The archetype of the “final girl,” or “survivor girl,” has been much celebrated, subject to academic studies and revisionist takes and generally held up as the lone redeeming feminist quality of the otherwise-despicable slasher genre. But what about the other, not-so-final girls? The best friends, the queen bees, the mean camp counselors, and the sexually adventurous classmates who didn’t have the wit and determination to make it to the final reel? Don’t they deserve a little recognition? After all, without a gaggle of gal pals to get murdered, she wouldn’t be the “final” girl, would she?
In honor of these bridesmaids of the horror world (always the victim, never the victor, right ladies?), The A.V. Club has assembled 17 notable examples of not-quite-final girls (and one overtly sexualized guy) who served honorably as cannon fodder in slasher films throughout the decades. There have been others—the notoriously prolific Jason Voorhees personally dispatched dozens—but these are the ones who stood out.