Adam B. Vary
June 01, 2010 AT 07:45 PM EDT

To help celebrate Entertainment Weekly‘s 20th anniversary (one more year and we can finally drink booze!), the writers and editors have carefully curated a list of the 100 greatest characters in pop-culture over the last 20 years. Whether the fictional women, men, ogres, muppets, babies, and cartoon rockers who made our list were initially created before 1990 didn’t matter so long as they made a lasting impact in the culture after 1990. Some characters were so inseparable in our minds and hearts — like a certain highly articulate TV mother and daughter, for example — that we simply listed them together. (Hey, it’s our list, so we get to make the rules.) Rest assured, we carefully deliberated, debated, argued, and bickered over who would make the cut and where they deserved to be ranked; after you take a look at our list, please feel free to do the same in the comments.

100. Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights

99. The Bride from Kill Bill

98. Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels

97. Violet Weston from August: Osage County

96. Bernie Mac from The Bernie Mac Show

95. Wilhelmina from Ugly Betty

94. Truman from The Truman Show

93. Game Boys: Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series; Kratos from the God of War series; and Niko Bellic from Grand Theft Auto IV

92. Christopher Boone from The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time

91. Hancock from Hancock

90. Marge Gunderson from Fargo

89. Wikus van de Merwe from District 9

88. Napoleon Dynamite from Napoleon Dynamite

87. Tony Stark from the Iron Man series

86. Karen Walker and Jack McFarland from Will & Grace

85. Daniel Plainview from There Will Be Blood

84. Dr. Gregory House from House, M.D.

83. Jen Yu from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

82. Tracy Flick from Election

81. Amanda Woodward from Melrose Place

80. Gorillaz, the animated rock band

79. Elphaba from Wicked

78. Patty Hewes from Damages

77. Mimi Marquez from Rent

76. Tyler Durden from Fight Club

75. David Brent from The Office (original version)

74. Don Draper from Mad Men

73. Catherine Trammell from Basic Instinct

72. Kara “Starbuck” Thrace from Battlestar Galactica

71. Det. Alonzo Harris from Training Day

70. Mary Katherine Gallagher from Saturday Night Live

69. Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada

68. Effie White from Dreamgirls

67. Borat from Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

66. Allie and Noah from The Notebook

65. Lorelai and Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls

64. Maximus from Gladiator

63. John Locke from Lost

62. Jimmy Corrigan from Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

61. Vic Mackey from The Shield

60. Mary Jones from Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Saphhire

59. Master Chief from the Halo series

58. Thelma and Louise from Thelma & Louise

57. Clayton Bigsby from Chappelle’s Show

56. Barney Stinson from How I Met Your Mother

55. Tracy Jordan from 30 Rock

54. Juno from Juno

53. Edward Cullen from the Twilight saga

52. Annie Wilkes from Misery

51. Omar Little from The Wire

50. Pearl the Landlord from FunnyorDie.com

49. Vivian Ward from Pretty Woman

48. Red from The Shawshank Redemption

47. Corky St. Clair Waiting for Guffman

46. Jerry Maguire from Jerry Maguire

45. Stewie Griffin from Family Guy

44. Jack Bauer from 24

43. Cal Stephanides from Middlesex

42. Sydney Bristow from Alias

41. Harold and Kumar from the Harold & Kumar series

40. Ron Burgundy from Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

39. Gob Bluth from Arrested Development

38. Elmo from Sesame Street

37. Keyser Söze from The Usual Suspects

36. Gollum from The Lord of the Rings

35. Dexter Morgan from Dexter

34. Cher from Clueless

33. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2: Judgment Day

32. Beavis and Butt-Head from Beavis and Butt-Head

31. Forrest Gump from Forrest Gump

30. “Stephen Colbert” from The Colbert Report

29. Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield from Pulp Fiction

28. Madea from several Tyler Perry films and plays

27. Frasier from Frasier

26. Kavalier and Clay from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

25. Woody from the Toy Story series

24. Felicity Porter from Felicity

23. Austin Powers from the Austin Powers series

22. Eric Cartman from South Park

21. Roseanne Conner from Roseanne

20. Ally McBeal from Ally McBeal

19. Morpheus from The Matrix series

18. Sue Sylvester from Glee

17. Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider franchise

16. Bridget Jones from the Bridget Jones series

15. Shrek from the Shrek series

14. Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski from The Big Lebowski

13. Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean series

12. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from The X-Files

11. Cosmo Kramer from Seinfeld

10. SpongeBob SquarePants from SpongeBob SquarePants

9. Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City

8. Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs and its sequels

7. Edward Scissorhands from Edward Scissorhands

6. Rachel Green from Friends

5. The Joker from The Dark Knight

4. Tony Soprano from The Sopranos

3. Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer

2. Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series

1. Homer Simpson from The Simpsons

For more from our 100 Greatest Characters Issue, including Will Ferrell on Ron Burgundy, Johnny Depp on Jack Sparrow, Joss Whedon on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and an interview with Homer Simpson, pick up the issue on newsstands now.

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