I’m a lady, and sometimes I have trouble figuring out how I should be treated in relationships. Luckily, movies give me a lot of options. Am I a friend that you realize you’re in love with after being dumped? Am I an ice princess waiting for you to melt my heart? Am I a manic pixie dream girl, reawakening your spirit? Am I the supportive, martyr-y girl who stays with you during your trials and tribulations? I have so many tropes to choose from…unlike men, who have just a few: Affable loser with a heart of gold, angry loser with a heart of gold, and asshole boyfriend.

So today we’re going to salute the biggest asshole boyfriends in all of semi-recent cinema. Sometimes they’re the reason our heroine has to move on, sometimes they’re just the obstacle in the way for our hero to obtain his true love, but they’re all one-note and they’re all instantly recognizable to everyone except their girlfriends. So clearly, they deserve a countdown.

10. Troy Perkins in The Goonies

Evidence of assholery: He’s dating Andi and does not treat her as well as Brand could, he makes Brand wreck his bike and thinks it’s hilarious, his Dad is demolishing everyone’s houses, and last but not least, and he yells at Andi and calls her a “Goonie.” (Which she was at that point, spiritually, but he didn’t know that.)

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: Troy’s got amazing hair, which goes a long way, and a bitchin’ car. Plus he’s probably loaded. Women love that.

How to make him yours: All you would need is an upcoming track and field (or whatever he lettered in) event — that would stress Troy out so that he’d snap at you and then break down and cry and apologize. At that point, just stay really sweet and supportive, and when he wins, he’s yours.

9. Andy (aka Paul Rudd) in Wet Hot American Summer

Evidence of assholery: Yeah, smarties, I know it’s a parody, but he’s so perfect at treating women like shit — he cheats on Katie openly, pretends to be a sensitive guy to get laid, and calls Katie a dyke when she calls him out on cheating. Bonus: he’s a terrible camp counselor.

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: He knows exactly when to turn on the charm to defuse an angry girl, he’s dreamy, and as Katie so eloquently states in the movie, “He has this beautiful face and this incredible body, and I genuinely don’t care that he’s kinda lame. I don’t even care that he cheats on me.”

How to make him yours: Get pregnant. It’s the only way. It’ll make a man out of him…a resentful, increasingly drunken man.

8. John Bennett (aka Mark Wahlberg) in Ted

Evidence of assholery: This guy is a gentle asshole, but seriously, imagine the situation from his girlfriend’s perspective: She’s unhappy with how the relationship is going as well as her boyfriend’s lack of motivation and shitty roommate, he promises her he’ll change, those promises make him almost lose his talking stuffed bear, and everyone’s so excited that the bear didn’t die that they just go back to the way things were at the beginning of the movie. Hooray, love!

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: Well, he does look like Mark Wahlberg, he does have a magical stuffed bear, and “He has a good heart, I swear.” <-- Anyone who dates John says this to her girlfriends twice a week.

How to make him yours: It won’t be that hard. Give him the idea of taking the bear on tour, Charlie Sheen “tiger blood” style, and he’ll get rich. The pressures of being rich and having a business to run will make him stop smoking pot and hate Ted, and into your arms he’ll run.

7. Jim (aka Anthony Michael Hall) in Edward Scissorhands

Evidence of assholery: Where do we start?! Beefy jock Jim (already terrifying to those of us who loved him scrawny and nerdy in ’80s movies) is so threatened by his girlfriend’s new houseguest that he ridicules and hurls accusations at him at every turn, then convinces Kim to recruit Mr. Scissorhands to aid and abet in a robbery. Why are high schoolers robbing things? Is this asshole not rich? These questions will never be answered, because Jim is dead now.

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: I guess because he’s a muscular jock? He didn’t seem to have a ton of redeeming qualities otherwise.

How to make him yours: Well he’s dead, so I guess you should stick with the scissorhand guy, even though he’s a questionable catch in the real world…What’s that? He had to flee because he murdered Jim? Now he just makes snow to show his love? Oh. Well, I guess we’re all shit out of luck then.

6. Zach “Sack” Lodge (aka Bradley Cooper) in Wedding Crashers

Evidence of assholery: This preppy dick makes you think that Rachel McAdams’ character must have some slight head trauma to stay with him for so long. He makes bad jokes, he’s controlling, he shoots strangers in the ass with arrows, and he hires private investigators on strangers he shoots in the ass. He’s the worst.

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: Confidence goes a long way. He seems to have a supportive network of friends, and he looks good in plaid. Plus, when you’re rich, people arrange you to marry other rich people and you just kinda go along with it.

How to make him yours: I keep imagining Sack as the lead in a Trading Places-style movie, where he is forced to switch lives with a homeless con man, and they end up being friends and learning lessons and becoming better people and all. Be the Jamie Lee Curtis character in that movie.

5. Doctor Manhattan (Billy Crudup) in Watchmen

Evidence of assholery: Let’s just put aside the fact that he gave his ex cancer — he’s completely guilty of doing that faux-intellectualizing thing that dudes do where you’re like “Why don’t you want to have sex?” and they’re all “What is sex, as a concept?” Sure, you’re kinda magical now, and there’s a lot of pressure on you, but that doesn’t make it okay to you yourself to have sex and whisk me to another dimension for a chat.

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: Easy — he’s naked all the time, his body is sick (and blue), and he’s all-powerful. Plus it’s easy to be seduced by faux-intellectualism. And interdimensional travel.

How to make him yours: Just nod in agreement to all of his thoughts on reality, and violence, and war, and humanity. Don’t stop nodding!

4. William Zabka in Everything in the ’80s

Evidence of assholery: In Karate Kid, he’s mean and controlling to girlfriend Ali and beats up on a scrawny new kid that she shows interest in. In Just One of the Guys, he’s a school bully who is mean and controlling to his girlfriend Deborah and beats up on a scrawny nerd that she shows interest in. In National Lampoon’s European Vacation, he breaks up with Audrey while she’s on a family vacation, and in Back to School, he is mean and controlling to his girlfriend Valerie and beats up on a son of Rodney Dangerfield that she shows interest in. Starting to see a pattern?

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: Beats me. William Zabka is used as evidence that women want to be treated like shit, and that’s a shame. His feathered hair isn’t even that great, and I don’t think he’s rich, either.

How to make him yours: To land a Zabka, you need to be popular, spineless, pretty, and wear a lot of hair accessories. Practice saying “Rick/Chas/Johnny, just leave him alone!”

3. Edward Cullen (aka Robert Pattinson) in the Twilight Movies

Evidence of assholery: What a condescending, controlling piece of shit this guy is. He’s a stalker, he treats the girl he cares about terribly because he “doesn’t want to hurt her,” and he does the classic abusive boyfriend thing of making her feel like no one else will find her special except for him and isolating her from her friends and family. And I don’t know enough about him sexing her so hard that the bed and her back breaks, but I don’t even need to know.

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: Because of all the people in the world, someone as magical as a vampire finds little ole’ me tempting? I’m the thing he wants to put himself in danger for? Awww, no, it couldn’t be! I’m just a nobody! Also, he’s sparkly!

How to make him yours: Think of a wallflower, and then dumb it down by a thousand. Bite your lip, be moody, and move somewhere damp and random. The vampires will come running.

2. Cal (aka Billy Zane) in Titanic

Evidence of assholery: Rose can’t even be near this psychopath without cringing, and yet she’s supposed to marry him. He’s just generally a jerk of a man, and it’s enough to drive you into the arms of a poor, charming scalawag with a girl face. When Cal finds out about Rose’s affair, (oh, and also that the ship is going down), he handcuffs Jack to one of the lower floors of the ship, then tries to shoot him ON A SHIP THAT IS SINKING.

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: Billy Zane is very handsome, and makes that slicked back hair thing work. He’s also rich, and as previously determined, being rich helps.

How to make him yours: Be racist, be rich and crusty, have good cleavage.

1. Bruce Wayne (aka Michael Keaton/Val Kilmer/George Clooney/Christian Bale) in the Batman Movies

Evidence of assholery: Every woman Bruce gets involved with ends up being in terrible danger, and sure, it’s not technically his fault, but when you’re a secret superhero you have a responsibility to not date around. He secretive, he’s got a chip on his shoulder because his parents are dead, and no girlfriends seem to last longer than the span of a movie. Bonus: A lot of his girlfriends die, and it just makes him somehow more tragic and handsome. Seriously, imagine any Batman movie from the perspective of the love interest. “We hung out a few times, he seemed cool but he would stand me up and not return my texts for days at a time, I got kidnapped by a monster, Batman saved me, then Bruce stopped calling.”

Why do ladies find him irresistible?: Bruce Wayne is rich, handsome, and has secrets. Duh.

How to make him yours: To land a Bruce Wayne, it’s best to have an interesting job that is somewhat connected to crime- photojournalist, district attorney, Catwoman. Then make yourself vulnerable, have Batman rescue you, and the next time you see Bruce, whisper “I know your secret.” (Fighting shadows image via Shutterstock.)

Comments (89)
  1. WHO IS EMILY GORDON? Were we introduced and I missed it? I need to a post introducing you!!

    Also, hello and welcome.

  2. I know how to land an asshole boyfriend (easy, put out, duh.) but HOW DO I MAKE HIM NOT AN ASSHOLE???

  3. So every website is Thought Catalog now?

    • Every website has always been Thought Catalog.

      • N-no! My facebook! My twitter! My space! All lies?? Nothing more than catalogs for my thoughts? The world is turning to dust in my hands.

      • No Gabe. It hasn’t. This site has fun, unique voices that don’t do tired internet tropes. I am all for testing out new writers and I don’t want to besmirch the name of this person based on one boring post, but if Videogum becomes yet another place to make tired filler content that you can easily find on a 17-year-old’s IMDB profile, then you just lost a pretty loyal consumer that purposely clicks on links to generate revenue so everyone can put food on their family.

        And even when the rants get to navel-gazing territory, they’re not at Thought Catalog levels of dull. Don’t sell yourself short. This is a lovely website. And I’m sure Ms. Gordon is a fine writer, but this is not the kind of stuff we visit the site to read.

        Ms. Gordon, I suggest you should do recaps of movies or TV shows or even video games in a humorous manner. Show a unique voice. Provide the content we so desperately ask for all the time. Then you will be beloved.

        • Relax, technobadideajeans.

          • That name is a little too on the nose, Gabe…

            I just spent many many hours orchestrating a site build instructing bleep bloop bleep bloop Internet jargon. I come here while I wait for my nightmare CMS to load so I can talk about not bleep bloop boop bleeps. I know the business models of these blogs a little too well (as it is part of my job) and while it’s easy to do a listicle to generate traffic, it really does bring down the brand value as a whole. Quick ad revenue from unique users are great in the short term (why I will assume the structure was changed today), but they cause a drop in overall visits the long term as the quality and uniqueness of a site fades. I am happy to welcome Ms. Gordon as a contributor (and for the record I’d call you or Kelly out on this if you did it), but would really *honestly* like to read something I wouldn’t be able to get at any of the 49 Buzz Feed verticles that launched this afternoon or EW or HuffPo Comedy or some other blog I ignore. Listicles are the worst. Seriously.

            Plus with the new Emmy-based web categories of this year means that my predictions about the Internet and value of actually unique content are becoming true. So the need to keep a definitive voice on a blog like this is actually more important than before (in theory, if you want an Emmy you will still need to write stuff under the umbrella of a major studio and hope your VP doesn’t take the credit).

            I WILL relax now, but mostly because my nightmare page is finally live and I have thus earned a glass of wine.

          • LISTICLE!

            I could’ve used that word yesterday on twitter.

            Good word, bro.

  4. I like to nominate the asshole I have been dating for the past month. After many dates, and feeling such a great connection, the dude doesn’t return my calls, emails, or texts. If you’re going to dump me, at least text me, like Joe Jonas. UGH

  5. When I saw Christian Bale’s picture, I would have assumed the number one spot would be Patrick Bateman.

    I mean, he walked out of brunch. Just to return some video tapes?!?!?

  6. You can tell Kelly didn’t make this list because Vincent Gallo isn’t on it, although he really should be for once.

  7. Also Ethan Hawke from Reality Bites. I hate Ethan Hawke in Reality Bites.

    • ME TOO! He’s the worst. Quit whining and get a job, loser!

      Writing that makes me feel old, though. When I first watched that movie when it came out, I thought he was so dreamy. Now, I just think he’s an asshole and she’s crazy for picking the depressed, unemployed guy who is a jerk when she could have had fun, employed Ben Stiller who thought she was awesome.

      • I think that is a test of maturity. Because I felt the same thing, and was so ashamed of younger me after rewatching it.

        • Same thing for RENT. Everyone in that show is a be-scarfed, unemployed layabout artiste asshole except for the dude who is supposed to be the villan. And all the villan wants is for his “friends” to kick in enough to cover the cost of the utilities they are scamming off of him or to convert the warehouse into a community cyber cafe. Fuck everyone in RENT.

          Except Angel, I guess, he was at least good at getting groceries for people.

          • “WAH WAH WAH WE’RE NOT GONNA PAY RENT AND THEN GET ALL PISSY WHEN PEOPLE WHO HAVE JOBS BECAUSE THEY ARE ADULTS COME TO EVICT US!!! WAAAAAAHHHHHHH! There’s definitely no way to have artistic integrity AND a steady income at the same time!!! Poor us!”

            Yeah, I hate everyone in Rent too.

        • There’s definitely another genre of movie boyfriends and husbands: Very Nice Guys Who Like You a Lot But Who Are Somehow Not “Right” For You Because They Do Not Have the Charm and Free Spirit of the “Lead” Guy or They Are Yuppies

          Examples Include:
          Ben Stiller in Reality Bites
          Patrick Dempsey in Sweet Home Alabama
          Adam Scott in Leap Year
          Bill Pullman in Sleepless in Seattle
          Colin Firth in The English Patient

    • It’s funny, because in reality, Ethan Hawke bites.

  8. Hi! It’s me, Emily V Gordon of The Indoor Kids and other places that you primarily find on your computer! Thanks for the welcome!

  9. Put another notch in Dr Manhattan’s asshole column, he listens to Huey Lewis and the News.

  10. I hated Wedding Crashers because they hit you over the head with the whole “Zach is a jerk, she should be with Owen Wilson!” thing so hard. “Yeah, she’s still trying to save the world like a dumb B. I just can’t wait to get married so I can start cheating on her like everyday. Also, love is dumb and I hate puppies” I think was an exact quote from that movie

  11. I’m hoping Loren Dean (Say Anything, 1989) as “Joe” would’ve made #11. Joe Lies!

  12. Anthony Michael Hall isn’t really an asshole, he just acts that way so we don’t realize he’s Captain America.

  13. Kelly and Emily need to have a Videogum diva feud. To that end, I have a few questions for Kelly.

    1. Have you every heard of Emily “V.” Gordon? Do you think she’s funny or talented?

    2. Do you feel like Emily “V.” Gordon has her own Videogum blog style, or is she taking a page out of your Videogum blog style manual?

    3. If Gabe could only take one Videogum contributor to spend time with on a desert island, would it be you or Emily “V.” Gordon? Definitely you, right?

    • Oh wow, I like the idea of having a ladyfeud. It’s been a while! I really love Kelly’s stuff, does that help or hurt the feud?

      • That depends. Would you describe it as “cute,” “crowd-pleasing,” or “maybe a little reductive? I don’t know, probably not, but anyway it’s mostly really great!”?

  14. Does Brandon Teena count? I mean, he did lie about the whole penis thing…


    I have strong feelings about them.

    • I HATE HEATHCLIFF SOOOO MUCH IT IS PAINFUL. Ugh. Rochester’s an ass too, but I don’t hate him as much as Heathcliff. But then, let’s not forget about Angel Clare and Alec d’Urberville! I HATE THEM.

  16. Coming soon: Whateverhisnameis from 50 Shades of Gray. Have you read the synopsis of those books? What a dick!

  17. My favorite dick of a boyfriend in movies is Tommy, Julie’s boyfriend in Valley Girl. Mostly because of that scene where he eats her french fries. He does ask her first, but still, the smug way he stuffs his face is gross. And he should go to hell for taking advantage of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure’s Dottie a.k.a. E.G. Daily. Anyway, he’s an obvious asshole like most of the entries on this list and it may have been more fun if they were less than obvious kind of like what you did with the Twilight kid.

  18. “Let’s just put aside the fact that he gave his ex cancer”

    Did he? I thought she was poisoned to frame him for giving her cancer. He did dump her for a younger woman though. So, still a dick.

  19. I can’t believe Joffrey didn’t make this list! Also, I like being able to use my “I can’t believe xxxxxxxxxx didn’t make this list!” macro on Videogum instead of Stereogum for once.

  20. If Bruce Wayne is number 1, then JAMES BOND is number 1.2. How woman has he slept with (or killed) and then left? I know he did everything “for queen and country” but come on.

    • And then when he finally does decide to settle down and get married, his wife’s murdered by a Russian lady who’s trying to get Bond. Sheesh

  21. what about Dil from “The Crying Game”? because, seriously.

  22. Why isn’t the boyfriend from Slingblade in here? Because, seriously? He sucked.

  23. Can we SERIOUSLY talk about how I was supposed to take Anthony Michael Hall seriously as a bully after Breakfast Club? But it did make it a little more believable when he showed up as the bully on Community.

    The only omission I can think of is Glenn Guglia from The Wedding Singer. He cheats on Drew Barrymore’s character, is a total douche AND her name would be Juglia Guglia. On the other hand, he DOES wears those swingin’ Don Johnson coats and is the proud owner of a pretty sweet CD player.

  24. i really enjoyed this movies with my girlfriend but i recommended you to watch contraband or haywire movies.

  25. We have went to see like 6 movies and now it’s Valentines day and we want to do something else when we hang out. We can’t ice skate because it’s a long story but it wouldn’t work.

  26. i really enjoyed this movies with my girlfriend but i recommended you to watch contraband or haywire movies.To obtain more details click on this link>>

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