Our Top 20 Favorite TV Women

We love strong women and we love representations of strong, capable, funny women on television.  These 20 female characters are some of our favorites.

20. Kimmy Schmidt, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Kimmy is great.  The best thing about her is her amazing sense of optimism and how she never lets anything get her down, like, ever. She sees the best in every situation. Your boss is a crazy rich, crazy mean, housewife? No problem! Your boyfriend gets deported? Just keep smiling! Trapped in a bunker for fifteen years? Kimmy’s taking it in stride.  

 

19. Jane Villanueva, Jane the Virgin

Jane has a problem we all wished we had: having to choose between a really hot baby-daddy who loves her and a really hot cop who loves her. Besides an awesome love life, Jane is wonderful because she has great goals and aspirations and isn’t afraid to dream big and put her heart out there. She is also an awesome real-life representation of the Latinx culture which never gets enough representation in the world of television. Also, any girl who isn’t afraid of Sin-Rostro is a girl we can get behind.

 

18. Lydia Martin, Teen Wolf

Lydia's transformation was really cool to watch over the course of the show.  We saw Lydia go from a mean girl to a part of the team and a superhero in her own right. Lydia went through several life-changing experiences and discovered powers she never could have imagined she possessed. Through it all, she grew to be a better person, earning her a spot on our list. Also her and Stiles... the cutest thing ever.

 

17. Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

Leslie Knope is the person we all wish we would be. Leslie never lets anything get her down. Her tireless sense of optimism allows her to persevere after countless setbacks. Where we all would have given up eventually, Leslie Knope keeps getting back up. Also, she loves waffles as much as we do.

 

16. Liz Lemon, 30 Rock

Liz Lemon is great because she is played by Tina Fey and Tina Fey is a goddess among mortals. Liz Lemon is also great because she is totally unafraid to be herself and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She’s also totally unafraid to be an awesome boss-lady who single-handedly kept things running at TGS, so props to her.

 

15. Kara Zor-El, Supergirl

Kara Zor-El (AKA Supergirl, AKA Kara Danvers), much like the other ladies on this list, is a ball of sunshine. Kara truly sees the best in Earth and in humanity, and tries to use her powers for good. While she's not human, she has the human experience of being compared to her cousin Superman, and constantly being told she isn’t good enough. Despite this, she emerged as a beacon of hope for her people and a has become a leader they love and believe in.

 

14. Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl

Blair Waldorf is a not just a boss-lady. Blair Waldorf is the one and only Queen B. Ruling the Upper East Side with an iron fist, she was the girl who had it all: Chuck Bass, a kickass fashion empire, and the world at her fingertips. Basically, this is Queen B's world and we’re all just living in it.

 

13. Olivia Benson, Law and Order SVU

Olivia Benson is the ultimate voice and advocate for crime victims and for women everywhere. She’s a female Special Victims officer in a mostly male-dominated field and makes us wish we were brave enough to handle a lifetime of crime-fighting as one of her fellow officers.

 

12. Veronica Mars, Veronica Mars

Veronica Mars has some pretty impressive accomplishments for her age; way more accomplished than I was in high school, that’s for sure. This teenage detective is witty, brave, and smart beyond her years, making us all wish our teenage years could have been like hers (minus the whole friend getting murdered thing).

 

11. Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

Oh, Meredith Grey. Say what you will, but this lady’s been through some serious trauma: an abusive mother, deadbeat father, her sister died in a plane crash, stepmom died of hiccups, and her husband was hit by a semi truck. As if that wasn’t enough she has survived a plane crash, a near fatal mass shooting, and a drowning incident. To have survived all of that, Meredith Grey either has nine lives or is one heck of a resilient and strong woman. (We think both, tbh.)

 

10. Penelope Garcia, Criminal Minds

Penelope is one of those people who you just kinda have to love. Not only is she an amazing spirit, but she also is an incredible talented computer genius. Besides being immensely smart, she also puts her talents and skills to good use when she helps hunt down serial killers while somehow still remaining sweet and fabulous. What is her secret?!

 

9. Emma Swan, Once Upon a Time

This one might be one of my personal favorites on the list. Emma Swan has beauty, brains, magic, and a super sexy pirate boyfriend. Emma is the savior of Storybrooke not only literally, but figuratively as well. She has got some serious guts and is never afraid to back down from a fight. She has grown so much from the scared and emotionally vulnerable woman we met in season one, and that transformation has been great to watch. She also delivers one of the most empowering lines in the entire series when she says, “People are gonna tell you who you are your whole life. You just gotta punch back and say, 'No, this is who I am.'" These words of wisdom alone earn her a place on this list.

 

8. Lizzie McGuire, Lizzie McGuire

Lizzie McGuire was the Bitmoji pioneer. Not only did she have a sweet little animated sidekick and the long-lasting love of Gordo, but Lizzie was the OG role model.  So many young girls looked up to her growing up. Lizzie was relatable, she was funny and clumsy, and loved mini-doughnuts. She was just like us; she made mistakes, got nervous around crushes, and she also had regrettable late 2000's-era fashion choices. Lizzie was a hero for us all.

 

7. Sansa and Arya Stark, Game of Thrones

They are as different as can be, but both are equally powerful. You can’t get much cooler than the Stark sisters. They battle gender expectations from the very beginning, and in their own way, they each go on a transformative journey that helps them grow as characters. Arya grows up quickly and matures fast, learning to defend herself, taking on more responsibility as she finds her way home. As for her her sister, I won’t include any spoilers, but Sansa Stark is everything we've dreamed of in season six. These two get bonus points because Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams are best friends in real life.  Talk about #FriendGoals.

 

6. Annalise Keating, How to Get Away with Murder

If I could pick anyone in the world to be my lawyer, I would choose Viola Davis, and her character Annalise proves that everyone else should too. She is brilliant, driven, eloquent, fierce, and seemingly unafraid of anyone or anything (AKA everything you want in a lawyer and more).  Basically, Viola Davis is playing herself in this TV show and that’s fine by me.

 

5. Cersei Lannister, Game of Thrones

She may not be the best person, but you have to give Cersei props for being smart, cunning, and independent. She is somebody who is more than capable of taking care of herself and Lena Headey plays her to perfection. Cersei deserves some mad respect for knowing how to play the game of thrones like a pro, and go head to head with the likes of Joffrey and all the other over-inflated male egos in Westeros. This queen balls real hard; she takes what she wants and is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. No matter how you feel about her, you can’t argue that she loves her kids more than anything. Plus, she can spit out fire insults and drink wine like pro, winning her a spot in this list.

 

4. Olivia Pope, Scandal

Olivia Pope brings new meaning to the phrase “problem solver.” If you think your issues at work are big, then you’ve obviously never watched Scandal. The things Olivia Pope deals is with help decide the course of action for the leaders of the free world... no biggie. When faced with problem after problem, she takes it all in stride and handles it like a boss. She is strong, confident, decisive, and has more than earned her spot on this list. Also, her style is absolutely incredible.

 

3. Eleven, Stranger Things

This girl deserves all the Eggos. Eleven is so sweet, wonderful, pure, and even though she has supernatural powers capable of killing people, you always gets the sense that she genuinely doesn’t want to hurt anybody. Her friendship with the boys in the AV club is one of the most wonderful parts of the show because you can see her transformation of learning that people can be kind. Eleven has survived terrible abusive and scarring situations, but nevertheless remains strong.  She does her very best to save her friends, committing the ultimate sacrifice, and raising the bar of friendship for everybody else. We miss you Eleven, and we don’t deserve you (please come back in season two).

 

2. Christina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy

While Meredith Grey may have her name on the hospital doors, it was really Christina who was the true star of the show. Dr. Christina Yang was the one running things at Grey-Sloan and everybody knew it. She was brilliant and confident, and let no man stand in her way on her destined journey to be the supreme cardio god we all knew she would be. Christina and Meredith were one another's person and their friendship was one of the greatest parts of the show, McDreamy be damned. No Maggie or Amelias could ever replace the bond between the twisted sisters. We all miss her dearly and I really hope we get to see Dr. Yang back again very soon.

 

1. Daenerys Targaryen, Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen the unburnt, queen of Meereen, of the Andals, of Rhoynar and the First Men. Khaleesi of the great grass sea, breaker of chains, and the Mother of Dragons. There are a million and five reasons why our beloved queen gets the top spot, and I could go on forever. She is often referred to as the Beyoncé of the show and, frankly, I don’t disagree. In a world where women are constantly disrespected and treated like property, Daenerys stands up for herself and others, refusing to be somebody else’s pawn and shows people that a woman is just as capable as a man at being a great leader. She is freeing slaves, kicking butt and taking names, and oh my goodness, can she please take the Iron Throne already?

 

*HONORABLE MENTION* 

The one and only Michelle Obama, for being on some great TV shows and having amazing guest appereances on some of our favs. We love you Michelle! 

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