Hate Sink

What is a hate sink?

A fictional character meant to be hated

A hate sink is a fictional character who is deliberately written to be hated. Every action the hate sink performs is meant to draw an audience's ire and get them to hate the character even more.

Why include a hate sink in a story?

There are many ways to get an audience invested in a story. One way is to get the audience to hate a specific character so much they can't wait to see that character get their comeuppance.

Audience members incensed by a hate sink will keep reading, watching, or listening to a story specifically to see that character fail (and hopefully, suffer extreme punishment as a result). This phenomenon is similar to hate-watching. In this case, though, the story itself may be good - it's just one specific character the audience loves to hate.

Who are some example hate sinks?

Some popular example hate sinks include:

  • Ramsay Bolton and Joffrey Baratheon from Game of Thrones
  • Fuches from Barry
  • Tommy and Carol from Stranger Things
  • Peter Pettigrew from Harry Potter


I liked him in season 1, but in season 2 I think they just made him into a hate sink for drama's sake
A Star Wars: KOTOR fan discussing that game's hate sink
A Star Wars: KOTOR fan discussing that game's hate sink

Related Slang


Updated September 22, 2022

Hate sink definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Hate sink" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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