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15.6k voters

The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

Updated May 4, 2021 172.3k votes 15.6k voters 307.3k views271 items

List RulesIncludes TV shows that have a significant fan presence that can be seen on forums, websites, clubs or fan-fiction

This is a list of the best cult TV shows ever, ranked by their loyal fans. TV series that develop cult followings are known for their magnetic characters, pithy dialogue, and complex plots that interweave of the course of several episodes or seasons. The best cult TV fan bases are passionate and may feel deeply attached to the cult characters, their lives, and their relationships. Many devoted fan communities take to online message boards, writing fan-fiction, and attending conventions dressed as their favorite characters.

Long-running mainstream series such as The Twilight ZoneLost, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer easily attracted loyal fanbases, but even more impressive are those beloved shows that only lasted a season or two, like Freaks and Geeks and Firefly. Even after their favorite shows go off the air, fans of cult TV shows continue to collect memorabilia, replica props, and do cosplay at fan events. This subcultural phenomenon spans genres from sci-fi cult shows to fantasy, drama, and even comedy cult series. This list also includes cult classic TV shows and top cult TV series. 

What are the best cult TV series? To vote on more of the best TV series, check out these lists of the best sci-fi shows of all time and the best shows cancelled too soon.

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  • 1
    1,738
    995

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

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  • 2
    2,319
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    Firefly

    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres

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  • 3
    2,780
    1,710

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan

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  • 4
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    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

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  • 5
    1,829
    1,067

    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

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  • 6
    2,290
    1,500

    The X-Files

    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

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  • 7
    1,884
    1,084

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

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  • 8
    2,159
    1,442

    Doctor Who

    Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant

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  • 9
    1,988
    1,227

    Supernatural

    Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

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  • 10
    1,605
    1,081

    Twin Peaks

    Kyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn

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  • 11
    1,338
    873

    Freaks and Geeks

    Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley

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  • 12
    1,407
    977

    The Simpsons

    Dan Castellaneta, Nancy Cartwright

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  • 13
    1,600
    1,220

    Star Trek: The Original Series

    William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

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  • 14
    1,008
    628

    Futurama

    Billy West, John DiMaggio

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  • 15
    1,420
    1,025

    Arrested Development

    Jason Bateman, Michael Cera

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  • 16
    1,253
    942

    Community

    Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs

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  • 17
    914
    685

    Quantum Leap

    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell

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  • 18
    1,333
    1,089

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

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  • 19
    779
    559

    The Office

    Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson

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  • 20
    1,204
    939

    Dexter

    Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter

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  • 21
    1,056
    885

    Battlestar Galactica

    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell

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  • 22
    474
    370

    Fawlty Towers

    John Cleese, Prunella Scales

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  • 23
    1,020
    842

    Angel

    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter

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  • 24
    1,302
    1,038

    The Walking Dead

    Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal

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  • 25
    1,097
    816

    South Park

    Trey Parker, Matt Stone

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