1) Ross Geller (Friends)
Don’t get me wrong, I love Friends. I’ve dedicated an embarrassing portion of my life to finding a coffee shop as cute as Central Perk. But if I were to rank my favorite “Friends” from best to worst, Ross Geller would come in dead last, right behind Chandler’s creepy boss and the “Numb Nuts” guy that knocked up Joey’s sister. The man is not only self-righteous, but downright annoying. His tendency to lie himself into a corner is amusing, but only because I’m not involved in any of his painfully awkward encounters. Most of the characters are guilty of this same crime (Chandler lied his way to Yemen, for God’s sake) but not to the same extent as Ross.
2) Valerie Cherish (The Comeback)
Valerie Cherish on HBO’s The Comeback has some redeemable qualities. She loves Mickey and her husband just barely more than she loves fame, and she possesses a level of optimism and determination that almost rivals that of Leslie Knope. She is, however, also a bit of a nut, which is endearing as long as you’re watching her from the safety of your living room. Valerie’s obsession with the cameras and her desire to appear perfect would drive most people in real life to the point of insanity. “Yes, Valerie, I do mind that you put a camera in my bathroom. My morning routine involves flossing and I want that to stay between me and my mirror.”
3) Tom Haverford (Parks and Rec)
Out of all the ridiculous plot arcs on Parks and Rec, the most unbelievable has to be the one where Ann dates Tom, because why would someone so beautiful date someone who makes up his own “gangster” names for ordinary objects and can’t stay “unplugged” for more than 2 seconds? While Haverford is one of the most entertaining characters on the show, his presence in real life would make me want to call up his parents and reprimand them for raising such an obnoxious child. (Radio Roomba was pretty ingenious, though. I’ll give him that.)
4) Jenna Maroney (30 Rock)
There are some fictional friendships that I simply do not understand. Liz Lemon and Jenna Maroney’s is one of them. I understand that they’ve been friends for a long time, but that doesn’t explain how Liz can put up with Jenna’s outrageous behavior. I mean, she’s quite literally bloodthirsty. She has overtly referenced poisoning someone at least one or two times. While Jenna may have some of the most well-crafted one-liners in the show, that would not be enough to maintain a friendship in real life. I don’t care how beautifully she sings.
5) Sheldon Cooper (Big Bang Theory)
Sheldon Cooper is smarter than me. If I were friends with him, I’m confident he would remind me of this fact at least three times a day. This might be acceptable if, instead of Sheldon Cooper, he were actually Sherlock Holmes (read: cute Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes), but he’s not.
6) Jackie Burkhart (That 70s Show)
Jackie Burkhart is the kind of girl mothers warn you about. She’s sassy, she’s brutally honest, and she’s mischievous, which means she’d have no problem peer pressuring you into doing something ridiculous and then mocking you for it afterwards. Watching others suffer at the hands of Jackie’s bitter attitude is great, but being on the receiving end of her wrath would make sitting around in that basement all day even worse than I already imagine it is. (Unless you like having all of your furniture smell like weed.)
7) Peter Griffin (Family Guy)
Family Guy is a brilliantly written show. It’s perhaps, dare I say it, better than The Simpsons. But Peter’s stupidity would be catastrophic in reality. Children would be dead, towns would be leveled, and lives would be destroyed. (I might be thinking of Godzilla, actually, but it’s the same idea.) Plus, I can’t imagine how obnoxious Peter’s cutaway stories would be, especially if he tried to act them all out.
8) Michael Scott (The Office)
My tolerance for “That’s What She Said” jokes is pretty low, which means my tolerance for Michael Scott would also be pretty low. The Scranton native’s crude humor and absurd requests may seem lovable, but if, instead of a fictional character, he were your real-life boss, you may not be as understanding.
9) Gregory House (House M.D.)
Dr. House says what every doctor wants to say. That’s what makes him so admirable as a character. But imagine being one of his patients in real life? Imagine walking into the clinic and hearing your doctor call you dumb-witted, moronic, and “a big fat liar?” You can’t, because he’d probably be fired before he had the chance.
10) Jayne Cobb (Firefly)
Jayne has a loyalty problem, fueled by his greed and his general disdain for everyone. I don’t care how funny he is; his jokes aren’t going to get you out of goosegow after he sells you out to the government for a few hundred bucks.
Some characters are great on TV. Most of them should stay there. What characters do you think would be insufferable?