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Dark Action Girl
I Broke a Nail... in your ribcage!

"I'm pretty much the Queen Bitch of the Universe."
Sarah Kerrigan, the Queen of Blades, Starcraft: Brood War

Those stupid boys and their ridiculous little games. What's a girl to do? Well, if you're this girl, most likely beat them up.

The villainous version of the Action Girl. Likes dressing in black and keeping her nails particularly long and sharp, unless the story cares about practicality. A popular combination with The Baroness, but usually not The Vamp or the Femme Fatale, since she prefers to pummel The Hero to a bloody pulp instead of seducing him, but there are certainly exceptions, and these exceptions can be incredibly dangerous.

She's usually someone's Evil Counterpart. She tends to enjoy beating up tougher-looking characters, and a man's refusal to fight back tends to annoy her, and the chivalrous guy can end up badly battered.

You'd think that this would be the point where the Action Girl and the Dark Magical Girl intersect. Go on, keep thinking that way. We'll see how long you live. Hang on, let me get my stopwatch.

The Dark Action Girl is the Dark Magical Girl's polar opposite: fiercely independent, cruelly carefree, and almost never interested in making friends. While the Dark Magical Girl tends to desperately want to be loved, the vast majority of Dark Action Girls would rather be feared. Just as the Dark Magical Girl almost always does a Heel-Face Turn, the Dark Action Girl almost never does. If she is brought over to the side of good, even if only for an episode, expect her to be reluctant about it at best. If she stays, she'll remain more violent and indifferent than the rest of the True Companions or the Five-Man Band. Typically, the Dark Action Girl will only aid the Action Girl against another villain because she considers herself the only one allowed to defeat her.

If an All-Loving Hero offers her friendship, expect her to take it as an insult. The Dark Action Girl is generally immune, or at least resistant, to The Power of Friendship. The Power of Love can soften her up sometimes, but it's a crapshoot; the foolish boy could just as easily wind up getting used and discarded, rejected violently, or just plain killed for his trouble. Deliver Us from Evil sometimes happens, but even then, the resulting Action Mom is almost always more of a Sociopathic Hero with the child serving as a Morality Pet. Though, more often than not, especially if her little one is the fruit of an Unholy Matrimony, you just get an Evil Matriarch. Of course, if the child starts picking up some of her mom's habits, she might become a Little Miss Badass, and from there it's a short trip to the scary side of Badass Family.

For some reason, while the audience may feel more comfortable for Action Girls to fail to live up to their reputation or follow a standard to avoid being hit, you will almost never find a Faux Dark Action Girl. This is probably because the standards the decade or culture sets for women usually don't apply to villains. But, this doesn't mean that Faux Dark Action Girls do not exist.

If there are no Action Girls on the good side and all of the heroic females are damsels in distress, the work is likely using the Madonna-Whore Complex trope.

Compare Classy Cat-Burglar, Dark Magical Girl, and Dark Chick.

Action Girl + Dark Action Girl = Designated Girl Fight.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • LadyDevimon from Digimon Adventure was thrown in, apparently at the last minute, as one of these. The only reason for this, however, appeared to be to set up an Evil Counterpart with whom Angewomon could have a Cat Fight, complete with slapping and hair-pulling. They even brought her back in Digimon Adventure 02 just to repeat the process.
  • Karinka from Steel Angel Kurumi toes the line. She beats another main character, and lives primarily so she can destroy the main character and steal her boyfriend. Oh, yeah, she curses like a sailor, too.
  • Grelle Sutcliffe of Black Butler is a male-to-female Transsexual who, in battle, fits in like a hand on a glove.
  • A brief glimpse of Caerula Sanguis' distant past in Volume 9 of Battle Angel Alita: Last Order shows that when she was part of the Chinese Triads, she was very much an example of this trope. After meeting Victor Byron, however, she softens a little. She softens further after meeting John Farrell in Volume 8, to the point that she became something of a Hero Secret Service, at first against Victor, to protect John Farrell's grandson, Arthur, eventually extending her protection to the whole of humanity.
  • Adiane from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Gretel of Otogi Juushi Akazukin.
  • Naruto has a load of bait-and-switch Dark Action Girls who sometimes don't live up to their initial posturing or pull a whiplash-inducing High Heel-Face Turn, but the standout is Tayuya, the flute-playing, Sir Swears-a-Lot genjutsu expert of the Sound Four, who easily cows her Ax-Crazy coworkers, punches out the eponymous hero, and demonstrates, perhaps better than anyone in the series, save Uchiha Itachi, why genjutsu is NOT the "soft" one of the three main ninja skill sets. She then goes toe to toe with Shikamaru, the smartest guy in the whole series, and proceeds to back him into a corner and break his nigh-unbreakable binding jutsu with sheer brute force and bloody-mindedness. The only thing that stops her is having a forest dropped on her courtesy of Temari, a Badass Action Girl whose idea of a "cat fight" is breaking her opponent's spine and then tossing them across the room.
  • Revy from Black Lagoon is a Protagonist version of this. She gets a bit better though with the help of Rock.
    • Balalaika was also one before she graduated to The Baroness.
    • Come to think of it, every major female character in Roanapur is a variant of this theme.
      • It's debatable whether Roberta (as of the anime) actually outdarks Revy. Her motives are selfless, after all: Give. Me. My. Morality Pet. Back. Now. SAFE. Until El Baile De La Muerte arc; if you thought Roberta was scary before... This is remarked on by the appearance of Fabiola Iglesias, the Action Girl and Badass Adorable who replaces Roberta as Garcia's caretaker and serves as her Foil.
  • Hibari Ginza from Speed Grapher.
  • Nena Trinity from Gundam 00, though she's more of a Dark Female Gundam Pilot.
  • Although Rizelle of Chrono Crusade prefers to use her powers to get other people to do her dirty work for her, when confronted by Rosette, she proves herself to be one of these, using her marionette strings and Femme Fatalons to cause a massive amount of (clothing) damage in the process.
  • Several female arrancars from Bleach, the biggest examples being Halibel and her Amazon Brigade (Apache, Mila Rose, and Sun-Sun), as well as Cirucci Thunderwitch.
    • The Vandereich have Bambietta Basterbine, a 20-something Blood Knight with a Commissar Cap and Zettai Ryouiki, who is seen gleefully joining]] the Seiteirei invasion and cheerfully bisecting almost everyone in her way. Her next big appearance involved her slicing a guy in half after asking him to have sex with her.
    • Subverted with As Nodt, whom everyone thought s/he was a girl. We still don't have much info to go one way or another.
    • Yachiru Unohana was one of these way back in the day. She was Soul Society's most brutal fighter and even today she is widely feared as Soul Society's most infamous criminal. The only reason she wasn't executed was because Soul Society wanted her on their side.
  • GUN×SWORD's Fasalina, who (unlike the only other girl in her group, Melissa, who was merely confused) fully embraced the methods of The Claw and, most of the time, puts up a damn good fight against the heroes.
  • InuYasha: Kagura started off as this and eventually softened via Character Development into an ally of the good guys that fitted the cynical and aloof version of a Heel Face Turned Dark Action Girl; strictly speaking, she was a Dark Action Girl due to being enslaved to the Big Bad, which made her a Broken Bird as well.
  • One Piece has its fair share, from Miss Double Finger (and arguably Miss Merry Christmas) to Kalifa. Boa Hancock initially appeared to be this, but mellowed out over time (though she can still be cruel to enemies). The sole female member of the Blackbeard Pirates, Catarina Devon, counts.
  • Dominique the Cyclops from Trigun.
  • Sabrina and Lorelei of Pokémon Special. Interestingly enough, both of them have joined forces with the protagonists at some point due to an Enemy Mine situation; in fact, Sabrina does so against Lorelei.
    • Arguably, Karen also qualifies. She's also a Dark-type specialist, to hammer the point home.
  • Anemone from Eureka Seven. Unlike most Dark Action Girls, she ends up being an Anti-Villain.
  • Claymore:
    • Ophelia: as a complete lunatic, obsessed with taking lives, she even kills her own fellow Claymores. She would have killed Claire if Irene hadn't intervened, which lead Ophelia to beg her dearly departed brother to protect her, while alone in the woods, and then moving to a hateful and (at least in the anime version) profanity-flooded monologue that ended with three F-bombs before "awakening". She makes BioShock's Sandar Cohen seem at least somewhat sane.
    • Also the even worse Roxanne, who manages to combine Dark Action Girl, Alpha Bitch, Manipulative Bastard and Psycho Lesbian.
    • Priscilla anyone? She's the most powerful and brutal thing in the entire series so far.
  • Road Kamelot and Lulu Bell from D.Gray-Man.
  • Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist. Although she's quite attractive, her personality isn't very sexualised, leading some fans to theorise that she's actually bloodlust.
  • Medusa and her sister, Arachne, from Soul Eater
  • Evangeline from Mahou Sensei Negima!, before her Heel-Face Turn. Not that she'd ever admit to having made one.
    • Tsukuyomi and Poyo count, too.
      • Actually, Eva and Poyo fit more as Dark Magical Girls than DAG's. Tsukuyomi, however, is a Dark Action Girl through and through.
  • Ikaruga, Angel, Erza Knightwalker, and Minerva from Fairy Tail.
    • Juvia, Ultear and Meredy were Dark Action Girls until their Heel-Face Turn.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has Kyouko Sakura. She gets better, to the point of even pulling a Mercy Kill/Heroic Sacrifice so that Sayaka (who she has become very sympathetic toward) doesn't have to die alone, even admitting that part of the reason she became a Magical Girl in the first place was because she wanted to protect someone.
  • Asuka Langley Soryu from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Her Rebuild counterpart Asuka Shikinami Langley is an Action Girl.
    • Rebuild of Evangelion has Mari Illustrious Makinami, who, in an EVA unit, fits this trope like a hand on a glove.
  • Any of the Sailor Animamates from the last series of Sailor Moon. Sailor Animamates were the servants of Big Bad Sailor Galaxia, who was hunting down Star Seeds/Sailor Crystals across the universe. They were all once good, but Sailor Senshi become evil when they lose their Sailor Crystals.
    • The Doom and Gloom Girls, Queen Beryl's last and strongest warriors from the anime, who very nearly succeeded in defeating the Sailor Senshi.
    • Also the Ayakashi Sisters, Evil Counterparts of the Inner Senshi and pretty competent combatants. In the anime, however, they have a collective Heel-Face Turn.
      • Esmeraude, as well.
  • Gavrill Madaraki from Franken Fran, the almost-invincible shapeshifting leader of an army of pillaging thugs.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has Belarus, a Clingy Jealous Girl and Boisterous Bruiser who skirts the line between this and Action Girl. She has been known to carry around knives and, while not villainous (she's more childish and extremely jealous/obsessive than evil), is often portrayed as having darker motives than the other Action Girls in the series, plus she has a Hair-Trigger Temper and exhibits strange behavior.
  • Annie Leonhardt of Attack on Titan has shades of this, being a cold and cynical soldier who enlists in the infamously corrupt Military Police Brigade, abandoning her Fire-Forged Friends without a second thought. She's also one of the Titan Shifter spies, and her rampage as the Female Titan leaves scores of veteran soldiers dead. She turns out to be a more complicated case, hinted to be a Broken Bird with serious Daddy Issues. Word of God explicitly states she isn't inherently evil, though it's hard to deny that she's a Sadist that likes to get.....creative with her kills. When Eren and Armin attempt to talk to her, she goes on one final city-smashing rampage before encasing herself in a Crystal Prison, denying the military the chance to learn her secrets.
  • Every female villain in the Pretty Cure franchise does count to a degree, but the most outstanding example is Dark Precure who doesn't rely on Monsters of the Week.
  • Pirotess from Record of Lodoss War, a female dark elf who serves as the villainous counterpart to the high elf on the heroes' side, Deedlit.
  • The Villain Protagonist Lucy/Kaede from Elfen Lied.

     Comic Book 

    Fan Works 

    Film - Animated 

    Film - Live Action 
  • Selina Kyle (Catwoman) in Batman Returns.
  • The Picts in Centurion have two. The first is also The Archer though she can more than hold her own in hand-to-hand combat. The second is Etain who is described as more like an animal than a human.
  • The Die Hard series has Katja in Die Hard 3 and Mai Linh in Live Free or Die Hard. Both of them are martial artists and the girlfriend of a more cerebral Big Bad, serving as his Dragon.
    • Irina in the 5th one.
  • Viper from Doomsday, although her most memorable scene was not fighting but lighting a man on fire in order to cook him for the hungry crowd.
  • Ni Chang from The Forbidden Kingdom.
  • The Baroness from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. Slick leather outfit, tall boots, and two guns, she is a crossover with the Femme Fatale, as she seduces quite a few characters, but her usual MO is kicking butt. Counterpart to GI Joe operative Scarlett.
  • Bellatrix Lestrange from the Harry Potter series.
  • Many, many bad Bond girls, but particularly Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) in GoldenEye and Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) in Thunderball.
  • Dr. Ilsa Hayden in Judge Dredd. She has a Cat Fight with Action Girl Judge Hershey.
  • O-Ren Ishii, Elle Driver, Gogo Yubari, Vernita Green, and Karen Kim from Kill Bill.
  • The Russian gangster, Mona Demarkov, in Romeo Is Bleeding is a particularly ruthless and sadistic example, without the benefit of magic powers or Waif-Fu.
  • Lori (Sharon Stone) in the original Total Recall (1990).
  • Lola from the The Transporter 2, could also double as Psycho for Hire.
  • It can be argued that Selene from Underworld fits this trope quite nicely until she realizes that she's been fighting the wrong war.
  • Dracula's three brides become this in Van Helsing. Marishka is killed off pretty early but Verona and Aleera really prove to be quite the thorn in the protagonist's side.
  • Viper from The Wolverine.

    Literature 
  • Malina Kekapania of Two Serpents Rise attacked a heavily guarded Station, killed a god, and awoken twin fire serpents to chase the Craftsmen out of the city.
  • Bellatrix Lestrange of Harry Potter.
  • Protagonist example who is still "Dark": Lale of The Assassins of Tamurin.
  • Arya Stark in A Song of Ice and Fire is turning into this. In later books, she joined the Faceless Men, a group of extremely skilled, religious wizard-ninja-assassins. She still only seem to want to kill "bad guys", but it's anyone's guess how long that will last.
  • Hester Shaw in Mortal Engines becomes a completely merciless killer.
    • Stalker Fang is at least as much of a bad girl. Being horribly crippled then turned into Brain in a Jar inside a Killer Robot chassis can do that to someone.
  • Angelina, supposedly reformed murderess turned Special Corp agent/wife of 'Slippery Jim' DiGriz. Always carries an arsenal of lethal weaponry on her person, and has the ability to produce a .75 calibre recoilless from Hammer Space whenever she thinks her husband is getting too slippery for her taste. Supposedly, her more psychopathic impulses have been removed by the psych-techs, but Jim frequently has to restrain her natural enthusiasm for killing and torture.
  • Asajj Ventress, Count Dooku's main follower...cruel, skilled, and a major threat, with a tendency to pull a Not Quite Dead every time she seems defeated.
  • War from Good Omens, who's as deadly as she is beautiful. Considering she's the Anthropomorphic Personification of war, this shouldn't be a surprise.
  • Rare heroic example: Rachel from Animorphs, who begins as an Action Girl but gets closer and closer to this trope as the series goes on. Taylor could be seen as an actual villainous example, though she generally avoids using her unique fighting skills in favor of psychological manipulation.
  • Phrygiar Navaris from the Codex Alera is a psychotically obsessive swordswoman and one of the top five blades in her civilization - she normally hires herself out as a mercenary, and has racked up a kill count in the hundreds during her life (and those are just the ones we know about). Aquitainus Invidia from the same series is more like The Vamp, The Chessmaster, and the Reliable Traitor all in one person, but she's more than capable of getting her hands dirty if she has to.
  • Makala of The Blade of the Flame, both before her in-backstory death and after she gets bitten by a vampire. Exhibits Clingy Jealous Girl traits after the spoilered event too.
  • Death's Mistress, aka Sister Nicci, of the Sword of Truth series. She serves the Imperial Order in their war against the "good" factions, a terror to the forces of the New World and a heroine to the Order, and is one of the main threats to Richard Rahl in Faith of the Fallen. Interestingly enough, she is also a Dark Magical Girl, Femme Fatale, and a Stalker with a Crush at times. Eventually, she does a High Heel-Face Turn and joins Richard's party, and is afterwards their Black Magician Girl.
  • Kitiara from Dragonlance.
  • Ivana Vasilyeva from Dale Brown's Wings of Fire.
  • Penny from Lies, the third book in the Gone series.
  • Lara Raith in The Dresden Files alternates between being Harry's Friendly Enemy and a reluctant ally. Being a White Court vampire, she is superhumanly strong, fast, and durable, but still needs to feed on the life energy of humans.
  • Miss Hakkendottir from the steampunky The Hunchback Assignments: beautiful, thoroughly evil, and considers Mooks a disposable/consumable resource. Extra points for her two half-mechanical attack dogs...
  • Lisbeth Salander of The Millennium Trilogy. She slashes the throat of one thug with a broken bottle and scares his gang off by acting herself, violates her sadistic guardian and blackmails him with evidence of his rape, reveals her solution to her pedophile father was to Kill It with Fire, attacks then chases down a Neo-Nazi who she causes to crash before leaving for dead, and that's just the first book. And she's one of the good guys.
  • Electra from Greek Ninja somewhat falls under this trope.
  • Tsarmina the Wildcat Queen from Mossflower doesn't seem like one of these at first. A scheming evil princess who poisons her father and frames her brother so she can become queen, Tsarmina leaves the fighting to others, preferring not to dirty her paws. During the final battle she tries to run away and is cornered by Martin the Warrior, the most famed fighter in the series' history, and you figure, game over. Instead she goes absolutely berserk and proceeds to give Martin the beating of his life, before his Implacable Man status spooks her into a mental breakdown and she runs into a lake. Huge, utterly mad, and capable of shredding chainmail with her claws alone she definitely belongs on this list. Plus, the physical and psychological fallout from this battle scars Martin for the rest of his life.
  • Lucy Pennykettle from The Last Dragon Chronicles when possed by the Shadow.
  • Tansy in Mira Grant's Parasite subverts this trope by combining it with Genki Girl and working for the least bad of the factions in the story. But she still actively searches for reasons to kill things and without the Morality Leash of her creator would do so for the most trivial of reasons.
  • Female Careers from the The Hunger Games series, which include Clove from the first book, and Cashmere and Enobaria from Catching Fire. Enobaria in particular even had her teeth sharpened to a point after ripping out someone's throat with her teeth in the Games she won. Johanna Mason has some elements of the trope, being darker than most female characters, as well.

  • Dime Novel hero Nick Carter had quite a few of these. Perhaps the most dangerous was Dazaar the Arch Fiend. Her specialty was knife throwing; she could throw a knife hundreds of yards with extreme accuracy.

    • Another of Dime Novel hero Nick Carter's female enemies was Zanoni the Woman Wizard, a skilled hypnotist and chemist (poisons were her specialty). She was a truly nasty piece of work.Once, after being captured by Nick, he warns her not to try to "make love" to him as a way to get out. Her reply conveys her fiendishness: "Have no fear, my pretty man, my cornucopia of driveling goodness. When I make love to you, it will be to your articulated skeleton—to your empty, fleshless skull—to your heart preserved in alcohol and your liver thrown to the dogs."

    Live Action TV 
  • Sarah Corvis in Bionic Woman reboot is to be a prime example. She teaches the Action Girl protagonist just so that she can fight her later. Sarah also seems to like to drop hints, though it's been shown she does have a motivating romantic interest.
  • Faith on Buffy the Vampire Slayer is half this, half Dark Magical Girl. Her abilities are action-based, not magical, and the fights between Buffy and Faith are adrenaline-spiked highlights among the series' many action sequences. Directors, stunt directors, actresses, and stunt doubles always seemed to go all out whenever one of these scenes came up. At the same time, her issues are much more of the DMG vein, and she is eventually redeemed DMG-style in a two-part episode of Angel. However, even after Faith returns and joins up with Buffy, the two constantly butt heads, often violently.
    • Darla. While in flashbacks, she's less action-y and more just plain evil, during the first season, she was The Master's Dragon. That is, until she died.
    • God of Evil Glory should be mentioned, seeing as she was the Big Bad of a season.
  • Callisto, Xena's Evil Counterpart from Xena: Warrior Princess. She does pull a Heel-Face Turn later in the show's run, actually. It takes divine intervention, though. It requires Xena — who, at this point, had died and become an Archangel — to take on all of Callisto's sins and suffering, thus damning herself to Hell for All Eternity. This removes all of Callisto's memories of being evil, which, not coincidentally, leaves her with more or less no memory of her life after turning twelve.
  • Ebony of The Tribe. She was also The Baroness and a female Magnificent Bastard.
  • Gretchen Morgan from Prison Break. Really dark action girl. Do not mess with her.
  • Ana Espinosa from Alias.
  • Fiona Glennane from Burn Notice is one of the rare exceptions of this trope to do a Heel-Face Turn.
  • Being a Long Runner Power Rangers had quite a few of these: Scorpina, Archerina, Astronema, Trakeena, Vypra, and Tenaya 7, just to name some of the most prominent. And of course its Japanese counterpart Super Sentai naturally has these.
  • Miss Parker from The Pretender.
  • Vlad from season 4 of Lexx. Most of her scenes with Kai involved her beating the snot out of him.
  • Isabella Gisborne from Robin Hood. One of only two Sheriffs in various versions of the story (the other being from Robin of Sherwood) to successfully kill Robin Hood.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive Tess Mercer of Smallville has repeatedly demonstrated that, in addition to being an expert Manipulative Bastard and Chessmaster, she is not a slouch in the physical department either, having fought Lana, Lois, Green Arrow, Zod, and fellow Dark Action Girl Mad Harriet on relatively equal footing (she had to cheat against Zod by using Kryptonite brass knuckles; still, the fact that she devised and built Kryptonite brass knuckles is pretty badass in and of itself!). Harriet and the Female Furies also fulfill this trope, as did Lana when possessed by Isobel Thoreaux.
    • Chloe Sullivan in season ten, Collateral, is an unusual combination of this and Woman in White.
  • In Doctor Who, Melody Pond was one of these, since she was a psychopathic Tyke Bomb raised to kill the Doctor. She does perform a Heel-Face Turn and becomes River Song, though.
  • Cold-blooded Israeli assassin Mikel Dayan in Leverage. She's more of a Punch Clock Villain than anything else though.
  • Katherine Pierce from The Vampire Diaries.
  • Morgana Pendragon from Merlin.
  • Sqn Ldr Knox from Invasion: Earth, who has no qualms about employing the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique on a man in a hospital bed.

    Multi-Media 

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The lion goddess Sekhmet in Egyptian Mythology. She also was given titles such as the "(One) Before Whom Evil Trembles", "Mistress of Dread", "Lady of Slaughter" and "She Who Mauls". In a myth about the end of Ra's rule on the earth, Ra sends Sekhmet to destroy mortals who conspired against him. Sekhmet's blood-lust was not quelled at the end of battle and led to her destroying almost all of humanity, so Ra poured out beer dyed with red ochre or hematite so that it resembled blood. Mistaking the beer for blood, she became so drunk that she gave up the slaughter and returned peacefully to Ra.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Roleplay 
  • Silencia Venemosa in Dino Attack RPG was a ruthless bounty hunter who single-handedly ruined two major corporations by foiling a heist on one, a sequence of events that resulted in the deaths of four small-time criminals, both CE Os, and at least two innocent bystanders (though neither actually died by her hand). The untold story of what she did at Dacta Corporation is said to be even worse.

     Tabletop Games 
  • From the Dark Eldar of Warhammer 40,000, comes the wyches, each one a leather bound gladiatrix with a well-earned penchant for murder. The greatest of them and the absolute queen of this trope (to her fans at least) is Lelith Hesperax, who can murder an enemy squad before they can even fight back. She's so Bad Ass, an in-joke is that her hair counts as a power weapon.
    • There's also Lady Malys, also of the Dark Eldar, who goes for more of the "Dark Lady of War" approach. She's been compared to a Magical Girl anime villain, razor-edged steel fan and all.
    • Also, while wyches are not exclusively female, a majority of them are. The Dark Eldar value skill and potential above all else, so there are virtually no gender barriers. That also means that the Dark Eldar can hold this trope to every career path, from Haemonculus to Incubus to Archon.
    • Their fantasy counterparts are just as hardcore - only they replace the Blood Sport aspect with a Blood Cult; they're referred to as the "Brides of Khaine" (he's the elven god of murder).
  • Pathfinder has Szuriel, Seraph of Devastation, and Horseman of War. Once a fallen paladin, she now represents all of war's worst aspects, and of all the evil female deities is the one who most frequently gets physical.
  • Magic: The Gathering has several, from the Pyhrexian general and Hero Killer Tsabo Tavoc to the Anti-Hero necromancer Liliana Vess, to the Cult of Rakdos' Maze Champion Exava.

    Theatre 
  • The Witch from Into the Woods placed a curse on The Hero and his wife before the events of the show, practically abused her daughter, Rapunzel, by locking her in a tower for years, and cut off Rapunzel's hair and banished her into the desert. While the Witch had to work with the heroes for a time, she was the first cast member to start taking initiative when the Bigger Bad started killing everyone, and was dead set on sacrificing Jack to the Giantess. Then, towards the end of the show, she curses the heroes when they all confront her, throws away her magical beans, and vanishes, possibly committing suicide. And on top of all that, she's got attitude.
    • She is, however, one of the more sympathetic versions of this trope: She apparently really did care for Rapunzel, despite having no idea how to properly raise her, and is devastated (and sees her attempts to keep her away from the prince confirmed as correct) when Rapunzel is trampled on by the giant's wife, killing her.
  • Lynette Fromme and Sara Jane More in Assassins. The title of the play makes it rather obvious as to why these two ladies fit the trope.

     Toys 
  • Lucidique from Tortured Souls. Notable in that she starts out as a more standard Action Girl, going from an idealistic young woman who wants to save Primoridum from its corrupt ruler, to a vengeful, inhuman Anti-Hero who'll slaughter anyone who so much as annoys her.

     Video Games 
  • Annie from League of Legends is this and a Black Magician Girl.
    • Katarina the Sinister Blade is one, as well, along with being a Daddy's Little Villain.
    • Evelynn the Widowmaker.
  • From Worldof Warcraft, Sylvanas Windrunner is THE dark action girl. Banshee Queen, Dark Queen of the Forsaken, Dark Ranger...she's basically a Dark Lord who just happens to work for the Horde and is holding back her true evil, although Garrosh sees it in action in Silverpine when she raises new Forsaken from the Alliance dead.
    • Jaina Proudmoore, currently. She is as evil and remorseless as Sylvanas is, and just so happens to rule an entire city of mages. The only thing stopping her from unleashing hell so far is Love Interest Kalec and the orders of King Varian.
  • Sarah Kerrigan, post-infestation, in Starcraft and Starcraft II. Queen of Blades, ruler of the Zerg swarm, Manipulative Bastard, and Chessmaster extraordinaire. In the aftermath of the Overmind's death, she manages, through grit, will, and a burning need for vengeance, to exact bloody revenge on all her enemies and establish herself as the de facto ruler of not only the Zerg swarm, but also the entire Kroprulu sector (see quote at the top of the page). At the start of Starcraft II, the entire sector lives in fear of her inevitable return.
    • She partially evolves beyond this in her chapter of the game, mainly because the swarm is fleshed out more giving her more people to interact with. Very much keeps the "Action" part, though - it's a rare mission she doesn't personally involve herself in.
  • Christie from the Dead or Alive series is this. She is a professional assassin with a creepy The Only One Allowed to Defeat You Les Yay fixation on Helena.
  • Valvalis/Barbariccia, the Archfiend of Wind from Final Fantasy IV.
  • Beatrix, the general of Alexandria, is one for most of the first two discs of Final Fantasy IX. Anytime she's fought by the party, it's a Hopeless Boss Fight. Lani the bounty hunter takes over for the rest of the game.
  • Larxene of Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories certainly fits the bill. She's well aware of it, too - her personal title is "The Savage Nymph", and she delights in taunting the heroes with "clues" that turn out to be completely fake. Plus, in RE:CoM, she manages to martial-arts kick Sora to the ground...TWICE. She's an absolute bitch to fight and, well, a bitch in general too!
  • The Fire Emblem series has always granted us with lots of heroic Action Girls. Likewise, there's usually at least one badass female villain in each game. And just as the female heroes in this franchise are typically exceptionally heroic, the villainesses tend to be absolutely vicious.
    • Hilda, Deet'var, Pamela, Eng, Maybell, and Bleg from Fire Emblem Jugdral. Especially Hilda, who's quite possibly one of the most evil villains in Fire Emblem history.
    • Idoun and Brunya from Fire Emblem 6.
    • Sonia, Ursula, and Limstella in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword, with Sonia being the particularly cruel one.
    • Selena from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones is what you get when you mix Dark Action Girl with My Country, Right or Wrong and Anti-Villain.
    • Petrine from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance. Only major female antagonist in the game and extremely cruel.
    • Ashera from Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is arguably even more of one then Petrine, considering she's an evil goddess who's really fucking hard to beat.
    • Aversa in Fire Emblem Awakening. Beautiful, Badass, elegant, exotic, seductive, and downright merciless, this lady is truly a FE Dark Action Girl if there ever was one. It also helps her case that she's REALLY hard to kill. She and the other villains survive, and if you play your cards right, she will join your party near the end of the game.
      • In the same game, the dark mage Tharja somewhat counts as a non-villainous example. With all her... eccentricities, she is still the darkest of the female good guys in the game.
      • Additionally, in the Future Past DLC map female!Morgan (normally a Cute Bruiser Daddy's Girl) has become a mixture of this and Daddy's Little Villain. (Ironically, Tharja and Aversa are among her potential mothers.)
  • Ocelot in Metal Gear Solid believes in Equal-Opportunity Evil and always has some female henchmen in his gangs. As with everything in the series, things are a bit more complex with Sniper Wolf, Olga, and Fortune, but Laughing Octopus, Raging Raven, Crying Wolf, and Screaming Mantis of the Beauty and the Beast Unit are just completely insane.
  • Speed Buster, the not-so-nice old lady with a BFG from No More Heroes, is probably what happens when the Dark Action Girl survives into her 70s.
    • In fact, every female opponent in No More Heroes probably qualifies under this trope, especially Bad Girl.
  • After being killed, corrupted, and resurrected in undeath, Sylvanas Windrunner slips easily into this role. Unusually, she's often portrayed with sympathy (depending on your interpretation, she could easily be considered a protagonist), and actually doesn't like her new role very much. Indeed, the only things that seems 'dark' about her are her fighting method and aloof personality, not her goal (which seemed...nice).
  • It is heavily implied that Nathyrra of Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark used to be one. Almost every female drow that shows up in the campaign, as well as Aribeth in the original after her Face-Heel Turn and if you keep her on the dark side in Hordes of the Underdark, also qualify.
  • Risky Boots, the villainous pirate captain in the obscure Game Boy Metroidvania Shantae.
  • Menardi, from Golden Sun, fits this trope, although it's revealed in the sequel that she and Saturos were actually saving the world...after the heroes killed them. (Oops.)
    • Just ask any soldier of Tolbi, and they'll tell you she still fits the bill, no matter her intentions.
    • Menardi's sister, Karst, is also very much an example.
    • Golden Sun: Dark Dawn introduces Chalice. She prefers subterfuge, but she's still a very dangerous opponent.
  • Baldur's Gate
    • Bodhi from Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Even if your PC is a heavily armoured warrior with an Infinity+1 Sword or two, she can probably wipe the floor with him or her in single combat with her bare hands, while wearing less than required by decency.
    • Simply because playable characters are almost automatically good at combat, any evil female Player Character is bound to count too, unless particularly inept in combat, as is any evil female group member, which actually only includes Shar-Teel and Viconia.
  • Tavion and Alora from the Jedi Knight sequels. Both are dark jedi and (sub-)bosses.
  • Rubi Malone easily outshines, or outdarkens, Shego. Let's see, she's a Guns Akimbo, Hard-Drinking Party Girl Psycho for Hire, spends half the game on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, goes into an Unstoppable Rage when the blood of some mook she shoots gets on her face, and has a penchant for the Groin Attack, using a gun or a sword. Oh, she wears a Slasher Smile during these last two actions. And she's voiced by Faith. Put it this way, she is far too dark to ever be a Disney Villain.
  • Tati from Rise Of The Kasai, while not really a villain, qualifies for this trope. She's absolutely vicious and won't hesitate to kill any Kasai warrior she sees. Her family was slaughtered by the Kasai, she once hung out with her era's equivalent of a street gang, and she's cursed with a mark that is gradually corrupting her. She hates the world for this curse as well. Hatred runs through her veins.
  • Sasha from inFAMOUS would also fit this trope. She was formerly Cole's (or, more accurately, Kessler's) girlfriend, and she's also one of the boss encounters in the game.
  • In Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, if your character is female, Mercurio says something about not wanting to speak of some matters (a vampire being a slut) in front of a lady. Your response is that a knee to the crotch tends to get men talking. He immediately talks.
  • Jack of Mass Effect 2, a shaven and tattooed biotics experiment, whose experiences have left her unstable, to say the least...though traveling with Paragon Shepard can make her a bit more balanced and less sociopathic.
    • This can be applied to a female Commander Shepard, as well, if you choose Renegade options in the game.
  • Kat in Halo: Reach is a case of a Dark Action Girl in the protagonist's team. This doesn't make her exactly "good", however.
  • Selvaria Bles in Valkyria Chronicles. She is practically invincible, and she has zero interest in serving anyone else but the Big Bad, Maximillian. Her virtue, however, is due to loyalty, not due to for sheer lulz and evil.
  • Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects
    • The female Imperfects would definitely fit here in this trope. Solara incinerates people, Fault Zone loves to make the ground tremble with her seismic accelerators, and The Wink seductively slashes people. All three are fueled by hatred and vengeance, just like their male comrades, Brigade, Hazmat, and Johnny Ohm.
    • And then there's the killing machine, Paragon, though she's not really one of the Imperfects.
  • Juri Han from Super Street Fighter IV. Notable because the vast majority of playable female characters in the Street Fighter games are on the side of good.
    • Also, Cammy and the Dolls used to be Dark Action Girls, as Bison's brainwashed Bodyguard Babes. Cammy has a full Heel-Face Turn once her inner humanity is unlocked. In the case of the other Dolls, however, it's not that easy: they suffer heavy physical and mental consequences, and at least one of them (Julia a.k.a. Juli) has become an Empty Shell due to it. (Though another, Juni, is in her path to recovery after waking up from a coma, so not all hopes are lost.)
    • Crimson Viper seems to fit in as well. Subverted, actually: she's a genuine Action Girl posing as a Dark Action Girl. While cold to the other warriors, she still has a kinder side that she shows to her daughter Lauren.
    • And in Ultra Street Fighter IV, we meet another: Decabr/Decapre, the only Doll aside of Cammy who remains fully active.
  • She may be of neutral alignment, but Rouge the Bat qualifies for this. Blaze the Cat also was one for most of Sonic Rush.
  • The Tales Series has a few of these, along with several heroic Action Girls. Notable Dark Action Girls, however, include;
  • Every female character from the BloodRayne series, including the main character. Especially the main character.
  • Morrigan from Dragon Age: Origins is a Badass Black Magician Girl with a snippy attitude and a morally ambiguous stance.
  • Queen Myrrah heads into the fray with some new battle armor for Gears of War 3's multiplayer.
  • Septerra Core has Selina, who apparently goes back and forth between this and Action Girl a couple of times throughout the game.
  • BioShock 2 has a stable of Big Sisters, all of them psychotic, suped-up DAGs
  • Daisy Fitzroy of BioShock Infinite shows traits of this.
  • Resident Evil has Alexia Ashford. She's completely sociopathic and believes all around her exist only to be experimented on. When in human form, she does not seem so threatening. Then she transforms into a monster that uses her blood like napalm and fights Wesker to a stand-still.
  • The Soul Series has a few. Tira is the best example, completely insane and just loves to kill. She also killed Sophitia and corrupted her daugher Phyrra into the local Dark Magical Girl. Ivy is one but on the good side... just a good side that doesn't care about all the other good sides.
  • From Tekken, we have Anna and Nina Williams, both assassins.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic the main character can be this if you choose to be female and Dark Side. The many faceless female Dark Jedi you run across throughout the game also presumably count.
  • Vacant Sky has Sandarga, who Does Not Like Guns presumably because she'd rather tear people to shreds close up, and will kill anyone who annoys her (which is most people).
  • Cetsa from The Way qualifies, being the leader of the Blue Scarves.
  • The King of Fighters gives us Vice, Mature, Orochi Leona and Orochi Shermie.
  • In Disney Princess Enchanted Journey, Zara is this. She's older than the heroine and an ex-princess who uses her magic for evil.

    Visual Novels 
  • Rider of Fate/stay night embraces this image, although she does show a nice side — how much depends on the scenario. Her alignment is Chaotic Good. I guess you don't have to be evil to be a Dark Action Girl, though.
    • Saber Alter probably counts as one too.
  • Villain Protagonist Saya from Saya no Uta.

    Web Comics 
  • In Homestuck, thirteen year old Vriska Serket is an murdering egomaniac- the most violent, sadistic, and remorseless of all the trolls and is considered evil even by the standards of her barbaric planet. She is responsible for the deaths of thousands of trolls, as well as a teammate, and for seriously crippling two of her "friends" (and later killing one). She also purposefully facilitated a chain of events that led to an indestructible demon to be created and kill many, many more people- just because she wanted to have the glory of killing said demon. She's also among the most powerful characters in the comic. Later, however, she begins to realize that her upbringing was what caused her to become like this, as she was forced to hunt other trolls to sate the hunger of her spider-monster custodian, under threat of death. For the first time, she also feels true remorse after killing one of her friends. Her contact with and romantic interest in John also helps her see the error in many of the things that she's done. However, just as she comes to the conclusion that she doesn't want to kill or hurt people anymore, she is killed by Terezi in order to save the remaining trolls, as her plan to fight Jack Noir would have resulted in their deaths. As a consequence she has become one of the most controversial characters in the fandom. Later, we encounter Vriska in a dream bubble two years after her death. She's changed quite a bit.
    • Meenah Peixes is the Dark Action Girl for the pre-scratch trolls. She greets people by trying to kill them and is indirectly responsible for a few deaths in her team (even though she had no intention of causing them). She also idolizes her post-scratch counterpart, who is a genocidal tyrant. She's not anywhere near as bloodthirsty as Vriska was, although just as egotistical and belligerent, and a lot more mischievous. Needless to say, when the two meet, sparks fly.
    • Because almost every female cast member of Homestuck is an Action Girl in some sense, essentially all female antagonists in Homestuck count as this.
  • Saturday in Cucumber Quest is a thief and a gunslinger (well, star-shooter-slinger). She isn't as evil as some of the other villains, but she definitely causes a lot of problems for the heroes.
  • Mag IsaLucia fits this trope.
  • Sal Walters, from It's Walky, tends to weave in and out of the "dark" portion of Action Girl. She wasn't above opening a can of whupass on her own brother, though.
  • Considering that until, Agatha freed the other Jaegers, she was doing pretty well holding her own against guards and Othar, Jenka from Girl Genius likely qualifies. Mamma Gkika, being one of the Jager Generals, probably falls somewhere between this and Lady of War. Von Pinn is just Ax-Crazy. And then there's Dupree, who's axe CRAZIER. She routinely attempts to murder entire towns (and, it's implied, only fails because her commanders won't let her) and actively taunts Von Pinn, who can tear Jagers apart with her bare hands.
  • Kria, the demon mare of Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures , is a Dark Action Mom. But given the comic, her appearances are Villains Out Shopping.
  • Hortense in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja...at least, so far as we know.
    • Not to mention the good doctor's mother, Mitzi.
  • In Blade of Toshubi, Lamika, aka Lady Snow Blood, kind of falls into this trope.
  • Sabine, Crystal, and, to an extent, Tsukiko (she mostly creates undead Mooks but can fight very well if she has to) from The Order of the Stick.
  • Lifolei (which is on the 'good' guys side!) and Thlassa of Juathuur.
  • Kusari from Sluggy Freelance - a masked assassin with superhuman powers who unfailingly follows the orders of the villainous Hereti-Corp executives. Her perhaps even more dangerous "sister", Oasis, is too nuts to count, especially as she imagines she's actually good.
  • Reng-Lo from Harkovast, who is notable for being a skilled warrior and complete psycho.
  • Sakido from Slightly Damned certainly had a history as one of these. She was one of hell's most elite warriors in The Great War before retiring to the ring of the slightly damned. She shows us what she's made of when she takes down the guardian of hell and then single handedly fights her way through the legions of demons to get her little brother and his friend Rhea to the mortal world, even though she knows she'll die in the process. Doubles as a Crowning Momentof Heartwarming
    • Lazuli plays the role much straighter, and is pretty terrifying.

    Web Original 

     Western Animation 


Daddy's Little VillainThis Index Is a BitchDark Chick
Dare to Be BadassBadassDeadly Doctor
Dangerous Forbidden TechniqueMartial Arts MovieDragons Up the Yin Yang
Bespectacled Bastard BoyfriendEvil Is SexyDominatrix
Damsel out of DistressAlways FemaleDark Magical Girl
Chunky UpdraftImageSource/Western AnimationDress Hits Floor
Mundane Made AwesomeOverdosed TropesTheme Naming
Dangerously Genre SavvyVillainsDark Chick

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