13 Fictional Characters We Adore but Would Spell Trouble in Reality

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Whether they’re a cunning trickster or complex antiheroes, fiction enables us to indulge in fantasies that often involve sympathizing with people who would be otherwise unsympathetic in real life.

We find ourselves rooting for people who are serial cheaters, mob bosses, or meth cooks who have killed countless people thanks to their compelling character development and likable personas. These 12 fictional characters are some of the biggest examples of people you can easily root for on TV or in film, but you would desperately want to avoid in real life.

1. Every Lawyer on This Show – Suits

Suits
Image Credit: Universal Content Productions.

In the cutthroat world of high-stakes law, the characters of Suits exhibit legal prowess with style. However, their questionable ethics and penchant for bending the rules would create chaos in a real-life courtroom. Frankly, one fan of the show thinks every lawyer on Suits would “be disbarred, sued, and possibly jailed. And they would deserve it.” Another viewer jokes about the typical plotlines of Suits, going as follows, “They filed the complaint yesterday. The trial is in a week. Let’s go try to blackmail a witness!”

2. The Todd – Scrubs

The Todd - Scrubs
Image Credit: Doozer Productions.

With his irreverent humor and often inappropriate comments, The Todd from Scrubs may be a competent surgeon, but his sexually suggestive jokes and nicknames would turn any workplace into a minefield of awkward situations and HR violations. In a show, it’s comic relief. In the real world, it’s sexual harassment.

3. Dr. Gregory House – House

House
Image Credit: Universal Television.

While Dr. House’s diagnostic genius is unparalleled, his abrasive personality and unconventional methods would spell trouble in a real hospital setting, challenging traditional medical norms at every turn. His narcissism and lack of empathy for others often lead him to trust his instincts with reckless abandon, discarding reasonable advice from his colleagues.

Not only does Dr. House consistently exhibit sociopathic tendencies, but he also employs unconventional and sometimes ethically questionable methods in his diagnostic processes. This includes ordering unnecessary tests, breaking into patients’ homes, and pursuing risky treatments without proper consent. The number of lawsuits this man would face for committing constant medical crimes if this were a real hospital is beyond comprehension.

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4. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell – Top Gun

Top Gun
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Maverick’s rebellious spirit and penchant for pushing the boundaries make him a thrilling character in Top Gun. However, his disregard for authority and rules would pose a risk in real-world military operations. In the movie, Iceman expresses concern about Maverick being a danger to everyone around him.

Iceman’s reservations about Maverick stem from Maverick’s recklessness and disregard for established rules and procedures, particularly in high-stakes aerial combat situations. Maverick’s behavior is characterized by a daring and often unpredictable flying style, which, while effective in some instances, can pose serious risks to himself and his fellow pilots.

Iceman, being a more disciplined and by-the-book pilot, sees Maverick’s approach as a potential threat to the entire team’s safety. In the film, this is seen as a mere annoyance because it interferes with the goals of the protagonist, whom we root for. In military aviation, however, adherence to established protocols and teamwork are crucial for the success of missions and the safety of personnel.

Maverick’s tendency to push the boundaries and take unnecessary risks is viewed as a liability, as it could compromise the squadron’s effectiveness and lead to dangerous situations.

5. Michael Scott – The Office

The Office
Image Credit: Universal Television.

The well-meaning but often clueless regional manager from The Office, Michael Scott, would transform any ordinary office into a chaotic circus with his misguided leadership and awkward attempts at humor. The Michael Scotts of the world often do, which is what makes him such an absurd character who’s amusing to watch. In a real workplace, Michael Scott would face termination or legal issues due to his frequent inappropriate comments, unprofessional conduct, harassment, and disregard for company policies.

6. Barney Stinson – How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

Barney Stinson, portrayed by Neil Patrick Harris in How I Met Your Mother, is a character known for his extravagant lifestyle, womanizing ways, and elaborate schemes. Barney’s behavior is morally questionable, manipulative, selfish, and reckless. In real life, the results of Barney’s actions would be less funny and more relationship-ruining. Barney is a narcissistic playboy to an obnoxious extent, almost like his negative traits are exaggerated to an unrealistic extent by the show’s narrator, Ted Mosby, who may have never forgiven him for his past relationship with Robin.

7. Ross Geller – Friends

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Television.

Ross Geller’s neurotic tendencies and romantic misadventures may be endearing to an older generation of Friends fans, but younger generations have grown highly critical of Ross and his often selfish actions. Outside of fruitless debates over whether or not Ross and Rachel were truly on a break, Ross did some pretty questionable things, like sleeping with one of his students as a college professor.

He’s constantly embroiled in workplace issues, divorces, and jealousy. For a show called Friends, most people think Ross is a bad one. While I think the condemnation of Ross is overplayed and a little exaggerated, he did have some issues that the show glossed over, and in real life, there would be more explicit consequences for his behavior.

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8. Every Character in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia Should Probably Be in Jail

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

The dysfunctional gang from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia thrives on chaos and questionable activities. Their antics would likely land them behind bars, leaving a trail of legal mayhem in their wake. Well, I guess that’s kind of what happens in the show, too, so fair enough. At least the train wreck is funny.

9. Willy Wonka – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Willy Wonka’s whimsical chocolate factory may be a dream for children in the fictional Wonka world, but his eccentricity and disregard for safety regulations would be criminal rather than quirky in the real world.

When you get down to the bare bones of what the Willy Wonka story is, it’s about a sociopath who lures a bunch of children and their parents under false pretenses into his factory filled with elaborate death traps designed to exploit their specific individual character flaws.

From the beginning, he intends to eliminate each of them until one superior child deemed virtuous enough to become his successor remains to take over his work once he dies. In this way, Willy Wonka is essentially Jigsaw if he was a chocolatier.

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10. Edward Cullen – Twilight

Twilight
Image Credit: Summit Entertainment.

The brooding vampire from Twilight, Edward Cullen, might be a heartthrob in fiction, but his stalking tendencies and overprotective nature would raise serious concerns in reality. And dating a teenager when you’re 104 years old? Talk about age gap relationships. The most unnerving aspect of Edward’s is his perpetual look of constipation and inability to utter a complete sentence. Oh, and probably the feasting on human blood to stay alive thing wouldn’t go over too well.

11. Carrie Bradshaw – Sex & the City

Sex & the City
Image Credit: HBO Entertainment.

While Carrie Bradshaw’s glamorous life and romantic escapades make for captivating television, her extravagant lifestyle and tumultuous relationships would pose challenges and financial chaos in the real dating scene. Carrie’s unapologetically self-centered, hypocritical, and sometimes immoral nature would leave her with no friends instead of her fiercely tight girl squad.

12. Agent Mulder – The X-Files

X-Files
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox Television.

Mulder’s relentless pursuit of the paranormal and conspiracy theories adds intrigue and spooky suspense to The X-Files. While it’s amusing to watch him go down the rabbit hole to solve extraterrestrial mysteries, and his chemistry with Agent Scully is palpable, the character is hilariously ridiculous out of context. He’s obsessive about obscure, implausible theories, never follows protocol, and constantly puts his partner in danger. While he witnesses extraordinary things, the lack of proof in his reports would make it look like he’s on drugs.

13. The Man with the Yellow Hat – Curious George

Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

While The Man with the Yellow Hat is a supportive father figure for Curious George, but he gets into all sorts of trouble by bringing a monkey with him everywhere he goes. The Man with the Yellow Hat exhibits many great characteristics. He is kind, caring, thoughtful, shows empathy. Even with all these great characteristics, no one would want to invite him over to their house knowing that George would likely destroy the place.

Source: Reddit.

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Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

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