The Greatest TV Characters of All Time Fictional Characters

The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

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85,001 views 293 items 90,023 votes 4,984 voters 147 followers 106reranks
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 Criteria: Only fictional characters created for television programs

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 960
    Down 704

    most listed
    Homer Simpson

    The Simpsons More
    94
  2. 2
    Up 1097
    Down 640
    The Sopranos More
    94
  3. 3
    Up 1425
    Down 746

    the people's #1
    Walter White

    Breaking Bad More
    92
  4. 4
    Up 794
    Down 571
    House Universe More
    87
  5. 5
    Up 794
    Down 466
    Married... With Children More
    84
  6. 6
    Up 699
    Down 457
    Star Trek More
    84
  7. 7
    Up 864
    Down 614
    Seinfeld More
    84
  8. 8
    Up 871
    Down 582
    The Big Bang Theory More
    84
  9. 9
    Up 746
    Down 492
    A Song of Ice and Fire More
    84
  10. 10
    Up 731
    Down 506
    Seinfeld More
    81
  11. 11
    Up 662
    Down 482
    All in the Family More
    80
  12. 12
    Up 610
    Down 433
    Breaking Bad More
    78
  13. 13
    Up 735
    Down 546
    South Park More
    78
  14. 14
    Up 620
    Down 455
    The Simpsons More
    78
  15. 15
    Up 682
    Down 475
    How I Met Your Mother More
    77
  16. 16
    Up 622
    Down 456
    Star Trek More
    75
  17. 17
    Up 689
    Down 558
    Dexter Universe More
    75
  18. 18
    Up 615
    Down 430
    The Muppet Show Universe, Sesame Street More
    74
  19. 19
    Up 529
    Down 416
    Family Guy Universe More
    73
  20. 20
    Up 597
    Down 414
    MASH More
    73
  21. 21
    Up 552
    Down 359
    I Love Lucy More
    73
  22. 22
    Up 516
    Down 426
    The X-Files Universe More
    73
  23. 23
    Up 568
    Down 426
    72
  24. 24
    Up 486
    Down 384
    Columbo More
    71
  25. 25
    Up 419
    Down 288
    Happy Days More
    69
  26. 26
    Up 681
    Down 422
    Buffyverse More
    69
    added by: PeteBoyle
  27. 27
    Up 608
    Down 466
    Buffyverse More
    69
  28. 28
    Up 581
    Down 460
    Seinfeld More
    68
  29. 29
    Up 543
    Down 437
    The Office More
    68
  30. 30
    Up 534
    Down 383
    Star Trek More
    66
  31. 31
    Up 515
    Down 442
    The Office More
    66
  32. 32
    Up 415
    Down 365
    The Cosby Show More
    66
  33. 33
    Up 315
    Down 302
    Game of Thrones More
    66
  34. 34
    Up 321
    Down 312
    Game of Thrones More
    65
  35. 35
    Up 194
    Down 142
    Sherlock Holmes Universe More
    64
  36. 36
    Up 300
    Down 141

    ranked low on reranks
    Bugs Bunny

    Looney Tunes Universe More
    64
  37. 37
    Up 467
    Down 501

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    John Locke

    Lost More
    63
  38. 38
    Up 184
    Down 111
    63
    added by: Johnny B
    The Andy Griffith Show
  39. 39
    Up 275
    Down 224
    Dallas More
    63
    added by: maniero
  40. 40
    Up 398
    Down 383
    Family Guy Universe More
    62
  41. 41
    Up 436
    Down 343
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air More
    62
  42. 42
    Up 211
    Down 183
    MacGyver More
    62
  43. 43
    Up 230
    Down 243
    Monk Universe More
    61
  44. 44
    Up 210
    Down 169
    Friends More
    61
  45. 45
    Up 308
    Down 234
    Friends More
    61
  46. 46
    Up 202
    Down 121
    60
  47. 47
    Up 324
    Down 317
    Seinfeld More
    60
  48. 48
    Up 400
    Down 424
    The Wire More
    60
  49. 49
    Up 263
    Down 190
    The Big Bang Theory More
    59
  50. 50
    Up 127
    Down 81
    Cheers More
    59
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