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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 set off girls who are {{Tomboy}}s, [[TheLadette Ladettes]], or at least don't act in a "proper" girlish 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, TomboyishSidetails, SailorsPonytail and SamuraiPonytail.

Contrast RegalRinglets, OjouRinglets, LongHairIsFeminine, PrimAndProperBun and 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 [[{{Badass}} 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/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'', 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.
%% * Yui Goidou of ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' after she goes {{Bifauxnen}}.
* Subverted in the ''PrettyCure franchise''. Every team has at least one character with a ponytail who is mostly a [[TrueBlueFemininity white or blue Cures]]. And those said Cures are actually the most feminine members, though that doesn't stop being an (competent) ActionGirl. 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 wear sometimes 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 prince in her civilian identity, ''twice'', both by a female ''and'' a male. The only ones who play this tropes straight are [[Anime/DokiDokiPrecure Cure Sword]] and especially [[Anime/SmilePrettyCure Cure March]] who has also one in her civilian identity.
** In TheMovie, Reika cosplays Momotaro and wears a ponytail.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Betty Cooper from ''ArchieComics'', as the [[TomboyAndGirlyGirl Tomboy to Veronica's Girly Girl]]. She's quite handy [[WrenchWench with mechanics]], probably made most obvious in ''ComicBook/ArchieComics2015''.

[[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'': FieryRedhead HotBlooded {{Tsundere}} ActionGirl and AcePilot Asuka started to wear a ponytail in chapter 11.
%% * ''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.

%% * Vanellope von Schweetz from ''Disney/WreckItRalph'' has one, tied up with a piece of licorice.
%% * 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 TomboyishSidetails.

[[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.

%% [[folder:Literature]]
%% * 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.)
%% * Kate Whetherall from ''Literature/TheMysteriousBenedictSociety''. Also Jillson, who ties her ponytail with wire.
%% * 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]] .
%% [[/folder]]

%% [[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]]

%% [[folder:Music]]
%% * Music/MelanieC often had one in the early years of the Music/SpiceGirls as Sporty Spice.
%% [[/folder]]

[[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.
* 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]].
%% * 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 ''[[DungeonSiege Dungeon Siege II]]'', sports this look, as did her predecessor from the first game, officially known as Farm Girl.
%% * Claire Redfield of the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series, she's even described as 'a bit of a tomboy' in the instruction manual for ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2''.
%% * Samus Aran of ''{{Metroid}}'' usually sports a long ponytail when not 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.

%%[[folder:Visual Novels]]
%% * Mion of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', but [[TomboyWithAGirlyStreak she is girly at heart]].
%% * Jessica from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', though like Mion [[TomboyWithAGirlyStreak she also has a hidden feminine side]].
%% * [[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]]

%% [[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]]
%% * Leela of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}''.
%% * 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 tied up in a ponytail.
%% ** Megan from the original ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' series wore her hair like this.
%% * Bridgette and Eva of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaIsland''.
%% * 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 ''{{Ben 10}}''.
%% * ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'': Quite obvious in the TomboyAndGirlyGirl pair of sweet and demure [[TheChick Miss Martian]], who wears her hair [[LongHairIsFeminine loose around her shoulders]] and brash {{Tsundere}} [[ActionGirl Artemis]] who wears hers in a tight ponytail at all times.
%% * 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 TomboyishSidetails to show she is an ActionGirl.
%% * Pumyra from ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' also combines this with TomboyishSidetails, 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''.