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The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History 

Ranker Film
Updated March 28, 2020 23k votes 2.2k voters 26.5k views 50 items

List Rules Vote 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.

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1
Laurie Strode is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History

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

2
Grace Le Domas is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Grace Le Domas

Ready or Not (2019)

3
Ellen Ripley is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Sigourney Weaver in Alien

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

4
Sidney Prescott is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History

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

5
Maddie is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Maddie

Hush (2016)

6
Nancy Thompson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Heather Langenkamp in A Nightmare on Elm Street

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
Erin Hanson

You're Next (2011)

8
Tree Gelbman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Tree Gelbman

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

9
Gale Weathers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Courteney Cox in Scream 4

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

10
Sarah Bailey is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Robin Tunney in The Craft

The Craft (1996)

11
Clear Rivers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Ali Larter in Final Destination 2

Final Destination (2000)

12
Dana Polk is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Dana Polk Kristen Connolly in The Cabin in the Woods

The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

13
Sarah Carter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Shauna Macdonald in The Descent

The Descent (2005)

14
Buffy Summers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Kristy Swanson in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

15
Heather Langenkamp is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Heather Langenkamp Heather Langenkamp in Wes Craven's New Nightmare

Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994)

16
Julie James is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Julie James Jennifer Love Hewitt in I Know What You Did Last Summer

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

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

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
Anita Needy Lesnicky Amanda Seyfried in Jennifer's Body

Jennifer's Body (2009)

19
Carol Anne Freeling is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
HarryBerman added Heather O'Rourke in Poltergeist III
20
Sally Hardesty is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Marilyn Burns in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

21
Mia Allen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Mia Allen

Evil Dead (2013)

22
Lila Crane is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History

Psycho (1960), Psycho (1998)

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

The Final Girls (2015)

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

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

25
Helen Lyle is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Final Girls From Horror Movie History
Virginia Madsen in Candyman

Candyman (1992)