Tele-Tuesday: Television’s Biggest Turkeys

A turkey by definition is a large bird that has brownish plumage and a bare, wattled head and neck; this bird is widely domesticated for food, especially for the North American holiday of Thanksgiving.

Gobble. Gobble. (Photo courtesy of Jonas West Photography)

But, in the slang world, a turkey is also considered to be an inept, undesirable, thoughtless, or annoying person.

Since we celebrate Thanksgiving this week here in the states, I thought I’d share some of the biggest turkeys on the telly today.  While the slang definition sounds a bit harsh, my list in no way indicates that I don’t love these turkeys.  Many of the characters on my list steal the show the moment they walk into a scene.

Let’s look back to the ‘90s for a minute… take Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld for instance.  He’s definitely a turkey!  Not only was he goofy, but most of his brilliant ideas never really panned out.

And, how about Phoebe Buffay from Friends?  She was the least popular of the girls, and well, she was not nearly as accomplished either.  Turkey…

Without a doubt, I enjoyed these two characters very much.  Heck, some have even compared my personality to Phoebe’s on more than one occasion.  Back in college, one friend had Phoebe’s popular coffee shop song “Smelly Cat” set as my personalized ring tone on his cell phone… I loved it!

But, now let’s take a look at a few of today’s TV turkeys…


First, there’s the thoughtless and annoying:

Shawn Spencer – Psych

Seriously, I love Shawn.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t want Gus to slap him on occasion…  Shawn’s always flying off, pretending to do his psychic thing, and dragging Gus into crazy and sometimes dangerous situations.  But like I said, I love him.  Oh, and I do have to admit that Shawn seemed a bit less thoughtless last season…

Schmidt – New Girl

Schmidt is kind of thoughtless and a bit annoying, but oh my gosh, is he funny or what??  He’s also a bit socially inept, considering he thinks everything is about him… while at the same time, I’m not convinced he wouldn’t do anything at the drop of a hat for his roommates.

Noah Werner – Suburgatory

To be honest, I don’t know if I’d like Noah as much as I do if the character wasn’t played by the hilarious Alan Tudyk.  Noah is all about Noah; George is probably his closest friend in the world, yet he still felt the need to dress as George for Halloween, ultimately making fun of his friend’s financial and social status in the very wealthy Chatswin.  But, it was funny…

James Van Der Beek – Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23

Oh, James.  He’s all about James.  James.  James.  James.  But, he makes this show.  Without him, I’m not so sure we’d even watch.

Evan Lawson – Royal Pains

What can we say about Evan?  Hmmm…  He whines a lot and his scheming usually causes big trouble… typical little brother, right?

Stefan Salvatore – The Vampire Diaries

Stefan is probably the polar-opposite of thoughtless, yet he’s still not the most popular Salvatore brother.  He’s such a do-gooder that his character may be one of the most annoying on television today.  This girl likes Ripper Stefan way better.


Next, we have the inept and undesirable:

Louis Litt – Suits

Louis may not be professionally inept, but he’s definitely lacking socially.  Poor guy.  All he wants is to be Harvey’s friend… to have Harvey’s approval.  But, with the way he acts, he’s never going to get it.

Garth Fitzgerald IV – Supernatural

Oh, Garth… he means well; really, he does.  He’s just a bit quirky.  He in no way holds a candle to our favorite Winchester boys, socially or sexually, but we love when he stops by and helps with a case just the same.

Jason Stackhouse – True Blood

Now, Jason is definitely NOT undesirable from a sexual standpoint; however, he is a bit dense.  Okay, he’s a lot dense.  But, not only is he nice to look at, Jason might have some of the best “dumb” one-liners on television today… a comedic relief of sorts for an otherwise very serious show.   

“Stiles” Stilinski – Teen Wolf

Stiles, Stiles.  He’s socially inept and the least desirable of the boys at Beacon Hills High.  However, he is one of the best friends a teenage werewolf could ask for… and did I mention funny?


Now, it’s your turn!  What turkeys would you add to this list—past or present? Why?  I’d love to hear from you!


7 Replies to “Tele-Tuesday: Television’s Biggest Turkeys”

  1. Jason is so dumb he’s cute. Schmidt…I’ve never seen anyone like Schmidt. He’s indescribable. The similarities between Stefan and Angel from Buffy are amazing. In fact, let’s just throw Angel into this list. We all knew Buffy belonged with Spike, and Elena belongs with Damon. Oh, wait. You said “Today’s turkeys.” Sorry… 🙂

  2. Gus does need to slap Shawn. Definitely a turkey sometimes, especially with Gus’s credit card. I’m stumped on other turkeys, although I’m tempted to nominate the whole family of RAISING HOPE.

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