There are few better feelings in films and television than the moment when the villain that you despise finally gets what they had coming the whole time. Like when Clayton’s bloodlust in Tarzan leads to his own demise or when Voldemort’s arrogance in Harry Potter finally getting the best of him. This isn’t always the case, though, as some punishments don’t fit the crimes. Some bad guys are just misunderstood and don’t deserve their over-the-top fates. Do you feel bad for any of these villains?
Ed Rooney – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off follows the charismatic, cocky, high school student Ferris Bueller and his elaborate plan to have the most legendary ditch-day of all time. Yet, standing in his way of his schemes going off without a hitch is the school’s principal, Ed Rooney.
The principal has put up with Bueller’s antics for years and is dead-set on catching him in the act this time. Essentially just trying to do his job, Rooney ends up attacked by a dog, assaulted by Bueller’s sister, and humiliated as he’s forced to take the bus home with students.
Erik Killmonger – Black Panther
In recent years, Erik Killmonger has become one of the most notable villains in the MCU, partially because he is played by the striking Michael B. Jordan. However, it’s also because he is easy to sympathize with, as all he wanted to do was prevent others from experiencing what he did when growing up.
The conflict between Erik Killmonger and the rest of Wakanda boils down to a difference in ideologies, and although Killmonger’s attempt at revenge was over-the-top, he could have redeemed himself, but he chose death instead.
Dr. Jonas Miller – Twister
Although most people might argue that the film’s true antagonist is the tornado itself, from a character standpoint, it’s definitely Dr. Jonas Miller. Protagonists Bill and Jo-Ann Harding believe that Miller is only into storm chasing for the money. He also constantly gets in their way.
Jonas meets his demise after ignoring Bill and Jo-Ann’s advice to refrain from getting too close to the storm, leading to his excessive ending. Honestly, it’s pretty harsh for someone just trying to make an extra buck.
Hopper – A Bug’s Life
In A Bug’s Life, Hopper is the grasshopper’s leader who demands a certain amount of the nearby ant colony’s food supply before the start of each rainy season. While there’s no denying that he’s selfish, borderline sadistic, and deserves some kind of consequences for his actions, the movie takes things a little too far.
After being defeated by the ants with the circus bugs’ help, Hopper is picked up by a bird and then fed completely alive to her baby birds. We thought this was a children’s movie!
Gollum – The Lords of The Rings Trilogy
If you’re unaware of Gollum’s backstory, he was once a simple Hobbit that came into the possession of the One Ring that corrupts his mind and body, transforming him into the obsessed and deranged creature that he is.
When Frodo finally brings the ring to Mount Doom to destroy it, Gollum bites the ring off his finger, and in a moment of ecstasy, falls into the volcano where the lava consumes him. While it all worked out in the end, you can’t help but feel bad for this poor soul that didn’t want any of this to happen in the first place.
Electro – The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Max Dillon was already in a bad place before Spider-Man saves him, leading him to become obsessed with the web-swinging hero. Additionally, he is looked down upon at work, forced to work overtime, and isn’t even recognized by his hero.
Friendless, and having acquired electric abilities, he is broken out of prison by Harry Osborne to get even with Spider-Man, a conflict that ends in Dillion being destroyed. Death might have been a little hard for Dillon, as what he really needed was a little respect and a few friends.
General Hummel – The Rock
General Hummel is a Marine Corps veteran and feels that his fellow Marines don’t receive the recognition or the proper treatment that they deserve. Witnessing the deaths of countless soldiers under the orders of the government, Hummel had enough and decided to try and make things right.
He then takes over Alcatraz and threatens to release a biological weapon to the public unless $100 million is given to the families of the dead soldiers. Although he has no plan of using the weapons, he is eventually taken out by his co-conspirators. Ultimately, his intentions were pure.
Senator Robert Kelly – X-Men
In X-Men, Senator Robert Kelly puts forth the idea of the Mutant Registration Act in order to keep track of all of the mutants in the United States. However, his reasoning isn’t unbelievable, as he feels that the public would feel safer with this knowledge.
Although Kelly’s implementation of this process is questionable, he is eventually captured and turned into a mutant himself by the Brotherhood of Mutants. Unfortunately, the transformation doesn’t work as planned and Kelly is painfully dissolved into water. Brutal for someone looking out for the public’s safety.
Lady Deathstrike – X2: X-Men United
Lady Deathstrike works for the evil William Stryker, which leads to her having several physical encounters with the mutants. However, she meets her fate when she faces off with Wolverine. To finish her, he pumps her body full of adamantium, resulting in a gruesome end.
Unfortunately for Lady Deathstrike, she was a captive of Skylar, who was using her under the influence of a mind-control serum. So, basically, everything she did was against her will. Maybe the X-Men should have tried to set her free rather than destroy her.
Syndrome – The Incredibles
Syndrome from The Incredibles definitely isn’t a good guy, as he ended the runs of dozens of innocent superheroes to help rid the world of them. However, he became this deranged because of Mr. Incredible’s actions when he was just a kid.
Mr. Incredible ignored him and even outcast him in his youth when all he wanted to do was get to know his hero. This led him to develop a deep hatred for the “Supers” and create weapons of his own so he could be just like them. When Syndrome perishes in a fire at the Incredible’s home, it’s hard not to feel bad for him.
Sandman – Spider-Man 3
In the third installment of Spider-Man, Sandman is without a doubt a highly-destructive and terrifying villain. However, it is demonstrated that Sandman, aka Flint Marko, is a man of unfortunate circumstances, as he leads a life of crime in order to pay the medical bills for his sick daughter.
Furthermore, even though it is revealed that it was Marko that killed Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben, it turns out that it was an accident, and really damaged Marko on the inside. So, did he ever deserve to truly be a prisoner and turned into Sandman in the first place?
Gaston – Beauty And The Beast
In the 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast, Gaston is an arrogant hunter that wishes to have Belle’s hand in marriage. So, when he discovers that Belle is with the Beast, he inspired the mob to help him go kill him.
Although Gaston is without a doubt the antagonist of the story, it’s not all that unusual for someone to want to hunt a supposedly murderous beast that has a hold of the woman he desires. In most cases, this would even make him the hero. Just because he doesn’t understand what’s happening doesn’t mean he necessarily deserves to fall to his end.
Roy Batty – Blade Runner
Blade Runner is a science-fiction film set in future Los Angeles, where cyborgs called replicants with four-year lifespans are used for labor. Those cyborgs that escape are hunted down by people known as Blade Runners.
Roy Batty is the leader of a group of runaway replicants and the film’s antagonist, although his motivations can be understood by his desire to live freely. Before Batty eventually dies, he delivers a monologue that viewers can’t help but sympathize with and make his actions seem a little less gruesome.
The Wicked Witch Of The West – The Wizard of Oz
Despite being green and having a laugh that can give anyone chills, the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz wasn’t exactly wrong in her actions. In fact, it was kind of unfair how evil she was treated by the citizens of Oz.
Furthermore, her plan to exact revenge on Dorothy isn’t all that uncalled for, after all, Dorothy did steal her sister’s ruby slippers after a house crushed her. While she may not be the nicest witch in Oz, she certainly had a lot done wrong to her.
Sid – Toy Story
Although it’s undeniable that Sid definitely has some alarming activities that he does in his free time, like disfiguring toys, it’s easy to forget that he doesn’t know the toys are sentient. to Him, he’s just playing with plastic, when the audience is aware that these toys have thoughts and feelings.
So, when the toys come to life and threaten him, Sid is expectedly completely traumatized by the situation. Seems like a lot of psychological damage for a kid that thought he was just “playing” with toys.
Carrie – Carrie
Threatening almost everyone at your school prom by burning it to the ground usually qualifies as being the villain of a story. However, in the case of Carrie, it’s hard to blame her. While her actions were definitely over-the-top, it shows what happens when you relentlessly bully an already damaged girl with telekinetic powers.
Not only is Carrie treated harshly at school, but at home as well, with her God-fearing mother eventually stabbing her, leading Carrie to take drastic action. What Carrie really needed was some clinical help.
Mother Gothel – Tangled
While there’s usually no justification behind kidnapping an innocent baby, at first, that wasn’t Grothel’s intent. What she really wanted was the power from the King and Queen’s flower. However, when that didn’t work, she stole Rapunzel instead, but by no means was she a bad mother.
She gave Rapunzel everything she wanted, with the one exception being to not leave the tower because it was dangerous, which it proved to be. So, when Rapunzel kills Gothel in the end, it seems a bit harsh considering how good she was to her.
Vulture – Spider-Man: Homecoming
At first, Vulture is just a man named Adrian Toomes that is trying to provide for his family. However, after Tony Stark undercuts his business’ contract to clean up the city after the Battle of New York, Toomes does whatever it takes to keep his family afloat, even if it means getting involved in arms dealing.
Although Vulture does some despicable things along the way, his punishment for them is going to prison, which maybe could have been avoided if Tony Stark hadn’t been such a selfish person.
Koba – The Planet of The Apes
After the events of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the apes experience conflict in their own ranks thanks to Koba, who wants to eliminate mankind altogether rather than learn to coexist. Nevertheless, it’s not unreasonable why Koba feels the way he does towards humans.
Prior to the apes taking over, Koba was like nothing more than a lab rat, leading him to believe that all humans are evil and intend to do harm to apes, in which he’s not wrong. That’s why it’s slightly sad when Caesar eventually kills him.
The Shark – Jaws
Even though Jaws had people afraid to go to the beach for decades after its release in 1975, all the movie is about is a really hungry shark. While the shark might be slightly overly aggressive and is undoubtedly the villain of the movie, there’s nothing that makes it inherently evil.
It’s a shark that does what it’s supposed to do, which is swim and eat. Then, after it eats one too many of the “wrong” things, people go out to hunt it to keep the beaches safe? Seems kind of messed up.