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The Greatest Token Minority Characters in Sitcoms

Updated July 7, 2020 4.4k votes 574 voters 14.1k views43 items

List RulesCharacters who are a different race or ethnicity than (almost) everyone else in the cast

List of the greatest token minority characters in sitcoms. This list contains the characters who were added to their respective casts as symbols of diversity, such as the one Black guy with six white friends or vice versa. From the token characters you’ve loved to watch to the token characters you couldn’t stand (but couldn’t stop watching), this list of great token minority characters contains them all.

 Why do TV producers feel the need to add token characters to a cast? Usually, the addition of a token minority can be attributed to one of two things (sometimes both): the producers want to appeal to a demographic that might not be attracted otherwise, or they want to defend themselves against claims that the show doesn’t represent the diversity of real life. Either way, these token minority characters sometimes become audience favorites. For an example, think of James "Toofer" Spurlock from “30 Rock.”

Perhaps the most commonly noted form of tokenism in sitcoms is that of the token Black character, who is usually tossed into an all-white cast. The greatest token minority characters aren’t necessarily Black, however. There have been plenty of all-Black shows who’ve added a sole white cast member or regular guest. Some of the top token characters represent other minority groups, including Asians, Indians, the handicapped, and homosexuals.

 This list consists of the best token minority characters from both past and currently running sitcoms. These token characters are of different ages, genders, and ethnicities, but they’re all one thing -- worthy of being included on this, the list of the greatest token minority characters in sitcom history.

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  • Token Black1
    245
    32

    Token Black

    South Park
  • Carl Carlson2
    155
    46

    Carl Carlson

    The Simpsons
  • Stanley Hudson3
    120
    43

    Stanley Hudson

    The Office
    The Office US
     
  • Cleveland Brown4
    130
    62

    Cleveland Brown

    The Cleveland Show, Family Guy
  • Fez5
    139
    73

    Fez

    That '70s Show
  • Raj Koothrappali6
    125
    66

    Raj Koothrappali

    The Big Bang Theory
  • Chef7
    64
    19

    Chef

    South Park
  • Tom Haverford8
    93
    59

    Tom Haverford

    Parks and Recreation
  • Dreama9
    68
    40

    Dreama

    Sabrina, the Teenage Witch
  • Stevie Kenarban10
    73
    55

    Stevie Kenarban

    Malcolm in the Middle
  • Johnny Williams11
    48
    38

    Johnny Williams

    Coach
  • Tootie Ramsey12
    63
    56

    Tootie Ramsey

    The Facts of Life
  • Venus Flytrap13
    66
    60

    Venus Flytrap

    WKRP in Cincinnati
  • Telly Radford14
    51
    43

    Telly Radford

    Salute Your Shorts
  • Jackie Chiles15
    58
    52
  • Olivia DuPris16
    47
    39

    Olivia DuPris

    Clarissa Explains it All
  • Winston Bishop17
    58
    54
  • Chuck Mitchell18
    44
    39

    Chuck Mitchell

    Roseanne
  • Kelly Kapoor19
    64
    64

    Kelly Kapoor

    The Office: Subtle Sexuality, The Office
  • Ivy Wentz20
    27
    20

    Ivy Wentz

    Good Luck Charlie
  • Toni21
    40
    38

    Toni

    Blossom
  • Nancy Bartlett22
    37
    35

    Nancy Bartlett

    Roseanne
  • Calvin23
    36
    36

    Calvin

    Freaks and Geeks
  • Maggie Lauten24
    38
    39

    Maggie Lauten

    A Different World
  • Markus Redmond25
    35
    35

    Markus Redmond

    Doogie Howser, M.D.