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29 Amazingly Badass Female TV Characters

Who run the world? Girls!

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We recently asked members of BuzzFeed Community who their favourite badass female TV icons were and why. Here are the women who you think kick ass.

1. Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

The WB

"Buffy was flawed; she was sometimes cold, unforgiving, over-analytical, and cared too much of what others thought. However, she was strong, determined, clever, and loving. To me, Joss Whedon created a complex female character, that was REAL and yet so strong. She proved to me that I don't have to be perfect to be good."

–Sabrina Faire White, Facebook

2. Olivia Pope, Scandal

ABC

"She goes after what she wants and never gives up. She inspires those around her and earns true loyalty from her peers. She's a gladiator in a suit."

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3. Brienne of Tarth, Game of Thrones

HBO

"I really think she summed it up best with "All my life men like you have sneered at me. And all my life I've been knocking men like you into the dust." On a show that's meant to resemble medieval times, she completely subverts gender roles and consistently proves her worth as a fighter."

–Lisa Montoya, Facebook

4. Cristina Yang, Grey's Anatomy

ABC

"Cristina Yang is just mind-blowing. She is incredible and I really look up to her."

fionapeanut

5. Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

NBC

"She's hilarious, strong, independent, loves cute butts, and is just all around amazing!!"

–Jordan Walker, Facebook

6. Mindy Lahiri, The Mindy Project

Fox

"She's incredibly imperfect, but recognises that and is still a rockstar!! She shows that women aren't just one thing; smart or foolish, beautiful or funny. She is all those things at once, just like real women are. Plus, her wardrobe is amazing."

jkwalsh8

7. Leslie Shay, Chicago Fire

NBC

"She's a strong, complex women in a male-dominated show and she is honestly the friend I always wish I had."

tswizzyb

8. Brooke Davis, One Tree Hill

CW

"For teaching me that people really can change, that girls can be strong and proud, for kicking ass and taking names, and for being fiercely loyal to her friends and family."

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9. Monica Geller, Friends

NBC

"Monica has her quirks and flaws. She used to be overweight, she's majorly fucked up her relationships and she gets jealous of her brother. But she still found love, happiness, and an amazing life in the end."

shadowdelivery

10. Korra, Legend of Korra

Nickelodeon

"She's the straight-up shit. Badass woman of colour. Great fighter who surrounds herself with other badass women too. She is very confident but also willing to admit when she is afraid or broken. You may see her fail from time to time but she always overcomes her hardships because she strives to accept the trauma and not let it define her. She taught me that even when you are at your lowest point, you are open to the great change and can truly become limitless."

–Stevo Kolison, Facebook

11. Kimmy Schmidt, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Netflix

"For someone to have been through what Kimmy has been through, she really is a ball of sunshine. She never gives up and tries her best to help anyone she cares about."

danielles4c2a035ed

12. Ally McBeal, Ally McBeal

Fox

"She's a badass lawyer who dates whoever the hell she wants and dresses how she pleases. Love that woman."

amandap92

13. Beth Green, The Walking Dead

AMC

"Her journey was really inspiring, she went from a suicidal teen to a hopeful young woman. She became a beacon of light in a dead, gloomy world. She deserved better."

mjwa7a

14. Stella Gibson, The Fall

BBC

"She will not apologise for her sexuality, she shuts her inferior male co-workers up all the damn time, she promotes her fellow female co-workers, she cares deeply about the victims, has several PhDs, calls out sexism whenever she happens upon it (which is a lot) and I cannot get enough of her."

–Elin Jonsson, Facebook

15. Jessica Pearson, Suits

NBC

"She takes absolutely zero shit from anyone, knows how to put people in their place, is well-respected, and is the leader of a prestigious (albeit fictional) New York City law firm. Also I want her clothes. Girlfriend has serious style."

marissad415

16. Quinn Fabray, Glee

Fox

"She might not be the typical badass, but if you look carefully at her journey, you'll find a strong, inspiring, iconic lady."

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17. Peggy Olson, Mad Men

AMC

"She is the definition of what it's like for a woman in a man's world, especially during the rise of second-wave feminism in the '60s and '70s. She picks herself up time and again after every mistake and disappointment and she loves what she does and is truly gifted at it. Then she still managed to find the ultimate work-life balance in the end with Stan; a partner who learns over the years to respect and admire her talent, strength, and intelligence. Who says you can't have it all?"

–Michelle Cabral, Facebook

18. Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

NBC

"Because she walks to the beat of her own drum. She does her own thing and doesn't care what anyone else thinks. She is also not afraid to be a little weird."

juliannakelleyt

19. Lorelai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls

WB

"She's amazing. She pushed herself to make her dreams comes true even after having to raise her daughter by herself."

rossmichelles

20. Amelia Shepherd, Private Practice / Grey's Anatomy

ABC

"She's been through so much and has managed to bounce back each time but in a believable way that shows how each of those experiences shaped and scarred her and turned her into more of a badass. She also manages to have relationships that don't consume her and remembers to keep herself as her number one priority. Her ongoing battle with addiction is neither swept under the rug nor used as her only defining feature. Plus, she's a brilliant surgeon!"

kmericks

21. Bonnie Bennett, The Vampire Diaries

CW

"She has repeatedly put her on life on the line to save others around her. Heck she even died a time or two to make it happen. There are very few characters on that show that don't owe their life to Bonnie Bennett in some way."

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22. Peggy Carter, Agent Carter

ABC

"Peggy can take down 10 men with her bare hands while wearing a pencil skirt and red lipstick. What I love about Peggy is that she's in a very misogynistic man's world, yet she's kicking ass and taking names."

–Kira Silén, Facebook

23. Dr. Temperence Brennan, Bones

Fox

"She's very empowering because she's smart, beautiful, but most importantly, rocks confidence. Though she always bases her decisions with work on whether they are rational, she is very aware that sometimes she might find flaw her rationale."

–Maggie Waid, Facebook

24. Dana Scully, The X-Files

Fox

"Female FBI-Agent working and matching up to the handful that is Mulder, rescuing him multiple times and yet she will not allow him to trample on her even though he's more experienced and the believer. She is able to get him to slow down and listen to solid evidence. Plus, fighting cancer while still working her ass off is pretty darn impressive!"

–Erika Drewke, Facebook

25. Clarke Griffin, The 100

CW

"She's not an unlikable main character– she's emotional, she's tough, she's scared, she's confused, she's vicious, and she's heroic. She makes the calls no one else can."

–Jacob Yoss, Facebook

26. Kate Beckett, Castle

ABC

"She's intelligent and logical (and not to mention damn good at her job). She's been through so much in her life, but she still manages to push forward and be resilient. Beckett is the kind of person that everyone aspires to be: both tough and kind, both determined and patient, and both serious and effervescent. So, so underrated."

–Rebecca Serad, Facebook

27. Annalise Keating, How To Get Away With Murder

ABC

"She's so badass. She's intelligent and successful, but is still a real human who has problems."

–Brittany Coker, Facebook

28. Robin Scherbatsky, How I Met Your Mother

CBS

"I love how fiercely independent she is, and I love that she sticks to what she believes in. I always especially loved that she was open about not wanting kids and was never ashamed of that. I feel like it's really, really rare to see a female character with that particular feeling, because most TV shows eventually cave and give their female leads kids because society tells us that women who don't have kids are somehow defective. So props to Robin and the show's creators/runners for sticking to their guns."

–Jessica Giffin, Facebook

29. Olivia Benson, Law and Order: SVU

NBC

"If Olivia Benson isn't the most badass of them all, then I don't know who is!"

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