If you've recently started binge-watching or rewatching This Is Us on Netflix, you're discovering (or rediscovering) the quirks of the Pearson family and all of the colorful characters around them. Like any show, not all of these characters are universally loved. Sometimes they make choices we don't agree with, leading to extreme dislike from fans. Sometimes the dislike is just inherent.
As fans know, one of the show's most disliked characters throughout the six-season run was Miguel. Why? It's a long story, but we'll get into it. And a lot of fans felt particularly strong feelings toward two members of the Big Three and two of their partners. While there are definitely some additional characters who were disliked at various points, these are the most popular picks among fans.
So, who are five of the most disliked This Is Us characters? We've rounded up the top five picks and ranked them from least to most disliked, though, as with any ranking, your mileage may vary. Without further ado, let's get the list started with Kate, who (hot take!) actually doesn't deserve to be as disliked as she was at any point of the show's timeline.
Yes, it's true: I don't think Kate deserves the hate. Sure, sometimes she was in the wrong, but she's a kind and well-intentioned character who's spent most of her life working through various traumas and personal struggles. A lot of the criticism Kate receives has to do with her never holding herself accountable and playing the victim in certain situations, but I believe that for the most part, the writers did an amazing job writing three-dimensional, dynamic stories for Kate. She's not perfect and has never claimed to be, and the way she handles her emotions is strinkingly human.
It's not just present-day Kate that was disliked by fans. Teen Kate was probably even more so the version of the character that annoyed fans. I mean, she was a teenager, just like her brothers. When we grow up and gain knowledge about how to move through the world, we tend to forget how it feels to be a teenager. Kate was a normal teenager and a pretty good depiction of one in the '90s, too. Was she annoying sometimes? Of course, but aren't we all kind of annoying sometimes?
As we watched Kevin come of age, we saw him grapple with his place in his family, his intelligence, and so many other things that made him feel different from his siblings. However, the person Kevin is in the present day doesn't... really... seem to have carried the lessons the flashbacks show he learned. He's a privileged actor living in Los Angeles. His sister is his assistant. He makes decisions without showing concern for the consequences because that's something he can get away with.
That's not to say that Kevin is some sort of monster. He has a big heart and the capacity to learn from his mistakes. But honestly, the reason he's disliked probably has more to do with the fact that, as a character, he might be the least compelling. A lot of his stories revolve around who he's dating, and he's such a romantic that he believes he's going to end up with every woman he dates. I mean, he ends up with the first girl he ever loved. Overall, his stories often gave us a lot of the same.
For me, I didn't really come to dislike Toby to a real extent until the tail end of the series when he and Kate were going through their rough patch and subsequent divorce. But I know that a lot of viewers weren't members of the Toby Damon fan club from day one. I can understand; the "comic relief" character in a drama is a challenging one to play. He was so jokey that it was tough to take him seriously. That's not a pickle that befell Beth, the unsung hero of This Is Us.
To circle back, Toby's behavior in the midst of their divorce and the way he invoked Kate's father's name was wrong. Considering he had previously pressured Kate into opening up about Jack's death (among other uncomfortable moments in their relationship), throwing the fact that "he's not Jack" in Kate's face was so below the belt. Toby from the earlier days might have been obnoxious, as some fans have said, but Toby from the end of the series felt like a completely new and worse person.
Just when we thought there was no coming back from that moment in the first episode, Madison becomes Kate's best friend. Later in the series, she also becomes the mother of Kevin's twins, Frannie and Nicky, as well as his ex-fiancé. That's all to say that against all odds, Madison turned it around and became a key member of the Pearson family. But that didn't always put her in the good graces of fans.
Madison has been deemed annoying and a plot device, but is that a fair assessment? She's mostly harmless, and Caitlin Thompson plays the character so well. Should she be "unlikable" because she slept with her best friend's brother? Seems like Kevin should catch the brunt of that for sleeping with his sister's best friend. I don't share the popular distaste fans have for Madison, but wow, there's a portion of This Is Us fans who really can't stand Madison.
JUSTICE FOR MIGUEL! Looking back, it's tough to remember exactly why the fandom turned on Miguel so quickly and with such a force. But man, did he catch some smoke. Also, don't try to rewrite history now. Everyone hated Miguel. I was there! I remember! For the most part, the Miguel hate train had to do with him marrying Rebecca after Jack's death. Marrying his best friend's widow isn't the best look I guess. A lot of mixed feelings involved.
But I think if that was the entirety of why he was hated, it was kind of unfair. He had a bit of a falling out with his own children, too, but those things are complicated. Also, we just didn't know the whole story. All we knew is that Kevin didn't like him, and perhaps we shouldn't have been following Kevin's lead. Kevin might have been just to harbor some ill will toward his stepfather, but for all we knew, he treated Rebecca well and was a doting grandfather to boot.
All six seasons of This Is Us are currently available to stream on Netflix.