If you are a person who consumes popular culture–as many of us are–chances are good that, at some point or another, you’ve come across a fictional character that you truly and deeply admire. Maybe you want them to be your friend, or your lover, or you want to absorb each and every one of their personality traits so that they eventually become your own. However you feel about them, all you know is that you would give anything to meet them IRL.
Except, uh, maybe not. If you think about some fictional characters, it’s pretty clear that many of the traits they have, the ones that make them engaging and entertaining as characters, wouldn’t really translate well into regular, everyday life. There are a few good reason for this–the main one being, of course, that they aren’t actually real, and characters in books, movies, and TV can get away with things that actual living, breathing people can’t.
The good people over at Reddit took it upon themselves to list the most egregious examples of characters that are fun to watch but would probably be less fun to encounter in person, and, honestly? It’s pretty spot on. So, check out some fictional characters that you probably love in your books and TV shows, but probably wouldn’t exactly love IRL:
Mindy Lahiri from The Mindy ProjectA lot of the time, characters who have a lot of flaws are the most appealing--as characters. Not as real people. For example, as VanillaGrrl pointed out, "Dr. Mindy Lahiri. She's bubbly and very personable and has a great career but her unbelievable shallowness would drive me insane!" In fact, there's proof that this kind of behavior doesn't really play IRL--Salgarandpepper said, "I had a friend that I swear is her personality twin. I felt like I was watching her when I watched the show. We are no longer friends thanks to that shallowness." So, yeah--Mindy Lahiri is fun to watch! Definitely not as fun to have as a friend. Image source: The Mindy Project
Rory Gilmore from Gilmore GirlsMany ensemble shows with lots of "kooky" characters fit this rule pretty well--like, for example, Gilmore Girls. Tc88 said that the characters on the show are "entertaining, but a lot of them are annoying, self-centered, and/or immature." Yep. It's easy to love, say, Rory Gilmore when you first start watching the series because she's smart, witty, and played by the angel-faced Alexis Bledel. But then you re-watch the series, realize that Rory's book smarts are basically her only character trait, which doesn't exactly make for a sustainable IRL human. Image source: Gilmore Girls
Nick Miller from New GirlNew Girl is another great example of an ensemble cast that would be super aggravating to actually hang out with. I'd wager that all of the characters on the show would be insufferable in real life (Jess' cluelessness? Winston's deadly pranks?) but Foodiescraper said, "Nick Miller from New Girl. Love his character, totally attractive & would date. Buuuut in real life it probably wouldn't work out." Yep! He's whiny, negative, and super unmotivated. Not the best. Image source: New Girl
April Ludgate from Parks and RecreationJoyfulStingray said that their character nemesis would be "April Ludgate from Parks and Rec. I love her snark but if I met her in real life, I wouldn't be able to handle her constant pessimism. It would drive me nuts." Yep! Many of us have a negative side, of course, which makes it fun to watch someone who has a super negative personality on TV. But anyone with the same level as April Ludgate would probably be super draining. Image source: Parks and Recreation
Andy Dwyer from Parks and RecreationActually, many of the characters from Parks and Recreation are perfect examples of people you like to watch on TV, but couldn't deal with in real life--like Andy Dwyer. Thumper5 said, "He's lovable and goofy on TV, but in real life I think I'd get really frustrated with him really fast." Raspberrywafer added, "I think this is true for a lot of those 'lovable idiot' characters they have on TV. Joey from Friends is also one of those characters that's amusing on TV but would be impossible in real life." Yep! Their antics make them appealing and engaging, but you get to disconnect from them whenever you want--in real life, you can't do that. Image source: Parks and Recreation
Rick from Rick and MortyEveryone's favorite ~intellectual~ show, Rick and Morty, has a pretty good example of a fun-to-watch-but-probably-horrible-IRL character. Angryspring said, "Rick from Rick and Morty. He's hilarious, he's a badass, but also completely insufferable. I feel sorry for Morty lol." On a related note--you know those diehard Rick and Morty stans who love the show because they identify with Rick? Stay far, far away from them. Image source: Rick and Morty
Tony Stark from Iron ManYou know that annoying, know-it-all guy who's in all of your AP classes? Unfortunately, he's basically every smart dude character you've ever come across. To this point, 1radgirl said, "I find Tony Stark hilarious, witty, and fun to watch. But if I met him, I know I'd find him to be an insufferable egomaniac. What does Pepper see in him?" Who knows! Image source: Iron Man
Harry and Luna from Harry PotterAnd, of course, we couldn't get through this list without at least one dig at Harry Potter. Eadala said, "Threads of the same tapestry here, but: Harry Potter and Luna Lovegood. HPots is categorically uninteresting and is only of consequence because of events beyond his control, being the "Chosen One" and all. He turned into a good guy, but I can't really imagine me having a chat with him being interesting. On the other hand, Luna is categorically interesting, but I feel that if that character were to manifest herself in real life, it'd just be a teenager trying to act interesting and awkward and different because that's a hot commodity for dem boyz." Pretty much--Harry is boring as hell and Luna would probably come across as one of those ~not like other girls~ girls. Of course, both of them have extenuating circumstances that explain these characteristics, but...still. Image source: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix