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Updated on Jul 26, 2020. Posted on Jul 19, 2020

27 TV Characters Who Ended Up Being Much Better Than The Shows They Were On

Lexa's legacy will outlast The 100, tbh.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which TV characters were actually better than the shows they were on. Here are some of the best responses:

🚨Warning: There are some spoilers ahead!🚨

1. First, Lexa from The 100

Clarke and Lexa meeting for the first time and Lexa asking if Clarke has an offer for her
The CW

"Lexa so much deserved better than The 100 and the show definitely went downhill after her death. This character deserved a full and beautiful storyline."

avacado_thanks

2. Regina Mills/Evil Queen from Once Upon a Time

Regina telling everyone that she is grateful people gave her a second chance, she's happy to have a found family, and in the end, everyone can be happy with a little hope
ABC

"She had the best character arc and backstory. Even in the beginning of the show, when she was the main character you were supposed to hate, you still fell in love with her and ended up rooting for her. Regina was so sassy and brought the humor and grit to a potentially sickeningly sweet story. She was the true heart and soul of the show and the paragon of its message. Plus, Lana Parrilla is an absolute gem who carried the show for seven seasons."

galindafiedtwirler

3. Killian Jones/Hook from Once Upon a Time

Hook telling Emma that he's afraid of losing his happy ending and that his happy ending is her
ABC

"I started watching the show only because of him. In the beginning, this show was okay, but after Season 5 I only continued watching it because of Hook."

sawyea

4. Michonne from The Walking Dead

Michonne killing a hoard of walkers and then crying
AMC

"Michonne is such a badass character and Danai Gurira is a better actor than the show deserves. In fact, there are a few great actors on that show who are literally carrying the show because of their performances. The Walking Dead fell off the rails a long time ago."

gigimomster

5. Sam and Dean Winchester from Supernatural

Dean telling Sam, "I'm gonna take care of you. I got you. it's my job, right? Watch out for my pain-in-the-ass little brother"
The CW

"These two have the most beautiful sibling relationship and they are both equally flawed. Overall, they are very beloved characters, but they have unfortunately suffered from bad writing and even worse plotlines over these past few years. It’s just sad to see characters you know so well do something totally out of character, and that’s what has happened recently."

ashleylg817

6. Cristina Yang from Grey's Anatomy

Cristina telling Meredith, "He's very dreamy. But he is not the sun. You are"
ABC

"Grey's Anatomy noticeably went downhill after Sandra Oh left. Cristina Yang was such a vital part of the story and her role in such a mainstream show felt really empowering to the Asian community. She was definitely the best part of Grey's."

districtrue

7. Brooke Davis from One Tree Hill

Brooke saying she was pretty lost and awful as a freshman, but she grew up. Also saying, "I stopped letting boys define me and I started believing in myself and my potential"
The CW

"Brooke Davis carried One Tree Hill through all nine seasons! I love this show, but there sure are crappy parts, however Brooke always made it bearable. Sophia Bush did an incredible job and brought a truly amazing, badass character to life. Brooke had incredible character development and turned from a typical TV cheerleader into a strong and powerful woman."

mareng49dd7659a

8. Michael Cordero from Jane the Virgin

Michael reciting his vows to Jane in Spanish
The CW

"Michael was such a lovable character and it broke my heart when he originally died. Then, the writers had the audacity to bring him back as Jason, and it was just disrespectful to the memory of him. Bringing back Michael ended up not being worth it."

johnmulaneyfanforever

9. Santana Lopez from Glee

Santana coming out to her grandmother and saying, "I love girls the way that I'm supposed to feel about boys"
Fox

"She was misused on that show, and so much of her talent took a backseat to Rachel Berry. Santana's coming out storyline was one that I related to so much. I still remember hearing about her story with Brittany and that was when I started watching."

mcbrizzy30

10. Mike Chang from Glee

Mike dancing and Tina telling him, "You don't talk that much, you hardly ever sing, but when I see you do that, it's who you are"
Fox

"Say whatever you want about the other characters, but Mike was an absolute saint who never did anything wrong. He was a supportive partner, a wonderful friend, and a beautifully blossoming talent and they didn't utilize him enough! Mike deserved better."

isaaclahey

11. Pacey Witter from Dawson's Creek

Pacey and Joey dancing at the anti-prom and Pacey telling her, "I remember everything"
Warner Bros.

"He is superior to all the characters and Joshua Jackson is such an amazing actor. I would have loved the show if it was called Pacey’s Creek instead."

gemrose3

12. Claire Underwood from House of Cards

Netflix

"The show has some brilliant moments and some great actors, but it was kind of uneven as a whole. Yet Claire is one of the most interesting and understated characters ever."

caitiekickpuncher

13. Villanelle from Killing Eve

Villanelle looking out the window and crying on the train
BBC America

"I do really enjoy Killing Eve, however Jodie Comer steals the entire show. I watch it anticipating her character every time. She is just so captivating as Villanelle. I've yet to see anybody else as good as her on TV."

mrsnegan

14. Olivia Pope from Scandal

Olivia yelling at Fitz and asking him "Am I your fluffer today, Fitz? Is. that what I am?"
ABC

"Even in the later seasons when it got more formulaic, Kerry Washington gave constantly powerful performances. Honestly, Olivia deserved better than Fitz or Jake."

got30p

15. Stiles Stilinski from Teen Wolf

Void Stiles saying, "You can kill the Oni. But Me? Me? I'm a thousand years old. You can't kill me!"
MTV

"Stiles Stilinski, hands down. Stiles was always the most entertaining character, but Dylan O'Brien absolutely BLOSSOMED during Season 3 of Teen Wolf."

coril

16. Bonnie Bennett from The Vampire Diaries

Bonnie making the feathers from the pillow fly for Elena one last time
The CW

"She repeatedly put her own wants and needs on the back burner to help save her friends and asked for nothing in return. Everyone just expected her to put her life on the line to save Elena’s life without even asking her or considering her feelings, but she always did it anyway without one complaint. Bonnie deserved better than what she was given."

jeffatkinsgirl

17. Stefan Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries

Stefan sacrificing himself, reuniting with Elena, and telling her he let Damon live because "he's the better man"
The CW

"Stefan constantly put everyone before himself no matter what would happen to him. He also suffered more than most of the characters. Everyone loves Damon for his character arc, but it was Stefan who remained strong throughout the whole series and it was interesting to watch him get through each obstacle they threw at him."

karamtim

18. Poussey Washington from Orange Is the New Black

Poussey looking out at the Manhattan skyline
Netflix

"Hands down, Poussey. Her legacy has gone way past the legacies of the series, tbh."

annemieke73

19. Spencer Hastings from Pretty Little Liars

Spencer crying in a police car and then being sent to Radley
Freeform

"The first few seasons of PLL were good, but by the time it reached the time jump, it was awful. However, Spencer stayed iconic throughout the entire show. She was smart, witty, kind, strong, and confident. I could go on for hours about why she’s the best character on this show. She always felt like the true main character and I was completely invested in her during all seven seasons."

philbainerr12

20. Toni Topaz and Kevin Keller from Riverdale

Toni saying, "How about the Vixens tickle the Bulldogs exclusively?"
The CW

"I mention this A LOT, but Toni and Kevin on Riverdale. The show is utter trash, but those two characters are the only ones who are genuinely interesting and actually make sense at this point. The only storylines either of them have gotten so far were either tickle porn (please don’t ask) or related to their significant others. They deserve better."

human_being1757

21. Archie Andrews from Riverdale

Archie telling Betty about writing song lyrics for the first and how they make him feel great
The CW

"I liked his character in the beginning. He was kind and it was refreshing to see him a little innocent and optimistic. However, the show absolutely butchered him. Since Season 2, he has had some weird plotlines and that stopped a lot of people from liking him. I mean, he became a vigilante."

allisongracie

22. Mickey Milkovich from Shameless

Mickey telling Ian that he loves him for the first time and that they "take care of each other"
Showtime

"In my opinion, he really has the most well-rounded and complex character development in the entire show, especially factoring in his much more limited screen time compared to the main cast. I think a lot of that is owed to Noel Fisher’s performance and ability to do so much emotionally with the very little he’s given to work with. Mickey also has a really interesting, complex coming out narrative, and he’s a refreshingly unique gay character for television. Mickey was a huge part of what made Seasons 1 through 4 of Shameless so enjoyable to me, and he deserved so much better than the shoddy writing in the middle and later seasons."

shannonmm94

23. Felicity Smoak from Arrow

Felicity telling Oliver, "You honor the dead by fighting. And you are not done fighting"
The CW

"I enjoyed the first few seasons and I absolutely loved seeing Oliver and Felicity’s romance, but it got to a point where the writers kept finding things that would keep them apart so I started tiring of it. Felicity became so much better than the show overall. I tried watching the final season, but with Emily Bett Rickards leaving and barely knowing the new characters and storylines, I only ended up watching the final five episodes."

megana459810788

24. Winston Bishop from New Girl

Winston revealing his greatest prank, that Nick and Jess didn't have to move, and he's actually Engram Pattersky
Fox

"Winston needs his own show. He is truly the best character from New Girl."

jenniferlopez2

25. Quinn King from UnREAL

Quinn telling Rachel, "Believe it or not, I care about you"
Hulu / Lifetime

"The show got pretty annoying by the end and was kind of a mess overall, but I always thought Quinn was the best part by far. It didn’t matter how many awful things she did during the show, I still loved and respected her because she owned up to it, unlike all the other characters. She was a badass female boss and she never let the men in the show tell her how to do her job or live her life. Constance Zimmer did an incredible job portraying her and she should have gotten more recognition for it. No one else could have played that role like she did."

strawberrylumps22

26. Veronica Mars from Veronica Mars

Veronica saying, "I Hope we're still friends after I taser you"
Warner Bros.

"The show is one of my favorites, but Veronica as a character was 100% better than the show itself. Her snark, her sass, her humor, and personality were just everything."

ashleys454fb1255

27. And finally, Fallon Carrington from Dynasty

Fallon saying, "Well, guess what? I am sick and tired of being used by miserably ungrateful men"
The CW

"She's the only reason I watch. Liz Gillies is a gift."

aaronweeks101

Are there other TV characters who were better than their shows? Tell us in the comments below!

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Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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