"Hey, can someone explain to me why I'm always fighting skanky chicks who fly? I mean, Sabine, Samantha, Tsukiko... I bet even the druid's hawk was some sort of a bird-hussy. I should take a level of ranger so I can choose Favored Enemy (Airborne Tramp).
An unspoken version of Wouldn't Hit a Girl
, when there's a team with one Action Girl
, and there's one female opponent among several men
, the two will always take care of each other. She might take out one of the guys, too, but the men will keep to themselves. It's not universal enough to list aversions, but it's definitely noticeable.
Essentially, when the Hero needs to fight a girl, he must get a Pinch Hitter to take his spot. Sometimes the Hero's girlfriend gets this as her role. Often the job of The Chick
in the Five-Man Band
is to smack the supervillainess
around, essentially becoming the team's Designated Hitter for all female villains.
If one girl is the morality-reversed equivalent of the other
, the odds are increased exponentially.
This tends to be the end result of a basically gendered aspect of many superheroes: male superheros tend to have a generally male Rogues Gallery
, while superheroines tend to have female villains
. Thus, a Legion of Doom
team-up tends to be fought along gender lines.
There are a few standard exceptions to the trope, even in works that use it; a Gonk
usually doesn't count as female even if they are (and is thus a valid target for a male hero), and a Non-Human Sidekick
or Funny Animal
companion usually doesn't count as male, regardless of actual gender (and can thus attack female villains with impunity). And of course, a villainess could always change into a monstrous form
to bypass the trope entirely
Might lead to a Cat Fight
, but more often nowadays the fight is otherwise played seriously. Compare Counterpart Combat Coordination
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The Angewomon/LadyDevimon catfight in Digimon Adventure comes to mind. Though in this case, it's more Angewomon wanted to take LadyDevimon out herself and rebuked anyone who tried to help, and LadyDevimon was Piemon's Dragon. The fight was later repeated in Digimon Adventure 02, with this LadyDevimon serving Daemon instead.
- In Digimon Frontier, Izumi has the most fights against Ranamon, and Ranamon was her only kill and scan in the entire series.
- Averted in Digimon Savers. Kurata assembles a team of Psycho Rangers to fight the main Power Trio, but the female members of each don't battle each other. Instead, Nanami takes on fellow Teen Genius Touma and Yoshino faces her Stalker with a Crush Ivan. In fact, Nanami and Yoshino had almost no interaction at all during the series, unusual in that this was the Digimon iteration in which fanservice started being a thing that regularly happens.
- Semi-played in Digimon Xros Wars: Mervamon was one of two Digimon present for the final fight against Lilithmon, but she was working together with Beelzebumon for the entire fight, and he's the one who takes Lilithmon out.
- History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi:
- Played straight, mostly because of Kenichi's Wouldn't Hit a Girl honor.
- Shigure Kousaka has had several several fights versus female opponents, including against Yami's Mikumo Kushinada.
- Mostly subverted in "the protection of the swords" arc and "the american base" arc.
- In the Kyoto Arc of Rurouni Kenshin:
- The men are sent off to Shishio's lair, while the rest of the gang stays behind - and are subsequently attacked by the rest of the Ten Swords. Since the show lacks a variety of villainesses, Kaoru and Misao get their first and pretty much only real fight against Kamatari... a crossdresser.
- Weirdly, the trope was almost not-followed-by-the-letter back then. Okina's division of enemies at first had Kaoru and Yahiko assigned to face Hen-ya, and Misao would face Kamatari alone. But then some insults from both parties reassembled them to what it ended up as. In fact, the original division would've made far more sense, as letting a novice swordsman such as Yahiko to fight by himself is not a good idea in any way...
- Part of the new footage in the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Compilation Movie includes a fight between Yoko and Adiane outside of their Ganmen, most of which Yoko spends sporting Godiva Hair and culminating in Yoko somehow hiding a pistol in her hair scrunchie.
- In Naruto: Out of twenty competitors in the Chuunin exams, six were female. Sakura and Ino, past rivals, fought each other, as did Tenten and Temari. Averted with Hinata (who faced Neji) and Kin (who faced Shikamaru). Though it should be noted that in the absence of a female hero, Shikamaru will always ends up fighting the female villains. Also averted in Part II outside of fillers.
- The Naruto movies seem to avert this, especially the early ones. In the first one, Sakura and Sasuke collaborated into blowing up a female-male duo, while in the second movie, Naruto, Sakura, Shikamaru, Kankuro and Gaara faced three female villains (whom they killed.. quite gruesomely). Played straight in the third movie, where Sakura fights the only female villain in the film.
- In Shaman King, it is noticeable that one of the two all-girl teams, Hao's Hanagumi (Team Flowers), fights two battles against three females- once against Anna, Tamao, and Jun, and another against the team "Magical Princess".
- In Pokémon Special, this doesn't extend to sanctioned matches, such as gym battles, but against bad guys, yup, girls tend to match up with each other. If genders don't match up in those ultimate battles against good and evil, that's just because the gender ratio isn't evened out as many girls will paired up against each other, and whoever is left gets to fight a guy. Thankfully, this trend seems to be dying down with more recent arcs.
- Justified in Pokemon Best Wishes with Pidove VS Snivy. Snivy (female) had been stopping all of Ash's attempts to capture it by using Attract on all of his pokemon. Then out comes Pidove, whose gender Ash was unaware of, and she proved immune to Attract due to also being female. It's a Designated Girl Fight since Pidove was the only pokemon able to fight Snivy.
- Bleach actually makes more of an effort to avert it than to play it straight, but not quite all the time:
- Although it was very brief, Rangiku Matsumoto took on Izuru Kira, with the former coming out on top. On the other hand, in the same arc, Yoruichi Shihoin fought her former pupil in Sui-Feng (one of two female captains in a group of 13).
- Matsumoto and Hinamori fight against Harribel's all female group of fraccion - Apacci, Sung-Sun, and Mila Rose. When they combined to form a giant, not-at-all-female monster, Hisagi, Iba and Kira have to show up, and in the end, Yamamoto-Genryuusai finishes them off.
- In the first arc, Orihime fought a female hollow to protect Tatsuki, while all the other boys fought male hollows, though the thing wasn't especially feminine looking.
- During the early Arrancar arc, there were a few very brief aversions: Ururu vs Yylfordt (he won), Rangiku vs Nakeem (although that was mostly her playing possum and waiting for a power up), and Rangiku (along with Yumichika, Hitsugaya, and Ikkaku) vs Luppi (although they were all mostly just captured by his Combat Tentacles and Hitsugaya/Urahara had to help out).
- Two notable aversions also occur in Hueco Mundo - Uryu Ishida vs Cirucci Sanderwicci, with Nelliel Tu vs Nnoitra Gilga.
- The Fake Karakura arc deals with some aversions as well: Hitsugaya vs Harribel, Sui-Feng vs Baraggan, and Yoruichi tag-teamed with Urahara and Isshin against Aizen. On the other hand, the Fake Karakura arc also had Hiyori and Lisa briefly helping Hitsugaya take on Harribel.
- In the Lost Agent arc, Renji Abarai vs Jackie Tristan was another aversion. On the other hand, Rukia - the only female Shinigami in the arc - took on Riruka Dokugamine, the only other female Fullbringer.
- The final arc has completely averted it in every way possible: In the opening rounds, Bambietta fights Komamura and Hirako, Sui-Feng fights BG9 (an Ambiguous Robot), and Rangiku tag-teams with Toshiro to fight Cang Du and Bazz-B. After wards, Candice and Meninas take on Zaraki while Liltotto and Giselle take out a bunch of redshirts, Candice (along with token assistance from Giselle, Meninas, and Liltotto) faces Ichigo, Meninas helps Bazz-B, Najahkoop, and the Unnamed Glasses Quincy tag-team against Ichigo, Rukia helps Renji vs Bazz-B, and Giselle summons Bambietta to help her against Ikkaku, Yumichika, Mayuri, and Charlotte Chuhlhourne (who is male, despite the name). Furthermore, Giselle summoned Rangiku, Kensei, and Rojuro against Luppi, Dordoni, and Cirucci (in that order), while Candice, Meninas, and Liltotto helped Najahkoop and Unnamed Glasses Quincy against Byakuya (Candice, Najahkoop, and Glasses Quincy all lost off-screen, however).
- In GUN×SWORD, the first time we see Fasalina in action Carmen is the only one around to fight her, this is turns into a challenge so that Carmen is always looking for Fasalina, conveniently pairing them in fights.
- In Hellsing: Seras Victoria kills Jessica, the female vampire in volume one, then she fights Zorin Blitz in a big battle. Although later it seems she was going to battle the Captain, that fight ended up more about Pip vs Captain with him giving the deadly blow.
- Well, Pip did deliver the final blow, but that's it. Unless guiding Seras during her duel with the captain counted as doing something.
- Actually, Seras and Pip both took on The Captain together.
- Averted with Alucard against Rip van Winkle (if you call that a fight.)
- Semi-averted in Fullmetal Alchemist. Riza Hawkeye is the only female member of Mustang's team and Lust is Father's only daughter, so naturally an altercation between the two occurs. However, this isn't really a fight so much as Hawkeye redundantly shooting Lust repeatedly until Mustang comes along to finish things.
- Bizarrely played with in One Piece. When Ivankov is breaking out of Impel Down he's confronted with one of the wardens, the only female among them. In order to fight her, Iva uses his Devil Fruit powers to physically turn himself into a woman.
- Played with in the Baroque Works Saga—amongst the final team that fights the heroes, there are two girls. One of them, Miss Merrychristmas, is not exactly... ladylike. She, along with her partner, fights Chopper and Usopp. Miss Doublefinger, on the other hand, who is a typical Dark Action Girl, have a one-on-one fight with Nami.
- Zig-zagged in the CP 9 Saga: The CP 9 have one female member, Kalifa. At first she fights Sanji - he is much stronger than her, but the fight still ends with obvious results, due to Sanji rather wanting to die than kicking a girl. A short while later she is pitted against Nami (who started off going up against Kumidori before fleeing,) and we get the straight example.
- Averted in the Punk Hazard arc. Monet, the female on Clown's team, fights male Zoro and female Tashigi together, with Zoro doing most of the work. This fight also contrasts him to Sanji - Sanji would have fallen over at once to Monet's sex appeal, while Zoro has no problems chopping her into tiny bits (luckily for her, she has a Devil Fruit preventing this from being fatal).
- Also averted in Thriller Bark, where Perona ends up fighting Usopp.
- Also zig-zagged at Little Garden, where the crew is attacked by four Baroque Works agents, including Miss Valentine and Miss Goldenweek. Miss Goldenweek only plays a passive role in any fights, though, and Nami and Vivi are quickly incapacitated, leaving Valentine to hand Usopp his ass until they're freed and one-shot her.
- Averted in the Dressrosa Arc. Nami, Chopper, Momonosuke and Brook fights against Jora and the latter deals the finishing attack on Jora to cease her Devil Fruit Ability but the fight expanded into the anime with Nami being the one to defeat her after Jora went One-Winged Angel. Sai battling against Baby 5 which ends with the latter "eliminated" (As in falling in love). Then there is Rebecca encountering Diamante recently who happened to killed her mother. Of course who can't forget Usopp being the one to scare Sugar out of commission twice, the first time being her own doing.
- In the Fatal Fury motion picture, Mai Shiranui finally kicks her bad fighting luck aside as she faces Panni, the local Dark Action Girl, to help solve a Hostage Situation. And totally curb-stomps her.
- In Fairy Tail, most of Lucy's 1vs1-opponents are females (Sherry, the Brainwashed and Crazy Juvia, Angel, Flare), but she has also defeated males (Bixlow and Byro). Erza however fights usually against the strong ones (The Dragon guys), with a few of them being female (Ikaruga, Erza Knightwalker). But she too defeated some male opponents like Azuma and Aria. Erza's battle with Midnight can be mistaken for a Designated Girl Fight at first glance, but in all actuality, Midnight is a dude. The Grand Magic Games plays this trope straight where almost every female fights another female (Lucy vs. Flare, Mirajane vs. Jenny, Kagura vs. Yukino, Wendy vs. Chelia). It goes Up to Eleven during the Naval Battle where six of seven participants are females and fighting in swimsuits. After that during the Battle Royale, there is Erza vs. Kagura vs. Minerva. Plus there's Juvia vs. Merudy in the Tenrou Island arc. And Erza's battle with Coordinator in The Movie.
- Fairy Tail has a good number of aversions of the Designated Girl Fight tropes as well. While Lucy has a good number of Designated Girl Fights, even she has some male adversaries. In addition to Byro and Bixlow, she also fought Uosuke, one of the male Executioners (in the Grand Magic Games Arc of all arcs), and while she did have to fight the brainwashed Juvia, the real enemy was Vidaldus Taka. Erza, as mentioned before, usually fights the strong Dragon type foes, and while some were women (like Minerva, Ikaruga, and her own Edolas counterpart), a good number of them were dudes as well. She defeated Aria with ease in the Phantom Lord Arc, battled Azuma in the Tenrou Island Arc, and her fight in the Oración Seis Arc was possibly the strangest aversion in the series: Midnight. A man who can be very easily mistaken for a woman. Plus, she battled Cobra in the anime-exclusive Key of the Starry Skies Arc. And during the Tenrou Island Arc, Ultear, the main female powerhouse of Grimoire Heart, had Gray as her opponent.
- Usually averted in Yu-Gi-Oh!, where most of the female duelists duel against males. In fact, Mai's only female opponent was Anzu.
- Rebecca vs. Vivian in the Grand Championship arc.
- Likewise averted in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. Asuka has never a Designated Girl Fight in the entire series, except that one Tag Duel Match against Rei and Kenzaki, but Rei wasn't Asuka's main opponent, they even switched their partners during the duel, just because Asuka was irritated by Judai's cold behaviour.
- The female members of the Seven Stars Assassin, Camula and Tania, dueled against males. And they won (against Chronos, Kaiser and Misawa), but both of them were eventually defeated by Judai.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds:
- We have Aki vs Misty in the Dark Signer arc. It's actually not a classic Action Girl vs Dark Action Girl battle, as Aki is a Dark Action Girl herself for half of this duel while Misty is an Anti-Villain who is focused on Revenge Before Reason. It's hard to decide which of them is crazier at that point.
- However, Carly and Ruka avert this trope in this Dark Signer arc. (Jack vs Carly. Ruka & Rua vs Demack.)
- Aki's duel against Sherry is another aversion, since Aki and Crow are dueling Sherry.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has Yuzu and Masumi, both of them being the first female duelists introduced in this series.
- Subverted in Cyber Weapon Z. When Anling fights Soti, she has no idea that Soti is female since she's wearing a male uniform and a rather impersonal helmet.
- At least once Superman, who generally won't hit a woman, has stepped aside and let Wonder Woman take care of things.
- Wonder Woman generally tends to have a more feminine Rogues Gallery than most heroes, partially because of this trope.
- The Justice League comics have the Crime Syndicate of America, an evil version of the Justice league from a Mirror Universe. In their first (Pre-Crisis) battle in the comics, the authors mostly avoid the common cliche of having the characters fight the mirror versions of themselves. The one exception is Superwoman, the evil counterpart of Wonder Woman, who fights Wonder Woman because they didn't want to show a man and woman fighting.
- Runaways is usually pretty aware of superhero tropes but does occasionally make use of this. Granted, girls tend to outnumber guys on this team, and one of the girls involved has a mind-controlled dinosaur.
- Averted in Robert Rodi's Codename: Knockout series. Angela and Go-Go are fighting their British counterparts and losing... so they switch "dance partners".
- When the X-Men first fought Alpha Flight, Storm and Snowbird went at it, even though Storm's powers were a better match for Shaman's and Snowbird had more in common with Wolverine.
- Also, during a battle between the X-Men and Magneto's first Brotherhood of Mutants, Jean Grey was more than eager to fight against the Scarlet Witch, as the guys wouldn't fight her.
- The Marvel vs. DC/DC vs. Marvel miniseries had Storm fighting Wonder Woman (the two most popular heroines in their respective universes) and Elektra fighting Catwoman (the two Femme Fatales). It's averted, however, when teen heroes Robin and Jubilee are paired off, though he does manage to defeat her without hitting her.
- Kurt Busiek Lampshaded this in an issue of The Avengers where the team fought Squadron Supreme. Lady Lark (the team's Black Canary Expy) was paired up against Captain America, and mentioned that in the olden days, she was always stuck fighting one of the female Avengers like Scarlet Witch or Black Widow.
- In the early issues of Maximum Carnage, Black Cat immediately went for Shriek when Team Venom found Team Carnage. Justified in that Shriek was likely the only one of the villains that the non-super-powered Black Cat would have had a chance in defeating.
- Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comics featured a mirror universe in which the Freedom Fighters were evil, and inevitably this led to a confrontation between them in one issue. Initially this fight seems to go this way, as Princess Sally fights her own Evil Counterpart, but the trope is quickly subverted when the heroes realize fighting a mirror image is difficult...so they switch partners. Cue Sonic punching the evil Princess Sally in the jaw.
- In the Tamers Forever Series there is a brief battle between Rosemon and Sakuyamon. However this is actually justified as both these women are actually the most competant fighters in the area. (not including those who are borderline catatonic)
- In Ultimate Re Imaginings, Emma and Natasha fight, although this is justified as the latter is trying to kill the former and aren't pulling punches.
- In the final battle in Hot Fuzz, Skinner's attack secretary is taken out by Doris, the one female police officer. This does not go without lampshading.
- Mean Girls has the Matheletes sudden death round, Cady vs. Kraft.
- Sky High has Layla vs Penny.
- Superman II has the evil Kryptonian woman Ursa getting punched out by Lois Lane (and apparently falling to her death) after getting depowered. Superman himself never hits her, even when she's as strong as he is.
- In Van Helsing, the female sidekick kills Dracula's last vampire bride, but does not get to kill Dracula, even though she was supposedly fated to do it.
- In Cradle 2 the Grave, Gabrielle Union fights Kelly "Lady Deathstrike" Hu.
- Jinx vs. Miranda Frost in Die Another Day, although the James Bond series has featured occasions where Bond has fought and killed women.
- In Batman & Robin the movie, Poison Ivy was reserved for Batgirl. She takes out both Robin and Batman with astonishing ease in her lair — should Barbara not have butted in and become Batgirl all by herself, Poison Ivy would actually have won.
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has a Designated Kid Fight when Short Round takes on the Maharajah.
- In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra when Cobra invades GI Joe headquarters, redheaded Joe Scarlett has a brutal fight with The Baroness.
- In Dragonball Evolution: Goku fights Piccolo alone while Bulma and Yamcha run to safety. Then, Yamcha disappears inexplicably while Bulma fights Piccolo's female minion Mai. This may be because there's no way Bulma could help Goku fight Piccolo, but there's also no way she'd stand a chance against Mai either ... at least, not the way she's been portrayed.
- The older Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins averts this by having Pigsy shoot the henchwoman.
- Bulletproof Monk has one where Action Girl Jade gets in a fight with The Dragon, who happens to be the Nazi villain's relative. It's Jaime King versus Victoria Smurfit; for a fight to the death, hotness ensues remarkably quickly.
- Push. Cassie and the Triad girl fight. Double points since they had the same power as well.
- The fight between Evy and Anck-Su-Namun near the end of The Mummy Returns. The first film has a subversion, with Jonathan fighting Anck-Su-Namun. Although Evy and Anck-Su-Namun have significant history that would make them want to fight for personal reasons, and Evy is far more capable than Jonathan. It's less about not wanting to hit a girl and more about not getting your ass kicked by a girl.
- Subverted in Conan the Barbarian (1982). It looks like this is going to happen, as Valeria goes after the Princess while the boys are holding off an army of mooks — but Valeria is far too badass to get into a catfight, and promptly passes the (now stunned and tied) princess to Conan.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World:
- It has Knives vs. Ramona fighting for Scott's affection.
- Because Scott Wouldn't Hit a Girl, his fight with Roxy involves Ramona fighting her using Scott as a People Puppet.
- Melina vs. Lori in the original Total Recall (1990), though Quaid still gets to finish off Lori.
- Total Recall (2012) has Melina fighting Lori, as well.
- The live action Tekken movie has Nina and Christie face off in an intergender tournament. This is also averted when Nina and Anna try to assassinate Jin and Christy kicks plenty of ass against Kazuya's soldiers.
- Judge Dredd. While Dredd battles Rico, Dark Action Girl Dr. Ilsa Hayden has a Cat Fight with Action Girl Judge Hershey.
- Mission: Impossible, in which token heroine Jane Carter squares off with token sexy female assassin Sabine Moreau.
- X-Men averts this, with Storm and Jean Grey fighting Toad in the final fight, with Wolverine taking on Mystique. Both fights are quite close before the good guys win in both instances.
- X-Men: The Last Stand: Storm gets a rivalry with Callisto, fighting her on two occasions. However, this has less to do with them both being female than a nod to their complex relationship in the comics.
- Yukio fights Viper at the end of The Wolverine, though it's mostly because Logan is occupied with the Silver Samurai at the time.
- Resident Evil: Retribution features Alice facing off against a brainwashed Jill Valentine and an evil clone of Rain Ocampo from the first movie. There's also a mini-scuffle between her and Canon Immigrant Ada Wong early on.
- Kick-Ass 2 has Hit-Girl versus Mother Russia in the climax. Averted in the first film, although there isn't a female antagonist. Also downplayed as both Hit-Girl and Mother Russia are proven to be quite deadly against male opponents, and are probably the most dangerous ones on each side.
- In The Medallion, Claire Forlani's character Nicole faces off against Snakehead's only female minion.
- "Rush Hour 2" U.S.S. Agent Isabella Molina has a stand-off with Dragon Lady Hu Li.
- Subverted; Hu Li has a final battle with Carter, though it mainly consists of Carter trying to avoid being stabbed rather than actually fighting her.
- Blade: Blade's ally Dr. Karen Jensen ends up having a quick duel with the vampire Mercury.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: The fight between the female Guardian Gamora and Ronan's henchwoman Nebula, who are actually former step-sisters. The other Guardians are busy dealing with the rest of Ronan's Sakaaran mooks. Slightly downplayed as the only other member of the team who would likely be able to put up a fight against Nebula is Drax.
- In Team America: World Police, Sarah and Helen Hunt have a sword fight in the climax.
- Averted in Kingsman: The Secret Service. There is one woman on the good guy's team, and one woman on the bad guy's team. They never even see each other, much less fight, and it's Eggsy who takes on Gazelle in the climax.
- Happens in The Wheel of Time:
- Because Rand refuses to hurt women. Different from most implementations of this trope in that the implications of his unwillingness to fight women are actually addressed in the books.
- Practically deconstructed, when Moiraine has to step up and take on the vastly more powerful Lanfear because he can't make himself fight her, and apparently dies in battle. Rand has a Heroic BSOD as a result.
- In the final battle of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
- While Voldemort is fighting two teachers (one of them female) and an Auror, his Dragon Bellatrix Lestrange is fighting three schoolgirls...and she gets offed by one of them's Mama Bear.
- According to Word of God it's also Bellatrix who kills Tonks.
- Earlier in the seventh book, Luna Lovegood stuns Alecto Carrow presumably so Harry wouldn't have to.
- Also notable is the fifth book when Dumbledore uses his magic to bring the statues in the Ministry of Magic to life. The statue of the witch goes for Bellatrix.
- The Faerie Queene, Book 5: The female knight Britomart fights the evil Amazon queen Radigund because her boyfriend Artegall had to learn the hard way that Wouldn't Hit a Girl should not apply when she's trying to kill you.
- Older Than Feudalism: Happens in The Iliad, which is to be expected in an ancient Greek story. When the gods decide to stop fighting by supporting their favorites and fight directly, Hera picks a fight with Artemis and sends her home crying to Zeus in a Curb-Stomp Battle.
- Faye and Toshiko's battle in Hard Magic. Unlike most examples, it's the most impressive and spectacular throwdown in a novel chock-full of them.
- In Last Sacrifice, during her prison escape, Rose faces three guardians. Dimitri takes on the two male ones, while Rose faces Meredith. Meredith being one of her few female classmates.
Live Action TV
- Walker, Texas Ranger: In episodes where the lead villian is a woman and a final fight is demanded, there invariably will be a female Ranger (often, that week's Special Guest Star) who will be asked to take out the female villian. This is because Walker and Trivette Wouldn't Hit a Girl (unlike the male villains, who freely beat up women).
- Literally Once an Episode for Waterloo Road.
- Olivia Benson from Law & Order: SVU
- Fi from Burn Notice.
- Batgirl in most versions, especially the Lampshade Hanging-laden 1960s Camp Batman.
- Lampshaded, after a fashion, in an episode of Dukes Of Hazzard: when the group pairs off for the big brawl at the end of the episode, Cooter laments that the only person left for him to fight is a girl. Cue Daisy, who steps forward and says, "Oh, no, she's mine!"
- In the BBC series of Robin Hood, whenever the outlaws fought the law, Kate would always make a beeline for Isabella, the Veronica to her Betty, and her rival for Robin's affection. It was only a matter of time before the catfight ensued.
- In Power Rangers, whenever both heroes and villains have combatants of both genders on the field, the guys tend to break off into one skirmish while the girls have their own fight. However, averted when at least one side is composed of only a single gender (or even a single person as is normal for villains; with either the Monster of the Week or The Dragon), as the neither side will hold back due to gender.
- Done very frustratingly when Power Rangers Ninja Storm and Power Rangers Dino Thunder crossed over, where the mind controlled Ninja Rangers team squared off against the Dino Rangers; as the show broke its unofficial color-coding rules to have the female Blue Ninja Ranger and Yellow Dino Ranger fight each other instead of their like-colored male counterparts.
- This applies to crossovers whether or not they're fighting each other: when two teams fight side-by-side, they break up into Red Rangers, other guys, and girls, regardless of suit colour.
- In the original Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, it was fairly common to see Jason, Zack and Billy fighting Goldar while Trini and Kimberly fought Scorpina. This was back before Goldar stopped being a threat to any of them and Scorpina getting Put on a Bus, of course.
- Also used a lot in Rangers' source material Super Sentai, in which The Chick fights the Dark Chick or Dark Action Girl.
- Dynaman has Zenobia against DynaPink in... a battle that had them end up stripping.
- Zyuranger has Lamie (who'd become Scorpina above) against PteraRanger
- Megaranger has Shibolena against MegaYellow. Evidence? If you watch the show carefully whenever Shibolena fight she always fight her.
- Gogo V has Venus against GoPink. Also singing battle in ep 45
- Timeranger has Lila against TimePink. For 10 seconds.
- Hurricanger has Furabijo against HurricaneBlue.
- Shinkenger has Dayu against ShinkenPink
- Frequently justified in series by Joss Whedon, as they are the ones who often have the fighting ability/powers. They are then done brutally and without patronizing.
- Particularly whenever Buffy and Faith went at it in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- A gender inversion occurs in "School Hard" when Angel fights a gang of vampires alongside Xander (The Chick of the group, even though he's male) who's fighting the sole female vamp.
- In one that crosses with another universe, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has Thor's friend Sif sent to chase evil sorceress Lorelei on Earth.
- That isn't the only case. There's also: May vs Akela Amador, May vs Petra, Skye vs Raina, May vs Agent 33, Skye vs Agent 33 and there was also an episode the almost set-up a Mockingbird vs Simmons but Mockingbird was revealed to be a mole. There are also some exceptions: Coulson vs Camilla, May vs Deathlok, Ward vs Sophia and May vs Carl Creel. There was also a gender inversion when May, Lance Hunter and Mockingbird fought a bunch of HYDRA mooks, with Hunter taking out the sole female mook while May and Mockingbird fought the guys.
- Similarly, in Firefly, Inara heads off on her own to try to stop Saffron's plans twice. The first time, Inara loses a martial arts catfight to Saffron, who doesn't get away for long. The second time, Inara gets the upper hand by watching the end of the crew's impressive Gambit.
- In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror," it's Uhura who steps in to disarm Marlena Moreau when the latter pulls a knife.
- In the episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion", Kirk, Chekov, and Uhura face two male and two female gladiators. Kirk and Chekov take one male each, while Uhura has to fight both women.
- In a first season Next Generation episode, Tasha has to fight a chick to the death for the amusement of their hosts. Dead girl gets better.
- In Chuck, any and all female spies will be taken care of by—you guessed it—Sarah. The traitor in the C.A.T. Squad? Check. La Ciudad? Check. The female spy at her high school reunion? Check. And that fight was wet.
- It was especially ridiculous in one episode where it was Casey and Sarah vs Two Female Assassins. Casey actually stands there and watches Sarah fight both of them.
- JAG: Meg Austin vs Angelique in "Déjŕ Vu", after Angelique drugged Harm and tried to murder him.
- Used in the Sliders episode "Data World". A villain sends a male and a female Mook after the Sliders. When the male shows up, the three guys fight him while Maggie (the team's Action Girl) simply runs and hides. When the female arrives, then Maggie steps up and declares, "This one is mine!"
- Unnatural History: Maggie and the female scientist in "Thor's Slammer".
- A fair number of episodes of Alias have this. Sydney's a trained spook, and always has a gun, but if a female enemy spook shows up, the gun will be kicked from her hand, and the two of them will throw down.
- Subverted in the season 3 finale of Merlin. Gwen goes for Morgana but, being untrained in sword fighting, is easily defeated leaving it to Merlin to take her on. Also it's Gaius who takes out Morgause.
- Wizards of Waverly Place: Alex vs...Dark Alex, I guess, and Mason vs Dominic. Slightly justified in that Evil Alex was Alex's clone. Weird in that the same actor played them.
- The Walking Dead has Carol fighting against Mary in the beginning of the fifth season while Rick, Daryl, Glenn, and Bob fight against the mostly male Terminus group while escaping.
- The Intergender Match has these exact rules – when the male half of a tag team tags to his female partner, the female opponent also must tag in. Other than the time required for the female to make her tag and leave the ring, it is illegal for the male wrestler to be in the ring with his female opponent, and is a disqualifying offense if he lands an offensive move. Of course, it is not unheard of in these matches for a heel male wrestler to hit his female opponent while his female tag team partner keeps the referee distracted, or for the female face to land a finishing move on the male heel wrestler that leads to the pinfall. The announcers will stress the rules and if necessary, the difference between an intergender and mixed tag team match, the latter where men and women are allowed to fight each other.
- Since its brand extension era, the WWE gradually reached this point where it only has men fighting men and women fighting women in intergender matches. In Mixed Tag Team matches, it is rare that the males actually fight the females; as such, invariably when a male heel has been tagged in to finish off a female face that had been dominated by her female opponent for several minutes, she will recover enough to tag in her male partner before he can land a blow (often by having the male attempt an elbow drop or other mat attack but having her roll out of the way at the last second, or having the male wrestler taunt the fans and/or male opponent and stalk the fallen female wrestler before she gains her second wind and rolls to tag in her partner). Part of the lack of actual male-on-female fighting is attributed to concerns by women's groups concerned about male-initiated violence on women, or increased regulations by the networks or the companies themselves – those wanting to push a family friendly product that discourages males being the aggressor on females (keep in mind there was a time when PG rated Smackdown was well ahead of TV 14 Raw in ratings). However, this is twisted in that women are allowed to defend themselves against men or have all the offense in a match against a male wrestler, with the man not being allowed to even defend himself with a counter move ... not even so much as ducking out of the way of the female wrestler's flying cross body block to cause her to land outside the ring.
- Deconstructed in Ring of Honor, where Alexis Laree cut ties with Julio Dinero for not helping her against Allison Danger of the Christopher Street Connection. By contrast, even the always strung out Special K stable ran to aid Becky Bayless when she was obviously outmatched against opponents such as Laree.
- Exploited later when Alexis Laree joined up with Amazing Red and AJ Styles to stand against the Prophecy Stable, whose membership included arch enemy Simply Luscious. Stable leader Christopher Daniels challenged Laree to face Luscious one on one, then jumped her from behind before she ever got to Luscious.
- Enforced in TNA after Bitchslap, a stable demanding equal rights for men and women, were repeatedly injured in matches against Ron Killings and America's Most Wanted. No further male on female matches were booked and Jim Cornette would personally prevent any man from attacking a woman, regardless of how justified fans thought it was, forcing the baby faces to find female body guards.
- Invoked by Jillian Hall, who joined Paul London and Brian Kendrick to get revenge on Melina, who managed London and Kendrick's rivals MNM. Jillian stuck around long enough to fight Michelle McCool too, who lead another rival team the Teacher's Pets (KC James and Aaron "the Idon" Stevens). Later Ashley Massaro handled McCool for them. Averted in London and Kendrick's feuds with Deuce N' Domino, whose valet was a nice lady and The World's Greatest Tag Team, as Charlie Haas would attack London and Kendrick's valets to protect his wife.
- Inverted: In TNA when Cute Kip joined The Beautiful People and ended up fighting Rhino.
- Downplayed when The Olsen Twins teamed with Portia Perez, The Briscoe Brothers teamed with Amazing Kong and Mike Quackenbush teamed with Manami Toyota when facing the Kings Of Wrestling in 2CW, ROH and Chikara respectfully. While they chose women to even the numbers, the history with Del Rey was just as, if not more important than them being women.
- Justified in TNA's World Cup, where every team is made up of representatives for each of TNA's active title divisions. Heavyweight, X(which ranges from "no limits" to "cruiser weights" only), Tag Team, ect, with "Knockout" being a woman's title. Realizing they had no women capable of beating Mickie James, Aces & Eights appropriated Ivelisse Vélez from team international, which also lead to a subversion (Aces and Eights ran out and attack Mickie, surprising right?) and an aversion, Team USA still tied with Aces And Eights, leading to a tag match tie breaker involving all team members.
- Just about all sports are separated into male and female competitions to eliminate the differences between the sexes as a factor in athletic achievement. In the Olympics, the only exceptions are equestrian and some yachting events.
- This is averted in most non-professional and non-interscholastic instances. Most pre-Little League teams – that is, mostly those for children yet to reach 10 years old or so – will allow mixed teams. Men and women can be seen on mixed teams, sometimes with mixed teams playing each other, in open gyms, just-for-fun outings, etc. In gym class, including intramurals, there's often mixed teams. Non-professional softball often has mixed teams, with rules stating where women and men are in the batting order, etc.
- Outside of the Olympics there's mixed doubles tennis. Teams of one male player, one female player. Used to be a good example of the trope since it was considered unsporting for the male player to target the woman on the opposite team but his partner probably would as the weaker player. Now largely averted since woman's tennis has become more athletic and the best male players don't play doubles while the top female players do.
- There are also a small but growing number of professional female jockeys and race car drivers who compete in the same competitions as their male counterparts.
- Super Paper Mario, where Peach and Mimi face off one on one at the end.
- The slap fight between Tifa and Scarlet near the end of the second disc of Final Fantasy VII.
- Averted in The King of Fighters '97. The New Faces team is more or less an evil counterpart to Japan's Hero Team, but the resident lightning user (Shermie) is female. Although considering that she's Benimaru's counterpart, perhaps it's being played straight...
- Also averted in the Treasures of God path. You can make Chizuru fight Shermie, but this is completely optional.
- In general, fighting games tend to zig-zag the trope to Hell and back. You can have a Designated Girl Fight if you choose an Action Girl as your chara and have her face a female enemy, but there are more than one ways to avert this unless said fight is pre-determined by plot and/or paths.
- Resident Evil 5:
- Used to a degree, during the two-on-two boss battle with Wesker and Jill. If Chris keeps Wesker's attention on him, Sheva will engage and attempt to restrain Jill to keep her out of the fight.
- Averted if you play as Sheva, where Chris will offer to take care of Jill while she deals with Wesker.
- In Samurai Warriors 2, Oichi and Nohime's Gaiden battles are literal Designated Girl Fights, as they challenge each other (and all of the female characters, plus Ranmaru Mori) to see who the fairest in the land is. At the beginning of said battles, an absolutely delighted Oda Nobunaga eggs them on.
- In Pokémon Conquest, the majority of the female Warriors' special episodes center around a contest to determine "Ransei's Greatest Beauty", where the only available Warriors (generics included) are females. And Ranmaru.
- In Dynasty Warriors 6, when Yue Ying and Zhen Ji encounter each other at the battle of Han Zhong, they exchange insults about each other's husbands. Depending on which side of the battle you're playing, the dialogue will change slightly, but whichever one is on your side will land the final zinger, and the other will become enraged and go into hyper mode.
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy:
- Subverted in the opening cinematic: It at first appears that FF6's Terra and FF8's Ultimecia are having a magic duel, but it's actually a trick: Ultimecia is working with FF2's Emperor, hanging back on the sidelines, to make Terra fall into one of his traps.
- It is averted in cinematics for Dissidia Duodecim—from what we've seen thusfar, Lightning faces Garland and Laguna and Ultimecia fight each other, as do Tifa and Sephiroth, Shantotto, Prishe, and Terra haven't been depicted fighting any particular opponent, and we've yet to see the Cloud of Darkness at all.
- ...And now it's evident that, of the three female protagonists who were prominent in the 12th cycle, only Tifa adhered to this trope and ended up facing off against another woman (Ultimecia); Yuna was pitted against the Emperor (for what he did to Tidus and Jecht), and Lightning remained against Garland. And, in another aversion (...sort of?) though the Cloud of Darkness isn't technically female (on account of being an Anthropomorphic Personification), its opponent ended up being Laguna (whose leg cramps promptly started acting up).
- Inverted in Summoner, when Jekhar and Rosalind fight Sornehan and Galienne, the player might be tempted pair them up in this fashion, but Sornehan is invulnerable to physical damage, while Galienne is invulnerable to magic, which makes such a match-up Unwinnable since Jekhar is The Big Guy and Rosalind is a White Mage.
- Basically averted in Street Fighter IV, where rival fights have a pretty balanced gender mix. The only real instance of this trope is Cammy, who has three rival fights (most characters only have one or two), all against other women.
- Originally averted by the old Smackdownvs Raw games, which allowed male on female matches and even had an 'undetermined' gender to allow characters to win both male and female titles. One entry in the series actually had a challenge mission that tasked the player with using Candice Michelle to defeat The Great Khali. Unfortunately the series has succumbed to political correctness in recent years and the the only match type that can feature both males and females is the mixed tag match. If you are controlling a male character then the game makes it almost impossible for you to strike a female competitor and you are forced to tag out. If you do somehow manage to land a blow then you automatically lose the match by DQ.
- Averted in Sonic Riders, in which Tails's rival, Wave, is female.
- Usually averted in the Soul Calibur series, where everyone fights everyone. The opening of Soul Calibur 2 does have a fanservice-heavy fight between Ivy and Taki (possibly to show off their new assets), but they have no in-game connection, and by the third game's cinematic they're fighting Cervantes and Voldo, respectively.
- In The Gamers Alliance, Ax battles Varalia in the Ruined Kingdom.
- In the TGWTG Team Brawl Spoony made The Nostalgia Chick fight That Chick with the Goggles while he would take Bennet the Sage. As Nostalgia Chick and That Chick with the Goggles fight Spoony and Bennet simply grabbed their cellphones and started taking pictures.
- Thoroughly averted in Red vs. Blue, where virtually all of Tex's battles have been against men.
- Epic Rap Battles of History played this straight for the first 3 seasons. The only boy vs. girl battle they did (Adam vs. Eve) was designed as a Battle Of The Sexes. The only other three battles with females were girl-on-girl (Palin vs. Lady Gaga, Cleopatra vs. Marilyn Monroe, and Miley Cyrus vs. Joan of Arc). They seem to be playing with this more in Season 4, with Ghostbusters vs. Mythbusters having one woman on an otherwise all-male team going up against an all-male team, and Romeo & Juliet vs. Bonnie & Clyde being a battle between 2 couples, each with one man and one woman. However, there remain no single woman versus single man battles apart from Adam vs. Eve, the only battle in Season 4 so far to feature a woman rapping on her own being woman-on-woman (Oprah vs. Ellen).