Mr. Burns and 8 TV characters we love to hate

Characters are the central core of television shows, due to development and how they serve the plot. Yet, there are some who play the bad so good.
THE SIMPSONS: Mr. Burns attempts to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a superhero in the all-new ÒDark Knight CourtÓ episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, March 17 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE SIMPSONS ª and ©Ê2013 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
THE SIMPSONS: Mr. Burns attempts to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a superhero in the all-new ÒDark Knight CourtÓ episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, March 17 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE SIMPSONS ª and ©Ê2013 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. /

Characters are the reason why we invest in TV, as they structure the narrative and give us a unique perspective of who they are. Moreover, we tend to see our own reflections in the characters, allowing us to have alignment and perhaps see ourselves differently in a positive light. That's what proper character investment does, anddrives the shows forward.

But some characters are so well developed at being the antagonist that is makes the audience want to love them, but hate at the same time. May they be a evil billionaire, fighting for their survival, or be that annoying ex who doesn't go away. These characters additionally strengthen the protagonists, creating unique arcs and relationships.

Here are nine characters who we love but hate.

9 TV characters we love to hate and why they're so good

10 tv characters we love to hate
THE SIMPSONS: Mr. Burns gives his employees high-tech eyeglasses in order to spy on them in the "Specs and the City" episode of THE SIMPSONS airing Sunday, Jan. 26 (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. THE SIMPSONS ™ and © 2014 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. /

Mr. Burns from The Simpsons

Charles Montgomery Burns (Harry Shearer), aka Mr. Burns, is the ultimate "bad guy" in the long-running animated series, The Simpsons. He can be unfair, ruthless, and conspiring to a point that makes you wonder why such a being exists. Let's face it, he's not the ideal boss, especially to Homer (Dan Castellaneta) and Smithers (Shearer), but knowing how Burns is, they let it slide. Doing so created plenty of hilarious dynamics.

But Burns has proven now and then that he can have a change of heart. For instance, he paid for Homer's liposuction after the latter saved the plant and many lives, and he even raised Smithers after his father died in a work accident. Then, there was Burns' childhood toy, Bobo the Bear, which reflected his vulnerability and his simple upbringing (before he got wealthy).

By incorporating these elements in with his natural nemesis persona, Mr. Burns makes an "excellent" hateful, but lovable character.

10 tv characters we love to hate
The 100 -- "The Last War" -- Image Number: HU716b_0214r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jason Diaz as Levitt, Marie Avgeropoulos as Octavia and Richard Harmon as Murphy -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. /

John Murphy from The 100

Second chances and redemption is an ongoing theme on The 100, as it teaches us the errors of our watys and shape us into better people. Making mistakes is part of the human form, but in order to survive, we must change and do the greater good for humanity.

Such as the case of John Murphy (Richard Harmon). In the beginning, Murphy was a criminal delinquent who murdered his own and even sought revenge on those who did him wrong. Like many other kids who were dropped to the ground, as they were defined as "indispensable," he was angry at his former home's (The Ark) corrupted justice system.

As seasons rolled on. Murphy's dynamic shifted from being very demeaning to one with a softer soul. To complete his transformation, Murphy had to witness the impact of war and find a soul mate in Emori (Luisa d'Oliveira). For the latter, Murphy looks beyond Emori's disability and becomes her link. It's extremely rare to see a relationship with a disabled partner, and to have it structured where discrimination is not in light is nonexistent.

With all his evolution, Murphy kept one defining personification-his caustic and sharp one-liners.

tv characters we love to hate
FAMILY GUY: In a special episode, the Griffins provide DVD commentary on a recent episode and reveal never-before-told drama between Peter and Lois in the ÒYou CanÕt Handle the BoothÓ episode of FAMILY GUY airing Sunday, March 24 (9:00-9:30 PM ET/PT) on FOX. FAMILY GUY ª and © 2019 TCFFC ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. CR: FOX /

Peter Griffin from Family Guy

Peter Griffin (Seth McFarlane) represents that guy who would instead pull off insidious shenanigans and go on a drinking binge rather than being productive at work or spending time with his kids. His harassment towards his only daughter Meg (Mila Kunis) doesn't award Peter "Father of the Year." How others tolerate him because of these ailments deplete favorability is a puzzle.

Yet, Peter, with all his problems, has shown another dimension. He's a committed husband to KLois, seems to be accepting of others, and his antics with his dog Brian (McFarlene) delivers some vital moments in the series.

tv characters we love to hate
Riverdale -- “Chapter One Hundred Eighteen: Don't Worry Darling” -- Image Number: RVD701fg_0001r -- Pictured: Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Cheryl Blossom from Riverdale

Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) is the typical high school Queen Bee at Riverdale High. When she's not reigning the cheerleading squad or creating an artful masterpiece, Cheryl can be seen with her girlfriend, Toni Topaz (Vanessa Morgan), and trying to break her family's shadowed history.

This was of course, after Cheryl committed some problematic behaviors, like slamming Betty Cooper (Lily Reinhart) about her weight or setting Thornhill aflame, destroying everything inside. While it's hard to imaging why anyone want to burn down their house, Cheryl's reasoning comes from deep grief over the loss of her twin brother, Jason and believed it was the only way to start fresh.

In Riverdale's season finale, Cheryl and Toni get their happy ending together, and whatever beef Cheryl had with Betty, was obviously settled.

Stan Zbornak from The Golden Girls

Stan Zbornak (Herb Edelman)-the ex-husband of Dorothy Zbornak (Bea Arthur) came around more as opposed to when they were married. But as much as a "yutz" as Sophia Petrillo (Estelle Getty) sees him as, Stan does have a soft heart.

In season 5's (1989) Christmas episode, "Have Yourself a Very Merry Little Christmas," Stan brings cheer to homeless children by dressing up as Santa and handing out fire engines. When Sophia was in the hospital for an illness, Stan stayed with Dorothy to comfort her. The small but meaningful arcs such as these give him more dimension and downplay his womanizing ways.

And to be fair, Stan and Dorothy's relationship delivered much of the humor, and can't be recreated.

tv characters we love to hate
"The Bitcoin Entanglement" -- Pictured: Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons). Sheldon tries to teach the guys a lesson after they cut him out of a potentially valuable Bitcoin investment. Also, a seven-year-old video reveals a secret about Leonard and Penny's relationship, on THE BIG BANG THEORY, Thursday, Nov. 30 (8:00-8:31 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Michael Yarish/Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. © 2017 WBEI. All rights reserved. /

Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory and Young Sheldon

Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) may be a genius and good at his job as a physics professor, but he also holds several antics that may be viewed as annoying to others. For one thing, Sheldon sees himself as superior to his peers and has the habit of knocking on one's door multiple times to ensure that his presence (and importance) is acknowledged.

At the same time, Sheldon does have a childlike quality to him and is amusingly brought out with comic books, video games, and his love of Professor Proton (Bob Newhart). His friends and wife, Amy (Mayim Bialik), accept Sheldon for who and what he is because, despite his quirkiness, Sheldon is a well-rounded individual who offers more than just his brain.

tv characters we love to hate
New York City Ballet's Opening Night Celebration / Andrew H. Walker/GettyImages

Wilhelmina Slater from Ugly Betty

ABC's Ugly Betty tells the heartfelt story of a young woman named Betty Suarez (America Ferrara), who works for the fashion magazine Mode. She has her own personal style, compared to her co-workers dressed to the nines in fashion, especially the Editor-In-Chief, Wilhelmina Slater (Vanessa Williams).

Wilhelmina will do whatever it takes to take over the magazine and she's not afraid to step on others to achieve her goals. She can be viewed as cold, calculating, and a force you don't want to be wrecking with, but at the same time, Wilhelmina has a heart. She's expressed caring concern with whom she profoundly trusts, especially with her personal assistant, Marc St. James (Michael Urie). While considered a villain himself, Marc has the ability to soften Wilhelmina and ease her dominance.

During the fourth and last season, Wilhelmina's negative ways shift into appealing ones, and she became Mode's top Editor-In-Chief. She also made amends with Betty after having a hostile relationship with her.

What Wilhelmina can teach us is that even the 'baddest 'of villains and hateful characters could have redemption.

tv characters we love to hate

Hank Lawson from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman

From 1993 to 1999, CBS aired a period drama titled Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. In the post-Civil War era, the premise follows a Bostonian woman doctor named Dr. Michaela Quinn (Jane Seymour) and her venture to begin a new practice in the American Old West. Back at a time when woman doctors, or any woman with a career, were frowned upon, Dr. Quinn defied the misogyny, becoming a well-respected citizen in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Colorado Springs residents each have their own unique histories, and adjacent to the Old West, the saloon keeper, Hank Lawson (William Shockley), is one of them. He's depicted as a womanizing drunk, who's racist toward many people and abused several of the prostitutes. However, Dr. Quinn saved his life following a drinking binge, and because of that, she earned Hank's respect.

Sometimes, every town needs that quintessential bad guy, and while Hank's certainly isn't ruthless, he tends to bring out the good in others, due to his development.

Time For Bed Sleeping GIF by Bluey - Find & Share on GIPHY

Muffin Heeler from Bluey

Muffin can be a little bit of a brat, but that's typical for your average 3-year-old. Her behavior ranges from being entitled after being told she was special, not taking her afternoon nap, which results in hyperactivity, and not sharing the iPad with her young sister, Socks. Then there were examples of Muffin being spoiled, and her parents try to correct her, but sometimes their parenting is unsuccessful, leading Muffin to only enhance her attitude.

While sometimes the audience views this as problematic, Muffin learns why she shouldn't act negatively, as it puts her and others in a bad light. Her older cousin Bluey often puts her into place, and Muffin's behavior refocuses to a better temperament.

Which of these characters do you love to hate? Did we forget any on this list?

Next. What Should I Binge?. What Should I Binge?. dark