OT: Your Top 25 TV Characters of all-time

Submitted by BeatOSU52 on July 13th, 2018 at 8:28 PM

1.  Don Draper (Mad Men)

2.  Michael Scott (The Office)

3.  Homer Simpson (The Simpsons)

4.  Hank Hill (King of the Hill)

5.  Tony Soprano  (The Sopranos)

6.  Stringer Bell  (The Wire)

7.  Selina Meyer (Veep)

8.  Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul)

9.  Ron Swanson  (Parks and Rec) 

10.  Randy Marsh (South Park) 

11.  Ted Talbot (Rectify)

12.  Gustavo Fring  (Breaking Bad / Better Call Saul)

13.  Philip Jennings (The Americans)

14.  Omar Little (The Wire)

15.  Richard Harrow (Boardwalk Empire)

16.  Ruth Fisher (Six Feet Under)  

17.  Daniel Holden (Rectify)  

18.  Tyrion Lanister (Game of Thrones)

19.  Chris Moltisanti (The Sopranos)

20.  Leslie Knope (Parks and Rec) 

21.  Sue Heck  (The Middle) 

22.  Phil Dunphy (Modern Family) 

23.   Brian (Family Guy)  

24.  Harvey Specter (Suits)

25.   Nelson Van Alden (Boardwalk Empire)


Honorable/Special mention (Mostly characters not having quite enough screen-time to crack it):  Ned Stark (Game of Thrones), D'Angelo Barksdale (The Wire),  Bunny Colvin (The Wire),  Rusty Cohle (True Detective),, Sally Draper (Mad Men),  Luis Stevens (Even Stevens),  NobusukeTagomi (The Man in the High Castle)


Just missed the cut:    Mike McLintock (Veep),  Dwight Schrute (The Office)  , Dr. Jenna James (Getting On),  Elliot Anderson (Mr. Robot)



Two things:

Yes, I admit that there is a pretty big major recency bias involved in my selection based on what shows I have watched

-Yes, top 25 is a lot so obviously feel free to just make top 5, 10, ect



July 13th, 2018 at 9:44 PM ^

Not in any order

mr ed

andy griffith

kwi chang cane (kung fu)

capt kirk

wonder woman (the original)

adam 12

dragnet dudes

the hulk 

that's a start anyway.  


July 13th, 2018 at 9:59 PM ^

Great topic, I feel like I could go on forever but here are some of my favorites:


Sawyer- Lost

Ben Linus- Lost

Frank Underwood- house of cards

Tim Riggins- Friday Night Lights

Fox Mulder & Dana Scully-X-Files

Khal Drogo- Game of Thrones

Arya Stark- Game of Thrones

Elliot Anderson- Mr. Robot

Uncle Phil- Fresh Prince

James and Alyssa- End of the fu***** world. 









July 13th, 2018 at 10:28 PM ^

No order other than rough chronology.

Lucy Ricardo

Ed Norton

Matt Dillon

Barney Fife

Fred Flintstone

Joe Friday

James T. Kirk

Archie Bunker

Mary Richards

Fred Sanford

Hawkeye Pierce

Thomas Magnum

JR Ewing

The Fonz

Cliff Clavin

Sonny Crockett

Al Bundy

Homer Simpson


Tony Soprano

Al Swearengen 

Michael Scott

Walter White

Don Draper

Raylan Givens



July 14th, 2018 at 6:27 AM ^

I would add two:

Radar O'Reilly - Gary Burghoff might have been the best actor on that show. Once he made the decision to leave, not only was Radar gone, but Klinger got out of the dresses (where he was hilarious) and into the clerk's job. It made him less funny.

Reverend Jim (Taxi) - So many great moments, but none more so than "What does a yellow light mean?"


July 13th, 2018 at 10:44 PM ^

Jim Rockford and Barney Miller are two of my favorites, but I think Angel Martin from Rockford Files may be top of the list for me, though he only appeared in about 1/3 of the episodes.


July 13th, 2018 at 11:04 PM ^

Top three in order.  The rest as they popped into my head.

1.  Walter White

2.  Tony Soprano

3.  Don Draper

4.  Sam Malone

5.  Archie Bunker

6.  Al Bundy

7.  Jerry Seinfeld

8.  Cosmo Kramer

9.  Dexter Morgan

10.  Peter Griffin

11.  Eric Cartman

12.  Mike Erhmentraut

13.  Fraser Crane

14.  Hawkeye Pierce

15.  Fred Sanford

16.  Barney Stinson

17.  Carrie Matheson

18.  Michael Scott

19.  Harvey Spector

20.  George Jefferson

21.  Saul Goodman

22.  Jesse Pinkman

23.  George Costanza

24.  Thomas Shelby

25.  Arthur Shelby



July 14th, 2018 at 8:49 AM ^

In deference to my avatar (Captain Hindsight), this list could have / should have included...


Should have.......

Alex P. Keaton

Bob Hartley / Dick Loudon


Could have.......

Gabe Kaplan (also Arnold Horshack and Vinnie Barbarino)

Frank Columbo

Jack Tripper / Janet Wood / Chrissy Snow


Stretching a bit but I liked them / they made me laugh......

Larry / Moe / Curly 

Benny Hill

Matt Foley



July 15th, 2018 at 9:53 AM ^

Had to throw you an upvote for Benny Hill. Not that he was one of the best characters on TV, nor was he particularly inventive. Many of his jokes had a layer of dust on them ("She's wearing so much perfume that if she stands still, she leaves a puddle.") But gag after gag, the man seemed like he was enjoying himself so much that it was hard not to laugh.

Plus, the girls ("Hill's Angels") didn't hurt.

Hotel Putingrad

July 13th, 2018 at 11:32 PM ^

1. J.R. Ewing

2. Dan Fielding

3. Q

4. Niles Crane, Frasier Crane (tie)

5. Alex P. Keaton

6. Archie Bunker

7. George Jefferson

8. Stan Beeman

9. Lowell Mather

10. Al Borland

Ron Utah

July 14th, 2018 at 12:12 AM ^

OP list is more like the best characters  this century. Here’s an unordered, partial list of some greats that go further back:

  • Captain Kirk
  • Spock
  • Beavis
  • The Fonz
  • Jack & Karen (Will and Grace)
  • Rose & Sophia (Golden Girls)
  • Niles Crane
  • Sydney Bristow
  • Cliff, Clair, and Denise Huxtable
  • Carlton and the Fresh Prince
  • Violet Crowley
  • Frank Underwood 
  • Vic Mackey
  • Kermit and Gonzo
  • Roseanne 
  • Jack Bauer and David Palmer
  • Larry David
  • Abed, Jeff, and Pierce
  • Scully and Mulder
  • Tracey Jordan
  • Picard and Data
  • Sipowicz 
  • Zach Morrison
  • Basically everyone in the West Wing, particularly Josh, CJ, and Charlie
  • George And Jerry
  • Steve Urkel
  • Hannibal, Murdock, and BA
  • Sheldon Cooper
  • Dev Shah
  • Bull Shannon
  • Gilligan 
  • Mork
  • Alex Keaton
  • Arnold Jackson
  • Murphy Brown
  • Peter, Stewie, and Brian Griffin
  • Marie and Robert Barone
  • Martin Payne
  • Al Bundy
  • Sherlock
  • Rustin Cohle


July 14th, 2018 at 12:15 AM ^

No order, but here goes:

Al Bundy

Cosmo Kramer

Archie Bunker

captain Kirk

Michael Weston

Harvey Spector

Michael Scott

Barney from How I Met Your Mother

Tony Soprano 


July 14th, 2018 at 1:29 AM ^

1. Kramer

2. George

3. Jerry

4. Elaine

5  Newman 

6. Frank costanza 

7. Estelle costanza

8. Soup nazi

9. Close talker

10. Toby (heckler)

11. Mr. Pitt 

12. Susan

13. Man hands

14. Pakiderm

15. The Drake

16. Jackie Childs 

17. Babu 

18. The virgin 

19. Uncle Leo

20. Morty Seinfeld 

21. Helen Seinfeld

22. Banya 

23. David Putty

24. Peterman

25. Bob Sakamano 


July 14th, 2018 at 9:05 AM ^

I like where your head is at. Seinfeld is the greatest television show of all time IMO.


My (abbreviated) List...


  • George Costanza
  • Frank Costanza
  • Newman
  • Cosmo Kramer
  • Morty Seinfeld
  • Jay Peterman

News Radio

  • Jimmy James
  • Bill McNeal

Game of Thrones

  • Littlefinger
  • Varys
  • Sir Davos
  • The Hound


  • Selina Meyer
  • Gary Walsh


  • Butters!
  • Cartman
  • Big Gay Al

The Simpsons

  • Charles Montgomery Burns
  • Smithers
  • Lionel Hutz

Curb Your Enthusiasm

  • Larry David

Magnum P.I.

  • Jonathan Quail Higgins

Star Trek

  • Spock

Star Trek: The Next Generation

  • Data
  • Q


July 14th, 2018 at 6:40 AM ^

While doing some late-night channel flipping a couple of weeks ago, I came across him in an episode of "The Rat Patrol" under his real name, Hans Gudegast. He popped up in a lot of episodes of "Combat," too.

And my girlfriend would approve of your grandmother's taste. She's had a crush on Eric Braeden for years. She was heartbroken when he didn't survive in "Titanic."