You’re enjoying a movie, and then it happens: your lip starts to curl up as you snarl at the character you loathe. You’re not alone: we all have that one on-screen persona whom we hate. Maybe they’re mean or unfunny or creepy or childish. Whatever the reason, these 40 are some of cinema’s most disliked of all time. Which classic characters made the list? You’ll have to read on and see if your hate-figure is here too.
40. Drumroll, please…
J.K. Simmons won an Oscar for his role as Terrance Fletcher in Whiplash, but that doesn’t mean audiences liked his character. Throughout the film, the man bullied his students – particularly Miles Teller’s Andrew Neiman – in the name of cultivating great jazz musicians. If you’ve ever had a too-tough mentor, well, this one might be a bit too painfully accurate to watch.
39. Demonic dad-to-be
It’s not hard to dislike Guy Woodhouse in Rosemary’s Baby. The guy wants to improve his acting career but not by taking the usual, practical steps. Instead, he sells his wife’s womb to satanists, who promise to push him forward but, you know, his spouse has to carry the spawn of the devil for nine months.
38. Is dislike a carb?
Everyone loves the movie Mean Girls, but the antagonist Regina George proves much more divisive. You might love to hate her, but there’s no denying that she’s, well, mean – and some just can’t get over that. Others may also dislike her because they remind them of their own high-school bullies.
37. A really good, really bad witch
The Wizard of Oz’s Wicked Witch of the West has a name that says it all. She is supposed to be loathed, and, well, actress Margaret Hamilton hit all of the right notes. It doesn’t hurt that she’s painted green and has some pretty terrifying facial expressions too. If she scared you while watching as a kid, you’re not alone.
36. Not mother of the year
Don’t let her smile fool you: Margaret White, the mother in the horror flick Carrie, is far from a kind and nurturing matriarch. Devoutly religious and heavily domineering, she’s one of the reasons why her daughter, the film’s namesake character, unleashes her telekinetic powers and gets her revenge on everyone – including her mom.
35. Don’t rush his frat
The fact that American Pie’s Steve Stifler has ended up on this list is a credit to actor Seann Wlliam Scott. He plays the frat boy so well that he ended up annoying viewers in the process. As Complex magazine put it in 2012, “There is only so much obnoxious drunkenness we can take before we wind up grinding our teeth to dust.”
34. The Unlikable Element
In Chris Tucker’s defense, his character in The Fifth Element, Ruby Rhod, is meant to be a bit over the top. But the actor made him so very flamboyant that audiences found him more grating than grandiose. The role was actually written with Prince in mind, and his quieter confidence may have suited the part better – at least, according to the Ruby Rhod haters out there.
33. Very bad teacher
In an IMDb poll entitled “Most Hated Movie Characters,” Dolores Umbridge came in second out of 35 options. That extra-high ranking speaks to how much this character is loathed by Harry Potter franchise fans. She may wear sickly sweet-colored suits, but this lady was conniving and straight-up mean to her students.
32. The snow is the hero here
You might be wondering how a classic horror flick like The Shining had anything to contribute to this list. Jack Nicholson, of course, plays Jack Torrence, who is slowly descending into the depths of insanity. And his acting is so good that some viewers felt relief at the end of the film when he freezes to death.
31. Not so Dynamite, after all
Napoleon Dynamite’s titular character was meant to be weird and annoying but in a way that still had audiences rooting for him. Well, some people picked up on the former part without feeling any sort of affection for the guy. It didn’t help that people imitated his voice and mannerisms for years after the film came out either.
30. My worst friend’s wedding
My Best Friend’s Wedding wants you to cheer for protagonist Julianne Potter, but not all audience members fell for the gag. Instead, they found it a bit obnoxious that she tried to sabotage her pal’s nuptials solely because she was jealous. Beware of any Julianne-adjacent guests when you plan your wedding to avoid any headaches of your own.
29. Disliked for being… Highly unlikable
There’s not much to like about A Clockwork Orange’s Alex DeLarge. If you’ve seen the film, then you understand why. If not, he’s just… not a good person at all. He seeks out violence and performs many heinous acts for the mere sake of wreaking havoc on the world. Clearly, he does very little to make him endearing to audiences.
28. An off-key performance
There are plenty of Pitch Perfect fans out there, but not everyone loved the musical movie’s main character, Beca. After all, she does jump into her collegiate acapella group as a freshman, changes the whole routine and nearly destroys the group’s chance to become champions. As one member of the BuzzFeed Community put it, “She thinks she’s better than everyone else throughout the entire movie.”
27. A little bit Psycho
The brilliant minds behind the horror movie Psycho – including director Alfred Hitchcock – wanted viewers to feel sorry for their villain, Norman Bates. Nevertheless, the guy had a very strange relationship with his mother, one that was weird enough to turn fans against him. This movie came out in 1960, and we still cringe at this character.
26. Disliked damsel in distress
People either love – or love to hate – the Twilight saga. The same can’t be said for the movie’s main character, Bella Swan. Most people just straight-up dislike her, and they cite several reasons for doing so. They range from her bland personality to her lame jokes to her exhausting love triangle.
25. A boring origin story
You could blame it on George Lucas’s script. Or you could blame it on actor Hayden Christensen. Either way, though, you hate Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, and you’re not alone. For someone meant to be a younger version of the galaxy’s most fearsome foe, countless fans thought that Anakin fell flat.
24. One ball not dodged
Dodgeball’s antagonist, White Goodman, is disliked because, well, he has every quality that would make a person unlikable. As Bleacher Report put it, “He’s a narcissistic megalomaniac lacking even a shred of self-awareness.” But, there is some consolation for the villain’s haters – because this is a feel-good film, he doesn’t win in the end.
23. Snubbed in the City
The Sex and the City movies continue the story that began on the beloved TV show. One element that divides fans, though, is the series and films’ main character, Carrie Bradshaw. Some viewers see her as a bad friend, a whiner, a cheater and someone who is way too needy and entitled. When you put it that way, it’s hard to see how anyone would want to be a Carrie.
22. The well-played creep
Some say that Anthony Hopkins’s turn as Hannibal Lecter is cinema’s greatest-ever villain. And he did win an Oscar for his performance. Still, that doesn’t mean that audiences liked the murderous character at the heart of The Silence of the Lambs. And it didn’t help that he had bugged-out eyes and a sinister smirk to max out his very creepy vibe.
21. Too lazy to like
Anyone who has seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory will have their feelings about Grandpa Joe. Was he a sweet old man and buddy to his grandson? Or was he lazy for decades until he got the chance to go eat free chocolate, at which point he could finally get out of bed? Lots of people think the latter – and that’s why they hate him.
20. The original gaslighter
You may not know the 1944 movie Gaslight, but you’ve probably heard the term “gaslight.” It has become a blanket way of describing just about any method of psychological manipulation. And we call it that because of a character in the aforementioned movie, Sergius Bauer, who slowly convinces his wife that she is going crazy: the original gaslighter.
19. Loser of the Ring
Frodo Baggins is technically the hero of the Lord of the Rings trilogy… but not all fans agree with that. Some find him to be an incredibly annoying figure throughout the story, requiring his fellow hobbits to defend and rescue him. The constant whining and crying doesn’t help his case either.
18. No laughing matter
One look at Pennywise from It, and you’ll be begging to see a monster, a murderer in a mask, a murderer in plain clothes – any other horror movie foe. There is something so much more off-putting about a killer clown who hunts people down in full makeup. It’s pretty clear to us why people hate this guy.
17. Bad bad character
Ask any Star Wars fan the following question: who’s the franchise’s most hated character? There’s a very high chance that they will reply with Jar Jar Binks, a creature meant to be comical but received as a cheap ploy to get kids into the sci-fi films. He has an awful voice and a bad personality too, which do very little to redeem him.
16. An uncool move made her unliked
For most of the movie Titanic, audiences are on board with Rose DeWitt Bukater. But then, she loses everyone when she loses her love, Jack Dawson, in the aftermath of the ship’s historic sinking. If you’ve seen the film, you know how he dies: he suffers from hypothermia while treading water as Rose floats on a door frame in the water. Some audience members have yet to forgive her for letting Jack freeze to death, especially because some angles make it seem as though both of them could have fit on that wooden shard.
15. Artificial intelligence, unartificial hatred
2001: A Space Odyssey introduces audiences to a character named HAL 9000, and, no, he’s not a rapper or a newfangled children’s toy. No, this guy’s the computer in charge of the spaceship featured in the movie. And he speaks in such a deadpan tone that audiences grew to hate him and his artificial intelligence.
14. Paw-sitively evil
It’s not hard to guess why people hate Cruella de Vil. The woman wants to kill a ton of puppies for the sake of making herself a new coat. You’d be hard-pressed to find a modern viewer who doesn’t love their dog more than most people, thus making this pooch poacher an incredibly hateable figure.
13. No one’s superhero
Most people can handle a peppering of sarcastic banter. But Deadpool – and, specifically, its titular character – are a bit heavy-handed when it comes to dry humor. That’s the major reason that people find the superhero to be more annoying than admirable.
12. Unliked by principal
Any kids who watched Matilda in the 1990s deeply disliked Miss Trunchbull because, well, she was terrifying. The woman locked her pupils into storage closets and whipped them around by their pigtails, after all. It seems these old fears die hard too, since so many of us still hate this character with a passion.
11. Love Timon and Pumbaa? You’re lion
Timon and Pumbaa are great friends to The Lion King himself after he suffers the traumatic loss of his father. At least, that’s what Disney wants you to think – some viewers find this duo to be a subpar support system. One person in the BuzzFeed Community hated how Pumbaa, in particular, compared his flatulence problem to Simba’s dad’s death. The commenter wrote, “I wouldn’t be smiling and singing along, I’d be frustrated and trying to get away from them.”
10. The hippocratic oathbreaker
When it came time to cast the part of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, there weren’t many actresses interested in playing the deranged medical professional. But Louise Fletcher was up to the task, and she made the abusive nurse just as twisted and terrifying as she sounds. With so many haters of the character, her mission was more than accomplished.
9. To me, you are the worst
In one of Love Actually’s most iconic scenes, Mark – played by Andrew Lincoln – holds up signs to profess his love to Keira Knightley’s character, Juliet. This move rubbed many viewers the wrong way, though. It mostly came down to the fact that he had been rude to her throughout the film, and she was married to his best friend. Yikes.
8. Bad kind of boss lady
We all love a strong female character… Unless, of course, she’s a ruthless fashion magazine editor named Miranda Priestly. This boss lady turned off The Devil Wears Prada watchers for being too demanding and too mean to her assistant, Andy. Perhaps these viewers had bad managers in the past, and seeing such a real-life portrayal on screen brought back memories.
7. Non-endearing Psycho
Patrick Bateman wasn’t a monster in the physical sense, but he was certainly scary in his own right. After all, the American Psycho lived like a Big Apple yuppie by day and hit the streets to murder people by night. And that pretty much explains why audiences didn’t love the guy either.
6. The worst stepmom
We’ve got a few unfit motherly figures on this list, but The Parent Trap’s Meredith Blake might just take the cake. After all, she stands in the way of the plan devised by long-lost twins, Hallie and Annie, who want to reunite their family. And the ’90s kids who watched this film simply did not – and do not – appreciate that kind of behavior.
5. Not so magical main man
The Harry Potter series – and its namesake protagonist – has a sea of fans. But there are those who dislike the main character in both books and movies because, well, he’s a bit too whiny and slightly over-sensitive. Don’t forget to note that he is told he’s special from birth, which kind of set him up to be insufferable. Maybe these haters have something of a point…
4. The spy who annoyed me
To be fair to Austin Powers, audiences loved the guy in his first two movies. But by the time that Goldmember rolled around in 2002, well, the shtick had gotten a bit tired. And it didn’t help that everyone was trying their hand at an Austin-inspired accent while repeating his signature phrases. So a great character quickly became a hated one.
3. Wouldn’t hire this nanny
You may have watched Mary Poppins as a kid and wished she could come and be your nanny. That’s now how every viewer felt, though. Some find the magical childminder to be arrogant and closed-off – indeed, she does leave as soon as she connects with the kids. Others point out that the literary version of her is actually more of a disciplinarian than a friend.
Disney’s Frozen won an Oscar, but some would have kept the prestigious award out of Olaf’s hands if they could. The silly character was brought into the storyline for a bit of comedic relief, but plenty of viewers found him more juvenile than enjoyable. It must be very hard for them when the movie-musical’s tune “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?” gets stuck in their heads.
1. The hated hero
Tony Stark – also known as Iron Man – has plenty of fans in the Marvel Universe. But some find his behavior a bit too cocky, even for an inventor-turned-superhero. The fact that anyone could dislike him will be a shock to those who saw Avengers: Endgame, though: they know who the character really is.