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The Nastiest Things Hannibal Lecter Has Ever Done

Updated October 1, 2019 4k votes 522 voters 19.6k views15 items

List RulesVote up Hannibal's most classless moments.

Depraved cannibal, cultured intellectual, manipulative madman - the infamous psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter is the perfect embodiment of all three, and through every visual representation of Thomas Harris's work, Hannibal is depicted with a level of sophistication, gravitas, and nightmarish psychopathy. 

From his appearances in The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Hannibal (2001), where he is portrayed by the incomparable Anthony Hopkins, to Hannibal Rising (2007), where Gaspard Ulliel takes on the role, to the NBC series Hannibal, in which Mads Mikkelsen brings his own, devilish twist to the doctor, the character never fails to frighten audiences with his grotesque actions. 

The worst things Hannibal Lecter does on screen include forcing his prey to cannibalize themselves, using a horse and a rope to his advantage, and serving a man's prefrontal cortex with shallots and white wine. Whether he's assisting FBI profiler Will Graham, advising FBI special agent Clarice Starling, or getting vengeance on the men who served his sister for dinner, Hannibal Lecter's deeds are always in response to someone else's rude behavior. Not all of his actions necessarily result in a person's demise, but oftentimes, that means a worse fate awaits those who have crossed paths with the notorious Dr. Lecter. 

  • Photo: MGM

    Hannibal Lets A Child Eat Some Of His Special Plane Food In 'Hannibal' (2001)

    In Hannibal (2001), Dr. Lecter prepares Justice Department official Paul Krendler's frontal lobe with shallots and white whine, and he keeps the leftovers for himself.  

    Later, while sitting in coach on a plane, Lecter indulges in his own specially prepared boxed lunch, which appears to include what's left of his meal with Krendler. The young boy seated next to him notices Lecter's strange-looking food and asks if he could have a bite. Lecter gives the boy a taste while explaining that it's important to "try new things."

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    Hannibal Wears A Guard's Face To Escape Custody In ‘The Silence of the Lambs’

    While the majority of Lecter's screen time in The Silence of the Lambs is spent speaking with Starling, he eventually orchestrates one of the most terrifying escapes in film history. The infamous doctor is in Tennessee and is being held in a cage inside the courthouse.

    When a couple of guards, Sgt. Pembry and Officer Boyle, come to deliver his dinner, Lecter escapes his handcuffs. He bites Pembry's face and sprays him with mace before rendering him incapacitated. Lecter then ends Officer Boyle with his own baton.

    Lecter wears Pembry's face and uniform and pretends to be deceased when the other police arrive. They think Lecter is Pembry and rush him outside to an ambulance. Later, they find Pembry's faceless body wearing Lecter's clothes and realize the doctor is on the loose.

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  • Photo: NBC

    Hannibal Slices And Displays Beverly Katz For Jack Crawford In ‘Hannibal’

    The TV series Hannibal is famous for creating some of the most hauntingly stunning and deeply grotesque imagery on network television. In one of the most striking examples of this sort of artistic depravity, Lecter takes out FBI agent Beverly Katz after she discovers that he is the Chesapeake Ripper.

    He freezes her body and slices her into thin cross sections, placing each between two panes of glass and erecting them like a museum display. For good measure, he also cooks and eats her liver, replacing her internal organs with James Gray's, another offender she was hunting at the time of her demise. 

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  • Photo: NBC

    Hannibal Eats Frederick Chilton’s Lips, Uncooked, In ‘Hannibal’

    After Frederick Chilton is taken by Francis "The Tooth Fairy" Dolarhyde, the wannabe Red Dragon sinks his teeth into Chilton's lips and pulls them clean off. Dolarhyde sends the lips in a care package to Dr. Lecter, who is being held at the Baltimore State Hospital.

    Once the package is delivered, Lecter - who has long despised the vindictive and bitter Chilton - swallows one of his lips whole in front of BSU Agent-in-Charge Jack Crawford.

    As Crawford watches Lecter, the psychiatrist displays an unusual level of mirth: "I'm sorry Jack, but the tragedy of what happened to Frederick has put me in an excellent humor."

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