In honor of this Thursday's premiere of Undateable (9 p.m., NBC), I thought it would be appropriate to look back at TV's rich history of undateables. Some were clearly undateable at the time, others only in retrospect. Keep in mind, these are just one person's thoughts -- I'd love to know who you think the most undateable characters in TV history are, and please watch Undateable, Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC!
THE FONZ, Happy Days: Fonzie is undateable because of his sketchy past. Don't get me wrong, The Fonz has some great stuff going for him. He's loyal, he's got fantastic hair, he sticks up for people who can't stick up for themselves. And he's "The Fonz" -- he's the coolest. (The man jumped a shark on water skis, while wearing a leather jacket. It doesn't get any cooler than that, right?)
But here's what we also know about Arthur Fonzarelli. Fonzie is a former member of the notorious Milwaukee motorcycle gang, The Falcons. I've watched Sons of Anarchy. You have to do some pretty dark stuff as a member of a motorcycle club. You're probably saying: "Maybe Fonzie was the bad boy with the heart of gold and he never really did anything that bad!" Here's the thing: Happy Days is pretty clear that The Fonz has an infamous reputation in the Milwaukee street gang scene, and most of the gang members he runs across are terrified at the mere sight of him. Now, you'd have to be a seriously bad MF'er to strike instant fear in the hearts of the most dangerous dudes in town. I'm not saying the The Fonz curb-stomped someone... but I'm not saying he didn't. (It should be noted that The Fonz fixes EVERYTHING by punching it.)
Finally, and probably even more undateable than his former gang affiliations, Fonzie is never willing to admit he's wrong and always refuses to say "I'm sorry," which are always great building blocks for every relationship.
CLIFF CLAVIN, Cheers: In his own words, "There's actually no rule against mailmen dating women. It just sort of turns out that way." God bless, Cliffy. He's your prototypical lovable loser and a classic undateable. He lived with his mother in his childhood home, until he moved into a condo... also with his mom. All of Cliff's spare time is spent at a bar. And he is a big time know-it-all, constantly boring the people around him with his little known useless facts.
GEORGE COSTANZA, Seinfeld: The self-proclaimed "Lord of the Idiots" is the gold standard by which all other undateables should be measured. He is an admitted and proud liar, possibly a sociopath, definitely a narcissist, has anger management issues, and is also a hypochondriac. He enjoys lying about his occupation (architect, marine biologist, latex salesman for Vandelay Industries to name a few), he created a fake charity (The Human Fund -- "Money For People!") to avoid buying holiday gifts for his co-workers, and also pretended to be disabled in order to get his own, private bathroom at work. George is not a brave man, as evidenced when a fire started at a child's birthday party and he knocked down everyone in his way, including an elderly woman with a walker, to get out. Oh, and he accidentally killed his fianceé, Susan, with the toxic glue on the envelopes he picked out for their wedding invitations. And the doctor's summary of George's reaction to the news of Susan's death? "Restrained jubilation." He then called old-fling, Marisa Tomei to see if she wanted to go out, after the funeral. R.I.P. Susan Biddle Ross.
JOEY TRIBBIANI, Friends: You're probably thinking, "Please! Ross was a whiner and Chandler had a third nipple -- Joey is the most dateable of the Friends guys! How is a guy who went on so many dates, 'undateable'?" That's the thing -- Joey is undateable because he's been around. Reddit user larry_b took the time to calculate the number of sex partners each of the Friends had during the run of the series. Here are larry_b's findings.
According to the research, "How you doin'?" did pretty well for old Joe. Joey had sex with 51.5 women. (larry_b gives half points for probable but unconfirmed sexual encounters). And, again, that's only during the run of the show. It doesn't count the women he was with before the friends started hanging out at Central Perk, nor does it count the women he was with after, which includes an episode of Joey in which Joey gets to judge a beauty pageant, sleeps with one of the contestants, and then decides the only way to remain a fair and impartial judge is to sleep with all of them. So, if you're a person who likes a man with a lot of "experience", then Joey is your guy. If not, you're probably better off with Chandler (10.5 partners). Also, Joey doesn't share food.
SHELDON COOPER, The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon is proudly undateable -- dating genuinely doesn't seem to interest him. But even if it did, Sheldon definitely has his quirks, to say the least. Yes, he's a genius, but he knows it and loves to let everyone around him know it, too. As Sheldon puts it: "My brain is better than EVERYBODY'S!!" He has a major superiority complex, which pairs nicely with his narcissism, complete lack of empathy, and zero social skills. Sheldon's a germaphobe and a hypochondriac and, as a result, not really into physical contact with other humans. So if you desire intimacy of any kind, and I do mean any kind (don't hold your breath for a hug, and if you do get one it will be awkward and painful for both of you), Sheldon is not your man. He also has four restraining orders against him, from Stan Lee, Leonard Nimoy, Bill Nye The Science Guy, and the late Carl Sagan. That's a lot of restraining orders. Red flag.
HONORABLE MENTION: VICKI, Small Wonder. #Undateable because she was a robot. Sorry robots.