Created By: JDogindy on July 1, 2013 Last Edited By: JDogindy on July 1, 2013

Faux Dark Action Girl

She may be a threat from the Dark Side, but she still bruises easily.

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The woman has spent years under the tutilage of the evil lord, having trainined in dojos for as long as she can remember. Graduating at the top of her class, it was finally time to prove herself and to further the agenda of her beloved. Only problem is that she quickly lost to the hero's Comic Relief sidekick when she wanted to make an example, and she's left wondering what went wrong. Her backstory and skill list clearly invoke the dreaded Dark Action Girl, but her easy defeat hearkens the near-helpless Faux Action Girl. What do you call her?

A Faux Dark Action Girl.

What happens here is that you get a person stuck in a no-win situation, because they already are destined to lose as a villain, but their inability to compete makes the defeat more crushing. The general common classification that you can give their profession is that they are either an Elite Mook or the Villain of the Week. Any character that actually rises above these ranks is even worse, because you'll be seeing their butts kicked far too often. One thing is for certain; they aren't going to go out without a fight, but in their case, running away may be a safer option before actual blows are dealt.

A key problem in determining actual threats from the imposters is that, if you assume losing alone accounts for a Faux Dark Action Girl, then all Dark Action Girls are this. It's how they lose and who they lose to that matters. If they lose to the main hero after a big fight, they are legit. If they lose to a secondary character in a throw-away moment when they actually do fight alone for the first time, they are not. Also, if they look like they lose to just about everybody towards the end of a program, that's a result of Villain Decay, her failure to level grind, or the heroes just getting stronger. It's when they fall flat on their face the first time they actually battle somebody that seals their fate.

Generally, the poor women that fall under this class are put in these situations for various reasons that don't help them one bit. The most common is that they are simply lambs to the slaughter because somebody has a real sick sense of humor. Or, they could be completely misguided in their motives. Even still, you can also deal with somebody that tries hard, but is woefully outclassed. Whatever the case, they just shouldn't even try to stop the good guys, or push their own agendas.


  • Arguably the most notable, and most iconic, girl of this trope is Nena Trinity from Gundam 00. Like her brothers, she was an Artificial Human Tyke Bomb that was designed as part of Ribbons Almark's grand scheme to take control of humanity. Trained under the pretense that their actions would help humanity, she was given the doppelganger Gundam unit, the Throne Drei, and would utilize that in combat. With this, she and her brothers caused a lot of chaos, and she even killed civilians out of pure frustration without thinking of the ramifications. What renders her as a Faux Dark Action Girl is, when you boil it down, she isn't scary at all as long as you can fight back. The Throne Drei was designed intentionally to be stealth-oriented and to provide imitation GN Particles to power up her brothers' units, so in actual combat, it is horribly ill-suited against anything beyond standard machines that guard facilities.

    • This is confirmed when you factor in three battles where that unit actually got manhandled (Celestial Being's attack on Team Trinity at the beginning of Episode 19, the debut of the GN-X machines in Episode 20, and when the GN-X machines descended on the low-energy Thrones in Episode 22) that required her Throne to literally be dragged away from the battlefield, and the only people Nena succeeded in actually killing were a bunch of people at a wedding, an extremely loyal Hong Long, and a defenseless Wang Liu Mei. Plus, against the Super Prototype, the Regnant, the Throne Drei got turned to scrap metal, leaving Nena's fate in the hands of somebody who wanted her death to be painful and violent. Physical combat is out of the question, too, as she was defeated almost instantly by Ali al-Saachez when he confronted her, though the Card-Carrying Villain did have decades of experience over her. In fact, Nena's biggest success against a capable opponent was when she fulfilled the criteria of a Faux Action Girl by scoring a small assist in distracting Hiling Care (a real Dark Action Girl... er, Dark Action "Thing"?) during the battle of Memento Mori.

    • However, because the Trinity siblings were designed solely to have brutal deaths await them and to amount to virtually nothing, her shortcomings make sense in hindsight, as they were intended to cause disruption solely to discredit Celestial Being, and once that was achieved, their fates would be sealed without them even knowing. It can also be used to explain that, despite Nena's resolve to fight even in the face of death itself, she just wasn't going to be victorious in any situation due to a lack of serious training and inadequate machinery.

    • Ironically, while Nena's obvious weaknesses were translated to the Super Robot Wars series (where she got beaten up by a weakened Ranka Lee, used the Throne designed to be defeated during the Celestial Being/Trinity battle, and was easily killed by the Regnant after killing the stationary Liu Mei), Nena is designed as an affordable pilot for offense-heavy units and users for the SD Gundam games, where she can be put in units other than her Drei.

    • Of course, most people who like her love her more for her personality and looks than her piloting skills, so that's why you don't see Nena in combat in a lot of fan works, unlike most Gundam characters.


  • A lot of the humanesque Villain of the Week characters in Sailor Moon can be described as these. They are picked by the current Big Bad, and are depicted as having some deadly ability to their repitoire when confronting the senshi. Sure, they may have the upper hand early on due to them not knowing of their abilities, but there is a reason as to why they are just that episode's bad girl and aren't going to appear in future episodes.

    • The major villainess group, Witches 5, also can be classified due to the fact that, in the anime, they more or less killed themselves or each other during their fights. And the Sailor Senshi weren't going to be shedding any tears for them, especially Mercury when it came to Viluy's agonizing disintegration. In the manga, they were serious threats that needed to be neutralized by the senshi directly.


  • Mars and Jupiter are examples in the Pokemon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum games. Although they were "Commanders" in Team Galactic, they don't get the chance to build their teams beyond two stock Pokemon and a "tank" Pokemon (Purugly for Mars, Stuntank for Jupiter), meaning they don't advance that much beyond standard leveling up. When they team together at Spear Pillar, they are unfortunately facing off against you and your rival, who took training a little too seriously during the adventure. In fact, once you defeat them in Stark Mountain in Platinum, they decide to finally give up the profession and go back to regular lives.


  • Heel female wrestlers that basically serve as jobbers usually qualify here, particularly when they are actually mooks in a storyline. Of course, this is a tricky area, because this can only apply to female wrestlers that were never a threat to anybody. Heel wrestlers that are enhancement talent today may have actually been the company's champion a few years back.

    • Rosa Mendes makes absolute sense here. She's most intimidating when she's with somebody that actaully mastered walking in the ring, be it Beth Phoenix, Zack Ryder, or Epico & Primo.


  • Demented actress Vera Starbeam from Team Galaxy actually fits this. She provides an unsafe enviroment for her fellow actors due to her penchant for real explosives and filming actual battles as part of the Cosmic High TV program. The "Dark" part is that she is a real threat with weapons, and did plan the destruction of the actual Galaxy High. However, the "Faux" part is entirely due to her inability to grasp the difference between fantasy and reality (especially since her opinion of Galactic Marshalls being villainous was because they arrested her for unsafe usage of explosives during the filming of one of her films), and that Brett's vast knowledge of the program actually proves key in them stopping her from blowing up the school. Principal Kirkpatrick assumes that some therapy may fix this problem.

Community Feedback Replies: 1
  • July 1, 2013
    The point of this trope is that it always feels weird putting bad females in the "Faux Action Girl" category because those are meant for good females that can't compete. This trope allows for more accurate examples for the bad females that actually help the heroes by inadvertantly sucking. And, the reason for the trope was me exploring one of my favorite characters, Nena Trinity, to whom was the reason for me making this trope because I inducted her as a subverted example in the "Faux Action Girl" page, and in her Trope database, the term "Faux Dark Action Girl" is present. Since she's a Base Breaker, please keep comments to yourself if you don't like her.