Related Videos

Top 10 TV Villains Who Had Justifiable Motives

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nicholas Miller
We're not saying that what they did wasn't despicable, just that they had their own reasons. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Villains Who Had Justifiable Motives. For this list, we’ll be looking at some of television’s villains with the best reasoning for their terrible actions. We’re excluding series protagonists, such as Dexter Morgan and Walter White.
Share
WatchMojo

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Transcript
We're not saying that what they did wasn't despicable, just that they had their own reasons. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Villains Who Had Justifiable Motives.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of television’s villains with the best reasoning for their terrible actions. We’re excluding series protagonists, such as Dexter Morgan and Walter White.

#10: Frank Grimes, Jr. & Sr. “The Simpsons” (1989-)


This father and son duo are well-remembered as enemies of the Simpson family, specifically Homer. What might not be as well-remembered is that both Franks actually had some pretty legitimate reasoning for hating Homer. In the Season 8 episode “Homer’s Enemy,” the hardworking, down-on-his-luck Frank Sr. gets a job at the nuclear plant alongside Homer, Lenny, and Carl. Frank is driven insane by Homer’s continued ability to succeed no matter how little he cares or tries at everything he does, and it leads to him electrocuting himself. Several years later, in “The Great Louse Detective,” Frank Jr. comes after Homer to avenge his father’s death.

#9: Jeff Hope “Sherlock” (2010-)


Back in the first episode of BBC’s “Sherlock,” Holmes and Watson found themselves up against a villain who’s been convincing people to commit suicide. When the pair finally uncover the identity of the mystery man is, it’s revealed to be a terminally ill cab driver named Jeff Hope. Hope was approached by Sherlock’s arch-nemesis, Moriarty, who offered to leave money to Hope’s children for each person Hope could convince to kill themselves. We can definitely understand how a man left with few other choices would succumb to the pressure of a manipulative figure like Moriarty.

#8: Niklaus Mikaelson “The Vampire Diaries” (2009-17)


Getting his start in seasons two and three of “The Vampire Diaries” before moving to his own spin-off with “The Originals,” it’s easy to see in hindsight that Klaus got a bad rap. His stepfather Mikael mistreated him throughout his childhood, and he witnessed his brother Henrik mauled to death by werewolves. To make matters worse, after his mother transformed the family into vampires, he discovered he was different, even among them - born from a secret affair between his mother and a werewolf. It’s no wonder this led to a volatile mix of supernatural power and repressed emotions.

#7: Gemma Teller Morrow “Sons of Anarchy” (2008-14)



Gemma and her husband Clay served as “Sons of Anarchy’s” biggest villains, though things were definitely blurry at times. It’s not hard to understand how Gemma turned out the way she did, however, considering everything she went through over the course of the series, not to mention earlier in her life. Gemma has suffered through the death of a son and a husband, and is on the receiving end of a great deal of trauma and brutality throughout the series. If you ask her, everything she did, she did to protect herself and her family.

#6: The Wildlings “Game of Thrones” (2011-)



“Game of Thrones” is truly a series full of shades of gray - from complex characters like Jaime Lannister and Theon Greyjoy to entire civilizations like the Wildlings. For most of the inhabitants in Westeros, the Wildlings are definitely the bad guys, violent barbarians not fit to live in civilized lands. But while they may have done some pretty terrible things, they’re hardly unique in that regard; and in the series timeline, they’re really only trying to get across the wall so they can survive the impending zombie apocalypse. It’s the folks in Westeros that perceive them to be savages that seem like the problem to us!

#5: A.L.I.E. “The 100” (2014-)



Ah, the double-edged sword of artificial intelligence. It can make our day-to-day lives easier, or it can start a nuclear war and destroy the world. “The 100” is full of villains with viewpoints that are understandable if not always acceptable, like Cage Wallace’s attempts to cure his people, but it’s truly A.L.I.E. that takes the cake in this regard, simply because she never had a choice. Her programming was to improve life for humans. Reducing the population was the most logical way to do that, and to A.L.I.E., that meant a lot of us had to go.

#4: Rumpelstiltskin “Once Upon a Time” (2011-18)



To its credit, “Once Upon a Time” managed to turn a creepy fairy tale imp into a sympathetic villain with a tragic backstory. Rumple, or Mr. Gold, is tricked into accepting the corrupting powers of the Dark One, and if that wasn’t enough, he later loses his son when he travels to another world, and then has his own power used against him to send everyone to Storybrooke. His history eventually causes him to go down a dark path, but one from which he’d eventually find redemption. Seeing the complicated journey of Rumple over the course of the show has shown us how deep his character really is.

#3: Plankton “SpongeBob SquarePants” (1999-)



Poor Plankton. Everyone hated him until we learned the truth. In the “SpongeBob” episode “Friend or Foe,” we find out the real history between Mr. Krabs and Plankton, and it’s surprisingly tragic. It turns out that they were friends and partners from a young age who decided to open a restaurant together. After getting into an argument over Old Man Jenkins getting sick, the pair split up and rip their recipe in pieces, with Plankton only receiving the part that said “a pinch of chum.” Well, that explains a lot. Mr. Krabs then lucks into the Krabby Patty recipe, while Plankton is left to his own struggling Chum Bucket.

#2: The Man in Black “Lost” (2004-10)


From the very beginning of “Lost,” one of the show’s greatest mysteries was the smoke monster in the jungle. It was eventually revealed that the monster was an immortal man whose escape, it was implied, would cause the end of the world. We didn’t find out his history until nearly the end of the series, and to be honest, the episode didn’t do a great job of making clear exactly what it was that made the island so important. But what we found out for sure is that the Man in Black was raised by a woman who murdered his mother, and who just wanted to leave the island.

#1: Mike Ehrmantraut “Breaking Bad” (2008-13)



Mike Ehrmantraut is so captivating on screen that we almost forget sometimes he’s a villain. Though we’re still in the process of seeing his transition from cop to criminal in “Better Call Saul,” by the time he meets Walter White, Mike’s a certified baddie, and a key member of Gus Fring’s meth organization. While he’s committed some terrible acts, he also plans to leave all of his money to his granddaughter, who he often visits and clearly cares for deeply. It’s really very sweet. The character’s mix of violence and crime with noble motives and a reluctance to hurt anybody who didn’t have it coming earns him the top spot on our list.
Comments

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs