Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Annoying, Most Infuriating Characters Ever

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

(Of course, there are more than ten annoying characters in the realm of literature, but I’m trying to restrain myself.)

Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore

Okay, this isn't Fire, obviously, but Meridda best fits Cashore's description for her hair alone.

Okay, this isn’t Fire, obviously, but Meridda best fits Cashore’s description for her hair alone.

She complains all day about being so beautiful and how everyone wants her and she’s so sick of it. I’m sick of her.

Anna Karenina from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

anna karenina 2012

I have no idea why anyone would ever like this girl. She’s repulsive.

Ashley Wilkes from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

ashley wilkes

Oh, just grow a pair and shut up, Ashley.

Julia from A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers

The whole time I read A Voice in the Wind, I could only picture Rome's Octavia.

The whole time I read A Voice in the Wind, I could only picture Rome’s Octavia.

Every time Julia has the chance to do the right thing, it’s like a switch goes off and she does the worst thing possible and then seems surprised that her life sucks.

Cosette from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo


She’s vapid, one-dimensional, and an object to be possessed. Fantine had more depth in her short life, and Eponine has become the postmodern reader’s heroine. Cosette is just boring.

Lily from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan

By noxavis on deviantart

By noxavis on deviantart

She would be a far better character if she had more confidence in herself. She used far too much hyperbole and yet wanted to be a person of more depth.

Actually, I would have liked her more if I hadn’t seen so much of myself in her. The fact that my best friend read this book and told me that Lily reminded her of me only confirmed my fears.

Margret from Brentwood by Grace Livingston Hill


I have only ever read one book by GLH, but it was enough for me to consider her an early Stephenie Meyer.

The premise of Brentwood is promising: a young and wealthy woman’s adoptive mother dies leaving her with a massive fortune and the knowledge that she was kept from knowing her biological family. It would have been a rather interesting story if Margret wasn’t such a goody goody. Seriously, characters have to change! They have to! Margret never does, and it’s appalling.

One scene quite literally left me with my jaw dropping in shock: Margret has a discussion about salvation with the young, handsome minister she is so obviously going to marry at the end of the novel. It’s an excellent, common Christian fiction moment for a character to make a change in the story. When the minister explains what it means to be a true Christian – something that has been weighing heavily on Margret’s mind – she’s relieved to know that she’s been a true Christian all her life and that she should just keep on living as the incredibly good person that she is.

Um… forget how badly written that is, I don’t even agree with that theologically.

Philothei from Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernières

Birds without Wings

Like Anna Karenina, I’m not sure why Philothei gets so much credit. I felt like the actual novel hardly dealt with her at all compared to the other characters who took center stage. She was silly, selfish, and then she died and caused her boyfriend Ibrahim to go mad with grief.

Plus her name is impossible for me to pronounce. I hate her just for that.

Nellie Olson from The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The original Mean Girl

The original Mean Girl

She is every girl you ever hated in high school.


And finally, the most annoying character in literature,

George Wickham from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I hate you, Wickham. I hate you so, so much.


9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: The Most Annoying, Most Infuriating Characters Ever

  1. Thank you for being different and putting Ashley instead of Scarlet on your list. I thought Ashley was way more frustrating than Scarlett. Plus Scarlett is supposed to be frustrating. Also I didn’t put AK on my list but I should have!

    • I almost put Scarlet, and then I thought it through. She can be annoying, but she’s also extremely admirable. She might be a harsh character, but she is someone you still cheer on. Ashley is just a pain.

  2. Can’t say I’m too familiar with any of these, actually. In the one film version of Les Mis Cosette was barely a character at all, and while I do remember Nellie Olson being a pain in the neck, the last time I read one of those books I was probably 10 or 11 years old! But I’ll take your word on these. +)

    My personal addition to this list would be Ce’Nedra from David Eddings’ Belgariad. Most annoying, unjustifiably favored “princess love interest” character ever. A huge series of great characters, and then there is her. Gah!

    • Ce’Nedra is pretty bad. In my opinion, though, so is Garion. He’s one of those relatively bland characters that makes me grind my teeth. He might not have been so bad if the Eddings’ other characters hadn’t been so colorful and entertaining.

      For sheer numbers of frustrating and irritating characters, however… Robert Jordan. I started off with three I kind of liked. One vanished, one turned obnoxious, and the other married someone obnoxious. Then I put the series down. *beats head on desk a little*

      • Yeah, Garion can grate, too. I didn’t mind him as much, but then it’s because I rarely thought of him. Very bland. And Robert Jordan…well, I think I’ve said as much as I have to say about my experience with him. I read the first two books and had to stop because there was too much annoying me. Nothing I’ve heard about the rest of the series has encouraged me to continue, especially pertaining the characters (and I liked two or three in the first two books).

      • I haven’t ready Eddings, but those characters sound annoying. Nor have I read Robert Jordan, but I was recommended The Wheel of Time series by a friend. I haven’t read it yet, though, mostly because I have so many other books to read. And it is Robert Jordan. 😉

      • Eddings is tons of fun except for Ce’Nedra and some parts with Garion. All the other characters are a blast to read, and most of the good guys are very lovable. His stories are cliche to an extreme, but deliberately so, and he has fun playing around with tropes and seeing how the situations can give his characters witty quips to say. I’ve never had the urge to reread “The Belgariad” series, but I’m glad I read it once.

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