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Love to Hate

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"A hero is a hero, but everybody loves a great villain."
Ferb, Phineas and Ferb, ''Out of Toon"

This villain trope is for the characters we love to hate.

"Love to hate" is a term used to describe villains we enjoy. We love them for various reasons, such as excellent character development, being hilarious, getting the best writing, having a memorable personality, or being lucky enough to have a top-notch performance by their actor. But at the same time, the fans still want to see the baddie get their comeuppance in the end. There is still hatred, after all. Also named Heel Hate.


Faux Affably Evil, Affably Evil, Laughably Evil, Magnificent Bastard, and Card-Carrying Villain are sub tropes for different reasons. Being a Large Ham definitely helps (see also Evil Is Hammy). An Anti-Villain is often one of these due to the character development they often get. A villain who's The Scrappy or Creator's Pet is typically not eligible for this trope as are some villains who cross the Moral Event Horizon.

Not to be confused with Draco in Leather Pants, which is when a villain's fandom will gloss over the actual nastiness of a villain and insist that he or she is just misunderstood, i.e they throw their sympathy to them even though they don't deserve it; in this, fans acknowledge the atrocities the villain has done but they like them for their villain traits. Also not to be confused with when the heroes would love to hate the villain, but just can't manage it.


This is someone whom the fans enjoy and even maybe respect because of their unapologetic evilness. Their shamelessness is cathartic to us, and they retain their awesomeness as time goes by without Villain Decay.

In order to be eligible, a villain must be generally well-regarded/well-liked by said fandom while the same fandom still acknowledges they're a villain. Being here means that said villain is part of the pantheon of great villains. Therefore, it is possible for a Complete Monster to be listed here (for example, The Joker, Pennywise and Red Skull).

Compare Hate Sink, where a character's intended role is to be hated by the audience. They can fall under the Love to Hate category if viewers find them entertaining despite being someone to root against. Can also overlap with Rooting for the Empire if the villain is so highly entertaining that the audience actually wants them to win.



    open/close all folders 

  • Big Bill Hell's: Bill Hell is a grade A Card-Carrying Jerkass and an open scam artist with no redeeming features, but he's so blunt and up front about it, not to mention hilariously over the top, it's almost impossible not to laugh at his ad.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Several villains in the Dragon Ball franchise: Tao Pai Pai, Freeza, Cell, Buu, Broly, Cooler, among others. They have amazingly cool appearances and powers, after all.
    • Goku Black from Dragon Ball Super is shown to be a smug, arrogant bastard who is fully willing to commit mass scale genocide to create a "utopia" free from mortals. Yet, his speech patterns that is helped by Nozawa's voice acting, the way he performs them in gracefulness, and being an overall badass villain has made him one of the most beloved villains in the series.
    • On the other scale of the duumvirate is Zamasu. He is shown to be a racist, narcissistic, and manipulative Supreme Kai who desires to commit genocide of all mortals but they way he does it is completely hypocritical considering that he is fully willing to commit genocide on all the gods. Yet it is these qualities that make him well-loved by the fandom, though not quite as much as Black.
  • Inuyasha: Naraku, and his Quirky Miniboss Squad minions Kagura, Kanna, Hakudoshi, and the Band of Seven all have their own legions of fans.
  • One Piece:
    • Admiral Akainu: Manipulative Bastard, Determinator, and unstoppable Hero Killer. Akainu is many things, but a forgettable villain is never one of them.
    • Blackbeard, Sir Crocodile, Arlong, Eneru, and Spandam as well. All of them unrepentantly evil but all so entertaining because of it. Especially Blackbeard for being very, very effective for a coward.
    • Doflamingo as well. He is similar to Crocodile, terrorized Dressrosa for years without anyone even noticing, plus he is one of the few villains who are A Father to His Men. Didn't stop him from killing his own brother Corazon, though.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion gives us some unusual characters to hate: Bardiel - the angel that possessed Unit 03, causing Shinji to maim his best friend in the anime, and to kill him in the manga; Zeruel - the angel who nearly destroyed NERV HQ, nearly killed Misato and the Bridge Crew, then nearly killed Shinji; Arael - the angel who raped Asuka; Armisael - the angel who not only mimicked Rei's personality (or lack of it) deliberately, but also mocked her through her imitation and drove Rei to kill herself and her EVA, so that Shinji wouldn't be harmed by the angel; finally, the Mass-Production Eva Series - the S2 Engine-equipped machines who fought Asuka, regenerated after she defeated them, devoured her EVA, and skewered her within it.
  • Digimon: Myotismon was far and away the record holder for the evilest villain until Kurata topped him by far. Both characters seem to be treated like The Joker in fandom - people can't get enough of talking about how so sick and twisted they are, but it's definitely love.
  • Monster: Titular character Johan Liebert, whose sheer evil is such that he becomes loved instead of hated.
  • Future Diary: Yuno Gasai for being an unrepentant irredeemable mass-murdering psychopath who just happens to be "cute" and causing more of the action than our male lead does out of her massive misunderstanding of "love" for him.
  • Several villains from the Gundam franchise:
  • Agon from Eyeshield 21 is this to parts of the fandom. He's just such an over-the-top depiction of a Jerk Jock (with absolutely no traces of a Freudian Excuse to justify it), that even those who despise the character will agree that the series was at its emotional best when Agon was the main antagonist.
  • Not strictly a villain, but Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Kyuubey has this going for him. Quite popular, and quite hated. However, this is also a big-time case of Base-Breaking Character since there's plenty who flat out hate him for it, and some who defend his actions. It gets murkier after Rebellion when he does something that causes him to lose much of his excuse while simultaneously receiving long overdue karma.
  • Izaya from Durarara!!, at least to the part of the fandom that does not simply love him.
  • Medaka Box: Kumagawa Misogi is a compulsive liar, manipulative, twisted, and pisses off the protagonist on a whim. Fans still love him because he's a hilarious and entertaining character.
  • High School Prodigies Have It Easy Even in Another World: Duke Glaux Einzgarm is a corrupt POS who backs the Principles Party not because he believes in their ideals, but because he wants to accumulate wealth for himself and his cronies. He also proves to be a more interesting antagonist than the previous ones, since he knows how to use Elm's democratic process and two-party system to his own advantage, as opposed to the other aristocrats relying on brute force. While it's satisfying to see the protagonists expose his crimes and put him in his place, all the antagonists who outlast him won't be able to contribute as much to the Democracy Is Flawed aesop, since they aren't manipulating the system from the inside.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Dio Brando is well-loved by fans for his incredible dickheadedness, unabashed desire to use others and control the world, being smart, starting a memorable Memetic Mutation, and being an all-around For the Evulz monstrous, bastardly cool villain.
    • Kira Yoshikage stands as one of the most popular JoJo villains, he actively and unrepentantly serial-kills for 15 years, and after his initial defeat, runs circles around the protagonists without even trying. And when he does try he shows to be a very good Magnificent Bastard.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • Hunter J stands as one of the most popular villains, especially among those that were originally created for the anime, for being a ruthless and astonishingly effective Psycho for Hire; she's one of the few villains that threatened to outright kill Ash, and is one of the very few Pokémon villains to even win on multiple occasions, only being stopped because her clients were apprehended instead. She also never suffers any serious Villain Decay throughout her appearances, and proved so formidable that it requires the might of multiple Legendary Pokémon to finally bring her down.
    • Lysandre is considered by most to be the anime's most effective Big Bad, being an Omnicidal Maniac and Manipulative Bastard toward Alain. The anime removes all of his sympathetic qualities from the games, but this is widely considered a good thing, as the sheer scale of his scheme has yet to be topped by any other villain.
  • Two antagonists in the original Yu-Gi-Oh! anime:
    • Marik/Dark Marik from the Battle City arc. While Marik was Mr. Fanservice despite the acts he committed, Dark Marik was so twisted and Axe-Crazy.
    • Dartz from Season 4. He's the evilest villain in the series history considering the things he's done compared to the other villains. What is even more amazing is that Dartz is from a Filler Arc.
  • Then there's Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL which has Vector. He has done terrible things not just to the heroes, but the other villains as well. This has caused the fandom to hate him, but also love him for being a Large Ham.
  • The Homunculi from Fullmetal Alchemist, especially Wrath. Kimblee also gets a lot of love from the fanbase, for being the well-dressed Breaking Speeching bomb-throwing SOB that he is.
    • Envy is this for the saner contingent of the fanbase (those who don't try to put him in leather pants) since it's easy to see him as cool, yet still despise him not only for killing Maes Hughes but for starting the Ishvalan War. Then there's Pride for being a Creepy Child and The Dragon to Father, plus how unsettling he is.
    • For the 2003 anime, it wouldn’t be difficult to find a fan who tells you how much they love Dante then immediately lists out the reasons she is a horrible, despicable person that should never be forgiven. It is usually because her goals are rather realistic and believable but still so completely petty that you can’t help but like her and get disgusted by her at the same time. Plus, she is quite good-looking (at least, after she took over poor Lyra’s body).
  • Fate/Zero:
    • Kirei Kotomine, who does Evil just-because, making a nice Foil for Shirou who does Good just-because. Both have their arses kicked with much gusto.
    • There is also Kirei's servant Gilgamesh, a colossal prick who longs to make the heroine Saber his, wants the whole world to himself, and, like Kirei, loves to do evil just cause. He also has the power to back up his smug attitude.
    • The other Master/Servant pair to receive such accolades is Ryuunosuke Uryuu and Bluebeard/Caster. They both are shown to be quite the bombastic performers for the theatrics. They even discuss this trope, with Ryuunosuke claiming that in his world-view, God is a playwright writing the greatest tale known to man and thus loves all of his characters no matter how wicked they are; after all, what good is a tale without a villain? Caster embraces Ryuunosuke's ideology and decides that the pair shall honor God by performing an act of villainy unmatched so far in Creation.
  • Light Yagami from Death Note. He is loved for his habit of outgambitting and manipulating everyone around him, as well as for his hamminess (this includes both his original VA, and dubbed VA). Though there is a subset of the fandom that either outright put him in leather pants, or root for him despite admitting to his malevolent nature.
  • Several villains from Fist of the North Star, especially Jagi, Amiba, and Souther. They are three of the evilest villains in the series and are very popular with the fans.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: Shishio Makoto is a brutal Social Darwinist who causes many atrocities in the series, yet his odd sense of honor makes him the perfect adversary to Kenshin due to his genuine desire to make Japan strong.
  • Medusa from Soul Eater straddles this line, depending on whether you like her villainy (to the point that in the manga, she gets exactly what she wants even in death) sufficiently compensates for her horrid abuse of Crona.
  • Kill la Kill:
  • Ladd Russo from Baccano! is a deranged Serial Killer who brutally kills several people throughout the story, including a child. On the other hand, he's just so goddamn happy about what he does that it's hard not to like him, and the child he killed was an immortal, anyway.
  • Orochimaru and Danzo Shimura are considered the greatest villains in Naruto.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Of the villains, Kayaba is the most charming of the bunch. It also helps that he's an Affably Evil Badass Bookworm VR junkie with high moral standards.
    • Death Gun is a depraved Serial Killer with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, but he's so theatrical and intimidating that many fans want to see more of him before his eventual defeat.
    • Quinella is one of the most loved Big Bads in the series. Despite how monstrous she is, she's just so much fun to watch.
    • PoH is one of the most evil villains in the series and is beloved because of this. His raise in popularity increases in War of Underworld due to the legitimate threat he poses, especially when he logs back in with an army of Chinese and Korean players, his rather hammy mannerisms, his actually rather tragic backstory, and just how cool and intimidating his abilities and weapon are.
  • Elfen Lied:
    • Director Kakuzawa though only in the manga, where he shows how much of a villain he is.
    • From the same manga we have the Unknown Man. Despite only making a small appearance, he quickly proves to be the most monstrous villain in the manga. A sadistic Psycho for Hire with the operative word being "psycho". He's also a depraved rapist and pedophile who nearly rapes Mayu. Yet because of this, he's one of the most memorable characters of the manga despite his brief appearances. If fans are talking about him, it's because they love talking about how sick and twisted he is.
  • Seraph of the End:
    • Ferid Bathory. He has done some incredibly horrendous acts in the past, kills Yuu's entire adopted family when they tried to escape. but also his care-free attitude that makes him so hated, but also liked.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Shuu Tsukiyama has tried to eat Kaneki and his friends multiple times. However his mannerisms Evil is Hammy and his constant moans of arousal for Kaneki's scent has made him one of the fandom's favorite characters to hate/love. He even has his own nickname: Trashiyama.
  • Made in Abyss : Bondrewd the Novel, The Lord of Dawn is a complete bastard who experiments on children and even killed his own daughter for an experiment, but his charismatic personality, fighting ability, and cool character design make him a very compelling antagonist.
  • My Hero Academia:
  • Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle: Fugil starts out very hated due to his betrayal of Lux and mockery of the latter's ideals. After later volumes flesh him out, he's generally considered a well-written villain due to having his own warped definition of heroism, having a backstory as a Fallen Hero, constantly debating against Lux, occasionally helping Lux for his own agenda, and being a Strong and Skilled Drag-Knight. The combination of his combat prowess and Jerkass behavior makes Lux's victory against him in Volume 19 that much sweeter.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! has an In-Universe case for the Fictional Videogame Fortune Lover. Hate Sink Alpha Bitch rival Catarina was utterly adored for her status as an entertainingly aggressive and bitchy villain who acted as a cathartic Asshole Victim in almost all of the routes including her, to the point that when the Fortune Lover II sequel was made, it specifically followed off the "Friendship" route because it was the only route that gave a perfect excuse for her continuing to antagonize the characters, and thus setting up more situations for her to act as an entertaining jerk. Of course, the actual main-story reason for such an occurence is as a setup for the Catarina with her Past-Life Memories that became a Nice Girl to experience new plots and meet new characters.
  • Komi Can't Communicate: Yamai Ren is about as close to 'villain' as a Slice of Life series like this can get, and it is clear that beyond her over-the-top Psycho Lesbian antics she is NOT meant to be liked. But again, her antics can be pretty damned funny.

    Comic Books 
  • The Joker in Batman, due to being so dang funny.
  • X-Men:
    • Magneto. There's a reason he's never completely Heel-Faced.
    • Apocalypse from the same series, as one villain so dangerous and detestable even Magneto wants him dead.
  • Doctor Doom of Fantastic Four. He's an egotistical prick and dictator who blames everyone else for his own flaws, but few villains can match his sheer charisma and theatricality.
  • Superman:
    • Lex Luthor. Being an ordinary human who serves as a credible arch-nemesis to the original Flying Brick through his sheer intellect and ingenuity has a way of doing that for a villain.
    • Brainiac is one of the few villains who can go toe to toe with the man of steel. His cold desire for Knowledge at any cost and status as the thematic Evil Counterpart to Superman make him one of the most well-liked members of the Superman Rogues Gallery.
  • Captain America: The Red Skull, even though he's a former Nazi. It helps that he was only into Nazism for the oppression and mass murder. He derided the whole race ideology as hogwash despite occasionally paying lip-service to it.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Nack the Weasel. He's a greedy, somewhat charming, and amoral bounty hunter whose inability to win has won him many fans. Unlike other villains, Nack is smart enough to know that Sonic outclasses him and tries to work around this.
    • Dr. Finitevus, for his awesome-looking evil overlord Evilutionary Biologist appearance and sophisticated demeanor. His exceptionally high intellect and being an expert Chessmaster easily makes him one of the most awesome and popular villains from the comic books.
    • Dark Enerjak, particularly the Knuckles incarnation, due to being such a far cry from his original counterpart's descent into Butt-Monkey territory. He is one of the few villains to be such a bastard, yet is so badass and monstrous that he just deserves respect. He was able to defeat almost all the main cast in one fell swoop.
    • Scourge the Hedgehog, being an evil version of Sonic the Hedgehog. Being so snide and sadistic has never looked this entertaining.
    • Lien Da, a sexy, sadistic assassin wearing revealing, provocative leather outfits, and is a whip-toting combatant.
    • Adaptational Villainy made Dr. Eggman into this. He's way more dangerous here than in any other incarnation and takes an almost sadistic glee in his bouts with Sonic, and considers it all part of an elaborate game where he's the mastermind.
  • Loki of Thor. Gotta love the brotherly hate they feel towards each other but gotta hate his attitude. Up until he died and came back as a mischievous pre-teen Magnificent Bastard. It's only a matter of time until his inevitable turn back to evil, but right now he's all love. Or not. The child committed Heroic Suicide and a copy of the old consciousness took over his body. This old-new Loki's still not evil though, the kid was so much love that gave them yet another chance, which they're determined to use... sadly nobody else wants them to change, including an evil future version of themself, who is this trope full stop. Loki's truly Loki's own worst enemy. For what it's worth, there are fans (maybe even the majority of them), who would like them to stay split for the obvious reason to neither lose the version they love, nor the one they love to hate.
  • Spider-Man villain Boomerang is a slimy, lying asshole who has canonically thrown one of his best friends off a bridge for a quick buck. And yet he's just so freaking snarky, charismatic, and hilarious that fans love him. He's so popular that he managed to star in a short-lived book of his own.
  • Ultron of The Avengers. Oh yes. He is possibly one of the evilest characters in the Marvel universe, and fans love him because of it, not despite. Imagine someone with the intelligence of Hank Pym only completely amoral and basically immortal.
  • Thanos is one of Marvel’s most popular villains. He may be an insane and omnicidal maniac but he has such charmisa and he’s so powerful and intelligent that fans can’t help but love him for it. Some even root for him against the heroes. Speaking of which, Thanos was able to defeat powerful heroes like Captain America and Hulk as if they were ants. That’s how strong he is.
  • Shazam! gives us Dr. Sivana and Mister Mind. Sivana for being a likable Affably Evil mad scientist while still being a threat, Mind for being the Marvel Family's most ruthless and terrifying villain.
  • Darkseid of the New Gods is a prime example of this, his fans agree that how appallingly evil he is a part of what makes him such an awesome villain.
  • Judge Dredd: The Dark Judges are evil inhuman monsters, and their leader Judge Death in particular is a unmitigatedly horrible sociopath. However, their over-the-top sadism, hammy-ness, and dark humor make them very entertaining villains at the same time.
  • My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic:

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): On top of Ghidorah's Evil Is Cool representation from canon; its extra characterization in this story (especially Ichi/Eldest Brother's malice towards Monster X) and Ghidorah's plan to turn Vivienne into a hopelessly Ax-Crazy cudgel of its will are enough to ensure the readers still enjoy Ghidorah's personalities, while also rooting against its goals and wanting to see Viv and San triumph over and defeat it.
  • Yuuma Seta, from Continuance is generally considered an awful father to his son Souji(the protagonist of Persona 4), alternating between neglecting him and treating him as a means to an end. At the same time, he's also considered a well-written and complex character, and some theorize that he may actually care about his son to a certain extent.
  • The Big Bad Checker Monarch from Getting Back on Your Hooves is basically the My Little Pony equivalent to Frollo or Umbridge: A villain so loathsomely evil and so subtly terrifying that it's honestly amazing. Bonus points for the writer STILL managing to maintain Original Flavour despite her inclusion.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The Antipode:
  • Super Danganronpa Another 2 has Kanade Otonokoji. Initially, she seems to be a very shy, submissive girl who's often pushed around by her older twin sister Hibiki. However, Kanade not only proves to be a huge help in investigations and trials, but she reveals she's a lot more forceful, stern, and even cruel when she wants to be. All of this culminates in the third trial with The Reveal that not only is she really the dominant sister, but she's a ruthless, manipulative Serial Killer who's murdered and maimed well over 60 people for getting too close to her sister. A sister who she's also sexually attracted to and has been gradually breaking down psychologically into her submissive puppet. Thanks to this, she also executed the longest and most complex murder situation in the entire game, killing Cool Big Sis Setsuka just for getting too close to Hibiki, and in the end, she gets both herself and her sister killed so they could be together in death. All of this has come together to make her simultaneously one of the most popular and despised characters among the fanbase.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Joker (played by Heath Ledger) from The Dark Knight. He is genuinely admired for being one of the most realistic representations of the original Joker, and for being incredibly monstrous and comical at the same time.
  • Erich von Stroheim is practically the Trope Namer, as "The Man You Love to Hate" was the nickname he earned for his silent-era villainy.
  • Lennart Jähkel's performance as the despicable Leif Bäckström from The Hunters, along with a healthy dose of hammy moments, has made the character one of the most famous swedish movie villains.
  • The Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Take Alan Rickman's usual villainous angle and add in plenty of glorious scenery-chewing.
    • Pat Buttram's Laughably Evil take in the 1973 Disney animated film is a lot of fun as well.
  • Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Sharp dresser, Deadpan Snarker extraordinaire (de rigeur for a character played by Alan Rickman), and thinks nothing of executing hostages for little more than wasting a few minutes of his time. To date, still the best villain of the franchise and one of the most memorable villains in the medium itself. As he says himself, he's no common thief; he's an exceptional thief.
  • Agent Kruger from Elysium is a despicable, psychotic, and sociopathic Psycho for Hire but he's a runaway hit with viewers and critics, thanks to Sharlto Copley's performance and the sheer badassery he emits.
  • TRON: Fans absolutely love the Master Control Program, thanks to his famous Verbal Tic and claiming to "run systems 900 times better than any user". Sark, as well, because he fought Tron as a giant after having his head split open by the latter. It helps that they are both voiced/played by David Warner.
  • Immortan Joe from Mad Max: Fury Road is an absolutely disgusting misogynistic Evil Overlord, which makes him fit this trope perfectly and makes his Karmic Death all the more satisfying.
  • Kate Winslet makes Jeanine from the Divergent films such a Magnificent Bitch that she's incredibly entertaining to watch.
  • Butch Cavendish from The Lone Ranger. William Fichtner plays him so over-the-top loathsome and hateful that he's a blast to watch. Critics such as Brad Jones of Midnight Screenings stated that even though he hated the film, Cavendish was the best part about it.
  • Mars Attacks!: The Martians are very evil, but also very humorous. They are far more popular than any of the Earthlings in the film.
  • In Graveyard Shift, Warwick is supposed to be a Hate Sink, but him being an insanely quotable Large Ham with an utterly bizarre accent makes him one of the most entertaining parts of the film.
  • Peter Stegman from Class of 1984 may be a brutal, petty and loathsome sociopath who commits lots of vile acts, but Timothy Van Patten's performance and his sheer badassery makes him very fun to watch and he is one of if not the perfect representation of how not all teenagers are innocent and are just as capable of evil.
  • Oz the Great and Powerful's take on the Wicked Witch of the East, Evanora, is a brilliantly effective villain - who manipulates everyone in the story effortlessly and has come darn close to winning when the story starts. She's also played by Rachel Weisz, who is clearly having a ball in the role.
  • Vera Farmiga gives a tour de force of a performance in The Many Saints of Newark, so perfectly capturing Livia Soprano's volatile toxicity that critics and fans alike have cited her as one of the best and most memorable parts of the film.
  • Brick Top of Snatch. is the worst sort of London Gangster, but is very well-written and played with a menacing charisma by Alan Ford that makes him as fun to watch as it is satisfying when it all comes crashing down for him.

  • Grand Admiral Thrawn in the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Also Nom Anor, a recurring villain of the New Jedi Order are probably the two most popular Star Wars villains who never appeared in any of the movies; Thrawn because of his being Wicked Cultured and cool under fire, Nom for being deliciously and unapologetically treacherous and duplicitous while also being the Only Sane Man of his fanatical species, and both for being certified Magnificent Bastards
  • Some readers of These Words Are True and Faithful say that what they enjoy most is seeing how Ernie, the Villain Protagonist, gets himself into trouble and ultimately gets his comeuppance.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Dolores Umbridge is an interesting example. There are eviller villains in the series, to be sure, but none of them are quite so passive-aggressive about it, nor are many of them the type of people readers might actually encounter in real life. As a result, Umbridge is more fun to hate even than the Big Bad.
    • Bellatrix may be a better example because she actually has enjoyable qualities as a character - she's badass, sexy, hopelessly insane, and Helena Bonham Carter gave a fittingly psychotic performance in the films. By contrast, Umbridge's character mostly exists to be a Hate Sink.
    • Voldemort himself qualifies, seeing how he was voted the #1 villain in a poll that decided which character was the best literary villain.
    • Draco Malfoy and his father Lucius, whenever they're not getting the Draco in Leather Pants treatment.
  • Venandekatra the Vile from the Belisarius Series can be like this. Just the sheer effort of cramming so much evil and vice into the same character is amazing.
  • Older Than Steam: Honest Iago of Theater/Othello is thouroughly despicable with no redeeming qualities, and yet his sheer evil and theatricality make him a delight to witness. There's something inherently enjoyable about seeing him act like an angel in front of his supposed friends only to plot their downfalls when their backs are turned.
  • Joffrey Baratheon from A Song of Ice and Fire. One of the biggest, shallowest, spoiled douches in the series, but oh so fun to loathe.
    • Also, Walder Frey (even in-universe). His case is so bad, it infects most of his family — particularly after a certain incident. To the point that other families (be they greater, lesser or simply hopeful to become a House) openly make it a sport to bait Freys in any way they can get away with. Also... murder them.
    • Ramsay Bolton is just horrible. So horrible, it's hard to look away.
    • Cersei Lannister is a secondary character throughout the first three books. She's an interesting combination of callousness, ruthlessness, and motherly protectiveness. In the fourth and fifth books, she becomes a POV character and we see from her thoughts and actions just how unfit she is to rule seven kingdoms. She enters further into "Love to Hate" territory when many of her schemes backfire in her face, usually to comic effect.
    • Euron Greyjoy... is getting there. He's a more sophisticated Ramsey Bolton with better looks, more charm, bigger plans and way more abuse of his family. That is, if he isn't actually just a little bit too scary to count as this trope.
  • Paradise Lost: Satan is incredibly well-spoken and says almost all of the best lines of the story, making him the favorite character of just about every reader, yet he's such a self-contradictory and self-aggrandizing jerk that he's still an effective villain.
  • The Pendragon Adventure: Saint Dane is the biggest monster in the entire series bar none but his intelligent dialogue, personal rivalry with Bobby and status as a Magnificent Bastard makes him one of the most popular characters in the series by far and an interesting villain in general.
  • Dracula is this, whenever he's not receiving the Draco in Leather Pants treatment.
  • Almost every Big Bad from the Dragons of Requiem series counts. Many of them are fully fleshed out in each trilogy and make sure they go well out of their way to murder and torture as many innocents as possible in excessively brutal, creative ways. Dies Irae, in particular, is so over-the-top in what he does that it's impossible not to enjoy how much he relishes in his wickedness.
  • Spoiled Brat and the queen of Aesop Amnesia, Reva Dalby from Fear Street is a mean-spirited brat who has repeatedly endured horrific encounters each holiday season, swears to be a better person, and does absolutely nothing to follow up on it. R. L. Stine has stated that he loves writing her because she's so bitchy, so this was the intended reaction.
  • George Wickham of Pride and Prejudice. He starts off as the charming, handsome victim of Darcy's selfishness, but a few strokes of Darcy's quill expose him as an unprincipled cad who seduces people's younger sisters. Janeites take every opportunity to gleefully trash him.
  • Carrie - Chris Hargensen is the Alpha Bitch who torments Carrie throughout the story. She's such a delightful brat that she's among the more memorable characters in the story. Nancy Allen, who played her in the 1976 adaptation, didn't realise how evil she was because she assumed the character was functioning more as bumbling comic relief.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Psychopath Diary: In-woo. Yes, he's a psychopathic serial killer who's willing to kill Dong-sik and Bo-kyung, but he's so damn entertaining to watch.
  • Crowley from Supernatural is this due to his savviness and moments of being a Magnificent Bastard.
    • Azazel and Lucifer also qualify for similar reasons.
    • Zachariah is an absolute scumbag, but no one will deny that he's an incredibly effective one.
  • Ben Linus on Lost, a Manipulative Bastard who for every despicable moment has another where one can't help but admire him.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Gul Dukat, the former Prefect of Bajor, is continuously scheming to retake the planet while sincerely protesting that he was the best thing to happen to it, and all those Bajoran rebels just didn't understand. He doesn't see any evil in himself, genuinely loves his daughter, and wants very badly to have a Worthy Opponent relationship with Captain Sisko—at the same time, he stalks Kira, throws himself in with a doomsday cult, and beats an injured Sisko with a crowbar at one point. More often he gets Draco in Leather Pants, but Marc Alaimo's nuanced and charismatic performance means that he's universally considered a great character.
    • Weyoun, played by Trek veteran Jeffrey Combs, is another popular villain. Weyoun has smarm down to a science (helped along by genetic engineering), always trying to convince whoever he's talking to that they really will appreciate that dagger in their back, it's a mark of the new friendship between them and the Dominion. The moments when he experiences Cloning Blues give him just enough sympathy.
    • Kai Winn is the queen of passive-aggressive behavior. She is almost universally reviled by fans because of just how well-written she is (many can say they know someone like her on a small scale). She's nearly as smarmy as Weyoun and bitter at Sisko for taking her place as Bajor's religious leader; it's a plot twist if she shows up and isn't the cause of the A-Plot. Her actress, Louise Fletcher, compared her to a pope: not the international modern versions, but the ruthless, conniving medieval pontiffs who made the Inquisition famous.
  • Heroes:
  • On Dallas, Magnificent Bastard J.R. Ewing was given this nickname.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel:
    • Glory. She's just so mean and so awesome.
    • The Master (no, not that one). He's so hilariously hammy.
    • The Mayor, in all his Affably Evil greatness.
    • Angelus. Who is one of the most sadistic monsters in the Buffyverse but has such a great personality and is the most personal of the villains that he elevates here as he is fun to watch and someone you want to see get their ass kicked.
    • Pre-Heel–Face Turn Spike who mixed coolness with being a genuine threat, so much so that his arrival helped with Growing the Beard.
    • Faith who before her return to good, provided the perfect Evil Counterpart and Foil to Buffy.
    • Drusilla for being rather quaint yet, a Creepy Awesome variety. She managed to kill a Slayer with hypnosis after all.
    • Lilah Morgan, the delightfully evil Wolfram & Hart lawyer. She's a scheming ruthless bitch without a conscience and yet she's just so much fun.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Alfred Bester may have not been the Big Bad of the entire series, but every time his shuttle arrived unannounced on the station, both the viewers and the officers at flight control and customs instantly knew that he came to do something horribly and unspeakably cruel to some people on the station. And it would be awesome. Not helped by the fact that he is the head of the agency that protects society from criminal and insane telepaths and when he takes part in an operation personally, he's usually Necessarily Evil. But he doesn't need to be so smug and boastful about it all the time.
      • The major exception is when a business magnate comes up with a diabolical plan to enslave all telepaths with a virus. As he explains it with his calm fanaticism, your major reaction will be that you'll want to warn Bester of this threat, although the means how Bester does learn of it is despicable in itself.
    • To a lesser extent Neroon, one of the leaders of the Minbari Warrior Caste. He is a strong contestant for the show's greatest badass, having it made to the top in the galaxy's most powerful military where Asskicking Equals Authority. For him, he and his fellow warriors are the only ones capable of saving the Galaxy in a war that started a thousand years ago, while having to put up with incompetent politicians and priests, and he doesn't take crap from anyone, having no hesitation to kill everyone who gets in his way. But unlike most characters, he doesn't seem to seek any personal gain, doing what needs to be done.
    • Mr. Morden. Nearly every time he appeared, he exuded a massive aura of confidence and menace that let the viewer know he was up to no good. He was the leading Manipulative Bastard of the series, in part because the "associates" he represented could grant many services for those he wished to manipulate. He also wore a nice suit.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Master. Always evil, always hammy, always magnificent.
    • Davros as well. There's a reason even casual fans know his "to hold in my hand" speech.
    • His creations, the Daleks, also qualify. They are Nazis by any other name but are so iconic and cool that the franchise would not be the same without them.
  • Another good one from The BBC is Madame President Servalan. Dear God, she usually walked away with whatever she was after and made the alleged heroes look like idiots in the process. Evil, but you just can't help but admire her sense of style.
  • Smallville:
  • Snabba Cash: Ravy may be a ruthless gangster and really formidable SOB, but his actor does an amazing job at bringing out that personality that it makes him a very interesting and entertaining villain to watch.
  • Sue Sylvester from Glee is so petty and nasty and just so entertaining. Even people who dislike the show feel she does a great job.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The evil Joffrey (like his book counterpart) is so despicable that his actor Jack Gleeson gets a lot of praise from the fandom for making him so easy to hate. It helps that he's so often and so thoroughly put in his place by characters like his uncle Tyrion (Tyrion slapping Joffrey is a major meme) and grandfather Tywin.
    • Tywin himself, even more so than his book counterpart, if for no other reason than being portrayed by the incredibly charismatic Charles Dance. A Deadpan Snarker and nearly always the smartest guy in the room. He rules his family (and often the Seven Kingdoms in every way that matters) with an iron fist and can often be pointlessly cruel, but his perfect poise and utter lack of self-doubt make it fascinating to watch him work.
  • Pete Campbell from Mad Men, while not necessarily a "villain," has this effect on a lot of viewers, as a creepy, shameless climber with few sympathetic qualities (and those who exist seem to exist within his non-sympathetic ones - e.g. his greater awareness of social progress and attempts to get the other writers and execs to realize this, is something he leverages to advance his career).
  • 'Dirty' Den Watts from EastEnders was a classic soap example.
  • Charlie Gimbert from Lovejoy: 'Smooth and oily and yet hard as nails.'
  • 24:
  • Once Upon a Time: Most of the villains, like Rumplestiltskin, Regina, and Captain Hook, quickly went through badass decay with their sympathetic backstories and quests for redemption. There are few major exceptions to this, though:
    • Peter Pan, on the other hand, is well-loved for finally being a villain that's content to be nothing more than an obnoxious, Magnificent Bastard, pint-sized, sadistic little monster. His British accent and childlike demeanor only furthers his cruelty and his awesomeness. He is also omniscient and remained always one step ahead of the heroes in his plans.
    • Zelena has kind of a sad backstory, but apart from the supernatural elements it's just really mundane, and mostly used to highlight that she made bad choices. She goes after a much more popular character who had it worse and did nothing to her, only to get defeated in apparent Badass Decay... and then come back stronger, crazier, and magnificently bitchy. Her only redeeming qualities are her honesty (to herself), her courage, and her determination to work as hard as she can to get the life she feels she deserves. To top it off, in an alternate reality where her life would be perfect, she's still a ridiculously spiteful Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, for no reason.
    • Cruella has a comically tragic backstory that explains everything she did, we swear ! It features a stuffy abusive mother who hates jazz music and fun, mysteriously becomes a serial widow, locks her daughter up in an attic, destroys her favorite flowers and sends her dalmatians to intimidate her baby daughter. Except mommy had to lock her up because Cruella was a child serial killer who used her beloved toxic trumpet flowers to poison her father and stepfathers. The attic was her mother's only alternative to actually sending her own flesh and blood to jail, and the dalmatians were her mother's only companions and protectors. None of it stops Cruella from killing the dogs and her mother, make herself a coat, and plan a killing spree. Dressed like a fabulous flapper. And occasionally playing Angry Birds.
  • He's not exactly a villain, but in Leverage, Magnificent Bastard John Sterling. Never. Loses (by Word of God) — and yet, despite the trouble he makes for Our Heroes, you can't help but enjoy every moment he's on-screen.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Lord Zedd, as he was one of the scariest, intimidating, and badass villains in his first appearance as well as one of those not based on Sentai footage. He even retains some of this after his Villain Decay as it can be seen that he actually had more victories AFTER his marriage to Rita than before it.
    • Through a non-canon example IVAN OOZE from the movie. He's bound to make you laugh at some point in the movie. Being played by Paul Freeman certainly helps.
    • Astronema, for her Evil Is Sexy looks and attitude, badassery, and much darker personality compared to the earlier villains.
    • Trakeena, very similar to Astronema, but with only a more genuinely evil personality and desire to destroy the Power Rangers. It helps that she actually developed from a Spoiled Brat into a vicious alien warlord capable of holding her own against the Rangers and sending her own men to destroy her enemies as suicide bombers.
    • Master Org is one of the most ruthless and menacing villains in the entire franchise, with no redeeming or even comedic qualities. Dr. Viktor Adler, in particular is childish, hateful to even his own minions, and was even willing to kill a baby and his parents out of petty jealousy. Despite this, Master Org was actually liked by fans for his ground-breaking evil instead of being despised. He was also able to successfully destroy all the Wild Zords, nearly kill the Rangers themselves, and overall darken the entire series with his mere presence. Master Org may be a monster and many other things, but he is certainly anything but forgettable.
    • Vexacus is a menacing yet delightfully hateable villain in a sea of otherwise incompetent villains or villains who have limits. He is not afraid to darken the setting of this otherwise lighthearted series nor amuse us with his snide remarks and sarcasm. He is also a dangerous and cunning warrior whose badassery on the battlefield makes him a popular villain.
    • Mesogog, whose Deadpan Snarker tendencies, creepy appearance, and cold, calculated reasoning have made him one of the most popular villains in the franchise.
    • Venjix is very popular due to being the most dangerous, successful, and perhaps the most evil villain ever conceived in the franchise, having destroyed most of the world in the backstory and keeping the RPM Rangers on their toes as a constant threat that never suffers any Villain Decay. When Evox was revealed as the latest incarnation of Venjix, fans were estatic at seeing how his storyline ends.
    • Serrator, due to being such a badass villain, always wiping the floor with the Rangers. His sophisticated, teacher-like demeanor also highlights his coolness. The only thing that matches Serrator's awesomeness is his sadism and evil.
    • Vrak, like his Sentai counterpart Brajira, is often considered to be one of the redeeming factors of Megaforce. He is easily described as many things: a sadistic, sociopathic master manipulator who often plays everyone like a piano, a badass warrior who often gives the Rangers a hard time, and one of the most evil and ruthless villains in Power Rangers history. Plus, his numerous menacing, cool forms, ranging from a cyborg to an insectoid armor, are also considered one of his awesome features. There's a reason why he is also one of the most popular villains in the franchise. Being based on an equally cool, manipulative Sentai counterpart helps, too.
  • Super Sentai:
    • Count Radiguet from Jetman, considered one of the most evil villains ever produced by Sentai, is also loved for his cool design, badass scenes and his interactions with his own allies and the Jetmen, while hated at the same time for his sadistic personality combined with the horrible things he inflicted on the Jetmen and so many others.
    • Seventh Spear, Sandaaru, from Hurricaneger due to being so damn awesome and so evil at the same time. Bring a shark soldier into a sea of incompetent, over-the-top, and humorous villains, and you get one memorable villain.
    • Long from Gekiranger, for having a badass final form and being a Manipulative Bastard easily able to match the aforementioned Radiguet in terms of vileness.
    • Dokokou Chimatsuri from Shinkenger, the main antagonist. He has fought the titular heroes more than once and basically flattened them without breaking a sweat. He manages to reduce an apparent Dragon-in-Chief Akomaru to Big Bad Wannabe whenever he appears on-screen. His volcanic temper and obnoxiousness are also both amusing and terrifying to watch, and his demonic appearance just adds on to his awesomeness.
    • Buredoran (aka Brajira) from Goseiger, due to being an expert chessmaster as well as being Manipulative Bastard par excellence. He's well-liked to such a degree that it's to the point where some fans outright admitted that they're just watching the show because of him.
    • Enter from Go-Busters has proven to be quite popular amongst fans, who like him not only because of his enjoyment of being the bad guy but also due to being a quite credible threat, being able to go toe-to-toe with the Go-Busters in fights and succeeding in several of his missions.
  • Kilgrave from Jessica Jones (2015) is arguably the most disgusting and repulsive villain in the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet, David Tennant's natural charm and charismatic performance shine through and make every scene he appears in a disturbing highlight.
  • Kamen Rider has several despicable villains who get this honor. Helps that several of them are also very cool to go along with there evil:
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki has Takeshi Asakura/Kamen Rider Ouja, an uncaring serial killer who subverts just about anything resembling redeemability. His parents died in a fire...that he caused out of boredom. He saves a little girl...for monster bait and doesn't care she's going to die. He wanted to reunite with his brother...because he hadn't died in the fire and he wanted to make sure he knew what a horrible person he was. But every single time, he looks cool doing it and it's fun to see him be so horrible.
    • Kamen Rider 555: Masato Kusaka has a strong claim to being most hated character of the entire franchise in the Western hemisphere. To the point where the Western fandom gave a collective cheer when Kiba kills him by breaking Kusaka's neck. Notably, this is a good thing because we're SUPPOSED to hate this guy, so it's not much of a problem. Fans both in the East and West have even declared September 13 (A play on his activation code "9-1-3") "Masato Kusaka Day", celebrating how much of an asshole this guy is. Even his own creators and voice actors have joined in and are proud to have created such a following. So, good job?
    • From Kamen Rider Gaim there's Professor Ryoma Sengoku, hands down. He's a total monster that willing to use anything and anyone to achieve his goal had a hand in killing Mai, and destroy Kaito's hard-earned power up. But on the other hand, his hammy and memetic behaviors are hilarious.
    • Kamen Rider Drive has Medic Roidmude, a coldhearted, sociopathic bitch with intentions of eugenic purging, manipulative plotting, a habit of constantly showing up Brain to the point of making him a Jerkass Woobie, and she has enough cruelty to supplant Heart as Drive's Arch-Enemy almost entirely by virtue of the fact that she really is just that evil. She is considered to rightfully be one of the best villains in the show because of this.
    • From Kamen Rider Ex-Aid is Kuroto Dan, an insane, egomaniacal sadist who makes sure to give people a bad day when he's not planning things out. He's insanely petty, going to the absolute extreme when his ego is the slightest bit bruised, he boasts about his genius with a ridiculous hamminess in both speech and facial expressions whenever he feels like, and if you want him to get punched in the face, that's normal considering how much he feels the need to taunt his opponents at a range where they could easily do so, but rarely end up doing. While it's fun to see him get beaten up, it's more fun to see him just be a horrible human being that does everything in an over-the-top manner.
    • Kamen Rider Build gives us Blood Stalk/Evolt, a thoroughly cruel megalomaniac who wishes to wipe out all life in the universe and loves to Kick the Dog For the Evulz. But his cool factor and his fun and laid back personality with lots of bright colors added in to make him an enjoyable antagonist when onscreen. Taken even further by his upgrade into Kamen Rider Evol. You thought the other evil riders and pseudo riders in Build were walking swag factories of puppy kicking hate and balls blasting epic. In comes Evolt who pretty much exists to exclaim the virtues that evil gets all the cool toys.
  • Chuck: Both Daniel Shaw and Alexei Volkoff are the show's most iconic villains for very good reasons. Shaw for his charisma and intellect after his Face–Heel Turn as well being the most despicable bad guy on the show making him just fun to hate because of it. Volkoff for being a delicious mix of being fun, goofy, hilarious along with being insane and ruthless at the same time.
  • Shameless (US) has Frank Gallagher. He is an unrepentant alcoholic and substance abuser with no work ethic (or any ethics, really), no qualms playing the system to his advantage, and is undeniably a top contender for the worst father in all of TV. Yet he is just so utterly pathetic and William H. Macy plays him so well that it's hard not to feel invested in him.
  • Better Call Saul gives us Lalo Salamanca. In contrast to most of his family, Lalo is both effortlessly charming and completely ruthless. He's a total departure from most other villains in the Breaking Bad universe, and a perfect foil for Jimmy.
  • The Boys (2019)
    • Homelander, a Super Supremacist who is utterly despicable but so well played by Antony Starr that manages to takes command of every scene he's in, balancing humor, depravity and outright horror with remarkable ease.
    • The Deep is a sleazy, abusive scumbag, but the show spends a lot of time showing how truly pathetic he is. It can be tremendously cathartic and entertaining to see him constantly fuck up and in constant fear. It's aided by Chace Crawford's shamelessly self-pitying performance.
    • Stormfront's Smug Snake personality gives her an incredible presence thanks to Aya Cash's excellent performance, and once she's outed as a racist sociopath (and eventually, an actual Nazi!) who's not only a Distaff Counterpart to Homelander, but somehow angers the man himself, audiences quickly embraced her as the ultimate Hate Sink.
  • Silicon Valley: Big Bad Gavin is undoubtably a terrible person, but his helpless fury towards his constant misfortune makes for some of the funniest parts of the show.
  • True Blood’s villains often either fall into Draco in Leather Pants territory or aren’t memorable enough to earn the love of the fans, but three stand out as this trope. Russell Edgington is a hilarious Large Ham who steals every scene that he’s in, but he also has zero actual redeeming qualities, meaning that while fans were highly entertained by him, they also rooted for his defeat and loved to see him finally meet his end. Steve Newlin, a corrupt preacher turned vampire, was already quite Camp as a human, which then got escalated into straight up Large Ham status as a vampire, and then he even became best buddies with Russell Edgington himself too. He wasn’t sympathetic enough to be a rootable character at any point, but he was nonetheless consistently entertaining. Finally, Sarah Newlin was a surprisingly effective Badass Normal who, unlike most of the Big Bad lineup, managed to become one of the show’s all-time greatest threats without any powers at all. She was a completely despicable character, but entertaining and awesome enough to still be someone the fans loved to hate.

  • Ice Cube claimed to be "The Nigga Ya Love To Hate" on his debut album AmeriKKKa's Most Wanted, because of the firestorm of controversy surrounding him at the time.
  • Erasure has a song "Love to Hate You", but it's not this trope.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The role of a heel wrestler is to get the audience to hate them in a way that makes them long to see said heel wrestler get humiliated and ultimately be defeated. If a heel is not a wrestler or someone else who normally gets similarly punched/choked/stretched, then their job is to make the fans want to see them get punched/choked/stretched all the more. If someone becomes hated in a way that fans do not want to see them at all, that's X-Pac Heat. For instance, fans could make money selling rocks to throw at Dutch Mantel and Ox Baker, two of WWC's most successful heels; while The Gangstas (New Jack, Mustafa, D'Lo Brown) ended up scaring people away from SMW (not hate, fear, which was bad for business), and X-Pac matches were deemed to be good bathroom breaks (the worst for business).
  • Breakout star Gorgeous George was hated by audiences, but he was also the highest-paid athlete in the country, showing how vital a good heel can be.
  • Fans prefer Edge as a heel.
  • Chris Jericho is this in spades. No matter what, even when he is the most despicable heel in the company (especially during 2008 in WWE), fans just can't get enough of him and look forward to seeing him get every bit of Laser-Guided Karma he might have coming to him. He is just so charismatic that he can play both sides equally as convincingly.
  • Ring of Honor fans had a special hatred for Jimmy Rave. They would bring toilet paper rolls to the shows for the purpose of throwing it at him in place of the usual streamers.
  • When UltraMantis Black declared his fatigue regarding the human species and became a supervillain, he was met with chants of "Oh Thank God" in Chikara. Apparently, they had been waiting for an excuse to boo him.
  • Vickie Guerrero was one of the prime examples, especially whenever she shouts "Excuse Me!", until her last appearance...
  • Which was against Stephanie McMahon, who belongs here as well. As of August 2014, she and The Authority are possibly the most hated faction in the WWE.
  • It's no surprise that Steph is here, as her father was one of the best heels of all time: Vince McMahon. While he does tend to occasionally be face nowadays, the consensus is that he is much, much better as a heel.
  • You can essentially say the same about Stephanie’s husband and the other leader of the Authority: Triple H.
  • Bully Ray seemingly goes out of his way to be a heat magnet, and it works magnificently. Case in point: Lockdown 2013, where his betrayal of the Hogan family as president of the Aces & Eights got energy drink cans tossed into a caged ring from all over the arena.
  • Rusev and Lana during their Russian nationalist phase.
  • Paul Heyman, for sure. Especially when he’s with Brock Lesnar.
  • Tommaso Ciampa is on his way to achieving the status of the ultimate heat magnet due to brutally betraying his tag team partner Johnny Gargano and destroying the fan-favorite team. Since coming back from a knee injury, he's been met with a chorus of boos and "Fuck you, Ciampa!" shouts.
  • Michael Cole was legitimately hated (both for the right and wrong reasons) during his heel gimmick. However, people tend to look back on this era more positively, praising his work as one of the few truly unlikeable heels in modern WWE.
  • MJF is perhaps one of the most recent examples of how a Heel manages to get enough heat from the crowd, so much that they love to hate him! He's the quintessential Hate Sink of All Elite Wrestling, whose despicable actions rank from backstabbing Cody Rhodes to calling the Midwest Area as "Mid" (as in mediocre).

  • Clio Gabriella of Survival of the Fittest, full stop. This is a girl who relishes her kills. Yet to quote one of the members of the site:
    Clio is an absolute bitch who will eventually get what's coming to her. But, you know, Clio could easily be a character that I actually WOULD hate just on principle alone, were it not for how she was written.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Virtually any "villain" faction from Warhammer 40,000 will have its own dedicated fans and players:
    • Chaos Space Marines — Powered Armor clad warriors covered in Spikes of Villainy, driven insane by thousands of years of hateful war and the machinations of the Dark Gods. These guys look like they stepped off a Heavy Metal album cover.
    • Orks — Laughably Evil, the green tide is full of murderous interstellar fratboy hooligans who will cut a bloody swath across the galaxy for no other reason than because it is damn good fun. This is reflected in their unpredictable, uncomplicated, and crazy style of gameplay.
    • Dark Eldar — Cruel beyond belief, wearing armor covered in blades, the Dark Eldar will capture and torture any who are not swift enough to get out of their way (and very few are) simply because they like watching others suffer. Not only are they swift and deadly, but they look sexy doing it.
  • Chaos Warriors in Warhammer. Contrast with Chaos Daemons due to Tier-Induced Scrappy status.
    • There are a few characters, for example; Nagash the Undying. He usurped the throne, almost single-handedly destroyed a nation and planned to turn the world into a realm peopled by only undead obedient to him; he's the most feared and far-reaching villain in-universe outside of the Chaos Gods. At a meta-level, when Games Workshop started the End Times, to get everyone's attention they opened with literally bringing him back from the dead.
  • Exalted: The Deathlords have something to hate for everyone, but the biggest target for love-to-hatedom is Mask of Winters.
    • Chejop Kejak is the Anti-Villain that any Solar players would love to hate. This is the guy who spends every day manipulating everyone and everything just so he can tell himself that Usurpation was the Right Thing. He doesn't care about how many Fair Folks / Death Lords / Third Circle Demons you slaughter, to him he's always right and you're always wrong. And he's got 50 or so fate-ninjas to shut you up, even though said fate-ninjas really should be directed in helping you save the world.
  • Individual villains in Dungeons & Dragons number in the thousands. Many are forgettable, but some have become beloved of fans for being a Magnificent Bastard (Raistlin, Vecna, Fzoul Chembryl) or for being That One Boss (Acecerak is probably the foremost example.) Since individual villains inevitably die at some point, evil organizations are even more common as the faction players love to take on - the Archdukes of Hell, the Zhentarim, or the Scarlet Brotherhood, for example.

    Video Games 
  • Gruntilda from Banjo-Kazooie is loved for her Rhymes on a Dime (at least in the first game), diabolical plans ranging from stealing beauty to destroying a whole island, and being Laughably Evil in general while still very much a threat.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas:
    • Tenpenny is a corrupt, self-serving bastard who's behind some pretty despicable acts, but he's often highly entertaining and gets some of the best lines in the game. His voice actor certainly helps.
    • Ryder as well. He's a favorite among the fandom, as he manages to do enough humor during missions, in spite of being a megalomaniac jerk. Also notable for his voice actor, who is the rapper MC Eiht.
  • Interestingly, Ray Bulgarin from Grand Theft Auto IV has a large fanbase, but mostly because he's a flatly efficient antagonist.
  • Kefka in Final Fantasy VI. He's an unapologetic sadist who also throws in plenty of Large Ham moments and several of the game's best lines. He also tops off an epic Final Boss fight that manages to thematically complete all of the themes of the game. Also, the theme to said final battle is a multi-movement tour de force that remains a fan favorite to this day.
  • The version of The Riddler from the Arkham franchise is such a smug bastard that you can’t help but chuckle at his antics. It also helps that he’s legitimately pretty funny and is the only one of Batman’s foes in the games that can go toe to toe with him in the intellect department. It’s no mean feat for a character for whom the delicate balance of keeping him smart enough for Batman but not having him dumbed down by constantly getting beaten by him has proved difficult.
  • Yuna from Breath of Fire IV game can be counted, as well. Despite being a Smug Snake and Karma Houdini, he is considered to be one of the best villains in the series by most of the fandom.
  • Eliphas the Inheritor and Gorgutz in Dawn of War. The former for his dark charisma and wit, the later for laughs.
  • Omega from Mega Man Zero 3. Despite being a one-shot villain, he's easily one of the most popular in the franchise, earning him a spot as a Bonus Boss in Mega Man ZX. Contrast with Weil who benefits from Diabolus ex Machina retcons.
    • Weil earns a special place in Mega Man history for being one of the few recurring Mega Man villains not to suffer from Villain Decay. Rather than being the Final Boss in every game like Wily and Sigma (who were turned into complete jokes because of it), he keeps to manipulating things from the background, only personally taking on Zero in the final game of the Zero series.)
  • Prometheus and Pandora from Mega Man ZX due to how their battles never fail to entertain, especially the one where you fight both of them at once.
  • Vanitas from Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep is starting to get this. Despite being associated with and created by Master Xehanort, it seems that no amount of evil can quite push him past the Moral Event Horizon in the eyes of the fans, even though he's Made of Evil.
    • Like the Sephiroth example above, there are Organization XIII fans who aren't so eager to get them in the leather pants. These fans concede that Evil Is Cool (and sometimes sexy) but point out that they are absolutely the bad guys.
    • Master Xehanort himself. His debut game established his creds, but The Reveal that he's been gathering copies of himself from many timelines, and made plans for several potential futures further cranked up his competence, effectiveness as a villain and dastardliness all at once.
    • Braig/Xigbar: He has always been known for being snarky, toying, and casually sadistic, and despite his evil nature his personality makes him one of the franchise's most memorable characters. This is taken Up to Eleven with the reveal that he's actually Luxu, a once-naïve and adorkable character who became jaded by waiting centuries or millennia to see his friends and mentor again.
  • Bowser, the usual Big Bad of Super Mario Bros., who gets to come back from just about everything, from burning in lava to falling to the bottom of a bottomless pit, because he's such an entertaining boss — his popularity is such that he named the Go-Karting with Bowser trope because people want to play as him in many spin-off titles.
  • General Sarrano from Bulletstorm, who taunts and swears nonstop at the player until you are FINALLY able to kill him at the end of the game...or so you think.
  • SHODAN and her/its speeches are essentially the main draw of the System Shock series. No other villain makes their taunting feel so bizarrely immediate, or so strangely personal.
  • Portal's GLaDOS is a sadistic Ai akin to SHODAN, with a propensity for creative insults and guilt-tripping. Until the sequel, anyway.
  • BlazBlue: Both Hazama and Relius Clover exude this trope to the max. Hate their depravities, but admire their awesomeness while doing so, making them really solid villains to the series. Hazama started losing this as the series went on, but then Chronophantasma brought in a playable version of his alter-ego Terumi, winning him a few points back.
  • Dragon Age: Origins gives us Rendon Howe and Loghain Mac Tir. In contrast to the incoherently violent, Always Chaotic Evil Big Bad of the game, Howe and Loghain had identifiable intelligence, with dialog that provided players heightened impetus. The battle with the Archdemon has inevitability beyond the need for motivation, but the confrontation with Loghain is character-driven and approaches with increasing dramatic tension.
  • More than anyone else in Saints Row 2, Shogo Akuji, leader of the Ronin, so much that his fate goes unpitied, and makes Ax-Crazy Johnny look reasonable. And almost as hated is Maero's girlfriend Jessica. Perhaps the comparison to these two makes the Big Bad look a little more sympathetic; by the time of his confrontation, the player's character has generated a little of this trope on himself/herself.
  • Nearly any villain from the Ace Attorney series. Each villain is thoroughly explored and wonderfully played. Case in point, Matt Engarde. He drove a woman to suicide, had a man assassinated, and had Maya Fey kidnapped as a bargaining chip, at which point she was nearly starved to death. Why? To preserve his image. He also manages to sneak a glass of bourbon into the detention center. His reveal to Phoenix Wright was top-notch, and the fact that he taunts you about Maya's capture makes him all the better. He forces a Sadistic Choice on Phoenix (get him convicted and have Maya killed, or get him off the hook for the sake of Maya) that makes him question his moral beliefs, but Phoenix can turn it around and turn Engarde's choice-forcing back at him (Engarde pleads guilty and is presumably executed or given life in prison, or Engarde pleads not guilty and is assassinated by the very man he hired the moment he's out of police custody) for one of the most satisfying moments in the game.
  • Metroid
    • Ridley is beloved for his design, which is badass to the hilt, and for his apparent Joker Immunity, as well as the Awesome Music that tends to accompany his fights.
    • There's also both of Samus' Evil Knockoffs, Dark Samus and SA-X, the former for providing some of the best fights in the Prime trilogy, and the latter of which is frequently cited as one of the scariest damn things in the entire series. Dark Samus even got into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate alongside Ridley.
    • Metroid Dread introduced Raven Beak, a megalomaniacal Chozo with an eye towards conquering the galaxy. Between the novelty of his being an evil Chozo (a species more known for being Benevolent Precursors), his incredibly thrilling Final-Exam Boss fight, and his upstaging the somewhat contentious character Adam Malkovich by posing as him for most of the game, which both fans and detractors of Adam seem to like for different reasons, he's quickly become one of the highlights of Dread and a villain easily able to hold his own with the likes of Ridley in the hearts of fans who dearly want to punch him in the face.
  • Iris Sepperin from RosenkreuzStilette. Even though she's easily the evilest villain in the series, she's so cute that she's able to infatuate anyone into loving to hate her, and she's quite known for her hamminess. It even helps that the fights against her are accompanied by some of the most epic songs to grace the doujin game franchise.
  • Saren Arterius from Mass Effect and, once finally revealed, his boss, Sovereign. Few villains are as effortlessly terrifying.
  • The Thalmor from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Almost Nazi Elves, the fans adore massacring any Thalmor patrols they see on the road for a variety of reasons, not limited to their smugness, various acts of dickery, and complete openness about trying to kill or enslave anyone who opposes or looks directly at them. They get more hate than any of the series' heralds of the apocalypse! As the cherry on the top, if you dig into the obscure lore one can find that the Thalmor in their own way are would-be heralds of the apocalypse.
  • In Punch-Out!!, Aran Ryan and Super Macho Man are booed on sight for good reason (the former for being a blatant cheater and the latter for being an egotistical Jerkass), and yet they both have quite a few fans in real life; especially Aran, whose craziness and cheating made him one of the most memorable opponents.
  • Alex from the Golden Sun series. He's among the few fictional characters to graduate from Smug Snake to Magnificent Bastard over the course of three games.
  • Possibly the most popular villain in the Suikoden franchise is Prince Luca Blight from 2 for this reason. He is an unrepentantly cruel, deranged sociopath who commits horrific atrocities throughout the game; from slaughtering bands of children to outright genocide. Yet, because he is so over the top while still being terrifying, combined with his impressive track record in battle, he is often seen as the most memorable part of the game.
  • Persona series :
    • Persona 4: Tohru Adachi who is quite monstrous but his Off-Model facial expressions and genuinely funny lines make him a very entertaining and popular villain.
    • Persona 5:
      • Fans generally agree that Kamoshida is one of the best written and most delightfully despicable antagonists in the game. Some have gone as far as criticizing the game for peaking too early due to this.
      • The only other antagonist to rival Kamoshida in this category is Masayoshi Shido. He is responsible for ruining the life of the Player Character over the pettiest reason and is willing murder innocents, including his own son all to improve his career. Fans seem to enjoy his onscreen appearance and love hearing his speeches, though clearly not as much as they love giving Shido the ass-kicking he deserves.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend: Doctor Shuu. He's an unapologetically Ax-Crazy Mad Scientist who literally murders you in his romantic route and is pretty creepy otherwise... and he takes to the role so well, you can't help but love the bastard. He's even this in-universe, as during one route in Holiday Star the human girl comments on how much she misses the fluffy little heretic.
  • Neyla of Sly 2: Band of Thieves. Intended to be a Hate Sink, but she has spawned plenty of fan art, and as of Thieves in Time, plenty of fan theories link her with Penelope's sudden Face–Heel Turn.
  • The 5th installment of Umineko No Naku Koro Ni introduces Erika Furudo. She's a (self-proclaimed) Great Detective who washes up on Rokkenjima and proceeds to hijack the gameboard. She's a Canon Sue, Parody Sue, and Black Hole Sue, and while the narration won't stop gushing over her the characters in-universe can't stand her, especially after she pins all the murders on Natsuhi, kills Beatrice, gets into a fight with Maria over candy and makes her cry, and tricks Battler into a logic error with a Wounded Gazelle Gambit. Erika is completely ruthless and amoral. Despite that, she is a fairly popular character. Also, in-universe Battler acknowledges her as an opponent in the end and is upset at her absence at the after party.
  • Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2 is a character who goes out of his way to insult and belittle the player characters but in such a way that he's a little bit awesome in the process. By the end of the game, you want him dead but he's entertained you for hours.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles gives us the despicable and utterly deplorable Metal Face. He's an arrogant, sadistic brute, a colossal Troll, and a massive Smug Snake of the highest order. He killed Shulk's best friend Fiora during the raid on Colony 9 and later taunted Shulk about her lovely screams. Yet it's because he's such a despicable bastard that makes him one of the most memorable characters in the whole game. Tim Watson's hammy performance definitely helps.
  • Hades from Kid Icarus: Uprising. He's sadistic, cruel, and a massive Troll, but he's also one of the most entertaining characters in the whole game with his hammy, snarky, and flirtatious attitude. Scott Bullock's killer voice acting really sells it. By the time you finally fight him, you'll wanna kick his ass, but he's kept you laughing for hours.
  • Deathshead, Frau Engel, and her lover Bubi from Wolfenstein: The New Order have this trope in spades. All of these three are sadistic monsters and we love them all for being just that. This trope was also somewhat reflected in Yahtzee's review of the game.
    Yahtzee: One of the first things we do is watch a soldier shoot a room full of hospital patients before we stab him right up the lebensraum, and the principal villains only need to smile and play card games to become infinitely hateable.
  • Yuuya Kizami from Corpse Party. A sociopath who spends the entirety of the game hunting down and viciously murdering his classmates and friends. Also one of the most popular characters in the fandom, largely in part due to an amazingly hammy performance from Tomokazu Sugita that makes his deluded arrogance so fun to watch.
  • Monokuma from Danganronpa. He is a teddy bear who cracks bear puns like no one's business, has an awesomely twisted theme song, and indulges in innuendos and black comedy. He's also more than happy to manipulate high schoolers into murdering each other for no reason other than to make them suffer ultimate despair, crushing their hopes and dreams at every opportunity. And yet, he's proven to be one of the most popular characters in the entire series. By extension, there’s “his” true identity, the Ultimate Fashionista Junko Enoshima, who loves to pull off complicated gambits and, oh, destroyed the entire world.
  • Tubbs from Neko Atsume is a fat cat with a tendency to come into the player's yard and wolf down an entire food bowl instead of just a small bite like all of the other cats, then lounge next to the bowl with a smug, give-no-craps look on their face. Oh, and Tubbs will only eat food if it was paid for; they won't accept the free Thrifty Bitz. They're also one of the most popular cats amongst fans, who adore Tubbs because of these habits.
  • Aldrich and Sulyvahn from Dark Souls 3 are the leaders of The Church Of The Deep and the most evil characters the Dark Souls series. In stark contrast to the other foes found in the series, the two are completely unambiguously evil committing an abundance of atrocities either for power or pleasure. Yet they both have very large fanbase where discussions are always made on how awesome they look like as bosses and how hard they are to defeat as bosses. They are loved by Dark Souls veterans for putting such a challenge, while newcomers love to hate them for the same thing. This all makes it extremely satisfying for both parties to have them killed by there hands.
  • Part of the appeal of the Shin Megami Tensei series is that many games feature God — and not just any god, it's YHVH, the Abrahamic God — as the Big Bad and a subset of those games feature him as a Final Boss that you can kill, whether you like showing you're above massively powerful deities or are not terribly keen on Abrahamic religions. YHVH's cabal of four Archangels — Michael, Uriel, Raphael, and Gabriel — fall under the same boat for many of the same reasons. Hell, in one ending of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, humans' power of observation — more specifically, you and your comrades' refusal to believe in Him, refusal to accept what he claims to offer for humanity — reduces him to a mere demon like all of the other gods He's subjugated.
  • Tales of Destiny 2 has Barbatos Goetia, a Sociopathic Soldier who will gladly betray his allies and kill innocents if it means getting himself recognized as a hero. Despite that, he's one of the most popular Tales villains due to being an entertaining Large Ham voiced by Norio Wakamoto and using Anti-Everything That Could Help You tactics in his boss battles. People don't soften the evil things he's done, but love him for his vileness and intelligence.
  • Overwatch has Hanzo Shimada, who had tried to kill his own brother Genji (though he failed) and to this day is a bit of an asshole if his in-game interactions mean anything. Sure, his cinematic implies that he is trying to atone and become a better person, and lore seems to suggest that he was forced into the action, but so far all we've seen is him being a major dick. Everyone likes him despite of and maybe because of his asshole-ish behavior and snarky voicelines.
  • Lord Brevon from Freedom Planet is an out and out unrepentant asshole and a total monster who commits several atrocities throughout the game, such as subjecting poor Lilac to a brutal combination of physical torture, Electric Torture and breaking speeches, using Milla as a hostage to keep the heroines from retrieving the Kingdom Stone and then turning Milla into a monster and forcing them to fight her (after which they confront him in a rage with refusal to forgive him which he simply replies to saying he doesn't need forgiveness from people "putting his homeworld at risk for an oversized battery" that he describes the Kingdom Stone as), and, in Milla's story, attempting to strangle her to death in a fit of seething rage. You're really not supposed to like him, but at the same time, Brevon is such a total bastard of a villain that the game's story wouldn't be half as effective without him, and become quite memorable in his own right.
  • Undertale:
    • Flowey, a talking flower. Looks silly and childish, right? Well, his first course of action after introducing himself to you is to trick you into running into bullets aka "friendliness pellets", then soon afterwards changing from his innocent-looking smile into one of his signature Nightmare Faces while declaring his intent to kill you. This and his subsequent, spoilery appearances make for well-lauded sources of Nightmare Fuel, especially in the Neutral path when he force-closes the game on you, hijacks the game and your save file, and shows up in a terrifying One-Winged Angel form capable of using Save Scumming against you. Never have the words "FILE x SAVED/LOADED" (commonly associated with emulator savestates) been so effectively terrifying.
    • Chara, the Fallen Child. At least, to those who consider them evil, they’re a chilling Deconstruction of the typical RPG hero, killing for the sake of power, manipulating those around them to accomplish their goals, even roping the player into a killing spree, and generally being a cruel Omnicidal Maniac and perfect partner to Flowey.
    • On a less serious note. Jerry, The Friend Nobody Likes, who is "spared" by conspiring with the other monsters to ditch him mid-battle, and is an unbelievably durable Stone Wall just to make sure murdering him on the Kill 'Em All run is just as annoying. And even then, the Fallen Child on a "No Mercy" run is willing to spare him at the start of battle, which has been interpreted as either the Child not wanting to bother taking the time to kill him, or deciding that having him be an obnoxious presence to other monsters is crueler than just killing him outright. Jerry is even hated in Neutral and Genocide speedruns because killing him takes longer than finding another encounter and killing them. Thanks to all this, hating Jerry is more a fandom in-joke than an actual expression of malice. Even the "hate art" focuses mostly on how much the other characters hate him.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Kuro no Kiseki has Gerard Dantes and Melchior who are the Big Bad and The Dragon respectively. They cause a lot of destruction, mayhem, and actually kill people onscreen, including nuking an entire village just because they could. They're also well-beloved by fans due to the fact that the Trails Series, especially Azure, and the Erebonia arcs had villains who were all over the place, making the most of them Unintentionally Unsympathetic, with some of them going with the Karma Houdini route. Kuro makes sure that these two, alongside all of Armata if the player chooses to, die at the end of the game.
  • Make no mistake about it, Kano of Mortal Kombat is a bastard, through and through. A gun runner, smuggler, realm-traitor, and unrepentant sociopath, the heroic members of the cast openly despise him and even his fellow bad guys can only just barely tolerate him. Despite this, his over-the-top ham and equally over-the-top Australian-ness have cemented him as a character who's both fun to watch and fun to watch getting his ass kicked.
  • Red Dead Redemption II: Micah Bell is a top contender for the most evil and flat out despised character that Rockstar has ever created, but that is just precisely what makes him so memorable. He is an out-and-out racist psychopath of the highest order, who also happens to be an excellent gunman, accelerates Dutch's growing Sanity Slippage by pushing him to make more reckless and immoral choices, makes an excellent foil for the immensely likable Arthur Morgan, acts as a retroactive, overarching antagonist for the original game's story and just serves as a wonderful lightning rod for players' ire.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • The wisecracking Affably Evil Roman Torchwick. He's a sadistic criminal who annoys everyone he meets...but the show would be less funny without him, which leads to his death when Cerebus Syndrome kicks in.
    • Adam Taurus cements himself as this in his brief appearance in Volume 3. Even the show's writers are disgusted by him, and to say the fandom would really like to see him get his comeuppance is an Understatement. Brutally maiming Yang, one of the most-universally liked characters on the show, will do that. Word of God also suggests that Adam was an abusive boyfriend to Blake in her time in the White Fang.
    • Co-Dragons Mercury and Emerald also get some of this, especially Mercury, who is a snarky Jerkass who is one of the most capable fighters in the series. It helps that the fight scenes that he is involved in tend to be some of the best in the show. The "hate" part comes into play mainly due to their involvement in Yang being framed, and then topping it by murdering Penny.
  • Red vs. Blue: Felix was a notably Base-Breaking Character before The Reveal of his true nature. After this, that aspect had significantly reduced and he became one of the most popular characters of The Chorus Trilogy with many people appreciating his manipulativeness, charm, humor, and skills as a badass fighter. All in spite of his unrepentant dickishness (and not in an endearing way like the protagonists). Many still hated his guts at the same time, but he was a highly entertaining character. His extensive Humiliation Conga in the penultimate episode of Season 13 in addition to Locus turning on him had many cheering.
  • Happy Tree Friends: The scheming duo of Lifty and Shifty, even though they're both divisive characters to some people (Especially Shifty). However, they both also have a good amount of fans who enjoy them for their witty humor, memorable moments, and getting their comeuppeance in the most hilarious ways possible.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Federal Epidemic Containment Agency (FECA) from the live zombie game/event Dead Town. Within the narrative, FECA agents routinely shoot at the protagonists, even calling airstrikes on them and more the less ignoring zombies to instead attack the heroes. The Dead Town creators say that FECA merchandise is the most popular they sell. There is a button with a cartoon man in a gas mask that reads, "FECA: We're Here to Help." Even though FECA did not help when you play Dead Town, they're fun to hate.

    Web Videos 
  • Aunt Despair and Uncle Lies from The Nostalgia Critic are horrible people who traumatize their kids (and treat Critic like shit), but they're ensemble darkhorses because a lot can relate to knowing parents like them, and Uncle Lies being like Ask That Guy Back from the Dead really doesn't hurt.
  • The BOSSFIGHT series by Liana K gives us the character Zarkazaan - a parody of Straw Feminists merged with a JRPG Wicked Witch. She's a delightfully outrageous Know-Nothing Know-It-All who speaks in a Kim Kardashian voice, and makes for a very effective antagonist. Her ultimate comeuppance of being literally banished to hell in the finale is quite cathartic.

    Western Animation 
  • Roger from American Dad!. Despite being a complete sociopath who freely commits mass murders for such petty offenses, he is very entertaining to watch.
  • Amphibia:
    • Once he was revealed to be Evil All Along, King Andrias was praised by fans for his status as the ultimate villain of the show and taking it into Darker and Edgier territory. Andrias maintains a cheerful, eccentric and somewhat silly personality, even after his true colors are revealed and whilst conducting seriously evil actions, making him quite an entertaining and watchable villain; whilst his implicitly tragic backstory with his two friends, and the signs that he's genuinely capable of making emotional connections yet will sacrifice them like chess-pieces with sheer ruthlessness that would make Tywin Lannister proud make the character all the more dynamic. At the same time, all of the sheer needless, petty and Kick the Dog that Andrias conducts left and right on everyone who ever comes within ten feet of him, never mind him aiding the Core in turning Amphibia into a Polluted Wasteland and his active efforts to kill Anne and conquer Earth, very much make the audience root against him. The increasing Cry for the Devil he racks up as his true feelings on his evil plans and actions are further fleshed out, culminating in a surprisingly tear-jerking end to his menace, only makes the character's appeal even more universal]].
    • Darcy. They combine Faux Affably Evil and a ruthless ambition with the personality quirks of a thirteen-year-old to form an overall Psychopathic Womanchild personality which is amusing and terrifying and all-round entertaining to watch. At the same time, the sheer savage bloodlust with which they conduct themselves in "All In" (putting even Andrias' cruelty to shame) makes the audience cheer the heroes on when they start handing Darcy the latter's own ass, nevermind the Core's violent possession of Marcy beforehand to achieve this form.
  • A Classic Disney Shorts villain: Pete, in almost all of his performances especially the ones performed by Jim Cummings. A sizable portion of the Goof Troop fandom loves him for being three-dimensional and a consistently hilarious Chew Toy due to Laser-Guided Karma (and because he's played by Jim Cummings) despite hating him for reasons that would normally make a character into The Scrappy such as being a Manipulative Bastard without being a Magnificent Bastard and deliberately tormenting The Woobie. However, that doesn't mean everyone feels this way: he gets a fair share of Draco in Leather Pants and complete hatred too.
  • Katz from Courage the Cowardly Dog. Unlike other recurring villains in the series, he is incredibly popular in the fandom, mainly because he's incredibly scary and creepy.
  • Him from The Powerpuff Girls. More or less like Katz, Him is admired for being a villain incredibly efficient and frightening in several of his early appearances (albeit while still managing to get in lots of charismatic and amusing moments like the rest of the Rogues Gallery).
  • The Joker was already this, but Mark Hamill's performance made him even more lovable while being as monstrous as ever.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Pre-Heel–Face Turn Prince Zuko is an Anti-Villain example. Considered the most well-developed character in the show.
    • Princess Azula, Zuko's sister, is one of the nastiest characters of the series. She casually manipulates and intimidates people and is perfectly willing and able to kill if it advances her agenda. However, her charismatic way of villainy is very entertaining to watch, as well as how effective she is as a villain since the term Magnificent Bastard really applies to her.
    • Long Feng is the Treacherous Advisor to the Earth King who is very effective at keeping a Government Conspiracy going on. Like Azula, Long Feng is a very charismatic villain, but not on her level, as he, unfortunately, experiences when dealing with her.
    • Zuko is hardly a character whose villainy is enjoyable and Azula is cool enough to qualify as hate to love. But Zhao on the other hand, he's got that kind of obnoxiousness only the best Smug Snake can provide: making you groan on sight yet strangely liking it.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Amon. The man is a thoroughly twisted piece of work, but his coolness, awesome voice, and Magnificent Bastardry made him as popular as Azula in just three episodes.
    • His brother Tarrlok might be an even better example of the tropes' classic definition. Audiences detest him and they enjoy doing so.
    • Varrick in season 2. Normally someone performing the actions he did would result in some massive hate against said character, but his charm, genuine politeness, and being a prime example of underestimating the goofball keep him being likable.
    • Zaheer from the third season is one of the best-regarded villains from Korra, due to his complexity. He genuinely believes he is doing the right thing, tries to prevent innocent casualties in his plans and follows a complex philosophy about freedom. Compared to Earth Queen Hou-Ting, who is a one-dimensional dictator, Zaheer is very entertaining to watch.
  • Viral siblings Megabyte and Hexadecimal are considered two of the coolest characters in ReBoot.
  • Transformers:
    Tarantulus: (getting the drop on Dinobot and Rattrap) DIEEE, MAXIMALS!
    Dinobot and Rattrap: (look over from their bickering) SHUUUT UP! (WHAM)
    • Blackarachnia before her High-Heel–Face Turn, in earlier appearances of season one especially.
    • Transformers: Animated:
      • Megatron, due to being a Magnificent Bastard who's considered by many fans to be one of the best incarnations of the character.
      • Starscream certainly qualifies. Hilarious and sometimes very deadly, the guy steals every scene he appears in.
      • Also Meltdown, given he's one of the only human villains that actually poses a threat to the Autobots. Even if he is dwarfed by the Decepticons.
      • Sentinel Prime is a rare "hero" example. For his sheer jackassery and being an arrogant, abrasive foil to the modest, friendly Optimus Prime, he ends up being a lot more tolerable than he should be. Maybe it's because of his frequent blunders on-screen.
    • Transformers: Prime:
      • Megatron looks to be running for most threatening and psychotic Megatron to date. His sadistic tendencies, brutal methods of engagement, and overall creepy voice brings out his inner-monster to many.
      • And Starscream, who's both effective and threatening, but also humorous as well.
      • Soundwave. Threatening, intimidating, menacing, perpetually silent. He's essentially the show's version of the Slender Man. Yet he's one of the most popular Decepticons in the show and widely considered the most badass incarnation of the character to date.
      • Airachnid is for all intents and purposes, a Cybertronian Serial Killer put on a kid's show. But her monstrous sadism and bitter rivalry with Arcee make her beloved by quite a few.
      • Shockwave whose cold, calculated maneuvering mixed with an incredible killing power as well as having one of the great, intimidating voice has made him one of the most popular Decepticons on the show.
  • Osmosis Jones: Thrax the Red Death - one of the deadliest and coolest germs out there.
  • South Park: Eric Cartman (after crossing the Moral Event Horizon). Most of the time, he's just so utterly despicable that you just want to punch in the face, repeatedly. (So it was extremely satisfying when Wendy did exactly that at some point.) However, if you remove him from the show, it suddenly becomes a lot less funny.
  • Galaxy Rangers: The Queen of the Crown - you don't often see a villainess with that kind of leverage over The Hero. Nor are eighties cartoon foes that creative with Mind Rape.
  • The evil and creepy Professor Pericles the parrot from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. He is evil, sadistic, and very ruthless. Sometimes, he would even haunt people or would try to murder the Mystery Incorporated, or even his master, Mr. E.
  • Skullmaster of Mighty Max was an incredibly powerful, threatening and dangerous villain who threatened to eat a child's heart in the opening scene of the first episode, but with the voice of Tim Curry there's no way not to love this hateful monster. The fact that he never suffers Villain Decay, but instead becomes significantly more threatening as the show progresses only sweetens the deal.
  • Adventure Time:
    • The fanbase takes a real liking to the dreaded, unfunny, dark, murderous and with No Sense of Humour terror that is the Lich, mainly because he took such a drastic turn from the show's usual silly tone. The base was intrigued with him long before he made his first full (non-cameo) appearance in season 2. The love got boosted when he cleverly outsmarted Finn in the season 4 finale by exploiting his heroic traits and using them against him.
    • Magic Man. Mainly because he's funny, despicable and scary at the same time.
    • Lemongrab. An awesomely creepy, nightmarish, weird character who moved all the season 5 into Darker and Edgier territory.
    • Big Destiny as well. Despite being a greedy bully, he's entertaining to watch and has some memorable lines.