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Evil Duo

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Bets for how long until they betray each other are now open.

This is a common pairing of bad guys constructed along the same lines as a Freudian Trio, except for one important factor: they left out the reasonable character. In the classic The Dragon pairing, for example, the Evil Overlord is very Superego-ish, wanting the maximum amount of rule and control, and the Dragon, who basically just wants to fight, is very Id-ish. The lesson being that without the moderation of the Ego, things can get really out of hand.

A Sub-Trope of Foil. See also Power Trio, Comic Trio, Terrible Trio, Quirky Miniboss Squad and Big Bad Duumvirate. Can overlap with Bantering Baddie Buddies, Brains and Brawn and Bumbling Henchmen Duo. Usually also an example of Red Oni, Blue Oni.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Casshern Sins: Dio wants to become the world's strongest fighter. Leda wants to get an army of robots and rule the world.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Androids 17 and 18 are a more subtle version of this. 17 is portrayed as wild and fun-loving (at least as far as androids go), while 18 is pragmatic and critical of 17's sacrifices of efficiency in the name of fun. Interestingly enough they weren't particularly evil in the main timeline. In the timeline that Trunks came from they were both mass-murderers with very similar personalities, but in the main timeline they were mostly neutral. They did originally intend to kill Goku but didn't go out of their way to hurt anybody else. Eventually both make Heel Face Turns and 18 even has a daughter with one of the protagonists. This may be due to the main timeline introducing a third member, Android 16, who was mysteriously absent from Trunks's Bad Future. Or it is because they didn't kill anyone in the main timeline that would have pushed them over the edge.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Goku Black and Future Zamasu are the primary villains of the Future Trunks Saga, working together to destroy all the mortals in the multiverse. They literally call themselves “the sword and the shield” respectively. Black is more the muscle and brute of the duo, who wants to gain power to the point of passing up immortality so he doesn't get rusty. Zamasu is the thinker and planner, wanting Black to take his time fighting Goku to maximize his growth instead of outright killing him, but he lacks all the on-screen accomplishments that makes Black so effective. Despite this, they are both Ax-Crazy.
  • Fate/Zero has the master Uryuu Ryuunosuke and his Servant Caster, called Bluebeard. Both are Serial Killers and take great pleasure in admiring each other's handiwork. Bluebeard is marginally more goal-oriented in that he (technically) is in it for the Holy Grail, while Ryuunosuke is an outsider who got roped into the Grail War by accident and merely takes all the pleasure he can out of making everyone near him suffer alongside his supernatural Cthulhu-summoning new best friend.
  • Most of the Akatsuki partnerships in Naruto are constructed along these lines, with one partner being cold and focused, and the other a raving lunatic. Examples include Itachi (a Stoic who barely talks) and Kisame (Affably Evil Blood Knight), Hidan (Dumb Muscle Talkative Loon) and Kakuzu (Genius Bruiser and The Strategist), and Sasori (icy People Puppets collector) and Deidara (Ax-Crazy Mad Bomber). Pain and Konan avoid this; Zetsu, despite not technically having a partner himself, interestingly, does not, suffering from a split personality that gives him one calm half and one crazy one.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, Crimson Denizens of Bal Masque usually work in pairs — a Wanderer (a fighter) and a Jaeger (a scout); such as Ribesal and Pirsoyn.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: Big M. is the one who masterminds the plans to take over Planet Xing, and has some level of competence compared to his corporal assistant Little M., who often catches Big M. off-guard with his weirdness, probably since he's literally a child.

    Comic Books 
  • Bigfoot & Gray on the Run: Of the evil agent duo, Knight is the serious and controlling boss, while Daye, although fixated on their mission too, is The Ditz who's often oblivious of things if Knight doesn't clarify to him.
  • In DC Comics, when Lex Luthor and The Joker team up (as happens often enough), they practically define this pairing with Luthor being the clever, calculating, even-tempered Evil Genius and the Joker being the violence-prone, Laughing Mad, Ax-Crazy maniac.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Honest John and Gideon in Pinocchio. Honest John is a clever, cunning fox Con Artist who sweet-talks Pinocchio into illegal or immoral activities; Gideon is a dumb, simple-minded cat who'd rather just smash people with his mallet.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman Film Series:
    • Batman Forever has the Big Bad Duumvirate of Two-Face and the Riddler. Two-Face is the more hotheaded and aggressive one, while the Riddler is the schemer who formulates the plan, although he's just as capable of hamming it up as Two-Face is.
    • Batman & Robin has Mr. Freeze and Poison Ivy. Freeze is the Laughably Evil hammy one and Poison Ivy, while hammy herself, is the more composed calculating and manipulative one.
  • The Dark Knight has a loose duo between the Joker and Two-Face. The Joker varies between maniacal giggling and eerie composure, while Two-Face is seemingly stoic yet also much more outwardly aggressive.
  • Home Alone has Harry and Marv, the pair of Stupid Crooks. Harry is the abrasive and controlling leader while Marv tends to be the dumb follower.
  • Panic Room: According to Burnham, he and Junior were supposed to be this; Junior had the plan to steal the bearer bonds from his grandfather's safe room while Burnham actually knows how to get in; this is also an inversion of the usual personality dynamics since the leader Junior is hot-tempered and dumber than Burnham, who is more of a follower but has the necessary technical expertise. However, Junior also hired Psycho for Hire Raoul, making it a Terrible Trio.
  • Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear in Disney's Song of the South. Fox is more concerned with catching Br'er Rabbit his way, while Bear just wants to "knock his head clean off", making them easy prey for Br'er Rabbit.
  • Tragedy Girls: The titular serial killer pair. Both are cunning, but Sadie is the calm manipulator while McKayla is hot-tempered and brash.

  • From The First Law:
    • Practicals Severard and Frost who serve as the personal assistants of Inquisitor Glokta. They're like secretaries. Scary, twisted secretaries. Severard is an affable and talkative Satisfied Street Rat and Frost is a hulking, usually quiet brute- subverting Dumb Muscle, he has a Speech Impediment, but is a Deadpan Snarker and apparently has beautiful and elegant handwriting.
    • The brothers Deep and Shallow who show up later in the series. As the names suggest, Deep is the more intelligent of the time, although it's more of a Straight Man and Wise Guy duo than a Brains and Brawn relationship.
  • Agents Myers & Franks from Monster Hunter International. Myers is the polite, educated one, and Franks is the quiet, brutal one who's quite capable of curb-stomping the hero, Owen Pitt. (Owen managed to kill a rampaging werewolf with his bare hands in the opening chapter, so that should tell you just what a badass Franks is...) Both are full-blown Knight Templars.
  • Neverwhere has Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar, London Below's resident Psychos For Hire. They commit countless atrocities together, and are so close to one another that when Croup is sucked into the depths of space, Vandemar simply waves goodbye to the heroes and follows Croup into oblivion.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Slim Goodbody: The villains are generally puppets, and usually come in pairs. Perhaps so they can discuss their evil plans with each other.
    • The Gobbler is the driving force behind his plans, and while his henchman Stuffin' is no less evil, Stuffin' has a tendency not to get himself immobilized by getting too deep into those plans.
    • Professor Lobe and Sarah Bellum form another duo, with Bellum being considerably more worried about what Slim will do to stop their plans that Lobe is.
    • Mary Pickfood and Phineas Finicky are constantly pursuing Get Rich Quick Schemes, with Finicky coming up with the plans and Mary trying to talk him into taking the money they have and running away with it.
    • Sal Soda and Mary Heartburn form a duo that looks like a Smooth-Talking Talent Agent and a star, with Sal coming up with the plans, and Mary providing the public-facing persuasive oomph for (and taking credit for) the plans.
  • Kamen Rider has this pairing for its villains occasionally.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim: One is formed after Mitsuzane becomes Redyue's understudy. The former is mentally unstable and prone to lashing out, while the latter is a sociopath who's more calculating calm, even when she's reminiscing on the murders she's committed.
    • Kamen Rider Drive has Heart and Brain. You wouldn't expect it from an analytical Evil Genius, but Brain is the one who's more easily provoked, while Heart is calmer and tends to be the one who keeps Brain restrained.
    • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid has Parado, a Bugster executive with a casual and calm demeanor most of the time, and Kuroto Dan, who's much more outwardly hammy and megalomaniacal.
    • Kamen Rider Build has Night Rogue and Blood Stalk of Faust. Night Rogue is a No-Nonsense Nemesis concerned with eliminating Build as soon as possible while Blood Stalk would seemingly rather mess around with the heroes rather than get anything done. Naturally, this leads to a great deal of friction between the two. However, as the series goes on these roles are gradually inverted. Night Rogue goes mad after obtaining more power while Blood Stalk turns out to actually be carrying out a much more long term plan that requires making the Kamen Riders more powerful.
    • Kamen Rider Saber has Storious and Master Logos. The latter is completely Ax-Crazy, while the former is more subdued.
  • In Neverwhere, both BBC series and novel, Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. At one point, Mr Croup places his hand against a wall and throws several razor blades at it, landing in the spaces in between his fingers. Mr Vandemar is unimpressed with the fact that he missed all of them.
  • Malcolm and Jamie from The Thick of It have unique ways of controlling their enemies. Malcolm uses his frightening degree of charm to manipulate them. Jamie threatens to push iPods up their penises.
    • Except when they're beneath Malcolm's dignity to manipulate, in which case he just shouts a lot. With rather colorful turns of phrase. Jamie is Malcolm without the people skills.
  • On Wiseguy, Mel Profitt is the id and his sister Susan is the superego.

  • Like in real life, Macabre's portrays Burke and Hare as this.

  • Old Gods of Appalachia has Mr. White and Mr. Erskine during the Railroad Man arc, with White serving as the brawn and Erskine as the brains.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Kings of Wrestling, the main two members when no one else is present to reign them in anyway. Chris Hero is usually the evil schemer and Claudio Castagnoli is the punch people who come nearer.
  • Gunner and Murphy, Immortal's two "soldiers" in their "war" to takeover TNA, when left to their own devices, as Gunner was fanatically dedicated to the group and based all his decisions around such while Murphy just went along.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Gilgamesh and Kotomine Kirei from Fate/stay night. Gilgamesh wants to conquer the world so he can rule over it like he did in ancient Mesopotamia, while Kirei just wants to inflict the maximum amount of suffering and death that he can upon humanity for his own amusement. These would seem mutually exclusive, but 'luckily' Gil has decided that the majority of humanity isn't worthy to be ruled over and has no problem with wiping out most of the 'mongrels'.


    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has the two bounty hunters hired to track down Toph: Xin Fu (the Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy who runs the Professional Wrestling–style competitive earthbending ring where Toph competed) and Master Yu (Toph's coolly analytical earthbending tutor).
  • Carmen Sandiego:
    • The Cleaners, two V.I.L.E. agents that act as enforcers. Their day-to-day jobs are as the school's janitors but they're the ones sent to extract and take out targets.
    • There's also the graduates La Chèvre and El Topo, a duo that never goes on missions without each other (barring "The Chasing Paper Caper" where only La Chèvre appears) that respectively strike high and low.
    • Season 3 gives us two more graduates, Spinkick and Flytrap. They specifically majored in a class dedicated to teaching them how to catch Carmen Sandiego, and they always fight together.
  • Invader Zim and GIR. Zim is an oblivious megalomaniac whose plans are usually doomed from the get-go. GIR is a childish Cloudcuckoolander with no attention span.
    • But that's OK because GIR has waffles and pretty girls to take him to raves. Zim really has no friends other than GIR.
    • Another example of an Evil Duo would be Almighty Tallest Red and Purple, though technically they are both Evil Overlords. Still, Red is usually the Straight Man to Purple, who is often the dumber and lazier of the two.
  • Dr. Drakken and Shego from Kim Possible are a variation. Their actions and roles fit the pattern, as he's a Mad Scientist who wants to Take Over the World, while she's The Dragon content to do the stealing and fighting with teen heroines. However, their temperaments reverse the usual template in that Shego is the calm cold one while Drakken is the one who tends to shout and throw tantrums.
  • Pinky and the Brain are a borderline example because A) Pinky is not evil, just too stupid to recognize it, and B) the Brain is more competent that most of the other examples. Then again, he is a lab mouse trying to take over the world, so maybe he does fit.
  • Flint Marko/The Sandman and Alex O'Hirn/Rhino in The Spectacular Spider-Man. Marko is the Superego, concerned only with getting his "Big Score" and completely defying things such as revenge and grudges, while O'Hirn is the Id who mindlessly rushes into fights and problems without thinking things through.
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series The Shocker and The Rhino briefly form a team like this, with Shocker as the cold, controlled one, and Rhino as the aggressive lout.
  • Lugnut and Blitzwing in Transformers: Animated. While Lugnut is singleminded and slavishly devoted to Megatron, Blitzwing is of three minds about everything and doesn't seem to really care much about Megatron.
  • The Monarch and Dr. Girlfriend by season 3 of The Venture Brothers. They're a bit different in that, while the Monarch certainly fits the 'id' profile, Dr. Mrs. The Monarch is actually competent and reasonable in her own right, rarely given over to histrionics, in other words, a very well-composed 'ego'.
  • Dick Dastardly and Muttley from Wacky Races and Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines. Dick Dastardly is the cunning mastermind who hatches evil plans, Muttley is his long-suffering Canine Companion who often gets all the blame for his master's failure.


Video Example(s):


Vendra and Neftin Prog

Vendra and Neftin Prog are a brother and sister criminal duo from the Nexus.

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