17 Literal Girl Bosses From TV Shows That Prove Women Rule

Alaisha Key | Nov 11, 2016 TV
17 Literal Girl Bosses From TV Shows That Prove Women Rule

There's no question: Women rule. And it's only fair that we want to see more badass girl bosses running the world -- as they should be. Luckily, TV networks have gotten the memo, and we're seeing more and more female protagonists and antagonists that are the definition of girl power. Please keep this trend going!  

In celebration of that, we've rounded up a group of characters -- some who you know and others who you've yet to discover -- that are representing women on the small screen. 

Here are some of the most boss women on TV who show us exactly why women should run the show.


Images via nbcsvu/Instagram; abcquantico/Instagram; scandalabc/Instagram

  • Miranda Bailey


    When Bailey was the only one who had her priorities right. #GreysAnatomy

    A video posted by Grey's Anatomy Official (@greysabc) on

    Every Grey's Anatomy fan knows that Chandra Wilson's character, Dr. Bailey, has been running the scenes at the Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital since your favorite doctors were just interns starting their residencies (you know, before the cutting of LVAD wires, bomb threats, and plane crashes). And as the chief of surgery, she's exactly where she belongs -- kicking butt, saving lives, and checking the residents and their personal drama at the OR doors. Don't mess with Bailey.

  • Cookie Lyon


    It's officially #EmpireWednesday! Tune in tonight for an all-new episode of #Empire at 9/8c on @FOXTV.

    A photo posted by Empire (@empirefox) on

    Don't sleep on Cookie! Empire fans may get a kick out of Taraji P. Henson's fiercely strong character since she can put Lucious (Terrence Howard) in his place at any moment. But don't forget that she was often calling him out from the boardroom of Empire Records, the company where she serves as the head of A&R. Not to mention, Cookie also cofounded the record label Lyon Dynasty. Get your goals in order, ladies!

  • Lorelai Gilmore

    Image via Saeed Adyani/Netflix

    Gilmore Girls is back this year with a four-part return to Netflix, and one question on every Gilly's mind is what happened to Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Sookie's (Melissa McCarthy) beloved Dragonfly Inn? With Lorelai at the helm, we'd guess it's still a success.

    After all, Lorelai's a single mom who worked her way from cleaning rooms at the Independence Inn to running the place before joining forces with her BFF Sookie to launch her own inn. She also raised our favorite Yale graduate. Kudos! Can't wait to see what she's up to in the new reboot. 

    More from CafeMom11 'Gilmore Girls' Updates You Need RN -- & Yes, the New Trailer Is One of Them

  • Olivia Pope


    "I will win!" ~ Olivia Pope #Scandal #TGIT

    A photo posted by Scandal Official Account (@scandalabc) on

    When Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) steps onto the scene, everybody knows that whatever the situation, "it's handled." No one does their job like the founder of Scandal's Olivia Pope & Associates. And we're sure all of the gladiators out there agree that there is no fixer who can advise the president, take down secret government agencies, and stop a terrorist quite like Liv can.

  • Julia George


    Happy birthday to the gorgeous @piperperabo! 🎉🎂🎁

    A photo posted by Notorious (@abcnotorious) on

    In ABC's new drama Notorious, the story always comes first for Julia George. Piper Perabo plays a top broadcast news producer who's responsible for covering trending stories. Julia sets the standard for her fellow journalists by digging until she finds the truth. No one is off limits if they have something to hide, and that includes her friends and significant others. Take note.

  • Mindy Lahiri


    Fab. (via @salvadorperezcostumes) #MindyOnHulu

    A photo posted by The Mindy Project (@mindyprojecthulu) on

    Dr. Mindy Lahiri is redefining what it means to "have it all" on The Mindy Project. Mindy Kaling brings life to the optimistic ob-gyn who's determined to be a top doctor, raise her son, and dare to have a colorful yet comical personal life, too.

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  • Temperance "Bones" Brennan


    When you’re meant to be a doctor, you can feel it in your #bones. Happy #NationalDoctorsDay!

    A photo posted by Bones (@bonesonfox) on

    The final season of Bones airs in 2017, which means there's still time to catch up with the head of forensic anthropology at the fictional Jeffersonian museum. Dr. Brennan (Emily Deschanel) doesn't just examine human remains -- she is a best-selling author, a mom, a mentor to several interns, and a scientist that takes solves seemingly impossible murder cases with Agent Booth (David Boreanaz).

    Bones is comfortable being the most intelligent woman at work and in the field, so go ahead and crown her queen of the lab.

  • Olivia Benson


    Benson, on a mission. #SVU

    A photo posted by Law & Order: SVU (@nbcsvu) on

    Mariska Hargitay's portrayal of the badass lieutenant Benson in Law & Order: SUV still gives us life, even as we're going into season 18. Olivia can hold her own in the streets, but she doesn't let the heinous criminals that she puts away harden her heart -- she's still able to open up and be vulnerable. Benson brings a passion and strength to her work that has us wishing she was actually out there protecting us. 

  • Selina Meyer


    In HBO's Veep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus takes on one of the most mysterious offices of the land -- the office of vice president of the United States -- before she eventually becomes the POTUS herself. She stars as Selina Meyer, a former senator who accepts the challenges of being in the two of the country's highest offices -- and the political games and corruption that come along with them. 

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  • Annalise Keating


    Good advice. #htgawm

    A video posted by How to Get Away with Murder (@howtogetawaywithmurder) on

    You may not agree with all of Professor Keating's methods of winning cases on How to Get Away With Murder, but there's no doubt that Viola Davis's character dominates in the courtroom. She also dominates in the classroom -- students would be hard-pressed to find another top defense attorney (with her own practice, we might add) that challenges them to think outside of the box and lets them put their lessons to the test in court. 

  • Peggy Carter


    Peggy Carter has always kicked butt. 😊 #AgentCarter

    A photo posted by Agent Carter (@agent_carter) on

    Forget Captain America -- in Marvel and ABC's Agent Carter, our favorite spy, Peggy Carter (played here by Hayley Atwell), sleuthed her way to the top while protecting the country from foreign threats and fighting for women's rights in the process. She showed the boys in suits that a female agent can do more than fetch coffee. Using brains, beauty, and brawn to her advantage, Agent Carter proves that she is, in fact, the smartest agent in the room. 

  • Amelia Slater


    An all-new episode of #Pitch is TONIGHT at 9/8c on FOX!

    A photo posted by Ali Larter (@therealalil) on

    While rookie Ginny Baker (Kylie Bunbury) may be the main attraction on the baseball diamond, the shining star behind the scenes of the new drama Pitch is her agent Amelia Slater (Ali Larter). She had the guts to walk out on a job as a Hollywood publicist and take up a gig turning the first black female Major League Baseball player into a household name. Talk about fighting for a cause you believe in!

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  • Jessica Jones & Trish Walker


    I'm tired of missing you. #JessicaJones #TrishWalker #KrystenRitter #RachaelTaylor #Netflix #Marvel

    A photo posted by Jessica Jones (@marvelsjessicajones) on

    Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter) is one of the most relatable superheroes -- she's just like the rest of us, flawed and trying to get by with snark, sarcasm, and (okay) super strength. 

    But with the help of best friend Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) -- a former chld star turned radio personality -- they take down the hypnotic Kilgrave (David Tennant). Together, these two prove that while they are powerful on their own, they're ultimately stronger together -- whether they're doing their normal work or getting the bad guy. 

  • Regina Mills aka 'The Evil Queen'


    Who can ever forget meeting the Evil Queen for the first time... #TBT

    A photo posted by onceabcofficial (@onceabcofficial) on

    If there's ever a show that will have you questioning whether it's okay to root for the villain, Once Upon a Time is it. Played by Lana Parrilla, Regina -- aka the "Evil Queen" -- goes for what she wants and doesn't give up. With a bit of magic, wit, and an attitude befitting a queen, she makes it hard not to like her despite the fact that she cursed an entire kingdom just to get her revenge on Snow White. 

    Regina struggles with doing the right thing over what feels right, and that's something we can all relate to. And like many of us, the mayor of Storybrooke's greatest enemy ends up being herself (in this case, literally).   

  • Kate Beckett


    Season 7 premieres two months from today! #Castle

    A photo posted by abccastle (@abccastle) on

    Castle's Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) is pretty awesome. She's such a force in her field that her novelist partner, Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), based an entire book series on her. And while Castle's bestseller about Nikki Heat may have sold out in stores, Nikki honestly can't hold a candle to the original Kate. 

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  • Alex Parrish


    Can Alex outsmart Liam and his team? Don't miss an all-new #Quantico, Sunday at 10|9c on ABC.

    A photo posted by Quantico (@abcquantico) on

    Alex Parrish (Priyanka Chopra) is probably one of the best recruits to ever join the FBI (at least in the fictional world in Quantico). There's no arguing that this agent has the determination and the skills to back it up -- after all, she did evade the agency when they accused her of terrorism while simultaneously proving her innocence. In season two, she brings her attitude and skills to the CIA in hopes of stopping a new terrorist threat. 

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