Top 10 Memorable Television Characters of the 2010s

script written by Nathan Sharp This decade continued the cable trend and even introduced web-based original content that changed the way we view television. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 memorable TV characters of the 2010s. For our series on the Top 10 Memorable TV Characters Per Decade, we're looking at those characters that were critically and culturally significant, and became synonymous with the 2010s' TV culture. Special thanks to our user mac121mr0 for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Memorable Television Characters of the 2010s

This decade continued the cable trend and even introduced web-based original content that changed the way we view television. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 memorable TV characters of the 2010s.

For our series on the Top 10 Memorable TV Characters Per Decade, we’re looking at those characters that were critically and culturally significant, and became synonymous with the 2010s’ TV culture. To make the list, the shows had to have started in 2009 or later, as the characters in question would have made their impact in the 2010s.

#10: Melody ‘Mellie’ Grant
“Scandal” (2012-)

Mellie Grant, First Lady of the United States, is a cold and calculating woman, but one that has a heart and loves her family deeply. Mellie is extremely intelligent, making her fun to watch as she manipulates and outsmarts her competitors. As she stands as a competitor to the show’s main character, Olivia Pope, Mellie’s bad side is sure to garner criticism from viewers, as she is willing to do anything to stay in power. However, she also has a good side, taking careof her husband and giving up her former career for him. She’s a complex character, and one we love to watch develop.

#9: John Luther
“Luther” (2010-13)

John Luther, played convincingly by English actor Idris Elba, is a detective chief inspector for the Metropolitan Police Service, but like most memorableantiheroes on TV today, he is willing to go above and beyond to apprehend criminals. He’s often breaking the law himself in order to arrest wrongdoers, by, for example, planting evidence. Despite his questionable practices, he gets results, as Luther is a fantastic cop, but one who is also haunted by the realitiesof his profession. He’s a modern badass, but flawed and ultimately relatable.

#8: Abed Nadir
“Community” (2009-)

This show follows the often ridiculous and surreal adventures of students in a community college, the best among them being Abed, the movie-loving, pop culture genius. It’s always hilarious watching Troy and Abed’s interactions, withthe latter’s constant pop culture references adding solid meta humor to theshow – which is greatly appreciated by fellow film buffs. Abed is also the heartof the group, often providing an ear or a shoulder for his friends when the plot gets sentimental. Here at WatchMojo, we just have to put a fellow movie lover on the list!

#7: Hannah Horvath
“Girls” (2012-)

Lena Dunham’s authentic performance as Hannah has captivated audiences since the show premiered, and instantly put the young comedienne on the map. Hannah often makes viewers, and other characters on the show, uncomfortable with her honesty and quirky personality, but that is a testament to her impact. She doesn’t always bring the laughs, however, as we also get a look at her deep emotional and mental problems, including her battles with OCD and relationship with Adam. She is one of the true strong female characters intelevision, and one that is not afraid to take chances.

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

A surprise that no one saw coming, this redneck minor character from the first season of the show became a series regular and has since turned into the fan favorite. Daryl’s development has been rivaled by no one else’s on the show, and it’s fascinating to watch his progression from cold-hearted outsider to oneof the most caring members of the group – perhaps even more so than leader Rick Grimes. Behind the tough, crossbow-wielding exterior, there is a heart and personality that has won over audiences worldwide. Remember, if Daryl dies, we riot.

#5: Gloria Delgado-Pritchett
“Modern Family” (2009-)

The ensemble cast of this show boasts many entertaining characters, including goofball Phil Dunphy, but Gloria is perhaps the best of them all. Her accent will at times be the cause of hilarious situations, but she is also a fiercely protective mother and wife, making for not only laugh-out-loud scenes, but also touching family moments, which is what the show is all about. Equally funny is her rough, gang-ridden upbringing in Colombia which she often references, and it makes her a truly unique and memorable character in a show full of them.

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

In this drama about an all-female minimum-security prison, there are bound to be some unique characters for protagonist Piper Chapman to contend with, butthe most memorable is Crazy Eyes herself. Suzanne is a tragic figure, as she despises her nickname often goes along with what others want just to make them proud, usually with dark and dangerous results. But while she is undoubtedly heartbreaking, Crazy Eyes also elicits some of the show’s biggest laughs – albeit awkward ones – when she does things like urinate directly onthe floor. She gives us an emotional roller coaster to watch and enjoy.

#3: Det. Rustin ‘Rust’ Cohle
“True Detective” (2014-)

This is the small-screen role that made us start taking Matthew McConaughey seriously again, as he was fantastic beside Woody Harrelson’s Marty Hart as one-half of a duo of homicide detectives. Rust is an extremely gifted detective, often to the point of mockery from his colleagues, but underneath the robotic exterior lies a deeply troubled man. Still not over the death of his daughter, Rust is a nihilist, but his pessimistic attitude leads to some fantastic philosophical discussions. His character helped elevate the show beyond your typical detective story and will be remembered for years to come.

#2: Francis J. ‘Frank’ Underwood
“House of Cards” (2013-)

The first time we see Frank, he is staring directly into the camera while he strangles a dog to death. To say that’s a memorable entrance for one of TV’s most unforgettable antiheroes would be an understatement. Frank will do anything to reach the presidency, including murder, which makes his ascension both captivating and terrifying to watch. Part Richard III and part Macbeth, Kevin Spacey’s Frank lets the audience in on his ingenious schemes, making us feel a deeper connection to the character. Frank also helped usher in theNetflix originals, beginning a new and revolutionary way to watch television.

Before we unveil our most memorable character, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Norman Bates
“Bates Motel” (2013-)
- Capt. Ray Holt
“Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2013-)
- Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
“Downton Abbey” (2010-)
- Selina Meyer
“Veep” (2012-)
- Sherlock Holmes
“Sherlock” (2010-)

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

With perhaps the biggest ensemble cast in television, this show packs in manymemorable characters, including fan favorite Daenerys Targaryen, but Tyrion’s brains and pathos win out. Tyrion is a very intelligent individual, often spoutingthe most quotable and philosophical statements in the series. He’s also deeply human, ridiculed by everyone for his dwarfism and never respected the way he deserves, but he shows unrelenting bravery in the face of adversity nonetheless. While his brother Jaime is getting better, Tyrion remains arguablythe most noble and heartfelt man in all of Westeros, which makes him an all around fantastic character.

Do you agree with our list? What television character from the 2010s is your favorite? For more ranked top tens published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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