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What Bones Fans Can't Stand About Agent Booth

When you first watched Bones, you were probably focused on keeping up with the team's crime-solving exploits (and the various juicy details of their personal lives). And with 12 seasons to get through in as many years on the air, you could be forgiven for taking a while to get around to rewatching the whole thing.

However, some Bones fans on Reddit have done it for you — and for some of them, their investigations have turned up a rather shocking untold truth of Bones. Namely, David Boreanaz's Special Agent Seeley Booth — one of the main characters of the show — is, well, kind of a jerk.

Obviously, TV is full of lead characters you wouldn't necessarily want to be friends with in real life. Tony Soprano was entertaining on screen but not someone you'd invite over for a barbecue. The worst thing Walter White did on Breaking Bad is just one reason we're grateful he won't be turning up at parent-teacher night. Even Homer Simpson, lovable as he was, would be infuriating to know in real life (unless you own a donut shop).

But while all of these characters' flaws are major plot devices, some Bones viewers feel that Booth just seems to be irredeemably nasty — except with his love interest-turned-wife Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan (Emily Deschanel). Here's what Bones fans can't stand about Agent Booth, and why some are arguing that his flaws make him another classic TV antihero.

Some fans say Agent Booth is an intolerant bully

A number of Redditors have pointed out that Booth is, in the words of user u/SpikeH-K, arrogant, hypocritical, and rude. (Although looking at that username, this could just be William the Bloody refusing to let grudges go.) One example they highlighted was Booth dismissing Brennan's atheist beliefs while also insisting that she respect his Catholicism.

Other users have called out Booth's treatment of his supposed friends and collaborators, especially FBI psychologist Dr. Lance Sweets (John Francis Daley), as evidence that he's not a nice guy. As u/daniyellidaniyelli noted, Booth uses Sweets to try to convince Brennan to go to a hospital to deliver their baby — and blames him when their plan fails. User u/MydnightRose added that Booth also uses his physical strength to intimidate Sweets, scientist Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne), and forensic anthropologist Zack Addy (Eric Millegan).

Booth often brings his unpleasant attitude and superiority complex to dealing with suspects and even victims. He's frequently dismissive of people in interviews and rude to people who have lost loved ones. And on one episode, he continually misgenders a transgender woman after her death, something the other team members don't do but also don't criticize him for. As u/christincbaby summed up after rewatching Bones: "Does anyone else basically hate him? Because I think I hate him."

Maybe Booth is dealing with his past

Not everyone on Reddit is ready to dismiss Booth, however. Other Bones viewers appear to be willing to admit that he's difficult to deal with and that he serves as the muscles rather than the brains of every operation — as user u/FriedtheOnions put it in the comments of the original thread entitled "Annoying Agent Booth." But some argue that he has redeeming qualities, and that his flaws are part of his character arc. For example, Redditor u/lover_of_mysteries felt that though Booth has expressed homophobic and transphobic views, he learned to stop being so narrow-minded by the end of the respective episodes. Others may disagree with this assessment, and rightfully so.

A main line of defense is that Booth has a lot of emotional trauma to deal with thanks to his abusive childhood and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his time as a sniper. Booth actor David Boreanaz felt that it was an underlying current behind his character's personality. While the final season was airing, he stated in a BUILD Series interview: "I think deep down he had a lot of stressful moments... whether it's PSTD [sic] or being an ex-Ranger, a sniper. I think for him, he didn't really get to exercise a lot of that pain throughout the 12 seasons."

Booth defenders also point out that the character can be very loyal to his colleagues, his wife, and his brothers, and that falling in love with Brennan — someone so different from himself — proves that he has become more open to other people's viewpoints.

If you're one of the Bones re-watchers reexamining your opinions of the character, you'll have to stick with existing episodes. Boreanaz has said he would never do a Bones movie, and he doesn't believe in going back to past projects, so a reboot is out of the question as well. Maybe he's just sick of Booth, too.