10 Great TV Main Characters Ruined By One Terrible Storyline


  • Some TV shows have storylines that ruin the main characters beyond repair, leaving viewers questioning the sanity of the writers.
  • How I Met Your Mother’s finale destroys Ted’s character arc by reverting him back to his love for Robin, negating all his personal growth.
  • Characters like Rory Gilmore, Carrie Bradshaw, and Ross Geller are tainted by storylines involving cheating, betraying the audience’s trust and love for them.

Every amazing show has a few missteps along the way, but a few of them end up destroying their main characters beyond repair. Some storylines are so weird that they make viewers question the writers’ choices. It doesn’t matter whether the series is a sitcom or a drama. Any character can fall victim to poor writing and transform from a fan favorite into one hated by audiences. Usually, the show running too long is to blame for this, but there are other causes as well.

Certain storylines ruin main characters, and How I Met Your Mother‘s controversial ending is proof of this. Sometimes, creators need to decide between moving the plot forward and staying true to a character. Sadly, the first option often wins, as it keeps the show going and adds to the drama. This leads to well-written TV characters being ruined by a single storyline.

10 Ted Mosby (How I Met Your Mother)

Ted Holding Up the Blue French Horn in How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother‘s finale is probably one of the most controversial episodes in TV history — and rightfully so. Ted Mosby spends nine seasons recounting the beginnings of his and the mother’s love story, only for her to die and for him to be still in love with Robin. Ted may be annoying at times, but he is a great character whose journey is interesting enough to follow. Having him revert to crushing on Robin ruins the point of the story and cancels out his entire character arc. Just like that, all his personal growth is gone.

RELATED: How I Met Your Mother: 19 Biggest Episodes For Ted & Robin’s Relationship

9 Robin Scherbatsky (How I Met Your Mother)

Robin and Barney in How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother treats multiple characters badly in its lead-up to the ending. Robin is another character that this sitcom fails, but it happens much earlier than the series finale. The How I Met Your Mother season 7 storyline centering around Robin and Barney cheating on Kevin and Nora is controversial enough. However, the twist with Robin changing her mind about being with Barney after he breaks up with Nora makes it so much worse. This plot paints Robin poorly, making her a cheater, a coward, and a betrayer within a single installment. As much as viewers love Robin, she never recovers from this heartbreaking episode.

8 Rory Gilmore (Gilmore Girls)

Rory and Dean Sleep Together in Gilmore Girls

Rory is a main character in Gilmore Girls, and her defining characteristic for many seasons is that she always does the right thing. Rory is supposed to have a strong moral compass. She makes mistakes, but nothing major — at least not until season 4. Somewhere on her journey, Rory loses sight of what’s important, leading her to sleep with Dean, who is married to Lindsay at the time. While Dean is the one responsible for cheating, the fact that Rory doesn’t see the problem with their actions taints her character permanently.

RELATED: Gilmore Girls: Rory And Dean’s Relationship Timeline, Season By Season

7 Carrie Bradshaw (Sex And The City)

Carrie and Aidan Break Up After She Cheats on Him on Sex and the City

Sex and the City‘s Carrie used to be an icon for women around the world in the 2000s, and her epic romance with Mr. Big was the fairy tale everyone wanted. However, decades have passed, and many viewers have realized that Big isn’t it. Viewers understand why Carrie is infatuated with Big, but that doesn’t redeem her cheating on the perfectly nice Aidan, who is an even bigger heartthrob than Big. The moment Carrie breaks up with Aidan for the guy who’s been nothing but trouble is the moment her character starts to decline.

6 Michael Cordero (Jane The Virgin)

Michael Returns In Jane The Virgin

Jane the Virgin is supposed to bear a resemblance to a telenovela, but in season 4, it takes things too far. In season 3, Jane’s husband, the wholesome and lovable Michael, gets shot and initially survives, only to suddenly die from the complications a while later. This is one of the best plot twists of the series and a fairly realistic way to go for a character like Michael. However, the writers take things one step further and have him come back in the season 4 finale. This storyline, the subsequent amnesia, and everything that follows completely ruin Michael as a character, as he doesn’t feel like himself anymore.

5 Ross Geller (Friends)

Ross and Rachel Talking on the Couch in Friends

Friends‘ Ross and Rachel are adorable lobsters, but Ross goes and messes everything up. The show is dated, and some storylines have not aged well, but nothing tops the cheating plot. Break or no break, when Ross cheats on Rachel with the copy girl and argues about the technicalities of their fight, his character takes a turn for the worse. No matter how much he claims that he loves Rachel, he doesn’t deserve to be with her after such a betrayal. Despite the fact that Ross and Rachel get back together in the Friends finale, their reunion feels wrong.

4 Spike (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Looking Behind Him, a Serious Look on His Face

Spike is essentially Buffy the Vampire Slayer‘s attempt at an anti-hero who gets redeemed, or Angel 2.0. Spike is a beloved character who has immense growth throughout the show, but there is one storyline that reduces it to dust. Spike’s controversial attempted sexual assault scene, where he comes very close to raping Buffy, is hard to watch. After it, it’s difficult to feel compassion for Spike. It’s unclear what the writers were going for with this scene, but it doesn’t improve the character or story in any way.

3 Gregory House (House)

House in the Series Finale of House

House‘s titular character is deeply troubled, and he is neither a good guy nor a villain. Yet, viewers love House for his brilliant mind, witty comments, and dark charisma. House definitely has a few problematic moments throughout the show — one of the harsh realities of watching House 11 years later — but he is House, so he gets special treatment from his colleagues and audiences. However, the writers have him do something completely out of character in the series finale. House fakes his death to spend Wilson’s final months with him. Not only is this move illegal and weird, but it is also illogical and out of character.

2 Andy Bernard (The Office)

Andy Gives an Interview in The Office

The Office‘s Andy is one of the most unlikable TV characters out there, and it is largely due to his storyline in the final season. Andy goes from an entitled jerk to a caring guy in a matter of a few outings, but that all gets ruined by his character arc in season 9. The final season of the show significantly declines in quality, but no character suffers more than Andy. The training seminar storyline turns Andy back into a selfish idiot, reversing all the growth he has up to this point and ruining his relationship with Erin.

1 Eric Forman (That ’70s Show)

Eric in That '70s Show

Not only does Eric’s departure in That ’70s Show season 7 give viewers the unlikeable Randy, but it also crushes Eric’s characterization and motivations entirely. Eric’s relationship with Donna — the girl he has loved for years — is just getting serious, and he decides to go to Africa out of the blue and dumps her because long distance is too hard. Even though Eric and Donna get back together in the That ’70s Show finale, this storyline is a complete waste of the character’s potential. Eric’s hasty departure and even hastier breakup with Donna feel like a slap in the face, and they make his character harder to like.

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