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Evil Is Cool / Western Animation

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  • Hank Scorpio from The Simpsons. Helps that's he's quite affable and a nice boss.
  • Adventure Time:
  • The Beast from Over the Garden Wall is one of the scariest, if not the scariest villains ever put to a Cartoon Network show, and the fans love him for it, since he's basically a hybrid of the Operator and the Devil, with a haunting Villain Song to boot.
  • The DC Animated Universe is full of cool bad guys.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Shego lives for this Trope. For starters, her backstory reveals that she started as a hero but turned villain since evil is cooler. And then she does, in fact, become the coolest person in the show.
    • It's not surprising considering all the crap she puts up with.
    • Every time some sort of Applied Phlebotinum brings out goofy old Ron's Superpowered Evil Side, he becomes so damn awesome at being evil (while still being kinda goofy) that he actually scares Shego.
    • Senor Senior, Senior was just a bored billionaire until Ron gave him the idea that it would be really cool if his mansion were an actual supervillain lair.
    • Ron often parodies this trope when faced with Deadly Invention of the Week.
      Ron: That would be so cool if it wasn't going to hurt us.
      • Not to mention the episodes where he becomes evil. When this happens, he is quite possibly the most badass character in the entire show.
  • Code Lyoko: XANA is both this and one of the most terrifying villains. His extremely dangerous, over-the-top attacks and his victories in almost every season finale (and in others episodes too) certainly makes him enter this trope. But ironically, two of his Dragons are even cooler when evil:
  • Mighty Max: the archvillain Skullmaster was voiced by Tim Curry. Luckily, for the rest of the cast, he only showed up in about 5 episodes. But in those episodes, well, he rules hell, and has demon and zombie armies at his command. Oh, and he can outsmart the Smart Guy and beat the Big Guy in a straight fight. Oh, and all of his convoluted plans succeed...except for the last one. Maybe.
  • The Big Bad of Teen Titans, Slade, is the most utterly badass character in the show.
  • Megabyte from ReBoot. While fairly average throughout the first season, in subsequent seasons, he became increasingly hardcore, with impressive plans and still enough time to hand the heroes' asses to them in occasional fights. Being voiced by the late Tony Jay doesn't hurt, either.
  • Futurama:
    • You're watching it, right? The show that does not advocate the cool crime of robbery!
    • Bender is a guy who is loved in-universe and out, by everyone, despite being a hedonistic thief and sometimes a murderer. For example, in "Hell is Other Robots":
    Leela: Bender, we didn't mind we didn't mind your drinking, or your kleptomania, or your pornography ring.
    Zoidberg: In fact, that's why we loved you!
  • On the Halloween Episode of The Fairly Oddparents, every kid wanted to dress as the Jack O' Bots, four villains from Crash Nebula, since the bad guys' costumes were the coolest.
  • David Xanatos from Gargoyles, who manages to be both really cool and really fascinating.
    • Thailog. He actually outwits Xanatos, and any time he appears with another villain almost always has him pulling Eviler Than Thou on them.
  • This trope might as well be renamed "Clone Wars Syndrome", thanks to the jaw-droppingly long list of menacing, badass, and sympathetic antagonists, both the returning ones from the movies and newly created for the show. Count Dooku, Asajj Ventress, Cad Bane, Admiral Trench, Pre Vizsla, Bo-Katan, Savage Opress...the list goes on and on. Even the one-shot antagonists like Commander Sobek and Riff Tamson are cool.
    • Darth Maul deserves his own spot on this list. They took one of the movies' biggest Flat Characters and give him the depth, as well as the menace, to justify that terrifying demonic-looking character design. And his lightsaber duels are widely considered to be some of the best in the whole show, if not the franchise.
    • Darth Sidious accomplishes the rare, remarkable balance of being both an utterly loathsome Hate Sink and a Magnificent Bastard. The series justifies how effortlessly he manipulates the Jedi Council throughout the whole prequel trilogy. Oh, and he also got to hand every other villain on the show their asses at one time or another.
  • Its Sequel Series Rebels is no slouch either in this regard:
    • The Grand Inquisitor, who the staff specifically created with the intent of making a villain who was both menacing and challenging. They succeeded. Same goes for his successors, the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister.
    • Grand Moff Tarkin, whose arrival proved that the show was more than capable of going into darker places, and handed the heroes a defeat on more than one occasion.
    • Darth. Vader. Played by James Earl Jones himself. What else can you say?
    • Clone Wars fans rejoiced at the return of Darth Maul. As did everyone else.
    • Grand. Admiral. THRAWN. Legends fans completely lost their minds when they learned that Thrawn was coming to the show, and those expecting him to be just as badass and ingenious as he was in Zahn's books were not disappointed. Combine that with Lars Mikkelsen's sexily-smooth voice-acting and a chilling musical theme and you have one of the best cartoon villains of the modern age.
  • Care Bears (1980s): For some older fans, the main villains of the Nelvana series and movies are more entertaining than the Care Bears and Cousins.
  • The Dreamstone falls under similar territory. The fanbase largely favors Zordrak and the Urpneys over the cutesy residents of the Land Of The Dreams. Granted, for the Urpneys, it may be more a case of "Evil Is Funny".
  • Similar to Xanatos and Slade above, Tombstone and Green Goblin, the two main Big Bads of The Spectacular Spider-Man, are perhaps two of the most awesome characters in a series full of them.
  • Victor Veloci, the villain of Dino Squad, is seen by many of the show's few viewers as the only interesting character.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender;
    • Koh the Face-Stealer was also kinda cool.
    • The Dai Li!
    • And Fire Lord Ozai. Not the Magnificent Bastard his daughter is, though he sure seemed something like it until he completely lost his mind. His lack of personality made him a bit of Base-Breaking Character though.
    • Averted with Zhao, though he easily is memorable for the Love to Hate factor.
    • The Ember Island Players pretend to depict Team Avatar as good, but really want you to root for the villains. As a result, Fire Lord Ozai looks cooler in the play than he does in real life.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Amon. He's voiced by Steve Blum and therefore has a deep voice that he uses in frightening threats, a cool and scary mask, doesn't flinch when fire blasts into the room he and his mooks are in (incapacitating them) and can resist the assault of a powerful rogue bloodbender, something only an equally powerful waterbender has been shown to do. Finally, he absolutely terrifies Korra. A guy who claims to be a non-bender manages to terrify the most powerful bender in the world. Just as she's starting to get her confidence back, he ambushes her and delivers a Breaking Speech so effective that she breaks down into tears afterwards. He achieved true Magnificent Bastard status in record time. It took only six episodes to achieve it and he's only had a major part in THREE!
    • His Mooks, the chi-blockers, also count. Not only do they look cool, but are also some of the most competent and dangerous mooks ever put into Western Animation. They're like an army of Elite Mooks. Two of them can put up a strong fight against two very powerful benders.
    • Varrick in the show's second season, surprisingly. At first appearing to be nothing more than a Cloud Cuckoolander, and a downright hilarious one at that, but The Reveal that he was a villain turned him into such a Magnificent Bastard that it made him even more appealing. Suffice it to say he was far more interesting to watch then the shows actual villains that season.
    • The Red Lotus from Book 3; criminals who all possess a form of bending that is impossible or unnatural under normal circumstances, their combined strength is enough to challenge even the most powerful fighters in the world:
    • Kuvira the Final Boss of the series also deserves mention as well since she became beloved in the fandom thanks to the trailer from Book 4 alone and the first episode of the season cemented her from then on. Admittedly she's a bit of a Base-Breaking Character with some members of the fandom but for others in the fanbase she's still quite beloved for her numerous badass feats (hey when you can go toe to toe with the Avatar and win and your finishing move in the series is to attack the Heroes city with a giant mech you definitely deserve to be on this list).
  • As mentioned above under Film, the Decepticons in most Transformers franchises fall under this.
    • Of note is their leader, Megatron, in any incarnation. He's usually depicted as an imposing, badass, no-nonsense megalomaniacal leader who rivals (or surpasses) Optimus Prime in power, though his various incarnations emphasize some traits and downplay others. Though the original Megatron loses points for being a General Failure and for his alternate mode being a tiny handgun, he still has a ton of admiring fans, and has been depicted as more threatening (with more imposing altmodes) in later G1-based continuities.
    • Also, G1 Megatron's Leonard Nimoy-voiced alter ego Galvatron and, as mentioned above, his Tyrannosaurus rex (later dragon) Magnificent Bastard successor from Beast Wars, also called Megatron.
      • G1 Galvatron managed to amass a sizable in the Marvel Transformers comics by asserting himself as virtually unbeatable, his popularity leading to his Joker Immunity for most the comic's run, and the sheer number of things he survived arguably added to his appeal due to how unkillable it made him seem. All this in spite he was FAR more evil than his cartoon incarnation.
    • Shockwave, also across his various incarnations, is a coldly logical Mad Scientist who's able to, and in some cases willing to, throw down with Megatron and live.
    • Predaking from Transformers: Prime is one of the most powerful Transformers in the series, period, and has an awesome black dragon for an alternate mode. The only thing that could beat him in a straight fight was Unicron.
    • SOUNDWAVE. He's been the most popular Decepticon since the first series. And it later gets taken Up to Eleven in Transformers: Prime in terms of design. He's popular mostly because he's so powerful and savvy that he could take down Megatron in a one on one fight and win. However, he prefers to stay out of the line of fire and take care of the Decepticon missions from a safe distance so he'll have a higher chance of winning. To further this trait, he doesn't even do any dog kicking or have fun performing evil. It's just business.
    • Beast Wars:
      • Blackarachnia is very popular amongst the fanbase — like she says, she's hot, poisonous, and deadly. (Also, a Femme Fatale with the sort of body most fanboys only get to look at, that might also have something to do with it.)
      • Other popular Predacons include Megatron, Inferno, Tarantulas, Quickstrike, Rampage, and Waspinator.
    • The villains always have cooler names. The Autobots have "Optimus Prime", "Bumblebee", "Ironhide", "Ultra Magnus", "Trailbreaker", "Cliffjumper", "Bulkhead", "Wheeljack", "Smokescreen", and "Blurr", but how do they compare with Decepticons "Megatron", "Starscream", "Devastator", "Demolishor", "Frenzy", "Bonecrusher", "Barricade", "Blitzwing", "Shockwave", "Skullcruncher", "Ruination", "Predaking" and..."The Fallen"?
  • Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes is undoubtably the most popular character on the show. The sheer number of evil tropes that apply is staggering.
  • An in-universe example: in one episode of The Simpsons, Bart dismisses the entire genre of Christian rock because "everyone knows the best rock groups are affiliated with Satan."
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, any significant villain that appears at the start or end of a season:
    • Nightmare Moon in the pilot. While not especially interesting personality wise, fans loved her design, hamminess, and that despite being a Starter Villain was reasonably savvy.
    • Discord from the start of the second season, a manipulative Reality Warper that has touches of Creepy Awesome through Mind Rape and Crazy Awesome through the his sheer hilarity.
    • Queen Chrysalis at the end of season two- she's a G-Rated succubus with shape-shifting powers who looks like the demonic lovechild of a zombie pony and a giant insect. She manages a Near-Villain Victory after singing one of the best Villain Songs in the show.
      • Chyssi comes back in the Season 6 finale, and does it again! Not the song part, but the near-victory part, and she also manages a very creepy Dramatic Entrance. It looks like something out of a horror film.
    • King Sombra, while a Base-Breaking Character due to his lack of personality, is this a portion of the fanbase for his menacing design, competence, often applied the use of horrifying Black Magic that meant earned him a Near-Villain Victory despite spending most of his screen time as a looming background menace.
    • And then there's Lord Tirek, who starts out weak and helpless, only able to absorb the magic of one pony at a time, he manages to outwit Discord and make him have a Face–Heel Turn, steals the draconequus's magic, fights Princess Twilight in a fight that looks like something out of Dragonball Z and ends up defeated by being essentially sent to Tartarus, which seems to be the pony equivalent of Hell.
    • And then there's Starlight Glimmer; firstly, she's the unicorn leader of a town of ponies she's brainwashed into giving up their special talents. Then we learn that she's a mage powerful enough to equal Twilight Sparkle in combat. Then she actually manages to escape the ending! She appears in the background of several episodes after, establishing that she's not just a Revenge Before Reason villain, and that her Roaring Rampage of Revenge will be something special, indeed. And it is. In the finale, Starlight fixes a time travel spell Twilight messed around with three seasons ago and attempts to Ret Gone Twilight's friendships. She ends up creating a series of increasingly Bad Futures and is only stopped when she agrees to a Heel–Face Turn.
    • A hypothetical one as she only appeared in a dream, but Celestia's Superpowered Evil Side, Daybreaker. Imagine Nightmare Moon with more spikes and flame motif, whose radiance can and will reduce everything to cinders, plus a high dose of Evil Is Hammy, and you get the idea.
    • Season 8 introduces us to Cozy Glow, a cute little filly... who is actually a Manipulative Bitch and has plans to permanently drain all of Equestria's magic. In doing so, she traps the Main Six in Tartarus, Starlight in an energy bubble, and turns the students of the School of Friendship against Chancellor Neighsay. The only reason her plan fails is because of the Tree of Harmony's last-second intervention, and even then, she seems to take her defeat fairly well.
  • Sonic Sat AM gives us possibly the most evil incarnation of Robotnik ever, and also one of the most popular. Being voiced by Jim Cummings helps.
  • X-Men: Many of the villains, especially the bigoted ones, just fall into Hate Sink. Apocalypse on the other hand is an unapologetically theatrical would-be mutant overlord who chews the scenery every single time he shows up while plotting the destruction of mankind and mutantkind alike. He's also easily one of the most powerful characters on the show, such that it takes the entire X-Men team to even slow him down.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat may be a sadistic and Ax-Crazy Jerkass and Villain Protagonist, but he owns many cool weapons (like guns, chainsaws and bazookas), he is both incredibly smart and incredibly athletic and does cool things like single-handledly stopping a Zombie Apocalypse. It's taken to the extent where not only the fans, but even the characters in-universe think he's cool.


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