Villains Wiki

Hi. This is Thesecret1070. I am an admin of this site. Edit as much as you wish, but one little thing... If you are going to edit a lot, then make yourself a user and login. Other than that, enjoy Villains Wiki!!!

READ MORE

Villains Wiki
Advertisement

Hey you heard what that Lt. Shrank said, he? “We gotta make nice with them Puerto Rican’s or else”. We gotta let ‘me in and take it all away from us, right under our noses, or else? (Jets: No!) Damn Right No! So what are we gonna do, huh buddy boys? I’ll tell you what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna speed back! We’re gonna move like lightning! We’re gonna clean them “Sharks” up once and for all, so they ain’t ever step foot on our turf again!
~ Riff revealing his plans to defeat the Sharks to the Jets.
When you're a Jet
You're a Jet all the way
From your first cigarette
To your last dyin' day.
When you're a Jet
If the spit hits the fan
You got brothers around
You're a family man.
You're never alone
You're never disconnected.
You're home with your own
When company's expected
You're well protected!
Then you are set
With a capital J
Which you'll never forget
Till they cart you away.
When you're a Jet
You stay
A Jet!
~ Riff's Jet song.

Riff is the second leader of the West Side Street Gang known as the Jets. He is the tritagonist villain in the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story, as well as its 1961 film adaptation. The musical is the modernized version of Romeo and Juliet, of which Riff is the equivalent of Mercutio. Despite Bernardo (the leader of the Sharks) being the equivalent of Tybalt (the original antagonist of Romeo and Juliet), Riff is the villain of the story as it was his actions that began his feud with Bernardo. When Bernardo moved to New York Riff and the Jets jumped him because Riff did not like the idea of Latinos in his neighborhood, showing that Riff is in fact a racist and the true cause of Bernardo’s malicious actions.

He was portrayed by Russ Tamblyn in the 1961 film and Mike Faist in the 2021 film.

Biography

Past

Not much is known about Riff's past, although it is implied that he grew up in a dysfunctional family and had neglectful/abusive parents, shaping him into the toughened delinquent that he is in the present. During Bernardo's first day in America, Riff and the Jets attacked him out of their racism towards Puerton Ricans, leading to the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks.

In the musical

Riff first appears in the opening of the musical hanging out with the Jets on the streets. Though everything seems to be tranquil at first, an encounter with the Sharks leads to a brawl that ends with Jet member Baby John being cornered and beaten by the Sharks. Riff and the other Jets rush to Baby John's aid before Lieutenant Shrank and Officer Krupke arrive at the playground and break up the fight. The police officers kick the Sharks out of the playground and urge the Jets to stop this rivalry before they have to start making arrests. Despite this, Riff and the Jets plan a rumble with the Sharks to settle their rivalry. Riff runs off to persuade his best friend and partner Tony to fight alongside the Jets in the rumble. Tony bawks at first but reluctantly agrees after Riff reveals his plan to challenge the Sharks at an upcoming dance.

That evening, Riff attends the dance with his girlfriend Graziella and the rest of the Jets. When the Sharks arrive, Riff prepares to challenge Bernardo but is interrupted when a social worker at the dance makes a feeble attempt to convince the gangs to have a peaceful dance. Eventually, Riff manages to confront Bernardo after the latter spots Tony kissing his sister Maria and tries to attack him over it. However, with police officers watching, Riff is unable to have any physical conflict with Bernando, and he instead discreetly plans with Bernardo to have a rumble the next night. Bernardo agrees before leaving with Maria and his girlfriend Anita.

Later that night, Riff and his gang hang around outside of Doc's candy store. A couple of police officers show up and voice their suspicions that the gangs are planning something. After they leave, Riff and the Jets spend a while mocking them before heading inside the store. The Sharks enter too, and Riff orders Graziella, her friend Velma, and the tagalong Anybodys to leave. The two gangs discuss where to hold the rumble and which weapons to use. Tony arrives at the store and ridicules the whole plan, prompting Riff to propose a "fair fight" that will involve a best man to fight Bernardo. He selects Ice. However, before they can negotiate further, Lieutenant Shrank enters the store and orders the Sharks to scram. He then interrogates the Jets, attempting to pressure them into revealing where they plan on doing a rumble. When they refuse to cooperate, he tries to dupe them into telling him by assuring them that he will offer them help during the rumble. When they still refuse, a frustrated Shrank kicks all of the Jets out of the store.

The next night, the Jets and the Sharks march across the street preparing to rumble. Riff and the Jets vow to defeat the Sharks and establish their superiority over the Upper West Side. They make it to their selected location (under the highway) along with the Sharks, and they prepare to fight it out. Tony appears before Ice and Bernarno can start the fight, intending to stop the rumble on behalf of Maria. Unfortunately for him, this backfires and instead leads to a chain of events that culminates in Bernardo calling Tony a "polack" (a racial slur for Polish people), provoking Riff into striking him across the face. Enraged, Bernardo gets back up, and he and Riff pull out switchblades, ready to fight to the death. Tony frantically tries to stop the fight, but Riff orders Ice and Tiger to hold Tony back, preventing him from interfering. Riff briefly loses his knife and is cornered. As he panics, Bernardo approaches to deliver the death blow, but Riff evades him, and Action hands him back his knife. The fight resumes, ultimately ending with Bernardo inadvertently stabbing Riff in the stomach, killing him.

Aftermath

Tony, in a moment of rage, grabs Riff's knife and fatally stabs Bernardo to avenge his friend, resulting in a riot between the gangs. Bernardo's friend Chino eventually gets ahold of a pistol, partially to avenge Bernardo, and ends the musical shooting Tony in the back. Maria finally has enough after Tony succumbs to the wound and threatens to shoot both gangs, rebuking them for their hatred and violence and blaming that for the deaths of Riff, Bernardo, and Tony. After her rant, the two gangs, affected by her words, finally reconcile, and the rivalry is ended once and for all.

Navigation

           20thCenturyStudiosLogo.png Villains

Animated Features
Lizard Leader | Blue | Ralph & Al | Aban-Khan | Blackwolf | King Koo Koo | Gazooks | The Greedy | Lord Nekron | Queen Juliana | Sub-humans | Hexxus | Lou the Goanna | Waggs | Mr. Hyde | Moby Dick | Captain Ahab | Long John Silver | Pirates | Queen of Hearts | Dragon | Rasputin | Bartok | Boss | Mac | Ludmilla | Postman | Drej Queen Susquehana | Drej | Preed | Joseph Korso | Kokomon | Diaboromon | Mrs. Tweedy | Mr. Tweedy | Soto | Soto's Pack (Zeke, Lenny & Oscar) | Carl & Frank | Dab | Zeebad | Soldier Sam | Skeleton Guards | Madame Gasket | Phineas T. Ratchet | Robotic Blacksmiths | Cretaceous & Maelstrom | Mini-sloths | Fast Tony | Napoleon Cross | Lefty Maginnis | EPA | Russ Cargill | Mr. Burns | Waylon Smithers | Lindsey Naegle | Fat Tony | Don Vittorio D'Maggio | Agnes Skinner | Nelson Muntz | Dolph Starbeam | Patty & Selma Bouvier | Snake Jailbird | Baby Gerald | Itchy | MomCorp | Carol Miller | Walt, Larry and Igner | Bender Bending Rodríguez | Zapp Brannigan | Donbot | Nudar | The Dark One | Yivo | Sour Kangaroo | Vlad Vladikoff | The Wickersham Brothers | Zartog | Black Wolf | Black Wolf's Pack (Smiley) | Rudy | Scratte | Lucius | Boggis, Bunce and Bean | Rat | Nigel | Marcel | Armando and Tipa | Marmosets (Mauro) | Captain Gutt | Gutt's Pirate Crew (Squint, Flynn, Gupta, Raz, Dobson & Silas) | Rats | Sirens | White Wolf | Eagles | Chunky | Mandrake | Dagda | Bufo | Guy Gagné | Gorgon | Scowler | Gorgon's Pack | Ms. Grunion | Ay | Big Boss | Gabi | Loggers | Charlie | Drago Bludvist | Northern Alliance (Drago's Bewilderbeast & Eret) | Chakal | Xibalba | Chato | Dave | Octopi | Captain Smek | The Boov (Officer Kyle) | Red Baron | Kai the Collector | Gavin | Gertie | Roger | Chef | Creek | King Gristle Sr. | Francis E. Francis | Eugene Francis | Professor Poopypants | Benjamin Krupp | Melvin Sneedly | Turbo Toilet 2000 | Tara Ribble | Talking Toilets | Bank Robbers | El Primero | Mayor Kobayashi | Major-Domo | Broly | Paragus | Lord Piggot-Dunceby | Willard Stenk | Mr. Collick | Willard Stenk's Accomplices | The Yeti Elder | Yeti Soldiers | Killian | Katsu Kimura | M9 Assassins | Andrew Morris

Live-Action Films
Mr. Smith | Beauty Smith | Hans Zeller | Rolf Gruber | Karl | Franz | Von Schreiber | Dr. Zaius | General Ursus | Albina | Ongaro | Adiposo | Dr. Otto Hasslein | Governor Breck | General Aldo | Governor Kolp | Mendez I | Dr. Frank-N-Furter | Riff Raff | Magenta | Damien Thorn | Grand Moff Tarkin | Darth Vader | Greedo | Ben Childress | Nostromo Drone | Ash | Emperor Sheev Palpatine | Boba Fett | Malcolm Bart | Alistair Becket | Farley Flavors | Melvin Moody | Mike | Curly | Moss | The Entity | Jabba the Hutt | Bib Fortuna | Salacious B. Crumb | Lord of Darkness | Blix | Blunder | Meg Mucklebones | First Acheron Queen | Xenomorphs (Xenomorph Warriors) | Weyland-Yutani (Carter J. Burke) | Brundlefly | Jungle Hunter | Prince Humperdinck | Count Rugen | Vizzini | The Albino | Hans Gruber | Karl Vreski | Theo | Tony Vreski | Gordon Gekko | Anton Bartok | Carter Hayes | City Hunter | Yautja | King Willie | Jim | Screwface | Lothos | Harry Lime and Marv Merchants | The Dragon | Henry Evans | Karl Hochman | Howard Payne | Salim Abu Aziz | Juno Skinner | Mr. Hyde | Moby Dick | Captain Ahab | Long John Silver | Pirates | Queen of Hearts | Dragon | Lord Rutledge | Elena Dubrow | Buck LaFarge | Vic Deakins | Kelly | Pritchett | Novacek | Max | Johnson | Shepherd | Frakes | Brandt | Baker | Harvest Commander | Harvesters | Myron Larabee | Ted Maltin | Crooked Santas | Kibosh | Snivel | Bill Case | Brock Lee | Danny | Leon | Cal Hockley | Spicer Lovejoy | Ruth DeWitt Bukater | The Cloned Queen | Lead Alien | Newborn | Mason Wren | John Geiger | Petr Beaupre | International Criminals (Alice Ribbons, Earl Unger & Burton Jernigan) | Mob Boss | Patrick Healy | Desmond Spellman | Darth Maul | Lester Vesco | Dickie Thurman | Super Hot Giant Alien | Tommy | Monkeybone | General Thade | Attar | Limbo | Sir William Gull | Mark McKinney | Count Dooku | Jango Fett | Lamar Burgess | James Moriarty | Dorian Gray | Dante | Sanderson Reed | Edward Hyde | Happy Chapman | Wendell | VIKI | Antarctic Queen Xenomorph | Grid | Chopper Predator | Celtic Predator | Scar | Zerbino | Saladin | Vanessa | Lead Teen | Lead Teen's Crew | Reggie and Arthur | Guy of Lusignan | Raynald of Châtillon | General Grievous | Jimmy Murtaugh | Durza | Galbatorix | Shruikan | Lord Dargis | Rommel | Cecil Fredericks | Gus & Reginald | Ian Hawke | Gunnison Predalien | Marko Hoxha | Patrice Saint-Clair | King Piccolo | Mai | Oozaru | Kahmunrah | Al Capone | Ivan the Terrible | Napoleon Bonaparte | Skip | Razor and Tazer | Zirkonians | Jennifer Check | Nikolai Wolf | Miles Quaritch | RDA (Parker Selfridge) | Luke Castellan | Hades | Medusa | Mrs. Dodds | Gabe Ugliano | Charon | Lotus Eaters | Lotus Land Bellhop | Hydra | Minotaur | Bosco | Agent Lynch | Brock Pike | Russell Morrison | Berserker Predator | Tracker Predator | Falconer Predator | Edwin | Stans | General Edward Edwardian | Blefuscians | Nat Jones | August Rosenbluth | Steven Jacobs | Dodge Landon | Douglas Hunsiker | Jason | Aliens | Andrew Detmer | Richard Detmer | Adam | Zoe | David 8 | Peter Weyland | Engineers | Deacon | Murad Hoxha | The Cook | Kronos | Chris Rodriguez | Polyphemus | Cyclopes | Manticore | Colchis Bull | Charybdis | Sir Lancelot | Xiangliu | Dmitri Desgoffe-und-Taxis | J.G. Jopling | Koba | Dreyfus | Carver | Valentine Corporation (Richmond Valentine, Gazelle, Charlie Hesketh, Chester King & Morten Lindström) | South Glade Mission Church (Church Leader) | Dean Baker | Rottweiler | Poodle | Pharaoh Rameses II | James Suggs | Harvester Queen | Mr. Barron | Alan Rikkin | Neomorphs | Praetomorphs | Colonel McCullough | Alpha-Omega (Red & Preacher) | Winter | Golden Circle (Poppy Adams, Bennie and Jet, Beauty-Bot, Clara Von Gluckfberg, Angel & Charles) | United States President | Agent Whiskey | Redneck Bar Patrons | Stuart St. John | Colonel Richard Strickland | Ultimate Predator | Will Traeger | Morgana | Vector | Grewishka | Chiren | Nova | Zapan | H. Clifford McBride | Rev-9 | Legion | Cthulhu | Hal | Spitz | The Dognapper | The Man in the Red Sweater | Antwan Hovachelik | Dude | Jets (Riff, Ice, Action, A-Rab, Baby John, Snowboy, & Tiger) | Sharks (Bernardo & Chino) | The Flock (Captain Morton, Grigori Rasputin, Erik Jan Hanussen, Mata Hari, Gavrilo Princip, Vladimir Lenin, Adolf Hitler & Alfred Dupont) | Kaiser Wilhelm II

Live-Action TV
Ida Kenzel | Molly Merchants | Marv Merchants | Vera Murchins | Sinclair | Hughes | Jessica

See Also
24 Villains | Alien vs Predator Villains | Alvin and the Chipmunks Villains | Amblin Entertainment Villains | American Dad! Villains | American Horror Story Villains | Archer Villains | Blue Sky Villains | Buena Vista International Villains | Buffyverse Vilains | Casper the Friendly Ghost Villains | Daredevil Villains | Deadpool Villains | Die Hard Villains | Disney Villains | DreamWorks Villains | Dr. Seuss Villains | Elektra Villains | Family Guy Villains | Fantastic Four Villains | Futurama Villains | Garfield Villains | Home Alone Villains | Ice Age Villains | Jack London Villains | Kingsman Villains | Lucasfilm Villains | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Villains | Narnia Villains | New Mutants Villains | Night at the Museum Villains | Planet of the Apes Villains | Rick Riordan Villains | Rio Villains | Searchlight Pictures Villains | Silver Surfer Villains | Star Wars Villains | Syfy Villains | Taken Villains | Terminator Villains | The Cleveland Show Villains | The Simpsons Villains | Tim Burton Villains | Wolverine Villains | X-Files Villains | X-Men Movie Villains | X-Men Villains

           Amblin Entertainment Logo.png Villains

Animated Features
Warren T. Rat | Mott Street Maulers (Digit) | Moe | Cossack Cats | Judge Doom | Toon Patrol (Smartass, Greasy, Psycho, Wheezy & Stupid) | Sharptooth | Cat R. Waul | Cactus Cat Gang (T.R. Chula, One Eye & Sweet William) | Professor Screweyes | Steele | King Salazar | Constance Nebbercracker | Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine | Allan | Tom | Pedro | Falcon | Aristides Silk | Red Rackham

Live-Action Films
Reverend Henry Kane | Poltergeists (Tree & Clown Doll) | Stripe | Ruby Deagle | Gremlins | Mama Fratelli | Francis Fratelli | Jake Fratelli | Biff Tannen | Match | Skinhead | 3-D | The Libyans | Eh Tar | Mrs. Dribb | Albert | Jacques LaFleur | Mr. Igoe | Sergeant Nagata | Emperor Hirohito | Judge Doom | Toon Patrol (Smartass, Greasy, Psycho, Wheezy & Stupid) | BiffCo | Griff Tannen | Data, Spike and Whitey | Buford Tannen | Stubble | Ceegar | Buck | Brain Gremlin | Daffy | George | Lenny | Greta | Secretary Gremlin | Bat Gremlin | Electric Gremlin | Cushing Catheter | Spiders (General Spider & Queen Spider) | Max Cady | James Hook | Mr. Smee | Dennis Nedry | Donald Gennaro | Lewis Dodgson | Amon Goeth | Adolf Hitler | Cliff Vandercave | Miss Sharon Stone | Carrigan Crittenden | Paul "Dibs" Plutzker | Jonas Miller | Peter Ludlow | Dieter Stark | Edgar the Bug | Chip Hazard | Commando Elite (Butch Meathook, Nick Nitro, Brick Bazooka, Link Static, Kip Killigan, & Gwendy Dolls) | Gil Mars | Don Rafael Montero | Harrison Love | Steamboat Willie | Lamar Burgess | Serleena | Scrad & Charlie | Jarra | Dog Poop | Corn Face | Pineal Eye | Mosh Tendrils | Flesh Balls | Jeff | Creepy | Kylothians | Frank Abagnale Jr. | Martians | Count Armand | Jacob McGivens | Hatsumomo | Colonel Nelec | Cooper | Boris the Animal | Weasel | Lilly | Obadiah Price | Mr. Wu | Boglodites | Indominus rex | Vic Hoskins | Henry Wu | Fleshlumpeater | Giants (Bloodbottler & Bonecruncher) | Nolan Sorrento | Innovative Online Industries (I-R0k, F’Nale Zandor & Sixers) | Eli Mills | Ken Wheatley | Gunnar Eversol | Isaac Izzard | Selena Izzard | High-T | The Twins | Riza Stavros | Luca Brasi | The Hive | Jets (Riff, Ice, Action, A-Rab, Baby John, Snowboy, & Tiger) | Sharks (Bernardo & Chino)

Animated Television
Mantah Corp (Daniel Kon & Kash D. Langford) | Eddie | Mitch & Tiff | Hawkes | Reed

See Also
20th Century Studios Villains | Back to the Future Villains | Buena Vista International Villains | Disney Villains | DreamWorks Villains | Gremlins Villains | Jurassic Park Villains | Men in Black Villains | Nickelodeon Movies Villains | Paramount Villains | Sony Pictures Villains | Steven Spielberg Villains | Universal Studios Villains | Warner Bros. Villains

           Steven Spielberg signature.png Villains

Animated Features
Warren T. Rat | Mott Street Maulers (Digit) | Moe | Judge Doom | Toon Patrol (Smartass, Greasy, Psycho, Wheezy & Stupid) | Sharptooth | Cat R. Waul | Cactus Cat Gang (T.R. Chula, One Eye & Sweet William) | Professor Screweyes | Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine | Allan | Tom | Pedro | Falcon | Aristides Silk | Red Rackham | Nolan Sorrento | Innovative Online Industries (I-R0k, F’Nale Zandor & Sixers)

Live-Action Films
Truck Driver | Great White Shark | René Belloq | Nazi Party (Major Arnold Ernst Toht, Herman Dietrich, Gobler, German Mechanic & Otto) | Satipo | Barranca | Reverend Henry Kane | Poltergeists (Tree & Clown Doll) | Gremlin | Mola Ram | Thuggee (Chief Guard & Chattar Lal) | Lao Che | Stripe | Ruby Deagle | Gremlins | Mama Fratelli | Francis Fratelli | Jake Fratelli | Eh Tar | Mrs. Dribb | Albert | Sergeant Nagata | Emperor Hirohito | Biff Tannen | Match | Skinhead | 3-D | The Libyans | Judge Doom | Toon Patrol (Smartass, Greasy, Psycho, Wheezy & Stupid) | BiffCo (Match, Skinhead & 3-D) | Griff Tannen | Data, Spike and Whitey | Walter Donovan | Nazi Party (Elsa Schneider, Ernst Vogel & Adolf Hitler) | Panama Hat | Garth | Buford Tannen | Stubble | Ceegar | Buck | Biff Tannen | James Hook | Neverland Pirates (Mr. Smee) | Amon Goeth | Adolf Hitler | Dennis Nedry | Donald Gennaro | Lewis Dodgson | Dr. Jonas Miller | Peter Ludlow | Dieter Stark | Steamboat Willie | Don Rafael Montero | Harrison Love | Lamar Burgess | Frank Abagnale Jr. | Martians | Count Armand | Jacob McGivens | Hatsumomo | Irina Spalko | Antonin Dovchenko | George McHale | Colonel Nelec | Cooper | Fleshlumpeater | Giants (Bloodbottler & Bonecruncher) | Nolan Sorrento | Innovative Online Industries (I-R0k, F’Nale Zandor & Sixers) | Jets (Riff, Ice, Action, A-Rab, Baby John, Snowboy, & Tiger) | Sharks (Bernardo & Chino)

See Also
Amblin Entertainment Villains | Back to the Future Villains | Buena Vista International Villains | DreamWorks Villains | Indiana Jones Villains | Jurassic Park Villains | Men in Black Villains | Transformers Cinematic Universe Villains

Advertisement