If there's one trope that we'd most like to resign to File 13 forever, it's the whole damsel in distress routine. You know the one: Girl gets herself into some grave peril and needs her Knight in Shining Armor to ride up on a white horse and save the day.
It's antiquated and unenlightened, and thanks to a growing multitude of kick-A heroines on-screen right now, it's becoming less and less of a thing.
These days, it's gals like Katniss Everdeen and these dozen other femmes that are holding down the fictional fort (not to mention, raking in the box office dough faster than Peeta can bake it) and making Princess PoorMe a thing of the past. Not only can they get themselves out of their own jams, thanks very much, but they have also been known to scoop their pals outta harm's way here and there as well.
1. Katniss Everdeen ("The Hunger Games")
The Girl On Fire has endured more than her fair share of life strife by the time we reacquaint with her in "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1," but do you think she's holing herself up in the barracks at District 13 to await some regal rescue? Heck to the no. She's just biding her time and gathering strength for the eventual moment when she'll make her move against Panem's most powerful and privileged. Booyah.
2. Trinity ("The Matrix")
No need to consult the Oracle on this one; we already know Trinity's going to live on as one of cinema's fiercest action heroes. The leather-clad babe is as tough as (if not tougher than) any dude in the Wachowskis's iconic dystopian trilogy, hands down.
3. Neytiri ("Avatar")
If anybody was a gallant protector type in James Cameron's saga about blue alien folk, it was the Na'Vi princess herself, Neytiri.
Note: You could actually have your pick from the rest of Zoe Saldana's résumé for purposes of this list as well. What can we say? The lady doth own.
4. Elsa ("Frozen")
No, sorry, we can't quite "Let it Go" just yet, because Elsa deserves some mention here as well. No handsome prince was necessary to rule this Snow Queen's castle, no sir. And her sister Anna was no slouch either -- although she did have a bit of male (and snowman) companionship during her rescue mission.
5. Clarice Starling ("Silence of the Lambs")
Oh, hello, Clarice. Who else could match wits with Hannibal the Cannibal like her? There's a reason this student-turned-special agent was able to break the code of a genius psycho killer and (spoiler?) catch the bad guy just in the nick of time.
6. Ellen Ripley ("Alien")
Ripley is one of the gnarliest characters in Hollywood history ever. Period. End of sentence.
7. Hermione Granger ("Harry Potter")
The "Harry Potter" series might've been centered around the Boy Wizard, but the brilliant Hermione Granger certainly left her magical mark on the muggle world as well. She was at least 10 steps ahead of everyone else in her class at any given time the entire series long, no Time Turner necessary. (Usually.)
8. Michonne ("The Walking Dead")
Talk about a BAMF. Sunday nights pretty much win the weekend whenever Michonne starts slinging around her precious katana and wiping out walkers.
9. Idgie Threadgoode ("Fried Green Tomatoes")
This is pretty much the stuff that Carrie Underwood songs are made of. Whistle Stop's finest was definitely the kind of gal who didn't take You-Know-What from anybody.
10. The Bride ("Kill Bill")
Quentin Taratino might have had his muse Uma Thurman in need of rescue during that scene in "Pulp Fiction," but he flipped that script a full 180 with not just one, but two movies featuring her front and center as a badass, sword-swinging survivalist out to exact some super bloody revenge against the group of thugs who wronged her. No five dollar shakes in sight.
11. Alice ("Twilight")
Say what you want about everyone going to extreme measures to save Bella all the time (until the end, of course, when she whips out all that supermindshield business), but you gotta give snaps to Alice Cullen for being a handy day-saver herself -- which is a quite feat, considering she is a vampire and all.
12. G.I. Jane ("G.I. Jane")
This wild thing definitely didn't feel sorry for herself when she was earning that membership to the then-boys-only club. Hoorah.
All we can say is, you go girls.