The List: 10 worst child characters ever

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From the April 3, 2014 edition

With “Game of Thrones” returning for its fourth season this Sunday, we couldn’t help but think about how we’d really like to punch the young king of Westeros in the face. You know, if he were real. Then we got to thinking about all the other awful children in movies and television. Here are 10 reasons for birth control.

10. Isaac, “Children of the Corn”

Any kid who commands other kids to mass murder through pagan ritualism is downright creepy and evil. But Isaac really pisses us off for that stupid bowl cut and even stupider hat.

9. Carl Grimes, “The Walking Dead”

Speaking of stupid hats, Carl is — like a handful of characters on the hit zombie series — poorly written, making him a badass killer one moment and a damsel in distress the next. It’s a shame because Carl is pretty awesome in the comics.

8. Ray Boyd, “Jerry Maguire”

The “cute kid” from “Jerry Maguire” hasn’t really stood the test of time. Enough with the questions, kid. No, I didn’t know the average human head weighs eight pounds, but I’m starting to wonder how much yours weighs.

7. Kevin, “We Need To Talk About Kevin”

Boy, do we need to talk about Kevin. Lynne Ramsay’s 2011 film is in the vein of “The Omen,” but this Kevin isn’t the devil. He’s a psychopath, and one who starts really young.

6. Glen Bishop, “Mad Men”

Glen is probably just a little weird and misunderstood in early “Mad Men” seasons, but something just doesn’t sit right about him — unless you like people watching you pee. It’s also strange that “Mad Men” creator Matt Weiner cast his own son in such an off-putting role.

5. Tim and Lex, “Jurassic Park”

The kids in peril in Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur tale seem to alternate between being geniuses and doing the stupidest things possible. Admit it. By the end, a part of you was rooting for the velociraptors.

4. Anakin Skywalker, “Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace”

Oh boy, was this kid a twerp. If there’s one way to ruin the “Star Wars” prequels (besides Jar Jar Binks) it’s to make Darth Vader into an infuriatingly precocious snot.

3. Regan, “The Exorcist”

The ultimate misbehaving child, thanks to a little demon possession. She insinuates to a priest that her mother is performing a sexual act in hell and tells a dinner party they’re all going to die before peeing on the rug. And have you ever tried to clean that pea soup demon vomit from the carpet?

2. Rachel Ferrier, “War of the Worlds”

Dakota Fanning wrestles away the title of “Most Annoying Child in Peril in a Spielberg Movie” from the “Jurassic Park” kids, thanks to a performance that consists of two hours of shrill screaming.

1. Joffrey Baratheon, “Game of Thrones”

Not only is the ruler of Westeros a smarmy, little jerk, he’s a twisted, psychopathic misogynist to boot. Every “Game of Thrones” watcher is giddily awaiting this inbred ass-hat’s comeuppance. And if he doesn’t get it, we might all smash our TVs.