TV The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History  

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List Rules Single female TV characters who never settle down or date lots of men throughout the series

List of the best female characters who are perpetually single in television history, as ranked by television critics and fans. Often female characters can be defined by the guy whose arm she’s on. Not so with the women on this list. These women are not defined by the men they date, but rather their strong personalities and ambitious career tracks. Many of the characters on this list are much more serious about their careers than their dating life, such as Law and Order SVU’s Detective Olivia Benson and Mad Men’s Peggy Olson. Other female characters are simply unlucky when it comes to the people they date, like Mindy Lahiri and Elaine Benes. Some of the women simply aren’t interested in long-term relationships, like Friends’s Phoebe Buffay.

This list answers the question, “Who are the best single female characters in TV history?” The characters range from past feminist icons like Mary Richards to contemporary women who have broken stereotypes about how women should date, such as Sex in The City’s Samantha Jones.

The female characters on this list may have had a history of dating a lot but they are often seen as heroes for single women, making them among the best female characters of all time.

list ordered by

1
197 150
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Liz Lemon 30 Rock

The Creepiest Characters in TV History The Best Action Shows Since 2015

2
150 112
Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Olivia Benson Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

3
167 51
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer

4
103 98
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show

5
179 103
Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Phoebe Buffay Friends

6
65 70
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

7
145 106
Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Elaine Benes Seinfeld

8
92 113
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Murphy Brown Murphy Brown

9
120 109
Samantha Jones is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

10
58 51
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

11
45 74
Elaine O'Connor-Nardo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

12
115 88
Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Rachel Green Friends

13
31 56
Edina Monsoon is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Edina Monsoon Absolutely Fabulous

14
26 42
Ann Romano is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Ann Romano One Day at a Time

15
22 44
Victoria Barkley is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Victoria Barkley The Big Valley

The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History The Best Re-Casting of Famous TV Roles

16
84 69
Blanche Devereaux is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Blanche Devereaux The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

17
44 22
Monica Geller is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Alaina Hillman added Monica Geller Friends - Before her and Chandler started dating. 

18
66 77
Carrie Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries

19
92 94
Kelly Bundy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Kelly Bundy Married... with Children

20
55 85
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Ally McBeal Ally, Ally McBeal

21
26 32
Patsy Stone is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Patsy Stone

22
63 65
Debra Morgan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Debra Morgan Dexter

23
26 25
Sabrina Duncan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Sabrina Duncan Charlie's Angels

24
113 68
Robin Scherbatsky is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Robin Scherbatsky How I Met Your Mother

25
103 62
Grace Adler is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Grace Adler Will & Grace

26
51 49
Britta Perry is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Britta Perry Community

27
46 56
Peggy Olson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Peggy Olson Mad Men

28
18 21
Christine Cagney is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Christine Cagney Cagney & Lacey

29
20 13
Alice Nelson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
RobLein added Alice Nelson The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour

The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History Awesome Superpowers We'd Give Anything to Have

30
31 49
Betty Suarez is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Betty Suarez Ugly Betty

31
43 57
Laverne De Fazio is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Laverne De Fazio Laverne & Shirley

32
71 58
Temperance

33
40 59
Shirley Feeney is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Shirley Feeney Laverne & Shirley

34
39 61
Serena van der Woodsen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

35
8 13
Sally Rogers is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
RobLein added Sally Rogers The Dick Van Dyke Show

36
61 55
Hilary Violet Banks is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Hilary Banks The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

37
9 15
Ms. Cartman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Tom Islava added Ms. Cartman South Park

38
26 19
Emma Peel is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
fezziwig added Emma Peel The Avengers

39
52 52
Dee Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Dee Reynolds

40
49 52
Sarah Braverman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Sarah Braverman Parenthood

41
31 46
Caroline Duffy is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Caroline Duffy Caroline in the City

42
41 60
Mindy Lahiri is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Mindy Lahiri The Mindy Project

43
31 57
Julia Baker is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Julia Baker Julia

44
13 45
Veronica Chase is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Veronica Chase Veronica's Closet

45
12 47
Susan Keane is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Susan Keane Suddenly Susan