Nothing tastes better than forbidden fruit.
Swearing on TV is now commonplace, but there’s still something so satisfying about hearing taboo words said onscreen.
Unsurprisingly, the characters with the filthiest vocabularies usually become our favorites.
Beth Dutton – Yellowstone
No-nonsense. Tough as nails. Salty AF. Those are the kinds of words and phrases that come to mind when describing Beth Dutton.
The kinds of words she usually has for everyone else are usually far nastier because she is the master of verbal lashings.
If you’re a Karen butting into her business or one of the many people trying to take over her family’s ranch, watch out.
Her words don’t just sting. They leave you an insecure, blubbering wreck.
Roy Kent – Ted Lasso
When you think of Roy Kent, what comes to mind first?
If your answer is he swears a lot, you’re not alone. When his niece, Phoebe, describes him, she mentions his swearing, and his foul mouth gives away his identity to Richmond employees.
He rarely gets through a conversation without dropping f bombs, and we love him for it.
Roy would hate hearing this, but the constant swearing has become endearing to the point of making him seem cuddly rather than a harda**.
Midge Maisel – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Comedy is all about the unexpected. Who expects the adorable, sweet housewife to let loose with swear words and sex talk?
The bluer Midge works, the funnier she is.
What makes Midge unique is how neither personality is a mask for the other.
Seeing both personalities clash makes for an amusing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde tale, especially when Midge slips up and curses at inopportune times.
Tom Wambsgans – Succession
Selecting one character from Succession for the list was a tough call.
All or nearly every character qualifies for having a filthy mouth. However, none of the characters should be eligible for the adore part.
But Tom makes it onto the list for these reasons.
The first is for Matthew Macfadyen’s ability to impeccably deliver all of the ridiculous, brilliant dialogue thrown his way. The other is seeing Tom scapegoated for the cruise ship scandal makes you root for him to turn the tables.
Moira Strand – The Handmaid’s Tale
The Handmaid’s Tale choosing to go beyond the source material has had mixed results.
Moira’s expanded role is one of the better consequences.
On a series known for making the audience squirm, Moria is responsible for some of its most cathartic moments.
Her “Praised be, b***h” note is iconic. Her “F**k, you” to Mark was understated but well deserved for attempting to defend Serena.
Junior Soprano – The Sopranos
Corrado “Junior” Soprano is a petty, murderous s.o.b.
He’s never as brilliant he thinks he is, only lasting as long as he does because he was set up to be the fall guy.
However, he does many of The Sopranos’ best lines of dialogue.
The filthier line, the more memorable it was.
Eleanor Shellstrop – The Good Place
Eleanor learned to be brutal and cynical at an early age, so it’s not surprising she developed a dirty mouth.
And that’s how The Good Place came up with its signature gag.
Designing a no profanity rule into the Good Place, fake and actual, was a brilliant way for the series to incorporate swearing without drawing the censors’ ire.
The words “fork” and “bench” have never sounded innocent since.
Johnny Lawrence – Cobra Kai
Johnny Lawrence is a parent’s worst nightmare.
He’s insensitive. He’s behind the times. And his mouth has no filter.
No wonder teens, and the audience, love him.
When you hear him speak, it’s equal part cringe and equal parts awesome words of wisdom from a bada**.
Debra Morgan – Dexter & Dexter:New Blood
Dexter, to put it mildly, has his vices, but he’s relatively clean-mouthed.
The potty mouth in the Morgan family belongs to Deb.
The estimated number of times Debra dropped the f-bomb during Dexter’s original run — 996.
With Deb replacing Harry as Dexter’s conscious — their conversations are the most colorful thing to happen on Dexter: New Blood.
Brad Bakshi – Mythic Quest
As law enforcement escorted him out of Mythic Quest headquarters, Brad delivered one helluva “F**k, you!”
Props go to Danny Pudi for making the words resonate on multiple levels.
It conveys Brad is slipping on his card-carrying villain mask. It also allows a sad storyline — Brad taking the fall for the insider trading to protect Jo — to end on a hopeful note.
Prison won’t be easy, but Brad’s defiant f-bomb is an encouraging sign that he’ll be okay.
Dean Winchester – Supernatural
If Supernatural had been a cable or streaming show, there would’ve been far more cursing.
And Dean would’ve been the primary offender.
As it was, he got plenty of opportunities to shout out “b***h” and “son of a b***h.”
Plus, he snuck in an f-bomb during the Scooby-Doo crossover.
Ron Swanson – Parks and Recreation
Ron Swanson is about quality over quantity.
He does not swear as often as others on the list. it’s bleeped out when he does.
However, every time he utters a swear word, it’s hilarious.
Whether he’s swearing to punctuate a point or to inspire a friend, it’s always the perfect thing to say.
Smurf – Animal Kingdom
Smurf may be gone, but she hasn’t been forgotten and not just because of the flashbacks.
Her distinct, profanity-laden voice was as big a part of the show as she was in the Codys’ lives.
Smurf gives standard lines “Where’s the rest of my f**king money,” a whole new level of terror.
Even at the end, she was able to spew out some choice words for her boys, like “goddamn p***y.”
Over to you, TV Fanatics!
Do your favorite TV characters swear a lot?
What are your thoughts about swearing on TV in general?
Hit the comments below.
Becca Newton is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.