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"I'm a throwaway villain! Fear my generic motives!"

A new one-off Big Bad created just for a Filler arc. Not the most dignified place for the villain, because that means the villain will have less effect on the actual canon than the weakest Mooks in the real arcs. This puts the writers in an awkward position because they have to somehow make the villain a credible threat to the heroes, yet at the same time maintain that the threat is relatively new or extremely region contained to explain why such a huge threat wasn't a problem for the rest of the series - rather problematic if the heroes are already facing the upper tiers of the Sorting Algorithm of Evil in canon.

Mostly common in Anime based on Manga, since the filler is used to help avoid overtaking the manga, or it could be in a Non-Serial Movie. Either way, the villain wasn't in the source material, so of course he/she/it would have no effect on the actual canon. This can also cost him his Joker Immunity and all of them will die by the end.

Rare in Western media, but it does happen. The thing is that there has to be no canonical appearance, or even a mention of this villain after the arc. And the arc has to be filler, not just one that isn't mentioned (so Onslaught doesn't count).

A Sub-Trope of Canon Foreigner.

Compare to the equally inconsequential Monster of the Week.

This is available in the Trope Co catalog.

Examples of Filler Villain include:


Anime and Manga

  • Almost all of the Dragon Ball movies featured villains separate from the manga and TV series. However, they mostly consist of "re-imaginings" of previous foes/ situations, some of which are more obvious than others. However unlike most examples, they are memorable and some like Broly and Janemba are Ensemble Darkhorse characters for managing to almost kill Goku in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho had The Movie where the villain was this, and naturally lack the depth of personality of the canon villains
  • Sailor Moon did this when Sailor Moon R Overtook the Manga by using the aliens Ail and En and their energy-eating tree, Makaiju to fill 13 episodes. They are never referenced again, though the Sailor Moon R Non-Serial Movie seems to draw some inspiration from it with the flower-obsessed alien Fiore and his evil life-eating Xenian Flower. Fiore looks markedly similar to Ail and shares his voice actor (Hikaru Midorikawa) and the flower shares An's (Yumi Touma). The villains from the other two movies might also count, although it worth noting that the Sailor Moon S movie, as well as the Ami's First Love special, are actually adapted from the manga side stories (which tend to use a lot of unique villains).
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!. Big ones are Noah, Dartz and Ziegfried, but other dozens of minor ones exist. Dartz is such a charismatic and threatening character, that some fans were actually surprised that he was indeed a filler character.
    • Noa and Gozaburo are worth noting because the latter is an actual character from the manga who serves as a Posthumous Character there. In the anime he's revealed to have been in hiding and has become the Big Bad of the Filler Arc with Noa as The Dragon.
  • Naruto (Many many MANY filler villans during it season long filler arcs so as not to overtake the manga)
    • Aoi Rokusho of the Land of Tea arc, is notable for actually injuring a cast member, Sasuke. This is because they inserted the filler arc in between the return of Tsunade and Sasuke's defection. As a result, Sasuke had to be hospitalised again for the start of the next arc. Still, not many remember this filler villain's name.
      • More importantly, he was actually a major figure in the background of canon character (albeit a minor one) Ibiki Morino; namely he's indirectly the cause of all of those scars.
  • The Bounts in Bleach... Except for the arc's Big Bad Kariya, who appears posthumously as a spirit to challenge Ichigo during his Vizard training in an extension on Ichigo's fight with his inner hollow.
    • Then, Captain Amagai.
    • Next Muramasa, villain of the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales Arc.
    • The latest man to take center stage is Kageroza Inaba, who's basically an Aizen-expy.
  • One Piece has a whole bunch of these, of widely varying quality and power level. Foxy, an actual canonical villain from the manga, seems to have been demoted to filler villain, showing up randomly in a couple of filler arcs, and forming a Goldfish Poop Gang with subordinates Hamburg and Proche.
    • A filler villain, Don Achino had the amazing power of controlling heat. This allowed him to control the lava on his frozen volcano island. Given that a major villain of a later arc is made of lava, the implications are astounding...yet he will never actually have an effect on the plot due to his Filler Villain status. Though, it's definitely worth noting that Oda wrote that particular filler arc, and the powers of Don Achino and the other lava-man are still completely different. (Don controls heat and can move lava, but the other is a logia-type actually made of it.)
    • The movies, as well, typically have villains that don't even amount to Goldfish Poop Gang status, aside from the movies that revisit/reimagine story arcs.
  • A few villains in Wedding Peach. Wedding Peach Abridged even refers to them by this trope name.
  • In Fist of the North Star, we have:
    • Joker, Shin's right-hand man whose main purpose was to serve as an informant between Shin and many of the villains of the week that were sent out to get Kenshiro. He actually has a bigger screen-time than any of Shin's playing card-themed henchmen from the manga (along with the Godland Colonel and Jackal for that matter).
    • The renegade Gento Koken successors, Taiga and Boltz, are essentially stand-in for Jakoh's sons from the manga, Jask and Shieno, who were omitted from the anime version.
  • The first episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood pits our heroes against Isaac McDougal, the Freezing Alchemist, presumably as a way to make the first episode interesting to viewers who had already seen the first anime, and thus would be bored with an immediate return to the Liore plot. He's a rogue alchemist who's trying to overthrow the current regime and kill King Bradley. He dies at the end of the first episode, and the characters don't think of him as anything other than a crazy anarchist (but he's actually more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist who has some inkling of the true, sinister nature of Amestris, something the protagonists won't figure out until much later). He's an interesting case, though, as he was actually designed by the manga's author herself for that episode, and he is referred to in one later episode. Specifically, Edward recalls his plan to create an enormous alchemical array by connecting a bunch of smaller ones as he learns of the existence of the country-sized Philosopher's Stone-making array.


Fan Fic


Literature

  • Neo BloodClan in Warrior Cats, whose whole existence is to give Ravenpaw's Path villains. They are beaten easily, never mentioned again, and have zero impact on the plot. They don't even make sense in the overall canon. They're just.........there.


Video Games

  • The Radio Drama version of Metal Gear Solid featured a character named Sergei Ivanovich, a former SVR operative and old buddy of Revolver Ocelot who ends up capturing Campbell and eventually Snake and Meryl as well. Despite being a master of close quarter battle and torture, his only notable victim is another Canon Foreigner.
  • Eremiya the Sinister Minister from the Monsho no Nazo remake. Alongside her adoptive children and hitmen: Eine aka Katarina, Roro and Kleine. Though Katarina can have a Heel Face Turn.
  • The Deadly Six from Sonic Lost World. They have no explanation in the "plot" whatsoever, and have pretty lousy motives too.


Webcomics


Western Animation

  • Teen Titans had Brother Blood in the third season. Counts since he's not even given a passing mention following the four episodes that he appears in.
  • Mortal Kombat Defenders of the Realm had Quan Chi, an Evil Sorceror who appeared for one episode and used his magic to turn the heroes against each other, then was quickly dropped after his episode was over. However, after making a successful transition to the games, he became a major character who turned out to be behind many events in the backstory, including being the true murderer of Scorpion's family.
    • There were also several other, lesser filler villains in the series that didn't crop up in the games, although these tend to verge on Monster of the Week territory.
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