back to top

The 27 Most Badass Women On TV In 2014

More of these ladies in 2015, please! #Knope2016

Posted on

1. Carol (Melissa McBride), The Walking Dead


Badass Boss Moves: Despite being essentially evicted from Rick's (Andrew Lincoln) group, Carol survived on her own and then completely saved Rick and co. from a group of cannibals. This year, she also protected Rick Jr. (aka Judith), and then attempted to save Beth (Emily Kinney) from the hospital. Basically, she was saving everyone on the planet.

2. Poussey (Samira Wiley), Orange Is the New Black

Badass Boss Moves: Everyone was afraid to stand up to Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) in Season 2, except Poussey. Sure, Poussey was a literal army of one, but she never gave up and never gave in to Vee's demands that she shape up or move on. (Not to mention when we saw a flashback to her former army brat life, and really understood where Poussey came from, emotionally.)

4. Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal), The Honorable Woman

Badass Boss Moves: First of all, Nessa is a baroness, which in itself is badass. But she's also a woman who's survived impossible situations. She's at times vulnerable, and at other times cutthroat, but above all, she is brave.


5. Claire Underwood (Robin Wright), House of Cards


Badass Boss Moves: Woman legit could give two fucks about anyone who isn't herself or her husband. In that way, she isn't afraid to put people in their place, even if she has to be rude as hell to do it. Plus, in Season 2, she publicly came forward as a rape survivor and took down the man who did it.

6. Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), How to Get Away With Murder

ABC / Via

Badass Boss Moves: Aside from running her own criminal defense practice, where she only represents seemingly hopeless clients, she also has a gaggle of law student minions, affectionately called "The Keating Five." That's right, there are five youths vying for her attention. Plus, she isn't afraid to call out her husband for being a total dick (which is often).

7. Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), Game of Thrones


Badass Boss Moves: Brienne briefly entertained the thought of a life with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), but then she remembered that she knows how to use a motherfucking sword, and she got the hell out of King's Landing.

8. Molly Solverson (Allison Tolman), Fargo


Badass Boss Moves: Molly is the only cop in her small town who seems to pay any attention to her job, and isn't afraid to go after the bad guys. In fact, when you see Molly on screen, you can't help but think, Molly for president? Molly for everyone? Molly, you're the best.


9. Elizabeth McCord (Téa Leoni), Madam Secretary


Badass Boss Moves: The white male agenda is alive and well in Elizabeth's world, but she doesn't let their shit drag her down. Instead, she carries on and deftly tells them to go fuck themselves whenever they try and stop her.

10. Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), The Good Wife

CBS / Via

Badass Boss Moves: Right from Season 1, we knew that Alicia was a survivor (despite her husband's scandals and idiocy). But now, in Season 6, she's not just surviving, she's thriving, and making a run for state attorney. (It's important to note that literally everyone around her is like, "Yaaass, Alicia, please run and save us all from our own idiocy!")

11. Maura Pfefferman (Jeffrey Tambor), Transparent

Badass Boss Moves: For the first time in her life, Maura (aka Moppa) is putting her own needs front and center. She has the world's most self-involved children, whom she endlessly supports, but she's finally sticking up for herself and taking back her life.

12. Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Game of Thrones

HBO / Via

Badass Boss Moves: Poor Sansa. For most of her on-screen time, she's been all about lemon cakes and not knowing what the hell to do. But now that Lord Baelish (Aidan Gillen) has essentially tricked her into a life with him, she's trying to take back control by manipulating him. It's exciting and also terrifyingly lemon-cake-free.


13. Miss Rosa Cisneros (Barbara Rosenblat), Orange Is the New Black


Badass Boss Moves: This year, we learned a whole lot about why Rosa's in prison, mainly due to the fact that she's a former bank robber. And at the end of Season 2, what she robbed was so epic and badass that you likely stood up and clapped. Or cried while clapping. Either way, there was definitely room for applause.

14. Claire (Caitriona Balfe), Outlander


Badass Boss Moves: First off, Claire is all over that wine-for-every-meal grind. And secondly, she's trapped as a time traveler in another century, and manages to not only survive, but thrive.* (*And by "thrive," I mean have sex with a hot Scottish man, OK?)

15. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Game of Thrones


Badass Boss Moves: The Mother of Dragons is essentially always badass because, well, she's the Mother of Dragons. But in Season 4, she landed herself a kingdom to lord over, as well as a man to do her sexual bidding. (Triple threat here!)

16. Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka), Mad Men


Badass Boss Moves: Sally has essentially manipulated her parents into seeing her almost never, and is now living her own sordid life at a boarding school. The sass level is high with this one (in the best way possible)!


17. Beth (Emily Kinney), The Walking Dead


Badass Boss Moves: Beth used to sing. A lot. Yes, it was fairly annoying. But in Season 5, Beth stopped singing and got to kicking ass. She helped Noah (Tyler James Williams) escape the hospital, killed an evil rapist police officer, and wasn't afraid to tell Dawn (Christine Woods), the woman in charge, what a shitty job she's doing. (RIP)

18. Kalinda Sharma (Archie Panjabi), The Good Wife

Badass Boss Moves: The amazing thing about Kalinda's job is that she's constantly living her life just outside the realm of safety. As a private investigator, she gets put into all manner of terrifying situations (i.e., she holds her own with the scariest drug dealer in Illinois) and she really could give a fuck. And as a woman, in her private life, she's in charge of her sexuality. What could be better than that? (We'll miss you, Kalinda!)

19. Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.


Badass Boss Moves: First of all, Melinda knows martial arts, so already, that's badass. Secondly, she's a motherfucking pilot. So, after she kicks your ass, she can literally fly off into the sunset.

20. Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire), Happy Valley

Badass Boss Moves: Catherine is just about the most gritty and determined police sergeant you've ever seen. No matter how many times she gets knocked down, she always jumps right back up and is feistier than before. She's been through a lot of shit — physically and emotionally — but she's the ultimate proof that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.


21. Dr. Alana Bloom (Caroline Dhavernas), Hannibal

Badass Boss Moves: OK, so yes, Alana fucked up by falling for Dr. Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). But then she more than made up for that in the Season 2 finale when she sacrificed herself in pursuit of killing him. (Alana, for what it's worth, I hope you survive that epic fall, girl.)

22. Kristina Braverman (Monica Potter), Parenthood

Badass Boss Moves: Kristina is the most super-mom of all the super-moms. She's a breast cancer survivor who also ran for mayor last season and opened up a school this season, all while being the most supportive mom when learning that her daughter Haddie (Sarah Ramos) is dating a woman and in terms of her son Max (Max Burkholder), who has Asperger's. (That school she opened? It's for him.) Plus, she deals with everything in the most loving way possible (like when she taught Max how to slow dance).

23. Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), Scandal

Badass Boss Moves: This past year, not only did Olivia jet off to a private island with Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) for some serious sex-cation, but she also told the two men in her life that she doesn't plan to choose between them. Know why? Because she wants to have them both. BOOM.

24. Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), Arrow

Badass Boss Moves: Felicity started her time on Arrow as a smart but timid computer whiz. Fast forward to Season 3 and she's completely able to hold her own when it comes to working with Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey). She's also an insanely skilled hacker and runs circles around all of the men around her. Did I mention she's also got, like, a bunch of men who want to date her? (I'm looking at you, Oliver and Barry [Grant Gustin], both of whom are total babes.)


25. Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), Veep

HBO / Via

Badass Boss Moves: In Season 1 of Veep, Selina was considered a joke of a vice president, in that she was easily dismissed and kept standing by her staff. BUT, in Season 3, she became an actual person of power in the administration, and she got shit DONE, rather than bumbling around. She's also really fucking funny.

26. Dawn Chambers (Teyonah Parris), Mad Men

Badass Boss Moves: Dawn, aka The New Joan (according to her new office), knows exactly how to survive in the white male behemoth of an industry that is '60s advertising. She may act professional and sweet to her co-workers, but in Season 7 we got to see that she's fully aware of the role she needs to play to get ahead, and she's playing it exceptionally well.

27. Alison Hendrix (Tatiana Maslany), Orphan Black

Badass Boss Moves: The general lesson learned by watching Alison in action is that you should never underestimate a soccer mom. In Season 2 of Orphan Black, Alison proved she's the most likely clone to know how to properly hide a body. And shoot a gun. And put on the best damn musical performance you've ever seen.