1. Mr. Big, Sex and the City
I know that a lot of you out there feel some strange attraction to Mr. Big — Mr. Darcy for girls with Rabbits and a prescription for birth control — but I feel safe in my assertion that he is amongst the worst fictional boyfriends of all time. If your idea of a good time is running around Manhattan wearing clothes appropriate for Cruella de Vil’s audition at the Hustler Club, chasing after a guy who could not be less interested in you, I guess he’s ripe for the taking. But given that he spends roughly 700 hours a week at a job that seems to consist of wearing a suit, writing checks, and being an asshole to everyone, you at least won’t have to be exposed to his d-bagginess too often. It could be worse.
2. Patrick Bateman, American Psycho
If only we could freeze time and just enjoy the image of Christian Bale in adorable 80s-preppy garb, dancing to Huey Louis and offering us frozen yogurt for all eternity, it would be perfect. Unfortunately, all of those gorgeous muscles and 50-dollar-an-ounce face mask ultimately go to the act of cutting prostitutes up and hacking his coworkers apart with an axe. (The sexiest axe the Home Depot sells, to be sure, but an axe nonetheless.) He is also, it should be said, what appears to be Bret Easton Ellis’ weird Level 9000 Asshole self-insert, so take that as you will. If you can get over the sociopathy and murdering, though, he has a really sweet apartment.
3. Joffrey Baratheon, Game of Thrones
Listen, I think we all want a castle. No one is judging you for wanting to be a fabulous queen who just gets to drink wine and shit on people all day, à la Cersei Lannister. However, there have to be better ways to achieve that outside of dating/marrying Joffrey — and those ways include rolling around on a pile of acid-covered scorpions. Even Sansa, a girl who by all accounts has the fortitude and personality of a bowl of oatmeal that’s been sitting out on the counter all day, knows better than to settle for him. Come on.
4. John Smith, Pocahontas
Pocahontas, also known as Watch This Hot Blonde Guy Check His White Privilege for An Hour and A Half, is a movie worth noting for its demonstration of a woman’s ability to overlook a guy’s shortcomings in the name of love. Despite his tendency to want to kill/enslave/sprinkle smallpox on everything in a 100-mile radius, Pocahontas is willing to take her time and show him that things have meanings, and that feral raccoons make for the best hangout buddies. The truth is, though, we don’t have time for that. We have neither Pocahontas’ patience, nor her fabulous chunky necklaces. He is just a fixer-upper that is not worth investing in.
5. Walter White, Breaking Bad
Just as much as Jesse is the JNCO-wearing, Michelin-starred meth chef you just want to snuggle with until someone comes to murder your loved ones, Walt is the guy you want to avoid at all costs. Aside having a hilariously soccer-dad-found-a-silly-hat-in-the-attic sense of style, being a completely terrible/absent father, and driving Skyler to be the most disliked character (when she’s really reacting quite rationally to his absurd shenanigans), he’s also just not very fun. He doesn’t have any of the style or charisma that you would imagine defines a criminal of his stature — he’s just a fuddy-duddy science nerd who got mixed in with the wrong crowd. Pass.
6. Craig Manning, Degrassi
Unless your five-year plan includes making terrible music with your high school boyfriend and dying a single lock of your hair blue to show how SXE you are, Manning is probably not your guy. He’s the emo tool who uses his cunning Pokemon-esque “I have feelings” move to woo ever-hotter girls as he treats pretty much all of them like a worn-out guitar pick. With all of the empathetic capacity of a 13-year-old listening to your problems over AIM, there is little hope that Craiggles is ever going to evolve into a more deserving boyfriend.
7. Dean, Blue Valentine
I will forever resent this film, and this character, for having shown me that not only can Ryan Gosling be unattractive when put through the right makeup, he can also be a character whom you actually hate (without even a tinge of, “Oh, but he’s a softy underneath!”). Basically, this guy just spends his time ruining the lives of otherwise-good girls with his selfish antics and inability to control his strange jealousy/anger/feeling of defeat in life. Sure, we’d all love Ryan Gosling to come show up at our work and humiliate us — but not unattractive, balding Ryan Gosling. That guy can stay at home on his barca lounger.
8. Jimmy McNulty, The Wire
While no one is arguing the entertainment factor of watching good ol’ McNulty crash his car into various hilarious locations, nail diner waitresses with increasing levels of inebriation, and be a totally irresponsible cad with his estranged wife/kids/”girlfriends” — it’s clear that no one should ever actually be subjected to this guy. Unless your idea of a good time is waiting up until four in the morning to have a slobbering-drunk detective come home and pass out in the kids’ room while he was trying to steal some diaper rash cream for what he thinks are his herpes, probably best to steer clear of this one.
9. Tom Sloane, Daria
Not only is Tom an elitist fop with a mother who openly looks down on Daria for her life choices/uncertainty about going to a stuffy liberal arts school, not only does he just fundamentally not get our perfect little be-spectacled ball of sarcasm, he came between the golden couple of Girl Crushes. The fact that any man almost ruined the beautiful, perfect friendship between Daria and Jane is an unforgivable sin — the fact that it was such a boring pseudo-intellectual is even worse. No, Tom. We’ll take Trent, thank you very much.
10. Don Draper, Mad Men
I don’t care how hot Don Draper is. Frankly he could be made out of liquid gold and red velvet cake, and it wouldn’t make dating him any less of a walk over a bed of flaming nails. How do you like the idea of constantly wondering who he is having sex with any second in which he is not directly in front of you? How about being treated like you’re a child who couldn’t possibly understand anything because you’re not a Big Strong Man with a Big Smart Penis? Oh, wait, you don’t like that — because that’s a terrible way to go through life, being constantly disrespected to your face? Yeah, you probably shouldn’t date Draper. Date Kenny Cosgrove, he’s adooorable.