You see? Never be late for a plane with a girl. 'Cause a girl runs like a girl, with the little steps and the arms flailing out... You wanna make this plane, you gotta run like a man! Get those knees up!
, "The Airport"
A gait particular to female characters (and sometimes used to mock effeminate males).
In the most exaggerated Girly Run
, the upper arms are pressed against the sides in order to control "bounce"
. The lower arms do not swing freely, and her hands are held high in a delicate, open position, rather than in fists or the stiffly pointed position favored by proper athletes. Often she will flex her wrists. The thighs are held together, but the calves may windmill out slightly, giving her a knock-kneed look, and her feet are lifted straight up, as though she were marching. Additionally, she carries her back straight up from the hips to the shoulders, rather than bent forward into the run. In extreme cases, she may even lean back
Variants include wildly-flailing arms rather than tightly-clenched arms; carrying the arms down and slightly out along the sides, not really bringing them up at all; running only on the toes rather than striking on the front of the foot (the way a barefoot person runs) or on the heel (as someone wearing running shoes does); and flapping hands.
Obviously, this is not very efficient from a biomechanical perspective. Game characters with girly runs will often seem unreasonably slow. It puts the character at very high risk of breaking a heel
You may notice that very few girls run this way in real life if they are actually trying to get somewhere fast, but there are a handful out there.
This is similar to Airplane Arms
, but whereas Airplane Arms
conveys exuberance and confidence, this conveys exaggerated femininity and lack of confidence.
Girly Run is often a component of Twinkle Toes Samurai
Contrast Power Walk
, Unflinching Walk
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Anime & Manga
- Azaka Kokuto from Kara no Kyoukai noticeably ran like this when she did a Foe-Tossing Charge, although it might be because she was running on the backs of pews to get directly to her target.
- The opening credits of Excel Saga give Hyatt an exaggerated version of this, alongside a loose-limbed Excel.
- Mikuru in Haruhi Suzumiya, especially in the student film shown in the first episode. It doesn't control her Gainaxing, though.
- Further exemplified in the opening of Haruhi's second season, Super Driver. She clearly stands out from the rest of the SOS Brigade.
- Momomiya Ichigo from Tokyo Mew Mew. As Mew Ichigo, she seems to lose the reflex completely, her movements visibly shifting from schoolgirl to catgirl.
- During the ending credits of Blue Drop the silhouettes of Hagino and Mari are shown running in this manner. This is a bit weird, since in the series they run normally and generally don't behave overly girly.
- Ryuubi from Ikki Tousen runs like this, when she is not tearing up the place in her dragon form.
- Lynette does this in episode 12 of Strike Witches. Maybe that's why she was the last one to arrive at the base.
- For some reason, Nanoha routinely did this in the first season of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Fortunately for anyone taking her seriously she could and did fly more often than not when in costume.
- Gilbert from Pandora Hearts does this in the first omake.
- Kagome of InuYasha does a bit of this throughout the show.
- Madoka Kaname in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, especially in the opening.
- Mami does this while leading Madoka through Charlotte's barrier in episode 3.
- Homura Akemi does this back when she has Moemura in the first timeline, and, recovering from a heart condition, she'd just come from a 6-month long stint in a hospital bed.
- Nova / Yuki in Star Blazers / Space Battleship Yamato runs this way.
- Emporio Ivankov's paramilitary legion of crossdressing men in One Piece run like this.
- Komachi/Cure Mint of Yes! Precure 5 and Yes! Pretty Cure 5 GO!GO! runs like this.
- Izaya from Durarara!! lapses into this occasionally. Also skipping. He's also one of the most dangerous characters in the series.
- Beelzebub has Furuichi (as well as several other characters as of late) running like a bitch.
- Little Busters!: Mio and Haruka run like this in the OP.
- Episode 6 of Attack on Titan features the rather surreal scene of a Titan running this way.
- In Love Lab, Maki, Suzune, and Eno run this way. The tomboyish Riko and Sayori run normally.
- Mekakucity Actors: Momo briefly runs this way while fleeing a horde of fans in episode 2.
- Hiyori also runs this way in episode 4.
- Cecilia in Infinite Stratos runs like this, most noticable in the ending.
- In Act 1 of Sailor Moon Crystal, Sailor Moon makes her public debut while yelling at Monster Of The Day Morga assertively, but then enters the scene with arms upraised and unsteady gait, along with the Slo Mo effect usually reserved for an Unflinching Walk. It underscores that, while Usagi's heart's in the right place, she's really green at the Magical Girl Warrior thing.
- Wayne Boring, the definitive Superman artist in the early Silver Age, seemed very fond of drawing women with their arms in this position, even when they were just standing around.
Film - Animation
- Deliberately averted for the eponymous heroine of Millennium Actress according to Word of God. Director Satoshi Kon felt it was important that Chiyoko's gait be as elegant as possible (since she spends so much time on-screen — and in a figurative sense, almost the entire movie — just running.)
- However, in his film Tokyo Godfathers Kon plays this trope for all its worth with Hana the transvestite. Especially effective when Hana girly-runs past a surprised pedestrian while thundering, "She's a baby thief!"
- Paprika from Paprika breaks into this at multiple points in the film. It makes sense, given her nature as hyper-feminized libido incarnate.
- And used effectively near the end of the film: when Atsuko transforms in Paprika to fight the dream-creatures intruding into the real world, she starts running like a normal person, then you see her running like Paprika, then you see Paprika.
Film - Live Action
- In the Tom Clancy novel Red Storm Rising, one of the protagonists (an intelligence officer in the US Navy Reserve, at that point), comments that the protagonist character in a Soviet film he's watching runs like a girl when coming ashore from a boat. The other person watching the film with him, a Marine with amphibious landing experience, retorts that the other should try running through the surf to shore, and see how he looks.
Live Action TV
- On Seinfeld, Elaine showed herself to have a girly run criticized by Jerry. Later, Kramer complains George is running the same way.
- Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It and In the Loop is an aggressive, foul-mouthed, violent alpha male... who runs like a girl.
- Peter Capaldi already ran like a girl, back when he was Danny in Local Hero. It came across as rather adorable then.
- And now he's the Doctor, and yes, he still runs like that.
- Probably not intentional, but Avon from Blake's 7 gets a bit... flaily when he runs.Justified in that he's a computer technician. The same excuse can be used for Blake, an engineer. Bodyguard Travis on the other hand, is occasionally shown virtually skipping due to the small size of the sets, despite his Ax-Crazy tough guy character.
- NewsRadio: At a Halloween party, Dave, dressed like a girl, gets in an argument with Lisa, who runs off. Dave sighs and runs after her, in heels, with no trouble. His Kids in the Hall background served him well...
- On Burn Notice Michael Westen runs like a girl while posing as a nerdy chemist so that he will be caught by a gang of drug thieves and be forced to infiltrate them.
- GoGo Sentai Boukenger. The DaiBouken does this when Natsuki is behind the wheel.
- On one episode of NCIS, while investigating a suspicious business woman, the team had reason to believe her rather ... effeminate assistant was hiding important information for her, and chased him down in the parking lot. The chase scene involved the terrified assistant running like a girl in a B horror movie from DiNozzo, until Gibbs cut them off and caught him. When Gibbs questions his inability to end the chase, a breathless DiNozzo can only defend himself by saying that the assistant's running style was "surprisingly efficient."
- Kairi and Namine from Kingdom Hearts. Xion and Aqua, however, have normal looking runs, which might have something to do with the fact that they're playable characters.
- Actually, Kairi has a normal looking run for most of Kingdom Hearts II, but when she gets a girly run with Namine in one scene, let's just say the animators didn't do things by halves.
- All living characters in the Fatal Frame games run slowly and in the girliest, most delicate manner possible. Even the males. Special mention goes to Miku Hinasaki, the de facto Player Character from the first game, who becomes even girlier in the third one, complete with flailing arm.
- The main character of Shadow of the Colossus even though it's a guy who kills 50 foot stone monsters by stabbing them all for love. Although he is holding stuff.
- To clarify, Wander doesn't do a "dainty" girly run — he's more of the "wild arm-swinging" variety of girly run. Of course, this could be perceived as clumsiness rather than effeminacy.
- The Final Fantasy series is fond of this trope
- Aerith in Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core, though she moves with a lot more ladylike dignity when she's older. This gets amusing in the 'escape from Shinra tower' cutscene in the original game, where (likely due to the graphical hurdles posed by her long dress) everyone else is running out of the tower, while Aerith is simply daintily walking at the same speed.
- Selphie of Final Fantasy VIII does this, which makes her stick out a bit when she's disguised as a male Galbadian soldier...
- Rinoa walks normally, but while running has a subdued version of a girly run.
- Princess Garnet in IX goes all out with this, especially when you control her. But then again, she is a princess.
- Rikku and Yuna in Final Fantasy X. Lulu holds up her skirt just a little bit.
- Particularly noticeable in Final Fantasy X-2 where Yuna is your controllable character and seems to put so much extra movement into running that she should be dead tired after five minutes.
- Vanille in Final Fantasy XIII
- Serah in Final Fantasy XIII-2 runs with an exaggerated prance with arms swinging at her side.
- Terra Branford in Dissidia: Final Fantasy
- Silent Hill:
- Heather, the protagonist of Silent Hill 3, has a rather girly run.
- Henry, from Silent Hill 4: The Room runs almost exactly like Heather whenever he's holding a weapon he needs to carry with both hands.
- Ash from Streets of Rage 3. He's an evil transvestite.
- Colette from Tales of Symphonia.
- Atelier Totori's titular main character has a particularly blatant example. The huge trails from the bow she wears doesn't help, nor does the fact that she's the on-screen character.
- Surprisingly, Ganondorf in Super Smash Bros.. Brawl.
- The default female walking/running animation in Second Life is a sort of mincing waddle with the forearms flailing stiffly at the sides. (Well, the male default animation isn't really any better.) It looks frankly ridiculous; getting an animation override for this at the earliest opportunity is strongly recommended.
- Most characters in Eternal Sonata run this way if they have long sleeves or a big skirt/dress to avoid the models touching. This gets to the point where characters continually are holding their arms out to the side.
- Polka not only runs like this - she stands still like this; her arms never rest against her body but are held out in a feminine way.
- The protagonist of Des Blood 4, Esk Anderson, does this as well.
- Hinako, fom The King of Fighters runs almost exactly as it's mentioned in the trope description.
- In My World, My Way, the princess does this whenever she's walking through a dungeon.
- It's not grossly exaggerated, but in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, despite being a legitimate Action Girl, Jill swings her forearms horizontally left and right while running in a decisively non-badass manner (although wearing a miniskirt and heels in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse may have something to do with it). She improves significantly in the sequel, though.
- Subverted and then played straight in the form of a Girly WALK in Bayonetta. She runs in a somewhat feminized version of the normal action-hero run, but when she walks... wow. Her pelvis basically dislodges with each step.
- Edge Maverick from Star Ocean: The Last Hope runs like this in the scene when you have to save Sarah from Tamiel and his gang.
- Roger Wilco starts running like this when he crossdresses in Space Quest IV.
- Many female civilians will flee from a gun-wielding player in Saints Row 2 in a very exaggerated Girly Run.
- In Neo Steam, female characters that aren't of the Pom race tend to do the lower body half of this when they're not carrying a two handed weapon. It's somewhat jarring out of elves and lyell(catgirls), since you would associate such races with gracefulness.
- Leanne from Resonance of Fate runs this way when carrying a single handgun or dual-wielded guns. When running with healing items, grenades, or a single machinegun her run looks much more natural.
- Marion Wolfe of Outcast does not run. She flounces.
- Thomas Maclaine of Deadly Premonition has one, as befitting his naturally timid nature. It also become something of Foreshadowing to his status as a Depraved Homosexual.
- Zhen Ji of Dynasty Warriors runs like this, except one hand is held slightly lower to carry her flute. So do the Qiao Sisters.
- Enterprising fans have hacked at least one version of the game to swap out character models while retaining the same animation, so any of the characters can be given girly runs.
- In the first Baten Kaitos game, the party's White Magician Girl, Xelha, has a downright hilarious run.
- During Triss' brief appearance in the prologue of The Witcher she has this in place of the normal run animation most people use.
- This trope is somewhat present in Dragon Age - females of all races hold their arms up close to the body with minimal swing and loose hands as they appear to hop-jog in their intended direction, whereas males pump their arms and run like, you know, normal people do.
- In Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, fem!PCs move their hips overmuch when they run. Like, really overmuch. Not that anyone's complaining...
- Tsuruhime from Sengoku Basara runs like this, holding her bow in one hand. It's a wonder how anyone can run so fast with their knees bent at such an angle. Her Idle Animation also has her sway mincingly from side to side for no apparent reason other than to look girly.
- Jennifer from Rule of Rose runs like this. She also fights in extremely stereotypically girly manner - she covers her eyes while she stabs the enemies!
- Florian, Niko's Camp Gay former Army buddy, runs like this in Grand Theft Auto IV.
- Rain from the Fear Effect series definitely runs like this. Hana does not. This serves as a contrast between the two characters, with Hana being more masculine and Rain being more feminine.
- The carpenters got a very girly run in the 3DS remake of Ocarina of Time.
- And it was already extremely girly in the N64 original!
- BlazBlue: Amane Nishiki doesn't just look like a girl. He runs like a girl too.
- Alice from Shadow Hearts definitely runs like this.
- Mother 3: Kumatora's run animation has her doing this. Which is funny considering her usual persona.
- If you put your player character in a dress or skirt in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, they do this. Yes, even if you're using a male character that you put a dress on.
- Princess Peach runs like this in Super Mario 3D World.
- Every female wrestler does in WWF No Mercy.
- In the final few moments of a flashback sequence in The Simpsons season 9 episode "The City of New York Versus Homer Simpson" that explains Homer's undying hatred of and why he took an oath never to go back to New York City, we see him, through a series of cosmic circumstances, cross ill paths with a pimp, who chases young Homer for miles out of the city. The pimp, due to his elongated limbs and flowing attire at first seems to have only a slightly exaggerated walking pattern. But a closer examination of the pimp's arms and elbows reveals that it's an exaggerated version of this gait.
- In the Danny Phantom episode "Forever Phantom", the title character is physically unable to resume his secret identity as a human. He has his friends Sam and Tucker cover for him by dressing up in his clothes, and when it is Sam's turn to distract Danny's parents she runs off in plain sight of them, at which point Danny's father comments that Danny "runs like a girl".
- Curiously, Sam does not do a girly run—she runs 'normally,' and is actually quite athletic and fast.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy. Edd runs like this. Sorta. No wonder some fans thought he was a girl at first.
- Larry 3000 from Time Squad started doing this in season 2, when his effeminate gestures became exaggerated.
- Velma and Daphne in Scooby-Doo would both run like this in the original series.
- Something of a weird inversion in Family Guy, when Stewie states he hates Meg's "manly walk".
- Played by straight however, by Peter when he thought Dr. Hartman sexually violated him (he really was trying to give him a prostate exam).
- In The Adventures Of Blinky Bill, Shifty Dingo is shown skipping like this in the Mother's Day episode. About the only masculine things about Shifty are the fact he owns a skateboard and red baseball cap.
- In the The Legend of Korra episode "The Spirit of Competition," Bolin, of all characters, does this with bonus Inelegant Blubbering while fleeing the deeply hurtful sight of his friend Korra (who he'd taken on a date the night before) kissing his brother Mako.
- Mako's run as he goes after Bolin to calm him down, while less exaggerated, isn't as macho as you might expect either.
- The Venture Bros.: Hank and Dean each has a very... peculiar running style, as seen during the opening credits. The opening credits of episode 2x01 shows that their father has a third one.
- In the Transformers Prime episode Thirst, Knock Out tends to keep his arms raised up for no particular reason when running from zombie Terrorcons, and leans back a bit. Starscream, despite the heels, leans forward when running and his gait is more of a panicked flailing than anything really girly.
- Apparently, Japanese women really do run like this. Must be all that running they do.
- Adrian Sutil pulled this trope off in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
- Happens quite a bit in women's football/soccer.
- AJ Jacobs describes barefoot running in his book Drop Dead Healthy as having a "prancing tenor" to it.
- Peter Capaldi, as noted elsewhere on this page, does this. Given who he just got cast as, and how much running that character does every single episode, Whovians are going to be in for a very entertaining time.