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Please don't arrest me! I have children!
~ SMG3 lies for his freedom

Cowards are villains who are very prone to run away from a fight or confrontation or even their own problems, or who pick on those who they know are weaker or who have less authority (X usually goes after non-monsters, because he's knows, what they weaker).

They usually beg the hero to not kill them when overpowered by the hero and will try to kill them if they let their guard down, or are desperate to take the hero with them if they know that they are about to be defeated or killed (Zalgo are exellent explame of this). More often than not, they would also threaten to kill the hero's loved ones or use them as hostages to stop the hero from attacking them, rather than fighting the hero themselves (Desti is a good example of this).

Sometimes, being a coward motivates evil as they will do anything to save only their own hides and do not care if others get hurt (providing they don't get harmed themselves); other times, it serves as comedic relief while at still other times it simply makes a villain unlikable and/or weak in the eyes of a viewer or protagonist (and sometimes other villains as well).

They will also not hesitate to use cheap and dirty tactics if they deem it necessary to win a battle. Due to the fact that most Cowards will try to run away if they are in danger or even surrender entirely, they are rarely the leading antagonist (though exceptions do exist), tending instead to be bumbling sidekicks or henchmen. In addition, should these villains die, it is often disgraceful, unless they redeem themselves to die with honor.

Please note, however, that cowards are often extremely dangerous, powerful, or intelligent characters who have fear as a fatal flaw, as opposed to a basic personality trait (for example, Francis from SMG4 - he's coward, but very dangerous, because he almost arrang the inklings' genocide and he the don of anime cartel, most dangerous mafia of Mushroom Kingdom).

Not for mention, it also can make them seen even more heinous, considering the might just escape saving themselves and betraying other (e.g., laughing Jack leaves eyeless Jack to die at the hands of an angry Mexican gang).

Just because a villains scared once doesn't make them a coward.

Note: However, there are some instances there a villain cannot be considered a coward, or at least the complete ones:

  • When a villain is afraid of something or many even things, but has a ability to overcome it and resume ponentially harmful activities over and over again.
  • When they do the best not to show that they afraid of something, masking it with overconfidence, emotionlessness, rage e.t.c..
  • Sometimes, people mistake a person who has a recurring axienty attacks and/or phobias for cowards, nevertheless is this very unlikely and should be counted as mentally illness.

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