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Sitcom Character Showdown: The Ultimate Ranking of Iconic Sitcom Characters

02 Oct | news | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Sitcom Character Showdown: The Ultimate Ranking of Iconic Sitcom Characters

Revealing which popular sitcom characters are the most iconic

Sitcoms are often so binge-worthy that it’s hard to resist going back for yet another episode of heartwarming storylines, hilarious antics, and familiar, quirky characters we care deeply about. But with so many popular shows and lovable characters to choose from, it’s almost impossible to decide who are the most legendary sitcom characters of all time. 

Luckily, online slots site Betway have undertaken this difficult challenge for us, and set out to discover which characters are the most iconic by looking at: 

The show’s IMDb score 
The show’s Rotten Tomatoes score 
Monthly search volume of each character 
Number results on GIPHY for each character 
Number of Awards the actors have won for the character and show 
Number of Instagram hashtags for each character 
Number of TikTok views for each character 
How many episodes the character appears in 
How many years the character was in the show

So, whether you favour a US sitcom or you prefer the banter of the British, delve in and find out where your favourite sitcom characters rank…

The Big Bang Theory’s weird and wonderful Sheldon Cooper is crowned the most iconic legend on TV, coming out on top with an overall score of 69.4/90. 

Sheldon Cooper is one of four socially awkward physicists and friends whose lives change when they meet their free-spirited neighbour Penny. The show ran for an impressive 12 seasons, scoring favourably on both IMDb (8.2/10) and Rotten Tomatoes (81/100), getting acclaim amongst critics and audiences worldwide. 

The man who needs no introduction, Michael Scott, claims the title of the second most legendary character to grace TV screens, gaining a total score of 65.5/90 for The US Office. 

Michael Scott is a deluded yet lovable boss who runs the Scranton Branch of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. The show follows the comedic goings-on of the disgruntled workers. It scored a remarkable 9/10 on IMDb (also gaining itself the highest IMDb score on the list, scoring it 10/10 in the study’s ranking) and 81 on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Friends star Chandler Bing’s clever comebacks and punchlines clearly bode well with the audience, as his character places third with an overall score of 64.6/90. 

Chandler Bing is a quick-witted, likeable character who is one of six friends who experience every area of life together, from job wins and losses, to relationships, children, and everyday struggles. The bingeable show scored an admirable 8.9 on IMDb and a further 78 on Rotten Tomatoes, giving it credit where credit is due. 

Landing a spot in fourth place is Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Detective Jake Peralta with an overall score of 55.9/90. 

Detective Jake Peralta is a talented but immature detective for the NYPD in Brooklyn’s 99th Precinct, and the plot follows him and his quirky colleagues trying to solve crimes. Earning a respectable score of 8.4 on IMDb and 95/100 on Rotten Tomatoes (which gave it the third highest overall on the list, scoring 8.6/10 in the study’s rankings) – we’d say Peralta is doing a pretty great job. 

Finishing off the top 5 is Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy as the fifth-most iconic TV character with a worthy score of 55/90. 

Everyone’s favourite funny guy, Phil Dunphy is always trying to make his family and friends laugh, and whilst they don’t always find him hilarious, he brings a light-hearted nature to the show that follows the lives of three different but related families. The American sitcom has obtained a respectable 8.5/10 on IMDb, alongside acclaim on Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 85/100.

Which sitcom characters dominate Google searches?

From trivia and fan theories to finding funny quotes or memes, sitcom fanatics will often turn to Google to research their favourite TV characters. However, some sitcom characters have racked up a lot more searches than others…

Bazinga! Sheldon Cooper takes the lead as the most-searched-for sitcom character in our study, racking up an impressive 203,000 searches worldwide, giving the much-loved Big Bang Theory character a score of 10/10

In the words of Chandler Bing, “I’m hopeless and awkward and desperate for love” – and he’s certainly got it, as he secures his spot as the second most-searched character in the ranking. A whopping 202,000 people search for his iconic character worldwide, scoring 9.3/10 in the report. 

The (US) Office’s Michael Scott claims third place with a figure that would definitely feed his ego, with 167,000 searches for his character worldwide, earning him a respectable 8.7/10 in the report. 

Claiming fourth place is Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, with searches for the lovable libertarian totalling 115,000 worldwide, giving him a promising score of 8/10 in the report. 

Finishing off the top five is How I Met Your Mother star Barney Stinson placing fifth for his popularity on Google, with a monthly search volume of 65,000 worldwide for his opinionated yet entertaining character, amassing a score of 7.3/10.

Which sitcom stars have the most GIFs dedicated to their character?

Sitcom stars rack up endless unforgettable and iconic moments on TV that make the perfect snippets for a hilarious GIF, but which characters are the most popular and boast the most GIFs?

Betty Suarez, the protagonist in Ugly Betty, is officially the queen of GIFS, as her character accumulates 2,444 results on GIPHY. While Betty Suarez herself might not be deemed as pretty, she’s gained a pretty desirable score of 10/10 in the report. 

Schitt’s Creek icon David Rose is the second most GIF-ed sitcom character in the study, and with his endless exaggerated facial expressions, there’s no wonder he’s accumulated 1,376 results on GIPHY, scoring him 9.3/10 in the report. 

There’s no surprise that the self-acclaimed ‘World’s Best Boss’ Michael Scott appears to be the third most GIF-ed sitcom star, with his comedy gold moments amassing 975 GIPHY results, giving him a score of 8.7/10

Taking fourth place is none other than the weird but wonderful Sheldon Cooper, with 789 GIPHY results dedicated to his character, scoring the awkward physicist a worthy 8/10

Chandler Bing’s hilarious one-liners have gained him a spot as the fifth star with the most GIFS, with 624 dedicated to the Friends character, giving him a score of 7.3/10.

Which actors have claimed the most awards for their sitcom characters?

Every sitcom contributes so much to the world of television and brings us new characters we never knew we needed, but some actors in particular are celebrated for their outstanding talent and memorable characters.

Racking up the most awards for his character in Schitt’s Creek is Daniel Levy for his impressive portrayal of David Rose. The star took home 24 awards in total, including the likes of ‘Best Performance by an Actor’, scoring him full marks of 10/10 in the report. 

The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons takes second place for his character Sheldon Cooper. Whilst Sheldon is an award winner in his own right – earning a Nobel prize for physics in the show’s finale – Parsons hasn’t done badly either, taking home 21 awards, gaining him a score of 9.3/10 in our rankings. 

Steve Carrell, playing Michael Scott in The US Office, swaps ‘Dundies’ for real-life awards as he takes joint-third place alongside Ty Burrell playing Phil Dunphy in Modern Family. Both actors have taken home a total of 17 awards each for their roles, giving them a favourable score of 8/10

Ugly Betty actress America Ferrera, who portrays Betty Suarez, shares fourth place with The UK Office star Ricky Gervais, who plays David Brent, both claiming 12 awards overall and scoring 6.7/10.

Which sitcom characters are the most viral?

From funny memes to trending videos, going viral on social media is an honour in its own right and is pretty much guaranteed for a sitcom character. So, when it comes to the likes of TikTok and Instagram, which character is the most popular? 

The loveable Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory, leads the way as the the most viral character on TikTok, with 5.4B views. Sheldon also was a fan favourite on Instagram, being the third-most-Instagrammed character in the report with 393.4K hashtags

Friends star Chandler Bing is the second-most-viewed character on TikTok with 4B views, but also claims the crown for being the most Instagrammed sitcom character with 1.2M hashtags

The US Office’s Michael Scott is now not only the world’s best boss, but also the thirdmost-viewed character on TikTok with 2.7B hashtags and the second-most-Instagrammed with 675.8K hashtags

Detective Jake Peralta of Brooklyn Nine-Nine claims the title of the fourth-most-viewed on TikTok with a significant 2.1B views, and the fourth-most-Instagrammed with 305.1K hashtags. 

Modern Family’s Phil Dunphy is the fifth-most-‘TikToked’ with 1.7B views and has ranked a respectable tenth place for the most Instagrammed with 56.3K hashtags.

Which sitcom characters get the most screen time?

In the world of sitcoms and TV shows in general, central characters grace our screens more than their co-stars – depending on how heavily they are involved with the current storyline. But which sitcom characters get the most air time?

Sheldon Cooper takes the crown for having the most screen time, appearing in every episode of The Big Bang Theory over 12 years with a total of 279 overall – talk about commitment to a character. This gave Sheldon full marks in the report with a score of 10/10

Phil Dunphy from Modern Family has the second-highest screen time, appearing in 250 episodes (that’s every episode) over the 11 years, scoring the fan favourite an impressive 9.3/10

Claiming third place, after gracing our screens consistently for 10 years, is Friends’ very own Chandler Bing. The key character appeared in every episode of the show, totalling 236, giving him a score of 8.7/10

Barney Stinson secures his spot in fourth place appearing in every episode of How I Met Your Mother, equalling 208 over a 9-year period, landing Stinson a score of 8/10 for his screen time. 

Scrubs star Dr. Cox emerged as the fifth character with the most screen time, appearing in 178 episodes of the show over 9 years, scoring our favourite doctor a very respectable 7.3/10.


The ‘Sitcom Character Showdown’ study, conducted by Betway, set out to discover which sitcom characters reign as the most iconic of all time. 

In order to achieve this, the team initially compiled a seed list of well-known UK and US sitcoms and identified the most prominent characters in each show by comparing lists that rank all of the primary characters. 

Once the most prominent characters from each sitcom were gathered, the team then ranked them on the following factors to reveal who comes out on top as the most iconic: 

The show’s IMDb score 
The show’s Rotten Tomatoes score 
Monthly search volume of each character 
Number results on GIPHY for each character 
Number of Awards the actors have won for the character and show 
Number of Instagram hashtags for each character 
Number of TikTok views for each character 
How many episodes the character appears in How many years the character was in the show 

The team then used a normalised ranking function to score each data point out of 10, which gave each location an overall score out of 90.