Female Characters The Greatest Female TV Role Models  

Ranker TV
Originally by
40.6k votes 1.8k voters 20.3k views 134 items

List Rules Strong and admirable woman and girl characters in television

List of the greatest female TV role models. Here are the rankings for the best female characters for your daughter to look up to. The TV shows with great female role models span the decades, from black-and-white to digital film. They also span the style, from live action multi-camera sitcoms to cartoons. Who are some of the best female role models on TV?

You could make a pretty good case for Leslie Knope's passion, Liz Lemon's wit, and Rachel Green's attitude. Or, if people really want to talk about strong independent women, we have listed ladies like Susie Greene from "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and Xena (the Warrior Princess). Some seem to think even Nancy Botwin from "Weeds" is a good female role model on television -- perhaps for her business sense. TV can make a difference in the culture, as shows can set standards and aspirations for young women, or men, with the remote control.
list ordered by

1
444 225
Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

2
330 275
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Mary Tyler Moore Show

3
521 428
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4
223 321
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
30 Rock

5
241 337
Lisa Simpson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

6
233 242
Victoria Barkley is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
mclewis added The Big Valley

7
223 230
Mary Beth Lacey is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Cagney & Lacey

8
284 216
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

9
223 208
Carla Espinosa is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Scrubs

10
256 212
Maggie O'Connell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Northern Exposure

11
140 314
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

12
205 211
Emma Peel is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added The Avengers

13
205 211
Julia Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Designing Women

14
354 245
Leslie Knope is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Parks and Recreation

15
338 163
Kathryn Janeway is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Star Trek: Voyager

16
203 176
Anita Van Buren is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Law & Order

17
254 180
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Golden Girls

18
156 275
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Murphy Brown

19
447 203
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The X-Files

20
179 189
C. J. Cregg is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added The West Wing

21
171 182
Rhoda Morgenstern is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda

22
125 246
Claire Beauchamp Randall Frase... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
mclewis added Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser Outlander

23
175 184
Lady Mary Crawley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Downton Abbey

24
186 175
Violet Crawley, Dowager Counte... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Downton Abbey

25
274 79
Rebecca Katsopolis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Full House

26
273 70
Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added NCIS

27
247 147
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series

28
290 272
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited

29
196 173
Brenda Leigh Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

30
282 65
Topanga Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
JVall14 added Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World

31
197 250
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Veronica Mars

32
82 192
Kate Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Family

33
223 70
Laura Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
MeganAnderson added Little House on the Prairie

34
100 172
Grace Van Owen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added L.A. Law

35
194 66
Penelope Garcia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Criminal Minds

36
231 293
Daenerys Targaryen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Game of Thrones

37
207 70
Caroline Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
MeganAnderson added

38
246 142
Jessica Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Murder, She Wrote

39
209 113
Jaime Sommers is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Bionic Woman

40
176 89
Molly Flynn is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Mike & Molly

41
222 133
Cristina Yang is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Grey's Anatomy

42
181 152
Jennifer
LanaYoshii added Criminal Minds

43
280 286
Lorelai Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Gilmore Girls

44
99 209
Ann Kelsey is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Ann Kelsey L.A. Law

45
180 157
Selina Meyer is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

46
263 292
Willow Rosenberg is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Animated Series

47
142 184
Arya Stark is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
intcat-eternal added Game of Thrones

48
30 17
Olivia Walton is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Waltons

49
211 115
Carol Brady is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour, The Brady Brides

50
154 104
Margaret Houlihan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added M*A*S*H