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Generic Doomsday Villain

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Anubis: Silence! Now, after 5000 years of waiting, I'll destroy the world!
Yami: Why would you want to do that?
Anubis: What?
Yami: What's the point in destroying the world? What do you gain from it?
Anubis: ... I don't understand the question.

The Generic Doomsday Villain is an overpowering antagonist with no clear motive or plan behind their actions. They're one of the most basic story villains possible. The reason that they're so generic is that they are a Flat Character with a minimum of characterization. Their Establishing Character Moment is generally the most development that they get, designed to show the audience what sort of threat that they're facing. The character may or may not provide an explanation of their Evil Plan, but their overall goal is some sort of Apocalypse How, providing the "doomsday". At the very least, they plan on destroying the people within the town/country that the heroes are from.

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When part of a recurring work, this character is forced into one of two outcomes: they either remain a Static Character who has almost nothing aside from "I want to destroy everything", or they become a Dynamic Character and lose their "generic" quality. Some writers intentionally make these characters flat to highlight their unhealthy psyche.

This type of villain is especially common for video games, as they exist more as obstacles for the players to defeat than characters to interact with.

Contrast with Complete Monster, who may not have a plan at all, but does have plenty of characterization and an established motivation, and Feral Villain, where the character has no sapience with which to have characterization.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bikini Warriors: Deathgeld is the In-Universe Final Boss and leader of the monsters who wants to Take Over the World, making him the main enemy that the four heroines must defeat. Not much of him is known beyond this, as the series is a non-serious spoof of JRPG games. From what little is seen of him, he's basically your typical Demon Lord.
  • Digimon:
    • Diablomon in Digimon Adventure: Our War Game suddenly appeared out of the blue as a Y2K bug and sets out through the internet to launch a nuclear warhead onto Odaiba to start World War III. However, he demonstrates little in the way of personality or motive and doesn't even speak, being treated more as an obstacle for the Digidestined to defeat.
    • Demon (Daemon in English) from Digimon Adventure 02, who comes into the plot with no explanation, and is so powerful that the heroes can only seal him away. He has absolutely no personality, and his contribution to the plot is only as an "obstacle."
    • Mephistomon from a Digimon Tamers movie wanted to destroy the world for no particular reason. The closest thing to a motive we get for him is Omnimon stating he was spawned from an Apocalymon that also wanted to destroy the Earth, presumably for the same reason as the one in Adventure (if it wasn't the same one).
    • Belphemon from Digimon Data Squad due to him have almost no dialogue. Kurata's goal is revive and use him as a weapon to Take Over the World, and it's mentioned that Belpemon almost destroyed the Digital World in the past. But Belphemon himself only has dialogue when he briefly takes control from Kurata, which implies him to be nothing more than a villain who causes destruction for no reason.
    • Most of the villains in Digimon Adventure tri. never say a single word and what little word the few spoke reveal very little about them. Special mention to this trope has to be Yggdrasil whom despite being stated as the Big Bad of the series and is responsible for Meicoomon's corruption, he never appeared in the anime at all and is stated to be defeated off-screen by Homeostasis. All that we know of him is that he wants to destroy humanity, but we don't know why he wants do it particularly given that fact that the same humans saved the Digital World numerous times.
  • Naruto has Princess Kaguya Otsusuki, the final villain of Naruto after hijacking Madara who is merely characterized as the source of all Chakra, an "unstoppable" Physical God that even the sage fears, the one responsible for the Uchiha's corruption and being almost literally nothing more than an obstacle for Team 7 to defeat and seal. We don't even know the reason for Kaguya to invoke the Infinite Tsukuyomi and turn everyone into White Zetsu. We do, however, get the briefest glimpse of a lamenting mother buried somewhere in her mind, but she's a power-mad, raging psycho more than anything. This is one of the few instances where the anime's filler was seen as a necessity even by viewers, since it actually fleshed them out more as a character.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • Bottom and Black Hole of the second and third Pretty Cure All Stars movie series. They were practically the same villains: monstrous ancient evils seeking to obtain the MacGuffin of that movie by resurrecting previous Quirky Miniboss Squad members and giving the girls a hard time so he could take over/destroy the world. They're also powerful enough to wipe out the collective teams (knocking them back into human form in the case of Black Hole) that they HAVE to use their movie-only Super Mode to defeat them. On the other hand, Fusion, the Big Bad from the first movie and New Stage, seems to have a bit more personality, isn't seeking any sort of MacGuffin, fights the girls on his own and just wants to unite the world as a Hive Mind.
    • Most of the villains in Futari wa Pretty Cure were this, with almost no characterization besides being evil. It was in the other seasons that the villains began to get backstories.
  • The witches in Puella Magi Madoka Magica come off this way at first, being The Speechless and Made of Evil. The Final Boss, Walpurgisnacht, just shows up to wreck the city and leaves just as suddenly; she doesn't even fight the magical girls if they don't attack her first. Her only purpose besides being the Big Bad is to provide the reason for Homura's endless time loops. However, this trope gets a bit subverted when you learn more about them, with extra materials even hinting at motives for how they think they're "helping" people. Furthermore, each witch was once a Puella Magi, so they must all have a story to tell as to who they once were. What that story is is left up to the imagination.
  • The titular dragon from Rage of Bahamut: Genesis is much less of an actual villain and more of a force of nature enacting its apocalyptic rage, with no characterisation beyond the threat of its supreme power (read: nuking countries and deities without the need to move around). It serves mainly as a Sealed Evil in a Can and Greater-Scope Villain; Beelzebub, a Demon Lord who seeks to unseal Bahumut and has more personality, is the direct Big Bad, with Gilles de Rais, also with more personality, as The Man in Front of the Man.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Broly slipped into this over the course of his movie trilogy. His debut in movie 8 painted him as a somewhat tragic light for being born with more power than he could handle, feared by King Vegeta (who tried to kill him as an infant) and even his own father (who forced a Restraining Bolt crown on him). His return in movie 10 hits him hard with Flanderization and Took a Level in Dumbass; more powerful than any other character beforehand, spends all but the last five minutes of the movie utterly dominating every single thing the protagonists throw at him, and little personality besides "raarrgrl Kakarot grrr". After he was put down for good, movie 11 introduced Bio-Broly, who was nothing more than a malformed clone to give the heroes something to fight while the inanimate culture fluid floods the lab. Mind you, the notoriously Power Level-obsessed DBZ fanbase has embraced Broly with open arms since his first appearance. His canonical appearance in Dragon Ball Super: Broly more or less undoes this, almost completely reworking him into one of the most fleshed-out and sympathetic villains in the franchise.
    • In canon there is Kid Buu, the original incarnation of Majin Buu. Unlike the Obliviously Evil Fat Buu and the brutish and sadistic Super Buu, Kid Buu is barely sapient, never speaks, and has absolutely no objectives besides killing as many people as possible in as little time as possible. While the others could be reasoned with or exploited, or had some level of restraint, Kid Buu simply blows up whatever planet he's standing on and flies off to find another and do it again. The heroes have to lure him to the Planet of the Kais to fight him just because it's the only planet he can't oneshot.
    • Bojack, hailing from the ninth film, has practically no origin at all, other than that he was a Space Pirate the Kais sealed away some time ago. He and his crew get freed, show up to kill the protagonists because they might stop him from taking over the universe... and that's about it. He has no ties to any prior antagonist, no enmity with the protagonists, and no given reason for him being as strong as he is (including a completely inexplicable transformation). The Daizenshuus end up providing most of the details about him, such as the name of his race and a little of his history, but even then, it never goes beyond "he's really really evil."
    • From Dragon Ball Z movie 12 there is Janemba. His initial form, similar to the above mentioned Majin Buu, is Obliviously Evil but appears even less intelligent with the mind of an infant. In his One-Winged Angel form, like Super Buu, he's outright evil, but unlike Buu he never talks and just destroys things, only existing to force a Fusion Dance between Goku and Vegeta. Like Broly, however, he proved one of the more popular movie villains for his transformation's unique design and equally unique Reality Warper powers, and he at least has an excuse for his nature: he's a hapless underworld intern who was at ground zero of a chemical leak (read: pure evil extracted from Hell's denizens).
    • Hirudegarn from movie 13. Essentially a copy of Kid Buu in the form of a kaiju, he is a giant monster who causes destruction because... because he does.
    • Androids 13, 14, and 15, of movie 7, have no characterization whatsoever outside of "they were programmed by Doctor Gero to kill Goku", and the latter two (and the former, in his Super Mode) don't even have any dialogue outside of repeating the words "Son Goku." It's particularly obvious given that they're designed to resemble the Androids in the series, who were generally pretty fleshed-out. The English dub did its level best to try to give them some character, mostly through accents and Filling the Silence. Hatchiyack, another Killer Robot with a similar backstory, is no less paper-thin.
    • Yixinglong/Syn/Omega Shenron, of Dragon Ball GT, is a bit of an odd case of this, in that he does have sort of a "reap the whirlwind" motivation, but it really doesn't actually factor into anything he does. Like a lot of Dragon Ball villains, he's Made of Evil, he's very powerful, and his goals are simply to destroy things. This applies to basically all the Shadow Dragons bar Nuova, but the others at least had personality quirks to set them apart, while Syn... not so much.
  • Fairy Tail: Oración Seis is mostly composed of former slaves with Tragic Dreams who eventually undergo a Heel–Face Turn, but the Guild Master Brain is a fairly shallow antagonist just seeking to cause general disarray. He has a Superpowered Evil Side who relishes in being an Omnicidal Maniac with no purpose, which ironically gives him more of a personality.
  • First Squad: Baron von Wolf is a bloodthirsty knight who carries out campaigns of murder because... he's evil. The movie explains next to nothing about his character, just that he's some guy leading an army of undead warriors resurrected by Those Wacky Nazis.
  • Kuroko's Basketball: Extra Game (or Last Game) has Team Jabberwock who are incredibly arrogant and ridiculously racist, which is pretty much the only thing that defines them other than being very talented (read: NBA level) streetball players. Telling everyone in Japan on live television that they shall quit playing basketball is pretty extreme, especially since Team Jabberwock only played one official match with a university team. Neither Nash nor Silver are given any backstory despite being the prominent bad guys of the mini-story and their three teammates are just there as secondary mean guys. This is probably because it's a mini-story.
  • Most antagonists in One-Punch Man are rampaging monsters out to kill and destroy or at best conquer. It's even suggested that monsters are Always Chaotic Evil in such a way that this normal for them. There's also the occasional Mad Scientist or the like who creates rampaging monsters without much better motivation. Antagonists with actual motivations do exist, but they're a tiny minority. Of course, in the case of this series, the overwhelming antagonists are there mostly for the Running Gag that no matter how overwhelming to everyone else, they're no match for the Comically Invincible Hero protagonist.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • From the anime only Doma/Waking The Dragons arc we have the Orichalcos God/Great Leviathan. It is a God of Evil that mind controlled Dartz, the arc's Big Bad, into wanting to destroy the world. Why? Because it just does and unlike Zorc, it doesn't even have any dialogue with Dartz getting the bulk of the screen time in the arc, with his goal being to bring about the Orichalcos God's return. When it does appear, it's little more than generic evil kaiju that causes destruction, because reasons, than an actual character.
    • Anubis in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light. No reason is given for why he wants to destroy the world. If there is a reason, it's just that a god of death is supposed to end life.
    • The Dark Signers in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds generally avert this by being Tragic Villains ressurected by the Earthbound Immortals for Unfinished Business... and then there's Demak. His backstory is nonexistent, his personality is relatively generic, and he only seems to exist to be an obstacle to Ruka obtaining her Ancient Fairy Dragon.

    Audio Plays 
  • In Evangelion: After the End, a Self-Parody of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, the cast discusses how to retool their show to appeal to a wider audience. It is then pointed out that the Angels, the show's monsters, could have alienated the audience since the show offered no clear answers to where they come from or what their goal is. They eventually come up with introducing the "Black Space God", an evil alien whose only motivation is to Kill All Humans, and having the Angels turning out to be his generic Mooks all along.

    Comic Books 
  • The Shadow From Beyond Time of Atomic Robo fame has one notable character trait, its utter hatred of Robo. Beyond that, it's your bog standard Eldritch Abomination out to consume all of existence across all of time. Ironically, the lack of personality is what makes it interesting, as it really hammers home how alien and utterly wrong this thing is, especially in the context of a sixty-five-percent grounded sci-fi series.
  • The Batman villain Bane, much like Doomsday, started off as this, existing sorely to break Batman's back in Knightfall and get beaten by Azrael. That said, unlike Doomsday, Bane's backstory was given in his debut one-shot, Batman: Vengeance of Bane, and he was eventually given an identity outside of Knightfall.
  • Darkseid got hit with this treatment during his first appearance in the New 52 relaunch with Justice League (2011). He was basically speechless during the first arc he appeared in, only regaining his characterization later on. It's rather odd that his first appearance seemed to expect new readers to already know who he was, given that the entire point of the New 52 relaunch was to get rid of the massive continuity that was believed to be keeping new fans from getting into DC Comics.
  • The best example from the Silver Age would be Mangog from Stan Lee and Jack Kirby's classic run on The Mighty Thor, an extremely powerful and unstoppable monster who doesn't have a characterisation beyond having the hatred of a billion billion beings and that he wants all Asgardians dead. He was basically Doomsday before Doomsday was cool.
  • Fantastic Four: The Griever is a vague cosmic entity who wants to destroy the universes that Reed and Franklin Richards created after the destruction of the multiverse. She has no real personality and is just a force they have to fight which forces them to stop making universes. Not helping matters is what this is what the FF face after being written by Jonathan Hickman, who does high-concept doom much more interestingly thanks to interesting concepts or stories, such as with Black Swan and Ex Nihilo in The Avengers (Jonathan Hickman). Dan Slott, on the other hand, gave a character who just murders things because it's what she does.
  • Green Lantern has tons of these guys. If the GLC aren't battling an evil Lantern Corps, you can bet they're battling some zero-personality cosmic butthole like Nekron, Relic, or the Anti-Monitor.
  • These pop up now and then in Invincible. Unusually, they are treated by the writer with all the gravity they deserve — very little. One notable one was vanquished by all the guest stars and supporting characters in the series working together while the series protagonist, Mark, was unavailable. It was a Crisis Crossover reduced to the B-plot of one or two issues of one title.
  • The aliens from The Matrix story "Goliath". While their use of a Living Ship vaguely implies that they may be some kind of Evil Space Amish, no actual explanation is ever given for why they are attacking the Machines (who they do not even try to communicate with) by bombarding the Earth with asteroids (which also kill a ton of humans, so they obviously do not care about liberating them).
  • Onslaught was more powerful than anything in X-Men history, took nearly all the Marvel heroes to beat, had no overarching plan other than "blow shit up" and existed solely to set up Heroes Reborn, which was later retconned back anyway. Onslaught did have a backstory as a psychic entity born from the combined mentality of Professor X (mutants and humans should co-exist) and Magneto (mutants should rule over humans). So he wanted to turn everyone in the world (and later the universe) into a hive mind with himself in control. However, many of the details behind his character were scattered amongst various Marvel comics titles (requiring someone to read all the comics tied into the Onslaught saga for all the details), or crammed into a book released solely as a summary for the Onslaught saga, complete with notes and information on what was planned for the saga from the writers themselves. For some, Onslaught's Generic Doomsday Villain nature made the writers' attempts to focus on Onslaught's plan changing from "kill all the humans so mutants can prosper" to "kill everyone in the world for no reason" much less dramatic that it was intended to be.
  • The Scrameustache: Zirka, the mysterious alien who allied with the Kromoks to conquer Aktarka. No further reason is given as to why he wants to invade the planet.
  • Spider-Man's equivalent to Doomsday would probably be Morlun, a villain introduced by J. Michael Straczynski during his run, who had almost no real backstory to speak of, and his exact nature was never revealed. Morlun's personality was pretty bland as well, since he really only wanted to "eat" Spidey and stated that it wasn't personal. For some unfathomable reason, this was the first time a villain had ever made Spider-Man angry, even when guys like the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus had kidnapped, murdered or otherwise threatened his loved ones. It was not until Spider-Verse that his backstory, personality and motivation were established.
  • Legends featured one of these in the form of Brimstone, an Apokoliptian behemoth that combined this trope with Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever. An artificial monster created from a "techno-seed", Brimstone believed itself to be a fallen angel that had to cleanse the earth of "false gods" (read: superheroes) but aside from this delusion had no character at all to speak of. In its death throes the beast called for Darkseid, who callously dismissed it as unworthy before revealing to his henchman Desaad that the only reason he'd even created it in the first place was to "remind the humans they are never far from my thoughts".
  • Superman:
    • Appropriately, Doomsday. His sole reason for being was the eponymous event in The Death of Superman. While previous Superman villains were usually really smart guys or evil robots or alien warlords or some other intelligent type to contrast Supes' super-strength (along with the rest of his Superpower Lottery), Doomsday was just raw unstoppable rage on wheels with no agenda outside destruction and couldn't be reasoned with. Most of his depth comes from the backstory in later comics; Doomsday was established as a "guinea pig" that became both Nigh Invulnerable through adapting to withstand what defeated him and bloodthirsty for dying so many times to get that. In essence Doomsday is just a primitive, animalistic being; something which does not leave much space for personality. (In fact, the moment he gained a personality, he also inherited fear, which allowed Superman to defeat him almost effortlessly.)
    • Supergirl's Xenon is pretty similar to Superman's Doomsday. He came out of nowhere, and nothing or almost nothing is known about his past or motivations. What is known, though, he hunts and kills "Supergirls". In Many Happy Returns he trapped, tortured and nearly killed the original Kara Zor-El, an Earth-One Kryptonian.
    • The Unknown Supergirl has the Infinite Monster, an enormous humanoid monster who accidentally fell to the Earth through a dimensional gap and stomped a path of destruction through USA soil. Its name, species, home universe and goals are not known, and most likely the damage it caused was accidental instead of unintended. Nonetheless, it it was so sturdy and heavy that it could not be harmed or moved by a Silver Age Kryptonian.
    • In the beginning of The Coming of Atlas, a weirder-than-usual humongous monster is rampaging through Metropolis. Unknown name, unknown species, unknown origin, no apparent motivations (is it even sentient?), and it disappears from the story as soon as it is curbstomped by Atlas. Its sole reason for existing seems to be hype the new villain Atlas' up.
  • The Transformers: Stormbringer series turns the Decepticon Thunderwing into the "force of nature" variation of this trope. After he creates his "polydermal shell", the grafting process goes awry, burning out all of Thunderwing's sapience and higher brain functions, which causes him to become ultra-powerful, and go on a rampage across war-torn Cybertron, forcing both Autobots and Decepticons to temporarily ally to try and halt its advance. In the end, Thunderwing is only stopped when Cybertron swallows it whole, a process which only hastens the planet's death (which Thunderwing himself saw coming and the polydermal grafting procedure was an ill-conceived attempt to try and weather the storm it would bring, ironically turning him into the final nail in Cybertron's coffin).
  • The Transformers: Unicron: The titular Unicron has at times been this trope. In some stories, he's a malevolent calculating monster while in other stories he's a world-destroying threat with no major characterization. In the comic, he's reimagined as a super-weapon gone wrong; consuming and absorbing planets to wipe out all Cybertronian civilization. Many characters In-Universe try and ascribe intention and emotion to him, but Unicron is presented by the story as a force of nature obeying old programing
  • The 2013 run of Uncanny X-Men gives us Matthew Malloy, an all-powerful mutant and the main menace in the "Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier" story arc. Malloy's creator Brian Michael Bendis was clearly trying to avoid this by giving him a sympathetic background, but said background was only revealed by other characters and Malloy himself had zero personality to speak of, making him fall into this anyway. One of the first things Bendis had him do was inflict The Worf Effect on Exodus, one of the most powerful mutants in the entire X-Pantheon, just to show the reader how badass he was. But his lack of any rational personality left the X-Men unable to reason with him, and the storyline ended with them dispatching Malloy via Ret-Gone because that was literally the only option they had left.
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    Fan Works 
  • The Evil Scintist from DIGIMON SAVEZ THE WROLD!!1111. He is only described to have created a machine that could destroy the world which is what Digimon, the main character, has to prevent. No motivation on why he wants to destroy the world has been given.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic: Titan. He has great power and wants to destroy Unicornicopia so he can spread chaos and destruction over reality, just because. His dialogue is dripping in clichés and there is nothing unique about his appearance at all. Being Stupid Evil and going with the first Saturday morning cartoon plot his minions come up with doesn't help matters.
    • Those villains that show up in the sequels are no better, following the same strategy of sending out a Monster of the Week so they can conquer the world for no real reason other than they want to. This is due to the Strictly Formula writing style of author Dakari King Mykan, who has said in author's notes that he hates creating complex villains and storylines.
  • Sben from Yognapped. He has no goal in the first installment other than completely tearing Minecraftia to the ground and framing Simon and Lewis for it. The Alpha Griefer, another Big Bad, calls him out on being nothing more than a murderous monster in a confrontation that ends with Sben taking a bullet to the back. When he comes back in the third installment with unmatched speed and strength, he becomes more of a tragic character.
  • The Black Tower in The Keys Stand Alone. No one knows who's in it or why it's having its evil minions (who are themselves pretty one-dimensional) try to kill the gods and take over C'hou. They just know they have to fight it.
  • In Equestria: Across the Multiverse, Metal Twilight is a justified and deconstructed example. One of several mechanical doubles of the heroes built to defeat them by the invading Flim Flam Brothers corporate empire (namely the one glimpsed in "The Cutie Remark"), she acts like a Smug Super and is very dedicated to defeating Twilight (or rather whatever Twilight is in front of her at the time) and being better than her… but when questioned by Twilight why she acts that way, genuinely can't come up with any actual motivation. Twilight then realizes Metal Twilight is essentially an unknowing slave to her creators, despite being the only one of her series to be sapient. Metal Twilight doesn't take this realization well.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series likes to poke fun at this trope whenever possible.
    • As Yami repeatedly points out, Anubis doesn't really have much characterization or motivation outside of being some unexplained evil force that must be stopped or else it'll destroy the world.
    • Marik was this initially. Yami had trouble trying to figure out why Marik wanted him dead, to which Marik just chalks it up to him simply being evil. He became a subversion later on when he was given an actual backstory and motivation (a vague one but still) for his dastardly deeds.
    • Many members of the Rare Hunters, Marik's henchmen, are depicted and subsequently mocked as such. In fact, Yami was even able to thwart one member because being a generic villain with no actual backstory made his plans easy to predict.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the backstory of Encanto, there was a band of violent horsemen raiding the town that Alma lived in. This forced Alma and her husband, as well as many of their neighbors, to run away in search of a safe place to live. This in turn led to Alma's husband being killed, and the miracle which gave the Madrigal family their magic house and gifts, but the horsemen themselves are given no personality or motivation for their actions. Even their faces are perpetually hidden in shadow during flashbacks. The most one can get in the way of context is Colombian history, but thanks to the ambiguity of when the film is set and the country's violent history there are multiple civil conflicts such a band of raiders could've come from, with varying motives in each.
  • Green Lantern: Emerald Knights: Krona is a powerful Energy Being that tried to destroy the Universe in the past for no apparent reason and is returning to do it again. He never speaks, he just exists to be an obstacle. The anthology format doesn't have time to make him anything else, but it's particularly noticeable since Kilowog's and Laira's stories were able to carry the emotional weight that Krona's lacks completely.
  • The Titans from Hercules, compared to the intelligent proto-gods they were in actual Greek myth, are basically depicted as nigh-mindless, destructive Elemental Embodiments who only care about destruction (and getting revenge on Zeus, who imprisoned them for causing destruction). Because of this, Hades is the Big Bad of the film, having more solid motivation and personality than them, whilst the Titans are merely his attack dogs.
  • The Druun from Raya and the Last Dragon are basically mindless spirits of evil whose only goal is to petrify anything they come across, so they're more like violent corruption than actual characters. The story, therefore, centers more on the conflict caused by their presence than the Druun themselves.
  • Arthur from Ralph Breaks the Internet is just a generic virus designed to find insecurities in a program and replicate them to cause the program to crash. He's got no personality and mainly exists to be a plot device in the big climax.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The ABCs of Death:
    • "B is for Bigfoot": The homeless man shows up and kills a couple for no apparent reason, leaving a little girl they're babysitting alive for the same.
    • "K is for Klutz": There is no explanation for how the turd comes to life, nor does it speak to show any personality. It just shows up, refuses to go down the toilet, and rams its way through the woman that made it, killing her.
    • "R is for Removed": The doctors keeping the man hostage and forcing him into surgeries are never given an explanation for why they want the film strips his body makes. We never even learn what's on them.
    • "T is for Toilet": The toilet just comes to life for no reason and massacres the protagonist family. Of course, it is a child's nightmare, so having no logical reason for the horror fits.
    • "U is for Unearthed": The vampire is awakened and immediately goes on a killing spree until it's put down. Judging by the fact that it only speaks in streaks and growls, it might not even be sentient.
  • American Cyborg: Steel Warrior: The cyborg exists entirely to be an Implacable Man pursuing our heroes, with absolutely no characterization beyond such. He doesn't even get a name.
  • While the nameless evil entity that acts as the antagonist of The Amityville Horror (1979) does display some amount of cunning and sadism in regards to the ways that it torments people, by and large it comes off as more of a nebulous force than an actual being; its origins are indistinct, it very rarely assumes any kind of physical form, its existence appears to revolve solely around terrorizing and killing people For the Evulz, and its dialogue never amounts to anything more sophisticated than short, generic threats like, "Get Out!". While a few of the later films, like The Possession and The Awakening, did try to give the evil force some semblance of character, most of them just default to it being an indeterminate "thing" that may not even be a singular entity, but rather a case of I Am Legion.
  • Blood Cult: The cult are committing murders to make a body for their god, who then do... Something. The only cultist with any more motive than that is Tina, who is mad at her father for neglecting her.
  • Blood Reaper: It's never explained why Jubel Fishman has spent decades silently killing people in the woods, nor do we get any facial expressions or body language to provide a personality. Even the song about him only really talks about him living in the woods and committing murder.
  • Blood Was Everywhere: The killer is never named, nor is his face shown. He just shows up, commits a series of gory murders, and vanishes without a trace.
  • Bloodsuckers from Outer Space: The Lifeforce just kinda shows up one day and starts turning people into vampires. It doesn't even get a corporeal form, much less a personality.
  • The Catcher: No real reason is ever given for why Johnny is killing people, we're simply left to assume that his father's abuse has made him hate baseball so much that he feels compelled to murder anyone who plays it.
  • Ciaran the Demon Hunter: The demons seem to exist entirely to cause chaos for no stated reason. The only one that does get characterization is the one that possesses Ciaran.
  • The New Order in Cobra, run by the Night Slasher, is a murder cult that draws its membership from all walks of life. They are willing to do anything for the Night Slasher up to and including slaughtering a small town to help get rid of a witness and her protectors. However, while the Night Slasher reveals himself to be The Social Darwinist near the end, none of his followers have any lines explaining why they devote themselves to a Serial Killer. The best we get is prattling on about "the New World" the Night Stalker wants to create without even the little elaboration he gives in his Motive Rant. They appear to exist just to be an army of psychotic mooks that Cowboy Cop Lt. Cobretti must kill to get to the bad guy.
  • The Dark (1979): The Mangler is an alien who crash-lands to Earth and immediately starts killing one person a night and projecting visions to psychics for no apparent reason.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has Lex Luthor bringing Doomsday to life because he figured this "Kryptonian abomination" could defeat Superman — "If man won't kill God, the Devil will do it!". And all the beast does is try to destroy anything in his path, providing an excuse for Supes, Batman and Wonder Woman to join forces.
    • The Incubus from Suicide Squad (2016) has no real motivation, just acting as the muscle for his sister, the Enchantress. He doesn't say much, and his characterization extends to caring about his sister.
  • Dead Before Dawn: The Ash Demon is an incorporeal force that is freed from prison and immediately starts zombifying the populace with no rhyme or reason behind it.
  • Death Stop Holocaust: The masked killers are never identified or unmasked, nor is there any explanation for why they're doing this or how they have so much control over the town.
  • Dracula (1931): Dracula's brides show up in one scene to attack Renfield, are warded off by Dracula because he needs him, and are never seen again. They get no lines or body language beyond stiff movements.
  • In Dracula Untold, the Elder Vampire gives almost no reasons for his stated goal of conquering the world (though he does suggest that part of it is to get revenge on the one who betrayed him and another is simply that he has very little else to do for all eternity). Mehmet, likewise, acts like a dick to Vlad for very little reason. He even states at one point that he sees very little value in Wallachia.
  • Dread: The guy who killed Quaid's parents basically just shows up, butchers them, spares Quaid for no apparent reason, and vanishes from the story. He exists entirely to give the Big Bad a Freudian Excuse.
  • Galactus in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer is basically just a formless Planet Eater cloud who wants to devour all planets for no reason whatsoever.
  • While even the most generic slasher movies give an explanation for their killers' motives to murder people, Final Exam has none of that. The killer in that film is just some guy with a knife who slaughters college students. He doesn't even have a name.
  • Frankenstein's Bloody Terror: As we never learn of Imre Wolfstein's human personality, his entire characterization is a ravenous werewolf who attacks everything he sees.
  • Frostbiter: Wrath of the Wendigo: The Wendigo is an Ancient Evil who shows up, wrecks things, eats people, and is defeated by The Chosen One. It never speaks or does anything but commit random acts of violence.
  • From Paris with Love: The leader of the muslim terrorist cell receives no characterization beyond being an imminent threat for Reese and Wax to take out. He only appears for a few moments, doesn't have any dialogue, or even a name. Caroline just describes him as "a man who opened my eyes to his faith".
  • Gozer the Destroyer from Ghostbusters (1984). He seems to be called "the Destroyer" because that's all humans really know about him: that he destroys things whenever he comes to Earth. Exclusive only to the first film as Ghostbusters: Afterlife has him given a clear nasty personality in contrast.
  • The werewolf that is stalking Brigitte in Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed. While fans have speculated that it may be Jason from Ginger Snaps, there is no actual indication of this in the film itself, and Word of God has cast doubt on the theory. It is just a mysterious rampaging beast who is only there to give the story (which otherwise revolves around Brigitte's attempts at retaining her sanity while trying to suppress her lycanthropy) a flesh and blood antagonist who is a direct physical threat (in contrast to secondary villain Ghost, a schemer who relied entirely on manipulating others to get her way).
  • Simon Moon, the Brutish Serial Killer in Hero and the Terror. The eponymous "Terror" barely appears onscreen, doesn't talk, and is never given a motive. They throw in a brief exposition scene where a psychologist speculates about a Freudian Excuse, but since Simon doesn't speak it's never clarified either way. It's also said that Simon is actually incapable of higher thinking, so presumably he doesn't even understand that what he's doing is wrong, but what's important is that he's "pure evil" and Norris has to stop him. He could essentially be replaced with a shark and the movie would have been no different for it.
  • High Noon: Frank Miller. He was arrested by Sheriff Will Kane, was let go from prison five years later, and is coming to kill Kane. That is literally all there is to him. One of the gang members that is waiting for him is Miller's brother, but Miller doesn't treats him any different from the rest of the gang, even when he's the first guy to buy it in the final fight. His Offstage Villainy is not even given any detail, so there's no explanation why half the town think he deserves a hero's welcome and the other half are scared shitless of him (either way, they won't help Kane).
  • The invading aliens in Independence Day only barely manage to avoid completely falling into this trope. Only one attempt at diplomacy is managed, which ends in failure and the revelation that they're simply a race of Always Chaotic Evil Planet Looters comparable to locusts.
  • It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To: Jacob Burkitt was a rich businessman who snapped one day for no reason, started abusing his kids, eventually murdered them and killed himself and now haunts his old house. His expression never changed, nor does he speak. He just kills.
  • Jack-O: Jack-O is a justified example, as it is a demonic automaton controlled by an Evil Sorcerer and has no personality of its own. It just shows up and kills whomever its boss tells it to.
  • Jug Face: The Pit is an Eldritch Abomination who demands sacrifices in return for healing people and kills random people when it doesn't get them. It is rather picky, and will reject victims to be tormented ghosts for all eternity, but no explanation is given as to how it chooses its victims. It's never even really seen, only appearing in POV shots.
  • Russel Van Velt in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle pursues the protagonists to get the Jaguar's Eye for himself, but no reason is given what he wants to do with it. Justified since he's solely created to be a generic threat to inconvenience the heroes and make the video game the kids got sucked into challenging to win. He cannot even truly be said to be the Big Bad. That would be Jumanji itself.
  • Keeper of Souls: There is no explanation for why the cult are making sacrifices to the Keeper of Souls, nor why the Keeper wants them to.
  • Lethal Weapon 4 opens with Riggs and Murtaugh having to stop an unnamed armored maniac from burning and shooting everything up. No reason is given for his behaviour, but it sure provides an exciting Action Prologue.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Surtur in Thor: Ragnarok has no real motivation or characterization besides boasting about his purported destiny to destroy Asgard, something that he has no apparent reason for wanting to do aside from it being his destiny. In fact, fulfilling his destiny would effectively be killing himself. This is entirely accurate to the original myths, as mentioned below. He's something of a parody of this trope, as Thor actively makes fun of his claims and makes no attempt to take him seriously, much to Surtur's annoyance. Surprisingly, he ends up being a major plot device later on, as destroying Asgard turns out to be necessary to defeat the actual main villain.
    • The Elementals in Spider-Man: Far From Home are big, flashy monsters that destroyed Mysterio's alternate Earth and are threatening to do the same to the MCU's Earth, but they're more forces of nature than actual characters. In fact, this is an Invoked Trope, as Mysterio and his SFX crew wanted to come up with an "Avengers-level threat" that he could defeat as part of his plan to use Engineered Heroics to become Earth's next superhero, and were relying more on spectacle than complexity.
    • The Dweller-in-Darkness in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the ultimate threat in the film, a soul-eating demon that once laid waste to Ta Lo before it was sealed away by the Great Protector centuries ago. But its motives don't go beyond the desire to eat souls, and the only personality it ever seems to display is mimicking the voices of loved ones to trick people into freeing it. In a sense, it's less of a character and more a manifestation of the destructive path Shang-Chi's father is taking after the death of his wife.
  • The Midnight Meat Train: It's never explained why the Elders choose to eat people when they're canonically older than mankind, nor why they're satisfied with the conspiracy's sacrifices.
  • P-51 Dragon Fighter: Asazuka the Destroyer, the one male amongst the dragons, who regularly reincarnates and goes on civilization-destroying rampages. Like the other dragons, he's basically a wild animal, and only appears for a brief final battle before being killed.
  • A Quiet Place: The Death Angels are incredibly fast, extremely strong, have indestructible armoured skin, and arrived on Earth one day and just started killing every living thing that makes a sound. What they are, where they came from, and why they're so aggressive is never explained or even hinted at. Notably, despite the fact they seem to have only basic animal sentience at best, they never eat anything they kill.
  • Rawhead Rex: Rawhead Rex loses the sadism of the book and is just a rampaging monster who was sealed away long ago and rampages again when released.
  • Reign of the Gargoyles: Volthorn the Horned King, a god summoned by pagans to avenge their persecution who betrayed them and went on a rampage with his gargoyles for no reason.
  • Ivan Drago from Rocky IV has a punch that could crumple metal, about five short lines, and no apparent motivation other than being Russian and wanting to be the best. Compared to Rocky III's Clubber Lang, who wasn't exactly deep but had a lot of personality, Drago kind of sticks out. Notably, we're told his punch strength (2000 psi) multiple times, but we know almost nothing about his backstory. It wasn't until Creed II that Drago gets more characterization, surprisingly transforming him into one of the most humanized and tragic characters in the Rocky franchise.
  • Scary or Die: No explanation is given as to where the were-clown that turned Emmett in Clowned came from; given the nature of Emmett's transformation, it might not even be sentient.
  • Done in Seven Samurai with the bandit gang raiding the peasant village, as the film focuses entirely on the Seven, the villagers and their experiences working together to stop this persistent threat. Thus, the most we see the bandits do on camera is attack the village, except for a brief scene where their nameless leader kills two of them for desertion. None of them get much characterization or more than five minutes of screentime, so the audience must infer why they keep raiding the village long after the Seven make it harder to do. Averted in The Western adaptation The Magnificent Seven (1960), where the bandit leader gets a name along with more characterization and screentime, including an earlier confrontation with the Seven where he speaks his mind, and the bandits' motives for continuing to raid the village are explicitly revealed late in the film when one of the Seven sneaks into their camp.
  • The Seventh Curse: Old Ancestor, the demon god of the Worm Tribe, who basically only shows up to collect sacrifices and battle the heroes. He doesn't even speak, only roars.
  • Russ Thorn in The Slumber Party Massacre has no personality, or backstory that would give him some sort of motivation for the things he does. He's just some psycho who killed people in the past, got locked up, escaped and is now killing again.
  • SS Doomtrooper: The Doomtrooper is a ravenous monster that only knows destruction, tantamount to a living gun pointed at the Nazis' enemies.. Despite being formerly human, we never learn of its previous personality either.
  • Shinzon from Star Trek: Nemesis. His reasoning seems to consist of "Well, I'm the villain of this movie, so I guess I better mentally rape Troi and destroy Earth." The extreme actions that actually relate to his supposedly well-intentioned goals occur entirely in the opening minutes of the movie: as he was raised by the Remans, he understandably doesn't like their status as the warrior-Slave Race of the Romulan Empire. But when he assassinates the entire Romulan Senate and installs himself as the new dictator... he's already solved all the Remans' problems. At that point his only real explanation for wanting to destroy Earth is to prove the Remans' superiority over the Romulans and show the galaxy that their Romulan empire is not to be messed with which is somewhat unclear. For a poorly explained reason (to prove to everyone that the Remans are to be taken seriously), he has a super battleship way more advanced than every ship it comes up against. He also got a planet-destroying superweapon from... somewhere. Like a few other entries, Shinzon's backstory was fleshed out more in the (usually non-canon) novels that reveal his original reasoning, why he's trying to destroy Earth, where he got the snazzy ship and where that superweapon came from.
  • The titular alien from The Thing (1982) is an example where the trope can enhance the film's horror atmosphere. Its motivations are never explained, nor are intentions. If it's hostile, or simply acting in self-defense, or has some other motive that doesn't even make sense to us is never made clear, since the film focuses on the people desperately trying to stop it, and it's all the more frightening for it.
  • Vertigo has one in the form of Gavin Elster. We know that he was one of The Hero's collagues and that he hired someone to impersonate her wife so he could kill her without drawing suspicion... and that's pretty much it. He never gets a proper motive on why he wants to kill his wife and just disappears after two or three scenes.
  • We Are Still Here: It's never explained where the Darkness came from or why it demands sacrifices. It's just an Eldritch Abomination that traps souls in an And I Must Scream state.
  • War of the Worlds (2005): The invading aliens are never elaborated on beyond their apparent desire to conquer Earth and even their reasons for invading another world are never revealed. This was actually done deliberately for effect. The creators decided to reveal little about the aliens' motives and characteristics in order to invoke a feeling of them being comparable to a force of nature.
  • The Witches Hammer: The Souls of the Damned are a trio of spirits who empower a vampiric organization to open a portal to their realm and bring Hell on Earth for reasons that are never explained. They spend the movie discussing their plan and occasionally berating or killing a goon for failing.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie has evil wizard Giselle, who gets zero context for why she got trapped in a parrot's body other than her abusing her powers. Then when she finally becomes human again, we still don't find out much about her, and she gets taken down in less than five minutes. She's less of a character and more of a Plot Device.
  • Wrestlemaniac: El Mascarado is a justified example, being a Living Weapon created to wrestle. Being created for a combat sport, all he knows is violence, and he kills anybody he can get ahold of.
  • You like the destruction they cause, but don't much care about them? Sounds like a C-list Kaiju. The better ones have some motivation and/or are oddly sympathetic, but the ones that never appeared in more than one movie are pretty much this. Whether it's a bad trope, of course, depends on how cool the destruction is. The original Mechagodzilla is a justified case: it's a robot built for destruction, and thus doesn't have a personality besides being programmed to follow orders and come up with the best plan to win a fight.

    Literature 
  • Rodney Casares from the Peter Clines book Ex-Heroes. He randomly turns up with the power to control the zombies, to survive the zombification with his own intelligence intact, and with enhanced physical abilities and stature he never had in life. The most that's ever explained about him is that he used to be a random gangbanger and that he was one of the first victims of the disease, but he is otherwise completely unique and exists for no reason other than to present a massive threat to the main cast.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hive accuses Gideon Malick of being one of these when Malick expects to be rewarded for devoting his life to "the higher power" of freeing Hive. Hive points out how Malick has billions of dollars to his name, countless people who obey his every whim, a life of luxury, a loving daughter, and so much political and economic influence that he's effectively above the law, in other words literally everything a person could possibly want in life, and then asks what does he really hope to gain from summoning an entity like Hive to Earth.
    Malick: Together we are supposed to take over the world.
    Hive: And what does that look like to you? You have $9.2 billion. The influence that comes with any object of desire can be yours. That's not enough? What can I give you that you couldn't have before?
  • The Bruha from the Baywatch Nights episode "Hot Winds." While all of the other paranormal entities that were featured in Season Two of the show had some semblance of character, the Bruha, despite appearing to be sapient, never spoke or emoted, or showed anything in the way of a personality. We also never get an origin or even a motive for it, it is simply an "evil spirit of the wind" that set about trying to destroy Los Angeles after being freed from where it was trapped centuries ago by Native Americans.
  • The Space Mafia in Blue SWAT are a group of aliens who want to conquer Earth. Why they want to do so never really gets explained. Granted, it's not like most villains in the Metal Heroes series have complex motives, but most at least had some plan for what to do once they've taken over. The Space Mafia doesn't even have that, not helped by the fact that they change goals from "take over Earth" to "smash meteor into Earth" midway through.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The First Evil wants to spread evil all over the world, because it's Made of Evil and thus it likes evil. This gets bonus points for being an Informed Ability; we are told repeatedly it cannot be fought directly, and yet does very little in the onscreen villainy department.
    • Earlier episodes of Buffy play with the trope quite a bit. In "The Zeppo", the generic villains are never given enough screen time to explain their motivations as that's part of the joke. In "Doomed", like most of the show's baddies, they're a metaphor for something else.
    • Ditto the Beast from season four of Angel. His status as this becomes a plot point, when they realize he's not smart enough to have come up with his plan on his own, and is serving someone else.
    • The Judge from "Innocence" is an ancient demon with the power to burn the humanity out of people, which is lucky as burning the humanity out of people is pretty much all he seems interested in doing. The rest of the time he just kinda sits around, waiting to destroy the world while more interesting villains hog the spotlight.
  • Doctor Who: The... entity from "Midnight" is given no explanation whatsoever; we don't even know what it looks like. Along with "Blink", the episode is widely regarded as one of the most terrifying in the history of the series.
  • The Night King in Game of Thrones, to the extent that the army of the undead are often compared to climate change, in being an overwhelming force that slowly becomes worse and worse while humans are distracted by ultimately meaningless power struggles. He has no motivation beyond killing humans and is ultimately destroyed without the audience ever really learning anything about him.
  • Arthur Petrelli from Heroes is a conscious attempt to avert this, with him stealing Peter's Physical God powers and not using them to cause wanton destruction. Though his lack of motivation or any real plan land him into this trope anyway. He existed to steal Peter's power and as soon as he did that he faded into the background and sat around waiting for Sylar to kill him.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Practically every Crisis Crossover movie has this type of villain. If it's a two-Rider crossover, the villain might have some kind of specific motive, but most films involving multiple Riders will simply have all of their various monsters and villainous organizations gather into a Legion of Doom and fight for the generic cause of evil.
    • Gamedeus from Kamen Rider Ex-Aid is a justified example: he's the Final Boss of Kamen Rider Chronicle and once he spawns, begins attacking and causing a pandemic...and that's about it. Unlike the other Bugsters, he has no real motivation and his personality consists of 'generic Final Boss banter' and 'recycle sound clips from the previous Bugsters while using their powers'...because that's exactly how he's programmed. He was created to be the Final Boss and programmed to behave exactly as he does. Also, unlike his fellows, he both lacks any pre-existing character to get a personality from and has only existed for a very brief period of time, making him less a character and more a program being run. In total Gamedeus only appears for a single episode before being absorbed and turned into a power-up for the human Big Bad.
    • Kamen Rider Ginga from Kamen Rider Zi-O is a Galactic Conqueror for...reasons that are never given, seemingly only showing up so Woz can use some of Ginga's essence to create the Ridewatch that gives him his Super Mode. He doesn't give any reasons for why he does what he does, and we don't even learn his civilian identity. Like Gamedeus, Ginga appears to be a deliberate pastiche of the trope, as the story arc he appears in is a reference to the infamous Bolivian Army Ending of Kamen Rider Kiva.
  • Asmodeus, the Big Bad of Kamen Rider Saber Plus Kikai Sentai Zenkaiger Superhero Senki. While he is given a brief backstory that ties him into the lore of Kamen Rider Saber (he's a former member of the Sword of Logos who went rogue) zero explanation is given for his motives and why he wants to destroy the Kamen Riders and Super Sentai. Or how he's able to shape-shift into a dragon.
  • The demon Belial from the Relic Hunter episode "Set in Stone." We never learn anything about him (like how and why he was on Earth) and while he did wear clothing and wield a sword, those were the only indications at all that he was even sapient. He otherwise just acted like a rabid animal, doing nothing but snarling and growling while attacking everything in sight, "friend" and foe alike. The episode was a Sealed Evil in a Can story, and one of those ones where the living being that constitutes the sealed evil could be replaced by something inanimate like a curse or a (super)natural disaster, and next to nothing would change.
  • The Replicators from Stargate SG-1. Since most of them are machines made out of Lego blocks, they have no personality whatsoever. All they do is multiply. And they just. Won't. Stay. Dead. Though this changed when the show introduced the Human Form Replicators (including the Asurans), which actually had personalities and in some cases became recurring characters. Some were even somewhat sympathetic.
  • Super Sentai:
    • Dai-Satan, the ultimate evil of Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger hasn't shown any motivation for his deeds. In fact, he doesn't even have lines to say and is only seen laughing menacingly in the background whenever he appears
    • Tokumei Sentai Go Busters has the villain of its second solo movie. Azazel is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere with no connection to Messiah and just wants to destroy the world because... uh, because... we'll have to get back to you on that one. He basically exists to kick off a plot that isn't much about him, much like the Trope Namer. As tongue-in-cheek as the whole film was, you're probably supposed to laugh at this guy who comes out of nowhere calling himself "Azazel the Great Demon King" and trying to destroy the world because he's evil and that's what evil guys do.
    • It seems that dinosaur themed Sentai series really have a thing for this sort of villain, as Deboth from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger also has no personality outside of wanting to make humanity go extinct. That is when he can speak, as he spends most of the time either dormant or in a bestial form that's unable to speak at all.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Dark Spectre from Power Rangers in Space is one of the only examples of this trope in the Power Rangers franchise as he just shows up, wants to take over the galaxy and does not have a personality. Most other villains are given a personality and motivation, so it comes off as odd when even the Monster of the Week had a personality, while the Greater-Scope Villain did not.
    • Omni the Magnificence from Power Rangers S.P.D. spends the entire series offscreen and only shows up near the endgame, displaying no personality whatsoever.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Surtr, the fire giant who is responsible for the end of the world in Norse Mythology, is probably the Ur-Example. He doesn't appear in any myths except the one that tells of Ragnarok, where he and his armies invade Asgard, he kills Freyr and engulfs the world in fire, and even that myth gives him little description or characterization. Still, while he may not appear, he is referred to in numerous other tales of both the Poetic Edda and the Prose Edda. And he's hardly the only giant lacking character depth. In addition, since Surtr doesn't appear until the story of Ragnarok, this could also make him a good example of Last Episode, New Character.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Prior to the Attitude Era/Monday Night Wars, the "generic doomsday villain"-type storyline was used heavily in the World Wrestling Federation to build up a heel wrestler toward a world title shot against Hulk Hogan. Villains such as King Kong Bundy, Big Boss Man, Akeem/One Man Gang, Earthquake and others spent would spend several weeks on TV beating up jobbers and mid-card wrestlers before their big match against Hogan ... and invariably they would all lose. note  The outcomes of these matches became so predictable it was as though these fearsome bad guys were simply generic bad guys who, after screwing with Hogan, weren't so big and bad after all.
  • Between 2002-2006 in WWE, it was incredibly hard to sum up Triple H's character beyond "World Champion", "Stephanie McMahon's husband", and "sledgehammer aficionado". Oh, and "Complete Jerkass."

    Tabletop Games 
  • Delta Green has the Cult of Transcendence come close to this trope. Their basic goal is to 'uplift' humanity into a proper Mythos race, an existence without concern for order, compassion, pain or pleasure. They do this by subtly sabotaging human society and corrupting people anyway they can. They're oddly philosophical about it, too. Deconstruction or Reconstruction? Either way, their entry lampshades the fact that their basic lack of humanity means they act like this trope, and do not care if they win or lose, which is what makes them so dangerous.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Leviathan, from the supplement Elder Evils, is a serpent made of the leftover chaos of the world. If it wakes up, the world will cease to exist. Interestingly enough, it's Chaotic Neutral, not evil - destroying the world is simply what it does. The campaign layout provided has the "good ending" condition being putting it back to sleep, not killing it, as it's literally thousands of kilometres long and hence not capable of being fought by human-sized characters. Besides, killing it might cause it to destroy the world in its death throes. And if that didn't happen, its death might still irreparably damage the balance of order and chaos and destroy the world anyhow.
    • Also from Elder Evils is Atropus, the World Born Dead. Best described as an undead planet, featuring canyons and valleys forming the vague shape of a screaming, skeletal face. The book gives it a potential backstory as either a Primordial, the figurative afterbirth of the universe, or what remains of the Prime Mover, original creator of everything, but it certainly acts as a force of nature in the narrative. Merely its arrival causes plagues of undeath to wash across the world, the dead rising from their graves faster than heroes can slay the. In the end, the best thing the players might accomplish is fighting an aspect of its sentience (what little there is), and have an actual God come in to finish the job. And even then, the book suggests that even Divine Intervention might not be enough to finish it of, suggesting that the only way to permanently kill it would be to throw it into the Positive Energy Plane.
    • The Tarrasque. It's a gigantic, kaiju-like reptilian beast that wakes up, wrecks and/or eats everything, and then goes back to sleep. Wizards of the Coast have never committed any one backstory to canon, but most of them are variations of an extinct civilization conjuring a destroyer through forgotten magic.
    • Tharizdun is an odd case of this, in that he knows he's one. He's a god who is simply a Sealed Evil in a Can that wants to destroy all existence. Unfortunately for him, no other god wants this to happen, and so they work together to ensure he stays locked up, and even his worshippers are rare, secretive, and crazy; Straw Nihilists at best and Omnicidal Maniacs at worst. Because Tharizdun recognizes that nobody else wants to unmake the universe, the majority of his plans are actually carried out by various front organizations that try to Take Over the World while unknowingly advancing Tharizdun's own goals.
  • The Big Bad Ensemble of the Old World of Darkness tend to be treated similarly, but then again, the manifestation of any of them was explicitly a sign of the apocalypse.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Necrons were introduced as a faction of skeletal androids with a grudge against organic life and that was pretty much all they did: kill without any sort of personality, much less dialogue. Their 5th Edition codex, however, added a more detailed backstory to the army (albeit one very similar to Warhammer's Tomb Kings), so while the average Necron warrior might be a mindless drone after so many millennia of being repeatedly killed and repaired, the ruling caste consists of actual characters with quirks and motivations beyond "kill all humans". As always, there's debate whether the new background is better or worse than the Necrons being a race of mysterious, silent killers.
    • The Tyranids to an extent. They're a Horde of Alien Locusts that shows up, eats everything on a planet and uses the bio-mass to make more Tyranids to repeat the process on the next world. Certainly dangerous, certainly terrifying, but they're essentially animals. The most nuance to their backstory is the suggestion that they're attacking our galaxy because something even worse is chasing them.

    Video Games 
  • All the Big Bads in the Aveyond series have rather vague motives for doing what they do. Why does Ahriman want to destroy the world? Why does the Snow Queen or rather, Heptitus, want to freeze the world? Why does Gyendal want to enslave the humans? Why does Qetesh wants a Mist Wraith sacrifice? Well, because reasons, and that's all you'd get from them.
  • The Final Boss and ultimate threat of Battle Moon Wars is a devil. Yeah, that's it. Doesn't help that it's quite the Giant Space Flea from Nowhere. They could have at least given it a name. Also, as the game is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover, it also falls victim to "More powerful than anyone they've faced before!" Syndrome.
  • C-12: Final Resistance has the Alien Leader. He has five lines in the game, most of which are him telling Vaughn that the aliens can't be stopped. It's never revealed in the game why he invaded Earth, why he's turning humans into cyborgs, why he's exterminating humans, etc. He's just doing it because...plot. Contrast this with Major Dan Carter, who, despite having limited screentime, established himself as being a slimy, smug henchman who willingly and shamelessly sided with the aliens just to prolong his own life.
  • The Federation of The Americas from Call of Duty: Ghosts. Throughout the entirety of the campaign, they appear to have no overall goal other than destroying the US and murdering American civilians seemingly just to remind the players that they're the bad guys. The only named character on their side who has more than two lines is Gabriel Rorke, who isn't evil due to motivation.
  • The Greater-Scope Villain True Final Boss aliens in the Nintendo 64's Chopper Attack.note  At least the terrorists are given a Take Over the World motive; the aliens only seem to attack just for the hell of it.
  • Lavos from Chrono Trigger fits for only being a (mostly) non-sapient Planetary Parasite that Came from the Sky, and after millenia feeding, woke up and destroyed the planet. Despite driving the plot, it's only a giant tick/parasite Greater-Scope Villain the protagonists will face once they feel ready. The villains looking to use it for power (such as Magus the Fiendlord or the Queen of Zeal) are the ones given personality. Chrono Cross diverges by making the aftermath of Lavos' defeat enable it to become a full-on Eldritch Abomination bent on obliterating all of existence.
  • The GLA in Command & Conquer: Generals. While most villain factions in Command & Conquer has some fleshing out to explain their motives, even if said motives are being hungry for power, GLA's explanation, fighting back foreign imperialism, doesn't even make sense given that all they attempt to do in the story is cause destruction and don't show regard for human life in any shape or form. The fans didn't mind this much, given that China and America's characterization was almost as shallow, and the game having such a bare bones story meant the GLA's lack of characterization was more a result of how little effort was put into the story than anything else.
  • While most bosses in Devil May Cry have either at least a bit of personality, or engaged in banters with Dante, all of the bosses in the second game (sans Arius and Trismagia) have neither any personality nor speak any line whatsoever, including the Final Boss Argosax. Essentially, they're just another enemy for Dante and Lucia to defeat.
    • And then there's Urizen from Devil May Cry 5, who's actually a deconstruction of this trope. He first appears as a brutal monster, seeking power for its own sake, and yet other than that, he doesn't have any other motivation. Contrast that with Dante, who outright states that just fighting for the sake of something (like protecting his friends from Urizen, for instance) is what makes him more powerful than Urizen could ever be. And the reason for Urizen's single-minded obsession with power? He's actually the disembodied demonic half of Vergil, possessing all of his power but none of his humanity (which went on to become V), and since Urizen doesn't know what to do with all that power other than gain more of it, he's basically a mindless brute. Also, due to being split from Vergil, he's slowly dying, which is why he has to hook himself up to the Qliphoth to survive, though even then he's still strong enough to curbstomp both Nero and Dante when they first fight him.
  • The Archdemon and darkspawn of Dragon Age are a rampaging force of nature, but they frame a backdrop for more complex and nuanced character conflicts, and only after confronting the antagonists native to Fereldin can the player wrap up the overarching invasion-of-evil epic. The darkspawn are partly motivated by the need to eat (often people) and reproduce, by abducting women and transforming them into broodmothers. They gain more depth in Awakening; one faction of the "Awakened" wants to awaken the rest of the Darkspawn and create a place for themselves in the world, though they are hampered by Blue-and-Orange Morality. Another faction follows an insane Death Seeker who resents her new sapience because it cuts her off from the song of the Old Gods.
  • You play as one in Dungeon Keeper. You're an undefined evil entity with no backstory, characterisation or even features, other than a disembodied hand. You command hordes of monsters and invade the surface kingdom for no apparent reason other than that they're good and happy and you hate that.
  • Final Fantasy's early installments tended to feature these, with Giant Space Flea from Nowhere final bosses with absolutely no characterisation beyond this appearing after you kill them. They got a lot less common after the appearance of Kefka from Final Fantasy VI and the popularity of the relatively well-developed Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, but still show up after that point, often because of Grandfather Clause nostalgia or Troubled Production problems.
    • Final Fantasy III has Cloud of Darkness, who wants to destroy everything because she's dark, and therefore opposes light, the force the heroes represent. No other motivation or personality traits are established, she simply appears as the final boss after the previous villain is defeated.
    • Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia actually draws attention to this, calling it out in regards to Final Fantasy II's antagonist known simply as The Emperor. The heroes refer to him as "generically evil" and a "mwahaha-type of villain", but go on to posit that is what makes The Emperor so dangerous. He doesn't have a tragic backstory or reason for committing atrocities, The Emperor simply wants to rule the world and then all worlds because he is of royal lineage, and therefore has divine right to rule above all others, as well as the divine right as king to be above morals and mercy.
  • Fire Emblem Warriors has the Greater-Scope Villain Velezark, an evil Chaos Dragon who seeks to destroy everything for no clearly defined reason.
  • The Shivans in FreeSpace seemingly exist just to be a nigh-unstoppable force for the Terran-Vasudan Alliance to repeatedly bash their heads against in a desperate attempt to defeat, with no reason yet given (and with the ultimate fate of the series, likely never will) for their actions (then again, the Shivans aren't exactly the talkative sort.)
  • The Unbound in late Geneforge were designed to spread a wave of equal-opportunity devastation over the world, with the expectation that the Shapers would be caught off-guard and demolished while the Rebels bunkered down and waited it out. By the last game, they're everyone's problem.
  • Guild Wars:
    • Nightfall, Warmarshall Varesh wants to wake a dark god and its legion of demons, unleash Torment upon the world, and bring about eternal night and suffering because... hmm.
    • The elder dragons in the Guild Wars 2. They are gods that wreck destruction because, because...
  • Happy Chaos in Guilty Gear -STRIVE- noticeably stands out as being this compared to other more nuanced villains in the series such as Justice, That Man/Asuka R. Kreutz and even Ariels/the Universal Will. Compared to them, he's just some asshole who wants to cause chaos simply becauses it amuses him. Granted, most of that could be chalked up to being sealed away within the Backyard for ages with half of I-No's power within him, while being driven mad by all the perfect knowledge that the place had granted him, but still...
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: HADES. Despite being described as fully sentient it has little in the way of personality, only existing to carry out its sole function of exterminating all life on Earth. What level of cunning and deceit he does display turn out to be on the advice of Sylens. If anything, this makes it more horrific; it can't be reasoned with, only bound or destroyed.
  • Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass
    • The Pulsating Mass, the eponymous villain, appeared out of seemingly nowhere, and doesn't display any coherent motivation for engulfing the world aside from hating Jimmy. This makes a lot more sense after you learn that it's Jimmy's mental representation of his terminal cancer — a non-sapient threat obviously wouldn't have a coherent motivation.
    • Similarly Mr. Cat, on account of not speaking, has unclear motives for kidnapping, raping, and brutally murdering Cordelia Mouse (a little girl). It’s possible that he’s a pedophile and is definitely a Sadist but he gets little further characterization.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising features two: The Aurum, a Horde of Alien Locusts that "are created from, and return to, nothing." and The Chaos Kin, a pure manifestation of evil that takes control of a host and slowly devours its soul. Both are presented as serious threats; the former requiring all the warring factions to do an Enemy Mine and team up, and the latter being a major Knight of Cerebus that causes the game to take an unexpected plunge into Darker and Edgier territory.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • In Kingdom Hearts II, Shan Yu is portrayed as this. Unlike in Mulan, he's more Monster of the Week than Big Bad, gets very little screen time to establish a character, displays no notable personality traits beyond being a fearsome evil warrior, has no motivation for why he's invading China using the Heartless, and doesn't even have a ton of lines, only having two short lines of dialogue in cut scenes ("ATTACK!" and "Now you'll bow to me!"), with the rest of it being Boss Banter.
    • Prince Hans from the Kingdom Hearts III version of Arendelle's story. While the movie explained his motivations, in the game he only made two non-speaking appearances and is stated by Sora to have a great darkness within him. But the world neither explains why he wants to kill Elsa, nor why his darkness is great enough to spawn a giant wolf Heartless. Even after said Heartless was defeated and subsequently Hans died with no fanfare or mention his motives and presence remained unexplained in the game proper.
  • Several of the villains in the Kirby series, like Nightmare, Dark Matter, Zero, Drawcia, and Necrodeus are this, since they're the villains attacking Kirby's home planet with little revealed motivation or characterization to go with it.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Onox in Oracle of Seasons, unlike Veran in Ages, displays very little personality beyond destruction For the Evulz. He only appears in three scenes, and one is in the game's intro, and he's never shown doing much to waylay the player.
    • Bellum in The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, who despite being a massive threat to the seas and stealing the Ocean King’s life force, seems to be only as intelligent as a wild animal and gets little screen time to boot.
    • Malladus from The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks is this for similar reasons. He doesn't have any personality, and his purpose seems to be that of a Suspiciously Similar Substitute of Ganon to get around his death beforehand. It doesn't help that he has almost no screen time and only a few speaking lines. However Chancellor Cole and Byrne have greater screen time and characterization to make up for it and the game’s story places greater emphasis on the heroes than the villains so it evens out.
    • Ganon may be this depending on the game, often when he hijacks the plot and thus doesn't have much time to get any characterization. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword gives a reason for this: As the incarnation of Demon King Demise's hatred for Link and Zelda, he literally exists solely to plague the two as long as reincarnations of them exist. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Ganon has been plaguing Hyrule for so long that that his character and personality has literally been reduced to this. No trace of the thief king Ganondorf remains — merely the hatred and malice incarnate of a demon.
  • The villain of LEGO Dimensions, Lord Vortech, is a being who wants to merge all dimensions together to create one perfect dimension. We never learn why he wants to do this. There were plans to make him a playable character, but they were cancelled.
  • Odio in Live A Live is a reincarnating force of destruction. At any point in time there would be a hero to rise up, Odio will manifest during that time, causing terror, death, and annihilation, and directly oppose the hero. Odio will always bear a similar-sounding name that fits with that time period (such as Ode Iou for feudal Japan or O. Dio for mid to late 19th century America), making him easy to spot for the player, but the idea is that while the heroes may consistently defeat Odio, it will always rise up again in some other time. Subverted in the last chapter, which reveals that he's actually the mind of Fallen Hero Oersted, who has very well-defined motives. The reason he opposes the protagonists is because he takes umbrage at their idealism and wants to prove a point to himself.
  • Omega of Mega Man Zero 3. He's a Reploid simply programmed to kill and cause nothing but destruction, and essentially just a weapon to be used by Dr. Weil to further his goals. And what Zero was originally intended to be by his creator, Dr. Wily.
  • In Myth the ultimate Big Bad is the divinity called the Leveler. His modus operandi consists of, at regular intervals, take over the body of the hero who killed his last incarnation, resurrect and corrupt other heroes of ages past, and then try once again to destroy all life on the planet and rule over the dead lands. Why? It's not really explained.
  • Neptunia features several incarnations of Arfoire across various continuities and dimensions, but the Hyperdimension incarnation, an Eldritch Abomination known as the Deity of Sin, is a barely sentient beast who only seeks to destroy everything. She spends the story rooted to Gameindustri Graveyard while the heroes try to prevent her revival and then come up with a way to defeat her when that doesn't work. Zerodimension Arfoire, while having much more personality, still seeks to destroy everything, even at the cost of her own life, for reasons she can't properly define when questioned by Adult Neptune. In fact, she was created by the game's Reality Warper Big Bad, based on the latter's memories of the aforementioned Deity of Sin.
  • NieR Automata:
    • The plot is kicked off by an alien invasion that ends with humankind, overwhelmed by the aliens' machine armies, fleeing to the moon and using androids to fight a proxy war on their behalf that's lasted for millennia. What was the motivation for the invasion? Who knows! By the time you encounter the aliens, they've been dead for a long time, killed at the hands of their own machine lifeform creations after they Grew Beyond Their Programming, and whatever the motivation for the invasion was died with them. Adam says that the aliens were so simple that they had more in common with plants than humans, so it's quite possible they never even had a real motivation in the first place.
    • Grun seems like this at first; a 1000 meter tall kaiju-sized machine lifeform that suddenly appears out of the ocean and threatens the lives of every android and machine lifeform nearby with its massive EMP blasts. In Route A, the only thing you learn about it is that it was submerged in the ocean by the machine lifeforms that created it because it attacked everything indiscriminately, but in Route B you learn that it's a good-natured machine who simply Does Not Know His Own Strength.
  • Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi:
    • The Count is an unnamed vampire monarch who never speaks. His goal is to revive the ancient Malachi so that he can lead the vampires and other evil otherworldly creatures in taking over the world. He's given no real personality at all and his goal is only told through the other characters.
    • Malachi himself is defined only by his threat level, being an incredibly powerful vampire who plagued the world long ago, and is now being released by The Count to bring about The End of the World as We Know It. He only appears at the very end as the Final Boss, and like The Count, he does not speak.
  • Erebus from Persona 3: The Answer fits this role, thanks to being the Anthropomorphic Personification of mankind's will to die, and thus his only purpose is to come into contact with Nyx and cause The End of the World as We Know It, and will never truly disappear as long as humans keep wishing for death.
  • Dark Force of the Phantasy Star series is a chaotic monster sealed within some sort of containers as the "Pandora's Box" which corrupts and attacks people who find it.
    • Profound Darkness in Phantasy Star IV is a one-upped version of Dark Force, coming out of nowhere while being described as an origin of evil itself.
  • Phantom Brave has Big Bad Sulphur, who isn't so much a character as he is a plot device needed to move the story along. He has no backstory, no explained motivation, no personality, and doesn't even talk.
  • Psychonauts 2 has Maligula, the game's Big Bad. Most her Boss Banter talks about spreading death and destruction with no real motive to it. Justified, as Maligula is the Anthropomorphic Personification of Lucrecia's PTSD manifesting as a Card-Carrying Villain who would rather revel in her own evil than confront the overwhelming guilt of accidentally murdering her sister and countrymen.
  • Rainbow Six Siege has the White Masks, Terrorists Without a Cause taken to the absolute extreme. Who are they, what are they fighting for, where did they come from, and what is their end goal? None of it is ever explained, nor are any clues given to their ideologies, considering they they attack completely indiscriminately, are all cloaked in masked uniforms which hide their appearance, and have totally random warfare methods. Really, their only purpose is to be a designated antagonistic force for players to fight against, since the game is extremely light on plot to begin with.
  • Ravensword: Shadowlands has Ul'Thok, the Big Bad. He never says anything when you fight him, and it's never even explained what exactly it is that he plans to do once he returns to Tyreas.
  • Resident Evil 6 features NEO Umbrella as the villains. Their ultimate goal is to unleash a massive B.O.W. called HAOS that will infect the entire planet with a deadly mutating virus, purely for the sake of "plunging the entire world into chaos".
  • Romancing Saga 3: The Oblivion is an Expy of the Cloud of Darkness from the Final Fantasy III example posted above. It's the personification of the destructive power of the Abyss that seeks to return everything to the void via sheer obliteration. It's treated more as a force of nature rather than an actual character.
  • Something series:
    • Ballser in Something. In fact, the scenario describing the game does not even mention his name at all.
    • The Evil Guy in Something Else. The introduction just shows his invasion of the Bears' world and his kidnapping of the Bear Elder.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic Adventure 2 has the Biolizard, the prototype Ultimate Lifeform. It's barely mentioned prior to its appearance, and has no dialogue. It is simply appears to serve as a boss while attempting to carrying out the will of its creator Gerald Robotnik and acts more as an extension of Gerald's vengeance than an actual character.
    • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has the "Flames of Disaster" Iblis. It is a mindless magma monster who has ravaged the Bad Future, driving Silver to go back in time in an attempt to prevent his rampage from ever occurring. He is actually one half of a Physical God, with the other half Mephiles taking all the intelligence. Said Physical God Solaris is also an example; while it was subject to experimentation in the past, it's not portrayed as having any sort of sapience, and seems to only start wrecking spacetime upon its revival just because it can.
    • Dark Gaia from Sonic Unleashed, an Eldritch Abomination in the center of the planet. Since the beginning of time, it periodically emerges to wreak havoc on the world, then return to slumber, rinse, wash, repeat. Its role in the story is simply yet another weapon unleashed by Eggman that inevitably goes out of his control.
    • The Time Eater from Sonic Generations is another Eldritch Abomination harnessed by Eggman and his past self. It came from somewhere out in space, and simply serves as a living weapon for Eggman to manipulate history to his liking.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Many bosses in Stella Glow have motives and reasons for why they do what they do, including the final boss, Eve. The True Final Boss, Cartesia, is an amalgamation of humanity's negative energy that welcomes despair and defeat, and attempts to kill the party as they escape simply because she can.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
  • Trials of Mana has several fascinating villains, and two of the available Big Bads, the Masked Mage and the Dark Majesty, at least have some tragic backstories that make us sympathize with them somewhat, but perhaps the most glaring villain here besides Goremand (who was even worse in terms of cruelty and villainy anyway) has to be the Dragon Lord, who has no real motivations for his plan to become god of the world other than because he wants to "bring havoc and ruin to the world and usher in a new age of darkness" For the Evulz. What makes things even more eerie is that very little is known about him other than that he worked behind the scenes during the Pedda war and that he fought against then-prince Richard and his knight Loki, recalls a faerie that died during their fight with him, and mainly orchestrates various war crimes committed by his Co-Dragons, the Crimson Wizard and the Darkshine Knight (the former was unable to learn magic and traded in half of his life-force to him for untold amounts of magical power, and the latter was actually Loki himself brainwashed by him into serving him, with his power being the only thing keeping him alive).
  • Zombies Ate My Neighbors: Dr. Tongue. He's a mad scientist who has unleashed an army of monsters unto the world. His reasons for doing so are never given, be it to Take Over the World or For the Evulz. Done intentionally, as the game is a giant throwback to horror clichés, and he's just there to be the villain.

    Web Animation 
  • In Dusk's Dawn, the nameless villain's motivation is never really explained. He's just doing... evil, well... because he's evil.

    Webcomics 
  • Almost all the villains in Axe Cop are evil and do evil things because they're bad guys, so just about any one of the powerful villains bent on taking over the world or whatever is automatically a Generic Doomsday Villain.
  • Homestuck's Jack Noir ends up becoming this. Starts out with a good bit of personality, but once he takes over as Big Bad he just starts wrecking things for no real reason. Word of God describes his personality as basically being buried beneath his power, and describes him as akin to a raging dragon. A later scene from Jack's perspective clarifies it further: once he's gained enough power to become the Big Bad, he's just become bored. Most of his evil acts have just been him trying to come up with something to do with his new power. It's justified, seeing that Jack's entire purpose is to be a game construct and give players of SBURB a questline to take down the Black Queen. And then his rampage across the trolls' session was out of Unstoppable Rage after Jade dies again.
  • The Order of the Stick: The Snarl is not a major player in the story, but ready to obliterate everything if it ever gets loose. At least that's the original story we heard about it — there are reasons to question whether this story is complete, or accurate.

    Web Original 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall:
  • Discussed by The Editing Room in X-Men: First Class: The Abridged Script. Robert Downey Jr. makes a cameo and points out in full Sarcasm Mode that supervillains would likely have something in their lives that would make them rethink blowing up Earth.
  • Parodied by How to Write Badly Well: Make Your Villain Genuinely Evil.
  • The Vionnators in Juukou Tokusou Dinnovator seem to only exist to oppose the protagonists. Who they are, where they came from and what their goals are beyond defeating the Dinnovators are never really delved into.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • The reason why the Foundation refuses to take Zalgo as SCP.
      "The Director": You're overpowered, you don't have a hook, and quite frankly, you're boring.
    • For a straighter example, there's SCP-682 from a different author, a reptilian monster whose sole defining characteristics are "Hates everything" and "Cannot be killed ever". Unusually for this trope, 682 has become an Ensemble Dark Horse despite his lack of motive.
  • Worm has the terrible wrath of the Endbringers, who are steadily destroying humanity for no apparent reason with regular, devastating attacks on population centers and stress points: Behemoth, Simurgh, and Leviathan.
    • Played with later, when it's heavily implied (though not outright stated) by Tattletale and Scion that Eidolon inadvertently created them out of a need for "worthy opponents." They exist for the same reason in-universe that many of the examples on this page exist out-of-universe: simply to pose a powerful challenge to the hero.
  • Welcome to Night Vale: The Good Boy and his minions, the Strangers, are explicitly stated to not have any reasons for wanting to destroy everything, because if they did have a reason, that reason would be a thing and therefore they would have to destroy it.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: GOLB is the Greater-Scope Villain of the whole show; acting as the embodiment of chaos itself and the source of the Mushroom Bomb that lead to Ooo becoming what it is, he's easily one of the most powerful beings in the series. Come his grand return, GOLB doesn't express any sort of character, motivation, or even basic sapience. He just floats in the air as his breath creates monsters, acting like more of a force of nature that the heroes must overcome, rather than an actual character.
  • The Legend of Korra: The second season gives us Vaatu, the spirit of darkness and chaos. Every 10,000 years he and his Good Counterpart, Raava, fight to decide the fate of the uniworldverse; if he wins, he wipes out humanity. In the meantime, he goes around corrupting spirits. There's not much else to him.
  • D.A.V.E. in The Batman is a deconstruction. While he believes himself to be a human imprisoned inside a computer, he's actually a robot programmed by Dr. Hugo Strange with the memories and abilities of Batman's worst foes for the sole purpose of giving Batman a challenge; to this end, he proceeds to easily curbstomp Batman and steals all of Gotham's money just to commit the ultimate crime. He's defeated when Batman asks him about his origin, at which point he realizes that he has no actual motivation or purpose beyond fighting Batman, which distracts him long enough for Batman to (quite ruthlessly, actually) kill him.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Pariah Dark, being an obscenely powerful ghost out for world domination, but without a terribly interesting personality. However, the Made-for-TV Movie he appeared in featured major roles from a lot of the more interesting Rogues Gallery members (such as Vlad, Valerie, Fright Knight, and Skulker), so it all evened out.
    • Nearly all of the third season villains were generic Take Over the World villains with little difference between them apart from appearances, voice, and powers (IE: Nocturne and Vortex).
  • Parodied with Evil the Cat in Earthworm Jim, whose master plan is to destroy the universe. When finally asked what he plans to do after that, he has to think about it for a moment before finally settling on "Gloat, I suppose. Cackle wickedly among the ashes, that sort of thing."
  • In the Family Guy episode "Veteran Guy", Peter and his friends are court-ordered to safeguard people on Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale, where they end up fighting a band of frat boys planning to carry out a terrorist attack with absolutely no explanation as to why.
  • Justice League:
    • Doomsday basically keeps his role of catalyzing other characters' stories (despite speaking full sentences now!). He showed up for the sole purpose of starting a fight and then getting lobotomized to show how dangerous the Justice Lords are. In the second appearance, to challenge the heroes' own morality (he's mightily destructive. He's totally unrepentant about it and pretty much told us point blank he'll never stop. How do we stop him for good but observe our rules?) In the end he's banished to the Phantom Zone, which Batman treats as no different than a death sentence. In his second appearance, he is retroactively given a backstory, albeit a retcon that ties him into the Cadmus myth arc. The creative team basically gave Doomsday a backstory purely to lampshade this entire trope as hard as they possibly could. Doomsday is a cloned Superweapon designed by Cadmus specifically for killing Superman. That's it; he has no motivation or goals or desires other than killing Superman, and can't be reasoned with or made to stop. The show basically made the character exactly what he is in the comics to the point of criticism. And Doomsday himself even with his Adaptational Intelligence decides to push through with it; he is who he is, and doesn't care why.
    • The show's version of Brimstone, a superweapon that went berserk for no identifiable reason other than to give Green Arrow a reason to join the league.
    • Most of the henchmen assembled in the third season, simply because there's way too many of them for them get much characterization.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (2006): Imperiex from the second season, who launches a full-scale invasion of the galaxy because... he's power-hungry.
  • Megas XLR: Many one-shot villains are like this. Ender, who existed to "end" things, and Gurrkek the Planet-Killer really fit the bill, however.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: King Sombra is built up as being a huge threat to the Crystal Empire, and is also revealed to have set up an intricate security system to prevent anypony from getting the Crystal Heart in the past. Other than that, however, his characterization is nonexistent, especially in comparison to the show's previous and later villains, and there is barely any backstory for him to speak of — his role in the episode itself is simply to be a looming threat on the horizon for everyone to be scared of. This isn't helped by him speaking very little and not having any meaningful interaction with the other characters. This is averted with his return in Season 9, where Sombra gets a chance to actually interact with the cast and show off his personality when he's not a formless mass of smoke growling and snarling. The IDW comics also greatly expand his character and backstory, though the comics are considered Loose Canon.
  • Rainbow Brite: The King of Shadows, the first villain in the series, was a horror with no backstory who ruled Rainbowland in the past and brought darkness to the land. He was a mysterious shadowy figure with no real character beyond being dark and terrifying. He had no real motivation for trying to darken the land and was Killed Off for Real at the end, ensuring we never learned more about him.
  • Samurai Jack: In "The Birth of Evil Part 1" we see a gigantic black mass that the gods Odin, Ra, and Rama fought millions of years ago. It is nothing but a mindless force of destruction with no real intelligence, just an organism with the intent to consume everything in its path. Ironically, the Emperor's attempt to destroy said evil is what gave it intelligence and a name: Aku.
  • South Park: ManBearPig isn't given any characterization other than he's presented as an unstoppable destructive force that destroys without reason and is proven to be real by Season 22.
  • Emperor Dark from Star Com The US Space Force is defined solely by his desire to Take Over The Universe. We never learn his real name, his origin, how he assembled his army, or even why he wants to rule over everything, as all of his scenes consisted of him either solemnly tinkering in his laboratory or dismissively issuing orders (often in the vein of, "Okay, go do that") to his far more fleshed out Commanders (almost all of whom appeared to resent and want to overthrow him simply because of how completely lackadaisical he was). Since everything was done by his henchmen, often of their own accord, he could be removed from the show entirely, and very little would change.
  • The DiC Super Mario Bros. cartoons mostly have Card Carrying Villains, but one episode of Super Mario World features Wizenheimer, who goes out of his way to directly admit that it is only in his nature to be evil.
  • A few of the Sushi Pack villains fall into this, most notably the Titanium Chef, who wants to spread chaos throughout the world for no other reason than he has a book that tells him how.
  • In SWAT Kats, Volcanus, the fire demon, who never even spoke, just woke up and made a beeline for the nuclear power plant.
  • Teen Titans (2003):
    • The Puppet King from early into Season 1 was one such villain. It is not explained how he came to be or why he wanted to control the Teen Titans' bodies as his personal army and destroy their souls. He basically just seems to be carrying out this plan for the sake of it so that the episode could have an antagonist, and he had no real personality aside from "creepy, high-and-mighty bad guy."
    • Most of the more mindless secondary villains (Cinderblock, Plasmus, Overload, the Chrysalis Eater, Cardiac and the like) in the show seemed to be wreaking havoc just 'cuz. It doesn't help that the show had a general aversion to origin stories.

 
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HADES

Even though he's fully sentient, HADES has little in the way of personality, only existing to carry out his sole function of exterminating all life on Earth. What level of cunning and deceit he does display turn out to be on the advice of Sylens. If anything, this makes it more horrific; it can't be reasoned with, only bound or destroyed and it gives it an eldritch Lovecraftian quality.

How well does it match the trope?

3.58 (12 votes)

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Main / GenericDoomsdayVillain

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