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18 TV Characters Who Had The Most Compelling Story Arcs Of All Time

Petra Solano was unrecognizable by the end of Jane the Virgin.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which TV characters had the most personal growth throughout a series. Here are their brilliant responses:

🚨 Warning: spoilers ahead!

1. Octavia Blake from The 100

Octavia ready to fight members of Wonkru, with blood all over her face
The CW

"She went from being an innocent little sister to an amazing warrior to a violent tyrant to the savior of humanity. Her character arc has been a total roller coaster, and honestly one of the best parts of the series."


2. Michael from The Good Place

Michael hugging Eleanor at the train station, worried he would lose her and the rest of the Soul Squad forever

"He progressed from a literal demon fire squid to an angelic, good-hearted friend to Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, Jason, and Janet. Ted Danson played him SO beautifully, and I was bawling when *spoiler alert* he finally got his wish to be a human for a while."


3. Alexis Rose from Schitt's Creek

Twyla offering Alexis money to help her on her new adventure and Alexis turning it down

"In the beginning of the series, Alexis was ready to leave her family behind in Schitt's Creek and hop on Stavros's jet to live a luxurious life. But by the end, she was an independent businessperson who turned down money from Twyla in order to make it on her own. I love that journey for her!"


4. Jess Mariano from Gilmore Girls

Jess encouraging Rory to write a book about her and her mom

"He went from being an irresponsible 'bad boy' to a mature and intelligent author. He definitely got better as the series progressed, especially when he returned for Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life."


5. Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Rosa telling her parents at dinner she identifies as bisexual

"The series hasn't ended yet, but Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine has grown so much from Season 1. She's gone from being a secretive and distant person to someone who isn't afraid to confide in her friends. It was such a big moment when she asked Jake for his support because she was nervous about telling her parents she identifies as bisexual. Stephanie Beatriz is so underrated and Rosa is a goddess."


6. Daisy Johnson from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Daisy telling Phil it's interesting what happens when someone believes in you

"The series began with her joining the team as a naïve hacker who was secretly working against the others; by the end of the series, she was one of the most badass, well-rounded, and overall amazing characters ever. She became a superhero, and that takes her from just an ordinary agent to the literal savior of the world."


7. Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World

Shawn saying goodbye to Mr. Feeny, letting him know how much he loves him

"He went from an immature teenager to one of the most mature men who was able to love people and let his walls down. I'll never understand the people who say they want a Cory Matthews because I want an intelligent and vulnerable man like Shawn Hunter."


8. Petra Solano from Jane the Virgin

Petra telling Jane she loves her
The CW

"She was my favorite character by the end of the series, and I think I would’ve been more upset if something happened to her than if something happened to one of the guys in the love triangle. In the beginning of the series she was extremely selfish and manipulative, but by the end, she was willing to wear that ridiculous dress as Jane’s maid of honor. That's growth."


9. Adrian Monk from Monk

Monk embracing his new stepdaughter Molly

"He went from refusing to leave his house to confronting the man who killed his wife. His journey with his OCD and to get reinstated as a police officer was truly inspiring, and it was amazing to see him step out of his comfort zone, take chances in life, and find people who supported him."


10. Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren from Orange Is the New Black

"Crazy Eyes" looking at her reflection in the mirror and telling herself her skin is beautiful

"At the start of the show she was the oddball everyone called 'Crazy Eyes.' Over the course of the show, she became one of the most perceptive and self-aware characters, despite the women constantly making fun of her."


11. Lydia Martin from Teen Wolf

Lydia telling a guy she'll punch him in the throat if he tries to kiss her

"This woman went from being in an abusive relationship to leaving it. She was the smartest woman in the show and didn't give a shit about popularity. She had the best character development in the whole show, and anyone who watched Teen Wolf knows it. Lydia was a badass who proved how strong, smart, and independent she really was."


12. Rebecca Bunch from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Rebecca on stage, telling everyone that finding love isn't an "ending." It's just a part of your story
The CW

"All of the characters had incredible growth in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, but obviously Rebecca's was the most prominent. She went from being a 'crazy ex-girlfriend' with undiagnosed mental health issues to a thriving woman who turned her whole life around with full awareness."


13. Fire Lord Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender

Zuko and his uncle embracing on the floor

"To watch Zuko's progression over the course of the series was truly breathtaking. I've never seen anything like it in an animated show."


14. Elektra Wintour from Pose

Elektra sitting backstage, expressing that she knows who she is and refuses to let anyone tell her otherwise

"Though she hasn't become nicer, we've gotten a better understanding of why she is the way she is. Dominique Jackson does such a wonderful job of making Elektra a multifaceted character and has been robbed of some awards, y’all!"


15. Serena Joy from The Handmaid's Tale

Serena telling Fred to stop worrying about her because she'll be fine

"I know the show isn’t over yet, but Serena Joy from The Handmaid’s Tale has had a lot of personal growth. She started out as the enemy in full support of the oppressive government, but she's really grown into a compassionate character who is realizing her wrongs. I can’t wait to see what she does next."


16. King Richard from Galavant

King Richard trying to be friends with Roberta in the woods

"He was a spineless, selfish jerk of a king who treated his kingdom horribly, but he eventually grew to respect himself and earn his relationships with others. He went on a personal journey about what it meant to be a leader."


17. Will Smith from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air


"He went from being an immature teen who was afraid to study and be vulnerable to a supportive cousin who knew his worth and had grown as a person, while still also keeping his cheekiness."


18. And Alex Karev from Grey's Anatomy

Karev telling Meredith she's a good mom and not to feel guilty for going into surgery while her daughter is getting stitches

"He was a total jerk in the first few seasons; but then he grew to be a fantastic doctor and learned how to be sweet and supportive to people, despite all the crap he had to put up with during his childhood. I still haven't forgiven him for what he did to Joe, but I guess nobody is perfect."


Note: Submissions have been edited for length and clarity.

Which TV character do *you* think completely changed from the beginning of the series to the end? Let us know in the comments below!

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