We all can probably agree that the actions and personalities of the main characters can make or break a TV show. It’s especially difficult to watch a character too annoying or selfish for their own good usurp screen time. Remember when Ross thought he and Rachel were on a break? It’s a saga we won’t soon forget.
These characters frustrate us to no end with their oblivion, but we tend to have a love/hate relationship with them. Sure, we could never be friends with these people ourselves, but one can’t deny that they make things interesting. Oftentimes they can be so oblivious to how awful they are that the irony makes for entertaining banter and snappy comebacks. However much we wish someone would just stand up to them and put them in their place, we know deep down that these selfish characters tend to make the show what it is.
16. Rachel Gattina, One Tree Hill
Rachel Gattina made everyone’s lives a living hell when she transferred to Tree Hill High School. Not only did she threaten Brooke’s spot as cheerleading captain, but she flirted with Lucas in front of his ex just to make her jealous. It’s exceedingly unclear whether or not she was actually ever interested in him. Not to mention, she also tried to seduce Nathan when he was with Haley. Rachel’s love of drama was in part responsible for the school shooting at the high school because she publicly released the time capsule that was supposed to be hidden for decades. Rachel is, for much of the series, a villain, and even though she changes for the better, viewers can’t forget how much of a mean girl she used to be.
15. Hannah Horvath, Girls
Hannah Horvath, played by Lena Dunham, is one of the most disliked TV characters of all time (we’d presume), due in part to her utter self-absorption and ability to turn any opportunity into one for herself. She tries hard to be a voice of the millennial generation and ends up seeming disingenuous when the only person she takes into consideration is herself. Case in point: when her book editor dies, rather than mourn his loss, she freaks out over the future of her book. Clearly, she’s not hardwired for basic emotion. She, and all of her friends, tbh, are pretty selfish human beings. It’s a good thing they found each other because no one else would put up with that sh*t.
14. Jenna Maroney, 30 Rock
Jenna Maroney was the star of The Girlie Show before Tracy Jordan came to the scene, and she was then forced to share the spotlight, much to her chagrin. She’s a narcissistic character who only cares about getting attention. She is the kind of person who will only do a good deed if it’ll benefit herself or her image and she often tries to sabotage Tracy’s plans for success if it means he will become more famous than her. While we respect the amount of hilarity she adds to the show, the whole looking-down-upon-everyone thing can be upsetting, to say the least.
13. Ryan Howard, The Office
Ryan is a piece of work. As a temp working at Dunder Mifflin, he genuinely thinks he’s better than everyone else there because he’s going to business school. And when he later becomes Michael’s boss and gets a job in corporate, his hubris becomes his downfall as he finds himself taking drugs and partying all the time, and later goes to jail for fraud. While his business practices are enough to put him in the “terribly selfish” category, the way he treats his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Kelly, is pretty damning as well. While they’re together, he takes her for granted. When she’s with someone else, he needs to get her back. Kelly herself isn’t the most selfless person on The Office, so maybe these two were made for each other.
12. Titus Andromedon, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Titus Andromedon is a pretty lovable character, we’ll give him that. That doesn’t mean he’s not selfish though. He’s often too self-absorbed to care about anyone else – even his besties. He constantly puts Kimmy Schmidt down even though they’re supposed to be best friends and his unwillingness to do menial work typically leaves Kimmy picking up his portion of the rent. C’mon, Titus, you gotta up your game here!
11. Ross Gellar, Friends
Ross Gellar is pretty terrible if we’re being honest. Sure, he has his moments of being an almost-decent guy, but his constant playing the victim and utter inability to take the blame for his actions makes a lot of his scenes too cringe-worthy to watch. Let’s talk about the whole “we’re on a break” debacle for a moment. Hours after a fight with Rachel, he gets drunk, and in a fit of jealous rage sleeps with pretty much the first woman he can find. Even if they were “on a break,” that’s immensely douchey and petty. He’s constantly judging his friends for how they live their lives – but has he stopped to judge himself for some of his less-than-stellar choices? We didn’t think so.
10. Chanel Oberlin, Scream Queens
It goes without saying that Chanel Oberlin, played by Emma Roberts, is probably worse than Regina George herself. She absolutely hates those beneath her, both socially and otherwise, wants all attention on her at all times and her pranks oftentimes take a turn for the worst. Her hazing of the new pledges as means of weeding out the weak links is downright disturbing and often left them vulnerable at the hands of the Red Devil. And the problem is that, unlike Regina who actually becomes good at the end of Mean Girls, Chanel is pretty irredeemable and unrepentant about her actions.
9. GOB Bluth, Arrested Development
GOB Bluth, played by Will Arnett, is one hot mess of a failed magician. Not only is he irresponsible, but he puts his own needs before his family’s and isn’t very helpful in trying to mitigate their financial problems. He’s a supremely bad influence on his nephew, George Michael, and has made some questionable decisions, especially in regards to his love life. Are we surprised that no one respects him in the family even though he’s the oldest? No, we’re not.
8. Lucille Bluth, Arrested Development
Lucille Bluth is a bit of a pill. She couldn’t care less that the family is in debt as long as it doesn’t impact her luxurious and extravagant lifestyle. She has smothered and coddled Buster to the point where he lacks basic socializing skills and has become entirely dependent on his mother. It’s a good thing the Bluths have each other because they’re all pretty terrible (with a few exceptions, of course).
7.Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Honestly, Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big deserved each other – only because being together means they don’t have to ruin anyone else’s lives with their self-absorption. Carrie is as whiny and entitled as they come. She’s not as aware of her surroundings as she pretends to be and tends to be completely oblivious to any problems outside of her own. This Sex and the City lead is often hailed as a trailblazer for the modern woman but her superficiality and woe-is-me attitude about her love life just makes her eye-roll-worthy.
6. Piper Chapman, Orange is the New Black
It’s kind of hard to take a white lady seriously when she calls herself a “gangsta.” Piper Chapman tends to be a walking cliche. She thinks she’s better than everyone else and her privilege and lack of self-awareness really shine on this series. She can be wildly manipulative and deceptive, not to mention seemingly unaware of the actual problems that plague her fellow inmates. Looks like prison doesn’t change EVERYONE.
5. Jim Halpert, The Office
Everybody loves Jim Halpert, don’t get me wrong, but he can be insanely selfish towards the others in the office, Dwight in particular, and sometimes even Pam. Not only does he make Dwight’s life a nightmare at work with his incessant (albeit hilarious pranks), but he does whatever he can to make his co-worker the laughing stock of those around him. And has anyone ever realized that many of his romantic gestures towards Pam are pretty absurd? Like, buying a house for someone is sweet, we guess, but that kind of decision should probably be made by a couple together, especially when they share funds. Then he takes the job in Philly without talking to Pam about it, and he prioritizes that career before his family one too many times. Seriously, Jim might be funny, but sometimes he can just be straight-up selfish.
4. Eric Forman, The ’70s Show
Eric Forman is kind of a jerk. He’s always getting his friends in trouble and unnecessarily pulls pranks on people. He may seem like the most “normal” of the bunch, but he uses that to his advantage and mistreats people because no one really calls him out it. Not to mention, he killed Donna’s cat and lied to her about it! … now that’s the makings of a sociopath.
3. Claire Dunphy, Modern Family
Claire is a sweet mom, daughter, sister, and wife, but her social skills need a little bit (okay, a lot!) of fine-tuning. She’s brash and insensitive towards those around her, especially her family, who she tends to take for granted. It’s like her go-to move is mocking those around her. Although she has a very close relationship with her brother Mitchell, every conversation they have is almost always about her. She’s funny on-screen, but would probably be pretty irritating to hang out with IRL.
2. Tom Haverford, Parks and Recreation
Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari, knows he’s selfish but acts that way anyway. He’s constantly insubordinate to Leslie, cares about extending his brand rather than doing the right thing, and he deliberately picks on Jerry Gergich to shift any unwanted attention away from himself. He’s reluctant to help anyone unless there’s something in it for him, and let’s not forget that one time he organized a business Meet and Greet for Leslie Knope… and then made it all about his company to save it from bankruptcy. On the one hand, his actions make it pretty unbelievable that he would have any friends in the first place, but his crazy schemes have given us some of the most iconic Parks and Recreation moments ever. Remember Snake Juice? Exactly.
1. Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl
Blair Waldorf, played by Leighton Meester, is called “Queen B” for a reason. She rules the Upper East Side with an iron fist and very rarely does anything if it’s not for her own benefit. She often sabotages her so-called “friends” to maintain her own power and thinks those with less money than her are also inferior. While she evolves over the course of the series, she’s the epitome of an “anti-heroine.” Her ability to callously blackmail people and turn her back on her friends when she feels the pangs of jealousy make it pretty obvious that she’d be a pretty awful friend to keep around.