Writing compelling characters is a difficult thing to do. And villains are often left as sort of an afterthought, which is a bad move, because modern audiences have come to expect some sort of dimension to the baddies.

Oh sure, we don’t mind an army of nondescript grunts getting mowed down, but whomever is pulling the strings should have something going on. Some reason we can understand for being who they are. And not every story nails it.

What’s one villain that was supposed to be sympathetic but failed to spark any sympathy? from AskReddit

Here, according to Reddit, are 15 tales that just didn’t quite get the bad guys right.

1. Robert Callaghan – Big Hero 6 (2014)

This maybe my opinion but I wasn’t a fan of Robert Callaghan from big hero 6 after I found out Tadashi died for nothing.

Like at least you got your daughter back but Hiro can never get is brother back

– DeadlySilent03

2. Cheetah / Maxwell Lord – Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

I really think Cheetah shouldn’t have become Cheetah in WW84, she should have been introduced and been an ally for WW through the film and the next film could have turned her into Cheetah.

It would have carried more emotional weight to watch a character that we became attached to lose her way and become a monster.

Spider-Man 3 problems all over again. Too many villains

– SpaceRokkett

3. Dom Toretto and Letty – The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Vin Diesel and his girlfriend in Fast & The Furious.

We’re supposed to feel sorry for them when the truck driver defends himself? Nope. Not happening. Terrible, terrible writing.

– Plantayne

4. Marla Grayson – I Care a Lot (2020)

It was such a fun and interesting movie for the first half but as soon as they tried to make us sympathise with this dreadful character, the film lost me completely. And spoilers but to have both her and her girlfriend separately kidnapped by the gangster family and neither of them dying was just a terrible plot development.

So glad she got shot at the end.

– No_Commercial_197

5. Karli Morganthau – The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)

She was supposed to be fighting for the poor, but we NEVER saw the conditions pre blip she was trying to get back to, or how randomly killing people was supposed to help.

Or for that matter how “no borders” was going to add 50% housing/jobs/etc capacity.

– Responsible_Mud_1852

6. Tory – Cobra Kai (2018)

I liked her at first. She was better than any of the other students and that landlord was sketchy to her. She was poor and struggling.

But then they wrote her to be bats**t crazy over a boy.

– Tkieron

7. Hindley Earnshaw – Wuthering Heights (multiple versions)

I totally understand sibling rivalry and envy, but, my goodness, was he cruel to Catherine and Heathcliff!!

I’m not surprised that Heathcliff hated Hindley as much as he did in the end, although I thought both were diabolical!

The key differences between Heathcliff and Hindley to me were that Heathcliff were that he had some restraint when angered and openness to righting wrongs, whereas Hindley did not. Hindley, however, had absolutely nothing of either quality, truly, except as demonstrating those qualities suited him!!

– ENFJPLinguaphile

8. Anakos – Fire Emblem Fates (2015)

He was supposed to be a case of “oh no, I am suffering from madness from living for so long” deal and we’re supposed to feel bad because he accidentally killed his best friend and was “betrayed” by his wife running off with his child and all, but like all the story parts of Fates its poorly written and he is just an a**hole that is killing and making everyone into invisible zombies.

It doesn’t help that in lore the whole thing could have been prevented if he had ascended into a spirit form like the other dragons did.

Gameplay wise the fight was alright, but plot wise, he sucked.

– Switch-Axe-Abuse

9. Michael Scott – The Office (2005)

Michael Scott in the office season one.

They fixed it afterwards but in the first season he just sucked.

Not exactly a villain but comes off as it in the beginning

– boatdude420

10. Severus Snape – Harry Potter (series)

he was a creepy man who never got over his middle/high school crush and took his hatred of her boyfriend out on their orphaned son.

Harry should never have named his son after him and I will die on this hill

– rockstarfishh

11. Mordo – Doctor Strange (2016)

He has a hissy fit over Strange using the Time Stone, only the alternative is the universe being destroyed. Okay, sure, using it has consequences, but can the consequences really be worse than Dormammu destroying the universe?

Then, instead of throwing in with Strange and Wong to help find a way to mitigate those consequences (and maybe help out against Thanos while he’s at it), he decides the real problem is that there are wizards out there sinisterly using their magical powers to–(checks notes)–not be paralyzed.

I suppose we’re supposed to think he has a point, but it seems more like he’s just another b**ch demanding accountability from everyone except himself.

– Zev95

12. Namaari – Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

I get that this was a Disney movie and it was all about forgiveness. But she literally didn’t get any consequences for ending the world.

I was sympathetic for her younger self because she could’ve been coerced into her actions, but she grew up and had no regrets.

It ruined the whole movie for me.

– squid2squared

13. Cruella DeVille – Cruella (2021)

They want her to be the #girlboss of our time, empowering, etc… THE WOMAN WANTED TO KILL AND SKIN PUPPIES FOR A COAT.

There’s absolutely nothing respectable you can spin from that, sorry.

– Resinmy

14. Goro Akechi – Persona 5 (2015)

Look I like his character. But the game downplaying his actions like killing Haru’s dad and Futaba’s mom.

Yeah. Doesn’t matter if his dad was giving him orders. He’s the one that pulled the trigger.

Also his plot for revenge was kinda dumb.

– ci22

15. Kylo Ren – Star Wars (series)

It didn’t help that a trilogy had two different directors with opposite visions.

Regardless of your views on the Marvel movies, at least they make an attempt to plan out the next set of movies together so that they make sense within the larger context.

The sequel trilogy failed to do that. It seems the wrote the story and script for the next movie after each release, rather than knowing the end from the very beginning

– RN_Rhino

I used to think Thanos was pretty compelling. Then I realized if he really wanted to bring balance he could just increase / redistribute resources rather than killing people. Dummy.

What villain do you think got written wrong?

Tell us in the comments.