It's a testament to the actors and writers that they created characters who evoked such strong reactions from audiences.
After all, without them, the shows might not have been as memorable.
1. Joffrey Baratheon – "Game of Thrones"
If there were a crown for the most detested TV character, it would rest heavily on the golden locks of Joffrey Baratheon. He was the vile king we all loved to hate from the moment he ascended the Iron Throne. A textbook example of someone born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Joffrey was cruel, capricious, and lacked even a shred of empathy. He had an uncanny ability to take pleasure in others' suffering, as evidenced when he forced Sansa Stark to gaze upon the decapitated head of her own father. Jack Gleeson, who played Joffrey, retired from acting after the series because the character he played was just that hateable. Surprisingly enough, the actor himself admits he – thankfully – doesn't get fan hate, only appreciation.
2. Walter White Jr. – "Breaking Bad"
This one might be controversial, as Walter Jr. isn't evil like some of the other characters on this list, but hear me out. His naivety and stubborn loyalty to his father, even as the evidence of his father's criminal activities piled up, was frustrating to viewers. His inability to see the bigger picture made him one of the most irritating characters on the show. Fun fact: RJ Mitte, the actor who portrayed Walter Jr., actually has cerebral palsy in real life, just like his character, though his condition is less severe.
3. Ted Mosby – "How I Met Your Mother"
Yes, the leading man himself. While Ted was the center of the series and his search for love was the main plot, his incessant whining about his love life, his pretentiousness, and his over-the-top romantic gestures often rubbed fans the wrong way. His obsession with finding 'The One' often came off as desperate and annoying. An architect by profession, Ted certainly managed to architecturally design the blueprints for how to be a lovable, yet irritating protagonist.
4. Janice Litman Goralnik – "Friends"
Oh. My. God. How could we forget Janice? Chandler's on-again-off-again girlfriend was one of the most annoying characters on the show. Her nasally voice, her loud laugh, and her overbearing affection for Chandler were simultaneously amusing and irritating. But what really made fans love to hate her was her impeccable timing – showing up exactly when Chandler was finally getting his life together. She was like a bad penny, always turning up. But then again, what would "Friends" have been without Janice's iconic "OH. MY. GOD."?
5. Ross Geller – "Friends"
David Schwimmer, who played Ross, was the first of the six main "Friends" actors to be cast in the show, and, well, that casting was one hundred percent spot-on. Ross Geller is perhaps the most controversial figure in the "Friends" fandom. On one hand, his geeky charm and catchphrase "We were on a break!" endeared him to many. On the other, his inability to take responsibility for his actions, his constant whining, and his jealousy made him a character fans loved to hate.
6. Hannah Horvath – "Girls"
Lena Dunham's Hannah Horvath was the epitome of a privileged millennial living in New York City, and it was easy to dislike her for it. She was narcissistic, entitled, and often made incredibly selfish decisions that hurt those around her. Her constant navel-gazing and refusal to take responsibility for her actions made fans love to hate her, even as they empathized with her struggles. It was like watching a train wreck – you didn't want to look, but you just couldn't look away.
7. Skyler White – "Breaking Bad"
The wife of the meth-cooking Walter White often came under fire from fans for her perceived nagging and obstruction of her husband's illicit ventures. While she initially was oblivious of Walter's criminal activities, her subsequent involvement and struggle with his choices made her one of the most polarizing characters on the show. Despite the fact that her actions were often reasonable considering her husband's descent into the criminal underworld, the fans loved to express their frustration towards her, turning her into one of TV's most divisive characters.
8. Pete Campbell – "Mad Men"
This slick advertising executive was the epitome of corporate ruthlessness and ego. Despite his suave exterior and professional competence, Pete was manipulative, ambitious to a fault, and unsympathetic. His constant need to prove himself often resulted in petty and vindictive actions that left a bitter taste in viewers' mouths. His character was a necessary contrast to the more introspective Don Draper, but it's safe to say that fans loved to loathe Pete Campbell. Vincent Kartheiser, who played Pete, has stated that he embraced being disliked, considering it a sign of success at portraying his character convincingly.
9. Toby Flenderson – "The Office"
If he were an ice cream flavor, he'd be praline and dick. That's not me speaking, that's a quote from Wayne's World, weirdly fitting for The Office's most polarizing character. Toby, played by Paul Lieberstein, was the HR representative that everybody loved to hate. His meek personality, coupled with his often futile attempts to enforce corporate policies, made him the target of office-wide (and audience-wide) disdain. Not necessarily a villain, but his role as the office wet blanket made him a hilarious punching bag in the series.
10. Andrea – "The Walking Dead "
In a post-apocalyptic world filled with zombies, you'd think it would be hard to stand out as particularly annoying, but Andrea managed just that. Her inability to choose sides, combined with her knack for trusting the wrong people (like the Governor), made her one of the most hated characters in the series. Her character's stubbornness and poor decision-making led to many dangerous situations for the group, which fans did not appreciate.
11. Betty Draper – "Mad Men"
While she started as a sympathetic character, trapped in a loveless marriage with the philandering Don Draper, Betty quickly morphed into a character fans loved to hate. Her cold, often immature demeanor, along with her less than stellar parenting skills, turned viewers against her. Despite her beauty and grace, her bitterness and refusal to evolve with the changing times made her a magnet for audience irritation.
12. Pierce Hawthorne – "Community"
Played by Chevy Chase, Pierce Hawthorne was a consistently offensive, often bigoted character in a comedy series filled with likeable misfits. As the eldest member of the study group at Greendale Community College, Pierce's blatant lack of filter and incessant desire to be the center of attention made him an easy character to despise. But he also brought an element of unpredictability and humor that kept viewers on their toes.