Mal has always wanted to make her mother proud though her mother's expectations were too high and her mother never thought she was evil enough, often lecturing about how evil she was in the past and often comparing Mal to herself and putting her down and putting severe pressure on her.
Mal was the most determined of the VKs to follow her parent's footsteps especially since her mother was the most powerful. She tried looking to her mother and asking her what to do and believed correctly her mother would punish her should she fail.
Lonnie also asked Mal if her mother ever made her cookies since she thought villains loved their kids too, causing Mal to become depressed while claiming her mother did love her but seemed reluctant in her words. However, Ben assured her that she doesn't have to follow her mother's path and that she had goodness in her and should follow her own heart. When her mother and the other parents talked to the VK via computer chat, Maleficent pressured Mal saying to hurry up implicitly leading to arguments among the parents and pressure and anxiety for the VKs.
When Maleficent saw Mal had "tricked" Ben in order to get close to the wand she seemed proud. She was upset when Mal chose good and decided to punish her, but Mal had stood up to herself and turned her into a gecko (since she turned her into the size of the love of her heart). Despite this, she told the guards to be careful when escorting her away because she was still her mother and she still loved her.
- "I can look into your eyes, and I can tell you're not evil."
- ―Ben's belief in Mal's goodness
Ben seemed to be attracted to her the first moment they met. Mal, nonetheless, was more focused on getting the wand and once told Jane and Evie that she thought love and getting a boyfriend were stupid and that she didn't need them. He frequently tried to approach and be friendly with the VKs, but was most friendly with Mal.
Interesting, the two both had a dream about the other before ever meeting each other. When Mal learned Ben his family and his girlfriend get to be near the wand, she immediately tried to entice Ben by making a love potion cookie and giving it to him. When he ate it, it had an extremely strong effect and he proclaimed his love for her after the Tourney team victory. She accepted and when the two went on their first date.
During the date, the two got to know each other well and Ben saw the goodness in Mal and advised her they didn't have to follow their parent's footsteps. Mal even began questioning whether to follow the goodness inside her or follow her mother's footsteps and when he seemed to be drowning, she risked drowning herself to save him since she didn't know how to swim.
While the potion did washed off Ben, he still loved her and decided to remain in a relationship with her. Mal thought since their parents would kill them if she and the VKs didn't go through with the plan, she figured the least she could do was erase his feelings. However, during the parade, she learned he knew he was under a potion which washed off, but still loved her. She admitted she was happy being with him and being at Auradon and decided to stay and be good. The two have since remained a couple.
In Wicked World, the two are shown to flirt, with Mal often complimenting on how cute he is and being impressed when he lied to Jay, while Ben encourages her to do her best and being a good person. The two had shared a romantic dance in Episode 16 and when he was kidnapped, she was extremely worried and happy upon learning he was safe. The two are still in a relationship in Return to Isle of the Lost.
When the two were younger, the two did not get along. Evie didn't invite her to her birthday parties so Mal played pranks on her. However, after saving Evie from being cursed as they, along with Carlos and Jay, went to get a staff from the Forbidden Fortress, they became friends.
Mal seemed to be in charge and bossed Evie around (similar to how Audrey treated Jane) the two still got along. She told Evie that having a boyfriend was stupid especially since her own boyfriend, Chad, was making her do his homework for him. When Chad broke her heart after using her, Mal comforted her saying Chad was unlucky for going with Audrey when Evie was prettier smarter and kinder.
When Mal needed help getting ready for her date with Ben, Evie volunteered to help her. When Mal decided to erase Ben's feelings, Evie gave her comfort. The two had both decided to be good, stayed at Auradon, and defeated Maleficent alongside Carlos and Jay. The two are best friends and like sisters who stand by each other and often hang out with each other.
While the two don't have much interaction, they still got along. she often had to remind him to stay focused such as when he was distracted by video games when they were discussing how to steal the wand. She cheered for him when he and Jay won the Tourney competition and when she had to choose between good and evil she managed to convince Carlos to join the good side, telling him he didn't have to worry about being punished by their parents and that they would stick together as friends.
While the two don't have much interaction, they still got along. She often had to remind him to stay focused. She was annoyed by his impulsiveness in trying to get the wand and when he considered staying in Aurodan since it was such a nice place. she cheered for him when he and Carlos won the Tourney competition and when she had to choose between good and evil she managed to convince Jay to join the good side.
The two were the children of Maleficent and Sleeping Beauty, so there was tension from their family history when the two first met. Audrey thought little of Mal, often belittling her in her presence and during family day Audrey told her grandmother to stay away from her. After the incident, she began publicly and loudly ridiculing Mal but became scared when Mal threatened to use magic on them. However at the end of the film the two bow to each other in respect. However, in Wicked world, Mal tends to get in trouble with Audrey because Audrey gets caught in the crossfire of Mal's magical antics, even if by accident. When CJ committed a series of acts and framed Mal and the VKs for it, she became suspicious of them, usually Mal or Freddie and confronted her when Ben disappeared being the first to call her out but was proven wrong and ultimately the two put the issue of distrust under the bridge.
Initially Jane was scared of the VKs but since she was the fairy godmother's daughter Mal tried to befriend her to get to the wand. She knew Jane lacked self esteem and used that to her advantage, changing her hair to be prettier and subtly telling her her mother didn't care about her and that she should try to convince her mother to use the wand to make her prettier. Jane took the advice and befriended Mal. However, after the fiasco at Family Day between the VKs and Chad, Jane ridiculed Mal only for Mal to retaliate by changing her hair back to its ugly form, causing her to be ostracized. Jane was so humiliated she tried to take her mother's wand to make herself pretty but when she was going to get punished for her action by her mother, Mal assured her mother it was her fault Jane did what she did since Mal was the one who put the ideas in her head and the two became friends.
However, in Descendants: Wicked World, when bad things happened and Mal was framed by CJ, she blamed Mal and was quick to turn on her. When CJ revealed she did everything, Jane befriended Mal once again.
Lonnie was acting nice toward Mal and asked for her to do her hair. Later she saw her, Evie, Carlos and Jay baking some cookies and offered to help giving the chocolate chips. She then asked if her parents made any since she figured the VKs' parents must love their children, with Mal despondently stating things were different for them. She immediately regretted her actions and cried apologetically. After the family day incident, while she was not mean to Mal she did begin avoiding her especially since she worried Mal may take away her hair like she did with Jane. However, by the end of the film the two seemed to have become friends again In episode 11, she and Evie helped design her outfit for the hip hop stage performance. when things went bad and Ben went missing, Lonnie was the only AK not to accuse her (though she was busy manning the DJ station).
It is implied that CJ and Mal knew each other before coming to Auradon. Mal dislikes CJ for holding her boyfriend captive. When it was revealed that CJ was behind all the bad things happening in Auradon, she also revealed that she framed Mal for stealing Jane's mascot costume.
Zevon had a one side crush on Mal while they were still on the Isle. When Mal was under the influence of her jewel, she assisted Zevon in taking Jafar's Snake Staff out of the Museum of Cultural History. Their first formal confrontation, however, was in Face to Face, where Zevon revealed that he had a crush on her. He admits that there was a time that he hung on to her every word.