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Nearly 23% Said This Was Their Favorite Squid Game Character

"Squid Game," the South Korean dystopian thriller series sensation, very quickly became Netflix's biggest show ever. There are a number of reasons why "Squid Game" hit as hard as it did. One is its gripping plot about people participating in a high-stakes series of children's games where the prize is millions of dollars and all the losers are killed. The pace and structure of every episode kept viewers hooked. Another reason is its timely commentary on income inequality. People related to the characters who felt so trapped by their debts that they were willing to participate in this extreme game.

The most important reason why "Squid Game" has been so successful is the characters. The characters are archetypal –- the silent loner, the violent thug, the good guy gone bad –- but they're specific enough to make us care about them. Thanks to the writing and the performances, we get invested in the characters, celebrate their triumphs, and are saddened by their losses. We appreciate that their flaws are what make them who they are, and love them in spite of them –- or because of them.

Everyone has their favorite "Squid Game" character, but the largest percentage of people's favorite might surprise you.

People love Ali Abdul

Looper conducted a poll to find out people's favorite "Squid Game" character, and U.S. respondents' most common answer, even more than popular and more narratively important characters like Kang Sae-byeok (Jun Ho-yeon), Oh Il-Nam (Oh Yeong-su), or Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), was Ali Abdul (Anupam Tripathi), the migrant worker from Pakistan whose trusting nature doomed him.

It wasn't even particularly close – Player #199 got 22.65% of the vote, several points ahead of second place finisher Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), who earned 16.95% of the vote. Third place went to Seong Gi-hun, the well-meaning but impulsive protagonist of the show. Surprisingly, Kang Sae-byeok, the taciturn pickpocket who's trying to win enough money to get her mother across the border from North Korea, got the fewest votes, only 10.4%.

Why is Ali Abdul people's favorite? According to Her Campus writer Maya Douglas, who proclaimed Ali the show's best character, he's kind, has faith in humanity, is a hard worker, and loves his family. Most audiences have also never seen a character like Ali before, a migrant worker in Korea, as Anupam Tripathi himself noted to Soompi. He's just a genuine, lovable underdog character who deserves better than what he gets.