These Characters Almost Ruined The TV Shows They Were On

Finding the perfect balance on a television show can be a tricky situation. Initial success can feel like lightning in a bottle, and when that lightning is gone, writers often fail to capture it again. Was Cousin Oliver really a necessary addition to The Brady Bunch? Did you stop watching Star Trek: The Next Generation when Wesley Crusher became a major character? These are the characters that very nearly ruined the TV shows they were on!

Cousin Oliver Only Lasted Five Episodes

Eventually, cute kids grow up, which is hard for television shows about families to adapt to. When it happened on The Brady Bunch, writers tried to bring back the laughs with Cousin Oliver in the fifth season.

cousin oliver brady bunch
CBS
CBS

Oliver created a storm of chaos whose hijinks rarely led to laughs. More annoying than funny, the character who was intended to save the show only lasted for five episodes before being written off.

Doggett And Reyes Lacked Chemistry

As Mulder exited The X-Files, two new agents were brought in to replace him, and it wasn’t enough. Annabeth Gish and Robert Patrick did the best they could with agents Doggett and Reyes, but they lacked chemistry.

the-x-files show
Fox
Fox

Ratings for the show got so low that David Duchovny had to come back as a guest star to help create excitement for the shows impending series finale. In 2016, the show was revived by Fox with Mulder and Scully back together again.

Wesley Crusher Was Full Of Bad Ideas

Very few characters in the history of television have created the fan hate that poor Wesley Crusher did on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Intended to be a character young viewers could look up to, he was instead seen an annoying and full of bad ideas.

wesley crush
Paramount Domestic Television
Paramount Domestic Television

By the end of the fourth season, Crusher was downgraded from cast regular. The actor who played him, Wil Wheaton, admitted he suffered from emotional distress for years because of the way fans treated him.

Maya Herrera Was The Beginning Of The End For Heroes

The first season of Heroes on NBC was a smash hit. Looking to keep the good times rolling, the second season introduced fans to Maya Herrera, a woman struggling to learn how to use her powers.

maya heroes
NBC
NBC

Too much time was spent establishing Maya for fans’ liking. It didn’t help any that the second season was cut short from the writers’ strike, either. When the show returned, Maya was written off, but the damage was already done.

Nikki And Paulo Got Lost In LOST

The show LOST kept audiences guessing with confusing twists, turns, flashbacks, and flashforwards that didn’t always get answers. Yet somehow, that wasn’t that most frustrating part of the show. The additions of Nikki and Paulo were.

nikki and paulo
ABC
ABC

The two characters were unlikeable, miscast, and misplaced in a show that however ludicrous, tended to ground its characters’ emotions in the real world. After introducing the pair to fan hate, writers dedicated an entire episode just to kill them off.

April Nardini Was The “Jar Jar Binks” Of Gilmore Girls

You know you’re doomed as a character when fans begin comparing you to Jar Jar Binks. April Nardini was brought into Gilmore Girls during the sixth season as the teenage daughter of Luke.

april tv
Netflix
Netflix

When she became the reason that Lorelai and Luke called off their wedding it only made things worse. Then Gilmore Girls was revived by Netflix, and fans thought they would get their happy ending. Instead, they got more of April.

Scrappy Doo Was A Failed Hail Mary

In 1979, Scooby-Doo was suffering from sinking ratings and was on the brink of being canceled. To save the show, a new dog, Scrappy-Doo, was introduced. The young pup helped the show get renewed, but was hated by fans.

scrappy doo cartoon
WB/Hanna-Barbera
WB/Hanna-Barbera

Those fans never forgot how they felt, and when it came time to make a live-action Scooby-Doo movie in the early aughts, Scrappy was used as the surprise villain.

The Great Gazoo Didn’t Fit Into The Stone Age

The Flintstones was already a gimmick when it came out. Not only was it set in the Stone Age, but it was also the only cartoon at the time that aired in the evening. That made it extra odd when producers added a little green alien named The Great Gazoo in the sixth season.

great gazoo
ABC
ABC

The Great Gazoo could appear and disappear as he pleased, and generally felt like a fish out of water in the comedy. Why bring space-age technology into a show about early humans?

Elmyra Changed The Dynamic

Pinky and the Brain was a popular cartoon that showcased two of the most popular characters from The Animaniacs. After three years of trying to take over the world, though, the network wanted a soft reboot. Enter Elmyra.

elmyra wb
Warner Brothers Entertainment
Warner Brothers Entertainment

The two rats were taken out of the lab and become pets of the young girl. The show was renamed Pinky, Elmyra, and the Brain and only lasted for 13 episodes. In an interview, the voice of Pinky explained, “I was essentially trying to squeeze more life out of this franchise.”

All of Scrubs Ninth Season Additions

Scrubs was supposed to end after eight seasons. J.D. left Sacred Heart and the series finale left fans satisfied. Then ABC approached show creator Bill Lawrence about a ninth season. Not wanting over 120 staff members to lose their jobs, Lawrence did his best and created Scrubs: Interns.

our_histories
ABC
ABC

The ninth season of the show featured old characters passing the torch to a new set of interns, almost all of which were unbearable. It was so bad, we couldn’t pick just one.

Dawn Summers Turned Fans Off Of Buffy

Looking to spice things up as Buffy the Vampire Slayer neared the end of its run on the WB, the title character was given a sister – Dawn. As the fifth season of the show played out, fans learned that the selfish teenager was really a supernatural creation meant to be sacrificed in the finale.

dawn on buffy
Warner Brothers
Warner Brothers

That knowledge didn’t stop Buffy from sacrificing herself instead to save the life of her made-up sister. Fans were not pleased. Things only got worse when the show moved to UPN, Buffy was brought back to life, and Dawn just kept hanging around.

Nellie Bertram Failed To Replace Michael Scott

When Steve Carrell left The Office, the show’s writers were forced to replace the character of Michael Scott. The first attempt came in the form of Nellie Bertram, who was so unlikable fans chose to stop watching.

bertram office
NBC
NBC

Initially brought into the show as for one episode, the character became a series regular in the show’s eighth and final season. Without her addition, who knows if a ninth season of the iconic sitcom would have been greenlit.

Stephanie Mills Brought Down Archie Bunker

For eight seasons, All in the Family based its comedy around realism. Archie Bunker was a conservative in an ever-evolving world. Then Stephanie Mills was introduced in season nine as his Jewish niece that he was forced to take care of.

mills tv
CBS
CBS

The addition of the young girl turned Archie too soft for audiences, and the show didn’t get picked up for a tenth season. When Archie Bunker’s Place was created shortly after, Stephanie was brought in as a series regular, much to the disappointment of fans.

Seven Was Too Cute For The Bundys To Handle

Married… with Children was not a cute TV show. It was crass and helped establish Fox as a major network. That’s why it made no sense when the character of Seven was introduced.

seven actor
Fox
Fox

Seven was given very little backstory and was more of a nuisance than an exciting new character. Shortly after being introduced, the character was written out of the show entirely and “retconned” to have never existed in the first place.

Screech Should Have Never Gone To College

Looking to graduate from Saturday morning kids programming to primetime success, Saved by the Bell was reinvented when the kids graduated high school into Saved by the Bell: The College Years. Unfortunately, one of the most beloved characters from the original show, Screech, should have stayed in high school.

screech tv
NBC
NBC

The transition to college for Screech proved fatal for the show. He went from weird and endearing, to grating and annoying. It not only ended fans’ interest in the show but future prospects for actor Dustin Diamond.

Randy Proved That ’70s Show Needed To End

Was it ever going to be possible to replace Eric Foreman when Topher Grace left That ’70s Show to pursue other projects? The answer was no, but that didn’t stop writers from introducing the character of Randy.

randy pearson
Fox
Fox

Josh Meyers wasn’t terrible in the role, the role was just not any good. The character seemed to be a mix of Eric and Kelso (Ashton Kutcher also left), and the love story between him and Donna confused fans.

Billie Never Got Her Spinoff

Charmed was heading into its eighth season when producers decided the show needed younger actors that could produce spinoffs. Writers came up with the character of Billie, a witch looking for training from the show’s main cast.

charmed
Warner Brothers
Warner Brothers

Played by Kaley Cuoco, Billie was a bust. She had a large backstory that took away time from the main story. It didn’t take long for the network to decide that she would never be able to carry a show of her own.

Max Was Never Going To Save Newsradio

Critically loved but commercially challenged, Newsradio ran for four seasons on NBC before tragedy struck. The heart of the show, Phil Hartman, tragically died. The cast was left in shock, and writers didn’t know what to do.

max
NBC
NBC

Hoping to continue the show, Jon Lovitz, a close friend of Hartman’s, was brought it to play Max. The character never gelled with the rest of the cast, though, and Newsradio was canceled after its fifth season.

Tori Was Not Save By The Bell

During the final season of Saved by the Bell’s original run, extra episodes were ordered by NBC, leading to problems. Tiffani Amber Theissen refused to sign up for more episodes than she was contractually obligated for.

tori
NBC
NBC

Enter Tori, a new character, and love interest for Zack. She was crude and rude and her character felt entirely out of place. She was also created so late in the season that she wasn’t even included in the series finale.

The Chipper Janine From Friends

You could add anyone from Friends if you want to because the series only needed the core cast. We’re going to focus on Elle Macpherson’s chipper Janine, who moved in with Joey after Chandler moved.

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The WB Television Network
The WB Television Network

Newman from Seinfeld could have been better than her, but we digress. She was boring, to say the least, and had virtually zero funny lines in this sitcom. On top of all that, she was a pretty mean girl as well.

Charlie Stopped Spin City From Going ‘Round

Originally led by Michael J. Fox, Spin City was a huge hit for four seasons. When Fox left to focus on his health, Charlie Sheen was brought in. Sheen, along with Heather Locklear, helped carry the show for two more seasons, but it never felt the same.

spin-city charlie sheen
ABC
ABC

When the show ended, Sheen didn’t have to wait long for his next opportunity. He was cast in Two and a Half Men on CBS, which fit his comedic style much more.

Hades Wasn’t Needed In Once Upon A Time

Calling the ruler of the underworld “The Distinguished Gentleman,” is the first red flag. Greg Germann was a great choice for this role, but the series didn’t do his character any justice.

once-upon-a-time_I8xJRM
ABC
ABC

First of all, they could have added more fire. There wasn’t enough malice involved with this Hades, given how much they included him in season five. Luckily, the show had a bevy of other characters to help lighten the mistakes that he brought.

Robert California Didn’t Help The Office

When someone like Michael Scott leaves a series, there’s only so much you can do to salvage or keep it coasting. NBC tried bringing the rich man Robert California into the fold more, but you can’t replace the world’s best boss.

the-office_i0nbDb
NBC
NBC

Scott cultivated a culture for fans to stick to, while California helped contribute to the series’ two worst seasons ever in seven and eight. He tried, but it wasn’t enough. Thank goodness they finished things soon after.

La La Anthony Wasn’t A Favorite

The Starz former top series, Power, had a fantastic run. As the series started to come to an end, La La Anthony gained a prominent role, but for what? She was a distraction from the main plot.

GettyImages-986735234
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Starz Entertainment LLC
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Starz Entertainment LLC

Not only did she distract things, but (spoiler alert) she also ended up getting killed towards the end anyway. Fans on social media didn’t seem to gravitate towards her character thanks to the boneheaded things she would do with the other characters.

Thank You For Your Services, Dr. Eliza Minnick

Grey’s Anatomy has a knack for introducing new characters. Shonda Rhimes loves killing off characters only to bring new ones and continue to break your heart. In season 13, she introduced Dr. Eliza Minnick.

greys-anatomy_YX62Lk
ABC
ABC

Minnick came in to survey the hospital and find any holes that needed filling. The characters in the show didn’t like her and neither did many fans. She butted heads with favorites on the show and that didn’t sit well with people. She’s probably a great person in real life.

Say Goodbye, Chef Jeff

Master of None is a brilliant series so far, but there was one character that was a bit aloof. Bobby Cannavale played the role of Chef Jeff, a character similar to the real-life version of Anthony Bourdain.

GettyImages-682106216
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Netflix
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Netflix

He befriended the main character, Aziz, and things started to get weird. In what was a masterful season two, it could have been ten times better had they omitted Chef Jeff and his shady plotline. He gave us the chills.

Tracy Was The Annoying Cousin In Atlanta

Donald Glover usually knows what he’s doing when it comes to entertainment, so he decided to add in the stereotypical annoying black cousin to season two of Atlanta. The only thing is, he was too annoying.

FXP
FXP

He helped Glover’s character get into some unnecessary mischief and always blamed others for his mistakes. Then his altercation with Glover was the last straw. Sure, he probably hit a certain demographic of people that could relate, but he wasn’t needed.

Was Charles Percy A Waste Of Character?

If you ask us, Dr. Percy wasn’t needed in the Grey’s universe. It was sad the way he had to leave the series, but they honestly didn’t need him anymore.

greys-anatomy_DM0ZXy
ABC
ABC

He was an annoyance all the way around and didn’t provide much to the plot except for a flimsy love triangle. Once again, he didn’t have to go out the way he did, but it was probably for the better. Avery Jackson was a better transfer.

The Inmate They Didn’t Need

Orange Is The New Black broke barriers and had people in their palm of their hand. Everyone couldn’t wait for new episodes, but when they introduced Madison Murphy, that same feeling wasn’t going around that often.

JWoSmSK9Pjox
Netflix
Netflix

During the show’s seven-year run, the thick Boston accent of Murphy’s was annoying and even made natives do a double-take. Thankfully, they transferred her to a Missouri penitentiary early in the final season, making things more tolerable for viewers.

Really, More Frieza?

Why would Dragon Ball bring back Frieza only for him to get demolished once again? This villain brought nothing to the series except for a questionable scene when he helped his sworn enemy, Goku.

golden_frieza_by_mohasetif_dcjvp0s-fullview
Shueisha
Shueisha

All they did was boost his power level and change his color. He’s probably the most annoying person on this list, but some people like characters like that. Why else would showrunners add people who make others frustrated when watching?