best TV characters The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History  

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List Rules Eldest child characters in families of at least 3 from TV series

In the TV family hierarchy, the eldest child of the family bears a heavy burden on his or her shoulders. Whether a reluctant role model (Denise Huxtable, The Cosby Show) or the next King of the North (Robb Stark, Game of Thrones), the greatest oldest children in TV history have some essential qualities in common.

The best oldest children in TV history have a rebellious streak. As older brothers and sisters, the first child of the family has a responsibility to his or her siblings to push their parents’ limits to the breaking point. (Even Matt Camden (7th Heaven) sent his parents into fits when he eloped.) When their rebellion backfires – a là Greg Brady (The Brady Bunch) unsuccessfully hiding the school mascot in the attic – they sometimes find their parents will work with them instead of against them.

Of course the greatest oldest children have to cope with darker matter, as well. Protecting one’s mother from his father, the drug kingpin (Walter White, Jr., Breaking Bad), battling an addiction to uppers (Alex P. Keaton, Family Ties), and being Don and Betty Draper’s daughter (Sally Draper, Mad Men), are just a few of the difficult chores these firstborn have had to face.

Finally, the greatest oldest children in TV history – or, many of them – must leave the nest first, creating tearful goodbyes as well as awkward plot devices. Though Modern Family’s Haley Dunphy getting kicked out of college seemed perfectly plausible, other eldest children either saw their screen time evaporate (Haddie Braverman, Parenthood), or simply refused to age at all (Bart Simpson, The Simpsons).
list ordered by

1
+ - 155 52
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Alex P. Keaton Family Ties

The Saddest Television Deaths Ever The Best TV Shows Based on Movies

2
+ - 72 25
Dean Winchester is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Dean Winchester Supernatural, Supernatural The Animation

3
+ - 58 36
Richie Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Richie Cunningham Happy Days

4
+ - 89 50
John-boy Walton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
John-boy Walton The Waltons

5
+ - 101 62
D.J. Tanner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
D.J. Tanner Full House, Guest Star Day

6
+ - 113 79
Bart Simpson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Bart Simpson The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

7
+ - 68 69
Piper Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Piper Halliwell Leo, Charmed

8
+ - 65 77
J.J. Evans is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
J.J. Evans Good Times

9
+ - 85 65
Greg Brady is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Greg Brady The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour

10
+ - 90 72
Marcia Brady is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Marcia Brady The Brady Bunch, The Brady Kids, The Brady Bunch Hour

11
+ - 81 66
Mary Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mary Ingalls Little House on the Prairie

12
+ - 72 64
Keith Partridge is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Keith Partridge The Partridge Family

13
+ - 70 74
Mike Seaver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mike Seaver Growing Pains

14
+ - 75 75
Robb Stark is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Robb Stark Game of Thrones

15
+ - 76 81
Denise Huxtable Kendall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Denise Huxtable The Cosby Show

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16
+ - 71 61
Eric Matthews is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Eric Matthews Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World

17
+ - 42 50
Prue Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History

18
+ - 54 50
Bridget Hennessy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Bridget Hennessy 8 Simple Rules

19
+ - 16 14
Kyle Broflovski is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Kyle Broflovski South Park

20
+ - 55 68
Matt Camden is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Matt Camden 7th Heaven

21
+ - 48 59
Eddie Winslow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Eddie Winslow Family Matters

22
+ - 19 21
Theo Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Theo Huxtable The Cosby Show

23
+ - 24 33
Laurie Foreman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Laurie Foreman

24
+ - 43 64
Dana Foster is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Dana Foster Step by Step

25
+ - 50 63
Becky Conner-Healy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Becky Conner Roseanne

26
+ - 53 49
Mike Douglas is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mike Douglas My Three Sons

27
+ - 42 54
Willis Jackson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Willis Jackson Diff'rent Strokes

28
+ - 16 19
PJ Duncan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
PJ Duncan Good Luck Charlie

29
+ - 34 57
Karen Arnold is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Karen Arnold The Wonder Years

The Greatest TV Characters of All Time How Do You Want to Be Remembered When You Die?

30
+ - 8 10
Bo Duke is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Bo Duke The Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard

31
+ - 36 52
Brad Taylor is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Brad Taylor Home Improvement

32
+ - 7 10
Luke Duke is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Luke Duke The Dukes of Hazzard

33
+ - 22 31
Francis Wilkerson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Francis Wilkerson Malcolm in the Middle

34
+ - 24 34
Maggie Sheffield is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Maggie Sheffield the nanny - the nanny

35
+ - 37 54
Chris is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Chris Everybody Hates Chris

36
+ - 31 64
Charlie Salinger is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Charlie Salinger Party of Five

37
+ - 6 1
Nani Pelekai is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History

38
+ - 12 22
Emma Ross is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Emma Ross JESSIE

39
+ - 7 16
Robbie Douglas is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Robbie Douglas My Three Sons

40
+ - 7 17
Judy Robinson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Judy Robinson Lost in Space

41
+ - 42 76
Chris Griffin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Chris Griffin Family Guy

42
+ - 1 7
Kristin Baxter is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Kristin Baxter Last Man Standing

43
+ - 19 26
Axl Redford Heck is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Axl Redford Heck The Middle

The Best Arrested Development Characters The Best Finishing Moves in Wrestling History

44
+ - 18 29
Robbie Sinclair is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Robbie Sinclair Dinosaurs

45
+ - 39 63
Haley Smith is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Haley Smith American Dad

46
+ - 15 27
Michael Kyle, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Michael Kyle, Jr. My Wife and Kids

47
+ - 4 18
Shelly Marsh is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Shelly Marsh South Park

48
+ - 14 26
Lindsay Weir is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Lindsay Weir Freaks and Geeks

49
+ - 13 27
Anthony Russo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tony Russo Blossom

50
+ - 11 29
Haddie Braverman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Haddie Braverman Parenthood