Female Characters The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History  

Ranker TV
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8.1k votes 825 voters 17.6k views 46 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.

1
296 174
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Liz Lemon 30 Rock

2
243 133
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
166 123
Mary Richards is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show

4
264 139
Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Phoebe Buffay Friends

5
215 80
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Buffy Summers Buffy the Vampire Slayer

6
82 110
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

7
213 132
Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Elaine Benes Seinfeld

8
121 74
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

9
127 141
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Murphy Brown Murphy Brown

10
170 141
Samantha Jones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

11
60 101
Elaine O'Connor-Nardo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

12
176 135
Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Rachel Green Friends

13
45 84
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
135 93
Blanche Devereaux is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Blanche Devereaux The Golden Palace, The Golden Girls

15
33 70
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

16
77 119
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Ally McBeal Ally, Ally McBeal

17
121 118
Kelly Bundy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Kelly Bundy Married... with Children

18
95 58
Monica Geller is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Alaina Hillman added Monica Geller Friends - Before her and Chandler started dating. 

19
89 90
Debra Morgan is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Debra Morgan Dexter

20
89 119
Carrie Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries

21
163 80
Grace Adler is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Grace Adler Will & Grace

22
14 20
Ann Romano is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Ann Romano One Day at a Time

23
55 34
Alice Nelson is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
RobLein added Alice Nelson The Brady Bunch, The Brady Bunch Hour

24
67 78
Peggy Olson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Peggy Olson Mad Men

25
159 94
Robin Scherbatsky is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Robin Scherbatsky How I Met Your Mother

26
34 61
Patsy Stone is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Patsy Stone

27
39 51
Sabrina Duncan is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Sabrina Duncan Charlie's Angels

28
49 75
Betty Suarez is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Betty Suarez Ugly Betty

29
29 42
Christine Cagney is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Christine Cagney Cagney & Lacey

30
63 70
Britta Perry is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Britta Perry Community

31
115 73
Temperance

32
58 77
Laverne De Fazio is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Laverne De Fazio Laverne & Shirley

33
28 30
Sally Rogers is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
RobLein added Sally Rogers The Dick Van Dyke Show

34
56 79
Shirley Feeney is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Shirley Feeney Laverne & Shirley

35
61 87
Serena van der Woodsen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

36
43 62
Ann Romano is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Ann Romano One Day at a Time

37
25 39
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
83 74
Hilary Violet Banks is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Hilary Banks The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

39
40 36
Emma Peel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
fezziwig added Emma Peel The Avengers

40
64 68
Sarah Braverman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Sarah Braverman Parenthood

41
65 72
Dee Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Dee Reynolds

42
69 80
Mindy Lahiri is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Mindy Lahiri The Mindy Project

43
37 65
Caroline Duffy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Caroline Duffy Caroline in the City

44
40 76
Julia Baker is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Julia Baker Julia

45
14 67
Veronica Chase is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Veronica Chase Veronica's Closet

46
13 68
Susan Keane is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Susan Keane Suddenly Susan