Generally, we as viewers are expected to support the heroes. They’re the do-gooders, role models and savers of the day. They’ve got all the redeeming qualities of a likeable person. As for villains, they’re intended to be hated, despised or loathed.
We rarely get a glimpse of the villain’s mind and what makes them function as such. After all, they aren’t the center of attention. We’re just geared to hate them to the core because they’re against the heroes we love. But there are some villains that will always have a special place in our hearts.
Yeah, villains have bad intentions. Some are set to dominate a kingdom. Some are out for vengeance. Some are out to destroy the world. Some just want to watch the world burn. Despite their evil plans or acts, these villains are some we just can’t seem to get enough off. It’s not a sin to actually root for these villains. We can’t help that they’re charming and in some cases, we don’t want to see the heroes save the day because it spells doom for our beloved villains. Here are 15 on-screen villains we can’t help but love:
15. Oswald Cobblepot – Gotham
It’s always fun watching how bad guys came to be. Fox’s Gotham isn’t fully about the origin stories of Batman’s worst enemies, but it is a highlight of the show, to say the least. One of these bad guys receiving the origin treatment is Oswald Cobblepot, who grows up to be the Penguin.
Cobblepot is weak and is often picked on by those around him. We can’t help but feel sorry for him, but when he begins to take his waddles up the criminal ladder, we can’t help but feel sorry for his victims.
14. Roy Batty – Blade Runner
Blade Runner centers around ex-police officer Rick Deckard, played by Harrison Ford. The story centers around Deckard as he “retires” humanoid beings called replicants. Roy Batty acts against Deckard, and he’s a leader of a group of replicants that are on a quest to meet their maker.
We love him because technically, Batty isn’t a villain. It just so happens that Deckard is out to get replicants, and Batty is one of these beings that had no choice but to become artificially built. His quest is also noble and harmless, and his innocence just makes him more charming.
13. Anton Chigurh – No Country For Old Men
Bad-ass assassins are always lovable because they’re heartless, cruel and most importantly, cool. With a huge set of killing skills in their arsenal, assassins are a thing to watch when they do their job well. But Anton Chigurh in No Country For Old Men is a simpler type of assassin. Instead of guns and blades, Chigurh prefers a captive bolt pistol.
Chigurh also strays away from the assassin norm of killing anything in sight by actually giving his would-be victims a 50-50 chance through a coin toss. Heartless as he may be, you gotta give him credit for being generous.
12. Jason Voorhees – Friday The 13th
When we think about slasher films, the huge dude in a hockey mask comes to mind. Jason Voorhees, from the long list of Friday The 13 films, is not only a beloved villain, but is perhaps one of the most well-known horror icons.
If he isn’t terrorizing teens at a camp, he’s probably terrorizing a space ship crew. Either way, Jason is one villain we all love, but would hate to meet. We could’ve easily chosen Leatherface or Michael Myers but again, Jason is a bigger icon.
11. Alex Delarge – A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange revolves around a gang of sadistic individuals in dystopian London. These criminals are of course, led by someone who’s the most evil in the group. Meet Alex Delarge, a monster trapped in a human’s body. He’s done a lot of nefarious deeds including beating a homeless person to death, and sexually assaulting the owners of a home he broke into.
During the latter parts of the film, Delarge transforms into a very vulnerable man. His huge transformation was sad to say the least. But the ending was a pretty good comeback for Delarge. We’ll also love him for his excellent rendition of “Singin’ in the Rain.”
10. Joffrey Baratheon – Game of Thrones
Westeros is home to a lot of bad guys. Some of which fight good up front, while some prefer to hide behind the shadows with plans and betrayal at bay. But Joffrey is different. Joffrey is just plain annoying, naturally evil and surprisingly lovable. Don’t get us wrong, we hate Joffrey. We hate him so much, that we’ve come to realize just how great the character is.
Whatever Joffrey is doing as a villain, he’s doing it right, because we’re anticipating every moment as it could finally mean his death (or another solid slap from his uncle). You either love him, or you hate him, but let’s all agree that Game of Thrones wouldn’t be the same without him.
9. The Governor – Walking Dead
AMC’s The Walking Dead has a knack for bringing the comic book villains to life in the TV series. We got Shane, the guys at Terminus and several others. But one of the most outstanding villains there is so far is Philip Blake, also known as The Governor.
The charismatic leader of Woodbury is nice on the surface, but is one bad guy from beneath. His cunning matches that of Rick’s and he’s just plain scary – that’s why we can’t get enough of him. Sadly, AMC opted to no longer let The Governor chop off the hand of Rick (as in the comics), but since CGI isn’t cheap, we can’t blame them.
So far, Negan is looking very promising as the next antagonist, despite only being able to see him for a few minutes. He’s probably going to take the top spot of most beloved Walking Dead villains when season seven hits.
8. Magneto (Michael Fassbender) – X-Men
Ian McKellen’s take on Magneto is superb, and there’s no doubting that, but we really got to know more of the villain with Michael Fassbender’s portrayal as a younger Magneto in some X-Men films. Throughout X-Men: First Class and Days Of Future Past, we got to see how the world broke down for the young Magneto, thus making him hate all non-mutants.
We felt sorry for him, but at the same time, we felt angry at how he refuses to see that not every human is against humans. During these films, we also got to see just how powerful Magneto is, and we’re hoping to see more of him in the upcoming Apocalypse film.
7. Jigsaw – Saw
Jigsaw, also known as John Kramer, is the mind behind the inhumane traps in Saw. Kramer is just an old man with a knack for ruining days, but we can’t help but love this man’s plans. We don’t really like Kramer himself; who we do love on the other hand is the scary-as-hell doll that Kramer’s victims often see. No matter how much we support this baddie, we really don’t want to come face-to-face with Jigsaw.
6. Darth Maul – Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
The Star Wars prequel trilogies weren’t really as successful as the original trilogy, but that doesn’t mean the movies we’re totally bad. In fact, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, gave us one of the more memorable villains in the Star Wars Universe – Darth Maul.
The film ended with Darth Maul being “killed” by Obi-Wan, but Maul continued his story in the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series (which is canonical, by the way). Sure, he was half-machine, but his skills with the double-ended lightsaber didn’t falter one bit.
5. Col. Hans Landa – Inglourious Bastards
Quentin Tarantino has a knack for creating memorable villains. One of which is Col. Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds. Landa is one of the most despicable Nazi officers. His ruthless methods bagged him the monicker “Jew Hunter.” What makes this real-life character, lovable in the film is with how Christoph Waltz excellently portrayed the officer. We’re not rooting for him per se, but we obviously want to see more of him in the film.
4. Hannibal Lecter – Silence Of The Lambs
In Silence of the Lambs, Anthony Hopkins’ portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter stole our hearts with his wit and incomparable skill with playing mind games. He’s a really scary guy and despite being stuck behind bars for most of the film, viewers can’t help but get freaked out by Lecter’s psychological tactics. He’s smart, sadistic and he’s also a “great cook,” too.
3. Beetlejuice – Beetlejuice
The ghost with the most. This lovable villain from Tim Burton’s classic Beetlejuice is one evil spirit we’d love to be friends with, and avoid at the same time. Like most villains on this list, Beetlejuice has a signature look that fans can never forget – shaggy lime-green hair, pale as snow skin and the snazzy striped tuxedo. He’s pure evil – that’s for sure, but if you really want to meet him, just say his name three times.
2. Darth Vader – Star Wars
Have you ever been so cool, that music begins playing whenever you appear?
Utterer of one of the most famous movie lines… father to Luke and Leia… former Jedi. Obi-wan’s best friend… One of the strongest Force users in the Star Wars universe, Darth Vader, also known as Anakin Skywalker, is the baddie from the original Star Wars trilogy we’ve all come to love. There’s so much to love about him, including his memorable voice and helmet.
Vader’s origins were indeed sad. We’re sure fans would’ve love to see the Skywalkers as one happy family, but deep down, we’re thankful for such a wonderful bust-up.
1. The Joker – The Dark Knight
Some baddies do it for revenge, some do it for profit. The Joker? He just wants to watch the world burn.
This psychotic criminal has been reincarnated time and time again through various actors and voices, but we can all agree that Heath Ledger’s Joker from The Dark Knight is by far the best incarnation.
Fans love the character for a lot of reasons. His appeal, his comebacks and quirky antics, not to mention his intricate plans always pull us in. At the same time, we all share the same fear of Joker’s unpredictable demeanor. Joker’s about to be reincarnated later this year in Suicide Squad by Jared Leto. The character’s looking more psychotic than ever, and he may even take the crown from Ledger.