Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / ArchEnemy

Go To



An Arch Enemy, archfoe, archnemesis, or simply nemesis is some character's designated and most important enemy.

The Arch Enemy can be the BigBad, TheDragon, TheRival, an EvilCounterpart, or even a HarmlessVillain. The essential element is that, with them, ItsPersonal. Most typically, the Arch Enemy is a {{foil}} of some sort. For example, the Arch Enemy of the physically strong could be very smart. If there is a GreaterScopeVillain, his Arch Enemy commonly is the GreaterScopeParagon.

The Arch Enemy will stand out from the SuperHero's RoguesGallery -- there will be one opponent where the relationship to the hero and the motivations for battling them are more potent. These feelings may be [[UnknownRival one-sided]], felt more by the villain than the hero, or occasionally vice-versa.

A hero's Arch Enemy is not necessarily the biggest threat to them. ComicBook/LexLuthor is considered Superman's Arch Enemy; ComicBook/{{Brainiac}} is smarter and ComicBook/{{Darkseid}} is vastly more powerful and [[SlidingScaleOfVillainThreat dangerous]], but for Lex - and, to a lesser extent, for Superman -- it's ''personal'' between them.

Sometimes, [[ForWantOfANail the hero could have made the same choices as the Arch Enemy]]: the Arch Enemy is showing us [[TheDarkSide what he could have become]], as in the case of Batman and the Joker.

A hero may possess more than one Arch Enemy if more than one villain from his RoguesGallery stand out, or if a former Arch Enemy dies and new one comes in to the picture. As an example, consider Franchise/SpiderMan: the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Venom have all established themselves as recurring and iconic foes of Spider-Man, each of whom has been considered the wallcrawler's Arch Enemy at different points in time.

Lastly, remember that this generally refers to the enemy the ''hero'' considers to be his Arch Enemy, and ideally, it should be personal on both sides (though there are plenty of good "ButForMeItWasTuesday"-type Arch Foes out there). Especially in the case of a RoguesGallery, the hero is usually considered an Arch Enemy to ''all'' of his villains, but he doesn't treat all of them as such. Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, and others all consider Spider-Man their most hated foe, but compared to the Goblin, Venom, or Doc Ock, Spidey regards these guys more like superpowered nuisances. Also, remember that being the BigBad does not automatically make a villain the hero's arch enemy. For instance, it could be that the hero's enmity with TheDragon is far more personal than the one they have with their master; see ItsPersonalWithTheDragon.

Beware of letting an Arch Enemy fall victim to VillainDecay.

See also BreakoutVillain, for those instances when a run-of-the-mill villain ascends to Arch Enemy status.

to:

An Arch Enemy, Arch-Enemy, archfoe, archnemesis, or simply nemesis is some character's designated and most important enemy.

The Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy can be the BigBad, TheDragon, TheRival, an EvilCounterpart, or even a HarmlessVillain. The essential element is that, with them, ItsPersonal. Most typically, the Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy is a {{foil}} of some sort. For example, the Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy of the physically strong could be very smart. If there is a GreaterScopeVillain, his Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy commonly is the GreaterScopeParagon.

The Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy will stand out from the SuperHero's RoguesGallery -- there will be one opponent where the relationship to the hero and the motivations for battling them are more potent. These feelings may be [[UnknownRival one-sided]], felt more by the villain than the hero, or occasionally vice-versa.

A hero's Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy is not necessarily the biggest threat to them. ComicBook/LexLuthor is considered Superman's Arch Enemy; Arch-Enemy; ComicBook/{{Brainiac}} is smarter and ComicBook/{{Darkseid}} is vastly more powerful and [[SlidingScaleOfVillainThreat dangerous]], but for Lex - and, to a lesser extent, for Superman -- it's ''personal'' between them.

Sometimes, [[ForWantOfANail the hero could have made the same choices as the Arch Enemy]]: Arch-Enemy]]: the Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy is showing us [[TheDarkSide what he could have become]], as in the case of Batman and the Joker.

A hero may possess more than one Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy if more than one villain from his RoguesGallery stand out, or if a former Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy dies and new one comes in to the picture. As an example, consider Franchise/SpiderMan: the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Venom have all established themselves as recurring and iconic foes of Spider-Man, each of whom has been considered the wallcrawler's Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy at different points in time.

Lastly, remember that this generally refers to the enemy the ''hero'' considers to be his Arch Enemy, Arch-Enemy, and ideally, it should be personal on both sides (though there are plenty of good "ButForMeItWasTuesday"-type Arch Foes out there). Especially in the case of a RoguesGallery, the hero is usually considered an Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy to ''all'' of his villains, but he doesn't treat all of them as such. Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, and others all consider Spider-Man their most hated foe, but compared to the Goblin, Venom, or Doc Ock, Spidey regards these guys more like superpowered nuisances. Also, remember that being the BigBad does not automatically make a villain the hero's arch enemy.Arch-Enemy. For instance, it could be that the hero's enmity with TheDragon is far more personal than the one they have with their master; see ItsPersonalWithTheDragon.

Beware of letting an Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy fall victim to VillainDecay.

See also BreakoutVillain, for those instances when a run-of-the-mill villain ascends to Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy status.



!!The Arch Enemy is more prone to certain tropes than the common villain:

to:

!!The Arch Enemy Arch-Enemy is more prone to certain tropes than the common villain:



* EvilFormerFriend: When the arch enemy used to be your best friend.

to:

* EvilFormerFriend: When the arch enemy arch-enemy used to be your best friend.



* ItsPersonalWithTheDragon: When TheDragon rather than the BigBad is the arch enemy in question.

to:

* ItsPersonalWithTheDragon: When TheDragon rather than the BigBad is the arch enemy arch-enemy in question.


* As it is heavily influenced by comic books, TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse uses [[ArchEnemy Arch Enemies]] quite a bit. Every playable hero character has a Villain nemesis (though there are some cards in villain and environment decks that have nemeses). Damage one deals to their nemesis is increased by one. For some pairs, this is one sided, such as the Argent Adept, a support hero who has few attacking powers, and his nemesis Akash'Bhuta, who has several ways to deal damage though her Limbs.
** The expansion Vengeance takes this a bit further. The five main villains have several targets in their decks that gain special effects that specifically weaken their nemesis if their nemesis is active. Calypso (a nemesis of Ra) reduces fire damage if Ra is active, which is the only damage type Ra deals. Hilariously, Fanatic's mini-nemesis in Vengeance, the Seer, can actually work in your favour because he prevents heroes from inflicting damage to themselves: while this is a problem for Fanatic (who has a number of "damage yourself for a benefit" effects and likes to put her HP at risk), it becomes ''hilarious'' if you have Sky-Scraper on the same team, because Sky-Scraper's Large form has an ''awful lot'' of effects that deal splash damage recklessly.

to:

* As it is heavily influenced by comic books, TabletopGame/SentinelsOfTheMultiverse uses [[ArchEnemy Arch Enemies]] quite a bit. Every playable hero character has a Villain nemesis (though there are some cards in villain and environment decks that have nemeses).nemesis icons). Damage one deals to their nemesis is increased by one. For some pairs, this is one sided, such as the Argent Adept, a support hero who has few attacking powers, and his nemesis Akash'Bhuta, who has several ways to deal damage though her Limbs.
** The expansion Vengeance takes VillainTeamUp expansions take this a bit further. The five main villains of ''Vengeance'' and ten of ''Villains of the Multiverse'' have several targets in their decks that gain special effects that specifically weaken their nemesis if their nemesis is active. Calypso (a nemesis of Ra) reduces fire damage if Ra is active, which is the only damage type Ra deals. Hilariously, Fanatic's mini-nemesis in Vengeance, the Seer, can actually work in your favour because he prevents heroes from inflicting damage to themselves: while this is a problem for Fanatic (who has a number of "damage yourself for a benefit" effects and likes to put her HP at risk), it becomes ''hilarious'' if you have Sky-Scraper on the same team, because Sky-Scraper's Large form has an ''awful lot'' of effects that deal splash damage recklessly.recklessly.
** Usually, the nemesis icon comes from the hero: the various Baron Blades, for example, have Legacy's lantern symbol, while Deadline has the Naturalist's star iconography. The one exception is [=OblivAeon=]; as the FinalBoss of the entire timeline, and a character who forced multiple villains to pull a HeelFaceTurn or at least an EnemyMine with the heroes, his record-setting seven archnemeses[[note]]at least, nemeses who have their own decks; if you count the number of actual cards with nemesis icons Ra has twelve[[/note]] have ''his'' symbol on them, rather than the other way around.
** Notably, nemesis icons provide their damage boost no matter what side the target is on. In the case of heroes who share a symbol (usually this will happen in cases like the [=OblivAeon=] [[HeelFaceTurn ex-villain]] characters), this can be a detriment; for example, if Stuntman's mine goes off and hits other ex-villains it will deal bonus damage to all of them. Other times, such as if you have ways to get villain cards to hit each other, it's hilarious.


[[caption-width-right:350: "I think [[Franchise/{{Batman}} you]] and [[ComicBook/TheJoker I]] are [[Film/TheDarkKnight destined to do this forever.]]"[[note]]Clockwise from top left: ''[[TabletopGame/CerberusEngineGames DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Rivals - Batman vs. The Joker]]''; ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheKillingJoke''; ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries''; ''[[Film/Batman1989 1989 film]]''[[/note]]]]

to:

[[caption-width-right:350: "I think [[Franchise/{{Batman}} [[Characters/BatmanTheCharacter you]] and [[ComicBook/TheJoker I]] are [[Film/TheDarkKnight destined to do this forever.]]"[[note]]Clockwise from top left: ''[[TabletopGame/CerberusEngineGames DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Rivals - Batman vs. The Joker]]''; ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheKillingJoke''; ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamSeries''; ''[[Film/Batman1989 1989 film]]''[[/note]]]]

Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Asian Animation]]
* ''Animation/PleasantGoatAndBigBigWolf'': Wolffy and Weslie are constantly fighting due to the former wanting to eat the latter and his friends.
[[/folder]]

Added DiffLines:

* Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal and Prime Minister of Portugal, was the arch-enemy to the Jesuits. Even though he was a [[RaisedCatholic Roman Catholic]] himself just like the order, he was an absolutist who sought to reform the state to make it less dependent on the Church and viewed them as too autonomous to operate outside the monarchy authority and being strongly allied with a foreign entity like the Pope. He began a smear campaign against them painting them as [[EvilJesuit power-hungry]] which culminated in Catholic states and ultimately the Pope himself to [[ThePurge suppress]] the order.

Added DiffLines:

** Shortly after being introduced in Season 2, Nyx becomes this to Tenn. As the former is a BombThrowingAnarchist revolutionary and the latter is a ConsummateProfessional imperial loyalist, it's only natural.

Added DiffLines:

* The Ottoman Empire was considered Europe's biggest threat between UsefulNotes/TheFallOfConstantinople and the UsefulNotes/SiegeOfVienna, with too many Christians like Greeks, Serbs, Poles, Albanians, Spaniards and Portuguese waging war against them separately. Ironically, the Ottomans' most hated rivals were the Persians because even though they were Muslims, the Ottomans followed Sunni Islam while the Persians adhered to Shia Islam and the two despised each other. It's believed by some scholars that part of the reason Ottoman advance into Europe halted was because they were too busy fighting against the Persians. After the Siege of Vienna, UsefulNotes/TsaristRussia became the biggest threat to the Ottoman Turks.


* The Black Panthers (and by extension the black community) and the Ku Klux Klan; much like Jews and Nazis (mentioned above).

to:

* The Ku Klux Klan is this to the Black Panthers (and by extension Panthers, and the black community) and the Ku Klux Klan; community itself; much like Jews and Nazis and Jews (mentioned above).


* UsefulNotes/JohnAdams and UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson, the second and third presidents respectively, were this; though originally good friends, after UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington left the office when their political ideologies started to diverge, their relationship fell apart and they formed bitterly divided parties against each other. Ironically, due to how voting worked at the time, Jefferson wound up as vice president to Adams when he entered office, making things even worse than they were before. After both of their terms as president were over, however, they patched things up.

to:

* UsefulNotes/JohnAdams and UsefulNotes/ThomasJefferson, the second and third presidents respectively, were this; though originally good friends, after UsefulNotes/GeorgeWashington left the office when their political ideologies started to diverge, their relationship fell apart and they formed political parties that bitterly divided parties against opposed each other. Ironically, due to how voting worked at the time, Jefferson wound up as vice president to Adams when he entered office, making things even worse than they were before. After both of their terms as president were over, however, they patched things up.


*** Sega was Nintendo's arch-enemy before it stopped making its own gaming consoles. Nowadays we have the three-way archenemies of Nintendo, Creator/{{Sony}}, and [[Creator/MicrosoftStudios Microsoft]].

to:

*** Sega was Nintendo's arch-enemy before it stopped making its own gaming consoles. Nowadays we have the three-way archenemies of Nintendo, Creator/{{Sony}}, and [[Creator/MicrosoftStudios [[Creator/XboxGameStudios Microsoft]].


* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' has Lucius Malfoy and Nick Fury, whose personal rivalry stretches back to the days of Voldemort's first reign, and who utterly ''despise'' each other.

to:

* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' has Lucius Malfoy and Nick Fury, whose personal rivalry stretches back to the days of Voldemort's first reign, reign when they were respectively the spymasters of the Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix, and who utterly ''despise'' each other.other. Lucius personally murdered two of Fury's mentors and blasted out his eye, and Fury broke Lucius' wand, did something that left him with a permanent limp, ''burned his house down with him inside it'', and, it is implied, did ''something'' else to Lucius, though it's never stated exactly what.


* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fic ''Fanfic/LovedAndLost'', [[TheBrute Commander Hildread]] appears to regard Shining Armor as her nemesis. [[EstablishingCharacterMoment In her very first appearance]], she makes her hatred of him crystal clear. Though [[{{Sadist}} sadistic]] anyway, she takes special pleasure from torturing and taunting the disgraced captain who expelled her from the Royal Guard because [[KnightTemplar she believed too much in using extreme brutality in the name of security]]. She also confesses during the climax that she has always hated him and considered him too soft to be a competent captain of the Royal Guard. Though she [[EvenEvilHasStandards feels uneasy]] about her master's decision to [[spoiler:mass murder all the inhabitants of Ponyville]], she [[IgnoredEpiphany refuses to admit being wrong]] when Shining Armor calls her out and tries to kill him.

to:

* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fic ''Fanfic/LovedAndLost'', [[TheBrute Commander Hildread]] appears seems to regard Shining Armor as her nemesis. [[EstablishingCharacterMoment In her very first appearance]], she makes her hatred of him crystal clear. Though [[{{Sadist}} sadistic]] anyway, she takes special pleasure from torturing and taunting the disgraced captain who expelled her from the Royal Guard because [[KnightTemplar she believed too much in using extreme brutality in the name of security]]. She also confesses during the climax that she has always hated him and considered him too soft to be a competent captain of the Royal Guard. Though she [[EvenEvilHasStandards feels uneasy]] about her master's decision to [[spoiler:mass murder all the inhabitants of Ponyville]], she [[IgnoredEpiphany [[ShutUpKirk refuses to admit being wrong]] wrong when Shining Armor calls her out out]] and tries to kill him.

Added DiffLines:

* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fic ''Fanfic/LovedAndLost'', [[TheBrute Commander Hildread]] appears to regard Shining Armor as her nemesis. [[EstablishingCharacterMoment In her very first appearance]], she makes her hatred of him crystal clear. Though [[{{Sadist}} sadistic]] anyway, she takes special pleasure from torturing and taunting the disgraced captain who expelled her from the Royal Guard because [[KnightTemplar she believed too much in using extreme brutality in the name of security]]. She also confesses during the climax that she has always hated him and considered him too soft to be a competent captain of the Royal Guard. Though she [[EvenEvilHasStandards feels uneasy]] about her master's decision to [[spoiler:mass murder all the inhabitants of Ponyville]], she [[IgnoredEpiphany refuses to admit being wrong]] when Shining Armor calls her out and tries to kill him.

Added DiffLines:

* The Westboro Baptist Church and gay people, although specifically it's irrelevant as they claim [[HatesEveryoneEqually God hates literally everyone on Earth.]] They seem to be most known for picketing the funeral of Matthew Shephard.

Added DiffLines:

* Creator/ChristopherHitchens had [[MeanBrit too many enemies to list]], although his biggest ones were Bill and Hillary Clinton, Mother Teresa (!), and Henry Kissinger.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 1563

Top

Example of:

/

Feedback