Kamen Rider Ghost: The Gamma have a form of hierarchy, with the Mooks being those who are too weak to evolve into stronger forms and are subservient to those who can.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid, since it has a video game theme, gives the Monsters of the Week the ability to summon genre-appropriate Mooks: knights and magicians for the Role-Playing Game, commandos for the First-Person Shooter, and street dancers for the Rhythm Game. It also takes on a darker twist about halfway through the series: the Bugster leaders release Kamen Rider Chronicle, a video game that turns the player into a pseudo-Kamen Rider called a Ride Player...and if they're defeated while playing the "game", they die. To make matters worse, the Bugsters tell the public that that Kamen Riders are elite enemies who drop special power-up items, meaning the heroes have to fight off several Ride Players non-fatally. After the government exposes the truth about Chronicle, all but the most stubborn people willingly hand over their copies to the Riders.
    • Kamen Rider Build has the Guardians, the robotic police/military of Touto who can combine en masse into big gangly battle mecha. At first it seems like a subversion since they only fight Build because he's a Hero with Bad Publicity, but then it's revealed that the evil organization Faust put a Trojan in the Guardians' programming and can take control of them at will.
  • The Jaffa of Stargate SG-1. Extensive work in both canon and fanon has been done to justify this, mostly with weaknesses that could be removed once they changed sides;
    • Biology: As long as a Jaffa isn't decapitated or ripped apart and his symbiote isn't killed, he'll usually heal completely within a week. They thus willingly charge in blindly due to..
    • Training: Jaffa are conditioned from birth to see their leaders as gods who will reward them for their service in the afterlife - and thus rush their enemies on command. They have reserves, and young, ignorant soldiers are less likely to rebel.
    • Armament: Staff weapons fire energy bolts which are loud, flashy, and inflict distinctive wounds, but are really hard to aim, rarely do damage beyond twenty meters and fire only once a second. People with decades of training such as Teal'c and Master Bra'tac can hit a human-sized target at range two times out of three. Fanon is that they are purposefully Awesome, but Impractical - modified to produce louder, brighter bolts at the cost of range, accuracy and power.
      O'Neil: This... (lifts a staff weapon) is a weapon of terror. It's made to... intimidate the enemy. (throws staff weapon away) This (lifts the P90) is a weapon of war. It is made to kill your enemy.
      • Once the marines wind up at a rebel training camp, they give them FN-P90s and decent training. It's the birth of the Free Jaffa Nation!
      • O'Neil outright stated that their armor and weapons were designed for intimidation, not killing. The Ori solders, who use simpler weapons that were designed for killing and ease of use, are so much deadlier despite being mostly untrained peasants, though still blindly fanatical mooks that die by the hundreds.
  • The sheriff's men from Robin of Sherwood. The Merry Men of Sherwood killed ten or so per episode. It really got to the point where you had to wonder what kind of recruitment package was being offered.
  • Most of the villains in Firefly have gangs of hired goons, mercenaries, or thugs to back them up. In particular, Rance Burgess and Adelei Niska seem to have their own personal armies.
  • In The '60s spy series The Man from U.N.C.L.E., THRUSH employs metric tons of Mooks. They even wear uniforms and have distinct ranks of officers (whether commissioned or non-commissioned is left up in the air) and other ranks, usually distinguished by their uniforms when both types appear.
  • Subverted by Heroes, volume 4: when a Mook is sacrificed by Danko to keep his plans moving, Nathan tells him about the Mook's wife and children.
  • Most of the Big Bads in Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Mooks of one sort or another. Generally vampires, but the First had its Bringers and Glory had her demons.
    • In "Once More With Feeling", they were also trained dancers.
    • Buffy calls the mercenary demon from the episode "Flooded" a mook when he breaks her designer lamp.
  • The named warriors of Season 3 of Deadliest Warrior are always accompanied by four Mooks, who never survive the sim. Jesse James vs. Al Capone of Season 2 also had three mooks each, though it's subverted by there being another survivor alongside Jesse James, who's often speculated to be Jesse's big brother Frank..
  • WMAC Masters had generic ninjas who would be sent into the middle of a match to attack one of the fighters who'd performed some kind of violation, but they were usually little more than a nuisance.
  • An early 1990s SNL sketch shows footage from an action movie of a hero beating up a group of ninjas. Afterwards they try to evaluate what went wrong:
    Ninja Leader: Okay, guys, pointing fingers won't solve anything. Now, if we want to get out of this rut.. we have to learn from these little disasters. Now, before the fight, how did we all agree we should attack the guy?
    Group: All together!
    Ninja Leader: And how did we attack?
    Group: One at a time..