It’s happened countless times. You’ve got an otherwise great show or movie that’s firing on all cylinders… but there’s this one guy. This one bad apple who nearly spoils the whole bunch, simply by constantly doing stupid things or saying stupid things or hanging around looking at things with his stupid face. We’re not saying Carl from The Walking Dead was like that, but we are saying that if we had an awards show for that sort of thing, it would just be one long montage of Carl dying.
So, we’ve decided to celebrate some of the absolute worst, the characters from science fiction television who constantly made us want to punch a wall, especially if their head was between our fist and said wall. We’ll be measuring them against the accepted international unit of measurement for terribleness, Jar Jar Binks. (For purposes of this article, five Jar Jars is equivalent to going full Jar Jar, meaning you should nuke the site from orbit, because it’s the only way to be sure.)
One last note: we didn’t set out trying to populate this piece with so many kids, but it just sort of worked out that way.
Carl Grimes (The Walking Dead)
For all of its strengths, The Walking Dead can’t ever seem to get over the hill that is “strong character development.” There are likable characters and detestable characters, but Carl Grimes didn’t come from the mind of any mere writer, for he was created from the ashes of the former Tenth Circle of Hell. In Robert Kirkman’s comic series, Carl is a kid who is understandably having trouble coping with his trial-by-error education on survival in a post-apocalyptic world. In the TV show, Carl is a testosterone-free dip who is perpetually mad ’cause Daddy won’t let him hold the gun real close.
Seriously, I’ve been through an appendicitis exam that was less painful than watching this kid formulate ideas that he has an identity that’s worth more to the group than, say, a sock full of dead batteries. I don’t even blame the petulant performances from actor Chandler Riggs, because he’s not the one putting lines in his own mouth. For four seasons, Carl has been his own biggest threat, always finding himself in trouble after some adolescent tirade. He has yet to fuck it all up in Season 5, but as sure as the moon will rise tonight, it’s coming.
How We Would Kill Him Off: Just as he’s about to have sex for the first time, he gets thrown into a giant dumpster, where everyone forgets about him and he starves to death.