female characters The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time  

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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
10,648 7,009
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Famous People Who Have Been Reported Missing The Creepiest Characters in TV History

2
8,889 6,318
Daenerys Targaryen is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones

3
7,008 5,812
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Dana Scully The X-Files

4
5,867 4,454
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
5,431 4,568
Lucy Ricardo is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy

6
7,569 5,311
Arya Stark is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Arya Stark Game of Thrones

7
6,428 4,821
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
4,289 5,304
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
5,594 5,703
Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Phoebe Buffay Friends

10
5,502 3,969
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
3,557 3,822
Violet Crawley, Dowager Counte... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

12
4,838 3,337
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Bootsdad added Wonder Woman Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited

13
4,479 5,055
Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Rachel Green Friends

14
3,592 1,686
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

15
3,471 4,602
Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Elaine Benes Seinfeld

Favorite TV Moms of All Time The Best and Worst Disney Animated Movies

16
3,487 4,079
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Veronica Mars Veronica Mars

17
3,735 4,212
Cersei Baratheon is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Cersei Baratheon Game of Thrones

18
3,504 4,413
Penny is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Penny The Big Bang Theory

19
3,964 3,788
Temperance

20
2,772 4,102
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Liz Lemon 30 Rock

21
3,884 3,960
Monica Geller is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Monica Geller Friends

22
3,109 2,397
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
3,479 3,384
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
4,039 3,147
Michonne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Michonne The Walking Dead

25
3,420 2,093
Brienne of Tarth is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
wezel87 added Brienne of Tarth Game of Thrones

26
3,737 2,742
Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
willyboymcoy added Abby Sciuto NCIS - NCIS

27
2,973 2,788
Leslie Knope is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation

28
2,573 3,807
Marge Simpson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Marge Simpson The Simpsons

29
1,982 2,250
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

Times Steven Moffat Showed His Romantic-But-Raunchy Side On Doctor Who The Best TV Shows of 2013

30
3,008 2,876
Ziva David is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Ziva David NCIS

31
2,977 2,685
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
2,962 3,382
Emma Swan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
m0000 added Emma Swan Once Upon a Time

33
2,081 1,686
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
1,979 1,828
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
2,855 3,584
Peggy Bundy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Peggy Bundy Married... with Children

36
1,894 2,924
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
1,842 2,424
Roseanne Conner is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Roseanne Conner Roseanne

38
2,111 2,091
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
2,285 2,169
Nyota Uhura is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Nyota Uhura Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series

40
2,358 2,166
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
2,666 3,078
Rose Tyler is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Rose Tyler Doctor Who

42
2,361 2,779
Leela is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Leela Futurama

43
2,526 2,248
Faith is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Faith Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel

The Best New Original Shows on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon The Best Female Characters on TV Right Now

44
2,122 2,285
Regina Mills is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
m0000 added Regina Mills Once Upon a Time

45
2,741 2,979
River Tam is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
River Tam Firefly

46
2,399 2,448
Karen Walker is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Karen Walker Will & Grace

47
2,857 2,353
Carol Peletier is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
Carol Peletier The Walking Dead

48
1,572 1,150
Wednesday Addams is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
SannahParker added Wednesday Addams The Addams Family

49
1,631 1,157
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
1,680 1,748
Samantha Stephens is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time
DolittleD added Samantha Stephens Bewitched