1. Buffy Summers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
TV’s ultimate feminist. Badass in every conceivable way, Buffy fights demons by night, tackles the SAT by day, and continually battles an overactive hellmouth. Oh, and she still makes time for friends, family, and the occasional vampire love interest. She’s kickass and still dresses in the most impeccable 90’s fashions. *swoon* But the best part? Buffy the Vampire Slayer was created by a man! If you’re not already familiar with Joss Whedon, rectify that immediately. Your life will never be the same.
2. Alex Vause, Orange is the New Black
If you never had any desire to set foot in prison, chances are that changed after your summer OINTB binge. There are some intensely fierce ladies in Litchfield’s prison (Red, anyone?), yet Alex out does them all. Between solo navigation of prison alliances, forcing a makeout session as revenge against a religious nut job, and always snapping back with the perfect retort, Alex makes it known that she doesn’t mess around. Well, only in bed…
3. Kim Possible, Kim Possible
The theme song will forever be on repeat in our heads. But nonetheless, Kim is a Disney role model to be remembered. She fought crime, solved mysteries, and was the person your ten year old self most looked up to. The loveable (yet incompetent) Ron Stoppable is the male lead, although it’s clear that Kim is the one kicking ass. Girl power at its finest.
4. Miranda Hobbes, Sex in the City
Ahhh, SITC. So many blissful hours spent soaking up the lives of our four favorite friends. While it’s normally Samantha that nabs the title of “Most Empowered,” I’m giving this one to Miranda. She’s a successful lawyer, calls everyone out on his or her bullshit, married according to her own terms and figured out how to raise a baby alone. Yep, she definitely classifies as totally kickass.
5. Daenerys Targaryn, Game of Thrones
The world of literature, online fandoms, and television have been forever changed by GoT. As for Daenerys? She changed the feminist world. With no support, no army, and no experience, Daenerys single handedly becomes a powerful ruler who is respected and feared. She does this through her own strength, determination, and a few painful sacrifices along the way. Daenerys is our Queen!
6. Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars
She’s tiny, blonde, and totally awesome. Armed with her pit bull named Backup and her camera, she’s an unstoppable force. Knowing her backstory and the terrible ordeal she went through makes her that much more adored and respected. She’s the queen of one-liners and no man, no matter how sassy or macho, stands a chance when Veronica Mars is on the case.
7. Karen Walker, Will & Grace
Where does one even begin with Karen Walker? She’s the most hilarious, snarky, and functional alcoholic to ever grace the small screen. Karen doesn’t take crap from anyone and plays by her own rules. This often means she’s drunk, late, and making out with random men, but feminism comes in all shapes and sizes. Amiright?
8. Lucille Bluth, Arrested Development
The matriarch of the Bluth family, this lady doesn’t mess around. She’s equal parts bitchy, conceited, and hilarious. Lucille proves that age is merely a number, arbitrarily assigned. But beneath her prickly exterior, she truly has a heart of gold.
9. Debra Morgan, Dexter
Dexter may be the show’s namesake, but Debra is the show’s backbone. Until watching Debra in action, I never knew it was possible to combine so many f-bombs in one sentence. She’s a kickass cop, unfailingly true to herself, and relentless in her pursuit of the truth. (Disclaimer: let’s just all pretend that Season 7 never happened, okay?)
10. Loralai Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
When watching Gilmore Girls, it’s often hard to tell if you want to be best friends with Loralai or be Loralai…or both. No one is wittier, faster, or more likeable than the Stars Hallow’s very own Ms. Gilmore. Not sure what you want to be when you grow up? Watch Gilmore Girls and you’ll have your answer. No one is cooler than Rory’s mom.
Your favorite kickass character didn’t make the cut? Let us know who she is in the comments below!