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"If you live like a villain all your life, sooner or later you will be 60 and still being shot at."
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.
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.
- 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 Master Happosai 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 Bleach filler 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.
- Gash Bell has a Filler Villain named Dr. Ichiro (Dr. Hakase in the dub) who wants to use his demon to get his revenge on the scientific community for mocking his ideas. And from there? Take over the world.
- Kagemaru from season 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is so old he has to live in a giant tube with robotic arms. That all changes once he draws life force from other cards thanks to the Sangenma.
- Dr. Gero from Dragon Ball Z and Dragon Ball GT.
- 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).
- For the first three arcs of Umineko No Naku Koro Ni, Kinzo isn't portrayed quite so much as evil as he is crazy and desperate. Then comes the fourth arc, and he definitely crosses that boundary. By the end of the arc, though, it's subverted, since Kinzo was dead the entire time.
- 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.
- Tiger & Bunny's Big Bad is Albert Maverick, who seems so nice in the first half of the series...until we learn what he's really like. Eventually picks up the Villain Ball and runs with it.
- Vamp of Florsheim from Tentai Senshi Sunred looks and acts like a fuzzy old man and has the goal of World Domination, right after he crushes his Arch-Enemy Sunred. Fortunately for the world, he is a fuzzy old man and about as 'evil' as a boot; Sunred won't even fight him directly because he'd look like someone bullying the elderly if he did.
- 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.
- Spider-Man has several in his Rogues Gallery. The most famous is probably the Vulture, who briefly possessed the ability to steal the youth of others, but the webhead has also had trouble from The Tinkerer and elderly crimeboss Silvermane.
- 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.
- Doctor Sivana, while not quite as extreme an example, also fit the bill, seemingly at least in his late fifties.
- 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.
- Star Wars has several:
- Emperor Palpatine.
- Jabba the Hutt, being 600 years old. He is an example, but not an extreme one. Hutts typically live 10 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.
- Every character past middle age in Hot Fuzz. Except, strangely, Bill Nighy.
- I don't know, that look he gives Angel after he says "Yes I can, I'm the Chief Inspector" looked like he was at least sadistically enjoying transferring Angel out.
- Most of the Satanists seen in Rosemary's Baby are old. For this reason, Rosemary holds a party for young adults only.
- Wilson, Terry Valentine, and Avery in The Limey.
- R.J. Fletcher from UHF.
- Brick Top from Snatch.
- Momma from Throw Momma from the Train
She's not a woman— she's the Terminator
- Judge Smails from Caddyshack
- Noah Cross in Chinatown.
- 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.
- Henry Potter from It's a Wonderful Life.
- 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.
- Lois, as well as her fellow coven members from Paranormal Activity 3.
- Baba Yaga. A powerful and immortal old witch of Russian folklore. Sometimes an enemy, sometimes a guide—but always, always dangerous.
- From Russian folklore, Koschei the Deathless.
- Actually, many witches in fairytales 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.
- Ctuchik from The Belgariad is an Evil Sorcerer and Sinister Minister who serves as The Dragon to God of Evil Torak. Appearing as an ancient old man with a long, yellow, filthy Wizard Beard, and a face ravaged by centuries of depravity and excess, he's a Type A Elderly Immortal, and a Deceptive Disciple to his god, plotting to Take Over the World himself. His colleague and Co Dragon, Zedar, is another, far more sympathetic example, being a former good guy who was drafted into serving Torak.
- The Gentleman fits this well in the Sinister Six Trilogy. Well into his nineties, he decides to spend his golden years on a plot to crash the world economy.
- A sweeping description of many of the villainous characters (Evil Matriarch, Dirty Old Man) in V. C. Andrews books.
- 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.
- 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.
- Doctor Who:
- 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.
- The Colbert Report, in the January 21 2010 episode, lists "Old People" on the Threat Down, due to all the old folks who go on airplanes with swords and knives hidden in their canes.
- In 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.
- Tubbs and Edward from The League Of Gentlemen, who torture and sometimes kill any non-locals who intrude on their shop.
- A few UnSubs of Criminal Minds fall into this category, but Anita and Roger Roycewood from "Mosley Lane" stand out the most.
- Granny Goodness on Smallville combines this with Straight Edge Evil and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing for genuinely frightening results.
- In 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.
- Daniel Linderman and Arthur Petrelli, the Big Bads of Volumes One and Three of Heroes, are both in their sixties. In fact, they were Army buddies during the Vietnam War before becoming Fallen Heroes.
- On 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.
- Justin, the "man in the middle" and human emissary of the Shadows (Babylon 5), 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.
- 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...)
- Mr. and Mrs. Cutter from Ōkami. Even the weather above their house carries a foreboding feeling.
- Most Sinister Minister type villains in Fire Emblem are visibly ancient.
- Porky Minch in MOTHER 3. From a troubled boy to a 10,000 to 100,000 year old psychotic immature Evil Overlord hellbent on destroying the world and recreating it as his own playground just for the adrenaline rush and his amusement.
- Super Mario Bros also loves this trope:
- Sun Li the Glorious Tactician in Jade Empire.
- What about Flemeth from Dragon Age: Origins? Old and evil and very powerful, and only seemingly retired.
- Kreia from Knights of the Old Republic 2 is a morally ambiguous version of this since she sees herself Above Good and Evil .
- Master Xehanort from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep.
- Charon from Pokémon Platinum. Doesn't help matters any that he's the oldest Galactic member by at least thirty years.
- Primarch Galenth Dysley from Final Fantasy XIII. He's really old too, being an immortal robot god.
- Some of the Templars in Assassins Creed II. The first game had Al-Mualim.
- Ozwell Spencer of the Resident Evil series fulfills this trope when he finally makes an appearance in Resident Evil 5.
- Mr. James Wong of Stranglehold.
- Black Hole commander Von Bolt in Advance Wars: Dual Strike keeps himself alive by stealing the energy of Omega Land via his wheelchair, turning it into a wasteland. He shows no regard for any other lifeform in the pursuit of this goal. Unlike some other Immortality Seekers, his appearance actually reflects his age: He is a fat, feeble old man who labors under each breath he draws.
- 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 arguably Mr. 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 Hag from Thief: Deadly Shadows: a centuries-old Serial Killer who skins and murders people including children to extend her own life.
- 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.
- Manfred Von Karma in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, is around 60 years old.
- Ambassador Quercus Alba from the same series is another very nasty example.
- Damon Gant, murderer and blackmailer, is 65 years old, believe it or not.
- Sarda from 8-Bit Theater.
- 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 . 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.
- Mom from Futurama is a prime example. Despite presenting herself as a loving, motherly figure, she hates everyone and everything, and has actually sent every robot in the world on a revolution against humans so that they could conquer the world for her.
- 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.
- Several Disney villains would qualify for this trope, with one of the standouts being Baroness Tremaine, Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother.
- Grampa Marsh once rallied the elderly residents of South Park to conquer the town.
- Seńor Senior, Sr., of Kim Possible came out of retirement to conquer the world.
- Mumm-Ra of ThunderCats and ThunderCats (2011) appears both elderly and undead when he's powered down.
- Codename: Kids Next Door has the Senior Citizen Squad, a trio of old people that from time to time fight the main group. There's also Grandfather and his senior citizombies.
- 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 WITCH 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.
- Mad Mod from Teen Titans.
- 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.
- Avatar The Last Airbender: Fire Lord Azulon was canonically 95 years old when he ordered Ozai to kill Zuko. He never made it to 96.
- 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 Teddy Roosevelt by punching out Mount Rushmore).
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.