5 Times Olivia Benson From 'Law & Order: SVU' Was A Total Badass

Television detectives may come and go, but considering its fifteen going on sixteen season run we can go ahead and admit our totally serious relationship with everyone's favorite Law & Order spin-off, Special Victims Unit. Seriously, can we take a minute to appreciate the show's longevity? Sixteen seasons means there are teenagers alive today that have never lived in a world where the SVU detectives didn't exist (lucky them.) The real draw is of course detective-turned Sergeant Olivia Benson.  

Kicking ass and taking names since 1999, the star of the Dick Wolf series has easily eclipsed the show that inspired it, making it a no-brainer that the character would ascend to Sergeant and take lead of the precinct upon Captain Cragen's departure. While she's gone through a revolving door of partners over the years (pour one out for Eliot Stabler), her personal awesomeness has never faltered, clearly making her the glue holding the show together. 

And you're not alone in your love of Wolf crime procedurals; even powerful ladies like Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor love the Law & Order franchise. There's probably some correlation with badass ladies wanting to see badass stories of justice play out on screen. 

But with SVU specifically, Benson is intoxicating to the point of having Taylor Swift's cat named after her, so it's high time we all took a minute to appreciate all of the times Benson really brought it in the badassery department. Here are the top moments to look out for the next time you're binge watching a stockpile of SVU eps on a lazy weeknight. 

Image: Michael Parmelee/NBC

Outliving A Sadist

While William Lewis, played by Pablo Schreiber of Orange Is The New Black Porstache fame, was an obsessive sadist hellbent on torturing Benson physically and psychologically, he still wasn’t able to destroy the detective’s life. What’s that? You think a couple of days of forced drugging and torture are going to destroy Olivia Benson? Better luck, next time pal. 

Image: Michael Parmelee/NBC

Saving A Little Girl With Just Her Voice

In the episode “911” Benson is dragged from a very fancy looking date to attend to a 911 call of dubious veracity. Through her patience and deduction skills, Benson is able to decipher the call is indeed real, and Maria, the girl on the other line, is trapped in a room. After their phone call is discovered by Maria’s captor, Benson is on a race against time to find the man with silver glasses before the girl suffocates to death. Fast thinking and excellent observational and detective skills make for an unbeatable serving of justice whoopass. 

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Being Able To Save Her Partner's Life In A Flash

Remember the episode “Wildlife” where Stabler goes undercover in a black market exotic animal ring? Benson almost gets caught visiting him, but she comes out of the bathroom pretending to be a prostitute and saves both of their lives. Oh I’m sorry, was that too much quick thinking for you bad guys? Yeah, that’s badass territory. 

Image: NBC (screengrab)

Every Time She Wasn't Afraid To Love

Love is part of her badassery, too. From her relationship with Detective Brian Cassidy onward (both her first romantic entanglement on the show and the current one), Benson has never been afraid to be vulnerable around people. Unlike former partner Stabler, her vulnerability and openness is what makes her an asset to the force, even when her love life doesn’t go as planned, 

Image: Michael Parmelee/NBC

Being Always Dressed for Business Time

And no, I don’t mean that in the way Flight of the Concords meant “business time.” Never doubt the power of a woman in a pantsuit. Unlike some of her fellow characters in the television sisterhood, a totally unrealistic couture wardrobe is not part of the deal. How could she kick ass in heels or chase after a perp while wearing a dress with zero mobility? Benson came here to do two things: work hard to put away bad guys and have the range of motion to actually do it. Plus, don’t we all secretly want to harness the power of the lady pantsuit?  

Image: Michael Parmelee/NBC