The rules of masculinity say that a man cannot be beaten by a woman. Of course, any such man who is beaten by a woman is pretty unhappy.
Rationale for No Guy Wants an Amazon
may be in evidence. Related to Samus is a Girl
, if the man wasn't aware his opponent was female before losing. May be the punishment of the Straw Misogynist
, whose sole purpose is to be beaten by the woman.
Often the only thing more humiliating to a believer in machismo is to be defeated by a cripple
Unfortunately Truth in Television
. Ironically prevalent among men who know little about fighting.
Not to be confused with Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male
, but may be the reason some victims of that trope are afraid to come forward.
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Anime & Manga
- In the Superboy story introducing the Legion of Super-Heroes, Superboy's first task in order to join the team is to compete against Saturn Girl (part of the main Power Trio of the Legion) in retrieving a sunken statue from the ocean. However, Superboy is just barely on his way when he gets sidetracked by a crisis involving the local school's robot Superboy. By the time he resolves it, Saturn Girl has completed the task. When both returned to the clubhouse, Cosmic Boy takes the opportunity to rub it in:
You lost out on your first task... and to a girl
! Is this the great Superboy
we learned about in school? What's your excuse?
- Happens to Ken Mills of Dork Tower, as his girlfriend Sujata regularly trounces him at whatever games they play.
- Comes up a few times in Birds of Prey, most notably when Dinah trounces a group of religious extremist terrorists. Because dying honorably in battle is believed to be a guaranteed ticket into Heaven, the man Black Canary has at her mercy refuses to talk— until she questions whether being killed by a woman counts.
- In one Spider-Man comic, the Chameleon seemed to be on cloud nine; he had broken out of Ravencroft Asylum, discovered Spider-Man's identity, and on top of it all, learned that he was his old partner Kraven the Hunter's half-brother, not just some lowly servant that Kraven had been bullying. (Sure, that made him a younger brother that Kraven had been bullying, but still...) He was so full of himself that he decided to pay a visit to Mary Jane disguised as Peter... Only for her to see through his disguise quickly and beat him senseless on her own, with a baseball bat. His lofty rush of confidence fell pretty quickly and only went downhill from there.
- A Very Potter Musical: "We just got beaten by a nerd... Who's a girl."
- An all too common a way to demonstrate how "awesome" a Jerk Sue is, is allowing her to beat up Ron the Death Eater.
- Midway through the Azula Trilogy, Azula has a run-in with a homicidal waterbending pirate. He comes back as The Dragon in the third part, itching for revenge after being beaten by a teenage girl. Fittingly, he just gets his ass kicked by Katara this time.
- Mega Man Reawakened has this. In Arc 4, Bass is humiliated after Roll defeats him.
- In Takamachi Nanoha Of 2814, Superman loses a fight to Vita due to his weakness to magic. Everybody makes fun of him, even Batman.
- In Emergence, Yang beats Darryl in arm wrestling. He gets so pissed that he attacks her. He didn't know she's a superpowered warrior, and she would have killed him if she hadn't been drunk and if their friends hadn't separated them.
Films — Animation
Films — Live-Action
- Averted in Dragon Bones: After he is beaten by his aunt Stala, Ward is proud that he lasted so long. As Stala is the head of the guard and taught Ward everything he knows about fighting, that's hardly surprising.
- Clan of the Cave Bear had this as a running subplot. Justified in that, to the Clan what Ayla does and is able to do is literally inconceivable.
- Averted in "A Scandal in Bohemia": Sherlock Holmes, who Does Not Like Women, finds out that the adversary who managed to tail him home, then escape from him, is a woman named Irene Adler. He is greatly impressed and a little bit smitten.
- In Half Magic, Katharine wishes to beat Sir Lancelot in a joust, and then has to unwish it when Lancelot is mocked by the other knights because he was beaten by a girl. Though in this case it's more that she wished to be five times better than Sir Lancelot at fighting without also wishing to not be, for all intents and appearances, an untrained child.
- In The Bible, we have the story of Abimelech, who was mortally wounded when a woman dropped a millstone on his head. He had one of his men kill him so that people wouldn't say that a woman killed him.
- In Silicon Wolfpack, Murgatroyd gets KO'd by an Action Girl because she thinks he's trying to steal her car. His friends naturally think this is hilarious, and one of them points out that speed and flexibility count for more than power.
- When Margo and Malcolm spar in Time Scout, their first two bouts go to Malcolm. The last two go to Margo. That he, an experienced guide twice her age, got manhandled convinces him he hasn't been spending enough time at the gym. That she, too, is spending time there is just a bonus.
- The reason why Elend refuses to spar with Vin. Though this has less to do with Elend being macho (he's not, particularly) and more to do with the fact that he's king and Vin is tiny. Knowing full well that she'd beat him, he'd rather not get curbstomped in front of his subjects by someone who's barely five feet... and his girlfriend.
- Gerald Tarrand, Villain Protagonist of Coldfire Trilogy is not remotely pleased to learn that the Evil Sorcerer who defeated him in the first book is actually a woman using a masculine title. Of course, the fact that he's a vampire who normally prefers to feed on young women makes it a particularly galling role reversal for him.
- In the Encyclopedia Brown series it is a constant source of embarrassment for Bugs Meany that he got beat up by Sally Kimball.
- Comes up a few times in Monstrous Regiment. After one of Polly Perks's fellow girls-disguised-as-boys clobbers one of a pair of guards (while disguised as a washerwoman no less), the other guard asks if they could knock him out too, so it doesn't look like he didn't put up a fight against a bunch of women. When asked why he doesn't put up a fight, he simply states that he's not stupid.
- On The Amazing Race 17, men from two different teams made a number of comments about how they felt of the possibility of losing to either of the female teams, Nat & Kat or Brook & Clair. Thomas, who finished third behind the two female teams in the finale, averted this, as he admitted that the female teams were the two best teams.
- Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy begrudgingly acknowledged sisters Kisha & Jen's racing skills in the Season 18 finale, though their hyper-competitiveness meant they probably would have had this reaction to any team beating them.
- Chip (Season 5) had this reaction after getting smoked by the Bowling Moms in what he described as "putting together a car," but was really just decorating it by attaching a bunch of pieces to it.
- An episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Xander react with annoyance when Buffy rescued him from a school bully, which is distinctly different and more ego-deflating than the times she saves him from demons.
- At the end of the Doctor Who episode "Utopia", the Master utters his anger at having been fatally wounded by Chantho. His next self is killed in a similar fashion by Lucy in "Last of the Time Lords" and jokes that women often do that.
- In Horrible Histories' Boudicca song, a Roman soldier says this.
- In Malcolm in the Middle, Reese gets his ass kicked by a female wrestler in a match, which demoralizes him and causes him to try and be nice, which in turn creates the bully power vacuum that later arises.
- Prince Arthur from Merlin really doesn't want to fight Morgause but can't back out without losing face. He ends up incredibly embarrassed anyway when she beats him. Arthur rationalizes the situation to himself by saying that he let her win because she's a woman; Merlin is unconvinced.
- In an episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Mose beats Ned in gym during a martial arts class, causing the local bullies to give him grief that he was beaten up by a girl. Ned seeks the help of Gordy, who simply tells him fighting a girl is a no win situation, as if you lose, you just got beat by a girl, and if you win, you just beat up a girl. In the end, this is resolved by Ned and Mose flipping said bullies to show them how wrong they are.
- The Sontaran Kaagh from series 2 of The Sarah Jane Adventures is humiliated at being beaten by "a female and half-forms". He survives his first appearance, but feels unable to return to Sontar out of shame, and ends up working for the main villain in the series finale.
- Stargate SG-1: A tribal chieftain, Turghan, gets owned by Carter. And she had a much smaller knife, too.
- Supernatural: The Winchesters are hunting a monster who assumes the form of its victim's idol. Its most recent victim was a teenage girl. The fight ends with Sam cutting its head off and a beat-up Dean on the ground.
Not a word. Sam:
Dude. You just got whaled on
by Paris Hilton
- The whole basis for the "Battle of the Sexists" episode from season 1 of That '70s Show is that Eric can't take being worse at sports than Donna.
- The West Wing: An intellectual version — When facing off on Sunday morning talk-show "Capitol Beat", Blonde Republican Sex Kitten Ainsley Hayes takes Sam Seaborn apart rhetorically.
- John Crichton of Farscape, so very much. The first episode features him getting his ass handed to him by Aeryn; it doesn't really stop. Doubly amusing as John's a pretty buff guy, all things considered.
- In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, everyone mocks Will after he loses a fight against a female boxing trainer. When he decides to arrange a rematch, Hilary is shocked that he Would Hit a Girl. A similar case happens in an earlier episode, when Will is made fun of because his martial arts-trained girlfriend defended him from a man who attacked him.
- On All That a dummy of a character would often be used to indicate he or she was being tossed around. In an old west sketch Nasty Nancy (Kenan Thompson) and Dusty Pants (Josh Server) fought the Slappy Brothers (Kel Mitchell and Leon Frierson). Kenan hits them with a dummy of Christy Knowings. Leon remarked that he can't believe they were beat by a woman. Kel notes they weren't just beat by a woman, but beat "with" a woman.
- On Cold Case, Scotty and Lily are transporting a prisoner wanted for the presumed murder of a woman who disappeared several months earlier. Scotty taunts him about the fact that it was HIS blood found at the scene rather than the victim's, meaning that she'd managed to put up a decent fight—"You get your ass handed to you by a woman, Johnny-boy?"
- One episode of Cybergirl had a bully who had the misfortune of encountering Cy. Jackson later used this for Shaming the Mob — particularly Emerald and Sapphire Buxton.
- Angel. In "Five By Five", Wesley is kidnapped and tortured by rogue vampire slayer Faith. In the following episode Cordelia examines his injuries and says, "If it's any consolation, it really does look like you were tortured by a much larger woman."
- One song by Phil X and The Drills contains the choice lyric "I'm the air hockey champion of the world, of the world ... except for the time I got beat by a girl!"
Myths & Religion
- In Norse Mythology, Thor once lost a wrestling match to an elderly woman, and everybody makes fun of him. Learning that she was Elli, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Old Age, who cannot be defeated because nothing is immune to aging, not even the Gods, doesn't cheer him up.
- El Profe went ballistic after losing to Monster Ripper at WWC's 18th Aniversario show. While it's true he was tripped up by her manager before getting pinned, his had tripped her up first to give Profe that advantage.
- This happened to MANY guys who faced Miss Texas (Jacqueline) in Memphis, as she got over by beating up both men AND women. At WCW Halloween Havoc 97, she defeated WCW World Television Champion Disco Inferno in a non-title match (because WCW wouldn't/couldn't sanction an intergender match for the title). She defeated Harvey Wippleman for the WWE Women's Title.note Right before being pushed out the door in 2004, she defeated WWE World Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero Jr for the title, who was so incensed he tied one hand behind his back during their rematch to "prove" he could beat a woman.
- On the September 16, 2000 ECW Hardcore TV, the Musketeer threw out an open challenge to anyone...and "The Female Fighting Phenom" Jazz ran in and kicked his ass in 49 seconds. After the match, announcer Joey Styles mocked him by saying, "Good night, d'Artagnan!"
- Seen at Wrestling Is Heart's October 19, 2013, show, Heidi Lovelace defeated Eddie Kingston.
- MsChif started her career in Missouri, particularly in Gateway Championship Wrestling, this way, going on an undefeated streak that saw her usually defeating men. And no man took it harder than Sean Vincent.
- Raven tried to get this reaction out of CM Punk by sending out Trinity with the mission to beat Punk down. Punk retaliated by having Lucy beat down Raven.
- While Alexis Laree had pinned three members of Bollin Services, it was Mike Mondo who took it personally, to the point he tried to force one of OVW's bookers, Maria Kanellis, into a match to prove he could beat a woman.
- Moxley Moxx didn't take to losing to girls too well. His most infamous instance wasn't even a loss when he gave a referee a stunner for awarding one fall out of three to Traci Brooks but his most high profile case was a definite loss to then rookie teen wrestler La Amazona in the IWA Puerto Rico Cruiserweight Title Tournament.
- Santino Marella has lost to a lot of women. Maria Kanellis, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix...and this had an odd affect on his psyche, as he would try to prove his manliness by beating divas at traditionally girly tasks. The divas are wearing bikinis? Behold, the mankini! Nothing says manly like a Battle Royal to determine Miss Wrestlemania!
- Rachel Summerlyn has done this a few times. At ACW From Innocence To Insanity 5, July 17, 2011, she defeated Scott Summers for the ACW (Texas) Televised Championship. She defeated Evan Gelistico for the ACW (Texas) Heavyweight Championship at ACW Lone Star Classic 2012, November 11, 2012, in the final of the Lone Star Classic 2012 Tournament.
- Miyako Matsumoto defeated Survival Tobita at Ice Ribbon New Aisuhiro #493 - Muscle Venus 5th Anniversary, August 25, 2013.
- AIW Women's Champion "The AK-47" Allysin Kay defeated Kobald at AIW The End of the World, December 21, 2012.
- Sara Del Rey pinned her ex-BDK stablemate Tim Donst to win the Torneo Cibernetico at CHIKARA Cibernetico: The Animated Series, November 12, 2011, making her the first and so far only woman to do so. Earlier in the match, she had eliminated the BDK's monster Tursas. However, the man who took losing to her the hardest was Claudio Castagnoli.
- Mike Bennett clocked Kimber Lee after their match and tried to give her a package pile driver on the edge of the ring when he became the latest person to fail to stop her 2014 undefeated streak in Beyond Wrestling when she pinned him out of a piledriver attempt with an alligator clutch, of all things.
- In Puccini's Tosca, the female protagonists stabs the complete monster Scarpia in the gut; "that was Tosca's kiss". Realizing the wound is fatal his reaction is: "Oh killed by a woman, what a disgrace."
- In Advance Wars, Eagle expresses his surprise when Sami, who has just beaten his whole army, turns out to be female.
- Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles:
- Seedle from Makai Kingdom was a famous samurai in life, and died when a woman stabbed him while he was trying to rape her. He really hasn't gotten over it, especially since said woman was burned as a witch for killing him and ended up in the Netherworld alongside him, eventually becoming one of his rivals.
- One of the pre-recorded taunts in Age of Empires II is "Oh, you just got beaten by a girl."
- In BioWare's original Neverwinter Nights game series, one of the female player character's voice options says, in a stentorian fashion, "Prepare to be beaten by a girl!"
- In Lollipop Chainsaw, when Juliet Starling defeats Vikke in a boss battle, Vikke has a Villainous Breakdown and screams, "Impossible! I can't be beaten by a little girl! I'm a warrior!"
- League of Legends: Annie's taunt invokes this: "Beaten by a little girl... Hah!"
- In BIONICLE Hakann gets beaten by Lariska (much to his surprise).
- In The Antithesis, the first episode of the story (I. The Encounter) recounts Alezair Czynri nearly getting killed by Leid Koseling in the battle of Jerusalem circa 1180. Alezair's ego is significantly damaged by this, and this initiates the entire story, making him want to pursue her and perhaps fight her again. Later in Decus, Qaira Eltruan gets his ass beat by Leid on numerous occasions after losing his temper (or after she makes him lose his temper), and often he becomes so impossible to deal with that she must smack some sense into him. This is also ego-damaging to Qaira, since he is what we would deem a "manly-man", also a chauvinist, and also a misogynist. Although the readers find Qaira's beat-downs rather funny, Qaira, in fact, does not.
- In the Whateley Universe, huge Montana (who looks like a Sasquatch) gets challenged to a fight by petite Sassy Black Girl Chaka, who proceeds to utterly pwn him. In front of a big portion of the school. This does eventually lower his jerk quotient.
- In a web game featuring Edd versus one of the Kanker sisters, players who lose are scolded for being "trashed by a girl".
- Omega Zell from Noob gets a few interactions with this trope. The tournament from the comic has him fight against Golgotha and he gets genuine fear of losing against her due to the fact that he has shown hints of not entirely considering her a woman (he considers all his other female peers as unable to overpower him). In the webseries, he lets his loss of a Curb-Stomp Battle with Saphir pass due to her being a much higher level player than he is, but doesn't take loosing his first real duel against Gaea well at all.
- This happens in an episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender when the Kyoshi Warriors jump and tie up the trio, and it turns out they are all female. Sokka refuses to believe that a "bunch of girls" captured them, and tries to argue that "sneaking up" doesn't count as a fair fight. Confronting them later only confirms that they can, in fact, best him in a fair fight. And then he ends up dating one of them.
- Duncan from Total Drama Island was demolished by his own girlfriend, despite mentioning early that he wasn't going to let her win.
- Inverted in Futurama, Zapp Brannigan is actually happy when he finds out that the guy who just beat him was actually Leela in disguise. Relieved because he was starting to have... feelings for "him".
- In Hey Arnold!, everyone mocks Harold when he loses to Patty at arm-wrestling. After getting to know her, he stops being ashamed and beats up the bullies mocking him.
- In South Park, Cartman gets beaten up by Wendy, which causes Cartman to despair that the other kids won't think he's cool anymore. All the other kids tell him that it's OK...they never thought he was cool to begin with! Of course, this being Cartman, he takes that as meaning they still think he's cool because they're trying to "humor him".
Mr. Garrison: Stanley, can I talk to you for a minute?
Mr. Garrison: I couldn't help but notice that black eye you have. Are there problems at home?
Mr. Garrison: Oh dear. Here Stanley, sit down, have some cocoa, and tell your friend Mr. Hat all about it.
Mr. Hat: I'm your friend, Mr. Hat, Stan. You can tell me anything. Now, who hits you, is it your father, or your mother?
Stan: Oh, neither. It's my sister.
Mr. Garrison: Your sister?! Oh for Pete's sake, don't be such a little wuss. Stop wasting Mr. Hat's time with pansy little foo-foo problems, and, give me back my cocoa!
- Imagine the shame of being a muscle-bound henchmen who just got your butt handed to you by a cheerleader, even Kim Possible.
- She-Ra: Princess of Power Skeletor responds like this when She-Ra makes her first appearance, and knocks the stuffing out of him: "A female He-Man! This is the worst day of my life!"
- This also happens in an episode of Adventures of the Gummi Bears in which Princess Calla defeats every man in a tournament before losing to a masked challenger... who turns out to be a girl as well.
- While this could qualify for any villain beaten by The Powerpuff Girls, this explicitly comes up in "Members Only". The girls are not allowed to join the Association of World Super Men because they're girls despite besting the heroes at all the initiation tests. "Mascumax" then pummels the heroes, but the girls defeat him. He leaves crying that he lost to little girls. The association members state that the girls are now their heroes.
- In Aladdin The Animated Series Mozenrath implies this, after being defeated by Princess Jasmine, though he doesn't say it. The look on his face as he's trapped inside a giant crystal says everything. Especially after he spends the majority of the episode being a sexist douche.