%% Image kept on page per admin request. Please do not change or remove.
%% For reference, see Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1326766655085160100
[[quoteright:350:[[Film/{{Aliens}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vasquez_aliens_2052.jpg]]]]

-> ''"... people can call it [[TypeCasting typecast]], but I pigeonholed myself... Saying no to [[LoveInterests the girlfriend]], saying no to [[DamselInDistress the girl that gets captured]], and eventually I just got left with the [[ActionGirl strong chick]] who's [[ChronicallyKilledActor always being killed]]."''
-->-- '''Creator/MichelleRodriguez'''

When two {{Action Girl}}s are featured in the same film, frequently the tougher, more aggressive and less feminine character will die, despite being better equipped for the situation at hand.

One of the reasons is the belief that the femininity and sex appeal of a female character determines their usefulness as LoveInterest or FanService or, in the most insulting cases, their reason to be in the story at all.

A more charitable explanation would be that there's much more shock value in killing the tough, competent warrior; leaving the [[WeakButSkilled less warrior like]] one around thus increases suspense, since her survival isn't as assured, especially if AnyoneCanDie. It's easier for an audience to feel fear if the FinalGirl is less battle savvy and thus more vulnerable -- a hardened Vasquez left alone wouldn't be as terrifying. The death of the Vasquez character is thus a form of WorfEffect or SacrificialLion.

Writers will sometimes compensate by making the more attractive woman some sort of mysterious secret agent, thus relegating the Vasquez character to a {{Mook}} or RedShirt by comparison. This may also be a byproduct of filmmakers' insistence that the female lead (who is likely to outlive her supporting cast in an action movie) be significantly more attractive than anyone else.

Compare BuryYourGays, FauxActionGirl, FinalGirl (the weakest and most innocent girl is the only one to live), BlackDudeDiesFirst, TheWorfEffect, DeathByPragmatism and GirlyBruiser (the most feminine female survives because she can kick ass in addition to being feminine) Overlaps with TheWorldsExpertOnGettingKilled, where the most qualified person in the whole cast, male or female, is killed by early and often with humiliating ease. Read more: [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19549_5-old-timey-prejudices-that-still-show-up-in-every-movie.html#ixzz1dog5KROX Cracked.com: 5 Old-Timey Prejudices That Still Show Up in Every Movie]]

!!'''As a DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Played with in ''Anime/ShinkonGattaiGodannar'', where the rather tomboyish action girl Shadow is almost killed by ''TheVirus'', BECAUSE she's not feminine.
* Jane Proudfoot (Peri Gilpin), the tough female SpaceMarine in ''Anime/FinalFantasyTheSpiritsWithin'' dies; the scientist wearing the skintight jumpsuit lives.
* ''Anime/{{Vexille}}'' has two ActionGirl leads and the more badass one is the one invoking DiabolusExMachina in the end.
* Many times the ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'' protagonists fell in love with female {{Ace Pilot}}s only to invoke the LoveHurts trope to Earth-shattering levels. However, this is not always the case. For example [[spoiler: Shinn's first love is dress wearing, dance loving, sweet tempered Stella. She dies and his second love is his fellow soldier Lunamaria.]]
* Invoked in the second season of ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'', where Gascogne (seriously, even BC is hotter than her, what with being a [[GenderBender guy in woman's body]]) [[HeroicSacrifice rams the enemy mothership, allowing the rest of the crew to escape]]. She survives and returns for the GrandFinale. Another example would be how many chances the writers missed to kill off Meia.
* ''Manga/GiantRobo: The Day The Earth Stood Still'': out of the two female members of Experts of Justice, Yoshi, the blue-skinned, muscular one dies halfway through the series, while the very feminine Ginrei survives to the last episode - [[SubvertedTrope and dies too.]]
* In the ''Anime/HaloLegends'' mini movies, the survival rate of female Spartans is 0%.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'' has the death of Naomi Misora, the cool BikerBabe {{FBI}} agent and the most {{Badass}} female character on the show who was literally killed off for being too competent. [[WordOfGod The author said in an interview]] that if she hadn't been [[DroppedABridgeOnHer written out]] she would have solved the case and the manga would have ended after only three volumes.
* In ''{{Martian Successor Nadesico}}'', a bright female pilot is introduced as an replacement for Akito after he's unjustly blamed for a failed mission and removed from military service. Despite her having a spotless record as an experienced ace pilot, she quickly dies within the same episode during her first mission on the Nadesico.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the ''Comicbook/ThePunisher: MAX'' arc "Man of Stone," the ex-CIA killer O'Brien. She's hot, smart, and highly skilled at violence and mayhem, and her panties get wet whenever Frank is murdering the fuck out of people who deserve it. They have a brutal, joyless whirlwind romance. She steps on a mine at the end of the story. [[AnyoneCanDie Then again, if you don't want dying to be on the agenda, you shouldn't be in a ''Punisher: MAX'' arc.]]
* ''Comicbook/YTheLastMan'': [[spoiler:Agent 355, short-haired action girl dies at the end, while Dr. Allison Mann survives the comic. ]]

* The ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' franchise:
** The trope is inverted in the first ''Film/{{Alien}}'' film: the easily scared and very feminine ship navigator Lambert gets killed off in the film's latter half (the original shooting script implied that the Xenomorph raped her to death), while cynical, butch, chain-smoking Warrant Officer Ripley survives and becomes the lynchpin for the entire franchise.
** The {{Trope Namer|s}} is from ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', in which the chinup-pulling, [[SmallGirlBigGun smartgun-wielding]] Colonial Marine Vasquez dies, while the (comparatively) maternal, civilian Ripley lives. Several other female marines also die, but are given less characterization and attention. James Cameron likes his {{Action Girl}}s, but they apparently need to be [[MamaBear acting on maternal instincts]].
* MichelleRodriguez has made a career out of the trope.
** In ''Film/ResidentEvil'' the [=SWAT=] team member Rain Ocampo (MichelleRodriguez) becomes a ZombieInfectee a third of the way through, survives almost all the way through the rest of the film, and then dies on a tram a few minutes away from a cure. Blonde, minidress-wearing Alice (Milla Jovovich) becomes the FinalGirl. The franchise lasted long enough that they brought her back via cloning for [[Film/ResidentEvilRetribution the fifth film, only to die again...twice!]]
** Subverted in ''Film/{{Machete}}'': we're meant to think her character dies when she's shot through the eye, but she reappears at the climax of the movie with an EyepatchOfPower.
** Subverted again and played for laughs in ''MacheteKills'', where her character is shot through the other eye, blinding her, but she still survives.
** In ''Film/{{Avatar}}'', she is a gruff gunship pilot who dons warpaint and dies in the final battle. The [[GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe Blue-Skinned Space Babe]] NubileSavage love interest lives.
* ''Film/TheMatrix'':
** In ''Film/TheMatrix'', the gruff, spikey-headed Switch is killed, but Trinity, the love-interest, lives.
** In ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'', a female character named Charra with a crew-cut, a tanktop, and big ol' biceps is introduced right before the battle against the machines to help out Zee, who is trying to hold the line until her husband Link shows up. Guess what happens.
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers'':
** In the first film, Dizzy Flores, the QB of the football team and tough marine dies while the feminine starship pilot survives.
** Applies to the Roughnecks' original Corporal, who gets fried by the gigantic lava-spewing bug before Rico grenades it.
** The only person in ''[[Film/StarshipTroopers Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation]]'' to get off the planet alive is a pregnant woman. Must be all those maternal instincts keeping the bugs away.
* ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet3DreamWarriors'' has Taryn, whose dream powers are having a large mohawk and a gang outfit. She doesn't fare as well as the notably more feminine Kristen.
* Holly from ''Film/TheDescent'' is a curious example. While she fits the "least feminine" part of the description, she was an impulsive and reckless amateur who obviously saw herself as an ActionGirl but ended up getting herself injured through her carelessness which led to her getting killed off first. In the sequel, which has four Action Girls, Cath the trained cave diver is killed first while Juno and Sarah being average outdoor enthusiasts die last and the cop Rios is left alive.
* ''Film/{{Carnosaur 2}}'' features a tough female clearly modeled on Vasquez who is killed pretty gruesomely during the finale.
* Justified in ''Film/LakePlacid3'', where Yancy Butler's character takes down ''two'' giant crocodiles with a ''hunting knife'' after being both ''bitten and shot''. Naturally, the injuries catch up with her.
* In ''Film/TwentyEightWeeksLater'', Scarlet is killed by Dom, and that leaves Tammy to take Doyle's rifle and become the new ActionGirl.
* The ActionGirl is the first contestant killed in ''Film/{{Slashers}}'' and just after she had killed one the eponymous psychos.
* In ''Rambo: First Blood Part II'' this trope is averted. Co-Bau the machine gun Asian girl is shot dead by Captain Vinh, just after she rescues Rambo. Ironically, she was wearing a lovely red dress as part of the rescue (it was a DirtyHarriet) and looking very much like a GirlyGirl.
* Inverted in ''Leviathan'' which has two women on the team. Ditzy and more feminine Bowman dies (she kills herself when she finds out she has the parasite inside her) while the no-nonsense Olympic runner Williams is one of two survivors.
* SueShiomi has fallen victim to this no less than five times:
** In ''Film/TheStreetfighter'', she portrays Nachi Shikenbaru, brother of AntiVillain Junjo. She puts up some resistance against Terry Tsurugi when he attacks her brother Gijun for welching on him, as well as the pimps who swarm her after Terry prostitutes her through Mutaguchi. Also, in the end, she winds up coming closer to killing Terry than her brother (or Miss Yang) ever did... and she dies trying!
** In ''The Streetfighter's Last Revenge'', she portrays Kaho Huo Feng, a defector from Owada's gang and one of three women set up as potential love interests for Terry, the other two being FemmeFatale Aya Owada and her [[LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine light feminine counterpart]], telephone operator Kimiko Nakayama. Guess which two die.
** In ''{{Golgo 13}}: Kowloon Assignment'', she portrays an undercover policewoman who comes close to busting a drug operation before being killed in a shootout.
** In ''Shogun's Ninja'', she's a Chinese martial artist who's killed in a confrontation against Shogun's forces.
** In ''Film/LegendOfEightSamurai'', she's one of the eight dog brothers (who in this film [[GenderFlip is biologically female]]) who made a living as an assassin before she was discovered to be one of the eight. During the climactic final showdown, she's pitted against snake demon Yonosuke; they kill each other in combat.
* Characteristic of vintage movies which often featured two female love interests; one passive and conventional and the other an action girl. The fiesty girl usually ended up giving her life to save the hero's. One rare inversion of the rule was ''The Buccaneer'' in which Yul Brynner played Jean Lafitte. The passive blond wimped out and the tough girl got Yul.
* In [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smokin%27_Aces Smokin' Aces]], there's Sharice Watters (Taraji P. Henson) the mentionably more badass and aggressive partner of Georgia Sykes (Alicia Keys), is gunned down by the FBI from behind while her more feminine counterpart is literally carried away to safety by a handsome "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_%28artist%29 prince]]."
* Cybil in the ''Film/SilentHill'' movie suffers this fate, which is the opposite of the game's outcome(if you save her from being possessed).

* The two main ActionGirl characters in the South Seas Treasure Game (''Literature/DreamPark'') are the sexy Acacia and the indefatiguable Mary-Martha. Both acquit themselves well, but only one of them makes it to the end of the Game, and it's not the middle-aged, 4'1" veteran with the battleax.
** Inverted in the second sequel, ''The California Voodoo Game.'' Mary-Em makes it out alive and with a massive experience boost, while Acacia's character suffers CharacterDeath, causing her to go through a HeroicBSOD.
* Dayna Jurgens in ''TheStand'' is Vasquez. Never send this character alone into a high risk [[TheInfiltration infiltration]]; they're guaranteed to go out in a [[DefiantToTheEnd blaze of glory]].
* Played with in the short story ''[[http://theopinionguy.com/OG25.pdf Assumption]]'' (scroll down) by Desmond Warzel. Belasco proves to be more effective in combat than the men or the unnamed female narrator, and, although she isn't killed, she's the only one seriously injured.
* In the ''ShaneSchofield'' series of novels by Matthew Reilly, there are two women who fit the Vasquez model. First there's Mother (short for motherfucker) who is over six-feet tall, shaven headed has a bionic leg and the ability to kill several men with her bare hands. Then there's Elizabeth 'Fox' Gant, who is slightly more ladylike, but has the short hair and the ass kicking ability. This trope is averted - but not for lack of the universe trying - up until the book ''Scarecrow'', [[InvertedTrope where Gant is beheaded by the asshole of the novel.]]
* In ''TheTwoPrincessesOfBamarre'' by Gail Carson Levine, tomboyish older sister Meryl is the one who becomes ill with the Gray Death, while delicate younger sister Addie survives and must carry on Meryl's mission.
* Played with all over the map in ''Literature/SpyHigh''. While the heroines are all {{Action Girl}}s, it's [[ArrogantKungFuGuy Jennifer]] who is killed off in the third book, with Lori (the most stereotypically feminine) and Cally (the least focused and devoted to her training) who survive. Despite this, Jen's [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute replacement]] Bex is a bigger ActionGirl than any of them.
* In the penultimate ''{{Literature/Animorphs}}'' book, [[DarkActionGirl Rachel]] agrees to go on a suicide mission against the [[PuppeteerParasite Yeerks]] and is ultimately killed. [[TheConscience Cassie]] not only survives that battle, but in the last book she stays on Earth while her male teammates are [[AmbiguousEnding implied]] to die battling a DiabolusExNihilo.
* Inverted in the ''Literature/VenusPrime'' series. Despite being the lone AmbiguouslyBrown ActionGirl on a team otherwise populated by white people, Jo Walsh survives through the end of the series. Meanwhile, the pretty white heroine, Sparta, disappears, and may actually have died to save all of reality from Nemo's meddling.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TwentyFour'': If any female character shows signs of being an ActionGirl, then you'd better not get too attached to her. The only recurring female characters to survive to the end of the series were the VoiceWithAnInternetConnection, the [[OurPresidentsAreDifferent president]] and TheScrappy.
* ''Series/ChoudenshiBioman'': In this case RealLifeWritesThePlot. Mika dies in episode 10 because her actress quit. In anycase the trope is averted because her replacement on TheTeam was very much an ActionGirl and did many of her own stunts.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Ana Lucia (played by MichelleRodriguez) and Juliet, Kate's only true competition for Alpha Female of the island or the affections of Jack and Sawyer.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': In the fourth series finale, Arthur has two women on his team: Guinevere and Isolde. Though their skill in combat varied wildly from episode to episode, Gwen was definitely the more passive and feminine of the two, whilst Isolde was tougher and had a more difficult lifestyle. Gwen makes it through the battle, Isolde is killed.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'': Generally averts this trope; TheTeam will typically a {{tomboy}} and a GirlyBruiser working together.
** ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' inverts the trope; Kimberly [[PinkMeansFeminine the pink ranger]] was the first to reach a death-like state when her power coin was stolen.
** ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'' has an inversion. Due to RealLifeWritesThePlot issues (the actress had to be written out after she was diagnosed with lukemia), the kind, friendly scientist girl was killed off while the athletic JunglePrincess remained. She was resurrected in the finale because her actress didn't die from her illness
* ''{{Primeval}}'': InvertedTrope, where tomboy Abby survived the series while the more feminine Claudia Brown and Sarah Page die.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'': By the [[Recap/RevolutionS1E20TheDarkTower first season finale]], there were two women connected to Miles Matheson named Nora Clayton and Rachel Matheson. Nora is is the tough, aggressive woman, while Rachel is the softer, more feminine woman. By the end of the episode, Nora dies and Rachel lives.
* ''Series/RobinHood'': had two {{action girl}}s, one DarkActionGirl and one FauxActionGirl. One ActionGirl is [[WomenInRefrigerators murdered]], the second is PutOnABus (after undergoing {{Chickification}}), the DarkActionGirl is blown up, and the FauxActionGirl is the only one who makes it to the end of the series thanks to the fact that the male cast has all [[TheLoad but carried her through on their backs]].
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'': Played straight with Natasha Yar. Notably, the character was originally designed as a Vasquez {{Expy}}. In this case it wasn't the writer's idea to kill off the character, but the actor's.

[[folder: Roleplay]]
* ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'', there were a number of action girls but among those present in the end the closest to The Vasquez was probably Cabin (who even drew inspiration from Michelle Rodriguez), who was even a TwoferTokenMinority (being female and Latino). [[spoiler: Averted when she makes it through, albeit developing PTSD later on. Meanwhile the equally tough but slightly more feminine ActionGirl Amanda Claw met a rather nasty end. On the other hand the [[NonActionGuy definitely not Action Girl]] Kate Bishop and Mary Rose also made it through in one piece, at least physically]].

[[folder: Theater]]
* Cafe Nordo's ''Smoked!'' has Maddie Withers, a hard-drinking, masculinely dressed {{Ladette}}, who is gunned down in the final showdown, opposite Clara Still, the prim and proper saloon keeper.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/RedFaction 2'', the team's sexual-innuendo-dropping stealth operative in a SpyCatsuit not only survives the game, but is your main ally for the 2nd half. The tough redhead sniper with an Amazonian build and butch haircut is the first of TheSquad to die.
* In ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarIV'', Alys is built up as the best action girl. She is very popular in the game, because of her fighting ability and beauty. However, [[DecoyProtagonist she dies off early]] and other action girls later reveal themselves.
* Played straight in the ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' mod ''VideoGame/TheBastardOfKosigan'', in which (as far as the story has been written, at least) the only female character who doesn't disappear after the OptionalSexualEncounter or die automatically is Ernie, who is much more feminine than Alex, whose PlotlineDeath was very frustrating.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'': During the game's suicide run, it's far more likely for the tough, angry Jack to die than TheBaroness Miranda. The time Jack is most likely to die is when she's [[spoiler: standing in the least shielded portion of the ship]] while Miranda is [[spoiler: in the most shielded portion.]]
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'':
** Played with in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOriginsAwakening''. [[SacrificialLamb Mhairi]] will always die, and of the two female companions who can make it to the end, both the tough, dagger-wielding Sigrun and the long-distance mage Velanna can die...but Sigrun is killed in a decisive way, while in Velanna's case, they NeverFoundTheBody.
** Inverted in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', where if you make a choice your party members disagree with during the ending and don't have a high enough [[RelationshipValues Friendship or Rivalry score]], they will turn against you and force you to kill them... except for [[DaChief Aveline]], who merely gives you a [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech brief rant]] before [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere leaving]].
* In the first ''VideoGame/ClockTower'' game, playable character Jennifer's friends Ann and Laura have a chance of surviving to the end, depending on your actions. Her best friend, the tomboyish Lotte, has no such chance.
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/TheOrionConspiracy''. Brooks, who is definitely the Vasquez in this game, gets killed off trying to stop Ward after he had gone berserk. [=LaPaz=], who is easily more feminine compared to Brooks, survives.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'', with {{mysterious waif}} [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth Aerith]] dying early in the game, while the tough ActionGirl Tifa survives all the way through. That being said, a deeper look at their characterization shows that Tifa and Aerith ''{{subvert|edTrope}}'' the typical TomboyAndGirlyGirl dynamic (Tifa looking the part of the Tomboy, but playing the role of Girly Girl to Aerith's Tomboy). In subsequent installments of the Compilation, however, [[CharacterizationMarchesOn they mostly swap roles]], with Tifa being portrayed as more tomboyish compared to a now girlier Aerith. In a sense, ''FFVII'' actually plays around a bit with this convention.
* In ''[[SASZombieAssault3 SAS: Zombie Assault 3]]'' players who aren't logged in are given somewhat degrading names, one of which is Anonymous Vaskes.

[[folder: Web Comics]]
* The adventuring team in ''OurLittleAdventure'' has three girls in it. One's a [[TheHero heroic]] [[SpoonyBard bard]], one's a [[ShortTank spunky]] [[BlackMagicianGirl sorceress]] and one's a [[ActionGirl tough]] [[TheBerserker barbarian]]. Guess which one dies first?

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/ExoSquad'' almost does this in episode "Martian Luck" where the tough-female-trooper Torres is believed to be KIA while the other two more feminine female members of TheSquad survive.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarshipTroopersInvasion'': The squad has two female members: the cute FriendlySniper Trig, and the tough OneOfTheGuys trooper Ice Blonde. One of them ends up as Bug chow during the film. Guess which one? [[InvertedTrope It's Trig]].
* Non-death example: in ''TotalDramaIsland,'' [[JerkJock super-athletic]] but [[HairTriggerTemper tempermental]] Eva is the second contestant, and the first girl, to be voted off. She is given a second chance at the season's halfway point but, having become even ''more'' angry, is voted off again in the same episode.