Some people grow old gracefully, and sit back to enjoy the last few years of their life. Others want to spend their final days as the supreme ruler of all humanity. Not all senior citizens can be kind, loving grandparents, or old masters. Some are just as evil in their old age as they were in their youth, and still want to destroy everything, conquer the world, or generally be evil.
To qualify for this trope, a character must be old (by their species' standards), and must also be visibly aged. Even if they're Really 700 Years Old, it doesn't count if they look like a ten-year-old child. Just being a cranky old man is not enough to qualify one as evil, either. World domination, death to humans, or anything else that could be pulled off by younger villains are all suitable goals to make one qualify as an Evil Old Folk. If they happen to be really old and remain young by stealing the youth of others, it can count so long as they occasionally look old.
So next time Mr. Jenkins next door yells at you to get off his lawn, you might want to listen — he might be hiding a death laser under his rocking chair.
Due to their age and the fact that they are still committing evil, they are never likely to go face on the Sorting Algorithm of Face Heel Turning chart.
See Liquid Assets for evil old folks who look young by stealing the youth of others. Compare Cool Old Guy, Dirty Old Man, Grumpy Old Man. See also Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! and Jade-Colored Glasses. For old folks who were evil when they were your age, try Retired Monster.
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A running gag in Ranma 1/2: The Abridged Chronicles is the old folks living in the town who seek world domination. At first it was just Ranma's suspicions that one old lady was up to no good, but later several senior citizens gathered outside were plotting to "strike at midnight," and another attempted to kill Ryoga after he found her a good spot from which to plot world domination.
Anime and Manga
Enya Geil from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 3 is a cunning, nasty old woman who tries to get revenge on the heroes for killing her depraved psychopath of a son.
Dario Brando, father of Dio Brando is also an example. He was a wife-beating self-centered drunk who tormented Dio as a child and was the largest contributing factor to Dio's personality. Perhaps everything could have been avoided had Dario just been a little nicer to his son...
A few minor Stand Users also fall in here. Professional murderer-thief Gray Fly, former cult leader Kenzo, Yoshikage Kira's father Yoshihiro...
Danzou (72) from Naruto, who's one of the Hidden Leaf Village's head elders and a ruthless war hawk who's willing to do things the rest of the village considers morally putrid. He overlaps with Well-Intentioned Extremist, as everything he does, he does with the intent of helping the Hidden Leaf Village. He does it through underhanded political manipulation, and lets revenge get the better of him, however, that he becomes pretty unsympathetic.
Drosselmeyer from Princess Tutu, an evil old fucker if there ever was one.
The main antagonist from Fullmetal Alchemist. Father has the appearance of an imposing old man robed in white, and though he can be somewhat goofy at times, his evil is hardly a secret. He's behind nearly every tragedy in the series.
Two of Father's henchmen also count. King Bradley/Wrath is in his 60s, and the Gold-Toothed Doctor is even older. Both are very bad dudes.
Dante from the 2003 anime version is arguably a little more faithful to the trope. When she's first introduced, she seems like a genuinely nice old woman, and Alphonse in particular seems to take a liking to her. After all, an old bonnet-wearing pharmacist couldn't possibly be the leader of the homunculi, right?
In the actual Ranma 1/2 series, the (small) Old MasterHapposai is often described as the ultimate evil. Trying to think of a good deed for Christmas made him explode with pain, and, in the animated version, he was evil enough to made a suddenly Not So Harmless Evil Oni writhe in pure agony.
Yubaba from Spirited Away is the wicked owner of the bath house, and has the nasty habit of stealing peoples' names once they begin working for her. The fact that she enslaves nature spirits doesn't help her case either.
Turning hapless human intruders into pigs or pieces of coal, used for food and fuel respectively.
In Bleachfiller episodes, the Bount are several centuries old, but retain their youth by eating ghosts. The exception to their youthful appearances is Sawatari, who looks very old due to recklessly devouring human souls.
Meanwhile in canon, the Segunda Espada, Baraggan Louisenbairrn. Of the ten Espada, each of whom embodies an aspect of death, he is the one who represents "death by old age."
Juha Bach, possibly the most wicked character in this series. He is about 1000 years old, but looks like in his fifties with his long black hair.
In the earlier Dragon Ball, Piccolo Daimao originally looked ancient and wrinkled like an old prune. This didn't stop him from completely dominating Goku in their first encounter; when he got his youth back thanks to the Dragon Balls, well, it went From Bad to Worse.
Szilard Quates of Baccano!!. Evil deeds including but not limited to betraying a shipload of people who trusted him, enslaving a homunculus of his creation on pain of death, and "devouring" people's minds left and right to increase his own knowledge. Possibly lampshaded in that he once rationalizes some of his behavior by noting his distrust of young people. Quates' Battle Butler notes that he is quite likely the oldest person on earth (which means that he distrusts/will do badly by everyone else).
In The Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk, we learn that King Gilgamesh is immortal, as his mortal self was sealed atop the tower. As he grows older, his heart grows colder, until he becomes a cold-blooded tyrant who slaughters his own citizens.
Mikado of Hayate the Combat Butler. Nagi's grandfather, targetted the Power of the Gods prior to the story started, and messed with Hayate growing up as Santa! Perverted as well.
ROD the TV has a twist on this: the Evil Old Guy, "Mr. Gentleman," actually died of old age. The antagonists want to resurrect him into Junior's body so he can use his Reality Warper powers to complete their Assimilation Plot.
Joejoe, Mokkoi, Chiyo, Zaus, and Kousairou in Toriko.
The Area 88 manga and OVA has GuiseppeFarina, an Italian mafia don and arms dealer who collaborates with Kanzaki and Asran's anti-government forces.
McCoy, the grandfatherly arms dealer who provides arms and provisions for Area 88, also qualifies. Despite having sympathetic moments, he's still an amoral arms dealer supporting a bloody civil war and acquiring weapons through dubious means.
Frau Totenkinder from Fables. She may look like a frail old woman though she could easily undo her aging if she wished, but she is every unnamed witch in fairy tales; meaning she is one of the most powerful Fables alive. While she is firmly aligned with Fabletown, even a cursory glance into her past will reveal that she was(is?) not a good person. She even fought Baba Yaga at one point and, in a rather Eviler than Thou manner, defeated her.
Captain Marvel, Jr. fought a villain named Greybeard a couple of times. Sentenced to 99 years in prison when he was a young man, Greybeard served his entire sentence. On his release, he became a supervillain, basing his crimes around the theme of age, to take revenege on a world that had passed him by.
DoctorSivana, while not quite as extreme an example, also fit the bill, seemingly at least in his late fifties.
Aunt Minerva is another example, an elderly widow who became a criminal after the death of her husband. (Her Post-Crisis counterpart Lady M doesn't exactly fit the trope, since she's usually under a Latex Perfection beauty aid called Neoderm, and uses her regular elderly appearance as a Secret Identity.)
DC Comics villains Granny Goodness and DeSaad, New Gods and minions of Darkseid. Interestingly, both are actually younger than their master, who doesn't quite fit the trope himself; it may have something to do with his personal power being far greater than theirs. Also, they look vaguely human while he might have been carved out of granite.
Sin City has the Roarke brothers who are powerful politicians who run crime in the city and harbor Serial Killers. Both of them are easily in their sixties or older. There is also the short story entitled Rats about a retired Nazi war criminal.
In All Fall Down, IQ lives in a squalid retirement home and has not lost an inch of his hate for the good guys.
Garth Ennis opened his run on The Punisher MAX by having Frank Castle take out a mob boss who had clocked nearly a hundred. He took out a whole bunch of other mobsters as well, but the old guy was who he was there for. And then there was the elderly leader of the human trafficking ring in the "Slavers" arc.
Emperor Palpatine, who in his first appearance in The Empire Strikes Back looks like a white raisin left too long in water. A raisin with sleep problems.
Jabba the Hutt, being 600 years old. He is an example, but not an extreme one. Hutts typically live ten times longer than humans.
Count Dooku from the prequels, who looks more like a dignified elderly statesman than a terrible Sith Lord. In fact, most of Christopher Lee's roles from the past few decades likely count.
Obadiah Stane from Iron Man is relatively old, having been in charge of Stark Industries when Tony was a teenager, and is certainly not a nice guy. At least, if selling weapons to terrorists then attempting to kill Tony and go on a rampage with his own giant suit is any indication.
Son of the Mask: Odin, Ruler of Asgard & Valhalla, His Wrathful arrogance & his tyrannical all-mighty stature is physically a dead giveaway. He's grown more impatient as his son Loki fails time and time again to find and recover the lost God-Mask.
Parodied with Old Man McGinty in Mystery Team. Despite being clearly comatose, the trio still suspects him of murder.
The MacCreadys from the 1984 thriller Cloak & Dagger.
The Duke brothers from Trading Places decide to completely upend the lives of two men for the sake of a dollar.
In Hook, Captain Hook has become an old man while Peter grew up in the outside world. His trademark fear of ticking clocks isn't due to the crocodile (which he killed) anymore. He's afraid of time slipping away from him. His entire scheme is merely a means to have one final decisive fight with Peter Pan before time claims him.
The eponymous Bill, Pai Mai and Esteban Vihaio from Kill Bill.
Tatie Danielle is faraway from your sweet old auntie, that's for sure. After her caretaker's death - which she was pretty responsible of -, she gets to live with her grand-nephew's family. Woe to them...
Ichirō Yashida from The Wolverine. His old age and impending death is what makes him so desperate to gain Wolverine's power.
Baba Yaga. A powerful and immortal old witch of Russian folklore. Sometimes an enemy, sometimes a guide—but always, always dangerous.
Actually, many witches in fairy tales and folklore are old.
Felix Jongleur in Tad Williams' Otherland is the oldest living human being by quite a few decades, and the Corrupt Corporate Executive of the local Mega Corp.. He keeps his crippled body clinging to life in a support capsule lined with machinery while he spends his time in the 'Net. All of his considerable resources are dedicated to one task: learning how to cheat the inevitable death of his body, and he's willing to go to any lengths to accomplish it.
Fistandantilus of Dragonlance is so old that it's tough to find an artifact or ancient manuscript that can honestly be said to predate him- he uses a variety of unpleasant means to keep himself going. Because he always wears a Black Cloak with the hood up, the only part of him anyone ever sees are his hands, which are little more than withered, age-spotted talons. A few characters speculate as to what his face looks like, but come to the conclusion it's something best left unknown.
In House of the Scorpion, El Patron is the ancient ruler of Opium, a nation built out of the US-Mexican border and based on enslaving illegal immigrants(from both sides) by turning them into what amounts to zombies, and the international drug trade. And he maintains his long life through harvesting the organs of clones.
Played with in the last Nursery Crimes book by Eric Weiner, There Was An Old Woman, where a girl going to college in Manhattan learns that there've been a string of missing students from her school, and all of them lived in the same boarding house. When the evidence points to the perpetrator possibly being an older woman, the girl and her friends go on the lookout for a suspicious looking woman. They encounter at least two women who are frightening, until it's narrowed down to the owner of the house, the main character's psych professor, and her own mother.
Professor James Moriarty, a wizened old crimelord who appears in two Sherlock Holmes stories, "The Valley of Fear" and "The Final Problem". In Holmes' capsule biography of the man, it's hinted Moriarty was a crook from the very start, but keeps up appearances as an underpaid math tutor who lives humbly.
Judge Fulgence, in Wash This Blood Clean From My Hand, by Fred Vargas, definitely qualified before his fake death. He stabbed nine people with a trident between 1949 and 1987 and three more between 1987 and 2003, always leaving a convenient culprit for the police to find (drunk or knocked-out people, preferably homeless, with the supposed crime weapon in their hands). One of those culprits was the protagonist's brother, who has spent more than thirty years not knowing whether or not he had really killed his girlfriend.
Reigner One of Hexwood seems a kindly old man. He isn't.
Coriolanus Snow, President of Panem in The Hunger Games. Oppressive tyrant, murderer, pimp of Victors, grandfather.
Viv Ivins, the Evil Mentor of Marilena Carpathia in the Left Behind book series who convinced her to have her only son Nicolae and then had the mother disposed of so that she and her organization could raise him for the purpose of becoming the Anti Christ. She also was the implementer of the Mark of the Beast loyalty system during the latter half of the Tribulation.
In the sequel to Those That Wake, the Old Man is centuries old and is barely able to move on his own.
Babylon 5: Justin, the "man in the middle" and human emissary of the Shadows, comes across as a fairly harmless and polite elderly gentleman while explaining the Shadow philosophy of strength through conflict and how some must be killed "for the dream". In the book ''The Shadow Within'' we see that he was the one on the Icarus who most readily embraced the Shadows when the crew "woke" them— even Morden only decided to serve them in return for a merciful ending for his loved ones trapped consciously in a bubble of hyperspace after a transport explosion a few years ago. Justin just seemed intrigued or intoxicated by the sheer power they possessed, regardless of the evils it would be put to use for.
Criminal Minds: A few UnSubs fall into this category, but Anita and Roger Roycewood from "Mosley Lane" stand out the most.
Cutey Honey The Live: The nice old lady who owns a fish shop is one of Panther Claw's highest ranking generals. Get in her way and she will bludgeon you to death, cut you up with frozen food, or just use the missile launchers built into her stomach. But however she kills you, she'll do it without losing her kind, motherly demeanor for a second.
Tilda and Tabby from the story "Paradise Towers" cook and eat their guests. It is also implied that everyone of their generation does.
"Amy's Choice" has a retirement home full of evil pensioners taken over by a race of aliens. However, that was a dream.
Heroes: Daniel Linderman and Arthur Petrelli, the Big Bads of Volumes One and Three, are both in their sixties. In fact, they were Army buddies during the Vietnam War before becoming Fallen Heroes.
The League of Gentlemen: Tubbs and Edward, who torture and sometimes kill any non-locals who intrude on their shop.
Leverage: Nate's dad Jimmy is an aging member of The Irish Mob who, having lost his former position of influence in the Boston underworld during a long prison term, is scheming to get it back.
Revolution: Tom Neville, despite his age never being stated, is older than a lot of characters, and he'll betray and murder people in cold blood to get what he wants. The actor playing the character, Giancarlo Esposito, is 55 years old.
TeenWolf: Gerard Argent, patriarch of the Argent family and the Big Bad of Season 2. Initially plays up the persona of the doddering old grandpa until he takes control of the Kanima and reveals himself to be a sociopathic, manipulative monster willing to kill anybody and everybody to ensure his own survival, including his own family. Not to mention his contradictory hatred of werewolves when he was perfectly willing to become a werewolf himself to cure his cancer. After he told his son to help his wife commit suicide when she was turning into a werewolf to preserve the family's honor.
Todd and the Book of Pure Evil: It is revealed that virtually all of the residents of the Crowley Heights retirement home are Satanists. Considering they were keeping a man captive and drugged, it qualifies for this trope.
This is the only way to describe T. Herman Zweibel, the "Editor" of The Onion since taking it from his father at the age of 20. According to this timeline he has opposed social change of any sorts (he went into a coma upon hearing of the Civil Rights Movement), is indirectly responsible for several historical acts such as the sinking of the Lusitania, the assassination of JFK and Archduke Franz Ferdinand (thus indirectly starting World War I) and has put a bounty on the heads of Upton Sinclair and Ring Lardner. Despite being diagnosed with countless diseases and suffering from (to put it generously) crippling senility is still somehow alive and still writing at the age of 140. (Specifically, writing uplifting prose such as his "Huzzah for the Death of a Child!" in which he gloats that a recently deceased eight-year-old was on the organ donor list and thanks to her gristly demise, Zweibel will be able to get drunk again for as much as three weeks before he kills his transplant liver, too...)
Mutants & Masterminds has Dr. Sin, an immortal Chinese criminal who appears to be in his seventies or eighties, and elder statesman of supervillainy August Tiberius Roman, who is in his nineties now and only semiretired. Roman in particular is a fixture of the Freedom City setting in some ways, having survived from its Golden Age through the Modern Age, transitioning from Mafia boss, to Diabolical Mastermind, becoming the "Emperor of Crime" of Freedom City, and after losing most of his empire, becoming the owner of an illegal underground series of Gladiator Games.
Mr. and Mrs. Cutter from Ōkami. Even the weather above their house carries a foreboding feeling.
Riven, the sequel to Myst, replaces the earlier antagonists with their grandfather Gehn. A member of the D'ni race of worldbuilders, he became power-mad and was opposed by his son, who imprisoned him. Years of exile haven't helped Gehn's sanity any, and though he claims to be reformed, he'll gladly and promptly kill you and Atrus the moment he gets within sight of either.
Which, unfortunately, does not keep him from being one of the most intimidating characters in the game, which should tell you something.
There is a particularly suspicious one in Mardek Chapter 3. He is defined as Chaotic Evil in the game helper and looks evil. He's the adviser of the king (who joins you) of the lizard village beneath the Sun Temple, leading to the Evil Black Temple, which gets you plot sooner or later.
Tenpenny from Fallout 3 is a wealthy, amiable old man who wants you to nuke a nearby village because it's an eyesore.
Fallout: New Vegas: The core game has Caesar, and arguablyMr. House. The Old World Blues DLC has the Think Tanks, who are former scientists who have outlived their bodies by transporting their brains into robots (though they're arguably more insane than truly evil). Finally, the Dead Money DLC has Father Elijah, who is very evil.
The classic Evil Old Guy of video games would have to be Dr. Albert Wily, an elderly Mad Scientist bent on world domination, with an army of robots at his command.
Warcraft has Archbishop Benedictus. Old man, looks weak and decrepit, is a non-fighting priest of the Holy Light. That doesn't sound evil at all, right? Well, in Cataclysm, he allies with the evil Aspect of Death, becomes the Twilight Prophet dedicated to wiping out all life, enslaves a blue dragon princess, creates a monster so awful that not even the four dragonflights can take it out without help from Thrall, and eventually faces down Thrall himself and the players to try and recapture the Dragon Soul for his master, Deathwing.
Warcraft also has Magatha Grimtotem. She is obviously evil from the very beginning and doesn't even TRY to hide it. By her race's standards, she's an old woman/cowlady. She's fairly harmless, until Cataclysm, where she kills tauren leader Cairne Bloodhoof in a rigged fight, threatens the players (who have fought gods and dragons and come out on top), and steals a Twilight's Hammer artifact.
Kil'jaeden, maybe. He's over 20,000 years old and is the leader of a race of evil monsters bent on bending the universe to their will and corrupting everything. I would say he doesn't qualify, due to his race being immortal, but his good counterpart, Velen, definitely looks old, so Kil'jaeden is probably still considered old by Eredar standards, but not Burning Legion standards.
Riften's Honorhall Orphanage in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is run by Grelod the Kind, who is anything but what her name would suggest. She is utterly horrible to the children of the orphanage in question, and disobeying her will earn the unfortunate kid an extra beating. In the start of the Dark Brotherhood storyline, you get to kill her, and unlike your other major targets, you won't receive any bounty for doing so. She is that hated.
Fate/stay night has Zouken Matou, a twisted, vile piece of work hideous in both body and mind.
Though in his case, it's not "Evil" as much as it is "Jackass".
Baron Klaus Wulfenbach of Girl Genius may have gray hair, but he rules his empire with an iron fist and isn't afraid to subject people to unethical experiments or lay waste to entire cities if he finds it necessary.
He's only evil from a very superficial standpoint, though; he's more about efficiency and doing it right, and is, in fact, a Well-Intentioned Extremistnote Prior to becoming a hard-handed dictator, he, along with the Heterodyne boys, forged peace throughout Europa using diplomacy and nonviolence. After a brief leave of absence, he returned to discover that the Heterodyne boys had disappeared, and with them had gone the peace he'd worked so hard for. He reasoned that, if peace by diplomacy was so fleeting, peace by busting heads was going to be at least as permanent as he was.. His ruling style (and official mission statement) is "Don't make me come over there", and the local lords and mad scientists are largely left alone provided they don't break any rules; he's also very supportive of the arts and the sciences, and sponsors many young geniuses from noble families (even if his sponsorship does double as the taking of a hostage to keep said families in line). So far, his plan seems to be working too, even providing the page quote for The Extremist Was Right.
Xykon from The Order of the Stick wasn't always a lich. Before he transformed, he was already 80 years old, yet he was still a strong enough sorcerer to wipe out a squad of paladins without any of them touching him.
Director Deena Daniels of B.E.N.T. from Hexenringe definitely fits the bill of an evil old person. Her design is based on Mama Fratelli from The Goonies.
And along that vein, we also have Mr. Burns from The Simpsons, who could qualify as the Trope Codifier for the comedic version. He's done every evil deed imaginable, from blotting out the sun to stealing candy from a baby, and that was just in one episode.
An episode of The Powerpuff Girls involved "The Ministry of Pain", a supervillain team that used to terrorize Townsville but are now mostly harmless because they've become old and feeble. They're still as evil as ever, though, and Blossom tells her sisters that they won't fight them because they're old...
Female example- Nerissa, Big Bad from season 2 of W.I.T.C.H. is very old and looks even older due to her hard life and the rigors of her magic, and she's also a Knight Templar out to take over the universe as she thinks it's the only way to end all war and suffering. In the last third of the season she manages to get her youth back and becomes more another trope.
Ed Bighead from Rocko's Modern Life, In the Episode: "Zanzibar" Rocko and the populace of O-Town had the courage to convince Conglom-O to turn against Ed Bighead and the evil he's done to the environment.
Invader Zim: Ms. Bitters. True to her namesake, she's completely devoid of any compassionate emotion and possesses demonic hatred for all life on planet Earth.
Firelord Sozin died at the age of 102 after many years of prosecuting a war against the other nations. He was already this trope when he started said war.
Old Lady Hama is a Water Bender who was captured and imprisoned by the Fire Nation and, along with dozens of others, kept locked in terrible conditions and away from water. She escaped when she realised that blood is water and she could manipulate it at the peak of her powers during a full moon, allowing her to seize control of a living person's body, which she used on the guards to escape. But she was still stuck in the Fire Nation so she set up shop as a kindly old innkeeper... and at the full moon used her new technique, which she called Bloodbending, on the ordinary and innocent Fire Nation neighbours in revenge for her treatment.
The Terror from The Tick, a 100+ year old supervillain who used to be buddies with Joseph Stalin. Played for Laughs as he's, putting it mildly, gone a little bit senile with age (until his reappearance in the show, his last public appearance was in the 70's when he tried to get his revenge on his arch-enemy Theodore Roosevelt by punching out Mount Rushmore).
Arthur: Oh, come on. The guy's got to be, what, a hundred and fifteen? The Tick: Evil, chum, is ever-green...
Granny May from WordGirl is a devious thief and conwoman and on the very short list of WordGirl's genuinely competent enemies. She favors playing up her age and perceived helplessness as a way of gaining sympathy and manipulating others, going so far as to feign deafness to add to it.
Colonel H. Stinkmeaner from The Boondocks is well known for his cartoon portrayal as a hateful, spiteful old man who, in spite of his age and blindness, keeps on going by The Power of Hate, living only for violence and generally making other people as miserable as humanly possible. He also employs the word 'nyukkah' in the same way most people might use the word 'you.' His Hateocracy also counts, as they are basically a gang comprised of extremely violent senior citizens armed with ludicrous weapons. Stinkmeaner is so evil, in fact, that when Granddad Freeman accidentally kills him, he goes to hell and enjoys himself down there with the constant violence, blasphemy, and all things terrible. He goes so far as to call Satan a "bitch-ass nigga" to his face, which only impresses and pleases the embodiment of evil. He considers Hell substantially better than jail.