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12 Cartoon Villains That Are Way Weirder Than You Remember

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Any TV program is only as good as its villain, according to the adage, which is why 80s cartoons are among the finest of all time. They featured some of the most memorable bad men of any period of television, despite being low-budget and having oftentimes paper-thin stories and low-quality animation.

These villains almost likely stayed with you long after you grew up, sometimes very terrifying, sometimes humorous, sometimes simply perplexing, but today we’re reflecting on just how weird those evil people were.

12. Cobra Commander

Many 80s cartoons are still popular today, yet hardly one recalls G.I. Joe, let alone the series’ antagonists. Cobra Commander isn’t really threatening or frightening, but he does have enough oddities to make him the show’s finest character.

First and foremost, he spoke like a snake and created a snake temple to reside in only for the sake of theatrics. Not only that, but he’s a brilliant blue snake guy underneath his costume, which is more stranger when you consider that he’s running for president.

11. Dr. Claw

One of the defining characteristics of 1980s cartoons was their relatively low budget, which led to animation companies and authors colluding to save money in every way they could. Inspector Gadget kept things on the cheap by having the villain appear only once in a series of shots.

Dr. Claw’s moniker literally alludes to the only thing we know about him: he possesses a claw-like robotic arm. In fact, based on the information we have, the only other moniker we could offer him is Dr. Cat, which doesn’t exactly have the same ominous ring to it.

10. Mumm-Ra

Thundercats is a long-running television show and book series about a species of smart warrior cats headed by an extraterrestrial monarch who fights a race of mutants. In essence, it’s already a strange series, which is made much worse by the villain.

Mumm-Ra is a half-mummy, half-wizard that plagues the Thundercats and seems to be a skinny, bandaged relic most of the time. He does, however, have a beast mode that turns him into a purple Thanos-like bodybuilder, which is nearly as strange as his fondness for his pet hellhound.

9. Gargamel

The Smurfs is maybe the fluffiest and least terrifying of all the cartoons on our list, which is why it’s so perplexing that the monster is so thoroughly wicked. Gargamel isn’t interested in stealing from the Smurfs or even persuading them to be quiet — he wants to annihilate them.

That’s already far too violent for a children’s animation, but it’s only part of the story. Even worse is the fact that he wants to consume the Smurfs and transform them into gold in addition to killing them for sport. Are they the sole resource in the forests where they live?

8. Venger

Dungeons & Dragons is experiencing a renaissance these days, with both new and old generations rediscovering the delights of the tabletop roleplaying game. However, regardless of how popular the game gets, the spin-off show is unlikely to follow suit — mostly due to the villain.

Venger is meant to be the series’ main antagonist, however he both appears and acts ineffectively. He has a strange outfit that comprises a dress, a shawl, and just one asymmetric horn. Not only does he spend all of his time attempting to take the weapons of the youngsters in the play, but he also has a perplexing costume that includes a dress, a shawl, and only one asymmetric horn. Even his demon horse understands the value of having two!

7. Skeletor

Skeletor is the most charming of the 1980s rogue’s gallery, owing to his ability to be entirely meme-able. His voice is funny, his facial expressions are even better, and his irritation is palpable.

With that said, it’s odd how he’s totally muscular despite having a skeleton’s face, and his choice of insults (remember when he dubbed the monarch a “royal boob”) is as odd. Regardless, we adore him.

6. Big Wheel

Super strange villains can survive for a long time in the environment of 1980s children’s cartoons, but this one only lasted one episode. Big Wheel is a Spider-Man comics creation that only featured once in the Spider-Man Animated Series.

What are his abilities? They’re precisely what they sound like. He whirls about on a massive wheel, threatening Spider-Man and wreaking havoc on New York’s infrastructure. It’s terrifying.

5. Krang

Apart from having one of the least menacing-sounding villain titles in cartoon history, Krang’s look and origin are among the most bizarre. He appears like a brain in a false squishy human costume, for example, because he is one.

He used to be a reptilian warlord, but Shredder, another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle favorite, had his brain transferred into a custom-made armor. However, it’s perplexing why he didn’t just have his brain-body transferred into the suit’s head and is instead a Dalek.

4. Majin Buu

Majin Buu steals – or absorbs – the cake when it comes to strange and over-the-top antagonists in Dragon Ball Z. He’s an extraterrestrial space baby who was born by an evil wizard to kill Goku by consuming everything in his way.

This resulted in several awkward battles, such as when Buu mistook himself for a joyous superhero or a bizarre pink infant. His kindness simply adds to his horror, since he’d probably believe absorbing you into his nasty bubblegum skin was a fun.

3. Condiment King

As we’ve already established, animated superhero programs are at the bottom of the canon heap, so they can get away with portraying some of the universe’s least threatening villains. Condiment King matches that description well, since he is maybe the dumbest villain in the DC universe.

He was a Joker’s henchman before assuming his own character, which is less scary than that of the clown prince of crime. After all, you’d just need some stain remover and perhaps some hot dog buns to destroy him.

2. Chairface

As we’ve already established, animated superhero programs are at the bottom of the canon heap, so they can get away with portraying some of the universe’s least threatening villains. Condiment King matches that description well, since he is maybe the dumbest villain in the DC universe.

He was a Joker’s henchman before assuming his own character, which is less scary than that of the clown prince of crime. After all, you’d just need some stain remover and perhaps some hot dog buns to destroy him.

1. Duke Nukem

Duke Nukem is such a stupidly campy-sounding supervillain name that you’d think there could only be one, yet there are two. Duke Nukem from Captain Planet, the evil mutant tourist, is the less well-known and successful of the two.

Nukem, like other Captain Planet antagonists, is primarily interested with irradiating the Earth and turning it into a filthy wasteland. What’s strange is how threatening he appears to be while wearing little neon beach shorts.

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