main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Playing With: Cut Lex Luthor a Check
Basic Trope: A Supervillain has technologies or abilities that could legitimately earn him a lot of money.
  • Straight: Dr. Evilstein has incredible logical and mathematicial abilities. He uses them to rob banks.
  • Exaggerated: Dr. Evilstein has created an infinite energy source, various flavors of Nanomachines, and a teleportation technology. He uses them to rob banks.
  • Downplayed: Dr. Evilstein has incredible logical and mathematicial abilities. He subtly hacks and commits fraud and embezzlement because only he's smart enough to do it and remain undetected.
  • Justified:
    • Dr. Evilstein robs banks not because he needs the money, but for the thrill.
    • Dr. Evilstein is a misanthrope who doesn't want to help anyone with his inventions.
    • Dr. Evilstein's inventions cannot be replicated.
    • Dr. Evilstein doesn't want to market his technology himself because most businesses fail within their first year of operation, and doesn't want to have to answer to employers or investors he considers to be Pointy Haired Bosses.
    • Dr. Evilstien knows that his invention is too evil and he couldn't sell it legitimately.
    • if everyone and their brother had access to Dr Evilstein's tech, he wouldn't have the edge.
    • Dr. Evilstein is really just the Disc One Final Boss, and someone else more powerful is controlling/blackmailing him into using his inventions for villainy.
    • Dr. Evilstein has far grander ambitions than merely making money, such as World Domination, Utopia Justifies the Means or even The End of the World as We Know It. If he uses his inventions for theft, its only because thats a quicker way of funding that end, assuming he uses it for theft at all.
    • Dr. Evilstein tried to make money legitimately with his inventions, but failed, so he turned to crime.
    • Dr. Evilstein's inventions are Powered by a Forsaken Child so mainstream society is unwilling to use them. He believes himself to have outgrown their petty morality and attempts to rebuild society around his eviltech because he believes that this society will benefit the most people.
    • Dr. Evilstein tried to sell his devices to investors, but they all rejected him either because they thought It Will Never Catch On or because the device was dangerous and brought the risk of lawsuits. Infuriated at being rejected, Dr. Evilstein decides to use his inventions for crime...starting with the people who rejected him.
    • Dr. Evilstein's logical and mathematical abilities allow him to fill his own special niche in the criminal underworld, whereas using his abilities legally would just leave him one among millions in academia.
  • Inverted:
    • Super Serum and Hypno Rays are marketed towards Average Joes instead of military or criminals.
    • Alex has terrifying powers that could easily make him incredibly wealthy. However he is too moral to abuse them in that way, instead he uses them for mundane tasks like extermination of vermin which gets him far less money.
    • Bigg Banga, a rapper with explosive eye beams, has an album that's about to drop, so he blows up a parked car to get a few cameras pointed at him.
  • Subverted:
    • Dr. Evilstein makes far more money (and / or respect, power etc.) out of crime than he would legitimately.
    • Dr. Evilstein says "Screw This, I'm Outta Here" and goes legit.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Dr. Evilstein creates new construction materials, advanced medical technologies, a Weather Control Machine - and still finds a way to use them in bank robberies.
  • Zig Zagged: Dr Evilstein starts out selling his stuff to other supervillains, then goes into supervillainy himself, then goes straight for a while but it's really just a cover...
  • Averted: Dr. Evilstein uses his abilities legitimately to make himself rich.
  • Enforced: "We can't let our villain just stop his conquest and become a lawful civilian, now can we?"
  • Lampshaded: "Do you know how much people would like to buy all this stuff? Think about it!"
  • Invoked: "Now what do I have here... a remote-controlled tank, a Freeze Ray... I know! It's time to TAKE OVER THE WORLD! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!"
  • Exploited: A Genre Savvy Corrupt Corporate Executive steals Dr. Evilstein's technology, and patents it, passing it off as his own.
  • Defied: "Supervillainy? Naaaah. I'd rather sell my inventions and make millions off them, thankyouverymuch".
  • Discussed: "Couldn't this guy just make more money than banks ever have by going legit?" "Completely correct, but this is Doctor Evilstein we're talking about".
  • Conversed: "Have you seen the technologies those villains have? Why won't anyone cut Lex Luthor a check?" "Well, if all villains suddenly went legit there wouldn't be much of a story, right?"
  • Deconstructed:
    • Dr. Evilstein got his start in criminality because he got screwed over by a Corrupt Corporate Executive who stole the intellectual property rights to his inventions. The bank robberies are in fact an elaborate plot to screw this very executive right back.
    • Dr. Evilstein is an Corrupt Corporate Executive who design his inventions so they would be as expensive as usefull, so only weathiest can afford them and he can ear insane amounts of money.
    • Dr. Evilstein tried to market his inventions legally, but his business failed. Now he tries to earn money from his inventions the only way he can think of.
    • Dr. Evilstein tries to move into legitimate territory, but his villainous impulses keep getting the better of him and jeapordising that goal.
  • Reconstructed: Dr. Evilstein gets the rights back, but continues to rob banks because he's grown to like it, and is wanted by the law.

Back to Cut Lex Luthor a Check

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy