Top 10 TV Characters Destined to be Iconic
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Top 10 TV Characters Destined to be Iconic

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Francesca LaMantia
We're willing to wager that these are the current TV character that will become iconic in the future. We'll be looking at contemporary popular small screen characters who, given their cultural impact, are likely to be remembered fondly and remain influential for years to come. Decades from now, we'll still be talking about these fictional individuals. WatchMojo ranks the current TV characters that will become iconic in the future. Which TV character do you think will be iconic someday? Let us know in the comments!
Decades from now, we’ll still be talking about these fictional individuals. Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 current TV characters that will become iconic in the future.

For this list, we’ll be looking at contemporary popular small screen characters who, given their cultural impact, are likely to be remembered fondly and remain influential for years to come. We will, however, be avoiding characters from shows that have already been over for a couple of years, like Don Draper, or characters that are already considered iconic, like Stewie Griffin. Warning: This will include spoilers.

#10: Dolores Abernathy
“Westworld” (2016-)

She may have been programmed to be a simple rancher’s daughter, but Dolores Abernathy is no damsel. She is one of the original hosts of Westworld, a theme park designed to give its visitors the authentic old west experience. But each time she gets updated, she grows more aware of her own existence and eventually starts to deviate from her programming. Using both her brains and her brawn, the more she learns about who and what she is, the more she takes control of her own life. In this modern era of female driven stories, Dolores is sure to go down in history as an iconic feminist character.

#9: Elliot Alderson
“Mr. Robot” (2015-)

Cyber security engineer by day, vigilante hacker by night. Interestingly, most of Elliot's character is revealed through his voiceover, describing the world around him. But he is not always a reliable narrator, as the audience experiences Elliot’s world through the lens of his internal struggle with social anxiety and clinical depression. With so much going on in the mind of our narrator and protagonist, it’s up to us to distinguish truth from paranoid perception. This unusual form of character development is what makes Elliot not only memorable, but also so refreshing - there’s no one else like him on television, though we suspect he’ll go on to inspire a whole new breed of small screen protagonists.

#8: James Morgan ‘Jimmy’ McGill / Saul Goodman
“Better Call Saul” (2015-)

Originally appearing in “Breaking Bad” as Walter and Jesse’s shark lawyer, in this prequel series, Jimmy McGill is a former criminal lawyer turned sleazy ambulance chaser, ready to reinvent himself. With the help of a cheesy television commercial, he kisses Jimmy McGill goodbye and Saul Goodman is born. Though his techniques are shady, you have to admire his drive and dedication. His ruthless tactics take him from an attorney for the elderly to the go-to lawyer for drug lords. Played superbly by Bob Odenkirk, Jimmy McGill, aka Saul Goodman, is well on his way to becoming a modern legend, much like Walter White before him.

#7: Selina Meyer
“Veep” (2012-)

In this political comedy, Julia Louis-Dreyfus plays the plucky underdog. After a failed bid for the Presidency, she accepts the job of Vice President to the winning candidate. This timely character is a humorous representation of the struggles faced by any woman in power. With her driving ambition and awkward charms, Selina goes from a failed Presidential nominee to the actual President of the United States, even if only briefly. In fact she is the first, and only woman to ever serve as both Vice President, and President. It would be an understatement to say that she made the most of her time in the Oval Office - President Meyers will not soon be forgotten.

#6: Sheldon Cooper
“The Big Bang Theory” (2007-)

He’s not crazy… his mother had him tested. He's the lovably annoying, quirky genius that’s helped make geek the new chic. This show might often center around the relationship between Leonard and Penny, but Sheldon steals the show. In fact, he has become so popular that he recently got his own spinoff exploring his childhood. Sheldon may not always understand humor, but his unknowingly narcissistic personality provides the show with its specific brand of comedy. His memorable quirks, such as his three door knock and his infamous “spot” are legendary, while his bazingas are pure gold.

#5: Daryl Dixon
“The Walking Dead” (2010-)

Already more popular than anyone could have predicted, this fan favorite character was made for the zombie apocalypse. His aggressive personality, as well as his unparalleled skills in hunting, tracking, and navigation, make him an essential part of the walker fighting team. Yes, Daryl is a real man’s man, but he is more than just the muscle. It’s his gentle and compassionate side that make him a true ally to Rick Grimes, the protector of the group and arguably the heart of the series (at least for 9 seasons). In a show full of larger than life characters, Daryl manages to stand out in all the best possible ways.

#4: Rick Sanchez
“Rick and Morty” (2013-)

Based on another beloved duo, Rick and Morty work as a dark riff on the time traveling adventurers Doc Brown and Marty McFly from “Back to the Future”. Much like Doc Brown, Rick is an eccentric, mad scientist fascinated with traveling through space and time. But unlike his inspiration, he is famous, or rather infamous, for his drunk and reckless behavior. His, let’s call it questionable morality, cynical world view, and disregard for human life, are ironically, what make this character so memorable. He’s not the sort of person you want in your life, but so long as he’s relegated to the world of a fictional series, people can’t get enough Rick!

#3: June Osbourne / Offred
“The Handmaid’s Tale” (2017-)

In the near future, infertility has swept the nation and an oppressive regime by the name of Gilead has taken control. Under the new sexist, classist government, the few women who are still able to have children are forced into servitude as surrogates for the elite. June, our protagonist, and who’s given the name Offred under the government, becomes involved in the rebellion, but unlike most other fictional rebellions, theirs is not grounded in war and violence. Offred uses her powers of eloquence and manipulation to attack the regime from the inside. Especially in these current times of women’s marches and government protests, Offred is a particularly relevant character - one that will surely be remembered as a cultural icon.

#2: Eleven
“Stranger Things” (2016-)

The lives of Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will changed forever the moment they met Eleven. This pint-sized hero, with an affinity for Eggos, might have been trained for devious purposes, but she uses her psychokinetic powers for good to help her friends and save their town from the Upside Down. Played superbly by the talented young Millie Bobby Brown, Eleven speaks volumes despite having an incredibly limited vocabulary. Eleven shows determination, a fierce sense of loyalty and the ability to overcome great hardship and trauma. Despite her young age, this little heroine has taught viewers a whole lot, and in doing so, she’s more than earned a spot among the greats.

Before we unveil our top pick here are a few honorable mentions:

Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren
“Orange Is the New Black” (2013-)

Nora Durst
“The Leftovers” (2014-17)

#1: Tyrion Lannister
“Game of Thrones” (2011-)

He may be unappreciated in his own time, but Tyrion Lannister will be remembered fondly for decades to come. Confusing his short stature and frail body for weakness would be a grave mistake; just ask any of those who underestimated him within the show. Rejected by his family and mocked by his peers, Tyrion has had to become fiercely independent to survive. While many of his opponents are overly reliant on brute force, it’s Tyrion’s cunning and intellect that make him everyone’s favorite player in the Game Of Thrones, and a true icon in the making.