There are characters we love, ones we love to hate, and ones who just bug the heck out of us (see: Ellis Boyd, currently making ''Smash'' viewers squirm). Our writers weigh in on the fictional folks who really get on their nerves

By EW Staff
Updated April 13, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT

1. Kim Bauer
24 (2001-10)
They called her ”Cougar Trap.” The hapless teenage daughter of terrorist fighter Jack Bauer on 24, Kim Bauer (Elisha Cuthbert) had a never-ending series of misadventures that kept distracting our hero from saving Los Angeles. Most infamously, a season 2 nature trek resulted in Kim getting caught in, yes, a cougar trap, then nearly eaten by the very animal the trap was meant to catch. Apparently the cougar was smarter than she was.—James Hibberd

2. Sam McKinney
Diff’rent Strokes (1984-86)
Most people point to The Brady Bunch‘s Cousin Oliver as the ultimate horrifying example of a newer, supposedly cuter little kid brought in to boost ratings, but give me Diff’rent Strokes‘ Sam. Wait… no, that’s not what I mean. I mean don’t give him to me. Because he’s super-annoying! Truth be told, I can’t remember what exactly made that little scamp (Danny Cooksey) so irritating, but every so often I wake up in a cold sweat with the words ”Hey, Mr. D!” running through my head. And it’s that kid’s fault. —Dalton Ross

3. Janice Litman
Friends (1994-2004)
If irritation could be tapped as a fuel source, our reaction to Janice’s laugh could power a midsize city. The curly-haired cackler (Maggie Wheeler) ruined any number of events in the Friends’ lives, popping up throughout Chandler’s courtship of and marriage to Monica, and even crowding into Rachel’s hospital room when they went into labor at the same time. —Lanford Beard

4. Nikki and Paulo
Lost (2006-07)
There’s a reason some characters are relegated to the background. When Lost writers decided to bring two of the also-crasheds to the forefront, no one could have predicted how grating the pair’s whiny inanity would become. Only 11 episodes after their debut, Nikki and Paulo (played by Kiele Sanchez and Rodrigo Santoro) were unceremoniously buried alive in a particularly gruesome (and satisfying) bit of fan service. —Keith Staskiewicz

5. Oliver Trask
The O.C. (2003-04)
Oliver (Taylor Handley) was around for only six episodes, but it seemed like much longer. During his time in Newport Beach, the Marissa-obsessed poor little rich boy faked a girlfriend and a suicide attempt, before sealing his TV-villain fate when he held Marissa hostage. Just the mention of Oliver’s name still makes us brood, Ryan Atwood style. —Breia Brissey

(For an extended list of TV’s most annoying characters, click here.

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