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Villain Overview

Sure, it was difficult, but you are worth it! After all... I am your biggest fan.
~ Syndrome's most famous quote as he reveals his true identity to his former idol.
I'll give them heroics. I'll give them the most spectacular heroics anyone's ever seen! And when I'm old and I've had my fun, I'll sell my inventions so that everyone can be superheroes. Everyone can be super! And when everyone's super... [chuckles evilly]... no one will be.
~ Syndrome explaining his true goal to culturally eradicate the supers.

Buddy Pine (simply known by his first name Buddy), formerly known as IncrediBoy and better known as Syndrome, is the main antagonist of Pixar's 6th full-length animated feature film The Incredibles, a cameo character in the short film Jack-Jack Attack and a posthumous antagonist in the 2018 sequel Incredibles 2.

He was the former biggest fan and wanna-be sidekick and now archenemy of Mr. Incredible who, after being turned away by his idol, became a supervillain bent on destroying him and his family, as well as eradicating the very concept of Supers.

He was voiced by Jason Lee, who also played Azrael in Dogma.

Personality

You can't count on anyone, especially your heroes.
~ Syndrome to Mr. Incredible.

Syndrome's personality (namely his callous disregard of others and lack of conscience or morality) all stem back to psychopathy and/or sociopathy. He is a mad scientist destined to make himself a hero even if it meant creating a destructive and killer robot to murder various retired ones. Due to Mr. Incredible making him believe that he could count on nobody except for himself, he has no value of human life which was shown when he let loose the Omnidroid in Chicago (Metroville) to pretend to be a superhero, allowed missiles to fire on Helen, Dash, and Violet's plane even after discovering the two were children and does not even his own cohorts as shown that he was willing to risk Mirage's safety to dismiss Mr. Incredible's bluff of "crushing her", although he decided not to kill Jack-Jack's babysitter, Kari, and instead deceive her into giving her custody of Jack-Jack (though this may in part have to due to the fact that she was easily persuaded due to her being incapable of handling Jack-Jack's superhuman powers).

Syndrome was a scientific, technological, technical, and mechanical genius, and possessed the intelligence and resourcefulness sufficient to create an incredible variety of weaponry and equipment. He was also capable of creating a sentient, self-aware, incredibly powerful and intelligent being that ultimately defeated him despite him knowing how to destroy it. Even as a kid, he created rocket boots that let him travel great distances, and would use said rockets as his main mode of transportation upon assuming the identity of Syndrome.

Aside from his derangement, Syndrome is cynical. He thinks that the only way to get respect was to become a threat. He is sadistic, as well, as shown when after realizing that Bob knew Helen from the transmission he instantly set missiles on their plane and then mocked them on their apparent deaths after recalling how Bob had told him that he worked alone. On top of this, he delighted in kidnapping Jack-Jack to get revenge on Bob's family further proving that he is willing to endanger even kids to acheive his goals.

Like many sociopaths, Syndrome holds a firm belief that mercy is a weakness, and disregarding life is strength, which was pointed out by Mirage. Syndrome himself is a very calm, levelheaded, and laid-back young man, rarely, if ever, expressing his temper. When Mr. Incredible had just destroyed his ninth Omnidroid, instead of initial anger, he simply compliments the feat by saying it was "surprising." This also shows when Bob takes Mirage hostage and Syndrome shows no concern when he threatens to crush her, though this is in part because he knows that Bob is too noble to do such a thing, something is proven right when Bob indeed backs off from doing it. Furthermore, despite being well aware of the difference between right and wrong, he did not understand why she was upset with him afterwards. He was also perfectly willing to risk several lives once he set the Omnidroid free in the city just to boost his own ego and reap the benefits. Even as a child, he thought that being a hero was all about fighting bad guys and not saving people. That said, Syndrome can still lose it when provoked as shown when he snaps at Bob during the latter's attempt at reasoning with him.

Syndrome is an extremely spiteful, hypocritical, and vindictive individual. After being rejected by his former idol, it turned him into a megalomaniacal supervillain. However, he was still intelligent enough not to make his hatred allow him to be arrogant and realized that the Omnidroid would have to be worthy before fighting Bob hence why he tested it out on various other Supers. As one woild expect from a sociopath, he showed no regard for others yet had no problem killing various Supers out of spite after he couldn't become one.

Syndrome was still known to underestimate his enemies, such as Elastigirl believing that the missiles would destroy the plane. However, Elastigirl easily outsmarted him by turning into a parachute and saving her kids from falling to her death. Another example is that he believed that Mr. Incredible was weak and no longer a real hero after capturing him a second time . However, Syndrome was proven somewhat wrong when he destroyed his Ormidroid.

Despite his evil personality, Syndrome is also shown to have a comedic side, as he's often played up as the stereotype of an obsessive fanboy with way too many toys to play with, and is also a suitably hilarious take on seemingly jealous supervillains who just love the sound of their own voices too much. For instance, he remarks that Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl "married and got busy" after he noticed their children, and accidentally tossed Mr. Incredible off a cliff while attempting to explain his plan to him. He also told Kari that the reason for there being an "S" on his suit was because it stood for "sitter", since initials for "babysitter" would've meant that he would've gone around wearing a big "BS", and he couldn't have gone with that. However, these traits do not contradict his actions.

However, it is quite needless to say that Syndrome was not always like this. Buddy Pine was inventive and intelligent, though otherwise a little pestering and obnoxious. He was somewhat obsessed with Mr. Incredible, as he was a member of the fan club, knew his favorite catchphrases and fighting styles, and was his self-proclaimed number-one fan. He was a child prodigy, creating rocket boots that allowed him to fly. Sadly, however, his intrusions caused his idol to lose Bomb Voyage. After being rejected by Mr. Incredible when Buddy attempted to become the Robin to his Batman as Incrediboy twice, the resentment led Buddy down a dark path until it became a desire for vengeance against his former idol and to make all superheroes obsolete.

However, even as a child, Syndrome believed that being a superhero was about wearing cool outfits and getting to beat people up, showing no real desire to help others. Essentially, Syndrome just cared for the "Super" part and not for the "Hero" one. This was proved when Syndrome tells Mr. Incredible that all he wanted is to help him, a flashback of Syndrome's memory is seen and the terrorist Bomb Voyage is absent of his mind. Therefore, although Mr. Incredible could have treated him better, perhaps even if Mr. Incredible had not rejected him, he would either still become a villain eventually, or at least an anti-hero as his reckless nature aside, Buddy's self-serving nature made him unworthy of being a hero.

Overall, Syndrome lacks any sympathetic traits despite his past and the fact that part of him still admires Bob. Even his goofier side does not do anything to detract from his villainy as it does nothing but show how spiteful and vindictive he really is while also showcasing his sadism. One of his greatest weaknesses was that he put no value in human life which lead to his downfall.

Appearance

Syndrome stood 5 feet and 7 inches tall, excluding the height of his hair. He was barrel-chested and weighed 185 lb. His red hair extended straight up in a manner reminiscent of flames. Syndrome was supposedly "not a super", but he demonstrated exceptional ingenuity, technical knowledge, and planning skill far beyond the science of his time. His gadgets also let him perform superhuman feats or at least get past those more powerful than him.

Weapons and Inventions

Syndrome's list of super weapons that he made was extensive, but several notable ones included:

  • Rocket boots
  • Zero-point energy ray (trapped and paralyzed the victim{s} in an energy beam)
  • Omnidroid models
  • Tracking/Scanning devices
  • Miniature explosives
  • Velocipods
  • Containment units (in which the prisoner has mine balls on their hand and feet and is held up in a field of zero-point energy, causing the prisoner to be unable to escape)

Quotes

Cool! Ready for takeoff!
~ Young Buddy after he gets into a young Mr. Incredible's car.
Oh, no, no, you don't have to worry about training me! I know all your moves, your crime-fighting style, favorite catchphrases, everything! I'm your number one fan!
~ Buddy Pine's effort to become Mr. Incredible's sidekick.
Surprising. We must bring him back. Sound the all clear, and... invite him to dinner.
~ Syndrome after witnessing Mr. Incredible beat the Omnidroid 08.
My name is not 'BUDDY'! And it's not Incredi-Boy, either! That ship has sailed. All I wanted was to help you. I only wanted to help! And what did you say to me? ["Fly home, Buddy. I work alone."] It tore me apart, but I learned an important lesson: you can't count on anyone, especially your heroes.
~ Syndrome, to Mr. Incredible
You sly dog! You got me monologuing! I can't believe it!
~ Syndrome, to Mr. Incredible
It's cool, huh? Zero-point energy. Yeah, I save the best inventions for myself. Am I good enough now?! Who's super now?! I'm Syndrome, your nemesis and... oh, brilliant.
~ Syndrome gloating before accidentally throwing Mr. incredible away.
Alright, try this one out for size, big boy.
~ Syndrome bombing Mr. Incredible.
YOU sir, truly ARE Mr. Incredible. You know, I was right to idolize you, and I always knew you were tough, but tricking the probe by hiding under the bones of another super, aw man! I'm still geeking out about it! And then you just had to go and.. ruin the ride. I mean Mr. Incredible calling for help? "Help me, Help me!!" - lame lame lame lame LAME! Alright, who did you contact?!
~ Syndrome after he kidnaps Mr. Incredible.
Too late! Fifteen years too late!
~ Syndrome after Mr. Incredible begs him to call off the missiles.
You'll get over it. I seem to recall you prefer to work alone?
~ Syndrome after apparently killing Mr. Incredible's family
(Mr. Incredible: Release me! NOW!) Or what? (Mr. Incredible: I'll crush her.) Well, that sounds a little dark for you. Ah, go ahead. (Mr, Incredible: It'll be easy, like breaking a toothpick!) Show me!
~ Syndrome ordering Mr. Incredible to crush Mirage to her death, showing just how callous he is.
I knew you couldn't do it, even when you had nothing to lose! You're WEAK, and I've outgrown you.
~ Syndrome mocking Mr. Incredible after the latter refuses to kill Mirage.
Huh, huh? Oh, come on! You've got to admit this is cool, just like a movie! The robot will emerge dramatically, do some damage, throw in some screaming people! And just when all hope is lost... Syndrome will save the day! I'll be a bigger hero than you ever were. (Mr. Incredible: You mean you killed off real heroes so that you could PRETEND TO BE ONE?!) Oh, I'm real, real enough to defeat YOU!! And I did it without your precious 'gifts', your 'oh-so-special' powers!
~ Syndrome explain about his plan for the Omnidroid to the Incredibles.
Is this the Parr's Residence?
~ Syndrome to Carrie, one of Violet's friends.
Shhhhhh.... the baby's sleeping. (chuckles evilly) You took away my future. I'm simply returning the favor. Oh, don't worry, I'll be a good mentor: supportive and encouraging, everything that you WEREN'T! And in time, who knows? He might make a good sidekick. HA HA!!
~ Syndrome attempting to kidnap Jack-Jack in revenge for his loss.
This isn't the end of it! I will get your son eventually! I'll get your son! (laughs evilly, but gasps after seeing Mr. Incredible hurling his car into the jet) Oh, no.....
~ Syndrome's last words, before being sucked into the jet turbine and shredded to death.

Enemies

Trivia

  • Joaquin Phoenix was originally considered for the role, before the producers settled on Jason Lee.
  • The Incredibles director Brad Bird voiced Syndrome in the deleted scenes for the DVD.
  • Syndrome's hair was styled like the hairdo of Jimmy Neutron, another CG-animated genius from Nickelodeon's Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius.
  • In The Incredibles: The Video Game, the final battle with Syndrome is never seen and the game ends after the destruction of the Omnidroid 10. It is unknown why this is the case.
  • He is also the second main Pixar movie villain to be killed off, after Hopper from A Bug's Life and before Charles Muntz from Up.
  • Syndrome was originally going to be a minor villain in the film with the role of the main antagonist going to Xerek. However, due to his popularity with the film's producers, Syndrome was promoted to the main antagonist and Xerek was scrapped and instead appeared in The Incredibles comic series.
    • In the alternate opening, Syndrome was to attack the Incredibles after learning from an agent of his that Mr. Incredible had recently moved into the agent's neighborhood, He broke into the Family's home, disguising himself as a burglar and making enough noise to lure Bob to him, and then used Bob as a battering ram to wreck the home. He also tried to capture Violet while she was still in her infancy, but she, in her invisible state, regurgitated saliva onto his eyes (apparently, the baby Violet had a problem with this, as earlier in the scene, she regurgitated saliva onto her mother's shirt, much to the disgust of one of their neighbors), making him drop the parents. In response, Syndrome immobilized both Helen and Violet but became immobilized when Bob rolled a mirror between them and lodged him into the ceiling of Violet's room. Syndrome was ultimately killed when the family's home was totaled in a gas main explosion sparked by a flame in the fireplace.
  • In some novelizations, Syndrome's fate is not fully explained. Instead of being sucked by the propellers, it's described that after Mr. Incredible launched his car against the plane, Syndrome was left without his getaway vehicle. Then it is said that after that "anyone never heard anything about Syndrome again".
  • As a young boy, his hair was blond. However, as an adult, it is red. He could have either dyed it red or his hair could have naturally turned said color.
  • Syndrome is considered to be one of the darkest and most evil Pixar villains, as he was responsible for several deaths and endangered many lives out of petty spite.
  • Syndrome is the only villainous animated character to be voiced by Jason Lee.

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