Popular shows always have those memorable characters that people can’t forget.
We fall in love with them over time. They stick in our minds. We find them interesting, charming, lovable, and inspiring. Long after the show goes off the air, we often still think about our favorite characters and wonder what they might be up to if the show was still running.
Okay, but those same popular shows can sometimes have some less-than-lovable characters, too. Most of the time, these unlikeable characters have no impact on the show’s popularity. In fact, unlikeable characters are often needed for storylines and character development.
But sometimes, characters can be so loathsome that they ruin the show entirely. From The Brady Bunch all the way to The Book of Boba Fett, there are characters that ruined shows for viewers everywhere.
Let’s take a look at some of the worst TV characters that were so annoying that they ruined the shows they appeared on. Did your least favorite character make the list?
If there was a poster boy for annoying characters, it would have to be Scrappy Doo. This pint-sized pup was introduced to audiences as Scooby Doo’s feisty nephew. No doubt, Hanna-Barbera did this as a Hail Mary in an attempt to save the cartoon that had fallen victim to redundant episodes and falling ratings.
The show’s ratings initially went up with Scrappy’s arrival, but I think everyone was quick to see that he was one of the most annoying characters on TV. Scrappy was nothing short of obnoxious. He had dumb catchphrases, and he had a knack for running headfirst into a situation and almost getting himself killed. Besides, can someone explain to me why Scrappy always walks on his hind legs while Scooby is almost always on all fours?
Related: Every Scooby-Doo Movie, Ranked
Bringing in a younger, cuter cast member to boost ratings and stale storylines is a well-used tactic, and it didn’t start with Scrappy. A handful of years earlier, The Brady Bunch utilized this move after the original Brady kids had gotten older. Oliver was introduced as the fresh cute face in hopes to recapture what had worked when the show debuted.
Unfortunately, the writers took Cousin Oliver from “sweet and cute” straight into “overbearing and annoying” territory right out of the gate. He appeared in the last six episodes of the series before it was canceled for good. In hindsight, his first appearance on the show is ironic – he wears out his welcome with a series of accidents, leading him to believe he is a jinx.
After Cousin Oliver’s inclusion on The Brady Bunch, the attempt to liven up an aging cast with the inexplicable addition of a younger kid has come to be known as the “Cousin Oliver.”
Even Married… With Children tried the Cousin Oliver treatment. If you don’t remember Seven Wanker (what a name!), you’re not alone. He appeared and disappeared pretty quickly in season seven. They clearly didn’t put a lot of thought into the character’s name, but I digress. Anyway, he was supposedly the kid of Peggy’s cousins, who leave him behind with the Bundy family.
He is really annoying and super loud, basically screaming most of his lines. The poor kid doesn’t even have any personality or a backstory beyond getting dumped by his parents. I can’t even imagine why he was added to the cast, considering the show was never meant to appeal to kids in the first place. The character was so unpopular with the show’s fans that he was abruptly written off midway through the season.
We all wanted Ross and Rachel to end up together. And while both of them dated plenty of other people throughout the show’s ten seasons, we knew they would get together in the end, right?
It’s easy to assume that Emily Waltham was a fuddy-duddy show ruiner because she was an obstacle in the way of Ross and Rachel’s happily ever after. However, I don’t think that’s the case. Ross dated several different people over the course of the show, and fans definitely don’t dislike them as much as Emily.
For starters, the entire relationship was rushed, and it felt like Ross only proposed to get her to stop traveling back and forth between New York and London. And just like Ross, the audience didn’t have time to get to know her very well, either. So we’re thrust into this “serious” relationship with a sweet, albeit annoying, woman. She has zero coping mechanisms for difficulties or unexpected challenges. At least with Janis, she was meant to be annoying.
Related: The Friends Cast: Where Are They Now?
While That ‘70s Show has remained popular with millennials – so popular, in fact, it spawned That ‘90s Show – it isn’t without problems. And one of those problems is a main character: Fez. The group of teens collectively have pretty good chemistry, but Fez doesn’t seem to fit.
Perhaps it feels like that because his entire purpose is to serve as comedic relief… and a lot of the comedy is really just thinly veiled racism. Many of the running jokes have to do with him being foreign and mispronouncing or misunderstanding things. Even his name is problematic; his real name isn’t ever even used. The group nicknames him Fez because they deemed his real name unpronounceable.
Surprisingly, That ‘70s Show had two unforgivable characters! While Fez was irredeemable for being a series-long racist stereotype, Randy ruined things because he was just downright obnoxious.
When Eric Foreman departed, the showrunners obviously had to do something if they wanted to keep the series running. The obvious choice is to try replacing him with another character. If only they had picked a good one… Randy is who they swapped in to fill the void, and he ruined the whole show. He was the cool guy who got all the chicks and had no flaws, and he was smug about it. In other words, the opposite of everything everyone loved about Eric.
He didn’t have the same kind of charm that Topher Grace brought as Eric, and without the right chemistry, his inclusion felt forced.
The U.S. version of The Office is another popular show that suffered the loss of the main character. The Office without Steve Carell’s Michael is obviously not going to be the same. Even still, the showrunners tried to continue on without Carell and decided to court a few different replacements to see if they could find some new magic.
Nellie Bertram arrived on the scene when she interviews for the Regional Manager position at the dunder Mifflin Scranton branch – where she proves herself inept for the job. And unlike Michael’s brand of ineptness, Nellie is just irrational and crass. She comes back later and usurps Andy’s spot anyway. The thing, though, is that there was never any reason for viewers to care about why she suddenly dominated the show.
I’ve heard from plenty of people over the years who couldn’t watch Gilmore Girls because they found Rory insufferable. She might have grown into an entitled, selfish brat who wrecked other people’s marriages and stopped talking to her mom – but might I present Logan as a contender for the worst Gilmore Girls character?
Logan was a rude, spoiled brat who threw tantrums when he didn’t get what he wanted. Anyone else think he had too much money for his own good? He performed dangerous (and illegal) stunts with the Life and Death Brigade for kicks. We see him help Rory steal someone’s yacht instead of telling her it might be a bad idea. Oh, and by the time we get to A Year In the Life, he’s cheating on his fiance with Rory. Rory’s character development, and the rest of the series, would have been a lot better without him.
If you watched The Book of Boba Fett, you remember that gang of teens zooming around town on a rainbow of scooters. If you didn’t watch The Book of Boba Fett, you probably still vaguely know about them, considering no one would stop talking about it for weeks. And just like with other massive tragedies, it’s one of those moments that you will forever remember where you were when it happened.
Officially called the Mods, this colorful street gang of kids scooted into the Star Wars universe during episode three, whining about not having jobs despite looking pretty well-off with pristine scooters. And then, they proceeded to have what has to be the slowest, clunkiest chase scene I’ve ever witnessed. They were whiny, annoying, and wildly unconvincing.
Related: I Have So Many Questions About The Book of Boba Fett