It’s Summer Lovin’ Week here at Mashable, which means things are getting steamy. In honor of the release of Crazy Rich Asians, we’re celebrating onscreen love and romance, looking at everything from our favorite fictional couples to how Hollywood’s love stories are evolving. Think of it as our love letter to, well, love.
You know the story: Evil boy meets fiendish girl. They fall in love. They destroy a few hundred lives. They make terrifying creature babies. They live happily ever after.
From Shakespeare’s Macbeth to Pokemon‘s Team Rocket, evil romantic duos have a history of shaking up and unhinging plots across page and screen. We love to see even the most dastardly of villains find their
In an ode to the slimy sweetheart stereotype, here are 12 villainous power couples we love to hate—and their most heinous crimes ranked. Sometimes vomit-inducing and more often manipulative, these lovers are not for the faint of heart.
12. Chuck and Blair from Gossip Girl
Blair: “Do you.. like me?”
Chuck: “Define like.”
These Upper East Siders’ will-they-won’t-they had a lot of emotional casualties. Throughout Gossip Girl‘s six seasons, we watched Chuck (Ed Westwick) and Blair (Leighton Meester) psychologically abuse each other—as well as many of their friends, foes, and acquaintances. With a primary focus on sexual manipulation, these high schoolers could’ve used some serious counseling.
Most heinous crime: At the start of Season 3, Chuck and Blair play a “game” in which Chuck seduces other women at bars. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Blair shows up to play the “other woman” and embarrass the girl Chuck is with. They claim its in the name of excitement… but, like, ever heard of dinner and a movie, you abominable a-holes?
Gossip Girl is available to stream on Netflix.
11. Ringo and Yolanda from Pulp Fiction
Yolanda: “I love you, Pumpkin.”
Ringo: “I love you, Honey Bunny… Everybody be cool! This is a robbery!”
Yolanda: “Any of you fuckin’ pricks move and I’ll execute every mother fucking last one of you!”
Armed robbery has never been so romantic. The story arc of Yolanda and Ringo (two small-time criminals) serves as the primary framing device for Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Following a romantic breakfast at a local diner, our love birds pull guns on the unsuspecting wait staff and patrons. It’s a little pathetic as far as armed robberies go, but still plenty intimidating.
Most heinous crime: The robbery should win, but I’m personally more offended by the blatant disrespect they show Samuel L. Jackson. He’s just trying to have some breakfast, guys.
Pulp Fiction is available to stream on Vudu.
10. Kathryn and Sebastian from Cruel Intentions
Kathryn: “Can I take my new car for a ride?” Sebastian: “Kathryn, the only thing you’ll be riding is me.”
Cruel Intentions is a ’90s teen drama about a high schooler trying to have anal sex with his stepsister. (Yes, it is technically based on the 1988 historical drama Dangerous Liaisons which is based on a french stage play which is based on an 18th-century book). But, at its core, Cruel Intentions isabout two step-siblings plotting to do the nasty.
That’s plenty problematic on its own, but the real kicker is the route they take to get there. Kathryn (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Sebastian (Ryan Phillippe) place a bet. If Sebastian can sleep with the headmaster’s daughter (Reese Witherspoon), he can “put it anywhere” with Kathryn. If he can’t, Kathryn gets Sebastian’s car. Unpleasant and unnecessary, Cruel Intentions is a must-watch for evil duos and bizarre gender roles.
Most heinous crime: If all of the horrid manipulation of Reese Witherspoon wasn’t enough, Kathryn and Sebastian bring it home by setting up a black cello instructor and his naive student for a romantic tryst. And then, of course, they rat them out to the girl’s mother. The instructor loses his job and the altercation with his student’s mother gets very racist very fast. It’s just a whole lot of “ugh.”
Cruel Intentions is available to stream on Netflix.
9. JD and Veronica from Heathers
Veronica: “That knife is filthy!”
JD: “What do you think I’m gonna do with it, take out her tonsils?”
Where to start with these two? Veronica (Winona Ryder) and JD (Christian Slater), two misfit high schoolers, know how to move fast. What starts as an impromptu date over slushies quickly warps into passionate plans of mass murder. Sure, Veronica isn’t totally on board. But, as JD points out, she does go along with committing three murders and staging them to look like suicides with little fuss. “How very.”
Most heinous crime: Heather Chandler is unquestionably the worst. But her death by drain cleaner seems needlessly cruel. Plus, that perfectly nice coffee table gets ruined when she falls into it head first. That’s just rude to her parents! And their interior decorator!
Heathers is available to stream on Hulu.
8. Tony and Carmela from The Sopranos
Tony: “Carmela, after 18 years of marriage, don’t make me make you an accessory after the fact.”
Ah, the mob. A classic backdrop for complicated love. Tony (James Gandolfini) and Carmela (Edie Falco) Soprano, the De Facto boss and first lady of the fictitious DiMeo crime family, are separated by a particularly slippery moral line throughout The Sopranos. While Tony personally commits dozens of crimes and wracks up a substantial body count, Carmela only sees the benefits of her husband’s wrongdoing. She may not be pulling the trigger, but she is still responsible for many lost lives. Depending on how you read the series finale, perhaps they both get what’s coming to them?
Most heinous crime: Carmela isn’t directly involved in this, of course, but Adriana’s death is just crushing. A series regular, Adriana had a final act that was equal parts poignant and painful.
The Sopranos is available to stream on HBO Go.
7. Rowan Pope and Maya Lewisfrom Scandal
Rowan: “There would be no Olivia Pope if not for me.”
Even Washington’s best fixer can’t fix the mess that is Olivia Pope’s parents. By the time we meet Maya Lewis, Rowan (or Eli) Pope had unlawfully imprisoned her for over twenty years. Seems pretty messed up, right? Well, that’s what everyone thought. That is… until the big discovery that Maya was in fact a dangerous terrorist responsible for the deaths of 329 innocent people.
Sure, they were only ever together for political advantage—but, in that time, they made the glorious miracle of a woman that is Olivia Pope. And something that magical has got to bond you for life.
Most heinous crime: The general psychological damage Mama and Papa Pope inflict on their daughter is… really rough. It’s a lot to dig through, but the short version is a terrorist and a master manipulator don’t make for ideal parents. And the whole Freudian thing going on with Rowan? Yeah, I (personally) could do with a whole lot less of that.
Scandal is available to stream on Netflix.
6. The Countess and Ramona Royale from American Horror Story: Hotel
The Countess: “It’s not the Shalimar that gives you away. It’s your blood. I’ve never known another woman whose blood smelled like walnuts.”
The AHS universe has more evil power couples than it can handle. But its most perfect duo slipped away before anyone could fully appreciate its terror. Towards the end of Season 5, The Countess (Lady Gaga) and Ramona Royale (Angela Bassett) have one final stunning, tense, and sexy encounter—just moments before The Countess is killed. While the two were at odds for most of the season, their off-and-on connection reflected the power they both held throughout the Hotel narrative. It was twisted, stylish, and bloody.
Most heinous crime: Both The Countess’s and Ramona’s body counts for the season are very, very high. (As vampires, their blood-sucking takedowns are really ferocious.) The most straight up gruesome it gets is the killing of Will Drake. But, beyond that, it’s pretty one note. If only they had been a more tightly knit couple. Perhaps we could have seen something at Addiction Demon scary levels. Actually, I don’t think I want that…
American Horror Story: Hotel is available to stream on Netflix.
5. Tiffany and Chucky from The Bride of Chucky
Tiffany: “You know me. I’ll kill anybody, but I’ll only sleep with someone I love.”
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic! Okay, maybe not so much. The Child’s Play franchise is pretty notoriously gruesome. Bride of Chucky, the franchise’s fourth installment, keeps up that reputation. Chucky and his doll girlfriend Tiffany seek to possess human bodies through a voodoo ritual. Along the way, there’s a bathtub electrocution, a double homicide by glass shards, a literal stab in the back, and… well, you get the picture.
Most heinous crime: In the film’s first half, Chucky and Tiffany take out a police officer by rigging a car airbag with nails. When the airbag deploys, the nails go flying into the police officer’s face and things get super gross. Ouch.
Bride of Chucky is available for rent or purchase on Amazon.
4. Fred and Serena Waterford from The Handmaid’s Tale
Fred: “Every love story is a tragedy if you wait long enough.”
Gilead’s most wicked husband and wife pair isn’t doing so hot as of late. But, this former dynamic duo certainly caused its fair share of moral outrage in the past two seasons. From systematically enslaving women to creating nuclear waste work camps, Fred (Joseph Fiennes) and Serena (Yvonne Strahovski) had a major hand in destroying the United States. Here’s hoping the resistance makes some big moves next season.
Most heinous crime: If you’re even vaguely aware of The Handmaid’s Tale, you know systematic sexual assault is a major part of the storyline. The Waterfords rape their handmaid June (Elisabeth Moss) in the name of reproduction throughout the series—but one particular assault in Season 2 took us to a new place. When the Waterfords rape June as punishment for insubordination (and in an effort to force her into a labor), viewers learned the most dark show on television heeds no limits.
The Handmaid’s Tale is available to stream on Hulu.
3. Cersei and Jaime Lannister from Game of Thrones
Jaime: “The things I do for love.”
It would take ten of these posts to genuinely unpack the seven seasons of incest-y drama Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) have given us. So, let’s just go with a high level observation. If your first introduction to a couple is them pushing a child out of a window and paralyzing him, it’s pretty safe to plop them into the villain category. Obviously, a lot has happened since Bran’s Episode 1 tumble, but you never get a second chance at a first impression.
Most heinous crime: I will never forgive the Lannisters for The Red Wedding. I do not care if it was mostly Tywin’s doing. It’s their fault. I don’t want to talk about it. Now, leave me to my daily hour of sobbing.
Game of Thrones is available to stream on HBO Go.
2. Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Todd: “What is that?”
Lovett: “It’s fop. Finest in the shop. And we’ve got some shepherds pie peppered with actual shepherd on top! “
Sweeney Todd (Johnny Depp) and Mrs. Lovett (Helena Bonham Carter) take this list to the disgusting big leagues. If you are unfamiliar, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical—but think less sparkly ABBA covers and more ballads about cannibalism. Yeah.
TL;DR times are tough in 1840s London. So our two delightfully repellant “protagonists” decide to kill, hack up, and bake their enemies (and also just random strangers) into meat pies. And then they sell those pies to unknowing customers. Who eat them. On screen. In a musical sequence. It’s pure, deranged movie magic.
Most heinous crime: As far as break ups go, Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett have a rough one. A final act discovery that Mrs. L has been lying about a critical detail of Sweeney’s past gets her thrown into an oven. Sweeney then slits his own throat. Yikes. Could’ve tried couples therapy.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is available for rent or purchase on Amazon.
1. The Joker and Harley Quinn from DC Comics
Joker: “Would you die for me?” Harley: “Yes.” Joker: “That’s too easy. Would you live for me?”
Of course, Gotham’s most frightening pair tops this list. Murder, arson, kidnapping, torture, robbery… you name it, they’ve done it. Harley and The Joker make a mess of the DC universe no matter the medium. Their sordid Arkham Asylum meet-cute adds to the general derangement of Suicide Squad, but the couple’s history in the DC universe is decades older (and far more detailed) than the 2016 film. The definition of a wild card: you never know what you’re going to get with these two Batman foes.
Most heinous crime: Their “romance” is a devastating nightmare top to bottom. It all begins with The Joker driving Harley insane (enter electroshock therapy and repeated threats of murder) and continues to devolve into a tornado of abuse. When Harley fights back, she often finds herself in worse and worse positions (e.g. thrown to hyenas or facing threats of live skinning.) The worst crime The Joker commits is by far what he does to Harley Quinn. A lifelong slave to his psychopathy, the Clown Prince of Crime’s girlfriend will never escape his clutches.
Suicide Squad is available for rent or purchase on Amazon.