Being bad isn't always an easy task. You've got to be just as scary delivering threats as you are following through on them. While most villains get at least one of the two right, we'll always prefer an ability to put a plan in motion and successfully see it through to oratory flair without the actions to back it up.
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Some of them can be quite dangerous on occasion or when the story calls for it, but everyone enjoys a villain who can maintain a consistent threat level.
Also, a number of times a villain's effectiveness can decay the longer he stays on a show and his interests shift. We've dredged up a few of those who have been mostly ineffective during their time on some of our favorite shows. Feel free to let us know in the comments which villain you think deserved to a spot but wasn't included.
Mallus (Legends of Tomorrow)
Mallus was a victim of his own hype train. He was built up all season long to be this world-ending threat it was impossible for his arrival (in the flesh) to be anything other than disappointing. They took the disappointment up a notch when they had a giant Beebo controlled by Mick Rory beat the daylights out of him.
Dewy Crowe (Justified)
Dewey wakes up in a tub with incisions made around his lower back and is told both his kidneys have been harvested and has to rustle up a lot of money in four hours to buy his kidneys back. He immediately tries to rob a few places and is nearly killed in the process only to be asked if he has tried to pee, an impossible feat if he had no kidneys. He gives it a go and is successful. That should tell you all you need to know about this guy.
The Rival (The Flash)
An assortment of metas have shown up over the course of The Flash's time on air, but none have caused damage as deep or as devastating as the evil speedsters have. The Reverse Flash, Zoom, Savitar, even Trajectory has left a mark. Not The Rival, who has all but disappeared from memory after appearing and doing nothing of note other than running around and destroying stuff just because he can, and even that mission was thwarted repeatedly.
Crowley and Lucifer (Supernatural)
After rising up the demon hierarchy to become the king of hell, it was sad to see Crowley reduced to a toothless bulldog who couldn't have a single thing go his way no matter how hard he tried. Lucifer for all his powers hasn't had any of his schemes (which were hard enough to follow) work out for him either. While they can be equal parts sly and lethal on their day, they always fall short when it counts.
Joffrey Baratheon (Game Of Thrones)
All the scheming and homicidal acts his mother had to commit just to see him sit on the iron throne was for naught because Joffrey had no desire to rule or do anything remotely decent with all that power. His sole interest was acting petulantly, and just generally being sadistic.
Ed Wuncler The III and Gin Rummy (The Boondocks)
Ed and Rummy often veer towards the anti-hero side of the spectrum, but in those moments they aren't teaming up with the Freeman boys, they're robbing banks owned by Ed's racist father who is more than willing to let his son do as he pleases. This infuriates Ed so much that he usually returns the money before making his getaway with no cops after them because his father has got the cops in his pockets.
Harmony (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
Buffy literally laughed at the idea of Harmony being taken as a legitimate threat even if vampires are fairly powerful creatures in the Buffyverse. Harmony was completely crippled by her desperation for the other characters to like her so much that she lost all credibility as a force to be reckoned with.
Marcus Pierce (Lucifer)
The burden of his immortality must have chipped away at his desire to think things through because that is the only way to explain Pierce betting everything on a love scam that put him in Lucifer's cross-hairs. He has spent thousands of years of wallowing in his existential crisis, but it took him becoming mortal (something he's wanted for millennia) for him to decide he didn't want to die after all.
Jimmy's Clients (Better Call Saul)
At this point, no one can blame Jimmy for going bad and becoming a meth kingpin's go-to man. Representing bad guys who can't be bothered to do evil things the right way can make even the most resilient of us to snap.
Tobias Whale (Black Lightning)
Tobias is a pretty scary dude on the surface. He's unnaturally strong, he doesn't age, and he runs the gang that has terrorized Freeland for years. Then you see all the losses he has accrued since he resurfaced: Syonide, Tori, even Khalil is now a loose cannon that can be aimed straight at him. He might very well prove us all wrong, but so far he has been mostly bark with very little bite.
Ambassador Dred (The Outpost)
He sent mercenaries to carry out his genocidal wishes on Talon's people only for them to let one slip through their fingers, a fact he learned of years later. But what does he do again? hire another mercenary to find and destroy the book of names which she failed to do. When he finally got around to handling things himself, he got a hot poker to the face and barely made it out with his life.
Bulshar (Wynonna Earp)
Another overhyped demon who disappointed, not only in how little he managed to achieve but also how he went out with nothing more than a whimper, not to mention how the whole story got bogged down by his overly complicated plans.
Hiram Lodge (Riverdale)
Hiram can be pretty dangerous on occasions which are admittedly few and far between. But it continues to boggle the mind how a man with ties to the mob has been unable to silence a high school kid who wants to blow up his whole business. Plus, Archie isn't exactly renowned for being the sharpest tool in the shed which makes everything even more dumbfounding.