Playing With / Starter Villain

Basic trope: A minor villain who appears early in a show.
  • Straight: The first episode of The Adventures of Alice and Bob has our hero dealing with Captain Jack, a low-rank minion of Emperor Evulz who controls a small town.
  • Exaggerated: Jack is nothing but a school yard bully who happens to be a fan of Emperor Evulz.
  • Downplayed: While Jack is a threat, later villains have more resources and greater plans.
  • Justified:
    • Bob's mentor intentionally pushes Bob into confronting Jack so that he can get some experience before taking on greater threats.
    • The Adventures of Bob is a videogame and the first few levels spent campaigning against Captain Jack are a Justified Tutorial.
  • Inverted: The very first villian Bob takes on is the Big Bad, and he spends the rest of the series mopping up the multitude of smaller bad guys left leaderless in the wake of his defeat.
  • Subverted: Captain Jack works to make up for his failure, and comes back with a higher rank more dangerous than ever.
  • Double Subverted: However, by the time Jack gets around to striking at Bob, Bob has also taken several levels in badass and defeats him just as easily the second time around. Bob continues to escalate in power faster than Jack, and Jack quickly becomes a non-issue.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Jack returns several times, his power level compared to Bob's varying depending on how much time Bob's spent grinding.
  • Averted: The first villain Bob faces is just as strong as all the rest he later must defeat.
  • Enforced:
  • Lampshaded: "I'm just the first villain, guys. I'm thus the weakest."
  • Invoked: The army believes its enemies are weak, so they just send their weakest members to defeat them.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: The true villain decides to attack every potentially threatening Ragtag Bunch of Misfits at full force.
  • Discussed: "The true villains never show up first. They send their minions first."
  • Conversed: ???
  • Deconstructed: After his easy defeat of Captain Jack on his first attempt, Bob is elated and rushes into his next fight, feeling invincible. Unfortunately, General Ripper, his next foe, is much more formidable and he is soundly defeated.
  • Reconstructed: The experience and knowledge gained in defeating Captain Jack serve as a boost to Bob's confidence. With many of his old insecurities no longer holding him back, Bob is now capable of facing much more dangerous villains on an even footing.

Back to Starter Villain. But I'm warning you, next time won't be so easy!