The Friend Nobody Likes

"It's like that friend who's an asshole, but he's our asshole."
Nick Webber, Hot Tub Time Machine

In a group of otherwise good friends, there's one character who's an unrepentant Jerkass to everyone else. Or, if they aren't downright mean or cruel, they may be so stupid, annoying, or just plain weird that it's embarrassing to be seen with them. In any case, asking "Why are they even friends with him?" is a perfectly legitimate question. It can usually be answered with one of the following explanations:

  1. Seniority—They've known this person the longest. They may be the Cloudcuckoolander's Minder.
  2. Proximity—They're neighbors, classmates, family members, or coworkers and the group can't simply be rid of them.
  3. Necessity—They're worth keeping around because they're useful, can provide something no one else can, or someone with control over the group is forcing them to include them. That leads directly to...
  4. Dating—Someone in the group is dating the person and insists on including them. This could also involve one person who genuinely likes them platonically.
  5. Fear—The last thing you want to do is piss this person off by telling them they can't join in.
  6. Pity—They're such a completely pathetic loser, the group just can't bring themselves to kick them to the curb.
  7. Audience Popularity—Sometimes a jerkish Ensemble Darkhorse will start hanging around the group just to feature them more.
  8. Supervision—The disliked character is too dangerous or irresponsible to be left to their own devices.
  9. Caring—Deep down, the group does care (or the disliked character cares about them), and it seems to be otherwise simply for a matter of very difficult behaviour.

It's not even that their friends aren't aware of their behavior, either. They're perfectly aware that the person is a jerk, or a geek, or a ditz, and will frequently treat them as such based on their behavior. They still get included in the group nonetheless, with the group defending them if any outsiders insult or mistreat them.

In some cases, it's discovered that the group really does care about this friend and vice versa. In other words, "They may be a pain in the butt, but they're our pain in the butt." Often uttered right before such lines as "You mess with them, you mess with all of us!" or "We're not leaving anyone behind!" The character may have a breakout episode that explains the reason for their attitude or reveals a human side that never showed before (such as a cute hobby).

Compare Vitriolic Best Buds and With Friends Like These..., where this kind of attitude is usually limited to one or two select members of the group as opposed to being the opinion of the group as a whole.

This trope may overlap with Loser Friend Puzzles Outsiders. However, in this trope the whole social circle hates the "loser" rather than an outsider to the group, and the person may actually have some cause for being disliked. In the other, the person is usually presented as being an innocent victim of prejudice, whether it's related to social Darwinism, jocks vs geeks, Slobs Vs Snobs, or racism, fantastic or otherwise.

If The Friend Nobody Likes is a protagonist or otherwise portrayed sympathetically, he may instead become The Woobie. The Friend may also be The Gadfly if they aren't an up-and-out jerk.

See also My Friends... and Zoidberg, No Accounting for Taste (when a romantic couple are similarly incompatible), and Token Evil Teammate.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • Tomo Takino of Azumanga Daioh hangs around with Yomi because they've been friends since grade school. The rest of her friends are classmates, and nine times out of ten her antics piss everyone else off. It's the same thing with Yukari and Nyamo. In their case, however, it's easy to see why the others hang out with them—they're likable enough.
  • Also by Kiyohiko Azuma: Yanda from Yotsuba&!. It doesn't help that the person he will pick on most is five years old. Although, he quickly evolves into a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis for Yotsuba (and later even Friendly Enemy) and his antics don't trigger more than mild annoyance in other characters. Also partially justified, as he's a coworker of Yotsuba's father.
  • Miu Matsuoka in Strawberry Marshmallow. She's usually included because she's Chika's oldest friend and next door neighbor.
  • Chiri in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei is a lot like Cartman. She's a very extreme Heroic Comedic Sociopath and everyone is afraid of her Ax-Crazy streak, but she's still part of the group. It probably helps that everyone else is pretty crazy/borderline sociopathic.
  • Haruo Niijima from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. He's a self-proclaimed evil genius, and is cowardly and manipulative. Even his "friends" often wonder why the heck they tolerate his presence. The only person who seems to genuinely like having him around is the resident Cloudcuckoolander Siegfried, everyone else was bullied, blackmailed, or otherwise manipulated into joining him... but at least he's good with information and a capable strategist, so he does make himself quite useful.
  • Asuka Langley Sohryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion is intellectually gifted and a skilled EVA pilot, but she's pretty insufferable about that and everything else. She often puts up an innocent façade to get by, but likes to belittle people just to boost her confidence, like calling Shinji an idiot for not knowing the truth about the Second Impact, without knowing that he was never even told a word in the first place, and going so far as to get mad at Rei when she doesn't respond to her bullying. The only one who even remotely likes her is Kensuke, and even that is his hormones speaking. Of course, she's just as broken as most of the cast, but still.
    • This dynamic is only subverted with Touji: him and Asuka are more like Sitcom Arch-Nemeses, though his hatred for her came when she tried to extort them (i.e. Touji, Shinji and Kensuke, who were just standing around) for arcade quarters as a first contact.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • Russia is this through necessity for the Allies and fear for the rest, especially the Slavs and Baltics.
    • America can also fill this role. He's well-meaning, but tends not to notice the suffering he causes others. The other nations consider him young and inexperienced when they're feeling particularly charitable. Usually, they consider him an idiot who constantly gets into scrapes wanting to be "the hero".
    • Prussia fills this role due to how obnoxious he is towards everyone around him, particularly Austria and Hungary. The person who tolerates him the most is Germany, who is in a constant state of exasperation with him and despite being Prussia's younger brother, acts more like an older brother and caretaker towards him.
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • Vegeta falls into this during the Android arc due to most of the cast fearing him (with the exception of Goku, who's more of the forgiving sort) and Bulma who had his baby. Even his son, Trunks, spends about as much time berating him as he did seeking his approval. It's so bad that whenever Vegeta gets hurt, no one is in any hurry to heal him, even when he's demanding it. And when he first went Super Saiyan, the entire main cast all but groaned. After getting beaten unconscious by Cell, Krillin says point-blank that he didn't really care if he dies and is only doing this because Trunks believes in him. Thankfully, he lightens up enough as time goes on.
    • Even in Dragon Ball Minus Vegeta's fellow Saiyans didn't seem to like him too much. Bardock calls him a pain in the neck partner when he learns Raditz is paired up with him.
  • Kai Shiden in Mobile Suit Gundam started out as this. Late into the series, however, he got his breakout episode where he had a love interest only to see her die in the next episode. After this, he became a more sympathetic character. His cameo appearances in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam definitely showed a more mature Kai.
  • Sonic X:
    • Knuckles seems to be this to Sonic and the others, but this doesn't help that his hot-headed attitude and his disagreements with the group's thinking makes his bonding with them very difficult to handle.
    • Amy is the same way. Due to her bad attitude and violent behavior, the team prefers to work without her, despite Caring and occasional Fear.
  • Medaka Box: Seeing as he's formerly Medaka's Arch-Enemy, Kumagawa gets this treatment at times. Despite annoying many of the characters, the Student Council keeps him around to keep him in check.
  • Subverted in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Kaiba isn't friends with Yugi and his crew, but he's not a complete stranger to them either. They don't really like him and the feeling is mutual. However, neither party makes any attempts to keep their distance from one another.
  • However in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, the group is friends with Manjoume, even though no one really likes him.
  • The "Loony Gang" in Maison Ikkoku which consists of Mrs. Ichinose, Akemi, and Yotsuya.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has Yoki, who starts out as a villain of the week, but through happenstance, joins up with the good guys. However, his cowardly, unpleasant nature makes him the butt of everyone's jokes, particularly when a helpless Envy tries to take him as hostage, but everyone convinces Envy they won't care if he dies.
  • Jo Jos Bizarre Adventures:
    • Rohan Kishibe in Part 4. Even after his Heel–Face Turn and joining the group to hunt down Kira, he still absolutely hates Josuke, and Josuke and Okuyasu still think he's pretty creepy and insufferable and hard to be around. About the only person he gets along with is Koichi (who he tried to kill pre-Heel–Face Turn,) who's still a little uncomfortable around him for quite a while.
    • Also in that part, Shigekiyo "Fatty" Yangu. Though Josuke and Okuyasu tolerate him, they still find him despicable and don't trust him, owing to him stealing their lottery money. Despite this, Fatty's death is the catalyst that gets Josuke's team to start fighting back against Kira
  • Tarou Takanashi in Shirobako is a useless and incompetent dumbass with the sensitivity and tact of a brick, and his bumbling (for which he consistently fails to show any shred of responsibility) has threatened the studio at least twice in just six episodes, but he still isn't fired yet.
  • In Hero Union BBS, Legal Loli is a permanently youthful, immortal hero known around the forum for her obnoxious attitude. The other retired heroes become visibly annoyed when she loudly barges into a thread.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: While he's certainly respected among the main characters, most of them still agree that Saitou is still rather unpleasant to deal with.
  • The only member of their group of friends Saori from Wandering Son is consistently on good terms with is Kanako. Throughout the several years the manga take place, Saori has gone through stages of either being a moody, sarcastic jerk to everyone to being nice to them.
  • My Monster Secret has Shimada, who's a jerkish, perverted loser and is occasionally arrested for sexual assault, but who still hangs out with everyone. He's still a massive Butt Monkey and Asahi desperately tries (but fails) to stop him when Shima talks about "conveying his love".
  • Death Note:
    • Touta Matsuda is the least respected and least liked member of the Special Investigation Force because he is The Load for the most part and his cheerful enthusiasm is often inappropriate and annoying, which irritates the other members a lot. The main reasons he doesn't get kicked out is because he is one of the few brave people who hunt Kira, the Special Investigation Force is understaffed and he's not useless all the time.
    • Higuchi from the Yotsuba Group's Death Conference members. He often shows his arrogance despite being not as competent and smart as six of the other seven members, leading him to be disliked by his co-workers. Namikawa, Mido and Shimura conclude from his bad personality that he is the Kira among them. They are right.
  • Both Li's took turns as this in Cardcaptor Sakura, both Syaoran and later Meiling starting off competitive, arrogant and intimidating rivals. Sakura struggles to be contemptuous about it however, and is kind to them despite their abrasiveness towards her, something that wins them over and makes them softer, more genuine friends.
  • Sailor Moon:
  • Pokémon:
    • Meowth initially started as such in the original series, considering himself "Top Cat" of the Team Rocket trio, despite Jessie and James often being irritated by him or even considering replacing him and their Pokemon refusing to obey him. This got downplayed as the trio's sympathetic characterisations became more prominent (of the three, Jessie is now more liable to play this because of her temperament, though even then she's not a full example).
    • Wobbuffet similarly had a bad debut with the trio, due to being a accidental replacement for the (comparatively) more competent Likitung and often irritating them with his dopiness and refusal to stay in his Pokeball. As time passed however, they warmed up to him, and by the time he returns to them in the Kalos region he's practically the fourth member of the team.

    Comic Books 
  • Ragdoll of the Secret Six is viewed as a complete weirdo by his teammates, who openly state how much he freaks them out and they keep him around mostly for usefulness and, it's implied, partly out of pity. And even Ragdoll is squicked when new team member Black Alice develops a crush on him. Ironically, he's probably one of the most popular characters among fans of the series.
  • Several characters from Marvel Comics are eligible for this on both sides:
    • For the heroes Namor the Sub-Mariner, The Punisher, and Deadpool. Namor for being a considerable Jerkass and Anti-Hero at best, the Punisher for being a murderer who doesn't arrest criminals (and he also makes it clear to almost any hero he encounters that he regards them as dangerously naive), and Deadpool for being a psychopath and annoying. Of the three, only Deadpool has gained any true acceptance from the other heroes as Character Development and multiple cases of helping others means he's now typically tolerated as long as he doesn't cause too much trouble.
    • Wolverine was this on the X-Men, early in his career. Basically he was a huge jerk-ass who argued with everyone except Jean, and even with her made it very clear he'd like nothing better than to get Cyclops out of the way. His popularity, character development, taking a paternal role with Jubilee and Kitty, and mellowing of his personality due to self-discipline have made him the person everyone wants on their team, because he gets things done and always has your back.
    • For the villains, nobody really likes Boomerang and with good reason, as he's a greedy coward and con artist who will sell out his friends for a quick buck. However he's at least tolerated; Red Skull isn't so lucky. Nobody except Crossbones likes him, and nearly every other villain is actively disgusted by him. He's rarely ever involved in villain team-ups because the partnerships almost always conclude with his newfound allies trying to kill him personally. One of the few times he joined a Legion of Doom, the day wasn't even over before Magneto buried him alive.
    • Original Sin retcons that Bucky Barnes was this to most of his friends, with a LMD of Nick Fury claiming, "I never liked you, you son of a bitch", and Wolverine saying the same.
    • Most Marvel heroes don't like or trust the Thunderbolts, which is understandable given they're mostly made up of villains claiming to reform. That's not even getting into the fact that the first Thunderbolts team was actually the Masters Of Evil trying to trick everybody as part of their latest scheme. The sole exception to this is Mach V, who's been reformed so long and is such a Nice Guy that he's more or less proven himself.
    • Spider-Man gets this treatment from time to time. X23 makes sure he's aware of it.
  • From DC Comics, we have Batman for the Justice League. Pretty antisocial and a Jerkass, but he's one of the greatest heroes ever and the heroes would be screwed without him. Many stories will frame that Superman is the only person who really likes having him around, but between Bruce's paranoia and the duo's totally opposing personalities, even Clark can find him tiresome.
    • For the villains, we have the Joker. In fact, Lex Luthor is Genre Savvy enough to usually bring him into whatever group he is starting, mainly because while he's psychotic, unpredictable, and irritating, it's much preferable to have him on your side rather than having him pissed off at you for not inviting him.
  • Julie from Scott Pilgrim. The only reason the main characters spend any time with her is because she is Stephen Still's on-again off-again girlfriend. And she throws regular parties.
    • Scott himself to a minor extent. All of his friends regularly mention how much they dislike him, even if in a semi-joking manner. He doesn't seem to mind too much. Knives is the only person who truly fully likes him, and she has Stalker with a Crush tendencies.
      • The main reasons seems to be seniority and he's the linchpin of the group. From an individual standpoint of each character, they've known him the longest compared to the others. Beyond that, he seems to be the main thing they have in common, being friends with Scott. They do really care for him deep down though and he for them.
  • Fucking Tara from The Wicked + The Divine isn't very popular amongst her fellow gods. Or her fans. Or anybody.
  • Reggie from Archie Comics generally gets along poorly with the others, though how much of a jerk he is differs Depending on the Writer, but is still usually a part of the main group of friends.

    Fan Fic 
  • Sherman from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series starts out as this (though Andy, his owner, puts up with him), but he later strikes up a friendship with Calvin. He's still not too good with Hobbes or Socrates, though.
  • In the "A Common Enemy Without A Common Cause" omake of Perfection Is Overrated, Hitomi and Shizune prove to be this to their fellow SUEs, standing out from the rest of the already dysfunctional team. Hitomi is an Ax-Crazy Jerk Ass murderer and deconstruction of the Jerk Sue who openly states her intentions to kill the others For the Evulz; the others, despite having poor morals, find her repulsive. Shizune is a religious extremist who wants to kill everyone who doesn't agree with her- which means all of the SUEs, for one reason or another.
  • Matt is this in Those Who Stand for Nothing Fall for Anything. Everyone just seems to tolerate his presence to various degrees even his wife.
  • L gets this treatment a lot in Story of the Century. Erin thinks that the only reason the task force has stuck with him for so long is because he's the only one that can help them catch Kira. It's implied that L is fully aware that he is this, but continues to enforce the animosity.
  • In Boys Und Senshado, Heishi is this among Shark Team, which is entirely composed of male OCs. The team isn't especially close (in contrast to most Oarai crews, which are composed of clubs or close friends)- only Akio and Masaru are friends with each other, as are the other two boys- but none of the two pairs of close friends especially like Heishi, thinking of him as an annoyance.
  • Rosario Vampire: Brightest Darkness Act VI: Arial Kuyumaya has a Hair-Trigger Temper and constantly acts like a Spoiled Brat, with every attempt to berate her and get her to mellow out falling flat because she Can't Take Criticism and will physically attack anyone who tries. Throughout Act VI, only Dark, Complica, and Sun can actually stand to be around her; everyone else in the group barely tolerates her at best and has no qualms against calling her crazy, stupid, or otherwise badmouthing her to her face.
  • Eugenesis has Mirage and Prowl, neither of whom are liked by most (if any) of their fellow Autobots. Prowl is worse off because of his total lack of people skills or leadership abilities.
  • Syaoran in Shatterheart. Because of his clone's betrayal of the group, he is tolerated at best hated at worst by the rest of the group due to misplaced blame.
  • While Genesis, Angeal and Zack like Sephiroth in The Fifth Act, they don't trust him at all. Angeal and Genesis kept their terminal illness a secret out of shame and resentment. Genesis and Zack initially keep Sephiroth out of their investigation of Cloud's disappearance in fear Sephiroth would turn on them as he is loyal to ShinRa and Cloud's disappearance is a company cover-up. Sephiroth himself notes how no one trusts him.
  • In An Apostate? Me? Varric claims that Emma Hawke's bickering group is united mainly in their dislike of Sebastian, who became a party member by accident and refuses to go away.

    Films — Animated 
  • Exploited in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks. Former Alpha Bitch Sunset Shimmer considers herself to be this among the Rainbooms. So, when new Alpha Bitch Adagio Dazzle and the Dazzlings infect the school with a Hate Plague, they taunt Sunset about this, preventing Sunset from speaking up about what she knows, and ruining the Dazzlings' plans.
  • In Ice Age, Sid the Sloth is this. Out of a combination of pity and the acknowledgement that he holds the herd together, nobody kicks him out. If there's one thing they can agree on, it's that Sid is a loser.
  • Bobby from A Goofy Movie and An Extremely Goofy Movie is a goofball, always happy, and not self-conscious in the least. His friends, Max and PJ, who can both be described as serious, angsty, and awkward but to different degrees, are far more likely to be disgusted, confused, and/or mortified by Bobby's behavior than they are to actually appreciate having him around. When they meet another friend in college, Beret Girl, who is also serious and angsty but not awkward, she goes even further, thinking Max and PJ are "cool" and that Bobby is a "fool." Max and PJ are closer to each other than they are to him in both movies. So why is it that they keep him around and treat him like a True Companion in the sequel? Because he's a Bunny-Ears Lawyer who is good at both rigging stage equipment and playing extreme sports, which helps the other two achieve Max's goalsnote . However, Bobby is closer to the two of them in the sequel and while they may be weirded out by his behavior, they do regard him as a good friend.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • While Stifler is more of an outright antagonist in the first American Pie, he becomes this in the second since they're staying at his place in the summer, and works to redeem himself in the third. By the reunion movie, Stifler plays dumb when the other friends offer lame excuses as to why they didn't call him to hang out with them. Later, after they yell at him for mocking Finch's arrest, he calls them out on this, forcing them to realize that even though he's a jerk, he's also a true friend to them by virtue of being a dick and making things much less boring.
  • Cameron in Dead Poets Society - the others only hang out with him because he's part of the study group and Charlie's roommate. In the end he's the one to betray them and Keating.
  • Leo Getz from the Lethal Weapon movies. Introduced in the second film, Leo was originally a federal witness that Riggs and Murtaugh are assigned to protect. The two cops not only hated the fact that they had to play babysitter but also that Leo was very obnoxious. Leo later returned in the following two sequels, now a friend of Riggs and Murtaugh but the two are still annoyed by him and sometimes even abuse him. In spite of this, Leo remains very loyal to them, and the two cops have shown to genuinely care for him at times.
  • Begbie in Trainspotting clearly terrifies his "friends" with his Hair-Trigger Temper. When Renton flees his former lifestyle, Begbie tracks him down and becomes The Thing That Would Not Leave.
  • Alan in The Hangover. He's immature and screws things up. His group membership is based on being the bride-to-be's brother.
  • In The World's End, Gary is an alcoholic selfish Jerkass who never outgrew his teenage mentality, and his friends find him irritating and wearisome. It's also played for tragedy, because they all hoped he's eventually grow out of his immaturity, and he never did. Although in the Distant Finale he seems to be making progress.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Jack Sparrow realizes he's this trope. It doesn't help that he has Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
    "Did no one come to save me just because they missed me?"
    (None of the main characters reply. Calypso and Gibbs exchange long-suffering looks. Marty the dwarf, Pintel and Ragetti, Cotton the mute and the Monkey Jack raise their hands)
    "I'm standin' over there with them!"
  • Barry from Four Lions is kept around by the group because he's by far the most idealistic and enthusiastic about jihad. He's also a very charismatic preacher, and adds a fifth member to the team by radicalizing him at an outreach event. Unfortunately, he's also a stupid, cruel, violent psychopath who Omar cannot control.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Tony Stark can be this guy to the other members of the eponymous The Avengers (2012). He's deemed selfish and arrogant by most of his peers (and S.H.I.E.L.D.'s dossier on him as well) and particularly Steve Rogers finds him to be abrasive and an un-heroic glory hound. However he's a good member of the team and did ultimately come around and win the respect of his fellow members. Funnily enough, Tony's abrasive, casual attitude does get him the friendship of Bruce Banner, since Tony is the only person who treats him like a human being instead of a ticking time bomb. This comes back to help him at the end of the film, where Tony nearly dies falling to Earth and the Hulk, recognizing their friendship from his time as Bruce, saves his life.
    • It becomes especially pronounced in Avengers: Age of Ultron where Tony gets the lion's share of the blame for creating Ultron, despite the fact that Bruce had quite a bit to do with it too. Could be because Bruce is much quicker to apologize than Tony, and was a lot more cautious about the whole thing to begin with.
  • Charlie is this in School Ties. Everyone knows he's a Jerk Ass, but all of his friends are with him because of his family name and to get in good with his father, including his girlfriend. The protagonist, David, was well liked and had friends whom actually liked him, and he steals Charlie's girlfriend without even trying. So Charlie exposes David as a Jew to turn everyone against him. Which works until Charlie gets exposed as a cheater and gets expelled from College.
  • Unfriended has a Val, an Alpha Bitch the rest of the cast doesn't like but tolerates. It's suggested she can do a lot for them other people can't.

  • Harry Potter:
    • In the backstory of Harry Potter, Peter Pettigrew is at least perceived as this by outsiders. He was the least able and respected of his group of friends. He eventually turned on them to serve Voldemort, and even worse is that it's clear that the Marauders themselves loved him, to the point where the Potters trusted him with their lives, which just makes his betrayal all the more heartbreaking.
    • Slytherin House is also this in Hogwarts. While the other houses are on good terms with one another, nobody likes the Slytherins. It doesn't help Slytherin's case that most of its students, i.e. all of those whom we see with very few exceptions, are arrogant, racist, elitist snobs that come from pureblood families that think that they're better than anyone else. Pretty much every well-known Slytherin character's parents were also Death Eaters that only got out of going to Azkaban by claiming they were "bewitched."
    • Snape among the Hogwarts Faculty and the Order of the Phoenix. Everyone finds him to be a very unpleasant person, and Snape doesn't particularly try to deny that image. Still, he has Dumbledore's trust, and therefore everyone else tolerates his presence and gives him their trust as well. It also helps that he is a legitimately brilliant potions brewer, combatant, and a Double Agent among the Death Eaters.
    Lupin: It all comes down to trust. I trust Dumbledore, and Dumbledore trusts Snape, therefore I trust Snape.
  • In Unseen Academicals Andy Shank is described as having friends solely because it's marginally safer than being his enemy. It's specifically stated, also, that people follow him because it's safer than being in front of him.
    • There's also Carter "The Farter", who is described as not easy to like. Even Trev doesn't like him much, but he at least feels sorry for him and tries to give him some advice.
  • Ciaphas Cain has an unusual example in Major Toren Divas. An odd example since he also manages to be Cain's best friend (or as close as he gets to one). Cain hates him for constantly putting him in danger, being an idiot (and thus putting him in danger) and being the only one who calls him "Cai". On the other hand he's reliable, not bad company, terrible at playing poker and usually knows the best gossip and drinking spots.
  • Francis Begbie in Trainspotting. Renton and the rest of the gang basically pretend to be Begbie's friend because they're scared of him. Renton details a list of lies that one must pretend to believe in order to hang out with Begbie and not get beaten up.
  • Jeeves and Wooster: In Right Ho, Jeeves, Cloudcuckoolander Bertie admits he is one when his aunt Dahlia wants him to come at once:
    Bertie: But why, Jeeves? Dash it all, she's just had nearly two months of me.
    Jeeves: Yes, sir.
    Bertie: And many people consider the medium dose for an adult two days.
    Jeeves: Yes, sir. I appreciate the point you raise.
    • Being the embodiment of Stop Helping Me!, there are some reasons to put up with Bertie: Seniority (going with someone to school together is Serious Business in Wodehouse's universe), Pity, Supervision (Jeeves) and most of all, he is The Team Benefactor, providing the solution to all problems:
      Bertie: Ah, well, we must see what can be done. Things may brighten. At any rate, you will be glad to learn that I am behind you in this enterprise. You have Bertram Wooster in your corner, Gussie.
      Gussie: Thanks, old man. And Jeeves, of course, which is the thing that really matters.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The Freys are this to their Northern allies and the Rivermen. Robb Stark only grudgingly agrees to marry a girl of their house to cement their allegiance since the Freys control the only reliable river crossing for hundreds of miles, but he breaks this off and marries another girl soon after. It's telling that they're less popular than another allied House, the Boltons, who regularly flay people alive. Even after betraying the Starks in the Red Wedding, a sickening breach of Sacred Hospitality by Westerosi standards, the Lannisters, their newfound allies regularly make their distaste for them clear.
    • Stannis Baratheon was this among the leaders of the Rebellion, partially because he spent most of the Rebellion under siege, which held the loyalist Tyrell army at Storm's End but meant he didn't take an active part in Robert's "glorious" battles, and partially because he generally acted like a cold and antisocial loner.
  • Both Lauren and Jessica fulfill this role to some extent in Twilight. Both are generally looked on with distaste by most of the other human friends Bella has (and by Bella herself, for that matter), yet the two continue to join in on group outings and the like. In fact, Jessica is one of the human friends who hangs out with Bella the most. What makes this all rather strange is that according to Stephanie Meyer, Lauren was the most popular girl in the school, before Bella showed up.
    • In the films, this is not the case. Lauren and Jessica are merged into a much more tolerable person who no one holds contempt for.
  • Arrogant chauvinist Charles Tansley from To the Lighthouse, whom most of the characters tolerate out of Edwardian politeness alone.
  • In A Clockwork Orange, the protagonist Alex is this to his three droogs, though it's not played sympathetically because Alex is a Villain Protagonist; he's the youngest of the four and the meanest, with a stuck-up Wicked Cultured demeanor and a tyrannical idea of authority over his "friends". Of course, The Dog Bites Back when the droogs temporarily blind him and betray him to the brutal police force.
  • Semi and Miranda in Dr Franklins Island don't really have a choice, since they and argumentative, petulant Arnie are the Sole Survivors of a plane crash and must survive together on a desert island. Arnie resists any plans Miranda comes up with, even though he has to go along with them because they're usually good, refuses responsibilities put on him, eats their stored food and lies about it, comes up with insulting nicknames for both girls, and spends hard-won resources trying to build a poor excuse for a raft. Semi notes that in their time together she considered him a friend, but didn't often like him.
  • In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Harvey hangs out with Tommy and co but does nothing but whine and argue with them. It's pretty obvious that none of them like him because of his behavior, yet they keep him around anyway. This goes further in the sequel, where Harvey goes from obstructive friend to antagonist, and even gets one of them suspended from school.
  • In A New Dawn, none of the other characters are particularly fond of Skelly, but they keep him around anyway, mostly because he actually knows what he's talking about when it comes to explosives.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete: Wayne Pardue, an annoying, delusional, clumsy, loud acquaintance who Little Pete's posse can't seem to rid themselves of. At least once the other kids suggest killing Wayne when his clumsiness threatens their plans yet again. Plus he creeps on Monica at the school dance.
  • Arrow: Season 3 has Malcolm Merlyn, a former Big Bad who's still pretty obnoxious. The only reason anyone puts up with him is that he's Thea's father and he knows the most about the League of Assassins.
  • Becker:
    • Bob.
    • Becker himself can fall into this category.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon Cooper.
    Penny: How did Sheldon get new friends in the first place?
    Howard: [shrug] We like Leonard.
    • Sheldon and Leonard are roommates...therefore, wherever Leonard goes, Sheldon usually goes. And wherever Sheldon wants to go, Leonard has to take him because Sheldon doesn't drive. Since Sheldon is nigh impossible to reason with, nine times out of ten the other three end up caving to his whims about whatever's happening. This trope is lampshaded several times, like in a season 5 episode where, after Sheldon stops being friends with Leonard, the group—minus Amy—stops hanging out with him. Even Amy sometimes lacks the patience to chauffeur him around the way he expects Leonard to.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Spike is an example in Season 7—most of the Scoobies neither like nor trust him (lampshaded by Anya), but Buffy insists he stick around because he's valuable. Though that's not the only reason.
    • Cordelia qualifies as this in the second and third seasons, hanging around only because she's "in the know" and because she's dating Xander at certain points.
    • Later, Anya (a former Monster of the Week-turned-human) for the same reasons as Cordelia.
  • Cheers:
    • Depending on the Writer, Cliff. In many episodes, it's just Carla who hates him, but in others it seems like no one can stand his presence, and even Norm just puts up with him.
    • Diane had very strained relations with the gang sometimes. Again, Carla moreso than most, and that might have been partly due to envy over Diane's relationship with Sam, but Diane didn't have a lot of true allies at the bar. The only exception was Coach, with whom Diane had a surrogate father-daughter relationship. (This one has a Reality Subtext: nobody in the cast liked Shelley Long except for Nicholas Colasanto—he died midway through season three, leaving her without allies and probably contributing to her decision to leave the show at the end of the fifth season.)
  • Community: Pierce. His necessity is revealed when, in his absence, the study group begins to fight amongst itself for incredibly petty reasons just because they no longer have Pierce to kick around. It's not helped that Pierce is seen as The Scrappy in Real Life too.
  • Cougar Town:
    • Tom, who lives on the other side of Jules from Ellie. He's incredibly creepy—him walking up to a table at a crowded restaurant and asking for sugar will make everyone flee. The group tolerates him because he's a neighbor and also because he'll do anything they ask.
    • Holly is almost this. Holly is only around because she's Grayson's baby mama. Laurie likes her because they were already good friends and Travis likes her because she's hot and they made out once but no one else likes her and Jules outright despises her. But she's Tampa Jill's mother, so...
  • Coupling: Jane. The other five characters were connected fairly well. Jeff was good buddies with Steve, who became good friends with Patrick, who was Amicable Exes with Susan (who was dating Steve and co-workers with Jeff), whose best friend was Sally. Jane was Steve's ex, but they were far from amicable; in fact, Steve would be happy if he never saw her again. Patrick and Jeff were mostly indifferent to her (although Jeff did develop feelings for her later, and Patrick slept with her once, as he did every other bipedal female in London), and the girls weren't especially fond of her (Susan kept comparing herself and her relationship with Steve to her, and Sally just found her annoying). The only real reason she was still around was because she was so self-obsessed she honestly didn't know how much everyone else disliked her.
  • Farscape: There must always be one. Rygel is the original, followed by Jool (when he stops being such a chronic traitor), and finally Sikozou, who serves as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute for Jool.
  • Firefly: Jayne Cobb, to the point where the others don't even bother with the "wait until they're out of the room" part. When the crew is discussing what to do with River, a mentally-unstable girl who may or may not be a living weapon, Zoe says she's never hurt anyone. When Jayne points out she sliced him in the chest with a butcher knife without provocation, Zoe amends it to "anyone we can't spare". He remains on the ship because he gets money, and they keep him because he's good with weapons and doesn't usually sell them out.
  • Fresh Meat: JP is this. Though the others warm to him a little over the course of the series, he remains a source of constant annoyance.
  • Glee: Rachel and Santana were kept around for their musical talent, not their personalities, though they did eventually warm up to everyone else by graduation.
  • How I Met Your Mother: Barney.
    "If you moved away, I'd have to follow you. Then Marshall would follow me, and Ted would follow Marshall. The only upside is that we might lose Barney."
    • This is actually the topic of an entire first season episode, where Ted tries to recall exactly why they were friends with him. He concluded that it was because the zany antics that Barney invariably got them into tended to make life entertaining. This trope is played straight especially in earlier seasons as most of the characters admit to having a "Barney Limit." When Barney slept with Robin, Ted explained his anger at Barney wasn't simply that he slept with his ex but that he assumed if Barney had any sort of "limits" it would have been anything regarding him. It wasn't until after they reconcile that Barney starts being treated more as a real friend and less of a nuisance.
  • iCarly: For Freddie and Gibby and anyone else who might be friends with Carly, Sam is this through Seniority, Fear, and Audience Popularity.
  • Impractical Jokers Murr is usually treated as this.
  • The Inbetweeners:
    • Almost every episode or situation has one of the four lads being this. Will for being too geeky and an annoying newcomer to the group; Simon for obsessing with Carli at inappropriate times, often being a "hos before bros" kind of guy; Jay for just being a Jerkass who is bullshitting the others with made-up sex stories; Neil for being too stupid to understand basically everything. In general, Will and Jay are the worst offenders. The reason they are hanging out is, exactly, that they are all "inbetweeners": They seem to be the only students at the school who are neither complete losers nor popular or socially adept—so they only have each other.
    • Jay tends to be the biggest Jerkass and liar of the group, but is still childhood friends with Simon, making it an example of seniority.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia:
  • Lab Rats has Chase. Mostly because of his Type A personality.
  • Last of the Summer Wine:
    • Foggy is definitely this most of the time. He's bossy, delusional, pompous and hypocritical, and unlike the likes of Blamire, Seymour and Truly, seems to have no sense of humor most of the time
    Compo: [about Foggy] Nice fella. Nobody likes him.
    • Howard, who is constantly badgering Clegg to be the go-between for him and Marina—the woman he's cheating on his domineering wife with. Not to mention he's misogynist, whiny, cowardly and always ready to leave Clegg holding the bag if they're ever caught. Even Foggy finds him annoying, and the trio is always willing to drop Howard in his own mess in return.
  • The League of Gentlemen: Geoff Tipps. He has a Hair-Trigger Temper, Cannot Tell a Joke, and gives a magnificently horrid Bitter Wedding Speech at his supposed best friend's wedding.
  • Misfits: Although you could argue that most of the main characters are this to some extent (they're a bunch of kids on community service, so they have literally no choice but to spend time together), Nathan is the one who causes the most flinching and eye-rolling among the others, due to his loud personality and anti-social behavior.
  • In Mulaney, no one likes Andre.
    John: Bad news, guys. It's Andre!
  • The Nanny: C.C. Babcock. Nobody in the Sheffield household particularly likes her, especially Niles, whose frequent verbal sparring with her is one of the funniest aspects of the show. Though this gets turned on its head in the last season—C.C. and Niles find themselves falling for one another and actually marry in the finale.
  • Jerry from Parks and Recreation is the office Butt Monkey, usually for no apparent reason. The only three people who treat him with genuine kindness and even friendship are Leslie, Ben, and Donna. The former was the only one who attended his funeral during the Grand Finale. Donna also ensured that he would be known by his actual name, Garry, by labeling his place at her wedding with it.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Bulk & Skull from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers only hung out with the Rangers due to proximity and Skull's crush on Kimberly. However, for as often as they were disgusted with each other, they still occasionally showed genuine friendship.
    • Power Rangers Dino Thunder: Cassidy and Devin were basically Bulk & Skull's arc condensed into 38 episodes, and by the end they each earned a genuine friendship from both Ethan and Kira.
    • Power Rangers Mystic Force: Leelee initially only hung around to try and get into Nick's pants. However, after The Reveal, they all outright hated her, but were stuck with each other when Leelee was hired at the record store.
  • Pretty Little Liars:
    • Alison is a deconstruction—the Liars get fed up with her antics, turn on her, and send her to prison for Mona's murder.
    • Mona.. Even before she was revealed as A, only Hanna liked hanging out with her. After she is revealed to be A, she's generally kept around because she's useful and Hanna still likes her a little.
  • Red Dwarf: Rimmer is essentially a combination of answers 1-3. He and Lister are roommates, Lister would probably go mad from loneliness if they tried to live apart, Lister's only other alternatives for conversation are a Human Alien whose personality can be summed up as "dumb, self-centered and vain" and a fawning robot whose idea of fun is hanging out laundry, and Rimmer is the last lingering connection Lister has to his life before everything went to smeg. Besides which, depending on the episode, either Rimmer has hidden most/all of the other hologram recordings, or else Lister is such a laidback slob that most other crewmembers would rather be dead than be his hologramatic partner. In essence, Rimmer gets left online because it'd be even worse to have him switched off. And then there's that episode where Rimmer finally contrives a way to have two holograms running at once, and then duplicates his own hologram disc (have we mentioned he's a chronic narcissist?) and then discovers he can't stand himself either.
  • Rules of Engagement:
    • Russell, due to his Jerkass tendencies.
    • In a rather sad example, Adam Rhodes ends up as this later on, when the poor guy doesn't deserve it. Jeff excludes him as much as possible, when not outright mocking him. Russell does outright mock him, as does Timmy at times. Audrey seems apathetic to him, and it seems the only reason he's dealt with is that he's engaged to Audrey's best friend Jennifer. The worst part is he's one of the only (along with Timmy) Nice Guys in the cast.
  • Saved by the Bell: Screech is good friends with Zack but merely tolerated by the rest of the group (and outright despised by Lisa). They all like Zack and Screech is part of the baggage. He seems to have grown on the rest of the group by the end of the series though.
  • The Secret Circle has Jake, who is only there because he's part of the circle. Cassie is the only one who likes him and Diana seems to be the only other person who tolerates him. Later, John Blackwell, who despite being told is several times that he's evil, which he is, is only around because he's Cassie's and also Diana's father.
  • Seinfeld:
    • Newman. He and Jerry have a mutual animosity and the only one who seems to hang out with him in any friendly sort of way is Kramer.
    • George Costanza comes off as this, Depending on the Writer. In certain episodes Elaine cant stand him while Jerry considers him an acquaintance at best and most likely hangs with him out of pity.
  • Skins has several, though each of them gets better at the end.
    • Tony from the first generation, to a degree. He isn't seen as such at first, when his Jerk Ass and Screwy Squirrel tendencies are known mainly by his girlfriend Michelle and best friend Sid who are devoted to him (although the more sensitive members of the group, like Cassie and Jal, express their distaste with Tony's behavior early on). Over time though, when he manages to alienate these two, it becomes apparent that no one in the pack is willing to side with Tony.
    • Generation Two has Cook, whom Effy is sleeping with and to whom JJ is loyal to in a similar way Sid was to Tony. Also there's Katie, who's Emily's sister and dates Freddie at some point, and is a wannabe queen bee with not that much regard for what other people think of her.
    • For the third generation is Mini, at first seemingly a queen bee for whom the gang quickly loses patience. Liv even points it out twice, declaring in the fifth series that 'she loves [Mini] despite or of her flaws but she [Liv] is the only one left' and stating in the sixth that she's friends with Mini "because somebody has to, but it's a tough duty".
  • Pre-Character Development, Rodney McKay of Stargate Atlantis. He had no real friends when he first appeared in SG-1. He was extremely arrogant, condescending, full of himself, and outright sexist, and the rest of the cast tolerated him at best. He didn't really deserve any better. But as time went on, even though it took him a rather long time, he's becoming less annoying and more accepted by others.
  • Still Standing: Fitz's wife, Marion, though she rarely hangs out with the group.
    • Bill and Judy themselves qualify as this in some episodes.
  • That '70s Show: Jackie, at first, was only in the group because she was the girlfriend of one member, Kelso. Later though she became a regular friend.
  • The Party Planners sketches from That Mitchell and Webb Look were based around this. The characters would be planning a party and discuss inviting someone only to raise a concern that the person might bring someone that they can't stand. For example Moneypenny bringing James Bond or Velma, Daphne and Fred bringing Shaggy and Scooby.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Damon, initially. The main reason they keep him around is that he's Stefan's brother. However this is played straight mostly in the first few seasons (and in season 5, because he Took a Level in Jerkass). As of season 6, he's on relatively friendly terms with everyone, including Bonnie and Caroline, who used to hate him.
  • Victorious:
    • Trina Vega tends to be the butt of all the jokes. Jade—in two different episodes—even tells her, "No one likes you!"
    • To some extent Robbie, since his friends constantly act like jerks to him.
  • The Young Ones: Rick. No one likes him and have even told him that. When introducing the gang to his mother, Vyvyan called Mike and Neil his friends, but called Rick "a total bastard I know".
  • Zoey 101:
    • Logan.
    • Quinn in the early seasons. Not because she was a Jerkass like Logan, but she was treated like a freaky nerd by most of her friends. She becomes more normal in later seasons.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Michael Cole was this for the announcer team during his heel run.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Named for one of Dane Cook's stand up routines. He finishes it by stating that if you don't know which one of your friends is this, then that's because you yourself are this trope.
  • Gabriel Iglesias often tells stories of one of his oldest friends, Felipe, whose inability to know when to stop messing around is frequently the cause of whatever mess Gabriel ends up describing.
  • Louis C.K. sets up a bit about Time Travel by mentioning a friend of his whom he hates talking to, but can't really avoid "because you can't break up with your friends."

    Tabletop Games 

  • Michele in The Saint of Bleecker Street is a bitter, resentful man, nearly a Hollywood Atheist in his cynical attitude towards religion. Nobody really trusts him, even before he murders his girlfriend Desideria, yet he still gets invited to sing at Carmela's wedding.

    Video Games 
  • In the Borderlands series, everybody hates Claptrap. EVERYBODY. The only person that doesn't show hostile attitude towards him or other CL4P-TP bots is Angel...and that's probably because, spending most of her life imprisoned by Jack, she hasn't ever been able to MEET a CL4P-TP in person. In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, where he is a playable character, the other playable characters treat him as The Load due to the fact that his special ability has the potential to be just as devastating to them as it is to their enemies.
    • The Claptastic Voyage DLC practically revolves around how much everyone hates Claptrap and the fact that he's painfully aware of this, but still regards his fellow Vault Hunters as friends. They repay the favor by killing him once he's of no more use and dumping his body in a junk pile with all the other destroyed CL4P-TP units.
  • Edward Kenway from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. His selfishness leads him to acquire this reputation throughout the game. He drives everyone away, including his wife, his first mate Adewale, James Kidd, his own crew, the Templars and the Assassins, as well as fellow pirates Charles Vane and Benjamin Hornigold. The latter even warns him that the course he's walking will leave him alone. It is only when he realizes how much his actions have hurt other people and how much he depends on them that he starts to change. Unfortunately, by that point almost everyone he cares for is either dead or no longer trusts him enough to work with him again.
  • Morrigan from Dragon Age: Origins plays with this this. Hardly anyone in the party actually admits to liking her (and vice versa) except the dog, but he likes everyone. And the male Warden can choose have a romance with her, while a female Warden can befriend her to such an extent that Morrigan admits to thinking of her as a sister, though both cases take a lot of work and Morrigan is initially not receptive. Oghren, Sten and Shale seem okay with her as well, but no one else likes them, either (and Oghren obviously just thinks she's hot). Thinking she's hot—and dangerous—is also one of Zevran's motivations for being more friendly too, especially considering they both count as a Token Evil Teammate. She is only actively disliked by Alistair and Wynne. Leiliana starts out with antagonistic feelings toward Morrigan, but will eventually start flirting (not that it goes anywhere).
    • Loghain, if he joins the party, which is understandable given his prior actions.
    • Sten also starts out the object of much dislike within the party, although most of this is predicated on being afraid of the huge guy who murdered an entire family. He gets much better liked as the game proceeds, especially when Leliana finds him playing with a kitten (which he refuses to admit to).
  • In Dragon Age II, Anders/Justice fulfills this role later on in the game due to his obsession with the Templar/Mage conflict alienating him from everyone who's somehow involved, and annoying those who aren't. Even Merrill, who theoretically could have been on his side, except the two can't stand each other due to thinking the other is reckless. Fenris grates on everyone that isn't Varric or Isabela, and Carver tends to annoy Fenris and Anders.
    • Inverted with Varric and Bethany, who are the only companion characters to be on amicable terms with everyone. It helps that Varric has no stake in the conflict and is the Team Mom, while Bethany is friendly and personable, but cautious enough of her magic to earn Fenris's respect.
    • Hilariously, Hawke him/herself could be this if they have everyone at rivalry instead of friendship. However, this requires the player to go out of their way to antagonize party members and be an utter jerk. Considering that some Rivalry choices will get you friendship with others (if you anger Fenris by helping out the mages, Merrill and Anders will approve). Fortunately, when you get the meter to one end, it locks there, but full anything is difficult to get.
  • Francis and Nick appear to fulfill this role in Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 respectively.
  • In Fallout 3, possible companion Jericho is this to the town of Megaton. A former raider, Jericho is not a pleasant character; he spends his days lounging around the town or getting drunk at the local bar, and apparently tried to rape someone (Jenny Stahl) in the past. The town puts up with him however, because he's damn handy to have around when they need to defend themselves from raiders or slavers.
  • Fallout 4 plays with this a bit with your Companions: X6-88, Paladin Danse and Strong.
    • X6-88 plays this straight as he is a Synth Courser and, being Institute-aligned, means that everyone just barely tolerates him (and he them) to the point where it's kind of a stretch to call him anyone's friend.
    • Danse inverts this as he outright hates the non-humans in your party and doesn't interact with the others much better. They either take it in stride or snark right back, but they're mostly okay with him and just think that he has a stick up his ass. This is further highlighted in their remarks to the revelation that he's a synth and their general approval when you convince Maxson to exile him instead of killing him.
    • Strong's nothing like Marcus, Fawkes or even Lily, being being much more savage and brutish. You'd expect your companions to dislike or fear him but you'll find that he's probably liked more than the first two on this list.
    • For lack of a better trope, the Brotherhood of Steel are a faction variant. All of your Good-aligned companions have a mild-to-severe hatred of them, even if you're a member. Heck, Preston can barely tolerate them. Cait, your Fighting Irish Blood Knight chem fiend who is definitely not good-aligned, likes them. That should be a considerable warning sign.
  • In World of Warcraft, Gallywix, leader of the Goblin cartel loyal to the Horde, is seen as this by the rest of the Horde. In the Tides of War novel, Garrosh only keeps him around because he, being motivated by profit, is easy to keep in line.
    • Sylvannas also, though she's part of the Horde, most of the Horde view her with suspicion and her more questionable actions really don't attract trust. Her primary goal is to create a future for the Forsaken, and only for the Forsaken, and is only using the Horde as a stepping stone in her schemes.
      • The Forsaken in general don't get along well with the rest of the Horde and are members out of mutual necessity rather than any genuine friendship or respect. The Trolls, Blood Elves, Tauren, and more honorable Orc Clans distrust the Forsaken due to their increasingly Scourge-like behavior, while the villainous Orcs look down on them as being weak and cowardly. But the Horde needs a presence on the Eastern Kingdoms that the Blood Elves aren't strong enough to provide, and the Forsaken need support against the Alliance, so they put up with each other.
  • The Pyro from Team Fortress 2. The rest of his team (which consists of 8 different kinds of Badass mercenaries) are scared witless of him(?). They're even hesitant to speak about him.
  • Javik from Mass Effect 3 is a sociopathic jackass who enjoys saying the most outrageous things and laughing at everyone else over it. However, he's also the last living Prothean and has been fighting the Reapers longer than the rest of the crew, possibly put together thanks to his empathic abilities. Though a few former squad members—Zaeed and Wrex—actually do like him well enough, precisely for the reasons everyone else doesn't. That said, he isn't completely without his redeeming features, as he genuinely feels glad to see that some of the species he knew during his era have evolved into space-faring races in their own right.
  • Miranda from Mass Effect 2 can stray into this for players leaning towards the paragon side of things. From the moment you encounter her she's an arrogant Alpha Bitch who firmly believes that Cerberus can do no wrong - and if they do, it wasn't really Cerberus proper, just idiots working for them. There doesn't seem to be anyone who actively likes her, but most of your more renegade-leaning teammates (with the exception of Jack, of course) seem to be indifferent to her, respecting her abilities but not much past that. By Mass Effect 3, after much Character Development, this noticeably changes.
  • The Ace Attorney series has Larry Butz, who is pretty much considered annoying by everyone who's come across him. His penchant for getting into trouble has caused a saying, "When something smells, it's probably the Butz". His friendship with Phoenix is explained as a result of him standing up for Phoenix in the class trial when they were children, and Phoenix is not happy to learn that this friendship came about because Larry committed the crime Phoenix was accused of, at that time. It's never exactly explained why Edgeworth put up with him, which gets a lampshading in the last cast of the third game, when Edgeworth's description of Larry's profile ends with him admitting that he has no clue how they became friends. Seems to be a combination of seniority (being a childhood friend), pity (he's not actually a bad person, he's just oblivious, unfortunate, and irresponsible, and would no doubt cry if they ever abandoned him), and supervision (since every time he shows up it's because they need to bail him out of trouble).
  • The Baldur's Gate series has a cast of characters. Some like each other, and some don't, some will come to blows over it. However, all of the NPCs dislike Edwin for his arrogance. Viconia is similarly disliked by just about everyone that isn't Minsc, although he's too stupid to know the difference. However, unlike Edwin, most of the other party members will at least demonstrate grudging respect for Viconia (except for Kivan, who's openly hostile toward her). Korgan is also despised.
  • Final Fantasy VI has a few examples. But as they become part of the True Companions (and especially after The End of the World as We Know It when The Power of Friendship becomes so precious), and through additional sympathetic Character Development, their irritating quirks become more or less irrelevant.
    • Edgar is a resourceful young king who comes across as abrasive to both the ladies and his male friends alike. The only ones who have no friction with him at all are his brother Sabin (out of fraternal love) and the young girl Relm (who is infatuated with Edgar, to his dismay).
    • Setzer owns the Global Airship, but he's also a self-absorbed Dandy with (allegedly) hideous fashion sense.
  • Final Fantasy VII has Yuffie, who mostly just annoys everyone, and Cait Sith, who's generally unreliable. Vincent Valentine may also qualify, as Cloud mentions he didn't really expect Vincent to return for the final battle, since Vincent always seemed so cold and unapproachable. Later media like Dirge of Cerberus shows that they've all grown and are much closer than before. Yuffie, for example, is hinted as often dropping by to see Vincent simply to make sure he doesn't go back to being completely gloomy and friendless.
  • Nagito Komaeda from Super Dangan Ronpa 2. He quickly makes it known that he's completely insane and would be perfectly willing to kill anyone, or even be killed by anyone. As such, even though he's possibly the most intelligent character in the game, often figures out key elements in a murder long before everyone else, and straight up idolizes the other characters, the others absolutely hate him and don't like being around him, and even when someone tries to figure him out, his view of the world is so bizarre that they just can't.
    • On the same token as Togami below, Fuyuhiko Kuzuryuu also fits; he is extremely abrasive, refuses to integrate himself into the group dynamic, and claims that he eventually intends to commit the perfect murder and escape. However, after his childhood friend commits murder in order to get him off the island under the belief that Monokuma would accept her view of herself as his tool, he mellows out and subverts the trope.
  • Dangan Ronpa:
    • Byakuya Togami is an Insufferable Genius and a complete Jerkass, who quickly distances himself from the other characters and makes it clear that he's willing to kill if he has to, but still figures out important elements of any murder before anyone else, and even ends up taking Naegi under his wing as a protege of sorts. About the only person who enjoys his company is Fukawa and her Split Personality, Genocider Syo, who has a massive crush on him, though the feeling is definitely not mutual.
    • In a way, Yasuhiro Hagakure. He's nearly always so off-the-cloud in the ways of thinking that nobody takes him seriously, and even Naegi ends up being abhorred at him if he maxes out his Free Time, where he tries to get Naegi to sell his organs so he doesn't have to spend his personal savings. At that point, while he would have considered Hagakure a 'friend', Naegi still keeps his distance of him.
  • In Starbound, the Hylotl as a species are this to everybody except the Ax-Crazy Florans. They're genuinely peaceful and reliably refrain from causing trouble, but are also too advanced to be worth the effort of actually attacking, so they don't make real enemies among the civilized species. Their constant Cultural Posturing, belief that True Art Is Incomprehensible, and allegedly wonderful Foreign Queasine, however, grinds on others species' nerves to no end, so they're often the targets of snark and contempt as a result.
  • Teddie from Persona 4 constantly annoys his teammates with his terrible puns and perverted antics to the point where pretty much everybody barring the main protagonist is always mad at him. It's still clear that they do care about him, though, particularly when he goes missing.
  • Johnny Cage of Mortal Kombat is one of the good guys, but his snarky, sarcastic, pompous attitude riles on his allies. This is especially clear in Mortal Kombat X, where just about every one of Earthrealm's veteran kombatants finds him annoying and makes it clear in pre-match dialogues. The list includes his ex-wife Sonya, the retired 'consultant' Jax Briggs, and the serious-minded Scorpion and Sub-Zero. This also includes Raiden himself, who ostensibly chose Johnny as Earthrealm's Champion after the events of 9. Even fellow Deadpan Snarker Kenshi can't stand Johnny's acting. Contrarily, he gets along quite well with the younger generation of Earthrealm heroes, who prefer his firm but compassionate leadership to Sonya's greater strictness and demands for discipline.
  • Audrey from HuniePop has a few friends among the other girls of the game, but they seem to agree that she's a massive bitch.
  • Undertale has an early monster named Jerry that always shows up as part of a group of monsters and is always introduced separately from the others, usually with something like "Jerry came too". On top of an obnoxious personality, he has a stupidly high amount of defense but no attack, making its "allies" do all the work while only slightly increasing their attack phase. His one ACT is to "ditch" him by conspiring with the other monsters to run away and fight elsewhere while he isn't looking. No one likes Jerry.
  • Dead or Alive 5: Despite Zack now being part of the heroes and Helena's right-hand man, nobody except Helena seems to respect or like him. In fact, Hayabusa and Bayman refuse to take a flight with him simply because of their dislike. Hayate and Ayane do fly with him, but they soon get annoyed with Zack and tell him that they will never fly with him again.

  • Mike from the Walkyverse is a bizarre example—his relationship with other characters is so strong because he's a major Jerkass. Hell, he married a character who loves him for (possibly in spite of) who he is.
  • Candy from Girls with Slingshots is in the same boat as Sheldon above; no one really likes her all that much, but she's attached to Jameson, whom they do like, so they have to live with her. At least until her repeated efforts to sabotage his relationship with Maureen come to a head at the wedding and he wakes his ass up that Candy is possibly the worst friend in existence.
  • Seth from Sorcery 101 is more or less tolerated by the characters because one of them is bonded to him and he's pretty good at manipulating people in a way that's beneficial (though usually very messy, and in poor taste as he is almost always the last resort).
  • In The Order of the Stick:
    • Miko Miyazaki is this for her entire Paladin order. She's a loyal and skilled Paladin, but her Knight Templar nature and Jerkass tendencies prompt her fellow Paladins to send her on long missions far from home whenever possible.
    • The Order's Token Evil Teammate Belkar invites this, but it's his unrepentantly boorish, Ax-Crazy, uncooperative tendencies that really cement it. Roy keeps him around only to sic him on even worse people until Belkar's prophesied death, although Belkar builds a slightly more respectful relationship with Vaarsuvius while actively trying to be more of a team player.
    • Differences of opinion lead the Order of the Scribble to disband, but the group seemed to unilaterally despise both Soon Kim (whom Dorukan and Girard nearly came to blows with) and Girard Draketooth (whom only Serini seemed to get along with).
  • Homestuck: Eridan, pre-flipout. It says something about him that even Kanaya and Equius can't stand him and Feferi actively resigns from being his Morality Pet. Among their ancestors, Eridan's counterpart Cronus is the sleaziest scumbag anyone has ever seen, and nobody willingly hangs around Kankri if they can avoid it, due to his interminable lectures.
    • Even after being talked down from his psychotic killing spree, the only thing anyone has to say about Gamzee is "fuck that guy". He even ruined the one semi-positive relationship he still had by ending his moirallegiance with Karkat. In the current timeline where John prevented Terezi from killing Vriska, everyone ended up just locking Gamzee in a chained up fridge and are just trying to pretend that he doesn't exist.
    • Vriska by the time the trolls get to the meteor. It's especially clear during the Alterniabound segment, where the only person who seems to get along with her is Equius. Everyone else either hates her, distrusts her, or is just scared of her.
      • To seal the deal, John Egbert has confessed that after meeting her in person, he really kinda hates her for being so incredibly unpleasant. Opinions vary as to whether she really deserves the treatment she gets from the other characters.
  • Gai Gin's Kitsunefoxy is a compulsive liar who makes a hobby out of attempting to break up the relationships of the rest of the gang for no apparent reason. Pyon hangs out with her out of pity.
  • Gnoma from Pewfell—an extremely self-centered, rude, obnoxious gnomenote  who is only tolerated in the Pewfell housefold because she helped Tina—Pewfell's wife—through a rough patch when they were schoolmates (what that "rough patch" was has yet to be revealed).
  • In Better Days, Rachael serves as this for her housemates. Lucy initially doesn't think highly of her cheating on her boyfriend, then Rachael exasperates the others with her hatred of Lucy after Lucy steals her boyfriend away. The reason she's kept around mostly seems to be necessity, namely for financial reasons. ("Are we sure she's worth one fifth of the rent?")
    • The sequel, Original Life, has Angela serve as this. She gets on the nerves of her friends and even Elizabeth by expressing a support of her parents' new-age spiritualism, global warming, Justin Bieber, and many other things the author dislikes. She herself doesn't seem too attached to Janie, but justifies keeping their friendship as knowing the value of having connections. It's unclear exactly why Janie remains friends with her, though.
  • Weenie Licked: Implied with Mugen, given how Jeffory and Chuckles are fascinated with the idea of Paul beating the shit out of him yet still let him hang around, much like the site hosting the comic.
  • Drowtales has this in the Five Girl Band of Chrys'tel's group of friends, with her "protector twin" Shinae clearly only being there because of her duty to Chrys requiring her to, and her rather abrasive personality makes it extremely unlikely any of them would hang out with her on their own.
  • White Dark Life:
    • Collin is stupid, greedy, and incapable of seeing anything but his selfish views, he genuinely thinks he is friends with the cast and there is literally nothing they can do to get rid of him. He does however get better after the timeskip. Not that anyone notices.
    • An odd version is Caroline. She has a reasonable(if gloomy) personality and wouldn't be in this position if it wasn't for the fact that of her "friends", one is The Maid, who Hates Everyone Equally, Rebecca, her childhood friend even, sees her as a tool to be used, and Leon is a Straw Misogynist.
  • Slade Chasme, from Heartcore, is the second-ranked Overfiend (only one rank below the Lord of the Overfiend's Dragon), and is feared and/or despised among his fellow demons for being a sadist who would like to cannibalize his fellow Overfiends and would betray his comrades at the drop of a hat.

    Web Original 
  • Bladezz in The Guild, at least in the first season:
    Clara: He's like the retarded cousin of the Guild! The right thing to do is to let him play tag, even though he runs around hitting people.
  • Amir in Jake And Amir. Although Jake often denies that they're friends, at other times he doesn't and there are multiple episodes that feature them doing something together (be it with more people or just the two of them), so they at least have something resembling friendship going on. All reasons except for dating and necessity apply to Amir in some way.
  • What's-Her-Face in Teen Girl Squad is explicitly called the "pity friend" and is the one the other three are most likely to ditch or relegate to the least-desired roles. Generally, this just makes the other girls look mean, especially Cheerleader.
    What's-Her-Face: Can I not get stuck playing bass?
    Other Girls: NO WAY!
    • She's a deviation from the trope because there's nothing particularly wrong with her personality. She's actually the nicest (and arguably sanest) of the four. This is why the other three look mean when they interact with her; it's because they are.
  • The crew in Binder of Shame is a group made entirely out of these people. Since they're the protagonist's only social contact, though, he actually goes into denial for a time and convinces himself that this is what friendship is (he gets better).
  • Puddy in Tales of MU is this to Mack for as long as she's Mack's room mate.
  • In Todd in the Shadows' review of From Justin to Kelly (crossed over with The Nostalgia Chick), he wonders why girls always have a "Token Evil Friend."
    Kaya: Why are we friends with her, again?
    Todd: That's a good question. That's an excellent question.
  • Yamcha from Dragon Ball Abridged isn't any more a jackass than most of the other characters and less a jackass than some, but everyone likes to belittle him because they see him as weak.
    • Raditz and Guldo are treated pretty much the same on their respective teams, leading to the line "I don't know what this Yamcha is, but it sounds a lot like Raditz".
    • Vegeta's status as this is lampshaded in episode 38, after Future Trunks realizes just how much of a jerkass his father is:
      Trunks: How are these people friends with you!?
      Tien: Makin' a lot of assumptions there.
  • The Tumblr and Tickld name for this type of person is "Moon Moon", due to a post where someone got "Moon Moon" on a wolf-name generator and commented that she would be the wolf no one likes ("OH SHIT WHO BROUGHT FUCKING MOON MOON ALONG?").
  • In the Key of Awesome's parody of "Somebody That I Used to Know", Tony gets this through Necessity, since, while he's sold all their other instruments and at least one person's set of shoes to pay his drug debts, he's the only one able to drive the van. There's also a measure of Supervision:
    "Hey, guys, where did Tony go? You all know that Tony can't be left alone."
  • In Monster Island Buddies, Gorosaurus was one of the original Monster Island Buddies, but Godzilla and company didn't care much for him and didn't even give a crap when he was kidnapped by Kong and taken to Skull Island. Even after he's back, the other characters still seem to dislike him, Rodan even says he scares the shit out of him. On the villain side, there's Gigan, who constantly tries his best to make friends, but is perceived by everyone else as annoying and stupid. Titanosaurus counts as well, due to his insane, psycho behavior.
  • Maizono is this in Dangan Ronpa Abridged Thing, most likely because she's a total weeaboo, with only Naegi and to a lesser extent Fujisaki tolerating her (enough that Alter Ego is hard-coded to use her weeaboo speak style).
  • Weiss of RWBY is as cold and hard as the ice she wields in battle. She regards everyone else in Beacon (except for Pyrrha) as utterly incompetent morons. She ends up being partnered up with Ruby and folded into Team RWBY—but, in her own words, "by no means does this make [them] friends". It can hardly be said that Blake and Yang exactly have a high opinion of Weiss either, though this becomes subverted in Volume 2, due to Weiss becoming a much nicer person. Lampshaded in the first episode of Season 2:
    Ruby: Ahem! Sisters...friends...Weiss...
    Weiss: Hey!
  • Girl-chan and Swirly Glasses in Girl Chan In Paradise. The two almost never appear alongside the other party members, but when they do they're almost never acknowledged except in disgust and annoyance. At least until Swirly Glasses turns out to be "Captain Taisho Bushido Blaster Buster #1".
  • The Most Popular Girls in School has Jonathan (Than) who is homophobic and in the closet. Nobody likes him until the later seasons, but he sticks around anyway.
  • Discussed in "20 Reasons Why NOT to be 'In Da Club'" by Matthew Santoro. Matthew talks about that one friend who's a total downer and nobody likes, but who the group feels like they have to invite because they're part of the group. Matthew then says that people should just not invite that person anymore.
  • Fictosophy: "Jedi Coworker." Everyone's had it up to here with Tom's shenanigans. The only one who's okay with it is Shannon, who also happens to be the manager.
  • Jonathan in Board With Life. Not only does he openly deny his geeky tendencies and his friends and is constantly late to the group's game nights, when he finally shows up, he's constantly on his phone, zoned out, or distracted in other ways. And when it's his turn to host the game night, he only wants to play one game, the only one he's good at: Risk. I mean, Risk: Lord Of The Rings.
  • Friendship is Witchcraft:
    • Spike is near-universally loathed, especially by his friends. Twilight outright treats him like a slave though he seems content enough.
    • Twilight is a less obvious example but she isn't well-liked by her friends. She's a narcissist, has creepy fangirl tendencies, and as the series goes on it becomes more obvious that she is a Villain Protagonist. Celestia in particular finds Twilight both annoying and unnerving.

    Western Animation 
  • South Park. Eric Cartman, due to Proximity, Seniority, and occasionally Supervision (at least on Kyle's part...). This is the kid whose crowning moment was getting a kid to eat a bowl of chili made from his parents. Yet he'll frequently be included in the activities of the other boys when he isn't busy being the active threat. To quote Chef from "The Biggest Douche in the Universe"
    Chef: Cartman is your friend whether you like him or not!
    • Lampshaded even more in "Scott Tenorman Must Die":
      Kyle: We just wanna warn you: Eric Cartman, the fourth grader, is goin' to try and trick you somehow into getting your wiener bitten off by a pony who lives at Denkins' ranch.
      Scott: How do you know?
      Kyle: 'Cause we're his friends.
      Scott: Then why are you telling me?
      Kyle: 'Cause we hate him.
    • Also summed up in "The Death of Eric Cartman", where the other boys declare that he's not their friend and that they will ignore him from now on:
      Token: Ignoring him? How come?
      Kyle: Because he's a fat, racist, self-centered, intolerant, manipulating sociopath.
      Token: [beat] Oh yeah.
    • "Hooked on Monkey Fonics" had the home-schooled kid, Mark, wonder if the group hates each other, since they're ripping on each other all the time.
    • Stan's diagnosis of cynicism causes him to become this in "You're Getting Old".
    • Craig points out that the whole group are seen like that by the rest of the 4th graders. Technically, they're still friends, but their Weirdness Magnet antics are getting old in the eyes of the rest.
    • Butters, to an extent (or just Depending on the Writer), though in this case it's because he's an overly-cheerful loser. This is especially evident while he was "the new Kenny" and the others constantly abused him. Tweek suffered from this for a while after replacing him. In both cases however, the other boys end up admitting some preference to them over Cartman.
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends:
    • Bloo is one of these. Mac (his creator) genuinely likes him; at best the others tolerate him due to Proximity and Supervision. Admittedly, he was more likable and the others enjoyed being with him during the early days before Flanderization occurred.
    • A more extreme example would be Duchess, who is a friend through Proximity (she lives in Foster's).
  • Daffy Duck.
    • This is especially true in The Looney Tunes Show where he's portrayed as a penniless leech with no stable source of income and mooching off his more sensible roommate Bugs Bunny.
  • Futurama:
    • Zoidberg, Trope Namer for My Friends... and Zoidberg. He's a friend through Proximity (he works for Planet Express) and all his co-workers are quite verbal in their dislike of him. "A Tip of the Zoidberg" reveals that the Professor genuinely cares for him, which is why he keeps his job despite being a totally incompetent doctor (on humans).
    • Bender is a subversion. Despite being a notorious Jerkass and the Token Evil Teammate, most of his friends seem to like him, all while knowing how evil and rude he is.
  • As of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Jar-Jar Binks. Even the people who like him are aware he's a clumsy idiot who is probably going to mess things up. And then there's the Clone Captain assigned as Jar-Jar's bodyguard who finds him completely obnoxious but also useful in a fight, mistakenly believing that Jar-Jar is doing it on purpose. This portrayal is actually a step up for him—he's an actual character instead of just a punchline.
  • In Star Wars Rebels, Chopper. Despite being oddly lazy for a droid, his skills are very useful. But since he's an asshole (also very unusual for a droid) who's actually sometimes put their lives in danger with his pranks, nobody actually likes him and Hera has to prevent the rest of the crew from dismantling him.
  • Harry the Werewolf from Scary Godmother. Obnoxious, annoying, selfish, lazy, rarely stops talking, rarely stops eating, and is basically a general nuisance to everyone else.
  • In Beverly Hills Teens there's the Alpha Bitch Bianca. How she's friends with anyone is a total mystery. To a lesser extent, Pierce.
  • Klaus of American Dad! is often ignored and openly disliked by the Smith family, but are stuck with him (Proximity and Supervision) due to the CIA turning him into their pet goldfish. Roger has bouts of this due to being a Token Evil Teammate.
  • In Young Justice, Nabu, the real Doctor Fate, who needs a host for him to inhabit. Nobody really likes him because he's no longer willing to release his hosts; even if they're dead, their souls are trapped in the helmet until he gets a new host. Captain Marvel flat out argues for Fate's expulsion from the Justice League at one point, since despite his tactical usefulness, Fate is essentially performing a Demonic Possession on one of their old teammates.
    • Interestingly, Nabu admits that he's mostly hanging out with the League for his own Supervision—his host doesn't trust him, and Nabu apparently feels compelled to prove his trustworthiness.
  • In Family Guy, Meg is usually treated as this by the family, depending on the episode.
    • Peter himself certainly qualifies, as his friendships with Joe and Quagmire have been surely diminishing since Cleveland's departure.
  • Antoine from Sonic SatAM sometimes is this. While the other Freedom Fighters don't exactly hate him (Sonic might, but that's debatable), he does tend to annoy them at times due to his cowardly and arrogant nature. The fact that he rarely contributes to the team and often screw up doesn't help.
  • Post Heel–Face Turn, Discord becomes this in season 4 of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He and Fluttershy are real friends and she's the only one who can rein him in, but the rest of the Mane cast tolerate him at best (par maybe Pinkie Pie, sometimes) having redeemed him solely for Necessity. He doesn't deserve any better, since he still acts like a Troll around them. As of the season 4 finale, even though it took him a rather harsh way, he's becoming more accepted by the ponies.
  • In the series version of How to Train Your Dragon, none of the teen teachers of the Dragon Academy particularly like Snotlout Jorgenson, thanks to him being a dim-witted, bullying, arrogant, brash, hotheaded, smug pest.
  • Alexandra in Josie And The Pussy Cats, she does nothing to help out the gang and deliberately tries to sabotage anything they do when she gets the chance.
  • Uncle Ruckus in The Boondocks, who everybody (especially Robert) inexplicably tolerates despite being a massive Boomerang Bigot.
    • Tom Dubois to a lesser extent, as his needy and straight-laced tendencies make the Freemans reluctant to deal with him. Even his wife frequently gets annoyed with him.
  • King of the Hill:
    • It's been noted on more than one occasion that Hank's friends generally only associate with Peggy because she's Hank's wife: Dale once even openly admits that he can't stand her.
    • Bill is also considered (at best) a nuisance by everyone he knows. Between his disgusting habits, pathetic neediness, frequent Acquired Situational Narcissism, tendency to butt into people's lives, and Stalker with a Crush tendencies to the whole Hill family (especially Peggy), the whole cast openly hates him. The main reason everyone still associates with him is obligation and admiration for the fact that when he was younger Bill was The Ace, and genuinely liked by everyone. That and pity.
  • Beetlejuice. Lydia Deetz is his best friend. Everyone else in the Neitherworld tolerates to despises him.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • The fourth season Clip Show "Remembrances" includes a bizarre retelling of the series by Varrick, where all the previous Big Bads form their own Legion of Doom. They repeatedly try to exclude Unalaq, who is described as "boring and unpopular," but he keeps butting in on their meetings. This may count as a Fandom Nod, because while Varrick hated Unalaq, his season was also a Dork Age for the show and he wasn't as complex as most of the others.
    • Varrick himself fits this trope. He was originally a villain and is generally (but not entirely) amoral; he destroyed Asami's company and got Mako thrown in jail for it, after all. On the other hand, even at his worse he was always Affably Evil and generally functions as a cross between a Bunny-Ears Lawyer and Reluctant Mad Scientist, so he's usually tolerated out of Necessity.
    • Season 4 has Prince Wu. Despite being the great-nephew of the much reviled Earth Queen, Wu himself is a very Spoiled Sweet person and genuinely cares about Mako and the gang, calling them the best friends he's ever had. But he's also a huge ditz and a shameless flirt. As a result, the cast can't do more than tolerate him out of Necessity and Supervision. The fact that he seems completely oblivious to how the gang feels about him only makes it worse. However, as he undergoes Character Development and more of his Hidden Depths are shown, the gang quickly realizes that when you put enough pressure on the guy, he will come through.
  • Pigeon from Mike Tyson Mysteries. Mike is the only member of the team who likes him.
  • Jetta from Jem is this to the Misfits. She's constantly lying, is almost always on Roxy's bad side, picks on Stormer, and generally is the Token Evil Teammate in a band predominantly made of jerkass Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Reggie fills this role in Archie's Weird Mysteries, being a jerk who mostly looks out for himself. This is even lampshaded in one episode where the gang wonders why they should bother saving him when he's possessed by a ghost. But most episodes show that when the chips are down, Reggie does look out for his friends and family and will save the day when it counts.
  • In the Justice League episode "Flash and Substance", it's evident that the other Flash villains reluctantly tolerate Trickster's presence and have absolutely no respect for him.