vote on everything
Watchworthy
2.6k voters

The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History

Updated October 9, 2020 36.8k votes 2.6k voters 30.4k views52 items

List RulesVote up your favorite female characters who are still breathing 'til 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, as Laurie Strode in 1978's Halloween, Sally Hardesty in 1974's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and Lila Crane in 1960's Psycho prove. 

Horror movie survivors of this type are most commonly found in slasher flicks. The Friday the 13th, 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 and became part of the trope. 

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.

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Laurie Strode is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    1,554
    260

    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
    Ellen Ripley is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    1,462
    290

    Ellen Ripley

    Sigourney Weaver

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

  • 3
    Grace Le Domas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    1,514
    358

    Grace Le Domas

    Samara Weaving

    Ready or Not (2019)

  • 4
    Maddie is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    1,137
    272

    Maddie

    Kate Siegel

    Hush (2016)

  • 5
    Sidney Prescott is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    1,477
    412

    Sidney Prescott

    Neve Campbell

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

  • 6
    Nancy Thompson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    942
    337

    Nancy Thompson

    Heather Langenkamp

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

  • 7
    Erin Hanson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    857
    314

    Erin Hanson

    Sharni Vinson

    You're Next (2011)

  • 8
    Sarah Bailey is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    802
    300

    Sarah Bailey

    Robin Tunney

    The Craft (1996)

  • 9
    Tree Gelbman is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    985
    440

    Tree Gelbman

    Jessica Rothe

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

  • 10
    Gale Weathers is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    937
    428

    Gale Weathers

    Courteney Cox

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

  • 11
    Clear Rivers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    738
    362

    Clear Rivers

    Ali Larter

    Final Destination (2000)

  • 12
    Heather Langenkamp is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    548
    258

    Heather Langenkamp

    Heather Langenkamp

    Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

  • 13
    Carol Anne Freeling is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    440
    205

    Carol Anne Freeling

    Heather O'Rourke
  • 14
    Sarah Carter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    610
    311

    Sarah Carter

    Shauna Macdonald

    The Descent (2005)

  • 15
    Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    607
    312

    Buffy Summers

    Kristy Swanson
  • 16
    Dana Polk is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    761
    421

    Dana Polk

    Kristen Connolly

    The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

  • 17
    Mari Collingwood is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    534
    291

    Mari Collingwood

    Sara Paxton

    The Last House on the Left (2009)

  • 18
    Anita Needy Lesnicky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    560
    321

    Anita Needy Lesnicky

    Amanda Seyfried

    Jennifer's Body (2009)

  • 19
    Julie James is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    661
    405

    Julie James

    Jennifer Love Hewitt

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

  • 20
    Lila Crane is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    361
    201

    Lila Crane

    Vera Miles, Julianne Moore

    Psycho (1960), Psycho (1998)

  • 21
    Sally Hardesty is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    482
    287

    Sally Hardesty

    Marilyn Burns

    The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

  • 22
    Mia Allen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    470
    300

    Mia Allen

    Jane Levy

    Evil Dead (2013)

  • 23
    Max Cartwright is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    372
    241

    Max Cartwright

    Taissa Farmiga

    The Final Girls (2015)

  • 24
    Jamie Lloyd is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    400
    271

    Jamie Lloyd

    Danielle Harris

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

  • 25
    Rachel Carruthers is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
    1
    2

    Rachel Carruthers

    Ellie Cornell
Film CharactersFilmFictional CharactersEntertainmentHorrortop 50Female CharactersHorror Movies and TVGraveyard Shift