Thanks to the tireless efforts of The Spice Girls, the 90s were all about girl power. That’s why the decade served up a healthy dose of crimped-haired role models, most of whom were portrayed by Melissa Joan Hart, to provide us with hours upon hours of unrealistic expectations of what middle schoolers look like. Whether they were on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, or a part of ABC’s TGIF lineup (aka the best night of television that has ever existed), these 90s female protagonists helped us to answer some of life’s most difficult questions like, “When should I get a bra,” and “Is butter a carb” in a time when Googling shit on your phone was not an option and logging onto the internet took like 45 minutes. These chicks range from narc-y AF to full-on badass betches that have absolutely 0 fucks to give, especially with regard to the rules set by their parents. So you’re probably wondering who is the most, and least, betchy of them all? Well, I’m about to fucking tell you. Chill.
10. Ren Stevens (Even Stevens)
Ren Stevens is a fucking narc. In all 65 episodes (ya I Googled it) and one Disney Channel Original Movie, we never figured out WTF Ren’s problem was. She was supposed to be the older, smarter, more responsible and generally just put-together sibling—so why was her #1 hobby ratting on Louis? I would say get a hobby, but Ren is the editor of the school newspaper and the yearbook, did cheerleading for a hot second, and is the assistant to the principal, so where does she find the time to be a snitch on top of all that? That’s not a rhetorical question, btw. Pls lmk. And let’s discuss “Ren.” What kind of wack-ass nickname is “Ren”? Your parents gave you a p betchy name, Renee, and you abbreviate it to a monosyllabic name for a small bird? WHY?
9. Alex Mac (The Secret World Of Alex Mac)
Alex Mac is a total WGG. First, her name is Alex Mac—you know anybody with a name like that “prefers hanging out with guys” because “girls are too much drama.” Her signature look is a backwards baseball cap and some overalls, FFS. Are you a high school girl or my plumber? I can’t tell. And her main super power was the ability to transform into a puddle of silver liquid. What the shit is that? Why don’t people on this show notice when a puddle of silver liquid THAT MOVES suddenly appears on the floor? This is the worst invisibility knock-off I’ve ever seen. Eighth place for you.
8. Ginger Foutley (As Told By Ginger)
Ginger, Ginger, Ginger, where do I even start with you? Your name is Ginger and you’re a Ginger, which is real inventive baby naming on the part of your parents. Okay, back to third person because this apostrophe is getting confusing. Ginger has some pretty lame-ass friends. She’s got Dodie who, if you couldn’t tell by her name, is the mom of the friend group in heinous purple lipstick. And not even the mom in the good way like she’ll take care of you when you’re drunk—the overprotective mom who won’t even let you have a sip of her wine at your 18th birthday party. And then you’ve got Macie, the fucking Little Seal Girl with the perpetual sinus infection who sounds like she was fathered by Darth Vader. Ginger would be on her way to popularity with Courtney and Miranda if she would just drop her loser friends.
“But shouldn’t she get points for loyalty?” you ask. Not when one of your friends is basically the kid version of Susan, the overweight office gossip, and the other is that kid from Hey Arnold! who just breathes loudly all the time. Now that I’ve spent half my life bitching about minor characters, let’s talk about Ginger. She journals, which is probably an activity in the nicegirl Olympics. However, she is a pretty good writer so at least she makes use of it. She’s so good, in fact, that when she writes an emo poem she’s able to convince half she school she’s legit suicidal, which earns her a ton of attention. Nicely played. Ginger definitely has betch potential. Right now she’s in betch-in-training mode, and if she ever drops the nice girl routine she’ll be the baddest betch in high school. Also I just wanted to make a shoutout to Daryl, who had the best glow-up of all time. That is all.
7. Lizzie McGuire (Lizzie McGuire)
Lizzie McGuire has all the makings of a betch-in-training, and I wish I had my own personalized cartoon following me around to say what I was really thinking. Hold up, is that like, a bitmoji? Did Lizzie McGuire invent bitmojis? She certainly invented trying to fit over a thousand butterfly clips into your hair at once. Or at least, she perfected it. Lizzie spends most of her time during the show bitching about Kate Sanders, who used to be her best friend but now is too popular for her and also has a comparable collection of butterfly clips, which is probably the real reason Lizzie is so pissed. What Lizzie really needed to do to become a full time betch would be to push Kate in front of a bus and take the Spring Fling crown for herself, but Lizzie is too much of a nicegirl to do that. And that’s why you ended up with Gordo, whose name means “fat” in Spanish, and not Ethan Craft, whose hotness honestly defied all laws of physics.
6. Brace Face (Braceface)
Brace Face’s real name was Sharon Spitz—could she possibly have been more of a JAB? Answer: Yes, if her character was voiced by Alicia Silverstone aka Cher Horowitz. Which it was. For the first two seasons. Anyway. Like any JAB, Sharon’s BFF is the TAB aka Token Asian Betch, but her reputation takes a major hit for hanging out with a dude named Connor who’s literally known as “the walking sneeze.” Sharon’s had some betchy moments, like when she harassed her mom into letting her get a tattoo of “Freedom” in Chinese—which later turned out to actually translate to “grapefruit.” Classic. However, basically every time Sharon opened her mouth something embarrassing would happen with her braces—like her braces tuning into some nearby radio waves. For most betches with an ounce of awareness, this would be a fucking jackpot. You’d recruit some nerdy nicegirl to help tune your braces so you could add your name to the Oscars invite list, or like, at least unsend that embarrassing drunk text you sent. Sharon, however, did none of those things and instead adopted the “Why is everything happening to me?” attitude. She had real potential considering the hand that was dealt to her, so she’s not last, but a true betch would manipulate the fuck out of this situation to her advantage.
5. Daria (Daria)
Sure, Daria is cool and hilarious now, but that’s only because it’s trendy to stay in and be clinically depressed. A little history on Daria: She began as a character on Beavis and Butthead before getting her own show. Like, congrats on making it out of the trailer park. Her RBF is top-notch, and her resting betch voice is unparallelled. Daria takes shots indiscriminately at everyone, with no regard to human life. I really aspire to be that savage at all times, even/especially to my therapist. “I don’t have low self-esteem. I have no esteem for anyone else”—I’m putting that in needlepoint and hanging it on my wall.
4. Patty Mayonnaise (Doug)
Patty Mayonnaise was a bad betch, and she knew it. Why else would she have all these “guy friends” following her around all the time and taking her to The Honker Burger? Doug, Roger…come the fuck on. She could play dumb all she wanted, but anyone with half a brain could see Doug was obviously writing love letters to her in his journal. She was basically Rachel Greene-ing Doug for the entire series, which we can respect since Doug is such a nice guy/potential neckbeard (another one with a penchant for journaling), and Patty’s like what, nine? She’s got plenty of time to sow her wild oats. I’d also like to recognize her vaguely Southern accent, which made no sense considering she’s supposedly a “Bloomington” native and no one else spoke with a drawl like that. Perhaps that was part of her allure? IDK. One of the greater mysteries of our time. Also, there was an episode once when Patty went on a pretty insane crash diet where all she consumed was an edible sandwich-flavored spray. That sandwich spray inspired many a betch’s master cleanse. Now who’s got that patent on sandwich spray, and when is that coming on the market? I really need to lose three pounds.
3. Topanga Lawrence (Boy Meets World)
Topanga Lawrence starts out BMW as the weird AF hippie girl in Cory and Shawn’s class, but graduates quickly into the hottest/only girl in Cory and Shawn’s class. Topanga can be a bit of a TTH, and has a very Hermione-esque streak of caring about rules, homework assignments, general knowledge, and other bullshit, though she does eventually chill out. Topanga gives Cory his first kiss early in middle school, and uses that to lock his ass down for the rest of his goddamn life. Cory dates maybe like…one other girl? Kind of? Topanga also turns down her acceptance to Yale in favor of fucking around at the fake party school invented by the show, proving that she did eventually grow out of some of her TTH tendencies. She does all of this without ever sleeping with Cory, and instead is able to somehow lock down his lifelong devotion despite stopping all makeout sessions at second base, and waiting until college to show him her butt, which she only does once and for 30 seconds. Must have been a pretty amazing butt.
2. Sabrina (Sabrina The Teenage Witch)
I think it’s safe to say that every middle school girl’s fantasy wold be to wake up on your 16th birthday and find out that you have magical powers and you can totally use them to become the most popular girl at your high school. Sabrina Spellman did all this and more, using her incredible powers to change outfits at will, turn the most popular girl in school into a pineapple so that she can assume her powers, and generally do everything she could to get Harvey to like her. In everyting Sabrina does, she succeeds. The only issue here is, if you’re a witch, why tf are you bothering with school anyway? Why not tell Hilda and Zelda to fuck off, hop on a broom, and hit the skies? Also, if you’re gonna go to school, shouldn’t you be at Hogwarts or some shit? You’re seriously gonna tell me that a teenage witch who is going to live for 100+ more years needs to waste her time learning calculus? SMH.
1. Clarissa (Clarissa Explains It All)
Oh hell ya Melissa Joan Hart, I see you. Clarissa was a badder betch than me; I ain’t afraid to admit it. When you’ve got a fuckin cool-ass name like Clarissa Darling, how can you not be a bad bitch? This betch had her own show that was solely dedicated to talking about herself, to the audience, because she DGAF about breaking walls—unlike me, according to my therapist. Anyway, Clarissa has mastered the art of sarcasm at the tender age of 14, and her main hobby includes sneaking guys into and out of her room without her parents having any fucking clue. She is also extremely gifted at coming up with codenames for her brother Ferguson, which include things like “Ferg-face,” “Fergwad,” or the ever-imaginative “Ferg-breath.” Sick burn, Clariss! The only not-perfect thing about Clarissa was the fact that she had a pet alligator for a hot second. Like, who the fuck does that? It’s a real fine line between owning an alligator and becoming a reptile freak. But other than that, Clarissa was definitely the betchiest of them all. I mean, check out that eye roll.