Though one hardly needs an excuse to settle in for a night of watching awesome ladies on Netflix, knowing that it's Women's History Month makes it feel a little more imperative to honor the fictional female characters you've grown to love. You have a whole month to celebrate women, and these 21 badass women to stream on Netflix will make you feel empowered, too. And since there are so many options to choose from, you'll be busy until April.
You could choose any day in the month to schedule a marathon of female-friendly TV shows and movies. In fact, you could choose every day! There's no judgement here, especially with so much to watch. However, there is one very special day this month that could be the perfect choice for your streaming extravaganza: International Women's Day falls on March 8, making a marathon on that day the perfect almost-end of the week Netflix treat. But don't limit yourself! Even if you just grab an episode here or there as you go about your day, the importance part is paying homage to all the incredible women who have shown up on screen in recent memory. Need more proof? Just look at this video of impressive, powerful women that you can find on the streaming service:
And without further ado, here are some of the most badass women from Netflix originals.
1. Jessica Jones ('Jessica Jones')
You probably could have guessed that Jessica would show up on this list, especially from the main image that lured you in. When Jessica Jones first premiered, viewers latched onto her pretty immediately. It's not just that there are so few women superheroes on the landscape, it was that Jessica felt complicated and messy and real. She didn't always get it right, which made fans love her even more.
2. Red Reznikov ('Orange Is The New Black')
There are so many amazing women on Orange is the New Black, which is part of why it was such a hit with audiences. But it's hard to forget about the impact Red made back when you first met her in Season 1: she was powerful, she was commanding, and you'd have to be new to cross her.
3. Eleven ('Stranger Things')
Though Eleven is still just a kid, she's lived a life full of hardship. Watching her grow and triumph, making friends and getting control of her powers, has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of Stranger Things. Plus, she's seriously cool for a tween.
4. Joyce Byers ('Stranger Things')
But when talking about Stranger Things, one can't forget about Joyce Byers. Joyce is a struggling single mom who won't let anything stand in her way when she's protecting her kids. It doesn't hurt that she's brought to life by the incomparable Winona Ryder.
5. Claire Temple (Marvel Television Universe)
Claire Temple was so amazing that she couldn't be contained to a single Marvel Netflix show. After dazzling on Daredevil, she jumped to Jessica Jones and Iron Fist before settling into Luke Cage and The Defenders. And if they could find a way to fit her into other shows on Netflix, no one would argue. Claire takes on a shift at Litchfield Prison? Perfect. Claire time travels back to the 1980s in Hawkins, Indiana? I'm on board.
6. Claire Underwood ('House Of Cards')
It looks like Claire will be taking charge in the upcoming sixth season of House of Cards, and no change in power has ever been more deserved. Powerful, ruthless, and compelling, Claire is a character you can't stop watching.
7. Queen Elizabeth ('The Crown')
Though Queen Elizabeth is bound by countless rigid rules on The Crown, she takes every chance she gets to assert herself and her opinions. It's not always easy and she doesn't always win, but seeing her adjust to her immense position over two seasons has felt pretty empowering at times.
8. Princess Margaret ('The Crown')
Princess Margaret has had her life impeded on just as much as her ruling sister, but her tiny rebellions and dramatic bedroom meltdowns have made her the more relatable of the two. But both are highlights of The Crown, and they both make it worth fitting into your marathon.
9. Misty Knight ('Luke Cage')
Misty Knight is a dedicated police detective who is willing to throw herself into some very dangerous situations so she can find out the truth and put an end to some of the ongoing crime in Harlem. She's smart, capable, and sometimes reckless, making her fit right in with the other heroes in the Marvel Netflix universe.
10. Colleen Wing ('Iron Fist')
Sorry Danny Rand, but Colleen Wing was the true breakout star of Iron Fist. A martial arts expert who has switched allegiances once or twice as she figures out her path, Colleen is another complex female character and total hero.
11. Grace Hanson ('Grace And Frankie')
While the protagonists of Grace and Frankie aren't badasses in the traditional sense, they're total champions at what they do. Grace was a business mogul who has remade her life post-retirement, making her inspirational in more ways than one.
12. Frankie Bergstein ('Grace And Frankie')
But you can't mention Grace without also mentioning Frankie, the free-spirited counterpart who has been there with Grace every step of the way on their new journey. Frankie reminds you that it's OK to think outside the box, take some risks, and reap the rewards.
13. Kimmy Schmidt ('Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt')
Though Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a zany comedy, there are also some really dark themes at its heart. Kimmy has suffered abuse of every kind, but she's still able to live her life with optimism. Her sunny disposition in the face of everything she's been through is refreshing to see. Kimmy overcomes the things that were done to her thanks to her own tenacity, and that is very satisfying.
14. Cherry Bang ('GLOW')
GLOW is packed with women who are all badass in their own ways, but there are few heroes as unsung as Cherry. She's one of the most skilled of the burgeoning female wrestlers, and she uses her talents to train the other ladies. She does a ton of work and doesn't get quite as much recognition as she deserves, so maybe give her story a second look during this celebratory month for women.
15. Diane Nguyen ('BoJack Horseman')
Like many of the women on this list, BoJack Horseman's Diane isn't perfect. She has trouble understanding what she wants. Sometimes she drinks too much, or runs away from her problems. But she's also good at her job and she doesn't back down from a challenge, which makes her a badass in my book.
16. Sun Bak ('Sense8')
"Badass" is probably the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Sun on Sense8. She's the person you want in your corner (or operating your body) during a fight, because it seems like there's no threat she can't handle. But her strength isn't just physical. Sun is multifaceted, and that makes her relatable despite being a combat powerhouse.
17. Nomi Marks ('Sense8')
The women of Sense8 are strong in different ways, and all of them are important to the cluster. Nomi brings her intelligence and tech skills to the table, as well as diligence when it comes to unraveling a good mystery. And you can't talk about Nomi without also bringing up her amazing fiancée Amanita Caplan. The two women are a team, and you can't have one without the other.
18. Wendy Carr ('Mindhunter')
Wendy is the only woman on the Mindhunter team, and let's be real: they'd be lost without her. She's a guiding force and a pioneer in her own right. The character is fascinating on paper, but Anna Torv's performance brings everything to another level.
19. Alyssa ('The End Of The F***ing World')
At first glance, Alyssa from The End of the F***ing World is another angsty teenager who gets herself in way over her head in a lot of situations. But who hasn't been Alyssa at one point or another? Her pain, anger, and carefully protected vulnerability make her the kind of character you see yourself in.
20. Dinah Madani ('The Punisher')
Dinah is highly capable at her job, even when she's being lied to and betrayed by those closest to her. Nothing can defeat her, however, and she's a hero you can't help rooting for.
21. Penelope Alvarez ('One Day At A Time')
Penelope is a self-proclaimed badass on One Day at a Time, and the title is very much deserved. A veteran dealing with PTS, depression, and anxiety while working full time, going to school, and taking care of her kids, Penelope is basically Wonder Woman.
As you can see, smart, empowering women are in no short supply on Netflix. And there's no better way to celebrate Women's History Month than by curling up on the couch and watching these women in action.