Fred Figglehorn (2010-2012: Movie and TV show counterpart)
Fred Figglehorn (AKA FЯED) is an Internet meme and YouTube character created and portrayed by Lucas Cruikshank. Fred Figglehorn is a hyperactive and socially awkward protagonist who is the main protagonist of the FЯED franchise.
Why He Was Best At Being The Worst
Note: This mainly applies to his character in the Nickelodeon movie trilogy and the 2012 TV show since the original Fred Figglehorn is likable.
- Right off the bat, Fred's original web incarnation, while still a great and likable comic relief protagonist character in its own right, is a rather underdeveloped character by TV show or movie standards, and therefore is very difficult to execute such web characters for the screen without butchering everything that made it good, as with The Annoying Orange. But unfortunately, he suffered severe flanderization under the hands of the Nickelodeon executives in order to adapt the character for the longer running times of his screen adaptations, which results him to being heavily unlikable and losing all the charm he previously had in the original web series, as listed below.
- Fred went from a hilarious, mostly tamed, smart, awkward, and a likable character in the original web series to a hyper, annoying, short-tempered, immature, and unlikable one for a protagonist in the Nickelodeon screen adaptations.
- In the Nickelodeon screen adaptations, he is supposedly written to be an "unpopular kid at school" type of character, similar to characters like Eddy from Ed, Edd, n Eddy, Nobita Nobi from Doraemon, Timmy Turner from The Fairly OddParents, Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Nate Wright from Big Nate, and Nikki Maxwell from Dork Diaries. However, because of poor writing and obnoxious characterization as listed below, he comes off as incredibly unsympathetic.
- If anything, much like Chad Amani, many of Fred's actions make the audience root against him instead.
- His main recurring joke during the Nickelodeon era often relies on him screaming way too much, to the point where it gets aggravating and annoying than actually funny.
- On that note, his screaming sounds like nails on a chalkboard.
- His high-pitched voice is extremely annoying, even when compared to his early videos.
- In the original web videos Fred's high-pitched voice is achieved by digitally speeding-up the footage during post-production to give a chipmunk-like quality in his voice, which made him sound cute and comical. But here in the in the Nickelodeon film trilogy and the 2012 TV series Fred's high-pitched voice is achieved rather by applying a high-pitch voice synthesizer to Lucas Cruikshank's voice during post-production instead of speeding-up the footage, which is what made his high-pitched voice sound even more annoying and grating in the first place.
- His "Oh my gammit" line gets old very quickly and will give you a nerve.
- He is incredibly delusional and narcissistic, and not in a good way, such as how in the first movie he claims himself to be a good singer when his singing voice proved otherwise, and the same can be said on how he describes to his audience about his relationship with Judy, when in reality, is completely unaware of his existence until near the end of the film.
- His singing voice is insufferably torturous, despite believing himself to be cool and a good singer in the first movie.
- He is a creep that stalked his crush Judy in the first movie, and worse still, he doesn't receive any comeuppances for this; instead, he gets Judy in the end. Also, that's a sign of being a Karma Houdini.
- On that topic, overall in Fred: The Movie, in addition to stalking Judy, he does a lot of heinous, amoral and unlikable acts for a protagonist which would fit right in the antagonistic role, whether it is unintentional because of his stupidity or outright on purpose, such as holding petty grudges against Kevin in a fit of jealousy because of how he and Judy sang together in school, fat-shames people when he threatens Kevin that he called the police so that the latter "would be jailed with the fattest people ever", abuses the emergency phoneline over Judy moving away which isn't really that big of a deal to begin with, steals stuff from others in two separate scenes including attempting to steal a Pomeranian dog (which he mistakes for a squirrel) from a pet store, is (unintentionally) racist towards Chinese and Mexicans in three separate scenes of the film, and is sadistic towards his arch-enemies like Kevin. Worse, he is incapable of realizing on how his actions are wrong, nor does he have any remorse for his amoral actions, nor does he receive any sort of repercussions for his actions, instead he outright gets rewarded for his horrible actions in the end, including finally getting Judy in the end, hence making him a huge Karma Houdini.
- He is extremely immature and never acts his age. He is supposed to be 15, but he has the mentality of a toddler.
- On top of that, he outright admits that he's 6-YEARS OLD.
- Speaking of which, in the original web series Fred is depicted as a 6-year-old boy, which possibly explains his high-pitched voice, childlike nature, innocent view of life, emotional outbursts and temper tantrums when he's upset over even things that aren't that big of a deal, and inability to understand complex subject matter, which is understandable. But here in the Nickelodeon film trilogy and the 2012 TV series, he is aged-up into a 15-year-old teen but still retaining the same character traits and high-pitched voice as his original web counterpart except that these traits of his have been over-exaggerated to extremes, making him come off as an extremely immature teen with an unusually high-pitched voice who NEVER acts his age and with a developed mental disorder (since apparently this is what the executives over at Nickelodeon perceived the Fred character as to begin with, which just shows how the Nickelodeon executives severely missed the point of the Fred Figglehorn character), which is what made him even more unlikable in the first place.
- To add salt to the wound, the very fact on whether Fred has developed mental disorder throughout the Nickelodeon screen adaptations is made completely unclear consequently results to him, in a similar vein to Jeffy from SuperMarioLogan and Music Gamble from Music (2021), to (unintentionally) come off as an offensive disabled stereotype towards people with mental disorders in real life.
- Sure, childish characters that don't act their adult ages can be funny and likable comic reliefs as evident via characters like Mr. Bean and SpongeBob SquarePants (at least during Seasons 1-5, 9-present), however unlike those characters, his childishness comes off as incredibly unfunny and cringeworthy to watch.
- Lack of character development. Fred always stays the same character. Annoying, dumb, and immature.
- On top of that, his stupidity is unfunny but rather irritating. He is often too dumb to realize that his actions are wrong and/or immoral.
- Very mean-spirited. For example:
- He assumes his music teacher, Mr. Devlin, is a vampire in Fred 2: The Night of the Living Fred.
- In Fred: The Movie, he has sadistic fantasies of torturing his bully Kevin, and once he gets humiliated at Judy's party by Kevin, he seeks revenge on everyone at Judy's party by tricking them into an invitation to his party with "dis-invitations", only to reveal that they're not invited and evilly laughs in their faces when he tells them that they're not invited.
- He is extremely selfish as well to the point of him being incapable of kindness/compassion towards others or even basic human empathy. Like how in the first movie when he bumped into his long-lost childhood friend Evan Weiss in the woods who has now turned into a tree person, rather than helping his friend Evan get back into civilization, he freaks out at the sight of him and straight-out abandons Evan in the woods.
- Although unintentional, he is also racist, such as in two instances in the first movie when he freaks out at the sight of his Chinese next-door neighbors who moved in into Judy's old house and Fred accusing a Mexican man of ruining his brain because he doesn't understand English.
- He barely ever respects to his mother, such as when he frequently annoys his mother with his constant screaming, and even stole her money before leaving on the bus in the first movie. But then again, his mother was no better, since her abusive and neglectful nature seems to be the cause of Fred's unlikeable personality.
- His fourth wall breaking can get really annoying.
- Speaking of which, he has a bad habit of constantly doing quick jump cuts in each scene he breaks the fourth wall, which not only gets mind-boggling and annoying after a while, but also renders each scene he's in both the movies and TV show to be very poorly-edited.
- Heck, he's not even close to relatable.
- He is even treated like a punching bag due to his whiny behavior at the hands of his bully, Kevin.
- Fred is a wimp. He is also untalented and incompetent.
- He is a spoiled brat, as he always whines whenever something doesn’t go his way.
- His flanderization in the Nickelodeon's screen adaptations of FЯED succeeded in turning him into one of the most universally hated characters of all time.
- A year prior to his official Nickelodeon franchise debut, he made an unnecessary appearance in the iCarly episode "iMeet Fred". Understandably, said episode hasn't aged well since then and therefore is hated by many fans.
- He's always in the Bubsy levels of annoying, despite that he's more annoying than Bubsy.
- He does incredibly gross stuff, to the point where it could give Bufo and Piggy from Wolfoo a run for their money.
- He is also shown to be a hypocrite from time to time, like in the first movie he claimed to Bertha at the pool that he's not in a swimsuit because he doesn't want to "show too much sex appeal", yet in the same movie there are times he is shown to be shirtless is in the bath after digging a hole to Judy's place, and he even shamelessly strips down to his underwear to wash his sand-laden clothes at the laundromat which caused him to get kicked out of the laundromat.
- Lucas Cruikshank portrayed Fred decently.
- This didn’t affect his YouTube self outside of his popularity, and he did recover his popularity in 2013-2014, and thankfully fans watched his old likable self again, and his legacy ended on a high note.
- The Annoying Orange pokes fun at him in a good way by using him as a rare gag, specifically in Ask Orange.
- His web incarnation is funnier and better than his movie and TV show incarnation.
- To be fair, he wouldn't have been as bad as he was if it weren't for the Nickelodeon executives having a rather poor grasp of the Fred Figglehorn character in general.