YMMV / Norman Osborn

  • Can't Un-Hear It: Willem Dafoe is the voice of the Green Goblin for many. Aside from Steve Blum and Neil Ross of course.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Also known as The Green Goblin, Norman, one of Spidey's Arch Enemies (along with Doctor Octopus and Venom), graduated to Complete Monsterdom following his resurrection in The '90s. Once a Tragic Villain who suffered from a Split Personality that forced him to become the Green Goblin, Norman was apparently slain after he threw Spider-Man's girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, off a bridge, in what many fans saw as his Moral Event Horizon. Brought Back from the Dead in the nineties, Norman revealed that he had been the mastermind behind The Clone Saga, buried Aunt May alive and killed Peter's clone, Ben Reilly, while gloating that he could now remember all the crimes he'd committed as the Goblin and was proud of them. Since then, he has gone on to be a major player in the Marvelverse, masterminding the creation of the Dark Avengers. During this time period, he kept the Sentry in line via drug addiction, then had his wife killed; planned to have the captured Songbird decapitated so that he could mount her head on the wall and masturbate to it; he tortured Nate Grey - apparently simply for the hell of it - and turned him into a living battery by stuffing him into the Omega Machine, and deliberately triggered a war with Asgard by having the U-Foes attack Asgardian warrior Volstagg in a football stadium, resulting in thousands of casualties. During this time, he also seduced and impregnated his son Harry's girlfriend, then plotted to have Harry killed, because he thought Harry's tragic death would earn him public sympathy. These, by the way, are all actions committed by Norman Osborn persona; the Green Goblin persona remains an psychotic Mad Bomber who regularly endangers/kills hundreds of civilians during his battles with Spider-Man, and, in commemoration of Gwen Stacy's death, tried to recreate the tragedy with Mary-Jane Watson, Peter's then Love Interest, as the victim. As Norman Osborn he's a cold-blooded, calculating psychopath who treats everyone as a means to an end. As The Green Goblin he's a violent lunatic who threatens every person in the vicinity.
    • The Spectacular Spider-Man: Green Goblin, Norman Osborn, is the maniacal mastermind behind many of the series' villains, and the most personal and wicked foe Spider-Man ever faced. When first revealing himself to the world, Goblin attacked a charity event hosted by his rival Tombstone, and quickly showed his penchant for sadistic overkill by setting a bomb to blow up and "paint the (ballroom) red" to kill Tombstone, taking sick joy from the fact it will kill the dozens of charity-goers and his own men in the process. After instigating a gang war that consumes nearly an entire city block so as to eliminate his competition, Goblin proclaims himself the new "Big Man" of crime, brutalizing and possibly killing any who stand against him. Goblin's grandest and cruelest plan came when he set booby traps of bombs across New York City in an insane attempt to kill Spider-Man, uncaring of the countless innocents that could be killed. Goblin also has a penchant for creating supervillains to serve his purposes, be it subjecting the meek Otto Octavius to a lethal experiment that turned him into the sociopathic Doctor Octopus; turning the young Mark Allen into a Man on Fire to force him into servitude; and takes full part in the creation of Sandman and Rhino, using them as guinea pigs to deadly experiments. As Osborn, he verbally abuses and neglects his teenage son Harry, finances and funds various criminal and supervillain enterprises, and framed his own son as the Green Goblin, severely injuring the boy's leg to complete the set-up. Be it his supervillain or public persona, Green Goblin was a consistently depraved monster, with a lust for power being the only thing driving him.
  • Foe Yay: At uncomfortable levels with Peter.
  • Evil Is Cool: At his most well-written, or in the case of Willem Dafoe in Spider-Man well acted.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Sometimes portrayed this way. Special mention to his incarnation The Spectacular Spider-Man TV series (which was written by Greg Weisman, the same guy who wrote David Xanatos), where he pulled a two season-long scheme eventually allowing him to take over New York's entire criminal underground and successfully framed his own son as a Tragic Villain to cover his own tracks.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The murder of Gwen Stacy is almost universally agreed to be when Norman crossed it, and perhaps the second most infamous murder in Spidey's history (following Uncle Ben's demise). It was extremely jarring to readers at the time because it was the permanent death of a main character.
  • The Untwist: Him being the Goblin King. Slott spent a lot of time teasing the idea that it might not be Norman, and had him refuse to unmask, in what really served no purpose but to raise suspicion that it might not actually be Norman. In the end, nope, its Norman, and him refusing to unmask pretty much served no purpose what-so-ever because of it.
  • Newer Than They Think: Thematic example. In Revenge of the Green Goblin Osborn, his son Harry then long dead, started to realize that Peter himself was everything he ever wanted in a son and heir—smart, resourceful, tough, and able to live through everything life throws at him. This was since retconned out of existence (partly because Harry is back, partly because Norman no longer knows who Spidey is), but it was well received and became an integral part of his character in other media, such as the movie and the Spectacular Spider-Man cartoon. Even Ultimate Spider-Man uses it to great effect (and when Norman's around, the series really forgets it's a comedy). So successful some more recent fans thought it was always an integral part of the character.
  • Rooting for the Empire: In some cases, people are willing to root for Osborn in spite of him being an utter asshole, a case in point being Superior Spider-Man. Some Draco in Leather Pants may even occur too due to some Lighter and Softer interpretations that make him legitimately sympathetic.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Some readers were generally not too happy with Osborn since his resurrection in The Clone Saga. The ones who like the changes, lament that, "he's been made interesting by basically being made into a new character.":
    And then the final out was resurrecting Norman Osborn, the single worst move ever made by Spider-Man writers. He had attained a reputation and fearsome aura in death far greater than in life, haunting Peter so much. To explain he'd spent 24 years of stories "recovering in Europe" was ridiculous, as was making him the true mastermind of all this then turning him into a poor man's Lex Luthor. 20 years later and it's still the storyline that all Spider-Man fans grit their teeth at.