Monster / Cartoon Network

"There is only darkness for you, and only death for your people. These ancients are just the beginning. I will command a great and terrible army... and we will sail to a billion worlds. We will sail until every light has been extinguished. You are strong, child. But I am beyond strength. I am the end."
The Lich to Finn, Adventure Time, "Escape from the Citadel"

While most villains from Cartoon Network and [adult swim] are mostly jerks at their worst, there are some who take their villainy to the next level.

  • Adventure Time: The Lich is an Evil Sorcerer who desires nothing less than the extinction of all life. While most of the series' antagonists have sympathetic moments or funny quirks that add levity to their crimes, the Lich is the only villain to always be played absolutely seriously. His attempts at wiping out all life has included possessing Princess Bubblegum, going One-Winged Angel, and rampaging through the Candy Kingdom; killing and possessing the body of Billy as part of a complex gambit to get a Reality Warper named Prismo to grant his wish for the extinction of all life across The Multiverse; murdering dream Prismo as well as Prismo's physical body, the latter solely For the Evulz, then breaking the universe's worst criminals out of their cosmic jail, all in order to create an unstoppable army for himself to lead in wiping out all life, one planet at a time. The Lich is also heavily implied to have been involved with the destruction of mankind and one of the reasons why the show takes place in a world After the End.
  • Ben 10 franchise:
    • Vilgax, the Overarching Villain of the entire franchise and by far Ben Tennyson's most personal enemy, is a psychopathic galactic warlord. After his evil caused him to be banished from his homeworld, Vilgax went on to assault and conquer numerous planets across the cosmos, outright annihilating the entire planet of Petropia and its billions of inhabitants to make an example of those who resist him. After discovering the existence of the Omnitrix, Vilgax becomes obsessed with possessing the gadget to modify it for his own gain, and spends much of the first series sending wave after wave of his forces to Earth solely to kill Ben Tennyson, a 10-year-old-boy, and steal the watch from him, later trying to viciously saw the boy's arm off and blow up the entire Earth for the trouble it has caused him. In Alien Force, Vilgax builds up his image as a law-abiding citizen by "legally" conquering 10 planets, though ultimately ditches this persona and tries to use the Omnitrix to lead a full-scale war against all who would stand against him. In Ultimate Alien, Vilgax becomes the herald for Diagon before betraying and killing his master and stealing his power, hoping to use it to mind control all life in the universe. In the final series, Omniverse, Vilgax, though at first seeming to have decayed in his evil, pulls out perhaps the most wicked scheme in the entire franchise, using a Chronosapien Time Bomb to wipe out all dimensions and timelines, his own included, to leave only a single, more submissive universe for him to conquer and rule. Vilgax was a purely evil madman who would kill first billions, then insurmountable trillions, just to satisfy his raging desire to be the most powerful being in the universe, and stands out as the most iconic villain in Ben 10 for this very reason.
    • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Aggregor was an Osmonian warlord who was wantonly murderous in his quest to achieve omnipotence. Aggregor killed aliens by absorbing their energy and matter to gain their powers. Generally this caused his victims to turn into desiccated husks, but for his plans to become powerful enough to reassemble the Map of Infinity he turned five aliens into energy and absorbed them into himself. Aggregor killed Magister Prior Gilhil by stabbing him in the back, killed two other Plumbers by sucking them out into space, and absorbed the life and powers of a pacifistic alien just because he could. His two most vile crimes, however, were when he nearly destroyed an inhabited world by stealing a component from the device that kept the planet from breaking apart, and when he attempted to kill and absorb a baby alien capable of Reality Warping to complete his ascension into godhood.
    • Ben 10: Omniverse: The Arc Villain of the 8th season, Maltruant, is a rogue Chronosapien bent on ruling all of time and existence. He masterminded the original Time War in his first bid for universal control, but was defeated and his body separated across time by Professor Paradox. Seeking to restart the Time War and win, He hired Dr. Psychobos to help repair himself. After his Co-Dragons Subdora and Exo-Skull complete repairing his body, Maltruant turned on Dr. Psychobos, easily defeated Ben Prime and Ben 23, and left both for dead in Mad Ben's dimension with his minions to restart the Time War. Once he travels to the time period of Ben 10,000 to steal the Anihilaarg and the Dwarf Star so he can create a more deadly weapon, Maltruant traveled back to the very beginning of the universe and snuck aboard the Contemelia's ship, where he switched their Anihilaarg with his own in order to recreate the universe in his image. Extremely power hungry and so egomanical that when he met the Contemelia (who always appear in the form of who or what one holds dearest in their hearts) he saw three alternate versions of himself, Maltruant cements himself as one of Ben's most monstrous enemies.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog:
    • Katz stands out in a children’s cartoon as a Serial Killer played straight. While his motives tend to change due to the show’s Negative Continuity, each episode he appears in generally has him using some sort of illegitimate business as a front for committing murders, and his list of past victims is strongly implied to be quite long. In his first appearance, for example, he ran a Hell Hotel where he fed all his guests to spiders. Other episodes have seen him transforming the guests of his health spa into machines and forcing them to fight to the death for his entertainment, threatening to turn Muriel into candy as revenge for her always beating him in a candy-making competition, and trying to blow up a submarine full of people to drive a rival vacation submarine company out of business. In most of his appearances, he challenges Courage to some sort of sport solely to drag out the dog’s suffering for as long as he can. In a series that was already in no short supply of scares, Katz still stood out as the absolute worst the show had to offer.
    • The Great Fusilli, from the eponymous season 1 episode, is a traveling stage magician who lured people onto his stage under the guise of making them famous actors. He would then have them perform for an imaginary audience, in order to use enchanted puppet strings to convert them into lifeless puppets, which he would then play with for his own amusement. Once Courage finds a room filled with the dozens of people he's converted into marionettes, Fusilli turns his owners Muriel and Eustace into puppets while at the same time attempting to dispose of Courage. Although Negative Continuity undoes the effect of Muriel and Eustace's murder, the ending of the episode leaves disturbing implications. Though comparatively minor compared to more major villains of the show, Fusilli was on par with even Katz, and his one appearance in the show proved to be one of the most disturbing episodes of the show's run.
  • Generator Rex:
    • Van Kleiss is the ruthless dictator of Abysus. Though he uses propaganda to claim he's trying to build a better world for E.V.O.s, in actuality Van Kleiss cares only for his dream of world domination, and nothing for his subordinates. Van Kleiss makes a habit of petrifying E.V.O.s by sucking the nanites out of them, or turning regular people into E.V.O.s to act as muscle for him, not caring that such an action could leave them permanently transformed. In his bid for power Van Kleiss murdered Rex's parents, experimented on his Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds follower to amplify her powers while causing her excruciating pain, and threatened a little girl to force her father to turn the people of New York into his zombie army.
    • Dr. Branden Moses from season 2's "A Family Holiday" announced a breakthrough in nanite research that allowed him to dramatically reverse E.V.O. mutations, giving a faux demonstration using an E.V.O. and either an actress with a set of prosthetic tentacles or an E.V.O. with tentacles, playing the part of the "cured E.V.O." Having convinced hundreds, possibly thousands, of people (including Dr. Holiday, who added her sister Beverly Holiday to Brandon's ranks) that he had made a breakthrough, dozens of intelligent but physically deformed, incurable E.V.O.s lined up to be cured. Instead, they were kidnapped and brought to a lab in the Arctic circle where their mutations were amplified and were ready to be auctioned off to the warlord with the deepest pockets.
  • Hot Wheels Battle Force 5: Krytus, from season 2, was known as the most malicious being in the multiverse. Ambitious and power-hungry, he restarted an eons old war between the Red and Blue Sentients to conquer the multiverse. When his own twin sister, Sage, froze the Red Sentients in stasis, he retaliated by carrying out a genocide on the Blues. It was also revealed that he had several thousand Blue Sentients tortured to death, and the one who managed to enter hibernation to escape him was punished by having his body sabotaged, dooming him when he woke up. After being freed from his prison, he then throws the one who released him off a cliff. He then spends most of the series trying to kill Sage. After being forced into an Enemy Mine with Vert to escape the Shadow Zone, he sets up an ambush for Vert the moment they're out of it. Not even the other villains are safe from his wrath, as he starts an Enemy Civil War among the Vandals through Grimian. In the season finale, when he and Sage finally have a confrontation, he asks Sage if it was worth it to imprison the Red Sentients, in which she replies that if she hadn't, Krytus would've endangered not only the Blue Sentients, but the multiverse. Krytus actually agrees with her as he plans on using them as an army to conquer the Multiverse itself and cares nothing for them.
  • Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures: Many of the one-shot villains manage to stand out in evil:
    • James Compton, from "AMOK", is a former special forces operative thought killed-in-action but now working as a freelance mercenary for whoever can hire him. Paid by a private party to investigate a hindrance to the drug trade in Borneo, Compton assumes the identity of "Mitchell Stramm" after his party is seemingly wiped out by the native Amok monster, winning his way into the Quest's family's good graces and finding the village that's been disrupting the drug trade. Smugly betraying the Quests at this point, Compton opts to simply massacre every last native man, woman, and child in the village to remove them as an obstacle, gloating that his employers will pay him handsomely for each head he brings back to them, attached to the bodies or not.
    • The succubus/vampire known as Elise Lenoir, from "Eclipse", initially appears to be a victim, an innocent young woman on the run from evil men. The twist comes when it's revealed Elise was maintaining her youth and beauty by draining the life from beautiful, innocent women, and the man hunting her was trying to avenge his sister when she fell victim to her. Elise murdered the men who tried to tail her, and later mind-controlled Hadji into her slave to bring Jessie to her for her food source. When her right-hand man protested about Elise trying to replace him with Hadji, Elise declared he was right and sucked the life from him as well. When her deadline of an eclipse was approaching, Elise abandoned all pretense of charm and subtlety and assumed her monstrous true form to kill everyone around and drain Jessie's life.
    • Dja'Lang Mukharno, from "Diamonds and Jade", is a puppeteer and brother of Kumar who exploits his people's old traditions for personal benefit. Coaxing his weak-willed brother into routinely selling off a rare gem to greedy buyers, Dja'Lang summons a shadow demon to brutally kill the buyers and anyone else in the premises to keep the money and the gem. Dja'Lang attempts to kill the Quest family and their friend Jade alongside the cops in the area when Jade sets Kumar up, and when Kumar loses the gem to the Quest family, Dja'Lang turns the shadow beast on him with full intent to murder him for his failure, laughing that he should have killed him years ago.
  • Over the Garden Wall: The Beast is the nightmarish creature that stalks the woods of The Unknown. Finding lost travelers wandering the forest, The Beast would turn their souls into Edelwood trees after driving them into complete despair, then grind the trees into oil to fuel his lantern, prolonging his own life. When The Woodsman steals his lantern, The Beast tricks him into continuing to grind Edelwood trees and keep the lantern burning under the illusion he was saving his daughter's life. The Beast later makes a deal with Greg to show him and his brother, Wirt, the way home, however said deal was just a trick to drive the boy into despair. When Wirt attempts to save Greg, The Beast tries to manipulate him into becoming his new lantern-bearer, falsely promising Greg's soul would be kept alive within the lantern. After Wirt turns down this offer and reveals The Beast's lies to The Woodsman, The Beast makes one last attempt to kill the boys by trying to coerce The Woodsman into cutting them down with his axe. Taking deep joy from committing his atrocities, The Beast was a cruel and manipulative monster who prized his own immortality above all else.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Season 4's two-parter "Knock it Off" has one-shot villain Professor Dick Hardly. Introduced as the sleazy college roommate of Professor Utonium, Dick quickly sees the potential of the Powerpuff Girls as a way to get rich quick. Getting the girls to supply him with Chemical X, Dick makes his own knock-offs of the girls and starts a business selling these copies as superheroes. Due to Dick's greed, however, these knock-offs have been created with minimum materials and Chemical X, meaning that, even though they are aware, they are mentally stunted and physically deformed. When the effort of superheroing causes the knock-offs to fall apart, Dick's happy because it means he gets to sell even more copies. At one point Dick notices one of his knock-offs is a perfect Buttercup copy, his response is to order the girl melted down for her "excessive" Chemical X. The episode's climax has Dick capturing the real Powerpuff Girls and killing them slowly by draining them of their Chemical X. When Utonium offers to be a slave, making Chemical X for Dick for the rest of his life, if Dick will let the girls live, Dick only laughs and says he'll kill the girls and keep Utonium as a slave. Greed incarnate, Dick Hardly was notable for being the only villain on the show to be played completely seriously, with no humorous quirks to detract from his viciousness.
  • Samurai Jack (season 5): While Aku himself is Made of Evil, this duo from the final season proves that, sometimes, Humans Are the Real Monsters:
    • The High Priestess is the leader of the Cult of Aku, and a zealot dedicated solely to appeasing the dark god she worships by any means necessary. Drinking Aku's essence and giving birth to septuplets with Aku's dark energy within them, the High Priestess dubs them the Daughters of Aku and proceeds to horribly condition them into unfeeling weapons whose sole purpose is to kill Samurai Jack. The High Priestess systematically abuses them for years on end, searing their flesh with hot coals while they're still young and putting them through brutal, life-or-death training routines where every slight distraction means torture and beatings—sometimes simply for things as minor as looking outside. Having the Daughters graduate by having them massacre her own devoted followers, the High Priestess sends the Daughters into the world to kill Jack and callously brushes off the deaths of most of them at Jack's hand, furiously attempting to kill Ashi, her only surviving daughter, with her own hands after she finally turns on the High Priestess. An unfeeling fanatic able to rival her own dark god in evil, the High Priestess justifies her cruelty simply by stating Jack must die at any cost—regardless if that cost is her own flesh and blood.
    • The Dominator, from "XCVI", is a sadistic Torture Technician seemingly motivated purely by a desire to hurt people. Slaughtering a village of innocents and abducting all of their children, the Dominator painfully transforms all of the children into psychotic killing machines to be used as weapons, and tests them out on Jack and Ashi once they try to retrieve the children, with complete knowledge Jack's refusal to hurt innocents makes him easy prey. The Dominator brutally tortures Ashi upon capturing her with clear lascivious intent, gloating that children are easily manipulated tools— and that Jack's refusal to hurt them only makes him a "righteous fool."
  • Scooby-Doo:
    • Zombie Island: Jacques stands out as a stark contrast with his two Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds co-conspirators. While his partners had no idea that praying to their cat god for help in their pursuit of vengeance would lead to their transformation into monsters, Jacques was a normal man who willingly became a monster to make himself immortal. For years he's been using his ferry to escort people to Moonscar Island, only for him and his partners to drain the life from them. Afterwards their victims are left to wander the island as zombies, aware but unable to move on to the afterlife.
    • Mystery Incorporated: The Bigger Bad, the Nibiru Entity, is a member of a normally benevolent inter-dimensional alien race called the Anunnaki; his own kind considers him the most evil member of their entire species. He's spent untold centuries corrupting and manipulating the people around him, especially the Team Pets of mystery solving teams, by perverting his species' ability to use animals as mediums to communicate, all working towards freeing him from his prison. In the process he's ruined and ended countless lives through his Unwitting Pawns (including Professor Pericles, who the Entity turned into a murderous psychopath) without a second thought. When he's finally released in the Series Finale, he proceeds to gleefully eat his loyal minions alive along with Mr. E. He follows this by turning Crystal Cove into Hell on Earth and devouring the entire town with sadistic glee, planning to move on to the rest of the universe when he's done, all for the sake of power. When Mystery Inc. finally kill him, erasing him from time in the process, we see what Crystal Cove would've been like without his influence: a normal town with everyone living good, happy lives, showing just how much pain and misery he was truly responsible for.
  • The Secret Saturdays: V.V. (Vincent Vladislav) Argost is the Faux Affably Evil nemesis of the Saturday family and, in actuality, a cryptid himself. As the Himalayan Yeti, Argost murdered people for pleasure, preying upon the humans who wandered through the mountains and taking "souvenirs" off their bodies. Two of his victims were Drew and Doyle Saturdays' parents. When confronted with this, Argost only says he can't be bothered to remember all of the people he's killed. Throughout the series, Argost was obsessed with finding Kur, a god who had the power to control all cryptids. Eventually, Argost discovered that Zak Saturday was Kur himself, and so Argost began plotting to steal the boy's power. Eventually Argost managed to succeed in this by draining the god power out of Zak Monday, the evil alternate dimension counterpart of Zak Saturday; this had the side effect of killing the boy. With his newfound powers, Argost ordered his cryptid army to wage war against every major human capital city, with the ultimate goal to Kill All Humans and rule all cryptids. Though already possessing a god's power, Argost craved more power still, and so he killed Zak Saturday to drain his power as well, just as he did to Monday. Ever the showman, Argost took to committing atrocities with a theatrical flourish and dry humor, relishing the screams of his victims and considering the destruction of mankind as just another one of his grand performances.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan:
    • General Modula is a cold, cruel man responsible for all the misery within the series. A treacherous man who once served proudly under the Galalunan Kingdom before being mistakenly thought dead by the King, Modula lets his cruelty consume him, allying with the monstrous Mutraddi and launching an invasion on Galaluna that leads to countless innocent people killed and the rest enslaved, with Modula murdering many of the rebels himself. Intent on utterly breaking the will of the Galalunan people, Modula sends the Mutraddi to wreak swaths of havoc and death on Earth to kill her, even using a living bomb called Tashy 497 to potentially decimate the entire planet to get at her—vaporizing his own minion once it fails to do its job. A man who has long abandoned any honorable traits he may have had, Modula is a walking nightmare worse than even the literal monsters he rules over.
    • The unnamed Galalunan commander, from "Escape from Galaluna", is a smug, ambitious traitor who uses his front as an obstructive, obnoxious military head to ensure the death of captive hostages while pinning their deaths on Lance and leaving him to hang. In truth having allied with Modula, the traitor sells out his entire planet to the Mutraddi forces to see the royal family killed and its populace decimated and enslaved, looking over the carnage and gloating that the only reason he sold his planet out was to lead Galaluna into an age of "conquest and strength"—and the prospect of a vast reward from Modula.
  • Thunder Cats 2011: Mumm-Ra once commanded a number of races he kept enslaved using explosive collars that he placed around their necks. In his quest to rule the universe, Mumm-Ra, as we see in flashbacks ordered the destruction of a star system in a highly-inhabited solar system, killing billions in the process, simply so he could use the remains of the star to forge the Sword of Plun-Darr. Defeated and sealed inside a coffin, Mumm-Ra is freed by Grune, and soon attacks Thundera with his army, killing Lion-O's father Claudus and enslaving most of the Thundercats. After taking over Thundera, Mumm-Ra proceeds to torture Jaga for information. In "Between Brothers," Mumm-Ra tries to trick Lion-O and Panthro into killing each other. In the two-part series finale, "What Lies Above," Mumm-Ra threatens to destroy the Thunderkits when they interfere with his plans, and tries to collapse an entire city to kill his enemies.
  • Totally Spies!:
    • Helga Von Guggen is a greedy fashion designer who makes "seamless" fur coats by kidnapping innocent people, injecting them with a serum that turns them into Petting Zoo People, then skinning them alive in what appears to be a giant industrial crusher. She makes her debut having already done this to a boat with two hundred people on board, bragging about one of her coats, claiming that it's "genuine lawyer." She later designs a line of apparel that crushes people who wear them, with heavy implications that it manages to kill an innocent shopper off-screen in the opening minutes of the episode it was introduced.
    • Ariel, from season 2's "W.O.W.", is the owner of a wrestling match who is revealed to be a leader of the ancient clan "The Sisterhood", whose goal is to eradicate all men and inferior women so that the strongest women could reign supreme. Ariel brainwashes most of the spectators of the wrestling match, including Sam—who is a direct descendant of "The Sisterhood"—with her power stone, and then leads an assault to Beverly Hills. Ariel then went to Mount St. Helens and waited for the full moon so that she could hypnotize all women in the world who are the direct descendants of "The Sisterhood". When Clover and Alex got close to her plans, Ariel then puts them into the wrestling ring and orders the hypnotized Sam to kill both of them. Misandrist to the extreme and deluded by her own desires to rule the world, Ariel is one of WOOHP's and the spies' most dangerous adversaries.

Alternative Title(s): Adult Swim