Opinion on bad characters staying bad?

Okay, I know this will probably be an unpopular opinion, but whatever.
so I don’t know if it’s just me but I mostly find it really annoying when I am reading a story about a villain or a person who is originally bad,/ isn’t generally kind and has reasons for being bad, traumatizing past, bullies etc; anyway and somewhere in the story they suddenly start acting good. and there personality just switches. I really hate it and It puts me off a story, I just for once want a character to stay bad. now don’t get me wrong, I am all about character development. and this is in no way me saying they cant do anything good. but I think if your going to write a character portraying a villain (especially if they are a main character) make sure you stick with that personality and show me how they are evil. I really dislike how a main character always turns good because they fall in love. and now have really good friends, so they have to be good too. people don’t just change because of people around them (mostly)

Does anyone else agree? or is it just me lol :joy:


I both agree and disagree. I think that character development is important and sometimes that means an originally bad character can see the error of their ways, get the help they need or have a wake-up call. Sometimes circumstance can suddenly shift an evil character’s motivations so you’re all on the same side. Nothing brings people together quite like a common enemy, after all. Villains in particular can be quite manipulative and opportunistic and if being nice gets them what they want, often they’ll try it just for that reason.

However, I CAN agree that if it’s a sudden, unrealistic and unexplored change, they’re better off staying bad. It needs to be believable. They need to have a proper reason for changing.

Also, if no one comments on the fact that it’s weird that the villain is being nice and struggles to trust them, I’m nope-ing out of that story.



I couldn’t say I’m a huge fan of people having a lack of personality change, but having an uncalled for and unexplained personality change just confuses me, I mean readers love to know the backstory to things that are related to the characters.

At the same time, I also support personality changes as it intrigues the readers and brings some interest and also more information about a character.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I also believe that some stories should let the villains stay who they are, I do agree that most villains in episode are portrayed as they can be ‘changed’ by some sort of act of love, in reality, not all cases are fortunate, so I agree and disagree on both points.


You know… Sometimes I just want to read a story where the bad guy stays bad and is entertaining.

Other times, I enjoy seeing the bad guy have consequences for his action and learning from mistakes.

I’m easy both ways, so long as there’s a clear difference between just entertainment and what lesson should be taken from the story


I’m not a huge fan of stories where the “bad guy” or villain turns “good” because they fall in love or whatever - I dunno, it seems too obvious.

But then so far this discussion applies mainly to stories in which there is a clear cut difference between the good guys and the bad guys. I like a story where that’s not always so clear. Y’know the bad guy can stay bad throughout but as far as character development goes, there are going to be glimpses of something “good” or heroic in them, a little bit of redemption which they can easily rebuke with another villainous act.

Also, defining “good guys” and “bad guys” involves looking at something from a certain perspective. I like seeing a villain who could be the hero from a different perspective. Heroes and villains both need motives, right? They just contradict so I like when it isn’t always as simple as good and bad.

All that being said, a villain who stays a villain despite everything is pretty cool. The kind of villain who allows you to think for a split second that they can be turned around by love, and then they do the most dastardly and evil thing yet and you know they can’t be reformed. They’re just there to be evil and entertain you.


Well… I think a reader might want to feel hope for that one character and when a evil character has a life experience that makes them evil, there must be something that happened to them recently that makes them good. for example maybe their father never loved them and so they hate all men but then they finally find that father figure. It can also happen to good people, when a good person has been lied to by a loved one the may feel hatred and become evil. Yet there are situations when the bad person stays bad.

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I get what you’re saying. I think for me it depends on the “bad” character’s role in the story. If the purpose of their character is just to be bad, I don’t need character development.

It’s not always necessary depending on their role - some people are just bad and their sole purpose of being in a story is to be bad.


I think a story with a bad boy becomes kind of unnecessary if he doesn’t change. For the purpose of the story being interesting, I think the bad boy should always change into a better person.
BUT it really would be nice to see a bad boy staying bad - mostly because there are already so many bad boy stories where the bad boy changes, so it’d be a nice change to see them stay bad.

I’m a big fan of redemption arcs when they’re written well/realistically. People can change over time, especially after a traumatic event or major realization, but it takes a lot of time, effort, and people shouldn’t be expected to trust them right away. I’ll definitely agree that I hate when a character does a full 180 overnight. If you’re going to redeem a villain, there has to be a good reason and they have to have redeemable qualities beforehand. A character can’t be pure evil then change just because they fall in love or some weak motive like that.

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I don’t mind them staying bad. As long as they’re the villain and not the love interest

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