female characters The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History  

Ranker TV
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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
289 173
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Liz Lemon 30 Rock

2
234 132
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
163 121
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
255 136
Phoebe Buffay is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Phoebe Buffay Friends

5
213 77
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
80 108
Diane Chambers is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

7
207 130
Elaine Benes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Elaine Benes Seinfeld

8
118 73
Dorothy Zbornak is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls

9
126 140
Murphy Brown is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Murphy Brown Murphy Brown

10
167 139
Samantha Jones is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

11
60 99
Elaine O'Connor-Nardo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

12
173 132
Rachel Green is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Rachel Green Friends

13
45 83
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
132 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

The Creepiest Characters in TV History

15
33 69
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
120 117
Kelly Bundy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Kelly Bundy Married... with Children

17
74 118
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Ally McBeal Ally, Ally McBeal

18
91 55
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
88 117
Carrie Bradshaw is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City, The Carrie Diaries

20
87 90
Debra Morgan is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Debra Morgan Dexter

21
157 79
Grace Adler is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Grace Adler Will & Grace

The Best Survivor Contestants That Ever Played

22
13 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
54 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 77
Peggy Olson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Peggy Olson Mad Men

25
155 92
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 60
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 50
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 73
Betty Suarez is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Betty Suarez Ugly Betty

The Greatest Misunderstood Teens in TV History

29
63 69
Britta Perry is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Britta Perry Community

30
28 42
Christine Cagney is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
CB Ladnier added Christine Cagney Cagney & Lacey

31
110 73
Temperance

32
58 76
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 29
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 78
Shirley Feeney is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Shirley Feeney Laverne & Shirley

35
61 86
Serena van der Woodsen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History

The Best Re-Casting of Famous TV Roles

36
42 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
23 36
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
81 73
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
38 35
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 71
Dee Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Dee Reynolds

41
62 68
Sarah Braverman is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Sarah Braverman Parenthood

42
67 78
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 64
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 74
Julia Baker is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Julia Baker Julia

45
14 65
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 66
Susan Keane is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Perpetually Single Women in TV History
Susan Keane Suddenly Susan