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The Greatest Female TV Role Models 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated April 2, 2020 47.1k votes 2.1k voters 23k views 143 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.
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list ordered by
1
Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
2
Dana Scully is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The X-Files
3
Kathryn Janeway is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Star Trek: Voyager
4
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
5
Abby Sciuto is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added NCIS
6
Leslie Knope is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Parks and Recreation
7
Topanga Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
JVall14 added Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World
8
Rebecca Katsopolis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Full House
9
Uhura is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series
10
Wonder Woman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited
11
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
12
Laura Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
MeganAnderson added Little House on the Prairie
13
Jessica Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Murder, She Wrote
14
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls
15
Jaime Sommers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Bionic Woman
16
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
The Golden Girls
17
Caroline Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
MeganAnderson added
18
Lucy Ricardo is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
I Love Lucy, The Lucy–Desi Comedy Hour
19
Maggie O'Connell is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
lemonhead added Northern Exposure
20
Penelope Garcia is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
LaChance added Criminal Minds
21
Lorelai Gilmore is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Gilmore Girls
22
Cristina Yang is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
phoebelouise added Grey's Anatomy
23
Kara Thrace is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Battlestar Galactica
24
Brienne of Tarth is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Game of Thrones
25
Xena is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Female TV Role Models
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena: Warrior Princess