Defined by cowardice: TV characters with a yellow belly

Yahoo Contributor Network

There are some TV characters who are so filled with cowardice that it is impossible to overlook their other qualities. These yellow-bellied, fearful characters are utterly despicable: When push comes to shove, and the safety of their friends and family is on the line, these characters tend to run away and save their own hides. From period dramas to sitcoms to sci-fi, these TV cowards are despised by fans everywhere.

Juan Borgia, "The Borgias"

Some people may have been sad when Juan died, but not many. After all, he was an utter coward. In fact, he was the worst kind of coward: the kind who thought he was brave and valiant up until the moment when the you-know-what hit the fan. His cowardice was the reason behind his assault of Vanozza's husband (and probable father) Theo, and his cowardice was also the reason that he ran away after his defeat at Forli.

George Costanza, "Seinfeld"

For the most part, George was harmless. But in one memorable episode, he was willing to push women, children, and even the elderly out of his way during an apartment fire. While his antics are amusing, it should be remembered that George is basically a cowardly schmuck.

Gaius Baltar, "Battlestar Galactica"

In both the original series and the re-imagined "Battlestar Galactica," Gaius Baltar was a cowardly, self-serving jerk. This cowardice gets taken up a notch in the more recent series. Baltar is too cowardly to admit his role in helping the Cylons plan their attack: quick, brave action on his part could have saved millions of lives. If only he had been willing to admit his mistake and fight back against the "toasters," the story may not have been so bleak.

Gibbis, "Doctor Who"

Introduced in the creepy episode "The God Complex," Gibbis was from a race of people who were genetically predisposed to being conquered due to cowardice. While initially he seems adorable and scared, Gibbis reveals his true, cowardly nature when his actions cause the death of the other prisoners -- and nearly kills Amy! As the Doctor puts it, "Your civilization is one of the oldest in the galaxy, and now I see why. Your cowardice isn't quaint. It's sly, aggressive." Gibbis is a straight-up jerk.

Dickie Bennett, "Justified"

After the events of "Bloody Harlan," Dickie is the only member of the Bennett clan left alive. The reason: He's a coward! Oh sure, he gets in a few good hits now and then, and has even killed in the past. But when his back is up against the wall and his life is on the line, Dickie will say anything to save his own hide.
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