Every movie has a protagonist who the film revolves around. A good protagonist can make an average movie stand out. Likewise, a bad protagonist affects the movie in such a way that fans may still hate it, even if there's a great plotline. Take Captain Marvel, for instance; universally voted as one of the least favorite characters in the MCU, the movie was still the first female-led superhero movie and broke $1 Billion at the box office.
But sometimes, the protagonist of the movie or TV show ends up being worse than the characters you're actually supposed to hate. Personally, Elizabeth Keen's character went from lovable to seriously unlikeable in the later seasons of The Blacklist.
1. Jax Teller, Sons of Anarchy
One fan says, “Dude’s son straight up got kidnapped and his wife got injured to the point she couldn’t perform surgeries because his stepdad put a hit out on her and it STILL wasn’t enough for him to leave his dumb motorcycle club.”
They continue, “His wife begged him to leave for their safety and he wouldn’t… she tried to leave on her own with her children and he stopped her.”
2. Nate, Ted Laso
At the end of season two, the writers of Ted Lasso did us all a favor and made him a villain headed into season three.
“The writers are gonna have to do some next-level stuff if they want me ever to like Nate again,” says one watcher.
Another responded, “Doesn't matter if we like Nate again, Ted will like him because he's a better man than us, which will make us want to be like Ted.”
3. Emily, Emily in Paris
Even though Netflix's smash-hit Emily in Paris is loved by many, some viewers cannot stand the title character.
According to one critic, Emily “barely suffers” from the consequences of her actions. “Sleeping with a friend's partner and still remains friends with both of them openly. Screws up business opportunities, nothing besides a slap on the wrists, and somehow, it's magically resolved.”
They added Emily's fashion sense — “if Harry [S]tyles was color blind” — and her “I'm a dumb American, bon apple tea!” routine is super annoying.
4. Mark, Rent
In 2005, the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical Rent was released. But people who were big fans of the movie and musical then don't feel the same as they used to.
“I love Rent but as I get older the more ridiculous it gets,” wrote u/unibrow4o9. “Mark is a rich kid who has parents that love him but he runs off to cosplay as someone who is poor to make ‘films' which is really just him pointing his camera at poor people all day. He doesn't think he should have to pay rent to Benny because they were friends and he let them stay for free for a long time and he thinks that should just last forever. Then he finally gets a job but quits because it was ‘selling out.'”
5. Noah, The Notebook
I remember reading a list that called The Notebook one of the greatest romance movies ever, Titanic-level great. I went into it with high hopes but only ended up slightly disappointed and underwhelmed. One of the reasons I felt that way was because of the main character, who I found really obnoxious!
One Redditor described Noah as “that dude,” so I can only assume a lot more people feel that way about him, too.
6. Dawson Leery, Dawson's Creek
He may have been the main character on the show, but Dawson Leery is arguably the least-liked character.
One fan says, “Yeah when I watched it as a teenager I didn't click how pathetic and whiny and needy he really was but I watched it again in my mid-20s and I could barely stand him.”
7. Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
For one viewer, it's no contest. “Rory Gilmore- whiny, narcissistic, cheated on multiple boyfriends…”
Another looks back, realizing “In hindsight, it's not a surprise she turned out how she did with everyone powdering her from day one of the show.”
8. Cade Yeager, The Transformers
The Transformers was under heat from one fan. “Was Sam a good main character? No. Not at all. But damn, Cade is horrible. In his first, let's say, 10 minutes on screen we learn that he doesn't pay for his house, his electricity, he doesn't pay his employee, he is a bad inventor, overly protective of his daughter and all around an jerk. And he only gets worse.”
Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) is one of the main protagonists of Transformers: Age of Extinction and Transformers: The Last Knight, and a single father to Tessa Yeager. He may be “overly protective” of his daughter, but his last promise to his late wife was always to protect her. Still, it felt a bit “icky.”
9. Evan Hansen, Dear Evan Hansen
Dear Evan Hansen is a coming-of-age musical film with music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. It centers on Evan Hansen, a high-school student with social anxiety.
But according to one viewer, he's more than that. “He's a legit monster.”
“At least in the musical, he gets called out for his actions by his friends and loses everything. The movie cut all that because how dare we hold him accountable for being a massive creep,” someone added.
One person's comment pretty much sums up the reason a lot of people hate this main character. “That bald headed little jerk from a kid's show who acts spoiled.
‘Caillou did not want to go to the park today. Like all days Caillou was being passive aggressive'.”
“I always told my kids that Caillou had cancer which is why he was bald and why his parents literally let him get away with anything and everything,” someone replied.
11. Tori Vega, Victorious
“She kissed Beck in front of everyone just to get back at Jade, and she kissed Cat's boyfriend because she was jealous. And she didn't seem to care that her ‘prom' prevented Jade from doing her performance,” a fan said.
I never quite understood why Tori Vega was the musical's main character. She was controlling and always wanted everything to be about her — and the plotline always managed to put her in the spotlight, despite her being one of the least talented characters.
12. Rachael, Friends
Rachael and Ross's back-and-forth relationship in the sitcom hit the rocks so many times because of either partner offending the other. But in some cases where Ross was vilified, the true villain was Rachael just being “extra.” Yet, it always seemed like it was Ross's fault, and he ended up being guilt-tripped by their other friends into believing it.
“Ross is one of those characters where people ignore his behavior 90% of the time and focus on his 10% moments to call him a jerk,” a fan said.
13. Goldilocks, Goldilocks And The Three Bears
This response may be a joke, but one reader has a good point. Goldilocks “goes in their house and eats all their porridge,” and that's not very nice.
Someone agreed, saying “Totally! Breaking and entering, vandalism, theft, loitering! Girl, get out of our house!!!”
A thread inspired this post.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Boloere Seibidor, fondly called B.S. is a Nigerian-based writer and poet. Her favorite topics to cover include music, especially Hip-Hop, film, lifestyle, and fashion. She's been published by Feral Journal, Fantasy Magazine, The Temz Review, and most notably, Wealth of Geeks. She enjoys romantic dinners, movie nights, and touring new sites. When she's not writing, she's delving back in time to the underground world of Hip-Hop, watching TikTok, or visiting the cinema.