17 “Glorified” TV Characters Who Are Actually Toxic and Problematic

Ephraim Obare
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Well, buckle up, folks, because we’re about to take a deep plunge into the world of television that will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew. We’ve all got those TV characters we love to love, but have you ever stopped to ask if they’re genuinely as endearing as they seem?

Prepare to have your illusions shattered as we pull back the curtain on some of TV’s most ‘glorified’ characters who, upon closer inspection, are a lot more toxic and problematic than you ever imagined. Let’s get ready to rethink everything!

Ross Geller from “Friends”

Ross Geller from "Friends"
David Schwimmer at the premiere of Run, Fat Boy, Run, at the Walter Reade Theater in New York City via Wikimedia Commons

Ross might be a fan favorite, but let’s face it: he’s manipulative and known for his serial jealousy. His “we were on a break” excuse is legendary in its toxicity.

Screen Rant states, “Ross is a perfect example of a self-proclaimed “nice guy.” Incredibly self-absorbed, relentlessly disrespectful to others, and insistent that he must always get his way, there are many reasons why he rubs some viewers up the wrong way.”

Serena van der Woodsen from “Gossip Girl”

Blake Lively at the 2011 Time 100 gala via Wikimedia Commons

Serena’s constant victim mentality and inability to accept responsibility for her actions make her a problematic character.

Don Draper from “Mad Men”

Jon Hamm
Actor Jon Hamm on the red carpet at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics via Wikimedia Commons

Despite his charisma, Don is an emotionally unavailable, philandering antihero who defines toxic masculinity.

Walter White from “Breaking Bad”

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Image credit: Martin Kraft via Wikimedia Commons

Walter’s descent into criminality is marked by manipulation, deceit, and a willingness to put others in danger for personal gain.

Rory Gilmore from “Gilmore Girls”

Alexis Bledel
Alexis Bledel at the premiere of The Conspirator, Toronto Film Fest 2010 via Wikimedia Commons

Rory’s privileged attitude often results in her making selfish decisions with little regard for others. CBR states, “The three main criticisms of Rory were her constant denial of her incredible privilege, her chronic unfaithfulness to boyfriends, and her loss of a spine.”

Ted Mosby from “How I Met Your Mother”

Josh Radnor
Josh Radnor via Wikimedia Commons

Ted’s obsession with finding ‘The One’ often leads him to treat women as objects rather than individuals.

Carrie Bradshaw from “S@x and the City”

Sarah Jessica Parker
Sarah Jessica Parker via Wikimedia Commons

Carrie’s narcissism and obsession with material possessions make her a problematic role model.

Dexter Morgan from “Dexter”

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Michael C. Hall in Dexter (2006)

Although a beloved character, Dexter’s psychopathy and brutal tendencies are undeniably toxic.

Piper Chapman from “Orange Is the New Black”

Taylor Schilling
Actress Taylor Schilling at The Paley Center For Media’s PaleyFest 2014 Honoring “Orange Is The New Black” via Wikimedia Commons

Piper’s entitlement and selfishness consistently cause problems for those around her. According to News24, “Urgh, this woman is so entitled it’s not even funny. She seems to be motivated to exploit the,prison’s other inmates not out of necessity to survive but out of pure boredom.”

Olivia Pope from “Scandal”

Kerry Washington
Actress and Alumna Kerry Washington at the George Washington University via Wikimedia Commons

Olivia’s tendency to manipulate people to maintain control is a trademark of her toxic personality.

Damon Salvatore from “The Vampire Diaries”

Ian Somerhalder
Ian Somerhalder at GalaxyCon Raleigh in 2023 via Wikimedia Commons

Damon’s possessiveness and tendency to resort to violence make him problematic.

Tony Soprano from “The Sopranos”

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Image credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff via Wikimedia Commons

Tony’s sociopathic nature, infidelity, and violent tendencies make him a profoundly toxic character.

Rachel Berry from “Glee”

Lea Michele
Lea Michele via Wikimedia Commons

Rachel’s competitive nature often leads her to undermine and manipulate others to get ahead.

Dr. Gregory House from “House”

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Hugh Laurie by Fido via WikiCommons

While his brilliance is undeniable, House’s narcissism, manipulation, and cynical worldview make him toxic.

Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother”

Neil Patrick Harris
Neil Patrick Harris at BookCon via Wikimedia Commons

Barney’s womanizing behavior and lack of respect toward women are particularly problematic.

Hannah Baker from “13 Reasons Why”

Katherine Langford
Australian actress Katherine Langford via Wikimedia Commons

Hannah’s decision to use suicide for revenge is a profoundly troubling and toxic narrative.

George Costanza from “Seinfeld”

Jason Alexander
Actor Jason Alexander at an Independence Day celebration in front of the US Capitol building via Wikimedia Commons

Known for his deceptive and manipulative behavior, George is a classic example of a toxic character.

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  • Ephraim Obare

    Ephraim Obare is a versatile member of the Frenz Hub writing team, bringing a rich background in economics to his work. An avid swimmer, reader, and cyclist, Ephraim blends analytical insights with his diverse interests.

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