A bowler hat is a rounded felt hat commonly worn from the 1850s to the early
, especially in Victorian Britain
and The Wild West
. Bowler hats were once considered the national hat of England, and used to be associated with the upper-middle class there, especially with bankers, in the early half of the 20th century.
Nobody is sure why bowler hats can be associated with evil characters, since most of the time they show a character who is civilized. Irony
, perhaps? Some creators might also be aware that a bowler is actually a fairly functional helmet (it was originally designed to protect gamekeepers on horseback from low branches), so a character wearing one may be anticipating getting into a fight.
Compare and contrast Dashingly Dapper Derby
Compare Nice Hat
, Sharp-Dressed Man
, Badass in a Nice Suit
, Evil Brit
, Dastardly Whiplash
- The Fetchers in Keys to the Kingdom are dog-faced monsters who wear bowler hats.
- The bledlows [Unseen University porters] in Discworld are generally petty bullies who victimise the students and have secret contempt for the wizards. They are described as not just wearing bowler hats, but having heads designed to wear bowler hats.
- Not exactly dastardly, existing in the overlap between Punch Clock Villain and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, but Mr Boggis of the Thieves' Guild is usually portrayed wearing a bowler hat. In Thud!, he refuses to replace it with a helmet when acting as a Special Constable.
- In Snuff, the groundskeepers on the Ramkin estate wear leather bowlers as a form of protection and signification of their profession. They're not villainous, but pretty rough characters.
- The Japanese heel manager Mr. Fuji was rarely seen without his iconic bowler hat in the WWF.
- In the Bugs Bunny short "A Hare Grows in Manhattan", the leader of the gang of dogs is a bulldog wearing a bowler hat. There was another bullying bulldog in Looney Tunes cartoons named Spike, who also wore a bowler, who was teamed with Chester the Terrier.
- In one of Tex Avery's MGM shorts,Bad Luck Blackie, there is a black cat who caused bad luck to anyone whose path he crossed, wore a bowler. Though his evilness could be debated, as he seemed to only cause bad luck to those who deserved it.
- Most of the members of Warren T. Rat's gang in An American Tail.