Have you ever gone to a movie and thought to yourself, "I actually think I relate to the villain more than anyone else on screen!" Well, if you do, you're not alone. Movie villains, despite their bad deeds, can be relatable, especially if you're a parent. We may not agree with everything these villains do, but we at least understand where they're coming from. A lot of the time, they don't even set out to be the bad guy! But things happen, mistakes are made, and before you know it, they're plotting for world destruction.
It's surprisingly easy to relate to villains once you have kids. Now, we're not saying kids turn you into homicidal maniacs or make you want to destroy everything in a fit of rage. OK, maybe that second one has a ring of truth. But aside from the ways in which villains release their pent of rage, parents and villains really aren't that different! (We're sure you've heard a similar sentiment from your own darling angels.) Kids are great, they really are. But after reading some of these, you're going to find yourself relating to the bad guy WAY more than you thought possible.
Gru was perfectly content with being despicable! He had a nice life with his minions and his weapons and his schemes to take over the world. Plus, he had tons of disposable income, which is like, the one thing parents everywhere miss the most about life pre-kids. And then, those meddling girls landed on his doorstep. And suddenly he had a conscience and read bedtime stories and wanted to save the world instead of destroy it. He turned into a total softy, all because he had some kids. Raise your hand if your pre-kid self would have kicked the shit out of your post-kid self for being a boring normie.
Image: New Line Cinema
Dr. Evil just wants to bond with his teenage son, but Scott is totally embarrassed by his (evil) father. Been there! Teenagers can be the worst, and so ungrateful. Dr. Evil totally tries to do things he thinks Scotty might like, and involve him in the family business, and what does he get in return? Attitude and disrespect! Is it any wonder Dr. Evil becomes a wee bit obsessed with his wee little friend, Mini-Me? The sibling rivalry gets a little out of control, sure, but when your kid doesn't want to spend quality time with you, what's a parent to do?
Image: Warner Bros.
Professor Snape despised Harry, but because he loved Harry's mother, he still watched over the boy. I can't stand the kid who lives next door, but I adore my neighbor so I suck it up when she asks me to babysit. Being a parent can sometimes mean swallowing our feelings for the good of those we love (or those who can be useful in some way). Snape isn't super great at hiding his true feelings about Harry, but when push comes to shove, he's got his back. Maybe he just expects more of the boy, is that so hard to believe?
Image: Walt Disney
Poor Anakin. The death of his wife drove him mad, pushing him to the dark side. One time my daughter accidentally broke my computer screen, sending me into a blind rage. So what I'm saying is, I get it. We're just supposed to like, accept all the ways in which our kids fuck up and just move on? That's hard to do! Parents are people, too. Now, there are obviously better ways to deal with your pent-up rage than by trying to destroy the galaxy. But we do what we know, right? Plus it's gotta be uncomfortable in that mask, poor guy.
TBH, if my daughter's hair could make me look younger, I'd be singing that magic hair song every damn day. They age us immediately right out of the shoot, and every single day of parenthood brings with it a new wrinkle or gray hair. Don't lie to yourself: if you discovered that your kid's hair could reverse the aging process, you would 100% help yourself to it every once in a while. It's not their blood, it's just hair, ffs. It grows back! I don't feel guilty eating my kid's good Halloween candy, and I wouldn't feel bad about making my kid sing to me while I wrapped myself in her magic hair.
Image: Orion Pictures
Do I relate to the killing people and eating them with fava beans bit? Not so much. But the desire to get outside...to even be able to look out a window? That's something any parent stuck at home with the kids can relate to. It's also hard to ignore the sheer potential Hannibal wasted in order to become a homicidal maniac. OK, maybe wasted is a strong word. Redirected? Still, he was a brilliant, charming man, and then he was eating people. I can remember what I was like before kids, and it stings. It stings real bad, you guys.
Unlike Ariel's father, King Triton, Ursula didn't laugh or forbid the mermaid from seeing Prince Eric. In fact, she gave her the legs to make it possible to pursue the relationship! Ursula might have had ulterior motives for helping Ariel, but at least she didn't destroy all of Ariel's stuff just because she wanted something different for her life than what her father envisioned. And really, when you think about it, Ariel is ... kind of a brat. She does whatever she wants, she doesn't listen to her father. Maybe Ursula was just using a little tough love to teach her a lesson! Parents can relate.
Image: 20th Century Fox
I always related way more with Magneto than Professor X. Magneto is doing what he thinks is right - protecting his fellow mutants. What mom can't sympathize with doing whatever it takes to protect her family? He recognizes that they're special, and unfortunately also understands that the rest of the world won't see them the same way. We tell our kids to be themselves, to not worry about what other people think, right? Then we go and make them conform to society's norms and expectations? Nah, Professor. Someone comes for my kid, they better hope I don't suddenly discover some mutant power I didn't know I had.
Image: Disney Pixar
Mr. Incredible was a jerk to young Syndrome, who idolized the superhero. Who hasn't held a grudge that fueled their entire reason for living? I'm going to be honest, I still have rage fires burning deep inside me over slights that happened years ago. Letting go of a grudge isn't as easy as people make it seem! And if we're really honest with ourselves, Mr. Incredible is kind of a dick to everyone. Listen guy, IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU. I'm surprised his whole family hasn't turned against him at this point. Syndrome may have gone a bit overboard, but he had valid reasons.
Lady Tremaine locked Cinderella in her room when she had company over. That's a baller move, and something I have often considered doing to my own children (but I haven't, CPS)! You just can't trust that your kids aren't going to wild out in front of guests. And sure, she worked Cinderella to the bone, making her cook and clean and tend to her stepsisters. But like, that's sort of what kids are for? I didn't go through a combined 20 months of pregnancy and 18 hours of labor to mind these kids for the rest of their lives. Gotta earn your keep!
DOROTHY KILLED HER SISTER AND STOLE HER SHOES RIGHT OFF HER DEAD BODY. Was the body still warm, Dorothy, you cold-blooded murderer? Everyone fawns all over Dorothy, with her pretty hair and lovely voice and sweet disposition. But she literally committed murder and then stole something off a dead body. She just took the word of those weird little Munchkins and a floating bubble witch, and desecrated a corpse. If someone killed my sister and then stole a priceless family heirloom from her mangled body, I might be a little pissed, too. And we're just going to ignore that Dorothy lets her dog off-leash and brushes it off when it attacks someone?
If the King and Queen had just invited Maleficent to the party, all of this "the princess will die by her 16th birthday" stuff could have been avoided. I've gotten pissed when my kids were left off a birthday party guest list, so I totally relate. Parents understand: sometimes you have to send that invitation just to avoid an awkward (and possibly cursed) situation in the car line at school. Maleficent may come across as a cold-hearted bitch, but this all started because the King and Queen really hurt her feelings. It's a daily struggle not to take things like this personally, and sometimes we fail.
Image: Paramount Pictures
Now that I'm a parent, when I watch this movie I scream, "Go to school, Ferris! You're a liar! Mr. Rooney is just doing his job!" Ferris is a fucking dick. THERE, I SAID IT. He's awful! That kid needs military school or something. It's not just Mr. Rooney who he torments - he gets his friends into all kinds of trouble! What a selfish little asshole. If there was a Ferris at my kid's school, I would demand the principal go full Rooney and kick his trouble-making ass out permanently. We expect so much from our teachers and administrators, they need our full support to deal with these issues, guys.
The Sultan was totally incompetent, requiring Jafar to hypnotize him to keep Agrabah running smoothly. HE JUST WANTS CREDIT, damn it! If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself! How many of us have slaved away over some stupid school project, only to have your kid's teacher praise all their "hard work" and leave you holding the bag? Kids want credit for the dumbest shit (oh, you wiped your own butt today? Let me call the bakery and order you a cake!), but can parents get a little love too?? Is it too much to ask?! Also, if Aladdin didn't want to incur the wrath of Jafar, maybe he shouldn't take shit that doesn't belong to him. Just sayin'.
Who hasn't been jealous of a child's beauty? I would kill for my daughter's smooth, unlined skin. Well, not literally kill, like with a hired assassin or a poison apple or anything crazy like that. But every morning we wake up and recoil at the sight of our own faces, while our kids can roll out of bed and still look like a million bucks (even with bedhead and drool dried on their cheeks). It's not fair! We all looked like Snow White before having kids, so it's totally normal to be a little angry about the state of our hair and skin after we become parents. I spend a hundred bucks every six weeks to make my hair look halfway decent. My kid doesn't even comb hers.
He's the only adult, surrounded by obnoxious, unsupervised children (and Smee). That would drive me mad, too. Captain Hook is basically a day care director, and the day care is filled with spoiled brats who eat with their hands and leave their garbage all over the floor. And has no one considered that he is very likely dealing with some post-traumatic stress and phantom pain from the loss of his hand? A CROCODILE ATE HIS HAND. And instead of one of those stupid Lost Boys offering to whittle him a decent prosthetic, they gave him a fucking hook. You can't do shit with a hook hand.
When Mufasa died was killed, did anyone really expect Simba to take over the pride? He was just a child. Scar was just trying to be helpful. I mean, sure. He could have been a little more helpful if he hadn't, you know, killed his brother. But we don't know what it was like growing up with perfect Mufasa! Clearly, Scar has some unresolved issues stemming from their childhood. He has to live in some dark, dank canyon, while Mufasa gets to rule in the golden sunshine over beautiful pride lands. Parents can understand how sibling rivalry spirals out of control.
It’s his job to be the bad guy, but those selfish villagers don't give him the benefit of the doubt. As a mom, it's my job to be the bad guy, too...even though I also hate it. All Ralph wants is a little bit of respect for all his hard work. Sure, his hard work is destroying the villager's buildings. But sometimes we have to do stuff we don't want to do! That's called LIFE, villagers. Then, THEN, that little Vanellope comes along, and suddenly Ralph is just expected to take care of her and keep her out of trouble too?!
I sympathize with Hans -it's hard being the youngest in a family. Two of his brothers pretended he didn't exist for years. It's a cautionary tale for anyone with lots of kids. And really, can we fault a guy for seeing an in and trying to take it? Clearly, Elsa was in no condition to rule over Arendelle. She couldn't even take off her gloves, for fuck's sake. And Anna? PLEASE. Life isn't a party, Anna dear, and ruling a kingdom takes a bit more than dreams of LEAVING YOUR KINGDOM. Maybe Hans had good intentions initially and just got a little power-hungry. Kind of like when your kid offers to help with their younger sibling and ends up making them cry with their Draconian ways. It happens.
She's just fucking fabulous (assuming you can overlook that whole puppy killing thing). And she didn't actually kill all those puppies. What we want to do and what we end up doing are two different things! Plus, puppies (while cute) take a fuckton of work. You mean to tell me that somehow Roger and Anita were going to either take care of 101 puppies, or somehow find homes for all of them?! Maybe we should be talking about how evil it is to allow your intact dogs to breed like that, hmmmm? Just a thought. Cruella went about it the wrong way, but her intentions were ... OK, those were bad too. Still fabulous, though.