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Don't you think, that there's more to our future than jelly?
— Dr. Nefario speaking to Gru
Dr. Nefario
Full name Joseph Albert Nefario[1]
Status Alive
Gender Male
Age 40 (Minions)

48 (Minions: The Rise of Gru)
82 ("Despicable Me")
85 ("Despicable Me 2")
89 ("Despicable Me 3")
90 ("Despicable Me 4")

Hair color Grey (formerly Brown)

Gru's gadget man
Owner of Criminal Records (formerly)


Felonius Gru
Margo Gru
Edith Gru
Agnes Gru
Lucy Wilde
Eduardo Perez (formerly)
Gru, Jr.
Dru Gru


Vicious 6
Eduardo Perez
Evil Minions
Maxime Le Mal


Despicable Me
Despicable Me 2
Despicable Me 3 (Inanimate cameo)
Minions: The Rise of Gru
Despicable Me 4

Voiced by

Russell Brand (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2 and Minions: The Rise of Gru)
Romesh Ranganathan (Despicable Me 4)

Joseph Albert Nefario, most commonly referred to as Dr. Nefario (born August 12, 1928), is the secondary protagonist of the Despicable Me franchise. He is Gru's gadgeteer, residing in his underground lair and laboratories. He builds and designs most of Gru's machines. Gru and Dr. Nefario seem to have been trying to shock the world with "The True Crime of the Century" for several years.

Although Nefario has doubts about Gru's plans due to lack of funds, and his new found love for his adopted daughters, he still considers him to be "one of the greats" in the supervillain world. Dr. Nefario also has terrible hearing, mistaking Gru's orders for "dart gun" and "cookie robots" as "fart gun" and "boogie robots", respectively. He is briefly El Macho's right-hand man and main henchman. In Despicable Me 3, he is frozen in carbonite, probably due to a Minion accident. In Minions: The Rise of Gru, he is portrayed as the owner of a record store that Gru goes to called Criminal Records, where he crafts gadgets as a side-gig.


Dr. Nefario resembles a stereotypical mad scientist who is mildly overweight. He is always seen with his lab coat, gloves, and trademark goggles, and he wears either pants or pajama bottoms with a plaid pattern. His hair, what little there is of it, is longish and faintly unruly.


Not much is known about Nefario's history. In Minions, Felonius Gru met Nefario at Villain-Con, with the latter displaying his creations in a booth, attracting Gru's attention. In Minions: The Rise of Gru, it is seen that he owns a record store, and he makes gadgets in his spare time. In the mid-credit scene of Minions: The Rise of Gru, it is shown that Nefario enters Gru's employment after the Minions beg him when he was about to retire from villainy after the Vicious 6 have gotten captured by AVL.


Dr. Nefario is Gru's closest and most loyal friend who always comes to his rescue. He has a very high respect for Gru and even believes he is the greatest villain in the world, but he often doubts his abilities and motives. He is also quite eccentric with rather bad hearing due to his age, but although he seemed a little odd at times, he did not seem to be going senile.

Dr. Nefario doesn't like to be unproductive, as he has constantly been seen working on projects to aid in Gru's crimes, and even decides to work for Eduardo Perez after Gru renounces his former life of villainy.

His accent suggests a British family lineage. Nefario seems to enjoy disco dancing and is even briefly shown doing so alongside Marlena Gru, and in the Boogie Robot scene.




Dr. Nefario showing his new Freeze Ray to his future partner, Felonius Gru.

Dr. Nefario makes a small cameo appearance as a young man and is seen at Villain-Con while Stuart is exploring the convention. At his stall, he shows his new invention, the Freeze Ray, to the crowd including his future partner Felonius Gru (who was then a child with his mother), and he accidentally freezes his own hand by mistake. When he finally notices, he hides his frozen hand behind his back.

Minions: The Rise of Gru


Set in 1976, Dr. Nefario owned a record shop called Criminal Records, and also makes gadgets in his spare time. he is first seen letting Belle Bottom inside the shop, which is on lockdown, and then bringing down a steel roll door, right before a group of AVL vans came by, who are pursuing Belle Bottom. A few days later, when a young Gru went inside the shop, since he knew that the lair of the Vicious 6 is located there, he meets the scientist as he was trying out one of his inventions which he called "Sticky Fingers". When Gru reads the scientist's name tag, he corrects by saying that it is "Dr. Nefario". Just as Gru was about to take the secret elevator, Nefario gave the sticky fingers to him, and reminds him that it was he who gave him his first gadget, if Gru ever becomes famous. When Gru ineffectively attempts to use the record player in order to make the elevator work, Nefario helps him out by instructing him to spin the device in reverse.

Later, when Gru triggered the alarm after stealing the zodiac stone from the Vicious 6, he bumps into Nefario, who was carrying a wooden box of recordings and other devices. Not happy that Gru had stolen something from the Vicious 6 and knowing that their coming after the former, Nefario immediately tells Gru to 'just keep walking' motioning to the exit. Gru obeys the scientist's instructions, and fled from the Criminal Records shop with the Minions. Nefario remained absent throughout most of the film. He is later present at Wild Knuckles' funeral, though he was unaware that the latter was still alive and had faked his death.

Rise of Gru epilogue

In the post credits scene, when Gru attempts to recruit Nefario, the scientist, while closing the Criminal Records shop, declined, saying that he is done with villainy and that he is gonna move on, packing Freeze Ray in the boxes along. When he bids Gru goodbye, the latter and the Minions began giving him puppy-eyes which made Nefario change his mind. He then gives Gru and the minions a ride on an airship, which Gru would later use in the future. This marks the beginning of a new relationship that leads to the 21st century.

Despicable Me

When Gru returns home, Dr. Nefario informs the supervillain that someone else stole the Pyramid of Giza. Nefario also attends to the plan of stealing the Moon by making gadgets like Cookie Robots, to aid in Gru's plan of stealing the Shrink Ray from Vector. He later calls Miss Hattie to return the girls to the orphanage due to them becoming a obstruction to their plan in stealing the moon. Gru continues the plan and Nefario notices that the effect of the Shrink Ray will lose its effect. He warns Gru about this, naming it the Nefario Principle.

At the end, Dr. Nefario videotapes the girls' dance recital at Gru's house and is later seen dancing with Gru's mother.

Despicable Me 2

At the beginning of the film, Dr. Nefario makes a jelly that is a combination of many flavors, however it turns out to have a horrible taste. Dr. Nefario informs Gru that he misses being evil and that he has a new work. Later, as a farewell for Dr. Nefario, the Minions do a 21 Fart Guns salute and Dr. Nefario slowly rides away on his motor scooter to start his new life, making two minions cry (possibly Jerry and Phil).

Later that same night, a silhouette (presumably Dr. Nefario's) arrives at Gru's house. Phil opens the door and greets the visitor, but he is kidnapped and the door is left opened. Soon, the Cinco de Mayo party is about to start at Eduardo's mansion. Now that he actually worked for El Macho, he has some of the Minions trapped in a fake paradise called Minion Beach, and he captures the Minions two by two, injecting the PX-41 serum to the Minions which mutated them into a Evil Minion.

Dr. Nefario makes a full reappearance after Gru enters El Macho's secret lair and explains their plan to Gru. But, he notices that Eduardo now knows that Gru and Lucy Wilde are working for the AVL and witnesses Eduardo taking Lucy to his lab as a prisoner. He later calls Gru, telling him everything he knows about this. When Margo, Edith, Agnes, and the remaining Minions are attacked by Kevin, who is mutated into an Evil Minion, he is injected with an antidote created by Dr. Nefario. He introduces the antidote to the girls, which worked well, and named it PX-49. He later introduced the antidote as the horrible jelly he made.

He, the girls, and the remaining Minions went to El Macho's lair and cured Evil Minions, and knocks out the mutated El Macho with a Fart Gun. In the ending, Dr. Nefario appears in the wedding as a guest, dances with Gru's mother while the Minions are singing the Y.M.C.A. song, and appears in the family picture.

​Despicable Me 3

Frozen Dr

Dr Nefario frozen in Carbonite.

Since Russell Brand was unavailable to reprise his role of Dr Nefario in Despicable Me 3, the character makes a brief appearance in the movie. During his talk with the Minions, Gru mentions that Dr. Nefario had previously frozen himself in a big block of Carbonite by accident. By that time, some minions are knocking off the outside pieces of the Carbonite block, trying to free him. While Gru sat alone in his lab, having lost most of the Minions, due to not wanting to go back to villainy, the frozen Dr. Nefario is once again seen having been moved to one side of the lab. He is last seen in a flashback prior to being frozen when Mel began recounting the times he had together with Gru. It is unknown how he frozen himself in Carbonite, and when/how he escaped the trap after the events of the movie.

Saturday Morning Minions

After being unfrozen, Nefario makes some cameos during the show like Gru, albeit only making sounds and not speaking.


During the recap at the beginning of the short, it’s revealed that Nefario now decided to sell his anti-gravity serium.

Despicable Me 4

In the finale, with it being unknown how he got unfrozen from the Carbonite, Nefario briefly shows up and cures Gru Jr. from his cockroach mutation before returning to the lab. He also appears in the finale, standing in Gru's backyard.


Felonius GruLucy WildeMargoEdithAgnesMinions (KevinStuartBob) • Dr. Nefario
VectorEl MachoScarlet OverkillBalthazar Bratt
Other characters
KyleSilas RamsbottomMarlena GruRobert GruDru
Characters in Despicable Me
Felonius GruMargoEdithAgnesMinionsDr. Nefario
VectorMr. Perkins
Other characters
Justin (Justin's FatherJustin's Mother) • MSNBC AnchormanGertrudeFredKyleMarlena GruMiss HattiePennyCarnival BarkerRobert GruThe Social Worker
Characters in Despicable Me 2
Felonius GruLucy WildeMargoEdithAgnesMinionsDr. Nefario
El MachoEvil MinionsPollito
Other characters
Silas RamsbottomKyleJillianNatalieLisaAntonio PerezFloyd EaglesanShannonItalian WaiterGertrudeMichelleFredMarlena GruIce Cream VendorJewel ThiefMiniature UFO
Characters in Minions
Minions (KevinStuartBob) • Felonius Gru
Scarlet OverkillHerb OverkillDumo the SumoFrankie FishlipsMr. Spikey
Other characters
AmphibianTyrannosaurus rexCount DraculaNapoleon BonaparteQueen Elizabeth IIWalter NelsonMadge NelsonWalter Nelson Jr.Tina NelsonBinky NelsonYetisMarlena GruProfessor FluxDr. NefarioGlam SlammerBeefeatersBlind Tower GuardFabricePoochyKyleSecurity Guard
Characters in Despicable Me 3
Felonius GruLucy WildeMargo GruEdith GruAgnes GruDru GruMinions
Balthazar BrattClive
Other characters
Silas RamsbottomValerie Da VinciDr. NefarioKyleFritzMarlena GruVincenzo and PaoloRobert GruNikoNiko's MotherLucky
Characters in Minions: The Rise of Gru
Minions (KevinStuartBobOtto) • Felonius Gru
Vicious 6 (Wild KnucklesBelle BottomJean ClawedSvengeanceStrongholdNunchuck)
Other characters
Dr. NefarioMarlena GruKyleSilas RamsbottomWild Knuckles' HenchmensWingmanBirthday kidBikerWild Knuckles CrocodilesMr. PerkinsFrankie Fishlips
  1. Seen in a poster designed by concept artist Gregory Georges.