The Greatest TV Characters of All Time Fictional Characters

The Greatest TV Characters of All Time

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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
  • 470 ReRanks
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 4324
    - 3406


    The Simpsons

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2559
    - 3159

    most listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The Simpsons

    ;
  3. 3
    + 2579
    - 2915

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Family Guy

    ;
  4. 4
    + 3298
    - 2314

    ranked low on reranks
    Star Trek: The Original Series

    ;
  5. 5
    + 4431
    - 2379

    ranked low on reranks
    Game of Thrones

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1249
    - 2607

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Family Guy

    ;
  7. 7
    + 4051
    - 2407

    ranked low on reranks
    The Sopranos

    ;
  8. 8
    + 1927
    - 2993

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Family Guy, Family Guy Universe

    ;
  9. 9
    + 3769
    - 2677


    House

    ;
  10. 10
    + 4104
    - 2341

    ranked low on reranks
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    ;
  11. 11
    + 3223
    - 2023


    The Big Bang Theory

    ;
  12. 12
    + 4728
    - 4453

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Breaking Bad

    ;
  13. 13
    + 2890
    - 2097


    Seinfeld

    ;
  14. 14
    + 2146
    - 1502

    added by ShaneBird
    I Love Lucy

    ;
  15. 15
    + 2090
    - 1918


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

    ;
  16. 16
    + 2224
    - 1889


    Star Trek: The Original Series

    ;
  17. 17
    + 3068
    - 1951

    ranked low on reranks
    Friends

    ;
  18. 18
    + 2191
    - 1798


    M*A*S*H

    ;
  19. 19
    + 2733
    - 2211


    South Park

    ;
  20. 20
    + 2361
    - 1896


    Seinfeld

    ;
  21. 21
    + 2491
    - 1660

    ranked low on reranks
    Friends

    ;
  22. 22
    + 2555
    - 2090


    Married... With Children

    ;
  23. 23
    + 1449
    - 1379

    added by Richard777
    Columbo

    ;
  24. 24
    + 3282
    - 2155

    added by PeteBoyle
    Angel, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffyverse

    ;
  25. 25
    + 988
    - 1730

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    South Park

    ;
  26. 26
    + 2555
    - 2384


    Seinfeld

    ;
  27. 27
    + 2022
    - 1669


    Friends

    ;
  28. 28
    + 1186
    - 1275

    added by MangoStarkey
    Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean's Holiday

    ;
  29. 29
    + 1856
    - 2143

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    All in the Family

    ;
  30. 30
    + 2107
    - 2589

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Dexter, Dexter: Early Cuts, Dexter Universe

    ;
  31. 31
    + 2639
    - 2554


    How I Met Your Mother

    ;
  32. 32
    + 2168
    - 1648

    ranked low on reranks
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    ;
  33. 33
    + 1864
    - 1595


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

    ;
  34. 34
    + 1571
    - 1291


    Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes

    ;
  35. 35
    + 2006
    - 1832


    The Office

    ;
  36. 36
    + 1529
    - 1463


    Happy Days

    ;
  37. 37
    + 1066
    - 1073


    Golden Girls

    ;
  38. 38
    + 787
    - 928

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 1395
    - 1710


    Futurama, Futurama

    ;
  40. 40
    + 1383
    - 1715


    Seinfeld

    ;
  41. 41
    + 1701
    - 1946


    Sam and Friends, The Muppet Movie, The Christmas Toy

    ;
  42. 42
    + 592
    - 386

    ranked low on reranks & added by DanielLahaie
    The Walking Dead

    ;
  43. 43
    + 1548
    - 1909


    Game of Thrones

    ;
  44. 44
    + 1347
    - 1475


    The Walking Dead

    ;
  45. 45
    + 1118
    - 1164


    Frasier, Cheers

    ;
  46. 46
    + 945
    - 1247

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Cheers

    ;
  47. 47
    + 1401
    - 1937


    Breaking Bad

    ;
  48. 48
    + 1461
    - 2193

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    The X-Files, The X Files 2, The X-Files

    ;
  49. 49
    + 1526
    - 1688

    ranked low on reranks
    The Big Bang Theory

    ;
  50. 50
    + 1280
    - 1366

    ranked low on reranks
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Animated Series, Buffyverse

    ;
1573 +

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