13 unlucky TV characters for Friday the 13th
May you have better luck than these unfortunate characters.
It’s Friday the 13th, a day typically associated with all things bad luck – from black cats to death omens to any other superstitious incident.
To mark the occasion, we’re counting 13 (naturally) of the unluckiest characters on television. We hope you’re having a better day than them!
1. Wile E. Coyote, Looney Tunes
Is any TV character as unfortunate as poor Wile E.? We have to admire his tenacity. It seems no anvil-to-the-head or fall-off-a-cliff deterred him from what was seemingly his one life goal: To catch that darn roadrunner!
2. Barney Fife, The Andy Griffith Show
Fife wasn’t consistently unfortunate, but he did have one pretty intense run-in with bad luck. In the season five episode “The Lucky Letter,” Barney receives a chain letter and breaks the chain to show Andy that he’s not superstitious. But his plan backfires, as he’s soon the subject of one unlucky event after another!
Image: The Andy Griffith Show Wiki
3. Maxwell Q. Klinger, M*A*S*H
Klinger’s constant attempts to get discharged from the army failed time after time. Not even cross-dressing or hearing damage convinced his superiors that he was unfit for duty. Klinger eventually gave up his discharge attempts and was promoted from corporal to sergeant.
4. Al Bundy, Married With Children
Al’s bad luck is a running gag on the series. After a promising high school football career, he breaks his leg and misses out on a scholarship, and proposes to wife Peggy while drunk, a mistake that haunts him through the series. Al is so unlucky that he believes the Bundy family name is actually cursed.
Image: The Everett Collection
5. George Costanza, Seinfeld
It’s hard to say whether George’s afflictions are bad luck or self-inflicted agony due to poor character. It seems in his nature to be dishonest and selfish, which made any good fortune during the series (like vacations and dates) short-lived.
6. Colonel Rodney Crittendon, Hogan's Heroes
Crittendon was a consistently incompetent British officer who couldn’t seem to hatch an escape plan to save his life. He meant well, at least!
Image: The Everett Collection
7. Hans Moleman, The Simpsons
You might say that elderly Hans Moleman is actually the luckiest character on this list despite encountering the most unlucky series of events. He survives near-fatal incidents at every turn, from his car blowing up to the electric chair to being buried alive.
Image: Simpsons Wiki
8. Elmer Fudd, Looney Tunes
Like Wile E. Coyote, Elmer Fudd was pretty much set on one vendetta: “Killing da wabbit.” Unfortunately, also like Wile E. Coyote, he never really succeeded — and one of the few times he did, as in What’s Opera, Doc?, he felt bad about it. Instead, he experiences gun malfunctions, injuries and the hijinks of one cunningly deceptive bunny rabbit.
9. Toby Flenderson, The Office
Branch manager Michael Scott didn’t make things easy for poor HR rep. Toby. In fact, you might say the irreverent, rule-adverse Michael despised Toby for simply trying to keep the peace. The recently divorced Toby was left out of work gatherings, left behind on Beach Day and watched his office crush Pam get wooed by (and eventually married to) co-worker Jim.
10. Jessica Fletcher, Murder, She Wrote
While Fletcher herself wasn’t unlucky, she seemed to pass bad luck onto anyone in her immediate vicinity. Mysterious homicide occurred with such frequency in her hometown of Cabot Cove, Maine that the term “Cabot Cove syndrome” was coined. Lucky for a mystery novelist. Not so lucky for the many victims.
11. Kenny McCormick, South Park
The unluckiest of this bunch has to be poor Kenny McCormick, who, at least in the first five seasons of South Park, suffered excruciating death every episode – only to reappear the next episode with no explanation given.
Image: South Park Wiki
12. Meredith Grey, Grey's Anatomy
Meredith was abandoned by her father as a child, ignored by her mother who then developed Alzheimer’s and died from it, adopted a dog who died shortly after, fell in love with a man only to find out that he was both her boss and married to another woman, eventually married that man after his divorce but suffered miscarriages and adoption issues, and later witnessed her husband’s death after a car accident. Also, her best friend moved away, many of her co-workers died in horrific accidents, she briefly “died” herself during a ferry boat accident and she was in a plane crash. She might have even worse luck than Kenny.
Image: Grey's Anatomy Wiki
13. The castaways of Gilligan's Island
They never did manage to get off that island – at least not in the show’s original run – despite opportunities for escape presenting themselves in nearly every episode. At least they had each other.