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15 Times Movie Villains Were Total Cowards

May 28, 2021 145 votes 29 voters 1.1k views15 items

List RulesVote up the most cowardly moments from great movie villains.

Villains come in all kinds of different wrappers. Some of them are cruel, others are conniving, and many are successful simply because no one is willing to stand up to them. Some villains particularly love the hunt - they want to be kept on their toes. The following villains aren't those kinds of baddies. These are the most cowardly movie villains, the antagonists who prefer that no one fight back in case it becomes clear just how soft they really are.

Aside from being big, egg-laying chickens, one thing that all of these villains have in common is how they turn into huge babies once they realize the jig is up and the day is lost. Some of them cry, some beg to be spared, and many of them blame someone else for their problems - but again and again, they prove themselves to be 100%, grade-A chicken. It's up to you to figure out which one of these creeps is the vilest and most cowardly. You've definitely got your work cut out for you.

  • Count Rugen is Prince Humperdinck's right-hand man with six fingers on his right hand. He delights in the pain and sorrow of his enemies; he even builds a machine that causes so much suffering, it removes years from the life of anyone hooked up to it. Rugen is so petty and vile that, after commissioning the most perfectly balanced sword in the world, he killed the man who made it after offering to pay only a tenth of the agreed-upon price.

    Bad luck for Rugen, the swordmaker's son turned out to be Inigo Montoya. Inigo was just a boy when he watched his father fall to Rugen's blade, but he swore revenge against the six-fingered man and trained until he became the best swordsman in the world. Every moment of his life was focused on revenge, so much so that he prepared a speech that begins, "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

    When Rugen hears these words for the first time, he realizes the jig is up. But rather than face his destiny, he quickly turns and dashes away through the labyrinthine hallways of the castle. His chicken run turns out to be for nought, however; in the end, he gets got in a most satisfying way.

    Cowardly villain?
  • It's pretty clear to everyone watching Beauty and the Beast that Gaston is the worst. He won't stop bothering Belle even when she denies his advances, and when he finds out the woman he's into is in love with another guy (or beast), he gets extremely jealous. It's not a good look.

    When Gaston makes his way to Beast's castle, he tries to club the gentle monster to death, but Beast gets the jump on him. As soon as he realizes he's been beaten, Gaston literally begs for his life - very cringe. To make matters worse, as soon as Beast shows mercy and spares Gaston's life, the French womanizer stabs Beast in the back - the truest hallmark of a true coward. Gaston clearly doesn't think this through, because he immediately loses his grip on the knife and falls to his demise. It's a fitting end for Disney's biggest sleaze.

    Cowardly villain?
  • 3

    Percy Wetmore Is A Cruel, Sadistic Monster, But He's Emotionally Threatened By His Prisoners, And A Night In A Padded Cell Cuts Him Down To Size In 'The Green Mile'

    Percy Wetmore is easily on the most repugnant characters ever dreamt up by Stephen King. Not only does he enjoy working on death row to watch prisoners in their final moments, but let's just say he can't exactly be trusted to even perform his duty in the act of capital punishment without making the execution exponentially more painful. At one point he even does away with a pet mouse that belonged to one of the inmates - an incredibly cruel act, not to mention a petty one.

    He's not just a jerk; he's a vile human being - more monstrous than just about anyone behind bars at Cold Mountain Penitentiary - and everyone knows it. After Percy sabotages a prisoner's execution, the rest of the guards lock him in a padded cell for a night. A mild punishment, all things considered. All it takes is one evening with his own thoughts and he loses his mind. To make matters worse, prisoner John Coffey uses his abilities to transfer the mental affliction suffered by Melinda Moores (the prison warden's wife) into Percy's brain, leaving him fit for an asylum. It's a fit punishment for a man who wielded what limited power he possessed - a badge, a uniform, and a rich relative - as if it was a mandate from on high from a particularly sadistic god. Seeing him cut down to size only reveals him as the coward he always was once the badge, the uniform, and the symbolic power they represented were all gone.

    Cowardly villain?
  • 4

    Johnny Miller Helps Assault A Woman, But Completely Embarrasses Himself When Revenge Is At Hand In 'I Spit On Your Grave'

    Johnny Miller is just one member of the gang of rural rapists who taunt and assault Jennifer Hills while she simply tries to write her novel. Johnny initially finds himself enamored with Jennifer when he meets her at the gas station where he works. But when he makes a clumsy pass at her, she denies his advances - and he becomes furious.

    Later that evening, Johnny and a group of local men corner the woman in her cabin and have their way with her, all while filming the events. After she escapes and begins exacting her revenge on the men, she designs specific acts of violence for each of her attackers - and it's Johnny who shows just how cowardly he really is.

    After Jennifer ties Johnny to the roof of an abandoned building, he literally wets his pants because he's so afraid of getting his comeuppance. Of course, he can't be left in the home to simply marinate in his own juices while he weeps. After proving himself to be a complete coward, he has his teeth removed and he gets emasculated before bleeding out.

    Cowardly villain?