The Walking Dead is one of the most popular television series out there right now. Even beyond the television series, it’s really one of the most popular franchises! With so many popular mediums through which to enjoy the zombie filled story, including the two television shows (The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead), multiple video games (including both the incredibly popular Telltale game series as well as the AMC original Daryl-centric game), and the original comics themselves, as well as countless books, mobile games, and trading card games. This franchise is absolutely everywhere and it’s just about impossible for anyone that keeps up with modern pop culture to avoid loving it.
That said… we don’t all love every part of the franchise. There are plenty of occasions we mock throughout the series, for instance, the hilarious way Rick sometimes pronounces Carl’s name (did he say Coral?) or how the entire plot seems to be written in an oddly cyclical format (the group finds sanctuary, sanctuary is destroyed, the group is separated, the group finds each other, the group seeks sanctuary, etc.). But some things go beyond mocking, and we find ourselves purely hating them — like the characters. Some of the characters in this franchise are just the worst. Maybe we tolerated them for a while, but the series has continued on and we’ve dealt with them long enough, and they are the actual worst. They’re practically deplorable, and we cannot stand them. Here are fifteen Walking Dead characters only true fans who are into all brands of the Walking Dead franchise will despise!
We didn’t really expect that we’d fall in love with any of the guys found at the prison. They were, after all, convicted criminals that were riding out the apocalypse in a prison dining hall. There were some truly despicable criminals living in there, such as Tomas and Andrew, but there were also some guys in there that weren’t all that bad, such as Big Tiny and Theodore, and we kind of wished we’d had a bit more time with them. Then there was Axel. Axel wasn’t the worst guy around; in prison for armed robbery (armed with a water pistol), he actually found the structure of prison to be comfortable. But he was still a major creep. He subtly hit on Beth when she looked just out of diapers, and as soon as he discovered Carol was not a lesbian (as her haircut CLEARLY indicated) he was all about hitting on her. He was gross and weird, and we weren’t all that bummed when the governor plugged him.
14. Lori Grimes
Damn it, Lori. We love to hate you.
It’s funny because we’re not just talking about Lori on the show, which is probably the most popular branch of the Walking Dead franchise — we’re also talking about the comics. Lori is, as a character and human being, one of the most frustrating people we’ve ever had to deal with. You know, when she had an affair with Shane and regretted it upon discovering her husband was still alive, she could have left it at that. Rick was willing to let it go and move on, remaining friends with Shane! But NOOO, Lori just had to keep giving Shane hope and letting him think that their relationship could persist. She’s the reason Shane went crazy and Rick went crazy and WE’RE ALL GOING CRAZY. No wonder Carl was so quick to want to shoot her dead corpse after she died in labor with Judith.
13. Beth Greene
Beth Greene wasn’t all that bad… she was just so… whiny. And innocent. And saccharine. And useless. And unproductive. And helpless. And annoying and stupid and impulsive and naive! Beth was SO ANNOYING! We didn’t want her to die for her faults — seriously, we were all pretty taken aback when she died the way she did. Beth did not deserve to die so brutally and sadly, especially when she was finally getting so close to being reunited with her sister (honestly, we were all in tears when Maggie saw her dead body). But still — BETH WAS USELESS. When the prison was destroyed and Beth was with Daryl, he had to bust his ass to keep her alive and safe — and she still managed to get kidnapped! Every strategic friendship she made was accidental, and she burned those bridges pretty quickly: exhibit A, with Officer Dawn, who totally admired her before she tried to stab her…
12. Judith Grimes
We know, we know: she’s a baby! We can’t hate on her too much; it’s not like she can help it! We know that babies are a rarity in the world of The Walking Dead, and we should really just be grateful that Judith survived birth and the attack on the prison and her time with Lizzie and the trip to Washington, D.C. and the walker hordes in Alexandria and every visit Negan has made and everything else. But that’s just the thing — she’s just an annoyance, a liability, and a plot device. Ever notice how sometimes Judith just kind of disappears? Who, for example, was watching her at the end of season six when Rick was confronted by Negan and his crew? But she’s always happy and smiley, showing up when things are going smoothly and someone’s baking cookies and there’s no drama. Things were sadly a lot more sensible in the comics, where she didn’t survive the attack on the prison.
11. Merle Dixon
Merle sure was an awful character in the show. Played by Michael Rooker, Daryl’s older brother was a real dirtbag. A known drug addict, convicted criminal, and general dirtbag, Merle was pretty despicable until he redeemed himself at the last minute before being killed by the Governor. But worse than his character in the TV series is his character in the AMC video game. Throughout the entire game, Daryl is busting his ass trying to get to Merle and get him to safety — even though Merle was in prison at the time for punching an army sergeant. Merle was such an unappreciative dick the whole time even though Daryl had braved immense challenges and waves of zombies to reach him! It’s not like Merle got any better as time tramped on and the story line of the game caught up with that of the TV series, but he was a terrible ass throughout the entire game.
Martinez was a fairly interesting character in the comics. He was a sort of double agent, someone that infiltrated Rick’s camp for the Governor and was killed on his way rushing back to them to feed information about Rick’s group, fortifications, and defenses. He seemed like such a cool guy until he was absolutely a proven antagonist. The character, however, that was sculpted after him on the show was not as fun and interesting. He was a devout follower of the Governor and looked like a total badass, yet he’d lose to Merle in a fight and ended up getting killed over rounds of golf! His character seemed more like a convenient plot device or a trope that was a great tool in the writers’ room but not a good character at all! It would have been awesome if show writers made him a worthwhile character instead of a waste of lines…
9. Spencer Monroe
GAH SPENCER, GO AWAY NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE.
Spencer is one of the sons of the former leader of the camp in Alexandria, Deanna Monroe. Spencer lost a lot in a very short period of time — all including his brother, who died on the supply run that killed Noah, his father, who died at the hands of Jessie’s abusive husband, and his mother, who died after a zombie herd found their way through Alexandria’s walls. Spencer was understandably distraught and struggling. But that didn’t really excuse him being a whiny, sniveling, bratty piece of crap. Fortunately/unfortunately, Spencer was one of the many victims of Negan on one of his trips to terrorize Alexandrians (nothing quite like a disembowelment). Though he maybe didn’t deserve such a gruesome death and to have to come back as a walker before being put down, we’re kind of relieved we don’t have to watch him anymore.
8. Chris Manawa
Don’t go thinking we forgot about the other Walking Dead television show, Fear the Walking Dead. Oh no. We could never forget.
Look, there are a lot of people out there who really don’t like Fear the Walking Dead. There are actually several complaints about most of the main characters of this show, dead and alive. For such a popular show, it doesn’t seem to have a very well-liked cast of characters. But one of the worst characters on the show had to be Chris, who was Travis Manawa’s biological son. Though he was just whiny and in the way in season one, season two put him in the role of a scared young kid turning evil. He died after abandoning his father for a ruthless group that killed anyone injured or useless, whether those people could change or not. And to be honest, none of us really miss him that much. One less liability for Travis to worry about!
You know who likes to watch teenagers surviving unlikely circumstances? Teenagers. And that’s about it. The rest of us are pretty sick and tired of the typical Katniss Everdeen, Beatrice Prior, Ender Wiggin bullsh!t. As a matter of fact, we’re pretty sick and tired of watching all stereotypical teenagers survive dangerous situations and then complain about how much it scarred or changed them. YEAH. THAT’S THE POINT. So sit down and shut up.
Enid is just an angsty teen when you get down to it. Okay, she saw her parents die (and probably watched them reanimate) — that super sucks. She had to survive on her own for a long time before finding a safe group she could trust in the Alexandrian’s — alright, that’s also a bummer. But you are safe, you are happy, you are healthy, and you’re still alive! SO STOP BEING SO DAMN MOPEY. GROW UP, you snotty little teen.
You know, some of us have sympathy for Lilly. Maybe she was just trying to do the right thing all along, protecting her group and trying to keep those around her alive — whether she liked them or not. Or, maybe, she was a guilty, blood-thirsty, embittered woman who impulsively blamed whoever was nearest for her problems, whether that was Carley, Doug, or Kenny.
If you haven’t played Telltale’s The Walking Dead game yet, you’re truly missing out. But one character we weren’t sad to see go was Lilly, a woman met early on in season one who is constantly trying to make the hard calls to save the group. But the thing is, no one needed to be making those hard calls. The situation at the pharmacy was only proven dangerous because of her hot-headed father; the supply shortage in Macon was a problem because she refused to move; and the theft problem in their group wasn’t a big problem, since they were just losing prescription painkillers and the like. We wonder what ever became of Lilly after she left the group, but we’re glad we don’t have to deal with her anymore.
5. Carl Grimes
UGH CARL. SHUT UP AND GO AWAY. We almost wish Ronnie had better aim when he shot you back in season five…
Okay, sorry. That was way harsh. We don’t wish he were dead or anything. Usually. We just wish he’d… go away? Or be quieter? If he would sit silently in the corner and do nothing for a little while, that would be just spectacular. Carl is still very young, only around sixteen years old or so. But he thinks he’s as old and as wizened as anyone else in the group because he’s been growing up in the apocalypse. Alright, Carl, why don’t you just find some pudding and sit down for a while. He gets himself and his group into more trouble than he helps anyone get out of! He’d be much better off working on basic driving skills around Alexandria and babysitting his little sister.
4. Ron and Sam
Sure, Enid is crazy annoying. So is Judith, but mostly because she’s a whining, crying, wailing, useless baby. And so is Carl because he thinks he’s such a grown up! But you know who really takes the cake in The Walking Dead (specifically the TV show) for the most annoying kids? Ron and Sam Anderson.
Yes, we know — we’re cheating a little bit. Ron and Sam are obviously two different people. But they kind of come as a package, and they’re both the WORST. We know, we know: they’re products of an abusive household in a post-apocalyptic world where the dead are reanimating and walking around — they probably have good reason to be imperfect children. But Sam is so incredibly damaged, we’d like to send him back to the manufacturer. And Ronnie is such a weird teen — why would his response to his mom and brother dying be to shoot Carl’s eye off?! Luckily for us, the walkers took care of these kids so we don’t have to deal with them anymore.
We’re not quite done talking about the video games just yet. There are a surprising number of wonderfully-written characters in those episodes (and there still are — season three is going strong), but even some of the best-written characters aren’t exactly lovable.
Take, for example, Sarah in season two. The daughter of the very protective but entirely well-intended doctor, Carlos, Sarah was way too sheltered to have survived as long as she had in the apocalypse. When the season was coming to a close, we totally understood where Clementine was coming from when she debated saving her. Honestly, we won’t judge you if you just let Sarah go when she was pinned under a collapsed porch. It’s not like she was going to benefit from having a longer life! She’d pretty much resigned herself to her fate, soon to perish just as her dad did. Sorry she had to die at the maw of all those walkers, but what are you going to do?
2. Father Gabriel
It’s one thing when kids prove themselves useless in any of the Walking Dead stories. They’re kids after all, and we shouldn’t expect them to be completely mature when dealing with post-apocalyptic, brain-eating monsters in the wake of the total loss of humanity. But adults? We set a much higher bar for all of the adults in this franchise. And Father Gabriel, frankly, comes nowhere close to an unacceptable level.
Father Gabriel was introduced to us when he was too frightened to fend off zombies. We later discovered he’d hidden in his church and refused to let his congregation hide inside with him, leaving them to die outside his doors. Gabriel has taken on a weird role in the group as Rick’s crew has confronted Negan, but he’s still predominantly useless. We’re kind of glad that he didn’t off himself at the end of season five, but… just barely.
We’re absolutely not talking about Andrea’s character in the comic books! Andrea in the comics is an absolute killer character and one of our favorites to read. However… Andrea in the show. Good Lord.
Andrea was played by Laurie Holden, and we, in no way, dislike the actress. It’s just the writing of the character mixed with the direction of show executives mixed with Laurie’s interpretations that produced this infuriating, frustrating, insufferable character. Everything she did was so immensely peevish and naive and downright idiotic! When she blamed Dale for not letting her give up; when she almost encouraged Beth to discover if suicide was what she wanted; when she hooked up with Shane despite knowing what kind of guy he was; when she didn’t kill the Governor even though she KNEW she ought to have! “I can fix this, no one has to die!” SHUT UP, ANDREA! WHAT DO YOU KNOW?!