If, like me, you are trying to escape the hellscape that is being an alive human right now, you might find yourself turning to comfort TV. Let’s look back on a simpler time, when Mike Schur and Tina Fey ran TV, and every single human being was straight. Here’s a primer of the paltry scraps of representation I could find in the early 2010s NBC All Star Team that was 30 Rock, Community, Parks and Rec, and The Office.
Note: I defined ‘supporting’ as meaning not a clear lead character (Michael Scott, Jeff Winger, et al.) but someone who can carry their own b-plot storylines. All women on these sitcoms are lesbians except for Jenna Maroney, or maybe especially her. The Niche does not condone watching Community.
16. Pierce Hawthorne
Okay, so I gotta start with the ones who are just Bad People. Pierce is one of the straightest television characters of all time, and also arguably one of the worst. He existed solely for the sake of old man jokes and for Splitsider to post articles about whatever awful thing he’d done on set this month. Next.
15. Tracy Jordan
The news cycle about Tracy Morgan saying that he’d kill his son if he came out was one of my first pieces of media exposure to gayness, and boy do I wish it wasn’t!
14. Chris Traeger
Chris Traeger was so very repressed, a true Best Little Boy in The World. Unfortunately, Rob Lowe sucks, so he gets booted down a few slots.
13. Andy Dwyer
Try picturing this character as anything other than straight, I dare you. Wait, hang on, I just actually tried that and now I’m thinking about a very cute girlfriend for April. Regardless, Chris Pratt is The Worst now, and so Lesbian Andy will never be.
12. Troy Barnes
Troy was always a very confused and confusingly written character to me, and Donald Glover has said some awful things. So right now, we’re gonna break up this parade of heterosexuality with Demi Adejuyigbe’s perfect Childish Gambino Star Wars parody. You deserve it.
11. Tom Haverford
Tom was a topic of hot debate when making this list. While he would be a fantastic/awful gay man, instead he is just the worst type of straight man. A sad waste.
We are, at last, out of the Land Of Bad Men! Chang is a character best used sparingly, and while his interactions with women aren’t the greatest, I don’t think he’s gay either. That said, I could picture him coming out in his elder years and wearing a series of very nice sweaters.
9. Jerry Gergich
Lovely Jerry! Jerry could have been with men once or twice, but he’s so happy with his wife that it’s hard to consider him in a sexual context. An Acceptable man.
8. Dwight Schrute
Dwight isn’t gay, but he could be. I feel like it would work out great for him but be the Worst Thing Possible for the rest of the world.
7. Pete Hornberger
Pete Hornberger is very much the Toby Ziegler of comedy, and thus (as Thea has pointed out) would be a perfect lesbian. The frustration! The team-managing capacity! The flannels! Unfortunately, instead he’s an angry and repressed straight man. Tina Fey’s reign of terror continues.
6. Frank Rossitano
Frank is so high up on this list solely because he looks just like me in middle school, my first girlfriend, and basically 27% of all lesbians. And that, my friends, is allyship.
5. Abed Nadir
Abed is my own personal top of the Would Be A Great Lesbian list. The repression, the close friendship, the pop culture obsession. Look at the cardigans. The cardigans don’t lie.
4. Andy Bernard
Andy Bernard is probably gay, let’s be real. He’s the Office equivalent of the John Mulaney joke about g-d making a gay man but forgetting to flip the final switch. Except in this case, g-d is the Office writers, so Make Him Gay You Cowards.
3. Kenneth Parcell
Kenneth also should be gay, but he’s more cheerfully non-sexual, and that makes it more acceptable. Kenneth is also Repression 101, as demonstrated in one of the greatest 30 Rock scenes of all time:
2. Craig Pelton
MAKE HIM GAY YOU COWARDS. I went to Dean Pelton’s wiki page because I couldn’t remember if he was canonically gay and found this hate crime of a paragraph:
His sexuality is apparently extremely complicated: while Pelton admits that gay is “heavily in the mix” and “approximately two sevenths” of what he is, he doesn’t identify as merely homosexual, stating that “gay doesn’t even begin to cover it” and that he “makes gayness look like Mormonism”. In his own words, “If coming out is a magic show and gayness is a rabbit coming out of a hat, I’m one of those never-ending handkerchiefs”
This is such a boring cop out!!! Gross gross gross. Regardless, he is one of the only Actually Gay Coded characters on this list, so here he is.
1. Jim Halpert
Who else could it be? Jim Halpert is one of the greatest television lesbians of all time, and I for one am so glad she’s finally getting her due. You can go through the TBLJ tag, but really all you need to know about is this GIF:
Hand to mouth, folks. Hand to mouth.
In closing, I leave you with this absolutely bonkers NBC commercial from 2012 that I think about at least once a week: