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People Are Sharing Beloved TV & Movie Characters Who Are Actually Toxic (21 Posts)

I love a good morally ambiguous character and I love a storyteller who dares to try to make you fall in love with someone who is objectively horrible. It’s a huge challenge and a big swing, but when it delivers, we get some of the most iconic characters: Humbert Humbert, Tony Soprano, Walter White… It’s fascinating to see how people will twist themselves into liking objectively bad human beings; we just fall in love despite our own reservations.

This list from u/TourSignificant1335‘s question:

“What fictional character should people really stop glorifying?”

Takes that idea and delivers some excellent responses.

1. Snape from Harry Potter

“I love him as a character — he’s a complex and deep character. Having said that, I do not like him as a person. He’s greatly disturbed. I wouldn’t call him fully evil per se. I would not call him good either. He’s more of a really screwed-up individual who was able to activate his moral compass before death. He’s definitely a tragic character, but that’s also his own fault.” —u/RavenNymph90

2. Joe Goldberg from You

“Penn Badgley is hot and a great actor, but JOE GOLDBERG is a f**king psycho who should not be romanticized!” —u/plantznpupz420

3. Edward and Jacob from Twilight

“They’re both creepy and possessive.” —u/Tb0neguy

4. Effy from Skins

“The show literally romanticized her mental health struggles.” —u/mygayla

5. Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad

“So many people idolize her as a role model and romanticize her personality disorder, which is not okay.” —u/driving_andflying

6. Christian Grey from Fifty Shades of Grey

“It’s just ’cause he’s rich and handsome. It’s romantic only because of that. Imagine the story, but a broke, ‘ugly’ guy tries to get a woman to get into BDSM and does a bunch of stalking. Guaranteed it will be advertised as a horror movie.” —u/Ibreathoxygennow

7. Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, from Marvel/MCU

“Even the creator of The Punisher, Gerry Conway, has come out to specifically say that he is just a serial killer. He kills ‘bad’ people, yes, but he’s still a serial killer. And cops should definitely not be using him as a role model.” —u/Ardent_Gunner

8. Berlin from Money Heist

“In the show, he raped a poor girl by taking advantage of her fear. Even though he died after the second season, they keep milking the character and have a spin-off based on him.” —u/T02-ALV

9. Patrick Bateman from American Pyscho

“I read the book as a teen, so I had no illusions about how messed up he was. The whole character is just a morbid personification of American society. It’s all just edgy social commentary. I do recommend the book if you can stomach it, because it’s still good commentary.” —u/vicsj

10. The Joker from Batman

“He’s a mentally unstable man from a background of severe mental abuse and trauma who eventually has a breakdown so severe, it leads him to commit crime, murder, and fight a billionaire dressed as a bat. It’s okay to like him as a villain, but he isn’t meant to be idolized or used for your edgy inspirational quotes on Facebook.” —u/Areyouunsatisfied

“It’s particularly cringey when people glorify the Joker/Harley Quinn relationship like it’s some kind of love story.” —u/Sarav41

11. Jason Dean, aka J.D., from Heathers

“I have watched Heathers exactly once, and my response was, ‘Yeah I get the hype, but J.D. is too terrifyingly realistic of a villain for me to ever willingly watch this again.’ He is the exact kind of monster that a teenager can imagine being real.” —u/sterling_silverr

12. Tate Langdon from American Horror Story

“He was a good villain, and he was pretty attractive I’ll admit. You can have hot villains, but people who break their backs trying to defend his actions are straight-up delusional. People were excusing his crimes even before Apocalypse came up with that BS cop-out.” —u/psstwantsomeham

“Christ, he was such an awful character. He would do things that made no sense and make choices to mess with people that were also bad for him personally. Like, trying to get a rise out of his psychiatrist and then flipping out when the psychiatrist tried to kick him out as a client.” —u/wherethelionsweep

13. Noah from The Notebook

“Noah threatened to kill himself if she didn’t go on a date with him. Nope, nope, nope.” —u/AlwaysShip

“Why do people find this movie romantic? It’s romantic how he reads Allie her memories during their old age, but when they were younger? They were toxic AF.” —u/LongWaysForResults

14. Danny Zuko from Grease

“Total a-hole. Sandy should’ve left him.” —u/TheCorrectCroissant

15. Walter White from Breaking Bad

“He’s legitimately just an awful person from the very first episode. He could have taken the job and not put him and his family at risk. He has several opportunities to stop. He even admits it was just for him. He’s an amazing character, but he’s a villain who happens to be a protagonist.” —-u/SlinxTheFox-

16. Romeo and Juliet from Romeo and Juliet

“They are shown to be two stupid, impulsive, and overly dramatic kids who make terrible decisions resulting in their own deaths — and that of a bunch of their friends and relatives.” —u/The_Modern_Sophist

17. The Peaky Blinders from Peaky Blinders

“I recently watched the show, and I just don’t understand why every guy wants to be like them. They are all horrible people who destroy everything they touch.” —u/El_Diablo_09

18. Ramona Flowers and Scott Pilgrim from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

“They are both equally horrible people made for each other.” —u/8BitSmart

“This is the main reason that I prefer the comics over the movie; by the end of the series, both Ramona and Scott recognize that they’re pretty sh*tty people but have made some kind of commitment to trying to get better together — whereas the movie doesn’t really go that far.” —u/Mr_Pleasant2310

19. Daniel Hillard, aka Mrs. Doubtfire, from Mrs. Doubtfire

“I think nobody talks about how terrible Mrs. Doubtfire really is. This man inserted himself into the life of a woman who wants nothing to do with him, spies on her, and attempts to kill her new boyfriend. I mean, come on.” —u/8467_holyshit

20. Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter

“That kid is not a good person. He is well-written enough that you can sympathize with him in the later books, but he should definitely not be looked up to as a role model.” —u/Arkhadtoa

21. Don Draper from Mad Men

“I think most people view the show in the lens of glitz and glamour of an idealized upper-class lifestyle with some comedic and salacious side story. They miss the point that his most important character development comes later in revisiting his past, feeling lost in what most folk would value as an ideal life. Sad little kid hurt and haunted — and hurting many in the process of trying to run from that.” —u/Dangercakes13