At this point, it’s kind of going out of style to fall for the bad boy. Trying to get with the person who is the exact wrong match for you is like, so 2010. We’re all about the nice guy (and not the “Nice Guy” who’s actually a manipulative POS deep-down) these days. You know, the one who wants to take things at your own pace and likes to hang out with your friends because he thinks they’re funny. The one who stands up for women’s rights when his buddies inadvertently say misogynistic things and won’t play hard to get because he knows it’ll get him nowhere. That’s the guy we’re looking for — not the one who flirts with your frenemy to make you jealous and leaves out of the blue to “find himself” with no thought of your feelings.
So we’ve figured out that the bad boys (and the bad boys in-disguise as nice guys) are no good, but you want to know who sadly never got the memo? Some of our favorite TV characters. In fact, some of these women have such awful taste in men it would actually be funny — if it weren’t so damn depressing (and mildly relatable). These 17 leading ladies on television, love ’em or hate ’em, have the worst-of-the-worst taste when it comes to their love interests and it’s about time they were called out for it so that we can avoid the same mistake.
1. Robin Scherbatsky on How I Met Your Mother
Notable Love Interests: Ted Mosby, Barney Stinson, Simon Tremblay, Don Frank, Kevin Venkataraghavan, Nick Podarutti
I mean — come on! We’ve already gone into depth about why Ted absolutely sucks (cliff notes version: he’s whiny and self-indulgent) and Barney’s an ass who admittedly manipulates women into having sex with him. Her other love interests include Simon (AKA James Van Der Beek), who is a tool going nowhere in life and Don, her unprofessional co-worker who takes the job she was initially offered in Chicago without even talking to her about it first. They’re all the worst and Robin could’ve done better.
2. Marnie Michaels on Girls
Notable Love Interests: Charlie Dattolo, Desi Halperin, Ray Ploshansky
Okay let’s just look at the facts: she gets bored of Charlie (which, fine, it happens) but no matter what you think of him — things only get worse from there. She begins hooking up with Desi while he’s dating another woman, and aside from that, despite his originally sweet demeanor — he eventually reveals himself to be a manipulative piece of $h*!. Let’s not even get into it with her hook up with Ray, you know, her friend’s ex? Aside from major love interests, there’s also Booth Jonathan who — stupid name aside — is just a cocky artist when push comes to shove. Basically, every person she has anything with is garbage.
3. Hannah Horvath on Girls
Notable Love Interests: Adam Sackler
Hannah is probably one of the most controversial TV characters we’ve ever seen and being completely honest, her taste in guys didn’t help her case at all. There was Adam, who started out their relationship treating her like a doormat, supports himself with the money his grandmother sends him every month (scrub alert) and then winds up hooking up with her friend. Sure, he’s hot — but we’ve gotta admit that if a guy starts things off treating you like crap, then he will probably wind up treating you like crap in the end, too. She does date Sandy for a whole two episodes — before realizing that him being conservative is a total dealbreaker. Some of her shorter relationships include Jessa’s underage cousin, the boring lover in Michigan, Eric, and Paul-Louis who’s got a girlfriend he’s in an open relationship with but fails to tell her about it. We’ll give Hannah that Fran was an OK guy.
4. Marissa Cooper on The O.C.
Notable Love Interests: Luke Ward, Ryan Atwood, D.J., Kevin Volchok
Marissa definitely had a thing for bad boys. Let’s excuse Ryan from her “bad taste” list because let’s face it — with looks like those, any of us would have a crush. Even if he did have some temper issues. She dates D.J., her gardener, who was actually pretty sweet — but basically only did it as an act of rebellion because it pissed her mom off. Then there was Luke, her boyfriend who slept with her mom, and Volchok — the Grade-A douchebag who cheated on her with the girl from 90210 at her own prom, stole thousands of dollars in after-prom money from Taylor while he was at it, and — oh right — is instrumental in Marissa’s eventual death (spoiler alert). Marissa had a thing for bad boys and sad as it is, that thing wound up getting her killed.
5. Serena Van Der Woodsen on Gossip Girl
Notable Love Interests: Dan Humphrey, Nate Archibald, Gabriel Edwards, Carter Baizen, Colin Forrester, Tripp Vanderbilt, Steven Spence, Aaron Rose, Ben Donovan
Let’s look at the facts — her husband Dan was Gossip Girl, the cyber-stalker who exposed secrets about Serena and all of her friends for years, Ben was the reason her mother went to jail, Gabriel was cheating on her with his celeb ex-girlfriend, Steven had a daughter and had slept with her mother, Tripp left her in a crashed vehicle and… do I really need to go on? Serena’s love life was a mess — Nate was seriously the only semi-good guy she ever got with and they slept together for the first time when he was dating her best friend. So… case closed.
6. Hannah Baker on 13 Reasons Why
Notable Love Interests: Justin Foley, Clay Jensen
Hannah’s own friend, Kat admits that Hannah has bad taste in guys. That’s kind of the whole crux of the show — if she had given the “Good Guy,” Clay, a chance then perhaps her outcome would’ve been completely different. I don’t totally buy it, but I believe that Kat was telling the truth when she said Hannah was always crushing on the wrong person.
7. Fiona Coyne on Degrassi
Notable Love Interests: Riley Stavros, Bobby Beckonridge
TBH, Fiona could’ve dated absolute princes (and princesses) for the whole series and she would’ve wound up on this list because of her decision to kiss her twin brother at a party. Sure, she was drunk but that screams “bad taste” IMHO. To make matters worse, she also dates Bobby, who winds up being a lying, cheating, piece of garbage abuser. Luckily, once Fiona starts dating other women, she tends to have better luck.
8. Daphne Vasquez on Switched at Birth
Notable Love Interests: Liam Lupo, James “Wilke” Wilkerson III, Emmett Bledsoe, Jeff Reycraft, Jace, Mingo
Wilke’s sweet and clearly cares for Daphne a lot but he never bothers with sign language and kind of acts like Daphne’s deafness isn’t a huge part of her life, then there’s Jeff, who’s age-inappropriate, Emmett is her best friend-turned-crush who’s constantly jerking her kind-of sister, Bay around, and then there’s that time love almost puts Daphne in prison! At this point, a girl her age should’ve just stayed single for the entirety of the show.
9. Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City
Notable Love Interests: Mr. Big, Aidan Shaw, Jack Berger
Team Big or Team Aidan? How about Team None Of Them because they’re all kind of the worst? If you don’t remember Jack, you’ll probably remember him as “Post-It Guy” AKA the one who broke up with her on a Post-It and said, “Don’t hate me.” Yes, Big is basically a sociopath who proves time and time again that he doesn’t give an eff about Carrie — yet she still keeps coming back to him. But in some ways, Aidan was a worse match for the writer. Sweet, but kind of clingy. In fact, he kind of made Carrie look like the Mr. Big. Maybe the reason why all of Carrie’s love interests sucked is that she sucked, but that’s a conversation for another day.
10. Blair Waldorf on Gossip Girl
Notable Love Interests: Chuck Bass, Dan Humphrey, Louis Grimaldi, Marcus Beaton, Nate Archibald
Blair’s love story didn’t exactly start strong when she was attempting to lose her virginity to Nate, who had slept with her best frenemy while they were still together during season one of Gossip Girl. Then there was the whole on-again, off-again romance with Chuck — her eventual husband — who tried to pimp her out in order to get his hotel back. Marcus, who she was only dating to make Chuck jealous, was getting nasty with his stepmom and Blair’s ex-husband, Louis still marries her after Gossip Girl (another one of her boyfriends in disguise) blasts out a video of her professing her love to Chuck, only to try and blackmail her into staying with him publicly for as long as he wants. You sure know how to pick ’em, Blair!
11. Lizzie McGuire on Lizzie McGuire
Notable Love Interests: Ethan Kraft, Ronny, Paolo Valisari, David Zephyr “Gordo” Gordon
Let’s talk about the fact that Gordo waits patiently as Lizzie falls for and dates the wrong guy over and over again while completely overlooking her connection with Gordo until the last possible second. Ethan Kraft is literally dumber than a rock but Lizzie can’t seem to get enough of him. There’s the brief fling with paperboy Ronny, Lizzie’s first boyfriend, who breaks up with her because there’s a girl he likes at his own school and doesn’t know if he has the time to have a girlfriend (you’re in 7th-grade — you definitely ‘have the time’). When they break up Gordo totally consoles her (and low-key professes his love for her) which she ignores.
Add that pop star psychopath, Paolo to the list from The Lizzie McGuire Movie and you’ve got yourself a complete set of scumbags! Sure, she eventually learns to love the perfect guy for her, Gordo, but it takes her damn lot longer than it should have.
12. Aria Montgomery on Pretty Little Liars
Notable Love Interests: Ezra Fitz, Noel Kahn, Jake
Our confidence in Aria’s taste in guys is pretty much derailed by the fact that she dated her problematic and creepy teacher up to the point where they (spoiler alert) got married in the end. Add Noel into the mix who’s described by the liars as immature off the start — and it’s revealed that not only did he know Ally was alive, but he helped Charlotte and pushed a girl down the stairs when drunk.
Then there was Jake, who actually was a good guy that Aria took for granted. So that speaks for itself.
13. Elena Gilbert on The Vampire Diaries
Notable Love Interests: Stefan Salvatore, Damon Salvatore
As if falling for two brothers wasn’t bad enough, add the idea that they’re two vampire brothers and you’ve found yourself someone who has self-destructive tendencies when it comes to dating. If only she stuck with sweet Matt Donovan, then she maybe wouldn’t have died and come back as a vampire so young.
14. Sarah Braverman on Parenthood
Notable Love Interests: Seth Holt, Mark Cyr, Hank Rizzoli
Seth was the dead-beat-dad to Sarah’s children who Sarah had to leave after his drug dependency got out of hand. Mark was her daughter’s teacher and dating him ruffled a lot of feathers. Hank was her boss who hired her on a whim. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem like an example of healthy dating patterns to me.
15. Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls
Notable Love Interests: Dean Forrester, Jess Mariano, Logan Huntzberger, Paul
Everyone everywhere knows that Rory Gilmore’s love life is constantly a topic of debate and who you think she should’ve ended up with is an endlessly controversial topic. But when push comes to shove, they were all the worst! Dean was a controlling, immature and insecure guy masquerading as Superboyfriend. Jess was the bad boy with the soft center who refused to open up, and Logan was kind of a mix of the two who had all the best and all the worst qualities that her other exes did. Oh and Paul?! Literally WTF.
16. Buffy Summers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Notable Love Interests: Angel, Riley Finn, Spike
Two vampires and a supernatural-fighting military man with confidence issues. They all sound like winners to me. Angel was way too tormented and brute-y, plus there was the whole him turning evil and murdering her friends after they had sex thing. Briefly, between Angel and Riley, she slept with Parker who turned out to be a total womanizing garbage person but she fell for him hard.
Riley showed promise in the beginning… until he started paying female vampires to feed off of him (a complete analogy for cheating) because Buffy’s mom died and she was growing distant. He then left Buffy when she couldn’t decide immediately if she could forgive him for it.
We also had Spike, who, say what you want about him not having a soul at first — tried to kill her several times, tried to kill her friends several times and then tried to rape her after they’d been sleeping together consentually. It was a mess.
17. Daenerys Targaryen on Game of Thrones
Notable Love Interests: Xaro Xhoan Daxos, Hizdahr zo Loraq, Ser Jorah Mormont, Daario Naharis, Khal Drogo, Jon Snow
Of all the people in the GoT universe, Daenerys has got to have the worst taste in lovers… ever. Yes, Drogo was a by-the-book case of Stockholm syndrome so you can’t really blame her for that one, but Hizdahr treats Daenerys like a straight-up dumbass in public and thrives off of slavery. Then there’s the banished knight, who is honestly just creepy with his obsession over Daenerys, Daario is pushy and jealous, and Jon Snow is — well — her nephew so that’s no good either.