For those of you who've ever dreamed of turning your childhood enemies into objects of ridicule and hatred, with a side of jackass to boot, this list is for you. These iconic fictional characters were based on real-life people, and their creators couldn't give the least bit of a damn who knew it.
Never in the history of children's literature has a character generated as much hate as Harry Potter kind-of villain Severus Snape. Except maybe that selfish blockhead in The Giving Tree.
More like the guilting tree.
For the three or four of you who are unfamiliar with Professor Snape, we'll give you a quick and dirty lowdown. Imagine the teacher who always had it out for you, the one who was quickest to point out how stupid you were and slowest to see the faults of others. Now put that teacher in a greasy black wig and a long black dress and give him the power to do black magic.
Hans Gruber has scaled down his act to only terrorizing teenagers.
The Real-Life Inspiration
There's a reason we asked you to imagine a specific teacher. Because that's exactly what J.K. Rowling did when she created the second-greatest villain of the Harry Potter series. And the teacher she pictured was her own secondary school chemistry master, John Nettleship.
In retrospect, Nettleship described himself as "a short-tempered chemistry teacher with long hair ... [and a] gloomy, malodorous laboratory" who enjoyed picking on students, particularly bright students like Rowling. Which was why it was kind of weird that it took reporters straight up asking him if he was Snape before he figured it out. Even his wife knew the connection, but, tellingly, was too scared to bring it up.
Via Wales Online
It looks like somebody has been hitting the butterbeer hard.
The bad news is that sadly, Mr. Nettleship passed away from cancer in March 2011. The good news is that he lived long enough to know that in the end Severus Snape was (HONKIN' BIG SPOILER ALERT) the hero of the whole damn series.