Top 10 Best Cartoon Villains of the 1980s

Alex Crilly-Mckean These are the kings of classic, cheesy cartoon villainy. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 cartoon villains of the 1980s. For our series on villains from animated series, we’ll be looking at characters that left an impact on kids of a certain decade – in this case, that means the campy glory of the ‘80s. Although “The Simpsons” did debut in 1989, you won’t be seeing characters like Mr. Burns or Sideshow Bob, as they made their greatest impact in the 1990s. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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These are the kings of classic, cheesy cartoon villainy. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 cartoon villains of the 1980s.

For our series on villains from animated series, we’ll be looking at characters that left an impact on kids of a certain decade – in this case, that means the campy glory of the ‘80s. Although “The Simpsons” did debut in 1989, you won’t be seeing characters like Mr. Burns or Sideshow Bob, as they made their greatest impact in the 1990s.

#10: Flintheart Glomgold
“DuckTales” (1987-90)

Scrooge McDuck is, by all accounts, a greedy old duck, but at least he isn’t the greediest old duck, as that title belongs to his South African counterpart, Flintheart Glomgold. A ruthless businessman with a drive for wealth that matches Scrooge’s, only without even the slightest hint of compassion, Flintheart Glomgold isn’t interested in being known as the second richest feathered fellow in the world. He has a dastardly creative mind when it comes to swindling people and making them do exactly what he wants. Of course being obscenely rich certainly helps in that regard. Make sure you don’t owe this duck money; otherwise he’ll come after more than just your savings.

#9: No Heart
“The Care Bears” (1985-88)

For a show as sickly sweet as this one, it makes sense to have a villain who’s as entertaining and outrageous as he is diabolical. No Heart is so evil that he lives with a perpetual storm cloud around his home. Prone to violent temper tantrums when confronted with even the slightest inconvenience, No Heart may not have the powers of friendship and compassion on his side, but he sure has a lot of magic. Preferring to use shape shifting to try to achieve his goals, he can turn into anything from a rhino, to a vulture to a dinosaur, and even a tornado! Apparently in this case, being heartless means you get all the coolest powers.

#8: Cyril Sneer
“The Raccoons” (1985-92)

Despite the fact that he would eventually become a sympathetic character later in the series, this sinister aardvark did try to demolish an entire forest on multiple occasions just to make a quick buck. He’s not above using his pig enforcers to get his way, either. A greedy industrialist with a major inferiority complex, there’s nothing Cyril Sneer wouldn’t do to swindle a poor soul out of their property. He may be driven, but since his plans normally involve wrecking the lives of a lot of innocent animals, you’d be best to avoid making any deals with Cyril.

#7: The Hunter
“Babar” (1989-91)

He’s only actually featured in this series for a mere five episodes, but boy does the Hunter leave a lasting impression. How, you may ask? He shoots Babar the Elephant’s mother in the opening episode! Now that’s evil! After recovering from the trauma of seeing his mother killed, Babar returns to the jungle, becoming the new King of the Elephants. This eventually leads to a final battle in which he burns down the Hunter’s camp and repels the human forces. His screen time may be brief, but it’s the Hunter’s actions that set off the chain of events that eventually lead Babar to create a new society for his people. Did we mention he killed a baby elephant’s mother?

#6: Dr. Claw
“Inspector Gadget” (1983-86)

You never even see what he looks like, but his voice implies so much menace, you just know this guy means business. As the shadowy leader of M.A.D, audiences never got a good look at Dr. Claw’s face, but they sure felt the extent of his villainy. From mind-control, to sinking entire islands, to all manner of assassination attempts, this is one baddie that doesn’t play around. With his seemingly unlimited funds and minions, it’s all the more perplexing that the hapless Inspector Gadget manages to foil his plans all those times. Maybe he’d more successful if he focused on capturing Gadget’s far more capable niece instead…

#5: Shredder
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1987-96)

These heroes in a half-shell have no shortage of bizarre enemies, but the most lethal among them by far is the leader of the Foot Clan; the master ninja known as the Shredder. Even in his campiest incarnation, this razor-bladed death machine proves to be just as skilled in martial arts as the turtles, besting them in battle on a few occasions. With his legion of Foot ninjas as well as his advanced technology provided by the alien tyrant known as Krang, Shredder more than earns his title as the turtles’ greatest foe.

#4: Gargamel
“The Smurfs” (1981-89)

You’d think being an evil wizard would make it pretty easy for you to conquer a small settlement filled with a couple hundred tiny blue people, but apparently not if you’re Gargamel. While his motivations for capturing the Smurfs range from wanting to eat them, hoping to use them as a catalyst to turn plainer metals into gold, or just crushing them out of spite, none of his plans ever seems to pan out. This leads to hilarious outcomes that push him further and further to the edge of his sanity. Still, he keeps on coming back with even more zany plans, so kudos to him for sticking with it. Plus, we can’t forget that he did give us Smurfette!

#3: Cobra Commander
“G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero” (1983-86)

He may have a voice that could shatter glass, but he’s much deadlier than he sounds. Cobra Commander is the supreme leader of the terrorist organization Cobra, and considering they’re responsible for every bad thing that happens in the G.I. Joe universe – that’s quite an evil accolade. Even though he tends to have his minions second guess him at every turn, and despite the fact that he was once dethroned, there’s no one who can rock a chrome mask quite like the Commander. His plans for world domination might often be considered crazy, even by Cobra’s standards, but to be honest, that’s part of his wacky appeal. Besides, who else would think of hiding rockets within fast food restaurants?

#2: Skeletor
“He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” (1983-95)

Nowadays he may be known as a comedic figure with a high-pitched voice that makes us laugh more than it strikes fear into our souls, but back in his hey-day, Skeletor was the villain’s villain. He had the evil laugh down, a host of unexplained magical powers, and a whole slew of maniacal ideas to take over Eternia. Sure, having a literal skeleton as the main antagonist is kind of cheesy, but there’s no denying his popularity as a cartoon villain. He’ll always be our favorite evil skeleton, even more so than Baron Dark! And while Hordak was a great villain in his own right, he’s still got nothing on our man Skeletor!

Before we reveal our number one pick here are a few honorable mentions:

- Mother Brain
“Captain N: The Game Master” (1989-91)

- Baron Silas Greenback
“Danger Mouse” (1981-92)

- Mumm-Ra
“Thundercats” (1985-89)

#1: Megatron
“Transformers” (1984-87)

Despite his numerous incarnations over the years, the original leader of the Decepticons has endured as a timeless villain that still holds up to this very day. A ruthless conqueror with an unquenchable thirst for power, Megatron will sacrifice whatever it takes in order to win the war against the Autobots and secure his place as the ruler of the entire universe. While a lot of villains reach for the same goal, this is the guy who can back up his claims with a “zero tolerance for failure” policy and a ton of firepower. There was also that one time he managed to kill Optimus Prime, so he deserves the top spot for that alone. All hail Megatron!
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