The main characters on Friday Night Lights deal with a lot, from intense football games to dating problems to wondering if it's possible to leave the small town of Dillon, Texas. While the teenagers dream of college or playing professional sports, the adults try to nurture their dreams while trying to find happiness themselves, and fans can tell which characters seem more intelligent than the others.
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Whether the main characters on Friday Night Lights show emotional intelligence, do well in school, or excel in sports, viewers of this popular teen drama can definitely compare the characters in terms of how clever they are.
12 Julie Taylor
Julie becomes a worse Friday Night Lights character and while fans think that she's got a good head on her shoulders in season 1, she makes some selfish and immature decisions.
From her love interests to her growing distance from her parents, who love and support her no matter what, Julie doesn't always do the right thing or think about other people. Julie isn't a logical person and can sometimes get overwhelmed with emotion, and viewers think she should try to grow up more.
11 Jason Street
Jason is injured in the first episode of Friday Night Lights, and it's horrible imagining how he must feel. His dream of playing football professionally is over and he has to come to terms with that, along with the end of his relationship with Lyla.
While Jason is a smart and practical person, he seems less intelligent than other characters because he is so hyperfocused on his sports career that he doesn't think about what the world is like outside of his small town.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
10 Lyla Garrity
Lyla is a perfect character on paper in season 1: a cheerleader who cares deeply about her family, friends, boyfriend Jason, and her small town. Lyla will do anything for Jason and the rest of the football team, believing that she should support them no matter what.
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While Lyla does well in school and has a bright college future ahead of her, she has trouble listening to her gut and heart and Lyla lacks emotional intelligence. When Lyla falls in love with Riggins, she has a hard time accepting that she likes someone who doesn't seem like a flawless match.
9 Coach Eric Taylor
Many emotional scenes on Friday Night Lights feature Eric, who loves his wife Tami, children, and his new small town.
Eric does his best to inspire and motivate the football players on his team, but he sometimes gets caught up in playing politics and making other people happy, which makes him seem less intelligent than some of the others. Eric needs to stand up for what is right a lot more often.
8 Smash Williams
Smash is another star football player who makes some big mistakes, including using drugs to help his sports performance. Smash also spends many episodes having a hard time getting along with his fellow students and players.
While Smash makes some decisions that aren't smart, he learns how to be a team player and becomes stronger as time goes on, able to approach his future with confidence.
7 Tim Riggins
Tim, who goes by his last name Riggins, is one of the most compelling Friday Night Lights characters. While at first he seems ditzy and like he doesn't care about anything in life, and he seems to get by with his good looks, fans can tell that there is something more to Riggins.
As Riggins and Lyla start dating, Riggins starts to see himself in a better light and finds more confidence. Viewers see that Riggins is emotionally intelligent, and while school isn't his thing, it's clear that he'll be able to succeed after high school and that he can find a way to be happy.
6 Luke Cafferty
Luke is a main character in season 4 and has a tough time imagining his future. While he wants to go to college and continue playing football, he decides to join the army. Of the important subjects on Friday Night Lights, Luke and his girlfriend Becky experience a difficult time when Becky is pregnant and decides to have an abortion.
Luke is smart enough to know that he has to make a choice and fast, as he doesn't want to stay in Dillon and he wants to make sure that he can succeed.
5 Landry Clarke
Fans love Landry and his friend Matt, as they have fun together, try to get through the hard times, and give each other advice when necessary.
Landry is a sweet and caring friend to many characters on the series, and when he and Tyra become closer later on in the series, Landry shows fans that he is intelligent and can tell when someone is a good person who is worth getting to know.
4 Matt Saracen
Although Julie and Matt get engaged very young, and Matt does make some mistakes along the way, Matt is still one of the smartest characters on the teen drama.
Matt has to deal with so many tragic things that someone his age shouldn't have to, from taking care of his grandma to learning that his father has died while in Iraq. Matt is always polite and kind and thinking about other people, and when he leaves Dillon behind, he realizes that he has to think about what he wants, too.
3 Vince Howard
Friday Night Lights fans meet Vince in season 4 and learn that he has had a really tough time in life. He begins playing quarterback for the East Dillon football team and is incredibly talented.
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Vince is an intelligent, strong, and independent character, and when his dad is let out of prison, Vince is there for his mom and tries his best to hold his family together.
2 Tyra Collette
Several Friday Night Lights characters are slut shamed, and Tyra gets a lot of negative attention, which is always difficult and heartbreaking to watch.
Tyra is an incredibly smart person and has grown up in awful circumstances. Tyra doesn't have much family and her older sister Mindy has tried to raise her but hasn't done a very good job. As Tyra befriends Landry, she realizes that her relationship with Riggins hasn't been very healthy, and Tyra becomes a more mature person by the series finale.
1 Tami Taylor
Tami is one of the best Friday Night Lights characters and many fans consider her to be an incredible mom.
Whether Tami is helping her family out or inspiring teens to try harder and find more self-confidence, Tami shows fans that she is always emotionally intelligent, logical, and willing to stand up for what is right. Tami is a guidance counselor and, later, the principal of Dillon High, and no matter what professional role she has, Tami is helpful, supportive, and caring. She also knows when to give tough love when necessary.
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Aya Tsintziras is a freelance writer who writes about pop culture and TV. She has a Political Science degree from the University of Toronto and a Masters of Journalism from Ryerson University. She loves coffee, reading, working out, and watching TV. She lives in Toronto with her husband.