Quotes: Cut Lex Luthor a Check

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I don't get it. Little bit of fine tuning, you could have made a good paycheck selling that to China, Iran... or go black market. You look like you've got friends in low places. Why throw it away on me?
Tony Stark (discussing Ivan Vanko's own arc reactor), Iron Man 2

It's not about making money, it's about taking money.

Dr. Evil, I spent 30 years of my life turning this two-bit evil empire into a world class multinational. I was going to have a cover story with Forbes. But you, like an idiot, want to take over the world. And you don't realize there is no 'world' anymore! It's only corporations!
Number Two, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery

What I mean to say is: a ruthless drive for conquest could be channeled into more productive endeavors. You could work for Microsoft instead.
Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space

We evil magicians have to make a living too.
Professor Hinkle, Frosty the Snowman

I can rekindle the life in a corpse... I can raise the dead, but I can't make a buck!
Vincent, 13th baron von Frankenstein, Sweet Chastity

I'm sure your next question is: 'Lex, fine. What are you gonna do with a hundred billion dollars?' Well, it's simple. I'm going to use it... to kill Superman.

I mean, c'mon, right? I'm Lex Luthor. It's what I do.

Seriously, imagine if you took all this cool stuff you do and applied it to something that wasn't stupid.
Spider-Man, Ultimate Spider-Man

Farnsworth: This is my latest invention; a device that lets anyone sound exactly like me!
Dwight: What's this device's marketability? Who's the target consumer?
Farnsworth: There is no target consumer! Only targets. Targets that will tremble in fear as their new master hands down edicts in my glorious, booming voice!

But... instead of robbing banks, why didn't he just market and sell his incredibly sophisticated robot?
Brenda, Blue Beetle

Then let's go with your scenario. You win. What do you get? A huge portion of the Virginia shoreline slides into the ocean. An act of terrorism-for-profit that'll put every human and metahuman agent and agency on your trail for the rest of your natural life. And pray mercy on your afterlife if you happen to kill anyone near and dear to Fate, Zatanna, or... so you see my point. How about hearing my counter-proposal? I can put you in contact with a major U.S. corporation that will co-patent this device with you. They're Gotham-based, so the post-No Man's Land investor incentives mean a healthy tax bonus. Your device is used in perpetuity for beach reclamation and you cash a fat check for waking up every morning. Yes, much better than another Flash-bash. Which... yes, Wizard, I'm sure you would win this time... Fine. Your Gotham City contact will email you tomorrow.
Batman to the Weather Wizard, JLA: Welcome to the Working Week

Oh, I'm real. Real enough to defeat you! And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers. I'll give them heroics. I'll give them the most spectacular heroics the world has ever seen! And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that everyone can have powers. Everyone can be super! And when everyone's super.. [chuckles evilly] - no one will be.
— The (somewhat) Genre Savvy Syndrome in The Incredibles.

Look, I'm just sayin', if you've invented the anti-gravity machine, why blackmail France for 100 mil to keep the Eiffel Tower from flying into orbit?
That's chicken feed compared to what you could make selling the best damned bra ever invented!

You have knowledge enough to remedy every ill facing this world, yet you squander it to fuel your own ambition!

Supervillains aren't supervillains because they are poor. No, supervillains are possessed of the intelligence, strength, and power to make many times the fortunes of normal men. Indeed, they're often very rich at the start of their careers. No supervillains are supervillains because they can't have enough, can't operate within normal laws, and don't WANT TO. Any person who could be a superhero and work within the lines usually IS. It's why there's so many fallen heroes amongst supervillains. They can't make it because being a hero isn't enough. Even if they choose not to be heroes, there's plenty of legitimate jobs they can make a vast fortune with their powers or expertise. Yet, still, we have a vast number of criminal psychopaths out to rule the world. Not because being a supervillain is the easier path, it's because supervillains are ABNORMAL, and abnormal people tend to gain powers more often.
Alexander Timons/Blackwing, Halt Evil Doer

Spider-Man: You can rewrite DNA on the fly, and you're using it to turn people into dinosaurs? But with tech like that, you could cure cancer!
Sauron: But I don't want to cure cancer. I want to turn people into dinosaurs.
Spider-Man and the X-Men

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I never believed the original Luthor. Every story would begin with him breaking out of prison, finding some giant robot in an old lab he hid somewhere, and then he'd be defeated. My view was if he could afford all those labs and giant robots he wouldn't need to rob banks.
Marv Wolfman on conceiving a new Lex for Superman: The Man of Steel

Do you remember what the villains from Captain Planet were like, how they'd steal an oil tanker and deliberately run it smack into a beach to teach all the sea lions a lesson in complacency? Do you remember wondering why they didn't just sell the oil at huge profits and not have to get beaten up by a big blue man in little red pants?
Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Barney and Fred are extremely close. They share the same job, hobbies, and circle of friends. When Fred finally hits Wilma too hard, Barney is the one who'll help make it look like a footmobile accident. If this is some cereal they can't get in stores, there is no way Fred knows some secret cereal dealer that Barney doesn't. And it can't possibly be financially related. Not only do they get the same paycheck, most of Barney's schemes cost magnitudes more than a box of sugar rice puffs. He once hired five ninjas and a hot air balloon to steal one serving of Pebbles. It's a risky thing, telling five professional murderers that their share of a heist is 16% of a bowl of soggy cereal...

...the Master’s only reason for being here is because he’s the Master and this is apparently the sort of thing the Master does. One imagines that there’s a more productive way to conquer the universe than stopping the signing of the Magna Carta. Even the characters wonder what the hell the Master is doing, which is not a good sign... Why Earth? Why England? Why not just use his advanced technology to conquer the planet? One of the better things that Russell T Davies did in resurrecting the Master was to suggest that Master’s primary motivation was messing with the Doctor – his repeated messing with Earth history was just the time-travel equivalent of 'trolling'.

Unfortunately, we get nothing as smart as that here. I’d love to see Ainley’s Master admit that he just wants to prevent the signing of the Magna Carta just to tick the Doctor off. Then he’ll just fly off and start messing with the scores in historical cricket matches to rub salt in the wound.

Is it ever actually explained why the Toyman has assembled a team of super-villains and invented something that provides absolute and total mind control just so he can gain legal control of an aquifer? ...It’s like building a time machine so that you can go back to yesterday and make sure you get your cable bill in the mail on time. If you have one of these things, the other ceases to really be an issue.
ComicsAlliance on Smallville ("Prophecy")

Chris: So here’s my question, and probably the dumbest thing about this movie: Why did Mr. Freeze turn to crime?
David: This the kind of thing I could see the novelization or something answering, I guess. But yeah, you’d think he’d accomplish this just as effectively by writing a really sad letter to Bruce Wayne and getting a grant.
Chris: Seriously. He’s a Nobel Prize-winning scientist who suffered a tragic accident and appears to only want to cure a disease in order to help his wife. If Bruce Wayne wouldn’t help him, Oprah would.
Chris Sims and David Uzumeri on Batman & Robin

Rich: In the comic books, you know what Electro's origin is? He's an electrician who gets hit by lightning and then he decides he's going to rob banks. He's not a very deep character, he's never been a very deep character. A lot of Spider-Man villains are just thugs. Sandman just wants to rob banks. Electro just wants to rob banks. The Shocker just wants to rob banks...
Mike: I thought "The Shocker" might wanna do something else.

In The Phantom Menace, he was involved in a pointless business arrangement with a distant hologram that looked like Death and was placed in a situation in which him and his Trade Federation were obviously being used as pawns in this guy's plans.

Then he gets arrested for causing a galactic war and yet somehow reappears in the second film. Now he agrees to yet again take part in another scheme by the same hologram that looks like Death. This time, his only reason for doing this is that he wants Padme killed, because he apparently blames her for the whole Naboo fiasco—not that guy. So, even though Nute and his extensive Trade Federation (that's large enough to conduct a war) probably could've mustered the resources for a simple assassination, he again relies on Darth Evil to take care of it so that the plot of the second film can get going.

However, in the third film, Nute is STILL going along for the ride with all these jokers even though no one has yet killed Padme and he seems to be getting nothing out of this arrangement other than the destruction of all of his Trade Federation ships and robots.

Red Lettermedia on Nute Gunray

Okay, seriously, just answer this one for me. Why does Donovan even need to sell these sunglasses? It's not like he needs the money. He owns a tropical island and runs a tournament in which he just gives away ten million dollars a year and surrounds himself with hot chicks every single day of his life. Does that sound like a guy who needs to sell fucking sunglasses? Why would he jeopardize all that committing kidnap and murder? Hell, why even bother with all the subterfuge and the fake tournament thing? If you really wanna get fighting data from martial artists, you could always, I dunno, tell the truth. Just offer to pay the world's greatest martial artists a million dollars to come to your island, get an injection, and spar with each other all day. I mean, is anyone even likely to care? At that point it's not even illegal, just patent the shit and sell it at Best Buy. You don't need to be a fucking supervillain about this.

The Hood (Ben Kingsley) gets Jeff and his children trapped in space so he can hopefully use the Thunderbirds to rob a bank. Yeah, just rob a bank. The Hood does seem to lack a healthy imagination.
Miles Antwiler on Thunderbirds (2004)

Dr. Warhol: I need the DNA of a vampire dog to perfect my anti-aging formula.
Allison: *hurk*... can't do it... too stupid... Look, if you don't really have an anti-aging formula, just find another product to shill. Hey, y'know what you could make more money at? Proving that a fucking vampire dog exists!
Allison Pregler on Vampire Dog

So you meet up with 'The Resistance' and learn that the terribly-engineered, slipshod vaults that killed everyone onboard also conditionally gave you superhuman nano-technology powers, and that 'The Authority' is looking to experiment on you for them. Since they're poorly-constructed bad guys, they don't just ask you to sign a consent form and offer compensation to participate in their study. They just wanna kill you for some reason.... The Authority is about as one-dimensional and evil as middle-school poetry.
George Weidman on Rage

'What? A single world's fair refuses to put on an exhibition of my scientific discoveries? How dare they! I'm going to ransom them for a billion dollars and kill them all if they refuse as opposed to simply patenting my wonderful technologies and making billions!' Yeah, I think this is a prime example of why the writers decided making Luthor an evil business genius made more sense than keeping him as a mad scientist. Quite frankly, being a supervillain with this much intelligence and ability is just...dumb.
Linkara, mocking Lex Luthor in the crossover between Superman, Wonder Woman and the TRS-80 Whiz Kids

"Gee, boss, if we'd invented the technology to make a giant robot bear, why didn't we patent it and all become billionaires?"
"You know, Lefty, I never thought of that."

"So we're looking for people rich and evil enough to fund a high-tech jungle plane hijacking, but too dumb to realize that they could just buy their own fucking plane."
Jon Stewart on Malaysia Airline conspiracies, The Daily Show

Kara: I think he cried....I feel kinda bad.
Risky: Yeah, he tends to invoke that. It's uncanny how his supervillainy is almost harmless, even if he is like a genius hacker.
Kara: So why not work for the CIA or something?
Risky: No clue. Maybe he didn't pass the exam.
Kara: That's what I don't get about these guys. They can make millions legitimately. It'd probably be easier too.