5 Beloved Lead Characters Who Are Actually Trash

Sometimes you need to admit when your protagonist is a bit of a butthole.
5 Beloved Lead Characters Who Are Actually Trash

If you're like me, you've been watching a lottttt of TV/movies in the last few weeks and praising the name of whoever invented streaming services. (Oprah, probably?) But rewatching all your old favs leaves a sour taste in your mouth when you realize some of those protagonists are actually kinda trash.

Ariel from The Little Mermaid

We've all watched The Little Mermaid at least once in our lives and cheered when Ursula got gruesomely murdered on-screen (!), and Ariel got her happy ending. 

But think about what she really put her family through when she ran off to marry Prince Eric (a man she doesn't know) the heir to a kingdom with an apparent booming seafood-based economy.

Remember, Ariel can talk to fish; her best friend and loyal sidekick is actually some kind of trout. Everyone in the ocean knows how carnivorous and needlessly violent humans are; I'm going to assume that's why the merpeople tried to keep their existence hidden from humans for so long. So with all that in mind, it's safe to think she knowingly dived into the arms of a man who's family served her a bunch of her followers for dinner on her wedding night. Even for a teenage princess who's had everything handed to her since she could remember (which is another reason why she shouldn't have left??), it's a shockingly selfish move. 

Walt Disney Pictures
Also, that's a member of the royal family.  You know Sea TMZ (TMSea?) is gonna give Triton hell over this shit.

Also, why didn't she write down everything to Eric?? Ursula took your ability to speak, not your ability to write, dumbass. 

Annie from Sleepless In Seattle

Sleepless in Seattle is a hard movie to describe because it kind of doesn't make any sense. Tom Hank's wife dies from cancer, leaving him to raise his kid alone, but instead of taking time to mourn his mother, the kid jumps right on the quest of trying to find a new wife for his dad. He coerces his dad into getting on the radio to talk about needing a new wife (as kids do??), but Tom Hanks just spends the time talking about how amazing his dead wife was and how much he misses her, which is understandable as he's still mourning. 

Which seems greedy for someone who has Tom Hanks as their dad.  You're already living the dream, kid.

What's not understandable is Meg Ryan's character, Annie, hearing this on the radio across the country in Baltimore and deciding that she's infatuated with this absolute stranger and wants to be with him. This doesn't even factor in the fact that she has a fiance of her own, a perfectly normal dude whose only flaw appears to be allergies? Annie uses work resources (which has to be illegal) to find out his name and contact info, buys a ticket across the country, tracks him down, watches him play on the beach with his son like a serial killer, decides he's the only one for her. She then breaks up with her fiance at a restaurant in the middle of dinner, telling him everything, and leaving him there alone to presumably eat his meal in freaked out silence, while she goes to jump into Tom Hanks' arms. This movie is WILD. 

The thing is, it's implied Tom Hanks recognized her as the woman he keeps "accidentally running into" and might have put two and two together. Except instead of doing something like calling the police and running in horror, he kind of has an "it must be fate" reaction? 

"A strange woman rummaging through my son's backpack? I must unlock my heart to her."

Charlotte from Sex And The City

I want to give credit where credit is due: Sex And The City was a show that was miles ahead of its time in a lot of different ways. I just wish its main characters were less ... unlikeable? None of these rich self-absorbed white women were particularly relatable enough to want to root for. Especially the show's self-described Park Avenue Princess, Charlotte York. 

She was extremely old-fashioned and downright sexist -- proudly claiming she's never pooped at a man's house is ... weird. She slut-shamed her friends regularly -- especially Samantha, whose vagina Charlotte said was, "Always open for business." She's kind of racist -- remember when she called the Asian woman giving her a pedicure "second class?" -- and incredibly shallow. 

Charlotte was also surprisingly manipulative for being the "sweet one" of the group. When she watched her boyfriend Trey's mother use manipulative tactics, to get her son to do what she wanted, instead of warning him she used those same tactics herself to get him to propose to her. 

Charlotte justified it by claiming he was obviously her Prince Charming, which she was convinced of even though they'd only been dating like a month? She was so desperate to get married that she wanted a man she barely knew to put a ring on her finger because they looked good together in pictures.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television
If a vague sense of a man unsure of how he got here counts as good.

Nate from The Devil Wears Prada

It took a surprisingly long time for people to come around to the fact that Nate from Devil Wears Prada is actually trash, and I blame that entirely on Adrian Grenier because, well, look at him. But watch that movie again and pay attention to how dismissive he is toward Andy's feelings, starting from when she tells him she got the job at Runway ("What was it, a phone interview?") What the hell, bruh? Isn't that your girl?  

20th Century Fox
Also, either shave or grow a beard.  You look like you're stuck in the middle of Animorph wolf transformation.

The man doesn't care for fashion, and that's fine, a lot of men don't. But it was clear from the jump that he thought her job was beneath him and didn't like it when she began to take her career seriously and succeed. Andy was working miracles for her boss, and instead of praising her ingenuity, he'd do things like pout like a child because she had to miss his birthday party because she had a work event like adults do ("don't worry about it" he says petulantly and then goes to bed) or join her friends in throwing her phone around when her boss calls so she can't answer it (I would have THROWN HANDS over that). 

Nate's about to wear my foot in his ass.

It's not just viewer either, as even the movie's screenwriter understands that Nate isn't the best leading man. Which might explain why they cast a dude from Entourage to bring him to life.

Amy from Little Women

Yo, fuck Amy March.

Puffin Books
Yeah, that's right.  It took 152 years, but it's high time someone finally said it.

Let's take a step back and admit how hard it is to compare anyone to the majority of female characters in this story. Beth is an absolute angel, the perfect sister, and the most compassionate human being on the planet (and yes, I cried when she died cause it absolutely didn't need to happen). Meg is a beautiful and compassionate big sister, and Jo is a boss ass bitch. So I understand what insecurities Amy might have been sitting on growing up.

But she burned Jo's book

Can you stab a YouTube embed?

That manuscript was her writer sister's baby, and she torched that shit without the slightest bit of remorse. She snagged that Paris trip from Jo and threw it in her face. She secretly got married to Laurie -- Jo's best friend, who she rejected romantically, but still cared deeply about as a person -- without telling Jo. All of this really cements her place as the worst little sister on the planet, besides just being a cruel, petty, jealous, vain little brat who mayhaps should have died in Beth's place? Just an editorial note, Louisa May Alcott.

Archie is a Flounder, a Miranda, an Andy, and a Jo. You can chat with her on Twitter and her website.

Top image: Walt Disney Pictures, Columbia Pictures

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