Entertainment
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17 TV Show Protagonists Who Were Overshadowed By A Side Character

Updated August 24, 2017 22.8k votes 4.8k voters 70.6k views17 items

List RulesVote up the shows whose side characters you loved more than the so-called leads.

Great lead TV characters aren’t born, they’re made. You know them by their tragic backstories, kickass introduction scenes, unique quirks, and triumphant redemption arcs. Writers write leads characters in such a way that viewers want to root for them and give them supporting players to do just that – support. These characters will sometimes have their own compelling arcs, but most often they take a back seat to the protagonist, providing guidance, friendship, mentorship, or comedic relief as assigned. 

Once in a blue moon though, a show features a secondary character who totally steals the spotlight. It might be because the lead is a jerk, or is boring, or simply because the side character is played with more dynamism than the lead. In these cases a supporting character can move into more of a co-star if the audience attention pushes creators to give them more screen time. In some cases, a show featuring an ensemble may just naturally have one character shine brighter than others. 

Here are a few examples where a show's lead was totally eclipsed by a more interesting side character.

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