There are a handful of reasons why Netflix’s Never Have I Ever is such a successful hit series. The flawed and complex characters are important, as are the relatable situations and the diversity among the cast. However, at the top of the list is just how funny the show is.
Even when the characters are doing things that the viewer disagrees with, they still manage to put a smile on the faces of the audience. Some of them pull that off better and more consistently than others, managing to rank among television’s most hilarious characters you’ll find anywhere right now.
10 Fabiola Torres
When discussing the most likable people on Never Have I Ever, Fabiola Torres (Lee Rodriguez) would certainly be near the top. She’s smart, caring, and downright lovable. The only thing is that she doesn’t really get much of an opportunity to hit on comedic lines.
While it’s not funny that she struggles to fit in with her girlfriend’s fellow lesbian friends, watching her fail to know that there are two versions of The L Word was pretty comical. Fabiola is a highlight for the series, just not always on the comedic side of things.
9 Eleanor Wong
Like Fabiola, Eleanor Wong (Ramona Young) doesn’t totally get to be hilarious. However, what sets her apart is that she’s typically the outlandish one of the trio. Eleanor’s dream of being an actor means that she deals with everything in overdramatic fashion.
It could be the most typical of situations that everyone else would handle normally but Eleanor makes a big scene out of it. Her offer to not use her legs until Devi does again, as well as her choice of outfit when she attempted to dress “hot” were both hilarious and out of place.
8 Dr. Jamie Ryan
On paper, Dr. Jamie Ryan (Niecy Nash) is meant to be someone who helps Devi through her harshest times. She does this often, acting as a great therapist for her client and you might think that doesn’t always lend itself to comedy but the opposite is actually true.
Due to the fact that Devi gets herself into such absurd situations, Dr. Ryan is able to call her out on it. She’s not afraid to deliver a zinger and put Devi in her place when she needs it. Plus, Dr. Ryan also gets to have wild reactions to these moments.
7 Kamala Nandiwada
Right off the bat, it became clear that Kamala Nandiwada (Richa Moorjani) led a far different life from her family members. Her stunning beauty made it so people treated her differently but she was also a genius biologist who certainly didn’t rest on her good looks.
While Kamala is far too nice to dish out insults, she does get to deliver the laughs with some of her reactions to the things happening around her. Whether it’s a random guy on a bike crashing because he’s staring at her or getting into shenanigans of her own by trying to hide her boyfriend in her room, Kamala brings the funny sometimes.
6 Devi Vishwakumar
Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) is not only the protagonist of Never Have I Ever but she’s also the first person to really be consistently funny. For starters, Devi is constantly finding herself in the most awkward of situations. Given writer Mindy Kaling’s history on The Office, it should come as no surprise that she nails these scenes for Devi.
She can be infuriating at times but that level of delusion makes it hard to not at least laugh a little bit at Devi. She also is one of the best characters when it comes to throwing out insults with venom, as she’s never one to back down from Ben or anyone around her.
5 Ben Gross
You could really put Devi and Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison) in the same boat. They are rivals, especially academically, because of how similar they are. The two strive to be the best and it puts them at odds, which leads to countless back and forth exchanges that are hilarious.
Devi and Ben go at it at every chance and Ben gets the slight edge because he wins a bit more of their battles. Plus, he also is just as awkward and fails at trying to be cool. Even when he loses to Devi verbally, he makes the audience laugh like when she dissed his dad’s looks and he shouted, “My dad’s hot!” to awkward silence.
4 Nalini Vishwakumar
Part of what makes Dr. Ryan so funny is that she will call out Devi when she needs it. Well, that goes ten-fold for Dr. Nalini Vishwakumar (Poorna Jagannathan), Devi’s mother. She is overly pushy and controlling at times but that leads to some truly hilarious moments.
For example, Nalini aggressively telling Devi to pray to get into Princeton instead of something stupid like world peace was delivered expertly. She also adds to this in season 2, with more cases of putting Devi in her place than ever before. At the end of the day, she just wants the best for her daughter, so these lines come from a place of love.
3 Rebecca Hall-Yoshida
It’s hard to steal the show when you aren’t around in all that many episodes but Rebecca Hall-Yoshida (Lily D. Moore) managed to do so. She’s Paxton’s adopted sister who he feels protective of since people have bullied her due to her Down Syndrome.
Of course, anyone who knows Rebecca will understand that she doesn’t need protection. She is one of the more savage characters, shutting down Paxton with brutal honesty that is both funny and the kind of thing that the audience cheers for. Rebecca is hilarious in every single scene.
2 John McEnroe
It’s hard to fully classify John McEnroe as a character because he’s really just the main narrator on the show. While Andy Samberg and Bella Hadid did well in their appearances as narrators, you simply can’t top the tennis icon who does the voiceover work for Devi-centric episodes.
For one thing, McEnroe often says exactly what the audience is thinking. For another, he is also blunt about things, making sure to note that the characters talking about sex as if they have experience are actually virgins. He also tends to celebrate and cheer when things go well for Devi while also pointing out her terrible side, which is always funny.
1 Trent Harrison
Along the same lines as Rebecca, Trent Harrison (Benjamin Norris) is not really one of the main characters but he always manages to shine when given the opportunity. He mostly just wants to hang out with Paxton, play video games, skateboard, and chill out.
The fact that Trent can be clueless is part of the fun as he’ll be asked a question and have no real idea what’s going on. He also always seems to be around in the background, giving him the perfect chance to chime in with a line that will just make everyone at home laugh. He’s perfectly used on the show as it never seems like the viewer gets enough of him.