Best Characters The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
1M votes 39.1k voters 474.4k views 1,170 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.

list ordered by

1
11,571 7,935
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

2
10,019 7,064
Daenerys Targaryen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Game of Thrones

3
7,584 6,425
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The X-Files

4
6,569 4,965
Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

5
6,037 5,017
Lucy Ricardo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
I Love Lucy

6
8,475 5,936
Arya Stark is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Game of Thrones

7
6,502 6,356
Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Friends

8
6,937 5,489
Willow Rosenberg is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

9
4,825 5,965
Lisa Simpson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

10
5,969 4,518
Xena is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
ChangesDownClub added Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess

11
3,973 4,282
Violet Crawley, Dowager Counte... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

12
5,279 5,719
Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Friends

13
5,673 3,773
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Bootsdad added Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited

14
4,104 2,005
Morticia Addams is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
marylylewarrenmccue added The Addams Family

15
3,901 5,049
Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Seinfeld

16
3,883 4,615
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Veronica Mars

17
4,624 4,344
Monica Geller is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Friends

18
4,258 4,807
Cersei Baratheon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Game of Thrones

19
4,007 5,064
Penny is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Big Bang Theory

20
4,428 4,276
Temperance

21
3,100 4,482
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
30 Rock

22
3,538 2,678
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

23
4,188 3,053
Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
willyboymcoy added NCIS - NCIS

24
3,463 3,112
Leslie Knope is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Parks and Recreation

25
3,901 3,748
Amy Farrah Fowler is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Big Bang Theory

26
3,980 2,389
Brienne of Tarth is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
wezel87 added Game of Thrones

27
4,399 3,626
Michonne is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Walking Dead

28
3,317 3,176
Ziva David is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
NCIS

29
2,350 2,574
Kathryn Janeway is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
anonymousagentoftruth added Star Trek: Voyager - Star Trek: Voyager

30
3,333 3,805
Emma Swan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
m0000 added Once Upon a Time

31
2,418 1,912
Rose Nylund is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Charley Feldman added The Golden Girls

32
2,302 2,078
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Charley Feldman added The Golden Girls

33
2,832 4,289
Marge Simpson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Simpsons

34
3,316 3,119
Piper Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Rose1 added Leo, Charmed - Charmed

35
3,086 4,041
Peggy Bundy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Married... with Children

36
2,116 3,306
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Mary Tyler Moore Show

37
2,772 2,575
Lorelai Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Umberhaven added Gilmore Girls

38
2,501 2,548
Margaery Tyrell is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
penguinmayne added Game of Thrones - Game Of Thrones

39
2,083 2,925
Roseanne Conner is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Roseanne

40
2,528 2,535
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series

41
2,898 3,514
Rose Tyler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Doctor Who

42
3,228 2,623
Carol Peletier is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Walking Dead

43
2,428 2,696
Regina Mills is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
m0000 added Once Upon a Time

44
1,936 1,782
Blanche Devereaux is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

45
2,781 2,641
Faith is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel

46
2,714 2,789
Karen Walker is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Will & Grace

47
3,004 3,146
Lily Aldrin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
How I Met Your Mother

48
2,548 3,254
Sydney Bristow is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

49
2,425 2,635
Bernadette Rostenkowski is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Lazarus Long added The Big Bang Theory

50
1,955 1,379
Penelope Garcia is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
colormelivvy added Criminal Minds