The 15 Most Kick-Ass Female TV Characters of All Time

By Lynsey Eidell 

The majority of action shows on television would have you believe that only a male hero could save the day, but these 15 women prove that a heroine is more than up for the job. These strong roles not only made excellent TV, they made history — and we're still being inspired by their ability to kick serious butt today. Here are 15 characters who bring new meaning to the term "girl power."

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Photo Credit: Getty Images


Batgirl, "Batman" Meet the original TV female superhero, Yvonne Craig, who brought Batgirl to the small screen in the late 1960s. Her role alongside Batman in the series helped pave the way for every other woman here — and proved that girl power can translate to power ratings. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Diana Prince, "Wonder Woman" The world was waiting for a true female-led superhero show on television, and it came in the form of "Wonder Woman" in the 1970s. Lynda Carter made the pages of DC Comics come to life as she saved the American people from everything from Nazi threats to master thieves using her magical lasso and golden belt. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sabrina, Jill, and Kelly, "Charlie's Angels" OK, ignoring their sexy getups for a second (which we know is hard), these ladies were "leaning in" decades before it was even a thing. They ditched their mediocre police assignments to become Charlie's private investigators and were experts at solving dangerous crimes undercover. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sgt. Pepper Anderson, "Police Woman" Angie Dickinson made television history in multiple ways: Her role as Sgt. Anderson was the first female lead on a TV cop show. It was also the first successful drama in prime time — ever — to have a woman in its starring role. And Dickinson's portrayal of Sgt. Anderson inspired a flood of women to become police officers themselves. Pretty powerful stuff, wouldn't you say? Photo Credit: Getty Images

Kathryn Janeway, "Star Trek: Voyager" Kate Mulgrew isn't just fierce inside the Litchfield prison walls — she's proved her badass-ery in galaxies more than 70,000 light-years away. As Captain Janeway, Mulgrew led the Voyager on its 75-year mission home, mitigating dangerous Borgs and unknown space hazards along the way. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Xena, "Xena: Warrior Princess" We owe Xena our forever gratitude for showing us that not all princesses wear tiaras — and that they can take on Greek gods and villains just as well as (if not better than) the boys. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Kimberly Hart and Trini Kwan, "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" Don't laugh, but the Pink Ranger and Yellow Ranger did much more than just provide us with a killer elementary-school Halloween costume. They taught us that they could hang right along with the boys in the battles against the Putty Patrol — and all before the school bus arrived, no less. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Buffy Summers, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" We basically wanted to be Buffy: Sarah Michelle Gellar's character saves the world from vampires, demons, werewolves, zombies, and generally awful human beings while also surviving high school (can you say, awesome?). But since being a Slayer is not a viable career option, we'll have to settle for standing up against evil in our own lives — and catching Buffy reruns whenever we can. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Max Guevara, "Dark Angel" "Dark Angel" may have lasted only two seasons, but Jessica Alba's portrayal of the genetically enhanced, trained assassin, super soldier Max has been burned in our memories for years since it went off the air — primarily thanks to her serious ability to kick major butt. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Sydney Bristow, "Alias" Let us never forget Jennifer Garner's pre-rom-com days as Sydney Bristow, the CIA double agent who you'd definitely want on your side in any sort of precarious situation. We'd also go as far to say that Garner's character is as close to a female James Bond as we've ever gotten (certainly not a bad distinction to have). Photo Credit: Getty Images

Olivia Benson, "Law and Order: SVU" Sexual predators don't stand a chance against Liv and her stellar police work. Benson's gotten shot, assaulted, kidnapped, and nearly killed in the course of the series' 17 seasons — and managed to rise to the ranks of Lieutenant. She isn't America's favorite female TV character for nothing. Photo Credit: NBC

Sarah Manning, "Orphan Black" For all you Orphan virgins, Sarah is a clone (one of seven to be exact, all played by the brilliant Tatiana Maslany) in a world where clones are all being actively hunted by various assassins. Her constant fight to survive is certainly thrilling, but that's not what we love most about her (all seven versions): She doesn't kick butt "like the boys." She kicks butt like a girl — and we obviously mean that as a compliment. Photo Credit: BBC America

Michonne, "The Walking Dead" Any woman who not only survives a zombie attack but also manages to tame and chain two zombie walkers by her side is pretty badass in our book. It's no wonder Michonne quickly became a fan favorite character from the zombie apocalypse series. Photo Credit: AMC

Peggy Carter, "Agent Carter" Agent Carter doesn't need a superpower to be a hero — her power comes from how often she's underestimated in the male-dominated, post-World War II era. Don't let her old-Hollywood glamour fool you: Hayley Atwell's Marvel character is not a spy to mess with. Photo Credit: ABC

Kara Danvers, "Supergirl" It's not a bird, it's not a plane — and, guess what people, it's not a man. Enter Supergirl a.k.a Kara Danvers, who is just trying to make it as a 24-year-old assistant (haven't we all been there) and save the world from catastrophic disasters (like planes about to crash into bridges). Photo Credit: CBS