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The Most Badass TV Ladies of the Year

These ladies took names, too

1 of 44 AMC, Netflix

Kickass female TV characters from 2018

In 2018, there were a lot of badass women to grace the small screen. From gnarly fighters to women who stuck to their core values to ladies who were just plain fun to watch, here are some of our favorite female characters of the year.

2 of 44 Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Productions, Inc./Syfy

Wynonna Earp

Yet again, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano), the demon-slaying gunslinger extraordinaire owned the screen with Wynonna Earp's third season.

3 of 44 HBO

Maeve Millay

After spending who knows how long on the receiving end of abuse and objectification, Westworld's Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) decided to lay claim to their autonomy and didn't hesitate to punish anyone and everyone who was responsible for tormenting them for so long.

4 of 44 History Channel


Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) might've had a rough year on Vikings, but she's still a queen in our book.

5 of 44 Erica Parise/Starz

Emma and Lyn

The short but sweet first season of Vidaintroduced us to Emma (Mishel Prada) and Lyn (Melissa Barrera), a pair of sisters who decided to team up to take over their late mother's bar and forge their own legacy in her honor, and we can't wait to see more of what the dynamic duo will do next.

6 of 44 Gene Page/AMC


She's always been the survivors' most reliable swordswoman, but Michonne (Danai Gurira) became especially essential on The Walking Dead this year.

7 of 44 Netflix


She might not have known what was going on at first, but Simone (Alba August) eventually arose as a can-do survivor learning to navigate a devastating new worldview on The Rain.

8 of 44 NBC, Colleen Hayes/NBC

Janet Della-Denunzio

The Good Place's third season changed the game up again and sent the gang to Earth, but even without her heavenly powers, Janet (D'Arcy Carden) was still a force.

9 of 44 Robert Falconer, Robert Falconer/The CW

Iris West

When Barry was out of the picture for a bit on The Flash, Iris (Candice Patton) stepped up to the plate to lead, after which she became the ever capable "Eye in the Sky."

10 of 44 SyFy

Naomi Nagata and Chrisjen Avasarala

Naomi (Dominique Tipper) and Chrisjen (Shohreh Aghdashloo) might be very different, but they both bring some serious ferocity and lady power to The Expanse.

11 of 44 Courtesy of Netflix


Was there ever a more fearless or resourceful teen antihero than Alyssa (Jessica Barden) from The End of the F***king World?

12 of 44 Stephan Rabold/Starz

Clare Quayle and Baldwin

Counterpart's Prime world badasses Clare (Nazanin Boniadi) and Baldwin (Sara Serraiocco) make for one lethal team, full stop.


Clarke Griffin

Clarke (Eliza Taylor) showed that she knows how to make the tough calls that a leader needs to make to keep her people safe in The 100's fifth season.

14 of 44 Michael Gibson, CBS

Michael Burnham

Star Trek: Discovery's Michael (Sonequa Martin-Green) proved that her honor couldn't be compromised, no matter what.

15 of 44 NBC, Will Heath/NBC

Kate McKinnon

Saturday Night Live needs an MVP award just so that they can give it to Kate McKinnon for all the heavy lifting she did this year with her bounty of spot-on political impressions.

16 of 44 HBO

Camille Parker

Sharp Objects' Camille (Amy Adams) might've been bent, but she wasn't yet broken, and although her past and present on the show weren't enviable, she still fought through the darkest demons to find truth, even knowing it might hurt her more.

17 of 44 NBC, Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Harlee Santos

Even bad girls can be good for TV, as Shades of Blue's crooked single mom cop Harlee (Jennifer Lopez) proved in the show's final bow.

18 of 44 JoJo Whilden / Netflix

KJ Harper

Seven Seconds' heroine, KJ Harper (Clare-Hope Ashitey) takes a lot of weight on her shoulders when she decides to investigate the full story behind a black teenager being run over by a white police officer in New Jersey, despite having some problems of her own to grapple with.

19 of 44 Bettina Strauss, Bettina Strauss/THE CW

Cheryl Blossom

All hail the HBIC, Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch), whose relationship with Toni pretty much made Riverdale's third season.

20 of 44 FX

Blanca Evangelista

Who else can even hold a candle to Pose's Blanca (MJ Rodriguez), who channels her own personal hardship into heroism to open House Evangelista as a sanctuary for those whom society has rejected.

21 of 44 Jessica Miglio/Netflix

Ruth Langmore

It's still hard to tell where Ruth (Julia Garner)'s head is in any given scene of Ozark, but what we do know is that she knows her own might and how to navigate even the seediest of situations, which has made her one of the most compelling characters on the Netflix series as a whole.

22 of 44 JoJo Whilden / Netflix

Carol and Barb Denning

Orange is the New Black introduced a lot of new characters in its sixth season, but none were quite as fascinating and wryly hilarious as Carol (Henny Russell) and Barb (Mackenzie Phillips), whose final arc was ::chef's kiss::.

23 of 44 John O Flexor/Netflix

Monse Finnie

They don't call her the "honey badger" for nothing. Monse Finnie (Sierra Capri) is no-nonsense and tells it like it is, but she's also one of the most selfless and loyal characters on On My Block.

24 of 44 NurPhoto via Getty Images

Michelle Wolf

The White House Correspondents' Dinner was a pretty regularly raucous affair, but no one nabbed headlines quite like this year's comedian (the event's last ... for a while, at least), Michelle Wolf.

25 of 44 Alfonso Bresciani, Freeform

Tandy Bowen

A welcome addition to Marvel's cavalcade of small screen heroes was teen superhero Dagger (Olivia Holt) of Freeform's Cloak & Dagger, whose powers were awoken by her run-in with Tyrone.

26 of 44 Jace Downs, Jace Downs/The CW

Hope Mikaelson

Living up to the ~legacy~ of her late father would be no easy feat, but tribid extraordinaire Hope (Danielle Rose Russell) has more than proven her supernatural mettle on Legacies.

27 of 44 BBC AMERICA

Eve and Villanelle

Killing Eve's cat-and-mouse assassin drama featured two outstanding female characters - Eve (Sandra Oh) the title MI5 agent and the mark who targets her Villanelle (Jodie Comer). Both were wonderfully strange and hilarious and terrible all at once.

28 of 44 David Giesbrecht/Netflix

Jessica Jones

She was the first Marvel-Netflix superhero, and chances are, she'll be the last. Marvel's Jessica Jones' title heroine (played by Krysten Ritter) is a refreshingly imperfect and complicated person first, before the weight and might of her powers is even factored in.

29 of 44 Katie Yu, Katie Yu/The CW

Olivia Moore

Liv (Rose McIver) ingested-and-inherited a lot of fun traits throughout iZombie's most recent season.

30 of 44 Kelsey McNeal, ABC

Annalise Keating

If you come at Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) on How to Get Away with Murder, you better not miss because she won't.

31 of 44 Tina Rowden/Netflix

Theodora Crain

Having the ability to see into someone's very soul by touching them was a burden for Theo (Kate Siegel) and often made her keep people at arm's length on Haunting of Hill House, but she also knew how to use that power for good when the time called.

32 of 44 George Kraychyk, Hulu

Emily (fka Ofglen)

After enduring such terrible trauma on The Handmaid's Tale, Emily (Alexis Bledel) still refused to give up or stop fighting the patriarchal shackles of Gilead.

33 of 44 Mitch Haaseth, ABC


Grey's Anatomy got into some pretty heavy stuff this year, but one really bright spot was the way Jo (Camilla Luddington) got to finally unshackle herself from the past and embrace her place as one of the hospital's most innovative young surgeons.

34 of 44 Steve Dietl/NBC

Beth Boland

They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, but when her husband diddled his secretary at the same time that he was driving the family to financial ruin, Good Girls' Beth (Christina Hendricks) didn't sit back and wallow. She channeled her rage into action -- criminal behavior, but still. She was creative and bold and didn't take no for an answer from anyone.

35 of 44 Erica Parise/Netflix

All the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

Special snaps for Debbie (Betty Gilpin) and Ruth (Alison Brie), but all the ladies of GLOW were as unapologetically boss as ever this year.

36 of 44 HBO

Arya and Sansa Stark

In Game of Thrones' seventh season, Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) both had some scores to settle, and when they were both finally back in Winterfell, these sisters proved that their blood bond was thicker than any treachery soup Littlefinger could mix up.

37 of 44 Ryan Green/AMC

Alicia Clark

As the lone holdover from the original group on Fear the Walking Dead, Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) has emerged as one of the show's most important and capable survivors.

38 of 44 Scott Patrick Green/Netflix


She started out as a kind of caricature, but Emaline (Sydney Sweeney) on Everything Sucks! was full of surprises in the very best way.

39 of 44 Ben Blackall, BBC Studios 2018

The 13th Doctor

On top of the social significance of Doctor Who finally introducing its first female Doctor (Jodie Whittaker), she was also just a rad, rad lady.

40 of 44 Dean Buscher, Dean Buscher/The CW

Sara Lance

Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) has proven herself to be a solid leader indeed for DC's Legends of Tomorrow, finally earning her place front and center of the group where she's always belonged.

41 of 44 Alfonso Bresciani/TNT

Desna Simms

Claws up for Desna (Niecy Nash), who managed to survive an assassination attempt by a Russian mobster and save her business and her status as a total boss in the show's second season.

42 of 44 Diyah Pera/Netflix


Our pick for the most exciting part of Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Prudence (Tati Gabrielle) simply delights in being a badass witch. She's living her truth, and you gotta respect that -- even if that does mean being a little harsher to the softer souls in her midst.

43 of 44 Shauna Townley/CBC

Joanna Hanley

When Joanna Harley (Kristin Kreuk) returns to her hometown to defend a pharmaceutical company from a claim by some sick girls, she proves that the attorney-client relationship isn't everything on Burden of Truth.

44 of 44 Matt Dinerstein/FX

Donatella Versace and Marilyn Miglin

Even though we already knew their story, thanks to their real-life counterparts, Donatella (Penelope Cruz) and Marilyn (Judith Light) were still complete revelations on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.