What a Wonderful Wife! Top 10 Greatest Sitcom Wives Of All Time.

Being a Tv sitcom wife is a thankless role. Most of the time the wife on a Tv show, and specifically a sitcom is just… “the wife” with very little actual character, personality or much agency of her own, but thankfully there have also been many, many, many iconic, funny, gorgeous and downright entertaining tv wives over the decades that I feel deserve the spotlight for being the queens of prime time they were and still are. Here they reign, my choices for the top 10 greatest sitcom wives of all time.

10. Lucy Ricardo. I Love Lucy.

Lucy and Ricky.

One of the first tv wives in history was Lucy Ricardo, the ambitious, ditsy and quirky wife of feisty Cuban band leader Ricky Ricardo. What makes Lucy such an iconic tv wife is just how hilarious she is in interactions with her husband and how she always tries her best to make their marriage work…. as well as get Ricky to “put her in the show”. Lucy and Desi were married in real life as well making their tv marriage all the more believable and enjoyable to watch.

9. Marge Simpson. The Simpsons.

Marge Simpson

Dear, sweet Marge has put up with a lot from Homer, but she does it gladly because she adores her “Homey” and does the best she can to support him, even when he makes it difficult. But let this not have you to believe that Marge is a doormat, oh no. She can give as good as she gets from her family when they push her far enough:

But no matter what these two share a bond and a deep love that has made their marriage last through it all.

8. Wanda Mac. The Bernie Mac Show.

Bernie and Wanda Mac.

Sexy, smart, vivacious, reasonable, materialistic, sassy and nurturing, Wanda Mac had it all as a wife and could always hold her own with King of Comedy Bernie Mac. The chemistry between Bernie Mac and Kellita Smith was so refreshingly real and palpable which makes them one of tv’s unsung classic married couples.

7. Gina Waters-Payne. Martin.

Gina Waters-Payne.

When it comes to iconic representations of black love on the small screen Martin and Gina often land at the top of the lists, especially when just talking 90’s black love. Martin’s beautiful and lovely girlfriend turned wife Gina Payne is a ride or die wife who is always there to have his back and give her support just as much as she’s there to check him and bring him back down to earth. Every man needs a wife like “Applehead” Gina.

6. Peggy Bundy. Married… With Children.

Katey Sagal.

Bon Bon eating, wallet grabbing, and mercilessly insult throwing Peggy Bundy may have been the wife from hell, but at the end of the day she was the perfect match for her husband Al and one of Tv’s most original and funniest wives. Peggy Bundy was the beginning of a new wife and mom for television, far away from June Cleaver but even more flawed and edgier than Roseanne Conner. Peggy was the queen of the shade as they say and nobody could throw a nasty zinger like her or avoid actually doing any type of work like her. Peggy really was one of a kind.

5. Carrie Heffernan. The King of Queens.

Carrie Heffernan.

Sexy, witty, smart, no nonsense and tough as nails, Carrie Heffernan was the ideal tv wife. She had her (many) faults, but at the end of the day Doug and the audience knew he was lucky to have her. Leah Remini was so fantastic as Carrie and was instrumental in the character evolving as well as she evolved from the typical “wife” and into the more complex, somewhat bitchy, flawed and really funny character she became. The King of Queens wouldn’t survive without its Queen.

4. Debra Barone. Everybody Loves Raymond.

Debra Barone

The amazing Patricia Heaton won two very much deserved Emmys for this role and you see why every episode of Everybody Loves Raymond. Ray Romano has said it before, Debra is the actual central character in Everybody Loves Raymond because she really is the glue to the series and it’s her character that we as the audience can most identify with because she serves as our voice to the madness that goes on in the Barone household. The goal of Phil Rosenthal from the beginning was that Debra not be just “the wife” but be a fully fleshed out character with her own faults and foibles and not just be an angel suffering, and throughout all nine seasons I’d say he succeeded because Debra had so many iconic moments to shine on that show and her marriage to Ray is one of the all time greatest tv marriages.

3. Tie. Jill Taylor\Clair Huxtable. Home Improvement and The Cosby Show.

The impossible task of choosing which one to put in this spot left me settling with a tie. These two amazing and iconic tv wives each deserve to be included on this list and in the number 3 spot specifically because both were played so perfectly by their actresses and both had pitch perfect chemistry with their onscreen husbands. Jill Taylor was brought to life by Patricia Richardson and mostly by Patricia because as she has stated many times in interviews, she had to fight for every piece of development Jill got from the all male writers, thank God she did because Jill developed into such a rich, complex and delightfully funny character who was Tim Allen’s true equal partner on the show, and without her or Tim there would’ve never even been a Home Improvement because the relationship between Tim and Jill was at the very core of the show and gave it its heart and soul.

Then there’s Clair Huxtable. America’s wife and mom of the 1980’s and early 1990’s. As Clair Huxtable Phylicia Rashad represented class, grace, humor, intelligence, beauty and strength in every scene she was in. She also represented black mothers in a way television never had before as well as the working woman as an attorney who managed to balance motherhood and her career. She was a near perfect mother but also a near perfect wife who Cliff knew he was lucky to have.

2. Alice Kramden. The Honeymooners.

Alice and Ralph Kramden.

Alice Kramden played by the spectacular Audrey Meadows was perhaps the first tv wife (after Lucy) that had a realistic personality as well as got just as many jokes as her husband, only unlike Lucy, Alice was the first tv wife to really speak her mind to her loud mouthed husband and knock him down a peg or two. I see Alice as perhaps the grandmother to Peggy Bundy and certainly a descendant to Wilma Flintstone for whom was loosely based off of Alice, same with the rest of the series being based off of The Honeymooners. Alice was beautiful, quick witted, feisty, warm and a wonderful wife who put up with all of Ralph’s shenanigans because she loved him dearly and was the perfect match for him as he was for her. Baby, she’s the greatest!

  1. Edith Bunker. All In The Family.
Edith Bunker.

The number one spot goes to nobody else but Edith Bunker. The most adoring, devoted, doting, loving, and hilariously quirky television wife ever in my opinion. Who doesn’t love Edith? Jean Stapleton mastered this role so completely that Preachers would mention her Edith in sermons, people would ask her repeatedly to do the voice, and Edith has become one of television’s most beloved and iconic characters. Edith Bunker may have been a Dingbat but she was also a saint of a woman for putting up with ole Archie.

’Til next time, folks! And love your wives! You know the saying, “Can’t live with ‘em…”

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Kendall Rivers

Kendall Rivers

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Kendall is a screenwriter who’s a huge fan of classic tv and movies. He enjoys creating good stories and characters. https://www.facebook.com/kendall.rivers.3