Al: You know who was a good woman? Veronica. You know, from Archie Comics? Veronica never had a period.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 and No Dead Body Poops. Common aversions usually have All Periods Are PMS and/or Menstrual Menace. Completely unrelated to No Punctuation Period, Wall of Text, and Zero Punctuation.
Steve: That's true. But she still had an attitude problem.
Al: You're right. There are no good ones.
Steve: That's true. But she still had an attitude problem.
Al: You're right. There are no good ones.
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Anime & Manga
- Averted in 7 Seeds, with some girls casually mentioning that they are on their period at the moment. Natsu's period actually becomes a plot point in the Minor Heat arc, where iron-eating bacteria starts to become active on an old, abandoned ship and starts chasing her, due to the iron in her blood.
- 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 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.
- Averted in Kodomo No Kodomo. The grade-schoolers talk about getting their first periods early on.
- 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.
- Casually averted in Michiko & Hatchin when a girl named Rita mentions she is wearing a tampon.
- Averted in Fushigi Yuugi. Yui gets a bloodstain on her skirt as a result of being connected to Miaka (who is in the book) via her school uniform, and Miaka being injured. One of their friends awkwardly asks Yui if it's her time of the month. In the anime, it's downplayed. Yui sees the stain and groans before heading into the bathroom (probably assuming it's a menstrual mishap), but no one actually mentions it.
- The oneshot Yuri Genre manga Trans Star is about a girl whose male crush transformed into a girl. The ending shot has her getting her first period.
- During one sequence in Berserk, Action Girl Casca insists on fighting during her period and nearly gets killed by a particularly misogynistic enemy general because her cramps are taking her edge off. She gets her own back during the Battle of Doldrey and kills him.
- 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.
- 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.
- Averted by this The Hobbit fanfic, which is a short story that's all about a female version of Bilbo getting her period on the journey.
- Averted in The Second Try. Asuka's monthly cycle is brought up once or twice in the story. Her lack of periods is how she figured out she was pregnant.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Averted. In chapter 10, Asuka has nausea from her period and spends several minutes throwing up.
- 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.
- 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.
- A noteworthy aversion is the short story "Even the Queen" by Connie Willis in which most women have opted for a safe, effective method of avoiding menstruation unless they are attempting to conceive. The story mentions that getting FDA approval for this was the first issue that managed to unite women across every demographic.
- Averted in John Wyndham's The Trouble with Lichen in which a scientist develops a technique that will triple the human life expectancy and tests it on his grown-up children. His son realises that his body clock has been slowed down because he only has to shave every third day, but - until she drops a broad hint - doesn't understand how his sister has figured it out too.
- This is averted at the beginning of the first Darkest Powers book. Chloe is a bit late to get her first period but when she does she begins to see ghosts.
- In Time Past, the main character comes from a time period in which medical treatments are available to completely suppress menstruation. When she gets stuck in a slum in the past, she starts getting periods, and notes that she has tremendous newfound respect for her female ancestors, who had to deal with this every single month for most of their lives.
- Played straight in The Belgariad and the Mallorean, but eventually subverted in the prequel Polgara the Sorceress, when the eponymous narrator describes in her memoirs the brief horror of her and her twin sister being woken up by their first periods.
- Averted for the lulz in soccer-meets-crime novel "False Nine" by Philip Kerr. The amateur detective hero is a soccer manager. He's the bigmouth type, and current unemployment doesn't make it better. So when Rafinha gets exchanged in a game, he twitters that the player probably was on his period. (His. Ahem.) Not everyone is amused and the FA slaps him a 25000 quid fine. At the end of the book it even turns into a Brick Period when a female CEO offers him a new job and dryly tells him that it's that time of the month and he better should decide quickly because she's very irritable now.
- The Diary of a Young Girl. Anne Frank eagerly anticipates the onset of her periods. A year later, having experienced them for real, she goes back through her diary and is embarrassed over how candid she was about the subject.
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. Time works differently inside the TARDIS. (Though at least one companion has gestated inside the TARDIS...)
- 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.
- Played straight in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the seventh season there were twenty-ish females of the right age living in the Summers house, but there was never any mention of supplies, moodiness, or even ice cream.
- 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 dealing with it, 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 disappears whenever Booker activates it foreshadows Elizabeth's Reality Warping powers.
- 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 chicken gone bad... The print version illustrates this with perhaps the first ever example of a troll-faced uterus.
- Averted, slightly, in Cobweb And Stripes. When Lydia is deeply upset about being lonely and has a Cry into Chest moment with him, Betelgeuse's first reaction is to wonder whether this is the reason. The idea doesn't seem to bother him, though; he's more uneasy about the whole 'emotions' thing.
- Braceface was the first non-adult cartoon to explicitly avert this trope; an episode from the series' first season deals with main character Sharon getting her first period in the middle of her first date, which 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. 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 envious 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, probably due to restrictions at Nickelodeon. 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 6teen, where pretty much all the jokes come from Jen, Nikki and Caitlin being, ahem, hormonal and having harsh mood swings at the expense of Jonesy, Wyatt and Jude. When Jen realizes that her, Nikki and Caitlin's cycles have synced up, Caitlin gets excited and goes into an in-depth explanation that period cycles syncing up is the first sign of close female friendship.