Development of probes that can discriminate G-quadruplex (GQ) structures and indentify efficient GQ binders on the basis of topology and nucleic acid type is highly desired to advance GQ-directed therapeutic strategies. In this context, we describe the development of minimally perturbing and environment-sensitive pyrimidine nucleoside analogues, based on a 5-(benzofuran-2-yl)uracil core, as topology-specific fluorescence turn-on probes for human telomeric DNA and RNA GQs. The pyrimidine residues of one of the loop regions (TTA) of telomeric DNA and RNA GQ oligonucleotide (ON) sequences were replaced with 5-benzofuran-modified 2'-deoxyuridine and uridine analogues. Depending on the position of modification the fluorescent nucleoside analogues distinguish antiparallel, mixed parallel-antiparallel and parallel stranded DNA and RNA GQ topologies from corresponding duplexes with significant enhancement in fluorescence intensity and quantum yield. Further, these GQ sensors enabled the development of a simple fluorescence binding assay to quantify topology- and nucleic acid-specific binding of small molecule ligands to GQ structures. Together, our results demonstrate that these nucleoside analogues are useful GQ probes, which are anticipated to provide new opportunities to study and discover efficient G-quadruplex binders of therapeutic potential.