[[quoteright:300:[[Franchise/TombRaider http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lara_Croft_Action_Girl.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:The phrase "Fight like a girl" becomes a BadassCreed.]]

%% A single quote is sufficient. Extras go on the quotes tab.

->''I'm a big haymaker in a title fight.''\\
''I'm a cute black kitten with a nasty bite.''\\
''I'm an action double-feature on a Friday night!''\\
''I'm me!''
-->-- "[[IAmSong I'm Me]]", '''Vanessa Doofenshmirtz''' from ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''

The Action Girl is a female fighter who can go toe to toe with her male counterparts without breaking a sweat. DamselInDistress? Not this time. She doesn't sit around waiting to be rescued. She's headbutting her jailer and [[RedundantRescue breaking herself out,]] if they even manage to kidnap her in the first place. She proves, with her very being, that girls aren't only ''not'' helpless, they're strong. But not just "any girl with a fight scene" can be considered an Action Girl. An Action Girl is usually {{Badass}}, and routinely and reliably gets in on the combat. And what's more, she ''wins''.

Because of {{Double Standard}}s, and their effects on RealLife society most works draw on, true Action Girls are less common than male Badasses. If you want to get more into the why of that, check out the GenderDynamicsIndex or our very own [[Analysis/ActionGirl Action Girl Analysis]] page. The short version however, is the concept that MenAreStrongWomenArePretty and females should StayInTheKitchen. For a very long time, females who did something outside of waiting to be rescued by men were unusual and rare. Even now, women aren't automatically assumed to be able to fight and protect themselves the way men are. Society has progressed since then and Action Girls are popular and more common than ever, but girls still haven't completely caught up with boys when it comes to expectations in media, hence the continued existence of this trope.

That being said, one must watch out for the dreaded FauxActionGirl. With the popularity of the Action Girl increasing, creators are trying to slip them in for more appeal without actually giving them a chance to show themselves off. The "Action" part of the character is left as an InformedAttribute, with characters constantly playing up how much of a badass she is, and yet when it comes to facing the music, she proves otherwise by being a DamselInDistress or suffering the effects of being on the wrong end of a CurbStompBattle, assuming she gets any action ''at all''. Basically she can talk the talk, but she can't walk the walk. Oh, and if she's on the right end of a CurbStompBattle, she's a DarkActionGirl.

Sometimes an Action Girl can start off well, but [[CharacterDerailment derail]] into a FauxActionGirl or a full-on DamselInDistress over time, with no adequate justification for it. This is known as {{Chickification}}.

When the Action Girl is mixed with the SmurfettePrinciple trope, she is called a "minority feisty."

Compare the Action Girl with her EvilCounterpart, the often far-more-aggressive DarkActionGirl, and the more mundane versions YouGoGirl and PluckyGirl. Not to be confused with AffirmativeActionGirl, who is just a girl added to the cast in an adaptation or new season to balance out the gender ratio, no matter what role she actually plays (though, often, the girl ''is'' an Action Girl herself).

Not to be confused with ''Comicbook/ActionGirl'', a comic series ''about'' an action girl.

%%If you have time, please take time to put examples in alphabetical order. This page Administrivia/HowToAlphabetizeThings should help you with that.
A SuperTrope To:

!!! By age:
* ActionMom: An action girl (''woman'' more likely) who has given birth and kicks ass.
* BoobsOfSteel: When girl's power is measured by the size of her chest.
* LittleMissBadass: Very young Action Girls who are notable for skills and abilities other than, or in addition to, physical strength.
* LittleRedFightingHood: An Action Girl version of Literature/LittleRedRidingHood
* LadyOfWar: Adult Action Girls who are stylish and graceful.
* [[JeanneDArchetype Jeanne d'Archetype]]: Action girls modelled on Jeanne Darc[[note]]The "d'Arc" thing was a misunderstanding. This is why she is not from Arc. [[/note]]({{Joan of Arc}}).
* MamaBear: Adult, and only becomes an Action Girl when her children are threatened. However, sometimes MamaBear was already an ActionMom, in which case threatening her children is likely an effective form of suicide.
* NeverMessWithGranny: Sweet little senior citizen who can still kick your ass; may also be an OldMaster.
* PregnantBadass: If she's capable of fighting ''while pregnant''. If she's extra ferocious because of said bun in the oven, this overlaps with Mama Bear, below.
* TeamMom: Adult, and works with a group of younger people whom she considers her "children" (whether blood-related or not).

!!! By preferred weapon or method of fighting:
* BlackMagicianGirl
* GirlsWithGuns: Girls who are [[TheGunslinger good with guns]] in general.
* HeroesPreferSwords: This action trope still applies when a woman is the hero.
* KickChick: Not only fights unarmed, but doesn't even favor her arms.
* LadyOfBlackMagic
* MagicalGirlWarrior
* NaginatasAreFeminine: Naginatas are the weapon of choice for a regal Japanese woman.
* SheFu: Action Girls tend to use lots of flips and cartwheels in fight scenes.
* SmallGirlBigGun: Prefers a {{BFG}}.

!!! By Teammates:
* ActionGirlfriend: She's the {{main character}}, her {{sidekick}} is ''not'' also an {{action hero}}.
* AmazonBrigade: A group of Action Girls who consistently work together with no male teammates.
* BadassFamily: Everyone in her ''whole family'' is an {{action hero}}.
* BattleCouple: An Action Girl and her equally action-y LoveInterest.
* LovelyAngels: Two Action Girls who work together as a consistent team.
* TheSquadette: The only female in an otherwise all-male unit.
* UselessBoyfriend: When there is a male hero (who works with the female one) who, despite being presented as strong fighter/s, is utterly useless as anything other than a meat shield.
* ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend: A girlfriend who will throw a beatdown if you harm her LoveInterest.

!!! By preferred weapon ''and'' teammates:
* GuysSmashGirlsShoot: A female who uses a ranged weapon, paired with a male who is a melee fighter.
* SwordAndSorcerer: Similar principle, but replace "ranged weapon" with either "sword" (if she uses weapons) or "magic" (if she's the magic user instead). Her partner uses the other one.

!!! By job:
* BadassPrincess: She's a princess.
* BikerBabe: Often related to her job, but a hobby just as often: this girl loves riding bikes.
* DamselOutOfDistress: Looks and acts like a damsel but far from helpless.
* DragonLady: She comes from Asia, and is often associated with TheTriadsAndTheTongs or the {{Yakuza}}. Very likely to be a DarkActionGirl.
* FairCop: She's a police officer.
* JunglePrincess: Lives in the jungle, often protecting native tribes and animals.
* NinjaMaid: Her ''official job'' is as a household servant or employee: [[{{Meido}} maid]], butler, babysitter or nanny are the most common.
* PirateGirl: She's a pirate.
* SilkHidingSteel: Something gentle and lady-like.
* UndercoverModel: She's a police detective going undercover in a beautiful-woman-related job to investigate a crime.
* {{Valkyries}}: Work for [[NorseMythology Odin]] as choosers of the slain. They have [[Music/RideOfTheValkyries an awesome theme tune]].

!!! Action Girl Attire
* BattleBallgown: An armored dress
* ChainmailBikini: {{Fanservice}} ahoy!
* CombatStilettos: Impractical-looking high heels rarely impede an Action Girl's fighting ability.
* FrillsOfJustice: Near-obligatory for a MagicalGirlWarrior.
* KickingAssInAllHerFinery: When an Action Girl, especially a LadyOfWar, fights effectively while wearing big, frilly dresses or similar clothing.
* LadyLegionnaireWear: A segmented, armored skirt.
* LeotardOfPower: Commonly worn by {{Superhero}}ines.
* MiniDressOfPower: Ditto.
* SpyCatsuit: Perfect for showing off the curves of the modern infiltration-specialist action girl.
* SuperheroesWearCapes: Still applies to super-heroines.
* SuperheroesWearTights: Especially if the clothes are a FormFittingWardrobe.

!!! Closely related {{trope}}s, and {{trope}}s which often overlap with Action Girl:

* AmazonChaser: Swooned over because of her strength and fighting abilities more than any good looks.
* AngelsPose: A common ShoutOut or parody of ''Series/CharliesAngels'': Silhouettes of Action Girls (usually three of them) in fighting stances.
* BraidsOfAction: A common Action Girl hairstyle.
* {{Catfight}}: done mainly for {{Fanservice}} and less serious and dramatic.
* CuteBruiser: She might ''look'' small, sweet, and mostly harmless, but she [[MegatonPunch hits like a freight train]].
* DesignatedGirlFight: A lot of the time, female characters end up fighting with other females.
* EffortlessAmazonianLift: Girls show their strength by lifting or carrying other females or even males.
* EvenTheGirlsWantHer: Other women admire her strength, have her as a role-model, and [[HoYay have girl-crushes on her]].
* FeministFantasy: Often includes Action Girl-type characters (although not all works including Action Girls are Feminist Fantasy)
* GirlyBruiser: The Action Girl happens to be a GirlyGirl.
* GirlsNeedRoleModels: Action Girls are often held up as 'strong and independent role models'.
* GirlsWithGuns: Subgenre focusing on Action Girls who use firearms.
* IWasBeatenByAGirl: Losing a fight to an Action Girl is often a blow to a male opponent's ego.
* MoreDeadlyThanTheMale: If she wins fights by looking like the exact opposite of an Action Girl, and then being [[CombatPragmatist cunning and cutthroat]].
* NoGuyWantsAnAmazon: If she's presented in-story as undesirable because of her strength and fighting abilities.
* PassionateSportsGirl: Shares the Action Girl's passion for physical activity, but it's directed toward sport rather than fighting.
* SamusIsAGirl: The fact that she's a girl is not immediately revealed.
* VasquezAlwaysDies: Less-feminine women tend to get killed off.
* WaifFu: For when a small woman has to fight a much larger man.
* WorldOfActionGirls: For works dominated by this character type.
!!Please list examples in the appropriate subtrope pages. Examples of Action Girls who don't fit into any subpages may be listed here:

* ActionGirl/AnimatedFilms
* ActionGirl/{{Anime}}
* ActionGirl/{{Comics}}
* ActionGirl/FanFics
* ActionGirl/{{Folklore}}
* ActionGirl/{{Literature}}
* ActionGirl/LiveActionFilms
* ActionGirl/LiveActionTV
* ActionGirl/{{Music}}
* ActionGirl/NewMedia
* ActionGirl/{{Pinball}}
* ActionGirl/ProfessionalWrestling
* ActionGirl/{{Religion}}
* ActionGirl/RoleplayingGames
* ActionGirl/TabletopGames
* ActionGirl/{{Theatre}}
* ActionGirl/VideoGames
* ActionGirl/VisualNovels
* ActionGirl/WebComics
* ActionGirl/WesternAnimation
* ActionGirl/RealLife