We know we're supposed to be rooting for the good guys, but sometimes villains are more fun. Here are some of our favourite baddies!
"Now I'm the villain in your history," sings a plaintive Aaron Burr after shooting our favourite Secretary Treasury to death. Though painted from afar as the show's villain, truly, nothing could be further from the truth. Aaron Burr was not an impulsive man. In fact, he sings a whole song about waiting for it. However, when his friend, Alexander Hamilton, becomes his political rival, and can list "a list of 30 years of disagreements," feelings start to bubble up to the point where Burr challenges Hamilton to a duel. This is what happens when we don't deal with our emotions, people. We do stupid things, and then we regret them. "I should have known, the world was wide enough, for both Hamilton and me."
1) Moriarty, BBC's Sherlock
This is mostly because I'm weirdly mesmerized by Moriarty-actor Andrew Scott, but dude is INSANE. He's so wacky, it's hard not to be fascinated by him and his obsession with Sherlock. I'm really hoping they figure out a way to bring him back for the fourth season.
2) Bellatrix Lestrange, the Harry Potter series
Mostly due to Helena Bonham Carter's magnificent portrayal in the movies, Bellatrix is a villain I love to hate. On the one hand, she killed Sirius Black (and then gloated about it!), on the other, her loyalty to the Dark Lord coloured her ability to make good decisions.
3) Scar, The Lion King
I almost put Hades (from Hercules) down as my favourite Disney villain, but Scar was one of the few who genuinely terrified me (the other being the leader of the Huns from Mulan). He's vindictive, jealous, and cruel (how could he kill his own brother??), but he's voiced by Jeremy "I could melt butter with my voice" Irons, so what's not to love?
4) Count Olaf, A Series of Unfortunate Events
Olaf is one of the meanest characters you'll ever come across in children's literature. He abuses the Baudelaires, repeatedly tries to kill them (and their other guardians), is manipulative and a master of disguise...and the books wouldn't have been half as interesting if he wasn't always lurking in the background. Sometimes he was so ridiculous, you almost forgot how horrible he is.
5) The Phantom, The Phantom of the Opera
I'm not sure if he's the villain or the anti-hero or what, but I've always had a soft spot for the Phantom. He's just misunderstood and wants to be loved - can we blame him for his actions? In the most recent version of the show that I saw, he was a bit more aggressive, but I tend to think of him as a pathetic character who hides his insecurities behind a (literal) mask.
Honourable mentions: The Ice King from Adventure Time (who is also something of an anti-hero) and vampire-William Beckett in Fall Out Boy's video for "A Little Less Sixteen Candles, A Little More Touch Me" (don't tell me you don't love vampire-William too).