12 TV Main Characters Who Are the Reason You Hate Watch Shows

You don’t have to love a show to like a character, but an unlikable main character can make even a great show hard to watch. We wanted to know who was the most unlikeable main character of a TV show, according to fans, and we were definitely surprised by some of these responses!

This is one of those lists that could go on and on, so we picked the 12 most popular or interesting fan answers. Hopefully, no one you love has found their way onto this list!


Caillou, Caillou Loves the Fall.
Image Credit: PBS for Kids.

Shoutout to French Canadians here! My kids watched Caillou, and it definitely has a special place in my heart… And that place is at the deep, dark, black part where I hold my enemies close (or however the saying goes).

Whiney, annoying, and a common influence for bad behavior according to kindergarten teachers, Caillou has been a solid top contender for the most unlikeable main character of a TV show since 1997.

Mac, Charlie, Dennis, Frank, and Dee – It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Danny DeVito, Charlie Day, Rob McElhenney, Kaitlin Olson, and Glenn Howerton in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005).
Image Credit: FXX Network.

I’m actually so glad to see this one on here because it’s a rare example of unlikeable characters actively making the show better.

Someone on Reddit summed it up best, saying, “All five of them are goddamn trash, and I couldn’t love them more.”

Dr. Phil – The Dr. Phil Show

LOS ANGELES - MAY 13: Dr Phil McGraw at a ceremony where Steve Harvey is honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on May 13, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
Image Credit: Joe Seer/Shutterstock.

He might be meme-worthy lately, but anyone who’s seen the show knows just how unlikeable Dr. Phil can be. He’s obtuse, dismissive, and peddles a lot of problematic ideology. All this before you take into account that he’s exploiting vulnerable people!

So many people agreed, with others suggesting that Dr. Oz is an honourable mention as his runner-up.

Carrie Bradshaw – Sex in the City

Sarah Jessica ParkerMAX And Just Like That... Season 2 - Episode 3.
Image Credit: Craig Blakenhorn/Max.

As a writer, I hate Carrie Bradshaw for how ridiculously well-paid she appears to be for her column, but other folks had more nuanced reasons for disliking her. The most notable comment argued that Carrie is “entitled, shallow, and spoiled” and treated her friends badly.

Other commenters replied, adding their own examples from the show of times when Carrie was an absolutely awful friend. Despite this, Sex in the City is an insanely popular show – it just goes to show how often people look past bad characters in shows they love.

Dr. Smith – Lost in Space

Lost In Space. Parker Posey as Doctor Smith in episode 307 of Lost In Space.

This is referring to the original series when it was suggested, but I think it also applies to the Netflix remake too. Disliking Dr. Smith is kind of the point of the character, but it’s hard to understand why the other crew members didn’t just kill him (or her, in the new show) off.

Walter White – Breaking Bad

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) - Breaking Bad _ Season 5, Episode 13.
Photo Credit: Ursula Coyote/AMC.

I’m the first to debate anyone hating on Skyler, but Walter White is definitely a strong contender for most unlikeable main character of a TV show. Of course we can sympathize with his desperation, yes, but Walter was selfish and prideful – decisions that seriously put his family at risk over the series.

This is definitely the point of the character (and one of the reasons the show is so good!) but the love/hate relationship you get with Walter throughout the series is jarring, to say the least.

Bojack Horseman

Bojack Horseman
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

Another one that is kind of the point, Bojack Horseman is cruel, abusive, and all around unlikeable. What this show did right, though, was to show the viewer how people use their own pain to justify hurting others.

Sheldon Cooper – Big Bang Theory

Jim Parsons in The Big Bang Theory (2007).
Image Credit: CBS Entertainment.

The issue with Sheldon Cooper isn’t his nerdy-quirky self, it’s how he changed throughout the series. At the start, he seemed like someone we’ve all met before; particular, socially awkward, and possibly neurodivergent. As the show progressed from geek humor to more relatable situations, Sheldon transformed into someone no one should have wanted to be friends with.

One commenter echoed this sentiment, saying, “ I don’t know why they ever hung out with him.”. Someone else hilariously responded, “According to Howard “We liked Leonard *shrug*””

Funny, but still doesn’t make this main character likeable.

Scrappy Doo – Scooby Doo

Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979).
Image Credit: Worldvision Enterprises.

I don’t even know what the deal was with Scrappy Doo was. He was Scooby’s annoying nephew that starred alongside Scooby in one animated series. Thankfully most people agreed and that spinoff show only saw one season. Still, he’s left a lasting impression on fans of the series.

“The only puppy in the history of puppies that I have ever hated.” someone said.

Rory Gilmore – Gilmore Girls

Alexis Bledel in Gilmore Girls.
Image Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

Rory is one of the two “girls” in Gilmore Girls, and often considered to be the less likeable of the two. Most people who don’t like her said that she is immensely privileged; definitely, a trait that makes almost anyone unlikeable!

Others argued that the unlikeable writing was intentional. One commenter put it like this: “Rory was a fantastic fall from grace.”

Emily – Emily in Paris

Lily Collins as Emily in episode 306 of Emily in Paris

What is with this show? I keep finding myself shocked to see so many opinions on Emily in Paris floating around online. Some love the show, others completely detest the series – especially because they find the main character unlikeable.

This suggestion activated a lot of comments in agreement: “Emily is a self absorbed over privileged bully. She has ruined everything in Paris.”

Dr. House – House

Hugh Laurie in House (2004).
Image Credit: NBC.

I love House as a show, but the character is definitely meant to be abrasive (at best). I think House is an exaggerated collection of several stereotypes: the arrogant doctor who gets away with poor bedside manner because he’s good at his job, a genius who’s insufferable to hang around with but is unquestionably brilliant, and an addict destroying his relationships.

“A person like that in real life would be unbearable.” someone said of Dr. House.

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Kim Dickens as Madison Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 6.
Photo Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC.

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Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men.
Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC.

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Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
Image Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

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Outer Banks. Rudy Pankow as JJ in episode 303 of Outer Banks

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Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. Sarma Melngailis in Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

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