TV's 21 Most Polarizing Characters: Do You Love 'Em or Hate 'Em?

We see the way you talk about them, you know….

There are certain names — belonging to fictional TV characters, mind you — that when highlighted in a TVLine news item or feature story elicit, um, “strong” reactions from their show’s collective fan base.

You love ’em! Or… you hate ’em! (And mind you, hate is a strong word.)

So, here now, we pay tribute to the most polarizing, divisive, love-’em or hate-’em TV characters now inhabiting primetime. Take a look at our list, then sound off in Comments if you find these folks desirable, or despicable. Awesome, or loathsome. Also feel free to nominate any other fan base rousers!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sarah says:

    I know someone pointed this out already but where the hell is Gregory House? I’ve seen some REALLY long tirades against House’s character, even though people have WAY too high expectations for the show. It’s SUPPOSED to be ridiculously unrealistic. And Cuddy, Thirteen, and Taub were pretty polarizing too. Thirteen was just plain boring. She didn’t add anything to the show (sorry OW fans). And I wish Taub would jump off a bridge! He and his kids make me want to throw my TV out the window.
    In terms of 24, what about Dana and Kim? They were absolutely useless and should’ve been killed off immediately.

  2. MobiousKlein says:

    Oh please, you can’t top perfection. Nothing will ever best Sam and Dean as a duo. Keep your Desties fantasies to fanfic. K thanx. Not make a doomed to failure tv show out of it.

  3. ibs says:

    Hate Blaine! HATE!!

    But I LOVE Karen! What is there NOT to love about Karen?

  4. Emmy says:

    I also hate Castiel. I never minded Cas at first but now he has no purpose in the show and they are just bringing him back for fanservice.

    • Mekina says:

      I, too, didn’t mind Castiel so much in the beginning, but the way he gets repeatedly shoved back into the show, among other things, has made me hate him.

  5. erin says:

    Castiel is a character that I love in general, but I just don’t love what the writers did with him. I feel he overstayed his welcome, and the writers had to really twist the story in knots (to the detriment of the overall show) to find a place for him, especially season 6. The show is about Sam and Dean, and in season 6 they were not the center of the story and it simply didn’t work. I am hopeful though that his return will work though.

    Blaine is simply one more character who is left twisting in the wind by the absolute nonsensical writing on Glee.

    Karen on Smash is awful. While I would normally like the idea of a character who is thrust into the spotlight unexpectedly, she is coming off as a strange combination of naive, entitled, and self-centered that I don’t find appealing at all.

  6. SuckBass says:

    The fact that you love Chuck but hate Dan for much minor crimes shows what a biased hypocritcal idiot you are. Go seek mental help, Chuckistan.

  7. Emily says:

    I loathe Castiel. He’s a horrible actor and his storyline was over in season 4. Dawn O liked him so he was forced into the show for 2 more seasons. The angel storyline has been beaten to a pulp and is rotting to a nauseating mess. It’s way past time for him to go. He’s got some pretty messed up sick fans who want him in the show to fuel their sick fantasies of love eternal between him and Dean. If he’s so much loved by fans why hasn’t CW given him his own show, hmmm? Please CW give him his own show and get him off SPN.

    • Mekina says:

      I utterly loathe Castiel, but I don’t have anything against Misha Collins. I hope he gets a good role in a show/movie/other somewhere far, far, FAR away from Supernatural. That way no more Castiel.

  8. Laura says:

    I love Blaine Anderson. He’s the whole reason I started and still continue to watch Glee. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the video for Teenage Dream, it’s what made me watch Never Been Kissed.
    Blaine is such a strong and complex character and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his development and learning about him. A lot of it has been subtle but everything revealed just further intrigues me.
    I want to learn more about him-more storylines focusing on him in greater depth-as he may have had a bad past with all of the bullying and his less than warm welcome by certain characters at McKinley but he’s not broken or bitter. He has his faults-like his impulsiveness and occasionally his anger-and then he has his many admirable qualities. He still strives to do what he wants and be true to himself. He’s knowledgeable and a strong team member without neglecting his own dreams. He’s so brave and he’s an amazing boyfriend to boot. I could go on and on. He’s so very interesting. His performances are always top-notch. He’s a joy to watch and has so many layers that I can never be bored with him.
    I’ve seen very few people who truly dislike him as a character-if anything the reasons for their dislike of Blaine are often petty whether it be hatred due to solos (which he has no control over), a relationship (your ship is not canon, hating a character because of that is ridiculous), misinterpretation (he is not a clueless school boy, a slut-shammer, etc.), hated of Darren (your bitterness is showing and he’s a fantastic actor, also character and actor aren’t one in the same) or boredom (more for me then and complaining isn’t gonna change a thing). I’m sure there are people who are simply indifferent to him but the louder people proclaim their hatred of him, the more bitter and annoying they appear.
    Also, the fact that this love em or hate em thing is just based upon comments only on this site in no way demonstrates how much the general public enjoys a character (the general public and media love Blaine) and it merely indicates how much petty, bitter people with little actual warranted reasons for despising Blaine like to whine and complain in your comments. :)
    All in all, Blaine is a fantastic character whom I want to always know more about. I love him dearly and he has been an inspiration for me during a very tough year. I am very excited for the upcoming Big Brother episode and I can’t wait to see Cooper and Blaine interact.

    • Hateblaine says:

      LOL.Are you sure you are not trolling us?

    • applause says:

      A+ comment.

      So much to love about Blaine, warts and all.

      Can’t wait for them to flesh out some of the things they’ve been hinting at (past assault and trauma leading to him taking control of his life, daddy issues).

      I think he’s a very inspiring character, considering he’s been through some heavy stuff but has come out a genuinely good, strong, confident, and yes, flawed, person.

      • Laura says:

        I really wanted to reply and thank you for this comment since a few of the comments/replies to it are rather…distasteful or irrelevant. I really can’t wait for the fleshing out of what has been hinted at either. Is his dad really homophobic? Or is his dad uncomfortable and disconnected? Is it intentional or a misunderstanding? Will we learn more about the assault and the trauma and get an idea of what steps he took to move past that and as you said take control of his life? The boxing was a fascinating piece of the puzzle. I really think so too. He’s all those things and more and I’m quite excited. Again, thanks for this comment as I’m glad to see that someone shares the same sentiments.

    • buhn says:

      the delusional is strong with this one lol

      • Denisse says:

        L M A O!

        MTE, delusional and blind tbh.

        Stans gonna stan. Blaine and Brittany are the most underdeveloped charanters on Glee and that is sayin smth.

      • Laura says:

        I think you meant to say “the delusion is strong in this one”. Delusional is an adjective so “the delusional” makes little sense and in rather than “with” fits better as a delusion is a belief and you are commenting on how strong I hold said belief. Other than your annoying and glaring misuse of grammar, I find your comment irrelevant and it also proves my initial point that haters are petty. The fact that I can see the complexity of a character and find him worth liking unlike you is no indication that I’m delusional. There are many people who find him just as interesting. I am neither delusion nor blind as the person below puts it. I’m simply a fan.

    • Sara says:

      I agree with Laura 100%

    • tami says:

      Perfect troll post!

    • andreacn says:

      ah…and here is the reason why i hate being associated with the glee fandom.

      blarren stans….you will never seize to amaze me.

    • Sam says:


  9. Daphne says:

    Well done.I hate all of them.

  10. Ben says:

    I loooooove Alex from Happy Endings !
    And that’s a real surprise for me, because I really hated Elisha (or at least Kim Bauer) in 24. But I also hated Kim Raver’s character, and now I really like her in Grey’s.

    But Alex is so cute and dumb (in the good way). Love her that much ! :D

  11. Chrissy says:

    I totally hate Dan or rather Dair on GG at the moment! Why don’t the writers get that Dan and Blair just don’t fit? Unlike Chuck who is really perfect for Blair, Dan is so lame and cannot be a part of her world. In the beginning of GG he hated her and now.. really?! Dair has to end immediately!

    • Beth says:

      RME, without Dan and Blair Gossip Girl wouldn’t even be relevant anymore. They are a breath of fresh air on a show way past its prime. Dan has always known there was more to Blair than meets the eye since the fourth episode, and the show has made them more compatible than Chuck and Blair on paper.

      • Olivia says:

        What are you talking about, the 6 billionth iteration of Chair would totes be better than Perfect For Each Other On Every Level Dair.

        IA with you though, Dan and Blair are without a doubt a revelation, and the writers have been wanting to do it for years so it’s been done with a lot of care and it shows. Why they would ever want to go back to Chair is beyond me.

    • andrea says:

      it’s called grown up!!! dan and blair character matured through out the seasons, they hated each other the first time, because the two of them represent what they both hated (middle class Brooklyn and spoiled UES), they never knew each other as individual in S1, in s4 they started to see behind the surface, not just appearance, when they actually knew each other they became each other confidant, best friend but still challenge each other intellectual daily, and then lovers. their character progress was amazing, i don’t get why chair fans don’t see that, you can’t still be the same person you are in high school oh wait you can, chuck is still the same douchbag who use women oh well,,,

  12. Jerzygirl45 says:

    I think it would have been good if there was a little explanation about who the characters are and why they’re so polarizing. Nothing big, just a couple of sentences for the people that don’t actually watch whatever show they’re on.

  13. ksenija says:

    i’ll be brief:
    1.pierce, community – love
    6.dan, gossip girl – hate
    9.ted, himym – love
    12. betty, mad man – hate
    13. jess, new girl – love
    16. chris, parks and rec – love
    21. tara, true blood – hate
    although hate is strong word, i’do go with don’t like

  14. Angel Pie says:

    Castiel has definitely worn out his purpose on the show and the storytelling has gone to utter rot just to fit him in. Garbage in, Garbage out. Castiel = Garbage. Writing = Garbage. Garbage Writing = Garbage Show. Castiel is poisoning a great show that used to be about family, two brothers, and hunting evil. Now, Castiel is gonna get a free pass or a fake redemption arc, and essentially be rewarded for basically setting the world up for destruction by the Leviathans. Castiel destroyed Sam’s life out of nothing but sheer arrogance and violence – it’s called MIND RAPE for a reason. Castiel is also the reason Bobby is dead, because he unleashed Dick Roman Leviathan on the world to begin with. So, he cost Bobby both his house and his life. Castiel can cry and woobie all he wants to, and I’m sure he will, to please his fanbase. But I won’t feel a damn thing for him. Not one thing. Cry me a river, rapey angel, you’re just a monster like any other evil monster.

    Maybe Amy’s son Jacob can kill Castiel. Now, that would be Justice.

    • Mekina says:

      I wouldn’t really care how Castiel dies, I just want him dead. Permanently, this time. Too bad Anna isn’t still around so she could scatter his ashes around the universe. XD

  15. beth says:

    This list is weird, Ausiello. People dislike Ted? I guess he’s a little boring? Karen is too new for me to decide whether or not I like her. And Dan Humphrey is a great character with a great growth arc. I don’t think he’s even the most polarizing character on the show.

  16. jj says:


  17. Erica says:

    I love Dan. Best character on GG right now. Blair has been pretty insane lately. I hope she will come back to her senses next to Dan, because Chair and Blouis storylines destroyed her character.

  18. CT says:

    I don’t even hate Dan Humphrey, I… nothing him. He’s always been the least interesting character on GG. They tried to make him interesting by pairing him with Blair, but he’s just dragged her down with him. That show is such a mess now.

    • OhReally says:

      You obviously care enough about him to post on articles that are about him, and him alone. This kind of contradicts your point on “indifference”. You don’t see Dan fans fill up the comments section of Chuck articles. Because they are actually indifferent to Chuck. The only people who get worked up about him are Chuckistans like yourself.

    • Sarah says:

      I absolutley agree, GG’s most hated character goes to chuck bass, GG’s most loved also goes to chuck bass, i dont understand why dans on the list. theyve pimped dan so much on the show in s4.

      • zing says:

        Maybe because the list is made by sane people, and not frustrated Chuckistans?

        Your butthurt is only making TVLine’s case, you know that , right?

  19. Hannah says:

    i loove Dan but i hate chuck

  20. NIM says:

    Don’t watch all the shows but of the ones that I do Community’s Pierce – grates a lot of the time but he is part of the gang so don’t completely hate him, Glee’s Blaine – a bit meh on him, Gossip girl’s Dan – neither loved nor hated him during the first couple of seasons but have full on loved him since season 4.
    Grey’s Owen – like him well enough and don’t hate him half as much as the rest of the fandom does, HIMYM’s Ted- love the Mosby, NG’s Jess – totes wierd but I like her anyway, Revenge’s Amanda – her voice was seriously annoying, SPN’s Cas- My love for him is only surpassed by my love for Dean and Sam and TB’s Tara – like her for the most part but hate when she does stupid, irrational stuff.

  21. Clara says:

    I cant even tell how much i hate sutton!

  22. Hanni says:

    I am surprised that Dan Humphrey is on the list if were talking GG’s most hated and most loved that would go to Chuck Bass. He has viewers on both ends of the spectrum,it’s black and white with him. Ive never heard Dan get as much hate as Chuck does (Chuck gets ions amount of hate, but dan also doesnt get the same amount of love he does. Chuck is the most popular male character on GG, he’s their iconic character. “We love Chuck Bass” trended randomly during the oscars.
    This is fact.

    • Pringle says:

      Dan takes everything from Chuck :P

      Seriously guys…if you hadn’t spent hours and days and months bashing Dan on every pro-Dair article, forcing people to jump him and defend him, maybe your argument would have had more strength. And “We love CB” trended because of a fake Ed Westwick.. also a fact.

  23. Hedwig says:

    I absolutely love Dan. Which is weird because I absolutely hate the show otherwise. Good call on including him in the the “polarizing” characters list though… I know he gets a lot of flak from the Chuck lovers, the Chair lovers, the Serenate lovers etc. I think polarizing characters have the most can’t be indifferent to them. And it’s flattering when fans of other characters get insecure because of this one person… and the comments from Chuck fans on this post proves my point :)

  24. anne says:


  25. bc says:

    Random people on this list!

    Only really hate Deb. And Ivy from #Smash but she’s bizarrely not on the list, but Karen is?

  26. suebrody says:

    The less Blaine, the better. It’s not the Plaine Blanderson show, Glee.

    • everdeenery says:

      I would watch a show about Dalton when he was still there. McKinley is too full of hot messes- And not the fun kind.

  27. Kaitie says:

    Look, Darren Criss is an amazing addition to Glee. He was meant for T.V. When it comes to his singing he puts a lot of emotion into te song which makes it better and it shows that he wants to be there. In no way what so ever does he put to much effort into his songs. He honestly added more life to the show.

  28. Spencer says:

    I HATE Blaine! He is my least favorite TV character on any show. I even had to change the channel during Glee during his singing parts just because he is soooo fake and ridiculous.

  29. finally! says:

    I have nothing against darren cris but I really hate Blaine. I think he is boring, annoying and I don’t like the fact that he is put on a pedestal on the show. He was ok last year, then they changed his personality, his age, made him sing even more, make everybody adore him, make him get away with everything in order to upgrade him to main character status. To give him some depth and attract sympathy, they invent those “heartbreaking” stories out the blue, he is anable to sell.
    we are allowd to dislike a “fictional character” No need to be offended. darren criss is cute and has a good voice we get it,the show and the media throw that on our face constantly, but that’s not enough to make Blaine likable and believable to me.
    I didn’t expect to see mosby here but I can see why he can appear slightly annoying, but I like him.

  30. Jared says:

    Of the shows I watch:
    1. Pierce – Ugh.
    2. Deb – HATE!
    4. Blaine – Like.
    5. Dan – Most intellectual least ingenuine character on the show. Shouldn’t Chuck instead be on this list?
    6. Owen – HATE.
    8. Ted – Ugh.
    12. Jess – LOVE! Why is she on here!?
    13. Adrianna – At times poorly written and other times beautifully written.
    16. Amanda – Good “mixed up” villian.
    17. Karen – Don’t mind her.
    18. CASTIEL!!!!!! – Ugh.

  31. finally! says:

    I forgot to say that I stopped watching Supernatural when castiel appeared. I don’t hate him, he just lost me completely, for some reason. I would have done the same thing about glee if it wasn’t for Kurt. Again I have nothing against the actors.

  32. Morgana says:

    I absolutely LOVE Castiel. He’s the reason I became a fan of Supernatural, and I hope he gets to stick around when they finally bring him back next week, or I’m so done with this show. With just Sam and Dean and so many of the good secondary characters killed off, the show has becoming boring, stale and repetitive. After 7 years there’s only so much they can do with just Sam and Dean. Castiel is such a fun and fascinating character and adds so much to the show.

  33. DeanTMFW says:

    I think it’s funny that when they decided to kill Cas off, everyone was saying thank God, i always hated him. And when it broke that he was coming back, everyone said thank God, we missed him. And now that there’s talk of him being in a possible season 8…bring back the haters. Shut up already and go with the flow. Love him or hate him (Love for me :)) he adds a great deal to Supernatural. I say bring it on!

    • Mekina says:

      I don’t know who you were asking, but I was relieved when he was gone, and I’m dreading it now that I know he’s coming back.

  34. confused says:


  35. John says:

    Jenna Maroney is AMAZING, I love her. I also like Jess and Chris.
    I really can’t stand Blaine, Dan, Ted and Robert.
    I don’t really watch the other shows though :P

  36. sia says:

    Dan is the absolute worst!!He is always judgmental and a huge hypocrite. He always critisizes the big bad UES people but guess what Humphrey? You are so much worse than them.

    • ohu says:

      Judging you for your spelling.

      And really, “judgmental” is all you’ve got , right? Guess what, the UES is a million times more judgmental than Dan is. And so are you…judging him for not being a part of the UES. When was the last time Dan “judged” someone? Punching a rapist is not “judging”, it’s the right thing to do.

    • al says:

      Lol I assume you’re still watching season 1?

  37. Kristina says:

    I can’t believe people don’t like Chris Traeger from Parks and Rec. But I do believe the hate for Ted on HIMYM. Everyone I speak to about that show says they can’t watch because he’s an awful main character.

  38. DianaLee says:

    FYI: The Castiel haters are the fans who a) want Sam & Dean to be a couple on the show and b) insist that Jensen and Jared ARE a couple in real life. They dislike anyone that disrupts this fantasy including Castiel and/or Misha, female guest stars and Jensen and Jared’s wives.

    • Jess says:

      Wow. You are assuming quite a bit there; and frankly making a fool out of yourself.
      That is like saying everybody who loves Cas is a Destiel shipper and/or thinks Jensen and Misha are more than just friend in real life.

      • DianaLee says:

        There’s an entire community of “fans” called SPN gossip devoted to claiming that Jensen and Jared are a couple and hating on their wives and any character or actor perceived as “coming between” Sam & Dean. Before Castiel was hated it was Lisa, Ruby, Bella, Jo…. These people will settle for nothing less than 42 minutes of Sam and Dean staring at each other every week and Jensen and Jared outing themselves as a couple.

        And for the record, I like Dean, Sam and Castiel equally and I don’t pair ANY of them on on the show or off. The show has been great this year without Castiel; it’ll also be great when he comes back. It’s a great show, period.

        • Mekina says:

          I’ve seen the SPN gossip people, the tinhatters, and frankly, they’re terrifying and they freak me out. They can’t accept that Jensen and Jared are friends who are both straight and happily married. They have trouble separating fanfiction and reality. I’m not one of those, but I still read fanfiction, and I still hate Castiel.

    • Mekina says:

      That’s really assuming a lot, you know. I hate Castiel myself, and I admit to reading Wincest, but I have nothing against Misha, female guest stars, or Jared and Jensen’s wives! I’m perfectly aware that any fanfiction I read is purely that, fanfiction, and I don’t want it to be canon. I like the show how it is. (Just without Castiel.) Assuming things the way you’ve done is like saying every Castiel fan hates Sam and wants Dean and Castiel to get it on. And there are those that feel that way, but most of them don’t.

  39. Carrie says:

    I’m really surprised Rick is on this list and not Shane. I know some people aren’t huge Rick fans but I don’t think you get much more polarizing than Shane. In the past few weeks I’ve heard some say how much they love him and some say that he needed to die.

  40. Kelly O says:

    On a show that includes Ellis you went with Karen Cartwright??????

    • noa says:

      oh!! yeah, i wrote a comment about not really liking Karen, but you’re so right! Ellis is so much worse. at least his part isn’t so big. hope he goes away. or just stay on to get Anjelica Huston drunk.

  41. jt says:

    Blaine shouldn’t even be on here since he hardly even consistutes a character. All he ever does is waste 3 minutes every episode singing some pointless song. The fact is that Blaine has never belonged as part of the main group and he throws the whole show dynamic off kilter because they insist of giving him so much focus despite not earning any of it.

    And Darren is just not a strong enough actor. I normally wouldn’t care, but when you you pitch one of your best actors with one of your worst on a consistence basic the results are just awful. It’s clear he doesn’t bother thinking about anything he is given, when he gives the same love looks to other characters the same way he looks at Kurt. And anytime they try to give him some material to work with it is just laughable. Boxing scene? Slut shaming Sam scene? Cough Syrup performance? All completely over the top.

  42. Aki says:

    I love Castiel. In fact, he’s my favorite character on SPN. Doesn’t mean I don’t also like Sam and Dean and all the other characters, but for me there is something missing when he’s not there, to the point I didn’t even bother watching the current season. I can’t wait for his return episodes, though.

  43. Joy says:

    Two biggest offenses commited by Blaine on Glee: Being overrated and boring. And that makes me indifferent to him, if not flat out dislike.

  44. Jypsycat says:

    I LIKE Blaine! In my humble opinion, it’s nice to see a gorgeous young man interested in someone slightly less gorgeous. It gives those of us slightly less gorgeous hope that someone really hot would be interested in little us. Yay, Blaine…I hope he continues to be a part of ‘Glee’.

  45. jamie says:

    Love Blaine from Glee. Hate Kurt. Love Karen from Smash. Hate Ivy.

  46. finally! says:

    To those who pretend that Blaine isn’t polarizing, people created two tags(actually three) on tumblr just so they can dislike him whithout annoying his fans. There is no such thing for any other character on the show, even karofsky. I guess no matter how despicable some characters are (like Sue Sylvester or Dave who changed)they are valued non the less as characters, when some aren’t even when they are presented as the nice ones.

    • err says:

      there are many lol tags for both characters and couples on Glee

      Check out the lol Finchel tag and you’ll just see bashing of Finn

      Check out the lol karofsky tag; it exists. It’s just we often don’t tag our hate at all because we don’t need a collective place to go to to fuel it. We have better things to do then spend our time reading other people bashing a fictional character/relationship we don’t like.

      I swear, Karofsky stans spend more time bashing Blaine than actually adoring Karofsky.

      And in the GA, Blaine is not polarizing. Even with general fandom (people not involved in Kurtship wars), Blaine is generally well-liked. Sorry!

  47. sam says:

    wait, who hates Ted Mosby? He’s so cute! And the only people who hate Karen from Smash are Broadway snobs and Taylor Hicks fans.

  48. Gilda says:

    I’ve seen a decent amount of this directed towards Ivy too. Anyone else agree with this nom? Seems to run in the Smash family.

  49. noa says:

    1. i actually really like Alex in Happy Endings. it’s the mandatory “stupid character” but they’re not using the regular jokes- they gave her these unique things she never gets- like bits and jokes. i love how she never knows what the other person is thinking and never admits it.
    2. Karen in smash- i think this character is the show’s biggest problem… you’re supposed to root for her, but i think she’s pretty unlikable (and so is her boyfriend). not a fan.
    3. pierce- you’re supposed to hate him. that’s why he’s there…
    4. Chris on parks and rec- it’s a good character, but not as good as all the others on that show. he doesn’t measure up. this season they made him a little less one dimensional which helps (not always happy, not only about health). but for the most part, he’s kind of one note. and that note isn’t so funny. gets points for “stop pooping” though!
    5. i hate Amanda from Revenge. hate hate hate. i don’t have anything to add to that.

  50. Joy says:

    Blaine being with Kurt gives you hope because he’s with ‘someone less gorgeous’. Oh, you do not want to go there. Trust me.