You might expect a TV show that isn’t labeled as a crime show to be free of characters committing crimes. Ambitious police procedurals and crime sagas like The Sopranos and breaking Bad have their place in TV history, sure, but sometimes you might want to spend time watching characters who aren’t breaking the law or solving crimes. Down-to-earth sitcoms or dramas can be a nice change of pace from those more crime-focused shows that seem to dominate the airwaves.
Still, a character doesn’t have to be on a crime show to commit criminal activity, as some shows demonstrate. They vary wildly in terms of severity and damage done, but in all cases these characters have committed actions that can be considered crimes (and often go unpunished too).
‘Seinfeld’ – Kramer committing arson in ‘The Bubble Boy’ (1992)
When you have four main characters who are all very self-centered and ambivalent about other people’s interests at best, harm to society is almost inevitable. It’s the case for Seinfeldwhere the main cast are entertaining (and sometimes likable) despite the damage they cause to those around them.
Kramer is probably the least selfish of the four and perhaps the closest to good intentions of the lot, but he’s clumsy and irresponsible, which takes a lot of toll on him. This is best demonstrated in the iconic Season 4 episode, “The Bubble Boy,” where he leaves a lit cigar in a wooden shack before swimming in a nearby lake, only to return to find the entire structure has burned down. ‘on the ground.
“Buffy the Vampire Slayer” – Buffy firing a rocket launcher in public in “Innocence” (1998)
When supernatural forces emerge from a literal Hellmouth every week and you’re the one to stop them, maybe some rules can be excused. This is the situation that the main character of buffy the vampire slayer constantly, and rightly so, found herself in desperate times that often called for desperate measures.
Few solutions were as extreme, memorable, and hilarious as having your friends steal a rocket launcher from a military base, then using said rocket launcher to destroy an ancient demon who was deemed immune to any weapon (old fashioned). ) in “Innocence”. .” The fact that the series does something so funny and daring during one of its most emotionally devastating and surprising episodes shows how buffy could mix comedy and drama.
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” – The gang supplies alcohol to minors in “Underage Drinking: A National Concern” (2005)
The gang in It’s always sunny in Philadelphia tend to be even more destructive and less law-abiding than the characters in Seinfeld, which means something. They were morally questionable at best from the start, as shown in one of the first season’s highlights, the episode “Underage Drinking: A National Concern.”
The episode sees the main characters turn their pub, Paddy’s, into a pub that turns a blind eye to whether customers are of legal age. Indeed, they provide alcohol to countless underage people, and even though they rationalize it among themselves as having a “social responsibility” to provide a safe drinking environment, it still breaks the law.
‘Rick & Morty’ – Rick enslaving and destroying a mini-universe in “The Ricks Must Be Crazy” (2015)
Although Rick Sanchez of rick and morty has proven to be an immensely popular character, it should be clear to all viewers that he really isn’t a good person. Maybe he’s entertaining and sometimes has moments where he takes care of his family (his morals fluctuate as wildly as the quality of the series), but he also commits crimes on a galactic scale, apparently at least one per episode.
Few of Rick’s crimes are as massive as the destruction of an entire universe he created full of enslaved beings who only exist to power his car battery. Additionally, there was another mini-universe within this first mini-universe, meaning the number of beings wiped out due to Rick’s actions would be astronomical.
‘Seinfeld’ – George steals someone’s identity in ‘The Limo’ (1992)
George Costanza is probably the character of Seinfeld who broke the most laws. He was known to act on his impulses and think only of himself. This sometimes made him (unfortunately) approachable, but when he took things too far, it arguably made him the worst of the main four.
“The Limo” sees him assume someone else’s identity to get a limo ride from the airport, thus not needing to go the usual route of hailing a taxi. Jerry accompanies him on this escapade (which, of course, blows up in their faces), but since he identifies himself using a made-up name, he’s technically not committing impersonation like George does.
‘The Beatles: Get Back’ (2021) – The Beatles disturb the peace at the rooftop concert
It’s admittedly the most minor of crimes, but technically it can still be counted as one. At the end of that of Peter Jackson miniseries, The Beatles: Come Backthe band are shown playing their last show as a band, out of the blue and on a rooftop in the middle of central London’s office and fashion district.
Some passers-by are pleasantly surprised to hear The Beatles live, but others find it loud and disruptive. Indeed, the police end up being called because of noise complaints, which means that even though it’s a really minor offense – and frustrating to be treated as a felony in the first place, considering the historical significance of the concert – that still counts.
‘The Simpsons’ – Drunk Driving Homer in ‘Duffless’ (1993)
Homer Simpson may have good intentions, but he’s definitely not the most consistent role model for his family throughout. The simpsons’ 30+ seasons. Nothing he does has ever made him unrecoverable in the eyes of the fans. Still, considering he’s been featured in hundreds of episodes, it’s no surprise to realize he’s committed his fair share of crimes and misdemeanors.
One is from the Season 4 episode “Duffless,” which addresses Homer’s drinking habits by having a main storyline in which he gets arrested for drunk driving and gives up beer. for a month. To be The simpsonsit doesn’t persist past an episode, but it’s a solid attempt to address an aspect of Homer’s character that’s serious in reality while also being generally played for laughs on the show.
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” – Charlie Breaks In / Vandalizes the Waitress’s Apartment in “The DENNIS System” (2009)
Contrary to Seinfeldit is difficult to distinguish a character from the main gang in It’s always sunny in Philadelphia as the least law-abiding. This is perhaps one of the series’ greatest strengths; it really balances them all equally, which makes them just as flawed (and, therefore, just as funny).
There’s a strong case to be made that Charlie is the most chaotic, though many of his misdeeds are more specific and less subtle. This includes many of the intense ways he tries to get the attention of the waitress he’s been pining for, which is especially visible in “The DENNIS System,” which sees him breaking into her apartment and vandalizing her grinder. garbage, so he can come back later. to fix.
‘Peep Show’ – Mark drinking in public and spying/stalking in “Local Zero” (2004)
The two main characters of peep show – Mark and Jez – are both pretty terrible people. The series is aware of this and always sees them as the butt of the joke or the instigators of their downfall.
While most of their indiscretions are more indecent assaults than offenses involving breaking the law, they sometimes cross into lawless territory. Mark is probably the worse of the two, so it happens more often with him, such as when he spies on a woman he loves while drinking in public (the latter being captured by a news crew and shown on TV, much to the dismay of Mark).
‘Seinfeld’ – George and Mike obstruct traffic in “The Parking Space” (1992)
Although blocking traffic may not seem like the worst crime, considering Seinfeld set in the city of perpetual traffic jams, New York, the clash of George and Mike (a friend of Kramer) in a parking space is quite disruptive. Both are adamant they started to get into it first, with neither wanting to back down.
He is shown to last most of the episode, with the argument starting during the day and continuing late into the night. Even though most other cars could drive, their two vehicles still took up more space than the law allowed for hours, making them technically guilty of obstructing traffic.
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