Abi Branning's death is actually pretty sad once you realise that she was only trying to prevent her father from committing suicide, and only fell off the roof of the Queen Vic herself when she tried to grab Lauren after she tripped. Abi is left permanently unconscious as a result and eventually taken off life support. The fact that her daughter Abi Branning Jr is now without her biological mother and father makes this even more heartbreaking.
Whilst Dennis "Denny" Rickman Jr is seen as a Scrappy to a majority of viewers, most would show concern whenever he gets himself into physical danger. This would evidently continue as viewers were also worried by the possibility that he might be killed off in the coming months after some theories were made since Sharon swore on Dennis' life, in an attempt to cover up her affair with Keanu.
Surprisingly, Bobby Beale got this from some fans when he returned from prison. Whilst there was no excuse for the terrible crimes he committed, he seems genuinely remorseful and disturbed by what he did and when he was torn to pieces by the residents of Walford, fans actually felt like they went too far with how they treated him.
Alternative Character Interpretation: Did Bobby really kill Lucy by accident? Did he really not know she was dead? Does he show no remorse because he genuinely thinks someone else killed her or is he sociopath?
Arc Fatigue: The "Who Killed Lucy Beale?" storyline. It started in April 2014, the killer wasn't revealed until February 2015, and the plotline didn't properly end until the killer was sentenced in June 2016. However, if you count Max Branning's Roaring Rampage of Revenge (he'd been falsely imprisoned for the murder and wanted to get back at Walford), then the storyline is still ongoing as of October 2017, 3.5 years later.
Ass Pull: A bunch of Walford residents being able to lift entire double decker bus off Martin Fowler, especially since the front of it was stuck under the train bridge.
Fans are split on whether Whitney is still a good character or one that has overstayed her welcome. This started from the Mick/Whitney affair storyline.
Ben Mitchell, played by Max Bowden. On one hand, he gets a ton of flak for his newfound unpleasant attitude but on the other hand, this incarnation of Ben does have fans too, who like the progression of the character and some of Bowden's performance were also praised.
Broken Base: The reveal of who killed Lucy. Some thought it was a great twist, others were angry that it was someone who wasn't on the list of suspects.
So much so, she became the Spotlight-Stealing Squad throughout her run on the show just so viewers would feel sympathy for her. With this in mind, it was obviously she would be the one unmasked as Archie's killer, but because the writers loved her so much, she'd get away with it and who would take the fall? Her husband, Bradley, who actually died because he was focused on telling her to get away rather than keep his balance. Not only that, but she has locked lips with others spouses and has even had sex with them, apart from very minor punishment, she normally comes out unscathed. It doesn't help that the writers almost always try to make Stacey's spouse act worse than her after she cheated on them.
Mick Carter. Since his arrival, he's had the most amount of screen time of all the cast despite only being around for four years (when compared to other characters who've been around longer) and even storylines that aren't directly about him he would still somehow be involved in them.
Designated Hero: A lot of characters suffer through this whenever they're supposedly the "hero" of their own storylines, despite their actions saying otherwise. These are some of the most notable examples.
Stacey Slater. From the writers' general favouritism of the character, she is often seen as the victim in most of (if not, all) her storylines. Whilst this is justified for the most part, her storyline with her custody battle against Martin is seen as this. Although Martin did display some unacceptable behaviour (like his comments about Abi's death and him pushing her out), she is supposedly the sympathetic victim even though it was her fault for sleeping with Max in the first place, effectively ruining their marriage and even had the nerve to tell Martin that he should be the one that leaves because of something she did. The fact that she used her cousin, Hayley Slater to try and make Martin look like a bad parent doesn't help her case.
Bex Fowler is treated as the victim who never seems to get called out for her hypocrisy in the short Bex/Gethin storyline despite the fact it was Bex who kept making moves on her teacher when he rejected her advances. Made even worse when she was upset that Shakil kissed Louise (in front of Bex) despite the fact Bex made moves on her teacher behind his back and wasn't with Shakil at the time but is never called out on it.
Phil is usually played as the villain but whenever they try to give him a heroic edge, it's quite hard to take him seriously at times as he usually suffers from Aesop Amnesia and usually resorts to violence and blackmail to get his way.
Designated Villain: Shakil isn't really a villain but is treated as one for being disgusted with Bex's flirtatious behaviour with her teacher and for kissing Louise, despite him remaining single at the time.
Dork Age: Between roughly 2002 and 2005, when the show was produced by Louise Berridge and then her very short-lived successor, Kathleen Hutchinson, due to the storylines being bland at best and ridiculous at worst (most infamously with Dirty Den's return), and the various new characters introduced in this era (particularly the Ferreira family) almost all being misfires. Though the quality of the show has had its ups and downs in the years since, pretty much all fans and critics still agree this to be the show's absolute worst period.
Particularly, there was supposed to be a storyline where the Ferreira family received escalating abuse from their father up until the point they eventually accidentally killed him in a struggle and then covered it up... except Dan's actor was deported for having an incorrect visa during a day of filming. Rushed for time and having already booked out the rest of the family for the next few weeks of filming, they came up with a kidney transplant storyline on the fly which took up half of the next 6 weeks of screen time and is widely considered to be incredibly boring.
"The 'square' is peopled by such a miserable, untrustworthy, amoral, spiteful, unrelentingly dour group of characters as can be imagined. Everyone is stabbing someone in the back, everyone is attempting to commit adultery, everyone is trying to cheat someone. That, or they are being stabbed, cuckolded or swindled. Nobody is cheerful. Nobody laughs. Nobody has a blinding stroke of luck or a really nice day. It's hell, with cockney accents."
Draco in Leather Pants: Dean Wicks has his share of fangirls despite being a rapist and a controlling boyfriend.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Tracey the barmaid, to the point of there being a "Tracey Watch" Facebook group that celebrates every time she gets a line, and outright exploded in 2010 when one week's A-Plot was about her, even having a full conversation with Roxy.
Fridge Horror: Viewers never witnessed Bobby and Lucy's argument, if there even was one. Viewers only have Bobby's word to go on. Bobby could have just attacked Lucy from behind without her knowing he was there.
In the flashback episode we never see the argument. However Lucy's last moment alive is her just realizing Bobby. After that everything is up to the viewers.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The show is is pretty popular in the States, so much so that there was a huge outcry when BBC America pulled it from their schedule in 2003. Luckily, Dish Network stepped in a year later to snap up the broadcast rights and it continued airing as a special pay-per-view channel for years, even though it was two months behind the UK broadcast—and much backlash ensued again when the PPV channel was suddenly dropped in 2015. North Carolina is said to be home to America's biggest EastEnders fanclub.
Harsher in Hindsight: Ben's false allegations on Christian Clarke sexually assaulting him becomes very uncomfortable to watch when you realise that his previous actor, Joshua Pascoe was also guilty of sexual misconduct. At the time of the storyline, this Ben was played by said actor which doesn't help.
He Really Can Act: The problem with the previous incarnations of Ben (particularly from 2006-10) was the poor performance from his actor which made it hard for the audience to take the character very seriously but there was one scene that stood out, particularly the scene where Ben first stood in trial after his attack on Jordan. He managed to pull off a genuinely devastated expression upon finding out he will be sentenced.
Idiot Ball: Firmly clutched by anyone involved in a plot involving Aunt Babe. She has managed to blackmail the Cokers, who have never heard of a fancy dress party, with a single photo of Les dressed as Christine. Abi is, for some reason, intimidated into working with her again despite Babe already blaming being locked in a freezer on her sister Sylvie and otherwise having no evidence. The only reason she's in Walford at all is through somehow being forgiven for running a baby farm. Yet she has the square wrapped around her finger despite having no friends and no advantage.
Shirley. She's a cynical and bitter old woman who is usually pessimistic about nearly everything but when you think about what she has been through, it's not hard to see why. She was physically and psychologically abused by her mother, fell pregnant to Buster's child at a young age, was forced to abandon her kids, had her best friend Heather murdered, heartbroken by Phil, has to deal with her rapist son Dean Wicks and go to prison for a crime she didn't commit. No wonder she's so bitter nowadays.
Sylvie. She used to be an Abusive Parent and keeps going back to her old ways due to her dementia.
This later turns out to be true as Keegan didn't react well to his father abandoning him the second time.
This gets worse later on as he also loses his best friend, Shakil.
Ian. Poor Ian Beale never seems to catch a break. Sure, he's not the nicest bloke in the world, he can be selfish and make bad decisions but is always on the receiving end, even when he doesn't always deserve it. On top of that, his ex-wife Cindy has betrayed him, gets picked on by Phil constantly, dealt with the death of his mum Kathy (who is later revealed to be alive), has been kidnapped by his step-son Steven, heartbroken more times than anyone else, disliked by half the Square, has nearly been broke, had to deal with the death of his daughter Lucy as well as the revelation that his son Bobby is her killer, the list just goes on... Nowadays, he's just a full on woobie.
DUN DUN... DUN-DUN-DUN DU-DU-DU-DUN Explanation The iconic drum beats that play over the end of every episode. They're one of the most famous and recognizable theme tunes in British TV, and have become synonymous with soapland drama.
"BUBBLY'S IN THE FRIDGE!"note In one August 2011 episode, Vanessa, after learning about Max's affair with Tanya, finds a note saying this, and as she says it again and again, she goes into an Unstoppable Rage and destroys his home. The sheer amounts of scenery-chewing in this scene led to many remixes and memes. This scene would later see a resurgence in popularity in 2018.
Narm: Almost all the scenes that involve the characters fighting or arguing are unintentionally hilarious due to how poorly acted or over acted they are. For example, this clip.
The Problem with Licensed Games: The game for the ZX Spectrum was riddled with control issues, among other things requiring some serious finger gymnastics just to play the game due to using the WASD control scheme, which was not made with the ZX Spectrum in mind. To make matters worse, the game is just boring even getting past that due to requiring you to do some mundane tasks that aren't the least bit entertaining. Interactivity was limited at best, and as if that wasn't enough, there's a time limit that's supposed to make things more challenging, but instead just made things frustrating. Magazines called it one of the worst ZX spectrum games out there, and probably the worst game ever released for that system.
It's easy to tell which episode was the first one written after Fatboy's first on screen appearance actually aired: It's the one where he inexplicably stopped using street lingo for every single line.
Billy did receive a lot of hate in his debut since he was initially a bit of a monster by abusing his nephew, Jamie. Even his actor Perry Fenwick originally hated the character and even threatened to quit if his character continued to be abusive. Nowadays, he's generally a nice guy that looks out for his family as well as being one of the more comedic characters.
Jane wasn't exactly hated but viewers grew tired of her when she continuously covered up for Bobby after he murdered Lucy Beale at the expense of characters like Ben and Max. She did receive sympathy from viewers after Bobby attacked her in response to her telling him off for his bratty behaviour.
Bex was a fairly popular and likeable character until her fling with Gethin, where she received a lot of hate. Since then, fans turned against the character until around Shakil's death storyline where she was portrayed more sympathetically as well as being more likeable again.
The Scrappy: While almost all the characters are very unlikable, these following characters have received the most hate.
Darren Miller. Many fans see him as a widely pointless character who just exists in the background. Whilst he does get his spotlight every now and then, he's usually out of focus and most agree that his storylines aren't very interesting. Not even the Darren/Heather baby storyline was enough to make the character interesting enough for viewers.
Zainab Masood. The Masoods as a whole have been criticised for being a poor representation of a Muslim but Zainab stood out from the rest. She's highly considered irritating by viewers as well as her blatant homophobia towards her son Syed, even wishing he was dead. There even exists a couple of Facebook pages dedicated to hating her.
BobbyBeale. Before, he was just an average nice kid who stood in the background and occasionally getting in between conflicts with Ian and/or Jane/Lucy/Denise. After his reveal as Lucy's killer, he's flanderized into a complete spoiled brat who's inconsiderate to everyone around him and becomes violent towards some people for extremely minor reasons. This new found behaviour made the majority of viewers riot for his blood, especially since he's been a consistent Karma Houdini for two years after his murder.
AbiBranning. Before she used to a fairly likeable character with some sympathetic traits that kept viewers rooting for the characters. After obsessively trying to keep Ben from splitting up (which included faking her pregnancy) and getting Max locked up for a crime he didn't do, she started getting disliked for changing from a genuinely kind-hearted girl to a Jerkass who tried to live up to Janine Butcher but viewers just weren't biting it. Her hate only increased since she continued to take a level in jerkass which included trying to ruin her sister's life and manipulating Steven. That said, her death was genuinely sad.
AuntBabe. Often argued as one of the most hated soap opera characters of all time (though it's argued that she's meant to be a Hate Sink). She was manipulative, cold and remorsless to those she had wronged such as Abi and the Cokers and usually got away with it (or at least several chances from the Carters). Fans desperately wanted her axed when she was still around and would celebrate any time she's on the receiving end (which is rarely).
PrestonCooper... His general immaturity towards Michelle (whenever she rebuffs his advances), lying and cheating on Bex and his refusal to take responsibility, try finding anyone who likes the character or even sees any redeeming qualities from him. It doesn't help that he's featured in one of the most reviled storylines from 2017.
HunterOwen seems to be falling into this. Initially, he was seen as a Base-Breaking Character who tries to live up to his father's criminal behaviour but comes off as extremely predictable to fans. However, some fans find that he draws the line as soon as he uses Louise for his own personal gain as well as acting like a spoiled brat towards everyone. It doesn't seem to get better when he frames Jack Branning for physical abuse when he recieves a black eye and smugly winks at him.
A strange example, one of the previous producers Sean O'Connor has become this in the eyes of many. Whilst he tries to go for a more realistic approach, his pacing is often slow and many viewers have criticized him for his storylines (especially the Michelle/Preston and the Lee Carter depression storyline) as well as the infamous bin subplot. If his storylines weren't bad, they were just boring (with a few exceptions).
Seasonal Rot: There always seems to be an ongoing debate on when this started happening. Some will argue that the show started to go downhill by the early 2000s, some will say that as soon as Bryan Kirkwood, Lorraine Newman or Dominic Treadwell-Collins took over, the show stopped being as good. However, nobody will be willing to defend Sean O'Connor when he took over and is almost universally-agreed that he almost killed the soap due to the huge drop in ratings.
Squick: The reaction from many during the Baby Switch storyline. It was so poorly received the producers were forced to wrap it up early despite the fact that compared to some previous storylines on EastEnders, it was pretty tame.
Steve Owen's abusive mother Barbara giving him one last kiss before dying. It's not just a light peck.
Tough Act to Follow: Ben Mitchell's current actor Max Bowden is widely considered this to Harry Reid. This reaction comes more from the execution of the characters and Kate Oates' decision to change Ben's personality entirely rather than the actor himself.
Hell, to an extent, Ben himself is considered this to Phil. It's clear both Ben and Jay were supposed to be the next generation Mitchell Brothers, dominating the square but a lot of fans don't see the same level of threat that they would with his father.
Unintentionally Sympathetic: Whilst Dennis Jr was definitely a brat who was blackmailing and pushing his luck with Michelle after finding out her secret relationship with an underage student back in Florida, he's not exactly wrong about her when he labelled her as a "pedophile" since she did commit statutory rape before she moved back.
Some fans see Bex as this following the Gethin/Bex storyline. The viewers were supposed to feel sorry for her after witnessing her ex-boyfriend Shakil kissing her best friend, Louise. However not only were they never together at the time of the storyline, the fact that Bex made a move on someone behind Shakil's back makes her comes off as hypocritical but the fact that it was her teacher makes her arguably worse.
What makes this even worse is that before the Bex/Gethin storyline, she's also given Preston (one of Michelle Fowler's students) flak for having romantic interests with his teacher and whilst she was rightfully angry with him, she only ends up doing the same thing later on and sees nothing wrong with it.
Mick is portrayed as the sympathetic one after finding out that his son Lee reveals he was behind the raid at his family's home and business as a result of the financial issues. Whilst his angry reaction was understandable, him telling Lee that he should've killed himself loses a lot of sympathy on his part.
Vindicated by History: Somewhat. There is undoubtedly still a lot of friction regarding the episodes from the early 2000s to when Dominic Treadwell-Collins took over but many have since warmed up to them as well, believing that they had good ideas and lots of potential. It probably helps that the storylines from very late 2016 to 2017 were far more negatively received than before, making viewers look back at the previous storylines more fondly.
Though this appears to be averted with some of John Yorke's later storylines and (as of now) Kate Oates, who've received more positive reviews than Sean O'Connor due to more interesting storylines (though you'll find some who may still think the show is in Seasonal Rot).
What an Idiot!: Almost the entire cast, if not all have had their moment of making stupid decisions, many even lacking common sense.
Anytime anybody decides to have an affair, some even doing this multiple times. Almost every time that it happens, they're caught, which only makes it dumber when the character decides to do it again later on.
Jay not blocking Linzi's number after finding out the truth about her.
Jane turning her back on Bobby when he's upset and holding a hockey stick.
Several characters keeping alcoholic Phil out of jail instead of leaving him in there so he can sober up.
Abi thinking Ben just suddenly turned straight. Some characters even called her out on this.
Louise believing known trouble makers Alex and Madison over Bex and Travis after the former frame Travis for spiking her drinks.
A skint Denise rejecting all offers of help out of stubborn pride.
Selling her prized 'D' necklace for a fiver when she has an iPhone she could sell.
The Woobie: Nearly everyone has had their time in the Woobie spotlight, including the likes of Lofty Holloway, Arthur Fowler, but most notably poor, poor Little Mo. Dot is probably a very close second.
Little Mo: Throughout 2000-2001 her husband, Trevor, would isolate her from her family, abusive her continuously (the audience wasn't spared the details) and rape her. He had incredibly violent moodswings and whenever she tried to leave he would turn on the charm. When she tried to leave him in December 2001, he found her and tempted to drag her back to him again but she instead smashed him with an iron when he attacked her, believing she had killed him. She was found guilty of attempted murder and sent to eight years in prison, which was nullified when Trevor made a deal with her family (Kat wouldn't prosecute him for the abuse he gave Kat and he would let the attempted murder drop). When she got back, she threatened to divorce Trevor but he took her and Sean (the baby he had with another woman) hostage; the house caught fire and Trevor died. Throughout her relationship with Trevor she became close with Bill, who she married after Trevor's death in 2002. A night before their wedding anniversary, she was raped by Graham and got pregnant (clear of STDs though) with Freddie. In 2006, Mo and Billy divorced on good terms and Mo concentrated on bringing up Freddie, who received a minor head injury from Ben (but other medical problems made it a larger issue) but everybody believed Mo had caused it. Confronting Ben caused Mo to lose her job, though Ben eventually confessed that he had done it after Peggy called Mo a child beater in public. Eventually she moved Oop North with Freddy, so it turned out all right in the end.
Syed Masood. A Muslim man who tried to repress the fact that he was gay, who started a secret on-off relationship with Christian under the nose of his girlfriend and his family. He ended up getting blackmailed by someone in the neighborhood, who was eventually revealed to be Christian's niece. His homophobic mother forced him into abandoning Christian and marrying his fiancée Amira just to save face in their community. Of course, he ended up going back to the boyfriend and trying to carry on with the affair and was eventually discovered by Amira, upsetting her to the point of Woobification herself in the process, leaving him with the guilt of that on his shoulders. With a husband who turned out to be gay, she would be considered damaged goods and her father would consider her his lifelong slave. He lost everything after this: his family disowned him and then started to fall apart, yelling about how he'd brought shame on them; he split up with Christian, only to later see him brutally injured after being beaten up by Amira's Father; he lost the respect of his entire community... and it was just relentless. He kept trying to explain to his parents, but to no avail. After several weeks of being treated like nothing more than the root of everyone's problems the isolation got so bad that he attempted suicide. He survived, but when he woke up in hospital the first thing he heard was his Mother telling him that his sexuality was a disease and that he'd be better off dead. The very next week, he found a special therapist who claimed he can find a cure for being gay.
It's got better for Syed since then. He stood up for himself, left his family and got back together with Christian but is still disowned as far as his parents are concerned, (though as he once pointed outto his father, they're doing a perfectly good job creating hell for themselves without him, so maybe that's not such a bad thing).
Things are really looking up for Syed now. He is getting along much better with his family after the whole Yusef affair. However, Amira is back in the picture, and wants him back
Ronnie: Raped repeatedly as a child, her family not knowing. Then Ronnie has her baby, and probably fearing its parentage, her father makes her give her up for adoption. Then, she finally escapes, and spends the next couple of decades clearing up after her sister, Roxy. Then they move into Albert Square, and, whilst still sorting out Roxy's life, Ronnie gets a man, Jack. Jack then has an affair with Roxy, and is the father of Roxy's baby. Ronnie's boyfriend is the father of her niece. Nice. Then, on her birthday, she meets up with her father, Archie, again, by accident, who tells her her daughter died. Except she didn't, and then the next few months are spent split between being isolated from the rest of the Mitchells (due to Archie worming his way into their hearts) and persuading Danielle (a Woobie-extraordinaire in her own right) who unbeknownst to Danielle is her long-lost daughter to abort her own grandchild, despite knowing that it would probably be a mistake. Eventually, she decides to forgive Archie, except behind the scenes, Archie knows who Danielle is, and is torturing her psychologically, and even tries to kill her. Eventually, Danielle comes clean at Archie's wedding, only to be cast out by Ronnie herself. Of course, when Ronnie finds out the truth and chases after her, Danielle gets run over and is killed instantly. Naturally, Ronnie's a bit disappointed, and insult is added to injury when Danielle's best mate and adopted father both reject and blame her. She desperately tries to have another baby, but is caught by Jack putting holes in their condoms and he leaves, and then she hooks up with her childhood sweetheart and they seem to be cooking along fine, until it turns out he's had a vasectomy anyway. Eventually, she does get pregnant (by a reformed criminal who is killed in an unrelated plot a little bit later), but, having been pushed against the bar by her father, loses her foetus. Now, her cousin, Sam, is on the run from the law, and Ronnie offers to put up the bail. When Archie loses the opportunity to ingratiate himself with the Mitchells, he persuades Sam to do a runner, so Ronnie loses almost all of her money. Through some plans later, Archie gets his hands on The Queen Vic: the Mitchells, and Ronnie's, home. Soon after, he is killed, and she's prime suspect. In the new year, it's revealed to Ronnie's family that Archie raped her as a child: except the only one that believes her is her estranged mother, who knew all along, and only left because she felt jealous of Ronnie, getting all of Archie's attention. Meanwhile, Jack has an affair with Sam, and she has a child by him. On the plus side, Ronnie's FINALLY pregnant by Jack, just in time for the best Christmas Walford has ever had.
She dealed with so much shit, Kat completely forgave her for what she did, saying she didn't want her to go to prison. However, she did.
After her release, she finally became pregnant and had a child, whose first weeks she missed after being left in a coma immediately following his birth, before finally meeting her end two years later just as she was about to get a happy ending in a futile attempt to save her sister.
Whitney: Tony groomed her from the age of twelve, raped her repeatedly, tricked her into stealing from Bianca because he promised to run away with her when she was sixteen, psychologically abused her and then when the police come for him, he has the nerve to shout, "It's not rape, she's sixteen, she's sixteen!"
Abi Branning Jr, born prematurely via emergency Caesarian section to the deceased Steven Beale and the brain dead Abi Branning Snr on Boxing Day 2017. In short, she was born an orphan. Plus it appears that shes going to be raised by her grandfather Max, who wasnt the best of parents to her poor mother and inadvertently caused Abi Snrs death and the precarious arrival of Abi Jnr!
Shakil: He's a genuinely nice guy and yet is the one who pays the price after his best friend Keegan stole a bike from Shakil's killers when trying to return it. Whilst neither of the two deserved to get stabbed, the fact that Shakil didn't do anything wrong and yet was the one to die is very heartbreaking. The sad thing is that his death could've been prevented if Mick had seen that he needed help.
Carmel could also qualify too after learning the death of her son and having to cope with her loss is very hard to watch.
Linda has gone through quite a lot when compared to the other Carters. This includes getting raped by Dean Wicks (as well as receiving threats from him), dealing with an unexpected pregnancy, getting her heart broken by Mick several times, was diagnosed with cervical cancer and was wrongly accused of shooting Stuart Highway.