Watchworthy

The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated October 9, 2019 8.9k votes 901 voters 18.7k views 47 items

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.

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list ordered by
1
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
2
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
30 Rock
3
Olivia Benson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
4
Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Seinfeld
5
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
6
Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Friends
7
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
The Golden Girls
8
Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Friends
9
Samantha Jones is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
10
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Murphy Brown
11
Blanche Devereaux is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls
12
Grace Adler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Grace Adler Will & Grace
13
Robin Scherbatsky is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
How I Met Your Mother
14
Kelly Bundy is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Married... with Children
15
Debra Morgan is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Dexter
16
Temperance "Bones&q... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
17
Monica Geller is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Alaina Hillman added Friends
Before her and Chandler started dating. 
18
Britta Perry is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Community
19
Alice Nelson is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
RobLein added The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour
20
Sabrina Duncan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Charlie's Angels
21
Hilary Violet Banks is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
22
Laverne De Fazio is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Laverne & Shirley
23
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
24
Carrie Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries
25
Emma Peel is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
fezziwig added The Avengers