Which TV character would win in a fight?

The week before finals never fails to deliver some type of existential dread and self reflection. I have been in this state for a few days now, but for some brief moments my mind has been able to wander from the pile of tasks on which I have to focus. During one of those episodes, it decided to take a step back and look at the broader picture, and I found myself contemplating Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. But rather than the normal one, my thoughts landed on his hierarchy of needs for college students.

Maslow's Hierarchy of the College Student's Needs

This pyramid works in a similar manner as the original hierarchy of needs: whatever is on the bottom is the most necessary, and whatever is on the top is the end goal. However, in order to make it to the top, you have to build up a strong base, step by step, consisting of all the necessary things. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of the College Students’ Needs we see that before any student can make the good grades they ultimately desire, they must first make friends, then go out and party a bunch with those friends, and then perfect their procrastination game, and finally they will be able to prepare properly and get those A’s and B’s.

Luckily for me, I currently find myself in the third tier of the hierarchy, and my procrastination game is looking hot. I have discovered the best means of putting off work in a manner that lets you completely forget about it, and it is glorious. “What is your method?” you ask. My answer: television.

This weekend I started the Hulu Original “The Path” with Aaron Paul, restarted “Master of None” with Aziz, and am planning on soon embarking on the journey that many call the greatest television series ever, “The Wire.” In the few moments between episodes, when my mind is allowed to slowly slip out of the diegetic absorption, instead of thinking about responsibilities, I began to scour the recesses of my memory for my old favorite shows to possibly cycle back through. This memory exercise eventually developed into a weird train of thought that concluded in me posing the question: which of my favorite television characters could win in a fight between each other? And thus, this article was born. Behold half of the bracket to end all brackets:

Bracket side A pt 1

(Photo courtesy of matthewgallacher on Flickr Creative Commons)

Rust Cohle (Photo courtesy of matthewgallacher on Flickr Creative Commons)

Let’s start with the play-in fight on Side A of the bracket: Luke from “Gilmore Girls” vs. Rust Cohle (“True Detective” Season 1). Luke has the super power of being able to always come to the rescue of the whole town of Stars Hollow. Plus, he wears enough flannel and baseball caps to look like he knows how to throw a right hook. But even with all that working for him, Rust has to take this one home. I mean, he went in as an undercover cop in a Texas biker gang, which is pretty much the most dangerous thing you can do. Rust lives to see the first round.


This means Rust moves on to face Jessica Jones, from the Netflix Original Series based off of the Marvel character. Rust and Jessica are both similar in that they have jaded pasts and pent up guilt that can only be suppressed through alcohol. But the one thing Jessica does have that Rust does not is super strength, so the winner here is clear. In the post-game interviews, Rust was quoted saying, “I decided to throw in the towel and walk hand in hand with my demons into extinction.” Jessica Jones moves on.

In the next matchup we have Jessica Day from “New Girl” up against Agent Dale Cooper from “Twin Peaks.” Jess is just the type Agent Cooper always finds himself trying to save, so he might be a little confused in fighting her. Plus, last I heard,  Coop is still in the Black Lodge. And the coffee in the Black Lodge sucks. No way he makes it out on top here. Winner goes to Jess Day!

Now we have the one we’ve all been waiting for: Walter White vs. Jon Snow. But honestly, how good of a fight could this be? Jon Snow is literally the biggest little b*tch in all of TV. It baffles me that he even made it to Season 5. If we are being really real, and the whole Wildling community was real life, they would have murked his little a*s the first night he was out there with no questions asked. Walter White wins.


The bottom of Side A of the bracket pits A$AP Rocky as a Bodega Cat in the HBO Series “Animals,” vs. Barney Stinson from “How I Met Your Mother.” Did you guys even know that A$AP Rocky had a guest spot in an animated show as a cat that hangs out in a grocery store? As there are no women around, Barney has no power here. He helplessly succumbs as the Rocky Cat hits him with the final line, “Ask me what my favorite dish is? It’s either p*ssy or the fishes.”


Now get excited, we are moving on to the other half of the bracket:

Bracket side B pt. 1

There are two play-in fights on this side, the first of which is Lorne Malvo from “Fargo” Season one vs. Sookie Steakhouse from “True Blood.” Lorne Malvo has to be the scariest freaking character in all of television ever. All he does is kill people, both for money and for fun. He even tortures some of his victims a little before hand, like by filling their water tank up with pig blood so when they shower they look like the girl from “Gone Girl” at the end. And what can Sookie Steakhouse even do? Do we ever find out? Is “True Blood” still on? As far as I know, her only super power is that vampires like to suck her blood and get really protective over her. I’ll pick someone who fills your shower with blood over someone who’s blood attracts vampires any day. Lorne, you scary moth*rf*cker, you win.

(Photo courtesy of Walls Field on Flickr Creative Commons)

(Photo courtesy of Walls Field on Flickr Creative Commons)

The second play-in fight is Daenerys Targaryen from “Game of Thrones” vs. Captain Malcolm Reynolds from “Firefly.” While Captain Mal may be one of my favorite TV characters of all time, all he wants to do is get his crew and cargo safety from point A to point B. And sometimes do a little of that world-saving stuff. That means he ain’t got no time for no damn dragons. He gracefully bows out and lets the Mother of Dragons be on her way. Khaleesi wins.

Now that we are through the play-ins, the first round brings us the matchup between Lorne Malvo vs. Monica Geller from “Friends,” if you didn’t already know. While Lorne is one BA dude, Monica might be the second scariest person on television of all time. I mean, could you imagine trying to spring clean with her? I would rather the pig blood stuff happen to me. Monica wins.

Leslie Knope from “Parks and Recreation” vs. Xena from “Xena: Princess Warrior” may seem like a straightforward matchup. I mean Xena is literally a princess warrior. She’s one of the most qualified fighters in the tournament. My family is getting a new dog this summer, and we are naming her Xena. That being said, I told Leslie if she wins, a huge donation will be given to one Department of Parks and Rec. in Pawnee, India. Leslie Knope takes the first round.

(Photo courtesy of Truus, Bob, and Jan too! on Flickr Creative Commons)

(Photo courtesy of Truus, Bob, and Jan too! on Flickr Creative Commons)

OH MY GOD THE NEXT FIGHT IS DAENERYS VS. BUFFY (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”). Ladies, why not make love instead of war? Can this fight last forever? Is it taking place in real life? This is going to be bigger than Kanye’s “The Life of Pablo” album release party at Madison Square Garden. I could literally watch this forever. How is this not the final? But regardless, there has to be a winner. Khaleesi can sit in fire, sure, but Buffy is one of the few characters in this scenario that has come back from the dead. Buffy has got to be the winner.

Finally, in the last fight of the first round, we have Goku from “Dragon Ball Z” vs. the Powder Puff girls from the cartoon of the same name. This fight is actually personal for me. In second grade, there was a year long argument between all the boys of the class and all the girls of the class about which was better, “Dragon Ball Z” or “The Powderpuff Girls.” I wrote and illustrated a short story about the “Dragon Ball Z” characters beating up the “Powderpuff Girls” characters and my mom was called into meet with the teacher. I didn’t understand why I was in trouble back then, but I understand now. I also understand how incredible and powerful women are and how a lot of the times they do, in fact, beat the boys. The Powderpuff Girls win.

We’ve finally made it past the first round. From here, things only get more interesting. Back to Side A of the bracket:

Bracket side A pt 2

(Photo courtesy of megomal24 on Flickr Creative Commons)

(Photo courtesy of megomal24 on Flickr Creative Commons)

Jessica Jones vs. Jessica Day, has a ring to it doesn’t it? Jessica Jones might have a little trouble with Jess Day, because Jones’ weakness is that her mind can sometimes be controlled, and Jess Day is really great at getting people to do what she wants, but Jessica Jones wins this. She has proven that she can just put on earphones and block out the manipulative people in her life and beat them up. Jessica Jones all day.

Walter White vs. A$AP Rocky as Bodega Cat. Honestly, the fact that a cat made it into the second round of this on shear style and presence is impressive. But Walter White is ruthless, and if a cat gets in his way, then look away. Poor kitty. Heisenberg wins.

Time for Side B, round two!

Bracket side B pt. 2

(Photo courtesy of Scorpions and Centaurs on Flickr Creative Commons)

(Photo courtesy of Scorpions and Centaurs on Flickr Creative Commons)

Monica Geller vs. Leslie Knope. This is predicted to outlast the Isner vs. Mahut match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, which went on for three days. Neither one will ever, ever give up. Monica will try and cook poisoned food and get Leslie to serve it at Parks and Rec. events. Leslie will be knocking on Monica’s door at 3 a.m. every night for a month. And this is actually what will cause Monica to fold. Somewhere in between running a restaurant and marrying Candler, Monica realizes she doesn’t have time for Leslie’s games. But Leslie is a spring of infinite drive and energy. Leslie wins.

Buffy Summers vs. the Powderpuff Girls. Yeah, the Powderpuff girls are a team, but Buffy has Xander and Spike on her side. Buffy wins.

Are you guys ready for the semifinals?!

Bracket side A pt 3

Jessica Jones vs. Walter White is the toughest matchup so far. Both are full of determination and grit. I think it comes down to their weaknesses: their friends. Jesse Pinkman gets himself in trouble a lot and is a little helpless. This brings out the best in big Heisenberg, though. Once, to save his friend, W.W. sets up a remote controlled machine gun in his trunk. But, without spoilers, this is also his downfall. Jessica, on the other hand, is best friends with Trish Walker, who knows how to do Krav Maga, and Luke Cage, whom I believe is enough of a super hero to get an upcoming show for himself. Walter White was always doomed for downfall, anyway. Congrats, Jessica Jones, you have made it to the final.

The Semifinal on Side B:

Bracket side B pt. 3

Leslie Knope vs. Buffy Summers. You guys realize Leslie made it to the semi’s and isn’t even a TV fighter? Valiant effort, Knope, valiant effort. However, Buffy lives on what is called Earth’s “Hellmouth.” And it is literally her job to stop all the demons from coming out. Y’all remember that time a group of ghouls came to Sunnydale and took everyones voices and were f*ckin’ sh*t up because no one could call for help? Y’all remember how Buffy beat them? She screamed. That’s right, she screamed and sent them boys back to hell. Buffy through to the finals. Also, Joss Whedon is a genius but was on some David Lynch type stuff for a couple of those episodes (and it was awesomely weird).

Bracket side A pt 4Bracket side B pt. 4

The final: Jessica Jones vs. Buffy Summers. Two young, angsty women who could definitely kick our asses. The thing is, I knew from the onset of this article who was going to win: Buffy. Buffy, if you are reading this, this is my public proclamation of my love for you. You are the first woman I ever loved. Your strength and beauty has graced my dreams, especially in season 4 when you and Riley were dating, and in season 6 when the tension between you and Spike finally broke. You will always be my first love, you will always have a place in my heart, I will never forget you and you will always win any made up competition I think of on these eves of procrastination.

For anyone still reading this, you and I, we, have made it to our peak procrastination points together. We have transcended the third tier of Maslow’s Hierarchy of the College Students’ Needs. Let us now shed the weight on our shoulders and walk into the last days before finals with our heads held high. We have made it.


(Photo courtesy of meriandlauren on Flickr Creative Commons)


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Bradley Harrison is a senior at College of Charleston. After a long and painful stint as an engineering student at a university in Georgia which you probably have never heard of, he has decided to come back home to his native Charleston and study Spanish and Education. As a keen observer of pop culture, he loves art house cinema, Pitchfork.com, and the Ringer. FOH Army for life.

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