When you watch a movie, you typically relate to the protagonist. And even if you don't relate, you watch with the expectation that the protagonist's journey will be the most interesting and memorable part of the movie. But there are some instances when that isn't always the case. Sometimes, it's because the protagonist is downright evil, so you're obviously not going to be on their side. But other times, the protagonist isn't the problem — it's just that it's the antagonist who really makes the movie. This was the case in a lot of movies made in the '90s, where the antagonistic characters were deliciously villainous and everyone's favorite characters. There were just some '90s movie villains you loved to hate, and years later, those villains are still the most memorable parts of so many movies.
For example, what would Hocus Pocus have been without the Sanderson sisters? What would happen to Misery without Annie Wilkes? Or Silence of the Lambs if there was no Hannibal Lector? As you can see, having a distinctive villain is often key for a movie, as it gives something for the protagonist to fight against and helps to advance the plot. Furthermore, sometimes the villains in '90s movies were hilarious, witty, and overall contributed a lot to the film's entertainment factor. So without further ado, here are the 27 best movie villains of the '90s.
1. Harry and Marv, Home Alone
The Wet Bandits were creepy and coldhearted, so you didn't feel bad watching them fall victim to all of Kevin McCallister's booby traps.
2. Dr. Evil, Austin Powers
A parody of Ernst Stavro Blofeld (the antagonist of the James Bond series), Dr. Evil was arguably the most hilarious villain of the '90s.
3. Parker Wyndham, Zenon: Girl Of The 21st Century
This evildoer tried to crash the computer of Zenon's space station, but luckily, he was no match for our pigtail-wearing futuristic heroine.
4. Kathryn, Cruel Intentions
Sarah Michelle Gellar's character was the mean girl to end all mean girls.
5. Governor Ratcliffe, Pocahontas
In this Disney cartoon, Ratcliffe was the embodiment of greed in the conquest of the New World.
6. Cal, Titanic
Cal was so easy to hate that Billy Zane still gets called nasty names by strangers who recognize him from the movie.
7. Dennis Nedry, Jurassic Park
While there are multiple "worthy" candidates for the title of main villain in Jurassic Park, Nedry is the obvious choice. He was greedy and self-centered, and his actions directly led to the horrific events that unfolded on Isla Nublar in the film.
8. Courtney, Jawbreaker
Rose McGowan's character in Jawbreaker was not your typical mean Queen Bee; she was actually a straight-up sociopath.
9. Duchess, Babe
It was hard to believe that such a pretty kitty could be so mean to poor little piglet Babe.
10. Gaston, Beauty And The Beast
Gaston started out as selfish and vain, but was then revealed to be truly malicious and violent. He did have a really great song, though...
11. Christy, Romy And Michele's High School Reunion
Some people just never grow up after high school. Mean girl Christy tried to bully Romy and Michele at the reunion just like she did in high school, but finally got her comeuppance.
12. Captain Stone, Cadet Kelly
Christy Carlton Romano was so dislikable as the cadet captain who clashed with Hilary Duff's character.
13. Scar, The Lion King
Loosely based on King Claudius from Hamlet, Scar was the most malevolent figure of the animal kingdom.
14. The Sanderson Sisters, Hocus Pocus
What I wouldn't give to see this evil trio in a Hocus Pocus sequel...
15. Aaron, Primal Fear
It's so hard to hate Ed Norton, which was why he was so perfectly cast as this unlikely villain.
16. Jafar, Aladdin
My 6-year-old self would tell you that Jafar was one of the scariest Disney villains, and with an evil pet bird to boot.
17. Ben Oliver, Wayne's World
Rob Lowe was totally sleazy as this TV exec who tried to ruin Wayne and Garth's show and steal Wayne's love interest.
18. Teddy KGB, Rounders
The idea of a stony-hearted mobster who runs an underground poker ring is super scary, especially when said mobster is played by John Malkovich.
19. Hannibal Lector, Silence Of The Lambs
Hannibal Lector is one of the most memorable villains in cinematic history, and for good reason; he is creepy and cunning AF.
20. Catherine, Basic Instinct
Sharon Stone rose to fame with her role as a sexy, smart, murderous psychopath.
21. Shan Yu, Mulan
This terrifying villain was merciless in his conquest of China, but he proved to be no match for Mulan's bravery and intelligence.
22. Captain Hook, Hook
I never would have thought to cast Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook, but he was impressively good at being bad.
23. John Gage, Indecent Proposal
A sleazy billionaire played by Robert Redford was the main antagonist of this 1993 movie, which pitted the value of morals against money.
24. Frollo, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame
Judge Claude Frollo was a very different character in Victor Hugo's book, but in the 1996 Disney movie he was a prejudiced, morally corrupt figure who used his political power for evil.
25. Bartleby And Loki, Dogma
Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were hilariously evil as two fallen angels who were trying to re-enter heaven.
26. McLeach, The Rescuers Down Under
This poacher was scary and heartless. But thankfully, given that this was a Disney movie, he was eventually defeated.
27. Marion, Harriet The Spy
The antagonist of this 1996 Nickelodeon flick was a preteen named Marion who read Harriet's diary out loud and turned her friends against her. So rude!
'90s movie villains were the best because they were determined, despicable, and so easy to hate. And although you never wanted these characters to ultimately win, it was always an adventure watching them try.
Images: New Line Cinema (2), Giphy (15), Disney (3), Paramount (4), Universal (2), Miramax