In most movies about saving the old theater, school, ball field, etc, the villain is someone who wants to tear down this location to put their own business there, a completely legal and understandable (if somewhat tragic for the protagonists) way to make a living. Often they're corrupt or try to achieve their goal of obtaining the property through dishonest or illegal means, but sometimes the movie has no other way to paint them as an outright villain than to make them kind of a jerk.
Similarly, landlords (or bankers, etc.) get this treatment simply for demanding that protagonists pay them the money they're rightfully owed or vacate the premises. If the "creditor" figure is not outright portrayed as a jerk or involved in some underhanded scheme, they still get painted as "fabulously wealthy landowner being merciless and unforgiving to characters' hardships."
If they have a "No pets allowed" policy it's usually because they hate animals instead of more legitimate reasons.
The people who think the hero is crazy and needs to be locked up usually think so because the hero is, well . . . acting totally batshit. In real life, if a friend or family member starts going on about voices, special powers, or other worlds, getting mental help for them is generally the right thing to do.
Any time a new boss/authority figure makes any type of budget cuts, it is almost guaranteed that he or she will be portrayed as a villain, and their rising to their position of authority will be portrayed as a Tyrant Takes The Helm moment. Never mind the fact that in Real Life budget cuts are often necessary, particularly in tough economic times. The idea that budget cuts may sometimes be justified is apparently not a popular one with many writers, and any authority figure who suggests budget cuts will be portrayed as an absurdly evil villain who actively hates the arts/his employees/teachers/children/the community and wants to cut the budget For the Evulz rather than because of fiscal/economic realities. If they are a school principal or superintendent, they will painted as a Dean Bitterman who needs to lighten up. If they are a political figure they will inevitably be a Strawman Political, and if they are in the business world they will always be portrayed as being a Corrupt Corporate Executive. Apparently, fiscal responsibility is the Eighth Deadly Sin in the world of fiction. The fact that this attitude is often carried over into Real Life—resulting in anyone who suggests budget cuts being portrayed as evil no matter how fiscally sensible their proposals may be—is also rather frustrating.
In many of the particularly cheesy kid and teen movies out there, anyone who doesn't immediately give the Designated Hero their way is portrayed as a jerkass. A typical example is a character who hasn't done anything worse than compete with the protagonist for something, yet somehow deserves to be punished and humiliated, or a teacher who actually makes the protagonist work and is portrayed as a Sadist Teacher because of it.
This is especially bad when the "hero" belittles, humiliates, and otherwise torments his enemy and is portayed as justified, but when the enemy does the exact same thing, he/she is a jerkass. This often leads to Alternative Character Interpretation - if we only ever see a character's behavior around someone who hates them, what's to say they aren't sweet to their friends and family? This can than make an already Unintentionally Unsympathetic protagonist worse, if they treat their loved ones poorly.
Sitcoms and Telenovelas with a Love Triangle (well, is there any without one?) usually arrange it as a designated couple and "the other", who is an obstacle in the designated couple's happiness. They are usually referred to as the heroes and villains of the work. However, "the other" may be a villain or not according to what does s/he actually do to keep the relation or in other topics. Specially if the designated couple have just met and "the other" has been in the relation from years ago (and more if there are kids in the scene), doing anything to protect the relation may be perfectly justified in most cases.
About halfway through the anime Fafner In The Azure Dead Aggressor, it seems that the writers realized that they made their Designated HeroHidden Elf Village too unlikable, and the alternative, the U.N. backed "Human Army", too sympathetic in trying to survive against the world ending threat. Sweeping changes were made in personalities to ensure that the audience knew who was right and who was wrong.
Dinosaur Ryuzaki (Rex Raptor) from Yu-Gi-Oh! is more of a "villain by proxy", as his best friend is the downright rotten Insector Haga (Weevil Underwood). He is shown helping Jonouchi on occasion, and is more just a jerk than an actual villain, but ends up selling his soul for power in the Doma arc anyway.
King Gurumes, the villain of the first Dragon Ball movie. He ruled his land with tyranny because he became addicted to blood rubies. So Goku and his friends try to stop the evil king from gathering the dragon balls and making his "terrible wish" of wishing himself free of the blood ruby hunger... which would solve the problem itself!
Donan Cassim in Fangofthe Sun Dougram. Sure, the reason why he's so determined to keep the colony planet a part of the Earth Federation is that he wants to use the manpower and technology to develop two nearby mineral-rich planets and save an exhausted Earth, but he's still evil. At some point, the authors realized that he's a little too sympathetic and installed his aide as the Big Bad instead.
Luc displays an odd case of this in the Suikoden III Manga, where he goes to considerable effort to hide the fact that he's trying to save the world (through mass genocide, but still). When the hero finds this out, he even rants about not needing sympathy for his actions. He was a Jerkass even when he was a good guy.
Star Driver has a bit of this. Yes, the Glittering Crux Brigade kidnapped the maiden to allow them to summon giants to Earth for some reason that probably involves fighting, since we never see anything else happen, but when they aren't wearing their masks, they're pretty nice guys. Even the leader of Adult Bank, President, who is a schoolgirl wife who kisses men other than her husband through the glass because her husband is never around - Openly! Like, in class! - only has a massive boat to live in, not because she's uber rich and spoiled, but because she's pretty sure that volcanoes will explode when they succeed, and wants to evacuate everyone off the island, so no one dies. After asking why else she would possibly have such a thing, both of her subordinates - who give her drinks and massages whenever she wants - simply stare at her, bewildered. The only true villain in the series turns out to be Head who was manipulating the rest of Glittering Crux from the very beginning.
In Valkyria Chronicles, Faldio's 'villain-hood' is very poorly executed. He saves everyone's lives with his desperate gamble in activating Alicia, but gets only grief and reproach from everyone, even himself - though nobody ever suggests a possible alternative to his course of action. That Alicia survives to live happily ever after, whereas Faldio has an ignominious death off-scene, compounds the problem. Many fans of the game hate his prominence in the anime *anyway*, so they're likely not to care.
In Faldio's case, it's not so much what he does or why he does it, but how. That is to say, his "desperate gamble" to activate Alicia's power was to shoot her in the back. The anime only compounded the mess by trying to set up as the foil in a Love Triangle between him and Welkin beforehand.
A common complaint about Crest of the Stars is that the United Humankind Alliance is this, as the author is blatantly favoringThe Empire of SpaceElves that tricks or conquers through military force any human world it encounters in order to strip them of any capacities for interstellar travel that are not dependent on the Abh to run them. Grey and Gray Morality is involved (the United Humankind Alliance, whilst it does only accept worlds that request to join, is a lot more politically/culturally meddlesome than the Abh), the Abh are still pretty obviously Designated Heroes.
Dumbledore is apparently a very mean and cruel teacher who tortures Ebony for being gothic. He was rightfully angered to see her having sex in the middle of the forest. He laughed at Draco being kidnapped by Voldemort, but you have to admit, it was pretty hilarious.
Britney. She's this and a Butt Monkey. Preps in general are treated as monsters, despite not even doing anything mean.
Generally common in Harry Potter fics that try to portray Dumbledore as a cruel, manipulative man (as opposed to the benevolent, manipulative man he is in canon). Often times, the author cannot be bothered to figure out what Dumbledore's big plan is, resulting in him coming across as manipulating the main characters purely for the sake of manipulating them. Or at least trying to, since, invariably, despite Harry having no clue of Dumbledore's malevolent intentions for however far into the series the fic takes place, he is suddenly painfully transparent and Harry or our new Mary Sue can avoid his manipulations with ease.
Fan fics in general of Naruto seem to make ALL of the Uchiha Clan evil and jerkasses, simply because the readers dislike Sasuke- who, it should be remembered, had a seriously traumatic childhood and no less than 3 antagonists actively trying to corrupt him in various horrible ways since the age of 8, if not earlier, including assualt, Mind Rape and torture; so its understandable if he's more than a little messed up, even if he is a villain. So they think Itachi was right to kill every single baby, non-ninja, or elderly member of the entire clan. Simply because one member is a bit of a Jerkass, his entire genetic family tree must be like this and deserves to be wiped out to make space for the recently powered-up Naruto.
As of the Fourth Ninja War arc, even Itachi himself has said he was in the wrong, though to be fair most of these fan fics predate that arc.
On the flipside we have Sinister Chakra where this is invoked so the reader is unsure of just who is evil. Akatsuki? Wanna change the world for the better with a newer system that currently works and is in place in Ame but lament they have to take over the world to do so. The biggest one being Madara: Sealed in Naruto with the Kyuubi but is okay with being absorbed but wants Naruto to go after Konoha for allowing a corrupt council to exist and nearly wipe out all of the clan Senju but 4 people. He generally helps Naruto but warns him not to be naive.
Most of the antagonists in Christian Humber Reloaded. If you're not familiar with the source material, they hardly seem evil compared to Vash, since apart from marshaling their forces to attack the good guys, their canon misdeeds are rarely described in detail. This especially goes for one group of "snobs" that Vash attacks, killing thousands and doing trillions of dollars worth of damage in the course of doing so. And while there is no apparent reason for this, they are apparently meant to be seen as evil enough to deserve it.
Poor, poor Mai in the infamous fic. True, she does one legitimately villainous thing: killing Katara's baby through poisoned fruit, as opposed to Designated Heroes Katara and Zuko who really have nothing to back up their "hero" status. However, she is right when she hides Katara's letters and eventually confronts Zuko about them, and is truly sad when Zuko tells her that he never loved her. Then Katara kills her. With bloodbending. In the middle of the day.
JDR's (Chatoyance) The Conversion Bureau fanfics depict humans as evil in the extreme unless they convert, in which case they're simply 'misguided' beings who are being 'uplifted' into a supposedly better state of living. Any character who refuses to convert, and calls the ponies out on the genocide they are conducting is written as unsympathetic and beyond any kind of redemption on their own and must be forced to convert against their will. The catch is that humanity doesn't seem to have done anything villainous.
Percy in Pocahontas is designated as a villain simply by being the pet of Ratcliffe. Although Ratcliffe is a racist, genocidalmaniac, Percy is actually a pretty decent dog. While aloof, he certainly isn't arrogant, and he doesn't attack anyone without any provocation. He just seems content with staying in the ship and enjoying his well-off, carefree life. Then, Meeko bursts in and steals his food for no reason other than to be a Troll. And then it all goes downhill from there.
Then it goes uphill. The antagonism between Percy and Meeko is more like Tom And Jerry, where the audience is supposed to simply enjoy the rivalry rather than just root for one side over the other. By the end of the movie, they've made up, and have even exchanged accessories.
Vincent the bear in Over the Hedge. On screen, the only thing he does is make RJ replace the food that he lost because he was stealing it. He makes a monologue about a bunch of Offscreen Villainy, but without that, he's really just trying to survive.
Megamind is this in-universe - everybody were always seeing him as nothing but trouble and his attempts to blend in and get friends backfired. His main motivation of being a villain is that everybody thinks of him as one already, so why not play along? He later learns he doesn't have to be what people want him to.
In Astérix and the Vikings, the villain has only one Kick the Dog moment (against the wangsty and relatively unsympathetic Justforkix) but otherwise isn't particularly evil or villainous, his grand scheme simply being to outwit a bunch of dumb vikings. He's clearly more civilized and competent than his intended victims, who, true to viking tradition, attack a town in the opening scene and keep the skulls of their victims all over the place.
Sid in Toy Story. He is portrayed as a budding sociopath for his cruelty to toys, but he can't be faulted for the way he treats his toys, since he doesn't actually know that they're alive; the worst thing he actually knowingly does is pick on his younger sister. Amusingly, a few of Pixar's employees have said that they too used to mess with their toys, and jokingly called Andy "a freak" for treating his so nicely.
His cameo appearance in Toy Story 3 seems much more neutral, appearing as a garbage man making his rounds while gleefully rocking out on his headphones.
Many people commented that they can't see Ralph in the wrong at all and see the Nicelanders as the true villains in the game who never get their Karmic Justice, mostly since they dupe Fix-it Felix Jr., and by extension the player, into keeping their pristine apartments all nice. Plus...wouldn't it be funner wrecking said apartments with Ralph than fixing his damage?
What is important to note is that while Ralph is the Designated Villain, he isn't paired with a Designated Hero, since Felix is in no way a jerk or unsympathetic like one would expect from this kind of plot. The Nicelanders really end up looking like the bad guys since they manipulate Felix into shunning Ralph even though he doesn't want to. It just makes Ralph more sympathetic and less like the bad guy, since the one person in his game who gives a damn about him is routinely (and unknowingly) coerced into adding to Ralph's disrespect.
It has two villains: one is a true villain type - a jerk kid (Lucas) who goes against the heroes in the big video game contest; the other is a guy (Putnam) who tracks down runaway kids for a living, but everyone accuses him of somehow exploiting the kids. Given that he has an attitude and uses tactics more befitting of a child abductor than a professional private detective, there could be some off-screen truth to it.
He also actively tries to prevent Sam (the two boys' father) from finding them first just so he can collect the reward. At one point, he slashes the man's tires. Certainly doesn't justify all of Sam's interactions with him (such as trying to run him over later), but Putnam was hardly just some well-meaning authority figure caught up in a misunderstanding. The guy could actually be considered an in-universe Designated Hero.
Somewhat lampshaded in Tin Cup where it's stated that no decent person could hate children, dogs, or the elderly, so the love interest's Jerkass boyfriend, Don Johnson, chews out a child, an old man, and a dog in a single line of dialogue.
Sgt. Doberman from the 1970s love letter to anarchy, Over the Edge. His shooting of a teenager in the film is considered a Moral Event Horizon - and subsequently, his murder by anonymous teenagers is presented as a good thing - ignoring that the stupid kid was pointing a gun at him and screaming "Die, pig!!"*
In case you're confused, pointing anything that even LOOKS like a gun at a cop is granting him permission to blow your head off. And that isn't some new policy of theirs; it's always been that way.
Doberman didn't know the gun wasn't loaded, but the movie plainly doesn't care about that plot point and drops it rather quickly. 70s audiences no doubt were horrified, but modern audiences might instead feel relieved that the Sergeant took this moron out before he could get the chance to breed.
Jonas and his "evil, tornado-chaser crew". Jonas used to be a "pure" tornado chaser, then he got corporate sponsors and a fleet of black SUVs. He also has a duplicate of the main characters' "Dorothy" system, which he rightly claims credit for building. Bill (a guy who had given up tornado chasing to get a job as a TV weatherman) even assaults Jonas while he's talking to reporters, and gets angry when Jonas snidely asks how his new gig is going. This motivates Bill to abandon his fiancee and team up with his ex-wife and her crew. Bill also looks down on Jonas because he relies on technology and not instinct in order to predict tornadoes. So, if you can't sense the weather like Bill, you're a fraud, because, apparently, the whole point of tornado chasing isn't scientific research... And at the end, Jonas gets killed by a tornado. Um...yay?
This is made even worse because Bill and Jonas have the exact same goal - using the Dorothy system to gain valuable scientific data that could lead to better tornado warning systems that could save lives. Not only that, Jonas does not once use evil means to achieve these ends. There's no difference between Bill and Jonas ... except that Jonas is a big fat meanie to Bill.
High School Dean Edward R. Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is presented as a villain, even though it is his job to enforce school rules. The film makes him rather crazy about his job, resorting to breaking and entering, to make him the villain.
The hotel concierge in Home Alone 2 is depicted as a bad guy from the get-go just for being suspicious of Kevin when, in fact, he and the rest of the hotel staff have every right to be wary of a ten-year-old checking into a four-star hotel by himself.
The disaster film Meteor had an American general be portrayed in a bad light for objecting to Russians getting access to a top secret American command center during the height of the Cold War. Straw Man Has A Point.
Mrs Tingle in Teaching Mrs. Tingle is really the only sensible and likable character. Most of the movie involves the jerkass protagonist and her friends trying to torture and murder her because she accused the protagonist of cheating when she had every reason to believe that the protagonist had, in fact, been cheating. The movie also heavily implies that Trudy, the protagonist's competitor for the stipendium, deserves to be killed merely for being studious.
Dr. Jarret in Mans Best Friend is an interesting case of this. He is performing unethical & illegal research on animals (bad) and he created the genetically engineered killer dog that causes all the trouble in the movie (also bad, but keep reading). His purpose was to build the ultimate guard dog after his wife and child were killed; he figured it would be a good product to sell. He also kept Max on a strict regiment of drugs designed to keep him from going berserk and insane. When the Designated Hero steals Max from the laboratory, the police and others don't seem too interested in taking Dr. Jarret seriously, despite the fact that he has explained that his dog is a ticking time-bomb that's ready to explode in a shower of mayhem...He made the monster, but he kept it under control, and it was only due to the acts of others that it escaped and was able to kill people. And we're supposed to believe that he's bad.
The human villains in The Lost World: Jurassic Park have this trait specifically so that their arguments can be dismissed. While they were shown to be quite ruthless when dealing with the dinosaurs, the Designated Heroes were directly or indirectly responsible for every human death in the movie. The 'villains' keep going out of their way to save the protagonists' lives, while the 'heroes' continue to heckle and sabotage them. While a Tyrannosaurus is rampaging through the hunter group, the leader suddenly finds out that one of the heroes stole the bullets from his gun.
The film also falls headfirst into Strawman Has a Point. The antagonists are supposed to be evil because they claim that the dinosaurs were property of the local Mega Corp, when that's exactly what they are; they wouldn't even exist if they hadn't been deliberately created, which also nicely shatters the protagonists' argument that they should be left alone to live naturally, nature having nothing to do with it. A clear example of the "villains" being more like jerks than actually evil people. Not to mention that InGen had lost a shedload of money on the failed Jurassic Park, and had a responsibility to their employees and shareholders to try and recoup it. There's a deleted scene where the supposedly Corrupt Corporate Executive explicitly points out they've spent well over a hundred million dollars hiding the island.
Also deleted was the scene where the baby's leg was accidentally broken, leaving us with the impression he did it deliberately, a rather Orwellian approach to making him seem more villainous.
In the "Kick the Can" segment of the Twilight Zone The Movie , the apparent villain is a man whose only concern is for the welfare of a bunch of octogenarians who shouldn't be engaging in physically strenuous activity. How's he supposed to know that it's really magic at work that will keep them safe?
The villain of the 1996 made-for-TV horror movie The Beast is Schuyler Graves. He's the bad guy because: 1) He's richer than the hero, and 2) He has a less manly first name.
The Hannah Montana movie's villain was a land-developer who wanted to pave an empty field to build a mall. Todd in the Shadows pointed out that a mall would actually have greatly boosted the economy of the town, attracted more people (such as tourists or prospective home-buyers—which would have also improved economy) and that the guy wants to pave an empty field that has no real use. Yet we're supposed to think that the guy is scum just because he's a land developer in a kid's movie.
The Machines in The Matrix become this in the fluff. It turns out that their "genocide" of humanity was an act of self defense after humanity randomly decided to become bent on destroying them, unprovoked, purely out of prejudice. And this was after humans had used them as routinely abused slave labor for years. (At least according to Zion's database, which probably was edited by the Machines.)
Christmas with The Kranks places the Kranks at the same level as Ebenezer Scrooge simply because their only flaw in the movie is that they do not want to celebrate the commercialism of Christmas for one year.
Adams' roommate (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is particularly bad for this, although he does "loosen up" and "redeem" near the end of the film. The audience is expected to hate him because he's a stick in the mud and insufferably smug, but it's clear he tries earnestly to get good grades and we can understand why he might feel jealous of Patch (who gets the highest grades in the class without studying at all). He accuses Patch of cheating on his tests, and since we never see him study (whenever he's with the other med students, he just goofs off while they try to work), it does seem suspect for Adams to have such high grades. We can also understand why having a roommate as annoying as Patch might make one a little snippy, especially when the guy disrupts your tests by cracking jokes.
The Real Life Patch Adams hated the movie on every one of these grounds, because the real Patch Adam's did act like a professional and the methods advocated in the film are only part of his healing process- humour and being friendly with your patients helps, but he was still a doctor.
Deconstructed in Unbreakable with Elijah Price. Due to his extreme medical condition, he has spent his life reading comic books and began to believe in the concept of Heroes and Villains. When he realized that he could never be the hero that the world needed, he devoted himself to becoming a villain and became obsessed with finding his hero by causing multiple disasters (Since the villain is often the exact opposite of the hero, he determined that his opponent would be able to survive such things unharmed). Throughout, it is shown that Elijah takes no pleasure in his actions and only does Them to fulfill his fantasy and have a real purpose in life. He believes that fate has already cast him in his role and he is just following it.
Even Tim Burton points out that the various producers in Ed Wood are all DVs; all they want to do is prevent Wood from making terrible movies on their dime.
Caroline in Maid In Manhattan, one of the two "wicked stepsisters" in this modern-day version of Cinderella. She's a flake and utterly oblivious to the fact that the "Prince" is completely uninterested in her, but other than that, she doesn't do anything wrong. The one remotely bad thing that she does is file a complaint when she discovers that Marisa (the titular maid) has been wearing her clothes—a perfectly legitimate gripe.
In the film Unaccompanied Minors, The bad guy is the airport security director. He's upset that he can't go on vacation because the whole airport is snowed in. The protagonists are all kept away in a children's area, but the main characters break out, and proceed to steal food, steal a transport, and go to the milage club without being accompanied by an adult. He confines them to the airport room while the rest of the kids are taken to an inn. For the rest of the film, they break out, steal from the unclaimed baggage, and try to get to that inn where one of the character's sisters is. The director's just does his job in trying to get them back. He proceeds to fall over a slop, crash a canoe, and an annoyed guest assaults him, along with the girl who stole the car!
At the end of the film this is addressed, as he just tells the main kid that he's just doing his job. However, the movie still treats him as a scrooge for being bitter on Christmas, and it's he who learns the lesson about giving, while the protagonists don't get called on their actions.
The A.I. from the first Resident Evil movie. It was supposed to be seen as wrong for insisting that the main characters kill one of their own who was infected before the A.I. would let them leave and for killing everyone in the facility when the virus was released. The problem with this? It was the only one doing its job. Everyone else was too busy trying to force their way in and then out, short circuiting the A.I. or sending in more and more people into what should be a building under total quarantine. If they had just let the A.I. do its job they wouldn't be dealing with a world wide zombie apocalypse two movies later. The Red Queen becomes much more antagonistic during her return in Resident Evil Retribution, in which she's running a facility cloning Alice and several of the movie series characters by the hundreds and killing them over and over again in order to try and control Umbrella's viruses.
Author Peter David, in his Star Trek New Frontier novels, uses Jellico (now promoted to Admiral) as a recurring character. For most of the series, he remains a Designated Villain to the pseudo-Military Maverick main character, Captain Mackenzie Calhoun. Then, after a Time Skip, he's informed that Calhoun is missing and presumed dead. The reader is clearly supposed to expect Jellico to not be particularly upset by this...until it's revealed that some time during the Time Skip, the two had resolved their differences and were now close friends.
Jill in The Girl Who Owned A City. Her arguments in favor of voting and collectivism seem rather reasonable, but are dismissed in favor of the Mary Sue objectivist main character.
Before The Worm Ouroboros decided to ditch its framing device, the viewpoint character is guided around by a talking marlet, who identifies many of the main characters and pours a ton of adjectival condemnation on the villains. This is before they've done anything. Lessingham dryly concludes that "A fiery politician is my marlet", and resolves to make up his own mind on things. He and the marlet are never referred to again. As it turns out, the villains aren't much different from the heroes and certainly don't deserve titles like "the children of night everlasting". This is an odd example because the author seems to quite like them.
Technically, she's not a villain, but Leah is considered to be a bitter, shrewish harpy who is usually ignored and dumped on. Turns out, the reason she's bitter is because her fiance was essentially brainwashed into loving her cousin and everyone blames her for being upset over this all while she has to listen to her former fiance's thoughts on his True Love for her cousin. Edward threatens to kick her over a river because she yells at Bella for stringing Jacob (who she sees as a friend later) along. Add in the fact that she is one of the few characters who actively tries to better herself and move on after losing a significant other (and her father dies after seeing her shape-shift), it's kind of hard to see why readers are supposed to dislike her.
This happens a lot in the Twilight series, in no small part thanks to Meyer's tendency to tell, rather than show what's going on in the narrative. For example, at one point in the first novel, Edward calls Mike Newton "vile" because...um...he's been shown as being nothing but nice? Bella's internal monologue and opinion of other people is often entirely at odds with what is going on around her, and every male except for Edward and Jacob is baselessly demonized at some point.
Particularly jarring is Bella's view on her father. In every other series, this might be brushed aside because she'd be considered an Unreliable Narrator or it would be normal teenager behavior, but in this case, we are supposed to see Charlie as the mean old guy who grounds Bella and just doesn't understand how much she needs Edward. This is after Bella starting to distance him immediately after she started dating Edward, ran away from home because she 'broke up' with him, was stalked by him across states, was severely injured in very suspicious fashions, after which she immediately decided to get back to Edward's side, was abandoned by Edward in the woods, became catatonic and suicidal, ran away from home AGAIN, to a different country, because Edward threatened suicide on her.
Even people Bella allegedly gets along with act as Designated Villains if they're not vampires. Jessica, one of the first friends Bella made, is regularly considered to be a False Friend in Bella's mental commentary; Jessica, who was nothing but nice to Bella when they first met, instantly and repeatedly forgave Bella blowing her off again and again for the first supernatural pretty boy to waltz by, and generally appears to like Bella except during her blatantly insane phase in New Moon, despite Bella's ceaselessly condescending view of her. It never once occurs to Bella that any distance that develops between her and Jessica is due to Bella being a complete parasite that only acts friendly to Jessica when she wants something from her; Bella's first flirtations with deliberately endangering herself to hallucinate about Edward's voice also put Jessica in danger, and Bella is resentful and offended when Jessica starts keeping her distance for the rest of the book!
In fact, nearly all of the human characters are demonized in this book. It is an over-arching theme of the books that humanity is flawed and weak, and must be cast off. Supernatural creatures, no matter how antagonistic they may be, are always described in positive terms, and Meyer elevates the vampires to God-like statuses, describing members of the Cullen family as 'young god' and 'avenging angel'. Bella decides that she wants to become a vampire nine days after knowing about their existence, and instantly drops all of her human ties. She not only condescends to her friends, but she jeers about her parents behind their backs. All interaction she has with them are for specific, selfish interests, like getting herself out of trouble, or seducing someone for information. Thanks to the bland narrative, Bella actually displays more signs of sociopathy than the stalking, abusive, genocidal Edward.
Well, Rosaline is demonized despite being a Cullen....but that's because she's the only Cullen who dares to not love Bella, thus making her the Black Sheep.
Mr Rochester's wife, Bertha Mason, could be Jane Eyre's only real Designated Villain, because she is the main reason why Jane and Mr Rochester cannot be together. However, she was insane and her erratic behaviour came from what spread in her family and Mr Rochester locked her up for ten years in the third story room with no one to see but a maid. One cannot help but pity her.
In Jean Rhys's novel Wide Sargasso Sea, it is revealed that Bertha went insane due to Rochester's mistreatment of her, including everything from obviously disliking her during the duration of their marriage to having sex with one of their servants. Bertha's mom, on the other hand, went insane after the servant of her new English husband abandoned her infant son during a fire started by the angry townsfolk. This led to the child dying of smoke inhalation. Their madness is not hereditary, but rather a result of the English men who came into their lives and messed everything up.
Similar to the Leah example, Kayla in The House Of Night makes a whopping two appearances and is promptly branded a man-stealing jealous bitch by Zoey as a result. Kayla's crime, really, is hooking up with Heath after Zoey tells her several times, in no uncertain terms, that she's broken up with him. In Betrayed, Zoey acts like Kayla was being horribly spiteful and irrational in going to the police after witnessing Zoey drinking Heath's blood, and then having Zoey threaten to do the same to her. To really hammer this point in, Zoey's friends (who never even met Kayla before) begin referring to her as "skank-bitch Kayla" after learning that she went to the police.
Although it's probably not very nice to pick at a story written by a 12-year old, critics of Swordbird by Nancy Yi Fan have complained that the main villain isn't really evil, just annoying.
In the Fairy Tale"The Wonderful Musician", the wolf, fox, and hare don't actually do anything to harm the protagonist until he tricks and humiliates them because he wanted a human companion, not an animal. Then they come after him.
Michael Crichton's Timeline features a Jerkass corporate executive Robert Doniger whose quantum teleportation experiments kickstart the plot. He supports all possible safeguards for his technology, all accidents and disasters are caused by people refusing to follow his orders, and he does everything in his power to help the protagonists. As thanks for this, they murder him at the end by sending him back in time to die of the Black Plague. For being a jerk.
This was addressed in The Movie of the Book, where Doniger actively tried to hide the flaws in the system and strand the protagonists in the past by destroying the machine, which earned him a trip to the past and a sword in the face.
Even if Claudia weren't a member of the Baby Sitters Club, the title of Claudia and Mean Janine tells us which sister we're supposed to be rooting for in The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry. However, Janine never does anything particularly "mean" in the book. Instead, she makes attempt after attempt to connect with her sister, while Claudia repeatedly shoots her down, internally snarking about Janine's activities, friends, and her clothes. Claudia's complaints that Janine isn't helping take care of their grandmother also ring hollow since (a) no one ever asks Janine to help, and (b) when Janine tried to volunteer to help, Claudia insisted she could take care of everything and there was no reason for anyone else to disrupt their lives.
Most of the 'monsters' in mythology are never actually shown to do anything evil, and a lot of them are treated horribly anyway. Medusa and the children of Loki especially come to mind.
Likewise, depending on which versions of a fairy tale you read, the evil stepsister/rival to the heroine doesn't do anything evil in general, besides being pushed to replace the heroine by her mother. In some stories, the stepmother even forces her own daughter(s) to mutilate themselves, inflicting worse pain on them than the heroine goes through! And yet most of those tales end with the rival being humiliated or brutally murdered.
Karen Traviss seems determined to do this to Dr. Catherine Halsey in her Halo novels Halo Glasslands and Halo The Thursday Way (prequels to Halo 4), putting the blame for the SPARTAN-II program's shadier aspects squarely on Halsey's shoulders. Almost everyone suddenly starts seeing Halsey as a monster who shouldn't be allowed to live. The specific act that earns the hate is the flash-cloning of the kidnapped children in order to convince the parents that the kids aren't really missing. The clones fall ill and die a few months later. The head of ONI, Admiral Margaret Parangosky, personally blames Halsey for this. The kicker is, nothing happens in ONI without Parangosky's say-so, so there's no way she could not have known about the flash-cloning, especially since it hardly could have been accomplished by Halsey alone. Nobody seems to consider that making parents think their kids are dead may be more merciful than living with the constant fear of any parent whose child was kidnapped. Alternatively, the SPARTAN-III program (using orphans from glassed planets) is seen as the better alternative, as the orphans agreed to take part in it. However, the SPARTAN-III program is meant to produce a mix of Super Soldiers and Cannon Fodder. Besides, all those orphans are teenagers and, thus, cannot be mature enough to make the decision to agree. Another argument is that the SPARTAN-II program was started many years before the war with the Covenant, so there's no justification for it. However, the Insurgents who plagued UNSC for years did so using terrorist tactics, such as suicide-bombing (in Halo Contact Harvest, Sergeant Johnson's entire squad is wiped out trying to stop an Insurgent woman, who ends up blowing up several city blocks with her bomb-purse). Basically, while Halsey's actions may be seen as deplorable, they can also be seen as justified and in no way placed on her shoulders alone.
Worse, the author shows no sympathy for Halsey, even when it's revealed that she cries herself to sleep every night with the name of her dead daughter (Miranda Keys) on her lips.
Live Action TV
Helena Peabody in series 2 of The L Word. Viewers are supposed to dislike her because she chose to give money to help poverty-stricken families rather than Bette's art gallery, and because she winds Bette up even though she only did this after Bette was very rude to her (telling her that she was unwelcome when she came to Alice and Dana's party just because she didn't like her dating her ex). Tina has sex with Bette while she's supposed to be Helena's girlfriend and this is depicted as an okay thing to do, but after this, Helena starts dating other women while going out with Tina and is made out to be a villain for it. The main characters stand her up after she goes to a lot of trouble to organize a meal for all of them, and this is depicted as acceptable behavior. Granted, Helena could be bossy and a little stuck up, but no more so than Bette, and she never got any credit for her many acts of charity and generosity.
In the new Battlestar Galactica, Tom Zarek. His stated positions (which are in opposition to those of the show's "heroes") tend to be credible enough to get significant audience sympathy, but his actions, especially in season 4.5, are intended to show that he is clearly a Bad Guy, though the increasingly irrational behavior of the main characters makes him look more like the Only Sane Man.
In fact, it's pointed out at least twice that the so called ideals that they were protecting to keep Zarek out of power are actually being violated. He's cheated of the post he was elected to at least twice by Adama and Roslin, who try to, and succeed in a coup against him. Then he's falsely imprisoned by Adama, who has no legal right to do so and does so ignoring the commands of the legal government and yet we're supposed to buy that he's in the wrong when he tries to overthrow the illegal military government.
In Stargate Atlantis, Bates, Kavanaugh, and Ellis tend to end up in this role. They usually have legitimate concerns or complaints, but because these are against the main cast of characters (Bates seeing Teyla as a security risk, Kavanaugh complaining to Weir about Weir degrading him in public, Ellis wanting McKay to cut the exposition and get to the point), the characters are presented as reactionary jerkasses. There is also a trend of portraying Kavanaugh, in his few appearances, as a coward, even though, every time, he is up against a situation in which his fear is perfectly understandable.
Charles was brought in to act as a buffer between Michael Scott and upper management, which was a valid action given that Michael really should have been fired for lying about a risky sales scheme he engaged in (or kidnapping a pizza-boy, or any number of others). When Michael quit, Charles took his place and took a hard line with the office, cutting a number of activities to save money and asking the employees to actually sit down and do their work.
This can also be the case for the conflict between Andy and Dwight: both were trying to get each other fired, but we're supposed to side with Dwight.
The UK version of The Office features this trope in regards to Neil Godwin (Brent's boss) who, according to Word Of God, we are not supposed to like. His crimes are neatly summed up in The Other Wiki as "He is dismissive towards David's dog and shared a joke with Chris Finch at the expense of David's Christmas party date, Carol." That Christmas Party doesn't happen until the very last episode.
Even then, he comes across as more of a Jerkass than a true villain.
In some episodes, Freddie comes across as this, most jarringly in "iMeet Fred" where he is ostracized and nearly killed for saying he didn't think Fred was that funny, and noone seems to have a problem with it.
Expecially when one considers how Freddy is shown as the ONLY person who doesn't think Fred is the best thing ever while in real life, Fred has a considerable hatedom (there is a reason why he's an example under The Scrappy), so really, it should have been some of the people wanting Freddy dead while another bunch of people (wither Freddy likes it or not) would be sending him fruit baskets to thank him. In other words, it would be like if Freddy became an outcast for saying he didn't like the Harlem Shake.
In the early Babylon 5 episode "Survivors", Leanna Kemmer is the Designated Villain for most of the episode...because, after a witness names Garibaldi as a saboteur, and plans for a bomb are found in his quarters along with a whole lot of alien money, Ms. Kemmer (who is in charge of security for an impending visit by the President of Earth) wants to lock him up. Yes, she has a personal grudge against him, but anyone in her position would want to lock Garibaldi up and would be right in doing so. Seriously, Garibaldi, Ivanova, and Sinclair should all have been court-martialed for their efforts to obstruct her.
In the episode "Sounds and Silences" centered around a Large Ham owner of a model ship making company. His meets a cruel fate in the end because he commits the sin of...making too much noise.
In a particularly famous episode, "Time Enough at Last", Burgess Meredith plays a bookworm type who spends the whole episode being abused by every person he meets, and only wants to be alone with his books. Then a nuke wipes out the entire city while he's safe in a bank vault, and he's finally free to read his books in peace...until his reading glasses break. Unfair Cruel Twist Ending? No, Word Of God says that this was his just punishment for his misanthropy. That said, Meredith's character (while perhaps preferring books to people) comes off as very sympathetic in a world where people act like such jerks.
Sterling's case is further hurt by one scene in which as a cruel joke, the bookworm's wife asks him to read poetry from one of his books to her; he eagerly obliges, only to find that she has drawn lines over the text on every page. Is it any wonder he prefers books to people?
Cara also helped overthrow the evil overlord who was in charge of the brainwashing. So, it could be argued that she had broken her brainwashing and was already helping people without anyone forcing her to. Cara was also happy for them to kill her.
Panis Rahl is also treated as a big villain in the episode where he appears. Why? Because Zedd's brother reveals that Panis murdered their father while disguising himself as Zedd. The problem? Their father admitted to Panis (thinking it was his son) that he was trying to murder Panis's infant son. Yes, said boy would grow up to become the Big Bad Darken Rahl, but what father wouldn't do anything he could to protect his child? And he definitely felt remorse for the act, especially since Panis and Zedd were good friends back in the day. Of course, there's also the business of seducing Zedd's daughter while also in disguise, resulting in Richard. The series clearly paints him as a villain in such a way as to make Redemption Equals Death the only way out.
Possibly used in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, where people like Sandra and Coach could hardly be considered villains (lampshaded when Jeff asks if anyone thinks they were put on the wrong team); and Rob, who (shockingly) played the game more heroically than most of the Heroes. The episode where he gets voted off is even titled "I guess I'm not really a good villain". Also subverted with Parvarti and Russel, who said "what did I do that was so bad?" and ended up being the primary antagonists season after season.
Diana Marshall (played by Jane Badler of V) was heavily publicized as a villain prior to her introduction on Neighbours, on the basis of her ruthlessness in her quest to bring down Paul and Rosemary. But given that Paul was responsible for embezzling thousands of dollars from his business and Rosemary's willingness to let her nephew get away with it, it's not hard to see Diana as justified in her actions and to want her to win.
Lex Luthor is an infamous example of this, performing many selfless (and debatably noble) acts throughout the first few seasons (including risking his life to save Clark's class from a hostage taker and saving his semi-abusive father from a tornado), only to be persistently described as having negative motivations all along when very few have actually been observed in him during his screentime...In later seasons, he regularly commits murders and performs unethical experiments, having crossed the line into actual villain.
More egregious is the way Clark himself was depicted vis-a-vis Lana. While Clark was certainly never depicted as a villain in canon, the show did seem intent on convincing viewers that Clark being uncomfortable with revealing his secret to Lana somehow makes him a horrible, nasty Jerkass who needs to learn how to "be open about [his] emotions". Worst of all, whenever Lana did something manipulative or bitchy towards Clark, the show would try to portray her as being justified simply because Clark was uncomfortable with revealing his secret to her, and the showrunners would try to portray this as being an appropriate punishment for Clark's so-called crime.
A particularly controversial character in the Star Trek fandom is Captain Edward Jellico. Commanding the Enterprise D when Captain Picard was off on an espionage mission, he apparently was supposed to come off as a martinet, as evidenced by his changing everything for no good reason other than because he could, disregarding perfectly valid advice, and generally acting like a jerk. However, when the chips were down, he proved an outstanding commanding officer who singlehandedly stopped a war, recovered the captured Picard (who, caught red-handed as a spy, had no expectation of being returned), and refrained from tossing Riker out the nearest airlock which the character badly deserved it for his childish petulance during the two-part episode. He could certainly be seen as a Jerkass, but when a guy who can at worst be said to be a jerk, successfully defeats an enemy who has no problem setting up a trap so that they could capture Picard and brutally torture him for information neccesary to invade the Federation it seems rather petty to complain about how he changed the schedule around.
It had a rather frustrating example during their Gay Aesop episode. Long story short, Finn and his mom move in to live with Kurt and his dad. Kurt happens to be Flamboyant Gay and has an unrequited crush on Finn, and he organized all of this to happen, including sharing rooms with Finn, in hopes of turning him gay so they can be boyfriends. Eventually, after suffering mockery from classmates and having to deal with his prejudice, he lashes out at Kurt using a gay slur. The rest of the episode is Finn having to learn how to respect others' differences. The problem, however, was that the entire altercation was based off the fact that Kurt had been blatantly trying to seduce him in hopes of turning him gay, Finn even let him down gently (explaining that he was flattered, Kurt was great and a good friend, but he's just not into guys and Finn was uncomfortable with that and all the other changes going on), yet only Finn is treated as being in the wrong.
In a later episode, Kurt is called on this by both Finn and Kurt's dad, who originally called out Finn about it before finding out what really happened.
And slightly later than that, the "Previously On" voice calls Kurt out on it.
Mordred, who, in this version, is played by a child. We're supposed to view Mordred as a Creepy Child because the show plays ominous music over extreme close-ups of his large blue eyes, but all that's played out on screen is a kid who's been hunted, persecuted, and had everyone he's ever loved killed by the people who are generally considered "the good team". He uses his magical powers to kill a group of knights advancing on him with swords drawn, clearly preparing to kill him - this was apparently meant to prove to the audience that he's evil incarnate, even though the good guys make self-defensive kills all the time.
When Mordred reappears as a young adult in series 5, the results are...muddled. At first, he very much fits this trope: He saves Merlin and Arthur's lives more than once and proves his loyalty to them, yet Merlin insists on seeing him as evil to the point of twice leaving him to die (even choosing to encourage Arthur to continue persecuting magic users rather than save Mordred). When Mordred's Face Heel Turn finally comes, it's because Arthur has the woman he loved executed. Understandable but perhaps unfair, since she had tried to murder Arthur and he was prepared to show her mercy if she had shown any sign of wanting peace. (Although Merlin didn't help by abruptly deciding the best way to reconcile Arthur and Mordred was to foil Mordred's attempts to take her away from the area peacefully.) In the end, Mordred dies after less than two episodes as a Type II Anti-Villain, during which he only really qualifies as a villain because he's on Morgana's side and shows clear distaste at her more ruthless acts.
Morgana definitely counts. What she has done is no worse than what Merlin has done to his own kind, including her. Yet he is viewed as the hero and she the villain. Like Mordred, at first she is only a villain because Merlin believed the dragon when he said she was. All she did was fall victim to Morgause's plans, but was called evil for it. She did bad things of her own will in series 3, but probably wouldn't have if she hadn't been declared evil in the first place.
Morgause as well. What exactly has this woman done besides try to expose Uther's lies to Arthur and then win back what she thinks rightfully belongs to her half-sister? In one episode, she puts the entire castle to sleep in order to assassinate Uther and claim Morgana without any innocent lives being lost - the writers must have realized that this put her in too' good a light, and later stated that the sleeping spell would have eventually proved fatal for everyone were it not broken in time.
There's also Aithusa, the white dragon, who the creators described in an interview as "an evil character." Thus far he's done two, and only two, things on the show - a) hatch from an egg, and b) heal an injured woman. How the writers will translate this into "evil" remains to be seen.
Morgan from Camelot starts out this way. Sure, the second thing she does is kill her father — but that seems to be over a legitimate grudge, and the first thing she does is try to forgive him for it; it's only when he hits her in the face and tells her "I have no daughter" that she moves into murder mode. After that, she spends several episodes trying to claim her throne from what, so far as she can see, is a pretender plucked out of thin air by a manipulative sorcerer. And her methods for winning the throne? Well, after an alliance with the local warlord (a matter of necessity in the absence of an army of her own) falls through, she sets to work bringing justice to the kingdom, trying to demonstrate to the people that she's a better choice for ruler than Merlin's puppet.
Morgan becomes an actual villain as the season goes on. She murders innocent people, kidnaps her stepmother and walks around impersonating her before murdering her out of pure spite, rapes two men including her own brother and kills a child. She was already a Draco in Leather Pants to fans though, being played by the ridiculously hot Eva Green helps too.
Sheriff Don Lamb on Veronica Mars can come across like this. While certainly a deeply unpleasant man who has done some shocking things (dismissing Veronica's rape in the pilot may as well have been stabbing a puppy),he is not the type the writers are clearly trying to show him as. The fact that people seem far more comfortable putting their trust in a teenage girl and rarely, if ever, actually report crimes kind of makes the argument for incompetence difficult. He never really asked for the job but came into it when Keith was forced to resign for chasing a lead (which later turned out to be wrong anyway) and that he is likely just trying to keep his job (seeing Keith fired was probably a sobering lesson in the virtues of not upsetting the apple cart). This, combined with his backstory of parental abuse, as well as the fact that he seems to be at least somewhat liked and a good boss to his men, can make one far more sympathetic to him than the writers had probably intended.
A cafe owner in the incredibly AnviliciousCharmed episode "The Bare Witch Project" gets a verbal putdown from Phoebe at the end in public while dressed as Lady Godiva, claiming that "he wants women to be barefoot and pregnant". His crime? Asking Piper politely to not breast feed her son in his cafe after customers had complained about it. That's right, the customers complained yet Phoebe shoots the messenger instead.
She specifically puts him down as a sexist pig. However, there were many customers in the cafe, and a good number of women. It's just as likely that some of the women complained about it than only men. However, the owner does get labeled as the bad guy when he points to the sign warning that they can refuse service to anyone, which is basically a more genetic phrasing than "no shoes, no shirt, no service".
Cole in Season 5 got hit with this especially hard after he came back from the dead. For most of the season the sisters, Phoebe especially, felt that he was evil and planning on killing the sisters. The problem is that most of the time Cole never did anything wrong and if he did to something morally dubious it was usually to help the Charmed Ones in some way. Yet despite saving their asses time and time again he would continually get shit on by everyone around him. It's especially Anvilicious when the show tried to justify their behaviour by saying that Cole became the Source, despite the fact that he unwillingly became the source due to the Seers Batman Gambit and Phoebe willingly joined evil but is never called up on it.Opscurus Lupa more or less pointed out that it seems when Cole finally did become evil it was more because he was brow beaten into doing it rather then actually being evil. Yeah there's a reason that Phoebe became The Scrappy to a lot of fans.
Former Vice President John Hoynes on The West Wing. The writers obviously want us to view him as a sleazy backstabber desperately clinging his way back to the top. Instead he comes across as a broken man venting his anger at years of disrespect and mistreatment at the hands of the President and White House staff. The fact that Hoynes was almost a lock for the nomination before Bartlet came along (only at the pestering of Leo and others) and swept the primaries goes without mention, as does the work Hoynes put in to help the House get bills passed (using methods far less devious than what Josh had employed). He even resigned as Vice President to spare the office and his family any more bad publicity. Not exactly the devious Smug Snake he's constantly painted as.
His successor, "Bingo Bob" Russell, fares no better and for even less cause. At least Hoynes caused a sex scandal (that is, he did something wrong) which could justify the main cast's hatred of him (if they'd known about it before it was exposed). Russell didn't even have that much. He was a choice forced on the West Wing by other Democrats because he had a reputation as a lightweight, and it was hoped he wouldn't be much competition to Democrats wanting to run for President in the next election. Russell is aware of his bad reputation and is determined to rise above it, but the rest of the cast doesn't care. While trying to write the speech announcing his Vice Presidency, Toby rants a mock speech on how much they all genuinely despise him that accidentally winds up on the teleprompter. Russell sees it, but is remarkably good-humored about it. Russell does manage to rise above expectations and be an effective Vice President, and (to the dismay of those Democrats who selected him) is able to become the front runner for most of the campaign to be the presidential nominee... and the rest of the cast still hates his guts. The worst thing we ever see him do is give a speech in the Iowa caucus praising ethanol, even though he and everyone else in-universe "knows" ethanol is crap. But you know Josh's candidate for President, Santos, the man who, according to Josh, is "twice the man Russell is on his best days, ten times, and Russell doesn't have very many best days," that Santos? He did the exact same damn thing. Really, it seemed like the office of Vice President on this show was the place to put the guy who was on the same side as the main cast whom the main cast could despise, even if the reason why they despised him was always left a little vague.
The treatment of Internal Affairs (aka "The Rat Squad") in Law & Order, especially Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, often veers into this, presenting the officers of the division as little more than self-important, vindictive assholes targeting the main characters purely out of spite, despite their usually deserving far more censure than they inevitably end up getting. The audience is often expected to dislike them for investigating cops for crimes we the audience know they didn't commit, even though they have sufficient evidence to look into it (in spite of the fact that the detectives often investigate the lives of innocent people all the time- it's just part of the job). And the fact that the police on the show have a tendency to do not-entirely-legal things doesn't help.
In Little House on the Prairie, Harriet Oleson, her daughter Nellie, and sometimes son Willie are all designated villains. The stories are so predictable that if you watch them, if you want to know what the wrong thing to do is, watch Harriet. She's always wrong.
Before her Face Heel Turn, Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was treated as this. She was rightfully the Slayer and she was shown to be rather effective, nice, funny, and friendly. However, Buffy thought of her as psychotic, lacking in morality and someone to avoid. Many of Faith's actions have been blamed on Buffy, from her acting the way she was treated, to her attempt to kill Angel (since Faith was scared of the horrors he might cause and Buffy didn't tell her he was supposedly reformed.) After the Face Heel Turn, she becomes a case of Never Live It Down, note (at least to the Scoobies, the Fang Gang members that know her are okay with her) and later in the series, some of Buffy's hatred of her stems from jealousy.
Logan on one episode of Zoey 101. After screaming at Dustin over the phone because Dustin made a mistake, Logan was enrolled in anger management classes. He gets out of them early, but needs to be monitored by his teacher. If he can go an entire day without getting angry, he gets to be out of the classes. So what do the main characters do? Play tons of cruel tricks on him to get him to snap, tricks that anyone would rightfully get mad at (such as attacking him with paint-filled balloons). Logan manages to go the entire day without getting angry at anyone, until the teacher finally leaves. He then, of course, yells at the others, and is taken back to anger management.
His feud with Randy Orton may be worse. To put it in Punk's perspective, Orton is putting members of your stable on the shelf with the same move with which he stripped you of the biggest accolade in the sport. So you want revenge on him for this, but you're treated like the villain, and the villain who said he wants to break your neck and paralyze you is treated as a hero.
This also occurred in the classic feud between Randy "Macho Man" Savage and Hulk Hogan. The former accused the later of stealing his spotlight and copping a feel of his wife; both of these things were clearly seen to be true by millions watching at home, but the glory-hounding, marriage-wrecking Hogan still wound up as the hero of the story.
Happened in a feud between Jillian Hall (a heel) and the Bella Twins (faces). Brie Bella used the twin switch to beat Jillian in a match. Jillian had wrestled the match cleanly and yet was apparently supposed to deserve it somehow. Next week, Nikki Bella did the same thing. The feud was the Bellas one-upping Jillian everytime, despite being the ones that started it.
R-Truth's heel turn. He won a match to earn a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Next week, John Morrison convinced Truth to put his opportunity for the title on the line in a match against him. Morrison won the match and Truth attacked him afterwards, thus turning heel. So, apparently, in WWE logic, he's a bad guy when Morrison is the one who manipulated him into giving up his title shot.
Truth wasn't manipulated. Morrison tried to manipulate him but it backfired. Ultimately, Truth left it up to the audience who cheered at the idea of him and Morrison having a rematch. The fact of the matter is that him losing his title shot was his own fault and he was a sore loser about it. The heel turn could've been handled better, but WWE immediately used him being a sore loser to show how much of an evil person he is.
Then again, the Beautiful People to that point were basically always the bad guys, and Love, who was originally the leader of the outfit, didn't exactly become a good person since then. This one's more a case of Black and Gray Morality than anything else.
Muhammad Hassan was definitely this. He was reviled and hated in kayfabe for the despicable crime of not wanting to be subjected to prejudice based on his Arabian heritage.
He was actually introduced as a tweener. They let the audience decide whether he was going to be a face or a heel. When they went with heel, he started insulting the crowd and doing normal heel stuff. It really does say a lot about wrestling's audience, though. Especially since the crowd made it clear on several occasions that they hated him because of his supposed ethnic background. It also suggests that WWE wasn't sure what to do with his character.
In Dino Attack RPG, Plastic Serpent was intended to come off as seeming like a low-life criminal scumbag who deserved to get repeatedly beaten up by Snake. The trouble was that Snake himself ended up coming off as also being a low-life criminal scumbag who acted like a Jerkass to everyone and ditched the team to save his own skin. In the first encounter, Plastic Serpent was simply getting a bite to eat when Snake began viciously beating him up (it was implied that he had stolen Snake's codename at the time, "Plastic Serpent"- as he originally operated under the name of "Snake" but changed it as a result of this encounter).
In the second encounter, Snake had to go and beat him up while he was already wounded in battle. An attempt to justify this was made by throwing in off-hand references to Plastic Serpent supposedly screwing Snake over, but many players found given Snake's character up to this point combined with the fact that none of the Offstage Villainy actually appeared brought the reliability of Snake's comments into question.
A non-canon scene was also written (mainly as a joke in response to certain comments) in which a third beatdown happened. This time Plastic Serpent was just minding his own business when Snake started violently bashing his head in to the rails of a bridge. Admittedly this time Snake did get what was coming to him (albeit after Plastic Serpent had his head bashed in several times and got thrown into the river below where he may have drowned) when Snake Plissken and Solid Snake themselves show up and get back at him. Of course Snake receives a comparatively lighter beatdown and then Plissken went ahead and pretty much did to Solid Snake the same thing that had been done to Plastic Serpent.
Admittedly, the fact that the entire thing was meant to be an allegory for what turned out to be a massiveCritical Research Failure on Atton Rand's part didn't help.
The Ventrue are the de facto Designated Villains, although that isn't fair, as all vampires are villainous despite their best efforts. The Daeva, who have the explicit weakness of inevitable moral decline have far more reasons to actually be the Designated Villains, only the fluff of the manuals and supplements just don't write them that way. The Daeva are sympathetic, as being evil is not really their fault, they're just morally decadent. The Ventrue, however, are always portrayed, every last vampire jack of them, as conniving, cackling, sadistic, and evil sons of bitches who are evil because that's what the Ventrue are and do.
As far as fluff goes, the Nosferatu and Gangrel tend to get Designated Hero slots, but if an NPC in a supplement is marked "Ventrue Invictus", you can guarantee that the character is going to be portrayed in a villainous light.
Mekhet, however, are the Designated Morally Ambivalent. They might as well be Vulcans for all the White Wolf writing staff cares.
Could be somewhat of a Justified Trope in regards to the Ventrue. It isn't so much that they are any more evil than other clans, but they make much more interesting villains than most other clans.
Similarly, the Technocracy from Mage The Ascension are largely Designated Villains, by Old World Of Darkness standards, given that there are expansion books to play technocrats and the core books note that the rivalry is somewhat one-sided, with the technocracy not so much hunting you down as reacting with vague surprise that you're still around when you bust into their laboratory.
Later books softened them up a lot. While they are crushing human creativity and enforcing reality to abide by their standards, this is actually done in order to prevent all sorts of monsters and other horrible things creeping into the world, while giving the average person access to 'magic', as technology is magic that anyone can study and use. At worst, they could be seen as a Necessary Evil.
The Old World Of Darkness wasn't named on a whim. Like every other playable faction, the Mages are legitimate dangers to the free will and physical welfare of mortals (the majority of sentient beings) in their own right. Every sourcebook got an antagonist faction that was outright stated to be the designated villain _because it holds the interests of humanity above other things_. Most human corporations in Werewolf are actually reasonable enough, the technocracy brought on the enlightenment, and the various vampire-hunting organizations aren't exactly unreasonable in their desire to hunt and slay creatures that have to kill humans with some frequency to survive.
All that said, the 'villainous' parts also hold true for all the antagonist factions. The Technocracy brought on the Enlightenment, but back then they were the Order of Reason and they were the rebels against the stifling status quo of Hermetic traditionalism and Christian fundamentalism. Over time, as befits the darkness of the Wo D, they became the villains, crushing the world in their grip in their goal to keep humanity 'safe', but only on their terms. Similarly, the Wyrm is a very real evil force with no redeeming qualities and anti-Vampire hunters rarely distinguish between a Sabbat Tzimisce who likes to decorate his living room with the skins of his still-alive ghouls and the Anarch Toreador who only feeds from willing supplicants and never kills. It's more of a Gray Vs Grey Morality with ample degrees of What Measure Is a Non-Human? and Utopia Justifies the Means. No one is unequivocally a good guy in the Wo D.
Vlad von Calerstien in Warhammer Fantasy borders into this, depending how you look at him. While his successors were defiantly evil, the most he did was try and take over The Empire, which its Elector Counts are trying to do all the time, and if his enemies surrendered to him, he let them live. Though all the undead he kept around would take some getting used to.
In the play Alcestis, King Admetus is the villain. He wins the favor of Apollo so that when it's time for him to die, another may take his place. The only person willing though was his wife Alcestis so that her children will know him and not be fatherless. Since she is the one dying for a noble cause, he is the de facto villain.
Shylock from The Merchant of Venice. As such, he's one of the most popular Ensemble Dark Horses in history from roughly the 19th century on. He's been driven to what he's done by the persecution he endures as a Jew, including from the protagonist. Values Dissonance means anti-semitism was actually common in Shakespeare's day.
Dick Deadeye in Gilbert and Sullivan's H.M.S. Pinafore is roundly hated and vilified by all his shipmates, mainly for being ugly. "From such a face and form as mine the noblest sentiments sound like the black utterances of a depraved imagination." This certainly applies to the blandest sentiments, e.g., Dick: "Ah, it’s a queer world!" Ralph: "Dick Deadeye, I have no desire to press hardly on you, but such a revolutionary sentiment is enough to make an honest sailor shudder." And when leading man Ralph, a foremast hand, in response to Sir Joseph's foolish claim that a British seaman is any man's equal (except his own), is deciding to propose to ingenue Josephine, his captain's daughter, Dick's voice of sanity—"When people have to obey other people’s orders, equality’s out of the question"—is roundly rejected by his messmates. On the other hand, when in Act II Dick has warned his captain of "the wicked men who['ll] art employ/to make his Josephine less coy", no retribution lands on Dick after the surprise ending that unites the hero and heroine after all. Perhaps everyone simply expects such behavior from "poor Dick Deadeye", the Designated Villain.
A Double Subversion happens in Fools. Count Yousekevitch is set up to be the villain by the other characters and is presented in a ridiculous "bad guy" outfit. His only real crime is trying to marry a pretty girl. Later, he even lampshades this. He then seemingly has a Pet the Dog moment...only to turn it into a Kick the Dog and prove himself to be just as bad as everyone else said.
Ellen in Miss Saigon is often perceived as this by fans of the show, as she is seen as the obstacle to Kim and Chris reuniting.
Magnificently subverted in Ibsen's A Dolls House with Nils Krogstad, who is repeatedly demonized as an unpleasant and weak dog kicker, but is, upon closer inspection, just trying to secure his job so he can feed his children, and is eventually talked into a total Heel Face Turn. The real villain turns out to be Knight in Shining Armor Torvald Helmer.
The Giantess in Into the Woods. Her only real crime is not being human. She treated Jack kindly and protected him from her husband, and, in return, he robs her and kills her husband. If she was a human, Jack (who admits that he did it) would have been hauled off to jail, if not the chopping block. All the deaths in the second half are either accidents (because she can't see without her glasses) or caused by humans. There is even a scene in the second act deconstructing this, and discussing why she deserves to live less than Jack does. Eventually, none of them can tell who is supposed to be the hero anymore.
Age Of Wonders. We're told that the Elves, Halflings, and Dwarves are good, and the Orcs, Goblins, and Dark Elves evil. While the good races are described briefly as having peaceful, wholesome habits and the evil races are supposed to be violent and aggressive, we don't really see any of this in action. In gameplay, the difference doesn't show up at all: both sides are equally warlike, and have the option of fighting or buying off neutral races. Furthermore, a central gameplay mechanic is the ability to repopulate captured cities with a population of a friendly race; it's plain cultural imperialism at best and the good and evil races do this with equal impunity.
Arc Rise Fantasia gives us Eesa. There doesn't seem to be any real reason why she shouldn't help bring about L'Arc's Law to save the world since she makes it clear that she only wants to choose the Laws that are best for everyone, yet she's still the final boss. Umwat?
Dissidia Duodecim reveals through Chaos backstory that he really isn't evil at all—he's just doing what Garland, Cid, Cosmos and Shinryu have told him to do, and as such this is an Invoked Trope. It just happens he looks like a monstrous demon, and most of the warriors he calls to serve him are villainous.
Undefined Fantastic Object offers a rare encounter: in one route, at least, Marisa and Byakuren seem to hit it off on the subject of magic use, end-up sidelined by a painfully short theological disconnect ("'youkai' protected from humans" versus "humans protected from 'youkai'"), and it's the last boss who demands the fight. Marisa might have been rude (as always) but Byakuren didn't even try hard.
Played with, where the heroes assume that Gulcasa and his army must be evil because they conquered Fantasinia and killed King Ordene. They eventually realize—while invading Gulcasa's country—that they are wrong, but continue their invasion (and in doing so, wipe out a third of Bronquia's able-bodied population in this campaign alone) because they think it's too late to turn back. The Royal Army spends the rest of this part of the game slaughtering civilian militias and the remnants of the Imperial Army, who insist that protagonist, Yggdra, will have to go through them if she wants to kill Gulcasa. There's also some vague nonsense about Bronquia trying to bring about The End of the World as We Know It by resurrecting an ancient demon, but from the way Gulcasa and his last few generals talk about this planned resurrection, it was actually supposed to be their very last resort in case Fantasinia retaliated by invading them. Welp.
Following this, we also have Nessiah, who is actually quite finished causing trouble throughout the world by the time you find him, and whose current major offense is that he's being a vindictive little shit.*
He and Gulcasa, who you have just killed at this point, were very
close. Nessiah congratulates you on your victory by making a People Puppet of your recently deceased friend, Kylier, and forcing you to fight her. (Incidentally, Kylier herself actually says outright that she doesn't hold it against him.)]] At this point of the game, all he wants to do is leave the world of Ancardia and finally get revenge on Asgard for the wrongs done to him—and Asgard is run by the Bigger Bad of the series and Nessiah's people are subject to horrific levels of Fantastic Racism even when they're not marching out of step. If he succeeded, the world would be a much better place; if he died trying, well, it wouldn't be any skin off the Royal Army's nose; either way he wouldn't be your problem any longer. Instead, the Royal Army insists that he must be killed in order to prevent any possible negative consequences for the world of Ancardia.
Daleth from Shin Megami Tensei II is a literal example. He was created by the Center to be the anti-Messiah so the main character can defeat him and grow more popular.
And ironically, he's one of the few named characters, aside from the protagonist and Hiroko, to have a happy ending. He even gets a pretty girl who loves him dearly. Beth, Gimmel and potentially Zayin, all intended to be heroes, end up dead.
Most of the Portrait Ghosts in Luigis Mansion don't even attack, and seem fairly content with just hanging around the mansion.*
Keep in mind luigi isn't a Designated Hero, he's just making sure all the ghosts are captured and some of them happen to be the said villains.
While this is debatable, in BlazBlue, the NOL is straddling this line. For the most part, the organization is filled with lots and lots of Punch Clock Villains, who were doing their jobs for their paycheck, and they truly believed in their goal in creating a peaceful world free of conflicts. However, because Ragna mainly opposes them and they employ several villains like Hazama and Relius, combined with the fact that they are mainly composed of rich people and make up some dictatorship rule (even if it's for preventing total chaos), it becomes easy to paint them as a tyrannical group of villains or a merciless Empire type organization.
Cao Cao and the Wei forces in Dynasty Warriors, in keeping with his characterization from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The game runs on this. No matter who you play as, the other 2 kingdoms (and minor forces) tend to be painted as the bad guys (which makes sense, since they're trying to unite china under their rule too), so it's a conflict of interest. Except Dong Zhuo and, to a lesser extent, Lu Bu.
Played with in Star Ocean Till The End Of Time. During the search for Amelia, you run into Rodger, and then run into a bandit leader. He was willing to ignore you and go about his way, but the party members kept saying he looked 'evil'. The only reason you fight him is because they wouldn't stop saying that and the bandit snapped.
The Dark Ones in Metro 2033. Whether or not you choose to treat them as villains is central to the plot.
Simply going by what the players see, the UED in StarCraft: Brood War turn into this. They don't come off as particularly evil when you're playing as them in the Terran campaign, and many players were glad that you force Mengsk off his throne playing as them. Yet in the Zerg campaign you find Jim Raynor, who loathes Mengsk with passion, and the Protoss, who the UED barely have any contact with, helping Kerrigan try push them out when she ultimately proves to be the worse of two evils.
The "evil" part does come into play when they decide to take control of the Zerg instead of destroying them. On the other hand, simply destroying the new Overmind would not destroy the Zerg. It would, instead, turn them into mindless beasts attacking anything nearby and free for Kerrigan to control (which is exactly what happens when she suceceds in killing the Overmind).
In X3: Albion Prelude, the Terrans are evil for demanding justice for a terrorist committing an act of genocide purely out of racism.
To be more specific, as far as you can tell in the game, the cause of the Second Terraformer War between the Terrans and Argon Federation is that Saya Kho suicide-bombed the Torus Aeternal (massive space station ringing Earth's equator) for little reason, an act that killed thousands of Terran civilians and military personnel instantly, then millions more from deorbiting debris.
In a rather extreme case of All There in the Manual, the war started because the Terran intelligence services were infiltrating the Community of Planets with the hope of influencing its future course, due largely to the Terrans' paranoia about artificial general intelligence. This ended up as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: the Argon began working on AGI combat vessels in order to give their military a fighting chance against the Terrans' technological superiority, then used them to invade the Solar System in a preemptive strike. Saya Kho infiltrated Sol as an agent of the Argon Secret Service; her attack on the Torus was intended to open the way for an Argon invasion of Earth. Doesn't make it right, though.
Hawke can become this to Inquisitor Cassandra Pentagon in Dragon Age II. No matter how nobly Hawke acts throughout the game, Cassandra will still be certain that he is the culprit she is looking for. The game being a deconstruction of the Big Bad, she is told multiple times that there is no one at heart to blame. Although Anders might count, given the events of Act III
While Heavy Rain's Carter Blake is a JerkassRabid Cop who has no business being on the force, calling him "psychopathic", as Jayden does, is a tad extreme. He at least seems to mean well ("The only thing I'm interested in is saving that kid's life!"), and the conclusions he comes to aren't unreasonable. But, ends don't justify means.
The Reapers in The World Ends With You, at least the ones outside the big four, and it's debatable. Really, they're just doing what they're supposed to do, and their killing is actually important to keeping the universe in balance and humanity constantly evolving based on what we learn in secret reports. Also, while Minamimoto and Konishi are obviously villains, Yodai was simply doing his job and Kitaniji was trying to save the UG from complete destruction with an Assimilation Plot, although Neku and the player don't learn this until after Kitaniji has lost.
Justified since this is the view of the protagonists who the Reapers are erasing. From their view, the Reapers are just predators and they want to survive.
The Enclave in Fallout 3 can come across this way, especially to people unfamiliar with them from the first two games. True they kick the dog in a pretty big way by hijacking Project Purity and killing your father, and their leader's plan is pretty horrific when you learn of it. But the subordinates of the Enclave seem more level headed in comparison and more interested in governing the Wasteland rather than destroying it. And considering the Wasteland is a pretty horrible place to live what with the wandering gangs, super mutants, and poor living conditions, and they have by far the most advanced technology available to enforce order albeit with brutal tactics, the player may find himself wishing there was an option to side with them rather than treating them as Always Chaotic Evil.
The 'villain' of the Travellers questline in Kingdoms Of Amalur Reckoning can be seen as this. The Hierophant is never really explained beyond the fact that she is an entity who is the patron of the group and speaks to them through magical statues. She provides them with jobs and seemingly has telepathic abilities. That is, until you rescue a member of the Travellers from captivity, who believes that the Hierophant "set him up". He offers no evidence or motive for this beyond the fact that he seems to question her leadership, despite the fact that to the Travellers, she is an abstract entity who would be unable to do anything to anymore who disobeyed them anyway. And then, when you get caught in a trap yourself, the same man claims that she set you up as well, once again offering no evidence and absolutely no motive this time, as you have not questioned her orders at all. The rest of the questline is spent defying her in various ways, until the stirrer reveals her true identity: *gasp* a completely random member of the group, with absolutely no reason to pretend to be a god-like being at all! Umm...okay. The final mission involves you delving into her random hidden lair and confronting her. You can side with her at the end and remove Onwig once and for all, and admittedly that seems like the best choice given the circumstances.
The conflict is less good vs. evil (everyone involved is a thief), and more a case of freedom vs. security. Defying the Hierophant means sacrificing the benefits of her Fateweaving, but it also frees up the Travelers to make their own way. Since the whole game has a Screw Destiny theme going for it to the point that the player character embodies it, it's easy to see why the game is biased in favor of Onwig.
Although to be fair, Onwig does buckle down and outright states (to you) he wants the Travelers to be free of the Hierophant as they are no more than her trained hounds (and any who oppose or show skepticism are dealt with) and they are becoming too reliant on her.
"The Travelers of old were free, dove... But all that changed when the Hierophant came."
Max Powers. Even though he seems to be a nice, cheery, and outgoing person to everyone around him, the entire magazine crew seems to hate him, especially Cole, constantly saying how "evil" he is even though we have almost never seen him do anything objectionable. When the website Websnark did its analysis of Powers, it came to the same conclusions. Kurtz himself admitted that this was close to the truth. Max isn't supposed to be an actual villain, but instead, one of those guys who is so nice and perfect and successful that it inspires jealous hatred. The closest he comes to "evil" is that he can't see Skull, and only "innocents" can see him. That said, he managed to motivate Roby and Jase into becoming physically fit and productive people. It may not have lasted, but it was a fairly beneficial change without nasty consequences.
Cole: It's not because of a girl, or because you always succeed where I seem to fail. It's just that, well, you're a better person than I am, or ever will be. Max: Stop it. Cole: It's true. I'm petty, selfish, jealous, and small. You're none of those things, Max. You never have been. You're a big reminder of just how flawed I am, and how very little I've grown. Sometimes that's hard to be around. But I'd like to try, Max. I'd really like to try.
"Wunnybun is the house for bad guys. Reward them amiably? Treat them with respect? They may become good. And then our paperwork would be all screwed up."
If the heroes of Sonichu are the definitions of Designated Hero, then many of the villains are easily in the Designated Villain spot. Due to a massive case of Life Embellish, the author paints various characters this way. The worst case of this is the entirety of issue 10 which has the main characters murder people who amount to nothing more than simple Internet Trolls.
The Goodkind family. A very rich and influential family, they run Goodkind International, Goodkind Research, the Goodkind Trust, etc. They uniformly take the position that they don't hate mutants, they merely understand that mutants represent a terrible threat to baseline humans. Since the Whateley Academy is a high school for mutants, run by mutants, this makes the Goodkinds the bad guys. Only problem? It's clear that many mutants are a terrible threat to baseline humans. The Goodkinds do provide a lot of money for Humanity First! which is full of bigots, but they also subsidize the MCO and direct the Knights of Purity. Still, when all the main characters are mutants, anti-mutant = bad.
They claim that they don't hate mutants, but when you see CEO Bruce Goodkind in private, it's clear that he does. And funding bigots is the least of their crimes against mutants. They also shipping children (including their own son) off to be tortured by a Mad Scientist who horrifically tortures mutants, for example. However, other, less influential, Goodkinds are actually considered good, or at least neutral, characters. The MCO aren't particularly good guys either, thanks to rampant dog-kicking; the Knights of Purity are an enigma - it's not clear where they stand with two major characters having an argument about this...
Ayla — nee Trevor, son of the selfsame Bruce — Goodkind, a.k.a. Phase, is a mutant, a member of Team Kimba, and one of the main protagonists. This is relevant because the stories written from his perspective seem to make it fairly clear that the Goodkinds do believe in using their considerable wealth and power responsibly and aren't necessarily bad people at all...so long as you're a baseline human, anyway (it doesn't help the mutant cause that Ayla's own mother is clinically mutophobic thanks to a particularly monstrous supervillain eating her sister alive in front of her when she was six).
As for the Knights of Purity, they're demonised by Chaka for going after Jolt, an emergent mutant, when Jolt could have easily killed someone (electricity powers). Chaka also points out that they have huge casualty rates, but the Ko P go after mutants, usually super villains, and so it's not surprising- they contain mutant threats, and sometimes that can't be done without casualties- sometimes they're the only option or the closest one there.
Spoofed (to a degree) with Blue Laser in the Cheat Commandos shorts at Homestar Runner.
Blue Laser is frequently staked out and attacked by the Commandos (Gunhaver in particular) no matter what they're doing, including shopping or having Thanksgiving dinner. Gunhaver makes a point of exaggerating the "evil" potential of every action Blue Laser takes. Occasionally, Blue Laser does do evil or pseudo-evil things, but more often than not, they're only opposed to the Commandos because the Commandos are the heroes and Blue Laser are the villains.
Sometimes, it turns out that whatever innocuous thing Blue Laser was doing actually was meant to help them crush the Cheat Commandos. Like the time the Cheat Commandos busted in on their grocery shopping; they were out shopping because a computer analysis had determined that the moldy grout in the shower was the reason they hadn't yet crushed the Cheat Commandos. Blue Laser is that kind of villain.
Secret groups of children are locked in war with teenagers and adults. Yet aging inevitably happens, so to prevent former KND agents who have aged past 13 from knowing KND secrets, they are supposed to willingly subject themselves to Laser-Guided Amnesia, thus becoming clueless and hopefully harmless. Anyone who does not to do this turns evil at that very second, a type of evil that includes insults and fighting dirty. There are undercover exceptions but this is usually the rule. In the KND 'verse, puberty makes you evil. This is explicitly the case. While not all adults are evil, all their enemies are adults, and kids are mostly good. (There are exceptions on both sides.) The kid's parents are good, but perhaps that's because none of them were agents (that we know), and thus not subject to The Dark Side tempting them.
Numbah 86's father is Mr. Boss. Unusual because he loves his own child, but is one of the greatest and oldest enemies of the present KND and is the leader of some of the lesser villains.
Some villains don't even display malice toward the KND after their introductory episodes. The holding of events like villain barbecues and award ceremonies seems to indicate that fighting the KND is a hobby as well as a crusade.
However, Numbah 1's dad was once the greatest KND agent who had his memory erased and has shown no signs of being evil (though he does seem rather dippy). There's also the fact that Chad's parents only were villains on the show because Chad was a member of KND (they thought that he had "such a low number" and wanted to pick off the other agents so that he could be Numbah 1).
Chad's turn to evil was also in part due to his own ego and selfishness. As the best KND agent and oldest (he's being decommissioned after all) he felt he put too much time and effort into his accomplishments to let the organization just kick him out to the point that he was betraying anyone he could. He eventually starts directing his anger away from the cruelty of he decommission rule toward the whole organization itself. That said, they do say that aging in their world is some sort of super universal disease that can make people crazy...
Squidward comes across this way too. All he really wants is for SpongeBob and Patrick to allow him some peaceful and quiet time to himself. But apparently wanting some downtime and respite from his loud and obnoxious Designated Hero neighbor makes Squidward a Jerkass...somehow. Honestly, many viewers end up sympathizing with Squidward's desire to have some time to himself to relax, away from SpongeBob's loudness and intrusiveness.
Mrs. Puff too. Before she attempted to murder Spongebob, all she wanted to do was to not have to deal with Spongebob's bad driving, and because of that, it makes her a jerk who deserves the abuse she gets, simply because she dislikes Spongebob, when really, fans sympathize with her because Spongebob is un-teachable and Mrs. Puff shouldn't have to put up with him.
Heather on Total Drama Island is the legitimate villain of season 1, but after that, she becomes mostly ineffective because everybody knows how manipulative she is. As a result, she goes through seasons 2 and 3 being snarky and rude at times, but never doing anything wrong...and yet, the other characters still constantly act as if she is still evil. Probably the best/worst example is when Leshawnaknocked Heather's tooth out when Heather tried to explain that the new villain, Alejandro, was manipulating her; even when Leshawna finds out that this is true, she still openly brags about attacking Heather and never seems to consider that it was completely unjustified. Particularly egregious, because Courtney was the Designated Villain of season 2 and nobody treats her badly about it at all. This might just be because the writers want us to forgetseason 2 as much as possible...
Doctor Doom in Season 5 of Spider-Man: The Animated Series. He's created a utopia in what is otherwise a wasteland and helped out one of the heroes by improving his powers. True, he has ultimate power over the place, but there are no signs that he has abused it. To be fair, he later obtains power he can't handle, but it's not like the heroes knew that would happen.
Though Eddy's main schtick is scamming the other kids and being exceptionally greedy, he's often forced to pay the price for attempting legitimate business ventures. More often than not, he (or the other Eds) put a lot of effort into these businesses. An example of this is an incredibly elaborate theme park ride that showcases the sort of Bamboo Technology we might expect from the future, not unlike the kind people ride frequently at Disney World. They eventually manage to break out of their role in The Movie.
Jimmy sometimes. Although Jimmy was wrong for framing Ed and Edd (when he should have only targeted Eddy) in "If It Smells Like An Ed," we're supposed to feel sorry for Eddy since he was punished for a prank,(while his unfortunate friends were guilty by association).
There's a few cases on The Fairly Oddparents when characters are designated villains as the result of a wish (Jorgen in "Action Packed", the popular kids in "Scary Godparents", as well as Timmy himself in "Nega Timmy") or the circumstances, as Tootie in "Dread and Breakfast".
Tom from Tom And Jerry is usually attacked by Jerry unprovoked. Jerry is portrayed as the hero. No matter what happens, Jerry is viewed as being right and Tom is always punished. The worst examples are when Tom is, in an episode set in the past, executed when he was just doing his job. Tom's job in this short was simply defending his home's supplies and nothing malicious. To be fair, the shorts had plenty of other instances where Tom would pick on Jerry for fun.
Hanna Barbara did seem to wise up to this in many of their later shorts, which often made Jerry more altrustic and Tom more sadistic and deserving of his abuse. The majority of times Jerry drawn the first blow or got a bit too vindictive in his retribution, Tom actually claimed a victory.
He is just trying to get a bite to eat; in some cartoons, he's so desperate for food that he is seen eating shoes, cans, and flies, and he is almost always depicted as the villain despite the Roadrunner not being very heroic. Sometimes, the Roadrunner can be quite mean to him, like causing him to hit his head on the cliff walls, scaring him into jumping off the cliff, and he once got him to eat a stuffed toy of himself which was filled with metal, causing him to get caught in a magnet. The Coyote IS trying to kill and eat the Roadrunner, putting him in danger every day of his life.
Indeed, one of the rules the writers always followed was that the audience should always sympathize with the coyote. If not for his motivations, than for the poor idiot's inability to go one day without hurting himself. For what it's worth, they generally never show the coyote starving even if he is hungry enough to chase after the roadrunner. The implication being that the coyote brings it on himself by choosing not to give up and chase something slower.
A better case in "Canned Feud" where he's not trying to hurt the mouse; he just wants the can opener that the mouse is spitefully keeping from him so he can eat cat food. Naturally, he fails.
Also, when Sylvester is pitted against Speedy Gonzales. Usually, like Tom, he's just defending a food stockpile.
The large majority of times Sylvester, similar to Tom, is treated in universe as a monster and a bully for going after "innocent" little animals, with many middle parties fending him off and punishing him harshly. This only happens when said animal isn't an invading pest, at which point, the very same people often lashing out at the cat for not doing his job. Adding to that how Sylvester has fewer vindictive moments than Tom and is almost always motivated by food or duties, and the guy comes off as highly sympathetic, but he's arguably one of Looney Tunes' most consistent Butt Monkeys because, well, Cats Are Mean.
This is thankfully averted in Sylvester's most famous rivalry with Tweetie. Like Sylvester, Tweetie is a housepet who's not meant to be eaten, so when Sylvester chases him we know he's doing something wrong.
In the short "Snow Business" this is somewhat justified, as Tweety is the only edible thing in the snowed in house for Sylvester as the cupboards only have bird seed. Even after Granny returns with food, it's only more food for Tweety due to a mixup.
A great many cartoons feature a slow-witted, loyal dog trying to defend some valuable property from a thief. We're supposed to take the thief's side. Probably the most obvious example is Chilly Willy, though Underdog's Klondike Kat also qualifies.
A possible deconstruction of this trope: in the pilot episode of Justice League, an American Senator has a proposal to rid the world of nuclear weapons by having Superman work round-the-clock to dismantle the nukes of every country on Earth (it's implied that all the countries agreed to this). While he's outlining the proposal, an angry American General stands up and declares that he shouldn't do it because "Those weapons are our only defense against aggression!" (In this continuity, the Earth had just barely escaped an alien invasion by Darkseid...and a brainwashedSuperman as well...only a few years earlier) The American general is accused of warmongering and shamed into silence and the nuclear disarmament begins. Then, after all the nukes in the world are disarmed, it turns out that the Senator was actually an evil alien in disguise and the disarmament plan he proposed was intended to keep the nations of Earth from destroying the alien ships that were about to invade. Oops. Guess you should have listened to the warmongering American General in the first place, eh? note The funniest part of that episode is that when the invasion began, the Senator (who hadn't yet been revealed as an alien) appeared on television and announced that "no one could have predicted this would happen". Well, no one except for, um, the American General who said those nukes were, quote, "our only defense against aggression". This is clearly satirizing the plot of Superman IV.
In the ThunderCats (2011) episode "The Duelist and the Drifter," Master Swordsman the Duelist appears guilty of nothing more than challenging swordsmen to duels for their swords and winning, but is set up as a villain to Kid Hero Lion-O, who foolishly takes up his challenge unaware of his rep. While the Duelist does eventually prove to be less-than-honorable—he insists that Lion-O Duel to the Death and attempts to kill him after Lion-O wins—there's no evidence of wrongdoing before that, apart from goading Lion-O by implying his dead father was a coward, and some unadvertised deck-stacking through the use of two blades to Lion-O's one. After all, he introduced himself as "the Duelist". It's not his fault that Lion-O failed to pick up on the homonymic pun.
He is, however, stated to be prideful and obsessed with winning. It's implied he may have pulled similar tricks before.
Played with in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with Iron Will, who runs a legitimate business in assertiveness training. However, Fluttershy takes his lessons too far and pretty much became a bitch. While her friends choose to blame Iron Will, Fluttershy instead takes responsibility for her actions. While Iron Will still sort of acts as the antagonist in the final scene, he's never really shown as in the wrong, just rude. While he suggests that he's going to be violent towards the end, at this point he thinks Fluttershy is trying to avoid paying him, and has effectively stolen from him. However, once she reminds him of his 100% satisfaction guarantee, he admits defeat and leaves without conflict.
Played straight, however, in supplemental materials, with Iron Will as a boss in a Re Traux video game as well as appearing in the "Chaos is Magic" poster.
Similarly played with for Trixie in "Boast Busters". Her initial appearance displays her as a showy magician who is merely establishing mystique in a manner very much akin to real life performers. It is only after the other ponies connect this as making her arrogant and begin heckling her she reveals herself as a genuine egotistical Jerkass, and is humiliated indirectly by Twilight Sparkle, the only one not showing ill feelings towards her.
Arguably still the case. While indeed something of a jerkass, she only does one outright jerkish deed(trying to force Twilight to duel her). Outside of that, all she did was hype up her show and give her hecklers(at her free magic show) what for. Even her challenging Twilight was in response to her hecklers(Spike), not outright jerkass behavior.
Played with in her follow up appearance "Magic Duel", which has her reach outright supervillain levels, challenging and banishing Twilight Sparkle from Ponyville before turning into a dystopia. It turns out she had been corrupted by a magic amulet, and after being broken from it's spell, she makes a Heel Face Turn, which is accepted by Twilight Sparkle.
Happens all the time in Rugrats, often deliberately due to the skewed naive perspective of the babies:
Didi hires a dog groomer for Spike and the babies just assume for no reason she is really a "dog broomer" who kidnaps dogs and cause all sorts of mayhem for her ("What else could a dog broomer be?"). True Spike didn't want to get groomed but that would make Didi the villain here, not the groomer.
A teenager hired to work in the Java Lava is a bit moody and surly but the babies assume she is Angelica's doll grown huge and try to shrink her by pulling out her belly button ring. And they mess up the coffee shop and when the girl tells everyone that they did it they almost fire her for "blaming it on the pups," but she quits in agitation and disgust before they can.
Angelica herself in the episode "Silent Angelica". Drew and Charlotte promise to buy her toys if she stays quiet and watches the babies. Angelica actually tries her best to stay quiet but the babies take advantage of this and run wild around the house. Angelica finally snaps after they've caused so much mayhem, but then Drew and Charlotte punish her for it when she had done nothing wrong at all.
Some of the babies' theories on "villains" run so much on Insane Troll Logic that it's lucky some of them aren't even real. For example they hear the story of the Sand Man, and worry about the off chance that he may accidentally bury them with too much sand while putting them to sleep. They ultimately come to the conclusion they must kill the Sandman. Naturally there is no Sandman for them to murder, though they spend most of the episode mistakenly beating up Chuckie's dad in the process.
Wacky Races Dick Dastardly has been designated as the shows villain because of his methods of cheating, but in this race cheating is as the only way for the other racers to even win. Sure Dick schemes involve getting taking out the other racers, but the rest of them do the same thing as well.
In all fairness the majority of the other races attempts are much more light hearted (jumping a few places ahead, lifting another racer up and driving under them) while Dick Dastardly's plan's quite often involve cinereous which could serious hurt if not kill them(such as flipping the sign so they drive into an angry whales tank).
Dastardly's one victory was reversed after finding out he extended his vehicle when crossing the finishing line. He is disqualified and booed vigorously, despite the fact other episodes featured another racer using the same tactic and winning legitimately.
Ranger Smith to Yogi Bear, he was treated as an antagonist to Yogi even though Ranger Smith is trying to stop Yogi from stealing peoples lunch.
In real life, wild animals getting hold of human food is a very serious thing- it can lead animals to associate humans with food, meaning that they have to be killed or relocated to areas where humans are not very plentiful, otherwise the animals might get aggressive and start attacking people.
Played for Laughs with The Beekeeper from Johnny Test. Unlike the other villains, who want to take over or destroy the world, The Beekeeper just wants to get kids to eat healthier. The characters even lampshade that this wouldn't be a bad thing if he wasn't so crazy about it.
Luckily, by "Johnny Holiday", The Beekeeper is no longer an antagonist, as both he and the Tests team up to create a holiday in which free candy (or rather, honey bars) are given out. Thus, after this episode, The Beekeeper hasn't been seen since.
Played straight in, among other episodes, "Johnny Test in 3D" - the hotel manager is the bad guy simply for trying to enforce the no-pets policy.
Melvin in Duck Dodgers. The episode where he appeared suggested people should hate him for opening a rival restaurant next to I.M. Neighborly's and take Neighborly's customers away by offering them free sodas and also suggested it was okay for Dodgers and Neighborly for sabotaging Melvin's in a way that, in real life, would get them arrested for not only damaging private property but also endangering the lives of everyone inside.