We're not talking about iconic TV characters like Michael Scott or Leslie Knope here. Instead, we're focusing on the side characters that stole the spotlight and deserve their own show. These are characters who don't always show up, but when they do, we can't change the channel. Why don't they get more love?
1. Janice From Friends
Janice and her ridiculous laugh will always bring me joy. She’s one of those characters that everyone in-universe hates, but everyone watching simply adores. While she may be a little annoying, she’s also intelligent, sweet, and hilarious, making her one of the best people in the Friends universe.
2. Ben Chang From Community
Ben Chang, played by the always hilarious Ken Jeong, is the unhinged side character in the show Community. Chang is a deranged and hysterical character that will have you rolling on the floor laughing. The character is absurd and goes through many strange iterations, including a stint as the school’s dictator.
3. Uncle Iroh From Avatar: The Last Airbender
There are many exceptional side characters from Avatar: The Last Airbender, but Uncle Iroh is easily a fan favorite and one of my personal favorites. He is a wise but playful older man who doesn’t take sides or hold grudges. Iroh has this pleasant and peaceful way about him while still being funny and relaxed. I wish I were Uncle Iroh.
4. Kati and Isabel From Gossip Girl (Original Series)
Kati and Isabel are characters in the original Gossip Girl series and the books, but their characters are not in the newer version of the show. They are like Blair Waldorf’s sidekicks, following her around loyally and doing her bidding. Kati and Isabel are spunky and saucy best friends who deserve a cute spin-off show.
5. Jean-Ralphio From Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation has an excess of phenomenal side characters, but I tried not to load up this list with too many people from that show. However, Jean-Ralphio had to make the list. He is obnoxious and annoying in the most entertaining ways and always makes me chuckle. Honorable mention goes to his sister, Mona-Lisa, who is almost as irritating as he is.
6. Fez From Euphoria
Fez was one of the most popular side characters on Euphoria. He was a quiet and often philosophical drug dealer who always treated his friends with love and respect. Unfortunately, the actor who played him, Angus Cloud, passed away recently under tragic circumstances.
7. Bertie From Love
Love is a criminally underrated show about modern relationships. Bertie is the roommate and new best friend of the main character, Mickey, and she always has an upbeat and optimistic energy that is infectious. She is such a sunny and lovable character that you’ll fall in love with her instantly.
8. Dean Craig Pelton From Community
The Dean in Community is easily my favorite character in the show. He’s played by the hilarious Jim Rash, who brings beautiful nuance and jazz to the role. The Dean may be misguided in many ways, but his heart is always in the right place, and his outfits slay.
9. Ted From Scrubs
Ted is such a depressing character that it’s hard not to root for him. Scrubs has an array of fantastic side characters, but Ted’s vibe is so distinct and sadly funny that I had to pick him for the list. Sam Lloyd portrays the character well, creating a sad man that the audience laughs at while also feeling bad for him.
10. Doug Judy From Brooklyn 99
Doug Judy is played by the talented Craig Robinson, who also had a wonderful role in The Office. Doug Judy is a friend of Jake’s who shows up every once in a while to stir up a little chaos. This absurd character always makes me laugh, and Robinson brings a special charm to the crazy role.
11. Georgina Sparks From Gossip Girl (Original Series)
Most of the side characters on this list are lovable good guys, but Georgina’s character only exists to create turmoil among the main characters. She blows into town every once in a while, starts drama, gossips, and turns everyone’s lives upside down while wearing stilettos. Then, she simply bonus back to wherever she came from! She is an evil genius and a fashion icon.
12. Derek From The Good Place
Derek is played by Jason Mantzoukas, one of the funniest actors of our time. Janet created Derek as a human-like boyfriend, but he’s not really a human. His lines are always offbeat and absurd, making it impossible not to guffaw whenever he speaks. He is one of the most creative and strange side characters on the list.
13. Roland From Schitt’s Creek
Chris Elliott always gives excellent, if not slightly gross, performances, and his role as Roland in Schitt’s Creek is no different. Roland is the unqualified mayor of the town who constantly says and does gross things. While the character is somewhat icky, he’s also hilarious and stupidly entertaining.
14. Titus From The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
I know Titus may seem like the main character because he is so captivating and attention-grabbing, but he’s still just a side character. He is a fierce and fabulous character who is unabashedly himself, so he’s simultaneously inspirational and ridiculous.
15. Ida From Raising Hope
Cloris Leachman played the unhinged great-great-grandmother, Ida, in Raising Hope before she passed. Her performance is hysterical. Ida is a strong old lady who does whatever she wants and is constantly delivering sharp insults to her family members. She’s mean but unbelievably comical.
16. Tina From The Bear
The Bear also has some awesome side characters, but Tina is one of the best. She was cranky and stubborn at the beginning of the show, but throughout the first two seasons, we get to see her slowly soften. Watching her fall back in love with cooking and become an eager student warms my heart.
17. Perd Hapley From Parks and Recreation
Another lovable side character from Parks and Recreation is Perd Hapley! He is one of the smaller side characters on my list, as he’s just the local newsman who shows up every few episodes. His wryness and awkward delivery of the news always incite laughter and capture his weirdness.
18. Jane From Daria
Jane is Daria’s best friend in the animated show Daria, and she is one of the coolest side characters ever. She’s beautifully creative and insightful while also being adventurous and meticulous. I think she is the perfect complement to Daria, and the show would be substantially worse without her.
19. Regular-Sized Rudy From Bob’s Burgers
Bob’s Burgers has countless side characters who could make this list, but Regular-sized Rudy is a fan favorite and my number one favorite character. He’s in Louise’s grade and has asthma, but that never stops him from tentatively joining in on the Belcher kids’ crazy hijinks. Rudy is always sweet and considerate until he gets pushed too far.
20. Jillian From Workaholics
Jillian Bell is a phenomenal actress who deserves more credit than she gets. In the semi-workplace sitcom Workaholics, she plays Jillian, one of the guys’ coworkers. She is unbelievably awkward and odd in a dumb and raunchy way that always makes me laugh.
21. Cricket From It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
The first time I saw Cricket on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I thought he was just a random junkie who hung around the group. Eventually, I realized he was a wholesome priest before the gang ruined his life, leading him to a life of drugs, debauchery, and desperation. It’s honestly pretty sad, but Cricket is hilarious in a pathetic way.
22. Snot From American Dad!
Snot is a member of Steve’s friend group and is also Steve’s best friend. Curtis Armstrong voices him, delivering a witty and immature performance that fits the character perfectly. Is Snot gross? Yes. But he makes you want to help him through his weird dorkiness.
23. Bevers From Broad City
Bevers is Abbi’s disgusting sort-of-roommate in Broad City. Technically, he is her roommate’s boyfriend, but he is always around, and his girlfriend isn’t. He’s funny in a gross and obnoxious way, but he also cares deeply about Abbi and always tries to be her friend, even when she rejects him.
24. Ruthie From Shrill
Ruthie in Shrill is one of the main character’s coworkers and has a very blase vibe that always leaves me laughing. She’s tall and gorgeous but also aloof and sassy, with top-notch one-liners that will make you giggle. Patti Harrison is brilliant in this role, and I wish I could be friends with her sarcastic character in real life.
25. Mona From Pretty Little Liars
I only watched the first few seasons of Pretty Little Liars because it really went off the rails, but Mona was always one of my favorites. She’s weird and vengeful in an amusing way, and I even found myself siding with her against the other girls in a few episodes. Her craziness is captivating, and you never know what she’ll do next.