40 coolest TV characters, ranked worst to best

We recently brought you television’s most memorable nerds, those lovable misfits with their unique sense of style and memorable catchphrases. But what about their counterparts – those cool characters who we either want to be like or be with? What makes someone cool?

The hair! The clothes! The personality! Cool people have great heads of hair, whether it’s a flowing mane, enviable curls or an iconic mohawk. They have their own sense of fashion, and set the trends that define their generation, from bellbottoms to neon track suits to bulky blazers to chunky heels. They drive the coolest cars, have the latest technology and posses the magical ability to attract the opposite sex with just a wink and a smile. Private eyes and spies seem to be the coolest professions – those cool cucumbers who can talk their way out of tricky situations and can take down groups of baddies with their wits and bare hands. But the coolest thing about each of these characters is that, despite the fact they could (and some do) have massive egos, they are loyal and devoted friends.

What we consider “cool” has changed through the generations, and some of these characters wouldn’t have a place in pop culture today, whereas others have redefined stereotypes and remain powerful role models. Enjoy this trip down memory lane, of the guys and gals that likely adorned your walls, were a big part of your daydreams and were the ones you tried to emulate.

Tour our photo gallery of the 40 best tv cool characters, including ones from “Happy Days” (Henry Winkler), “Welcome Back, Kotter” (John Travolta), “Miami Vice” (Don Johnson), “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (Will Smith), “Alias” (Jennifer Garner), “Cheers” (Ted Danson), “Friends” (Matt LeBlanc) and more.