Names To Run Away From: Adjectives
Names to Run Away From Really Fast which inspire fear because they are fearsome adjectives: Vicious, Grim, Sinister, Nefarious, Horrible, etc. Or they inspire mistrust because they sound "false", like "honest".
open/close all folders
- Kraven the Hunter, a Spider-Man villain.
Anime and Manga
- Yu-Gi-Oh! has several instances:
- Yami (= Dark) Yugi, whose early punishments for people who attacked or threatened his friends included tricking people into yoyoing themselves through a roof to fall several stories, getting people stung by their own scorpions and subjecting people to illusory torture by Eldritch Abomination.
- Yami Bakura, who loves trapping people in game-based objects (such as, in the manga, storing souls in a pair of dice so they always rolled high).
- Yami Marik, who unlike the other two has no ancient Egyptian backstory, he just kills people.
- D.N.Angel's phantom thief, Dark Mousy. Also his evil counterpart, Krad.
- Batman, the Dark Knight.
- Darkseid, Lord of Apokolips. Pretty clearly deliberate.
- X-Men: Raven Darkholme, Mystique's real name.
- The Dark Rider
- A common misconception surrounding Star Wars is that Darth is Dutch or German for dark, when neither of these statements are accurate. Dark would be donker and dunkel, respectively. Vader, on the other hand is Dutch for father, though it is pronounced differently in Dutch.
- Then there's G. M. Dark from Something Wicked This Way Comes.
- Darken Rahl from Sword of Truth.
- Darquesse from Skulduggery Pleasant.
- The Carny of Mr Dark by Deathwatch Beetle Repairmen
- Joe Darke, a serial killer from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
- The Evil "Mr. Dark" in Rayman
- Dark Fact from Ys.
- Dark Sol from Shining in the Darkness.
- Dot A 2 gives us Darkterror the Faceless Void.
Anime and Manga Film
- Dr. Evil, Austin Powers arch-enemy, is a parody of both this trope and the Diabolical Mastermind Ernst Blofeld-type Bond villain.
- The titular Serial Killer in Evilenko.
- Avery Schreiber played a villain named "Mr. Evil" on The Harlem Globetrotters Popcorn Machine.
- Berzerk has Evil Otto.
- Pokémon Colosseum: It may be an unwritten rule that the leaders of Cipher have some part of Evil in their name. First was Evice, and second was Greevil. For added evil points, Greevil's Japanese name translates into 'Deathgold'.
- Evil Marie in CarnEvil.
- Evil Crash in the Crash Bandicoot series.
Anime and Manga Film Video Games
- Greed from The Binding of Isaac, another personification of a deadly sin from another series.
- Greedy from Ristar.
- Greevil from Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, as mentioned directly above.
- Captain Planet foe, Hoggish Greedly.
Special thanks to The Grim Reaper. Anime and Manga
- Wolfgang Grimmer from Monster. He may look harmless but threaten his life and you'll wind up another victim of The Magnificent Steiner.
- Grimjack of Grimjack.
- Mr Benjamin Grimm, otherwise known as The Thing of the Fantastic Four.
- The Grim Hunter, who shares this with his father Kraven (see below).
- The hero of the Doom movie, John Grimm.
- In the Harry Potter series, a black dog known as "the Grim" is an omen of death.
- Grim Tuesday from the Keys of the Kingdom series.
- Grimhild, the Evil Matriarch of the Gjukung clan in the Old Norse Völsunga saga.
- Harald Hardrada the famous Viking. While Hardrada for some reason is not regularly transliterated into history books, it means something like "hard" "ruthless" or "grim".
- Ottoman Sultan Selim the Grim.
- The Brothers Grimm. They might have been perfectly swell chaps themselves, but many of the fairy tales they collected were a bit... well, take a wile guess
- Grimlock of Transformers.
- Mr. Grimm of Twisted Metal.
- Grimhilde, better known as the Evil Queen from Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Anime and Manga Films — Animated
- Honest John from Pinocchio
- Honest John's Dealership
- Garfield had one manned by some "Honest Ed".
- "Honest" Iago from Othello.
- MGR-1 Honest John nuclear or nerve gas missiles.
Just silly enough that it's (as far as is recorded here) never used seriously. Literature
- Horribin the Clown from Tim Powers's The Anubis Gates. An adept of Ancient Egyptian sorcery, who runs a crew of beggars that he crippled himself.
- Madame Morrible in Wicked.
- Lord Horribus in Sluggy Freelance.
- Dr. Horrible from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog' is a ... horrible example.
- Darth Sidious of Star Wars. Double points for rhyming with "hideous". There is a certain in-story justification, as Sith 'names' are not technically names, but titles given after they've purposely started down the road of evil.
- School bully Bugs Meany from Encyclopedia Brown.
- Colm Meaney, an Irish actor who is actually by many accounts a pretty nice guy. Doesn't help that outside of Star Trek fandoms he's mostly known for playing villains or at the very least hard-assed Anti-Hero types.
- The eponymous I. M. Meen.
- Count Nefaria, a long-running Marvel Comics villain.
- Dr. Nefario from Despicable Me.
- Nefarian Serpine from Skulduggery Pleasant.
- World of Warcraft: Lord Victor Nefarius AKA Nefarian the Black Dragon.
- Dr. Nefarious, a Big Bad in the Ratchet & Clank series (Up Your Arsenal and A Crack in Time).
- Crash Bandicoot: Dr. Nefarious Tropy. Bonus points for having a sinister name even when it's shortened (N. Tropy = entropy). And he sounds like Peter Lorre.
- Count Nefarious from the PC game Toon Struck.
- One of Water Mages from Gothic. Subverted, as he is mostly harmless.
- Vandal Savage, DC Comics supervillain. Though he's a terrible person overall, he's not particularly savage.
- While he may act sophisticated much of the time, he is a cave man, and has engaged in thousands if not millions of acts of murder, torture and cannibalism in his incredibly long life.
- "Macho Man" Randy Savage
- Adam Savage from MythBusters: His job involves smashing, blowing up, or otherwise destroying various items in big and spectacular ways (and he is very enthusiastic about his work). Also, in episodes where the crew play out character roles, Adam often plays villainous characters with "Savage" somewhere in their name (i.e. Baron von Savage, Captain Redbeard the Savage).
- Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?
- Shady Shrew from Slylock Fox. This trope is usually extrapolated to other bit criminals like Reeky Rat or Slick Smitty — it's surprising that name profiling hasn't been implemented yet.
- Sid Shady from the riddle game Mind Trap.
- Sinestro from Green Lantern. It should be noted that he's left(sinister)-handed. It's not clear how his home planet's naming works.
- Mr. Sinister from X-Men.
- Subverted with Professor Sinistra, Astronomy teacher at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series, who is actually a good soul, if an inveterate alarmist.
- Sinistrad from The Death Gate Cycle.
- Zig-zagged in the H.I.V.E. series, where the Political Manipulation instructor, the Contessa Maria Sinistre, is a Heel-Face Revolving Door. The trend stops later in with her granddaughter Lucy Dexter. "Dexter" being an alias to protect her identity, as she would not be able to study at the H.I.V.E. normally if the other students knew she also had Mind Control like her grandmother. However, she is a good character, even one of the series love interests, until her Death of the Hypotenuse fate in book six.
- Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold.
- Sinistar. He hungers! Run! Run! Run! Run!
- Slight variation: Sinistrals, from the Lufia games.
- Sinestra, Deathwing's mate from World of Warcraft.
Both the meaning and the snakelike pronunciation have connotations of being sly, manipulative, scheming, smug. Newspaper Comics
- Slick Smitty from Slylock Fox
- The title character of Doctor Strangelove.
- The Lestranges in the Harry Potter series.
Anime and Manga
- Vicious, the main antagonist from Cowboy Bebop.
- The main antagonist of Pokémon 4Ever is named Vicious the Iron-Masked Marauder (Vicious-sama no Kamen). He's also rumored to have been named for Sid Vicious, but evidence is hazy.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, there was a villain called Vid Vicious (obviously named after Sid Vicious).
- Vishous from J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood novels, mercifully shortened to 'V'. Most of her male characters have bizarrely spelled "badass" names, including Torhment, Phury, Zsadist, Rhage, Rehvenge, and Wrath (well, that last one is spelled correctly). John Matthew doesn't fare any better with his warrior name: Tehrror; as does Butch when he's revealed to be a half-breed and gets saddled with a vampiric name of legend: The Dehstroyer.
- Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. Sid was actually not that violent, nor was he particularly good in a fight; the pose of being a "moral danger" was certainly deliberate.
- Early in his career, The Human Torch fought a villain named The Painter whose not-very-subtle real name was Wilhelm von Vile.
- Count Vile from Press Start.
- Lord Vile from Skulduggery Pleasant.
- Venandekatra the Vile in Belisarius Series. It is specifically noted that other names(like "Grim") carry a compliment with them as well as an insult; they imply that someone is a Magnificent Bastard. Whereas vile is just an insult.
- The Mega Man X games feature a recurring foe named Vile (his Japanese name was VAVA, but it was changed out of fear that it along with his uncanny resemblance to Boba Fett might cause trouble). Originally The Dragon in the first game, he would go on to make repeat appearances as a Wild Card. The Mega Man Zero series would later introduce a Dr. Vile as its Big Bad; this was localized as "Weil".
- The Vile Tribe from the Lunar series.
- Mr. Vile from Banjo-Kazooie. The worst thing about him may be that you can't run away from him really fast.
- V.I.L.E, the evil organization in the original Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? games. (It's also Fun with Acronyms and one of the more sensible examples, as it stands for Villains' International League of Evil.)
- Dire Wily, the villain to the also significantly named Halcyon Blithe in the series of the same name.
- Dr. Wily, from the Mega Man (Classic) series.
Anime and Manga
- Subtly, several names translate to disabilities, though that's not always bad. On the good side, Cecile from Code Geass ("Blind"). On the bad side, Claudia from The Vampire Chronicles ("Lame"). "Cecile" comes from "caecus", which means "blind" in Latin. In olden times it implied powers of prophesy as well, since many famous seers (Tiresias for example) were blind.
- My Immortal: Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way: Darkness, insanity, Creepy Ravens... Wait, this may be the best name ever.
- The Tainted Grimoire: Dread Raven.
- Sly Wits Paradise: Awe the dragon. It is mentioned that even the dragons among other races fear him above all else.
- What About Witch Queen?: the Stormbringing Ocean, or Stormbringer for short. It's said that the climate there matches the name and the ships that dare to cross it - so-called pendulums - are giant Cool Boats at least three times as big as regular seagoing ships.
- General Grievous from Star Wars.
- Though the origin of his name is actually quite tragic.
- Not a character, but the sinister pub in An American Werewolf in London is called "The Slaughtered Lamb". Can any good come of that?
- Lord Humungus from The Road Warrior.
- Mr. Sardonicus: Baron Sardonicus (sardonic) and his servant Krull (cruel).
- Maleficent, the wicked fairy in Disney's Sleeping Beauty. In the Live-Action Adaptation Maleficent it is her birth name, leading to Deathbringer the Adorable moments with an innocent fairy child bearing an obvious villain name.
- Vendacious from A Fire Upon the Deep is one letter off from "mendacious". Perhaps not the best name for the head of your intelligence agency.
- Ras the Destroyer from Invisible Man.
- Many villains in the Redwall series have such names as Cluny the Scourge, Slagar the Cruel, Ferahgo the Assassin, and Gulo the Savage.
- Lord Foul the Despiser from the The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, who doubles as Titles as well as Narm.
- W. I. C. K. E. D. from The Maze Runner Trilogy. It doesn't stand for anything good, either: "World In Catastrophe: Killzone Experiment Department."
- Roger Chillingworth from The Scarlet Letter.
- Idlebury from Be Careful what you wish for by Stef. Its citizens are constantly idle (i. e. lazy).
- Skulduggery Pleasant: Baron Vengeous, Mevolent, Auron Tenebrae, Gruesome Krav, Christophe Nocturnal...the list goes on. Justified as they chose the names themselves.
- How to Train Your Dragon is full of this: Grabbit The Grim, Gormless The Grim, Stoick The Vast, Grimbeard The Ghastly, Norbert The Nutjob, Madguts The Murderous, Murderous The Magnificent, The Seadragons Furious and Merciless, and, of course, Alvin The Treacherous.
- Spoiler from The Key To Rondo. The kids quickly realize he's bad news, and suspect that he's working for the Blue Queen. Worse, he's actually Leo's Wicked Uncle George, who had given the eponymous Key to the Blue Queen so she could run the world while he lived in luxury.
- In Vorkosigan Saga Emperor Dorca's dragon is Pierre Le Sanguinaire which means "Bloody Pete" in English.
- Horus Heresy: In a series based on a franchise absolutely encrusted with nightmarish titles, the high-ranking Dark Mechanicus official Urtzi Malevolus has one of the least subtle; most of the others at least did something violent to earn a title like "Flesh Tearer" or "the Red Angel", Urtzi seemingly joined up with a surname that is "malevolent" with the last few letters changed, then got promoted to a high rank.
- Robbie Rotten from LazyTown.
- Sgt Gross in the Blake's 7 episode "Moloch" is one of the lesser known villains of the show, but notably nasty.
- Power Rangers has Master Vile, his children Rita Repulsa and Rito Revolto, Maligore (combination of Gore and Malevolent), General Havoc, Dark Specter, Darkonda, Ecliptor, Treacheron, Villamax, Deviot, Furio, Captain Mutiny, Hexuba, Diabolico, Jinxer, Onikage, Toxica/Necronomica, Mesogog (from Magog, as in Gog and Magog).
- Treacheron is perhaps the only one of these characters who is misnamed. He is very loyal to his employer.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Does anyone really want a hernia exam from a doctor named Crusher???
- Also, anything at all "of Borg".
- Horrendous, the jock/big chunk of meat who ruled the warrior city from the video game Nox.
- Iosa the Invincible in Iji. How did she earn her title? By surviving a planet-buster completely unscathed.
- All of the Soulless Gods of Lusternia get this treatment: Kethuru the Almighty, Illith the Leviathan, Crazen the Greedy, Great Muud and Zenos the Insubstantial. And yeah, they should all be ran away from very fast.
- BadBad in Secret of the Stars.
- King K. Rool ("cruel") in Donkey Kong Country.
- Feral Chaos in Dissidia 012.
- Whose name in Japanese is Desperado (root word desperate) which isn't any better.
- One of the bosses in RogueLegacy is a giant Asteroids Monster with the boss subtitle "The Infinite".
- Bad King Greyghast the Terrible in EmbricOfWulfhammersCastle manages to get "bad" and "terrible" in there, along with "ghast", a sort of monster.
- Last Res0rt: Gabriel the Maskless.
- The Spoony Experiment: Dr. Insano.
- Johnny Rotten (real-life: John Lydon), band leader of the Sex Pistols. Given that 'Johnny' is British slang for 'condom', that verges on squick, too.
- Raoul Vilain (real-life: Raoul Vilain), who killed French president Jean Jaurčs.
- Duncan Ferguson AKA Duncan Disorderly. A Scottish footballer who lives up to his "hardman" image with four convictions for assault (including one on a cop!).
- Atropa Belladonna, better known as Deadly Nightshade. When the name of a poisonous plant actually contains the word "Deadly", its probably sign that you should stay the hell away!