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The Most Hated TV Characters of All Time

At times, these awful characters nearly ruined otherwise great TV series.

Even the most beloved TV shows sometimes have characters we're not fond of—whether they're supposed to be annoying and end up a little too effective, or they just don't click with audiences the way the creators intended. Either way, these deeply irritating personalities can quickly get under our skin, forcing us to grit our teeth through all their scenes—that is, if we're not already fast-forwarding through them. In the direst cases, we might abandon their shows entirely. For a look back at some of the worst offenders, these are the most hated TV characters of all time.

RELATED: The Saddest TV Deaths of All Time.

Ramsay Bolton, Game of Thrones

Iwan Rheon in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is chock-full of violence, but one character is more mindlessly sadistic than all of the others. Whenever Iwan Rheon was on screen as Ramsay Bolton, fans knew to steel their stomachs and avert their eyes. After several of his evil exploits had played out, many HBO watchers felt like enough was enough. At least Ramsay ends up meeting a death that he more than deserves.

Paige Jennings, The Americans

Holly Taylor in The Americans
Patrick Harbon/FX

Morality is almost always eclipsed by duty and loyalty on The Americans, which is probably why audiences became so frustrated with Philip (Matthew Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings' (Keri Russell) goody-two-shoes teen daughter, Paige (Holly Taylor). It's unlikely that many watching would be all that much cooler than Paige if they found out their parents were actually undercover Russian spies, but her resulting petulance and too-intimate friendship with her pastor and his family drove fans of the thriller series up the wall. At one point, creators Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields revealed that viewers were begging them to kill the high schooler off.

Ross Geller, Friends

ross on friends
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Whether or not you believe they were on a break, Ross (David Schwimmer) is so consistently irritating on Friends that you could never actually be on his side. While all of the six main cast members were given quirks that proved irksome 10 seasons in, Ross' persnickety behavior and endless victim complex makes him the one you'd least like to hang out with.

Andy Bernard, The Office

andy on the office
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

TV characters don't have to be likable for us to like them—take Breaking Bad's Walter White or The Sopranos' Tony Soprano, for example. The problem with Andy (Ed Helms) on The Office, however, is that he starts off unlikable and then gets progressively worse. By the end, he's just plain awful.

Piper Chapman, Orange Is the New Black

piper on orange is the new black

Given that Orange Is the New Black is based on the memoir by Piper Kerman, it only makes sense that the series would follow the character inspired by her, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling). Thankfully, the show quickly realized that all of the side characters were far more interesting, and that Piper's privilege and lack of self-awareness just made her a drag.

RELATED: 6 TV Plot Twists That Audiences Hated.

Cousin Oliver Tyler, The Brady Bunch

cousin oliver on the brady bunch
CBS Television Distribution

Poor Cousin Oliver (Robbie Rist). The plucky youngster was added to the cast of The Brady Bunch in the final season and was so instantly loathed by viewers that he inspired the term "Cousin Oliver Syndrome," which is when a show adds a new young character in an attempt to drive up ratings. It almost never goes well.

April Nardini, Gilmore Girls

april on gilmore girls
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Who could have imagined that fans would turn on a character who mostly served as an obvious ploy to keep Luke (Scott Patterson) and Lorelai (Lauren Graham) apart on Gilmore Girls? To be fair, Luke's long-lost daughter April (Vanessa Marano) is annoying in her own right, serving up the kind of precocious adolescent behavior that was barely tolerated from Rory (Alexis Bledel) in her younger years.

Kimmy Gibbler, Full House

kimmy gibbler on full house
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Even on a show as infused with kindness and goodwill as Full House, no one seems to like Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber)—and neither did the audience, for that matter. Because she was supposed to be irritating, it seems wrong to fault Barber. And she got the last laugh anyway, reprising the role on Fuller House.

Will Schuester, Glee

will schuester on glee
20th Television

Inspirational teachers are a genre unto themselves, but there's very little inspirational about Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison). His constant meddling, blatant favoritism, and boundary-violating relationships with students make him one of Glee's least likable characters. And that's to say nothing of his rapping.

Mandy Hampton, The West Wing

mandy hampton on the west wing
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

In defense of Mandy Hampton (Moira Kelly), Aaron Sorkin dialogue can make any character a lot to deal with. But Mandy proved particularly irritating, so much so that she was written off the show between seasons—the writers didn't even bother to kill her off in the shooting that ended Season 1 on a cliffhanger.

RELATED: The Saddest TV Episodes of All Time.

Jenny Humphrey, Gossip Girl

jenny humphrey on gossip girl
The CW

Jenny (Taylor Momsen) was forced into the chaotic and toxic world of privileged New Yorkers on Gossip Girl at a very impressionable age. In hardening herself to keep up with the terrible people around her, Jenny somehow became the worst, and fans lost sympathy for a character they'd once had a soft spot for.

Jack Shephard, Lost

jack shephard on lost
Disney–ABC Domestic Television

Like a few others on this list, Jack Shephard (Matthew Fox) suffers from being the main character on a series with far more interesting supporting characters—so he ends up looking bland in comparison. But Jack is also stubborn, bratty, and far too insistent on being right all the time, which would make any character obnoxious, lead or not.

Marnie Michaels, Girls

marnie on girls
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

As the face of Girls and the show's creator, Lena Dunham dealt with the brunt of online vitriol throughout the HBO series' six-season run. But as bothersome as her character, Hannah, is, she was never as uniquely enraging as Marnie (Allison Williams), whose impromptu performance of Kanye West's "Stronger" at a party for her ex is somehow not her most cringe-inducing moment.

Riley Finn, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

riley on buffy the vampire slayer
20th Television

The debate over who Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) should have ended up with always comes down to Angel vs. Spike. No one ever mentions Riley (Marc Blucas), because… well, why would you? Riley's whole schtick is that he's a boring Nice Guy, and once it's revealed that he isn't, he already has way too much baggage, including that he can't handle being weaker than his Slayer girlfriend. Pass.

Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

ted on how I met your mother
20th Television

Ah, Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), the Ross of his day. The characters are often compared, which makes sense since they are both the romantic leads of TV shows that never fully grasped how awful they were. Ted's obsession with finding "The One" while treating all the women he encounters like garbage is bad enough, but his long-winded storytelling is truly unforgivable.

RELATED: 11 Beloved TV Characters Who Are Actually the Worst.

Julie Taylor, Friday Night Lights

julie taylor on friday night lights
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Julie Taylor's (Aimee Teegarden) biggest crime? Being a teenager. Unfortunately, if you're a rude, rebellious teen and your parents are Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, viewers aren't going to like it. Then, of course, there's her treatment of fan favorite Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford), which was simply too much for Friday Night Lights enthusiasts to forgive.

Oliver Trask, The O.C.

oliver on the o.c.
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Listen, Oliver (Taylor Handley) was meant to be a villain, and not just because he kept Ryan (Ben McKenzie) and Marissa (Mischa Barton) apart. He's volatile, manipulative, and dangerous, which are all legitimate qualities for an antagonist to have—but that just wasn't the kind of antagonist The O.C. viewers were looking for.

Ezra Fitz, Pretty Little Liars

ezra on pretty little liars
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

There's really no defending the relationship between Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) and Aria (Lucy Hale), who is his student. But it's made all the worse when flashbacks reveal he's also a creep and a bit of a stalker, who was well aware of who Aria was—and her age!—before they hooked up. Of all the bad behavior Pretty Little Liars put on display, Ezra's is some of the most repugnant, if only because the show kept insisting he was a good guy.

Scrappy-Doo, Scooby-Doo

scrappy-doo in scooby-doo
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Remember Cousin Oliver Syndrome? It happens on animated series as well, and sometimes it flops just as hard. Scrappy-Doo (Lennie Weinrib) was not an instantly beloved addition to the Scooby-Doo universe so much as a deeply unpleasant intruder to the team. No one likes Scrappy-Doo, whose only redeeming appearance is—spoiler alert—when he turns out to be the villain in the 2002 live-action Scooby-Doo.

Ellis Boyd, Smash

ellis on smash
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

The first season of NBC's musical drama Smash is a mess for so many reasons, but if you ask viewers what the biggest problem was, there's a good chance you'd hear the name Ellis (Jaime Cepero). A lurker with homicidal tendencies—yes, putting peanuts in Uma Thurman's smoothie counts as attempted murder—Ellis was clearly meant to be a villain you love to hate, but instead just ended up being one of Smash's countless baffling choices.

RELATED: 6 '80s TV Shows That Would Never Be Made Today.

Connor, Angel

connor on angel
20th Television

It's not Vincent Kartheiser's fault he gets stuck playing unlikable characters. Before he took on the role of Pete Campbell on Mad Men, he played teenage Connor, the son of Angel (David Boreanaz) on the self-titled spinoff. Yes, another rebellious, sneering kid who shows up and instantly ruins everything. Think Cousin Oliver, if Cousin Oliver had been raised in a hell dimension.

Dana Brody, Homeland

dana brody on homeland
20th Television

Surprise, it's yet another moody teenager who viewers hated—perhaps people just don't like teens? But Dana (Morgan Saylor) really is irritating, and her angsty teen behavior feels especially out of place on a show with such high stakes. When Dana and Finn (Timothée Chalamet) accidentally hit a woman with his car, it was truly a jump-the-shark moment for the ages.

Tess Harding, Roswell

tess on roswell
20th Television

Tess (Emilie de Ravin) felt engineered to make fans angry, showing up out of nowhere to throw a wrench in the Max (Jason Behr) and Liz (Shiri Appleby) romance. Those star-crossed kids work it out eventually, so maybe fans would have come around on Tess—if she hadn't also killed Alex (Colin Hanks), everyone's favorite.

Caillou, Caillou

Still from Caillou
Cookie Jar Entertainment

As Scrappy-Doo proves, shows intended for an audience of children are not immune from criticism from adult viewers. Take Caillou, the four-year-old star of the educational animated series of the same name. He's been called out for being bratty, rude, and jealous of his little sister Rosie, who just wants to play with him. once dubbed him "the Nickelback of cartoons," which seems unfair to the band.

Lori Grimes, The Walking Dead

Still from The Walking Dead
Gene Page/AMC

Much of the hate that came Lori Grimes' way from Walking Dead fans can be chalked up to sexism. Viewers weren't pleased that Sarah Wayne Callies' character moves on so quickly from her husband Rick (Andrew Lincoln) after she presumes him dead, or that she continues lying to him about her affair with his best friend Shane (Jon Bernthal) and her pregnancy. Still, in the early days of a zombie apocalypse, what's a girl to do?

Ralph Cifaretto, The Sopranos

Still from The Sopranos

There are almost no purely "good" characters on The Sopranos, but most of them at least have a single redeeming quality. Not so for Ralph Cifaretto (Joe Pantoliano). The DiMeo family soldier is an honest-to-goodness psychopath, who takes pleasure in brutalizing the innocent, including a pregnant woman with whom he was having an affair. Despite hating him as much (if not more) than the audience, Tony (James Gandolfini) keeps Ralph around—until, that is, he sets the fire that kills Tony's beloved racehorse, Pie O My.

Nate Shelley, Ted Lasso

Still from Ted Lasso
Apple TV+

As if betraying eternal good guy Ted (Jason Sudeikis) wasn't bad enough, Ted Lasso's Nate Shelley (Nick Mohammed) continued to rub fans the wrong way by sucking up a ridiculous amount of screentime in the show's final season, during which he never even makes proper amends for how he tried to sabotage his former boss and friend. While his insecurities were relatable in Season 1, Nate's pettiness and obsession with appearances eventually made him impossible to root for.

Roland Schitt, Schitt's Creek

Still from Schitt's Creek

Even the most devoted fans of Schitt's Creek struggle with the character of Roland (Chris Elliott), whose crassness seems to contrast with the otherwise warm humor the sitcom doles out. Viewers have complained about his rude behavior, gross habits, and lack of concern of others, but you can count Eugene Levy, who played Johnny Rose, as one of Roland's biggest fans. Evidently, Elliott was the co-star who'd break Levy the most.

This story has been updated to include additional entries, fact-checking, and copy-editing.

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