I am a big fan of awkward.
This is probably due to the fact that if someone were to write me into a television show, I’d like be that awkward sidekick. You know, the one who walks out of the airplane bathroom with toilet paper hanging out of her jeans, the ones who burns the side of her face with her curling iron, the one who sticks her bum through the back of a stranger’s wicker dining room chair, the one who is convinced that Johnny is told to “sweet the lick” and not “sweep the leg” in The Karate Kid.
Because, well, these things really *did* happen to me.
There is no shortage of wonderfully awkward characters on the big screen (see: Napoleon Dynamite) or on the small screen (see: Phil Dunphy on Modern Family), ranging from the adorkable to the downright uncomfortable to watch.
Brian Krakow, My So-Called Life
Is there anything not super cringe-worthy about the poor giant-haired boy who loved Angela Chase? The answer is no. There is not.
John Cage, Ally McBeal
Between waddles and face bras and dancing babies, you’d think it would be hard to pick out the most awkward character on Ally McBeal, but you’d be wrong. Quirky John Cage takes the cake on this one, hands down. The odd little biscuit man is socially inept, and yet fantastic in the courtroom. Also, he has a frog named Stephan and prefers to shout Poughkeepsie instead of humming through his stutters. Fabulous.
Liz Lemon, 30 Rock
There is no one quite like Liz Lemon. She fully appreciates the importance of a good sandwich, a good Christopher Walken impression, a fake astronaut boyfriend, cheese, and dressing as Princess Leia to get out of jury duty. She is the expert conversation stopper with zingers like “One time I laughed at a blind guy eating spaghetti! Sometimes I pee in the shower if I’m really tired! I saw my grandparents making love once and I didn’t leave right away!”
George Michael Bluth, Arrested Development
He loves his cousin. Need we say more?
Dr. Temperance Brennan, Bones
Bones is notorious for completely missing every single joke, idiom, or pop culture reference. She thinks way too literally—when her partner tells her that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, she wonders why he’s talking about ducks. She is infamous for answering back with “I don’t know what that means.” It’s funny, though, because her awkwardness in social situations only makes me (and Agent Booth) love her even more.
Leslie Knope, Parks & Recreation
Like Michael Scott, Leslie Knope always has the best intentions, but her slight incompetence and awkwardness seem to make everything fall apart. But she’s just so damn likeable and optimistic that it almost doesn’t matter. And she loves waffles. “I mean, that’s why people respect Hilary Clinton so much, because nobody takes a punch like her. She’s the strongest, smartest punching bag in the world.”
Abed Nadir, Community
At first glance, Abed is just a wee bit exactly like, well, me. He’s an encyclopedia of pop culture knowledge and actually relates to real-life situations by comparing them to television shows and quoting movies. Ahem. But, I think I’m slightly better at picking up normal social cues. And, well, I don’t make blanket forts.
Michael Scott, The Office
Hey, so, remember when Michael Scott told those kids that if they graduated from high school that he’d pay for their college tuition? “I told them if they graduated from high school, I would pay for their college education. I have made some empty promises in my life, but hands down, that was the most generous.” And remember the booze cruise when he told everyone the boat was sinking? And remember when he organized the charity auction and donated front row tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in concert—which he did not have? YES. Oh, the king of false promises, painfully funny situations, and “that’s what she said,” makes just about every single moment awkward and uncomfortable. He should probably get a medal for that.
Jess Day, New Girl
Oh Jess. So adorkable. With her hipster glasses, fringe bangs, random singing, and inability to use the word ‘penis,’ it’s impossible not to fall in love with Jess. And she falls into fountains and puts turkeys in the dryer—permanent press, naturally.
What about you? Who are your favorite awkward TV characters? Matt Saracen? Creepy Glen Bishop? Spongebob Squarepants? Seth Cohen? Rachel Berry?