Entertainment

The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated June 14, 2019 6.9k votes 603 voters 11.3k views 52 items

List Rules Eldest child characters in families of at least 3 from TV series

In the TV family hierarchy, the eldest child of the family bears a heavy burden on his or her shoulders. Whether a reluctant role model (Denise Huxtable, The Cosby Show) or the next King of the North (Robb Stark, Game of Thrones), the greatest oldest children in TV history have some essential qualities in common.

The best oldest children in TV history have a rebellious streak. As older brothers and sisters, the first child of the family has a responsibility to his or her siblings to push their parents’ limits to the breaking point. (Even Matt Camden (7th Heaven) sent his parents into fits when he eloped.) When their rebellion backfires – a là Greg Brady (The Brady Bunch) unsuccessfully hiding the school mascot in the attic – they sometimes find their parents will work with them instead of against them.

Of course the greatest oldest children have to cope with darker matter, as well. Protecting one’s mother from his father, the drug kingpin (Walter White, Jr., Breaking Bad), battling an addiction to uppers (Alex P. Keaton, Family Ties), and being Don and Betty Draper’s daughter (Sally Draper, Mad Men), are just a few of the difficult chores these firstborn have had to face.

Finally, the greatest oldest children in TV history – or, many of them – must leave the nest first, creating tearful goodbyes as well as awkward plot devices. Though Modern Family’s Haley Dunphy getting kicked out of college seemed perfectly plausible, other eldest children either saw their screen time evaporate (Haddie Braverman, Parenthood), or simply refused to age at all (Bart Simpson, The Simpsons).
list ordered by
1
Dean Winchester is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
ghost00 added Supernatural, Supernatural The Animation
2
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Family Ties
3
D.J. Tanner is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
D.J. Tanner Full House, Guest Star Day
4
Greg Brady is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour
5
Bart Simpson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show
6
John-boy Walton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Waltons
7
Richard Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Happy Days
8
Mary Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Little House on the Prairie
9
Marcia Brady is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Brady Bunch, The Brady Kids, The Brady Bunch Hour
10
Eric Matthews is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Eric Matthews Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World
11
Piper Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
SlashLover added Leo, Charmed
12
Mike Seaver is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Growing Pains
13
Keith Partridge is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Keith Partridge The Partridge Family
14
Prue Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
SlashLover added
15
Robb Stark is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Game of Thrones
16
Nani Pelekai is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tom Islava added
17
Bridget Hennessy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
8 Simple Rules
18
Luke Duke is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
crystalbratcher5 added The Dukes of Hazzard
19
J.J. Evans is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Good Times
20
Denise Huxtable Kendall ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Cosby Show
21
Bo Duke is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
crystalbratcher5 added The Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard
22
Mike Douglas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mike Douglas My Three Sons
23
Kyle Broflovski is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tom Islava added South Park
24
Willis Jackson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Diff'rent Strokes
25
PJ Duncan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Shego added PJ Duncan
Good Luck Charlie