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Evil Redhead

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"Those whose hair is red, of a certain peculiar shade, are unmistakably vampires."

Some heroes are redheads and we all know that Heroes Want Redheads. By contrast, there are also Evil Redheads. These are characters who are Exactly What It Says on the Tin. (Not to imply that heroes can't want evil redheads.)

This trope is Older Than They Think - red hair was supposedly a mark of a witch and favored by Satan himself. In the Balkans, people unfortunate enough to be born with red hair were said to be doomed to rise as vampires when they died, if they weren't vampires already. In some parts of Eastern Europe, babies born with red hair were once common targets of infanticide.

Bullies in school media often have red hair because of the temperamental redhead stereotype. Note the dovetailing with the Violent Glaswegian, though that seldom overlaps. Contrast Redheaded Stepchild, wherein the redhead is despised but not necessarily evil, as well as the growing tendency over the past few decades for heroes to have red-haired romantic interests, especially green-eyed ones.


May be used to visually demonstrate the difference between this character and the blond or dark-haired hero.

Also see A Sinister Clue, another indicator of evil stemming from an ancient superstition.

No Real Life Examples, Please!


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
  • Lucy from Elfen Lied could possibly count as a homicidally Tragic Villain Protagonist example of this trope. Though she is more specifically, a hot-pink head.
  • Subverted in Free! While not evil, Rin Matsuoka serves as the antagonist of the first season. At least up until his Broken Tears moment in the finale. He later Took a Level in Kindness and is pretty easy-going and cheery (while still blunt and proud at moments).
    • Averted with other redheads in the series, as Gou, Momo, Asahi, and Seijuro are all far from evil.
  • Sawa Nakamura from The Flowers of Evil is a redheaded student with destructive and sociopathic tendencies that stemmed from living as an outcast in a very isolated town... though it goes without saying that her reputation is warranted. For one, she calls people "shitbugs", has a profound lack of empathy, and her relationship with the protagonist, Kasuga, has shades of Domestic Abuse. It's subverted with the reveal that her hair might be dyed, as the Time Skip showed her with long black hair.
  • Mayo Sakaki from the third Fushigi Yuugi OVA. She's a bitchy Jerkass who constantly tries romantically pursuing her P.E. school teacher who's already married and can't stand her, and her relationship with the priestess protagonist Miyaka is full of nothing but selfish and petty hatred. She even steals Miyaka's unborn baby and tries to erase the girl from existence out of sheer spite.
  • Gasai Yuno from Future Diary has bright pink hair, and is a psychopathic, insane Yandere who's willing to kill those who gets between her and Yukiteru, and take extreme measures in keeping the objects of her affections "safe". Subverted in the ending, but before that, GodDeus help you if you try to separate her from her Yuki. There's also Takao Hiyama, a teacher at Yuki's school who's secretly a Serial Killer and his long red hair is one of the few things not covered by his murder gear.
  • Akakabuto from Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin is named for the red patch of fur on his head. Heck, his name even means "Red Helmet"!
  • Iczer-2 is one in the original Iczer. However, she does a Heel–Face Turn in the sequel.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo: Diavolo, the boss of Passione, has pink hair and is the Part's Big Bad.
  • Goki, The Mole from the manga series Kagerou-Nostalgia. A nearly emotionless killer completely in thrall to the Big Bad, he convinces the heroes that he is one of them (not hard given his status as the Reincarnation of one of their former allies) and proceeds to murder their leader before defecting back to the villains. He appears to have some regrets about this now.
  • While not so much evil as "egotistical", flame-haired Maaya Nanako of Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho claims to be leading male Kaname's Unlucky Childhood Friend. His memories of her are not at all pleasant.
  • Yuriannu Faithful from Linebarrels of Iron is one for the villain team, who also engages in purposeful sexual tension with the hero, has a Sexy Secretary alterego, and has a definite Evil Is Sexy vibe.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Vita and Nove are both shown to be vicious, aggressive foes before their Heel–Face Turn - then they become vicious, aggressive allies... though they aren't really evil, as Nove is more of a Perpetual Frowner while Vita is just a Tsundere who's really heavy on the "Tsun" side of the scale.
    • Arnage of Huckebein from Force plays it straighter (thus far?).
    • Reflection has Iris, though they initially appear to be a subversion.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch:
    • The first shown member of every Quirky Miniboss Squad is a redhead (Izuuru, Sheshe, Fuku). Also twisted with Sara, whose natural colour was bright orange but changed to black.
    • Aside from Fuku (who never attacks the Mermaid Princesses directly, anyway), the first real member of Michel's Winged Ones who shows up is Lady Bat, who also has burgundy red hair.
  • Momomi Minoi, the Cute and Psycho Yakuza Princess from Mezzo Forte fits quite well. One of her recreational activities seems to be casually murdering her father's employees when they fail to meet her expectations...and that's just when she's having fun. If someone actually tries to get in her way, she will do her best to ensure that they experience far worse.
  • Ilulu from Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid has magenta hair and was the first genuinely antagonistic dragon in the series (though she later undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and becomes more of a Rose-Haired Sweetie).
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00:
    • Ali Al-Saachez, Nena Trinity (though she's more batshit insane than anything else), and Patrick Colasour (though being more of an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain than truly evil).
    • Bring Stabity and Devine Nova fits this trope to a T.
  • Nao Yuuki of My-HiME, being an Ineffectual Loner and Dark Magical Girl, also counts, though she's more "amoral" than outright evil.
    • In the third volume of the manga, Nao actually assists the other HiMEs by luring Nagi into a trap after their escape from a cavern deep underneath Fuuka. Of course, she says she's not doing it for them.
  • Naruto:
    • There are six red-headed villains to date: Gaara (before his Heel–Face Turn), Jiroubo, Tayuya, Sasori, Pain (which includes both Yahiko, who was a good guy when he was alive [orange], and Nagato, the actual controller [blood red]), and Madara (after becoming the Ten Tails host)
    • Though she's not as evil as the other villains, Karin could qualify as well.
  • One Piece:
    • Eustass Kidd in One Piece. The argument that he was just a Jerkass and not evil can be thrown out once you learn he has impaled people with glee once he's in the New World.
    • Gekko Moriah also fits this trope, being the main antagonist of the Thriller Bark arc, or at least in his original coloring in the manga. The anime gave him purple hair.
    • Vinsmoke Ichiji, the oldest son of the royal Vinsmoke family and Sanji's oldest quadruplet brother, was born with red hair despite both of his parents being blond-haired. He's also an Evil Prince who shares his father's Darwinist beliefs in the strong ruling over the weak and royals not serving anyone, and even joined in his younger brothers' vicious bullying of Sanji for being compassionate. However, there's a reason why he's evil: He and his younger brothers were experimented on in utero against their pregnant mother's will by Judge, who wanted his children to become strong, ruthless warriors by irreversibly removing their empathy. The mother, Vinsmoke Sora, desperately tried reversing Judge's modifications by consuming a dangerous drug to save her sons, but ended up saving only Sanji. Ichiji, Niji, and Yonji only have a shred of empathy left.
    • There's quite a few members of the Charlotte family with varying shades of red: Oven and Basskarte have fire-colored hair, Katakuri has maroon hair, Cinnamon and Mobile are dark brunettes, twin sisters Galette and Poire are fuschia-haired, and Marnier's hair has darker/lighter red-violet colors. All of them are fanatically loyal to their mother, Big Mom/Charlotte Linlin.
  • Jessie, the self-appointed leader of the Team Rocket trio in Pokémon: The Series (although she doesn't qualify as evil, just hot-tempered and morally dubious).
  • Played with by Kyouko in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. She's the only redhead in the cast, and is easily the most amoral and violent, but Sayaka's influence causes her to evolve into more of an Anti-Hero. She was originally an overtly heroic person like Sayaka, until her Deal with the Devil convinced her religious father that she was an evil witch, and he killed himself and the rest of her family. After that, she decided to be completely selfish to avoid hurting people she cared not having any.
  • The Ranma ½ anime gets an episode full of this trope. When Happosai splits Ranma's male side and female side into two different people, the female side turns out to be evil to the core. The glowing eyes, floating red hair, and supernatural powers certainly don't hurt in making her seem any less sinister.
  • Touga Kiryuu in Revolutionary Girl Utena. He tricks his sister Nanami into thinking that they were not blood siblings and that he never loved her, even though they were just merely adopted by into the same family and Nanami was too young to be able to remember. Also, he gets his friend Saionji expelled from school and burns the exchange diary right after Saionji entrusted it to him
  • Himura Kenshin, the titular protagonist of Rurouni Kenshin, was once a legendary assassin named "Hitokiri Battousai", who killed several men before the Meiji era. He turned away from that life, though, and seeks to atone for his actions because, in his words, the alternative was committing Seppuku. For every person that tries to kill him, there's many more who's inspired by his heroic deeds.
  • Sailor Moon pulls this one on multiple occasions.
    • The Dark Kingdom arc/Classic season's Big Bad, Queen Beryl.
    • The Black Moon arc/R season's first member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad, Rubeus.
    • The Infinity arc/S season's Kaolinite, Eudial, Mimete, and Ptilol, all from the Witches 5.
    • The Dream arc/SuperS season's VesVes the Tamer. At least she has the excuse that the Quirky Miniboss Squad to which she belongs is themed after the colours of the senshi. Strangely, though, the exception is CereCere the Illusionist, who is given pink instead of orange. She also Heel Face Turns into Sailor Vesta in the manga.
    • The Stars arc/Sailor Stars season's Akane Karasuma, aka Sailor Lead Crow. Also a Dark-Skinned Redhead.
    • Her boss Galaxia has gold-blonde hair...which fades into blood red.
  • Sa Sakujun from Saiunkoku Monogatari is... not a nice person. He serves as a red-headed Shadow Archetype to Shi Ryuuki, being intelligent men except he's willing to manipulate people if they get in their way, and has a hard time understanding the concept of caring for someone other than himself.
  • Fiery Redhead Princess Rubina from UFO Robo Grendizer subverts the trope. She was the loyal daughter of Big Bad, so you would expect she would fulfill the trope, right? Wrong. She was loyal to her father but she did not approve of his actions either, and she was the only person ever called him out on it. She also tried to convince both sides to stop the war and find a peaceful solution to the conflict. Unfortunately, it did not work very well for her...
  • Q-vier from Valvrave the Liberator is a Cute and Psycho Dorssian Child Soldier who is such a Blood Knight that he enjoys killing both military and non-military personnel to satisfy his own bloodlust. His violent methods were responsible for killing off one of the Valvrave pilots' girlfriend, Aina when a Drossian assault on New JIOR got out of hand because of him.
  • Amon Garam from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is a a glasses-wearing villain is more of a Well-Intentioned Extremist in that he wanted to create a world without poverty and unfairness. However, while his intentions were pure and has no inner darkness in his heart, he still ended up betraying his own morals in order to create the ideal world he wanted, so ultimately he ended up embodying the unfairness he sought to erase by betraying and manipulating his allies.


    Comic Books 
  • X-Men
    • The Dark Phoenix Saga: Dark Phoenix is simply redheaded Jean Grey (a founding example of Heroes Want Redheads) on too much power or a confused godlike being, depending on the story/retcon/ret-retcon. The way she's thought of more for that one arc than for her decades of being a hero before and after it is a trope of its own.
    • Not to mention her clone, Madelyne Pryor, who became the Goblyn Queen.
    • Cain Marko, aka Juggernaut, is a redhead, though it's rarely explicitly shown thanks to his signature helmet of psi blockage.
    • Then there's Belasco, the red-haired, devil-horned sorcerer who stole Illyana Rasputin's childhood.
    • And the shape-changing Mystique, whose default body is a combination of blue skin and red hair. Her adoptive daughter, auburn-haired Rogue, starts out as a villain (the Scarlet Witch's hair has pretty much the same shade).
    • Aversion: Thomas is the evil member of the Cassidy family. Sean and Theresa are redhaired and heroic, while Black Tom has black hair.
  • In Batman
    • Pamela Isley, alias Poison Ivy, is a villainous Redhead In Green.
    • Also, Hush, one of Bruce's childhood friends, introduced rather recently (and has taken The Only One Allowed to Defeat You route as of Detective Comics #846).
    • The Scarecrow and The Riddler can be redheads depending on the artist.
    • Jason Todd was retconnednote  into being a redhead. Batman apparently made him dye his hair black to hide the fact that the role of Robin had gone to someone else.
  • Superman:
    • Lex Luthor usually has red hair, when he has hair. In fact, he didn't lose his hair until his fifth generation.
    • Supergirl's enemy Blackstarr -whom the titular heroine fought in her second solo book- is a redhead, Nazi super-villain.
    • In A Mind Switch In Time, red-haired Euphor gradually becomes evil after absorbing too much negative emotions.
    • Lightning Lord, older brother of the Ranzz siblings of Legion fame...although his more iconic look is from after his hair has turned white.
    • Another example appears in Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen (2019). Julian, Jimmy's brother puts a hit out on Jimmy and, failing that, attempts to kill him himself to get his money.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Carnage's alter ego Cletus Kasady has red hair, and was a Serial Killer serving eleven consecutive life sentences before being infected by the Carnage Symbiote.
    • Norman and Harry Osborn, the first and second Green Goblin, are described as having reddish-brown hair.
  • 'Red' Gurdy Pickens, the recurring villain of B.A.'s campaigns, in Knights of the Dinner Table.
  • Lucifer's hair is red most of the time in The Sandman and in his own comic. Of course he isn't exactly evil in them, but more like a rather amoral Anti-Hero.
  • Based on the cover art and the video game, Scott Pilgrim's ex-girlfriend Envy is one, though they made her blonde in the movie. To be fair, her "evilness" isn't so clear-cut, as we learn what an Unreliable Narrator Scott is.
  • When Red Skull still had his original body he was a red head. Now he's a literal version of this trope. His daughter, Sin, is also a red head and completely Ax-Crazy.
  • Bera from the comic "Helheim" who effectively destroys an entire village in her war with a rival witch.
  • Chastity is the redhead of all of Chaos Comics' band of Heroic Sociopaths.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Giganta, supervillainess with growing powers and foe of Wonder Woman, is a red head.
    • Villainess Queen Atomia is a redhead who likes to overwrite people's physical forms and minds to make them her slaves.
    • Mona Menise is a redheaded spoiled brat who quickly turns to murder if she doesn't get her way.
    • The second Cheetah was a redhead, though she was brainwashed into her villainy she was also a dangerous murderer in that guise.
    • Zara an Arabian cult leader.
    • Circe has been depicted as a redhead since her appearance in the New 52.
    • Wonder Woman (2006): Genocide is a redheaded Anthropomorphic Personification of genocide.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Tomas Byde was already a redhead before he gained his illusion and necromancy powers and became a villain, but the new powers came with brighter more red hair that glows when he's using his necromancy.

    Fan Works 
  • Kainatrol in Futari Wa Pretty Cure Blue Moon has deep red hair and a red colour scheme, and is probably one of the more evil members of the Etherium and certainly the least likable. Even the first on-screen victim of her Mind-Control Eyes, Mia, had red hair.
  • The evil alchemist and serial killer Harmonia Pie in "His Recipe For Love" not only has red hair, but of the exact shade of red as her decidedly Nice Girl descendant, Pinkie Pie.
  • Granted this was Marisa's original appearance when she first showed up in the Touhou Project's Story of Eastern Wonderland, but in Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness that appearance is revealed to be the result of a magic accident that turned her hair red when she was still apprenticing under Mima. Reimu's thoughts show that she'd mistaken it for a wig all those years.
  • Downplayed in Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!. Alexis Lois "Lexi" Luthor is the granddaughter of the infamous Lex Luthor and the heir to his company. She hasn't been shown to be evil per say and claims that her family has long since left supervillainy. On the other hand, she's certainly amoral, slipping Izuku thinly viled threats, effectively stalking him by dredging up all of his personal details through her connections, and not caring if people get hurt by an out-of-control robot that's she's more than capable of stopping. All that matters to her is that she's entertained and that she gets one step closer to making the world revolve around her.
  • Becky Lynch is one of the main villains in The Horsewomen Of Las Vegas, delighting in killing people and being a smart-ass.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alice in Wonderland (2010): The Red Queen. The Mad Hatter subverts the trope; he can certainly be pretty menacing at times, but he's unquestionably one of the good guys.
  • Star Wars:
  • Randal Graves of The View Askewniverse could fit in here somewhat. Although he isn't technically evil, he thinks nothing of spitting water in customers' faces, ordering porno titles in front of children, manipulating his best friend into horrible but brilliant verbal traps, indirectly destroying several of said friend's romantic relationships, and generally causing chaos and frustration wherever he goes. And when he's not in black and white, he is titian-haired (dirty red-blonde).
  • X-Men Film Series
    • Mystique, in her true form. Until she's cured, that is.
    • Jean Grey as the Dark Phoenix in X-Men: The Last Stand.
  • Revenge (2017): Main antagonist Richard had reddish-brown hair and a lot of freckles. He is an adulterer who tries to murder his mistress when she plans to report that she has been raped by one of his friends: because it would be bad for his image.
  • What Keeps You Alive: Jackie is red-haired and a ruthless, homicidal sociopath.
  • Holidays: Grainne of St. Patrick's Day is a Creepy Child who's in a sinister pagan cult which impregnates Liz without consent. Liz begins to qualify as well as she acts more and more deranged as her pregnancy progresses.

  • A joke where a man wearing a hat sells his soul to the devil in exchange for all his earthly desires to be granted. Years later, the devil returns to collect, only for the man to remove his hat, revealing a magnificent flame-red mane. The joke, of course, is that gingers have no souls.

  • In Dragon Blood, the wizard known as Jade Eyes has red hair to go with his green eyes, and he's rather nasty. But he is said to be very good-looking, with that unusual colour combination. Averted with other villains, who have more common hair colours.
  • Melisandre of A Song of Ice and Fire is an marginal example. As a Knight Templar priestess who worships a fire-themed god and often recommends human sacrifice by burning, she's regarded by many characters as an Evil Chancellor. However, she's also firmly committed to fighting the overtly evil Others, believing that the brutal actions she recommends are necessary for the greater good of humanity. Ultimately, her morality is somewhat debatable. The series as a whole averts this, though.
  • All Shades (Evil Sorcerers possessed by spirits) from the Inheritance Cycle have red hair. Even becoming a Shade turns the being's hair red.
  • Roussette in Madame d'Aulnoy's Princess Belle-Etoile is a redhead with two younger sisters - one brunette and one blonde. Roussette becomes jealous of her sisters because they married princes while she only married an admiral, leading her to make a Face–Heel Turn and side with her sisters' evil mother-in-law.
    • Grognon from Graciosa and Percinet is even worse. Unlike Roussette, Grognon is bad from the start, and she becomes the Wicked Stepmother of Graciosa, and repeatedly tries to get rid of her - using methods such as ordering her to be beaten, abandoning her in the woods, and imprisoning her. Grognon is also a Gonk (also differing from Roussette, who is beautiful like her sisters).
  • Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles has many red-haired vampires. Most notably, Maharet and her scary-as-hell sister Mekare - though the yandere-like Armand arguably fits the bill too. Maharet, however, is nothing approaching evil (apart from being a vampire, which she was made into against her will).
  • In the Illuminatus! trilogy, Satan prefers redheads and they explore this trope in depth.
    • Well, it's a reference to old folk-beliefs. It works because the Black Mass participants believe it should. In an inversion, one of the participants is a protagonist who is taking his first steps in his path away from social conventions towards illumination. He and the redhead get some good sex out of the deal and get to meet Malaclypse the Elder disguised as Satan disguised as Billy Graham.
  • Both used and averted in Talking to Dragons, Book 4 of Patricia C. Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles. The first girl the protagonist meets (and his eventual love interest) is a redheaded fire-witch who's rude and temperamental, but basically good. Later, they meet another redheaded fire-witch (fire-witches in general are prone to red hair) who likes turning people into statues and uses torture to power her spells.
  • Lampshaded in the short story "Nobody Here But—" by Isaac Asimov where the protagonist suspects his girlfriend is bitchy just because she has to live up to her red hair.
  • Celia Madden of The Damnation of Theron Ware. (Though perhaps "evil" might be a bit strong, as "bitchy" serves just as well. But it still counts.)
  • The ghost of Peter Quint from the Victorian novella The Turn of the Screw, who the main character thinks has come back from the dead to try and corrupt the small boy she's been charged with watching over. Of course, the ghost may just be in her head. Apparently, at the time the novel was written, it was quite common for red-haired characters to be portrayed in this villainous way.
  • Lumiya from the Star Wars Expanded Universe — formerly known as Shira Brie, as well as Admiral Natasi Daala. Also, judging by the images of his clones, plus some earlier life picture, Emperor Palpatine himself was one. Mara Jade counts, at least until she has a Heel–Face Turn and gets married to Luke Skywalker.
  • SO averted in Harry Potter. J. K. Rowling must like redheads.
  • Brand from The Chronicles of Amber, who wanted to destroy the universe and remake it in his own image. And his redheaded siblings, Bleys and Fiona, are also fairly morally dubious. To be fair to Brand, the rest of the family had its own moral issues, though by the end, some of the others had made some progress toward outgrowing it.
  • In The Day of the Triffids, the protagonist is fired upon without provocation by a nameless gang leader with red hair. He later shows up in an armoured vehicle as 'Torrence', representing a despotic feudal 'government' trying to extend its influence over Britain.
    • Torrence shows up again in Simon Clark's sequel, The Night of the Triffids, 25 years older but still with some red in his hair, and a successful despot with some really nasty secrets.
  • In the Andrew Vachss novel Strega, unlicensed private eye Burke does a job for the titular character, the crazy flame-haired relative of a Mafia boss, who wields a mysterious power over men. It later turns out the Mafia boss molested her as a little girl; when Strega told her father, she was beaten for telling 'lies', teaching her an early lesson in power that she later puts to use.
  • The Lone Power, from the Young Wizards series, often appears as a young man with red(dish) hair.
  • In I, Coriander, Arise insists Coriander must be evil because of her red hair - "All these curls, red as the flames of Satan! This is vanity, this is pride."
  • In Good Omens, a woman first introduced as Scarlett and later Carmine "Red" Zuigiber is a Fiery Redhead who deals in weapons and seems to cause violence through her mere presence. She's eventually revealed to be the Anthropomorphic Personification of War, first of the Four Horsepeople of the Apocalypse. Averted with Pepper, one of Adam's friends.
  • In Poul Anderson's Operation Chaos, the genie tries to invoke this, abusing Ginny for having "hair like hell". She ignores it.
  • Mistborn: The Original Trilogy: Ruin, the personification of entropy, chaos, and destruction - while usually either shapeless or impersonating people - physically manifests as a redheaded man. Notably, the mind of Ruin (separate from the power) was actually once a man named Ati, and a note in The Way of Kings indicates that Ati was a nice guy before he became bonded to the power and it warped his mind. So his evil had nothing to do with being a redhead and his physical body was essentially completely irrelevant. We don't even get to see his physical form until he was already dead.
  • In Jeeves and Wooster, this is one of the reasons Jeeves advises Bertie to steer clear of Bobbie Wickham.
    "I would always hesitate to recommend as a life's companion a young lady with quite such a vivid shade of red hair. Red hair, sir, in my opinion, is dangerous."
  • Morgan Le Fay in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The narrator, when explaining why she imprisoned and tormented a man:
    He had said she had red hair. Well, she had; but that was no way to speak of it. When red-headed people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.
  • In Ian Fleming's Moonraker, Hugo Drax had red hair that really underscored his startling appearance.
  • The House of Night:
    • Elliot from Marked is a pretty big asshole and later he becomes an undead Fledgling.
  • Fagin, the ruthless leader of a gang of child thieves in Oliver Twist.
  • My Sweet Audrina: Vera, Audrina's cousin and half-sister is a very unpleasant person, even as a child; she is constantly trying to get Audrina in trouble and is an Attention Whore, is a good example of a Vamp, and for extra evil orchestrated Audrina's rape.
  • Isosceles, one of the evil witches from Warren the 13th, has long red hair.
  • Attorney Arcinas of Smaller & Smaller Circles borders on this. His hair is dyed nearly raspberry-red, although he's less evil and more of an arrogant Glory Hound who is willing to risk lives in his quest for fame.
  • Played with in Trash of the Count's Family, where the redheaded protagonist Cale is a hero... his enemies have a difficult time believing that though and consider him outright evil. The Big Bad, who also has red hair, plays this straight.
  • Area 51: The Airlia all have fiery red hair, and are uniformly malicious.
  • Middlegame: Erin was raised to be a ruthless assassin and has strawberry-blonde hair that one character, seeing her for the first time, immediately likens to faded bloodstains, "like the aftermath of slaughter". Subverted with Erin's Heel–Face Turn.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Melisandre is a Knight Templar priestess of a fire-themed god who practices blood magic, advocates human sacrifice by burning, and generally serves as an Evil Chancellor to Stannis. However, she seems to believe her actions are necessary to save humanity from the White Walkers, and from what we've seen of them, she may in fact be right.
  • Played with Lydia on Teen Wolf, particularly in "Lunatic." Way to blatantly manipulate Allison and Scott.
  • In Burn Notice, one of the most vicious female characters to date (and definitely the youngest vicious character), Eve, is played by redheaded actress Aviva. Fiona comments that she's the first natural redhead she's seen since leaving Ireland.
  • Criminal Minds has some red-haired UnSubs, like Karl Arnold, aka The Fox.
  • Edna from Downton Abbey, who manipulates everyone she meets (but doesn't fool Mrs. Hughes for a second).
  • Adaptations of Dune have this going on: David Lynch's has a strawberry-blond Feyd-Rautha (played by an enthusiastic Sting in brass underpants) and the miniseries features Ian McNiece as a Baron Harkonnen rocking the henna look. Followed up by Susan Sarandon playing the villainous redheaded Princess Wensicia in the Sci-Fi Channel's Children of Dune.
  • ER's Kerry Weaver, although she's generally more a pain in the ass than actually evil. Helpfully, she's also a brilliant doctor.
  • Joey Caruso from Everybody Hates Chris is a redheaded bully who serves as the main antagonist of the show.
  • Garth Marenghis Darkplace has the hero battling evil Scotsmen, with his own hair turned red after a killer bagpipe attack. Fortunately, his personality is not affected (probably because he's already a bigoted Jerkass).
  • Gotham has the psychopathic Jerome Valeska and his twin brother Jeremiah.
  • In NCIS, McGee is wooed by a North Korean-employed red-haired assassin, played by Lindy Booth. Booth seems to have the seductively evil redhead down pat.
  • Spellbinder Ashka from, well, Spellbinder was a redhead and also a power-hungry, cunning, vicious bitch.
  • Supernatural:
    • Anna Milton, who ends up fighting the blonde Mary Winchester in The Song Remains The Same. This was, however, a rather sad addendum to her original Heroes Want Redheads function (which was perhaps subverted in that the redhead wanted the hero!).
    • Abaddon, the last of the Knights of Hell, throws Hell into a civil war because she wants demons to stop bribing mortals for their souls and just outright take over the world.
    • Then there's Rowena, a powerful centuries-old witch and abusive mother to the boy who would grow up to be Crowley.
  • Semi-averted in Waterloo Road. The show's only redhead, Danielle, hangs around with Aleesha, who is pretty evil (sabotaging Park Side Story, tricking Karla into the whole petition thing). However, Danielle, to her credit, has balked at many of Aleesha's more evil schemes and actively refuses to take part in them.

  • Garbage's Shirley Manson sings in a rather EVIL fashion.
  • Before Garbage, this was Danny Elfman's stage persona. He looks so cheerfully demonic that you have to wonder why he wasn't cast as The Joker.
  • The sinister Thin White Duke from Station to Station had red hair, like many of David Bowie's other stage personas (including less nasty characters like Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane). How scary was the Thin White Duke? Ultimately, he turned out to be Bowie's last stage persona because the guy got Lost in Character and started losing his grip on reality. In other words, the Thin White Duke became an honest-to-God Enemy Within, and Bowie decided to give up Alter-Ego Acting (along with cocaine) because he didn't want to risk that happening again. Also note that in contrast with the usual stereotype of the Fiery Redhead, the Thin White Duke was creepy in part because he was so inhumanly cold.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • It's a common folk belief that many evil figures in The Bible, most notably Cain and Judas Iscariot, had red hair, despite there being no textual evidence of this. In Medieval times, when most of the population was illiterate, stained-glass windows in churches would tell various stories from the Bible in picture form and red hair was used as a shorthand for evilness, since it evoked the image of fire and Hell.
    • Averted — actually, inverted — in Robert Graves' King Jesus, where Jesus has red hair, this being one of the eight "signs of royalty".
    • Also averted with most depictions of Mary Magdalene, who is generally portrayed with red hair. That said, Mary Magdalene is often (countertextually) depicted as Hooker with a Heart of Gold, so this trope is, shall we say, Zig-Zagged.
    • To quote I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, "Judas is carrot".
    • Straight-up subverted by David, whom Samuel was reluctant to appoint king because of his red hair, which was associated with violence and bloodshed, until God told him that David would shed much blood, but it would be that of Israel's enemies.
    • According to some translations of the Bible, the devil has curly red hair.
  • Older Than Dirt: the ancient Egyptian pantheon has the god Set, best remembered for hacking his brother Osiris into bits and scattering the pieces about the world. He was depicted as being a redhead — or at least red-furred, since he was usually depicted with the head of an unidentifiable animal.
    • And then there was the attempted schtupping of Horus...sheesh.
    • There is some speculation about what kind of animal Set is often shown as, but it resembles an aardvark — which don't have much fur on their heads anyway.
  • Rumour has it that red hair was considered a positive factor in selection to become a druid - this may account for the malign reputation of red-headedness amongst those cultures that were hostile to Celts. (And probably among the Christian missionaries too.)
  • At least one painting of Pandora, the first-woman whose curiosity brought diseases into the world, gives her fiery red hair and a scary look on her face.
    • A few pre-Raphaelites depicted Salomé as a ginger, too.
  • Averted with King Menelaos of Homeric legend, always depicted as a redhead, because his name is Menelaos Xanthos, which means "Menelaos the Blond". Yeah, it's that sensible.


    Professional Wrestling 

  • Old Harry's Game:
    • Thomas, the most loathsome human in Hell, has red hair. Which means that, as for all redheads in the setting, there are Nephilim somewhere in his family tree.
    • It's hinted that Satan himself is one; given that all descendants of angels are redheads, it stands to reason that all angels are as well. Satan himself claims that only the junior angels have red hair, and he had golden hair as an archangel-but of course he's been demoted quite a lot since then.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ashnod the Uncaring, from Magic: The Gathering''.
  • Lelith Hesperax of Warhammer 40,000, along with a number of both Eldar and Dark Eldar.
  • In Pathfinder, Chelaxians born with bright red hair are considered to have some sort of fiendish influence. Given the kind of country Cheliax is, this is usually treated as a gift. The most noteable example is Ileosa Arvaxni, later Arabasti, who ended up becoming a genocidal tyrant and all around monster.
  • In the Warrior Trilogy BattleTech novels, Romano Liao was stated to have red hair and green eyes. This was apparently Early Installment Weirdness, since every depiction of her and the rest of her family after that gave them more common Chinese hair and eye colors.

  • Heathers: Heather Chandler, in the original off-broadway production at least.
  • Macbeth: Given their origin, the "dead butcher and his fiendlike queen" are generally portrayed as redheads.
  • Sweeney Todd:
  • Because of the association with Judas, Shylock of The Merchant of Venice was originally portrayed as a redhead, and this was generally a common trait of "evil Jew" characters.
  • The Big Bad The Mad Hatter from Wildhorn's musical 'Wonderland' has reddish brown hair.
  • Macavity the Mystery Cat is stated to be a "ginger cat" and he's the main antagonist of the musical.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Triumph Studios seems to love playing with this trope in their Overlord series of games, as Rose, one of the mistresses from Overlord, is a redhead. In Overlord II, all three mistresses have hair colors that are various shades of red. However, Rose and Kelda (the most redheaded of the mistresses) are actually non-evil (Rose believes in Order and Kelda is the Victorious Childhood Friend) and arguably the Only Sane Women of the setting.
  • Touhou: Marisa Kirisame during Story of Eastern Wonderland. That is, when she was still evil. Or redheaded.
  • In Trauma Team, the "Raging Bomber" is revealed to be a woman named Sandra Liebermann. When the player finally sees her in person, she's holding an airport hostage with bombs strapped to her chest, and her general appearance can only be described as "Ax-Crazy Up to Eleven".
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • Crimson Viper, from Street Fighter IV.
    • Akuma is a subversion. While his appearance just screams Obviously Evil and his powers are very much of demons, Akuma does have a code of honor when it comes to killing opponents, albeit a very skewed one. Not that he's a nice guy in the slightest, however.
  • In Grandia II, the wings of the evil god Valmar get implanted into the golden-haired Ellena, creating her red-haired Superpowered Evil Side, Millenia. Subverted in that Millenia isn't really evil so much as The Unfettered, and she pets enough dogs to qualify as fully good by the end of the game.
  • Etna of Disgaea has red hair, and being not just a demon but one of the crueller and more irresponsible demons at that, probably qualifies as "evil" no matter how amusing she is about it. Especially if you ask her beleagured minions, the Prinnies, who she regularly uses as impromptu artillery.
  • Bob Page, the Big Bad of Deus Ex (and Greater-Scope Villain of its prequel games). Oddly, in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, his hair appears to be black, though this could be due to in-game lighting- his concept art still has very dark auburn hair.
  • Moira O'Deorain, one of the playable Overwatch characters, has red hair. She's a geneticist who does everything For Science! and doesn't worry about ethics. She's currently working for the terrorist organization Talon.
  • Captive (RPG Maker): The protagonist is a redhead and turns out to be the one who kidnapped and killed all the people in the basement. Downplayed as she did it to cure her dad's illness.
  • Lady Harken from the original Wild ARMs 1 subverts this. She starts out as a member of the Quarter Knights, sporting flowing red hair and red armor. The subversion comes from the fact that she is really Elmina Niett, a former knight of Arctica and implied Love Interest for Jack, a genuinely good character who was willing to sacrifice herself if it meant Jack (Garrett) could get to safety.

    Visual Novels 

  • Psycho for Hire Valentino from Marilith. To her defense, she was made a psycho killer in a gulag.
  • Lysinda and Oasis from Sluggy Freelance. Particularly emphasized with Lysinda, who sports red hair even when the rest of the strip is in black and white.
  • The Order of the Stick's Belkar Bitterleaf generally looks bald in most panels, but look at the close-ups or his feet: He's a stubbly Chaotic Evil redhead. He does have hair. Not much of it, though.
    • Pompey, Vaarsuvius' second Evil Counterpart in the Linear Guild has bright red hair - part of his being an evil opposite to V involves the fact that V wears red and has purple hair while Pompey wears purple and has red hair.
    • While he's only made a few appearances in the comic, the Norse deity Loki is a literal Fiery Redhead and identified as being Chaotic Evil. On the other hand, he seems pretty nice and gets along well with Thor.
  • Ctrl+Alt+Del's Player 2. He's entierly red, but his actual hair is ginger. Also the only Player with a Beard of Evil.
    • Christian has dark-reddish-brown hair and a soul patch to boot.
  • Lovely Lovecraft: Hildred Castaigne has auburn hair.
  • Magick Chicks: While it may not be Cerise's natural hair color (she dyes it), the trope most definitely applies. From the moment the Hellrunes transferred to Artemis, her actions have become progressively darker - from merely plotting to take over the Coven, to trying to take over their new school. Which culminates in Cerise betraying Melissa and Jacqui by outting them as witches, then trying to kill them along with the student council.
  • Bob, of Bob and George, is a LITERAL fiery redhead: his hair is red, his powers are fire-based, and when he's really pissed off, his hair tends to burst into flames. His place in the comic tends to swing between Heroic Comedic Sociopath and outright villain.
  • Hwaryun from Tower of God. While she is a pretty laid back person who can even forgive Bam for cutting out her eye in self-defense, she is part of the conspiracy. That means she was well aware of the cruelties that lay ahead of out cute little protagonist and even contributed to these plans.
  • In Girl Genius, pretty much the entire extended Valois family have been seen to have the same shade of red hair. Although not all of them are quite as evil as others, most fall into this category one way or another just because of their scheming and backstabbing. Out of the confirmed redheads:

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Duchess Vaetris L'andariel of the Eastern Horde and her sister Nina are quite evil and ambitious villainesses who have red hair. It runs in the family.
  • Hero House has Red Hood directly reference this in regards to Android 16. May be a case of hypocrisy, as Jason himself has been portrayed as ginger.
  • Survival of the Fittest:
    • Melina Frost of V3.
    • While not an actual redhead, Maxwell Lombardi has dyed red streaks in his hair. And given that he is one of the few killers in v4 to actually enjoy killing...well, he fits.
  • Broken Saints - Lear Dunham. His son Gabriel also has a reddish tint to his hair, at least in some lights.
  • The MS Paint Fan Adventure Alanna has Tristan, primary antagonist and confirmed murderer. Later in the story, Alanna finds a half-empty bottle of red hair dye.

    Western Animation 
  • Vicky, the Babysitter from Hell from The Fairly OddParents. Chip Skylark writes a song about her titled "Icky Vicky".
  • South Park did an entire episode, "Ginger Kids", where Cartman was convinced that "gingers" (pale, freckled, red-headed kids) were monstrous, Children of the Corn-like abominations. In what would have been a surprising example of Hypocritical Humor were we speaking of anyone other than Eric Cartman, after his friends tried teaching him a lesson by making him up to look like a "ginger" while he slept, Cartman soon decided that "his people" were the master race. And since this is Cartman we're talking about, he was attempting genocide before the end of the episode.
    • The Ginger kids return in the 200th and 201st episode and demand the town hand over Muhammad so they could obtain his ability to not get ripped on. It is revealed a now Ax-Crazy Scott Tenorman is their leader. He justifiably wants revenge on Cartman for making him eat his parents. He puts him through an ordeal much like the one the Joker put Commissioner Gordon through in The Killing Joke.
  • Death Watch member Bo-Katan from Star Wars: The Clone Wars (since her first un-helmeted in Season 5's Eminence). Bounty hunter Aurra Sing features a red topknot on an otherwise bald head.
  • Jack Spicer from Xiaolin Showdown, Hotstreak from Static Shock, and Montana Max from Tiny Toon Adventures, all voiced by redhead Danny Cooksey, who also played red-headed antagonistic jerk Budnick on Salute Your Shorts. Perhaps Danny Cooksey himself is evil, too. Nobody knows.
    • If he is, he's bound to be harmless. He also lends his voice to the heroic-but-cowardly Dave from Dave the Barbarian (who, notably, is not redheaded—but his more aggressive sisters are). This overlaps with Jack's notable cowardliness, so we've little to worry about from Mr. Cooksey if he's a villainous type.
      • Aaand subverted with Keef on Invader Zim, who is terrifyingly nice.
  • On Xiaolin Showdown, the series' initial Big Bad, the ancient sorceress Wuya has red hair in her physical form and is immensely cruel and wicked.
  • The Wicked Witch in Cyberchase has bright, flaming red hair. In fact, it could be considered orange.
  • Kelly from Stōked. "Evil" is a bit of a strong word for her, but she is a huge Jerkass who only dates rich boys for their money and takes pleasure in humiliating the employees ranked below her.
  • Princess Morbucks from The Powerpuff Girls, who is probably the best example of Screw the Rules, I Have Money!. Blossom's two Evil Counterparts, Brick of the Rowdyruff Boys and Berserk of the Powerpunk Girls (who is a comic-only character) also count..
  • Sarah from Ed, Edd n Eddy is Ed's spoiled, violent, and ill-tempered sister. Also Lee Kanker, Eddy's bullying and brutish Abhorrent Admirer.
  • Subverted in the direct-to-DVD followups of Disney's Cinderella: Anastasia, who was a Rich Bitch in the original movie, is now less evil and more like a Well Done Daughter Girl.
  • Mertle Edmonds from the Lilo & Stitch franchise. There's also Experiment 627, who has red fur all over him and is designed to be incapable of turning good.
  • Randall Weems, Ashley Q., Mundy, Kurst the Worst, and Gelman from Recess.

Alternative Title(s): Evil Redheads, Gingers Have No Soul


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