It’s normal to empathize with movie villains. After all, they are the heroes in their own stories. The Green Goblin in Spiderman, for example, wanted to avenge his father’s death after Spiderman kills him. In The Lion King, Scar was jealous of his brother, Mufasa, who was king of the jungle just because he was older. I get that. We all get that. It doesn’t make them not-evil, it just makes them a relatable, well constructed hero.
But evil takes a new form in Gaston. Long story short, he’s the absolute worst. He makes my skin crawl. He’s the most evil Disney villain I can think of. Why? Because we all know dudes like him. The #MasculinitySoFragile jacked dude-bros who get by in life on their attractiveness, relative charm, social status, and ability to manipulate those around them. They can’t hear the word “no,” or they take a real dark turn real fast. So dark that it’s scary. They’re dangerous because they’re not presented as dangerous and you would never know whole scope of awfulness.
I get the squicks thinking about these IRL Gastons. Ew. But, upon a Beauty and the Beast rewatch, I’ve concluded that I was right in my assumption. Gaston is an awful jerkface who needs to be stopped. He’s the absolute worst. Here are 17 reasons why:
1) He’s never presented as evil!
Everyone loves him from the beginning. Except for Maurice and Belle, sure, but they don’t hate him. Belle just doesn’t want to marry him. Simple enough, right?
2) Gaston’s only enemies are people who don’t believe the hype.
If you don’t think he’s the sexiest, most powerful, masculine, irresistible man, you can f–k right off. Gaston’s not interested in being humble of being around different opinions. He’d rather have a friend (Le Fou) who’s afraid of him than a friend who respects him, but knocks him down a few pegs.
3) So, for starters, the first time we see Gaston, he throws Belle’s book in the mud.
4) Because he’s not into her reading. He doesn’t want her to get ideas and start thinking for herself.
Not pro-feminism. Immediately disqualified.
5) He doesn’t even love Belle, to begin with! He just thinks they’re evenly matched in attractiveness, so they obviously should be together.
Ugh, gross, stop looking at yourself.
6) And when he shows up at Belle’s house, it’s a surprise wedding, not an ambush proposal.
What makes it creepier is that he does it when Maurice is gone out of town. It’s like he waits for the perfect opportunity to be a creep, then takes creepiness to the next level. He invites the whole town, puts in a lot of effort, then acts like he’s entitled to a “yes” just because he organized a wedding that literally no one asked for.
7) Gaston is super rape-y about the proposal, too.
Not respecting Belle’s space, not respecting her answer, she literally has to close the door behind him to get him to back off. Just look at that gif! Who does that? What would make you think that’s okay, Gaston?
8) That doesn’t even encompass the fact that he gets distracted by his own reflection during his gross proposal.
9) Then walks around her house, like he owns it.
Puts his gross feet up on her table? Ew.
10) #MasculinitySoFragile gets taken to new heights when he finally lets himself hear Belle’s “no” for the first time.
Only then does he become a villain. Before he’s just a jerk. Now, he’s truly evil. He has one mission in life: get Belle, no matter what dangerous and awful things he has to do to get her.
11) But, when Belle’s locked in the castle and all of his friends sing a song about how great Gaston is to cheer him up (gross), he def punches Le Fou in the face.
Why? Not nice. Stop being so mean.
12) Oh, and let’s not forget the three girls constantly fawning over him that he ignores.
Spare them some dignity and tell them no, Gaston. Oh, wait, you just like attention? Cool, carry on.
13) If he truly loves Belle, when her father shows up and says that she’s in danger, he would react appropriately, right?
Nah. Gaston’s like “lol no,” then makes fun of Maurice and throws him out in the snow.
14) Then, he gets the brilliant idea to get Maurice committed to an asylum to hold that over Belle’s head to get her to marry him.
Smart. This is how every great marriage starts.
15) Remember that when the town shows up as an angry mob (at Gaston’s behest), it’s initially to watch Maurice get carted away.
16) But, when Gaston hears Belle say that the Beast is kind, Gaston assumes she has feelings for him right away.
Things have never escalated so quickly.
17) Then he’s all “kill the beast!” and sings one of the darker Disney songs that’s ever happened.
Clearly not the Gaston we started with at the top of the movie. Really, if Gaston can’t have her, no one can, even if you’re not a human. Because that’s logical. If a girl tells you no, get the whole town to treat her and her family like trash. Sound familiar? It happens to girls every day. Gaston is so awful because he’s so real and we get to see how evil he can truly be and it’s absolutely frightening.
What do you think about Gaston? Who is your least favorite Disney villain? Tell us in the comments.
You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.