Action Girl

The phrase "Fight like a girl" becomes a Badass Creed.

I'm a big haymaker in a title fight.
I'm a cute black kitten with a nasty bite.
I'm an action double-feature on a Friday night!
I'm me!
— "I'm Me", Vanessa Doofenshmirtz from Phineas and Ferb

An Action Girl is a female Badass who is just as tough and kicks just as much butt as the guys do. Damsel in Distress? Not her. She proves that girls aren't only "not helpless", they are strong. She's featured in far more than the Designated Girl Fight. Expect regular appearances in actions scenes, facing dangerous foes and deadly obstacles, and expect her to win.

For the longest time in many cultures, Double Standards in both fiction and real life meant that when it came to action and fighting, guys outnumbered girls. Men Act, Women Are was the rule of thumb, which led to the Action Girl being a subversion of what was acceptable. As society has marched on, the view of this as a subversion has faded in some media, leading to stories where Action Girls are the norm rather than the exception, such as stories set in a World of Badass, and especially a World of Action Girls.

The broad Action Girl concept can take many forms. Faux Action Girl is a case of presenting a character as this, only for them not to live up to the standards of this trope. Dark Action Girl is the villainous variety, and Affirmative Action Girl is a cast addition intended to balance out gender ratios that typically also falls under this trope. Less action-y versions include You Go Girl and Plucky Girl.

This is somewhat of a Cyclic Trope, with Action Girls experiencing surges in popularity in the 1940s, 1970s, 1990s and 2010s, probably not coincidentally times when the women's movement increased in prominence.

See below for even more subtropes and other variants.

Not to be confused with Action Girl, a comic series about an Action Girl.


A Super Trope To:


Examples of Action Girls who don't fit into any of the sub-tropes above:


Alternative Title(s):

Action Chick, Hot Chick With A Sword