Nowadays, it's considered much more acceptable for a girl to be tomboyish than it was years ago. Still, sometimes, TheLadette will give femininity a try, even if it's just for one episode. Maybe she wants to look and act elegant for a special occasion, or she's aiming to fit in with her friends, or she wants her {{Love Interest|s}} to see her as more than just "OneOfTheBoys". She may take it upon herself to learn ladylike behaviour, or she'll have a [[TomboyAndGirlyGirl feminine friend]] teach her to act [[ProperLady prim and proper]].

Either way, she'll suck at it.

If she takes [[FeminineWomenCanCook cooking lessons]], she'll end up [[LethalChef burning water]]. Any attempts to apply makeup will leave her looking [[CosmeticCatastrophe like a clown]]. Walking in high heels will result in her taking a tumble. Even after she learns polite manners, you can bet she'll swear/gobble her food/belch at the worst possible moment. Old habits die hard indeed.

This can lead up to AnAesop of the BeYourself variety, that it's okay for a woman to be masculine if she's most comfortable doing so, and she shouldn't change herself to please others.

SuperTrope of FeminineWomenCanCook and MaternallyChallenged.

Contrast GirlinessUpgrade and SheCleansUpNicely, for when the attempt at being feminine works.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/LoveHina'' has {{Samurai}} girl Motoko forced to try becoming more feminine after Keitaro (more or less accidentally) defeats her in a duel. She's too violent to be good at it, though. She then feels that she has "failed" Keitaro, so she announces that she will commit ''{{seppuku}}'', ritual suicide. Ironically, she intends to commit suicide by slitting her stomach open. This is the traditional ''masculine'' version of ''seppuku'', since a YamatoNadeshiko kills herself by [[SlashedThroat slitting her throat]]. If Motoko were to actually go through with her suicide, she would have failed at femininity ''again''.
* Generally the case with Akane in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''. Played for laughs, of course, whenever [[GenderBender Ranma]] shows up and turns out to be immensely better than her at any feminine task.
* In ''{{Manga/Kashimashi|GirlMeetsGirl}}'', {{tomboy}}ish Tomari tries to [[DifferentForGirls teach]] the [[GenderBender recently-female]] Hazumu how to act like a girl. Although she does impart some wisdom, mostly all she manages to do is prove that, even when she was in a male body, [[MasculineGirlFeminineBoy Hazumu was more girly than Tomari]].
* In ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' despite Guts' [[ memorable reaction]] to [[SheCleansUpNicely seeing Casca in a dress]], the femininity is somewhat dampened a moment later when she elbows him on the jaw for staring. She does this in front of several noble ladies who are very embarrassed to have seen it.
* In one late episode of the first season of ''Anime/SailorMoon'', Usagi joins a club designed to help create "princesses", thinking that she could be more lady-like after the revelation that she was Princess Serenity. She flops with flying colors, the only thing she was good at was Frisbee throwing. The other girls join in and the only other people who flop are Rei (too stressed and {{tsundere}} to dance well, almost mauls her partner) and Minako (too ditzy and hyped-up for it, pays no attention to the dancing classes). Which is a good thing when it stands revealed that the club was a trap by Kunzite, [[BadassInDistress and Ami and Makoto need saving along with the other girls there]].
* In part of the LoveLetterLunacy in episode 4 of ''Manga/KiniroMosaic'', local Tomboy Youko attempted to be more feminine as Aya commented it's more likely [[EvenTheGirlsWantHer a girl]], rather than a boy, to send her a love letter. She tried to emulate the more girly Aya, which looked completely fake.
* The third episode of ''Anime/SteelAngelKurumi Encore'' had Kurumi attempt to be more ladylike when she believes Nakahito isn't attracted to her anymore. Nakahito is more worried for her safety as she gets more and more desperate before she finally suffers a HeroicRROD and faceplants on the floor.
* In ''Manga/KOn'', when Ritsu is selected for the role of [[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet Juliet]] in a class play, her friends try to help her prepare for the role by forcing her to act more feminine in real life, banning her from talking like a boy and giving her a constant stream of etiquette instructions all through their light music club meeting. The attempted makeover lasts exactly one afternoon before Ritsu snaps and goes right back to being her normal self again.
--> '''Yui & Mugi:''' Sit like a lady!
--> '''Ritsu:''' I can't do that while I'm playing the drums!
* ''Manga/MyMonsterSecret'' does a version of this trope based around sexiness rather than traditional femininity. [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Youko]] isn't a {{Tomboy}}, but rather TheDitz, so her concepts of sexiness are questionable at best. She strives to become a "[[IceQueen Cool Beauty]]", but her idea of a [[ sexy pose]] looks like it came from a Franchise/SuperSentai show, and several characters completely missed the fact that she shows just as much cleavage as her [[TheVamp perverted]] friend Shiho because she has absolutely no idea how to properly flaunt her larger-than-average bustline.
** To that point, there's an entire chapter in the manga where Youko engages in a "sexiness battle" with [[ChristmasCake Akari-sensei]] and [[OlderThanTheyLook Principal]] [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Akane]], with a tied-up [[UnluckyEverydude Asahi]]'s {{Nosebleed}} serving as their "gauge". All three of them fail so spectacularly that Rin (Asahi's [[KidFromTheFuture Granddaughter from the Future]] and a rather literal {{Moral Guardian|s}}) approvingly declares it a "sex-free sexiness battle".
** The gag is repeated later on in the series with the introduction of Saki Minagawa, a [[HornyDevils succubus]] whose major RunningGag is her horrendously warped sense of sexiness. She came to the school hoping to challenge the daughter of the legendary Charismatic Pervert...and ends up mistakenly thinking Youko is said daughter (it's actually Shiho). Saki and Youko end up engaging in an impromptu sexiness battle, and once again Rin remains completely unaffected.
* In ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'', the towering and intimidating Misato Gori attempts to prove her love to [[TallDarkAndHandsome Koutarou]] [[ObliviousToLove Amon]] by baking him sweets. While she admits the final product doesn't ''look'' very cute, she remains oblivious to the wave of food poisoning her cooking causes to every single office she visits. When she finally presents Amon with her [[ThroughHisStomach gift]]....he mistakes it for a test of courage.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'': One story has Calamity Jane taking etiquette and cooking lessons. Needless to say, she can't help but swear like a sailor and her cookies are inedible. When threatening a group of men with her rifle unless they eat up, one of them opens his shirt and says "[[FateWorseThanDeath Fire!]]"
* One issue of ''[[Franchise/ArchieComics Archie]]'' had Veronica teaching Betty to be more ladylike (which was essentially her teaching Betty to be identical to her mannerisms.) Everything was going well until she spotted a couple of kids playing catch, which ends with her joining them and landing in a tree in retrieving the ball when it got stuck up there. While Veronica is annoyed with the turn of events, the kids all laud Betty as a hero.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' has the title character screwing up the traditionally feminine "matchmaker" process because she's too nervous at the idea of probably getting a husband and is into it more to please her parents than outta her own will.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The plot of ''Film/MissCongeniality''.
* ''SylviaScarlett'' has the title character after only a short time of dressing up as a man somehow incapable of passing as a woman (she now has short hair, and masculine mannerisms so even wearing a dress is an EpicFail).
* In ''Film/TheUntoldStory'', the female police officer dolls herself up to impress the guys at the office but ends up going too far and looks like a prostitute.
* ''Film/ThePrincessDiaries'' has the awkward Mia who takes princess lessons and gets a makeover to which her friend tells her that she sold out. She's still clumsy after the lessons.

* Sarene in ''Literature/{{Elantris}}'' is a princess who tries to be traditionally feminine, but fails spectacularly at girly activities, leading to her having trouble fitting in with the court.
* Hilarious example in ''Discworld/MonstrousRegiment'' by Creator/TerryPratchett, where an entire platoon of women pretending to be men have to go undercover in "drag", and fail miserably at it. For extra hilarity, the one actual male in the group has ''no trouble whatsoever'' passing as female.
* In the ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'', heroine Jame is an ActionGirl ''par excellence'' and all around harbinger of chaos [[spoiler: being a nascent avatar of destruction will do that for you]], and needless to say, when she's forced to try and become a proper Highborn lady in the third book (translation: elaborate dresses, lots of sewing, power wielded primarily through political intrigue, and very little in the way of physical activity), hilarity ensues. And by hilarity, we mean "rampant anarchy".
* Several decidedly unfunny examples happen with [[BrawnHilda Brienne of Tarth]] in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. She is so huge and ugly that attempts to dress her in a feminine way make her look worse than she does in armour, and while it provides some amusement for other characters, it only increases her feelings of being a freak unloved by all. Arya Stark has some examples as well, like tearing new dresses and being terrible at needlework.
* Shows up in the case of Shallan Davar of ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive''. She tries to be traditionally feminine to win over Adolin, but fails epically, breaking into the middle of one of his tales of derring-do to ask how he can poop in Shardplate. Luckily, Adolin finds her being herself even more attractive, and they are quite thoroughly in love by the end of the book.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/DegrassiJuniorHigh'' tomboy LD tries to be more feminine, including getting a makeover from her best friend Lucy. It fails and the makeup makes her look like a clown.
* Sam from ''Series/ICarly'' did this to get a guy's attention, with Carly giving her help to embrace her "inner daffodil". She ends up fighting with another girl by the end of the episode. [[spoiler: As it turns out, the guy was impressed and said he didn't want to date [[IronicEcho "some daffodil."]] ]]
* Happens on ''Series/NaturallySadie'' when Sadie gets upset after being called 'son' and tries to become a girly girl. Her mother is away so she gets advice from Hal (of all people). By the end of the episode, she has managed to find a balance between tomboy and girly girl.
* In ''{{Series/Miranda}}'', large-boned Miranda attempts to glam herself up with hilarious results. First she's oblivious to the fact that the only shop stocking glamorous clothing in her size is actually crossdressers' shop. Then she's flattered to get hit on by a genuinely nice guy who clearly (to everyone except Miranda) thinks she's in drag. Her bubble is finally burst by her best friend's astonished:
--> Miranda! Why are you dressed as a transvestite?!?
* [[{{Meganekko}} Ami]] from ''Series/PrettyGuardianSailorMoon'' tried make up when having a slumber party with Usagi and Naru, however, due her status as the CuteBookworm of the show, she didn't have much experience, so she naturally over did. Note that her failure wasn't fueled by being a {{Tomboy}} as she is a normally feminine girl, but it was rather a result of her [[{{Adorkable}} dorkiness]] and preference toward intellectual activities (And the fact she didn't have any friends until she met Usagi).
* In the ''Series/FrontierCircus'' episode "Stopover in Paradise", Ben romances the tomboyish owner of a local ranch. She attempts to become more feminine for him, but has trouble, especially with her high heeled shoes. Ben eventually tells her to take them off so he can teach her to dance properly.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'', Chie has this problem. She's obsessed with martial arts films, isn't scared to pick a fight when someone is in trouble and eats almost nothing but steak. She likes being who she is but doesn't like that the other sex treats her more like one of the guys instead of a girl. Her attempts to be more feminine usually don't end well, such as her cooking. [[spoiler:You can say that her fear of bugs is cute, however. This is actually the right choice to move the social link in a positive direction.]]
* Makoto Kikuchi from ''VideoGame/TheIdolmaster'' was raised like a boy and has a lot of female fans who admire her [[{{Bifauxnen}} looks]], but what she really wants is to be more feminine and get more attention from boys. Unfortunately, her attempts to be more girly rarely ever succeed.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'''s Citadel DLC, Female Shepard and Miranda Lawson, the former a marine for her entire adult life and the latter a reformed former member of a terrorist organization, both realize just how weird their lives are and attempt to act more normal by talking about traditionally feminine things. They can't even complete a single sentence. Eventually they decide that they're "troubleshooting space divas" and just roll with it.
-->'''Shepard''': (calling a waiter) Space diva needs more wine.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem''
** During Kjelle's supports with Severa in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'', the TomboyWithAGirlyStreak Severa forcefully attempts to give the borderline {{Ladette}} Kjelle a ladylike makeover. While she fails miserably with the makeup, she does succeed in developing better manners. Of course, Kjelle finds it entirely pointless and scorns the entire process.
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', TomboyPrincess Hinoka set aside almost any girly tasks to favor her ActionGirl training and sometimes is pretty lost in anything not related to fighting. She can gum up pretty badly [[LethalChef in the Mess Hall]], in the ''Conquest'' path her much girlier sister Sakura says she hasn't been doing too well with [[spoiler: her training to become the Queen of Hoshido]], and in [[spoiler: the [[GoldenPath Revelation]] route]] another woman ([[spoiler: her GirlyBruiser {{foil}} Princess Camilla]]) offers to teach her [[TextileWorkIsFeminine how to sew]] but takes her a long while to do it well.
*** Also in ''Fates'', the LadyOfWar Reina openly admits that despite being [[TeamMom rather motherly]], she's really bad regarding traditional feminine tasks (like [[LethalChef cooking]]). [[spoiler: It's explained in her supports with the Avatar that she's estranged from her noble parents who wanted her to be a traditional bride, so she didn't train for it.]]
* Aveline in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' [[TheBigGuy embodies an archetype]] more commonly associated with men, something frequently and gleefully noted by her [[VitriolicBestBuds Vitriolic Best Bud]] Isabella, who at one point calls her an "awkward, mannish, ball-crushing do-gooder." Interesting in that Kirkwall's gender mores are fairly loose, and Isabella herself [[TheLadette isn't what you'd normally consider "feminine"]] - Aveline is just ''so bad'' at all things womanly that she has trouble establishing her girl cred even under those forgiving circumstances.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* From ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': Kat, the more tomboyish of the protagonists, puts on makeup for the first time in order to impress Alistair, a NewTransferStudent at her school. She fails horribly, and Annie's there to assure her that she's lovely just the way she is.
* Falco from ''Webcomic/NamirDeiter'' tries to act more feminine for a while, when she's worried Cedric will go back to Tipper.
* Sal Walters in ''Webcomic/ItsWalky'' attempts a femininity makeover with the intention to get her old boyfriend back, and fails miserably. When she tries again later on, she deliberately skips the lipstick.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick tried to invoke {{kawaiiko}} for a while, but could never pull it off. Now she's settled for being a ladette [[PsychopathicManchild Psychopathic Womanchild]]. Her friend Nella was given a visit by the makeover fairy. She resisted and the fairy ended up putting a bag over Nella's face because there was nothing she could do for her.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness'': Tigress, in "The Princess and The Po" tries to pose as the princess to protect the actual princess from the bad guy. She tries to do the Princess Ceremonial Dancing Song. She can't sing, and she can't do graceful ladylike (although the real princess is not much better).
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'': Francine tries to be feminine for one day, picture day, where she goes to school in a dress and doesn't play kickball during recess so she'll be presentable for her photo. But she ends up playing anyway, and being scruffy in the picture.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfTarzan'' has Terk wanting to be feminine to attract another gorilla. She realizes by the end that it's completely unnecessary.
* The ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' episode "Helga's Makeover". She does this to attend Rhonda's sleepover but reverts to her old self after refusing an avocado cream mask.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Korra decides to try out that "powdering your nose" thing she's heard about. The ensuing cloud of dust leaves her coughing.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Toph and Katara's minisode in "Tales of Ba-Sing Se", Katara takes Toph to a spa, and Toph is so stand-offish about getting dolled up they need to get a hulking spa worker to hold her down, [[BlownAcrossTheRoom and then they touch her feet]]...
** Azula makes an attempt at being a typical teenage girl during the BeachEpisode, complete with coaching from resident GirlyGirl Ty Lee, only for her efforts to literally crash and burn at the end.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Recess}}'' with both girls. [[TheLadette Spinelli]] is entered against her will into a BeautyPageant and is initially awkward with the femininity - but ends up as one of the finalists. Similarly bookworm Gretchen gets convinced into going to the beauty salon with Ashley A and enjoys it.
* Also subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheWeekenders''. Lor is given a makeover by two Valley Girls when they hear a popular guy likes her. She shows up wearing a skirt and a girlier hairstyle. Though the reactions of her friends (and the guy in question) is a straighter example. Lor backs out when she hears she's supposed to get made over even more - including plastic surgery.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/CatDog'' had tough tomboy, Shriek, trying to make herself "a real woman" to get Dog's attention. After she is finally successful at looking and sounding more feminine, it backfires when everybody, except Dog, begins hitting on her.
* Played with on an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger''. The girls use makeup for picture day, and end up looking like clowns. Justified, however, because a) they are young and have not been taught how to use makeup properly and b) they made their own makeup out of things like gravy and cranberry sauce.