The Greatest TV Characters of All Time Fictional Characters
0Ultimate List
tags 261,832 votes 13,940 voters 261,398 views 640 items f p @

The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

List Criteria: Only fictional characters created for television programs

List of TV's most memorable characters, of all time, chosen by the Ranker community. What makes a character live on in the public's memory, even years after the original run of their respective TV programs? In some cases, it's the amount of depth that the show's writers, actors and other creators were able to bring to the character over the course of many years. For many of the greatest TV characters of all time, audiences feel like they get to know personalities like Dexter Morgan from "Dexter." Even after the show leaves the air, they may not want that relationship to end. (Thankfully, they don't have to, as many shows live on for years after their cancellation on DVD and in syndication.) The best TV characters are ones that you feel like you know and that you'd want to be friends with.

TV has brought many characters to life who have been extremely compelling, even if they are not entirely likeable. Viewers may not wish to know dangerous, shadowy figures like Tony Soprano, Vernon Schillinger and Omar Little in reality, but following their exploits safely from the comfort of your living room can be appealing. Likewise, people who might be aloof or downright unpleasant in real life - think "Mad Men's" Don Draper or Al Swearengen of "Deadwood" - can prove charming, even admirable, when seen at a distance, with the subtext and intricacy that a long-running TV show can provide.

Who is the greatest TV character ever? This list contains the greatest, most fascinating and most enduring fictional characters from TV of all time. Be sure to vote for your favorites, and if some of your favorite characters aren't represented, go ahead and re-rank the list to contribute to the discussion.
  • 247 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
L The List
Z
B Comments
& Embed
G Options
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1460
    - 1328

    most listed The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show, Do the Bartman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 2383
    - 1823

    ranked low on reranks The Simpsons, Stand Up to Cancer, Do the Bartman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 444
    - 532

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 1366
    - 1154

    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 1028
    - 1102

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 2159
    - 1311

    ranked low on reranks Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 2331
    - 1506

    The Sopranos

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 1659
    - 1318

    often listed Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: ...

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 1888
    - 1619

    House, House Universe

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 2534
    - 2133

    Breaking Bad

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 1280
    - 809

    ranked low on reranks The Big Bang Theory

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 1858
    - 1240

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 1511
    - 1158

    Seinfeld

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 1192
    - 975
    ) open
  15. 15
    + 1556
    - 1243

    South Park

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 1493
    - 1223

    Married... With Children

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 1209
    - 1202

    All in the Family

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 1216
    - 1090

    In Living Color, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated ...

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 1329
    - 1435

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Dexter, Dexter: Early Cuts, Dexter Universe

    ) open
  20. 20
    + 1489
    - 1038

    ranked low on reranks Friends

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 1580
    - 1415

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Seinfeld

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 997
    - 651

    Baby Looney Tunes, Big House Bunny, Mutiny on the Bunny

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 1559
    - 1397

    often listed & ranked high on reranks How I Met Your Mother

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 1177
    - 1011

    Seinfeld

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 1109
    - 740

    ranked low on reranks Friends

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 1919
    - 1201

    ranked low on reranks & added by PeteBoyle Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 114
    - 297

    the people's #1 & added by geyyy Derek Venturi Life with Derek

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 935
    - 828
    ) open
  29. 29
    + 776
    - 644

    Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 1136
    - 968

    The Office

    ) open
  31. 32
    + 1137
    - 1045

    Sam and Friends, The Muppet Movie, The Christmas Toy

    ) open
  32. 33
    + 1122
    - 840

    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    ) open
  33. 34
    + 943
    - 777

    Happy Days

    ) open
  34. 35
    + 853
    - 854

    Futurama

    ) open
  35. 36
    + 393
    - 388

    often listed & added by MangoStarkey Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean's Holiday, The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony: ...

    ) open
  36. 37
    + 1068
    - 874

    Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: ...

    ) open
  37. 39
    + 405
    - 309

    added by ShaneBird Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy

    ) open
  38. 40
    + 984
    - 1225

    The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files Universe

    ) open
  39. 41
    + 483
    - 393

    Golden Girls

    ) open
  40. 42
    + 812
    - 906

    The Cosby Show

    ) open
  41. 43
    + 763
    - 894

    Seinfeld

    ) open
  42. 44
    + 786
    - 921

    The Wire

    ) open
  43. 45
    + 400
    - 558

    South Park

    ) open
  44. 46
    + 607
    - 788

    Monk, Monk Universe

    ) open
  45. 47
    + 819
    - 1037

    Game of Thrones

    ) open
  46. 48
    + 629
    - 833

    Breaking Bad

    ) open
  47. 49
    + 597
    - 681

    added by maniero Dallas

    ) open
  48. 50
    + 277
    - 284

    added by Johnny B The Andy Griffith Show, Return to Mayberry The Andy Griffith Show

    ) open
  49. 51
    + 618
    - 609

    The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, Addams Family Reunion

    ) open
  50. 52
    + 639
    - 739

    Supernatural The Animation, Supernatural

    ) open
641 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists