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The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History

Updated May 6, 2021 41.6k votes 3.0k voters 33.3k views53 items

List RulesVote up your favorite female characters who are still breathing till the end...

If you're a fan of scary movies, this is your opportunity to vote for the best final girls in horror movies. A "final girl" is a female character who manages to survive the wrath of the killer - human or otherwise - when most, if not all, of the other characters have been wiped out. Although the term originated in the 1990s, final girls were around for decades before that, such as Laurie Strode in 1978's Halloween, Sally Hardesty in 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Lila Crane in 1960's Psycho

Horror movie survivors of this type are most commonly found in slasher flicks. The Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween franchises commonly make use of the final girls trope. Traditionally, these characters tend to be the purest and most virtuous of the group or cast of characters. That's because, for reasons known only to the filmmakers themselves, the abundance of '80s slasher movies usually had the villain target teens who were amorous with each other. Friday the 13th, in particular, was notorious for that. 

The threats final girls face are not always psychos wielding knives, machetes, or hooks. They can survive interstellar creatures, as Ellen Ripley does in Alien. What counts is that the final girl gets through the ordeal, leaving her to tell the tale of what happened.

Vote up your favorite final girl horror characters from the list below.

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  • 1
    1,777
    287

    Laurie Strode

    Jamie Lee Curtis/Scout Taylor-Compton

    Halloween (1978), Halloween II (1981), Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998), Halloween: Resurrection (2002), Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009), Halloween (2018)

  • 2
    1,658
    333

    Ellen Ripley

    Sigourney Weaver

    Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997)

  • 3
    1,659
    424

    Grace Le Domas

    Samara Weaving

    Ready or Not (2019)

  • 4
    1,714
    450

    Sidney Prescott

    Neve Campbell

    Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011)

  • 5
    1,257
    328

    Maddie

    Kate Siegel

    Hush (2016)

  • 6
    1,122
    368

    Nancy Thompson

    Heather Langenkamp

    A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)

  • 7
    987
    362

    Erin Hanson

    Sharni Vinson

    You're Next (2011)

  • 8
    870
    365

    Sarah Bailey

    Robin Tunney

    The Craft (1996)

  • 9
    1,067
    477

    Gale Weathers

    Courteney Cox

    Scream (1996), Scream 2 (1997), Scream 3 (2000), Scream 4 (2011)

  • 10
    1,091
    492

    Tree Gelbman

    Jessica Rothe

    Happy Death Day (2017), Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

  • 11
    642
    291

    Heather Langenkamp

    Heather Langenkamp

    Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

  • 12
    533
    238

    Carol Anne Freeling

    Heather O'Rourke

    Poltergeist (1982), Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986), Poltergeist III (1988)

  • 13
    808
    412

    Clear Rivers

    Ali Larter

    Final Destination (2000)

  • 14
    694
    347

    Sarah Carter

    Shauna Macdonald

    The Descent (2005)

  • 15
    852
    458

    Dana Polk

    Kristen Connolly

    The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

  • 16
    682
    359

    Buffy Summers

    Kristy Swanson

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

  • 17
    578
    309

    Sally Hardesty

    Marilyn Burns

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

  • 18
    428
    224

    Lila Crane

    Vera Miles, Julianne Moore

    Psycho (1960)

  • 19
    581
    326

    Mari Collingwood

    Sara Paxton

    The Last House on the Left (2009)

  • 20
    632
    363

    Anita Needy Lesnicky

    Amanda Seyfried

    Jennifer's Body (2009)

  • 21
    712
    436

    Julie James

    Jennifer Love Hewitt

    I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

  • 22
    523
    327

    Mia Allen

    Jane Levy

    Evil Dead (2013)

  • 23
    456
    289

    Jamie Lloyd

    Danielle Harris

    Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

  • 24
    385
    236

    Helen Lyle

    Virginia Madsen

    Candyman (1992)

  • 25
    418
    272

    Max Cartwright

    Taissa Farmiga

    The Final Girls (2015)