Everyone has an uncle who they're not allowed to go camping with. For some reason, the brother and occasionally sister of the hero's father has a tendency to be evil. No one is exactly sure why, given that the two were raised in the same environment and it can't be In the Blood. Maybe simply because of envy, and because the uncle will stand pretty high in the succession row.
The concept stems far back to the medieval days, where the firstborn son is the crown prince, the secondborn son is the "replacement" if the firstborn happens to die, and the thirdborn... well, he's sent off to the church. Naturally, the secondborn won't grow to like his position, in turn making this trope a corrupted version of Middle Child Syndrome - though in most media, there's only two brothers in the first place, if only to avoid cluttering up the story.
This has a tendency to escalate to Cain and Abel, in fact, it almost always does. If he is from a royal family, which he frequently is, he is most commonly The Evil Prince. In those cases, he is usually the younger brother, with no children at all, while his older brother usually has at least one. He will usually end up killing his brother, thus triggering the hero's quest for vengeance. He may try to kill the hero by giving him The Quest for an Impossible Task; this is usually unwise.
A female equivalent is likely to be the Wicked Stepmother; she is unable to inherit herself, but her children can. When your mom and dad are the problem, see Evil Matriarch and Archnemesis Dad.
Can overlap with Cool Uncle (see: Evil Is Cool), in this case, the uncle himself might be a Freudian Excuse for the Start of Darkness or Face-Heel Turn. He rarely is a Creepy Uncle, though. Contrast with Evil Nephew.
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Anime and Manga
Richard Hellsing (has anyone noticed the symbolism?), the younger brother of Arthur Hellsing in the eponymous anime and manga, has had his own plans about what to do after his brother's death, especially about his own niece. Unfortunately he didn't account for some tidbits of family history...
In Vinland Saga it's revealed that Thorkell, considered a lunatic Blood Knight by his fellow Vikings, is actually Thorfinn's great-uncle.
Yashamaru from Naruto, or so it seems. He was ordered to pretend to be evil.
Raditz, the first villain that appeared in Dragon Ball Z. When his brother Goku refuses to help him exterminate the natives of other planets, he kidnaps Gohan, intending to use him as leverage over Goku and / or raise him to be a villain himself. Being the Starter Villain, he doesn't get that far.
In X-Men: The Hidden Years, a series that chronicled early, apocryphal adventures of the original team of X-Men, Angel's uncle is revealed as an anti-mutant bigot who hates himself for not killing Angel when he was a child.
Even originally, Angel's uncle Burt was a supervillain responsible for the deaths of both his parents on separate occasions.
Scrooge McDuck, of all people (ducks), have occasionally bordered on this trope, especially in Italian comics. While not actively malicious — most of the time — he thinks nothing of exploiting and downright abusing his relatives, using various threats such as removing them from his will, evicting them from their homes or even heaps of physical violence in order to get them to work for him for one-tenth minimum wage. In addition, he uses any trick or excuse to avoid having to pay them at all, and interestingly enough he almost always gets away with it.
Gar "Beast Boy" Logan was handed over to his uncle, Nicholas Galtry. Galtry was a vicious jerk who made it no secret that he was just after the money Gar's parents left for his care. The kid ran away and found Doom Patrol, and the Patrol had no problem telling the guy to pick on someone his own size and power level...
Darkseid's uncle Steppenwolf is pretty evil and he wasn't too thrilled about Darkseid's rise to power (not out of ambition but simply because he didn't like the idea of anyone being able to take anything from him), but Darkseid is worse. Much, much worse.
Swamp Thing's archenemy Anton Arcane more than fulfills this role towards his niece Abby.
Tabitha's uncle in Points Of Familiarity keeps sending her on impossible missions to get her killed. She insists on not only surviving, but successfully completing them.
This isn't an example specific to this fic. Tabitha's relationship with her uncle is canon.
Scar from The Lion King. He had no official children, but he did choose his successor: Kovu.
Hades from Disney's Hercules. The movie never mentions it, but Hades is technically Zeus' brother (Hell, most of the Greek gods are related), so he's Hercules' uncle and MAN, he's evil. He tries to usurp his brother Zeus, tries to kill Hercules lots of times, enslaves demons and mortals, and plans to rearrange the cosmos upon taking control of Olympus.
In the original source material, Hades is not just Zeus' brother, but his older brother ... i.e., he's the one that should have been king in the first place. But he seems pretty okay with his assigned role of ruling over the Earth (specifically, the underneath part), while brothers Zeus and Poseidon get the sky and sea, respectively; also, in the original, it's not Hades that's the antagonist, but Hera, and the reason she's pissed is that Heracles is Zeus' son, but not hers.
The Grand Duke from Rock-A-Doodle is an evil uncle to comic relief villain (and arguable scrappy) Hunch.
In Stardust, The Reveal is that the scheming and fratricidal Seven Princes of Stormhold were actually Tristan's uncles. They're not the primary villains, though. This is more obvious in The Film of the Book.
There's the obligatory Evil Uncle in Strange Brew, but that's really just because it's a humorous retelling of Hamlet.
In The Librarian 2, Flynn's Uncle Jerry is a lovely man who Flynn idolised growing up until The Reveal when he becomes a Smug Snake out for revenge and is revealed to have killed Flynn's father.
Frank from Hellraiser. First, he has an affair with Kristy's stepmother, making Kristy's father's marriage an unhappy one. Later, he causes the horrible death of Kristy's father. Not to mention that it's shown that the novelty of doing it with the stepmother had worn off for him... and he's shown to take very well to the idea of turning his attentions to Kirsty. Numerous times, he's shown trying to rape her, including a scene where they kiss.
Dastan's uncle in the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie. His ultimate goal is to turn back time so that he can let his brother die as a teenager and reign in his stead.
Jason Voorhees is upgraded into one in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday as he suddenly has more relatives and has to possess one them to return back to life properly. Oddly, when given the chance he ignores his niece and tries possess his grand-niece instead.
The Fallen is this to Opimus Prime in Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen, although there might be a few greats in there, how many generations separate the two isn't made clear.
Uncle Silas is a 1947 Gothic Melodrama in which the eponymous uncle played by Derrick de Marney seeks to wrest Jean Simmons' inheritance from her. Released in the US in a butchered version called The Inheritance. Silas is this trope although more of the menace is provided by Katina Paxinou as the evil governess. This movie terrified me as a 7-year-old.
Prince John is Philip of Cognac's evil uncle in Princess of Thieves, and plots to keep Philip from ascending the throne.
Hades as portrayed in the actual myths is gloomy and dark, but happy with Erebus, and he never had any problem with Herakles borrowing Cerberus for a little while. But he did abduct his niece and force her to marry him. Sometimes this depends on the character interpretation.
Though at least he asked her Father (his brother) first, which was more than Zeus often did.
Older Than Dirt: Set, the Egyptian god of chaos, violence, and the desert, murdered his brother Osiris and usurped his kingdom. Then afterwards, Osiris's sister/wife Isis had to hide their infant son Horus from Set. When Horus gew up, Set refused to return the kingdom to Horus, leading to a long fight between them.
In Hindu Lore, the Avatar Krishna's uncle Kamsa was a kind fellow who loved his sister until he heard a prophecy stating that his nephew would overthrow him. This made him go berserk, imprisoning his sister and killing her nine children in succession as soon as they were born. Needless to say, the tenth child escaped and kicked his ass after he grew up.
Also in Hindu mythology is the uncle Shakuni from the Mahabharat, who right from the start hates that his sister marries a blind man(and subsequently blinds herself with a cloth as well) and forever plots for his nephew to be king, while plotting against his other nephews who have a better right to be king.
Loki in the actual Norse Mythology, is not Odin's son as in the Marvel version but his foster-brother (a custom of the Norsemen where that very close friends took an oath that made them legally siblings). Although mostly a trickster, in the end he is destined to murder his foster-nephew Baldr and start the process that will lead to Ragnarök!
The founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, killed their grand-uncle, Amulius. Who had usurped the throne of Alba Longa from his brother Numitor and killed his son and daughter (the mother of the twins).
Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia from Harry Potter. Harry's bedroom for the first ten years of his life was the cupboard under the hall stairs. They were child abuse incarnate.
Subverted since Vernon Dursley is not Harry Potter's blood relative. Harry's aunt, Lily Potter's (neé Evans) sister Petunia Dursley neé Evans doubles as Wicked Stepmother. [Not to say Vernon were a nice guy, though.]
Subverted in Tom's Midnight Garden, with the Kitsons. Tom is bored and miserable, at first, when he must stay with his aunt and uncle, and he wishes they were evil so he could be justified in running away. The same book features an Evil Aunt in Grace Melbourne, who terrorizes and emotionally abuses her niece, calling her a monster and a charity-child.
Jane Eyre gives an interesting case of this. Jane's aunt is a Wicked Stepmother in all but name, but both of Jane's uncles in the book are portrayed as nice, charitable men, including the evil aunt's husband and another that left Jane an inheritence.
Played horiffically straight in Sophia House, by Michael D. O'Brien. Great-Uncle Nicholas is a pedophile, who molests his six-year-old great-nephew, the protagonist. Also, a Creepy Uncle.
Miss Honey's aunt Trunchbull in Matilda, who not only abused her throughout her childhood, but also allegedly killed her father, Magnus.
Jason Compson from The Sound and the Fury. He is cruel to his niece Quentin (as well as to almost everyone else) and he has been stealing the money her banished, suffering, hard-working mother Caddy sent for her, without having even the excuse of being poor.
Miraz from Prince Caspian, and Digory's Uncle Andrew in The Magician's Nephew. Andrew gets slightly better, Miraz doesn't and dies. Miraz only becomes one once he has his own son, though. Before that he was happy for Caspian to be his heir.
Sometimes played straight, but more often subverted, in A Song of Ice and Fire, particularly in the case of King Joffrey. As far as most of the Seven Kingdoms are aware, Joffrey has a whole parade of Evil Uncles, including the usurping Stannis Baratheon, the "twisted little monkey demon" Tyrion Lannister who is eventually convicted of Joffrey's murder, and the bloodthirsty Jaime Lannister. The subversion is that none of them are actually evil uncles Stannis isn't really Joffrey's uncle since Joffrey wasn't fathered by Robert, Tyrion actually cares for his nephew, and Jaime is actually Joffrey's father. And while none of the three are saints, Joffrey is much more evil than all of them put together, with Jaime even thinking that Joffrey deserved to die.
Semi-averted and played straight in Theon and Asha Greyjoy's case. Their uncles Aeron and Victarion are no more evil than any other Ironborn, don't have any particular grudge against their niece and nephew, and are fanatically loyal to their father Balon. Their uncle Euron, on the other hand....
The Babes in the Wood were exposed in the forest by their evil uncle, and died there.
In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel First & Only, Gaunt's "Uncle Dercius" is not a real uncle, and does his best to look out for Gaunt. However, in the end, this was because Gaunt's father had died because of Dercius's cowardly flight from battle.
The one who appears in person is Prince Rupert of Meriambee, a Card-Carrying Villain who's really quite fond of his nephew Prince Jorillam but has to do something wicked to keep his membership in the Wicked Stepmothers' Travelling, Drinking and Debating Society (Men's Auxiliary). (Jorillam, by the way, knows all about this and constantly encourages his uncle to abandon him in the forest so he can have adventures.) So the solution is: abandoning him in the woods is not wicked, because he wants it. Send him to school instead!
Cutter Amberville in I'll Take Manhattan, who is really pissed off because he wasn't born first compared to his "perfect" brother. Thus, he proceeds to knock up his brother's wife, molest his niece a little, cheat on his own wife with her sister (causing her to kill herself), and that's what he gets up to before he starts re-enacting Hamlet.
Red's Uncle Richard in Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest. He's so determined to get his hands on Red's land by marrying him to his daughter that he tries to murder his younger nephew, whom his daughter actually loves, then tries to murder the heroine when she foils his plans by marrying Red.
Thantos and Fredo DuBaer of T*Witches. Fredo kills his brother Aron, who is father to the protagonists of the series, Alex and Cam. Thantos tries killing his nieces multiple times, and tries to marry their mother. In the movies (TV movies on the Disney Channel), there is no Fredo, it is Thantos who kills Aron, along with trying to kill Alex and Cam.
Here Comes Santa Claws, the second of the two Christmas Episode books in the Graveyard School series, had Kyle Chilton dealing with a so-called evil great aunt looking after him for a few days before Christmas. This is a subversion in that said aunt hadn't actually done anything to him yet when she arrived, and Kyle was acting like a spoiled brat because he thought she was going to "ruin his Christmas". Which makes all the magical havoc she wreaked on him justified. Of course, it's implied that she's the distantly related great aunt of numerous children and she enjoys causing a little holiday mischief on the ones who cause trouble unprovoked. Her name, Mab, is a reference to the fairy queen Mab, so it seems only natural that she would be a Karmic Trickster.
Baron Harkonnen from Dune is evil and an uncle, but he's surprisingly not a straight example of this. He's well aware of his own mortality and he wants to raise a worthy heir to the Harkonnen name. Since he's gay and he has no desire to father children of his own so he looks to his nephews instead. He's still willing to throw his nephew Glossu Rabban to the wolves to help his other nephew Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen's rise to power.
Arguably, this is an inversion—he is in fact the maternal grandfather of Paul Atreides, i.e. his sworn enemy; he's more evil to his own (unwitting) progeny than to his nephews. Admittedly, the Bene Gesserit did essentially blackmail him into giving his genes...
In Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, which is a retelling of the Cinderella story, uses an "evil aunt" as a plot twist. Towards the end of the book, the heroine, Cinder, learns that the wicked Queen Levana, who has been trying to entrap Prince Kai, is her mother's sister.
Kidnappped by Robert Louis Stevenson has Ebenezer Balfour, uncle of protagonist David, a miser who plots to murder his nephew. When that fails, he arranges to have him sold into slavery.
Fanny Price of Mansfield Park is sent to live with her mother's sister's family when she's ten-years-old. Although her uncle Sir Thomas Bertram is stern and intimidating, he's still a decent man who cares about his niece as much as his children. Her mother's other sister Mrs. Norris, on the other hand, could give Jane Eyre's Mrs. Reed a run for her money in the Cruelest Evil Aunt category.
In 1066 and All That, King John, by murdering his little nephew, becomes "the first memorable wicked uncle" in English history.
The brother of the King in the Goosebumps book A Night in Terror Tower usurped the throne by killing the rightful King and Queen, and arranging to execute their children, Edward and Susannah of York, Eddie and Sue's real identities.
Power Rangers Ninja Storm: Big Bad Lothor is revealed to be this to Cam, son of Big Good Sensei, during a time travel story. This is actually brought up more often than the fact that Lothor killed Hunter and Blake's parents.
"You can't choose your family, Lothor, and I certainly didn't choose you."
Chuck's uncle Jack on Gossip Girl is definitely evil. He doesn't particularly mind if his seventeen year-old, newly orphaned nephew falls off the rooftop of a building and he delights in ruining said nephew's life a year later. He's even called Evil Uncle Jack by fans.
The Nennog of Maddigan's Quest was this to Timon, Eden and Jewel; it's made clear from the start he wants them dead. Well, Eden and Jewel, at least...
The Tales from the Crypt episode "Fitting Punishment" centres around a homeless, orphaned teenager being sent to live with his miserly uncle. The uncle treats him as slave labour, cripples him for life during a beating, and then murders him after deciding that the boy is costing him too much money. Eventually the boy returns as a zombie and beats his uncle to death.
As of Season 4, Prince Arthur from Merlin has his uncle Agravaine, who's secretly working with Morgana.
The second-chance shelter cook was this in the NCIS episode "Restless." For starters, he took custody of his niece after her parents were killed in a car crash.
Justin Morningway from The Dresden Files. Among dear old Uncle Justin's crimes: arranging for his sister Margaret's murder ("she had dangerous ideas!")and, some years later, killing his brother-in-law with a voodoo doll in order to get custody of his magically gifted eleven-year-old nephew, whom he, with the help of a necromancer's cursed ghost, hoped to turn into a loyal political ally and supporter steeped in Black Magic. Oh, and let's not forget that although this failed spectacularly, Uncle Justin left behind a doppleganger who resurrected the necromancer and then forced the necromancer to steal the nephew's life force and implant it in Morningway's corpse.
In I, Claudius, Emperor Caligula is technically this before he becomes an Uncle. He impregnates his sister, but thinks he and his sister are Gods, so tries to imitate the birth of Athena by cutting the child out of her womb and eating it. Then there is his Great-Uncle Tiberius, who apparently murdered his nephew Germanicus, Caligula's Father, as he was more popular.
There is a German band known as Boehse Onkelz, which translates as... well, you know.
The Who's Tommy's Evil Uncle Ernie. When Tommy is ten, his evil Uncle Ernie molests him. When Tommy "wakes up" from his blind, deaf, mute coma-like trance when he's about 18 or 21, Uncle Ernie exploits the "miracle". Then when Tommy becomes a famous pinball player, Uncle Ernie exploits not only Tommy, but his fans, as well.
Creon from Antigone is a subversion, assuming it doesn't count as an Unbuilt Trope. He's certainly against Antigone, but neither of them are at all evil, simply torn between their obligations and loyalties.
In the Broadway musical, The Lion King's Scar believes that having heirs will make him feel complete as a king. It is in fact his guilty conscience about killing his own brother and exiling his nephew that makes him feel empty, but that doesn't stop him from hitting onNala.
A rare evil aunt: Ursula from The Little Mermaid. This connection was cut from the movie, but it was restored for the Broadway musical.
Aegisthus of Electra probably counts, being a close cousin who became Electra's step-father after murdering her dad and marrying her mom. He also plans to seal her up in a cave.
Lord Lundgren, younger brother of Lyndis's grandfather in Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken.
Radiant Dawn manages to subvert this with Queen Elincia's uncle, Lord Renning. He cares deeply for her, and wants her to take the throne.
In Seisen no Keifu, Levin has two of these to contend with, Maios and Daccar. Later on Blume is this to Tinny (though he isn't as cruel to her as Hilda was), and if you pair Lex and Azel with anyone, Danan and Alvis become Evil Uncles to their children.
Wilfred Hermeien from The Last Remnant. He is Marina's brother, making him Irina and Rush's uncle, who's willing to use Irina's power to control the Remnants of the world. Bonus points for seriously threatening to feed her to his pet Harpylia at one point, and pulling a knife on her at another.
X-Wing Alliance, Ace's uncle Antan sides with the Empire.
Princess Natasha, a web cartoon on AOL's kids' page, starred a teenage princess of a foreign country who is transferred to the United States to be a secret agent as a student of a high school, where her evil uncle is the principal.
Avagadro Pompey of Something Positive sexually and verbally abused his nephew Ollie, who was pathetically grateful as Avagadro had "saved" him from physical abuse at his father's hands.
Interestingly, though, Iroh was originally this while the show was still in design. Before he was redesigned into the tea-loving, Pai Sho playingBig Fun that we all know and love, he would have taught Zuko incorrect firebending on Ozai's orders and fought Zuko in season 3. Ozai would've become this to Lu-Ten, Iroh's late son.
Played straight in The Legend Of Korra with Unalaq, Korra's uncle. Not only does he fix the trial to get Tonraq sent to prison for life, but he also arranged for him to be exiled by paying barbarians to attack the city and hide in the spirit forest, which Tonraq destroyed. When Korra finds this out, she turns against him and calls him out on his jealousy. He also trained Korra for his own desires unlike Iroh, who genuinely cared for his nephew Zuko. Not only that, but he appears to be a neglectful father as well, such as leaving an injured Desna on the ground just to try and open the Spirit World portal. The constrast between Iroh and Unalaq becomes more evident in the episode "A New Spiritual Age", when both appear in diferent moments.
The Shadow Master from the Double Dragon TV series. In one episode, Mrs. Lee, the mother of Billy and Jimmy makes an appearance. She reveals that not only is she their mother, but the main villain, the Shadow Master is none other than her brother, making him the twins' uncle.
In Batman The Brave And The Bold, Aquaman's first episode features his brother, who despite having rebelled against him in the past, is accepted back some years later. He immediately tries to usurp Aquaman's crown again.
In the animated "Fatman" segments of the The Weird Al Show, Fatman had an Evil Uncle Frank who was intended to be a recurring villain.
"Reign of the Boy King": Black Duke Lucan wants to usurp the throne of Morovia from his nephew King Alexander.
"Robot Raid": Merick wants to prevent his niece Jennifer from inheriting the family's company.
Punky Brewster discovers she has an aunt and an uncle in "Punky The Heiress," and they've offered to reunite her with her missing mother. But (a) they're actually servants for the Chester Henderson estate, and (b) they're using Punky to embezzle the inheritance of Henderson's granddaughter, of whom they have Punky dressed up to look like.