Some villains are terrifying, brutal, and truly evil. Other villains are… a little more sympathetic. And when it comes to Disney villains, some are even better than the heroes, especially when they are particularly sassy. Of course, two of the most phenomenally fabulous villains in the Disney pantheon have to be Yzma (The Emperor’s New Groove) and Hades (Hercules) – although Gaston gets a solid third place on this one.
However, who is the sassiest of all? Is it the diabolical Yzma, taking over the kingdom with her secret lab, potion-making skills, and dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks sidekick Kronk? Or is it Hades, god of the Underworld, flame-headed and always ready with a comeback? Let’s see who does it best.
10 Yzma: Her Confidence
Hades, much as he likes to crack jokes and pretend he doesn’t care what people think… really does care. Of the two, he is definitely the more insecure – because it would be difficult to be more secure than Yzma. Yzma is utterly convinced of her intelligence, beauty, and place in the world, and will accept absolutely nothing but the best. She sashays through the palace simply taking what she wants, and her disregard for others is the stuff of legend.
9 Hades: His Hair
Fans never even get to really see Yzma’s hair, as it is permanently hidden under an array of (admittedly impressive) headdresses. Hades, however, has the best hair of any Disney villain, because it is literally fire. When he is calm, it’s a cool blue slick of flames, but when he gets angry… his entire head and shoulders blaze up, and that’s just plain awesome. Not to mention his reaction when his hair is blown out – this is the ultimate Disney ‘do.
8 Yzma: Her Outfits
Hades may have the hair down, but his outfits are boring. Or more accurately, his outfit, because he essentially wears the same dark blue robes for the entire film. Yzma, meanwhile, is constantly changing her outfits, and every single one is tight, dramatic, and completely unsuited for traipsing through the jungle. Anyone who wears stilettos to trek the mountains has some seriously sassy style.
7 Hades: Henchmen
Hades is backed up by Pain and Panic, as well as the woefully underused three-headed dog, Cerberus. As far as sass goes, even his henchmen have attitude (although they are largely ineffectual at anything really evil).
They buy the merchandise, they have their own quips and one-liners, and they are willing to lie to the god of death to save their own skins.
6 Yzma: ToyBoy
Yzma doesn’t really have a henchman, so much as she has a toy boy. Kronk, of course, is only the ‘latest model’, and according to Kuzco, she has had a string of young, muscled, attractive male followers over the years – which is pretty darn impressive, especially considering how she treats them. The subtext, of course, is that this is more than a simple henchman/villain situation, and we’ve got to hand it to Yzma. Keeping a string of young muscular lovers just because she can is a serious power move.
5 Hades: One Liners
Hades rarely opens his mouth without a brilliant one-liner coming out, whether it’s directly intended to be funny (I haven’t seen this much love in a room since Narcissus discovered himself!) or muttered under his breath (Verse. Oy.). When he is angry, he’s still firing out the witticisms, and almost every one of his lines is a quotable, sassy, masterpiece.
4 Yzma: Insults
Hades might have the intentional one-liners down pat, but Yzma has the insults – and there has never been a more cutting insult in a Disney film than her reveal that she never liked Kronk’s spinach puffs!
Sometimes, she intends to cut someone down to size, but at other times, it is glorious to watch her total lack of compassion come out in phenomenal quotes (you really should have thought of that before you became peasants!). Yes, she is evil, but oh, she wears it well.
3 Hades: His Joy In His Own Plans
Hades spends an impressive amount of time trying to take down Hercules (and failing, of course), and while he has his frustrated moments, it’s also wonderful to see how much sheer pleasure he takes in his plans. From sitting atop a mountain, ready to watch the show that he has put on (let’s get ready to rumble!), to his devious grin, Hades is joyfully evil. Yzma, meanwhile, seems frustrated with the whole thing. She just wants to rule, already, not deal with the actual process of killing the emperor-llama.
2 Yzma: “He Ain’t Getting Any Deader”
Yzma has amazing moments throughout the movie that prove her sass, but her best one is most likely the end of Kuzco’s funeral. Granted, the speed at which everyone forgets Kuzco is also used to show how few people cared about him, but it’s also possibly her best sassy moment. She gives the most dramatic eulogy possible, ends it with this brilliantly callous line, and then proceeds to immediately redecorate an entire palace, and call her toy boy and dresser to her chaise lounge where she is nibbling delicacies and talking to the royal dresser. Iconic.
1 Winner: Hades: “He’s A Guy”
However, amazing as Yzma may be, there is one line of Hades’ that might just blow her out of the water. This wisecracking god is arguing with the hapless Meg, and reminds her of how she ended up his slave in the first place – selling her soul to help out a guy who then dumped her. It’s a rough story, but as Meg waxes lyrical about how Hercules is different, Hades has only one retort: he’s a guy! That is some next-level Disney sass, but Yzma is a close second, and they should probably do a team-up series, just for fun.
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