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"He's got horror movie speed. You can run, dash, super jump, and teleport... but he's still gonna get you."
Neo GAF on Dormammu, Marvel vs. Capcom 3

When they aren't slouching on a throne, villains can really move around a lot more quickly and easily than seems possible.

While it takes heroes months to gather five Plot Coupons, trudging slowly through swamps, deserts, and arctic tundra, The Dragon will always get there moments before the heroes do and waltz off with each piece. If the hero is trying to outrun Jason Voorhees, who seemingly just trudges along, he'll be surprised to discover that thanks to Offscreen Teleportation he just rounded the bend ahead of him and beheaded him with a machete. If on the other hand the hero is in their Supervillain Lair and is trying to catch them, the villain will always be a corridor length away and probably lead him into a Defensive Feint Trap or pit filled with sharks. Even if the heroes can teleport, the bad guys will have the superior Villain Teleportation that can outperform the heroic version by leaps and bounds.

This is of course a standard way to give the heroes a really hard time against the bad guys, who can be everywhere the plot needs them to be despite any logical difficulties they'd have moving around. In a Horror setting, this is used to instill fear in a victim as they can no more outrun the slowly oncoming Implacable Man than the too fast by far monster.

Compare Teleporting Keycard Squad, Already Undone for You, Drop-In Nemesis.

Not to be confused with No Delays for the Wicked, which has more to do with villains rarely suffering random setbacks that couldn't be predicted or regularly happen to normal people, and their evil organization/masquerade working unnaturally flawlessly.


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     Anime And Manga  

  • Used frequently in Samurai Deeper Kyo. The heroes spend over fifteen volumes of the series navigating their way through the Mibu complex while the villains, the Taishirou in particular, seem to be able to pop up wherever they need to be and then back to their lairs without the slightest delays. They hop in for meetings with the Big Bad mere minutes after they've been messing with the heroes who spend over half of the series just trying to get to the same place.


  • Any villain from a Slasher Movie, natch.
    • Friday the 13th's Jason is most famous for this, but actually didn't really become this until the last third of his original film series; before then, he relied on carefully stalking and ambushing to make a kill, and could be outrun or evaded, but he usually found them again due to being much more familiar with the woods around Crystal Lake. The remake's version of Jason has this trait, but it's justified; over the years he's been at Camp Crystal Lake, he's dug a large network of tunnels so he can get around quickly and without being seen.
  • Lampshaded in The Emperor's New Groove, after a drawn-out chase where the heroes finally managed to evade the villains Yzma and Kronk, went to the secret lair... and found the villains already there. Even Kronk acknowledges that this makes no sense.
  • In Labyrinth, David Bowie Jareth the goblin king teleports from his throne room to visit the heroes.

  • Vetinari from Discworld has fun with this. Vetinari usually arrives places well after the other characters -as it was usually him that maneuvered them there in the first place, so he can take his time if he feels like it. He never, ever slouches on the throne, though.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: The power of the Nautilus: In 1869, a submarine can arrive in any part of the seas and destroy any ship:
    Moving within the moving element! It was a highly appropriate motto for this underwater machine, so long as the preposition in is translated as within and not upon.
  • Zeus Is Dead: A Monstrously Inconvenient Adventure has both swarms of "razorwings" (i.e. playfully feral kittens with bat wings who spit paralytic poison, chew through metal, and bifurcate when killed) that roam the southeastern United States, not to mention gods who can teleport IF they know where to find you.
  • Harry Potter uses this in several ways, especially in terms of flight, with the dementors being the most infamous abusers of it. While broomsticks and flying horses and the like are readily available to humans, only two warlocks have been able to fly without support and both are on the same side of evil as said dementors. One is Voldemort, the other is Snape, who while not evil spends a lot of time seemingly allied with the villains and uses the ability to flee the heroes.

     Live Action TV  
  • The Borg from Star Trek: The Next Generation play this trope deadly straight. The Enterprise encounters them in a part of the galaxy that it would take the Federation's fastest ship almost a decade at maximum warp to reach. The Borg reach the Federation in a little less than a season and a half later. This is actually given an in-universe explanation; the Borg have developed trans-warp conduits that basically allow them to deploy almost anywhere in the galaxy. Also, while that far-off point was where the Borg were encountered, it was never actually stated that that was as close to Federation space as they'd come yet, in fact it was implied they'd swung by and abducting entire Federation (and Romulan) colonies, leaving behind nothing but empty craters, a season earlier.
  • The Xindi from Star Trek: Enterprise use a similar tool that they use to launch two of their attack probes against Earth. Further exacerbated by the fact that at this point in Trek history, most of Earth's Starfleet can barely manage Warp 3.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Dalek," the eponymous Dalek has an astonishing ability to keep up with the fleeing Rose and Adam. The Dalek is just moseying along at a Dalek's usual slow glide, and it has to stop and fight its way through two ambushes, while Rose and Adam are running flat-out... yet somehow, when the vault door closes and cuts Rose off, the Dalek is right there behind her. (Later episodes show Daleks flying at high speed, but this one never displays such an ability on-screen.)

     Video Games  

  • Metroid Fusion has several sequences where you have to either outrun or hide from SA-X, who always seems to show up at the worst moment. There's actually several of them.
  • Pyramid Head. Given that the town itself is a Genius Loci, Pyramid Head can appear wherever it wants him to.
  • Bowser and Antasma in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, who end up popping up two steps ahead of Mario and Luigi's entire journey up to the halfway point. They appear in front to steal the McGuffin/Plot Coupon, then appear in front of the bros a whole bunch more times to gloat about how their plan is succeeding perfectly. Possibly justified by how one can fly and the other one gets carried around the island by him.
  • Deathwing spends the entirety of the Cataclysm Expansion flying around Azeroth, randomly roasting entire zones, killing everyone in them, including the players and giving them an achievement for dying to him. Thankfully Death Is Cheap. Unless you happened to be in the middle of an Escort Mission when he decided to simply toast you.
  • Deep Rock Galactic has the appropriately named Glyphid Menace, an obnoxious git and a half that emerges from distant walls and ceilings to take potshots at the dwarves. Shooting at it will cause it to try and burrow back into the walls and emerge elsewhere if you don't burst it down fast enough.

     Web Comics  
  • Two-Edge from ElfQuest always seems to crop up where he's least expected, even after being seriously wounded by one of his victims.

     Western Animation  
  • Dick Dastardly in Wacky Races. He's always well in front, enough to stop to set up booby traps for the other racers. If only he'd stop trying to cheat he'd win every race.
  • The Green Goblin in The Spectacular Spider-Man is like this, popping up seemingly at will all across New York, making him unpredictable and difficult to track- per his Mooks, he doesn't even have a base (he finds them, rather than the other way around). Spidey therefore has to let Goblin come to him, rather than go looking for him like he would with other Big Bads.
  • Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender made a habit of doing this in season 2, constantly popping up at the worst possible times for the heroes. This was actually explained in the episode The Chase, in which she uses a tank-like vehicle to keep up with the Gaang while they had to stop to sleep.