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Villains Who Died Getting Exactly What They Wanted

December 22, 2020 943 votes 191 voters 50.3k views12 items

List RulesVote up the villains who should have put more thought into what they wished for.

A villain needs to be careful in all aspects of their evil-doing, or else they risk being hoist by their own petard. An all-too-common avenue to a villain's doom is achieving exactly what they wanted and somehow being eliminated by that very thing. Honestly, it's a bit of a tough gig. The hero either wins because the good guy always wins, or the villain wins, but still loses in embarrassing fashion

One of the core themes of fairy tales is to "be careful what you wish for," and that simple adage has remained constant, even as other aspects of storytelling have evolved. A villain will learn their lesson one way or another, whether it's at the hand of the hero or not.

  • Johann Schmidt, the leader of Hydra and the villainous Red Skull, spends much of WWII searching for the Tesseract, which he believes will give him the power to defeat all of his enemies. While in a fight with Captain America, the Red Skull grabs the Tesseract with his bare hands and is transported out of the shuttle in a ray of light similar to Heimdall teleporting Asgardians. 

    The Red Skull shows up once again in Infinity War, where he reveals that he has been cursed to spend eternity guarding the Soul Stone. His eternal punishment is to "lead others to a treasure that [he] could not possess." That's right, the moment the Red Skull got his hands on the object of his desire, he instantly earned an eternal curse to watch as others receive what he never could. 

    Careful what you wish for?
  • David Fincher's mercilessly intense Seven follows two detectives as they attempt to bring a serial killer to justice. That man, known as John Doe, is consumed by his obsession with the seven deadly sins. He commits murders that showcase his target's sin - for example, forcing an obese man to overeat until his stomach bursts. 

    In the climax of the film, the detectives - and the audience along with them - find out that John Doe doesn't consider himself free from sin. He has been envious of detective David Mills's wife and family life. David Mills also happens to, in John Doe's eyes, be a representative for wrath. So, John Doe slays Mills's wife, forcing "wrath" to shoot him, and ultimately getting exactly what he wants: To become the stand-in for envy while ruining the life of the embodiment of rage. His gruesome punishment for the representatives of the seven sins is completed through his own demise, and he gets exactly what he wants. 

    Careful what you wish for?
  • 3

    Snoke Wanted Kylo Ren To Claim His Destiny, But Didn't Realize Ren's Destiny Was To Take Him Out In 'The Last Jedi'

    Sith Lords in the Star Wars universe have a habit of forcing their followers to fight in front of their thrones, and Snoke is no exception in The Last Jedi. After Kylo Ren brings in Rey, Snoke begins to monologue about how he now senses a "resolve" in Kylo, as if his mind has been made up. He then vaguely orders Kylo to "fulfill his destiny" instead of the more specific, "Hey Kylo, kill Rey." 

    Snoke then says that he can tell Kylo is about to "ignite his lightsaber" and "kill his true enemy," which Kylo does by igniting the lightsaber sitting next to Snoke to cut through him. Snoke wants Kylo to fulfill his destiny, and that's exactly what Kylo does.

    Careful what you wish for?
  • Photo: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull / Paramount Pictures

    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull sees Indy trading in the Third Reich for the USSR. This time around, the big bad is Irina Spalko, a KGB agent tasked by Joseph Stalin himself to research the possibility of psychic warfare.

    She eventually catches wind of the Crystal Skull and races to find it before Jones can. At the end of the film, she returns the skull to the others like it in Akator. Once there, the skulls come to life and turn into a ghoulish CGI alien. Spalko begs the alien to "tell her everything," and before she knows it, her eyes are burning out of her body. As it turns out, a mere human is not able to handle all of the intelligence possessed by an extra-dimensional being, regardless of how much she wants it. 

    Careful what you wish for?