Watchworthy
27.6k voters

The Greatest Female Villains

Updated December 21, 2020 294.5k votes 27.6k voters 1.3m views262 items

List RulesVote up and add all of your favorite fictional, evil ladies.

The best female villains include women whose roles are truly iconic and evil. Some of the greatest movie and television villains ever made this list. Whether it's a mentally unstable character who stalks her unsuspecting victim or a conniving, totally immoral villain who frames innocent people, this list includes all the big female villain names. It is, however, not complete, so please, feel free to add your favorite female TV and movie villains as well. Vote for the characters you think are the worst villains ever to grace the big or small screen.

What makes a great villain? A character that is morally bankrupt, complex, and tortured - and, more often than not, extremely well dressed. The female villains listed here certainly fit the mold. Some are evil to their very core, allowing heroes to emerge and shine as they (hopefully) triumph against them. A villain is nefarious, vile and generally bad. Many are guilty of criminal behavior, to say the least. Some make us love to hate them (that's a sure sign of a fantastic female villain). We cheer if and when they meet their untimely ends, because they deserved it!

In film, some of the best movie villains of all time are women. Need proof? How about bunny-boiler Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) in Fatal Attraction or mentally deranged "fan" Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) in Misery? Sharon Stone's portrayal of femme fatale Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct earns her a best female villain place on the list, as well as a top spot among the sexiest characters in thrillers.

Some actresses' best roles in movies or on TV shows came when they played villains. Rachel McAdams was unforgettably villainous as Regina George, aka Queen Bee, in Mean Girls. Helena Bonham Carter's played some interesting roles over the years, but none more wicked that Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter movies.

From the psycho exes to the stalkers and the femme fatales, enjoy this list of the best female villains in movies and television, and feel free to rerank it your way, too.

Photo:
...more
  • Bellatrix Lestrange1
    7,104
    3,790

    Powers & AbilitiesOcclumency

    More Bellatrix Lestrange 

    #36 of 228 The Greatest Female Characters in Literature, Ranked#17 of 411 The Greatest Female Characters in Film History

  • Cersei Lannister2
    5,958
    3,192

    Cersei Lannister

    Game of Thrones

    More Cersei Lannister 

    Vicious Cersei Clapbacks That Cement Her As The Queen Of TV Villains#372 of 737 The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

  • Dolores Umbridge3
    4,739
    2,544

    Dolores Umbridge

    Harry Potter

    More Dolores Umbridge 

    #1 of 14 Secondary Villains Who You Hate Even More Than The Big Bads#21 of 22 Every Patronus In 'Harry Potter,' Ranked By How Much You Wish It Was Yours

  • Maleficent4
    5,386
    3,294

    Maleficent

    Sleeping Beauty

    Powers & AbilitiesShapeshifting, Teleportation

    More Maleficent 

    #12 of 19 Famous Villains Whose Looks Have Totally Changed#2 of 78 The Greatest Animated Disney Villains

  • Cruella de Vil5
    3,894
    2,371

    Cruella de Vil

    101 Dalmatians

    More Cruella de Vil 

    #30 of 68 The Best Once Upon a Time Characters#6 of 14 The 14 Most Over-The-Top Movie Villains

  • Queen6
    2,108
    1,199

    Queen

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    More Queen 

    #6 of 42 The Greatest Fictional Queens#17 of 46 The Greatest Characters with No Name

  • Regina George7
    3,319
    2,061

    Regina George

    Mean Girls

    More Regina George 

    #6 of 17 The Most Perfectly Hateable Villains In Silly Comedies#2 of 14 The Most Memorable Queen Bees From Movies

  • Hela8
    1,031
    405

    Hela

    Requiem

    More Hela 

    #36 of 172 The Best Characters In The Marvel Cinematic Universe#8 of 18 MCU Villains Who Got Exactly What They Deserved

  • Ursula9
    3,016
    1,908

    Ursula

    The Little Mermaid

    Powers & AbilitiesShapeshifting

    More Ursula 

    #295 of 319 The Greatest Cartoon Characters in TV History#5 of 14 Movie Villains You Didn't Realize Were Based On Real People

  • Poison Ivy10
    2,727
    1,724

    Poison Ivy

    Batman & Robin

    Powers & AbilitiesPoison Emission, Chlorokinesis

    More Poison Ivy 

    #230 of 876 The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time#7 of 86 The Best Characters from the Batman Universe

  • Mystique11
    3,581
    2,446

    Mystique

    Marvel Universe

    Powers & AbilitiesShapeshifting, Healing factor

    More Mystique 

    #25 of 112 The Greatest Marvel Villains & Enemies Ever#20 of 496 The Best Comic Book Villains

  • Other Mother12
    1,506
    764

    Other Mother

    Coraline

    More Other Mother 

    #9 of 14 The Most Powerful Fantasy Villains, Ranked#1 of 15 Villains In Children’s Movies Who Are Way Too Scary For Children

  • Mother Gothel13
    1,680
    1,023
  • Catwoman14
    3,004
    2,192

    Catwoman

    Maggie, Catwoman

    Powers & AbilitiesHand-to-hand combat, Empathy

    More Catwoman 

    The Best Actresses Who Played Catwoman#62 of 297 The Best Comic Book Superheroes Of All Time

  • Jadis the White Witch15
    2,705
    1,869

    Jadis the White Witch

    The Chronicles of Narnia

    More Jadis the White Witch 

    #8 of 46 The Fictional Leaders You'd Most Like to Behead#28 of 35 The Best Narnia Characters

  • Agatha Trunchbull16
    1,167
    679

    More Agatha Trunchbull 

    #19 of 20 20 Film And TV Roles That Were 100% Perfectly Cast#5 of 15 Roald Dahl Movie Characters Who Look Like You Want Them To

  • Queen Ravenna17
    2,269
    1,649

    Queen Ravenna

    Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Annie Wilkes18
    3,479
    2,601

    More Annie Wilkes 

    #1 of 19 19 Great Female Villains Who Were Wolves In Sheep's Clothing#5 of 82 The Very Best Actress Performances, Ranked

  • O-Ren Ishii19
    2,461
    1,760

    O-Ren Ishii

    Kill Bill Universe

    More O-Ren Ishii 

    #13 of 20 The Most Lethal Assassins In Movie History#5 of 14 14 Villains Whose Backstories Could Be An Entire Movie

  • Alien Queen20
    1,451
    1,034

    Alien Queen

    Aliens Universe
  • Yzma21
    1,856
    1,269

    Yzma

    Kronk's New Groove, The Emperor's New Groove

    More Yzma 

    #62 of 72 The Best Fictional Witches#10 of 12 A Ranking of Disney Villains, Based on How Stupid Their Plans Are

  • Winifred Sanderson22
    839
    451
  • Azula23
    1,820
    883

    Azula

    Avatar: The Last Airbender, Avatar: Legend of Korra

    More Azula 

    #19 of 50 The 25+ Greatest Anime Characters With Fire Powers#24 of 80 All The Characters In 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' That We Kinda Just Want To Sock In The Face

  • Samara Morgan24
    1,232
    895

    Samara Morgan

    The Ring Franchise

    More Samara Morgan 

    #10 of 15 15 Supposedly Scary Movie Monsters Any Idiot Could Have Easily Defeated#84 of 205 The Greatest Kid Characters in Film

  • Wicked Witch of the West25
    3,270
    2,587

    More Wicked Witch of the West 

    #15 of 25 Movie Villains That Made Us Say 'Forget The Hero, I'm With The Bad Guy'#60 of 291 The Best TV Villains Of All Time