Whether talking about superhero villains like the titular Joker, horror villains like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre‘s Leatherface, or even rom-com villains like Meredith Blake from The Parent Trap, there will always be fans who go against the norm, arguing that their favorite villains weren’t actually villains after all. With a change of perspective or the addition of a backstory, most villains can actually be pretty understandable.
While audiences might understand why characters turn to evil, that doesn’t necessarily justify their actions. They can be sympathetic without audiences agreeing that they are right. However, there are other villains that fully get audiences on board with their objectives, pushing beyond sympathy into agreement. Villain defenders took to Reddit to share the villains who they believe were 100% in the right, with their objectives, methods, and/or plans.
In the MCU, Tony Stark created Ultron to guard Earth against outside threats, but Ultron believed that the best thing for planet Earth would be the elimination of humanity. While it may not be the solution that humans would prefer, Redditor RavensQueen502 understands it: “Guy went through the entire Internet like two minutes after he was born – can anyone blame him for deciding to ash earth and start over again?”
While many made jokes, MrMetagaming got serious, explaining, “He would have seen the entire documented human history, everything bad humanity had ever done.” Looking at it honestly, it’s hard to imagine consuming all of that darkness in such a short period of time without coming to the same conclusion.
9/10 Jason Voorhees
Some slasher villains just like killing, and while Jason might have picked up that habit over the course of the franchise, his early narrative actually makes a lot of sense. As CostlyDugout points out, Jason was just a “12 year old when two camp counselors let him drown so they could have sex… And every year, truckloads of horny teenagers show up at his house to have sex, do drugs, and play loud music.”
The many teenagers who decided to mock his legend don’t do themselves a lot of favors when it comes to audience sympathy. And Redditor jonesy76blitz takes it one step further, reminding everyone that some of those teenagers literally “chopped his mom’s head off!” Looking at all of that, it’s hard to deny that some of his victims had it coming.
8/10 The Wicked Witch of the West
Stories like Wicked and Once Upon A Time have redeemed the Wicked Witch of the West by looking into her past and explaining her motivations, but some fans don’t need that background to be on her side. As LadyTamayosCat put it, “the red slippers truly belong to her. not some girl who mysteriously landed and killed her sister.”
This concept becomes a little more complicated when the books are brought into it, but not by much. Dorothy entered Oz and immediately killed a woman and stole her possessions, then took on a quest to kill another one. Take away the word “witch” and it becomes a much darker story, where the so-called “Wicked Witch” was simply trying to get what belonged to her and stop an assassination attempt.
7/10 Frankenstein’s Monster
In the original book, Frankenstein’s monster dives deep into philosophy and poetry to try to understand his own existence before finally deciding, as Tarkus_Edge quotes, “If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear.” Even in the film adaptations, Frankenstein’s monster was innocent until he was rejected and attacked, at which point he responded the only way it knew how.
From either version, the monster can easily be seen as a victim that didn’t know what else to do. As Rosewood_Rook explains, “his life was nothing but rejection after rejection. He wanted love and companionship, his father and the world spat on him for it… His vengeance, as gruesome as it may have been, was justified.”
6/10 Shere Khan
In The Jungle Book, Shere Khan is a powerful figure who is focused on getting Mowgli out of the jungle, dead or alive. While this goes against what Mowgli wants, it’s hard to argue that the tiger is actually wrong. As actuallyquitefunny put it, “he legitimately dislikes humans in the jungle because they bring guns, fire, and destruction. If Shere Khan was successful in keeping humans out of the jungle, it would be far better for all the animals involved.”
While this makes perfect sense for any character who has seen what devastation humans can bring, it’s actually proven right in the 2016 version of the film. MyDogJake1 puts it plainly: “He wanted the man cub out of the jungle because humans had the red flower (fire), which was destructive. The jungle burned down. He was right.”
The premise of Tom and Jerry is simple, with Tom the cat chasing Jerry the mouse, but Redditors have strong opinions about their dynamic because Tom always loses, usually earning quite a bit of pain for his troubles. As JosephSVanderhoof explains, Tom hasn’t done anything to deserve the attacks: “There is a rodent in the house, thus that is his responsibility.”
While other villains may be understandable, Redditors argue that Tom is only doing what he is meant to do. Redditor drygnfyre says of all wild animal villains, “They are simply acting on natural instinct and do not possess malice.” Without malice, no villain deserves to be shamed.
4/10 Dr. Doofenshmirtz
As a child, it was fun to watch Perry the Platypus repeatedly ruin Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s plans. However, his backstory is so thoroughly described that adult fans can easily see why he turned to a life of crime. As professional_arab put it, Doofenshmirtz “had such a s**t life and even worse parents, he’s a kind guy and wants his daughter to have a good life. He’s unironically an inspiration.”
With everything he had to suffer as a child, audiences would expect Doofenshmirtz to be a bad father, but he’s been repeatedly shown to be one of the best. His actions make complete sense, and some fans, like 1stEleven, even want to see him succeed: “I kinda wonder how he would rule the TRI state area. He’s a good guy, he may do well!”
3/10 Mr. Freeze
Mr. Freeze is the perfect example of a Batman villain improved by his depiction in Batman: The Animated Series, which Redditor Badloss admits “pretty much completely invented Mr Freeze as a tragic character. He was just a campy dude with an Ice Gun until that episode.”
Be that as it may, the modern interpretation of the character definitely has good reasons for his villainy. His wife was terminally ill, and most of his crimes were based on his mission to save her. This is one case where money could solve the problem, and fans are generally on Mr. Freeze’s side.
2/10 Jason Todd
The character Jason Todd has gone through a lot over the years, but he’s really begun to gain popularity thanks to popular comic book TikTokers like The Panda Redd. The young Robin was killed off by popular vote in 1988, only to return as a crime lord in Under the Red Hood. His primary goal was to eliminate the Joker, but he also had a mission to prevent violent crime by putting down major threats himself.
While this mindset is wildly opposed to Batman’s, it’s definitely an understandable one and one that many fans agree with. As FedoraChronicles puts it, “He was an emotionally charged teen who after getting murdered found out that absolutely nothing changed.” From that perspective, Jason believed that the only one who would save Gotham was him, whatever methods that took.
Was Superman a hero because of his own inner morality, or because he was raised by the Kent family? Megamind seems to suggest the latter, showing how an alien who landed on Earth might approach life in different circumstances. As Redditor Riptide-0- explains, “[Megamind] was born and raised in prison then he went to school to get bullied … and when he tries to defend himself that’s when he got in trouble.”
With a backstory like that, it’s not surprising that Megamind became a villain. However, he quit villainy when he no longer had someone to fight and took efforts to save the city when it was in trouble. Megamind didn’t want money or power; he just wanted what was right. Redditor limastockholm sums it up best: “If my bully had the power he does, I’d feel like I had to rise against him too.”
NEXT: 10 Lighthearted Movies With The Most Terrifying Villains