Created By: lu127 on February 15, 2012 Last Edited By: lu127 on March 5, 2012
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Effortless Amazonian Lift

A woman lifting and carrying a man or woman as a sign of her physical strength.

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TRS thread.

No Launching Please

You have your regular Action Girl. She has the looks, and the attitude. But you want to indicate her strength, without having her beat the crap out of someone. That's where Effortless Amazonian Lift comes in.

A Distaff Counterpart to Bridal Carry, this refers to women visually displaying the strength to lift and carry someone similar-sized or heavier than them in their arms. This trope is used in an attempt to subvert gender expectations, and show that the woman in question has unusual physical strength. When involving a couple, it can also be used to show who wears the pants in the relationship. Usually displayed by a Cute Bruiser or a Big Gal. When done by someone with no such characteristics, it is even more notable.

Note that this does not refer to a woman simply carrying something. The action must always emphasize her prodigious strength.

Obviously a form of Double Standard. A man carrying someone is considered omnipresent, since men excel in the physical department. Related to Muscles Are Meaningless.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • In Bleach, after Kenpachi's duel with Ichigo, Yachiru carries the former on her shoulder to get medical attention. A particularly impressive use of the trope because Kenpachi is very tall and muscular, while Yachiru looks like an eight-year-old but manages to effortlessly carry him to the top of a building. One of the author's many hints that she's dangerous than she looks.
  • Kei from Dirty Pair easily lifts a grown man and swings him over her shoulder to rescue him from heavy enemy fire. It's meant to emphasize her position as the "muscle" and tomboy of the Tomboy and Girly Girl duo she forms with Yuri.
  • Earth Maiden Arjuna: Juna carries Tokio in her arms to protect him from a monster in the second episode. She doesn't even seem to be aware of any strain, despite being in her human form.
  • In Girls Bravo, Kosame attempts to kidnap Yukinari for Lisa. So she knocks him out, pulls him over her shoulder and starts kicking Kirie while holding him. Her strength is attributed to her status as a professional hitwoman.
  • In the tenth episode of Love Hina, Amalla Su, Kaolla Su's elder sister tries to force Keitaro to marry her and runs away carrying him tied up. Keitaro wasn't exactly willing to marry her.
  • In Lovely Complex, Koizumi carries Otani in her arms after he failed to escape her. She manages to carry him quickly into a changing room while he struggles to get down. It's obvious who wears the pants in this ralationship.
  • Ranma ˝ plays with this. While Ranma won't allow Akane to carry him as a guy, he lets her carry him piggyback when in girl form, emphasizing how Ranma thinks of himself according to his gender.
    • In a straighter example,Shampoo demonstrates the strength to catch Mousse in her arms after she saves him from a villain, continuing the trend of her being the dominant one in their "relationship".
  • Makoto Kino of Sailor Moon is the group's Big Guy and physically the strongest of the Inner Senshi. In her debut, she lifts a guy over her head, with no signs of physical strain. She also does this during an ice-skating scene, and in a dancing scene, demonstrates the strength to lift Ami by the waist. And she does that without transforming into Sailor Jupiter.
  • Karura of Utawarerumono demonstrates her ridiculous Super Strength by kidnapping carrying Hakuoro Bound and Gagged with only one hand. She keeps him there while waiting for the other girls to prepare for the journey. And she doesn't even bat an eyelid.
  • Kagari from Witch Craft Works bridal carries the male protagonist all the time. Although this may have more to do with magic rather than strength, it signifies her power and Violently Protective Girlfriend status.
  • Natsumi of You're Under Arrest! has no problem beating up thugs and carrying them over her shoulder. The epitome of a Cute Bruiser police officer.

Literature

  • In the Mercy Thompson series, a female firefighter who's a werewolf was pleased when werewolves abandoned their masquerade, because it allowed her to play this trope straight when saving people, rather than feign being no stronger than a non-werewolf woman.

Comic Books

  • In The DCU, being the Big Gal, Big Barda is often portrayed carrying around other heroes, including her husband, Mr. Miracle.

Film

  • Adam's Rib. As part of her defense strategy to show that women are like men so they should be treated the same, Amanda calls a circus strongwoman to the stand. The strongwoman demonstrates that women can be as strong as men by picking up Adam, who is both Amanda's husband and the district attorney trying the case.
  • Played with in Ever After. When Danielle and Henry are attacked by gypsies, Danielle is told she can take "anything she can carry" and get away. She proceeds to pick up Henry and walk away carrying him on her shoulders. In this case, the action is meant to emphasize her audacity and determination, rather than strength. Charmed by it, the gypsies invite them to stay for a meal.

Live-Action TV

  • Beast Master shows a female love interest carrying a wounded prince. When the hero doubts her strength and asks whether she's strong enough to carry him, she replies, "I'm strong enough to carry you."
  • Atalanta from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys is able to lift Hercules himself in a bout of playfulness.
  • Small Wonder: Vicki looks like a ten-year old but has no problem picking up her father Ted. Justified because of her Robot Girl status.

Myth And Legend

  • There is a German legend called "Castle of the Faithful Wives" where the women of a castle begged a king who had laid siege to them to be allowed to leave with their children and whatever valuables they could carry on their backs. The king agreed and was astonished to see the women leaving with their men on their backs.

Video Games

Web Comics

  • Samus carrying Kevin in one of the Captain N comics. It's a rather clear image of her being in charge. Kevin's protests only add to that demonstration.
  • El Goonish Shive: During the year-long party arc, Tedd says, "We need manly power to move this couch! Hey, Nanase!" (Nanase is tall but not particularly muscular, yet still quite strong, apparently, as she shoves the couch over unassisted).
Community Feedback Replies: 62
  • February 15, 2012
    shimaspawn
    The name sounds like it's about picking up a woman, not a woman picking up someone else.
  • February 15, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Also, Hot Amazon does not mean what you were using it for here. It's strictly "Action Girl who is considered hot because of her Action Girlhood".
  • February 15, 2012
    lu127
    Sorry, will change it to Action Girl. Would that work?

    I'm also out of ideas for a title at the moment. Suggestions are appreciated.
  • February 15, 2012
    TBeholder
    Isn't it a Dead Unicorn Trope?
  • February 15, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^^ Well, it's a trope about a woman showing off her physical strength by lifting a person of similar or greater body weight with little to no effort. So... Amazonian Power Equals Effortless Lift? Nah, too long. Hmmm... Amazonian Effortless Lift? Seems accurate and concise to me.
  • February 15, 2012
    lu127
    I like it. Changing.
  • February 15, 2012
    Aquillion
    I don't think this trope is (or should be) female-specific. If a thin, scrawny-looking guy lifted someone or something with ease, I'd think it would also qualify as this trope.
  • February 15, 2012
    shimaspawn
    If a guy does it then it's not subverting anything and media regularly portrays scrawny looking men as impossibly strong. It's just not really a thing and it's certainly not the same as this trope.
  • February 15, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Agreed. It would be merely Muscles Are Meaningless.

    Should we starting mining the sandbox page for examples now?
  • February 15, 2012
    Sackett
    • Mugi from K-On is like this. The other girls are often surprised by it. Especially since Mugi is the rich girl.
  • February 15, 2012
    Feather7603
    I think it can also be used to show who's wearing the pants, so to speak, such as:

    • Samus carrying Kevin in one of the Captain N comics. It's a rather clear image of her being in charge. The page (8) in the comic.
  • February 15, 2012
    KingZeal
    Wouldn't the name sound better of Effortless and Amazonian were switched?

    Iunno. Just sounds...awkward when I say it out loud as is.
  • February 16, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    in GURPS Discworld RPG there is a merit that increases the character's carrying capacity. It is available to physically powerful characters... and little old ladies.
  • February 16, 2012
    Koveras
    • Nanoha does it to Vita in a special chapter of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid. Mitigated somewhat by Vita's perpetual child physique (and the fact that mages are generally inhumanly strong in the setting), and mainly played for long-running Les Yay between the two of them.
  • February 16, 2012
    surgoshan
    • Buffy The Vampire Slayer regularly slaps us in the face with Buffy's strength, but rarely in front of muggles. The sixth season sees her briefly working construction, at which time she effortlessly lifts a heavy I-beam (conveniently shutting up a sexist boss and a helpful [but also sexist] co-worker).
  • February 16, 2012
    justlook
    In the description, it should only be for lifting people and not objects.
  • February 16, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^ Seconded. Don't how to reflect that in the name, though. "Effortless Amazonian Person-Lifting"?
  • February 16, 2012
    lu127
    I don't think so. Lifting objects is just as indicative of strength as lifting people is. The description makes it clear it has to be something extremely heavy.
  • February 16, 2012
    justlook
    That´s what I meant, the description needs to be changed from object to people. And he/she must not be extremly heavy. It should still be realistic.
  • February 17, 2012
    Grahami
    Kagari from Witch Craft Works bridal carries the male protagonist all the time.

    By the way, I'd just change the title to Amazonian Lift.
  • February 17, 2012
    MarqFJA
    The effortless part is required, to emphasize the Action Girl's prodigious strength.
  • February 17, 2012
    Grahami
    Ah.

    How about I go look at the old entry to find some more examples?
  • February 18, 2012
    lu127
    I should mention, most piggyback examples don't count, since it's usually straining. It has to be visually effortless.
  • February 18, 2012
    justlook
    You can use all the examples of the first trope...
  • February 19, 2012
    Sackett
    Wait... did the description change?

    Why does it have to be picking up another person? Isn't it sufficient to pick up something very heavy effortlessly as long as it's highlighted as showing strength?

    For example: A friend is moving and the gang of friends come over to help. The guys are all sweating and grunting as they struggle to move a piece of furniture. Then one of the girls comes over and effortlessly picks up some heavy object and carries it off to the moving truck. The guys all exchange looks.

    That short scene is what the trope is going for right? A woman demonstrates she has unusual strength by effortlessly lifting something.
  • February 19, 2012
    justlook
    Your example reminds me of Karen from School Rumble... But the trope is for women/girls who lift people.
  • February 19, 2012
    randomsurfer
    Count me among those who don't see why it has to be only people. Perhaps if there's enough examples of an Amazonian Person Lift it can be split into a subtrope; but until then why not have all examples of "strong girl easily lifts something too heavy for boy"? (Because I Say So isn't a good reason.)
  • February 19, 2012
    justlook
    It´s not about girls with superstrength, it´s just a collection of occasions when a girl lifts someone.
  • February 19, 2012
    billybobfred
    Colette does this in Tales Of Symphonia. One-handed. And then comments that he's lighter than she expected.

    And if we're allowing examples of lifting things that aren't people, Presea does it with the "sacred wood" earlier in the game. Though that might not count anyway, since she was dragging it.
  • February 20, 2012
    lu127
    ^^^ If there is enough consensus, I will change it back.

    However, whoever edited the laconic: you are not supposed to do that.

    The trope we are trying to shape is about a female displaying unusual strength. It can be done with both objects and people. When done with people it simply carries extra connotations, which I will underline.
  • February 20, 2012
    justlook
    Why the change in the first way? The first trope you deleted(Thank you very much!) was just for lifting people. It shouldn´t show a girl with superstrength that lifts objects, just occasions with people in Anime, games or TV.
  • February 20, 2012
    lu127
    We work through the trope. It does not matter what the first trope was. We're trying to shape it in the proper way. Get over that deletion, please.
  • February 20, 2012
    Martello
    I don't see a problem with including heavy objects. I think Di Di's first scene in Menage A 3 definitely is an example of this, and that's just her lifting a heavy box.
  • February 20, 2012
    Feather7603
    I think lifting objects could count, but only if it's actually emphasised that she's particularly strong, such as comparing with guys. If it comes off as just One Of The Boys, I don't think it's significant. It doesn't make a point; it's just there.
  • February 20, 2012
    JoeG
    • Adam's Rib. As part of her defense strategy to show that women are like men so they should be treated the same, Amanda calls a circus strongwoman to the stand. The strongwoman demonstrates that women can be as strong as men by picking up Adam, who is both Amanda's husband and the district attorney trying the case.
  • February 20, 2012
    MarqFJA
    Shouldn't we revert the laconic back to its original wording for now?
  • February 21, 2012
    billybobfred
    @justlook: "Why the change in the first way?" Well, actually, you said it best. Before, it was "just a collection of occasions when a girl lifts someone". Tropes aren't just collections of occasions. "Girl easily lifts heavy object that the guys couldn't budge, thus demonstrating her extreme strength" is a trope. "Girl lifts person" is not.
  • February 21, 2012
    lu127
    Alright, status update:

    We're leaving the laconic as it is and collect examples of girls and people only for now. When we're done with those, we'll try objects and see if it remains tropable or just decays into People Sit On Chairs.

    For the record, justlook is not allowed into YKTTW. Shimaspawn's decision.
  • February 21, 2012
    justlook
    When does it get launched?
  • February 21, 2012
    lu127
    After all the issues with the definition and the examples have been sorted out. Which means not anytime soon.
  • February 21, 2012
    lebrel
    I'm OK with the "lifts a person" version (an adult person; perhaps the description should emphasize that). The "heavy objects" version is also a possibility, but would need some clear guidelines as to what counts.

    I know I've seen some examples in manga, I'll try to hunt them down.
  • February 22, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^ Make it "similar-sized person", in case both people involved are not adults, the lifted person is Younger Than They Look, the lifter is Older Than They Look, etc..
  • February 23, 2012
    shimaspawn
    ^ No, because then that excludes women lifting men that are larger than them which is a fair number of examples, and children lifting up other children isn't really the trope.
  • February 23, 2012
    littlemissmuffet
    There is a German legend called "Castle of the Faithful Wives" where the women of a castle begged a king who had laid siege to them to be allowed to leave with their children and whatever valuables they could carry on their backs. The king agreed and was astonished to see the women leaving with their men on their backs.
  • February 23, 2012
    lu127
    ^^ I made it similar-sized or heavier. That should work, right?

    ^ Would that be listed under Oral Tradition? Mythology? I'm not really sure.
  • February 23, 2012
    Unknown Troper
    ^Myth and Legend.
  • February 24, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^^ Yeah, I actually meant "similar-sized" as a minimum.

    ^^^^ What about a child who effortlessly lifts a very heavy child who is barely taller than them but is much fatter/stockier, to the point of weighing about three to four times the first child?
  • February 24, 2012
    shimaspawn
    It's still not really this trope. Children, regardless of gender, really do tend to be treated very differently by media in terms of things like feats of strength. They don't have any of the connotations of this trope.
  • February 24, 2012
    littlemissmuffet
    Atalanta from Hercules The Legendary Journeys is able to lift Hercules himself in a bout of playfulness.
  • February 25, 2012
    Grahami
    I don't know if this qualifies, but in Mercenaries you have the option of taking certain bad guys alive (you get paid more then if you kill them). This involves the main character lifting them over their shoulders and carrying them to another faction's helipad.

    The point being, Jennifer Mui can do this easily.
  • February 27, 2012
    Speedball
    Obligatory El Goonish Shive reference: During the year-long party arc, Tedd says, "We need manly power to move this couch! Hey, Nanase!" (Nanase is tall but not particularly muscular, yet still quite strong, apparently, as she shoves the couch over unassisted)
  • February 27, 2012
    OmarKarindu
    I've seent his in some terrible comedies...or at least their trailers.

    Film (Possibly trailer-only scenes)
    • The protagonist of ''Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo" is carried like a child at one point by an amazonian client.
    • In Baseketball, "Squeak" Scolari is tossed into the air a few times by his comparatively gigantic girlfriend in one scene.
  • March 1, 2012
    littlemissmuffet
    Could we list female super heros with super strength?

    Wonder Woman Rogue (of the X Men) Power Girl Mary Marvel Molly Hayes (Runaways) Spidergirl She-Hulk
  • March 1, 2012
    justlook
    Nope, just normal people. It would not be special or surprising anymore if they had powers like them.
  • March 2, 2012
    MarqFJA
    I don't think we have a reason to exclude females with Super Strength, superheroines/supervillainesses or not, as long as they still fit the trope's criteria; e.g. if the trope is used as an Establishing Character Moment to display their Super Strength for the first time, especially if she does not look strong at all.
  • March 2, 2012
    lu127
    I don't mind girls with Super Strength, but I need context. It's important to be descriptive in this trope, since it's a moment, otherwise it runs the risk of decaying.
  • March 2, 2012
    MarqFJA
    ^ Exactly.
  • March 2, 2012
    Martello
    So we aren't going to include heavy objects? I definitely think that fits the trope.
  • March 2, 2012
    justlook
    If you want to include objects I could name a few animes.
  • March 2, 2012
    SharleeD
    In the Mercy Thompson series, a female firefighter who's a werewolf was pleased when werewolves abandoned their Masquerade, because it allowed her to play this trope straight when saving people, rather than feign being no stronger than a non-werewolf woman.
  • March 3, 2012
    lu127
    ^^^ I think objects might fit better into Super Strength. Someone lifting a truck to demonstrate their strength, for instance, almost never carries gender implications, which are the core of the trope.

    And even if it does, I'm a bit iffy on how we can keep them in check without having them decay into "she picked up something".
  • March 5, 2012
    lu127
    Alright, thank you, everyone. Launching.
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