The 5 best and 5 worst characters on The Flash, ranked

The characters on The Flash always inspired strong feelings from fans, but which of them made us fall in love and which of them made us roll our eyes?
The Flash -- "Heart of the Matter, Part 2" -- Image Number: FLA718fg_0007r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West - Allen and Grant Gustin as The Flash -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved
The Flash -- "Heart of the Matter, Part 2" -- Image Number: FLA718fg_0007r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West - Allen and Grant Gustin as The Flash -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved /

Superhero television continues to reach new heights via streaming shows, but it was never quite as big a novelty as it was during the phase of the Arrowverse. Seeing superheroes on broadcast TV was such a treat because their larger-than-life adventures were often associated with the big screen, and yet shows like The Flash, Arrow, and even the more ambitious Supergirl and DC's Legends of Tomorrow made it work, entertaining fans of The CW for over a decade.

Of the lot, it was The Flash that was the most popular, reaching fans all around the world throughout its nine seasons on the air. In spite of its many highs and lows, it remained a staple of network TV for its whole run, and a large part of that popularity was down to its rich array of characters that we met throughout that run.

The characters of The Flash were truly something else, as so many of them managed to make you feel things. The good news is that most of the time they made you feel good things; but a rare few often incited, well, other types of feelings. And, perhaps most annoyingly of all, those particular characters became more prominent as the series began winding down.

But honestly, the love we have for The Flash's best characters vastly outweighs the distaste we have for the others. On that note, let's take a look back at the ones that generated the strongest feelings (of both kinds) and rank them while we're at it.

The Flash, Khione
The Flash -- “Wildest Dreams” -- Image Number: FLA907fg_00071r -- Pictured: Danielle Panabaker as Khione -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /


It's absolutely wild that a character who only debuted in the ninth and final season of The Flash (and wasn't featured in all of the episodes) has found her way onto the "worst" end of this list, but that's the enigma of the back half of The Flash's run.

Khione wasn't that bad of a character on her own, but her arrival in the show's final season was one of the many bad decisions that the creative team made that year. Not only were there not enough episodes to introduce a new character and expect a remotely fleshed out character arc (and surprise, surprise, that did not happen), her introduction was so disrespectful to Danielle Panabaker's original character Caitlin Snow, who had seemingly been killed off in the premiere. What's worse is that it was all the rouse fans predicted it to be, because by the end of the season, Caitlin had returned and Khione had "ascended". And fans were left wondering why this totally pointless storyline was even necessary. Spoiler alert: It wasn't.

Panabaker made Khione lovable, and in another season she really could have been a beloved well-rounded addition to the show, but the writing had the opposite effect here. She was unnecessary to the story, unnecessary to the final season, and an unnecessary means of robbing one of The Flash's few remaining original characters of a deserving send-off.

Verdict: WORST

The Flash, Caitlin Snow
The Flash -- "The People V. Killer Frost" -- Image Number: FLA708b_0114r.jpg -- Pictured: Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Caitlin Snow

In an ironic twist, we're jumping from a Danielle Panabaker character to another Danielle Panabaker character. Caitlin Snow was one of the Arrowverse's longest-lasting characters, appearing on an episode of Arrow before the pilot of The Flash even aired. She then stuck around for the whole duration of the show, getting involved in some of its most important storylines.

The character was much more integral in the earlier seasons, particularly because of her tragic relationship with husband Ronnie Raymond, who she lost twice. But she would overcome that grief, becoming an important member of Team Flash, helping her friends defy villains, doppelgangers, and even death itself. Her dynamics with other characters were also special, as her close friendship with Cisco was easily one of The Flash's best relationships, while her sisterly bond with Frost offered some beautiful moments over the years, too.

Caitlin was part of the very fabric that was The Flash, which is one of the many reasons why her treatment in season 9 was unforgivable. The poor writing treated her as though she didn't matter, as her friends went out clubbing shortly after she died. It was nonsense, because they loved Caitlin as much as the viewers did, and it was the viewers who complained about that treatment who were right. We're very thankful she came back in the end, but nobody is thankful for the way that the show robbed her of a final storyline.

Nevertheless, Caitlin was an important, often underrated part of The Flash. Her status as a fan-favorite, however, was never in question. While the more recent seasons harmed her significance to the central stories (along with the show itself), there is no denying how strong a character she was in those early days.

Verdict: BEST

The Flash, Allegra Garcia
The Flash -- “Wednesday Ever After” -- Image Number: FLA901fg_0001r -- Pictured: Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia -- Photo: The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Allegra Garcia

Perhaps the character who felt like the biggest missed opportunity on The Flash was Allegra Garcia. When she first arrived on the scene, she was the rough-around-the-edges former convict who became something of a reluctant hero. By the end of the show, she was one of the show's many heroes there simply to be a hero, trapped in the most underwhelming and predictable will they/won't they romance subplot (we all knew they would get together) with fellow Team Flash member Chester P. Runk.

Allegra wasn't the main or most interesting superhero on Team Flash, she wasn't the main or most interesting reporter at Central City Citizen, and she wasn't involved in the show's main or most interesting romance. That was a major problem with the character, as she just felt like she was the secondary (or even tertiary) version of something that was already on the show. There was no longer anything that made her unique and interesting on her own; nothing that only she had to make her stand out. She was just there, no longer growing or even entertaining viewers. And that half-baked romance she had with Chester was far beneath what the character deserved.

The edgy character who had that touching bond with Nash Wells? We all wanted more of that Allegra. That Allegra was interesting, edgy, and attention-grabbing. This version had none of that main character energy and was frustratingly treated like a main character anyway. And all that succeeded in doing was taking important screentime away from far more important characters.

Verdict: WORST

The Flash, Harrison Wells, Reverse-Flash
The Flash -- "Grodd Friended Me" -- Image Number: FLA613a_0097b.jpg -- Pictured: Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved /

All the Harrison Wells (and the Reverse-Flash)

Yes, that's right; we're ranking all of the Harrison Wells characters here. I know, I know... there are at least 16 iterations of the character, and no the minor ones like Wells the Grey don't really count. And yes, some of the variations of the character are far better than others, but it's impossible to imagine what The Flash would look like without the presence of Harrison Wells.

Tom Cavanagh's performances as the multiple versions of the character were a joy to watch throughout the show's run. His introduction as the original Harrison Wells (though not really) was the stuff of legend, while his sophomore outing as Earth-2's frostier Harry was even more nuanced, and watching his character journey towards being more open and caring was a fulfilling experience. While Team Flash took a while to warm up to H.R. Wells, audiences fell head over heels in love with him and his goofy-but-lovable ways. While Sherloque Wells and Nash Wells weren't quite as engaging, Cavanagh made them equally iconic parts of the show's run until he bowed out in a full-circle moment as the original Harrison, now known as Timeless Wells.

But Cavanagh's greatest character was undoubtedly the treacherous Reverse-Flash. He wasn't really a Wells, but he made a name for himself on the show by masquerading as one, delivering one of the greatest villains the superhero genre has ever seen. His feud with Barry was toxic and his desire to be a bigger legend than The Flash was every bit as terrifying as it was petty. The man made it his mission to destroy his adversary and it made for a thoroughly compelling watch throughout (most of) the show's run.

Tom Cavanagh might just be The Flash's MVP, because the show would be a very different place without any of the Wells' and his convincing performances managed to make each and every one of them (even the cameos) stand out. His greatest hit may have been the Reverse-Flash, but whenever a Wells was on-screen, you were guaranteed a good time.

Verdict: BEST

The Flash
The Flash -- “Hear No Evil” -- Image Number: FLA902b_0067r -- Pictured: Jon Cor as Mark Blaine -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /


Chillblaine, real name Mark Blaine, had a thing going for himself as a sort of annoying but likeable enough baddie that fans just loved to hate (and maybe even hated to love). It wasn't great, but it was fine. And the underdeveloped, often-forgotten about relationship he had with Frost was a decent enough excuse to have him around on occasion. He did not - and I cannot stress this enough (did NOT) - need to be a series regular in the show's ninth and final season.

The response to the character was mixed, but it leaned into the negative end of that, so fans were completely baffled by the decision to upgrade him to a series regular. What was even more baffling was how poorly he was used as in that full-time capacity in season 9, as he betrayed Team Flash, only for Barry to tell us all why he was really a good person (in spite of no evidence to prove as such). He then disappeared for long portions and never even justified his position on the team or the show.

General audiences didn't care about Chillblaine, passionate fans of the show hated him, and the show did him no favors by wasting him (and our time) in season 9. What was even the point?

Verdict: WORST

The Flash, Cisco Ramon, Vibe
The Flash -- "Fear Me" -- Image Number: FLA705a_0142r.jpg -- Pictured: Carlos Vales as Cisco Ramon -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved /

Cisco Ramon

If there was one character that The Flash suffered without, it was Cisco Ramon. Sure, it might have struggled with finding a place for his character after season 5, but the absence that his departure left behind really highlighted how important to the show that he was. And there is no clearer indicator of that than the fact that none of the multiple new additions to Team Flash after he left could come close to him - both in terms of character strength and popularity with the audience.

Where to even begin with how great Cisco was? He was a delight of a character that always brought a smile to the faces of fans watching him. Whether that was from his hilarious one liners, his desire to name all the villains (with some pretty cool nicknames), his bonds with his fellow characters, or just his inherently lovable personality; he was loved by almost all viewers who watched.

There was a warmth about Cisco that never felt forced. He was just a great guy who loved so deeply and never felt like a fictional character written for a TV show; he was a person. The same can't be said for some of the characters introduced further into the show's run, but that just made us all appreciate the absolute gold they struck with him.

There are always good vibes when Cisco is around. The final few seasons of The Flash really struggled without him. But those first few seasons when he was involved in almost all of the major plots? Man, those were the days.

Verdict: BEST

The Flash, The Forces
The Flash -- "The People V. Killer Frost" -- Image Number: FLA708a_0186r.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as The Flash and Sara Garcia as Alexa -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

The Forces

Every time I think about the worst villains in The Flash, Cicada is always the first one that comes to mind. That's because I'm still thinking like it's 2019 and I have erased much of season 7 from my memory; because dull as Cicada was, no villain in any Arrowverse show was as jumbled, senseless, and downright head-scratching as The Forces of Nature.

The Speed Force itself was always a constant on the show and it was an enjoyable one at that, particularly because of the bond it formed with Barry Allen (due to the fact that it took on the appearance of his mother Nora). But it was tainted by the outlandish season 7 storyline that randomly saw her become a vamped up villain who randomly started referring to Barry as her dad (even though she consistently called him her "beautiful boy" up until that point). Why? The desire to say "who knows?" right now is strong, but it had something to do with the fact that all of the Forces believed Barry and Iris were there parents as they were birthed out of the West-Allens' love for each other.

The other Forces - the Strength, Sage, and Still Forces - were either irrelevant or annoying, with all three of them acting villainous and infuriating at first, only for them to become the heroes and attempt to stop Speed Force Nora (who was the only one fans actually cared about). None of it made sense and all of it happened anyway. Unfortunately, the Forces stuck around on a recurring basis and even though they were mostly fine after that, fans just couldn't overlook the senselessness that they were introduced with.

Season 7 was a major roadblock in a pretty impressive comeback for the show, but it never really got over it either, setting the stage for its continued descent until its conclusion. The Forces storyline was the point of no return for the show and it truly would have been better off if it had never happened.

Verdict: WORST

The Flash, Iris West-Allen
The Flash -- "Phantoms" -- Image Number: FLA809b_0041r.jpg -- Pictured: Candice Patton as Iris West-Allen -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights ReservedPhoto Credit: Bettina Strauss /

Iris West-Allen

Barry Allen calls Iris his lightning rod for good reason. She brings him back to down to Earth and reminding him of who he is in his heart whenever the outlandish and ambitious adventures of Central City make that easy to forget. Iris West-Allen is a voice of reason, a paragon of integrity and - most of all - a pretty darn compelling character in her own right.

Iris' desire to get to the truth made her stand out from the very beginning of the show. She was determined, focused, and headstrong in that approach, and that made fans quickly fall in love with her. Well, that and Candice Patton's charming performance. And it also made it easy to root for the character even when the writing was doing her a disservice.

The truth is that The Flash hasn't always utilized Iris the best. From ignoring her solo story as a reporter and making her one of the countless members of Team Flash to that genuinely awful Time Sickness storyline, she has deserved better. But the good thing about even those is that Iris has almost always felt like Iris. Maybe that's Patton's strong performance or maybe it's the fact that the writers (mostly) knew the character they were writing for, but fans' love for Iris remained strong throughout all nine seasons of the show.

Iris West was a revolutionary character, creating change for the comic book genre on television and her legacy will live on forever. While it's sad that we won't catch up with her adventures on the show anymore, we are all happy that she spent so much time on our screens.

Verdict: BEST

The Flash, Cecile
The Flash -- "Fear Me" -- Image Number: FLA705a_0314r2.jpg -- Pictured: Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2021 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved /

Cecile Horton

I don't know what's sadder: The fact that you knew she was going to be on the list, or the fact that she didn't have to be. Central City District Attorney Cecile Horton was a pretty swell character when she recurred in The Flash's early years. She was even a fun addition to the show when she joined full-time and became the team's most reliable ally in a battle with the all-powerful psychic Clifford DeVoe. But after that, her character began to fall apart because the hold she had on the writers would not.

There is no better word to describe Cecile post-season 5 than "caricature". That's all she was; a source of comic relief that barely felt like a real person, existing simply to drive the plot forward at the expense of it (and that often involved outing her friends' private feelings in front of everyone). She was also completely okay with the fact that she would miss her child growing up because she was too busy playing dress up as a superhero - sorry, "the most powerful metahuman in Central City" - when there were also more than enough of those on the show.

There were flashes of greatness with Cecile, glimpses of the Cecile of old that fans actually loved. But more often than not, the writers did everything they could to overexpose Cecile, making her the most important character on the show while offering no substance to prove why she deserved that honor. Sometimes it's okay to be a supporting character, but that logic wasn't in the room when Cecile was being written for.

Verdict: WORST

The Flash, Barry Allen
The Flash -- “The Mask of the Red Death, Part Two Image” -- Number: FLA905b_ 0144r -- Pictured: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2023 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Barry Allen / The Flash

Central City's greatest hero and easily the best character on The Flash, we give you the Scarlet Speedster, Barry Allen. You had to know he'd be in the top spot of our "best" section. There was no other choice, for The Flash isn't just the strongest character on the show, he's quite possibly the strongest character in the whole Arrowverse. And you won't find many people who would argue with that.

Fans instantly fell in love with Grant Gustin's shy, quirky performance as the character on Arrow in a 2013 guest appearance, but that only set the stage for him to reach new heights in his own show. The first couple of seasons of The Flash in particular highlighted how engaging of a character Barry was, as fans were drawn into his stories, believed in him at every moment, and cared so deeply for him throughout the show's whole run.

Throughout the nine seasons, Barry has overcome so much adversity, defeated some of the most deadly villains in the Arrowverse and transformed into one of the greatest heroes to appear on any screen. He has proven himself time and again, living up to his reputation as a hero.

Barry Allen is the Arrowverse's Paragon of Love, and that's not surprising at all since love is one of the things that defines him. He loves so much and always has more to give, whether that's to his family, friends, or the people of Central City he saves as The Flash. He always wanted to help people and the lightning that struck him gave him that opportunity; he hasn't stopped making the most of it since.

Thanks for a great run, Flash!

Verdict: BEST

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