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Playing With / Actually a Doombot

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Basic Trope: The defeated villain turns out to be a decoy.

  • Straight: The heroes Alice and Bob push what they believe to be Emperor Evulz off a cliff, only to find that "Evulz" was actually a robot built to fool them.
  • Exaggerated: This happens several times with every villain on the show.
  • Downplayed: Alice and Bob attack the decoy, but realize their mistake before they are anywhere near "defeating" it.
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  • Justified: The decoy was designed to fool Alice and Bob.
  • Inverted:
    • Alice and Bob kill Emperor Evulz thinking he's a decoy.
    • Emperor Evulz destroys robotic versions of Alice and Bob, thinking they're the real thing.
    • The Hero kills the original Evulz. This lets Evulz' Doombot replace his original self, which will make it easier for Evulz' original plans to be accomplished because the Doombot is faster, stronger and smarter.
  • Subverted:
  • Double Subverted:
    • Correction - it's one of his mooks in a disguise, and was meant to be a decoy all along, and believed itself to be the real deal.
    • They mistake another decoy for him later on.
  • Parodied:
  • Zig Zagged: Alice and Bob attack Emperor Evulz, but it turns out it was just a robotic decoy, then the real Emperor Evulz suddenly appears and seemingly kills Alice and Bob, but it turns out those were robotic decoys too, then the real Alice and Bob appear and attack the real Emperor Evulz, who ends up short-circuiting and exploding. This causes Alice and Bob to believe that what they just defeated was another decoy, but then a minion Mad Scientist appears and reveals that Emperor Evulz was a robot all along.
  • Averted: There is no decoy.
  • Enforced: Emperor Evulz was supposed to die as part of the series' Grand Finale, except the network liked the show enough to sign for another season, so the writers had to Retcon Evulz's death with a robot decoy.
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  • Lampshaded: "So all this time, it was just a stupid robot."
  • Invoked: Emperor Evulz builds a realistic robot of himself in order to fool Alice and Bob, or save his reputation if his Evil Plan fails.
  • Exploited: The real Emperor Evulz sneaks away while Alice and Bob are distracted by the decoy.
  • Defied: Alice and Bob pay close attention to how Emperor Evulz looks, talks, and acts, so that any decoy will fail.
  • Discussed: ???
  • Conversed: "Alice and Bob are so stupid. That robot didn't look anything like the Big Bad!"
  • Implied: Alice and Bob are shown chasing a poorly-designed robot of Emperor Evulz.
  • Deconstructed: The cost of creating and even maintaining a single Doombot is extremely high, which places a strain on Evulz' empire, taking away resources that could be used for an Evil Plan and instead using them to save his reputation.
  • Reconstructed: Cut Lex Luthor a Check
  • Played For Laughs: Alice and Bob thought they killed Emperor Evulz, but it was really two of his mooks in a Totem Pole Trench.
  • Played For Drama: Constantly defeating only a decoy is depressing for Alice and Bob, and they wonder if they are actually accomplishing anything by fighting Emperor Evulz.

Wait, the main page was Actually a Doombot? The real Big Bad must still be out there!

Example of: