Annoying Characters That Almost Ruined Great TV Shows
Sadly, even the best TV shows feature some bad characters at times. In most cases, new faces are added to keep things interesting or to shake up storylines involving existing characters. They can change the entire show's dynamic, and the results aren’t always positive. Sometimes, fans simply hate them.
In extreme cases, new characters have actually ruined once-beloved shows. Of course, producers and writers never intend to kill shows with new additions, but some extremely annoying TV characters should have ended up on the cutting room floor instead of torturing fans.
Cousin Oliver, The Brady Bunch
When people start talking about annoying TV characters who killed a show, you may immediately think of Cousin Oliver (Robbie Rist) from The Brady Bunch. He was added to the hit 1970’s sitcom for basically no reason. By the fifth season, the show’s ratings had dropped, so the producers added an 8-year-old relative who stayed with the Brady family.
Warren Ferguson, The Andy Griffith Show
Warren Ferguson didn’t stand a chance with the audience of The Andy Griffith Show, considering the huge shoes he had to fill. For five seasons, Don Knotts repeatedly stole the spotlight as Barney Fife, Andy’s trusty deputy. Knotts was the perfect companion to Griffith, and no one could reproduce that brotherly friendship.
Wesley Crusher, Star Trek: The Next Generation
For many fans, the ultimate Star Trek franchise is Star Trek: The Next Generation from the 1980s. However, one of the most annoying additions in TV history was Wil Wheaton’s Wesley Crusher.
Billie Jenkins, Charmed
The last season of the early 2000’s drama Charmed introduced Billie Jenkins, who managed to drag the show down quite a few levels. Played by future sitcom superstar Kaley Cuoco, Billie was a modern-day witch who learned about her powers on her own. That might sound impressive, but fans generally agreed that Billie was a whiny brat with cheesy one-liners.
Piper Chapman, Orange Is the New Black
Netflix’s hit drama Orange Is the New Black intended to showcase Piper Chapman’s story, but fans soon realized Piper (Taylor Schilling) was the least interesting character on a show filled with well-written, three-dimensional characters. Self-absorbed and toxic to everyone around her, she is impossible to like.
Ross Geller, Friends
This one might be controversial since some Friends fans (inexplicably) love Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), but we’ll stand by this opinion. Between the whining, the temper tantrums and the fact that everything he says is just dripping with judgement, we still can’t understand what Rachel Green (Jen Aniston) saw in him.
C.J. Barnes, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
Obviously, no one expected John Ritter to suddenly die in 2003 while filming his sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. Instead of canceling the successful show, producers and writers pushed forward and introduced new characters: Cate and Paul’s nephew, C.J. Barnes (David Spade), and Jim Egan (James Garner).
Ani Achola, 13 Reasons Why
The third season of Netflix’s hit teen drama 13 Reasons Why focused on the murder of a main character, Bryce (Justin Prentice), and the mystery of who killed him. This was intriguing to audiences, but many fans weren’t pleased with the introduction of one specific character.
Lindsey Strauss, One Tree Hill
When fans "ship" two characters — hope they fall in love and get a happy ending — they immediately hate a new love interest that could foil that plan. That’s what happened in the early 2000’s hit teen drama One Tree Hill. In season five, Lindsey Strauss (Michaela McManus) was added to the show as Lucas Scott’s girlfriend.
Andy Bernard, The Office
When Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) was first introduced to the 2000’s sitcom The Office, he was tolerable. Audiences met him during the third season premiere, and he ended up staying on the show for the remaining seasons — to the dismay of many fans.
Walden Schmidt, Two and a Half Men
In 2011, Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre fired star Charlie Sheen after his verbal anti-Semitic rant about Lorre on the Alex Jones radio show. (He also committed several felony offenses around the same time, but who’s counting?) At first, CBS intended to cancel the sitcom, but Lorre hired Ashton Kutcher to replace Sheen.
Cindy Snow, Three’s Company
Three’s Company was one of the best sitcoms on TV in the ‘70s and ‘80s. For four seasons, Suzanne Somers starred as Chrissy Snow, but when she asked for an equal salary as costar John Ritter, she was fired. The next season, Jenilee Harrison was hired to play Chrissy’s cousin, Cindy Snow.
Nellie Bertram, The Office
In 2011, Steve Carell left The Office during the show’s seventh season. His absence left a massive void in the sitcom, but the show continued without him. The show’s Dunder Mifflin Paper Company hired Brit Eleanour Donna "Nellie" Bertram (Catherine Tate) as a potential suitor to Michael Scott’s throne.
Stephanie Mills, All in the Family
By the ninth season of the 1970’s sitcom All in the Family, Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor) was looking forward to having some quiet time. His daughter and son-in-law were moving away, but before he could relax, Archie’s 9-year-old grand-niece, Stephanie Mills (Danielle Brisebois), showed up on his doorstep.
Seven Wanker, Married…with Children
Fox’s first hit sitcom, Married…with Children, is still fondly remembered today, but fans wish they could forget one particular character. Seven Wanker (Shane Street) was taken in by the Bundy family for a short time. Fans expected Al Bundy (Ed O’Neill) to treat him with hostility, but he immediately declares him a "True Bundy."
Mon-El (Chris Wood) was added to The CW series Supergirl simply as a new love interest for Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist). The character had a previous partner, but when he left the show, producers felt she needed a boyfriend. Much to the fans’ dismay, this became Mon-El.
Maggie Pierce, Grey’s Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy has had many characters come and go over its 15 seasons. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) is a character fans wish would leave. People consider her irritating, and they don’t believe she will ever become endearing. Maggie was introduced to the show when she found her birth father, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), at Seattle Grace Hospital.
Randy Pearson, That ‘70s Show
Even the best actor in the world couldn’t have made up for the loss of That ‘70s Show’s two most popular characters: Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher). When the actors left at the end of the show’s seventh season, producers hired Josh Meyers to play record store clerk Randy Pearson.
Lucy Bennett, Scrubs
Scrubs should have ended when the show’s main character, J.D. (Zach Braff), left after the eighth season. Instead, the show tried to focus on a group of new interns at the hospital. Lucy Bennett (Kerry Bishé) was added to the cast to follow in the footsteps of her mentor, J.D.
Skyler White, Breaking Bad
Fans hated Breaking Bad’s Skyler White so much that actress Anna Gunn wrote an op-ed article in The New York Times about the double standard for female characters. She wrote, "As an actress, I realize that viewers are entitled to have whatever feelings they want about the characters they watch. But as a human being, I’m concerned that so many people react to Skyler with such venom."
Screech, Saved by the Bell
Sometimes, Samuel "Screech" Powers (Dustin Diamond) was unbearable to watch on the 1990s sitcom Saved by the Bell. It’s almost hard to believe his character was best friends with Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) and the gang at Bayside High School. In the beginning, Screech was more "normal," but as the show progressed, his character became all about comic relief.
April Kepner, Grey’s Anatomy
When April Kepner (Sarah Drew) was added to the sixth season of Grey’s Anatomy, audiences immediately disliked her. They knew she was going to be an important character, but they hated her anyway. Writers (and producer Shonda Rhimes) seemed to love the "goody-two-shoes," much to the confusion of many fans.
Betty Draper, Mad Men
When Mad Men premiered in 2007, it was easy to sympathize with Betty Draper (January Jones). She put up with a cheating husband, Don (Jon Hamm), but eventually, Betty’s real self was exposed, including plenty of immature behaviors and her fixation on traditional values. It didn’t take long for fans to start disliking her.
Rachel Berry, Glee
In the musical comedy Glee, Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) was always destined to be a star. From the very first episode, she was the most talented singer in the Glee Club. However, this perfection made her one of the most annoying characters in TV history, according to fans.
Grace Adler, Will & Grace
When your character’s name is in the show's title, it’s a sad day if you aren’t likable. When it comes to the sitcom Will & Grace, many fans actually hated Grace Adler (Debra Messing) as the show progressed. She was funny and enjoyable at first, but she eventually started to lose her charm.
April Nardini, Gilmore Girls
We can’t blame April Nardini (Vanessa Marano) for nearly ruining the early 2000’s drama Gilmore Girls. Introduced in the show’s sixth season, April is revealed to be Luke Danes’ (Scott Patterson) unknown daughter. She steals and tests Luke’s DNA to confirm he is her father.
Dawson Leery, Dawson’s Creek
Dawson Leery (James Van Der Beek) is the title character in the late 1990’s high school team drama Dawson’s Creek, but that doesn’t mean he was the most popular character. In an ensemble consisting of a tomboy, a misunderstood bad boy and a misunderstood bad girl, Dawson was more self-obsessed than fans preferred.
Dawn Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The writers originally intended for the character of Dawn Summers on the teen drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer to be a much younger girl. Unfortunately, when they cast Michelle Trachtenberg in the role, they didn’t bother to adjust the writing for her older age. So, what was so unappealing about Dawn? She was a whiny teenager who acted like a brat, and no one cared for her.
After 10 seasons, Scooby-Doo was beginning to slide downward in its ratings. Fearful the popular children’s program would be canceled, the writers decided to introduce a new character in 1979: Scrappy-Doo, Scooby’s nephew. The pint-sized Great Dane was the complete opposite of his beloved uncle. He was annoying, superfluous — and completely unnecessary.
Ted Mosby, How I Met Your Mother
Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) is the main character of the sitcom How I Met Your Mother. The show is essentially his story of how he met his children’s mother — yet many fans have a serious dislike of Ted. If it hadn’t been for the supporting characters who picked up the slack, the show never would have survived.
Kimmy Gibbler, Full House
Unfortunately, Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) was DJ Tanner’s (Candace Cameron-Bure) best friend who lived too close for comfort. By that we mean Kimmy lived right next door to the Tanners. In short, there was simply no escaping her — or her need to shout, empty the Tanners’ fridge and put up her notoriously stinky feet.
Will Schuester, Glee
Feel free to read this next one in your inner-Jane Lynch voice: Will Schuester (Matthew Morrison) initially took center stage on Ryan Murphy’s wildly successful series Glee. However, as it became more and more apparent that “Mr. Schue” was just a one-dimensional, vest-wearing whiner, fans were filled with anything but glee when it came to his plot lines.
Baby Sinclair, Dinosaurs
Dinosaurs was a Jim Henson sitcom that hit TV screens in the ‘90s and portrayed a family of working-class dinos living in a modern world, complete with jobs and TVs and so on. The family’s patriarch, Earl Sinclair, even had some real John-Goodman-in-Roseanne vibes. While we can appreciate the fun premise, there’s one main character we just can’t appreciate: Baby Sinclair.
Jenny Humphrey, Gossip Girl
Most Gossip Girl fans agree, Jenny Humphrey (Taylor Momsen) is one of the worst — if not the worst — character on the show. (Georgina Sparks is up there, but we felt bad including two Michelle Trachtenberg characters.) Although Jenny starts out as Dan’s sweet younger sister who dreams of making it big, she becomes a full-fledged psychopath, eager to ruin relationships and lives just because she can.
Warren Mears, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Although Warren Mears (Adam Busch) is just one-third of The Trio — three like-minded nerds who want to become supervillains — he is undoubtedly the worst. As the “brains” behind the evil league, he’s the one calling the shots and all of those shots are misogynistic, infuriating and irredeemable. He even throws his supposed friends, the troubled Johnathan and Andrew, to the wolves.
Janice Litman, Friends
Janice Litman-Goralnik (née Hosenstein) is perhaps the epitome of annoying character. Like Full House’s Kimmy Gibbler, Janice was seemingly created to annoy other characters — and, by extension, the audience. Portrayed by Maggie Wheeler, Janice often pops up when — and where — the friends least expect her.