120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters of All Time

iconic fictional characters of all time
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In my years as an avid reader and film enthusiast, I’ve encountered countless characters who’ve left an indelible mark on my heart. Some have made me laugh, others have brought tears to my eyes, and a few have even challenged my perspectives. Yet, in this vast universe of fictional beings, there are those few icons who stand tall, bigger than time and genre. In this article, I aim to introduce you to some of the most iconic fictional characters of all time – the ones that have not only shaped literature and cinema but also left an enduring impact on our collective cultural consciousness.

This list is not ranked in any special order, but the fictional characters on it are some of the most influential and iconic of all time. Also, we have decided to make a big list because we just can’t skip any of them. So, without further ado, let’s remember the most important fictional characters that have never lived, but they will always live in our minds and hearts.

1. Superman

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Superman, a creation of writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster in 1932, stands out as one of the most iconic fictional characters and a quintessential comic book superhero. Originating in Cleveland, Ohio, Superman made his debut in the first edition of ‘Action Comics’ in June 1938, subsequently becoming a symbol of American cultural identity. The character’s rights were acquired by Detective Comics in 1938, contributing to the rise of the superhero comic book genre in American comics. Beyond the comics, Superman has made appearances in numerous films, radio, and television series, and video games, solidifying his status as a cultural phenomenon.

2. Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse

In 1928, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks created the iconic cartoon character Mickey Mouse. Initially named Mortimer Maus, Walt Disney’s wife, Lillian, suggested the change to “Mickey” for a more pleasant sound. Walt Disney provided Mickey’s voice from 1928 to 1947, succeeded by Jimmy MacDonald until 1977. Wayne Allwine took over until his death in 2009, and currently, Bret Iwan lends Mickey’s voice in English versions. Mickey Mouse’s official birthday is considered to be November 18, 1928, coinciding with the release of the animated film “Steamboat Willie,” marking him as one of the most famous fictional characters in history.

3. Santa Claus

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Santa Claus, originating from the Christian saint St. Nicholas, underwent a transformation during the Protestant Reformation, becoming a secular figure associated with gift-giving. The American version of Santa emerged in New Amsterdam, influenced by the Dutch Sinterklaas. In the 19th century, American journalists popularized a joyful, rotund Santa residing at the North Pole, delivering gifts on a sleigh. Thomas Nast solidified the familiar image based on a children’s song from 1823. Today, Santa Claus is a global and commercialized symbol, notably associated with Coca-Cola.

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4. James Bond

Sean Connery James bond

James Bond, also known as Secret Agent 007, is a fictional British spy created by Ian Fleming in 1953. The character has appeared in twelve novels and two short story collections, with seven other authors contributing authorized works after Fleming’s death. Adaptations include TV, radio, comics, video games, and films, with the latter being the longest-lasting and second-highest grossing media franchise. The film series started in 1962 with “Dr. No,” starring Sean Connery as James Bond.

5. Bugs Bunny

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Bugs Bunny, an iconic gray rabbit from Looney Tunes cartoons, is a globally recognized character “born” in 1940 in Brooklyn, New York City. Created by Ben Hardaway, Tex Avery, and Chuck Jones at Warner Brothers Studios, Bugs first appeared in 1938 and gained his familiar persona in 1940’s “A Wild Hare,” famously asking “What’s up Doc?” He remains a beloved and enduring character worldwide.

6. Dracula

dracula garry oldman

Vlad III, also known as Dracula and Tepeș (Impaler), was a Vlach prince from the Drăculești dynasty, known for his fierce battles against the Turks in Wallachia. Ruling three times, he faced constant challenges for the throne, employing cruel methods learned as a child hostage to Murat II. Initially balancing relations with the Christian West and the Ottoman Empire, he eventually turned against Sultan Mehmed II, leading to his demise. Romania celebrates him as a national hero, and his infamous cruelty has made him well-known across Europe. Additionally, he inspired Count Dracula, the vampire protagonist in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel.

7. Batman

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Batman, an iconic fictional character from DC Comics, was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939. Known as the “Knight of Darkness” and “World’s Greatest Detective,” Batman’s alter ego is Bruce Wayne, a wealthy playboy and philanthropist. Witnessing his parents’ murder, he vows to fight crime and undergoes intense physical and mental training. Batman operates in Gotham City, assisted by allies like Robin, Alfred Pennyworth, and Commissioner Gordon, combating villains such as Joker and Catwoman. Lacking superpowers, Batman relies on intelligence, detective skills, technology, martial arts, and indomitable will in his relentless battle against crime.

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8. Dorothy Gale

7. Dorothy Gale

Dorothy Gale, a fictional character from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, dreams of a problem-free place during a tornado. In her dream, she and her dog Toto land in the magical land of Oz. Guided by Glinda, a good witch, Dorothy follows the yellow brick road to the Emerald City, seeking the Wizard’s help to return home to Kansas. Along the way, she befriends a scarecrow, a tin man, and a lion, each in need of brains, heart, and courage. They face challenges from an evil witch who desires Dorothy’s ruby shoes. The story was adapted into the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz,” an American fantasy adventure musical produced by MGM.

9. Darth Vader

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Darth Vader, formerly known as Anakin Skywalker, is a key antagonist in the Star Wars series. His iconic appearance in the original trilogy began with “Revenge of the Sith,” portrayed by Hayden Christensen, and voiced by James Earl Jones due to David Prowse’s Western accent. Vader is recognized as one of cinema’s most famous villains, earning a spot on AFI’s list of the 100 most iconic heroes and villains in film history.

10. The Tramp

Tramp

Charlie, a tramp, bravely faces three thugs to protect a young girl. Despite his clumsiness, he successfully defends her, leading to her gratitude and an offer of a job from her farmer father. While not the most skilled farm worker, Charlie foils a robbery. However, as the girl’s fiancé arrives, the tramp realizes he has no chance of winning her love.

11. Peter Pan

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Peter Pan, a beloved fictional character, was created by JM Barrie. A carefree and mischievous young man who can fly and never ages, Peter leads the Lost Boys on adventures in Neverland. The mythical island is home to fairies, pirates, mermaids, and Indians, as well as occasional ordinary children. Peter Pan has become a cultural symbol of youthful innocence and escapism, portrayed in various forms such as a 1924 silent film, the 1953 Disney animated film, a 2003 live-action film, and television series, reflecting the enduring appeal of Barrie’s creation.

12. Robin Hood

Robim Hood

Robin Hood, a legendary hero in medieval English ballads, evolved from early depictions as a bloodthirsty robber to a patriotic nobleman in the Anglo-Saxon struggle against the Normans. By the 19th and 20th centuries, his character transformed into a champion of social justice, taking from the rich to give to the poor. In the ballads, Robin Hood and his comrades, including Little John and Will Scarlet, reside in Sherwood Forest near Nottingham. The narrative later includes a romantic connection with Marian. The historical existence of Robin Hood remains uncertain.

13. Indiana Jones

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The Indiana Jones franchise revolves around the adventures of Dr. Henry “Indiana” Jones, Jr., a fictional archaeology professor. Beginning with the 1981 film “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” it includes subsequent releases like the prequel “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) and the sequel “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989). The fourth film, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” was released in 2008, with a fifth film in development. Created by George Lucas and starring Harrison Ford, the series has Steven Spielberg directing the first four films. Expanded to television with “The Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones” in 1992, the franchise also includes comic books, novels, and video games since its inception in 1981.

14. Rocky Balboa

rocky balboa

Rocky Balboa, Sr., the central character in a film series created by Sylvester Stallone, is an ordinary man overcoming life’s challenges in his career as a professional boxer. Based on boxer Chuck Wepner, who fought Muhammad Ali, the character draws inspiration from Rocky Marciano in name, iconography, and fighting style. To make ends meet, Rocky works for a local moneylender, Tony Gazzo, after struggling to survive on his earnings from club fights. By late 1975, he had fought in 64 matches, winning 44 (38 by knockout) and losing 20, maintaining pride in never breaking his nose. His nickname, “The Italian Stallion,” reflects his Italian-American heritage.

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15. Huckleberry Finn

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Huckleberry “Huck” Finn, a fictional character created by Mark Twain, initially appears in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and later becomes the protagonist and narrator of its sequel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Aged 12 or 13 in the former and a year older in the latter, Huck also narrates the short sequels “Tom Sawyer Abroad” and “Tom Sawyer, Detective.” The son of a city tramp named Finn “Pap,” Huck leads a destitute life, sleeping outdoors and relying on the charity of others for sustenance.

16. Vito Corleone

Vito Corleone

Vito Corleone, born Vito Andolini, is a fictional character from Mario Puzo’s novel “The Godfather” and the first two films of Francis Ford Coppola’s trilogy. Initially portrayed by Marlon Brando in the 1972 film, Vito’s early life is depicted by Oreste Baldini and Robert De Niro in “The Godfather Part II” (1974). An orphaned Sicilian immigrant, he builds a mafia empire with his wife Carmela and has four children: Santino (“Sonny”), Frederico (“Fredo”), Michael, and Constanzia (“Connie”). Vito also informally adopts Sonny’s friend Tom Hagen, who becomes his lawyer and consigliere. After Vito’s death, Michael takes over as the head of the Corleone family.

17. Han Solo

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Han Solo is an iconic character in the Star Wars series, portrayed by Harrison Ford. Initially a ruthless smuggler and pilot alongside his Wookiee friend Chewbacca, Solo joins the Rebel Alliance in “Star Wars IV: A New Hope” (1977). He becomes the husband of Leia Organa and the father of Ben Solo/Kylo Ren. Han Solo, known for his sarcastic wit and practicality, receives an offer from Obi-Wan Kenobi to transport him, Luke Skywalker, and droids R2-D2 and C-3PO from Tatooine to Alderaan. Despite his initial materialistic demeanor, Solo’s adventures reveal a compassionate side previously unknown to him.

18. Homer Simpson

Homer Simpson

Homer J. Simpson, an iconic character from the TV series “The Simpsons,” is among the most famous fictional characters. Voiced by Dan Castellaneta, he is the husband of Marge and father to Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. Homer works at the Montogmery Burns Springfield Nuclear Power Plant and is known for his love of beer and humorous catchphrase, “D’oh.” His best friends include Moe, Carl, Lenny, and Ned Flanders. Living in the imaginary city of Springfield, Homer’s popularity is evident, as he holds the second position in the selection of 50 favorite animated characters by an American magazine.

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19. King Kong

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King Kong, a fictional giant gorilla, made his debut in the 1933 film of the same name and garnered widespread acclaim, becoming an iconic movie monster. Created by writer Edgar Wallace and filmmaker Merian C. Cooper, King Kong’s popularity led to numerous adaptations, sequels, parodies, and other forms of media. Regarded as one of the greatest film icons, Kong’s portrayal ranges from a mindless monster to a tragic antihero, inspiring a wide array of cultural expressions, including books, comics, video games, and even musicals.

20. Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes, a fictional private detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, is renowned for his logical reasoning, keen observation skills, and use of forensic science to solve challenging cases. A master of disguise, Holmes appears in 4 novels and 56 short stories, debuting in “A Study in Scarlet” in 1887. His greatest adversary is Professor Moriarty, the Napoleon of crime, featured in two short stories. In a climactic confrontation, Holmes battles Moriarty at the Reichenbach waterfall in Switzerland, resulting in a seemingly fatal fall from the cliff.

21. Spider-Man

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Spider-Man, a fictional character from Marvel Comics, was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and first appeared in August 1962 in “Amazing Fantasy #15.” The character, envisioned as an orphan raised by Aunt May and Uncle Ben, navigates the challenges of adolescence while serving as a costumed justice fighter. Possessing superhuman strength, agility, and the ability to climb surfaces, Spider-Man employs web-shooting devices called “web shooters” on his wrists. His “spider-sense” allows him to quickly detect danger. Spider-Man is widely popular and commercially successful, featuring in various animated and live-action TV series and movies as a prominent Marvel mascot.

22. Barbie

Barbie

Barbie, the iconic and best-selling fashion doll produced by Mattel, stands at 29.21 cm tall and is a classic toy worldwide. The doll has become synonymous with the term “fashion doll” in universal language. Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts, with fictional parents George and Margaret Roberts from Willows, Wisconsin, as mentioned in novels published by Random House in 1960. She has been portrayed attending Willow High School and Manhattan International High School in different publications. Barbie is romantically linked with Ken (Ken Carson), who first appeared in 1961. Though reported to have separated in 2004, news in 2006 suggested a reconciliation after Ken’s makeover. Barbie owns over 40 pets, including cats, dogs, horses, pandas, little lions, and zebras.

23. Spock

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Spock, a fictional character from the Star Trek series, originally a Vulcan, served as the scientific officer and first officer aboard the Enterprise under Captain James Kirk’s command. Played by Leonard Nimoy in the original series and films, he also reprised the role alongside Zachary Quinto in the 2009 film Star Trek, portraying the older Spock. Born to Vulcan Ambassador Sarek and Earthling Amanda Grayson, Spock temporarily left the Vulcan Science Academy in 2249 to join Starfleet Academy, causing a rift with his father for eighteen years. Admitted to the USS Enterprise in 2254, he became first officer under Kirk’s command in 2266.

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24. Godzilla

Godzzila

Godzilla, a fictional monster or kaiju, made its first appearance in Ishirō Honda’s 1954 film. Following the film’s release, Godzilla became a global pop culture icon, earning the title “King of Monsters,” as coined in the Americanized version “King of the Monsters!” in 1956. Throughout its film appearances, Godzilla engaged in battles with various enemies, including Anguirus, Baragon, Rodan, Mothra, Mothra larva, Gigan, King Ghidorah, Biollante, MUTO female, and MUTO male.

25. Romeo and Juliet

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Two young lovers from rival families, Romeo and Juliet, navigate a challenging romance amidst the hatred and rivalry between their kin. Despite the seemingly impossible nature of their love, they secretly marry. Conflict ensues, leading to Romeo killing Juliet’s cousin and subsequently fleeing the country. In hiding, he remains devoted to Julia. Facing pressure from her parents to marry another, Julia turns to a priest for help. He provides her with a potion that induces a deep sleep, allowing her to feign death and escape the unwanted marriage. The tragic love and death of Romeo and Juliet have immortalized them as one of the most famous fictional couples in history.

26. Frankenstein

Frankenstein

Victor Frankenstein, akin to Prometheus, emerges as an iconic rebel driven by belief in his creative prowess, challenging human limitations. His intellectual curiosity and ambitious pursuits, while not benefiting society, lead to ruin, mirroring the fate of his mythical predecessor. Since its 1818 publication, Mary Shelley’s novel has captivated readers, delving into moral and ethical quandaries. Frankenstein’s monster, a symbol of this pursuit, continues to resonate through various adaptations in theater, film, and media, transforming the Gothic novel into a lasting literary myth.

27. Joker

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The Joker, a character created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane, made his first appearance in 1940 in ‘Batman’ #1. The Joker has become an iconic figure featured in various comics, movies, TV series, games, and products. Over different periods, the character’s portrayal in comic books has evolved. Initially depicted as a psychopath with a sadistic sense of humor, the 1950s saw a shift to a more ordinary lunatic due to restrictions from the Comics Code Authority. In the 1970s, the character returned to its darker roots.

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28. Winnie-the-Pooh

Vinnine the pooh

Winnie the Pooh, the iconic character from “The Great Adventures of Winnie the Pooh,” created by A.A. Milne, is a yellow bear with a strong love for honey. Known for his humorous nature, Pooh often goes to great lengths to satisfy his sweet tooth, even attempting to put bees to sleep for honey in a movie about a tiger. Despite his love for honey, Pooh is a good friend who always helps others. He sports a short red T-shirt and has a best friend in Piglet. Though he initially lives alone, Piglet later becomes a part of his life. Pooh’s favorite phrase is “Oh, bother.”

29. Pinocchio

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Pinocchio, the main character in Carlo Collodi’s 1883 children’s fairy tale, is a wooden puppet crafted by the carpenter Geppetto. Set in a Tuscan village, Pinocchio aspires to become a real boy but struggles with telling lies, evidenced by his growing nose. The tale emphasizes moral lessons, with Pinocchio learning that dishonesty is punished while obedience and diligence lead to transformation. Geppetto represents a gentle and lenient parental figure. Pinocchio’s journey is a pedagogical narrative highlighting the consequences of choices. The story became a cultural icon, and in 1940, Walt Disney adapted it into an animated film, solidifying Pinocchio’s status as a significant figure in children’s literature.

30. Popeye

Popeye

Popeye, an iconic animated character from comics and cartoon series, made his debut in Thimble Theater comics on January 17, 1929, created by American cartoonist Elzie Crisler Segar. The sympathetic sailor, known for his anchor tattoos and trademark corn pipe, faces his main adversary, Bluto (sometimes Brutus), who often targets his girlfriend Olive Oyl. Popeye’s secret weapon is spinach, granting him incredible strength to effortlessly defeat Bluto. Between 1933 and 1957, around 230 short episodes were produced, along with three longer animated films: “Popeye The Sailor meets Sinbad the Sailor,” “Popeye meets Ali Baba’s forty thieves,” and “Aladdin and his wonderful lamp.”

31. Tarzan

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Tarzan, a fictional character and hero, originates from the renowned book series by American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. Burroughs, facing unemployment in 1912, began his literary career by writing the story of Tarzan on makeshift materials due to financial constraints. The tale was sold to All-Story Magazine for $700 and gained significant popularity. Subsequently, the Tarzan franchise expanded to include comics, 23 novels, and feature films, making Tarzan one of the most iconic figures in 20th-century popular culture.

32. Hannibal Lecter

hanibal

Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a character inspired by Thomas Harris’s novel “The Red Dragon,” made his first appearance in the literary world. Lecter is featured in several films, including “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Red Dragon,” with Anthony Hopkins portraying the character in most films. The character’s physical attributes, such as being shorter with dark hair and auburn eyes, are explored, along with his childhood tendencies of torturing and killing animals, indicative of sociopathic traits. Lecter’s diverse interests span psychiatry, medicine, psychology, cooking, art, and music, demonstrating his refined tastes. Additionally, he possesses an extraordinary sense of smell, allowing for precise perception.

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33. Big Bird

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Big Bird, a character from Sesame Street, is characterized by her childlike nature despite her height. Known for her curiosity, love of various events, and companionship with friends, Big Bird has become one of the most beloved children’s characters worldwide. Notably, she has appeared in every episode of Sesame Street and earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

34. Tony Soprano

ay tone

Anthony John “Tony” Soprano, Sr., a fictional character from the HBO television series “The Sopranos,” is portrayed by James Gandolfini and created by David Chase. As the intricate protagonist, Tony is the only character to appear in every episode of the series. Serving as the head of the DiMeo criminal family, he oversees North New Jersey’s most powerful criminal organization, striving to maintain its functionality and minimize discord. The dynamic between Tony and his uncle, Corrado John Soprano, Jr. (Junior Soprano), shifts from a close relationship to strain as Junior faces marginalization within the organization due to heightened FBI scrutiny.

35. Tony Montana

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In the movie Scarface, Tony Antonio Montana is a fictional character, an exiled Cuban criminal who aligns with drug lord Frank Lopez in Miami. Uncompromising, ruthless, and driven to succeed, Tony, along with his friend Manny Ray, ascends from the criminal bottom to the pinnacle of the Florida underworld. As Tony becomes involved with Lopez’s wife, Elvira, and eyes a higher position, Frank attempts to eliminate him. However, Tony emerges even stronger after the failed attempt. The quote, “The eyes, chico, they never lie,” captures Tony’s discerning nature.

36. Terminator

terminator

In the Terminator film franchise, the character Terminator is an imaginary creation. Set in a post-apocalyptic world of 2029, where machines dominate after an atomic war, the Terminator, a perfect man-robot cyborg portrayed by A. Schwarzenegger, time-travels to 1984. The mission is to locate Sarah Connor, the mother of a future rebel leader, who poses a threat to the advanced machines. Simultaneously, rebel Kyle Reese arrives from the past to prevent Sarah Connor’s murder and thwart the Terminator’s mission.

37. Jon Snow

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In George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, also known as “Game of Thrones,” Jon Snow, born as the illegitimate child of Eddard Stark, grows up in Winterfell with his half-brothers. Despite being a bastard, he joins the Night’s Watch, where his uncle Benjen serves. Jon receives a white wolf pup named Ghost. Over time, he rises through the ranks and eventually becomes the Commander of the Night’s Watch.

38. Norman Bates

Norma Bates

Norman Bates is a fictional character introduced in Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic horror film “Psycho.” Created by science fiction writer Robert Bloch, Bates, with a divided personality, has become a lasting figure in horror. The story has led to various sequels continuing the narrative. In Bloch’s portrayal, Norman Bates was born in 1935, and his character remains influential in the realm of psychopathy.

39. Marty McFly

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Martin Seamus McFly, portrayed by Michael J. Fox, is the fictional protagonist in the “Back to the Future” film trilogy. Born in Hill Valley, California, to the McFly family, Marty encountered the eccentric Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown at fourteen, developing a lasting friendship. The character has also appeared in the animated series and video games. In 2008, Empire magazine ranked Marty McFly as the 12th best film character of all time.

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40. Rick Blaine

Rick Blaine

Rick Blaine is an embittered, cynical American immigrant in Casablanca, owning Rick’s Café Américain, a nightclub and casino. Initially presenting as neutral, Rick’s past involvement in anti-fascist causes surfaces—he sold weapons to Ethiopia during the Italian invasion and fought in the Spanish Civil War. Despite his previous idealism, he’s now bitter and declares a stance of neutrality and independence.

41. Man With No Name

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The man with no name, portrayed by Clint Eastwood in Sergio Leone’s Italian westerns, is a character often nameless or ambiguously named. Empire magazine ranked him 33rd among the greatest movie characters. While occasionally referred to as Joe in scripts, he remains nameless in the films, known simply as “Il Biondo” (The Blond). This character, played by Eastwood, embodies a distinctive cowboy archetype, contrasting with the traditional representation seen in actors like John Wayne, Alan Ladd, and Randolph Scott.

42. Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown

Charlie Brown, created by Charles M. Schulz, is the main character in Peanuts. He’s a likable but perpetual loser facing insecurities and constant bad luck, notably in his baseball team. Despite enduring challenges, he exhibits endless determination and hope. Charlie Brown’s iconic expression, “Good grief!”, ranks 18th on The 100 Greatest TV Quotes and Catchphrases.

43. E.T.

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E.T., a small alien child, is part of a group of botanist aliens accidentally left on Earth. He hides in the woods, gaining the trust of human children, especially a lonely boy named Elliot. Together with Elliot’s siblings, they help E.T. evade the government and reunite with his kind.

44. Jay Gatsby

Jay Gatsby

Jay Gatsby is a mysterious and wealthy young man with love troubles, depicted in the novel from the perspective of his friend Nick Carraway. Gatsby is surrounded by rumors and hosts extravagant parties for high society.

45. Lassie

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Lassie is a Scottish Shepherd in “Lassie Come-Home” who deeply loves her owner Joe in the Carraclough family. Despite being sold due to financial struggles, Lassie remains faithful and determined to return home, showcasing her loyalty, bravery, and benevolence. She goes to great lengths to reunite with Joe and her original family.

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46. Fred Flintstone

fred flinstone

“Fred (Quarry Worker)” is a beloved American cartoon that has been entertaining audiences since 1960. Set in the fictional town of Bedrock during a unique blend of the Stone Age and Dinosaur Age, the show follows the life of Fred, a quarry worker, and his family. Fred is married to Wilma, and they have one child during the course of the six seasons. The family also has a “pet” dinosaur. The Kremenko family resides next to the Kamenko family, adding humor and adventures to their prehistoric lives.

47. Atticus Finch

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Atticus Finch, the fatherly figure in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” serves as a moral guide and hero. In the story, Atticus takes on the challenging case of defending black Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white woman. This decision makes him unpopular in the town. “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a widely read book on racial issues, and Atticus Finch is considered an enduring fictional symbol of racial heroism in the 20th century.

48. Kermit the Frog

Kermit the frog

Kermit, the famous frog from “The Muppet Show,” serves as an announcer, attempting to keep other Muppets in check. The show is renowned for its physical slapstick, absurdist comedy, and numerous parodies. Each episode features a human star as a guest, attracting many famous names to perform. Over a hundred guest stars have appeared on the show, contributing to its popularity.

49. George Bailey

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George Bailey, an imaginary character in the film “It’s a Wonderful Life,” is a family man whose shattered dreams lead him to contemplate suicide. Throughout his life, George sacrificed his aspirations for the greater good of others, from his family to the wider community. The final blow is the loss of bills of exchange at the small savings bank he manages. His guardian angel, Clarence, appears to dissuade him, revealing how the city and people’s lives would be different if he were never born. The film is a widely acclaimed Christmas classic, regularly aired on television worldwide.

50. Yoda

Yoda

Yoda, a fictional character from the Star Wars series created by George Lucas, appears in five of the six films, with his last appearance in “The Return of the Jedi” where he dies at approximately 900 years old. Renowned for training many Jedi, including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Count Dooku, and Luke Skywalker, Yoda is depicted as an immensely powerful Jedi. His distinctive speech involves changing the order of words in a playful manner.

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51. Zorro

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Zorro, introduced in 1919, gained significant fame with the 1998 film ‘The Mask of Zorro.’ In the movie, Zoro is an ordinary man by day, transforming into a night avenger with a sword that paints the letter Z in the air, defending the poor and seeking revenge for injustices. In reality, Zorro’s name is Joaquin Murrieta, a 19th-century figure who led a gang called the ‘Five Joaquins,’ plundering the Sierra Nevada and distributing the stolen goods to the poor. Ultimately, Murrieta was caught, beheaded, and posthumously became a legendary hero.

52. Moe, Larry, and Curly

Moe Larry and Curly

The Three Stooges, comprised of Moe, Larry, and Curly, are renowned comedians known for their physical farce and humor. Active from 1922 to 1970, they began as part of “Ted Healy and His Stooges,” featuring Healy and Moe Howard. Later, Moe’s brother Shemp Howard and Larry Fine joined the group. After their appearance in the film “Soup to Nuts,” Shemp pursued a solo career.

53. Mary Poppins

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Mary Poppins, the main protagonist of the book with the same name, is an extraordinary nanny who turns ordinary events into magical adventures. With her unique abilities, such as sliding along handrails and producing wonders from her seemingly empty bag, Mary Poppins banishes fear and sadness with a simple snap of her fingers. She takes children on one enchanting journey after another, ensuring they are tucked in lightly at the end of each day.

54. Super Mario

Super mario

Super Mario, a fictional character created by Japanese video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, initially appeared in video games but gained immense popularity, extending to animated films and comics. The mustachioed, portly man in a blue work suit and red cap has become one of today’s most famous fictional characters, rivaling even Mickey Mouse in popularity. The success of Mario in the Donkey Kong series led to the creation of games featuring him in the title role, including Mario Bros. for arcade machines and Super Mario Bros., bundled with the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

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55. Harry Potter

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Harry James Potter, the main character in J.K. Rowling’s book and film series, was orphaned as a baby after his parents, James and Lily Potter, perished. Raised by the Dursleys, Harry inherited his mother’s green eyes and father’s curly black hair, often described as short and thin. He bears a lightning-shaped scar on his forehead, a remnant of the curse cast by Lord Voldemort that killed his parents. Attending Hogwarts, a school of witchcraft and sorcery, Harry forms close bonds with friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. A cultural phenomenon, the Harry Potter series is widely known, with Hermione Granger also deserving recognition.

56. Holly Golightly

Holly Golightly

Holly Golightly, a young escort searching for her ideal man, encounters writer Paul Varjak, leading to love at first sight. However, Paul disapproves of Holly’s profession. As their friendship develops, Holly faces challenges, including jail time and a failed engagement, before embarking on a journey of self-discovery. Ultimately, she finds happiness, and Paul plays a significant role in her transformative journey.

57. Gandalf

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Gandalf, a character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels, plays a crucial role in resisting Sauron in Middle-earth. As one of the Maiar, incarnations at the service of the Valar, Gandalf, originally known as Olórin, was sent to Middle-earth to counter the rising darkness. Over two thousand years, Gandalf developed an understanding of Middle-earth’s inhabitants, especially Hobbits. Actively working against Sauron, Gandalf’s strategic actions set in motion events leading to the dark lord’s downfall. Gandalf’s origins as Olórin involved wisdom-sharing with Elves and visits to Nienna in the Far West, where he learned pity and patience. Sent by Valar Manwe and Varda, Olórin took on the role of Gandalf in Middle-earth around 1000 AD.

58. The Grinch

the grinch

The Grinch, a grumpy cynic living a lonely life in his cave with his faithful dog Max, decides to steal Christmas due to his annoyance with the increasingly extravagant holiday festivities. Frustrated by the city’s plans to decorate a massive Christmas tree, he sets out to provide himself with peace and quiet by taking drastic measures. Disguising himself as Santa Claus, the Grinch embarks on a mission to steal Christmas but experiences a transformative change of heart by the end of the adventure, thanks to the genuine holiday spirit of a young girl who believes in the magic of Christmas.

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59. Willy Wonka

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Willy Wonka is the eccentric owner of a renowned candy factory featured in the novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and its film adaptation, “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” He orchestrates a global sweepstakes offering winners lifetime supplies of his chocolate and an exclusive visit to his whimsical factory.

60. Hulk

Hulk

The Hulk is a Marvel Comics character created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, first appearing in 1962. As the alter ego of physicist Bruce Banner, the Hulk transforms into a huge, green, superhuman monster with uncontrollable strength when angered or in danger. Portrayed as both naive and hyper-aggressive, the Hulk is often seen as an antihero. Inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein, the character grapples with the consequences of gamma radiation exposure.

61. Scooby-Doo

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 61

Scooby-Doo is the main character in the Scooby-Doo series and movies. A Great Dane with a love for food, especially alongside his best friend Shaggy, Scooby wears a blue necklace with SD initials. Living in Coolsville with the rest of the team, he often ends episodes with the famous phrase “Scooby Dooby Doo” and is motivated by Scooby cookies.

62. Aladdin

Aladdin

Aladdin is a fictional character in the movies, a tramp surviving by stealing food from the bazaar. Accompanied by his monkey friend Abu, he is in love with Jasmine and seeks to win her heart with the help of the Genie from the lamp. The tale draws inspiration from A Thousand and One Nights, though some argue it may have been added later. Aladdin’s original biography portrays him as a freedom-loving young man who rejects learning tailoring from his father, leading to frustration for his parents.

63. George Costanza

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 63

George Costanza is a fictional character from the TV series Seinfeld, described as short, almost obese, and sparse-haired, grappling with numerous insecurities. Lazy and reluctant to work when unemployed, he devises clever schemes to hide his laziness when employed. Despite his flaws, he remains Jerry’s best friend and is a favorite among comedy fans.

64. Elsa

Elsa

Queen Elsa of Arendelle is a fictional character from Disney’s 2013 film Frozen. Voiced by Idina Menzel, she is created by director Chris Buck, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen. Elsa, princess of Arendelle, possesses magical abilities to control snow and ice. Isolated by her parents after accidentally injuring her sister Anna, Elsa’s coronation day takes a turn when she refuses to bless Anna’s marriage, leading to unexpected events.

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65. Jules Winnfield

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Jules Winnfield, a fictional character from Pulp Fiction, is an assassin working with Vincent Vega. Notable for reciting Ezekiel 25:17 before kills, Jules is distinctive as one of the film’s characters who, surviving a shooting, chooses a path of redemption.

66. John McClane

John McClane

John McClane, a New York City police officer, arrives in Los Angeles for Christmas with his family. Based on Detective Joe Leland, his troubled marriage and rebellious nature create personal challenges. When terrorists led by Hans Gruber take hostages in Nakatomi Plaza, McClane must confront the threat to free the captives and save the day.

67. Olaf

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 67

Olaf, the main character in Disney’s “The Snow Kingdom,” is a cheerful snowman brought to life by Elsa. A vital part of Anna and Elsa’s bond, he was created in their childhood. Beyond his shape-shifting abilities, Olaf has a unique love for summer and warmth, expressing his affection with a preference for warm hugs.

68. Ellen Ripley

Ellen Ripley

Ellen Ripley, a courageous heroine in the Alien series, is an iconic figure in the science fiction genre. Initially an officer aboard the Nostromo space freighter, she faces a deadly extraterrestrial creature. Ripley’s character spans four sequels, showcasing her courage, intelligence, and determination in battling the Aliens, earning her admiration from both men and women.

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69. Edward Scissorhands

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 69

In a city, there lived Edward Scissorhands, a creation with sharp metal scissors for fingers, crafted by an inventor. Despite his potential for harm, Edward lived alone in a villa above the town. When Miss Avon arrived, his longing for connection and a sense of completeness emerged, changing his isolated existence forever.

70. Ariel

Ariel

Ariel, the animated character from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” appears in the 1989 film and subsequent series and sequels. She is the fourth Disney Princess, known for her red hair, blue eyes, and mermaid tail. As the daughter of King Triton and Queen Athena, Ariel explores her underwater world with friends Flounder and Sebastian. The storyline delves into her childhood and the tragic loss of her mother, Queen Athena, to evil pirates who discovered the secret bay of mermaids. Ariel becomes the first Disney Princess to later become a mother in the series.

71. Eric Cartman

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 71

Eric Theodore Cartman is a central character in the animated series “South Park.” Voiced by Trey Parker, Cartman is a menacing, spoiled, and sociopathic fourth-grader residing in the fictional town of South Park, Colorado, with his mother. Known for his narcissism and vicious behavior, Cartman is both praised and criticized for his actions. Despite controversy, he remains one of the most popular and recognizable characters in South Park, earning a place on various lists of the best television and animated characters. The show’s creators, Stone and Parker, identify Cartman as the character they can relate to the most.

72. Simba

simba

Simba is a fictional character from Disney’s 1994 animated film “The Lion King” and its 2019 remake. In Swahili, Simba means lion. Living in the African Pride Lands, Simba is the son of Mufasa, the Lion King, who is tragically killed by Simba’s uncle Scar. Convinced of his responsibility for his father’s death, Simba goes into exile, nearly perishing in the desert. However, he is rescued by Meerkat Timon and Warthog Pumbaa, who help him overcome challenges, providing a new home in a lush rainforest and introducing him to the carefree motto “Hakuna Matata” (“No worries”).

73. Walter White

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 73

Walter White, a chemistry professor diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, turns to manufacturing methamphetamine to secure his family’s financial future. Operating under the alias “Heisenberg,” he partners with his former student Jesse Pinkman in the criminal world, producing and selling crystallized methamphetamine. The story revolves around Walter’s descent into the drug trade as he grapples with his health and the consequences of his choices.

74. Cinderella

Cinderella

Cinderella, based on Charles Perrault’s fairy tale, is a beautiful girl oppressed by her stepmother and stepsisters. Forbidden to attend a royal ball, she’s relegated to housework. Despite her hardships, Cinderella dreams of attending the ball where the prince will choose his future wife.

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75. Cosmo Kramer

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 75

Cosmo Kramer, a semi-imaginary character in Seinfeld, is inspired by Kenny Kramer, a real person who loves golf, cigars, and baths. Kramer, a former comedian, lacks a permanent job and even ran for mayor of New York.

76. Pikachu

Pikachu

Pikachu, a Pokemon with strong electrical abilities, is a popular character in video games, animated shows, movies, and card games under the Pokemon franchise. Designed by Atsuko Nishida and Ken Sugimori, Pikachu first appeared in Pokemon Red and Green, later in international releases. Voiced by Ikue Otani, Pikachu is a central character in the Pokemon franchise, featuring prominently in the anime series and considered its mascot. Ryan Reynolds voices Pikachu in the CGI film Pokemon: Detective Pikachu. Pikachu holds iconic status in Japanese pop culture and serves as one of Nintendo’s main mascots.

77. Michael Scott

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 77

Michael Scott, the main protagonist in The Office, is the regional manager of the Scranton branch of the paper trade. Despite being a sickly child with learning difficulties, Michael is of English, Irish, and German-Scottish descent. Starting at Dunder Mifflin in the 1990s, he won Salesman of the Year in 1996 and 1997. Loyal to the company, Michael aims to be helpful to his employees when they face challenges.

78. Timon and Pumbaa

Timon and Pumba

Timon and Pumbaa, loyal friends of Simba, the Lion King, find the unconscious Simba in the desert and rescue him from vultures. Together, they help Simba regain consciousness, overcome challenges, and introduce him to their home, a beautiful rainforest, with the motto “Hakuna Matata.” When Simba decides to return and reclaim the throne, Timon and Pumbaa join him in the fight.

79. Freddy Krueger

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 79

Freddy Krueger is a fictional character from the horror film series A Nightmare on Elm Street. He appears as a nightmare killer with a bladed glove, initially portrayed by Robert Englund and later by Jackie Earle Haley in a 2010 remake. Freddy is the son of the nun Amanda Krueger, conceived through a traumatic event, leading to a troubled childhood marked by abuse. His anger manifests in killing animals and eventually his abusive stepfather with bladed weapons. Freddy haunts dreams, causing victims to die in reality.

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80. Captain America

Captain America

Captain America is a fictional superhero appearing in Marvel Comics, debuting in Captain America Comics #1 in 1941. Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, Captain America is the alter ego of Steve Rogers, a young man enhanced to peak human perfection by an experimental serum during World War II. Clad in a costume resembling the American flag and armed with an indestructible shield, he fought against Axis powers, becoming Timely Comics’ most popular character during the war. After a post-war decline, Captain America returned in 1964, often leading superhero group The Avengers.

81. Goku

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 81

Son Goku, also known as Kakarot, is the main character in the anime series Dragon Ball. Originally sent to Earth to destroy it, Goku, a Saiyan from the planet Vegeta, loses his cruel nature after a head injury. In his quest for the Dragon Balls, Goku befriends Bulma and encounters various characters like Yamcha, Puara, and Oolong. He faces the evil Pilaf, trains under Roshi and Krilin, and competes in the Martial Arts Tournament. Goku later confronts the Red Ribbon army, defeating them and their strongest warrior, Tao.

82. Woody

Woody

Woody, a cowboy character in the cartoon Toy Story, is Andy’s favorite toy. When pulled, he quotes memorable lines from Woody’s Roundup. Despite concerns about their future, Woody remains a voice of reason and a caring leader, ensuring no toy is forgotten.

83. Bambi

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 83

“Bambi” by Felix Salten is a captivating story that depicts the life and growth of a roe deer from childhood to adulthood. Inspired by the author’s love for nature and animals, the narrative explores the roe deer’s playful youth, encounters with temptations, loves, fears, and the journey into adulthood. The book serves as an educational tale, offering insights into life’s knowledge, experiences, pain, suffering, love, and happiness. It is a magical work that not only resonates with children but also provides adults with reflections on self-discovery and life.

84. Ronald McDonald

ronald mcdonalds

Ronald McDonald is the primary mascot of the McDonald’s fast food chain, recognized by 96% of American school children. As a clown, he often appears in TV commercials, originally in McDonaldland, alongside characters like Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and The Fry Kids. In recent times, Ronald has been depicted spending more time with ordinary children, moving away from the fantastical McDonaldland setting. The character was created by Willard Scott.

85. Waldo/Wally

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 85

Waldo/Wally is the protagonist of the “Where’s Wally” series by British author Martin Handford. The objective in each episode is to locate Wally in a crowded picture. Wally is identifiable by his red-white striped T-shirt, red hat, glasses, and walking stick. He is depicted as clumsy and forgetful, often losing items that readers must find in the illustrations. The challenge lies in the detailed and well-hidden nature of Wally in the pictures.

86. Buffy Summers

buffy

Buffy Summers is the central character in a series about a young girl chosen by destiny to be the last in the line of “vampire slayers.” She battles vampires, demons, and supernatural forces with the help of her Guardian and a group of loyal friends known as the Scooby Gang. Buffy is a multifaceted and captivating character, one of the earliest superheroes with a compelling story. She combats supernatural threats not just with physical prowess but also with sarcasm and witty jokes. Despite Sarah Michelle Gellar’s beauty, Buffy’s personality takes precedence, making her the friend who skillfully responds to school bullies.

87. Frasier Crane

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 87

Frasier Crane, a psychiatrist returning to Seattle after a divorce, has his plans for a bachelor life disrupted when he’s forced to share an apartment with his wounded father, Martin. Spending time with his psychiatrist younger brother, Niles, Frasier’s refined tastes often clash with Martin’s more down-to-earth preferences. Despite their close bond, the Crane brothers’ relationship is marked by constant tension and rivalry, leading to chaotic arguments and disagreements.

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88. Omar Little

Omar little

Omar Little, portrayed by Michael K. Williams, is a renowned Baltimore criminal known for robbing other drug dealers to make a living. Frequently targeted by the Barksdale clan, he lives by a unique code, including the principle “I never pulled a gun on a person who didn’t deserve it.” Omar is highly intelligent, navigating challenging situations by forming remarkable alliances to his advantage.

89. Buzz Lightyear

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 89

Buzz Lightyear is a character from Toy Story. Buzz is a space officer, very confident, wears a spectacular spacesuit, and is convinced he can fly. Others also love Buzz and wanted to spend as much time as possible with the new toy.

90. Wolverine

Wolverine

Wolverine, a Marvel Comics hero, is a mutant featured in collaboration with X-Men. Possessing animal senses, enhanced physical abilities, potent regenerative powers, and three claws in each hand, Wolverine first appeared in The Incredible Hulk #180 and gained prominence in issue #181 in 1974. The character has been part of various X-Men adaptations, including animated series, video games, and the 20th Century Fox X-Men film series, notably portrayed by Hugh Jackman in nine out of ten films.

91. Ron Burgundy

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 91

Ron Burgundy, a respected San Diego TV journalist, faces a challenge to his throne from the ambitious and knowledgeable Veronica Corningstone. Initially unconcerned with her less important assignments, Ron finds himself in a fierce battle for the microphone as Veronica refuses to accept a supporting role, turning their conflict into an all-out war.

92. Jason Voorhees

Jason Worhees

Jason Voorhees, a fictional character from the Friday the 13th horror film series, first mentioned as a drowned boy in Crystal Lake in the 1980 original. In the sequel, he becomes the main killer, avenging his mother’s death. His iconic hockey mask and machete appearance is established in the third part, Friday the 13th of March (1982).

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93. Betty Boop

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 93

Betty Boop, the iconic heroine of the Fleischer brothers’ cartoon series (1931-1939), emerged as an early and highly eroticized character, parodying Hollywood pin-up beauty. Amidst a moralistic campaign, her popularity soared during the Great Depression, making her a serious rival to Walt Disney. Drawn by Grim Natwick, initially, her character differed from the familiar Betty Boop we recognize today. Despite scandal and controversy, Betty Boop became the most recognizable character from the Fleischer studio.

94. Bilbo Baggins

Bilo baggins

Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit from Hobbiton, embarks on an unexpected adventure when persuaded by the wizard Gandalf and thirteen dwarves to seek the dragon’s treasure. During the journey, Bilbo gains respect and encounters Gollum, finding the One Ring. Unaware of its significance, he uses it for invisibility. After completing the quest, Bilbo returns to Bag End, living until 111, passing the Ring to Frodo. He celebrates his 111th birthday, leaves for Rivendell, and plans to stay there until the end of his days.

95. Tony Stark (Iron Man)

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 95

Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man, is a Marvel Comics superhero created by Stan Lee. A billionaire, playboy, and genius engineer, Stark constructs an armored suit after a severe injury during a kidnapping. Using the suit to escape and save his life, he becomes Iron Man, protecting the world. Initially addressing Cold War themes, the character later evolves to tackle contemporary issues like terrorism and corporate crime. Stark’s journey is marked by his transition from weapons manufacturer to a hero using technology for good.

96. Mowgli

Mowgly

Mowgli, from The Jungle Book, is a boy raised by wolves in the jungle. He grows up with animals, learning the Law of the Jungle and forming a bond with them. Personified animals in the story are intelligent and caring, treating Mowgli as their own. The only threat is the tiger Shere Khan. Animals in the book exhibit morality, following laws and imparting wisdom to Mowgli, emphasizing respect for nature and fairness in their actions.

97. Katniss Everdeen

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 97

Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist of The Hunger Games trilogy, hails from the impoverished 12th Mining District in the fictional state of Panem. In the 74th Hunger Games, she volunteers to save her sister Primrose, who was initially chosen. Alongside Peeta Mellark, the male representative, Katniss competes in the deadly Hunger Games, a televised event where young participants from each district fight for survival. The character is portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in the film adaptation directed by Gary Ross.

98. Minnie Mouse

Minnine Mouse

Minnie Mouse, a beloved character in Disney’s animated world, appears in cartoons and comics. Initially introduced with the full name Minerva Mouse, she is commonly known as Minnie. Minnie is romantically linked to Mickey Mouse, and their enduring relationship is a cherished aspect of her character. Throughout various appearances, Minnie is often portrayed as a close friend to other iconic characters like Daisy Duck and Clarabelle Cow. She holds a special place in the hearts of fans alongside her sweetheart Mickey Mouse.

99. Porky Pig

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 99

Porky Pig, an iconic character in Warner Bros.’ Looney Tunes series, holds a special place as one of the studio’s earliest creations. Beloved by both Warner Bros. executives and audiences alike, Porky Pig is famous for his distinctive sign-off catchphrase, “Th-Th-Th-That’s All Folks!”

100. Hawkeye Pierce

Hawkeye Pierce

Hawkeye Pierce is the central character in the American TV series MAS*H, which debuted in 1972. An outstanding surgeon, Hawkeye defies military hierarchy, enjoys drinking, and excels at his medical duties. Known for his sarcastic humor, he navigates the challenges of war with a deep understanding of his patients’ struggles.

101. Belle

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 101

Belle, the daughter of the inventor Maurice in Beauty and the Beast, dreams of adventure and treasures books in her small French town. Despite being considered an outcast, she attracts the conceited hunter Gaston’s attention. When Maurice gets lost, he stumbles upon the Beast’s castle, leading to a transformative journey involving enchantment, love, and breaking societal norms.

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102. Don Draper

Don Draper

Don Draper, the main character in Mad Men, is a creative director and marketing executive with a mysterious past. Born as Dick Whitman, he assumed the identity of Don Draper during the Korean War, and his career in advertising is marked by success. Known for his vices like alcohol and cigarettes, Don faces personal challenges, including a troubled marriage to Betty Draper, marked by infidelity and eventual divorce, revealing the complexities of his life and identity.

103. Mulan

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 103

Mulan, the eighth Disney princess, is based on the real historical figure Hua Mulan, a famous Chinese warrior who, in legend, disguised herself as a man to replace her ailing father in the army for 12 years. Regarded as a feminist Disney princess, Mulan serves as a positive role model for girls worldwide, challenging traditional gender roles and showcasing strength and martial arts skills.

104. Cliff Huxtable

Cliff

Cliff Huxtable, residing in Brooklyn, New York, is a character born in 1937 and raised in Philadelphia. A former athlete with a family of five children—Sondra, Denise, Theodore, Vanessa, and Rudy—he is married to Clair Hanks Huxtable. Cliff, an aficionado of loud music and fast food, shares similarities with the actor Bill Cosby, who portrays him. Initially named Clifford in the pilot episode, the character’s moniker evolved to Heathcliff, or Cliff for short.

105. Shrek

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 105

Shrek, a reclusive ogre living in the forest, finds his solitude disrupted when Lord Farquaad banishes fairy tale creatures to his territory. Annoyed by the unwanted company, Shrek seeks to reclaim his peace. To achieve this, he agrees to Lord Farquaad’s demand to rescue Princess Fiona in exchange for the removal of the fairy tale beings. However, the task comes with a catch—Farquaad aims to marry Fiona to become king, setting the stage for Shrek’s unconventional journey.

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106. Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime

Optimus Prime, formerly the head of Cybertron’s scientific division, assumes leadership of the Autobots after the fall of Megatron. Discovering his lineage as the last of the Primes and hiding from The Fallen, Optimus takes up the mantle to thwart Megatron’s quest for AllSpark and the conquest of other worlds. Assembling the Autobots, he becomes a formidable force against the Decepticons’ plans.

107. Tiana

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 107

Disney introduces its first African-American heroine, breaking a 72-year trend since Snow White. The young, smart, and beautiful heroine embarks on a fairy tale journey, eventually marrying her prince. However, the narrative goes beyond the traditional happily ever after, addressing cultural and racial barriers. The plot revolves around Prince Naveen, cursed into a frog by an evil wizard, who mistakenly kisses Tijana, turning her into a frog. Together, they embark on a journey to seek the help of the good voodoo queen Mama Odie, accompanied by new friends in the magical Bayou.

108. Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic

Sonic the Hedgehog, the iconic protagonist of Sega’s video game series, is a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog known for his supersonic speed and ability to roll into a ball. Developed by Sonic Team, with credits often attributed to Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima, Sonic races through various games collecting power-up rings, dodging obstacles, and defeating enemies. Created in 1991 to establish Sega’s mascot, Sonic has become one of the most renowned characters in video games, with the series selling over 80 million copies by 2011.

109. Jasmine

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 109

Jasmine, a princess, rebels against forced marriage dictated by law, driven by her desire for love. Suspicious of strangers, she embodies qualities of bravery, sarcasm, and positivity. Residing in a palace with the Ocem Sultan and the tiger Rajah, Jasmine’s character draws inspiration from Princess Badroulbadour in the collection of short stories “A Thousand and One Nights.”

110. Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot

Hercule Poirot, a renowned fictional detective from Agatha Christie’s novels, is featured in 33 novels and 54 short stories, making him one of the most iconic detectives. Portrayed by various actors, including Albert Finney and David Suchet, Poirot originated in Belgium and retired from the Belgian police in 1904. He embarked on a private detective career, solving cases across Europe, forming close bonds with Inspector James Japp and Captain Arthur Hastings, his best friend.

111. Ursula

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 111

Ursula, the main antagonist in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” voiced by Pat Carroll, is a malevolent mermaid. She deceives Ariel by granting her a temporary chance to become human and win Prince Eric’s love. However, Ursula’s true intention is to thwart Ariel’s efforts and seize control of the oceans by replacing King Triton.

112. Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow

Jack Sparrow, portrayed by Johnny Depp in Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean series, is a legendary pirate captain commanding the Black Pearl. Known for his humor and pirate antics, Jack is one of the most famous fictional pirates in history, navigating through adventures in the films alongside his ship and former first mate Barbossa.

113. Spongebob Squarepants

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 113

SpongeBob SquarePants, the energetic and optimistic sea sponge from the American cartoon series, resides in a pineapple with his cat-like snail pet. His best friend is a star, and he shares a neighborhood with a squid.

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114. Merida

Merida

Merida, a princess and daughter of King Fergus, breaks the mold of passive princesses. She is a skilled fighter, the kingdom’s best shooter, adept at riding and swordplay. Unrestrained red curls symbolize her bold personality. Interestingly, her mother, Queen Elinor, becomes the source of her perceived oppression, constantly instructing her on proper princess behavior, leading to a strained relationship. Merida, seeking freedom, finds better understanding with her laid-back father.

115. Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys in a storm born of the house of Targaryen, first of her name, queen of the Andals and the First People, protector of the Seven Kingdoms, mother of dragons, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, unbaked, chain breaker, queen of Meereen… This character is certainly the longest story in the world-famous “Game of Thrones” which, despite long dancing on the edge between the heroine and the villain, won the hearts of viewers as one of the main contenders for the Iron Throne.

116. Jack Torrance

Jack Torrance

Jack Torrance, a struggling writer grappling with a creative crisis, accepts a janitorial job at the isolated Overlook Hotel in the Colorado Mountains to address his problems. Despite his aspirations, Jack is a recovering alcoholic prone to angry outbursts. His past includes losing a teaching job due to assaulting a student and accidentally breaking his son Danny’s arm. The unforgettable tale of Jack, Wendy, and Danny in “The Shining” induces a chilling fear that lingers as readers navigate the gripping narrative.

117. Rapunzel

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 117 1

Rapunzel, the protagonist of Disney’s 2010 animated film “Tangled,” is the Princess of the Corona with long, magical, golden hair. Kidnapped by an evil witch as a child, she spends eighteen years locked in a tower, yearning to explore the world outside. Intrigued by “floating lights” that appear on her birthday, Rapunzel escapes the tower with the help of Flynn Fakin, a charming thief, to uncover the mystery and fulfill her dream of venturing into the outside world. This character is inspired by the classic German fairy tale “Rapunzel” by the Brothers Grimm and is the tenth official Disney princess, the first animated using CGI.

118. The Genie from Aladdin

The Genie from Aladdin

The Genie from Aladdin is a spirit confined to a lamp, bound to fulfill three wishes for whoever rubs it. Despite possessing incredible powers, the Genie is essentially a slave who has endured over 10,000 years of servitude, serving countless masters. His real name remains unknown, and he might have been enslaved by a wizard as punishment for a past act, perhaps as an entertainer gone awry. Throughout his adventures with Aladdin, the Genie becomes the protagonist’s best friend, finding joy and freedom as he transforms into various forms to grant wishes.

119. Pac-Man

120 Most Iconic Fictional Characters Of All Time 119

Pac-Man is the name for an arcade game developed by the Japanese company Namco while licensed and distributed for the US market by Midway. The game was released in Japan on May 22, 1980.

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120. Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman, a fictional superhero in DC Comics, is a Justice League member and ambassador of the Amazon people. First introduced in All-Star Comics #8 in October 1941, she made her debut appearance in Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942. Published continuously by DC Comics, except for a brief hiatus in 1986, Wonder Woman is officially known as Princess Diana of Themyscira in her homeland, where she is an Amazonian ambassador. In society beyond Themyscira, she adopts the civic identity of Diana Prince.

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