Ranking 'The Mindy Project's Mindy Lahari's Many Men, From Casey to Danny & Everyone In Between
Mindy Lahiri's quest for true love on The Mindy Project may have finally ended (at least, we hope it ended) with Mindy and Danny's new relationship, but let's not forget some of the guys that she met along the way. Like any woman trying to navigate her way through a metropolitan dating scene, Mindy's adventures in love with ridiculous, daunting, and sometimes just plain bizarre. As for the guys she met along the way, well, the same could be said for them — for every nice guy, there was another who really brought the crazy. Click on through to find out how Mindy's many men ranked, from worst to, well, Danny.
WORST: Josh (Tommy Dewey)
Lawyer Josh had both a coke habit and a serious girlfriend — both of which he kept hidden from Mindy. Later Josh goes to rehab, meets a sex addict, and invites Mindy to the wedding, which is just another low blow — like Mindy really wanted to watch him marry someone else. Josh is basically a walking PSA for why you shouldn’t date the guys you meet in clubs.
Tom (Bill Hader)
We meet Tom in the pilot episode, when it’s revealed that he left Mindy, his live-in girlfriend, for the Serbian woman who sells bagels in the lobby. In later episodes we learn that said woman left Tom and moved back to Serbia carrying another guy’s baby. Tom could be ranked lower on the list but he’s so pathetic I’d feel bad kicking him when he’s down.
Lee (Max Greenfield)
This one seemed so promising! Not only did he not run the second Mindy spit her “disgusting” whiskey back into the cup (because it tasted like whiskey) but he also taught kindergarden, so, yeah — he’s sensitive. Unfortunately he’s also a married player who ditched Mindy before she woke up in the morning. Sure, maybe Mindy should have known what she was getting into — one night stands aren’t supposed to be grand romances, and the former is what she was looking for — but there’s really no excuse for Lee’s gross behavior. He only ranks above Tom and Josh on this list because at least Mindy wasn’t particularly personally invested in Lee.
Jean (Niecy Nash)
Obviously this is the only person on the list who doesn’t fit under the title of Mindy’s many men, but she and Mindy did kiss under false pretenses. Mindy essentially takes Jean out for a night on the town, not realizing that Jean is, in fact, a lesbian — and given that Mindy took they out for nude couple’s massages, it’s clear to see why Jean had the clear for the kiss. But don’t feel too badly for Jean — Jean’s married to another woman. Cheaters rank low on this list, even if Mindy wasn’t technically interested.
Paul (James Franco)
Technically not a real love interest, though the fierce competition between the two Dr. L’s did culminate in Mindy maybe-sort-of trying to lay one on his perfectly-structured face. Paul was a pompous jerk who stole Mindy’s office and slept with Danny’s ex-wife, Christina (Chloe Sevigny). At least he left as quickly as he arrived.
Brendan (Mark Duplass)
Mindy’s hookup with one of the douchey Delaurier brothers was supposed to be about hate sex — unfortunately, Mindy realized that Brendan wasn’t the total worst, and ended up kind of falling for him. Things didn’t work out between them (mostly because Brendan is annoying and awful) but Brendan did apologize to Mindy for his less-than-gentlemanly behavior. That counts for something, right?
Jeremy (Ed Weeks)
Aww, Dr. Jeremy. We all love him now, but back in Season 1 he was just the cute British doctor that Mindy was fooling around with when she was bored. He wasn’t the worst — I think they both knew what it was they were getting into — but the whole situation felt sleazier than I wanted it to.
Jason (Ben Feldman)
You’d have thought that I, a huge Ben Feldman fan, would have put his character Jason closer to the top of this list. Unfortunately, I don’t know if I would make it past the first date with Jason, a snobby culture critic who looks down on anything mainstream, like Katy Perry and Katherine Heigl. Jason gets points for his self-awareness (he apologizes to Mindy by playing Perry’s “Teenage Dream” on the ukulele) but it takes a very specific kind of person to cope with someone who rejects anything even the least bit basic.
Jamie (BJ Novak)
Nice guy. Too bad he was secretly in love with his best friend. He can’t rank higher because he totally led Mindy on, but he can’t rank much lower because he didn’t exactly know what he was doing.
Graham (Timothy Olyphant)
Graham is a skateboarder/man child who is pretty casual about playing dine-and-ditch and hopping fences to escape the cops. I think Mindy sums up the problem with Graham perfectly when she says “My body is very attracted to your body, but when you speak my brain gets angry.” At least he didn’t cheat on her…?
Dennis (Ed Helms)
I wish there was a good place to put Dennis on this list, but there really isn’t. Dennis was super vanilla and boring, exactly the kind of person I would expect someone’s friend to set them up with. He’s perfectly middle of the road — hence making it to the middle of this list.
Adam (Josh Meyers)
So what if he was a prostitute? New York City is expensive! Sure, he had some flaws — like, uh, the fact that he thought Mindy was going to pay him after they hooked up — but overall he’s just a scrappy guy looking to make ends meet so he can further his musical aspirations. He’s a good guy, but can’t rank higher on this list because I’m not sure that Mindy wants to live her life like it’s Pretty Woman — at least, not with her in the Richard Gere role.
Casey (Anders Holm)
Mindy could have done a lot worse than the cute, philanthropic pastor/DJ/shoe designer that she was engaged to for a hot second. He treated Mindy far better than the other guys on this list, but he can’t rank too high due to the fact that he put his own career aspirations before hers. That might have been okay in a relationship, but once Casey proposed marriage, Mindy should have gotten a say in how their life would look like.
Cliff (Glen Howerton)
Cliff was a good boyfriend, I guess. I was never really a huge fan, but perhaps my vision of Cliff was clouded by the fact that I desperately wanted Mindy and Danny to get together. His only real boyfriend crime was breaking up with Mindy because she talked to Casey in Los Angeles, which felt a little extreme — of course, it did set Mindy and Danny’s hookup in motion, so… go Cliff!
Sam (Seth Rogen)
WHY couldn’t Seth Rogen have stayed for a longer arc on The Mindy Project? I would have watched the crap out of Mindy and Sam’s blossoming relationship, which started at sleepaway camp and ended with Sam returning to the army. The couple spent two magical days together, which led me to believe that, in a world where Danny didn’t exist, Mindy would be with sweetie Sam. Sam is also the vehicle for one of my very favorite Mindy Project bits, which is him cutting his “ARMY” tattoo one letter too early — but hey, at least it says ARM, which is just accurate.
BEST: Danny (Chris Messina)
Well, duh. It was always Mindy and Danny — that was evident from the pilot — but it took them entirely too long to realize it. Then again, I am happy that the show made us wait for it — had they not, we may never have gotten Danny running up to the Empire State Building, an epic Bruce Springsteen song in the background, to announce his love for Mindy.