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Regrettable Characters Who (Nearly) Ruined Good TV Shows

Updated June 24, 2020 139.3k votes 27.8k voters 1.1m views15 items

List RulesVote up the most regrettable characters, the ones that really tanked dank shows.

There’s almost always that one character - you know, the one that makes you cringe or scream at your television set, “Go away!” Here are 15 terrible characters who ruined good shows.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. These sometimes annoying, sometimes self-absorbed, sometimes irrelevant, almost always awful characters on great TV shows were perhaps not horrible enough to make you stop watching a program. However, they could be bad enough to get on your last nerve.

Base-breaking characters aren't limited to guest stars or the supporting cast. Just as often, it's the main characters who are the worst. Is Hannah from Girls the most self-absorbed person in the history of television? Was Skyler from Breaking Bad the most hated? Any way you slice it, Screech's schtick on Saved By The Bell grew so tiresome that he has to be considered one of the worst TV characters ever.

Vote on these shows ruined by crappy characters. Maybe some of these guys and gals don’t deserve the dis; perhaps they were simply just misunderstood?

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  • Emily Waltham, 'Friends' is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Regrettable Characters Who (Nearly) Ruined Good TV Shows
    Photo: Friends / NBC

    Everyone always knew that Ross and Rachel were going to wind up together in the end. All Emily did was put a major delay in the inevitable. Emily prohibits Ross from seeing Rachel after he blurts out Rachel's name during their wedding ceremony (oops), which only made her more unlikeable.

    Yes, of course, she is right. If they want their relationship to work, Ross should probably avoid someone else he is still clearly in love with. But come on! Emily nearly broke up the whole gang.

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  • Hannah Horvath, 'Girls' is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Regrettable Characters Who (Nearly) Ruined Good TV Shows
    Photo: Girls / HBO

    Hannah is supposed to represent the feminist movement, a symbol of strength for women everywhere, but for many, she was just "a prototypical millennial." Some even believed her actions were a reflection of actress and show creator Lena Dunham, who was has received her share of public criticism.

    Hannah's best friends are also pretty much the same way. Somehow the lack of any true foil for Hannah worked on Girls

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  • Dana Brody, 'Homeland' is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Regrettable Characters Who (Nearly) Ruined Good TV Shows
    Photo: Homeland / Showtime

    Dana Brody is another TV character that the internet could not stop hating. In fact, entire sites were dedicated to listing all the reasons why her character is one of the worst in television history. Here's the thing, Homeland is a very serious drama about terrorism. The beginning seasons are focused on Dana's father, Nicholas Brody, and his relationship with CIA operative Carrie Mathison.

    It isn't a drama about teen angst, which came pouring out of Dana. Her character always seemed to take away from the show instead of adding to it. Every time she appeared onscreen, Dana was just a major annoying hindrance to getting to what was really important on Homeland.

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    Piper Chapman, 'Orange Is The New Black'

    Piper Chapman, 'Orange Is The  is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Regrettable Characters Who (Nearly) Ruined Good TV Shows
    Photo: Orange Is the New Black / Netflix

    This is Piper's story to tell, so what do we do when the main character of a drama is also the least interesting? Orange Is the New Black is filled with three-dimensional, well-written characters. Initially, Piper is our protagonist; however, it quickly becomes clear that she is totally self-absorbed and toxic to everyone in her life.

    Thankfully, the writers and creator Jenji Kohan realized this rather quickly and began to really focus on the many other interesting inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary.

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