As long as there’s been high school shows, there’s been engaging, interesting and downright entertaining female characters that propel the shows into must-watch territory. Let’s face it, this isn’t a genre that lets the guys have all the fun. Next month will see the return of One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars, Glee and The Vampire Diaries; shows driven by their exceptionally talented female casts, so lets look at the 20 most exceptional females television has given us over the decades: Numbers 10-1
#10 Kelly Taylor (Beverly Hills 90210)
How can I not mention the first quintessential California dream girl? This spoiled mall princess may have began the series as a popular pot stirrer but over the show’s 10 seasons developed into a sympathetic character anyone would be proud to call a friend.
#9 Effy Stonem/Mini McGuiness (Skins)
Two for the price of one, these troubled characters from across the pond have a lot in common. Aside from both being incredibly beautiful, they’re also seriously messed up with complex problems that go deeper than the typical “insecure mean girl” further proving the UK just does it better.
#8 Faye Chamberlain (The Secret Circle)
Talk about a killer witch. Not much stands out about this witchcraft-centric Vampire Diaries retread but the show’s saving grace definitely comes in the form of witchy bad girl, Faye Chamberlain. She’s so captivating, we’re willing to forgive the fact a girl who was born and raised in Washington mysteriously has an Australian accent.
#7 Summer Roberts (The OC)
If there ever was a definition for “valley girl” it’s Orange County’s Summer Roberts. Sure she’s essentially a walking punch line but there is something so sweet and genuine about her, audiences couldn’t help but fall in love with Seth Cohen’s unattainable dream girl.
#6 Buffy Summers (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
She saved the world…a lot. The eternal vampire slayer managed to attend class, save the world from the brink of destruction on a regular basis and looked damn good doing it. And you thought you had problems.
#5 Katherine Pierce (The Vampire Diaries)
Okay, so this is a bit of a cheat but doppelganger of a high school student sort of counts right? Kat is by far the most volatile person listed, ready to put a knife (or sink her teeth) into anyone who stands in her way, because at the end of the day Katherine Pierce only cares about one thing and that’s Katherine Pierce.
#4 Veronica Mars (Veronica Mars)
Part Sherlock, part Gilmore Girl, this spunky teen sleuth is certainly the snarkiest female on my list. Her penchant for lightning fast quips and saving the day has made her a stand-out favourite even despite her show’s criminally short run.
#3 Santana Lopez (Glee)
Rachel may have the voice and Brittany may have the blissfully dim one-liners but when it comes to sheer awesomeness, no one can touch this fiery cheerio. The reigning Queen of Lima Heights Adjacent, Santana can cut any opponent down to size with a swift death glare or pitch-perfect insult and we wouldn’t have her any other way.
#2 Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl)
It’s not every day one finds a TV character that’s both a deliciously conniving, teenage schemer and the moral centre of the show. This princess (soon literally) of the Upper East Side has been Gossip Girl’s runaway favourite since episode one and it’s no surprise thanks to her endless wardrobe, snarky quips and hidden vulnerability.
#1 Brooke Davis (One Tree Hill)
After following Tree Hill’s resident It Girl for nine years, is there any high school character on television more fully-formed than the one-and-only B.Davis? The cheer captain may have began Dawson’s Creek 2.0 as a trampy pot stirrer but that didn’t stop viewers from falling for the girl with the perfect dimples. Over the course of the series Brooke was given the ultimate redemption storyline going from troubled party girl to business-savvy fashion mogul and finally (in one of the series’ most rewarding moments) to mother.