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Evil Genius

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Spinnerette: Dr. Universe, wait! At least tell me something! You were a respected scientist, your work on the Cherenkovkirby Reactor was going to benefit all of mankind! Why would you turn into a supervillain? WHY?!
Dr. Universe: I read an Ayn Rand novel.

An Evil Genius is a villainous archetype that adds generous helpings of Intelligence to a base of misdeeds and objectionable morals.

Pretty straightforward, right? Well, this fellow's plans are probably not so much; because the Evil Genius is likely to be the brains behind the Evil Plan. Wanna build a Wave-Motion Gun? Ship nukes to a country? Resurrect/repair the Lost Super Weapon? Get a Powered Armor? Don't know how to use a MacGuffin? The Evil Genius is your answer. You can bet they are a planner of some sort, a specialist in a particular field, a fixer of some variety, or a combination of the above. No matter what, this villain's forte is their intellect. Therefore making them the Science Hero's Evil Counterpart.

It must be noted this doesn't always translate into political savviness, business acumen, or leadership abilities; which rely more on street smarts, social skills, or charisma. Their chances of being Badass Bookworms are likewise fairly low but not entirely rare. Anyway, when the Evil Genius's more developed trait is intelligence, it's not rare for them to realize being The Creon is a lot more secure and less stressful than being the top dog. Which also makes them a manifestation of Brains Versus Brawn.

If they are the Big Bad, then it's usually a case of Weak Boss, Strong Underlings or Non-Action Big Bad. And, if they do reunite other traits to complement their intelligence, then you have a Chessmaster, a Manipulative Bastard, or a Diabolical Mastermind. On the other side of the coin, when much lower in the hierarchy, their effectiveness decreases accordingly. If in a team, either a Big Bad Duumvirate or a Quirky Miniboss Squad, they fit the role of The Smart Guy.

The Evil Genius's personality and physical description can make them overlap with any trope on the Intelligence Tropes index.

Sub-tropes of Evil Genius include:

Not to be confused with the Diabolical Mastermind simulation game Evil Genius, nor the books by Catherine Jinks, which involve an Academy of Evil aimed at creating Evil Geniuses, or the Netflix series about one of the most infamous bank heists in history.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Johan Liebert from Monster. He's extremely smart, intellectual, and a sociopathic Serial Killer.
  • One Piece makes occasional mention of the World Government's top scientist, Dr. Vegapunk. He is one of the most speculated-upon characters in the manga. Apparently, he's an Omnidisciplinary Scientist, having created a cyborg with Devil fruit powers (Kuma), multiple copies of said cyborg armed with laser weaponry (the Pacifista), catalogued all known devil fruits, revolutionized the power of the sea as uses of Seastone, and figured out a way for inanimate objects to "eat" Devil fruits. For all this, events around the Time Skip have alluded to Vegapunk being morally ambiguous, and truly any statement of him being "evil" before then was an assumption. During the Time Skip, Franky, having burned off all of his skin, rebuilds his body using Vegapunk's technology.
    • Once Vegapunk is finally revealed, he actually turns out to be quite benevolent, being a friendly old man who just wants to make the world a better place through the power of science. However, Vegapunk also created 6 "Satellite" versions of himself—Artificial Humans who are based on an aspect of his own personality. One of these Satellites is Lilith "The Evil" who was based on Vegapunk's "evil" side. However, Lilith is more the Loveable Rogue type than an actual evil person. The cannot be said for York "The Greedy"—the personification of Vegapunk's greedy side and the mastermind behind all the strange events at Egghead.
    • To a lesser extent, Gecko Moria's right hand man Dr Hogback, a surgeon of legendary skill who assisted Moria in creating a zombie army.
    • Vegapunk's rival, Ceasar Clown, is stated by all parties except his underlings as being evil and then, only because he shifted the blame for his own atrocities onto Vegapunk, and was arrested by the world government for sabotaging the science team's human experimentation. His arc shows that his reputation is fully deserved
  • Uno of Lyrical Nanoha, who is known as the second brain of Jail Scaglietti and acts as Mission Control for the Numbers. Jail himself easily qualifies as Big Bad variation.
  • John Smith (no, that's not an alias) from My-Otome, with a dash of Mad Scientist thrown in.
  • Kichikujima: Satoru plays this role being the smartest of his siblings his mother Mariko Glassias also could count too.
  • Solf J. Kimblee from Fullmetal Alchemist. On top of being a standout in a World of Badass, he's as sharp and devious as they come with photographic memory to boot.
  • Shader in Chrono Crusade serves as the Sinner's main techie. Aion, the Big Bad, has elements as this as well, considering he's a bit of a chessmaster.
  • Herr Doktor in Hellsing is the evil genius for Millennium.
  • Hakase in Negima! Magister Negi Magi probably would have played this part in Chao's evil army if not for the fact that Chao was also an Evil Genius of an even higher degree. Still, this was essentially her role in that she was the one overseeing the ritual to remove the world's Weirdness Censor, not actually taking part in the battle
  • Naruto has Orochimaru with Sasori for the Akatsuki. After Pain's death Tobi the Big Bad takes the role, until Kabuto joins and is this for Tobi's Akatsuki army.
  • Professor Nanba (or is it Kimba?) is the Evil Genius who gives Butch and Cassidy orders in Pokémon: The Series.
  • Kururu from Sgt. Frog lives and breathes Evil Genius, though he's technically with the good guys.
  • Sosuke Aizen from Bleach combines this with Big Bad (as well as Manipulative Bastard, Magnificent Bastard, The Chessmaster, etc).
  • Koshiro Kokujo of Duel Masters was this, or so he said.
    Kokujo: I know everything!
    Shobu: How's that?
    Kokujo: Because I'm an evil genius!
  • The Doctor from Black Cat is an Evilutionary Biologist and psychopath who serves as Creed's go to guy for technology and weapons, while doing double duty as a villainous example of The Medic.
  • Hoji from Rurouni Kenshin is Shishio's Strategist, logistician, and all around Psycho Supporter.
  • Cassius from Kimba the White Lion tends to make the Evil Plans for his boss Claw.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Nicol also took on this role to the Antivillainous Le Creuset team, relying on stealth, caution and an Invisibility Cloak. It only made him more of an outcast on a team of guys who wouldn't know subtle if it bit them in the ass. One could argue that Big Bad Rau Le Creuset also plays this role.
  • As the Only Sane Man among a group of Axe-Crazy Tykebombs, Sting Oakley fullfills this role for Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny's Extended, since he's the only one with any common sense. He leads the group in Neo's absence, does his best to keep Auel and Stella out of trouble, and is the one who usually has to call retreat. The ZAFT team lacked a specific Evil Genius; fortunately, Big Bad Gilbert Durandal was able to handle both positions.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Chief Engineer Tsubarov was this to the Romefeller Foundation. A brilliant technician, he invented the remote-controlled Mobile Dolls whose useage consumes much of the subsequent plot; he's also one of the few men at the OZ base who realises that using the captive Gundam pilots as test subjects might be a bad idea. Curiously, he had a personality that one would more typically associate with The Brute being a thuggish Jerkass and Smug Snake who loathed pacifism, had No Indoor Voice, dealt with problems by applying as much brute force as possible, and went out in the midst of a truly epic Villainous Breakdown, ranting about how he was invincible.
  • The original Evil Genius in a Gundam series was actually Princess Kycilia Zabi. She's one of the Principality of Zeon's better strategists and admirals, is in charge of Newtype research and the new mobile suits and mobile armours that come with it, and on top of it she's a Lady of War who's not afraid of getting her hands dirty if she has to.
  • Alister/Amalda was this to Dartz's group of henchmen in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Nesbitt plays this role to the Big 5, being their tech guy and weapons expert; oddly enough, he's perhaps their poorest duelist.
  • Eyeshield 21: Jerk Jock Clifford D. Louis is The Strategist and Evil Genius of the American Pentagram, in addition to being a member of the Big Bad Duumvirate alongside Mr. Don. Youichi Hiruma and Reiji Marco could also be considered evil geniuses, with the former being an Antiheroic Guile Hero and the latter his Evil Counterpart and the Big Bad of the Kantou Regionals Arc.
  • Fairy Tail gives a few examples.
  • The Phantom Troupe in Hunter × Hunter have Shalnark, the one guy in the team who's adept with computers, both how they work and how they're used. If the Phantom Troupe encounters a problem with computers or computerized technology such as video game systems, they turn to Shalnark, who, if he can't offer a solution or explanation immediately, will attempt some Hollywood Hacking to get the information they need. Fittingly, the superpowers unique to him derive entirely from his cell phone that he created along with his personal wireless network.
  • The Time Bokan series has Grocky and all of his assorted expies (including the much more famous Boyacky), each of whom served as the technological expert of their respective Terrible Trio and who designed all of the mecha of the week they used.

    Comic Books 
  • In Superman comics, Lex Luthor was originally this trope with shades of Big Bad. Post-Crisis the roles were inverted: Luthor was a Big Bad with shades of Evil Genius. He also has some other more conventional Evil Geniuses on his payroll, e.g. Dr. Teng, Sydney Happersen, Dabney Donovan, and occasionally the Toyman. Brainiac Also fits this as well being a 12th level intellect.
    • The Intergang mob had Dabney Donovan himself as their Evil Genius.
    • The Cyborg Superman builds all of the technology used by the Sinestro Corps, including the Manhunter robots who recharge yellow rings and the space station they used as a base.
    • Phantom Zone criminal Kru-El was a cousin of Superman's father Jor-El, and regarded as being Jor-El's intellectual equal. However, he turned his technological genius towards creating forbidden weaponry, becoming an Arms Dealer for the Kryptonian underworld. He would escape from the Phantom Zone multiple times to plague Superman as a continuation of his feud against Jor-El.
  • Captain Marvel a.k.a. SHAZAM's arch-enemy Dr. Thaddeus Bodog Sivana is another early example - a few months earlier than Luthor, in fact. He's the guy in the picture above. He's perhaps the most brilliant scientist and engineer in the whole DC multiverse, and thinks that makes him the Rightful Ruler of the Universe. When he's in a team, he finds himself here.
  • Captain America foe Red Skull is often depicted this way.
  • Spider-Man has described Doctor Octopus as one, and seeing as Ock is a brilliant engineer and inventor, he fits, although unlike most, whenever he's part of a group, he's usually the one in charge. Norman Osborn also counts too.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles baddie Baxter Stockman can be viewed as a kind-of failed evil genius in most versions.
  • Darth Maladi from Star Wars: Legacy is both a Sith alchemist and the head of Sith Intelligence. She's generally portrayed as one of the most cunning Sith characters in the comic, but seems to enjoy her schemes and experiments more for their own sake than from the hope of doing anything constructive with them.
    • Also Vul Isen as he is believed to be a scientist. He never accepts anything without a proof.
  • In All Fall Down, IQ is VERY bitter about not being one of these anymore.
  • Batman has The Riddler, who proves to the biggest mental challenge out of his Rogues Gallery. Joker also sometimes plays this role depending on the writer.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Byrna was a genius Mad Scientist and Robot Master who sees human worth only in terms of what she can get/take from them and is the only known character to find a way to subvert the Venus Girdles' imposed happiness in subjugation and spent her time on Reformation Island secretly rebuilding and improving her arsenal.
    • Doctor Cyber was a Mad Scientist Diabolical Mastermind, and all around evil intellectual set on world domination pre-Crisis. Her threat and intelligence level took a major hit Post-Crisis.
  • Zodon from PS238 is a five-year old version of this. His metahuman super-intelligence has given him an adult vocabulary (not to mention sense of cynicism), an encyclopedic knowledge of American law and an ability to build a doom laser out of some tinfoil and scaffolding, though on many levels he's still a five-year-old mentally.
  • The Phantom Blot counfounds the law with his mixture of criminal and Gadgeteer Genius, committing impossible crimes with unheard-of technology or hatching such a complicated plot it takes most of the story for Mickey Mouse to figure out what the real Evil Plan is and who's behind it. He's also been shown to be proficient in hypnosis, hacking, and even levitation, Depending on the Writer.
    • One old story has pits Mickey and Goofy against one of the Blot's minions (while the Blot himself is in prison) who plays the Evil Genius role even harder, manipulating everyone with a convoluted plot involving things like pretending to inject Goofy with a slow-acting poison and hiding in an undetectable submarine. It turns into quite a Battle of Wits between him and Mickey.
  • Danger Girl: Kharnov von Kripplor is the chief scientist of the Hammer Empire, an organization formed from the remains of the Nazis.
  • Among Darkseid's cronies in New Gods are Desaad, Mokkari, Simyan, and Dr. Bedlam. While Desaad is the chief one, the middle two run an evil counterpart of Project Cadmus called "the Evil Factory" and Bedlam's speciality is robotic clones called "animates".
  • Spawn has Curse who made himself into a cyborg and created his minions such as the Sin-Devours.
    • There is also Mammon who is quite smart among hell's lords.
    • From Heaven's angels there are Rapture,Garbielle,and Rapfael.

    Fan Works 
  • Guys Being Dudes: As in Pokémon GO canon, Arlo serves as the brains of the Team GO Rocket trio, being the most book-smart member and knowledgable about Pokemon and technology.
  • Izuku Midoriya in Mastermind: Strategist for Hire operates as the titular Mastermind who sells plans for thefts and murders to anyone who can pay his fee. He has some fighting skill but he learned mostly so he's not helpless if confronted by heroes or doublecrossed.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: Maggie Walsh is quite possibly the smartest person in history, able to achieve miracles of Mad Science, and judging by her recent efforts, she's apparently trying to wipe out humanity.

    Films — Animation 
  • Despicable Me: Dr. Nefario to the anti-villainous Gru, designing the various gadgets and vehicles used by Gru (and also pulls double-duty as The Dragon). A cameo in Minions reveals he created Gru's weapon of choice, the Freeze Ray.
  • The Great Mouse Detective:
    • Hiram Flaversham is of the Reluctant Mad Scientist variety, as a toymaker kidnapped by Professor Ratigan and forced to build a robotic decoy of the Mouse Queen (an analogue to Queen Victoria) to help Ratigan usurp the throne of England because Ratigan has threatened his daughter.
    • Professor Ratigan is of the Big Bad variety, as he's the mastermind of a complex scheme to usurp the throne of England via killing and replacing the Mouse Queen and ultimately force everyone in Mousedom to submit to his rule.
  • Syndrome, the Big Bad of The Incredibles, designs highly advanced technology and weaponry, including the Omoidroids, to wipe out all Supers. His prowess was even on display as a child, when he shows off his rocket boots to Mr. Incredible.
  • Evelyn Deavor, the Big Bad of Incredibles 2, is able to hack into any screen using her Screenslaver puppet, who is actually a hypnotized pizza delivery guy. She also uses hypno-goggles to control anyone of her choice.
  • Lord Shen from Kung Fu Panda 2 doubles as this and the Big Bad. In a setting technologically similar to ancient China, Lord Shen not only invents gunpowder and cannon, but manages to mass-produce them.
  • Jumba Jookiba from Lilo & Stitch likes to call himself this, although the "evil" part is eventually subverted. He was even smarter as an "evil genius child prodigy!" And adorable.
    Baby!Jumba: "Haha! Ewil! Ewil!"
  • Sir Hiss to Prince John in Robin Hood (1973). He is Prince John's main advisor, and enabled John to take the throne by hypnotizing his elder brother King Richard into going off on a crusade. When he isn't advising Prince John he's counting taxes.
  • In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Kingpin serves as the Big Bad, but the genius behind the collider is Doctor Olivia Octavius, aka. Doctor Octopus, who remains an unrepentant villain throughout the film.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • The Artemis Fowl series is full of these, which makes sense, since the protagonist himself is a Teen Genius, and that requires antagonists to match. We have Artemis himself in book 1 (in his status as Villain Protagonist), Opal Koboi in book 2, Jon Spiro in book 3, Opal Koboi again in book 4, Minerva in book 5, Opal Koboi AGAIN in book 6. Turnball Root in book 7, and Opal yet AGAIN in book 8.
  • A Dowry of Blood: Dracula is fascinated with learning more about not just his own vampirism but human intellect. He has, over his long immortal life, carefully sought to learn and improve as much as he can and now is a genuine genius. He intentionally surrounds himself with intellectual minds in a search for more and more knowledge.
  • In The Elenium, by David Eddings, Krager is this to Annias and Martel. Annias himself is this to Azash.
  • In Agatha Christie's story "The Face of Helen", the villain is a brilliant chemist who specialized in poison gas during World War I, and attempts to murder the object of his unrequited love with an elaborate death trap involving a glass sphere full of gas and a Glass-Shattering Sound.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Lord Voldemort discovered and implemented the Horcrux system himself to a horrifying degree. Though he does carry the Villain Ball occasionally.
    • Barty Crouch Jr. is a better example. He replaces a teacher, kills his father, and lures Harry away from potential protectors, and no one realizes until nearly the last moment what he's up to.
  • In the Malazan Book of the Fallen, Iskaral Pust's competence is the only reason Shadowthrone keeps him around. His results reinforce this decision: if something needs to be done, Pust will somehow manage to do it, obstacles notwithstanding. He even manages to become The Magus of High House Shadow, personally appointed to the task by Shadowthrone himself, by merit alone.
  • The main character of Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain is a Mad Scientist with a keen tactical mind and also a Villain Protagonist.
  • Among the villains in Eddings' The Redemption of Althalus we have Argan, a Smug Snake and Sinister Minister who does most of Daeva's talking for him, and has a distinctive rivalry with Ghend.
  • Professor Moriarty, the Arch-Enemy of Sherlock Holmes, is described by Holmes himself as "a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker." Moriarty uses his brilliant mind to run his criminal organization,and, unlike many other evil geniuses, he is clearly the boss.
  • Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire, an educated, smart, and calculating dwarf sort of qualifies. However, he wasn't really an ally of House Lannister and he was enemies with Tywin. He embodies this trope in his own organization, in which he is also the Big Bad. He isn't really that evil though.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us Bevel Lemelisk, chief designer of the Death Star, although the actual designers were superintelligent alien children whose planet was being held hostage.
  • Transformers: TransTech Shockwave, master of Playing with Syringes, is a self-proclaimed "morally ambiguous" genius.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Lucia's the one with the magical know-how for the evil beasts and teleportation spells and other magic to power Gothon's army.
  • Several members of the Forsaken in The Wheel of Time, including Ishamael (specializes in philosophy, theology, and metaphysics), Graendal (specializes in personal manipulation) and Demandred (specializes in millitary strategy).
  • In The Witcher, we have Vilgefortz. He is easily the most smart and powerful wizard in the North, and he let it get into his head.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A rather common henchman type for villains.
    • Ian Quinn for the Centipede Group, as the man responsible for creating a number of supervillains with the tech his company gets its hands on.
    • Toshiro Mori, a HYDRA scientist who designed the Splinter bombs synthesized from the Inhumans' obilisk that can turn a man to ash.
    • Wendell Levi is a Techno Wizard broken out of prison by Dr. Calvin Zabo to help get revenge on Agnet Coulson for killing Daniel Whitehall (Zabo wanted to kill Whitehall himself).
    • Holden Radcliffe for Hive as a scientist who is coerced into creating a method of empowering normal people into Inhumans that Hive can control.
  • The campy 60's Batman (1966) series had lots of villains who were Canon Foreigners but one of the few who was entertaining enough to make return appearances was the Evil Genius Egghead, played by Vincent Price (who often commented publically how much he enjoyed playing the role).
  • Breaking Bad is a Deconstruction of this in a more realistic setting.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel:
    • Pretty much all of the Big Bads both the Scoobies and Angel Investigations go up against - though definitely except Glory. Much straighter variations though are Warren Mears and Angelus. While both are Manipulative Bastards Warren is a more straight-up Mad Scientist, while Angelus is The Chessmaster.
    • Toru especially - he builds a device capable of projecting a hologram, a giant Mecha-Dawn, and a device capable of casting a spell worldwide to Depower the Slayers.
  • Chouseishin Series:
  • Doctor Who: Davros, creator of the Daleks. Though crippled with only one working arm, he created the most dangerous life form the universe has ever seen and set them on a path of genocide against all other forms of life in existence. His intellect is so great that the Daleks often will refuse to kill him, despite him being an "inferior" creature by their doctrine, simply because his intelligence is too useful to them. Even the Doctor readily admits Davros' genius, and he is not one inclined to praise other's mental capabilities (at least not without stating how much smarter he is). As for why he's doing any of this? If the Daleks win, and all life is wiped out save for them... it would be his hand that set it all in motion. He would be the one who killed the universe.
    Davros: That power would set me above the gods! And through the Daleks, I shall have that power!
    • Lady Cassandra has certain certain traits like this, being a very cunning character despite her ignorance towards past culture being Played For Laughs. This trait of hers gets past on to Rose after she possesses her, granting her Cassandra's millenia of experience and knowledge, which greatly boosts Rose's already good detective skills allowing her to figure out the secrets of the cat nuns in no time at all in "New Earth" and even keeping up with the Doctor when it comes to computer systems. But Rose gets controlled by Cassandra's malevolent spirit in exchange gaining her supremacist traits.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Even by the high standards of Westeros' top schemers, Tywin is regarded as The Ace. Littlefinger, Varys and Olenna Tyrell all have high respect for his intelligence and ruthlessness. His son Tyrion even allows that "father has a good mind for strategy".
    • Qyburn for Queen Cersei Lannister. A disgraced Maester, he is skilled in a number of fields, serving as a medic (his first significant action in the series is to treat an amputee), spymaster (Cersei originally appointed him to fill Varys' post as Master of Whisperers), conducting a necromantic experiment to reanimate Ser Gregor Clegane, brewed poison, and implemented the construction of ballistae on an near-industrial scale.
  • Gotham: Oswald "The Penguin" Cobblepot has a tendency to outsmart his enemies, as, eventually, does Edward "The Riddler" Nygma.
    • Jeremiah Valeska, at the age of twenty-one, has already been a highly successful engineer for at least four years, is an expert at making extremely difficult-to-disarm explosives, and is a formidable enough chessmaster that he has outsmarted both the Penguin and the Riddler at various points. Considering who he's going to become, this is hardly surprising. Like in the comics, the last episode of the series shows that the only one truly capable of stopping his plans through intelligence, rather than a mixture of intelligence and a generous amount of luck, is Batman.
  • The Flash (2014) has Eobard Thawne and Clifford DeVoe. They create the most elaborate and complex plans against Barry and his team, so it's no wonder, that despite their ultimate failure they do deal a lot of damage.
  • Ryoma Sengoku from Kamen Rider Gaim is an amoral scientist and the creator of the Sengoku Driver. Ryoma gladly sacrifices human lives For Science! and doesn't even care one bit that humanity could potentially go extinct. Another unique trait of his is that he completely loses it whenever one of his inventions is placed in a bad light.
  • Giller from Legend of the Seeker is both Mad Scientist and Evil Sorcerer; the two most typical archtypes that fall under this trope.
  • Depending on whether you see them as Antiheroes or Antivillains, Hardison of Leverage Consulting & Associates is either The Smart Guy or Evil Genius. His Evil Counterpart, Colin "Chaos" Mason is a non-ambiguous example being an Insufferable Genius and Jerkass extraordinaire who seems to view committing crimes as a way to stroke his own ego, and constantly betrays his own allies.
  • Odd Todd from Odd Squad, Olive's previous partner and an ex-Investigation agent of Odd Squad, is very intelligent in the realm of mathematics, being able to figure problems out in his head at a rapidfire pace whereas others have to write it out or work through them verbally in order to solve them, which takes more time. This is what led to his Face–Heel Turn, as he solved so many cases so fast that he eventually got bored and started creating oddness instead of fixing it. He's also a Gadgeteer Genius and can create gadgets with ease. All of this is what makes him a dangerous threat to Odd Squad.
  • Most incarnations of Power Rangers have one of these among the villains, with responsibilities commonly including mass-producing Mooks and the Monster of the Week, making monsters grow, and generally being the one who knows the most about the finer points of the magic/technology of the season.
  • Revenge: If you go by Alternate Character Interpretation, Mason Treadwell seems to take this role later in the first season, although he isn't fully aware of his role in Emily's scheming.
  • Seven Star Fighting God Guyferd: Shion and Minoh are Crown's top researchers in the fields of Fallah and cybernetics respectively, which makes them the ones responsible for creating the monsters and mooks that fill Crown's ranks. Later on we're introduced to Kuzan, Crown's head scientist regarding their Doomsday Device, as well as a Mad Scientist who joined them simply to prove his research correct, even at the expense of human civilization.
  • Smallville had plenty of Evil Geniuses, with Lionel Luthor, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, and Winslow "The Toyman" Schott running around. One interesting example was Tess Mercer, who started out as a villain, but eventually pulled a Heel–Face Turn. She became one of two Smart Guys on the heroic side, but still in traditionally evil areas, being The Chessmaster, a Manipulative Bastard, and The Cracker to Emil Hamilton's Medic and Gadgeteer Genius.
  • Supernatural:
    • The skinny-bodied Pestilence in particular among the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Under service to Lucifer, Pestilence heads a demon-run secret project to develop a strain of the Croatoan virus which infects hosts in seconds, so it can be distributed simultaneously across the country hidden inside a new vaccine rollout.
    • Later episodes of Season 7 show he's certainly not the only one they have, but Dr. Gaines serves this role among the Leviathans before his death. He's synthesized a food additive that is very addictive, and consumption leads to weight gain, and dampens people's emotional responses until they are very apathetic. It is latter refined to avoid the adverse effect of 0.03% of consumers turning into mindless hyper-adrenalized cannibals.
  • Ultra Series has a few.
    • Alien Mefilas, first seen in the original Ultraman series. He's one of the few monsters in the series to prefer cunning over physical strength, as he dislikes fighting and would rather take over Earth through manipulation instead.
    • Alien Nackle from Return of Ultraman is one of the franchise's most vicious and underhanded. His whole plan was to emotionally break Goh by targeting his loved ones.
    • Yapool, a recurring enemy of the Ultra first seen in Ultraman Ace, is an ethereal entity who creates monsters through his command of arcane sciences and sorcery. He's also a skilled strategist and manipulator who devises some pretty intricate plans to defeat the Ultras. And he can do things like revive past monsters too.
  • Elizabeth from Wicked Science becomes a genius and she uses her new intelligence as a way to try to get money, fame and Toby's affections. The evil part is that she has little morals when it comes to use her inventions, including using a teleporter to sneak in Toby's laboratory so her goon can destroy/steal/sabotage whatever Toby is creating in the episode, or trapping him in a "Groundhog Day" Loop so he accepts the new universe in which he's trapped, where they are a couple and his friends hate him.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • Manager turned wrestler turned manager "Pretty Boy" Bobby Heenan, while perhaps not thinking of himself as "evil", is insufferable on anything he believes to be correct and almost completely immoral. In WCW it turned out he didn't approve of the new World order though but true to the trope, was the only one to suggest Hulk Hogan might be a part of it, though he had been critical of Hogan since the AWA. Another irony is that Heenan had to drop out of school as a child due to a lack of money got his first managerial role after carrying wrestler bags to support his family. His loud mouth "Brain" persona may have been a front.
  • Lightning Hernandez was described as "an evil genius" on the Dominican Republic television program "International Wrestling" and was implied to be directing all the bad wrestlers and managers(but then, Jack Veneno was implied to be behind all the tecnicos.
  • When Samoa Joe was Ring of Honor's World Champion he was always preceded by "The Evil Genius" when his music hit. This was a bit of a misnomer though, as Joe won the belt well after his Heel–Face Turn had set in, and even when Joe was hired by Christopher Daniels's evil Power Stable The Prophecy and a part of Steve Corino's money grubbing Group Joe was the Token Good Teammate because he followed the code. On the other hand, Daniels and Corino themselves qualified well for this trope, as they often employed shady code defying strategies to win matches well after their own face turns.
  • In the remnants of the National Wrestling Alliance, "The Mastermind" Dave DuPont is an expy of Heenan, shifting between wrestler and manager.
  • In what would sadly be his final match, on the November 11th (taped November 8th), 2005 WWESmackDown, Eddie Guerrero defeated Mr. Kennedy by disqualification with his "chair fake" routine.note 
    Tazz: "Mr. Kennedy just found out that Latino Heat is an evil genius."

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Murzhor in Hero's Realm. He's got a bit of Masterof Illusion to boot.
  • Dr. Elvin Atombender from the Impossible Mission games is a genius computer programmer and former university professor. Although he has been unstable his whole life, he officially became criminally insane when a power failure caused the deletion of an artificial intelligence program that he had nearly finished. The player must stop him from hacking into the defense networks of the world's superpowers and starting a nuclear holocaust.
  • Dr. Vu in the SimCity and The Sims series.
  • Lunar: The Silver Star has Taben, who creates a mechanical army for the Vile Tribe and Magic Emperor.
  • Strider:
    • Herzog Schlange in Strider 2 and Professor Schlange in the HD ''Strider'' remake. Both are (mad) geniuses in charge of building the bizarre mechanical monsters and weapons used by the Grandmaster's army. In the latter's case, he's charged over the Grandmaster's entire research complex, and seems to be only below Juroung in terms of ranks. Though this didn't save him from being offed in the end.
    • The Grandmaster himself has shades of this, though he leans more toward genetic engineering instead of robotics, in his quest to create a new race to which replace "the sons of old gods" and rule Earth as a true God.
  • Dr. Kimaira in Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven, notably because he's a Mad Scientist who creates wooden automatons with hidden machine-guns in medieval Japan.
  • Crow from Nefarious, who doubles as the playable Villain Protagonist.
  • Though most of Umbrella's scientists in Resident Evil counted as this, the most developed and well-known of them all was William Birkin. Not only was he one of the few scientists to not be completely unstable and insane, as he managed to have a (relatively) normal family life with a wife and child, but he was also responsible for creating both the T and G viruses which drove the entire plot up to Resident Evil 4. Albert Wesker's also pretty darned intelligent too, though his skills are more of the Chess Master / Magnificent Bastard variety rather than lab worknote .
  • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has Julien du Casse playing this role for the Templars, serving as the Order's main supplier of weaponry and ammunition.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past: Agahnim's knowledge of sorcery is the key to his power and his plan to imprison the Maidens in the Dark World does succeed despite Link's efforts to stop him.

    Visual Novels 

  • Dr. Nonami has Dr. Mechano, an eccentric yet dangerous evil mastermind.
  • In El Goonish Shive, "Scarf" the aberration is the smartest and most cunning of the aberration mercenaries and displays his intelligence by avoiding easily countered brute force or pure magic attacks in favour of a magic augmented sneak attack. He's the one who set up the plan to kill Raven.
  • Folly and Innovation uses this trope here speculating Facebook's origins
  • Girl Genius is crawling with them. Even some protagonists, on a few occasions.
  • The Order of the Stick: General Tarquin is sort of this to his own team of aging adventurers (nicknamed "The Vector Legion"). According to Word of the Giant, the other team members see him as the 'ideas guy', who comes up with plans that a group of very powerful evil adventurers can all join in on for their mutual benefit without backstabbing each other. Tarquin himself thinks this makes him their leader. The others don't, but think he's useful enough not to press the issue. They also have two actual evil geniuses who takes care of all the actual planning and minutiae.
  • Elia of True Villains takes over most Evil Genius duties. Just replace technology with magic.
  • Wayward Sons: Doctor Chu, who very much enjoys performing torturous experiments on live subjects.
  • Donald Na from Weak Hero. It wasn't just his fighting and leadership skills that landed him as head of the Union, but also his unmatched business savvy that brought order to an otherwise chaotic group (back in middle school, no less).

    Web Original 
  • Arby 'n' the Chief:
    • Brian in Season 5, on account of being an OMN Administrator, though he's not really evil and he's only an antagonist because he's associated with Trent Donnovich.
    • Justin "SniperDeathAngel00" in Season 6 plays this more straight, being the creator of the Fragban hacks used by Chaos Theosis and the Underground Hackers.
    • Season 7 has Colin Hunt, the inventor of the Fragban 2.0 hacks.
  • Führer Katrina Seran from v2 of Open Blue was a strategist, Chess Master, and ship captain who became ruler of her country at the age of 20, possibly due to her own machinations.
  • Belial in The Salvation War is one of these, and is the one Baldrick who actually inflicts serious damage on the humans.
  • Doctor Steel. Naturally.
  • In the Whateley Universe, there are lots of Mad Scientist types. The ones who work for other supervillains tend to be characters like Chessmaster or Nimbus. The two of them nearly destroyed Whateley Academy on Halloween.
  • Dr. Spectre from The Tyrannosaur Chronicles.
  • Tattletale fills this role in Worm, though it should be noted that she's not supersmart, instead her power makes her a master of the Sherlock Scan, which she uses to great effect in social, combat, and political situations.
  • RWBY: Out of Salem's associates, Watts appears to be the group's planner and manipulator; his programming expertise allows Cinder to plant a virus on the CCT computers in Vale that bear the signature "W" that he uses when communicating digitally with others. He admits that Seer Grimm fascinates him, and Salem puts him in charge of replacing Tyrian's broken tail. Raven calls him a "disgraced Atlesian scientist", a description he objects to because it misses the fact that he's "technically a doctor" as well. In Volume 7, he confirms he helped write the code for Mantle's security codes and, because Mantle's security is so outdated, he can easily hack the system remotely, ensuring his ability to walk openly on the streets without being electronically detected. A photo on Dr. Polendina's desk also shows a younger Arthur, implying he was part of the program that led to Penny's creation as well, and he later remotely hacks Penny to plant a virus in her that will force her to follow Ironwood's instructions and then self-terminate once she's carried them out.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has two for the Fire Nation. One is Princess Azula, The Dragon to Fire Lord Ozai, who is one of the greatest strategists in the series as she single-handedly masterminds a plan to take over the Earth Kingdom's capital, dealing the heroes a crushing defeat at the end of Book 2 without causing any war. The other is War Minister Qin, who is responsible for developing whatever military innovations the Fire Nation comes up with, including the Drill and the airships.
  • Tarantulas of Beast Wars is this all over the place.
  • Darkwing Duck gives as Bushroot, a member of the Fearsome Five group.
  • Mandark from Dexter's Laboratory.
  • Exo Squad has a race of Evil Geniuses called Neo Megas.
  • Invincible (2021): D.A. Sinclair. His main assets are his intellect and cybernetic skills, which Cecil remarks on and which lead to Cecil recruiting him to the GDA. When it comes to physical combat, he's obviously rather useless and is reliant on his Reanimen. He's also an Insufferable Genius as a civvie and he reserves his manners for his victims when he's about to operate on them.
  • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, there is Rhona Edwin, who was the best student at the Tomorrow Academy before Tony Stark showed up. After becoming convinced that Tony has been cheating, she takes the entire school hostage and forces Tony into a sort of game show from hell to prove his intelligence.
  • Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes, whenever it suits her to work for Lucius.
  • Kaeloo: Both Mr. Cat and Olaf fit this trope.
  • In The Legend of Korra, both Varrick and Baatar Jr. (who's also The Dragon and Doctor Boyfriend) could be considered this for Kuvira's army, being Mad Scientists; when Varrick defects, Baatar takes the role full-time. Of course, it's more or less clear Baatar is much better than Varrick, a fact the latter is loathe to put up with.
  • Wraith in Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series, distinguished for mainly using magic when the Big Bad prefers technology.
  • Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb. A Ditzy Genius to be sure, but like the title characters, he's nevertheless smart enough to invent anything in only a few hours, even to the point of flagrantly defying the laws of physics.
  • Brain in Pinky and the Brain'... kinda; despite attempting to Take Over the World every night, he's not really evil.
  • Regular Show: "The Brain of Evil" has a sentient brain that Mordecai and Rigby accidentally release. It hijacks the park and launches it out of the Space Tree. It can only be defeated by beating it a game of chess, but doing so is an incredibly difficult task. He is also extremely arrogant and boastful, doubling as an Insufferable Genius.
  • Rick and Morty has Rick himself in this trope. He's the smartest man in the multiverse with the chops to prove it. One of the brightest examples of Rick in this trope is during the Season 3 premiere, when he analyses the Lotus-Eater Machine he's imprisoned in, traps the interrogator in his body and escapes the machine, causes the devastation of both the Council of Ricks and the Galactic Federation while both were out for his blood, and causes Beth's divorce with Jerry.
    • Evil Morty as well. He outsmarted our Rick at least twice with Rick having no clue how, and breaks out of the part of The Multiverse specifically designed to keep Rick as the smartest person in the universe, meaning he outsmarted a literal universe of the smartest people in the multiverse.
  • As per usual, Doctor Octopus is a super villain who is also a brilliant engineer and inventor. He goes the extra mile by having "Evil Genius" printed on the side of his coffee mug in The Spectacular Spider-Man. Although he is subordinate to no one.
  • Alistair Smythe works as an evil genius for the Kingpin in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • Dr. Stinger from Super Duper Sumos is an interesting example because, while none of the other villains show him any respect at all, he's really the only one on the villains' side who ever actually does anything.
  • Two examples from Teen Titans:
  • The Decepticons in Transformers: Prime mainly have three: Soundwave (Communications Officer and surveillance expert), Knock Out (medic who moonlights as a Mad Scientist) and Shockwave (chief science officer, inventor, logic-minded intellectual and cloning expert).
  • Wander over Yonder has Commander Peepers, whose head for science and strategy makes him the brains behind Lord Hater's evil empire. There's also Lord Dominator, who according to the writers is even smarter than Peepers.
  • Several villains from WordGirl.
  • Xiaolin Showdown: Though he doesn't fit all of the character tropes, Jack Spicer (himself a self-proclaimed Evil Genius, with emphasis on self-proclaimed) calls Chase Young "the greatest Evil Genius in the world" and there's no denying that it's true. As for Jack himself - there's no denying that he is a genius, it's just whether or not he's actually, you know, evil.

Alternative Title(s): The Evil Genius