Badass Damsel


(permanent link) added: 2010-11-11 19:03:03 sponsor: NewKidOnTheBlock (last reply: 2010-11-14 11:48:01)

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-- Colette Brunel, Tales of Symphonia

You know the Damsel in Distress. She's sweet, innocent, demure, beautiful, submissive, virginal, and serves as The Hero's Designated Love Interest, destined to get her stupid ass kidnapped to invoke OMG-DRAMA!1111 and do nothing else but to stand around mindlessly waiting for the big, strong macho-man to pull a Big Damn Heroes and rescue her from this vile realm of torment...

BLEAH.

This trope subverts the Distressed Damsel routine so hard it's not even funny. A female character who seems like a damsel in distress, but is still cool enough that the audience roots for her anyway. Maybe she gets kidnapped a couple of times, but makes up for it by pulling an epic Crowning Moment Of Awesome. Maybe she has the appearance and personality of a Yamato Nadeshiko, yet also has a BFG on her and mows down 85% of the enemies on the battlefield. Perhaps she's just a Plucky Girl of epic proportions. Either way, you just can't help but love this girl. She may get kidnapped by the Big Bad a lot, but dammit all, she's got BALLS.

Can overlap with Rescued from the Scrappy Heap, if the girl in question was disliked by the fandom before her CMOA. Can also be a cross between Action Girl and Yamato Nadeshiko. Almost Always Female, and pretty much always a Plucky Girl.

Compare (as said above) Plucky Girl, Badass Princess, Lady of War, Xenafication. HUGE contrast with Damsel Scrappy, Chickification, Real Women Never Wear Dresses, and Too Dumb to Live.

Examples:

Video Games

Anime and Manga
  • Rukia Kuchiki from Bleach, even when she was in captivity, would smack talk back with Ichigo, resulting in a hilarious Lampshade Hanging of the trope.
    Ichigo: The one being rescued doesn't get to complain! You just act the part and stand around trembling and say "Oh, save me!"
  • Kagome from InuYasha would find herself in captivity rather often in the earlier arcs. Nonetheless, she still managed to help Inuyasha out a lot and even talked back at her captors frequently. Then she Took a Level in Badass.

Film
  • Danielle of Ever After averts the "alas, I am but a pitiful female" personality pretty well throughout the movie, but Took a Level in Badass near the end when Monsieur Le Pieu has essentially kidnapped her, and is getting rather creepy. She threatens him with a sword, and has quite successfully rescued herself by the time Henry arrives.
  • Princess Fiona from the Shrek movies, particularly when she pulls out some massive She-Fu on Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
  • Modern versions of Cinderella often turn the heroine into this, subverting her original Princess Classic / Purity Sue characterization. In addition to the Ever After example above, there's also:
    • Ella, from Ella Enchanted. Despite her gift of obedience, she manages to escape her Finishing School Of Horrors and then again from ogres who plan to eat her. Finally, she has to break her curse on the sheer strength of her love for Char, so she doesn't destroy his life by marrying him.
    • Ella Brown from Just Ella, who realizes being engaged to Prince Charming isn't all it's cracked up to be, and ends up breaking herself out of a dungeon.

Live Action TV
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