Problematic Fave | Original (Book) Tag

I reached 100 followers recently (I’m currently at 123) and I wanted to do something special to thank you guys. I didn’t wanna make a whole post just to say that I reached that number (that seemed a bit pointless), so when I came up with this tag I thought it would be the perfect way to thank everyone!

We all have our problematic faves – characters who do bad stuff but who we love and support no matter what, because we see something good in them, something special. That’s what this tag is about.

I also want to add that I did a bit of searching and I think no one has done a tag like this before, because I didn’t find anything, but if you know of a similar tag that already exists, please tell me – I have no intention of stealing anyone’s idea!


1. A character everyone loves that you hate

It took me a long time to come up with an answer to this one, because there aren’t many characters who are super popular who I can’t stand. But ultimately I’m gonna go with Johanna, the main character in How to build a Girl. If you know me, you know that I really don’t like that book, but everyone seems to love it – so that’s my answer. Kinda funny actually, because my best friend’s name is Johanna.


2. A character everyone hates that you love

Bella Swan from the Twilight books. I freaking love that series and there’s nothing you can say to change my mind. Everyone hates Bella because she’s kind of boring, she doesn’t really have any special traits, and she’s not very emotional or expressive. But the thing is – I’m kind of like that. Bella loves staying home and reading or just watching a movie, she doesn’t have a lot of friends, she doesn’t like talking about her problems, and when something happens she doesn’t get all dramatic about it, she just stays calm and reacts to it internally, without showing how she feels about the situation on her face. I’m not an expressive person, I usually have the same expression on my face at all times, so I get Bella.



3. A character who started out problematic but grew to be a better person

Firstly, John Murphy from The 100. He starts out super problematic. He’s impulsive, aggressive and just completely insane. But he later becomes very likable – we find out his story and he gets to play the hero a few times. He’s still a jerk and kind of crazy, but I honestly loved him from the start – definitely a problematic fave of mine.


The other character I think changed for the better is Harry Potter. I mean, just think about him in books 3, 4 and 5. He’s such a jerk. Later he learns how to be nicer and how to treat people kindly. I still don’t like him that much as a character (I’m much more of a Hermione fan), but I think it’s fair to say that he grows a lot throughout the books.

giphy (5).gif


4. A character who started out good but became problematic

The one that first comes to mind is Achilles from The Song of Achilles. That book is one of my all-time favourites, I absolutely adore it, and the ending is heart-breaking. Achilles starts as a happy, wonderful character, but later things get much darker for him. It’s not entirely his fault, but it’s still his responsibility.

Another character who made a dark change is Piper from Orange is the New Black. Keep in mind I’m talking about the TV show, not the book. The original biography is very different from the adaptation, and Piper does not turn into a crazy asshole. I didn’t really like Piper from the start, I thought she was boring compared to all the other inmates, and her story got old pretty fast. But when she started being a jerk on top of being useless, I couldn’t stand her anymore.

giphy (6).gif


5. A problematic couple that you ship (doesn’t have to be canon)

One is definitely Aria and Ezra from Pretty Little Liars. I mean, there are the obvious things – he’s older, he’s a teacher while she’s a student … but then he also does something really bad, and I think a lot of people stopped shipping them because of it. I definitely hated him for a while after that, but over the seasons he got better and nicer again, and I kind of feel bad about it but I went back to shipping them, and so did a lot of fans.


A non-canon couple I ship is Draco and Harry from the Harry Potter books. They’re problematic for obvious reasons – they are always bullying and insulting each other. That’s not a good base for a healthy relationship. But I just think they would be SO cute together.



6. A couple everyone ships that you find problematic (doesn’t have to be canon)

This one also took me some time to come up with, but ultimately I realised it was Kvothe and Denna from the Kingkiller series (The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear). I can’t stand Denna, and I hate how she treats Kvothe. Maybe it’s because I know people who treat their friends like that, who just disappear on them and when they come back they don’t even say sorry, but their relationship bothers me A LOT.


7. A problematic trope that you love

The “male hero who is an asshole but has a tragic story and is really hot so everyone loves him”. I LOVE this trope. I know it’s really bad, because what it says is that it’s okay to be a jerk if you’re hot and had a sad childhood, but ALL my favourite characters are like that. Seriously, if I list my favourite fictional people they’re all tragic male heroes who are not nice. Draco Malfoy and John Murphy for example. There are some exceptions of course, but I tend to love characters like that.


8. A book/TV show/movie that is problematic but you love anyway

For this one I’m going with the TV show Friends. I had never seen it as a child because I didn’t grow up in the US, and in Europe it’s not that big of a deal. But I decided to binge-watch it about a year ago and I LOVED it. But it’s quite problematic in a lot of ways. I don’t like the portrayal of trans people, for example. I also thought it was quite annoying that while there is a lesbian couple, we never see them kiss, because apparently that’s not an okay thing to show on TV.


A book series that I like but find a bit problematic is the Shadow World trilogy by Jane Johnson. It’s a children’s trilogy but it’s very violent and a bit inappropriate for kids, and I also thought it was sexist at times, even though it was written by a woman.


9. A book/TV show/movie that you hate because it’s problematic

I have a movie and a TV show for this one. The movie is Baby Mama, and I’m mostly angry at it because I was so disappointed. It stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who I kind of see as very progressive, amazing women, but the movie had some really problematic jokes. They made fun of intersex people twice, which was completely unnecessary and not even related to the plot?!

giphy (7).gif

The TV show I want to mention is Ray Donovan. I started watching it because it stars Kate Moennig, who played Shane in The L Word and is one of my favourite actresses, but I was so disappointed. Kate Moennig is barely in the show at all, and the other characters are unlikable to no end. The show has lots of problematic jokes and I honestly have no idea why it’s so popular – the story is really boring. I gave up on it after a few episodes and have no intention of watching it again.



10. Lastly, your problematic fave

I could repeat myself and name Draco Malfoy and John Murphy, but I’m gonna go with character I haven’t talked about in this post yet.

One is Brian Kinney from Queer as Folk. I wrote a post with 5 reasons why you should totally watch Queer as Folk this week, so if you feel like checking that out, you can do that here. Brian is one of the main character in the show, and he’s a jerk with a sad story and a very pretty face (see, there’s that trope again!). He’s possibly my favourite character in the history of all characters. I love that guy SO MUCH.

giphy (4)

I also love pretty much all the characters from The Secret History. They are not good people, they do a lot of weird shit, and they think they can do whatever they want because they’re rich, smart and pretty. But I love them so much! Which is why they’re my problematic faves.

And lastly, Bucky Barnes from the Avengers! He’s not that problematic – all the crap he did was just because he was being controlled by some military freaks, so he wasn’t being a serial killer because he wanted to. But I think he still counts as a bit problematic, and he definitely falls into the “tragic guy who is really hot” trope, so bonus points!



So this was my original tag! What I like about this is that because I came up with it, nobody has done it yet, so I can tag pretty much anyone.

Amy @ Inkyspells | Fatima @ Noteable Pad | Lauren @ Wonderless Reviews | Kai @ Black Cat Kai | Beth @ Reading Every Night | Madeline @ The SFF Bookshelf | Emily @ Rose Read | Naz @ Read Diverse Books | Emma @ The Bookish Underdog | Stephanie @ Adventures of a Bibliophile | Sammie @ Bookshelves and Biros | Bina @ If You Can Read This | Jill @ Rant and Rave about Books

If I haven’t tagged you and you feel like doing this anyway, feel free! And if you think this tag sucks, just ignore me and don’t do it. No pressure.


‘Till next time and happy reading!



44 thoughts on “Problematic Fave | Original (Book) Tag

  1. Ooh this is really interesting!! Great idea and answers 😊 I loved Murphy so much when I was watching The 100. I miss him, haha. Maybe I should start watching it again. Also, Bucky is the love of my life 💞

    Thanks for tagging me! This is gonna be another fun one 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Omg, fucking Piper! You’re so right about her. I can’t wait for season 3 but she’s such an asshole and a jerk now. A really cool jerk, though..

    All your answers for #10 are perfect.
    Damn Bucky is so annoying but we still love him. I don’t think he ever apologized to Tony for you know what! Rude.
    Brian…I like him as a character study. I don’t like him much as a person. haha. But I actually haven’t watched all the seasons yet, though I doubt anything that happens later in the show will change my mind about him. I love to hate him (and love him a little bit).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, this is such a good, original tag! I have so many characters to talk about, so thanks for tagging me! And thanks for not limiting it just books (but even if you did, I’d probably still break the rules 😛 I’m a rebel)
    I like the male-asshole-but-he-has-a-history-trope too! Provided it’s reasonable of course, and he’s not just being an asshole for no reason. I mean, if it’s done well, this trope can actually be the best. But there are some characters that I just can’t defend, and no tragic history can account for that.
    My favourite is morally ambiguous characters – they just get to me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, so happy you like it! 😊
      Most of my problematic faves are from TV shows so I couldn’t just make it about books haha.
      Yeah, that’s exactly what I like! It depends on the type of asshole – if he’s sexist or whatever it’s not cool. What I like is male characters who are just kinda rude to everyone, no exceptions. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, exactly. I’m not going to swoon for a sexist, because nothing about that is appealing. I think it adds depth to characters. I’m not likely to be interested in an average Joe.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a cool tag!! Thanks so much for tagging me. And congrats on 100 followers! 😀

    Bella Swan is probably the most relatable teenage character ever. I just don’t think people like to admit it, haha. I’ve never understood all the hate for her.

    I’m so with you on Draco and Harry—and Draco in general, really. I actually find myself liking him more and more with each reread.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah I agree with you about harry being more annoying as the series went on- personally I really didn’t like him in book 5. aria and ezra is pretty problematic when you think about it- but I also ship them (even though I know I shouldn’t). It’s interesting what you said about friends, but I just don’t see it as problematic for a couple of reasons: 1 cos it was made in the 90s and was actually breaking ground on the subjects you mentioned and 2 because it’s comedy and comedy is not always meant to make you feel comfortable- but you’re entitled to your opinion

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know that Friends is an old show, but that doesn’t change the fact that now it’s problematic. And I know it’s comedy, but using trans people as comic relief is not okay – being offensive to be funny is to me just a sign of someone who is not actually funny. There are a lot of funny moments in the show, but I think a lot of the jokes are just rude.
      Of course, as you said, everyone has their opinion.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this idea for a tag. And thank you for tagging me! 😊 I agree with you on John from The 100. I was shocked when he popped back in the show later on, but I was glad he did. I like complex characters. I’m a Hermione fan, too. She’s my favorite character in the series. And Ron’s such a goof I can’t help but love him, too. Harry was kinda whatever for me. It was the supporting characters who drew me in. This post reminds me that I bought the Orange is the new black book and never read it. I also stopped watching the show after the second season. Piper was annoying the hell out of me. I liked the supporting cast much better. High-five on the bad boy trope. I love bad boys in real life and in books. As I got older, I obviously realized you can’t date that guy in real life because they’re a train wreck, but in books they’re so much fun to read about. Bucky… Yes! It doesn’t hurt that Sebastian Stan was also Carter Baizen in Gossip Girl 😍 and The Mad Hatter on Once Upon A Time. Love him! Achilles is my favorite character ever. The Iliad is my favorite book because of him. He’s so complex. I haven’t read The Song of Achilles yet but it’s on my TBR. I love Greek retellings. Achilles in general is not a likable character, but I love his passion. I heard he marries Patroclus in this book, so I’m curious to see how their relationship is portrayed. Some historians believed they were lovers, although never shown by Homer in The Iliad. I believe they were cousins in the movie adaptation. I’m assuming Patroclus dies, if the author stays true to the original story. Patroclus’ death is such an important part of the Trojan War, so I hope that’s in the modern retelling. Okay, I’m rambling. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! No problem. x
      I actually don’t like Ron either haha.
      I still like the show, but I get why you would stop watching. You should read the book! Piper is actually quite lovely in real-life.
      Wait, Bucky is in Gossip Girl? I think I just found another reason to watch the show. 😀
      Hmmm I don’t think he marries him. They’re just kind of together, and everyone knows but also no one knows.
      Yeah, sadly Patroclus dies. Achilles’ reaction is what’s so devastating about the ending.
      Thank you for the long comment! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the real reason I lost interest in the show is because it’s filmed entirely in prison, which bored me after a while. But Piper is a pain. I’ll put the book back on my TBR. It’s collecting dust on my shelf. Yeah, Bucky is in Gossip Girl. He’s not in a ton of episodes, but he starts off being friends with Chuck and Nate, then eventual enemies. I won’t reveal anymore so you can see for yourself. Gossip Girl is one of my favorite shows, and I really liked him as The Mad Hatter. Oh, I thought I read a review that said they got married. Maybe they were supposed to. I’m not sure. Patroclus’ death is so sad, but it’s so important to the development of Achilles’ character. It was tough to read in The Iliad, so I can only imagine how sad it is in this book. I really need to move that up on my list. I’ve been wanting to read it since I heard about it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I got a bit bored too to be honest. There wasn’t that much happening after all.
          I hope you like the book when you get around to it! 😊
          The only thing that scares me about Gissip Girl is that it has SO MANY episodes. I always binge-watch TV shows, I can’t just watch them normally, so starting it means days of doing nothing but watching it, alone in my room. I’ll stop doing everything else. I’m not sure if I want that right now. 😂
          I kept putting it off for some reason, and then I finally read it and had no idea why I had waited so long – it’s fantastic and it pulls you in right from the first page!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I do the same thing. I watched Gossip Girl every week when it was on TV, then binge watched it 3 times on Netflix. You should’ve seen me with Breaking Bad. I didn’t leave the house for 3 days. I had to know what happened. When I get hooked, I’m obsessed, so I know how that goes. 😉I love a book that can hook you within the first few pages. It’s so rare when I find that, but when I do, I usually read it in one sitting.

            Liked by 1 person

  7. Great original tag! I might give it a go 🙂 Haha I listened to the audiobook of Twilight first and the narrator just sounded so whiney XD I agree, Harry annoyed me in book 5! I think he was just going through teenage angst. I secretly like the male heros with tragic past – e.g. Will from the Infernal Devices! 😀 I’m really late to the party, but I need to watch the Avengers movies at some point!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You have to read some Cassandra Clare 😀 especially the Infernal Devices! i think that trilogy is my favourite. They’re really good and gave me a lot of ‘feels’ XD. Thanks! I recently saw the two Thor movies and I’m making my way through watching all the Marvel movies 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This is such a great idea for a tag! And thanks for tagging me as well, I can’t wait to get started on this one. I love Bucky Barnes, I think he’s my problematic fave as well and he’s definitely my favourite character from the MCU (as well as Steve Rogers and the Black Panther after I saw Civil War!)
    Also congrats on 100 followers (or slightly over 100 now I guess) you must be so thrilled, and it’s definitely well deserved as well 😀

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s