While every TV show has characters that everyone loves, there’s something particularly entertaining about a character you love… to hate. Most of the time, multi-dimensional villains in movies and TV shows are men. While some lady-villains fall into the typical femme fatale or evil seductress role when they’re given the wicked treatment, but every once in a while, a female TV villain is given a bit more to her character and we love it.
In fact, usually, these nefarious females are even more cunning and clever than your usual male meathead bully. While you find yourself getting irrationally annoyed at these characters, nothing makes for good television like a common enemy. Maybe they’re the typical high school mean girl who reminds us a little too much of someone from our past, or maybe they’re a sociopathic criminal who makes us feel that special combination of both pissed off and terrified. Either way, no show would be complete without a grade-A TV villain to spice things up. So, here arethe most iconic lady TV villains we can’t help ourselves from loving to hate:
1. Paris from Gilmore Girls
While she definitely had her fleeting moments of kindness, Paris spent the majority of her time being a total TV villain. While Rory Gilmore could definitely handle her own against Paris, she pretty much victimized every student at Chilton, especially poor Brad. If you don’t remember, she basically bullied him to the point where he had to leave school — yeah. Paris’s character hits a little too close to home, taking on the role of every over-achieving, overly-competitive mean girl we were forced to deal with in high school.
Even later on in the series when she and Rory get closer, her short temper and neurotic antics make you want to take cover. Then again, when Netflix
revived the show, we just couldn’t wait to see where she’d ended up.
2. Georgina Sparks from Gossip Girl
Don’t get us wrong, there’s a small part of us that kind of thinks it would be super fun to party with Georgina… but when it comes to being a TV villain, she’s definitely one we love to hate. She was a complete and total wild child — always partying, doing drugs, getting into trouble, and being sent off to boarding school (not to mention, lying about having Dan’s baby, yikes).
She’s a master-manipulator, the kind of girl who managed to put the fear of God into any high-schooler and ruined pretty much everyone’s lives when she crossed their path.
3. Tammy Two from Parks and Recreation
Tammy Two is obviously the most vicious of the Tammys in Ron Swanson’s life, making her another iconic TV villain. Not only are her antics straight-up disturbing and hilarious, the way she transforms Ron into the worst version of himself is incredible to watch. Let’s not forget when they briefly got back together (again) and he ended up with a partially-removed mustache, corn rows and making out on a table with Tammy. She’s the bane of every member of the Parks and Recreation Department’s existence and pretty much a caricature of that one evil ex we all have that can make us go insane in the blink of an eye.
4. Alison DeLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars
She may only be a high school student, but Ali from Pretty Little Liars is probably up there as a top-ten scariest tv villain. She may have been the Queen Bee of Rosewood High, but she maintained her position by threatening, manipulating and torturing her “friends.” Even after her disappearance, the years of bullying she inflicted on Aria, Spencer, Emily and Hannah manages to play on the girls’ deepest insecurities and continues to control them long after they think she’s gone. She had a sick way of making them feel special and included, while keeping them under her total control.
5. Vee Parker from Orange is the New Black
As a TV villain, Vee from Orange is the New Black is about 100x worse than your typical high school mean girl. Vee is a straight-up hardened criminal and is absolutely pure evil. Watching her gain control over the Litchfield girls was like watching a car crash. Seeing the way she drove Suzanna (AKA Crazy Eyes) to her absolute breaking point was honestly almost too painful to watch.
Plus, she managed to drive a wedge between Taystee and Poussey — two of the most solid friends on the entire show. Her character was the perfect villain, the hatred you felt for her while watching OITNB was almost a little too real.
6. Heidi Montag from The Hills
It’s true that Heidi Montag is actually a real-life person, but the actual reality of The Hills is questionable at best. Either way, Heidi was a terrible friend to LC and was generally the worst, making her a classic TV villain. To be totally fair, Heidi also happened to be dating Spencer Pratt aka Satan Incarnate as shown on The Hills. He was a master manipulator and pretty much managed to be so awful that Heidi’s friends made her choose them or Spencer. Guess who she chose? Yeah. Shady. Even without Spencer, Heidi was no walk in the park, and defended her clearly-guilty boyfriend when Lauren accused him of spreading rumors about her. Ugh.
7. Kate from Lizzie McGuire
Kate is an OG TV villain. While we know now that Kate was most likely another typical insecure middle-schooler, we sure hated her at the time. Kate definitely wasn’t pure evil and we got to see the human side of her occasionally, but all of us had a Kate in our lives at one point or another and Lizzie McGuire‘s depiction of our middle school mean girl was on point.
We couldn’t help but admire her, fear her and hate her all at the same time. Looking back on the show, Kate seems less than threatening (maybe it has something to do with the absurdly-glittery wardrobe?) but when we were Lizzie’s age, girls like her were to be avoided at all costs.
8. Ursula from Friends
Okay, calling Ursula a TV villain may be a bit of a stretch, but her occasional appearances on Friends made her one of the show’s most underrated supporting characters. If you’re not familiar, Ursula is Phoebe’s identical twin. The two can’t stand each other, mostly because Ursula is constantly doing various absurd things without warning Phoebe, or just completely ignoring her. Prime example — when she started working as a porn star using Phoebe’s name. Or maybe when she was holding onto tons of valuable items and letters from the twins’ deceased mother without telling Phoebe. Either way, she made for one of the best recurring plotlines throughout Friends and every time she popped up we were undeniably excited.
9. Kim Kelly from Freaks and Geeks
Kim Kelly is pretty sympathetic as a TV villain, but we still loved to hate her from time to time. Kim had a super-rough background, not to mention her boyfriend Daniel (played by James Franco) kind of treats her like garbage. The show does a great job making us see the human side of Kim, but sometimes the way she treats Lindsay is so evil you just can’t overlook it.
Plus, if you haven’t caught on to a theme so far, it’s pretty much that high-school and middle school can turn girls into the worst versions of themselves.
10. Helga Pataki from Hey Arnold
Ugh, remember Helga Pataki from Hey Arnold? We couldn’t help but feel bad for her, but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t also a super-annoying TV villain from our younger years.
Granted, she only treated Arnold (aka “Football Head”) so badly because she secretly ~adored~ him (soooo typical), but it didn’t make her cruelty any less awful. Not only does she routinely torture Arnold, she pretty much finds a way to bully every other kid in their school, too, even her only friend, Phoebe. As younger kids, it was kind of hard to keep up with whether we loved Helga or hated her, since she would periodically turn into a hopeless romantic, reciting poetry about her hidden love for Arnold. #Relatable.
11. Constance Langdon from American Horror Story
Just the thought of Constance Langdon is enough to give you goosebumps. American Horror Story is obviously chock-full of villains to choose from, but something about Constance felt more evil than the rest. Maybe it’s the fact that despite being 100% human, she managed to be one of the cruelest, most heartless and creepiest characters on the show to date. While there might be a very small part of her that truly cares in a messed up way, she abuses her children consistently and is involved in several murders as the season progresses. The pain she’s able to inflict on people is nearly impossible to watch.
12. Angelina from Jersey Shore
Again, Angelina is not necessarily a TV villain because The Jersey Shore is (believe it or not) a reality show. If you’re not a die-hard Jersey Shore fan, you may not even know who Angelina is. She only lasted for one season, and was replaced with Snooki’s partner in crime, Deena, by season two.
However, in her short time at the shore house, Angelina managed to piss off just about everyone. She basically bickered with every single person at one point or another — even Vinny. Which is saying something. The worst part about Angelina is that, for some reason, she really thought she was better than everyone on the show. Girl.
13. Jordan Sullivan from Scrubs
Jordan (Dr. Cox’s ex-wife/baby mama/wife/confusing situation) from Scrubs is definitely an underrated TV villain. While she’s most likely not pure evil, she’s known and feared around Sacred Heart for being just as cold and conniving as Dr. Cox is. She has the ability to hone in on each character’s biggest insecurity, so she can play them against each other for her own entertainment.
Basically, she’s twisted and mean just for the fun of it. The greatest thing about her is that she’s pretty much the only one who can control Dr. Cox and shake him to his core, which is fun as hell to watch.
14. Angelica from the Rugrats
If you’re a millennial, Angelica was one of the first TV villains you loved to hate. Angelica was slightly older than the other babies on The Rugrats, and she just loved being as bossy and mean as she possibly could to all her tiny companions. While she almost always does the right thing in the end, she always finds time to torture Tommy, Chucky, Phil and Lil whenever the opportunity arises.
Granted, it’s not entirely her fault. Her parents totally spoil her, making her eerily similar to a lot of the mean kids we knew growing up…
15. Corinne Olympios from The Bachelor
Now, bear with us. Corinne Olympios from season 21 of The Bachelor isn’t exactly a TV villain. However, we all know how the producers of that show love picking one contestant, completely villainizing them and turning every cast member (and most of America) against them during the reality TV show’s run.
While Corinne was definitely molded into her villainous role, no one can deny that she made for excellent television. Her love of naps was almost too similar to our feelings (though obviously napping through a rose ceremony is ~very rude~). Also, seeing the girls act completely flabbergasted at her outward sexuality and DGAF attitude was truly hilarious. Here’s to you, Corinne.
16. Angela from The Office
Let’s be honest, the beauty of The Office is that pretty much every character is a villain in their own way at one point or another. However, Angela can be so outwardly cruel, selfish and downright annoying towards the other characters that it’s kind of hard not to think she’s the absolute worst. Whether she’s bullying Phyllis, belittling Pam, obsessing over her cats, or being a HUGE pain about her engagement to the (State) Senator — Angela was the exact kind of coworker you would never ever want.
17. Jan from The Office
To be totally honest, Angela definitely has moments of being a sympathetic character. Jan, however, does not. In terms of girl villains on The Office, we can all agree that Jan is the absolute worst. True, Michael would almost definitely be the worst boyfriend ever, but he undeniably has a heart of gold.
Jan completely manipulates him, belittles him and embarrasses him in front of his employees and their bosses at every chance. Plus, almost everything she does make us want to shrivel up from embarrassment. Whether it was that god-awful dinner party or her singing “Son of a Preacher Man” to her baby, she always managed to make everyone in her presence highly uncomfortable.
18. Glory from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
When it comes to TV villains, no show can do it quite like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The villains on Buffy aren’t your typical mean girls or criminals, most of them are straight-up demons or monsters. Take Glory from season 5, for example. Glory is a super-powerful God from a hell dimension, who’s been vanquished to our world for being way too hellish and threatening to the other hell gods. She’s forced to survive in a human vessel — a twentysomething boy named Ben — and she can transition from her true form back into Ben without anyone remembering they saw it happen.
So if you thought your high school ex was the worst, did you ever consider he may have just been a god from a hell dimension in a human vessel? Make sense. That said, Glory was absolutely hilarious. Her way with words made for some phenomenal TV — though she could be downright irritating at times.
19. Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
If we were gonna talk about one girl TV villain from Buffy, we had to bring up Drusilla. Drusilla shows up in season 2, working as Spike’s love interest/partner in crime. We learn as the show goes on that Drusilla was originally a beautiful Catholic girl who could predict the future. Angelus, upon realizing her potential for purity and sainthood, decides to corrupt her by torturing and traumatizing her (as most guys do… TBH).
While Drusilla is obviously evil, there’s something about her softspoken and quirky nature that made us downright giddy whenever she came on the screen. Props to Juliet Landau for playing the character so well.
20. Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time
If you’re not familiar with Once Upon a Time, you may be familiar with the Evil Queen from the classic fairytale, Snow White?
Once Upon a Time basically takes characters from classic fairytales, and transports them into the modern world to a town called Storybrooke, where they’re pretty much unaware of their pasts in a different world (at first, at least). This is all because the Evil Queen (Regina, as she’s known in Storybooke), erased all their memories. And while she ~has her reasons~ for all of her wickedness (which makes her slightly sympathetic), there’s no denying she’s capable of some truly deplorable things.
21. Cersei from Game of Thrones
And of course, we couldn’t call out amazing lady villains without mentioning Cersei from Game of Thrones. As a member of the most powerful and wealthy family in all of Westeros, how could Cersei not be evil? There’s kind of a whole lot to unpack in terms of why Cersei is so evil. She’s basically totally self-obsessed and pretty sociopathic in how she treats people. Cersei is your typical power-obsessed villain, meaning she’ll kill pretty much anyone and anything that stands in the way of her status. Not to mention her incestuous affair with her twin brother, Jaime? Yeah, yikes.