teens The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History  

Ranker TV
Originally by
16.6k votes 1.3k voters 19k views 70 items

List Rules Vote up the most memorable television characters who suffer from chronic teen angst.

Being a teenager is hard. No one knows that better than the greatest misunderstood teenagers in TV history. These teens have suffered unnatural – or sometimes supernatural – trials and tribulations, all in the name of prime-time entertainment. From the angsty Angela Chase (My So-Called Life) to the zany Zack Morris (Saved By the Bell), those on the list of the best misunderstood TV teens are left to wonder why grown-ups just don’t get it.
 

Sibling rivalry plays a large part in the lives of the greatest misunderstood teens on TV. While Jan Brady (The Brady Bunch) and Vanessa Huxtable (The Cosby Show) often lament the parental favor their older siblings receive, Anthony Soprano, Jr. (The Sopranos) and Silas Botwin (Weeds) turn to substance abuse to ease their feelings of inferiority. 
 

Being one of the best misunderstood TV teens is a fraught enough experience as a human character, but extraterrestrial teens face a whole different set of problems. Space-travelers like Tommy Solomon (3rd Rock From the Sun) and Clark Kent (Smallville) must navigate the treacherous waters of high school while minding the complex missions for which they were sent to Earth.
 

Finally, some of the greatest misunderstood teens in TV history have to contend with an altogether different dimension. The undead plague our heroine Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer); White Walkers lurk in the North kingdom, where Sansa Stark just wants some peace to train her direwolf (Game of Thrones); even the Big Guy upstairs bugs a savvy teen once in awhile (Joan Girardi, Joan of Arcadia).

Who else bravely bears the indignities of being the most misunderstood TV teens?

list ordered by

1
587 133
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer

2
312 184
Daria Morgendorffer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Daria Morgendorffer Daria, Beavis and Butt-head

3
303 155
Steven Hyde is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Alaina Hillman added Steven Hyde That '70s Show

4
378 157
Sabrina Spellman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Sabrina Spellman Sabrina Goes to Rome, Sabrina, Down Under

5
325 183
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Will Smith The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

6
293 159
Darlene Conner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Darlene Conner Roseanne

7
240 154
Alex Russo is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Alex Russo Wizards of Waverly Place

8
236 182
Fez is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Fez That '70s Show

9
247 150
Cory Matthews is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Cory Matthews Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World

10
231 191
Meg Griffin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Meg Griffin The Cleveland Show, Family Guy

11
193 151
Clark Kent is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Clark Kent Smallville

12
195 156
Angela Chase is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Angela Chase My So-Called Life

13
200 206
Jan Brady is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Jan Brady The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour

14
200 159
D.J. Tanner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
D.J. Tanner Full House, Guest Star Day

The Most Insufferable Teenage Daughters Currently on TV

15
178 92
Jess Mariano is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
JVall14 added Jess Mariano Gilmore Girls

16
165 134
Dylan McKay is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Dylan McKay Beverly Hills, 90210

17
175 149
Sansa Stark is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Sansa Stark Game of Thrones

18
196 122
Pacey Witter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Pacey Witter Dawson's Creek

19
151 138
Zack Morris is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Zack Morris Saved by the Bell

20
151 141
Doogie Howser is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Doogie Howser Doogie Howser, M.D.

21
207 158
Carlton Banks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Carlton Banks The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

The Best TV Shows Based on Movies

22
183 187
Bud Bundy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Bud Bundy Married... with Children

23
159 122
Tommy Solomon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Tommy Solomon 3rd Rock from the Sun

24
83 51
Steve Urkel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Tom Weiss added Steve Urkel Family Matters

25
126 160
Miley Stewart is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Miley Stewart Hannah Montana

26
141 131
Raven Baxter is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Alaina Hillman added Raven Baxter That's So Raven

27
136 133
Blossom Russo is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Blossom Russo Blossom

28
121 124
Ryan Atwood is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Ryan Atwood The O.C.

The Creepiest Characters in TV History

29
129 136
Tate Langdon is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Tate Langdon American Horror Story

30
91 132
Joey Russo is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Joey Russo Blossom

31
81 79
Jordan Catalano is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
zoe-krainik added Jordan Catalano My So-Called Life

32
92 147
Mallory Keaton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Mallory Keaton Family Ties

33
98 156
Theo Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Theo Huxtable The Cosby Show

34
122 140
Kurt Hummel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History

35
111 129
Lindsay Weir is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Lindsay Weir Freaks and Geeks

The Best Current Sitcoms

36
114 135
Brenda Walsh is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Brenda Walsh 90210

37
115 138
Serena van der Woodsen is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History

38
67 115
Max Braverman is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Max Braverman Parenthood

39
28 19
Jughead Jones is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Luke Albright added Jughead Jones Archie's Weird Mysteries - Riverdale

40
94 120
Scott McCall is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Scott McCall Teen Wolf

41
58 66
Clarke Griffin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
ceset added Clarke Griffin The 100

42
77 154
Vanessa Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Vanessa Huxtable The Cosby Show

The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

43
34 37
Octavia Black is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Rose Beattie added Octavia Black The 100

44
73 109
Enrique Vasquez is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Enrique Vasquez My So-Called Life

45
80 120
Becky Conner-Healy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History

46
10 10
Violet Harmon is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Violet Harmon American Horror Story

47
67 102
Joanne Jo Polniaczek is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Joanne Jo Polniaczek The Facts of Life

48
38 54
Samuel
Tom Weiss added Samuel "Screech" Powers Saved by the Bell: The College Years, Good Morning, Miss Bliss

49
75 120
Laura Palmer is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
Laura Palmer Twin Peaks

50
1 0
Peyton Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History
queenc added Peyton Sawyer One Tree Hill