Despite being Star City's number one hero, the Emerald Archer has sure done some pretty horrible things over the years. Even before his five years in hell, Oliver wasn't exactly a pillar of morality. But, over the course of these five years, Oliver was forced to "adjust" his moral compass. He spent two years struggling to survive on Lian Yu, then a year working for Amanda Waller in Hong Kong and another one back on Lian Yu. Finally, during his last year of being "officially dead" Oliver was working for the Russian mafia. However, once he returned home, Oliver continued applying the not-so-humane tactics he picked up.
But being a cold-blooded killer is far from being Oliver's only sin. Throughout almost six seasons, Oliver Queen acted terribly towards his family, friends and team members on a number of occasions. Lies, betrayal, adultery, selfishness and lack of regard for others are just some indiscretions Oliver's guilty of. Yet, against all reason, this horrible person is somehow not only the city's hero but also its Mayor. And just in case you can't remember all of Ollie's misdeeds, we're here to refresh your memory with 17 terrible things everyone forgets Oliver did on Arrow.
17 STARTED DATING FELICITY WHILE MARRIED TO NYSSA
Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak are married. Whether you like it or not, these two wedding hijackers are now officially a married couple. While this is Felicity’s first marriage, her husband had already been married... well kind of. During his time on Nanda Parbat as Al Sah-him, Oliver was forced into a League marriage with Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Nyssa.
While the marriage carried no legal validity, under the laws of the League it was a valid marriage. The problem is, Oliver started dating his new wife Felicity while he was still technically married to Nyssa al Ghul. Not that cheating is new to Ollie, but this is a marriage after all. However, compared to other terrible things he did, this one isn’t all that bad.
16 KILLED HUNDREDS, CRITICIZED HELENA FOR KILLING
Over the years, Oliver has taken a number of vigilantes under his wing. Helena Bertinelli, aka the Huntress, was one of Oliver's first crime-fighting partners. After stopping Helena from killing China White, Oliver offered to train her and make her change her ways, which Helena refused. Despite John’s countless warnings and against his better judgment, Oliver kept trying to get Helena to stop killing.
Now, had this all been coming from season six Oliver, or even season three Oliver, we’d let it slide. However, this all happened back in season one when Oliver’s opponents were dropping like flies. It’s just so hypocritical for Oliver to be coming so hard on Helena over something he does on daily basis. But Oliver being a hypocrite is nothing new. He absolutely loves calling out other people for keeping secrets, yet we’re all still discovering his secrets six years in.
15 COULD HELP MCKENNA HALL BUT DOESN’T
Oliver’s had a number of love interests over the years. You can definitely say that he gets around. In season one, Ollie had a real anime-like harem with Laurel Lance, Felicity Smoke, Helena Bertinelli and McKenna Hall. Speaking of the last two, they had a pretty dangerous encounter. During a pursuit, the Huntress shot Detective McKenna Hall causing her to become paralyzed from the waist down. McKenna Hall then moved to Coast City, which apparently has the best rehabilitation center.
Years later, Oliver’s fiance Felicity was shot and paralyzed too. However, Felicity didn’t move to Coast City because she had a friend who was able to build a chip allowing her to walk again. This is all fine and dandy, but we can’t help but wonder why hasn’t Oliver offered the same help to McKenna? Especially since it was partially his fault she was paralyzed.
14 SHOT AN ARROW THROUGH ROY'S LEG
In an episode titled "The Scientist" Starling City Police Department is faced with a peculiar robbery at Queen Consolidated, which Oliver and his team start investigating too. Meanwhile, Roy Harper contacts the Arrow to give him information about Sebastian Blood. Oliver insists that Roy should stay away and when Roy doesn’t back down, Oliver resorts to alternative means.
Just as Roy turns around to leave, Oliver shoots an arrow through his leg in order to teach the young man a lesson. Oliver’s technique is reminiscent of what Yao Fei did to him on Lian Yu. Clearly, Oliver’s five years in hell took a toll on him and it’s almost impossible for Oliver to resist the temptation to use violent measures whenever things don't go his way.
13 LIED TO FELICITY ABOUT WILLIAM
Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak are finally married, to the delight of some fans and the disappointment of others. But no matter how you feel about this pairing, you have to admit they’ve been through hell and back. After Felicity broke off their engagement the duo has been attempting to re-establish their trust and friendship. And after enduring all the hardships life threw at them, Olicity is back together.
Their break up in season four was mostly a plot device for Oliver and Felicity’s characters to grow and for the show to have more unnecessary drama. However, although it may have seemed rash, Olicity’s break up wasn’t entirely unjustified. After all, Oliver did lie to Felicity. For months he hid his son William from her and it is only natural that she felt betrayed.
12 CHEATED ON LAUREL WITH SARA
Oliver Queen may be a one-girl type of guy, but Ollie certainly was not. Not only was the pre-shipwreck Oliver a major playboy, he also cheated on his girlfriend Laurel with a number of women, including but not limited to her sister Sara. As we know, when Ollie and his dad boarded the Queen's Gambit Oliver invited Sara to join him on the journey.
At the time, Laurel wanted Oliver and her to start living together and since Oliver wasn’t really the settle-down type of fellow, he was feeling pressured. To get his mind off of Laurel, Oliver took advantage of the fact that Sara had a crush on him and cheated on Laurel with her sister. While this was a major plotline during the first season, it seems to be almost forgotten now.
11 TORTURED PEOPLE
Oliver truly is trying his hardest to be a better man for the sake of his son, Felicity as well as his own peace of mind. Whether or not you like the new state of Arrow, it is indisputable that Oliver is now a much better person and a more inspiring hero than the cold-blooded killer from the beginning. It’s hard to imagine this new Oliver mercilessly torturing people for information, but there was a time when he would resort to torture without a second thought.
Lest we forget, Oliver was once a member of the Bratva and tortured a lot of people on their behest. During his time in Hong Kong, Oliver tortured a man for Amanda Waller. But most importantly, he’s tortured a number of criminals as the Arrow without being under anyone’s control or orders.
10 FATHERED A CHILD WHILE DATING LAUREL
With Samantha dead, Oliver’s son William has now become a permanent part of Oliver’s life. We first find out about Oliver’s son in season two episode "Seeing Red" when Oliver confesses to his mother that he got a girl pregnant. At the time, Oliver was dating Laurel and didn’t know how to deal with the problem. Luckily for him, his mother did. Moira reached out to the girl and gave her money in exchange for her telling Oliver she lost the baby.
Oliver’s ten-year-old son appears for the first time in season four when Oliver finally discovers what his mother did all those years ago. So, not only did Ollie cheat on Laurel every chance he got, he also fathered a child while they were dating. Not to mention that for ten years Oliver was basically a deadbeat dad.
9 ATTEMPTED SUICIDE
Oliver Queen isn’t exactly the most cheerful person in the universe, but he’s not suicidal either. While he did become the symbol of brooding in the Arrowverse, Oliver has come a long way since his homecoming in season one and especially since his time on the island. Heck, we even get to see him smile every once in a while.
But back on Lian Yu, in order to survive Oliver really did have to become someone else. He wasn't always tough, he needed to grow stronger. In one of the flashbacks we find out that, at one point, Oliver felt so overwhelmed with everything that happened to him that he started contemplating suicide. Luckily, a vision of his father was enough to stop him. But it's very ungrateful that Oliver would even consider killing himself after his father died so that he could live.
8 CHOSE TO LET HIS FAMILY BELIEVE HE WAS DEAD
In season three Oliver’s flashbacks were set in Hong Kong. Oliver was taken to Hong Kong by the director of A.R.G.U.S., Amanda Waller. After his job with Waller was done Oliver was free to return home. Yet, he chose not to do that.
Not wanting the darkness inside him to be around his family, Oliver decided to board a ship for Coast City where he acted as a vigilante for some time. One night, he ran into Amanda Waller again and made a deal with her to return to Lian Yu to stop a drug lord. After finishing this mission Oliver went to Russia and then again to Lian Yu just to be found as an unlikely shipwreck survivor who spent five years on a deserted island. Basically, instead of going back to his family, Ollie chose to make them believe he was dead for two more years.
7 BRUTALLY KILLED HUNDREDS
There was a time when everyone didn’t lose their minds when Oliver Queen killed someone. And it seems like making Oliver soft damaged the show, considering that Arrow’s ratings have been dropping since season three. If you’ve been watching the show from the get-go, you remember the old days when the vigilante known as the Hood ruthlessly punished those who have failed his city.
Back in season one Oliver had no qualms about killing the bad guys, and the estimate is he has killed around 55 people in the first season alone and around 165 people in total, up until now. Oliver’s initial plan to clean up the streets of Starling City involved taking out the criminals on his father's list. However, over time, his goals changed as did his modus operandi.
6 MADE A DEAL WITH BRATVA TO HAVE PROMETHEUS KILLED
After being tortured by Adrian Chase and admitting that maybe, just maybe, he has a killing problem, Oliver decided to disband Team Arrow and call in help from the outside. Anatoly came all the way from Russia and the Bratva was to take out Oliver’s greatest enemy yet, Adrian Chase, and in return Oliver would let Anatoly produce a new kind of street drug.
And if you’re thinking that this isn’t quite hero-like behavior, you’re mostly right. Team Arrow certainly thought so and went above and beyond to stop Anatoly and save Oliver’s soul. Upon consideration, Oliver had a change of heart and reneged on the deal, which is almost worse than what he originally planned. Flying someone in from Russia to do your dirty work and then going out of your way to stop them from doing the thing you asked them to do is rather hypocritical.
5 LET ROY TAKE THE FALL FOR HIM
Back in season three, secret identities were still a thing on Arrow and there was a good number of characters close to Oliver who didn’t know he was the Arrow. Preserving his identity was of utmost importance to Oliver, especially when the Arrow was being hunted down by the SCPD led by none other than Captain Lance.
Believing that this to be his chance to atone for murdering a cop, and wanting to protect Oliver, Roy admitted to being the Arrow. After he was arrested Oliver and the rest of the gang arranged to fake his death and had Roy leave the city with everyone believing him and the Arrow to be dead. While it’s true that Roy went behind Oliver’s back on this one, it’s still terrible that Oliver let his protégé take the fall for him.
4 USED LYLA AS BAIT, LEFT SARA UNATTENDED
In season three, Oliver shortly stopped being himself and adopted the name Al Sah-him serving as a member of the League of Assassins. The supposedly brainwashed Oliver went after Nyssa who had left the League and has been spending time with Team Arrow. After failing to capture Nyssa the first time, he devised a new plan.
Oliver kidnapped Diggle’s wife Lyla from their home in order to force Team Arrow into an exchange. And by taking Lyla hostage, Oliver left Diggle’s baby daughter Sara completely unattended. Naturally, Diggle was furious and who can blame him. The man he until recently considered a brother had kidnapped his wife and left his daughter alone. And while brainwashing could have been a mitigating circumstance, it turned out Oliver wasn’t actually brainwashed. So, whatever he did, he did it in full mental capacity.
3 ASKED DIGGLE TO BE GREEN ARROW WITHOUT REGARD TO HIS FAMILY
This is a very fresh, but highly disregarded misstep Oliver’s unmistakably guilty of. After his son William asks him to stop being the Green Arrow, Oliver reconsiders his life choices and decides to pass the baton to his friend John Diggle. Saying that he wishes to stop putting himself in danger out of fear to leave his son without a father, Oliver asks Diggle to be the Green Arrow once again.
Of course, Digg accepted and has been acting as the Green Arrow for some time during season six. However, Diggle’s son was overlooked here. Oliver selfishly came to John in order to protect his son, without thinking about John’s son. It kind of makes us wonder if Ollie ever really takes other people into consideration.
2 KILLED BILLY MALONE
A much-disputed event in Oliver’s more recent history is the death of Billy Malone. Although, everyone seems to have forgotten all about it already, including the characters from the show. Billy Malone, if you’ll recall, was an SCPD Detective and Felicity’s boyfriend. Adrian Chase set up the Green Arrow to kill Billy Malone by dressing Malone as Prometheus.
Without knowing who’s under the mask, Oliver shot Prometheus with an arrow, killing him on the spot. Team Arrow covered up the mess and attempted to move on from Billy’s unfortunate death. The problem resurfaced when the SCPD went after Green Arrow for Malone’s death. Other than that, Oliver faced little to no consequences for killing Malone. Accidental as it was, it is still murder and to just write it off to unfortunate circumstances seems wrong and, honestly, out of character for Oliver.
1 SKINNED A MAN ALIVE
Arrow’s season five episode "Kapiushon" was undoubtedly among the show’s best work. Coming back from a rather weak season Arrow needed to do something pretty extraordinary in season five in order to stay alive and it's true redemption came in the seventeenth episode.
In the span of 42 game-changing minutes, Arrow finally revealed Oliver’s darkest moments. While he was being held captive by Prometheus, Oliver reminisced about his time with Bratva and we found out just how cruel Oliver can be. In one of the flashbacks we were shocked to discover that Oliver once skinned a man alive for "practice". Although we’ve seen Oliver do some pretty horrible things in the past, even for him this came completely out of left field. While it’s true that he killed and tortured people before, at least he used to have a justification.