troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Girly Bruiser
Her frilly dress coordinates so well with the blood she splatters.

Bowser: Y'know, Peach, it's girls like you who set women's rights movements back about 400 years. You wear a dress and heels, you bitch slap opponents, you have a vegetable garden, and one of your most powerful moves involves your ass!
[Peach rages and clobbers Bowser with a frying pan]
Bowser: Where did you get a frying pan?!
Peach: Um... in my kitchen?
Brawl Taunts

The majority of Action Girls out there are all fairly physically attractive and feminine in their own right, but there tends to be a line drawn between exactly how feminine an Action Girl can be. This character defies that. She will be tough as leather and as soft as silk. If there is a Tomboy and Girly Girl situation then she will be the Girly Girl but will not be any less of a badass. Traits of the Girly Bruiser can include having a love of fashion and make-up, having stereotypically "girly" hobbies, loving cute animals, and of course loving the colour pink, in addition to doing and liking those activities as much as she does and likes kicking ass. She may even do her ass-kicking while wearing frilly girls clothes, though it's not necessary.

In media aimed more towards males, the attention will naturally be on the male characters, so this trope will not be as prevalent.

Personality traits associated with this character include The Ditz, Genki Girl, The Pollyanna. Can often be a Badass Princess, Cute Bruiser and Badass Adorable too. Note that she differs from the Lady of War in that she doesn't have to be elegant with her ass kicking (Although she can be).

The classic Magical Girl intersects with this trope somewhere: she's at her most powerful when she's wearing as many pretty Frills of Justice and Frilly Upgrades as possible.

A Sister Trope to Kicking Ass in All Her Finery (the fashionable counterpart), Agent Peacock (the Spear Counterpart). A Super Trope to Super Cute Super Powers.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Advertising 
  • This Japanese commercial features actress and karate black belt Rina Takeda in a pink dress, breaking tiles with her head.

     Anime & Manga 
  • Digimon Adventure has Lilymon, a pink nature pixie that fires energy rays out of a flower-shaped cannon. Oh and did we mention she's an Ultimate Level Digimon?
  • Misty from the Pokémon anime has stereotypically "girly" Pokemon such as Goldeen, a white-and-pink fish with frilly looking fins; Staryu and Starmie are starfish that have jewels in their core (the Pokemon themselves are valued as jewellery at times); and Horsea, a cute seahorse. She also adores cute things unabashedly.
    • From the third movie, Spell of the Unknown the little girl Molly uses Pokemon such as Flaaffy, a cute pink sheep and Teddiursa, a teddy bear. Thanks to the power of her dreams, they're all nigh unstoppable.
    • May and Dawn are Coordinators, and to be a good one you must have Pokemons that are both flashy/elegant/cute/etc. as well as strong in the battlefield. Some Coordinator Contests also require the trainer to dress up: in such cases, May dons a Belly Dancer outfit and Dawn puts on a cute frilly dress... and still direct their Pokemon in battle.
  • In Soul Eater Liz and Patty are this trope and a Cute Bruiser respectively (they normally serve as Kid's weapons but they can wield one another just as easily and grew up on the streets of Brooklyn).
  • Hungary from Hetalia, as an adult. She's a long-haired Team Mom who often wears a maid uniform, but when she had to go into the battlefield or confronts someone getting in her nerves, she's not exactly girlish. In fact, she WILL kick your ass and more often than not, with her long hair down under her uniform hat.
  • Sailor Moon has The Team running on this trope. Their transformation cry is "X power make up!" and their costumes are sailor outfits with bows and frilly skirts. The girls themselves also like archetypically girly stuff like fashion, cooking, pop music, makeovers, romance, boys, etc.; i.e. there's a whole scene in the anime where Minako and Usagi bond over Usagi possibly getting a haircut while Minako combs Usagi's Rapunzel Hair.
    • The aforementioned Minako/Venus is one of the best examples, as she's boy-crazy and cheerful and her dream is being an Idol Singer. She also can use very effective light and energy-based attacks. Heck, one of her attacks is named "Venus Love and Beauty Shock", and it's a heart-shaped projectile that's delivered via blowing a kiss to the enemies!
    • Also, Michiru/Neptune. Very feminine, collected and softspoken. Possesses wavy long hair and wears flowing dresses. Has very cultured and artsy interests like classical music (plays the violin), painting and reading. Is the one with the reins in her relationship with Haruka and is a skilled Lady of Black Magic.
  • Several in Lyrical Nanoha. For but a few examples:
    • Vivio by the time of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid is probably the best example in the series. She's the very image of an adorably girly little girl, who loves stuffed toys, loves to play dress up, loves to cook, and even her device is an adorable floating bunny plushie. She's also a very skilled Kung-Fu Wizard who could block your blows before delivering Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs that ends with you Punched Across the Room.
    • Nanoha herself. She's a Cheerful Child as a kid, could be mistaken for a House Wife if you meet her at her home as an adult, has a pink magic aura... and has a tendency to blow up both enemies and the people she likes to befriend with huge pink beams of doom that create destructive pink explosions. She's currently a highly-decorated military officer and trainer who's known as the Ace of Aces by the general populace, the devil by her enemies, and the White Devil by fans.
    • Fate. As an adult, she's easily the most motherly member of the cast, having adopted several kids and having quite the worrywart personalty. She's also a famed Enforcer and Multi-Melee Master, swiftly slicing her foes with a beam scythe, a BFS, and whatever other forms her Swiss-Army Weapon could take.
  • Mirajane Strauss from Fairy Tail is the guild's mother figure who cooks and serves drinks in the titular guild. She is also a gravure model, and has never worn pants once in the series. She is charming and friendly, and loves to gossip with other members, especially with Lucy concerning her love life. When pushed to the edge, it becomes clear why Mira holds S-Class rank in Fairy Tail as she transforms into a ferocious demon using her Satan Soul powers, which were enough to trash Freed Justine and Kamika, and even demolish the Tartaros demons' respawn point.
  • Jun the Swan from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Her Gatchaman suit features a pink minidress, white elbow length gloves, go-go boots, and a white cape colored red on the inside. She loves fashion, shopping, and feminine type activities. She acts sweet and kind, has a schoolgirl like crush on The Hero, and is generally as girly as they come. She can also lay out full grown men across the floor in a fight with relatively little effort.
  • HeartCatch Pretty Cure!: While the rest of the cast (and most of the franchise) count, Itsuki Myoudouin particularly stands out, a girl who adores cute things but has been forcing herself to act and dress like a boy since her brother fell ill and she had to take over as Heir to the Dojo. She grows into this trope as she comes to realise that her hobbies aren't mutually exclusive.
  • Rebuild of Evangelion gives us Mari Makinami, with a pathological love for pink, singing and cutesy cat-noises... who, with the aid of her mecha, will cheerfully rip the occasional Eldritch Abomination to shreds, score an instant headshot in a flying mecha, and at one time even singlehandedly saves the remainder of humanity under circumstances that involved jumping into an abyss of several kilometers. She's a hardcore Blood Knight, the only person in the show who has ever found Eva piloting to be fun, and says that the smell of LCL is her favorite in the world (in the original series, Shinji claimed it smelled like blood).
  • Problem Children are Coming from Another World, aren't they?: Asuka Kudou wears a frilly dress and hair ribbons, because the former has an "aura of protection". With her Compelling Voice, she can make you grovel at her feet. Then she gains Humongous Mecha ally.
  • Magi - Labyrinth of Magic has Princess Kougyoku. The youngest royal princess of The Empire, who wears a pink Pimped-Out Dress, has a very girly crush on the king of a foreigh country and adores making flower crowns...and kick ass with her bigger-than-her sword and/or with her Djinn Equip.
  • Space Dandy: Honey is a pretty and bubbly waitress who can punch out and then suplex you without difficulty.

     Comic Books 
  • Jill Trent Science Sleuth is thin and attractive, wears skirts, hats, and heels like other stylish '40s gals... and punches out bad guys with ease. Her Heterosexual Life Partner Daisy Smythe also qualifies.
  • Spider-Man's Mary Jane Watson. Girly Model/Actress with self defense training from Captain America himself. Do not try to put her in a Damsel in Distress situtation; she will END you.
  • Harvey Comics' Richie Rich: Richie's girl friend, Gloria Glad. Most of the time, Gloria is a Girly Girl but if challenged, she's quite happy to exchange her short skirt, blouse and hair ribbon for trousers, shirt and helmet and go play gridiron with the boys. Her willingness to try earns her more respect than her (average at best) ability.

     Fan Works 

     Film - Animated 
  • Astrid in How to Train Your Dragon is the best fighter of her entire age group, but she's also quite girly when compared to other women in her village: she wears bright red and blue clothes and favors a headband instead of the traditional helmet, as if to show off her (almost shiny) blond hair.
    • Fittingly, the dragon she rides is one of the most beautiful breeds, with glimmering blue scales...and a bladed tail that can shoot spearlike horns with frightening accuracy.
  • Rapunzel from Tangled though she doesn't discover that she's a badass until she leaves her tower at age 18. To make the example even more pronounced her weapons of choice are her 70 feet of hair and a frying pan.

     Film - Live Action 
  • Sophia Myles's portrayal of Lady Penelope from the live action Thunderbirds film fits this. She is a prim and proper member of the British aristocracy that wears nothing but bright pink. Then when she finds the villains on Tracy Island she proceeds to show off her martial arts skills and wipe the floor with them. She does this while wearing her pink high heels and uses her parasol too.
  • Mariko Yashida from The Wolverine is a capable Action Girl and very feminine.

     Literature 
  • Rachel from Animorphs is a glamorous blonde who will eagerly morph into a grizzly bear to fight.
  • Sophronia and Monique in Gail Carringer's The Finishing School Series. Monique rather more than Sophronia.
  • In The Witcher saga, Ciri is the girly half of her Tomboy and Girly Girl duo with Mistle. However, it is Ciri who is the deadliest fighter in their entire gang, thanks to her training with the eponymous Witchers.
  • Sarah in Tales of an Mazing Girl has a pet kitten-Named 'Super Skittles'. She can also lift up the Chrysler Building.
  • In Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, Vin becomes a girly bruiser over the course of the first book, then winds up rejecting girliness in much of the second, and ends up settling on Lady of War in the third.
  • In Brimstone Angels, Havilar enjoyes wearing frilly and/or revealing outfits, ogling cute boys, and brutally handing bad guys their backsides with her glaive. Word of God explicitly describes her as a silly, somewhat vain teenage girl- who is also very, very good with a deadly polearm.
  • Referenced in Dead Famous by Ben Elton. Dervla Nolan is beautiful, elegant, ladylike, caring, and almost all the male housemates are attracted to her - but she reveals herself to be a kickboxing champion who breaks Garry's nose by kicking him in the face.
  • Sergeant Taura in the Vorkosigan Saga, oh so very much. She's a giant bioengineered Super Soldier who likes makeup, pretty clothes, and the color pink. She's a very nice girl when she isn't being terrifying.

     Live-Action TV 
  • All of the Charmed ones likely due to being normal women for twenty plus years before becoming badass witches. All do stereotypically feminine things and are seen wearing the latest fashions every week - most of the time while fighting their enemies.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer is incredibly girly in the first season and her appearance was even tweaked to look more like a Valley Girl. She defeated a Big Bad while wearing an evening gown and spends her time cheerleading, dancing and boychasing whenever she's not slaying vampires.. Word of God states that she was created to exist as a defiance of weak feminine characters. Her girliness mellows out after season one and (especially) after she graduates high school. Even during the first season some aspects (like the cheerleading) drop away very quickly. Willow and Tara also take a level in badass over the course of the show but remain girly.
  • Used as a plot point in a Lizzie McGuire episode where Lizzie worries that being a great football player who can rough it up with the guys will stop them from thinking she's feminine. The Brawn Hilda of a coach then reveals that she is a Girly Girl at heart and likes to sew her own dresses (which are bright pink) and go swing dancing at the weekends.
  • Smallville has Kara Kent - beauty queen and superhero.
  • Every single Pink Power Ranger is this by default. However, Kendrix, Karone and Rose aren't really that feminine outside of the pink suit. And two of the three don't normally wear pink in their everyday attire either.
    • Kimberly of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers often wore such girly outfits as a pink dress and jewelry, and beat up putties in them. Before becoming a ranger, she was a gymnast. She has taken out more monsters singlehandedly than anyone in the team, if we don't count Tommy's Dino Thunder return.
    • Ashley Hammond from Turbo & In Space is a cheerleader and aspiring fashion designer, yet also took auto shop and fights in a tiny miniskirt.
    • Zig Zagged with Vida from Mystic Force. She is initially shown to be very brash and hates the color pink. However, she does not have a problem with skirts as casual wear or showing a softer side, and embraces her ability to sprout fairy wings.
    • Summer Landsdown from RPM used to be this. As a Rich Bitch she was still trained in karate but now as the Yellow Ranger her girliness is de-emphasized.
    • Syd from Power Rangers S.P.D., a wealthy socialite who loves shopping and is the Girly Girl of the Tomboy and Girly Girl duo she makes up with Z (who is similar to Vida.) She will kick your ass and make it look like she's having fun doing it.
  • Crops up in various Super Sentai series as well. Kotoha from Samurai Sentai Shinkenger is probably one of the best fits. A cute, retiring pollyanna who is associated with the earth element. Especially when contrasted with Shinken Pink Mako who leans more to the Lady of War. Power Rangers Samurai being a Shot for Shot Remake of Shinkenger means the same goes for Emily.
    • While Ahim aka Gokai Pink from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger normally goes Guns Akimbo she is in her Gokaiger form, when untransformed she is just as willing to kick your ass when she feels appropriate and is quite willing to mix it up by getting in close when using Ranger keys with more close combat oriented powers such as Denzi Pink. And she happens to be the girliest Ranger in franchise history; a princess from a world destroyed by the villains pre-series, wearing a pink dress most of the time and being extremely formal and polite even when informing you that if you do not back off, asskicking shall commence.
  • Penny from The Big Bang Theory is an attractive, outgoing and quite boy-crazy aspiring actress. However she's incredibly strong for a woman and way more capable of handling herself on a physical level than any of the guys on the show.
    • In one episode she broke Howard's nose with just one punch. She punched Sheldon pretty good in another as well.
    • When Leonard and Sheldon's apartment is broken into Penny wishes she had been there because she would have gone Nebraska on their ass.
    • Another example when Sheldon's World of Warcraft account gets hacked Penny eventually shows up and kicks the thief in the groin.
  • Caroline from The Vampire Diaries, after she turned into a vampire and Took a Level in Badass.
  • Once Upon a Time: Snow White is a princess, and (usually) dresses as such, but do not underestimate her.
  • Guinevere from Merlin didn't get into many combat situations, but when she did, it was as this trope. At the end of season four, she helps win back Camelot — all while wearing a shirt embroidered with flowers.

     Music 

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Nearly all the WWE Divas, though this is enforced from above. Gail Kim has gone on record to state that WWE wants more girliness in the Diva matches. Their title belt even has a pink butterfly on it and the FCW Divas' belt has a pink strap (as well as their other title being a tiara).
    • Natalya wears more pink than any other Diva on the roster (Pink and black are her family's colours) yet it doesn't make her any less of a badass. She's like this in real life too as a glance at her numerous tweets about shoe shopping will tell.

     Video Games 
  • Pokémon offers us Champion Iris in Black and White 2, who wears a frilly dress, has a starry rainbow battle theme, does a pretend roar when you challenge her...and then sends out a Hydreigon.
  • Final Fantasy X-2's battle system revolves around changing into different outfits to gain new powers. The arch rival LeBlanc wears a pink outfit and has a steel fan as a weapon. One of her attacks is even called "Love Tap".
  • The Tekken series offers up Ling Xiaoyu, a Genki Girl who loves amusement parks, anything cute and whose best friend is a giant panda. And yes she has her share of pink outfits. Michelle and Julia Chang are more softened versions of the trope being badass versions of Closer to Earth.
  • Virtua Fighter has Eileen, a teenage girl who amps up her cuteness by utilizing Monkey Kung Fu, complete with monkey-like gestures and hopping.
  • There are many, many examples in The King of Fighters. The most blatant ones are Cute Bruiser Athena Asamiya, Dance Battler Momoko, Ms. Fanservice Mai Shiranui and Glacier Waif Hinako Shijou.
  • Ar Tonelico 3:
    • Clustanian reyvateils in general — they're front line soldiers.
    • Mute acts like a House Wife in Phase 4 and goes onto put Raphael into a paralyzing bear hug
    • Sakia, the sword bearing and armor wielding guardian, has a very cutesy soulspace. When asked about it, she blushes and refuses to comment.
  • Leliana of Dragon Age: Origins is vocal about her love of shoes, dresses, music and cute animals. She's also very good with a bow and arrow or a set of knives. Oh, and she used to be a professional spy / assassin.
  • Cherche from Fire Emblem Awakening is a charming, pink-haired young woman in her early 20's (presumably), who enjoys cooking and sewing. She has a calm and serene personality, a beautiful smile, and always carries herself with grace and dignity. Even when she's tearing enemies apart with her axe while riding on a big-ass wyvern. What a lovely lady!
  • Can be invoked in Saints Row: The Third. Female Voice 1 for the Boss can say stereotypically feminine things such as complaining about chipped nails, and there's nothing stopping you from kicking massive amounts of arse while wearing makeup, a skirt and heels.
  • No More Heroes and its sequel have a few assassins that invoke various parts of this trope, including the model Holly Summers, shojo figurine collecting schoolgirl Shinobu Jacobs, Fangirl Kimmy Howell and Gothic Lolita Margaret Moonlight. Cute But Psycho "Bad Girl" provides the trope's image.
  • Touhou is infamous for frilly dressed girls able to kick ass. Yukari is an example, favoring dresses while boasting some very powerful abilities, such as Bullet Hell by the series' standards.
  • Yukiko Amagi of Persona 4: She's sweet, well-mannered, often dresses in traditionally "feminine" clothing, and overall is the Girly Girl to her best friend Chie's Tomboy. She is also not someone you would want as your enemy: In the TV World, she possesses high-level fire magic (though this tends to take a back seat to her being The Medic), while in the normal world, she shows herself to be fairly Badass when handling a sleazy reporter who is threatening her family's inn. (Although without resorting to violence in this particular case.)

     Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Nora Valkyrie is a Genki Girl with a heart motif... which extends to the grenades she fires out of her combination grenade launcher and war hammer.
    • Miss Weiss Schnee, who is a bona fide heiress, wears a fancy dress and jacket into battle, and who is perhaps the best example of a Lady of War out of the main team (and even the secondary team).

     Western Animation 
  • Bubbles from The Powerpuff Girls overlaps with Badass Adorable as she represents "sugar" in the chemical mix that created the girls. Could be justified since she's only five years old. Similarly Blossom (who represents "everything nice") wears a pink dress. Buttercup, the 'spice', is not an example, as she's the rudest, crudest, most vulgar and all-around unfeminine of the girls.
  • X-Men: Evolution
    • Kitty Pryde fits the stereotypical Valley Girl personality yet still kicks as much ass as the other X-kids.
    • Jean Grey is also girly and nobody is about to question her badassery.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Sarah is a villainous example. She's literally the most out of control little terror on the cul-de-sac with all the kids terrified of her. She also loves playing dress-up, having tea parties, keeps a diary and her prized possessions are her "dollies".
  • Teen Titans: Starfire is the bubbly heart of the team rocking a mini skirt and Zettai Ryouiki. According to the episode "Go", her "girliness" is something she's picked up since coming to Earth; before then, she was more of a Proud Warrior Race Girl.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • Rarity is The Fashionista who runs a dress boutique. She is just as liable to jump into the fray in a dangerous situation as any other pony. In the first episode where she's the first to attack a manticore and a season two episode, "Dragon Quest", she's perfectly prepared to lay down a whoopin' to protect Spike, even threatening to rip her opponent apart. Also shown in the second season finale where she straight up knocks out Mooks with right hooks. She is actually quicker to resort to force than brash, athletic Rainbow Dash or the physically strongest team member, farm girl Applejack. We see her take on martial arts fighting stances more than once.
    • Pinkie Pie is a party and sugar loving Genki Girl who won't hesitate to whip out her Party Cannon to lay a beating on the bad guys,
    • Fluttershy is an overly shy Friend to All Living Things who can stare down a dragon.
    • Lauren Faust loves puppies and kitties as much as the next girl, yet has incredible Creator Worship and can be quite the Mama Bear for her Bronies. She's long been out to prove that there's far more to girls than what the media lead us to believe until Friendship is Magic came to be.
  • Mabel from Gravity Falls is very girly and energetic, but she packs a mean punch. She gave Dipper two black eyes in "Tourist Trapped" (by accident, no less!) and even made a gnome throw up after she kicked him in the stomach. It comes in full force in "Headhunters". Also, she high-fives hard.
  • Asami Sato from The Legend of Korra is the girly girl to Korra's tomboy. She's also the most proficient of the bunch in trouncing the average Equalist mook. She's a bit lacking against Mecha-tanks on account of being The Team Normal but she fixes that problem by hijacking one for herself.
  • Jinmay from Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!. She's kind, polite, adorable, and girly as they get, but you'd better hope she's on your side, or she'll blow you to bits with her eye lasers, or some of the many missiles loaded in her robot body. And she's not too bad at chucking vehicles, either.
  • All three main agents from Totally Spies! tend to fall into this, as well as Fourth Ranger Britney. Clover plays the trope the straightest as she's more of a girly girl than the other three where Alex seems to be a Mixture of Tomboy and Girly Girl..
  • Miss Martian from Young Justice is easily the girliest girl on the team and unarguably its biggest powerhouse. It turns out, though she does genuinely like the girly stuff, she's also deliberately playing up her girliness in order to make herself more likeable, due to the fact she suffered from Fantastic Racism on her homeworld and reasons Earth would probably be worse if she didn't present herself as so cute. The reason she adopts a much more human-like form than the Martian Manhunter is because her true form is so monstrous that even other Martians find it hideously ugly.
  • Ms Finster from Recess rules the playground with an iron fist, boxes and gets up at 5 am to do bench presses. She also loves to hula dance, go to the beauty parlour, wear face cream and of course drives a bright pink car.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: Astrid continues to demonstrate this in the sequel series to How To Train Your Dragon. She has a minor vanity streak (as shown in a Freudian Slip), performs acrobatic jumps on the back of her dragon, and as the second best Dragon Rider on the island, she's the official Number Two of the Berk Dragon Training Academy.

     Real Life 
  • Miss England 2009, Corporal Katrina Hodge self-identifies as a girly girl and has stated her intention to persuade more girly girls to join the armed forces. She first came to the attention of the media after she punched a gunman to the ground.
  • As the numbers of female cops, soldiers, and firefighters continues to rise, the number of them that are correspondingly girly in real life does as well.
  • The women in the Lingerie Football League. Yes, they may be pretty ladies wearing underwear, but they're still playing full-contact football.
  • The idea that feminine doesn't necessarily mean weak is a mainstay in modern feminism.

Girls Love Stuffed AnimalsFemininity TropesGirly Skirt Twirl
Cute BruiserYoungstersCute Witch
Girlish PigtailsAlways FemaleGirly Girl
Feminist FantasyAction GirlGirls Need Role Models
Girls Love Stuffed AnimalsGirly GirlGirly Skirt Twirl
Femme FataleWomen Are DelicateGirls Need Role Models
No More HeroesImageSource/Video GamesNo More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
73596
35