My Top Twenty Most Loved/Hated Characters & Favourite Pieces of Eye Candy of All Time. What are yours?

There’s an internet meme going around at the moment where you’re asked to select your top twenty favourite characters of all time, and then ask people to spot patterns in your choice.

I’ve decided to take this a little further and post my top twenty beloved characters, my top twenty most loathed characters and top twenty favourite pieces of eye candy of all time that have graced/disgraced my TV screen. I’ve also briefly listed some common denominators that I can see between the characters, though would am highly curious if you can see I am missing any patterns in my love/hate! I mean, aren’t we always partially blind when it comes to the people we are attracted to?

Also, be sure to let me know what your top twenty lists, and I promise to give insights into what this reveals about your particular kinks, fetishes and dislikes ;)


Top Twenty Beloved Characters
(1) Tyler Lockwood (The Vampire Diaries) (I’m sure we’re all surprised about this one)
(2) Caroline Forbes (The Vampire Diaries)
(3) Jess Mariano (Gilmore Girls)
(4) Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
(5) Paris Geller (Gilmore Girls)
(6) Damon Salvatore (Vampire Diaries)
(7) Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl)
(8) Nathan Young (Misfits)
(9) Kelly (Misfits)
(10) Cordelia Chase (Wheedonverse)
(11) Logan Echolls (minus season three)
(12) Smash Williams (Friday Night Lights a highly underrated character IMO)
(13) Spencer Hastings (Pretty Little Liars)
(14) Julie Cooper (The OC)
(15) Matt Saracen (Friday Night Lights)
(16) Faith (Wheedonverse)
(17) Pacey Witter (Dawson’s Creek)
(18) Sun (Lost)
(19) Dan Humphrey (Gossip Girl)
(20) Ryan Atwood (The OC)

Common denominators:
Outsiders: I’m attracted to characters who are the underdog and on social outskirts whether through personality, circumstances or maybe a supernatural transition. I like fish out of water characters like Julie Cooper and Ryan Atwood in rich people’s playground Newport, Matt Saracen being plucked from social obscurity to suddenly being the lead quarterback of his school’s team in a football-mad town, or Dan’s sometimes hilarious ineptitude in early seasons of navigating the Upper East Side. I also seem to like characters who develop layers and strength after a fall from grace and popularity (see Veronica Mars especially).

Acerbic, abrasive snarkery: I appreciate one-liners, but have a particular fondness of characters who are able to needle others effectively because they obviously are highly observant and know how to hit where it hurts. I just like these people to occasionally show that they are marshamallows too ;)

Integrity: I like characters who remain true to who they are, even if it means risking their popularity. This might manifest in a direct, confrontational style to issues or well-meaning pushiness. Characters who lack tact and choose instead to tell it like it is and cut through the crap are close to my heart. These characters might mistakes and hurt people, but they are self-aware and apologise rather than blaming other people for their bad decisions.

Hidden depths/stereotype subversion: Tyler’s “I get it” scene exemplifies another favourite trait of mine – characters who subvert the labels put on them. Other examples: Smash’s dedication to Waverley while struggling with bipolar disorder, despite his player persona, Nathan’s mother hen side when it comes to Barry, Sun reclaiming strength on the island and refusing to be pigeonholed into patriarchal gender roles, yet managing to repair her relationship with her husband while doing this. I also like characters who are at odds with their outward appearance, like Veronica’s sweet doll looks contrasting with her combative personality.

Top Twenty Most Hated Characters

(1) Matt Donovan (The Vampire Diaries)
(2) Matt Donovan (he deserves to be on here twice, as he was on 12_12_12’s list)
(3) Dawson Leery (Dawson’s Creek)
(4) Marissa Cooper (The OC)
(5) Aria (Pretty Little Liars)
(6) Peyton Sawyer (One Tree Hill)
(7) Bill Compton (True Blood)
(8) Serena Van Der Woodsen (Gossip Girl)
(9) Dean Forester (Gilmore Girls)
(10) Duncan Kane (Veronica Mars)
(11) Logan Huntzberger (Gilmore Girls)
(12) Will Schuster (Glee)
(13) Michael (LOST)
(14) Lucas Scott (One Tree Hill)
(15) Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood version, not book Sookie)
(16) Rory Gilmore (season four and beyond)
(17) Finn (Glee)
(18) Izzie Stevens (Grey’s Anatomy)
(19) George O’Malley (Grey’s Anatomy(
(20) Terri Schuster (Glee)

Common denominators:

Good Boy Woobies: Probably my most controversial stance in fandom and one I’ve ranted about at length in an earlier post. I’m always excited to hear from people on the other side of the fence on these characters ;) Basically, I hate Good Boy/Girl Woobies (I count Finn, George O’Mally and Izzie Stevens in this group among the usual suspects like Matt). For me, there is a disassociation between the way that the writers intend for these Golden Girl/Boy characters to come across and how they appear. These people tend to be All About Me, passive-aggressive to their love interests and are never called on their flaws or redeemed because since they are a Good Girl/Boy, everything they do must be justified, right?

All About Me Drama queens: Marissa, Aria and Serena are like the dramatic relief of their shows, and I loathe them for it. I hate theatrics in my normal, real life relationships, and people who blow meaningless personal issues out of proportion, yet don’t seem to care much for real issues their friends are facing.

Betrayers: I hate people who betray their friends, which is why I hold Peter Pettigrew in even more contempt than Voldemort. Voldemort in the very least didn’t sell his friends out to be lambs to the slaughter. Death Eaters knew what they were signing up for, the Potters did not when they became friends with Peter. Michael from Lost, Peyton from One Tree Hill when it comes to hurting Brooke over Lucas – characters like this fall into this category.

I can forgive or at least understand almost any crime other than betraying a friend intentionally, unless true remorse or mitigating factors lead up to the betrayal. For example, Caroline lying to Tyler about Mason was based on her protecting him from antagonising Damon and Tyler’s hesitation was out of confusion and a confluence of other factors, contrasts with Matt manipulating Caroline into thinking she had successfully compelled him so he could spy on her for her mother (despite Caroline earlier telling him everything about her vamping, which meant he presumably wasn’t moved by a single word).
Unearned success: I despise people who have everything fall into their laps without a skerrick of work.

Top Twenty Pieces of Eye Candy AKA The Most Important Category

Now we enter the pictorial essay part of this post.

(1)    Tyler Lockwood (The Vampire Diaries)

(2)    Tyler Lockwood (The Vampire Diaries)

(3)    Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)

I found this little nugget while on my fangirl journeys through the internet recently. You’re welcome!

(4)    Music Sex God (Look, he has been on my TV in music video clips, it’s the one non-TV exception I’m willing to make!)

See http://imaginarymen.wordpress.com/ for more goodness of this kind!

(5)    Jess Mariano (Gilmore Girls)

(6)    Peter Petrelli (Heroes) (both plus or minus his scar)

(7)    Logan Echolls (Veronica Mars)

(8)    Elijah (The Vampire Diaries)

(9)    Winchester boys (nope, I am not choosing between them)

(10) Jeremy Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries)

(11) Stefan Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)

(12) Tim Riggins (Friday Night Lights)

(13) Pacey Witter (Dawson’s Creek)

(14) Ryan Atwood (The OC)

(15) Nathan Young (Misfits)

(16) Barry (Misfits)

(17) Matt Saracen (Friday Night Lights)

(18) Xander Harris (Wheedonverse)

I totally got Faith tapping that!

(19) Spike (Wheedonverse)

(20) Wren (Pretty Little Liars)

Common denominators:

I have a kink for dark/brown hair especially, though mitigating factors like the ability to rock a leather duster or platinum blonder hair can cause me to overlook this tendency. Apparently I also have a pretty boy complex and a fixation on soulful eyes (Damon Salvatore and Tyler Lockwood, I’m looking at you). Many of my favourite men have a penchant for decorative wrist bands or manly neck bands (see Logan Echolls and Peter Petrelli in handcuffed scene). Cute geeks are another fetish of mine.

So, what are your top twenty lists? Can you see any patterns in mine that I missed? Am I absolutely right in my assessments, or should my mind/eyes be checked in your opinion?

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About Spidey Sense

Pop culture junkie, fangirl, arts and theatre lover, and The Vampire Diaries, True Blood and The Walking Dead obsessive. View all posts by Spidey Sense

15 responses to “My Top Twenty Most Loved/Hated Characters & Favourite Pieces of Eye Candy of All Time. What are yours?

  • Sophie

    You’re like my crazed fangirl/TVjunkie other half.

    I have reread the GBW vs BBW post a lot btw, and I can’t help but go looking for new ones in other series now. Did you ever watch Charmed? Cole is a great BBW imo. And they just wouldn’t give the guy the girl. Also, sex and the city just keeps popping up when I think of GBWs..

    Anyway, I didn’t watch FNL or wheedonverse so i can’t judge your preferences there. But if your other choices are any indication I think your self-analysis was spot on. The smoldering gorgeous eyecandy on the sidelines who catch up on details quick and aren’t afraid to be themselves nor do they run from a witty argument. They are also almost always a surprise when they step from the shadows and whip the Golden GoodieTwoShoes in a face off. And even though in our head they had the best lines, they’re not acknowledged that way. The Golden Boy/Girl who walks away, sneering or smirking as if they’ve just won a giant teddybear at the carnaval, is.

    I’m planning on making my Top 20 on tumblr soon, I’m curious to see what it’ll be analysed as. Although I’m pretty sure it’s close to yours.

    Hope you’re doing great! Sorry for the lack of comments, but I do read every single post! ;)

    xo

    • Spidey Sense

      Hey Sophie!

      Yippee, one of my favourite Forwooders is back on the blogosphere!

      I troll your blog quite often when I’m looking to feel inspired, and I’m constantly amazed at how similar our tastes in TV characters and ships are. It’s uncanny!

      I’m so glad you got a lot out of the GBWs versus BBWs post. Sometimes I think, “Wow, I may come across as a slightly deranged, details obsessed fangirl lunatic in these posts!” so it’s always a relief when you guys enjoy them ;) I love applying literary analysis and getting my meta on – I’ve got a few more posts like this in the pipeline. It’s exciting to think of you keeping this trope in mind when you re-watch shows. Maybe I should do a follow up post with more examples of this dynamic? I haven’t watched Charmed, but from what I’ve read about it I think you would be 100% correct in your assessment of Cole.

      Speaking of meta, hope you liked the Tyler/Jess comparison, since I know your love those boys as much as me! I am very much looking forward to awarding Milo Moments to Trevino/Tyler and digging up hot Jess/Peter Petrelli pictures of yesteryear for us to get all nostalgic/drool over. To this day, when I watch the Rory/Jess first kiss scene I am reduced to a puddle of goo. The bittersweet “la la las” in the backdrop remind me a little of Caroline/Tyler’s slightly sad but sweet theme music.

      Good Boy Woobies just drive me up the wall. You captured it perfectly: “The Golden Boy/Girl who walks away, sneering or smirking as if they’ve just won a giant teddybear at the carnaval, is.” There’s just this sense of entitlement and superiority about them that is at odds with their persona. Characters who are just plain sweethearts, like Seth Cohen, I adore. It’s not a bad boy thing. GBWs usually end up being worse for the girl than the bad boys. I mean, the bad boys are not perfect, but as another Spidey commenter wrote, they are “right” for the girl, but sometimes they pull themselves together too late (like with Rory/Jess, crying forever over this!)

      Can’t wait for your top 20! Be sure to comment here when it is up so that I can squee and spot the patterns in your choices!

      It’s so great to have you in my inbox again, but there’s never any pressure to comment – just do it whenever you happen to have the fire/time. Sometimes I go AWOL too when I’m busy ;)

  • kjewls

    MOST FUN POST IDEA EVER! Man, I had so much fun playing around with these lists. Thanks so much for the suggestion.

    You know what was surprising to me? How difficult it was for me to come up with twenty names. As it turns out, when it comes to beloved TV characters, I am (1) surprisingly “monogamous” (in that I dedicate my heart to a select few) and (2) surprisingly myopic (in that I am always extremely focused on the shows I am watching currently, and have difficulty looking back toward the past).

    Nonetheless, I compared my beloved character list to yours. And we shared quite a few commonalities, including:
    (1) Damon Salvatore
    (2) Pacey Witter
    (3) Logan Echolls
    (4) Veronica Mars
    (5) Blair Waldorf
    (6) Ryan Atwood

    Here is the rest of my current beloved character list (in no particular order):
    (1) Chuck Bass – GG
    (2) Sawyer – Lost
    (3) Jason Stackhouse – TB
    (4) Eric Northman – TB
    (5) Seth Cohen – OC
    (6) Summer Roberts – OC
    (7) Jim Halpert – The Office
    (8) Hanna Marin – PLL
    (9) Dr. Wren PLL
    (10) Pete Campbell – Mad Men
    (11) Puck – Glee (Season 1, not Season 2 :/ )
    (12) Stiles – Teen Wolf
    (13) Derek Hale – Teen Wolf
    (14) Al Capone – Boardwalk Empire

    As for hated characters . . . hmmm . . . I think I will have to give that one some more thought. But Andie McPhee from Dawson’s, Tara and Bill on TB, Lauren Zizes from Glee, and Manessa from Gossip Girl, and Melissa from PLL come immediately to mind :)

    • Spidey Sense

      Hey Julie! My first thought was that your list shows what exceptional taste you have, as exemplified by the cross-over between my lists and yours. You have no idea how agonising it was to leave Seth, Summer, Eric et al off the list. I was brutal and ruthless, and just chose those characters I have the most visceral feelings for. Like you, this was heavily coloured by my current obsessions (still in the flush of infatuation and love with Vampire Diaries in particular – another theme of my eye candy post is Vampire Diaries men), though I noticed we both still had a soft spot in our hearts for our first loves.

      Just as you fall in and out of love, it was interesting to see how some characters like Rory went from being beloved for me in early seasons to warranting a most hated brand in season four and beyond. Other characters have had to win us over. Pacey Witter is one character who was just so consistently loveable it’s not surprising he ended up on all of our lists.

      I’m really excited that you loved Ryan Atwood too! I thought that Ben McKenzie did a fantastic job with his straight man to Seth’s comic side kick role – many of his small reaction shots on re-watch are just classic. Funny how drama queens can be annoying, but their white knights just tickle our fancy! Looking back, I think a lot of Ryan’s obsession with Marissa was due to him projecting his issues with his mother on Marissa and trying to fix Marissa’s life in a way he never could with his mother. In a weird way, his mother was this spectre hovering over his relationship with Marissa. I only ever really shipped him with Taylor Townsend, to be truthful.

      Your list has a lot of characters with seemingly rock hard underbellies that belie a softer side. Many of the characters have an inferiority complex or at least a perfect sibling or friend who overshadows them (Serena for Blair, Stefan “the good brother” to Damon, Pacey fearing that Joey will never feel for him the way she does for Dawson). These characters are often blinded to their own strengths and fixated on their shortfalls. There is also a large dose of sexy, snarky BAMFs on your list, and for that, I salute you!
      OMG, how could I have forgotten about Manessa? We need to matchmake her with Captain Cardboard the Tool!

  • imaginarymen

    Are these in order? They’re not in order right – otherwise I don’t know how Pacey Witter can be #17!! PACEY WITTER!!! AFTER Jess from Gilmore Girls! JESS who was the entire reason I stopped watching GG!!!!

    Good thing you’ve got Matty Saracen, Smash and Music Sex God (you for got to link me girl!) on there to calm me down ;-00

    • Spidey Sense

      LOL! The top six are in iron clad order, but other than that my faves are in no particular order… so yes, Jess > > > Pacey for me. *ducks tomatoes thrown by Amy*

      I’m not surprised you hate Jess, considering you’re not a Tyler fan. But as you well know, characters of their archetype usually end up being my bbs! I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I just love their brand of perceptive snarkery so much. I will say this though, in terms of treatment of their soul mate, NO ONE has surpassed Ultimate TV Boyfriend Pacey… yet.

      I’m thinking I need to write an in depth Gilmore Girls debate looking at Dean, Jess, Logan and Marty. Everyone is so adamant about their favourite – it could stir up interesting debate! :)

      I have such a soft spot for Smash and Matt Saracen! Keeping this list to 20 was absolute agonising, because I kept thinking of people like Tim Riggins, who I ADORE and wanted to include, but I couldn’t justify removing other characters from the list who have just set up shop in my heart. That’s partly why I invented the top twenty pieces of eye candy list!

  • André

    Ok, I am working on the lists. But some questions first:
    1) Does it have to be characters from TV-shows?
    2) Can the characters also come from literature, video games etc (obviously this questions doesn’t pertain the eye candy list)?
    3) I don’t really hate characters, would it be sufficient to make my list of 20 characters I simply don’t like (like in dislike respectively not care about or ask what they are good for)?
    4) Can I make a list of characters who are ambiguous to me?

    • Spidey Sense

      Hey Andre!

      Your idea to consider non-TV characters is so fabulous that I am going to write separate posts for beloved characters in other genres. So, if it is okay, keep those characters in mind for upcoming lists, and for the sake of this post, limit it to TV characters. There tend to be tropes specific to TV compared with other genres, and I am really curious to see patterns in the types of characters you love/hate/find hot. ;)

  • Gen

    I don’t think I have twenty loved/hated characters lol. Your’s was well thought out list and I can respect that.

    Top 10 I might be able to do lol.

    Loved:

    1. Tyler Lockwood (The Vampire Diaries)
    2. Dean Winchester (Supernatural)
    3. Sam Winchester (Supernatural)
    4. Caroline Forbes (The Vampire Diaries)
    5. Pacey Witter (Dawson’s Creek)
    6. Buffy Summers (BtVS)
    7. Spike (BtVS)
    8. Max Guevara (Dark Angel)
    9. Alec (Dark Angel)
    10. Charlie Pace (LOST)

    Hated:
    1. Bonnie Bennett (The Vampire Diaries)
    2. Carly (General Hospital)
    3. Quinn (Glee) By this point I hate very Glee character. Eff that show.
    4. Tara (True Blood)
    5. Ruby (S3 Supernatural)

    Okay I don’t have 10 hated characters. I don’t hate very often. Strongly dislike, but the five listed bring out a fiery passion of hate I can’t explain.

    • Spidey Sense

      Hey Gen! Lockwoods and Winchesters are just undeniable, basically.

      It was really hard keeping my beloved list to twenty, but I found it hard to think of twenty characters I hated. I guess my hatred is for a select few (and I still can see redeeming aspects of these characters, like Matt’s friendship with Tyler), and what I feel for the rest of the characters on the list is mainly disdain or faint annoyance.

      Glee could have been an incredible show, but if it were not for Julie’s recaps and Darren Criss, I would no longer be watching. The main issue with Bonnie for me is that she is really just a walking plot device now, so it is hard to feel like she is anything other than a pretty object to be attached to Jeremy Gilbert’s lips. Bonnie was amazing in much of season one, and I always see unfulfilled potential when I watch her. Maybe she’ll get a revamp ala Tyler and Caroline this season?

      Your beloved list is populated with heroes and people who make it their mission to work towards the greater good against evil… plus also people, like Tyler, who are aware of their flaws and don’t want their dark side to be their defining aspect but to choose something better for their life. You definitely also seem drawn to people who have inner demons they have to struggle to control (werewolf gene, inherent darkness of the source of a Slayer’s power, Sam’s drop of demon blood consumed as a baby)

  • André

    Ok, here are my three Lists. Sadly only TV so that narrows it down significantly (since I don’t watch that much TV anymore and I can’t take “characters” from documentation series) but I still think I managed a decent collection by choosing from the various videos I watch (those are often made out of TV shows) and going through my memories.
    Also note that I had stopped True Blood after season 2, because I was unable to see it. In addition I stopped seeing Queer as Folk pretty soon because I never understood its appeal in the long run.

    Characters I like:
    “Stiles” Stilinski (Teen Wolf)
    Jeremy Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries)
    Gustavo Rocque (Big Time Rush)
    Carlos Garcia (Big Time Rush)
    Katy Knight (Big Time Rush)
    Toby (Dante’s Cove)
    Karen Walker (Will & Grace)
    Dafydd Thomas (Little Britain)
    Lisa Simpson
    Jalander Fazar (Skins)
    Oliver (Verbotene Liebe)
    Christian (Verbotene Liebe)
    Anja (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
    Willow Rosenberg (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
    Rupert Giles (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
    Fer Redondo (Física o Química)
    Debby Novotny (Queer as Folks)
    Melanie Marcus (Queer as Folks)
    Zeddicus Zu’l Zorander (Legend of the Seeker)

    Characters I don’t like (albeit not hate, I rarely hate TV characters; includes characters you should stay the heck away from in real life):
    Damon Salvatore (The Vampire Diaries)
    Elena Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries)
    Ambrosius (Dante’s Cove)
    Homer Simpson
    Tara Thornton (True Blood)
    Eric Northman (True Blood)
    Tony Stonem (Skins)
    Michelle Richardson (Skins)
    Effy Stonem (Skins)
    Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
    Joyce Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
    Brian Kinney (Queer as Folks)

    Characters I am ambiguous about for various reasons:
    Caroline Forbes (The Vampire Diaries)
    Bonnie Bennet (The Vampire Diaries)
    Lucas Sanders (Goede Tijden, Schlechte Tijden)
    Kevin (Dante’s Cove)
    Jack McFarland (Will & Grace)
    Bart Simpson
    The Jennifers (Big Time Rush)
    James Diamond (Big Time Rush)
    Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood)
    Jason Stackhouse (True Blood)
    Lafayette Reynolds (True Blood)
    Allison Argent (Teen Wolf)
    Maxxie Oliver (Skins)
    Justin Taylor (Queer as Folks)
    Michael Novotny (Queer as Folks)

    Eye-Candy List (this was by far the easiest to do):
    Scott McCall (Teen Wolf)
    Danny (Teen Wolf)
    Zane (Degrassi: The Next Generation)
    Jimmy (Alle lieben Jimmy)
    Sam Winchester (Supernatural, post season 1 [he wasn't such an eye candy at first])
    Toby (Dante’s Cove)
    Kevin (Dante’s Cove)
    Lucas Sanders (Goede Tijden, Schlechte Tijden)
    Jeremy Gilbert (The Vampire Diaries)
    Tyler Lockwood (The Vampire Diaries)
    Oliver (Verbotene Liebe)
    Christian (Verbotene Liebe)
    Peter Petrelli (Heroes)
    Mohinder Suresh (Heroes)
    Maxxie Oliver (Skins)
    Freddy McClair (Skins)
    David Ferrán (Física o Química)
    Chris Halliwell (Charmed)
    Ethan Gold (Queer as Folks)
    Richard Rahl (Legend of the Seeker)

    I’ll stay with this or otherwise I will never get the time again to write new fanfiction.

    • André

      Man I knew something like that would happen. I just remembered another eye candy:
      Kung Lao from the series Mortal Kombat: Konquest
      I guess the fact that the clothes always showed that tight butt really helped.:D

  • Daniel

    I would have put Cordelia Chase at the top of the favorites list. Directly underneath her I’d have to add Clark kent and Lois Lane. The animated versions voiced by Joan Alexander& Bud Collyer, Tim Daley & Dana Delaney, followed by the 4 best live action versions Tom Welling & Erica Durance, Dean Cain & Teri Hatcher, Christopher Reeve & Margot Kidder, and George Reeves Phyllis Coates (Noel Nell and Kate Bosworth need not apply)

    • Daniel

      ps- the Lois and Cordelia would be both eye candy and awesome characters. The Clarks are awesome characters but for obvious reasons, they don’t affect me as eye candy LOL.

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