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Beauty, Brains and Brawn
Left: The one who fires off glorious magic spells.
Center: The one who builds the best gadgets.
Right: The one who punches things real hard.

Blossom, commander and the leader
Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter
Buttercup, she is the toughest fighter
Ending theme, The Powerpuff Girls

A group dynamic trope, a type of female Power Trio where one is smart, one is tough, and one is conventionally pretty, popular or feminine.

Often, to give "Beauty" a useful skill, she also acts as the Team Mom, The Kirk, or the mediator when the other two get into their frequent fights. In other cases, she is the one who is ''socially'' adept and empathetic, while "Brains" has technical skills but is sometimes nerdy or socially awkward.

The personalities might also be what the Freudian Trio used to be described as: body or the impulsive, pleasure-seeking one (the brawn), mind or the academic, reasonable one (the brain) and heart or the one who ties them together, as the calming, healing influence (the beauty). In other words, the Brawn represents the Id, the Brain represents the Superego, and the Beauty represents the Ego.

Often Color-Coded for Your Convenience as the Brainy Brunette, the Fiery Redhead and the beautiful but Dumb Blonde. Contrast though as the Blonde, Brunette, Redhead tend to be portrayed as flaws while Beauty Brains And Brawn are good.

See also: The Hecate Sisters, The Three Faces of Eve, and Four Girl Ensemble.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 

  • Sailor Moon:
    • First Two Arcs of the First Series had only these three senshi.
      • Usagi/Moon - Beauty; pretty but dumb blonde with a heroic heart.
      • Ami/Mercury - Brains; her original attack was befuddling mist and she had a visor for Awesome by Analysis.
      • Rei/Mars - Brawn; far more aggressive and has the red hot fire power.
    • The Outer Senshi
      • Michiru/Neptune - Beauty; the Elegant Classical Musician
      • Setsuna/Pluto - Brains; Orchestrates the rise of the Silver Millenimum with the Time Gate.
      • Haruka/Uranus - Brawn; she's mannish, can pass for a guy and uses a sword.
    • The Sailor Starlights
      • Yaten/Star Healer - Beauty; delicate and fashionable like a model.
      • Taiki/Star Maker - Brains; literature-loving intellectual with excellent grades.
      • Seiya/Star Fighter - Brawn; star school football player with a quick temper.

  • Ranma : When you boil them down to the characteristics most people associate them with, the Tendo sisters fit.

  • 7 Seeds- the three young women in Team Spring

  • Mai-HiME - the three main characters
    • Beauty: Mai (The most maternal of they three as she looks after Mikoto, and takes care of her sickly brother, Takumi)
    • Brains: Natsuki (The most rational of the three and a bit of a loner)
    • Brawn: Mikoto (Despite being childlike she is incredible powerful and wields a large claymore.)
  • Hanamaru Kindergarten - the three main girls

  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, the first three Mew Mews are examples.
    • Beauty: Minto Aizawa, the affluential ballerina whose beauty amongst the Mew Mews is rivaled only by a later addition to the team, her idol Zakuro.
    • Brains: Retasu Midorikawa, the shy bookworm whose interest in books proves vital to victory against one chimera anima.
    • Brawn: Ichigo Momomiya, easily the most passionate of the initial trio, if just as feminine as the other two, and will spring into action the minute anything or anyone she loves gets threatened, even standing up to her own father when he's curb-stomping Masaya at kendo.

  • Ojamajo Doremi, the original trio.
    • Beauty: Doremi, the clumsy, boy-crazy ditz.
    • Brains: Hazuki, shy, one of the smartest students in her class.
    • Brawn: Aiko, a tomboy who excels in everything related to sports.

  • Jewelpet
    • The main Jewelpets:
      • Beauty: Garnet, always concerned with beauty and fashion, an expert in love.
      • Brains: Sapphie, very intelligent, studious and tech-savvy.
      • Brawn: Ruby, a ditzy, Hot-Blooded rabbit with crazy powerful magic ability.
    • The main humans from the first series:
      • Beauty: Rinko, a shy girl who's frequently the voice of reason.
      • Brains: Aoi, the cultured one.
      • Brawn: Minami, a Passionate Sports Girl who sometimes uses her skills to fight off bad guys.

  • Problem Children are Coming from Another World, aren't they?:
    • Kurousagi uses her god-granted lightning strikes and thus is brawn.
    • Kudou Asuka is beauty, with strong charisma and a "command" ability.
    • Kasukabe You is brains, signified by her copy ability and being able to speak many languages, including a sizeable amount of animal ones.

    Comic Books 

  • Josie and the Pussycats - the Rock Trio
    • Josie - Brains (the most level headed of the group and The Leader)
    • Melody - Beauty (She's not bright and the prettiest of the three. She's largely unaware of all the attention she gets)
    • Valerie - Brawn (She's the tomboy of the trio who usually protects the others from unwanted male attention)

    Fan Works 
  • Sapphire Eleanor Rose Suzette De Mont Vs Canon - the three female members of the MSEA we see the most of.
    • October: Brains; she's The Leader of the MSEA and generally makes all the decisions
    • Aphrodite: Beauty; she's a lovely young thing who's not much into physical combat—instead, she's a Cute Witch
    • Charlie: Brawn; she carries a BFG and is always eager to do the dirty work
  • Horseshoes and Hand Grenades has different ones. For example:
    • Kamen Rider Club Girls (Horseshoes and Hand Grenades)
      • Tomoko-Beauty (for having the Psychic Powers in the group)
      • Yuki-Brains (Having the most knowledge of space)
      • Miu and Erin-Brawn (Miu being the one making plans and piloting the Power Dizer. Erin for being the Aquarius Zodiarts and the healer)
    • Cosmic Hunting Dogs (Month of Sundays)
      • Mari-Beauty (The healer with a boyfriend who wants to see people smile)
      • Jun-Brains (She's the most observant of the group and questions many of their actions.)
      • Rumi-Brawn (Usually the one charging onto the field with a vaulting pole in hand)

    Film 

  • The Sound of Music: The three oldest Von Trapp daughters

  • Beauty and the Beast: The Beast's servants
    • The Feather Duster - Beauty; her lover Luminere certainly thinks so. He's constantly flirting in her scenes.
    • Mrs. Potts - Brains; she's the one who organized Belle's late night meal.
    • The Wardrobe - Brawn; the biggest and defeated part of the mob by herself.

  • Despicable Me- Gru's cute and adorable daughters:
    • Margo - Brains; oldest sister, the most intelligent, mature and sarcastic.
    • Edith - Brawn; mischievous tomboy, with rebellious attitude & fond of destruction.
    • Agnes - Beauty; youngest of the trio, the most joyful and tender of the family.

    Literature 

  • Avalon: Web of Magic
    • Kara - Beauty; she's so focused on looking good and otherwise girly Adrianne calls her 'Barbie'. Her original function was to power up the others, not mediate. That was Emily's job.
    • Emily - Brains; she's the one with The Plan to protect the forest or thwart the Evil Plan.
    • Adrianne - Brawn; a tomboy and so action forward Kara calls her 'Xena'.

  • In Circle of Magic, the three main female characters could fit into it, while their foster brother Briar fits a little bit into all three (being handsome, tough and clever in a street-smart sort of way).
    • Sandry: Beauty (thread based magic, clothes designer and politician)
    • Tris: Brains (weather based magic, book worm)
    • Daja: Brawn (metal work/fire based magic, smithy).

  • Implied in Plato's Republic, which includes three castes, in which men and women are included equally
    • Guardian women - concerned with Forms and philosophical, brains
    • Auxillary women - concerned with physically guarding the city, do gymnastic, and look up to men, brawn
    • Money-making/common women (and probably how he saw most Athenian women of his day) - concerned with the appearances of things, not how they really are, beauty.

  • The Stark women of A Song of Ice and Fire.
    • Catelyn - Still considered the Beauty despite her age. She is also out of depth with the crisis engulfing her family.
    • Sansa - Started as the Beauty but comes to rely on her Brains to survive.
    • Brawn - Rebellious Princess Arya

    Live-Action TV 

  • Step by Step
    • Dana- Brains; smart, academic, sarcastic.
    • Karen- Beauty; beautiful, vain and ditzy.
    • Al- Brawn; sporty and tomboyish.

  • Community
    • Beauty: Britta (though she thinks she's Brains)
    • Brains: Annie (overachiever and actually wants to learn stuff)
    • Brawn: Shirley (Mama Bear extraordinaire)

  • Degrassi
    • Seasons 1-8
      • Manny - Beauty (known for being hot and promiscuous)
      • Liberty - Brains (smart over-achiever)
      • Emma - Brawn (In the Feminist Save-the-Planet Independent Tomboy way, less so physical strength.)

  • H2O: Just Add Water
  • Season 1-2
    • Cleo - Beauty: Naive, feminine, shy.
    • Emma - Brains: Responsible, perfectionist, Control Freak.
    • Rikki - Brawn: Rebellious, sarcastic tomboy.

  • The Big Bang Theory (As of Season 4)
    • Bernadette - Beauty; cute, lovable and pretty.
    • Amy - Brains; stoic Brainy Brunette, TV Genius.
    • Penny - Brawn; strong, capable of handling herself on a physical level.

  • Friends
    • Rachel - Beauty; attractive, trendy, fashionable.
    • Monica - Brains; level-headed, the one with most common sense.
    • Phoebe - Brawn; the badass who lived on the street, implied to be a capable fighter.

  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch (seasons 5-7)
    • Morgan - Beauty; shallow, attractive and popular.
    • Sabrina - Brains; book smart, aspiring journalist.
    • Roxie - Brawn; very strong and tough.

  • Sam & Cat
    • Cat - Beauty; wide-eyed, adorable and stunning.
    • Dice - Brains; always looking to make a deal.
    • Sam - Brawn; once punched her way out of a closet that was nailed shut.

  • Teen Wolf
    • Beauty - Erica, the Femme Fatale who's not ashamed to use her looks and sexuality to get stuff done
    • Brains - Lydia, the brilliant and sarcastic Teen Genius.
    • Brawn - Allison, the Action Girl who's a skilled archer who won't hesitate to kick your ass.

  • Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor's three companions.

  • Arrow
    • Beauty: Thea (Only known for being someone's girlfriend)
    • Brains: Felicity (Nerds Are Sexy)
    • Brawn: Sara (The resident Action Girl)

  • Orphan Black has the main three clones.
    • Beauty - Alison, a neat and uptight soccer mom.
    • Brains - Cosima, a nerdy science student.
    • Brawn - Sarah, a tough, abrasive former hustler.

  • Downton Abbey has the Crawley sisters.
    • Beauty - Mary The Charmer, though she later regrets having nothing else to offer.
    • Brawn - Sybil learns to work. Her personality also hardens.
    • Brains - Edith becomes a master organiser since she's not as pretty as pretty or strong as her sisters.

  • Survivor used a mixed-gender example, as it themed the Cagayan season after the dynamic; with a tribe of strong people, a tribe of smart people, and a tribe of pretty people. "Brawn vs. Brains vs. Beauty" was even a tagline for the season.

    Video Games 

  • Project Justice - Seijyun Girls High School
    • Akira - Brains; the transfer student who's been through a similar situation before
    • Yurika - Beauty; the incredibly girly Elegant Gothic Lolita that fights with music
    • Zaki - Brawn; the deliquent gang leader who's experienced with local gang conflicts

  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness
    • Etna - Brawn; the aggressive one.
    • Flonne - Beauty; a pretty teaching about love.
    • Jennifer - Brains; she's a scientist

  • Super Smash Bros..
    • Peach - Beauty; she fights with traditionally feminine "weapons" (such as a Frying Pan of Doom), daintily floats, and has a non-damaging final smash.
    • Zelda - Brains; most of her special moves are based on magical/psychic powers and in her source material she represents wisdom.
    • Samus - Brawn; she generally fights in heavy armor and her special moves are an arsenal of weapons, and is also the one who is always an Action Girl in her source material.

  • BlazBlue:
    • Noel Vermilion - Beauty. Although all three of them are certainly good-looking, Noel probably embodies this aspect the most, being the most outwardly feminine, with girly interests and an endearing Moe demeanour. She's also the one who is played for Fanservice the most.
    • Tsubaki Yayoi - Brains. Back in the Academy days, Tsubaki got the highest academic scores and acted as the brains of the trio. Her fighting style seems to make use of graceful attacks and Ars Magus, emphasizing her intellect.
    • Makoto Nanaya - Brawn. Being a Beastkin, Makoto is extremely physically strong by human standards. Her fighting style also emphasizes this; twin-tonfas and punches as opposed to Noel's Bolverk and Tsubaki's Izayoi.

  • In Persona 4, if you discount Mission Control Rise, (who would otherwise be a secondary Beauty), then you get:
    • Chie: Brawn (Tomboyish Kick Chick)
    • Yukiko: Beauty (feminine, elegant, in charge of healing magic)
    • Naoto: Brains (the most intelligent of the group, but also incredibly shy)

  • Persona 3's female cast is a little debatable (again, discounting Fuuka, the Mission Control character and Metis, since she's an extension of Aigis anyway, and also fills the same role):
    • Aigis: Definitely the Brawn, being a superpowered Robot Girl (and one of two characters who only has physical-type offensive skills.)
    • Yukari: Could be the Beauty, due to being the healer of the group, and because her trying to go back to the fight against Nyx again to try and save the Protagonist in The Answer causes the group to splinter.
    • Mitsuru: The Brains, being the smartest of the group, but also shares the Beauty role with Yukari, being The Ojou and Team Mom.

    Webcomics 

  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Nanase - Brawn (she can bench press 200 lbs when she has access to her magic and 160 lbs otherwise)
    • Grace - Brains (she learns very quickly, can store a lot of info in her short term memory, has above average long term memory and is a math tutor)
    • Ellen - Beauty (her appearance is based on the Female Variant 5 form as applied to Elliot which was designed with attractiveness in mind)

  • Drowtales
    • Zala'ess Vel'Sharen - Beauty (she's used her beauty to seduce men and has dozens of children and is the most likely to flaunt her physical assets, also the clan diplomat)
    • Sarv'swati Vel'Sharen - Brawn (leader of the Sharen army and a formidable fighter in her own right)
    • Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen - Brains (mastermind behind the conspiracy that killed her mother, as well as The Chessmaster who's manipulated her other sisters into fighting each other)

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Totally Spies!
    • Sam - Brains. A straight-A student, unofficial leader of the team, and comes up with the most strategies for fighting the bad guys and when the girls have to escape near-death situations.
    • Alex - Brawn. A bit of a tomboy who's the most athletic of the the team and loves sports.
    • Clover - Beauty. A Valley Girl who is easily the most boy crazy of the group. The show also gave a pragmatic reason to have a Beauty, since she is good with disguises (though this becomes a moot point in later seasons where the girls just use holograms.)

  • The Powerpuff Girls
    • Blossom - Brains; "commander and leader"
    • Bubbles - Beauty; "the joy and the laughter"
    • Buttercup - Brawn; "the toughest fighter"

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks - The Chipettes
    • Brittany - Beauty (the prettiest one of the group, and the oldest of the group)
    • Jeannette - Brains (the most mature and by far the most intelligent of the group)
    • Eleanor- Brawn (surprisingly athletic given her weight)

  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic - Cutie Mark Crusaders
    • Sweetie Belle - Beauty. She takes after her sister in fashion and has a stunning singing voice.
    • Apple Bloom - Brains. Her cutie mark is implied to involve carpentry and she devises many of their plans.
    • Scootaloo - Brawns. A skateboarder that idolizes Rainbow Dash.

  • Danny Phantom - Danny's Crushes
    • Sam: Brains; she is often the Only Sane Woman in the group of friends.
    • Valerie: Brawn; she has a side job as a ghost hunter.
    • Paulina: Beauty; she's the girl who seems to be popular mainly because of her looks.

  • X-Men: Evolution
    • Kitty Pryde: Beauty; the most girly of the X-men.
    • Jean Grey: Brains; honor student in this verse.
    • Rogue: Brawn; Touch of Death by skin contact works wonders in a fist fight.

  • Teen Titans
    • Starfire: Beauty; bright and bubbly personality. More than one episode focused on her apperance or relationship issues.
    • Raven: Brains; often reading and has the magical know-how.
    • Terra: Brawn; gritty, hands-on and hard hitting because of her super power.

  • Hey Arnold! These characters were well rounded in their own ways, especially Helga, but still have a heavy emphasis on this trope.
    • Helga: Brawn; she is a Lad-ette who uses physical force against other classmates.
    • Phoebe: Brains; she is a nerdy overachiever who even skipped two grades at one point.
    • Lila: Beauty; she is a sweet pretty girl everyone initially hates for being perfect.


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    Power TrioBig, Thin, Short Trio
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