Top 10 TV Geniuses

Script written by Niki Neptune. They may be on the small screen, but they’re still brainy powerhouses. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 TV geniuses. For this list, we’re taking a look at those characters from television shows that display some pretty fascinating feats of intellect. These geniuses manage to thrill and astound, and while that may be thanks entirely to the writers, we can’t help but to be seriously impressed. However, only humans need apply to this list. Special thanks to our users sarahjessicaparkerth, AstrixLight, Adam Kianchehr, Mariogamefreak1, moetsikwe@gmail.com, Philip Folta, Grant M Darov, DrKnockers05, Samone Beauford, gamerN77, top10fan, Pumpkimelon, bigpapazagon, PyroLegz91, john.tonderys and gamingtyphon for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Niki Neptune.

Top 10 TV Geniuses


They may be on the small screen, but they’re still brainy powerhouses. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 TV geniuses.

For this list, we’re taking a look at those characters from television shows that display some pretty fascinating feats of intellect. These geniuses manage to thrill and astound, and while that may be thanks entirely to the writers, we can’t help but to be seriously impressed. However, only humans need apply to this list.

#10: Angus MacGyver
“MacGyver” (1985-92)

If nothing else, this man knew how to survive. Usually, secret agents carry fancy weapons, big ole guns or they’re equipped with high-tech gadgets designed to get them out of sticky situations; they just don’t create them on the fly. But this diplomatic dude just so happened to be the Bill Nye of not getting murdered, as well as vocally anti-gun, so his on-the-spot genius, science training and trusty Swiss Army knife managed to save a whole bunch of lives more than a few times.

#9: Spencer Reid
“Criminal Minds” (2005-)

He may be a little socially awkward; he may show signs of Asperger’s Syndrome, but this character is actually, literally a genius. As in, a 187 IQ-slash-child prodigy-slash-can read an entire book in the span of a long burp type of genius. It’d make sense that he’d join the FBI and put his smarts and photographic memory to good use cracking cases as the Behavioral Analysis Unit’s youngest member. Plus, with his multiple degrees, and his expertise in stats, geographic profiling, and old-timey serial killers, he’s a great asset.

#8: Mike Ross
“Suits” (2011-)

Why bother with law school when your eidetic memory lets you to pass the bar without it? At the very least, you’re saving on tuition. That’s what this character did, and it’s working to his advantage. Being a genius sometimes means you get to skip the middleman. In this case, Mike wasn’t head of the class: he skipped the class and went straight to work, under the tutelage of Harvey Specter. Except, he never learned to control his emotions, so he sometimes gets too invested in his cases.

#7: Doogie Howser
“Doogie Howser, M.D.” (1989-93)

We’ve all been there: one minute, you’ve mastered potty training and the next, you’re a 16-year-old resident physician still living with your parents. It’s common enough. Seriously, this child prodigy puts our honor roll achievements to shame. While we were celebrating our five gold stars for the week, he was acing the SATs. And that’s just his kindergarten years. But what inspired Doogie to enter the medical profession? His two childhood bouts with leukemia.

#6: Michael Scofield
“Prison Break” (2005-09)

What do you do when you’re super-smart, super-empathetic, and your brother is wrongfully sentenced to death? You use that big, beautiful brain of yours to concoct an elaborate scheme to get him out of prison before he’s killed. While being an incredibly talented and obviously sharp structural engineer can fall on the dull side, you can just spice things up by brilliantly committing a crime to get yourself sent to jail. Then, you design an elaborate tattoo that outlines the prison’s blueprint and use that to bust out! Easy-peasy.

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

He’s just your run-of-the-mill, everyday, socially awkward nerd… except he’s a theoretical physicist. Oh, and he used to be a child prodigy. Oh, and he has a genius level IQ and earned his first PhD at age 16. But that’s offset by his condescending and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. That means his interpersonal skills are somewhat hampered, but he has managed to make some friends, so at least there’s that. Plus, it’s always handy to have a theoretical physicist around in case you need one – idiosyncratic as he may be.

#4: Walter White
“Breaking Bad” (2008-13)

Going from suburban dad to drug lord in the blink of an eye means you have at least some degree of intelligence. In Mr. White’s case, he seems to have ALL the intelligence. Once a gifted chemist who co-founded an ultra-successful company, Walt made a bonehead move by cashing out and ending up teaching high-school chemistry. However, when cancer came his way, his superior intellect not only had him producing the best meth going, it also kept him from becoming a victim of the drug life more than once.

#3: Gregory House
“House” (2004-12)

Say what you will about bedside manner, but this petulant physician will save your life, then make you wish he hadn’t. And it’s not because he hates his patients; he hates everyone. House is a tortured diagnostician with a gift for figuring out what ails people, because he just can’t leave a puzzle unsolved. Plus, his sharp and sarcastic wit, cynical outlook and curmudgeonly attitude make him pretty miserable to be around. He’s actually lucky he’s a genius, because he’s not gonna to win him Miss Congeniality anytime soon.

#2: Walter Bishop
“Fringe” (2008-13)

It’s one thing to have impressive scientific skills and a 196 IQ; it’s quite another to be so smart you create a portal to another universe and alter the fabric of time and space. Eccentric would be the nice way of describing him – especially after his partner secretly lobotomized him. But as genius as this mad scientist was, he was still a father; and when his baby boy grew ill, he used his advanced intellect to do some inter-dimensional kidnapping. For a good cause, of course.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Temperance “Bones” Brennan “Bones” (2005-)
- Will Graham “Hannibal” (2013-)
- Carrie Mathison “Homeland” (2011-)
- Patrick Jane “The Mentalist” (2008-)
- Edward “Fitz” Fitzgerald “Cracker” (1993-95)

#1: Sherlock Holmes
“Sherlock” (2010-)

No one plays the lofty genius better than this guy. He’s a top-notch detective, a real whiz when it comes to the crime solving, super-sleuthing and deducing. To top it off, he’s also kind of…detached – some might even call him a sociopath, but a high-functioning one at that. It’s an elite sort of intellectualism that can easily verge of on off-putting, put you can’t (or shouldn’t) begrudge him his genius because it’s what helps him solve crimes. At least he’s incredibly helpful.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite TV genius? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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