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** Starlight Glimmer was the BigBad of Season 5 as the ruthless mayor of a town with equal sign cutie marks that she makes by the Staff of Sameness. After being defeated twice, first by restoring the townsponies' cutie marks and second by Twilight Sparkle and Spike via a [[TimeyWimeyBall time-travelling misadventure]] and [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath some pep talk]], Starlight became Princess Twilight's student come Season 6.

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** Starlight Glimmer was the BigBad of Season 5 as the ruthless mayor of a town with equal sign cutie marks that she makes by the Staff of Sameness. with her magic. After being defeated twice, first by restoring the townsponies' cutie marks and second by Twilight Sparkle and Spike via a [[TimeyWimeyBall time-travelling time-traveling misadventure]] and [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath some pep talk]], Starlight became Princess Twilight's student come by Season 6.6.
** In the final season, all of the remaining {{Big Bad}}s of the show's two-parters--Queen Chrysalis, King Sombra, Lord Tirek, and Cozy Glow--are DemotedToDragon by Grogar to serve in his LegionOfDoom, with Sombra getting KilledOffForReal after trying to [[ItsAllAboutMe strike it on his own]], and the others spending the bulk of the season [[TheStarscream plotting against their new "leader" together]].


** Freeza, who serves as the BigBad of the Namek Saga, is resurrected to serve in the role again for the "Resurrection F" arc in ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', and is subsequently brought back again much later to serve as a TokenEvilTeammate for the crew during the Tournament of Power arc.

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** Freeza, who serves as the BigBad of the Namek Saga, is resurrected to serve in the role again for Saga as well as the "Resurrection F" arc in ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', and is subsequently brought back again much later to serve as a TokenEvilTeammate for the crew during the Tournament of Power arc.


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* ''Manga/YuGiOh'' has Seto Kaiba, who serves as the BigBad for the Death-T arc, and is brought back in both the Duelist Kingdom and Battle City arcs to serve as TheRival and an occasional ally to Yugi while he faces off against new Big Bads. Subverted with Yami Bakura, as he plays the role in the Monster World arc and then takes a backseat into a minor antagonistic role during the two previously mentioned arcs, but returns with a vengeance as the BigBad for the final arc of the series.

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** Freeza, who serves as the BigBad of the Namek Saga, is resurrected to serve in the role again for the "Resurrection F" arc in ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'', and is subsequently brought back again much later to serve as a TokenEvilTeammate for the crew during the Tournament of Power arc.


* In ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'', the Adversary, [[spoiler:Gepetto]], BigBad of the first half of the comic, is allowed to join the community as a RetiredMonster after his fall, but is never trusted and never truly reforms.

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* In ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'', the Adversary, [[spoiler:Gepetto]], [[spoiler:Geppetto]], BigBad of the first half of the comic, is allowed to join the community as a RetiredMonster after his fall, but is never trusted and never truly reforms.

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* In ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'', the Adversary, [[spoiler:Gepetto]], BigBad of the first half of the comic, is allowed to join the community as a RetiredMonster after his fall, but is never trusted and never truly reforms.


...Or maybe they just want you to ''think'' that, and some poor sap is about to have his plan HijackedByGanon.

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...Or maybe they just want you to ''think'' that, and some poor sap is about to have his their plan HijackedByGanon.


What happens in stories where the heroes continue to have adventure after dealing with their original Big Bad? Sure, the easy answer is that they'll have to deal with a ''new'' BigBad, but what about the old one? After all, the BigBad doesn't die in ''every'' story. Some of them lead lives in other sectors of the world.

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What happens in stories where the heroes continue to have adventure after dealing with their original Big Bad? BigBad? Sure, the easy answer is that they'll have to deal with a ''new'' BigBad, but what about the old one? After all, the BigBad doesn't die in ''every'' story. Some of them lead lives in other sectors of the world.



''Note Bene'': In order to keep this trope from decaying into "Big Bads Who Lose But Don't Die", the Ex Big Bad must be shown or at least referred to as being no longer a Big Bad during a future point of an ongoing series. Villains who lose the status at the end of a story don't count, but if they appear in a sequel or a later season, they do.

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''Note Bene'': In order to keep this trope from decaying into "Big Bads "{{Big Bad}}s Who Lose But Don't Die", the Ex Big Bad must be shown or at least referred to as being no longer a Big Bad BigBad during a future point of an ongoing series. Villains who lose the status at the end of a story don't count, but if they appear in a sequel or a later season, they do.

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* In the post-TV show ''Franchise/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' comics, [[spoiler:genocidal megalomaniac ex-Fire Lord Ozai is imprisoned but still trying to manipulate and corrupt his son and successor Zuko.]]


This trope is for the figures in a work who once held the title of BigBad, but no more. Maybe it's a case of HowTheMightyHaveFallen, and they're struggling to claw their way back to the top; maybe this was the work of the ManBehindTheMan. Maybe they've decided to become a RetiredMonster, and leave all the hard work to the next generation. Maybe they've only been DemotedToDragon. Maybe they've undergone a HeelFaceTurn, [[DefeatMeansFriendship joined the heroes]] as their TokenEvilTeammate, or even become TheAtoner.

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This trope is for the figures in a work who once held the title of BigBad, but no more. Maybe it's a case of HowTheMightyHaveFallen, and they're struggling to claw their way back to the top; maybe this was the work of the ManBehindTheMan.TheManBehindTheMan. Maybe they've decided to become a RetiredMonster, and leave all the hard work to the next generation. Maybe they've only been DemotedToDragon. Maybe they've undergone a HeelFaceTurn, [[DefeatMeansFriendship joined the heroes]] as their TokenEvilTeammate, or even become TheAtoner.


** Throughout the series, Thanos had been on a quest to gather the Infinity Stones for the purpose of population control throughout the universe. ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' sees him successfully gathering the stones, defeating the heroes that stood in his way, and -- with one snap of his fingers -- wiping out half of the population of the universe. He then retired to a far off planet. In the followup, ''Film/AvengersEndgame'', [[spoiler:the surviving heroes track down Thanos and launch a surprise attack, [[LiteralMetaphor literally disarming him of his gauntlet]]. However, the Infinity Stones turn out to be missing, and Thanos explains that he had destroyed them shortly after getting what he wanted out of them to prevent his enforced status quo from being undone. [[OffWithHisHead He is then beheaded]] [[CallBack by Thor]]. The film's FinalBattle is still against Thanos, albeit an incarnation of him circa ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'']].

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** Throughout the series, Thanos had been on a quest to gather the Infinity Stones for the purpose of population control throughout the universe. ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' sees him successfully gathering the stones, defeating the heroes that stood in his way, and -- with one snap of his fingers -- wiping out half of the population of the universe. He then retired to a far off planet. In the followup, ''Film/AvengersEndgame'', [[spoiler:the surviving heroes track down Thanos and launch a surprise attack, [[LiteralMetaphor literally disarming him of his gauntlet]]. However, the Infinity Stones turn out to be missing, and Thanos explains that he had destroyed them shortly after getting what he wanted out of them to prevent his enforced status quo from being undone. [[OffWithHisHead He is then beheaded]] [[CallBack by Thor]]. The film's FinalBattle is still against Thanos, albeit an incarnation of him circa ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'']].''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', who had witnessed the results of the future via the memories of a time-traveling Nebula, and decided that due to his plan resulting in the remaining populace of the universe unable to move on from the deaths of their loved ones, he will just KillEmAll instead and start life over from scratch]].


** Throughout the series, Thanos had been on a quest to gather the Infinity Stones for the purpose of population control throughout the universe. ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' sees him successfully gathering the stones, defeating the heroes that stood in his way, and -- with one snap of his fingers -- wiping out half of the population of the universe. He then retired to a far off planet. In the followup, ''Film/AvengersEndgame'', [[spoiler:the surviving heroes track down Thanos and launch a surprise attack, [[LiteralMetaphor literally disarming him of his gauntlet]]. However, the Infinity Stones turn out to be missing, and Thanos explains that he had destroyed them shortly after getting what he wanted out of them to prevent his enforced status quo from being undone. [[OffWithHisHead He is then beheaded]] [[CallBack by Thor]]. The film's FinalBattle is still against Thanos, albeit an incarnation of him circa ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'']].

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** Throughout the series, Thanos had been on a quest to gather the Infinity Stones for the purpose of population control throughout the universe. ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' sees him successfully gathering the stones, defeating the heroes that stood in his way, and -- with one snap of his fingers -- wiping out half of the population of the universe. He then retired to a far off planet. In the followup, ''Film/AvengersEndgame'', [[spoiler:the surviving heroes track down Thanos and launch a surprise attack, [[LiteralMetaphor literally disarming him of his gauntlet]]. However, the Infinity Stones turn out to be missing, and Thanos explains that he had destroyed them shortly after getting what he wanted out of them to prevent his enforced status quo from being undone. [[OffWithHisHead He is then beheaded]] [[CallBack by Thor]]. The film's FinalBattle is still against Thanos, albeit an incarnation of him circa ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'']].''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'']].


* Loki in ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'' is the BigBad in ''Film/{{Thor}}'' and ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', but after his defeat by the Avengers turns into a reluctant NominalHero and a TokenEvilTeammate to Thor and Jane in ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', and then a LovableRogue who initially minds his own business [[spoiler:but in the end arrives with TheCavalry to save the day]] in ''Film/ThorRagnarok''. Finally, in ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar,'' [[spoiler:he [[RedemptionEqualsDeath is brutally killed]] by the film's BigBad, Thanos after attacking him.]]

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* Examples in ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'':
**
Loki in ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse'' is the BigBad in ''Film/{{Thor}}'' and ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', but after his defeat by the Avengers turns into a reluctant NominalHero and a TokenEvilTeammate to Thor and Jane in ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', and then a LovableRogue who initially minds his own business [[spoiler:but in the end arrives with TheCavalry to save the day]] in ''Film/ThorRagnarok''. Finally, in ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar,'' [[spoiler:he [[RedemptionEqualsDeath is brutally killed]] by the film's BigBad, Thanos after attacking him.]]]]
** Throughout the series, Thanos had been on a quest to gather the Infinity Stones for the purpose of population control throughout the universe. ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'' sees him successfully gathering the stones, defeating the heroes that stood in his way, and -- with one snap of his fingers -- wiping out half of the population of the universe. He then retired to a far off planet. In the followup, ''Film/AvengersEndgame'', [[spoiler:the surviving heroes track down Thanos and launch a surprise attack, [[LiteralMetaphor literally disarming him of his gauntlet]]. However, the Infinity Stones turn out to be missing, and Thanos explains that he had destroyed them shortly after getting what he wanted out of them to prevent his enforced status quo from being undone. [[OffWithHisHead He is then beheaded]] [[CallBack by Thor]]. The film's FinalBattle is still against Thanos, albeit an incarnation of him circa ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2'']].


* Towards the end of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', it is possible to recruit Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir the Bad of the game's TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil ensemble into the Grey Wardens, instead of simply executing him for his crimes. If this option was taken, Loghain appears in following games as one of the good guys, such as when he helps out the title organization in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' to fight the Elder One. [[note]]Which is odd because he was a Gray Warden to begin with, and if spared, will take out the Archdemon and die in the process.[[/note]]

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* Towards the end of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', it is possible to recruit Teyrn Loghain Mac Tir -- the Bad of the game's TheGoodTheBadAndTheEvil ensemble -- into the Grey Wardens, instead of simply executing him for his crimes. If this option was taken, taken (and he survived the FinalBattle of ''Origins''), Loghain appears in following games as one of the good guys, such as when he helps out the title organization in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' to fight the Elder One. [[note]]Which is odd because he was a Gray Warden to begin with, and if spared, will take out the Archdemon and die in the process.[[/note]]One.


* ''Anime/DragonBall'':
** Piccolo is the final BigBad of ''Anime/DragonBall'', but in the SequelSeries ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', he reforms under Son Goku's influence and joins the good guys full-time, fighting a slew of new Big Bads alongside them.

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* ''Anime/DragonBall'':
''Franchise/DragonBall'':
** Piccolo is the final BigBad of ''Anime/DragonBall'', ''Manga/DragonBall'', but in the SequelSeries SequelSeries, ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', he reforms under Son Goku's influence and joins the good guys full-time, fighting a slew of new Big Bads alongside them.


* Malcolm Merlyn in ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' is the big bad of the first season. In the second season, he only has a handful of appearances, and in the third, he is a semi-good guy. He develops back to a villain by season 4's end, but doesn't regain his footing as BigBad.

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* Malcolm Merlyn in ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' is the big bad of the first season. In the second season, he only has a handful of appearances, and in the third, he is a semi-good guy. He develops back to a villain by season 4's end, but doesn't regain his footing as BigBad.BigBad (on ''Arrow'', anyway; he's part of the BigBadDuumvirate in Season 2 of ''Series/LegendsOfTomorrow''). At the end of Season 5, he returns to [[EnemyMine help the heroes]] against new BigBad Prometheus [[spoiler: and goes out in a HeroicSacrifice to save Thea during the season finale]].

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