Netflix’s coming-of-age comedy-drama series Never Have I Ever, created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, has been receiving overwhelmingly positive responses from audiences since its debut in the year 2020. With a teen rom-com premise, the series has been finding a place in the audience’s heart due to its cultural inclusivity, funny tropes, and relatable characterization. The Netflix original series, loosely based on Kaling’s childhood in Boston, tells a tale of a slew of characters navigating their love lives in the high school, Sherman Oaks. At the heart of it, Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), an Indian-American teenager with a typical pushy South Asian mother, Nalini (Poorna Jagannathan), is juggling between revamping her social status in the school and dealing with post-traumatic stress following her father’s tragic demise.
Never Have I Ever is currently available to stream on Netflix for its third entry, though that would not be the end of Viswakumar’s world. As per Vogue, back in March 2022, the show got renewed for its concluding season 4. Until the new season drops, here are the series’ funny characters, ranked.
6 Devi Vishwakumar
Devi, the lead antagonist, is everything but perfect. She is an impulsive decision-maker with a savage comeback for every gibe she has ever received from Ben or otherwise. The credits for creating the character so funny go to recurrent tricky circumstances she is found putting herself into now and then. For every awkward situation she has ever been in, Devi manages to hilariously navigate out of it without missing a beat. For instance, in episode 5 of season 3, “Been Ghosted,” Devi, during a charity event, embarks on a journey of polishing her flirting skills, one skill she truly does not possess, ending up delivering several humorous lines that will tickle the audience’s funny bones.
5 Trent Harrison
It is hard to create a lasting impression when the character gets offered limited time to show its arc. Yet, in every Never Have I Ever scene Trent (played by Benjamin Norris) makes an appearance, he steals the limelight. Mostly, in those scenes, he is portrayed as a type of character who is always a thousand miles away from reality, quite often lost in his world of euphoria, making Trent’s every line out of place yet undeniably funny. For instance, he loves Eleanor, yet he makes no genuine effort to call her because he has changed his contact number to a toll-free number, which apparently is of better use than expressing his feelings to Eleanor. Furthermore, he fails in school just to make sure he gets an additional year to spend time with her.
4 Eleanor Wong
Eleanor, portrayed by Ramona Young, is a soft-spoken character who is best friends with Devi and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) and is the President of the Drama Club. Being associated with theater, Ramona’s character has received her fun quotient in Never Have I Ever by adding melodrama to every situation she is put in to tackle. As such, she either over-exaggeratedly deals with the serious problems of her life or dramatically spills the secrets of her best friend, Devi, which then deepens Vishwakumar’s trouble.
3 Nalini Vishwakumar
Nalini, besides being a successful dermatologist, has also perfected the art of meddling in the life of Devi. From her daughter’s clothing choice to setting crazy grounding and studying rules, Nalini keeps her nose in Devi’s every trivial business throughout Never Have I Ever. She is a terrible triad combination of stubbornness, sarcasm, and anger. And that is what makes her unique in the series. That said, she does not do it out of spite, but to keep her child protected from the whimsical world. For example, when Paxton shows up at Vishwakumars’ house, Nalini takes a jibe at Devi, suggest he knocks-up Devi and then Princeton might allow her to raise a baby there, which was both blowing the situation out of proportion and comical at the same time given they had not consummated yet.
2 Ben Gross
Ben and Devi are arch nemeses turned lovers who are quite alike, be it their competitive spirit to excel academically or their sinking love lives. The only personality trait setting them apart is that, if there were a playground insult between the two, Ben would win every single of them. Throughout Never Have I Ever, he has a bag full of creative comebacks for anyone who dares mess with him, naturally sending the audience on the laughter journey. Ben has also mastered several burning ways to pull David’s (Devi’s nickname given by Ben) leg on every given occasion. That said, both characters spawn bitter-sweet chemistry for non-stop funny banters that the fans of Never Have I Ever feel are worthy of living and dying.
1 John McEnroe
Tennis legend John McEnroe does not quite qualify as being one of the main characters of the series, but nonetheless forms a significant part of the show by lending his voice to Devi’s inner monologue. He has hilariously chronicled the life of Devi to the viewers for three successful seasons of Never Have I Ever, and, per Digital Spy, will continue to do so in the final season. What makes McEnroe’s narration the best and most hilarious is his timing for perfect punchlines. They are a seamless blend of call-outs, if Devi has wronged, and celebration, if she winds up with a small victory.