There are plenty of fantastic characters on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. From its heroes to its villains, Joss Whedon’s supernatural cult hit delivered some of the most interesting and unforgettable players in TV history. One of the best things about BtVS is that its characters often feel real, even though they’re vampires, or werewolves, or witches, or slayers.
Over the course of seven seasons, though, Buffy also gave us quite a few characters that weren’t as easy to love. They gave the Scooby Gang a hard time, they were poorly developed, or their personalities were just plain obnoxious. Sometimes, the most frustrating characters drove us crazy because they kept making decisions that just made no sense. In some cases, we couldn’t wait until these characters left the series for good. In others, we do still love these characters, negative traits and all. Here are The 15 Most Annoying Buffy The Vampire Slayer Characters.
15. Xander Harris
Xander Harris is, in so many ways, the heart and soul of the Scooby Gang. He could also be a real jerk sometimes. Over the years, his lack of luck with the ladies and the fact that he was the only one of his friends that didn’t have some kind of supernatural ability really started to get to him. The way he handled that, in turn, became increasingly grating.
Xander made several questionable decisions on Buffy – from choosing not to tell his best friend that her evil boyfriend was about to become un-evil to cozying up to Willow only after she was no longer actively crushing on him. His tendency to sidestep blame whenever he messed up made him seem increasingly immature as the years went on. Ultimately, Xander had a ton of redeeming qualities, and there were plenty of reasons to love him. That almost makes his more annoying qualities worth it.
14. Andrew Wells
As a Trio member turned Scooby Gang-helper, Andrew definitely made some progress in the not-being-evil department. In Season 7, his awkward attempts to fit in with Anya, Buffy and the potential slayers made for plenty of humorous moments. Still, there was something about the former baddie that could become a little obnoxious from time to time. Perhaps it was the sheer fact that he was given a seat at the table after spending most of the previous season trying to ruin Buffy’s life. Maybe it was that the humor wore off when it came to his sheer ineptitude at doing many things, from strategizing with his friends to fighting in the final battle.
A lot of Andrew’s biggest flaws – like that thing where he killed his best friend and didn’t seem particularly bothered by it – were more or less brushed under the rug, which didn’t give fans much reason to get behind him. Still, he was the type of character that could grow on you, especially given the comedic quirk he brought to the often dreary final season.
13. Beth Maclay
Buffy fans are very protective of their favorite characters, and with good reason. So when Tara’s long-lost relatives showed up to make her feel really, really bad about herself in the Season 5 episode “Family,” viewers that had taken a liking to the insecure witch were understandably perturbed. In particular, Beth Maclay, Tara’s cousin, offered up an episode’s worth of terrible advice and poorly reasoned excuses for why she had to leave her new life in Sunnydale.
There really wasn’t much to like about Beth; she was judgmental, ignorant, obnoxiously traditional, and offered up her painfully backwards worldview via a soft-spoken, demure disposition. She also wasn’t really evil enough to be scary, so she just ended up being incredibly irritating. Really, the only redeeming quality Beth had at all was the fact that she was played by a then-unknown Amy Adams. Despite this, no one was sad to see her go.
12. Scott Hope
Buffy had her share of truly terrible boyfriends over the years. There were the ones that tried to kill her, the ones that abandoned her, and then there was Scott Hope. He showed up in early Season 3, and even though the series’ writers tried to get us to believe that the Slayer might find him attractive, it was really hard to understand why he was even there. Sure, he was nice enough at first. He was normal, and probably not going to try to torture Buffy and her friends. He was also mostly devoid of a personality – and on a show like Buffy, that’s a pretty uncommon feat.
Maybe the most annoying thing about the dude, though, was that he seemed to think that his new girlfriend needed to rearrange her life to accommodate him. Sure, couples make sacrifices so they can spend enough time together, but they’d only been seeing each other for a couple of weeks when he called things off because she was too busy. It never would have worked between the Chosen One and Scott Hope, and that’s something we can all be grateful for.
Willow and Oz were one of the cutest couples in Buffy history. So, naturally, the woman that broke them up doesn’t often rank on fan lists of popular characters. Veruca was automatically annoying because she used her werewolf-y wiles to lure Oz into a cage and have animal sex with him – and subsequently break Willow’s heart. That’s not the only reason fans might find her obnoxious, though.
Her entire presence in Season 4 just felt like watching one long, painfully obvious attempt at being the ‘cool’ girl. She writhed on a microphone stand like she was a rockstar goddess at the Bronze. She stared Oz down with an intensity that was equal parts aggressive and desperate. She did her best to justify her lycanthropic philosophy, which basically amounted to, “Whatever, I do what I want,” even though that meant killing people. While it hurt to see Oz finally break his own no-killing rule and take her down, we can’t say we were exactly devastated that she wouldn’t live to stalk another day.
10. Riley Finn
From an objective perspective, there was never anything really wrong with Riley Finn. He was a good guy, a perfectly nice guy, the type of guy you bring home to meet your parents. He worked hard, he was loyal, and he loved Buffy something fierce. He was also incredibly, unendingly boring – so much so that his presence often felt like a nuisance.
Though he did his best, Riley never fully gelled with the other Scoobies; they were friendly, but by virtue of his by-the-numbers approach to monster hunting and his corn-fed, aw-shucks personality, he never quite fit in. That would have been fine, except for the fact that Buffy’s writers were trying very hard to make him fit. We endured several long storylines that delved into the drama surrounding his military indoctrination and the fact that he felt inadequate. Since most fans never really connected with Riley, these arcs just felt like a huge waste of time.
Once he decided the best way to deal with his problems was by letting vampires suck his blood for fun, he became downright frustrating to watch. After all, it’s one thing to suffer through some unrequited love, and quite another to make everyone watching at home suffer along with you.
9. Maggie Walsh
The best Buffy villains are the ones you can’t help sympathizing with just a little. Even though they do despicable things, they’re complicated characters that change and grow over time. That was definitely not the case with Maggie Walsh, the psychology professor turned evil military commander. Her tough-as-nails attitude was tolerable for about two episodes, and it was admittedly intriguing when we learned that she had some secrets up her sleeve. It didn’t take long to realize, though, that she was ultimately a pretty one-dimensional character – one obsessed with keeping her soldiers in line, no matter what.
The fact that she turned on Buffy with little provocation was baffling. The fact that her solution for dealing with the Slayer’s insolence was to kill her was, like, Bond villain-level nonsensical. Maggie’s swift departure from the series felt more like a way for the writers to quickly reroute a failing storyline than an attempt to keep viewers on their toes. Either way, no one missed her one-dimensional villainy once Adam shish-kabobbed her halfway through Season 4.
8. Warren Mears
When Warren first showed up in Season 5 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he seemed pretty creepy. By the time Willow flayed him alive at the end of Season 6, he had managed to become one of the few characters on the series with no redeeming qualities. By heading up the Trio, and making it his life’s mission to mess with the Slayer, he plainly showed that he was incapable of handling the fact that a girl could get the better of him. There was an insidious edge to his actions, even from the very beginning with his sex robot, April. Then he turned his girlfriend into his slave, and proved that he was a full-on misogynistic menace.
Warren’s obsessive hatred of women probably existed to prove a point about a prevailing attitude that exists in some corners of the world (we’re giving Joss Whedon the benefit of the doubt here). That didn’t make it any less painful or frustrating to watch, though – and any effort the series made at humanizing him by trying to make his antics seem funny ultimately backfired and made him even less likable.
7. Amy Madison
At first, Amy seemed pretty sympathetic. She had a controlling mother who stole her body, and then she got turned into a rat for, like, years. None of those setbacks, though, are an excuse for her ridiculous, childish behavior once Willow finally made her human again in Buffy’s sixth season. By dragging her friend into the seedy underbelly of the dark magic world, Amy helped turn Willow’s problem with magic into a full-fledged addiction. Her cavalier attitude toward Willow’s turn toward the dark side felt like it came out of nowhere, especially given her previously soft-spoken ways. Her single-minded purpose on the series – Do dark magic! Be bad! – got old really quickly. It’s one thing for a good character to turn evil over time, but entirely another when they do it without any genuine character development.
6. Harmony Kendall
When we first met Harmony, she was one of Cordelia’s lackeys — a manipulative and shallow young girl who cared more about her social standing than just about anything else. In Season 4, she made an unexpected return to Sunnydale, where it was revealed that she was not only a vampire (surprise!), but Spike’s new girlfriend (super surprise!). That’s when she really became annoying. Even though she fancied herself a supervillain, Harmony was far too obsessed with winning Spike’s affections to do much else but mope around and try to seduce him. It was funny at first, but it quickly grew tiresome.
The issue with Harmony was how one-dimensional she seemed. Sure, she was good for a laugh now and then, but watching the cycle of her pining after her boyfriend, getting him back, and then losing him again seemed dull and unnecessary. You wanted her to want better for herself, and it became frustrating when she never really grew or changed. Luckily, Harmony got a chance to redeem herself on Angel, where her ditsier qualities worked a little better once she finally kicked her addiction to Spike.
5. Parker Abrams
At first glance, Parker was exactly the type of romantic partner you’d want to meet in your first semester in college. He was cute, he seemed sweet, thoughtful, and genuinely interested in getting to know Buffy. He took her to a party and didn’t turn into an evil vampire after they slept together. In other words, things seemed to be going really well.
Parker, though, turned on Buffy in a completely different way – and in one that was arguably just as bad. He just completely ghosted her, and it turned out that he’d been using her the entire time just to get a little action. The annoying thing about Parker was that his modus operandi was so predictable. He thought he was way smoother than he was, and he seemed to genuinely enjoy the fact that he could get away with playing with girls’ feelings.
To be sure, there was a clear point to introducing a character like Parker in Buffy’s early college years; to remind us that sometimes, the bad guys look like good guys. That didn’t make his thankfully short-lived tenure on the series any easier to swallow.
On the one hand, after watching Willow almost end the world in the wake of her grief at losing Tara, it was nice to see her find love again. On the other hand, did it really have to be Kennedy?
In many ways, the potential slayer was the exact opposite of Willow’s former lover. She was arrogant, sharp-tongued, and often came off like a spoiled brat. Most of the time, she seemed like the sum of these characteristics, not a fully fleshed-out character. So it was perplexing when Willow fell for her, even though Kennedy aggressively made the first move, especially since her new girlfriend was in many ways the exact opposite of Tara. Confidence is one thing, but Kennedy took her self-assured attitude to another level. Given that she was basically living under the same roof with the actual slayer and an intensely powerful witch, her hubris was as irksome as it was unmerited.
3. Principal Snyder
Buffy faced plenty of adversaries during her time as a student at Sunnydale High. Many of them tried to kill her, but few went out of their way to make her life a living hell as often as Principal Snyder. His dogged insistence that she was nothing but a troublemaker was sort-of funny at first. Once we found out that he was privy to far more than we thought when it came to the Hellmouth and its evil trappings, though, his hatred of Buffy started to feel especially over-the-top. After all, she was the one trying to keep vampires, demons, and giant snake monsters away from his precious school, right?
From a personality standpoint, Snyder was as flat as they come – cranky, loathsome and patently unfair to the students he was charged with taking care of every school day. Even when he was gleefully expelling Buffy from school, he seemed far less powerful than he thought he was, and that fact made him more of a nuisance than a genuine threat.
2. Dawn Summers
Dropping a little sister in Buffy’s lap after four seasons and making her stick was no easy task. In some ways, Dawn managed to become an integrated and integral part of the BtVS story, but not without a heck of a lot of bumps along the way.
She was brought into the series as something that Buffy needed to protect, though she never exactly evolved past that role. Even after she was relieved of the burden of being the Key, Dawn had a habit of getting herself into some stupidly dangerous situations, which meant that the Scooby Gang had to put their lives at risk to help her out. From summoning a demon that made everyone sing and trying to bring her mother back from the dead, to sneaking out and then making out with a vampire, Dawn made, pound for pound, more stupid decisions than just about any other character on the series. The worst of it was that it took a lot for her to learn all that much from her mistakes.
1. Kathy Newman
There are nightmare roommates, and then there’s Kathy Newman. Though she only appeared in two episodes, the perky, Celine Dion-loving, egg-labeling, toenail-clipping UC Sunnydale student managed to secure her spot as the single most annoying character in Buffy history.
That was likely on purpose, though. After all, she really existed solely to drive our heroine crazy. Whether she was stealing sweaters, surprising Buffy while on patrol, or cheerily reminding her roommate that it was “share time,” Kathy was just about as bad as it gets where dorm assignments are concerned. She also managed to make the Slayer feel like she was going crazy, since no one else had to see what she was really like, or just how irritating it could be to listen to “Believe” for hours at a time.
The fact that Kathy was a demon wasn’t even close to her worst quality – and on Buffy, that’s saying something.
Which Buffy character do you think is the most annoying? Let us know in the comments!