Is there anything worse than when your favorite good girl crosses over to the dark side? Sure, it happens IRL on occasion — like when Selena Gomez traded in her cookie-cutter, Disney Channel image for a more scantily-clad persona, courtesy of Spring Breakers — but it happens far more often on television — turning a series goody-two-shoes into a regular wild child.
While we root for them to go back to their old ways — pink-haired Quinn was the worst thing to happen to Glee (and that’s saying something)! — the dramatics of television can often leave our favorite characters grappling with an identity that just doesn’t suit them. We’re highlighting some of our favorite good girls from teen TV shows who made the transition from light to dark. Some of these ladies found their way back to their old ways, while others have us hanging on to see what will happen next:
Aria on Pretty Little Liars
We can usually count on Aria to be the most levelheaded and sweet-natured of the PLL gang, but as the series nears its end, Aria is embracing her dark side.
Throughout the series, Aria remains artsy and unique, but she's always been there for her friends. Despite what we thought we knew about Aria, the latest season has her possibly turning against the other Little Liars. All hasn't yet been revealed, but it would seem that Aria has joined forces with the hooded nemesis plotting against her friends named "A.D." We'll have to stay tuned to see what happens next and whether Aria finds her way back from the dark side.
Elena on The Vampire Diaries
As the star of The Vampire Diaries, Elena Gilbert is one of the most selfless and kind characters on television. From looking out for her brother to being there for her best friends, Bonnie and Caroline, Elena always puts others first.
Unfortunately, on Season 4, Elena forgoes her usual good-girl ways to turn it all off and become the vampire of our nightmares. After suffering another loss in her family and becoming a vampire, Elena chooses to turn off her humanity, a process that turns all her emotions off. The decision basically turns Elena into a rude and blood-thirsty supernatural being. She makes digs at her friends, goes wild at a party and ignores everyone around her. Elena becomes the worst version of herself during this period and we're left to watch with horror as she becomes absolutely awful.
Don't worry, though, Elena turns back on her emotions soon after and returns to the way she should be.
HONORABLE MENTIONS: Bonnie & Caroline — both can also be used as examples of good girls gone bad — Elena just went the most dark.
Photo: The CW
Quinn on Glee
During Season 3 of Glee, cheerleader and usual good girl Quinn Fabray decides she's going to become someone else entirely. Senior year signals a new beginning for the student and she ditches the cheerleading uniform in favor of a punk wardrobe, pink hair and a full-fledged attitude.
Even when Quinn pretends to go back to the good side and returns to her normal wardrobe and golden locks, she still hides some evil intentions and spends much of S3 acting out a plan to regain full custody of her daughter, Beth.
Betty on Riverdale
From the beginning of Riverdale, we fell in love with the sweet innocence and friendly nature of Betty Cooper. From throwing a surprise birthday bash for her bae, Jughead, to fighting back against the mean queen of school, Cheryl Blossom, she is one tough and peppy inspiration. Her goodnatured and pleasant attitude is what made Betty so lovable.
BUT, on the first season, we got a peek at the darkness inside Betty. For this brief walk on the wild side, the blonde donned a black wig and barely-there outfit, plotting revenge against a Riverdale football star. The football player certainly had it coming, what with a "playbook" that ranked girls in the school based on their appearance, but Dark Betty totally lost control and, in the process, she lost herself.
Luckily, normal Betty Cooper returned soon after, but we won't be forgetting Dark Betty anytime soon.
Photo: The CW
Jenny on Gossip Girl
When we first met Jenny Humphrey, we were introduced to a shy and studious girl with a hidden talent for fashion design. She spent much of her early years desperate to make it in the popular clique at school and secure a seat next to Queen B on the steps of the Met.
In her desire to make more friends and make it big in the fashion world, Jenny forgot where it all started for her: at home with her dad, Rufus, and her brother, Dan.
After Jenny meets fashion model Agnes Andrews, she becomes bold and brash. From leaving home to treating her best friends like garbage, Jenny's new model friend encourages her in a life of partying and event crashing.
Photo: The CW
Jenna on Awkward.
We can all attest to moments in which we pretend to like something else or be someone else to impress a crush, and Jenna Hamilton of Awkward. is no exception.
It's on Season 3 of the series, though, that Jenna goes a little too far and winds up nearly in trouble with the law. Jenna falls in with the wrong crowd, dating a boy named Collin who pressures her to smoke pot and takes her to drug-fueled parties.
While Jenna loses her way for a time, including turning her back on her best friend, she realizes what a bad influence Collin is and returns to her old ways.
Lizzie on Lizzie McGuire
Lizzie McGuire was a hero to viewers everywhere. She was never afraid to be herself, even when it meant wearing a Unicorn sweater for school picture day. She was a loyal friend, a good student and someone we all wished we could be best friends with.
That all goes awry when Lizzie becomes Bad Girl McGuire. After getting detention, she befriends the bad girl at school, Angel, and soon dons a fake nose ring, makes fun of her friends and comes up with fake excuses for cutting gym. It's the one time Lizzie goes a little bad and, as evidenced by her crimped hair and black wardrobe, it's not a good look for the usually colorful and kind character.
Thank goodness, her best pals, Miranda and Gordo, were there to bring her back down to earth.
Photo: Disney Channel
Marissa on The O.C.
From The O.C.'s series premiere, it was clear that Marissa Cooper was a bit of partier. She always enjoyed a wild night with friends, but it goes a little too far when Marissa deals with her parents' divorce and father's money troubles. From having too much to drink during a Spring Break trip to Tijuana with her friends to stealing an expensive watch during shopping, Marissa's bad side is, well... really bad. She's the ultimate bad girl, unafraid of the consequences and just trying to find her way.
Like many of her fellow bad girls, Marissa was lucky enough to have friends by her side when things got too dark, and each time her gang of Seth, Summer and Ryan were there to pick her up.
Julie on Friday Night Lights
When Julie Taylor moves to Dillon, Texas with her parents at the beginning of Friday Night Lights, she seems nice enough. That all changes as Julie begins to act out against her parents following a series of life changes, including the birth of her baby sister. From getting a tattoo to befriending fellow bad girl Tyra Collette, Julie becomes a totally different person from the one we first come to know. Julie frequently argues with her mother over dating decisions, including during a summer fling she begins with a much older lifeguard.
As Julie's personality continues to change throughout season, she eventually grows into herself and grows up, leaving bad ways behind.
Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Following the death of her girlfriend, Tara, Willow turns into a dark witch that's unlike anything we had ever seen on the popular supernatural series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The powerful witch had always used her superpowers to help friends, but in a quest for vengeance, Willow turns against Buffy, transforming into a one bad witch, complete with menacing wardrobe.
Willow's quest for power becomes too much, though, and the normally good witch enacts revenge on everyone around her.
Thankfully, her walk on the wild side ends with the help of her friends, although the memories of her dark period continue to haunt her throughout the series.
Photo: The WB