Movie Reviews

7 TV Show Betrayals That Everyone Saw Coming

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Almost every TV show had a betrayal at one point or another, but some were so predictable that audiences could easily see them coming. Whether it was from a show’s writers or the characters themselves, some of the best TV shows of all time have featured some shocking betrayals that left everyone involved stunned. Over the years, there have also been plenty of examples of betrayals in TV shows that nobody saw coming, which rocked their respective fictional universes to the very core.

Many television shows use foreshadowing to lay the groundwork for future events. When executed well, some of the biggest plot twists ever in TV were still a major shock. Some obvious betrayals weren’t foreshadowed, however, and were simply guessable based on their personality. In some cases, a character’s betrayal was so clearly hinted at that when it finally happened, it wasn’t much of a surprise. While some obvious betrayals were boring, others were still satisfying and enjoyable despite their predictability.

From the beginning of Game of Thrones, Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) was shifty and unusual. He was portrayed as manipulative and having ambiguous loyalties to those around him, but the downfall of Ned Stark (Sean Bean) truly cemented Littlefinger’s dishonesty. In season 1, Ned discovered the truth about the Lannister children’s parentage and that Cersei (Lena Headey) was mother to her twin brother Jaime’s (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) kids. Ned trusted that he had the support of Littlefinger, but when he confronted Cersei, Littlefinger stood by the Lannisters instead.

However, this wasn’t a shock. Littlefinger previously warned Ned not to trust him. Littlefinger facilitated Ned’s arrest by manipulating the City See, which led to the Stark patriarch’s execution. Even before this, Littlefinger was so keen to encourage Ned to speak out, which was a clear indicator that he was false, especially as he knew how loyal Ned was to King Robert (Mark Addy). Petyr Baelish was a definitive example of a betrayer, and out of any of the Game of Thrones characters, he was probably the only person whose every deception was anticipated in some way or another.

In Community, Ben Chang (Ken Jeong) was nothing but a massive annoyance to the study group from day one. The deceptive Spanish Professor hurled insults at his students, pushed unnecessary work and stress on them, and even inflicted physical violence, like in the first Community paintball episode. He also punched Ian Duncan (John Oliver) in the face after Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) discovered that he wasn’t qualified to teach and fired him. When he joined Greendale as a student and asked Jeff (Joel McHale) and the rest of the study group if he could join, his attitude was dubious.

Because Chang lost his job because Annie (Alison Brie) recorded him admitting to Jeff that he didn’t have a degree, it was immediately suspicious that he wanted to befriend the group, especially since he had been their teacher. Although he played a long game, Chang’s dictatorship of Greendale wasn’t a shock whatsoever. Chang took over the school, hired a fake Dean Pelton, and had the study group kicked out of their community college. What was surprising, however, was how easily Chang was forgiven after his tyranny was eventually brought to an end.

Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Jan Levinson’s (Melora Hardin) relationship in The Office was a whirlwind. From their first interaction on screen, Jan made it very clear that she had little respect for Michael as a person and a colleague, and their love affair took some time to get off the ground. This was mainly because Jan was ashamed of her attraction to Michael, which wasn’t surprising, considering their glaringly different personalities and Michael’s immature behavior. Even when she was fired from Dunder Mifflin and moved in with him, Jan was rude and took over his home.

That was why it made a lot of sense that Jan betrayed Michael during her dismissal hearing. Even Michael himself told the documentary crew, “You expect to be screwed by your girlfriend,” after Jan handed over his personal diary as evidence against her unfair job loss. Later in the show, Michael discovered Jan had become pregnant by a sperm donor during their relationship, which proved that just because they were a couple, the way she felt about him before hadn’t changed, and she would happily throw him under the bus if needed.

Bridgerton season 2 focused on Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) and his pursuit of marriage. Despite Anthony’s formal courtship with Edwina (Charithra Chandran), it was clear from their first interaction that he was drawn to her sister, Kate (Simone Ashley). Kate and Anthony’s emotionally and sexually charged moments throughout were the driving force of Bridgerton season 2 and was a brilliant example of a will-they-won’t-they relationship in TV. Even though Kate refused to let Anthony woo her, their passionate interactions throughout the season couldn’t be denied, and it would have been more shocking if he hadn’t left Edwina at the altar.

There was no doubt that Anthony struggled with upholding his duty versus following his heart, especially as that was a common theme in Bridgerton season 1 with Simon (Regé-Jean Page) feeling conflicted with being with Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) or letting her marry someone else. It could be argued that Kate and Edwina’s sibling relationship foreshadowed the failed wedding purely because Kate was so determined not to let her sister get hurt, and it was apparent everything would fall apart. While it was great that they got their happy ending, it wasn’t surprising that Edwina was abandoned on her wedding day.

In Supernatural, it was quickly established that demons couldn’t be trusted and were a species that should be avoided. Therefore, it was odd that Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles) were so accepting of Ruby (Genevive Padalecki). Even though Ruby was adamant that she wanted to help the brothers, the fact she was a demon yet obsessively keen to support them was a huge red flag. Although she often defended the Winchesters, her behavior was frequently erratic and made little sense, an obvious marker of someone untrustworthy.

Ruby took the opportunity to really manipulate Sam to extreme levels because Dean was in Hell. With one brother out of the way, Ruby found it easy to get Sam addicted to demons’ blood by telling him exactly what he wanted to hear, knowing that he had psychic abilities connected to ingesting it as a baby. She then added a sexual component to their relationship, and once Ruby had Sam in the palm of her hand, she used him to break the final seal and release Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino) from his cage.

Glee’s Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) often betrayed members of the New Directions because of her boisterous ambitions. Some of Rachel’s deceptive actions were shocking, such as when she sent Sunshine (Jake Zyrus) to a “crackhouse,” but some were very predictable. Rachel’s most obvious betrayal was in the season 1 episode “Sectionals,” when she discovered that Finn (Corey Monteith) wasn’t the father of Quinn’s (Dianna Agron) baby. Rachel didn’t attempt to hide her crush on Finn throughout season 1, and she hoped for them to lead the club together as a musical theatre power couple.

Even though Rachel and Finn started dating at the end of this episode, her decision to immediately run and tell him Quinn was lying was still a betrayal. Rachel didn’t owe Quinn anything, and Quinn was far from kind to her, but Rachel didn’t think about how impactful her words would be. Quinn was in the wrong for letting Finn believe he was the father of her child, but when everyone found out, she should have shared the news with him, not Rachel. Rachel’s choice to tell Finn was childish but not shocking, as she’d do anything to be with him.

BoJack Horseman was full of betrayals from several of its characters, but especially from Bojack (Will Arnett) himself. From the pilot, BoJack demonstrated that he was challenging to be around, selfish, and didn’t care about the consequences of his actions. However, his most predictable betrayal was also one of his most heartbreaking. In BoJack Horseman’s earlier seasons, Todd (Aaron Paul) had an on-off partner named Emily (Abbi Jacobson). Even when Todd revealed that he was asexual, the two remained friends but had an unusual but sweet relationship that teetered between platonic and romantic.

So, it wasn’t a surprise when, after Todd rejected Emily for sex, she ended up in bed with BoJack. Even though Todd and Emily’s relationship was ambiguous, they’d known each other for a very long time and meant a lot to one another. But when Emily sat down next to him, upset and lonely, BoJack gave it little thought before it ended in sex. After Todd discovered this, he was disappointed but wasn’t too surprised either, and famously told BoJack, “You are all the things that are wrong with you.” Bojack Horseman’s greatest betrayals were heartbreaking but never a shock.