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[[quoteright:250:[[WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/leela_purple_ponytail_1110.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:Action Hair for an ActionGirl.]]

Basically using a ponytail to visually distinguish women and girls who are {{Tomboy}}s, [[TheLadette Ladettes]], or otherwise don't act in a "proper" feminine manner.

This is TruthInTelevision for many tomboys in RealLife, due to being an easy to do style that gets your hair out of the way. In fiction, odds are that if a girl is wearing a ponytail (save for one paired with an elegant hairstyle), she's not going to act demure or feminine, at least [[SheCleansUpNicely not all the time]]. Bonus points if she wears overalls or is a RebelliousPrincess.

Back when girls just didn't have boy hair, no matter what, ponytails were a way for tomboys to rebel against the curls their mothers wished they'd worn. At least this was the case in 60s-80s girl empowerment fiction.

Keep in mind that since not all tomboys wear ponytails, and not all "feminine" girls avoid ponytails, there isn't much point in listing aversions to this.

Compare SlipknotPonytail, GirlishPigtails, BraidsOfAction, BoyishShortHair, SailorsPonytail, SamuraiPonytail, GlassesAndPonytailCoverup.

Contrast RegalRinglets, OjouRinglets, LongHairIsFeminine, PrimAndProperBun, MotherlySidePlait.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
%% * Vietnam of ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia''.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': ActionGirl Yoruichi. She used to have short hair, but a hundred years spent mostly as a cat allowed her hair to grow out. Now she spends most of the time with it tied back in a ponytail while she kicks butt with the best of the men. Since her extremely high aristocratic rank wasn't quite high enough to be a RebelliousPrincess, she also doubles as a SpiritedYoungLady, too.
%% * Asaka (AKA [[ActionGirl Neuroloid Girl]]) in ''LightNovel/{{Dokkoida}}''
%% * Misaki of ''Manga/ExcelSaga''.
* Sango in ''Manga/InuYasha'' has her long hair bound in a ponytail when she's in her battle-garb. Otherwise she has it tied at the end with a ribbon.
* Signum of ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'', a [[TheStoic stoic]] MagicKnight and generally one of the least feminine women on the show.
* Presea from ''Manga/MagicKnightRayearth''. Also, tomboys Tarta and Hikaru have their hair in a braid. Contrast to the girlier girls Emeraude, Alcyone, Tatra, and Umi, who wear their hair down. Caldina, Fuu, and Aska are harder to classify, since they have both tomboy and girly girl traits, but all wear different hairstyles.
%% * Kyoko Sakura of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. While her magical girl outfit isn't really tomboyish, she's the only character seen in causal clothes other than a school uniform (she wears a green hoodie and shorts in most scenes).
%% * Ukyou from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' wears her waist length hair in a ponytail and still comes off as {{Bifauxnen}}.
%% ** [[GenderBender Ranma]] wore "her" long hair this way while training in China.
* Makoto, aka Sailor Jupiter, of ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' has a long ponytail, and she's the brawler in the group. Particularly in her earlier appearances, she also sometimes sported a TomboyishBaseballCap to match.
%% * Yui Goidou of ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' after she goes {{Bifauxnen}}.
* Usually averted in the ''Franchise/PrettyCure'' franchise. Every team has at least one character with a ponytail who is usually a [[TrueBlueFemininity white or blue Cure]]. Said Cures are often the most feminine members, though that doesn't stop them from being (competent) {{Action Girl}}s. The only blue Cures who don't have a ponytail in their Cure forms are [[Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure Cure Marine (Erika)]] and [[Anime/SmilePrettyCure Cure Beauty (Reika)]], but they sometimes wear ponytails in their civilian identities. Notably, Reika wears a ponytail whenever she practices kyudo. The pink [[Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure Cure Blossom]] and the yellow [[Anime/SmilePrettyCure Cure Peace]] have also a ponytail, but both are [[ShrinkingViolet Shrinking Violets]], while the pink [[Anime/DokiDokiPrecure Cure Heart]] is at least described as a prince in her civilian identity, ''twice'', both by a female ''and'' a male. The only Cures who play this trope straight are [[Anime/DokiDokiPrecure Cure Sword]], [[Anime/SmilePrettyCure Cure March]] and [[Anime/KiraKiraPrecureALaMode Cure Gelato]], the latter two also having one in their civilian identities.
** In TheMovie, Reika cosplays Momotaro and wears a ponytail.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' 's [[FieryRedhead Kyouko Sakura]] combines this with UnkemptBeauty.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Betty Cooper from ''Franchise/ArchieComics'', as the [[TomboyAndGirlyGirl Tomboy to Veronica's Girly Girl]]. Originally she wore her hair down but [[CharacterizationMarchesOn when she became more tomboyish]] she switched to a ponytail. She's quite handy [[WrenchWench with mechanics]], probably made most obvious in ''ComicBook/ArchieComics2015''.
* Played with by Eva Kant from ''ComicBook/{{Diabolik}}'' in her youth: she wore her hair this way and was a tomboy as a teen, but kept the style when she became a very feminine young woman (while also being a DarkActionGirl), only ditching it for a PrimAndProperBun on her wedding night (first to screw with her husband's mind, and then because it reminded her of her victory over the man who had ruined her life).

[[folder:Fan Works]]
%% * ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': In chapter 6 [[{{Tomboy}} Asuka]] braided her hair in a ponytail. [[http://eva303.smackjeeves.com/comics/1344224/028/ It made her looking more masculine and more aggressive]].
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': Asuka wears a ponytail -from episode 11 onward-. She's loud, brash, hot-blooded, aggressive, loves fighting and isn't at all feminine.
%% * ''Fanfic/RiseOfTheGaleforces'': [[http://fav.me/d3jcwwq Sarah Squall, aka Stratogale, has one.]]
* ''Fanfic/BaitAndSwitchSTO'': Captain Kanril Eleya wears her hair in a slightly messy ponytail, and notes in her narration that she could have never gotten away with wearing her hair that long when she was an enlisted woman. The ponytail keeps the hair out of her face, but it's not like there's much she can get it caught in on a starship's bridge.
%% * Sassette of ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'' sports one instead of her usual Smurf hat and dual braids.
* ''Fanfic/DoingItRightThisTime'': Asuka starts wearing a ponytail when she decides to ditch her hairclips and try a new hairstyle. She's also masculine, brash, and she prefers fighting over stereotypically girlish hobbies.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Vanellope von Schweetz from ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' has one, tied up with a piece of licorice, which shows her rough n' tumble attitude, despite the saccharine world she lives in.
%% * Wyldstyle from ''WesternAnimation/TheLEGOMovie'' has a small one on the top of her head.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', Maria is the only female character to wear her hair this way, and she doesn't seem to be as ladylike as the other girls in town.
* In a deviation from the comics, the version of Wonder Woman in the ''ComicBook/{{New 52}}''-based movies in the ''WesternAnimation/DCUniverseOriginalAnimatedMovies'' line starting with ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueWar'' has her hair in a ponytail, along with sidetails.
* Belle from ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast'', while not quite a tomboy, is one of the most strong willed and intellectual of the Disney Princesses, and she's also one of only two (the other being RebelliousPrincess Jasmine from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'') to wear her hair in a ponytail on a regular basis; even when SheCleansUpNicely, the ponytail does likewise.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/MeanGirls'' Ponytails are usually used in the film to signify a character being less concerned with their appearance. Cady wore her hair like this before she joined the Plastics but starts wearing her hair down as she falls in with the Plastics, and then goes back to the occasional ponytail after her HeelRealization. The Plastics actually tell her that they have a rule about only wearing hair in a ponytail once a week. Janis, the goth/alternative outcast, always wears her hair back. All the Plastics wear their hair down throughout the film, but Regina starts sporting a ponytail as she gains weight and is forced to wear less glamorous clothing. She is also wearing a ponytail at the end of the film, where she is a lacrosse athlete and has a more down-to-earth wardrobe.
* Laney of ''Film/ShesAllThat'', to show how she's too weird to be pretty. Which got mercilessly mocked in ''Film/NotAnotherTeenMovie''.
* ''{{Film/Thor}}'': Sif, a talented woman warrior, wears one whenever she's seen going into battle.
* The titular character of ''Film/CalamityJane'' sports a Tomboyish Ponytail throughout the entire movie.
* Belle in ''Film/BeautyAndTheBeast2017'' starts out with a ponytail just like her animated counterpart (though later in the film she tends wear her hair either down or in a bun instead), and is even more tomboyish than the animated version, being an [[WrenchWench inventor]] as well as a bookworm, wearing a scrappier, more action-oriented outfit at the beginning, and favoring simpler, less fancy clothes even at the Beast's castle.

%% * Jenit Sulla in ''Literature/CiaphasCain'', a LeeroyJenkins female officer in the Imperial Guard.
%% * Literature/ThursdayNext.
%% ** Also her EvilTwin Literature/ThursdayNext-1, a DarkActionGirl who has a much more severe ponytail, held in place by a leather strap rather than a scrunchie. (Literature/ThursdayNext-2 is a subversion, at least to start with; she's an ActualPacifist GranolaGirl whose scrunchie is made of hemp.)
%% * Sasha Hunter of ''Literature/GreekNinja''.
* [[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Annabeth Chase]] regularly wears her hair in a ponytail to show she's an [[ActionGirl Action]] [[TheSmartGuy Smart Girl]] .
* The spunky ActionGirl Kate from ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety'' has her blonde hair constantly tied in a ponytail. She is a very agile and energetic CircusBrat so the ponytail is likely for convenience. Also Jillson, a completely unfeminine adult, who ties her ponytail with wire.
* In Garth Williams' classic illustrations for ''Literature/CharlottesWeb'', pig-loving farm girl Fern wears her hair in various ways from scene to scene, but her most common hairstyle (and allegedly E.B. White's favorite for her) is a ponytail. When she starts to "grow up" and care more about [[PuppyLove Henry Fussy]] than farm animals, she [[GirlinessUpgrade switches]] to braided GirlishPigtails.

%% [[folder:Live-Action TV]]
%% * Jo from ''Series/TheFactsOfLife''.
%% * [[UnkemptBeauty Kara Thrace]] from ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'', when her hair is long enough to be tied back.
%% * ComicBook/LoisLane often sported a TomboyishPonytail on ''Series/{{Smallville}}''.
%% * Phoebe and Monica from ''Series/{{Friends}}'', sometimes.
%% * When going into dangerous situations, [[Series/RizzoliAndIsles Detective Jane Rizzoli]] puts her hair up into the [[FanNickname Ponytail of Righteous Justice]].
%% [[/folder]]

* Music/MelanieC often had one in the early years of the Music/SpiceGirls as Sporty Spice.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[ActionGirl Lara Croft]] from ''Franchise/TombRaider'' may be the TropeCodifier for video games, ''especially'' 3D action/platformers. It's not only practical in-universe for the highly-physical nature of what she does in the games, but flowing hair is ''still'' incredibly difficult to render in 3D, while a ponytail can be done with much simpler physics modeling.
%%* ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'':
* Hilda (Touko in the Japanese version), the female player character in ''VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite'', has a ''huge'', [[EightiesHair voluminous]] ponytail, complete with HairAntennae. Her look gives off a convincing {{Tomboy}}ish feel, and fan interpretation commonly presents her as OneOfTheBoys/a [[TheLadette Lad-ette]].
%%** Earlier generations had Misty (Kasumi in the Japanese version), referred to as "the tomboyish mermaid" on her Gym's signpost (and perhaps the most physically brutal in combat out of Kanto's female Gym Leaders), whose trademark hairstyle, as seen in Gens I and III and every adaptation in which she's appeared, is a short ponytail tied to the side.
%% * Marle of ''VideoGame/ChronoTrigger''.
* Lip of ''VideoGame/PanelDePon'', also a TomboyPrincess, has a very large and thick ponytail tied back with a big pink ribbon. Her AttractMode bio even describes her as being "a bit of a tomboy".
* Princess "Eva" Evangeline of the Kingdom of the Northern Reaches, poster girl for ''VideoGame/DungeonSiegeII'', sports this look, as did her predecessor from the first game, officially known as Farm Girl.
* ActionGirl Claire Redfield of the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series sports a ponytail and is even described as 'a bit of a tomboy' in the instruction manual for ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2''.
* Samus Aran of ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'', the galaxy's greatest bounty hunter, often sports a long ponytail and has been mistaken for a man when in her PoweredArmor.
* In ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'', Shaundi TookALevelInBadass from the previous game, and also traded her dreadlocks for a ponytail.
%% * Alexandra Roivas of ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness''.
%% * Zoe from ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'', which also has the advantage of being [[NoFlowInCGI easy to convincingly animate]].
%% * VideoGame/{{Shantae}} keeps her hair like this, since [[WhipItGood swinging it like a whip]] is her main method of attack.
%% * Coco Bandicoot from ''Franchise/CrashBandicoot'' keeps her hair in a ponytail in every game except ''VideoGame/CrashOfTheTitans''.
%% * [[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry2DiddysKongQuest Dixie]] [[VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountry3DixieKongsDoubleTrouble Kong]]. Like Shantae, the ponytail is used as a weapon. It is also HelicopterHair.
* Sara Ryder, ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'''s female lead, is very tomboyish and wears a brunette ponytail as her default hairstyle.
* In ''VideoGame/Persona3 Portable'', the female protagonist's Chariot Social Link, Rio Iwasaki, is a dedicated athlete who sports a sensible ponytail.
* Undyne from ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'' wears her red hair like this and is the HotBlooded Captain of the Royal Guard.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Mion of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' wears her hair in a long ponytail. Mion is boisterous, perverted, and usually exhibits little in terms of femininity. She calls herself an "old man" regularly and in one arc Keiichi decides against giving her a doll (and instead gives it to their more feminine, mutual friend Rena) because he deems her too boyish for one. In contrast, her more girly identical twin sister Shion wears her hair loose. [[spoiler:Mion is actually a subversion. She's [[TomboyWithAGirlyStreak much more feminine]] than she pretends to be. Keiichi giving Rena the doll upset Mion so much she ended up sobbing to her sister, which unwittingly caused Shion to become a SerialKiller.]]
* Jessica from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' has a short, wavy ponytail and is very tomboyish for the most part, especially with her masculine speech patterns. Like Mion, [[TomboyWithAGirlyStreak she also has a hidden feminine side]], though it isn't as emphasized as much as with Mion.
%% * [[OneOfTheBoys Rin]] from ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters'', though the bell in her hair hints at the sweeter, cuter side by way of her [[AnimalMotifs cat theme]].
%% * Kirara from ''VisualNovel/YuminaTheEthereal''.

%% [[folder:Webcomics]]
%% * Rita from ''Webcomic/GiftsOfWanderingIce''
%% * Zii of ''Webcomic/MenageA3''.
%% * Kate of ''Webcomic/{{Rhapsodies}}'' (When she doesn't have it in a pencil studded bun.)
%% * Sam of ''Webcomic/TheWotch''.
%% * Nanase of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' tends to wear her hair this way when it it is the appropriate length for it.
%% * Yihwa Yeon from ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'', interestingly enough after [[TsunDere her run-in]] with [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys Viole]], who had the same hair-do.
%% * From ''Webcomic/TheFarSideOfUtopia'' both Naomi and Mione where their hair in pony tails and tend to have the behavior to match.
%% [[/folder]]

* Widget of the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, who is a [[WrenchWench tomboy and inventor]] who usually wears a ponytail pulled through a bicycle cap. And a Whateley labcoat. Despite that, she has a bad crush on Thunderbird and wishes Chaka hadn't snatched up Thunderbird when he was (apparently) available.
%% * Golgotha's early appearance in ''Franchise/{{Noob}}''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Captain Leela of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' is a no-nonsense gal who's by far the toughest member of the main cast, and has the ponytail to match. In fact, she's the page image!
%% * Plum Pudding from ''WesternAnimation/StrawberryShortcake'''''s Berry Bitty Adventures''.
* Applejack, a rough and tumble farmgirl from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', with a tomboyish streak a mile wide, to the point that she competes in events like racing and gate jumping, and gets dirty in her job all the time, has her mane [[{{Pun}} and tail]] tied up in ponytails.
%% ** Megan from the original ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' series wore her hair like this.
%% * Bridgette and Eva of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama''.
%% * The title character from ''WesternAnimation/AtomicBetty''.
%% * Heloise on ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes''.
%% * June of ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam''.
%% * Judy Jetson from ''WesternAnimation/TheJetsons''.
%% * Talon from ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock''.
%% * Julie from ''WesternAnimation/HiHiPuffyAmiYumi''.
%% * Charmcaster, a BlackMagicianGirl with a bad attitude, from the original ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}''.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'': Brash {{Tsundere}} [[ActionGirl Artemis]] wears hers in a tight ponytail at all times, [[TomboyAndGirlyGirl in contrast to]] sweet and demure [[TheChick Miss Martian]], who wears her hair [[LongHairIsFeminine loose around her shoulders]].
%% * Sissy Blakely from ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest''.
%% * Lola Bunny from ''WestenAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'' is an EarsAsHair example. Her long ears are tied down like a high ponytail in the show.
* [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra Avatar Korra]] combines the ponytail with sidetails to show she is a BoisterousBruiser ActionGirl.
%% * Pumyra from ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' also combines this with sidetails, and she is by far the most masculine female in the series.
%% * Amethyst in the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "Beach Party".
%% * Abby Archer from ''{{WesternAnimation/Grossology}}''.
%% * Karen from ''WesternAnimation/FrostyTheSnowman''.