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"Yeah, he was just this guy. A guy in a butterfly suit who got in over his head. And I could see it in his eyes that if I let him get away this one time he'd never come back. But then, I also thought, you know, kill him."
Brock Samson, The Venture Brothers

The Mook Horror Show is a scene that plays out like a Horror/Slasher Movie film but casts the hero as the monster. Depending on the hero, it could involve Let's Split Up, Gang! and slinking through shadows, a Five Rounds Rapid followed by a frantic retreat, or any other situation that attempts to show how cool the hero is by emphasizing the terror of his foes.

Unless we're looking at an Anti-Hero, Sociopathic Hero, or Designated Hero, the mooks probably aren't being slaughtered in horrifying ways, unless they happen to be intelligent robots, aliens, or monsters. If the minions are human, this sort of conduct will probably be bad for the hero's publicity.

This trope is a frequent component of the Roaring Rampage of Revenge and often overlaps with Villainous Valour. Sometimes used to demonstrate that Dark Is Not Evil. May also be invoked by a hero to Pay Evil Unto Evil to a villain who enjoys subjecting others to this type of thing to give them a taste of their own medicine. They may also play it up in order for various reasons. Among others, they're probably going to not fight you at 100% if they're too busy screaming in blind terror of you.

Examples of Mook Horror Show include:


Anime and Manga

  • In Trigun, Vash the Stampede sometimes plays up the horror factor that his reputation gives him, since it gets him out of fights and he actually has a strict moral code against killing. He's done the sneak-around-and-pick-your-dudes-off thing and the Implacable Man advance-while-singing-a-terrifying-ditty-about-genocide song: "Total Slaughter, Total Slaughter, I won't leave a single man alive. Ladi-Ladi-Die, Genocide. Ladi-Ladi-dud, an Ocean of Blood. Let's begin the killing time." It didn't work, though kicking a rocket fired from an RPG by the terrified mook, AFTER singing that, into the ceiling DID work.
    • Monev the Gale found out the hard way how scary a genuinely angry Vash can be when Monev gunned down a bunch of innocent civilians. He compared Vash's Glowing Eyes of Doom to the eyes of the devil himself.
  • In Hellsing, Alucard absolutely loves this, though he really is a monster more suited to a horror/slasher film.
  • In Berserk, this befalls Mooks trying to arrest or kill Guts.
  • In Baccano, Claire Stanfield versus the Lemures and Ladd Russo.
    • One flashback scene shows Jacuzzi being threatened by Russo's thugs, and true to his Cowardly Lion nature, Jacuzzi ends up pleading with them to leave him alone so his friends won't kill them/pleading with his friends to show some mercy. The thugs, believing Jacuzzi is alone, don't take the hint and are taken out by Jacuzzi's gang, who all sport Glowing Eyes of Doom.
  • Fist of the North Star has this when Ken annihilates Jackal and his gang. Fittingly, the episode is entitled "I Am Death Itself! I'll Chase You to the Ends of Hell!"
  • Kazuma of S-Cry-ed has been pictured like this on at least one occasion -- during his Unstoppable Rage following Kimishima's death, when he tears into a squad of ordinary HOLD troops. We get to see his approach from Scheris's viewpoint -- an unstoppable monster stalking out of the flames, spreading death and destruction in his wake...
  • There's several instances of this in Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Lan Fan has a He's Back moment in which she shows that she's recovered from the loss of her arm by rescuing Ed and his group from Gluttony by cutting Gluttony to ribbons with the blade attached to her automail. It's an awesome scene, but it's initially shown from the perspective of Gluttony, an Obliviously Evil Psychopathic Manchild who is overwhelmed with pain and fear.
    • Toward the end of the series, Mustang goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Envy, and despite Envy being one of the most sadistically cruel characters in the series, you actually feel kind of bad for it.
    • "Greedling" helps the rebel forces hold back the soldiers loyal to Central Command. This entails a Terminator-inspired scene where Greedling is in the Ultimate Shield Instant Armor and smashes tanks like toys while the enemy soldiers futilely try to shoot him. Someone on the heroes' side even comments "Good thing he's on our side."
    • Badass Teacher Izumi has a couple of scenes where she takes out soldiers while sporting Glowing Eyes of Doom, and it's shown from their perspective.
    • In a humorous example, at one point, Ed is being hunted by soldiers from Central Command after going rogue. In a scene shown from their perspective, an unseen Ed calmly takes out the group looking for him, finishing up with the unfortunate soldier who, when describing Ed, just had to note his short stature.
  • Dragon Ball: Vegeta gets a scene like this when he stalks a completely outmatched Jeice throughout Freeza's ship horror movie style, including many instances of Offscreen Teleportation, before finally killing him as he vainly attempts to fly away. Neither of them are good guys at this point - Vegeta's in the middle of an Enemy Mine with the heroes, but doesn't let this stop him from being as sadistic as possible.
    • Vegeta is like this to many of Freeza's other Mooks. In particular Cui, Dodoria, and Appule who was watching him heal in Freeza's ship.
    • And the only reason Trunks didn't achieve this with Freeza's henchmen was because it took him about 3 seconds to kill about 20 of them.
    • Trunks invokes this when he returns to the future on the evil Androids and Cell, intentionally making them know just how screwed and helpless they are against him, because this was exactly what they'd done to their victims.
  • The hero of Darker Than Black has a rather serious case of this. In his first appearance, we have a Cat Scare, Offscreen Teleportation, a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, and leaving a guy dead (with the police baffled as to the methods) just because he pissed him off. What with the scary mask and scarier name (It's pretty safe to say that you don't want anything to do with someone called "The Black Reaper"), you could very conceivably construe him as the villain until the end of the second episode.
  • Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari has Kenshi scaring the crap out of his enemies in episodes 8 and 11. Episode 8 even shows closeups of two random Mooks crying and shivering in pure terror as Kenshi rips through them like tissue paper; he also does a convincing imitation of the tactics of the creature from Alien to take down a squad of mecha trying to hunt him down. In episode 11, he goes berserk in response to a particularly dirty tactic and actually kills the guy who came up with that plan in the first place.
  • In Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, special forces wearing iconic armor are unstoppable against the rebels and the Public Security agents.
  • Happens not-infrequently in Gundam, particularly the series with more powerful Gundams, like Gundam Wing and Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
    • The intro to one of the G-Generation games does this almost literally, showing a squad of Zakus getting stalked and murdered Predator-style by Gundam Deathscythe.
    • Often, the scene will include a Mook screaming some variation of "It's a GUNDAM!" Memetic Mutation happened, and fans decided that saying this phrase means you are very quickly going to be killed by a Gundam.
    • The original series did it very well, by giving us Char 'Red Comet' Aznable, so feared that his entering the battle provoked an Oh Crap moment (and would continue doing so for the entire series), attacking the Gundam with everything he had and realizing he was Shooting Superman. Later Zeon mechas had weapons that could theorically destroy the Gundam, but by that point Amuro's body count justified his nickname of White Devil, and in one occasion we were treated to a Zeon force that outnumbered the heroes four to one and outgunned them by six to one being effortlessly destroyed by the Gundam, with the viewers' point of view being the one of the Zeon's commander having an Oh Crap moment.
    • MS IGLOO gives a nice example in the third episode, which takes place just a bit after the Gundam makes its debut on the battlefield. We see a three-second video of the Gundam chopping up a Zaku... from the Zaku's perspective. What with the Gundam's pitiless face, glowing yellow eyes, and the sheer terror in the pilot's voice, it's very obvious why Zeon decided to call it the "White Devil".
  • Sayo being hunted as a dangerous ghost in Mahou Sensei Negima plays this up, giving a terrifying insight into how Setsuna and Mana handle their "work".
  • The first two chapters of Dance in the Vampire Bund featured a couple of these. A squad of fully equiped (although clueless) mercenaries end up fleeing a trio of maids shrugging off machine-gun fire and tearing them bodily apart only to run into a contingent of Mina Tepes' personal werewolf guard. Meanwhile the assassins that were loaded for vampire and using the mercs as a distraction corner a seemingly preteen girl and her personal servant (who proves useless beyond giving a warning)... it doesn't matter.
  • Naruto of all people manages this during his fight with Pain, where he appears as a pair of glowing eyes in the darkness (Gamabunta's mouth) before killing one of Pain's bodies.
  • This usually happens in One Piece when a notable character launches a one-man charge on his enemies. A more literal example would be during a flashback on Thriller Bark, at the time of Brook's rampage as the Humming Swordsman five years prior to the story. Hilariously enough, the one doing the scaring is also scared (Having an admitted fear of ghosts) and is only moving with the speed and lightness of a skeleton so he won't have to look at the zombies.
  • An interesting example on Metal Fight Beyblade. Reiji loves to torment and scare his enemies into broken wrecks during his battle. Ginga turns the tables on him during their fight by exploiting Reiji's own fear of his enemies not being afraid of him, sending him into a fear-induced Villainous Breakdown.
  • Elfen Lied starts out with half an episode of this trope courtesy Lucy.
  • To Aru Majutsu no Index: Whatever you do, do not seriously piss off Accelerator. He's a fairly laid back guy most of the time, but if you try and harm Last Order this trope comes into effect in a BIG way. Hound Dog had the misfortune of kidnapping her and and then trying to kill him: the result was absolutely horrifying.
  • Vision of Escaflowne has a scene in which Van goes completely apeshit and effortlessly slaughters all of Dilandau's Dragonslayers. Most of the action isn't shown-- there is only the sound of the unfortunate soldiers' screams over Dilandau's intercom. Hint: when your heroic protagonist can make the villain (who's been established as a complete and utter lunatic) freak out, it's a sign that things have gone very, very wrong.

Comic Books

  • Batman is fond of doing this. Emphasized in The Dark Knight trilogy.
    • Striking fear into criminals is kind of Batman's whole shtick, to the point that a yellow ring tried to conscript him into the Sinestro Corps, which is powered by fear. In other words, the ring decided that Batman was the scariest thing in the entire space sector.
  • It's easy to forget because of his family-friendly portrayals, but Spider-Man sometimes comes across this way, especially when he intervenes in muggings. Just imagine how you'd react to a gruesomely contorting silhouette with wide, staring eyes scuttling down the wall at you...
    • One particular Spider-Man instance, he was fighting a costumed mercenary in a secure medical facility. The mercenary didn't realize that he was out-matched, until Spidey tore a reinforced steel fire door from the wall and threw it at him. Effortlessly. After that, the mercenary was fleeing in terror. Ordinary opponents generally don't realize what the friendly neighborhood Spiderman is capable of.
    • There's another bit where one of his enemies has hired a professional merc team to take Spider-Man out. They "chase" him into Central Park and, while the leader is giving a rousing speech about how Spider-Man's rep had to be overblown and that he was just an amateur and to play by the numbers, Spider-Man is taking out each of the other mercs behind the leader one at a time, while they're traveling in a tight formation and looking just about every direction except the one that matters (up). The leader ends his speech to turn around and gauge its impact on his men only to find them all gone... and then he goes berserk. Spider-Man ends up leaving the unconscious mercs webbed up around the house the enemy who'd hired them was using for a base of operations. Think it was the Changeling... he freaked out.
    • On his Anti-Hero days, Venom has this trope even more strongly. He even threatens to eat your brains! Backfired once, though. Rescuing an innocent girl from perceived danger? Okay, cool. Being a giant slime monster with foot long teeth gave the girl horrible nightmares.
  • Rob Liefeld's Prophet character did this a couple times. Once to be like Batman and once to be like Rambo.
  • The Punisher does this a lot. In a Marvel MAX annual, from the POV of an arsonist, being pursued by the Punisher through Manhattan. It never once gave the Punisher's perspective; he was presented as simply an unstoppable force that the criminal just couldn't get away from.
  • Even Superman gets in on the act from time to time. If he's mad or in a big hurry, he will forcefully remind his enemies just how powerful he really is. At this point, be prepared to see dozens of near Physical God villains run for the hills.
    • Once done when an enemy had made him very sick. He reminds the villains that he now cannot control the force of his blows. Yes, that's right, Superman is so awesome that making him sick only makes him more powerful.
  • Much like the film adaptation, The Crow is set up somewhat like this.
  • Sometimes used with The Phantom - even more than Batman, he is a Badass Normal who depends on the mooks thinking him a supernatural menace, so it fits.
  • Scrooge in Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck is often quite good in scaring the shit out of his enemies.
    • The most egregious examples come from the ending chapter and a side story: in the ending chapter the Beagle Boys, numbering eight with Granpa Beagle, are running from the Money Bin with some stolen money, only to discover that they're being chased by SCROOGE, causing Granpa Beagle (then the only one to have met him before) to faint in terror before Scrooge effortlessly knocking them out while complaining of old age; in a side story set in Klondike a group of mooks who had already faced him once learns they can steal Scrooge's minerary concession if they prevent him from talking with Goldie, decides to beat him up and give him to the Mounties (It Makes Sense in Context), but upon learning there's only two dozens of them they try and search for some other people.
  • Super Soldier Tyke Bomb X-23 inflicts more than a few of these. Wiry teenage girl (or worse, skinny pre-teen) she may be, but a trained assassin with a fearsome Healing Factor and implanted Absurdly Sharp Blades is what nightmares are made of... assuming you live. And that is when she is not hopped up on the Trigger Scent(tm).
    • Come to think of it, her progenitor has a few of these under his own belt.
      • One of the most notorious events happened during the Hellfire Club's abduction of Jean Gray/Phoenix. All the other X-Men were either captured or incapacitated, Wolvie's sent down a storm drain in a flood. He washes up in the basement, and proceeds to stealthily go up level by level, since even HE can't fight the whole club at once. "Stealthy", in this case, meaning "gut everyone in the room before they can make noise." He gives an utterly terrifying description of what he and his claws can do to one poor schlub, grabs him up to start asking question, and mentally notes to himself in that he's toned down since joining the X-Men, since he actually let this one live long enough to even answer his questions. AFTER, it must be reminded, he just eviscerated a few dozen other guards on the way up. This scene also shows up in the animated series -- the series obviously cut out the slaughter but still had Wolverine telling the mook that his adamantium claws could cut through the mook's armor like a hot knife through butter and implying that they could do worse to flesh.
  • Sin City loves this trope. Wallace, Miho, and Marv have all inspired a great deal of dread in their enemies.
    • When Marv killed the federal agents at the Farm, he faced the last one and said "That there is one damn fine coat you're wearing." The next page showed him chasing the guy down with a hatchet while cackling like a lunatic.
    • Miho had an entire mob family quaking in fear throughout Family Values. She even intimidated one mook into killing his own brother.
    • Wallace had a guild of assassins running scared to the point where the mob boss running the organization decided just to leave him alone and not try to get revenge.
  • In Watchmen, the scene in Rorschach's backstory in which the kidnapper comes home plays out something like this.

Fan Fiction

  • One Transformers fanfiction used this trope when Sunstreaker, believing that the Decepticons had captured his brother, assaulted the Decepticon base by himself and brutally murdered many, many mooks in a way that impressed many of the 'Cons watching security footage of the attack in progress. As one Decepticon put it, "Why isn't this guy a Decepticon? Seriously, why did we never recruit him?"
  • The Firefly fic Forward has a scene showing the mooks' perspective when River is carving through them. She isn't shown as cute or adorable; she's portrayed as insane and terrifying.
  • Happens in The Legend of Spyro: A New Dawn when Cynder cleves her way through a Gargoyle outpost in her Super-Powered Evil Side. It was written this way to show how destructive and sadistic Cynder's Dark Form was.
  • In Tiberium Wars, the introductions of the Nod and GDI commandos are both cases of this. The Nod commando's initial appearance is as an untrackable, cloaked, and impossibly precise killing machine gunning down whole GDI squads by herself. The GDI commando, meanwhile, is an unkillable juggernaut with superhuman strength and a railgun capable of blowing soldiers to ribbons, but is still a surprisingly clever tactician who outwits and outguns his opponents.

Film

  • Kill Bill: The Bride's battle against the Crazy 88, in which she utterly spanks them. (literally, in one case) It's nearly 20 minutes long!
  • Commando, especially the toolshed scene.
  • The Crow throughout.
  • Similarly, pretty much any Steven Seagal film. Case in point, Hard to Kill. Yeah, the bad guys killed his wife and put him in a seven-year coma, but the way Mason Storm stalks and kills them one by one, taunting them the whole time, you can't help but pity them. Especially the one he runs down and publicly executes with a neck-snap in front of all of Chinatown and his own son.
  • In the Iron Man film, Tony's escape from the cave in a huge, unstoppable suit of powered armor is played out a bit like a monster movie.
    • Similarly, the first appearance of the eponymous monster in The Incredible Hulk is deliberately done in this way.
  • In The Scorpion King, the hero uses a sandstorm to force a bunch of Mooks into a cave, where he kills them one by one.
  • Who could forget the opening hit scene of Leon, The Professional? Leon knocks off the drug henchmen one by one - pointblank headshot, garrotte from the ceiling panel, pulled over the stairwell by a necktie, numerous unseen shootings - without anyone (mooks or viewer) ever laying eyes on him. "Those bastards blocked both the exits," mutters the kingpin, when seeing one of his mooks hanging by the neck on CCTV. (He ends up with a knife to his throat, produced by a disembodied arm out of shadow.)
  • Rambo
  • Sugar Hill
  • The Punisher (1989)
  • 28 Days Later, once the character snaps, plays very much like this trope -- up to him doing Offscreen Teleportation.
  • In Batman Begins, some of Batman's first attacks on criminals are filmed this way.
    • Not to mention their POV of him gliding over the city while they are under the effects of the Fear Toxin.
      • Plus the scene of him interrogating Jonathan Crane, a.k.a. Scarecrow, who at the moment was being Hoist by His Own Petard.
    • The opening scene of Tim Burton's Batman is another example.
  • The intro of Ninja Assassin is a textbook example. Except it's not the hero who's acting the part of the monster.
  • Serenity: River's rampage in the Maidenhead bar is definitely one of these.
  • The assassination attempt on Moses in Red.
  • Hit-Girl of Kick-Ass, particularly during her night-vision FPS shootout scene where she's shooting gangsters left and right as they're unable to see her under cover of darkness. Done again in Frank D'Amico's penthouse when she prepares to shoot a cowering mook on the floor, runs out of bullets and runs to the kitchen. The mook stands some distance away and unloads automatic fire on the spot she's hiding in, lowers his gun and looks away in assumed success, and gets a pair of flying kitchen knives in the chest.
  • Subverted and used to display the pointlessness of revenge, in Pumpkinhead.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Phantom Menace shows the Trade Federation leaders panicking as the implacable Jedi make their way to the bridge, mowing down any droids they send against them...
      • According to the commentary on the DVD, this was actually the intent of the scene. It was meant to be an inversion of horror movies, with the aliens hiding in terror of humans for a change.
    • Repeated in Revenge of the Sith where the newly minted Darth Vader brutally murders the defenceless Separatist Council.
    • The ending or Rogue One has the Rebel Alliance as the Mooks facing off against Darth Vader. It's quite possibly the best example of this trope ever put to screen.
  • RoboCop has shades of this. He is effetively bullet-proof, slow but nigh-unstopabble, more machine than man, and has perfect aim. Most bad guys try to run while Robocop walks after them like a typical horror movie villain.
  • At the end of the remake of Bangkok Dangerous Joo stalks and efficiently kills many gangsters as they grow increasingly jumpy and frantic.
  • Character reintroduction of el mariachi in Desperado Steve Buscemi narrates over one of these
  • Dead Man's Shoes pretty much gives the viewer a slasher movie from the perspective of the slasher.
  • The Autobot raid on KSI in Age of Extinction. Made even more horrifying because KSI produces weapons and technology designed to kill Transformers and five Autobots manage to utterly destroy their production capabilities.

Literature

  • In Discworld, Rincewind uses The Luggage to terrorize his foes. Or rather, he hides while the Luggage... entertains itself.
    • In Thud, there is a brief section about some dwarfs in a cave, when suddenly, a pale, bloody human with a sword and axe stands on a rise above them... And it says, Is that my cow?
    • In Jingo!, Reg Shoe's attack on some enemy soldiers is narrated this way.
  • Anita Blake is this to vampires as told by Jean-Claude, who is the Master Vampire of St.Louis. "To us, you are the boogeyman who snatches young foolish vampires." Or something like that. And when she executed a were serial killer in the middle of a mall in front of small children who looked horrified that she was going to kill him after she strolled up to him in the food court. Then she snaps at a werewolf who annoyed her on the phone, who breaks down in tears and blubbers for her not to kill her. It helps she's a licensed Executioner who can kill vampires and weres legally. Oh, and one of the most powerful necromancers in the United States.
  • In the Dale Brown novels, this generally occurs when Tin Men or CIDs are around and there're no anti-tank weapons in the enemy's reach.
  • ~Gaunt's Ghosts~ do this a lot.
  • Several Honor Harrington books have the thoughts of various Peep or Solarian officers about to be on the receiving end of a Manticore Missile Massacre, usually because their CO is too dumb, arrogant, or incredulous to realize that they're about to be ripped apart by said Massacre. And, of course, vice versa.
  • Pulp Magazine heroes The Shadow and The Spider lived for this.
  • At the end of The Demon Breed by James H. Schmitz, the story is retold from the aliens' point of view, and we see just how badly the Action Girl protagonist ended up scaring them.

 There seemed to be nothing they could do to check her. She came and went as she chose, whether in the sea or in the dense floating forests, and was traceless as a ghost. Moreover, those who had the misfortune of encountering her did not report the fact. They simply disappeared.

Live Action TV

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - In the Comic Book adaptation, there was a Halloween story which involved Buffy, in her hockey-mask and overalls costume, stalking a group of vampires in their house. The vampires were shown as being utterly terrified at this monster stalking and killing them relentlessly and without mercy. (It was probably a bad idea to kidnap Willow.)
    • Although, of course, this could be seen as a Shout-Out to I Am Legend which, from the original book on, was all about a vampire slayer who was viewed as a homicidal monster by his victims.
    • Or the scene in the Dracula episode, where we see a vampire running madly through a graveyard... and then we realize he's running for his (un)life. From Buffy. The basic premise of the franchise boils down to Joss Whedon going "Well, what if the 90-pound blonde cheerleader was the hero, instead of the screaming victim?"
    • Another example is in "Pangs" which opens with a handsome fresh-faced youth with "Victim of the Week" written all over him creeping through the woods, then starting in fear as he comes face-to-face with the Big Bad Buffy. Turns out he's a vampire.
  • In The X-Files, one episode opens with a teenage boy fleeing some off-camera pursuer, frantically yelling for help. It's to no avail, as his pursuer catches up and kills him... with a stake to the chest. It's Mulder, and he was vampire hunting.
  • In an episode of the 2010 series Human Target, a plan to infiltrate the well-guarded mansion of a tycoon with Ilsa's help goes awry, and Ilsa is captured. Chance, thanks to his Unresolved Sexual Tension with her, single-handedly goes to rescue her, mowing down the tycoon's mercenary army. All this is shown from the viewpoint of the tycoon and his Dragon, whose faces get more horrified at the closing sounds of gunshots, screams, and shouts of "he's unstoppable". Chance then bursts into the room and guns down the rest of the Mooks. All with a pistol.
    • Chance is not unique in this regard, although he is the best. Guerrero's name is enough to scare the wits out of any criminal or even a mob boss, and the guy himself looks like a Hollywood Nerd. Baptiste is also just as Badass, which makes sense, since all of them went through the same school.
  • An episode of Charmed opens with a young boy walking to an ice cream van in a dark alley.

 Ice cream man: Would you like some ice cream, little one?

Young boy: Yeah.

Ice cream man: You didn't say "please".

Young boy: *screams before opening credits*

    • Later, we learn that the ice cream van is a trap set against prepubescent demons.
  • The opening of Doctor Who episode "A Good Man Goes To War" invokes this on behalf of the villains, as they prepare for an imminent attack by The Doctor. One scene has the Cybermen deal with an off-screen attack destroying parts of their base. "Intruder level 11! Seal off levels 12, 13, and 14! Intruder level 15!" Although it turns out the attacker is not The Doctor, but, in fact, "The Last Centurion" Rory Williams.

  "Imagine you were dying. Imagine you were afraid and a long way from home and in terrible pain. And just when you thought it couldn't get worse, you looked up and saw the face of the devil himself."

    • We then see that the entire scene has been shown from the point of view of a damaged Dalek, who starts screaming "EMER-GEN-CY! EMER-GEN-CY!
  • In the season six episode of Stargate SG-1 "The Other Guys," when SG-1 is attacking the Jaffa guarding the stargate O'Neill, Carter and Jonas use the standard "shoot them with zats" approach, but Teal'c instead waits for a Jaffa to run past him and erupts out of a lake and drags the Jaffa down into the water.
  • In the final season of 24, possibly the crowning moment of Jack Bauer's Roaring Rampage of Revenge was the scene where he stops traffic in an underground carpark and proceeds to tear his way through a small army of mooks while wearing head-to-toe body armour and a big black goalie mask.

Music

  • The Megas The Quick and the Blue has Quickman becoming increasingly aware of how boned he is, but won't back down.
    • To wit: He sees Megaman as nothing less than the unstoppable avatar of death itself. (Is what they say true? Does death wear blue? Can he fall?)
  • Disturbed's song Indestructible is all about this. The narrator describes himself as a "terror to behold" (the chorus is quoted in Person of Mass Destruction, by the way).

Professional Wrestling

  • Wrestlers like The Undertaker and Sting during face runs will often have segments or promos that count as this, with the various mind games and scare tactics they use to scare the living hell out of their heel adversaries. Depending on execution, these segments could range from total Narm, to Crowning Moment of Awesome.
  • A picture perfect version of this was when Sting, Fortune, and Kurt Angle teamed up to do this to Immortal on the July 14th episode. The former had the other five dress up as Monster Clowns and pick off Immortal one by one. Gunner even attempted to invoke Final Boy in the end, but it didn't work. During Sting's title match with Mr. Anderson, Bully Ray showed up to try and help Anderson win, but then Angle, still in clown gear, appears and takes him out. The lights go out and Anderson finds him alone in the ring, Kurt standing on the entrance ramp, leaving Anderson in a panic that lets Sting win.

Radio

  • "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!" Listen to the opening here

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • In Alone in The Dark 3 Edward Carnby bursts out of his grave miraculously alive and well, causing the undead guy who had just finished burying him to flee in terror.
  • This is the inevitable fate of a good Stealth Based Game player's enemies.
  • In The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, there's a mission where a cast of diverse characters is locked in a mansion with a mysterious killer. It's no mystery to the player, since it's an assassin's guild quest.
  • The intro to an SD Gundam G-Generation game featured a bunch of Zakus getting hunted and killed, Predator-style, by the Gundam Deathscythe.
  • The Metroid Prime series highlights it if you read some of the Space Pirate's mission logs, increasingly desperate recordings of how "the Hunter" is tearing through their forces. This monster is of course Samus Aran, the player character.
  • The Manhunt series.
  • Prototype has its main character Alex Mercer pull more than a few horror-movie tricks in cutscenes, just in case his powers weren't already scary enough in-game. They include Offscreen Teleportation, shrugging off being riddled with lead, leaving fingerprints and footprints in his targets' blood after he's done with them, popping back up after being "killed", mimicking people without inducing suspicion until he feels like it, and being oddly nonchalant about an enormous bullet hole in his face.
    • Hell, the intro features him tearing apart an entire Blackwatch squad, rather easily.
    • Moreover, the fact that you can later have people gunned down by accusing them of being you demonstrates the panic and paranoia you sow among the mooks even outside of your murderous rampages.
    • And if you sneak into an army base, you can orchestrate it yourself, silently consuming and taking their places one by one, until there are none left.
      • Oh, as if watching your buddy get lassoed from across the room, yo-yo'd to death, and his liquefied remains getting slurped up through a proboscis sticking from a hoodie-wearing nobody's stomach wasn't worrisome enough. The fact that said nobody's Immune to Bullets is just gravy.
  • In the sequel to No More Heroes, Travis' new Dark Side move allows him to transform into a tiger. While you're in this form, Mooks go from trying to beat ten shades of shit out of you to tripping over themselves in their efforts to get the hell away.
    • The first No More Heroes has a similar Dark Side mode: the screen turns black-and-white (except for red for Travis's katana and the inevitable bloodshed) and all mooks in the area start cowaring away from Travis as he walks menacingly towards them and systematically murders them for the duration of the mode.
  • Far Cry 2 turns into this once you get a decent reputation. Just listen to the Enemy Chatter.

 "Oh God, it's HIM! What do we do!?"

    • Even if your reputation is low, foes tend to panic if they find a body and fail to find the killer.
  • In the third God of War game, some of the kills are done from the point of view of the one being killed by Kratos.
  • Much of Batman: Arkham Asylum is you sneaking around and scaring the hell out of the Joker's men.
    • A video game mechanic in the Batman Begins games has you messing with the enemies' environment (using batarangs to break the lights, opening steam valves, activating heavy machinery, or simply performing stealth takedowns on their fellow mooks when they're not looking). When you max out their fear meter, you get a Crowning Moment of Awesome as Batman automatically steps out into the open as you see, from the mook's POV, a terrifying glowy-eyed demonic Bat Man.
  • Max Payne gets like this by the end. There's nothing like tearing through a building of guards and hearing their boss respond to their messages over the PA, "What do you mean, 'he's unstoppable'?"
  • An interesting point to Devil May Cry 4 switching away from Dante's perspective from the first half lets the player see the beloved hero as presumably everyone else does; a cocky, stylish, unstoppable killing machine that does not consider you a threat in any way and is wholly justified in doing so. Dante proving That One Boss, far and away more dangerous than anything else Nero goes up against, lets the player see what it's like being on the receiving end of Dante's Showy Invincible Hero shenanigans.
  • Assassin's Creed II has two separate instances where Ezio's main targets, Templars, are heard talking about Ezio. The first man is completely paranoid, trying to talk himself into calming down ("He'll... he'll leave. He'll get bored, I'm sure...") and surrounding himself with guards. The second has a near-panic attack when he finds out that Ezio is simply in the same city that he is.
    • While Ezio had yet to establish his reputation as a supernatural combatant, both targets had actually been in Ezio's presence -- the first had been one of the would-be killers of the Medici brothers, the second when Ezio trailed a conspirator to a secret meeting only to be revealed and escape -- so they knew already how close he had come to them before; in the time between the targets he'd also developed a reputation as the Assassin.
    • In both the first game and the second, guards will throw down their weapons and flee in absolute terror after watching Altaïr or Ezio tear apart their comrades without so much as being scratched in return.
    • In the case of the second target, it is all the more satisfying, considering you're sitting on the ledge right above him.
    • Or, in the case of the first, the game encourages you to hide inside the well he's currently pacing around.
  • Enemies in Metal Slug often scream and run away when they see you coming. They do this automatically if you use a continue.
    • The first game pulls this off on the player in the ending: A surviving enemy tosses a paper airplane, and the view follows it as it flies through the game's stages... littered with the bodies of the scores of soldiers you've slaughtered over the course of the game.
  • One of the trailers for Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II shows the chained-up Starkiller about to be executed by Imperial stormtroopers. He uses the Force to free himself and knock out the lights. The guards start looking around, shooting at any shadow in near-total darkness, while Starkiller picks them off one-by-one. The last guard starts backing off towards the door, his every shot deflected, until Starkiller impales him with his lightsabers.
  • In the very first Medal of Honor game, if you blew your cover in the U-Boat mission, Kriegsmarine officers would yell, "It's Jimmy Patterson!" and attempt to mow you down in a panic.
  • A simple but nonetheless notable game feature in City of Heroes. Sometimes an assassin's strike from a stalker will "terrify" enemies nearby, stopping them from fleeing.
  • Shadow Complex, definitely. You are just this one random guy who is going through the base and slowly taking it out. Many of the guards at first are like "it's just one guy" but later on they realise how much damage he's doing. And then there's the ways to kill enemies - normally, sneak fisticuffs, headshots, grenades, missiles, ground pounds, environmental factors... all while you slowly advance from civilian to a Power Armoured badass.
  • In Halo games the grunts will say things like "He's everywhere!" and run away when you kill a lot of them at once. The books also go into grunt points of view every so often, and they tend to be exactly that scared if not more so.
    • Additionally, Covenant troops often are heard referring to Master Chief as "demon", both in and out of the games.
  • In Bionic Commando, Area 12's baddies go into a panic when they spot Super Joe.
  • Scarface the World Is Yours sometimes requires this if the player wants Hundred-Percent Completion. Shoot ten out of twelve gang members who hang out at the gas station? The last two frantically run away. Many times Tony ends up mowing them down as they are trying to hijack a car and flee.
  • In the Mass Effect 2 DLC Arrival, the Project guards pretty much start panicking the second Shepard wakes up and then starts slaughtering his/her way through the entire complex by him/herself.
    • Even before that, during the Korlus mission, you tap into the Blue Suns' radio early on, letting you listen to their increasing panic as you slaughter your way through their base.
    • There's also strong indication that this is how the Omega mercenaries viewed Archangel.
  • Happens in Starcraft when fighting the Zerg. The Cinematic The Amerigo makes especially heavy use of this, and in the tie-in comic books, Marines often panic when fighting them.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, according to Boxcars, the Powder Gangers view The Courier as an equivalent to The Grim Reaper
  • Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell gets this sometimes. Especially prominent in Conviction, where the enemies are occasionally people Sam likely trained and know exactly what he's capable of. Even the less professional mercenaries can be heard loudly challenging Fisher in order to psych themselves up. To bad it also gives away their positions, and is just irritating enough for the player to want to kill them to shut them up.
  • Star Fox 64 has the Area 6 mission, a difficult but target-rich stage in which the four Arwings and support ship of the StarFox team blasts their way through Venom's fleet and orbital defenses. The whole time you're listening to Enemy Chatter, which becomes increasingly desperate as they throw everything they've got your way and nothing stops you.

 Pilot: They're through the second line!

Commander: Fire! FIRE! Don't let them through!

  • In Ace Combat 5, the Enemy Chatter turns from confident to panicked after the death of Chopper as the player's squadron fight all the more fiercely.
  • In the Deus Ex Human Revolution DLC "The Missing Link," the Belltower soldiers will become gradually more and more terrified of Jensen as he pushes through the ship and Rifleman Bank Station, cutting down and shooting and blowing them up as he goes, and they know they can't stop him.
  • In Project Sylpheed, Katana becomes this for the ADAN forces. He begins the game as a rookie who is barely able to take out a small enemy cruiser. A few weapon upgrades and some player experience later, he can (and if you want all the achievements, will) be the most effective weapon on his side, tearing through enemy fleets and having entire fighter squadrons directed his way, with most of the enemy ace squadrons either dead or resigned to not being able to touch him.
  • While he's status as a hero is questionable at best, it's practically a given that Jackie Estacado from "The Darkness" rips apart his opponents with complete animal brutality. By the end of the first game, all the mooks beg desperately for Jackie to spare their lives. This is even more noticeable in the sequel, which has you performing deeper levels of brutality.
  • Team Fortress 2: In the "Meet the Spy" promotional video, the BLU team are the mooks trying to figure out which one of them is the RED Spy.
    • And in "Meet the Sandvich", a BLU Soldier and Scout are beaten to death (offscreen) by a RED Heavy.


Web Comics

  • Schlock Mercenary: Schlock, being bulletproof, super-strong, fond of heavy ordnance, habitually eating his enemies and not at all humanoid, naturally gets this treatment sometimes.
    • Nowhere more so than in Schlocktoberfest 2001. It starts as a horror movie cliche when Diamond Bugs easily tear through armor, and then reverses when they face the "regenerating zombie cannibal!". Compounded by the fact that the enemies are depicted as children and he has at least quadrupled his size and strength by consuming his fallen comrades' bodies, and preserving their heads in jars.
  • Dan, of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, does this to Regina, starting about here, for the next four pages.
  • Mushroom Go, being about a group of pirates in the Mushroom Kingdom, treats Mario this way. His only appearance to date was in a flashback told by Captain Martello. He crippled her Hammer Brother father for life and incinerated his partner. The way she describes him makes him seem like a terrifying, one-man-army, monster, which to the Koopa Troop, he kinda is.

Web Original

  • Something Awful once featured a story from the point of view of two video game Mooks, who were portrayed sympathetically and after some nervous waiting had to face the terrible killing machine that had been tearing through the ranks of their fellow soldiers. One of them actually managed to kill him. But then somehow everything was suddenly as if that whole encounter hadn't happened, and he was coming again...
  • In The Salvation War, Satan attempts to conquer Earth in 2008 at the invitation of God, only to find he has disastrously underestimated how tough humanity has gotten in war. The resulting slaughter of demonic mooks who are consistently outmaneuvered, outwitted and sheer overwhelmed by Humanity's ruthless military might soon becomes an almost pitiful massacre.
  • Mr. Welch:

 672: The forehead is not an appropriate place for a kill-count holotatoo.

  • Hank from Madness Combat tends to invoke this a fair bit. The fact that he's basically killed everyone he's seen in the series at least once doesn't hurt a bit.

Western Animation

  • Shades of this in the portrayal of "The Night Watcher," Raphael's vigilante persona in the fourth Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie.
  • One episode of The Venture Brothers started out this way by showing what Brock Sampson in action looks like through the eyes of a rookie henchman. After the rookie's corpse is used as a test subject in Dr. Venture's reanimation experiments, Brock must deal with the guilt of accepting that the disposable mooks he's been killing are generally decent people.
  • In an episode of Megas XLR, "Coop D'Etat," an army of giant robots follow Megas into a large cloud and are picked off one by one. One of the robots even trembles in fear.
  • Several Samurai Jack episodes were told through the eyes of sympathetic characters attempting to kill Jack. Jack is just as unstoppable in those episodes as any others.
    • At the end of the Three Episode Pilot, Jack has single-handedly decimated a horde of insectoid Mecha-Mooks, ending with one of the robots surrounding him taking a single step away from the samurai covered in the Symbolic Blood of his enemies. "No. There is no escape." Violent action ensues.
  • In the Ben 10 episode "Last Laugh", the main villain, Zombozo, has one of the most ironic examples of this trope, after tormenting Ben the entire episode, he finally pushes Ben too far by threatening his cousin, causing Ben to become Ghostfreak and invoke this trope to scare Zombozo to death.
    • Happens to the same villain again at the hands of Gwen in Ben 10 Ultimate Alien when he tries to kill her aunt right in front of her. Gwen replies by going One-Winged Angel and terrifying the living heck out of him.
    • Invoked in the Alien Force episode "Above and Beyond" where Ben fakes a mental breakdown and attacks the Plumbers Helpers' to test their skills as Plumbers.
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Avatar State," Aang has a nightmare where he sees himself in the Avatar state, and realizes just how terrifying an opponent he is to his enemies when he unloads the whup-ass.
  • In Beast Wars Optimus Primal, of all bots, pulls this in "Gorilla Warfare", when he's hit by a virus that was supposed to turn him into a coward. Instead, it made him a devoid-of-fear berserker who rampaged through the Predacon base, subjecting Taratulas and Waspinator to this trope.
  • On Teen Titans, Raven once invoked this trope on Dr. Light by accident, because her self-control was slipping and her dark/angry half-demon side got out of control. Given a funny Continuity Nod later in the series, when a gleefully-gloating Dr. Light suddenly found himself facing Raven again, and immediately surrendered and asked to be taken to jail.
  • In Gargoyles, the Manhattan Clan often invokes this trope.
  • The very first episode of Aeon Flux casts the title character in this light, slaughtering masked mooks left and right to levels reaching almost parody. And then the masks come off, the families come to collect the bodies...
  • The opening sequence of Batman: The Animated Series follows pretty much in the same vein as other Batman media.
  • Bulkhead pulls this in Transformers Prime with MECH Mooks.
    • A downplayed version happens in One Shall Fall, where a group Vehicons visibly freak out at the sight of an enraged Optimus Prime walking through the Nemesis. They're briefly seen flying backwards from the force of Optimus's attack before they're in pieces on the floor.
  • In Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes, Hank Pym's introductory scene and Establishing Character Moment as a nice guy unless you push him too far introduces him peacefully conducting experiments, until he's threatened by a team of badass mercenaries. At this point, he shrinks himself and shows how dangerous that power can be by taking out the group one by one, essentially invisible, causing all of them to totally lose their composure and freak out. The whole scene is inspired by a scene in Predator (with Hank standing in for the Predator).
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