In every great television series there is one character (or sometimes several) that you don’t particularly like but feel compelled to watch.
Maybe they’re the villain or just a competing love interest, but the complex mix of emotions that results every time they’re on screen can be infectious, and even though you secretly hope for their demise, you can’t imagine the series without them.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite TV characters we love to hate. (Just remember, we do love to hate them.)
1. Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones)
Joffrey Baratheon was key to making Games of Thrones the success that it is today. Joffrey claimed the throne after his legal father died, but he is really the product of an incestuous relationship between his mother and uncle.
He enjoys nothing more than humiliating others and is feared by everyone in Kings Landing, including his own mother.
His character is immature and cruel, and his sadistic tone makes him a compelling character to watch, even if his actions make you sick to your stomach.
2. Cigarette Smoking Man (The X-Files)
Talk about a worthy adversary! The Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files deserves to be on this list because he had a hand in everything that went wrong in Mulder and Scully’s lives.
From the second that Cigarette Smoking Man was introduced in the pilot episode, his silent and yet ominous presence started a storyline that brought with it the Syndicate and a push-pull relationship with Assistant Director Skinner as well as Mulder and Scully.
Every time Mulder got close to the truth, this man was there thwarting him. there were many times we wanted to yell at the screen and call him a long string of expletives, we couldn’t help but love when we came on screen, because when he did, things got real.
Honestly, if they’d “defeated” him any earlier (yes, this man is still alive) I don’t think we’d have ten seasons of The X-Files with significant talks for more episodes of the series.
One thing is for sure, this cockroach of a man is sure to haunt the television for years to come.
3.Dawn (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)
We’ve seen the trope about a long-lost sibling before, but Buffy the Vampire Slayer took it to a whole new level when they introduced Dawn in Season 5. Already out of high school, Buffy was in college and growing up, and fourteen-year-old added a bit of teen angst to the Scooby gang that wasn’t needed.
Dawn was a key of mystical energy, given human form by monks. She was what the Glory, the hell god, needed to get back to her own dimension. While Glory’s Season 5 arc was pretty captivating, it seemed like the Scoobies had enough to do without living through Dawn’s teen angst.
Season 5 also contains “The Body,” the completely scoreless episode where Joyce Summers died. So not only did the Scoobies have to deal with Glory but there was also a lot of grief going around.
Once Dawn discovered that she was a blob of energy she became even more insufferable after Joyce’s death, not seeming to understand that rules of Child’s Services still apply even if you are a blob of energy in human form.
4. Kilgrave (Jessica Jones)
Kilgrave is a character with a lot to hate about him. Maybe the fact that he was played by David Tennant inches the needle in his favor.
Kilgrave met Jessica Jones and proceeded to use her to commit murder. When she walks away from him and leaves him to get hit by a bus, she thought her problems were over.
Nope. Kilgrave survived and started playing a twisted game with her, sending Jessica clients, giving her messages through little girls in the street, and then ultimately threatening the well-being of her best-friend Trish.
For all the horrible implications that Season 1 of Jessica Jones presented, we were drawn in by the hateful relationship between these two.
Yes, his powers are freaky, but that’s what made him captivating to watch.
5. Jo Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy)
Grey’s Anatomy has such a great cast, but the newest cash of interns that was introduced following the plane crash brought along a lot dead weight.
Of the five new interns, Stephanie and Jo were the two to persevere and are still alive going into Season 13. However, Jo has been one train wreck after another.
Jo was a character that hated Meredith Grey and didn’t seem to do anything to really alter their frenemies status. She spent the last season stringing Alex along by a string, turning down proposal after proposal, and then revealed that she was already married.
Let’s queue some more drama for this upcoming season, as if Alex walking in and punching DeLuca in “Family Affair” wasn’t already going to make that needle blip.
6. Thelonius Jaha (The 100)
Every character on this show has done despicable things. There are many lists around the internet ranking characters from The 100 by degree of evil, but one character who we’ve recently loved to hate was Thelonius Jaha.
The former chancellor beat Marcus Kane to redemption as the last of humanity rode the Ark to the ground. Then found a way to get to the ground himself with a missile. Upon reaching Earth he started hearing discussions about a City of Light and he leads some of the Arkers on a quest to find it.
In Season 3, he becomes the disciple of an artificial intelligence called A.L.I.E. and he starts recruiting people into “The City of Light” by giving people “The Key.” The key was a chip they had to swallow which gave A.L.I.E. access to their minds.
Over the course of the season the desperation to recruit people led to Thelonius using coercion to recruit people.
We can say that this version of Thelonius is different from the Thelonius we knew in Seasons 2 and 3, but he was the impetus for this loss of free will. Can his character recover from this? We won’t know what happens until The 100 comes back mid-season.