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Seven really unlucky TV characters

wile e. coyoteAs you know, tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. What’s that? You forgot? Ho boy, you’re gonna have some ‘splaining to do. Well, if you have someone to ‘splain to, that is. Now, I could go ahead and make a cutesy list of the best ‘ships on TV or the ten kinds of chocolate I’d eat off Sienna Miller’s ass, but today is Friday the 13th, and I thought it fitting to honor the truly unlucky people who’ve graced our TVs all these years. And what better number than a lucky seven of them?

Wile E. CoyoteLooney Tunes
It’s not often Mr. Coyote would have a lucky streak when it came to desperately hunting down his meal, a.k.a. Accelleratti Incredibus, a.k.a. Tastyus Supersonicus, a.k.a. the Road Runner. Contrary to what most people think, the Road Runner was not Wile E.’s most feared an dangerous enemy. No, his greatest enemy was something most of us rarely ever have the chance to escape: gravity.

george costanzaGeorge Costanza - Seinfeld
It seems that anytime George caught a lucky break, it was like a wish on the mythical monkey’s paw — each good thing would come with great consequences. One rare time George caught an incredibly lucky break, he was a hand model and being paid lots of dough for it. Even walking around with oven mitts on his hands wasn’t enough to stop the inevitable from happening. And for George, even an initial event of bad fortune simply brings on yet more. And more.

bad luck hulaHula-Hula, a.k.a. Bad Luck HulaThe Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
I rarely caught this show when I was a kid, so friend Wil Wheaton had to remind me of this gem for the list. How could I not add a guy who can literally say his name is “Bad Luck?!” Just check out the video below to see a bit of him in action, toward the end of the clip.

charlie brownCharlie BrownPeanuts
“Of all the Charlie Browns in the world, you’re the Charlie Browniest.” That pretty much sets the tone for this kid, who never, ever seems to catch a break, especially when it comes to punting a football. Not only does the poor kid’s clothes not fit him, to the point they fly off when he misses a kick, but he’s … let’s just say “folically challenged.” That’s just not lucky at all.

al bundyAl BundyMarried with Children
Of everyone on this list, I’d say Al Bundy is this most deserving of bad luck. Everything he’s been handed to him has been as a result of some idiotic scheme or desperate action done in the name of self pity. Again, a common theme with all of these characters is that, any time they seem to catch a decent break, it’s taken right back from them in spades.

kenny south parkKennySouth Park
“They killed Kenny!” “You bastards!” … after nearly every episode for several seasons, though not all of them. But for those seasons when it was commonplace for Kenny to die some horrific death and have his corpse eaten by rats, we all waited eagerly to see what would be the next way he’d meet his maker … or Satan, or whomever.

Hurley of LostHugo “Hurley” ReyesLost
Who wins a multi-million dollar lottery and considers that bad luck? That would be Hurley, since anything that’s happened to him in and around those familiar and haunting six numbers has done nothing but cause bad luck for this poor chubby dude. For some reason, though, all of the bad luck that’s come to him hasn’t caused him to be killed … yet (you never know on Lost). And who gets stranded on an island for months and doesn’t lose a pound? That’s some bad luck right there.

I thought of a couple of other characters that may have fit this list, like Jack Tripper of Three’s Company and Lucy Ricardo of I Love Lucy, but are they unlucky or just plain stupid or clumsy? Let me know if you’ve got some that really need to complete this list.

Photo Credit: NBC;ABC;Warner Bros.;Fox;Comedy Central

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7 Responses to “Seven really unlucky TV characters”

February 13, 2009 at 1:29 PM

Toby Flenderson from “The Office” can’t seem to catch a break. I watched the episode last night on DVD when he instinctively puts his hand on Pam’s knee and then upon realizing what he has done he makes the announcement that he is moving to Costa Rica. Poor guy.

I also feel for Matt Saracen, sure he is the quarter back for the Dillon Panthers but no one in that town thinks he deserves it. Add that pressure to taking care of your grandmother, losing your girlfriend to a Swede and everything else.

February 13, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Nice :-)

I’d take his bad luck if I’d get Julie Taylor in exchange ;-)

February 13, 2009 at 1:51 PM

This doesn’t really count since it’s a character on a fictional TV show, but in the movie “Idiocracy” the most popular show is called “Ow! My Balls!” The main, and only, character in that show is constantly getting his man marbles injured. If you haven’t seen the movie, all that ever happens in the fictional TV show is just what I’ve described…over and over and over.

February 13, 2009 at 1:57 PM

- Basil Fawlty
– Frasier Crane
– the guy from “Worst Week”
(ok those were obvious – farce and everything you know)
– Ross Geller (“Friends”)

Others I can think of aren’t unlucky enough.

February 13, 2009 at 2:05 PM

“Idiocracy” is highly underrated. “Ow, My Balls!” is probably coming to Fox in the fall.

February 13, 2009 at 4:06 PM

And it’ll last at least 7 seasons, by which time there’ll have been a number of spin-offs. Shows with names like “Argh, My Ass!”, “Eep, My Nipples!” and “Shit, My Toe!”. Or it might go the route of the CSIs with “Ow, My Balls!: London”, etc.

February 15, 2009 at 11:32 AM

So many people say it’s underrated but I can’t watch this steaming pile of garbage – it is just too true, sorry. I watched it twice and every time I’m getting so angry at the truth behind it all… there are better movies with Luke Wilson like “Henry Poole is here” that are also kind of independent and low-key I really prefer to this one.