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Top 10 TV Man-Children

VO: Dan Paradis

Script written by Nick Spake These characters are eternally young at heart. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the Top 10 TV Man-Children. For this list, we're taking a look at the most memorable grown men in television that act incredibly immature for their age. Special thanks to our users AXHP or submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Nick Spake

Top 10 TV Man-children


These characters are eternally young at heart. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 TV Man-children.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the most memorable grown men in television that act incredibly immature for their age.

#10: Jerry Seinfeld
“Seinfeld” (1989-98)

Jerry is among the more successful man-children on this list, making a respectable living as a comedian. With that said, Jerry has the mindset of a teenager and treats everything like a joke. You can tell by his apartment that he’s a bachelor. While Jerry seemingly dates a new woman every week, he rarely has the intention of settling down. Even when it looks like he’s found the perfect woman, he always finds something to nitpick. Never learning a lesson or giving anything back to society, Jerry is perfectly content living a shallow life. At least he doesn’t live with his parents like (xref) George, though.

#9: Pee-wee Herman
“Pee-wee’s Playhouse” (1986-91)

We’d say that Pee-wee is like a child trapped inside a grown man’s body, but even most kids aren’t nearly as manic as this peculiar fellow. Although Pee-wee is juvenile to say the least, it’s not like any of the other characters that drop by his playhouse are that much more mature. Pee-wee basically exists in a world where being wacky, goofy, and totally off-the-wall is considered normal. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why his television series appealed to kids and adults alike. No matter how old you are, anybody can act like a silly kid in Pee-wee’s playhouse.

#8: Andy Dwyer
“Parks and Recreation” (2009-15)

We’re still having a hard time believing the hunky star of “Jurassic World” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” previously played this scruffy man-child. Andy is, for lack of a better word, a meathead. Much like a lost puppy, however, it’s impossible not to love him. His undeniable charms even manage to win over his cynical future wife April, who’s also reluctant to turn into an old, boring adult. While Andy does become less of a slacker as the series progresses, he forever maintains a childlike mentality. Regardless, it takes a pretty hugeman-child to dream up “The Johnny Karate Super Awesome Musical Explosion Show.”

#7: Michael Scott
“The Office” (2005-13)

When a man in his 40’s makes a “that’s what she said” joke, it’s clear that he never matured beyond age 14. It’s miraculous, if not ridiculous, that this inept idiot was never fired from Dunder Mifflin and somehow became a regional manager. Despite being the big boss, Michael is easily the most immature person in the office, with exception to maybe the thickheaded Kevin (xref). Since he outranks everybody else, his employees have no choice but to accept Michael’s irresponsible, selfish, and bizarre behavior. With Michael in charge, though, it’s all play and no work – so at least things are never dull.

#6: Joey Tribbiani
“Friends” (1994-2004)

Where the other five “Friends” cast members significantly grew up over the show’s ten-year run, Joey arguably became more childish with each season. Seriously, how many grown men do you know who won’t give up their stuffed penguin toy? After years of mooching off roommate Chandler, Joey does eventually find a stable job as Dr. Drake Ramoray on “Days of Our Lives.” Even with his newfound success, however, Joey remains as gullible and small-minded as ever. Nevertheless, Joey is the most loyal and kindhearted pal somebody could ask for. Just don’t try to steal food from his plate.

#5: Buster Bluth
“Arrested Development” (2003-06; 2013-)

(xref) Gob Bluth is as immature as he is conceited. However, his little brother Buster is the biggest baby in the family without question. A naïve mama’s boy who simply doesn’t know any better, Buster is reliant on the alcoholic Lucille and needs to be babysat at all times. Otherwise, he’ll get into all sorts of crazy shenanigans. The last thing Buster needs is to lose another hand. While just as nutty as everyone else in his dysfunctional clan, Buster’s innocence and sweetness make him impossible to resist. He just really needs to stop hitting the juice box, though.

#4: Phil Dunphy
“Modern Family” (2009-)

Phil Dunphy adores being a father, but he doesn’t exactly love disciplining his three children. An impulsive free spirit, Phil is always up for doing something fun with the family. Whenever it’s time to be serious and responsible, though, this self-proclaimed “cool dad” tends to run the other way. His wife Claire constantly gets stuck being the strict parent, although maybe that’s for the best. When Phil actually tries playing bad cop, he goes just a little too far. In any case, Claire does love her husband, even if he can feel like a fourthchild at times.

#3: Homer Simpson
“The Simpsons” (1989-)

(xref) Peter Griffin may have the intelligence of a toddler, but Homer Simpson set the yellow standard for animated man-children. If his incredibly patient wife Marge weren’t around to take care of him, Homer would probably be even more helpless than Comic Book Guy (xref). Reckless, greedy, and lazy, Homer frequently puts his needs and desires ahead of everyone else’s. However, he usually realizes when he’s been inconsiderate, and will do whatever it takes to earn the forgiveness of his loved ones. While he’ll never be the perfect husband, father, or man, sometimes you just need to accept family members for who they are.

#2: Sheldon Cooper
“The Big Bang Theory” (2007-)

Going to college at age eleven, Sheldon was declared a child prodigy. Decades later, Sheldon is still something of a child prodigy. In addition to being the smartest man in the room, this genius theoretical physicist is also the most childish. His comfort zone is about as wide as his reserved spot on the couch. He hates change of any kind, although Sheldon has come a long way since the pilot. He most notably enters a committed relationship with Amy Farrah Fowler. Even despite his evolution, Sheldon resists trying new things at every turn. At least you can calm him down by singing Soft Kitty.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
Randy Marsh
“South Park” (1997-) 

Gary and Tony
“Men Behaving Badly” (1992-2014)


Johnny Bravo
“Johnny Bravo” (1997-2004)

The Whole Gang
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (2005-)
 

Detective Jake Peralta
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2013-)

#1: Mr. Bean
“Mr. Bean” (1990-95)

Everything about Mr. Bean, from the way he talks to the way he walks, is beyond childish. Just ask his best friend, Teddy. This is one man-child who should probably be kept on a leash, as mayhem follows him everywhere. Even when performing the simplest tasks, Mr. Bean finds a way turn the situation into an over-the-top escapade. Having the outlook of child, Mr. Bean doesn’t mean to do wrong. He just doesn’t understand how the world functions. For all the trouble Mr. Bean causes, it’s hard not to like a character that goes through life like a kid in a candy store.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite TV man-child? For more entertaining Top 10s published everyday, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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