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Big Bad / Western Animation

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"The ultimate villain of the story, who's causing the problem the heroes must solve."

Note that Big Bad is not a catch-all trope for the biggest and ugliest villain of any given story. The Big Bad is the one who turns out to be behind several other seemingly independent threats.

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  • Megatron in almost every incarnation of Transformers, only to usually force an Enemy Mine when Unicron appears.
    • Generation 1: Led the Decepticons on Cybertron and constantly tried all sorts of evil schemes to steal energy from Earth. Since these plans tended to fail, the writers eventually resorted to an Enemy Mine plot every other episode to avoid Villain Decay.
    • In Beast Wars, he was the Big Bad twice. Firstly he's the standard ruler of the Predacons, fighting against the Maximals. During The Reveal, it is shown that the G1 Megatron had orchestrated the plan, ordering the Beast Megatron to go back in time and kill the G1 Autobots while they were in stasis. Only for that plan to be ignored. Beast Wars Megatron only followed this plan as a last ditch effort, in only one plot, which failed. (Thankfully so, or they all would have been killed by Unicron at some point). Other plots include successfully killing both Optimuses (Optimi?), inventing new classes of Transformers (Transmetal 2, Vehicons) and introducing ham to prehistoric Earth.
    • Beast Machines: He succeeds in conquering Cybertron and ruling over a planet of mindless, sparkless drones. All this happens before the series begins. During the series, he absorbs every spark on the planet and comes within a millimetre of godhood. Yes, godhood.
    • Armada: Leads the Decepticons and gets his servos on the three most powerful minicons in the universe and would probably have destroyed the Autobots if Unicron hadn't forced them into an alliance.
    • Energon starts off with Alpha Q as the Big Bad though once Megatron becomes revived he rallies the Decepticons into once again fighting against the Autobots, and then hijacks Alpha Q's plan to restore his home planet and instead manages to successfully revive and, for a time, control Unicron. Oh, and he reformats Scorponok's and Demolishor's sparks to make them less moral and more loyal to himself.
    • Cybertron: Goes after the Omega Lock and the four Cyber Planet Keys to steal the power of Primus and become a god. He intends to use the Unicron Singularity to destroy the universe and then recreate it as he pleases. Later in the series, Starscream successfully betrays him and becomes a Big Bad in his own right, forming a Big-Bad Ensemble.
    • Transformers Animated: His body was destroyed in the pilot, leaving him a head in a scientist's lab. Hooked into the lab's computers, and with the right words to Professor Sumdac, he spends the first season working on getting a new body and taking shots at the Autobots through intermediaries. When he gains a new body and comes bursting out of Sumdac Tower in the first season finale, the 'bots know exactly how screwed they are. Circumstances still force him to spend most of his time plotting, but it's still a step up from "Decepticons, RETREAT!"
    • Transformers: Prime: Arrives on Earth via space bridge during the Five-Episode Pilot, armed with "Dark Energon", which has the power to revive Cybertronian corpses as mindless berserkers. The mini-series ends with him and an undead army disappearing in a space bridge explosion. Starscream promptly becomes the Dragon Ascendant and takes over as Big Bad for the next several episodes, but Megatron is ultimately revived and retakes the top spot. In the last few episodes of Season 1, though, he's overshadowed by Unicron as the premier threat, only to retake the position in Season 2. This series so far as a pattern of alternating between Megatron and someone else for chunks of episodes, going Megatron-> Starscream-> Megatron-> Unicron-> Megatron.
      • Unicron is the Big Bad of "Predacons Rising", resurrecting Megatron and possessing his body so he can destroy Primus (and by extension, Cybertron) personally, allowing him to bring about an age of chaos and destruction on to the universe.

  • Adventure Time had the Ice King as main antagonist of Season 1, acting as Finn and Jake's main nemesis by kidnapping the Princesses the two have to save. Over time, the Ice King becomes more sympathetic and less villainous, especially after his backstory is revealed, and the role of main villain goes to the Lich, an undead sorceror who seeks the extinction of all life and will use any method to achieve it, from replenishing his strength at his well of power, to seeking Prismo to wish for it, to forming an army of intergalatic criminals, and opening a portal to the Multiverse. When the Lich isn't the main concern, there are other villains that serve as the antagonists of their respective arc or subplot, such as the original Earl of Lemongrab (after losing his sanity completely, he oppresses and abuses his Lemon Children and brother), Orgalorg (an Eldritch Abomination who is revealed to be the true identity of the Ice King's penguin, Gunter, and seeks to gain power from a Catalyst Comet), the Vamps (a group of five vampires that were once slained by Marceline, accidently restored to life when Marceline's vampire essence was removed), and Dr. Gross (a Mad Scientist and cyborg who is responsible for the events of the Islands miniseries, having a unleashed a plague that took the lives of many, leading to Finn's mother uploading her mind into a computer and becoming overprotective of the populace). Once the Lich is no longer a threat, the final season initially has Gumbald (Princess Bubblegum's creation that went rouge and attempted to turn her into a simple-minded candy person, only for that fate to befall him instead), who had been restored after the events of Skyhooks II and has recruited Fern and other Adventure Time villains to help him get rid of Bubblegum once and for all. After Finn and Jake stop the upcoming war Gumbald plans to start, he is reduced to a Big Bad Wannabe and the final antagonist ends up being GOLB, the primordial entity of discord that destroys whatever world it appears in and is apparently the creator of the Lich.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long has The Huntsman, the #4 threat to the magical world who seeks the extermination of Magical Creatures, and has also kidnapped Rose when she was only a baby and raised her to be a loyal member of the huntsclan. Once he meets his end, the Dark Dragon ends up being the Final Boss of the series.
  • Angel's Friends: Queen Reina, who was once a guardian angel that fell in love with the person that she was meant to protect, thus becoming the enemy of both angels and devils. Turns out that Reina's Start of Darkness was caused by Raf's mother's disappearance, and everything in the series was manipulated by Cassidy and Kubral.
  • Avengers, Assemble!:
    • Season One had the Red Skull, who assembles the Cabal to take down the Avengers and attempts to use the Tesseract the conquer the entire world.
    • Season Two primarily had Thanos as the main villain. His search for the Infinity Stones causes them to crash land on Earth, and nearly uses the Infinty Gauntlet to take over the universe. After he's taken out midway through the season, Ultron and Nighthawk take turns as consecutive Arc Villains until Thanos returns for the season finale.
    • "Ultron Revolution" (season three) had Ultron take center stage as the main villain. His plans to wipe out humanity results in the massive influx of Inhumans seen throughout the season. He later disguises himself as Truman Marsh and attempts to have the Avengers round up the new Inhumans so he can weaponize them against humanity.
    • "Secret Wars" (season four) had Loki during the first half, having reformed the Cabal to get rid of the original Avengers and conquer the world in their absence. During the second half, the Beyonder takes his place as the main antagonist. He assembled Battleworld to satisfy his own curiosity, and the Avengers are forced to ally with Loki to return everything to normal. Sure enough, Loki betrays his new allies once he's taken care of.
    • "Black Panther's Quest" (season five) had Killmonger, who reformed the Shadow Council to overthrow T'challa and use Wakanda's vast resources to conquer the rest of the world. His actions lead to increased tensions between Black Panther and the rest of the Avengers, and nearly lead to Atlantis declaring war on the surface world.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!:
    • Loki was the ultimate Big Bad of the first season. He was the one responsible for causing the massive breakout of supervillains across the various prisons and had the Enchantress form the Masters of Evil to keep Thor busy back on Earth. His ultimate goal was to conquer the Nine Realms using the Odinforce and nearly succeeded had it not been for the Avengers.
    • Queen Veranke, the leader of the Skrulls, was the main villain for the first half of season two. She leads her people in a secret invasion of Earth, and has her troops replace various key figures using their race's shapeshifting abilities. She personally disguises herself as Mockingbird, and one of her spies causes the Avengers to split up right before her invasion goes public.
  • Vilgax, from Ben 10. He's wounded grievously in the pilot, drives the plot of most of season 1 from behind the scenes, and finally shows up in person in the season 1 finale, bigger, meaner, smarter, and tougher than anything Ben's faced before. From there on out, he's usually put somewhere between appearances that keeps him from getting involved... He's also an Implacable Man and a Determinator, so he HAS to be kept out of the picture for other plot arcs to happen.
    • Season 2 has Kevin 11, a 11-year old boy with the power to absorb energy. After absorbing some energy from the Omnitrix, he gains the power to turn into Ben's first ten alien forms before losing control of it and becoming an amalgam of those forms. Blaming Ben for this, Kevin spends the entirety of the season seeking vengeance, even going so far as to join forces with Vilgax to take the Omnitrix from Ben.
    • Season 3 has Ghostfreak, Ben's former Ectonurite transformation that actually had the conscious mind of Zs'Skayr. After his demise back in Season 2, Zs'Skayr is revealed to be The Man Behind the Man to the horror-themed aliens that Ben and his team faced throughout the season, and after being resurrected by Dr. Viktor, intends to block out the Earth's Sun with a Corrodium beam so Zs'Skayr can rule the Earth in eternal darkness.
    • Season 4 has The Forever King, who is The Man Behind the Man to recurring villain Enoch. He is revealed to be Driscoll, a disgraced Plumber who joined the ranks of the Forever Knights and became their king. He assembles a team of Ben's Rouges Gallery (consisting of himself, the robotic Red Knight, the Circus Freak trio, Dr. Animo, Charmcaster, Rojo, Sublimino, and Clancy) to in an attempt to claim the Sub-Energy and use it to Take Over the World.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force:
    • The first 2 seasons have the Highbreed, a xenophobic alien race that seeks to exterminate all other life in the universe, seeing themselves as the superior race. The season finale reveals their true motivation was to ensure they don't die alone after many years of inbreeding to remain "pure" has doomed them to extinction.
    • Season 3 has Vilgax once again, having conquered 10 planets and stole the powers of their heroes (including Ultimos) so he take revenge on Ben. He eventually succeeds in acquiring the Omnitrix from Ben, forcing Ben to sacrifice the Omnitrix to prevent Vilgax from using it before replacing it with the Ultimatrix.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien:
    • Season 1 has Aggregor, an evil Osmosian that seeks to absorb 5 different aliens he kidnapped so he can use their powers to travel to the Forge of Creation and absorb an infant Celestialsapien to gain reality warping powers. While he does succeed in the first step and comes close to acheiving his ultimate goal, Kevin stops by absorbing by the Ultimatrix's energy, gaining the power necessary to stop him at the cost of his sanity, making Kevin the Final Boss.
    • Season 2 has a Big-Bad Ensemble between the Forever Knights, now led by the founder, Sir George, Diagon, and Vilgax. Sir George ends up being A Lighter Shade of Black, only seeking end the threat of Diagon to the point he would cooperate with Ben's team. After Diagon kills George, he is successfully usurped and absorbed by Vilgax, making the latter the Final Boss.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse:
    • Arc 1: Khyber, a hunter of sentient aliens that has made Ben his next target, sending his dog equipped with the Nemetrix (an Omnitrix-like device that can turn the user into the predatory species of Ben's alien forms) after him. It is revealed that Khyber is working for Malware, a psychopathic Galvanic Mechomorph that can absorb technology and the one who provided Dr. Psychobos the blueprints of the original Omnitrix used to create the Nemetrix.
    • Arc 2: Malware takes center stage, working alongside Khyber and Dr. Psychobos to assassinate Azmuth and commit genocide of both the Galvans and the Galvanic Mechomorphs.
    • Arc 3: Emperor Milleous and his daughter Princess Attea of the Incursean Empire. They successfully defeat Ben and conquer Earth, but once Ben returns and defeats Milleous, Attea reveals that the whole conquest was part of her plan to overthrow him and take control of the Empire.
    • Arc 4: Albedo, who creates a new Ultimatrix for himself and hires Khyber to help in his evil scheme of regaining his Galvan form and take revenge on Azmuth and Ben.
    • Arc 5: Zs'skayr, who resurrects Lord Transly and plans to use an army of Vladats to conquer the entire galaxy.
    • Arc 6: Vilgax and Eon, who assemble of team of evil versions of Ben (including Albedo) to wipe out the main universe Ben Tennyson. Vilgax ends up betraying Eon and the Evil Bens, wiping them out along with every other incarnation of Ben so he can destroy the remaining Ben Tennyson, No-Watch Ben (Ben without the Omnitrix).
    • Arc 7: Proctor Servantis, leader of the rouge Black Ops branch of the Plumbers that seek to use Kevin and the Plumber's Helpers to destroy both Ben and the Omnitrix.
    • Arc 8: Mad Ben, one of the evil alternate Bens that helps the evil Chronosapien Maltruant acquire one of his pieces before being left to destroy Ben.
    • Arc 9: Vilgax and Maltruant. The former creates a suit of armor from Malware's remains to once again destroy Ben and claim the Omnitrix. The latter seeks to go back to the beginning of time and create the universe in his image.
  • Ben 10 (2016):
    • While Season 1 is devoid of a main villain, the "Omni-Tricked" special introduces this show's incarnation of Vilgax, this time as a Knight of Cerebus that restores him as The Juggernaut since the original series, and he's been featured in a recurring role since as one of Ben's greatest adversaries.
    • The Season 2 finale brings us the High Override, leader of the Fulmini. He used Ben's transformations into Shock Rock and his Omni-Enhanced transformations as a beacon to Earth, plotting to send his army to conquer Earth through the Omnitrix. He's so big and bad that Vilgax actually has to team up with Ben in order to fight him.
  • In Bandolero we have Don Rodrigo, a cruel and tyrannical general who takes advantage of his job terrorizing the citizens of the land with his sadism and serves as the dragon for governor Campomayor until he betrayed and usurped him as the new governor.
  • In Biker Mice from Mars, the main antagonist is Lawrence Lactavius Limburger, a member of a race of fish-like aliens called the Plutarkians, who have invaded Mars with Limburger being one of their agents stationed on Earth. Pretty much every episode involves the titular Biker Mice thwarting his attempts to strip mine Chicago of resources that would benefit Plutark and help the Plutarkians continue conquering planets. While he gets replaced by the Catatonians and Ronaldo Rump in the 2006 revival, he does attempt to regain his stride in the episode "It's the Pits" and the first two parts of the three-part episode "Once Upon a Time on Earth".
  • Zarm on Captain Planet. He's immortal, equal in power to Gaia, claims to have been behind almost every dictator in history (with the implied exception of Adolf Hitler) and manages to force all the other villains to work together under his command. Oh, and during his first encounter with the Planeteers, he almost tricks four of them into starting a nuclear war.
  • Castlevania (2017): Dracula is the overall main threat of the series. During Season 1, however, he's mostly offscreen, with the primary antagonist actually being the Bishop of Griest, who is taking advantage of Dracula's rampage to solidify his own power and fundamentalist viewpoint. Season 2 sees Dracula become more active, but at the same time there's also the matter of Carmilla, who is plotting to usurp him.
  • XANA from Code Lyoko. An artificial intelligence villain who's never seen, but whose influence is certainly felt. XANA's connection to the Supercomputer and Aelita's past drive the plot of the entire series, with heroes needing to foil XANA's attacks on the real world long enough to accomplish their goals (materializing Aelita into the real world, sever her link to XANA so she can live without the Supercomputer, and develop the means to destroy XANA and free their teammate William from the former's control.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Vlad Masters/Plasmius. He's introduced in episode seven, but his influence is felt as early as the opening scenes. Until his Villainous Breakdown, only two people could claim to lay an effective hand on him: Pariah Dark and Jack Fenton, the latter aided with anti-ghost technology. Some have compared him to Slade in deviousness.
    • Pariah Dark, despite only appearing twice, one of those being a cameo during a Gondor Calls for Aid situation, probably counts as well. He's essentially Ghost Darkseid, and is one of the strongest characters, if not the strongest seen in the series. The only person who can match his power would be Fright Knight, his Dragon.
    • Each of the double-length movie episodes has one. First is Pariah, as mentioned above. Next is Dark Danny, who is somewhat less powerful but the most psychopathic villain in the entire series. Then is the ordinary Muggle Freakshow, who spends the movie trying to get his hands on an Artifact of Doom that will give him reality warping powers.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • Batman: The Animated Series:
      • The Joker, as usual. He's the most recurring threat out of all the villains, although in terms of scale, he doesn't quite match Ra's. Until he gets his hands on Ace, or later on a government Kill Sat.
      • Ra's Al Ghul as well. While he doesn't appear as often as the Joker or any other member of Batman's rogues gallery and not the overriding threat of the series, his plan to make the world a better place by annihilating most of humanity and to get Batman to join his side makes him a greater threat than every other villain in the series. His schemes tend most often to be arc-based, and Batman regards him as a powerful and dangerous enemy, more than Lex Luthor and The Joker combined.
  • The Big Bad in Hanazuki: Full of Treasures (appropriately named at that) is a terrifying force of darkness that has left many moons destroyed in its wake. It is not sentient, and the only way to defeat it is by planting the titular treasures into the ground when it glows a color based on a Moonflower's emotion.
  • Horde Prime is the guy giving orders to the much more famous Skeletor and Hordak. He's also a prime example of why Nothing Is Scarier, as when he finally came out of the shadows in the comics, this was the result.
  • Hero: 108:
    • Season 1 has High Roller, a human who gained the ability to speak in the animal language and tricked the animals into turning against humans, allowing him to become the Emperor of the East Citadel and be free to do whatever he wants.
    • Season 2 has Twin Masters, High Roller's master who seeks to spread chaos throughout the Hidden Kingdom by transforming animals into monsters and causing disasters. He is this for the whole show, as he was the Greater-Scope Villain of Season 1, and the reason why the 108 heroes must form the Bronze Giant to destroy him.
  • 'Infinity Train: It's eventually revealed that the Conductor/Amelia is the main villain, as both recurring villains the Steward and the Cat work directly on her orders and is the mastermind of everything on the train.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • Season 1: Shendu, who is consistently treated as the J-Team's most dangerous individual enemy. While trapped in the form of a statue, he has the criminal organization called the Dark Hand collect the 12 talismans of the Chinese Zodiac to restore his physical form before he double-crosses them and tries to summon his dragon minions to destroy all of Asia to avenge his imprisonment.
    • Season 2: The Demon Sorcerers, Shendu's siblings who force Shendu's disembodied spirit to free them from the Netherworld they were banished to, even casting a spell on him to keep him bound to the human he possesses (which leaves Shendu stuck in Valmont's body when he accidentally enters his body instead of his intended host, Jackie Chan himself). After all of the Demon Sorcerors are send back to the Netherworld, Shendu is given another chance and he possesses Jackie so he can alter the Book of Ages to rewrite history, allowing the Demon Sorcerers to retain their rule of the world and forcing Jade to set things right.
    • Season 3: Daolon Wong, a Dark Chi Wizard that seeks to take the 12 talisman's power for his own. When Jackie destroys the talismans and their powers find new vessels in the most Noble animals, Daolon Wong recruits the Dark Hand Enforcers to help him find the animals so he can extract talismans powers from them. After only succeeding in claiming two talisman powers, he makes a Deal with the Devil with Shendu (resurrecting Shendu in exchange for letting him take the Dragon Talisman power when it appears), only for Shendu to double-cross him and become the Final Boss of the season finale.
    • Season 4: Tarakudo, King of the Shadowkhan and lord of the Oni who recruits the Dark Hand Enforcers to find the 9 Oni Masks his Oni generals are imprisoned in and use their power to summon Shadowkhan to Take Over the World. He succeeds in his goal by letting the heroes take the last mask, since uniting all the masks in one place destroys the mask and frees the Oni generals trapped inside, forcing the J-Team to find his mask so as to imprison him and his army.
    • Season 5: Drago, the son of Shendu from the future. After escaping from Section 13, he seeks to claim the chi of his aunts and uncles, granting him all of the Demon Sorcerer's powers. Once he succeeds, the heroes are forced to unseal Shendu in a Summon Bigger Fish moment to stand a chance against him.
  • The main villain of Jem is Eric Raymond, who starts off owning half of Jerrica Benton's father's music company Starlight Music before being kicked out and subsequently starting his own company Misfits Music. He is the backer for Jem and the Holograms' rivals the Misfits and he frequently uses underhanded and unfair tactics and schemes to sabotage the Holograms and prevent them from helping people or achieving their goals.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Set 70 years after Airbender, shifts this role to Amon, Rebel Leader of an anti-bending faction known as Equalists in Season 1. However, it ended up being more complicated than that seeing as Tarrlok, who at first appeared to be the nominal Big Good, wasn't really the nicest guy himself. It turned out that he was another Big Bad all along, as he ultimately betrays everyone by staging a False Flag Operation that would lead him to arrest innocent non-benders before turning on the Avatar and her comrades. Eventually, he was put in his place by Amon. Then it turned out the two of them were brothers, and had been raised by a villain Aang fought and de-powered during the timeskip. Basically, bad parents are responsible for nearly everything in this universe.
    • Book 2 has Korra's uncle Unalaq, who is the leader of the Northern Water Tribe that is at war with the Southern Water Tribe led by Korra's father Tonraq. Later, the real threat is revealed to be Vaatu, the spirit of darkness and the Avatar's ancient enemy, who Unalaq merges with in the season finale to become the Dark Avatar. There's also a Big-Bad Ensemble with Varrick, though he's not the evil type, but he was still a threat to Korra's mission by trying to escalate the civil war even though he's more comedic than the other villains.
    • Book 3 has Zaheer on one side, who is the leader of the Red Lotus, a cabal that plans to have a world without leaders. However, on the other side was the Earth Queen Hou-Ting, the evil tyrannical overlord who rules the Earth Kingdom like an empire, but went out of her way to antagonize the Avatar by declaring Korra an wanted enemy of the state and having the entire Earth Kingdom military hunt her down. In actual fact, after Hou-Ting's death, Zaheer and the Red Lotus are the true big bad of the season as their role becomes bigger in the final four episodes.
    • Book 4 has Kuvira, founder and leader of the Earth Empire and the former disciple of Suyin. Originally a regent meant to restore order to the Earth Kingdom after Hou-Ting's demise, Kuvira usurps leadership of the Kingdom from Prince Wu, intending to conquer the entire Earth Kingdom under her rule, even if that means conquering Republic City.
  • The Marvel Super Heroes had some of the heroes' archenemies serve as the most frequently appearing or most prominent villain in the heroes' respective segments.
    • The Red Skull is established as the main threat in Captain America. While phased out after the series adapts Captain America ending up in modern times following his time as a Human Popsicle, the Red Skull does eventually come back in the final episodes, the very last segment being an adaptation of when he obtained the Cosmic Cube.
    • The Mandarin is the most frequently recurring antagonist in the Iron Man segments, each of his appearances having him try to kill Iron Man or his secret identity as Tony Stark.
    • Loki is the main villain in The Mighty Thor, most of his appearances having him scheme to find a way to defeat Thor in spite of Odin forbidding him from returning to Earth.
  • M.A.S.K. has Miles Mayhem, the leader of VENOM, a terrorist organisation using the same technology as MASK. He is the primary villain of every episode of the first season, and although he misses a few episodes in the shorter second season, the villains who do appear are working for him.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic strangely doesn't have one overall or any lasting ones, but there are some examples confined to one season. The movies, due to being self-contained stories, are also prone to this.
  • Ninjago: A staple of the series is to have one main Big Bad driving the events of every season.
    • Pilot: Lord Garmadon, who aims to obtain the Golden Weapons and escape from the Underworld.
    • Season 1: Pythor, who unites the Serpentine Tribes in order to unleash the Great Devourer to destroy all of Ninjago.
    • Season 2: Lord Garmadon, making various attempts to defeat the ninja using the fused Golden Weapons, up until The Overlord takes the position with a plan to corrupt all of Ninjago.
    • Season 3: The Overlord again, who seeks to escape from the digital world and absorb Lloyd's Golden Ninja power to become the Golden Master.
    • Season 4: Master Chen, who aims to absorb every element from the Elemental Masters in order to turn his cult (himself included) into Anacondrai and begin the Second Serpentine War.
    • Season 5: The Preeminent, with Morro as The Heavy. The former seeks to escape and unleash a curse on all the 16 realms (of which Ninjago is one). The latter wants revenge on Sensei Wu for not giving him the title of Green Ninja, and possesses Lloyd, who was given the title instead.
    • Season 6: Nadakhan, who wishes to make himself all-powerful and remake his homeworld Djinnjago from pieces of Ninjago.
    • Day of the Departed: Sensei Yang, who temporarily resurrects previously defeated villains to kill the ninja in order to take their place among the living.
    • Season 7: Acronix and Krux, who want to use the four Time Blades to conquer Ninjago in the past.
    • Season 8: The Quiet One a.k.a. Princess Harumi, leader of the Sons of Garmadon, who seeks to use the three Oni Masks to raise Garmadon from the dead as a being of pure evil.
    • Season 9: Has two Big Bads, one in Ninjago, and one in the First Realm. In the First Realm, the Big Bad is Iron Baron, who wants the Golden Dragon armor so he can control the Firstbourne Dragon. In Ninjago, the Big Bad is Emperor Garmadon, who has taken over Ninjago and seeks to crush the resistance.
    • Season 10: The Omega, leader of the Oni that seeks to erase all of Creation from every realm in existence, blanketing them in destruction.
  • The Beast from Over the Garden Wall, a mysteious, silhouetted figure that stalks Greg and Wirt throughout their journey in the Unknown, planning to make them lose hope and transform them into Edelwood trees so the oil from grinding them up can be used to keep his soul lit within the Woodsman's lantern.
  • PAW Patrol:
    • The show's main Big Bad is Mayor Humdinger, Mayor Goodway's rival and the mayor of Foggy Bottom, Adventure Bay's rival town. Over the course of the series, he has wreaked havoc for the citizens of Adventure Bay. His rap sheet ranges from animal abuse to grand theft auto, theft, and kidnapping Ryder.
    • The Big Bad of the Mission PAW arc is Sweetie, the royal pup of Barkingburg. Not happy with being a pet, she has set her sights on the throne, and will stop at nothing to become queen. She's kidnapped Chase and attempted murder on both him and Marshall, abused her power when she was falsely crowned queen, and fled from the scene of her crimes. And that's just her debut episode.
    • Recent episodes gave the Sea Patrol arc a Big Bad; a kleptomaniacal pirate by the name of Sid Swashbuckle. In the few episodes he's appeared in, he's caused mass destruction of Puplantis, (accidentally) kidnapped a giant sea slug, and carjacked (boatjacked?) the PAW Patrol's aquatic vehicle, the Sea Patroller.
  • The Sorcerer from Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja. Despite being imprisoned, everyone who knows that he exists is genuinely terrified of him, as he turns people in despair into monsters to do his will. When out, he can do this endlessly by just hitting people or objects with his Stank. As an arguable trade-off, just hitting these monsters hard enough will return them to normal.
  • ReBoot has Megabyte. He is the main villain in this show and never suffered from Villain Decay. He even strands Bob in the Web for 10 episodes. Even after the Daemon arc, which threatened the entire net, Megabyte's return invokes a lot more fear in the heroes than Daemon ever did. This fear is well founded, as Megabyte takes over the Principal office in less than 2 episodes since returning.
  • Dr. Kamikazi from Robotboy. He wants to obtain Robotboy's schematics to mass produce an army of him to Take Over the World, though he's also shown wanting to take control of the original Robotboy as well.
  • Fritz Huhnmorder in Robot Chicken, since he forces the chicken to watch the crossovers on the television. In the 100th episode the chicken kills him and in the season 6 intro turns him into a robot and sentences him to watching the show in retaliation, then his son takes over as the villain in the season 7 finale.
  • In-between several recurring villains, Monsters of the Week, and personal drama, Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths and Legends plays with the concept of a Hidden Villain antagonist for the majority of the series in the form of an enigmatic traitor in the Alliance's ranks that drives much of the most important conflicts of the plot. Towards the end of the series, the Big Bad is revealed as none other than General Rinaker, or rather a Shadoen agent named Wraith taking his place, who — being behind both the disappearance of Nick's father, the corruption of the Alliance, and the various acts of sabotage — essentially sets up and drives the series' Myth Arc.
  • Samurai Jack: Aku, an embodiment of pure evil and the titular character's Arch-Enemy. After conquering Jack's home and enslaving his people, Aku is defeated by Jack and is barely able to survive by banishing Jack to the distant future where he now has complete control over the world and is spreading his rule across the universe. Aku serves as Jack's greatest obstacle as the latter tries to find a way back to his time period and finish what he started to prevent the awful future from ever occuring. Fifty years later, with Samurai Jack unable to age as an unforeseen side effect of Aku's spell, Jack must now regain the drive to finish his quest after so many years of failure while fighting against the the High Priestess (a Loony Fan of Aku who seeks to kill Jack to gain Aku's favor) and Jack's Inner Self.
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • The notorious Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue! has the distinction of being the first Scooby-Doo show to actually have a main antagonist instead of the heroes going after unconnected one-shot villains as previous series did. The main villain of the show is Dr. Phineas Phibes, a mad scientist who schemes to gain immortality and conquer the world with only Shaggy and Scooby standing in the way of his schemes.
    • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated:
      • The end of season 1 revealed that Mayor Jones was the one behind the whole plot, and he actively confronted the gang in the finale. However, it could also be argued that he shared the role with Professor Pericles who is much more active a villain throughout the season. And in any case, at the end of the season the Mayor is arrested, leaving Pericles to take on the role fully.
      • In the second season, Pericles has formed a Big Bad Duumvirate with Mr. E / Ricky Owens, and clearly holds the more dominant position of the two. Basically, Pericles has secured his place as the Big Bad of this show. Though in the final episodes, it turns out Pericles has been serving the Nibiru entity, which in turn has been manipulating events since long before the series started. And in the Grand Finale, it escapes and steals Pericles' body, thus becoming the Final Boss.
  • The Secret Saturdays has V.V. Argost as the main antagonist. He is the Arch-Enemy of the Saturday family who seeks to gain control of the legendary cryptid Kur and uses its power to control cryptids to Take Over the World. After discovering Zak is Kur's reincarnation, he then seeks to find the method to extract Kur's spirit from Zak's body, only to change his plans when he discovers the existence of Zak's anti-matter counterpart, deciding to extract the Anti-Kur spirit from him instead. Once he succeeds in that goal, Rani Nagi (queen of the Nagas) convinces him to instead Kill All Humans to cement his rule permeantly.
  • General Specific is the main antagonist of Sheep in the Big City, as the conflict is driven by his attempts to capture Sheep and use the woolly farm animal in the top secret military organization's sheep-powered ray gun against his will.
  • Star Com The US Space Force: The main antagonist is Emperor Dark, the evil leader of Shadow Force and a cruel despot who wants to rule the entire solar system.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: initially it's Ludo, until Toffee takes his castle and his minions in the penultimate episode of season 1. In season 2 Ludo retakes the position after taking a level in badass, then it turns out Toffee is still around and is still the real threat after all. After Toffee is Killed Off for Real at the beginning of season 3, it appears Queen Eclipsa is set to take the position...except it's a Bait-and-Switch: the true new Big Bad is Miss Heinous, who is revealed to be her half-monster daughter Meteora and, upon discovering that fact, seeks to regain her stolen throne. Season 4 has Mina Loveberry, Star's former idol who threatens the new Monster-Mewman status quo by seeking to overthrow Eclipsa, even enlisting the Magical High Commission's aid in her coup. However, it is revealed that Star's mother, Moon, is the mastermind behind the conspiracy against Eclipsa and Globgor, having recruited both Mina and the Commission to remove them from power, an act that backfires horrifically when Mina betrays her so she can kill every monster in Mewni and all who side with them, cementing her position as the final villain.
  • The Big Bad of both Star Wars: Clone Wars and Star Wars: The Clone Wars is, surprising probably nobody, Palpatine/Darth Sidious. However, due to Palpatine's secrative role, he allows his apprentice, Count Dooku, to act as the supposed leader of the Seperatist Threat and Public Enemy #1 in the eyes of the Galactic Republic.
    • With Palpatine at a far distance due to his ruling position in Star Wars Rebels, the Big Bad moniker goes to the same man it did in the original Star Wars film: Grand Moff Tarkin. All major Imperials featured throughout the series act under Tarkin's authority. However, each season has an Arc Villain serving as The Heavy.
      • Tarkin stepped up for this role in Season One, much like he did in A New Hope. After all, Tarkin is the military governor of the entire Outer Rim and it is hinted Palpatine pretty much lets him do what he wants as long as he produces results. All Imperial forces the Rebels have fought have been Tarkin's troops. All other main Imperial characters were shown to be subservient to him in "Call to Action", including the Grand Inquisitor. Everything that has occurred on Lothal — the seizure of farmland, the rapid mining and industrialization — has been largely because of his orders. One town, Tangletown, has even mockingly renamed itself 'Tarkintown' for the numerous victims of the poverty caused by his governing. However, The Heavy is the Grand Inquisitor, who spends the season relentlessly hunting Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger on the orders of Darth Vadfer.
      • Darth Vader becomes this in Season Two, taking the role from Tarkin as he did in The Empire Strikes Back. When Kanan, Ezra, and Ahsoka become prominent leaders of the growing rebellion and proved worthy enough to defeat the highest ranking Inquisitor, Vader personally steps in to find and kill them. Vader singlehandedly drives the Phoenix Squadron away from Lothal and sends other Inquisitors, the Fifth Brother and the seventh Sister, after them. He is the principal threat to the heroes in the season finale as well.
      • Although Tarkin is back to being the primary Imperial authority figure calling the shots, Grand Admiral Thrawn is sent in to deal with the heroes in Season Three. Of course, he's also part of a Big-Bad Ensemble with Maul, who is a Wild Card with his own agenda.
      • In Season Four, Grand Admiral Thrawn remain the main antagonist of the season, managing the TIE Defender project on Lothal. Although Thrawn still anwswers to Tarkin, Tarkin only makes a single appearence in the season, via a holographic message to Thrawn to warn, where he agrees to give Thrawn a chance to convinve Emperor Palpatine not to pull the plug on the TIE Defender project, making Tarkin more of a Greater-Scope Villain and leaving Thrawn as the Big Bad until the law few episodes, where Emperor Palpatine directly assumes to role as Big Bad by attempting to use Ezra to access the World Between Worlds, although once Ezra foils his plans, Thrawn becomes the Final Boss of the series, with Thrawn's defeat at Ezra's hands resulting in the Liberation of Lothal.
  • The Big Bad Duumvirate of Steven Universe is the Great Diamond Authority, a trio of Gems that are ruling the Homeworld Gems and created feral Monsters of the Week. Most of the problems faced in the first three seasons were caused by Yellow Diamond, Peridot and Jasper's superior who is in charge of the Cluster geoweapon, a mass fusion of shattered Gems in Earth's core that will crack apart the planet like an egg if it forms.
    • The episode "Legs From Here to Homeworld" introduces White Diamond, a Diamond who even manages to strike fear in both Blue and Yellow Diamond. She is also revealed to be the leader of the group, making her the main antagonist of the show.
  • The Super Hero Squad Show:
    • Doctor Doom is the Big Bad in the first season, forming the Lethal Legion to help him recover the Infinity Fractals and reform the Infinity Sword, which was shattered during a fight between him and Iron Man prior to the series.
    • Thanos is the Big Bad in Season 2, tracking down the Infinity Gems so he can use the Infinity Gauntlet to take over the universe. Halfway through the season, Thanos is supplanted by the Silver Surfer, who has become corrupted by the Infinity Sword, and uses both the Sword and the Gauntlet to wreak havoc across the universe as the Dark Surfer.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! has the Skeleton King as the root cause of most of the evil on the show.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles usually has Shredder as the Big Bad, but in the cartoons he is often topped by some alien threat. In the 2003 version of the cartoon, he usually comes out on top, since he took about a hundred levels in badass.
    • In the 2003 cartoon, he cements his position as the Big Bad even further by making plenty of Xanatos Gambits.
    • The Tengu (the demon whose legend inspired the Shredder) for season four and five and Darius Dun in season six. The 'original' Shredder made his triumphant return in season seven as a digital program and in the flesh in the concluding film.
    • The 2012 cartoon initially features a Big-Bad Ensemble between Shredder and Kraang Prime. In season 4, the Triceratons briefly take over as the villains, then once they're defeated Shredder returns to the position.
  • Teen Titans followed a Big Bad per season formula:
    • Seasons 1 and 2: Slade, who seeks to take Robin and Terra as his apprentices in Season 1 and 2 respectively and use them to conquer the city.
    • Season 3: Brother Blood, the Headmaster of the HIVE and Cyborg's Arch-Enemy. After Cyborg resists his mind control, he becomes obsessed with Cyborg to the point of trying to be like him, growing increasingly frustrated with his inability to control Cyborg.
    • Season 4: Trigon, Raven's demonic father who seeks to use her as a portal to reach and conquer Earth, even bringing back Slade as an undead servant to convince her to accept her fate as a portal.
    • Season 5: The Brain, leader of the Brotherhood of Evil who recruits the Titan's Rogues Gallery to help him the eliminate the Titans once and for all.
  • Toxic Crusaders has Dr. Killemoff, who seeks to pollute Tromaville, the home of the Toxic Avenger and the other Toxic Crusaders, to the point that it can be invaded by his fellow bug-people from the planet Smogula.
  • The Venture Bros. has had the Monarch through the series, though often in a Big-Bad Ensemble with another villain. In Season 1, Monarch was more of a Big Bad Wannabe and was competing with more-threatening Baron Ünderbheit to be Rusty Venture's primary arch. In Season 2, he took on more of a Villain Protagonist role with Phantom Limb taking over as the main Big Bad. Come Season 3, Monarch was barred by the Guild of Calamitous Intent from arching Dr. Venture, with the Affably Evil Sgt. Hatred becoming Rusty's Guild-sanctioned arch enemy. Monarch retakes his status as the main Big Bad in Seasons Four and Five, though occasional Arc Villains like the returning Phantom Limb, Monstroso, and Molotov Cocktease get their share of focus as well.
  • Young Justice: In season 2, the Light shares the role of Big Bad with their mysterious "partner", later revealed to be the Reach, who are led by the Ambassador, the Scientist, and Black Beetle. Of course, both groups are also using and plotting against the other and at the end of the season, Black Beetle takes full command of the Reach and sets in motion the doomsday threat the heroes must deal with in the season finale. The very last scene reveals that the Light (or at least Vandal Savage) have been working with Darkseid the entire time.


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