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[[quoteright:274:[[TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/fananddagger_9683.gif]]]]
[[caption-width-right:274:So demure. So elegant. So dangerous.]]

->''"Just because somepony is ladylike doesn't make her weak. In fact, by using her wits, a seemingly defenseless pony can be the one who outsmarts and outshines them all."''
-->--'''Twilight Sparkle regarding Rarity,''' ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic,'' "A Dog and Pony Show"


Take the delicate flowers, like the ProperLady and the YamatoNadeshiko. Their manner and appearance suggest meekness and submission. Both of them have perfect etiquette, never speaking out of turn, and their voice is an ephemeral whisper. They are kind and pure, ladies who are neither capable of performing, nor even understanding the brutish ways of others in the world. They are beautiful maidens clothed in fine dresses and soft gloves and hold silk fans... made of sharpened blades. Beware the ''proper'' ones.

They might look like TheIngenue, perhaps even [[ObfuscatingStupidity purposefully]], but [[BeneathTheMask this rose has thorns]]. Neither may ever show it publicly, but they have a cunning mind with sharp intelligence and a strong will that won't bow for anyone. Neither ever loses their cool and can take anything life throws at them. Should the time come to fight, they won't hesitate. There's likely a ChastityDagger hidden somewhere on her person.

Others may think they're powerless, but they know how to be subtle and operate within the means their "role" grants her. A word here, a look there, add a little subterfuge with PolitenessJudo and often no one ever finds out they were manipulated. Things they approve of always somehow get done, things they disapprove of are somehow never accomplished. Neither of these women appear to be anything but the perfect lady, and yet they are far more than a wall flower, HomeMaker or trophy wife. The husband that lords over the house? [[HenpeckedHusband He's likely whipped by her]].

When the time comes when subtlety isn't an option for one of these girls? [[LadyOfWar She]] [[LadyOfBlackMagic fights]]. Bravely, courageously, and without holding back. She won't turn away from danger or pain. She'll deliver the final blow herself-- with violence if necessary-- but she'll always mix the violence with class.

In the Southern US, these women are known as Steel Magnolias. Beautiful, elegant, and symbols of their region; but they will take you down if you mess with them or their loved ones.

'''Related character tropes:'''
* FemmeFatale: A morally ambiguous lady fond of dressing in the same fashion who uses charm and sex appeal to wrap men (often detectives) around her finger.
* TheIngenue -- may [[CharacterDevelopment develop]] into this.
* IronLady -- dispenses with the silk. See also BadassPrincess and TheHighQueen
* LadyMacbeth -- every bit as ambitious as her husband, and may be the one truly running things.
* LadyOfWar -- where the "steel" refers to [[ILikeSwords literal cold, hard steel.]]
* LadyOfBlackMagic -- the same, but concerning magical powers of the offensive type.
* PoliticallyActivePrincess -- Instead of resigning herself to a bargaining tool, this princess does the bargaining herself.
* TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask -- add sacrifice.
* YamatoNadeshiko -- the Japanese concept of a ProperLady, which has plenty of elements in common with this.

Compare CulturedBadass, MoreDeadlyThanTheMale and KickingAssInAllHerFinery. Contrast GirlyBruiser which is a GirlyGirl who is also very tough.

For "Steel Hiding Silk", see the classical variety of {{Tsundere}}, or, more literally, SamusIsAGirl.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}''
** On the surface Captain Unohana seems to be the kindest, most motherly character in the entire verse. However, she's a captain in a meritocratic military, so she must be {{Badass}}. Then it's revealed the [[BloodKnight 11th Division]] is terrified of her. Then it's revealed she's the second strongest captain behind Yamamoto. [[spoiler:Then it's revealed that this sweet, demure woman was the ''First Kenpachi'' of the Eleventh Division, meaning she was the most skilled, powerful and [[BloodLust battle-hungry]] swordsman alive. In fact, [[HeroicSociopath Kenpachi Zaraki]] ''modelled his AxCrazy behaviour on hers''.]]
** Kanae Katagiri is a gentle YamatoNadeshiko who serves the Ishida Clan as a NinjaMaid, quietly listens to her [[BodyguardingABadass ward]] Ryuuken Ishida whenever he needs a confidante, and obeys her orders without a whisper of protest. However, when Ryuuken realises Katagiri went behind his back to reveal his secret to his mother, she doesn't hesitate to stand up to him and point out just how wrong his decision was. [[spoiler:Later, when Ryuuken is forced to accept he's failed the clan and attempts to run away to live with his shame in self-imposed exile, her [[YouAreNotAlone refusal]] to obey his final order, and the [[UndyingLoyalty reason]] for her disobedience, is the sole thing that brings him back into line.]]
* ''Anime/StarDriver'':
** Female lead Wako Agemaki falls under this, [[BewareTheNiceOnes with a MAJOR emphasis on the touch of iron]]... or [[IncrediblyLamePun cold steel]], [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome in this case]].
%%** Marino You
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar's'': Such is the unconditional love and compassion of Yuria, the fiance of Kenshiro, that even the tyrant Raoh- whose fists could shatter Heaven and Earth itself- is utterly helpless before her redemptive kindness.
* ''Manga/AxisPowersHetalia'':
** Lithuania, who would be a YamatoNadeshiko if he were not from Europe and [[GenderFlip male]]. He's sweet, hard-working, and shown to not only be excellent at cooking and house-cleaning (to the point where he works as America's housekeeper for some time) but also [[BewareTheNiceOnes formidable in battle]]. However, he also happens to be the main [[TheWoobie Woobie]] of the cast, which tends to overshadow his other traits, especially considering that his deference, loyalty, and humility might be one of the causes of him tending to be [[TheChewToy pushed around]] by Poland, Russia, and Belarus.
** Liechtenstein plays this straighter. So Switzerland is a super TriggerHappy gunslinger and skittish JerkAss? Yep, but he can't deny ''anything'' to his baby sister. Who can handle his mood swings without even blinking. What's more she represents [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liechtenstein a country]] that's small and hidden in the mountains and was passed around among other nations, but the people living there stood up ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Monument_Liechtenstein to the freaking Soviet Union]]'' in WorldWarTwo, and the country is now among the richest ones in the whole world.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'' presents Mirajane, who runs the guild from behind the scenes and holds the rank of Class S. [[ProperLady She's also the most feminine member of Fairy Tail in addition to being adorable and a good cook.]]
* ''Manga/{{Cyborg 009}}'' Lina, a SugarAndIceGirl and mother figure for Phil. Both of them are Psychic Assassins.
* Lenalee from ''Manga/DGrayMan'' falls somewhere between this trope and YamatoNadeshiko. On one hand she's a chinese girl whose devoted to friends and family and likes serving tea. On the other hand, she's a professional exorcist with a unique Innocence so she doesn't fit the 'domestic HouseWife' aspect.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' has a few:
** {{Guile Hero}}ine and {{Chessmaster}} Lacus Clyne of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'' and ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'' looks like the TheIngenue, but has a cast-iron spine and no fear. She essentially takes over the world by the sequel.
** Aina from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam''; her feminine manner of dressing and acting is commented on by her brother, and she dislikes fighting to the point of calling a cease fire, on her own initative, with a WeaponOfMassDestruction.
** Relena Peacecraft from ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing''. An elegant and reserved BadassPacifist that scares the greatest military power in the world. When they say WeCanRuleTogether she surrenders and makes them regret it. The first several episodes essentially match her will against TheStoic Heero; it ends with him protecting her without knowing why.
* ''LightNovel/CrestOfTheStars'': Lafiel, polite and proper even when threatening someone. By her strength of will and cleverness, she maneuvered her way from 'prisoner' to recruiting Klowal's pet-like maids in rebellion against him. As for 'being in charge' she may be a princess but she's still a 'pilot trainee' and must obey the hierarchy. BTW, SheCleansUpNicely.
* ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'':
** Lind, a polite and proper goddess whose job description is "Heaven's OneManArmy".
** Belldandy. Sweet, nice, demure, naive, and with a ''valkyrie qualification''. Whatever you do, don't give her a reason to use violence, or you'll regret it.
* ''Manga/SoulEater'':
** Demon Hammer Marie Mjolnir. A goofy version but nonetheless a feminine Death Scythe and one of the few who listens to Shinigami's orders. One of them is quietly reining in Stein's madness. As for the steel--her nickname is "Crushing Weapon." [[spoiler: when confronting Justin Law on BJ's murder, she reacts to the possibility of him harming her students by landing a punch on his chest so hard he's thrown into the air. This comes after Justin, having clearly forgotten he's in a series full of Action Girls, points out that though he and Marie are both Death Scythes, she has only a "woman's power".]].
** Tsubaki is gentle, kind and patient, she more than holds her own in battle, and early in the series her competence is said to be the reason her IdiotHero meister Black*Star is still alive.
* ''Anime/CorrectorYui'''s Haruna. A corrector (i.e virus basher) who eventually overcomes her ShrinkingViolet tendencies and becomes a semi TeamMom.
* ''Literature/DemonCityShinjuku'': Sayaka, a lovely {{ojou}} who travels into the most dangerous place in the story, by herself, and defeats a demon with her kind hearted will power. Point in fact, she did not go into Sinjuku to defeat [[BigBad Levi Rah]], but instead to ''redeem him.''
* ''Anime/MaisonIkkoku'': Kyoko is much more independent-minded and tempermental than her sweet, proper demeanor suggests, as Godai soon discovers. Her resolve is the only thing that keeps Maison Ikkoku from descending into chaos.
* ''Manga/KarakuridoujiUltimo'': Matoko Sayama is a very polite girl but there's some cold steel underneath. [[spoiler: It sharpens after she contracts Regula, the doji of disipline and [[MemoryWipingCrew memory wiping]]]]
* Thorfinn's mother, from ''Manga/VinlandSaga'' with elements of a MamaBear back when Thors was still an arrogant warrior.
* ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'': Ryougi Shiki crosses this with LadyofWar. Raised as both TheOjou and a competent swords-woman, she generally wears a kimono.....with her favorite knife tucked behind the sash.
* ''LightNovel/BodaciousSpacePirates'': Jenny Doolittle is initially portrayed as TheOjou, but then displays major nerve when facing down the ''Lightning 11''. [[spoiler:She later plays this trope rather literally, concealing a pistol in her (silk) wedding dress]].
* ''Manga/HighschoolOfTheDead'': Saya’s mother appears to be the perfect lady. She remains quiet and generally stands behind her husband. However, we last see her massacring zombies in a dress and using a gun that’s almost as big as she is... in the middle of a fire.
** Saeko's demure elegance and cool competence masks a bloodthirsty streak she fears could overcome her. She practices kendo to both exercise it and discipline it.
* ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'':
** Being able to drive a tank is part of being a ProperLady. It's even a women-dominated line of work!
-->'''Propaganda film voiceover''': ''If you learn tank combat, you will become a great wife, a great mother and a great career woman.''
** This is explicitly Hana's reason to learn Tankery: to her, tanks are flowers too and she wants to arrange flowers with 'more vigor'.
** Even the demure, polite and kimono-clad maids of the Nishizumi family have experience in Tankery; Kikuyo serves as a CombatReferee for the training match between Miho and Maho's teams, and Sakuyo mentions once studying Tankery under her mistress Shiho.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'': Roberta and Fabiola may look demure and proper, but if you mess with them (or Garcia), prepare to die, especially in the case of Roberta. She wields a 50 cal. sniper rifle with an under-mounted grenade launcher '''one handed'''.
* Anime/TheTowerOfDruaga: Kaaya looks like a NiceGirl, and she is, but there's cunning and an ulterior motive behind her pleasantness.
* ''Manga/HungryJoker'': Literally in the case of Vivia. She's a self-described Oujo-sama who has beautiful silk clothes and [[ExtraOreDinary metallic skin]] that can extend into scythes. Sadly for her she was stripped of her oujo-ness because her powers weren't proper and her parents abandoned her, but [[GravityMaster Haiji]] thinks [[ButYourWingsAreBeautiful her powers are beautiful]].
* ''Manga/SailorMoon'':
** Michiru/Sailor Neptune is a graceful [[TheOjou Ojou]] whose girlfriend Haruka/Sailor Uranus is much more masculine than she is, but it's obvious that while both are badasses in their own right Michiru is the one you ''really'' don't want to cross. It's strongly hinted that the super girlish Michiru is the one with the reins in their relationship, and she could have Haruka ''totally'' wrapped around her fingers if she wanted to.
** Ami/Mercury starts as a super smart ShyBlueHairedGirl, but as the series goes on she also shows shades of the trope. Specially obvious in ''Stars'', where she endures a ''massive'' beating from a enemy while trying to find its weak spot, and when criticized by the aforementioned Haruka she calmly says "''this is how I fight''" and manages to win her respect.
* ''Manga/BlackButler'': Elizabeth Middleford counts as one. She would do anything for Ciel, and goes out of her way to be seen as a cute girl by him, [[spoiler:hiding her LadyOfWar side from him for this reason but her father is still TheLeader of the British Knights, and when she sees no alternative, she WILL whip out a pair of swords and defend her future husband!]]
* ''Anime/TheTwelveKingdoms'': Lady Ribi is not an ActionGirl, and she knows it clearly. She's just TheOjou in a very dangerous time, which is marked by the intrigues of [[spoiler:Atsuyu and his disciple Kouya]] against the King that she works for and strongly believes in. Will that stop her? '''Nope.''' Ribi handles all of this very calmly and cleverly, protects [[spoiler:the depowered Enki]] as much as she can, and in the end [[spoiler: she unlocks Enki's powers despite clearly knowing that taking his PowerLimiter off will produce a backlash that will kill her. She dies, yes, but she [[SpannerInTheWorks also derails]] Atsuyu's EvilPlan, and helps to cause his fall.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/AlbedoErmaFelnaEDF'': The mother of the eponymous heroine. Eda, is a non-human and inverted example. Not so much in her earliest appearances (she once ''shocked'' Sonic in retribution for shaking her), but since obtaining her lynx form she's been nothing but shy, sweet, and nurturing... when she's not BrainwashedAndCrazy.
* ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'' has Altea. She's nice and always proper, and she'll remain perfectly proper as she's hiring a ProfessionalKiller to murder a mob boss who had put a bounty on her fiancee's head or ''tricking the titular [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast King of Terror]] into swearing he'll do the job she had hired that now dead killer for'' (as Diabolik [[IGaveMyWord always keeps his word]], Diabolik took the time to kill the mob boss when he went to rob him)...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''Fanfic/{{Downfall}}'' We have Unohana, who is an example of this trope in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' canon. In this case, however [[spoiler: she's the villain, sort of, and slaughters an entire platoon of Soul Reapers with her ''bare hands'' before takes on [[OneManArmy Zaraki Kenpachi]] himself.]]
* In the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fanfic: ''Fanfic/ArcOfSacrifices'', this is the very definition of the ''Puellaris'' witches, who live to protect the family and home. Submissive on the outside, but [[BerserkButton harm a child]] [[MamaBear and she will become a lioness and kill you.]]
%%* [[ActionMom Ursa]] in the ''Fanfic/AzulaTrilogy.''
%%* [[BlackButler Elizabeth Middleford.]] in ''Domina Esques''.
%%* ''FanFic/TheFledglingYear'': Aravis whenever she goes into Tarkheena mode
* The character of Pretty Butterfly, Twoflower's eldest daughter, appears in canon as Rincewind's reluctant bodyguard and escort in ''InterestingTimes''. While she looks demure, petite and a perfectly submissive Agatean girl, she is lethal in a fight. The canon hints she is Ninja-trained. Fanfiction takes this a step further. In the stories of A.A. Pessimal, Pretty Butterfly comes to Ankh-Morpork, ans accepts a position as the Assassins' Guild School's visiting lecturer in Agatean Studies. These include origami, flower-arranging, Agatean language tuition, how to wear a formal kimono (Girl students only), and how to chop somebody in two with a shuriken. Kicking somebody's kidneys out through their ears is also a skill she teaches to pupil Assassins, who refer to her with the most respectful honorific 'Koukouchou-sama''. Oh, and she's also quite fond of Rincewind.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Queen Elinor from ''WesternAnimation/{{Brave}}'' is always polite, graceful and well-versed in every courtly art. When [[MamaBear you threaten her daughter]], she ''will'' make sure you don't hurt her again [[spoiler:, being the one to kill Mor'du]]. In an earlier scene, she stopped an all-out brawl by simply walking through the middle of it.
* In ''{{WesternAnimation/Epic}}'' Queen Tara is introduced as flighty and gentle, but willing to go through great lengths to protect her people.
* Several female leads from various Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon films such as:
** ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'': Belle reforms Beast first by standing up to him and then with more gentle affection. She's technically a captive with no authority the whole time.
** ''Disney/PeterPan'': Wendy, a [[WiseBeyondTheirYears very mature girl]] with the ability to influence someone like Peter Pan himself. During the WalkThePlank scene, she was the definition of composed.
** ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'': Meg, though crossed with FemmeFatale and BrokenBird, fulfills the trope in her ability to manipulate like a damsel and her HeroicSacrifice inner steel.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/SevenBridesForSevenBrothers'': Millie is an example in territorial America. She embodies every ideal of femininity at the time: she's not afraid of working hard; she cooks, cleans, and sews for seven men, and yet turns a house of barbarians into a matriarchy through sheer force of personality and timely laundering.
* ''Film/MaryPoppins'', the title character. A prim and ProperLady; the only one not to lose her composure during the laughing scene. She also manipulates her employer with the ease of a pro. See her entry on ReversePsychology.
%%*''Bollywood/KabhiKushiKabhieGham'': Nadini develops into this from ExtremeDoormat
* ''Film/HorribleBosses'': Not only is Dale's situation an almost perfect GenderFlip of the workplace sexual harassment seen in films like ''NineToFive'', Dale himself is an almost perfect GenderFlip of the sort of sweet, innocent girls most likely to get harassed in films of that nature--complete with their deeply buried rage.
* ''TheWindAndTheLion'' Mrs Pedicaris may seem like a Victorian ProperLady...but she's also a LadyOfWar [[MamaBear with two children to protect.]]
* ''SkyHigh'': Layla's EstablishingCharacterMoment is encouraging a sunflower to grow with [[GreenThumb her powers]]. She [[MartialPacifist refuses to use her abilities casually]] ([[FantasticRacism and is thus written off as sidekick material]]) and spends the movie forging her RagtagBunchOfMisfits into TrueCompanions, encouraging [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Warren]]'s HeelFaceTurn, and later- when there is actual need for her powers- curb-stomps TheDragon ''in seconds.'' These actions save dozens of lives and are vital to triumphing over the film's BigBad.
* 1944 SherlockHolmes film ''The Spider Woman'': Adrea Spedding is a thoroughly evil version of this trope. She's beautiful, feminine, [[FauxAffablyEvil charming and polite]], and even after Holmes and the police catch up with her, she never loses her cool or stoops to uncouth behavior. She's also a criminal mastermind who orchestrated the murders of several innocent people for their insurance money - and if Holmes hadn't caught on, the authorities would never have realized that the deaths had been murders at all.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' series:
** Lady Alys Vorpatril is the perfect Barrayaran Lady: very concerned with being Right and Proper, in the old tradition of Barrayaran high society... and has enough leverage and experience to bend that society to her will without their even realizing it. She's not above playing dirty pool, either; One UpperClassTwit brusquely dismisses the value of her opinion, offhandedly remarking to Miles Vorkosigan that "Lady Alys holds no vote in Council". The next we hear from Alys is a polite letter to Miles letting him know that thanks to some judicious social networking on her part, the twit in question is now down half a dozen votes (out of sixty total). She also blithely circumvents the standing orders that serving military personnel are required to avoid involving themselves in political matters [[spoiler: by adding a ''written order'' for her son Lord Ivan to assist Miles - and at the time, she is technically Ivan's Commanding Officer. Miles doesn't take her up on it.]]
** Ekaterin Vorsoisson, although it takes some time for the steel to appear.
* Edith Stone from ''Literature/TheRollingStones''. She's a quiet HouseWife who appears to have no strong opinions, but her kids point out that no family debate is resolved until she weighs in, and she politely but firmly dismisses her husband's objections to her going on a dangerous mission.
* Lady Jessica in ''{{Dune}}'': Bound concubine to Duke Leto. Basically his Duchess but not married for political reasons. She's also extremely dangerous and so says to Thufir Hawat: "You've glimpsed the fist within the Bene Gesserit glove".
* Katerina Montescue and Francesca De Chevreuse in ''HeirsOfAlexandria''. Katerina develops into this, while Francesca begins as a HighClassCallGirl.
%%* ''ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'': Kinzi Keen-Eyed, the last Knorth Matriarch, and her granddaughter Aerulan.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Lady Sybil Vimes (nee Ramkin) more attempts this trope than succeeds in any conventional fashion, but the intent is there. She's convinced that there are certain duties a woman does for her husband based solely on the fact that she's his wife, so she does them, even though she's not very good at them. So she cooks and darns his socks even though she (and, since the wedding, Sam as well) is reckoned to be the single most wealthy individual in Ankh-Morpork and could hire someone different to do it every day of the week. In ''Discworld/{{Thud}}'', the iron comes out when everyone is suggesting she stay behind where it's safe, and she silences everyone by naming every time one of her female ancestors has assisted their husband during times of conflict. In other words, her steel shines through, but she does try for the silk.
** ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', there's Margrat Garlick. Normally, she seems like a New Age version of a witch and always seems worried about something. When she marries, she tried hard to be the proper 'silk' wife she thinks is required. However, in ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'', when she is imprisoned, she picks up the armor of a battle-hardened [[spoiler:imaginary]] ancestor, imbues her immense strength and fearlessly fights for the kingdom.
** Nanny Ogg has been described as 'a mind like a buzzsaw behind a face like an elderly apple': she's the epitome of the kindly old grandmother, always pleasant and cheerfully rotund, right up until she needs to be razor sharp.
* ''Film/GoneWithTheWind'': Melanie is a stellar example of this, and the book contains several monologues on the quietly awesome nature of 'true ladies' as Southern society calls them. She is sweet, humble, and seems frail as a kitten for most of the novel...but hurt her friends, either verbally or physically, and she will bring her persuasive abilities and status as Georgia's social keystone to bear by (metaphorically) kicking your ass.
* ''[[Literature/{{Belgariad}} Malloreon]]'': Velvet claims to be this but any woman who has graduated from the Drasnian spy academy doesn't qualify for ProperLady status even if she is a Margravine. Possibly inverted to a certain extent in that she clearly resents the necessity of pretending to be a ProperLady, and at one point does go off on a minor rant about people thinking she's harmless.
* Creator/MercedesLackey's ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'':
** Herald Talia. One of her two single most significant moments in the series involved ''epic babysitting'' -- specifically, being the only person in the kingdom kind enough, patient enough, and domestically talented enough to un-spoil the RoyalBrat, Princess Elspeth. [[spoiler:Which, given Elspeth's importance to the plot later on, saved the world at least twice over.]] She also holds the position of Queen's Own Herald -- the monarch's entirely loyal, completely dependable friend and advisor. However, Talia is not tall, her hair is chestnut, curly, and short, and she can fight with a knife as well as a bow.
** [[spoiler: A slightly stronger example of the steel that Talia hides comes near the end of the second book in the series when confronted with a man who had repeatedly abused and raped his step daughters and finally murdered one who was trying to escape, she with no hesitation and no remorse then or later MindRaped the perpetrator into reliving all that he had done from his step daughters point of view until he had accepted what he had done was evil.]]
* The ''Alpha and Omega'' side stories of Patricia Briggs' ''MercyThompson'' universe.
** Anna Cornick. As an Omega wolf, she also has the bonus of soothing [[TheEmpath empath]] powers over other werewolves.
** MercyThompson herself. As a female coyote shifter in the sexist werewolves' world, she can't directly confront or even disobey the stronger werewolves, so she smiles and nods to their faces, but somehow she always gets her own way in the end.
* ''ASongOfIceAndFire'' is full of these; justified: due to the CrapsackWorld, highborn ladies (when not being full-on {{Action Girl}}s) have to grow into this in order to protect themselves:
** Lady Catelyn Stark would rather be living quietly at home with her family, but she makes decisive actions when pressed to protect her loved ones.
*** Her daughter Sansa Stark was initially the purest example of TheIngenue, but a brutal [[BreakTheCutie cutie-breaking]] is slowly turning her into this.
-->'''Sansa''': [[ArcWords My skin has turned from porcelain, to ivory, to steel]].
** Lady Olenna Tyrell (aka the Queen of Thorns) puts only the barest veneer of a proper lady over her thorny personality.
*** Her granddaughter Margaery Tyrell, who plays the part of the sweet, polite queen-in-waiting perfectly - but she's obviously a lot more shrewd than she lets on; investigating King Joffrey's true nature and taking [[PerfectPoison drastic measures]] to protect herself from him (all under Queen Regent Cersei's nose), as well as easily seeing through Cersei's efforts to get her arrested.
** Princess Arianne of Dorne, and a few of the Sand Snakes, are also this. The Snakes are Oberyn's bastard daughters, who he raises in the palace, educating them in all that young ladies should know...including battle.
** Doran Martell and his brother Oberyn pull something of a double-act version of this.
--->'''Doran:''' "Oberyn was ever the viper. Deadly, dangerous, unpredictable. No man dared tread on him. I was the grass. Pleasant, complaisant, sweet-smelling, swaying with every breeze. Who fears to walk upon the grass? But it is the grass that hides the viper from his enemies and shelters him until he strikes."
** Queen Cersei Lannister, the beautiful queen, is even more ruthless, brutal and power-hungry than most of the high lords of the realm, but she usually maintains a cold, dignified and ladylike facade in public.
** Daenerys Targaryen, a beautiful, demure 15-year-old girl, who has so far sacked three cities and is bent on reclaiming the Iron Throne. Also TheWomanWearingTheQueenlyMask.
--->'''Daenerys:''' [[CatchPhrase I am only a small girl]], and know little of the ways of war...
* ''ATreeGrowsInBrooklyn'': Katie Rommely is a little too willful and rebellious to fulfill it entirely. It's implied that her daughter, Francie, will grow up to be exactly the same: Beautiful and seemingly docile, but utterly iron-willed and intelligent.
* Steven Brust's ''{{Dragaera}}'' books: Lady Teldra is patient, kind, loyal, courteous to the point of magical to friends, strangers, and enemies alike, will never speak ill of anyone...[[spoiler: and once just up and ''stabbed a being whose power was beyond that of gods'' to protect her friends.]] In general, all Issola are supposed to be like this. Their [[PlanetOfHats hat]] is social grace and unexpected strikes.
* ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'': Percy's mother Sally is endlessly sweet, kind, patient and loving, rarely ever gets mad or even raises her voice, and while she puts up with her husband Gabe's verbal (and physical) abuse to ExtremeDoormat levels, Percy notes that she still shows subtle signs of defiance against Gabe and it's revealed later on that [[spoiler:she stayed with Gabe solely to mask Percy's demigod nature with his stench and hence keep him safe from the monsters who would otherwise have hunted him down, ''and'' that once she no longer needs to protect Percy, she deals with Gabe on her own ([[TakenForGranite with Medusa's head]])]]. Now ''that'''s being true Silk Hiding Steel.
* Many in the ''Literature/TortallUniverse.''
** [[Literature/SongOfTheLioness Thayet]], a model court lady who could insult and frustrate her would-be suitor (and future husband) Jon while remaining impeccably polite. [[LadyOfWar She's also the founder of the Queen's Riders, a branch of Tortall's military.]]
** In ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'' we have Sarai, the most popular belle in the Copper Isles. One time she talked down a poorly planned noble revolt while making it seem like she was only interested in a date for the Summersend ball. Also she's no slouch with a sword. Additionally, Dovasary, Sarai's younger sister is this; stating at one point that she can find more information when she's quiet. The creator has said that she's the kind of person who [[spoiler:appears as a delicate queen]] and men will say they're going to show her what's what, before coming out thinking, "I was going to...what did she..."
** A relative of Kel's who poured hot oil on besiegers, just like 'any delicately raised country lady' would.
** Alanna, the original heroine, tries to be this but she's just no good at the silk part.
** It is implied that most of the women from the [[FantasyCounterPartCulture Yamani Islands (aka Japan/Asia)]] are this, being taught to fight as well as the boys because of the frequent pirate attacks. They're also experts at hiding emotion and being unfailing polite and friendly even when plotting someone's murder. The Yamani women that are seen in the books are definitely this. The [[YamatoNadeshiko domestic side]] doesn't show as well because they're fighting their enemies or ''guiding'' their allies.
** A particular Yamani example is "A shukusen--a lady fan. If a lady thinks she is in danger, but doesn't want to complicate things by openly carrying a weapon, she takes a shukusen". It's a heavy fan with steel ribs that are razor sharp on the end-- sharp enough to easily slice through wood.
--->'''Yuki''': Beware the women of the warrior class, for all they touch is both decorative and deadly.
** Kel's mother appears so nice and motherly now, but she was part of the Tortall delegation to the Yamani Island, and an agreement was reached because of her. She matched their stoicism and protected the Yamanis' most sacred items from being stolen by pirates, by herself, with their weapon of choice.
* Also, TamoraPierce's ''Literature/CircleOfMagic'' series has the young Lady Sandreline fa Toren. So sweet, so kind, so composed. Oh, and she has thread magic? How...[[WhatKindOfLamePowerIsHeartAnyway quaint.]] Surely she's no threat- [[HeartIsAnAwesomePower OH GOD MY CLOTHES ARE CRUSHING ME.]]
%%* ''Literature/TheFamousFive''. Anne is
* The TropeNamer comes from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series, where AlwaysFemale Aes Sedai are frequently described in these terms. In order to master the female half of the source, one must "surrender" to it, and likewise the most masterful manipulators show every sign of being submissive... while somehow discreetly guiding people to their goals. Rand uses this exact term to describe Moiraine, and says the more forceful Elaida is similar but has "dispensed with the silk".
* ''Literature/DestructiveHarmonics''. Zandra's a downplayed example, as she is a punk rocker, but she's both the most traditionally feminine and the best at holding everything together in adverse circumstances.
* ''Literature/{{Safehold}}'' gives two stellar examples:
** Sharlyean Tayt-Aharmahk, empress of Charis. A skilled diplomat, a dedicated ruler, and a caring wife and mother. She's also perfectly willing and capable of helping [[spoiler:her armsmen shoot a horde of attacking fanatics]], or continuing to [[spoiler:sentence traitors to death after getting shot by an assassin]].
** The second is Madame Ahnzhelyk Phonda, who is a highly-cultured courtesan who caters to the most prestigious members of the [[CorruptChurch Church of God Awaiting.]] Behind the scenes, she's a master [[TheChessmaster spy and schemer]] who manages to [[spoiler: [[RefugeInAudacity sneak hundreds of people out from under Clytahn's nose.]] Oh, and later she trains and leads a small army of counter-revolutionaries.]]
* ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series: Elizabeth Callahan, Nita's mother. Former ballet dancer, dedicated homemaker, accomplished cook - but fully capable of [[spoiler: facing down the Lone Power itself, without an ounce of wizardry to her name,]] when her [[MamaBear daughter is at risk]].
* ''Literature/TheParasolProtectorate'':Alexia counters her [[TheSoulless inherent lack of morals]] by studying [[VictorianBritain the manners and ethics of her time]] and at least acting the part of the ProperLady so long as it is practical to do so. When it isn't, she displays enough sheer willpower to command an pack of werewolves. She also carries a [[ParasolOfPain parasol with a number of built-in weapons]], and her Preternatural state gives her [[PowerNullifier a distinct advantage]] against London's [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent Supernatural]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent population]] in close combat.
* ''Literature/DreadEmpiresFall'': Martinez's eventual wife, Terza Chen. She always bends to the will of her father and (arranged) husband, but proves to be very shrewd in advancing her and her family's interests. On rare occasions Martinez sees "an intensity that bordered on ferocity" under her tranquil veneer.
* Fiona Patton's ''Literature/{{Branion}}'' series: Includes both males and females, in which a Guild of Companions provides [[EveryoneIsBi same-sex partners]] to the nobility. They are highly trained, and also serve as bodyguards, assassins, and spies (you learn a lot between the sheets).
* Denise Baudu from Zola's ''Literature/TheLadiesParadise''. Completely selfless, everything she does is for the benefit of her brothers. She also shows humility under extreme provocation, and there is iron at the core of her character: she will not allow her ideals to be compromised, either through threat, hardship, or temptation. Denise is described as 'formidable in her gentleness'.
* ''Literature/SongAtDawn'': Sanchez is a pro at balancing her ProperLady and ManipulativeBastard sides. [[spoiler: She has everyone fooled into thinking she's a twit when she's really Dragonetz's spy. She later becomes Estela's instructor in 'subtlety'.]]
* ''Literature/SanoIchiro'': Sano's wife, Reiko, is a well-mannered lady of the shogun's court. She's also an AmateurSleuth and uses her high status and kind disposition to aid her husband's investigations. If she gets into danger, she'll usually make her own way out of it between her martial arts training and the dagger she keeps hidden up her kimono sleeve.
* Azzuen, of TheWolfChronicles, is a male example. He's the runt of the pack, patient and intellectual- everything his love interest, [[HotBlooded Kaala]] is not. He considers her his [[TheLeader alpha]], and follows her with UndyingLoyalty, even breaking pack law to protect her. And when Kaala starts to insult him and act like a {{Jerkass}}, he calmly and fearlessly explains to her that he will ''not'' tolerate such behaviour in a friend. This prompts Kaala's realization that Azzuen is a strong wolf in his own way- that not everyone who follows does so because they're weak- and gives her some much-needed CharacterDevelopment.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': Charity is this- although she dislikes the series' narrator, so the readers rarely get to see the 'silk' part. She's a devoutly religious HouseWife who raises several children, and she knows swordsmanship and thinks nothing of trekking into the BigBad's freezing, {{Mook}}-filled castle to rescue one of [[MamaBear her daughters]]. Harry describes her as 'a rose wrought of stainless steel.'
* Towards the end of ''[[Literature/BelisariusSeries In the Heart of Darkness]]'', Belisarius' wife, Antonia realizes the Malwa spies she has been feeding (false) information to decided to kill her and works out how they would do so with maximum discretion, but what could a diminutive thirty-something ex-courtesan do with such knowledge? Try setting up a counter-ambush that leaves seven street thugs dead, one maimed, and one frightened soul keeping her at bay with a club as he screamed for backup.
* In JohnCWright's ''[[Literature/CountToTheEschaton The Hermetic Millennia]]'', Menelaus explains that despite her hyperbolically feminine appearance and her profuse declarations of love and harmony, Oenoe is a member of the Nymph security forces. Though she would drink potions of forgetfulness after the fight -- to keep it from disturbing the hedonistic life -- she is unquestionably a veteran.
* Jasnah Kholin in Literature/TheStormlightArchive. Beautiful, always elegant in her manners and appearance, princess of the most powerful nation in the world, and then she destroys a gang of robbers with Soulcasting. To be more specific, she turns the first one''into fire'' (not sets him on fire, literally turns him into fire), then turns the second one into a glass statue and turns the final two into smoke as they try to run away.
** Also her ward, Shallan Davar. Despite being almost pathologically shy and a beautiful young lady, she is also [[spoiler: a ''Shardbearer''. To give context, it is unheard of for women to bear weapons at all in this culture, and Shallan has the equivalent of a pocket nuclear missile. It gets yet more Badass when you remember how she must have gotten that Blade in the first place, ''by killing a Shardbearer'']].



[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** The series uses this trope with Londo's third wife Mariel, whom one of his other wives describes as follows:
--->'''Timov:''' Still the iron claw in the velvet glove, Mariel?
** Delenn; Sweet, polite, TheHeart, kind, generous -- and able to make the most powerful beings in the galaxy do exactly what she wants, whenever she wants.
* Given the status Companions hold, Inara from ''Series/{{Firefly}}''. She's classy, well-mannered, and serves as the TeamMom, but don't underestimate her.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'':Guinevere "Gwen" has aspects of this; as [[ForegoneConclusion the future queen of Camelot]] she is not your typical HouseWife, but considers her job as a lady's maid and castle servant a worthwhile one and doesn't hesitate to call out Arthur when he belittles the role. She is patient and understanding, was incredibly devoted to her father before he died, but will take up arms to defend Camelot or her loved ones at a moment's notice.
** In the first episode of season 5, Queen Guinevere discovers her maid is a traitor and promptly sentences the girl to death. This is to root out the girl's father, the real threat, but she does sentences a traitor to death for real in the series finale.
* ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'':Emma Mastin is at first presented as this but she proves that [[MamaBear when her son is threatened]], [[BewareTheNiceOnes she has other qualities]]. It turns out that she had once been one of the [[LadyOfWar best operatives]] among Chechyan rebels but had [[RetiredBadass retired]] on her husband's supposed death. She'd seen enough death that the thought of home life was attractive.
* ''UpstairsDownstairs'': Hazel Bellamy. Normally gentle and retiring, she does show back bone when she believes something strongly.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'':Bernadette. Despite her height, her apparent meekness and her mannerly behaviour, she's among the rare characters able to make Sheldon shut up and abide. She can even handle Howard's mother, which is ''NO'' easy feat.
* ''HellOnWheels'' Lily Bell is beutifully mannered, elegantly dressed and coifured and capable of killing her husband's killer with his own arrow, trekking miles across a prairie and sewing up her own wound. She's also capable of slapping down a sneering sister-in-law both verbally and physically.
* Almost every major woman on TheBorgias has elements of this, but former ingenue Lucrezia Borgia is perhaps its epitome. She may look and act innocent and adorable--yet she can also outwit kings without blinking and seduce WideEyedIdealist boys in a heartbeat. And don't forget that she has her brother, sociopath and SinisterMinister wrapped around her little finger and ready to do her bidding.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'':Keiko O'Brian. A prime example is the Season 1 finale "In The Hands Of The Prophets" when she absolutely refuses to bow to pressures from Winn that she teach Bajoran spiritual beliefs in her classroom.
* ''Series/NewGirl'':Jess is sweet and cute and initially comes off as helpless, but she can handle herself — AND YOU — and do so classily. She's a lot braver and more direct than her roommates at navigating problems that come their way as a household.
* ''BoardwalkEmpire'': Gillian is always polite, cheerful and proper, but she's also ruthless, encouraging her gangster son to murderous action and doing so herself when needed.
* ''Series/CallTheMidwife'': Sister Julienne is calm, polite, ladylike, and [[StiffUpperLip forever unruffled]], and can make anyone on the series do anything she wants them to do with nothing more than a few calm words, an [[FascinatingEyebrow eyebrow]], and a polite smile. Nobody ever dares to cross her.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' loves this trope. Snow White, Belle, and Aurora, are all graceful and polite until they have a reason not to be. Even the [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen Evil Queen]] was this way for a time.
* DowntonAbbey:
** Lady Sybil Crawley is kind, generous, the peacemaker of the family, described as "the sweetest spirit under the roof"....and a unfailing advocate for woman's rights, fiercely rebellious of her aristocratic society and gutsy enough to become a nurse and run off [[spoiler: with the chauffeur.]]
** Anna is consistently the most loyal and selfless character on the show, and TeamMum to half the cast but this doesn't mean she can't rip you apart with a few short words or single-handily [[spoiler: free you from prison]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* The picture on this page is [[http://gatherer.wizards.com/Pages/Card/Details.aspx?name=michiko%20konda,%20truth%20seeker Michiko Konda]], with the ability "Whenever a source an opponent controls deals damage to you, that player sacrifices a permanent." This beautifully captures the idea of "I will calmly endure your abuse in public, and then in private I will always get my revenge" in a game mechanic.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' Book of Exalted Deeds there is a goddess named "Estanna" who is the goddess of the hearth and home. Her clerics are literally the clerics of home keeping, but keep in mind this is a game where the cleric is regarded as one of the most powerful classes in the game so any Player Character who is a Cleric of Estanna is likely to end up like this.
* ''{{Exalted}}'': It's very easy to make this type of character. In fact, there two SupernaturalMartialArts styles that seem designed for it. Dreaming Pearl Courtesan Style uses elegant clothing as weapons, meaning a practitioner can seamlessly go from a formal ball to a battlefield and back again. White Veil Style ([[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial which does not exist]]) is an extremely subtle martial art based around casual movements. If a White Veil master is doing his job, you won't even know you were in a fight until a week later when the magic poisons start to kick in.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SuikodenV''
** Luserina Barrows is sweet and graceful and apparently stays home while her dad and brother politic in the capital. However, if you talk around Rainwall, you'll find out that ''she'' is the one running the place. She also takes part in the coming battles as 'morale', in other words, encouraging them to victory.
** Miakis is ever courteous and polite; she can make an offhanded comment about a river into a death threat. Her steel is more obvious, though, being a Queen's Knight.
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy''
** Lenna of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV'' is a PrincessClassic who decided to skip the 'frail' part.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII's'' Tifa and Aerith both fit this trope, [[PlayingWithATrope but for different reasons]]. Tifa is the girly, sweet and domestic BareFistedMonk (who looks like a BikerBabe), while Aerith is the tomboyish, edgy, StreetSmart WhiteMagicianGirl (who looks more girly) whose HOLY spell is the greatest threat to the BigBad's EvilPlan.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': WhiteMagicianGirl Yuna appears soft and demure, but proves herself to be a DamselOutOfDistress twice; firstly, when kidnapped by Al Bhed, Yuna saves herself - [[RedundantRescue leaving just as the party arrives]]. Secondly, when she is kidnapped and forced to marry Seymour. She conceals her staff ''[[HammerSpace somewhere]]'' and goes along with it for a chance to Send Seymour.
-->'''Seymour:''' You would play at marriage for a chance to Send me?
* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}
** Gym Leader Jasmine from ''VideoGame/PokemonGoldAndSilver''. The first time you meet her, she's caring for a sick Ampharos in the local lighthouse, and she seems very gentle and feminine. [[http://archives.bulbagarden.net/media/upload/8/8e/JasmineHGSS.png Then you fight her.]] Oh, and remember that "touch of iron" mentioned in this {{Trope}}'s description? Jasmine happens to specialize in ''[[StealthPun Steel types]]''.
** Cynthia in ''VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl'' is a pretty and kind woman who showers you in gifts, advice, and encouragement in exchange for you running an errand to her grandmother. Then you fight the Elite Four, and Cynthia turns out to be the [[TrueFinalBoss Pokemon Champion of Sinnoh]] and her signature Pokemon is Garchomp, a [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot shark-jetplane-dragon-Pokemon]] that has been ''banned from the unoffical metagame for being too powerful''.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem''
** The MysteriousWaif Ninian from ''[[FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem 7]]'', an emotionally broken WhiteMagicianGirl who does her best to help the group despite her massive trauma ''and'' at some point [[spoiler: fearlessly [[TakeMeInstead offers herself to Nergal]] to save her brother Nils, despite clearly knowing she's totally screwed.]] Also, Fiora the eldest Peg Knight sister: more evident seen in her supports with her teenage sister Florina, [[MyBelovedSmother whom she adores and overprotects]]. And there's a male [[DudeLooksLikeALady (if girly-looking)]] example, too: Lucius the Monk.
** Ellen, Juno and Sophia from ''[[FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem 6]]'', all hitting the {{trope}} [[WhiteMagicianGirl in]] [[LadyofWar different]] [[DarkMagicalGirl degrees]].
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'' has Eirika, who is known throughout the land of Magvel as a kind and tactful woman... who bails out WarriorPrince Innes from an ambush and threatens to send Sunstone General Glen home with his tail between his legs. There's also the Pegasus Knight Syrene and another male, the monk Artur.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius'' gives us a female and two male examples: Astrid, Rhys and Oscar, respectively.
** ''FireEmblemJugdral'' brings them of the three separate "timelines". In Seisen's first generation we have Princess Adean of Jungby, a WhiteMagicianGirl who's pretty much fearless (apparently she trained to be a ''knight'' before joining the clergy to search for her sister); the second generation has Adean's daughter Lana and Lana's {{expy}} Manna, also {{White Magician Girl}}s and just as plucky as Adean is. Finally, ''Thracia 776'' has Safy the WhiteMagicianGirl, Selfina the LadyOfWar HorseArcher, and maybe Sleuf the White Magician ''Dude''.
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' gives us others as well, namely people like Cherche (sweet and classy YamatoNadeshiko with a [[DeadpanSnarker snarky side]] who willingly rides into battle on a freaking ''wyvern''), Sumia (super klutzy and shy but VERY good at fighting), Libra (softspoken War Monk and Lucius {{expy}}) and specially Emmeryn (the epitome of BadassPacifist, [[spoiler: specially when she chooses suicide rather than endangering her people.]])
* Leliana, French-accented bard of ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' deliberately adopts this façade so people will drop their guard around her (as she puts it, men are all too willing to believe that a woman is docile and harmless). She's actually a confident and aggressive ActionGirl.
* ''Franchise/DragonQuest'':
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'': Nera, one of the potential marriage candidates. Contrary to the usual, however, she's significantly ''less'' popular than her more tomboyish counterpart Bianca -- as evidenced in an episode of ''Anime/LuckyStar'' where this choice is referenced. Kagami's choice of Bianca is treated as being more sympathetic... and Konata's brief discussion of why you might pick her is purely about gameplay advantages, not character traits.
** ''VideoGame/DragonQuestVII'': Neris counts too. Gentle and loving demeanor complete with that unmistakable steel will.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'': Princess Zelda herself in most of the games. Depending on the one you're playing, she'll be a [[ProperLady Proper]] [[DistressedDamsel Damsel]], a {{ninja}}, a {{pirate}}, or this trope. She switches into {{Tsundere}} mode in all of the cel-shaded games.
* ''VideoGame/PrincessMaker'': One of the paths for the player to educate the main character. If the girl doesn't have the basics of this, she will NOT be able to befriend Castle people like the Knight (who appreciates well-mannered and polite girls) and the Queen (who will be friendly to girls with high Temperance, meaning they must be patient and be used to talking to people without losing their cool). So if you want her to hang around the Castle ''and'' get good jobs in the end, she ''must'' be this.
* ''VideoGame/SuikodenTierkreis'' has Erin, a sweet, gentle, caring young woman who only wants to help her father run his inn in peace. To do so, she acts as a ReverseMole to expose the local CorruptBureaucrat, and when the main party reveals that all might not be well in the outside world, she insists on joining and helping them. While she isn't a combat character, she does have a cooperative attack with her father, which shows the two of them beating up the target.
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' features Lady Riddel. A sweet and elegant girl, daughter of General Viper, who is hands-down one of the strongest magic users in the game.
* ''SoulSeries'': Setsuka, first appearing in ''Soul Calibur III''. Her [[ParasolOfPrettiness oil-paper parasol]] is [[SwordCane actually a sheath]] for [[ParasolOfPain her sword.]]
* ''[[TokimekiMemorial Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 2]]'': Hisoka Mizushima. Though feminine and ladylike she has a way of manipulating [[HighSchoolHustler the people of her high school]] for her own benefit without them realizing it.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphonia'''s Colette; a girl so sweet and eager to please, yet capable of redirecting her very specific quest into detours by making them ''sound'' like they're part of the quest. Thanks to her Cruxis Crystal, she's also the physically strongest member of the group (except maybe for fellow Cruxis Crystal bearer [[CuteBruiser Presea]],) able to effortlessly lift Regal (who's about twice her weight) over her head with one arm.
* ''ArTonelico2'': Luca refers to it as 'attacking with smiles': pretending to be sweet and submissive when she's really luring someone into a trap.
* ''AceCombat5'' has Kei "Edge" Nagase, [[TheSmurfettePrinciple the only female pilot in the Wardog squadron]]. She's gentle and soft-spoken, often compared to a princess by her comrades, and the most idealistic character in the game. She's also the only trainee to survive the massacre at the beginning of the game. [[spoiler:When she gets shot down, the narrating reporter Genette thinks that she did so deliberately to avoid having to kill any more enemies; after she's rescued, they find out that she captured the enemy soldiers sent to capture ''her'', and he says he has to rethink his image of her.]]
* ''GoldenSunDarkDawn''
** Karis acts calm and gracious in public, and generally acts as TheFace of the party for much of the game (especially since TheLeader of the group [[TheSilentBob doesn't talk much]]). However, to her friends, she's a HotBlooded {{Tsundere}}, and not above punching out [[TheBigGuy Tyrell]] to get his attention.
** Prince Amiti may count as a RareMaleExample: he's a SpoiledSweet ShelteredAristocrat, but he's also smart, sensible, charismatic, and brave enough to stand up for his moral values even when the ''entire player party'' is arguing otherwise. And he can [[WarriorPrince tear up a battlefield]].
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'': [[WrenchWench Isara Gunther]]. Pretty, polite, and very feminine, yet also strong-willed, not to mention she's the operator and mechanic for the [[TankGoodness Edelweiss heavy battle tank]], and she's pretty handy with a rifle as well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Downplayed in ''VisualNovel/PrincessWaltz'' with Shikikagura Suzushiro, who looks, acts and tries very hard to be one of these. Stand in her way, however, and she shows a much more ruthless and bitchy side to her personality, and also possesses a powerful and brutal fighting style.
* Two in ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'' Akiko Minase the gentle and assertive mom, and Sayuri Kurata an {{Ojou}} who stands up to demons despite being a {{muggle}} for her friend Mai.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original]]
* ''Literature/GrandmasterOfTheft'': Julia, the shy assistant that takes care of all the details of Vincent's business. This gives her a lot of power, martial arts aside.
* ''ImperiumNova'': An ideal for House Suzumiya albeit with a female supremacy twist and a touch of PragmaticVillainy on the side.
* The Lord Of the Supreme Council of ''TheQuestportChronicles'' is usually an IronLady, hence the name, but occassionally indulges in this trope.
* Rebecca Stone from WebVideo/DemoReel. Girly appearance, overly optimistic and not all there, she still gets the respect of two war criminals for being an intelligent, gun-toting ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''
** Rarity is always prim and proper, but she boldly charges in to fight a manticore, gets into an EPIC pillow fight, and single-handedly turns the tables on the Diamond Dogs when they try to enslave her. Notably, every time she's been in an ''actual'' fight, she doesn't rely on her magic; instead, [[GirlyBruiser she resorts to good old hoofticuffs]], such as punching out mooks with right hooks.
** Fluttershy too. She definitely fits the character-type (humble, loyal, wise, nurturing, etc. but with a clear touch of iron). She initially comes off as an ExtremeDoormat, as long as you don't push her too far or threaten her friends. You shouldn't do those things. [[MamaBear That's when the ]]''[[MamaBear other]]'' [[MamaBear side of Fluttershy's personality shows.]] The side that can stare down a cockatrice ''[[TakenForGranite as it's turning her to stone]]'', or [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath scold a]] ''[[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath giant dragon]]'' [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath so hard that it ]]''[[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath cries]]''.
** Princess Celestia as well. Granted, she generally desires a less formal relationship with her subjects and has a rather puckish sense of humor, but she clearly is a mare of great elegance and refinement. At the same time, when the chips are down, the steel comes out, as when she orders the Mane Six to do away with Discord (and later Queen Chrysalis) with all dispatch, or when she and her sister dealt with Discord themselves thousands of years before that, and King Sombra a mere thousand years ago.
** Her niece, Princess Cadance, is described by Twilight as all sweetness and light. As for the steel? [[spoiler: Ask what's ''left'' of King Sombra.]] She denied him victory by keeping him at bay and inspiring those around her.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'': Dana Tan as the affluent girlfriend of the new Batman, Terry. Sweet, supportive and the one of two people who can strike fear in him (the other being the original Batman). Unfazed when he tells her his secret. When in danger she can hold her own until he shows up. Even Bruce doesn't unnerve Terry as much as Dana; he'll sass the old man to his face, but only really gets worried when Dana is mad at him.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CaptainPlanetAndThePlaneteers'', Gaia is wise and respectable and generally above lying, but one time she twisted a FreakyFridayFlip to get a villain's minion to do her bidding even after she switched back. On a daily basis, she'd have to be steel willed to put up with the pollution of the villains.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** Toph Bei-Fong, daughter of one of the richest families from the Earth Kingdom....[[AvertedTrope isn't this.]] She's crude, rude, and out-spoken but she had to act like a demure, helpless blind girl for 12 years so she can definitely act the part on occasion. Such as when the group neeeded to get into Ba Sing Se and she manipulated the clerk in check to get free passports.
** Played straight by Ursa, the wife of the [[BigBad Fire Lord ]] and the mother of [[ManipulativeBitch Azula]] and [[{{Determinator}} Zuko]], and sister in law of [[BadassGrandpa General Iroh]]. While they run around the world and are driven by personal honor/ambition/friendship, she calmly takes care of her family. That means encouraging her children to play together, and killing her [[AssholeVictim father-in-law]] and [[PredecessorVillain current ruler]] of the kingdom, while never breaking the mask.
* From the SequelSeries, ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Asami is the SpoiledSweet daughter of a prominent industrialist, pretty and proper... who is also a race car driver and has had the best self-defense training money can buy. [[spoiler:She'll electrocute her own father if it means doing the right thing and saving authority figures and her friends from terrorists.]] As the fighting escalates, she dispenses with more and more silk until she better fits LadyOfWar than this trope. There's a visual cue to demonstrate the switch from silk to steel: [[spoiler: her formal induction into the [[FanNickname the Krew]] shows her switching from her 'rich girl' clothes to a trenchcoat and PowerFist.]]
* In ''Series/TheFerals'', Mixy is generally the most reasonable and sweet-tempered of the gang, yet quite capable of bullying the others into following her lead when she felt inclined to stand up for herself.
* From ''WesternAnimation/SWATKats'': Calico "Callie" Briggs. Beautiful and compassionate, her official title is "Deputy Mayor" as Mayor Manx's HypercompetentSidekick. In reality, she's the one running Megakat City (a good thing, considering Manx's laziness and incompetence) and can become an ImprovisedWeaponUser if one of the RoguesGallery attacks her.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* TruthInTelevision: Mary Ann Patten, the teenage ship captain's wife who navigated the clipper Neptune's Car around Cape Horn while [[PregnantBadass pregnant]] and caring for her sick husband. She wasn't the only one like this. Rich New England shipping princesses of the nineteenth century were a tough breed despite their outward show of propriety. [[note]] For those who don't know anything about ocean sailing, rounding Cape Horn is a Crowning Moment Of Badass. The Southern Ocean in general is a scary place where EverythingIsTryingToKillYou -- those latitudes are known as the Furious Fifties for a reason -- and you will be sailing in it for weeks just to get to the Drake Passage, which is the Southern Ocean turned UpToEleven, and ''then'' you get your chance to round the Horn.[[/note]]
* TheodoreRoosevelt was the SpearCounterpart of this trope. Though he preached "speaking softly" he was [[BoisterousBruiser anything but]] in his day-to-day life.
* Jael of Heber, whose account is recorded in the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Judges]]. An enemy general, worn out from a long day of generalling, imposes on Jael's hospitality while her husband is out fighting. He asks for bread and water; she provides milk and a heavy meal. And a nice place to nap, since naps after big meals are nice. And while he sleeps she, ever the proper hostess, drives a tent stake through his head and the man's own sword through his neck. This would've normally earned her a death sentence or the scorn of her own community considering how people back then were BIG in SacredHospitality, but she was given a pass because the guy she defeated was '''that''' dangerous.
* There is an expectation that aristocratic and middle class British women will develop into this trope at some point in their forties if not before. To do otherwise is a sign of bad breeding.
* The YamatoNadeshiko archetype relies on a woman being demure and softspoken, but able to handle herself and others if she's in trouble. Unlike [[ValuesDissonance what (often ignorant) Westerners tend to believe]], if a woman isn't as plucky and strongwilled as she is dainty-looking, she is '''''not''''' a YamatoNadeshiko. (There's even a specific term to define these demure and spineless "Asian woman": [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereotypes_of_East_Asians_in_the_Western_world#.22China_doll.22_stereotype the "china doll".]])
* In the animal kingdom, swans can be an example of this. They are often thought of as elegant and graceful creatures, but you should ''never ever approach a baby cygnet if you know what's good for you.'' Swans can flap their wings hard enough to break someone's leg. It's not their main form of attack, but they can knock a grown man down with frightening ease.
* Similarly, deer. Between [[{{Bambification}} Hollywood depictions of them]] and the fact they usually appear much more slender and graceful than, say, a horse, cow or moose, they're usually seen as somewhat dainty or fragile. However, anybody who has ever been victim to that frequent battle of Deer vs. Car will tell you that usually the deer will hop off (seemingly) unharmed, while you end up with your car's engine in the passenger seat with you. [[http://frozenviolets.tumblr.com/post/50602306375/deer-bus-windshield Deer crashes]] into a moving bus. Windshields are totalled. Deer is confused and dazed but otherwise unharmed at far as we can see. Deer hops away the moment the bus stops.
* Aung San Suu Kyi was until age 42, in the [[http://www.newrepublic.com/article/books-and-arts/magazine/103083/lady-peacock-aung-san-suu-kyi words]] of a biographer, "a dutiful housewife who produced home-cooked meals every day, ironed her husband’s socks, and sewed her own curtains and clothes". When her country needed her, she [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUYyX4NLaCY stepped up]] and made history.
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