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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_zelda_link_6202.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:At least she's actually [[DamselInDistress doing something]] this time.]]

The tendency to make [[TheSmurfettePrinciple the one female character]] a ranged fighter while her male partner/teammate fights up close. In fantasy settings, she's the archer or a SquishyWizard, and the burliest male character has a [[{{BFS}} giant melee weapon]]. In comic books, especially MarvelComics in the '60s and '70s, female characters were often given powers that were ranged or unconventional enough to let them stay back while their male teammates did the heavy hitting.

Part of this is due to cultural taboos against showing [[WouldntHitAGirl women getting hit]]. Another part is that men have more innate musculature and greater potential for strength on a purely biological level, especially in the upper body. It may also have to do with the fact that a [[{{Stripperiffic}} skimpy costume]] looks [[BreastPlate more plausible]] on someone who isn't in melee. While {{Action Girl}}s have long since become commonplace these days, heroines are still more likely to have ranged powers than the guys.

Together, [[AddedAlliterativeAppeal a Melee Man and a Missile Maid]] may form a BattleCouple. The classic pairing of a caster and a basher is SwordAndSorcerer. Occasionally mutates into the TwoGuysAndAGirl form of FighterMageThief.

----
!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* A Tricon Global ad campaign from the late 1990s featured the Taco Bell Chihuahua, Colonel Sanders and a female Pizza Hut driver as ''Franchise/StarWars'' characters. They were besieged on all sides by a droid army. While the Taco Bell Chihuahua was completely unarmed and PlayedForLaughs, the Pizza Hut girl had a blaster pistol and Colonel Sanders bore a light saber.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* From ''{{Inuyasha}}'' we have Kagome on the bow shooting magic arrows, and the title character on the sword 'n claws, slashing stuff up.
** Justified in that she's an ordinary (aside from the spiritual powers she inherited via {{reincarnation}}), untrained human girl from the modern age, and he's a demon. Also inverted with Sango and Miroku.
* [[BrotherSisterTeam Shannon and Raquel]] Casull in ''ScrappedPrincess''. Shannon is a swordsman, Raquel is a sorceress.
* Played with in ''NanohaStrikerS'': between [[TomboyAndGirlyGirl Subaru and Teana]], the tomboyish Subaru is a melee fighter and the more feminine Teana is a ranged shooter. Additionally, among Fate's adoptive children, Erio and Caro, Erio fights with a spear, while Caro primarily uses summon magic.
* Inverted in ''OutlawStar.'' Of the four crew members who typically see combat, the two women (Aisha and Suzuku) are melee fighters while the men (Gene and Jim) fight with guns most of the time.
* [[MasterSwordsman Yajiro]] and [[TheGunslinger Rushuna]] in ''{{Grenadier}}''.
* In ''Manga/BlackLagoon'', Hansel uses an axe, and Gretel uses a really big gun. [[spoiler: Then again, we don't know what gender either of them actually is. They even switch roles, weapons included.]]
* Inverted in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' with Negi as the ranged mage and Asuna as the martial artist/swordsman in front...initially. Even after Negi starts [[TookALevelInBadass taking levels in badass]] and starts fighting up-close, though, Asuna remains on the frontline. The rest of the non-[[{{Muggle}} muggles]] in Negi's all-female class are also mixed between melee fighters (Kuu Fei, Setsuna...), ranged support (Konoka, Kazumi...), and all-around badasses (Kaede and Mana, mainly).
** Though this inversion is semi-justified in that the spirit of the trope--keeping the most "delicate" character out of the fray. [[KidHero Negi's]] [[WouldntHurtAChild youth]] evidently trumps Asuna's femininity. Or lack thereof.
* Lina (Mage) and Gaurry (Swordsman) in ''TheSlayers''. Probable aversion, given that Lina is no slouch with a sword herself.
* Inverted in ''{{Appleseed}}'': Deunan is only a very average size woman, while her BattleCouple boyfriend Briareos is an 8 feet tall cyborg. Deunan is the far more hot headed of the two and always goes in first while Briareos covers her from the back.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Tenten plays this straight with her enormous arsenal of ranged weapons, as does Temari with her fan. However, most of the other female characters avert this, particularly Sakura and Tsunade, who both pack a huge punch and both are seen getting hit (and getting up from said hits) multiple times.
* Inverted in ''GunslingerGirl''. The cyborgs, who are [[{{Cyborg}} body-modified]] [[TykeBomb little girls]] [[MadeOfIron are built for combat]], so the usual way using them is to use them to trash enemies up and front, while the handler (usually adult males) is stay behind for support. When the handler rushes front for whatever reasons, [[RuleOfDrama it usually doesn't end well.]]
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Of the opening crew, Simon (drill), Kamina (katana), Yoko (rifle). When Yoko gets the controls of a robot, the Dayakaiser, it has a giant cannon on it; Gurren Lagann, by contrast, typically fights with [[ThisIsADrill a giant friggin' drill]], with its ranged options being used once, maybe twice before being sidelined in favour of Giga Drills.
* This is somewhat [[{{InvertedTrope}} inverted]] in ''LightNovel/MadanNoOuToVanadis''. While most of the men do fight in close quarters, the main character Tigre fights exclusively with a bow, and the female Vanadis who surround him fight exclusively with close combat weapons such as swords, spears and staffs.
* Inverted in ''Manga/BlackButler'' with Ciel and [[spoiler: Lizzy.]] While Ciel carries a pistol and is an excellent shot, he has asthma and poor stamina. In one battle, he even sprained his ankle wearing high heels while [[spoiler: Lizzy picked up a sword]] and smashed some [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Bizarre Doll's]] heads in. Both are badass, and the only reason why Ciel couldn't help in that scene was because his gun jammed.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Comics}}]]
* ''GIJoe'' pairs sword-wielding Snake-Eyes with Scarlett and her crossbow and throwing stars. Also averted in that Snake isn't above using a gun when the situation calls for it, and Scarlett is such a good hand-to-hand combatant that she was the early team's martial arts instructor.
* In ''ComicBook/BodyBags'', Mack "Clownface" Delgado and his daughter Panda. Mack dual wields huge knives, Panda uses various firearms.
* In ''{{Preacher}}'', Jesse Custer and his best mate Cassidy beat people up, while Jesse's girlfriend Tulip guns them down.
* Inverted with ComicBook/GreenArrow and ComicBook/BlackCanary when they are teamed up.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'' provides a sibling example. Illyana Rasputin is a teleporter and sorceress; while her older brother Piotr hits things really, really, ''really'' hard.
** Not completely, Magik (Illyana) usually needs time to teleport and only has her full complement of sorcery when she's in Limbo, so she ends up relying on slicing things up with her soulsword.
* Elsewhere in the MarvelUniverse we have the twins {{Quicksilver}}, who punches things very [[SuperSpeed fast]]; and the ScarletWitch, who makes motions with her hands and warps reality.
* Also in the Avengers, we have an inversion with ComicBook/{{Hawkeye}} and his ex wife ComicBook/{{Mockingbird}}. Hawkeye's an archer, the best in the world, in fact; Mockingbird's a fighter who prefers to fight with her battle staves, and is one of the best fighters in the Marvel Universe, at least on the same level as Nick Fury and Captain America (and that's [[BadassAbnormal before gaining their respective powers]]). Given his past relationships with Black Widow and She-Hulk, and his recent relationship with Spider-Woman, Hawkeye in general seems to have a thing for women who can do the punching while he does the shooting.
* [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed and Sue Richards]] when they go in BattleCouple mode: Reed using his RubberMan powers to attack up close while Sue blasts things from a distance with her invisible forcefields.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''Fanfic/ThePrayerWarriors'', surprisingly, this is ''[[AvertedTrope not]]'' played straight in spite of the themes of [[StayInTheKitchen gender-based roles]]. The women, when they fight, use a fairly diverse arsenal of weapons, such as a gun (Mary), a dagger (Ebony), a sword and a spear (Clarisse), and a club (Annabeth and her opponent). Among the men, most use swords, but also can use an axe ([[Franchise/HarryPotter Draco]]), [[DualWielding a sword and spear]] (PercyJackson), or a sniper rifle (Grover).
* In ''FanFic/{{Horseshoes and Hand Grenades}}'' and its subsequent sidestories, male and female characters fight with diverse weaponry. Since there are [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters so many of them]], it can be divided into different ways:
** For Kamen Riders, Riderman and Kamen Rider Den-O Rod, Gun and Wing Form technically attack from the distance. Kamen Rider Amazon, Joker, Nadeshiko and Den-O Sword, Axe, and Super Climax Form all worked when they were in close combat.
*** And when they weren't in Kamen Rider Form: Chosuke uses his fists to punch the lights out of people and JK had a pair of guns filled with rubber bullets.
** The female characters also varied: Yuki, Miu, Yayoi, Rumi and Haruka all use weapons that let them attack up close. Tomoko, Erin and Mari were better suited in the back.
** Inverted in ''Month of Sundays'', Abe and Taira wielded swords and axes while Ibuki used a ''kusarigama'' to ensnare his opponents. Teruhiko also fights by shooting spikes and using a sonic howl. Miura later comes in but since he has the power of the Aries Zodiarts, he also steps back to use his sleeping powers on the opponent. Rumi, as stated above, charges toward opponents with a vaulting pole, kicking them in the face for good measure.
*** Shingo and Hina Izumi also invert this: Shingo, being a policeman, fires his rifle at the enemy. Hina punches people in the face.
* Inverted in ''Fanfic/MassEffectHumanRevolution'', where the guys of the [[BadassCrew Deep]] [[SemperFi Eyes]] are the riflemen while Jane TheSquadette is the melee specialist.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}}]]
* ''BladeTrinity''. ActionGirl Abigail Whistler uses a compound bow while the title character has a sword.
* In ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' Anakin who wields a lightsaber, and Padme who uses a blaster.
** Of the main characters in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' movies, the only ones who use lightsabers are all male. In the original trilogy, Leia is the only one whose blaster bolts never miss. However, there are female lightsaber-wielding Jedi in minor supporting roles.
* Inverted in ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'': When [[spoiler: Marty and Dana are trying to get out of the underground facility beneath the cabin, Marty gets his hands on two weapons. He keeps the gun for himself... and gives the knife to Dana. The inversion is somewhat justified in that Dana, who had to either survive or be killed last in order for the ritual to work, was marginally safer - except that neither of them knew that at the time.]]
* Inverted in ''Film/TheAvengers'': Black Widow is a good shot but an even better martial artist, while Hawkeye is good at martial arts but phenomenal with a bow.
* Inverted in ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'': When Snow White fights in the climactic battle, she does so with sword and shield while her childhood friend William spends the entire movie fighting with bow and arrow.
* In 2004's ''Film/KingArthur'', Guinevere is a Woad warrior-maiden and mostly fights using a bow and arrow, while Arthur fights with swords. She does get in on some melee action during the film's final battle.
* In ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', Ralph smashes things, Felix hits things with his hammer (for all the good it does) and Calhoun fires guns, but heavy machine guns, so she's treated as the most {{Badass}} character in the movie.
* Film/{{Willow}} takes it both ways. Mad Mardigan prefers a sword over all else but is willing and more than able to use a crossbow, and Sorcia's primary weapon is a bow and arrows but she carries a rapier that she is rather skilled with.
* Inverted in ''Film/EdgeOfTomorrow'', where Cage prefers the shooting weapons while Rita wields a {{BFS}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Literature}}]]
* In ''Literature/TheLionTheWitchAndTheWardrobe'', Peter and Edmund are supplied with [[HeroesPreferSwords swords]], but Susan with a bow. Lucy only gets a dagger as a weapon of last resort, being TheMedic.
** In the film of ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'', Lucy inherits Susan's bow. In ''Literature/TheSilverChair'', it's inverted as males Eustace and Puddleglum get the bows while Jill gets a hunting knife, but played straight again by ''Literature/TheLastBattle'' when Jill gets a bow as Eustace gets a sword.
* ''TheWheelOfTime'' has Birgitte Silverbow and Gaidal Cain.
** And for the SwordAndSorcerer approach, Aes Sedai[[note]]particularly Green Ajah, since they're the combat specialists[[/note]] and their Warders.
* District 12 sends one boy and one girl to compete in ''Literature/TheHungerGames''. The boy is a wrestler. The girl is an archer.
** Somewhat justified in that the girl is a hunter and the boy is a baker. All he had was above average strength and a couple days to pick up some kind of martial skill when he was chosen.
* [[BattleCouple Luke and Mara]] often fall into this pattern when fighting together, especially before she becomes a full Jedi, though even after she is still more likely to use her blaster than Luke.
* ''[[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Star Wars]]: Literature/FateOfTheJedi'': Luke and Ben tend to fight with their [[LaserBlade lightsabers]], while Vestara and Jaina tend to fight with [[ShockandAwe force lightning]] and from [[OldSchoolDogfight a star-fighter]], respectively. For example, in ''Vortex'', [[spoiler: Vestara throws her lightsaber to an un-armed Luke, then starts shocking Abeloth.]]
* In many fantasy writings, elves and dwarves follow a similar dynamic. If they [[ElvesVsDwarves spend the novel bickering]], the dwarf will probably call the elf effeminate.
* In ''Literature/StarshipTroopers'', men are the infantry, women are the pilots. It's explained that women have been discovered to have better reflexes.
* Inverted in ''Literature/CodexAlera'' with the BattleCouple of Bernard and Amara- he's an archer, she's a swordswoman.
* Averted in the first ''Literature/SongOfTheLioness'' book. When Alanna and Jonathan go against an ancient group of evil spirits, Alanna is the one who uses the sword, while Jon maintains their magic shields.
* Inverted in the ''Literature/MediochreQSethSeries''. [[ActionGirl Dhampinella]] is an unarmed hand-to-hand combatant ([[TheBigGuy and a darn good one]]) while [[TheLancer Joseph]] is TheGunslinger by choice and only fights unarmed if he has to. Neither [[NonActionSnarker Mediochre]] nor [[TheChick Charlotte]] fight much, but in the first book Mediochre borrows one of Joseph's guns and Charlotte clubs someone with a rock and occasionally struggles up-close-and-personal with {{Mooks}}.
* Variation in Literature/MonsterHunterInternational: Owen Zastave Pitt (main protagonist) uses a [[ICallItVera Abomination]], a [[MoreDakka fully-automatic]] [[CoolGuns Saiga-12]] shotgun with a [[BayonetYa bayonet]], while his [[wife FriendlySniper]] and other [[ActionGirl female characters]] tend to use longer-ranged weapons. [[BadassGrandpa Earl Harbinger]], being a werewolf, plays it straighter.
* Played straight with the main male and female protagonists of ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn''. Simon is a swordsman[[note]]well, he starts out a NonActionGuy, but learns the sword across the trilogy[[/note]] and Princess Miriamele is an archer (and the cover of the last book has both posing with their respective WeaponOfChoice). However, when they travel together during the last book, they ''do'' start training each other in the other's weapon.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'':
** Each of the Gokaigers wields a SwordAndGun, but they pass them around freely as needed. TheLancer and the ActionGirl prefer to fight with two swords, while the PluckyComicRelief and TheChick prefer two guns (TheHero sticks with one of each). The SixthRanger's main weapon is a polearm.
** It could be said this way about a lot of the sentai series. In ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'', [[TheSmurfettePrinciple the only girl]] gets a bow, while the others get [[HeroesPreferSwords a sword]], [[AnAxeToGrind an axe]], [[KnifeNut a couple knives]], [[BladeOnAStick a polearm of some sort]], and [[ImprobableWeaponUser a flute that makes trumpet noises and doubles as a knife]]. That last one gets his own sword, too, [[DefectorFromDecadence when he's evil]].
** Almost any time a bow comes up expect the Pink Ranger (often TheChick) to wield it. After ''Zyuranger'', there was Pink Racer of ''Carranger'', Ginga Pink of ''Gingaman'', and even before that, there was Blue Dolphin in ''Liveman.'' Aversions include ''Shinkenger'', whose Archer was the Blue Ranger; and Kakuranger, which had a male Archer (Ninja Black) while [[TheSmurfettePrinciple the lone girl]] uses a dagger.
** Almost all heavy cutting/chopping or melee weapons are given to male Rangers, with a possible exception in ''Series/TensouSentaiGoseiger'', where Yellow's main weapon is a large claw-like slicing device. However, her brother is the one that gets the big heavy axe.
** Averted by ''Series/ResshaSentaiTokkyuger'' where not only does the whole team use each other's weapons regularly, but Tokkyu-3's main weapon is a [[DropTheHammer hammer]] while Tokkyu-5's is a [[WolverineClaws claw]].
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'': Prince Charming's main weapon is a [[HeroesPreferSwords sword]]; Snow White's is a bow and arrow. Most of the other characters also follow this trope, with the female villains being spellcasters while male villain Captain Hook primarily uses his hook (though he does use a gun on [[spoiler:Belle]]), supporting female hero Granny using a crossbow and Emma, having grown up in our world in the modern day, preferring to use a pistol. The only exceptions are Rumplestiltskin (male, spellcaster), Mulan (female, swordfighter), and Red (female, [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolf]]).
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': Miles's main weapon? A katana. Charlie's main weapon? A crossbow. Episodes like "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E2ChainedHeat Chained Heat]]" show this trope in action. Even when Charlie ditches the crossbow for a gun by [[Recap/RevolutionS1E10NobodysFaultButMine episode 10]], she's still shooting.
* inverted in ''Series/{{Arrow}}'', as with their above comic selves, [[GreenArrow Oliver]] is an archer with ImprobableAimingSkills, while Canary, in season 2,[[spoiler: is a former member of the League Of Assassins]], capable of killing entire rooms of people. Like most inversions, Ollie's just as good at fighting, if not on her level, and she's no slouch with a bow either.
** Played straight with Ollie's island friends. Slade is an [[KnifeNut Sword nut]] ASIS combat specialist who likes to get up close with his kills, while Shado is an archer capable of casually hitting targets, and teaches Ollie how to shoot. Like above, she's also a great fighter, and he's a crack shot with rifle or pistol.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' for some reason gives Arya archery skills that she's specifically stated to lack in [[Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire the books]], though she still favors the sword.
* Inverted in ''Series/{{Justified}}'', in which male deputies Raylan Givens and Tim Gutterson are noted for their skill with guns, while their colleague Rachel Brooks is far more likely to deliver a brutal baton-beating than pull her sidearm.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Multiple Media]]
* While ''Franchise/{{Noob}}'' has a correct balance of male smashers and shooters, the ten-ish female characters are a different story : Couette, Elyx and (according to the novels) Kary are healers, Gaea and Roxana magic users, Gaea's reroll, Ivy and [[spoiler:NazetrÓme's real incarnation]] do distance DPS. Saphir can do both as a paladin, but is more BarrierWarrior oriented [[spoiler:until she has to replace FantŲm as her team's tank]]. The only female characters with actual hand-to-hand combat oriented classes are Golgotha, Omega Zellette and NazetrÓme [[spoiler:who's not using her real character]], and the two latter only lasted a handful of episodes in the webseries.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* ''DungeonsAndDragons'' source-book art sometimes does this. Caster classes are much more likely to be female (and clad in a revealing costumes), while the people wearing plate and bashing people are usually male (though in third edition, there was the female paladin and male sorcerer). Averted in actual play due to PurelyAestheticGender
* The iconic characters of ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' tend to be notably even-handed with regard to their gender-to-class distribution. Sure, you have a muscular male fighter and a slinky female sorceress, but you also have a male wizard and a female barbarian (who uses a slain giant's shortsword as a ''two-handed greatsword'').
* Of the five signature Solars in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', the girls are a mage and an archer, while the guys are a brawler the size of a house, a master swordsman, and a kung fu {{Ambadassador}}.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Trine}}'' has the Thief (bow), Knight (FlamingSword (eventually)), and Wizard (WreakingHavok).
* ''VideoGame/{{Torchlight}}'' has these archetypes (although the class roles are technically flexible).
* ''VideoGame/InfiniteUndiscovery'', Aya has a bow and tiny dagger, Capell a gladius.
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' has a similar arrangement, with a female Rogue who functions best as an archer, and a male warrior and wizard. In the sequel, the two close-quarters combat classes - the Barbarian and the Paladin - are male. The Sorceress is a ranged combatant, and the Amazon specializes in bows, javelins and spears - only the latter is close-quarters.
** While ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' allows players to choose the gender of any class they play, this trope is reflected in the iconics of each class -- the Barbarian and the Monk, the primary melee fighters among the Nephalem, are male; while the Demon Hunter and the Wizard, the primary ranged attackers, are female, with the odd one out being the Witch Doctor.
* ''VideoGame/{{Path of Exile}}'' has only classes that fit this trope: ranged characters (Witch, Ranger) are female while close-combat characters are male (Marauder, Shadow, Templar, Duelist).
* ''[[VideoGame/WarCraft WarCraft III]]'':
** Night Elves have only two melee units, one is male, the other... kinda looks like one (though the species has no sexes and does not reproduce at all). All their ranged units (save one) are female. Their heroes are two male, two female for both ranged and melee.
*** Rather inverted in spirit if not letter within the background - with the men of the race being asleep for centuries as part of their druidism studies, the Night Elves' military troops were entirely women while men were largely support casters (well, [[VoluntaryShapeshifting Druids of the Claw turning into]] [[BearsAreBadNews bears]] as they see fit notwithstanding) for long until attrition and time relaxed this divide by necessity.
** Humans, Naga and Undead have only one female unit, which is ranged. Female heroes for these races are all ranged.
* ''WorldOfWarcraft'' has no gender restrictions on class; any class can be either gender. However, a demographic study showed that while not all female players are healers, they ''do'' statistically prefer ranged DPS to melee.
** NPC-wise, centaur males are just about always physical fighters, centaur females are just about always casters. Their hunters are also males, though, so centaur guys occasionally do shoot arrows.
* In the second ''VideoGame/ViewtifulJoe'' game, his girlfriend Sylvia is playable as a secondary character (rather than being a bonus mode as in the first) and uses a gun instead of punches.
* Initially played straight in ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger'' where the UnluckyChildhoodFriend uses guns and the RebelliousPrincess uses bows. Then averted by the cavewoman who simply uses GoodOldFisticuffs.
* Played straight in a lot of the ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games, where not everyone can use everything.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIV'': Rosa uses a bow, and is the only character who does so, and all three female characters are mages. Note that Gilbert/Edward/[[MemeticMutation Spoony]] uses a harp.
*** Note that Edward and [=Paladin!Cecil=] ''can'' use bows, as can Palom and Porom, but there's usually little reason to equip them thusly. The bow and arrow is actually the most usable weapon in the game, with rods (usable by Rydia, Tellah, Palom and Porom) being a close second. Rosa is the only character restricted to bow use, which in turn makes use of her "Aim" skill.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'': Fairly open due to the system which allows all characters to use melee and ranged weaponry as well as magic. Early in the story, however, the only characters able to use magic are Terra and Celes, both female.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' is an interesting exception: Of the three dedicated missile fighters, Barret and Vincent are male while Yuffie is female, but the hand-to-hand combatist and the dedicated mage, Tifa and Aerith respectively, are female.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' mixes and matches. All of the female antagonists use ranged attacks, and all of the male antagonists have at least one melee attack, but there's one ranged and two melee attackers of each gender among the six main characters, and one melee and two ranged attackers among the three males played in flashbacks.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyIX'' continues the trend of exceptions: Two {{White Magician Girl}}s (both of whom can use ranged attacks and summon magic) and a melee fighter round out the females, while the males have a thief, a black mage, a martial arts mercenary, and a knight. Quina's gender is unknown, and even called "s/he" throughout.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' The females are a thief who uses melee attacks, a black mage with a ranged attack, and a standard WhiteMagicianGirl with a (uselessly weak) melee attack, who, like the two before, can use summon magic. The guys have physical attacks, but the ranged fighter is a guy.
*** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2'' how each character (All of whom are female) attacks depends on the dress-sphere (Job class) they use, but the default spheres- warrior, thief, and gunner- include two melee attackers and one ranged.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' tends towards flipped genders. Sazh and Hope are both males that use ranged weapons (guns and a boomerang, respectively), leaving Snow as the only melee-centric male with his fisticuffs. Fang is a woman who uses a short-range lance, while Vanille uses a fishing rod to attack from afar. Lightning's gunblade can smash or shoot, but she seems to favor the blade part.
*** ''VideoGame/{{FinalFantasyXIII-2}}'' plays it notably straighter. Both party members have the ability to smash and shoot, as Serah's sword can become a bow and Noel's swords become a javelin. However, the creators specifically gave Serah a bow to "preserve her femininity".
** Women have higher magic stats in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics''; however, [[MagikarpPower a male wizard and a female warrior have special classes]], and you probably won't notice it much.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'''s only female race, the Viera, have pretty much all magic and ranged classes, except the Fencer and Assassin. The sequel's Gria have more melee abilities, though one cheap way to win is to have a Gria Hunter fly to the highest point and have her shoot all the enemies.
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' plays this mostly straight. You can get up to eight members on your team; two men with huge swords, clubs or axes, one man with a dagger-sword combination, and one man with shield and sword filling the Tank role. Then there are two women who are mages and one who's intended as an archer. [[spoiler: Shale is a woman who also fills a tanking role, but she looks like and sounds like a man, and is rather surprised to find out that she used to be a woman, thus making her gender rather forgettable.]]
** However, the ExpansionPack ''[[VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening Awakening]]'' averts this with the two rogue party members: the male rogue Nathaniel is better suited as an archer, and the female rogue Sigrun is meant to duke it out in melee (however, thanks to readily available {{Skill Point Reset}}s in ''Awakening'', you can re-spec them at any time). You also get one female sword and shield warrior, Mhairi.
*** The ''Witch Hunt'' {{DLC}} also pairs a female warrior with a male mage.
** ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' again averts this with Aveline and Isabela--a brawny "[[StoneWall Guardian]]" warrior and a swashbuckling PirateGirl, respectively. Of the four ranged party members, only one is female (the mage Merrill).
*** Played straight with Hawke's siblings - Carver is a swordsman, Bethany is a mage.
* [[MightyGlacier Ness]] and [[GlassCannon Paula]] in ''VideoGame/EarthBound''. However, the character whose ''physical'' attack is ranged is [[{{Nerd}} Jeff]].
* Averted in ''RomancingSaGa'' as any character can use Bows, but Claudia definitely fits this due to her High Battle Point (BP) and BP Regen at the end of the game and the high end techs for Bows use a large amount of BP, she even starts off with a bow.
** Her bodyguard, Gray, uses a sword as his default weapon, though. Even moreso if you play as him, since Falcata, his ultimate weapon, is a [[KatanasAreJustBetter katana.]]
* The dual plotlines in ''VideoGame/ThreadsOfFate'' centered around a male and female protagonist, respectively. The girl specialized in long-range magical attacks, although she was also equally competent with her RingsOfDeath.
** Ironically enough Mint is very proud of her dropkick and it's her ''first'' resort in cutscenes on anything that she can get near to, even things that she would be better off nuking from a distance.
* In ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'', Etna's default weapon is a spear (semi-ranged) and she is shown using a gun in cutscenes. However, she's still much more melee-oriented than Flonne, the WhiteMagicianGirl / Archer / [[LeakedExperience Battle Mage]]. The female PlayerMooks have a variety of proficiencies as well depending on job class.
** It's inverted for the humans, however: Captain Gordon, '''Defender of Earth!''' uses a gun and Jennifer uses her fists.
** In Etna's cameo in MakaiKingdom, she gets a [[GatlingGood huge-ass minigun]] instead.
** Played straight in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' with bare-knuckled Adell and gun-toting Rozalin.
** And in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 3|AbsenceOfJustice}}'', Sapphire comes with a gun, but she also has proficiencies in bow and [[AxCrazy Ax]].
* The ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' series does this fairly often. The [=KoRyuOh=] in [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsAlpha Alpha]], canonically piloted by Brooklyn, is Primarily Melee-oriented while Kushua's [=RyuKoOh=] form uses ranged magic. In [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsCompact2 Compact 2/Impact]], You have the paired team of Kyosuke (Alt Eisen) and Excellen (Weiss Ritter), which is repeated in Alpha 2 with Arado (Wildwurger) and Seolla (Wildfalken). [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsMX MX]] (and [=KoRyu/RyuKo=]Oh) played with the idea by having the combination being a single machine that transforms from one form to the other depending on the situation. In ''MX's'' case, this was reserved for the MidSeasonUpgrade.
** Similarly, entries with a choice of protagonists will often assign the female to the FragileSpeedster Real Robot whereas the male pilots the brawny Super-type. Indeed, Kusuha is pretty much the ONLY female in the series solely associated with super robots (though [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Z2's]] lack of a super robot original and Esther's nagging implications of importance may lead to her getting one as well).
*** She gets a speedy Real in ''Saisei-hen'', But you can choose Crowe's MidSeasonUpgrade, and it does not necessarily have to be the brawler.
*** [[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsJudgment J]] allows the player to subvert this by choosing the machine separately, but given that Touya starts as [[MazingerZ Kouji Kabuto]]'s classmate, while Calvina begins aboard the ''[[Anime/MartianSuccessorNadesico Nadesico]]'', they're definitely steering you that way.
** Subverted in ''EndlessFrontier'', where Haken is a gunslinger while Kaguya is the one to swing a big sword.
*** [[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted]], actually. Many of Haken's attacks are using his melee gun, or at point blank range, and many of Kaguya's attacks deal with swarms of projectiles.
* In '7Blades', the player can choose between two playable characters - a guy with a sword (or seven, per the title) or a girl with a gun, which she [[ICallItVera nicknames 'Kittykat']]
* Partially invoked by ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe''. The Amazon, Tyris Flare has a long-sword, but is the weakest of the three characters in combat, and is much better with her [[SmartBomb screen-clearing magic attacks]]. The Dwarf, Gilius Thunderhead, and Barbarian Ax Battler have quite a few more direct attacks, but weaker magic.
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' - The Prince wields a large sword and the dagger of time, Farah uses a bow.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'', and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', Princess Zelda fires off Light Arrows to stun the [[BigBad final boss]] so that Link can slash away at it with his sword.
* The relationship of Vanguard-Reyvateil as a BattleCouple in ArTonelico series is this. Male vanguard attacks enemies at close range while female reyvateil shoots magic from afar.
** Although it's partially averted with the female vanguards, all of which wield melee weapons: Krusche wields a chainsaw, Amarie a combination between a bow, dual swords and a lyre; and Cocona a hairclip that turns into a bladed battle scepter (Ar tonelico II) and a duet of laser tonfas (Ar tonelico III).
* In ''VideoGame/OgreBattle'', the starting male class is a swordsman, while the starting female class is an archer. In general, males are better in the front row, though at the most advanced classes, they get some use in the back row.
* Though all three of the playable characters in ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsBirthBySleep'' wield keyblades for melee attacks, Aqua, the lone female, is singled out as being an exceptional mage, and most of her unique moves and abilities are spell based.
* Seen as a tendency in ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' in which at one point just under half of the ranged champions were female, while a bit less than a fifth of melee champions were female.
** Riot has since evened the odds somewhat.
* The classes of ''VideoGame/DragonNest'' sort of falls into this. The male classes, Fighter and Cleric, are both pretty up close and physical. Meanwhile, the female classes are Archer and Sorceress, who are both mostly ranged.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand'' has Boom Boom and Pom Pom, [[TheDragon the Dragons]] of the game. Boom Boom attacks with his fists while Pom Pom throws boomerangs.
* Your initial party in ''VideoGame/BlazeUnion'' works like this, featuring Garlot the (lance-wielding) knight, Jenon the swordsman, and Siskier the archer. From the point the party begins to expand, though, you accumulate lots of heavy-hitting melee ladies and a couple of ranged-fighter men.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. Your humanoid male companions are a mechanic who uses [[RevolversAreJustBetter revolvers]], a ColdSniper, and a doctor who uses [[FrickinLaserBeams energy weapons]]. Your humanoid female companions are a mutant assassin who uses a helicopter blade as a {{BFS}}, a scavenger armed with a PowerFist, and a cowgirl with a ShortRangeShotgun. This carries over to the DLC as well; in ''Honest Hearts'', the female companion uses gauntlets while the two males prefer .45 pistols, and the only companion in ''Dead Money'' who has a default weapon other than fists is a male ghoul with a 9mm pistol.
* In ''VideoGame/MaxPayne2'', Max's signature weapon is a Beretta pistol, a fairly short-range, close combat weapon. Mona's signature weapon is a sniper rifle.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' trilogy can both play this straight and invert, depending on Shepard's combat class. For example, played straight with Soldier Male!Shepard and [[MagicalGirl Liara]] as his teammate/love interest, but inverted with [[CurbStompBattle Vanguard]] Female!Shepard and [[FriendlySniper Garrus]] as her combat partner/love interest.
** Inverted with human teammates in ''VideoGame/MassEffect1''. Ashley is a soldier, Kaidan is a support character better kept to the back ranks.
** Also inverted with [[WrenchWench Tali]] and Garrus: Tali carries a shotgun, while her best friend/possible lover Garrus is a sniper. He teases her about it when she says fighting husks is easy because "they just run up to us!" and he counters that he's a sniper and "[she's] the one who likes things at short range."
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/ImmortalSouls''. Technically John and Raven both have both ranged and melee attacks to use, but Raven is most commonly depicted in the game's advertising as wielding a large ornate medieval-style sword, while John is more commonly shown dual-wielding typical modern-day revolvers.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/{{Ys}} Origin'' - [[SquishyWizard Hugo]] relies mainly on bombarding the enemy with magic missiles from afar. [[ActionGirl Yunica]], lacking any sort of magical ability, gets in close and goes to work with her [[AnAxeToGrind axe]] ([[spoiler: or later on, [[AncestralWeapon her father's greatsword]]]]).
* In ''VideoGame/FairyBloom Freesia'', Listine (the second boss) fights with his sword, while his partner Shynie (third boss) uses her agility and a [[FlechetteStorm limitless supply of knives]].
* Played straight with the two [[OriginalGeneration original characters]] from ''VideoGame/ProjectXZone''. Kogoro uses blades, Mii uses guns.
* In ''SkiesOfArcadia'' Vyse uses two swords while Aika attacks with a boomerang.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'' with the Zuul. Male Zuul are {{Squishy Wizard}}s, powerful psychics but not that tough in CQC. Female Zuul on the other hand are combat monsters capable of fighting PoweredArmor.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'': Most characters have a combination of melee and ranged attacks, with the exceptions of Regal, who is a physical attacker (with a single healing spell), Raine and Genis (female WhiteMage and male BlackMage, respectively) and Presea, who despite being a small girl, is the game's resident MightyGlacier.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/TearsToTiara2''. Daphnis the WholesomeCrossdresser {{Meido}} shoots. His master Elissa TheOjou carries [[DropTheHammer a huge hammer]].
* In ''The Return of Ishtar'', the sequel to ''VideoGame/TheTowerOfDruaga'', Gil focuses on fighting enemies up close with his sword, while Ki focuses on ranged attacks with her magic skills.
* In ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'', the male-only mon Gallade specializes in the Attack stat, is [[ElementalRockPaperScissors Psychic/Fighting]], and all his damaging moves are melee attacks of the "Physical" type. His counterpart Gardevoir, which can be either gender but looks feminine, was originally Psychic only and later [[RetCon given]] the Fairy-type, specializes in Special Attack and all her damaging moves are ranged and of the "Special" type.
** For the first two Pokemon to be gender-divergent, the Nidos, this trope is averted. They are both melee fighters with similar movepools and the same type. However, Nidoran Male [[LightningBruiser specializes in Attack and Speed]] while Nidoran Female [[StoneWall specializes in HP and Defenses]].
** In the case of the gendered-counterpart firefly Pokemon, there's an aversion: Only the male (Volbeat) can learn the beam move Signal Beam.
** Also averted with the two bovine Pokemon, Tauros and Miltank. They have the same base stat total of 490, but Tauros specializes in Attack, while Miltank specializes in Defense.
** And yet another aversion with Female and Male Meowstic. Females learn special attacks, while males learn support moves.
* ''VideoGame/SengokuBasara'' hasn't got that many female characters to begin with, but about half of them are primary ranged weapon wielders. The female characters also account for all but one of the games' ranged weapon users in total.
* The "cover" image for ''[[http://www.swtor.com/rothc Rise Of The Hutt Cartel]]'', an expansion to ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'' depicts a female character DualWielding blaster pistols and a male character sporting a lightsaber and a clenched fist.
* StarOcean
** Inverted in [[StarOcean1 the first game]]. Ilia Silvestri is a frontline martial artist while Ronix is an archer and BlackMage.
** StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime has two variations centered on swordsman Fayt. Sophia plays the sorcerer role in a SwordAndSorcerer combination, while Maria uses a gun.
** StarOceanTheLastHope plays this almost painfully straight. [[TheHero Edge]] fights primarily with a sword while [[TheLancer Reimi]] uses a bow almost exclusively.
* The ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' franchise usually played this straight. The three females from the first two games were all magic based. ''VideoGame/GoldenSunDarkDawn'' subverted it hard, giving us [[RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething Princess]] [[CuteMonsterGirl Sveta]], who has the strongest physical strength of any [[GameBreaker character in the series.]]
* Arguably zigzagged (at least in the sense of seeming to avert it, only to play it straight) in '"VideoGame/DeadIsland''. There are four playable heroes, and there's both a melee male & female duo and a ranged male & female duo. However, the male heroes are the blunt weapon specialist and the throwing weapon specialist, whilst the female heroes are the gun specialist and cutting weapon specialist. The gun specialist also specialises in using cutting melee weapons as well.
** Then the sequel ''VideoGame/DeadIslandRiptide'' adds one more hero... a male character whose speciality is ''beating zombies to death with his fists''.
* Fighting games tend to follow this formula, making their female characters either ranged fighters or [[FragileSpeedster Fragile Speedsters]], but Vanessa from ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' is a noteworthy aversion as a six-foot-tall female fist-fighter with BoobsOfSteel.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfileSilmeria''. [[TheHero Alicia]] uses a sword while [[TheLancer Rufus]] uses a bow.
* Inverted more in retrospect than directly in ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend''. In the first game [[ContemporaryCaveman Hiyoko]] and [[TeenSuperSpy Yuuya]] can hook up and become a BattleCouple, but they're rarely shown in combat. The second game has Yuuya happily using firearms, while Hiyoko sometimes uses melee weapons - everything from an [[ImprovisedWeapon uprooted mailbox]] to various intentional weapons, though apparently she uses even edged ones like a club - but is entirely adept with fists and feet, too.
* In ''VideoGame/ClashOfClans'', the first two basic units are the swordfighting male Barbarians and the female Archers. Averted with the flame shooting Wizards and the close combat Valkyries.
* While both protagonists of ''Videogame/HuntedTheDemonsForge'' are capable of shooting or melee, Caddoc is a melee specialist while E'lara is the ranged specialist.
* Each of the males protagonists in ''[[HeroesOfMightAndMagic Might & Magic: Heroes VI]]'''s campaign mode have Might-oriented classes as their defaults, with Sandor being a barbarian, Anton being a knight, and Kiril being a heretic, while the women, Irina and Anastasya, have the magic-oriented Monk and Necromancer classes respectively. Downplayed in that the player has the option of switching their hero's class at the start of the campaign.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomic]]
* Played straight with Jason and Jessica in ''StrawberryDeathCake''.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'': Haley, the only definite female, is the order's archer. The [[AmbiguousGender possibly female]] Vaarsuvius specializes in ranged magical attacks.
** Also averted by some of the recurring female warrior characters, notably the paladins [[KnightTemplar Miko Miyazaki]] and Lien, and Hayley's nemesis [[ProfessionalKiller Crystal]].
* Played fairly straight in ''OurLittleAdventure'' with the main four group members.
** The trope was averted for awhile with their fifth member [[TheLadette Pauline]] [[AnAxeToGrind the]] [[BarbarianHero barbarian]], [[spoiler: until she died.]]. Later subverted when Lenny took levels in Ranger and Jordie joined the group as a cleric.
* Played straight with the Pre-Scratch Kids in {{Homestuck}} (John and Dave use hammers and (1/2)swords, Rose and Jade use needlewands and rifles[[note]]although Rose started out with knitting needles as melee weapons[[/note]]). Completely thrown out the window with the trolls and Post-Scratch Kids.
* Inverted in ''Webcomic/TheSenkari'' where both Freija and Rachel smash (With sword and spear respectively) while Val is in charge of a company of archers.
* BattleCouple Ace and Freeda in ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty'' play this straight when battling a giant chimera. [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2011/10/24/epiphany/ Freeda whips out a blaster and starts shooting, while Ace tries to...wrestle it]].
* Inverted in ''TheLastOfUs'', where Ellie's perfected method of attack it to jump onto the enemy's and slit their throat with a shiv, while Joel tends to pick people off with a gun.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: WesternAnimation]]
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', where [[KungFuWizard benders]] of both genders freely mix short-range and long-range attacks. Non-benders can be either. While [[KnifeNut Mai]] sticks to knife throwing, [[BadassNormal Ty Lee and Suki]] are both melee fighters. Sokka, the main non-bender on the good guy's team, fights at both distances (his signature weapons are a sword and a boomerang).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', most benders are both close range and mid-range, including Korra. Lin Bei Fong, Jinora and Ikki tend to favour long range attacks, though they do get close and personal when called for it. [[BadassNormal Asami]] fights hand-to-hand.
* Averted in an interesting way in ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' with the BattleCouple of Robin and Starfire - he's a BadassNormal with an array of ranged and close-combat weapons, and she's a FlyingBrick with both SuperStrength and the ability to fire energy blasts. Both are equally capable of smashing ''or'' shooting. For the rest of the team, Cyborg (who has superstrength and a sonic cannon) also does both, but Beast Boy's tends to turn into big, powerful animals to fight at close range, while Raven, though her mystical abilities make her probably the most powerful member of the team, tends to fight from a distance and stay out of direct combat. The Titans pretty much cover the whole spectrum of this trope.
* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' the male members of the team are either straight hand-to-hand combatants, or include hand-to-hand with their weaponry. The female members of the team, however, have telekinesis and a bow-and-arrow so they do not need to physically touch their opponents. This is more balanced come season 2, where melee female heroes are introduced to the Team in the 5 year gap.
** Furthermore, although Artemis is primarily long-range, she has been shown to be quite good in close-hand combat. Her sister definitely prefers it, fighting with swords.
* The upcoming (as of this writing) [[IncredibleHulk Hulk]] and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. cartoon seems to have done this to SheHulk, giving her [[http://www.comicsalliance.com/2012/07/17/marvel-animation-comic-con-sdcc-2012-jeph-loeb-avengers-assemble/ "energy-projecting punches"]], while the boys (mostly) just hit things. Subverted in RedHulk's case, since his gimmick is going to be having lots of guns.
* In ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' the Winx girls usually blast their opponents with magic while the male Specialists have to fight with swords and other weapons.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ultimate Spider-Man}}'' Averted White Tiger specializes in slicing her foes with her electric claws, and inverted for the Frightful Four, Wizard, The Claw, and Trapster use range attacks, while Thundra is TheBrute who does all the smashing.
* Notoriously {{Inverted|Trope}} in ''{{Futurama}}'', where [[ActionGirl Turanga Leela]] uses martial arts while [[NonActionGuy Fry]] either uses laser weapons or some form of passive self-defense.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life]]
* In many modern militaries, men are the ones who do the close-in fighting, while women, disallowed from such things, will fight using aircraft and the occasional [[BoomHeadshot sniper rifle]].
* Mostly {{averted| trope}}, historically: bows used for war take a lot of strength to use, and so most archers were fairly muscular men. [[BladeOnAStick Polearms]] were more considered "female" weapons in some countries, and can be considered to "distance" the wielder from combat in the manner of the trope, though, such as the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naginata Naginata]] from Japan, which was popular among the women of samurai households because the sharp blade and long shaft took away the strength advantage men had.
** Mongolian tradition, [[http://www.atarn.org/mongolian/mn_nat_arch/mn_nat_arch.htm as explained]] by the lady who was the archery champion ''there'', has "three manly sports": horse racing, wrestling and archery. Women don't wrestle, but put a lot of effort in the other two. And yes, those are composite bows with 50-60 pounds draw even in modern sport.
** Later on though in the 18th century archery "was notable for its popularity with females. Young women could not only compete in the contests but retain and show off their "feminine forms" while doing so. Thus, archery came to act as a forum for introductions, flirtation and romance." According to TheOtherWiki. But it [[FridgeBrilliance makes perfect sense]] that archery is only feminized once it became a recreational sport (or became a form of ''entertainment''), but not when it was genuine tool of war.
* Implied with the Nerf franchise. While the regular (gun) weapons are seemly advertised to boys. Their female franchise called Nerf Rebelle consist exclusively of archery.

[[/folder]]
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