Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy
"Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls,Basically, a couple consisting of a very feminine-looking/acting boy and a very masculine-acting/looking girl. Often comes from pairing the Action Girl with the Non-Action Guy and with doses of Crossdresser, Bifauxnen, Ambiguous Gender, Attractive Bent-Gender, Unsettling Gender Reveal, Viewer Gender Confusion, Dude Looks Like a Lady, Even the Guys Want Him and Even the Girls Want Her. Common in Gender Bender and "Freaky Friday" Flip series. Occasionally, House Husbands and their wives will fall under this trope. Compare to Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl, Pitbull Dates Puppy, and Violently Protective Girlfriend. Sensitive Guy and Manly Man and Tomboy and Girly Girl work on a similar principle, but with two characters of the same gender. The Useless Boyfriend trope can be the result of this, but not always. Most likely are Cultural Rebels. Subtrope of Stereotype Flip. Important Note: While this is usually a straightforward trope, examples can still get subjective in regards to whether or not the woman is masculine enough or if the guy is feminine enough. Keep a few points in mind when editing:
It's a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world"
It's a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world"
— The Kinks, "Lola"
- It's not about their actual physical fitness and combat abilities relative to each other so much as their relative enthusiasm for these things.
- If the guy and girl possess personality traits that either a masculine woman or a feminine boy have, they fit.
- The masculine girl does not have to be a tomboy to fit this, and the feminine boy does not have to be Ambiguously Gay to fit this either.
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- It is quite possible to spot this when the guy has a pink product, while the girl has the same one in blue.
Anime, Manga, and Manhwa
- Akira and Mizuki from Mayu Shinjo's Ai Ore! Love Me! play around this. Akira is feminine-looking and the "princess" of his all-boys school, while Mizuki is androgynous and the "prince" at her all-girls school. However, personality-wise Akira is quite dominant and masculine and Mizuki isn't really all that boyish — though in the counted times she does show a more assertive side, Akira isn't that displeased either.
- Deunan and Briareos from Appleseed could possibly count, except that Briareos is a hulking cyborg four times the size of Deunan. But their relationship follows the trope pretty straight.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- Roderich/Austria and Elisaveta/Hungary, though in their case he's less girly and more of Princely Young Man. She's also more feminine than most blue girls, being an adoring Team Mom. Doesn't stop her from kicking your ass if you dare to harm him though.
- A more appearance-based, non-romantic variant in Hungary and Poland. She's a tomboy Team Mom, he's a Wholesome Crossdresser Valley Boy.
- Baccano! has three examples:
- Timid, chronically anxious All-Loving Hero Jacuzzi Splot and his Pyromaniac Violently Protective Girlfriend Nice Hollystone.
- Impulsive Blood Knight Mexicano Samurai Maria Barcelito and the passive, soft-spoken (though plenty disturbing) Torture Technician Tick Jefferson
- Seven-foot-tall, ripped Lad-ette Aging and reserved, reluctant Man Wearing the Kingly Mask Luchino B. Campanella.
- Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu with the identical twins Yuuko (masculine girl) and Hideyoshi (feminine boy) Kinoshita. While Yuuko is typically feminine in traits (such as being good at cooking), her personality fit this trope because of her aggressive, prideful, arrogant, quick-to-anger, and competitive behavior. Hideyoshi on the other hand is calm, helpful, and supportive. Ironically, he is also much more popular than Yuuko, much to her dismay, because of his looks.
- Although there are signs of it in the book and movie, Sakura Ogawa and Kazuhiko Yamamoto's relationship is shown to be like this in the manga of Battle Royale.
- Ranmaru and Tsuwabuki from Binbō-gami ga! aren't a couple (although Ranmaru wishes they were) but their dynamic fits this trope well. Tsawabuki is the dutiful Promoted To Parent big brother to his four younger siblings, he is skilled at domestic chores and is pretty even-tempered. Ranmaru is the ridiculously Hot-Blooded Born in the Wrong Century Heir to the Dojo girl. Its not that Tsuwabuki is not manly but that Ranmaru is significantly MORE manly. Case in point, number of girls in their class in love with Tsuwabuki? 3. With Ranmaru? Pretty much all the rest!
- Black Lagoon: Revy swears like a sailor, chugs rum, collects guns, and has no problem jumping onto a moving boat and killing every hostile on it, by herself, like an Action Hero. In the first arc, she was about to put Rock in a dress and hairbow because he seemed so feminine in contrast; the sensitive one who wants to talk things out without anyone getting hurt.
- The Breaker has Ji-Nie as the red-headed, hot-blooded, leather wearing tomboy bodyguard to the kinder, gentler Shi Woon.
- Chotto Edo Made pairs a Bifauxnen swordswoman with a feminine Long-Haired Pretty Boy.
- Chrono and Rosette in Chrono Crusade have elements of this. Chrono is implied in both versions to be better with housework (in the manga he's shown in an apron at one point, and in the anime the Elder says he does the cooking and cleaning for him), and is much more meek and gentle (although has an extreme Berserk Button, often putting him into an Unstoppable Rage), while Rosette is loud, brash, swears constantly and was a Lethal Chef as a child. They both have their moments where they act more stereotypically like their genders (Chrono is very protective of Rosette, and Rosette is very fond of pretty dresses), but they still don't fit neatly into gender roles.
- Played up early on in Claymore between Clare and Raki, where Clare is the badass lone wolf from a mercenary organization sent to hunt demons, while Raki was the "damsel in distress" whom she rescued, and who then needed her companionship so traveled with her and made himself useful by cooking for her. This slides off later on as Raki starts learning the ways of combat, though does not disappear entirely.
- Lelouch with Kallen and C.C. of Code Geass a non-romantic example (Maybe). Lelouch is Bad Ass, but his forte is strategy; Kallen (the Ace Pilot Action Girl) and C.C. (the immortal witch) protect him.
- There's also Kaguya, a 14 year old girl who is the president of half the world and very serious about being the third maiden protecting Lelouch.
- Death Note:
- Misa and Light. While Misa looks very feminine (Idol Singer, Genki Girl, enjoys cooking, loves wearing pretty and girly clothes and really wants to be Light/Kira’s wife) her personality actually fits this trope: she deliberately seeks out dangerous situations and is definitely more of a risk-taker, while Light is more cautious and of the two of them she is definitely more sexually aggressive. Misa will go to any lengths to protect Light, even withstanding Cold-Blooded Torture, and she would gladly die for him.
- Halle (secret service agent and karate champion) and Mello (Bad Ass effeminate mafia lord).
- In the prequel novel Another Note, Naomi Misora acts as L's "shield" and teaches him how to fight.
- In Dragon Ball Z, we have The Stoic Action Girl tsundere Android 18 and the soft, Cowardly Lion Nice Guy Krillin.
- Durarara!! has Celty and Shinra. Celty works a courier, rides a motor cycle, has super strength, and doesn't have a head. Shinra works as a Back-Alley Doctor, is a House Husband when off the job, is a Bishōnen and barely has the strength to knock Celty's helmet off of her neck.
- Elfen Lied has Lucy the Axe Crazy mutant who will single-handedly fight and kill armies in order to protect Kouta the Non-Action Guy. Like, Black Lagoon's example (Revy and Rock), Kouta isn't exactly archetypically girly, but he is much more quiet and less-action geared than Lucy.
- Re-L Mayer and Vincent Law from Ergo Proxy; Vincent is easily more emotional while Real is usually expressionless, impatient, or angry.
- The Wakamatsu/Seo couple in Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun has this dynamic, as Wakamatsu is a sensitive guy who believes in Shoujo Genre manga while Seo is a brash lad-ette.
- For a platonic example, Kashima and Mikoshiba. Kashima is a Tall, Dark and Handsome "prince charming" who can easily make girls fall in love with her, while her best friend Mikoshiba is a shy guy who often behaves like a Tsundere. When Mikoshiba tried to ask Kashima to become his pretend girlfriend (which she agreed to), the roles got reversed and Mikoshiba claimed that he felt like he has got a boyfriend instead.
- Hayate the Combat Butler has the title's Hayate Ayasaki being extremely polite, humble, and skilled at domestic tasks. Mirroring him is pink-haired swordswoman Hinagiku Katsura (one of his Love Interests) who is assertive, highly-athletic, and projects an aura of leadership. Simply put, he can make women around him feel their femininity is being challenged and she is cooler than any of the boys at school resulting in most of the guys and girls crushing on her.
- Each of them is a mix of traits however, and Character Development has resulted in them evening out somewhat. Hinagiku becomes less "tomboy" and more "girly", by showing that she is just as good a cook as master-chef Hayate and adores cute things, as well as focusing on her romantic side. Hayate gets to show off his determination and combat ability in addition to his dedication to duty and fulfilling his promises. Notably, he seems to like her "boyish" traits and Imagine Spots from her show that she kinda likes his "girlish" side as well.
- Haikara San Ga Tooru has The Lad-ette Benio in two of these. A non-romantic version with her best male friend Ranmaru (a very feminine-looking boy who's a member of a kabuki troupe — who as much is put in the Unlucky Childhood Friend role), and a more romantic one with her arranged boyfriend Shinobu Iijyuin (who, like the below-mentioned Andre Grandier from Rose of Versailles, isn't that girly but is still more patient and sensitive than she is.)
- Haruka and Kotake from Himitsu Kichi one-shot My Own Secret. She's a boyish Bifauxnen who practices judo and he's a feminine guy who likes cooking and sewing.
- Infinite Stratos has the biggest Badass Ace Pilot Chifuyu Orimura living with her little brother and main protagonist Ichika Orimura for the majority of their lives. He is the series House Husband who takes care of all the housework while she earns the money for both of them.
- A non-romantic example (not counting Aoi's one-sided crush on her) is Misaki and Aoi from Kaichou Wa Maid Sama.
- Kamichama Karin has Karin the tomboyish Cute Bruiser and Kazune the girly-faced tsundere.
- Sumire and Momo from Kimi Wa Petto. Sumire is an efficient, successful journalist who watches pro wrestling and Sentai anime in her spare time and is a martial arts master on the side, while Momo is a modern dancer who is fairly emotional and doesn't mind taking on the role of Sumire's pet.
- Ayako and Mamoru from Venus to Mamoru! Ayako's the violent, tsundere Personof Mass Destruction who gives off Huge Schoolgirl vibes in her attempts to act more feminine (not at all helped by the Absurdly Powerful Student Council constantly teasing the two about their relationship), and Mamoru's a cute boy who takes all the craziness around him with a gentle smile.
- Mako-chan and Touma from Minami-ke. Makoto isn't girly per se, but most of his scenes alongside the tomboy Touma feature him masquerading as a girl. In one episode, he also describes masculine and feminine traits inherited from his mother and father, respectively.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory has Mora Bascht and Chuck Keith. Although Chuck isn't all that girly, he's a fairly unassuming guy, and Mora is pretty Amazon (and head and shoulders taller than him), so this vibe is definitely present.
- Asuka and Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion. Shinji is obviously a House Husband in training, cooking and doing most of the chores around the house he occupies with Asuka and Misato, and has a shy, timid, and kind personality most of the time (unless he's seriously provoked or completely snaps). By contrast, Asuka is a Fiery Redhead Action Girl who revels in combat and remains the better pilot for most of the series.
- Several pairs in Ore-sama Teacher, as the female protagonist Mafuyu is a Tomboy/Action Girl. So there is Mafuyu and Hayasaka, Mafuyu and Okegawa, Mafuyu and Ayabe...
- In the manga Otome no Iroha, the main siblings' grandmother comes back from the dead and forcibly Gender Bends them because of this. Her feeling was that the odds of a Pink Boy and a Blue Girl successfully marrying, let alone providing great-grandchildren, were so minute she had to take matters into her own hands.
- The Pokémon adaptations enjoy making at least one pairing like this. The Pokémon anime has the aggressive Fiery Redhead Jessie and the Camp Straight James of Team Rocket, while Pokémon Special has the Camp Straight Ruby and the aggressive Tomboy Sapphire.
- Iris and Cilan in the anime. Cilan cooks, has a more passive and nurturing role, while Iris is more battle-oriented and wild.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Junko and Tomohisa Kaname. Junko isn't a super tomboy (more of a mother), but she is the most straightforward of the two as well as a Hard-Drinking Party Girl when off-work, whereas Tomohisa is a levelheaded and kind House Husband.
- The calm and serene So Touma and hyperactive tomboy Kana Mizuhara from Q.E.D..
- Ukyo Kuonji of Ranma ˝ is a Bifauxnen who manages to attract two different Wholesome Crossdresser suitors.
- The second of these, Konatsu, is so feminine thanks to years of brutal treatment that s/he can almost be argued as transsexual, to the point that his reaction when surprised in a bath is to squeal like a girl and cover his non-existent breasts.
- Ranma Saotome and Akane Tendo can be seen as a zigzagging example of this. Akane is a notoriously short tempered and violence-prone tomboy, infamous for her total lack of cooking skill, horrible at anything arts and craftsy (such as making cookie shapes, sewing, painting, etc), and not terribly good at housework. Ranma, in contrast, is capable of acting much more feminine, is very good at cooking and sewing, hates mess to the point he once forgot about burglaring a flat to clean up the mess inside instead, can actually turn into a girl more or less at will, and, according to one post-series book, actually has developed a secret enjoyment of crossdressing by the time the series ends, thanks to all the times he dressed up as a girl for whatever Zany Scheme he was pulling. On the other hand, Akane desperately wants to be more feminine and tries her hardest to achieve that, and had both stereotypically "girly" fears (such as loathing ghost stories) and a rather idealised view of femininity (due to her beloved mother's early death and having been raised by her Yamato Nadeshiko older sister Kasumi), while Ranma is a macho jock-type who'll even go around near-naked in female form because he's that masculine.
- Andre Grandier and Oscar Francois de Jerjays from Rose of Versailles. Perhaps not a textbook example, since Andre is not tremendously effeminate. But Andre is the more sensitive and people-oriented one, while Oscar is very direct and more goal oriented. Oscar is referred to as the "light," and Andre as the "shadow."
- Genjo Sanzo and his new best friend Sharak Sanzo from Saiyuki are two peas in a pod. They're a mirror reflection of each other, except for appearance. Genjo Sanzo is short, was mistaken for a girl a lot as a kid, is teasingly referred to as "princess," has men hitting on him because of his looks, wears a long flowing garment, and is the weakest guy in his party. Sharak has barely noticeable breasts, wears men's monk robes, is very buff, is covered in scars, talks and carries herself in a masculine manner, plus she does not like being thought of or looked at as a woman.
- From Sands of Destruction, we have mild mannered Kyrie and arrogant Morte. Because the two are so different, Kyrie has the power to convince Morte to stop destroying the world.
- Ryuji and Taiga from Toradora! have aspects of this in personality, but it contrasts with their appearance. Taiga is small ("looks like a doll") but has a brash, loud and angry personality. Ryuji has the Face of a Thug but is generally quiet and enjoys housework (especially cleaning but also cooking).
- Ryunosuke from Urusei Yatsura was unwillingly raised to be the ultimate manly man by her father, and later discovers she's in an Arranged Marriage with Nagisa, the ghost of a guy raised to be ultra womanly. Though after coming back to life, he turns out to also be insanely strong, despite mostly hiding it behind over the top girly behavior.
- Jung Suk Ha and Park Bong Bin from Utopia Of Homosexuality are respectively a Butch Lesbian and a Camp Gay who eventually end up together. Yes, a very misleading title.
- Ito and Makoto from W Juliet. So much that it's even implied that they'll get married in drag!
- Childhood friends Tsuyomaru and Hazumi from Woman in the Man, a short story by Masakazu Katsura. Mixed with "Freaky Friday" Flip as they switch bodies.
- Your And My Secret features a soft-spoken boy, Akira Urehara and loud-mouthed girl Nanako Momoi being Body Switched into one another's bodies. Just about everyone notices how much more masculine Akira and how feminine Nanako has become, and approve.
- Downplayed in Bokura no Hentai. Ryousuke is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy who crossdresses but doesn't have a feminine personality. His girlfriend, Miki, is a Tomboy with a Girly Streak. In elementary Ryou was noted for having long eyelashes and looking too much like his sister while Miki was bifauxnen and One of the Boys.
- Yoona and her twin brother Yoon Sung from Welcome To Room 305 when they were young. Yoona is boisterous, looked androgynous, and would get into fights protecting her short, crybaby brother. As adults Yoona is still The Lad-ette but Yoon Sung is a Jerk Ass
- Miwako Satou and Wataru Takagi from Detective Conan. Takagi isn't super girlish but he's mentioned to be a "vegetarian" (non-aggressive) kind of man (unless he's in the line of duty) and is a VERY Adorkable Nice Guy, whereas Satou is his tomboyish and straightforward Action Girlfriend. Rather hilariously lampshaded in this manga page (Spoilers alert)
- Yuuki from Boku to Boku is a tomboyish bifauxnen who saves a cute girl from a pervert, only to learn said girl is a crossdressing boy and later becomes his friend. Later she gains the affection of another crossdressing boy.
- Downplayed with Riku and Maho from Wandering Son. Maho is a loud, aggressive girl while her boyfriend Riku is a softspoken Nice Guy.
- Kaito from Himegoto - Juukyuusai No Seifuku is a bishonen Chick Magnet who has a fetish for pretending he's the girl he has a crush on while Yuki (who isn't said woman) is a bifauxnen who wishes she was girlier.
- Special A pairs brash, competitive Hikari with the thoughtful, cultured Kei. It also inverts typical plot roles: Kei has loved Hikari since forever but is too shy to say it; Hikari is so dense that she doesn't notice.
- John Byrne loves this trope, always matching a super-heroine with a waifish guy who serves her. Even managed to stick this trope in during his run of Wonder Woman. Though it is often relative. She-Hulk was paired with Wyatt Wingfoot while Byrne was writing Fantastic Four. He's a very muscular man, but can only lift a thousandth of what She-Hulk can (and is one head shorter).
- Archie Comics:
- Betty and Archie, from the main series, Depending on the Writer. When Archie's car breaks down, Betty fixes it. And there is even one comic where they try to enter a team surfing competition, but since Archie is too weak to carry Betty, Betty carries Archie.
- Samantha and Bingo from That Wilkin Boy are Expies of Betty and Archie who fit even better. Samantha is physically very strong, while Bingo is a weak musician. This trope may explain why her father never succeeded in breaking them up or getting her to date a manlier man.
- The Cabot twins from Josie and the Pussycats: Alexander is a rich fashion plate (or a coward in the Animated Adaptation), while Alexandra is mean and aggressive.
- This gets played with sometimes with Moose and Midge. While Moose normally exhibits standard jealous male behavior in regards to his girl, it is often suggested that Midge wears the pants in their relationship.
- Possibly Redlance and Nightfall from ElfQuest, although the elves don't quite go for the same kind of gender stereotyping that humans do. More to the point, the siblings Suntop and Ember. When trying to get a studio to do an animated version of the comic, Executive Meddling said that you can't have a calm guy and a tomboyish girl, and this is one of the reasons the author quickly abandoned that studio.
- The New Gods Mister Miracle (escape artist and acrobat from New Genesis) and Big Barda (renegade Apokaliptian gladiator) are in many ways a Happily Married version of this.
- Sin City has a non-romantic variation of this in Dwight and Miho. Dwight is a laid-back everyman while Miho is much more violent and dangerous (which is definitely saying something when you take Dwight's own penchant for violent protectiveness into consideration). In fact, Dwight has expressed fear of Miho in the past and worked to ensure that he didn't piss her off.
- Dale and Andrea from The Walking Dead. Dale's not feminine, but physically he isn't strong. Andrea is the sharpshooter, more energetic and take-charge personality.
- Yorick and his love interest finally get together near the end of Y: The Last Man. He compares them to the main couple of Moonlighting (a UST-filled detective series starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Sheperd), but takes great care with specifying SHE is the Bruce Willis equivalent.
- Evangelion 303: Shinji is a House Husband and he is calm, sensitive, shy and soft-spoken; Asuka is a Fiery Redhead Action Girl and she is Hot-Blooded, short-tempered, abrasive, prideful and the best Ace Pilot in the base.
- Gravity Falls Rule 63: The genderbent Pines twins, Dana and Marcus, are a nonromantic example. Dana is very tomboyish and likes listening to rock groups, while Marcus wears pink and likes My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Their personalities even are shown on their sleepwear.◊
- Prevalent in RWBY fanfiction, as it is in canon.
Author: Feminine Jaune/Masculine Pyrrha feeds my soul.
- Lampshaded in this untitled story, where Jaune is a cheerleader and Pyrrha is a jock.
- The lemon fic A Little Less Traditional portrays Jaune as shy and virginal where Pyrrha is sexually dominant.
- The Bleach fanfic Chasing the Moon gives us a platonic version (that potentially overlaps with Vitriolic Best Buds). Karin and Yumichika are fourth and fifth seat of the Eleventh Division respectively, and Yumichika constantly bemoans the fact that she won't even try to be beautiful, while Karin just wants him to stop messing with her clothes. She's actually dating Toshiro, and they're not an example of this trope.
Film - Animated
- DreamWorks loves this trope:
- Astrid and Hiccup from How to Train Your Dragon.
- Tigress and Po from Kung Fu Panda. Tigress is a tough-as-nails warrior who lacks Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, while Po (who is also a skilled fighter, mind you) has a more cheerful and spirited personality and is an excellent cook. One-Scene Wonder Action Girl Mei Ling and Crane count as well.
- Gloria and Melman from Madagascar.
- Roxanne Ritchi and Megamind. Career-oriented, no-nonsense Intrepid Reporter and a Camp Straight alien.
- The teenage couple who appeared in Monsters vs. Aliens.
- Pixar likes this trope too:
Barbie: Authority should derive from the consent of the governed, not from the threat of force!
- Ellie and Carl from Up in their younger years.
- Believe it or not, Toy Story 3 pulls this off brilliantly with Barbie and Ken. Ken is the poster boy for Camp Straight. Barbie is capable of kicking his ass and is savvy in political science.
- EVE and WALL•E.
- Disney is not so fond of this trope:
- Coraline and Wybie. While Wybie's not girly per se, Coraline is definitely the more aggressive of the two.
- PJ and Beret Girl in An Extremely Goofy Movie have a lot of things in common, but they also have a few major differences in that Beret Girl is bold, aggressive, and flirtatious, while PJ is a timid, passive Insecure Love Interest. The couple inverts No Guy Wants to Be Chased, as Beret Girl takes the lead at every step in their relationship and PJ enjoys this, but when Beret Girl was chased by Bobby moments before, she was disgusted. Beret Girl also has a significantly deeper voice than PJ, and is not much shorter, as well as going out of her way to protect him early on.
- Mermaidia's compassionate Prince Nalu falls for the brash explorer Nori. Their typical roles in the narrative are reversed, too- Nalu is captured by the Big Bad's minions, and Nori must brave the ocean's dangers to save him.
Film - Live-Action
- In The Adventures Of Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, Tick wears a wedding dress and his wife wears a tuxedo to their wedding.
- The Chinese movie Boxing Gloves, Rag Dolls.
- In Fargo Marge Gunderson trails a couple of sociopathic kidnappers in her third trimester. Her melancholy husband keeps house and paints ducks for a hoped-for Post Office commission.
- In Impromptu, George Sand is, by 19th century standards, a Lad-ette, and she takes the lead in her relationship with Chopin. Frederic Chopin is a frail, sensitive, Bishōnen musician.
- There was a short film featured on Logo that showed a Gender Flip of a heterosexual wedding. The bride wore a black pantsuit; the groom wore a white tuxedo and veiled top hat, and held the bouquet as his mother walked him down the aisle. He was also kind of short. Even among the wedding-goers, all the men wore different suits while the women were dressed more low-key.
- In the movie Lover Come Back, Jerry Webster is emotional and intuitive, while Carol Templeton is logical and reserved. This is taken Up to Eleven when Webster pretends to be a chemist to trick her.
- Jimmy Stark's parents in Rebel Without a Cause.
- Some Kind of Wonderful has best friends Keith and Watts, the former a shy and sensitive Starving Artist, the latter a Lad-ette drummer going through a Green-Eyed Epiphany.
- Tomboyish nanny Chessie and sensitive butler Martin from 1998 version of The Parent Trap
- At first sight, King Verence II and Queen Magrat from (among other novels) Lords and Ladies are more Feminine Boy, Feminine Girl. But when push comes to shove Magrat has Hidden Depths and can transform into an Action Girl. Verence's "hidden depths" came when he was made King and actually took an interest in his subjects and how to improve their lives with the latest advances in agriculture.
- In Monstrous Regiment, The Squad is led by the nervous, book-smart Non-Action Guy Lieutenant Blouse, and Polly, the point of view character, is a Bifauxnen Action Girl pulling a successful Sweet Polly Oliver. The story actually contains several female characters who are more butch than Lieutenant Blouse.
- Conina in Sourcery in contrast to scrawny Non-Action Guy Rincewind, who actually began to develop a crush on her despite it not going anywhere.
- This is a central theme in the Annie M. G. Schmidt story Het Fornuis Moet Weg ("The Stove Has To Go"). It's about a girl who wants to become a carpenter, and a boy who wants to become a stay-at-home dad. They argue about it with grownups who are moving an old stove out of the house. Eventually, one of the grownups gets an idea: the stove can be seen as a symbol for the old times, when a lack of modern household appliances meant that work around the house took all day and gender roles stayed reinforced. Because of modern luxuries, women now actually have time to study and choose their own careers, so there shouldn't be a need anymore for gender roles to stay as they were. The story is considered a children's classic in The Netherlands.
- Older Than Steam, even: in 1620 England, in response to a pamphlet entitled Hic Mulier, or The Man-Woman, which discussed the evils of women who dress and act like men, another pamphlet was published, Haec Vir, or The Womanish Man, stating that women would stop acting like men when men stopped acting like women.
- Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games trilogy are often called "The Star Crossed Lovers from District 12" because of their romance while in the Hunger Games, where only one can survive. Katniss is a determined fighter and an excellent archer. Her strategy is to put on a brave face so as to not appear weak. Peeta is more expressive of his emotions as seen in his tear stained face, artistic talent, and public confession of love for Katniss.
- Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander in The Millennium Trilogy.
- There are elements of this in the relationship between Vin (a blunt Action Girl assassin) and Elend (a thoughtful, bookish nobleman) in Mistborn. It's not completely straight — Vin does have a girly side and Elend will get dangerous if sufficiently motivated — but the trope can definitely be seen here.
- Pinky and Rex about a boy whose nickname was Pinky (his favorite color was pink) and Rex, a girl who liked dinosaurs and soccer.
- In the Warhammer 40,000 Ravenor novels, Patience Kys and Carl Thonius are described this way. Hyper intelligent, scholarly dandy Thonius is frequently referred to as a pussy, frequently by Patience herself, a vicious battle telekine. This might be entirely fair, as the novel mentions that anything short of an Astartes in full battle plate is a pussy compared to Patience Kys.
- Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth in A Song of Ice and Fire, aesthetically, at least. Jaime is said to be so handsome it spills over into "pretty" territory, while Brienne is known for her unattractiveness and her un-lady-like habits of wearing armor, wielding a sword, and beating the crap out people who piss her off. They form something of an uneasy Battle Couple in A Storm of Swords.
- As people have observed, one of the fun things about them as a pairing is that they are very much a "beauty and the beast" couple... but which one is which changes depending on if you're talking about looks or about personality.
- An additional example is a sibling pairing rather than a romantic one—Jojen and Meera Reed. Jojen is a frail, sensitive, and psychic boy, and Meera a physically inclined girl who protects him.
- Another sibling dynamic, Theon and Asha also qualify.
- In a very unusual setup for a Romance Novel, Nora Roberts' Tears Of The Moon has as its romantic leads Shawn, a sensitive songwriter and pub cook, and Brenna, a feisty, tomboyish handywoman.
- The main couple in Elinor Glyn's Three Weeks have shades of this, at least in terms of gender roles — Paul is boyish but virginal, beautiful and compared to Sleeping Beauty, and the Lady is older, independent, mature, compelling and in charge.
- Depending on the Writer, Mara Jade and Luke Skywalker. When Timothy Zahn writes them, Luke is the sweeter, gentler one who prefers to avoid violence when possible, is always giving second and third chances, and is very open emotionally. Mara is more hostile to the world, blunt and direct and not about to let herself be jerked around, much more fiercely independent, and untrusting.
- By our standards, this is the default in the world of A Brother's Price. Men being so rare they are kept protected and secluded, and internalize a set of gender roles that encourage softness, vulnerability, passivity, physical attractiveness, and affinity for the domestic sphere, while women run the world and are just about universally more assertive, daring, and calculating. A little girl in tears over a cut on her knee is even told that big girls don't cry. By his world's standards, Jerin is actually rather feminine, as he works to escape when captured and does know how to ride horses, pick locks, read, and use a gun - although he's quite stricken when he actually fires it.
- Jeeves and Wooster: Bertie Wooster and some of the women who set their sights on him. Bertie is sweet-tempered, non-combative, and a bit of a dandy. He has an unfortunate tendency to attract women with frighteningly assertive personalities.
- Yume Gari implies that Tatsumi's dead parents were like this. The Action Mom mother was the active yumegari who drove into people's dreams/subconscious and a Lethal Chef, the father watched over his wife's work as her yumemori and was a Supreme Chef. (And Tatsumi pretty much describes her dad as a male Yamato Nadeshiko.)
- Avasrala from The Expanse series is a foul-mouthed, no-nonsense, tough alpha politician. Her husband is a gentle, philosophical academic.
- Mortal Engines: Tom and Hester fit this trope, especially in the first half or so of the first book of the series. Hester hides her emotions, doesn't talk much, is a Bad Ass Action Girl, and is used to dealing with the rough world beyond the cities without complaints. Tom, on the other hand, is sensitive, emotional, naive, and is constantly shocked by the rough-and-tumble world around him. As the series goes on Tom becomes tougher, while Hester sometimes shows quite a bit of her emotional side, so this trope isn't always in effect — though there are still parts in the later books where Tom very clearly fills the more traditionally "feminine" role in the story, with Hester acting "masculine." (For example, towards the end of Predator's Gold — for much of the book Tom seems to fit the "masculine" mold more so than Hester, but towards the end Hester becomes very protective of Tom, keeps him out of harm's way, and plays the macho action-hero while Tom fills a more sensitive and support-oriented role).
- The two azi (roughly, clone servants) Florian and Catlin in Cyteen. Florian is sensitive, social, and a Friend to All Living Things, while Catlin is cold and militaristic. While they're both bodyguards, Catlin specialises in battle, whereas Florian is better at setting and disarming traps.
- A non-romantic example in Little Women between Jo and Laurie — she's a no-nonsense, unmannered writer who feels uncomfortable in the presence of females, talks about her gender in a manner incredibly reminiscent of transgender people today, and finds sentimentality utterly repellent. He's an artist and a musician, is stated many times to have an acute sense for the beautiful, is initially (before his best friend stirs up his mischief and college gives him a gutter mind) described as always sweet and gentle, a hopeless romantic to the point of total despair when his heart is broken, and unfailingly sentimental.
- Just to clarify: Yes, Jo is the girl and Laurie is the boy, and those are both nicknames of their own choosing.
- In The Moomins, Little My (a tough and plucky tomboy) and Sniff (sensitive, cowardly and delicate) is a non-romantic example.
- The Protector of the Small series has Kel- a stoic girl dedicated to becoming a knight and fighting injustice- and her friend Neal, a healer-turned-knight who often uses White Magic to help his friends and is constantly lovesick over court women.
- In the Ahriman Trilogy you have sensitive, brooding Simon with militant bruiser Zoe.
- A non-romantic example in Hetty Feather by Jacqueline Wilson. Heroine Hetty is tough, feisty, outspoken, opinionated, proactive and sometimes physically aggressive; while her foster brother Gideon is shy, passive, sensitive, fearful and cries easily. Lampshaded in one scene where they are told that upon leaving the Foundling Hospital, Hetty will be sent to work as a housemaid and Gideon sent to the Armed Forces. They both agree they would each rather go into the opposite profession.
- Lee "Apollo" Adama and Kara "Starbuck" Thrace from the rebooted Battlestar Galactica are an interesting example of how to flip a gender dynamic: it's not so much about the way they look and dress as how they behave with each other. Apollo tends to be the softer, more introspective of the two, while Starbuck is louder, brasher, and more of an alpha than he is. Despite this, no one in-universe sees them as less masculine or less feminine for it.
- Darlene and David from Roseanne spend the majority of their relationship with the gender roles filpped. When Darlene gets pregnant Roseanne even comments "I can't think of a better mother..than David."
- In Carrusel, Valeria is louder, more outspoken, and has a stronger personality than her boyfriend David.
- Chuck: Sarah and Chuck, even more so in the first two seasons before he Took a Level in Badass, but their personalities always fit. Chuck is the one who is in touch with his feelings, wants to talk things out, and can't stand to have fights unresolved. Meanwhile, Sarah is extremely guarded, tries to keep up a stoic front, hesitates to commit, and is always on the traditionally 'male' side of all their relationship-related arguments. Right down to Chuck being the one who wanted a big wedding.
- Doctor Who:
- In a nutshell, this is the relationship between the Fifth Doctor and Tegan Jovanka.
- Newly married Amy Pond and Rory Williams seem to have this dynamic, as Amy is an Action Girl, while Rory is a bit of a Non-Action Guy and a nurse (and while male nurses are common these days, it's still a profession that's predominantly female where he comes from).
- The Doctor lampshades it by referring to them as 'the Ponds' after their marriage, instead of 'The Williamses.' Rory doesn't seem very bothered by it. According to the Doctor, it's just because Amy has an awesome surname, but he still refers to Rory as "Mr. Pond." The series for its part leaves the question of whether Amy actually takes Rory's surname open until "Asylum of the Daleks" when she is shown signing a document as "Amy Williams" and it is later indicated that she uses the name Amelia Williams when she becomes a writer.
- And although Rory has taken NUMEROUS levels in BadAss to the point of becoming a Memetic version, he still remains by choice utterly under his wife's thumb. Hell, managing to spend two thousand years waiting and not going insane was for her benefit.
- Not a couple, but Danny Pink and Journey Blue are two soldiers who appear in "Into The Dalek". Mr. Pink (present day, earth) is now a math teacher and is rather sensitive because it's implied he killed at least one civilian and deeply regrets it. Ms. Blue (future, space) is still a soldier and is pretty gung-ho about killing Daleks especially since her brother died moments before she encountered the Doctor. In the end she asks if she can go with the Doctor and Clara. She could... if she hadn't been a soldier.
- Monica and Chandler from Friends.
- Lynette and Tom from Desperate Housewives.
- How I Met Your Mother does a lot of this: the men are sentimental, mild-mannered, reserved, romantic, blissfully domestic (Marshall) or kid-crazy (Ted), and are often made fun of for stereotypically feminine traits, while the women are tough, uncouth, uncultured, boisterous, insensitive, commitment-phobic (Robin, who was literally raised as her father's son, and allowed to join an all-boys hockey team), or sex-obsessed (Lily), and often engage in hypermasculine actions as comedy. However, Barney takes the aggressively-heterosexual male stereotype and drives it so far over the edge he overshadows everyone else.
- However, Barney also gets his nails done and obsesses over clothing, making him feminine. And Lily is a soft-hearted romantic kindergarten teacher/artist who cries at the drop of a hat, whereas Marshall is a high-powered lawyer. So it's really played all over the place.
- And then there is that one episode where they all realize that their partners are just like their parents, which has Marshall realize that Lily is just like his dad!
- Possibly averted with Barney and Robin, as they often seem to be on level ground, as far as masculinity goes.
- Kamen Rider
- In Kamen Rider OOO, Shintaro Gotou is shown to be more compassionate and gentle than his female sidekick/assistant Satonaka, who hates sweets, can wield a gun with the best of them, and fights evil only because she is paid to do so.
- Kamen Rider Wizard has the main character's two sidekicks: tough, gun-wielding policewoman Rinko and compassionate, klutzy, Adorkable Shunpei.
- Kamen Rider Gaim initially features tough, assertive Mai who has no problem facing down a gang of bullies or challenging others to Invase battles; and soft-spoken Mitsuzane who dislikes confrontation and wears pink pants with his dance uniform before his Heel-Face Turn.
- Kamen Rider Drive has an example with the villains Heart and Medic. In keeping with his name, Heart is emotionally expressive and is warm and loving towards his fellow Roidmudes; while Medic, though feminine, is much more ruthless, aggressive and emotionally detached.
- Nigel and Sydney of Relic Hunter were pretty much a straight inversion of classic adventure stereotypes. She was the action star, impulsive, fearless one and he was always in need of being rescued. Sort of uneven in that she also often got to be the smart one and the people person.
- Jane and Brad on Happy Endings-not as pronounced as some examples, Jane is fairly feminine, she's just take charge and aggressively helpful (read: controlling), Brad meanwhile is Camp Straight, but is also a classic example of the male breadwinner. Also they both look exactly as masculine and feminine as normal, Brad is usually dressed in a suit and classically handsome, and Jane shows off her legs every chance she gets.
Kelso: No, no, continue. You were having an argument, but it was like he's the chick and you're the dude!
- J.D. and Elliot. Elliot seems to have this in most of her relationships. Kelso once commented on her and Keith's relationship:
Denise: It's like you're the chick and I'm the dude.
- And before that, she was dating a male nurse named Paul Flowers.
- A non-romantic example from the same show would be J.D. and Denise ('Jo'), copied nearly word-for-word:
- A Square One TV sketch, Battle of the Bulge Caterers, featured the Drill Sergeant, and the mopy Private Matter.
- The Sergeant: Private Matter?
- Private Matter: Turkey and American, Sir.
- Several Super Sentai shows have this kind of pair:
- Momo Ranger and Mido Ranger from Himitsu Sentai Goranger
- Change Phoenix and Change Pegasus from Dengeki Sentai Changeman
- Blue Swallow and Yellow Owl from Choujin Sentai Jetman
- Ninja White and Ninja Blue from Ninja Sentai Kakuranger
- Yellow Racer and Blue Racer from Gekisou Sentai Carranger
- Time Pink and Time Green from Mirai Sentai Timeranger
- Go-On Yellow and Go-On Green from Engine Sentai Go-onger
- Gokai Yellow and Gokai Green from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger
- Kyoryu Pink and Kyoryu Gold from Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger
- ToQ-3 and ToQ-1 from Ressha Sentai Tokkyuger. Exacerbated by the series' gimmick allowing the heroes to swap suit colors and weapons, leading Right to frequently choose pink.
- That '70s Show
- Friendship example: Fez and Donna. He and his girlfriend Big Rhonda subvert it, since she's bigger and stronger than he is but is also an awkward Huge Schoolgirl.
- On Will and Grace gay Jack and straight boozehound Karen go to a meeting of an organization that promises to "cure" gayness. There they meet a married couple with a stereotypical effeminate man and very masculine woman who praise the organization. After they walk away, tipsy Karen asks "Was that two men or two women?"
- Of course, Will and Grace in general subscribed to this so much that it might honestly be considered a Gender Flip of a traditional sitcom. Grace was a stereotypical sitcom man: a brash, lazy, slovenly, Big Eater who found gay porn to be exciting the same way a lot of men feel about lesbians. Will, who started Straight Gay but Flanderized into Camp Gay, was much more a traditional female sitcom character: much more calm and rational (initially,) who was the more uptight and decorated their entire apartment and did all the cooking and cleaning. In that sense, Jack and Karen could be Will and Grace Up to Eleven (he was obsessed with fashion and jewelry, she was a violent drunk.)
- When Rosie O'Donnell hosted SNL in 1994 she did a sketch called "The Tomboy & the Sissy" with her as the 'tomboy' and David Spade as the 'sissy.' They are high school outcasts who become friends and help the other become more masculine and feminine.
- Exaggerated like hell in an episode of RuPaul's Drag Race, when the drag queens were tasked to give glamorous makeovers to a group of tomboyish female martial artists who have never worn makeup or high heels in their lives.
- Castle has elements of this; we have tough-cops Beckett & Gates (who is even addressed as 'sir.') Castle, Ryan, and even Esposito have strong metrosexual tendencies (lampshaded in one episode when they were going on about a line of men's grooming products, and Beckett said that it was 'Like Sex in the City with boys.'
- In Once Upon a Time in Wonderland Alice comes across as the very proactive, no-nonsense, sword-swinging Action Girl, whilst Cyrus is a lot more gentle and sweet. The drive of the narrative also revolves around Cyrus being a Distressed Dude and Alice being on a Quest to rescue him. Plus the flashback reveals that she was the one to first make a romantic move on him.
- In Warehouse Thirteen, Myka is a no-nonsense Action Girl and Pete, while he's ex-military, is generally more open about his emotions, and has a minor superpower he calls "vibes" which if he were female would look a lot like "feminine intuition".
- Rackham and Anne Bonny of Black Sails are both pirates. But he prefers to use his mind over his brawn and wears flamboyant clothes that got his historical counterpart his nickname of "Calico" Jack. Anne is sexually aggressive, possessive of him, and does the killing in the relationship.
- Orphan Black: Sarah her brother Felix. One's a Street Smart, leather-clad Action Girl; the other's a supportive, flamboyant Non-Action Guy.
- Maddie and Joey Rooney are a sister-brother example.
- Dennis and Dee Reynolds on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are another brother-sister example: Dennis is a Camp Straight Non-Action Guy, the more polite and cultured of the two, and the one more likely to burst into tears (Berserker Tears, but still). Dee is The Lad-ette, more uncouth, uncltured and overtly aggressive than her brother, not to mention more physically capable than him.
- From Vocaloid's fanon there is Rin Kagamine as the masculine girl and her brother Len as the feminine boy. Meiko and Kaito tend to be portrayed with this dynamic too.
- Androgynous, by The Replacements and also covered by Crash Test Dummies, is a rather sweet song about a couple who like to dress as the opposite sex.
- Molly by Carrie is about a man being feminised by his more assertive partner. One line in particular counts as Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Passiveness turns her on, when she's strapped on.
Myth and Legend
- Classical Mythology:
- The twins Apollo and Artemis might be considered such, but only by modern standards. Apollo is sometimes thought of as a bishounen and He is the god of, among other things, music and art. He also spends a lot of time with the Muses. To classical Greeks, however, he was all man. Artemis, meanwhile, is a wild Action Girl who spends most of her time hunting in the wilderness with her Amazon Brigade.
- Athena and Ares. Both Gods of war and victory, but the male Ares is something of a Glass Cannon and a serious Miles Gloriosus while Athena kicks his ass every time they fight, and is a Genius Bruiser to boot.
- "Exotic" Adrian Street and Miss Linda. Adrian was one of the most successful wrestlers to use the Gorgeous George gimmick, and Linda played a feminine inversion of the gimmick by being tough, aggressive and dressing in black leather. Successors include Rico Constantino and Miss Jackie, Paradise and CJ Lane
- Beth Phoenix and Santino Marella. Santino also got a bit of this when he started dating Tamina as well but that didn't really last long.
- Maxine and Derrick Bateman from NXT Redemption.
- In A Prairie Home Companion: Lake Wobegon, where "all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average."
- Shakespearean examples:
- By the standards of the time, Romeo and Juliet, based on the notion that Romeo was emotional (a traditionally feminine trait) while Juliet was practical (a traditionally masculine trait). In fact, Romeo's Hot-Blooded nature puts both of them into HUGE trouble when he kills her cousin Tybalt to avenge the death of Mercutio, and Juliet is the one who, with the help of a local priest, tries to brew a plan to get both of them out of it.
- Also the way they commit suicide, poison is traditionally the female option and sword/dagger the male one. It's the other way round in this case.
- This applies to some degree to many of the lead couples in Shakespeare's comedies; the woman is typically wittier and more practical, and the guy is emotional in different ways (Hot-Blooded, brooding, etc.)
- This idea is played with in Macbeth, with Lady Macbeth being the more aggressive and ambitious of the two. In fact as soon as she finds out about the witches prophecy she immediately begins formulating how to kill Duncan. While Macbeth is torn with internal guilt about his feelings, she's the one that goads him into doing it by questioning his manhood and saying he has no courage. Of course, after the murder they "switch back" with Macbeth turning into a kill-crazy tyrant and Lady Macbeth so wracked with guilt that she goes insane.
- By the standards of the time, Romeo and Juliet, based on the notion that Romeo was emotional (a traditionally feminine trait) while Juliet was practical (a traditionally masculine trait). In fact, Romeo's Hot-Blooded nature puts both of them into HUGE trouble when he kills her cousin Tybalt to avenge the death of Mercutio, and Juliet is the one who, with the help of a local priest, tries to brew a plan to get both of them out of it.
- Commander Up and Lieutenant Taz in Team Starkid's musical Starship.
- A case can be made for Elphaba and Fiyero in the stage version of Wicked. He's a Fun Personified, foppish slacker who previously existed primarily to be Glinda's arm candy, and she's a practicing witch, rebel, and active civil rights activist.
- Franz Klinemann and Regina Koontz from Rock of Ages (only in the original musical; both characters are cut from the film)
- In chess, the queen represents the most powerful piece in terms of moving around the board and capturing opposing pieces while the king is largely ineffectual and must be protected.
- Butch bouncer Yuiran and sensitive brother Yuiren from Daraku Tenshi: The Fallen Angels.
- Dragon Age: Origins
Alistair: Well, I suppose I should get back to the old ball and chain.Teagan: You know, [she] hates it when you call her that.Alistair: No she doesn't. Just because she killed an Archdemon... she doesn't scare me.Teagan: You keep telling yourself that, Your Majesty.
- Tends to show up with Alistair and a female player character; consider this (possible) exchange from the sequel:
- From the Witch Hunt DLC, we have Finn and Ariane. Finn is a rather foppish mage that despises the outdoors, while Ariane is an experienced Dalish hunter. Just listen to their dialogue 
- Aveline and her husband Wesley in Dragon Age II, in the beginning. Her later Love Interest Donnic seems this way initially, but subverts it; though he's less ambitious and more impulsive than Aveline, he's as tough, competent, and eager to battle as her.
- Fire Emblem
- Seisen no Keifu has Brigid, an assertive sniper raised by pirates and sensitive, submissive horseback archer Midayle as a predestined pair; to a smaller degree she has these dynamics with her other predestined lover, the archer Jamke, who is similar to Midayle but more reserved. Another one would be Tiltyu, the Tsundere Black Magician Girl, and her shy childhood friend and local Badass Adorable Azel.
- In Rekka no Ken, we have Lad-ette Vaida and gentle, honorable Heath. Kent and Farina are a borderline case; Kent isn't exactly feminine but he's somewhat shy and very reserved compared to the outgoing, tomboyish Farina. (Who says he, personality wise, reminds her... of her older sister Fiora.)
- The kind and gentle Monk Artur and the Sugar and Ice Black Magician Girl Lute in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Their ending says that Artur managed the household while Lute was the main breadwinner.
- Radiant Dawn includes Rafiel, prince of the heron laguz, a race too emotionally and physically fragile to attack enemies. The woman who saved his life, to whom he is now wholly devoted? Nailah, the wolf Laguz Royal (read: absurdly badass Crutch Character). One of them wears an elaborate robe, sings like an angel, and has ankle-length golden tresses. Guess which?
- Of the many possible pairings in Fire Emblem Awakening, there's Sully/Libra (foul-mouthed Lad-ette and feminine War Monk) from the first generation and Kjelle/Brady (strength-obsessed female knight and a priest who's very in touch with his feminine side) from the second. Hilariously, Kjelle is Sully's daughter and Libra can be a potential father for Brady as well... Like mother like daughter, huh?
- Guilty Gear has Baiken, the Fiery Redhead Action Girl who who revels in combat, and Anji Mito, the fan-wielding Dance Battler who has a Bodyguard Crush on her.
- From The iDOLM@STER's Dearly Stars version, we have the Wholesome Crossdresser Ryou Akizuki teamed up with Bifauxnen Makoto Kikuchi.
- Lost Odyssey. Possibly Seth and the husband who encouraged her to settle down and have a child. Whether or not he was an 'Action Guy' himself, we don't find out.
- Mass Effect:
- A Female Shepard and either Thane or Kaidan can come across like this, especially if Shepard is a hardass renegade. Shepard has to be the strongest human in existence, can drink anyone under the table, headbutts krogan like it's nothing, and generally is a stoic character. Thane and Kaidan meanwhile are sensitive and fairly soft-spoken, very moral, and the former waxes philosophical every so often. As a bonus, at the beginning of Mass Effect 2, Shepard will be clad in black N7 armour, whilst Kaidan is in the pink and white Phoenix armour.
- Paragon!Shepard and Jack tends to look like this; while Shepard may be no slouch in the Badass department, he's still a calm, polite, and rule-abiding guy stacked up against the general insanity that is Jack.
- Kaidan and Ashley have something of this dynamic as well. The best illustration comes from the Citadel DLC, even though only one of them is alive at that point. Regardless of gender or romance, Ashley and Shepard have a drinking contest that turns into a bar fight while Kaidan and Shepard have a quiet evening in while Kaidan cooks, though they also drink heavily.
- Meryl and Johnny in Metal Gear Solid 4. When he proposed to her, she declines. Because she wanted to do that and proposes to him half a minute later.
- Meryl and her partner Dave in Policenauts also qualify.
- Lucas and Kumatora in Mother 3. They're not exactly a couple, but they are in the same party for half the game. Lucas has been described many times as a crybaby, and even when he seems to man up a bit later on, he still comes across as sensitive (especially with Love being his favorite thing). Kumatora is the tomboy of the group, and even has Boyish Short Hair and hates wearing dresses. And then there's her tough attitude and willingness to fight.
- Persona 4 has Kanji Tatsumi (master tailor) and Naoto Shirogane (Bokukko and Sweet Polly Oliver) The fact that the former has a crush on the latter both before and after the reveal makes his Ambiguously Gay nature much worse, or better, or whatever.
- In Spyro: Year of the Dragon there is a level that is a reference to Tomb Raider. There is a mouse named Gus and his girlfriend Tara. Tara boldly goes and raids the tomb, while Gus stays outside because of all the "scorpions and stuff".
- Homer and Edy from Valkyria Chronicles qualify, with the former being a meek, pretty little masochist and the latter a Hot-Blooded Idiot Hero who can't sing. Likewise Karl and Lynn. Although they have similar temperaments, Karl is an engineer supporting the troops while Lynn is in the front lines as a shock trooper.
- Dangan Ronpa: Naegi and Kirigiri are a non-romantic (aside from a little Ship Tease) example. It's based on personality rather than appearance; Kirigiri is aloof, proactive and willing to take risks, while Naegi is friendly and understanding, but more passive. Kirigiri is also taller than Naegi (granted, he is the second shortest in his class, along with Asahina). And she saved his ass a bunch of times during the game. There's a reason fans consider Naegi the heroine and Kirigiri the true hero, after all.
- In Fate/stay night, Saber has spent her entire life playing the role of king, has excellent swordsmanship skills, and is uncomfortable around her emotions, while Shirou has little combat ability but takes great pleasure in and excels at domestic tasks such as cooking. The fact that, despite this dynamic, Shirou still insists on taking up a Stay in the Kitchen attitude (at least at first) generates a lot of the What an Idiot sentiment among the fandom, which leads them to miss how Shirou's reasons behind that are... well, more complex.
- Hatoful Boyfriend has best friends Hiyoko and Ryouta. Ryouta, the boy, is a gentle, very caring "vegetarian male" who loves cooking and frequently crossdresses in fetishistic maid or magical girl costumes for his various jobs. Hiyoko, the girl, is a tough, impulsive cavewoman who can't concentrate without red meat in her belly (mostly from animals she kills either bare handed or by smashing with weapons).
- Little Busters! has Kurugaya and Riki. While Kurugaya is definitely feminine in appearance - very, very feminine - she's a very competent, intelligent, intimidating Action Girl who loves to dote on her cute classmates as a Cool Big Sis. Riki, being a rather short, feminine-looking, shy guy, is very much included in her 'cute classmate' category. This causes him a bit of angst in her route as he feels like he should be acting cooler for her, but Kurugaya genuinely enjoys taking care of him, and by the end he's happy with seeing her occasional cuter side.
- From Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Ron & Desireé DeLite◊. Ron's an effeminate, shy, lovestruck man who looks way younger than he is. Desireé's a fun-loving, motorbike-riding, adventurous woman.
- Subverted when you learn that Desireé first fell for Ron when he protected her from a mugger. A Double Subversion occurs when you find out that he rescued her through high-pitched shrieking and wildly flailing about, and that it was Desireé that leapt into action first.
- The Joy (Badass Normal Action Girl) and The Sorrow (sensitive spirit medium) in The Cobra Days are a mild version of this, although Sorrow became a bit manlier in later strips.
- In Digger, due to the matriarchal nature of hyenas, gender roles are reversed and this arrangement is the norm rather than the exception. One character, a scrawny skin painter, has to compete with every other male in the tribe for the affection of their strongest warrior. This is based on real life, where hyenas are basically matriarchal and males tend to be pretty battered.
- Zombie children Bridget (Cute Bruiser) and Alphonse (master of Cower Power) from Far Out There are a non-romantic example.
- Parley and Andrew of Gunnerkrigg Court.
- Last Res0rt toys with this when it comes to Jigsaw and Slick — Jigsaw's a bit of a tomboy (her main team color is light blue), while Slick's not above dressing in harem wear (and his team's main color is purple). Of course, they're not quite an Official Couple.
- Ménage ŕ 3 has a non-romantic example in Zii and Gary. Zii is a promiscuous punk rocker with very masculine traits, while Gary is an Adorkable virgin at least until recently who has serious problems with being assertive.
- Borderline example in The Order of the Stick. While Haley is not overly masculine, she is much more direct and goal-oriented than the ditzy and sensitive Elan. Even after Elan Took a Level in Badass, she's still a better fighter.
Haley: I really don't like where this is heading.Elan: Don't worry. You'll keep me safe.
- In Two Guys and Guy, Guy and Wayne are this, evidently.
- Tavros and Vriska. Tavros is a sweet, shy, kind boy with low self-esteem and a great love of animals and fairies. Vriska is an aggressive, dominating Munchkin and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with emphasis on the 'jerk'.
- Karkat and Terezi fit this as well. Karkat's interests are heavily wrapped up in romance and feelings; he loves romance stories, is always eager to help others with relationship issues, and is somewhat passive and manipulative when it comes to getting things done. Terezi's interests fall more on mystery solving and law enforcement, which is noted to be something of a violent pursuit in Troll society (given that the Trolls are an extremely violent race by nature, this is saying something), and is the more action-oriented and aggressive of the two.
- In Girls with Slingshots, Zach is jokingly called the "girl" of his relationship with Hazel, because he's more sedate, mature, and wants to settle down and start a family, while Hazel is a rowdy, irresponsible boozehound. Their differences ultimately prove irreconcilable.
- Siblings Cucumber and Almond of Cucumber Quest: He's a sensitive mage and very much does not want to be a hero while she's an aggressive swords-woman and wants to be a hero so much that she hands over the magic orb that will bring the Big Bad into power because it sounded more fun than just keeping it hidden forever (it could also be shout-out to the kind of games the story is modeled after).
- The twins Yayne and Sparkes in The Wretched Ones.
- Bomango: Andy's a fairly normal teenage boy. His personality can probably be best described as gender-neutral if not masculine. But compared to muscular Nigh Invulnerable Boisterous Bruiser, Gogo, he's down right feminine. This aspect of their relationship gets discussed here.
- The Nostalgia Chick and The Nostalgia Critic. She's a Ladette sociopath who fights dirty and gets turned on by weakness. He's a girly, weepy psychopath who likes to be dominated.
- Also done in Suburban Knights with Lupa/Critic when she's out of character. She pulls Critic around by his tie, will teach him how to be ladylike whether he likes it or not and eventually pulls out a gun against the enemies while he's learned his "bending like a girl" lesson.
- The Heavy Metal review gives us him and Diamanda Hagan. She's a Butch Lesbian, he goes for manicures and eyebrow waxing.
- The Nostalgia Critic's attraction to toppy women is so strong that there was one girl he dated that made even his parents worry, and if you know about his parents, that says a lot.
- Rebecca Stoné and Tacoma Narrows in Demo Reel, as she's a Lady Drunk berserker who'll genuinely try to kill you if you hurt anyone she cares about, while he's the Only Sane Man who likes the fact that he looks good in a dress and finds it better to talk things over. She and Donnie also fit the dynamic.
- Parodied in this (NSFW) YouTube video, where the girl dresses up increasingly like a guy.
- Samus x Pit shipping. The former is an Action Girl of the Bounty Hunter variety, who usually wears full body armor. The latter is a cute boy with angel wings. Super Smash Bros. Brawl put them in the same game, and several varieties of shippers have had a field day putting them together since.
- In RWBY, the famous athlete and warrior Pyrrha Nikos is partnered with Jaune Arc, a scrawny Cowardly Lion whose greatest assets are his strategic mind and talent with Aura. This is furthered by their dance subplot, in which Jaune is romantically demonstrative and Pyrrha- although she feels the same way- doesn't know how to express it. note
- Alongside them are Nora, a bloodthirsty, socially assertive hammer-wielder, and Ren, an introverted kung-fu student who dyed his hair pink and makes excellent pancakes.
- Mystery Skulls' animated music video for their single Ghost features Lewis, a pink ghost who makes decisions based on his emotions, and Vivi, a blue girl with strong arms (she can carry a man and a dog with no sweat) and a strong appetite.
- There was a subtle example in an episode of Animaniacs. Charlton Woodchuck's parents meet traditional gender stereotypes at first. His father appears to be a farmer, and his mother is crying because her son is leaving home. However, when Charlton returns home his parents are sat in rocking chairs by a fireside and, in a reverse of traditional gender stereotypes, his mother is reading the evening paper and his father is knitting using a pink ball of wool.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Avatar gives us Aang, an easygoing, energetic, and non-confrontational Martial Pacifist. It also gives us Toph, a bullheaded and casually violent brawler and former Professional Earthbender who is about his (physical) age.
- In follow-up series The Legend of Korra, we have Avatar Korra herself (an Amazonian Beauty version of The Lad-ette whose first impulse to a fight is to bust heads until she's the only one standing and responds to a guy she's eating out with belching by starting and winning a Burping Contest) and Mako (much more thoughtful, controlled and level-headed), arguably. More closely fitting, in season two we have Eska (a domineering, fearless, take-charge girl) and Bolin (emotional, sensitive, kind of wimpy boy).
- Sarah and Jimmy on Ed, Edd n Eddy, though not a proper "couple" unless you go into Toy Ship.
- A more traditional, and less consensual, example is Marie Kanker and Edd.
- Another platonic example would be Lor and Tino from The Weekenders
- In The Land Before Time, Littlefoot is soft spoken and polite. Cera is snarky and brash.
- Leela and Fry in Futurama have numerous gags invoking this trope, similar to the Kim Possible example below.
- Mr. and Mrs. Test in Johnny Test.
- June and Henry on KaBlam!, though they're Platonic Life Partners according to Word of God.
- Kim Possible and her sidekick Ron; she's a relentless overachiever who knows "sixteen forms of kung fu," set herself up as an international Teen Superspy, and kicks supervillain butt. He rarely fails to back her up and has his badass moments but is an easygoing type widely thought of as a loser, content to chill. Slightly mixed up in that she still fulfils gender roles such as cheerleading, while he eventually becomes a football player, but then again we see their old Halloween costumes - Kim as a cowboy, Ron as a ballerina. Nuff said.
- South Park has Wendy Testaburger (Outspoken, strong-willed, and passionate) and Stan Marsh (Sensitive and compassionate animal lover).
- To some extent Raven and Beast Boy in Teen Titans. The former is a goth half-demon with a Superpowered Evil Side while the latter is an Adorkable Cute Monster Boy. However he has his fair share of Let's Get Dangerous moments.
- Wonder Pets has the hug-loving and soft-spoken Tuck the turtle compared to his teammates, especially Ming-Ming the duckling who is hammy and tries to solve problems solo.
- Superjail! has Alice as the masculine woman and the Warden as the feminine boy. One episode in season 3 "Specialneeds" has Alice having to rescue Warden (who is in a full-body cast) from inmates who wanted to kill him.
- Archer has Lana and Cyril. Lana is a powerful secret agent who is a crack shot with all manners of guns and rifles and has a hot temper to match while Cyril is a meek introverted accountant who loves to cook.
- Wander over Yonder has Wander and Sylvia. She's an Action Girl who unlike Wander, dislikes cutesy or lovey-dovey stuff and has had to rescue him on several occasions. Wander is a bit more of a Love Freak and has cross-dressed on a few occasions.
- Groj Band has Carrie Beff and Larry Nepp. Despite having very little screentime, their body◊ language◊ portrays Carrie as the strong one and Larry as the softspoken one.
- Rugrats: Betty and Howard DeVille, Phil and Lil's parents. To elaborate, Betty's loud and boisterous (generally friendly though unless you mess with her kids), likes pro wrestling, is implied to exercise often, and even at one point runs a 10K marathon. She's good at things like car repair, construction/home improvement, and plumbing, and she's strong enough to lift Phil and Lil each with one hand, by their shirts, at the same time (she may be the only adult in the show's entire run to do so). Howard, on the other hand, is quiet and meek and has been seen more than once (or implied to be) participating in a "feminine" activity/chore. In "The Unfair Pair," Phil and Lil walk into the kitchen as Howard is baking cookies; in "Moving Away," Betty contemplates going to Stu's housewarming party by saying to herself "Well, Howard has a lot of laundry to do..."; in "The Stork," he's knitting and keeping to himself as Didi and Betty become immersed in watching a pro football game. Betty clearly wears the pants in their relationship, but they do love each other as each is quick to defend the other, such as in "Family Feud".
- Polish pianist, composer and Ill Boy Frederic Chopin was paired up with George Sand (the nom de plume of Amantine Dupin), a Tom Boy writer overlapped with The Lad-ette.
- There are several animals that exist where the females are dominant over the males, such as hyenas and spiders.
- Mosquitoes are an interesting case. Both genders eat nectar and fruit juices but the females are the only ones who feed on blood.
- Another interesting case is the Phalarope. The females are brightly colored and go courting, while the males are dull colored and brood the eggs.
- Also the case with emus, in which females are the aggressive and territorial ones, while the males are the ones left with the responsibility of raising and protecting the chicks.
- Many birds, in fact, have the burden of parenthood placed primarily on the shoulders of the male. It turns out that this may be an evolutionary trait, as maniraptorian dinosaurs display this behavior as well (the fossils of brooding raptors lack a specific bone that is only found in nursing females, leading to the conclusion that all these brooding raptor specimens were male).
- Philippe d'Orleans and his wife Elizabeth Charlotte de Baviere.
- Their enemies tended to portray Marc Antony and Cleopatra as this, to insult him and make the Romans fear her.
- Japan now calls this the "Herbivore Man, Carnivorous Woman" phenomenon. In short, more men are identifying themselves as meek, passive, and indifferent to the opposite sex while women are becoming more assertive, aggressive and eager to date. Thus, it's not uncommon for women to walk up to man they're interested in and ask for his phone number, a date, or even sex. Whether this is a good or bad thing depends on whom you ask.
- Blues artist Jimmy Reed and his wife, Mary Lee, were pretty much this. Jimmy Reed was sensitive and often vulnerable, and he often leaned on his wife for guidance and moral support. Mary Lee had a tough persona and did not take shit from people.