The Greatest TV Characters of All Time Fictional Characters
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117  reranks 126,339 votes 6,709 voters 139,830 views more info

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.
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 117 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 1413
    Down 882
    The Sopranos More
    93
  2. 2
    Up 1246
    Down 983

    most listed
    Homer Simpson

    The Simpsons, Stand Up to Cancer, Do the Bartman More
    93
  3. 3
    Up 1080
    Down 842
    House, House Universe More
    89
  4. 4
    Up 1123
    Down 672

    ranked low on reranks
    Tyrion Lannister

    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire More
    89
  5. 5
    Up 1404
    Down 962

    the people's #1
    Walter White

    Breaking Bad More
    85
  6. 6
    Up 904
    Down 666
    Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: ... More
    83
  7. 7
    Up 957
    Down 713
    Married... With Children More
    81
  8. 8
    Up 1064
    Down 842
    Seinfeld More
    81
  9. 9
    Up 110
    Down 59
    The Big Bang Theory More
    79
  10. 10
    Up 827
    Down 657
    The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show, Do the Bartman More
    78
  11. 11
    Up 947
    Down 699
    Seinfeld More
    78
  12. 12
    Up 839
    Down 693
    All in the Family More
    77
  13. 13
    Up 947
    Down 764
    South Park More
    76
  14. 14
    Up 917
    Down 725
    How I Met Your Mother More
    76
  15. 16
    Up 742
    Down 595
    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe More
    74
  16. 17
    Up 850
    Down 807

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dexter Morgan

    Dexter, Dexter: Early Cuts, Dexter Universe More
    74
  17. 18
    Up 778
    Down 635
    In Living Color, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated ... More
    74
  18. 19
    Up 804
    Down 575
    Friends More
    73
  19. 20
    Up 1034
    Down 615

    ranked low on reranks
    Spike

    Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse More
    73
    added by: PeteBoyle
  20. 21
    Up 905
    Down 626
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse More
    72
  21. 22
    Up 648
    Down 616

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Fox Mulder

    The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files More
    72
  22. 24
    Up 743
    Down 568
    MASH More
    70
  23. 26
    Up 765
    Down 673
    Sam and Friends, The Muppet Movie, The Christmas Toy More
    69
  24. 27
    Up 361
    Down 265
    Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes More
    69
  25. 28
    Up 409
    Down 308
    Friends More
    67
  26. 29
    Up 508
    Down 534

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Daenerys Targaryen

    Game of Thrones More
    67
  27. 30
    Up 570
    Down 442
    Happy Days More
    67
  28. 31
    Up 688
    Down 621
    Seinfeld More
    67
  29. 32
    Up 484
    Down 258

    ranked low on reranks
    Bugs Bunny

    Baby Looney Tunes, Big House Bunny, Mutiny on the Bunny More
    67
  30. 33
    Up 676
    Down 514
    Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: ... More
    66
  31. 34
    Up 476
    Down 507

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Eddard Stark

    Game of Thrones More
    66
  32. 35
    Up 681
    Down 594
    The Office More
    66
  33. 36
    Up 518
    Down 351
    Friends More
    66
  34. 37
    Up 344
    Down 380

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Adrian Monk

    Monk, Monk Universe More
    65
  35. 38
    Up 613
    Down 484
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air More
    65
  36. 39
    Up 554
    Down 539
    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe More
    64
  37. 40
    Up 540
    Down 491
    The Cosby Show More
    64
  38. 41
    Up 620
    Down 602
    The Office More
    62
  39. 43
    Up 290
    Down 214
    Game of Thrones More
    61
  40. 44
    Up 378
    Down 355
    Dallas More
    61
    added by: maniero
  41. 45
    Up 512
    Down 574
    The Wire More
    61
  42. 46
    Up 583
    Down 696
    Lost, Lost More
    61
  43. 47
    Up 304
    Down 315
    MacGyver, MacGyver More
    60
  44. 48
    Up 431
    Down 349

    ranked low on reranks
    Penny

    The Big Bang Theory More
    60
  45. 49
    Up 257
    Down 306
    Supernatural The Animation, Supernatural, Supernatural More
    60
  46. 50
    Up 421
    Down 423
    The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files More
    59
  47. 51
    Up 302
    Down 247
    The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, The Addams Family More
    59
  48. 52
    Up 442
    Down 463
    Seinfeld More
    59
  49. 53
    Up 488
    Down 507
    Futurama, Futurama More
    57
  50. 54
    Up 214
    Down 187
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Animated Series, Buffyverse More
    57
  51. 320 +

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