Top 10 Teen Drama Characters Who Deserved Better

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Top 10 Teen Drama Characters Who Deserved Better

VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb WRITTEN BY: Molly Watts Johnson
Sorry not sorry to stir up more drama, but these teen drama characters deserved better. Our countdown includes "Gilmore Girls," "The 100," "13 Reasons Why," and more!
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Top 10 Teen Drama Characters Who Deserved Better


Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Teen Drama Characters Who Deserved Better.

For this list, we’ll only be looking at live action television shows geared towards a teen audience. The characters will be either leads or pretty well-established within the series, and all deserved a better storyline or ending than they got. As always, here’s your spoiler alert.

Let us know in the comments if you agree or disagree, and who you think should have been dealt a better hand.

#10: Kira Yukimura
“Teen Wolf” (2011-17)


For this entry, it was a toss-up between Kira and Allison Argent, two Teen Wolf characters who endured tumultuous storylines. Ultimately, we went with Kira. Kira was a Thunder Kitsune, a Japanese fox spirit whose powers deal with electricity. Kitsunes are incredibly powerful beings, but Kira was repeatedly shown as being unable to control her powers. She was only on for two and a half seasons before disappearing with the Skinwalkers and never returning. Played by Arden Cho, the character had an abrupt ending because her character’s storyline wasn’t going to be continued after Season 5. This led to fans being disappointed that this awesome character was never given an opportunity to truly shine.

#9: Maya St. Germain
“Pretty Little Liars” (2010-17)


Fans first met Maya in Season 1 when she moved to Rosewood and into Alison DiLaurentis’ house. Soon after, she and Emily became a couple. She was sweet, charming, and entirely supportive of Emily. She only lasted two seasons, though, before she met her demise at the hands of her stalker ex-boyfriend, who was furious that Maya had chosen to be with Emily over being with him. When there’s so little joyful representation of queer characters on TV, it was upsetting to see Maya meet the same fate - death - that a lot of other LGBTQ+ characters do. It was an unnecessary setback as far as normalizing queer characters being able to survive and thrive in their lives.

#8: Cordelia Chase
“Angel” (1999-2004)


Cordelia started off in Buffy the Vampire Slayer before transitioning into Buffy spinoff Angel. She was the catty popular girl who eventually joined forces with Buffy in fighting evil. Her quips were hilarious and her softening into an eventual hero was a joy to watch. In the spinoff, she and Angel developed a relationship but she ended up dying, quite unexpectedly, in the fifth season. The worst part about her death was how casually the news seemed to be taken by the rest of the characters, as if she hadn’t just spent the last 7 years as one of the leads in the Buffy-verse.

#7: Josie McCoy
“Riverdale” (2017-)


Next on our list is Josie of Josie and the Pussycats. Josie was focused, talented, sweet, and she loved to body roll. Really, she could and should have had her own show. Despite the show’s small number of black regular cast members, she was mainly used to advance the narratives of the other, white characters, instead of being given dimension. Meanwhile, her relationship with Archie could have been something really special if it had been given space to grow. In Katy Keene, she does end up moving to New York City, where her talent can flourish, but her time on Riverdale was spent mostly on the sidelines.

#6: Lane Kim
“Gilmore Girls” (2000-07)


Lane Kim was the badass drummer of the band Hep Alien and best friend of Rory Gilmore. She had dreams to become a rockstar and travel the world, but... she ended up marrying and getting pregnant at a young age. That isn’t to say that her choice to do so was a bad one, but she definitely deserved a shot at trying to achieve those goals. Due to the strictness of her household, her rebellious spirit could only exist in secret and away from her parents. She lived a double-life for years, only to be handed a pretty vanilla fate compared to what she wanted. It would have been great to see her really take the risk we all knew she was capable of.

#5: J.T. Yorke
“Degrassi: The Next Generation” (2001-15)


J.T. Yorke was the loveable, big-hearted goofball of Degrassi. Remember when he fought Dean after Paige told him what he did to her? Towards the end of Season 6, his time in the Degrassi-verse ends. After attending a party at Emma’s house, J.T. heads out to his car where two drunk students from Degrassi’s rival school, Lakehurst, are standing. One is urinating on the car as the other laughs. J.T. makes a quip, goes to unlock the car door, and gets stabbed in the back. J.T. could be a bit annoying, but there was no reason for him to be murdered in such a violent way. He was considered the glue holding the cast together, and he deserved to stay alive.

#4: Lexa
“The 100” (2014-20)


Lexa was a fan-favorite because of her general badassery, and because of her relationship with Clarke. Lexa’s death marked another LGBTQ+ character killed off pretty soon after being revealed to the audience as queer. Like Maya St. Germain, Lexa also only lasted for one season. In Season 3, her physical body is killed by Titus, who wanted to kill Clarke. Of all the people who could have been caught in the crossfire, Lexa was not the one. She was powerful and soft, and she and Clarke balanced each other beautifully. Sure, the actress, Alycia Debnam-Carey, was leaving the show, but it was a brutal blow that left a Lexa-shaped hole in everyone’s heart.

#3: Justin Foley
“13 Reasons Why” (2017-20)


Okay, so Justin really started out as someone we loved to hate before blossoming into someone we were genuinely rooting for. He went on an intense personal journey and started to show some real growth, but after getting sober for a second time, he was diagnosed with AIDS and died from the disease. Showing the consequences of the choices he made when he left town was one thing, but killing him off took it to another level. He was really fighting to make right all the wrong he’d done and this end just didn’t seem necessary.

#2: Bonnie Bennett
“The Vampire Diaries” (2009-17)


As we’ve seen, LGBTQ+ characters routinely receive the short end of the stick as far as storylines go - but so too do women of color. Bonnie Bennett is a prime example. Bonnie was often, if not mostly, used as a tool to assist every other, white character. She had to endure multiple deaths, we barely got to see into her internal life for longer than a glimpse, and she was shown as being too weak for the strength of her powers - hence all of the deaths. But she could use her mind to manipulate fire and set a car ablaze, so… it was nonsense. She was arguably one of the most powerful characters and should have been given the proper space to thrive.

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

Keith Scott, “One Tree Hill” (2003-12)
Murdered by His Brother, Dan Scott

Adam Torres, “Degrassi: The Next Generation” (2001-15)
Dies in Car Crash

Ander Muñoz, “Elite” (2018-)
Diagnosed with Cancer, Boyfriend Cheats on Him During Chemo

Quentin Fields, “One Tree Hill” (2003-12)
Shot at a Gas Station

#1: Bob Newby
“Stranger Things” (2016-)


Bob Newby: superhero (and hobbit). Bob was introduced in Season 2 of Stranger Things as the new boyfriend of Joyce Byers. Bob absolutely adored Joyce and doted on her throughout the whole season. He was kind of the Barbara Holland to her Nancy Wheeler, except that he and Joyce had a romantic relationship instead of a platonic best friendship. However, on that note, RIP to Barb, another character who deserved so, so much better. Back to Bob: when a group gets stuck in Hawkins Lab with a pack of bloodthirsty Demodogs, he saves them all by turning the electricity back on. After risking his life, spending the season loving and supporting not only Joyce but also her sons Will and Jonathan, Bob is gruesomely killed by one of the dogs. It was not only shocking, but deeply sad to see him go out like that.
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