In honor of the release of the “Veronica Mars” movie today, we’re taking a look at some of pop culture’s best detectives who happen to be teenage girls! These young women solve crimes the police can’t (or won’t) and make us all want to catch the bad guys. So grab your magnifying glass, a long-lens camera and let’s go!
1. Veronica Mars, “Veronica Mars”
Daughter of a former sheriff, teen detective Veronica may look like the innocent flower, but that’s only because she needs no backup (though she will often bring her dog, Backup, with her). Armed with her taser, a camera and some serious wit, Veronica solves crimes for her classmates in her spare time and makes being a private investigator look like a walk in the park. Sure, she may jump the gun occasionally, but her missteps and stumbles along the way make it all the more satisfying when she finally does catch the bad guy.
2. Velma & Daphne, “Scooby-Doo”
Jinkies! Straight out of the Mystery Machine, these groovy chicks make it their business to head into haunted houses and unmask monsters. While Daphne is a bit accident-prone, her falling through trapped doors or stepping right into booby-traps has never slowed her down. And despite Velma’s habit of losing her glasses, she makes up for it by being the brains of the operation and almost always solving the mystery.
3. Spencer, Aria, Hanna & Emily, “Pretty Little Liars”
Possibly the four most fashionable high school students on television, these ladies take extracurricular activities to a whole new level. When Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily aren’t studying for English exams or trying to figure out the identity of their cyber stalker “A,” they’re looking for clues about the summer Alison DiLaurentis went missing. They’ve all had their share of close calls, but it doesn’t stop the girls from pulling at the thread of a surprisingly stylish cashmere sweater, in an attempt to unravel the mystery.
4. Nancy Drew
The original “Girl Detective,” Nancy Drew has been closing cases since the 1930s and she doesn’t look a day over 20! Sometimes Nancy finds her mysteries and sometimes her mysteries find her! Whether she’s driving her blue convertible or cruising around in an environmentally-friendly hybrid, Nancy’s determination to follow a lead to the ends of the Earth is what made her character so groundbreaking. From inspiring Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton, Nancy Drew proves that even a teen detective can inspire a generation.
5. Harriet M. Welsch, “Harriet The Spy”
Truthfully, Harriet M. Welsch (the M doesn’t stand for anything) isn't a teen just yet, but she is quite the temperamental 11-year-old. She thinks mean thoughts, refuses to eat anything but tomato sandwiches for lunch and spies on everyone around her. In the book, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Harriet observes the people on her “spy route” and writes down all of her thoughts in her notebook, but she’s not playing around! Harriet wants to be a writer one day, and while her methods may be unorthodox, her sneaky ways could definitely solve a murder if she needed to.