Ranking The Characters In ‘Squid Game’ By How Much I Personally Want To Kill Them
It's time to admit that Gi-hun is a pretty trash person and an even worse dad.
Squid Game is well on its way to becoming Netflix’s most popular show ever, with the Korean drama ranking at #1 in over 90 countries.
Excitingly, the dystopian thriller — that’s centred on 456 broke and desperate contestants competing in deadly kid’s games in the hopes of winning billions of Korean won — has broken through language barriers and the world’s collective hatred of subtitles to capture the attention of millions.
— Warning: This article mentions instances of death, assault and suicide. It also contains major spoilers for Squid Game. —
But even though there’s been hot debate over the accuracy of English subtitles and anger over people deciding to watch the series dubbed, most can agree on a few things about Squid Game: Ali deserved better, Gi-hun is a terrible father, the old man needs to give us all our tears back, and Sang-woo is the show’s true villain.
— dujonna (@dujonna_) September 28, 2021
After reflecting on the show — and on just how infuriating Sang-woo is — I started thinking about the other characters in the series, too. Mainly about how some really didn’t deserve the deaths they were given and about how I would personally kill so many of them if given the chance.
So, here is a ranking of the Squid Game characters by how much they actually deserved to die.
#12. Abdul Ali AKA Player 199
Sweet, sweet Ali didn’t deserve anything that happened to him. Yes, he did steal money from his boss and then accidentally ground down his fingers while fleeing with the money. However, none of that would’ve happened if the boss didn’t mistreat Ali and withhold his hard-earned wages for six! whole! months!
Unlike almost everyone else in the games, Ali didn’t have loansharks hunting him down or gangs trying to kill him. He simply wanted to win the prize money to support his wife and newborn son because his boss just didn’t want him to be great.
How badly I want to kill them: 0/10
#11. Hwang Jun-ho AKA The Cop
If we’re being honest, one of the only truly innocent people in Squid Game was the cop who just wanted to find his brother.
Sure, Jun-ho did kill that soldier to steal his identity and infiltrate the games, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t that big a deal. Jun-ho wasn’t at the games because he owed people money or because he was hired to kill contestants who didn’t comply, he was just there to do ~lil cop things~ like trying by bringing down the game makers to help those in need.
So we can pause ACAB for a minute while we talk about Jun-ho.
How badly I want to kill them: 0.5/10
#10. Ji-yeong AKA Player 240
Ji-yeong deserves the world, and if you think otherwise you can LEAVE. The quiet player didn’t really have much screentime until she joined Gi-hun’s team for Tug-o-War, where we learned how she came to be at the Squid Game: Murder. The murder of her father, to be exact. But Ji-yeong had her reasons.
Ji-yeong’s father abused her, prayed to absolve himself of sin, then murdered her mother — so his death wasn’t exactly undeserved and it wasn’t like he was missed by many. If you really think about it, Ji-yeong was a selfless and fair icon who only eliminated those she deemed unworthy of living. This is why she happily sacrificed her own life so that Sae-byeok could return to her family and her life that still had purpose. We love Miss 240.
How badly I want to kill them: 1/10
#9. Kang Sae-byeok AKA Player 067
Sure, Sae-byeok was a pick-pocket who made a living by stealing from others, but she had been hard done by her whole life. After escaping North Korea, she was swindled out of the millions she raised to help her mother cross the border. And had she not been scammed, she would’ve been able to totally avoid the Squid Game and her untimely death altogether.
All Sae-byeok wanted was to keep her promise to her little brother and to drink mojitos on Jeju Island with Ji-yeong — and Sang-woo took both of those opportunities from her.
How badly I want to kill them: 2/10
#8. The Salesman/Recruiter
The recruiter didn’t technically kill anyone but he knew exactly what he was doing in his role — preying on the poor and vulnerable by manipulating them into wagering their lives for a chance at fast cash.
While the recruiter is unbelievably hot, there’s no denying that the job is also unbelievably fucked.
How badly I want to kill them: 2.5/10
#7. Han Mi-nyeo AKA Player 212
I don’t care what anyone says, Miss 212 was a bonkers icon.
Despite all her faults, like the fact that she pretended to be a poor single mother to try and escape the game, she was still the reason the series villain Deok-su was killed — and in the most epic way possible.
Mi-nyeo provided heaps of laughs while she was alive and she successfully used bathroom sex to further her game (even if it was just for one extra round). She also famously smuggled cigarettes in through her coochie! I mean, just tell me who else is doing it like Queen 212?!
How badly I want to kill them: 4/10
#6. Seong Gi-hun AKA Player 456
If we’re being honest with ourselves, as “kind” as Gi-hun tried to make himself out to be he was actually a pretty shitty person and a bad dad.
The whole reason Gi-hun landed in the Squid Game was from his own wrongdoings. After mooching off his mother for years, he took what little money she could afford for her granddaughter’s birthday and gambled it all away. But beyond gambling what he did have, he also ran from all those he borrowed money from.
In the Squid Game itself, at least Sang-woo was an outwardly terrible person who owned up to his actions. Gi-hun spent the games pretending he had morals and was above everyone else, but he famously only won the marbles game because he lied and cheated. He also got mad that Sang-woo killed Sae-byeok when he was literally ready to do the exact same thing not even five minutes earlier. Basically, Gi-hun is a hypocrite.
But worse than that, imagine after everything — after hundreds of players died so that he could progress — Gi-hun was ready to walk away and it all up to save Sang-woo?! Sang-woo literally had to kill himself because he knew how stupid it was for Gi-hun to have let all those people die in vain just so he could be a “good person”.
Also, his pink hair was a crime in itself. As was continuously letting his daughter down…on her birthday, by fighting with her stepdad, and by not getting on that damn plane.
How badly I want to kill them: 6.5/10
#5. Hwang In-ho AKA The Front Man
If you won the game in 2015 — and with it, literally billions of won that would fix all your life problems — why the fuck would you return the Squid Game other than to be a giant dickhead with an inflated ego?
And why would you continue to “live” in a shitty apartment where you couldn’t make rent if you were the “Front Man” of a multi-million dollar organisation? Really, none of In-ho’s story made sense. Plus he killed his super hot brother, so I would like to kill him right back.
How badly I want to kill them: 7/10
#4. Byeong-gi AKA Player 111 AKA The Doctor
The doctor found himself at the Squid Game because of malpractice. In the competition, he was fed extra food and game clues in exchange for his help in running a literal underground organ-harvesting ring with corrupt guards. Like, sorry? Did you not learn your lesson the first time around?
I think Squid Game writers wanted the audience to feel bad for Byeong-gi as if he had no choice other than to help the guards, but I don’t feel anything for this man — especially not after hearing that the organ harvesters would sexually abuse the half-dead bodies before ripping out their organs for cash. Kill him again. Fast.
How badly I want to kill them: 8/10
#3. Oh Il-nam AKA Player 001
At first, I had nothing but love for Il-nam. He was just a lovable, excited old man who just wanted a little fun injected back into his life before his growing brain tumour killed him. That was, of course, until we discovered he was responsible for the whole damn thing.
No matter how you look at it, it’s a pretty selfish move to murder 455 people just to ~feel alive again~. I mean, if Il-nam just wanted to have some fun, he could’ve literally just booked out Disneyland for the day considering he’s a millionaire with cash to burn. Instead, Il-nam decided to kill hundreds of desperate people for the entertainment of a bunch of horny rich men with nothing better to do.
How badly I want to kill them: 9/10
#2. Jang Deok-su AKA Player 101
Deok-su was the only horrible person in the Squid Game who acknowledged he was actually a horrible person before the games even started. Self-aware king! He bullied those around him to get his way, he took advantage of people to help him progress through challenges, and, worst of all, he betrayed our Queen 212.
And becausae Deok-su had no problems with killing a player over a bottle of water and a boiled egg, I have absolutely zero issues killing him.
How badly I want to kill them: 10/10
#1. Cho Sang-woo AKA Player 218
Cho Sang-woo sucks and is far worse than any other person in Squid Game.
First of all, Sang-woo wound up at the Squid Game because he lied and stole billions from his clients by embezzling funds. But that wasn’t just how he operated in real life either. In the Squid Game, Sang-woo lied to and betrayed his friends, too — including Gi-hun, who he had known since childhood.
Despite knowing what was coming in the honeycomb challenge, Sang-woo sent his best friend off to what he assumed would be certain death. He then lied to Ali and tricked him into handing over all his marbles even though our innocent king would’ve walked away the winner.
Sang-woo also pushed the glassmaker to his death during the glass bridge challenge despite him doing all the groundwork, and he slit Sae-byeok’s throat the second Gi-hun turned his back so that they couldn’t do a majority vote to stop the game.
Honestly, Sang-woo’s only redeeming act was killing himself so that Gi-hun could walk out alive and use the money to support Sang-woo’s mother and Sae-byeok’s brother. But even then, it doesn’t redeem his horrible character much.
Sang-woo is lucky he’s hot because he is truly the WORST.
How badly I want to kill them: 100000000/10
Squid Game is currently streaming on Netflix.