[[quoteright:300:[[VideoGame/TombRaiderLegend http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lara_Croft_Action_Girl.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:This is what it means to fight like a girl.]]

->''"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!''\\
''[[IAmSong I'm me!]]"''
-->-- "[[https://youtu.be/Z6xdnA2HMZk?t=11s I'm Me]]", '''Vanessa Doofenshmirtz''', ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb''

An Action Girl is a female badass who is tough and kicks butt. DamselInDistress? Not her. She's featured in far more than the DesignatedGirlFight. Expect regular appearances in actions scenes, facing dangerous foes and deadly obstacles, and expect her to ''win.''

For the longest time in many cultures, {{Double Standard}}s in both fiction and real life meant that when it came to action and fighting, guys definitely outnumbered girls. MenActWomenAre was the rule of thumb, which led to the Action Girl being a subversion of what was acceptable. As society has marched on, this view has faded in some media, leading to stories where Action Girls become the norm rather than the exception, such as stories set in a WorldOfBadass, and especially a WorldOfActionGirls. In real life, at least in western society, most people are okay with the idea of a woman defending herself (after all, it's not like she has any real choice). However, there is still somewhat of a stigma against the idea of a woman ''voluntarily'' putting herself in situations where she is likely to be fighting, such as the military or combat sports.

The broad Action Girl concept can take many forms. FauxActionGirl is a case of presenting a character as this, only for them not to live up to the standards of this trope. DarkActionGirl is the villainous variety, and AffirmativeActionGirl is a cast addition intended to balance out gender ratios that typically also falls under this trope. Less action-y versions include YouGoGirl and PluckyGirl.

This is somewhat of a CyclicTrope, with Action Girls often having surges in popularity in the 1940s, 1970s, 1990s and 2010s, probably not coincidentally times when the women's movement increased in prominence.

See below for even more subtropes and other variants.

Not to be confused with ''Comicbook/ActionGirl'', a comic series ''about'' an Action Girl. For advice on how to write these types of characters, see SoYouWantTo/WriteAnActionGirl.

%%If you have time, please take time to put examples in alphabetical order. This page Administrivia/HowToAlphabetizeThings should help you with that. Please link examples of the subtropes to them, not to the supertrope.
A SuperTrope To:

* ActionFashionista: Action Girl version of TheFashionista
* ActionGirlfriend: She either makes up the other half of a BattleCouple, or covers for her [[NonActionGuy non-action boyfriend.]]
* ActionMom: An action girl (''woman'' more likely) who has given birth and kicks ass.
* AmazonBrigade: A group of Action Girls who consistently work together with no male teammates.
* BadassDriver: When a woman is an astonishingly good driver.
* BikerBabe: ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, an Action Girl who is also a BadassBiker.
* BlackMagicianGirl: She's spunky and focuses on offensive magic.
* BoobsOfSteel: When her fighting ability is directly proportional to her bust size.
* CuteBruiser: When female - she might ''look'' small, sweet, and mostly harmless, but she [[MegatonPunch hits like a freight train]].
* DarkActionGirl: An evil woman who kicks ass.
* DragonLady: She comes from Asia, and is often associated with TheTriadsAndTheTongs or the {{Yakuza}}. Very likely to be a DarkActionGirl.
* ExtraordinarilyEmpoweredGirl: A young woman who engages in action by the use of her powers. These powers put her beyond normal humans, but only barely.
* GirlyBruiser: The Action Girl happens to be a GirlyGirl. Can overlap with ActionFashionista above.
* HatesWearingDresses: Action girls often aren't fond of dresses.
* [[JeanneDArchetype Jeanne d'Archetype]]: Action girls modelled on [[UsefulNotes/JoanOfArc Jeanne d'Arc]].
* JunglePrincess: Lives in the jungle, often protecting native tribes and animals.
* KickChick: Not only fights unarmed, but doesn't even favor her arms.
* LadyOfBlackMagic: A sorceress who's graceful in appearance with dignified manner and wields [[PersonOfMassDestruction immense magical power.]]
* LadyOfWar: The Lady of Black Magic's sword/[[NaginatasAreFeminine polearm]]/[[DaintyCombat bow and arrow]] wielding counterpart.
* 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
* LovelyAngels: Two Action Girls who work together as a consistent team.
* MagicalGirlWarrior: Where "MagicalGirl" translates into "KungFuWizard or MagicKnight who wears FrillsOfJustice".
* MamaBear: Don't mess with her or her kids, or she will kick your ass out.
* MoreDeadlyThanTheMale: If she wins fights by looking like the exact opposite of an Action Girl, and then being [[CombatPragmatist cunning and cutthroat]].
* NeverMessWithGranny: Sweet little senior citizen who can still kick your ass; may also be an OldMaster.
* 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.
* 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, above.
* PrettyPrincessPowerhouse: Looks like a delicate princess but can fight better than her guards.
* SheFu: Action Girls tend to use lots of flips and cartwheels in fight scenes.
* SilkHidingSteel: She's gentle and lady-like, but she'll cut you to ribbons if need be.
* SmallGirlBigGun: Prefers a {{BFG}}.
* TheSquadette: [[TheSmurfettePrinciple The only female]] in an otherwise all-male unit.
* StrongGirlSmartGuy: When she's part of a BrainsAndBrawn duo with a guy.
* UndercoverModel: She's a police detective going undercover in a beautiful-woman-related job to investigate a crime.
* {{Valkyries}}: Work for [[Myth/NorseMythology Odin]] as choosers of the slain. They have [[Music/RideOfTheValkyries an awesome theme tune]].
* WaifFu: For when a small woman has to fight a much larger man.
* WarriorPrincess: She's royalty and she fights for her country.

Genres and worlds populated by Action Girls:

* GirlsWithGuns: An action genre focusing on badass girls with guns.
* WorldOfActionGirls: For works dominated by this character type.
!!Examples of Action Girls who don't fit into any of the sub-tropes above:

* ActionGirl/AnimeAndManga
* ActionGirl/ComicBooks
* ActionGirl/FanWorks
* [[ActionGirl/AnimatedFilms Films Animation]]
* [[ActionGirl/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* ActionGirl/{{Literature}}
* ActionGirl/LiveActionTV
* ActionGirl/{{Music}}
* ActionGirl/MythsAndReligion
* ActionGirl/{{Pinballs}}
* ActionGirl/ProWrestling
* ActionGirl/TabletopGames
* ActionGirl/{{Theatre}}
* ActionGirl/VideoGames
* ActionGirl/VisualNovels
* ActionGirl/WebAnimation
* ActionGirl/WebComics
* ActionGirl/WebOriginal
* ActionGirl/WesternAnimation
* ActionGirl/RealLife