Watchworthy

The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated March 15, 2020 24.9k votes 2.2k voters 64.2k views 127 items

List Rules Best grumpy or curmudgeonly TV characters, both female and male

List of the best TV grumps. Male or female, these are the greatest grumpy TV characters -- television curmudgeons whose pessimistic rants and antics usually make viewers laugh. From the original great TV grumps, including Fred Sanford and Archie Bunker, to the new generation of grumpy TV characters such as Red Forman and Sue Sylvester, they’re all here.

 Why is it that we love TV’s curmudgeons? They’re unhappy, they complain, they’re pessimistic, and they often try to make everyone around them miserable, too. The best TV grumps remain lovable, however, because they tap into our own grumpy sides; besides, their rantings and predictions of doom and gloom often have no effect on anyone else. The other characters in a TV show know that they’re dealing with a grouch, and carry on accordingly. In some cases, of course, the greatest grumps on TV really do make others’ lives miserable, but the curmudgeonly, grumpy character usually gets what’s coming to him or her in the end, which makes it okay.

 The best grumps on television are usually funny, as well. Frank Costanza generally looks like he’s about to pop a blood vessel, but his ravings are hilarious. And underneath it all, many TV curmudgeons have a softer, warmer side. Who can blame a gentle-hearted person for putting up a mean front to protect their tender emotions? Viewers understand this about the best TV curmudgeons: They might seem mean, but they’re often concealing a caring personality -- and if they inspire a few laughs in the process, that’s all the better.

 This list contains the grumps on TV that viewers have both loved and hated, laughed at or felt sorry for. Both female and male TV curmudgeons are included; after all, women can be just as crabby as men. The list also makes no age distinction -- the best TV grouches are both young and old.

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list ordered by
1
Dr. Gregory House is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
2
Red Forman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
That '70s Show
3
Perry Cox is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Scrubs
4
Al Bundy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Married... with Children
5
Oscar the Grouch is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Oscar the Grouch Sesame Street
6
Sophia Petrillo is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
The Golden Girls
7
Sheldon Cooper is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
arcoiris-944 added The Big Bang Theory
8
Archie Bunker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
All in the Family
9
Frank Barone is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Everybody Loves Raymond
10
Moe Szyslak is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
wiabux added The Simpsons
11
April Ludgate is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Parks and Recreation
12
Martin Crane is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Frasier
13
Mr. Burns is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
The Simpsons
14
Frank Costanza is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Seinfeld
15
Sherlock Holmes is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
KatSeaton added Sherlock
Sherlock 2010
16
Bobby Singer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Supernatural
17
Ron Swanson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Parks and Recreation
18
Arthur Spooner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
bojanthebest added The King of Queens
19
Fred G. Sanford is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Sanford and Son
20
Waldorf is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
The Muppet Show
21
Squidward Tentacles is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Maryellen Elizabeth added SpongeBob SquarePants
22
Bob Kelso is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Scrubs
23
Fred Mertz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
I Love Lucy
24
Basil Fawlty is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Fawlty Towers
25
Stanley Hudson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
The Office (U.S.)