10 TV Characters Who Were Secretly Terrible People

Jim and Pam were not as "goals" as it might've seemed.

The Office Jim Halpert
Universal

When writing characters for television, it's very easy for both leads and supporting players to slide into easy caricatures.

The problem is that real people are intensely more complicated than TV show characters. The latter exist largely for a purpose, be that to entertain, to drive a story forward or, in many cases, to create drama with others. It's no wonder that many fictional characters end up as two-dimensional even if they didn't start that way, because when they settle into a groove of function they're much easier to identify.

Characters can be good, evil or somewhere on the sliding scale of morality between those points. However, despite being positioned on one end and framed in a way that viewers are meant to sympathise with them, some characters are just not as good as they first seem.

Just like real people then, characters can be flawed in ways that actually don't make them that likeable at all. In this list, we'll be looking at characters that audiences realised over time were actually not quite as nice as they first thought they were.

10. Ted Mosby - How I Met Your Mother

The Office Jim Halpert
CBS

How I Met Your Mother is the go to answer when it comes to shows that started out strong, lost their way and then imploded in the final few moments with one hell of a dud ending. It's also the easy first answer for protagonists that everyone got sick of.

The real issue with HIMYM is that it went on for far too long and the quaint little set-up of Ted Mosby telling his kids the story of how he met their Mother becomes a winding, sordid tell-all about his string of awful relationships. Along the way Ted obsesses over Robin on multiple different occasions, cheats on Victoria, dumps Natalie on her birthday twice and still complains that “nobody wants to be with the nice guy”.

Sure, the whole show is about Ted’s search for love but seven seasons of him pining and obsessing eroded the goodwill the original charm that his character had exuded.

Finally, whilst the mother of Ted’s children turns out to be wonderful, by the time we meet Tracy, audiences felt that Ted ultimately didn’t deserve her. She was too pure for this self-obsessed, neurotic jackass who, it turned out, was just telling the story to get permission from his kids to chase after their Aunt Robin again. Gross.

Contributor
Contributor

Painting pictures with words and writing articles with wax crayons. Resident Evil obsessed. She/they.