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The 30 Worst TV Boyfriends of All Time

Gabe Lewis From The Office

Gabe was clueless and protective when it came to his relationship with Erin. He didn’t really know how to communicate with her, and they just did not have fun together. He was also completely clueless to Erin and Andy’s flirtationship, although Erin and Andy were clueless about it too.

Gabe could have made a better boyfriend for someone else, but as for Erin, she deserved someone with an actual personality.

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Nick Moore From Family Ties

This environmental artist was not exactly what Mallory’s family wanted for her. Her dad even compared him to Rambo, the dirty, sweaty, and muscular action star played by Sylvester Stallone. He was not exactly the brightest either.

No one knew why Mallory was with him, and clearly no one in the family liked him. If your family doesn’t approve, he’s a bad boyfriend. Sorry, Mallory.

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Sheldon Cooper From The Big Bang Theory

Ok, this was pretty self-explanatory. Sheldon, the socially awkward science geek, was not the most loving boyfriend. He’s pretty emotionally detached, and he didn’t give Amy near as much love and affection as she gave him.

Sheldon was a bad boyfriend because of this emotional unavailability. Who would want to be with someone who doesn’t show interest toward you? Hopeless romantic Amy, apparently.

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Mr. Big From Sex and the City

Perhaps one of the most frustrating TV boyfriends of all time, Mr. Big was just a really, really bad boyfriend, and all these years later we’re still not over it. For some reason Carrie was madly in love with him throughout the series and the big screen movie, but he never showed as much interest in her and strung her along for years.

Their on-again-off-again relationship was caused by his emotional detachment and constant cheating on Carrie—or with Carrie while in relationships with other women—but always coming back to her in the end. He was so frustrating. Maybe the worst on this list.

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Michael Cordero Jr. From Jane The Virgin

Controversial, but someone has to say it. Michael was a bad boyfriend for Jane. It’s true. Once the wrench in their timeline that was Jane’s accidental artificial insemination was thrown into the mix, Michael’s true colors came to light. He was selfish and kept secrets from her. He even asked her to not have the baby!

Yeah his situation wasn’t ideal, but geez, Michael. You’re supposed to be the good guy.

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Joffrey Baratheon From Game of Thrones

No doubt about it, this one is a bad one. This guy was completely abusive of both his power as a royal and his relationship with Sansa. Naive Sansa only wanted to be queen and wanted to love him, but she simply found herself in an abusive relationship.

Has your boyfriend cut your dad’s head off then made you look at it on a stick? No? Is that not normal? Intense. Crazy. Good riddance.

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Jack Bauer From 24

Imagine your boyfriend spends 23+ hours of the day fighting crime, and may spare one minute of time for you in his busy, private life. Not your ideal man? Well, that was Jack from 24.

What’s the point of being in a relationship if you’re not going to make time for it? Talk about work-life balance. This guy had none of it.

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Chandler Bing From Friends

While Chandler did eventually find his perfect match with Monica, he was undeniably a bad boyfriend to Janice. He strung her along for years just because he didn’t have the courage to tell her he didn’t like her. Once he eventually told her the truth, she had been manipulated by him for so long that she didn’t even believe him.

Janice’s recurring presence was marked by her comments on how Chandler let her get away because she thought she was so important to him, when in reality, Chandler was just lying the whole time. Janice might have been the comedic relief of the show, but Chandler was the guilty party of that relationship.

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Sam Malone From Cheers

Sam and Diane definitely had their ups and downs throughout the series, but their sparks were very evident from the beginning. Sam was never shy with his heart-breaker style or sometimes hurtful banter, but Diane didn’t seem to mind.

What led to their eventual breakup, however, was his stubbornness and aggression that was a little too strong if you ask us. Diane and Sam had a thrilling love, but Sam definitely made our bad boyfriends list.

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Ted Mosby From How I Met Your Mother

This one may be controversial, but you can’t deny that although Ted was just looking for “the one” and was very sweet and thoughtful, he still objectified most of the women he dated and really led some of them on.

Like the several times he justified his actions in a relationship with his friends because the girl was “hot,” or how he was a serial monogamist when all he clearly wanted was Robin. He was basically as bad as Barney.

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Ryan Howard From The Office

We couldn’t make this list and not have Ryan in it. He was the definition of a bad boyfriend to Kelly. All Kelly wanted was his love. She was blind enough to give it, and he was a horrible boyfriend enough to abuse it.

While everyone on the show—and those of us watching the show—was very confused by this dynamic and Ryan’s horrible misconduct, they’re somehow perfect for each other? We don’t get it either.

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Leonard Hofstadter From The Big Bang Theory

On the opposite end of the boyfriend spectrum from Sheldon is Leonard. While Sheldon was very emotionally detached and didn’t recognize a need for a significant other, Leonard was pretty needy.

While we can all agree that Penny was way out of his league, we can also all agree that neediness did not help his case.

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Barney Stinson From How I Met Your Mother

While Barney did eventually have a healthy and loving relationship with Robin, there’s no denying that Barney was a bad boyfriend to everyone else who came before. Sure, he may not have committed to being people’s actual boyfriend, but that still doesn’t excuse the way he treated most women.

Throughout the show, Barney slept with about 200 women and treated all of them as objects. He showed almost zero respect for women, but somehow we were supposed to find that endearing? How about no.

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Harry Ashland From Married...With Children

Arguably one of the most scandalous of Kelly’s boyfriends on the show, Harry Ashland was a potential candidate for the position of the mayor of Chicago. That is, until photos of him and Kelly got leaked and it’s brought to everyone’s attention that he was actually married. Yikes.

Lying not only definitely makes you a bad boyfriend; it makes you a horrible boyfriend. That’s a no from us.

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Ross Geller From Friends

Known for his whiny tone and pessimism, Ross wasn’t what you would call a fun boyfriend. His relationship with Rachel was a whirlwind, and it was mostly due to a lack of communication. Sure, Rachel was somewhat to blame, but so much of it could have been avoided if he had only admitted his feelings for her years earlier!

Not to mention the whole “we were on a break thing.” Give us a break. Ross was a no-go.

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Aaron From Seinfeld

The close-talker. He’s a super nice guy, he just was super nice while being super close to your face. Elaine brought him over to meet Jerry’s parents while they were in town, but he ended up crashing his day with Elaine just to hang out with Jerry’s parents and show them around New York.

While Aaron was a nice, well-meaning guy, he wasn’t the cream of the crop out of the men Elaine dated.

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Joey Tribbiani from Friends

Joey wasn’t in many relationships in the show, although he did sleep with a ton of women. He’s never really a bad guy, but we can all agree he was a bad boyfriend for Rachel. What even was that?

He never treated her badly, but it was just weird and bad in and of itself. We’re pretty sure everyone was just as weirded out by this relationship as we were.

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Dean Forester From Gilmore Girls

Don’t get us started on Dean. Sure, he’s Rory’s first love, and it was so sweet at first, but he was always accusing her of things she didn’t do, and he was super jealous of Rory’s friendship with Jess.

Not to mention that he married his rebound from Rory, then cheated on her with Rory! We’re disappointed in both of them for that one, but come on Dean. Grow up.

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Roy Anderson From The Office

We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief that Pam did not marry Roy. Phew. That got dangerously close.

Pam was a sweet, smart, and strong woman, and we’re all glad she ditched a man who consistently gave her less than she deserved for Jim Halpert: a man who complemented her so well.

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Will Schuester From Glee

Not only was his leadership in the Glee Club—and over-sexualization of high schoolers—questionable, but so were his actions in his relationships. In the first season, Will clearly had feelings for guidance counselor Emma while he was still married to Terri and believed that Terri was pregnant (she’s lying, but that’s another story).

After Will finally got a divorce, he started his relationship with Emma, and they were so sweet together! The only thing was that Emma did not feel ready to sleep with him, so Will went and cheated on her. Not cool, dude.

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Tom Haverford From Parks and Recreation

Another ladies’ man on our list, or so he liked to think. Tom was like a Barney Stinson who couldn’t get a woman. In fact, his wife at the beginning of the show was really only with him for her green card.

Tom was super flirty and objectified women, but he was also sweet and endearing. Didn’t make him not a bad boyfriend, though.

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Nelson Burkhard From Full House

Everyone believed Nelson was made of 100% boyfriend material, but what made this rich, loving boy a bad boyfriend? Well, seconds after D.J. broke up with him, he was with her best friend Kimmy!

Now sure, D.J. really didn’t like him that much, and this was a bad move on Kimmy’s part as well, but if he was actually 100% boyfriend material, he never would’ve let this happen so soon after the breakup.

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The Coma Guy From Friends

Phoebe and Monica fell in love with a guy at a newsstand who then got hit by a bus, and they accompanied him to the hospital. They were both convinced he would fall in love with them once he was awake and brought him flowers, balloons, and food and sang him songs.

But when he woke up, he was completely ungrateful for all that they did. Of course, this was a one-sided (two-sided?) relationship, but come on. At least take them on a real date!

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Christopher Hayden From Gilmore Girls

Christopher was Lorelai’s first real love and Rory’s dad. Lorelai didn’t stay with him long after high school, and he was always distant in Rory’s life. However, he randomly showed up in the middle of nowhere and Lorelai all of the sudden started thinking she wanted to marry him.

We rate this guy a solid 2/10 as a boyfriend AND as a father. The audacity.

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Michael Scott From The Office

Oh, Michael. All he wanted was love, and we’re all glad he finally found it, but before he met Holly, he was just a bad boyfriend. He was way too serious and gave himself too readily and fully to his girlfriends. Oh, and the office chair magazine model lady. Rest in peace.

We’re all for a boyfriend who’s committed and loving, but if you go too far too soon, it just makes you needy and clingy. No one wants that kind of relationship.

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Jimmy From Seinfeld

This guy was nothing but confusing. His first encounter with Elaine was a total misunderstanding because of the way he talked in the third person. Elaine was trying to impress another guy at the gym when Jimmy started saying, “Jimmy is really sweet on you.” Of course, Elaine assumed it was the other guy, but nope.

Not one of her best choices. This guy was creepy. Referring to yourself in third person is not normal.

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Dylan Marshall From Modern Family

Haley’s high school boyfriend Dylan was not known for being respectful, polite, or even smart. No one thought they were a good match, which was why it was a complete shock when the show decided to bring the two back together after years of being broken up.

Haley was definitely not known for her brains either, which just added to the badness of her relationship with Dylan, making Dylan a bad boyfriend for her.

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Sir Richard Carlisle From Downton Abbey

Selfish, jealous, scheming: not the best qualities of a potential husband if you ask us. Sir Richard was so wrapped up in the power struggle of marrying into the Crawley family that he emotionally manipulated Mary.

Not only that—he tried to stop the inevitable love between Mary and Matthew because he was so selfish and couldn’t stand the thought of not marrying Mary.

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J.D. Dorian From Scrubs

What made J.D. a bad boyfriend wasn’t that he treated his girlfriends badly, but that he was always a little too close to Elliot and valued her opinions of his relationships a little too highly.

Yes, we were rooting for J.D. and Elliot the whole time, and all of J.D.’s other relationships were little detours to that, but still. It can be a red flag if your boyfriend is constantly seeking advice from a close friend who is a girl, and that makes J.D. a bad boyfriend.

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Spencer From New Girl

This bad boyfriend breakup was what started the whole show. Jess dated Spencer for six years until he cheated on her, and she had to move out, leading to her moving into the loft with Nick, Winston, and Schmidt. In their breakup, she said that she could never figure him out and that she was so glad he cheated on her because otherwise she would have married him and lived a sad life.

Yikes. If your boyfriend makes you feel that way, that’s a good sign it’s not the right relationship for you because he is a bad boyfriend.

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