Schitt’s Creek: 10 Saddest Things About Johnny


Eugene Levy has turned a certain type of role into an art form. Almost without exception, the men that he plays are earnest and well-meaning, and they often seem a little confused about the world that they live in. With his turn as Johnny Rose in the hit series Schitt’s Creek, he has brought this type of character into absolute perfection, and there’s a case to be made that he is also the funniest character in the show.

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It’s impossible not to love Johnny, even though his awkwardness can sometimes be almost painful to watch. Despite the fact that he’s actually quite a funny character, there’s also a lot about Johnny that is more than a little sad.

10 His Old Business Associate Led Him On

Schitt's Creek Johnny Rose


For most of the first few seasons, Johnny struggles to regain even a little bit of the fortune that he lost at the beginning. Slowly but surely, he begins to ascend into the realm of success again, and he finally gets one of his old business associates to give him a chance to pitch his new business to investors.

Unfortunately, it soon becomes clear that the guy was just leading him on, and while Johnny still succeeds in the end, it’s still sad to see him betrayed in such a fashion.

9 He’s Actually A Good Businessman And Lost Everything

Say what one will about Johnny, the fact remains that he is and was a successful businessman. He knows how to take a good idea and make it into a goldmine.

That’s precisely what makes his crisis at the beginning of the series so sad. He’s brought down into penury not by anything that he did, but by the treacherous actions of someone that he trusted. It’s a rather sad comedown for a man who, by all accounts, was actually very good at what he did.

8 Everyone Had Been Taking Advantage Of Him For Years

Johnny Rose on Schitt's Creek explaining business

As good as he might be as a businessman, it has to be said that Johnny isn’t always the best judge of character. Bit by bit, the show reveals that a lot of the people that he thought were his friends and people that he could count on were basically just taking advantage of him because of his wealth.

Given that Johnny is such a genuinely nice and good person, this is really pretty sad, and not a very good reflection on the people who would do such a thing.

7 He Grew Far Apart From His Family

At the time the series starts, it’s pretty clear that the Rose family isn’t really as close as one might expect. Each of them seems to be quite content to pursue their own lives and ambitions with very little thought to their relationships with one another (and they sometimes even do some rather bad things).

This is also true of Johnny, who seems to have grown apart from almost all of the members of his family. While they do end up coming back together, it’s pretty sad to think about how far they’d fallen in the first place.

6 His Success Was Built On A Video Store

Look, there’s nothing wrong with owning a video store, obviously. However, it’s hard not to shake the feeling that it’s a little sad that this is the thing that allowed Johnny to ascend to the positions of financial power that he did.

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It’s also rather confusing, especially given that video stores have probably already become a thing of the past by the time that the series begins. It probably would have been a little less sad had he had another source for his enormous success.

5 He’s Rational And Down To Earth Compared To Everyone Around Him

It’s made pretty clear from the outset that Johnny is the most logical and centered member of his family and, as the series goes on, it seems that that holds true for the people of Schitt’s Creek, as well. He always seems to have his feet firmly planted on the ground (even when, as in a forgotten moment from season one, he’s delivering a eulogy).

Sometimes, though, this does mean that he has a little bit of difficulty emotionally connecting to the people that surround him and love him, which can’t help but feel a little bit sad.

4 He Wanted To Spend A Nice Christmas With His Family But Never Really Got To

Schitts Creek Merry Christmas Johnny Rose S4E13

One of the things that this series does very well is to mix the happy with the sad. At one point, it’s revealed that one of the things that Johnny has always wanted was to spend a happy Christmas with his family, rather than having all of them go off to do their own thing.

It’s a poignant moment because it reveals just how much Johnny truly does love his family and wants to spend more time with them, even if they don’t always realize that that’s what they want, as well.

3 He Struggled To Find Himself Again

Roland And Johnny In Schitts Creek

When the series begins, Johnny has hit rock bottom. It’s only because of a bit of a practical joke that he and his family aren’t literally on the street (they bought the town for David as a joke).

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As each season goes on, Johnny continues to struggle to find himself and his place in the world, and he suffers quite a few setbacks before he manages to claw his way back to the top and get the ending he deserves. It’s more than a little heartbreaking to see how many setbacks he has to endure before he attains his dream.

2 He Has To Struggle, At First, To Even Interact Normally With People

Schitt's Creek

Eugene Levy has an almost uncanny ability to create characters that are just so darn awkward. In fact, it’s something of a superpower of his, and it makes it even better that these are characters that the audience is invited to love and to feel for.

At the same time, it has to be said that there are more than a few moments when it’s almost painful to watch how awkward Johnny can be in even the most basic of situations.

1 All Of His Business Associates Dropped Him

Schitt's Creek Moira and Johnny

The Roses have had to face some pretty steep challenges during their time on the show, but one of the worst was realizing that a lot of those who they thought were their supports were nothing of the sort.

For Johnny, it was bad enough to lose a lot of his friends, but what made it worse was that even his business associates left him out to dry, showing just how little their relationship really meant to them from the outset. (On the bright side, he does form some other important friendships).

NEXT: Schitt’s Creek: 5 Times David Was The Funniest Character (& 5 It Was Moira)

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Updated: November 17, 2020 — 1:00 am

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