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People Explain Which TV And Film Characters Were Wrongly Portrayed As The Villain

A photo of Ursula from "The Little Mermaid." She is smiling and floating against a black background.
Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

"Reddit user Longjumping-Meet-307 asked: 'Who is wrongly portrayed as a villain?'"

I love a great villain.

Great villains have many facets.

And sometimes, it takes age and reflection to deduce that the villains are actually vindicated or the good guys.

It can feel weird to side with a villain... in fiction or reality.

Of course, we can't just willy-nilly side with the bad guy.

We have to examine and investigate.

And often, they'll always be our favorites.

Redditor Longjumping-Meet-307 wanted to discuss the villains in history and fiction that were right, so they asked:

"Who is wrongly portrayed as a villain?"

The Director

"Teddy (the director of NASA) from The Martian. Everyone hates him because he makes hard decisions that seem to go against saving Mark. But the entire time, he's being practical and worrying about the rest of the crew and future missions. Literally, everyone else is laser-focused on Mark. Teddy is just making sure the organization survives the mission. That's why he's the director; he makes the hard, objective decisions."

- GeonnCannon

Darn Kids

"Squidward. As a kid, he seemed like the grumpy old guy next door but now we realize he’s just trying to live his life with an annoying little s**t of a neighbor that constantly drives him crazy."

- BigE1388

"There's a lot of this if you go back and watch the stuff you used to as a kid. All those adults that were so mean or wouldn't let you do what you wanted were just people trying to live their lives while someone's spawn ran around terrorizing the neighborhood."

- cidrei

Frustrated Serious GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy

All the Buzzzz

"The boyfriend in Bee Movie. The only sane person in the movie."

- No_Dot6137

"I love Bee Movie, it's a fave but God d**n did I get mad for Ken as an adult. Like, hello?? Sure, I don't think trying to set Barry on fire was like okay at all, especially considering he's a sentient being, but who the f**k wouldn't be mad that their partner starts spending all this time with someone else, where there are mutual romantic feelings?? Romantic feelings aside, she'd started skimping on their date nights. What the f**k was the rush to help Barry, she couldn't push the meetings with him back a little bit?"

- bellabarbiex

Hey Stu...

"Stuart in Mrs. Doubtfire. He was just dating a divorced woman and being kind to her children."

- 544075701

"I've long thought that a remake of Mrs. Doubtfire from the wife's perspective would be a great movie. Except it isn't a comedy; it's a psychological horror movie about a woman who is becoming increasingly concerned that her elderly nanny is actually her non-custodial ex, and how crazy that makes her sound."

- Blenderhead36


"The step-dad in Ant-Man, played by Bobby Cannavale, was also a great character. Yeah, he was a cop, but he wasn't a d**k. He cared for Cassie and wanted her to have a relationship with her real dad, but the real dad was a convict who was getting into some dangerous stuff. He was rightfully protective of her and was still willing to hear Scott's side of things instead of just assuming Scott is bad. There is a healthy respect between them."

- nowhereman136

The Escaped

"Donkey Kong in the original game. According to the manual, he was abused at the circus and escaped."

- limasxgoesto0

"Abuse does not excuse behavior."

- mrhymer

donkey kong GIFGiphy


"Better Call Saul did a good bait and switch on Howard, first presenting him like he was a bad guy and the problem, but almost every time the plot turns around to Jimmy, Kim, and even Chuck, being these high-functioning but unstable personalities with Howard caught in the very unenviable position of trying to manage them while being forced to choose sides."

"Even the perspective that Howard was a jerk feels like a matter of perspective bias. He really only acted douchy when someone else escalated against him over very petty grievances and while Howard at first shot back in kind, by the end of the series he was the only one of the main characters who seemed to want to become a better person rather than continue downward spiraling."

"For which his reward was being sabotaged by Kim and Jimmy who wouldn't let things go, and then inadvertently killed through no real fault of his own."

- Lord0fHats

Or Rachel?

"Emily from Friends."

"The man she was about to marry suddenly says his ex's name at the altar. She had a right to be angry. They both made the mistake of not waiting longer to actually get married, but Emily should not have been seen as the villain."

- the_greek_italian

"Emily requesting that Ross cut off Rachel was portrayed as this horrible, horrible thing. But no one in their right mind would be comfortable with their husband seeing his ex - who he's been in love with since high school - on a DAILY basis."

- helloiamabear


"Lord Hades of Greek Mythology. He may be the God of The Dead and King of the Underworld, but nothing points him as a bad man. He was given a rotten roll of luck and got the underworld. He had to renovate the entire place and keep it from falling into shambles. He NEVER cheated on his Persephone. He was a great king to his subjects. There is no reason to keep blatantly making him the big bad in every modern iteration of Greek myth."

"And no, he never wanted to be the King of Olympus. He is the God of Riches. Everything below the earth and precious belongs to him: diamonds, gold, rubies, emeralds, you name it. He even had three kids. He has no need to be evil. He's just the owner of real estate for the deceased, trying his best to keep his property from falling apart due to overcrowding."

- RamaThePJoFanSupreme


"Bruce Ismay. He survived the Titanic sinking but paid a heavy price."

- LordyIHopeThereIsPie

"The Rest Is History has a great podcast series on the Titanic. They do a good job explaining how Ismay really got a bad break. Despite how the movie portrays it, he did not steal anyone’s seat. One side of the boat was only loading women and children, even if it meant sending boats off before they were full."

"Ismay’s side was doing the reasonable thing and saying 'Alright, no more women and children. Let’s put men in the empty seats before launching the lifeboats.' His death would have been pointless. It wouldn’t have saved anyone. Just another death for no reason."

- S**tfacedGrizzlyBear

How on Earth?

"Skyler White from Breaking Bad."

"As a teenager, I rooted for Walt and found Skyler annoying. How dare she not support her lying drug lord husband?!"

"As a 30-something, I watched it and wondered what young me was thinking on earth."

- Visible_Compote9193

"Skyler gets a lot of warranted hate for her Ted situation. However, at the end of the day, she just wanted to protect Walt Jr. and even helped her drug-dealing husband launder his money."

- TechnicalAccountant2

"It's insane just how many BB fans hate Skyler for not supporting Walter unconditionally."

"She definitely had things to hate on like the affair with Ted and her involvement with laundering Walt's money, but some people act like she's more evil than Walt."

- ShawshankException


"Defense attorneys. Always the bad guys on TV, Movies, and real life."

"Sure part of their job is protecting the rich, but obviously more often than that they are defending the marginalized members of society from a corrupt legal system who at least keep the prosecutors/law honest."

- 2nd2last

"I have watched my fair share of those procedural shows, and since they basically never have the wrong guy, the good defense attorney is a POS for defending this obviously guilty person. The shows don’t really work if they are constantly getting the wrong person but when the cops/prosecutors are depicted as infallible you don’t have to take much of a leap to see why defense attorneys are lobbed in with the criminals."

- Bored_Worldhopper


"Magneto. He saw the Holocaust with his own eyes, and pledged to never let the mutants experience what he went through as a Jew in Nazi Germany."

- modssssss293j

x-men 90s GIFGiphy

Shady Fox

"Tom Nook. The guy that gives you a house and will renovate it for a payback whenever an interest loan is evil? Meanwhile, you have a shady fox that comes to your town every other week with dozens of fake art pieces, and he's your beacon of morality?"

"I've just never understood why Tom Nook has been portrayed as a villain. He's never done anything evil except run a business."

- DeeFB

"Nah, Nook is Mr. Potter and the towns are Pottersvilles. He owns the only store. He's the landlord and land developer. He's the bank. He's the city planner. And he becomes fabulously wealthy because of it. Everything you sell to Nook he must in turn be making a profit. He is more than happy to keep the residents of his town in debt to him."

- JustTheOneGoose22

The General

"General Hummel in the Rock."

"He wanted fallen soldiers under his command to be recognized for their sacrifices even though they were classified ops and for their families to be compensated like they would in normal circumstances. As he said, 'These men died for their country and they weren’t even given a go**amn military burial.'"

"Yes, he took hostages and held a city for ransom with a weapon of mass destruction. However, he did so after exhausting every single legal means of convincing the military to do the right thing."

- BigTuna0890

That's a great list.

The General in "The Rock" is difficult.

He was once a great man.

He's just using his powers for bad.

Such is the way of the great villain.

What they often need is therapy and meds.

Life can turn anyone into a villain with enough time.

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