The following villains are considered "Big Bads" or main/primary antagonists of the story in which they appear. That is to say the most prominent, influential and powerful of all, the one at the center of the conflict, whose importance in the plot outshines all.
To put it simply a "Big Bad" ONLY appears in long-running stories with numerous story arcs and antagonists and stands at the top of the villain's hierarchy. The "Big Bad" always has a much larger significance in the story than any other villain, (including possible "Bigger Bads") being the direct or indirect cause of all the troubles for most of the story if not the story as a whole.
When two or multiple characters working together share the role, it is called a Big Bad Duumvirate . If they are many who oppose each other, it is called a Big Bad Ensemble.
- As long as the central antagonist of a story works for/enforces someone who is directly involved in the plot, then this someone is the "Big Bad".
- When the story is divided in distincts story arcs, it several "Arc Villains" one after another but when a villain appears in several story arcs and/or influences a story arc after his demise, then this villain is the one and only "Big Bad".
- When there are many recurring villains working on their own, the Big Bad has to be the most recurring and the most important villain in the entire franchise.