15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults

Chela Mibei
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Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we? Remember those TV characters from our childhood that we couldn’t stand? Yes, the ones that made us pull out our hair and scream at the TV screen, demanding justice for our favorite protagonists.

Now, as adults, we find ourselves in the strange position of understanding them. Scary, right? Here are 15 characters we despised as kids but now get as adults.

Squidward Tentacles from SpongeBob SquarePants

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by United Plankton Pictures/Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Ah, Squidward. We used to perceive him as the grumpy, fun-sucking squid next door. Now, we realize he was a hardworking adult trying to find peace in his aquatic suburbia while dealing with relentlessly enthusiastic neighbors.

Professor Snape from Harry Potter

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Warner Bros Pictures/Heyday Films/1492 Pictures

As kids, Snape’s oily hair and spiteful demeanor were enough to make our skin crawl. But as adults, we see the complexity of his character – his sacrifice, his unrequited love, and the bravery that ran in his veins.

Marge Dursley from Harry Potter

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Murray Close – © 2003 Warner Bros. Ent. All rights reserved.

Speaking of Harry Potter, we remember how much we wanted to see the overbearing Marge get her comeuppance. But now, we understand she was just a misguided woman who never received love or affection from her family.

Angelica Pickles from Rugrats

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Klasky Csupo/Nickelodeon Animation Studio

Yes, Angelica was a bully. But we can’t deny that she came from a broken home and craved the attention and love of her parents, who were too busy with work to notice her.

Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Sesame Workshop

Oscar may have been rude and grumpy, but he lived in a garbage can! As adults, we realize he was probably dealing with some serious issues and needed a friend to confide in.

Helga Pataki from Hey Arnold!

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Snee-Oosh, Inc./ Games Animation

Helga’s constant bullying of Arnold may have been annoying, but it was a defense mechanism for her troubled home life and unrequited love for the football-headed boy.

Mr. Krabs from SpongeBob SquarePants

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by United Plankton Pictures/ Nickelodeon Animation Studio

We used to think of Mr. Krabs as a greedy, money-hungry crab. But now we understand he was trying to provide for his daughter and make a living in the cutthroat restaurant business.

Sarabi from The Lion King

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Walt Disney Pictures/Walt Disney Feature Animation

Kids may have found Sarabi’s sternness off-putting, but as adults, we see her strength and resilience in leading her pride after losing her husband.

Lisa Simpson from The Simpsons

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Gracie Films/20th Television(seasons 1–32)/20th Television Animation (season 33–present)

Lisa’s constant moralizing may have annoyed us as kids, but now we see her as a voice of reason in a family full of eccentric characters.

Cartman from South Park

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Celluloid Studios (1997)Braniff Productions (1997–2006)Parker-Stone Productions (2006–2007)South Park Studios (2007–present)Comedy Partners

Cartman’s blatant rac!sm  made him a villain in our eyes as kids. But now, we see him as a commentary on the ugly side of society and how such toxic beliefs are perpetuated.

Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Walt Disney Productions

As kids, we saw Cruella as a heartless villain who wanted to turn puppies into coats. But now, we understand her obsession with fur and how society’s pressure to conform to beauty standards can lead to such extreme actions.

Tom from Tom and Jerry

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Turner Entertainment(Warner Bros. Discovery; 1986–present)

We used to root for Jerry as he outsmarted Tom, but now we see Tom as a hardworking cat just trying to do his job of catching a pesky mouse.

The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
© 1939 Warner Home Video. All rights reserved.

The Wicked Witch of the West has been seen as a representation of evil. But, we now understand her as a symbol of female power and resilience in the face of oppression—she was trying to take back what was taken from her.

Sharpay Evans from High School Musical

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Salty Pictures/First Street Films

As kids, we hated her diva attitude and constant scheming to sabotage Gabriella and Troy’s relationship. But now, we understand the fear of losing something you’ve worked hard for and can appreciate Sharpay’s fierce determination.

Ms. Finster from Recess

15 Characters We Absolutely Despised as Kids, but Now We Totally Get as Adults
Photo by Walt Disney Television Animation/Paul & Joe Productions

She seemed like the meanest character, always looking to punish kids. But in retrospect, she was trying to keep things in order, and we can respect that now.

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Author

  • Chela Mibei

    Chela excels in crafting insightful pieces, drawing from her background in finance and commerce. Her passions for reading, travel, writing, and volunteering enrich her contributions.

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