Entertainment

The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History  

Ranker TV
Originally by
22.5k votes 2k voters 61.2k views 121 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.

list ordered by
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26
Lois is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Malcolm in the Middle
27
George Jefferson is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
OCD Man added The Jeffersons
28
Daisy
The Beverly Hillbillies
29
Grampa Simpson is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
The Simpsons
30
Leroy Jethro Gibbs is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
StaB added NCIS
31
Becker is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Becker
32
Fred Mertz is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
I Love Lucy
33
Ralph Kramden is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
The Honeymooners
34
Jay Pritchett is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Modern Family
35
Louie De Palma is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
willyboymcoy added Taxi
36
George Costanza is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
slaft added Seinfeld
37
Newman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Seinfeld
38
Fred Flintstone is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
slaft added The Flintstones
39
Frank Burns is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
beernbugs added M*A*S*H
40
Sue Sylvester is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
41
Liz Lemon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Keshvar Alikhani added 30 Rock
42
Thelma Harper is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Mama's Family
43
Carla Tortelli is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Maryellen Elizabeth added Cheers
44
Lou Grant is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
The Mary Tyler Moore Show
45
The Skipper is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
Maryellen Elizabeth added Gilligan's Island
46
Nick Miller is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
willyboymcoy added New Girl
47
Andy Sipowicz is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
NYPD Blue
48
Moe Howard is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
slaft added
49
Henry Spencer is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
50
Patty and Selma is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Most Beloved Grumps in TV History
liriodendron added The Simpsons