Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

22 Characters We All Used To Hate, But We Now Realise Are Actually Good People

But then you realise you are Squidward.

We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to give us a character they used to hate, but after years of reflection they now realise they admire. Here are some of the best suggestions!

1. Baroness Elsa Schraeder from The Sound Of Music.

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

"As a kid, I naturally hated the Baroness because she kept Maria and the Captain apart. But as an adult, I've realised that the way she bowed out of her relationship with Georg when Maria came along and stole his heart was pretty cool!"


"Originally I saw her as Maria's romantic rival, but as I've gotten older, I've grown to respect her. She had her own money, and had no real reason to marry the Captain unless she actually liked him!"


2. Rachel Berry from Glee.


"Yes she could be annoying and stuck-up, but that’s only because she was the best of the best! I think about all she went through: from not knowing her biological mother, to her parents' divorce, Finn's death, and so much more. I applaud her for being able to get to where she ended up!"


"Rachel was given a fair amount of solos and yes, she was sometimes mean, but I think that deep down she wanted to help everyone but she didn't know how to."


3. Alice Cooper from Riverdale.

The CW

"At first she was irritating and came across as stuck-up, especially towards Jughead, but now she is THAT BITCH! Especially the times she worked with the FBI and when she showed up to that party that she wasn’t invited to."


"In season one she was a hellspawn, but in season two 'Falice' started happening and now I like her."


4. Erik Killmonger from Black Panther.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

"While he was the villain of the film, looking back he was just trying to help non-Wakandan black people across the world fight racism and oppression. To me he shouldn’t even be classed as a villain – he was fighting for black liberation!"


5. Sharpay Evans from the High School Musical films.

Disney Channel

"Easily Sharpay. I mean, no one can deny she was a better performer than Troy and Gabriella, but she still didn’t get the lead in the school musical – TWICE? She was only kinda bratty because she thought she deserved better, which she did."


"She had every right to react the way she did! Imagine working your ass off for the school musical/drama department, just for you to lose your part to a new girl and her basketball boyfriend who have no performing experience."


6. Squidward Tentacles from SpongeBob SquarePants.


"I'm gonna say it – Squidward. As kids, he's the mean grouchy one who never wants SpongeBob and Patrick to have any fun... but then you realise you are Squidward. Sure he's a little grumpy, but he mainly just wants a bit of peace and quiet, which he never gets."


7. Jade West from VICTORiOUS.


"I hated her when I was little because she was always mean to Tori and sometimes to Cat (who I love), but after rewatching the show on Netflix recently, I realise I actually love her character!"


8. Susan Bunch from Friends.


"She was a perfectly nice person! I don't blame Ross for being upset with her, but tbf he did most of the insulting. I do wish they'd written it so he could've moved on and made peace with her."


"The only reason she gets hate is because Ross is jealous. She didn’t really do anything horrible – she’s a great wife to Carol, a good mother to Ben, AND she’s even nice to Ross!"


9. Miss Hannigan from Annie.

Columbia Pictures

"I gotta put a word in for Miss Hannigan: yes, she was an alcoholic nymphomaniac, but at least she didn’t try and ruin Annie’s dream by telling her that her parents were dead. Plus, she really did try to stop Rooster from killing Annie! Depression era life was difficult guys, let’s not be too hard on her."


10. Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender.


"Zuko was always a good person – he was banished for speaking out against the General's evil plan in the first place! He temporarily lost it in the season two finale, but in season three Zuko came good."


"The Fire Lord we never knew we deserved and still don't."


11. Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films and books.

Warner Bros. Pictures

"I grew up thinking he was a bad guy, but rewatching in an adult perspective, he just came from an unfortunate upbringing."


"He seems so arrogant and awful, but really he was forced into joining his dad's racist cult when he seriously wanted out! He was only young and young people often make bad decisions. Draco deserved a proper redemption arc, not Snape!"


12. Emily Gilmore from Gilmore Girls.

The WB

"She was strict but she did love her daughter and granddaughter and just wanted the best for them. The boundaries she set weren't that extreme, and Lorelai always made it seem like her parents were much worse than they actually were."


13. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Loew's, Incorporated.

"Honestly, I've always had a soft spot for her. Her sister dies in a terrible accident, and then the murderer, Dorothy, shows up wearing her sister's prize shoes and Glinda goads the Wicked Witch about it! Then, Dorothy comes to her house and murders her!"


"The story of Wicked definitely adds a whole new level of sympathy for the Wicked Witch. Her story needed to be told!"


14. Karen Filippelli from The Office.


"She got with Jim without even knowing who Pam was or that Jim still had residual feelings for Pam. She was a funny, warm person but the show wanted the audience to believe she was 'the other woman'. I still feel like she didn't deserve to be dumped in the way was."


15. Erik (The Phantom) from The Phantom of the Opera.

The Really Useful Group / Via

"He was brutalised his entire life and then left in isolation in an opera house! No one ever showed him anything but hate."


"If you think about it, his only idea of what is normal is what he sees portrayed by the operas he secretly watches. It's easy to see how he ended up so messed-up – he wasn't a monster, he was a product of his unfortunate circumstance."


16. Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl.

The CW

"She was always portrayed as mean and selfish, and yes she hurt people, but looking back, at least she was a genuine person not afraid to say how she felt and to own it! Also, while Serena was always quick to judge Blair's behaviour, Blair understood that everyone has bad sides to them."


17. Helga G. Pataki from Hey Arnold!


"I realise now that Helga is a girl with a difficult family life who is also struggling with an unrequited crush on Arnold. She's young and she doesn't know how to express herself, so she comes off as some evil bully but really she’s just interacting with her peers the way her father and family interact at home."


18. Patty Di Marco from School of Rock.

Paramount Pictures

"She was billed as Ned's controlling girlfriend who just plain hated Dewey but let's be honest, looking back Patty was every single one of us. Her reaction to Dewey crashing FOR FREE at Ned's place and acting like a total slob the whole time was perfectly understandable. I feel like she gets a bad rap in that film, and it reeks of misogyny to me. As a fellow working stiff, I now stand with Patty!"


19. Martha Jones from Doctor Who.


"I really liked Rose, and when she was replaced by Martha I was upset and I mistook her for a 'man-stealer'. Later, I watched the episodes again and I understood that Martha didn't choose to have feelings for the Doctor. She tried to deal with those unrequited feelings and eventually, when she realised the Doctor would never fall in love with her, Martha moved on. Now I feel bad for being a former Martha-hater!"


20. Walter Hobbs from Elf.

New Line Cinema

"Yeah he was a bit grumpy, but he never actually did anything wrong to anyone. I did feel bad that his wife and son were being neglected by him, but when he had a surprise fully-grown son foisted upon him who was seemingly insane, I realised wow, this guy has a lot to deal with!"


"I almost always think of him as a man who lost his way and Buddy saved him!"


21. Rizzo from Grease!

Paramount Pictures

"She might have been cruel to Sandy at first, but she had a lot on her plate and looking back I respect her way more."


22. Janice from Friends.


"She was actually a great person and a great girlfriend."


Note: Some entries were edited for length and/or clarity.

Want to be featured in similar BuzzFeed posts? Make sure to follow the BuzzFeed Community on Facebook and Twitter!