37 Minor TV Characters Who Made The Show That Much Better

One of the joys of being a TV fanatic is truly, obsessively knowing a show like the back of your hand — you know, that moment when someone across the room says, "That's a business relationship!" and you look over, lock eyes, and understand immediately that you both are thinking of that 30 Rock episode guest-starring James Franco. While regular, casual viewers may be delighting in the goings-on of main characters, you (a superior person with perhaps a slightly less active social life) are on another level entirely. You get your kicks from the sideshows, the inside jokes, and the minor characters whose presences are both unnecessary but oh-so worth it.
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This is an ode to you, lovers of minor characters — not to mention a helpful reference pamphlet for the next person who claims to be "obsessed" with one of your favorite shows but, upon interrogation, doesn't even know Gunther's last name. (Trick question! No one knows his last name! But, you should at least know that, right?)
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Distribution.
Babette, Gilmore Girls
It's a testament to the magic that is Gilmore Girls that a very famous Emmy winner and Broadway star (and also, very memorable longtime Christian Children's Fund spokesperson) blends right into the cast as just another (incredibly compelling) eccentric in the town. Of all the kooks in Stars Hollow, Sally Struthers' Babette is easily the best, most endearing one. And, nowhere nearly as irksome as that wretched Kirk.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Television.
Artemis, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
She's a strong, independent woman who is also insane and ridiculous. Which makes her the perfect match for Frank "The Warthog" Reynolds.
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Photo: Courtesy of Imagine Television.
Barry Zuckerkorn, Arrested Development
Surely, you know Barry. He's very good.
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Photo: Courtesy of AMC Studios.
Bob Benson, Mad Men
He's mostly on here because of that swimsuit.
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Photo: Courtesy of Imagine Television.
Bob Loblaw, Arrested Development
Lobbing law bombs all day long.
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Photo: Courtesy of FX Productions.
Chucky, Sons Of Anarchy
A heart of gold and hands full of — um, never mind. Somehow, Otto's former prison buddy turned into a lovable TM fixture who is always happy to babysit, tend bar, and tinker with bikes. We accept that.
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Photo: Courtesy of Imagine Television.
Carl Weathers, Arrested Development
Come for the hilarious cameo, stay for the helpful budget cooking tips!
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Distribution.
Estelle, Friends
We almost don't know which was better: actual Estelle or Phoebe's impression of Estelle. But, in the end, we are going with the real deal.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television.
Frank Costanza, Seinfeld
Just when you thought nobody could be more crotchety than George himself, Dad steps in.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Television.
Troy McClure, The Simpsons
Just put this on in the background and let your brain slowly ooze out of your ears.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Distribution.
Georgina Sparks, Gossip Girl
So, she (spoiler alert) tricked Dan into thinking he was her baby daddy. Ridiculous drama is the point of this show, and if you can't take it, you should turn off the TV and go read the books and then come back and try again.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Hank, The Office
He was always lovable for his no-bullshit attitude toward the gang's truly ridiculous antics, but when he performed tracks from his blues album at the Crime Aid fundraiser, he really took it to the next level.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Recurring hobo, 30 Rock
Played by the wonderful Hannibal Buress, who also wrote for the show, this ever-changing homeless man did us all a favor when he informed us that the Empire State Building is controlling our brains with electricity. Also, shoutout to Moonvest over at CBS.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Jean-Ralphio, Parks and Recreation
Props to the bro who opened every scene with "What up, Big T?"
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Creed, The Office
Whether he's smelling up the place with his home-grown mung beans or recounting tales of sexual experimentation in a puddle of mud, Mr. Bratton is an eternal gem.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime Networks.
Max, Homeland
He's always been a comforting presence alongside Virgil, but this season, Max really came into his own. Without giving anything away, he went from a background feature to a much more nuanced character over the course of a few episodes.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television.
Badger, Breaking Bad
His small-time approach to a big-time operation was always a good reminder that not everybody who sells drugs is a ruthless, calculating type like Heisenberg — some of them are just dumb kids who need haircuts.
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Photo: Courtesy of BBC Two.
Keith, The Office (UK)
Nobody munches on a Scotch egg quite like this guy.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Television Distribution.
Gunther, Friends
His undying commitment to the woman he loves, his fashionable hairstyle, his fluency in Dutch — this guy is a catch, and if Rachel can't see that, then she can get out of the way and make room for someone more appreciative (cough, cough, Mrs. Geller).
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Joan Calamezzo, Parks & Recreation
Your source for wild speculation, and creator of Pawnee's second-most beloved musical number, the "gotcha!" song (right after "Bye Bye Li'l Sebastian").
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television.
Kenny Bania, Seinfeld
Like Newman, this hack comedian was a perfect foil for Jerry. He's right, though: A soup is not a meal.
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Photo: Courtesy of FX.
Woodhouse, Archer
Archer's eternally beaten, bruised, and battered live-in manny is a great stand-in for those wise butlers to the playboy we've all seen before. Except, he's addicted to heroin. And, while Archer is never as cruel as he is to Woodhouse, their reparté serves as a reminder as to how screwed up Archer's world is. Don't eat the cobwebs, Woodhouse.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Kelsey Grammer, 30 Rock
Oh, how to choose a favorite moment? Perhaps his one-man show as Abraham Lincoln? Or his conning of the Carvel ice cream store? The James Bond song? Whichever you choose, they're all moments that made "the best friends gang" the greatest alliance in the history of TV.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Television.
Mayor West, Family Guy
The world would be a better place if we had more politicians like him.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Devon Banks, 30 Rock
Don't even try to go up against this guy in a (activate gravely silver panther voice) "talking like this contest."
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Television.
Flanders, The Simpsons
Because, he's just the darn diddly best.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Television.
The McPoyles, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Sensual. Titillating. Unshowered. Unsettling. These are just a few words that come to mind.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television.
Magnitude, Community

Magnitude is notorious on the Greendale campus for one thing and one thing only: His ability to get the people going by saying "Pop POP" and doing his signature raise-the-roof gesture. He's kind of a community organizer like that.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Proposition Joe, The Wire
Because, every time you hear the word "parlay," your mind flashes to this Eastside kingpin. Honorable mentions go to Randy Wagstaff, Snoop, Jay Landsman, Butch, and Dookie.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Mose, The Office
Dwight's even weirder cousin was a hilarious presence in episodes like "Initiation" and "Money."
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Television.
Star-Burns, Community
His real name is Alex Osbourne, but everyone calls him Star-Burns because of his signature pentagram-shaped facial hair. He never wanted his topiary to define him, but it did. He was also a drug dealer who faked his own death, but again, everyone misses the forest for the facial hair when it comes to Star-Burns.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Television.
The Captain, How I Met Your Mother
Smiling with his mouth but keeping murder in his eyes, the man was a.) way more interesting than Jennifer Morrison's character, b.) the key to Lilly and Marshall's futures, and c.) surprisingly dapper in a suit jacket with bright red pants (not salmon, RED). Also: Boats, boats, boats!
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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
Freddy, House of Cards
The Freddy-centric episodes of the second season were so sad, it was unbearable to watch at times — even Frank came this close to being something other than heartless. Also, we would do almost anything to try his ribs.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Television.
Sal, Modern Family
Elizabeth Banks is a pretty awesome actress all around, and her role on Modern Family is one of her best. We'd also put Avery Jessup (her 30 Rock character and host of "The Hot Box") on here, but she's hardly a minor character.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBCUniversal Television Distribution.
Dr. Leo Spaceman, 30 Rock
How do you pronounce that again? Science may never know.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime Networks.
Dar Adal, Homeland
What other face/beard combination could strike such fear and apprehension into our hearts with a single look? He might be Saul's role model, but he's no sweetheart.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Television.
The Yellow Umbrella, How I Met Your Mother
Because, let's be honest, this damn umbrella was more enjoyable to watch than some of the characters that got paraded onscreen throughout the nine seasons.
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