Created By: Pichu-kun on April 27, 2016 Last Edited By: Pichu-kun on February 15, 2017
Troped

Tomboy Angst

A tomboyish character wishes they were more traditionally feminine

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
trope
Some tomboys are fine with their stereotypically masculine personalities or even thrive in it. Others on the other hand hate the fact they're tomboys but have difficulties trying to change their behavior. They may try to invoke a Girliness Upgrade but this often results in Femininity Failure. No Guy Wants an Amazon is often a reason for them disliking being a tomboy.

This appears often in Japanese material and is a point of Values Dissonance to many non-Japanese audiences. Due to Japanese gender roles, many female characters are embarrassed by seeming masculine and actively try to change it. It's comparatively much harder to find a non-Tomboy with a Girly Streak in Japanese media who is fine with their behavior than it is to find in American or British media.

If a character had tomboy angst in the past this could be why they Used to Be a Tomboy.

Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • Masaki from Ice Revolution was Raised by Dudes and taught judo by her father. She hates how masculine she is and wishes to be girly however her attempts fail. All her peers still see her as very tomboyish or even as a boy. She gets into figure skating to become more feminine and gets a makeover over the course of the series. Though, Masaki still does best skating athletically rather than more "femininely".
  • Madoka of Mahou Sensei Negima! has a lot features which makes her a tomboy (notably short hair and a husky voice), but an important part of her character is that she hates them.
  • Boku To Boku is about a tomboyish girl named Yuuki who befriends a Wholesome Crossdresser named Junichirou after she saves him from a chikan. Yuuki hates how boyish she is but everything she does results in Femininity Failure. Another crossdresser falls for her specifically because she's cool and boyish, but Yuuki herself wishes she were girly.
  • Boyfriend is a oneshot about a girl who uses another girl as a Replacement Goldfish for the lack of boys at her all-girls school. Risa only likes Yuuko because she looks like a boy and she views her as one. She gets Yuuko to grow her hair out and start wearing skirts so she can see her as a girl. It's implied Yuuko didn't like being tomboyish much anyway.
  • Rin from Love Live! is a tomboy who doesn't think she is attractive due to it.
  • Yuki from Himegoto - Juukyuusai No Seifuku is a androgynous looking woman who wishes she was more feminine and hates her reputation as One of the Boys.
  • Subverted with Kashima from Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. When she got a cold which made her voice hoarse, she started mentioning how her voice is the only feminine thing about her and now that she lost it...she's happy because now she can pass off as a real guy.

Film
  • In The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream. Alex Delgado (Francia Raisa) is a tough, spicy amateur ice hockey goalie who, based on her body language, really doesn't like playing with the boys. After a few rough patches, and a coaching change on his end, she becomes Zach's replacement partner.

Literature
  • Iria Gai from Alice, Girl from the Future was quite upset at having no cooking skills once she fell in love. She learned quickly enough though.
  • In The Stainless Steel Rat, Jim visits a planet where the traditional gender roles are inverted. One policeman complains loudly that his mother raised a tomgirl out of him while he wanted to be a househusband like dad.

Music
  • "One Of The Boys" by Katy Perry is about a teenager trying to make herself more feminine so she won't seem so tomboyish anymore. Her crush sees her as a platonic friend or "little sister" instead of a romantic option.
    ''I wanna be a flower,
    not a dirty weed
    I wanna smell like roses,
    not a baseball team
    And I swear one day maybe one day you're gonna wanna make-out with me
    (Don't wanna be...)
    'Cause I don't wanna be "one of the boys"
    "One of your guys"
    Just give me a chance to prove to you tonight
    That I just wanna be one of the girls
    Pretty in pearls
    And not "one of the boys"

Video Games
  • Makoto from The iDOLM@STER is a bifauxnen who has a lot of female fans who like her looks. She wishes she were more girly and popular with boys.
  • Senran Kagura: Miyabi is well known for being a handsome girl who has a lot of female fans. She's bothered by it and she tries to have a more feminine appeal.

Visual Novels
  • A theme with Aoi Asahina's Freetime Events in Dangan Ronpa is her slowly revealing how unfeminine her thought-process/lifestyle is and in the last event we hear her worry that she'll never find a boyfriend because of it. After "practicing" a Love Confession on The Hero (which only turns into a Femininity Failure), he tells her she's quite charming the way she is.
  • Mion from Higurashi: When They Cry is One Of The Guys and even refers to herself as an "old man". Despite this she secretly has a more feminine side and gets very upset when Keiichi gives Rena a cute doll because he deemed Mion "too boyish" for it. Mion's situation is more complicated than most examples. Mion has an identical twin named Shion. The two used to pretend to be each other often until one day Mion received a yakuza tattoo. The problem is Mion was really Shion, thus the girl everyone knows as Mion was born as Shion. Mion has to pretend to be a tomboy instead of a Girly Girl, though occasionally their 'true' personalities come through.

Western Animation
  • There was a whole episode of The Legend of Tarzan ("Tarzan and the Enemy Within"), where Terk, the abrasive tomboy female ape, was having a crisis over how she viewed her tomboyishness as a hindrance to gaining the affections of a new male ape rescued by Tarzan named Gobu.
  • In All Grown Up!, Lil plays soccer and mostly wears pants. Although there have been a few episodes of the series where she does try to be more girly to fit in with the other girls, those episodes also emphasize, especially in the end, that she is a tomboy at heart.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • April 28, 2016
    DAN004
    Maybe Tomboy Angst for the title?

    Compare Gay Ngst
  • April 28, 2016
    ANTMuddle
    Tomboy Angst: Tomboy loathes being a tomboy.
  • April 28, 2016
    Gamermaster
    • Madoka of Mahou Sensei Negima has a lot features which makes her a Tomboy (notably short hair and a husky voice), but an important part of her character is that she hates them.
  • April 29, 2016
    Alucard
    A theme with Aoi Asahina's Freetime Events in Dangan Ronpa is her slowly revealing how unfeminine her thought-process/lifestyle is and in the last event we hear her worry that she'll never find a boyfriend because of it. After "practicing" a Love Confession on The Hero (which only turns into a Femininity Failure), he tells her she's quite charming the way she is.
  • April 29, 2016
    ANTMuddle
    Film - Live Action: The Cutting Edge: Chasing the Dream. Alex Delgado (Francia Raisa) is a tough, spicy amateur ice hockey goalie who, based on her body language, really doesn't like playing with the boys. After a few rough patches, and a coaching change on his end, she becomes Zach's replacement partner.
  • April 30, 2016
    DAN004
    • Senran Kagura: Miyabi is well known for being a handsome girl who has a lot of female fans. She's bothered by it and she tries to have a more feminine appeal.
  • May 14, 2016
    Gamermaster
    • Mion from Higurashi When They Cry, though not for the normal reasons. She's actually a Girly Girl, but she has to act like a tomboy due to accidentally performing a permanent Twin Switch. Shion is an inversion for the same reasons.
  • May 31, 2016
    MiinU
    Related to I'm Not Pretty, when the character feels inadequate because of their looks, rather than their personality.
  • June 1, 2016
    DAN004
  • June 26, 2016
    DAN004
    Contrast Sweet Polly Oliver and No Womans Land (where being feminine is a source of angst)
  • June 26, 2016
    TrueShadow1
    • Subverted with Kashima from Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun. When she got a cold which made her voice hoarse, she started mentioning how her voice is the only feminine thing about her and now that she lost it...she's happy because now she can pass off as a real guy.
  • June 28, 2016
    Omnicron13
    There was a whole episode of Legend of Tarzan ("Tarzan and the Enemy Within"), where Terk, the abrasive tomboy female ape, was having a crisis over how she viewed her tomboyishness as a hindrance to gaining the affections of a new male ape rescued by Tarzan named Gobu.
  • July 23, 2016
    ANTMuddle
    Yeah, I'd say we're good to go.
  • July 23, 2016
    Owlivia
    I think this should have folders.
  • July 23, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    ^ The example sections don't seem big enough.
  • September 17, 2016
    DAN004
    Bump
  • September 18, 2016
    ANTMuddle
    Just do your folder magic, clean up, and light the fuse to the rocket.
  • September 19, 2016
    Omeganian
    • Iria Gai from Alice Girl From The Future was quite upset at having no cooking skills once she fell in love. She learned quickly enough though.
    • In The Stainless Steel Rat, Jim visits a planet where the traditional gender roles are inverted. One policeman complains loudly that his mother raised a tomgirl out of him while he wanted to be a househusband like dad.

  • September 19, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ that last example makes me lol.
  • November 24, 2016
    Basara-kun
    Anime and Manga:
    • In Ranma One Half there's Akane Tendo, a girl who's the youngest (and the manliest) of the 3 Tendo sisters. Despise of his tomboyish attitudes, Akane wants to be more feminine, even growing a Rapunzel Hair at the beginning of the series to emulate her elder sister Kasumi.
  • November 25, 2016
    FlyingDuckManGenesis
    Western Animation
    • In All Grown Up, Lil plays soccer and mostly wears pants. Although there have been a few episodes of the series where she does try to be more girly to fit in with the other girls, those episodes also emphasize, especially in the end, that she is a tomboy at heart.
  • November 25, 2016
    MiinU
    ^^Akane isn't an example. The only time she's bothered by it, is whenever Ranma calls her "macho chick" (in the english dub), or when she has to compete with any of his other fiancess.

    Otherwise, she's shown to be perfectly fine with who she is and she never had Rapunzel Hair either. Her ponytail only reached halfway down her back.
  • December 2, 2016
    ANTMuddle
    Come on!
  • February 3, 2017
    CactusFace
    • In Stardew Valley Emily can make a "clothing therapy" for some of the town folks, where they can change their look to the way they would like to be. Robin changes her tomboyish carpenders clothes for a pink dress and opens her braid. Subverted with Abigail who changes into a knights armor.
  • February 3, 2017
    mariovsonic999
    In Persona 4, Chie Satonaka felt jealous of her friend Yukiko Amagi because of her femininity and getting many of the boy's attention. Her Shadow manifested because of her obsession over dominating Yukiko because of Yukiko's reliance on her.
  • February 15, 2017
    Malady
    • Between The Lines: Chapter 42:
      In reality though, the gender of the #1 Level 5 esper was hardly male despite what their appearance might indicate.
      The constant confusion that people made about her gender pissed her off however she felt as though she would drop dead from embarrassment if someone saw her, regardless of whether they were a stranger or not in a dress or something girly. She wore those types of clothes from time to time however only on days where she did not expect to go out into the City.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8jjkjcbzoj7i1bibi5m9ledz