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 your knees up!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 slightly. 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, and Ninja Run.
— Jerry to Elaine, Seinfeld, "The Airport"
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- Averted in the Always #LikeAGirl campaign. When asked to run like a girl (fight like a girl, throw like a girl, etc.), the people did something silly... with the exception of the little girls themselves.
Anime & Manga
- In Episode 8 of Tenchi Universe, a Mihoshi!Washu Clone does this.
- Iyami and Nyaa-chan do this in the second opening of Osomatsu-san.
- 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. She later grows out of it as an adult, but she is succeeded by her Expy Caro who is even pinker than Nanoha.
- 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! Pretty Cure 5.
- Reika/Cure Beauty of Smile Pretty Cure! does this as well.
- 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.
- Eren on episode 4. No, seriously.
- 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. While her running in-series improves to match her growing up, the opening to Season 3 falls back to this trope.
- J. Geil from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure runs in this as he tries to flee from Kakyoin and Polnareff before being killed by them.
- In Magic Knight Rayearth, Hikaru and Umi run normally. Fuu, the excessively polite Meganekko, tends to do the "arms pressed to her side with dainty hands" type.
- Kokona runs like this during the first ending of Yama No Susume Season 2. It stands out even more because the other three girls, even the non-athletic Aoi, are all running like pros alongside her.
- Shinoa of Seraph of the End does this occasionally.
- The page image is from the anime version of Paprika. The style of running is even part of a transformation sequence when Chiba changes into Paprika in the real world; Chiba is shown running as you would expect a woman in a hurry really would, then she's shown doing the Girly Run, and then she's Paprika.
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
- Parodied and lampshaded in the third Austin Powers movie where Scott Evil, who's previously been just an everyday teenager is suddenly revealed to run in an exceedingly girly fashion. He's also sobbing madly.
- The above quote, by Dr. Evil, is said immediately after the above. What makes this even funnier, is that not even ten minutes later, after formulating a plan with his brother, Austin Powers, he can be seen running like a girl.
- In Stand by Me it was used as an acting technique. Wil Wheaton was required by the plot to lose a foot race to River Phoenix, but discovered that he couldn't do it naturally. He found that by flailing his limbs about, it slowed him down enough to lose but at the same time he looked like he was actually trying harder to win.
- The dressmaker in Kung Fu Hustle runs a bit like this. He's a guy. Not to mention a highly skilled martial artist.
- Steven Seagal especially in Hard to Kill has the girliest run ever used by an action movie star. He seems to lose control of his arm while sprinting.
- This is a problem for Seagal in all his films.
- Pirates of the Caribbean
Jack: You run like a girl.
- Captain Jack Sparrow uses the "arms flailing wildly" variant of a girly run; see it here. It's particularly noticeable in comparison in Dead Man's Chest to the much more efficient running style of the cannibals.
- This is eventually lampshaded in the fourth film (it went more or less like this):
Angelica: And you don't?
- Captain Jack's run was inspired by the way Tuco ran through the cemetery in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. This video compares them. (Unfortunately, it's private.) Tuco's run differed in that he didn't flail his arms, he tended to keep them down and slightly out from his sides. This is amusingly dissonant to his manic, larger-than-life personality.
- The pilots of Manta Squadron in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow run like girls, for the excellent reason that they are girls.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Peter Capaldi in just about anything he's in.
Bill: Why do you run like that?
- Malcolm Tucker from The Thick of It and In the Loop is an aggressive, foul-mouthed, violent alpha male... who runs like a girl.
- He already ran like a girl back when he was Danny in Local Hero. It came across as rather adorable then.
- Now he's the Twelfth Doctor, and yes, he still runs like that.
The Doctor: Like what?
Bill: Like a penguin with its arse on fire.
The Doctor: ... Ergonomics.
- When Ken is being chased by Bart in the first episode of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, he demonstrates a decidedly unimpressing running style. It's made all the worse by the fact that Bart, who the name notwithstanding is a girl, runs a lot more skillfully (and quickly catches up with him).
- 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."
- 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 The Kids in the Hall background served him well...
- On Seinfeld, Elaine showed herself to have a girly run criticized by Jerry. Later, Kramer complains George is running the same way.
- 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. Subverted in V, where if the player characters are outside where there's actual room to run around, they'll haul ass.
- 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.
- Justified with Lulu, since her skirt is literally made entirely of interwoven belts.
- 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:
- 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.
- Princess Peach and, 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: Roger Wilco and the Time Rippers.
- 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.
- 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 Legend of Zelda:
- 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.
- Spyro's walk cycle in Spyro: A Hero's Tail looks a lot like prancing honestly.
- The female protagonist of Yo-kai Watch, Katie, runs like this.
- The Nostalgia Critic does it while freaking out about Linkara in his review of Star Trek: Insurrection. And it's adorable.
- In a video on his second channel where various canned foods were heated in a campfire until they exploded, Lauri of Hydraulic Press Channel fame left in footage of himself adding the final can of food to the fire, a can of surströmming, and then flailing his arms as he ran away.
- 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 (the doc really was trying to give Peter 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.
- You have a good chance of breaking into a girly run everytime you try to run down some stairs (holding your limbs close to your body makes it less likely to lose balance).
- Adrian Sutil pulled this trope off in the 2008 Canadian Grand Prix.
- 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 currently plays, and how much running that character does every single episode, Whovians get to enjoy seeing this frequently.
- The late, great Eli Wallach didn't just run in his younger days, he frolicked daintily.