Throughout the month of November, we’re soliciting readers’ help to definitively answer an age-old question: Who is the actual worst character on television? We reviewed your submissions, did our own research, and came up with a list of 32 characters across four different categories, who’ll go head to head over the next four weeks until one of them is crowned as the most despicable, unlikeable, flat-out awful (fictional) person on the small screen.
This bracket, while intended to determine the relative awfulness of characters on television, is subject to the fact that “worst” is a complex superlative that can incorporate a number of different qualities. In no way are we suggesting that being a narcissistic 20-something is equivalent to, say, killing people and eating them. Rather, our goal is simply to map out which of these fictional characters we love to hate and which we hate to love.
The Case for Marnie (Girls)
Why this character is the actual worst: When people use “pretty girls” as an epithet, they’re talking about girls like Marnie Michaels. She’s a high-strung, annoying perfectionist who jumps to judge others, while her own life is a professional and moral mess. She manipulates men into having sex with her out of insecurity, including at least two of her best friends’ ex-boyfriends. Worst of all, she’s fake, offering false-toned apologies and always performing for those she’s trying to impress.
Worst moment/s: Being drawn in by the artist Booth Jonathan with the worst pick-up line in all of history; singing a ballad-version of Kanye West’s “Stronger” at her newly successful ex-boyfriend’s work party to get his attention; every time she sleeps with someone else’s boyfriend. And: Marnie and Desi.
Worst trait/s: She’s taken with fame, flattered easily, and willing to make a jerk of herself to win approval—mostly from (really lame) men.
Redeeming moments/qualities: In spite of herself, Marnie can be generous. She’s the first of the girls to be really patient with Shosh; she pays Hannah’s apartment bills. They’re rare moments of non-self-absorption, but they’re redeeming. —Emma Green
The Case for Bevers (Broad City)
Why this character is the actual worst: Ugh, Bevers, whyyyyyy. Why do you have to ruin everything? Why do you have to be so gross? Why do you have to be such a freeloader? Why do you have to be so Bevers?
Worst moment/s: Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats the great shoe-pooping incident of season one, episode seven. Not even the time Bevers stupidly screwed up the one favor he could have done for Abbi—helping pick up her crush’s mail from that weird warehouse on North Brother Island.
Worst trait/s: Bevers has no boundaries. None. And he’s as clueless as he is shameless. He masturbates in the living room of an apartment where he does not live. He tries to whip it out at parties. He eats all of Abbi’s food—including ice cream while mostly naked in her bed when she's not home. And he POOPS IN HIS SISTER’S SHOE at a party, then lets Abbi take the fall for it in front of her crush. As Abbi put it to him: “You have a way of tainting everything I love.”
Redeeming moments/qualities: Even though everything Bevers touches turns into a disgusting bodily fluid, he actually means well. Bevers almost (chokes back vomit) has a certain sweetness to him. Which doesn’t make him any less revolting, but may count for something. Then again, ugh, Bevers. —Adrienne LaFrance