The relationships of Mal throughout the Descendants franchise.
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.
(Boyfriend/True Love/In Love With)
- "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 realy happy being with him and being at Auradon and decided to stay and be good. The two have since remained a couple even in Descendants 2. 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. In Descendants 2, Ben is the reigning King of Auradon and is ready to officially pronounce Mal as his “Lady of the Court.” Things seem to be going perfectly, until one day while having a picnic date together with Mal he discovers her spell book and realizes all the spells she had been using to try and fit in at Auradon . When Mal tries to spell Ben into forgetting what he saw, he confronts her and Mal admits to faking everything and that she herself it a fake . She then spells away the picnic lunch and runs off,leaving Ben at a loss. After discovering Mal had flee Auradon to return to the Isle of the Lost, Ben realizes how much pressure Mal must be going through and decides to follow her to the Isle and apologize to make things right. Ben is accompanied by Evie, Jay and Carlos as they dress him up and teaches him how to blend in and act like a villain (Chillin Like a Villain). On the Isle they are discovered by Gill who rushes off to tell Uma, Ben meets up with Mal and apologizes about their fight and begs her to come home. However, Mal realizing that she doesn't fit in at Auradon refuses to go back with Ben stating that she's a terrible influence for him and that it would be in his and Auradon's best interest for her not to return . Despite Ben's pleas and his confession of love, Mal pleads for him to leave her and rejects his sigma ring signifying the break up of their relationship . After dejectedly leaving and wandering off on his own, Ben gets kidnapped by Uma and Mal rushes off to save him . However after losing to Uma in an arm wrestling fight, Uma makes a deal with Mal, Fairy God-Mothers magic wand for Ben's life. During the trade off ( It's Goin' Down) Uma continually threatens to push Ben off the ship while Ben tries to convince both Mal and Uma to not go through with the plan not realizing that the wand is fake and offering Uma again the chance to come to Auradon . However Uma rejects Ben's offer once again and proceed with the trade off, however after releasing Ben and realizing the wand is fake Uma releases her pirate crew to attack, Mal, Ben, Jay, Evie, Lonnie and Carlos . During the fight, Ben manages to taunt Harry with a "coochy coochy coo" and they all escape successfully. While in the limo, Ben apologizes to Mal that it didn't go the way she wanted and says that he was grateful to Uma who allowed him to see what the Isle was like and when Mal tries to argue back he compares Uma to how Mal was when she first came to Auradon, a angry girl with a bad plan. Upon returning to Auradon, Jane approaches Ben to finalize the surprise he has for Mal for the Cotillion he asks if she wants to cancel. Ben then tells Mal to do what she needs to do and leaves giving her the space to sort out her thoughts. During Cotillion, much to everyone's surprise Ben introduces Uma as his new girlfriend and apologizes to Mal saying that he realized that the two of them were not meant to be together since Mal had never told Ben that she loved him. While dancing with Uma, Mal and the other VK's along with Doug and Lonnie prepare to leave but Jane quickly requests to Lumiere to unveil Ben's gift for Mal which is showed to be a beautiful glass painting of the two of them with Mal in her purple hair and green eyes. Ben pauses and stares blankly at the glass painting with Mal realizing that Ben truly does love her for who she is. Uma then reminds Ben of his gift to her and when Beast tries to talk Ben out of it, he retorts back at him with everyone shocked at his sudden change of character. Ben then orders Fairy God-Mother to bring down the barrier as his gift to Uma, when Fairy God-Mother refuses he demands her to listen to him as her King. With Mal realizing that the real Ben would never have said these things and do that to her and that he's been spelled, she approaches Ben telling him that he always believed in who they are and what they can be and says that she was afraid of telling him she loved him because she thought that she wasn't good enough for him and she thought that he would realize that. Mal then confesses that she's always loved Ben and kisses him with True Love's Kiss breaking the spell, Ben looks lovingly back at Mal and smiles embracing her and Mal smiling back a him. Uma realizing her plan has been foiled tries to escape and ends up jumping off the ship and transforming into a large octopus like her mother. She starts attacking them which enrages Mal who transforms into a dragon and the two of them begin fighting. Ben notices Mal's eyes changing before she turned into a dragon and is concerned. Ben is surprised that Mal turned into a dragon and was watching her. Ben seeing at how the fighting is never ending gives a large roar before jumping into the sea getting between Uma and Mal . He answers that fighting isn't the answer and that they have to listen and respect each other, he invites Uma once more to Auradon and help him make a difference but Uma simply returns his sigma ring which he had given to her earlier and disappears beneath the sea. Both Mal and Ben return to the ship with Ben pulling her in for another kiss, he then thanks everyone for helping him and asks if there is anything he could do. Everyone then celebrates on the ship with Ben and Mal reconciling and he places the his signet ring back on her finger as they look forward to their future together smiling and embracing each other. ( You and Me) (See Bal)
According to the 'backstory' actors, Dove and Thomas, and director Kenny Ortega jokingly made, Harry and Mal used to date. However, this directly contrasts Descendants where Mal says she doesn't know what love feels like and that they don't date on the isle. (It's more like a 'fanfiction' than a 'backstory' that Dove, Thomas, and Kenny jokingly made and should not be taken as being true.
(Best Friend/Practically Sisters)
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 who stand by each other and often hang out with each other. In Desendants 2 they shared a sweet moment when they sang a duet entitled "Space Between,".
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.Jay and Mal were friends before they met Evie and Carlos. In the second film he shows a protective side over Mal and tends to act like an older brother figure.
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).
The two were best friends when they were younger. They enjoyed pulling pranks on the villains around the Isle of the Lost together. Their friendship ended after Mal dumped a bucketful of shrimps into Uma's head as an act of revenge, thus, Uma earned the nickname "Shrimpy".
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.