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30 Television Jerks We Secretly Love

J.R. Ewing from Dallas

As arrogant and ruthless as J.R. was on Dallas, fans were still obsessed with him. Heck, 30+ years after the mystery of “who shot J.R?.” was solved, it’s still one of the most popular catchphrases in TV history.

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Chuck Bass from Gossip Girl

When Gossip Girl first aired, Chuck Bass was a snarky gossip who tried to force himself on two of the main characters in the show’s pilot. But because of Ed Westwick’s undeniable charm and his chemistry with Leighton Meester, who played Blair, Chuck became everyone’s favorite villain, who redeemed himself if the mood struck—but he always eventually returned to his conniving ways.

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Cole from Charmed

He lied to Phoebe the majority of their relationship, and he really struggled with that whole being-half-a-demon thing. But we always rooted for him because it seemed like he really wanted to get his stuff together. But the later seasons of Charmed relied solely on Alyssa Milano’s character’s dating life, so dude had to go. 

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Big from SATC

Big was arrogant and left Carrie high and dry on more than one occasion (including their wedding day), but he was rich—and although we all know Aidan was the better man, Big was better suited for selfish Carrie. 

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Jess from Gilmore Girls

Every girl falls for at least one bad boy during her teenage years, and Jess pretty much epitomizes that bad boy. Yes, he disrespects Rory’s mother and yells at Rory for turning down his advances, but he likes to read the same books she does, so he’s just really misunderstood, right?

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McSteamy from Grey's Anatomy

When we were first introduced to McSteamy, he was chasing after a married woman. When that didn’t work out, he moved on to Meredith’s little sister, who was at least 15 years younger than him. Although their relationship became a fan favorite, it didn’t last. And by the time McSteamy really started warming our hearts, Shonda Rhimes did what she does best and killed him off.

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President Fitzgerald from Scandal

Not only is he a fair-weather Republican president—he also makes no secret of his affair with Olivia Pope, who he’s creepily obsessed with and stalks on the regular. He’s also possessive, jealous, emotionally abusive, a bit of an alcoholic, and an overall toxic human being. But nonetheless, his chemistry with Ms. Pope is electric, and we find ourselves rooting for them to go off and make jam together for the rest of eternity. 

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Lucious Lyon from Empire

Lucious is willing to destroy the lives of his family members to get what he wants, and although we should hate him for it, Terrence Howard brings so much depth to his character that we always end up sympathizing with him (when we’re not rooting for Cookie to destroy him, that is).

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Danny Castellano from The Mindy Project

He calls Mindy names on the reg and deems her selfish for not quitting her career and staying home with their baby. But no matter how much his character regressed throughout the seasons, we’re still rooting for Danny and Mindy to get their perfect rom-com happy ending when the series wraps up.

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Paris Gellar from Gilmore Girls

She’s about as likeable as Hillary Clinton herself, but somehow we always found ourselves rooting for Paris. 

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Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother

Barney is a womanizer and breaks the bro code to date Robin, but he’s actually a really good friend deep down. He just tries to hide it as much as possible. (Plus, how can you not love Neil Patrick Harris in literally any role??)

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Logan from Gilmore Girls

Logan is kind of like Kanye West. He’s a jerk to the rest of the world, but he’d do anything for Rory. Plus, he’s ridiculously rich. And isn’t that the perfect combo every girl searches for?

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Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries

Although Damon and Elena are everyone’s favorite ship, we can’t forget how truly horrible Damon actually is. When he’s not biting innocent people, he’s being a total jerk to those he supposedly loves in order to push them away. Damon’s pretty much the epitome of tall, dark, and broody.

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Kelso from That '70s Show

Michael Kelso is probably the dumbest character in the history of television, but he was played by Ashton Kutcher, so you can’t help but love him. And even though he cheated on Jackie a million times, they were still a fan favorite couple (and a couple IRL now, too).

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Fonzie from Happy Days

Once Fonzie became a main character in the Happy Days series, he became a normal human being you could root for. But during the first couple of seasons, he was more concerned with looking “cool” in his leather jacket and hooking up with chicks than he was about being a decent friend.

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Rachel Green from Friends

Although Rachel went through quite a bit of character development throughout the series—she went from rich daddy’s little girl who had never worked a day in her life to total girl boss—she remained unabashedly selfish where her friends were concerned. She constantly sabotaged Ross’ relationships, even though she was always the one to end their relationship, and she never helped Monica with any of the cleaning or cooking (or even thanked her, really). 

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A.C. Slater from Saved by the Bell

A.C. Slater is the original “Mr. Steal Yo Girl.” He constantly chases after his best friend’s girlfriend, and when he gives up on that he tries to win over Jessie with misogynistic comments. But he looks damn good in his little wrestling outfit, so he gets a pass.

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Georgina Sparks from Gossip Girl

Georgina could be a bit much at times, but you have to admit the show was 10 times more interesting when she came around. 

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Jamie Lannister from Game of Thrones

He likes to go at it with his sister and push small children off towers, but he’s just so darn charming.

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Zach Morris from Saved by the Bell

If there were a list of the most selfish TV characters of all time, Zach Morris would rank pretty high. When he’s not trying to manipulate Kelly into going out with him, he’s using Screech to do his dirty work, cheating on tests, or lying to the principal. That being said, Zach always ends up doing the right thing in the end, after his friends make him feel bad.

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Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory

He’s a big ol’ nerd who always has to be right, but he is actually always right. Plus, he’s come a long way as far as relationships and friendships go since the show started.

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Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy

From day one, Karev has been the resident jerk. But that hasn’t stopped every single woman from getting with him, and it hasn’t stopped us from loving him. As jerky as he is, he does have his low-key sweet moments.

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Frank Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond

Frank is mean to everyone in his family, but let’s be honest—they deserve it most of the time. He’s like that grouchy old grandpa you can’t help but love.

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Cliff Clavin from Cheers

Cliff was so jerky he even went through electroshock therapy once in an attempt to become nicer. Spoiler alert: It didn't work. But we still love him.

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Carrie Bradshaw from SATC

She’s unbelievably selfish and a horrible friend, but she’s also incredibly witty and has a quirky sense of style. Who hasn’t fought with their friends over who gets to be the “Carrie” over their friend group at some point in time?

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Will from Fresh Prince of Bel Air

I know, I know, how did Will Smith make it on this list??? His character on Fresh Prince is a womanizer and regularly makes fun of his uncle’s weight, his cousin Carlton’s nerdiness, and his cousin Hillary’s promiscuity. But he gets away with it because he’s Will Smith, duh.

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Rafael from Jane the Virgin

When he’s not bouncing back and forth between Jane and Petra, he’s obsessed with staying rich and making sure his child doesn’t have “a small life” like Jane did. But we love him and root for him anyway because 1) those muscles; 2) he has daddy issues, which, like, who doesn’t?

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Dr. House from House

House is the king of sarcasm and dry wit, which technically qualifies him as a jerk—but he’s so incredibly smart that we’ll allow it.

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Papa Pope from Scandal

He’s more of a psycho than a jerk, but we still hope we seem him every week on Scandal. He’s terrifying, yes, but his fatherly speeches are epic and he’s always 10,000 steps ahead of everyone else.

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Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons

His superiority complex may be as big as his midsection, but admit it—Comic Book Guy (a.k.a. Jeffrey Albertson) has a sarcastic, witty way with words that we all wish we possessed. You can't help but laugh when he rains down insults on any unsuspecting Springfield citizen unlucky enough to wander into his store. 

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