I love teen TV. It’s fair to say that I am something of a fanatic. I’m a fangirl. I ship. I read fan fiction and scroll through Tumblrs dedicated to my favourite couples.
Teen TV has a dark side.
Though it has given us some of the most epic romances of modern times, it’s also thrown up some serious duds.
Of course everybody hates a villain, but there are few characters so particularly infuriating as a bad teen TV boyfriend. Suddenly the heroine whom we have come to love like our own bestie through the previous seasons is wasting her time with a guy we as the viewer can see clearly is not the one. We have to watch endless romantic scenes with none of the emotional payoff because this guy is clearly the worst, and the writers can’t trick us into thinking otherwise just by playing it out to an awesome soundtrack.
And it makes us mad.
With that in mind, it’s time to name and shame the worst boyfriends in teen TV history.
Riley Finn – Buffy the Vampire Slayer
One of the few guarantees I have found in life is that, during any conversation about Buffy the universal reaction when Riley Finn comes up is: UGH. That fucking guy.
Riley is notoriously the most hated of Buffy’s boyfriends. Needy, insecure and controlling, despite endless examples he was unable to grasp that his girlfriend was The Slayer, placed on earth to protect us all from demons, a fact which meant sometimes date night was going to come low on her list of priorities.
He also never got the memo that super strength generally means your gf doesn’t need you throwing your weight around to protect her. The girl staked Dracula then went out for ice cream (probably). She does not need your protection.
Duncan Kane – Veronica Mars
While I am able to admit that despite high levels of sexiness, Logan Echolls was perhaps not the best boyfriend ever, my hatred for Duncan Kane knows no bounds.
Maybe he didn’t turn out to be a rapist. Or a murderer. Or incestuous. But he was still the worst.
Whiny Duncan with his rage induced blackouts was clearly never good enough for astute, badass, quip Queen Veronica.
I was so happy when he finally ran away with his love child and was never seen again.
Logan Huntzberger – Gilmore Girls
For all her sweetness, Rory Gilmore is a very scrappy individual whose life took a decidedly wrong turn when she let seedy rich boy Logan Huntzberger into her life (both times). Whip smart and a hard worker, this entitled daddy’s boy clearly was not the man for her.
Also, if he had stopped to think about it for even a second, he would have known she didn’t want to get married at the end of season 6. She wanted to go work for Obama.
Throughout his time on the show, he only ever thought about himself. As a kid who’d always had everything given to him, it never occurred to him not to.
And Jess was so much hotter.
Chuck Bass – Gossip Girl
I’ll end on a controversial note. I was into Chuck for approximately two-and-a-half seasons (the 3 words, 8 letters say it and I’m yours phase), then he tried to trade his unwilling girlfriend for sex in return for hotel ownership.
I never forgave him for it. Especially because that girlfriend was Blair Waldorf, my favourite TV mean girl of all time.
For four seasons, I waited for Blair to realise that she did not need this asshat in her life. As one of the most badass bitches of teen television, she should have realised that she didn’t need Chuck to feel complete.
Then, there was a glimmer of hope. After the whole Prince Louis debacle (and let’s face it, the less said about that the better) she and Dan almost had a healthy relationship. She started to think about what she wanted for herself as an individual, rather than a chess piece in one of Chuck’s games.
Then, for whatever reason, instead she decided to marry Chuck so he didn’t go to jail for murdering his evil father (because spouses can’t testify against spouses).
Goddamnit. Chuck got a happy ending he did not deserve, and I’m still upset about it. I can only hope that at some unknown point in the future she’ll take him for all he’s worth in the divorce.
Who are your worst TV boyfriends in teen TV history? Name and shame in the comments!