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8 Iconic Female Characters

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Kutztown chapter.

By Jessi Walker

With Women’s History Month coming to a close, it is a good idea to look back at the most badass female characters in fictional history as well. These badass women on the TV, movie screens, on the pages of books, or in video games have helped inspire other badass women in real life as well. 

  1. Katniss Everdeen

The girl on fire is an iconic character from the book-later turned into movies-series, The Hunger Games. Katniss is just a teenager from District 12, but she is the one feeding her family, including her little sister Prim by hunting in the woods that surround 12. In this world, there is a Hunger Games each year to remind the districts of the rebellion and about how it should never happen again. The games are treated as entertainment for the citizens of the Capitol. Prim gets reaped for that year’s Hunger Games, and Katniss volunteers for her, knowing she has a better chance at survival than her little sister. From then on, Katniss goes off to fight in the hunger games and by the end becomes a leader of the rebellion against the Capitol, but still keeps her humanity to not become a part of the games. She suffers from PTSD after all of this, including directly after the first games, but she is truly a survivor of it all. 

  1.  Homura Akemi 

Homura Akemi is a magical girl from the anime series Madoka Magica. Homura is a different magical girl, as she has time magic abilities and has created several timelines to save her friend Madoka Kanome. In the first timeline, she is seen as a weak girl who is awkward, behind in school, and suicidal. When we first see Homura in the show’s starting timeline, she is strong, brave, and she is willing to do anything to protect Madoka. She stands up against Kyubey, the creator that is converting the girls into Magical Girls, and she tries to warn everyone against bad fates. Her failures over and over again kept making her stronger, as well as more edgy and mysterious. She is such a badass character because of it. 

  1. Undyne 

Undyne is a character from the video game Undertale, and she is a very iconic character no matter what route you play in the video game by Toby Fox. Undyne is a female fish creature that leads the Royal Guard. She is a very intense character in the pacifist route, showing up as a scary, mysterious knight costume person shooting arrows at you multiple times. Once you win her over, she still keeps a strong aura and challenges you at cooking. She also has a sweet side with the shy, timid character, Alphys, the monster in the world that is a scientist. If the player goes down the genocide route, she goes down as even more as a hero for the monsters. Undyne nearly gets killed with the first blow, but she transforms to Undyne the Undying as she becomes determined to help her friends who are still alive to buy time, and to give justice to the friends the player killed before her. She is a super honorable and brave fighter for the monsters in the underworld, and her fight matters a lot for those left alive.

  1. Eleven 

Eleven from the hit Netflix show Stranger Things is a very iconic female character. She is a young child, but is already a badass. She escaped from a lab that was torturing her and using her for her powers, and she ran into the main characters who were looking for their best friend Will Byers, who went missing. She helps the party try to find Will as well as take down government agents after them and bullies at the boy’s school. She is also dealing with intense trauma, and throughout the show she is learning how to be more like a normal person. In the first season, she could barely speak, and in the last season she started going to school and she could write and make full sentences. In the second, she learned about how her mother was messed up by the lab, but learns more about her connection to her found family. She learned how to have fun, found her style in season 3, and also learned to love. She confronted her trauma that was blacked out from some of her time in Hawkin’s Lab and came back stronger to help defeat the evil monster of the 4th season. She is just a little girl going through so much, but she is truly a badass in the series. 

  1. Nancy Wheeler 

Nancy Wheeler is a part of the teenager crew in Stranger Things. In the beginning, she’s the typical, mean older sister who is also a goody two-shoes at school while also dating the mean boy jock, Steve Harrington. She’s just a dumb teenager having fun in the beginning, but her friend Barb goes missing after a party and she begins searching for her and Will with the help of Will’s brother Johnathan. They go on an adventure together to confront the demogorgon, which ends up making Steve feel like he cheated on her so she had the humiliation of being slut-shamed so publicly in front of the town. However,he doesn’t let it stop her as she still decides to help Johnathan. In the 2nd season, Nancy infiltrates Hawkin’s Lab and helps expose their atrocities by a plot she, Johnathan, and Murray made. In the 3rd season, Nancy is dealing with misogyny at her summer job at the newspaper, but decides to fight against the system by going with her gut on a really good story about the rat’s behavioral issues. She is also badass in the 4th season with her continued passion for journalism with the school paper, as well as her new ability to infiltrate asylums. 

  1. Disney’s Mulan (1998)

Disney’s character Mulan from the classic animation is a very iconic badass female character. She is based on the Chinese fictional folk heroine. She is a brave character as she pretends to be a man in order for her father to not get killed by being sent to war after hurting her family’s honor by her failure at being deemed a worthy bride. She fights to get the troop to get to battle so they could get down to business with the Huns. She fights for her country of China, and she uses her feminine qualities to help the others win at the end as well. The animation Mulan overall has a very good and empowering message for the young folks watching Disney, and it is probably my favorite Disney animation. 

  1. Pippa Fitz-Amobi 

I have a secret obsession with crime based YA novels, and Pippa Fitz-Amobi is a perfect example of a character from that realm. She is a character from the  A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series and she is investigating the cases of crime around the town. She is a young person, and she is putting a lot of risk by investigating an old, previously thought solved case for her Capstone Project, as she breaks a lot of the rules her teacher lays out for her. Pippa continues investigating though, and starts a podcast about the investigation at such a young age. It starts getting dangerous for her, but she is smart and gets ahead of the killers and kidnappers in the series. She is incredibly intelligent, and that makes her actions in the last novel even more tragic, but she is badass for pulling all of it off. 

  1. Susie 

Susie is a character from the video game, Deltarune, and she is a very iconic character that has been featured in all of the chapters of the video game. Susie is first seen as a scary monster who eats chalk and is dangerous for the students to be by. It is implied she has a bad or rough home life with not much stability. This is true to some extent, but the player ends up entering a closet with her to retrieve more chalk and they end up in this mysterious world. Susie is one of the main 3 heroes of the story, and she ends up becoming a kinder person and more understanding to the player, Kris especially by the second chapter of the game.

Jessi Walker

Kutztown '25

I am a junior at Kutztown University, and I am double majoring in English and English: Professional Writing and I have a minor in Performance & Storytelling. I grew up in a small town called Strasburg, Virginia on a farm that was five miles outside of town right next to the Appalachian mountains. I am an editor for Kutztown's chapter of Her Campus, the Editor in Chief and Head of Fiction for Shoofly Literary Magazine, an undergraduate writing center tutor, a member of the English Club, and Actors Creating Theatre. Other activities I enjoy is consuming many types of media, playing video games, and performing in theater.