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VOICE OVER: Kirsten Ria Squibb WRITTEN BY: Sammie Purcell
These supporting players have been diagnosed with main character syndrome. For this list, we'll be looking at all your favorite side characters who love to stir up drama like they're the star. Our countdown includes "Stranger Things," "Gilmore Girls," "Jane the Virgin," and more!

#10: Ben “Never Have I Ever” (2020-)

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If there’s a main character of a show who exudes “main character energy” more than any other, it’s Devi Vishwakumar of “Never Have I Ever.” Devi is messy, dramatic, and always funny, happy to take up as much space as possible – as is her right! When it comes to drama, only Ben can give her a run for her money. Ben begins the series as Devi’s archnemesis in everything from social standing to academics – basically the male version of Devi. As they get intermittently closer and their feelings grow, we begin to see more of Ben and his inner thoughts. Yes, he even gets his own narrator in the form of Andy Samberg. If that’s not main character energy, we don’t know what is.

#9: Erica “Stranger Things” (2016-)

The kids of “Stranger Things” share the spotlight throughout the seasons, with different characters getting more time to shine at different moments. But throughout the show’s multi-season run, there’s one character in particular we’d like to see more of. We can’t get enough of the scene-stealing Erica Sinclair. Lucas’ baby sister has so much personality, she might as well have a television show all her own. Erica has gotten more screen time as the show has gone on, but still comparatively less to the rest of the cast. Still, she manages to make the show all about Erica whenever she appears – and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

#8: Paris “Gilmore Girls” (2000-07)

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When it comes to “Gilmore Girls,” Lorelai was definitely the more outgoing of the titular mother-daughter combo. But when it comes to taking control of the situation, no one did it better than Paris Geller. From the moment Rory arrived at Chilton, these two enemies-turned-eventual-friends would be forever intertwined. But while we felt like we were watching Rory’s story with Paris as the sidekick, it was clear from the way Paris acted that Rory was the one interrupting her narrative. Liza Weil’s feisty turn as the character made an incredible impact.

#7: Tahani “The Good Place” (2016-20)

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When it comes to main characters, Eleanor Shellstrop is about as self-centered as you can get. But Tahani Al-Jamil definitely gives her a run for her money. While Eleanor is literally the main character of “The Good Place,” Tahani’s antics – particularly through the first couple seasons – show us that in Tahani’s world, Eleanor is anything but. As far as she is concerned, no one but Tahani is the queen of the castle. Her tendency to name drop and humble brag, all with a condescendingly positive tone, tell us everything we need to know. Of course, Tahani changes over the course of the series. But this ability to make everything about her manages to stick around.

#6: Eric “Sex Education” (2019-)

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Some people lean into their “main character energy,” intent on making everything about them and only them. But some characters have main character energy thrust upon them. It’s not that they're vain, but rather that they’re so compelling and charismatic we can’t help but watch. So is the case with Eric Effiong from “Sex Education.” While Eric’s best friend Otis is ostensibly the main character of the show, when Eric is on screen, we’re not paying attention to anything else. He has an effortlessly bubbly quality about him that makes him so much fun to watch, and when he lets that laugh rip? We dare you not to smile.

#5: Hilary “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990-96)

There’s no shortage of bombastic characters featured on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” But it takes a specific skill set to have main character energy – and for that, we turn to Hilary Banks. Will’s female cousin embodies everything we love to hate about a character who’s rich and conceited. Not only is she vain and spoiled, but actress Karyn Parsons’ expert comedic timing makes her hilarious as well. With her performance, you just know that Hilary has no concept of anyone else’s narrative taking place around her. It’s all about Hilary.

#4: Santana “Glee” (2009-15)

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With a few flicks of her hair, actress Naya Rivera showed us what it meant to elevate yourself to a main character level simply by pure will power. By the end of “Glee’s” run in 2015, Santana Lopez was as much of a main character as Rachel Berry. But it wasn’t always that way. In the early seasons of the show, Santana was definitely relegated to the sidelines. But everytime Rivera got the chance to bring her to life on screen, she didn’t waste it. With every dance move, every nasty zinger, and every squinted eye, Rivera demanded we pay attention to her. As the show went on, Santana began to receive more important storylines, becoming one of the most beloved characters.

#3: Rogelio de la Vega “Jane the Virgin” (2014-19)

Referring to yourself by your full name? Yeah, that’s definitely a symptom of main character syndrome. Rogelio de la Vega is nothing if not dramatic – he is a telenovela star after all. And while “Jane the Virgin” has plenty of over the top characters – Luisa, we’re looking at you – no one beats Rogelio. While his heart is usually in the right place, Rogelio has a tendency to make everything about him. Whether it be his daughter’s wedding, the birth of his grandchild, or a host of other lifetime events, you can bet Rogelio is the most important person in the room. And he’s going to let you know it.

#2: Cassie “Euphoria” (2019-)

In the first season of “Euphoria,” Cassie Howard wasn’t one of the characters we came away thinking about the most. She was definitely firmly in side character territory. But, that all changed in season two – quite abruptly, we might add. From the moment Cassie started a relationship with Nate Jacobs – her best friend Maddy’s ex – her “main character energy” went through the roof. Whether it be getting thoroughly wasted at her best friend’s birthday party, or storming onstage during her sister’s play to try to set the record straight, Cassie definitely had no regard for anyone’s story but her own in season two.

#1: Cheryl “Riverdale” (2017-)

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Yes, you have Betty, and yes you have Veronica – the true main characters of “Riverdale”, and both with enough main character energy to last a lifetime. But if we’re talking villains? No one is doing it like Cheryl Blossom. When the show started, she was head cheerleader, wildly popular, and the victim of a traumatic event in which her brother mysteriously died. On any other show, those are one hundred percent the qualities of a main character. Cheryl also continues to keep things fresh on “Riverdale” by staying spicy, spiteful, and manipulative. We would watch an entire spin-off about this red-headed queen.

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