Television makes for a vast assortment of character archetypes. There’s heroes, villains, and even anti-heroes. But, for every awesome, well-rounded character on TV, there’s their annoying, sniveling counterpart. Too many characters on TV have grinding our gears down to a science. From annoying next-door neighbors to whiney exes, and even a main character or two, there’s no shortage of characters who are just the worst.
Sometimes the annoying characters on a show grow on you and become someone you sorta kinda like. …And sometimes you’re so happy when they ride off into obscurity. Here are some of the most annoying TV characters to ever show up on TV screens and pester us!
16. Kimmy Gibbler, Full House
Sure, Kimmy (Andrea Barber) is just a kid when we meet here and kids are always annoying, but still — she’s next level. Kimmy is always letting herself into the Tanner household, even after being kicked out for the 100th time. Plus, it was a well-known fact that she had the stinkiest feet and no one needs that around. Luckily, Kimmy’s matured (mostly) in the shows revival, Fuller House.
15. Shannon Rutherford, Lost
Oh, Shannon (Maggie Grace), you spoiled little brat. After Oceanic 815 crashed and left the survivors stranded on an island, Shannon was basically useless. She ate the food, drank the water, and contributed very little besides about five words in French she happened to know. Her rich-girl entitled nature didn’t do her any favors on the island and she basically alienated everyone. Accept Sayid (Naveen Andrews), that is, who tried to humble her and befriended her. By the time she became an almost-normal human being, she was shot and killed by another survivor.
14. Newman, Seinfeld
There’s a reason Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) always half-growled his name when Newman (Wayne Knight) was around — was super annoying. His disdain for most of the gang, yet his insistence he be included in things, was confusing at best and infuriating at worst. Plus, he complained about absolutely everything and was just, in general, a sniveling human being. Sometimes he was useful, but most of the time? Complete dead weight trying to hang around.
13. Oliver Trask, The O.C.
Ugh, Oliver (Taylor Handley). Oliver was a rich boy who pretended he was charming and humble but was actually a legit psychopath. His antics to separate Ryan (Ben McKenzie) and Marissa (Mischa Barton) were so manipulative you couldn’t help but roll your eyes at everything he did. There was no benefit to his plotline, it was just pure ~drama~, but without the fun that drama usually creates. When he ends up holding Marissa at gunpoint because he was so obsessed with her, we all knew he needed to get TF out of our fave teen drama.
12. Henry Mills, Once Upon a Time
Like we said, kids on TV are pretty annoying in general, but Henry (Jared S. Gilmore) takes it to a whole new level. As the “true believer” who is supposed to make others realize and believe that they’re actually fairy tale characters, he comes off as a bit unhinged. He’s so eager to convince the town that he takes it overboard time and time again. So when they finally do break the curse and figure out their true identities, Henry’s got another plan Cobra or Eagle or Horse or whatever to solve some other mythical problem. The kid just won’t quit while he’s ahead. Being a believer is fine, but pushing your beliefs on everyone else is annoying. It also doesn’t help that the kid couldn’t act himself out of a paper box. There, I said it.
11. Joffrey Lannister, Game of Thrones
…Speaking of annoying kids. When you give an already pretty egotistical kid a modicum of power, you can expect his annoying level to shoot through the roof. By the time Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) became King of the Seven Kingdoms, the power didn’t just go to his head — it took up a residence and put down roots. Joffrey was a merciless killer and a total perve, and even his mom didn’t want to deal with him most days. He was also so petulant about getting what he wanted at all times that I can’t believe all the servants didn’t just walk into the ocean. Luckily, someone poisoned him at his own wedding and put an end to his tyrannical rule.
10. Janice Soprano, The Sopranos
Janice (Aida Turtturo) brings annoying to new heights as she also simultaneously is a horrible, horrible person. The self-serving narcissist only thinks about her next meal and what’s going to benefit her. She was a female version of her brother Tony (James Gandolfini), but without the mob life to justify her crappy behavior. What’s worse is that she constantly got herself into trouble, and had to get someone else to dig her out of it, just to do it all again. Cyclical destructive behavior is the worst.
9. Cousin Oliver, The Brady Bunch
Late additions to hit shows, especially kid additions, never end well. Cousin Oliver (Robert Rist) was the first inexplicable “cute kid” to be added to a show to try and jazz it up, to annoying results. This has become known as “Cousin Oliver Syndrome.” He was added to the show in its final season for the final six episodes, and he was unpopular right off the bat. Many blame the annoying kid for the show ending, and we can’t really blame them for jumping to that conclusion, TBH. The cousin was an unnecessary addition to a show that already had six kids on it! No one needs seven kids around. No one.
8. Skyler White, Breaking Bad
This one’s tricky because while Skyler (Anna Gunn) was annoying due to her nagging nature she also had a right to nag — her husband was a secret meth dealer doing all kinds of illegal stuff. But still, her lack of appreciation for her husband and her constant belittlement of him got pretty annoying no matter what he was doing on the side. Plus, she cheated on him! She gets a bad rap, one she didn’t exactly deserve, but I can guarantee you she’s no ones favorite Breaking Bad character.
7. Steve Urkel, Family Matters
Urkel (Jaleel White) is the OG annoying nerd on TV. Despite being hugely popular on the show, he’s pretty insufferable. His constant “did I do that?” refrain got old after like, the 100th time, but that didn’t stop him from saying it every. single. episode. He took the nerd schtick to extreme levels and the character became a caricature, making him all the more annoying. At least he eventually science-ed himself into a hotter, more mature Urkel. So that’s something.
6. Piper Chapman, Orange is the New Black
It’s hard to feel holier than thou when you’re serving time in prison but Piper (Taylor Schilling) somehow pulls it off. Her insistence that she’s better than everyone around her because of the type of crime she committed ignores the fact that she still committed a crime and is serving time behind bars. She goes around thinking her sh*t don’t stink and it’s infuriating. It only gets worse when she embraces her villainous side and starts being an actual criminal because she obvi thinks she’s the best ever at that, too. Ugh.
5. Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory
There’s only so long the “awkward nerd” thing will be funny until he gets annoying. For Sheldon (Jim Parsons), it was after the first episode of the show. Sheldon constantly puts others down and flaunts his intelligence, while citing his social ineptness as the reason. He’s mind-numbingly egotistical and don’t even get me started on “bazinga!” There are a lot of problematic things about The Big Bang Theory, but somehow the #1 reason we had to quit watching the show a while ago was Sheldon Cooper.
4. Janice Litman, Friends
Oh. My. God! Was she annoying. The grating voice; the nasally laugh; the insistence on ignoring personal space. Janice (Maggie Wheeler) was pure sensory overload. She was loud and boisterous and you could hear her coming from a mile away. She was so annoying and persistent that Chandler (Matthew Perry) had to fake moving to Yemen to finally break up with her! But it was equally as annoying of Chandler to keep going back to her, and even for Ross to date her for the short time he did!
3. Debbie Gallagher, Shameless
On a TV show about shameless people, Debbie (Emma Kenney) is the worst of them all. She’s going through her teen years but at about 10x the normal annoyingness rate of everyone else. She might be a teen mother, but you can be sure she’s hellbent on continuing to do the wild sh*t that got her into that mess in the first place. Plus, you know it means her kid’s going to be pretty messed up, too. Great. From one horrible decision to the next, Debbie never learns her lesson and it truly makes her one of the most annoyingly stunted characters on TV.
2. Screech, Saved by the Bell
He was annoying to the audience, annoying to his friends, and annoying to everyone he ever met or interacted with on Saved by the Bell. Screech (Dustin Diamond) was a pure ball of annoying formed into a gawky teen boy — and teen boys are annoying enough as it is! He made being a nerd look so bad that it gave geeks of all varieties a bad reputation, and that’s just rude. Why in the world were these people still friends with him well into college?!
1. Dawson Leery, Dawson’s Creek
When you’re a pre-teen boy and so sure you’re the next Steven Spielberg that you constantly preach on about your “art,” you’re going to be annoying AF. Dawson (James van der Beek) was so wrapped up in his “destiny” as a filmmaker and his teenage libido that he didn’t really care about anyone but himself. Even his so-called love for Joey (Katie Holmes) was more about possessing her than anything resembling actual love. Bonus: he has the most annoying cry face EVER.