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[[quoteright:350:[[Anime/PonyoOnTheCliffByTheSea http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/poyno_on_the_waves_6705.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Running on pluck. Running on ''waves'' and pluck.]]

->''"Aren't you scared?"''\\
''"Oh, yeah. But while I'm mouthing off, I'm Feisty Heroine. Nothing bad happens to Feisty Heroine."''
-->-- ''Wisdom'' # 6
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Plucky means 'brave and optimistic'.

You might be able to [[BreakTheCutie pile life complications]] onto this young woman/girl, to the point where the audience would forgive her if she just refused to go on. She might even have an episode or so where she ''does'' [[TenMinuteRetirement throw in the towel]], because human beings can only take so much of what the universe is handing out for her. But the Plucky Girl always comes back. That's the bravery part.

The optimistic part is the rest of it. This character leans toward the sane version of ThePollyanna, blending the agency of the ActionGirl with the sweetness and [[SilkHidingSteel wise charm]] of the SpiritedYoungLady, while exhibiting a strong sense of optimism and an unassailable spirit that differentiates her from the grimness of a {{Determinator}}. You can beat her, but damned if she'll let you ''break'' her.

Male versions exist, but they tend to be closer to {{Determinator}} territory instead, [[DoubleStandard because men always have to be]] '''[[RatedMForManly MANLY]]'''.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* This trope is a staple of {{shoujo|Demographic}} manga, especially MagicalGirl shows. So the heroine is BookDumb, ultra naive, a ButtMonkey or is just starting with her mission and/or training in magic? The Powers of [[ThePowerOfLove Love]] and [[ThePowerOfFriendship Friendship]] will ultimately give her strength to keep on going! The UrExample, obviously, is Usagi from ''Franchise/SailorMoon.''
** Pick any MagicalGirlWarrior from ''Anime/PrettyCure''. There are [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters lots to choose from]], and chances are that they are as good with [[GoodOldFisticuffs their fists]] as they are with their magic and are completely unafraid to prove it against anybody from the MonsterOfTheWeek to the BigBad himself. Standout examples include [[Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure Nagisa Misumi/Cure Black]], [[Anime/FutariWaPrettyCureSplashStar Saki Hyuuga/Cure Bloom]], [[Anime/YesPrettyCure5 Nozomi Yumehara/Cure Dream, Urara Kasugano/Cure Lemonade]], [[Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure Erika Kurumi/Cure Marine]], [[Anime/SmilePrettyCure Miyuki Hoshizora/Cure Happy, Yayoi Kise/Cure Peace]], [[Anime/DokiDokiPrecure Mana Aida/Cure Heart, Alice Yotsuba/Cure Rosetta]], [[Anime/HappinessChargePrettyCure Megumi Aino/Cure Lovely, and Hime Shirayuki/Cure Princess]].
* Candace White "Candy" Andree from ''CandyCandy''. She has her breakdowns, but as soon as she's back to her feet, she comes back stronger ''than ever''.
* Tohru Honda from ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' can be seen as a deconstruction. She still is optimistic despite being orphaned, temporarily homeless, and living in a tent, bullied in the past, and helping a whole {{DysfunctionJunction}} with their trauma. Then we learn that [[spoiler: this is her way of dealing with all the pain in her life - she's not exactly a StepfordSmiler, as she is sincerely happy often, but she also uses it as a way to keep from succumbing to grief and accepting that her mom is gone.]] And then... [[spoiler: it's reconstructed: when a maddened and despaired [[BigBad Akito]] tries to definitely break her as the members of the DysfunctionJunction are being released of their curses.... Tohru aknowledges that not so strong part of herself, accepts it, and manages to ''kindly speak to Akito and offer her kindness as well''. This finally breaks the vicious cycle that has trapped the Sohma clan, and even when Tohru is severely injured after falling off the cliff she's standing, it kickstarts Akito's HeelFaceTurn, and helps Tohru herself to deal with her own suffering.]]
* Elenore Baker from ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'' is pretty much this the entire series.
* Sayaka Yumi from ''Anime/MazingerZ'': Her mother was dead. Her father cared for her, but he was MarriedToTheJob and nearly never was there for her. the guy she liked was a sexist jerk (okay, JerkWithAHeartOfGold). One of her classmates was a borderline StalkerWithACrush. And her country -and the whole world- was under attack of a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds and MadScientist who took lessons from Hitler. And she still was brave, hopeful and optimistic, not allowing anything got her down for long -she had several HeroicBSOD moments, but they did not last long-, and trusting they would win and things would get better, not matter what.
* Sora Naegino from ''Anime/KaleidoStar'' practically embodies this trope. No matter how much TrainingFromHell she is put through or what sort of abuse she receives, she always manages to pull through using sheer optimism and determination. And if she feels her strength sapping away, she will soon recover it. It's also kind of a plot point, as [[spoiler: if she stays down for too long, she will stop seeing FairyCompanion Fool and completely lose her chance.]]
** May Wong becomes this once she gets over her JerkAss phase. Anna Heart, Mia Guillem, Rosetta Passel and Katie Taylor are already there, and the backstory gives us [[spoiler: Sophie Oswald.]]
* If it's made by Creator/HayaoMiyazaki, it probably has one in the cast, if not as the protagonist herself, like Ponyo of ''Anime/PonyoOnTheCliffByTheSea'' (pictured above).
* ''Anime/TheSacredBlacksmith'' has Cecile who in the anime, despite losing and needing saving a lot, never stops practicing and fighting.
* [[SpoiledSweet Mimi Tachikawa]] and [[CheerfulChild Hikari Yagami]] of ''Anime/DigimonAdventure''. In the second part Hikari's will [[HeroicBSOD falters once in a while]] but [[CameBackStrong she ultimately recovers]] and stays as this, and she's also joined by Miyako Inoue and Jun Motomiya.
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Nia Teppelin will tell you she's not going to die. To your face. [[DefiantCaptive While you're shoving a pistol into her forehead. Or about to snap her in half with your claws. Or about to demateralize her.]] She may not be able to fight you, but she ''will'' tell you to fuck off ([[{{Keigo}} only very]] [[IFeelAngry politely]]), because Simon's on his way, and that's a wave of pain you don't want to happen.
** Also Yoko, who went on and stayed as a cheerful, reliable and protective CoolBigSis despite all the shit that happened to the Dai-Guren Brigade.
* Keiko Yukimura from ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''. While she's usually a NeutralFemale, it's pretty amazing she pulls through after all the traumatizing events her boyfriends' life/career puts her in. In the manga, she didn't hesitate to ask to be taken to the Dark Tournament when she found out Yusuke had gone there. She may be a bit frailer in the anime, but she still does her best to be there for her friends when needed. To different degrees there's also Yukina, Shizuru, Botan, Ayame, Hinageshi from TheMovie, Kokou, Natsume, the Lady Doctor [[spoiler:aka Yuusuke's ancestor]] and [[spoiler:Mukuro.]]
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Hinata Hyuuga. Her other theme aside of her crush for Naruto is her self-improvement and shredding her FragileFlower side. She's one of the first people to adopt Naruto's ninja way: knowing that he's watching, she refuses to give up against Neji despite severe injuries, [[spoiler:even standing up one last time after the referee ends the match to keep her from getting ''killed''.]]
** And she reaffirmed her pluckiness by [[spoiler:doing what she could to protect Naruto from Pain, fully knowing that this might be her last stand. The manga made it both awesome and heartbreaking, the anime made it ''doubly awesome''.]]
** Also Sakura.. See her fights vs Ino (where she deliberately pressed Ino's BerserkButton to avoid getting sympathy [[spoiler:and broke Ino's Mind Switch Jutsu]]) and Sasori (where she got serious injuries ''and kept fighting anyway'').
* Relena Peacecraft, Hilde Schbeiker, Sally Po, Cathy Bloom, Long Meiran and Lucrezia Noin from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''.
* Dark example: Nena Trinity from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam00''. While throwing the VSign around, she absolutely refuses to give up her quest for three things: revenge, survival and (after achieving those) happiness, even in the face of death. [[spoiler:[[KarmicDeath She doesn't succeed, as her early screw ups catch up with her]].]]
** A lighter example is Mileina Vashti, almost always plucky and happy despite being caught in the middle of a war. [[spoiler:She lives to tell]]. Also Mileina's OneeSama and fellow BridgeBunny, Feldt Grace. [[spoiler:She gets very broken in season 1, then some more in season 2, but also pulls through and lives.]]
* Cleao Everlasting from ''LightNovel/SorcererStabberOrphen'' will ''not'' let Orphen go kill himself before he returns her the Sword of Baltanders that her father gave her before dying, and which he needs for a very important quest. So what if she has to tag along with him and his apprentice Majic despite all the dangers it'll bring to her? She ''will'' follow them, become the TeamMom, and pull through no matter what.
* Most of the girls in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''. These're be comfirmed in their profile especially:
** Belarus is described as one by Russia. But he quickly adds: [[{{Yandere}} "In]] [[StalkerWithACrush a]] [[AbhorrentAdmirer bad]] [[KnifeNut way"]].
** Resident LadyOfWar Vietnam is one too, as her profile says she's "a very headstrong woman" and that "there are many strong women in her history".
** Taiwan gets her profile in the fourth manga volume ("An island girl nation with a headstrong and easygoing personality!") She shows it via cheering up Vietnam, teasing her brothers, and interacting with all of them as an equal. "It's okay, us Taiwanese don't believe in bad fortunes!" It's confirmed by her ImageSong, [[http://hetalia.livejournal.com/12042065.html?thread=227612497#t227612497 "Poipoipoi".]] 'Poi' means "poof", and it's used in-context as "making problems and bad luck go POOF!"
** And throw Prussia inside for a RareMaleExample.
*** Poland is an even better one. Who says that a WholesomeCrossdresser [[ValleyGirl Valley Boy]] can't be [[{{Determinator}} unfailingly stubborn]] as well?
** Korea, too. He will never ever give up chasing after his siblings, saying stuff "belongs to him" and being almost always unfailingly cheerful while doing so.
** [[TeamMom Ukraine's]] latest profile says that she [[BewareTheNiceOnes "will stand her ground until the last"]], and in-comic [[{{Bokukko}} Belgium]] seems to almost refer to herself as one.
-->'''Belgium:''' I may be a bit plain, but I'm doing my best!
** WordOfGod refers to [[ProperLady Liechtenstein]] as mature and strong-willed. Considering that she handles her [[{{Tsundere}} older]] [[TheGunslinger brother]] [[BigBrotherInstinct Switzerland]]'s mood swings rather calmly and skillfully, it's '''not''' an InformedAbility.
** There's also [[{{Shorttank}} Seychelles]], who tries hard just to get people to know her name. She keeps doing it, and also manages to keep both England's arrogant behavior ''and'' France's lechery at bay.
** Also the Principality of Wy, in a LittleMissSnarker way.
** Even Monaco, the resident {{Ojou}} has shades of this with sketches of her [[ActionGirl in armor]] and having her profile describe her as someone who worries a lot, but gives off a proud impression. She also has an attitude like this when it comes to [[TheGambler poker.]]
** Belgium, too. She sometimes frets over her AloofBigBrother Netherlands, but most of the time she keeps her bright smile and her teasing, cheerful behavior no matter what.
** THE example in the series, however, is Hungary. Shown clearly not just in the profile, but in her interaction with pretty much everyone: she takes her {{Meido}} position in stride despite how it's not exactly easy, fights the aforementioned Prussia [[BoisterousBruiser without hesitation]], refuses to stay put when someone she dislikes is around...
* Maya Kitajima and Ayumi Himekawa from ''Manga/GlassMask''. The first decides to fulfill her dream of being an actress despite how odds always go against her, the latter refuses to have things handed to her and wants be famous for her own merits.
* Winry Rockbell and May Chang from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''. Riza Hawkeye and Izumi Curtis are adult versions.
* All of the girls in ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'' have their plucky moments, specially [[spoiler:Anko Tokosumi]], [[spoiler:Kana Ushiro]] and [[spoiler:Youko Machi.]]
* ''[[TheAnimeOfTheGame Fatal Fury]]'': Despite being helpless in combat and painfully knowing it, [[VideoGame/FatalFury Sulia Gaudeamus]] keeps going on and doing her best to help Terry, Joe, Andy and Mai stop her evil brother, Laocorn, and save him from himself. [[spoiler:And if she has to commit suicide to save him... she will.]]
** Mai is this too, despite her bad luck in battles. More noticeable in the games, tho.
** And Kim's wife, Myenungsuk. In a subtle CrowningMomentOfAwesome, when Kim was in the receiving end of a CurbStompBattle, she kept her cool and her trust in him, refusing to cry and break down for the sake of him and their kids as well as herself.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': Kallen Kouzuki [[spoiler:When faced against the now practically superhuman Suzaku, she fights him to a standstill, reducing * both * of their machines to scrap before finally destroying Suzaku's machine with the very last blow she has left before her machine shuts down. Suzaku even wonders aloud how he can't beat her, even with his "live" Geass.]]
** Euphemia li Britannia and Shirley Fenette also count. [[spoiler:Doesn't work as well, though.]]
* Saori Kido aka Athena, Miho, Aquila Marin, Shunrei, Princess Flair and little Helen (the two last from {{filler}} anime arcs) of ''Manga/SaintSeiya''.
** Also Ophicus Shaina, after her CharacterDevelopment.
* Kotoko Aihara ([[spoiler:later, Nurse Kotoko Irie]]) from ''Manga/ItazuraNaKiss''.
* Megumi "Megu" Minami and Sakurako Yukihira from ''Tantei Gakuen Q''. Shino Katagiri is an adult version.
* Miyako and ''specially'' Chiriko from ''Manga/PrivatePrince''.
* Several girls from ''Manga/VampireKnight'' - specially Yuuki, Yori and Fuuka [[spoiler:before she dies.]]
* Queen Shushou from ''LightNovel/TheTwelveKingdoms''. [[StepfordSmiler Youko]], [[RoyalBrat Shoukei]] and [[ShrinkingViolet Suzu]] don't start terribly plucky, but CharacterDevelopment soon fixes that.
* Anzu Mazaki from ''Anime/YuGiOh'' though Mai Kujaku, Rebecca Hopkins and Shizuka Kawai also have their moments.
** Jaden Yuki from ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' counts as well as a RareMaleExample.
* Many girls from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' qualify, but [[ShrinkingViolet Nodoka]] surpasses them all. ''Every time'' she's encountered an enemy, despite having no combat skills whatsoever, her first reaction is to get out her artifact and fight, even when up against opponents completely out of her league, even when ''everyone else'' is panicking, [[HeroicBSOD lost in despair]], or running away, even when she only ''just'' figured out that magic even ''exists''. In the middle of the battle between Fate's party and Ala Alba at Ostia instead of retreating with the rest of the party she forced Kotarou to take her ''right in front of Fate'' so she could get his true name and then interrogated him ''as he was attempting to petrify her''. And of course, when [[FromBadToWorse everything went wrong]] and [[spoiler:several of her friends were erased from existence right in front of her by one of the most powerful characters in the entire series she [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome gets up, steals HIS artifact]], downloads the instruction manual ''[[MindReading from his brain]]'', and [[WeakButSkilled teleports away]] so she can tell the rest of Ala Alba they're taking the battle to the enemy]].
* KatsuhiroOtomo's early manga ''Manga/{{Domu}}: A Child's Dream'' gave us Etsuko, a little girl with immense PsychicPowers she uses to battle a PsychopathicManchild SerialKiller. All the while she is spunky and headstrong, first responding to seeing him psychically manipulate a baby to fall off the roof of the apartment complex with, "What an awful brat you are! Really now?!" and scaring the old man by using her powers to rattle the bench he is sitting on.
* Utena Tenjou from ''RevolutionaryGirlUtena'', who's both this and a {{Badass}} ActionGirl. Just read about some of the stuff she does on the CrowningMomentOfAwesome page and tell me she's not a Plucky Girl.
* Nadja Applefield from ''AshitanoNadja''. Sweet Lords, Nadja is some plucky girl and then more.
* In ''Manga/PokemonSpecial'', when told that the boy who rescued her two years ago has gone missing (and hasn't seen since), Yellow immediately agrees to go out and look for him despite the fact that she barely knows anything about Pokemon battling.
** Blue could also count. She's usually upbeat and optimistic despite having some of the worst luck ever. [[spoiler:Especially at the beginning of the FRLG arc, where her parents disappear ''right in front of her''.]]
* Wendy Garret of ''Anime/GunXSword'' has all the stubbornness of the {{Determinator}} combined with a sometimes inordinate amount of optimism. The introductory narrative to the second episode explicitly indicates that Wendy symbolizes hope in opposition to the despair of her partner, Van, but it wouldn't be hard to figure that out without the narration.
* Aura of ''LightNovel/{{Corsair}}'' boisterous, opinionated, and quick-tempered, and remains so even after she is kidnapped and threatened with execution.
* Belldandy from ''Manga/AhMyGoddess''. Behind that soft and caring exterior lies a will of iron and a girl who will stand up to the devil herself for the sake of those she loves.
* Sayaka Miki of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. Shame that it's [[CrapsaccharineWorld that kind of world]], as it doesn't end too well for the poor "hero of justice".
** [[spoiler:Fortunately for her (and many others), in the GrandFinale Madoka graduates to one... and is so powerful and strong that ''[[AbstractApotheosis she rewrites the universe itself]]'', and grants Sayaka a much more peaceful end.]]
** Sayaka ''does'' get to play this straight in ''Manga/PuellaMagiOrikoMagica'', though, specially via protecting herself and Hitomi [[spoiler:during the witch attack on their school]]. [[spoiler:Too bad they can't save Madoka.]]
*** Speaking of ''Oriko Magica'' we,ve got [[TokenMiniMoe Yuma]] [[TheWoobie Chitose]]. "[[RousingSpeech Someday]] [[DoNotGoGentle is not]] [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome today]]", indeed.
** Hitomi Shizuki is referred as such by her seiyuu Creator/RyokoShintani, as well as by Creator/AoiYuki (Madoka) and Creator/ChiwaSaito (Homura). She's an interesting example in how this trope has both strengths and flaws: she always smiles and tries to be there for her friends, but THE time Hitomi tries to directly resolve a conflict [[spoiler: via making both Sayaka and herself face their shared feelings for Kamijou]], [[UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom she commits a huge mistake]].
** And from ''Manga/PuellaMagiKazumiMagica'', there is Kazumi herself. [[spoiler:[[DespairEventHorizon She found out that she's a clone, her friends are betraying her, and her memory is all lies.]]]] [[SkewedPriorities All she needs]] [[MoodWhiplash is]] [[BigEater some]] [[CrowningMomentOfFunny food]], and then ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome she bounces]] [[ThePowerOfFriendship back.]]''
* After many, ''many'' ordeals and BreakTheCutie episodes, ''both'' Rukia Kuchiki and Orihime Inoue from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' end up graduating into this at different times.
** Other plucky girls in this series are: Karin Kurosaki, Tatsuki Arisawa, Chizuru Honshou, Yoruichi Shihouin, Sui-Feng, Yachiru Kusachiji, Nanao Ise, Rangiku Matsumoto, Hiyori Sarugaki, Lisa Yadomaru, Mashiro Kuna, Tia Harribel and her AmazonBrigade (whose VillainousValor was praised by Yamamoto [[spoiler:before he nearly killed them]]), Senna from the first movie, Homura from the third movie, and recently Jackie Tristan and Riruka Dokugamine. As an OlderAndWiser version, we have [[spoiler: Hikio Kirifune]].
** In the ''Everything But The Rain'' arc, [[spoiler: Masaki Kurosaki]] is this through and through. In [[SilkHidingSteel a more quiet way]], we may also count [[spoiler: Kanae Katagiri]].
** Uryuu Ishida is also a very rare [[DistaffCounterpart male version of this]], being closer to this archetype than to the grim {{Determinator}}. [[spoiler: Until his FaceHeelTurn.]]
* Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid and Karina/Blue Rose from ''Anime/TigerAndBunny''. Dragon is a headstrong LittleMissBadass who goes all out in superheroing; Rose hates [[FauxActionGirl the raw deal she got as a heroine]] but keeps going on because it lets her save lives.
** As of episode 21, Kaede Kaburagi has graduated into this. [[spoiler:So her beloved father was framed and she has just found out he's a superhero? Kaede immediately decides to go help him with her budding powers.]] And this is a ''ten year old girl''.
* Mikan Sakura from ''Manga/GakuenAlice''.
* Rana Lingchen from ''Manga/{{Freezing}}''.
* All the females in ''Manga/FairyTail'': Erza, Lucy, Mirajane, Ur, etc..
* Ohana Matsumae, the main character of ''HanasakuIroha'', is an interesting take on this Trope in that her pluckiness is presented as both a weakness and a strength. On one hand, her optimism and sincere desire to help people lets her accomplish some good things, but on the flipside her tendency to dive headfirst into something without a solid gameplan does backfire on her from time to time.
* Sakura Kinomoto of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'' to some extent. While she is rather determined and frequently shows little concern for her own well being, her disposition better resembles that of a real child under such situations, as such she does actually [[CowardlyLion show fear]] [[FragileFlower and break down]] at times, relying on [[TrueCompanions her friends' support]] to recover her strength.
** More straight up examples: CanonForeigner Li Meiling and especially Sakura's best friend Tomoyo Daidouji.
* Why would anyone consider Hikaru from ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth'' ''not'' to be one of these?
** Umi, Fuu, Presea, Princess Tarta, Princess Tata, Aska and [[spoiler: post-HeelFaceTurn!Caldina]], too.
* Tomoko Arikura and Kaoru Orihara in ''Manga/OniisamaE''.
* Ringo Oginome and Masako Natsume from Anime/MawaruPenguindrum. Himari graduates into this on episode 18, which also shows us ''exactly'' how indomitably plucky [[spoiler:the deceased Momoka]] was.
* Rei Miyamoto from ''Manga/HighschoolOfTheDead''.
* Madoka Kyouno from ''Anime/RinneNoLagrange'', going so far as to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxJuI8YWx20 sing in the cockpit during a mecha battle]]... the same battle in which she deliberately tries to keep collateral damage to areas she knows to be empty of bystanders (such as the lot of a recently demolished house or a shop that had gone out of business the week before). Considering the genre she's in, she angsts remarkably little - and even when she does, [[AngstWhatAngst she shrugs it off quickly]] and jumps right back to the other extreme on the optimist-realist scale.
** It is later revealed that she wasn't always like this: [[spoiler:after her mother's death, Madoka was a depressed wreck until her cousin inspired her into the energetic girl always ready to help everyone regardless of what needs to be doing]]. Truly, Madoka's motto in life is JumpedAtTheCall: she doesn't pilot because she ''has'' to, she pilots because she ''wants'' to help.
* Lakshu from ''Anime/TenkuuSenkiShurato''. She can't fight, the Goddess she serves upon is TakenIntoGranite, her cursh and her friends get hurt and/or die as they try to restore her... And Lakshu will help no matter what.
* Nanami Momozono from ''Manga/KamisamaKiss.'' Her defining character trait, besides ChronicHeroSyndrome, is that she likes to see other people happy and will go out of her way to make them happy. Even if it means that she has to get hurt or sacrifice something to make it so.
* Casca from ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'' zigged in and out of this trope. She was first like this when Guts patronized her for being a weak female when she fell ill during her period, but she never let him get to her. After Guts returned after a year's absence when everything came crashing down for the Hawks, Casca had an emotional breakdown and nearly committed suicide, [[InterruptedSuicide but Guts saved her]] and [[YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre gave her some emotional strength]] [[spoiler: [[LoveEpiphany while admitting]] [[TheyDo their love]] [[RelationshipUpgrade to each other]]]]. After that, Casca more or less [[TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask resumed her role as the strong female acting-leader of the Hawks]], and even managed to keep her cool in the wake of a bad situation when [[spoiler: the Eclipse began, and the Hawks were warped to another dimension]]. [[FromBadToWorse And then that bad situation turned worse.]] [[BreakTheCutie Casca did not come]] [[RapeLeadsToInsanity out very well]] - [[GoMadFromTheRevelation AT ALL.]]
* Anju Kitahara from ''Manga/MarmaladeBoy''.
* Sanae Nakazawa, Yukari Nishimoto, Kumi Sugimoto, Machiko Machida and especially Maki Akamine from ''Manga/CaptainTsubasa''.
* While Ryuko Matoi from ''Anime/KillLaKill'' is more of a female {{Determinator}}, her OnlyFriend Mako Mankanshoku is this through and through. She always comes out of any situation with a smile on her face, no matter what. She's pushed to her limits when [[spoiler: sharing a stand with the demoted Elite Four while cheering Ryuko on during the King of the Hill Final Battle]], resorting in her cheering for ''herself'' so she won't crack under the pressure.
* Kiku Takane from ''Manga/RingNiKakero'', who will always support and look after her little brother Ryuuji and work hard to guide him through their shared dream of reaching the World Boxing Championship.
* Also Kiku's SpiritualSucessor of sorts, Saori Kido aka Athena from Manga/SaintSeiya. And the same goes to the Athena that came before her, Sasha from ''Manga/SaintSeiyaTheLostCanvas''. Both girls are the local {{Barrier Maiden}}s and go through quite the BreakTheCutie, but refuse to give up.
* Hajime Ichinose from ''Anime/GatchamanCrowds''. She's actually so cheerful and strongwilled that [[spoiler: she can get Berg Katze to back off her case, simply because they is ''no'' darkness in her heart.]]
* Kagome Higurashi from ''Manga/InuYasha''. She's got self-esteem problems, is the reincarnation of a priestess who CameBackWrong, her love interest can be a real jerk despite having a good heart, her friends have huge troubles of their own... and yet she stands by them no matter what. Sure, she has more than one breakdown, but she still stands by her friends [[WakeUpGoToSchoolSaveTheWorld is more concerned with her love life and her grades.]]
** Rin, too. She may not be much use in a fight, but let's face it, she's brave as hell. Heck, the first time she meets Sesshomauru she doesn't run screaming when he snarls at her but actually dumps water on him; and when Jaken's sick she climbs a mountain filled with demons to find a cure for him, without a second thought.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', Sasha Blouse's energetic disposition and pluckiness lands her here. As emphasized in her introduction: Shadis sentenced her to run until she collapses, and she does it without complaint. What got her upset was being denied any dinner. Sasha later has several brushes with death, but never loses her optimistic nature.
* Tomoka Osakada from ThePrinceOfTennis never ever loses her smile, her stubborness, and her will to support Seigaku and her beloved Ryoma through thick and thin. An Tachibana from Fudomine is somewhat more serious, but she's not to be trifled with either.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'': Stephanie Brown, the third [[ComicBook/{{Batgirl 2009}} Batgirl]]. Her ex-con of a father is starting to cause trouble again? Her mother's an addict? Her dad's trying to kill her? The father of her baby abandons her and she almost dies during delivery? The boy she's got her eyes on and who happens to be Robin's not interested in her? Batman tries to get her to quit being a crimefighter again and again - then fires her as Robin? She gets tortured, humiliated and almost killed and is forced to leave Gotham to heal? ... C'mon, you don't actually think that's gonna stop her, do you?
* [[Comicbook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse Scrooge McDuck's]] most popular love interest, Glittering Goldie.
* May Parker aka Comicbook/{{Spider-Girl}}. Also her mom, Mary Jane Watson.
* ''Comicbook/XMen'':
** Kitty Pryde, the TropeCodifier for comic books. Parents splitting up, new school, new freaky powers that somehow [[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway aren't quite as useful as the powers of your new classmates]], and a [[Awesome/XMen demon attack on your first Christmas there?]] Not a problem! [[FromBadToWorse It Gets Worse?]] She gets over it.
** Jubilee. From about middle school age on life has constantly tried to crap all over her but not the murder of her parents, homelessness, being separated from her surrogate father figure, being captured and tortured by anti-mutant government initiatives, having the boy you have a crush on blown up, being crucified, losing her powers, or being turned into a vampire will stop her from forging ahead and realizing that life's what you make of it, so why not make it fun.
* Elena Potato in ''ComicBook/MonsterAllergy''.
* ComicBook/{{Mockingbird}} of ''ComicBook/TheAvengers''. While she's more cynical than most examples, this is at least justified by the fact that she's suffered more hardships than ''any other female character in Marvel's publication''. She was framed for corruption, shot and nearly killed by overzealous SHIELD agents, had her home blown up and was nearly beaten to death, was raped, later her husband broke up with her because she killed the rapist, she seemingly died only to instead have been abducted by aliens and faced a disturbed stalker she was forced to kill while it took the appearance of her ex-husband, she reunited with the same husband only for the previous rapist to return and her mother gets shot because of her, ending with her and her ex breaking up once more, before being followed by her being fatally shot and revived via a super-drug that grants her eternal youth (cursing her to outlive everyone she cares about) to the most recent events of her being left behind enemy lines with no memory, where she's eventually [[spoiler: [[BrainwashedAndCrazy brainwashed]] and has it revealed that her entire life may, in fact, have been a lie.]] While it's unclear how this will go, it should be noted that, prior to that, she was ''at her happiest in years''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fics]]
* Annabelle Lennox in the Film/{{Transformers}} fanfic Fanfic/BlackCrayons. She's sweet and friendly, but she can be as brave and stubborn as her parents (or Ironhide) when she needs to. [[spoiler:She sneaks her way into a ''warzone'' because she thought she needed to be there. Keep in mind that she's ''six years old'' at the time]].
* Cloud Kicker in ''Fanfic/AceCombatEquestriaChronicles''. For most of the time, whatever she's doing, she acts like a true optimist.
** Then there is Rainbow Dash, who isn't afraid to tackle any kind of challenge, believing fully she'll be able to handle it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film - Animated]]
* Many heroines in the Disney animated canon.
** Wendy Moira Angela Darling from ''Disney/PeterPan''
** Tiana from ''Disney/ThePrincessAndTheFrog''.
** Nala from ''Disney/TheLionKing'', and Kiara in the sequel.
** Jasmine from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}''.
** Belle from ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''.
** Ariel from ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid''.
** Alice from ''Disney/AliceInWonderland''.
** Disney/{{Mulan}} from... ''[[RoleCalled Mulan]]''.
** Olivia Flaversham from ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective''.
** Rapunzel from ''Disney/{{Tangled}}''
** Vanellope von Schweetz from ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' has enough spirit to power a jet fighter, reacts to her circumstances as ThePollyanna and is the Determinator in her dream of becoming a racer. She's probably this trope PERSONIFIED, because after all the bullying and abuse she's been through, she's still optimistic and happy. Wow.
** Anna from ''Disney/{{Frozen}}''. The traits that define her are her sheer optimism and energy.
* Wendy's daughter Jane from ''Peter Pan: Return To Neverland'' is this PlayedForDrama. She strives to be a PluckyGirl but has forgotten what it means to be a child, since she comes from the England of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII - so she has all the practicality but none of the enthusiasm. By the end, she has recovered her spirits and has morphed into a straight example of it.
* Princess Merida from ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}''.
* WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}, so much so.
* IntrepidReporter Roxanne Ritchi from ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' is very much this.
* MK from ''WesternAnimation/{{Epic}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
* Giselle from ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'' is this trope ''to the letter''. When faced with the wildlife of New York City - gnats, pigeons, and cockroaches - she forces herself to smile and admit [[SincerityMode "Well, it's always nice to make new friends!"]]
* Odie from ''Film/TheHairyBird''.
* The girl Micha from a German film ''Stahlnetz: PSI''. She is kidnapped for ransom [[spoiler:which her family cannot pay as it's not actuall rich]] and cannot escape on her own, but she still holds herself with dignity until the very end, (though she slowly begins to resign, but in her situation, it's hard not to; and she ''still'' doesn't break).
* Gemma from ''Literature/DarkLife''. She's an orphan whose beloved older brother was [[DisproportionateRetribution sent to a reformatory, escaped from her cruel headmistress, went subsea on her own despite not knowing how to swim, and is constantly delighted by]][[BioluminescenceIsCool all the wonderful sea creatuures she comes across.]]
* The title character of ''Film/TheJourneyOfNattyGann'' is bound and determined to find her father, and nothing is going to keep her from doing it, no matter how many people tell her that he abandoned her. She hops trains and hitchhikes from Chicago to Seattle, with little idea of exactly where her father is beyond "somewhere in Washington".
* Bethany Hamilton in ''Film/SoulSurfer''.
* Sarah (Creator/JenniferConnelly) in ''Film/{{Labyrinth}}'' won't give up her attempts to solve the Goblin King's seemingly-impossible maze and [[spoiler:retrieve her baby brother]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Scheherezade, the protagonist from the FramingDevice of ''Literature/ArabianNights'', so much that [[ScheherezadeGambit she has a gambit named after her]]. She ''volunteers'' to marry King Shahryar (a madman who hates women and has ordered all his previous wives executed after the first one cheated on him) as part of a plan to cure his insanity - and she succeeds, becoming his Queen.
** Some other characters in the individual stories qualify too, such as Morgiana, the GuileHero of ''Literature/AliBabaAndTheFortyThieves''. Morgiana being an AuthorAvatar for Scheherezade is lampshaded in at least one adaptation.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'': Loren. She's Rachel Lite.
* ''Literature/TortallUniverse'': Daine is probably the most obvious example. Her house was burned by raiders, her family killed and she survived only by accident, she was almost raped/murdered by an ex-suitor of her mother's, and was RaisedByWolves -- all before the book starts. She then proceeds to demonstrate a great deal of ass-kicking, particularly so in the later books; in the third one, after she is told that the Emperor killed [[spoiler:Numair]], she proceeds to [[spoiler:wake up an army of fossilized dinosaurs]] and rip the everloving shit out of the palace. She's not done. In the fourth book, after even more tragedy occurs, she kills [[spoiler:Ozorne]] with only a badger claw, naked, and entirely out of magic. Yeowch.
** Sandry, from the Circle of Magic universe by the same author, tends to come across as the sweet, optimistic one of the four, but she survived several days alone in a dark, concealed room, with only [[ItMakesSenseInContext a basket of embroidery thread for company]] while half the city died of plague around her, and when once again trappen in the dark (by an earthquake, no less) she is the one who figures out how to get herself and her friends out (though they all participate.)
* Philippa Somerville in the ''LymondChronicles''.
* Lale of ''Literature/TheAssassinsOfTamurin''
* Creator/RoaldDahl's ''Literature/{{Matilda}}'' is ignored by her parents and terrorised by the awful Miss Trunchbull, and just 6-7 years old. So what's a little super-smart girl to do? Obviously, play some 'subduing' pranks on your boastful, corrupt father to take him down a peg, then develop your latent [[MindOverMatter psychokinetic powers]] to help that nice teacher who recognised your genius.
* Sarah from ''Literature/GreystoneValley''.
* From ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Lily Potter (standing between the Dark Lord and her baby without a second thought) [[HeroesWantRedHeads Ginny Weasley]] (CuteWitch who does what she can to help Harry and Co.), [[InsufferableGenius Hermione Granger]] (member of the Golden Trio and MagicalGirlWarrior extraordinaire), and [[CloudCuckoolander Luna Lovegood]] - though it's hard to say with her what is indomitable pluck and what is sheer CloudCuckooLand training.
* Lisbeth Salander in Stieg Larsson's ''[[Literature/TheMillenniumTrilogy Millennium]]'' series occasionally teeters on the border between "Plucky Girl" and "SociopathicHero Girl".
* Maree Mallory of ''Literature/DeepSecret'' has "sheer if not-always-nice pluck" as one of her defining character traits. How much of a fighter is she? [[spoiler:At one point, ''she permanently loses half her soul''.]] Most people die within hours of this happening. Maree not only fights back, she ''walks miles'' to recover [[spoiler:in Babylon]]. To put things in perspective, the only other person to survive this that we know of? [[spoiler:A powerful and charismatic emperor who once conquered eleven different core universes and untold others.]]
* Mavra Chang from JackChalker's ''Literature/WellWorld'' series absolutely refuses to give up despite all of the BodyHorror inflicted on her -- seemingly cripplng mutations and [[PlayingWithSyringes body modifications]] only seem to make her even more determined. Hell, Mavra's probably ar her most dangerous when she doesn't even have any hands.
* Lia in ''Literature/{{Skinned}}'' by Robin Wasserman. Despite getting in a car accident, having her [[BrainUploading brain put in an android]], her friends abandoning her, her sister sleeping with her boyfriend, and people believing she doesn't deserve to exist, she still keeps going.
* ''All'' of the important female characters in ''Literature/SwordOfTruth'', but especially Kahlan, Cara, and Nicci.
* ''Literature/EnolaHolmes'' is the definition of this, eventually. It does take her running away from home with her brother, Franchise/SherlockHolmes, hunting her to force her into finishing school, and finding that she's a great detective herself at the age of 14. At the end, Sherlock and Mycroft are agape at how capable she is for her age.
* Arya Stark from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. This becomes less appealing and more creepy as the story goes on though, as the goals Arya persists in achieving pretty much amount to mass murder. Her sister Sansa, too, who manages to stay cool even when life seems more and more persistent to break her.
* ''Literature/{{Pollyanna}}'', anyone?
* Don't forget the eponymous ''Momo'' in the novel of Michael Ende. The evil men actually take over the world, but she still attempts to save it. She even dares giving one of the grey men a CareBearStare while she's left by all her friends.
* Sarah Crewe from ''Literature/ALittlePrincess''.
* [[Literature/LittleWomen Josephine "Jo" March]], as well as her older sister Meg, their younger sister Amy once she gets over her SpoiledBrat phase, and her pupil Annie aka Nan. (Too bad the fandom refuses to see Amy as such and pegs her as a MarySue out of DieForOurShip butthurt.)
** And also Rose Campbell from the ''Literature/EightCousins'' books.
* The ChaletSchool is full of these, to the point where you wonder if it's a requirement to get into the school. Joey Bettany - who shares more than a few similarities with [[LittleWomen another Jo mentioned above]] - is but one example. [[IllGirl Childhood illness]], running away from the Nazis, war, her husband Jack being temporarily MIA, the deaths of friends, a shedload of children...nothing will keep her down for long. And then there's Corney Flower, Biddy O'Ryan, Daisy Venables, Mary-Lou Trelawney, Carola Johnstone, Len Maynard...the list goes on.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TillWeHaveFaces'', Istra, aka Psyche, is this. To the extent that she angers her older sister, Orual, for ''not'' being worried about being offered to a local god as a "[[MarriageToAGod bride]]", saying the god might actually be nice. [[spoiler:It turns out Istra is right, and everything works out in the end]].
** In Lewis's Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia we have Polly Plummer, Lucy Pevensie, Jill Pole and Aravis Tarkheena.
* Literature/StephaniePlum from ''One For the Money'' and the following books by Creator/JanetEvanovich. Faces down homicidal rapists and madmen with pluck, snark, and heavy coats of mascara. Interestingly enough, she's not entirely plucky - pretty much every time she's in direct danger, she's a terrified, blubbering wreck. She deserves the moniker because, even when she's out of her depth, terrified, and facing fates too horrible to consider, she doesn't give up.
* Gemma from Literature/DarkLife. She's an orphan whose beloved older brother was [[DisproportionateRetribution sent to a reformatory]], escaped from her cruel headmistress, went subsea on her own despite not knowing how to swim, and is constantly delighted by [[BioluminescenceIsCool all the wonderful sea creatures she comes across.]]
* Ninevah "Nin" Redstone from ''Seven Sorcerers'' by Caro King. Her Motto is "Have Courage and never give up!" She confronts a Bogeyman while armed only with a toohbrush and goes insane lengths to rescue her brother, along with [[ChronicHeroSyndrome everybody else needing help]]
* Most of the [[SpiritedYoungLady spirited heroines]] in Creator/PGWodehouse's works; Joan from ''[[Literature/BlandingsCastle Something Fresh]]'', Eve from ''[[Literature/{{Psmith}} Leave it to Psmith]]'' and Jill from ''Jill the Reckless'' are all good examples.
* The title character of Hugh Howey's YoungAdult SpaceOpera ''Molly Fyde'' series.
* Lucy Pennykettle from [[Literature/{{Dragons}} The Last Dragon Chronicles]].
* Beatrice Löwenström in ''Literature/{{Overenskommelser}}'' by ''Creator/SimonaAhrnstedt'' is a tough girl, but it seems like the Universe itself is out to break her down. But once the worst is over, she gets over it and moves on.
** Illiana Henriksdotter in "Betvingade" has a tyrannical father and a cold-hearted mother, who never show her any love. But it never seems to bother her that much, and once she gets married, she pretty much puts her abusive parents behind her.
* Literature/TheWonderfulWizardOfOz features Dorothy, a resourceful, smart little girl who is willing to slap ''lions'' in the ''face'' and learns not to be afraif by the Wicked Witch of the West.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', as much as we love to see one of Chloe Sullivan's ''[[TraumaCongaLine many]]'' BreakTheCutie moments, she always pulls herself together to help Clark at the end of the day. [[spoiler:Season eight, "Abyss", "Bride" and "Legion", for instance. She has her memory slowly destroyed, making her gradually forgetting everything and everyone, attacked at her wedding, Jimmy almost dies, she is kidnapped by Doomsday to be possessed by Brainiac, and the Legion is about to kill her before Clark rushes in. She is up and about almost unnaturally quickly after the ordeal.]] And that isn't even half of it.
* Audrey Parker Of Series/{{Haven}}: A young FBI agent who is sent to the small town of Haven, Maine to capture a killer but stays to solve the terrifying "Troubles" that afflict the town and to find her long lost mother and learn to be a "small town cop." Being cocooned alive, almost driving off a cliff and dealing with super powered freaks of nature only makes her pissed and/or more determined. Also a very capable ActionGirl but could be considered a BrokenBird at times because of the emotional distance she keeps from people.
* [[CoolBigSis Gail Emory]] of ''Series/AmericanGothic'', [[{{Chickification}} at least]] [[DamselInDistress in the first half of the series]]...
* Veronica Mars of ''Series/VeronicaMars'', the unflappable young PI who is [[spoiler:roofied and date-raped, best friend is killed, family splits up,]] ostracized by her old friends, yet somehow trudges through and comes out mostly on top. And her relationships? [[spoiler:Suspected murderer of best friend, and also a man who could possibly be her biological brother (he's not).]] Well, let's just say she's incredibly determined.
* [[Series/TheSarahConnorChronicles Allison Young]], a resistance fighter captured by Skynet in the future who absolutely ''refuses'' to give in, even when pushed to the point of [[TheWoobie total emotional collapse]]. She tries to escape twice, [[ImNotHungry refuses to eat when the machines try to interrogate her]], and [[BatmanGambit spins a story designed to trick the Terminator that tries to mimic her into walking into a trap]]. [[spoiler:It doesn't work, and Cameron kills her for her troubles, but she gave it her best shot. And even when ''dying'', she stares her killer defiantly in the eye and refuses to yield an inch.]]
* Vicki, the First Doctor companion from ''Series/DoctorWho''. She was orphaned by a space accident, and we meet her after she's been stranded on an isolated desert planet awaiting a rescue mission while being psychologically terrorised by a repugnant monster with unclear motivations who turns out to be a man she thought was her friend in [[ScoobyDooHoax disguise]] - she'd still been making the best of it, by befriending the local wildlife. After the Doctor takes her on she will have occasional scenes where she will remind the others of what she's lost and that the Doctor is now her only family, but is mostly resolute and cheerful, happy to take the lead in a crisis (like in "The Space Museum"), and with a big scoop of NightmareFetishist and FluffyTamer to boot.
** Lampshaded in "The Unicorn and the Wasp". when the Doctor introduces himself to the guests at a 1926 dinner party as a Scotland Yard detective and Donna as "The plucky young woman who helps me out."
--->'''Donna''': 'The plucky young woman who helps me out'?\\
'''Doctor''': No policewomen in 1926.\\
'''Donna''': I'll pluck ''you'' in a minute!
* Djaq from ''Series/RobinHood'' originates from the Holy Land which is being torn apart by war in which she lost her father, mother and twin brother. She was then enslaved and brought to England in chains, all the while hiding her gender from her jailers. When she's rescued by Robin Hood, her fellow prisoners abandon her while she's helping out the outlaws. Yet she joins the gang, contributing her skills as a scientist and a medic to the country that is at war with her own, overcoming race and gender prejudices, and proceeding to kick ass all over the place whilst keeping her rather wicked sense of humor, resulting in one of the few times in which a character with obvious MarySue qualities manages to be imminently likeable.
* Miki Momozono/Goggle Pink from ''Series/DaiSentaiGoggleFive''. She gets hit massively with a fatal bomb that nearly killed her, yet she still dragged her body to get up so her friends and KidSidekick won't worry about her. Then she gets trapped in a devil diary, is tied up and the diary gets burned from the outside (which would burn her eventually), and her friends can't get her out, only able to watch as she burns. Instead, she ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome escapes from the book on her own using just her wits and brains]]'', delivers a condemning speech to those who trapped her (and dozens of innocent kids), then [[BadassInDistress proceeds to kick ass]].
* Subverted by Gabrielle in ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess''. She starts off plucky, but in season 4, she joins the church of the OneTrueGod, throws in the towel, her staff and her joy. she becomes a determinator and never comes back. Lampshaded in an episode set in modern time. MadScientist raids Xena and Gabrielle's tomb and clones them. Gabrielle is plucky, MadScientist turns her into a determinator. Fan complains, MadScientist says you will only ever see plucky Gabrielle in the repeats of Seasons 1-3 - "Only in the re-runs."
* Stephanie from ''Series/LazyTown''. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKVNf6kuhv0 Case in point]].
* The titular character in ''DongYi'' never gives up on, or breakdown over whatever she is doing, even when the odds are completely against her.
* Carmen Carrillo from ''Series/{{Carrusel}}''. She may not have the best family situation at first (though ''ItGetsBetter''). But she always makes sure to study and do well in school, so that someday she can go to college and obtain a career. Plus she is always nice to everyone. She is very prim and proper- while always remaining determined, so her being ladylike and staying out of trouble may be a not so obvious way of remaining strong so that she can achieve her goals.
* Princess Aurora in ''Series/OnceUponATime'', lampshaded when she is called this by her kidnapper, Cora, when Aurora flatly refuses to play along with her games.
** Gretel/Ava is driven by her faith that she'll find her father again. In Storybrooke, she's managed to take care of herself and little brother while hiding the fact that their parents are missing, and in the Enchanted Forest, she even manages to stand up to [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Regina]] by telling her that family will always find each other. At the end of "True North," the two children are reunited with their father.
* Susan Grey from ''Series/TheBletchleyCircle'' is the driving force behind the investigation, the one who gets the band back together.
* Kelsey Winslow from ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* Antigone from [[ClassicalMythology Greek Mythology]], who refuses to abandon her father Oedipus even [[OedipusComplex after learning]] [[ParentalIncest the truth]] [[{{Squick}} of her birth]]. She also defies her uncle Creon when he orders to not give burial to her brother's corpse, and prefers execution rather than renouncing to her beliefs.
* Many Christian martyrologies have tales about young and not-so-young girls who choose torture and death rather than renouncing to their beliefs and worshipping non-Christian Gods, and many of them are described as plucky to the extreme.
** For that matter, the Blessed Virgin Mary is this to Catholics, oh so very much.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* Arguably deconstructed in Creator/BertoltBrecht's ''Theatre/MotherCourageAndHerChildren''. The main female's pluckiness, perseverance and resourcefulness were supposed to show how ''dehumanized'' Mother Courage had become thanks to her sucky life (the deaths of her children included), as a detestable personification of the evils of capitalism. [[MisaimedFandom The audience embraced her instead.]]
* ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'': Juliet Capulet, believe it or not, and especially [[ValuesDissonance considering the time period it's set in.]] She disobeys her parents, follows her heart, takes the initiative ''even more than Romeo'' (to the point of qualifying as MasculineGirlFeminineBoy in the era's standards), braves disownment and being trapped in a tomb to stay true to the man she loves (or at least [[InLoveWithLove believes she loves]] - give her a break, she ''is'' a teenager after all) and chooses to die with him rather than just bow to her elders.
* Molly Brown in ''Theatre/TheUnsinkableMollyBrown''. "I ain't down yet" is her CatchPhrase.
* Swanhilde from ''Theatre/{{Coppelia}}''. She's unwilling to take Franz's sudden abandonment down [[spoiler: and desert him when it turns out that he's in danger of losing his own soul.]] So she will go into [[spoiler: Dr. Coppelius]]'s home to see what's going on with her own eyes [[spoiler: and later protect Franz as much as she can once Coppelia's RobotGirl nature is revealed]]
* [[RoleCalled Annie]] from ''Theatre/{{Annie}}''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Chell from ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}''. She never, ever gives up. It's official. It's on her record!
** Chell is closer to a {{Determinator}} than this trope, though. It's hard to tell, admittedly--no one knows how optimistic she is, how emotional she is, or even what she's thinking, for [[HeroicMime obvious reasons]]
* Asuka Kazama from ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}''. And Jun, and Christie, and Xiaoyu, and Lili...
* Almost every female from ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'', with special mentions to Athena Asamiya, Mary, Momoko, Malin, Leona, Whip, Bonne Jenet, Kula Diamond, May Lee, and ''any'' membress of the Women's Team.
** The KOF: KYO manga/game adds Kyo's girlfriend Yuki, specially when she stands up to [[spoiler: Iori]] in the middle of a GoThroughMe. Not halfway bad for a BarrierMaiden GirlNextDoor.
* ''VideoGame/FatalFury'', aside of all the girls who double as ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters'' {{Action Girl}}s, adds ladies like Tsugumi Sendou and Hotaru Futaba. In TheMovie, Kim's wife Myeungsuk also qualifies as such.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' gives us both female and male examples:
** Linde from the ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia'' games. Alongside Maria, post-HeelFaceTurn!Minerva, Yumina, Lena, Elice, Tiki, Feena, etc. ''Gaiden'' adds Cellica, Sonia, etc. Merric and Rickard are {{Rare Male Example}}s.
** From ''VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral'', we have several either in the WhiteMage or the ActionGirl fields.
*** Seisen's first generation: Adean, Briggid, Tailto [[spoiler:until she's ''horribly'' broken]], Ferry, Mahnya, Raquesis, Sylvia and Ayra. Dew is TheOneGuy, sorta.
*** Seisen's second generation: Lana (and Mana), Patty (and Daisy), Fee (and Femina), Nanna (and Janne), Altena, Larcei (and Radney), Leen (and Laylea). On the enemy side, we have the AntiVillain Ishtar. On the {{rare male example}} side, there's Corple (and Sharlow) and ''specially'' Seliph.
*** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Fire Emblem: Thracia 776]]'': The aforementioned Nanna alongside Mareeta, Tanya, Karin, post-HeelFaceTurn!Olwen, Sara, Safy, Lara, Tina, Eda, Linoan, Misha and Princess Miranda, with Evayle [[spoiler:or better said, an amnesiac Briggid]], Machyua, Selphina and post-HeelFaceTurn!Amalda as older versions. TheHero Leif and Asvel are {{rare male example}}s.
** Nino the Mage/Sage from ''VideoGame/{{Fire Emblem|Elibe}}: Blazing Sword''. Oh poor little innocent, sweet, freaking ''determined'' Nino.
*** Lyndis/Lyn, Louise, Priscilla, Serra, Farina, Fiora and Rebecca, too. A good part of Florina's CharacterDevelopment comes from her doing what she can to become one. If you want {{rare male example}}s, look no further than Sain, Guy and Wil.
*** In ''Fuuin no Tsurugi'', set 20 years later, Princess Lilina is this and some more. Makes sense since her dad is [[{{Badass}} Lord Hector]] [[spoiler:and her mom can either be Lyn, Farina or Florina]]. Other than her, we have: Clarine, Ellen, Princess Guinevere, Thany, Thite, Lalum, Sue, Milady and Fir. Adult versions include: Echidna, Igrene, Cecilia and Niime. "Mayfly" versions include [[spoiler:the dragon Fa]] {{Rare male example}}s include Lugh, [[spoiler: one of Nino's sons]] and TheHero Roy [[spoiler: whose mom can be either Fiora or Lyn.]]
** Princess Tana from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones''. So plucky that she refuses to stay on the sidelines even when her brother Innes demands her to do so, helps both Eirika and Ephraim as much as she can [[SkilledButNaive despite her limited battle experience]], can convince the very distraught Cormag to defect ''with words alone'' [[spoiler:and hook up with him if they have an A support]], and pulls Ephraim out of his HeroicBSOD after [[spoiler:he sees that he can't bring Lyon back and loses one of the stones to him.]]
*** Eirika, too. Despite her naivete and seeing her kingdom and others go down, she keeps going on.
*** And L'Arachel, too. So plucky that she can bring Eirika out of an HeroicBSOD [[spoiler:when she has to assume that Lyon's too far gone to be truly saved, after his SuperpoweredEvilSide uses him to steal the MacGuffin from her.]]
*** Also Natasha and Amelia. Both young ladies come from Grado, an Empire that is starting to invade and threaten other countries, but they decide to fight back and join Eirika and/or Ephraim's groups so they can save the world and Grado itself.
*** The rare male examples? Ewan and Ross.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius'': Mist, most prominently. Also to some extent Mia, Jill, Lucia, Elincia after her CharacterDevelopment, Sanaki, Laura, Micaiah, Heather, Eda and others. The {{rare male example}}s are Rhys, Oscar, Rolf, Boyd, Geoffrey and ''specially'' [[{{Keet}} Kieran.]]
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' gives us several too: a female Avatar (default name: Robin), Sully, Lissa, Maribelle, Nowi, Tharja ([[{{Yandere}} in a... strange way]], that is), Cordelia, Sumia (who's normally more of a SubmissiveBadass), Emmeryn (specially when she [[spoiler: fearlessly goes through an HeroicSuicide to stop an upcoming war]], [[spoiler: Say'ri]] and [[spoiler: the grown-up Tiki]]. [[spoiler: And maybe [[TheLostlenore Ke]]'[[PosthumousCharacter ri]], if Lon'qu's testimony is to be believed]].) And let's not forget the male Avatar, Prince Chrom, Stahl, Vaike, Henry, Donnel and Ricken as {{Rare Male Example}}s.
*** From the second generation there's [[spoiler: Sully]]'s daughter Kjelle, [[spoiler: Sumia]]'s daughter Cynthia, [[spoiler: Nowi]]'s daughter Nah, [[spoiler: Tharja]]'s daughter Noire ([[BewareTheQuietOnes in her]] [[SplitPersonality own]] [[SuddenlyShouting way]]) and [[spoiler: Chrom's daughter Lucina.]] And we also have some {{rare male example}}s like [[spoiler: Olivia]]'s son Inigo and [[spoiler: Lissa]]'s son Owain. Oh, and Morgan counts in here whether as a boy or a girl [[spoiler: unless they get corrupted by Grima after the death of his Avatar mom/dad]].
* The title character of the freeware action/adventure ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'' is a teenage girl who wakes up six months after an alien attack kills her family to discover that scientists have implanted nanotech in her to combat the invaders, but her only support is her little brother Dan, who has grown bloodthirsty, cynical and emotionally distant. Even after [[spoiler:she discovers that humanity is on the brink of extinction and the earth is a charred husk, she presses on with the mission Dan gives her. This first quest fails miserably, the second makes the situation even worse, and, depending on the player's actions, Iji fails to save her brother from an assassin, which [[HeroicBSOD traumatizes her horribly]].]] And yet she still carries on. The player can choose to play her as an ActionGirl or pacifist; regardless, the final boss is awed by her determination.
* From ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever'' we get Cate Archer, superspy extraordinaire. Almost the entirety of UNITY believes a woman can't be a proper spy, her mentor is killed, every single agent has died before her, she's continually put on missions often promised to be simple but always end up extremely dangerous, and she's being [[spoiler: sabotaged]]. Of course this doesn't stop her. She gets bonus points for having been a very successful cat burglar, starting out when she was just a teenager.
* Sigrun of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening'' is unusually cheerful for being a member of a group of {{Death Seeker}}s with the goal of achieving a HeroicSacrifice, joking that she'll try harder next time whenever she gets through a battle. During party banter with Nathaniel, she states that being {{Wangst}}y about it doesn't really help her much, and demonstrates that it would just get annoying really fast.
** [[JeanneDArchetype Leliana]] in ''Origins'' lives through a tremendous amount of [[TraumaCongaLine nasty]] [[DarkAndTroubledPast stuff]], yet comes out of it stubborn, courageous, and possibly the sweetest girl you will ever meet.
* Krile from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV''. She's already an orphan when you meet her. Then [[spoiler:watches her grandfather die right in front of her. ''Then'' his spirit tells her she needs to take his place in defeating the warlock that just killed him]]. And she [[BadassAdorable does]], while still being cheerful enough to poke fun at the hero and pioneer the role that would appear in every numbered Final Fantasy after her.
** Tifa Lockhart, Aerith Gansborough and Yuffie Kisaragi from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', but specially Aerith.
** Selphie Tilmitt from ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII''. Her original home was destroyed, many of her friends were killed, the world was about to end, and she ''still'' maintained her plucky attitude and sense of humor. Worryingly, she's also always the first one to propose an excessively violent solution to a problem, such as skinning a [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Moomba]] to use as a disguise for escaping captivity.
-->''"Blow it to smithereens with a rocket launcher! BOOOOOM!"''
*** Rinoa Heartilly would count as well.
* [[RebelliousPrincess Alena]] from ''VideoGame/DragonQuestIV''.
* The female protagonist route added to ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' in the PSP version turns the player character into one. The darker the game's plot gets, the more determinedly upbeat her dialogue options become.
** All of the VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} girls show different shades of this after their Shadows are dealt with. Special mention goes to [[MissionControl Rise Kujikawa]], who [[spoiler:took control of her Persona, Himiko, ''right after the Shadow Rise fight''.]]
** And beating them all out is Maya Amano from ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'' who's catchphrase is "Let's think positive!" She remains upbeat throughout the game, serves as a TeamMom for the group, and gets promoted to Protagonist in ''Eternal Punishment''.
* [[Characters/{{Castlevania}} Maria Renard]] from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaRondoOfBlood'', doubled as a BadassInDistress. Right after being freed, you can control her all the way from where she's held captive to beat up Dracula all by herself and her pets (which is a case for most people anyway, since she's stronger and faster than Ricther.)
* Amy Rose of the ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'' series often has shades of this.
* ''VideoGame/GhostTrick's'' Lynne gets killed [[TheyKilledKennyAgain no less than five times in one night]], but she'll be damned before that will keep her from laughing it all off with her [[ThemeMusicPowerup cheerfull theme tune]] every time Sissel has to go back in time to undo her deaths. And then there is the bravery she displays when she [[spoiler:gets trapped in a sinking submarine with Kamila]]. [[TheCutie Kamila]] couldn't wish for a finer [[CoolBigSis protective older sister surrogate]] even if she wanted to try.
* [[Franchise/StreetFighter Chun Li]]. Oh my, Chun Li. The first ActionGirl in fighting game history simply can't be less. Followed by Cammy White, "Rainbow" Mika Nanakawa, Sakura Kasugano, Karin Kanzuki, Elena, Ibuki, Maki Genryusai, Makoto, Rose, Ingrid...
** In regards to non-fighting female charas, Yun's HotBlooded "non-girlfriend" Houmei is this; considering how calm she is when around her, her little sister Shaomei might count too. Eliza Masters can be considered to be an OlderAndWiser version: we don't see a lot of her but she's almost always smiling and patient, and the mere fact that she's HappilyMarried to [[LovedINotHonorMore a dude who's very often fighting out there]] implies that she's got quite the patience.
* While a number of ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' girls qualify for this in some shape or form, Makoto Nanaya clearly stands head and shoulders above the rest. If she can stand to rebuild a positive outlook on life in the wake of a lifetime of wall-to-wall FantasticRacism, you're going to need some heavy ordinance to break her down - physical injury, financial woes, mind games, [[spoiler:a trip through [[EldritchLocation the Boundary]],]] and [[HumanoidAbomination Yuuki]] [[BigBad Terumi's]] [[BlatantLies mental]] [[{{Troll}} penis]] don't work.
** To a much lesser but constantly increasing extent, Noel Vermillion. She began as a ShrinkingViolet with huge issues, but after the events of ''Continuum Shift'' and leading up to ''Chrono Phantasma'', she seems to have [[TookALevelInBadass taken a few levels in badass]] [[CharacterDevelopment and developed a more assertive but still kind personality]]. And as her best friend, Makoto helped her quite a bit. So yeah, try stopping her from [[spoiler: [[DeclarationOfProtection saving]] [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl her other best friend Tsubaki]] ]]. '''Try it'''.
* Kairi from ''Franchise/KingdomHearts''. She was prepared to take on ''[[TheBerserker Saix]]'' '''''unarmed''''' at one point, and [[PlayingWithFire Axel]] commented on her guts.
* Quite a lot of the female characters from the ''VideoGame/SoulSeries''. Nearly every female character who has ever appeared in a ''Soul'' game is either this trope, or an IceQueen. Cassandra, Xianghua and Talim are this big time, Sophitia and Seung Mina were this in their earliest incarnations but grew out of it to eventually become [[ActionMom other]] [[CoolBigSis tropes]], and in the most recent game ''Soul Calibur V'', Pyrrha (specially when she manages to pull herself together after ''years'' of BreakTheCutie), Yan Leixia (who runs away to both refuse an ArrangedMarriage and to seek for adventure) and Natsu (Taki's pupil and one of Leixia's travel partners).
* In ''VideoGame/TearsToTiara2'' we have Charis. The little girl around seven or eight years of age right smack in the middle of a war, has to abandon her home, and witness destruction, atrocities, and quite a number of monsters. And she never gives up and never stops being cheerful. At Eburon Hamil is about to [[RoaringRampageOfRevenge charge suicidally into the Imperial ranks]] for a [[TakingYouWithMe chance to take]] [[YouKilledMyFather Izebel]] [[TakingYouWithMe with him]], before Tart points out to him Charis is going to follow him on his suicide charge, all cheerful and smiles. He stops himself to not get her killed.
* The sisters Nakoruru and Rimururu from VideoGame/SamuraiShodown, as well as Cham-Cham.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* [[Creator/AgathaChristie Mary Clarissa Christie]], the main character from ''VisualNovel/ShikkokuNoSharnoth''. The minigame is even based off of it: If her mental state falls too far, you lose.
* Emi Ibarazaki from ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'', a young woman who lost her legs [[spoiler:and her father]] in an horrifying accident, but around a year later she had already relearned to walk, and is the star of Yamaku High's track team. [[spoiler:Once you pursue her route, though, it's a DeconstructedTrope. Emi knows that loss of a relationship is normal, and it is best to be strong and move on. However, at the same time, the same stubbornness that enables her to deal with her issues prevents Emi from growing close to anyone because she is afraid that the pain of loss will prevent her from moving onto the future. This prevents anyone from helping her when she ''does'' need it.]]
* Nothing gets [[VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend Hiyoko Tousaka]] down for long. Not even [[spoiler: being unintentionally killed by her best friend/love interest and then cut up into pieces by a mad doctor]] keeps her from taking an active role in the plot and helping Ryouta when he needs it the most.
** [[RareMaleExample Rare Male Example]] in [[TheAtoner Sakazaki]] [[BigBrotherInstinct Yuuya]], who accepted his guilt [[spoiler: in [[OffingTheOffspring Killing his half-brother to let his full brother Sakuya live]] and refuses to let himself be get down by anything from Sakuya hating him to being [[TakingTheBullet stabbed by a poisoned cleaver]] to being guilt-tripped by [[EldritchAbomination The King]] using [[HellIsThatNoise the sound of breaking eggs]].]]
* From the ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' games, we have Maya Fey - always doing her best to smile in the face of all kinds of crap. She's followed by Trucy Wright in ''Apollo Justice'' and Athena Cykes in ''Dual Destinies''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComics]]
* Milny from Webcomic/PlanescapeSurvivalGuide. [[spoiler:Even being briefly dead cannot undo her optimism.]]
* Angel in Creator/GeneStrattonPorter's ''Literature/{{Freckles}}''. It seals Freckles's LoveAtFirstSight.
-->''She did know. She was not in the least afraid. She was depending on a rattlesnake to live up to his share of the contract and rattle in time for her to move. The one characteristic an Irishman admires in a woman, above all others, is courage. Freckles worshiped anew. ''
* Molly from ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob''
* Feferi Peixes, of ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', is one. She'd almost be a PrincessClassic, if not for her easily riled temper and lack of subtlety.
** Let's not forget Jade Harley, too.
* The blind Idony and the carefree Chara from ''Webcomics/TheSilverEye''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebOriginal]]
* From ''NewVindicators'', there's Kirstie Arnett, also known as Parabola. While her Neo-Sapien powers can be useful, and she's not entirely helpless in a hand to hand fight, she's not quite an ActionGirl and relies more on strength of character.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/PrincessSissi'', the plucky [[CountryMouse farm girl]] who deals with danger and tribulation after tribulation to get married to her sweetheart, Prince Franz, all the while believing that she can bring peace to Austria and Hungary and [[ChronicHeroSyndrome helping who she can on the way.]]
* All four Chan daughters in ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingChanAndTheChanClan'', but Anne and Nancy in particular.
* Penny Gadget of ''WesternAnimation/InspectorGadget''.
* Ahsoka Tano from ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars.''
* Apple Bloom from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''.
** Granny Smith was this as a filly as well.
** Pinkie Pie sometimes takes up the role too.
** The Cutie Mark Crusaders are pre-school versions.
* Annie from ''WesternAnimation/AdventuresFromTheBookOfVirtues''.
* Amberley of ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone''.
* WesternAnimation/KimPossible.
* Suki and Katara from ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. [[spoiler: Ty Lee counts after her and Mai's {{Heel Face Turn}}s.]]
* Korra from ATLA sequel ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' takes this up as well, Lin Bei Fong is an adult version as befits her for being Toph's daughter, and Asami Sato soon joins them.
* [[FatGirl Toot]] from ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' became a mix of this and JerkassWoobie after going through CharacterDevelopment.
* Julie Kane in ''{{WesternAnimation/Motorcity}}''. The [[TheSmurfettePrinciple token female]] ActionGirl of the Burners, who actually believes there might be still some good in [[BigBad her father]].
* Princess Ilana in ''WesternAnimation/SymBionicTitan''. She's fairly cheerful, something of a GranolaGirl and passionate about school-related activities. Although she is shown to worry about the state of the people on her planet.
* Miko from ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'', who is ever eager to get her self in to the action.
* Tinker Bell is portrayed as this in the DisneyFairies franchise. In her [[Disney/PeterPan original film]] she was more of a {{Yandere}}, though she still showed traces of this when [[spoiler: she fearlessly took a a bomb away from Peter and almost sacrificed herself to help him.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealLife]]
* [=LaToya=] Jackson. She was in an abusive relationship for a decade and then suffered the loss of [[Music/MichaelJackson her brother]]. Yet when you watch her in interviews, she's the happiest she has ever been.
* Malala Yousafzai.
* US Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug. In the Atlanta OlympicGames she gave the performance of her life, anchoring team USA -- forever after nicknamed "The Magnificent Seven" -- to its first-ever team gold medal. But the Americans' last rotation, vault, was a disaster. No gymnast -- not even the fabled Shannon Miller -- had managed to "stick the landing", and every step was another chip in their lead. Then disaster struck -- Dominique Moceanu sat down her vault. Twice. Last to go, everything rested on Kerri -- who sat down ''her'' first vault, severely spraining her ankle in an injury that normally renders someone unable to walk. But not Kerri, who stood up, shook it off, limped back to the start of the runway, and vaulted again. This time, she stuck it -- ''on one foot'' -- and ensured that team USA would indeed win gold. Then she crumpled to the mat in agony, and had to be [[BridalCarry carried by her coach]] to the podium so she could stand with the rest of her team.
[[/folder]]

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