ByMara Mullikin, writer at
I'm an aspiring writer, filmmaker, actress and werewolf.
Mara Mullikin

Since the beginning of heroic stories, there's always been the damsel in distress. This character is usually an attractive woman who needs to be constantly saved by her white knight. However, this cliche has become rather tiresome. As we've been given some terribly annoying damsels, such as: Princess Peach, Bella Swan, Lois Lane or Penelope Pitstop.

Penelope Pitstop
Penelope Pitstop

Yet, I believe these five terrific women below are the exceptions. As their strong and likable personalities would have hero not mind saving them again and again.

5. Penny from Inspector Gadget

The intelligent and tech aficionado niece of cyborg Inspector Gadget. Penny's role on the series was to assist Gadget in his missions by using her computer book and video watch. She cared about her uncle deeply and was humble enough to let him take the credit for cracking cases when it was actually her own doing. Yet, she'd sometimes end up captured and where it'd be up to Gadget or her dog Brain to come to her aid.

4. Marion from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

My favorite of Indy's love interests. Marion's life did come into jeopardy more times than she'd probably care to admit. But, what separates her from damsels like Willy (ugh..) from Temple of Doom is that she didn't whine or hesitate to fight, ran her own business, was actually useful as she helped Jones uncover the lost ark and was generally an appealing person. Hell, she'd wager on customers to out drink her and she'd always come out on top. Now, that's a fun individual.

Indyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! BLEH!!!!!!!!!!
Indyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! BLEH!!!!!!!!!!

And most importantly, she wasn't fucking irritating.

3. Gwen Stacy from Amazing Spiderman and Amazing Spiderman 2

Peter's first girlfriend in the comics and this movie series. Gwen was a gifted student, aspiring scientist and overall charming person. She was kind, but had her limits. Her sense of humor was down to earth and the chemistry she and Peter shared was one the best portrayed on film. As with any damsel she was occasionally bailed out, but she rescued Peter's rear end too. And with her determination and keen knowledge she was able to help Peter save the city twice.

It's just a shame she only appeared in two movies.

2. Princess Leia Organa from the Star Wars Franchise

Aw, Princess Leia...She had quite the character growth from episodes four to six. Yet, even in New Hope she wasn't any ol' Daphne Blake. Leia was a spy working for the rebels before being kidnapped by Darth Vader. And even after being tortured and witnessing the destruction of her planet Alderaan she didn't give up. We then see she's a skilled shooter and as the series progressed her involvement and character became more robust. She's the only one on this list who directly killed someone.

Yet, despite continuing to be saved (although with each film this decreased), Leia has proven to be a valuable member of the Rebel Alliance. And no one would dare wish this spitz fire never came on the scene.

1. April O'Neil from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Franchise

Whether it's her 1987 rendition or her latest characterization in the Nickelodeon series, April O'Neil is one of the most enjoyable individuals on TMNT. In her most prominent incarnation, April's a reporter who's determined and would go to any means to cover a story. Which is why she gets in trouble. However, the turtles have always been there for her and even after thirty years they don't seem to mind to keep saving her. Maybe, it's because of her independent spirit or wearing tight yellow jump suits.

It's also critical to mention her portrayal in the latest spin off. Here, she's a kunoichi in training and possesses incredible telepathic and telekenetic abilities. The turtles still rescue her, but like Gwen she's done the same for them. However, she could stop being a tease to Donatello. I mean, what the hell?! This happens to be my favorite version of the character. As she's slightly a tomboy, who enjoys hanging out with the guys, and again, like Gwen has great comedic timing.


Who's Your Favorite Damsel in Distress?


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