4 Times Teen TV Boyfriends Were The Absolute Worst

These teen TV boyfriends portray themselves as the ultimate nice guys, but they also showcase abhorrent behavior at times.

Since the dawn of time – okay, maybe since the launch of The WB – teen dramas sneak into our hearts and refuse to ever leave. They take the guest room and soon feature in every discussion as these characters become family. The guys on the shows, in particular, turn into archetypes – whether it be to show how boyfriends should behave or what someone should expect from their partner.

It’s a lot of pressure for teen TV boyfriends, though. They mess up along the way, don’t always pick the right love interest, and disappoint the viewers who expected better from them. Heck, in a few cases – looking at you, Dan Humphrey – they’re trash to begin with and hindsight proves to be 20/20 here. So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at the times in which the most popular teen TV boyfriends totally sucked.

Gossip Girl‘s Dan Humphrey is an origin story for You‘s Joe Goldberg

The CW

Dan Humphrey presents himself as an outsider – “Lonely Boy.” He holds himself to higher moral standards than everyone else, believing to be above the superficial nature of the lives and times of the people from the Upper East Side. Even so, Dan desperately wants to be a part of this world and be accepted for who he is rather than what he does. By the end of the series, though, he achieves this, but he’s also revealed to be Gossip Girl – the Perez Hilton-like website leaking all the personal information about the people around him. 

Here’s the problem, though. While Dan thinks his actions as Gossip Girl serve a greater purpose and mirror society’s problems, he’s a total creep. Not only is he a snitch who can never be trusted again in any friend circle, but he also displays worrisome stalker tendencies as he lurks in the shadows to gather dirt on everyone – including the girl(s) he supposedly loves. This dude doesn’t know the meaning of ride or die, that’s for sure. The more one thinks about it, his actions as Gossip Girl are the same behaviors Joe Goldberg displays in You – and both characters happen to be played by the same actor, Penn Badgley. Joe also presents himself as the intelligent and witty guy with a strong distaste for the superficial; however, he’s a liar and murderer who rationalizes his actions by blaming “society.” Hmm… Sounds oddly familiar – apart from the murderer part – doesn’t it? Don’t be surprised if Dan’s little website is the gateway for him to unlock the rest of his incel tendencies as Joe. 

One Tree Hill‘s Lucas Scott nearly ruins Brooke Davis’ entire life

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Look, anyone with a set of eyes knows Lucas “Luke” Scott wants to be with Peyton Sawyer. He looks at her differently, and it’s clear she’s the one who makes his heart sing. So, this is what makes his actions in One Tree Hill Season 1 even more perplexing as he hooks up with Peyton’s best friend, Brooke Davis. While Brooke pursues and flirts with Luke, she never hides how she feels about him to Peyton – quite the contrary. Luke and Brooke become an item, as Brooke showers him with affection and admits to falling for him – truly, madly, deeply. However, the expected happens here: He sneaks around with Peyton and cheats on Brooke.

Before Peyton and Luke can come clean to Brooke, Luke is involved in a car accident that nearly claims his life. Who’s at his hospital bedside the whole time? Brooke. The moment he’s back home, though, he breaks up with Brooke – deciding life’s too short and he wants to be with Peyton. Oh, how noble and considerate of you, Luke. It also doesn’t take too long for Brooke to put one and one together and figure out he was cheating on her with Peyton. So, not only does she lose a boyfriend, but also a best friend. Talk about a double blow. However, this isn’t even the capper. After Brooke finds it in her heart to forgive both Luke and Peyton, she even gives him another chance later on. So, what does he do? He repeats history. Scumbag.

The O.C.‘s Seth Cohen toys with Anna Stern and Summer Roberts


Much like One Tree Hill‘s Luke, Seth Cohen makes it no secret of who his person is: Summer Roberts. However, he complicates matters when Anna Stern comes along. Seth and Anna share a lot more in common than he does with Summer. In fact, Anna gives him one of the nicest gifts ever: A comic book created about him and his toy horse, Captain Oates. Seth bounces between both girls until they rightfully force him to make a choice. Heck, even the Backstreet Boys agree: Seth needs to quit playing games with their hearts. Ultimately, Seth picks Anna, but their union doesn’t last too long.

To be fair, Summer plays a huge role in breaking up Anna and Seth, as she involves herself in their relationship and stirs up trouble. However, it’s Anna who realizes that Seth’s heart belongs to Summer and breaks up with him. Still, Seth’s actions prove to be selfish in the long run because he never could put Summer out of his head, and dedicate himself to his current relationship. He held an infatuation with Anna because she liked the same things as him and gave him attention. He leads her on to believe they could be something more than friends, when he should have not done so to begin with if he had doubts.

Riverdale‘s Archie Andrews wants to keep his options open all the time

The CW

As a series, not much makes sense in Riverdale. It’s a “go with it” type of concept, as the show teeters between surreal and ridiculous. Expectedly, the relationships between the characters become soap opera-esque as no one can keep up with who’s dating who (the Forresters have nothing on the citizens of Riverdale). One of the biggest culprits is Archie Andrews. Much like in the comics, the popular redhead struggles to decide between Betty Cooper or Veronica Lodge. So, what does he do? He hops between them like he’s a penguin from Happy Feet, and expects them to be available for him.

What’s atrocious about Archie’s behavior is how he’ll have the “let’s be friends” speech with someone like Betty, who is his childhood friend, then change his mind a moment later. Betty is also at fault here, though, as she plays the games with him and doesn’t tell him to pick a lane and stick to it. These two simply cannot decide what they want to be: Friends or more. In the interim, people like Veronica and Jughead Jones prove to be collateral damage to Barchie‘s indecision about how to label themselves. Without a shadow of a doubt, this is a prime example of why people shouldn’t date within their friend circle, as it always leads to problems in the end. With billions of individuals in this world and online dating apps showcasing others nearby, it’s okay to expand the search beyond the same four people you hang out with every day.

About the author

Sergio Pereira

Sergio is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies, television, video games, and comic books for over a decade and a half. Outside of journalism, he is an award-winning copywriter, screenwriter, and novelist. He holds a degree in media studies and psychology.