Photo: Friends/Warner Bros. Television Distribution

The Best TV Characters Of The 1990s

Over 3.5K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best TV Characters Of The 1990s
Voting Rules
Vote up your favorite '90s TV characters.

Who were the best TV characters of the '90s? From Frasier, Friends, and Married With Children all the way to kid favorites like Clarissa Explains it All, Doug, and Saved By the Bell, these shows greatly impacted 90s culture and made it the memorable decade it was. This list has the best television characters from all those classic 1990s TV shows.

It was the decade we met Bart Simpson, Cosmo Kramer, and Frasier Crane. The top TV show characters of the 90's included family-focused favorites like Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor, the obnoxious but lovable Steve Urkel, and Fresh Prince Will Smith. Nineties TV introduced many famous children's characters as well: Tommy Pickles, Batman, Doug.

This decade had an air of innocence and lightheartedness. The iconic characters of the '90s were, for the most part family-friendly, uplifting, and hilarious. Who will ever forget the girl-next-door Topanga Lawrence, and the importance of having an older, wiser soul rooting for you, like Mr. Feeney? The innocence of Clarissa Explains It All, Family Ties, and Blossom, reinforced family values, and other top '90s shows like Friends, Roseanne, and The Cosby Show, left us feeling like we were never alone in the world.

Over 3,500 Ranker TV fans have cast over 54,000 votes to help shape this list. Be a part of the Ranker community and vote up your favorite 1990s TV characters below, and think back to a time when these folks came into your living room once a week. Then find yourself a Seinfeld rerun. You know there's got to be one on.

Photo: Friends/Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Ranked by
  • Chandler Bing
    1,655 votes
    • Actor: Matthew Perry

    Chandler Bing, played by actor Matthew Perry, was an iconic character on the 90s sitcom Friends. He was known for his witty one-liners and sarcasm that made him a fan favorite. Over the show's ten seasons, viewers learned more about Chandler's past which shaped who he became as an adult. His inability to commit to relationships in fear of abandonment and ultimately finding true love with Monica Geller showed viewers a different side to him that many related to. Chandler's unique personality is what made him one of the most popular characters of all time and will continue to be remembered as an iconic TV figure from the 90s era.

  • Homer Simpson
    The Simpsons
    1,288 votes
    • Actor: Dan Castellaneta

    Homer Simpson is a 90s TV character beloved by viewers for his lovable and relatable personality. He is the patriarch of the series, The Simpsons, which first aired in 1989 and continues to be one of the most popular shows on television today. His buffoonish behavior never fails to entertain us; from his hilarious antics with co-workers at Springfield Nuclear Power Plant to disrupting family events - there isn't anything Homer isn't capable of fumbling his way through!

  • Joey Tribbiani
    Joey, Friends
    1,025 votes
    • Actor: Matt LeBlanc

    Joey Tribbiani, played by Matt LeBlanc, is a character that audiences quickly fell in love with. He was a lovable goofball on the hit show 'Friends,' and provided a lot of laughs as he navigated life in New York City with his closest pals. Joey had a habit of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time - which often made for hilarious situations. But viewers also loved that despite being foolish, Joey always meant well and had an incredibly loyal heart when it came to his friends. Throughout the years, fans watched him evolve from an unemployed actor trying to make it big into a confident professional who is still just as goofy as ever.

  • Bart Simpson
    The Simpsons
    1,117 votes
    • Actor: Nancy Cartwright

    Bart's rebellious attitude and mischievous antics make him a fan favorite, with viewers loving his unique outlook on life. There is something endearing about Bart's ability to outsmart authority figures while remaining lovable despite his naughtiness. His role in The Simpsons serves as an essential representation of American suburban childhood during the 1990s, providing a relatable source of entertainment for many young people growing up at the time.

  • Red Forman
    That '70s Show
    310 votes
    • Actor: Kurtwood Smith

    Red Forman was featured in the popular sitcom That '70s Show. He was a no-nonsense military veteran and the father of Eric Forman, played by Topher Grace. Red had a gruff demeanor that viewers found both intimidating and endearing; he could be strict with his children, but he was always looking out for them in his own way. His catchphrase “What the hell?” became legendary among fans of the show and still resonates today.

  • Will Smith
    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
    1,397 votes
    • Actor: Will Smith

    Will Smith is undoubtedly one of the best known TV characters from the 90's, thanks to his role as the charming and affable Fresh Prince in the eponymous show. Viewers loved Will for being relatable yet aspirational; his wit and charisma often got him out of sticky situations while maintaining an admirable moral code. The Fresh Prince also had some of the catchiest theme songs that cemented its place in pop culture history - it even made an appearance on DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s Grammy Award-winning album “He's The DJ, I'm The Rapper.”