1. Ashley Spinelli, Recess
Spinelli dropped her first name, was the tough one of the Recess gang, and was a fan of wrestling. There was no way she was conforming to society's gender roles.
2. Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Buffy saved the entire world on a regular basis and received barely any recognition for it, but more important she showed that taking an interest in lip gloss and heels doesn't make you any less of a badass woman.
3. Wednesday Addams, The Addams Family
Wednesday was about as far from a typical little girl as it's possible to get. She inspired us all to give literally zero fucks and refuse to live up to society's expectations.
4. Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons
Let's face it: When Lisa Simpson calls out the patriarchy on its shit, everyone listens. And she's only 8.
5. Sabrina Spellman, Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Sabrina and her super-feminist aunts were never afraid to be anything but themselves. Plus, the male lead in the series was a cat. (Let's face it, Salem was a much more important character than Harvey.)
6. Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup, The Powerpuff Girls
The Powerpuff Girls were little girls with literal powers who saved the day on the regular, all while maintaining the importance of sisterhood. Also, remember when they used their feminine charm to beat their rivals, the Rowdyruff Boys?
7. Alex, Sam, and Clover, Totally Spies
Alex, Sam, and Clover were basically teenage versions of the Powerpuff Girls. Not to mention, they used patriarchal expectations of women to get shit done. Lipstick lasers, anyone?
8. Hermione Granger, the Harry Potter Series
Everybody knows that the Harry Potter series was basically just the story of Hermione being totally done with the goddamn patriarchy. She saved the day even when she was petrified, and Harry Potter still got the credit.
9. Kim Possible, Kim Possible
Not only did Kim Possible break the sexist stereotype that all cheerleaders are nothing but bimbos, but the male lead in the series was her sidekick.
10. Matilda Wormwood, Matilda
Matilda totally disregarded society's expectations of her as a little girl – she read Moby Dick, overcame any obstacles that she encountered, and didn't let any of her (supposed) weaknesses get in her way. In fact, she used her assumed innocence to her advantage and managed to get away with murder. Not literally.
11. Miss Grotke, Recess
Miss Grotke may have been kind of a minor character in Recess, but she literally gave the kids classes in feminism. Where were the Founding Mothers?
12. Madeline, Madeline
Madeline preferred to go on adventures than stay home and ~swoon~ over the new boy next door. She loved to break the rules, and she was a total badass about it.
13. Bubbles, Chuchie, Do, and Aqua, The Cheetah Girls
Have you ever listened to their song "Cinderella"? The Cheetah Girls showed us that we don't need no man, all whilst encouraging us to reach our cheetahlicious potential.
14. Susie Carmichael, Rugrats
Susie consistently took no shit from anyone, including Angelica. In fact, they were best friends, demonstrating that you can still support your fellow ladies even if you don't necessarily agree with everything they do.
15. Helga Pataki, Hey Arnold
Helga was more than just Arnold's not-quite-love interest – she was tough, super smart, and a great writer. She also showed us, in the episode "Helga's Makeover", that it's better to be yourself than to look and act the way society expects you to.
16. Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
Rory was born to be a feminist, and didn't disappoint at the end of the series when she said no to Logan's marriage proposal and left to pursue her lifelong dream of being a career-driven journalist.
17. Betty DeVille, Rugrats
Betty literally wore a shirt with a Venus symbol on it. I mean, come on.