A ranking of all the White Lotus characters, from least to most insufferable

Written by Katie Rosseinsky

In a very crowded field, which of The White Lotus’s guests is definitely the worst? 

It’s time to hand in our key cards and check out of The White Lotus. The second season of Mike White’s brilliant satire of the uber-rich has come to an end after seven acutely observed episodes, culminating in an unforgettable finale.

As we bid farewell to the anthology series’ latest cast of messy characters (and attempt to piece together our dream cast for season three), what better way to say goodbye than by placing the hotel and its staff in a league table of awfulness?

From least annoying to most insufferable, we’ve ranked them all…(warning: you will find spoilers for The White Lotus season two ahead)


The unproblematic face of The White Lotus’s front desk, this gal just wants to chat with her fiancé on company time, and we applaud that. Yes, she almost certainly exploited Valentina’s romantic interest in her to finesse a lovely brooch from her boss, but given that Isabella is probably underpaid, overworked and has to contend with the ‘jokey’ attentions of guests like Bert (more on him later), we’ll let it pass. Wishing you and Rocco a very happy, photogenically Sicilian future together. 


The White Lotus season 2 returns in October

This season’s answer to hotel manager Armond takes precisely zero shit from anyone, and the scene in which she told Tanya that she looked like Peppa Pig, which actor Sabrina Impacciatore has since revealed that she improvised, was TV gold (there’s just something about a Peppa Pig reference that becomes even funnier when the vowels are squeezed out with an Italian accent). As the series went on, we saw her softer side as she finally got to, ahem, let loose. 

Mia and Lucia

Like Ant and Dec, we have come to the decision that these two characters must be treated as a two-for-one in our rankings. Mia and Lucia were certainly grifters, but they were seriously talented grifters – and they had a much better time in their unofficial capacity as guests (ie sneaking their way into various rooms) than basically all of the bona fide White Lotus clients. We’ll raise an Aperol spritz in their honour. 


The White Lotus series 2: Aubrey Plaza stars as Harper.

Bravo, Aubrey Plaza. With her acerbic one-liners and take-no-prisoners attitude, Harper is probably the White Lotus character that we’d most like to go on holiday with (and yes, when she finally called Cameron an idiot, we cheered internally – even if her husband Ethan would go on to claim that the outburst was a ‘tell’, confirming (in his mind, at least) that something had gone on between them). Yes, there’s a certain irony in her taking issue with others’ lack of connection to reality when you’re holidaying at a resort for the 0.01%, but self-awareness is never a strong point for White Lotus guests.  


Cameron and Daphne in The White Lotus

Of all the characters from season two, Daphne is probably the one we’ve been on the most significant journey with. When she first appeared in the opening flash-forward scene, and later when we learned more about her and Cameron over that seriously awkward breakfast scene, we wrote her off as an insufferable, bored housewife with too much time and money on her hands.

But as the episodes went on, the double whammy of actor Meghann Fahy’s performance in tandem with Mike White’s writing made her a seriously intriguing prospect, as we learned more about the ways in which she makes her infidelity-ridden marriage work. “Do whatever you have to do not to feel like a victim,” she told Ethan in the finale – and she definitely emerged as one of this season’s winners. 


Portia’s received a lot of stick for her, ahem, eclectic dress sense (bucket hats! Crochet! Tie dye! It’s a TikTok fever dream) and for her attitude to her job (which admittedly doesn’t seem that difficult – she’s in Sicily on holiday – but Tanya certainly isn’t the most accommodating of bosses). But fundamentally, she’s pretty harmless; she’s just another lost, overly earnest twenty-something trying to figure out what they want from life. And if you can’t be a bit annoying in your early 20s, when can you? 


Yes, he’s essentially harmless, but Albie’s whole ‘nice guy’ schtick (including his monologue about why The Godfather is #problematic) felt a bit try-hard – and his saviour complex when it came to Lucia was seriously suspect. He learned his lesson eventually, though, and he and Portia ultimately make sense as a couple – but should he really have put in a good word for his cheating dad with his mum? 


The White Lotus season 2: Cameron (Theo James), Daphne (Meghann Fahy), Ethan (Will Sharpe) and Harper (Aubrey Plaza).

On The White Lotus’s scale of toxic masculinity, Ethan does better than many of his fellow male guests, but he doesn’t exactly come out with a great score. Sometimes he seems quiet and thoughtful, yet he tries to gaslight Harper into thinking that she is the problem on one too many occasions. He’s also a bit of a hypocrite. After telling us over and over again that his defining trait is his honesty, he proceeds to lie to Harper multiple times – then becomes filled with rage when he thinks she is doing the same thing to him. Plus, his whole friendship with Cameron is seriously twisted. 


The White Lotus season 2

Oh, Tanya. We love you, but the fact is you’ve simply been very, very annoying this season. Her neediness, already her defining characteristic in season one, was off the charts, and her whims (including attempting to place her assistant under house arrest while on holiday) made Portia’s life a misery – and almost certainly triggered some of that character’s worst traits too. Still, thanks to Jennifer Coolidge’s performance, we couldn’t look away from her. 


Bert is that older guy who makes young female hospitality staff feel uncomfortable with inappropriate comments, then repeatedly demurs that he’s ‘only joking’ if he gets called out for doing so (or uses his age as an excuse for bad behaviour). Even when he tries to do something nice, he has to spoil it by saying something creepy afterwards. The artichoke-wielding Italian women (his long-lost relatives, apparently) had the right idea, yelling and chasing him away when he turned up at their door.   


The White Lotus season 2 returns in October

No wonder the film industry has such a problem with women when it has powerful men like Dominic working in it. As well as consistently cheating on his wife throughout their marriage (following in the footsteps of his father, Bert, on that score), he hires a young sex worker while on a holiday with his dad and son. Grim. We will not be rooting for his wife to take him back, that’s for sure (any character voiced by Laura Dern deserves better).


Essex boy Jack started off as endearing in a Love Island contestant sort of way, but ended up sinister in a Guy Ritchie gangster sort of way. The first red flag was when he dashed off from a tiny restaurant without paying the bill for fun (who does that?). The second was unquestionably when Tanya saw him having sex with his ‘uncle’. Bad, bad vibes all around, as Jack himself might say. 


Snake of the season award goes to Tanya’s husband, Greg. When he was conveniently forced to return to the US on “work stuff”, we assumed that he’d just become a bit fed up with Tanya. Maybe, at worst, he was cheating on her. What we didn’t realise is that this guy had cooked up a full-on Italian melodrama of a murder plot in order to get around their iron-clad pre-nup and get his hands on her cash (if you rewatch some of their scenes from earlier in the series, you’ll see that they were heavily laced with foreshadowing). 


When Quentin made his first appearance in episode four, he seemed like a charming and essentially harmless addition to The White Lotus’s milieu – someone who seemed like Tanya’s spiritual soulmate, ready to give her the adulation she so craved. But it turned out that this “high-end gay”, as Tanya so memorably branded him, really, really likes old buildings. And he was willing to do some dirty work in order to fund those old buildings.

When an HBO drama features a scene involving a meal on a boat (see also, Succession’s season two finale), you know it’s going to be nerve-shredding, and watching Quentin drop not-so-coded references to Tanya’s planned fate was seriously tense. 


The White Lotus season 2 returns in October

Congratulations to Theo James for bringing to life one of the most obnoxious men to grace our screens in a very crowded field. Cameron is toxic masculinity incarnate: he appears to have turned his friendship with Ethan into a form of psychological warfare, where he must have everything that his former roommate has, even pursuing his wife as a way of asserting his dominant, alpha status. We’ve all met a Cameron, and that’s probably why James’s performance touched such a nerve.   

The White Lotus is available to stream on NOW. 

Images: HBO / Sky Atlantic

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