15 Seemingly Nice Characters Who Were Cold-Blooded Behind Closed Doors

List Rules
Vote up the villains whose kind exteriors mask truly ruthless cores.

Some of the worst villains are those who don't present as villains at all. You know the baddies we're talking about - the evildoers who keep manicured lawns and bake cookies. They're villains who pretend to be good, the monsters who look like they teach at a liberal arts university - not the monsters who present themselves for what they really are.

The wolves in sheep's clothing that are included here are made up of villains hiding in plain sight who took out their own guys and cold-blooded monsters who do whatever they have to do to get their way. It's just that they do it wearing a cable-knit sweater, not a big, green helmet with horns.

All of these villains hide their cruel core with a mask of kindness, but some of them are better at it than others.


  • The Nice Exterior: This incredibly powerful, primordial being may be a living planet, but he's also one of the most charismatic beings in the universe. Ego goes out of his way to welcome Peter Quill and the rest of the Guardians into his seemingly idyllic world (that's also somehow his body) while promising Quill they'll have the father-son relationship the hero always wanted.

    The Real Character: To paraphrase Yondu, Ego may be Peter Quill's father, but he wasn't his daddy. Ego's M.O. is to impregnate women across the galaxy to hopefully birth another Celestial into the heavens, and then use their power to increase his. This process doesn't just kill the mothers, but when the children don't display Celestial energy, they're iced as well. Once Ego realizes Peter doesn't want to be a part of the Living Planet's whole "take over the entire universe" thing, he flips out and tries to murder his son and all of his son's friends. 

    104 votes
  • Dolores Umbridge In 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'
    Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures

    The Nice Exterior: Prim and proper to the nth degree, Dolores Umbridge does everything she can to put up a "nice" exterior. She drapes herself in pink. Her office is decorated with pastel curtains and teacups. She keeps her voice to a squeak whenever she's speaking.

    The Real Character: In spite of her pastel outfit and the general meekness of her nature, Dolores Umbridge is one of the vilest people in the Wizarding World. Not only does she ignore Harry and his friends when they have legitimate information about Voldemort's return, but she straight-up assaults the children of Hogwarts. 

    103 votes
  • 3
    72 VOTES

    Lotso Bear In 'Toy Story 3'

    The Nice Exterior: When the toys first meet Lotso at the daycare center, he welcomes them in with open arms. He literally looks like a teddy bear, and he happens to smell like strawberries (which is a nice touch). His charm is impossible to ignore, and he's genuinely easy to love.

    The Real Character: Cruel and teeming with hatred for everyone around him and his circumstances, Lotso is a true piece of trash. Less a benevolent leader and more of a despot, Lotso takes out the pain of his abandonment as a young toy on everyone around him by ruling the Sunnyside Day Care with a tight, vicious squeeze.

    72 votes
  • The Nice Exterior: Carter Burke is an unhinged combination of "nice guy" and bureaucrat. After Ripley is rescued from her 57-year sleep at the beginning of Aliens, Burke makes sure she has everything she needs, and he does his best to make her feel comfortable in this uneasy future - all the while prying small pieces of information out of her.

    The Real Character: It becomes clear that Burke is a wolf in sheep's clothing when he calmly explains to Ripley that he can make sure she never works again if she doesn't lead a group of space marines to LV-426. As if that's not bad enough, he attempts to impregnate Ripley and the sole survivor of a massacre on the planet (a preteen girl) with a couple of Facehuggers he finds.

    58 votes
  • 5
    53 VOTES

    Ransom Drysdale In 'Knives Out'

    Ransom Drysdale In 'Knives Out'
    Photo: Lionsgate

    The Nice Exterior: Ransom's whole vibe is kind of confusing. He's obviously a spoiled playboy who relies on his family's wealth to fund his lifestyle, but once the investigation into his grandfather's demise begins, he couldn't be nicer to Marta Cabrera (his grandfather's nurse). Overall, he's extremely charismatic, and he's able to make people feel like they're the only people in the room.

    The Real Character: The real proof that Ransom is a straight-up villain is the fact that he led the conspiracy to slay Harlan Thrombey because dear old granddad cut him out of his will. He goes so far as to try and frame Marta and off the few people who could out him for the total creep he is.

    53 votes
  • 6
    50 VOTES

    The Armitage Family In 'Get Out'

    The Nice Exterior: This classic left-leaning family of lifelong white Democrats looks like the perfect family from the outside. They're welcoming to outsiders. The Armitage patriarchs both run their own successful medical practices, and Dean Armitage is all too happy to tell the young, Black Chris Washington that he would have voted for Obama a third time if he were allowed to do so.

    The Real Character: This whole family is absolutely the worst. Aside from treating every Black person they meet like a rare animal, the Armitage family also has this little thing they do where they put the consciousness of a white person into a Black body. The consciousness of the person they trap is left in the "sunken place" to watch like a passive viewer as their entire life is taken away from them.

    50 votes