No Periods, Period

Al: You know who is a good woman? Veronica. You know, from Archie Comics? She never had a period.
Steve: That's true. But she still had an attitude problem.
Al: You're right. There are no good ones.

A subtrope of The Law of Conservation of Detail, No Periods, Period is the fact that unless there's a specific, plot-related reason to mention that a female character is menstruating, the subject will not be brought up. Periods do appear frequently for plot-related reasons; do not list those here.

Compare to Nobody Poops. Common aversions usually have All Periods Are PMS. Completely unrelated to No Punctuation Period and Wall of Text.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Averted, oddly enough, in Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal, the 1999 four-part OVA to Rurouni Kenshin. Episode three treats us to a series of quick cuts between Tomoe clutching her stomach and splashes of blood against a black background. She then heads outside before we cut to the next scene.
  • One of the chapters of Bokura no Hentai has Akane begin to menstruate. She's less than happy at her changing body.
  • A plot point in Wandering Son. Takatsuki is transsexual and starting his period causes dysphoria. On a lesser note menstruation is depicted several times from varying female characters.
  • Aversion: Mentioned once or twice in The Slayers, as female spellcasters lose power "that time of the month". Given the length of the series, it's surprising it only comes up once or twice with Lina, the first time as a minor plot point. Presumably she is little affected most of the time, or maybe it only affects her and a small number of mages.
  • Triela's periods pop up a few times in Gunslinger Girl. In one scene she's complaining about them but the slightly younger Henrietta notes she herself can't get them due to having her ovaries removed due to her Conditioning, though it's implied to be related to her rapes prior to the story.
  • IS - Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei is a manga about intersex people. At least one of the characters has been shown to menstruate.
  • One chapter of Family Compo has Sora getting his period. He's obviously doesn't like it and shares pads with his daughter.
  • Inside Mari deals with what happens when a man switched with a girl starts menstruating. Isao is overcome by the pain and freaked out by the blood. He starts bawling and has an awkward time buying menstrual pads.
  • The first page of After School Nightmare has the intersex protagonist getting his first period.
  • Episode 8 of Tenchi Muyo! has Sasami pretty much taken out of the episode because she got her first period. In fact, you wouldn't even realize this unless you knew the items Tenchi's aunt gives the others are old rememides to help her weather that little problem.
  • The two twin sisters, Kagami and Tsukasa, from Lucky Star at one point chat (with polite ambiguity) about periods; Kagami was concerned that it would happen at the beach and she couldn't go into the water. Not too surprising, since the show tends to involve the girls chatting about anything and everything. Konata takes delight in overhearing such an intimate conversation, and Kagami in her embarassment finds herself wondering if her diminutive, flat-chested friend has even had a period.

    Comic Books 
  • Played straight in ElfQuest for decades, until the original creators decided to take up the series again.
  • One issue of Runaways has Nico using the Staff of One despite not being injured at all. The gang is a little confused and figure it out after Nico glares at them when they question it — The Staff of One can only be summoned when the user's blood is spilled. Nothing in the rules said anything about being actual wounds.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Lothíriel by JunoMagic, in chapter 12 "Preparations for the Journey", puts the idea that the elves of The Lord of the Rings never bleed during their periods. "They reabsorbed whatever they had done to get ready once a month to conceive a child." Lothíriel, the woman from Germany, does not have periods because her birth-control implant suppresses them.
  • Averted in Variation Modification. Karkat (a trans guy) gets his in Chapter 14, and is flat-out horrified.
  • Discussed in First Try Series for how an massively unprepared Sakura is going to go through a two-month training mission without feminine products.
  • With Origin Story, at first it seemed as if the story was going to follow this trope (to the point that some reviewers commented on how unrealistic it was that Alex Harris, who at the time was still thinking she was a man turned into a woman, wouldn't have had a complete freak out over getting her period. Turns out that the writer was instead using her period as evidence that while Alex looks human, she's actually a Kryptonian, and the two species are not identical even if they are similar. In the story, female Kryptonians are only fertile (and thus only menstruate) four times a year. Alex eventually did get her period, on the normal Kryptonian time-scale.
  • This is Played for Laughs and averted in this Kill la Kill Fankoma. Apparently, the series never covered that before.

    Film 
  • Averted in Jupiter Ascending; Jupiter uses a maxi pad (for lack of anything else) as a bandage for Caine's wound, telling him to be thankful that the car they’ve stolen is owned by a woman - although she applies it sticky side down.
  • Played with in Summer School: When Pam ditches class and blames it on a "woman thing," Chainsaw complains that the "woman thing" is a scam. Denise goes into a rant about how much the "woman thing" sucks.

    Literature 
  • Averted in A Brother's Price When the corpse of a male rape victim is found, the protagonists conclude from the blood on his private parts that one of the rapists must have been on her period. Qualifies, as this conclusion is of no use in the plot.
  • The Baby-Sitters Club: It's plausible for a thirteen-year-old girl not to have started her period yet, which makes a reasonable justification for the trope, but it's decidedly less plausible that none of them would have started menstruating by that age. Presumably it's not mentioned because the target age range for the books was a bit younger than thirteen, and they didn't want to freak out the kids (or their parents).
  • Same with The Fabulous Five series, which also focused a group of 13-year old girls.
  • The Saddle Club: Played straight. The three main characters are all girls age 12-13, but periods are never mentioned save once offhand, rather jarringly, when the 13 year old talks about a Southern Belle etiquette teacher she had who always called it "that time of the month".
  • Twilight: Word of God says that that blood is "dead blood" and not nearly as interesting to Edward, but it's still kind of awkward. It also still gets the Fridge Logic going.
  • The Hunger Games: There is never any mention of what the female tributes do when or if they get their period in the arena. Do sponsors send them tampons, or do the contestants receive treatment to stop their cycle? The latter would be unsurprising, given that male tributes do receive some kind of treatment to stop them from growing beards, so there's every chance female tributes receive something similar — perhaps ratings have shown that female tributes menstruating wasn't very entertaining. This becomes fortunate in the second book when Katniss is pretending to be pregnant — if she had suddenly gotten her period, it would have been noticeable, given the amount of time the tributes spend in little clothing, and the entire plan would have been scuppered.
  • Blink and you'll miss it (it's just one paragraph in a long book), but this trope is averted in Lovely Assistant by Geoph Essex, where Jenny specifically notes a recent (minor) pregnancy scare before coming to the conclusion that she probably can't even menstruate anymore, now that she's a reaper.
  • Petals On The Wind : Zig-zagged. The protagonist, Cathy, is malnourished after years of being kept in the attic. Understandably, her periods have stopped, although her brother Chris raped her during their imprisonment, so she may also be pregnant. During a dance audition (and a very memorable scene), the floodgates open.
  • Periods are used as a form of Establishing Character Moment in The Kingdom of Little Wounds as all the women in the nursery cycle at the same time but for the stubborn and contrary Midi.
  • Averted in the Outlander series; there's everything from Lizzie's menarche(first period) to Claire's menopause(last). Several times during the books, it's shown that Jamie has a habit of unconsciously keeping track of Claire's cycle, which she finds odd as it isn't something a man from her time would usually do. There's also little of any man being shown as uncomfortable with these events; Jamie, as noted; and Ian, who after all had several older sisters.
  • Averted, however delicately and obliquely, in Awake in the Night Land by John C. Wright. The narrator tells the boy she is talking to that she was in a place for a month — and refuses to explain how she knew that in the absence of all external indicators of passing time, citing his youth. When he's old enough to marry, his wife will explain it.

    Live Action TV 
  • One wonders exactly how the Doctor's female companions broach the subject whilst traveling with him. It must be pretty awkward for a young human woman to ask a centuries-old male Time Lord about pads. As it has never come up in the show, we still don't know how they handle that.
  • Played ridiculously straight on Full House, considering that there were three girls living in the house (as well as an adult woman at one point, along with a fourth girl who frequently visited), at least two of whom (DJ and Kimmy) undoubtedly reached the age of menarche at some point in the show's tenure and Stephanie likely reached this age too.
  • Same thing on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which featured two adult women and a girl who undoubtedly reached the age of menarche at some point.
  • And The Cosby Show, with three adult women (four if you count Pam, even though she joined the show quite late) and two girls who got to this point (in fact, at age 12 when the show started, Vanessa could very well have been there already), there was only one Very Special Episode regarding Rudy starting hers and another when Claire began menopause.
  • Lost has several women of childbearing age on an island with no feminine supplies, and yet it's never brought up how they deal with it. One character mentions being late, and another suddenly knows she's not pregnant, but the implications are never explored.
  • El Ministerio del Tiempo averts this on the first episode: one of the main characters, a 19th century woman, is given a tampon by a veteran Ministry agent, who tells her that traveling in time always messes up with her period.
  • Game of Thrones features Sansa's first period in season 2; she promptly tries to cut the bloodstains out of her bedsheets before anyone sees, so Joffrey doesn't try to take advantage of her ASAP.
  • Averted in the Best Friends Whenever episode "A Time To Jump and Jam", which has one of the protagonists recall getting her first period in middle school. This is probably the first time the subject has been mentioned on a Disney Channel series.

    Video Games 
  • Averted in Katawa Shoujo. At one point, Rin (who has no arms) is getting antsy and wants to find her friend Emi. She's being evasive as to why, but Hisao keeps pushing her for an answer, and she finally replies that she's on her period and needs some help with that, and that while she likes Hisao, she doesn't feel comfortable asking for his help with that particular problem. Hisao promptly shuts up.
  • Averted in Corpse Party when Ayumi gets her period without realizing it (you begin seeing a blood stain on the back of her skirt partway through the game). She's very embarrassed when Yoshiki notices and asks when she got hurt, but she can't think of any way to change or cover it up. No one else comments on it though (either they think it's from one of the numerous dead bodies, or they just have bigger problems).
  • Averted in BioShock Infinite. When Booker arrives to Monument Island, there are three objects linked to the Siphon that he can activate. One of them is a tissue with red spilled on it, being Elizabeth's menarche. The fact that it dissapears whenever Booker activates it, foreshadows Elizabeth's Reality Warping powers.

    Webcomic 
  • The elven and drow races of Drowtales are physically different then humans and can't get periods, leading to a Crowning Moment of Funny when one of the human cast members gets one and one of the drow uses her own confused idea of what it is to explain it, with large failures.
  • Averted in Misfile, as Ash, originally a boy, winds up horrified when Emily points out that the current symptoms he/she is experiencing are occurring after a certain amount of time Ash has been a girl. From then on, Ash will occasionally bring up the subject when he/she is feeling particularly irate.
  • Averted in Pacificators, as the author wants his female characters to be more realistic.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Tedd jokes about Elliot experiencing PMS and Ellen lists PMS as what she thinks is an inappropriate topic but no mention is made as to how Ellen adjusts to having periods (or even if she gets her period) in the little over a month between her creation and her getting appropriate memories through her "Second Life" dreams.
  • Averted in Sunstone. When Lisa wants to go on her next date with Ally in the second chapter after five days of waiting, it turns out her stomach cramps are not the result of a chicken gone bad...
    • The print version illustrates this with perhaps the first ever example of a trollfaced uterus.

    Western Animation 
  • Braceface was the first non-adult cartoon to explicitly avert this trope; the series' eighth episode, first aired in 2001, deals with the protagonist's first period, which happens in the middle of her first date and greatly embarrasses her.
  • Amazingly enough, Grossology doesn't mention this in any of the episodes, despite one of the Grossologists being in junior high school. Most likely, this is related to its keeping the TV-Y7 rating.
  • Ask Lara, a little-known series of Catalonian origin which was co-produced by the BBC in 2012 note  has an episode that deals with the main character having her first period, done in a honest and lighthearted manner. Lara is not as flustered about having her period as she is about that it had to happen on the day of an important exam. Lara has two best friends: Akira, who already started her period and offers her advice about it, and Monica, who is anxious to get hers and even says she feels envy when Lara tells her about the physical discomforts caused by it. Meanwhile, her two male friends, Tony and Gabriel, are worried that after getting her period, she will stop hanging out with them to only focus on older boys, but in the end that does not happen.
  • King of the Hill had the episode "Aisle 8A", in which Connie got her first period while she was staying with the Hills because her parents had gone to a swanky business conference in Hawaii. Due to a series of circumstances, the prudish Hank was the one who had to deal with it. He was not happy about it, and his initial reaction is to drive her to the hospital where a doctor explains it to them.
  • As Told by Ginger never really makes note of menstruation despite it being a very girl-geared Slice of Life series about girls going through middle school, and eventually high school. There is, however, an episode in which the girls watch a film about puberty, where a passing euphemism is used ("a certain monthly visitor will arrive"). In regards to that euphemism, Macie says in one scene that she will be "forever haunted by the sounds of cramping".
  • Averted in one episode of Sixteen, where pretty much all the jokes come from the girls being, ahem, hormonal and having harsh mood swings at the boy's expense. There's even a scene where one of the girls goes into a indepth explanation that them all having their time of the month at the same time must mean they are all inseparable friends.