Movie villains almost always have distinct personalities, even though they all share some common traits. Some might be clumsy, unfortunate, or angry at the world. On the other hand, some movie villains are wholly amused at the situation they’ve gotten themselves into.

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Whether or not the villains receive their comeuppance in the end, some villains can be seen having the time of their lives while their heroic adversaries go through all kinds of hell to stop them.


Bellatrix LeStrange — ‘Harry Potter’ Series (2001-2011)

Bellatrix grins with a group of death eaters behind her
Image via Warner Bros. 

Bellatrix LeStrange (Helena Bonham Carter) is a witch who is pretty… well, strange. She’s a Death Eater and one of Lord Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) most trusted allies. What makes her so “out there” is her many eccentricities. For example, she finds amusement in destructive behaviors or dangerous situations.

Even though she is placed on the precipice of oblivion numerous times, she still giggles the day away. All this while Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), the boy who lived, is going through the stress of being the “chosen one” and being unwillingly given the burden of defeating Voldemort. Though Bellatrix was only present in the final four Harry Potter films, she certainly made her presence known.

The Joker — ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)

Joker grins smugly in an interrogation chamber
Image via Warner Bros. 

Nearly any incarnation of the Joker (Heath Ledger) (save the one played by Joaquin Phoenix) is a perfect example of villains having more fun than the heroes: but it’s the version from The Dark Knight that takes the cake. This version of Joker is spontaneous, frighteningly intelligent, and violent as always, but also delightfully happy in pretty much any given situation.

Even when Batman (Christian Bale) is beating Joker to a pulp in an interrogation room, Joker still laughs his head off knowing that there is no way Batman can win in the end. Joker is having an absolute blast in prison, while Batman is desperately trying to save as many lives in Gotham City as possible: it’s an enthralling dynamic to watch play out on screen.

Richmond Valentine — ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’ (2014)

Richmond Valentine holding a coffee mug
Image via 20th Century Fox

Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) is a widely-beloved tech mogul in the universe of Kingsman: The Secret Service. He unveils a new cell phone chip which will allow anyone who purchases it free unlimited internet no matter where they go. Of course, practically everyone on Earth lines up to receive the groundbreaking technology. Secretly though, the chip is an implant that will emit a sound frequency that will cause people to turn violent, inevitably purging all human life on Earth. The few safe from this fate is the ultra-wealthy, who are instead willingly injected with an explosive chip in their neck.

Though Valentine despises seeing violence and gets squeamish at the sight of blood, he certainly has a flair for the dramatic. The chips in the necks of the rich are set to explode in a glorious fireworks display set to music. On top of that, Valentine lives in a gorgeous mansion in the mountains, and is served fast food on silver platters. Meanwhile, the protagonist, Eggsy (Taron Egerton), is struggling through the grueling training to become one of the Kingsmen, which is far from an easy task.

Jareth the Goblin King — ‘Labyrinth’ (1986)

Jareth, the Goblin King in Labyrinth.
Image via Tri-Star Pictures

Jareth (David Bowie) lives in a magical realm where he rules over a horde of goblins. When a frustrated teenage girl named Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) wishes her baby brother away, he arrives to take the child off of her hands. She realizes her terrible mistake, so Jareth gives her one last chance to get her brother back by traversing a labyrinth within 13 hours.

While Sarah exhaustively tries to make her way through the ever-changing maze, Jareth throws dance parties and puts on musical performances for her kid brother. Sarah has to face strange creatures and places she’s never seen, for the most part on her own, while Jareth is just living it up in his castle.

Jobu Tupaki — ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ (2022)

A pink-haired Jobu Tupaki walks through a cloud of confetti
Image via A24

Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu) is one of the several characters in Everything Everywhere All at Once who has the capability to travel the multiverse. Fortunately, she is completely aware of what’s going on, and how to use her powers for ill. On the other hand, Evelyn (Michelle Yeoh) is just discovering her power, and for the most part, has no idea what she’s doing.

Jobu Tupaki uses this to her advantage and enjoys toying with Evelyn as she struggles to understand her place in the multiverse. Poor Evelyn just wanted to pay her taxes, and now she has to worry about Jobu, who constantly plays with Evelyn’s mind and makes her question everything.

Jack Merridew — ‘Lord of the Flies’ (1990)

Jack Merridew, clutching a spear and adorned with war paint
Image via Columbia Pictures

Jack Merridew (Chris Furrh) is the primary antagonist of the original 1963 Lord of the Flies film, and its 1990 remake, both of which are based on a novel of the same name by William Golding. The story concerns a group of preteen schoolboys who wind up in a plane crash and become stranded on an uncharted island. A boy named Ralph (Balthazar Getty) is elected the leader, but his civilized policies are deemed annoying and restrictive by the rest of the boys, and one by one, they begin to leave him in favor of Jack’s looser rules.

Ralph’s only true friends are Piggy (Danuel Pipoly) and Simon (James Badge Dale), but he eventually loses them as well. Ralph is then left to survive alone. In the meantime, Jack and his crew are having a pretty good time, hunting, finding food, living in a mountain fortress, and keeping each other company in general.

Xerxes I — ‘300’ (2006)

Xerxes I spreads his arms wide
Image via Warner Bros. 

Xerxes I (Rodrigo Santoro) is the King of Persia who intends on conquering Sparta in 300. Leonidas I (Gerard Butler), the King of Sparta, takes an army consisting of just 300 men to meet the enormous Persian army at Thermopylae, where they can delay the invasion. Xerxes I himself doesn’t really participate in combat like Leonidas I does. In fact, Xerxes I is having a great time in his private tent.

Filled with music, money, jewelry, and plenty of company, Xerxes I is enjoying his lavish lifestyle even when he’s so far from home. At the same time, Leonidas I is preparing for his own death, and fighting the invaders tooth and nail himself. You could argue that this makes Xerxes I more cowardly, but there’s no denying that his side of the story looks much more enjoyable than the Spartans’.

Vector — ‘Despicable Me’ (2011)

Vector poses with his shrink ray cannon
Image via Universal Pictures

For the majority of Despicable Me, Vector (Jason Segel) seems to be having a pretty good time. He gets the bank loan that Gru (Steve Carell) wanted, and he lives in a swanky high-tech bachelor pad with a massive flat-screen TV, video game consoles, state-of-the-art security systems, and an aquarium with a live shark in it. How cool is that?

On top of that, everything works out mostly in his favor, as Gru’s entire world is flipped upside-down by adopting three young girls when he has zero parenting experience. Even though Gru comes out on top in the end, there’s no denying that Vector has it pretty good until then.

Smaug the Terrible — ‘The Hobbit’ Trilogy (2012-2014)

Smaug glares at Bilbo Baggins
Image via Warner Bros. 

Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a powerful, fire-breathing dragon, and the overarching antagonist of The Hobbit trilogy. Before the events of the films, he attacked the dwarven kingdom of Erebor, forcing the dwarves out and claiming the mountain halls for himself. Erebor is filled with riches: gold coins, jewelry, diamonds, you name it. And Smaug is, quite literally, swimming in it in a Scrooge McDuck-like fashion.

Smaug stays within his treasure room for over half of the trilogy, and is only forced to fight near the end of the second film and the beginning of the third. Even then, he actually seems to enjoy the carnage. Apart from that, while the heroes are traversing the land and hitting nearly every bump in the way, Smaug is just chilling out and sleeping in piles of riches. Talk about living your best life.

The Green Goblin — ‘Spider-Man’ (2002)

The Green Goblin attacks Times' Square
Image via Sony

The Green Goblin, (Willem DaFoe) also known as Norman Osborn, is the CEO of Oscorp who becomes a villain after an experimental chemical test goes horribly wrong. This gives him superhuman strength, speed, and reflexes, but also a craving for chaos. Since Spider-Man is a superhero movie, and the hero always triumphs in the end, it’s only natural that the Green Goblin will meet his end eventually. But until he does, he is having an absolute whale of a time.

Throughout the senseless violence he inflicts, he laughs the whole time, and cracks multiple jokes and one-liners. He even seems to enjoy toying with his victims. As this is happening, Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) is still figuring out the whole superhero thing, and grieving over the death of his uncle.

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