Popular Opinion The Greatest TV Characters of All Time  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
1.1M votes 54.5k voters 674.9k views 1,802 items

List Rules Only fictional characters created for television programs

List of TV's most memorable characters, of all time, chosen by the Ranker community. What makes a character live on in the public's memory, even years after the original run of their respective TV programs? In some cases, it's the amount of depth that the show's writers, actors and other creators were able to bring to the character over the course of many years. For many of the greatest TV characters of all time, audiences feel like they get to know personalities like Dexter Morgan from "Dexter." Even after the show leaves the air, they may not want that relationship to end. (Thankfully, they don't have to, as many shows live on for years after their cancellation on DVD and in syndication.) The best TV characters are ones that you feel like you know and that you'd want to be friends with.

TV has brought many famous characters to life who have been extremely compelling, even if they are not entirely likeable. Viewers may not wish to know dangerous, shadowy figures like Tony Soprano, Vernon Schillinger, and Omar Little in reality, but following their exploits safely from the comfort of your living room can be appealing. Likewise, people who might be aloof or downright unpleasant in real life - think "Mad Men's" Don Draper or Al Swearengen of "Deadwood" - can prove charming, even admirable, when seen at a distance, with the subtext and intricacy that a top long-running TV show can provide.

Who is the greatest TV character ever? This list contains the names of the greatest, most fascinating, and most enduring fictional characters from TV of all time. Be sure to vote for your favorites, and if some of your favorite popular characters aren't represented, go ahead and re-rank the list to contribute to the discussion.
list ordered by
1
7,929 11,047
Homer Simpson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
The Simpsons
2
4,864 11,026
Bart Simpson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
The Simpsons
3
11,460 8,057
Walter White is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Breaking Bad
4
3,506 10,491
Brian Griffin is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Family Guy
5
11,073 6,212
Tyrion Lannister is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Game of Thrones
6
4,884 9,236
Peter Griffin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Family Guy, Family Guy Universe
7
8,035 6,708
Spock is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series
8
6,026 8,747
Stewie Griffin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Family Guy
9
6,102 4,658
Bugs Bunny is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Baby Looney Tunes, Big House Bunny, Mutiny on the Bunny
10
7,886 6,530
Dr. Gregory House is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
11
7,116 6,062
Tony Soprano is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
The Sopranos
12
5,937 5,176
Cosmo Kramer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Seinfeld
13
5,265 4,737
James T. Kirk is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Star Trek: The Original Series
14
7,259 3,980
Michael Scott is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
The Office
15
5,260 3,804
Lucy Ricardo is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
ShaneBird added I Love Lucy
16
7,308 5,972
Sheldon Cooper is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
The Big Bang Theory
17
7,982 4,923
Chandler Bing is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Friends
18
7,109 5,680
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
19
6,659 4,528
Joey Tribbiani is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Friends
20
4,147 4,343
Mr. Bean is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
MangoStarkey added Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean, Mr. Bean's Holiday
21
5,183 3,358
Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Sherlock, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Sherlock Holmes
22
5,088 4,602
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Seinfeld
23
5,583 5,413
Eric Cartman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
South Park
24
3,994 4,364
Archie Bunker is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
All in the Family
25
4,368 5,021
Dexter Morgan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest TV Characters of All Time
Dexter, Dexter: Early Cuts, Dexter Universe