[[quoteright:350:[[Literature/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Xenafication_Snow_White_1788.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs Left]]: [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Disney Princess.]] [[Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman Right]]: LadyOfWar]]

->''"This woman - you know, with the long golden braids and a bullet helmet, armed with a huge sword - has arrived to challenge them. She is Freada, shield-maiden daughter of [[Literature/{{Beowulf}} Hrothgar!]] Now, um, *{{ahem}}*, the daughter of Hrothgar is ''supposed'' to be Freawaru, which means 'peace weaver' -- not 'beater of ass.'"''
-->-- '''Website/SFDebris''', "Heroes and Demons"

The polar opposite of {{Chickification}} and a subtrope of AdaptationalBadass. We all know GirlsNeedRoleModels and RealWomenDontWearDresses, so what do you do when you're adapting or sequelizing a work from a "less enlightened" time? Make your female lead into an ActionGirl!

The title comes from ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'', who is ''not'' an example but rather the inspiration, being something of a TropeCodifier for ActionGirl. Xenafication thus can be defined as "becoming like Xena". At least once, this has been lampshaded by having the character go [[BattleCry "AYIYIYIYIYIYI!"]] before kicking ass. Related to TookALevelInBadass and AdrenalineMakeover. Sometimes a specific form of AdaptationalBadass. Not to be confused with {{Xenofiction}}.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* Maid Marian from the ''RobinHood'' legends is an odd case. She was an ActionGirl in some of her original appearances (fighting Robin to a standstill while disguised as a boy in one ballad). [[{{Bowdlerise}} Victorian writers]] [[{{Chickification}} turned her into]] TheChick. Modern writers tend to make her the ActionGirl again, with ''Series/TheNewAdventuresOfRobinHood'' turning her into a virtual Xena clone. ''Literature/TheOutlawsOfSherwood'', the novel, has Marian and Robin actually sharing the public role of Robin Hood. Well-handled, but definitely an example, especially given that in ''Outlaws'' Marian is very much the better archer of the pair.
** ''Film/RobinHoodPrinceOfThieves'' does this in quite an odd way: it includes the "fight to a standstill" bit, then turns her into the DamselInDistress for the rest of the film. Might even qualify for FauxActionGirl status.
** And of course there's ''Series/MaidMarianAndHerMerryMen'', playing this trope (and NonActionGuy with Robin) for laughs.
** See also Marian from the BBC's ''Series/RobinHood'' under LiveActionTelevision.
* Franchise/{{Superman}}'s ComicBook/LoisLane gets more and more capable with each adaptation. She's not bulletproof or able to go toe-to-toe with most supervillains for long so she still needs Supes in the end, but where once, "Superman, heeeeeeeelp!" would have been immediate, now (in this case, at least since the 1970s in ''Superman Family'')... well, if the BigBad sends five {{Mooks}} after her, [[DamselOutOfDistress you don't wanna be Mook one, two, or three]].
** OlderThanTheyThink: In all of the early comics, Lois was more than capable of taking care of herself, thanks to the wits that came with her IntrepidReporter lifestyle. She didn't become a stock DamselInDistress until the Silver Age.
** In one of the old Fleisher shorts, Lois was shown blasting away with a tommy gun at a gang of train-robbers.
** Before they were canned, Siegel and Shuster were even considering having her figure out Clark was Superman, and making her Superman's civilian sidekick, similar to Margot Lane and the Shadow. They even wrote a script, which is [[http://superman.nu/k-metal/splash.php floating around on the Internet]].
* Marian, the ladyfriend of the Lee brothers from the ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon'' video games who gets sucker-punched and carried off in the original arcade game, became a policewoman in the comic and animated adaptation of the series and a female gang leader (who just happens to be the daughter of a policeman) in the [[Film/DoubleDragon movie]]. The NeoGeo fighting game version influenced by the film followed suit and made her into one of the playable fighters in the game who can stand on her own against the likes of Abobo, Burnov and even the Lee Brothers themselves.
* The creator of the MagicalGirl genre in its initial form took inspiration from ''Series/{{Bewitched}},'' and the result was SliceOfLife with a dose of magic (and the need to [[TheMasquerade not let people know the magic hijinks are indeed magic]]). Pretty much the entire ''genre'' got Xenafied by ''Manga/SailorMoon'' and the MagicalGirlWarrior subgenre it inspired, which today is what most people think of when they hear the phrase "Magical Girl". Later series such as ''Anime/PrettyCure'' and ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'' pumped up the action elements even further.
* In NorseMythology, Sif is Thor's quiet wife, known mainly for her beauty. In the [[ComicBook/TheMightyThor comic]] [[JourneyIntoMystery books]]? She's a tough LadyOfWar and even said to be a War Goddess.
* ActionGirl portrayals of fairy tale heroines have come into vogue in recent years - ''Sword and Sorceress XXVII'''s introduction contrasted Literature/SnowWhite's portrayal in the Grimm and Disney versions with that of modern versions like ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'', ''Film/MirrorMirror'', and ''Series/OnceUponATime''. Anthology editor ElizabethWaters says:
--> I suspect that most modern viewers find it easier to identify with a Snow White who fights back. Spending years asleep in a glass coffin waiting to be awakend by "TrueLovesKiss" is hopefully not something that girls today aspire to. We can fight for what we want, and we have a good chance of getting it.
* When LewisCarroll's heroine from ''Literature/AlicesAdventuresInWonderland'' is portrayed as [[SheIsAllGrownUp a teenager or adult]] in a work of modern fiction, she is bound to be both this ''and'' HotterAndSexier.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* Franchise/WonderWoman underwent this PostCrisis; while she was already a superhero, the 80's version of the character played up her Amazon Warrior roots and even has her killing some of her foes.
** The 2011 Post-ComicBook/{{Flashpoint}} reboot takes this up a notch by ratcheting up the Amazon warrior aspect even further.
* Occurred with ComicBook/LoisLane's PostCrisis reboot, though in truth it was actually a return to her Golden Age roots (in the pre-Silver Age comics, Lois was indeed quite the badass). Whereas her dominant characterization in the Silver Age had derailed her into a typical shrieking helpless damsel and in the BronzeAge it was attempted to make her TakeALevelInBadass, her revamped continuity fully restored her original badassery and gave her an [[MilitaryBrat army brat]] past to provide an origin for it, and made her highly adept at hand-to-hand combat as well as a wide range of weapons and vehicles. The ''very first'' post-crisis miniseries in which she appeared had her [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome beating up and commandeering the machine guns of a gang of terrorists]] holding her and a group of socialites hostage on a yacht, while Franchise/{{Superman}} lets her take care of things as he obligatorily carries the yacht to safety. Needless to say, this pretty much makes him fall for her even harder than he had already.
* In the ''ComicBook/FantasticFour'', Susan Storm was originally TheChick of the team with a near useless power of invisibility. Creator/StanLee and Creator/JackKirby took partial steps to fix that early on giving her force field projecting powers. However, it was Creator/JohnByrne who really powered her up by having her [[GreenLanternRing nifty new ways of using her powers]] and learning to get aggressive enough to really use them well. Today, she is now considered one of the most powerful superheroes of the Franchise/MarvelUniverse and even SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom underestimates her at his peril.
* In some alternate timelines, [[ComicBook/SpiderMan Mary Jane Watson]] has had spider abilities and used them as a superhero.
* Random example for long-established characters: Shadow Lass from ''ComicBook/LegionOfSuperHeroes''. Compare the fight with the Persuader. Some decades ago: Hides behind her shadows and cries for Mon-El to help. After-reboot: Blinds him and mops up the floor with him. (The generic setup is so similar that it well might have been an intentional lampshading.)
* ''ComicBook/SuperMarioAdventures'': Princess Peach, ordinarily the DesignatedVictim of [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros her home series]], is an asskicker on par with (if not greater than) Mario himself. She's just about unstoppable until Bowser resorts to [[HypnotizeThePrincess hypnosis]].
* Comicbook/RapunzelsRevenge has Rapunzel lassoing villains with her hair and generally kicking ass.
* While still starting the story as a DistressedDamsel, Zelda in the Nintendo Power ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'' comics ends the story by capping Ganon with a Silver Arrow. Overlaps with AdaptationalBadass.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Fanfiction]]
* LOTS of characters are susceptible to this in fanfic.
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'''s Chloe Sullivan is a prime example. On the actual show itself, for several seasons, she was a relatively competent scrapper in a fight, but certainly nowhere near expert-level in fighting skill. Not so in the wonderful world of Smallville fanfic, where Chloe (who usually acts as a PossessionSue in these fics) suddenly can trade blows with the best of them, even becoming a sparring partner for ''Batman'' in "Chruce" shipper fics. Some fics do make somewhat of an effort to make it seem more natural, by having Chloe start out with her canon level of skill and then undergo TrainingFromHell to gain her new level of fighting ability, but even these fics often have it happen way too fast, and the reader is treated to a montage of Chloe progressing from a merely competent, average-level fighter to a skilled, dan-grade martial artist in a matter of weeks. Now granted, on the show itself Chloe eventually ''did'' [[TookALevelInBadass Take a Level in Badass]] and become a very skilled fighter...but by the time that happened it was already Season 9, waaay after most of these fanfics were written.
* Hermione Granger from Literature/HarryPotter is another character who gets it frequently (as epitomized by this page's quote, "When the hell did Hermione become a ninja?").
* Taken to hilarious extremes in ComicsNix's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgxrYH6xbTU Bella Swan]]: [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5674909/1/Bella-Swan-Pregnant-and-Furious Pregnant and Furious]], which basically treats [[Literature/{{Twilight}} Bella Swan]] like ''Fanfic/ThirtyHs'' treats Franchise/HarryPotter. Probably justified, since she made a DealWithTheDevil.
* Hinata in ''FanFic/AGrowingAffection''. In the first book, she and Franchise/{{Naruto}} become training partners, and Tsunade decides to put them [[ShipperOnDeck as a pair]] through TrainingFromHell. By the middle of book 3, Kakashi acknowledges she is one of the ten strongest Leaf ninjas. [[spoiler: She kills Madara towards the end of the last book. With a little help from Sakura.]]
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Disney's ''Disney/CinderellaIIIATwistInTime'' features the [[PrincessClassic classic]] DisneyPrincess escaping from a demon pumpkin carriage onto horseback in a tattered wedding dress with her disheveled hair blowing in the wind.
* Disney turned ''Disney/TheHunchbackOfNotreDame'''s [[TheIngenue Esmeralda]] into a street-smart CombatPragmatist ActionGirl who fights with Frollo's {{mooks}} on a regular basis. This may be a subversion. It should be noted that they also made her smarter than the original character, and that the character trait that stands out most about Esmerelda in the adaptation [[PluckyGirl is her moral courage]] rather than being an ActionGirl.
* ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid II'' completely flipped the roles of Eric and Ariel. In the original film, Eric had to do all the action sequences and save a rather helpless Ariel in the climax. Meanwhile, in ''The Little Mermaid II'', Ariel was so action-oriented when Morganna tried to kidnap her infant daughter Melody, that she actually ripped Eric's sword out of its scabbard while he stood there slackjawed. Eric was mostly useless in the action scenes. Apparently only ''one'' member of that couple can be an action team. Ariel was also generally ''far'' more adventurous and action-oriented on the television series, which took place [[{{Prequel}} before the first film]].
** Can we all stop to recognize that in the original Mermaid film, Ariel swam into a storm to a ship on fire and rescued a drowning Eric, which is quite an ActionGirl thing to do? Also, in the climax, she full-on ''attacks'' Ursula, only ending up incapacitated because Ursula puts her on a dry patch of sea floor while she's still a mermaid. Ariel was an action girl all along.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]
* Evelyn Carnahan in TheMummyTrilogy. In the first film, she is able to hold off most of her attackers (not so much a fully rejuvenated mummy, however), but not necessarily fight back. By the second film, after 10 years as the wife of a Ex-legionnaire, she's learned how to use Katanas and Sais, and aim guns with deadly accuracy.
** Some of that comes less from her husband and more from her remembering her past life as an Egyptian princess.
* In an attempt to make her an actual character (and cut down on the LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters), Arwen from ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' was given a big chase scene on horseback that Glorfindel did in the book. She was originally intended to fight at Helm's Deep as well, in order to allow her and Aragorn to actually interact, but it was cut in favor of sticking closer to the books. By that point, however, fans had already dubbed her Xenarwen. Creator/LivTyler even comments on this in the extended version's behind the scenes, saying she had done months of swordplay training to prepare for Helm's Deep, before the fans caught wind and dubbed her "Liv Tyler, Warrior Princess", and the idea was scrapped.
* Hermione Granger didn't properly become an ActionGirl until the fifth ''Literature/HarryPotter'' book and even then she was still inexperienced. In [[Film/HarryPotter the films]] she gets Xenafied two stories earlier by riding around on the Whomping Willow (and somehow being able to use its momentum to throw Harry through the hole), being able to throw a pumpkin seed several feet through a kitchen window to break a sugar bowl, blast a cage door open and perfectly imitate a werewolf's call to save everyone. In the books the most she did was kick Sirius in the head to get him off Harry (oddly enough the film left '''that''' out). Also her ArmourPiercingSlap to Malfoy was changed to a punch.
* Daphne was played by [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Sarah Michelle Gellar]] in the ''Film/ScoobyDoo'' movie. That just about says it all. At least the trope is lampshaded. When the gang [[PuttingTheBandBackTogether meets up after a long time apart]], Daphne says that she's been studying martial arts because she's so sick of always being the DamselInDistress.
* Susan Pevensie in the'' ChroniclesOfNarnia'' series of movies. In ''The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe'', she has a scene devoted to training, while she's never seen fighting in the book (despite being stated in "Prince Caspian" that she ''was'' already trained in bowmanship). In fact, when she is given her bow by Santa Claus in the book, she is expressly told not to use it, because "''[[StayInTheKitchen battles are ugly when women fight]]''". Also, in the scene when the wolf attacks, she gives herself and Lucy time to escape by throwing a blanket at it. In the book, she just climbed up a tree and nearly fainted -- though it's understandable, because would '''you''' be super coolheaded when a SavageWolf who doubles as TheDragon is chasing you? Surely you wouldn't, kids.
** In ''[[Film/TheChroniclesOfNarnia Prince Caspian]]'', we have a horseback scene, though that is just a sample of her badassitude, as she was basically transformed into a brunette [[Film/TheLordOfTheRings Legolas]]. Although Susan was an archer ActionGirl in the books, too, it wouldn't have been as visually impressive because she [[ActualPacifist disliked fighting]], while the movie character [[LadyOfWar didn't have a problem with it]].
** Susan was also ''already'' trained as an Archer in the real world, whereas the much younger Lucy picked up her archery skills in Narnia itself. On the other hand, she was trained as archery [[PassionateSportsGirl as a sport]] than as survival means - which explains why she panicked horribly when Fenris was around, since until then she only had used her archery skills to point at blanks and not at living beings, much less wolves.
* Keira Knightley plays a scantily clad sharp-shooting Guinevere in ''KingArthur''. In the older pagan celtic versions of the tale Guenwifhar (Guinevere's original name) was a total {{badass}}.
* In ''[[Franchise/{{Terminator}} The Terminator]]'', Sarah Connor is just an ordinary waitress who just happens to be the mother of the future savior of the world. By the time of ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'', she'd learned how to kick ass. Unusually for this trope, this is both [[JustifiedTrope explained]] and [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstructed]], as her knowledge of the future apocalypse seems to have driven her over the edge and she has become almost like a human terminator as a result. This even gets some {{foreshadowing}} at the end of the first film, as, after the terminator is defeated, she drives down to Mexico to hook up with a gun runner. By ''Series/TheSarahConnorChronicles'', she's up to [[Series/TwentyFour Jack Bauer]]'s {{Badass}} tier.
* Elizabeth Swann from ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' was never [[PluckyGirl actually weak or passive]] in the first movie, and even fought alongside Will in the final battle. However, in the sequels she ditched the dress, [[ActionGirl grabbed a sword]], and TookALevelInBadass. It was partially explained for the second movie, with her telling Jack that Will taught her how to sword fight.
* Alice in Creator/TimBurton's ''Film/AliceInWonderland''.
* While Irene Adler has [[BreakoutVillain gotten an expanded role]] in SherlockHolmes adaptations for a long while, in ''Film/SherlockHolmes'', she becomes a definite ActionGirl, which is showcased in a MuggingTheMonster scene. This probably has to do with the fact that the film also emphasizes Holmes and Watson's (canonical) fighting prowess.
* ''Film/TheThreeMusketeers2011'' makes [[TheVamp Milady]] a DarkActionGirl who can take down a half-dozen men while wearing a PimpedOutDress.
* In-universe example in the live action ''Film/PeterPan'' film. Wendy's version of Literature/{{Cinderella}} swashbuckles with pirates trying to steal her glass slippers and gutting any pirate who dares to call her "girly".
* ''Film/SnowWhiteAndTheHuntsman'' has Snow White donning knight's armor and leading a rebellion against the Evil Queen. In this version of the story, she hasn't just been forced to scrub floors, she's been locked in a tower for eight years. Also occurs in 2012's other Snow White adaptation, ''Film/MirrorMirror'', with the seven dwarves training Snow White to be a CombatPragmatist ActionGirl.
* Dracula's brides in ''Film/VanHelsing''. In addition to getting names and characterisation, they also get plenty of fight scenes and are a lot more competent than the [[FauxActionGirl supposed heroine]]. They're also given the handy little power of turning into harpy-like creatures whenever they feel like it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* This is the whole point of ''Literature/ThePrincessSeries'' by Jim C. Hines. Cinderella, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty - all [[DamselInDistress Distressed Damsels]] in the original tales - form a ''Series/CharliesAngels''-esque ActionGirl PowerTrio who kick ass throughout the fairytale world. Other alumni includes Literature/TheLittleMermaid - who is the homicidally insane warlord and ruler of the merfolk - and Literature/LittleRedRidingHood, who is a [[PsychoForHire psychotic serial-killer/professional assassin]].
* Literature/NancyDrew is another example like Lois Lane of this going in the opposite direction then swinging back with a vengeance. In the original stories of the 1930's, she was definitely more headstrong than a typical teenage girl of the time period, but her greatest strength was being stubborn and clever instead of being strong. After a near OrwellianRetcon of the stories in the 1950's, she became quite a bit more ladylike, with a lot more "smiling sweetly" and "asking nicely." However, after the Feminist Movement rolled around and the stories changed publishers in the 1970's, Nancy became a full fledged ActionGirl. The SpinOff series "The Nancy Drew Files" gave Nancy martial arts training and made the already-tomboyish George an accomplished athlete. The most recent series "Nancy Drew: Girl Detective" is a more partial example: They're not quite to the level they were in the "Files," but they have gotten a bit more clever, George is still athletic, but also a computer whiz, and the normally timid Bess is now a full-fledge WrenchWench.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/HappyEndings'' this happens mildly to Jane during Krav Maga and then much more dramatically to Penny after Jazz Kwon-Do. Jane is already kind of a violent, action ready person, but Penny is a very girly, LargeHam type of woman.
* In ''Series/LostInOz'', Princess Ozma is mentioned as having been trained from birth to fight the Wicked Witch, and is apparently in her 20s. [[spoiler: It's actually a subversion, as by the time the heroes rescue her she's lost all fighting capabilities and has been enchanted to be an eight-year-old]].
* {{Averted}} with Guinevere from ''Series/{{Merlin}}''. It would have been easy for the writers to simply give her a sword and have her display unlikely physical prowess in battle ...but she never does. Instead her worth is founded on [[DamselOutOfDistress her kindness and intelligence]], and she's managed to get herself out of several dangerous situations by using her wits or stalling for time until she's either rescued by other parties, or manages to escape by herself. On the odd occasion when she ''does'' wield weapons in self-defense, she's portrayed as a competent but hardly skilled fighter. As such, she's something of a BaseBreaker in fandom, with half believing she is a strong female character whose strength does not lie with the ability to swing a sword, and the other believing her a case of RealWomenNeverWearDresses.
* As mentioned above, Maid Marian from the BBC's ''Series/RobinHood'' had a secret identity as the Night Watchman, a masked and hooded vigilante who was giving alms to the poor long before Robin came up with the idea. Despite Marian having a reputation as an ActionGirl and {{Badass}} in the original ballads, the Night Watchman was clearly an attempt on the writers' behalf to have a "strong, modern take" on Marian, an idea that (in the context of the show) was somewhat unnecessary for several reasons: a) Marian already had a vitally important role as the spy and informant within Castle Nottingham, b) the concept was stuffed full of FridgeLogic (why didn't anyone notice that the NWM had breasts? Why did Marian need the guise in the first place considering taking food/money to the poor was hardly illegal? Where did she get her combat skills in the first place?[[note]]She claims her father had her trained so that she "would have choices", but given that Sir Edward spends the entire show fretting over her and forbidding her to do things means that this explanation makes even ''less'' sense[[/note]]), and c) despite being presented as a skilled fighter, the writers often had her thrown into the role of DamselInDistress ''anyway'' (and most of her best {{Badass}} moments were done ''without'' the disguise). For the most part, the writers get away with it considering their Marian ''was'' a three-dimensional character in her own right, and the idea fitted in well with Marian's rebellious attitude, but often the Night Watchman just felt like an excuse to have their lead female do an occasional back-flip or karate chop.
* ''Series/OnceUponATime'' does this for a lot of female fairy tale characters. Snow White in particular is an extraordinary ActionGirl more than willing to fight anyone who tries to keep her away from Prince Charming (at one point planning to snipe the Evil Queen with a magic bow and [[InstantDeathBullet Instant Death Arrow]]). Little Red Riding Hood also kicks copious amounts of ass, [[spoiler:though in her case, it's because she ''is'' the Wolf in this adaptation--the trademark red cloak is an enchanted item that keeps her from transforming, and once she finds out the truth, she uses her wolf form to help her friends--after making sure they get ''far'' away from her first.]]
** The SpinOff series does the same with Alice in ''Series/OnceUponATimeInWonderland'', wherein our female protagonist is able to take out a number of asylum orderlies all by herself.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/{{Jacqueline}} was originally brought into WWE to feud with Wrestling/{{Sable}} and due to the latter's contract saying she couldn't take bumps, she came off looking rather weak. About a year passed and Jackie was able to show off her true ring skills, often getting in matches with men and even briefly winning the male Cruiserweight title.
* The Characters/WWEDivas as a whole got a big boost in 2002-ish when David "Fit" Wrestling/{{Finlay}} came on board and was placed in charge of the division. More time and effort went into matches, storylines and pushing women who could actually wrestle. The Divas got to wrestle in rougher matches as well such as hardcore matches, tables matches and even a steel cage match. These days they tend to hover between this and how they used to be, though the recent hiring of Wrestling/SaraDelRey in Finlay's former role has seen the division trending in this direction once again.
* Wrestling/TrishStratus is the wrestling queen of this trope. She came into Wrestling/{{WWE}} as a manager with an athletic build, but little actual fighting ability of her own, was shown as a submissive type for most of her early tenure, and then stepped up her in-ring work in a BIG way. She's now remembered as fondly for her impressive matches as for her impressive looks, and is one of only five women in the WWE Hall of Fame (alongside her contemporary Wrestling/{{Lita}}, Sensational Sherri, Wendi Richter, and Sunny, who is the only one who WWE never used in a wrestling capacity, as she was a manager/interviewer/commentator).
* Dutch Mantel was to Wrestling/{{TNA}}'s knockouts what Fit Filay was to WWE's divas, taking them from valets who occasionally fought to giving them their own division where they sometimes wrestled in Impact's main event. Likewise, the division got a lot less time and importance once he was no longer a factor.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''DynastyWarriors'' series does this for Zhen Ji, Yue Ying, and Diao Chan. Sun Shang Xiang is a borderline example as she was known as something of an ActionGirl by the standards of her time.
** ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''-branded spinoff ''[[VideoGame/FistOfTHeNorthStarKensRage Ken's Rage]]'' does a similar thing for Mamiya, taking her from TheLoad to a tricky and technical character capable of going one-on-one with the other powerful martial artists in the series.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'': Amy Rose was kidnapped in her first video game appearance in Sonic CD. She was given a [[DropTheHammer Piko Piko Hammer]] in Sonic Adventure (well...Sonic Fighters) and was more than capable of taking care of herself. Prior to that, she had a mild form of this. Her InformedAbility of being a spunky tomboy who could fend for herself started coming into light with the racing games and ''VideoGame/SonicTheFighters''.. Though she's gotten less tomboyish over the years.
* Yukiko in Persona 4 starts off believing herself to be incapable of taking care of herself. She is pretty, but shy and a bit helpless. When she gets her persona, her battle quotes reveal her newfound self-confidence.
* Kairi in the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' game spent 80% of the story as a vegetable while Sora had to save her. In the second game she acquires a Keyblade and is able to kick plenty of ass to save Sora and the others. [[spoiler: Dream Drop Distance's secret ending reveals Kairi is going to receive formal keyblade training to be able to hold her own alongside her friends.]]
* While Ariel in ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' franchise qualified as an ActionGirl, she was made into a guest party member in ''Kingdom Hearts'' and kicked more ass than she did in the movie or TV series (though neither of them had Heartless so who's to say she wasn't already like that?).
** Way before Kingdom Hearts, the ''VideoGame/TheLittleMermaid'' for the NES cemented her status as this. It's a surprisingly fun and challenging platform game not unlike the Mario franchise or Megaman
* Yuna in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2''. She goes from being a White Mage / Songstress / Summoner (All the stock 'female' jobs in that franchise) to being gun slinging ActionGirl who thanks to the metagame Dressphere system, can be any of several 'boyish' jobs such as Warrior, Dark Knight and Berserker.
* Fitting with the Alice in Wonderland example in Film, Alice takes ''several'' levels in {{Badass}} in AmericanMcGeesAlice. Justified as it's a BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind.
* Princess Zelda has progressively become more active in the games as the series went on. Originally just a classic DistressedDamsel, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' she gained the badass alter-ego Sheik, who admittedly didn't do much against the actual BigBad. But in the later games, starting with ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', it became her schtick to fire Light Arrows at Ganon during the final battle, and in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSpiritTracks'' she even [[spoiler:helps Link push his sword into Malladus' head]]. ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' has her [[spoiler:spending most of the game entombed in crystal and serving as a DistressedDamsel again at the very end, but the first part has her getting all the way through one and a half major areas by herself before getting caught and needing Impa's help for bodyguard services, not to mention her backstory]].
** The upcoming ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'' has her as a playable character in full-on battle gear.
* [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Princess Peach]] goes through this for every spinoff game. In the main series, she rarely does more than get kidnapped by a turtle, but in other games she tends to be a very strong and capable character. Most notably in VideoGame/SuperSmashBros, where she is a very powerful fighter for her weight class.
* VideoGame/SuperMario3DLand has Peach become strong enough to [[spoiler: actually escape Bowser's Lair on her own. However, she is not competent enough to get away before recapture. Still, A for effort.]]
* VideoGame/PaperMario actually allowed the player, as Peach, to sneak around the captured castle and help Mario by gathering information, sending him useful items and badges, and essentially causing trouble for Bowser and his minions. She also gives Mario the power needed to finally beat Bowser in the final battle.
* And in VideoGame/SuperPaperMario, Peach becomes a fully playable character who escapes Castle Bleck without outside help, argues with a nerdy chameleon (and breaks his date mod), and duels [[EldritchAbomination Mimi]] near the endgame. In short, this once frequently-kidnapped woman now kicks some serious ass.
** Although she did need some help escaping the castle, because it was ''impossible'' to get out without help otherwise. Although she does take some levels, she is still comes under distress.
** After a 25 year gap, Peach will finally fight ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2''-style again in ''VideoGame/SuperMario3DWorld''.
* On a similar note, Princess Daisy. When she was first introduced in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioLand'', she was actually portrayed as a DamselInDistress where she is kidnapped by the evil alien Tatanga, and Mario had to defeat the alien to save her. Now, she's a TomboyPrincess who appears in various spinoff games alongside Peach and prefers competing in sporting events more.
* ''VideoGame/WWFNoMercy'' decided to make the female wrestlers[[note]]this game predated the term 'Divas'[[/note]] playable competitively at the expense of realism and moveset accuracy. Trish Stratus, for example, used the koppu kick, rolling senton and choke w/bodyscissor in this game, even though at the time the game came out she was still in her "so bad she can botch a catfight" stage. They were also given enough stats to be competitively played rather than minimal stats like female wrestlers usually are in [=WWF/E=] games. Lita in particular was given a High Flying stat of 4, which made her not just competitive but fairly dangerous.
* Rinoa of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' is pretty prone to getting kidnapped for about 75% of the game. Then she's suddenly placed into a coma and when she comes out of it [[spoiler: she has sorceress powers]] giving her a GameBreaker LimitBreak where her Magic stat is raised to 255 and she can cast spells without depleting her stock.
* '''[[UpToEleven Every girl]]''' in ''VideoGame/HyruleTotalWar''.
* Chun Li in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterII'' was only fighting to avenge her father's death. If she wins the tournament she spends the rest of her life as [[IJustWantToBeNormal "an ordinary girl."]] [[CapcomSequelStagnation Subsequent rereleases]] show that she got tired of that VERY quickly and became a police officer. Then ''VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha'' retconned it further, showing she was a member of Interpol long before the Street Fighter 2 tournament. At some point she does retire, only to come out to [[MamaBear rescue the children she adopted]] before ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfZelda'' cartoon, Zelda got xenafied. She could use all of Link's weapons except his sword, and favored, of course, [[GuysSmashGirlsShoot the bow and arrow]]. Her fighting ability seemed to swing wildly from episode to episode, from only nominally competent to almost as good as Link himself. In fact, there's several episodes where Link's ChronicHeroSyndrome and general stupidity gets him into trouble, and Zelda needs to rescue ''him''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooAndTheSamuraiSword'', 'Danger Prone' Daphne Blake is suddenly revealed to be a kick-ass martial artist good enough to be invited in a competition for the best in the world.
* TheCutie Zoey from ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'' starts as a DamselInDistress, but [[spoiler: goes into HeroicSafeMode in "Eat, Puke, and Be Wary", turning into a CuteAndPsycho ActionGirl in the process. ThePowerOfFriendship later gets rid of the psycho part, but keeps the ActionGirl part.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic''. Applejack got this treatment versus her prior appearances in the older shows. In the original, they defeated enemies with song and dance. In Season 4, she has a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMFNOlQ43o0 one-on-one duel with a Chimera]].
** Her whole character compared to G1. In the original cartoon, her main contribution to the one episode she's in is to fall off of a rickety old bridge and need to be rescued. The UK comics make her a CuteClumsyGirl bordering on WalkingDisasterArea ([[MemeticMutation "Who's a silly pony?"]]) with an insatiable hunger for apples that's usually played for comedy or paints her as a child who won't stay out of the cookie jar. Mind you, she ''does'' have "Applejack's Amazing Adventure," where she singlehandedly (singlehoofedly?) rescues the Twinkle-Eyed Ponies and straight-up ''kills'' the BigBad of the story, so there's more to her than meets the eye, but that's an exception to the rule; the JokeCharacter got ADayInTheLimelight and pulled a LetsGetDangerous moment once and ''only'' once. ''FIM'' AJ is a hardworking farm pony, very reliable, and very strong. The only time we get 'silly pony' antics is in ''Recap/ApplebuckSeason,'' when she'd been going for ''days'' without rest and her pride wouldn't let her accept help.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* An increasingly common sight at tourist historical shows is the little girl in the pink sparkly princess dress with a badass plastic sword in the belt. Fairytale girls can have it all!
[[/folder]]

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