You know them, you love them...and you certainly wouldn't want to piss them off. So who are they? They are the uber tough heroines who prove time and again that one doesn't need a y chromosome to kill bad guys, protect loved ones and ultimately save the day. Each one of them fights for a different reason, a different cause. Each has her own style, strengths, and battles. They do all share a common trait, however - they can all take on pretty much any man, woman, robot or monster that comes their way. Here is Starpulse's tribute to "Television's Top Buttkicking Gals."
Buffy has the distinction of being the youngest member of the list, at least at the outset. She came to Sunnydale during her sophomore year of high school and was almost immediately thrust into battle with the demonic forces that plagued the idyllic California town. Yep, no one said moving during high school was easy.
Buttkicking Powers - She's the slayer! The chosen one from her generation. So what does that entail? Well, it basically means that the Buffster has super strength, proficiency with most weapons, and the ability to heal extraordinarily quickly. Oh, and it also means that she is able to come up with sarcastic one-liners and witty comebacks with remarkable ease.
Signature Moment - There are so many to choose from, but Buffy definitely does deserve kudos for her heroic self-sacrifice in "The Gift," where she saved pseudo-sister Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) from a grisly fate and gave up her life to seal a demonic portal. And that was the second time she died in the line of duty. Talk about commitment.
Memorable Quote - "Come on, we fight monsters, this is what we do. They show up, they scare us, I beat them up, and they go away."
Buttkicker Scale - 9/10. There is no denying Buffy's abilities, but it is doubtful that she would have lasted for seven weeks (let alone seven years) without her support system, the Scoobies.
By the time the series began, Sydney was already quite a seasoned covert agent. She was recruited at the age of 19, and by 26 she had eclipsed James Bond as the world's coolest spy. Of course, having a father like Jack (Victor Garber) and having ties to various prophecies didn't hurt.
Buttkicking Powers - Where to begin? Syd is formidable spy, master of disguise, speaks more than a dozen languages and, of course, is pretty good at shooting people. She is also more than able to fend for herself in hand to hand combat. Yes, over the five seasons that "Alias" aired she kicked many a butt.
Signature Moment - One can look no further than the pilot, "Truth Be Told," for a signature Sydney Bristow moment. She endures excruciatingly painful torture, yet never relents or gives up her mission. Instead, she is eventually freed and does what she does best - beats people up.
Memorable Quote - "There's something that happens when you discover the truth about someone. I know a little about this. The truth changes everything."
Buttkicker Scale - 8/10. There is no denying Syd's toughness or her intelligence. But, she is human.
This sassy, genetically enhanced supersoldier had it pretty rough. Not only was she on the run from Manticore (thus constantly having to look over her soldier), but she also lived in a post-apocalyptic America where chaos and corruption had replaced law and order. And to top it all off, her glamorous day job was that of a lowly bicycle messenger. Talk about a hard knock life.
Buttkicking Powers - Max is a genetically engineered human, bred to be a lethal weapon. Not only is she well versed in the way of fighting, she also comes equipped with catlike reflexes and agility. Maybe that is because she was implanted with feline DNA while still in the test tube.
Signature Moment - The raid on the Manticore facility in the first season finale, "...And Jesus Brought a Casserole" (fantastic episode title by the way). Not only was Max at her best combat-wise, she also showed the strength and resolve of a born leader. She would further develop her leadership abilities in the second and final season of the series.
Memorable Quote - "Girls kick ass; says so on a t-shirt."
Buttkicker Scale - 7.5/10. Max's abilities make her a formidable weapon, but certain side effects from her breeding weaken her. Her unfortunate "heat" cycles (that come from her feline side) are a good example. Oh, and she is easily the broodiest of the bunch.
Cameron is the latest in a series of terminators reprogrammed by John Connor in the future and is sent back to aid him and his mother in the present day. She has the distinction of being the first reprogrammed terminator that does not bear an uncanny resemblance to pre-apocalypse action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Buttkicking Powers - She's a freakin' Terminator. Duh.
Signature Moment - Her actions in Derek Reese's (Brian Austin Green) memories of the future. A domesticated terminator went berserk, killing human soldiers in droves. Cameron slowly and calmly strolled up behind said renegade, knocked it away from Reese and casually annihilated it. She followed up on the violence with a deadpan observation: "Sometimes they go bad." It wasn't Cameron at her most heroic, but nevertheless it was quite representative of her personality (or lack thereof).
Memorable Quote - "Come with me if you want to live." A "Terminator" series classic.
Buttkicker Scale - 9/10. She might be a terminator and all, but she is not invincible. Being a machine, she is by far the least compassionate of the bunch, because technically speaking, she is a sociopath.
Xena has the distinction of kicking butt long before any of the other members of the list were born (or assembled). In that sense, she is sort of the "original buttkicker." The character was somewhat of a trailblazer as well and has been credited for influencing the other strong female characters that sprung up in the late 90s/early 00s, many of whom are included in this list. She also was once an evil and ruthless warlord, so she's got that whole redemption storyline going on as well.
Buttkicking Powers - Xena's strengths are her Amazon-like build, superior athleticism, and proficiency with a multitude of antiquity era weapons. Eventually, she also gains the ability to kill gods. That's pretty neat. Plus, she's got a whole lot of heart.
Signature Moment - It's more like a series of moments rather than just a single one, but Xena's triumphs over a number of gods late in the series proves that she will stop at nothing to reach redemption...and that she knows no fear.
Memorable Quote - "The first time you pick up a sword, you become a target. And the moment you kill...everything changes. Everything."
Buttkicker Scale - 8.5/10. Bonus points for being a trailblazer.
Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) - "Star Trek: The Next Generation" - As Jean-Luc Picard's (Patrick Stewart) original chief of security, Yar put her life on the line on a daily basis. Growing up on the streets of a desolate colony, she learned how to take care of herself at a very young age. She was fearless and heroic, yet her life was tragically cut short when she was killed by Armus (a.k.a. Gooey Tar Monster) late in season one.
River Tam (Summer Glau) - "Firefly" - Glau's pre-"Terminator" buttkicking role, River's strength was quite deceptive. As a youth, she was a genius child prodigy. She was so gifted, in fact, that she was sent to a special government learning center, where her family thought her natural abilities would be cultivated. Instead, she had extensive research performed on her, and she was ultimately genetically modified and trained as an assassin. Fortunately, she escaped the clutches of the evil government thanks to the crew of Serenity, and last we saw of her, she was using her buttkicking powers for the side of good.
Do you agree with the choices? Have other female buttkickers that you would like to honor? Give them their due recognition and comment!