A character whose intended
role in the story (the role the authors made for him/her) is to be so despicable that the audience wants him or her to fail just as much as they want the heroes to succeed.
In many cases, this is not simply the Big Bad
of the story. Let's say we have a cast of perfectly likable protagonists, reasonable and sympathetic villains, and Bob. Bob is not the main antagonist, and is usually not a villain at all. He is not causing the struggle that the heroes must overcome, but he is making the heroes' lives more difficult. His list of character traits includes selfishness
, holier-than-thou contempt
, and an inexhaustible penchant for making bad decisions
. Basically, Bob exists to be hated. Everything he does and everything he says is designed to make the audience yearn for his death just a little bit more. If we see his eventual downfall — and we usually do — it is just as satisfying as the writers can possibly make it. A particularly pointed Karmic Death
is always a nice touch.
An especially common flavor of this character in recent decades is the Politically Incorrect Villain
The Hate Sink is typically found in stories that do not have a natural target for the audience's scorn. Common environments for this weasel are:
- Disaster and killer-animal stories, since you can't villainize a force of nature.
- Stories set in a prison, the army, or some other institutional setting which is regarded as an unpleasant but necessary piece of social equipment.
- Works where the protagonist's struggle is against something personal and nebulous — say, a feeling that he is in a dead-end job and hasn't achieved any of his dreams.
- Works which operate under Grey and Gray Morality.
- Certain action movies where the villains are every bit as Badass as the heroes and just too darn cool.
This trope is not the same as Designated Villain
, which is a character who is put into the villain role for the sake of the plot, even though his or her actions are not particularly evil. A Hate Sink character may or may not be important to the story and does not need to advance the plot — if Bob is in a scene being loathsome, he is fulfilling his predestined role.
See also Villainy-Free Villain
. The Heel
is a variant specific to Professional Wrestling
Contrast The Scrappy
, who is not designed to be hated but who garners a Hatedom
anyway. Often a Smug Snake
This is not merely a place to complain about characters you hate. These can't just be a Base Breaker
or The Scrappy
. They have to be designed for you to hate them. Otherwise, it's not this trope.
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Anime & Manga
- Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts has no clear-cut antagonistic force, save the characters' own idiocies. The Tokonatsu duo introduced as Filler Villains during the OVA serve as the necessary, obnoxious road bumps hindering the main characters' cultural festival.
- Shiho Nishizumi from Girls und Panzer, is cold, abrasive toward others, disapproves of her daughter abandoning her tank to save the lives of her teammates, and is considering disowning Miho because she doesn't like the way she does tankery. To drive things home, it's clear that Miho has given up on actively trying to gain Shiho's approval, and the only reason Maho does what Shiho tells her to as Nishizumi heiress is so that Miho will be able to live as she wishes.
- Mayo Sakaki from the 3rd Fushigi Yuugi OVA. Word of God states that she's supposed to be a deconstruction of fangirls who want to take over Miaka's role and disrupt the status quo. So she's a Villain Protagonist.
- Elfen Lied: In a case of Adaptational Villainy, the anime removed all redeeming aspects of Bando's character while adding more things to hate, essentially turning him into this.
- Naruto: Between bashing women, considering the Bijuu as mindless slaves, putting the two protagonists at death's doorstep, turning Obito's life into a nightmare so bad he would try to remake reality and surviving every goddamn thing they throw at him, Madara Uchiha seems to serve no better purpose than being a completely despicable Villain Sue.
- The Central 46 from Bleach. Comprised of 46 of the biggest dickheads in the Soul Society, their entire existence is pretty much to piss off both the viewer and the characters in the show.
- Tonpa of Hunter x Hunter. A Fat Bastard who intentionally sets back the main characters and other participants of the Hunter exams for no other reason than to see them fail and does it with absolutely sadistic glee, to the point that he's nicknamed "Tonpa the rookie crusher."
- Izaya Orihara of Durarara!!, who spends most of his time finding ways to toy with the lives of nearly every character in the series and has a blast doing it.
- Soul Eater: Medusa, a relentlessly cruel, manipulative bitch who treats her own child like a test subject and initiates the plot with her wicked schemes. Whether or not she's the Big Bad of the series is a matter of debate, but she's definitely The Heavy and continues to play a large role throughout.
- Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Gladstone Gander, the unbelievably smug, obnoxious and infuriatingly lucky cousin of Donald Duck. In any story he appears as a rival to Donald, you're guaranteed to root against him, even if Donald himself is being a Jerk Ass.
- Although in an episode of DuckTales Gladstone had his lucky streak stolen and he briefly experiences a serving of misery and humble pie, especially when he realizes he relied solely on his luck to get through life. Tellingly, in the comics, after suffering the same loss and regain... he appears to learn absolutely nothing and is as smug as ever.
- It is worth noting however, that his Duck Tales incarnation is noticeably more sympathetic than his comics counterpart by normality.
- Johnny the Homicidal Maniac is, oddly enough, one of these in-universe, having been more or less randomly selected by some unnamed power to be a receptacle for everyone else's negative emotions. This has made him somewhat... wacky.
- Played straight later with Jimmy, an absolutely repulsive scumbag who rapes and murders civilians partly because he idolizes Johnny, and also because he enjoys it.Johnny wasn't amused.
- Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog: Drago Wolf is despised by even the writers, who always ensure that every time he shows up, he will get at least a punch in the face.
- In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, Dr. Wily is written like this on purpose, as the author likes having villains that readers root against. Several other villains also qualify, such as Metal Man and the Conduit, but the biggest example aside from Wily is anti-robot racist William Cochran.
- In The Seven Hunters, Calin is depicted like this. He has absolutely no compassion for anyone, even his 'friends'. His only considerations are for his own benefit and most of the dinosaurs he encounters realize this.
Films — Animated
- Oogie-Boogie from The Nightmare Before Christmas,. It's Jack and the other Halloween Town citizens who actually cause most of the problems in the movie, despite being well-meaning. Oogie-Boogie serves as a contrast by being actually malicious. Sort of like Blue and Black Morality / Even Creepy Has Standards.
- Bolt is, at its heart, a Road Movie with no real villains; even the slightly insane producer and the snarky network representative are doing what they believe is best for the Show Within a Show. So there's Penny's horribly obnoxious agent, who by contrast is doing what he thinks is best for himself, with no regard for the feelings of the child he's supposed to be looking out for or her mother.
- Chi-Fu from Mulan is a misogynistic, obnoxious, snooty, Obstructive Bureaucrat who is told to his face by the emperor that he can easily be replaced by the heroine. The reason for his presence is that Mulan, as a war movie, has a villainous faction that is difficult to personalize, even once the Hun army is stripped down to a Five-Bad Band.
- Steele from Balto. The conflict revolves around trying to get medicine for a diphtheria outbreak. You can't hate a disease, so what do the filmmakers do? Introduce a bigoted, spiteful, egotistical, vicious bastard of a husky.
- Hans from Frozen. While he does appear to be a good guy in promotional materials for the movie, when you finally watch the movie, you'll get to see his true colors, and see the real reason the writers want you to hate this guy.
- Mr. Huph from The Incredibles is a cold, heartless insurance executive who actively discourages his workers from ever granting any of their clients' insurance claims. His only loyalty is to his stockholders, and were he not bound by the law he would be perfectly willing to not help any of the customers. His response to seeing a mugging from his own office window is, "Well, let's hope we don't cover him!" This makes his ultimate fate intensely satisfying.
- Mertle from Lilo & Stitch is a bullying Alpha Bitch who repeatedly kicks the dog by insulting and excluding Lilo, and also making harsh comments about her mother (who is deceased).
- Lady Tremaine from Cinderella is an Evil Matriarch, who has zero redeeming qualities. Her role is to be the Wicked Stepmother, who is emotionally abusive to Cinderella, and later her daughters when Cinderella leaves their house.
- Aunt Sarah in Lady and the Tramp is not actually evil, but she clearly prefers cats over dogs. And in a movie, where the protagonists are dogs, that is more than enough to make her an antagonist. Not only does she blame Lady for trashing the living room, when it really was her cats who did it. But she also puts her little grand-nephew in danger, when she tries to stop Tramp from saving the baby from being bitten by a rat.
Films — Live-Action
- Titanic: Billy Zane's character, Cal. He disparages the Picasso paintings; he verbally and physically abuses Rose; he tries to have Jack killed; is exposed to care more about money than Rose; and finally cons his way onto a lifeboat using a small child to save his pathetic hide. But the karma gods are not mocked: in the aftermath of the disaster Cal loses the Heart of the Ocean diamond, loses Rose, loses his fortune, and eventually takes his own life.
- Roland Emmerich gets a lot of mileage out of this trope due to his films typically having nature or non-speaking monsters as their antagonists.
- Independence Day has the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Nimzicki (dubbed by RiffTrax "Foily McAntagonist"). The aliens are inscrutable, have cool ships and bring the Monumental Damage and massive carnage that is the reason the audience bought the tickets. This guy knows about the aliens ahead of time but stays silent to give the President "plausible deniability." He continually pushes the use of nukes that are ineffective. He cockily celebrates victory too soon only to immediately be proven wrong. Finally he is the only person to disagree with the final plan that ends up working. His comeuppance is being fired by President Whitmore in person. Though he's then thrown a bone by being allowed into the prayer circle David's father is starting.
- Godzilla has both the conniving news anchor Charles Caiman and the meddlesome Mayor Ebert.
- The Day After Tomorrow has the skeptical Vice President.
- 2012 has a more minor example with Chief of Staff Carl Anheuser, who keeps the impending global disaster a secret from all but those who can afford to buy a ticket to safety. He's given slightly more respect than the above examples, with a couple of Jerkass Has a Point moments and much less of a comeuppance at the end.
- Aliens: Paul Reiser's company guy, Carter Burke. The aliens are already scary, so the filmmakers are hedging their bets by offering Burke as the weaselly company guy that only cares about money and fame. He knows about the aliens ahead of time and sends the colonists to investigate. He disagrees with nuking the site from orbit. He tries to impregnate Newt and Ripley with alien embryos with a plan to sabotage and kill the other heroes. Finally he cravenly retreats behind a door locking the other heroes out, where he is deliciously killed by an alien. Reiser said his own mother, who sat next to him at the premiere, cheered at his on-screen death!
- In the novel, he is found attached to a wall when Ripley goes on her rescue mission to save Newt. Although he begs for death, she only hands him a grenade. (This scene was actually filmed, but was cut from the movie when it was realized that too little in-story time would have passed for the scene to work. Since everything up to that point had established that it took several hours for the facehugger to drop off its victim, and several more hours for the chestburster to grow and break out, Burke should still have had the facehugger attached to him when Ripley found him less than an hour after he got grabbed.)
- Die Hard: The reporter. The German terrorists/bank robbers have awesome accents and their leader is the perfect villain to love: intelligent, Wicked Cultured, and somewhat considerate to the hostages, but swift and deadly toward the authorities and driven by greed. So who do you hate? The annoying reporter that ends up exposing who Holly McClane really is by threatening the McClane housekeeper with deportation and terrorizes their kids all for the sake of a story. Possibly the greatest comeuppance example: he gets punched by Holly McClane at the end.
- The coke-snorting yuppie asswipe who constantly badly flirts with Holly and exposes John's identity to the terrorists, probably hoping to finally get her in the sack. He ends up getting shot in the head by the terrorists for his trouble.
- To a somewhat lesser degree, the two Agent Johnsons (no relation). They are rather disrespectful to Powell and the other police, unknowingly play into the robbers' hands by cutting the power, and are perfectly fine with allowing some of the hostages to die if it means getting the villains.
- A third example: Deputy Chief Robinson is a massive Jerkass, continually assumes Powell is wrong, distrusts McClane and generally acts as though he has the Idiot Ball in his pocket at all times. Roger Ebert went so far as to argue that this character alone more or less wrecks the film for him.
- The same reporter gets zapped with a stun gun by the same Holly McClane in Die Hard 2 after revealing on international TV that the airport has been hijacked, thereby causing a panic that the authorities were desperately trying to avoid. William Atherton seems to have made a career playing jerks we love to hate. Speaking of which...
- Ghostbusters: Walter Peck is made especially obnoxious and slimy so that his reasonable request to check the Ghostbusters' equipment quickly escalates into him rashly shutting down their containment grid and unleashing a literal hell on earth. The viewers are called upon to place full blame on Peck and give a pass to the heroic Ghostbusters for their part.
- Up the wazoo in Tim Burton's films:
- Beetlejuice. The villain of the title is funny, creative, stylish, and highly susceptible to Draco in Leather Pants - and anyway, he's really just a "bio-exorcist" taking on a job. And we certainly can't hate the heroes of the story: Barbara and Adam Maitland and Lydia Deetz. Even Lydia's self-absorbed mother, Delia, is understandable to a certain extent and has undergone a Heel-Face Turn by the end. But we're certainly welcome to hate the snooty New York yuppies Delia wants so desperately to impress, and Betelgeuse gives them exactly what they deserve.
- Both Batman films.
- Let's face it, The Joker is quite simply one of the most lovable supervillains in movie history. And Batman himself, while he has quite a few flaws, is ultimately an honorable person and a true hero. But it's okay to hate Carl Grissom for being a Smug Snake and a coward. It's okay to hate Tony Rotelli for being a smartass who's still not smart enough to keep his mouth shut. And it's certainly okay to hate Lieutenant Eckhart because he's a Fat Bastard and an all-around traitor. The two muggers of the film's opening who hit a man over the head and threaten to shoot his son are also particularly loathsome.
- In Batman Returns, The Penguin and almost all of the other villains are just too funny and cool to hate - yes, even the hypocritical and cowardly Corrupt Corporate Executive who is the film's true baddie. But go right ahead and hate that rapist whom Catwoman righteously kills. And we're also invited to hate the Ice Princess, even though she never does anything remotely reprehensible, because she's blonde, gorgeous, stupid (and that's putting it mildly), and just plain annoying (though she was much more evil in the original script). Josh, the smarmy campaign manager, is also a good candidate.
- Mars Attacks!: The Martians are indisputably the bad guys here, with their constant and unprovoked attacks against a human race who just want to be their friends. Problem is, the Martians are so goofy in their evil that it's a lot easier to laugh at them than to hate them. And, truth be told, it's hard not to root for them when their opponents are a seemingly endless stream of pathetic douchebags that include James Dale, the gladhanding and thoroughly insincere President of the United States (though he becomes a better man all too late); Art Land, the sleazy businessman who cares only about making money and completely ignores his wife's drinking problem; Donald Kessler, the pompous and delusional scientist; Jerry Ross, the lecherous and Too Dumb to Live White House press secretary; Nathalie Lake, the extremely superficial TV talk-show hostess; General Casey, who considers advancing his career more important than guaranteeing national security... and we can even hate the Norris family, even though they never do anything worse than confining the grandmother of the family to a nursing home and are actually quite sympathetic because they are mourning the death of their eldest son, because they're fat, lazy, right-wing trailer-trash rednecks who make America look bad.
- Adam Sandler's Big Daddy is a movie crammed with all sorts of characters, so you'd expect there to be a few good villains among them...but, one by one, almost all of the characters eliminate themselves as targets of hate. The hero's main antagonist in the film is none other than himself; he will overcome his character flaws and become a better person, so by default he can't be hated. The one character who comes closest to filling the role of a human antagonist is nothing more than a Punch Clock Villain who is ultimately sympathetic. The protagonist's gruff father might be seen as a potential Hate Sink, but he and his son reconcile in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. Jerkass characters like the homeless guy and the drunken old man are so goofy that you can't really be offended by them. Even the protagonist's roommate's fiancée, who acts like a bitch throughout most of the movie, proves to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. So who is there left to hate? Who else but the surly ex-girlfriend from the movie's opening scene. She lies to the protagonist, cheats on him with a much older man, and then expresses absolutely no remorse when she gets caught. You have to wait until the last few seconds of the movie to see this character get what's coming to her, but it's worth it.
- Twister: Cary Elwes plays the corporate-backed scientist Jonas. You can't rage at the tornadoes, right? They're a force of nature, and they inspire awe in the heroes and give them purpose. But this guy "sold out" and got corporate funding, making him a puppet of The Man (and why would a scientist ever want funding?). His team travel in sleek and sinisterly identical black vans compared to our Ragtag Bunch of Misfits' ragtag assortment of vehicles, and he's a hack that doesn't know the true science and just copies the heroes or relies too much on the instruments rather than the clairvoyant way that Bill Paxton just stares at the storm and knows which way it will go. Ultimately, he and his driver get sucked into the storm when he arrogantly ignores the heroes' warnings.
- The Towering Inferno. You can't hate a fire, but you can hate the selfish, incompetent Roger Simmons. Jim Duncan also plays this role, to a lesser degree.
- Sean Parker from The Social Network. In a story full of Gray and Gray Morality, he's the closest character portrayed as an outright villain due to what a Jerkass he is.
- Harvey Baylor in the laughably awful Planet of the Dinosaurs. The protagonists have all crash-landed on a far flung planet inhabited by prehistoric creatures, with no way to contact Earth and little hope of being rescued. Harvey proceeds to whine indiscriminately about how he's the Vice President of Spaceways Incorporated (and therefore their boss) and he can get them all fired, complains about having to do so much walking with no clear endpoint, and repeatedly sexually harasses his secretary. You can't hate the dinosaurs because they're dinosaurs (and barely put in any appearances in the movie anyway), and you can't hate the planet because it's a planet. But BOY can you hate Harvey Baylor! Thankfully he dies about halfway through the movie by being fatally gored by a Centrosaur and tossed off a cliff.
- You can't hate the titular eldritch abominations from The Langoliers (especially since they're just a creepy noise closing in from over the horizon for most of the story), and there's no one to really blame for stranding the characters in the past. But there's Toomy. Hateful, spiteful, assholish, with Freudian excuses and issues stacked high, who annoys, irritates and backstabs. You can't not hate Toomy. He gets eaten by the title Clock Roaches near the end of the movie.
- In the live action production of The Mist, the monsters are terrifying but don't appear to be acting with true malice. They're just following their instincts to eat and reproduce. But boy, oh boy, can you ever hate Mrs. Carmody, the shrill, hateful Jesus freak who looks down her nose at anyone who isn't as "righteous" as she is and whipped the mob into a religious frenzy that almost resulted in the murder of the protagonist's young son.
- Percy Wetmore in The Green Mile. You can't hate the racism in the '30s that put John Coffey on Death Row, you can't hate the system for making sure he'll die in the electric chair, and you sure can't hate Old Sparky itself. But you can definitely hate Percy, who uses the fact that he's the nephew of the governor's wife to duck authority at every turn...even after deliberately sabotaging the execution of a convict he particularly hates and having him fried alive in the chair. His comeuppance comes in the form of Mr. Coffey, who "uses him as a gun" to kill a more proper villain, William Wharton, then leaves him catatonic.
- While we're at it, you can't even truly hate Wharton, even though he's committed multiple murders, because he's functionally retarded.
- Carl Anhauser from Twenty Twelve is a subversion of this, surprisingly. He acts like a dick for much of the movie and occasionally lashes out at people, he's still trying to keep as many people alive as possible, and the movie never really paints him as a completely bad person.
- Jurassic Park: Donald Gennaro, the lawyer. Specifically because of how different his character is in the book from the movie. In the book he is actually fairly competent and brave, not the useless, spineless one-dimensional character in the movie, illustrating the screenplay writers needed someone the audience to focus some hate on, because you can't hate the heroes or the dinosaurs right? He's the only person to not see any problem with cloning dinosaurs, shows his stupidity on the tour by asking if the live people are autoerotic (confusing the word with "animatronic"), and then abandons the children during the scene with the T-Rex. His comeuppance of getting eaten sitting on the toilet is masterful. The movie version of Gennaro seems to be a Composite Character of Ed Regis from the book, who also abandoned the children during the T-Rex attack and ended up eaten.
- Ironically, the novel version of John Hammond fills the role very nicely; he's an arrogant, rich bastard used to getting his own way, whose refusal to listen to criticism ends up getting numerous people killed. His comeuppance is falling prey to the dinosaurs himself at the very end, after it seems as though they're safe. In the movie he's upgraded to a nice old man whose only fault is naive overconfidence.
- Resident Evil: Afterlife: Kim Koates plays the annoying Bennett, a movie producer trapped in an L.A. prison with a few other survivors. His character is the classic hatesink - utterly one dimensional and can be lifted right out of the story. He is rude, selfish, and disagrees with every other main character on decisions. When things start to go wrong he shoots a fellow survivor and then escapes in a small plane leaving the rest behind. Then in the climax he does the bidding of the main evil character so that he is saved. But he gets his just deserts when the heroes kill the main villain and leave him to be eaten by some unseen horror.
- Unstoppable: You can't hate a runaway train, but you can hate Obstructive Bureaucrat Galvin. His comeuppance is that he loses his job afterwards.
- George A. Romero's Zombie Apocalypse movies always include at least one of these; they usually have a big share of the blame in making things go From Bad to Worse.
- Simon Canton in Deep Rising. The monsters are just predators that live to consume, and most of the mercenaries have some redeeming qualities such as determination and being badasses. Canton however is only selfish, cowardly, and greedy. He's not so bad at first (having clearly established with Finnegan that he had planned for everyone aboard the boat to be safely evacuated), but he eventually tries to leave the other survivors for dead, then tries to kill Trillian, shrugs off the all the passengers' deaths because he can still scam the insurance agency if the ship sinks, and tries to steal Finnegan's boat. He meets a deliciously Karmic Death.
- Dr. Gerhard Klopfer in Conspiracy, who stands out as the most detestible character in a film filled with Nazis. He and his colleagues are all genocidal imperialists, but most of them are at least pragmatic, coldly efficient, or not completely unsympathetic (Kritzinger and Lange). Klopfer tops them all by being morbidly obese, gluttonous, ugly, rude, an open pervert, even more simple-mindedly racist than the others, and cowardly (he makes jokes about Heydrich's possible Jewish ancestry behind his back but dares not to say it to his face when dared to do so by Mueller).
- In the movie Waiting, the primarily antagonist is the restaurant staff's soul-crushingly dull and miserable existence. Which is why we have the "biatch" who ordered the steak. She's only in one scene, but that was more than enough. Every single line of her dialogue is a condescending insult (including being angry her food was delivered too fast,) delivered with an infuriating sneer. When she drags out the "How hard is your job?!" line, that's when they've had enough. Even after watching them subject her food to the most disgusting act of revenge you could imagine, you'll still feel like she was let off too easy.
- In St. Helens, this role is split between Whittaker, the logging baron and Dr. Wagner, Jackson's boss at the geological survey. You can't hate a volcano for erupting, but you can hate people who ignore the protagonist's warnings and suggestions to evacuate. Whittaker is made less-likable by profiting off the media attention the volcanic activity brings the town, being rude to the protagonist's love interest, while Wagner verbally disparages the hero and hates him personally.
- The parents we see in The Breakfast Club are all abusive, self-absorbed assholes that exist to make the kids look much better by comparison.
- Talbot in the 2003 Hulk seems purpose-made to make the audience loathe him. The real threat of the film is Bruce's evil, obsessed father David who is the root cause of the entire Hulk problem, and General Ross is a man trying to do what's right to stop a genuine menace, even if he goes out of his way to persecute Bruce out of prejudice. Talbot is just a smug corporate bastard who only wants fame and glory, endangers everyone by going over Ross's head to unleash the Hulk, bullies Bruce whenever he can and being a dickish romantic foil, and contributes little to the story besides repeatedly getting Bruce into Hulk-mode.
- Many Godzilla films have one of these. After all, you can't hate Kaiju, but you can hate objectively terrible people.
- Jimmy from Q: The Winged Serpent. A money-grubbing, obnoxious coward who doesn't care that innocent people are dying.
- On one hand, Patty, Ned's girlfriend from School of Rock has a point about Ned letting his friend Dewey mooch off of him. On the other hand, she acts like an utter bitch who constantly henpecks Ned and takes delight in Dewey's misery. This eventually culminates in Ned leaving to go see Dewey and his band of students perform at Battle of the Bands, slamming the door in Patty's face while she ironically yells at him to stand up for himself for once.
- TRON: Legacy: For someone who's committed genocide on the ISOs, taken full control of his world and banished their creator, reprogramed thousands, possibly millions, of programs into his own army (including Tron, himself), and sending others to derezz in the game grid, Clu is among the most despised live action Disney villains ever known. What really tops this off is the cold-blooded murder of Tron/Rinzler and his Redemption Rejection after Flynn apologies to Clu for messing everything up, since perfection (which Clu was programed for) is impossible.
- Paparazzi reads like some Hollywood actor's revenge fantasy, where the main character basically spends the latter half of the film committing numerous acts of vigilante murder against the paparazzi who crippled his wife and put his son in a coma in an accident. The only reason this is even remotely acceptable is because the film depicts all paparazzo as cackling supervillains who take perverse joy in ruining people's lives, to the point that even the police are secretly rooting for the killer.
- Being a killer-animal story, Snakes on a Plane has Paul, a businessman who is obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious and only exists so the audience can cheer when he dies. In contrast, the guy who put the snakes on the plane simply disappears from the narrative entirely.
- Series/Merlin: Uther's active hatred for magic is basically the sole reason that the show has any plot at all. Merlin's goal is to save the town from whatever is ailing it this week without Uther finding out about it. The sole reliance of the show on this plot device lead to an unfortunate case of The Chris Carter Effect.
- Persons Unknown: We don't know who's behind the kidnappings of our main cast, but Bill Blackham, played by Sean O'Bryan, seems to be a repository for all the negative reactions one could have to being kidnapped and placed in a ghost town. Everything he does is selfish or irrational, especially his forcing Janet's gas mask away from her (which backfires), trying to rape Tori, and blackmailing Charlie when he finds out about Charlie's possible Mercy Kill / serial killing of his wife.
- Dr. Smith from Lost in Space definitely fits all the requirements.
- In Doctor Who, Gibbis from the "God Complex". That annoying rat-human. After the initial humor of his planet of origin, he let go of Howard to be eaten by the Minotaur. And they were so close to finding out who he was. Many people could have been spared if not for Gibbis.
- Cold Case loves this trope. Virtually any episode with a Sympathetic Murderer will also have a secondary villain who is genuinely scum, and as the investigation proceeds it's typically revealed that they've committed a (non-murder) crime, too, enabling the cops to throw the book at them.
- JAG: In "Mishap", Captain Ingles acts as this, by charging Lt. Skates for culpability in an air accident and impeding Harm’s subsequent request for documents in Skates’ defense. It turns out she was not doing anything wrong; but rather that the crew was overworked and underfunded (lack of manpower, lack of spare parts etc.), and Ingles didn’t act maliciously or with any hidden motives other than to maintain his prerogative of command and unit cohesion.
- Carrusel: Maria Joaquina Villasenor and Jorge del Salto are given many more negative traits than the rest of the students combined. Yet neither one of them is a sociopath. Maria Joaquina's greatest crime seems to be not returning Cirilo's love. In fact, somebody even lampshades that while she may be conceited at times, she is not cruel. Jorge is a big more selfish and haughty, but he genuinely thought he was doing the right thing. He is even portrayed as being wrong simply because he wanted to read instead of playing with the other boys in the class.
- In Game of Thrones, where every character has complicated morality and isn't entirely good or evil, King Joffrey is there to ensure that everyone hates his guts.
- Freddie Lounds in Hannibal is an Intrepid Reporter who runs a tabloid news site that cashes in on the FBI's investigations and constantly leaks what should be confidential information. That's not including her abhorrent treatment towards Will Graham, whom she publishes articles on, saying she believes he is a psychopath and potential killer himself. In the second season, Freddie arguably becomes a more layered character, and the Hate Sink baton is passed to sociopathetic meat packing heir Mason Verger.
- Several characters fulfill this trope in Sons of Anarchy, most notably Carusso the porn producer that kills Luann, the Ghanezi brothers that made torture and rape porn, the prison guard that kills Opie and the porn actress that sleeps with everybody’s husband. All of these characters seem to be added to the series to be hated and/or for the public to applaud when the heroes kill them. After all, if you have a series about criminals, you do need to make them look as good as possible.
- Season 4 of Justified lacked a genuine Big Bad in the vein of previous villains like Bo Crowder, Mags Bennett, and Robert Quarles, focusing instead on Raylan and Boyd competing to capture fugitive Drew Thompson. Unfortunately, this meant that Boyd and Wynn Duffy, two of the most popular and well-liked characters ended up in the antagonist role for the season. In order to save them from the audience's hate (and prevent them from looking incompetent) the writers created Nicky Augustine, a mobster from Detroit who arrives in town also searching for Drew. He's not really any more evil than Boyd or Wynn, but where they are Affably Evil Punch Clock Villains, Augustine is a smirking Smug Snake with the maturity level of a schoolyard bully. By the time he's had Boyd and Constable Bob beaten, come onto Ava after demanding to know how many people she's blown to get where she is, betrayed Johnny to Boyd, attacked Raylan's family, and tried to betray Sammy Tonin (while disregarding the advice of his right-hand man, the Affably Evil Mr. Picker) it's impossible to not want him dead.
- Lou Avery, Don Draper's replacement at SC&P in the final season of Mad Men, is pretty much the anti-Don - a racist, sexist, incompetent asshole who's sucking all the fun out of the Creative department. This is almost certainly intentional, as he represents the problems besetting the company in the wake of their decision to put Don on leave and send Pete and Ted off to California, effectively leaving the New York office in the hands of a bunch of old white men.
- All My Children: Michael Cambias is to this very day almost-universally despised by both the characters themselves and the fanbase for his rape of Bianca.
- Inspector Javert is the main villain of Les Misérables, but while he does make life miserable for Valjean, Javert honestly believes that he's the good guy and he's just trying to do his job and arrest what he believes to be a dangerous criminal; when Javert realizes that Valjean is really a good person through and through, it turns his world upside down. So who can the audience hate? The Thenardiers, the cowardly comic relief thieves who abuse Cosette, loot bodies during the Revolution, and try to attack Valjean's house, which leads to Cosette being sent away to protect her.
- Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a Hanging Judge paedophile who sends an innocent man to prison on the other side of the world, rapes his wife and drives her to suicide, then adopts their daughter precisely so that he can groom her into becoming a Replacement Goldfish. His sidekick Beadle Bamford is also a constant and dedicated doggy-kicker.
- In Pokémon Gold and Silver, the evil Team Rocket organization only turns up three times and hardly drive the plot. However, the story features many encounters with Silver, your rude, thieving rival, who is easier to hate (until he finally undergoes Character Development, that is).
- Played a little less strongly in the original Red and Blue versions with the rival character Blue. He's not a thief like Silver, but he is still a cocky bastard that is always one step ahead of the player, and always shows up at the least convenient of occasions - and wins the League championship just as you get there forcing one final showdown before the credits roll. Like Silver he has softened up considerably by the time of the games sequel.
- In both of these cases you could also argue that this is the purpose of Team Rocket in the first two games; actual criminals who abuse Pokémon for profit rather than other trainers competing for the same goals as you.
- In Pokémon Black and White, Ghetsis Harmonia is a much more straight example of this trope. Although the game's main conflict is about clashing ideals between the protagonist and N. Ghetsis, is largely responsible for N's mindset, a horrible father to N, spends the entire game giving speeches to try and convince everyone to break their bonds with their Pokemon and release them (so he can take over the world, not because he actually believes that it's better for the Pokémon, unlike his son) however it's quite emotionally cathartic when at the end of the game you get to lay the smackdown on him after he calls N a freak to his face. In the sequel Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, he's more clearly the Big Bad from the start, but even then his underlings in this game (specifically Zinzolin, Colress and the Shadow Triad) are still way more sympathetic than him.
- Final Fantasy X. As it's rather hard to develop much hatred for a giant, emotionless crustacean regardless of how many people it kills (and harder to keep coming up with excuses to wind up in the ocean having boss fights with it), Seymour keeps popping up in the plot to provide a speaking villain for the party to fight on land instead of Sin. While he does have his own motivations and does get somewhat tied into the plot with Sin, his personal impact on the story itself is quite minimal overall aside from providing ever more complex boss fights after you kill him and he just keeps creating ever more elaborate boss forms for himself.
- Volgin of Metal Gear Solid 3. His first action is blowing up his allies with a nuclear bomb, for the hell of it. However, despite being (relatively speaking) the Big Bad of the game, he's not the main antagonist - the game is much more interested in the relationship between Naked Snake and The Boss. Volgin simply serves as 1) A homage and Affectionate Parody of James Bond villains; 2) a foil to The Boss; and 3) a form of catharsis before The Reveal.
- Dragon Age: Origins
- The Big Bad is the Archdemon, but it's an alien, unknowable force whose only goal is destruction, looming in the background until the Final Battle. Teryn Loghain serves as The Heavy for most of the game instead to provide a more understandable threat, but he's eventually revealed to be more well-intentioned than originally assumed, and can even perform both a Heel-Face Turn and Heroic Sacrifice. As such, the role of Hate Sink falls to one of Loghain's Co-Dragons, Arl Rendon Howe. A sociopathic aristocrat who only cares about his own ambition, Howe is a Smug Snake who spends most of the game kicking dogs and carrying out Loghain's will in the most brutal way possible.
- He gets bonus Hate Sink points if the player is the Human Noble, as in that Origin he is responsible for murdering most of the player character's family (including children) and forcing the player character to flee and join the Wardens. Makes his eventual comeuppance all the more satisfying and poetic.
- Bann Vaughan from the same game only has a notable role in the City Elf Origin Story, and has possibly 15 minutes at most of screentime. Yet in this short timeframe he establishes himself as a racist towards elves, an Entitled Bastard, and a serial rapist and killer of elven women who abducts the female part of an elven wedding party, which includes the protagonist's cousin. He's superfluous to the plot, and his whole purpose is to act as a Starter Villain whose actions force the City Elf to join the Grey Wardens.
- In Dragon Age II, there isn't really a "bad guy" at all, so Meredith takes the villain seat.
- Ser Alrik is an even better example. In a game filled to the brim with Grey and Grey Morality, Alrik is a sadist who tortures mages and makes them Tranquil For the Evulz, and is pushing a plan called "the Tranquil Solution" to apply this to every mage in the city. Just in case you think Anders is exaggerating, his one scene consists of him threatening an apprentice who just wanted to see her mum again. "Once you're Tranquil, you'll do anything I ask." (Oh, and NPC banter confirms he's done this before.)
- It has also been remarked that the one thing the Broken Base of Dragon Age II can agree upon is that everyone hates Sister Petrice. Her entire role in the story is to incite hatred against the Qunari by framing them for crimes they didn't commit, acting as a catalyst for the tensions in Kirkwall by arranging murders of Qunari, and pinning the blame for everything on Hawke whenever possible.
- While many villains in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword are Grade-A Moral Event Horizon-crossers, nearly all of them have some sort of sympathetic quirk or cool point that makes it difficult to say you sincerely want to throttle them. Sonia has her sex appeal and a vaguely sad death scene; Ephidel is very suave and cool-headed and has a few Draco in Leather Pants fangirls; Darin is such a hapless dupe that you'll probably just end up feeling sorry for him; Jerme is so over-the-top in his villainy that he becomes somewhat amusing; and Nergal comes across as kind of Woobieish if you get all the super-ultra-hidden chapters. So, who can you hate? For many fans, the answer to this is King Desmond of Bern, a man who, out of sheer envy and spite for his wife, arranges at least two assassination attempts on his own son which end up turning said son into a would-be continent-destroying dictator twenty years later. Lundgren also gets some of this for how petty and racist he is, but even he can command some respect for being an exceptionally powerful boss for someone his age; by contrast, Desmond's entire motivation for being evil is that despite being King he's a huge loser and nobody likes him. If you're playing Hector's story, Pascal Gretzner also counts, being one of the most vile and unsympathetic characters in the entire game (he invited the entire population of his village to his castle, then killed them all, simply For the Evulz), but who's only a boss for one chapter.
- Excellus serves this role in the Valm Arc of Fire Emblem Awakening. The actual Arc Villain, Walhart the Conqueror, doesn't even appear until towards the end of the arc, and is more of a Worthy Opponent and Well-Intentioned Extremist (and hilariously hammy), so they had to give you someone to hate and Excellus certainly delivers. Notably, he's this even in-universe, to his own side at that!
- Like the Elibe ones, the Jugdral Fire Emblem is also full of sympathetic villain, but some still exists just solely to show off how much of a horrible, hateful person they are. There's first Queen Hilda who exemplifies Evil Matriarch, supports Child Hunts happily (when even her equally bastard husband Bloom are not amused) and takes pleasure in killing off Tailto/Ethnia that her attempts to 'take revenge on her son' and fighting for her country becomes annulled to see how much of an evil bitch she actually is. The other one? King Chagall of Agustria, who is a complete 180 from his peace-loving father, killed his father with the help of Manfloy, supports the banditry havoc of other Agustrian Lords, continuously provoke the Grandvalle army by attacking them to take over, continuously treats Eldigan like shit and eventually scheduled his execution for petty reasons, without a single tinge of regret. These two are pretty much ones that most fans would agree as the bitch/bastard that no one will miss.
- In Radiant Dawn, the seven senators fill this role through their boundless greed and cruelty, and most of them are ludicrously self-righteous to boot. They aren't the Big Bads or even Co-Dragons, but they are responsible for everything bad that happens in the game. Even they don't quite match Izuka though, who helps with the senators' plot and kills countless laguz in gruesome experiments to create Feral Ones, laguz that are permanently kept in their animal form at the cost of their sanity. Then he surrounds himself with the successful specimens and has them fight for him. The hate for him applies in gameplay too, as these atrocities make him a Goddamned Boss.
- Mass Effect 3
- While the main villains of the game are the Reapers and the Illusive Man, both exemplify Evil Is Cool to a certain degree, the former being implacable forces of destruction dedicated to wiping out all life, the latter a Magnificent Bastard trying to serve humanity's "best interests" through taking advantage of the war and the Reapers. The Illusive Man's dragon, Kai Leng, however, is a Smug Snake who spends most of the game taunting Shepard and potentially killing off fan favorite characters. He's a fantastic racist, runs from every fight he doesn't have the advantage in but acts like he's an unstoppable badass, and is a perfect example of Evil Is Petty, going so far as to steal and eat Captain Anderson's cereal and sending Commander Shepard a taunting message about the fall of Thessia and the death of millions. This makes the prompt where Shepard impales Kai Leng with his/her Omni-Blade, one of the most popular prompts in the series.
- Dalatrass Linron exists solely to be vilified for not helping the Krogan overcome the genophage. Under certain circumstances in the previous games, however, Linron can subvert this. Specifically, the source of Linron's Jerkass attitude is that she's afraid that if the genophage is cured, the galaxy will have another Krogan Rebellion on its hands, the krogan overwhelming everybody with force. In most playthroughs, this attitude comes off as prejudiced and closed-minded. But if Wreav is the Urdnot leader instead of Wrex, and simultaneously the player chooses to cure the genophage with Wreav as the leader...guess what? After the Reapers are finished off, in the Extended Cut ending slides, raising a giant krogan army to take on the galaxy is exactly what Wreav does! This actually makes Linron right, since this is a Krogan Rebellion in the making.
- Maven Black-Briar from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. She not only consorts with thieves and assassins, but she has the government of Riften in her hands, she has her employees killed if they displease her, and she even supports the Thalmor.
- And speaking of the Thalmor, they're an entire faction made to be a Hate Sink, no matter which side of the Civil War you're on. Pro-Empire folks get to deal with them parading about the fact that the Empire Won the War, Lost the Peace against the Aldmeri Dominion (the nation the Thalmor rule), while pro-Stormcloak people rail on them for persecuting Talos worshippers. The game parading inquisition squads about on the roads between cities is an open invitation to kill them in manners most creative.
- Porky from MOTHER 3, being abusive and manipulative, is much easier to hate than the Brainwashed and Crazy Claus and Fassad.
- Not to say Fassad doesn't have his moments.
- Several examples crop up in Dead Island. The zombies? No, they are merely victims. Ryder White? No, he's The Woobie, framed and makes a Face Monster Turn. Instead we have Charon who orchestrates the outbreak, Koritoia who knowingly and willingly allowed the kuru outbreak to occur through cannibalism and tried to kill his daughter, and the Raskols gang; murderers, rapists, they set the infected against the survivors For the Evulz and are so bad the Banoi Islands Self Defense Force is formed to try and control them.
- While most Disney Villains in the Kingdom Hearts series are this (especially Clu and Lady Tremaine), a special mention goes to Master Xehanort for causing the events of the series. Vanitas, on the other hand...
- Neyla of Sly 2: Band Of Thieves is designed to be hated among the fanbase; she becomes The Rival following her Face-Heel Turn, and soon is revealed to be the Big Bad when she kills the villain brought up as the Big Bad and takes the body of the previous Big Bad for herself. While some fans do hate her, others enjoy her villainy.
- Halo 4 ONI Director Serin Osman, who orders Captain Lasky to execute Dr Halsey.
- RefleX has ZODIAC Virgo. It's nowhere near the Big Bad—that position belongs to Tsukikagerou, the commander of the Raiwat forces who is only seen in an intermission detailing how his plans are falling apart, and that's if you don't have The Tale of ALLTYNEX Guidebook. ZODIAC Virgo, on the other hand, is shown in Area 7 destroying the human-made Virgo and then the Player Character and his ship, the Phoenix. When the Phoenix revives as ZODIAC Ophiuchus, few things are more satisfying than getting back at ZODIAC Virgo and tearing it a new one with its own attacks.
- Dragon Quest VIII has Prince Charmles, the closest thing to a Trope Namer for Prince Charmless, and never gets an ounce of positive character development. He has an arranged marriage to the Hero's love interest, and by the end of the game, both the love interest's father and Charmles' own father wind up dropping support. And during his main plot focus, all he really does is make you do all of the work for his Rite of Passage, four times over, and then cheats his way into making the whole thing moot anyway.
- Final Fantasy Tactics has Algus Sadalfus, a textbook example of Aristocrats Are Evil. He spends his time as a guest character repeatedly demonstrating his contempt for everyone not of noble birth, which culminates in killing Tetra, who an enemy had been trying to use as a Human Shield. He is hated so much that he is almost guaranteed to appear in any "Most hated video game characters" poll, especially since he is from a Final Fantasy title. The PSP version even brings him Back from the Dead for an extra stage just so the player can kill him a second time.
- RWBY has several antagonistic characters and groups (Grimm, White Fang, Roman Torchwick, Cinder Fall, etc.). However, for one reason or another, most of them are difficult to be a target of audience hatred. That role is filled by Team CRDL, a group of callous, obnoxious, bigoted, cowardly bullies who pick on many of the show's designated Woobies.
- Ace debuts in the Katamari comic's first arc when the King of All Cosmos brings him in as 'extra insurance' against the UF Os, and quickly establishes himself as The Rival. Once he proves himself more interested in ensuring the Prince fails than making sure anything gets saved — including Daisy, his own cousin — it's all downhill from there. Actively resisting any sort of character development, he's so self-absorbed and caught up in his own delusions that it's difficult to sympathize with him at all.
- Duke Crabtree from Ambition was clearly supposed to be this, with being a Smug Snake cop with a whiny, nasally voice, along with the player being given the option to insult and even punch him along with the fact that it turns out that he was Evil All Along. It backfired, though, when he became one of the most popular characters in the series thanks to some bizarre memetic lines, being far more competent than the protagonist (to the point of being able to successfully stand in as a marriage counselor,) and his apparent ability to summon bright, colorful lights and a guitar wail when he kills you with a tire iron. Meanwhile, other characters like Ted, who the creator tried really hard to make sympathetic in spite of his actions, became The Scrappy instead.
- Ricky Collins in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries frequently compliments Lizzie and Charlotte but does so in an arrogant and obnoxious way. He tries to give advice but underestimates their accomplishments and knowledge, bashes Lizzie's blog, boasts of himself, tries to make himself look important and only speaks/cares about business.
- In SpongeBob SquarePants, in the episode "Pickles", Bubble Bass. He's probably more of a Fat Bastard than the trope namer. He (intentionally) caused Spongebob to have a Heroic BSOD, and when his lies were revealed, he tries to run away like a coward. The operative word here being "tries". What he does is less "running" and more "attempting to move faster than walking speed while wheezing heavily due to his obesity".
- Squilliam Fancyson. Again, it doesn't seem to work.
- Invoked in-universe in Metalocalypse with the Fan Song. "You fans out there give us something more than just record sales. You give us something to hate. AND WE HATE YOU, YOU BRAINLESS MUTANTS! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE!"
- Jeff from the Family Guy episode "Screams of Silence: The Story of Brenda Q." is this, primarily because his abusive behavior was not Played for Laughs, to the point where we would cheer when Quagmire ran him over and killed him at the end.
- Being a high order Sadist Show, the show tends to flip around with this for almost every character depending on Rule of Funny. This erratic development is likely what led to the show's frequent Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy.
- Connie D'Mico serves the purpose of being a high school bully who picks on Meg, so that fans can hate her.
- Carter Pewterschmidt, Lois's father, every now and then.
- Pete on Goof Troop due to the show's setting is not a traditional villain. Instead, he's just a thoroughly unpleasant person who treats everyone like crap, especially his neighbor, Goofy and his own son, PJ, the two characters who deserve it the least. Most of his episodes play him as The Chew Toy and it's always satisfying to see his schemes fail. This is downplayed to a certain degree, as Pete does have some, albeit infrequent, intentionally sympathetic moments.
- Pete played this role several times in the old shorts—even when his position was legitimate (a steamboat captain, a sheriff, a construction boss, etc.), he'd go about it in the most bullying, abusive way possible.
- Diamond Tiara from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic usually finds herself in this role. She's an ordinary filly with an Alpha Bitch streak, but she's constantly portrayed as less sympathetic than many of the other villains, many of these who are supposed to be far worse by several magnitudes, such as Nightmare Moon and Discord. Yet while these villains have sympathetic moments (even her cohort, Silver Spoon has at least one at the end of one episode), Diamond Tiara has no such moments. There's no real explanation why she behaves in this manner. She's just plain nasty. She doesn't even have a Freudian Excuse either; her father, Filthy Rich, is a nice guy, very respectful of Granny Smith and the Apple family, since it was she who helped his father, Stinking Rich, on his way towards becoming the founder of Ponyville's largest and most successful store, Barnyard Bargains. So...DT's a Rich Bitch because...she wants to be one, apparently.
- Then there's Prince Blueblood. He's just a Royal Brat who acted like a jerkass to Rarity in the episode "The Best Night Ever" when Rarity tried to win his affection.
- The teenage dragons from "Dragon Quest". Their only purpose is to be complete and utter Jerkasses to Spike and anything that's not a dragon. Toward the end of their episode, the dragons attempt to kidnap baby phoenixes and try to force Spike to smash an unhatched phoenix just because it's fun.
- Zordrak, despite being the Big Bad of The Dreamstone, doesn't actually have much involvement in the scheme of things, his far more sympathetic lackeys the Urpneys usually doing all the active work in whatever new plan is made. As such usually he has little role outside abusing his minions and acting as a driving force into them trying to take the stone, and being the one legitimately evil bad guy so we don't feel too bad about the Urpneys losing.
- Virginia of Lola And Virginia, she's a super stuck up Alpha Bitch who acts like the worlds revolves around her, and is willing to use every dirty trick to get her way. She has very little to no redeeming qualities, and it is satisfying when she does get her comeuppance in the end.
- Backstage interviewer Tally Wong from the uncanceled seasons of Celebrity Deathmatch. While she puts on a pleasant smile for the cameras, she is frequently dismissive and even downright spiteful towards the fighters she's interviewing, leading commentator Johnny Gomez (another frequent victim of her insults) to call her out on it on numerous occasions. Needless to say, fans frequently clamored for her to be killed off.
- Adventure Time: Martin, Finn's human dad. Finn and Jake risked everything to reach this guy, with their quest to reach the Citadel he was imprisoned in resulting in Prismo's death and the Lich releasing a ton of super-criminals. And what does Finn find? A complete Jerkass loser who abandons him yet again, as well as causes him to lose his arm. Needless to say, many fans were pissed.
- Magic Man. A character whose reason to do literally ANYTHING is to piss off others. Many annoying or bad characters in the series are at least funny or cartoony, but Magic Man is just an obnoxious, smug jerk.
- For season 3 of The Legend of Korra, we have the Earth Queen, Hou-Ting. While only a secondary villain. They've made every attempt to make her as unsympathetic as possible. Her worst act is hiring poachers to hunt sky bison to make steaks out of them. There are even rumors that she ate her father's beloved pet bear, Bosco.