female characters The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
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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
11,131 7,460
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
9,463 6,663
Daenerys Targaryen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones

3
7,310 6,144
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Dana Scully The X-Files

4
6,248 4,723
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
5,748 4,788
Lucy Ricardo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy

6
8,015 5,617
Arya Stark is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Arya Stark Game of Thrones

7
6,683 5,157
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
4,552 5,642
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
6,021 6,022
Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Phoebe Buffay Friends

10
5,749 4,249
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
3,784 4,044
Violet Crawley, Dowager Counte... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

12
4,873 5,378
Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Rachel Green Friends

13
5,234 3,533
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
3,829 1,848
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
3,675 4,838
Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Elaine Benes Seinfeld

16
3,695 4,334
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Veronica Mars Veronica Mars

17
3,996 4,492
Cersei Baratheon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Cersei Baratheon Game of Thrones

18
4,255 4,152
Monica Geller is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Monica Geller Friends

19
4,202 4,027
Temperance

20
3,744 4,723
Penny is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Penny The Big Bang Theory

21
2,939 4,289
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
3,330 2,545
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
3,709 3,566
Amy Farrah Fowler is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Amy Farrah Fowler The Big Bang Theory

24
3,731 2,234
Brienne of Tarth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
wezel87 added Brienne of Tarth Game of Thrones

25
3,982 2,891
Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
willyboymcoy added Abby Sciuto NCIS - NCIS

26
4,230 3,373
Michonne is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Michonne The Walking Dead

27
3,197 2,957
Leslie Knope is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation

28
3,168 3,586
Emma Swan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
m0000 added Emma Swan Once Upon a Time

Favorite TV Moms of All Time

29
3,174 3,019
Ziva David is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Ziva David NCIS

30
2,155 2,415
Kathryn Janeway is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
anonymousagentoftruth added Kathryn Janeway Star Trek: Voyager - Star Trek: Voyager

31
3,164 2,890
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
2,704 4,041
Marge Simpson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Marge Simpson The Simpsons

33
2,246 1,800
Rose Nylund is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Charley Feldman added Rose Nylund The Golden Girls

34
2,137 1,960
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Charley Feldman added Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

35
2,968 3,799
Peggy Bundy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Peggy Bundy Married... with Children

The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

36
1,999 3,090
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
1,981 2,613
Roseanne Conner is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Roseanne Conner Roseanne

38
2,317 2,299
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
2,416 2,316
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Uhura Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series

40
2,558 2,357
Lorelai Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Umberhaven added Lorelai Gilmore Gilmore Girls

41
2,284 2,476
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
2,786 3,283
Rose Tyler is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Rose Tyler Doctor Who

Actors Talk About The Worst Prosthetics And Makeup They Had To Wear

43
2,675 2,424
Faith is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Faith Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel

44
2,471 2,977
Leela is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Leela Futurama

45
2,572 2,603
Karen Walker is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Karen Walker Will & Grace

46
3,039 2,485
Carol Peletier is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Carol Peletier The Walking Dead

47
1,796 1,659
Blanche Devereaux is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Blanche Devereaux The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

48
2,825 3,175
River Tam is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
River Tam Firefly

49
1,792 1,270
Penelope Garcia is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
colormelivvy added Penelope Garcia Criminal Minds

50
2,300 2,491
Bernadette Rostenkowski is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Lazarus Long added Bernadette Rostenkowski The Big Bang Theory