There are plenty of obnoxious kids in movies, but for a kid to truly stand out as a once-in-a-generation brat, they have to go above and beyond in their selfish, destructive behavior. Sure, a little light bullying is bad, but to be named one of the great movie brats, you have to be a vindictive brat or someone who’s just so precocious it makes viewers boil in rage at how annoying you are. Most fall short of this malevolent task, but every once in a while, one child will lack humanity in such a shocking regard, it’s hard to do anything but watch in amazement as they terrorize everyone in sight. Here are seven of the most annoying kids to ever grace the silver screen.
Dudley Dursley – Harry Potter
Harry Potter might have faced off against Voldemort, but his greatest nemesis was Dudley. Harry’s, cruel cousin would go out of his way to make his life a living hell. Of all his useless, mean spirited hobbies, none gave the argyle loving lad quite as much pleasure as bullying and belittling those that were younger and weaker, including his cousin. Dudley does get a tiny bit of redemption once he has grown up, but as a kid, he is an absolute monster — and is a prime example of what happens when a child gets everything he wants.
Veruca Salt – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Nearly all of the kids in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory are bratty and spoiled. But Veruca is the worst of all: an all-powerful walking tantrum who screeches out orders and stomps her feet as though she were royalty. She verbally berates her limp noodle of a father dad in order to get what he wants, making him stop work at his peanut factory so that thousands of workers can try to find a golden ticket. She has zero self-awareness, tossing off snide remarks towards kids, adults, and even Oompa Loompas and even singing a song about how she has to get what she wants, no matter what. Definitely a bad egg.
Anakin Skywalker – The Phantom Menace
From the moment he’s onscreen, the future Darth Vader is less a character than he is a mashup of nonstop whining and idiotic questions. Sure, he’s a handsome little guy who has a tragic backstory, but he’s a precocious little jerk who has the distinct air of a kid who’ll come to your kid’s birthday party, unwrap all the presents, and deliberately run his grubby hands through the cake before anyone eats it. He’s also not so secretly harboring a ton of anger and fear, something that everyone except Qui Gonn Jin pretty much immediately notices. No wonder he grows into such an angsty dickhead.
Damien – The Omen
Surprisingly, the literal antichrist is not exactly a sweet kid. As the spawn of Satan, Damien’s mission in life is to bring about a 1,000-year reign of evil on earth. Along the way, he manages to use his supernatural powers to cause the death of anyone who stands in his way, along with a couple of people who just happened to be standing around (RIP, random maid). He is such a devious mastermind, he manages to be adopted by the President of the United States by the end of the movie. May God have mercy on us all.
Clifford – Clifford
You know those movies that are batshit crazy but in the best way possible? Clifford tops all of those. Martin Short, at the age of 44, plays Clifford, a cunning, devious eight-year-old who makes it his life’s purpose to break his Uncle Martin’s heart, soul, and spirit, all while sporting the world’s creepiest grin. Why? Because his uncle couldn’t take him to Dinosaur World. That’s it. That, in Clifford’s warped mind, is justification for destroying a man’s life. By the end of the movie, he is trying to frame his uncle for murder. It’s one of the strangest, most enjoyable movies ever, all because Short truly makes Clifford a recognizable, terrifying villain.
Waldo – Little Rascals
The snobs vs slobs rivalry is a classic movie trope, and no kid personifies “snob” quite like Waldo. He hits on Darla right in front of Alfalfa, bragging about his dad’s money and openly trying to alpha the shit out of our pointy-haired hero. He then manages to steal Darla from Alfalfa and sings a sickening duet at the talent show just to get under his foil’s skin. His creepiness turns to true villainy when he basically tries to kill Spanky and Alfalfa by revealing hidden metal spikes in his wheels during the Soap-Box Derby. Oh, did we mention his dad is played by Donald Trump?
Barry Corman – Life with Mikey
This underrated comedy starring Michael J. Fox and Nathan Lane as brothers running a child talent agency features one of the all-time great kid villains: Barry Corman. Barry is the brother’s lone successful client, as he has become a go-to actor for local cereal commercials. No one has ever let so little power go to their head, as Barry’s modicum of fame transforms into a major douchebag, callously making two grown men beg him to not move on to another agency. Fortunately, by the end of the movie, he’s put in his place and has to eat some serious humble pie. But for 90 percent of the movie, he’s a world class jerk.