"I'm weirding guys out. They see me on TV, round-housing some goon out a window. It's a vivid image."
It's not easy for women and girls on TV today to be both beautiful and strong, like the Amazons of Greek mythology. Why? Because All Guys Want Cheerleaders
, but no guy wants a girl who can beat him up. If you must be a Magical Girlfriend
, he would prefer the domestic type. A Huge Schoolgirl
or Cute Bruiser
all grown up is a threat to his tough, masculine image. Often he also simply is not attracted to this kind of women
Strangely, as far as this trope is concerned her actual inclination
and ability to (sexually) assault, maim, cripple, or kill him aren't as important as whether she looks capable of doing so
So you frequently find a protagonist
who is instantly attracted to a hot girl only to discover too late that she's a black-belt, a professional athlete, or a superhero, and he suddenly needs to find a way to prove he's tougher and stronger than her.
Unlike All Guys Want Cheerleaders
, this trope doesn't necessarily tap into what the entertainment industry presumes turns guys in the audience on or off — that's more a part of Chickification
. The proverbial Amazon is usually portrayed in a positive light and the guy as the fool. The most common way to end the plot was traditionally with An Aesop
about equality. Today, the girl is just as likely to be the protagonist, and the ending is likely to be a Slap-Slap-Kiss
. However, in older (1950 to 1990ish) media the trope is usually played straight and without irony, because writers assumed that young male viewers would see a naturally strong woman as an insult to the hero's (and by transference their own) masculinity.
A leading cause of The Chick
meaning 'girly' or non-combatant. Contrast Amazon Chaser
, where guys go for a woman because
she kicks ass. Also contrast with Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy
, where the man in question is meant to be weaker and girlier than his female counterpart, and the various tropes on Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits
Compare to I Was Beaten by a Girl note
Please remember all "Subversions", "Aversions" or "Inversions" go under Amazon Chaser
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Anime & Manga
- Makoto/Sailor Jupiter from the Sailor Moon anime was so worried that her tall stature, great karate skills, and hot temper would scare away guys that she learns to cook and dresses in a girly way so she would stop intimidating boys. It doesn't work. It's only in the third season, where she sees the much more masculine Haruka stand proud of herself, that she decides to forget what the boys think.
- Also happens to Minako in the manga version: part of her bad luck with boys is openly attributed to her being a tomboy and beating up boys who mocked her for it.
- This shows up in one of Hinagiku's internal monologues regarding a tardy Hayate the Combat Butler. She needn't worry, though.
- The karate-loving, brash Genki Girl Tamayo in the Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer anime comes very close to being an Unlucky Osananajimi. Her longtime crush is in love with a much cuter girl and sees her as "one of the guys". She does get him in the end, however. (In the manga, she doesn't seem to have much of an interest in him, and ends up with someone else without this trope rearing its head.)
- Part of the reason that Momomiya Ichigo of Tokyo Mew Mew wants to lose her powers is out of fear that the boy she likes will reject her when he finds out. In fact, he doesn't care. Of course, his secret's even bigger...
- Discussed Trope in Ranma ½: Ranma often points out to Akane, "Who'd want to marry a macho chick like you?" Akane, however, is desired by the entire male half of her high school, Ryoga, and Ranma himself (if he could ever admit it).
- Shampoo, the actual amazon of the cast, is desired by Mousse, and Ranma at least likes the free food and attention she gives him, and was openly smitten by her looks before she tried to kill him.
- The premise of Lovely Complex is the budding romance between a Huge Schoolgirl and her short classmate, who has trouble seeing her as anything more than his partner in their Boke and Tsukkomi Routine.
- Saint Seiya: Despite all the Amazons being beautiful, none of them ever hook up with any of the guys. Instead, Ikki, Shiryu and Hyoga fell or have Ship Tease with Yamato Nadeshiko type of women.
- Sorcerer Hunters. Carrot Glace is a bit of an idiot, a womanizer, and his only useful skill in fighting sorcerers is totally out of his control — he turns into a horrible, deadly monster when struck by magic. Despite all that, he has two loyal, beautiful women, who've known him forever, pursuing him — the sisters Chocolate and Tira Misu. They are also, however, dominatrix-queens whose real job in the team is to beat the bejeesus out of Carrot after he's transformed, to turn him back into a human. He is, by his own admission, too afraid of them to think of them romantically.
- Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl, a lesser-known comedy anime from the early '90s, features the cute schoolgirl protagonist Yawara, who also happens to be a highly skilled martial artist, coming from a long line of martial artists and having been taught as such from a really young age. In only the first episode of the anime, she displays her abilities to her crush, who then proceeds to run away from her in fear for a good portion of the rest of the series. It should be noted that Yawara herself seems to be aware of this trope, and wants to quit practicing fighting in order to be a normal girl for exactly the above reasons, which is what generates a sizable amount of the show's plot.
- Another prime example is Chiharu Nitta from Boys Be.... While she is pretty and some males have an interest in her she is called "Amazon Woman" by Makoto because Chiharu is on the high school track and field team.
- Klan Klein from Macross Frontier is terribly unlucky in love, given that the man she loves is killed right after she confesses her affection. She only fits this trope half the time, however; when in her smaller form she's as tiny as her giant form is Amazonian. Yes, this is for the benefit of the viewers and fan artists.
- Sumika from Sasameki Koto couldn't care less that the guys consider her as this. Her grief comes from the fact that the girl she loves only likes 'em cute.
- In Outlaw Star, Fred Luo asks Gene to keep a woman from winning a championship. Said woman has a deal with Fred that if she wins so many championships in a row, they'll be married according to family tradition, when family members come of age they marry the strongest. Even Gene is disturbed by her body. Of course, Fred has other reasons for not being interested as well.
- Madoka Ayukawa from Kimagure Orange Road is the most athletic, beautiful and booksmart girl in school... and has an horrible reputation as a Delinquent. As a consequence only Hikaru, Yuusaku and the Kasuga siblings approach her without fear.
- Discussed and explored in Black Butler. Elizabeth "Lizzie" Middleford worries that her finance won't want her anymore, should he discover that she is actually an accomplished swordswoman. It stems from a childhood incident in which her finance stated that her mother, a fierce Iron Lady of War, was frightening and her was thankful he was marrying a sweet girl like her. Likewise, her aunt taught her that a Proper Lady should be beautiful and sweet, surrounded by pretty things and there to always cheer up her husband. This leads to her becoming a Deliberately Distressed Damsel, making numerous sacrifices for the sake of his pride. Thankfully, when she's forced to rescue him and reveal her true nature as an Action Girlfriend, he's not bothered in the least bit.
- Soul Eater: Despite Soul's statements that he's "too cool" to be involved with someone like Maka who, despite superb fighting skills, is thin as a pole and flat-chested, Soul seems to be more annoyed than pleased by their very Amazon-esque Cat/Human pet/rooommate/shameless mooch, Blair. Ship Tease and Soul's girl!form (based on what he finds attractive in the opposite sex) in the chapter of Lust would also seem to contradict his claims. This trope also get played straight with Maka herself: while learning to fly, she tells Soul that she wants angel wings; but since the form of the wings relies on both partners' images, they don't come out right. Soul can't think of Maka as an angel since she's constantly hitting him.
- Son Pan goes on a date in the first episode of Dragon Ball GT, only to have it interrupted by a crime in progress. She subdues the criminals single-handedly, but scares her date off in the process. Fandom thinks (with good reason) she'd have better luck with Uub or Trunks.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: We have Olivier Mira Armstrong, who can and does beat up her Lightning Bruiser younger brother who is twice her size, ridiculously muscular and not afraid to show it, as well as a high-ranking state alchemist. Nearly every man she meets has a healthy respect for her, if not downright afraid of her.
- Midori Days: The local otaku asks for Seiji's help to impress a girl by pretending to bully her so he can intervene and chase him off. When she kicks Seiji's ass, he loses interest, as he's one of those Moe-obsessed types.
- In Love Lab, no guy wants to go out with Riko because she's One of the Boys and beats up anybody who annoys her without hesitation.
- The Brave and the Bold #63 (from 1955) revolves around this trope. Basically, Wonder Woman and Supergirl both succumb to their natural need for male dominance. Of course, their new boyfriends don't approve of what they do, assume that they are at heart weak and desirous of submission (which Wonder Woman actually is), and would be disillusioned if they saw them at work. This leads the two to bend over backwards trying to save lives without losing their boyfriends by lying to them about their actions. Finally, they give it up and return to fighting crime, as they realize that it is what they need to do. However, it's impossible for a non-misogynist to read it without being struck over the head with the primitive assumptions made by the writers.
- Despite being an Amazonian Beauty, She-Hulk manages to marry just about the only guy in the world that prefers Jennifer Walters to seven feet of green She-Hulk.
- Milo Manara's X-Men features a plane-worshiping leader (don't ask) courting Storm, to the chagrin of the man's wife. Once he discovers that Storm has powers, he loses all interest: His wife has powers too, and he was looking for a Human woman so that he could have the upper hand for once.
- In Artesia, the men of the Middle Kingdoms are disturbed and horrified by the warrior women coming down from Daradja. They believe women belong in the home, not the battlefield.
- Raptor Red has a scene in which a giant of a female raptor attempts to woo the main character's consort. The consort is more than a little freaked out about this. When the giant is eventually chased off, the narrator tells us she'd been dealing with this all day: no Utahraptor male would pair off with her because of how freakishly large she is.
- In Tracy Hickman and Margaret Weis's Bones Of The Dragon, the main character Skylan is in love with Aylaen. However, Aylaen loves fighting and is a tomboy. Most of the story centres about Skylan Wangsting about wanting her to stop being one and start acting like a good housewife, especially when he tells her 'you'll be raising our sons anyway' when she complains about the duties assigned to a chief's wife.
- Joren tells Keladry this in Protector of the Small in one of his less odious attempts to discourage her from becoming a knight, although Cleon would beg to differ. Princess Shinkokami gets a form of this advice from her uncle about her forthcoming marriage to Prince Roald—"men with unconventional mothers want conventional wives." (Which, in Roald's case, is complete hogwash.)
- Also comes up for Kylaia in the Tortall Universe short story "Student of Ostriches", as illustrated by the former page quote. However, the Shang Master who saw her fight is impressed enough by her self-taught martial arts skills that he is willing to pay a full bride-price to take her as a student.
- Anita Blake briefly tries to date a fellow animator, only to run into this trope.
- Monica Figerola from The Millennium Trilogy. She's 185 cms (6 foot 2) and a former bodybuilder. Despite practically all men considering her gorgeous, all her previous relationships failed because of this trope. She's the one who ends up with protagonist Mikael Blomkvist, though.
- Toulac, a retired soldier in Maggie Furey's Shadowleague books, pokes fun at this trope on occasion, saying that the only truth in it lies in the fact that men think it's true, and thus avoid strong women because they don't want to be looked down on.
- The lovely and powerful Rowan, of David Gaider's Dragon Age novel The Stolen Throne, is a finely nuanced version of this trope. She is truly beautiful and a strong warrior at the same time. Though at first seemingly played straight, if you look closely it becomes apparent that the guys who didn't want her just weren't right for her or mature enough for her, rather than necessarily rejecting her because of her strength, and that her fondness for one of the characters is more the product of an adolescent crush and lingering insecurity than real, true love thwarted by her own prowess with a blade. Later it becomes apparent that while one guy one runs away from an amazon another chases them.
- The heroine of Reserved For The Cat is a ballerina who wins two fights, one with Waif-Fu and another with magical firearms. In both cases she downplays her involvement for fear of scaring off potential suitors.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Brienne of Tarth is a trained knight and one of the most kind and honourable characters in the book series. But because she's tall, strong and considered ugly, so no man wants her apart from her inheritancenote . Though later books hint at Jaime being attracted to her.
- Jane Layton's The Boyhood of Grace Jones takes place in the 1930s. Grace feels completely male at this point in the series. She wants to be a sailor and live as masculine a life as possible, and strenuously exercises to keep up with the strength of guys her age (eleven or so). Her parents have this whole worried conversation about her getting muscular. Fortunately, she undergoes full Chickification and by the end of the novel is deeply into clothes and makeup. Readers still complain about the way Layton "sold Grace out".
- Averted in the case of Elend and Vin Venture in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy. Vin is a Mistborn, while Elend is a Muggle Non-Action Guy. They fall in love, and eventually marry.
- Amusingly enough, Elend discovers a dose of Super Serum and becomes a more powerful (though still less skilled) Mistborn than Vin in the third book.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, twice, with one Girl of the Week who was a boxer, and the almost-bride.
- Drake & Josh, Drake was going to break up with a girl because she saved him in a fight involving a bunch of bullies. He then decides to deny that she is tougher than him, leading them to have a "friendly" sparring match.
- An episode of Saved by the Bell saw Zack dating a girl on the wrestling team and getting all embarrassed when she saved him from getting beaten up.
- Sister Sister
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy's boyfriend, Riley, has a related malady. Riley wants Buffy all the more for being superheroic, but he seeks to enhance his performance to not feel inadequate next to the Slayer. There were also numerous references to the trope by guys who were intimidated by her strength in high school and Spike quips about it when she is dumped after a one night stand. It should be noted that Riley's insecurity stems at least in part from his (perhaps justified) belief that Buffy doesn't love him as much as she could.
- Reaper, Ben is happy dating Nina unless he comes across a situation where it's obvious that being a human he's much weaker than her. Borders on Too Dumb to Live when he wanted to fight a another demon who had an eye for Nina.
- Vala on Stargate SG-1 gets told that this is the reason for her lack of romantic luck. However, since she's been married multiple times and apparently Really Gets Around, it's probably not true.
- In iBeat The Heat, Freddie is bothered when his online girlfriend, Gibby's cousin Sabrina, turns out to be much taller than him.
- In "iMake Sam Girlier", this is Sam's mentality, but it turns out to be an aversion with Pete, who likes a girl who can dress nice and kick butt. For some reason he's never shown again.
- Apparently, no one in Thailand wants an Amazon, as when Chuck is kidnapped in "Chuck vs. Phase Three", everyone was talking about the "giant blonde shemale" (Sarah) on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge across the country. Chuck himself, on the other hand, definitely wants the Amazon.
- In LOST Ana Lucia Cortez was a tough, pretty, fiery, physically powerful for her size, Latina ex police officer who was trapped on the island with the rest of the castaways. Before the plane crash she shot and killed a man in revenge who had shot her in the past, and whose bullet had caused her to miscarry the baby she was carrying at the time. This caused her to develop a lot of emotional issues and a suspicious orneriness and a fierce protector of the children among the survivors. Her fellow castaways, in part due to her actions and abrasive domineering personality (and in part because she shot Shannon to death - though it wasn't out of pure malice, and she did genuinely apologize for it), took a long time to accept her as one of them — but she eventually found some companionship with Mr. Eko as a friend and then with Sawyer as a lover, even if it was for a day. She eventually became one of the team and her loss was felt when she was killed by Michael. However, most of the resentment came from the fans of the show who were repulsed by her attitude even if in a real way she was a female version of Sawyer and did much the same things he did — yet he was loved by the fans and she wasn't. They didn't have any empathy for what she had gone through which caused her to be the way she was. She was murdered by Michael working for the "Others" to get his kidnapped son Walt back.
- There are traces of this with Prince Arthur on Merlin. He is disgruntled when Morgana saves his life from a bandit, humiliated when Morgause beats him in single combat, astounded when Princess Elena wins their horse race, and shows distaste at Princess Mithian's love of hunting. He's in love with the spirited, but uber-feminine and passive Guinevere.
- Gwen is usually passive, but the one time Arthur sees her pick up a sword (in "Lamia", to defend Merlin from the titular beast), he seems more proud than put off.
- The TV version of Game of Thrones plays this straighter than the books, since TV-Brienne is more Hollywood Homely than "hideously ugly."
- In Hercules The Legendary Journeys, Atalanta was very unlucky in love because most guys were turned off by her strength and physique. (She's even buffer than Hercules, works as a blacksmith, and is portrayed by Cory Everson). In contrast, Hercules and Salmoneus both thought she was hot. The trope is best demonstrated in the episode "If I Had a Hammer".
- In an episode of Lizzie McGuire Lizzie frets about this when she discovers she has a talent for playing football. She worries that the boys will stop thinking she's feminine and won't want to date her. The Brawn Hilda of a coach then reveals that she has a swing dancing date every weekend.
- On Last Man Standing, the youngest daughter Eve, a tomboy who hunts, plays football, and participates in JROTC, feels insecure over the fact that boys don't throw themselves at her like they do for her older and more feminine sisters.
- David Byrne & Fatboy Slim's "The Rose of Tacloban" briefly alludes to this. Imelda Romualdez sings "Ninoy was my first love, but he said I was too tall."
- Annie Get Your Gun has a whole song about this phenomenon:
The gals with "umbrellars"
Are always out with fellers
In the rain or the blazing sun
But a man never trifles
With gals who carry rifles
Oh, you can't get a man with a gun.
- It's actually rather funny, as in real life, Annie's husband pretty much fell in love with her when she beat him at sharpshooting, then went on to give up his career to support hers.
- Wonderful Town features the song "One Hundred Easy Ways to Lose a Man" which is about how no man will accept a woman who has even half a brain.
- Seemingly the reason the management of WWE regulates Natalya Neidheart, Jillian Hall, and Beth Phoenix (who could probably mop the floor with some of the men on the roster, like Chyna used to) to jobber status while pushing glorified swimsuit models to title reigns. This isn't to say that the more athletic Divas never get pushed at all, but it's not the status quo.
- This often happens in the WWE developmental territories. An athletic woman gets noticed and is ordered to lose her muscle tone to suit the traditional Diva mold. This happened to Angel Williams (TNA's Angelina Love) and Jennifer Thomas (who left pro wrestling after being released) in the mid-2000s. More recently they hired female armwrestler Sara Backmann and then forced her to lose the muscles that got her noticed in the first place.
- Despite usually being confident in her own strength, Anise Azeat's plot thread in Galaxy Angel II Zettai Ryouiki no Tobira reveals her secret fear that it might be true that No Guy Wants an Amazon.
- None of the possible female love interests in Neverwinter Nights 2 are combatants. Elanee is a druid, Safiya is a Squishy Wizard, and (assuming a modded game) Neeshka is a backstabbing sneak thief.
- Nanaly Fletch of Tales of Destiny 2. Everyone welcomes her and acknowledges her beauty... except Loni Dunamis, the resident Handsome Lech wannabe, who finds her tomboyish attitude more prominent on her and at times verbally refused to acknowledge her as his wooing victim. Unfortunately, Nanaly usually takes that as an insult and if she ever hears that, Loni is in for a bone crusher.
- Much of Yui's route in Brass Restoration deals with Ryo being unable to see her as anything other than a guy with boobs.
- Suikoden III plays with this trope. Lucia tells Chris that if she wants to be a mother she has to show 'weakness'. On the other hand, Lucia is the unmarried chief of her tribe, not at all shy or passive, uses a whip in battle, and her son is one of the three protagonists. Then there's the fact that Chris already has a few admirers.
- Samurai Warriors 3 - In Kai's story path, she gets ragged on by Kunoichi for being manlier than most of the guys in the Hojo clan (though the way she says it, she's also insulting the Hojos for being weak).
- Discussed in Dragon Age: Origins' Female City Elf Origin, where your father advises you not to tell your fiance about your martial training. It's a little bit hypocritical since he married a woman, Adraia, who was a Grey Warden prospect.
- Brooks in The Orion Conspiracy is definitely an amazon. Unfortunately, most of the guys do not want her. She does point out that the resident Jerkass Ward made moves on her, but he got scared off when she wanted to have sex with him on the cold, hard floor.
- A female Trooper in Star Wars:The Old Republic can tell a potential love interest "There aren't exactly a lot of men lining up to woo female commandos, either.", which is rather true in-game considering her lack of flirt options.
- If you lose the combat tournament in Princess Maker 2, the butler comments "girls are better if they're not incredibly tough". Similarly, the lumberjack makes a comment about how most girls wouldn't want to build up their muscles. Similarly, all the jobs which make your daughter stronger and more athletic, will also make her less pretty and refined and starving her (which damages her athletic abilities) is the best way to get her to fit into the nicest dresses.
- The rare inverse of this trope in Tomb Raider, No Amazon Wants A Normal Guy, leads to Alex's death. A crush he's had on Lara since before the game begins is taken Up to Eleven when he sees how bad-ass she's become, and he fears there's no way she would ever be interested in him now. He decides to return to the wreck of Endurance alone to recover equipment needed to repair the survivors' escape craft to impress her.
- Invoked by Chie Satonaka in general — her sincere belief that this is true is part of the reason she's so jealous of her far more girly friend Yukiko — but especially if romanced in Persona 4. In Persona 4 Golden, her date on Valentine's Day features a fairly lengthy speech on how she can't see why the protagonist would pick a girl like her over the likes of Yukiko Amagi, Rise Kujikawa or Naoto Shirogane.
- Fate/Stay Night: While Shirou wants Saber, he is initially overly protective of her and does not want her to get hurt — which is quite dumb, since she clearly is orders of magnitude more powerful than him. In addition her life is tied to his, so getting himself killed to save her would not, in fact, save her for more than a few hours. His coming to terms with these facts drives the story in the first half. Saber herself starts to get self-conscious over her nature as a warrior woman around the time Shirou stops treating her in that way. He's better about it in the other routes, as it is only in the Fate route where she is his primary love interest that he displays this behavior.
- In Pacificators, the ladies with powers usually have a hard time finding a date, because no sane guy would want to date a "witch". That's why we see one of the main characters, Cinna, on multiple failed dates.
- In Tetsuko (pictured), Derek freaks out when he sees Tetsuko's bicep, crudely proclaiming he won't date a woman more muscled than him.
- In Contest Jitters, Janet's boyfriend was initially happy when Janet was toned, but he had second thoughts once Janet got bigger. He cheats on her later on. Another (lesser) factor is that Janet was spending time training in the gym instead of being with him.
- Tora from White Dark Life is one of the few characters who doesn't get married over the timeskip. She hasn't even ever had a boyfriend.
- A big problem for Tennyo in the Whateley Universe. The only guy she's had who was really interested looks like a seven-foot-tall werewolf all the time, and he dumped her. Maybe it's that she's so dangerous other students can get expelled just for fighting her. Maybe it's her combat final, where she nearly wiped out an entire city.
- RWBY's Pyrrha Nikos, who laughed when Jaune bet that she had hordes of boys asking her to the dance, and said that he'd be surprised. Later, she tells Jaune that before she met him, she had no friends or dates because everyone was too intimidated by her strength and skill to approach her.