Now before I start this list off, here are a few ground rules:
I have to pick from shows that I actually watched more than two episodes of, but whether or not I like the overall show is irrelevant. Also, I have to pick from the cast of recurring characters, which means nobody who only appeared or starred in just one episode and then was never seen again.
I may cheat once or twice and list more than one character per slot, but that is my only safety net and only for a case when it’s more than two characters.
With that said, let’s get into it.
10) Bubbles, The Powerpuff Girls
Love her color scheme, hate her voice.
I don’t really like infantile characters in general; I prefer the ones who act mature for their age. Preschool student or not, when Bubbles cries like a baby, it’s irritating. I’m fine with her being more timid or naïve than her sisters, but sometimes they act 10 years old and she acts 2, and thus she holds them up. If she’s going to cause a problem or make an existing one worse, it would be best if she weren’t as whiny as all hell. I’m honestly surprised that more boys watching the show didn’t find her obnoxious.
She does grow quite a bit in some episodes, though, so you’ll notice that she isn’t very far down the list.
I just have a cuteness threshold, unlike some people, and Bubbles crossed it way too frequently.
9) Blossom, The Powerpuff Girls
My least favorite of the three main characters.
A lot of people consider Blossom a good role model for kids, and while I don’t disagree, I do think she gets more praise than she deserves. Being smart is a good thing, but no one likes a know-it-all who flaunts it like that makes them better than everyone else. That is how I always saw Blossom as a kid, and I also didn’t like when she was a tattletale. Regardless of age, tattletales are annoying, especially when they do it over something innocuous and petty.
Granted, Bubbles and Buttercup do that too and were particularly obnoxious in the ice breath episode, but I stand by my feelings. I’m tired of seeing arrogant leaders.
Buttercup gets a pass because she was the least annoying and most badass. If I looked up to any of the Powerpuff Girls, it was probably her.
8) Angelica Pickles, Rugrats
She’s a total brat who either messes with the other kids or gets them in trouble. Half of their stupid misconceptions about the adult world and world in general come from her, even though they know she’s a bully and her tone is always sly and disingenuous. Her well-to-do parents are a bit neglectful, preferring to just buy her whatever she wants and give into her demands unless she actually pisses them off enough for them to punish her.
Rich and bully do not a good character make.
7) Deirdra Hortense “Dodie” Bishop, As Told by Ginger
She’s a social climber and gossiping chatterbox.
Despite Courtney, the rich popular girl on the show, being a bit stupid, vain, and vapid, she is much nicer to Ginger and a far better friend than Dodie. Dodie is willing to compromise her friendships and integrity to get her way, which is not a very good or attractive quality; she longs to be popular more than anything and completely fails to see and be thankful for what she has and the people who actually do care about her. Even if that is somewhat relatable, because we all want to feel accepted as children, it should not come at the price of making other people feel miserable and abandoned.
Also, and this is completely shallow, Dodie sounds and looks extremely punchable. As a kid, I lovingly dubbed her “Frog Mouth,” because even compared to the other character designs, she’s pretty weird looking.
6) Penny and her friends, The Proud Family
The Proud Family was a rare show for me, because I found that every character – and I mean every character, including Penny’s infant twin siblings – did something totally obnoxious and loathsome. No matter how likeable they could be, I hated every character at one point or another, and sometimes my feelings toward them carried over to other episodes, whether or not that’s ultimately justified.
Penny usually meant well, but there were times when her spoiled, popularity-seeking attitude stopped being relatable. That said, she’s a damn saint next to her friends (yes, even Zoey, the nerd).
LaCienega is the easiest punching bag, because she’s rich, spoiled, and an outright mean girl, even to her supposed friends, but at least she’s pretty honest about who she is. What you see is what you get. I still didn’t get why Penny stayed friends with her; she wasn’t exactly the least popular, most ostracized girl in school or anything.
No, the one I hated most was Dijonay, or Dodie 2.0 as I called her. Her personality seemed to change on a dime, from supportive to outrageously selfish, and she was always so damn cheerful about it too. At one point, Penny tells her that though they will remain friends, she won’t trust Dijonay anymore, and that was such a bittersweet, what-the-hell moment. Why on earth would you stay good friends with someone like that, knowing that about them? It made absolutely no sense to me.
Zoey could be relatable at times, but she is such a blind follower, even when she should know that what she’s doing isn’t right. Mousy and mean girl are bad on their own, but there is something so viscerally pathetic and despicable in their combination.
I reluctantly give everyone else in the show a pass. I still enjoyed watching it a lot, but the mean-spiritedness often felt like it came out of left field, and it always left a bad taste in my mouth. Especially when it happened to people who didn’t really deserve it, like when Penny makes a wish that her siblings are old enough that she doesn’t have to babysit them anymore, and literally everyone in the world, including her own parents, act like she doesn’t even exist.
The Proud Family really will push your buttons and make you want to hug them.
5) Sarah, Ed Edd n’ Eddy
Sarah is Ed’s abusive baby sister. She is clearly spoiled by her parents, sleeping in a bedroom fit for a princess while Ed sleeps in the filthy basement (to be fair, he probably makes it worse than it is down there). Her voice is obnoxious and she is always yelling at Ed, making him do things for her, and threatening to tell their mother on him if he doesn’t comply.
What makes this somewhat heartbreaking is that Ed is perfectly pleasant to her. Yes, he is often afraid of getting in trouble with his parents, but he clearly means well and loves her despite the way she treats him. He also tries to defend her occasionally when Eddy fights or messes with her.
This show was always colorful and fun, but I find it interesting that people are now theorizing that the Eds are all victims of familial abuse, which serves to keep them together while further ostracizing them from the other kids in the Cul-de-Sac. It’s entirely possible and kind of sad, really.
4) Patrick Star, Spongebob Squarepants
A contemporary of delightfully stupid characters like Ed, Patrick had his bad moments in pre-movie Spongebob, but I never really hated him. He was mostly well-meaning, but that also made for some good, funny jokes.
No more, it seems.
Patrick is now basically a sociopath. His stupidity is no longer funny, and at times, even seems deliberately malicious. He does a lot of things for no reason whatsoever, and then acts confused as to why people are upset with him and around him. He’s just a walking (usually sleeping) tub of hedonistic, stupid selfishness.
Also, I really hate his new, stupid, one-toothed smile. That really makes me think that the writers changed the show to appeal to toddlers, instead of kids and adults. It’s just so forcedly cutesy and stupid. Even if they are young and immature, are Spongebob and Patrick not home-owning adults? There is a difference between idiotic and infantile.
3) Jimmy, Ed Edd n’ Eddy
You know what’s more despicable than an abuser? Someone who keeps them company, sees their behavior, and not only doesn’t stop it, but encourages it. Jimmy is Sarah’s playmate who hates Ed, Edd, and Eddy for seemingly no reason and frequently wants to see them hurt or fail.
I didn’t have a problem with him being effeminate so much as he was just weak and wishy-washy. There is an episode where his foot gets tapped by a clothespin, and he literally begins clutching it, shrieking, “My foot! It’s broken! Owie!” Unless his bones are made of sodden toothpicks, he’s just faking it and sucking up all of the attention around him like a sponge. He relishes being the pampered baby of the group, which is very annoying and, again, oh so punchable.
A lot of people hate him in the episode If It Smells Like An Ed, but I never had a problem with it. The other kids in the Cul-de-Sac are too quick to judge anyway, so it probably wouldn’t have taken much for them to turn on the Eds anyway.
2) Peggy Hill, King of the Hill
I don’t really like this show at all, but I used to watch things on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim when I was bored or waiting for the anime to come on. It’s less funny and more obnoxious than even modern Family Guy, because it’s just boring, folksy rednecks doing nothing.
Pretty much all of my hatred for Peggy comes from an episode called Lupe’s Revenge. She is a substitute Spanish teacher with a less-than-poor mastery of the language, and even worse, she has a ridiculous ego. She goes with the students on a trip to Mexico and orders a Mexican child, Lupe, who tries to sell her gum, to get on the bus and go home with them. Because apparently roll calls and head counts aren’t a thing on school field trips anymore. And border patrols do not exist anymore either.
When she realizes her mistake – and I use “realizes” in the loosest sense of the word – Peggy accommodates Lupe by putting her in a closet for the night and then takes her back to Mexico the next day. Peggy then gets arrested for kidnapping, though initially she thinks that she’s being thanked because, again, she has an inflated ego and can barely speak the language. She refuses to admit that her Spanish is terrible, but inadvertently proves it to the judge, who lets her off the hook.
So other than that brief scare, she gets no consequences and gets to feel secure in her job and Spanish skills.
Peggy seems like an annoying character regardless, but this is probably the best highlight of her obnoxiousness. She’s a good blueprint for the people I can’t stand in real life, but she still can’t beat…
1) Dora Winifred “DW” Read, Arthur
Oh dear God, this character.
Talk about the most annoying little sister character ever. Beyond that, DW is the epitome of everything people hate about children. She’s spoiled, selfish, picky, gullible, she throws temper tantrums like a mini drama queen, and she sneaks into her brother’s room and unapologetically messes with his things. She’s obviously meant to be cute and precocious, but she looks more smug than anything and seems to enjoy getting Arthur into trouble whenever possible.
Arthur’s Big Hit is her worst episode in my opinion, because she drives a normally calm kid like her big brother to punch her arm in frustration, and oddly enough, a lot of people empathize with him. He worked really hard and she was repeatedly invasive and disrespectful before breaking the very thing he’d been working on and complaining to him that she shouldn’t have been able to break it.
We never see her get punished or even scolded by her parents, and even when she does apologize, she ruins any meaning it could have had by complaining about the model airplane she broke. “I’m sorry I broke your plane, but what kind of a stupid plan doesn’t fly?”
Arthur gets repeatedly crapped on throughout the rest of the episode, and his parents don’t seem to care that he got punched at school at the end, all because of karma apparently. Yes, he did something wrong, but unlike DW, he learns from his mistake and genuinely says sorry.
I stopped watching Arthur in late elementary school and haven’t tuned in since, and yet all it took was looking at a picture of DW to get me to remember how much I hated her as a kid. That is why she is definitively the worst and most annoying animated tv character I’ve ever seen.