Looper conducted a poll to find out people’s favorite “Squid Game” character, and U.S. respondents’ most common answer, even more than popular and more narratively important characters like Kang Sae-byeok (Jun Ho-yeon), Oh Il-Nam (Oh Yeong-su), or Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), was Ali Abdul (Anupam Tripathi), the migrant worker from Pakistan whose trusting nature doomed him.
It wasn’t even particularly close – Player #199 got 22.65% of the vote, several points ahead of second place finisher Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), who earned 16.95% of the vote. Third place went to Seong Gi-hun, the well-meaning but impulsive protagonist of the show. Surprisingly, Kang Sae-byeok, the taciturn pickpocket who’s trying to win enough money to get her mother across the border from North Korea, got the fewest votes, only 10.4%.
Why is Ali Abdul people’s favorite? According to Her Campus writer Maya Douglas, who proclaimed Ali the show’s best character, he’s kind, has faith in humanity, is a hard worker, and loves his family. Most audiences have also never seen a character like Ali before, a migrant worker in Korea, as Anupam Tripathi himself noted to Soompi. He’s just a genuine, lovable underdog character who deserves better than what he gets.