There is nothing better than a musical segment, which lets a villain can stop and lay out his evil plans for the rest of the audience, set to music. A supervillain who can sing has more panache than regular mundane villains. To celebrate the best of the serenading evildoers, we’ve gathered our favorite villainous musical numbers from television, movies and video games.
Here are the 36 best supervillain musical numbers ever performed on screen.
1. Pete’s Dragon - “Every little Piece”
God, there is so much horror in this movie. From the hillbilly song “Bill of Sale,” where a terrifying group of mountain folk scream about OWNING a little boy to “In These Hills,” which is just about the various ways they’re going beat up this kid, all of these songs are terrifying. However, listening to this villain sing about how he’s going to cut a dragon into bits is the absolute best (and scariest).
2. Spaceship (The Creature Wasn’t Nice), “I Want to Eat Your Face” (1983)
3. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Once More With Feeling” (2001)
Specific song, “Sweet’s Introduction.”
4. Little Prince, “A Snake in the Grass” (1974)
Bob Fosse, human snake.
5. Rock & Rule, “My Name is Mok” (1983)
Damn, Lou Reed is scary.
6. Hocus Pocus, “I put A Spell on You” (1993)
Runner up, “Come Little Children.”
7. FernGully, “Toxic Love” (1992)
Tim Curry doing what he does best: singing maniacally!
8. Winnie the Pooh, “Heffalumps & Woozles on Parade” (1977)
Beware! Beware, and never sleep again!
9. The Headless Horseman’s Sleepy Hollow Tune (1949)
10. Nightmare Before Christmas, “Kidnap the Sandy Claws” (1993)
Lots of folks probably expected the Oogie Boogie song, but no. The little trio of kiddie monsters are way scarier, and a lot more fun. This song is the best villain tune off the whole soundtrack, and it’s an ear worm as well. So good luck getting it out of your head.
11. Tangled, “Mother’s Knows Best” (2010)
Donna Murphy sings a totally twisted song about sheltering her fake daughter from the real world so she can live forever. The creepy part about this Disney spin on Rapunzel? These two characters actually care for one another. The witch raised this baby, and now they are in some strange abusive relationship based on false love. It’s heavy.
12. Batman: The Brave And Bold, “Drives Us Bats”
Neil Patrick Harris bellows about Batman.
13. Doctor Who, “I Can’t Decide”
Ok so maybe The Master is just lip syncing to this Scissor Sisters tune, but if it’s good enough for Beyonce.
14. The Return of Captain Invincible, “Choose Your Poison” (1983)
Christopher Lee sings about boozey death.
15. Gremlins 2, “New York, New York” (1990)
A completely unnecessary, absolutely delightful song featured in the Gremlins sequel. If you look closely you can see all the studio reps standing in the background shaking their heads and wringing their hands.
16. Leprechaun in the Hood, The Rap (2000)
Warwick Davis raps.
17. The Wind in the Willows, “Secret of Survival” (1996)
Live action Wind in the Willows Weasels are terrifying. Kill it with fire.
18. Princess and the Frog, “Friends on the Other Side” (2009)
Watch as the great Keith David steals the entire movie in two minutes.
19. The Emperor’s New Groove, “Yzma’s Song” (2000)
The tragically cut song, performed by Eartha Kitt. Seriously, why do you cast Eartha Kitt if you’re not going to let her sing? SHAME ON YOU DISNEY.
20. Anastasia, “In the Dark of the Night” (1997)
Update, actually that’s Jim Cummings singing and ripping his face off, not Christopher Lloyd.
21. Portal, “Still Alive” (2007)
If we’re going to include blogs, movies and TV shows we had to add the very best video game villain song of all time — hit it, GLaDOS.
22. Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog, “Freeze Ray” (2008)
Gosh, what to pick from this masterful collection of Whedon jams? There’s “Brand New Day,” the “Bad Horse” jingle and even the final song where Dr. Horrible becomes really horrible. However, we had to go with Freeze Ray, because we love seeing a villain in love. And it’s a sweet love, tainted by a quest for world domination, but still love. Also it’s his love for Penny that turns him evil so this is the ultimate set up song.
23. Beauty and the Beast, “Gaston” (1991)
Such a good song, you almost end up cheering for him in the end (of the song not the movie, he’s a total monster overall).
24. The Little Mermaid, “Poor Unfortunate Soul” (1989)
Pat Carroll is beyond amazing performing Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s tune. Everyone now, “Beluga, Sevruga, Come winds of the Caspian Sea. Larynxes, glossitis. Et Max Laryngitis. La voce to meeeeee!”
25. Little Shop of Horrors, “You’ll be a Dentist” (1986)
Runner up, “Suppertime.”
26. Labyrinth, “Magic Dance” (1986)
David Bowie and his bulge kicking muppet minions, yes please.
27. Pocahontas, “Mine, Mine Mine” (1995)
David Ogden Stiers harmonizes with himself.
28. My Little Pony: The Movie, “Nothing Can Stop the Smooze!” (1986)
29. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, I Want It Now (1971)
What is a “bean feast?”
30. Thumbelina, “On the Road” (1994)
Sung by Charo.
31. Rock-A-Doodle “We Hate The Sun” (1991)
Apparently owls = organ.
32. Lord of the Rings, Where There’s a Whip” (1978)
So great it inspired a burlesque rendition.
33. How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (1966)
34. Muppet Movie, “Let’s Talk About Me” (2011)
Chris Cooper keeps three woman in his closet.
35. Batman the Animated Series, “Say That We’re Sweethearts Again”
An amazing superhero take on the Virgina O’Brien classic.
36. Cats Don’t Dance, “Big and Loud”
These tunes aren’t exactly in our wheelhouse, so we can’t “technically” add them to the io9 list. However, they are all so awesome and they shouldn’t be overlooked. So we gave them a special category here.
The Great Mouse Detective, “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind”
Lady & the Tramp, “We Are Siamese”
Lion King, “Be Prepared”
101 Dalmatians, “Cruella Deville”
Hunchback of Notre Dame, “Hellfire”
UPDATE: OK I forgot there were talking gargoyles in Hunchback so it can count, you win!
Update, 10:36 a.m., May 6, 2020: This post has been updated to remove a video that is no longer available.