Female Characters The Greatest Female TV Role Models  

Ranker TV
Originally by
39.9k votes 1.7k voters 19.9k 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.

1
436 217
Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Olivia Benson Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

2
328 269
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show

3
513 422
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4
217 313
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Liz Lemon 30 Rock

5
233 235
Victoria Barkley is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
mclewis added Victoria Barkley The Big Valley

6
230 331
Lisa Simpson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Lisa Simpson The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

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

8
281 211
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Sophia Petrillo The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

9
222 202
Carla Espinosa is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Carla Espinosa Scrubs

10
256 207
Maggie O'Connell is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Maggie O'Connell Northern Exposure

11
205 206
Emma Peel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Emma Peel The Avengers

12
139 308
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

13
204 207
Julia Sugarbaker is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Julia Sugarbaker Designing Women

14
343 240
Leslie Knope is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation

The Greatest Female TV Characters of All Time

15
328 161
Kathryn Janeway is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Kathryn Janeway Star Trek: Voyager

16
202 172
Anita Van Buren is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Anita Van Buren Law & Order

17
249 177
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

18
154 270
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Murphy Brown Murphy Brown

19
442 199
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Dana Scully The X-Files

20
177 185
C. J. Cregg is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added C. J. Cregg The West Wing

21
169 178
Rhoda Morgenstern is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Rhoda Morgenstern The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Rhoda

The Most Annoying TV and Film Characters Ever

22
121 242
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
172 180
Lady Mary Crawley is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Lady Mary Crawley Downton Abbey

24
183 172
Violet Crawley, Dowager Counte... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham Downton Abbey

25
266 67
Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Abby Sciuto NCIS

26
266 77
Rebecca Katsopolis is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Rebecca Katsopolis Full House

27
243 145
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Uhura Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series

28
281 270
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Wonder Woman Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited

The Funniest Female TV Characters

29
196 170
Brenda Leigh Johnson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

30
273 63
Topanga Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
JVall14 added Topanga Lawrence Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World

31
81 190
Kate Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Kate Lawrence Family

32
190 246
Veronica Mars is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Veronica Mars Veronica Mars

33
218 67
Laura Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
MeganAnderson added Laura Ingalls Little House on the Prairie

34
99 170
Grace Van Owen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Grace Van Owen L.A. Law

35
187 63
Penelope Garcia is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Penelope Garcia Criminal Minds

The Best Movies Based on TV Shows

36
226 291
Daenerys Targaryen is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Daenerys Targaryen Game of Thrones

37
202 68
Caroline Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
MeganAnderson added Caroline Ingalls

38
244 139
Jessica Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Jessica Fletcher Murder, She Wrote

39
175 85
Molly Flynn is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Molly Flynn Mike & Molly

40
208 110
Jaime Sommers is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Jaime Sommers Bionic Woman

41
99 205
Ann Kelsey is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Ann Kelsey L.A. Law

42
216 130
Cristina Yang is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Cristina Yang Grey's Anatomy

Female TV Characters Who Proposed to Their Boyfriends

43
177 149
Jennifer
LanaYoshii added Jennifer "JJ" Jareau Criminal Minds

44
268 282
Lorelai Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Lorelai Gilmore Gilmore Girls

45
179 154
Selina Meyer is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models

46
30 14
Olivia Walton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Olivia Walton The Waltons

47
258 288
Willow Rosenberg is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Willow Rosenberg Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy the Animated Series

48
210 112
Carol Brady is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Carol Brady The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour, The Brady Brides

49
137 181
Arya Stark is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
intcat-eternal added Arya Stark Game of Thrones

50
152 101
Margaret Houlihan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Margaret Houlihan M*A*S*H