All the ‘Law & Order: SVU’ Characters, Ranked From Worst to Best

Law & Order: SVU is one of prime time television’s longest-running shows. The show was originally a spinoff of Law & Order, but at this point, it’s gained more prominence than the original. And with so many characters over the past 20 seasons, it’s impossible not to favor some over others. But what do viewers generally think of each of the show’s main characters? Here are the top 10 SVU characters, ranked.

Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T post with Snoop Dogg and Alex Chapple, the show's director.
Mariska Hargitay and I-T post with Snoop Dogg and the show’s director, Alex Chapple. | James Devaney/GC Images

10. Dominick Carisi

Detective Carisi is one of the newer cast members, so he doesn’t have the reputation of longevity that some of the other SVU detectives have earned. But Carisi is the most born-and-bred New York City detective the show has ever seen, which is why the show needs him. If he still had that horrific mustache, he probably wouldn’t have made the top 10.

9. Amanda Rollins

Detective Rollins’ personal life has been a major subplot of the show, and she brings both a tough attitude and a lot of drama to the Special Victims Unit. From her sister’s antics to her own troubled past, Rollins has managed to climb out of the darkest parts of her own life to become a successful part of the team. And for that, we applaud her.

8. Casey Novak

Casey Novak was the assistant district attorney on the show for several seasons, and there were few people who put their heart and soul into the job the way she did. Novak’s intelligence was hard to beat, but she also showed a level of compassion that not too many others did. She was an all-around stand-up woman.

7. Dr. George Huang

Dr. Huang was essentially the precinct’s resident psychiatrist. He previously worked with the FBI before making his way to SVU. Huang had a calm way about him that would get even the harshest criminals to talk about things such as childhood trauma and their dark pasts. He was the voice of reason at the precinct and detectives leaned on him to help read the minds of many of their criminals. He was not only an essential part of the show but also one of those characters nobody could dislike.

6. Nick Amaro

Detective Amaro didn’t join the show until the later seasons, after Elliot Stabler left. He’s easy on the eyes, but we like him for more than just that. He swooped in after Stabler and made himself comfortable in SVU. His personal life made for some interesting sub plots, and his good looks brought a different kind of entertainment to the show… We’re just saying.

Nick Amaro Dominick Carisi
Detectives Nick Amaro, left, and Dominick Carisi | Michael Parmelee/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

5. John Munch

Munch’s sarcasm was immediately missed when he retired from the precinct. He and Detective Tutuola made an awesome team, and though he’s been gone for several seasons now, he’ll never be forgotten. He was easily the most well-liked detective, simply because there was never a reason not to like him. He never raised his voice and was never over-emotional, but that’s what made him such an important part of the show — he was always the one with no drama.

4. Alex Cabot

Alex Cabot was a role model. She was fearless, no matter whom she was battling. And any SVU fan can appreciate that. There was no character who spoke her mind quite like Cabot, and she had everyone fooled when she died then came back to life (or out of witness protection, whichever you prefer). She was one of those badass women that every show needs.

3. Elliot Stabler

There are so many things to say about Elliot Stabler. He’d be higher up on the list if it weren’t for his intense anger outbursts when he questioned suspects, but other than that, he was pretty much flawless. He and Detective Benson had a bond like no other, and everyone definitely wished they would have ended up together. When he left the show, a part of the show left with him — and not even Detective Amaro’s looks could replace it.

2. Odafin ‘Fin’ Tutuola

Detective Tutuola’s attitude spices up the show in a way no other character could. His constant remarks make viewers laugh, though his character isn’t necessarily meant to be funny. Tutuola is one of those friends that everyone wishes they had; he is loyal, tough, and doesn’t take any crap from anyone. He is just as central to the show as Stabler and Benson.

1.Olivia Benson

The show’s best character might seem painfully obvious, but realistically, there wouldn’t be a SVU without Olivia Benson. She is the heart of the precinct; she is the one who shows compassion but also looks evil right in the face. She’s been kidnapped, she’s had a gun to her head, and she still keeps coming back for more. Her character is more than just a character; she’s someone others can look up to, despite the show’s fiction. She is the reason the show has seen so much success, and it’s hard to argue with that, regardless of how you feel about her.

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