TV "Nice Guys" Who Are Horrible Human Beings In Disguise

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Secretly horrible TV nice guys are the sort of character that has been around for a while. You know the type. In their series, they initially seem all warm and kind and compassionate. We see them forging true friendships with the women of their dreams and being there for them at every turn. Unlike more obvious jerks, nice guys appear friendly and open, willing to give a helping hand whenever needed. They don’t do anything reprehensible per se, because they strive to stay true to their niceness. But as time goes by, they slowly reveal their inner ugliness.

The worst nice guys on TV like to complain about their love interest dating horrible dudes, but don’t exactly do anything toward asking the girl out or confessing their feelings. Instead of being straightforward, or moving on, or maybe assuming the other person isn't interested, they pine for months or years on end. They show an entitlement to a love interest’s affection because, look at them, they’re so freaking nice. Best case, they mope in silence and refuse to move on. Worst case, they become jealous, controlling, and manipulative.  

Sometimes, these dudes are so skilled at hiding their true colors it takes repeat viewings to see just how awful they are. So just in case you mistook them initially, here’s a quick roundup of the worst nice guys on TV.

  • Dan Humphrey
    Photo: CW
    2,130 VOTES

    TV Show: Gossip Girl

    Dan spends his entire high school years obsessed with Serena because she once acknowledged his existence at some party. When they get together, he acts like he’s different from the jerks she usually dates. And he seems genuine at first, we’ll give him that. But as the series progresses Dan turns from harmless outsider to manipulative jerk.

    He doesn’t really trust or support Serena and basically uses her as an entry point to glamorous Upper East Side society. Worst of all, we eventually find out he’s been behind the infamous Gossip Girls website all along. Not such a nice guy after all.  

  • Dawson Leery
    Photo: WB
    1,823 VOTES

    TV Show: Dawson’s Creek

    Dawson is clearly in love with Joey in Season 1 but completely forgets about her when a blonde chick moves next door. When Dawson and Joey eventually get together he smothers her every minute of every day. Then later, he gets insanely jealous when she starts dating Pacey, his best friend, whom he proceeds to cut out of his life. All this while he and Joey are supposedly best friends. And yet, everyone keeps talking about how nice he is. HOW?

  • Ross Geller
    Photo: NBC
    4,989 VOTES

    TV Show: Friends

    Ross may just be the ultimate Nice Guy™ in all of TV-dom. First off, he pines after Rachel for years and hates everyone she dates in the process, pointing out how horrible they are when compared to him. And yet, he fails to properly ask her out or confess his feelings. When they finally get together, he turns into a jealous and controlling freak unwilling to support her career.

    Not to mention other red flag moments like when he cheats, when he fails to get an annulment after his and Rachel's drunken nuptials, when he considers not ever seeing her again to be with Emily, and how he sabotages her relationships whenever she tries to move on. After all that, he still thinks of himself as a nice guy and even gets the girl in the end. A rational woman would have sought a restraining order.

  • Dean Forrester
    Photo: WB
    1,959 VOTES

    TV Show: Gilmore Girls

    Dean seems pretty harmless and kind at first. He and Rory connect over books and love of their home town. But as the seasons roll by, he begins to exhibit extremely controlling and slightly stalker-ish behavior. He acts like a nice guy but is quite insecure and jealous underneath. He is forever jealous of Jess and almost never gives Rory a chance to speak for herself before assuming the worst of her. On top of all that, he consistently brings up how great of a guy he is, even when the two of them break up.

    As if he hadn't proven it enough over the years, Dean blatantly cheats on his wife later after having emotionally abused her in spades. He's the blackest pot the kettle ever saw.

    1,959 votes
  • Ted Mosby
    Photo: CBS
    3,985 VOTES

    TV Show: How I Met Your Mother

    This entire series revolves around Ted’s attempts to find his soulmate. And although the creators really want us to perceive Ted as a nice guy, his actions paint a completely different picture. He pursues Robin relentlessly, despite the fact that she clearly states she’s not keen on getting married and having children. After they break up and Robin starts dating Barney, Ted states on numerous occasions that he’s much better than Barney and that he should be the one to end up with her.

    As for the other women in his life, where do we even begin? He cheats, manipulates, and takes advantage of them, all the while thinking that he’s a nice guy because he’s just looking for love. Barf.

  • Max Cadman
    Photo: Showtime
    538 VOTES

    Max Cadman

    TV Show: The Affair

    Max is a successful businessman, as well as an old college friend of both Noah and Helen. He’s been secretly pining after Helen for forever and, when his two buddies break up, wastes no time in making his move. Not only that but, though he acts like a friend, he is basically just waiting for their marriage to fall apart. Why? Because he believes Noah never deserved Helen. Max has just enough charm to trick everyone into thinking he’s a nice guy. But look closer, he’s actually the worst. 

    538 votes