There is no shortage of badass, kickass villain songs in cinema. Often the difference between a standard villain and a truly memorable one is whether they get a showstopping, catchy as all hell song. Whether they're proclaiming their greatness, their plans sure-fire imminent success, or just trying to get our heroes to be 'more chill' they're often the most memorable parts of the movie.
Whether these guys and gals are just misunderstood misanthropes or genuinely evil anarchists, these are the tunes that you'll find yourself tapping and humming to on the other side. Honorable mentions to Black Sheep from Scott Pilgrim, The Doldrums from Phantom Tollbooth, Hellfire from Hunchback of Notre Dame, and In The Dark Of The Night from Anastasia. All awesome, but not quite catchy enough.
10 Sweet Transvestite - The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This spot was destined to be Tim Curry's, barely beating out Ferngully's 'Toxic Love' or Muppet Treasure Islands 'Professional Pirate'. He is so deliciously into his performance as Frank N. Furter, strutting and preening around his mansion as Janet and Brad watch on in bemused, entranced wonder.
Words like relish, debauched and 'pretty groovy' abound from the moment he appears and you'll never forget what you're watching. Come up to the lab and see what's on the slab.
9 Mother Knows Best - Tangled
Not the last Disney entry in this list because, of course. A brutal character assassination disguised as whimsical constructive criticism in verse. As Mother Gothel simultaneously tries to scare and threaten Rapunzel into staying in the tower you can't help bobbing along and enjoying her insincerity.
Donna Murphy somehow manages to be both hilarious and sinister throughout the thing without missing a beat. Visually explicit too as Gothel tries to put out the lights of knowledge Rapunzel keeps igniting. The undercurrent is outright disturbing but still, it'll be an earworm for days. Don't forget it, you'll regret it.
8 You're Only Second Rate - The Return Of Jafar
Say what you will about the drop in quality from Aladdin to the sequel but this villain song makes it worth it. Jafar only got a reprise song in the original after his songs were cut so this second entry rectifies that in style.
Almost entirely down to the delivery of Jafar's Jonathan Freeman, it's reminiscent of Frank N. Furter with extra demonic flair. You'll listen to this a bunch of times trying to lock down the quick-fire lyrics. Whenever you can get 'discombobulate' and 'zabacabadabra' into a song you're doing something right.
7 Poor Unfortunate Souls - The Little Mermaid
Come on, who wouldn't trust that face? Ursula's ditty doubles as perhaps the best contractually binding song as well, as she entices and cajoles Ariel into giving up her voice. It sways hypnotically, building to a thunderous crescendo you'll be humming forevermore.
Pat Carroll is the embodiment of an evil, wish sales-o-puss and so good in this song you'll find yourself liking her despite yourself. Impossible to listen to only once.
6 I've Got Friends On The Other Side - The Princess & The Frog
Disney's second-last 2D animated feature has one of the best villains and catchiest villain songs they've ever done. The brilliant Keith David voices Dr. Facilier, a voodoo trickster with some of the smoothest pipes you'll ever hear. Back-to-back legalese lies in song form make the list as the bad ol' Doc tricks Prince Naveen and uses his valet Lawrence for his scheme.
The moment they take that 'poor sinner's hand' and agree to terms the song becomes a neon nightmare as if Genie from Aladdin had been an evil monkeys paw. Are you ready for transformation central?
5 Beelzeboss - Tenacious D & The Pick Of Destiny
Of all the catchy songs on this list, this one rocks the hardest by far. It's also the sweariest, most vulgar, and third contractually binding song in a row on this list! Who saw that being a thing? Jack 'Jables' Black and Kyle 'Kage' Gass take on Dave Grohl's Satan in a sonic smackdown and it's glorious. It goes through several phases and each one is as catchy as the last.
There would be quotes here except there's swearing-in nearly every other word. Suffice to say the riffs are tasty, the doors are blown down, and the mama-jam's are indeed massively monster. The rock-off that rocks your socks off!
4 I Want It Now - Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Sometimes, a greedy little girl with no concept of fairness is as evil as things get. Veruca Salt is that insufferable seedling, demanding her whims be satisfied just because she'll be even worse if she doesn't get them. In a movie with plenty of great songs (and one or two nightmare fuel catalysts), this one hits for the long term.
Almost every lyric begins with 'I want' and by the end, you'll be glad she got what she deserved but you'll still think 10,000 tonnes of ice cream would be pretty sweet. A truly bad egg with a good catchy song.
3 I Can Change - South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
South Park's movie stands the test of time and one of the most surprising things about it was that it was essentially a full-on musical. It could be the meticulously incorporated swearing, the break-dancing breakdown, or Saddam Hussein's surprisingly earnest pleading while screaming about murder, but it's as catchy as the hell it's sung in.
It also has some solid warnings about being a sandy little b*tthole (don't). Probably the funniest/catchiest song on the list.
2 Everything Is Awesome - The Lego Movie
A song so good you might not have even realized its evil intentions. It's actually a sneaky delivery system for complacency and repetitiveness from the Octan Corporation designed to numb and suppress the citizens as Lord Business carries out his evil plans with The Kragle.
The thing is, it's so unbelievably catchy and infectious that most don't realize this unless they sit down and think about the implications of it within the Lego world. Ironic in the extreme, but catchy in the even more extreme! The sequel song was explicitly made to bolster this point and told you it's going to get stuck in your heart, but this original is overwhelmingly too powerful to exclude.
1 Be Prepared - The Lion King
Could it have been anything else? The iconic imagery, the evil-laced musings of Jeremy Irons' Scar along with (a lot of) help from Jim Cummings bring this to the top of the list. The hissing, malicious vocals over the percussive tune are undeniable.
It doesn't just sound amazing but the lyrics are clever and inventive, layering complexity into what was already the king of villain choruses. Another Disney triumph that elevated everything the light touches.