6 TV Characters That Absolutely Everyone Despises

Like life itself, TV is packed to the brim with individuals we avidly love and adore, be it memorable cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and SpongeBob SquarePants or more relatable protagonists like Michael Scott and Saul Goodman. On the flip side of that same coin, certain characters seem to stand out in audiences’ memory for all the wrong reasons, with many viewers reserving a deep-seated hatred for these characters years–sometimes decades–later. From sadistic boy-kings to brash, loud-mouthed office employees, here are some of the most hated characters we’ve ever seen on television.

Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones)

HBO

When most people think of television characters they utterly despise, the image of a smirking Joffrey Baratheon is the first image that comes to mind. The sociopathic ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, Joffrey fulfills that age-old caricature of a spoiled boy-king to a T. Ignored by his father and pampered by his mother from the earliest days of his childhood, Joffrey spent his whole life preparing to take the Iron Throne, allowing him to terrorize his subjects without having to answer to anyone (including his own family).

Livia Soprano (The Sopranos)

HBO

When considering the landscape of pop culture, it becomes clear that Livia Soprano certainly isn’t winning any prizes for the best mom in television history. The aged matriarch of the Soprano family, Livia’s chief joy in life is making everyone around her miserable, be it her long-suffering son, Tony, or any one of her grandchildren. Constantly playing the victim in order to garner sympathy from her loved ones, Livia never passes up an opportunity to manipulate those closest to her, playing mental mind games with anyone unfortunate enough to fall into her geriatric clutches.

Todd Alquist (Breaking Bad)

AMC

Quite possibly the most realistic psychopath ever created, Todd Alquist might seem kindly and well-mannered on the surface, but as Breaking Bad fans readily know, he’s anything but. An emotionless professional criminal who hides behind his awkward, boyish charm, Todd has proven himself capable of committing atrocious acts with little hesitation and even less remorse. Whether gunning down women and children or psychologically torturing an imprisoned Jesse, few villains make viewers’ skin crawl quite like Walter White’s cold-blooded protege.

Scrappy-Doo (Scooby-Doo)

Hanna-Barbera

Introducing a new character into a beloved TV is always a risk, with some characters threatening to upset the dynamic of the original cast. In hindsight, Scrappy-Doo is a perfect example of this disastrous phenomenon, frustrating viewers for literal decades after his debut in 1979’s Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo. The polar opposite of his faint-hearted uncle, Scrappy-Doo’s grating voice and stout-hearted attitude didn’t exactly win audiences over in the 1970s, with the character later resurfacing in a more villainous role in 2002’s Scooby-Doo live-action movie. If that’s not evidence of his clear unpopularity as a character, we don’t know what is.

Todd Packer (The Office)

NBC

Deep down, it’s safe to say that everyone dreads the idea of working with someone like Todd Packer. The obnoxious, misogynistic, homophobic, racist traveling salesman at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch, Todd Packer has the ability to induce groans of annoyance within moments of wandering back on-screen. Whether harassing his fellow co-workers or telling disgusting, off-color jokes to his “best friend” Michael Scott, we can’t help but share the Scranton branch’s low regard for the Pack-Man, shaking our head every time he returns to The Office.

Ramsay Bolton (Game of Thrones)

HBO

Yes, we know it’s cheating picking two characters from the same TV show, but if there’s anyone who rivals Games of Thrones’ Joffrey Baratheon as the most hated character in television, it’s the eminent psychopath of The Dreadfort, Ramsay Bolton. Whereas Joffrey might be a weak-willed, cowardly bully who hides behind his rule title, Ramsay personally inflicts pain and suffering on any one of his victims, free from the restraints of morality or his influential position in House Bolton. A merciless sadist who’s tortured and/or murdered innocent men, women, and children with a gleeful smile on his face, few TV characters match Ramsay in terms of his loathsome personality or his horrific love of violence.


About the author

Richard Chachowski

Richard Chachowski is an entertainment and travel writer who has written for such publications as Fangoria, Wealth of Geeks, Looper, Screen Rant, Sportskeeda, and MDLinx, among many others. He received his BA from The College of New Jersey and has been a professional writer since 2020.