A Diabolical Mastermind, jerkass character or other villain establishes just how bad they are by callously mistreating their own henchmen, sometimes outright maiming or killing them — not just for failures that weren't their fault, but simply because somebody blew their nose too noisily; or to remind them who's the biggest, baddest son-of-a-bitch there; or because he was in a bad mood; or in many cases, absolutely no reason whatsoever.
Why anyone goes on working for them is unknown. Their behavior sometimes breeds Starscreams or annoys/scares off their mooks into joining the winning (or at least less dangerous) side, but sometimes it has no effect... and sometimes you're left wondering why anyone would work for them in the first place. They may have simply Signed Up for the Dental, though often it's just that they are even more terrified of what the boss would do to them if they dared to quit. Of course, this may be one reason why villains don't win nearly as often as heroes do; after all, a company that mistreats its employees doesn't tend to be as successful as one that respects them.
Never ever ever try With Due Respect on a Bad Boss — many of them do not take criticism well, if at all.
The Weasel Co-Worker has an unusually high chance of getting away with his lies under him, which may be why he works for him.
In some cases it's not the Big Bad, but a more vague force of evil that slaughters its own. For those cases see Artifact of Death.
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