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** Both [[Film/TheTerminator the original film]] and [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay its sequel]] make it clear that Skynet sent a Terminator (later two) into the past once the human Resistance smashed its defense grid and were seemingly minutes away from destroying it completely. As additional sequels were made, however, Skynet suddenly gains more and more ability to send additional Terminators into the past, to a bewildering level that raises questions about just how omnipotent it was at the time. In [[Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines Skynet sends back a Terminator model that's explicitly more powerful than the T-1000]], while in the AlternateContinuity series ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', Skynet is constantly throwing Terminators into the past at various points in the timeline. ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'' also reveals that Skynet has (a) a fully-stocked line of T-800's on ice that can be activated and sent through time when needed, and (b) an AlternateUniverse version of Skynet has an "avatar" who somehow has the ability to jump into different timelines. ''Film/TerminatorDarkFate'' goes back to the well of "throwing whatever sticks" by revealing that Skynet sent multiple Terminators to different points over a twenty-five year span (even after it was explicitly destroyed in ''[=T2=]'') before revealing that [[spoiler:it was replaced with a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute called "Legion"]].

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** Both [[Film/TheTerminator the original film]] and [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay its sequel]] make it clear that Skynet sent a Terminator (later two) into the past once the human Resistance smashed its defense grid and were seemingly minutes away from destroying it completely. As additional sequels were made, however, Skynet suddenly gains more and more ability to send additional Terminators into the past, to a bewildering level that raises questions about just how omnipotent it was at the time. In [[Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', Skynet sends back a Terminator model that's explicitly more powerful than the T-1000]], while in the AlternateContinuity series ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', Skynet is constantly throwing Terminators into the past at various points in the timeline. ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'' also reveals that Skynet has (a) a fully-stocked line of T-800's on ice that can be activated and sent through time when needed, and (b) an AlternateUniverse version of Skynet has an "avatar" who somehow has the ability to jump into different timelines. ''Film/TerminatorDarkFate'' goes back to the well of "throwing whatever sticks" by revealing that Skynet sent multiple Terminators to different points over a twenty-five year span (even after it was explicitly destroyed in ''[=T2=]'') before revealing that [[spoiler:it was replaced with a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute called "Legion"]].


* In the ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' franchise, Skynet (and by extension, the titular Terminators) itself becomes increasingly prone to this as the films march on:
** The Terminators get LoweredMonsterDifficulty as the series wears on. In the first film, Kyle Reese describes the T-800 sent back to kill Sarah Connor as "fully-armored chassis, very tough to kill", and the events of the film (and its sequel) bear this out, the first T-800 survives being blown in half, while the second ("Uncle Bob") survives being impaled and nearly drained of its power supply by the T-1000. As the films move further along, however, it becomes easier (and characters are much more prepared) to deal with them. ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' depicted Terminators being routinely smashed, run over, impaled and blown up by other characters, even with tactics such as sustained small-arms fire. ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'' had the original T-800 sent to 1984 (and a T-1000) fall due to a combination of a single anti-personnel rifle round[=/=]shotgun and acid rain, respectively.

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* In the ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' franchise, Skynet (and by extension, the titular Terminators) itself becomes become increasingly prone to this as the films march on:
** The Terminators get LoweredMonsterDifficulty as the series wears on. In the first film, Kyle Reese describes the T-800 sent back to kill Sarah Connor as "fully-armored chassis, very tough to kill", and the events of the film (and its sequel) bear this out, out; the first T-800 survives being blown in half, while the second ("Uncle Bob") survives being impaled and nearly drained of its power supply by the T-1000. As the films move further along, however, it becomes easier (and characters are much more prepared) to deal with them. ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' depicted Terminators being routinely smashed, run over, impaled and blown up by other characters, even with tactics such as sustained small-arms fire. ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'' had the original T-800 sent to 1984 (and a T-1000) fall due to a combination of a single anti-personnel rifle round[=/=]shotgun and acid rain, respectively.

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* In the ''Franchise/{{Terminator}}'' franchise, Skynet (and by extension, the titular Terminators) itself becomes increasingly prone to this as the films march on:
** The Terminators get LoweredMonsterDifficulty as the series wears on. In the first film, Kyle Reese describes the T-800 sent back to kill Sarah Connor as "fully-armored chassis, very tough to kill", and the events of the film (and its sequel) bear this out, the first T-800 survives being blown in half, while the second ("Uncle Bob") survives being impaled and nearly drained of its power supply by the T-1000. As the films move further along, however, it becomes easier (and characters are much more prepared) to deal with them. ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' depicted Terminators being routinely smashed, run over, impaled and blown up by other characters, even with tactics such as sustained small-arms fire. ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'' had the original T-800 sent to 1984 (and a T-1000) fall due to a combination of a single anti-personnel rifle round[=/=]shotgun and acid rain, respectively.
** Both [[Film/TheTerminator the original film]] and [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay its sequel]] make it clear that Skynet sent a Terminator (later two) into the past once the human Resistance smashed its defense grid and were seemingly minutes away from destroying it completely. As additional sequels were made, however, Skynet suddenly gains more and more ability to send additional Terminators into the past, to a bewildering level that raises questions about just how omnipotent it was at the time. In [[Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines Skynet sends back a Terminator model that's explicitly more powerful than the T-1000]], while in the AlternateContinuity series ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', Skynet is constantly throwing Terminators into the past at various points in the timeline. ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'' also reveals that Skynet has (a) a fully-stocked line of T-800's on ice that can be activated and sent through time when needed, and (b) an AlternateUniverse version of Skynet has an "avatar" who somehow has the ability to jump into different timelines. ''Film/TerminatorDarkFate'' goes back to the well of "throwing whatever sticks" by revealing that Skynet sent multiple Terminators to different points over a twenty-five year span (even after it was explicitly destroyed in ''[=T2=]'') before revealing that [[spoiler:it was replaced with a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute called "Legion"]].
** It becomes increasingly clear that sending Terminators back to kill targets is a ''horribly inefficent'' plan. [=T1=] and [=T2=] chalk up Skynet's plans to pure desperation, with the two villainous units seemingly being the only ones they can send on short notice. Later works in the franchise show more and more of them travelling through the past -- and opting to attack targets with guns or melee attacks rather than rely on subterfuge, biological attacks, chemical weapons or any other sort of plan that is harmless to machines but lethal to humans. Making this even more notable is that (in both ''Film/TerminatorSalvation'' and the ContinuityReboot ''Dark Fate''), Skynet appears to be aware in both cases that it's failed, but still doesn't change its tactics. Other works even made it so that the T-850 models had unshielded nuclear fuel cells (two, to be specific), but refuse to utilize them in favor of the same old tactics that didn't work before. ''Film/TerminatorGenisys'' implies that Skynet learned from its mistakes (via sending a T-1000 to try to kill Sarah Connor as a child, and creating an enemy [the T-5000] that can infect others with nanomachines), then drops the act when the Resistance sends a Terminator to protect Sarah as a child, and the T-5000 only infects one single person before disappearing completely from the storyline.


** [[spoiler:Thanos]] in the opening of ''Film/AvengersEndgame'' becomes this. [[spoiler:After giving an incredibly difficult fight and effectively winning in the last film, he is subdued and killed very easily by the surviving Avengers. It's well-justified, as he was alone, injured, and had destroyed the Infinity Stones--not to mention, he didn't really care about putting up a fight anyway.]] Averted later on in the film, [[spoiler:where Thanos's past counterpart remains just as dangerous as ever.]]

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** [[spoiler:Thanos]] in the opening of ''Film/AvengersEndgame'' becomes this. [[spoiler:After giving an incredibly difficult fight and effectively winning in the last film, he is subdued and killed very easily by the surviving Avengers. It's well-justified, as he was alone, injured, and had destroyed the Infinity Stones--not to mention, he didn't really care about putting up a fight anyway.]] WordOfGod says that he [[spoiler:allowed the Avengers to kill him.]] Averted later on in the film, [[spoiler:where Thanos's past counterpart remains just as dangerous as ever.]]

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** [[spoiler:Thanos]] in the opening of ''Film/AvengersEndgame'' becomes this. [[spoiler:After giving an incredibly difficult fight and effectively winning in the last film, he is subdued and killed very easily by the surviving Avengers. It's well-justified, as he was alone, injured, and had destroyed the Infinity Stones--not to mention, he didn't really care about putting up a fight anyway.]] Averted later on in the film, [[spoiler:where Thanos's past counterpart remains just as dangerous as ever.]]


* Loki. He doesn't actually become less competent after his first defeats in Film/Thor and Film/TheAvengers2012, but a combination of more dangerous villains and shared interests with Thor lead him to be less of a scary villain and more of an occasionally comedic {{antihero}}. He does try to betray the heroes on multiple occasions after that point, but, as his brother points out, he's become predictable.

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* Loki. Loki in the ''Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse''. He doesn't actually become less competent after his first defeats in Film/Thor ''Film/{{Thor}}'' and Film/TheAvengers2012, ''Film/TheAvengers2012'', but a combination of more dangerous villains and shared interests with Thor lead him to be less of a scary villain and more of an occasionally comedic {{antihero}}. He does try to betray the heroes on multiple occasions after that point, but, as his brother points out, he's become predictable.


* General Grievous in ''Franchise/StarWars''. Viewers' first look at Grievous occurs during ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars'', in which the cyborg took on six Jedi at once [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXQx_QLY8XM and completely destroyed them]] without much effort, [[EstablishingCharacterMoment establishing him]] as an unstoppable killing machine. However, the series' production team developed the character independently from the films' team. For Grievous's live-action appearance, Lucas wrote him as a significantly lower threat. The live-action Obi-wan faces a significantly weaker Grievous and dispatches him fairly quickly all by himself. The second season of the animated series attempts to {{justif|iedTrope}}y the discrepancy by revealing more of Grievous's evasive nature and showing how he received the injuries he displays in the live-action film. ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' also does its best to redress the balance; though he's not an unstoppable killing machine anymore, he's never shown to be outright incompetent again.

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* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
**
General Grievous in ''Franchise/StarWars''.the prequel movies. Viewers' first look at Grievous occurs during ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsCloneWars'', in which the cyborg took on six Jedi at once [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXQx_QLY8XM and completely destroyed them]] without much effort, [[EstablishingCharacterMoment establishing him]] as an unstoppable killing machine. However, the series' production team developed the character independently from the films' team. For Grievous's live-action appearance, Lucas wrote him as a significantly lower threat. The live-action Obi-wan faces a significantly weaker Grievous and dispatches him fairly quickly all by himself. The second season of the animated series attempts to {{justif|iedTrope}}y the discrepancy by revealing more of Grievous's evasive nature and showing how he received the injuries he displays in the live-action film. ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' also does its best to redress the balance; though he's not an unstoppable killing machine anymore, he's never shown to be outright incompetent again.


*** This is inverted in ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', [[spoiler:where he becomes ''[[KnightOfCerebus even more menacing]]'' than before.]]

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*** This is inverted in ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', [[spoiler:where he becomes ''[[KnightOfCerebus even worse]]'' than before, having been revealed to be [[TheManBehindTheMan the mastermind]] [[GreaterScopeVillain behind]] the villains of ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'', ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'', and ''Film/{{Skyfall}}''. He even does ColdBloodedTorture and BreakThemByTalking on Bond several times, all for the sake of doing more menacing]]'' than before.evil.]]


* Characters/MCULoki. He doesn't actually become less competent after his first defeats in Film/Thor and Film/TheAvengers2012, but a combination of more dangerous villains and shared interests with Characters/MCUThor lead him to be less of a scary villain and more of an occasionally comedic {{antihero}}. He does try to betray the heroes on multiple occasions after that point, but, as his brother points out, he's become predictable.

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* Characters/MCULoki. Loki. He doesn't actually become less competent after his first defeats in Film/Thor and Film/TheAvengers2012, but a combination of more dangerous villains and shared interests with Characters/MCUThor Thor lead him to be less of a scary villain and more of an occasionally comedic {{antihero}}. He does try to betray the heroes on multiple occasions after that point, but, as his brother points out, he's become predictable.

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* Characters/MCULoki. He doesn't actually become less competent after his first defeats in Film/Thor and Film/TheAvengers2012, but a combination of more dangerous villains and shared interests with Characters/MCUThor lead him to be less of a scary villain and more of an occasionally comedic {{antihero}}. He does try to betray the heroes on multiple occasions after that point, but, as his brother points out, he's become predictable.


*** This is subverted in ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', [[spoiler:where he becomes ''[[KnightOfCerebus even more menacing]]'' than before.]]

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*** This is subverted inverted in ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', [[spoiler:where he becomes ''[[KnightOfCerebus even more menacing]]'' than before.]]


** General Armitage Hux is introduced in The Force Awakens as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to Grand Moff Tarkin, even to the point of using a super weapon to blow up multiple planets. By the time of The Last Jedi however, the lack of respect given to him by his enemies, his superiors and his subordinates reaches comical levels. Poe humiliates him in the equivalent of a Prank Call on his Dreadnaught, Supreme Leader Snoke uses the Force to smack him around for failure in front of his men when he tries to save face by taking the call in his office, and Kylo Ren continues to treat him with no respect, Force choking and throwing him around like a rag-doll for raising objections, with even his own subordinates not batting an eye at it anymore.

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** General Armitage Hux is introduced in The Force Awakens ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute to Grand Moff Tarkin, even to the point of using a super weapon to blow up multiple planets. By the time of The Last Jedi ''Film/TheLastJedi'' however, the lack of respect given to him by his enemies, his superiors and his subordinates reaches comical levels. Poe humiliates him in the equivalent of a Prank Call PrankCall on his Dreadnaught, Supreme Leader Snoke uses the Force to smack him around for failure in front of his men when he tries to save face by taking the call in his office, and Kylo Ren continues to treat him with no respect, Force choking and throwing him around like a rag-doll for raising objections, with even his own subordinates not batting an eye at it anymore.

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*** This is subverted in ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', [[spoiler:where he becomes ''[[KnightOfCerebus even more menacing]]'' than before.]]


** Nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his SPECTRE minions were pretty threatening [[Film/DrNo the]] [[Film/FromRussiaWithLove first]] [[Film/{{Thunderball}} 5]] [[Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice times]] [[Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService that]] Bond fought them. But in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', Blofeld is reduced to stealing the identity of [[CaptainErsatz Howard Hughes knockoff]] Willard Whyte and hijacking Whyte's company to continue his plans. It's probably for the best that legal issues prevented Blofeld and SPECTRE from showing up again, although he does get a LawyerFriendlyCameo in ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'', where he's dispatched in the unrelated opening teaser. Blofeld and SPECTRE also undergo Villain Decay in Creator/IanFleming's [[Literature/JamesBond original books]], but in a completely different fashion. This is subverted in ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', where he becomes ''[[KnightOfCerebus even more menacing]]'' than before.

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** Nemesis Bond's ArchEnemy Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his SPECTRE minions were pretty threatening [[Film/DrNo the]] [[Film/FromRussiaWithLove first]] [[Film/{{Thunderball}} 5]] [[Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice times]] [[Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService that]] Bond fought them. But in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', Blofeld is reduced to stealing the identity of [[CaptainErsatz Howard Hughes knockoff]] Willard Whyte and hijacking Whyte's company to continue his plans. It's probably for the best that legal issues prevented Blofeld and SPECTRE from showing up again, although he does get a LawyerFriendlyCameo in ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'', where he's dispatched easily reduced to a [[VillainousBreakdown screaming wreck]] and [[AssholeVictim dispatched]] in the unrelated opening teaser. Blofeld and SPECTRE also undergo Villain Decay undergoes this in Creator/IanFleming's the [[Literature/JamesBond original books]], but in a completely different fashion. This is subverted in ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', where he becomes ''[[KnightOfCerebus even more menacing]]'' than before.


** Nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his SPECTRE minions were pretty threatening [[Film/DrNo the]] [[Film/FromRussiaWithLove first]] [[Film/{{Thunderball}} 5]] [[Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice times]] [[Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService that]] Bond fought them. But in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', Blofeld is reduced to stealing the identity of [[CaptainErsatz Howard Hughes knockoff]] Willard Whyte and hijacking Whyte's company to continue his plans. It's probably for the best that legal issues prevented Blofeld and SPECTRE from showing up again, although he does get a LawyerFriendlyCameo in ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'', where he's dispatched in the unrelated opening teaser. Blofeld and SPECTRE also undergo Villain Decay in Creator/IanFleming's [[Literature/JamesBond original books]], but in a completely different fashion.

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** Nemesis Ernst Stavro Blofeld and his SPECTRE minions were pretty threatening [[Film/DrNo the]] [[Film/FromRussiaWithLove first]] [[Film/{{Thunderball}} 5]] [[Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice times]] [[Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService that]] Bond fought them. But in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever'', Blofeld is reduced to stealing the identity of [[CaptainErsatz Howard Hughes knockoff]] Willard Whyte and hijacking Whyte's company to continue his plans. It's probably for the best that legal issues prevented Blofeld and SPECTRE from showing up again, although he does get a LawyerFriendlyCameo in ''Film/ForYourEyesOnly'', where he's dispatched in the unrelated opening teaser. Blofeld and SPECTRE also undergo Villain Decay in Creator/IanFleming's [[Literature/JamesBond original books]], but in a completely different fashion. This is subverted in ''Film/{{Spectre}}'', where he becomes ''[[KnightOfCerebus even more menacing]]'' than before.

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