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Case Study

Who are the best Christmas movie villains?

We got into the holiday spirit and put Lumière to work exploring the best Christmas movie villains. We wanted to know which villains were the most loved (or hated) and what characteristics made them so bad.


what we did


We showed viewers clips of 18 iconic Christmas movie villains, and – using Lumière Channels, our video testing software – let them explore, watch, and comment at their own direction. We looked at their behaviors and responses to rank favorites and uncover the reasons behind viewers’ preferences.


what we discovered

the grinch easily takes the best villain crown
The Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) and Ebenezer Scrooge (A Christmas Carol) came out on top, followed by Harry & Marv, the Wet Bandits (Home Alone). Rounding out the Top 5 were Lucy (A Charlie Brown Christmas) and Cousin Eddie (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation).


the best christmas villainy plays it straight
While complex, nuanced antagonists often drive immersion in great dramas, Christmas villainy is a much more straightforward gig. Being funny, mean, evil, and silly are generally more cited as Christmas villain features – beating out traits like relatable, redeemable, complex, or misunderstood.

age differences suggest an evolving pantheon of favorites
Age plays a key role in viewers’ choices of favorite villains, as they tend to gravitate toward characters from their childhood. For example, Walter Hobbs (Elf, 2003) and Jack Frost (The Santa Clause 3, 2006) made the top 5 among 13-24-year-olds, while older characters like Mr. Potter (It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946) and Granville Sawyer (Miracle on 34th Street, 1947) are much more popular among 55-70-year olds.

want to learn more? we can help!
Want to learn more about your video content? Lumière is loaded with tools to help you uncover actionable insights – even if you just want to know about the good guys. See it in action at