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Top 10 TV Characters That Lost Their Mojo

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Mark Sammut
How the mighty have fallen. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV characters That Lost Their Mojo. For this list, we’re looking at characters from television who went from greatness to mediocrity at best. It could be due to a variety of factors, like overstaying their welcome or the stories around them not making all that much sense, but whatever the excuse, they stopped being a reason to watch. As some of these entries are plot related, spoilers will be included.
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How the mighty have fallen. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV characters That Lost Their Mojo.

For this list, we’re looking at characters from television who went from greatness to mediocrity at best. It could be due to a variety of factors, like overstaying their welcome or the stories around them not making all that much sense, but whatever the excuse, they stopped being a reason to watch. As some of these entries are plot related, spoilers will be included.

#10: Bill Compton “True Blood” (2008-14)


Introduced as the impressive romantic lead, Bill struggled to remain compelling with time - especially when compared to some of True Blood’s other male specimens. Although vampires came in all shapes and personality types, an unimposing physique combined with a tendency to be a bit of a drag surprisingly did not result in gold. Constantly vying for Sookie’s attention, while throwing a hissy fit whenever another guy shows up, Bill only got worse as his power grew. Speaking of Sookie, she nearly claimed this spot, but the Vampire King managed to fall just a little further. What can we say, apparently even a vampire can get old when their character fails to move in the right direction.

#9: Eric Forman “That ‘70s Show” (1998-2006)


In a group consisting of stoners, cool kids, and Fez; Eric was the sarcastic every-man that the audience could relate to. He loved Star Wars, had a cute slow building relationship with the girl next door and remained popular through most of his run. Unfortunately, Topher Grace left the show to pursue a career on the big screen, forcing the writers to think of a way to remove Eric. So – he leaves the love of his life before the wedding rehearsal, out of the blue decides to travel to Africa, and breaks up with Donna over the phone. Though they seemingly wound up together in the end, the damage to Forman’s character was already done.

#8: Jake Harper “Two and a Half Men” (2003-15)


Damn kids and their incessant need to grow up. Chuck Lorre’s long running sitcom hinged on the love/hate relationship between the irresponsible Charlie, the unlucky Alan, and his innocent son Jake. Most of the humor derived from how Charlie’s devil may care lifestyle was impacted by having a young boy living with him, while Alan found new and exciting ways to screw himself over. Once Angus T. Jones hit puberty however, and started to tower over Jon Cryer, he no longer really had a place on Two and a Half Men and eventually left completely.

#7: Nick Miller “New Girl” (2011-)



Dumb characters can be funny, but not when they’re written to be so brain dead they make you wonder how they even put on pants in the morning. In this comedy centering on the friendship between the unpredictable Jess and her three roommates, Nick plays the role of the loveable slacker of the group who, occasionally, does not think things through. In the later seasons however, Jake Johnson’s bartender has sadly come to be defined almost exclusively by his stupidity. At least he’s in good company though; the series has been accused of progressively dumbing down much of the core cast.

#6: Ross Geller “Friends” (1994-2004)


By this point, we’re just beating a dead horse, but when on a break, you should really clarify the terms of the arrangement before hooking up with someone else! Monica’s sad sack of a brother was always a bit of a complainer, but thanks to David Schwimmer’s great comedic timing, Ross gave viewers plenty of laughs. Unfortunately, as the show went on, his self-centered attitude began to overshadow all else, and he took the creepiness to a whole new dimension when he lied to Rachel to keep them legally married. Not all characters need to be positive or happy, but Ross’ tendency to constantly wallow in self-pity proved downright exhausting in the long run.

#5: Penny “The Big Bang Theory” (2007-)


We get it, Penny was always written as the quote unquote “dumb blonde”, but over the seasons she’s gone from lovably daft to one-dimensional and honestly, just kind of unpleasant. Serving as the straight woman and socially-savvy outsider to the guys’ geek antics, she initially had a clear role in the series. However, in the later seasons, particularly since she and Leonard tied the knot, it’s like the writers don’t know what to do with her. Now a sitcom wife, Penny feels lost, and her punchlines come off as mean-spirited and kind of bitter. She settled... and viewers are the ones paying for it.

#4: Barney Stinson “How I Met Your Mother” (2005-14)


The single dude in an otherwise relationship-obsessed ensemble cast, Neil Patrick Harris’ horn-dog, though often-deplorable in his actions, provided many laughs. In the early seasons, Barney is a shameless womanizer who remains proudly emotionally-detached. He served as a perfect juxtaposition to Ted’s love-obsessed storylines. Then, for whatever reason, they decided to give him feelings. Though seeing Barney grow was a welcome bit of character development, the way the writers approached it felt all wrong. Rather than just learn to love while maintaining his other quirks, Barney lost most of the personality traits thatmade him memorable and was transformed into a sharply dressed shell of his former self.


#3: Arthur Herbert Fonzarelli [aka Fonzie] “Happy Days” (1974-84)


The coolest guy on the block, Henry Winkler’s Italian-American high school dropout is an icon of the small screen and instantly recognisable. Considered the rebel of the gang, Fonzie worked as an auto mechanic before attending night school and earning his high school diploma. Originally a bit part player, the public absolutely fell in love with the Fonz, turning him into a pop cultural phenomenon. Realizing they struck gold, the writers quickly re-shaped Happy Days with Fonzie as the central focus. Unfortunately, this over-exposure greatly reduced the character’s mysticism and, well, he jumped the shark.

#2: Dexter Morgan “Dexter” (2006-13)



Our favorite sociopathic serial killer might have his name in the title, but his familial bond with Rita and his son were Dexter’s heart. After the Trinity Killer taught Dexter a lesson in the dangers of procrastination, the series struggled to up the tension and this lax attitude seeped into Dexter himself. Working within the Miami Metro Police Department, this blood splatter analyst would hunt down and murder killers who managed to beat the system, thus satisfying his blood lust and avoiding claiming innocent lives. In the last few seasons though, he slowly began to lose his touch, and his drive. Jumping from one bland love interest to another didn’t help matters either.



Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.



Will Schuester

“Glee” (2009-15)



Doug Wilson

“Weeds” (2005-12)



Fish Mooney

“Gotham” (2014-)


#1: Cleveland Brown “The Cleveland Show” (2009-13)



Going from the straight-man to a Peter Griffin clone, this former baseball player should have stayed in Quahog. Over the seasons, most of Family Guy’s cast lost some of their appeal, but only one character got his own show. And boy were the results...mixed. When Peter Griffin and Homer Simpson are poking fun at you, then your life probably needs to be re-evaluated. Not all characters are designed to successfully make the leap from the minor to the major leagues, and Cleveland ended up being unrecognizable on The Cleveland Show. After crashing and burning on his own, he crawled back to Quahog and Family Guy
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