Best TV Characters The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History  

Ranker TV
Originally by
5.8k votes 505 voters 10.4k views 54 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).

1
181 65
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Alex P. Keaton Family Ties

2
105 41
Dean Winchester is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
ghost00 added Dean Winchester Supernatural, Supernatural The Animation

3
78 47
Richard Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Richard Cunningham Happy Days

4
138 74
D.J. Tanner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
D.J. Tanner Full House, Guest Star Day

5
103 65
John-boy Walton is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
John-boy Walton The Waltons

6
134 92
Bart Simpson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Bart Simpson The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

7
84 84
Piper Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
SlashLover added Piper Halliwell Leo, Charmed

8
100 77
Greg Brady is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Greg Brady The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour

9
105 87
Marcia Brady is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Marcia Brady The Brady Bunch, The Brady Kids, The Brady Bunch Hour

10
72 94
J.J. Evans is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
J.J. Evans Good Times

11
96 78
Mary Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mary Ingalls Little House on the Prairie

12
86 84
Mike Seaver is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mike Seaver Growing Pains

13
80 75
Keith Partridge is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Keith Partridge The Partridge Family

14
85 90
Robb Stark is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Robb Stark Game of Thrones

15
90 95
Denise Huxtable Kendall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Denise Huxtable The Cosby Show

16
86 75
Eric Matthews is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Eric Matthews Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World

17
51 63
Prue Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
SlashLover added Prue Halliwell

18
63 63
Bridget Hennessy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Bridget Hennessy 8 Simple Rules

19
65 80
Matt Camden is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Matt Camden 7th Heaven

20
52 72
Eddie Winslow is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Eddie Winslow Family Matters

21
22 19
Luke Duke is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
crystalbratcher5 added Luke Duke The Dukes of Hazzard

22
21 28
Kyle Broflovski is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tom Islava added Kyle Broflovski South Park

23
25 35
Theo Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
slaft added Theo Huxtable The Cosby Show

24
21 20
Bo Duke is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
crystalbratcher5 added Bo Duke The Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard

25
59 76
Becky Conner-Healy is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Becky Conner Roseanne

26
49 78
Dana Foster is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Dana Foster Step by Step

27
61 58
Mike Douglas is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Mike Douglas My Three Sons

28
47 65
Willis Jackson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Willis Jackson Diff'rent Strokes

29
23 29
PJ Duncan is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Shego added PJ Duncan Good Luck Charlie

30
44 62
Brad Taylor is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Brad Taylor Home Improvement

31
21 11
Nani Pelekai is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tom Islava added Nani Pelekai

32
38 69
Karen Arnold is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Karen Arnold The Wonder Years

33
26 50
Laurie Foreman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Dismalhead added Laurie Foreman

34
42 64
Chris is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Chris Everybody Hates Chris

35
37 74
Charlie Salinger is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Charlie Salinger Party of Five

36
26 42
Francis Wilkerson is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
JacobMurray added Francis Wilkerson Malcolm in the Middle

37
21 33
Emma Ross is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Shego added Emma Ross JESSIE

38
14 24
Robbie Douglas is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
slaft added Robbie Douglas My Three Sons

39
31 35
Axl Redford Heck is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Axl Redford Heck The Middle

40
8 19
Kristin Baxter is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
JVall14 added Kristin Baxter Last Man Standing

41
6 6
Maggie Sheffield is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Maggie Sheffield the nanny

42
11 27
Judy Robinson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
slaft added Judy Robinson Lost in Space

43
45 90
Chris Griffin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Chris Griffin Family Guy

44
47 75
Haley Smith is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Haley Smith American Dad

45
23 40
Robbie Sinclair is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Robbie Sinclair Dinosaurs

46
21 37
Michael Kyle, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Michael Kyle, Jr. My Wife and Kids

47
26 46
Maggie Sheffield is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
sangredeargento added Maggie Sheffield the nanny - the nanny

48
18 38
Lindsay Weir is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Lindsay Weir Freaks and Geeks

49
17 38
Anthony Russo is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tony Russo Blossom

50
18 40
Haddie Braverman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Haddie Braverman Parenthood