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Big Bad

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It was Voldemort, Harry thought, staring up at the canopy of his bed in the darkness, it all came back to Voldemort. He was the one who had torn those families apart, who had ruined all those lives.
~ Line in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

A Big Bad is the most prominent, powerful and dangerous villain in a story, and is often responsible for most of the conflict that drive the plot. If there is a hierarchy of villains, the Big Bad is at the very top of it, and may be in control of most or all of the heroes' other enemies. Sometimes, the Big Bad can work from behind the scenes. However, as long as the most prominent antagonists of a story work for someone who was present all along, or who is setting their course of action, then this someone is the Big Bad.

Emperor Palpatine is a good example of Big Bad.
Saber-X1138Added by Saber-X1138

In some cases, there may be a Bigger Bad who is more powerful and/or evil than the Big Bad, but is much less involved in the plot and only appears briefly, maintaining the Big Bad as the most prominent and recurring villain in the story. Although sometimes Bigger Bads can act as the final boss of the story.

There are also the case of the Big Bad Duumvirate when two villains of equal importance form a team and share the role, and the Big Bad Ensemble when several villains of equal importance further their goals on their own, usually in a competion. If there is a Villain based Franchise about the Big Bad appearing the most then they are the Big Bad and Villain Protagonist.

A villain can only truly qualify as a Big Bad if the story has multiple antagonists and is of sufficient "scope". In other words, not all stories have a Big Bad, and villains cannot be labeled Big Bads when they are the only antagonist in the story.
Big Bads can ONLY be also labeled as Bigger Bads when they are involved in spin-offs in which one of their followers/another villain takes the role of Big Bad.
Big Bad Duumvirate and Big Bad Ensemble DO NOT count when these villain are not on equal footing in term of threat and prominence; or when one of these villains is the biggest threat for most of the story.


Video game series

  • Chaos in Final Fantasy Dissidia and Final Fantasy Theatrhythm. He can also be considered as the Big Bad of the whole Final Fantasy multiverse, controlling all the respective primary antagonist of each game. The Bigger Bad is Shinryu, the one who caused the cycles of war.
    • Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII and it's sequels with Jenova and Hojo as the Bigger Bads.
    • Bhunivelze is the overall Bigger Bad of Final Fantasy XIII and its sequel and the Big Bad of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: His actions in the past that drives the entire series - particularly his creation of Lindzei, who would go on to destroy Pulse and make the Cocoon fal'cie.
  • Bowser in the Super Mario Bros. franchise, the RPG villains the Shadow Queen ,and The Dark Star; far more evil and powerful than Bowser himself count as Bigger Bads.
    • Kamek in the Yoshi series.
    • Fawful in the Mario & Luigi series. The Dark Star/Dark Bowser is the Bigger Bad as well as Elder Princess Shroob .
    • King K. Rool in the Donkey Kong series.Donkey Kong himself was the big bad of the classic games with Mario the big bad of Donkey Kong Jr..The Mario vs Donkey Kong series has the grandson of the original Donkey Kong as the designated big bad.
    • Captain Syrup in in the Wario series.
    • Wario is the big bad of Super mario land 2 and the bigger bad in Super Mario Iand 1.
    • King Boo in the Luigi's Mansion series.
    • Bowser Jr. in Super Mario Sunshine and New Super Mario Bros. Bowser is the Bigger Bad for this.
  • Magneto and Albert Wesker from Marvel vs Capcom . Bigger bads are GalactusThanos and Akuma.
  • The Joker in the Batman Arkham Games.with Ra's al Ghul as the Bigger Bad.
  • Diablo .
  • Frank Fontaine in Bioshock.
  • Ivo Robotnik in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. The Bigger Bad is Dark Gaia.
    • Eggman Nega in the Sonic Rush series sharing with his ancestor Robotnik and the Sonic Rivals series as the sole big bad.
    • Metal Sonic in Sonic Heroes and in Sonic Free Riders.
    • Black Doom in Shadow the Hedgehog and the Bigger Bad of Sonic Adventure 2.  Despite not appearing in the latter, he is technically responisble for Gerald Robotnik's downfall and the creation of Shadow the Hedgehog.  Also in the comics his successors Black Death and Eclipse the Darkling continue his legacy in the Shadow Fall Arc.
    • Grand Battle Kukku 15th in Tails Adventure and became a major villain in the comics in the story arcs Tails and the Bablyon Rogues.
    • Imperator Ix in Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood and the Bigger Bad of Sonic Adventure despite not appearing in it but  his actions did indirectly caused the events of the game.
    • Mephiles the Dark/Solaris in Sonic Next-Gen and Sonic Generations.The comics version also reveals that the Time Eater, one of the main villains of Sonic Generations and a creature presumanly  created from the aftermath of Sonic Colors is actually the remains of Mehpiles who manage to escape cetarn destruction by slipping thorugh a crack in time. It is also implied at least by Sega.
  • Ganondorf/Ganon in the Legend of Zelda franchise. With Demise, the original Demon King and Ganon's original form, being the Bigger Bad.
    • Vaati in the Four Swords series.
    • Twinrova in the Oracle games with Ganon as the Bigger Bad.
  • Dr. Wily in the Mega Man franchise. His actions sometimes transcend to other characters, often antagonists, in the spin-off series.
    • Sigma of the Mega Man X series with Lumine as the Bigger Bad.
    • Dr. Weil of the Mega Man Zero series. The Bigger Bad would be Omega, as Dr. Weil seemingly holds him in far higher regard then himself, calling Omega the God of Destruction.
    • Master Albert of the Mega Man ZX series. With Dr. Wile as the Bigger Bad.
    • Dr. Wily's Battle Network counterpart: Lord Wily in the Mega Man Battle Network series. 
  • Nefarious in the Ratchet & Clank series.
  • Count Vlad Tepes Dracula in the Castlevania franchise in the original series with Chaos as the Bigger Bad.
    • Satan in the Castlevania: Lords of Shadow reboot.Dracula in the reboot has become a Anti-Hero than a villain even though Dracula was the villain of the Mirror of Fate.
    • Galamoth in the Kid Dracula series.As well as Bigger Bad in Judgement.
    • Death is this in other games when Dracula is a Bigger Bad when yet to revive and he usually shares it with other villains such as Potrait of Rain and Harmony of Dissorance.
  • Albert Wesker in the Resident Evil franchise, with Ozwell Edward Spencer as the Bigger Bad.
  • Dragonlord the representative Big Bad of the whole Dragon Quest franchise, with Nokturnus acting as the Bigger Bad and leader of the series' villains in Dragon Quest Battle Road Victory.
  • Xehanort/Master Xehanort /Young Xehanort  in the Kingdom Hearts franchise, whose many incarnations serves as the primary antagonist of the game they appear in.
    • Ansem Xehanort's heartless in Kingdom Hearts 1 and Chain of Memories for Riku's story.
    • Xenmas xehanort's nobody in Kingdom Hearts II and 358/2 days.
  • King Dedede in the Kirby Series, with Miracle Matter, Nightmare , and Dark Mind as the Bigger Bads.
    •  /Zero in Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, as well as possibly being the Bigger Bad of the entire Kirby universe.
    • Marx/Marx Soul,in Kirby Super Star and  Kirby Super Star Ultra.
  • Dr. Neo Cortex in Crash Bandicoot, with Uka Uka as the Bigger Bad.
  • Ripto in the Classic Spyro series.
  • King Pig in Angry Birds.
  • Dr. Zomboss in Plants vs. Zombies.
  • Raidriar in the Infinity Blade trilogy, with Galath as the Bigger Bad (or the new Big Bad).
  • Izanami  in the BlazBlue series.
  • That Man in The Guilty Gears Series.
  • Herobrine, the Enderdragon, and the Wither form a Big Bad Ensemble in Minecraft.
  • Ocram is the most powerful enemy in Terraria.
  • Victor Donovan in Dead or Alive Series.
  • Jaquio in Ninja Gaiden.
  • Due to the graying nature of the series Metal Gear at least has a few villains who are the villain of more than one game such as Big Boss ,Ocelot ,and Major Zero .
  • Alma Wade and Genevieve Aristide form a Big Bad Duumvirate in F.E.A.R. with Harlan Wade/The Creep the Bigger Bad.
  • Hades in Kid Icarus, since he caused the events of the series. Though some would say Medusa as she is the most recurring, forming a Big Bad Ensemble.
  • The A.I. Director from Left for Dead given that he is the spawning of the zombies. Though The Tank is more of this to the survivors.
  • Queen Myrrah in the Gears of War games. The Lambent could be considered as the Bigger Bad.
  • Vladimir Makarov in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, with Imran Zakhaev and General Shepherd as Bigger Bads.
  • Heihachi Mishima  and Kazuya Mishima/Devil being the Big Bad Ensemble of Tekken. however Heihachi's impact seems to degrece from Tekken 5 and Kazuya is more of a serious villain. The Bigger Bads being  Ogre and Azazel as demonic Final Bosses.
  • Soul Edge/Inferno in the Soul Calibur series. Since Soul Calibur/Elysium was proven equally evil, both form a Big Bad Ensemble. Algol, the big bad of IV and Bigger Bad of V can be also anthor big bad of the series and the Night Terror is the Bigger Bad.
  • Gravemind in the  Halo franchise.
  • Clockwerk in the Sly Cooper franchise.
  • Zeus in God of War.
  • The God /The Demon /Samael in the Silent Hill Franchise but it's a Bigger Bad in it's appearances
  • Erol in Jak & Daxter franchise, with the Dark Leader as the Bigger Bad.
  • Mr. Dark, André and the Rabbids in the Rayman games.
  • Gruntilda in the Banjo&Kazooie games.
  • Andross in Star Fox.
  • Wilfre from Drawn to Life.
  • Andrew Ryan in Bioshock.
  • The Enclave in the Fallout series.
  • Xylan AKA The Corruptor in the Spore-like video game Darkspore. The Bigger Bad would be considered to be Zrin.
  • Mundus, along with his Reboot in the Devil May Cry franchise. With Argosax the Chaos as a Bigger Bad.
    • Vergil is somewhat this in 3 and possibly in the reboot sequal.
  • Sargeras in the Warcraft universe's background mythology.
  • Ridley in the Metroid series though he's only the big bad of one game and usually takes orders from the villains of the game but it's mostly with Mother Brain as the Big Bad.with Phantoon is the Bigger Bad.
  • Orochi in King of Fighters.
  • Geese Howard in the Fatal Fury series.
  • Sheltem in the classic Might and Magic games.
  • M. Bison in the Street Fighter series, with Akuma as the Bigger Bad.
    • Gill in the Street Fighter III Series.
    • Seth in the Street Fighter IV Series.
    • Garuda in the Street Fighter EX Series.
  •  Shinnok  and Onaga are big bads in Mortal Kombat. The Bigger Bad is One Being.
  • Shao Khan is the original Big Bad in the series.
  • Natla in the Tomb Raider games.
  • The Combine in the Half Life series, especially the Advisors.
  • GLaDOS in P0RTAL. While Cave Johnson could be considered as the Bigger Bad due to his multiple personalities.
  • Although she only made one appearance Katherine Marlowe can be considered the Big Bad of the Uncharted franchise.
  • The Harbinger in Mass Effect with The illsuive Man in a Big Bad Ensemble, and The Catalyst and The Leviathans as the Bigger Bads.
  • Warren Vidic in the Assasin's Creed series, with Juno as the Bigger Bad.
  • Iris Sepperin in Rosenkreuzstilette.
  • Scolar Visari in The Killzone Series. However Stahl seems to be shaping up to be this.
  • Master Hand in Super Smash Bros. Later on, he and Crazy Hand form a Big Bad Duumvirate. Tabuu is the Bigger Bad.
  • Giygas and Porky form a Big Bad Ensemble in Earthbound.
  • Lord Recluse of City of Heroes is not the only evil game-in-town and certainly not the most powerful; But his constant dedication to evil made him the guiding-hand of players that decided to play as villains which made him into the most consistent and competent big name threat and easily cemented him into the game's Big Bad status.
  • Jean Descole in the Professor Layton series, with Leon Bronev as the Bigger Bad.
    • In the manga spin-offs, Don Paolo, the primary antagonist fo the first trilogy, is the Big Bad.
  • A Bad Bad Ensemble of Manfred von Karma (with Bansai Ichiyanagi as the Bigger Bad) and Dahlia Hawthorne (with Morgan Fey as the Bigger Bad) in Ace Attorney.
    • In Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the crossover of both series, the Story Teller acts as the Big Bad.
  • Calypso in Twisted Metal.
  • Scissorman in Clock Tower.
  •   Superman is the big bad from the Injustice series. The Bigger Bads are Darkseid and Trigon.       
  •   Tau Volantis Moon   and others Brother moons are Big Bads from Dead Space series.                   
  •  Firstborn - Big Bad from Clive Barker's Jericho videogame.

Book series

  • Sauron, Morgoth's former lieutenant, is the Big Bad of The Lord of the Rings franchise.
    • Smaug the Dragon is the Big Bad of The Hobbit trilogy.
    • Morgoth in The Silmarillion being the Bigger Bad, as well as the Big Bad of the entire Middle Earth universe.
  • Professor Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes stories, especially in the latter adaptation
  • The Cthulhu Mythos franchise has Nyarlathotep, who arugebly has been the antagonist the most in series and one of if not the most evil of them. Although there was a Big Bad Ensemble with titular Cthulhu but Nyaralthotep is more active.The Bigger Bad is Azathoth.
  • Randall Flagg in Stephen King's multiverse, with the Crimson King as the Bigger Bad.
    • The Crimson King himself becomes the Big Bad in King's central work The Dark Tower.
  • Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter books.
  • Superior Saturday in the The Keys to the Kingdom series, especially in the sixth book. Lord Sunday could be considered the Bigger Bad.
  • Esplin 9466 in the original Animorphs. Crayak is the Bigger Bad.
  • Opal Koboi in the Artemis Fowl series.
  • President Snow in the Hunger Games trilogy. Alma Coin could be considered the Bigger Bad.
  • The Authority in the His Dark Materials trilogy, with his treacherous lieutenant Metatron as the Bigger Bad.
  • Kronos in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books, with Gaea as a Bigger Bad.
  • Aro Volturi in the Twilight Saga.
  • Jadis the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia (emphasized in the movie adaptations), whith the Calormene god Tash as a possible Bigger Bad.
  • Mevolent in the Skulduggery Pleasant series. With the Faceless Ones as the Bigger Bads.
  • The Gaiaphage in the Gone series, Though Caine begins as the Big Bad.
  • The Shadow Lord in Quest for Deltora.
  • The Nome King in the Wizard of Oz novels and a few adaptions. Though it's the Wicked witch of the west that's is the most reconizable villain.
  • The Old Kingdom had Orannis the Destroyer .

Movie series

Television series

Western animation

Manga and Anime

  • Sir Isaac Ray Peram Wescott is the bigger Bads in Date a Live responsible for the transformation of Dark Tohka (Inverse Form) and also captures the spirits in order to transfer the powers of the spirits for him to destroy the earth and recreate a new world to their image and becoming God. He is also behind the First Spirit, the death of over 150 million people and manipulated Shidou throughout your life.
  • The God Hand from Berserk are the ringleaders of the Apostles and four of the previous members are responsible for Griffith becoming Femto.
    • The Idea of Evil is the Bigger Bad to the God Hand's Big Bad.
  • Emperor Charles zi Britannia and his son, Prince Schneizel El Britannia form a Big Bad Ensemble in Code Geass.
  • Ivo Robotnik and later Dark Oak in Sonic X.
  • Frieza in the entire Dragon Ball series since he indirectly caused the events of the series, and the series was to originally ended on Namek after his defeat. His DNA was also used to create Cell. He is also the most recurring villain in the franchise and main villain of most video games. His father King Cold, Majin Buu's creator Bibidi ,Docter Gero as Cell's creator, and the God of Chaos Beers form a Bigger Bad Ensemble.
    • King Piccolo/Piccolo  would be considered the Big Bad for the classic Dragon Ball series, as he controlled one of the previous major villains and had the most Sagas associated with him.
    • Baby in Dragon Ball GT as his role in the series parallels Frieza's. Syn Shenron is the Bigger Bad.
  • Naraku in Inuyasha.
  • Dio Brando/Diego Brando , the first and foremost villain of the JoJo's Bizarre Adventures manga, who influences the entire plot, even when not in charge or after his definite demise.
    • Kars in Part 2:Battle Tendency  and the bigger bad of the jojo franchise since he caused Dio to become a vampire.
    • Yoshikage Kira in Part 4: Diamond is Unbreakable due to getting an arrow from Dio that gave him his stand making Dio the Bigger Bad.
    • Diavolo in Part 5:Vento Aureo and was the heavy of Part 3 posthumorsly forming a big bad ensemble with Dio in the past albeit unknowing and is respoinble for the stands from part 3 to onwards.
    • Enrico Pucci in Part 6:Stone Ocean with Dio as the bigger bad.
    • Funny Valentine in Part 7:Steel Ball Run.Diego "Dio" Brando was working for him.
  • Undertaker is shaping up to this in the Black Butler Manga.
  • Light Yagami in Death Note, unusually since he's the protagonist, with Ryuk and the Shingami King as the Bigger Bads.
  • Father in Fullmetal Alchemist.
    •  Dante plays the role in the first anime series.
  • Currently Madara Uchiha in the Naruto franchise, who also forms a Bigger Bad Duumvirate with the Ten-Tailed Beast.
    • Tobi was this until his defeat.
    • Orochimaru was originally depicted as the Big Bad before the series expanded and the aforementioned Big Bads were revealed to have had major influences on the story.
  • Most likely Marshall D. Teach in One Piece, although currently he is in an Ensemble with Akainu. Which one is the biggest evil of the two has yet to be revealed. The Bigger Bads are the Five Star Elders and Kaido.
    • Doflamingo in the Punk Hazards and Dressrosa arcs
  • Ragyo Kiryuin in Kill La Kill.
  • Asura can be considered as the Big Bad in Soul Eater, being the most prominent, powerful and dangerous villain of the series.
  • Rinichiro Hagire in Deadman Wonderland.
  • Zeref in Fairy Tail, with Acnologia as the Bigger Bad.
  • Sōsuke Aizen and later Yhwach, who also counts as a Bigger Bad, in the Bleach franchise.
  • Alucard in Rosario+Vampire.
  • The Major in the Hellsing manga and OVA series.
  • The Black King in Drifters with Easy as the Bigger Bad.
  • The Mage of the Beginning in Negima! Magister Negi Magi.
  • Ruby Eye Shabranigdo for the whole Slayers franchise.
  • Zorc Necrophades, mostly acting through his avatar Yami Bakura, in Yu Gi Oh!.
  • Creed Diskenth in Black Cat.
  • Vearn in Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. Although equal in power and influence, Velther counts as the Bigger Bad.
  • The Millennium Earl in the D.Gray-man franchise however he is in a Big Bad Ensemble against Nea Walker the 14th who is trying to take over his host Allen the protagonist and the Apocryphos The "Third side of War" as well as a living innocence, so far he's losing ground to both of them.
  • Bernkastel and Lambdadelta form a Big Bad Ensemble in Umineko, restarting time in every game and playing Beatrice (who seemed at first to be the Big Bad). Featherine Augustus Aurora is the true Bigger Bad.
  • Miyo Takano in Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni and Kai. Though, Tokyo and Nomura would be the Bigger Bads.
  • Brian J. Mason throughout the entire Bubblegum Crisis series, with Quincy as the Bigger Bad in the first series and Galatea as the Bigger Bad in the 2040 series.
  • The closest thing Puella Magi Madoka Magica has to a Big Bad is Kyubey, who hides facts from the Magical Girls and does not care about mankind.
  • Roa/SHIKI in Tsukihime.
  • The Night of Wallachia, then White Len, in Melty Blood. It's taken over by the Dust of Osiris in Actress Again.
  • Kotomine and Gilgamesh in Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Zero.
  • In Heaven's Feel, the Big Bad is Zouken Matou, although both Kotomine and Dark Sakura could also be seen as this.
  • Souren Araya in Kara no Kyoukai. Notably, he was confronted about halfway through the series and never heard from again.
  • Myotismon in Digimon Adventure and its continuation Digimon Adventure 02. Apocalymon counts as the Bigger Bad in Digimon Adventure.
  • Moo in Monster Rancher.
  • The Swamp Witch in Queen's Blade series.
  • Beastly Titan is shaping up to be this for Attack on Titan.
  • Giovanni in Pokemon is the boss of Team Rocket, commanding the trio who antagonize Ash and the gang the most. With the Team Galactic leader Cyrus the Bigger Bad in Diamond and Pearl.
  • King Dedede in Kirby: Right Back At Ya! sends monsters after Kirby in nearly every episode. The evil entity whom he buys the monsters from, Nightmare, is the Bigger Bad.
  • The Pretty Cure series, as it spanned for various iterations, have a lot of these:
    • The Dark King of the Dusk Zone in Futari wa Pretty Cure and its sequel Futari wa Pretty Cure Max Heart.
  • Go Hojo in Initial D. He's using other teams throughout Kanto (from the Myogi NightKids to Sidewinder; excluding the Akagi RedSuns, Akina SpeedStars, Impact Blue, Kyoko Iwase of the Northern Saitama Alliance, or Shinji Inui; but also including the Imposter Project D and his own older brother Rin) to defeat Project D, Takumi Fujiwara, or Keisuke or Ryosuke Takahashi in a race, all of whom are defeated by the likes of Project D.
  • Director Kakuzawa in Elfen Lied, with the bullies, led by Tomoo as the Bigger Bad since they are the cause of Lucy's demise.

Comic Books Series




  • Mammon in Spawn. God and Satan are the Bigger Bads.
  • Noah Adam Mahn to the Extinctioners.
  • Judge Death to Judge Dredd.
  • Lu-sho from Foldabots.
  • Chef Piggy in Cooking with Chef Piggy.
  • The Lord of the Locusts in the graphic novels Bone,both its  prequels and sequels.
  • Dr Eggman /Dr. Ivo Robotinik /Robotink Prime  in the Sonic comics although he was in a Big Bad Ensemble with the Arche comics villains but the most recurring is Ixis Naugus who is also currently is equal to Eggman now,Snively of all people was this for a while until Eggman appeared, and Mammoth Mogul  as well who also serves as the Bigger Bad being responible for Naugus and Eggman's rise to villanny but semi retires.
    • Dimitri the original Enerjak orginally in the Knuckles Spin-off series.
    • Doctor Finitevus in Enerjak Reborn and Bigger Bad to Dmitri.
    • Scourge the Hedgehog in Bold New Moebius.
    • King Shadow for the X Years series.
    • The Iron Queen in the Iron Domain story.

European Comic Books

Webcomics and web-movies

Internet memes & Youtube Poops

Religion and myths

  • The Devil in the Bible and the Christian Religion in general.
  • God in the Maltheism current.
  • Iblis in the Muslim religion.
  • Cronus in Greek/Roman mythology. The Bigger Bad would Gaia.
  • Loki was originally a Trickster God. But as time went on, he was eventually regarded as the Big Bad of Norse Mythology, responsible of the Apocalyptic battle of Ragnarok. The Bigger Bad would be Niohoggr.
  • Apep/Apophis in the original Egypian Mythology. As time went on, as more and more invaders came from the desert, the Desert God Set took his place as the Big Bad.
  • Izanami no Mikoto in Japanese Mythology with Amatsu-Mikabushi as the Bigger Bad.
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