The 1990s were the Decade of the Girl as kick-ass female protagonists dominated TV screens. And when we say kick-ass we don’t mean figuratively — these leading ladies literally kicked ass, fighting, shooting, and punching their way across the TV landscape!
10) La Femme Nikita
The 1997 show followed Nikita, secret agent and assassin. We cheered as Nikita shot terrorists, withstood torture, and took down bad guys with a combination of martial arts and ingenuity; we miss her amazing fight moves and dignity she brought the role.
9) Aeryn Sun
In the 1999 science fiction hit Farscape, six aliens escape from prison — but their most dangerous member is ex-prison guard Aeryn Sun. Aeryn is the ultimate ‘90s sci-fi warrior, a woman who loves guns, fighting, and did we mention guns? We miss her brand of trigger-happy female machismo.
8) Trini and Kimberly
How can we talk about ‘90s girls kicking ass without the Yellow and Pink Rangers? Trini and Kimberly were martial art masters who fought monsters and piloted a giant robot. Awesome. We spend every Saturday morning missing them.
7) Sailor Moon
Teen Serena is Sailor Moon, princess of the lost Moon Kingdom charged with saving humanity from the forces of evil. With her all-girl team of Sailor Scouts, “Sailor Moon” was the ultimate girl-power anime of the ‘90s and we miss seeing the Scouts use their magic and martial arts to protect the planet.
6) Agent Scully
Two words: Agent Scully. Scully was the brawn and brain of the Mulder/Scully duo, dissecting alien cadavers one minute while pistol-whipping a slug monster the next. The face of occult badassery for the ‘90s, we miss Scully’s blend of skepticism and cool professionalism.
5) Aeon Flux
Monican agent Aeon Flux fought the oppressive forces of Trevor Goodchild in the trippiest animated show of 1991. No matter how many times she died (and that happened a lot) Aeon always came back, and we miss her resiliency as much as her total weirdness.
1999 brought us Leela, captain of the Planet Express and co-star of the sci-fi animated sitcom Futurama. Leela solved problems by ramming her boot down people’s throats, or if that didn’t fit, her ship. Lucky us, “Futurama” still airs over at Comedy Central!
3) Powerpuff Girls
Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup were straight-up Pre-K superheroines with laser vision, ice breath, super strength and, oh yeah, flight. We loved their adorable bug eyes and we miss seeing them save the day and the city of Townsville.
2) Xena: Warrior Princess
Xena opened discussions in 1995 about gender roles and how long Lawless could hold that ear-shattering battle cry. Xena out shot, out fenced, and out punched anyone, male or female; the original warrior princess, we miss her brand of taking names and kicking ass.
1) Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Of course, Buffy, the show that put kick-ass girls on the map so successfully it created a cliché of having your toughest fighter be a sweet little girl, is our number one ‘90s gal! Sarah Michelle Gellar staked her way into our hearts and we miss every second she’s not on air.