20 Film/TV Villains Who Were Just Misunderstood

18) Wile E. Coyote – Looney Tunes

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Look, it’s not malicious, he’s just hungry, okay? He lives in the middle of the desert, so just how much fresh bird do you think is available? There’s nothing evil about wanting something to eat, and the food chain isn’t meant to separate the good guys (the eaten) from the bad guys (the eaters).

It’s like the Road Runner (Acceleratii incredibus) doesn’t know his place, and that place is in the stomach of Wile E. Coyote (Carnivorous vulgaris). For 65 years that coyote’s been chasing that geococcyx (the actual scientific name for the road runner) with little success. Actually, make that no success. Really, Wile E. Coyote is a hero, a figure who stands as a shining example of ingenuity and perseverance. He may not be a hit with the vegan crowd, but that doesn’t mean anything.

You may think that Wile E. Coyote goes overboard with all the ACME stuff – dynamite, rockets, giant slingshots, etc. – but sometimes you can only get so far with the direct approach. Human hunters use high-powered rifles and scopes to hunt deer and other animals, is it so implausible that a coyote would go a little crazy with dehydrated boulders or earthquake pills?

You can disagree, but it gets to a point where solving a problem is just a matter of principle. There’s only so many times you can be run off a cliff, flattened by a rock, or run into a wall before it gets personal. And how about that “beep, beep!” The freakin’ bird is mocking him, how is he not supposed to take that personally?

Basically, the Road Runner’s a punk, and it’s not enough that he doesn’t recognize his place in the food chain, but he rubs Wile E. Coyote’s face in it. The Road Runner, frankly, is daring to be eaten, and if there’s any justice, then Wile E. Coyote will get his chance.