Villainous Crush

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The downside to being the Ms. Fanservice is, occasionally, you get the wrong attention from the wrong sources.

"Just fear me. Love me. Do as I say, and I shall be your slave."
Jareth the Goblin King to Sarah, Labyrinth

This trope applies whenever a villainous character has romantic and/or sexual feelings for a heroic one.

If this crush takes a turn for the perverse (and most such crushes tend towards this), this can lead to tropes like I Have You Now, My Pretty, Forceful Kiss, Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me, And Now You Must Marry Me, Scarpia Ultimatum, and Go-Go Enslavement where the villain tries to force their desires upon the character, although none of those require a Villainous Crush. Additionally, the villain may become a Stalker With a Crush. If the crush itself is a motivating factor in their Start of Darkness, then it's Love Makes You Evil.

This trope isn't always negative, though. This trope can conversely be a very humanising trait for an Anti-Villain. The heroic character may become a Morality Pet, and can be fairly certain that their villainous admirer will never harm them or allow harm to come to them, barring certain exceptions. They may even step in to protect them from other villains who have fewer compunctions. Taken all the way, it may become Love Redeems.

If the feelings are mutual or an actual relationship develops, then it's Dating Catwoman instead. When this is purely subtextual, see Foe Romance Subtext. The specific variant when the Evil Empress captures the hero to seduce him is Villainesses Want Heroes. Not to be confused with Foe Yay, which are purely audience reactions.

No Real Life Examples, Please!

Examples

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    Films — Animation 
  • Steele for Jenna in Balto, but she's into the titular main character.
  • Batman: The Killing Joke: Paris Franz has a massive interest in Batgirl.
  • Gaston to Belle from Beauty and the Beast, developing from a simple Jerkass Prince Charming Wannabe to a Yandere out to Murder the Hypotenuse and throw her father in the asylum if she won't submit to him.
  • Pictured above: Frollo to Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Villain Song "Hellfire" is about his conflict over him lusting after her when she's a gypsy and he's a "righteous" man of the church.
  • Megamind:
    • The title character towards Roxanne since before the events of the film, as confirmed by the filmmakers' commentary. Neither of them realize until he starts dating her as his alter-ego Bernard and everybody had assumed she and Metroman were an item (turns out they were Just Friends).
    • Hal/Titan, who only wanted to be a superhero to get Roxanne's attention. When she rejects him, he turns into a villain.
  • Maynott for Lucille in A Monster in Paris. It's obvious he's eager to have her as a Trophy Wife.
  • Eris shows an attraction to Sinbad in Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, namely by calling him cute more than once and constantly getting into his personal space.
  • In Strange Magic, Roland wants fairy princess Marianne, as it would make him king. She nearly fell for it until he cheated on her on their wedding day. Now, he's still pursuing her despite her aversion to him.
    • To a lesser extent, the Bog King is painted as evil and takes pride in his villainous title, and is obviously impressed by Marianne from their first meeting. Unlike with Roland, however, Marianne realizes Bog's feelings are genuine, and ends up returning them.

    Mythology 
  • In Norse Mythology, more than one of the jotuns (frost giants) tried to woo Freya (goddess of love), either by trickery or blackmail. Thyrm was a giant king who stole Thor's hammer, hoping to blackmail Asgard into giving him Freya. (They pretended to agree with this, and Thor went dressed as Freya; Thrym and his court, being nearsighted, stupid, or both, was fooled by the disguise, and was crushed - literally - when Thor got it back). Also, there was giant who disguised himself as a laborer, and offered to build a wall around Asgard in exchange for Freya. (They only agreed to this if he could do so in three seasons, without help; when it looked like he might succeed - he was a giant in disguise, using an enchanted stallion to haul materials - Loki took the form of a mare and seduced the stallion. The guilder got angry, his disguise slipped, and was struck down by Thor.)

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In Ring of Honor, Jimmy Jacobs has it bad for good guy Adam Cole. He's open-mouthed kissed Cole on at least one occasion, and taking this to an unusually meta level, has propositioned Cole for sex on Twitter.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun adventure Harlequin's Back. In the backstory, a Horror fell in love with Queen Thayla and refused to leave her, even though his presence was destroying her land. She eventually decided to leave with him to save her people from destruction.

    Theatre 
  • Judge Turpin of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street developed two of these. The first was on Sweeney's wife, Lucy Barker, which ultimately led him to kick off the plot by having Sweeney transported for life, followed by luring her to a masked ball and raping her. The second was on Sweeney and Lucy's daughter Johanna, who he adopted out of remorse for what he did to Lucy but came to desire as more than a daughter as she grew older.
    • Mrs. Lovett has one for Sweeney Todd himself, though they're both more Villain Protagonist than heroes.
  • Jud for Laurey in Oklahoma!, though how much one considers Jud to be a villain is up for debate.
  • Count Gregor for Sophia in Fools.
  • Abigail Williams has one on John Proctor in The Crucible.
  • J.D. and Veronica of Heathers are actually dating for the majority of the show, and are nearly in Unholy Matrimony territory (Veronica being manipulated into participating in J.D.'s murders rather than doing it of her own free will is what stops it from being a straight example of the trope). After Veronica finally gets tired of his shit and dumps him, J.D. still remains very much in love with her, which makes it this trope.
  • Downplayed in Hamilton: Burr briefly shows attraction to the Schuyler sisters (primarily Angelica) in "The Schuyler Sisters" and "A Winter's Ball", but the subject is pretty much dropped after Alexander and Eliza's marriage. However, Angelica is clearly put off by it (leading to the brilliant line "Burr, you disgust me"/"Ah, so you've discussed me"), which makes it more of a straight example.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Ice King in Adventure Time would be a very extreme case of this. Early on in the show, he was known for kidnapping numerous princesses and try to force them to marry him, with Princess Bubblegum being his main victim.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Ty Lee's one-sided crush on Sokka was an amicable example, since he was flattered by it in "The Drill" episode. Though he later tells her that he was already seeing Suki, in "The Crossroads of Destiny".
  • Princess Attea towards Ben in his Inkursian form Bullfrag in Ben 10: Omniverse. To Ben's chagrin, the feeling is mutual as Bullfrag.
  • Martian Queen towards Duck Dodgers. Seriously, the woman veers between wanting to destroy him and wanting to marry him.
  • Gravity Falls
  • Looney Tunes. A 1935 Merrie Melodies short, The Little Dutch Plate subverts it. The villainous Vinegar Bottle (all the characters are household items) who has been pursuing the Girl on the Little Dutch Plate gets in a fight with the hero (a little Dutch boy saltshaker), who literally knocks his block off (Vinegar's head is just a bottlestopper, after all). Looking for his head, he accidentally puts on a girlish one from a perfume bottle. The Girl sees his new Pretty Boy looks and immediately defends him from the Boy, walking off with him while cooing "You handsome man!"
  • One time on The Simpsons Marge got a job at the nuclear plant and Mr. Burns developed a thing for her.
  • The G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode "The Gamemaster" not only hints that Zartan has something like this towards Scarlett, but that she reciprocates it!
  • In the "Super Powers Team" incarnation of Superfriends, Darkseid had a crush on Wonder Woman and constantly tried to make her his bride.
  • In one episode of Teen Titans, Red X flirted with Starfire after pinning her to the wall with one of his gadgets, calling her "cutie" and remarking that the "only crime" between them was that they hadn't gone on a date. (Her only response was to blast him with her starbolts through her eyes.)
  • Pyro once tried making a pass at Rogue in X-Men she replied by throwing him through the wall as a non-subtle "No".
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • Agent Bishop is very affectionate towards Karai when he has her captured in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) (despite his threat to Shredder to chop her into "a supersized pile of Highland julienne fries" if his demands aren't met), spending half the episode kicking the asses of Hun and the Turtles, and the other half admiring Karai and going on about how lovely she is.
    • While we're talking about the Turtles, in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), the Shredder seemed to have a thing for April.
  • Played for Laughs on WordGirl, with Tobey McCallister's crush on the titular character. She almost always rebuffs him, but there are some cases of legitimate Ship Tease between them.

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