ByPri Figueiredo, writer at
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Pri Figueiredo

Every underdog character on TV starts out the same; they're the odd men out, the misfits, the misunderstood ones. They are usually sweet and quite brilliant — though their potential is never truly fulfilled or recognized. Although the typical underdog characters very rarely get the girl or grow into being a hero, sometimes there's some saving grace in their stories (and oh, but do we love it when they bounce back!). Once in a blue moon, they get that a chance to prove themselves or help the 'heroes' save the day, and we all let out that long-repressed cheer — often followed by some 'eye-sweat'.

Here are 5 of the most under-appreciated TV underdogs, and how they went from inspiring pity to restoring our hope in mankind.

5. Ross Geller: The Underdog with a PhD

'Friends' [Credit: NBC]
'Friends' [Credit: NBC]

' Dr. Ross Geller — as he likes to be addressed — has a PhD from Columbia University, is a professor at New York University, knows all there's to know about dinosaurs and is the most intelligent of his friends. Still, his friends make jokes at his expense, he dubbed himself the "divorce force" and his one true love always seems to be just out of his reach. It took him the whole of ten seasons to get the girl, but he and Rachel Green finally got together for good — unless they are on a break.

4. Alex Karev: The Underdog With No Bedside Manner

'Grey's Anatomy' [Credit: ABC]
'Grey's Anatomy' [Credit: ABC]

The other doctor in this list, Alex Karev started in just like everyone else: an intern with a lot to learn, who was constantly pushed to the limits by the hospital's chief — and Dr. Bailey, of course. Unlike his fellow interns, though, Karev did some heavy bullying of his own. Because of his traumatic childhood and his abusive father, Alex had a hard time being social and trusting people, and he always seemed lost — until Dr. Arizona Robbins decided to take Alex as her Peds intern. Karev is now Meredith's best friend, he's the top Pediatric Fellow in Sloan-Grey Memorial Hospital, and (you guessed it!) he got the girl as well!

3. Cisco Ramon: The Meta-Underdog

'The Flash' [Credit: The CW]
'The Flash' [Credit: The CW]

As part of Team Flash, Cisco is the genius with incredible mechanical engineering skills. He works in S.T.A.R. Labs and helps Barry Allen fulfil his hero role as — while also providing every new meta-human with a wicked sobriquet. Cisco is a friendly guy and a trustworthy member of the team, but he's self-conscious and constantly under-appreciates himself. He may have lost Hawkgirl to her century-old flame Carter Hall but, just like Barry, Cisco was affected by the Particle Accelerator and became a meta-human himself — who, by the way, just recently saved The Flash from the 'God of Speed' Savitar!

2. Carol Peletier: The Cookie Monster Underdog

When started, Carol was a meek and fragile thing, with an abusive husband and a daughter she couldn't protect. Throughout the show's seven seasons, she's been beaten, she's lost her daughter and she was even kicked out of the Survivors camp at the prison. But, through it all, Carol has proven to be one of the most consistent characters of The Walking Dead, always doing what needs to be done without hesitation — including burning corpses and Rambo-ing into Terminus. Carol's recently come a full circle — and yes, begun questioning her previous tactics — but, when push comes to shove, she'll fight alongside Rick and the gang against Negan.

1. Jon Snow: The Underdog That Knows Nothing

'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]
'Game of Thrones' [Credit: HBO]

To be fair, any of the surviving Stark children in could have made this list, since the are the ultimate underdogs. Since the show's very first episode, the family has been humiliated, subjugated, killed and torn apart; which led to there only being four (technically three) Starks left in Westeros. Jon Snow — who we now know isn't a Snow after all — has suffered the most; being a bastard, he joined the Night's Watch and had to watch from afar as his family and house were broken into pieces. Now, recently risen as 'King in the North', Jon is the head of the war against the White Walkers. He's the son of ice and fire — being half Stark and half Targaryen — and, "bastard or not", he is Westeros's only hope against the Long Night.

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Underdogs are always close to our hearts — even if they're rough round the edges, like Karev — because they give us hope that the injustices of life might be corrected one day. Some day, the geeky kid at school might not be bullied and even join the cool kids; the boring guy who only talks about dinosaurs will find someone who listens; the rude and blunt guy will get free hugs somewhere and become a better person; the docile and abused woman will find within herself the strength to plough through; and, who knows, the bastard might become king. In a world of misfits, everyone loves an underdog — after all, there's a little bit of them in all of us.


Which of these is your favorite underdog?


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