The Greatest TV Characters of All Time Fictional Characters

The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

5 4 of 59
529,763 votes 26,593 voters 417,722 views 1,589 items tags f p @
Sponsor

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 famous 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 top long-running TV show can provide.

Who is the greatest TV character ever? This list contains the names of 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 popular characters aren't represented, go ahead and re-rank the list to contribute to the discussion.

List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 476 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 4,486
    - 3,663


    The Simpsons

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,663
    - 3,429

    most listed & ranked high on reranks
    The Simpsons

    ;
  3. 3
    + 3,519
    - 2,480

    ranked low on reranks
    Star Trek: The Original Series

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,330
    - 2,851

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Family Guy

    ;
  5. 5
    + 2,702
    - 3,143

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Family Guy

    ;
  6. 6
    + 4,719
    - 2,537

    ranked low on reranks
    Game of Thrones

    ;
  7. 7
    + 2,069
    - 3,194

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

    ;
  8. 8
    + 4,185
    - 2,563

    ranked low on reranks
    The Sopranos

    ;
  9. 9
    + 3,968
    - 2,817


    House

    ;
  10. 10
    + 4,259
    - 2,473


    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    ;
  11. 11
    + 3,434
    - 2,161


    The Big Bang Theory

    ;
  12. 12
    + 4,959
    - 4,606

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Breaking Bad

    ;
  13. 13
    + 3,040
    - 2,226


    Seinfeld

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2,237
    - 2,014

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Baby Looney Tunes, Big House Bunny, Mutiny on the Bunny

    ;
  15. 15
    + 2,354
    - 1,966


    Star Trek: The Original Series

    ;
  16. 16
    + 2,239
    - 1,605

    added by ShaneBird
    I Love Lucy

    ;
  17. 17
    + 3,240
    - 2,066

    ranked low on reranks
    Friends

    ;
  18. 18
    + 2,284
    - 1,891


    M*A*S*H

    ;
  19. 19
    + 2,842
    - 2,322


    South Park

    ;
  20. 20
    + 2,449
    - 2,017


    Seinfeld

    ;
  21. 21
    + 2,646
    - 1,771

    ranked low on reranks
    Friends

    ;
  22. 22
    + 2,661
    - 2,185


    Married... With Children

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1,536
    - 1,467

    added by Richard777
    Columbo

    ;
  24. 24
    + 1,034
    - 1,844

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    South Park

    ;
  25. 25
    + 2,660
    - 2,478


    Seinfeld

    ;
  26. 26
    + 2,136
    - 1,769


    Friends

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,288
    - 1,376

    often listed & added by MangoStarkey
    Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean's Holiday

    ;
  28. 28
    + 3,374
    - 2,266

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

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1,924
    - 2,239

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    All in the Family

    ;
  30. 30
    + 2,208
    - 2,689

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

    ;
  31. 31
    + 1,974
    - 1,658

    ranked low on reranks
    Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: ...

    ;
  32. 32
    + 2,759
    - 2,663


    How I Met Your Mother

    ;
  33. 33
    + 2,270
    - 1,739

    ranked low on reranks
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1,675
    - 1,353


    Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes

    ;
  35. 35
    + 2,113
    - 1,923


    The Office

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1,602
    - 1,546


    Happy Days

    ;
  37. 37
    + 842
    - 1,012

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

    ;
  38. 38
    + 1,777
    - 2,019


    Sam and Friends, The Muppet Movie, The Christmas Toy

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1,454
    - 1,801


    Seinfeld

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1,468
    - 1,810


    Futurama, Futurama

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1,102
    - 1,164


    Golden Girls

    ;
  42. 42
    + 693
    - 481

    ranked low on reranks & added by DanielLahaie
    The Walking Dead

    ;
  43. 43
    + 1,644
    - 2,008


    Game of Thrones

    ;
  44. 44
    + 1,467
    - 1,557


    The Walking Dead

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1,530
    - 2,267

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

    ;
  46. 46
    + 1,193
    - 1,236


    Frasier, Cheers

    ;
  47. 47
    + 992
    - 1,324


    Cheers

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1,609
    - 1,777

    ranked low on reranks
    The Big Bang Theory

    ;
  49. 49
    + 1,476
    - 2,029


    Breaking Bad

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1,150
    - 1,342


    The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, The Addams Family

    ;
1590 +

Something missing? Add it!

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