The gang in Gilligan’s Island were mostly alright, but they all have their rather poor moments when you think about it.
The castaways on Gilligan’s Island are always getting up to some sort of wacky antics. Light-hearted, friendly, and fun, the group of seven has their flaws, but they genuinely love each other and want to take care of one another.
However, everybody makes mistakes, and each of the castaways on the Island has made several. What could really be the worst the castaways have done, though? After all, they’re all such lovable goofs! False. The castaways have committed some heinous deeds, and these are among the worst.
Thurston Howell III
Let’s start off with an easy one. Mr. Howell, full name Thurston Howell III, notoriously hates getting involved in any schemes on the Island that require even a minimal amount of effort from him. In addition to being lazy and entitled, he’s also a completely warped rich old man. Mr. Howell truly is the 1%. When he discusses what his life was like before he got shipwrecked on the Island with the rest of the castaways, audiences get the urge to eat the rich — even still today! In all of this, what could be the worst thing he’s ever done? Well, he admitted to it point-blank: he used to work on Wall Street. Not only that, but he had been arrested and put on trial multiple times, including six separate antitrust suits that he was convicted on. He also proudly says he’s been investigated for income tax evasion every year. He needs to be eaten and his wealth redistributed.
Instead, we’re going to go with the absurd amount of real furs that she has. While Mrs. Howell is certainly more self-aware and less selfish than Mr. Howell, she still has the warped reality that wealth gives, and brings a huge assortment of real animal furs to the Island with her, as identified by Gilligan.
The Professor, or Roy Hinkley, Jr., was usually sort of the straight man on Gilligan’s Island. Not particularly one for pranks or schemes himself, the Professor tends to split his time between building inventions out of bamboo and coconut, and stopping the other castaways from accidentally harming themselves or others. However, he does do one truly terrible thing throughout his run in the three seasons of Gilligan’s Island: he doesn’t get the castaways off the island. The man can make vaccines and a Geiger counter, but he can’t patch the hole in the Minnow? Why doesn’t the Professor want them to leave? Perhaps he has ulterior motives…
It may seem far too easy, but the worst thing Ginger does? She spends too much time focusing on Ginger. The bombshell actress is sweet and kind, and often excitedly suggests plans for them to escape the island and/or stop the Goof of the Week based on the plots of movies she’s been in. However, there is a darker side to Ginger: she makes it clear to the other castaways, as well as to the audience, that her first thought is usually reserved for her image.
She spends most of her time worrying about her appearance and what people in Hollywood must be saying about her. She also complains often about her gowns, by God, she only has one gown, and she needs to make new ones out of fabrics she finds and once, memorably, Gilligan’s old duffel bag. She is just too shallow and materialistic for comfort.
Mary Ann Summers
In a made-for-TV movie that came out in 1978 titled Rescue from Gilligan’s Island, the castaways reunite fifteen years after they were trapped on the island. Gilligan and the Skipper visit each of their friends in their “new” old lives, and, when they go to Mary Ann, they found out that the sweet, simple Kansas farm girl was engaged while she was shipwrecked on the island. Yes, though she lies about having a boyfriend during the run of the show, this sequel film establishes her good-guy fiance Herbert, who not only was engaged to her when she was shipwrecked, but waited fifteen years for her. Though it turns out he and Mary Ann’s best friend are actually in love, this doesn’t change the fact that Mary Ann spends a lot of time flirting with and pursuing Gilligan. We know she’s shipwrecked on an island, but she could at least pretend to feel remorse for the amount of times she attempted to cheat on her fiance.
Captain Jonas Grumby, though he has the greatest name ever, instead goes by The Skipper while with the other castaways, much like Roy, The Professor. Honestly, the Skipper is the most difficult entry on this list, and audiences surely have already guessed why: he is constantly tormenting Gilligan. Where to even begin with the worst things the Skipper has done? Even beyond that, he’s also often blamed for shipwrecking the castaways, though they all do sign paperwork saying they don’t blame him in the TV sequel film Rescue from Gilligan’s Island.
He does often show his temper and get angry with Gilligan, including hitting him with his hat, but the two never truly go after each other viciously. Well… maybe not never. In the episode “Hi-Fi Gilligan,” the Skipper actually tries to punch Gilligan instead of just smacking him with his captain’s cap — but he misses, and literally punches a tree so hard it falls over. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the blow would have certainly killed Gilligan, so the worst thing the Skipper has ever done? Has to be the attempted murder.
The titular Gilligan of Gilligan’s Island still has a secure place in the hearts of many today. Though fondly remembered as a lovable goofball and a terrible klutz, Gilligan’s antics occasionally cause more harm than anyone can solve in half an hour. Though the other castaways not only love Gilligan, but are very protective of him and incredibly aware of his shortcomings, it’s his fault that they’re shipwrecked at all. In the episode “Court-Martial,” when the Skipper is trying to recreate the events of the shipwreck to explain what happened, he discovers that Gilligan, in his Gilligan way, lost the anchor for the Minnow. That’s right. In the end, everything could be considered all Gilligan’s fault. Not that the other castaways would ever blame him for longer than thirty minutes, though.