26 April 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Literary Folks Who Just Need a Good Slap Upside the Head

I don't usually participate in the Top Ten Tuesday memes sponsored by the good folks at The Broke and the Bookish because I work on Tuesdays and usually am too tired before and after work to complete a top ten list of any kind.  But this week the topic was so fun & vindictive that it begged my participation.  I've modified the original from Top Ten Mean Girls in Books to Top Ten Characters from Fiction Who Are In Need of Slapping.  In no particular order, other than the order in which they came to me:

1) Nellie Oleson from the Little House books.  What an awful little snot she was!  Sure, we feel sorry for her in the later years, but not as much as we would have were she not so mean to Laura & Mary in the early years.

2). Eustace Scrubb from The Chronicles of Narnia.  It's true that he got his comeuppance and became the right sort of chap, but until that point...totally slap-worthy.

3) Edmund Penvensie from The Chronicles of Narnia.  Yes, he redeems himself, but before then he betrays his sister multiple times and then works up to betraying his whole family.  All for the want of a little Turkish Delight, which isn't even that good anyway. Seriously, I tried some a few years ago and it was semi-nasty. 

4) Uriah Heep from David Copperfield.   He was so loathsome, petty and obsequious that I still shudder when I think of him.

5 Hilly Holbrook from The Help.  Small-minded, insidious, and socially powerful do not a pleasant character make.

6) Dolores Umbridge from the Harry Potter series.  Because not all evil (and sadistic!) characters are actually Death Eaters. (And conversely not all Death Eaters are evil, but that's a topic for another day...)

7) Cornelius Fudge from the Harry Potter series.  He may not be evil, but he's shallow and power hungry and more concerned with losing his position than with helping the wizarding world. A few slaps upside the head would have improved him immensely.

8) Lady Catherine de Bourgh from Pride and Prejudice.  I probably don't need to elaborate here.

9) Josie Pye from the Anne books. All of the other girls in Avonlea have redeeming qualities, even silly Ruby Gillis.  But Josie was a real piece of work.

10) For the last one, I'd like to invite all of you to leave a comment and tell me who is the top mean girl/guy in *your* book!


  1. Top mean girl for me is Ruth in Never Let Me Go. I think there are quite a few slappable characters in Narnia!

  2. I've seen Dolores Umbridge on almost every list today. She's so awful.

    I didn't even think of Catherine de Bourgh (I went with Caroline Bingley) but she is also a great one!

  3. Completely agree with Umbridge- I actually get angry while reading about her.

    I have to say, though, Edmund is my favourite character in the whole of Narnia, and he wouldn't be if it wasn't for how it starts.

  4. Nice list. Umbridge is on mine, as well. I went with the White Witch from the Narnia Series :)

  5. I love your list - Eustace so deserves his place (even if he's not a girl!). Thanks for stopping by my blog:-)

  6. I love the combined list! Ooh, why didn't I think of Catherine de Bourgh? Or the White Witch, as Cyndi M. pointed out? Shoot. :)

  7. This topic made me giggle...You have excellent slap taste! :)

  8. Ellie, I forgot about Ruth. Goon one!

    Red, it was a toss-up for me among Lady Catherine, Caroline Bingley, and Fanny Dashwood for an Austen mean girl.

    Ben, Edmund is the one who grows most as a character and he gives the series meaning in terms of forgiveness and redemption. But didn't you want to slap him at the beginning for being a little snit-snot? Maybe it's just me...

  9. My #1 is Selia from The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale, and my #2 is Miss Caroline Bingley from Pride and Prejudice.
    "Nice" (mean, really) top 10, I think I've seen Dolores is every list ;)

  10. Great list! Hilly made my list as well. I hope the movie captures her awfulness!

    Reading Lark's Top 10

  11. The White Witch ended up on my list. :p


  12. It seems like there are lots of folks I'd like to slap (fictional and not), but I should've written them down at the time, because I can't remember them now. I have to say, Hilly has made several lists. I wanted to slap every last person in The Help. Mostly, I admit, the white women, though I thought the black characters were pretty crappily drawn, too.

  13. Robyn, I think The Help is the first book where our opinions diverge so strongly--I happen to be listening to it now on CD for the third time and I love it. Maybe we can have a discussion offline and you can tell me more about what you despise about it.

  14. My top mean girl was Sam Kingston from Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall.

  15. I know she's not a "mean girl" but I totally want to slap Bella in Twilight for being such a senseless goon.

  16. Don't just slap Umbridge, set Peeves on her!

  17. Oh and I agree with Madigan, Bella needs some sense slapping into her


Please, sir, may I have some more? (Comments, that is!)