Law & Order: SVU fans are an opinionated bunch. Recently, the users over at the SVU subreddit debated which character was the best.
Each round, voters picked their least favorite character. One by one, fan-favorite characters were voted off. That is, until there was one last man standing: Odafin Tutuola.
Introduced in season two, Tutuola is played by Ice-T. Though he initially joined the show to replace Michelle Hurd, Ice-T became popular amongst fans of SVU. As a result, the rapper remains on the main cast after over 20 years. Additionally, Tutuola’s character developed significantly over his tenure on the show. Aside from simply being a detective, he also repaired his relationship with his son, eventually becoming a grandfather.
Unsurprisingly, the character who came in second was none other than John Munch. First introduced in Homicide: Life on the Streets, Richard Belzer played John Munch. Known for his many conspiracy theories, Munch is the resident skeptic of SVU. Even so, he feels deeply connected to victims, and many of his storylines see him acting as an advocate. While those qualities should contrast, they actually add up to a nuanced, interesting character.
In third place was Dr. George Huang, portrayed by BD Wong. Huang served as the forensic psychologist of the SVU. He appeared on the series first in a recurring capacity before joining the main cast in the third season. His character’s background is unusual. He previously served as a psychologist dedicated to reforming pedophiles and sex offenders, before deciding to defect to the other side. His trademarks are his considerate nature and his rationality. In many ways, he is a direct foil to hotheaded detective Elliot Stabler.
Where Do the Rest of the Law & Order: SVU Characters Rank?
Prior to the top three, the voting yielded some surprising results. After Tutuola, Munch, and Huang, the next most popular character was Dr. Warner, the medical examiner, played by Tamara Tunie.
The characters lost in this order: Tommy McGrath, Joe Velasco, Brian Cassidy, Katriona Tamin, Declan Murphy, Peter Stone, Christian Garland, Amanda Rollins, Nick Amaro, Casey Novak, Dominick Carisi, and Donald Cragen. After those first few rounds, Alexandra Cabot and Elliot Stabler lost in a surprising tie. The next out was Rafael Barba, followed by Olivia Benson. Then, only the top four were remaining.
While some may be surprised to see Benson coming in fifth, it makes sense with such a beloved supporting cast. After the reveal, many fans celebrated Tutuola’s win. Some suggested that they even forward the poll to Ice-T. Others suggested they do another poll of favorite celebrity guest stars. Through it all, even those who didn’t want Tutuola to win ultimately agreed with the outcome.
“Fin is truly awesome,” wrote one user in response to the news. “His character is an original cast member, has developed emotionally throughout the seasons, he and his son now have a healthy, loving and close relationship, he’s a doting grandfather, he’s found love and he always shines in episodes when he deals with children. Congratulations to the real star of [SVU]!”