13 Times Villains Blatantly Cheated, But Still Lost

List Rules
Vote up the villains who didn't even have the decency to play fair.

No one expects a villain to be completely on the up-and-up. For every baddie in a movie who wants to play by the rules, there are dozens of antagonists who will lie, cheat, and steal to get what they want. This dedication to scummy behavior rarely works out in their favor.

Every member of the rogue's gallery collected here cheated to win and came out with a big, fat goose egg, but none of them cheated in the same way. Some of these cheats were just trying to get ahead in a game of cards, while others were trying to hack into government systems through extreme parachuting. Some villains even had clear and legal shots to take over the world and instead tried to do so through underhanded means.

Every cheat we've collected here failed at their job. It's enough to make you wonder if cheating is ever worth it.


  • The Villain: The leader of the Cobra Kai dojo and owner of the fluffiest hair in Southern California just wants to prove that his crew is the strongest and most aggressive group of karate teens on the planet. He pushes his teenage followers to fight dirty and fight hard, and if that fails, he has them cheat.

    How He Cheated: After watching his students go down in flames at the All-Valley Karate Championship, Kreese instructs one of his students to disable Daniel LaRusso's knee with an illegal attack. The student is disqualified, but LaRusso's knee is wrecked. In the following match, Kreese tells Cobra Kai leader Johnny Lawrence to sweep LaRusso's remaining leg to further injure him.

    How He Lost Anyway: Kreese pushes his luck by insisting that his teenage students injure one of their peers to the point that his leg is unusable. They follow his instructions to a T, but LaRusso is prepared for their underhanded tactics and pivots to a defense that actively requires cheating to work. With a stiff crane kick to the face, LaRusso shows Kreese and the rest of Cobrai Kai why cheaters never win.

    22 votes
  • 2
    19 VOTES

    Warden Hazen Tries To Blackmail Paul Crewe Into Throwing The Big Game In ‘The Longest Yard’ (1974)

    The Villain: No one loves football quite like Warden Hazen. He's so into the game that he put together a semi-pro team of prison guards. He's so obsessed with winning that he enlists Paul Crewe, former pro quarterback, to coach the guards, but when Crewe puts together his own team of inmates, this draws the warden's ire.

    How He Cheated: When the warden's team faces off against the much better-trained team of prisoners, Hazen tries to get Crewe to throw the game by suggesting that Crewe will be implicated in the murder of a fellow inmate.

    How He Lost Anyway: Hazen double-crosses Crewe by having his guards injure as many inmate players as possible. After Crewe sees his friends going down in pain, he changes his mind and wins the game by one point with no time left on the clock.

    19 votes
  • The Villain: As the host of India's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, he'd rather not see anyone - especially Jamal - win the show's grand prize.

    How He Cheated: Prem attempts to throw Jamal off the trail of the million-dollar prize by pretending to give the young contestant the right answer to the final question of the game. He writes the letter "B" on the mirror of the bathroom that Jamal is using during a commercial break in hopes that the young contestant will jump at the answer.

    How He Lost Anyway: Jamal sees this as the ruse it is and uses the 50/50 lifeline to get rid of two of the answers, leaving the correct answer and the one Prem fed him. Jamal zigs instead of zags, winning the show.

    12 votes
  • The Villain: He's snotty. He's rude. He kills his own father to take the throne of Rome after Maximus is named his father's heir.

    How He Cheated: Aside from doing away with his father so he can take over the throne, the most underhanded thing that Commodus does is challenge Maximus to a battle in the middle of the Colosseum, and then have him stabbed before the actual battle begins.

    How He Lost Anyway: Even with Maximus bleeding out in the middle of the Colosseum, Commodus isn't a match for the former general. As Commodus tries to deal a fatal blow to Maximus, the titular gladiator uses Commodus's own blade on him. It's brutal, but that's what cheaters get.

    25 votes
  • 5
    9 VOTES

    Ratsy Breaks Cort's Hand In 'The Quick and the Dead'

    The Villain: Out of all the gunslingers in The Quick and the Dead, Ratsy is the most cartoonishly Western of the lot. A buck-toothed half-wit who serves as a henchman to Herrod, the evil mayor of Redemption, he's exactly the kind of character who won't (or can't) play by the rules.

    How He Cheated: With the dawn shoot-out between his boss and a former gunslinger turned preacher, Cort, fast approaching, Ratsy breaks Cort's shooting hand. Surely nothing bad can come of this.

    How He Lost Anyway: Herrod makes a huge show of wanting to play by the rules and fires Ratsy before shooting him dead in the street. None of these shenanigans end up mattering in the end because "the Lady," another gunslinger, has her own plan for taking out Herrod that goes into motion long before the villain's shoot-out.

    9 votes
  • The Villain: Auric Goldfinger is easily one of the most dastardly villains to ever go toe-to-toe with James Bond. His plan to steal the gold from Fort Knox is bad enough, but it's his cheating early in the movie that really shows what kind of guy he is.

    How He Cheated: At a hotel in Miami Beach, Goldfinger presides over a high-stakes game of gin rummy where he uses a radio receiver in his ear that's operated by Jill Masterson. On her end of the operation, she watches whomever he's playing against through a set of binoculars while explaining their hand through a CB radio setup.

    How He Lost Anyway: James Bond figures out Goldfinger's scheme pretty quickly and hooks up with Masterson before getting on the CB radio and blackmailing Goldfinger into losing a fat stack of cash.

    9 votes