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Why Breaking Bad Fans Love To Hate Ted

Despite usually meaning well, many characters in the Breaking Bad universe don't understand how their actions negatively impact others. Walter White is the most blatant example, entering into the dangerous business of manufacturing and selling meth to provide financial security for his family as he battles cancer. A couple of rungs down the ladder, however, is Ted Beneke — a character with similar motivations but less intelligence.

Ted is a divorcee and father who owns Beneke Fabricators, a building material manufacturer. He's long been attracted to Walter's wife Skyler, who worked as bookkeeper for Ted years prior but quit when he made a drunken pass at her. After Walter is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, the White family's medical bills begin rising and Skyler gets her old job with Ted back.

One reason fans can easily hate Ted is because of his attraction to and subsequent affair with Skyler. In the series' initial seasons, Breaking Bad fans still rooted for Walter, and seeing Ted start an affair with Walter's wife is a clear betrayal. But that's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to why Breaking Bad enthusiasts love to hate Ted. While fans of the show can respect Walter — he's our protagonist and he's bright — Ted proves to be a character who just doesn't get it. Though Ted isn't a villain on the level of Walter or Gus Fring, he's hated by fans because of his lack of understanding, even when the answer is staring him directly in the face.

Ted Beneke's refusal to take Skyler White's money is infuriating

While working for Ted, Skyler notices inaccuracies in his financial records, and when she confronts him, she realizes he's committing fraud. Skyler eventually agrees to help him cook his books ... and then the IRS catches on to the crime. Skyler gives Ted the money to pay the IRS under the guise of "gambling winnings," but he says he feels "uncomfortable" with it. 

"The whole reason we're in this mess is because you had me cooking your books," Skyler tells Ted. "So when did 'wrong' suddenly become a problem for you?" Ted says it was an "honest attempt to protect my employees and save my dad's company." She insists they will both go to prison if he doesn't accept the money. "I understand you're upset, but I think you're overstating things, too. No one's going to prison," Ted tells Skyler.

Skyler repeatedly attempts to give Ted the money to avoid attracting any kind of criminal investigation to her, but Ted makes it difficult, giving fans another reason to dislike him. Though Ted has more noble intentions than other characters on the show, his complete lack of understanding makes him one of the most frustrating characters as well. 

He doesn't actually wind up in prison, but Ted has one of the more unfortunate endings in the show: He's left with a severe neck injury after slipping on an area rug while trying to escape accepting Skyler's money.

In the end, it would have been better for everyone if Ted Beneke just did what he was told.