Contralto of Danger

The Distaff Counterpart to Badass Baritone: If a female character's voice is noticeably lower than those of other women in the work, it's a sure sign that she either is a lot more dangerous or more masculine than the other girls. As such, contralto voices are usually reserved for tough Action Girls, Tomboys, Lad-ettes, Ladies of War, Bifauxnen, Femme Fatales, and even young boys.

Some female characters, in the meantime, may go from a higher-pitched voice to a menacing contralto when they're about to kick someone's ass, or during changes of their persona when the character gets serious. A common reason for a change in persona is for the character to tap into some mystical power. Being taken over by her Super-Powered Evil Side could be another reason for this since Evil Sounds Deep. Or maybe she just gets in the zone during Let's Get Dangerous! moments and the deep voice is reflecting that.

Compare and contrast Badass Baritone, and Women Are Delicate, at least when it comes to a "feminine" vs. "masculine" voice. May overlap with Alto Villainess and Evil Sounds Deep. May also have a Tomboyish Voice.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Accel World: The anime has Yuniko (AKA Scarlet Rain) put up an act with high pitched voice to seem cute so she can get closer to Haruyuki, but when she drops that facade her normal speaking tone is much more deep, gruff, and angry to emphasize her Little Miss Badass and Cute and Psycho character traits.
  • Most members of the eponymous Amazon Brigade in Claymore have low, contralto voices, even though women with higher registers ought not be trifled with either.
  • Elfen Lied: Whenever the protagonist is in her Nyu persona, she is like an innocent young girl. When she switches to her Lucy persona, she has a much lower voice to match her dangerous and threatening nature.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Major Motoko Kusanagi is typically voiced as a contralto and is hands-down the biggest, baddest ass-kicker (cyber or real world) in Section 9.
  • High School D×D: Xenovia's normal voice, which is deeper than any other female in the series and fitting for her role as the Big Girl of the main cast. Made even more evident when she practiced "how to be a normal teenage girl":
    Xenovia: (voice several pitches higher than her usual coarse-and-masculine voice) Let's get along, 'kay, Issei-kun!
    Issei: That cutesey voice does NOT suit you!
    Xenovia: (switches straight back to her normal-unfeminine voice) I know, I tried to copy Irina, and it was SO difficult.
  • Kill la Kill:
    • Ragyo and Satsuki Kiryuin have noticeably prominent deep voices compared to the rest of the women in the cast, especially when it comes to exercising their authority over others, although they have their share of action as well.
    • Ryuuko Matoi has a very noticeable growl in her voice and is the only good Action Girl in the series. At least until episode 17.
    • Inverted with Nui Harime, who has a high pitched and cute sounding voice, which ends up being played for danger, and fear instead by contrasting Satsuki (some have even described her voice as "sickly sweet"). She's also highly competent in battle despite not having Clothes Make the Superman applied to her like other characters. Though being a Life-Fiber Construct, she doesn't need special clothing...
  • Nana Mizuki is often known for voicing high-pitched action girls (like Fate and Riful), which seems out of place with this trope. However, because she will almost always sing within the series she plays in, the truth of her powerful voice is revealed, and expect plenty of asskicking to the tune of her awesome songs. Some of her roles, like Inner Moka (see below) or Tsubasa, play it perfectly straight, though.
  • Lucky Star: Akira Kogami pretends to be a cheerful, high-pitched 14-year-old for the camera, but as soon as it's switched off, she reverts to her borderline psychotic, abusive real self with a husky contralto. This is implied to be the result of several years of smoking, due to the crushing pressure and anxiety of being a child star.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
  • Setsuna Sakurazaki in Mahou Sensei Negima! has a very low and powerful voice for such a slender and petite woman and is unarguably among the best fighters in the series. This also extends to the fact that she can pass for a male.
  • Kyoko Sakura from Puella Magi Madoka Magica has quite a low voice. The third Drama CD, Farewell Story, revealed that her voice used to be much higher, until her father went crazy upon learning the truth about the increased attendance of his church being a result of his daughter's mahou shoujo powers and went Pater Familicide upon everyone in the family, killing everyone except Kyoko (who was the only survivor because of said mahou shoujo powers).
  • Revy, Roberta and Balalaika of Black Lagoon, the three scariest and most badass women in the entire series, all speak with a contralto.
  • While Moka Akashiya of Rosario + Vampire fame is normally a Genki Girl who talks in a higher pitched voice, when her rosary is removed and Inner Moka is let loose, her deeper, more guttural tone is just one indication that the S-class monster is released and someone is about to "learn their place".
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's:
    • Aki Izayoi has a rather deep voice for a Yu-Gi-Oh! heroine. She is also a Dark Action Girl and a psychotic psychic in the first two seasons, and even as a child, her voice was noticebly low, especially when she discovered her psychic power. However, since the third season, when has become a genuine Action Girl, her voice doesn't drop lower like in the previous seasons when she is about to kick ass.
    • Carly's voice becomes much lower after becoming an Ax-Crazy Dark Signer.
    • Misty, who is also a Dark Signer, has a low and mature voice even in her normal appearance. However, she is not really Ax-Crazy, but her calm, low voice reflect her Tranquil Fury character.
    • Both Carly and Misty get even lower voices and Voice of the Legion when the Earthbound Immortals take control of them, which happens when they try to redeem themselves.
    • Sherry LeBlanc is a Badass Action Biker Babe and a very skilled duelist who can rival even Yusei. She eventually has a Face–Heel Turn, but then Crow and Aki defeat her and she joins the crew.
  • Tokyo Ghoul primarily inverts this, in a very subtle way. While Action Girl Touka tends to use a rougher, lower voice, most of the truly dangerous women in the series have high-pitched and girlish voices. As part of her role as the Fake Cutie, Roma speaks in a high-pitched and squeaky voice while Big Bad Eto speaks in a girlish, playful voice that adds to her childlike disguise.
  • Rachnera in Daily Life with Monster Girl has the deepest voice of all the girls. She is the most monstrous of Kimihito's roommates, being a gigantic spider, and delights in tormenting others and tying them up in her webs bondage style.
  • Emeraldas, the Distaff Counterpart of Captain Harlock and probably the second most badass being in the Leijiverse, also had the lowest-pitched voice among notable female characters in every one of her many incarnations.
  • Temari from Naruto is one of the few Action Girls with a competent record voiced by Romi Park.
  • In Charlotte, Yusa's Hot-Blooded Tomboy sister Misa speaks with a noticeably lower voice than she does. She doesn't get to act on it terribly often, but Misa is also quite willing to jump to more violent solutions if she finds it necessary (she throws threats around with her fire powers occasionally).
  • Future Diary's Uryuu Minene has a very low voice range among the females, Japanese or English dub. Inverted with Japanese!Yuno.
  • When in serious mode, Tenchi Muyo!'s Mihoshi's Yuko Mizutani voice goes from sounding like Minnie Mouse to raspy and hulking.
  • Pri Para:
    • Shion has the deepest voice out of the six main characters, fitting for her Hot-Blooded The Ace status.
    • Love Tochiotome has a low voice and is physically strong and a passionate tennis player.
  • Code Geass: Among the Brittanian Princesses shown, Cornelia has the deepest voice. She also is the one who fights in a mecha suit and conquers nations among them.
  • The 16th Pokemon movie, Pokémon: Genesect and the Legend Awakened , features a female-voiced Mewtwo, whose serious, commanding voice harks back to her counterpart from the first movie and its sequel.

    Films — Animation 
  • The tough-as-nails Space Marine Sergeant Calhoun from Wreck-It Ralph has the lowest female voice (she is voiced by Jane Lynch) and is by far the most overtly badass character in the movie.
  • Megara from Hercules has a sultry, husky voice, atypical of both Disney female Love Interests in general and female characters in the movie. She's also working for Hades (albeit unwillingly), and at one point tries to seduce Herc into revealing his weaknesses, though she just ends up falling for him instead.
  • Played straight by Adagio Dazzle and Aria Blaze, the villains of My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, but averted by Sonata Dusk, who has an airheaded Valley Girl-type voice.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mina Harker's normal voice isn't exactly high-pitched (she even does an Alan Quartermaine impersonation at one point), but it really dips down when she says, "Save your bullets, these men are mine!" right before turning vampirey and attacking the mooks going after them.
  • Gogo Yubari's introduction in Kill Bill has her wearing a stereotypical Japanese schoolgirl uniform and speaking in a stereotypical high-pitched voice. Then Chiaki Kuriyama drops the smile, drops the business end of a spiked meteor hammer to the floor, and drops her voice an octave or two. Beatrix Kiddo knows she has a real fight on her hands.
  • In The Force Awakens, Rey has this trait, and can certainly take care of herself in a rather dangerous galaxy.

  • Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings, a character often described by lesser mortals as incomprehensible and dangerous (which isn't surprising considering she hails from an age when her kin were the main source of trouble in the Middle Earth), speaks in a deep contralto in the book. In the movie she's played by actress Cate Blanchett, who isn't exactly squeaky-voiced either.
  • Descriptions of Admiral Michelle "Mike" Henke in the Honorverse frequently include her 'husky' contralto voice. While she is neither a Femme Fatale nor a classic Action Girl, she is an extremely dangerous commander with a devious mind, and a full-fledged Four-Star Badass (and member of the royal family) to boot.
  • Darwi Odrade from Heretics of Dune is described as having a "soft contralto" voice. She is a Bene Gesserit, so the badass part goes without saying.
  • In The Belgariad, Polgara the Sorceress is described as having a deep, rich voice to go with her legendary reputation as three-thousand-year-old guardian of the Rivan Kings and, by extension, the Western lands.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Xena: Warrior Princess, Xena's voice is much deeper than Gabrielle's, since between the two, Xena is a seasoned fighter, while Gaby is a bard.
  • I, Claudius averts this with Messalina. She has a high, feminine voice, while being a rather villainous character.
  • Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory usually has an adorably squeaky voice... until she gets pissed off. Then her voice drops low and the other characters know she means business.
  • Shirley from Community normally speaks in a high-pitched voice to try and show she's friendly but her voice drops at least an octave when she drops the façade.
  • Sue Sylvester from Glee portrayed by the deep-voiced Jane Lynch, which adds to her dry sarcasm and her Flowery Insults. Her lackeys, particularly Santana and Quinn, also have deep voices and shows their power over others because they're popular cheerleaders.
  • Jane Rizzoli from Rizzoli & Isles played by Angie Harmon is an example of this. Her voice is much deeper than her costar's Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander). It is also notable that her voice gets lower and raspier than when she is upset or angered.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Natalya Neidhart has a pretty deep voice for a woman and is definitely an ass-kicker.
  • NXT's Becky Lynch has a voice lower than most men.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: In the remake games and anime adaptation, Rika's voice deepens drastically during scenes where she drops her cute facade, and lets her cynical persona from reliving a Stable Time Loop slip through. It's played for fear and mystery. According to one image song it's not only for the audience, her friends notice it too but never mention it.
  • Ace Attorney: Any time Franziska von Karma is fully voiced, she has a rather deep voice.

    Web Animation 
  • TOME: Kizuna has a much huskier voice than the rest of the female cast members. Her voice is used this way to portray her as being an Action Girl, before we actually get to see her fight. It also plays up her Creepy Monotone mannerisms.
  • RWBY: Yang Xiao Long has the lowest voice register of her all-female team. She's also the physically strongest and is implied to be the best fighter as well.
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Played straight with Trisha, Inverted with Brittnay, and Averted with Ashley.

    Web Original 
  • Diamanda Hagan has an impressively deep voice most of the time, however when she's angry her voice realistically gets higher. But considering the body count she racks up in her videos the "dangerous" part of this trope is still in full effect.
  • Carmilla the Series: Carmilla has a much deeper voice that suits her snarky brooding vampire self.
  • The Veronica Exclusive: Jane has the lowest voice of all the female characters, and the second-lowest voice of the cast overall, second only to Kurt Kelly. She's also a murderous psychopath.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • June, a bounty hunter Zuko hires to find and capture Aang, has a deeper voice than the other female characters to portray her as dangerous.
    • Avatar Kyoshi also has a deeper voice. And both she and June are also done by Jennifer Hale.
  • The Legend of Korra:
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Premier villain Nightmare Moon takes it to its greatest extent. Ditto Queen Chrysalis in her true form, and Sunset Shimmer from Equestria Girls.
    • On the good side, there are Applejack, Princess Celestia, and Princess Luna when sufficiently incensed. At odds with the trope, all three are generally neutral to feminine in general behavior, even Applejack.
  • Young Justice: Artemis's voice is lower than that of Miss Martian and Zatanna, both of whom are far more feminine than her. She's also quieter, more mysterious, and more tough-acting than them. In the second season, she plays this up as a Deep Cover Agent among the villainous Light.
  • Teen Titans has Raven, a powerful Dark Magical Girl who usually speaks in a deep-voiced monotone.
  • Sylvia, Wander's snarky and ass-kicking steed in Wander over Yonder, has a deep contralto courtesy of April Winchell.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The deepest female voices among both the protagonists and the antagonists belong to the most physically powerful of each faction — Garnet for the heroes and Jasper for the villains.
    • Also, Yellow Diamond, one of the most powerful gems in the galaxy, has this voice to match.
  • Goof Troop has Pete's wife Peg, who usually speaks in a sweet soft voice, but will shout in a deep gruff voice when she's mad. Worth noting that she is also played by Winchell.
  • Captain Marvel in the second season of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!. Not a surprise given that she's played by Jennifer Hale using her Commander Shepard voice.

    Real Life 
  • There are several Japanese voice actresses who make a career out of playing deep-voiced women in who either are in positions of command or have great fighting skills. The biggest example and possible Trope Codifier for anime is Yoshiko Sakakibara (Haman Kahn, Integra Hellsing, Queen Nehelenia, etc); other members of this "club" are Sanae Kobayashi, Romi Park, Ai Orikasa, Mitsuki Saiga, Minami Takayama, Megumi Ogata, Masako Katsuki, Yoko Soumi, Mayo Suzukaze, Marina Inoue, Miyuki Sawashiro, etc. Notice how many of these women aren't incapable of using higher tones, but are often recognized by these kinds of roles.
  • This is a common shtick of voice actress Jennifer Hale. She has a range of lower and higher pitched voices to use for weaker or tougher female characters respectively. One of the best examples of this is her voice for Jean Grey and her Super-Powered Evil Side, the Phoenix, which are higher and lower, respectively.
  • This trope is not as common in Latin-American Spanish dubs, since many female VA's play many different roles regardless of their voice tones. Still, each country has its examples:
    • Mexican dubs: Sylvia Garcel (probably the Trope Codifier in Mexico), the late Liza Willert and her daughter Gabriela, Nancy McKenzie, Belinda Martínez, Alejandra de la Rosa, Laura Torres, Monica Manjarrez, Gisela Casillas, Ilia Gil, Anabel Méndez, Marú Guerrero, Rebeca Patiño, Rebeca Manríquez.
    • Venezuelan dubs: Maythe Guedes, Rocío Mallo.
    • Chilean dubs: Rosario Zamora, Sara Pantoja.
  • If Julie d'Aubigny AKA La Maupin isn't the Ur Example, she's certainly the Trope Maker. She was a star of the Paris Opera nearly as famous for her wild escapades as a duelist and her multiple love affairs (with both men and women) as she was for her vaunted contralto voice. She was also the first contralto to sing the lead role in the Opera.
  • Margaret Thatcher was coached to lower the pitch of her speaking, in order to come across as more authoritative and reinforce her image as the "Iron Lady".
  • Shohreh Aghdashloo's character in The Expanse, 24, and several other appearances.