I’m continuing my list of the best characters on TV right now. Will your favorite character be featured on my list? Find out as I get into the top 40. Be sure to check out 50-41, 60-51, 70-61, 80-71, 90-81 and 100-91.
40. Nick Miller (New Girl)
Nick is a comedic force to be reckoned with, whether he’s repeating “you gave me, you got cookie” over and over or talking about his firm belief that dinosaurs never existed. On top of the amazing punchlines he delivers, we’ve also gotten to see some nice character growth from him over the seasons as he at least tries to be a bit more responsible.
39. Shoshanna Shapiro (Girls)
Shoshanna is hands down the best part of Girls. Her quirkiness and constant assertiveness is equal parts endearing and off-putting, creating a unique character who’s as fun to laugh at as she is to root for.
38. Forrest MacNeil (Review)
Forrest’s unrelenting devotion to doing whatever the sadistic viewers’ of his show suggest has gone from amusing to legitimately fascinating. Through the character of Forrest, a range of activities, from eating a lot of pancakes to having an imaginary friend, have become brutal emotional struggles on the screen.
37. Dylan Massett (Bates Motel)
Dylan started off as a side character who couldn’t compete with Norma and Norman in terms of drama, but he’s emerged as something of a hero for the series. By the end of season three, he had gone from smirking side character to the one most actively trying to save everyone.
36. Maya Hart (Girl Meets World)
Maya is the kind of complex character shows aimed at teen girls need more of. She’s full of contradictions, the most wonderful of which is the fact that she’s both a survivor who’s learned to look out for herself and a deeply compassionate and protective person.
35. Frank Reynolds (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia)
Frank is completely fascinating in his bizarre behavior. His heartless, opportunistic streak is a great source of storylines for the show and his relationship to Charlie is easily one of the weirdest friendships TV has ever seen.
34. Dev Shah (Master of None)
Master of None is sweetly optimistic in the way almost every episode is about Dev really trying to learn someone else’s perspective or in some way improve. He’s an incredibly endearing character.
33. Riley Matthews (Girl Meets World)
What makes Riley so wonderful is that unlike Disney protagonists of years past (Lizzie McGuire, Miley Stewart) who are obsessed with changing themselves and hoping to win over the cooler kids, Riley is incredibly comfortable with who she is– while still being an awkward mess. Episodes like the one where Riley discovers she is terrible at art but still enjoys it, or the one where she’s terrible at cheerleading but still enjoys it, are absolutely inspiring.
32. Jared Dunn (Silicon Valley)
Jared is always good for an incredible one-liner or a deeply sad aside. His unwavering support for Richard makes him a great sidekick and his bubbly nature provides a good contrast to the rest of Pied Piper gang.
31. Todd Chavez (BoJack Horseman)
BoJack’s loyal sidekick, voiced with infectious enthusiasm by Aaron Paul, is hilarious and sweet. He captures what it’s like when you’re life is just a series of loosely-connected misadventures. He teaches you to appreciate the little wins in life.