TV Bad Boys: Who's Your All-Time Favorite?

damon salvatore don draper mr bigMarch Madness is over, with Kentucky taking home the 2012 NCAA Tournament crown. (Whew, writing about sports is exhausting!) But if the end of the college basketball season has you in a funk — or even if it doesn’t — we’ve got good news: TVLine is getting ready to launch TV’s All-Time Best Bad Boys Bracket Tourney. But first, we need your help deciding which players should make the cut.

I’ll get things started by nominating The Vampire Diaries‘ Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), who’s irresistable even when he’s being evil, along with Mad Men‘s Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and Sex and the City‘s Mr. Big (Chris Noth), two gentlemen who won’t ever be poster boys for emotional availability, and yet make up for it in terms of confidence, aesthetics, and general suaveness.

And with that, I turn it over to you. Who are your favorite TV bad boys — from shows past and present? Feel free to nominate dangerous heroes and virile villains, as well as guys so awful you can’t help but cheer ’em on. Start the nominating process in the comments; we’ll read every last one, then curate a tournament field that’s bad to the bone!

And to keep abreast of when the bracket launches and how it plays out, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

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. Alyssa says:

    Spike- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Angelus- Buffy the Vampire Slayer/ Angel
    Daniel Shaw- Chuck
    Jayne Cobb- Firefly
    Jess Mariano- Gilmore Girls

  2. DitzyD says:

    Spike – Buffy
    Brian – Queer as Folk
    Damon and Elijah – Vampire Diaries
    Dean – Supernatural

  3. bklyngirl says:

    Al Bundy

  4. Kerry says:

    Logan Echolls all the way

  5. anilorac says:

    Tim Riggins & Jess Mariano

  6. Ross says:

    Doakes (Dexter)
    Also, he isn’t attractive by any stretch of the imagination,
    but BOB (Twin Peaks) because he is freakin’ terrifying.

  7. Mel says:

    There is only one for me: Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins) from Justified.

    • Cantare says:

      Greg House – the smartest one of the lot.

      • erin bowers says:

        For those of you voting for House Please remember we are voting for BAD ASSES not PLAIN ASSES

        • @erin bowers says:

          LOL! I don’t think they’ve been specific enough about what sort of bad guy we’re voting for so some are voting for bad asses and some bad guys with enough good in them that you can still like them and some just completely bad men. If we’re going for selfish, weak, cruel men with no redeeming qualities at all besides being able to solve a medical case, then sure, I’d vote for him. But as a likeable bad guy? Let’s be honest here. No.

          • erin bowers says:

            Excatly as Cuddy would say sometimes an ass is just an ass

            As far as I am concerned the ONLY true bad man in the last 5 yrs is Keifer Sutherland as Jack Bauer ” I think I’m gonna need a hack saw”
            Before that I would nominate Chuck Conners as “The Rifleman” or Jason McCord in “Branded” Those men are truly BAD

        • Sasha Fierce says:

          I’d like to add re: House that this is precisely as his creator intended him to be from the beginning: A simple jerk who everyone hated because he was cruel to everyone, but they still needed him because he could solve their medical dilemmas. In the middle seasons, when he seemed a bit more multifaceted and there were glimpses of good and trying to be better, I actually liked him but then they reverted back to the simple jerk who is cruel to everyone and not even trying to be anything but a selfish, cruel man who lives entirely for himself and no one else. Sorry, I don’t find that admirable or likeable.He’s bad because he’s too weak to say no to his bad impulses, or to do so for very long. Unless someone is romanticizing his bad qualities, I don’t see how they can convert his simple badness into good. Intelligence isn’t inherently good or bad; it depends on what you do with it. The one good thing he does, solve medical dilemmas, he does for purely selfish reasons. It’s what his creator intended and he succeeded. Which is fine. I’m just not going to be starry-eyed and celebrate him as some “bad guy with a heart of gold underneath” when clearly he isn’t, nor was he intended to be.

  8. Hazel says:

    Spike and Angelus on Buffy
    Jayne on Firefly
    Logan on Veronica Mars
    Michael on Roswell
    The Master on Doctor Who
    Mordred and Uther on Merlin
    Eric on True Blood
    Jeoffry on Game of Thrones
    Sebastian on Glee
    Derek on Smash
    Pacey on Dawson’s Creek

  9. Bella says:

    Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights
    Sawyer from Lost
    Walter from Fringe

  10. TigerNightmare says:

    Malcolm Reynolds
    Boyd Crowder
    Raylan Givens
    James “Sawyer” Ford
    Sayid Jarrah
    Jack Bauer
    Logan Echols
    Tim Riggins
    Wesley Wyndham Price
    Bill Compton
    Eric Northman
    That Dothraki king guy who died
    Dexter Morgan
    Matt LeBlanc as himself
    Walter White
    Jesse Pinkman
    Whatever Nathan Fillion’s character was named on that show Drive

    Is there gonna be a bad girls one? I like girls. Less of them are bad, though.

  11. klaudia says:

    DAMON <3

  12. Alexis says:

    My heart will always go for Damon Salvatore the best “bad boy” ever

  13. #1 – Sawyer from “Lost” – made me wish I had freckles!
    Also: Kevin Spacey on “Wise Guy” – slimy but compelling
    Misha Collins on “Supernatural” – good/bad angel Castiel!

  14. Steven Leitner says:

    Red Forman (That ’70s Show), Barney Stinson (How I Met your Mother).

  15. Tansy says:

    Simon Cowell – American Idol [or is he simply a giant rectum?]

  16. lady.lightning says:

    Julian Sark! (Alias)

    Cole/Balthazor (Charmed)

    Eric Northman (True Blood)

  17. manders says:

    Dan – One Tree Hill
    Tyler – Revenge
    Klaus – VD
    Damon – VD

  18. Catalina says:

    Why has no one mentioned BEN. COVINGTON. from Felicity??

  19. MaryAnn says:

    Angel from “Buffy”
    Spike from “Buffy”
    Raylan Givens from “Justified”
    Damon from “Vampire Diaries:”
    Stefan from “Vampire Diaries:
    Andrew from “Ringer”
    Jax from “Anarchy”

    AND,most of all:

    Reese (Jim Caviezel),the ex-military star of “Person of Interest” (No one has mentioned him so far! Talk about your bad-ass tortured hero with a heart of gold!)

  20. abbyjo says:

    Agree w/all the noms for LOGAN from Veronica Mars and COLE from Charmed!

    and there’s something about Robert Carlyle’s MR. GOLD / Rumplestiltskin that is so compelling and sexy. (Mostly Mr. Gold…)

  21. tanya says:

    Spike (Buffy)
    Dylan (90210)
    Ben (Felicity)
    Mr. Big (SATC)

  22. Rachel says:

    Chuck Bass
    Spike (aka William the Bloody)

  23. Anna says:

    Joffrey Baratheon (Game of Thrones)
    Ben Linus (Lost)
    Sawyer (Lost)
    Darken Rahl (Legend of the Seeker)
    Mr. Gold (Once Upon a Time)

  24. Paulina says:

    Definitely Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries ;)

  25. Sam says:

    So Grey-Era Characters that were fun to watch:
    Spike – Buffy
    Jack Bauer – 24
    House (Early Seasons) -House
    Logan- Veronica Mars
    Jeff – Community
    Tony – Sopranos
    Walt – Breaking Bad
    Dean – Supernatural
    Tommy Gavin – Rescue Me
    Cole – Charmed
    Hank – Californication

    So many more people just mind is blank, I love the I don’t give a F characters

  26. Ashley says:

    Ryan Atwood from The OC

  27. Steven Leitner says:

    Bart Simpson

  28. Andie says:

    James “Sawyer” Ford!!

  29. Sasha Fierce says:

    When the voting rounds begin could we define more finely what exactly it is we’re voting on here? I don’t like “bad guys” per se. So are we voting on the most likeable and dynamic bad guy? The most attractive bad guy physically? The bad guy who is the best bad guy as in the one everyone hates the most. If it’s the latter then my nominees would be vastly different than if it was the first thing I mentioned.
    If we’re voting on bad guys who aren’t totally bad and who have redeeming qualities, that are bad but you still like them for those redeeming qualities, then I’d go for someone like Don Draper, who you have a picture of up there, or if we’re voting for bad guys who are just plain one-dimensional bad guys who have no redeemable qualities and you totally hate but are the “best” at being evil, then I’d go for someone more like Krycek on X-Files or House. If we’re going for someone who’s attractive and a bad guy, who was a badass bad guy, but one that you could squeeze out a little admiration for, I’d go for Sark on Alias. Sorry to be a bother but the nominees seem all over the place and I know this is just to have a bit of fun and get hits for the site but if I’m going to vote, I’d like to know what I’m voting for, so as to cast a proper vote. Thanks. :)

    • Catalina says:

      I’m thinking the Draper and Sark types.

    • TigerNightmare says:

      The classic TV bad boy is a character with at least one serious drawback coupled with a nasty attitude but with redeeming characteristics and a soft, hidden humanizing side to them revealed over time. Just vote for your favorites and I ask that you go for depth over looks. Walter White might not be as pretty as Dr. Christian Troy, but he’s a much more interesting and complex person.

      • Sasha Fierce says:

        I could care less about looks if it isn’t involved in the criteria. Which it doesn’t seem to be. But people are voting on all sorts of “bad guys” that fall into different categories and they could all be legit in one sense or another depending on what sort of bad guy we’re voting on. If we don’t mean fully “bad” guys, like bad to the core and you just totally dislike them period, and we’re talking about multi-dimensional “bad” guys, men who have glaring bad qualities but have some very good good qualities as well, then I’d definitely go for Draper. Draper can be cool and he can be an ass; he’s just such a great, complex character. If we’re going for someone cast in the bad guy role, a nemesis, but still multi-dimensional, not all bad or all good but mostly bad, then I’d go with Sark.

  30. Sheryl says:

    Barney, How I Met Your Mother
    Arnie Becker (Corbin Bernsen) on LA Law
    Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) Entourage

  31. Catalina says:

    Okay here’s the list (after all my maniacal “Yes!”es in previous posts)

    Angel – Buffy
    Pacey Whitter – Dawson’s Creek
    Damon Salvatore – Vampire Diaries
    Stefan Salvatore – Vampire Diaries
    Ben Covington – Felicity
    Logan Echolls – Veronica Mars
    Tim Riggins – Friday Night Lights
    Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother
    Erik Northmann – True Blood
    Lip Gallagher – Shameless
    Jimmy/Steve – Shameless
    Jeff Winger – Community
    Big – Sex and the City
    Schmidt – New Girl
    Harvey Specter – Suits

  32. Catalina says:

    Oh, and I almost forgot:

    Jimmy McNulty – The Wire

  33. BTM says:

    JR Ewing is the quintessential one, of course.

    My other favorites:

    Mayor Wilkins from Buffy
    Logan from Veronica Mars
    Benjamin Linus and Tom Friendly from Lost
    Mozzie from White Collar
    Fonzie from Happy Days
    I don’t know. Fred Mertz?

  34. LInda says:

    Cole Turner and Christian Troy

  35. sherri says:

    Dr Michael Mancini—Melrose Place past and not so present.

  36. shripala says:

    Hank Moody (Californication)
    Raylan Givens(Justified)
    Marty Caan (House of Lies)
    Creed Bratton (The Office)
    Patrick Jane (The Mentalist)
    Dr. House (House)
    Denny Crane (Boston Legal)
    Kenny Powers (Eastbound and Down)
    Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly)
    Dr. Cal Lightman (Lie to Me)
    Anson Fullerton (Burn Notice)
    The Devil – Ray Wise (Reaper)
    Charlie Harper (Two and a Half Men)

  37. swagatatara says:


  38. Lidia says:

    Damon ! <3

  39. laiquendai says:

    So, while I agree with Logan (Veronica Mars ) I would also like to throw the REAL bad boy of Neptune into the ring… Weevil of course (duh)

    Also love Jordan Catalano suggestion (My So Called Life)
    And Spike (Buffy)

  40. luis says:

    lucifer (supernatural), Klaus (TVD), Dexter morgan (Dexter), Dan Scott (OTH), i dont know about house but in my opinion he fits here, trey atwood played by logan marshall (the oc).

  41. Katherine says:

    Spike (Buffy)
    Tyrion Lanister (Game of Thrones)
    Puck (Glee)
    Mal and Jayne (Firefly)
    Casey (Chuck)
    Spartacus, Crixus, Agron, Doctore (Spartacus)
    Chris Keller, Tobias Beecher, Ryan, Miguel Alvarez, and Bob Rebadow (Oz)

  42. CJ says:


    Also, Xander Berkley as Percy on Nikita.

  43. Laura says:

    Tim Riggins (FNL)
    Eric Northman (True Blood)
    Logan Echolls (V. Mars)
    Chuck Bass (Gossip Girl)
    Sawyer (Lost)
    Alex Korev (Grey’s)
    Michael Westen (Burn Notice)
    Pacey (Dawson’s Creek)
    Cappie (Greek)
    Neal Caffrey (White Collar)
    Michael (Roswell)
    Steve (Shameless)

  44. Courtney says:

    Eric Northman.

  45. agnes says:

    Ian Somerhalder. definietly.

  46. Alex says:

    1. JESS MARIANO!!!!! – Gilmore Girls
    2. Chuck Bass – Gossip Girl
    3. Cole Turner – Charmed
    4. Hank Moody – Californication
    5. Tim Riggins – Friday Night Lights
    6. Mr. Big – Sex and the City
    7. Tony Almeida – 24
    8. Shawn Hunter – Boy Meets World
    9. Sylar – Heroes

  47. Sarah Lynn says:

    Chuck Bass

  48. Meggie Beth says:

    Alec- Dark Angel
    Logan Echolls- Veronica Mars
    Elliot- Leverage
    Moriarty- BBC’s Sherlock
    Neal Caffrey- White Collar
    Mick St. John- Moonlight
    Spike- BTVS
    Tony- Skins (the original, UK version of course)

  49. castlefan says:

    Jack from Alias
    Sloan from Alias
    Casey from Chuck
    Jayne from Firefly
    Mal from Firefly
    Angel from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer