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28 TV Characters Who Started Off As Fan Favourites, But Ended Up Being The Absolute Worst

Such good potential, but it all went down the drain.

Recently, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which of their fave TV characters started out good, but then ended up being terrible. Here's what they had to say!

1. Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

Closeup of Rory, who is dressed in a blue dress
Warner Bros

In the first three seasons, Rory is sweet, kind, learns from her mistakes and is an all round lovely character. She was also such a role model for me, showing that you could still be cool while loving books and wanting to do well at school.

Then Rory goes to college and loses her damn mind. She becomes insanely arrogant and treats people quite horribly sometimes. Plus, she makes some really weird choices (especially over boys) and never learns from anything she does. Don't even get me started on her character in the revival — I'm pretty sure she got replaced with an alien in disguise.


2. Ted Mosby from How I Met Your Mother

Close up of Ted who is wearing a black suit and tie

In the beginning, Ted was a hopeless romantic and sort of adorkable guy who just wanted to find his dream girl and live happily ever after. But his character became so annoying and self-righteous through the seasons. He dated countless women, but would judge Barney about sleeping around.

Ted was picky and shallow and he would play the victim when he screwed up a relationship. He went in circles from being in a serious relationship, breaking up, hooking up with random girls and then back to wanting true love again. It became exhausting after nine years, especially when it all led up to that terrible finale.


3. Tina Cohen-Chang from Glee

Close up of Tina who is leaning her arm against a piano and talking to Artie

From Season 4 onwards, Tina just became heartless, desperate and self-obsessed.


4. Randall Pearson from This Is Us

Randall sitting at an outdoor table; he is calling someone on his phone and looking into the distance

Randall started out as my favourite character, but by Season 5 I hated him. He became so self-righteous and wanted everything his way, even if it meant sacrificing his relationship with his siblings.


5. Debbie Gallagher from Shameless

Debbie standing in her home; she is wearing overalls with a flannel on top

They turned Debbie's character into such a twat on Shameless.


6. Owen Hunt from Grey's Anatomy

Owen wearing scrubs and a stethoscope

When Owen first entered Grey's Anatomy, he was respectable and self-assured. Plus, he seemed like a fitting partner for Cristina because he was super supportive towards her career and could keep up with her independent nature. But, his character drastically changed over time.

The two events that made me lose respect for Owen were when he screamed at Cristina for having had an abortion in front of her friends and when he cheated on her. In my book, these are two really unforgivable things to do. Although, it seems as if the tables are turning against him because in the most recent season we see that he was now cheated on. Sucks, but karma's a bitch!


7. Veronica Lodge from Riverdale

Veronica wearing her cheerleading uniform
The CW

As someone that still watches Riverdale (seriously, don't ask me why — I've started it, so I must continue with it), Veronica is definitely someone that started with so much promise, but has become increasingly more annoying in the later seasons. When she's not mentioning her father — Hiram Lodge, in case you didn't know — in every sentence, she's running a billion side hustles. Now, don't get me wrong, I love the fact that Veronica is a power-hungry female icon — but it just feels so unrealistic to have a high school teenager doing all of this while playing detective and getting good grades. Also, I'm still not over that RIDICULOUS Varchie shower sex scene.

Isha Bassi

8. Gina Linetti from Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Gina is sitting at her desk while holding her phone to watch something on it; she is looking off into the distance

When I started watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine a good five years ago, I thought Gina was hilarious. But, as the show went on and the other characters grew, it was striking how little she changed to the degree that she was no longer funny, but just rude. Plus, I found similarities between her and the kinds of people who bullied me in school. I know she'd make me feel terrible if she were a real person.


9. Andy Bernard from The Office

Andy with a confused and angry expression on his face

I genuinely thought Andy was funny when he was first introduced and I liked how he was always singing. He drove me crazy in the end and I'll never forgive him for how he treated Erin.


10. Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen from Game Of Thrones

Jon and Daenerys standing together in the snow, looking into the distance

Jon and Daenerys had the most disappointing end to their character arc. They both had to go through so many terrible hurdles before they were recognised as the powerful leaders they were. What could have been a power couple ended in a rush with Daenerys becoming the mad queen and Jon becoming a spineless, broken tape recorder with just one line throughout the season.


I LOVED Jon for so much of GoT. He used to have integrity and strength in his beliefs and decision, but in the last two seasons he was basically reduced to an inactive, indecisive, whiny and frankly kind of dumb character.


11. Piper Chapman from Orange Is The New Black

Piper using the payphone while in prison

I get why people were annoyed by Piper, but I GENUINELY LIKED her character. Her naiveté and perky, basic (and highly privileged) attitude was humorous, but also engaging and realistic. But, as fans (rightfully) protested the focus on Piper over the assortment of diverse and complex secondary characters, I think the writers sort of leaned into that dislike and just turned her into this one-dimensional, annoying and devious character, without any redeeming qualities. It's a bummer because I think the show could have broadened its focus, while still keeping Piper an interesting, if flawed, character.


12. Ben Chang from Community

Chang smiling at the camera while holding an open book at his desk

Chang started out as this weird, trying to be cool Spanish teacher, but then eventually turned into either an idiot who wanted to be part of the study group more than anything or an evil tyrant type. I preferred him badly teaching Spanish.


13. Haley Marshall (née Dunphy) from Modern Family

Hayley standing at a room door while looking confused and shocked

Hayley had a lot of development for most of the show and became a character that I quite enjoyed. But, the last season completely ruined her character. I will never forgive the writers for making her end up with Dylan.


14. Xander Harris from Buffy The Vampire Slayer

20th Century Fox

When I was growing up, I loved Xander. But, while rewatching Buffy recently, it was hard to understand why. He was great in the beginning, but eventually contributes nothing to the Scooby gang. All Xander did was bitch about (insert any Buffy love interest here) and spouted one liners that were supposed to make us forget that he was a garbage person who either just waits for Buffy to save him or goes full throttle into a situation with no plan. He also cheated on Cordelia and ditched Anya ON THEIR WEDDING DAY! He does get snaps for causing the musical episode though.


15. Nancy Botwin from Weeds

Nancy calling someone while in a public bathroom

Nancy went from doing all she could to keep her family afloat, to making the most selfish and dangerous decisions for the thrill of it, leaving her family in tatters. It makes it so hard to root for Nancy or even watch the show.


16. Blaine Anderson from Glee

Blaine dressed in his Warblers' uniform

Blaine started out really kind and his relationship with Kurt was sweet, but then it all deteriorated. They turned him into a cheater who spends the latter half of the series obsessing over Kurt. That’s literally it. They used him for every song, but didn’t bother giving him a meaningful story other than "I must be with Kurt at all costs", despite the fact they couldn’t stand each other! Also dating the love of your life’s high school bully is a weird flex.

Nothing his character did made any sense and the show never dealt with his erratic behaviour other than a brief therapy mention.


17. Ross Geller from Friends

Ross sitting down on a couch, with his mouth open
Warner Bros / NBC

I love Friends, but Ross is my least favourite character. He was just so toxic with the whole "we were on a break" thing. He didn't deserve Rachel.


18. Rafael Solano from Jane The Virgin

A close up of Rafael; he is dressed in a white patterned shirt
The CW

Tbh, I never had a strong attachment to Rafael, but by Season 4 I could see he had grown as a person and would make an acceptable match for Jane. All of that was screwed up in Season 5 when Michael returned from the dead. Rather than giving Jane the support she needed for such a stressful and absurd situation, Rafael became jealous and manipulative. It also became very clear how much he favoured his son with Jane over his daughters with Petra. A terrible parent and boyfriend.


19. Danny Castellano from The Mindy Project

Mindy and Danny lying down in bed together; Mindy is holding Danny's arm, while he looks straight into the distance

Danny was a great boyfriend at times, but his desire to control Mindy and even take her birth control to try get her pregnant was insane and so toxic.


20. Sabrina Spellman from Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina

A closeup of Sabrina smirking and winking at the camera

When I first started watching the new Sabrina, she seemed whip-smart, cunning and considerate. Then, as things progressed, it felt as though every other character grew and improved while she seemed to go from stupid decision to stupid decision. By the end, it was like she had to be spoon-fed by her friends and allies into a victory.


21. Dan Humphrey from Gossip Girl

Dan dressed in his school uniform and looking to the side
The CW

Dan started out as such a genuinely kind and humble dude, but in the later seasons he was terrible. He became a self-righteous and entitled idiot! And the fact that no one seemed surprised that he was Gossip Girl at the end?! Bleh, hate him!


22. Castiel from Supernatural

A closeup of Castiel, who is wearing a jacket, white shirt and tie
The CW

This is probably an unpopular opinion, but Castiel from Supernatural! He had this incredible badass entrance and was this powerful, diverse character. Then, as the show progressed he got so watered down and was completely useless and lost. Not to mention that in the later seasons he constantly made the wrong choices because he couldn't get it together. At one point, it was part of his story arc, but then he just never recovered and became a lame character.


23. Bernadette Rostenkowski from The Big Bang Theory

Brittany holding a carton of milk; she's sitting down at a table and there's a "Smile" mug on the desk

Bernadette started off as a good addition to the show, but after half a season she started to annoy the crap out of me. I think audiobooks voiced by her await us in hell. She's also arrogant, pretty-self absorbed and needs anger management classes.


24. Jim Halpert from The Office

A closeup of Jim looking confused at the camera

I hate what they did with Jim's character after he and Pam finally got married. Instead of this fun, loving guy, who would obviously put Pam first, he started prioritising work over his family, got jealous and even made big decisions without consulting Pam, his wife! This isn’t the Jim I fell in love with at the beginning of the series.


25. Izzie Stevens from Grey's Anatomy

A closeup of Izzy who is dressed in her hospital scrubs

Izzie was my favourite character in Season 1–3. Then, the stuff with George and the dead ghost stuff happened. It was a real disappointment to see her character, who had such a rich backstory and so much potential, do some really annoying things.


26. Jaime Lannister from Game Of Thrones

A closeup of Jaime dressed in his Lannister armour

All that growth and character development went down the bloody drain when he decided to crawl back into his sister's arms. 😑


27. Fiona Gallagher from Shameless

Fiona sitting on the stairs holding a bottle; her hand is wrapped in a bandage that has a bit of blood stained on it

Fiona starts off as this woman who is dedicated to her unconventional family. Then after Liam gets into her drugs, she just decided that she’s done raising them?! I quit the show because of that and I’ll probably never finish it.


28. And finally, Elena Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries

Elena holding a match
The CW

Elena in Seasons 1–3 of The Vampire Diaries was kind, compassionate and selfless. After that, her entire character just revolved around Damon and it made her unbearable.


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

What other TV characters started off with so much promise, only to end up disappointing you? Sound off in the comments!


An earlier version of this article included a submission about Lexa from The 100. On further review and based on reader feedback, we have decided to remove the submission, as it did not meet our editorial guidelines. Thanks to our readers for being honest and pointing it out!