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Ranking Every Brooklyn Nine-Nine Main Character By Likability

From its first episode to its last, NBC's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" continuously set a concrete example of diverse storytelling through clever and inoffensive comedy. Starring Andre Braugher, Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller, Joe Lo Truglio, Melissa Fumero, Stephanie Beatriz, and Terry Crews, the show easily won over fans with its noteworthy cast and each character's distinct personality. It's easy to believe the series will stand the test of time when showrunners Dan Goor and Mike Schur tirelessly made an effort to ensure that the characters grew alongside society's changes while placing earnest goodwill at the center of their storytelling.

A plethora of workplace comedies have come before it, and many will follow in its footsteps, but the series' main characters (even the unlikable ones) will likely always be unforgettable. Indeed, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" wouldn't be as unique without the characters who've each brought something distinguishable to the 99th Precinct of the New York City Police Department. Even the guest stars — characters like Holt's incredible other-half, Kevin Cozner (Marc Evan Jackson) — are memorable. There's also The Vulture (Dean Winters) and Madeline Wuntch (Kyra Sedgwick), whom we all loved to hate right alongside Jake Peralta and Captain Holt.

The series might have been about detectives trying to do the right thing while having a ball along the way, but at its core, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is about chosen families and complex characters learning how to be better because of the people around them. Here is each main character ranked by likability.

Michael Hitchock

Though Dirk Blocker does a great job with his performance, there is no denying that Michael Hitchcock the worst of them all. Still, somehow, it's hard to imagine the world of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" existing without his crude sense of humor and unpleasant laziness. Whether it's his countless ex-wives and consistent bragging about it or the occasional gross remarks to the women in the 99th Precinct, Hitchcock not only has no concept of respect, but he's the kind of person who'd have countless lawsuits filed against him in real-life. While most characters in the series are relatable even when they display problematic behavior, Hitchcock is the most unrealistic of them all and, quite frankly, the one character who's made us all uncomfortable on more than one occasion.

While it's questionable why this admirable show would even feature such an unlikable character as one of its leads, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" always makes it clear that his behavior isn't condonable. If you think about the amount of vulgar and deeply loathsome selfishness he so often displays, it's going to leave a bad taste in your mouth. And though he is basically unbearable throughout the entirety of the series, Season 6, Episode 2, "Hitchcock & Scully," is by far one of the most entertaining episodes to rewatch.

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Norm Scully

Norm Scully is significantly better as a human than his best friend, Hitchcock. (The standards are low in comparison, but still.) Scully's laziness doesn't belong in a precinct like the 99, but beyond that, he's much more thoughtful and certainly kinder than Hitchcock. It's also much easier to laugh at Scully's nonsensical behavior that's so often concerned with his own health rather than at the expense of another person. But when he's with Hitchcock, it's hard to get past wondering why he's so loyal to someone so vile. And perhaps his loyalty is one of the traits that make Scully somewhat of a more likable character.

Hitchcock doesn't deserve any of Scully's kindness or loyalty, but time and time again, he shows that there's nothing he wouldn't do, which is ultimately an exhibition of his character. When Amy snaps at both of them in "Lights Out" while in labor, Scully doesn't curse the way Hitchcock does but instead offers up their nap room, which is his idea in the first place. It's a small moment, but one that reveals that despite his laziness, Scully will, at the very least, try to make an effort to be helpful.

Gina Linetti

It's hard to imagine Gina Linetti having any influence if someone other than the incomparable Chelsea Peretti were playing her because — in the 1st season, especially — she's unbearable. Considering she has a job under Holt's command when she is almost always on her phone and seldom works, it's hard to suspend disbelief. Plus, she's not nice — not even a little. Nevertheless, as frustrating as she is in the beginning, Gina is, well, Gina — the Paris of the people, the human form of the 100 emoji, and surprisingly, one of the most easily quotable characters.

Gina might not have a filter, believes she's better than everyone else, and be deeply selfish, but she observes and cares no less. And at the end of the day, all she wants is for people to be confident in who they are. She extends that same confidence toward ensuring that her grand gestures prove that as much as they're for selfish gain, there's heart and compassion behind these actions, too. And while she might not be initially likable, everything she does in her departure episode, "Four Movements," authenticates why she's so memorable and how she becomes a character audiences miss having around.

Charles Boyle

Charles Boyle is the type of fictional character who's effortless to appreciate, but that might not be the case if he was a real person. Though fans of Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago as a romantic couple will always deem him "the biggest shipper" since he reflects so many fangirls and probably reads fan-fiction, Charles is, in short, too much at times. However, though Charles is invariably over the top and has remarkably little self-awareness to comprehend that not everyone needs to know about the Boyles' strange ways, he always means well.

"Brooklyn Nine-Nine" has often addressed self-awareness carefully by vocalizing when approaches are wrong or too showy. Thus, the final season is a great model to turn to as the series evaluates how its white characters behave in the aftermath of the Black Lives Matter movement. These issues are partly why Charles borders the likable and unlikable line, and he's more so the former because, at least, it's always apparent that he wants to do the right thing. He wants to learn, and he wants to be helpful. His loyalty and utmost love for Jake as his best friend, followed by the same loyalty and love for Rosa, has always stood out as one of his more vital traits. He might be too much and too loud, but everyone can count on Charles to protect them as he does by taking a bullet to the butt in Season 1.

Terry Jeffords

Terry Jeffords is as likable to the audience as mango yogurt is to him. His utmost commitment to doing the right thing, his work ethic, and his sincere kindness easily make him one of the standout characters of the series. In the real world, Terry would be the best kind of co-worker, lieutenant, sergeant, supervisor, friend — all of it. He's the person everyone on the squad can confide in about whatever it is they're dealing with, and he'll be there even while they ceaselessly drive him bonkers. And he's also the one person they know will call them out whenever they are wrong about something or when a dumb plan needs to stop.

In another universe, Terry Jeffords would be a superhero. The bullied kid who takes all his pain and rage and puts it into something bigger than himself to protect the rest of the world. Terry has always stood proudly on behalf of the fact that he doesn't condone bullying and believes in helping people even while they don't deserve it. He's the kind of girl dad who'd do anything for his daughters, but in the same way, he'd do anything for the women in his squad, especially when they need comfort without coddling. And then there is the matter of constantly referring to himself in the third person, which, if you binge more than a few episodes at a time, you'll probably start doing it too.

Jake Peralta

Jake Peralta is Andy Samberg's most substantial role yet, and he is just the kind of character you hope a series like this utilizes as the audience's gateway into the world. Throughout the entirety of "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," no one experiences the type of growth that Jake does, and it's why he's so likable. He's horrifically immature and too cocky when we first meet him in the pilot, but by the end of that first episode, Jake exhibits his capability to evolve because of the people around him. Because Jake's father tirelessly lets him down and fails to give him the attention he needs, Jake always looks to the other men in his life for the nurturing he needed while growing up. In short, he's a kid in an adult's body that wants to experience love more than anything.

As a character who initially embodies toxic masculinity, Jake's growth and self-awareness lead to the kind of bold affirmations that make it clear he wants to do better. And thereby, as he continues to listen to those around him (specifically Holt, Terry, and Amy), Jake endeavors to better himself even while he plays it cool. (Or rather, cool, cool, cool, cool, cool.) We learn early on that he's the kind of character who wants to give people the benefit of the doubt, but also, there's the critical attribute that if he's loyal to someone, it's forever. And that loyalty even extends toward criminals like Doug Judy. Jake isn't afraid to show his emotions or to admit when he's wrong, and perhaps more admirably, by the end, Jake learns that his glory days aren't important, as he would rather be the kind of father he never knew.

Amy Santiago

Many women see themselves in Melissa Fumero's portrayal of Amy Santiago. She is a good girl, and more often than not, people mock others for this. People deem them bland and all sorts of other various insults, which leads to women shying away from these truths. But "Brooklyn Nine-Nine's" Amy Santiago is anything but boring. She is more intelligent than most people in the room because she works hard, and she's kinder than any of them deserve. She's also full of layers, which is Schur's expertise in writing well-rounded women (another example being the incomparable Leslie Knope from "Parks and Recreation"). Amy is kind, yes, but Amy is also capable of cracking and holding her own during Halloween Heists to make it clear that even though she might try to impress Holt, no one should view her through the eyes of another. She is her own independent woman no matter where she goes, whom she dates, or whom she works for.

Amy Santiago is competitive and values organization — two traits far too many nerds possess — and she owns up to her truth. She's also a crier, a marker she stands and fights for in "Four Movements" when she makes it clear that she's going to miss Gina even if she wasn't always close to her. Why? Because that's who she is. But more than that, and perhaps the quality that makes her most likable, is that Amy always wants the best for people. She never wants people to change because she knows that humans don't have to earn love to receive it, and her relationship with Jake reflects this beautifully.

Rosa Diaz

While some may disagree with parts of this list, surely no one can disagree with the fact that Stephanie Beatriz's unparalleled Rosa Diaz is the coolest character on "Brooklyn Nine-Nine." She's a fierce example of a woman to look up to, a woman to care about, and a woman who doesn't need anyone's approval to be as she pleases. And while Rosa was always likable, when she grows more relatable, she becomes deeply lovable. So many women saw themselves in Rosa when she came out as bisexual in the show's 99th episode. They saw themselves in her struggles and then, later, her happiness.

However, it's Rosa's actions in the final season that revolutionize her true strength as a character and a leading example of a human being. When the events of Black Lives Matter make it onto the series, viewers learn that Rosa has quit the force to open up her own PR film to truly be of use to marginalized communities outside of the system that oppresses them. She proves through this that she's not all talk but rather the kind of person who puts actions behind her words. Rosa's calm demeanor always shines through, but more importantly, she's a badass with a heart of gold who'd do anything for those who need her.

Raymond Holt

In the same way that Jake is in awe of Raymond Holt from the moment he steps foot into the precinct, so are we. Andre Braugher commands whatever scene he's in with a paramount form of sincerity that so few have yet to master with his range. Every so often, a character graces our TV screens who feels like a beacon of hope to us all, and that's Raymond Holt. He exudes a sense of safety and heart like no one else on the series, and from the very first episode, you know that everything is about to change because of him. Holt's dry humor, his inability to grasp modern technology, and his stoicism — all cobbled with the immense love he has for everyone in the precinct — are like a healing balm of sorts for eight years. 

An embodiment of poise and professionalism — excluding during Halloween heists — Holt is the kind of well-rounded character who's hard to top. He doesn't need to outright vocalize his adoration for audiences to understand how fervently he cares. Instead, through each of his choices, Holt consistently depicts that he's a man who'd do anything for those he loves. (Surely, Jake isn't the only one who wants him and Kevin to adopt him. We all do, too.) Holt might be a stickler for rules, but through every single episode, it's unmistakable to see that it's not because he wants to overpower anyone else but because he merely wants everyone to feel like they're part of a team. It's about equality and true teamwork — a type of home away from home for Holt.