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.