10 Bad TV Characters Who Ruined Otherwise Good Shows

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How many bad TV characters have you come across in your life?

There’s nothing worse than when you’re enjoying a show, and then the writers introduce a new character that’s simply awful. We’ve seen this tragedy too many times to count, and it’s to the point where we just want to throw up our hands and find another hobby other than Netflix binge-watching TV shows. No, that’s just crazy talk. Sorry.

There have been numerous bad TV characters that almost (or did) ruin the TV series that those characters were in. Whether he/she was annoying, poorly written, conflicting, or the actor was hard to watch, it’s undeniable that a bad TV character can ruin your favorite show quickly.

The people on this list are awful characters who were not intended to be awful, but one way or another, he/she ended up on our bad sides. Of course, we can’t necessary call them the worst TV characters because “worst” is a superlative adjective that has subjective undertones, but the characters on this list make us grit our teeth and shake our fists with anger.

So without further ado, here are 10 bad TV characters that ruined otherwise good shows:

Editors Note: While the majority of this list consists of female characters, we’d like to point out that it says a lot about the poorly written female characters in television.


1. Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother

Ted mosby worst

While we enjoyed HIMYM, we’re glad it ended when it did because after nine seasons, we were seriously ready to punch Ted in the face. Let’s start with his relentless pursuit of a woman that has turned him down numerous times. Follow that up with how he aggressively throws himself at every woman that crosses his path, treating them as potential romantic partners rather than people, and then whines to his friends when they don’t love him back. I guess we’re supposed to ignore the fact that he cheated on one of them with the aforementioned woman. He should be locked in a room with Ross Geller so they can throw a gigantic pity party and commiserate with one another on their lack of romantic success, even though they’re such nice guys.


2. Miko (Katana Girl), Heroes Reborn

katana girl heroes

One could make the argument that Heroes Reborn isn’t that good of a show to begin with, so this is a moot point. This storyline, however, really stood out as being particularly awful (which is saying something). It begins with a random guy bursting into her apartment, claiming he got her address from a popular MMO and noting that she looks like a character from the game. After promptly kicking him out, she then notices a room in her apartment that she apparently didn’t know was there, and thus discovers her superpower. There is a katana she inherited from her apparently missing father, which, when opened, transports her INTO the game’s world. Naturally, said father is imprisoned in the game (surprise). And not only can she use the sword in the game, but apparently in real life as well. It seems like a cheesy storyline, and even if Tim Kring can somehow wrap it in a neat bow by the time the series is over, Katana Girl is forever going to be known as the worst character ever introduced on Heroes.


3. Kitty Winter, Elementary

worst tv characters

Of course, someone had to fill the void when Joan left Sherlock’s side in Elementary, and when Kitty Winter (played by Ophelia Lovibond) was introduced, we almost immediately lost interest in the show entirely. Her introduction, itself, was borderline sexist: her first scene involves her fighting over Sherlock, a man, with Joan. Kitty also took a too-evil-for-TV turn when she tortured someone for information in one of the episodes, adding to the idea that her story was too far-fetched to be enjoyed. It’s also unacceptable that Sherlock would have accepted her form of vigilante justice, although that’s exactly what he did in the show. Needless to say, we were glad to see Kitty leave, and we’re thankful that the showrunners have no intentions of bringing her back.


4. Laurel Lance, Arrow

bad TV characters

Laurel Lance is easily the most disliked character on Arrow. Her transition into Black Canary following her sister’s death doesn’t help; Sara was infinitely preferable and more believable as the masked vigilante. Although Laurel Lance is Black Canary in the comics, her character in the show is far too weak — she’s poorly developed, one-dimensional, and inconsistent. Combined with her lack of training, her incompetent Black Canary is almost a mockery in the wake of Sara’s.


5. Dawn, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

dawn buffy

Dawn is suddenly introduced to us in Season 5 as Buffy’s younger sister. She simply felt thrown into the show just for the sake of having another character. Dawn was an annoying character, and her teen angst was so unbearable that we almost stopped watching Buffy entirely (don’t worry, everyone, we persevered). She all too frequently tried to take the spotlight from others (for example, her meltdowns on Buffy’s birthdays). Dawn mostly felt like she was intended to be the “annoying little sister” who was always around, vying for everyone’s attention, and acting like a spoiled brat. She frequently sulked and complained to the point where every time she appeared on the television, we took a bathroom break. It also doesn’t help that Dawn was constantly overshadowed by her older sister, and pair that with the fact that actor Michelle Trachtenberg had some uncomfortably bad scenes in the series, and you’ve got yourself one bad TV character.


6. Meg, Supernatural

bad tv characters

Meg was once a foe for the Winchester brothers, but after she died and came back as a new actress (Rachel Miner) in Season 5, she was entirely unwatchable. What makes her so unbearable is that she’s such an archetype: the sassy but good-looking tough-talking female. She quickly wore out her welcome, and eventually she just felt like she was there to just, well, be there; she felt like a filler character. We’ll admit that she’s a very polarizing character, but we fall on the side that doesn’t like her. The first Meg was easy enough to watch, but Meg 2.0 is ruining Supernatural. We’re patiently awaiting Meg 3.0.


7. Nikki and Paulo, Lost

nikko and paulo lost

Technically this is two characters, but Nikki and Paulo deserve to be lumped together. The infamous couple appeared at the beginning of Lost Season 3, and viewers were expected to believe that they had simply been hiding out on the island this whole time. They just decided to wait two whole months to make their presence known. Luckily, only 11 episodes after their debut, the incredibly obnoxious duo were buried alive — fan service at its finest. The duo were easily the least memorable characters of the Lost cast.


8. Skyler White, Breaking Bad

skyler white character

Anna Gunn is a great actress, so we’re not blaming our dislike of Skyler White on the acting. Instead, we’ll blame it on the poor choices made by the Breaking Bad writing team. She always played the role of the neurotic wife, and when she finds out about Walt’s drug gig, she acts out in the worst way possible, quickly cementing herself as one of the worst TV characters ever. She always seemed to seethe with anger, at least after she stopped being the voice of morality for the show (which, we think is probably when we started to dislike her character). Of course, we realize marriages are complicated and it’s probably not easy to just one day find out your husband is a drug kingpin, so it’s probably not fair to say we dislike Skyler. But we never said this list was fair, did we?


9. Lori, The Walking Dead

Lori Grimes, as a character, was a heavily conflicted, wishy-washy and confusing person. Sarah Wayne Callies,  the actress behind Lori, did an okay job in her portrayal of the complex character, but being “just okay” on a show filled with otherwise impressive actors made her just okayness too apparent. But, Callies was far from Lori’s biggest issue. Her crash scene in the “Nebraska” episode felt forced (she crashed while looking at a map and not paying attention to the road ahead), and her contradictory scenes surrounding Shane’s death were hard to be believed (first she wanted him dead, then when Rick did the deed, he was treated like a monster). Even though we disliked the direction her character was headed before she died, her death scene and goodbye to Carl was one of the most difficult TV scenes to watch.

See Also: The Walking Dead’s Declining Shock Value


10. Andrea, The Walking Dead

https://youtu.be/Ln18uXVdcBo?t=2m38s

I’m not sure if Andrea hate factored into the showrunner’s’ decision to kill her off in Season 3 — in the comics, she is alive and well — but it’s safe to say that few mourned her passing. There was a great deal wrong with Andrea’s character. For one, actress Laurie Holden was a scene chewer (more than once, it’s safe to say that she overacted). In fact, when she said she was staying in the lab too, it was too dramatic for the show’s tone. Secondly, she made bad choices (like not finishing off her sister, Amy, before Amy actually turned into a zombie; Amy could have easily reanimated and quickly taken Andrea out). And, the fatherly relationship developed between her and Dale just felt uneasy, and at the time, it was the storyline that viewers simply didn’t care about. Her relationship with the Governor also felt forced, and viewers were more annoyed by it than anything else. It also didn’t help that Andrea in the TV show was nothing like the badass Andrea from the comic book series.


See Also:

Lost Cast: Where Are They Now?

Back to the Future TV Show: What Went Wrong

More from Nerd Much?

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Lente
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Lente

Other than Skyler White (she was somewhat interesting to me), I agree with everything on this list especially #1 and #4. Ugh I know they’re just characters on TV, but they make me so mad lol

Matthew Litteral
Guest
Matthew Litteral

Laurel the most disliked? Not even close, it’s Felicity who everyone hates, and rightly so since she’s ruining not just the show she’s on but Flash too when she’s on it.

CS 22
Guest
CS 22

AMEN.

Deem
Guest
Deem

Actually yes…. since S1 the Laurel’s character gets the tittle of most disliked just do a little research on google and you see! Most of the vierwers agreed anyway that’s why the EP’s changed the storyline ☕️

Becky
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Becky

The fact is that Laurel gets hate for the exact same things that Oliver does, and you don’t see anyone throwing angry comments relating his issues. – Oliver cheated on Laurel while in a relationship, Laurel slept with Oliver post break up with Tommy: Conclusion, Laurel is a nasty cheater. – Oliver lies to everyone on every important issue ever, Laurel doesn’t tell her dad Sara died for good reasons: Conclusion, Laurel is a liar – Oliver brings Thea back to life, even though warened she will change. When Laurel does the same, she gets hate. Conclusion, Laurel is selfish.… Read more »

Deem
Guest
Deem

That’s the thing… sorry but we have so many characters on TV that was supose to be built to viewers love but even when the story was poorly write the actor can change that into a good thing and gets good critics. But on TV we have some that just can’t reach that goal and most of the people can’t response what they see on screen. Course diehard comic book fan try to transpass what see and want that be like comics but TV’s show don’t work like that.

beabrezzy91
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beabrezzy91

half of those things happened in seasons 3 and 4, and the tommy thing at the end of season 1. laurel was already super disliked by the time that stuff came around. and even still those aren’t the reasons no one likes her. from jump she was just super judgemental and a poor decision maker. and it just got soooo tiresome. i actively tried to make myself like her because i figured she and oliver were gonna end up together but she just made it so difficult. that said, i have enjoyed her BC transition particularly in season 3 even… Read more »

Ana G.M
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Ana G.M

“Laurel Lance is the most disliked character on Arrow ” . I totally agree!! I can’t stand that character. I also agree with 1, 5 and 9.

Jhonatas Fernandes
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Jhonatas Fernandes

I love Laurel Lance. And she took a good place on the ”favorite cw female character” in a popular enquete. She ranked 3.

She is amazing! <3

Lou
Guest
Lou

Laurel Lance for the gold but the walking dead took care of the problem for both are dead!

Sally
Guest
Sally

The sexism here is astonishing. Clearly the author can’t cope with complex, flawed female characters that aren’t always likeable.

@rbootho
Guest
@rbootho

I think it’s the writers that are at fault for creating irritating characters that detract from the main action or are simply so under developed or one dimensional that they can only detract from the show.

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

Oh fck off and die Bobby = Andrea was an amazing character. She was sabotaged by the jerk showrunner that got fired. Laurie Holden did all she could do with that inconsistent writing. The writing for TWD is weak in general and the show has been lame and boring the past few seasons.

BobbyMBernstein
Guest
BobbyMBernstein

I hear your harsh words, but I disagree. Her character in the comic was much better IMO. She wasn’t portrayed properly or, better yet, not shown in the right light. I definitely agree that TWD has gone downhill the past few seasons. I actually wrote another article about the show’s declining shock value.

Cameron
Guest
Cameron

I get sick of ignorant WD fans that crucify female characters over anything they do yet make excuses when males do the same or worse things. So I sometimes have a short fuse. I think Andrea is a strong but realistic character which the show desperately lacks right now. I do agree that the show should have stuck to the comics with both Rick and Andreas characters because they are the best thing about the comic. I loved Andrea since the beginning of the show mainly because I was impressed by Laurie Holden’s acting in the first season. The writing… Read more »

@rbootho
Guest
@rbootho

I think Heroes Reborn could add 2 more to the list;

Joanne Collins – just so unreasonable always has a slapped arse face and the acting is certainly questionable.

Phoebe Frady – WTF is this power the power to block all powers, it’s pretty convenient plus she’s really annoying and doesn’t really seem to have any real reason for being such a dick.

There are plenty of others I could mention in other shows an I agree with the list but I thought these 2 from Heroes reborn were worse than Kitana girl.

BobbyMBernstein
Guest
BobbyMBernstein

Thanks for commenting. I definitely agree with the girl who can block all powers. I thought that was a cheap power. I think these flawed characters were a big reason that the show isn’t being renewed. I think they were too distracting to the story.

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Edward Platypus-from Camp Lazlo Is a character who ruined such a good kids show.I use to like this show but not since this character He is so bad according to Best TV Shows wiki he caused the show to be cancelled.In one episode he bullies other Characters by pulling their pants down an act the show called pantsing. In another episode he has a dream where he is a dictator and wears a militant dictator uniform and also having his cabin mates Chip and Skip pointing laser guns at the campers.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Eddie the Yeti-from Donkey Kong Country is yet another character who ruined his own show according to awful TV Shows Wiki he is an insult to Nintendo.If this character was Never Created We would have had the 64DD in Americas.