“Did I Do That?!”: Supporting TV Characters Who Were So Annoying You Couldn’t Help But Love Them

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The snarky sidekick, the snooping sibling, the meddling friend, clumsy neighbor and elitist coworker are all characters that we’ve seen quite a bit of on the television screen. And, in the midst of being snarky, snoopy, meddling, clumsy and elitist, we, as viewers, notice that those characters are also really annoying. But, despite this, we do not totally hate them. In fact, we are drawn to them. In one way or another we know that the bothersome character not only has redeeming qualities, but sometimes they have the protagonist’s best interests in mind.

Tara Thornton, True Blood

Tara Thorton perpetually wakes ups on the wrong side of the bed–but with reason. She’s suffered neglect and abuse, she’s been abducted, she’s been attacked, she’s been brain washed, and she’s been vampirized. Because of her circumstances, Tara takes every opportunity she can to complain, whine, and overreact to lighter situations. The softer side of her can usually be seen when Tara deals with Sookie, whom she loves like a sister. Tara was there for Sookie when [SPOILERS] her grandmother died; Tara routinely helps with most vampire related drama, and she even sacrificed her (human) life for Sookie.

Myles Mitchell, Moesha

Myles Mitchell was a typical nosey little brother, with his nose perpetually in Moesha’s diary and snooping through her room. He constantly played practical jokes on his sister and her friends, and he was always featured doing those weak spins, which are supposed to be impressive. And while Myles is annoying,  he often proved that he had Moesha’s back and was willing to fib for her, if it meant that she might get into some real trouble.

Dr. Clarke Edison, Bones

Dr. Clark Thomas Edison first appeared on Bones as an arrogant and meticulous lab assistant; loathing informalities, overzealously organizing binders, and competitively attempting to prove his worth in the lab. He is, initially, withdrawn and reserved until he opens up under the advisement of his girlfriend. As the show progresses, Edison becomes more and more open, able to reveal personal facts about himself –including his affection toward his aging grandfather who can be credited for Edison’s interest in forensic science.

Carlton Banks, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Carlton Banks is the textbook definition of the term ‘square’. Everything, from his preppy conservative Republican stance to his enthusiasm over Tom Jones, Star Trek and Macaulay Culkin, puts him at complete odds with his cousin, Will Smith, who is conventionally cool. Despite Carlton’s whining and holier-than-thou demeanor, it is evident that he cares greatly about Will, sometimes referring to him as the brother that he never had. The two continuously overcame serious issues together, involving drugs, gun violence, compulsive gambling,  racial profiling –and just about every other afterschool special theme.

Stanley Hudson, The Office

Stanley Hudson is laid back, unenthusiastic, unhappy, and is known to lash out in anger from time to time. He’s known for his obsession with crossword puzzles, discussing turmoil within his marriage, and his dislike for his old boss, Michael.  Stanley manages to be funny despite his lackluster attitude. He’s resilient, and he is extremely motivated when he wants to be–especially if the results of his efforts are a soft-pretzel or a chance to go home early.

Braxton P. Hartnabrig, The Jamie Foxx Show

Braxton P. Hartnabrig was a bourgeoisie ivy-league graduate, and the accountant at The King’s Tower Hotel. His pretentious behavior made him the natural enemy of the lead character, Jamie King (Jamie Foxx). He routinely insulted Jamie and is in direct competition with him. Yet, Braxton’s annoyance is excused by his budding bond with Jamie –mostly due to them being stuck in high-stake situations together.

Tootie Ramsey, Facts of Life

Dorothy Ramsey Williams, better known as Tootie, was the only black girl and youngest main character featured on the show, The Facts of Life. She was best known for her rollerskates, her braces and her gossipy nature. She was absentminded and often was lured into bad situations.  With all that said, Tootie still managed to be a fiercely loyal friend.

Eric Foreman, House

Dr. Eric Foreman was yet another all-knowing do-gooder who believed that he had all of the answers.  While his intelligence was much appreciated, he was egotistical, blunt, and sarcastic–though he was desperate to be seen as well-adjusted and compassionate. Also, he constantly attempted to prove how he was different from the main character, House, though he was just as methodical and just as emotionally cryptic. At times, though, Foreman could be sensitive, empathetic and apologetic.

Toni Childs, Girlfriends

She was Joan Clayton’s best friend, but they oftentimes seemed to have very little in common. While Joan was more about being something like a mother hen to her homegirls and dated all kinds of men (young ones, older ones, sex addicts, Hollywood actors, etc.), Toni was extremely selfish. And if that wasn’t enough, she was a bit bourgeois as well. She grew up poor on a farm so when she had a chance to do better for herself (and find a man with some good money) she was trying to stay with Gucci and Louis. But in the end, Toni actually becomes the less selfish friend between herself and Joan, even moving to New York after her divorce to Todd Garrett so that their daughter could be closer to him while Joan was too busy trying to be a mack for the first time in life. Plus, when her character was no longer on the show, you could definitely feel the gaping hole. Toni was a mess, but in her own way, she was actually pretty lovable.

Winifred “Freddie” Brooks, A Different World

Winifred “Freddie” Brooks was an overzealous, environmentally-conscious, politically-aware hippie with a “let’s all hold hands” and “we’re all brothers and sisters” mentality. Her overwhelming enthusiasm and ambitious attitude made her seem naïve and young, but this was tempered as the show progresses, and Freddie decides to go into law. Though Freddie was annoying, she usually does what’s right (except for cheating on her boyfriend and stealing her best friend’s man) and she was a committed student.

Steve Urkel, Family Matters

Steve Urkel was the king of being clumsy and of slap-stick comedy, often blowing things up, falling down, knocking other people down or ending up with a pie on his face. He was a confident geek with an obsessive desire to barge into his neighbor’s home without warning. He was also brilliant, but a great deal of his experiments ended poorly (i.e., the explosions). Steve is needy and unbearable, but he is also kind, and often puts others ahead of himself, especially his love, Laura Winslow.

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