21 Breakout Characters of 2018

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Who were the biggest breakout characters of 2018?

That's what we're here to determine!

Some of these characters are on brand new shows, others are new characters on established shows, and some have been around awhile but didn't reach their full potential until this year. 

Related: 23 Most Romantic Moments of 2018

All of them left a lasting impression on us one way or another. From good guys to villains, our list includes all kinds of characters. Did your favorite make the cut?

Scroll through our picks and let us know if you agree! 

1. Coop - All American

Coop - All American
This may be Spencer's story, but it was Coop who stole the show. Our hearts broke for her when she came out to her mom and was subsequently kicked out of her house. We worried for her as she fell deeper into the gang life, and our hearts broke all over again at her devastation when Shawn was killed. Bre-Z has been knocking it out of the park all season, making Coop a true stand out.

2. Villanelle - Killing Eve

Villanelle - Killing Eve
Killing Eve was one of the year's best shows, and a large part of that was due to the incredibly talented leads. Either character could be on this list, but we're giving the nod to Villanelle for truly blowing us away as a seductive, manipulative, and often funny hitwoman. There simply is no other character like her on TV, and she had us engrossed from beginning to end. Jodie Comer truly deserved an Emmy nomination.

3. Conrad - The Resident

Conrad - The Resident
Conrad puts his patients first and doesn't have time to deal with hospital beauracracy. He's the doctor you want on your case. Conrad does not give up, and he goes above and beyond to give his patients the best care possible. He's tough on Devon, but only because he wants to ensure he's prepared for anything.

4. Toni - Riverdale

Toni - Riverdale
Toni had a great year in 2018 that was explored further with her witty retorts, assertiveness, and new relationship with Cheryl. She also went from recurring character to series regular which makes her a bigger part of the show now.

5. Arthur - God Friended Me

Arthur - God Friended Me
Joe Morton has such a gift and he's mesmerizing to watch. It was hard to embrace him as an inherently good reverend after watching him as the psychopath father and leader of B613 from Scandal. Yet somehow, Morton made Arthur an even stronger, more commanding and complex character than Eli Pope. It's exciting to see his softer side, and he still delivers great advice!

6. Ravi - iZombie

Ravi - iZombie
Ravi has always been great on iZombie, but he outdid himself in 2018. iZombie Season 4 was a bit of a mixed bag, but Ravi remained the highlight. Due to unusual circumstances, he had the best (and worst) of both worlds by being a human who becomes a zombie once a month. Ravi as a zombie on brains is even more hilarious than normal Ravi!

7. Theo - The Haunting of Hill House

Theo - The Haunting of Hill House
Out of all the kids, Theo stood out as the most fun and interesting. She delivered the sarcasm while also achieving big character growth. She went from empty hookups and an inability to embrace her abilities to being someone open to love and her psychic power.

8. Levi - Grey's Anatomy

Levi - Grey's Anatomy
It has been a great season for this secondary character. His attaction to Nico garnered him more focus than the other interns, but the way he handled it really made him a standout. He's open and accepting of his sexuality, and he has this new confidence that has him asserting himself and speaking his mind, unlike the bumbling geek he was before.

9. Nora - The Flash

Nora - The Flash
As the time-traveling future daughter of Barry and Iris, Nora has made a real impression on viewers of The Flash this season. Despite the bizarreness of her situation, Nora has introduced a fun, new innocence. She slays every scene and has the most heart-warming connections with her young parents.

10. Joe - YOU

Joe - YOU
Somehow Penn Badgley not only made a psycho-stalker killer rather endearing, relatable, and fun, but he made viewers enjoy him more than Joe's actual victims, including Beck. The internal monologues sealed the deal. Joe is a witty, funny, acerbic pretentious, arrogant, and honestly, he says or thinks things we all do every day which is both amusing and terrifying.

11. Mallory - American Horror Story: Apocalypse

Mallory - American Horror Story: Apocalypse
Mallory saved the world against the son of Satan AND she's going to be the next Supreme. Mallory has really come a long way from her initial appearance as the assistance, making her one of 2018's breakouts.

12. Gary - A Million Little Things

Gary - A Million Little Things
Gary speaks his mind and has a heart of gold. He's the glue that holds the group together. He's the one who figured out that young Danny was gay, and he was the one Danny chose to open up to about it. Gary is a guy who tells it like it is, especially when he's mad, but he never gives up on those he cares about. Plus, he's hilarious!

13. Zahid - Atypical

Zahid - Atypical
Zahid has been great from the beginning, but he really shined in Atypical Season 2. He proved to be a true friend to Sam, and he doesn't treat him any differently than anyone else. When Sam is worried about the senior lock-in, Zahid invites him to spend the night at his house as a trial run and goes out of his way to set everything up to make him as comfortable as possible. When the night turns into a run-in with the police, Zahid shares a heartfelt story with Sam about not letting setbacks get in the way, and when they make it past midnight, tells him the night's experiment was a success.

14. Earth II Laurel - Arrow

Earth II Laurel - Arrow
Earth II Laurel was introduced quite a few seasons ago as an evil doppelganger of our beloved Laurel from another Earth (RIP). She showed what Laurel would be like if she were evil. As Arrow Season 5 wrapped up, and Quentin Lance reached out to his daughter's double, we saw that she had a lot more layers. Now, grieving Quentin's death and masquerading as our Laurel, she is determined to prove Lance was right about her. Her redemption arc is one of the most stirring stories the show has done in a long time, and we're rooting for her to succeed and become the hero she was always meant to be.

15. Charlie - Queen Sugar

Charlie - Queen Sugar
Charlie has been through hell and continues to be the Bordelon sibling that is screwed over the most, but she always rises. Not only does she get hit from all angles all the time, but she faces a multitude of obstacles and setbacks while almost singlehandedly devoting herself to preserving her father's legacy. She was a true standout last season.

16. Claire - The Good Doctor

Claire - The Good Doctor
Claire used to be mousy and meek, but she has come out of her shell and asserted herself this season. It's refreshing, and it has led to her butting heads with her superiors, mainly Melendez, but she is unapologetic and confident, and it has served her well.

17. Ryan - Station 19

Ryan - Station 19
Ryan was thrown through the wringer on Station 19 Season 2 when his criminal father unexpectedly came back into his life. Ryan has had to grapple with his morals and obligations as a cop, making his choice whether or not to turn his dad in immeasurable. He also came through in a big way when he suspected a girl had been kidnapped, and despite some ribbing from Jack, he stuck to his gut and his training and ended up saving the day. He's come a long way from the guy who was mostly used as a potential love interest in the first season.

18. Juliet - Magnum P.I.

Juliet - Magnum P.I.
Much of this reboot pales in comparison to the original (Jay Hernandez is no Tom Selleck), but Perdita Weeks' kickass former MI-6 agent Juliet Higgins is a major character difference from the original series. She makes it worth watching as she gets pulled into helping out with Magnum's investigations. She even has percolating chemistry with Hernandez, which adds to the will-they-won't-they mystery of the show.

19. Karen - Daredevil

Karen - Daredevil
Karen has come a long way since she first arrived at Matt and Foggy's law firm. Daredevil Season 3 gave her a chance to really break out and even included a standalone episode dedicated to her backstory. She also bravely stood up to enemies trying to kill her, and never stopped fighting for what's right, no matter the risk. She may not have the superpowers, but she is just as much a hero as Matt.

20. Ben - Days of Our Lives

Ben  - Days of Our Lives
Ben is a reformed serial killer who's return we were not looking forward to, but the phenomenal acting has changed our minds. Viewers are still trying to determine whether his redemption is genuine, or if he's still evil because Robert Scott Wilson gives him layers and plays him as both creepy and sweet depending on the situation.

21. Lois - Supergirl/Arrowverse

Lois - Supergirl/Arrowverse
Lois Lane is an iconic role, but Elizabeth Tulloch fit into it like it was written for her. Her take on Lois was unique in its own way, yet familiar to longtime fans of the journalist. She was a force to be reckoned with and was also funny, witty, brave, and charismatic. She refused to be sidelined, bringing in a special hammer and aided in the defeat of a seemingly unstoppable villain. She was Lois all around and it was epic!

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