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10 TV Characters Who Actually Really Suck at Their Jobs

They all had ONE job

Malcolm Venable

Television might be the one place where ineptitude earns admiration -- especially for those lovable screw ups in the workplace. Indeed, some of TV's most beloved characters -- from clumsy cop Barney Fife to Broad City's awful sales rep llana -- fail miserably all the time yet gain fans with every episode. If everybody needs a hero to relate to on TV, then the opposite is true, too: everybody needs a character who exemplifies what not to do, especially on the job. Here are 10 TV people who are so bad at their gigs they're guaranteed to make you feel better about yourself.


Pete Gardner as Darryl and Vincent Rodriguez III as Josh, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Scott Everett White, Scott Everett White/The CW

1. Darryl Whitefeather, Crazy Ex Girlfriend: Law Firm Boss
If only Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Darryl (Pete Gardner) was as good at staying on top of administrative tasks and managing his staff as he was at trying to pin his boo White Josh (David Hull) down into having a baby, Darryl would be, well, living up to the agency's namesake which happens to be his own. He's so bad at boundaries he asked Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom) to represent him in his divorce mere minutes into her job, unaware he was conflicting all kinds of interest. Darryl is so lax that he doesn't just permit employees to break out into literal song and dance on the job -- he takes part. Granted, that makes him a pretty cool boss, even if no one can count on him to do anything remotely related to client work.

Stephen Amell, Arrow

Stephen Amell, Arrow


2. Oliver Queen, Arrow: Mayor
Oliver's (Stephen Amell) intentions might be good, but his regular ditching of mayoral duties to go fight crime as a costumed vigilante doesn't exactly make him a shoo-in for Mayor of the Year. Ditto for the impending obstruction of justice charges.

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Glenn Howerton, A.P. Bio

Glenn Howerton, A.P. Bio

NBC, Ron Batzdorff/NBC

3. Jack Griffin, A.P. Bio: High School Teacher
Disgraced Harvard reject Jack (Glenn Howerton) makes it clear from Day One that he only took his AP Biology teacher gig at Whitlock High School in to antagonize his nemesis Miles (Tom Bennett) and he meant it. Using his whip-smart pupils to do very bad things, Jack makes a mockery of the educational system and gives zero sh-ts about it.

Peter Mackenzie, black-ish

Peter Mackenzie, black-ish

Richard Cartwright, ABC

4. Mr. Stevens, black-ish: Advertising Exec
As head honcho at Stevens & Lido, the advertising agency where Dre (Anthony Anderson) works, Mr. Stevens (Peter Mackenzie) is supposed to be supremely intelligent, creative and culturally aware with keen business savvy. He may have the last part down -- the man knows how to lure and win a client -- but he's proven over dozens of episodes that without Dre, he and his dim-witted son Josh (Jeff Meacham) wouldn't be able to find a clue if it walked in their oft-seen boardroom. Mr. Stevens does one thing well though: black-ish often uses him to illustrate generational white wealth, privilege and power and it's there that he succeeds -- especially when he listens to Dre's insights and in turn challenges Dre to check biases of his own.

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Ted Danson, The Good Place

Colleen Hayes/NBC

5. Michael, The Good Place: Architect
Michael (Ted Danson) is not an architect in the traditional sense; for starters, he's immortal. As an employee of the entities running the afterlife, Michael's sole job, at least in the beginning, was to get Eleanor (Kristen Bell) settled into the the Good Place (heaven, basically), and properly acclimated with her companions Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil), Jason (Manny Jacinto). But -- no spoilers! -- after they figured out some major kinks in the system by the end of Season 1, Michael has been unable to contain this rebellious quad ever since. They've outsmarted him, conned him, blackmailed him and manipulated him -- each time dragging Michael into deeper trouble with his very incensed boss Shawn (Marc Evan Jackson).


Simon Helberg, The Big Bang Theory

CBS Photo Archive, CBS via Getty Images

6. Howard Joel Wolowitz, The Big Bang Theory: Engineer
Okay so he's not altogether terrible: as an astronautical engineer, Howard is (Simon Helberg) enormously intelligent, even if he's the least educated of his brainiac pals Sheldon (Jim Parsons), Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar). Although the group's resident rock star (again, relative) is so good at what he does that NASA has him on speed dial, his hilarious fails have been so spectacular -- the infamous Wolowtiz Zero-Gravity Waste Disposal System comes to mind -- that they make him truly bad at his job, at least compared to his friends.

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Brian Tyree Henry and Donald Glover, Atlanta

Brian Tyree Henry and Donald Glover, Atlanta

Guy D'Alema/FX

7. Earn Marks, Atlanta: Music Manager
Earn (Donald Glover) is supposed to be managing the rap career of his cousin Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry), in an attempt to lift them and their buddy Darius (Keith Stanfield) out of economic and existential malaise. But Earn, smart as he is, is a strange cat, frequently so preoccupied with life's comic absurdity and unfairness that he fails to get down to business. Paper Boi put it best in Season 1 when he told Earn, "Manage comes from manage. And that ain't really your lane."


Madchen Amick, Riverdale

Cate Cameron, The CW

8. Alice Cooper, Riverdale: Journalist
Alice (Madchen Amick) ought to know, as editor of The Riverdale Register, that a journalist's job is to SHARE the truth, not suppress it -- especially not for her own gain as she did by trying to destroy articles referencing her gang-affiliated arrest back in the day. With her penchant for carrying out personal vendettas through the press and presenting gossip as fact, she makes supermarket tabloids look like The New York Times.

Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller, Brooklyn Nine-Nine​

Dirk Blocker, Joel McKinnon Miller, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Jordin Althaus/FOX

9. Hitchcock and Scully, Brooklyn Nine Nine: NYPD Detectives
The 99th precinct's dimwitted detectives Michael Hitchcock (Dirk Blocker) and Norm Scully (Joel McKinnon Miller) have many talents between them, from singing opera (Scully) to, uh, being able to quickly remove his shirt (Hitchcock). Sadly, police work is not one of them. How are these two still employed?

Arie Luyendyk Jr., The Bachelor​

Arie Luyendyk Jr., The Bachelor

Paul Hebert, ABC

10 Arie Luyendyk Jr., The Bachelor: Prince Charming
Arie had one job: pick a bride-to-be. The Bachelorcouldn't quite manage that, leading to a brutal reversal of his initial proposal to Becca Kufrin and earning a healthy share of haters as a result.