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Just fear me. Love me. Do as I say, and I shall be your slave.
Jareth the Goblin King to Sarah, Labyrinth

So, The Hero's girl is pretty cute. Only it turns out the Hero isn't the only one who thinks so. She's caught the villain's eye as well.

If this crush takes a turn for the perverse, this can lead to tropes like I Have You Now, My Pretty, Forceful Kiss, Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me, And Now You Must Marry Me, Scarpia Ultimatum, and Go-Go Enslavement, although none of those require a Villainous Crush. Additionally, the villain may become a Stalker with a Crush. If the crush itself is a motivating factor in his Start of Darkness, then it's Love Makes You Evil.

Conversely, this trope can be played as a humanizing factor, making the character into more of an Anti-Villain, and the love interest may act as a Morality Pet. Taken all the way, it may become Love Redeems.

Despite the description, this trope applies whenever a villainous character has feelings for a heroic one, not just when the Big Bad has the hots for the Hero's girlfriend. That's just usually the way it goes.

If the feelings are mutual or an actual relationship develops, then it's Dating Catwoman instead. When this is purely subtextual, see Foe Yay. The specific variant when the Evil Empress captures the hero to seduce him is Villainesses Want Heroes.

Examples of Villainous Crush include:

Anime & Manga

  • Road towards Allen in D.Gray-man. She even kisses him at one point.
  • In episode 4 of Meitantei Holmes, Professor Moriarty kidnaps Mrs. Hudson to get to Holmes, but she's so kind that he soon develops a serious crush on her himself. When the plan eventually fails, he releases her and promises never to involve her in one of his schemes again.
  • The whole deal in Inuyasha would have NOT started if the thief Onigumo didn't fall in love with Kikyou, then made a Deal with the Devil that transformed him into none other than Naraku...
    • Also from the same series, Jakotsu towards Inu-Yasha himself, and Mukotsu towards Kagome.
  • Happens more than once in Sailor Moon, where villains of both genders were attracted either to Usagi (Seijuuro/Alan, Prince Diamond) or to Mamoru (Queen Beryl, Natsumi/Anne, manga and Crystal!Dark Lady, anime!Fish Eye, apparently anime!Nehelenia).
  • Sorta used in Shaman King, where Hao is pretty pleased when Yoh's Action Girlfriend Anna Kyouyama stands up to him...
  • Vampire Hunter D. Vampire lord Count Magnus Lee desires the human girl Doris Lang, but she only has eyes for the title Hero.
  • Elie from Rave Master. Everybody's got a crush on her, even the psycho Lucia, who stole her first kiss, leaving her in tears.
  • Rido Kuran from Vampire Knight was obsessed with his sister Juri and then subsequently with her daughter, Yuuki.
  • Voltron: Prince Lotor has a very unrequited obsession with Princess Allura, and to a smaller degree one on her identical cousin and his temporary captive Princess Romelle. The first one continues in the American-produced Sequel Series, Voltron Force.
    • And both of them come from Prince Sincline's really creepy obsession with Princess Fala in GoLion, leading him to (among other things) capture Princess Amue and keep her for some time as his slave (and implied forced concubine).
  • Outlaw Star: Harry towards Melfina.
  • Full Metal Panic: Gauron towards Sousuke and Leonard towards Kaname.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: Haman Khan seems to have one of these on Judau Ashta, while Glemmy Toto has one on Roux. In each case the heroic individual ends up being responsible in some way for their admirer's death.
  • On Beast Wars II female Seacon Scylla has a serious crush on the Maximal Scuba and will happily abandon her team in the middle of battle in order to pursue him. At the same time there’s also an inversion where Scuba’s fellow Maximal Bighorn has an unrequited crush on Scylla. Go fig.
  • Transformers Cybertron features a rare villain on villain crush with Thunderblast. She’ll latch her always unrequited attention upon any Decepticon who’s in charge, be it Galvatron, Scourge or Starscream. She’s crazy and fickle.
  • Hunter X Hunter has Hisoka Morow, who displays this trope towards several people: the 12 year old protagonist Gon, Gon's best friend Killua (also around 12 years old), his Phantom Troupe companion Machi, the Phantom Troupe leader Chrollo, and his own boyfriend Illumi (who also happens to be Killua's eldest brother).



  • Gaston to Belle from Beauty and the Beast
  • Frollo to Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Beaumont for Madeleine in White Zombie.
  • Ming the Merciless seemed pretty hung up on Dale Arden in Flash Gordon.
  • Mr. Barnaby (the Crooked Little Man) for Contrary Mary (or Mary Contrary, in the Disney version) in Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland and the analogous Little Bo-Peep in March of the Wooden Soldiers, the Laurel and Hardy version
  • Subverted in The Princess Bride. It appears that Prince Humperdinck is in love with Buttercup, but it turns out that he just wants to marry her so he can arrange for her to be killed and then use her death to justify a war with the scapegoats.
  • Dark Helmet for Princess Vespa in Spaceballs, from what you can tell in the scene where he plays with his action figures.
  • Rippner to Lisa in Red Eye.
  • Joker for Vicki Vale in Batman.
    • While we're at it, the Riddler seems to have a bit of one on Chase Meridian in Batman Forever.
  • Blue for Baby Doll in Sucker Punch.
  • Jareth to Sarah in Labyrinth. Foreshadowed in Sarah's story to Toby at the beginning: "But the Goblin King had fallen in love with the girl..." He sends her into a dreamlike state featuring a Dance of Romance between them, and at the end, he offers her the chance to stay with him and be loved by him if she gives up her quest.
  • Tod to Marge in Mom and Dad Save The World
  • Megamind on Roxanne since before the events of the film, as confirmed by the filmmakers' commentary.
  • Kylo Ren to Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. He carries her bridal style back to his ship and makes several attempts to seduce her to join the dark side or to rule the galaxy with him. She fends him off at first, even scarring his face, but as time passes she develops a Force Bond with him, realizes how conflicted he is and starts trying to bring him back from the Dark Side. . .


  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' Thuvia, Maid of Mars. Carthoris is in love with the title character, who is also desired by the Villain, Prince Astok of Dusar.
  • Another Burroughs' example would be At the Earth's Core, in which Hooja the Sly One lusts after David Innes's beloved Dian the Beautiful.
  • The Phantom's obsessive infatuation with Christine in The Phantom of the Opera. Leads to Stockholm Syndrome on Christine's side and ends with I Want My Beloved to Be Happy on the Phantom's side. The narrator pities him more than condemns him.
  • William Hamleigh for Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth, although that's more of a Perverse Villainous Obsession variant.
  • Billy "Boil" seems to have one on the titular heroine of the Cat Royal series of books, although how much of a villain he is varies from book to book.
  • Littlefinger for Catelyn Stark, later her daughterSansa. Heavily implied to be his Start of Darkness.
  • Burgo Fitzgerald for Glencora M'Cluskie and George for Alice Vavasor in Trollope's Can You Forgive Her?.

Live-Action TV

  • Davis Bloome on Chloe in Season 8 of Smallville. Sometimes Tess Mercer seems to have one on Clark. And then there was the whole Lex/Lana mess in Seasons 5 & 6, and Lionel's unrequited crush on Martha which ran for most of the show.
  • Unfortunately for Kurt on Glee, David Karofsky, his main homophobic bully, has one on him, and he only finds out when he's given a Forceful Kiss. Kurt gets together with his Second Love Blaine, however.
  • Ares has it bad for Xena: Warrior Princess, to the point where his motivation throughout the show is basically to win her love.
  • There were indications in Season Two that how Lord Zedd felt about Kimberly in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was not just Foe Yay subtext, especially with the episode he tried to make her his queen.
  • Either played extremely, scarily straight or averted in Sherlock with James Moriarty and Sherlock Holmes. Moriarty originally presented himself as a camp gay when he was undercover to get to Sherlock, but once he dropped the "Jim from IT" face, the act remained. The two flirt incessantly in an impressive display of villainous UST.
  • On Luther the titular detective has to deal with the uncomfortable fact that his closest friend and confidante, and most reliable source of help is Nietzsche Wannabe Manipulative Bastard and thorough psychopath Alice Morgan. That alone would be bad enough, but as many of Alice's lines suggest, she may well have a thing for Luther.


  • Before being sealed away for good, Apos had a downright disturbing fascination with User:Ozbourne.

Tabletop Games

  • Shadowrun adventure Harlequin's Back. In the Backstory, a Horror fell in love with Queen Thayla and refused to leave her, even though his presence was destroying her land. She eventually decided to leave with him to save her people from destruction.


  • Judge Turpin of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street developed two of these. The first was on Sweeney's wife, Lucy Barker, which ultimately led him to kick off the plot by having Sweeney transported for life, followed by luring her to a masked ball and raping her. The second was on Sweeney and Lucy's daughter Johanna, who he adopted out of remorse for what he did to Lucy but came to desire as more than a daughter as she grew older, leading him to have her thrown into a madhouse upon learning that she planned to elope with Anthony Hope, a young sailor. Sweeney finally takes vengeance upon Turpin by luring him into his shop by claiming that Johanna has "seen the error of her ways."



Web Originals

Western Animation

Real Life

  • During the Libyan Civil War it was discovered that Muammar Gaddafi had one on former US Secretary of State Condoleezza "Condy" Rice, no less. The rebels even found a sizable photo album full of pictures of her in his compound. It looks like it wasn't a surprise for her; diplomatic meetings with him were apparently quite..... awkward.
  1. This was during a period she was depowered however