Nerd Girls Save The World: 17 Of Pop Culture’s Greatest Female Geeks

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April O’Neil in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon (Image via CBS)

1. April O’Neil (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

April O’Neil has made multiple appearances in different versions of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, in all of them, she’s always been a smart, strong woman determined to get to the bottom of any mystery in her way.

In her first appearance in the 1984 Mirage comic, April is a computer programmer. She helps evil scientist Baxter Stockman program robots but quits soon after she learns that he is using the robots for nefarious purposes. The comics series starts to get pretty weird after that, including a run-in with nanobots and the revelation that April is a living drawing.

Later, in the first animated series that aired in 1987, she’s an intrepid journalist with a strong will. She’s consistently brave and capable, proving to be a valuable friend to the Turtles. This is thanks in part to her journalistic connections at the news station. Also, her fast thinking and research skills often give everyone the edge they need to defeat that week’s villain. Other iterations of the April character cast her as a science student, a warrior, an archaeologist, or the young, brilliant daughter of her scientist father.

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Despite her varied career (not to mention the many different faces, voices, and ages of the April O’Neil character), she’s nearly always been a strong, smart role model. After all, you’ve got to be pretty with it to both accept and work with a group of teenage mutant ninja turtles and their literal sewer rat of a sensei.