1. Charlotte Pickles (Rugrats)
Better known as simply “Angelica’s mom,” Charlotte was always in work mode. She challenged gender roles as we saw her making moves to stay at the top of her career, while her husband was more often seen at home or attending family events with their daughter. At the end of the day, it was clear she wanted Angelica to be just as strong and independent as her, if not more.
2. Tina Belcher (Bob’s Burgers)
Tina has been winning America’s heart since the show’s debut. She charismatically balances between being open and honest about her insecurities and not taking no for an answer when being met with society’s limitations. In general, Tina wants what every teenage girl wants (with a few extra quirks), and with her confidence she is headed in the right direction of gaining whatever she wants.
3. Penny Proud (The Proud Family)
Between her comically dysfunctional family and diverse bunch of friends, Penny Proud was always facing some challenge or decision. While being a teen would sometimes temporarily get the best of her, more often than not she would make the right choice. And, of course, she gets total boss points for being the first girl to join the football team and holding her own on and off the field.
4. Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup (The Powerpuff Girls)
The return (and reboot) of The Powerpuff Girls to our TV screens, let’s us know how vital their presence is and how much we still need to be reminded that girl power is in fact real. Each of the colorful characters are powerful and essential to the group in their own right. The Professor also gets a shoutout for never hold the girls back and his wise words.
5. Princess Carolyn (Bojack Horseman)
Princess Carolyn is Bojack’s on-again-off-again agent and former, very brief love interest. While she doesn’t quite have it all together, she also deserves a spot on this list. She is able to solve any crisis thrown at her, either work-related or created by her careless friends. Carolyn drowns herself in work from sun up to sundown but we also see her going on dates and not giving up hope that she can find a romantic partner that fits into her lifestyle. She is relatable because while she is not always happy she truly loves what she does. Princess Carolyn also refuses to settle with someone out of fear or desperation even though she is very aware of her dating clock ticking away.