11 Popular TV Boyfriends That Are Problematic AF

There are a few good TV boyfriends out there: Seth Cohen from The OC, Ben Wyatt from Parks And Rec, Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights (well, kind of)But what about all your fave TV boyfriends who are actually problematic? You know, the ones who are cute and ~dreamy~ but actually say and do dumb stuff? What does it even mean to be problematic? Let me break it down for you: a problematic boyfriend isn’t necessarily an abusive boyfriend, but he can make some stupid decisions, like punch people or start fights for no reason, and that makes them problematic. You want to love him, and most of the time you do, but every once in a while, your favorite TV boyfriend will do something so stupid, you have to label him as your #ProblematicFave.

There’s nothing wrong with having a problematic fave, as long as you are aware that some of their actions are a little unacceptable. Sure, Ezra from Pretty Little Liars is cute, but you have to realize that there is no WAY you should ever date a teacher IRL. So, next time you watch your favorite TV show, you might have to realize it’s time to stop idolizing boys who are actually pretty sucky. Here are some examples of TV boyfriends everybody loves, even though they can be awful:


Jess From Gilmore Girls

As much as I LOVE Jess, I will be the first to admit he was not a good boyfriend to Rory, and he was definitely a problematic guy in general. I know he was just a teenager, but his immaturity led him to be a pretty shady guy. He would constantly abandon people in his life, especially Rory. Even though he does get a little bit better as he ages, we shouldn't be head over heels for a guy who constantly steals things and gets into fist fights.

Jim From The Office

More specifically, Jim from season nine. In the beginning, Jim is a kind and caring dude, but later on, after he and Pam are married with kids, he begins to make important life decisions without Pam, and then getting mad at her for getting mad at him. In a way, he was gas-lighting Pam when he was the one who messed up. He doesn't take responsibilities for his actions, which makes him not only problematic, but annoying AF. He's still super cute, though.

Barney From How I Met Your Mother

You guys saw this coming, right? Everyone praises Barney for being the funny and charming one, when he was actually suuuuuper problematic. For one, he basically conned Robin, his wife, into marrying him. That is not okay on so many levels. Two, he was a terrible friend to the rest of the group and constantly put them down and criticized them.

Chuck From Gossip Girl

This one is pretty obvious. Everybody LOVES Chuck, but nobody loves to talk about how manipulative and problematic he is. Well, let me just say, he is extremely manipulative and problematic. Not only does he attempt to rape Jenny in season one, he also uses his money and power to manipulate girls (mainly Blair) into falling for him. That actually is abusive.

Dan From Gossip Girl

Before you start yelling at me for this one, you have to realize that Dan was lying about who he was the ENTIRE series. As it turns out *spoiler alert* he was the infamous Gossip Girl, which means he was spreading gossip and personal information about his friends for years, which makes him the definition of a problematic fave. High school, am I right?

Dean From Gilmore Girls

I mean, where do I begin. Dean seemed to get a pass for so many things because he was the "wholesome boy-next-door" even though he was anything but that. He was constantly putting Rory down and even cheats on his wife in season four to be with Rory. There is nothing wholesome about that, TBH. Sure, he was always there for her, but in a weird and sort of stalkerish way. Why do people even like him??

Craig From Degrassi

If you were an early Degrassi-watcher (I'm talking season two to eight) then odds are you had a crush on Craig. Maybe you didn't, but I sure did. It wasn't until I recently rewatched the show that I realized that Craig is actually a super shady guy. He had a tough life, he was abused by his dad and his mother died, but that doesn't excuse the way he treated his girlfriends on the show. He would constantly cheat on them, then leave them, then come back. It was like a vicious cycle and he kept doing it. He strung girls along like it was his JOB.

Ezra From Pretty Little Liars

You guys understand why he is problematic, right?? He pursued a relationship with an underage girl, even after he found out she was his STUDENT. Not to mention the fact that he was lying about knowing all of the girls and stalking them for years, and he's STILL a fan favorite. Come on.

Ryan From The OC

Another fave of mine who, unfortunately, is a problematic "bad boy." Sure, he never does anything outright terrible to his girlfriends, but that doesn't mean he's totally pure and wholesome. Whenever anything slightly inconvenient happens, Ryan is out there punching people left and right. He said it was to "defend" his on again/off again girlfriend Marissa but let's be real, he had a lot of pent up anger that he really should have addressed in a better way. Therapy, perhaps?

Spike From Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Although he was a villain in the earlier seasons, Spike quickly became a fan favorite (probably because of his British accent). But, fans often tend to overlook how violent and abusive he was towards everyone he ever dated. I mean, he tried to force himself on Buffy, but people so often shrug it off. That's not something to shrug off!

Nathan From One Tree Hill

Okay, Nathan goes through a lot during the series, but that doesn't really excuse him for being a bit of a jerk. He only dates Haley to get make Lucas jealous, which is dumb on so many levels. Eventually, he married Haley and they also become #RelationshipGoals couple, but his violent and competitive qualities don't go away. Anyone remember when he threw a piano against a wall? Or  is that just me?

Which of these boys is your problematic fave? Tell us in the comments!

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