female characters The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
966.6k votes 37.7k voters 459.4k views 1,162 items

List Rules The most memorable, most groundbreaking, strongest, and/or funniest female characters ever on television

Who are the greatest female TV characters of all time? This list includes some of the greatest television characters in history from dramatic shows, sitcoms, and sci-fi series to procedurals and cartoons! For as long as TV has been a medium to reflect social constructs, programs have featured strong women characters as protagonists, partners, and foils for their male counterparts. In comedy shows, characters like Lucy Ricardo, Mary Richards, and Maude Findlay paved the way for Elaine Benes, Roseanne Conner, and Liz Lemon.

Female characters dominate modern genre series, with popular women like Daenerys Targaryen, Dana Scully, Buffy Summers, and Veronica Mars achieving cult-level idolization. You'll recognize these famous names as some of the strongest, funniest, and most relatable in television history.

Vote up the greatest female characters to move them up the list, and add please any that we're missing.

1
11,278 7,637
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer

2
9,651 6,794
Daenerys Targaryen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones

3
7,412 6,234
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Dana Scully The X-Files

4
6,366 4,798
Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Olivia Benson Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

5
5,861 4,856
Lucy Ricardo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy

6
8,164 5,734
Arya Stark is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Arya Stark Game of Thrones

7
6,766 5,282
Willow Rosenberg is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Willow Rosenberg Buffy the Vampire Slayer

8
4,638 5,764
Lisa Simpson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Lisa Simpson The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

9
6,170 6,151
Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Phoebe Buffay Friends

10
5,823 4,350
Xena is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
ChangesDownClub added Xena Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess

11
3,860 4,142
Violet Crawley, Dowager Counte... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

12
5,007 5,506
Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Rachel Green Friends

13
5,381 3,624
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Bootsdad added Wonder Woman Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited

14
3,912 1,908
Morticia Addams is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
marylylewarrenmccue added Morticia Addams The Addams Family

Famous People Who Have Been Reported Missing

15
3,754 4,913
Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Elaine Benes Seinfeld

16
3,762 4,437
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Veronica Mars Veronica Mars

17
4,364 4,225
Monica Geller is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Monica Geller Friends

18
4,081 4,610
Cersei Baratheon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Cersei Baratheon Game of Thrones

19
3,839 4,857
Penny is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Penny The Big Bang Theory

20
4,275 4,124
Temperance

21
3,004 4,365
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Liz Lemon 30 Rock

The Creepiest Characters in TV History

22
3,401 2,592
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Sophia Petrillo The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

23
4,048 2,942
Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
willyboymcoy added Abby Sciuto NCIS - NCIS

24
3,774 3,632
Amy Farrah Fowler is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Amy Farrah Fowler The Big Bang Theory

25
3,289 3,013
Leslie Knope is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation

26
3,820 2,281
Brienne of Tarth is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
wezel87 added Brienne of Tarth Game of Thrones

27
4,285 3,473
Michonne is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Michonne The Walking Dead

28
3,225 3,071
Ziva David is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Ziva David NCIS

Favorite TV Moms of All Time

29
2,223 2,473
Kathryn Janeway is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
anonymousagentoftruth added Kathryn Janeway Star Trek: Voyager - Star Trek: Voyager

30
3,227 3,689
Emma Swan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
m0000 added Emma Swan Once Upon a Time

31
3,219 2,981
Piper Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Rose1 added Piper Halliwell Leo, Charmed - Charmed

32
2,298 1,841
Rose Nylund is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Charley Feldman added Rose Nylund The Golden Girls

33
2,190 2,002
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Charley Feldman added Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

34
2,742 4,134
Marge Simpson is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Marge Simpson The Simpsons

35
3,012 3,893
Peggy Bundy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Peggy Bundy Married... with Children

The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

36
2,042 3,174
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show

37
2,628 2,446
Lorelai Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Umberhaven added Lorelai Gilmore Gilmore Girls

38
2,378 2,394
Margaery Tyrell is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
penguinmayne added Margaery Tyrell Game of Thrones - Game Of Thrones

39
2,022 2,747
Roseanne Conner is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Roseanne Conner Roseanne

40
2,462 2,400
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Uhura Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series

41
2,339 2,561
Regina Mills is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
m0000 added Regina Mills Once Upon a Time

42
2,831 3,370
Rose Tyler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Rose Tyler Doctor Who

The Best British TV Comedies On Netflix

43
2,710 2,509
Faith is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Faith Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel

44
2,624 2,683
Karen Walker is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Karen Walker Will & Grace

45
1,847 1,714
Blanche Devereaux is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Blanche Devereaux The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

46
3,109 2,538
Carol Peletier is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Carol Peletier The Walking Dead

47
2,505 3,066
Leela is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Leela Futurama

48
2,340 2,556
Bernadette Rostenkowski is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Lazarus Long added Bernadette Rostenkowski The Big Bang Theory

49
2,883 3,066
Lily Aldrin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Lily Aldrin How I Met Your Mother

50
2,487 3,167
Sydney Bristow is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time