Who’s the favorite movie villain in every U.S. state?

by Samantha Davis-Friedman

With Halloween approaching, we all have villains on our minds, from Ursula in “The Little Mermaid” to Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but have you ever wondered who’s the favorite movie villain in your state?

Favorite movie villain
Images courtesy of Shane Co.

The engagement ring specialists at Shane Co. decided to find out, so the company that celebrates happily ever afters enlisted the help of Google search to find out which happy ending spoilers – both live-action and animated – Americans love most.

Favorite Live-Action Movie Villain

Every hero has an arch nemesis whose sole purpose is to foil their well-intentioned plans. Some villains have superpowers, but others are just downright wicked.

Favorite movie villain - Live-Action

Across the U.S., comic-book villains ranked the most popular, with the favorite live-action villain overall – The Joker, portrayed by Heath Ledger – rewarded for causing chaos in Gotham City by being most popular in Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas. In second place, Hannibal Lecter (portrayed by Anthony Hopkins) is most searched in Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Montana, West Virginia, and Wyoming, and another Batman baddie, Bane from “The Dark Knight Rises” (portrayed by Tom Hardy), is most popular in Alaska, Illinois, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Honorable mentions go to Tyler Durden from “Fight Club,” Hans Landa from “Inglourious Basterds,” Detective Alonzo Harris from “Training Day,” and Calvin Candie from “Django Unchained,” each named the most popular live-action villain in three states.

Favorite movie villain - Live-action by state

Favorite Disney and Pixar Movie Villain

There couldn’t be a villain study without Disney and Pixar’s famous foes, from Scar in “The Lion King” to Stinky Pete in “Toy Story 2.”

Favorite movie villain - Animated

It’s no surprise that Simba’s manipulative Uncle Scar (voiced by Jeremy Irons) topped the list of favorite Disney villains, with the most searches in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Close behind is the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland” (voiced by Verna Felton), who’s the most popular in Maine, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wyoming.

Rounding out the top five are three of Disney’s most wicked women, Ursula from “The Little Mermaid,” Cruella de Vil from “101 Dalmations,” and Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” – and two are so villainous they earned their own live-action films, ”Cruella” starring Emma Stone and “Maleficent” starring Angelina Jolie.

Favorite movie villain - Animated by state


Shane Co. put together a list of 87 movie villains (37 from live-action movies and 45 from Disney/Pixar movies). Then, using Google Trends, researchers analyzed the search volume for each villain over the past five years to determine the most searched live-action movie villain and Disney/Pixar villain in every state (as well as nationwide).

Who’s your favorite movie villain? Let us know in the comments.


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