12 TV Show Characters Who Started Off Great But Became Terrible

It is truly impossible to find a television show that doesn’t have at least one negative thing about it. TV shows last for so long and get viewers so emotionally invested that it’s not realistic to think that they won’t mess up something. Sometimes it’s a really boring season in an otherwise terrific show (even Breaking Bad had one of those), sometimes it’s an awful ending to an adored storyline (hi Dexter), and sometimes it’s the butchering of the storyline of a beloved character. Hence, this article.

A recent Ask Reddit thread asked users to talk about the TV characters who started off awesome, but quickly became worse and worse as the show went on. This happens on almost every show with at least one character, but it really stands out when it happens to a character people really love. For me, this happened with Jess from New Girl. When the show started, it was awesome. Zooey Deschanel’s Jess was relatable, smart, funny, and fun to watch. But in the last two seasons, Jess has become unbearable – so bad that I haven’t even been able to watch the show, which was once one of my favorites. Her storyline went from awkward but smart adult figuring things out to dumb as hell adult who does literally everything wrong. It sucks! Jess deserved better.

I’m sure you feel that way about at least one character in a show you love (or loved), and as you can see, I can relate. Here are a few more TV show characters who started off great but slowly became terrible – whether their storyline became boring AF or just really badly written, it was something you no longer wanted to be a part of. Ugh.

Alison DeLaurentis from Pretty Little Liars

Spoiler alerts if you haven't caught up with Pretty Little Liars! If you have, read on. So, Alison's character was super disappointing as the show went on. She started off as a really intriguing character who made the show more interesting, and then just became... boring. User OGswan says, "Alison DiLaurentis in Pretty Little Liars. After [spoiler] she comes back from the dead, they literally ruined her. She didn't advance the plot one bit, just toyed with Emily's feelings for a while then whined about her long lost brother who literally kidnapped and tortured her friends. Not to mention after the time jump she was either complaining about losing Charlotte to complaining about being married to a fraud and being broke to complaining about being pregnant. Her flashback scenes were so dynamic, it was like a different Ali every episode. However, it's like her character literally went down the drain."

Arya Stark from Game Of Thrones

If you're as obsessed with Game Of Thrones as I am, then admitting this will hurt - but Arya's character is in a bit of a slump right now. User killerstark says, "Right now I feel as if though this is happening with Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. The things she's doing right now is very un-Arya like and very illogical I really hope not though, she is one of the best characters in the show."

I'm conflicted about this one! Arya was and is a badass character who really brings a lot to the show. I don't particularly LOVE her character arc this past season, but - spoiler alert - I do think her performance in the season finale made up for things.

Nick from New Girl

Remember how I was complaining about Jess from New Girl in the intro? Well, the same thing happened with Nick's character. emcow14 says, "Nick in New Girl. They did what most shows do, and just made him progressively dumber because it's easier than actually making him have a personality."

Ugh, yes. Actually, the show did this to pretty much every character. They all started off with great personalities and storylines, and as the seasons went on, those just got exaggerated to the point of being obnoxious. Nick went from a clueless but overall cool dude to a bumbling idiot who managed to mess up everything... and it wasn't cute.

Joey from Friends

User crazed3raser says, "Joey from Friends. He starts off as a slow but well meaning person. He doesn't hold a lot of respect for women but he loves his friends to death and is loyal to a fault to them. Then they just flandernize his slowness and make him a full on retard in some parts, to the point where he can't f****** say "mmmm, soup" correctly. They start making a little bit of progress in his character with him caring a bit more about relationships beyond just sex, but them that never goes anywhere."

Just like Nick (or, I guess, Nick's progression was like Joey's, since Friends was on first), Joey's character went from clueless but well-meaning to ridiculous. It's frustrating when shows rely on this method for laughs.

Eric Matthews from Boy Meets World

Are you sensing a pattern here? Where silly male characters become ridiculous and unwatchable? Well, here's another one. User HAL-900O says, "Eric Matthews in Boy Meets World. He started out as a semi-popular, intelligent, solid role model of a brother for his more awkward, younger brother. Eric was always going on dates and living a pretty good life. Then he started to get dumber and dumber until he was not even a functional human being. In an episode where it shows the future he's like a squirrelmongering hermit whose completely insane." Eric deserved better!

Ann Perkins from Parks and Recreation

I love, love, love Parks and Recreation, but this user makes a good point when they discuss how Ann Perkins' character went: user einzeln says, "Ann Perkins. She became completely useless. It was like the writers were scrambling for ideas to keep her on the show."

It's true! This show started out with a somewhat unlikely friendship between Ann and Leslie that was really adorable to watch. I thought it was a main plot point! But as the show went on, I found myself forgetting about Ann completely, until she would randomly show up and have... no purpose. This was a great cast of characters with big personalities, but I think something more could have been done for Ann.

Dan from One Tree Hill

I once tried to get into One Tree Hill, but after a few seasons, I had to call it quits because the show became a level of absurd even I couldn't justify. One of the worst offenders? Dan. User HouseOfOtters says, "Dan on One Tree Hill. He started off as the villain who wanted to control / ruin his kids lives. His storylines get crazier and he gets kidnapped by his grandson's crazy ex-nanny and a dog eats his donor heart within one season."

In the beginning, Dan was a great character - the villain you loved to hate and root against. But, like this user pointed out, his story and personality got so ridiculous that it ruined everything.

Maya from Girl Meets World

I've never seen Girl Meets World, so I'll let this user explain therainonthepavement says, "Maya Hart in Girl Meets World. Started off as the troublemaker best friend with a good storyline about finding hope and getting over her father leaving them, then they decided to take all of that character growth and turn it into a story line about Maya "becoming" Riley to make sure Lucas (who it turns out Maya didn't like after all (YES SHE DID)) was good enough for Riley. WTF?"

Andy from The Office

User GreenShield42 says, "Andy from The Office, he starts as a cut-throat jerk with anger issues screwing over everyone else to get ahead, then he slowly becomes a better person and is just the quirky guy who like a-cappella just a little bit too much. Then in the last season he completely goes off the deep end and is an egotistical, vindictive a-hole who cares more about seeking his own dreams even if he hurts everyone around him to do it." Yeah, I have no idea what this show did to Andy. It was like they couldn't just develop him normally.

Lane from Gilmore Girls

Gilmore Girlsis probably my favorite show of all time and I hate to put it down. That said, they could have done more with Lane. User Gracetian says, "Lane from Gilmore Girls. She had this super strict mother who didn't let her do anything, basically robbed her of having any sort of normal teenage life, but Lane still managed to be a nice, good person who rocked out on the drums, a great friend to Rory, smart, all that shit. Then the series ends with her pregnant and forced to stay at home with her twin sons while her dick head husband goes off with their band."

It's true - I was never thrilled with how Lane's life turned out. I wanted more for her! And I'm not a big fan of Zach. She got boring, which sucked, because that character had a lot of potential.

Olivia Pope from Scandal

I don't watch Scandal, so I'll let this user explain this one notwherethewindblows says, "Olivia Pope on Scandal. She started out as this independent powerhouse and by the end was just your average psycho who couldn't pull her fucking shit together for even five minutes."

Nancy from Weeds

UGHHH this one annoys me so much. User katee93 says, "Nancy from Weeds. God by the end of the series she turned out to be a piece of shit." It's so true! In the beginning of the series, Nancy is an awesome character. She's a badass, but she's also vulnerable and figuring things out. She's so cool to watch and easy to hate and love at the same time. But towards the end, she just turned into a monster and it was basically like watching Nancy porn. She deserved better!

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