Beauty Is Never Tarnished
Whatever vicissitudes she may undergo, from being dashed out of her carriage to having her head shaved in a fever, she comes out of them all with a complexion more blooming and locks more redundant than ever.Women and girls are action and adventure heroes— just like men and boys are! They get into dangerous situations, face menacing villains, get captured, and even get into fights. But where death-defying stunts leave men visibly bruised and bloody, the women are oddly put-together. When women tear their clothing, it's that kind of Clothing Damage; if their hair's unkempt it's artfully dishevelled. Basically? Fierce hand-to-hand fights are cool, even sexy, but the broken noses and black eyes they cause are not. It's almost as if the media is purposely denying reality to maintain their female characters' unnatural attractiveness to appeal to straight males. (Crazy, right?) Likewise, girls are almost never used in slapstick comedy (but she can get a Pie in the Face). A heroine will almost never suffer a permanent injury such as the loss of a limb or eye, no matter how much punishment she goes through. The other version of this trope concerns a different form of beauty: "inner" beauty — i.e., the recognition that women have bodily functions, due to being, you know, human. Gross-out jokes (and anything involving farts, burps, whatever) are male territory. Girls are never gross, don't you know? It's just not attractive. This trope is generally more prevalent (and noticeable) in visual media, when you can actually see the women in question. It's also understandable from a practical point of view. Film and television scenes are rarely shot in chronological order, requiring the director to carefully keep track of which scenes are supposed to show which markings. The easiest solution is to avoid the issue by not having any stains in the first place. The same thing goes for animation; hand-drawn shows have to keep adding it to every single frame and computer animated have to change a model or create a new one. It's more common in the West, particularly in older movies and shows — however in Japan, the outer beauty version is often averted, with people being roughed up or exposed to violence regardless of sex/gender; on the other hand, the inner beauty version is, if anything, much worse. This may not protect female antagonists from Gunge, or, less commonly, female villains from the appropriate scarring. If a girl regularly averts this and its Played for Laughs she is probably a case of Slapstick Knows No Gender. Compare Dirt Forcefield, Kicking Ass in All Her Finery. Contrast Unkempt Beauty. For the clothing only, see Bullet-Proof Fashion Plate. If beauty is tarnished and then subsequently killed off, it's Death by Disfigurement. If she lives, it's almost always a ticket to the land of Body Horror, via Beauty to Beast.
Examples of the first (action oriented) kind:NO AVERSIONS
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Hitohira Nono and Risaki start a brutal fight which leaves them both unconscious, but it apparently doesn't leave any bruises.
- Tenjho Tenge tends to go both ways on this. In both the anime and the manga, women are engaged in battle just as much as, if not more than, men. However, in the animated version, the effects of combat towards the girls tend to be limited to Clothing Damage or injuries which don't obscure beauty, like bruises away from the face or sprained limbs. The manga however, which is a great deal more violent, has many female characters face terrible and permanent disfigurement for their lifestyle choices (such as crushed faces, severed limbs, eyes stabbed, and other wonderful things). However, the main female cast, like Maya and Aya, tend to not face such consequences. Although, since they are legendary fighters, it could just be their skill. Maya is also nearly beaten to death by Kagiroi.
- Air Gear mostly plays this straight, although there are a few exceptions. The biggest would probably have to be Benkei, who hacks her own right leg off to get out of a trap. It doesn't grow back or get replaced.
- Balsa from Seirei no Moribito receives some serious injuries during the series, but none of them leave visible scars. We can assume she must have a nasty one on her stomach, but her clothes are rather modest and only show her arms and face, which remain untarnished.
- Every single one of Hayao Miyazaki's heroines, except for the one point (if it occurs) in each movie where they get a little bit dirty or stained on purpose to show they're not afraid to do it, e.g. San cleaning the blood out of one of her "brother"s musket-shot wounds, or Nausicaa's dress being stained with Ohm blood (which is actually a key plot point). Sorta like their skin and clothes are made out of teflon. (How else do you explain San's gear being clear of blood stains not much later, when even modern soap powder has difficulty getting it all out?)
- Played straight in the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, where Nanoha and Fate gets Clothing Damage at best while Chrono is shown with his face half covered in blood.
- In Change 123 the female fighters get badly injured, but few scars mar their perfect features. The one time they were shown/drawn was when Gettou explained how hers were closed up so they'd heal and fade.
- Debatable as to whether this is played straight or averted in Baccano!!. Nice Holystone is hideously scarred and missing an eye due to an occupational mishap (bomb-making). Her best friend goes so far as to have his face tattooed in a similar pattern, in an effort to prevent her from feeling self-conscious about her apparent deformity. That said, being a cartoon, she's adorable and the scars just come off looking cool.
- Zig-zagged in the character of Balalaika in Black Lagoon. The parts of her face that aren't horribly scarred are beautiful. The parts that are scarred look like she's been deep fat fried, hence why some people call her "Fry-Face" (but only to her back).
- When Revy and Roberta have their No-Holds-Barred Beatdown at the end of Roberta's first arc, they are bruised and bloodied, but suffer no permanent damage
- In Uzumaki, protagonist Kirie suffers burns that are serious enough to put her in hospital for some time, yet manage to mostly miss her face. Once she leaves the hospital, the ones on her legs are also fully healed without a trace of scarring.
- Nami from One Piece has flawless skin, despite being injured a lot (though not to the extent of Luffy or Zoro). In fact, everyone but Zoro and Luffy doesn't retain any scars from their battles.
- Averted in Claymore. Even the pretty fighters (which is pretty much all of them) at one point or the other get their limbs hacked off, slashed in the chest and face, Impaled with Extreme Prejudice, and for the very unlucky ones unable to regenerate, severed into pieces. In the past, Claire's mentor was decapitated by Priscilla, whose awakened form caused the death of all the Claymores accompanying her.
- Pretty much averted in Michiko to Hatchin, where the eponymous Action Girl often gets bruises and black eyes from fighting.
- Averted in Ikki Tousen. Every time the Action Girls get into major fights, it's a sure thing that either one or more of the ladies will not just get Clothing Damage by the wazoo, but she/they will get beaten bloody, vomit on-screen, or wet herself/themselves. And at least one of them has been permanently mutilated ( Manga!Ten'i, who lost an arm).
- Played relatively straight in Sekirei, with tons of Clothing Damage and minor injuries that never scar. Haihane is notable as the only Sekirei with visible scarring, but this may be justified since it's suggested they have better-than-human healing and access to incredibly advanced medical technology. Karasuba notes that MBI's treatments are so advanced, the near-fatal injuries she received from Miya's Roaring Rampage of Revenge left only a small scar.
- Despite spending months on the street doing street fighting on concrete with no rules, Holyland's Beauty Equals Goodness protagonists never seem to break their noses, get scars or chip or lose visible teeth. Yuu is shown scratched and bruised and loses at least one molar, but nothing permanently changes his apperance.
- Attack on Titan averts this, as the results of being caught by a Titan are the same regardless of the gender of the unfortunate victim. Women are shown being Eaten Alive, crushed into a messy paste, or torn apart just as frequently as the men without it being portrayed as somehow more tragic. After major battles, the female soldiers look just as rough as their male peers — covered in sweat, grime, with torn and/or bloody clothing, visible injuries, and dark circles under their eyes. Ymir is dismembered at one point, though her Healing Factor eventually allows her to regenerate. During the hours-long process, however, her limbs are fairly horrifying to look at.
- Played straight initially with Flamenco Girl in Samurai Flamenco. In some of her early fights, she does get hit from time to time, but nothing too drastic that would make her look bad. Then it's averted in episodes 9 and 10, where she's captured by King Torture, and has very visible bruise marks all over her body. Although her body is definitely broken, she seems to be more hurt by King Torture's revelation that she only cared about herself, after her friend Moe selflessly volunteered to take her friend's place with no thought of her own safety. It's best demonstrated during the ending where she's barely standing at her concert, and her voice is audibly shaken, as if to fight back some intense emotions.
- Averted with Videl from Dragon Ball in the Buu saga, when Spopovich beats her the crap out of her. She gets horrible injured, loses even some teeth. And she's one of the rare Action Girls in the series, but looks more horrible than many other beaten characters.
- Averted in The Legend Of Mother Sarah. Sarah is wearing a steel prosthetic right breast and, when she gets captured by the Mother Earth government right after helping Harato and his cohorts escape, she gets thoroughly beaten up during the interrogation and her tumid, bruised face doesn't get back to normal until a few chapters in the story.
- Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran: Ran and Meow never look unkempt or dirty at any point in the series, even though they very often find themselves with no food and out in heavy rain, walking through the countryside for days on end. They also never suffer battle injuries: the closest is Ran getting her hair ribbon cut, which just causes her flowing black hair to fall down in a rather fetching manner.
- Averted in Unlimited Fafnir. Mitsuki and the other girls who took part in defending against the White Leviathan get hurt, and it shows on their faces and limbs.
- The spin-off Generation X notably featured a team of three girls (all extremely attractive) and three boys — two of whom had powers that left them physically deformed. Which didn't stop them being considered attractive by many readers, of course — but when the series' primary Mr. Fanservice has no lower jaw (when he took his mask off), while his girlfriend is a generic all-American blonde it smells a little like a double standard.
- Seen in earlier X-Men teams, too, where the physical mutations seemed to pop up only in male characters— Beast and Nightcrawler are visibly abnormal, Angel has hard-to-hide wings, Wolverine had claws. The only female X-Men character of that period who had a visible mutation was Polaris, with easily-dyed green hair (technically, Storm's white hair and blue eyes are physical aspects of her mutation, but they only add to her exotic beauty). Even today, the X-Men have not had a female member who wasn't at least a Cute Monster Girl.
- X-23 is the pretty, Fanservicey, Opposite-Sex Clone/daughter of Wolverine. Besides the fact that she's a clone of the famously unattractive Wolverine, she's been shot, stabbed, slashed, gutted, blown up, burned down to a skeleton, and had limbs hacked off entirely, and the only lasting mark on her body is the emblem associated with Captain Universe on the palm of her right hand. justified since she has a Healing Factor, but the sheer amount of physical abuse she sustains makes it pretty egregious.
- While Bruce Banner gets grotesquely muscular and rips his shirt, depending on the artist, his female counterpart merely gets two feet taller and turns green, or bulks up some, but nowhere near as much as Bruce.
- A Rare Male Example is Heathen City Maranatha, a homoerotic noir action thriller with its share of violence. Despite all the thrashing the characters go through, Owen and Malloy never tarnish their good looks.
- Averted by Sharon Ventura, aka She-Thing, from the Fantastic Four, since part of her whole story was the tragedy of The Thing's mutation happening to a woman.
- Vanessa, the Dumb Blonde Idiot Heroine of the French comic Les Blondes regularly gets injured in various slapstick ways and is regularly seen recovering in the hospital while relating her latest mishap to her friends. None of her accidents leave her with lasting scars that would mar her good looks.
- Averted regarding Junior in Secret Six, who has severely physically tortured and mutilated herself for years. Though most of it is self-inflicted, she is ANYTHING but pretty.
- Male example: While earlier fics kept him pretty even through abuse, the That Guy with the Glasses Kink Meme has been averting this with a vengeance for The Nostalgia Critic lately. He's been mutilated, snuffed, cut up, had his eyes gouged out, beaten while gangraped, bitten clean through his tongue when he was beheaded in public... you name whatever torture, it's been done to the poor guy.
- Mary Jane Watson has been smashed into walls, zapped with electrical bolts, slashed by razor bats, burned with flame, and been punched square in the face, but she's never suffered any permanent scars or blemishes. Her injuries tend to heal rather quickly by themselves once she gets some rest, although she still sometimes has to explain how she got hurt in the first place. She typically claims that she was caught up in a supervillain attack, which is more plausible than you might think because of how many supervillains are causing mayhem in New York at any given time.
- Averted with Cisca's death in The Brutal Series. She nearly has her scalp cut off, has her nails pulled off one by one, has her fingers cut off at all joints, has her eyes gouged out and has all her teeth punched out (disfiguring her jaw in the process) before FINALLY being killed from having her heart stepped on. The end result is described as not being recognisable as her face.
- Averted in Keena & the Defendants of Constan Academy, as pretty much anytime any females get hurt, their injuries are written in detail, as well as mentioned to bleed at lot through their face.
- Played with in Children of Time in the cases of Sherlock Holmes and Beth Lestrade.
- The Tall, Dark and Handsome Holmes undergoes three separate, injury/scar-cleansing situations: one by TARDIS medical equipment, one by a Time Lord's regenerative abilities, and one by rejuvenation from death. However, in the case of the second situation, he is left dirty and smelling like the Thames — the regeneration healed injuries and scars only.
- Miss Statuesque Stunner Beth gets one scene of She Cleans Up Nicely after having gone around several months as a Wholesome but often dirty and scraped Crossdresser (for practicality and Sweet Polly Oliver purposes). She is also branded once and shot not long after, but is also healed in the TARDIS, leaving her skin unmarred... except for one scar on her neck from an Attempted Rape. In the next season, she's said to have a lot of scars from her time as a Death Seeker.
- Despite going through torture, graphic violence and emotional trauma, Nala remains exceptionally beautiful throughout The Lion King Adventures.
- Rarity pulls this off in Greenfire, still looking stunning despite having spent several hours digging for gemstones. Then again, given that Greenfire a.k.a Spike doing the assessment and he's smitten with her, the narration is probably embellishing.
- Averted hard in Flam Gush. Lina and Gourry are, by the end of the fighting, running on little more than anger, desperation, and fumes. Lina's hair has gone gray and she appears slightly skeletal while Gourry is semi-delirious and visibly ill from infected food. It takes weeks to get back to anything resembling normal.
- If you go with the hypothesis that Jenny from Forrest Gump has AIDS, you'll be left wondering why you don't see her with sores and lesions from Kaposi's Sarcoma, hair graying and loss, and other nasty symptoms associated with that disease.
- Star Wars: Nothing ever mars Princess Leia's beauty no matter what happens to her - captured, tortured, broken out in a shoddy rescue attempt (let's be serious, it was rather unprofessional) and to top it off, dumped in a garbage bin - she still looked great after it all. And that was just the first movie.
- Of particular note was her hair. Almost all of her hairstyles would be difficult - if not impossible - for a hairstylist to even create, to say nothing of keeping them in place after all she goes through. Ironically, the most realistic one was the style she had in Return of the Jedi while Jabba's prisoner. (And in that case, the rest of the outfit was very unrealistic.)
- Padme is the same in the prequels, but at least in her case her clothing usually seems to have been made with combat in mind in such situations.
- Particularly noticeable in movies from the 1950s and so (at least, those rare movies where women ventured out). See The Leech Woman on MST3K, whose leading lady romps through the jungle in a white blouse — and it stays white the whole time! Ajax, strong on dirt?
- Planet Terror, in which Rose McGowan gets her leg chopped off, to be replaced by an assault rifle with an under slung grenade launcher. However, one will notice that all of the major female characters survive the film, with the notable exception of Fergie's character. Very few dudes make it out alive.
- In Space Jam, Lola Bunny is the only main cartoon character that never suffers a pratfall, or, indeed, any kind of indignity. Other characters even deliberately take hits intended for her. This did not help her popularity of the perception that she was a Mary Sue, especially since Looney Tunes has allowed other female characters like Granny to fall under Slapstick Knows No Gender for years.
- Used in Shaun of the Dead. No one, except for Shaun, get really bloody and dirty until the end. Even then, Liz is still better off than Shaun.
"You've got some red on you."
- Untraceable. The male victims suffer agonisingly slow deaths with obvious and continuous physical damage (i.e. one victim is submerged up to his neck in a tank slowly of sulfuric acid). The heroine's suspended over a Death Trap that will either kill her instantly or let her escape without a scratch.
- In The Bourne Ultimatum, a Giant Mook punches Nicky in the face, knocking her unconscious without otherwise injuring her or marking her in any way.
- Actually averted of all things, in the Kenan and Kel movie Good Burger. A girl working for the rival burger firm tries to get close to Ed to worm the secret sauce recipe out of him but ends up getting completely battered and bruised on a miniature golf date with him. In the next scene she's covered in bandages and on crutches.
- Averted in House of Wax (2005). Carly (Elisha Cuthbert) gets her lips glued together and must prise them apart, leaving them bloody for the rest of the film. She also gets the tip of her finger cut off. Even Paris Hilton averts this as the killer stabs her in the heel before throwing a pole through her head.
- The Final both plays straight and averts the trope. Two female bullies get chemicals smeared all over their face to destroy their good looks forever, and one gets two of her fingers cut off. However far more male bullies are tortured than females despite there being a well developed female bully who never gets tortured. Also, Emily is shot in the head but this isn't shown.
- Used Serenity, where the female crew gets banged up pretty badly, though mostly in areas away from their faces.
- Zoe's face remains untouched, but her back receives a horrible slash that will probably become a rather unattractive scar, even with Simon's medical skills.
- Kaylee is incapacitated by a series of poison darts, leaving her skin and face untouched.
- In Temple of Doom, the heroine's clothes never tore or got stained. She also gets locked inside a metal cage and lowered into a lava pit. She's only a teensy bit sweaty when she's rescued, showing no visible burns or signs of heat stroke.
- In Casino Royale (2006) the heroine's mascara does run when she sits crying in the shower, but oddly is not at all affected when she drowns.
- While we're in James Bond, 007 himself is a masculine example of this trope. It's hard to remember movies where he ends up looking terrible (only three come to mind: Dr. No, Licence to Kill and Casino Royale (2006) - his first movie, and two Darker and Edgier approaches; there's also Die Another Day, but that's only the film's beginning, and after months of captivity).
- In Casino follow-up Quantum of Solace Bond looks, as M says it, "like hell" within 15 minutes. It doesn't really ease up from there.
- Averted, but still present in Casper, which, for the record, was scripted by two women. Kat is exempt from the wackier slapstick stunts, being locked in a closet while her father battles the Ghostly Trio. Also, the Up-And-At-'Em Machine seems to have more exaggerated effects on the villains than her, in fact seeming to affect only the male villain. However, the villainess doesn't seem to be quite as exempt from physical comedy as Kat and additionally the local Alpha Bitch gets a slapsticky comeupence.
- Films of The Three Stooges had a rare exception to their usual standard of not actually hitting a woman. A short featured the Stooges as cavemen courting. Moe and Larry have their mates subdued in stereotypical clubbed-hard style. Shemp's beloved had to bash him. The rival tribe comes along, sees the Stooges hauling the women away, and hurls spears at them, sticking in the usual rear slapstick target. Since Shemp is the one being dragged, though, it's the woman who's hit.
- From The Lord of the Rings, Frodo loses a finger, Boromir catches several arrows in his chest, Aragorn spends the whole trilogy bloody, bruised and scraped. Practically all of the cast is harassed by either the Watcher in the Water or a Cave troll. And all pretty boy Legolas gets over the course of is a bruise and a little smudge of dirt. And Éowyn made it through almost the entire Battle of the Pelennor Fields unscathed, with never a cut or a bruise until the Witch-King smashes her shield with his gigantic mace.
- Even Arwen gets a cut across her cheek when she's running from the Nazgűl.
- Averted, in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, where the fight with Bolg gives Legolas a nosebleed.
- Jumanji has Peter getting turned into a monkey and Alan getting all dirty but despite being involved in the same actions, Sarah and Judy don't look that bad. Judy does get shot in the neck with a barb from a poisonous plant but the wound isn't shown on camera much.
- Sci-Fi horror movies, such as Yeti. Members of both genders survive a horrific plane crash and a battle with a crazy ass monster trying to off them all. Perfect hair.
- In Gangs of New York (2002), the only punishment inflicted on Amsterdam Vallon (played by pretty-boy actor Leonardo DiCaprio) for his attempted assassination of Bill "The Butcher" is a mild scar on his cheek. This is from a man who cut out his own eye for flinching!
- When they get to the final battle, this is completely thrown out the window. After one explosion, he's covered in dust, and his hair gets blown out of its pretty little bun, for God's sake. Not to mention that when he kills Bill, he gets blood all over himself. There's also the limp he receives from Bill after being slashed across the back of the knee. It didn't look like it was going to clear up.
- Jenny Everdeanne. She has scars, but placed where almost no one can see them.
- In Spider-Man 2 Rosie still looks pretty good for someone who was killed by a hundred shards of flying glass, including at least one to the face/eye.
- Transformers doesn't go too overboard on this with Megan Fox, but it is really glaring in reference to the robots. The Product Placement for GM vehicles apparently mandates that all of the Autobots' car modes must be sparkling clean at all times.
- Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen plays this trope noticeably straight. Megan Fox looks as though her (rather overdone) makeup was being touched up every 30 seconds. This is particularly jarring in the final battle, when every other (human) character is covered in filth and blood, Fox still looks perfectly clean and her make up is totally untouched after both her and the main lead get poorly teleported to the other side of the world, run several miles through the hot desert, have several explosions happen basically on top of them, and get thrown into the sand. The main lead is bleeding, grimy, and filthy while she just has her hair a bit rumpled.
- And then in the third film, after being thrown through a building, running through an apocalyptic battleground, the lead and the soldiers with them are suitably beaten up, Carly's hair and white jacket aren't even ruffled.
- Spoofed in Last Action Hero, where all Jack Slater needs to clean up after emerging from a tar pit is a few seconds with a towel.
- In V for Vendetta, Evie's appearance doesn't suffer at all after a prolonged period of imprisonment and torture. It can even be argued that having her hair shaved down to stubble just makes her look even more doe-eyed and delicate. This is in stark contrast to the comic, where she looks like a mummy afterwards.
- In The Book of Eli the world has become a complete wasteland with very limited resources but, hey Mila Kunis looks nice. This is justified in that her and her mother were being pampered by the Big Bad, receiving rare bottles of shampoo and perfume.
- In Sin City, there is a scene where Dwight (Clive Owen) and Miho (Devon Aoki) both plunge into a tar pit, coating themselves entirely in black tar. Miho is naked when she jumps into the tar, although it's hard to tell (the comic is more explicit in this detail) but she should at least have tar stuck to her skin. Dwight is similarly clean and he actually fell into the tar while fully clothed. Miho also had blood splashed all over her face in an earlier scene, which also got cleaned up inexplicably very quickly. Oh and the men get bruised up and battered a lot, showing scars, cuts, and blood all over in this movie. Some women do die, but it is normally clean gunshot and there is not near as much dirt on them.
- While the Bride suffers plenty of beat downs in Kill Bill and is frequently seen bloodied and bruised, none of her injuries or ordeals leave any lasting visible damage or scars.
- D-War has the heroes' car blasted by a dragon's fireball, flip a few times in the air and skid along the ground, only to have the woman emerge (white sweater included) completely unscathed. Of course, there was a little bit of black soot on her face.
- In The Legend Of Zorro, Catherine Zeta-Jones runs across a dirt field at full speed, fights with a shovel, runs back across the same field at full speed, falls in the dirt at least once, and when she gets back to her room her white nightgown is spotless and she doesn't have a hair out of place.
- The trope is in full force in Predators. All the male characters are filthy and battle damaged by the end of the film (or at least, the end of their participation in it). The lone female? Barely covered in a light, even film of dirt, not any hint of actual damage. The one bit of damage she's seen to take is suitably out of the way that it doesn't have to get filmed in subsequent shots.
- Averted by Yanin 'Jeeja' Vismistananda in the Muay Thai movies Chocolate and Raging Phoenix. Not only do her characters get just as beaten up as the guys on the cast, but the actress does as well; many of the injuries shown in the movie are legit ones suffered during filming. She's still hot as hell, mind◊.
- In Streets of Fire, McCoy and Ellen Aim aren't hurt at all by the gang, while the men get the snot beat out of them.
- Heroic Trio, a Hong Kong movie featuring three beautiful superheroines, lampshades this at one point. The characters narrowly avoid getting blown up. One of the characters turns to the other and quickly asks, "Am I still pretty?". At most, they get bloodied mouths and dirt smeared on their faces, so the answer is yes.
- In the remake of Clash of the Titans Io constantly looks as though she's just come from a spa while the male characters look increasingly grimy. This, combined with her habit of just showing up without provisions even though she's following the same route as the others gives the impression that her curse isn't immortality but the ability to teleport, and she's just porting in from Argos whenever she's needed.
- In Catwoman, Patience has to crawl through a waste pipe and gets drowned by a massive jet of sewage. However when she washes up on shore, she's only just got a bit of dirt on her face.
- In The Eye, Jessica Alba's character is twice blinded by explosions, the first from a firecracker and the second from an exploding tanker sending windshield glass into her eye. Despite getting a face full of high-speed glass, at the end she has perfect skin.
- Averted in Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Elizabeth gets very ugly when she is resurrected.
- Played straight in X-Men: The Last Stand. Halle Berry's Storm gets into some pretty rough fights scenes with Callisto, but never comes away with anything worse than tussled hair.
- Faux averted in Doomsday, where the female lead only had one eye. But she had a robot eye as well, and it was so lifelike it appears as though she's 100% unmaimed. This was used as the Cool James Bond Device for the first fifteen minutes of the movie and then forgotten until the end.
- In Versus, every single character with the exception of the female lead ends up literally coated in blood; and the male lead is implied to lose an eye (although it could be just stuck shut). More than that, her white shirt isn't stained in the least.
- In the 1958 film version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Maggie (Elizabeth Taylor) goes out to the pouring rain and gets her hair soaking wet, but the next time we see her, it's perfectly dry and styled.
- Slightly subverted in the climactic shoot-out in Duel in the Sun: although Pearl's face is untouched, her clothes and especially her hands are realistically torn and bloody after she crawls up a mountain on her hands and knees—possibly because actress Jennifer Jones really did injure herself in the process.
- Even though comic superheroes rarely receive scars, their movie counterparts are not so lucky. In Daredevil, Matt Murdock has many scars all over his body, although his face is left untouched. In the The Dark Knight Saga, Bruce also has several scars along his back but again, his face is okay.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian gives us a Rare Male Example when the eponymous character hits his face on a tree branch in the opening escape sequence and gets up looking as handsome as ever with nary a scratch on him.
- In Alice in Wonderland, Alice falls down a rabbit hole, gets shrunk, enlarged and stuffed in a teapot, then fights the Jabberwocky...all without a curl of hair getting out of place. She gets a scratch on her arm, but that's it.
- In The Avengers (2012), all of the male heroes go through the movie in various states of bodily damage, exhaustion, and fatigue. Black Widow, however, other than bleeding from her forehead and lip, suffers little visible damage. Keep in mind that this character is introduced in the film being tortured by Russian terrorists and later spends a significant amount of time fighting the Hulk and having a building fall on her. On the other hand, Maria Hill winds up with some pretty nasty cuts to her face after narrowly avoiding death-by-grenade, remaining bruised and bloody until the action subsides and she's seen getting medical attention.
- Invoked in Snow White & the Huntsman. The two title characters come across a village inhabited only by women, all of whom intentionally scarred their own faces so they would be considered ugly in the eyes of Queen Ravenna, sparing them from being sacrificed to her life-stealing magic.
- Played straight for the first half of Snow White: A Tale of Terror. Lilli is involved in a cave-in underground and is seen with dirt all over her after they get out, but is perfectly clean the next time we see her. It's implied she washes herself in the stream. Then at the end Claudia cuts her face with a pane of glass.
- In The Terminator Sarah Connor's hair is immaculate at the end of the film, despite having been at ground zero for two explosions, being chased all night by a Terminator, and all the other damage she suffered. However, completely and utterly averted in the sequel, where at the end of it all she's covered in blood, dirt, and sweat, having been shot in the leg and stabbed in the shoulder, and her hair looks like ten washes wouldn't be enough to get it clean again.
- Averted, momentarily in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Scarlet takes a metal pan to the face, and it actually bruises her and leaves scratches, for one scene only. Next we see her, it's like she's had weeks of recovery, or very heavy makeup for a girl who has no interest in physical attraction. Averted again later after the train crash. The Baroness and Storm Shadow both have head wounds, and seem dazed. They are fully healed by the time they get back to their base, but they might have had high-tech first aid kits in their vehicle.
- In Star Trek Into Darkness Carol Marcus gets fed a piece of the scenery by Khan when she gets in his way, and shortly afterwards has her leg stepped on by him, complete with sickening crunch. Cut to a shot of her being dragged to a teleporter and sickbay, and she has absolutely no external signs of injury.
- Zig-zagged in Hard Revenge Milly. Milly is tortured and mutilated by the Jack Brothers in flashbacks (with a certain amount of Gory Discretion Shot) but they leave her face untouched, even though she bit one of them on the face. In the main film, all of her injuries are covered by her normal clothes, and we just see her pretty face.
- Resident Evil has Alice make it through the entire ordeal without so much as a scratch. The worst she gets is a little wet. Illustrating just how much this trope is in effect, Milla Jovovich noted that her body was covered in lesions and bruises after shooting the brief scene where she is dragged along the grille of the train. Rain averts this; tough cookie or no, you aren't going to look great after being bitten multiple times by zombies.
- Thoroughly averted in True Romance. Alabama Whorley, played by the 5'1" Patricia Arquette, has to fight for her life against Virgil, a hired killer played by James Gandolfini. She ultimately succeeds thanks to combining Determinator and Combat Pragmatist to excellent effect, but she still looks like a side of meat at the end.
- In Need for Speed, the female companion is in a very, very nasty car crash and is shown in the hospital with little more than a band-aid on one cheek and still having perfect hair and makeup.
- Averted in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Both Peeta and Johanna are visibly malnourished and beatenfollowing their rescue from the Tribute Center. Katniss' eyes are also considerably bloodshot, probably due to ruptured blood vessels and is also wearing a neck brace after Peeta attacks her.
- Mia in If I Stay, in her out-of-body state, looking the same as she did before the accident. Averted with her actual body, which is tethered to a ventilator.
- Played both ways in 100 Feet. Marnie sports multiple bruises and contusions and the occasional cut, but never suffers anything worse despite being hit hard enough to be thrown across the room.
- In Poseidon, everyone else gets thoroughly soaked several times before Emmy Rossum's hair finally stays matted down like it should. After that, everyone's a mess.
- Averted in A Brother's Price. The protagonist meets a beautiful women, whose beauty he thinks is only enhanced by her having a scar across the face. It later turns out that her back looks much worse, and her female lover left her because of it.
- Inverted in Stephen R. Donaldson's two book series Mordant's Need. Twice, a woman is wounded, and both times it's noted that the wound only enhances their otherwise shallow beauty.
- Averted with Saddith, however. She's heavily disfigured by Lebbick and uses her injuries to cause a riot.
- Averted in Stephen R. Donaldson's Gap Cycle, however. Morn's beauty is destroyed, and she never gets it back completely.
- Honor Harrington is an exception in some ways: she's lost an eye and an arm, and had her facial nerves on one side paralyzed. In others, not so much; despite mentions that the replacement facial nerves don't synch perfectly with the other side of her face, the prosthetics she uses to replace her missing parts are both cosmetically perfect and far more versatile than her original parts, and none of the problems detract from her great beauty, personal charisma, or ridiculous willpower.
- While Rachel of Animorphs fame tends to get beaten up as badly as (if not worse than) the rest of the Animorphs crew in battle, everyone describes her as being the type of girl who could walk through a hurricane and still have perfect hair.
- Averted in #41: When a grown-up Jake encounters the future version of Rachel, she is severely crippled: One of her arms has been cut off, both her legs are missing, she's missing an eye and her face is grotesquely scarred.
- On a similar note, Cassie is the only character described as being able to make the sometimes horrific-looking process of morphing look beautiful and elegant.
- The Animorphs fight in animal forms, and the morphing process gets rid of injuries (sort of like a DNA-based factory reset... loosely speaking, since it can include clothes and covers changeable features like hairstyle). It really only counts if they get into a fight while human, and returning to human form doesn't always remove clotted blood. A What If? future revolves around Tom noticing Jake's...disheveled appearance and blowing his cover.
- Sailor Nothing is an exception: Himei pulls her top up to show Aki her scars and her battles with Yamiko leave her with injuries, as well as messing up her uniform.
- Averted twice with Suzie Shooter of the Nightside novels, who gets smacked on the cheek with a spiked mace in Paths Not Taken. Half her face is destroyed, but the residue of werewolf blood still in her body from an earlier novel seems to be healing her ... until it runs out of power, leaving her face one-eyed and distorted by scar tissue. Later, John offers to find the means to restore her looks, but she tells him not to bother: as a bounty hunter, she's pleased with how the scars amp up her power to intimidate.
- In the first book of the Inheritance Cycle, there's Arya after she's been rescued; Eragon notes that a month of torture and imprisonment in a dirty dungeon wasn't enough to diminish her hotness. The implication is that she's so hot that the various marks and injuries aren't enough to do so.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "A Witch is Born" Taramis
Taramis was still beautiful, in spite of her rags and the imprisonment and abuse of seven weary months.
- Trapped on Draconica: Rana lived in a desolate mountain cave for years yet she's still a knock-out beauty. However, the narration notes that 'dust itself was afraid to touch it (her dress)'. Its possible she used her Shock and Awe powers to create a Dirt Forcefield.
- Apparently invoked by the Capitol in The Hunger Games. After her Games, Katniss finds that her hearing in her left ear is restored, and while she was out the Capitol apparently enhanced her appearance for the cameras — her skin's perfection, smooth and glowing with no burns, scars or anything. Peeta on the other hand has his lower leg replaced with a metal and plastic device. This is true for all victors, who will go on to live in the spotlight after their bloodbath.
- Lampshaded in City of Ashes when Alec, Jace, and Isabelle return from fighting a demon in a subway tunnel and Alec questions why Izzy never gets any dirt on her. Her response? "I'm pure at heart. It repels the dirt."
- Quite solidly averted in the Stargate SG-1 tie-in novel The Barque of Heaven. Sam is actually the first team member to get injured, and she winds up just as badly battered and completely exhausted as her male teammates.
- Horribly averted with Grella from The Last Dragon Chronicles. After being horribly and continuously abused by Griss and Stygg, she doesn't get better.
- Severely averted in the Mark of the Lion series by Francine Rivers: Haddassah begins the first book shaved and beaten until she is sold as a household slave. In the second book, she barely survives getting mauled by a lion in the Colluseum. She's so torn up that most characters assumed she was dead, and the permanent disfigurement of her face makes her unrecognizable. Oh, she's also a protagonist and love interest to another protagonist.
Another main character has her body wracked with disease as the result of her indulgent and somewhat promiscuous lifestyle. Although frequently described as beautiful and young, her face is not spared from its effects.
- A Mage's Power: No matter how much Kasile protests that "divine beauty is never tarnished" she is a sweaty and disheveled mess after a training session. After she's injured in the climatic battle, it takes a corps of ladies-in-waiting to make her presentable again.
Live Action TV
- Game of Thrones provides rare example with a male character. When Ser Loras Tyrell removes his helm in "Blackwater", his curly hair looks perfect despite having fought a battle; he even does a mild Hair Flip. There doesn't appear to be a single scratch or bruise on him. A popular animated gif on tumblr◊ pokes fun at this improbable moment.
- In the season four episode "Delete", Chloe shows absolutely no injury after she has been slammed head-first into walls multiple times, thrown down two flights of stairs and hit by a few of Lana's most vicious kicks, with at least one directly to the face. Oddly, despite Lana's The Chick status, she actually had blood on her face when it is over and she definitely isn't beaten as badly as Chloe.
- In "Spirit", the same thing happened, just worse. Clark possessed by Dawn hits her with a Super Strength punch also directly to the face that sends her flying into some metal canisters and she is completely unscathed. However, Chloe is eventually revealed to have healing powers.
- In "Persuasion", Chloe and Tess had a brutal fight during which Tess grabs the front of Chloe's coat and punches her in the face repeatedly. Nope, nothing. Not to mention Tess tackled Chloe through a glass table and the latter smashes her with a glass bottle...
- Green Arrow provides a male example. Late in Season 9, Zod sears his house symbol into Oliver's chest with his heat vision. Later on in Season 10, he hasn't even got a hint of a scar from it.
- Birds of Prey hand waves this with makeup that works really well to cover up battle scars.
- Justified in-universe, in that (a) anyone with a secret identity needs to cover up scars they couldn't have gotten in their civilian persona, and (b) with the kind of money and technology that lies beyond a lot of DC heroes, it wouldn't be too hard to come up with makeup that good.
- Heroes played straight for Nikki. The woman gets caught in a burning building that explodes. Yet at her funeral, she gets an open casket and doesn't have any burn marks at all.
- Star Trek: Voyager. Despite the Doctor saying otherwise, Captain Janeway suffered some remarkably mild-looking fire injuries in the episode "Year of Hell" (even her famous red hair is intact). Ironic given the Reset Button conclusion (which meant that the producers didn't have to worry about long term effects) and that Voyager itself is completely trashed. Incidentally, Seven of Nine's famous catsuit was justified as a dermaplastic material to cover and heal the injuries from her Borgification. Must have taken her skin a long time to heal, as she never stopped wearing it.
- In the season 4 DVDs of Lost, Evangeline Lilly (Kate) laments that her character never gets to look beat up, no matter what damage she appears to take.
- In the UK science show Brainiac, there are male and female test subjects (called 'Brainiacs') who are subject to experiments. You will find that for all of the experiments that subject a person to pain (such as electric shock), getting dirty, urinating, or just behaving in an uncivilized manner, female Brainiacs are never chosen. They usually take on the administrative roles and assess the males who perform these kinds of experiments.
- The female Brainiacs are used in the "Can You Do Your Job While Being Electrocuted?" stunt.
- Lampooned in Young Blades when D'artagnan comes out of a fight without a scratch in Coat of Arms.
- Surprisingly, several Disney Channel and Nickelodeon shows aimed at young girls avert this by placing several of the female characters including the protagonists in slapstick situations here are a few examples, it might be expectable because they are the same age as the target demographic
- Noticeable to some extent in the later seasons of Survivor. While both men and women show many of the expected effects of primitive living for a month, the men almost always have visible stubble and clearly grungy hair, while the women almost never have leg stubble and their hair often seems much cleaner.
- Supernatural is a Rare Male Example. The two pretty boy leads, Sam and Dean, might get beaten up regularly but it's rare to see the effects last even until the end of the episode. Dean even says at one point that coming Back from the Dead erased all his old scars and sorted out his broken fingers. Uh, we've seen your hands, sweetie, they had a lovely manicure.
- There's also a Season 3 episode where a young woman who has been in a coma since the age of eight appears to have spent the entire time lying peacefully in her hospital bed, with perfect hair and a full face of makeup.
- Averted with the season 5 finale. Dean is beaten till his eye is swollen shut and the rest of his face is a bloody pulp. It isn't long before Castiel fixes him up, though.
- Actually a plot point in The Twilight Zone (2002 series) episode "Eye of the Beholder".
- The classic Polish series Czterej pancerni i pies had a precise rule about this. All the male characters would get dirty and greasy but all the female characters would always be shown with no dirt and clean clothes even though they were supposedly experiencing the same wartime conditions as the men. This was done very deliberately to soften the impact of a World War II series on a viewing public that lived through the war.
- Lampshaded on Breaking In, when, after being caught in a very strong security system, all of the male members of the team sustained bruises or some other sort of minor injury (including one getting his eyebrows burned off), and Melanie does not. She gets called out on it, with people wondering why she doesn't seem to have a scratch on her.
- Averted in Boardwalk Empire. Richard Harrow was once a very handsome man until a war injury destroyed much of the skin around his mouth and taking out an eye. Pearl, the stripper, also has an extremely nasty scar across her face from a knife attack and Chalky has a very noticeable facial scar.
- Occasionally averted. Although Buffy usually looks styled and done up with perfect hair while slaying vampires, there have been times when Buffy has looked bruised and battered. Most notable is a large cut and bruise spanning much of her forehead that lasted several episodes in Season 4 of Buffy.
- One egregious example is an episode where tainted beer turned a group of frat boys and Buffy into neanderthals. The boys actually transformed into stereotypical cavemen while Buffy just acted different and had a few tangles in her hair.
- Usually played straight with Faith, and easily explained by the enhanced resilience enjoyed by all Slayers. Even after extended battles with Buffy, who hit harder than most vampires, Faith always looked fine, without even a smudge on her makeup. Averted occasionally, as a result of a particularly significant battle, such as the rooftop duel with Buffy (Though the only real damage to her face came as a result of a long fall onto a moving truck, not from Buffy's fists).
- While attempting to defeat The Beast in Los Angeles, Faith suffers a horrific beatdown, and is so bloody and battered afterwards that she can barely walk. Her reactions afterwards show that her confidence is just as damaged as her body.
- The first fight Buffy and Faith had with each other did leave a few bruises on each others face.
- Occasionally averted. Although Buffy usually looks styled and done up with perfect hair while slaying vampires, there have been times when Buffy has looked bruised and battered. Most notable is a large cut and bruise spanning much of her forehead that lasted several episodes in Season 4 of Buffy.
- Played with on Chuck. Sarah frequently gets into fights with that episode's bad guy or mooks. Usually she comes off without a scratch despite often taking several good hits. Other times she's had bruises and split lips. Some notorious fights (the high school reunion and car fights in Season 2 and Season 4's catwalk fight) ended with her face rather battered and bloody. Nonetheless, by the next episode her face is back in perfect condition (one wonders how no one ever seems to notice). Chuck himself has been in several fights from Season 3 forward, but never shows a sign of having been hit. Casey has sustained several visible injuries over the course of the series, but they seldom carry over into subsequent episodes. Most notoriously, after being shot in the leg in Season Three and needing emergency surgery performed, in the episode set the very next day he shows no sign that he was ever wounded (the same situation was averted in Season 4, where he was wheelchair-bound the episode after being shot in the leg again).
- While Samantha Carter of Stargate SG-1 does get plenty beaten and bruised over the course of the show ("Death Knell" is a particularly brutal example), the creators of the show do invoke this trope in the commentary of "Off the Grid" when the camera pans across SG-1 revealing three severely bruised and bleeding guys...and one beautiful blond woman (though she did have a bit of a bruise on her face at the time.)
- An episode of The A-Team ("The Bend in the River") had the team hiking, camping, and fighting in the jungle for several days. The guys were sweaty, rumpled, and grungy, but their resident girl looked utterly perfect at all times, to the extent of her white shirt and pale slacks remaining spotless while she was kneeling in a hole digging for ancient artifacts.
- Seems to be regularly averted on the reimagined Hawaii Five-0. Whenever Kono gets hit in the face, she is shown bruised.
- Gilligan's Island wasn't supposed to be realistic, but it is a good example. Despite being marooned on an island, Ginger always had great hair and her makeup never seemed to run; Mary-Ann always looked rather decent too. In fact, the whole cast were able to maintain impeccable hygene, and their clothes never wore out.
- JAG: Other than after a traffic accident in "The Four Percent Solution", Mac never sustains any visible injuries throughout the show. In a "A Tangled Webb", she was about to subjected to Electric Torture, but Harm saved her in the nick of time.
- Averted in Untold Stories Of The ER with most facial wounds as it's realistic. One woman openly cried after seeing her injuries after a Mountain Lion attack. She stopped when they showed her photos from before the surgeons managed to patch her back together. The only thing she had on her left side of her face before was blood and her eye miraculously intact.
- In the live action adaptation of Nodame Cantabile, Nodame always has perfect makeup on despite her character being established as a total slob.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. plays with this trope with its three female leads: note
- It's usually Played Straight with Simmons, who can get infected with deadly viruses, chased and captured by the bad guys, and generally be thrown around a lot without looking too much the worse for it a few minutes later. (Though in the latter circumstance it might be a subtle case of Played for Laughs, since she's usually standing with Fitz, who can reliably catch a few good bruises to the face and head during even a minor stand-off).
- Played straight with Skye during her homeless period at the start of the show, when she's supposedly living in her van but nevertheless reliably in full make-up with amazing hair; but it gets averted when she's shot in the stomach and is shown bleeding profusely, before spending the next couple of episodes in a hospital bed looking like death (literally).
- May is an interesting example: as the show's resident Action Girl she's often shown as messy, bloodied, and dishevelled as the guys - up to and including stitching up her own stab wounds in a spare moment - in an apparent Aversion of this trope; yet somehow that seems to be part and parcel of her particular brand of Fanservice.
- Played straight for the most part in Arrow, at least in terms of their faces. Oliver is heavily scarred on his chest and abdomen, but never his face. Averted in Season 3 with Laurel, who spends a few episodes with multiple bruises on her face after being beaten with a baseball bat. Then played straight again when she gets her nose bashed in and its fine a scene later.
- Doctor Who:
- A male example: The Fourth Doctor has odd looks but possesses an almost incongruously beautiful deep dramatic voice that was commonly remarked upon at the time. Unwillingness to even temporarily ruin this results in a scene in "The Robots of Death" where his voice is completely unaffected by the fact that he is inhaling copious amounts of helium. He later gives a Hand Wave to Leela that his Bizarre Alien Biology includes 'a larynx that can put up with anything'.
- In "The Caves of Androzani", the Fifth Doctor gets a full outfit of Clothing Damage and covered in filth and blood, in addition to becoming progressively sicker and sicker from poisoning, ruining his skin tone and leaving dark circles around his eyes. Peri also gets poisoned and dragged through most of the same stuff he does, but all that happens to her is her skin and lips becoming romantically pale.
- La Tigresa set out to avert this trope in WWC, since Amarillis was not a wrestler(yet) and in her mind was only around because of her good looks.
- Victoria specifically set out to damage Trish Stratus's career by ruining her looks, but ended up with a bloody nose and a lost tooth before she made Trish spit out any blood.
- Melina Perez claims to have gotten a bloody lip in a match with Michelle McCool but it didn't show up on camera.
- Behind the scenes, the WWE "Divas" are going in both directions at the same time, strangely enough. Former Diva Maria once said that the higher-ups apparently believe that looks are their greatest asset, and a girl will be taken off TV for a couple of weeks if she's look excessively bruised or beaten up. The Divas themselves, however, are desperate to try and shake their "model" reputation (of being pretty but untalented,) and as the WWE becomes more social and the Divas have a more direct link to their fanbase, they'll frequently post photos of their war wounds, to show the fans they're just as tough as anyone, as Beth Phoenix did when she posted a photo of a pretty nasty welt on her face (and subsequent black eye) after a botched move from Alicia Fox.
- Played with in TNA when they had a women's First Blood match but at the end there was only a small trickle of blood.
- Enforced in Ring of Honor, where the Lovely Lacey got reconstructive surgery after BJ Whitmer hit her with Jimmy Jacobs's spike. Jacobs would blame himself for the instance and proceed to campaign against the American healthcare system in his Age Of The Fall.
- Tales from the Floating Vagabond had this as a trainable skill for either gender: 'Look Good at All Times'.
- The "No Visible Damage" perk from GURPS: Supers.
- Averted in Warhammer 40,000, with the Sisters of Battle. They look about what you'd expect badass elite soldiers to look like in real life, regardless of gender. That is, bald (short hair at best) and covered in scars.
- Played straight with the tall and usually pretty Eldar, who never leave battles with scars and deformities due to their advanced medical technology and psychic healing. Also played straight by Callidus Assassins, who are all shape-shifters.
- Street Fighter
- Chun-Li's defeat portrait in Street Fighter II is pretty tame compared to the other character's portraits — her Odango are messed up and she's tearful, but that's mostly it. Cammy too — she just looks out of breath, and her beret is a bit bashed up. The men, however, are bruised, swollen and bloody.
- Street Fighter III is even more extreme, and some of the males look completely destroyed in the defeated portraits — especially Dudley and Ken who look fucked. The girls are much less damaged however — Elena does have a black eye, but Ibuki just looks a bit roughed-up and tearful.
- In Street Fighter IV, several of the Ultra Combo cutscenes cause cartoonishly exaggerated reactions to getting hit, but only to the male characters.
- All of the male characters in Samurai Shodown 3 can be bloodily cut in pieces even the cute kid. But all of the female characters are immune.
- Both played straight and averted in Samurai Shodown IV. While Nakaruru and Rimururu are immune to fatalities, Charlotte isn't.
- Part of Tifa's backstory in Final Fantasy VII is Sephiroth slashing her across the chest with his giant sword. You'd think this would leave a pretty noticeable scar, right? Nope, she recovers from it just fine with no ill-effects whatsoever. Pity she never taught Aeris her secret, isn't it?
- While Metal Slug generally averts this, the third game has a rather blatant example with the death animation when the player character gets hit by a acidic slime. The male characters are Stripped To Thebone and the female characters suffer clothing damage.
- Mass Effect: The PC is customizable, and one can give their character scars for either gender. However, males can get real disfiguring scars, but women are limited to small scratches.
- In the second game, both genders get a set of scars that become more prominent the higher Shepard's Renegade stat gets.
- Strangely, in the first game the default female design had a more noticeable scar than the male design, including an additional one near her lip. Both of these are gone in the second game, while the default male scar remains.
- Present and averted in Dragon Age: Origins; male party members get covered in ridiculous amounts of blood spatters, but, Morrigan, and Wynne come away perfectly clean, however the Warden gets pretty messy regardless of gender. Justified in that this has more to do with combat class than gender, every close-combat fighter gets sprinkled with blood, while all the female companions are archers or mages.
- A more extreme example is in the web game Nanaca Crash, all the male characters take heavy abuse in the game, while all of the females remain untouched and instead heap abuse on the male characters. Not surprising considering it's based off an H-game.
- Seen somewhat in Knights of the Old Republic, near the end of the game, when Bastila goes over to the Dark Side. For everyone else, including your character, the result of drastic drops into the Dark Side is progressive disfigurement. Bastila remains as good looking as ever.
- Yo-Jin-Bo allows main characters of both genders to avoid so much as a scratch in art. Despite running from ninjas through a forest, Sayori doesn't ever rip her kimono or get sweaty or anything. In fact, after the hot spring, Jin even comments on how lovely girls smell after they get out of the bath...despite the fact that her clothes were not washed and thus should stink. She does break a sandal strap once, but that's only so Bo could carry her. And even when the guys are said to be injured in text, it only rarely shows up as bloodspatter in the art.
- In Pokémon, if you play the female protagonist, her hair and clothes never get so much as a smudge no matter where she goes; forests, sandstorm-filled deserts, ash-strewn volcanic mountains, or even muddy swamps where she might find a Battle in the Rain.
- Played straight in the Def Jam Series, where the women can engage in no holds barred brawls just as brutal as any of the male characters, and yet, not a speck of blood or a bloodied nose results from it.
- Lara Croft can die in fashions most people would see in a Mature rated game, but the worst that comes out of it is blood loss, if any.
- Sylvanas Windrunner from the Warcraft series. Once a beautiful High Elf, she put up a heroic Last Stand against Arthas when he invaded Quel'Thalas. Arthas rewarded her for her trouble by having her brutally tortured, then killing her and turning her into a banshee. Her corpse was left to rot for what was presumably an extended period of time before banshee Sylvanas eventually broke free of Arthas' grasp and possessed it. Despite all this, she's still depicted as beautiful in World of Warcraft, in an Evil Is Sexy sort of way. Her skin is now blue and her eyes red, but there's no visible scarring or decomposition.
- Death Knights are similair, the time between your character's death and revival is left unstated, but you're not terribly decomposed unless you choose one of the three skins made specifically with rot in mind.
- The Evil Within provides a male example in the form of Joseph Oda—despite taking quite a beating throughout the game, any blood or bodily harm he receives never sticks to him for long, and he usually looks pristine again by the next cutscene. His fellow detectives, on the other hand…
- The Nostalgia Critic is a Rare Male Example Played for Laughs. No matter how many beatings, suicides or shots to the head, a few seconds later he'll be clean and pretty again.
- In To Boldly Flee, he and The Nostalgia Chick get a giant window exploding right in their faces and remain their Fanservicey selves. Justified, as seeing them scarred wouldn't matter one bit to the plot.
- Critic finally got averted in the "Why Do We Love Zombies" title card, as he was made up to look like one (...as he is, having died in To Boldly Flee) with milky eyes and skin that was peeling off.
- In Futurama, Amy is treated the same as the other characters. However, the DVD commentary of the You Mean X Mas Episode, it is said that this was done deliberately to test whether people would laugh at a woman being hurt in amusing ways.
- Kim Possible, and everyone else, never look affected by the action for more than a few moments. Even after she fights Shego in a mudbath, the mud is gone a few seconds later. Dr. Drakken manages to burn his hair off with a few experiments, but that quickly comes back too. Probably the only exception is the occasional Glamour Failure from a defeated villain.
- Averted in the second episode of ''Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. Daphne discovers that the Alligator Skin products are imitation by wrapping a belt around her forearm, causing her "allergy of all synthetic animal skins" to kick in, leaving her with very nasty red pustules along her arm. Granted, she covers them with her sleeve, but we're still given a very good long look at them.
- My Little Pony 'n Friends episode "The Glass Princess" sees three of the ponies get shaved bald. It grows back instantly, with a Hand Wave about it being magical.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Rarity cuts off her own tail at one point, reassuring the others that it will grow back. It gets restored by the end of that episode via a different Hand Wave, when Rarity gains the reawakened Element of Harmony, Generosity.
- In "Inspiration Manifestation", Rarity looks very good for someone who's spent the day crying and devouring ice cream, and only very slightly below her usual standards. Of course, this being Rarity, she immediately fixes her mane to its usual pristine state when she perks up.
- Korra in The Legend of Korra gets kidnapped one episode, and in the process gets several cuts and bruises. They stay for the episode after, but disappear the next episode. It's justified by the fact that she has Healing Hands that need water to work, and until she got loose she had no access to water.
- She also averts this in Season 4, visibly sporting a black eye after a fight in an underground earthbending ring. Her attempt to heal her injuries was interrupted, hence the visible signs of injury.
- Asami Sato is this to near Memetic Mutation levels. No matter what kind of damage she goes through, whether it be fighting, crashing some vehicle, explosions, whatever you can think of, her makeup and hair will always look perfect.
Examples and exceptions of the second (gross-out oriented) kind:
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- A good example of this is The Kinnikuman Lady series. Kinnikuman Lady actually falls under both kinds of this. Kinnikuman lady is never shown doing anything even remotely gross unlike her male counterpart who is a major Gasshole that did all sort of toilet humor. She also never shown getting as badly hurt as her male counterpart. The worst to ever happen to her was some of her clothing gets thorn up.
- Averted in Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. Panty gets covered from head to toe in poop in the very first episode.
- Averted in Chrono Crusade. Satella and Azmaria are forced to search through a sewer and emerge... not very clean.
- Averted in the manga of Love Hina in which Naru gets diarrhea.
- Averted with Nika Tamiya from Switch Girl, the School Idol who provides all the gross out humor. She is also shown farting numerous times.
- Big Eater Sasha in Attack on Titan is hinted to avert this. Mikasa successfully covers up a mess hall brawl by claiming the noise was Sasha farting, to which the instructor responds, "You again?!" while covering his nose. Later, in an effort to escape being sent back to the front lines, she claims to be suffering from violent stomach problems. Team Mom Petra is revealed to have peed her white pants on her first mission, which is described as having happened in mid-air and resulted in it spraying everywhere. Design notes mention that Hange has hygiene issues due to rarely sleeping or bathing, with greasy hair messily tied up in a ponytail.
- Averted in Sekirei when Tsukiumi and Matsu emerge from the sewers. Both are visibly filthy, with Tsukiumi telling Minato not to touch her because she's dirty and smells. Miya refuses to let them into the house, ordering them to use the side entrance to immediately bathe before they're allowed to have breakfast.
- Also averted in Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai by Kate Takayama, who publicly belches and even farts audibly. And she's a nun.
- She also enjoy scratches her butt in public and tells dirty jokes. though this was all downplayed in the anime.
- In addition, both Sena and Yozora vomit visibly after trying to outdo each other on a roller coaster.
- In one episode of Rune Soldier Louie, Merrill eats a bag of laxative-laced cookies that was meant for Louie. She spends the entire rest of the episode on the toilet as a result.
- In One Piece, Luffy tends to ask non-human creatures (more specifically creatures with a lower body that's significantly different from a human) if they poop. The living skeleton Brook immediately replies that yes, he does poop. But Luffy never manages to get an affirmative answer from the beautiful mermaids as the first mermaid's reply is interrupted by Sanji who wants to invoke this trope, and the second mermaid takes offense to the question and refuses to answer.
- In Fairy Tail, a member of a Dark Guild can use magic that makes a virus target the victim's organs, and she prefers to direct it to the intestines - essentially giving the victim acute diarrhea. Lucy is one of the victims. Technically played straight in that the magic is nullified before it gets messy, but she still suffers along with the guys for a while.
- Belgian comic Violine has all manner of terrible things happen to everyone, including 10-year-old protagonist Violine. She gets muddy, she gets cut and bleeds, and she even pukes (visibly, not just a "behind the character" view). It's a rather darkly humorous adventure.
- The Brazilian comic Monica's Gang has a story wherein two six-year-old boys are being baby-sat by a hot teenager. She lets slip that girls actually poop, and the boys faint from the shock. She hurries to assure them that when girls poop it's pretty and white and smells of flowers.
- You barely need to watch Bridesmaids for twenty minutes before you get a faceful of this trope being averted.
- The exceedingly raunchy and disgusting game of Battleshits in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle Although the two ladies were physically very hot, their little game ruined the appeal immensely.
- Though it doesn't occur in the movie proper, after the end credits of A Knight's Tale, the supporting protagonists are shown engaging in a flatulence contest—which the woman wins. Of course, Kate's a blacksmith and not your traditional woman by any stretch of the imagination.
- Lawn Dogs. Devon burps on purpose in response to Trent's burping, and also shows off her large nasty chest scar from surgery. In fact, she's quite a morbid kid overall.
- Averted about as thoroughly as possible in Kick-Ass 2 when Hit-Girl uses a weapon her dad calls "The Sick Stick" on the bitchy girls at her school, causing them to violently puke and shit themselves instantly right in the school cafeteria.
- Jonathan Swift wrote an entire poem about a man's horror at discovering that women have gross bodily functions too.
- Asha, the titular Wishing Maiden, is chained at the bottom of a well for a hundred years. After some bathing, she's as beautiful as ever. Could be a Justified Trope, in that it's implied someone wished for her to be beautiful, and a few decades in captivity wouldn't have altered the wish.
Live Action TV
- Maid Marian and Her Merry Men is a very good example. The show featured a considerable amount of slapstick (mostly mess), though almost no actual violence, but Maid Marian herself is practically never a victim, even when all of the rest of her band are. Admittedly Rose once got paint poured over her, but then Rose is a villain. (The trope seems to apply slightly less strongly to female villains.)
- German kids' series Die Pfefferkorner, which centers around a group of kid detectives, tends to treat their interrogated captives differently by gender. Boys are tied up and subjected to silly tortures, like being tickled, forced to smell old socks, or strapped to a rotating wheel. Girls, on the other hand, are just tied up and left alone.
- Body odour and/or halitosis in general seems to be something of an exception as it makes a point without detracting from the actresses physical beauty. Carla from Scrubs was told off in one episode for her bad breath after her regular hummus breaks.
- On The O.C. Summer Roberts became a student activist, and gave up bathing for a while. She didn't look dirty, but the other characters certainly commented on the smell. Also she stopped shaving her legs, but, slightly conveniently, we didn't see the results.
- Kimmy from Full House is said to have feet that smell, which is played up for humor. But since we can only see and not smell Kimmy, we have to take their word for it, since she is not ugly or anything.
- Lily Truscott from Hannah Montana is also said to have smelly feet, by Hannah/Miley herself.
- The show Rad Girls. Ever wanted to see Jackass with a female cast? They do some really nasty stuff, like the "pissing, shitting and puking contest" in the back of a moving van.
- In 8 Simple Rules, Bridget uses this trope as her social image. When a boy calls for her and Rory tells him she can't come to the phone because she's in the bathroom, she flips out.
Bridget: Oh my God! No one can know I use the bathroom! My life is ruined! Damage control, I have to do damage control! (picks up the phone and starts dialing)
Paul: No calls, Bridget! Put the phone down! I've got a very important announcement for the whole family.
Bridget: Dad, priorities here, okay? If I don't get on this phone in the next ten minutes, people are going to think I actually use the bathroom!
- A long-unaired (at least on U.S. television) flatulence myth on MythBusters was "Pretty girls do not pass gas". Result was, of course, Busted, with the proof being a very loud, wet fart by Kari Byron caught on camera (amplified via a microphone).
- In the Cannonball Chemistry episode, we got to see a very mussed-up Kari after she'd used a concrete polisher on a chunk of limestone to make it into a cannonball. She then went into detail about how she loved the glamor of being a star on television, and how it made her feel pretty.
- As much as WWE fans would rather forget it, Natalya Neidhart did have a farting gimmick during her time in the company.
- This is one area not even WWE can avoid. But two bodies in the middle of a thousand screaming fans other under those lights and have them run around? You'll be sweating buckets in fifteen, maybe even ten minutes. Granted, they try, and have at times been known for cutting women's matches down to two minutes or less.(though some people think an exerted athlete has an appeal all its own)
- Mortal Kombat averts this trope, as the female fighters can explode into tiny bits, bleed pints from the simplest punch to the face, and lose limbs just as easily as a male fighter can.
- Mortal Kombat 9 specifically averts this trope, not only in fatalities, but the effects of combat. Not even Kitana's fans can hide all the bloody scars and black eyes.
- The only real exception here is the X-Ray moves. These incredibly brutal attacks leave horrible wounds that would likely cause instant death to a real human but they tend to heal and vanish very quickly.
- It's also not the case in the Story Mode, where the Trope usually does apply; you can't use Fatalities there, and the blood and gore, for the most part, is removed. The characters can't die during the matches; it can only happen as the plot demands.
- Mortal Kombat 9 specifically averts this trope, not only in fatalities, but the effects of combat. Not even Kitana's fans can hide all the bloody scars and black eyes.
- The Metroid series plays this straight most of the time, considering all the abuse Samus goes through, heck, Fusion, Super, and Zero Mission use their game over screens as Fetish Fuel! It's gruesomely averted in Metroid Prime 3 however. You can see Samus's face deteriorate over time due to Phazon poisoning, and at one point she vomits up Phazon.
- Averted in Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, in which Dejah's Slime Geyser teleport magic has the side effect of always leaving one person in the transported party covered in slime. That person is always Luna. It's been explained as Dejah disliking Luna due to her foot-in-mouth syndrome.
- In an Order of the Stick strip, Haley and Celia both get puked on. Celia even had her mouth open a little bit...
- Avoided with regards to Jodie in Loserz. One comic depicts Ben's mother saying how nice it is to have Jodie as a female influence. Cut to a shot of the two boys recoiling in disgust from Jodie, who's just farted. The boys complain loudly, and Jodie derides them as weak and unmanly.
Ben: Yeah, she's a delicate flower.
- Last Res0rt avoids this trope and heaps on the gore pretty even-handedly, lady-players included. So far, Addy's been shot at least once through the chest, Daisy's playing on an amputated leg, Jigsaw hulks out into her zombie-esque Superpowered Evil Side roughly once an episode (after being shot and getting cut up a bit), Cypress dove head-first into a pool of rapidly-dissolving nanotech compared to stomach acid... and then, well... this. The boys get beat up too, but there's only so many of them...
- Averted in La Mouette Noire. Lots of blood is shown when female characters are stabbed or slashed.
- An example is used in the first episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, it's particularly blatant when Appa sneezes toward Sokka and Katara and almost magically only one winds up covered in green goo. Guess which.
- The Sequel Series The Legend of Korra has the titular female character enjoying (and winning) a burping contest with a male friend... in a restaurant full of people who are aghast at both of them.
- In Teen Titans, the first appearance of Terra depicts her as being extremely dirty, when we see her emerging from the shower and leaving a bathtub full of dirt and grime. Of course, we never actually see her covered in this dirt and grime before the shower, so again, we have to take their word for it. Though she and Raven did get drenched with Mud later on.
- South Park.
- "Eat, Pray, Queef". Guess what it involves. Hint: not much eating and no real prayer.
- During Wendy and Cartman's fight, even though she treated him to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, he got in a few good punches at the beginning, and the most that ever happens to her is that she got little dizzy. She comes out of the thing with not a scratch on her, while Cartman probably had half the bones in his face broken. Justified as Cartman is a Dirty Coward who cannot take a hit and totally had it coming.
- Lil in Rugrats was just as gross and filthy as her twin Phil. However in the spin-off All Grown Up! she attempts to be a girly-girl but doesn't quite get there. She farts in one episode and repeatedly denies it.
- Averted in Total Drama Island. The girls get involved in the disgusting Toilet Humour as the guys do. Among other thing, Lindsay is shown vomiting.
- Averted in 6teen, often with Caitlyn. Plus, one episode involves Nikki clogging the toilet.
- The Powerpuff Girls
- During one episode, Buttercup winds up covered head-to-toe in assorted waste, and everything refuses to associate with her until she bathes. This includes the monsters!
- An odd double-subversion happens in the episode where Him brings the Rowdyruff Boys back stronger and immune to the Girls' kisses. The Girls are clearly visibly hurt and wounded from the brutal fight... But the wounds strangely vanish as soon as they manage to turn the fight around.