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Villain Quotes For Rethinking Your Stance on Villains

Danielle Dahl, Managing Editor
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These villain quotes come from some of the most notorious fictional villains or are about how we perceive villains.

Sometimes in movies and stories, it is easy to spot the villains, and other times their stories are shrouded in grey, making it a little harder to decide who to sympathize with.

In the original Disney movies, the villains were evil, and these Disney villain quotes make it easy to know who the bad guy is.

Tell us your favorite villain quote in the comment section below.

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According to a study by the University of California, Davis, watching movies with villains can lead to an increase in critical thinking skills and a more complex understanding of morality.

For instance, incorporating villain quotes into your life can broaden your perspective and challenge you to think more deeply about ethical dilemmas.

What are the benefits of reading villain quotes?

However, when we watch the new Disney remakes of Maleficent and Cruella, we get to see their back story and learn why they became who they are.

It leaves us wondering who is the bad guy here.

We can say the same about life.

Villains are people with actual feelings; in their minds, they are often the heroes fighting the villains who have wronged them.

We are all the villains in someone else’s story because life is not a Disney or Marvel movie.

Many of these villain quotes show the thin line between heroes and villains.

These villain quotes will:

  • Offer a new perspective on villains
  • Help you spot how your actions could be perceived as villainous
  • Increase your empathy for those who have wronged you

They also point out just how important a villain is to any worthwhile story.

Prepare to question everything you thought you knew about villains!

Check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily inspiration. 

Our inspirational quotes category page has all of our motivational quotes for all the different areas of life.

The most sinister and evil Disney Villain quotes

According to research by the University of Oklahoma, exposure to villains in literature and media can lead to increased self-reflection and personal growth.

Villain quotes can serve as a catalyst for self-reflection, allowing you to better understand your own values and beliefs and ultimately, take greater control of your life.

1. “If I lose my temper, you lose your head.” ― Queen Of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland

villain quotes about temper

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2. “And with everyone super, no one will be.” ― Syndrome, The Incredibles

villain quotes about super

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3. “This is exactly how your father looked before he died…” ― Scar, The Lion King

villain quotes about father

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4. “Now you know what it feels like to be like everyone else. Isn’t it just peachy?” ― Hades, Hercules

villain quotes about feelings

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5. “If only there was someone who loved you.” ― Prince Hans, Frozen

villain quotes about love

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6. “And there, my faithful huntsman, you will kill her!” ― Evil Queen, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

villain quotes about faithfulness

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7. “You poor, simple fools. Thinking you could defeat me. Me! The mistress of all evil!” ― Maleficent, Sleeping Beauty

villain quotes about evil

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8. “You’re speechless, I see. A fine quality in a wife.” ― Jafar, Aladdin

villain quotes about quality

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9. “Death is the only adventure you have left!” ― Captain Hook, Peter Pan

villain quotes about adventure

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10. “I see a strong, confident, beautiful young lady. Oh look, you’re here too.” ― Mother Gothel, Tangled

villain quotes about confidence

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Best Villain quotes about power and the truth

A study by the University of Michigan found that individuals who read about villains tend to be more open to new experiences and ideas.

Incorporating villain quotes into your daily routine can inspire you to explore new perspectives and ways of thinking, ultimately leading to greater personal growth and intellectual development.

11. “The only difference between a hero and the villain is that the villain chooses to use that power in a way that is selfish and hurts other people.” ― Chadwick Boseman

villain quotes about power

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12. “A good villain exudes charisma and power. He has principles, though; that just gives him a level of dimension. It makes him seem to be a bit unpredictable because he’s usually deemed as some type of evil, ruthless person, and then he shows you his principles, and you don’t know what to think of it.” ― Pusha T

villain quotes about principles

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13. “A villain must be a thing of power, handled with delicacy and grace. He must be wicked enough to excite our aversion, strong enough to arouse our fear, human enough to awaken some transient gleam of sympathy.” ― Agnes Repplier

villain quotes about sympathy

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14. “Behind every villain is a truth, whether it be perceived or actual.” ― Dalton Frey, The Darkest Light

villain quotes about truth

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15. “In an evil society a villain is the hero, because only the villain can speak the truth.” ― T.J. Kirk

villain quotes about society

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16. “Beware the power of the dark side.” ― Tom Angleberger

villain quotes about dark side

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17. “There are new words now that excuse everybody. Give me the good old days of heroes and villains, the people you can bravo or hiss. There was a truth to them that all the slick credulity of today cannot touch.” ― Bette Davis

villain quotes about good old days

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Villain quotes about why we need them in stories

18. “I firmly believe that a story is only as good as the villain.” ― Clive Barker

villain quotes about story

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19. “My theory of characterization is basically this: Put some dirt on a hero, and put some sunshine on the villain, one brush stroke of beauty on the villain.” — Justin Cronin

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villain quotes about beauty

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20. “Nobody is a villain in their own story. We’re all the heroes of our own stories.” ― George R. R. Martin

villain quotes about stories

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21. “In any story, the villain is the catalyst. The hero’s not a person who will bend the rules or show the cracks in his armor. He’s one-dimensional intentionally, but the villain is the person who owns up to what he is and stands by it.” ― Marilyn Manson

villain quotes about principles

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22. “I like ambiguity because you may be the villain in someone else’s story and the hero in your own, and I think very often, African-American characters are either one thing or the other. You shouldn’t have to be perfectly good or perfectly bad. You don’t even have to be magical.” ― Chadwick Boseman

villain quotes about perfection

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23. “The characters that have greys are the more interesting characters. The hero who sometimes crosses the line and the villain who sometimes doesn’t are just much more interesting.” ― Geoff Johns

interesting villain quotes

24. “America has this fascination with glorifying the villain and not talking about the trials and tribulations. We tell the story of the successful villain a lot of times, but we don’t tell the story of the people who don’t come out so successful, and we don’t tell the story of all the bystanders of that choice.” ― Lecrae

villain quotes about false glory

25. “Well, you need the villain. If you don’t have a villain, the good guy can stay home.” ― Christoph Waltz

villain quotes about necessity

26. “Every villain needs her story told.” ― Abbi Glines

27. “The villain of any story is often the most compelling character.” ― John Hodgman

If you enjoyed this article, read our collection of Joker quotes on humanity that will really make you think.

Villains quotes about their relationship with heroes

28. “I prefer a real villain to a false hero.” ― Killer Mike

29. “There’s no hero without a villain.” ― Mark Pellegrino

30. “If you have not been a villain at a certain point in time, you will never be a hero. And the day you are a hero, you may become a villain the next day.” ― Carlos Ghosn

31. “I think all of us have a hero and a villain in us.” ― Anson Mount

32. “Some people are cowards… I think by and large a third of people are villains, a third are cowards, and a third are heroes. Now, a villain and a coward can choose to be a hero, but they’ve got to make that choice.” ― Tom Hanks

33. “When you are a hero, you are always running to save someone, sweating, worried and guilty. When you are a villain, you are just lurking in the shadows waiting for the hero to pass by. Then you pop them in the head and go home… piece of cake.” ― James Marsters

34. “America has this fascination with glorifying the villain and not talking about the trials and tribulations. We tell the story of the successful villain a lot of times, but we don’t tell the story of the people who don’t come out so successful, and we don’t tell the story of all the bystanders of that choice.” ― Lecrae

35. “Who is to say who is the villain, and who is the hero? Probably the dictionary.” ― Joss Whedon

36. “Love is willing to become to villain so that the one who you love can stay a hero.” ― Josephine Angelini

37. “The ability to heal does not make one good any more than the ability to kill makes one evil. Kill the right people, and you become a hero. Heal the wrongs ones, and you become a villain. It is our choices that define us, not our abilities.” ― Michelle Hodkin, The Retribution of Mara Dyer

38. “It was easier to tell a hero from villain when the stakes were only life or death. Everything in between gets harder.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King

39. “Well, I think there are no villains in this world. There are just misunderstood heroes.” ― Tom Hiddleston

40. “Life is not simple, and people can’t be boxed into being either heroes or villains.” ― Jessica Hagedorn

41. “Both villains and heroes need to have a steadfast belief in themselves.” ― Jack Gleeson

Villain quotes about some of the most notable fiction villains

42. “The Joker is my favorite villain of all time: You don’t know his past; you just know what his plans are.” ― The Weeknd

43. “Elektra isn’t a villain and isn’t a good girl, but as Frank Miller said, she is one of the villains with a weak streak in them, and that’s a failure that I tried to explore.” ― Elodie Yung

44. “Every villain in the DC Universe wants something different, and not all of them want to rule the world. Or at least, not all of them want to rule the world in the way the Crime Syndicate do.” ― Geoff Johns

45. “Thanos is undoubtedly the most powerful entity and villain the world has ever seen – he is virtually indestructible. Imagine a villain so menacing that all the Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and their allies have to come together in a hope to defeat this one guy; such characters come to you once in a lifetime!” ― Rana Daggubati

46. “The greatest villain of all time is The Joker – he always has been, and I don’t know anyone who’s not going to have Heath Ledger’s performance burnt into their brains for the rest of their lives.” ― Drew Goddard

47. “The most propagandistic element of ‘Frozen’ was the transformation of the prince at the beginning of the story, who was a perfectly good guy, into a villain with no character development whatsoever about three-quarters of the way to the ending.” ― Jordan Peterson

48. “So once I thought of the villain with a sense of humor, I began to think of a name, and the name “the Joker” immediately came to mind. There was the association with the Joker in the deck of cards, and I probably yelled literally, ‘Eureka!’ because I knew I had the name and the image at the same time.” ― Jerry Robinson

49. “With all due respect to the other writers, I don’t want to disparage any other writers; I don’t want to have to invent a bigger villain than Deathstroke so Deathstroke can seem heroic fighting this bigger villain. I’d rather just have Deathstroke be who is, and he’s kind of a bastard.” ― Christopher Priest

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50. “I don’t think of ‘Macbeth’ as the villain. I don’t think of ‘King Lear’ as the villain. I don’t think of ‘Hamlet’ as the villain. I don’t think of ‘Travis Bickle’ as the villain.” ― Damien Chazelle

Villain quotes that are powerful and strong

51. “I’m not handsome enough to be James Bond. Maybe a villain, though.” – Matt Smith

52. “We lose more women to marriage than war, famine, and disease.” – Cruella de Vil, ‘101 Dalmatians’, 1961

53. “In Hollywood they usually cast me as villains or priests.” – Max von Sydow

54. “I speak better English than this villain, Bush.” – Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf

55. I’m not a villain, I’ve never hurt anyone. I’m just a tawdry character who explodes now and again.” – Oliver Reed

56. “I am just stupefied here. The left has officially stamped it now: Oil is a villain. Now, please ask yourselves: When did this start?” – Rush Limbaugh

57. “Because I’m a filmmaker at heart, I know a villain can’t be too humanized and the audience can’t empathize with him too much.” – Sharlto Copley

58. “Great villains make great movies.” – Staton Rabin

59. “Your enemy is never a villain in his own eyes.” – Robert A. Heinlein

60. “Being a villain is great, even though I’ve only gotten to do it a few times.” – Shawn Ashmore

Villain quotes that explain or prove why we love them

61. “I am my favorite villain!” — Juhi Chawla

62. “’Villain’ is such a harsh word.” — Ed Westwick

63. “Everybody loves a villain—let’s face it.” — Campbell Scott

64. “I like being a villain. Villains are more exciting.” — Judd Nelson

65. “The villain is the character that the people remember.” ― Udo Kier

66. “Almost all the Disney villain witches are gay icons.” — Jinkx Monsoon

67. “Every villain has their belief system that makes perfect sense to them.” — Patty Jenkins

68. “I do think I have more fun being a villain, definitely. It’s just more fun to be a villain.” — Lana

69. “It’s interesting sometimes when an audience can empathize with a villain.” — Jack Gleeson

70. “Too often, we get attention and sympathy by being a victim. If we’re invested in someone being our villain, we must love being the victim. We have to let go of both characters in the story.” — Regina Brett

Short Villain quotes

71. “History will decide if I’m a villain or a hero.” — Harlan Ellison

72. “One murder made a villain, Millions a hero.” — Beilby Porteus

73. “I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.” William Shakespeare

74. “I always will be the villain, no matter what. I don’t know why.” — Manny Machado

75. “The more successful the villain, the more successful the picture.” — Alfred Hitchcock

76. “It is really funny when people say you’d be obvious for a great villain.” Angelina Jolie

77. “If you can’t play the good guy, sometimes you’ve got to play the villain.” — Ben Askren

78. “Sometimes a villain is very quiet – it makes them more deadly, more intellectual.” — Dave Filoni

79. “I define ‘social thriller’ as thriller/horror movies where the ultimate villain is society.” — Jordan Peele

80. “I like movies that make you semi fall in love with the villain so you have sympathy for him.” Megan Thee Stallion

Villain quotes that show being the antagonist is not a black and white affair

81. “He thinks he’ll be remembered as the villain in the story. But I forgot to tell him that the villain is usually the person who locks up the maiden and throws away the key. He was the one who let me out.” – Sarah J. Maas

82. “Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.” – Victoria Schwab

83. “Everybody is special. Everybody. Everybody is a hero, a lover, a fool, a villain. Everybody. Everybody has their story to tell.” – Alan Moore

84. “Every villain is a hero in his own mind.” – Tom Hiddleston

85. “One may smile, and smile, and be a villain.” – William Shakespeare

86. “Every good story needs a villain. But the best villains are the ones you secretly like.” – Stephanie Garber

87. “If I play a villain, I try to find his lightness and his good side. And if I play a hero or a good guy, I’ll try to find his darkness or his flaws. Because I don’t believe in good and evil. I believe in grays.” – Joel Kinnaman

88. “A villain is just a victim whose story hasn’t been told.” – Chris Colfer

89. “People are not born heroes or villains; they’re created by the people around them.” – Chris Colfer

90. “I became a villain for doing the right thing.” – Tony Hayward

Villain quotes from The Joker

91. “Let’s put a smile on that face!” – The Joker

92. “If the police expect to play against the Joker, they’d better be prepared to be dealt from the bottom of the deck!” – The Joker

93. “If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” ― The Joker

94. “You see, I’m not a monster. I’m just ahead of the curve.” – The Joker

95. “I like you, but I want to kill you.” – The Joker

96. “This city deserves a better class of criminals. And I’m gonna give it to them!” – The Joker

97. “Some people want to see you fail. Disappoint them!” – The Joker

98. “All I have are negative thoughts.” – The Joker

99. “Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there” – The Joker

100. “Nobody panics when things go according to plan, even if the plan is horrifying!” – The Joker

Villain Quotes That Will Boost Your Curiosity To Play

101. “One of the greatest things about playing a villain is people wondering when he’s going to make his comeback.” ― Michael McMillian

102. “That’s to me what always is compelling about villains. I am much more interested in how they think than in what they even do.” ― Scott Derrickson

103. “I feel like I learned very early on that your heroes are only as powerful as your villains. And I’m attracted to intelligent villains.” ― Renny Harlin

104. “It’s not that fun to just play a villain, without any reasoning behind it.” ― Nicholas Lea

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105. “Mythology needs heroes and it needs villains, it needs heroes to fail, it needs heroes to struggle.” ― William Shatner

106. “I wanna be the villain. Villains have fun.” ― Donal Logue

107. “When I approach villains, unless it’s a drama, I’m a comedian, so I approach most things from a comedic point of view.” ― Rob Riggle

108. “Villains are kind of hard to really know on a personal level when you see them as mean, unsensitive-type people.” ― Wilt Chamberlain

109. “Villains often more the story along while the heros react to the villains, so the villain becomes the engine of the story.” ― Michael Scott

110. “Technology isn’t the villain and the people aren’t often really the villain so much as they’re weak.” ― Charlie Brooker

Villain quotes from anime

111. “This world is full of things that don’t go as you wish. The longer you live, the more you realize reality is just made of pain, suffering, and emptiness…” – Madara Uchiha

112. “The only ones who should kill are those who are prepared to be killed.” – Lelouch Lamperouge

113. “Pirates are evil? The Marines are righteous?” – Donquixote Doflamingo

114. “Drop ink on the finest snow-white paper and it will inevitably absorb into black. Its purity demands it. Tainted men have immunities. Black does not absorb black.” – Shinobu Sensui

115. “Greed may not be good, but it’s not so bad either. You humans think greed is just for money and power, but everyone wants something they don’t have.” – Greed

116. “Doctor Tenma. For you all lives are created equal, that’s why I came back to life. But you’ve finally come to realize it now, haven’t you? Only one thing is equal for all, and that is death.” – Johan Liebert

117. “Ha! These humans are definitely foolish creatures. Think as hard as those weak brains of yours can manage. Do you humans ever listen to the cries of mercy coming from pigs and cows you slaughter?” – Meruem

118. “The weak are destined to lie beneath the boots of the strong. If that angers you, overcome your deficits.” – Esdeath

119. “Forget about yourself for a second and try saving others. Don’t wield your power for your own sake. Because getting trapped by your own hate and acting out of pure self-interest… makes you the furthest thing from a hero.” – Stain

120. “There are three things I refuse to tolerate: cowardice, bad haircuts, and military insurrection. And it is unfortunate that our friend Vegeta possesses all three of these.” – Freeza

Heroic Villain Quotes

121. “Look for the contradictions in every character, especially in your heroes and villains. No one should be what they first seem to be. Surprise the audience.” ― Elia Kazan

122. “You have a freedom in playing the villain. You can be a lot more out there, really. And there is a joy in that. There is a joy in kind of making a zone of psychoses.” ― John Travolta

123. “Moriarty is arguably the most famous super-villain in terms of literature.” ― Kam Williams

124. “I was played the villain so much because I was bigger and stronger than most, and they cast me as the villain everywhere I went.” ― Wilt Chamberlain

125. “While I’m trying to be a villain, Tyler Posey’s just making me break character all the time. It’s hilarious.” ― Colton Haynes

126. “We’re not interested to know the real heroes. We’re really more interested in the villains, actually, and they seem to thrive, and it continues to be business as usual.” ― Annie Lennox

127. “Some of the fans look at me as a villain or not a nice guy for some reason. I don’t feel like that’s the case, personally.” ― Joey Logano

128. “As a writer I’m more drawn to villains who are just slightly mad.” ― Lev Grossman

129. “In reality, there are very few villains who view themselves as villains. They just have a certain agenda at a certain time.” ― Michael Jai White

130. “High minds, of native pride and force, Most deeply feel thy pangs, Remorse; Fear, for their scourge, means villains have, Thou art the torturer of the brave!” ― Walter Scott

Villain Quotes on Exploring the Complexities of Evil

131. “The difference between a hero and a villain is that they just make different choices.” ― Tom Hiddleston

132. “History is moving pretty quickly these days, and the heroes and villains keep on changing parts.” ― Ian Fleming

133. “I always felt that heroes were essentially dull. Villains were more exotic and could do more interesting things.” ― Jerry Robinson

134. “If great content is the hero, then banners are the villain.” ― Michael Brenner

135. “The best villains are the nicest guys in person.” ― Finn Wittrock

136. “A man can smile and smile and be a villain.” ― Aldous Huxley

137. “I liked getting the best villain award. I thought that was funny.” ― Stephen Dorff

138. “Villains are a lot of fun. My villains have a lot of tongue-in-cheek. They are sometimes conscious of and a little bit gleeful of their villainy.” ― John Rhys-Davies

139. “I also try very hard to create characters – both heroes and villains – with psychological depth.” ― Jeffery Deaver

140. “One murder makes a villain; millions, a hero.” ― Charlie Chaplin

What did you learn from these Villain quotes?

Think about your own life story for a second.

Who would you be without the villains you have faced?

Who would the heroes in our favorite stories be without their villains?

Is there a villain that earns the title of the worst fictional villain of all time?

The American Film Institute ranked the top fifty villains, and these five came out on top: Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, Darth Vader, The Wicked Witch of the West, and Nurse Ratched.

They are all pretty creepy, but I wonder what the story looks like from their point of view.

Surprisingly, only three Disney villains made that list: The Evil Queen (Snow White), ‘Man’ (Bambi), and Cruella De Vil (101 Dalmatians).

‘Man’ came in ranked at number 20.

It says a lot about humanity that humans beat out 30 other villains on that list.

Who do you think the worst (or best really) villain is?

Many of these villain quotes and sayings mention The Joker, and surely he is a contender! Share your thoughts about villains with us in the comment section below.

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