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15 Times Carrie Bradshaw Was The Worst

"Sex and the City" revolves around four women's exploits in Manhattan during the age of extravagant parties, designer clothes, and casual sex. In many ways, this Emmy-winning '90s classic was extremely ahead of its time, with a focus on women's sexuality and frank discussions about controversial topics that few other shows would tackle at the time. Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis), and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) gave audiences a glimpse of life in the Big Apple and demonstrated how your real soul mates in life are your friends. 

Every protagonist has their foibles, but "Sex and the City's" seems to have more flaws than your average hero. Carrie Bradshaw has long been regarded as a symbol of New York City; a wide-eyed romantic with an expensive, trendy fashion sense. However, now that "Sex and the City" is on HBO Max and in cable reruns on E!, it has expanded its reach to a new generation, and the perception of Carrie has shifted. 

Sarah Jessica Parker revealed to HBO that she loves Carrie's flaws: "she often failed like we all do — you fail at love, you fail your friends and yourself." Parker later elaborated on "CBS Sunday Morning," admitting that Carrie's relentless search for love was oftentimes "childish." Our love for this show and its characters continues unabated, but we can't deny that Carrie sometimes went from imperfect to downright insufferable. Here are the 15 times Carrie Bradshaw was the absolute worst.

Making bad romantic decisions

To say that Carrie Bradshaw is a hopeless romantic would be an understatement. You'd think idealizing relationships would lead to her having high standards for her romantic partners, but unfortunately, that's not the case. As we follow Carrie through her 30s, she continuously picks the wrong men. Exhibit A: Mr. Big (Chris Noth). Big gives Carrie (and viewers) countless reasons to believe they do not work for each other that are ultimately overlooked. Carrie tends to have difficulty communicating her issues with just about all of her love interests, instead dumping all her problems on her friends and never actually resolving these conflicts.

In the Season 2 episode "Games People Play," Carrie is confronted with her bad romantic decisions when a therapist concludes that (shocker) she picks the wrong men. This proves true when Carrie picks up a guy (played by Jon Bon Jovi) in the same therapist's waiting room. Whether she's dating the comic book guy who still lived with his parents, the recovering alcoholic, or the 20-something who didn't own toilet paper, some of Carrie's romantic decisions have been disappointing. How she could take back Big after he left her at the altar, we'll never understand.

The Big affair

In Season 3, Carrie hits a true all-time low when she sparks up an affair with the married Mr. Big. Not only is she defiling a marriage, but she's also tainting her own seemingly perfect relationship with fan favorite Aidan Shaw (John Corbett). Big can't handle seeing Carrie finally fulfilled with someone else, so he begins calling her and stalking her outside of her apartment, preying on her lingering feelings for him until she gives in. Even after being thoughtlessly discarded for someone 10 years younger in a matter of a few months, Carrie still runs back for more.

Their meetups become seedier and less romantic, and the whole affair is even more heartbreaking because of Aidan. Big and Carrie both consistently chase the passion of the beginning of a relationship; the honeymoon phase. Carrie has even compared Big to a drug, saying she's addicted to the "exquisite pain." This results in a toxic on-again, off-again relationship. Aidan coming home to tell Carrie he loved her as she was washing her and Big's sex sheets continues to be one of the most brutal scenes of the series. (Not to mention Carrie causing Natasha [Bridget Moynahan] to need stitches in her lip.) 

Tracking down Natasha

In one of the most unforgivable moments in "SATC" history, viewers are shown an entirely new level of Carrie's selfishness when she tracks down Natasha to force an apology on her for ruining her marriage. 

In a Season 3 episode titled "What Goes Around Comes Around," the ladies discuss karmic retribution. Carrie's ego simply cannot comprehend that any person could loathe her as deeply as Natasha does following the affair. Only upon being robbed at gunpoint, accidentally attending a college party, and falling down the stairs does she decide to clear her conscience.

Usually wanting to apologize in this type of situation could be considered respectable, but Natasha makes it very clear she wants nothing to do with her. Carrie's incessant harassment makes this a manipulative moment. This poor woman was caught in the crossfire of Carrie and Big's toxic attraction and Carrie's selfish need to ease her pain and guilt. We think all viewers can agree that Natasha's "I'm sorry too" speech deserved a slow clap.

Not believing in therapy

Following the end of the second time around with Big, Carrie becomes even more detestable. She has a habit of venting to her friends who, in turn, validate her delusions and never challenge her to be better (besides Miranda). When they simply can't take it anymore, they suggest she talk to a professional, which then prompts Carrie to explain her outdated views on therapy: She doesn't believe in it and considers it "self-indulgent." Given the discourse surrounding mental health in recent years, this comes across as ignorant at best and offensive at worst.

From the beginning of her first therapy session, it's clear Carrie just wants to deflect with witty jokes. She quickly finds reasons not to like her therapist or listen to her opinion. Carrie's inability to recognize her role as a game player in previous relationships shows her lack of emotional and self-awareness. Although it is very apparent in 2021 that Carrie would make an excellent candidate for therapy, she describes herself as a "solve your own problems" kind of girl, reinforcing the incorrect notion that the only people who seek therapy are the ones who can't solve their own problems. Many viewers have found fault in the way "Sex and the City" addressed therapists as "shrinks." Since this stigma was prevalent in the '90s however, we can't fully blame Carrie for this lapse in judgment. She's a product of her time. 

Treating Aidan poorly

Aidan's warm, easy-going personality is wasted on Carrie. From the very start, Carrie takes Aidan for granted based on the lack of drama between them. He constantly encourages her to be better, but Carrie's relationship trauma leads her to believe that love has to be difficult to be real. Aidan is willing to strip her floors, buy her a brand new Mac Book, take her on trips to the country, and marry her, but somehow it's never good enough for Carrie. It becomes clear early on that, although there is undeniable chemistry, Carrie and Aidan are too fundamentally different to make it work. Carrie is a vintage Manolo Blahnik-wearing urbanite, while Aidan is an outdoorsy country man.

Not only does she betray him by having an affair for most of their relationship, but she also accepts a marriage proposal when she knows she isn't ready. Even as an engaged couple moving in together, Carrie still never really makes room for Aidan in her life. One of the most emotionally manipulative moments comes in the Season 4 episode "Time and Punishment" after Carrie and Aidan get back together following the Big affair. Aidan, understandably, has lingering trust issues that begin to affect their relationship. Carrie practically breaks down and demands over and over that he forgive her until he gives in. Her constant mistreatment and gaslighting led to Aidan having immense trouble opening up and trusting women after their breakup.

Prioritizing boyfriends over friends

In theory, the heart of "Sex and the City" is Carrie's ongoing devotion to her friends and to New York City. But unfortunately, Carrie has a slight tendency of prioritizing her boyfriends. Throughout the first season, Carrie and Big are soaking up the beginning of their new budding romance. Blinded by her infatuation, Carrie soon begins missing weeks of outings and her friends' huge life accomplishments for a man who refuses to even discuss exclusivity.

Even after Big breaks her heart, Carrie continues this pattern. During the second time around with Big, Carrie thoughtlessly ditches dinner plans with Miranda in order to spend the night with Big and a piece of "politically incorrect meat." Thankfully, Miranda is oftentimes the only friend that recognizes Carrie's propensity for abandoning her own life for someone else's. In "Time and Punishment," Carrie makes the mistake of sending Aidan to help her friend in an emergency (don't worry, we'll get there) and arrives the following morning to her friend's apartment with bagels to cheer her up. Unsurprisingly, Carrie begins complaining about her boyfriend within seconds of stepping foot inside, prompting Miranda to call her out for using "decoy" bagels as an excuse to talk about herself.

Sending Aidan to help Miranda in an emergency

In "Time and Punishment," following a shower and a stressful early morning phone call, Miranda finds herself unable to move due to a painful neck injury caused by running the marathon. After asking Carrie to come check on her, Carrie sends Aidan instead. Upon his arrival, Miranda's injury has gotten exponentially worse to the point that she is naked on the bathroom floor, incapable of moving.

We've got to pay some major respect to Aidan for being a better friend to Miranda than Carrie in this episode. In a humiliating moment for Miranda, Aidan rescues her from the bathroom floor and takes her to the hospital to get a neck brace. Throughout the remainder of the episode, Carrie doesn't so much as call Miranda to check up on her. As previously stated, when Carrie arrives at Miranda's the next morning with her "cheer me up" bagels, it is clearly just an excuse to talk about her own issues. At first glance, it seems like Carrie's being supportive, but ultimately it's just a selfish act. Moral of the story: never send a boyfriend to do the job of a best friend.

The entire Berger relationship

In the final season of the series, Carrie sparks up a short-lived relationship that left fans with the lingering question: Has Carrie learned anything? When Carrie and Jack Berger (Ron Livingston) first meet, there is immediate chemistry (or, as she calls it, "zsa zsa zsu") despite the fact that he has a girlfriend. Luckily for Carrie, Berger is single in no time at all and they spark up a relationship soon after. For the majority of this relationship, Berger is coming to terms with his failure as a writer and his insecurities surrounding Carrie becoming more successful than him. We have to pay some respect to Carrie for never apologizing for her success, during Berger's general whininess and low-blow insults.

Still, Carrie continually accepts the bare minimum from Berger and ignores the clear signs of incompatibility for the sake of the spark. Fairly early on in the relationship, Carrie and Berger begin to get easily irritated with each other until Berger suggests they take a break. During this break, Carrie realizes that they are better apart. However, when he shows her the slightest bit of interest again, she abandons the plan and gets right back with him. Hopefully, Carrie learns her lesson when she wakes up to discover a breakup post-it note that cements Berger as one of Carrie's absolute worst boyfriends. We can't blame Carrie for Berger's shortcomings, but we can definitely blame her for knowing better.

The parsley incident

We all know that diner at a restaurant: the one who's extremely high maintenance and makes waitstaff trash-talk them when they leave. Carrie Bradshaw is that person. In this infuriating turn of events, Carrie demonstrates yet another reason why she and Berger are not compatible. 

Carrie and Berger are out to eat when they are joined by Charlotte, who is escaping a bad date. During a discussion about dealbreakers, Berger becomes irritated almost immediately by Carrie's very picky taste and inability to compromise. This is further emphasized when they begin ordering their meal. Carrie goes on an elaborate, minutes-long rant about her nonexistent allergy to parsley. Her incessant demands lead to Carrie and Berger bickering so much that Charlotte feels the need to escape her second bad date of the evening. The arguing only escalates when they leave the restaurant, leading Berger to ask for a break in the relationship. Hilariously, this personality trait was actually modeled after Sarah Jessica Parker's own hatred for parsley. In fact, she revealed to Glamour Magazine in 2011 that she can say "no parsley" in 6 languages. True story.

Expecting Charlotte to fix her finances

One of the most enduring questions surrounding "Sex and the City" is how Carrie could possibly afford her designer wardrobe and Upper East Side apartment with the income of a freelancer writing one article a week. Turns out...she can't. In Season 4 episode, "Ring a Ding Ding," following the abrupt ending of her live-in relationship with Aidan, Carrie finds herself in a situation where she either has 30 days to come up with $30,000 to buy her place or move out. After discovering that she has a collective worth of at least that much in footwear, she begins scrambling for a way to not have to leave her beloved apartment.

Luckily for Carrie, both Miranda and Samantha generously offer to help her with the down payment. Carrie says she cannot accept such a gesture. During this discussion, Charlotte quietly sips her drink, as to not get involved. Carrie soon decides to take her irrational anger out on Charlotte by showing up at her door, demanding to know why she didn't offer her $30,000. Carrie's lack of accountability for her mistakes is what leads to her expecting everyone around her to fix her problems. Ultimately, any lesson here goes completely unlearned as Charlotte ends up giving her the money anyway.

Disparaging bisexuality

"Sex and the City" often demonstrated a very forward-thinking perspective on women's sexuality and independence. Unfortunately, many other aspects of the show have not aged well, including the women's feelings towards bisexuality. In an episode featuring cameos from '90s icon Alanis Morissette and "Friends" actor Eddie Cahill, the ladies get into a blunt conversation about it.

When Carrie begins dating Sean, a "generation something else," she is stunned to discover that one of his past major relationships was with a man. When she mentions this to her friends, Carrie questions whether bisexuality is just "a layover on the way to gay town." She also admits to finding it "weird" that he is so open about his sexuality. For a sex columnist, she displays a remarkably limited view. During their brief relationship, Carrie asks Sean uncomfortable (and borderline rude) questions about his attraction to men until she ultimately decides he's not for her. Huge props to Samantha for being the only person among her friends with an open-minded, outspoken view of bisexuality.

Blaming Natasha for Big's issues

Most first-time viewers of "Sex and the City" tend to hate Natasha, just as Carrie does. But upon subsequent viewings, it becomes clear that Natasha is a decent person caught in a bad situation. While it is typical for women to hate the person dating their ex, Carrie takes it way too far. After being mistreated and heartbroken for years by the same noncommittal man, Carrie still manages to push all blame onto Natasha. Carrie knows approximately nothing about Natasha, she refers to her as the "idiot stick figure with no soul."

We get a real insight into the motivation behind Carrie's animosity when she describes Natasha as "shiny hair, style section, Vera Wang" and describes herself as "the sex column they run next to ads for penile implants." Her feelings of inadequacy from her relationship with Big have lowered her view of herself, and she takes it out on Natasha. Many sources have confirmed the symbolism behind Natasha's wardrobe throughout the show. Natasha is always shown wearing white to convey her personality as "vanilla" and contrast with Carrie's wildly colorful wardrobe. She is seen wearing colors in only two instances throughout the show: wearing black to her engagement brunch (while Carrie wore white) and pink in her final appearance, after her divorce from Big, to show that she's got her identity back. 

Following Aleksandr to Paris

In the latter half of the final season, audiences are introduced to Aleksandr Petrovsky (Mikhail Baryshnikov), a world-renowned Russian artist. He sweeps Carrie off her feet with grand romantic gestures and cultured views. He tends to be self-centered, is consumed by his work, and doesn't mesh well with Carrie's crowd. Caught up in the spectacle of it all and seeing all her friends finally settling down, Carrie accepts Aleksandr's offer to move with him to Paris. As a person who proclaims to be independent, it is very out of character that Carrie so quickly abandons her friends, her column, and her favorite city in the world to follow someone else's life.

A heartbreaking moment for longtime "Sex and the City" fans comes in one of the final episodes, "Splat," when Carrie makes this big life decision. In every episode, as Carrie types away at her computer, she is always asking questions surrounding relationships and life — until this one. There comes a moment in this episode where Carrie says "is it time to stop questioning?" Seconds later, she removes the question mark from the sentence, replacing it with a period. "SATC" writer and producer Michael Patrick King reveals in the DVD commentary that this, in fact, is the last time Carrie is ever seen writing in the series, indicating that she has given up a piece of herself. Upon their arrival in Paris, Carrie loses herself in his world. Aleksandr becomes distant and neglectful as he spends every waking moment on his art exhibit, leaving Carrie to wander the streets of Paris alone.

Being judgmental of her friends

Carrie can be an incredibly reliable friend, such as when she stands by Miranda's side at her mother's funeral or takes care of a flu-ridden Samantha. But there are countless moments when Carrie is harsh to her girl gang. Take the Season 5 episode "Cover Girl." Carrie accidentally walks in on Samantha in a bit of a compromising position with her delivery guy. Carrie screams and runs away. At their ladies' luncheon later, she makes uncomfortable jokes about the ordeal that Samantha doesn't find very amusing.

This judgment also seeps into Carrie and Samantha's wardrobe fitting, when Carrie finds fault in every outfit Samantha has pulled for her book cover, even claiming one of them screams "hooker." You'd think a character who writes about sex for a living would have an open mind, but she judges everyone, from people who have casual sex to women who get married and move upstate. In the words of Stanford Blatch (the late, great Willie Garson), "some people do arts and crafts, we judge."

Being selfish

One of Carrie's worst personality traits is her tendency to make everything about herself. Granted, she is the main character, but her friends have lives that viewers are just as invested in.  

An example of Carrie's selfishness comes in the Season 6 episode "The Post-It Always Sticks Twice" following her breakup from Berger. Around this time, Charlotte and Harry finally get engaged, a moment "SATC" fans had been waiting for since the show's start. Charlotte's long-awaited announcement is met with congratulations for about 10 seconds before Carrie steers the conversation back to herself by slapping the infamous post-it note over her new ring and saying, "paper covers rock." 

Carrie obsesses over men but has little patience when her friends do the same. Exhibit A: Stanford Blatch. In the Season 5 episode "Critical Condition," Carrie's pal delivers her some tough love when he requests her thoughts on his new beau and she gives a lackluster response. Blatch says, "I've listened to you talk about Aidan for...10 blocks and two years, and I've been a wonderful audience. I ask you about my Marcus and all I get is 'nice?'" Friendship is a two-way street. C'mon, Carrie!