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
158 55
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 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

2
78 26
Dean Winchester is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
ghost00 added Dean Winchester Supernatural, Supernatural The Animation

3
61 38
Richie Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Richie Cunningham Happy Days

4
92 52
John-boy Walton is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
John-boy Walton The Waltons

5
106 64
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 84
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
72 72
Piper Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
SlashLover added Piper Halliwell Leo, Charmed

8
65 82
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 69
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 76
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
83 69
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
74 67
Keith Partridge is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Keith Partridge The Partridge Family

13
71 77
Mike Seaver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mike Seaver Growing Pains

14
78 77
Robb Stark is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Robb Stark Game of Thrones

15
78 83
Denise Huxtable Kendall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Denise Huxtable The Cosby Show

The Funniest TV Characters of All Time 8 TV Actors Who Turned Out Just Like Their Characters

16
75 63
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
44 52
Prue Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
SlashLover added Prue Halliwell

18
54 53
Bridget Hennessy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Bridget Hennessy 8 Simple Rules

19
58 70
Matt Camden is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Matt Camden 7th Heaven

20
16 17
Kyle Broflovski is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tom Islava added Kyle Broflovski South Park

21
48 61
Eddie Winslow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Eddie Winslow Family Matters

22
19 24
Theo Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
slaft added Theo Huxtable The Cosby Show

23
55 50
Mike Douglas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mike Douglas My Three Sons

24
24 37
Laurie Foreman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Dismalhead added Laurie Foreman

25
51 66
Becky Conner-Healy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Becky Conner Roseanne

26
43 67
Dana Foster is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Dana Foster Step by Step

27
42 57
Willis Jackson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Willis Jackson Diff'rent Strokes

28
10 12
Bo Duke is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
crystalbratcher5 added Bo Duke The Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard

29
9 12
Luke Duke is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
crystalbratcher5 added Luke Duke The Dukes of Hazzard

The Greatest TV Characters of All Time The Absolute Worst People at the Movies

30
16 22
PJ Duncan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Shego added PJ Duncan Good Luck Charlie

31
37 54
Brad Taylor is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Brad Taylor Home Improvement

32
34 61
Karen Arnold is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Karen Arnold The Wonder Years

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

34
37 57
Chris is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Chris Everybody Hates Chris

35
24 37
Maggie Sheffield is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
sangredeargento added Maggie Sheffield the nanny - the nanny

36
33 65
Charlie Salinger is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Charlie Salinger Party of Five

37
10 17
Robbie Douglas is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
slaft added Robbie Douglas My Three Sons

38
8 4
Nani Pelekai is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tom Islava added Nani Pelekai

39
2 9
Kristin Baxter is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
JVall14 added Kristin Baxter Last Man Standing

40
8 19
Judy Robinson is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
slaft added Judy Robinson Lost in Space

41
12 25
Emma Ross is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Shego added Emma Ross JESSIE

42
42 80
Chris Griffin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Chris Griffin Family Guy

43
19 29
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 Fantasy TV Shows Since 2015

44
19 32
Robbie Sinclair is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Robbie Sinclair Dinosaurs

45
40 66
Haley Smith is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Haley Smith American Dad

46
15 29
Anthony Russo is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tony Russo Blossom

47
15 30
Michael Kyle, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Michael Kyle, Jr. My Wife and Kids

48
14 29
Lindsay Weir is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Lindsay Weir Freaks and Geeks

49
4 20
Shelly Marsh is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tom Islava added Shelly Marsh South Park

50
12 31
Haddie Braverman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Haddie Braverman Parenthood