Tim Burton's Best Female Characters



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Over 80 Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of Tim Burton's Best Female Characters

Attention, boils and ghouls! It's time to rank some of the most beloved female characters in acclaimed gothic director Tim Burton's immaculate catalog of weirdos from worst to best! Throughout the last 30 years, characters from Tim Burton movies have become a staple in the zeitgeist of cinema and a genre unto themselves, with Burton's wacky and weird creations becoming a beacon of light for all those who consider themselves strange and unusual. Films like Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas and television shows like Wednesday introduced not only some of the most beloved characters of all time, but characters that female audiences saw within themselves. 

The gothic characters of Tim Burton stole the hearts of audiences around the world, and more so than that, made audience members want to become these holistically unique goth characters themselves. Actors like Catherine O'Hara who plays Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas and Winona Ryder who play both Lydia Deets and Kim Boggs from Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands respectively stand out thanks to their melancholic attitude, their unique and abstract gothic style, and most importantly, their toughness and resistance in the face of danger. Which female Tim Burton character do you think is best?

Vote up the best Tim Burton female characters, and be sure to check out our list of Tim Burton's best films!

  • Lydia Deetz
    Photo: Beetlejuice / Warner Bros.
    66 votes

    A dark and mysterious personality is merely a facade for Beetlejuice's Lydia Deetz, as behind that gruff and gothic exterior is simply a person who thrives for love and connection. Portrayed wonderfully by Winona Ryder in her breakout role, Lydia masterfully wrapped up all the 80s tropes of the gothic and emo personality and flipped them on their head. She wasn't afraid to say what she wanted and when she wanted it, even if she could be a tad bit overdramatic about things, and despite her young age, she always seemed to be the most mature and selfless in the room.

    • Appears In: Beetlejuice
    • Played By: Winona Ryder
  • Kim Boggs
    Photo: Edward Scissorhands / 20th Century Fox
    45 votes

    Kim Boggs

    A seemingly normal teenage thrust into one of the most bizarre scenarios anyone could think of, Kim Boggs suddenly finds her life flipped on its head when Edward Scissorhands comes into her life. A drastic change from Tim Burton's leading ladies of the past, Kim Boggs, portrayed wonderfully by Winona Ryder, is the stereotypical popular girl who suddenly finds herself falling for the mysterious, dark, brooding stranger. A gentle and kind soul with a heart of gold, Kim story is of devastating heartbreak, but her character always manages to give the audience hope.

    • Appears In: Edward Scissorhands
    • Played By: Winona Ryder
  • Sally
    Photo: The Nightmare Before Christmas / Walt Disney Pictures
    57 votes

    Simultaneously a heartbreaking and heartwarming character all at the same time, The Nightmare Before Christmas's Sally is every stereotypical gothic cliche wrapped into one melancholic package, and when she first appeared on screen in 1993, she took over the hearts of millions. With a gorgeous singing voice offered by Catherine O'Hara, a positively negative attitude, and a soul desperate for something more, Sally masterfully embodied the love-struck soul stuck inside us all.

    • Appears In: The Nightmare Before Christmas
    • Played By: Catherine O'Hara
  • Mrs. Lovett
    Photo: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street / Paramount Pictures
    39 votes

    The business accomplice and partner of the titular Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett is a maniacal, twisted, horrifying soul that can and will do whatever she needs to in order to both survive, and get what she wants in life. Masterfully portrayed by Helena Bonham Carter in Tim Burton's adaptation of the 1973 play of the same name, Mrs. Lovett is brutal, violent, and deranged throughout the film, and if cooking people into pies wasn't horrific enough, the tragic backstory of her mind is something that will shock and awe audiences for years to come.

    • Appears In: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
    • Played By: Helena Bonham Carter
  • Barbara Maitland
    Photo: Beetlejuice / Warner Bros.

    After a tragic accident ended her life, Barbara Maitland found herself a spirit of the afterlife alongside her husband, Adam, and now, she must learn to grow to accept this new life of ghosts and the paranormal. Barbara is arguably one of the most “normal” characters Tim Burton has ever imagined, as she is simply a good soul and a warm woman portrayed elegantly by Geena Davis. Even in the afterlife, all she aspires to do is help those in need, and make the best afterlife she can for both her and her husband.

    • Appears In: Beetlejuice
    • Played By: Geena Davis
  • Delia Deetz
    Photo: Beetlejuice / Warner Bros.
    33 votes

    Emotional, over-dramatic, and always anxious, Delia Deetz perfectly exemplifies what it means to be an artist in the modern world. An over-the-top performance done to perfection by Catherine O'Hara brought Delia to life, and she is arguably the most hilarious character in a film filled to the brim with them. Delia never overstays her welcome and leaves audiences with one of the best-possessed scenes in film history.

    • Appears In: Beetlejuice
    • Played By: Catherine O'Hara