There is no real way to choose the 10 best TV show characters of all time. There are so many amazing characters from a wide variety of genres–comedies, dramas and cartoons–that no list can make everyone happy. However, all of the TV show characters below are iconic characters enjoyed by audiences and they all have had enormous cultural impact.
- Archie Bunker. His bigoted and backward views made him a very flawed character, but this TV show character from "All in the Family" was more of a sociological product of his upbringing than a genuinely bad person. And his character did grow–over the years his views shifted and eventually he became a more accepting person.
- Lucy Ricardo. Lucy from "I Love Lucy" is one of the best TV show characters of all time for her comedic genius. Not only was she a female comedian in a time when female comedians were quite rare, she is hilarious by any standard. She had "it." Her very presence makes people laugh and when she tries to be funny, those laughs can turn into outright guffaws.
- Omar Little. From "Mad Men," Omar Little is a truly complex and unique character. He is a gay stick-up man who has very strict moral rules and chooses not to use foul language.
- Arthur Fonzarelli (The Fonz). The very essence of cool, "The Fonz" from "Happy Days" can do no wrong. Not only is he a slick ladies man, he is true to his friends and is a genuinely good person.
- Frasier Crane. If a character has existed on television for over twenty years (on both "Cheers" and "Frasier"), it has to be a good character. Frasier Crane is a pretentious, moral, kind, egotistical and, at times, silly psychiatrist who can easily win the hearts of audience members.
- Homer Simpson. A perfect bumbling family man and TV show character, "The Simpsons" patriarch is loving yet clueless. His trademark "Doh!" has captured the nation and his hilarious antics have inspired decades of laughter.
- Captain Jean-Luc Picard. "Star Trek: The Next Generation" has legions of dedicated fans and owes much of its popularity to the strong presence of Captain Picard. This strong, moral and dashing captain inspires courage and dedication in his followers.
- Tony Soprano. This Mafia boss is no one-dimensional character. "The Sopranos" lead character has a big conscience and love for his family and his flaws and human qualities are what make him a great TV show character.
- Gregory House. Dr. House from "House" is a brilliant, sarcastic and downright rude TV show character that saves the lives of patients who have mysterious illnesses. Both viewers and his colleagues find him charming and he does not mind this fact.
- Cosmo Kramer. Kramer is the type of character that audiences start to laugh at before he even does anything. The "Seinfeld" funnyman charms audiences with his quirkiness, physical comedy and general cluelessness.
What Others Are Reading Right Now.
Acting, comedy and strong spirits converge in Speakeasy. When host Paul F. Tompkins interviews entertainers—Key and Peele, Alison Brie, Rob Delaney, Zach Galifianakis—about all sor …
Made Man Food Shows
We all love great food—and the people who make it! Our culinary video series introduces you to the country's best chefs and experts, so you can become one yourself. Pull up a chair …