The Greatest TV Characters Of All Time
Photo: Breaking Bad/Sony Pictures Television

The Greatest TV Characters Of All Time

Over 83.7K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest TV Characters Of All Time
Latest additions: Roger Sterling, Darlene Conner, Peggy Olson
Most divisive: Buffy Summers

List of TV's most memorable characters, of all time, chosen by the Ranker community. What makes an iconic 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. 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.

Ranked by