Whether it be lack of compelling storylines, or getting overlooked for their talents, some characters never get the recognition they're earned.
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Whatever the reasoning behind it, here are a list of 19 under appreciated leading ladies.
Which one is your favorite?
Josie McCoy - Riverdale
Many seem to forget that she is even a leading lady because the show treats her as a recurring character. She has far less screentime than the core four and Cheryl, has almost no storylines of her own and no real purpose to the show other than the occasional musical act.
Clary Fray - Shadowhunters
Clary’s run on the show started rocky as her character came off as whiny and the damsel in distress, but as she came into her own as a Shadowhunter and developed her relationship with Jace, her personality shone through. The reputation she had in the first few episodes left a sour taste for some and fans seemed to gravitate more toward Isabelle.
Clarke Griffin - The 100
Clarke is always going above and beyond to save everyone else, yet the other characters see her as selfish and heartless. No matter what she does, she is seen as the bad guy. She may not be underappreciated by the fans, but by the other characters take her for granted for sure.
Hayley Marshall - The Originals
From her introduction on The Vampire Diaries, fans of the franchise did not like her character for seemingly getting in the way of the potential Klaus and Caroline romance. This was before her character even had the chance to get rolling. It became clear early on that the showrunners were putting her with Elijah instead of Klaus, but that didn’t stop fans from turning to Rebekah and Davina when it came to the powerful lead character on the show.
Emma Duval - Scream
While Emma was the initial 'final girl,' Brooke was the eye candy, and Audrey was the snarky comic relief. Those two seemed to take most of the focus away from Emma, who seemed to get less attention from viewers.
Emily Fields - Pretty Little Liars
Out of the four main liars, she was the quietest and most reserved, leading her to be overshadowed by the rest of the girls who seemed to have more screentime and development. They even had more success in the relationship department, having consistent love interests from the first season while Emily had many different relationships throughout the series.
Laurel Lance - Arrow
With so many fans of the Oliver/Felicity romance, people saw Laurel as an obstacle and thought she might inevitably split up the popular pair. Although Laurel is the infamous Black Canary from the comics, the writers still killed her off in the fourth season. With so much backlash, they found a way to bring the actress back as the doppelgänger of Laurel.
Bonnie Bennett - The Vampire Diaries
Throughout eight seasons, it seemed that they only kept her around to keep everyone else alive. She was always so worried about how she was going to save everyone that she could never make herself happy. The one time she was happy, they killed her love interest!
Amelia Shepherd - Grey's Anatomy
It would be hard for anyone to fill McDreamy’s shoes, but Amelia’s had a hard go of it. It’s hard that her storylines revolve mostly around her relationship with Owen, but she can’t seem to catch a break and people seem to overlook her in comparison to the other leading ladies.
Bonnie Carlson - Big Little Lies
Killing Perry really did a number on Bonnie, and it caused her to distance herself from the rest of the Monterey Five in season two. While fans could relate to her depression and her struggle, she is the most underrated of the five main ladies.
Elena Gilbert - The Vampire Diaries
Because her main storyline on the show revolved around the love triangle, fans considered her boring. Caroline was the bubbly upbeat one, and Bonnie was the badass witch that was always saving everyone’s ass. Elena was always the one just caught in the middle of the two brothers, and they never seemed to try to give her much more than that.
Liz Ortecho - Roswell: New Mexico
Liz is the kind-hearted daughter of an illegal immigrant who countlessly helps aliens solve mysteries and keeps their identities a secret. Even though two of the alien trio often treats her poorly and had roles in covering up her sister's murder, she remained loyal. The fandom also tends to obsess over the Malex ship, despite her being the lead.
Liv Moore - iZombie
While being a zombie, Liv never lost her human side; always maintaining a moral compass and never choosing a side in the human vs. zombie war. She got to take on different personalities from the brains she ate to solve crimes which exceeded her range as a character. The show in itself is also widely underappreciated.
Julie Taylor - Friday Night Lights
A lot of people saw Julie as the bratty daughter to Eric and Tami and didn’t take her very seriously. It didn’t help that for the first two seasons, she didn’t treat golden boy Matt very well during their relationship. It took some time, but when her character grew up, the fans came around.
Riley Matthews - Girl Meets World
Being the more reserved of the two main leads on the show, Riley was overlooked continuously by Maya who seemed to have captivated the audience more with her quirky wit and sarcastic comments despite being the title character.
Jasmine Flores - On My Block
Jasmine was always used as the butt of the joke, but that all changed in Season 2. She really showed that she is the heart of the group. She helped Ruby overcome his fear after being shot and showed a softer side than what we saw in season one.
Mercedes Jones - Glee
Mercedes is so underrated that her character even talked about it on the show! Mercedes even had a whole storyline where she quit the glee club because she felt she wasn’t given enough spotlight.
Teresa Mendoza - Queen of the South
No one expected Teresa to be anything more than just the girlfriend. She was poor and was forced to become a drug mule. She developed this incredible power, but even with that power, she was still quiet and didn't have a flare for the dramatics, which makes her easy to overlook.
Charley Bordelon - Queen Sugar
It's easy for Charley to be compared to her sister Nova. Nova is the activist while most of Charley's work has been behind the scenes. Being the illegitimate daughter, Charley is often dismissed and looked down upon, but she overcame her husband's affairs, saving the family farm and starting her own sugar mill.