Remembering the failed plots of our favorite movie villains

A hero can only be as great as the villain they are defeating. But hopefully not as stupid.

10:00 am EDT, November 5, 2015

Remember, remember, the fifth of November! Also remember the idiotic villains we’ve seen over the years.

If you know what’s special about November 5, it’s probably because you’ve seen V for Vendetta, or you’re just aware of and/or participate in Bonfire Night. But if you’re currently scratching your head in confusion, let’s catch you up.

Guy Fawkes Night, or Bonfire Night, is a celebration of a failed assassination attempt that took place on November 5, 1605. In short, the intention of the Gunpowder Plot was to blow up the House of Lords and kill the King. Guy Fawkes was in charge of the explosives.

An anonymous letter was sent to the authorities, warning them of the threat, resulting in a search and eventual find of Fawkes guarding the gunpowder. The men involved were either killed in the ensuing fight, or, like Fawkes, convicted in sentencing and hanged.

Bonfires were lit in celebration of the fact that the King had survived the assassination attempt. Some months later it was announced that an annual day of celebration would be enforced, in honor of the plot’s failure.

Related: It’s good to be bad: 14 TV antiheroes we can’t help but love

Today, let’s not just celebrate Fawkes and company’s failure. Let’s also celebrate some of the most memorable movie villains, and the stupidity that led to their failed plots.

Voldemort – Any ‘Harry Potter’ film

movie villains voldemort

Voldemort’s first attempt to kill Harry (who was only one year old at the time) fails big time, resulting in Voldemort losing his body. His second attempt, when Harry is 11, also fails, as well as the third attempt in Chamber of Secrets, despite having a giant snake chasing after Harry.

In Harry’s fourth year at Hogwarts, Voldemort gets his own body, and isolates Harry from any who can help him, while also surrounded by Death Eaters. Yet he still doesn’t manage to kill Harry. One year later Voldemort is yet again thwarted, and driven away by Dumbledore. Then in the final chapter, Harry’s seventh year at Hogwarts, despite a big battle, Voldemort is ultimately defeated rather easily.

Most, if not all, of his losses could have been avoided had he done a bit more research and planned better. For a supervillain, he sure is stupid.

Anton Chigurh – ‘No Country for Old Men’

movie villains anton chigurh

For all Chigurh’s brains and brawn, he makes a small, potentially fatal, mistake. He doesn’t check his blindspot, and he gets hit by an oncoming car. How mundane. Throughout the entire film there is no stopping him. He’s invincible and comes out on top every time.

That is, until ‘fate’ finally catches up with him, and leaves him with a protruding bone. But fate didn’t have much to do with it. Whether because of arrogance or just plain stupidity, Chigurh’s small moment of negligence results in his demise. Remember kids, always check your blindspots!

Javert – ‘Les Misérables’

movie villains javert

Apparently Javert will stop at nothing short of stupidity in order to capture Jean Valjean. Javert is one of the most well-known faces of France, and he decides that it’s a good idea to go ‘undercover’ and join the rebellious students. As expected, his cover is blown practically instantly. They realize who he is and capture him. It’s only downhill from there.

Sauron – ‘The Return of the King’

movie villains sauron

After centuries of searching for his ring (the One Ring, the most powerful ring in existence), of trying to retrieve it, and finally regaining his full strength, Sauron decides at the last moment to behave like a teenager with too much homework. He gets distracted. He looks away.

Sauron allows Frodo to traverse the Planes of Gorgoroth unhindered because Gandalf and Aragorn are making noise at the front door. What about the back door, Sauron? You’d think someone who has spent over a thousand years looking for his ring wouldn’t be so easily distracted and gullible. You had one job, Sauron!

Green Goblin – ‘Spider-Man’

movie villains green goblin

Even if Peter hadn’t dodged out of the glider’s way, it still would have ended badly for the Goblin. The glider would come flying, hit and impale Peter, and would keep coming! The Goblin would have been impaled right along with Peter. Whether it’s Norman’s or the Goblin’s mind at work is irrelevant. The fact is that it is a really stupid idea no matter how you slice it.

Related: Quiz: Can you match the Marvel villains to their infamous quotes?

Stormtroopers – ‘Return of the Jedi’

movie villains stormtroopers

How incompetent are stormtroopers that they are ultimately defeated by primitive space teddy bears? The elite soldiers of the Empire can’t hold their own against a swarm of Ewoks. Seriously? They have guns and armor! What do Ewoks have? Sharp sticks and fur.

It isn’t about hating Ewoks either. Those little furballs are super cute and awesome in their own way. It’s just a somewhat dissatisfying way to end this longtime battle. Sure, Ewoks have their talents, but it feels silly that it’s their contribution that ultimately leads to the downfall of the second Death Star.

What other stupid mistakes of movie villains do you remember?

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