20 Action Heroines Defying The "Strong Female Character" Trope

Who says emotions make you weak?

20. Emma in “Once Upon A Time”

Sure, she got left on the side of the road as a baby, but only because her parents are fairytale characters who lost their memories. Now she uses all that anger to fight evil and look fantastic in a red leather jacket.

19. Cataleya in “Colombiana”

That extreme PTSD from watching her whole family get shot to death in front of her as a child must make for great revenge fantasies while she’s on the treadmill.

18. Nikita in “La Femme Nikita”

Even the government thinks she’s crazy, and that’s pretty hot.

17. Mathilda in “The Professional”

Her whole family gets offed by Gary Crazy-Eyes Oldman, but instead of going to the police, she teams up with a French assassin and learns the trade. Sure, she’s only 12, but that choker makes her look, like, 14.

16. Lisbeth in “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”

Being declared legally insane at age 12 makes all those sexy piercings and tattoos pretty painless in comparison. Also, she swings both ways, so we’ve all got an equal shot at getting to gently run a spoon along that ribcage.

15. Katniss in “The Hunger Games”

Her dad died in a mining accident, her mom really needs some anti-depressants, and she’s trying to keep her family from starving. Then she gets recruited into a futuristic Olympics of Death. But hey, no one wears fire like her, and those bow-and-arrow skills are to die for. Literally.

14. Nina in “Black Swan”

Schizophrenia has never looked so sexy. And you’re rockin’ that tutu, crazygurl. Rockin’ it.

13. Jen Yu in “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”

This biddy is as insane as she is awesome, and she’s super insane. She moonlights as an unstoppable thief even though she’s already rich, she’s a master swordswoman, and she’s in love with a really sweet but kinda pathetic desert gypsy. Except she also kinda hates him. But loves him? But hates him.

12. Ripley in “Alien”

She’s the only badass betch who could defeat alien lifeforms AND make that haircut work. Especially when it’s all covered in space slime.

11. Sarah Connor in “Terminator”

Especially in Terminator 2, when her chiseled arms became a pop culture phenomenon and everyone tried to get really into pullups for a while.

10. Princess Leia in “Star Wars”

She watched her home planet get vaporized, accidentally made out with her brother, and there are always big carpets walking in front of her. This gurl has issues, but come on, that hair. THAT HAIR.

9. Dylan in “Charlie’s Angels”

All the Angels are pretty complicated and smokin’, but Dylan is the rebel. Remember when she kicked the sh*t out of Sam Rockwell while he was trying to fly a helicopter? And when she forgot to wear a bra under her tracksuit because she’s too emotionally damaged for bras? Oh, Dylan.

8. Selene in “Underworld”

Her family was murdered by werewolves and she was turned into a vampire by her replacement father figure, so she’s got some serious daddy issues, but also some sexy supernatural blue peepers!

7. Storm in “X-Men”

The fact that her parents died in an airstrike when she was a kid is probably what caused her to go gray/white early, but she’s owning it.

6. The Bride in “Kill Bill”

This betch is so bad, she doesn’t even remember giving birth. That’s one serious pain threshold. She’s also the only person in history to make a yellow tracksuit look good.

5. Ramona in “Scott Pilgrm vs. The World”

This gurl has so many emotions she has to dye her hair once a day, plus she did what we all threaten to do after a breakup and literally moved to Canada. But when she fights her college ex-girlfriend (hot), she’s a bona fide badass.

4. Black Widow in “The Avengers”

Her parents died in a fire and she was brainwashed by Russian spies, so it’s no wonder she’s a master manipulator who can rock a belted catsuit.

3. Trinity in “The Matrix”

She finds out the entire world is an illusion and what does she do? She buys an all-leather wardrobe and a lot of guns.

2. River in “Serenity”

No power in the ‘Verse can stop her, or give her a bad hair day.

1. Buffy in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”

The ultimate in damaged chick badassery. Have you stabbed the love of your life with a sword to save the world? Have you died a lot? Were you named Class Protector in high school? Have you done it all while remaining perfectly manicured? Then shut your hellmouth and step back, gurl.

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