17 TV Characters Who Matured For the Better

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Whether it's a comedy or drama, without a positive character development TV shows can feel bland and boring. It can take seasons or episodes for a character to develop and mature. 

Most often these changes are prompted by love, life-changing events, or even age. These elements are what humanizes characters and make them all the more relatable. 

Related: 13 Gay, Female TV Characters That Are Great Role Models

The growth of these characters is pertinent to us feeling more attached and ultimately more invested in the show. Continue on and learn which characters we found contained the strongest developments. Don't forget to comment below any of your thoughts!

1. Eddie Saville - A Million Little Things

A Million Things is only one season in and the characters have already done their fair share of developing! In the beginning, Eddie was stuck in an unhappy marriage and cheating with his best friend's wife. By the end of the season, he's learned that sometimes the best thing to do is walk away. He figures out that communication is key and he understands the mistakes he made and the sacrifices Katherine gave for their family.

2. Axl Heck - The Middle

Originally Axl is portrayed as a lazy, ungrateful son who holds zero potential. His parents are excited if he simply leaves the house dressed properly. After his trip abroad he comes back a changed man who is ready to find his own job and life beyond the comfort of his doting parents.

3. Sutton Brady - The Bold Type

Gone are the days of Sutton's coffee fetching, phone answering, and paperwork filing. After her friends are successfully moving up the career chain, she begins questioning her potential. She finally chases after her dreams in fashion and becomes a force to be reckoned with. She no longer allows herself to be hidden away by her boyfriend and instead fights for the respect she deserves.

4. Eddie Huang - Fresh Off the Boat

Eddie started the show as a little boy, focused only on himself and his cool factor. Years later, a few inches taller, and voice a few octaves lower he's finding his way in the world beyond the label of Asian-American. He begins realizing the impact he could have on his life and those around him, and that his mother's seemingly strict mannerisms are rooted in love.

5. Mark Sloan - Grey's Anatomy

Mark Sloan, a true silver fox, who was once known as the paramour who slept with Derek's wife. By the time of his tragic and sad death on the show, he had gained the respect of the fandom and this turnaround in character made his loss so much harder. I only wish he had realized his love for Lexi much sooner because his love for her made him change for the better.

6. Haley Dunphy - Modern Family

Haley was always the airheaded daughter with zero prospects. She was always seen fighting with her brother and sister, but after 10 seasons she has finally grown into an adult. Although she will always be seen by her parents as their little girl, she will finally be something more than that making them proud as she takes on motherhood.

7. Petra Solano - Jane the Virgin

Petra's conniving personality leaves her unlikable for the first few seasons. Once she goes through her fair share of the after effects of her actions she comes out a more congenial and certainly likable person. She's someone who truly understands karma as she's almost killed by her mother and sister after she tries every manipulative technique to keep Rafael around.

8. Jess Day - New Girl

Jess will always be the quirky and cute girl who hardly ever fails to put a smile on our face. But by the end of the show, she's definitely more than just that a comedic character used to humor us. She goes through the tragedies of heartbreak, finding a new career path after being fired, and everyday life in order to understand what she deserves in life and love.

9. Callie Foster - The Fosters

When Callie first meets the Fosters she had never known a stable home life or familial love. Once she lets herself fully trust them and lets go of her past trauma she grows into a young woman who uses her hard past to advocate for kids in foster care, in hopes of changing the system.

10. Kevin Pearson - This Is Us

Kevin has always relied on his beauty to make his way through life and has never truly held himself accountable for any of his actions. As the story of his father unfolds and he faces the people he's hurt in the past he starts growing into a compassionate human who realizes that people rely on him for more than just his looks. He's still in the works of growing into who he's supposed to be, but he's well on his way.

11. Spencer Reid - Criminal Minds

Spencer is first introduced as the boy genius who blows everyone out of the water. He hadn't experienced love, true friendship, and had never felt like he fit in anywhere. Once he joined the BAU team and met likeminded people he found a family and learned that there was much more to life than being a genius.

12. Alex Danvers - Supergirl

Alex's road to personal discovery is sweet and leads into her growing storyline within the show. She finally comes to terms with her sexuality and learns to accept herself. She's no longer a background character hiding behind her sister's fame, but instead a strong and important director of the DEO.

13. Rebecca Bunch - Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The entire show has devoted itself to Rebecca overcoming her mental illness. The first few seasons she's boy obsessed and revolves her life and interests around Josh. It's not until she finally sees a therapist and learns about her BPD that she finds ways to successfully live with her disorder. She's finally focusing on herself and working on discovering her true passions.

14. Eleanor Shellstrop - The Good Place

After making her debut in the Good Place, Elenor knew there had been a mistake. She was not a good person and didn't deserve to be there, especially after comparing herself to Chidi. Although, I guess anyone compared to Chidi wouldn't make the cut. It's not until she bands together with the group and fights the evil forces attempting to put them in the bad place and, of course, truly falls in love with Chidi that she becomes a good person.

15. Miriam Maisel - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Miriam was stuck in a marriage and the traditions of her family and society. Until she pushed beyond these boundaries, she finally grew into herself and found her worth beyond just a pretty face. Now she's working as a successful comedian and living life as an independent kickass woman.

16. Barney Stinson - How I Met Your Mother

Barney was such a problematic character. Although to most, he made the entire show. A majority of the seasons he was the playboy with the skeeviest of pickup tactics. That is until he realizes his true love for Robin. After his relationship with Robin doesn't work out and he learns he's a father, he changes his ways and becomes the man his daughter needs.

17. Alex Karev - Grey's Anatomy

Would anyone have assumed Alex would stay until the very end with Meredith? Arguably he has one of the most impressive character developments. In the first season of Grey's Anatomy, he was the jerk intern with a foul mouth, and now in season 15 he's happily married with one of the strongest relationships on the show and working as interim chief. Well done Alex!

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Grey's Anatomy, A Million Little Things, How I Met Your Mother, The Good Place, Jane the Virgin, This Is Us, Criminal Minds, New Girl, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Modern Family, The Bold Type, The Middle, The Fosters, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, The Good Doctor
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