From 2 Broke Girls, Sophie was originally intended to stick around for a few episodes as a one-off character; however, her airheaded Cloud Cuckoolander personality made her well-liked by viewers, so she eventually became a series mainstay. But Flanderization set in fast, so by the start of season 3, her likeable traits were all but gone, transforming her character into a loudmouthed, sex-crazedJerkass. Yet as viewer opinion of her plummeted, the show's focus on her soared, to the point the plotlines of some episodes and even season-wide story arcs became focused around her, and viewers cringed in anticipation of the inevitable "Hey everybody!" "WooOOOooo!" that marked her appearance in each episode. The show's declining ratings can be pinpointed to the moment Sophie hijacked the show, and they didn't have far to slip before the show was ultimately canned in 2017.
Babe Carey from All My Children. She is introduced as the new wife of JR Chandler, son of Adam Chandler, one of the richest men in Pine Valley and a common antagonist. Up to the day her character was killed off, she was hailed by the residents of Pine Valley as a sweet, wonderful person, Ooe character describing her as a "walking miracle". Well, this walking miracle was exposed for being a gold-digger and bigamist, but worst of all a kidnapper. Because when she realized the baby shed thought was hers was really her best friend Bianca's child, she decided to keep the child anyway and not tell Bianca her dead baby was still alive. She only gave the baby back to Bianca when she found out her own thought-to-be-dead child was still alive. By this point a whole year had passed with her keeping this secret. But then she proceeded to tell JR that their child was dead, and then took her newfound child and ran off with Jamie. Not only did several people in Pine Valley support Babe and Jamie with their crimes and deception, but the entire town actually rallied around them against JR when he dared to try and fight for his son. Including Bianca. What stands out most is when everyone had thought Babe had been the victim of a serial killer that had killed other, more predominant characters. With the exception of Erica Kane, everyone grieved for her passing as though she was an important family member to every character. And everyone rejoiced when it was revealed that she was actually alive, to the point that Bianca actually begged for Babe's forgiveness for not forgiving her.
Since she comes to town, Dixie Cooney is consistently portrayed as the town sweetheart, heroine, saint, etc., despite the fact that she participates in the same shenanigans as most other characters—adultery, promiscuity, etc. When her ex-husband Adam sues her for custody of their son—JR, incidentally—much like JR would be 20-something years later, he is the one vilified by everyone, despite his legitimate concerns over Dixie's unstable behavior.
Chris Lilley's series Angry Boys has African-American rapper S'mouse who is hated by all critics and fans, some calling him racist, some calling him two-dimensional, others just not finding him funny. Unfortunately, there isn't really anything that could have been done to write the character out of the show.
Arrow has Felicity Smoak, starting in the third season. In seasons 1 & 2, she's an dorky IT Girl with an unrequited crush on the main character, and the source of a lot of the show's humor. Starting in the third season, she supplants Laurel Lance (Green Arrow's iconic Love Interest from the source material) as the female lead & love interest, takes on several of the traits that once led to Laurel & Thea being considered The Scrappy, receives more screentime than any other character on the show aside from Oliver Queen, is consistently depicted as being in the right even when she is being unreasonable, receives Character Shilling from seemingly every other character on the show - including the antagonists - and becomes a Spotlight-Stealing Squad with a good chunk of seasons 3 & 4 being dedicated to her subplots. In comparison, the characters of Roy, Laurel and Thea are pushed Out of Focus despite becoming the show's incarnations of Arsenal, Black Canary & Speedy; and the Ensemble Dark Horse Diggle only receives a proper subplot in season 4 because it's tied so closely to the main plot and, outside of that, doesn't receive that much attention either. On top of all of this, season 4 opens with the reveal that a major character would killed off by the end of the season, and Felicity was one of two characters deemed untouchable by the writers - the other being the main character. It all culminated in the ending of the crossover Crisis on Earth-X, in which she steals the special moment of one of comics' most iconic couples, Barry Allen and Iris West, literally interrupting them in the middle of their vows to tack on her own wedding to Oliver.
In the American Big Brother the editors tend to pick their favorites out of the cast and show them off to the audience. The problem is, they think the audience will like them too and if they don't, they'll Love to Hate them. But they often just hate them instead. Most often, it's a "showmance" couple who gets the lion's share of screentime on the highlights just kissing and hugging each other.
Brendon and Rachel in Season 12 and 13, but especially 13. The eight new houseguests have virtually no screentime whatsoever unless they're Dominic or Kalia, and Kalia only because she's aligned with Daniele, who turns traitor to the "Veterans Alliance". 50% of the screentime is dedicated to Brendon and Rachel, while 40% is dedicated to Jeff and Jordan, and 5% is dedicated to Daniele and Dominic but later Kalia (only because she won a Head of Household competition and aligned with Daniele). The remaining 5% is split between the rest of the cast, with Porsche and Lawon hit the hardest. (Don't know who they are? Well, you're not alone - the editors seemed to have forgotten they were cast too.)
Some see Jeff and Jordan as the Creator's Pet because BB's producers wanted to make a good show, which meant putting in a bunch of safeguards and slanting the show so that Jeff and Jordan would be on as long as possible, at the expense of the other extras on the show. Jeff got this more so than Jordan, as he was eventually hired by Big Brother (interviewing the contestants, commenting on episodes, etc). Because of this, the producers became more eager than ever to show off their "Big Brother Legend Jeff Schroeder", with him making more appearances on the live shows than other popular contestants could ever hope to see.
Rachel in particular had probably the severest case of Executive Meddling designed to help a contestant in the series. She comes back with an unbreakable alliance with Brendon and is also paired up with Jeff and Jordan, who are likewise unbreakable. They are then put against people who barely know each other and have never played; the veterans (Rachel, Brendon, Jeff, Jordan, Daniele) do, and have. The challenges are all something they're familiar with. After her boyfriend is evicted from the house, he somehow wins a popular vote to come back, but is voted back out again. Then, after things get turned around again and cause Jeff and Daniele to be voted out, Rachel and Jordan are put on the block, Porsche is forced to open Pandora's Box... and the twist seems tailor-made to benefit Rachel and Jordan. Conveniently, the next veto competition (the one that Rachel needs to win) is... a carbon copy of the first competition in the game that Rachel won, with a different prop. The twist manages to save both Rachel and Jordan. The next head of household challenge is a challenge that Rachel had already won in the past - and just a couple days before, she was talking about how she did so well on it. When she's forced to open Pandora's Box, it's not a game-changing power that sabotages her game as it did to Porsche... it's a shopping spree. That's some amazingluck.
Mike "Boogie" Malin. It's obvious the producers loved him, but theyd like Dr. Will more, and the only reason he got on in the first place was because Dr. Will wouldn't come on unless they could ask Mike to come on as well.
Season 16 has Frankie Grande, an attention whore who most fans loathed, but who was given top billing to boost ratings.
In Season 18 Nicole Franzel and Corey Brooks, the most disliked houseguests of the season, are given a lot of screentime compared to the more liked houseguests such as Natalie Negrotti, Da'Vonne Rogers, Bridgette Dunning, and Victor Arroyo.
Bones has Christopher Pelant, a genius hacker and serial killer, who spends two seasons as antagonist, consistently avoiding capture due to dozens and dozens of Ass Pull escapes coming out of nowhere, such as suddenly deleting his identity and creating a new one to get the authorities in Egypt to save him, claiming diplomatic immunity. Fans hated him, but it took until season 9 for him to finally die from a fire Booth shot.
Gina from Brooklyn Nine-Nine frequently came in for accusations of this. Despite being a raging asshole to almost every other character, she inevitably gets away with doing awful things scot-free, while other characters will face much stricter consequences for doing far less. She frequently acts terribly to other characters without comeuppance, whereas any other character doing something wrong towards her is usually treated as a borderline Moral Event Horizon crossing which must be atoned for in some way, no matter how minor the offense is. She eventually becomes the character who provides the solution to the episode's central problem regardless of how unlikely, strained or repetitive this may seem, and, despite her ditzy personality, apparently has more smarts and skills than a squad full of trained police officers. She doesn't even learn a lesson from her actions except "I'm always right". Things rarely go wrong for her, and when they do, the consequences are dealt with incredibly quickly (for example, an "arc" where she gets hit by a bus in Season 4 is over by the end of the episode, apparently giving her healing skills comparable to Wolverine), as if the writers can't bear the possibility that she might have to suffer even a minor inconvenience every once in a while. These repeated accusations from the fanbase, however, may have contributed to her character getting written out of the series (aside from one appearance as a celebrity with a cult-like following). A frequent critique during her lengthy absence in Season 5 (due to the actress being on maternity leave) was that for all the creative team's efforts to push her, the show carried on more or less exactly the same without her.
Hope Logan from The Bold and the Beautiful. The writers' love for her reults in at least one or two scenes per episode where characters talk about her purity and virtue. She's such a paragon of goodness that after her stepsister's miscarriage, she tries to convince Steffy's husband that it's for the best so that they can be together again . It's hard to swallow a character who we're constantly told is the epitome of goodness acting so cold. Fans are polarized about her, not that it stopped her from being shoved in their faces as if they were trying to make the audience love her... or else.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Riley. Whedon never wanted the vampire romance, so when he got the opportunity to give Buffy a human Love Interest, the writers spent so long making him "not Angel" that they forgot to give Riley any actual personality or chemistry with Buffy. Despite that, many characters constantly mention how he's the nicest guy around and how great of a couple he and Buffy make. This reached its breaking point in Season 5's "Into the Woods", where Buffy finds out Riley is addicted to letting vampires bite him, for which he blames Buffy for liking bad boys note And it should be noted that at this point, as this predates any future interest she'll have in Spike, she'd only had a history of liking one bad boy. Yes, it was a formative relationship, but certainly not a pattern yet. and thus emasculating him (even though it actually stems from his own issues about not being able to handle dating a girl stronger than him) and not giving him enough attention, completely forgetting that Buffy wasn't hanging out with anyone so she could take care of her sick mother, who has a brain tumor. He proceeds to give her an ultimatum to either forgive him within 24 hours, or he's going to rejoin the army and leave the country, which Buffy very understandably rejects. After all this, the narrative expects you to take Riley's side, and has Xander rant to Buffy that she is to blame for their relationship failing, basically guilt-tripping her into taking Riley back. When he returns in "As You Were", none of his faults are brought up again and he's gotten Happily Married off-screen, this time to a Badass Normal who is, indeed, weaker than him, while even Buffy now believes she should have been with him. As an ameliorating factor, at one of Buffy's lowest points, he unhesitatingly reveals his faith in her and states that she's probably the most amazing person he knows.
Phoebe was seen as this in the fifth to seventh seasons. Particularly, the character applies Never My Fault to the Cole situation; she treats him as though he was responsible for everything that went wrong in their lives, ignoring her own mistakes. She is never called out in the narrative for her faults, which thoroughly aggravated fans. This died off slowly, starting with her being punished for abusing her magic by getting de-powered and having her Serial Romeo tendencies deconstructed.
Billie Jenkins in the final season isn't well-liked because she was created just to give the three lead actresses less to do, resulting in increased screen time for her. Budget cuts in the season led to Leo (who had been there since Season 1) getting Put on a Bus for ten episodes in favor of her. Further exacerbating matters is The Reveal that she is the Ultimate Power, making her stronger than any villain the sisters had to face before.
As time went on, fans came to see Prue as this (she was popular in the early days of the show). The narrative frequently puts her on the moral high ground, she's shown as right for doing things other characters got criticized for, storylines revolve around her, and she inevitably comes out on top.
Gabby Dawson of Chicago Fire is a terrible paramedic riding a wave of Protagonist-Centered Morality. Even if we skip the series' frequent use of Artistic License Medicine, she still commits gross insubordination repeatedly (the only offense that can get a fire department employee fired on the spot), performs medical procedures that are outside her scope of practice (bye-bye paramedic certification, hello prison), openly carryies an inappropriate relationship with her company officer, casually violates the expressed wishes of a conscious and oriented patient (they have a legal word for that: kidnapping), on one occasion casually destroying a social worker's cell phone, the list goes on. It's really no wonder the EMS battalion chief is always looking for an excuse to get rid of her, she's one of the worst liabilities imaginable. And she always gets away with it for no particular reason except that she's one of the star characters. Nary an episode goes by without other characters talking up how great she isoften for doing something stupid or even illegal. Several fan forums declared her a Mary Sue, and after a later episode has her complain about being assigned to a training class for a day (which anyone with any level of emergency medical certification is required to do every year in order to maintain their certification, for obvious reasons), half-ass everything, and then score 100% on the test, it's easy to see why.
Irish drama The Clinic has this with Dr. Dan. He starts off as a corrupt third-string cast member, then is found out and leaves. A year or so later, he comes back and begins going out with the lead character. Then when she dies, he becomes the lead. Through all this he never reforms, constantly lies for seemingly no good reason, tries to scam people, and generally a total douche and never reforming, even after a bout of life-threatening illness. The character has no depth, they stop him being an outright hero by making him do bad things, stop him from being an outright villain by making him seem joyless. The end result is he's a boring would-be anti-hero who gets all the plot lumped at his feet.
Ever since Erica Messer took over Criminal Minds in Season 7, many fans feel this way about Jennifer "JJ" Jareau. JJ, before Messer took over, is a likeable "niche" character as the team's media liaison. Despite not being as well-trained as her colleagues in their field skills, JJ still shows flashes of these skills from time to time, which became iconic moments for the character. In Season 7, JJ becomes a profiler and leaves the media liaison position, learning the requisite skills before the season begins. That storyline isn't bad in principle, but what ruins it is that JJ never "grows" into the position, becoming "the best" profiler and the team's best fighter overnight. What seals JJ as the Creator's Pet is the fact that she received most of the focus at the expense of the rest of the team (and the more likeable characters), a situation so bad that she was entirely in the spotlight during the landmark 200th episode with the rest of the team shoved to the sidelines. For many in the fandom, there was never a chance to repair the character for better.
Ray Langston on the regular CSI. The producers had brought Lawrence Fishburne in to replace William Petersen as the shows famous lead name. Ray entered as a Level 1 [[CSI]] but got a lot of the big plots, including the crossover of all 3 shows, due to this. He started out struggling a bit but often seemed to be a bit too good at a lot of things later on.
Dr. Daniel Jonas in Days of Our Lives. In his time in Salem, numerous characters prop him up, telling people he's the best surgeon, boyfriend, lover, etc., etc. In addition, veteran and legacy characters are thrown under the bus to prop Daniel, including the destruction of longtime supercouple Jack and Jennifer Deveraux. His character is retconned to be the daughter of Maggie Horton in order to make both him and his daughter connected to one of the core families in Salem, and almost every female character falls in love with Daniel to the detriment of their prior character development. All of the male characters admire him, and many of the characters constantly discuss what a great guy he is even when he's not in that day's episode. The show constantly force-fed viewers the pairing with Jennifer Deveraux despite major members of the soap opera press declaring the pairing as failed, tired, trite, dull and showing no chemistry.
Emma was the first, though Craig shared time with her in this. The difference being that while Craig is angsty and whiny from the start, the writers gave him a plurality of episodes in seasons 2, 3, and 4. Then there's Emma, who is also angsty and whiny as well as beinga place to inject the writers' political views, in addition to being self-righteous and bitchy, and she's a tsundere who's much more "tsun" than "dere". Her issues tend to be things you have to be a moron to do, like go down on a guy who's already sleeping with numerous girls, leading to the fanon that she just does it for attention. And she gets a plurality of episodes in seasons 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. She's a black hole who sucks the redeeming qualities out of every character she's around.
Mia is a teen mom. You're wondering how she can afford to juggle her time between school, a baby, and cheerleading? She's also a model. She gets close to J.T., and cements the split between him and Liberty. She's from another school, and J.T.'s love for her ultimately gets him killed. And from season 6 until she leaves, she has a huge role. To make matters worse, during her final season, she is paired up with Peter (arguably the male Mia) and the duo are portrayed as Degrassi's power couple despite Peter being a creep who mistreats every woman he's ever encountered... yet the writers insisted on focusing way too much screen time on him as if he was a good guy all along.
Drew Torres has shown various narcissistic tendencies, which the creators nonchalantly brush off as mild foolishness. He kicks off his run on Degrassi by blackmailing another character, threatening to out him to the entire school, a possibility the character is shown to be quite afraid of, because he wants to be the school quarterback. Later on, he dates Zoe and remarkably forgets that Zoe is three years younger than him, and not old enough to give him consent for sex. This does not stop him. He later acts surprised when she tells him she's a virgin, even though he himself did not lose his virginity until he was seventeen. To add on to the horrible things Drew does, he cheats on every girlfriend he gets, the first being Alli, and in a later block, begins to date the person he cheated with. He later abandons this girl the one time she truly needs him, and gets another girlfriend. He eventually cheats on this girlfriend with his past girlfriend, then breaks up with the earlier girlfriend to get together with the past girlfriend, only to cheat on her with said girlfriend. Drew couldn't hold a good relationship if his life depended on it. And despite having emotionally damaged four girls in his short time on Degrassi, Drew somehow managed to become the leading male of season 13.
The writers had a habit of putting characters in horrible situations and/or ruining other characters in order to make Drew come off as a good person. This includes his storyline in the Season 11 block "Now or Never", in which he saves Bianca from getting raped and suffers the consequences. This takes place coincidentally after he insults Bianca several times, saying that "every horrible thing everyone's said about you is right", which she takes very well well without even thinking negatively of him. The night where he saves Alli from getting sexually assaulted by Owen takes place just hours after he cheated on her in the very same spot. After Zoe gets raped by Luke (a character who actually had future potential), the writers had him blame himself, even though he has no reason to... other than the fact that this takes place right after he took advantage of her himself and the writers needed him to look better by comparison. But then, of course, there's the ones that don't even make sense, like having Eli cheat on Clare to make Drew look like a better option for her (it was previously shown in several seasons that Eli would risk everything for Clare, and even went two years without sex just for her, so the idea that his sexual drive couldn't wait three months is just ridiculous. This is made even more ridiculous when considering the fact that Clare and Drew didn't even share a line together before season 12C, and their entire relationship is far too rushed to be taken seriously).
The fact that Drew is never punished for anything he's done also doesn't let him sit right with fans. The night he is caught with Alli, his mother places all the blame on her without even questioning his antics. To add insult to injury, Alli, Bianca, and all the girls who acted "inappropriately" that night have to go to a self-respect seminar, while he and all the other male students are let off the hook. After he cheats on Katie with Bianca (and then Bianca with Katie), Katie initially takes all her frustrations out on Bianca, but when she finally gets revenge on Drew by exposing him in front of Bianca, she forgives him an episode or two later. After the incident with Zoe, he is told off by his mother, but is not punished severely by her, and is not punished by the school at all.
Mr./Principal Simpson. As a teacher, fans of the show often poke fun at him for his treatment of his students. He isn't "too strict", or "too kind"... well he is, but at random and unexpected times. He thinks Principal Raditch is being too strict when he gives Hazel, Toby, and Jimmy Saturday detention, even though Toby and Jimmy hacked into the school computer system to change Jimmy's grades. A few seasons later, he's so strict that he continuously punishes Darcy for things she has no control over. Now imagine that as a principal. Once he is promoted, he starts by letting his students get away with everything, but when things reach a boiling point, he becomes far more strict. Eventually, he cools down, but becomes both too liberal and too strict just like before. He doesn't punish Eli for taking drugs and streaking through the Degrassi hallways, and doesn't do a thing when Zoe cyberbullies Maya (even though this is grounds for expulsion), but he punishes Maya when she writes a mean song about Zoe. He lets Winston get away with protesting the school dance in an attempt to harass Drew, but he punishes Imogen for forgetting to wear a bra to school. This goes without mentioning his sexist treatment of the students. He forces female students who act "inappropriately" at the school's Vegas dance to attend a self-esteem workshop, while failing to hold the male students to the same standard. This comes off as extremely odd considering that his own step-daughter is one of the biggest feminists on the show. And for this treatment, he somehow became the only character to appear in every season of the Degrassi franchise.
Susan Mayer of Desperate Housewives was confirmed by creator Marc Cherri to be his favorite, a sentiment not shared by the audience, who found her Contrived Clumsiness, constant meddling, questionable parenting of fan-favorite Julie, featuring in every major plotline, and constantly getting forgiven for doing awful things like burning Edie's house down in Season 1.
Megan from Drake & Josh is a massive jerkass who makes her brothers miserable for no reason, yet gets away with everything, infuriating the fandom to the point they legitimately wanted her killed off. For some reason, showrunner Dan Schneider was completely unaware of this.
Stacey Slater from EastEnders. Seriously, she is Walford's answer to Lana Lang. She even got her own Psycho Lesbianstalker for a while who was actually much hotter than Stacey but the plotline ended undramatically. First introduced as an expy for Kat Slater, Stacey quickly became the creator's favourite character. Despite being a shrill, perpetually WangstyJerkass who didn't know how to smile and just SHOUTED ALL THE TIME, everyone in Walford adored her and usually ended up sleeping with her. She was such a spoiled brat that she turned up to her boyfriend's work party which was crucial to his career and because she was annoyed over not being invited, got completely drunk and made a complete fool of herself before being forced to leave. Outside, Bradley laid a savage "Reason You Suck" Speech on her. In revenge, Stacey then seduced Bradley's dad. Even after their affair was exposed on Christmas Day and everyone's lives were ruined, Bradley still got back together with her and after she killed Archie Mitchell for raping her (okay, that she can be applauded for), Bradley took the rap and a nose dive off the Queen Vic to his death. When Stacey nearly did the same thing, you could practically hear the audience chanting "Do it you bitch!" But she didn't. Even after everything she'd done, the writers still loved her too much to either kill her off or send her to prison which in Walford, left only one way of leaving open to her: going to Spain. And there she remains but the writers still sent her off with the touching jingle that they only play at the end of a really sad or moving episode.
Zane. The writers have labored diligently to make this character likable, yet audience dislike continues, probably largely because Zane replaced fan favorite Taggart as Deputy Jo Lupo's romantic foil. Despite this pairing (or perhaps because of it) being the focal point of viewer discontent, the writers placed even more emphasis on Zane's relationship with Lupo in Season 4, rather than pursuing the slightly more successful tactic used in some Season 3 episodes of developing Zane's interactions with other characters, thus elevating Zane from a Scrappy to a Creator's Pet. Lupo and Zane relationship is becoming increasingly prominent and with the addition that Zoe is falling for him, it seems the writers are trying far too hard to make him likeable. After the Matrix arc at the beginning, he's been acting like a spoiled brat because a virtual version of his girlfriend was with a virtual version of Carter. This is apparently enough reason to treat both the two like crap. The other characters treat this as appropriate.
Michelle Tanner in Full House, especially in the later seasons of the show. Because of her popularity, the writers gave more episodes focusing on Michelle and even brought it to the point where she became the main character. As a result, Michelle got away with doing almost everything and is always treated as being right. Any incident with her being scolded is treated as undeserving and wrong on her part. To this day, she is blamed for turning the show into a kiddie show and is considered a Base-Breaking Character of the show.
Talisa was seen as this, with her being introduced essentially mouthing off to her king, and it being shown as a positive character trait. Fans of the books disliked her for being a replacement for Jeyne Westerling and Adaptation Expansion (her and Robb's marriage happened off screen in the books) drastically changing Robb's plot. In the books he marries her after a one-night stand to preserve her honor, knowingly breaking a marriage promise to a potential ally (said one-night stand happened when he heard his brothers may have just been murdered too). In the show, Talisa and Robb fall madly in love and he breaks the marriage promise to marry her because. Then at the end of Season 3 when she's given a shocking Death by Adaptation, her many haters were horrified.
Maxie Jones, once an extremely popular character, has suffered from being extremely overexposed, along with Spinelli and the whole "Spixie" pairing in general, with both Maxie and Spinelli quickly become hated in the fandom.
The "Spixie" ship created another Creator's Pet in the form of Winifred, who was basically killed on arrival when the head writer proclaimed his enthusiasm for the chemistry between her and Spinelli... before a single episode featuring them aired. It doesn't help that she was given the same character traits as Spinelli, thus making half the fandom hate her on the spot, with the other half hating her because, well, she was breaking up their favorite ship.
Carly Corinthos Jax can meet this definition, as she came into Port Charles with the mission or taking revenge on her mother for giving her up for adoption. She slept with her mom's husband (no, he wasn't her biological father, don't worry), and getting pregnant with a child whose paternity she didn't know. She is now one of the central characters of the show, and rarely pays for anything she has done; even when she was suspected of hitting and killing a child, the child's father ranted about her, two other characters defended her. She also has a tendency to cling to her her best friend and ex husband despite being married, and tends to blame everyone else for her mistakes
Brenda Barrett. Even when she's not there characters are constantly singing her praises and she's referenced in almost a godlike manner. Most every heroine on the show is compared to her, and told how they will never even compete with her. Whenever she returns to Port Charles, characters are either falling at her feet or are reviled by her (and are immediately vilified for this reaction). The show cannot ever decide who her true soulmate is—Sonny or Jax. It constantly changes whenever she comes back. But when she does come back, her presence ruins the relationship either Jax or Sonny is in so they can conveniently hook up with her. But since Vanessa Marcil never stays with the show long, something comes up to break up Brenda's relationship with either man, and it's always their fault, NOT BRENDA'S, that their relationship is over. One poignant example of this is when Brenda returned in the early 2000s, believing that she had inherited her mother's fatal disease. Not only does she use her "illness" to interfere with Jax and Skye's marriage, but they have an affair. Guess who's made out to be the villain in this situation? SKYE! So she gets back together with Jax, but then turns around and shares a kiss with Sonny! Jax witnesses their kiss, and proceeds to rightfully expose her in front of everyone at the altar. But STILL, Brenda is not held accountable for it and Jax is vilified for humiliating Brenda and ruining her "big day", causing her to flee Port Charles in tears. At least with Carly people acknowledge that she's not a good person. Brenda however is ALWAYS portrayed as a godly heroine without any faults.
Gossip Girl: Dan Humphrey is the ultimate example. He did have a fanbase but the majority of the fans hated him. Showrunner Josh Safran openly admitted that he loved Dan and saw himself in that character and that he wanted him to be popular (even going as far as saying that Dan was "the soul of the show"). This was attempted by shoehorning him into a lot of storylines, breaking up the Fan-Preferred Couple for the sole purpose of hooking the female party up with Dan (which Safran admitted to) and making Dan Gossip Girl... and have everybody just forgive him for all the hurtful, meanspirited things he/Gossip Girl had done over the years.
Arthur Petrelli. He was introduced as a blatant replacement for the other fan favorite of season two, Adam Monroe, and was instrumental in the Great Season 2 Character Purge. Despite quickly establishing himself as the single most powerful villain the show had seen yet (or possibly, because of it) he quickly became a case of Orcus on His Throne and sat around drawing pretty paintings until the fandom made it clear how much he was hated and Sylar euthanized him.
Niki. Initially fairly warmly received by fans, she quickly wore out her welcome with her multiple personality subplot and causing the death of fan-favourite DL. Fans rejoiced that she died, only for yet another identical twin to come back because the writers felt that the show apparently couldn't go on without Ali Larter.
In the early seasons of Holby City the character of Victoria Merrick was often seen by fans as the creator's pet. She was incompetent in the extreme, supercilious to the nurses, became addicted to drugs and generally whined every single week about how hard it was to be a junior doctor, yet still they kept her on. Even the perfectionist Anton Meyer kept forgiving her. Yet another character, who played a quite competent young female cardiologist was immediately 'sacked' by boss Anton Meyer for a much lesser crime. Fans often wondered if Merrick was his love child and this was lampshaded in the first episode of the third series when Merrick was sent off to another department, and one character said "There goes the theory that she's Meyer's secret love child." Ironically, the actress who played her, Lisa Faulkner, went on to star in Spooks as an equally incompetent young spy, but in her (and the series') second episode was dipped head first into a vat of hot oil and shot. Holby City fans, who had often written stories killing off Victoria Merrick in increasingly bizarre ways, cheered (and wished they'd thought of it).
Det. Laura Ballard follows this trope to a 'T'. Her debut episode has Giardello and all the other detectives talking her up, telling Frank Pembleton and Tim Bayliss about how good she is. When they work a case together, fan favourite Frank Pembleton is made to look like a complete fool, ignoring a totally obvious lead in favour of one that was totally out there, just so that Ballard could look good. She spends almost her entire tenure on the show demanding that the male characters respect her, despite being nothing special as a detective, in stark contrast to fan favourite Kay Howard (who had left by this point) who worked hard to EARN to the respect of her male co-workers, or Megan Russert, who also EARNED the respect of her co-workers.
Falsone. Falsone was a fairly stereotypical Italian-American cop (played by an actor with a slight but nonetheless obvious Hispanic accent) who ate up all the screen time with his fairly stereotypical custody battle for his fairly stereotypical young son who he stereotypically loved unconditionally and was stereotypically denied access to him by a stereotypically conniving ex-wife. It got to the point where fans started a 'I hate Falsone' hate group on the Internet.
House: Martha Masters, Thirteen's temporary replacement while her actress, Olivia Wilde, was shooting TRON: Legacy, is widely disliked for being a Mary Sue. Many season 7 episodes focused heavily on her, and she came across as worse than Cameron—not just obnoxious, but obviously didn't know what she was saying or doing outside of differentials.
Mad Men: Creepy Child Glen keeps showing up long after he stopped serving any clear purpose, just because he's played by Weiner's son. It really doesn't help that according to some interviews with Weiner, he's actually not supposed to be a creepy child; the kid just can't act, and Weiner can't accept that.
The Filipino Christian drama May Bukas Pa (There's Still Tomorrow) had the rare case of the main character being the Creator's Pet. Santino is a good kid with healing powers and Incorruptible Pure Pureness who changes the lives of everyone around him. But later story arcs showed him getting involved in increasingly improbable situations. He averted a civil war by getting himself shot (Don't ask how how that happened), saved the town from the 10 plagues of Egypt, gotten kidnapped by Communist rebels and testified in a Congressional hearing involving corruption in government. When he dies, all the people who met him (a veritable All-Star Cast) mourn him but he comes Back from the Dead because the Virgin Mary (played by the show's producer and also an ABS-CBN executive!!!) said it wasn't his time yet. And at six years old, he's racked up a rogues gallery with a size that rivals Batman, one of whom is the town mayor who is also his father. And everyone there always asks, "Where is Santino?"
Summer Hoyland. That's The Other Darrin Summer Hoyland, who's so different from the charming and sweet-natured original it's hard to believe they were meant to be the same character. She dumps her likeable boyfriend for spurious reasons (the fact that he was competing with Andrew for her), her next boyfriend turns out to be gay prompting her to make lots of big speeches about how there's nothing wrong with that without noticing she's causing most of the hostility towards him, then she sleeps with her sometimes-best friend's boyfriend who she's suddenly decided is the love of her life. (It doesn't last, despite the show trying to turn them into the Official Couple when they're actually something of a Crack Pairing.) And she still has the nerve to be self-righteous about everything and everyone. She gets the school radio station closed down by wrongly accusing the local council of being corrupt without any evidence, for which she receives no punishment. She attempts to cheat at an exam (albeit in a desperate, poorly planned fashion that wouldn't have been very effective even if the exam hadn't been postponed due to her teacher collapsing) and instead of redoing Year 12 after being caught out, she convinces the local newspaper editor (her boyfriend's dad) to give her a job. As a result, at the age of eighteen, she's a full-time professional journalist despite having no qualification and next editor Susan (basically an older version of Summer) effectively makes her her right hand woman. Even after she sleeps with the deputy editor and tries to run off to his next paper with him, Susan still wants her to stay on but instead she leaves to do charity work. In Paris.
Imogen Willis actually managed to surpass her. She started off well, spending her first few months as a bright but insecure girl overlooked in favour of her brother and developing bulimia. Then she gets elected school captain and proceeds to lord it over everyone. The older boy she's been crushing on for months falls for her...and she abruptly decides she doesn't like him after all. Then she does it to the next major character to show an interest in her, while several guest characters think their only purpose is to spend their time on the show basking in her loveliness. She gets a job at a law firm while still at school, treats the secretary (who's twice her age) like an underling and somehow keeps the job despite constantly doing unethical things (tipping off her dad to a lawsuit against his employers, trying to get her brother out of an assault charge). Her best friend starts dating the latest boy she likes and she launches a vicious campaign against them that has even her notoriously biased mother admitting she's the bad guy, then wrecks their wedding by declaring her love to him that morning and getting stuck down a well with him (It Makes As Much Sense In Context) and he still falls for her after she starts hanging around him as soon as he's single. And this time the show doesn't admit the relationship isn't working: Instead, the actor playing her boyfriend was effectively sacked so that, when she gets offered a dream job as an intern in LA, they can get a judge to grant special permission for her to marry him and take him with her, because apparently they're Meant To Be even though they're been together six months and broken up twice. And even though he's a member of one of the show's original families and the son of the show's ultimate Golden Couple, he has to change his name to hers, because she's just that awesome.
The Noddy Shop has Sherman and Rusty treated this way. Every other episode has them as the focus among the toys, usually in a situation where two people had different opinions on a particular topic. Warloworth was also a victim of this trope in episodes where there is a difficult situation a child would misunderstand. It got to the point where due to this, barely any other toys got to have episodes focused on them, except for Planet Pup note the main toy character due to his friendship with Truman and Johnny Crawfish note whose episode where he got focused on had his problem be the B-plot, and it isn't mentioned on the official summary..
On Once Upon a Time, the major "villain" characters on the show have all had this accusation thrown at them.
The producers have openly stated that Regina is by far their favorite character, and their first question about literally any plot idea from the writing staff is "How can we make it about Regina?" This really started to be a problem around Season 3 when the show started treating Regina as a hero, which made her seem like an Easily ForgivenKarma Houdini to many fans. And it got even worse in Season 4 where she wanted to force the Author to write her a new happy ending. And with the 100th episode in Season 5 it's taken Up to Eleven: you would expect the 100th episode to star the main character (Emma), but nope, it's Regina. The finale does go some way into addressing fan concerns though, although Season 6 just broke the base on the matter all over again. Accusations worsened beyond what was thought possible after she is crowned "the Good Queen" over every realm in the series finale.
Hook has been accused of this because, due to his position as Emma's official love interest, he has gained a more prominent role in the stories than Henry, Snow, or Charming. In Season 5, every main character, including several who have no motivation to do so, choose to risk traveling into the Underworld to bring him back to life, contradicting the previously established rule that the dead cannot be resurrected. Not helping matters is that the resolution to that plot ended with a literal Deus ex Machina that revives him which occurs in an episode that kills Robin permanently and in a way that prevents revival. This occurred after it looked like Hook would stay dead. Love him or hate him, there's little doubt that Hook has received much more preferential treatment from the writers than just about any of the other men in Emma's life, be they former lovers (Neal) or potential love interests (Graham and August).
Zelena is seen as this by part of the fandom too. While the fifth season gave Zelena her own redemption arc and did a decent job in fleshing her character out enough for more fans to feel sympathy for her, there were a number of fans who questioned if she was being forgiven too easily even by the standards of this show. She has at least expressed remorse for the things she did to Regina, but hasn't actually done the same for all the other people she wronged. Since Zelena's crimes include: manipulating Neal into trading his life to resurrect Rumple, abducting Snow and David's infant son as soon as he was born to use in a magical ritual, potentially killing him, and murdering Robin's lost love Marian in order to masquerade as her, then having sex with Robin (which can be considered rape by fraud) thus producing their daughter — it can be jarring for viewers to see how easily the group accepted Zelena's change without much fuss.
Nellie in season 8 of The Office (US). While she had definite signs of The Scrappy initially (hated by fans), the writers have been publicly praising Catherine Tate (adored by creators), brought back and put in as the boss and attempted to be given a sympathetic backstory (put into large scenes), and finally talked up by other characters (with Jim and Pam defending her at one point).
Ryan OReily from Oz. He manipulates everyone he comes into contact with for his own personal gain (including his own brother) And many times his rivals or pawns are dumbed down for the sake of successfully manipulate them, is treated to a semi-sympathetic battle with breast cancer, is rarely in the crosshairs of anyone, arranges or is somehow connected to several deaths in the prison (including Dr. Nathan's husband, who treated him when he had cancer) and ends up with her in the end.
Inverted on Peep Show. The fanbase loved Matt King's character Super Hans and actually wanted more of him but the writers were resistant to do so. It helps that they had a high degree of awareness that Super Hans is similar to Jeremy (he's basically Jez with no positive traits) and were wary of him becoming unfunny too quickly. His appearances became more frequent in later series, though.
Primeval Danny Quinn himself was accepted by the team far too easily and could basically do no wrong (despite spending his first episode impeding and bullying the team, which didn't exactly endear him). It didn't help that he was an action hero type who seemed to be from a completely different genre than Primeval previously had been. The fact that he was given the big final confrontation with the show's Big Bad, ahead of characters who'd been on the show three seasons and had actually met her before, grated somewhat as well.
Revenge: Victoria ascended to the position in Season 4, suddenly becoming an Invincible Villain who effortlessly demolished every move Emily made against her. Many fans accused the writers of being overly enamored with Madeleine Stowe's performance, to the point that they refused to let the character get any comeuppance and half the time it felt like we were supposed to be rooting for her. Unlike most Creator's Pets, however, Victoria did get her comeuppance - the ultimate comeuppance - in the Series Finale.
Gilly. A ridiculous waste of Kristen Wiig's talent and widely believed to be her least funny character and one of the least funny sketches the show continues to do. And they keep doing it over and over again! Gilly even got a freaking holiday special!
Kristen Wiig herself was this for many SNL fans during the 2008-2010 seasons. She was guaranteed to be in the majority of the skits every show, almost always playing the female lead. It didn't help that most of her recurring characters, like the previously mentioned Gilly and her awful Kathy Lee impression, were incredibly grating and time-consuming. Even worse, the other female cast members were shoved into background roles to make more, unneeded room for Wiig. With Wiig out of the cast, however, the rest of the female cast have now been finally given enough screentime to show their talents.
Flynn from Shake it Up. At only 10 years old he is portrayed as a Spoiled Brat far more intelligent than all the characters older than him, except Henri. They even said he set up Wi-Fi in the apartment when he was three. Also, he is given all the good stuff no matter what he does. He's been given the spotlight dance despite not doing anything the entire episode, he tricked Rocky into getting him a toy by pretending to be a needy child, becoming an internet sensation, and even impressing a girl twice his age. No matter what he does he almost always gets away with his actions despite being selfish, greedy, and obnoxious.
Skins: Tony from the American version of Skins, who didn't seem believable as the most popular guy in school and overall just came off as a whiny little twit, especially with James Newman's terrible acting. Yet, the writers kept shoving him in the viewers' faces, with him even getting it on with the show's resident lesbian.
Lana was kept on long past her usefulness as obligatory love interest from the early seasons, to the point that some people theorized that she was the biggest reason the ratings were dropping. Nonetheless the writers seemed invested in keeping Kristen Kreuk around. The writers' persistence could be chalked up to the fact that Lana is traditionally the girl in Clark's past... if Smallville hadn't made far bigger breaks with tradition, particularly by introducing Lois Lane. Apparently it came out that Gough and Millar actually did the casting for Lana before they did the casting for Clark.
On Smash, according to people who worked on the show, Julia was an example of this. She was reportedly not allowed to have any genuine struggles to work through, because according to showrunner Theresa Rebeck, "She's the hero! She saves everything!"
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Vic Fontaine. Ira Behr was so stoked at convincing one of his favorite musicians, James Darren, to join the show that he created a part just for him, a holographic lounge lizard. Darren, who was initially skeptical of returning to acting, became very invested in the part and eager to return, so Behr was obliged to keep inviting him back over fans' protestations. His many detractors felt that his constant presence in the back half of the final season (he was given several focus episodes) took screen time away from resolving ongoing plots and character arcs that fans had become invested in over the years. It didn't help that his presence in those episodes that didn't revolve around him often felt shoehorned (characters with no particular nostalgia for the period of Earth history he represents like Quark or Odo would go exclusively to him for advice, despite the fact that the station had just gotten a professional counselor) and many characters (most notably Julian) would go on at length about what a great and insightful "person" he was before the audience had a chance to judge for themselves.
Ruby, at first. Fan-reaction to her was very negative at first, but Kripke believed that with enough time and characterization, fans would like her. Towards the end of Season 3, it seemed to be working, but the final reaction was... mixed.