Why Vinnie Van Lowe Is The Most Underrated 'Veronica Mars' Character

by Amy Roberts
Warner Bros. Television

Thanks largely to his ego and cheesy fashion sense, Vinnie Van Lowe is the most underrated Veronica Mars character by far. One of the best things about the character is that he seems to think he's in a rivalry with Mars Investigations and that he's doing better than both Keith and Veronica within their niche industry. Though they humor him for their own entertainment or to help swing a win in their own cases, it's clear that there is no rivalry to speak of. And that's part of Vinnie's charm.

The competition between Vinnie and Keith and Veronica doesn't exist, because Vinnie's just not that great a detective. He has a bigger case load than Mars Investigations does, but only because he's taking the trash jobs that they reject. The victories that he celebrates are usually minor, petty, and embarrassing. Though the character only appears in a handful of episodes, Vinnie's scenes in Veronica Mars are always some of the funniest. He has great chemistry with Veronica and Keith whenever he's on screen, which helps, but he's also tragic to watch.

If you want to get into specifics about why this hapless private investigator is sorely underrated, then here are 17 reasons to make it clear.


He's Always Larger Than Life

Though Vinnie only briefly appears in 10 episodes of Veronica Mars, his brash personality (and the way it clashed with the Mars family) always stands out.


In Fact, For A Private Investigator, He's The Opposite Of Low Key

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Remember when Veronica finds his "top secret" surveillance van in Season 2 and he's just in there snacking out? Yeah... says it all, really.


He's Desperate To Embody A Detective Stereotype

That mustache, though. It's too good.


...And His 'Miami Vice' Style Of Fashion Is Wonderfully Tragic

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You've really got to love a character who probably believes that the permanently rolled up sleeves on his jacket make him look more powerful.


He Thinks He's The Coolest...

...when he's actually the complete opposite.


He Has The Lamest Comebacks Imaginable

Want to really wound your enemy? Don't make a Hall & Oates reference.


Veronica Always Manages To Have The Last Word Against Him

Every. Damn. Time. Including when he appears on Piz's radio show slamming the Mars family without realizing that Veronica is right behind him the entire time.


Every Time He Thinks He's Gotten One Over On Mars Investigations...

Vinnie's always trying to get one step ahead. Like in his first appearance where he thinks he's being clever in discovering the secret microphone Veronica planted in his office.


...Mars Investigations Gets One Over On Him

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Except he isn't smart enough to realize that this particular microphone is nothing but a decoy, and Veronica has also planted a camera in there too.


He Can Be Really Gross, But Veronica Never Lets Him Get Away With It

Of course older Vinnie becomes even worse than we could ever imagine in the Veronica Mars movie. And he's still just as un-stealth and sleazy.


His Failures Are Always Phenomenal

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May we never forget the time that Vinnie gets arrested after botching a job and has to use his one phone call to ask Keith for help. It's satisfying, to say the least.


Veronica Never Takes Him Seriously

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Watching a teenage girl repeatedly laugh at a grown man who thinks he's the alpha in every situation concerning them both is the greatest.


For A Guy Who's Repeatedly Humiliated By The Mars Family, He Thinks A Whole Lot Of Himself

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So much ego for so much doofus.


However, His Egotistical Nature Is Sometimes Super Useful

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Without Vinnie, after all, Duncan would never be able to escape the authorities with his baby daughter. And that all comes as a result of Veronica pandering to Vinnie's ego.


He Has Lax Moral Standards & He Does A Poor Job Of Hiding That

Like, really poor. The guy's a hot mess.


His Guest Appearances Are Always Memorable

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So memorable that any Veronica Mars re-watch usually means waiting for his upcoming appearance and cheering at your TV screen.


Ken Marino Is Basically Just The Greatest

Having given memorable comedic performances in things like Party Down, Eastbound And Down, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Wet Hot American Summer, and iZombie, Marino is one of the most underrated comedy actors working today.

It stands to reason that, since the actor is so underrated, his character in Veronica Mars would be underrated, too. Like the show itself, Vinnie has something of a cult appeal — so lucky thing he gets plenty of love from those of us who recognize the character's genius.