TV has brought us a multitude of stories and characters over the years. Unlike the movies, in which you only get about 2 hours to not only tell a good story, but to flesh out the characters and give them their own personal arch, a TV series has more time and scope in order to really get into a character. The slow burning nature of a TV show means we can really get inside a character’s mind and follow their own story arch and the changes that character goes through. When this is done right, a great TV character can become more than the show it came from. It can almost become an entity in its own right and the sole reason that we tune into a particular show each week.
However, when this is done wrong, a character can drag and grate on us to the point where we switch off the show altogether. Having said that, even within the best TV shows ever written there can be characters that we just hate and we only put up with them for the sake of our favorite shows. With that in mind, here are 15 TV characters that we grew to hate and loathe.
15. Mulder – X Files
The first entry on our list is no doubt going to cause some arguments and controversy. We must say first that we are big X-Files fans, from the very first episode, through to the movies and even the recent re-boots. The story lines and characters, in particular the chemistry between the two lead actors, are amazing. However, having confessed our love for everything X- Files, we must also say that the character of Fox Mulder is a terrible human being and by the end of the X- Files, Mulder was the only bad thing about it.
Over the years, Mulder’s thirst for the truth has pushed him, and everyone around him, to do unspeakable things. He constantly puts his partner’s life in danger, which resulted in her getting cancer! Not only that but he even had a relationship with her and then ended it and constantly dangled his love for her over her head whenever he needs her to do something for him. He pretty much destroyed everything about poor Scully.
14. Tara – True Blood
Next we turn to True Blood. With a show like True Blood, it may seem unfair to single out one character that we all hated, especially when the show itself was over the top, silly and full of people doing terrible things on a weekly basis. However, a lot of what happened and what the characters did could be justified by their backstories and what happened to them within the show. Whether you loved or hated them, most of the residents of Bon Temps had their reasons for their actions and more importantly, they had purpose within the show.
Then we come to Tara. Starting out as Sookie’s sidekick, Tara never really developed more than that. She was a strong woman that always spoke her mind, which we admire, but after a while that’s all she was. When so many things were happening around her and to everyone else, all Tara did was complain angrily about herself. This all started to grate on us until finally we thought we’d gotten some relief from her when she was shot in the head. Unfortunately she was brought back as a vampire.
13. Dawn – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
With this year being 20 years since Buffy The Vampire Slayer burst onto our screens, many people are looking back on it as one of the best TV shows of all time. To some extent, we have to agree. The show had everything; it was action packed, heartbreaking at times, whip smart funny, and just a joy to watch. However, what Buffy The Vampire Slayer also had was some truly annoying and bad characters.
One of those was Buffy’s sister Dawn. First introduced in season five, Dawn actually wasn’t a human at all. What she was, was an energy key made human so Buffy could protect it. The idea was a stroke a genius and worked well throughout the season. However, when the season ended and the key was safe, that should have been the end of Dawn story. Unfortunately it wasn’t and the character of Dawn got worse and more annoying and more whiny than any of us thought possible.
12. Ted – How I Met Your Mother
How disappointed we all still are with How I Met Your Mother. What started out as an interesting take on the typical “twenty-something sitcom,” think Friends but told in flashbacks, really missed the mark in the end. Not only did the premise, and jokes and storylines, begin to get annoying and old but the characters themselves became too annoying to watch. To be honest, any and all characters from this show should be on a list of TV characters we grew to hate, but we’re going for the main man himself Ted.
What started out as a fairly decent representation of a single guy in his mid twenties, a guy that is looking for love, he soon turned into a cringy, self-obsessed, vain caricature of a man that was begging to be punched by someone. By the time the show ended and Ted finally met the mother of his children, not only didn’t we care but Ted didn’t deserve her. He didn’t deserve anyone.
11. Dinah Lance – Arrow
Next on our list is a character that has suffered more from her departure from the original source rather than her just being a terrible character. TV’s recent adaptation of DC’s Arrow has had a few differences between itself and the comic book source. Most notably with Green Arrow himself, as on TV he is more like Batman than his comic book self, which is more of a loud mouthed egomaniac. But in our view that has worked out for the best.
However, with the character of Dinah Lance, the changes between the two versions are less forgiving. Firstly, the relationship between Oliver Queen and Lance, aka Black Canary, is at the centre of his comic book story. This wasn’t the case in the TV show nor was Lance’s alter ego Black Canary. Eventually she would but long after this version of the character had gotten under everyone’s skin. Thankfully, she has now left the show as the writers try to correct their mistake with Black Canary.
10. Lori – The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead has had a bit of a roller coaster of a time on our TV screens. Going from being absolutely brilliant to mediocre to confusing and then boring, The Walking Dead sometimes seems to struggle with itself. However, at its core there is a great show there, from a great graphic novel source, so we stick with it through all the rough times.
However, what we couldn’t stick through is the character of Lori Grimes. The character herself is supposed to be strong with a loving mother at her core, which we admire. But her devious side, the side that had the affair with her husband’s best friend, is hard to forgive. Unfortunately, and we do mean unfortunately, it’s not just the character that we have issues with but the actress that portrays her. This isn’t the only time that Sarah Callies has come under fire from fans, her character in Prison Break could also be on this list!
9. Dana – Homeland
The next entry on our list was a difficult one for us. Not only do we feel bad for putting such a young actress on our list, which it has to be said isn’t the case as the actress herself is top class. But the character of Dana Brody was actually very good in the beginning. Her relationship and interaction with her father and the world she had come to be a part of was some of the best moments in the early seasons of Homeland.
However, over time and with interactions with other characters, Dana became less and less tolerable. Her moody, pouting and mumbly attitude started to grate on us all. But more than that it became more and more inexcusable that she was there at all. With her father missing for a lot of the show, particularly in season three, Dana was somehow still a big part of the series. A big misfire by the writers here.
8. Riley – Buffy The Vampire Slayer
With our next entry, we delve back into the brilliant world of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Looking back on the show, we must say that the character of Riley Finn never really stood a chance. On the surface of it, Riley was supposed to be a big love for central character Buffy, that in itself was always going to be an uphill battle. Especially when you’re sandwiched in between two huge fan favorite characters such as Angel and Spike.
But more than that, the character of Riley had no depth, no edge and absolutely no chemistry with the lead actress. Admittedly Riley came into the show during season four, which many view as the worst season of Buffy, but even so, all Riley did was complain that Buffy didn’t love him enough and then acted out by going to a vampire den to let vamps bite him. And of course all of that was Buffy’s fault! Thankfully Riley left in season five and all the fans rejoiced!
7. Janice – The Sopranos
Oh, how we all still miss The Sopranos. Well, apart from the ridiculously stupid way it ended which still angers us to this day! That aside, The Sopranos was a truly great and entertaining piece of TV. In a world full of tough guys, murderers, and all sorts of bad characters, it may well seem strange that we single out one character that we hated. The thing is that even when you have characters that may well be evil, there is still depth to them and backstories that explains why they act the way they do. Even the top dog himself Tony Soprano had his good qualities and can somewhat be admired.
However, his older sister Janice doesn’t have any of those things. She’s lazy, weak, selfish, unloyal and she takes whatever she can from the people that love her and then she does a disappearing act. There is nothing good or redeeming about this character and she was definitely a turn off point for this otherwise great show.
6. Skyler – Breaking Bad
Many people out there will be hard pressed to find any faults with the brilliant Breaking Bad, the story of a teacher who gets diagnosed with terminal cancer and decides to start a life of crime and starts making and selling drugs in order to secure his family’s future before he dies. The show was different, fresh, and a critical and popular success, and for very good reason!
However, that hard pressed fault that the show has? It’s none other than Walter’s wife, Skyler White. The problem with her is a bit of a strange one, we admit, but the fact is she gets in the way of the other characters doing their thing. We know that the role of the wife, particularly with a TV wife in which the main character does horrible things, can be a difficult thing. But in this instant, Walter’s story and his destructive downward spiral into his life of crime is the story we all want to see and not the annoying, shrill antics of his wife. This may sound harsh but unfortunately it’s true.
5. Joffrey – Game of Thrones
Many characters out there end up being hated and loathed without meaning to be. Most of them start out with the intention of being liked, however, whether it’s because of the actor that portrays them or the public just doesn’t take to them, these characters end up being hated.
Then we have those times in which a character’s soul purpose is to be despised and loathed and one of those characters is Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones. Differing slightly from the character in the books, the Joffrey on TV is an overall appalling character. Reminiscent of the rulers and emperors in ancient times, Joffrey is a psychotic, murderous, incestual little monster that quite rightly met an end. His time on the show caused a big outcry from the fans and he very quickly became the most hated character on TV.
4. Ross – Friends
We actually feel a bit sorry for the next character on our list, but that doesn’t mean we still didn’t grow to loathe him. The reason we feel sorry for Ross Geller is that we think his character got forgotten about over the years and his main purpose became to shout as often and as loud as he could. There’s no denying that Friends was a great sitcom and quite rightly deserves its place in the classic TV hall of fame, but what happened to Ross?
At the start of the show, the characters seemed to have a well defined outline. Chandler was the funny one, Joey was the dumb but pretty one, Rachel was the “it” girl, Phoebe was the flakey hippie, and Monica was the heart. And Ross was? We don’t know either. Starting out as the smart one, and a bit of a loser in love, Ross was more subtle for the first few seasons then that all changed with the shouting and randomness of his dialogue. It became such a problem that we quickly switched off any Ross heavy episodes.
3. Scrappy-Doo – Scooby-Doo
That’s right. The next entry on our list has to be one of the most hated and loathed characters of all time. The adventures of the mystery solving dog, Scooby-Doo, and his friends had been staple viewing for years. Whether it was because of falling ratings or they just wanted to change the format, a new character was thrown into the mix and that was the puppy Scrappy-Doo.
Everything from his annoying catchphrase “Puppy Power” to his obnoxious, loud-mouthed and irritating persona, annoyed fans. The idea for the character was to have something younger and full of energy so that the younger viewers would relate to. How badly this backfired and Scrappy-Doo is often voted as the worst character in the history of TV. So much so that most Scooby-Doo related shows and movies since have gone out of their way to eradicate him from their history. Even the movie version had Scrappy as the bad guy, a way for them to join the “we hate Scrappy-Doo” bandwagon and please fans
2. Wesley – Star Trek: The Next Generation
When Star Trek: The Next Generation hit our screens, it was always going to be an uphill battle for them. Being a sequel to arguably one of the most popular shows of all time, and a show with the most diehard fans, Star Trek: The Next Generation was always going to be a challenge. However, as it turned out, this incarnation of the Star Trek brand took everyone by surprise as fans loved it. So much so that many people think it’s far superior to the original. That is except for one thing: Wesley Crusher.
Unfortunately for the character, and actor, the 90s also saw the birth of the Internet, a place in which fans could truly express their hatred for things. No other TV character got as much hate as Wesley. So much so that the actor who portrayed him, Wil Wheaton, has never really gotten over it and now all he can do is make cameo appearances on TV shows as himself and poke fun at it. He’s a good sport for doing that but we bet he truly regrets the day he donned that Star Trek outfit.
1. The Sixth Doctor – Doctor Who
The number one entry on our list of TV characters we grew to hate is arguably the reason why Doctor Who got temporarily cancelled from our screens. For those of you that are too young to remember, before Christopher Eccleston brought the famous Time Lord and T.A.R.D.I.S back onto our screens in 2005, Doctor Who had been going for several decades before. Starting in the 1960s, Doctor Who had become a huge franchise all across the world.
However, during the 1980s, Doctor Who had hit a bit of a snag. The ratings had dropped and the once popular Doctor had fallen out of favor. Many will say that there are several reasons for this but we put the blame solely at Colin Baker’s door. What was once a whimsical, funny, silly and heroic character had suddenly been turned into an angry, hard and sarcastic person with no redeeming features whatsoever, and the less said about that coat, the better!
Luckily for us Colin Baker’s interpretation of the Time Lord has all but been forgotten. But how close he came to destroying one of the best and longest running TV shows in the world.