TV's Most Annoying Characters
While we all like to root for the hero, other characters on our favorite TV shows can sometimes drive us up the wall, even though it is still sometimes fun to watch them. Annoying TV characters can often serve as cautionary tales about how not to act in real-life, but they can also be just fun to hate-watch to see if they finally get their comeuppance.
A. J. Soprano - The Sopranos
The youngest and most annoying of the Soprano kids, Anthony Junior, was nothing like his father, well, maybe the absolute worst parts of Anthony Senior. Immature, selfish, and spoiled, AJ never displayed a smidgen of ambition, empathy, or compassion for anyone but himself. While Meadow Soprano eventually grew out of her selfishness, AJ drifted along in a sea of self-pity, which no one could cure him of.
Paige Jennings - The Americans
Paige Jennings was the daughter of secret KGB spy-couple Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, and she grew up with the show. The only one in her family to know her parent's secret, Paige started out wanting to know more about her past, but then became a self-righteous arbiter of all that is good and true, even going so far as to rat out her own parents. Granted, Philip and Elizabeth were not the nicest people, but they still did the best they could to raise their children and protect them from the horrors of their job.
Kim Bauer - 24
There are a lot of children on this list, as they usually serve to be the moral counterweight of their parents' behavior. In this case, Kim Bauer only served to distract her super-agent father, Jack Bauer, from saving the world. A regular character since the first episode, Kim did lose her mother in the first season, but any sympathy she gained when out the door during the show's second season when she found new and perplexing ways to trifle with her father's heroics like getting trapped in a cougar trap.
Betty Draper - Mad Men
Betty Draper was a product of her time. The prim and proper housewife invested too much in surfaces and appearances that she forgot to work on her interior life. Petty, childish, and scheming, the former model thought that she could coast through life on her good looks and perfect suburban life while treating her children horribly. Betty learned too late the value of others, and her life may have been much different if she had learned it sooner.
Kimmy Gibbler — Full House/Fuller House
While calling her a fan favorite may be a stretch, Kimmy Gibbler was nevertheless a regular fixture on the 80s sitcom "Full House" and its 2018 reboot, "Fuller House." Dubbed the "female Urkel," Kimmy was also a neighbor to the Tanner household and inserted herself into the family's business without compunction. She grilled the three Tanner men with endless questions and meaningless factoids, while also proudly showing off her smelly feet. Gross.
Fran Fine - The Nanny
It's a wonder this series lasted as long as it did, given Fran Drescher's nails-on-a-chalkboard portrayal of this live-in nanny from Queens. While her character is by no means selfish, conniving or heartless, Fran Fine's mannerisms, nasally voice, and trademark lawnmower laugh were hard to stomach, especially for six seasons.
Marie Schrader - Breaking Bad
While it is Marie's sister, Skyler, who often takes the brunt of fan's rage for her "annoying" character, Marie is often overlooked, even though she is twice as toxic and selfish as poor Skyler. Marie is a kleptomaniac. She likes to make up stories about her life. And in the final season, she straight-up tries to kidnap Skyler's baby! Baby-napping goes beyond the pale of annoying, but Marie found a way to poison every scene she was in with her narrow-mindedness and judgemental nature.
Wesley Crusher - Star Trek: The Next Generation
The ultimate argument against "Bring Your Kid to Work Day," Wesley Crusher got to explore space on the Starship Enterprise thanks to his mother, Dr. Beverly Crusher. Wesley must have thought that his presence on the ship was a license to butt-in on adult conversations, even though he was often the reason the crew got into trouble in the first place. Wesley eventually did grow out of his precocious phase, but not before making us roll our eyes every time he popped up on-screen.
George Michael Bluth - Arrested Development
Despite his character's innocence and relative purity, George Michael Bluth is the only child of his put-upon father, but he is maybe the most awkward and sheepish of his entire family. Setting aside his unrequited love for his cousin, Maeby, George Michael speaks so low his voice barely registers as a whisper. While GMB is often the wettest of blankets, by the show's end, he outgrows most of his annoying tendencies and flourishes to become a little wiser.
Dory Sief - Search Party
During the run of the three seasons of this millenial mystery, Dory transforms from being an aimless, weak-willed character - annoying in a certain way - to be being a Williamsburg femme fatale. She lies, cheats, and gaslights everyone around her, so she doesn't have to admit any wrongdoing or change anything about herself. This is one character who walks a fine line between annoying and detestable.
Jonah Ryan - Veep
Jonah Ryan is a lumbering busy-body who puffs out his chest to make himself look and maybe feel more important. While he does work in the White House and eventually runs for Senate, the character is so convinced of his own awesomeness; he doesn't feel the need to act even a little normal. The kind of person who puts people down to make himself feel better, Jonah is the one who actually gets made fun of the most on this political satire, but he deserves every insult, kind of.
Selina Meyer - Veep
While Jonah is the most annoying character to the rest of the characters on "Veep," Selina Meyer is maybe the most annoying to the audience. The power-hungry, ambition-mad Meyer has no moral compass and is the undisputed center of her world, while everyone else is there to serve her. While Julia-Louis Dreyfus does an amazing job portraying the fictional vice-president as incompetent, she also gives the character a sense of entitlement and narcissism that makes you want to squirm.
Dana Brody - Homeland
Why the writers of this Showtime drama decided to devote a significant portion of the show's run time to the exploits of a spoiled, bratty, goody-two-shoes like Dana Brody is anyone's guess. For a show ostensibly about a potential terror plot unfolding in the US, the decision to make the teenager's growing pains a sub-plot at all was a misplaced one. Dana, like most of the precocious characters on this list, thinks she's got it all figured out and never tires in announcing it to anyone who's listening.
Dr. Peter Benton - ER
Honestly, what is Dr. Peter Benton's problem? The man is a talented surgeon, at the top of his field, but he can't seem to connect with anyone. The surgeon became notorious for never showing his human side, even when he was attending to the most vulnerable patients. While a few of his superiors often tried to get the good doctor to relax, he never did. Even when he became a father, Benton's shell never cracked.
Piper Chapman - Orange Is the New Black
Some characters are annoying or frustrating for the choices they make, and in Piper Chapman's case, she makes all the wrong choices. Her lack of perspective on the world leads her to fall for a woman who ends up sending her to jail. While she's there, Piper acts as if she is on a retreat, oblivious to the lives of the other inmates and trading on her privilege to ultimately save her.
Who are the most annoying TV characters for you? Were there any characters that we missed? Let us know in the comments below. Annoying TV characters can become a reason why we love a show - we love to hate them. While these characters often switch between being just annoying to villainous, some of them take being obnoxious to new heights and are reminders of how insufferable people in our everyday lives can be.