3 Fictional Characters We Used to Make Fun of, but Now Find Surprisingly Relatable

You know those TV or movie characters from your childhood that you either thought were evil or lame or just easy to make fun of? Me too, and as it turns out, the joke is on us! Growing up and experiencing ~adulthood~ has made me realize that I’m no longer the bright-eyed, adventurous person I used to be. In fact, rewatching old shows and movie has actually brought  certain irony to my attention: I am one of those “villains.” Below, you’ll find a few fictional villains and supporting characters that many of us used to find heartless or dark and depressing, but realized we relate to them now more than ever.

  1. 1. The Grinch

    The classic children’s anti-hero, The Grinch was known for delivering hilarious one-liners. However, these jokes were just that--hilarious. Most of us couldn’t relate to the idea of hating Christmas with such a passion, and (speaking for myself) I still can’t, but his antisocial tendencies and desire to remain isolated with just his dog is a feeling all too familiar to many college students. His character manages to incorporate different personas including teen & adolescent angst, and the classic burnt-out college student who would give anything to cancel plans to go out and just have a night (or every night) to his or herself.

  2. 2. Squidward

    I personally didn’t watch a whole lot of Spongebob in my childhood years, but I am familiar with Squidward’s constant pessimistic attitude and desire to ruin Spongebob’s fun. He has a dream he feels is unattainable, and therefore mopes around Bikini Bottom with a patience level that is practically nonexistent. Now I’m not saying that the way Squidward often behaves is right, but he does have his moments that really make me feel like we are one and the same. In all honesty, I would get annoyed by Spongebob too! He’s annoying! I just believe that Squidward’s down-in-the-dumps personality, coupled with his irritability and daily frustration is a reappearing theme throughout the struggle of college life.

  3. 3. Millicent 

    This character is a bit more obscure than the others, but for those of you who don’t remember Millicent from Suite Life of Zack & Cody, she’s the very anxious cashier who would occasionally fill in for Maddie at the Candy Bar in the Tipton. She was known for getting stressed out in response to insignificant obstacles, and we all used to find this funny. Yet here I am--twenty years old--and, during a tough academic week where I haven’t slept well and I have lots of assignments coming up, I could be delivered the wrong Insomnia Cookies and have a breakdown. So, Millicent, I apologize for judging you. As it turns out, I am you.

As you can see, there’s a big difference between how we view fictional characters as children as opposed to  “adults.” Unfortunately, life just isn’t as simple as it used to be. Instead of having the free time to watch these shows for hours on end, I have to stress over classes and future career, and I get to watch myself become these characters. Isn’t that fun?