If a Superhero has a Rogues Gallery, it's an obvious plot for the villains to team up. A Villain Team-Up is almost always for the sole purpose of ganging up on a hero or hero team and finishing them off once... and for all!!! Villains will almost never team up to rob a bank together, or commit any other crime together. Which makes sense, because the typical Rogues Gallery has villains with nothing in common at all, other than hating the hero.
This is also why they lose; unlike the heroic team they fight, the villains never trust each other. One of them will betray the rest of the group. Usually after they've captured the heroes, thus letting the heroes escape. Some heroes can even cause a "solid" Villain Team Up to implode with Flaw Exploitation. Other times, one of the villains has planned the whole team-up as a trap from the start. Cue An Aesop about The Power of Friendship. This is one of few situations where maintaining the Status Quo is well Justified.
A variant is that instead of ganging up, they make the heroes Run the Gauntlet. If they get on reasonably well, they'll compliment each other on their evilness. If conditions are right, they may become a Big Bad Duumvirate. While this is usually a one-shot team up, a Legion of Doom is a recurring team of villains and are a major opposition together. Can easily lead to a Joker Jury situation. When done badly can lead to instant Villain Decay, as the hero trashes six people who each used to be a threat to him on their own. This trope is the opposite of Evil Versus Evil. When a villain teams up with the hero, that's Enemy Mine.
Anime & MangaEdit
- Malik/Marik and Yami Bakura from Yu-Gi-Oh!! Battle city arc.
- In the episode of Inuyasha entitled 'Naraku and Sesshomaru Join Forces'...Take a wild guess.
- In the Mazinger Z versus Devilman feature, Dr. Hell and the demons collaborate to take down Kouji Kabuto and Devilman. It may be subverted, since Hell used a mind-control device to enslave the demons, and he was mainly interested on taking down Mazinger-Z (he only sent some demons and Mechanical Beasts against Devilman because the demons warned him he would interfere).
- In the Devilman versus Getter Robo Crossover, the demons team up with the Dinosaur Empire.
- In Naruto, Kabuto and Madara Uchiha are doing this.
- Kabuto takes it a step further with his mass resurrection jutsu of every big name character to ever die in the series, forcing them to work together against the protagonists. They are mostly villains, but they also include some heroes.
- In Dragon Ball GT, practically everyone the protagonists had ever killed teamed up in Hell to try to get revenge, though most of them were just used as distractions until Dr. Myuu and Dr. Gero could create Super Android 17.
- Final arc of Tiger and Bunny saw a Villain Team-Up of Big Bad Maverick and villain from one of the earlier episodes, Doctor Rotwang. They got along very well, despite that one of them was NEXT-hater and the other was secretely a NEXT himself until they were at the verge of Disney Villain Death, with Rotwang begging Maverick to save him, only for him to reveal he is a NEXT and kick him in the face.
- Two of DC's big Crisis Crossovers, Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis had one of the threats being the team up of almost every single villain in the DCU (or the Earth-bound ones, anyway).
- The original Crisis on Infinite Earths had this as well—Brainiac and Luthor took advantage of the chaos caused by the Anti-Monitor to gather an army of EVERY known super-villain on the remaining Earths—and unleashed it on the worlds left unprotected when the heroes went off to battle the Big Bad. They also cut down on unnecessary duplicates (Earth-2 Luthor, anyone?).
- The Sinestro Corps War arc of Green Lantern had something similar. While there was plenty of new baddies created as Sinestro Corps members, the main threat was the team up of the major DCU baddies Sinestro, Superboy-Prime, the Cyborg Superman, Parallex, the Manhunters and the Anti-Monitor.
- Marvel has published two bad-guy-focused mini-series under the banner of Supervillain Team-Up: The first was called MODOK's 11 and revolves around the titular giant floating head hiring a bunch of D-list supervillains to help him steal a MacGuffin. The second is Dr. Doom and the Masters of Evil, where Dr. Doom manipulates every other supervillain he can find into helping him...well, it takes a while to find out exactly what his goal is. Both involved many, many villain-on-villain betrayals.
- Archie Comics's Sonic the Hedgehog had a major teamup after Dr. Eggman had a bit of a bad day. Snively and the Iron Queen managed to unite the Dark Legion and four Ninja clans (including Espio's), and for a time had the Freedom Fighters on the ropes. But this team up eventually falls apart when several of the Freedom Fighters (with help from Espio, who was a Fake Defector) convince the clans to turn on the Queen; at the same time, the Legion's leader Lien-Da tries to play The Starscream, which fails rather explosively and results in the Legion retreating. With their power base crumbling, Snively flees with a recovered Eggman, leaving the Queen to be defeated.
- The Destructix, being a Quirky Miniboss Squad-for hire, have teamed up with anyone willing to pay them, or who earn their loyalty (Mogul, Finitevus, Scourge, etc). The team actually started out as one of these, when the Fearsome Foursome (Mogul's first QMS) teamed up with Snoop Dawg and Drago Wolf, and it solidified into a team.
- In the Archie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures comic, a time-displaced Shredder teamed up with future supervillains Armaggon and Verminator X (an anthropomorphic shark and cat, respectively), in order to steal and power a time-machine prototype. In the sixth season of the 4Kids cartoon, Big Bads Sh'Okanabo and Darius Dun form a rare successful alliance when they decide to exchange resources.
- Daredevil actually suffered through this more than once. The first time saw Electro organize a group of villains defeated by Daredevil into the "Emissaries of Evil" to try and get revenge on DD, and the second time would occur a few decades later, when Typhoid Mary would gather several latter-day Daredevil villains into the "Daredevil Revenge Squad".
- It should be pointed out that Typhoid Mary's team was actually a subversion of this trope in that by cooperating they actually succeed in taking down Daredevil, and leave him bloodied and unconscious for Mary.
- A 1960s Hulk comic had the Mandarin team up with the Sandman. It ended with Mandarin sending Sandman into a molten vat turning him to glass.
- Paste-Pot Pete broke another Human Torch foe the Wizard out of jail, however they conflicted due to the Wizard trying to act as leader while Pete wanted them to be equal. They were captured by the Torch, but didn't seem sorry at the team-up ending.
- Marvel had a comicbook series called Super-Villain Team-Up, which despite the name was mostly Doctor Doom hanging out with Namor and fighting every two issues.
- Several of the Marvel Universe's Big Bads all teamed up in the 1980s Acts of Vengeance Crossover in a large-scale Evil Plan to destroy each others' enemies by setting the heroes up against villains they'd never faced before. In effect, this was a Villain Team Up of almost all the human villains of the Marvel Universe, with a team of Chessmasters manipulating dozens of lesser bad guys for their own personal agenda. The whole scheme falls apart for the simple fact that all of the villains behind the plot are so egomaniacal that they can't stand not being totally in charge, and they end up turning on each other while struggling for power.
- It should be noted that villains can and do form their own teams for reasons beyond simply getting vengeance on a particular hero. The Masters of Evil, one of the Marvel Universe's longest-running supervillain teams, has had various incarnations formed over the years by Big Bads who recruit other villains to share in the profits of the leader's evil scheme. The Serpent Society, long a thorn in the side of Captain America (comics), was a collection of snake-themed villains who essentially formed their own mercenary business, complete with health care coverage, room and board, and a guaranteed "Get Out of Jail Free" Card from the team leader, who would use his teleportation powers to free any members who were arrested or captured.
- The Batman also did a variation of this in the "Team Penguin" episode, when the Penguin recruits several second-tier Bat villains into a criminal gang as a way of evening the odds against Batman and his sidekicks. The idea is lampshaded at every opportunity, as none of the other villains like the name "Team Penguin" and keep suggesting alternatives, which Penguin shoots down. It's Penguin's vanity that causes the others to abandon the team. At first.
- The Fantastic Four had to fight Doctor Doom and the Sub-Mariner at once (in one of the earliest examples), and were saved when Doom betrayed the Sub-Mariner a bit too early, causing him to switch sides. Later, the heroes faced the Frightful Four; a revolving-door group of second-string supervillains that always seemed to betray each other.
- Spider-Man had to fight the Sinister Six—six of his enemies united for the sole purpose of killing him. In a variation, they fail not because they don't trust each other, but because they have such big egos that each one has to be the one to deliver the killing blow... so they make him Run the Gauntlet instead of ganging up. A later version did fight Spider-Man as a team, but they've had no better luck. The one time it worked and they had Spidey on the ropes, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers, all at once, swooped in to save the day. Heroes can play that game too.
- Another Spider-Man example is the Sinister Syndicate, a group of C-List Spidey villains. The difference between this team and the Sinister Six is that the Syndicate try to focus mainly on making money and would rather avoid having to fight Spider-Man.
- A similar thing happened to Spider-Girl in the Marvel Comics 2 continuity. It was a Run the Gauntlet style, and Spider-Girl was both exhausted and (unknown to herself) depowered before the last fight...so she calls in a favor from pretty much every hero she's ever met. The last villain wisely surrenders.
- Gotham City Sirens revolves around when Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Catwoman decide to team-up and...become roommates? It's better than it sounds.
- Marvel Comics and DC Comics had several crossovers, where heroes from each group teamed up to fight a crossover Villain Team-Up. Every time, the villains lost by betraying each other.
- The Flash's Rogues Gallery is an exception: the villain team, known simply as "The Rogues", works together all the time with practically no problems whatsoever, and is effectively a standing army of super-villains.
- The Hellblazer story "How to Play With Fire" featured several of Constantine's enemies colluding to destroy his life.
- In The DCU, the Secret Six are a team of supervillains-for-hire (comprising two Bat-villains, two second-generation versions of JSA villains, and two rotating positions). They'd happily not tangle with any heroes, but don't mind if it happens. They're also usually in the bad books of other villains as well (especially since they won't join the Society). Unusually, they get on reasonably well with each other (mostly), and have a good sense of teamwork.
- Recent BPRD miniseries have focused on a Villain Team-Up between the frog army led by the Black Flame and the slaves of Hyperboria led by the King of Fear. Unlike the average team up, this is proving very successful and has already led to the destruction of one major European city with more carnage on the way.
- The main Hellboy series also has a Villain Team-Up between the Fairies, the witches of England, and a growing army of dark creatures. It also has the tacit support of Hell.
- In the Mickey Mouse 70th anniversary comic book story "The Past Imperfect," Mickey is captured by a team of his worst comics enemies, including Pegleg Pete, Sylvester Shyster, Eli Squinch, Dr. Vulter, and Profs Ecks, Doublex, and Triplex. Interestingly, the Phantom Blot is not included, as he was being saved for a different story also published at that anniversary.
- In the 50th anniversary story that Don Rosa did for Scrooge McDuck, A Little Something Special, his three main foes—The Beagle Boys, Magica DeSpell, and Flintheart Glomgold—all join forces. Incredibly, the three do not betray one another, but all live up to the deal they made at the start of the team-up. Of course, once the team-up is over, nothing prevents the Beagle Boys and Magica from joining forces to plunder Glomgold...
- Wouldn't that be a case of The Bad Guy Wins, Even Though The Hero Defeated Him?
- Technically, if it weren't for the fact that the main plot revolved around the villains stealing Scrooge's entire fortune for various reasons: The Beagle Boys because they want to be rich, Glomgold so that he would then be the richest man (er, duck) in the world instead of Scrooge, and Magica just wanted a single coin: The Number One Dime of the world's richest man; which she would then use in a spell to gain the Midas Touch. Scrooge strikes a deal with Magica after he convinces her the coin will no longer work now that he is poor, and she teams up with the Beagle Boys to rob Glomgold instead.
- The European comics have a story arc setting up a new Big Bad, who forced the Beagle Boys, Magica and Phantom Bolt to join him by brainwashing them. This actually led to his undoing as Minnie and Daisy convinced Magica to turn against him and Phantom Bolt was just pretenting to be brainwashed so he could hijack the plot and the two atacked him in the middle of his confrontation with Donald and Mickey.
- In the The Incredible Hulk book, there is the Intelligencia, a super villain team made of Mad Scientists. So far they've managed to avoid in fighting. In fact, they've been able to work perfectly as a unit.
- Not only that, but they apparently worked together for years, and various instances when they fought each other were retconned to be set-up so nobody would suspect a thing.
- JSA Classified had an arc focused on the Injustice Society. Unlike some cases, they're very professional about teaming up, with the expressed belief that having a competent pro watching your back beats "every man for himself" any day.
- Irredeemable played with this with members of Plutonian's Rogues Gallery offering to join him in his new Face Heel Turn; being Dangerously Genre Savvy he decided to test their loyalty, by offering each of them a button that, when pressed, would render him completely powerless. They betrayed him before he could even finish the sentence. He then revealed they just triggered the destruction of the facility they were in.
- This is apparently how various supervillains get to know Max Damage from Incorruptible - in his villainous days they would often team up. One flashback shows Max teaming up with another villain and then them both betraying each other because they just didn't like each other.
- Dark Reign featured a lot of those
- Dark Avengers were in fact a team up of the more villainous members of the Thunderbolts with antiheroes Ares and The Sentry, young and misguided Marvel Boy (who quit the moment he found out what he gotten himself into) and Daken
- Cabal was this between Norman Osborn, Loki, The Hood, Doctor Doom, Namor and Emma Frost and later Taskmaster, with a lot of betrayals and schemes in it.
- One of the tie-ins featured a team of supervillains, Lethal Legion, who decided they don't like Norman being in charge and want to team up against him. It was all a plot set by Norman to make himself look better.
- There were also lesser team ups between Doctor Doom and Dracula or Loki, Hela and Mephisto
- Hera teamed up with Typhon during that arc and tried to team up with Norman Osborn but, after finding out what her plan was about he decided to send his team against her.
- The Superman Revenge Squad. Originally made up of aliens from planets that Superman had prevented from conquering earth, it later became a team of Metropolis supervillains.
- Doctor Strange's enemies Dormammu and Umar are a brother/sister pair of Dimension Lords. Usually they don't cooperate, which is good because it goes badly for him when they do. (Subverted in nearly all instances, since Umar is more clever than her brother and wants to see him fall more than she wants to defeat Strange.)
- The Disney Fanfic The Hellbound Hearts consists of several Disney villains forming a loose companionship to get revenge on their enemies, and eventually take over the world. Then there's another group that wants to take advantage of the war to take over the world. And Frollo...he's just...there...
- Ultimate Sleepwalker: The New Dreams plays this trope with an unusual spin. Instead of any of Sleepwalker's enemies teaming up, it's Spider-Man's enemies that reunite as the Sinister Six to carry out Doctor Octopus's latest diabolical scheme. Sleepwalker and several other heroes are hastily recruited by the web-slinger into an impromptu team to even the odds.
- A very similar story happened in the Revenge of the Sinister Six" storyarc in which Spidey enlists the aid of Sleepwalker and other heroes in order to fight Doc Ock and the SS.
- A Dark Knight Over Sin City has various Batman villains teaming up with Sin City villains.
- Fallout Equestria: Red Eye and the Goddess, though both are plotting behind each other's back.
- Subverted example: the Enclave tries to form one with the Goddess. Since she has just a few minutes before being killed by a megaspell when they make the offer, the Enclave has incredibly bad timing.
- Getting Back on Your Hooves: the story's definite Big Bad, Checker Monarch, employs the Diamond Dogs to help her ruin her sister Trixie's life. It's worth noting that the Dogs don't care about this goal, and they have no real agenda of their own either—they're Only In It For The Gems.
- Played With in the Calvin at Camp episode "A Stalkers Life"—multiple villains appear to attack the kids, yet they do nothing but trip each other up.
- In superhero movies this seems to be required for sequels. A single villain can occupy for the first movie, but once a sequel comes out you've got to throw more and more villains together. Batman Returns: Penguin + Catwoman, Batman Forever: Riddler + Two Face, Batman and Robin: Mr. Freeze + Poison Ivy (whether Bane is a villain or a henchman, you pick). Superman: Lex Luthor, Superman II: Lex + 3 Kryptonians. Spider-Man avoided this for the first sequel, but made up for it by throwing in three villains (Sandman, Venom, New Goblin) for Spider-Man 3, two of which team up (Sandman + Venom).
- The whole point of Batman Returns was to demonstrate that this trope doesn't work, and the fact that Catwoman and Penguin work with each other for all of five minutes seems to support it.
- Batman Begins has the Scarecrow initially working with Falconi, and unwittingly working for Ra's Al Ghul. The Dark Knight is borderline, as the Joker "gives birth" to the second villain, but they never truly work together; however, the Joker does initially work with the mob.
- X-Men and X2: X-Men United avert this since, while there are multiple villains, they're on opposite sides (human villains who want to imprison or kill all mutants, and the Brotherhood using extreme means to ensure this doesn't happen), with the X-Men playing a role that is closer to a peacekeeping force trying to limit the amount of damage either can do. (In both cases, it's actually the Brotherhood that successfully thwarts the human villains' plans.) X Men the Last Stand had Magneto convince Jean Grey in Phoenix form to work together; sadly, this was because Jean didn't trust Charles Xavier and killed him while Magneto watched.
- Iron Man 2 had Whiplash team up with Justin Hammer, although their alliance was short-lived.
- The 1966 Batman: The Movie featured a team-up between Joker, Penguin, Riddler and Catwoman.
- Several of the TV episodes of that series featured team-ups between various villains, they did no better or worse than usual against Batman.
- Kamen Rider Den-O: Climax Deka features the Imagin Negataros forms an "evil syndicate", and to strengthen their numbers, he recruited Fangire into his cause. In turn, this necessitates the arrival of the Fangires' main enemy, Kamen Rider Kiva, to come to the aid of Den-O and his allies.
- Double Subverted in The Thief and the Cobbler. When the evil grand vizier Zigzag goes to join the Big Bad, the Mighty One-eye (who has an entire army of monstrous one-eyed men at his command), One-eye is unimpressed and has Zigzag thrown to his alligators. However, with his charisma Zigzag is able to convince the alligators to spare his life and help him out of the alligator pit. This impresses the Mighty One-eye enough to let him join him.
- In Lies, the third book of the Gone (novel) series, Caine and Zil team up to burn down Perdido Beach, which acts as a distraction to let Caine escape to the island.
- In the Star Trek Novel Verse, Villain Team-Up is essentially the idea behind the Star Trek: Typhon Pact series, only with a twist. It's uncertain if the Typhon Pact will be an enemy of the United Federation of Planets or not. Politically, everything is still highly uncertain, following the formation of the Pact in A Singular Destiny (a novel detailing the aftermath of Star Trek: Destiny). While the Pact members were historically antagonistic, their outlook appears to be changing. The extent to which they will remain "villains" is unclear. The Tholians, at least, look set to remain enemies, whether the rest of the Pact follows their lead or reins them in is anyone's guess.
- The Omen Of The Stars arc of Warrior Cats features all the villains who were killed off except Scourge and Bone teaming up to destroy the clans.
- The failure half of this occurs in the Star Wars novel Darth Bane: Path of Destruction due to nature of the Sith's Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. Bane creates his rule of two to avoid this problem.
- In The Warlord of Mars, third book of the John Carter of Mars series, Matai Shang (a previously-offscreen but often mentioned chessmaster), Thurid (a minor villain from the previous book) and Salensus Oll (a newly-introduced Evil Overlord) pull off one of these, which ends up falling apart messily, since all three hate each other's guts and have only temporarily-related goals. Rounding out the partnership is Matai Shang's daughter Phaidor, though she's genuinely loyal to her dad and is mostly along for the ride rather than a co-conspirator.
- In Smallville, there have been a few villain team-ups. Firstly, in season 3, three of the meteor freaks Clark Kent had taken down teamed up to steal his powers and escape. There have also been team-ups between Brainiac and Bizarro, Lex and Toyman, and recently several Superman villains from the comics were teamed up by LuthorCorp to become Smallville's version of the Injustice Gang.
- Burn Notice had an episode with "Dead" Larry Sizemore and Tyler Brennen, two of Michael Westen's worst enemies, team up. Their partnership lasted just half the episode, since Larry never intended to work with Brennen long-term and simply stabs him in the chest, killing him.
- The Doctor Who episode "Doomsday" subverts this; the Cybermen offer the Daleks an alliance. The Daleks instinctively refuse. The rest of the episode involves the Daleks and the Cybermen kicking the snot out of each other, with the Doctor and the humans trapped in the middle.
- Daleks and Cybermen kicking the snot out of each other? It looked more like the Daleks totally wiping out the Cybermen in every possible way. The Cybermen kept shooting at the Daleks, who all had forcefields, and the Daleks kept shooting at the Cybermen, who... well... didn't. The Cybermen were such weaklings even humans got to kill a couple (with an RPG, but still). Either way though, they all got killed in the end. If you couldn't figure this out without highlighting the spoiler... why not?
- A comic strip from the 1990s also parodies this, with an omnipotent superbeing uniting all the Doctor's enemies together as one super-army, and then siccing them on all (then) eight Doctors. The Doctors point out the obvious flaw in the logic of bad guys all of whom they'd already defeated uniting to try and defeat them again... and then go on to defeat them all again.
- This is basically the plot of "Mark of the Rani" wherein the Master and the Rani team up against the Sixth Doctor, though it's not really a mutual agreement. The Master blackmails and bribes the Rani into cooperating with him, and when he eventually botches the entire plan due to his obsession with the Doctor, the Rani registers her displeasure.
- In "The Pandorica Opens" almost all of the Doctor's enemies we've ever heard of and more descend on Earth in 102A.D. to witness the titular event. Turns out that, while the Doctor knew the Pandorica was a prison of some sort he had assumed it was already occupied by someone. Really what happened was that all of his foes came together to trap the Doctor in the Pandorica in order to prevent the destruction of the universe at his hands.
- Subverted in Supernatural. Crowley tries to pull one with the Boss Leviathan (he even bakes gluten-free baby uvula muffins for the occasion!), but gets shot down.
- The Cardassians and the Dominion form an alliance in the last few seasons of Deep Space Nine, which eventually expands to include the Breen.
- In Power Rangers in Space, there was the United Alliance of Evil, a group formed by Dark Spectre and comprised of the villains from the first five seasons of Power Rangers, namely Lord Zedd, Rita Repulsa, the Machine Empire and Divatox.
- The Four Horsemen can be considered the Trope Codifier for professional wrestling. The heel group, known in wrestling as a "stable" or "faction," first formed with Ric Flair, Ole Anderson, Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. Various incarnations lasted for 13 years; however, they have direct descendants running up to today's current wrestlers.
- The chain goes: New World Order (nWo), D Generation X (DX), Evolution (which had Flair as a member), Main Event Mafia, Fortune and Immortal (both of which had Flair as a member). Notable groups that are "nephews" of the Four Horsemen concept are the Dudley Boyz (formed in ECW as a stable of storyline brothers but later reduced to a tag team) and the Nexus (a group of rookies that took over WWE Raw for a time).
- Professional Wrestling sort of did this when rival heel stables The Corporation and The Ministry of Darkness put aside their differences and teamed up to take on their mutual enemies.
- Vince McMahon was the Higher Power controlling both groups the entire time as part of his Evil Plan to get the title off of Stone Cold Steve Austin though, so at the very least Vince, Shane, and The Undertaker were in cahoots the entire time. The members of the Corporate Ministry still didn't get along very well though, especially Undertaker and Triple H, and the group disbanded right after the Austin vs Vince feud ended.
- The Four Horsemen and the Dungeon of Doom created the Alliance to End Hulkamania to finally get rid of Boring Invincible Hero Hulk Hogan. It failed miserably.
- The Undertaker and Kane would alternate between heels and faces during their time as a tag team: the Brothers of Destruction.
- The Miz and R-Truth, two heels in separate stories at the time, somehow found common ground and teamed up in September 2011. They were disqualified from a tag team title match at WWE Night of Champions when Miz attacked a referee. The next night on Raw, then-WWE COO Triple H, sick of their antics, "fired" them. In a reverse Nice Job BreakingItVillain, this set off a chain of events where most of the WWE roster turned against Triple H, leading to Triple H's ouster as the on-screen authority figure. Miz and Truth returned to WWE TV in mid-October 2011.
- Not a straight example, since they teamed up to Take Over the World(s) rather then to beat up the hero, but in Kingdom Hearts, Maleficent teams up with Captain Hook, Oogie Boogie, Jafar, Ursula, Hades, and, later on, Pete. One of the few villain alliances that actually managed to keep itself united without any form of internal struggles or betrayals entering the picture (the same can't be said about Organization XIII).
- Being a Massive Multiplayer Crossover title, Dissidia Final Fantasy features one of these involving every main villain from the first ten games of the main series, and Gabranth, in direct opposition to the heroes from their respective games, and Shantotto.
- Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympics has Bowser and Dr. "Eggman" Robotnik scheme to melt all the snow in the world by capturing the Snow Spirits.
- They're at it again in the London 2012 sequel. This time creating an artificial thick fog to ruin the London games.
- Another Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, the Subspace Emissary mode of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, also starts out with one of these, involving Ganondorf, Bowser, Wario, King Dedede, Master Hand, and with special guest appearances by Petey Pirahna and Ridley. It quickly unravels though when Ganondorf attempts to backstab everyone, Dedede turns out to be a good guy, and then turns into a full-blown Enemy Mine when the real Big Bad is revealed.
- It also potentially has some lesser versions in event matches and what not. The showdown of Melee has GIGA Bowser, Ganondorf and Mewtwo as a team vs whatever character you chose. Brawl has the Final Battle (Bowser, Ganondorf and Dedede team up), Two Trouble Kings (Bowser and King Dedede against Mario or Mario and Kirby), and the Final Battle for Two (two chararacters of player choice against Bowser, Ganondorf, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Wolf and Wario).
- Because of the nature of the game, this also happens in the Super Robot Wars series frequently and in nearly every game. For example, ZAFT can be found helping the Jovian army.
- Who teams up with who and for what reasons often vary, depending on the game. First game has Principality of Zeon, Doctor Hell and Dinosaur Empire being mind controlled by ancient evil mecha, second game has villains united into Divine Crusaders by Brian Zoldak, an alliance that has fallen apart only in sequel, when Zabi familly took over after Zoldak's death and soon they started fighting each other.From that point different games saw different variations of alliances with varying results, sometimes even fighting other villains.
- Mega Man X 5 does this by way of implication. He never shows up on screen, but given all the callbacks, and the overall plan Sigma has, it's obvious that Dr. Wily is somehow teaming up with him. Word of God later confirmed he was brought back to live by the Maverick Virus somehow.
- In Mass Effect 2, the vigilante Archangel was such a royal pain in the ass that Omega's major mercenary groups put their differences aside to hunt just ONE guy.
- The story in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 revolves around Doctor Doom and Wesker leading a villain team up, which includes Magneto, Super-Skrull, Dormammu and Akuma. They also hired Taskmaster according to the promotional comic, but he seems to remain neutral to maximize his own personal gain.
- The titular Deadly Alliance in Mortal Kombat 5 consists of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi who form an alliance to kill the two people who possess the biggest threats to them (Liu Kang and Shao Kahn) and conquer the realms using the lost army of the Dragon King.
- Sonic Generations has Dr. Eggman team up with his past self, Dr. Robotnik. ("Nobody calls me that anymore.")
- The current story in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob has Fructose Riboflavin, the Pirates of Ipecac, and Galatea all teaming up although the pirates are there against their will, and it's arguable that Galatea doesn't really understand what's going on.
- The Hat and Robo-Cube in Stickman and Cube, although this is more of a hostile takeover on The Hat's part.
- As it's based on the Mega Man X series (specifically the game mentioned above), this happens in Burning Stickman Presents...Something!, with a third villain, original to the comic, actually being the one to put Sigma and Wily together. Naturally, all three are planning to betray the hell out of each other, though to their credit, they're planning to do it after the Evil Plan plays out.
- We see that the team of Xykon and Redcloak from Order of the Stick started off as this. The prequel shows that the two first met when Redcloak saw Xykon obliterate a garrison of paladins and, as Redcloak's brother says, "Let's suggest a team-up with him, Marvel style!"
- And now General Tarquin joined forces with Nale and Linear Guild. Time will show how long will it last.
- Tales From the Pit: The Rules Manager and the copier team up to defeat MaRo! Their evil plan: make duplicate copies of the relevant rules to prevent Mark's new mechanic from seeing print!
- In RPG World, Galgarion and Jeff, Eikre's rival have been hired by South Corp to take out the main group of heroes. While Galgarion is using South Corp for his own ends, he invites Jeff to do the same, effectively making him his Dragon.
- In Sonichu a number of villains from the earlier issues (including Dr. Eggman and Giovanni) team up to take over CWCVille when Chris was away.
- In the Web Novel, The Impossible Man, the villains team up to form The Amalgamated Union of Malicious Malcontents.
- In "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl" of the Whateley Universe, Hekate's unseen master makes her team up with The Necromancer so she has a safe haven from a true Sidhe curse. The same unseen figured gets Don Sebastiano to give them intel, and The Necromancer gets his Children of the Night, the Felonious Four, and Obsession to help him.
- "The League of Villains" from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron.
- unlike other villain team ups however, these villains actually trusted each other (although didn't get along very well) The only reason Tee betrayed them was because they all belittled him, and Zix and Travoltron only left because Tee convinced them to do so. Other than that, the only reason they lost was because Jimmy outsmarted them all one at a time.
- This trope was spoofed MERCILESSLY in the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "The Last One Ever" when the "Rogue's Gallery" formed a group called Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday.
- In the "Back With a Vengeance," the second season finale of Ben 10, Ben's two worst enemies, Kevin 11 and Vilgax, team up. They play this trope as described, getting into two knock-down brawls with each other before ganging up on Ben. In the end, Kevin tries to steal the Clingy MacGuffin that Vilgax wanted off of Ben and leave Ben and Vilgax Trapped in Another World, instead of just killing Ben like he'd wanted to earlier. Then he goes right back to trying to kill Ben and, predictably, this is his downfall.
- The next to last episode of the series had a group called the Negative 10 composed of most of the lesser villains Ben, Gwen and Max faced through the series headed by new villain, the Forever King. They actually manage to work together rather well but end up outsmarted in the end.
- Also, in the Alien Force season 3 finale, Vilgax teams up with Albedo in order to steal Ben's Omnitrix, so Albedo can go back to his original form, while Vilgax claims that he isn't interested in the Omnitrix anymore, and just wants to see Ben dead. Predicably, when Vilgax got the Omnitrix, he immediatly betrayed Albedo.
- Captain Planet combined this trope with the Evil Counterpart trope when several members of Captain Planet's Rogues Gallery stole the Planeteers' rings and created the evil Captain Pollution.
- Actually various villains would team up all the time; Dr. Blight in particular often worked with one or two others on a project. The only time all seven of the main Eco-villains got together was in the two-part "Summit to Save Earth," with Zarm as the de facto boss.
- In an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog Eustace decides to take out Courage by gathering a group of villains from previous episodes in an alliance against that stupid dog (ignoring the fact that these villains have also endangered his own life in the past).
- Darkwing Duck had a tribute to/parody of the Sinister Six: the Fearsome Five, consisting of Megavolt, Quackerjack, The Liquidator and Bushroot, as led by Negaduck. In one Fearsome Five episode, Negaduck betrayed the other four and stole their powers for himself. The depowered fearsome four teamed with Darkwing to stop him.
- In the revival comic, Negaduck has teamed up with Magica DeSpell.
- In DuckTales (1987), the Beagle Boys were sometimes hired by Magica DeSpell or Flintheart Glomgold to help pull off their latest evil deed to be done to Scrooge McDuck. Eventually, all three parties teamed up to really rain on Scrooge's parade in a seven-issue story arc, Scrooge's Quest, that ran in Disney's DuckTales (1987) comic book (this was done seven years prior to the above-mentioned Don Rosa story). It's a minor case of What Could Have Been, though, as the Beagle Boys are just depicted as hired thugs for the other two, not with their traditional knack for over-the-top heists; and Magica and Glomgold don't really cooperate, they just agree to time their attacks on Scrooge at the same time. No real planning or joining of forces.
- The Gargoyles episode "The Reckoning" featured a collaboration by just about every major villain this side of David Xanatos, with a few clones tossed in for good measure.
- An earlier example in the series is "High Noon", with a team-up between Demona, Macbeth and Iago/Coldsteel, with the Weird Sisters manipulating them behind the scenes.
- Kim Possible faced Drakken, Killigan, Monkey Fist
and Shegoduring "A Sitch in Time". In the end, Shego betrayed them, but she did end up taking over the world after all.
- The page quote comes from the episode "Steal Wheels", where Dr Drakken and Motor Ed team-up. In this partciular case the answer turns out to be 'because they're cousins'.
- The Powerpuff Girls had to fight a team-up of Mojo Jojo, Him, Princess Morbucks, and Fuzzy Lumpkins that ultimately broke up because, in the end, they were just a giant parody of The Beatles ("The Beat-Alls"). This is how the Girls actually beat them-the villains actually work very well together and the Girls can't beat them in combat. Instead, they find a female monkey who becomes a literal Yoko Oh No and causes the team to fall apart on its own after Mojo Jojo falls in love with her.
- Subverted in The Spectacular Spider-Man, as the Sinister Six is well-planned, has removed all their old weaknesses, and their members go out of their way to avoid intentionally hurting each other. It nearly works, until Spidey's Evil Costume Switch kicks in.
- The second-string Transformers Animated villains Professor Princess, Angry Archer, Nanosec, and first-timer Slo-Mo team up to form the Society of Ultimate Villainy (SUV) in the episode of same name.
- The Venture Brothers had Baron Underbheit consider an alliance with the Monarch in order to defeat Dr. Venture, only to be stymied by union bylaws... which they laugh at and plan on teaming up anyway.
- Played straight, subverted, and lampshaded in Justice League. The original villain group that went up against the Justice League (the Injustice Gang), organised by Lex Luthor, was held together solely by money. This made it easy for Batman to play them against one another. The follow up team dropped the Injustice Gang moniker for the name "Secret Society". While the only thing really holding them together was their hatred for the League, their leader (Gorilla Grodd) was smart enough to take them through various team building exercises that kept them from falling apart, knowing full well that it's "not the easiest thing for loners, sociopaths, and psychos". The subversion is that he also uses his mental powers to sow seeds of distrust among the League: they fall apart in the same way a villain team usually falls apart, only to reassemble in the final act.
- Justice League Unlimited plays it straight, but justifies it more than most villain teams. While the team does eventually break up in a brutal villain civil war, they're not joined by a hatred of the JLU. Rather, the villain team is a protection racket: since it's impossible to commit a crime against a group as efficient as the JLU, Grodd set up a co-op. All it cost was 25% of your gross criminal profits, and you could expect back-up if the League got in the way of your average bank robbery.
- Earlier, they had a team-up of old Superman villains in the DCAU version of the Superman Revenge Squad. In a subversion, this Squad was taken out not by Superman himself, but by his fellow Leaguers. Lobo even temporarily joined the League, and defeated Kalibak by burying him under an ever-growing pile of smashed cars until Kalibak finally said "Uncle".
- Happens a couple of times on Sushi Pack. In "The Yam Yakkers," Titanium Chef, Oleander, and Sir Darkly team up to create the titular creatures, and in "Fair Share For Sure," Apex partners with Sir Darkly to fund his Fountain of Youth-style laser.
- The 1960s Spider-Man cartoon shows why ganging up on the hero doesn't necessarily work any better than making him or her Run the Gauntlet. When Dr. Noah Boddy, an invisible man created by the show's writers, busts Electro, the Green Goblin and the Vulture out of prison to get revenge on Spider-Man, they actually take the time to weaken Spider-Man beforehand by knocking out his spider-senses and reducing his Super Strength. Unfortunately, the villains are also shown constantly arguing with one another. Spider-Man exploits this by using ventriloquism to make it sound as if they're insulting each other, and the villains end up taking each other out.
- Although not originally, this happens on occasion on Word Girl. Tobey and Dr. Two-Brains team up in Mousezilla, but their tandem quickly falls apart due to them mocking each other about Two-Brain's fear of cats and Tobey's love of Wordgirl. The Whammer has teamed up with Chuck (both reluctantly on the latter's part) in Thorn in the Sidekick and Escape Wham. And in the recent episode Too Loud Crew the Whammer & the Butcher joined forces thanks to a supervillain manual.
- Happens a few times in Swat Kats:
- In "Night of the Dark Kat" Dark Kat teams up with super-hacker Hard Drive to steal the Turbokat and use it to hold the city hostage and ruin the SWAT Kats' reputation.
- In the season 1 finale "Katastrophe" Dark Kat teamed up with Dr. Viper and the Metallikats to destroy the SWAT Kats. This plays the trope extremely straight because Dark Kat does betray his comrades as soon as they've (apparently) captured all the heroes, stalling them long enough to salvage the situation.
- In A Bright and Shiny Future Pastmaster aligns with the Metallikats, giving them control of Megakat City in a Bad Future so long as they'll kill the SWAT Kats from the present. Betrayal plays in here, too, where the Metallikats have the Pastmaster disarmed as soon as he delivers the present SWAT Kats to the future, prompting Pastmaster to help the heroes stop them.
- The 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 has the Rat King and Leatherhead teamed up to fight against the turtles in one episode. In "Night of the Rogues", Shredder hires the past villains (including the mentioned two) to eliminate the turtles.
- Aladdin had a villain team up episode where Abis Mal had gotten some magical device but didn't know how to get it where he wanted it, and Mechanicles just happened to walk into the Bad Guy Bar with some mechanical insects at the right time.
- Johnny Test has the "Johnny Stopping Evil Force 5," a team-up of Wacko, the Beekeeper, Brain Freezer, Mr. Mittens (and his butler Albert), and Zizrar the king of mole-people.
- Transformers Prime has had a couple of team ups involving MECH. First, in "Crisscross", they allied with Airachnid in order to capture Arcee and Jack (Airachnid wanted revenge, MECH wanted the technology in Arcee's body). This ended when Agent Fowler showed up with reinforcements, and the villains fled separately. Then, in the "Operation Bumblebee" two-parter, they formed an alliance with a renegade Starscream, who offered his knowledge in exchange for a share of the energon they'd need for their own plans. This lasted until Silas got sick of Starscream, stole his T-Cog, and then ditched him.
- Tends to happen quite a bit in the Disney Theme Parks' stage shows.
- The Disney Afternoon Live! stage show that ran at Disneyland in 1991 had Don Karnage and Fat Cat teaming up to steal a top secret plane.
- Fantasmic! contains one between Queen Grimhilde, Ursula, Chernabog, and Maleficent in its original California version. For the Florida version, Jafar, Frollo, Cruella DeVil, and Scar join in as well.
- From 2002 to 2005, Walt Disney World ran a daily stage show in which Cinderella hosts a party at her castle and its get crashed and taken over by Queen Grimhilde, Captain Hook, Jafar, and Shan-Yu.
- In the reknowned Dwarf Fortress Let's Play 'Boatmurdered', a rather hilarious one occurs, when a group of goblins decide to team up with the elephants who were already holding the fortress under seige:
"I think they're starting their own little town in there, elephants and goblins living together in peace and harmony, joined only by burning hatred for dwarves."
- the villians from Codename:Kids Next Door have done this quite afew times, justified since the heroes they're fighting are part of a military organization.
- Depending on your viewpoint, the Axis Powers - Italy, Germany and Japan - would fall under this.
- Also, the alliances between the Axis and the Soviet Union and their Central Powers predecessors and the upstart Bolsheviks in World War I.
- Though it should be noted that those latter two eventually quit, and have now been replaced by Scourge and Fiona.