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Terrible Trio: Western Animation

  • Zix, Travoltron, and Tee, the Alien Bikers from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron.
  • Scratch and Grounder in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog with Robotnik as the higher up. Sometimes Robotnik himself joined them, and led from the front. Semi recurrer Coconuts also joined the team on occasion.
  • The Pet Store Employees in the American Dad! episode The Full Cognitive Redaction of Avery Bullock by the Coward Stan Smith (There voiced by unknown actors at this time).
  • While hardly ineffectual until the main characters get the hang of them, Ozai's Angels (Azula, Mai and Ty-Lee), from Avatar: The Last Airbender count. Azula is almost the Big Bad herself (as the actual Big Bad, her father Ozai, rarely appears in person until the Grand Finale), and then she's accompanied by a pair of Badass Normals. Really, only the main characters are capable of beating them by the Power of Plot. And unlike most Heel Face Turns, Mai and Ty-Lee do not lose their badassery. This is only shown for about 5 minutes in one episode, after which they're locked up. But it nicely leads to Azula's Villainous Breakdown.
  • The (literal) Terrible Trio on Batman: The Animated Series, three wealthy young men who commit crimes for the thrill and excitement.
  • The (literal) Terrible Trio on The Batman.
  • The (literal) Terrible Trio on Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • The "Circus Freaks" in Ben 10.
  • Captain N: The Game Master has King Hippo, the Eggplant Wizard and Mother Brain.
  • The second season of Adventures in Care-a-Lot plays this up more by giving Grizzle two recurring hench-bots, UR-2 and Sergeant Rocketbottom.
  • A classic example of this exists in Casper the Friendly Ghost with the Ghostly Trio, who consist of Stretch, the tall one and leader; Stinkie, the short one, and Fatso, the fat one.
  • The Greaser Dogs from CatDog.
  • Though not villains, Sissi, Herv, and Nicolas from Code Lyoko qualify at their most antagonist (or when possessed by XANA). The rest of the time, they're either comic relief or unexpected sources of help.
  • Buzz, Delete and The Hacker from the childrens show Cyberchase.
  • Danger Mouse has Baron Silas Greenback, his pet caterpillar Nero, and his henchman Stiletto Mafioso.
  • Donkey Kong Country has Klump and Krusha, with King K. Rool as the higher-up. Also, Captain Skurvy, Kutlass and Green Kroc.
  • The Urpneys (Sgt. Blob, Frizz and Nug) in The Dreamstone are very Team Rocket-ish; being rather sympathetic, doomed to failure from the start, and tending to get an unnecessarily hard time from the good guys after they've been clearly beaten already (bar a few occasions). In later episodes, Urpgor sometimes joins them, albeit in an often rivalistic manner.
  • Disney's DuckTales has the Beagle Boys, often as not with archnemesis Flintheart Glomgold as The Man Behind the Man. Sometimes their mother, Ma Beagle, tends to be in charge.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • The Eds, in the eyes of the cul-de-sac kids, they definitely are.
    • The Kanker Sisters, especially when they destroy the cul-de-sac trying to find their heirloom, the Ship-Inna-Bottle.
  • Futurama
    • Donbot and his two goons, Clamps and Joey Mousepad, are the entire Robot Mafia.
    • Mom's three sons, Walt, Larry and Igner, are another Terrible Trio. Though they're not completely incompetant, Mom treats them as if they are. Their original plan to get Fry's PIN number only worked because Fry was being... well, Fry.
  • The U.S. Acres segments of Garfield and Friends has Gort, Wart, and Mort, the older brothers of Orson Pig.
  • To Mr. Eustace P. Peevly, The Hair Bear Bunch could be considered this.
  • Hector, Wordsworth and Mungo in Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats.
  • Edgar Allan Poe, Sappho and Basho in the Histeria!! episode "The Legion of Super Writers".
  • Jackie Chan Adventures has the Enforcers: Finn, Ratso and Chow.
  • On Jem, Eric Raymond was the higher-up to the Misfits and has various henchpeople as well.
  • Lucius, Samy and Molotov from Jimmy Two-Shoes.
  • Portia, Gwen and Penny from The Mighty B!.
  • Toralei, Purrsephone, and Meowledy on the Monster High webisodes form a Terrible Trio.
  • Margret Rhino's group, the pretties from My Gym Partners A Monkey.
  • The Diamond Dogs from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "A Dog and Pony Show" are led by such a trio. Word of God says their names are Fido (the hulking one), Rover (the tall, skinny one) and Spot (the short one).
  • Joey, Marky and Dee-Dee in Oggy and the Cockroaches.
  • Popy, Buck and Harchi from Oscars Oasis.
  • The Meanos from Paw Paw Bears.
  • The Hooded Claw and the Bully Brothers on The Perils of Penelope Pitstop.
  • The Powerpuff Girls
  • The Gross Sisters from The Proud Family.
  • In the Rainbow Magic movie, Leonardo, Newton, and Edison are this.
  • The Capicola Gang from Regular Show and a possible Expy to the Greaser Dogs.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle has Fearless Leader, Boris and Natasha (the higher-up was Mr. Big).
  • The Smoggies has the title characters: Emma, Clarence and Polluto.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man:
    • Chameleon, Beck, and Mason start out as one, with the somewhat unusual detail that all three are the Evil Genius type of villain.
    • The Enforcerers: Fancy Dan, Montana and The Ox, with Tombstone as their superior. (They later get Powered Armor, becoming Richochet, Shocker and... Still Ox.)
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy IV", Barnacle Boy (ahem... Barnacle Man) forms one with Man Ray and The Dirty Bubble when he temporarily becomes a villain.
  • Stripperella. El Cheapo and his two hoods, who due to the stinginess of their boss have to share the same gun.
  • Bowser, Mouser, Tryclyde, and an unnamed Koopa Troopa in The The Super Mario Bros. Super Show.
  • Texas Pete's gang in Superted is perhaps the ultimate example of physically contrasting henchman: Bulk is a big fat guy, and Skeleton is... well, have a guess.
  • Talespin:
    • Gibber, Mad Dog, and Dump Truck, with Don Karnage as the higher up. Occasionally, Don Karnage joins Mad Dog and Dump Truck and leads them from the front.
    • Trader Moe and his nameless Gorilla and Rhino henchmen are a more straight example.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady, with Krang as the higher-up.
  • From Teen Titans, the HIVE kids. Jinx is the leader, with Gizmo and Mammoth working with her. They're pretty dangerous on their own if they put their minds to it, but generally need a higher-up to scare them into that level of competence — Slade in their first appearance and Brother Blood later. Ultimately they strike out on their own, but without a Man Behind the Man they become joke villains. And then Jinx finally gets fed up with that and does a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • Diesel sometimes forms one with 'Arry and Bert in later episodes of the show.
    • The Lorry brothers from the episode, "Horrid Lorry" are another example.
    • Diesel 10, Splatter, and Dodge are this as well in the "Thomas and the Magic Railroad" movie, although the latter two have a Heel-Face Turn towards the end.
    • James, Gordon, and Henry were a lighter example of this in the earlier seasons, being more just arrogant peers than actual villains.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • Silas Wonder and his two nameless henchmen in "Sawdust and Toonsil".
    • Montana Max, Dizzy Devil, and Calamity Coyote form one in "Hero Hamton" during the boxing match.
    • Arthur Jabba, George, and Leonard in "Take Elmyra Please".
    • Boss Tick, Flick, and Flit in "Flea For Your Life".
    • Nasty, Slim, and Lardo, Concord Condor's older brothers in the "Concord the Kindly Condor" segment of the episode, "Toons From the Crypt".
  • Joy Peters' three sons from Tom Goes To The Mayor.
  • Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker in The Transformers. Later on, Thrust, Ramjet, and Dirge.
  • Megatron has Lugnut and Blitzwing for this in Transformers Animated until he picked up the Constructicons later down the line.
  • Verminious Snaptrap, The Chameleon, and Bird Brain, the three primary antagonists of Tuff Puppy have formed one in certain episodes of the show.
  • The Venture Bros. has several examples:
    • The Monarch, Henchman 21, and Henchman 24, all of whom are bumbling and ineffective. Higher Up is The Sovereign, also known as David Bowie. Except for more recently, when the Monarch is showing increasing levels of competence and 21 and 24 have some lucky moments. Well, in the last minutes of the season three finale, 24's luck ultimately runs out....
    • Doctor Girlfriend, with Tim-Tom and Kevin, the Murderous Moppets. She's coolly competent; the boys tend to get a little over the top and beyond mission scope... Higher Up is also The Sovereign.
    • The Order of the Triad, lead by Doctor Orpheum, with Jefferson Twilight and The Alchemist. Higher Up is The Master.
  • Icy, Darcy and Stormy from Winx Club become this after Season One.
  • The Brotherhood in X-Men: Evolution is briefly reduced to three members: Avalanche, Toad, and Blob. They even do a Power Walk together in the finale.

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