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Posted on Dec 12, 2017

Here Are 43 Of The Most Impactful Female Characters From 2017

We want to be you when we grow up.

We recently asked the members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their favorite TV and film characters from 2017. Here are some of the best results:

1. Valkyrie from Thor: Ragnarok


"Valkyrie was tragic, hilarious, heroic, and not to be trifled with." —tgenck

2. The women from The Handmaid's Tale


"Truly what we feminists needed to watch in the first year of Trump's presidency. Timeless but current all at once."


3. Sam White from Dear White People


"She made me want to start the revolution." —cassidyk4b666a607

4. The Amazons from Wonder Woman

Warner Bros.

"In action and superhero films, women are vastly underrepresented (obviously), often with only one key woman among a sea of men. In the rare moments when there are multiple women, it’s usually only two, and they often end up pitted against each other. Not in Wonder Woman, though. In this film, we have an entire island of women who are strong, bold, and capable. Not only that, but the women are comrades, helping each other train so that, together, they can be stronger. The training montages at the beginning of the movie had me tearing up because it’s so rare to see women praised as strong and capable *in and of themselves*, without any comparison to men included." —julied43c2eec1c

5. Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta, from Wonder Woman

Warner Bros.

"It was just so powerful. The themes of love and compassion it had just permeated through her warmth for all of humanity. Her true power was not just her badass strength that made her the most formidable fighter in the DC Universe, but her ability to use her heart and brain and her unique perspective as a woman alien to prejudice." —riazg

6. Penelope Alvarez from One Day at a Time


"Can we just take a moment to respect the REALNESS of Penelope Alvarez? She's a hardworking single mom and veteran who fights for acceptance for her LGBT daughter and for fair treatment in her workplace. She's a positive Latina character on a show centering on a Cuban family and their traditions. She deals with a lot of difficult stuff, and maybe that's what makes her so real. You get up, you power through, and you do it over and over again."


7. Sana from Skam


"She's such an incredibly important character, and, though I'm not Muslim, I am a POC in a white-majority country, and I connected with her so, so much."


8. Lady Bird from Lady Bird


"In a movie with such an amazing cast, she outshines everyone else by being strong and spunky and everything you could hope for in a female protagonist."


9. Issa and the women from Insecure


"Their lives run parallel to mine and all of my girlfriends. They are not perfect; they are nowhere near it, but they are L-I-V-I-N. And in this climate, sometimes that's all you can do." —Toya Davis, Facebook

10. Jules and Ophelia from Sweet/Vicious


"Jules is one tough, badass survivor who is (literally) fighting for others and herself. She doesn’t back down from a challenge and makes it a point to make other assault survivors feel heard by someone even if the police are ignoring them. Ophelia figures out what Jules is up to and, instead of backing away, she insists on helping and makes herself into one badass sidekick." —aliciad4bae731f3

11. Betty and Veronica from Riverdale

The CW

"At first it seemed they would be a cliché: rivals fighting over a less-than-worthy guy. But then the showrunners smartly dodged that bullet and let them evolve beyond that to become friends who are smart, resourceful, determined, and loving." —tgenck

12. The women from GLOW


"Each are just ordinary women from different difficult situations who take an opportunity to be more than themselves." —aan-sofieg

13. The women from Big Little Lies


"Those women were some of the most powerful women I’ve ever seen on TV."


14. Nola Darling from She's Gotta Have It


"She makes questionable choices and can be a little self-involved sometimes, but that’s kind of what I love about her. She takes risks, stands up for herself, and speaks her mind honestly in a way that I wish I did." —shylawatson

15. Jane Sloan, Kat Edison, Sutton Brady, Jacqueline Carlyle, and Adena el-Amin from The Bold Type


"The way the show has been able to handle tough topics — like coming to terms with your sexuality, dealing with loss, and the fear of dying — have been so heart-wrenching and amazing. It's amazing to see strong female characters who aren't stereotyped as a "bitch" and whose friendship comes first. Every single cast member is nothing short of flawless." —Kyler Guebert, Facebook

16. Jane Villanueva from Jane the Virgin

The CW

"She lost her husband, Michael, and is still learning how to raise her son. And, through all that, she was able to publish her first book. If that isn't strength, than I don't know what is."


17. Sansa and Arya from Game of Thrones


"Sansa evolved from a naive girl wanting to get married to Joffrey to this fearless girl who knows just how to clap back (can we please talk about how she manipulated Littlefinger?). She finally discovered who she was meant to be and that’s FIERCE." —shwetab3

"No one can deny how awesome Arya is. But one scene that stuck out to me was when she found out that the Starks took back the North. It shows an emotional strength that is awesome. She chooses to put aside something she has been dreaming about for years — killing Cersei — to go back to her family. In that scene, her strength is that she allows herself to be vulnerable." —rebeccam4ae953e2d

18. Mija from Okja


"She fights for what she believes is right and literally travels halfway around the world to save her beloved Okja from a slaughterhouse." —crystalro

19. Dina from Girls Trip

Universal Studios

"Dina makes the jokes I wish I had the courage to make. She's the epitome of 'gives no fucks,' and she loves her friends as much as she loves to have a good time. Everyone deserves a friend like Dina." —pablovaldivia

20. President Mellie Grant from Scandal


"The show feels like an alternative universe now, but I love how she is making the rules when it comes to her presidency and refusing to let anyone dictate her decisions." —emmanz

21. Jessica Jones from The Defenders (and Jessica Jones)

Netflix / Via

"She's unapologetically damaged in a way that should be shown more in women. She doesn’t deal with her problems in a healthy manner: She gets scared, she has sex, she doesn’t apologize for who she is, and, as Trish Walker says, she’s never going to help move a couch or plan a party, but she’s there for the stuff that counts." —s4bab399e6

22. Hela from Thor: Ragnarok


"So many female villains are depicted as over-sexualized or incompetent, and Hela was neither, giving the drive for female movie characters an extra push."


23. Kate McKinnon's characters from Saturday Night Live


"Kate McKinnon has been so powerful in the comedy world, paving the way for female comedians in a lot of different ways. Not to mention she is by far the best impressionist on the SNL stage since the Maya Rudolph–Kristen Wiig era."


24. Beth from This Is Us


"She is strong, insightful, kind, and smart. By far the best character."


25. Nomi from Sense8


"She's a hacktivist who happens to be trans and lesbian. She is not coded as just that, though. She is loving, friendly, and beautiful in so many ways." —s4bab399e6

26. Rebecca Bunch from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

The CW

"Rachel Bloom never fails to be fresh and surprising. She makes her show the funniest and most woke on television, and she doesn't show any signs of slowing down." —notetonotehourtohour

27. Lorraine Broughton from Atomic Blonde

Focus Features

"She kicked ass and carved out an important place in the lineup of the most celebrated spies in movie history (while still being a queer woman)."


28. Beatrice and Princess Carolyn from BoJack Horseman


"Beatrice Horseman gave us a deep and heartbreaking look at the lives of our mothers and grandmothers and how we all got to where we are now. And Princess Carolyn remained our heartbreaking badass. The woods are truly dark and full of creepy clown dentists, but the only way out is through." —Cherryll Batty, Facebook

29. Lady Olenna from Game of Thrones


"She brought me back to life the moment she looked Jaime Lannister in the eye and delivered the most iconic line of the season, "Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me." YAS, QUEEN. This woman was a badass from the beginning, but going out like that, in a real blaze of glory... just, brava." —rebeccajenniferf

30. Colleen Wing from Iron Fist


"She is strong and willful and keeps Danny from completely going off the rails."


31. Clarke Griffin from The 100

The CW

"She's such an inspiring female lead character! She’s smart, strong, and brave, but she still makes mistakes and isn’t afraid to come back and make up for them. Also, she motivates and provides balance for everyone around her, even when they are angry or disappointed in her. Basically, she’s a brilliant badass, and I wish I was more like her!"


32. Meredith Grey from Grey's Anatomy


"The 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy was written by a woman, directed by a woman, created by a woman, line produced by a woman, showrun by women, and starred a whole lot of incredible women. This includes Meredith Grey. This character has been through everything, and has come out on the other side stronger than ever." —sarahr480ac96b4

33. Eleven from Stranger Things


"She is powerful, independent, incredibly brave, and doesn’t let anyone control her. I love that we got to see more of just her this year." —sophiep41c3db4f2

34. Rainbow Johnson from Black-ish


"This season's postpartum depression episode was about as raw and real as it gets, especially for a network sitcom." —Ali Velez Alderfer, Facebook

35. Fiona Gallagher from Shameless


"She's been through so much shit, and she's overcome it all." —jazminecanals2

36. Lagertha from Vikings

"She lost the love of her life, trained an army, got a badass girlfriend, invaded Kattegat, and became queen." —amandadea2

37. Farah Black from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

BBC America

"She's a three-dimensional character who doesn't fall into the 'strong, badass woman' trope."


38. Abbi and Ilana from Broad City

Comedy Central

"They definitely take the cake this year for best actresses. Perfect representation of what we all wanna embrace: more adventure and orgasms." —sunnyb4d6f310ee

39. Ingrid from Ingrid Goes West


"I'm obsessed with Aubrey Plaza's character in Ingrid Goes West! Strong, terrifying, heartbreaking, and a little too relatable. We've all got a little bit of Ingrid inside of us." —stephenlaconte

40. Wynonna, Waverly, and Nicole from Wynonna Earp


"All of the ladies on Wynonna Earp, but especially Wynonna Earp herself. That queen was pregnant and still kicked ass. She is such a complex character."


41. Daisy Johnson from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Jennifer Clasen / ABC

"She lost everything in the end of Season 3, and saw herself as the problem coming into Season 4. Throughout Season 4, however, she grew so much and learned to trust herself again. Stories like this are so important because young girls need to see someone who gets knocked down and then fights with everything in her to get back up. She makes me feel empowered and proud and strong as a woman." —courtneyc4fa30a7b5

42. Ally from American Horror Story: Cult


"She went through one of the best character developments I've ever seen. She goes from scared and helpless to strong and revengeful, and Sarah Paulson makes her transformation something amazing to watch."


43. And finally, the Thirteenth Doctor from Doctor Who, who was revealed this year.


"We've got a female doctor now! I can't imagine what it's gonna be like for these little kids to grow up with these role models." —totalfangirl11

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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The photo of Nola Darling from She's Gotta Have It has been replaced with a still from the television series. An earlier version of this post used a photo from the original film.

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