The Greatest TV Characters of All Time Fictional Characters
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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.
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  1. 1
    Up 1597
    Down 1280

    most listed The Simpsons, Stand Up to Cancer, Do the Bartman

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  2. 2
    Up 1714
    Down 1115

    ranked low on reranks The Sopranos

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  3. 3
    Up 1373
    Down 1094

    House, House Universe

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  4. 4
    Up 1486
    Down 863

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

    open
  5. 5
    Up 1794
    Down 1333

    the people's #1 Breaking Bad

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  6. 6
    Up 1165
    Down 837

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

    open
  7. 7
    Up 434
    Down 303

    The Big Bang Theory

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  8. 8
    Up 1178
    Down 890

    Married... With Children

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  9. 9
    Up 1236
    Down 1048

    Seinfeld

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  10. 10
    Up 1039
    Down 861

    The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show, Do the Bartman

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  11. 11
    Up 1130
    Down 883

    Seinfeld

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  12. 12
    Up 1137
    Down 947

    How I Met Your Mother

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  13. 13
    Up 1173
    Down 953

    South Park

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  14. 14
    Up 968
    Down 883

    All in the Family

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  15. 15
    Up 960
    Down 772

    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

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  16. 16
    Up 1032
    Down 1002

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

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  17. 17
    Up 1030
    Down 732

    Friends

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  18. 18
    Up 946
    Down 797

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

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  19. 19
    Up 1321
    Down 801

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

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  20. 20
    Up 1119
    Down 803

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse

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  21. 21
    Up 543
    Down 398

    Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes

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  22. 22
    Up 792
    Down 819

    often listed & ranked high on reranks The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files

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  23. 23
    Up 899
    Down 701

    MASH

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  24. 25
    Up 680
    Down 362

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

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  25. 27
    Up 710
    Down 560

    Happy Days

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  26. 28
    Up 902
    Down 825

    Sam and Friends, The Muppet Movie, The Christmas Toy

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  27. 29
    Up 310
    Down 330

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Breaking Bad

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  28. 30
    Up 595
    Down 473

    Friends

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  29. 31
    Up 715
    Down 489

    ranked low on reranks Friends

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  30. 32
    Up 616
    Down 685

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Game of Thrones

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  31. 33
    Up 828
    Down 739

    The Office

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  32. 34
    Up 830
    Down 633

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

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  33. 35
    Up 842
    Down 762

    Seinfeld

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  34. 36
    Up 456
    Down 528

    Monk, Monk Universe

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  35. 37
    Up 651
    Down 774

    Game of Thrones

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  36. 38
    Up 798
    Down 636

    ranked low on reranks The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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  37. 39
    Up 713
    Down 709

    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

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  38. 40
    Up 641
    Down 627

    The Cosby Show

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  39. 41
    Up 429
    Down 358

    The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, The Addams Family

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  40. 42
    Up 443
    Down 374

    Game of Thrones

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  41. 43
    Up 733
    Down 751

    The Office

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  42. 44
    Up 408
    Down 435

    MacGyver, MacGyver

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  43. 45
    Up 603
    Down 707

    The Wire

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  44. 46
    Up 400
    Down 487

    Supernatural The Animation, Supernatural, Supernatural

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  45. 47
    Up 697
    Down 878

    Lost, Lost

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  46. 48
    Up 450
    Down 485

    added by maniero Dallas

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  47. 49
    Up 555
    Down 605

    Seinfeld

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  48. 50
    Up 636
    Down 640

    Futurama, Futurama

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  49. 51
    Up 575
    Down 514

    The Big Bang Theory

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  50. 52
    Up 275
    Down 177

    ranked low on reranks The Walking Dead

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