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Characters That Went From Most-Loved To Becoming Most-Hated By Fans

It's rare that a fan's favorite character becomes their most-hated character. Anyone who has experienced this knows how rough it can be. With TV shows that make it past the first few seasons, writers have to change things up to keep the drama alive, whether it's turning a beloved (allegedly) human into a sadistic god on "Supernatural" or having the golden boyfriend of "Gilmore Girls" turn into a possessive creep. 

Sometimes, these character choices make the show better. Other times, they make the main character—and therefore the show—insufferable. While these new directions for the characters are frequently intentional, fans and even writers occasionally don't even notice until much later. Everyone loved Ross from "Friends" when the show aired, but looking back at his character now, there are enough yikes to fill one of his pretentious books. You ruined dinosaurs for an entire generation, Ross Geller. Are you proud of yourself? 

From "Gossip Girl" to "How I Met Your Mother," here are some of the best TV characters who went from most-loved to the most-hated.

The Humphrey siblings: Gossip Girl

When it comes to choosing the worst Humphrey sibling in "Gossip Girl," how can you pick just one? They both begin as likable, relatable underdog characters. After all, as lowly Brooklynites, how could they possibly compete with Manhattan's elite? Although the Humphreys appear to be low-income, their massive Williamsburg loft has about a $2 million price tag (InStyle). Granted, that's chump change compared to the Blairs and Serenas of the world. Still, the characters' money gripes are downright offensive to people actually struggling to stay afloat. Just sell the loft, Rufus!

Yet beyond the Humphreys' manufactured poverty, Dan (Penn Dayton Badgley) and Jenny (Taylor Momsen) slowly go from most to least likable. In Jenny's rush to knock Blair down a peg, she becomes an even worse (and far more annoying) bully. Jenny wants power and doesn't care how many people she screws over to get it. Blair may frequently backpedal on her character development, but at least she has some. Jenny, for her part, doesn't learn a single lesson through her very last scene.

Meanwhile, we meet Dan when he's pining over his longtime crush Serena. Fans can't help but root for the unlikely duo at first, but Dan quickly becomes as insufferable as his little sister. He pretends to loathe the superficiality of the Upper East Side while actively craving its clout. The series finale makes fans retroactively hate Dan even more after revealing that he's Gossip Girl, meaning that he's pretended to love his sister and Serena while actively exploiting them at every turn. No one's buying the retcon that Jenny knew all along. Almost every character in this show sucks, but Jenny and Dan are presented as likable outcasts only to turn out worse than all the privileged people they hated.

Dean Forester: Gilmore Girls

When you're a teenager watching "Gilmore Girls" for the first time, Dean Forester (Jared Padalecki) seems like the perfect, wholesome, all-American boyfriend that every parent would love, including Rory's mom. Yet the red flags were there, and everyone seems to have missed them. Dean is jealously hostile to Rory any time she has to interact with her bully Tristan. Dean also tries to control everything she does, demanding that she ditch her schoolwork to hang out with him. He savagely breaks up with her on their three-month anniversary because she's not ready to say "I love you" back to her first boyfriend after just a few months of dating. Not cool, Dean.

Sadly, the two make up and continue a toxic relationship into Season 3 until he publicly breaks up with her for her clear interest in Jess, which Dean continually pushes her toward by acting like a jerk. Yet he's not done messing with Rory's life. After a quickie marriage straight out of high school, Dean cheats on his wife Lindsay with Rory in Season 5, lying to her that they're separating. 

When he's not verbally abusing and gaslighting both women, he's putting himself on a pedestal for being a Great Guy. Rory and Dean both suck in this storyline, but it's icing on the cake that Dean publicly breaks up with Rory again after throwing his life away and deciding that he doesn't fit into her world. By this point, pretty much every fan hates Dean, but if teens didn't loathe him on their first watch, they probably do now with a bit of age and dating wisdom.

Chuck/God: Supernatural

Chuck begins his reign on "Supernatural" as a lovably chaotic prophet who tries to order 20 girls to his house the night Lucifer rises from Hell and advises people to hoard toilet paper during the apocalypse. Who wouldn't love this mildly problematic, borderline alcoholic, in-universe fan cult writer responsible for chronicling the show's events? (Say that five times fast.) He's a weirdo, but fans dig his energy.

Though his inclusion in the series is clearly a metaphor for series creator Eric Kripke, the writers take things 10 steps further during Kripke's swan song episode of the same name. The writers tease Chuck's possible identity as God, who's cleaned up and wearing white as he writes the final chapter of the "Supernatural" story before disappearing in thin air with a smirk. Later, we discover without a doubt that Chuck is God. He hasn't just been largely absent from Earth (and Heaven); he's been sadistically creating entire worlds to toy with humans and destroy them at his whim. 

When most people are bored, they doom-scroll through Twitter. When Chuck is bored, he doom-vanquishes entire universes. The character goes from being beloved by fans and characters alike to being a twisted, egomaniacal child torching his ant farm with a magnifying glass. While there's an episode in the series called "Jump the Shark," Chuck's creation of the multiverse and his invalidation of everything the Winchesters have done up until the penultimate episode ruins the show. Not only does Chuck blow, but he basically retcons over a decade of seasons toward the end of "Supernatural."

Xander Harris: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

When fans meet Xander (Nicholas Brendon) in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," he's the loveably adorkable guy with a slight crush on Buffy. Yet his infatuation with the slayer grows alarmingly obsessive in the blink of an eye. It may seem like Xander is harmless, but between angling a mirror to watch her change to attempting to sabotage all of Buffy's relationships, Xander goes from BFF to creep pretty quickly.

Although Buffy makes it abundantly clear to Xander that she doesn't see him as more than a friend, Xander continues to hit on her at every turn, forcing everyone to uncomfortably witness his pining. His persistent come-ons to Buffy clearly hurt Willow, who hasn't yet figured out her sexuality in the early seasons.

He's the personification of, "Waaah, I'm a nice guy, but girls don't like me." Of course, as is usually the case with men who act like this, he's awful to the women who actually want to date him. Sure, Cordelia could handle her interest in Xander better, but he's vile to her, cheats with Willow, and later leaves Anya at the altar. Wait, how does this guy even end up with any love interests at all? Just don't tell TV Buffy that he hooks up with her little sister Dawn in the comics.

Scott McCall: Teen Wolf

When "Teen Wolf" debuted in 2011, the show took a page from the original '80s film, positioning Scott at the front of the series. Sure, fans like him well enough at first; he's sweet and adorably clueless. Yet as the series progresses, fans quickly fall in love with other characters like Stiles, Derek, and Lydia, leaving Scott in the dust. This pivot makes sense, given how Scott treats his friends and family.

The series prides itself on Scott and Stiles' (Dylan O'Brien) friendship as the most integral relationship in the show, but Scott treats Stiles as his personal butler and last week's trash. While Scott continually throws himself into danger without a plan, Stiles is left to pick up the pieces, all while risking his own life as one of the series' only humans to protect his friend. 

Between Scott making out with Stiles' long-time crush Lydia, bailing when Stiles needs him, and ditching him any time he finds a new girlfriend, Scott is easily the worst friend on the show. Fans are meant to believe that Scott is a "True Alpha" and this amazingly unique martyr. However, everyone constantly makes sacrifices for Scott while he's too busy whining about insignificant problems to lift a finger, even when a demon possesses his supposed best friend. Scott goes from likably oblivious to an antihero faster than wolf speed.

Snow White: Once Upon a Time

Everyone knows "Snow White" from the self-titled animated Disney film. Plenty of movies and TV shows have put their own spin on the classic princess, but none have managed to turn her into a borderline villain quite like "Once Upon a Time." Here, Snow (Ginnifer Goodwin) is Storybrooke's judge, jury, and executioner about who is "good" while failing to hold herself to those same standards. Her hypocrisy doesn't truly reveal itself until later in the series, as she starts off as a lovable and warm character that fans are immediately drawn to.

Further along, we get some horrifying flashback scenes in addition to her terrible choices in the present day. During Snow's obsessive pursuit of keeping her family "good," she makes a villain-level evil decision that puts all "goodness" into her daughter Emma while condemning another baby with the "badness." That child is, of course, Maleficent's daughter Lily, who endures a traumatic childhood due to Snow's selfishness.

Yet no "good" deed goes unpunished, as Emma faces a similarly rough childhood in the foster care system. Perhaps if Snow hadn't tried to manipulate fate, both kids would have grown up loved, happy, and "good." Even the villains have better character growth than a character who prides herself on goodness without earning the title.

Ross Geller: Friends

Ah, yes, another OG '90s incel. Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) begins "Friends" as the awkward guy people can't help but feel bad for. There's no denying he's had more than a few tough breaks in his relationships, like being used by his wife to have a kid so she can leave him for someone else. Yet while fans are willing to give him a pass for some of his iffy behavior at the jump, things quickly go south.

Like all spurned men, Ross feels like women owe him something, and he plays the victim card any time a love interest doesn't want to put up with his awful behavior. He also pursues many women when he's in love with Rachel, even going as far as saying Rachel's name at the altar when he's marrying Emma. Yet even when Ross gets the girl of his dreams and dates Rachel, he's a jerk to her, too, blaming her for every fight. 

Ross is a unique fandom case because the fan hatred toward him feels relatively recent. Ross and Rachel were one of the show's most significant pairings until fans realized just how toxic they were. As society changes, people's opinions of older shows and characters change, too. One thing's for sure: Ross Geller is a grade-A jerk, and Rachel should have gone to Paris.

Danny Castellano: The Mindy Project

Everyone loves Danny Castellano (Chris Messina) and his pronounced Staten Island accent at the beginning of "The Mindy Project." Sure, he's egotistical and a smidge sexist, but he actively works to become a better person early enough to win a spot in fans' hearts. A fair amount of his condescension comes from trying to get a rise out of Mindy, adding to the sexual tension the series quickly acts on. Of course, hooking up in Season 2 unsurprisingly results in an on-again, off-again coupling between the duo. They also have an unplanned pregnancy to keep things fresh when they finally commit.

However, Messina's decision to step back from the series (TVLine) required the writers to create a plausible reason for Danny to leave Mindy. After stretching out a family emergency in California, the writers completely erased all of Danny's character development. They amped up Danny's desire for more children and the housewife Danny knew that Mindy would never be. Danny gives Mindy an ultimatum between him and her job. His annoying, mildly sexist attitude turns into full-fledged misogyny. After the way Danny treats Mindy—bailing on her, immediately remarrying (after giving her a hard time about getting remarried), and trying to force her into the kitchen—the two get back together in the finale. Yet with no significant build-up or reestablished character growth, his rushed reconciliation with Mindy at the show's end is barely believable or triumphant after how awful he'd become.

Piper Chapman: Orange Is the New Black

"Orange Is the New Black" may paint Piper (Taylor Schilling) as an innocent puppy in the series' pilot episode, but she goes from protagonist to villain with each passing day at Litchfield. Sure, fans are willing to award her sympathy points when her life is completely upended by something stupid she did years prior. We've all been there to some extent. However, Piper's manipulation and main character syndrome quickly become evident. It's hard to feel pity for her even when her fiancé leaves her for her best friend.

Now, Piper would be a badass character if she just owned her savageness. Instead, she paints herself as the innocent victim in every shady situation she gets herself into, all while being quick to sell out her closest friends out of necessity, vengeance, or straight-up vindictive fun. Her "woe is me" schtick is tired by the second season. Meanwhile, fans are subjected to Piper and Alex's toxic relationship and oneupmanship, while they couldn't care less who gets caught in the crossfire. Piper extending Alex's prison sentence as vengeance (and so she won't have to be alone) is just as messed up as Alex giving her name up in the first place. Who ends up getting hurt the most? Everyone around them.

Jack Hodgins: Bones

Everyone loves Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) in "Bones" for almost the entire series. He's introduced as a wacky conspiracy theorist with a huge heart and a passion for the creepy side of science. Hodgins is genuinely excited when he has to dig through a pile of maggots. Who wouldn't bizarrely find that endearing?

Though his conspiracies dwindle out as the seasons continue, Hodgins' quirky and adorable relationship with Angela (Michaela Conlin) stands strong. While fans waited on the edge of their seats for Booth and Bones to be more will they than won't they, Angela and Hodgins remain the show's heart for the first half of the series. However, one poor writing decision irrevocably changed this beloved character from most-loved to most-hated. In Season 11, Hodgins gets paralyzed from the waist down after an explosion no one saw coming. Instead of using this storyline for positive paralysis representation, the writers make Hodgins' personality do a complete 180 for the final seasons. 

He begins treating everyone in his life like garbage. Not only does he never work through the emotions pertaining to his injury but he also continually blames those around him. If he's not snapping at Angela, he's throwing a temper tantrum to his boss that would get him fired from any other position. Even worse? As he begins to accept that he may never walk again, the feeling in Hodgins' legs starts coming back, doubling down on the problematic notion that you can't be happy if you're disabled. It would have been a much more powerful character arc had Hodgins accepted and learned to love his new life.

Ted Mosby: How I Met Your Mother

Back in the first season, fans were still rooting for Ted in "How I Met Your Mother." Sure, he was pretty annoying and certainly jumped the gun in his relationships, even saying "I love you" to Robin on their first date in the pilot. Initially, fans chalked up his penchant for speeding through matters of the heart as a romantic guy's endearing desperation for his own love story.

However, it quickly becomes apparent that Ted is actually the villain in most of his ex's stories. Sure, getting left at the altar sucks, but the way Ted is presented in the in-universe film "The Wedding Bride" isn't far from the truth. He treats the women in his life as characters in a novel that he can erase, manipulate, and force into his fantasy of love at his whim. Ted fails to treat women as actual people while painting himself as a victim when they aren't as perfect as the delusional vision of a happy ending he dreams of.

If you're getting romantic advice from problematic and misogynistic fairy tales written hundreds of years ago, you might want to reevaluate your life. If you truly love your partner, you want them to be happy. But instead of accepting that he's not that person for many of his exes, he continually attempts to break up relationships, only to abandon them when things aren't immediately perfect. He also sees no issue with breaking up with a woman on her birthday—twice.

Rachel Berry: Glee

Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) might just be the most selfish "protagonist" in TV history. Even from the start of "Glee," Rachel is a try-hard, but in a relatively admirable and charming way that's relatable to the many theater outcasts who watched the series. However, Rachel's once-admirable work ethic sours when she steps on the backs of all of her friends to further her own dreams while disregarding everyone else's. Sure, Santana and Quinn have plenty of bully moments early in the series, but they also never pretend to be someone they're not. 

Is Rachel a phenomenal performer? Absolutely, but her attitude wouldn't get her anywhere in the industry. Your character is just as important as your pipes when it comes to showbiz. In the real world, the industry would have blacklisted Rachel once they saw past her dimples and crocodile tears. In her worst moments of refusing to share the spotlight, Rachel is ableist toward Artie and his wheelchair and racist against Mercedes' song suggestions. She even gives Sunshine directions to a crack house instead of Glee Club practice. Sunshine could have been killed. Yet even when Rachel gets her supposed Broadway dream, she's willing to throw it away for a sketchy TV show. This adds insult to injury for all the people she stomped over to make it to the Great White Way.