Teen TV dramas hold a special place in many a heart. They're a nostalgia trip, whether you're a millennial, a Gen Xer, or whatever you call the current crop of 'youths.' But what do you remember when you cast your mind back to those heady days of drama-infested CW minefields? Whether it's from TV or film, you remember the mean girls, the antagonists, the HBICs.
You love to hate them. You love to watch them. You can't get enough of their Machiavellian machinations and manipulations, the things that allow them to reign over their social hierarchies uncontested and unchallenged. No one occupies the memory space dedicated to the best teen dramas quite like the most loveable betches on TV do. So let's take a look back at the best HBICs of all time.
Blair may not have originated in the character archetype, but she certainly came to define it in a post-Gossip Girl world. This HBIC doesn't just have her perfectly manicured claws dug into her private school's power structure, she also has a firm grip on all of the Upper East Side, nay, Manhattan. Who else could banish a girl, Little Jenny Humphrey, from an entire city?
Ruling a high school? Your average, run-of-the-mill HBIC can do that in her sleep. Blair takes this whole deal to another level. She's a literal 'Queen' B. When any other mean girls can claim to run a city, then maybe Blair will watch the throne, but, until then, Manhattan is Blair's to run, and nobody had better cross her.
#98 on The Greatest Female Villainssee more on Blair Waldorf
Chanel Oberlin From Scream Queens
No one knows how to sling a hateful line like Chanel Oberlin. One has to wonder if there's a Dorian Gray-esque portrait of her hanging in the attic of her sorority house, decaying with every torrent of scorn she lets spill from her mouth.
Chanel goes the Heathers/Jawbreaker route of leaving a body count trailing behind her. But remorse? That's not on the menu for Chanel. Though, neither is anything but alcohol and cotton balls by the looks of it.
Oh? Did someone say sociopath? Allison DiLaurentis had a hold on everybody in Rosewood. Manipulation comes as easy to Allison as breathing does to mere mortals. Whether she's messing with her gay bestie who's harboring a serious crush on her, stirring the pot with her big stirring stick, or threatening to spill the town's secrets, she's always being an extremely charming betch.
The list of people she's blackmailed is as long as the cast list. She drifts around the town in soft-focus flashbacks, cornering people with their secrets, and demanding rewards for keeping quiet. Up until her Rosewood reappearance, she haunted her former clique in hallucinations. Her friends could never quite shake this HBIC.
Also Rankedsee more on Alison DiLaurentis
Sassy, and petty, and snarky, oh my! The moment you saw Cordelia hitting the hallways of Sunnydale High, you knew she was in charge. Buffy may have been the once-in-a-gernation-Chosen-One completely adept at dealing with demons, but you can't stake a betchy head cheerleader. You've got to try and out maneuver her with harsh words and ice-cold teen girl games. And that’s maybe scarier than any Vampire.
Cordelia was so betchy that she managed to create an entire alternative universe purely from the power of her betching out Buffy.
Also Rankedsee more on Cordelia Chase
No stranger to the world of betchery, Veronica probably predates every mean girl in contention for title of HBIC from her appearances in Archie comics. She originated the trope of being the bad-girl antagonist to the demure good girl. But she is a recent addition to the world of teen TV Drama.
From the moment she blows into Riverdale in a gust of all black everything and pearls for days, she attracts the attention of everyone in school. And not much else says HBIC quite like having the entire school population fall at your feet when you join their cheerleading squad.see more on Veronica Lodge
Emma Roberts's portrayal of Madison Montgomery is masterclass in betchery. Roberts has really carved out a niche for herself playing unrepentant sasses on Ryan Murphy properties. Say what you will about the man, but he knows how to write for mean girls.
Madison is like Chanel Oberlin, if you gave that betch magic powers. And she leaves her fair share of dead bodies in her wake too. She flips a bus full of frat boys and attempts to murder anyone in contention for the title of Supreme. Oh, and at one point in the series she comes back from the dead, meaner than ever. Perhaps, when you're both dead inside and out, there's nowhere for your personality to go other than the hellish depths of betchery.see more on Madison Montgomery
Manny Santos wasn't always a HBIC. Oh no, for two long seasons she played second fiddle to her meddlesome, holier-than-thou best friend Emma Nelson. For too long was her shine stifled by her sanctimonious friend, a friend who did not like Manny running out from under her shadow to join the Spirit Squad or buy thongs.
But Manny had a transformation in Season 3. Sick and tired of being regarded as 'cute,' she decided she was going to emerge from her adorable cocoon to become a hot butterfly. And how does one become hot? By buying a bedazzled thong and wearing low-rider jeans that show off that whale tale. And when there are complaints about said thong, simply forego the underwear and show your crack in science class. Quite the power play, no?see more on Manny Santos
90210, the criminally underrated reboot of Beverly Hills 90210, debuted one of the best head betches of the 2000s. She came in the form of Naomi Clark. Like her fellow HBICs, she's confident; she's wealthy; and she loves revenge.
She's a petty betch that picks out the blandest, drippiest, wet lettuce to ever stroll through a high school hallway, Boring Annie, and she puts her right at the top of her hated list. She's mean; she's rich; and she's shady as all get out. And her hair is amazing.see more on Naomi Clark