Entertainment The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History  

Ranker TV
Originally by
6.4k votes 559 voters 10.8k 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).
list ordered by

1
190 91
Alex P. Keaton is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Family Ties

2
134 44
Dean Winchester is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
ghost00 added Supernatural, Supernatural The Animation

3
82 70
Richard Cunningham is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Happy Days

4
149 94
D.J. Tanner is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Full House, Guest Star Day

5
89 87
Piper Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
SlashLover added Leo, Charmed

6
110 82
John-boy Walton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Waltons

7
140 112
Bart Simpson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Simpsons, The Tracey Ullman Show

8
109 88
Greg Brady is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour

9
93 87
Mike Seaver is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Growing Pains

10
103 84
Mary Ingalls is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Little House on the Prairie

11
111 95
Marcia Brady is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Brady Bunch, The Brady Kids, The Brady Bunch Hour

12
75 99
J.J. Evans is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Good Times

13
82 79
Keith Partridge is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Keith Partridge The Partridge Family

14
89 93
Robb Stark is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Game of Thrones

15
94 102
Denise Huxtable Kendall is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
The Cosby Show

16
97 77
Eric Matthews is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Girl Meets World, Boy Meets World

17
55 67
Prue Halliwell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
SlashLover added

18
69 66
Bridget Hennessy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
8 Simple Rules

19
70 82
Matt Camden is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
7th Heaven

20
54 76
Eddie Winslow is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Family Matters

21
25 23
Luke Duke is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
crystalbratcher5 added The Dukes of Hazzard

22
28 39
Theo Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
slaft added The Cosby Show

23
25 24
Bo Duke is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
crystalbratcher5 added The Dukes, The Dukes of Hazzard

24
24 34
Kyle Broflovski is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
Tom Islava added South Park

25
53 81
Dana Foster is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Oldest Children in TV History
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