The 100: Most Grounder women we meet (Anya, Indra, and Lexa) are certified badasses, whether using weapons, fighting hand-to-hand, or commanding armies. Among the Sky People, Clarke and Octavia start off as The Medic and The Chick, respectively, but quickly evolve into Action Girls in order to survive on the Ground. Clarke, being an All-Loving Hero, is actually disturbed by how good she gets at inflicting violence.
24: Renee Walker, who is so badass she earned the fan nickname "Jill Bauer." Ladies like Nina Myers and Michelle Dessler are no slouch either, and Badass Bookworm Chloe O'Brian will unload some M-16 action on your ass if you push her far enough. It's also worth noting that even Jack Bauer's daughter Kim, the former Trope Namer for "Damsel Scrappy," once won a fight with her psychotic employer by smashing him in the face with a crowbar, and also once fought off seasoned Balkan warlords with a pot of hot coffee. Did we mention this was a World of Badass?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Melinda May, SO HARD. Skye slowly becomes one, too, but May is on a whole different level, being pretty much the most formidable hand-to-hand combatant in the series. If you're not superhuman, she will DESTROY you.
Season two introduces Bobbi Morse, who's just as badass as ever. Her first scene has her taking down a bunch of HYDRA soldiers with ease.
Once Skye fully takes up her identity as Daisy Johnson she quite firmly is put on May's level, arguably even higher due to her superpowers.
Angie Tribeca: The first time we see Angie, she's working out in her room from a punching bag to smashing her furniture and balloons, chin-ups in the shower, and punching dents in her refrigerator door. Played for laughs, as the entire show is a Parody of police procedurals.
Cordelia becomes a rather effective one. In Buffy, she is not one, leaning more towards Action Survivor.
Kate can go toe-to-toe with vampires.
The Avengers: Cathy Gale from this 1960s action/spy show was arguably TV's first Action Girl. She replaced former star Ian Hendry and there were reportedly no changes in the early scripts, so that she was effectively playing a "male" character. She was later replaced with the equally tough Emma Peel, who became the series's iconic female character. Both of them occasionally needed to be saved by male colleague John Steed, but they saved him just as frequently.
Arrow: A number of examples-the Huntress, both versions of the Canary and Shado.
The spinoff-series Vixen, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow bring us Vixen and Hawkgirl as heroes, and villains from the setting have included China White, Plastique, Killer Frost, Trajectory, Peek-a-Boo, Isabelle Rochev/Ravager, and Cupid.
Vixen sums up the subject in her introductory live-action scene when she takes down a group of heavily-armed mooks one by one:
Last mook standing: Why don't you come out and fight like a man? Vixen: How about I kick your ass like a woman?
And the count continues with Artemis, Jesse Quick, Thea Queen/Speedy, more introduced metahumans...at this point, it seems like anyone who tries to attack a random woman in the Arrowverse runs a high-risk of getting their ass handed to them by the sheer number of butt-kicking women there are.
Anna was an accomplished thief and martial artist but once she became Carrie she spent the next 15 years preparing and training for the time when Mr. Rabbit found her. She is Made of Iron and verges on One-Man Army levels of competence and lethality.
She once had a fight scene that lasted for an entire episode. Verges on One-Man Army? She claims the title with ease.
Nola Longshadow is also making merits for One-Man Army status by getting the drop on Lucas and his crew and nearly taking them all out. She also effortlessly beats up three marines who are trying to assault Rebecca, and even gives Burton a run for his money in a one-on-one fight.
Deputy Siobhan Kelly single-handedly beats the crap out of her abusive ex-husband.
Veronica Dawson is an FBI agent who employs a methodology pretty similar to Hood's (punching things).
Kara "Starbuck" Thrace from the reimagined show. Kara is perhaps theAction Girl while in the cockpit of a Viper, but is no slouch in hand-to-hand or ranged infantry combat, either — she's described as "the best shot in or out of the cockpit."
In addition, the female humanoid Cylons - Number Six, Number Three and Number Eight - all exhibit superhuman strength, stamina, durability and a higher resistance to radiation than humans do, and all approach this trope more than once over the course of the series.
Main character Lisa from Beyond the Walls is the driving force of the plot. She is proactive, brave and not afraid to deal with her own shortcomings, but never lets them sway her from her goal for long. Being a normal woman doesn't keep her from kicking quasi-zombie butt, either.
Willow (in later seasons) is also one. Anyone who manages to inflict pain on a goddess deserves this title.
Anya is one, with hints of Magic Knight, being more than competent in magic as well.
We also get Faith, Kendra, Kennedy, and all the Potential Slayers.
Burn Notice: You really don't want to get on the bad side of Fiona Glenanne.
Though we may have to create the faux girly girl for her as her action girl status is apparent only in action, her demeanor and clothes are definitely girly, so that a new viewer who has also missed the trigger happy ex-girlfriend bit in the title sequence might a bit surprised to see her in kicking ass mode.
Charmed: All of the sisters. At first Prue was the only one with an offensive power, making the dynamic unbalanced though Phoebe also knew martial arts. Then Phoebe learned to levitate and Piper learned to make things explode and combined with their potions and spells, the sisters are a force to be reckoned with. Then the show later adds Paige and Billie. All four Halliwell sisters (including Prue), although Paige was just as likely to be a Faux Action Girl in her earlier appearances due to lack of experience. Billie and Christy also qualify.
Criminal Minds: All the female BAU agents, except Garcia, who as the technical analyst is the only team member who can't hold her own in a fight.
Dark Matter: Two establishes herself as a bonafide badass in the very first scene of the show by kicking Ones ass with ease.
Decoy: Despite her feminine appearance, Casey Jones is strong enough to strangle a man, as she demonstrates in the first episode.
Barbara Wright, one of the original companions! When she's not smashing Mind Rapist brains (it's more awesome in context) or destroying planet-engulfing entities, she's mowing down Daleks with an ancient truck.
Sarah Jane Smith told off brutish middle-ages jerks, faced a Sontaran without flinching, helped a king and queen organize a revolution, captured the Doctor, and later rescued the Doctor. And that was just in her first episode. To say nothing of the next three-and-a-half seasons.......and her own spin-off.
Despite what some newspapers may claim, Leela, who killed a Sontaran by throwing a knife into his vent from across a room. Also Ace, who was never without her trusty Nitro-9 (who also, incidentally, shot a Dalek in the face with a rocket launcher, and beat the crap out of another with a baseball bat).
Ace: I aimed for the eyestalk.
Companions Martha Jones and Rose Tyler have been seen lugging around some rather impressive guns for facing aliens.
Jenny, the title character of "The Doctor's Daughter", came out of the progenation machine with fighting skills. And she's a Time Lady, for that added advantage.
In series 5, River Song managed to fly out an airlock into the TARDIS, put her hallucinogenic lipstick to good use, and killed a Dalek in cold blood. Then in series 6, she jumped from a skyscraper into the TARDIS swimming pool, and later took out several Silents by herself while still finding time to tell the Doctor off for being in the way.
She's had so many scenes kicking ass in series 6, she's earned the nickname "River fucking Song" in some internet circles.
Amy Pond has her moments. Like fighting pirates with a sword. Or going into full battle mode against a group of robots. With a sword.
The other women on the show are no slouches (except Jool, and even she gets better in The Peacekeeper Wars) in a fight, either. Even Zhaan gets some combat ability. But none of them are highly-trained soldiers who show themselves consistently able to make the hard call.
"YoSaffBridge" prefers to play the role of the Femme Fatale, but is also a formidable martial artist, and knows her way around a gun.
Game of Thrones: Cultures throughout the world see women of action in a variety of lights, from acceptance to scorn.
Arya Stark practices swordplay and looks up to fellow action girls from Westerosi history, such as Visenya Targaryen, sister of Aegon the Conqueror, who rode dragons into battle and subdued whole kingdoms, and Nymeria, Warrior Queen of the Rhoynar (after whom she names her direwolf). Her kill count grows higher and higher every season. As of the end of Season 6, she's responsible for 11 deaths. In season 1, she impales a stable boy coming at her (Season 1) and then, starting in season 3, she begins purposefully killing: first, a Frey soldier (season 3), a Lannister soldier, Polliver, Rorge (season 4), Ghita, Ser Meryn Trant (season 5), the Waif, "Black" Walder Rivers, Lothar Frey and Walder Frey (season 6). This gets extended in Season 7 to the entire male Frey line and Littlefinger, followed in Season 8 with her killing the Night King and, by extension, the entire Army of the Dead.
Brienne of Tarth is a large and strong woman whose one want in life is to be a knight. She has dealt her entire life with the scorn of others for her choice of a non-traditional role. She's introduced kicking the ass of Loras Tyrell, renowned badass. Even Renly applauds her for her skill as a warrior.
Yara Greyjoy. After her older brothers were killed in battle and her younger brother taken hostage, she was the only child of the Greyjoy line left and took on the role her eldest brother would have served at her father's side. She commands her late brother's ship and is about the equivalent to an admiral in the Greyjoy fleet, and she has killed already.
Wildling spearwives such as Ygritte and Osha are just as welcome to take part in warbands as men and can even become respected chieftains like Karsi. Osha goes up against Robb Stark and says she's used to taking care of herself around rougher men than Theon and that anyone living north of the Wall has to be tough as nails to survive.
Meera Reed is skilled with weapons and acts as her brother Jojen's protector, seeming to be the reason why he has survived in the North, which has become a rather dangerous place since the war started. She is introduced by getting the drop on Osha, which is no easy task.
Nymeria gives Joffrey a good thrashing.
While not a full Amazon Brigade, the Mormonts do train their female members (like Maege and her daughter Lyanna) to be just as much warriors as their men. It comes from living on a remote island where the men are out at sea most of the day on fishing boats to get basic sustenance; the women left behind on land had to be capable of defending themselves from attacks by the Ironborn longships and Wildling boats.
Hex: Ella Dee. On the rare occasions when the heroes actually achieve anything, it usually involves her doing violence to somebody. Including throttling a priest (who was actually a demon) while wearing a truly terrifying expression.
Dee Dee McCall in the 80's Cop ShowHunter was just as physically capable and useful in a fight as her male colleagues.
In iZombie, Liv eats the brain of a former gang member and finds out she's a martial arts pro. Needless to say, these skills come in handy by the end of the episode. She also jumped on the top of a moving car while getting shot at to catch a murderer. And then there's Full On Zombie Mode...
JAG: Although the Semper FiMs. Fanservice Sarah Mac MacKenzie primarily stayed in the courtroom, whenever a situation calling for an action girl to arise, Mac would answer the call.
Miho Kirishima from Kamen Rider Ryuki is the first female Kamen Rider. A con-artist who seduced men for money, she joined the war for the same reason as Ren: to save the life of a loved one. Sure, she's the only female rider in her series, but she's shown to be capable of kicking much ass as the guys with her Cool Sword.
Natsumi Miwa from Kamen Rider Blade. Sure, she only gets to be Kamen Rider Larc in the movie, Missing Ace and died like her predecessors, Yuriko and Miho, but she has proven herself to be capable of kicking much ass as the guys with her crossbow.
Nadeshiko Misaki in Kamen Rider Fourze. A mysterious female transfer student who literally falls from the sky and into Gentaro's arms, she possesses a blue version of the Fourze Driver and can transform into Kamen Rider Nadeshiko.
Nico Saiba in Kamen Rider Ex-Aid. She's a gamer girl who transforms into a customized version of the Ride Player.
Killjoys: Dutch is the leader of the titular crew of space bounty hunters, but she also happenes to be the deadliest and most badass of them all.
Leverage: While they aren't the main fighters, Parker and Sophie have both had their extremely kick-ass moments: Parker fighting arms dealers in Serbia and Sophie knocking out goons with a fire extinguisher. They are also extremely, extremely competent in their own fields.
Majisuka Gakuen: Any female character that cannot fight is a rare exception in this Japanese series.
Masters of Horror: In the episode "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road", Ellen was trained by her survivalist husband to be prepared for anything. She proves the psycho killer Moonface that she's not the easiest prey and ends up killing him in a one on one fight.
While not as good of a fighter as Ziva, Kate was still as capable as the men of apprehending criminals. Even Abby stops a perpetrator in one episode (with tasers).
Chinese political drama Nirvana in Fire is a Wuxia with plenty of fighting, so pretty much every woman without children is fully martial arts capable.
NUMB3RS: Megan Reeves. Not only does she have the firearm proficiency expected of an FBI agent, but she also has a black belt in Krav Maga. As she remarks to Colby, "If you're going to be arresting people a hundred pounds heavier than you, you'll need to learn some hobbies."
Cassie and Ashley from Power Rangers in Space spend the whole season taking part in a rescue mission for Zordon and, along with the male rangers, end up fighting evil super-powered versions of themselves.
Trini and Kimberly from Mighty Morphin are the original PR Action Girls. Later on, Trini is replaced by Aisha, who also does a solid job in her own right.
Lilly in Power Rangers Jungle Fury just like Tori and Kira she may be the only girl on the team, but she is still a tough badass fighter who can kick ass just like her male teammates.
Shelby in Power Rangers Dino Charge is a rare example of a rough and tumble Pink Ranger who's ready and willing to get her hands dirty. She may be the only girl on the team (initially), but she's plenty badass and can take out monsters all on her own.
Kendall eventually becomes the Purple Ranger, and when she gets in on the action, she's almost as impressive as Shelby.
Tori from Power Rangers Ninja Storm is another example of being the only girl on the team, but she kicks enough ass that it doesn't really matter.
Z and Sydney from Power Rangers S.P.D., along with their male teammates, are basically the Power Ranger versions of police officers.
Vida and her sister, Madison from Power Rangers Mystic Force, along with their male teammates, are basically the Power Ranger versions of wizards.
Powers has several, from Badass Normal Deena, a cop who handles superhuman crime cases, to Retro Girl, a woman who's been a superhero for decades, to Calista, who gets powers at the end of season 1.
Primeval: Abby Maitland is a zookeeper who knows how to kick-box, making her a perfect for a team that has to chase dinosaurs that walk through time anomalies into the present time. Jenny Lewis is also revealed to know how to use a gun despite dressing inappropriately for her line of work (justified as she almost never is in the thick of the action). Emily Merchant takes this trope Up to Eleven, what with being a Knife Nut and all.
Season 4, Episode 6 was pretty much an action-girl episode; not only did every female character on the show at the time do something deserving of this trope, Jenny returned as a single-episode guest, and pulled off one of the most iconic moments in the show.
Stargate Atlantis: Teyla is easily mistaken for the self-effacing type until she comes after you with a P-90 or her trusty Bantos rods. She routinely kicks Sheppard's butt during their sparring sessions and is not afraid of making her point with a knife to the throat.
The unlucky fella who ended up with the last option was a Wraith. Yes, those Wraith.
Samantha Carter prefers to be the thinker of the gang, but when butt kicking is called for, she kicks butt!
Vala can pull an action girl when she needs to, but normally she'd rather be devious and hide behind Daniel.
Actually she very obviously did the opposite once for Cam — Cam's girlfriend looked terrified and hid behind him away from the big scary gun (for God's sake) and Vala just casually sauntered in the firing line and called the Psycho for Hire a coward. He didn't really manage to recover from that.
Come to think of it, Vala's really just as much of an Action Girl as Sam, what with pulling stunts like taking on the whole of the Prometheus single-handed and pissing off Goa'uld platoons.
Kira is also a former Bajoran Resistance fighter, with all the hell-raising and combat capability that implies (as she put it in the pilot episode, "I've been fighting for Bajoran independence since I was old enough to pick up a phaser."). In fact, Kira might just be theAction Girl of the Trek Verse, at least with regard to the canon series.
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Tasha Yar for a while (pity she died) and K'Ehleyr as well, both women who easily counted as Action Girls. Tasha was raised in an anarchist colony and spent time running from rape gangs as a girl, and K'Ehleyr took on Worf in the holodeck.
Star Trek: Discovery has series lead Michael Burnham. Although she's more of a Science Hero (her official discipline is as a xenoanthropolgist) she is also highly trained in Vulcan martial arts and using a variety of weapons, and she more than acquits herself in several brutal action scenes.
Burnham's former commanding officer Captain Phillipa Georgiou also shows herself to be adept at combat when she and Burnham board a Klingon vessel, though she dies in combat there as well. Her Mirror Universe counterpart also proves to be an exceptional and ruthless warrior, in addition to being the Terran Emperor.
There's also Commander Landry, the chief of security aboard the Discovery (at least until she's unceremoniously offed by the tardigrade; her Mirror Universe counterpart picks up the slack though).
Supergirl (2015): The main character -Kara Zor-El/Kara Danvers alias Supergirl- is the world's strongest and most powerful woman. An important subplot deals with her becoming an hero and learning what it means while she kicks butts.
She's aided by her adopted sister Alex, who kicks much butt as a DEO agent, and they've run into multiple female alien threats, not to mention superpowered humans Livewire and Silver Banshee. During the crossover with The Flash when Supergirl and the Flash faced off in a fight against the latter two, Barry joked they would settle this like women.
Barry: "What? There's more of you than there is me."
Gwen didn't start out this way, though. Up until the second episode she hasn't even handled a gun. According to her, she doesn't even kill spiders. Jack points out that he doesn't either... with a gun. Now she has no problem shooting a helicopter with a bazooka or punching out a trained CIA operative for calling her "English"... and by this point she's an Action Mom.
Ultraman Gaia wasn't content with having only one example, but gives us Team Crow, a Power Trio of Action Girls who fly alongside the all-male crews of Team Lightning and Team Falcon against any Kaijuof the Week the show throws at them.
Mizuki Shinobu in Ultraman Cosmos is the Number Two to Captain Harumitsu Hiura, so while Hiura usually stays in base to just give commands, Shinobu leads the rest of the team on the field or in the planes.
Ultraman Nexus: Nagi Saijyo and Shiori Hiraki, who are also the only girls on the Night Raiders, although Shiori is a lot more cheery than Nagi.
Mizuki Koishikawa of Ultraman Max, who is usually paired up with protagonist Kaito Touma in any operation.
Arisa Sugita of Ultraman Ginga S may be the only female member of UGM, but that doesn't stop her from being able to fight the bad guys in hand-to-hand combat or even get some mean enough shots to tick off a rampaging kaiju.
Asuna Yamase from Ultraman X. She's even managed to command Daichi's Gomora companion against other giant monsters.
Toba Laiha in Ultraman Geed, a twenty-first century ronin who uses her sword and martial arts skills against evil aliens.
The Vampire Diaries: Bonnie, Caroline and now Elena qualify. As well as Katherine. Basically all of the female characters in the series.
Victorious: Trina seems to fit this role, being one of the strongest in the group and is seen practicing martial arts in one episode. This ends up being a Chekhov's Skill.
Wonder Woman from Wonder Woman. At the time, an action girl was such new ground for broadcast TV that the producers had huge concerns about how the audience would react if a woman was punched by a man in prime time. This ended up making Wonder Woman even more of a badass since the result was that they decided her opponents would be so physically overwhelmed by the Amazon Princess that they would rarely even land a punch before she beat them.
Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena herself, despite being on the bottom of this list, is arguably one of the most iconically badass women in fiction. Her sidekick, Gabrielle, also became one in later seasons. If you see her in the costume displaying abs o' steel and she has short hair, she's kicking ass.