17 Fictional Friends Who Taught Us What NOT To Do

Nobody's perfect. We all make mistakes. And, sometimes, when you are a fictional character who provides inspiration and example to millions, those mistakes may be judged more harshly than they would be in real life. After all, everyone's a critic, right? Luckily, nobody's feelings are hurt, because, well, it's fiction.
As voracious readers, watchers, and consumers of media, we as a society can't help but incorporate the behaviors and attitudes of our favorite characters into everyday life. And, for every outright villain or angelic creature, there is a muddied gray area of people who are a bit of both. Enter, our roundup of fictional friends who just didn't cut it. Ultimately, we have to thank them, because they've given us some tips about what not to do in our real relationships. The thing is, a lot of these people seemed great on the silver screen or on the pages of a book, but when you think about it, they would've been kind of a drag to hang around with in reality. Hit the slideshow and you'll see what (and who!) we mean.
1 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment.
Bella Swan, Twilight
She's totally that girl who is all "we're best friends forever!" until she gets a boyfriend and, all of a sudden, she disappears and her eyes turn red and she starts sparkling whenever the sun shines. You know, that girl.
2 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
C3P0, Star Wars
Aside from being whiny and annoying and kind of useless, he'll undermine any great idea you have with pessimistic nay-saying. He's the ultimate negative Nancy, and he just won't let you follow your dreams.
3 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Aladdin, Aladdin
Aside from the part where he gets a huge head, the Disney version of Aladdin isn't a bad guy. But, he treats the Magic Carpet horribly. Not only does he insist on riding it around everywhere, he doesn't consider its feelings, even though it makes them known through very pathetic posture and gestures.
4 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Scholastic.
Dumbledore, Harry Potter
Don't freak out, you guys. We love Dumbledore, and he is obviously the ultimate hero in many ways. But, even he admits that he fell into the pitfalls of old age by thinking himself wiser than Harry, even when he was trying to protect him from terrifying information. Ultimately, Dumbledore's legacy is a good one, but we think that some of the accusations Harry raises against him in the last book aren't entirely unfounded.
5 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Ferris Bueller, Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Why can't he just respect that Cam is trying to have a sick day? He's so obsessed with his own agenda and his own reputation as a lovable bad boy that he forces his friend into some cinematic idea of a "fun day," even though his friend patently doesn't want to be involved. Yes, Cam experiences some kind of psychotic break and subsequent liberation at the end, but he never asked for that.
6 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Disney.
Nakoma, Pocahontas
If she had just trusted Pocahontas' instincts, Kocoum wouldn't have died and Pocahontas and John Smith could've been together forever on North American shores, creating a family whose very existence would teach everyone that native peoples and European immigrants could live in harmony.
7 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of New Line Cinema.
Frodo Baggins, The Lord of the Rings
Yes, we get it, you're tormented by the ring and whatnot. But, just once, couldn't you consider the endless suffering and self-sacrifice of Samwise Gamgee? This persistent attitude is underscored at the very end of this long tale when Frodo basically tricks Sam into thinking he's staying in the Shire, but then sneaks off with the elves at the last minute, leaving Sam shocked and grief-stricken.
8 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Much like C3P0, she's kind of a whiner. She insists on looping every conversation back to her own life. Remember when Charlotte said she was getting a divorce, and Carrie responded with "I'm lonely?" What about the time she spent all her money on shoes, then guilted Charlotte into selling her wedding ring to help her pay for an apartment? Yeah.
9 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of The WB.
Dawson, Dawson's Creek
Like many of the folks on this list, he's totally selfish and whiny. He does everything he can to stand in the way of the true love between the two people he supposedly cares about most. And, he's constantly wrapped up in his own little dramas — without ever considering the fact that everyone in the creek has their own problems. Apparently, he is aware that the show has his name in the title and took that fact all too seriously. We don't know how to put it, other than this: He's kind of a dunderhead.
10 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of SyFy.
Starbuck, Battlestar Galactica
She is pretty much the best character on the show, she's an incredible role model in a lot of ways, and she's obviously crucial to the unfolding of the plot. But, if you get down to it, she can be kind of a drag, socially speaking. If you try to help her or give her legitimate advice, she'll just punch you, take a shot, and stalk off, because she's a badass. Temper, much?
11 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Jessa, Girls
She runs away when she's scared instead of confronting the truth. She leaves her friends when in need to go to rehab — which shouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that she only went there to get some cash from her grandmother. We're not doubting the veracity of her substance-abuse issues, but the way she approaches the problems in her relationships is self-serving and immature on many occasions. Oh, and she tried to make her friends skip finals to hang out with her. Sounds like she and Ferris Bueller might get along quite well!
12 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Amy, Little Women
The best sisters are also the best of friends. Unfortunately, Amy is kind of a brat who burns her sister's book, marries her first love, and is quite inconsiderate all around.
13 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of BBC.
Sherlock, Sherlock
He's the kind of guy who never lets you in on anything he's doing, but expects you to play along anyway. Yes, he's a genius, which apparently excuses him, but it would be great if while doing all this lying, he would at least refrain from mocking poor Watson to boot.
14 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Mark, Love Actually
Yes, we know, it's totally adorable in the movie. But, if you were this guy's friend and you walked down in the middle of this little encounter, you would be pretty enraged. Of course, poor Andrew Lincoln can't help who he falls in love with, but going behind his friend's back to take the weight of a crush off his chest wasn't the most tactful thing to do.
15 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Dover Publications.
Hamlet, Hamlet
Paranoid beyond belief, Hamlet isn't exactly the funnest guy in Denmark. His taste for revenge is such that you might get yourself killed just for standing in the wrong place at the wrong time — not exactly BFF material (but don't tell him we said that).
16 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of Robert Baratheon.
Robert Baratheon, Game of Thrones
He goes to his own brother asking for guidance, and then basically throws him to the wolves. And, he allows Stark's daughter's own direwolf to be executed in front of her. The guy just goes mad for power and eventually ends up turning on the one person who could help him. He's made the wrong choices in terms of who he surrounds himself with, and those who are truly loyal to him, he treats poorly.
17 of 17
Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Rachel, Friends
If people are scared into submission at the prospect of buying you a birthday present you might not approve of, well, you're doing something wrong. Then there's the fact that she's a total thunder-stealer. Remember Monica's engagement? Or what about her wedding? Though it's kind of cute in a way that her important life moments coincide with Monica's, Rachel seems determined to grab as much attention as possible when it's supposed to be someone's special time.

More from Movies


R29 Original Series