When a movie character is particularly irritating, it tends to stick with viewers for a long time. Part of getting emotionally invested in a story is having real and powerful reactions to the characters, and those reactions aren’t always good.
But that's okay. Irritating characters aren’t an inherently bad thing—villains that are the human version of nails down a chalkboard can be lots of fun to watch. And then there are those characters that fans are supposed to like and root for, but they just can’t because they’re too darn irritating.
A character can be unlikeable for endless reasons. Often, it gets on viewers' nerves when they see the characters making stupid decisions that have big consequences, especially if those consequences affect other people in the movie, and have to watch as they repeat the same mistakes and don’t learn from their actions.
Characters become irritating when they’re unkind to the characters that fans do love, or when they don’t make sense to viewers. Sometimes, the way a character talks, acts, and dresses can rub audiences the wrong way.
Read on to find out which characters fans were truly supposed to love, but actually irritated them to no end instead!
25 Bella Swan: Twilight
You’d be hard-pressed to come across someone who’s not at least a little irritated by Bella Swan, both from the book and movie version of Twilight.
This vampire-loving teen has such little self-respect that she doesn’t see any value in living her life if it’s not with Edward.
Girl, please. She also makes some seriously silly decisions that put herself and the people around her at risk, because the only thing she ever thinks about is Edward. And her clumsiness does not redeem her.
24 Nate: The Devil Wears Prada
Andy’s boyfriend in The Devil Wears Prada, Nate is just a supporting character but he’s annoying enough to make it onto this list.
He doesn’t take her professional goals seriously and although he acts like he cares about what she wants, he makes her feel guilty for sticking it out at a job that could open big doors for her down the track.
He’s constantly got this ‘woe is me’ face going on, and frankly, we’re not surprised that Andy ended up in the arms of the hunky but super rude Christian.
23 Ginny Weasley: Harry Potter
This may be an unpopular opinion, but Ginny Weasley is not good enough for Harry Potter.
Granted, Harry isn’t perfect, but we just don’t see Ginny’s appeal (other than the fact that it’s convenient to be brothers-in-law with your best friend).
She’s basically a fangirl who is interested in Harry for the same reasons everyone else is, and in the movie, the two actors have little to no chemistry, which makes it even more irritating to see them together.
22 Peeta Mellark: The Hunger Games
They wanted us to sympathize with Peeta over Gale, but we just can’t do it. In the first movie, Peeta doesn’t do anything particularly annoying, but he still ends up being a pain, just because he’s Peeta.
In the second movie, he ruins everything by constantly falling over, getting zapped on the force field, getting gassed and losing at the one job Katniss gives him.
He doesn’t even have to come back in the games—Katniss can easily survive without him!
21 Torrance Shipman: Bring It On
Nothing could ever make us stop loving Bring It On, not even the annoying main character Torrance Shipman. Where do we start with her? She doesn’t question Big Red when she teaches the squad choreography that’s clearly been taken from somewhere else, believes in ridiculous superstitions like Spirit Sticks, doesn’t tell her friend’s cute brother that she has a boyfriend and kind of leads him on, and is generally sulky. Missy is so much better.
20 The Beast: Beauty And The Beast
You’re supposed to fall in love with the Beast, just like Belle does. But to be totally honest, he’s not that loveable.
He only brings Belle into the castle in the first place to try and lift the curse that’s been placed on him, and when he can’t do that, he’s mean to her, as if she’s the one who cast the spell.
In the early days, he shows a lot of aggression around her by breaking things and even denies her food, even if he does come around in the end.
19 Prince Hans: Frozen
We know what you’re going to say: Hans is a Disney villain, so he wasn’t supposed to be lovable. But a lot of Disney villains actually are loveable! Hans, on the other hand, is just annoying.
He’s handsome but also useless and fake and smug.
His plot to turn the sisters against each other is enough to be inconvenient, but not powerful enough to earn his place among the other Disney villains. And what are those sideburns? Just sit down, Hans.
18 Elizabeth Swann: Pirates Of The Caribbean
To be fair, a lot of the characters in Pirates of the Caribbean could be called irritating. For us, Elizabeth Swann takes the cake because of her sour face and sullen attitude. The ultimate damsel in distress, Elizabeth starts off as a whiny, spoiled brat running around in a corset who needs to be saved. Then she turns into a fighter herself, but it’s just not believable that she’d be able to take on the Pirate Lords.
17 Edward Cullen: Twilight
Bella isn’t the only annoying main character in Twilight. There’s also Edward, who would be thought of as a total creep if he weren’t so handsome. He portrays himself as romantic and traditional but is actually borderline controlling and manipulative. Being a martyr should be an attractive quality in theory, but for some reason, when Edward continues to try and sacrifice himself for Bella, it kind of gets annoying? It is also not cool to sneak into someone’s bedroom and watch them sleep.
16 Carrie Bradshaw: SATC
Carrie Bradshaw doesn’t suddenly become annoying in the SATC movies. She’s also annoying in the series, but the height of her ability to irritate probably comes in the second movie.
The ultimate annoyance comes when she can’t stand her husband because he doesn’t want to take her out to glam parties every night.
She gets on his back about watching television in bed and lying down on his own couch and has an attitude when he just wants to stay home after working all day. She also has a problem with take-out food and kisses Aidan, even though she’s married.
15 Deena Jones: Dreamgirls
We never thought we could be annoyed by Beyoncé, but her character Deena Jones just rubs us all the wrong way.
Her bandmate Effie White is clearly the superior singer, yet Deena does nothing when Effie is cast to the side because of the way she looks.
Deena never checks in on her old friend, who has to turn to welfare because her celebrity destiny was stolen from her and even marries the man her pal had feelings for.
14 Jenny Curran: Forrest Gump
Ugh, Jenny. She starts off as a cute little girl in a bad situation who opens her heart to Forrest on the bus. But she becomes irritating when she refuses to accept any help from Forrest and even scolds him for caring about her. She’s condescending toward him, telling him that he doesn’t know what love is, and continuously chooses men who aren’t good for her over him. She connects with him and then leaves him (imagine if it were the other way around), and also doesn’t tell him he’s a dad for three years. Ugh.
13 Willy Wonka: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory
The actual character of Willy Wonka from the Roald Dahl book isn’t irritating, but Johnny Depp’s Willy Wonka is a different kettle of fish.
The book version of the chocolatier is kind, sweet, loving and just a little mischievous.
But even though we’re supposed to love Depp’s Wonka, directed by Tim Burton, he’s super rude to all the children, doesn’t make sense a lot of the time and actually seems to be mean-spirited. The high-pitched voice also turns up the annoying factor.
12 Grace Stewart: The Others
We’re assuming that we’re supposed to feel for Grace Stewart since she’s the protagonist in The Others, whose house we’re led to believe is haunted by ghosts until it turns out that she and her kids are actually the ghosts. But she’s irritating, and the only ones you feel sorry for are her children, who are controlled like animals in a zoo, and the servants whom Grace treats like they’re beneath her. We didn’t like her, even before we found out what she did to her kids!
11 Derek Zoolander: Zoolander
At the beginning of Zoolander, male model Derek is more funny than irritating. But as the movie progresses, he has a way of getting on your nerves, and you just don’t care what happens to him.
This character was probably written to be a little annoying, with his incredibly confused view of life and his quotes that make no sense.
Ben Stiller portrayed him so well that he surpassed annoying and really got under our skin by the end of the film.
10 Peter Banning/Peter Pan: Hook
Who would have thought that Robin Williams could play a character we don’t like? Peter Pan in all versions is pretty selfish and insensitive, but the grown-up Peter in Hook is even worse. As an adult, he’s stiff, boring, and harsh with his wife and kids. And when he finally returns back to his youth, there’s just no magic there. Maybe it’s because we were expecting an explosion of humor with Williams as Peter Pan, and not getting it made the character annoying.
9 Rose DeWitt Bukater: Titanic
This doesn’t take away from our love for Titanic in general, but Rose is a piece of work. We understand that she’s in a tough position in that her mother is pressuring her to marry a man she despises, but that doesn’t stop her from being a spoiled rich girl who can’t think for herself for most of the movie. She does win back some points when she spits in Cal’s face and saves Jack from the handcuffs, but why save him when you’re only going to refuse to share your floating door with him later on? Unforgivable.
8 Peter Bretter: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Nobody likes Sarah Marshall, and that’s understandable. But does anyone ever talk about how irritating Peter is? Okay, Sarah did wrong by him, and she should have just left him (which she eventually did). But he wasn’t a good boyfriend. He couldn’t handle her success and tried to drag her down with him. He’s upset when she dumps him, despite having put zero effort into the relationship, and then is ready to betray his new love Rachel by getting back together with Sarah. The only thing stopping him is his body.
7 Sandy Olsson: Grease
To be totally fair, neither Danny nor Sandy are super loveable characters, even though we adore Grease.
Sandy rubs us the wrong way a little more though, and that’s probably because we can at least laugh at Danny.
Despite being in high school, Sandy acts and talks like a child, and in the end, decides to change everything about herself to get the guy who tried to take advantage of her at the drive in to like her.
6 Stu Price: The Hangover
Look, Stu was never going to be as cool as Phil, or as funny as Alan. But he’s such an unlikeable character that you almost hope he doesn’t find Doug. He’s super arrogant and condescending to almost everyone he talks to and is a massive negative nelly, Debbie downer, party pooper, or whatever else you want to call him. He’s so rude to Alan, who’s nothing but nice to him (other than the issue with the drinks, but whatever).
5 Juno: Juno
Juno is actually super likable for the first few minutes of the movie. She’s witty, chilled out and doesn’t give in to peer pressure, which is refreshing in a teenage comedy.
But you soon realize that her dialog is incredibly overwritten, and you end up just wanting her to stop talking.
She says the snarkiest, wittiest things that no professional writer would ever come up with on the spot, so it’s hard to believe that it all could come from a teenager.
4 Briny Tallis: Atonement
Nobody likes Briony. Because she’s the protagonist and the story closely follows her point of view, it’s possible that we’re meant to empathize with her situation. But we just can’t. Briony gives the wrong name to the police and knows inside she’s making a mistake as she watches him being taken away, but does nothing. Because of her, Robbie and Cecilia never have their happy ending, and writing an imaginary ending for them in her book doesn’t change that. Briony is the worst.
3 Rachel Ferrier: War Of The Worlds
Dishonor on us for being irritated by a child, but it has to be said: Rachel Ferrier is such a pushover. Essentially, all she does for the whole movie is scream while all the other humans are scrambling around, trying to save themselves and each other from the invading aliens. As if her screeching wasn’t annoying enough, Rachel also has to be carried pretty much everywhere, even though she’s not a toddler, nor is she hurt. We kind of almost wish that the tripods got her.
2 Glinda: The Wizard Of Oz
As children watching The Wizard of Oz, we loved Glinda the Good Witch of the North. After all, anybody was better than the Wicked Witch of the West. But watching the movie more carefully, Glinda is actually super annoying.
The way she talks to Dorothy is condescending rather than polite, but that’s not even the main issue.
Why doesn’t she just tell Dorothy to click her heels after giving her the slippers? Dorothy would believe anything she says. Problem solved.
1 Billy Madison: Billy Madison
Maybe we’re just too uptight to see the appeal of Billy Madison, but this guy still annoys us to this day. He’s funny at times, but so childish and spoiled, even after he goes back to school. What really grinds our gears is when he just gives up after Eric makes it look like he’s been skirting the rules, and his father cancels the deal they had. He works so hard up until this point, and then just forgets everything he’s learned because he faces a bump in the road.
Sources: Complex, Taste of Cinema, What Culture