The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

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List Criteria: The most memorable, most groundbreaking, strongest, and/or funniest female characters ever on television

The greatest female TV characters of all time. This list includes some of the greatest television characters in history from dramatic shows, sitcoms, sci fi series, and procedurals to cartoons! For as long as TV has been a medium to reflect social constructs, programs have featured strong women characters as protagonists, partners, and foils for their male counterparts. In comedy shows, characters like Lucy Ricardo, Mary Richards, and Maude Findlay paved the way for Elaine Benes, Roseanne Conner, and Liz Lemon.

Female characters dominate modern genre series, with popular women like Dana Scully, Buffy Summers, and Veronica Mars achieving cult-level idolization. You'll recognize these famous names as some of the strongest, funniest, and most relatable in television history.

Vote for the greatest female characters to move them up the list, and add please any that we're missing.
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  1. 1
    + 3,971
    - 2,478

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,429
    - 2,441
    Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Dana Scully The X-Files

  3. 3
    + 2,933
    - 2,718


    Game of Thrones

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,494
    - 2,361
    Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Phoebe Buffay Friends

  5. 5
    + 2,640
    - 2,356
    Arya Stark is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Arya Stark Game of Thrones

  6. 6
    + 2,437
    - 2,090


    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,984
    - 2,128
    Lucy Ricardo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy

  8. 8
    + 1,798
    - 2,376
    Lisa Simpson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    often listed
    Lisa Simpson The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

  9. 9
    + 2,085
    - 1,845
    Xena is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    added by ChangesDownClub
    Xena Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess

  10. 10
    + 1,598
    - 1,930
    Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Olivia Benson Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

  11. 11
    + 2,065
    - 2,247
    Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Rachel Green Friends

  12. 12
    + 1,304
    - 1,692


    Downton Abbey

    ;
  13. 13
    + 1,603
    - 1,829
    Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Veronica Mars Veronica Mars

  14. 14
    + 1,547
    - 2,150
    Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Elaine Benes Seinfeld

  15. 15
    + 1,365
    - 1,668
    Penny is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Penny The Big Bang Theory

  16. 16
    + 915
    - 346
    Lexa is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by whatsnot
    Lexa The 100

  17. 17
    + 1,759
    - 1,785
    Monica Geller is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Monica Geller Friends

  18. 18
    + 1,621
    - 1,891
    Cersei Baratheon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Cersei Baratheon Game of Thrones

  19. 19
    + 1,215
    - 2,049

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    30 Rock

    ;
  20. 20
    + 1,377
    - 1,527

    added by HumbertoIbarra
    The Big Bang Theory

    ;
  21. 21
    + 1,186
    - 925
    Carol Peletier is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Carol Peletier The Walking Dead

  22. 22
    + 1,264
    - 1,881
    Marge Simpson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Marge Simpson The Simpsons

  23. 23
    + 1,400
    - 1,588
    Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    added by Bootsdad
    Wonder Woman Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited

  24. 24
    + 1,419
    - 1,869
    Peggy Bundy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Peggy Bundy Married... with Children

  25. 25
    + 1,328
    - 1,724
    Emma Swan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    added by m0000
    Emma Swan Once Upon a Time

  26. 26
    + 1,403
    - 1,350
    Michonne is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Michonne The Walking Dead

  27. 27
    + 490
    - 389
    Morticia Addams is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by marylylewarrenmccue
    Morticia Addams The Addams Family

  28. 28
    + 1,340
    - 2,020
    Temperance

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Temperance "Bones" Brennan bones

  29. 29
    + 1,319
    - 1,716


    Alias

    ;
  30. 30
    + 903
    - 1,169


    Parks and Recreation

    ;
  31. 31
    + 1,186
    - 1,494
    Ziva David is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Ziva David NCIS

  32. 32
    + 1,239
    - 1,555


    Doctor Who

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1,306
    - 1,681


    Firefly

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,251
    - 1,394
    Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    added by willyboymcoy
    Abby Sciuto NCIS NCIS

  35. 35
    + 860
    - 848

    ranked low on reranks
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,461
    - 1,847


    How I Met Your Mother

    ;
  37. 37
    + 853
    - 828

    ranked low on reranks & added by wezel87
    Game of Thrones

    ;
  38. 38
    + 772
    - 1,543
    Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show

  39. 39
    + 1,398
    - 1,878
    Kate Beckett is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    added by GabrielleBrunner
    Kate Beckett Castle

  40. 40
    + 1,020
    - 1,295

    added by Rose1
    Leo, Charmed Charmed

    ;
  41. 41
    + 713
    - 917
    Regina Mills is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    added by m0000
    Regina Mills Once Upon a Time

  42. 42
    + 833
    - 1,113


    The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

    ;
  43. 43
    + 956
    - 1,179
    Karen Walker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Karen Walker Will & Grace

  44. 44
    + 1,008
    - 1,387
    Leela is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time


    Leela Futurama

  45. 45
    + 555
    - 728


    Orphan Black

    ;
  46. 46
    + 895
    - 1,123
    Bernadette Rostenkowski is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    added by Lazarus Long
    Bernadette Rostenkowski The Big Bang Theory

  47. 47
    + 714
    - 660

    ranked low on reranks & added by buffyvssatan
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1,218
    - 1,507


    How I Met Your Mother

    ;
  49. 49
    + 632
    - 620

    ranked low on reranks
    Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    ;
  50. 50
    + 790
    - 1,327
    Kate Austen is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Kate Austen Lost

887 +

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