Regardless of your opinion of the franchise, The Twilight Saga is here to stay, having firmly established its place in pop culture. Whether it’s the wave of young adult adaptations or the feud between Team Edward and Team Jacob, pretty much everybody knows something about the franchise.
The series follows Bella as she tries to navigate her new life in Forks, Washington. She expects her life to be quiet and boring, but it’s complicated by her forbidden romance with Edward Cullen, who turns out to be a vampire. To make matters worse, enter Jacob, yet another love interest vying for Bella’s affections. Oh, and by the way, he’s also part of a pack of werewolves who consider vampires their sworn enemies. The tension of the love triangle— heightened by the animosity between vampires and werewolves— has captured the imaginations of young adults and grown-ups alike.
Despite its raging popularity among young adults and grown-ups alike, Twilight has also attracted a lot of criticism, particularly for its portrayal of unhealthy relationship dynamics. Most of the negativity focuses on Edward and his admittedly creepy behavior, but his rival Jacob isn’t without his faults either. With the dawn of a new year, perhaps it’s time to revisit Jacob with a new lens as well. The list below contains spoilers for the four main book and movies of The Twilight Saga, so proceed with caution if you’re not all caught up with the franchise.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Jacob We All Choose To Ignore.
20 He Imprints On Renesmee Way too early
The fact that he imprints on Renesmee so soon after birth is strange, to say the least. Imprinting is when a werewolf finds his soulmate, forming an unbreakable bond with the object of his affections upon making eye contact. The imprinter forms a sibling-like bond when the imprintee is still young, and that seems to be the case for Jacob and Renesmee when she’s just a child. Jacob imprinting on Renesmee is what keeps her safe from himself and other werewolves, who had intended to end her life.
That being said, there is canonical potential right from the start for Jacob’s love for Renesmee to become romantic. Yes, imprinting is involuntary, but you’ve gotta admit, having the potential for romance in such circumstances is creepy.
19 They Do End Up In Love
To take matters up a notch, apparently Renesmee and Jacob’s romantic potential does come into fruition. At the end of Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Alice has a vision of the two of them happy and in love. They look to be around the same age, in their late teens, as are Edward and Bella.
Taken out of context, the vision is a picture-perfect happy ending, but take into consideration that half-vampires mature in 7 years. That means Renesmee would be an adult by the time she’s seven and Jacob’s well in his 20s. The age difference raises the same questions about Edward and Bella’s relationship. Edward is physically the same age as Bella, but he’s been alive for far longer.
18 He Jokes About Calling Edward "Dad"
Jacob soon gives the fast-growing Renesmee a hand-made bracelet, the rough equivalent of a promise ring in the tradition of his culture. It’s ostensibly an oath of undying love and loyalty to her, and sure, it’s perfectly possible to love a child with such intensity and not be creepy about it.
However, at the end of Breaking Dawn, Part 2, Jacob makes a joke about calling Edward “Dad” when Renesmee is still just a few months old. Edward shuts him down, clearly unenthused about the whole situation, and we have to agree with the vampire here. It’s one thing to date someone much younger when you’re both adults, and another to blatantly joke about dating your friend's offspring.
17 "Nessie" Is A Horrible Nickname
Let’s be honest here: Bella doesn’t always have the best judgment. Some of her decisions make us cringe, to say the very least. If there’s one issue that we agree with her on, it’s that “Nessie” is a horrible nickname for the love of your life.
No, “Renesmee” isn’t the greatest name. It’s sweet of Bella to name her child after her mother and mother-in-law, but there are other ways to go about that. Surely Jacob could come up with a better-sounded pet name, rather than using the nickname of the Loch Ness Monster. “Renesmee” is a hard name to develop a nickname from, but plenty of people get pet names totally unrelated to their legal names.
16 He Acts Shocked Every Time He's Rejected
With all due respect to Team Jacob, it’s painfully obvious throughout the Twilight series that Bella is going to choose Edward over Jacob every time. Of course, you could make a case that Jacob would’ve been the better, healthier choice for her, but Bella's thoughts clearly revolve around Edward.
Bella only really spends time with Jacob when Edward’s unavailable, and treats him like a back-up plan. She does extremely dangerous things just to hear Edward's voice when he leaves her in New Moon. She even flies halfway across the world and risks her life for him. It’s a little silly for Jacob to be so surprised whenever Bella rejects him, especially since she does so over and over again.
15 He Crashes Bella's Prom
Jacob plays a very small role in the first Twilight book. As Stephenie Meyer explains, Jacob was originally just a plot device for Bella to uncover Edward’s true identity as a vampire. He goes on to play a much larger part as a love rival in New Moon and subsequent sequels, but he only appears in Twilight four times.
The last time we see Jacob in the first book, he drops by Forks High School at his dad Billy’s request. He crashes the prom, dancing with Bella and trying to convince her to break up with Edward. No doubt worse things have happened in the history of proms, but showing up uninvited to a momentous event in a teen’s life is hardly the nicest gesture.
14 He Throws A Tantrum At Bella's Wedding
Edward and Jacob are openly hostile to each other throughout the series, not just because they’re born enemies as a vampire and a werewolf, but also because they’re both fiercely territorial about Bella. Despite their rocky history, Edward sends Jacob a wedding invite, which causes Jacob to run off in distress to live in the woods as a wolf.
Jacob eventually shows up at the couple’s wedding reception, and seems to have come to terms with Bella’s choice. However, as soon as Bella reveals their plans for the honeymoon, Jacob gets angry. His concerns for Bella’s safety are understandable, but he gets so worked up that Seth and Sam have to hold him back so be doesn’t transform into a wolf in public.
13 He's Not Much Safer Than Edward
Jacob’s outburst at Bella and Edward’s wedding is motivated by his extreme protectiveness of Bella. He constantly tries to persuade Bella to change her mind, stating that Edward is too dangerous for her since he’s a vampire. However, either Jacob’s a touch hypocritical or he has very poor self-awareness, because Jacob isn’t exactly that much safer than Edward, either.
Shape-shifters can choose when to turn into their wolf form for the most part, but there have been instances where short tempers caused the boys to become volatile and violent, like when Paul turns into a wolf when he’s angry at Bella. In fact, Sam actually forbids Jacob from meeting up with Bella after Jacob starts phasing, saying that the youngster could seriously hurt Bella.
12 He Kisses Her Without Consent
One of the biggest red flags about Jacob is his disregard for Bella’s comfort and boundaries. He’s constantly undermining her autonomy, trying to make decisions for her-- much like Edward does. A notable example of this violation of her agency is when he kisses her against her will in Eclipse.
By the time the events of Eclipse roll around, it’s blatantly obvious to both the audience and the characters that Bella will end up with Edward. She even has plans to become a vampire after she graduates, much to Jacob’s dismay. It’s patently absurd for Jacob to kiss her, thinking that she’d reciprocate his romantic feelings for her, when she’s obviously so in love with Edward she’s willing to give up her mortal life.
11 He's Inexplicably Tougher Than Other Werewolves
This entry is admittedly more of a continuity error than something problematic about Jacob, but Jacob’s apparently much buffer and more resilient than his werewolf friends for no apparent reason. After Jacob kisses her without her consent, Bella rightfully punches him in the jaw to defend herself against his advances. However, not only does she not harm him one bit, she actually hurts her own hand because of how strong he is as a werewolf.
In comparison, Bella hits Paul in New Moon, angering him even further, and her hand is perfectly fine. Either it’s a simple continuity error in the movies (since the physical confrontation with Paul doesn’t happen in the books), or Bella just has really poor and inconsistent punching technique.
10 He's Possessive And Doesn't Back Off
Bella repeatedly rejects Jacob, but Jacob never really backs off. Even when she literally punches him in the face, he still doesn’t give her a break. Yes, he does take it down a notch after the incident and reconciles with Bella, but you’d think being (unsuccessfully) punched in the face would be a strong enough statement for him to stop.
Instead, he makes a bracelet with a wooden wolf charm for Bella as a graduation gift. Bella thinks it’s a sweet gift, and Edward also gives her a diamond heart to add to Jacob’s gift. Of course, it could just be a token of reconciliation and friendship, but come on, Jacob is so painfully obviously still in love with her and continues to pursue her romantically.
9 He's Constantly Conveniently Shirtless
Much like Bruce Banner transforming into the Hulk, the shifters in Twilight lose their clothing when they phase into wolf form. Does that stop Bruce from wearing a shirt? No, it doesn’t. So why does Jacob— along with the other boys in his pack— run around shirtless all the time?
There are in-universe explanations for this, of course. There’s no point in wearing shirts if transforming will just rip them apart. Shifters have unusually high body temperatures, so there’s no need for clothing. Despite these reasons, it’s clear that the shirtlessness is also used to appeal to audiences. Plus, having the Native characters running around shirtless while white characters remain fully dressed most of the time also comes with its own set of unsavory implications.
8 He Mixes up Edward and Carlisle
The climax of New Moon occurs when Bella narrowly prevents Edward from showing his true identity in public, thus also saving his life. All of this could have been easily avoided with better decisions from multiple characters, including Jacob.
Jacob takes a phone call at the Swan residence and tells the caller that Charlie is at the funeral. He explains to Bella that Carlisle is on the other end of the phone. Alice shows up horrified, because it turns out it wasn’t Carlisle, but Edward who’d called, and he thinks it’s Bella’s funeral. All Jacob had to do was ask who’s calling instead of assuming it’s Carlisle. Edward also could’ve been the grown almost-100-year-old man he is and used his words instead of being all enigmatic for no real reason.
7 He Threatens War over Bella
Edward is manipulative, stalking Bella and deciding who she can and can’t interact with. Jacob isn’t much better, and uses threats to keep control over Bella. In the epilogue of New Moon, Jacob reminds Edward of the treaty between the Quileutes and the Cullens that prevents the vampires from biting any humans. If the Cullens were to turn Bella into a vampire, that allows the werewolves to start a war with the vampire clan.
He doesn’t care that it’s Bella herself who’s making the choice to become a vampire, choosing instead to undermine her autonomy with a thinly veiled threat to start a war. It would be justified by the treaty, for sure, but it’s clear that he’d be doing it because he can’t handle having his feelings rejected.
6 He Threatens To End His Own Life
As if threatening widespread violence in New Moon wasn’t enough, Jacob adds another sinister warning in Eclipse. The Quileute pack and the Cullens are trying to protect Bella from Victoria and her vampire army, leading Edward and Jacob to have a kind of reluctant truce to ensure Bella’s safety. At one point, Jacob overhears Bella and Edward’s discussion about their marriage plans, and gets angsty (again).
Bella gets Edward to bring Jacob back so they can discuss the situation alone, but instead of talking things through, Jacob escalates and threatens to end his own life because she doesn’t love him back. She offers to kiss him if he promises to stay alive. Thanks to the kiss, she realizes that she does love Jacob, but it doesn’t negate the fact that he manipulated her into kissing him in the first place.
5 The Imprinting Resolves All The Romantic Angst
Neither Edward nor Jacob handles their love triangle with the healthiest coping mechanisms, and they’re seriously lacking in emotional maturity. Still, the story demands a happy ending, so the romantic angst needs to be resolved. Fortunately for everyone involved, Jacob imprinting on Renesmee conveniently solves their love triangle with just one look.
Having someone new in your life helps heal heartbreak, and this is a paranormal love story, but how imprinting solves four books’ worth of tension is way too tidy. According to Alice’s vision in the last movie, Bella also ends up totally chill with the idea of her former love interest dating her daughter and potentially becoming her son-in-law, which is a bit unsettling.
4 He Appears In Alice's Visions
On the note of Alice’s visions of the future, Jacob shouldn’t even be in them in the first place, whether it’s the bloody future Alice shows Aro to prevent violence or the happy ending. In New Moon, Edward thinks Bella attempts to take her own life because Alice has a vision of her jumping off a cliff. She doesn’t see Jacob bringing her safely to shore because her powers don’t work with werewolves.
Yet in the movies, Alice has visions that include Jacob without a problem. In order to resolve this plot hole, some fans have suggested that Jacob imprinting on the half-vampire Renesmee unclouds Alice’s vision, since there’s now an unbreakable bond between the two formerly hostile species.
3 He Tells Charlie He's A Werewolf
Bella survives childbirth and becomes a vampire, allowing her to live forever with her new family. There’s just one problem with that: her dad Charlie is still human, and doesn’t know that Bella will stay 17 forever. The Cullens decide to leave Forks so Charlie doesn’t figure out their secret, but Jacob doesn’t want Renesmee to leave. He decides the best approach is to transform into a wolf in front of Charlie, letting him know that paranormal creatures exist.
Jacob’s tactic works— Charlie is a little unsettled, but accepts that weird things are going on without knowing too much. However, by introducing the supernatural to Charlie, Jacob recklessly puts Charlie in potential danger, all because he doesn’t want to be away from Renesmee.
2 He's A Bad Planner (And So Are The Cullens)
When making any outdoor plans, it’s common sense for most of us to check the weather forecast when you’re out and about, exposed to the elements-- unless you're Jacob or any of the Cullens, apparently.
Bella, Edward, and Jacob camp in the mountains as part of their plan to protect Bella from Victoria. However, a blizzard starts in the middle of the night and Bella begins to freeze. Edward can’t touch her because of his cold skin, but Jacob has an abnormally high body temperature and shares a sleeping bag with Bella to keep her warm. Angst ensues, but Jacob and Edward bond a little during the incident. This all could have been avoided if someone had checked the weather.
1 He Intended To End Renesmee's Life
After a lot of conflict with Edward and Bella, Jacob eventually makes his peace with their romantic relationship. He stays by Bella’s side during her difficult pregnancy, offering support as she struggles to care for herself and her baby. He even rebels against Sam in order to protect Bella and her baby.
However, things quickly take on a more sinister tone when Jacob thinks Bella doesn’t survive childbirth. Blaming Bella’s perceived passing on her new-born baby, he intends to end her daughter’s life in revenge. Sure, he does end up changing his mind because he imprints on Renesmee, but the fact remains that Jacob was more than ready to take her life out of anger and despair.
What else does Jacob do in Twilight that doesn't add up? Share them in the comments!