The hilarious appeal of MTV’s Awkward lies in the constant awkward behavior, mannerisms and habits of its pack of oddball characters, so much so that we thought it was about time we ranked them in terms of their awkward capital, and it was no easy task.
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Aside from giving his daughter a jumbo box of condoms for Christmas (and we mean the box was jumbo, not the, well, you know what we mean), Kevin is by far the least awkward of all of Awkward‘s awkward people. But in the interest of maintaining this level of trust we have going, I’m going to level with you here: When you’re the hottest dad to hit TV screens since Burt Hummel on Glee (don’t judge, we can’t help who we love), we barely notice your awkward behavior because we are far too busy staring at your chiseled and perfectly proportioned face.
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On the relative awkward scale, Matty is barely a blimp on the radar. He’s what we call “awkward lite.” Let’s take, for example, his various coital rituals — copping a whiff of his armpit when he’s nervous and the fact that he can’t finish the word “awesome” once he’s done parking his car in Jenna’s garage (if you know what we mean). You might also take his remedial spelling abilities, the fact he thinks Anne Hathaway is sexy and his inability to wear a hat backward without looking like a total dork and file them away in a folder labeled “awkward.”
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If we’re going to be fair to Sadie, which we are because she taught us the art of the shutdown and we owe her, she is far more likely to point out awkwardness in others than she is to behave awkwardly herself. At first, we hated this about her, but now, we can really appreciate her ability to nail an insult in a manner that puts all carpenters to shame. That’s not to say she’s completely awkward-free. The constant chin-jutting as an accompaniment to her you’re welcomes, not being able to fit into Matty’s clothes in the pilot episode or her sheer desperation in relation to Ricky Schwartz (who did a lot of lady-loving living in his short life)? Awkward.
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To be honest with you, Jenna’s awkward behavior was quite tame for a while there. Sure, she had her moments — seemingly only ever typing with the index finger on her left hand, her inability to part with the side braid for what seemed like years, telling Jake they should have sex over the PA system and walking in on her parents walking out of what was clearly a “save water, shower with a friend” situation. But Jenna’s awkward stock jumped 1,000 points when she started dating Colin and went through her “bad girl” phase. Which was, honestly, the most pitiful attempt at a bad girl phase I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen that episode of Full House where Stephanie makes a friend who smokes. We can appreciate the bad girl phase for one reason, though: It was the catalyst for Jenna to throw caution to the wind and engage a non-side braid hairstyle. What a risk-taker!
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Lissa doesn’t get as much airtime as some of the other characters, but she sure makes the most of it when she does. Who could forget when she offered up her “be-hymen” to Jake, the time she accidentally popped Molly because she thought it was candy and the constant mention of sins? There’s also the fact she is always wearing a Christian cross around her neck, which wouldn’t be so awkward if it didn’t always seem an inch away from coming into contact with her perkily and proudly displayed boobs. Lissa’s what we call “awkward: concentrated edition.”
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For a couple of seasons there, the most awkward thing about Jake was his borrowing of Matty’s tux without acknowledging that they are not at all the same size and the time he thought he stood a chance in a fight against Matty. Spoiler alert: He didn’t. But, then, Jake suffered a complete personality transplant. All of a sudden, he became a blithering moron with zero appeal. Between his music phase, the longer hair that made it seem like he was trying to channel Leo DiCaprio circa Titanic and him genuinely believing that Tamara’s truly awful, borderline-British, Australian accent was “convincing,” we can no longer see Jake in the same hot light.
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Shoshanna Shapiro’s long-lost cousin is pretty much incapable of verbally communicating with others like a normal person. There’s not enough space here to list every abbreviation, acronym or TMI piece of information that seems to cascade out of her mouth at a blistering pace, but she sure generates all the awkward feels every single time she dares to speak. Throw in the fact that all of her jewelry looks edible, and her belief that Niall is the hottest One Direction band member and you have a bundle of awkward dynamite prime to explode. Also awkward? The fact that I know Niall is not the hottest 1D band member. (It’s Liam, FYI.)
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As far as awkwardness goes, Tamara and Lacey are pretty much on par, but Lacey snags a spot higher up on our list because she’s an adult, so she has less of an excuse for her behavior. Let’s start with the constant touching, readjusting and flaunting of her silicone assets. Then there’s her cooking of pre-cooked cupcakes, her trying to put a fire out by merely waving her arms around, the fact she doesn’t know receiving a small envelope from a college is no bueno and the time she thought speaking in pig latin would throw people off from understanding what she was saying. But the clincher for her placement on the awkward scale? The “care-frontation” letter. It was awkward for her to write, awkward for her to send and awkward for Jenna to find out she wrote it.
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Sweet mother of all that is good and holy, where do we even start with Val (Jenna Elfman 2.0)? Palos Hills’ dedicated, if not completely unhinged, guidance counselor could certainly do with some guidance and counseling herself, which basically makes her the best and most hilarious part of every episode. Her doling out sex advice to Jenna? Awkward. Her asking Jenna for sex advice? Even more awkward. Her sheer obsession with Jenna (which includes, but is not limited to, the BFF framed photo of the two of them on her desk)? Infinitely awkward. She gets extra points for rocking that fanny pack like it’s not frying our retinas due to its extreme ugliness. Also relevant? Her public performance of an interpretive dance of “everyone’s inner struggle” and the affectionate way she always calls Lacey “L-dog,” which wouldn’t be as awkward had she not started doing it about three seconds after they met. But the most awkward thing about Val? She has a lava lamp proudly displayed on her desk. We can hear 2002 calling, and it also thinks Val is awkward.