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One Day character ranking

From Sylvie to Ian: Every One Day character, ranked by their overall vibes

Ian was the embodiment of an ick x


So, you’ve just finished One Day on Netflix, maybe you’ve bought the book, and you’ve spent hours crying over edits of Dex and Em on TikTok. One Day has had us all in a chokehold, and is probably one of the most beautiful series Netflix has produced. And, if you’re anything like me – with One Day living rent-free in your head – maybe you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about which characters irked you the most.

They may have all been loveable at times, but they also had moments which left me cringing or screaming at my TV. I’ve been constantly thinking about the show since sobbing my way through the final episode, and it’s given me a lot of time to rank the characters, mostly for my own enjoyment.

So, from every minor character to the main lovers themselves, here is my definitive ranking of every character in One Day. Be warned, this is not a spoiler-free zone, so proceed with caution if you haven’t watched One Day yet. And if you haven’t — what are you doing with your life?

9. Ian

Credit: Netflix

He tried to be funny, but really his jokes left me rolling my eyes harder than Em did. He literally gave me the ick every time he appeared on screen, and honestly, the fact that she stuck with him for so long made me scream in frustration. No wonder his career as a comedian was a flop — I wouldn’t ever pay to sit through jokes as awful as his.

8. Calum

Credit: Netflix

Maybe it’s controversial to put this cheating scumbag above Ian, but honestly, I forgot he was a character for most of the series until he gave Dex that job in his cafe. He was a major snake for what he did to Dex, need I say more?

7. Stephen

Credit: Netflix

Stephen was hard for me to like for a lot of the series. While he definitely redeemed himself in the last episode with how he cared for Dexter, he just wasn’t my favourite member of the Mayhew family.

6. Dexter

Dex is the epitome of a flawed character. He was loveable, and there were moments even in the difficult episodes when I felt myself rooting for him, but ultimately he had me tearing my hair out. The fact he couldn’t see what he had with Em until so late into their friendship, and the way he hurt her, especially when they went skinny dipping loses him a lot of points. His posh boy, privileged attitude also just annoyed me. But, seeing him bloom as a dad was unexpected, yet lovely. Ultimately, he had a lovely character arc, and now I want to protect him.

5. Sylvie

 Credit: Netflix

I originally disliked Sylvie because she came between Dex and Em, and because she cheated on Dex when he was just trying his best to be a good husband and dad. But she definitely redeemed herself for the way she cared for Dex after Em’s death, and it made me laugh that she attended Em’s memorial when she had nothing to share.

4. Jasmine

Credit: Netflix

She may not have had many scenes, but whenever she was on screen, she SLAYED. Her violin playing was awful, but I loved the enthusiasm she put in. Also, she gets points for walking up Arthur’s Seat as a child — I wouldn’t do that as a full-grown adult.

3. Emma

Credit: Netflix

Now, don’t get me wrong, Emma was also an imperfect main character, but I rooted for her all the way through the series. Despite her affair with the headteacher, her relationship with Ian and every time she missed a romantic moment with Dex, she made me smile. It was frustrating that she didn’t make a move on Dex, but it ended up in a perfect love story. She was the nerdy, beautiful main character we all needed, and I found myself rooting for her throughout the series. When we found out she’d got her first book published, it felt like my own child had succeeded. She’s definitely not a footnote in my story, because I’m constantly getting sad by thinking about her death.

2. Alison

Credit: Netflix

She loved Emma, she was funny and she absolutely would have knocked some sense into Dexter had she lived longer. She appreciated a well-wrapped present, and the Christmas flashback made me love her even more. Her comment about her daughter being “such a virgin” despite having two children was absolutely iconic. She took no shit, and honestly, we all need Alison as a mum to tell it to us straight.

1. Tilly

Credit: Netflix