Worst Villain Cliches

The Top Ten
1 Wanting to rule over something
2 Evil laugh

I absolutely hated this cliche as a kid, and it definitely hasn't changed with age. The only time I've ever really enjoyed an evil laugh was when it was presented in an ironic way with a solid joke or punchline to back it up, like the self-aware, semi-absurdist humor of Emperor's New Groove.

Gloom Meister's evil laugh is not his real life. His real laugh is nerdy. He's my favorite villain that Austin plays in The Backyardigans.

Eh... Villain laughs can be done well.

3 Falling to their death

Hades is a god. He can't die. Hercules may have pushed him into the River Styx in the movie but he can revive himself.

4 Extremely deep voice
5 Being crazy
6 Bad childhood

Naruto ruined this cliche. Does almost every single antagonist, main or minor need a tragic past?

This honestly is a pretty good cliche and it provides a more three-dimensional personality and motive for a villain. But when its overdone, as in the case of Naruto, then there's a problem.

This one is way too common. Especially the whole thing about the villain being bullied as a kid and wanting revenge on humanity for treating them that way. Even as a kid, I noticed this and hated it.

I feel like this is commonly overused in a lot of stories I read and isn't used in a sensical way.

7 Henchmen with low intelligence

I feel like this is commonly overused in cartoons that I watch. Though funny, it can get old after a while.

Can't the villain hire better ones?!? Or are they like the antagonist's cousins or something

If they want to succeed then they need good help. It's just common sense

8 They give the heroes enough time to survive

I mean, movies like Saw, that's the point of it. But yeah it is kind of stupid when the villain purposely lets the protagonist get away for whatever reason.

As a kid I always hated this cliche because I wondered why they wouldn't annihilate the protagonist quickly if they has tried so hard to get it.

This was pherhaps the worst thing about Despicable Me 3, when Bratt is about to laser Gru to death, they change scene with Dru and Bratt, and every time they change to Bratt, the laser is liker three meters further awway than it was the previous scene, I was like "WHY! " when I saw it.

9 The killer is thought to be dead but really isn't
10 They believe what they're doing is right

Judge Claude Frollo is probably the best example of this cliché. He's a noble, he holds a lot of social power, and he's a Christian. So of course he thinks he's the good guy. Coupled with the fact that Frollo's actions are downright inhumane, even murderous, that makes his death all the more satisfying.

UPDATE: Frollo is not symbolic of all Christian peoples. His morals are the exact opposite. A true Christian should never harm anyone else because of their religion/sexuality/racial background, but should embrace it and treat them like real people. Frollo is so vile and deluded that you just cannot call him anything but a monster.

The Contenders
11 The villain has an easy-to-escape death trap
12 Calling people "fools"
13 Dark clothing

Makes things too obvious.

14 "You will die"

On par with the CDi Zelda games' dialogue, this is what happens when you're campy enough for a one-liner but not creative enough to come up with anything else."

15 Killing their own henchmen

This is ridiculous

16 Being an animal that is commonly stereotyped as a villain
17 Wants to kill everyone or destroy the world

Never really understood this one. In realistic terms, nobody would ever try to destroy the world. Another cliche that's similar to this one is the villain wanting to rule over the world. That is also an unrealistic goal and anyone with a brain can understand that.

18 They talk rather than kill
19 Naturally evil
20 Hates the protagonist more than he hates anyone else

Even cartoon villains must learn the hardest way possible.

21 Looking more effeminate or androgynous than the hero
22 They watch over the protagonists with a magic orb

This is almost exclusively for Fantasy stories, so its not too common overall.

23 They smoke
24 They are a family member of the hero
25 Associated with darkness

Nights help nature.

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