Villainous Overview

Driven by Revenge

Tradition be damned... I cannot forgive the Oboro for taking Moritsune away from me.
~ Ageha to Hotsuma about her personal vendetta against their very Oboro Clan for what happened to Moritsune.

One of the very few things a person is driven to villainy to is revenge. When an evildoer feels being wronged by someone or something, they wish and even seek to get their own kind of justice by getting back at the very things they believed had wronged them. Villains who seek vengeance usually plan to get it by killing the hero or the hero's loved ones or causing great destruction to not only the hero, but for others as well. There are many ways that can cause a villain to seek retribution against the hero or any other enemy.

Villains often seek revenge for several reasons:

  • Being defeated previously.
  • Being humiliated or disgraced.
  • Their backstory.
  • Feeling wronged.

Sometimes, the person seeking revenge is doing out of a subconscious sense of guilt and responsibility, or to cover up some other emotion like a survivor's guilt (which often explains any death seeking behavior). Sometimes they have placed revenge before reason. Bringing this out into the open can produce an interesting effect.

The character often finds that completing the revenge will leave his life feeling flat and empty. Revenge was never satisfactory, or now that it is over, he does not know what to do with himself. Sometimes, during the course of the pursuit of revenge, the avenger becomes just as bad as, if not worse than, the one who committed the initial awful deed to begin with. And sometimes, revenge does not end with the person who committed the crime — other people connected to the original villain may well decide to pursue vengeance against the original avenger, which may very well lead to a cycle of revenge.

Since revenge is one of the darker character motivations, villains, being a rather unforgiving lot, will often choose to take vengeance on those who have, in their eyes, wronged them, even if the "wrong" in question was something legitimately justified, such as stopping a villain's original evil plan and putting him behind bars or stopping an associate of his, which resulted in the associate's death. Villains in general are more likely to engage in disproportionate retribution than many heroes, and never usually care about what happens to innocents that get swept up in the mess — some such villains deliberately target innocents who are connected to the person they want revenge on, just to make the person suffer all the more. Others target anyone who has anything to do with a certain organization responsible for what led them on this rampage, regardless of whether or not those people were actually involved in the crime in question, or take it out on the descendants of those who wronged them to start with. Others will broaden their vendetta to cover more and more people until the vendetta essentially covers all of humanity. This can be tempered, or even overridden, if the character keeps it up; killing the man who killed your father can be noble if he continues to slaughter people wherever he goes, and your revenge can be viewed as the icing on the cake. Villains can often be seen drawing on the power of hatred in order to get their revenge as well.

On the other hand, revenge can also appear lighter in shade. If the provocation was extreme, and still more if the character is reacting quickly to circumstance, without time to think — as in the person strikes back — the effect can be mostly sympathetic. It can also be softened by the character's being partly motivated by the knowledge that the villain will go on committing such crime, and by taking care to ensure that only the guilty suffer, and suffer no more than they deserve.


That blue-bird caused my misery!
~ Nigel snapping and seeking revenge on Blu for costing him his ability to fly.
I have something personal to finish.
~ Simon Gruber prepares to chase John McClane down to exact revenge on him for killing his brother's death.
(At Strasser's estate in Africa, he is watching a news report on Joe, recently moved to a conservatory in California) My God! Pindi was right! (Strasser's henchman Garth enters the room) He's beautiful. The most beautiful animal I ever seen. (Garth: And the most valuable, that's for sure. [Garth sits down, watches as Jill appears on screen] Isn't that the--) Wait! Be quiet! (Reporter: Joe was raised from infancy by Jill Young, the daughter of famed primatologist Ruth Young. Their closeness stems from a tragic bond. Both Joe's and Jill's mothers were killed by poachers 12 years ago...) (Garth: Bloody hell! That's him!) (Reporter: They both became orphans on the same night.) (Garth: That's him, that's the little feller who bit your finger off!) (Strasser glances down at his mangled right hand, missing the thumb and index finger) I'm always amazed how, if you wait long enough, the opportunity for justice finally comes. Garth, book us two tickets to America. We are going to pay a visit to this incredible animal. (smirking, Strasser puts a half-glove on his right hand) I think I know how to convince his current owners to part with him.
~ Andrei Strasser seeing Joe on the TV and recognizing the ape for biting off his fingers. Then he decides to go to America to get revenge on the ape.
That's the last time I lose to you, Sullivan!
~ Randall Boggs seeking revenge and forming an eternal grudge on Sulley for humiliating him at the Scare Games.
(An Evil Bratt commercial plays.) (Announcer: Now you can be evil as Balthazar Bratt with the Evil Bratt action figure! Featuring music-activated breakdance mode. Also featuring bubblegum-launching shoulder pads! And the all new Mega Diamond Laser!) (A boy uses the action figure to fire a laser at his notebook.) (Boy: No more math! I've been a baaad boy!) (Announcer: The Mega Diamond Laser does not actually incenerate books.) (In his chair, Bratt sighs as he holds one of his self-action figures.) How could Hollywood cancel a show that produced toys like this, Clive? Evil Bratt was a masterpiece! Does no one value true art anymore?! (Clive: It's a disgrace and a travesty, sir!) Well, now that I've got the diamond, it's payback time. Oh, it's too bad Gru won't be around to try and stop me. Oh, wait! No, it's not. I hate that dweeb! And you, Hollywood! (He rushes to a model of Hollywood and slams his action figure on the city sign.) This time, I'M canceling YOU! AND ALL THE LOSERS WHO REJECTED ME! HAHAHA! (Cackling madly, Bratt fires the laser at the Hollywood model.)
~ Balthazar Bratt planning to destroy Hollywood as revenge for them canceling his TV show and destroying his career.
All these years, all these lies. It's over Norman. Time to give them the truth.
~ Dr. Octopus seeks revenge on Norman Osborn for ruining his life by using GR-27 (aka Devil's Breath) serum to causing plauge in New York.
(At Frankie's funeral, Lino is lamenting the loss of his son.) Oh, Luca, who could've done this? (Elderly leopard shark Don Feinberg clears his throat) (Don Feinberg: Don Lino, at this most difficult time, please accept my deepest condolonces.) Thank you, Don Feinberg, for honoring my son with your song. (Don Feinberg: I got some news about the guy who took out Frankie.) (Feinberg farts and a big green bubble floats up and pops in front of the orca behind him, who faints. Luca gags.) Let's, uh... Yeah, let's talk over here. (Lino gets up from his chair and he and Feinberg swim to the window to continue their conversation.) (Don Feinberg: He came outta nowhere, this guy. Calls himself..."The Sharkslayer". (Lino taps on Feinberg's shoulder.) Ira, over here. (Don Feinberg: Sorry. The Sharkslayer.) Where do I find him? (Don Feinberg: He's from the Southside Reef. That's all we could dig up.) (Lino kisses Feinberg's cheek. Feinberg turns to the other guests) (Don Feinberg: Any requests?) Luca. (Luca swims up beside Lino.) (Don Feinberg: How 'bout that Titanic song?) (Sharks: Oh, no! Not again!) Get Sykes. He knows that reef better than anybody. I wanna find this guy. I wanna know everything about him. I wanna know where he lives, where he sleeps. He pops a gill. I wanna know about it--who is the Sharkslayer?'
~ Don Lino vowing to find the Sharkslayer and avenge his son Frankie's death.
(At the Jett Records building, a maid cleans the canteen and drops the trash down a chute. It tumbles down the dumpster in the basement where a man in thick glasses and a red bathrobe grabs it. The guy is Ian Hawke, former Jett Records CEO and ex-manager of the Chipmunks. He talks to a rat sitting by the dumpster.) I had 15 cars. I mean, that's like five more cars than anybody really needs. I had seven maids! I had courtside seats to the Lakers. Even my maids had courtside seats to the Lakers! And now, look at me. Look at me! I lost everything! Except for my dignity. They can't take that away from me. (He scowls as he listens to the Chipmunks singing "Really Got Me Now" on the radio.) And it's all because of them. (Ian grabs the radio and flings it into the dumpster where it thuds with a shatter.) GRRAH! Oh, hey, breakfast! (He grabs a muffin out of the dumpster.) Now I run around, hoping and praying that I can find other animals that can sing or dance. I mean... Wait a second. You don't sing, do you? (The rat squeaks, then it grabs the muffin out of Ian's hand) Hey! Hey! That's my muffin! (Ian dives into the dumpster) GIMME MY MUFFIN! YOU DIRTY RAT! (Ian struggles inside the dumpster. He lifts his head up, covered in trash.) I will get you, Chipmunks! (He munches the muffin.)
~ Ian Hawke swearing revenge on the Chipmunks for costing him his wealth, fame and career.
Hey, kid! Hey! Kid, that's my wolf! (Jack: He was. I paid for him when you robbed me in Skagway. Remember?) Oh yeah! [Luke holds Beauty Smith back] (Alex: You stay.) Hey, you two! Keep an eye out for me! This ain't finished yet!
~ Beauty Smith swearing revenge on Jack and Alex for stealing White Fang from him.
(Captain Gutt snarls with fury as he watches Manny and the gang steal his ship and mock him as they sail into open water. He turns to a crevice in a glacier and squeezes inside. With a tremendous roar, he dislodges a colossal chunk of ice with his bare hands. The ice tips over and crashes into the ocean.) (Flynn: Oh, no! He's gone forever! [The iceberg shoots upward from the water with Gutt clinging onto it] Oh! There he is!) (Gutt holds onto the iceberg as it falls forward onto the ocean's surface. He turns to his crew.) Shore leave's over! Get your sorry carcasses on board now! (The crew nervously hops on deck. Gutt whistles and five narwhals speed along the surface of the water. They stick their tusks in the stern of the new ship to propel it to sea. Gutt steps in front of Shira.) (Shira: Gutt, I can explain--) (Gutt snatches Shira by the throat.) When this ends, I'll have a tiger's skin hanging on my wall! (Shira whimpers.) I don't care whose! (Gutt flings Shira to the ground and faces his crew.) That mammoth has taken my ship, my bounty and now the loyalty of my crew. I will destroy him! And everything he loves!
~ Captain Gutt swearing revenge on Manny for stealing his ship and he sets a course for the continent, vowing to destroy all the mammoth holds dear.
It's so good of you to come. Lovely to see you. You're both looking splendid. How have you been, Walter? In good health, I trust? Nathan, all's well? (Bunce: Uh?) Wonderful. Any fox problems? (Boggis: Are you joking?) (Bunce: It's horrible.) (Boggis: He's laughing at us. It's humiliating.) (Bunce: We're furious.) (Boggis: I don't even want to talk about it.) Perhaps we ought to kill him. (Boggis: Well, that seems rather obvious.) (Bunce: He's too sneaky). Ah, right. Of course. He's very clever, isn't he? Might be a bit difficult, I suppose. [Bean gets up from his chair and shoots five light bulbs with his pistol] Well, I've already figured out where this fox lives, and tomorrow night, we're gonna camp in the bushes, wait for him to come out of the hole in his tree and shoot the cuss to smithereens! How does that grab you, fellas? (Boggis and Bunce: Yeah. Well, let's see. Why not?)
~ Boggis, Bunce and Bean vowing to get revenge on Mr. Fox for stealing their livestock.
My father gave up on me
~ Alice vowing revenge on her father, Jacob Kane for abandoning her.
(King Harold and Queen Lillian ride their coach through a graveyard, passing creepy witches who stare at them. Finally, the Royal Carriage pulls up to a small egg-shaped carriage and stops.)(King Harold: I dunno about this, Lillian. Fairy Godmother said only true love's kiss could break Fiona's curse!) (Queen Lillian: I don't trust that woman, Harold. This may be our last hope. Besides, he does come highly recommended by King Midas.) (King Harold: But to put our daughter's life in the hands of this...person? He's devious, he's deceitful. He's-he's...) Rumpelstiltskin! (Inside the egg-shaped coach, Rumpelstiltskin, a short man with spiky red hair sits at a desk. He kisses Queen Lillian's hand) Mrs. Highness. (Queen Lillian: H-H-How do you do?) (Rumpel's pet goose viciously sticks her tongue out at King Harold) Down, Fifi! Get down! (Fifi obeys while Rumpel pulls out a scroll from the nearby shelf.) As you can see, everything's in order. (He unrolls the scroll to reveal a contract in front of the king and queen.)(King Harold: So, you'll put an end to our daughter's curse?) And in return, you sign the kingdom of Far Far Away over to me. (Rumpel smirks devilishly. King Harold rears back and turns to his queen) (King Harold: Lillian, this is madness!) (Queen Lillian: What choice do we have, Harold? Fiona's been locked in that tower far too long!) It's not like she's getting any younger. (King Harold: But to sign over our entire kingdom?) Well, if your kingdom's worth more to you then your daughter, then-- (King Harold: Nothing is worth more to us then our daughter!) (Rumpelstiltskin sneers. He quickly slams the windows shutters shut, then places an ink bottle on his desk.) Jump, Fifi, jump! (Fifi flies onto Rumpel's lap. He plucks out one of her feathers from her rear. As he dips the quill into the ink pot, ominous, fiery smoke rises from the bottle. He hands the quill to King Harold.) Just sign it, and all your problems'll disappear. (Lightning flashes outside. Rumpel pushes the contract toward King Harold, who slowly and hesitantly lowers the quill toward it. Harold and Lillian exchange worried looks. Suddenly, the carriage door bursts open and a messenger rushes in.) (Messenger: Your highness! The princess! She's been saved!) (The king and queen gasp in joy.) Huh? (King Harold picks up the contract and rips it in half, leaving Rumpel completely dumbfounded.) Aww! Who saved her? (Cut to an illustration of Shrek as Rumpel furiously reads the ogre's story) "No one would've guessed that an ogre named Shrek, whose roar was feared throughout the land, would save the beautiful Princess Fiona!" (growls) "True love's kiss lead to marriage and ogre babies!" (He rips out a page) "The kingdom of Far Far Away was finally at peace." Oh, goody for them! (rips out another page) "And they lived HAPPILY...(rips out another page) EVER...(rips out another page)...AFTER! (Rumpel clutches the torn pages in his fist. Pinocchio comes up behind him) (Pinocchio: Uh, sir? You're gonna have to pay for that.) Umm...Maybe we can make a deal for it little boy?) (Pinocchio: Oh, I'm not a real boy.) You wanna be? (Cut to Pinocchio kicking Rumpel out of the library) (Pinocchio: NOBODY NEEDS YOUR DEALS ANYMORE, GRUMPEL STINKYPANTS!) (Rumpel coughs and dusts himself off. He picks up a page from the book showing Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Puss and all their friends. He glares with extreme fury.) I wish that ogre was never born!'
~ Rumpelstilkstkin vowing revenge on Shrek for unwittingly foiling his plan to take over Far Far Away (since Shrek had already rescued Fiona, he rendered Rumpel's deal pointless), and ever since then, Rumpel's held a hateful grudge against the ogre and wished he has never existed.
(Cruella enters Roger and Anita's apartment to see the puppies) Anita? Anita? There you are! Where are the puppies? They should have arrived by now. (Cruella begins to see the puppies, but Pongo growls at her.) How marvelous. (Cruella smiles wickedly as she sees the puppies.) How marvelous! How perfect. Oh, the devil take it! They’re mongrels! No spots! No spots at all! What horrible little white rats! (Anita Dearly: Oh, but their spots don’t come ‘til later.) You’re sure? (Anita Dearly: Yes.) All right, put them in a bag. l’ll take them with me now. (Roger Dearly refuses to give the puppies away.) (Roger Dearly: What? They were just born!) I can see that! (Anita, trying to reason with Cruella: But, Cruella, the puppies have to be with their mother for several weeks, They’re not ready to leave.) (Cruella doesn't care as she wants the puppies now.) Fine, put the little brutes on reserve for me. How much would you like? (Roger does not want to give the puppies away.) (Roger Dearly: They’re not for sale.) Oh? You’ve come into some money, have you? Did you design some silly game that will drive the delinquent kiddies into frenzies of video delight?) (Roger Dearly, calmly and firmly: As a matter of fact, I have...) (Anita cuts Roger off.) (Anita Dearly, calmly: No, no, what Roger means to say is that we’re not sure we’re going to sell the puppies.) Anita, don’t be ridiculous! You can’t possibly afford to keep them. l’ll pay you twice what they’re worth. Come now, l’m being more than generous. [pulls out a check.] I'll give you $500! [Anita becomes worried.] $7,500! Fair? 2 per spot. (Anita Dearly: But, Cruella, what would you do with 15 puppies?) (Roger bravely stands up to Cruella and puts his foot down with her.) (Roger Dearly: But that’s irrelevant, Anita. She can’t have any because they’re not for sale!) I’m getting very tired of you, Roland! (Roger Dearly: Roger!) Whatever. [holds out the check.] Take it. Take it. [the thunderclap strikes and she shouts.] TAKE IT!!! (Anita takes Roger's side as she and Roger refuse to accept the deal and give the puppies away.) (Anita Dearly: Cruella, the puppies are not for sale.) You’re quite… sure? (Both: Yes.) (Cruella has had it with Anita as she begins to fire her and rips up the check in anger.) All right, keep the little beasts. Do what you like with them. Drown them, for all I care! You're a fool, Anita! Why? Because I've no use for fools. You're fired! You're finished! You'll never work in fashion again! I'm through with all of you! I'll get even! Just wait! You'll be sorry, you fools! You idiots! (Cruella storms out of the apartment.)
~ Cruella De Vil vowing revenge on Roger and Anita Dearly after they refuse to accept the deal and give the puppies away as she fires Anita from being a fashion designer and calls her and Roger "fools" and "idiots" before storming out in the 1996 live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians.
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