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The Empire finale is in the books with an ending that’ll make your toes curl, but before we dip off into an Empire-less offseason, we’ve got to take an updated look at Cookie’s boss moments. She’s the queen of the one-liner, sass, and smarts. She’s put the show on her back, so it’s no wonder she’s one of the most beloved TV characters of our generation.

Here, we give you 10 of Cookie’s most badass moments from the show thus far.


When Cookie Gave Hakeem The Broom


You better put some Respek on her name! After Cookie finally gets out of the bing, she finds her baby boy giving her the cold shoulder. Even after what she’d done for him. Served time for him. Made his life the magic castle that it is, for him. He dared to utter the word “bitch” to his own mother. And she made him pay for it. Beat him seven ways to Sunday. Left him swollen eyed with his pride in his hands. Then, after meeting Lucious at their new club, the man says the words we’d all wanted to hear: “I see you’ve met your mother.”


Nobody Prays Like Cookie


God, please do not withhold your blessings. Even from hoes that hire skanks to spy on me. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen. Hallelujah.” Over a hushed table filled with feast Cookie sends a message to the finger waved siren occupying her former husband’s bed. Because she is never one to miss an opportunity to throw shade, she’ll even do so in prayer.


Even Camilla Can Get It


Now Camilla, played by the ever stunning Naomi Campbell, is a powerhouse in her own right. In what could only be called Shakespearean, she manages to plot a coup, wresting control of Empire away from the family briefly and installing the bobble headed Hakeem as CEO. But even she could not escape Cookie’s wrath.  When they first met, Hakeem was wearing her on his arm like a panther clad in white. If the old jokes didn’t make you wrinkle your face up, the line about her being a good b-tch in prison would leave you slack-jawed. You learned two things that day: 1. Never miss with Cookie or her kin. 2. Everything is about sex except sex, which is about power.


Dat Ass


Now, we’ve all seen Taraji show out in the gut-wrenching Baby Boy, a role for which she get’s far too little credit. But no one, and I mean no one expected to see Taraji-as-Cookie looking that right on a show that wasn’t on HBO. Lingerie fitting closer than secrets, she storms out of what she thought would be an intimate encounter with Lucious, but ended up as the man trying to calm his house. A friendly get together he called it. Well, nothing would have been friendlier than what Cookie had planned. And just to put the exclamation on it, she flashed a booty black Jesus himself would have done a double take for as she stormed out.  


Cookie Versus Anika


Better than the flaming trash-cat that was “Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” Cookie and Anika’s scuffle had real chutzpah. The plot was already set. Hakeem and Andre were going to make a play for the company, and so they needed the two ladies of Lucious to play nice. Cookie had other plans, tossing a drink in Anika’s face before comboing with a right cross. Pretty doesn’t mean weak, though, and Anika fought back, landing some body blows before the two were broken up by the boys. But it wasn’t over. Pearls were snatched, and just as suddenly Anika ended up back to pool table as Cookie choked the life out of her.


Pimping Out Anika


Mimi, played by Marisa Tomei, is set to buy into Empire, but first she needs the wheels greased a little bit. Everyone knows she’s into women, and Anika (or Anita, since she botches her name here) is her type. Reluctant at first, the lovely Anika acts like she’s got some urgency in the situation. Even says no. But that’s not okay with Cookie, who ushers Anita-for-the-night onto the dance floor with a wave of the hand. Now that they’re colluding, Cookie has her under her thumb, and she forces her to take off her sweater and strut a little bit to keep their mutual guest happy.


Anika Can’t What?


You can’t even dyke right.” What else is there to say? Pimping out Anika for dances wasn’t enough, Cookie went so far as to tell Anika to sleep with Mimi. Of course, things didn’t go as planned. They never do. And Cookie summed it up in five words.


“You’re Messin’ With The Wrong Bitch”


Cookie interrupts Lucious’ meeting and then threatens him with snitching to the SEC to kill Empire’s IPO. She put $400,000 in drug money into Empire and she wants her half of the company. Now, out of prison, she’s the first character we see who can stand up to Lucious and anyone else that gets in her way. An iconic moment you should scroll to the twenty second mark to capture.


Cookie’s Sister Shade


In “Sinned Against,” Cookie runs into Pepper, an old homie she shared the bing with walking through Philly looking for her sister. But she doesn’t waste a moment to shade her bourgeois sister by throwing a little shade. Reminiscing, Cookie calls those women she left behind her girls, her true sisters, all the while shading Vivica A. Fox’s character Candace to high heaven.





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Empire Unchained: Cookie’s 10 Most Badass Moments  was originally published on