The Greatest TV Characters of All Time Fictional Characters
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115  reranks 118,684 votes 6,341 voters 128,823 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
  • 115 ReRanks
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Score
  1. 1
    Up 1359
    Down 828
    The Sopranos More
    93
  2. 2
    Up 1180
    Down 942

    most listed
    Homer Simpson

    The Simpsons, Stand Up to Cancer, Do the Bartman More
    93
  3. 3
    Up 1019
    Down 785
    House, House Universe More
    89
  4. 4
    Up 1045
    Down 636

    ranked low on reranks
    Tyrion Lannister

    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire More
    88
  5. 5
    Up 1322
    Down 888

    the people's #1
    Walter White

    Breaking Bad More
    86
  6. 6
    Up 859
    Down 627
    Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: ... More
    83
  7. 7
    Up 1025
    Down 798
    Seinfeld More
    81
  8. 8
    Up 913
    Down 676
    Married... With Children More
    81
  9. 9
    Up 782
    Down 619
    The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show, Do the Bartman More
    78
  10. 10
    Up 900
    Down 665
    Seinfeld More
    78
  11. 11
    Up 815
    Down 652
    All in the Family More
    78
  12. 12
    Up 878
    Down 663
    How I Met Your Mother More
    78
  13. 13
    Up 903
    Down 723
    South Park More
    77
  14. 15
    Up 804
    Down 759
    Dexter, Dexter: Early Cuts, Dexter Universe More
    75
  15. 16
    Up 747
    Down 610
    In Living Color, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated ... More
    74
  16. 17
    Up 694
    Down 561
    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe More
    74
  17. 18
    Up 969
    Down 573

    ranked low on reranks
    Spike

    Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse More
    73
    added by: PeteBoyle
  18. 19
    Up 624
    Down 576

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Fox Mulder

    The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files More
    72
  19. 20
    Up 756
    Down 551
    Friends More
    72
  20. 21
    Up 839
    Down 598
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse More
    72
  21. 23
    Up 26
    Down 19

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Sheldon Cooper

    The Big Bang Theory More
    71
  22. 24
    Up 718
    Down 550
    MASH More
    70
  23. 25
    Up 742
    Down 630
    Sam and Friends, The Muppet Movie, The Christmas Toy More
    70
  24. 27
    Up 324
    Down 247
    Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes More
    68
  25. 28
    Up 542
    Down 420
    Happy Days More
    67
  26. 29
    Up 651
    Down 599
    Seinfeld More
    67
  27. 30
    Up 448
    Down 240

    ranked low on reranks
    Bugs Bunny

    Baby Looney Tunes, Big House Bunny, Mutiny on the Bunny More
    67
  28. 31
    Up 462
    Down 488

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Daenerys Targaryen

    Game of Thrones More
    66
  29. 32
    Up 646
    Down 496
    Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: ... More
    66
  30. 33
    Up 654
    Down 574
    The Office More
    66
  31. 34
    Up 443
    Down 471

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Eddard Stark

    Game of Thrones More
    66
  32. 35
    Up 367
    Down 284
    Friends More
    66
  33. 36
    Up 576
    Down 463
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air More
    65
  34. 37
    Up 327
    Down 361

    often listed
    Adrian Monk

    Monk, Monk Universe More
    65
  35. 38
    Up 514
    Down 474
    The Cosby Show More
    64
  36. 39
    Up 469
    Down 333

    ranked low on reranks
    Joey Tribbiani

    Friends More
    64
  37. 40
    Up 517
    Down 511
    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe More
    63
  38. 41
    Up 596
    Down 574
    The Office More
    63
  39. 43
    Up 359
    Down 335
    Dallas More
    61
    added by: maniero
  40. 44
    Up 553
    Down 660
    Lost, Lost More
    61
  41. 45
    Up 483
    Down 552
    The Wire More
    60
  42. 46
    Up 393
    Down 323
    The Big Bang Theory More
    60
  43. 47
    Up 404
    Down 400
    The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files More
    60
  44. 48
    Up 280
    Down 299
    MacGyver, MacGyver More
    59
  45. 49
    Up 239
    Down 195
    Game of Thrones More
    59
  46. 50
    Up 280
    Down 230
    The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, The Addams Family More
    59
  47. 51
    Up 221
    Down 266
    Supernatural The Animation, Supernatural, Supernatural More
    59
  48. 52
    Up 414
    Down 441
    Seinfeld More
    59
  49. 53
    Up 464
    Down 483
    Futurama, Futurama More
    57
  50. 54
    Up 207
    Down 181
    Cheers More
    57
  51. 311 +

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