17 Favorite Female TV Characters from 2016

Best of 2016, Blindspot, Bones, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Gilmore Girls, Gotham, Grey's Anatomy, Lists, NCIS: LA, Once Upon a Time, Orange Is the New Black, Orphan Black, Westworld

This year was a great year for women in television. They possess strong, independent personalities and are ready to voice their opinions and let you know where they stand.

Our list of favorite female characters includes characters that have shown strength, grown within themselves, and have had remarkable independent moments of courage and bravery this year.

See which female TV characters made our list.

1. Emily Gilmore (Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life)

Gilmore Girls

Fans of Gilmore Girls know that sometimes Emily Gilmore can drive Rory and Lorelai nuts, but it all comes from a place of love. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life shows us a different Emily Gilmore. She recently lost her husband and is trying to figure out how to be herself after a 50-year-marriage.

Throughout the four-part revival we see Emily start to regain her footing as a single woman again and her journey is both the most rewarding and feels the most genuine.

2. Angela Rance (The Exorcist)

THE EXORCIST: Geena Davis in the "Chapter Nine: 162" episode of THE EXORCIST airing Friday, Dec. 9 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jean Whiteside/FOX

The Exorcist began with the note that it wasn’t a continuation of the 1976 movie by the same name, but reneged on that statement when they revealed that the mother of the possessed girl was actually Reagan MacNeil all grown up.

Angela Rance’s strength doesn’t come from a heroic place necessarily, but from her faith and desire to protect her family drives her in everything she does. That all changes in the final two episodes of the season, but we’re curious to see where the finale takes her, and if Reagan MacNeil can be pulled out of the demon’s clutches again.

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3. Clarke Griffin (The 100)

It’s hard to pick a female character from the third season of The 100, mostly because I can’t get behind putting a character on here who was under the control of an A.I. That’s not to say any of the characters were weak this season, they all had their moments, but the one character that showed the most growth was Clarke Griffin.

Between the end of Season 2 and the Season 3 premiere “Wanheda,” a lot changed for Clarke. She’s been out on her own for three months dealing with her decision to irradiate Mt. Weather. She’s been given the title “Wanheda” and is being hunted by every division of Grounders out there. Over the course of Season 3, Clarke learns how to accept pain as a part of life and what it means to be human.

4. Selina Kyle (Gotham)

GOTHAM: Camren Bicondova in the ÒMad City: Better to Reign in HellÉÓ season premiere episode of GOTHAM airing airing Monday, Sept. 19 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2015 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Jeff Neumann/FOX.

Selina Kyle has been a strong and independent character. A street kid who has had only herself to rely on most of her life, she’s pretty badass. She’s had a couple badass scenes this year, including the winter finale where she comes face to face with her mother.

This season also introduced a romantic element to Selina and Bruce’s friendship, but how they define it is still on the table. While Bruce seems to have an idea of what their relationship is, Selina doesn’t want to define it because she likes their relationship as it is, and she’s not afraid to say so.

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5. Claire Underwood (House of Cards)

house of cards

Claire Underwood has always been a compelling character, but it was her husband, Frank who was always in control — the one you watched to see what he did next.

In Season 4, that all changed. Claire is the one calling all the shots and tries to sabotage her husband’s presidential campaign. When Frank is shot, Claire says she feels nothing for him.

This is a real “wow” moment because we have always seen Frank and Claire in a partnership. So, for her to say she feels nothing is powerful.

By the end of the season, Claire reunites with her husband and maneuvers her way into being his running mate. The closing shot is excellent and we see Claire in a new way– terrifying but amazing.

6. Regina Mills (Once Upon a Time)

ONCE UPON A TIME - "The Savior" - As "Once Upon a Time" returns to ABC for its sixth season, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 (8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network, so does its classic villain-the Evil Queen. (ABC/Jack Rowand) JOSH DALLAS, LANA PARRILLA, JARED S. GILMORE

In Season 6, we’ve seen Regina become a hero in her own right. She’s not just protecting herself anymore but she’s also protecting Henry and his family.

A shining moment came in the fall finale, “Wish You Were Here” when Regina followed Emma into her “wishverse” to bring her home. There was a time when Regina would have relished in the fact that Emma was gone, but this action is brave and shows the hero within Regina.

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Now if only she could get her happy ending.

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Lauren Busser is a senior writer at Tell-Tale TV. Her work has also appeared on Bitch Media and The Hartford Courant. She has also been a dog sitter, worked front end at a bakery, and helped out in a kindergarten classroom. She learned to knit when she was five-years-old and thus, can now complete sweaters at a superhuman speed. She’s currently nursing a novel she’s been making slow progress on for the last six years.


  • You mean Clarke”My people´s doormat” Griffin, Oh yeah she had such a development this year!, like they didn´t completly screw a character that showed so much potential on season 2, just so people wouldn´t judge the rest of the characters that were from Arkadia.

    • Even Stephen King complained about her apologizing to everyone all the time (even though it would be almost everyone else that should’ve been apologizing to her lol).

  • If with the “was under the control of an A.I.” you were referring to Lexa, you definitely didn’t watch the show I’m afraid. In case it wasn’t clear for some of the viewers, the show specified it TWICE, with the voice of two different characters (first Titus and then Lexa) that it was not like that. The chip only enhanced what was already inside of Lexa. It didn’t control her in any way. But anyone who watched the show would know this…
    If you didn’t refer to Lexa, sorry, but if you did, please get your fact straight before writing an actual article, because otherwise you’re make the entire site look unprofessional ^_^

  • Umm, you do know that Lexa was not under the control of an AI, right? If you are going to write an article at least do your research before smearing a character that meant a lot to so many people.

  • Lexa was not under the control of an AI! You should do your research better or watch the show itself. It literally said in the show A COUPLE OF TIME THAT LEXA WASN’T UNDER THE CONTROL OF A.L.I.E. If you don’t like a character you can just say so and not make up a stupid excuse.

  • I’m sorry, but the article has nothing to do with Lexa. The character was dead long before Raven,Abby etc. were under the control of the AI. That’s the point Lauren is making. She is using “characters” in a broader sense of the word. She is not attacking Lexa or what she stood for. I find it funny that you are engaging in girl on girl hate, which is exactly what Marcia Clark faced. I applaud your enthusiasm for Lexa and her storyline; and while I am all for gay and bisexual storylines, I am not sure a plot driven show is the place for you.

  • Nonsense! How about Lexa?
    She is the most favorite character in show!!!
    And you forget about Commander!
    It’s not fair!

  • The comments under this article show two things:
    1. Clexa fans (or at least a good majority of them) don’t really care about Clarke, otherwise they would be happy that at least she made the list, not be mad that Lexa didn’t. Newsflash, whether you like it or not, Lexa was a side character, Clarke was the lead.
    The writers put everyone else on the sidelines in 3A to squeeze Clexa in, and made Lexa the spotlight (even compared to Clarke), but that doesn’t change the fact that technically Lexa was never the main.
    2. All they see (and care about) is Lexa, which connects to point 1. If you really watched the rest of the show, you’d know, that Raven was possessed by Alie. But of course you’d know that if you watched past 307.

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