Typically, the villains in movies, television series, books, and other media sources are nasty individuals in the wrong, and they’re evil for the sake of it. However, in some cases, the characters presented as the antagonists are in the right.
Someone asked, “What’s a story where the “bad guys” are completely right, to the point where it’s weird the story keeps calling them the bad guys?” These were some of the best answers.
1. Saved by the Bell (Mr. Belding)
Mr. Gerald Belding was the principal of the fictional Bayside High School in the popular television sitcom Saved by the Bell. He was portrayed as the stereotypical authoritarian disliked by students, but one user posited that he was a good guy.
Several Saved by the Bell viewers agreed, saying they never saw Mr. Belding as the villain. One said he was more like a parent archetype, and another said they sympathize more with him as they age.
2. Dennis the Menace (Mr. Wilson)
Dennis the Menace is a comic strip turned into a live-action movie in 1993. It’s about a mischievous young boy who wreaks havoc on his neighbor, Mr. Wilson, who is presented as the stereotypical nasty and grumpy older man. He was put forward as an answer by someone suggesting he was regularly the victim in the story and was right to be cranky due to Dennis’ outrageous behavior.
Several posters agreed, with some citing a moment in the movie when Dennis inadvertently killed a rare flower that Mr. Wilson had nurtured for nearly 40 years just as it was blooming.
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3. X-Men (Magneto)
Magneto was a popular answer, with several users suggesting the X-Men villain was just in his cause. Many believed his actions were extreme, like he was the Malcolm X to Professor Xavier’s Martin Luther King Jr., but most agreed he was right to stand up against humanity’s hate for mutants.
Some suggested that his terrible treatment by Nazis justified his extreme methods, which is questionable. Still, when you equate prejudice against mutants to real-world racism, it’s hard not to sympathize with Magneto.
4. Donald the Duck Cartoons (Donald Duck)
One Disney fan pointed out that Donald minds his business in every Donald Duck cartoon when someone bothers him, and then he gets blamed for standing up for himself. The poster then said they relate to Donald more and more as they age.
Dozens of Donald Duck empathizers agreed. Some provided excellent examples, such as Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas, when Donald is presented as the antagonist despite only wanting a break from the holidays and to enjoy some hot cocoa.
5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (Todd and Margo)
A movie-loving user answered that Todd and Margo Chester from 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation were utterly right to be annoyed with Clark Griswold’s antics and shouldn’t have been presented as the bad guys. Clark did cause literal property damage to their home, after all.
Another poster replied that the Chesters are part of a class of “villains” in comedies who are simply people who don’t want their lives ruined by the whacky antics of their neighbors or coworkers.
6. Inhumans (Maximus)
Another Marvel-based answer in the thread was Maximus from the Inhumans television show. One superhero enthusiast said that Maximus is seen as the villain for the entire series run despite attempting to free enslaved people.
A user elaborated in the replies, explaining the concept of Inhumans and how ethics are backward in the show. If characters develop “sexy” superpowers, they get to stay home with their families. If they develop “ugly” superpowers, they become enslaved people working in mines. The “good guys” uphold that system, and Maximus believes it’s wrong.
7. Police Academy (Lieutenant Thaddeus Harris)
A cinema fan suggested Police Academy’s antagonist was a good guy. Lieutenant Thaddeus Harris was put in charge of the recruits in the 1984 film and was hard on them to the point that he was presented as the movie’s villain, but the poster elaborated on why that wasn’t the case.
They said the recruits were violent, unstable, and dishonest deadbeats and posited that the lieutenant was doing the public a favor by trying to weed out the worst of them. Several users disagreed, but the original poster perhaps had a point.
8. Mrs. Doubtfire (Stu Dunmeyer)
Another lover of comedy movies answered Stu Dunmeyer from 1993’s Mrs. Doubtfire. He was the man that Daniel Hillard’s ex-wife was dating, and the poster suggested he was a lovely and lonely individual who wanted a family.
Many users agreed, some highlighting the nasty things Daniel did to Stu even though he’d done nothing wrong, which ranged from throwing fruit at him to vandalizing his car.
9. Ghostbusters (Walter Peck)
Of course, the godly Gozer is the main villain in 1984’s Ghostbusters, but human antagonist Walter Peck is a close second. He’s the Environmental Protection Agency guy who wants to shut the eponymous team down for using unlicensed nuclear equipment. As several users suggested, he was 100% right to do so.
Of course, as several others pointed out, his lies and actions exacerbated the situation. They didn’t shed him in a good light, but the general principle behind his behavior was entirely correct.
10. The Karate Kid (Johnny Lawrence)
This answer was surprisingly far down in the thread, but one movie fan eventually mentioned Johnny Lawrence from 1984’s The Karate Kid. He was right to dislike the eponymous Daniel LaRusso, as Daniel was a troublemaker.
Moreover, as another user pointed out, Daniel’s eventual success came in the film was due to an illegal kick. Everyone should have more sympathy for poor Johnny.
This thread inspired this post.
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