Just fear me. Love me. Do as I say, and I shall be your slave.
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, 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
, 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
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Anime & Manga
- Esdeath of Akame ga Kiru! sees the main protagonist Tatsumi as her perfect ideal man and is blindly in love with him. The problem is she is a completely insane sadist who massacres and tortures people with glee and Tatsumi is a member of a group trying to topple the country she is a leader of.
- In episode 4 of Meitantei Holmes, Professor Moriarty kidnaps Mrs. Hudson to get to Holmes, but she's so kind that he soon develops a serious crush on her himself. When the plan eventually fails, he releases her and promises never to involve her in one of his schemes again.
- The whole deal in InuYasha would have NOT started if the thief Onigumo didn't fall in love with Kikyou, then made a Deal with the Devil that transformed him into none other than Naraku...
- Also from the same series, Jakotsu towards Inu-Yasha himself, and Mukotsu towards Kagome.
- Happens more than once in Sailor Moon, where villains of both genders were attracted either to Usagi (Filler Villain Seijuuro/Alan, Prince Diamond) or to Mamoru (Queen Beryl, Filler Villain Natsumi/Anne, manga!Dark Lady, anime!Fish Eye, anime!Nehelenia).
- Vampire Hunter D. Vampire lord Count Magnus Lee desires the human girl Doris Lang, but she only has eyes for the title hero.
- Everybody's got a crush on Elie in Rave Master — even the psycho Lucia, who stole her first kiss, leaving her in tears.
- Rido from Vampire Knight was obsessed with his sister Juri and then subsequently with her daughter, Yuuki.
- In Go Lion, Prince Sincline is obsessed with Princess Fala from the first time he sees her. This carries over to Voltron, where they are Prince Lotor and Princess Allura.
- Outlaw Star: Ron had only ordered Harry to kidnap Melfina, since she's the navigation system of the XGP. Instead, he fell in love with her — by which we mean, went full-blown stalker/yandere; especially when she rejected him. Harry spends the remainder of the series shifting from trying to coax her with heartfelt pleas, to trying to murder Gene for being too close to her.
- Lupin III: As the series' resident Ms. Fanservice and Femme Fatale, Fujiko's used to people wanting her; including villains.
- The Columbus Files: Nazalov was only supposed to abduct Fujiko and make her divulge the secret of the Columbus File. But as the film progresses, he becomes increasingly infatuated with her instead, to the point of literally fighting Lupin over her.
- In Voyage to Danger, it was Todd, who was so taken with her that he was willing to forget both the times she betrayed him, so long as she agreed to be his. By which he meant, as his "pet". Naturally, Fujiko wasn't about to let that happen.
- And in Albatross: Wings of Death, she gets abducted by Professor Lumbach for stealing the plans for his remote nuclear detonator. But while she's in his custody, he takes a romantic interest in her and proposes they get married, since she was having a lover's quarrel with Lupin at the time. She refuses.
- Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: Haman Khan seems to have one of these on Judau Ashta, while Glemmy Toto has one on Roux. In each case the "relationship" is deeply messed up and the heroic individual ends up being responsible in some way for their admirer's death.
- Creed from Black Cat owns this trope. His crazy rampaging crush on Train is so obvious that everyone notices it... except Train.
- This is what Neil Regan actually feels for Candy White Andree in Candy Candy. Near the end of the series we're briefly fooled into thinking this will lead to Love Redeems... but he tries to pull a Scarpia Ultimatum instead.
- Also, Neil's sister Elisa has a brief one on Candy's second love interest Terry during the Boarding School arc. He couldn't care less and humiliates her for being mean to Candy.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion, Homura retains her feelings for Madoka even after she goes insane. And by "retains" we mean that she literally reshaped the universe for the sole purpose of making Madoka safe and happy. And by "insane" we mean that she wiped everyone's memories and depowered the goddess of hope.
- Rather infamously in Spider-Man Sins Past, Norman Osborn took a shine to Gwen Stacy. And by that it means he impregnated her, then murdered her to get the super-fast aging children.
- Actually, the Green Goblin didn't murder her to get the children. Remember, he didn't hunt down Gwen and kidnap her, he captured her simply because she was at Peter Parker's apartment, and wanted to use her as leverage against Spider-Man. Had Gwen been his actual target, he would have gone to her residence.
- The Jackal's entire motivation was that he was in love with Gwen Stacy.
- In Marvel comics, the villain Whirlwind has a huge crush on The Wasp. He even posed as her limo driver once.
- Umar, Doctor Strange villainess and sister to Dormammu has a huge crush on The Hulk. She actually kept him as her love-slave for a while, but whether that counts as Dating Catwoman or Black Comedy Rape is debated. They've been reunited since.
- In his short lived series in the 70s, The Joker fell in love with one Dinah Lance note . He realizes he only has two choices, force her to marry him or kill her because he won't be able focus on his crimes if he's thinking about her.
- Also in Batman, Two-Face had a long-standing obsession with Renee Montoya. While it did lead to her being able to act as his Morality Pet on a few occasions, it didn't end well, partially because of Incompatible Orientation - Renee is very firmly a lesbian.
- The few times they do interact, Catwoman has a massive crush on Superman. It's completely one-sided and mostly played for laughs however.
- In her early appearance, poor Iris Allen had the misfortune of being the object of Captain Cold and Professor Zoom's affection. Both had nearly forced her into marriage.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- Jareth to Sarah in Labyrinth. Foreshadowed in Sarah's story to Toby at the beginning: "But the Goblin King had fallen in love with the girl..." He sends her into a dreamlike state featuring a Dance of Romance between them, and at the end, he (albeit slightly ambiguously) offers her the chance to stay with him and be loved by him if she gives up her quest.
- Ming the Merciless seemed pretty hung up on Dale Arden in Flash Gordon.
- Mr. Barnaby (the Crooked Little Man) for Contrary Mary (or Mary Contrary, in the Disney version) in Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland and the analogous Little Bo-Peep in March Of The Wooden Soldiers, the Laurel and Hardy version
- Subverted in The Princess Bride. It appears that Prince Humperdinck is in love with Buttercup, but it turns out that he just wants to marry her so he can arrange for her to be killed and then use her death to justify a war with the scapegoats.
- Dark Helmet for Princess Vespa in Spaceballs, from what you can tell in the scene where he plays with his action figures.
- Rippner to Lisa in Red Eye.
- Joker for Vicki Vale in Batman.
- While we're at it, the Riddler seems to have a bit of one on Chase Meridian in Batman Forever - when he's not crushing on Bruce Wayne, that is.
- Blue for Baby Doll in Sucker Punch.
- Tod to Marge in Mom and Dad Save the World.
- J.D. in Heathers. After Veronica breaks up with him after he starts murdering other teenagers for fun, J.D. is still very much in love with her.
- Schindlers List. Nazi Camp Kommandant Amon Goeth has one on Helen Hirsch, his Jewish maid. This leaves him conflicted because he believes her to be inferior to him.
- Aldrich Killian for Pepper Potts in Iron Man 3.
- In 12 Years a Slave, slave owner Edwin Epps has one on his slave Patsey. Word of God says he's deeply in love with her but he has an odd and very abusive way of showing it.
- Cal has one on Rose in Titanic 1997.
- Ned to Julie in The Next Karate Kid. He punishes her if she rejects his advances.
- In Cabin by the Lake, Villain Protagonist Stanley seems to develop some sort of odd fixation on his victim Mallory for standing up to him and escaping him once before. There's a Window Love scene with a two-way mirror which she punches when she realizes what he's doing, and when he tries to drown her once again near the end he also starts to lean in for a kiss as she's terrified out of her mind.
- Edgar Rice Burroughs has a few:
- In Thuvia, Maid of Mars. Carthoris is in love with the title character, who is also desired by the Villain, Prince Astok of Dusar.
- At The Earths Core, in which Hooja the Sly One lusts after David Innes's beloved Dian the Beautiful.
- The Phantom's obsessive infatuation with Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. Leads to Stockholm Syndrome on Christine's side and ends with I Want My Beloved to Be Happy on the Phantom's side. The narrator pities him more than condemns him.
- William Hamleigh for Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth, although that's more of a Perverse Villainous Obsession variant.
- Billy "Boil" seems to have one on the titular heroine of the Cat Royal series of books, although how much of a villain he is varies from book to book.
- Played with in A Song of Ice and Fire with Littlefinger's affection for his childhood friend Catelyn Stark, and later on her daughter Sansa. He was an idealistic and rather adorable kid when he fell in love with Cat, but the ensuing line of events that put an end to that matter led to his moral backsliding into a schemer and a scoundrel (or as much a scoundrel a prominent public figure can be). However, it never really ended his feelings towards those ladies, and much of his development came from the offense of falling for a lady who was above his social status.
- Burgo Fitzgerald for Glencora M'Cluskie and George for Alice Vavasor in Trollope's Can You Forgive Her?.
- In Phoenix Rising by Ryk E. Spoor, by Aran aka Condor for Kyri.
- Harry Potter: Snape's unrequited love for Lily Evans. Though it's somewhat debatable that he even counts as a villain, seeing as everything he's done in life after Lily's death was to protect her son, Harry Potter. Even if he treated him like shit because of petty jealousy over him being the son of James, who was The Rival to him.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ty Lee to Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender, much to Sokka's confusion.
- In the "Super Powers Team" incarnation of Superfriends, Darkseid had a crush on Wonder Woman and constantly tried to make her his bride.
- One time on The Simpsons Marge got a job at the nuclear plant and Mr. Burns developed a thing for her.
- A 1935 Merrie Melodies short, "The Little Dutch Plate'', where it is rather creepily subverted.
- Hexadecimal to Bob in ReBoot.
- Zander to Max in Batman Beyond.
- Peep to Heloise in Jimmy Two-Shoes. Heloise to Jimmy may also count.
- 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.
- One-shot villain Little Acorn to Jenny in My Life as a Teenage Robot.
- Martian Queen towards Duck Dodgers. Seriously, the woman veers between wanting to destroy him and wanting to marry him.
- Cerina to Skysurfer One in Skysurfer Strike Force.
- Gideon has one toward Mabel in Gravity Falls.
- Princess Attea towards Ben in his Inkursian form Bullfrag in Ben 10: Omniverse. To Ben's chagrin, the feeling is mutual as Bullfrag.
- Agent Bishop is very affectionate towards Karai when he has her captured in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003, 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.
- 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.)