A Typical Z-Putty's Last Thought
"Anywhere but the chest...anywhere but the chest... anywhere but the--ACK!"
Who Are They?
Demonic minions of Middle Earth heavies Sauron and Saruman, as seen in the Lord of the Rings books and films.
Why Were They Feared?
Creatures recognizable as orcs are as old as folklore itself, but it wasn't until the films based on J.R.R. Tolkien's books that we saw how badass they could be. These orcs (and their close cousins, the fighting Uruk-hai) were a Middle Earth fanboy's wet dream come true, kicking ass and taking names (then promptly forgetting the names and eating the asses).
"I will now cook and eat your ass, whatever-your-name-is."
The ambush that killed Boromir? Sweet. The assault on Helm's Deep? Rocked our world. The attack on Osgiliath? That was probably cool, too, but we were still thinking about Helm's Deep.
What Went Wrong?
Yes, everything was great... right up until that scene in The Return of the King when a few thousand Rohirrim arrive to take on the million-strong orc army besieging Gondor, whereupon the orcs--with their vast numerical superiority, their batteries of catapults and their reserves of tricked out super-elephants--panic and run screaming in all directions.
If that wasn't bad enough, later on, a few orcs are taken down by the increasingly chunky Samwise, Frodo's questionable life partner. Samwise, by himself, actually kills them .
Now, maybe thousands of heavy cavalry bearing down on you is something to think twice about, even if you're a big, bad orc, but a fucking Hobbit?
Honestly, it was as if orcs had a best-before date that expired halfway through the third movie, after which their raw animal courage curdled into the sour milk of craven cowardice.
A Typical Orc's Last Thought
"We have nothing to fear but--OH, SHIT! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!"
Things don't get much better for classic cartoon villians either; check out 7 Badass Cartoon Villains Who Lost to Retarded Heroes. Or find out about some corporate monsters that would take an army of our childhood heroes to defeat, in The 7 Most Terrifying Corporate Mascots of All-Time.
And visit Cracked.com's Top Picks or we'll lay waste to our own henchmen (read: lazy interns) that put them together.