Dishing Junk: The Clichéd Antagonist…
Dishing Junk – The act of dispensing ideas of little value in a casual or silly manner.
Ever gotten to a point in either a book or a movie where the antagonist just loses believability? This is usually because they start following one or more cliché. These are a few crazy ones that I’ve noticed recently…
The characters of Pinky & the Brain have to quantify every single villain cliché on file. But…they are a cartoon, meant to entertain ten year olds.
World Domination *insert evil laugh*
The Evil antagonist bent on world domination, who treats his underlings and henchman with total disdain and abuse, but they still serve him/her willingly. Their ultimate goal is to bring evil to the world and rule over it. But, in the meantime they have a sick fascination with the protag — and they just must find them right now to kill them!!!!
My daddy hates me, or I lost my daddy (insert any loved one) and the world is an unjust place, so let’s annihilate the entire planet! *insert evil laugh*
Throw Down Ye Guns!
The antagonist has shown no compulsion to act with honor, in fact their actions are evil, which has no honor. But, at the very end, they put down their guns and go head to head in a “fair fight” with the protagonist, whether with a sword, or using their fists.
Let me Tell You A Story!
The antagonist is so proud of their dastardly deeds that they must tell the protag every last detail in a nice little wrap-up. I call this the “Scooby-Do” final act. This usually leeds to the protag figuring out a way to stop the antagonist since they now know the entire plan.
A land far far away
An evil genius has to have an accent.
I’m with stupid
The antagonist is the biggest baddest thing to ever set foot on this world or the next. His side-kick, a drooling idiot, kept around just because he is loyal. Sure.
Is my schizophrenia showing?
The antagonist is clearly a lunatic, two sheets flapping in the crazy wind. But he has legions of followers. Loyal supporters. Everyone loves the crazy person, give them nuclear weapons, that is what I say!
How many books have you read that the villain says “if you don’t do this I will kill your mom (sister, lover, aunt, whole school etc).” And then the protagonist has to run around and do stupid crap to appease the antagonist. Usually the antagonist doesn’t even have the loved one in their possession it is just a threat. “I know where they live…” I get really tired of this quick and it is probably my most hated and subtle villain cliché.
Run into any of these clichés lately? I did, in QUICK FIX, which was a book I was excited about. The antagonist spilled the beans in the last chapter of the book, laid out her whole evil story and in front of people that she wasn’t sure about, which was how she was defeated.