When a TV show has welll-written and memorable characters, it’s likely to continue for years and years as audiences keep asking to see more of these interesting people. On the other hand, a single bad character can be enough to make a show nearly unbearable.
There’s a special kind of character that’s hard to categorize: The annoying character. Sometimes, these are purposefully written to be irritating for one reason or another. Other times, they’re simply badly written and hard for audiences to tolerate as a result. On Reddit, users have made sure to point out who they think are television’s most irksome characters.
10 Erlich Bachman — ‘Silicon Valley’ (2014-2019)
This beloved HBO comedy is the story of a Silicon Valley engineer and his efforts to lead his company to the creation of revolutionary technology. Erlich (played by T.J. Miller), one of the show’s main characters, is an arrogant entrepeneur who owns 10% of the protagonist’s company.
Erlich’s off-putting personality is very much intentional, a testament to just how much of a jerk he can often be. As u/Lemon86st points out, “that’s kinda the point”, and many fans feel that Silicon Valley was never the same after the character’s departure.
9 Chester “Ziggy” Sobotka — ‘The Wire’ (2002-2008)
HBO’s The Wire is often praised as one of the greatest television shows of all time, and it isn’t hard to see why. It’s tense, excellently written, and full of memorable performances. Although its second season is one of the series’s best, it has something that gets on many viewers’ nerves: Ziggy.
Like all the characters in The Wire, James Ransone‘s Ziggy is very well written, a multidimensional cargo checker that adds a lot to the narrative. That being said, people like u/ex1machina find him “incredibly annoying and frustrating”, which is essential for the culmination of his arc to be as powerful as it is.
8 Craig Middlebrooks — ‘Parks and Recreation’ (2009-2015)
Fans would agree that Parks and Recreation is one of the best sitcoms ever created. Its star-studded cast of hilarious comedic actors is certainly one of the reasons why, including the great Billy Eichner. Unfortunately, his character isn’t nearly as beloved.
Craig is, in fact, one of the most hated secondary characters in Parks and Rec. According to fans like u/Pugduck77, he can “ruin any episode [he’s] in”. A staff member transferred from Eagleton, Craig constantly uses his position as a chance to be loud and opinionated, which many viewers didn’t take very kindly to.
7 Roland Schitt — ‘Schitt’s Creek’ (2015-2020)
A now-iconic Canadian sitcom created by stars Dan and Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek is about a rich family who suddenly find themselves broke, and must move to an armpit of a town they once bought as a joke. Perhaps its most divisive character is Chris Elliott‘s Roland Schitt, the eccentric mayor of the town.
Credit where credit is due: Elliott is a phenomenal comedic actor, and he does with the character of Roland exactly what the script asks him to do. Despite this, Redditors like u/kamiwak think that “he ruins every scene he’s in”. If you can sit back and enjoy watching him ruin every situation he finds himself in, you’ll have a blast with the character. If not, he’ll make you cringe uncontrollably.
6 Dawn Summers — ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ (1997-2003)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer follows the titular character, one of the best supernatural teen show protagonists, as she dedicates her life to fending off evil powers. In the show’s fifth season, Buffy’s sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) entered the scene, and fans weren’t pleased.
Dawn’s backstory certainly makes her a fresh and interesting addition to the show’s latest section, but that isn’t really enough to redeem her in viewers’ eyes. She’s whiney, she’s dumb, she constantly puts herself in danger and needs to be rescued, and (as a since-deleted account says) the script did nothing to “help her to be a believable & fleshed out character”. Because of this, she’s typically considered among the series’ most unlikable characters.
5 Debbie Gallagher — ‘Shameless’ (2011-2021)
The award-winning Shameless is the story of an alcoholic man living in constant stupor, while his six children face life as best they can. One of those children, Debbie Gallagher (Emma Kenney), is one of fans’ least favorite characters.
Shameless is a show stacked with fantastic characters that are as hilarious as they are dramatically compelling, but Debbie simply isn’t up to the others’ standards. According to viewers like u/TeHNyboR, she’s too much of a “selfish, self centered, and all around horrible person” for her own good.
4 James Hurley — ‘Twin Peaks’ (1990-2017)
David Lynch is commended as one of the greatest American filmmakers of recent times, having revolutionized cinematic surrealism like no other modern director. Then, it’s no surprise that he made one of the most acclaimed and beloved TV shows in the history of American television: Twin Peaks.
James Marshall‘s James Hurley is the secret boyfriend of murdered homecoming queen Laura Palmer, and fans aren’t particularly fond of him. Redditors like u/Ironzorak agree that “everything about him is awful”, as funny as his irritating personality can sometimes get.
3 Gina Linetti — ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ (2013-2021)
In the hilarious crime/mystery comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, viewers follow Brooklyn’s 99th precinct and the wacky shenanigans that its colorful detectives get into. Gina, the precinct’s civilian administrator, is many viewer’s least favorite part of the show.
Gina is sardonic, narcissistic, and unapologetic about it. Like u/Transatlanticaccent points out, “the idea that someone as professional as Holt would keep her around is absurd”. She’s rude, she constantly harasses Terry, and she typically makes it extremely hard to watch whatever scenes she’s in.
2 Janice Soprano — ‘The Sopranos’ (1999-2007)
HBO’s The Sopranos may very well be the most important and influential show in the history of American television. It revolutionized the industry by pushing the boundaries of what you could show on people’s screens, but even a show this groundbreaking can have annoying characters. Janice (Aida Turturro) is one such character.
It is very much the point for Janice to be so unbearably horrible, and Turturro does a magnificent job at conveying that. However, that doesn’t stop fans like u/26run2 from venting online about their hatred for her, calling her one of “the most hatable TV characters [they’ve] ever encountered”.
1 Scrappy-Doo — ‘Scooby-Doo’ Shows
Scrappy-Doo is so universally hated, so famous for being irksome beyond comparison, that he doesn’t really need much of an introduction. Despite how much Scooby-Doo fans despise him, though, they have been subjected to his presence more often than they’d like.
Scooby’s headstrong nephew, Scrappy isn’t just unafraid, but eager to face off against the villains that Mystery Inc. chases. It basically boils down to, like u/goblinindisguise points out, Scrappy having “an annoying kid energy” and “fundamentally [changing] the group dynamics”. Most fans hate him, and even those who don’t can admit that he’s not exactly likable.
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