Top Ten Tuesday: Literature’s Biggest F*ckboys

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by That Artsy Reader Girl. It was previously hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is a love freebie so I am exploring literature’s biggest fuckboys. I’m doing this topic because I usually find romances in books to be rather troubling, especially in classics and YA literature, and a lot of the male characters usually have various toxic traits. I find it fun to discuss these characters.

A fuckboy can be categorised in many ways but they’re usually toxic towards their female partners or other people around them. They’re the type of guy who will send a girl a text at 3am saying u up 😉 or unsolicited NSFW pictures.

These male characters would make awful boyfriends/husbands/romantic partners/friends/colleagues/acquaintances so avoid them at all costs this Valentine’s Day.

Spoilers ahead!

Hamlet from Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Firstly, he’s absolutely awful to Ophelia. One minute he loves her and he’s fawning over her but the next he’s screaming at her, calling her a whore and other awful things. Yes, he’s grieving but that doesn’t excuse his behaviour. You’re 30-years-old my good man (he could also be 16 but still) so sort yourself out. Secondly, he kills her father. Nice.

Romeo from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

He only gets with Juliet because Rosaline won’t have sex with him. She’s basically a rebound for him and she doesn’t know it. He has sex with her, marries her, and then they both die. I know that this could be ‘true love’ or whatever but still, Romeo is a massive f-boy. Rosaline dodged a bullet with that one.

Ron Weasley from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling

I hate how he treats both Lavendar and Hermione. He’s only with Lavendar to make Hermione jealous and to get some snogging action but he’s not strong-willed enough to break up with her when he wants their relationship to end. I also hate the clingy girlfriend trope. It’s played for laughs in this but he’s stringing her along and then laughing with his friends about how clingy and awful she is. Grow a pair and break up with her!

Ron gif

Christian Grey from 50 Shades of Grey by E. L. James

I don’t know if I need to explain this one. He stalks Anastasia, he emotionally abuses her, and he does not practice BDSM safely. I could go on but I won’t.

Dorian Gray from The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Dorian falls in love with Sibyl Vane, a talented singer and actress from a poor family, but he only loves her for her acting abilities. He literally doesn’t care about anything else. Just her talent. All Dorian cares about is art. Once she loses her passion for acting, Dorian abandons her and she kills herself. Dorian falls in love with a character, makes Sybil fall in love with him, but then he abandons her as soon as she wants a life with him. He does try to reconcile with her but it’s too little too late.

Lord Asriel from His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Okay, let’s break this one down. Asriel:

  • had an affair with a married woman (who was only 21 at the time)
  • got the married woman pregnant
  • abandoned his child at a university
  • pretended to be Lyra’s uncle while telling her that her parents died
  • kills his child’s best friend in the name of *science*

He’s not merely a f*ckboy but he’s an all-around awful human being.

Lord Asriel

Mr Rochester from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

He keeps his mentally ill wife in the attic while trying to court Jane. Do I need to elaborate?

Henry Crawford from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

He flirted with Maria, so much that she expects him to propose, but then abandoned her without a word. He decides to move on to Fanny because he realises that she doesn’t like him and he thinks it’d be fun to make her fall in love with him. He wants to destroy her entire identity! Henry doesn’t care about the women he pursues at all. He just leaves them when he grows bored.

Nick from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

This guy wants Amy to be the ‘cool girl’ who he keeps at home, waiting for him like he’s some sort of king. He wants her to be the type of girl who won’t question where he is or who he’s with so that he can have an affair with a younger woman behind her back. I’d fake my own death to get away from a guy like that too.

Cool Girl

Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Tom Buchanan is the ultimate f*ckboy. He’s a hyper-masculine, football-playing, ultra-rich, arrogant, abusive, white supremacist. He’s having an affair and seems to have had several if his comment in chapter seven is any indication: And what’s more, I love Daisy too. Once in a while I go off on a spree and make a fool of myself, but I always come back, and in my heart I love her all the time. He clearly doesn’t love Daisy, he’s just manipulating the people around him. He physically abuses his mistress and even breaks her nose at one point! He’s just an awful person and I really wanted him to die when I was reading the book.


Honourable mentions:

  • Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: Not really a fuckboy but he’s an all-around awful person and he needs to leave Cathy alone even if they’re soulmates or whatever.
  • James Potter from Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling: He did only ever pursue Lily but he was a massive twat to everyone else around him.

I had too much fun writing this post. There are so many of these characters in literature and they’re so interesting to deconstruct. I wouldn’t date any of them though.

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32 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Literature’s Biggest F*ckboys

    1. Perhaps we’re just more aware of the trope now? But it’s definitely been an issue in literature since literature began.

      You can add whoever you want to the list! I need to know about all of the literary fboys. I haven’t read Tess yet but I will now anticipate Alec’s character 🙂


    1. I love classic lit so these are the characters I thought of first! I do wish I had added in something about Lord Byron though, the original f-boy 😂


    1. I think a lot of that it due to how the play is taught to teenagers – like it’s the ‘greatest love story of all time’ – but he’s definitely a fuckboy and Shakespeare knew it too 😂


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