IMDb Polls

Poll: Those Villains... They're So Predictable

In the end, the good guy (usually) wins. He finds a flaw in the villain, one that is often familiar and overused so that we can anticipate the flaw ourselves.

Which overused movie-villain cliché is your favorite?

After voting, you may discuss the poll here.

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!
     

    Ralph Fiennes and Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

    The villain insists that they personally kill the hero - they may have an army of loyal servants willing to do it, but they seem to always insist on having the joy of it, usually not ending well for them.
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    Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz (1939)

    The villain has an evil laugh - when plotting their evilest of evil, an evil laugh occurs which adds a sense of foreboding and shows their sinful happiness.
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    Tom Hiddleston in The Avengers (2012)

    The villain wants to take over the world - The scope of their evil plan must stretch to the entire earth's civilization. If they cannot control the world, they will want to destroy its entirety.
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    Elizabeth Hurley and Mike Myers in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

    The villain will NOT kill but contain its victims - there comes a point where the villain has the chance to kill the hero but rather opts to trap him instead. Of course he will escape, silly...
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    Javier Bardem and Daniel Craig in Skyfall (2012)

    The villain must give a monologue - is it improvised? Did they plot out these words for months? They can provide us with insight into the villain's mind or some other motivations. They are always entertaining.
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    Mark Hamill and David Prowse in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    The villain has some specific relationship to the hero - in some regard, whether it being as family, current or past acquaintance, they are somehow linked to one another.
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    Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)

    The villain will have deformities - it is often a physical, ugly trademark of a villain that initially isolated them from society, and this makes them more threatening to the hero.
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    Christoph Waltz

    The villain has a foreign accent - many of the bad guys are equipped with a foreign accent, perhaps to audibly manifest their menacing and diabolical scheming ways.
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    Liam Neeson in Taken (2008)

    The villain is a kidnapper - many times, it is someone close taken from the hero -being either a girlfriend, love interest, child or someone with close significance to them
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    Elliott Marks, SMPSP

    The villain's dead (or... is he?) - maybe the hero killed him, maybe he was seemingly rid of his existence, either way he's probably coming back, in this sequel or another.
  11. Vote!
     

    Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul in Breaking Bad (2008)

    The villain is a drug addict and/or smokes - a major motivating factor of the villain and/or downfall of their character is drugs. It can be to show us more of their isolation or just because.
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    Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction (1994)

    The villain has henchmen who can't shoot for *beep* - you would think that trained assassins, criminally intelligent people would be able to shoot the guy when he has the chance. You'd be wrong.
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    Hugo Weaving in The Matrix Reloaded (2003)

    The villain wears black or dark clothes - we understand it can perceived as somber, menacing or even elegant, but come on. It's hard to imagine a wardrobe limited solely to this shade.
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    Jonathan Freeman, Gilbert Gottfried, and Douglas Seale in Aladdin (1992)

    The villain reveals his plans in great detail to the hero - it's like he has no one else to tell to but the person who he will plot it on. Haven't they learned anything from movies? Why spoil it?!
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    Danny DeVito, Bobby Bell, Niki Botelho, Debbie Lee Carrington, Margarita Farrell, Denise Killpack, Susan Rossitto, and Felix Silla in Batman Returns (1992)

    The villain often has a pet he seems inordinately close to - the creatures are usually an eccentric pet; a bird, an ugly cat. A pet that is as peculiar as our villain seems fitting.
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    Sonic Underground (1999)

    The villain is an adviser to a clueless man in power - you'd think they'd need to have some brains to become in such control but not always. Often, it's their lack thereof that sees them fail.
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    Gert Fröbe in Goldfinger (1964)

    The villain thinks he is smarter than everyone else in the world - a huge trait that's common among many villains is their arrogance. With their ingenious diabolical plans, there exists no one who could outsmart them.
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    Anthony Perkins in Psycho (1960)

    The villain has an extremely unusual hobby or obsession - it could only be assumed that because of a villain of highly unusual nature, his hobbies (bird stuffing?) must be too.
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    You Only Live Twice (1967)

    The villain has a hidden lair - these are the kinds of place you wouldn't find on any real estate listing any time soon. A cave, an underground complex, anything must be your run-of-the-mill 2 bedroom.
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    Jamie Foxx in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

    The villain discards a former life to embrace his evilness with a new identity - the old name just wasn't 'scary' enough. A new name will often be associated to the villain's power/ability. Probably not one for the resumé but, hey, I doubt they care.
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    Daniel Stern

    The villain doesn't have a plan B - sometimes, the hero shows up to play. And sometimes, the villain doesn't know what to do in that case. For all their scheming, how did they not see this coming?
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    Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator (2000)

    The villain gives a speech about how he's "not so different" from you - maybe, in terms of blood, they aren't so different. But aside from DNA, they are often polar opposites. Does the villain think so? Nah, it's like looking in a mirror, just, not a good one.
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    Robert Wagner and Fabiana Udenio in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

    The villain's henchmen are idiots - You would think that a villain of such control would find smarter, more reliable henchmen. But that would make it too easy for them, wouldn't it?
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    Mandy Patinkin in The Princess Bride (1987)

    The villain must die in the end - Very often the villain is killed and in a very gruesome way. Why shouldn't they be locked away in jail or some other punishment instead?
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    Chia-Hui Liu in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

    The villain must stroke his beard - Do they appear more... intellectual? Compulsive? Diabolical? It has been said to show their meticulous planning or deep thought, but always their sheer evil.
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    Wacky Races (1968)

    The villain portrayed as a 'Dastardly Whiplash' - This trope describes a cartoonish villain that is one-dimensional, over-the-top, openly evil villain of limited intelligence who comes up with elaborate schemes for the hero to foil. Despite their attempts to be menacing, they usually are quite harmless.