Butch And Femme Couple
Same-gender couples that consist of one very masculine individual and one very feminine individual.
When it comes to gay couples in media, this is the most common set-up for them. One is very feminine while the other is very masculine. This usually also shows itself in their character designs, with one being shorter and dantier (sometimes even twinky if male) then their One Head Taller, and often more muscular, lover. This trope goes back to misconceptions that there must be a "man" and a "woman" in a relationship. It also invokes Opposites Attract. Pairings involving two Straight Gays or two Manly Gays are becoming increasing popular in media in order to subvert the Camp Gay cliche, however couples involving two Camp Gay individuals are quite rare. Pairing two Lipstick Lesbians is extremely common, especially for fanservice reasons or in Yuri Genre works (in Queer Romance it also pops up but so do butch-femme couples), but two Butch Lesbians in a relationship are all but unheard-of in fiction. Overlaps with Tomboy and Girly Girl and Sensitive Guy and Manly Man. Also see uke and seme for Japanese tropes heavily associated with this concept.
Examples:Anime & Manga
- Ymir from Attack on Titan is a tall, muscular young woman who usually wears trousers and is The Lad-ette. Her love interest Krista is a short, feminine girl.
- Subverted with cousins Rei and Yoshino from Maria-sama ga Miteru. Rei is a tall girl with Boyish Short Hair who is into kendo while Yoshino is a short Ill Girl with Girlish Pigtails. When it comes to their actual personalities however, Yoshino is the loud and more tomboyish one of the two.
- Haruka and Michiru from Sailor Moon are one of the most iconic examples in manga. Haruka is a cool bifauxnen who always wears the boy's school uniform and Michiru is her Ojou girlfriend who plays the violin. This is somewhat an example of Character Exaggeration in the 90s anime. In the manga, Haruka is still butch but has her feminine moments and even occasionally wears girly clothes.
- Subverted in Aoi Hana. Yasuko is Fumi's first girlfriend. She's a tall, boyish looking girl who prefers masculine clothes outside of school and is the captain of the basketball team. Yasuko however doesn't enjoy being forced into a masculine role in order to fit people's expectations and is actually bisexual, not lesbian. Yasuko and Fumi break up, and after being Put On The Bus Yasuko grows her hair out and undergoes a Girliness Upgrade. Fumi's girlfriend at the end of the manga is her short, girly childhood friend Akira.
- Axis Powers Hetalia: Chibitalia and Holy Roman Empire are a Puppy Love example. Chibitalia is a meek artist who wore female clothes while HRE is a bold warrior who wears boy's clothes. Subverted as HRE actually mistook Chibitalia for a girl. As an adult, Italy became a keet and started wearing men's attire.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena has the butch Utena and femme Anthy, who are also Lady and Knight. Both are bisexual as well. This is pronounced even more in The Movie as Utena crops her hair short and turns into a bifauxnen while Anthy grows her hair to Rapunzel Hair levels.
- Subverted with Batwoman and her girlfriend Maggie. At first glance they fit the archetype, with Kate being femme and Maggie being butch, however they are both in fact butch.
- Maria-sama ga Miteru fans often pair up Youko and Sei. It was originally Shimako and Sei who were popular, but Sei and Shimako 'broke up' when the former graduated. After Shimako gained a close relationship with her petite souer Noriko, fans of them together really got into pairing up Sei with her best friend Youko. Sei is canonically lesbian but Youko is Ambiguously Gay at most. Sei was always tomboyish but once graduating high school she cut her hair and became even more-so. Youko is comparatively much more feminine than Sei, resulting in this.
- Becoming Free is a Frozen fanfic where The High Queen Elsa falls for a stable-worker she hires named Freya.
- Zoey/Dawn is one of the few non-Crack Pairing ships in Pokémon that fits this trope. Zoey is a boyish girl with short hair while Dawn is a long-haired Girly Girl. Their coordinator clothes are almost always a prince motif and a princess motif respectively. While their Les Yay never went beyond Romantic Two-Girl Friendship material, shippers started noticing this even before Zoey appeared in-series.
- Even with wimpification most South Park ships don't quite fit. The very popular Kenny/Butters is one of the few exceptions, especially since fans really like portraying Butters as a crossdressing Camp Gay twink.
- Two of the most popular ships for Edd in Ed, Edd n Eddy are of him and either Eddy or Kevin. Edd is a polite, shy Neat Freak, while Eddy is a macho, loud and short-tempered kid and Kevin is a Jerk Jock.
- Anna and Marnie from When Marnie Was There is are the Fan-Preferred Couple of the film. Anna has Boyish Short Hair and is slightly tomboyish while Marnie is a girly girl with long hair who almost always wears blue dresses. Marnie is Ambiguously Bi considering that, despite her Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Anna, she falls for and marries a man.
- Downplayed in But I'm a Cheerleader. Megan is a very feminine closet case while Graham is a Aloof Dark-Haired Girl with shorter hair who acts as her Closet Key. The most butch girl at the Cure Your Gays camp actually turns out to be straight.
- Out At The Wedding has a woman pretending to be a lesbian because she's afraid her family won't accept her boyfriend because he's black. Alex ends up invoking this when she pays a butch lesbian to act like her girlfriend. The true example is Risa and Alex's sister, Jeannie. Her recently-married sister turns out to be in the closet and is using her husband as a beard. Jeannie ends up falling for her sister's "girlfriend" and Risa in turn falls for her back.
- Tomboy is about a boyish girl named Laure who moves to a new town and pretends to be a boy. She falls for a girl named Lisa and they hit it off. The ending is ambiguous. Laure's gender gets revealed and Lisa is initially upset, however they appear to start a friendship afterwards.
- I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry has a scene where Alex and her gay friend are guessing who of the titular duo is Femme and who is the Butch, which for them apparently is the same as Bottom and Top.
- Though it's not explicitly stated, housemates Misses Murgatroyd and Hinchcliffe from A Murder Is Announced fit this trope, with Hinchcliffe being the butch and Murgatroyd being the femme.
- The first novel in Katherine V Forrest's Kate Delafield detective series, Amateur City, has the very Butch Lesbian Kate starting a relationship with Lipstick Lesbian Aimee, and feeling some genuine identity disorientation when she finds herself bottoming to Aimee in bed and enjoying it.
- Spartacus: Blood and Sand uses this sometimes. The first example is butch gladiator Barca and gentle slave Alexios, which ends tragically when Barca is murdered and Alexios is unable to defend himself from being repeatedly raped by another Jerk Ass gladiator, driving him to kill himself. Notably averted in the prequel series where Barca's previous lover Auctus is as butch as he is. In the later part of the story, hot-headed macho gladiator turned rebel Agron is paired with the gentler, calmer, and less intimidating, though still pretty deadly, Nasir. Averted with the series' main lesbian pairing, Lucretia and Gaia, who are both very feminine.
- While not a couple, Moose and Kevin like to hook-up a lot in Riverdale. Moose is a closeted bisexual/gay guy who is on the football team and has a girlfriend while Kevin is an openly gay boy. Kevin borders on Camp Gay (in contrast with his Straight Gay comic counterpart) while Moose is much more masculine.
- In Will & Grace, Will is the manly man to Jack's feminine man. Behind the scenes, the actor who played Will won the part over an actual gay man who was perceived as too manly to be a convincing gay man.
- The official lyric video "Unconditionally" by Katy Perry features a feminine-looking woman singing the lyrics to a more masculine-looking woman, who is played by androgynous model Erika Linder.
- Downplayed with The Children's Hour and its second film adaptation. It's not noticeable due to Values Dissonance however Martha was considered tomboyish for the time. Her Ambiguously Bi best friend and crush Karen is more of a girly girl compared to her. Martha is very closeted about her sexuality and ends up Driven to Suicide before she gets to even date a woman.
- Mass Effect: A lesbian Commander Shepard is always the "butch" one in every relationship, whether it be with Liara, Kelly, Samantha, Diana, or Samara. Although the last one is a Lady of War only slightly more femme than Shepard.
- Dragon Age II lets you play with this. A male Hawke (especially the default with the beard and rugged look) seems pretty "butch" compared to Fenris or Anders (your uncle will even say that he doesn't have to ask "which one of you is the girl" if you're romancing Fenris). Hawke can be designed and played much less butch, but the male love interests are pretty no matter how you swing it.
- Pokémon X and Y features a subtextual version between Brawns & Brawn Frank and Sly. Psychics are effeminate looking young men while Black Belts are muscular and masculine. Frank and Sly have some heavy Ho Yay in their dialogue.
- In the Distant Finale game of Power Instinct series, Groove on Fight (also called Power Instinct 3), there's Rudolph Garthheimer (selectable character and also Sub Boss) and Damian Shade (NPC in Arcade version and Secret Character in the Sega Saturn port), which also are the first gay couple in the series.
- Sun Jing and Qiu Tong from Their Story. Sun Jing is One Head Taller than Qiu Tong, wears a tie in her Custom Uniform, and is tomboyish while Qiu Tong is more feminine. Official artwork that predates the comic depicts Sun Jing as even more butch, having short hair and wearing more boyish attire. In the webcomic itself Qiu Tong is Oblivious to Love and rejects Sun Jing's Love Confession however it's a Foregone Conclusion that they will end up the Official Couple.
- Dillon O'Brien from Ménage ŕ 3 and Sticky Dilly Buns is a flaming Camp Gay character whose partners are usually masculine, Manly Gay or bisexual characters. These include the promiscuous underwear model Matt and the hunky construction worker Jerzy. It's also made explicit that Dillon "always bottoms".
- Steven Universe:
- Ruby and Sapphire are a Discount Lesbians example. They're from a species of alien who have No Biological Sex but are treated as woman. Ruby is a red coloured Hot-Blooded tomboy who wears martial arts-inspired clothes while her girlfriend Sapphire is a blue coloured Proper Lady with long hair who wears dresses.
- Mystery Girl and Pearl are a half-Discount Lesbians example, with Pearl being a sex-less femme-presenting alien and Mystery Girl being a tomboyish punk woman.
- It's arguable whether Jasper and Lapis were in an actual relationship, but their bond was at minimum a metaphor for a Destructive Romance nevertheless. Lapis is very feminine looking, wearing a flowy dress and looking like a dainty blue coloured woman. In contrast, Jasper is a angular, tall, and very muscular woman with a deep voice who is One Head Taller than Lapis.
- Jeff's moms' from Clarence are a femme woman and a butch woman.
- Korra and Asami from The Legend of Korra are a rare example involving two bisexual women. Korra is a tomboyish Action Girl while her girlfriend Asami is a Girly Bruiser who always wears makeup. This is pronounced even more in the last season, which is also when they get together, as Korra cuts her hair shorter.
- Jumba and Pleakley play a subtexty version of this in Lilo & Stitch: The Series. While never confirmed as an Official Couple, they have a lot of Homoerotic Subtext moments and are Ambiguously Gay. Jumba is a huge scientist while Pleakley is his sensitive and non-violent friend who spends most of his time Disguised in Drag.
- Rick & Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in All the World: Kirsten and her wife Dana. Kirsten dresses in pink overalls while Dana is a self-proclaimed "Jewish American Bulldyke" in a mullet,
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