May 25, 2022

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23 Badass TV And Movie Moments With No Violence

8 min read

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There are obviously a ton of badass scenes where female characters kick ass. And don’t get me wrong — I love those scenes!

But some of my favorite scenes are the ones where women dominate without even having to throw a punch. Here are a few of those moments!


When Katherine revealed to her boss why she was out of the office for extended periods of time in Hidden Figures:

20th Century Fox

The look on his face was so, so worth it. This is such an amazingly powerful scene, and Taraji P. Henson absolutely killed it.


When Lady Olenna revealed to Jaime as she was dying that she was the one who had poisoned Joffrey on Game of Thrones:


It doesn’t get more badass than calmly ingesting poison, then telling your murderer you killed his son. Literal chills.


When Vivian went back to the store where the sales assistants had been rude to her and showed them what a mistake they made in Pretty Woman:

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

My mom and I love to quote this line. Legendary.


When Elle proved herself in court, then used Warner’s own phrase back on him when he tried to get back together in Legally Blonde:

MGM Distribution Co.

The whole speech about perms is absolutely incredible and shows how smart, capable, and badass Elle can be, but I still love the part where she disses Warner, then walks out alone, the best. Her power!!!


And when Paulette took back her dog:

MGM Distribution Co.

I C O N I C. Better than slapping him, tbh.


When Bonnie literally created an entire new dimension, went toe to toe with the devil himself, and then vanquished hell on earth on The Vampire Diaries.

The CW

Oh, plus, she broke Elena’s sleeping beauty curse. Bonnie was by far the most badass character on that show, both in her powers and just mentally. #BonnieDeservedBetter


When Evelyn literally gave birth while evading a monster and staying quiet in A Quiet Place:

Paramount Pictures

Giving birth is already badass enough, but this is next level. And let’s not forget that part when she stepped on a nail and didn’t scream.


When Katniss shot an arrow through an apple in a pig’s mouth and thanked the judges for their “consideration” in The Hunger Games:


The attitude!!! I love it so much. Even in a place where she has no power, she manages to take some.


When the Watcher’s Council tried to test Buffy on her fitness to be a Slayer and Buffy turned it around on them, proving they needed her more than she needed them, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

The WB

Buffy is a badass in basically every single episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but I think this is my favorite badass moment of hers. She recognizes her own power and shuts down an entire organization of respected, older, mostly male scholars for trying to make her doubt it, and it’s just so amazing.


When Stevie performed “Maybe This Time” on Schitt’s Creek:


Seeing Stevie embrace her passions and just truly exude happiness and joy was so, so special, and it seriously made me want to cry. She was so brave, and it was honestly just so badass.


When Hannah walked back into the bar and kissed Jacob in Crazy Stupid Love:

Warner Bros. Pictures

TELL ME YOU HAVEN’T WANTED TO DO THIS. She WENT for it. She literally marches in and completely ignores that Jacob was trying to talk up someone else. Incredible.


When Olive sewed the letter “A” on a bunch of corsets and walked into school as her new alter ego in Easy A:

Sony Pictures Releasing

Maybe this is the most badass way to deal with a rumor ever. Or maybe I just love Emma Stone. Either way, I’m obsessed with this scene.


When Blair completely proved herself to be the real queen bee and sent Georgina away on Gossip Girl:

The CW

It is NOT easy to best Georgina Sparks, but Blair did it multiple times. Blair’s takedowns were always fun, but none were as well deserved and fun to watch as this one.


When Andi walked back into the office after her makeover in the Chanel boots in The Devil Wears Prada:

20th Century Fox

YOU TELL HER, ANDY!!! This scene is quotable for a reason, people.


When Katara bent her sweat to escape a prison cell on Avatar: the Last Airbender:


Katara does a ton of badass stuff (can we talk about the bloodbending episode??), but this one has nothing to do with fighting, and it’s just so awesome and smart. I don’t even care if it’s gross.


When Natasha manipulated Loki into telling her what she wanted to know in The Avengers:


It’s always fun to see Nat kick some ass, but I also love the scenes that show how smart and crafty she is. I really wanted to include the similar “sever the nerve” scene from Black Widow, because breaking your own nose to outwit a human trafficker is pretty damn badass, but I guess that sort of involves violence.


When Cordelia decided to become part demon so that she could keep her visions in Angel:

The WB

Angel Season 3 Cordelia is my favorite Cordelia (let’s not talk about Season 4). She had THE BEST character development of any character in the Buffyverse, IMO (again, we’re not going to speak of Season 4), and seeing her casually accept becoming a demon just to protect Angel and be able to continue to help people was probably her most badass moment. 


When Minny gave Hilly pie with her poop in it in The Help and delivered this iconic line:

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

God, do I love to see bad characters get what’s coming to them. This movie certainly has its issues, but seeing a racist piece of crap happily eating a pie made out of crap just feels right in so many ways. The look on her face when Minny reveals the truth…priceless.


When Haley marched up to a rude potential employer and told him off, then proved her abilities to him after he doubted her on Modern Family:


Haley is another great character who had amazing character development (which, as with Cordelia, was then ruined). Seeing her grow up and follow her passions, then stand up for herself like this, was amazing. I was just cheering at the TV like, “You tell him, Haley!!!” 


When Peggy gave this speech in Agent Carter:


This needs to become everyone’s mantra.


When Isis and the Clovers showed up at a football game to prove the Toros had stolen their cheers in Bring It On:

Universal Pictures

Interrupting a game to call out routine-stealing cheerleaders by doing the routine at the same time they do it is the ULTIMATE power move. I didn’t even feel bad for Torrance.


When Haley lost her job because she refused to apologize for printing Sam’s essay in the school paper, and told her students to stand up for what they believed in on One Tree Hill:

The CW

If only we all had a teacher like Haley growing up.


And finally, when Captain Marvel refused to fight Yon-Rogg at the end of Captain Marvel, telling him she had nothing to prove to him:


Okay, this one’s cheating a little, ’cause she does blast him with her powers right before it (but hey, that’s not a punch!). Still, it’s more the fact that she refuses this bait and doesn’t allow Yon-Rogg to have any power over her.

What are some TV and movie scenes where you think a female character is totally badass, even though they involve absolutely no physical fighting or violence? Let us know in the comments!

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