Movies tend to have a pretty clear narrative surrounding which characters they want viewers to root for and which are the villains facing off against our heroes. It’s how stories work — if there aren’t clear protagonists and antagonists, the whole thing tends to meander and crumble.
But just because the writer of a film has identified the character they believe is cast as the villain in their tale doesn’t mean the audience always agrees. People are complex, and sometimes we empathize with the antagonist more than the person whose story is being told. Or in other cases, the direct antagonist to our hero may not be anywhere near as villainous as one of the side characters.
Fortunately for film buffs, even after the credits roll, we can take to social media to compare notes on which characters a movie did dirty, and which ones never got the comeuppance they deserved. And with all things social media, thoughts are so often best expressed…in the form of a meme.
Twitter user @chuuzus kicked off a fantastic trend of identifying the true villains of the story with this simple takedown of Troy and Gabriella from High School Musical:
“But Troy fought against high school norms to follow his true passion of singing and dancing!” you might say. “And Gabriella was the new kid, the underdog, of COURSE we were rooting for her!”
Counterpoint: Sharpay put in the work and had her dreams snatched out from under her by a couple of kids who showed up at the last second and weren’t really that interested in the musical anyway.
Perspective changes everything, and on that note, prepare to rethink some of your favorite movies (and TV shows), meme-style.