Big sisters are magical creatures. They’re parent buffers, guidance counselors, trend-spotters and wardrobe consultants. They’ve got your back against crappy friends, bullies, and sometimes even mom and dad. They get what you’re going through because they’ve just been through it themselves. And, overall, they simply embody coolness. You’d know all of this if you had a big sis. If you didn’t (like me), you have to settle for fantasizing over potential TV siblings. It’s not a perfect solution, but it will have to do. Here are 10 TV characters I think would make killer big sisters, for all the reasons above and more.
1) Denise Huxtable from The Cosby Show
As the daughter of Cliff and Claire Huxtable, Denise (Lisa Bonet) was born with greatness in her blood. Her free-spirited nature and quirky fashion sense made her magnetic to watch. I may not have been technically alive when the show premiered, but that hasn’t stopped me from watching reruns and hoping I could absorb some of her spontaneity and coolness.
2) Lindsay Weir from Freaks and Geeks
For a show that only lasted one season, Freaks and Geeks had a surprisingly large fanbase. I imagine this was partially due to its collection of stellar original characters, including Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini). The daughter of Harold Weir and the queen of sarcastic retorts, Lindsay had a headstrong attitude that allowed her to stand up for herself and what she believed in, which is what everyone should look for in a big sister.
3) Eliza Thornberry from The Wild Thornberrys
She loves the outdoors, she craves adventure, and she can communicate with animals. Imagine all those crazy trick you could teach your pet, the wild family photos you could show off, the outrageous stories you could share at family reunions. Those perks alone should be enough to pencil Eliza Thornberry into your hand-drawn family portrait.
4) Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Though she may be a bit overprotective at times (when your town is filled with supernatural entities and half of your high school class dies before graduation, it’s hard not to be), Buffy Summers has a big heart and an undeniable sense of leadership, which would make her a fantastic role model for young girls. She’d also be a fun gym buddy.
5) Renée Raddick from Ally McBeal
I don’t know who I admire more: the character Renée Raddick or the actress who plays her. In describing her role, actress Lisa Nicole Carson explained how the part “was an opportunity for a strong, black, educated woman to be portrayed in a really fierce way.” Carson certainly achieved that. As Ally’s roommate, Renée played a big sister of sorts—calming her friend down when she was freaking out and reminding her to be strong in the face of high drama (and dancing babies). She was brilliant, grounded, and real—the perfect big sister role model.
6) Donna Pinciotti from That ’70s Show
Donna is a straight-up feminist, who schools every one of her male friends on equality just by being herself. Though she recognizes the importance of love and relationships, she doesn’t let them control her, choosing, instead, to focus on her budding journalism career and her desire to travel. I also commend her for a speedy emotional recovery after Eric left her at the altar, because that kind of abandonment would leave me ankle-deep in brownie batter and lovey-dovey rom-coms for at least a year. As a big sister, she’s the kind you’d really look up to.
7) Veronica Mars from Veronica Mars
Where Veronica finds the strength to get up in the morning after everything that has happened to her, I have no idea, but I’m glad that she does. Both confident and playful, go-getting and laid back, this crime-fighting heroine would be a great addition to any family, especially one who needs help solving murder mysteries.
8) Moesha Mitchell from Moesha
Singer, dancer, and sitcom star? There is no end to Brandy’s talents. In the show Moesha, Brandy plays a high school teen plagued by typical teen issues (peer pressure, premarital sex, whether to wear a ponytail or pigtails). Her experience as a dance teacher for kids and her killer sense of humor would make her the perfect big sister.
9) Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls
Do I even need to provide an explanation for why Rory would be a good sibling? Judging from the relationship she has with her mom, I can only imagine how close her and her potential sister might be, and the fabulous family book club they could start at any moment.
10) Jess Day from New Girl
She’d really put her all into cheering you up, because she does that. She would totally relate to relationship drama, and have some good advice on getting over someone. She’d nurture your inner-weirdness, and help you gain confidence. And she’d totally let you crash with her when you needed to get out of your parents’ house. Say it with me: dream big sister.