Any character with a British accent, particularly in upper classReceived Pronunciation (which tends to be the only type you hear in American media) is likely to turn out to be a villain. The English tend to view this trope in one of three ways, depending on the particular depiction. Either: with a sense of pride (Evil Is Sexy / Evil Is Cool / Evil Is Posh after all!), mild eye-rolling amusement (tsk, Americans) OR annoyance at the apparent national stereotyping.
This includes all evil characters with British accents (where the rest of the cast has accents), whether or not they are actually stated to be British. Quite a few of these are not actual Brits, but have anomalous quasi-British (usually vaguely upper-class and English, as noted above) accents in settings where almost everyone else has some sort of American accent and no one is necessarily supposed to be from either country, just to mark that character as villainous. As you might expect, this version appears to be associated with films and shows in which the use of English is (at least weakly implied to be) a Translation Convention for whatever the characters are "really" saying, although it's not exclusive to them. See The Queen's Latin and Aliens of London.
Villains of this type come in two flavours. The first is usually wealthy and snobbish, and probably quite welleducated. The second is the hooligan with the Cockney (or similar) accent.
This is fairly recent since during Hollywood's Golden Age it was acceptable for the good guys to speak with an upper-class English accent as well.
Probably related to The Mean Brit, although it appeared well before The Mean Brit trend began. The Romans, who generally are the baddies in most historical films, are almost always played by English actors. The British also are often the imperial bad guys in Hong Kong kung-fu flicks. World War II films using the Translation Convention usually have Those Wacky Nazisplayed by Brits as well. Surprisingly, they are quite rare in Irish films.
In Hollywood at least, this may be a product of different acting traditions. Simplifying wildly, Americans go into movie acting to be rich, famous, and loved by the audience; Brits go into acting because they like acting, and some who do well at it then go to Hollywood for the money. With, on average, more training, more experience, less need to be loved, and a cheerful interest in any well-paying gig, they can often make excellent charismatic villains. Of course, it seems that there are also people in Hollywood with a cultural aversion to Britain who are all too happy to cast them in these parts.
Given the way in which American fans often respond to British accents, fandoms sometimes turn this sort of character into Draco in Leather Pants.
Contrast British Stuffiness, which may be applied to a nominally heroic character who mustneverthelessDie for Our Ship.
Doesn't really apply in British works, of course. In those, this role is often given to the French, Germans or (rarely, especially nowadays) Americans.
See also I Am Very British.
Luciano Bradley in the English dub of Code Geass is given a British accent.
You mustn't confuse the Brittannians with the Brittains. They aren't even in the same continent.
Bakura in the American English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh!, although his British accent sounds more pronounced when he's his mild-mannered self rather than his Superpowered Evil Side. The accent was how the dubbers tried to match his use of polite Japanese Honorifics in the original.
In Robotech, the Zentraedi Commander Khyron Kravshera sports a pseudo-British accent. The novels based on the series even note that he sounds just like James Mason. He really does. Interestingly enough, Khyron was voiced by actor Greg Snegoff who also was the voice of Scott Bernard, a character that sounds nothing like Khyron. Even more interestingly, the Southern Cross (Robotech Masters) segment had a minor character named Alan Fredericks who was also voiced by Snegoff in a Khyron-like voice. However, Fredericks was more erudite and reserved than Khyron. Appropriate since Fredericks was a good guy, even if he was a member of the GMP.
In the FUNimation dub of Dragon Ball Z, King Cold, Frieza's father, was voiced with a British accent, as was Perfect Cell/Super Perfect Cell. Strangely, in the dubbed versions of Dragon Ball, despite General Blue's not-so-subtle hints at being of German origin, Blue was given a British accent.
Frieza himself was given a slight British accent in Dragon Ball Kai, courtesy of Chris Ayres.
The Pokémon English dub went out of its way to show us what a bastard Ash's Charmander's original owner was by giving him a god awful Dick Van Dyke-esque cockney accent.
Mad Mod, a minor Teen Titans villain from The Sixties, who is probably better known for his appearance in the Teen Titans cartoon was a Carnaby Street fashion designer whose assumed name is derived from the Mod style popular in England at the time. He used his label as a front to smuggle goods inside his clothing. After being foiled, he later hatched a plot to steal the Queen of Britain's scepter, but was stopped as well.
Superman villain Manchester Black. Other than his thick English accent, omnipresent Union Jack tattoo, and a few snippets he told about his life, very little is known about his background, although he is most likely from the city of Manchester, England.
Hawkman and Justice Society of America villain Gentleman Ghost was the son of an English gentleman who abandoned both him and his mother, forcing them into poverty. He grew up to become a notorious highwayman and robber who terrorized England in the 1800s before eluding death to rise again as a phantom.
The Egyptians in The Prince of Egypt have British accents (and are played by some very fine English actors), while the Hebrews are "Americans." Moses also has an American accent despite having grown up in the Egyptian royal family.
In Secret Of Nimh 2, when Martin becomes evil, he inexplicably switches to a British accent (voiced by Eric Idle, no less), only for it to change back to his American accent (and voice) when he becomes good again.
There are two candidates for Big Bad in the movie Resident Evil: Degeneration. Between the spineless, obnoxious asshole Senator Ron Davis and the polite, smooth-talking Brit Frederic Downing, which do you think ends up being the true villain responsible for the outbreak? The first guess doesn't count.
In the main film series, the holographic manifestation of the RedQueen is a British little girl.
In Cars 2, the mastermind behind the lemons' plot is Sir Miles Axlerod, who's voiced by Eddie Izzard no less.
John Hurt as The Horned King in Disney's film adaptation of The Black Cauldron. (The heroes also have British accents, however.
In the Rainbow Magic movie, Jack Frost is this—though, like the Black Cauldron, the heroes are also British.
Actually Hans and his brother Simon from Die Hard were German, but you certainly wouldn't guess that from their accents.
The topic of British villains in movies and Rickman in particular was discussed on Stephen Fry's panel show QI, while on Top Gear, Scottish actor Brian Coxsuggested to Jeremy Clarkson that Brits were cast as the baddies in Hollywood movies because Americans "fundamentally mistrust intelligence."
All Quiet on the Western Front: The 1970s film had German characters played by English-speakers: all the likeable characters sounded American while the cruel drill-sergeant and the blood-thirsty new recruit sounded British.
He pulled triple duty as a baddie in TRON by playing human antagonist Edward Dillinger and the evil program Sark, as well as providing the voice for the Big Bad, the Master Control Program.
One rare aversion to this was an appearance on Babylon5, where he played a kindly (though tough) old man who politely asked the various alien ambassadors if any of them had come across the Holy Grail. Unfortunately, he was Too Cool To Last.
If several Disney animated films feature British sounding villains, also Walt Disney himself was somewhat of an Anglophile and some of the films he produced in the 50's and 60's are set in Britain with British casts and heroes.
Likely because of his ancestry - the last name "Disney" comes from the village of Norton Disney in Lincolnshire (UK).
Has a particularly odd example - all of the characters start off with American accents, but as soon as one guy gets infected by The Virus and becomes the Big Bad he starts talking with an upper class British accent.
The same thing happened in the early (1970s) Battlestar Galactica. Two teen boys who rejected the advice of Starbuck and Apollo ended up becoming evil, and acquiring British accents. Which they lost once they had learned the error of their ways!
A Fish Called Wanda: Completely an Inverted Trope. While almost all the characters are morally suspect, Kevin Kline's character Otto (one of two Americans in the movie) is the biggest scoundrel of them all, while the most (relatively) morally upright character is John Cleese's Archie.
George Zucco: This classic British character actor (who starred in many horror movies from the '30's and '40's) combined this trope with Bald of Evil to good effect.
Bill Nighy plays the main villain known as Saber in this Disney flick, who wants to take over the world, and in the trailer even blatantly says he wants to do so.
It's actually a misleading. Saber did want to take over the world, but in a good way. The real villain was The Man Behind the Man, who double-crossed Saber into turning every single product made by his company into a weapon.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: The English dub has all the characters voiced by American actors except for the scene where Lisbeth gets mugged in the subway by a group of people who are given English accents.
Ip Man 2: The British are portrayed as opponents and racist to the Chinese, including a brutal policeman and a boxer called Twister who takes sexual pleasure in brutally beating sick and elderly Chinese Warriors to death.
Jackie Chan: The Evil Brit is a common trope in his movies due to their anti-colonial themes, discussed in detail in here.
James Bond: Averted in all of the movies, despite their being produced by Americans and targeted in large part at American audiences. The heroes are always British members of Her Majesty's Secret Service, and the villains most often Continental Europeans, Asians, or even Americans. The exceptions are Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies.
Komodo: There's Bracken, Oates's superior. He blackmails him into solving the komodo problem on the island. He orders Oates to kill the visitors, and refuses to send a medical pickup when Oates demands one.
Tom Hiddleston as Loki in Thor and Thor: The Dark World, would be an aversion, since all Asgardians have British accents, up to and including Thor himself. However, the trope is played straight in The Avengers, where most of the characters are American.
The trope showed up in other Mel Gibson films: in 1981's Gallipoli, the British soldiers are shown drinking tea on the beach while the Australians die in the battle, and Braveheart portrays the heroic struggle of the Scots against the evil English. All have been roundly criticized by historians for their wild inaccuracies, often involving playing up (or outright fabricating) British atrocities and general nastiness. In a particularly notorious example, The Patriot shows British soldiers burning a group of townsfolk alive in a church, an act actually committed centuries later by the Waffen-SS in France.
Mel Gibson must be really fond of this trope.
The Royal British Legion were extremely miffed by the portrayal of the British in Gallipoli, noting that more than twice as many British soldiers as Australians died, that the Australian landing at the Nek was actually a diversion for a New Zealand landing at Sair Bair, not the British landing at Suvla Bay (which, incidentally, was a brutal and bloody action, not a tea picnic as it is portrayed in the movie). Finally, it was Australian commanders' idiocy, not British, that was behind the failure at the Nek. Christopher Hitchens has noted that the British people are so often portrayed as incompetent in Gibson's films that he suspects it is a deliberate prejudice:
Cutler Beckett is a very stereotypical evil British aristocrat. However, most of the other major characters are also Brits of various stripes, and some of them are aristocrats themselves!
Davy Jones was played by Bill Nighy. In the 4th film, Blackbeard was played by Ian McShane.
Revolution 1985: Sergeant Major Peasy is British, and definitely a bad guy.
Rufus Sewell: Every character played by this man. Dark City was one of his few heroic roles, and that was as a Fake American.
Scoop: Seemingly subverted in this Woody Allen film, where a charming high-society Brit, played by Hugh Jackman, is suggested to be a murderer. However, he's so charming and so handsome that the Hot Scoop played by Scarlett Johansson finds this impossible in the end, it is revealed that he was the murderer after all.
Spider-Man 2: Deliberately an Averted Trope, in which British actor Alfred Molina played Doctor Octopus as an American. Molina later joked about this in interviews:
Molina: If we gave him a British accent, it's a bit like giving it away right from the start. It's a bit like, carrying a great big sign that goes "movie villain." And underneath that, "Alan Rickman wasn't free".
Star Trek Into Darkness: Benedict Cumberbatch plays Brit villain John Harrison, whose first act is orchestrating a terrorist attack on London. The casting decision seems straightforwardly this trope until it's revealed that Harrison is actually Khan Noonien Singh - a character with a Sikh name and therefore of south Asian origin, previously played by a Hispanic actor.
Although that was more incidental, since union rules for British films at the time required a minimum number of speaking parts for British actors, so a lot were cast as Imperial officers. Both the Imperials and Rebels were played by mostly British actors but all the Rebels' voices were later dubbed by American actors. A few sources claim that the upper-class English accent is the default accent on Coruscant; everyone listed below (except C-3PO) either grew up or spent large amounts of time living there.
In fact all major bad guys were played by Brits, The Emperor (Ian McDiarmid is Scottish), Darth Vader (although not his voice actor, as the voice of David Prowse was too west-country, earning him the nickname Darth Farmer), Count Dooku (Christopher Lee), and Darth Maul (London-based Scot Ray Park's voice was dubbed by British voice-actor and comedian Peter Serafinowicz).
A good number of good guys in Star Wars have British accents, however. Obi-Wan (Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor), C-3PO (Anthony Daniels), and Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson) and Mon Mothma, leader of the Rebel Alliance. In the first film, Princess Leia has a quasi-British accent in some scenes.
Superman II: Evil Kryptonian General Zod and his Femme Fatale hench-woman Ursa were portrayed by Brits Terrance Stamp and Sarah Douglas.
Total Recall (2012): Underworld's Kate Beckinsale plays an Evil Brit in the remake, as Quaid's fake wife Lori. As "nice" Lori, Beckinsale uses an American accent, but reverts to her natural British accent as "evil" Lori. Funny thing is, there's no reason for her to adopt an American accent, given that the only livable areas are a chunk of Europe and Australia.
Even though he's supposed to be Hungarian. Possibly a case of Translation Convention. The only Brit (according to some non-canonical sources) is Kraven, who's supposed to be from Liecester. While this would qualify him for the trope, the actor (from Northern Ireland) adopts an American accent for the role.
The sequel has Marcus Corvinus, also a Hungarian, played by the Scottish actor Tony Curran with a British accent.
In the Andrew Vachss Burke book Strega, Burke is forced to speak civilly to a self-proclaimed pedophile with a "semi-Brit" accent. Said pedophile becomes an occasionally recurring character. At least until Dead and Gone, where he turns out to be behind the plot to kill Burke, was actually faking the pedophile thing, and gets killed offscreen.
The In Death series: A number of the murderers turn out to be British. Then again, as the author Nora Roberts is American and of Irish descent, she will happily make use of this trope.
The Day of the Jackal. The Jackal is British and an urbane Professional Killer. Or is he? At the end of the novel, Her Majesty's Government point out there's no proof, given his multiple identities, that he was ever British in the first place.
Live Action TV
In one episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories comes back in holographic form to menace the crew. However, he was played an American actor who miraculously effected a stunningly believable British accent (Daniel Davis later used the same flawless British accent in The Nanny). Justified in this case by the fact that, well, it's Moriarty from the Sherlock Holmes stories—what else would he be but British?
Subverted somewhat when it becomes apparent that this Moriarty is really not all that evil or ruthless, with his main motivation being simply the right to exist.
Inverted by BBC Sherlock's Dubliner Moriaty. Justified in that the name 'Moriarty' actually is of Irish origin.
Adam Monroe and Daniel Linderman from Heroes. Though Adam is actually played by an American.
More recently Edgar (sort of, he's not quite evil as much as misguided, and has doubts in regards to Samuel's plans) and Samuel too, although Samuel's accent changes constantly, sometimes within the same episode or even the same scene.
Samuel is American (Born in Arizona) but his accent is used to show how well-travelled he is and all the different places he has been in.
Charles Widmore on LOST (actor's from New Zealand, but character seems to be British). After he was given the villain role in season 4, things have become a whole lot more morally ambiguous...Lost, however, also has several Brits among the heroes (Charlie, Charlotte, Penny, Desmond, maybe Naomi).
Dead Ringers parodied this with a sketch where Alan Rickman and Ian McKellen battled it out for the role of stereotypical British villain. The winner was BRIAN BLESSED.
Lila in season 2 of Dexter. She's obsessed with the title character, gets a colleague of him falsely accused of rape, and tries to kill both Dexter and his two stepchildren in a fire. The final episode of the season, in which she is the main villain, is even called "The British Invasion".
Dr. Zachary Smith on Lost in Space was never specifically said to be British, but he most definitely fits the "vaguely upper-class" stereotype with his pompous personality, refined way of speaking, and haughty manner.
Gaius Baltar from the re-imagined series of Battlestar Galactica is played by James Callis, who is British. Most of the cast speak in American or Canadian accents — even Jamie Bamber (Apollo), who is also British, puts on an American accent for the show. This can lead to surprise on the part of the fans when he uses his normal accent for interviews...
Lampshaded when James Callis put on a Yorkshire accent to demonstrate his poverty-stricken origins on Aerelon.
Which is weird for two reasons: 1. His 'fake' Caprican accent sounds like none of the other (North American) Capricans. 2. His 'posh' accent sounds more like Estuary English i.e. it sometimes sounds 'posh' but sometimes sounds slightly 'Cockney'.
Ironically enough, Jamie Bamber's Real Life wife (who is also British) plays one of the doctors assisting Cottle in Galactica's medical bay, but uses her original British accent. The show has used actresses from New Zealand (Lucy Lawless) and Australia (Stephanie Jacobsen) who also use their native accents.
Since Caprica started, things have gotten a bit murkier, since Clarice Willow speaks with Polly Walker's native English accent (not terribly different from Callis', although Walker is from Cheshire). At first, this lent credibility to the theory that the planet Caprica has lots of different accents—and then, we discover that Clarice was born on Sagittaron—and none of the Sagittarons on BSG spoke with British accents either. (For the record, Clarice is portrayed quite sympathetically, and doesn't really fit into the Evil Brit trope).
Jamie Bamber is actually half American, though it is true that he grew up in Britain.
According the commentary on 'Razor' everyone got to use their real accent for the most part; to imply variety in the Colonies. The only reason Bamber didn't use his British accent was to make him sound like Commander Adama to imply their familial relationship, which they needed all the help they could get on, considering the actors were different ethnicities (Olmos being an emphatically-brown Mexican and Bamber being as white as they come; Olmos wore blue contact lenses to return the favor, covering his brown eyes).
An episode of the original Battlestar Galactica in which a bunch of boys living in a forest were cute tow-headed American boys, until they defied Starbuck and Apollo and became evil British boys! Then, when they had learned their lesson and were forgiven, they turned back into cute adorable American boys again (the fact that the mute sisters who lived with them had no purpose other than housework (forest work?) isn't better...).
Patrick Mcnee was the voice of the Cylons Imperious Leader and the villainous Count Ibliss.
Dollhouse gives us Adelle DeWitt, who isn't technically a villain, but is at best morally suspect.
Jamie Bamber's character in 2.01 "Vows".
In the fifth season of 24, Chechen terrorist Vladimir Bierko has a cultured, James Bond villain-style British accent (he's played by British actor Julian Sands).
Season 3 gives us former British Special Forces operative Stephen Saunders.
Lord Darken Rahl in Legend of the Seeker has a British accent. Craig Parker is a Kiwi who lived in England for a while.
This accent is not duplicated by other characters playing D'Harans, except for John Rhys-Davies playing his father Panis Rahl in disguise.
In the British miniseries Jekyll the trope is inverted by having the boss-level baddies represented by Americans (albeit using British actors with poor accents).
Julian Sark from Alias (played by American David Anders).
And Lauren Reed (played by an Australian).
Gilroy from Burn Notice is the "evil limey mastermind" for most of the second half of season three. He's also rather... friendly with his partners in crime.
Crichton seemingly draws inspiration from this trope in Farscape when he has to imitate a Peacekeeper, while the series adopts it wholeheartedly with the character of Scorpius.
Presumably the reason Crichton uses that (atrociously bad) British accent is because most of the Peacekeepers use British accents, though most are played by Australians (as is everyone not John Crichton.)
It's also possible that as a Pop Cultured Badass, movies have taught Crichton to equate villains with British accents as always being ridiculously hammy! This definitely would explain with the sheer gusto in which he goes into full Large Ham mode whenever he impersonates a Peacekeeper!
Major Zod on Smallville has a heavy British accent. It actually makes him difficult to understand on occasion. (Unless you're British)
A few of the Downbelow gang leaders in Babylon 5 have thick British accents, and stood out as particularly nasty customers.
Then there was the episode "Comes the Inquisitor" when the title role was played by an American affecting an accent that apparently could even fool genuine Brits. Justified as the character in question was Jack the Ripper - what else would he be but British?
Recurring villains David Robert Jones and Thomas Jerome Newton from Fringe.
Would you believe that the actor playing Newton is French?
Also, Jared Harris (playing Jones) would later go on to play Professor Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Baron Harkonnen from the Dune miniseries was given a distinctly British accent, and in fact is actually portrayed by a british person. Also a bit odd, considering the fact that a Russian accent/Russian actor might have made logically more sense given the fact that his first name is "Vladimir".
And the last name, Harkonnen, is (if anything) Finnish.
The Cape has two characters named Peter Fleming AKA Chess and Scales. Peter Fleming speaks English with a posh British accent. Scales speaks English with either a Cockney accent or an Australian accent. Peter Fleming is the evil Big Bad of the show. Scales is the thuggish evil The Dragon (possibly graduating to another Big Bad) of the show.
Averted on The X-Files; all of the Syndicate have American accents, except for the Well-Manicured Man, who is British. The Well-Manicured Man (played by England native John Neville) is actually Mulder's informant, and ends up sacrificing his life to be so.
Vex is definitely the most evil character seen so far on Lost Girl and yep, he has a British accent.
Though it's hard to judge 'evil' in a show as all over the place as Community, one of the few characters to cross the Moral Event Horizon is apathetic, alcoholic English psychologist Ian Duncan.
Season 4 introduces Toby, a horrible manipulator and intended kidnapper, and Professor Cornwallis, who sinisterly toys with the study group and is infamously inappropriate to young women.
The Evil Brit streak is broken in Season 5 by Magnitude.
Once Upon a Time: Mr. Gold, Rumplestiltskin's human Storybrooke counterpart, keeps Robert Carlyle's Scottish accent.
Blade The Series has the series Big Bad, Marcus van Sciver being originally from London but having lived in Detroit for over a hundred years. Despite this, he still has a clear British accent. This could be deliberate on his part, as a number of much older vampires (e.g. Overlord Rusk) have adopted American accents.
Neil Jackson, playing van Sciver, proceeds to play a one-shot villain in Stargate SG-1 using the same accent.
A recurring villain for a season of Chuck is a Russian criminal mastermind named Alexei Volkoff, played by Timothy Dalton with a British accent. Later turns out to be justified as Volkoff is actually a British guy brainwashed to think that he's a Russian criminal mastermind. Later on, his mantle as the Big Bad and the Evil Brit is taken by his daughter.
Teen Wolf season three brings us Deucalion, the leader of the Alpha Pack.
Warehouse 13's Big Bads so far have been Scottish Mac Pherson of season 1, the English and female HG Wells of season 2 and Charlotte Du Prix of season 4. There has also been, Benedict Valda though it turned out it was just in Pete's head and Alice Liddell. When HG's mind was rewrote, so she could have a chance at a normal life, she gained an American accent.
Crowley, crossroads demon and eventual King of Hell, in Supernatural. It turns out that he was Scottish while human, so maybe it's the body he's possessing or something he picked up over centuries.
In "Elementary", Sherlock's love interest Irene Adler is an American, as she was in Doyle's original story. When she turns out to be the evil Moriarty, she also turns out to be British.
Thomas Dolby's track "The Devil Is an Englishman", from the soundtrack of the Ken Russell film Gothic
On this very Wiki we used to have a trope called British Nazis, in which some Troll tried to convince people that British people are Always Chaotic Evil, while at the same time praising Scottish people for their "candid" portrayal of English people as absolute bastards in Braveheart. I wish I was making this up.
Obviously a troll. Strongly hierarchial Fascist governments are clearly Lawful Evil, as any fule kno.
Dave Taylor, who has as much in-ring talent as Regal but a bare fraction of the charisma, plays the same gimmick.
Regal and Taylor formed a stable in WCW called the Bluebloods. They had a manager named Jeeves, and were joined by Bobby Eaton Earl Robert Eaton and Doc Dean at various points. Eaton was more famous as half of The Midnight Express and part of The Dangerous Alliance, and Dean was used as a jobber before and after his affiliation with them.
WCW's Norman Smiley, a black Englishman. After several years as a jobber, he broke out as a heel with a great deal of pride in his national heritage and catch wrestling skills.
Sha Samuels, a UK based indy wrestler, uses the hooligan version of this trope as his gimmick. He's also very fond of meat pies.
For that matter, Scotsman Drew McIntyre, especially in the first half of 2010. He's never really been a good guy, but around that time, he threw temper tantrums over all his losses, would whine to the boss to get the losses revoked, would throw his weight around because he was apparently "The Chosen One", and went "officially" undefeated for six months.
In classical old-time British wrestling (the sort of spit-and-sawdust stuff that up until the 1980's was shown on ITV just before the football results), the principal villains were not British: Giant Haystacks was an Irish traveller, and Kendo Nagasaki's persona was as a mysterious Japanese determined to gain revenge for WW2. In keeping with the ethics of the 1970's. two other real villains were the Calypso Boys - West Indians whose dirty tricks aroused such racist sentiments that ITV demanded they not appear on TV - the reaction they provoked was too extreme even for a TV station happy to give us Love Thy Neighbour as acceptable sitcom.
The Goon Show featured the entente cordiale of Evil Brit Hercules Grytpype-Thynne (whose voice was based on George Sanders) and Evil Frenchman Count Jim Moriarty as villains in most episodes. Other characters also could fit the pattern, especially Major Dennis Bloodnok, but sometimes even Wallace Greenslade, the announcer.
"The British Empire at its peak controls one quarter of the world's population and landmass. This by the way is a small goddamn country. So how did they do it? It wasn't military might, it was contempt."
Discussed by Eddie Izzard, wherein he notes American enemies tend to play the movie villains; as a result of the revolutionary war, the Death Star from Star Wars is thus filled with British people.
Izzard: The Death Star? Just full of British actors opening doors and going "Oh, I'm— oh." "What is it Leftenant Sebastian?" "It's just the Rebels, sir. They're here." "My God, man! Do they want tea?"
Subverted in The Saboteur. Sean certainly doesn't like Bishop, since Sean is strongly hinted to be an Irish Nationalist. Bishop himself is most definitely secretive and dodgy and doesn't give the player too much reason to trust him. But in the end, he and the SOE are the most solid and powerful allies you have once Santos sells you and La Résistance out to the Nazis and things go to hell in a rocket-powered handbasket.
The imperiously domineering Isabella "Ivy" Valentine from the Soul Series, and femme fatale for hire Christie from Dead or Alive (both voiced with the applicable RP accent) are both great examples of the Evil Brit stereotype where it's used to enhance their Evil Is Sexy personalities. Averted with Street Fighter's Cammy White - she's one of the good guys.
In the RTS RUSE, Nazi General von Richter talks with a British accent, although his aide-de-camp talks in English with a German accent. It is subverted though, as Colonel Campbell is actually British (with an appropriate dialect), and on the goodie's side.
Liquid Snake from Metal Gear Solid is an egregious example because his good twin - or at least, as close to one as one can get, if even that, if Psycho Mantis, Liquid Snake's, and Meryl Silverburgh's statements are to be believed) was raised as an American. According to canon (at that point) they were both half-British biologically.
Possibly justified as Liquid mentions having trained with the SAS. It's possible he picked up the accent during that time, along with his affinity for fox-hunting.
Metal Gear Solid 4 reveals that the leader of the Patriots was Major Zero, who started them, ironically, because of his admiration of an American patriot. Whether he starts out as a villain is ambiguous, but from the '70s onward he fits.
Naomi had an inexplicable upper-class English accent in the original Metal Gear Solid (it was dropped for the remake and her appearance in part 4), and while not really evil (just vengeful), she created Foxdie.
Her accent comes from her being from Rhodesia, an ex-British colony. At least one parent of hers was probably British, or of British descent. Of course, she has very little memory of her parents and was raised by a globe-trotting American merc.
According to the Japanese MSX manual for Metal Gear, Machinegun Kid, one of the Outer Heaven mercenaries that fought Solid Snake, was formerly a member of the British SAS.
Strangelove from Peace Walker is a subversion. Although she does serve the villainous team, the Peace Sentinels, at first, she herself is not exactly evil, as she simply has her own reasons for serving them (which is reviving The Boss), and makes it entirely clear that she does not actually care for Coldman's goals in regards to Peace Walker.
In Empire at War, every Imperial soldier who has a ground vehicle, or space troops other than Broadside pilots, is above the rank of grunt who flies a TIE fighter has a British accent.
In Rebel Strike, most of the Rebels have American accents. The only exception is Sarkli. Would anyone like to guess which of the Rebels leaves the Alliance for the Empire and becomes the final boss?
Battlefront II almost lampshades this. As well as the commanders of Star Destroyers being typically well-spoken, one of the characters (played by an American voice actor) is listed in the credits as, 'Smarmy British Palpatine Ally'.
Apparently the upper-class English accent is actually a Sith Empire accent as of Star Wars: The Old Republic, acknowledged to such an extent that an undercover Imperial Agent is told early on to 'drop the accent' in the duration of his/her mission.
Helga, the authoritarian leader/dominatrix of the New Order Nation in Revolution X. As part of some reverse-psychology campaign, she barks out rhetoric in a cockney accent while dressing like a hooligan herself, despite calling for the ban of all rock music in general and Aerosmith in particular. The ending reveals her to be an alien in a biker jacket, which makes even less sense. Played by Kerri Hoskins of Mortal Kombat fame, complete with a black wig and bad accent.
Gol and Maia seem to straddle the trope a bit. Gol's accent is a sort of hybrid, but Maia's accent is, initially, American (albeit with a few British pronunciations) - by the end of the game she's speaking with a completely English accent.
Krew also has a British accent, as does his daughter.
This trope, coupled with the fact that Warhammer 40,000 was developed in the United Kingdom, is the reason most characters in Dawn of War II and other Warhammer games usually speak with British Accents; everybodyisevil, so everybody speaks like a Brit. Orks are mostly Cockney, while the other factions' accents tend to lean more towards RP.
Not just Flynn. Uncharted LOVES their Evil Brits. In Drake's Fortune, you have Gabriel Roman, even if his Dragon, Atoq Navarro, ends up killing him so Navarro can take El Dorado for his own purposes. There's Flynn, of course, in Among Thieves. And in Drake's Deception, you have Marlowe and her Dragon, Talbot, with a bit of the game even taking place near and in their secret lair in England.
Jin Kisaragi's nationality is listed as British, though he was raised and lives in Japan.
In Red Faction: Guerrilla, Samanya has an apparently inexplicable British accent (well, I say 'British') on a planet populated mostly by Americans. That's your first clue as to the fact that she's a Marauder and the leader's sister (the leader also speaks with a similar British accent), although the trope is eventually subverted as the Marauders are allies for the last few battles and the villains are all American.
Subverted in Assassin's Creed I. Despite his name, one may expect Robert de Sable to be British, as he works directly under the king of England, but, both historically and in game, he is French.
With Assassin's Creed III taking place during the American Revolution, Evil Brits will be in abundance; however, Templars and allies to Connor have been stated to be on both sides of the conflict, to avoid comparisons to a certain other one-sided depiction of the Revolution.
Worringly, not one piece of media shown so far has actually shown Connor attacking anything other than the Redcoats.
Interestingly, the two top New World Templars that Connor is gunning for are Charles Lee and his own father.
Since America hasn't officially been founded yet, technically almost everyone who isn't a Native American is still British.
Connor spends a good chunk of the game shaking off this mindset and eventually considers his former Revolutionary allies to be no better than the Redcoats since they also ultimately screw over his people for their own interests.
Kid Icarus: Uprising plays this straight with Hades and Arlon who, while not actually British, have distinctly British accents, Dark Pit has a slightly British tint to his voice at times.
The Helghast from the Killzone series have mostly British accents and are just Nazis IN SPACE! Though it's a little bit odd considering that the Helghast's home world of Helghan was colonized mostly by oppressed space settlers who were fleeing from the "oppressive ISA" and claim to be fighting for their freedom. Anybody notices any similarities between the Helghast and a certain other real world former colony?
Zero Punctuation takes offense with Killzone 3 because not only are the Helgahst Evil Brits, they speak with a Cockney accent, which Croshaw gets annoyed with. It's easier to accept evil upper class Brits, but Cockneys? Unforgiven.
Mass Effect 2 has Zaeed. Bounty Hunter extraordinaire, very skilled warrior... And also not giving a shit about burning alive some civilians to get his stuff done and letting his Blue Suns soldiers getting killed due to him being a piss-poor tactician and a Bad Boss.
The second and third games give us the quarian Admiral Daro'Xen. While she may not do anything particularly evil in any of the games, it's more or less established that she's an unstable sociopath with an unhealthy obsession with controlling the geth. While two other admirals, Zaal'Koris and Han'Gerrel, have British accents, they aren't exactly evil; Koris is kind of a Jerkass in 2, while Gerrel is a General Ripper who, if he can't be reined in will either exterminate the geth, or get the entire Migrant Fleet wiped out.
The first voice you hear in Baldur's Gate 2 is David Warner's emphatically evil Jon Irenicus, complete with British accent.
In The Orion Conspiracy, at least one character speaks English with a British accent. Captain Shannon, happens to be evil as well as speaking English with a posh British accent.
Played up with the Penguin's appearance in Batman: Arkham City. Not only does his British upbringing show, he also has the accent and the word usage to back it up.
(while trying to shoot Batman with Mr. Freeze's cannon) Stay still, you wanker!
Nexus from Warzone 2100 speaks with a British accent, despite the setting of the game and all of its other voice actors being American.
The Chancellor of Rheinland in Freelancer was voiced by the late Tony Jay and leads the increasingly aggressive Rheinland nation ( except not really, since he's dead and taken over by an alien infestation seeking to plunge the human colonies into war to weaken them). This trope was almost certainly in mind, considering every other Rheinlander that actually is a character has a faux-German accent and the Player Character (who grew up in Bretonia and therefore should sound at least somewhat British) sounds American.
Wolf O'Donnell, in Star Fox 64. His accent changed in later games.
In Wildstar, the Cassians of the Dominion all speak with British accents while the humans of the Exiles all have American/Southern accents.
Ace Combat Zero features two aces from a villainous Germanic country with inexplicably British accents, one with a working-class Cockney (Grun 1), and one with a more posh accent who evidently runs a very profitable business (Indigo 1)
Superintendent Pendrew in Sleeping Dogs. Awareness of this trope as well as its prevalence in the aforementioned Hong Kong kung fu movies (which this game lovingly homages), has made many a player go "Evil!" immediately after the character's very first line.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: Chances are, any High Elf with an English accent (the voice types are literally named "Male Elf Haughty" and "Female Elf Haughty") is going to be a Thalmor agent, a vile necromancer, or just kind of a jerk. High Elves with American accents are usually quite pleasant people, and sometimes noticeably nicer than everyone else in the area (the Windhelm stable owner comes to mind).
Pardon me for being predictable, but I am now going to complain about how all the bad guys in Killzone are British - because someone should be pissed about this, and it might as well be me. I stood up for the Russians when I reviewed all those fantasy Cold War wank games, and I don't even know any Russians. I'm fine with that thing where the main villain is a posh British guy, because lets face it: Cooing at rainbows sounds evil if you do it in a posh British accent. It is only when you make all the evil soldiers cockney that you enter the prejudiced parade. Cockney doesn't sound evil, it sound honest and cheeky-chips lovable. You can't picture Dick Van Dyke hiding in the bushes in a park popping children's balloons with a blow-pipe. You might say that I make too much of a fuss, but someone in the dev-team at some point said to themself: "We have a race where every individual member is so morally bankrupt that the player feels perfectly justifiable splattering them painfully against the scenery. Now, how do we bring that across with some sort of vocal short-hand?" And the most bitter pill to swallow is this: They all look like Nazis.We helped defeat the Nazi!
In Gantz Abridged, the titular Robotic Psychopath is introduced with a British accent, but then immediately switches to a mechanical voice (think Steven Hawking).
The upcoming Sims machinima Project EYEris features the antagonist Officer Bernard played by, you guessed it, a guy with a British accent. Oddly enough, said character doesn't actually look'' British.
Maxwell Lombardi from V4 of Survival of the Fittest is fast becoming one of these after killing Augustus MacDougal, Harold Fisher and Vera Osborne. And he's only doubled his body count since. Without provocation.
Diamanda Hagan herself is Irish. ... er... Hagastanic, but she likes to point out this trope whenever it enters a movie she reviews.
Mad Mod (pictured) in Teen Titans plays this to a T, though he's a mostly comical villain rather than a serious threat (and at one point it's remarked that even real British people can't stand him). Stereotypes, mania and ridiculous antics ensue.
Brother Blood, one of the major Big Bads, also speaks with an aristocratic, vaguely British accent, despite being voiced by AmericanJohn DiMaggio.
One-off villain Malchior from the episode Spellbound had an English accent, although he was intended to be an ancient spirit and one can argue Englishmen have been around for a wee bit longer than Americans.
It isn't clear why supposedly Cajun master-of-diguise Zartan had an English accent on the G.I. Joe cartoon series. It is clear that he was a villain.
Parodied on Monkey Dust in their version of Anne Frank's Diary. Yes the young Irish girl is holding out for the American love interest Johnny to save her and her family of line-dancing drunks. Meanwhile in Berlin, England, English Hitler is planning to capture Anne Frank and marry her. Needless to say Johnny and the gang end up beating up Adolf for President Churchill.
Monkey Dust did it again in their version of "The Crusades". A group of American Knights are shipped off to the holy land to rescue the Holy Grail from British-accented Saladin (or, as they call him: "Say-leddin! You English bastard!"). Along the way they use every trope from every Action film ever, and a great many humorous anachronisms. The film is dedicated to "all the Americans who died during the crusades".
In fact, every Megatron played by David Kaye (Beast Wars, Beast Machines, Armada, Energon and Cybertron) all have an accent that oozes danger, brilliance and magnificent bastardy of an order barely concievable. Guess what nation of the planet Earth it is eerily familiar to...
Also, in the original cartoon Shockwave had a David-Warner-inspired British accent. His Animated equivalent (who has the same VA) retains this and his double-agent identity of Longarm has an American accent.
Fairly OddParents: Anti-Cosmo. Accent, posh, outfit, FANGS! He's a textbook example. In fact, many fans have portrayed him as a Vampire.
Jem has got Jetta, the pathologically lying saxophonist with criminal connections from Britain who joins the Misfits in the second season. She's regarded as the Token Evil Teammate of a band that was already considered the bad guy group of the show. She's the only Misfit who's tried to scam her bandmates, as seen in Britrock, where she convinced her parents to help her convince Pizzazz she was British royalty by promising that they could bilk her out of millions. That episode helped provide something of a Freudian Excuse by showing that Jetta grew up in a lower class British home, and the fact that her parents were willing to go to such lengths to make money (and had already assumed the worst when Jetta contacted them), it's easier to understand what drives Jetta.