The Greatest TV Characters of All Time Fictional Characters
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117  reranks 127,169 votes 6,762 voters 140,788 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 1420
    Down 892
    The Sopranos More
    93
  2. 2
    Up 1257
    Down 989

    most listed
    Homer Simpson

    The Simpsons, Stand Up to Cancer, Do the Bartman More
    93
  3. 3
    Up 1085
    Down 853
    House, House Universe More
    89
  4. 4
    Up 1131
    Down 677

    ranked low on reranks
    Tyrion Lannister

    Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire More
    89
  5. 5
    Up 1412
    Down 974

    the people's #1
    Walter White

    Breaking Bad More
    85
  6. 6
    Up 908
    Down 673
    Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, Star Trek: ... More
    83
  7. 7
    Up 964
    Down 719
    Married... With Children More
    81
  8. 8
    Up 1069
    Down 849
    Seinfeld More
    81
  9. 9
    Up 117
    Down 66
    The Big Bang Theory More
    79
  10. 10
    Up 834
    Down 664
    The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show, Do the Bartman More
    78
  11. 11
    Up 953
    Down 706
    Seinfeld More
    78
  12. 12
    Up 842
    Down 701
    All in the Family More
    77
  13. 13
    Up 952
    Down 770
    South Park More
    76
  14. 14
    Up 923
    Down 732
    How I Met Your Mother More
    76
  15. 16
    Up 749
    Down 599
    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe More
    74
  16. 17
    Up 853
    Down 812

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Dexter Morgan

    Dexter, Dexter: Early Cuts, Dexter Universe More
    74
  17. 18
    Up 781
    Down 639
    In Living Color, Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated ... More
    74
  18. 19
    Up 808
    Down 580
    Friends More
    73
  19. 20
    Up 1038
    Down 621

    ranked low on reranks
    Spike

    Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse More
    73
    added by: PeteBoyle
  20. 21
    Up 908
    Down 632
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse More
    72
  21. 22
    Up 652
    Down 619

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Fox Mulder

    The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files More
    72
  22. 24
    Up 744
    Down 571
    MASH More
    70
  23. 26
    Up 770
    Down 675
    Sam and Friends, The Muppet Movie, The Christmas Toy More
    69
  24. 27
    Up 363
    Down 269
    Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes More
    68
  25. 28
    Up 411
    Down 311
    Friends More
    67
  26. 29
    Up 512
    Down 536

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Daenerys Targaryen

    Game of Thrones More
    67
  27. 30
    Up 690
    Down 623
    Seinfeld More
    67
  28. 31
    Up 572
    Down 444
    Happy Days More
    67
  29. 32
    Up 490
    Down 260

    ranked low on reranks
    Bugs Bunny

    Baby Looney Tunes, Big House Bunny, Mutiny on the Bunny More
    67
  30. 33
    Up 679
    Down 516
    Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: ... More
    67
  31. 34
    Up 479
    Down 510

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Eddard Stark

    Game of Thrones More
    66
  32. 35
    Up 687
    Down 596
    The Office More
    66
  33. 36
    Up 519
    Down 354
    Friends More
    66
  34. 37
    Up 345
    Down 384

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Adrian Monk

    Monk, Monk Universe More
    65
  35. 38
    Up 614
    Down 488
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air More
    65
  36. 39
    Up 560
    Down 542
    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe More
    64
  37. 40
    Up 542
    Down 493
    The Cosby Show More
    64
  38. 41
    Up 626
    Down 605
    The Office More
    62
  39. 43
    Up 294
    Down 217
    Game of Thrones More
    61
  40. 44
    Up 589
    Down 699
    Lost, Lost More
    61
  41. 45
    Up 515
    Down 576
    The Wire More
    61
  42. 46
    Up 379
    Down 359
    Dallas More
    61
    added by: maniero
  43. 47
    Up 305
    Down 318
    MacGyver, MacGyver More
    60
  44. 48
    Up 436
    Down 349

    ranked low on reranks
    Penny

    The Big Bang Theory More
    60
  45. 49
    Up 308
    Down 248
    The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, The Addams Family More
    59
  46. 50
    Up 257
    Down 310
    Supernatural The Animation, Supernatural, Supernatural More
    59
  47. 51
    Up 423
    Down 425
    The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files More
    59
  48. 52
    Up 447
    Down 466
    Seinfeld More
    59
  49. 53
    Up 491
    Down 509
    Futurama, Futurama More
    57
  50. 54
    Up 216
    Down 189
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Animated Series, Buffyverse More
    57
  51. 322 +

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