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Top 10 Supporting TV Characters that Stole the Show

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script Written by Nick Spake. We can't help but applaud every time one of these scene-stealers storms on screen. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Supporting TV Characters that Stole the Show. For this list, we’re taking a look at side characters in television series that frequently outperform the main character(s). Special thanks to our users derekallen, BogDan Cojo, Vest Den and FlorinP for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Top 10 Supporting TV Characters that Stole the Show

We can't help but applaud every time one of these scene-stealers storms on screen. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Supporting TV Characters that Stole the Show.

For this list, we’re taking a look at side characters in television series that frequently outperform the main character(s).

#10: Schmidt
“New Girl” (2011-)

The loft in “New Girl” is full of fun characters that outshine the sunny Jessica Day. The most entertaining and eccentric of the roomies has got to be Schmidt though. An obsessive cleaner, an obsessive lover, and just obsessive all around, Schmidt strives for perfection in every facet of his life. His neurotic nature stems from his fear of abandonment, eating disorder, and various other anxieties. The perfect blend of egotistical and insecure, Schmidt accumulates a ton of laughs and dollars in the douchebag jar.

#9: Walter Bishop
“Fringe” (2008-13)

A sci-fi series like “Fringe” simply wouldn’t be complete without a mad scientist and Dr. Walter Bishop impeccably fits the bill. Walter’s brain isn’t quite all there. No, we literally mean it’s not all there as fractions of his brain were removed. As a result, his memory can be scattered and his personality can be immature for his age. His over-the-top quirks of course amount to delightful comedy, but Walter is truly brilliant in his own unique way. No matter what timeline, it’s always intriguing to pick his mind.

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

Pretty much every zombie story follows the same basic plot: There’s an outbreak and humans attempt to survive. A show like “The Walking Dead” is truly distinguished by its characters, the fan favorite being Daryl Dixon. This scene-stealer has become much more than a stereotypical redneck over the years, emerging as a loyal companion, a caring friend, and his own breed of badass that’ll always come through for the group. Whether aiming his crossbow at walkers or at the viewer’s hearts, you can count on Daryl to hit a bull’s-eye.

#7: Roger Sterling
“Mad Men” (2007-15)

Despite his white hair and multiple heart attacks, the co-founder of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce doesn’t act like he’s a day over twenty-five throughout “Mad Men.” Sharply dressed and always ready with a witty one-liner, Roger Sterling is like an older Don Draper with less emotional baggage. While not the best father figure, this notorious ladies man is often the life of the party and the workplace. He’s the kind of person that you’d love to hang out with over a drink and smoke, or LSD if you’re interested in experimenting.

#6: Saul Goodman
“Breaking Bad” (2008-13)

Saul Goodman’s a true diamond in the rough. He presents himself as a tacky lawyer that’ll use any below the belt defense to get his usually guilty clients off and…yeah, he kind of just is a tacky lawyer. At the same time, though, Saul is much smarter and more resourceful than he’d have you think . In addition to injecting “Breaking Bad” with some needed humor, Saul proves himself to be the most cautious and reasonable of his associates. This helps him to make it to the end and live again in “Better Call Saul.”

#5: Tobias Fünke
“Arrested Development” (2003-06; 2013-)

Although Gob Bluth almost nabbed this spot, no character on “Arrested Development” makes us blue ourselves like Tobias Fünke. Tobias is known as many things: Never nude, Blue Man Group understudy, and Analrapist. What he’ll never be known as is a satisfying husband, competent father, or talented actor. Tobias is regularly oblivious of his surroundings and what comes out of his own mouth. He’s everything that makes a great unmindful fool with all of his actions amounting to hilarious misunderstandings. There’s a fascinating man inside Tobias just waiting to be discovered.

#4: Ron Swanson
“Parks and Recreation” (2009-15)

Andy Dwyer immediately won us over his with puppy dog goofiness on “Parks and Recreation,” but Ron Swanson is the comedic force that really snuck up on us. Ron is often viewed as the father figure of the parks department, although he’s reluctant to assume this role since he’s not very passionate about government or expressing emotions. What he is passionate about is carpentry, breakfast, and his solitude. That being said, Ron is always there for his friends and they’re always there for him when he succumbs to his ex-wives.

#3: Ari Gold (R.E.)
“Entourage” (2004-11)

While Vincent and his bros are off living careless male fantasy lifestyles, Ari Gold is often left behind to clean up their messes. Since he’s constantly confronted by conflict, this movie agent soaks up a good portion of the laughs on “Entourage.” Ari is only made funnier by the fact that he’s foulmouthed, anxious, and prone to overreactions. Every time this guy is on his cell phone, you half expect him to have a heart attack and you always expect him to say something hysterical.

#2: Cosmo Kramer
“Seinfeld” (1989-98)

Cosmo Kramer may seem like a kooky neighbor archetype, but he’s truly one of a kind. One half bumbling doofus and another half cool hipster, Kramer is notorious for getting mixed up in harebrained schemes that typically blow up in his face. How he manages to pay the bills with no source of income remains a mystery, although it’s likely Kramer is solely getting by using his own distinctive charm. He’s such a charismatic presence that you’ll always welcome him into your apartment. Just remember to keep the fridge stocked.

Before we shine the spotlight on our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Bender
“Futurama” (1999-)
- Perry the Platypus
“Phineas and Ferb” (2007-15)
- Pam Swynford de Beaufort
“True Blood” (2008-14)
- Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
“Downton Abbey” (2010-)
- Elijah Krantz
“Girls” (2012-)
- James ‘Sawyer’ Ford
“Lost” (2004-10)

#1: Steven ‘Steve’ Urkel
“Family Matters” (1989-98)

While “Family Matters” started as a traditional sitcom, it might as well have been retitled “The Urkel Show” after awhile. Despite not being officially part of the Winslows, Steve Urkel took over their household like a destructive tornado. Soon enough, every storyline was written around this nasally nerd, whether he was trying to win Laura’s affections or showing off a new invention. Urkel didn’t just dominate his show, but the entire TGIF lineup. To date, he’s still what comes to mind when we think of Fridays and stereotypical nerds. Did he do that? Yes, yes he did.

Do you agree with our list? Who’s your favorite TV scene-stealer? For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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