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"Fortune, you and the rest of Dead Cell stand in for the FOXHOUND squad that Snake took on in Shadow Moses. You're the most impressive collection of freaks outside of FOXHOUND."

...same as the old boss.

This is what happens when old villains are replaced with new villains who nevertheless use a suspiciously similar modus operandi and have similar flaws.

The Trope Namer is The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" which uses this exact trope, though with political and revolution overtones.

Can be a result of a Post-Script Season, a Retool, or Sequelitis.

Sub-Trope of Suspiciously Similar Substitute. See also The Horseshoe Effect. The inverse is Contrasting Sequel Antagonist.

Compare with Full-Circle Revolution, when this happens to La Résistance after a successful coup. See also He Who Fights Monsters for where the new boss didn't start out the same as the old boss but became that way in the process of deposing him.

Contrast Charlie Brown from Outta Town in Professional Wrestling, where the new guy is the old guy with a Paper-Thin Disguise. If it turns out the new boss is actually a pawn of the old boss, then you have Hijacked by Ganon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The last three seasons of Sailor Moon each revolved around a different group of villains looking for a MacGuffin needed to achieve world domination. They did so by extracting different manifestations of a "soul" from random humans in the hope of getting the special one they were seeking, but most of the time ended up only getting blanks. Particularly egregious in the final season: Sailor Galaxia knew perfectly well where the True Starseeds (the MacGuffins of the season) were, but didn't tell her minions just to enjoy the show.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann went from fighting a corrupt village chief who repressed the villagers, supposedly for their own good, to fighting a deranged God-king who repressed humanity, supposedly for their own good, to fighting a deranged alien race who repressed sentient life in general, supposedly for their own good. The same events and themes reoccurring with escalation is part of the overlying "Spiral" theme of the show itself, so it's probably safe to assume that this was entirely deliberate.
  • Time Bokan: Every set of villains in the franchise is a Terrible Trio that adheres to same archetypes — that being one domineering villainess, one lanky Evil Genius and one stocky bruiser. This set of roles was established by the Time Skeletons from the original Time Bokan, but was made iconic by the Doronbo Gang from the sequel Yatterman.
  • The Dragon Ball universe:
    • King Piccolo, Vegeta, and Freeza. It all goes like this: Big Bad wants Dragon Balls, Goku and company (including the previous arc's Big Bad) fight a series of mooks and various lieutenants until the Dragon Balls are no longer an issue and then they fight the Big Bad himself. Piccolo Jr. (who is fought between King Piccolo and Vegeta) is an exception because he doesn't want the Dragon Balls and he doesn't have any subordinates. He simply wants revenge on Goku.
    • A second trend was formed starting with the Androids, created by Dr. Gero, who wanted to get revenge on Goku and take over the world (or something). Then came Cell, another creation of Gero made to get revenge on Goku, who also wanted to destroy the world. Then came Babidi, son of a defeated Evil Sorcerer who wanted to revive his father's Person of Mass Destruction creation, and get revenge.
  • Younger Toguro and Sensui from YuYu Hakusho. Both Death Seekers who wanted Yusuke to defeat them. Both have existential crises based around What Measure Is a Non-Human? Two differences: Toguro was looking for power, and Sensui had already found it but had pretty much gone nuts doing so, and Sensui wanted to go somewhere before he was killed. The main difference is, Toguro was a demon who wanted to be killed by a human, while Sensui was a human who wanted to be killed by a demon. Lucky for them, Yusuke is both.
  • Subverted in Death Note where the lines and appearances between good and evil are repeatedly blurred and questioned. Misa sort of fits this trope from L's perspective when she becomes the second Kira but operates less methodically and for different reasons from Kira so that L has to shift his focus in the investigation. From Light's perspective, pending L's death, Near and Mello.
  • The Principality of Zeon from Mobile Suit Gundam is a Nazi-esque military dictatorship that aims to rule the solar system while proclaiming the superiority of space-born humans over ones born on Earth. The Titans from Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam are a Nazi-esque military dictatorship that aim to rule the solar system while proclaiming the superiority of Earth-born humans over ones born in space. What a huge change!
  • Discussed in Cyborg 009 during the "Angels" arc. After the cyborgs' first meeting the so-called "Angels", 004 notes that regardless of how the Angels present themselves, their goal of remaking humanity to be more to their liking is little different from the experiments Black Ghost, the Nebulous Evil Organisation they originally fought, was doing to remodel humans.

    Comic Books 
  • Micronauts (Marvel Comics) spent the first 30-odd issues disposing the tyrant Baron Karza (the black-armored centauriod figure in the collection). Once they had finally deposed the Baron, leading hero Force-Commander (the white-armored centauriod) did a Face–Heel Turn and became the new Big Bad.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics), after spending 50+ issues fighting Dr. Robotnik, he's finally done in by a combination of a Duel to the Death with Sonic and his nephew Snively, who was acting as The Starscream. Twenty-Five issues and minor dealings with wanna-be Big Bad Ixis Naugus, the new villain shows up... Robo-Robotnik, a Robotnik from another universe, who takes over and takes up the name Dr. Eggman.
  • Gold Digger: A megalomaniacal sky pirate is poised to inherit an entire colony by dictatorial monarchy. In a strange turn of events, her sister is implied to have even MORE potential as a tyrant (she summoned a giant golem relic from the island - don't ask), but while the pirate's Dragon and Dragon's love rival are dueling, said sister is imprisoned thanks to the Dragon's love rival. Sky Pirate queen starts out her inauguration speech moments later by proposing an economic revitalization plan in exchange for her absolute rule - and then decides to drop the act and just get straight to the "I am the boss of you" part.
  • In Tintin, it's made clear that when guerrilla leader Alcazar takes over San Theodoros from dictator General Tapioca, nothing really changes. Except that the new regime alters the propaganda signs that used to read "Viva Tapioca!" to "Viva Alcazar!" instead, and replaces army and police uniforms with new patterns.
  • Usagi Yojimbo: Kitsune is hired to help get rid of a superstitious gang boss by swiping the lucky crab charm that he took from his superstitious boss who he served as second-in-command and his second-in-command takes from him, noting that he "can already feel its power". Usagi is aghast they basically risked their lives for nothing but Kitsune laughs it off — after all, they got paid and she told them previously not to interfere.
  • In The Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Megatron is replaced by Galvatron note  as leader of the Decepticons following the former's Heel–Face Turn. The big difference is that the Decepticons don't feel as loyal to him: the only ones who actually like him are the really bloodthirsty ones, like Brawl, Acidstorm, and Blitzwing.
  • Persepolis depicts life in Iran under the rule of Islamic theocracy as this. The Iranian revolution brings about the downfall of the American-appointed Shah, seen as a tool of western oppression with 3,000 political prisoners, but replaces him with the fundamentalists, a tool of national oppression with 300,000 political prisoners.

    Fan Works 
  • Triple-subverted in a single conversation in the Renegade timeline of With This Ring. The Renegade removes Tamaran's oppressors and then meets with its king, who informs him that their previous tribute was five hundred units of valuable materials a year, and asks what it will be now, optimistically thinking 499 and pessimistically 501. The Renegade instead settles on two hundred... billion. He then has a flabbergasted King Myand'r walk him through what Tamaran would need in order to rebuild and reindustrialise to a point where they could provide him with a useful return on investment.
    Grayven: As you are now, you cannot give me anything I want. Therefore, as an investor in your civilisation, it behooves me to assist you in extracting yourself from the pit the Citadel and their Gordanian friends dropped you into.
  • Ignited Spark: To drive home the point he is the one in charge of the Shie Hassaikai, Overhaul reduces Rappa to Ludicrous Gibs in front of Teko and makes clear he no longer orders from the old master. In fact, he makes clear that Teko will take orders from him moving forward, and he will be making more appearances to check on Tenohira from now on.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Henchman example in Indiana Jones. Colonel Dovchenko in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull fills the same role that Colonel Vogel did in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Colonel Badass and villainous enforcer whom Indy faces at multiple points throughout the movie).
  • In the James Bond franchise, there is some similarity between Stromberg (The Spy Who Loved Me) and Drax (Moonraker). Both have visions of a utopia, both intend to use mass genocide to create them, both use respectable business fronts, both of them employ Jaws... Moonraker was basically just The Spy Who Loved Me IN SPACE! Also, Stromberg's plot in The Spy Who Loved Me is similar to Blofeld's plot in You Only Live Twice in their attempts to start an all-out war between the United States and Russia. And all three were directed by the same director!
  • Friday the 13th:
    • Jason replacing his own mother as the slasher in the sequels with the same M.O. and a related motive.
    • Roy Burns from Part V (Following Jason being "killed"... for one film) would be a more "traditional" example. When disguised as Jason, Roy not only used his M.O. but also acted like Jason; silently determined instead of deceptive, crazy-violent, and motive-hissing.
  • The Square: Activists in Egypt succeed in fomenting protests that eventually overthrow dictator Hosni Mubarak. The activists are not happy when the army, instead of allowing free elections, installs an autocratic dictatorship which is basically Mubarak without Mubarak. The activists take to Tahrir Square again.
  • Land of the Blind: "Under the old regime man exploited man, but since the revolution it's the other way around."
  • The The Fast and the Furious films tend to recycle elements of previous villains:
    • If you don't consider it to be Dom, Johnny Tran would count as the villain of the first film. The villain of the third film is Takashi aka the Drift King. Both Tran and Takashi are Asian criminals who are rivals to one of the main protagonists and have excellent driving skills. There notable differences that make this a downplayed trope; Tran is Vietnamese-American, operates in Los Angeles, and mostly rides a bike. Takashi is Japanese, operates in Tokyo, and drives a car entirely.
    • Carter Verone is the main villain of 2 Fast 2 Furious. He is a Miami drug lord who employs a corrupt police officer and skilled drivers for his business. Braga and Reyes, the villains of Fast & Furious and Fast Five, respectively, are also drug lords who rely on fast drivers. Reyes also uses cops for his dirty work like Verone but has an entire police precinct in his pocket.
    • Owen Shaw from Fast & Furious 6 is an Evil Brit and ex-Special Air Service officer turned international criminal. The following film introduces Owen's brother, Deckard, a former MI6 agent who seeks to avenge his brother's defeat at the hands of Dom's team. Hobbs & Shaw introduces Brixton Lore who was also an MI6 agent and is the man who framed Shaw as a traitor resulting in him becoming a crook.
  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2. An in-universe example. Coin, after the removal of Snow, wants to be "interim" President (with elections, of course, being postponed indefinitely). Add to this, the return of the Hunger Games with the children of the Capital's residents...
  • A deleted scene in the epilogue if Office Space has Peter Gibbons discovering that the man who oversees his job as a construction worker is a perfect clone of his old boss in Initech in terms of mannerisms (and maybe inefficiency), which means that he exchanged his white-collar hell for a blue-collar hell. This is right after he decided (in the canon ending) that being a construction worker wasn't a bad thing.
  • Les Misérables (2012): This is Gavroche's opinion of the restored French monarchy.
    There was a time we killed the king
    We tried to change the world too fast
    Now we have got another king
    He is no better than the last
  • Terminator: Dark Fate establishes that while Judgment Day and the War Against the Machines is an inevitable part of the Terminator timeline no matter how crazy the Timey-Wimey Ball gets, the same cannot be said about who are the major players: both SkyNet and John Connor are deader than a doornail by the time the prologue ends, research in military Artificial Intellience created a new Master A.I. named LEGION, and the new leader of the Resistance that needs to be protected/assassinated by the Terminator Twosome du jour is a girl named Dani Ramos. Two of the returning cast members, that being Sarah Connor and "Carl", the last of the SkyNet Terminators, are visibly struggling with the fact that their efforts were seemingly All for Nothing.

  • At the end of the Discworld novel Night Watch, Homicidal Lord Winder is replaced by the (soon to be known as) Mad Lord Snapcase, who immediately goes on to prove himself just as bad as his predecessor when he orders the main character's death. Mister Slant, the leader of the Guild of Lawyers, even lampshades this when he says the trope name in Canis Latinicus.
    • Hell, they just come right out and say it in English, too.
  • In The Belgariad, the people of Nyissa actively and ruthlessly engineer this: in order to ensure their Queen's Legacy Immortality, they train 20 girls into behaving, acting, and thinking like her. When the Queen dies (which means they killed her because her age started showing), they pick the best impersonator and kill the 19 others, starting the cycle anew.
  • In Michael Flynn's Spiral Arm novel On the Razor's Edge, Donovan learns that Padaborn's revolt triggered many power shifts among the Names, to contain the problem, with new faces, much of which had passed unnoticed. Later, he learns that he is not Padaborn after amnesia, but one of his trusted lieutenants, betrayed to the Names; Padaborn himself went on to become one of the Names he revolted against.
  • In Nineteen Eighty-Four, it's mentioned in the underground icon Emmanuel Goldstein's book that the people with the closest thing to a rational understanding of the un-ending Forever War that helps define their world are the unfortunate subjects of the disputed territories who mainly know that whichever side is "winning" around them will be the new name for the same treatment and the same labor. (The "proles" are intermittently encouraged/pushed to support it wildly, then drop it from their lives until the next time; the Outer Party are made to believe in the whole thing to a psychotic degree; and the Inner Party are supposed (though certainly never openly admitted) to be even more into it than they are while pulling the strings.)
  • Industrial Society and Its Future: One of the reasons which Kaczynski cites for opposing leftists getting to play any part in his proposed revolution is that past left-wing revolutions have only created regimes as bad or worse than the ones they overthrew, plus betraying any allies which they had later.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: "The War Games", the Second Doctor's Grand Finale, introduced the War Chief, an evil Time Lord who has a past history with the Doctor, is working with a group of aliens to take over the galaxy, and is planning to betray them the first chance he gets. He also has an evil moustache. A couple seasons later in "Terror of the Autons", we are introduced to the Master: an evil Time Lord who has past history with the Doctor, routinely teams up with aliens, and then betrays them, is noted to have changed his name to "The Master" since the last time the Doctor encountered him, and even has a similar taste in clothes and facial hair. Word of God is insistent that they're different people, although some corners of the vast and contradictory Expanded Universe say otherwise.
  • House of Cards (UK). After Prime Minister Urquhart is assassinated by corrupt Special Branch officers, Commander Corder offers his services to Tom Makepeace, who is set to become the new PM.
  • The evil secret society Destron of Kamen Rider V3 are basically the same as Shocker, the Nebulous Evil Organisation of the original Kamen Rider, just with Shocker's Nazi theming switched out with more cult theming. Somewhat justified, as the same disembodied voice formed them both.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Daredevil (2015) provides an example where the new boss doesn't necessarily even have to be in the room for this trope to take place. In season 3 episode 9, Ray Nadeem goes to his boss, special agent in charge Tammy Hattley, with his suspicions that Wilson Fisk is using the FBI as his muscle and ordered Dex to attack the Bulletin. Unfortunately for him, Hattley turns out to be in Fisk's pocket, as he finds the hard way when she abruptly picks up Ray's guns and murders the OPR agent Ray brought with him to Hattley's house.
      Tammy Hattley: [in fake distress] "No! Ray! Put down the gun! Please!" [stops the recording] Damn you, Ray. You bring this into my house? My home?! [points Ray's gun at him] Sit down. Sit! [Ray slowly sits down, shaking uncontrollably. As he does so, Felix Manning emerges from the basement and enters the room with an evidence baggie]
      Felix Manning: [bags up...] Your prints, your weapon, the recording. Do I need to explain to you what this means? [Ray stares at Felix, wide-eyed] Answer my question, please. Do you understand your situation now?
      Tammy Hattley: Ray? You get this?
      Ray Nadeem: [swallows] Yeah, boss. I understand.
      Tammy Hattley: I'm not your boss anymore. Wilson Fisk is.
    • Luke Cage (2016): Season 1 episode 9 sees a case of this, as due to her murder of her cousin Cottonmouth, Mariah Dillard has taken over the Stokes gang. She has Domingo Colon call a secret meeting of the Harlem mob bosses at his boxing gym so that the leadership change can be made official and she can sell her connections to the gangs for a price, at least, until Diamondback crashes the meeting and murders everyone but Shades, Mariah, and Domingo.
  • Power Rangers was positively horrible about this while it was still set on Earth. It starts out with Rita Repulsa, whose motivation was to conquer Earth starting with Angel Grove, sticking to the tactic of sending the same squad of incompetent Putties and a single Monster of the Aesop in easily defeated waves. Once she got usurped by Lord Zedd, he pretty much just maintained the same status quo. They were then replaced with the Machine Empire, who pretty much did the exact same things. Turbo comes along and we meet the new threat, Divatox, who also quickly settles into doing the same things (often with a bomb thrown in somewhere for good measure.) She's followed by Astronema. The leader of the Legion of Doom chooses a newcomer to go after the Rangers, and she starts out by laying waste to NASADA and trying to take out the Rangers' shuttle... but soon settles into doing exactly the same things as the others, for at least the first half of the season.
    • After the Zordon era, taking on the Super Sentai formula in which a new season equals total overhaul, sometimes the Big Bad within a series will be defeated and a new one will come to power. It will be a momentous occasion... but the first episode after the transition will also consist of the new villain using the same methods as the first. Power Rangers Wild Force was a bit different, though, with Mandilok being much more proactive than Master Org. We know by now that the formula isn't going anywhere. From one season to the next, every villain will follow the same tactics. But we wouldn't have it any other way.
  • The villains of Space Sheriff Gavan are the Space Crime Organization Makuu, an alien crime syndicate led by talking statue who control a dimension that can amplify their monsters' power by three times. The villains of its sequel Space Sheriff Sharivan are the Space Crime Syndicate Madou, an alien crime syndicate led by a talking statue who control a dimension that can amplify their monsters' power by four times. The Fuuma of Space Sheriff Shaider were also basically the same, even if they were more of a cult, to the point where you have to wonder just how many crime organizations with talking idols there are out there roaming outer space.
  • Stargate SG-1 has the Goa'uld and the Ori. Both pretend to be gods, both want to rule the universe.
    • The Ori actually have great power as a result of being ascended, while the Goa'uld used (stolen) technology to imitate godlike powers. The show makes it clear that the Ori are most definitely NOT gods, though.
    • Before that, the horrific Sokar, a Goa'uld overlord banished by his kin for his great evil and now back for vengeance, was replaced by... the horrific Anubis, a Goa'uld overlord banished by his kin for his great evil and now back for vengeance. And they were even played by the same actor!
    • Especially egregious because the showrunner of SGA and later seasons of SG-1 was not fond of the Goa'uld. Yes, let's get rid of the "ridiculous Goa'uld", as he put it, and replace them with... an advanced evil alien race who masquerade as gods, subjugate primitive humans, and whose minions have staff-like weapons! We've never seen that before, right? Even the Wraith qualify - Goa'uld-ish voices and human servants being "worshipers" makes them more numerous Goa'uld with vampire flavoring. Yes, there are staff-style Wraith stunners in addition to the smaller ones. Oh, then we find out that different hives have different queens and they don't like each other but alliances can be made, and... we basically re-introduce Goa'uld politics using Wraith Queens as System Lords.
    • And finally comes the Lucian Alliance - groups of criminals from formerly Goa’uld-run worlds who took up the Goa’uld’s technology in the wake of their decline. In other words, the same ships as popular Big Bads like Ra, Apophis, Heru-ur, and Anubis, and the same weapons as popular Big Bads like Ra, Apophis, Heru-ur, and Anubis… except they’re being used by boring generic criminals - the kind of guys who, in any other show, are just what Batman punches in the cold open before we move to the REAL story - instead of popular Big Bads like Ra, Apophis, Heru-ur, and Anubis.
  • After the Klingons signed a peace treaty with the Federation, Star Trek went looking for a new Proud Warrior Race Guy to oppose the heroes just 'cause it's how their race rolls. The Jem'Hadar (bred to be soldier Mooks for the Dominion), Kazon (Planet of Hats where the hat is basically being Space Mafia), and Hirogen (basically Predator ripoffs, becoming slightly - slightly! friendlier after some realize how stagnant being a Planet of Hats makes your culture as everyone around you continues to advance) are all slight variations on this idea.

    Video Games 
  • This was lampooned in Super Mario RPG. The opening level has the player liberating Peach from Bowser's Castle (as per usual). After Bowser is displaced by an even worse foe, he winds up at the foot of Booster's Tower, sadly reminiscing about the good old days. We soon see that Peach, who vanished in the same kerfuffle which left Bowser homeless, is stuck on the tower's peak. Booster, another horned weirdo who looks a bit like Wario, has decided to marry her for no discernible reason.
  • The first Shadow Hearts game. In the first half of the game, you stop an ethnically stereotypical Chinese magus who wants to summon an incredibly powerful celestial being to remake/destroy the world. In the second half, you stop an ethnically stereotypical British magus who wants to summon an incredibly powerful celestial being to remake/destroy the world. The game itself notes this, as Albert Simon states outright he's doing what Dehuai tried to do - just correctly this time.
  • Early in the game's existence, City of Heroes had a Nazi group known as the 5th Column as one of the many different villain factions players could encounter. They would later be taken over by the Council, a group that, while adding a few new enemy types to its arsenal like the Galaxy division, was otherwise just a more generic Palette Swap of the Column with different names (to the point where fans kept accusing the creators of censoring Nazis). The 5th Column has been undergoing a resurgence, though, starting with their appearance in a few time-travel related Task Force arcs, to being revived under new leadership, and most recently, they have begun appearing in the streets again, usually beating up Council members.
  • Dragon Quest X does this from the start of Version 3 onwards, first by introducing Nadraga, one of Astoltia's Regional Gods and the reason why Nagaland was cut off from the world, since he sided with Luciana's arch enemy Jagonuba. Then Version 4 introduces Kyronos, an evil god which was Curex's time powers sealed in the Time Box and corrupted by the desires of evil humans who used it, while Version 5 shows Jagonuba himself in the flesh who not only gave Nadraga his transformation during the final battle with him, but was involved in every bad thing that happened in the game, even Nelgel and Maldragora! Version 6 later reveals he was once part of the Jia Kut Clan, a group of invaders from outer space who wanted to invade Astoltia by breaking its Eternal Cradle, though Luciana got her children, including Nadraga, to safety, while Jia Lumina takes action during the end of Version 6.2 and most of 6.3, having brought Leone, Ashlay's brother and one of Astoltia's past Heroes to her side. Later, after she finally loses to the Hero and the party, Lumina begs Leone to help her, though he stabs her and eats her crystal heart, becoming a monster that resembles Kyronos, which is later defeated. After a harrowing battle with the Jia Kut Clan's monster minions, the leader of the Jia Kut Clan, Jia Red Genos, makes himself known by proclaiming he will succeed where his son and daughter have failed, even having an Eye of Sauron/Death Star-like moon watch over Tenseikyo.
  • The bosses in The King of Fighters games. There will always be a scheme that will somehow involve gathering energy from the fighters in the tournament- from using it to resurrect Orochi to destroy mankind to using the energy to fire a space cannon to fire laser beams to Southtown. Oh, and they all have the SNK Boss Syndrome as well.
  • Near the end of Jade Empire, Sun Li the Glorious Strategist shows up, hijacks the previous villain's plan to lead the Empire to glory with the Water Dragon's power. He does prove much more dangerous though, mostly through sheer competence (he actually kills the hero off almost instantly, and only loses in the end because a god intervened).
  • Devil May Cry: The primary villains of the games tend to either be demon lords who were defeated by Sparda in the past (Mundus and Argosax), humans seeking demonic powers (Arius, Arkham and Sanctus) or would-be usurpers (Vergil and Urizen, who is actually the former's demon half made flesh).
  • The main villains in Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II were Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Xemnas, who are Master Xehanort's Heartless and Nobody, respectively. Both their plans involve collecting hearts, making you run around fixing different worlds that could be destroyed by their actions, causing some awfully similar enemies to attack people and even their appearances are similar. Justified since they're different aspects of Xehanort, and were acting on his long term goals, as confirmed in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance].
  • In BioShock, when Jack kills Andrew Ryan, Frank Fontaine takes over Ryan Industries. And in BioShock 2, Sofia Lamb ends up being similar to Ryan despite them having polar opposite ideologies: Ryan doesn't care about his underlings individually because "look out for number one" is his motto, while Lamb takes the "collective good" so far that to her, one person's life is meaningless.
    • Lampshaded by Booker in BioShock Infinite. When he is comparing local dictator Comstock and Comstock's arch-rival Fitzroy: "...when it comes down to it, the only difference between Comstock and Fitzroy is how you spell the name".
    • Again by Elizabeth in BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, along with all the other similarities in the Shared Universe. Booker doesn't peg Elizabeth for the type to apply for Rapture citizenship; not capitalist enough. Elizabeth drolly answers that she's seen enough personality cults... ("Just another set of fanatics with another set of books.")
  • Supplementary materials for Max Payne 3 state that the Cracha Preto liberate favelas from the Gangbangers oppressing the people and then go right on oppressing.
  • Pokémon routinely features villainous organizations named "Team (fill in the blank)". The first of these was Team Rocket, a crime syndicate out to rule the land, and every subsequent team follows the same formula (with some embellishments here and there). Notably, a common goal with them from Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire onwards is the use of Olympus Mons for wicked (or misguided) ends. The only real outliers are Team Yell from Pokémon Sword and Shield, who are less of a criminal organization and more of a roving pack of Football Hooligans who are a bit too invested in their favorite trainer winning the upcoming tournament and are actually really Spikemuth Gym Trainers, and Team Star from Pokémon Scarlet and Violet who aren't even truly evil to begin with, being a group of bullying victims that came together through the aid of a Voice with an Internet Connection to stand together against their bullies, only to end up being painted as the villains of the story, ultimately leading the group becoming a pack of Juvenile Delinquents rumored to be up to no good.
  • There's also Malladus, the Big Bad of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, who greatly resembles the normal Big Bad of the series, Ganon. Similarly, The Man Behind the Man Demise from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword shares many visual and psychological traits with Ganon, particularly the face and the colors (brown body, fiery-red hair, crimson cloak). Both Malladus and Demise also share the title of Demon King, which is usually attributed to Ganon, further helping the similarities. Justified for Demise, since he's the Predecessor Villain to Ganon in-universe, with his curse being responsible for Ganondorf's emergence.
  • Dishonored: Corvo spends 3/4ths of the game taking down the Lord Regent, who has turned the once-great city Dunwall into a spiraling heap of rats and zombies. The remaining 1/4th is taking down the very resistance who fought him, having snapped from the realization that their nefarious acts for the greater good have gone too far to be forgiven, and positioned themselves as the new rulers.
  • Far Cry 4: Pagan Min is a sociopathic dictator who enslaves civilians to harvest drugs, has families executed on a whim, and kills people personally for fun. The only REAL difference between him and his replacement in any of the multiple endings is which of those traits gets horrifically exaggerated. If Amita leads the Golden Path, she'll enslave everyone to work in sweatshop factories for mass-producing drugs. If Sabal leads the Golden Path, he'll kill everyone who worshipped someone other than his gods; unfortunately, this includes over 90% of Kyrat's population. If Ajay takes over as the new king, he'll keep killing random people off the roads without any sense of remorse whatsoever.
  • Genesis Rhapsodos from Crisis Core, the prequel of Final Fantasy VII, is a duplicated version of Sephiroth at the time the latter was still a good guy in both appearance (longcoat and long sword along with an One-Winged Angel transformation) and backstory (former member of SOLDIER who turned evil after learning the truth behind his existence).
  • Resident Evil 2 repeats some of the elements of Resident Evil; a major human antagonist is a Dirty Cop with secret ties to the Umbrella Corporation (Wesker in 1, Chief Irons in 2), one boss fight is against a giant reptile (Yawn the giant snake in 1, the giant sewer gator in 2), and one segment of the game features a mutated plant that must be killed off in order to clear up progression — 2 differs from 1 in that the giant mutant plant isn't a directly fought boss, although it has produced multiple Plant Persons called Ivys that must be slain of avoided.
  • At the end of the Expansion Pack to Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong, Mitsuhama Computer Technologies loses its contract as the city's Law Enforcement, Inc. to Ares Macroindustries. The narration notes that this turns out to change essentially nothing about how the city gets run, barring that a lot of innocent people died in Ares' campaign to turn public opinion against Mitsuhama.
  • The Illuminati ending to Deus Ex sees the Illuminati back in power after overthrowing Majestic 12, which itself had overthrown the Illuminati prior to the events of the game. The Illuminati's methods are less overtly malicious, but as Paul points out they ultimately change essentially nothing. To rub it in, the final cutscene is almost identical to the opening cutscene, but with JC and Morgan Everett replacing Walton Simons and Bob Page.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin II, the Black Ring cult from other Divine Divinity games resurfaces as allies of the Voidwoken under the Greater-Scope Villain's command. After a Phlebotinum Bomb killed their leaders and decimated their numbers, they swore fealty to gain Revenge, in hope of reward, or out of simple desperation.
  • The Banished in Halo Infinite to the Covenant Empire from the original Halo trilogy. While lore-wise the two factions are pretty different, the latter being a theocratic empire while the former is an atheistic group of marauders, in terms of gameplay the Banished forces are effectively the same as the Covenant and use the same species they do. There are a few differences however, one of which being that, because the Banished lacks the Covenant's Fantastic Caste System, you're likely to see Brutes and Elites fighting side-by-side.

    Web Animation 
  • In Red vs. Blue, Red and Blue teams find themselves talking to Vic Jr. Who's a Generation Xerox of the original Vic, and is equally a corrupt dick running both teams. However, it's implied — and later confirmed — that they're actually the same person. And an AI!

  • Early in Kevin & Kell, Kell's boss was a wolf(?) seen only from the jaws forward, known only as L.D. After he died, a canid known as R.L. took his place. To this day, the only clear difference between them is in the initials.
  • Discussed in Penny and Aggie during the "Popsicle Wars" arc, when Aggie and Lisa try to convince Katy Ann to join them in taking on Karen and her clique of bullies:
    Aggie: This group we're gathering, it's not going to last if the only goal is to replace Czarina Karen with Dictator Penny.
    Lisa: It can't be "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Wait... technically Penny would be the "old boss"... Pete Townshend, your lyrics are not as relevant to my life as advertized!

    Western Animation 
  • Rick and Morty: After Rick C-137 (the show's main Rick) overthrows the corrupt and dictatorial Council of Ricks in "The Rickshank Redemption", the Citadel of Ricks decides in "The Ricklantis Mix-up" their new leader will be a democratically elected president. Unfortunately for them, they are manipulated into electing Candidate Morty for the position, who turns out to be Evil Morty from Season 1, who immediately begins enacting reforms by murdering nearly the entire Shadow Council of Ricks who secretly ruled the Citadel behind the scenes, then ejecting their bodies into space along with those of his other enemies (including at least one who was alive when he was ejected), all while sinisterly promising to "take action" that is unlikely to be in the benefit of the other Ricks and Mortys in the long run.
  • Futurama: In the episode "A Pharaoh to Remember", Bender becomes the new Pharaoh of the planet Osiris IV. At his coronation, we get this New Era Speech:
    Bender: Citizens of me! The cruelty of the old pharaoh is a thing of the past!
    [crowd cheers]
    Bender: Let a whole new wave of cruelty wash over this lazy land!


Video Example(s):


Under New Tighten Management

After Megamind runs like hell from the very hero he created, the citizens of Metro City applaud Hal Stewart, now known as Tighten, for freeing them from Megamind. However, Hal doesn't say they're free and Metro City is now under new management, meaning him, becoming a far more dangerous villain to the city than Megamind.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (27 votes)

Example of:

Main / EvilerThanThou

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