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Annoying TV Kid Bracket: Can Joffrey Baratheon Be Stopped?

The former Lord of the Seven Kingdoms was evil, but that isn’t quite the same as “annoying.” It’s up to Manny Delgado to put Joff’s run to an end. Vote in the Final Four!

HBO/ABC/Ringer illustrations

Folks, we’re down to four terrible television children, and they truly are a wretched bunch. In semifinal number one: The Sopranos’ A.J. Soprano versus Coral—sorry, Carl Grimes of The Walking Dead. And in semifinal number two: Joffrey Baratheon of Game of Thrones versus Modern Family’s Manny Delgado.

It is this latter contest that we will focus on today, because while you, the long-suffering, TV-watching, voting masses, have propelled some veritable monsters past their marginally less-despicable teenage brethren—farewell to Julie Taylor, Dana Brody, Paige Jennings, Walt Jr., and many others—an injustice is in the works: It seems like Joffrey could win the whole damn thing.

Let me be clear: Joffrey of Houses Baratheon and Lannister, the First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm, was not annoying. Joffrey was a murderer, not a pest; a sadist, not a nuisance. He was not a bad child so much as a bad person who happened, for most of his time in Westeros, to be under 18. Getting a cold is annoying; getting tortured to death is another thing entirely. You can be the worst without also being, oh my god, The Worst!!! These are two different things. And please, for the love of Olenna Tyrell, do not tell me that Joffrey whined a lot. Once your temper tantrums start including mutilating sex workers, let’s just say that your laziness and fear of cooties and/or the impoverished drop way down the list of your salient characteristics. No one is denying that Joffrey is bad, but evil is not what this bracket is supposed to measure. You can’t joke about firing people into the sun if you actually think they should be fired into the sun!

Now—speaking of firing people into the sun, let’s talk about Manny Delgado. The joke is: He’s a kid, but he acts like an ultra-fussy adult! Wow. Wow. Incredible stuff. It’s not actor Rico Rodriguez’s fault that in Modern Family’s 10-season run, the show has yet to find a new beat for him. But his lack of complicity does not change the fact that Manny has spent a decade shuffling around the Pritchett-Delgado-Dunphy estates wearing fedoras and m’ladying anyone who dared walk into the room. It isn’t charming that an 11-year-old is really into espresso or, uh, his cousin—it’s creepy. He’s just … always … there, a friendzone-obsessed, probably 8chan-contributing blight on what should otherwise be a cut-and-dry sitcom. He is the worst, but not The Worst!!!

Please, do the right thing. We all know what happens when Joffrey gets close to the throne. (War. I mean war.)

You can vote right here on this website, on Twitter, and on Instagram until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday.

The Final Four

(1) A.J. Soprano, The Sopranos vs. (1) Carl Grimes, The Walking Dead

1. A.J. Soprano: I’m getting mad just thinking about this doofus. He of the double meatball, pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions, and extra mozzarella pizza (A.J. is the only human ever to get snitched on by a slice of pizza), Tony Soprano’s only son was endlessly whiny, entitled, and altogether incapable. The guy got fired from Blockbuster! Sure, A.J. was a product of Tony’s lackluster parenting, but at some point you gotta stop making excuses for people—and that point is usually when they grow awful facial hair.

1. Carl Grimes: Also known as CORAL, Carl Grimes may be the most angst-ridden, useless child ever depicted on TV. He basically got Dale killed in Season 2; his plan to infiltrate Negan’s compound failed instantly; and in Season 4, in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, this kid posted up on the roof of a house and ate pudding with a grating little smirk on his face. Boo this child.


Which Annoying TV Kid Should Advance?

This poll is closed

  • 53%
    (1) A.J. Soprano, ‘The Sopranos’
    (3537 votes)
  • 46%
    (1) Carl Grimes, ‘The Walking Dead’
    (3026 votes)
6563 votes total Vote Now

(3) Joffrey Baratheon, Game of Thrones vs. (4) Manny Delgado, Modern Family

3. Joffrey Baratheon: I have to admit I’m struggling with this one. Sure, Joffrey sucked. But he wasn’t annoying in a “man, I wish this show would stop focusing on this kid’s wild hormones and get back to the good stuff” kind of way; he was annoying in a “man, I really wish he’d stop murdering hookers with a crossbow” kind of way, which actually had some narrative value in Game of Thrones. It was extremely satisfying when he choked to death in Season 4, but it was also kind of sad, because no one was more fun to hate than Joffrey.

4. Manny Delgado: Manny Delgado is a try-hard dork who wears bowling shirts despite being 12 years old. He is neither as sophisticated nor as charming as he believes; kids who listen to jazz are not cool, they are lame and annoying.


Which Annoying TV Kid Should Advance?

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    (3) Joffrey Baratheon, ‘Game of Thrones’
    (3150 votes)
  • 56%
    (4) Manny Delgado, ‘Modern Family’
    (4041 votes)
7191 votes total Vote Now
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