10 Movies Where The Villains BOTCHED An Easy Win

These villains had everything they needed to win, but threw it away.

Face Off John Travolta

It's of course entirely expected that the hero will triumph over the villain in the overwhelming majority of movies, using their resolve and sheer strength of will to overcome sometimes overwhelming odds.

Yet there are also times when, by all rights, the villain really should've won, and had the story been taking place in "real life," they almost certainly would have.

But despite having the victory ready on a silver platter, these cinematic bad guys all threw it away with one or two simple acts that ensured their undoing at the hero's hand.

From making an hilariously basic oversight to giving the hero an unintentional advantage, allowing themselves to be tricked or simply falling prey to their own noxious arrogance, these movie villains all blew an epic lead the hero should've been unable to come back from.

Yet by letting their guard down or taking their eye off the ball for even a single moment, they handed triumph to the hero, who was able to bounce back from a sure-fire catastrophe and save the day.

These villains got so close to victory they could surely taste it, but totally screwed up the follow-through...

10. Simon Gruber - Die Hard With A Vengeance

Face Off John Travolta

You'd think that battling a chronically hungover hero would be the easiest thing in the world for a smart, organised villain, but in the case of Die Hard with a Vengeance's Simon Gruber (Jeremy Irons), it ironically ended up being his undoing.

Down-and-out hero John McClane (Bruce Willis) is attempting to foil Gruber while fending off the mother of all hangovers, and several times throughout the film verbally mentions his desire to pop a couple of aspirin.

And right at the end of the movie, when Gruber has McClane and Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson) tied up on a tanker, McClane asks him for an aspirin. Believing there couldn't possibly be any harm in it, Gruber throws him a bottle and even charitably tells him to keep it.

But this small act ultimately ruins Gruber, as once McClane and Zeus escape the tanker, McClane reads the aspirin bottle and sees the words "Nord des Lignes," identifying where Gruber purchased them - a truck stop in Quebec.

McClane quickly passes this information onto the NYPD, who promptly swarm the nearby warehouse where Gruber is holed up, leading to Gruber's men being captured and Gruber's own death while attempting to escape.

After pulling off a stunning heist and facing off against an enemy who was physically and mentally beaten, Gruber undid it all because of a damn bottle of aspirin.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.