6 Characters We Used To Love, But We Now Realise Are Actually Toxic

Image credit: Legion-Media

They turned out to be not so good.

1. Ross Geller

Friends was and still remains one of the most popular and loved TV series on the planet. And yet, it's beginning to show its age: a lot of the main characters' lines, jokes and actions that were seen as perfectly normal in the dim and distant 1990s now often come across as rude and offensive. And the characters fall short on a lot of counts too.

This applies most and foremost to everybody's darling Ross Geller: this nice and fashionably nerdy guy turns out to be a narcissistic possessive manipulator on closer inspection.

Throughout the series, he makes it a point to remind everyone that he is their intellectual superior: think about the way he keeps picking on poor Joey. On top of that, he takes every opportunity to stroke his ego by putting down his sister Monica, who feels like she is the least-loved kid in the family. He gets into numerous fights with Rachel because he is so insecure he cannot control his jealousy. And in season one, he lists his girlfriend's every flaw to figure out whether or not he should keep seeing her. What kind of a creep would do that?

2. J.D.

J.D., the central character in the equally popular series Scrubs, also falls far short of being a nice guy. He's so cute, though, fans still love him to bits despite his glaring shortcomings. J.D.'s charisma and sense of humour became Scrubs' calling card.

So let's look past the charm to try and figure out what's wrong with J.D. First of all, he's extremely infantile, selfish and narcissistic. He throws a conniption whenever reality clashes with his ideas about it. He is a sore loser.

To top it off, J.D. doesn't seem capable of taking other people's feelings into account; in other words, he's a doctor who lacks empathy, which is weird. Think about the time he kisses the woman he knows is dating his best friend. His relationship with Elliot deserves an article of its own. J.D. just can't stand seeing her happy with someone else, so he makes every effort to sabotage Elliot’s every attempt to hook up with other guys. And then, in one of the most infamous story arcs of the show, when she finally gives in to his advances, he breaks her heart.

3. Edward Cullen

The main character in Stephenie Meyer's vampire trilogy, Edward Cullen, can be given the honorary title of the most romanticised jerk in modern pop culture. In the series, we only see his personality revealed slowly through the eyes of Bella Swan, Twilight's other main character. However, even this limited vantage point is more than enough to draw some pretty disturbing conclusions.

For starters, the very idea of a hundred-year-old vampire hooking up with a seventeen-year-old girl is creepy, despite Edward not looking his age. We're talking an age difference of almost ninety years, ninety years, Carl. And even before he starts dating Bella, Edward stalks her, sneaks into her house and watches her sleep like a total creep.

Once they get together, he starts acting like a control freak, forbidding her to hang out with Jacob. In the end, he even breaks the car to prevent her from getting to the Indian reservation.

4. Kate Austin

J.J. Abrams' iconic show Lost eventually became a true classic of American television. The story of a small group of airliner passengers stranded on a mysterious island after their plane crashes quickly gained a cult following both in the US and abroad. The diverse ensemble of characters comprised some unique and charismatic personalities; some were instantly loveable, others not so much, but even the latter, at the very least, commanded respect.

Evangeline Lilly's Kate Austen was one character that stood out for all the wrong reasons. She really divided the fans: she was arrogant towards other characters. In addition, Kate always seemed to care very little about the consequences of her reckless actions. She knew that Jack Shepard, given his hero complex, would always clean up any mess she made. Their romantic relationship also had a lot of issues. Kate was torn between Jack and Sawyer throughout the series, choosing whichever man best suited her purposes at the time.

5. Allie Hamilton

Nick Cassavetes' The Notebook deservedly gets included in every list of top melodramas of the 21st century.

However, despite all its merits, the story told in this adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks book of the same name hardly qualifies as a model love story. Sorting out any relationship issues by kissing passionately in the rain can work like a charm in movies, but in real life, relationships like that tend to crash and burn fast. There's no holding hands in a nursing home on the cards for these two. On closer inspection, it is evident that Noah is an emotional manipulator and a stalker: the movie starts with him literally stalking, or should we say, hounding Allie and forcing her to go on a date with him. But it's Allie's antiques that ultimately spell doom for this relationship.

She's constantly throwing tantrums over her every whim, acting like a spoiled brat for most of the movie. And to top it off, Allie then goes and cheats on her spouse with a guy she hasn't seen in years with zero regrets.

6. Robin Scherbatsky

How I Met Your Mother is another once-popular sitcom that has aged poorly.

The show's main characters, Ted and Barney, are toxic masculinity incarnates. And the show's main female lead, the seemingly charming news anchor Robin Scherbatsky, is little better.

She's just as narcissistic as Barney, only thinking about what she wants. She agrees to date Ted early on in the show, even though she knows it isn't going to work out because he wants a family, while Robin wants to focus on her career.

And then she decides to hook up with Barney even though it's pretty clear the move can put a huge dent in her friendship with Ted, who is still hurting after his break-up with Robin. Not surprisingly, her selfishness continues in her dealings with Barney. She ruins his relationship with Nora when she realises she still has feelings for him.