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Rebellious Princess
"You dare defy me!?!" "I will marry Flash, Daddy, and you can't stop me!"

Jasmine: I've never done a thing on my own. I've never had any real friends...
Rajah: (makes a surprised and offended growl)
Jasmine: ...Except you, Rajah. I've never even been outside the palace walls.
Sultan: But, Jasmine, you're a princess.
Jasmine: ...Then maybe I don't want to be a princess any more!
Disney's Aladdin

To the Rebellious Princess, being part of the royal family is overrated: You have no control over the path of your life, your responsibilities are numerous and burdensome (or not burdensome enough), you're generally under everyone's thumb, or you're destined to live unhappily in an Arranged Marriage. The only options are to throw off your frilly dress and to run off with the first hero who passes through (in old fashioned stories), or set off for Action Girl adventures on her own on the sly (in the modern ones).

The Rebellious Princess is usually a teenager, typically brash (since it goes hand in hand with being rebellious), and often blonde and/or has a Tomboyish Ponytail. If she's not the hero, quite often she's the hero's love interest. This will sometimes invoke Marry for Love not only as another way for her to rebel, but to also get out of an Arranged Marriage. She usually qualifies as a Royal Who Actually Does Something, and may qualify as a Badass Princess, depending on how far she's willing to go to rebel. Sometimes the Rebellious Princess is the White Magician Girl, but not always: in video games she can also be archer, the Black Magician Girl or the Lady of War. May also be a Politically-Active Princess.

When written badly, this trope evokes a spoiled brat who is simply whining about how bad their palatial life is when they have never seen how the 'lower classes' live; their 'rebellious nature' is not based in any actual ethics or logic. For this reason, people who write this trope must remember to give royal status suitable drawbacks.

Somewhat more common in the earlier days of the RPG genre than they are now; their population has dwindled with the reduced number of games involving monarchies.

The Spear Counterpart is the Rebel Prince. Compare Modest Royalty. For characters a little lower on the social hierarchy, see Spirited Young Lady. Might be confused with a Princess in Rags who is forced into not being a princess where the rebellious one chooses not to be.

Contrast Princess Classic, Idle Rich.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Yuri Zahard from Tower of God, a Tomboy Princess, known ruffneck, rule-breaking maverick of warrior who openly sides with an N.G.O. Superpower that has as much influence as the royalty she belongs to. She does the rule-breaking very subtle and fulfills her assigned, though, so barely anyone notices or complains. Except for Evan, her guide.
  • Lucia Nanami of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is the heroine, but doesn't understand nor appreciate her position — so she just tries to do what she wants.
  • Gundam seems to have a fair number of these:
    • Cagalli Yula Athha in Gundam SEED is de facto the princess of the neutral state of Orb but runs off to wage guerrilla warfare against ZAFT in Africa. She is much less volatile in the sequel, Gundam SEED Destiny.
    • In G Gundam, we have the tomboyish and willful Maria Louise from Neo France doing lots of un-princess-like things to get the attention of her "Knight in League" and local Gundam Fighter, George de Sand. After she actually grows up and learns her lesson, Maria doesn't lose her spirit and does what she can to aid George and the Shuffle Alliance.
    • Relena Peacecraft/Darlian in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Even after being made Queen of the World Sphere Alliance, she refuses to go along with Romefeller's plans, makes her own policy instead, and when she can't fully institute it she prefers to leave matters to Treize rather than being a puppet and bowing to the noblemen. Her full and public rejection of the Princess mantle during Endless Waltz which is televised worldwide is her most famous Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
    • If we count the Deikun clan from Mobile Suit Gundam as royalty, then Zeon Zum Deikun's daughter and Char Aznable's / Casval Deikun's sister Sayla Mass/Artesia Deikun fits the trope quite well.
    • Gundam Unicorn has Audrey Burn, a.k.a. Princess Mineva Lao Zabi, the last survivor member of the Zabi family and heir to the Principality of Zeon, formerly a figurehead used by previous Neo Zeon movements, she's now decided to go out on her own to try to stop another war from breaking out.
    • Deconstructed with Princess Marina Ismail from Gundam 00. No matter what she tries to do, she's just a figurehead and never really accomplishes much despite her struggles. Until the second season finale, where she starts rebuilding Azhadistan after the war is over.
  • Princess Fala in Go Lion. She doesn't actually run away, but has to go against her advisors (who even tied her up at the start to keep her from piloting the blue lion). Later, she gets her wish to join the team as their Chick.
    • She takes it a step further in a late episode, ultimately refusing a demand from fellow planetary sovereigns that she take full command of Go Lion. She is at last confident enough to lead a planet and an alliance of planets, but still be just a team member when it comes to the Super Robot, albeit designated as Black Lion's alternate pilot. Of course, her possible romantic feelings for Akira Kogane may play a role in that as well.
  • Farnese from Berserk is a deconstruction (although she's technically not a princess). She becomes rebellious and pyromaniac because her parents never paid any attention to her (when her father instructed her to burn an old toy of hers, her half-brother Serpico remarks that it was the first time her father spoke to her in a year). This earns her the social isolation it would realistically earn her, and she eventually burns down her family's mansion out of frustration. She then gets shipped off to a convent and becomes the leader of the Church Militant because that's all the various nobles and churchmen believe her to be good for.
  • Princess Ana Medaiyu of Overman King Gainer becomes a willing hostage to have some fun, and play along with going on Exodus with the Yapan. Later she tries to returns, but decides to stay once her father publicly disowns her to protect her from London IMA in case the Duke's line is discontinued, for allowing such a large Exodus to take place.
  • Being the top-ranked priestess and direct conduit to the Purato god, JuJu of Mahoujin Guru Guru is as close to a princess as you can get without being actual royalty. She opts to run away and seek out the heroes after a Running Gag involving a Clingy MacGuffin makes things too ridiculous to tolerate at home.
  • Flora Skybloom from Basquash!, after feeling the pure hotbloodedness of Dan and the rest of his team from their Bigfoot basketball matches, escapes from her castle, hides her identity and makes her way into his inner circle.
  • Macross Frontier's Alto Saotome, while not technically royalty (nor female), counts. The heir to a well known family of Kabuki actors, he instead went and pursued his dream of becoming a pilot. It also helps that he really does look like a Japanese princess whenever we're shown a flashback of his kabuki days (there's a reason he's known as Sakura-hime).
  • Variation: Candace aka Candy from Candy Candy plays the role quite well, but she's a member of the extremely rich and high-class Andree family only after being adopted by the leader, and against the will of several other members.
  • Lala from To Love-Ru runs away, to have control over who she marries.
  • Vision of Escaflowne has Princess Millerna, who rebels against the desire of her father of marrying Dryden Fassa.
  • Code Geass has a few. Notably, Euphemia li Britannia disapproves of the social Darwinism found throughout The Empire, and makes a point of telling her sister Cornelia something along those lines, hinting that she'd even eye the throne at one point if it meant social reform. Lelouch, meanwhile, is literally a Rebel Prince against Britannia.
  • Played with in Corsair, where Aura is the princess of a pirate clan and already has the freedom most Rebellious Princesses want. She still rebels though, to the point where Canale knocks her out during a major attempt to rescue her because she refuses to place her safety above his own and go ahead without him. She also thinks she is The Hero's love interest, until Ayace callously tells her she can't marry Canale because they're lovers.
  • Naga the Serpent of Slayers is the missing first princess of the kingdom of Saillune, Gracia Ul Naga Saillune, and the older sister of Amelia, one of the four major protagonists. After witnessing the assassination of her mother, she ran away from home on a quest to learn the ways of the world, become more powerful (she doesn't, but that really depends on the media), and drink. The Light Novel series implies that she does return to her home sporadically, and she even stays in contact with her loved ones, but more often than not for financial reasons. The anime more or less states that she hasn't returned at all, which is a large source of well-hidden angst for Amelia.
  • All this trouble in Sailor Moon started because a certain Moon Princess chose to be with the Earth's Prince, against her entourage's advice.
  • Defied in Windaria. Veronica is set up to be this but reluctantly carries out her mother's will.
  • Veronica of Bokura no Kiseki. While mostly mindful of her responsibilities, she was still very easy-going and flouted rules of propriety left and right.

    Comic Books 
  • Destrii - the Primatrix Destriianatos - from Doctor Who Magazine. A decidedly different take on the trope, in that Destrii's a Dark Action Girl rebelling against her Evil Matriarch mother, and while her people see her as their heroine, she only wants to escape her dystopian homeworld. When she finally does, she has repeated run-ins with the Eighth Doctor, which eventually see her homeworld's nobility overthrown, her mother dead, and Destrii herself slowly starting a Heel-Face Turn under the Doctor's tutelage.
  • Princess Aura, daughter of Ming The Merciless in Flash Gordon was rebelling all the way back in the 1930s. She was just as determined to marry Flash as Ming was to kill him. The fact that Dale Arden was Flash's love interest simply complicated things more.
  • Princess Sally from Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog comic. Several times in the comics, most recently her (annulled) marriage with Patch show her dislike for the duties and protocols associated with her position as princess. And often times she will have a rather stern word about it to the powers that be.
  • Original Wonder Woman comics. After Steve Trevor crashed on Paradise Island, a contest was held to determine which Amazon would return him to the outside world. Princess Diana wanted to enter the contest but her mother Queen Hippolyta forbade her to do so. Diana entered the contest in disguise and bested all of the other contestants, winning the right to leave.
  • Ninjette from Empowered is the Rebellious Ninja Princess of her clan.
  • Adrienne from Princeless is one of seven daughters who have all been locked up in towers waiting for princes to rescue them, but quickly decides to take matters into her own hands and not just break herself out, but also rescue her sisters and usurp their father's throne.

    Fanfiction 
  • In Red as Fire Harry's mother gave up her inheritance to the Northern throne of dragonkind so she could marry Snape.

    Film 
  • Gender-flipped in Ever After: Prince Henry does not want to have an Arranged Marriage and take on the duties of his kingdom. See Rebel Prince.
  • Outside of the interactive electronic oeuvre, practically every female protagonist in the Disney Animated Canon since The Little Mermaid The Black Cauldron has been of this type (Ariel, Jasmine, Pocahontas, etc. etc. etc.), possibly as a response to feminists complaining about how "Disney Princesses" had been treated previously (almost exclusively) as damsels in distress.
    • Even Aurora to some extent; once she finally learns that she is a princess and will be subject to an Arranged Marriage she is not happy with the idea and tries to get out of it. On the flip side, Philip wasn't about to accept his end of the bargain either.
    • Kingdom Hearts adds emphasis to Belle (who elbowed Xaldin, took the rose from him and laughed as she ran) & Ariel (the Chemist of Kingdom Hearts). Everyone else got the short end of the stick though.
  • Mei, Ting-Ting, and Su from Mulan II. At the end of the film, rather than marrying the princes that live on the other side of China, they all instead hook up with Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, respectively.
  • Merida from Brave plays this trope very, very straight. The film itself really only starts this way, and it's really only the mother who Merida is up against (when not getting involved with exciting drinking parties, her father is perfectly okay with much of it and even gave her her first bow for her birthday). In the end, it's not so much about her getting her way as it is her and her mother getting an understanding of each other's opinions and finding a balance.
    • However, in the end Merida does get her way. But since part of the conflict with her mother was her not wanting to accept the responsibilities of a leader, which she eventually does, there actually was some compromise.
  • Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, who runs away for a day in the city of Rome due to the pressure put upon her.
  • Princess Vespa from Spaceballs becomes a Runaway Bride rather than be wed to the drippy Prince Valium, and proves herself to be very spoiled and headstrong in her interactions with Lone Starr.
  • Star Wars has a subversion: Princess Leia may be a rebel, but so is her father Bail. Despite this, she (and her twin brother) are still rebelling against their biological father.
  • Jodhaa in Jodhaa Akbar definitely fits the bill. She's a beautiful Rajput princess who's not only an Action Girl who can hold her own in a sword fight against the Mughal emperor of Hindustan, but she also refuses to marry him (and after she marries him, show him outward affection) until he shows her and the rest of India religious tolerance.
  • Princess Yuki in Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress which is the basis for the original Star Wars. She's a tomboy who always argues against and contradicts the loyal general (Toshiro Mifune) protecting her as they travel through enemy territory in disguise.
  • MirrorMask features an evil one who is willing to destroy the world she's from in order to keep from going back there.
  • In Legend, it's implied that Lily frequently sneaks off into the woods to visit friends, one of whom even comments that she should be back at the palace and not hanging out with poor folks like them.
  • As told in the page quote, Jasmine in Aladdin, even more so in the stage adaptation.
  • Jen from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, though she isn't a princess, but a governor's daughter. She longed for an exciting life of adventure and didn't want to get married.
    • Like with the above, Elizabeth from Pirates of the Caribbean is a governor's daughter instead of a princess, but shows the usual rebellious princess traits.

    Literature 
  • Mia in The Princess Diaries is extremely displeased to find out that she's a princess, largely because of all the stereotypes associated with the position. It should be noted that her parents specifically limit the amount of money she's allowed, and her new title requires her to spend years being trained in courtesy and diplomacy by her overbearing grandmother, who she legitimately hates. She grows into the position eventually, but most of the series devotes itself to answering; "What would a shy, anxious teenager with all the responsibilities of royalty and very few of the automatic privileges be like?" Answer: Not very happy.
  • Jelka Tolonen in David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series borders on this, due to an Arranged Marriage
  • Princess Eilonwy from the Chronicles of Prydain, whose outspokenness and rebelliousness at times border on childish brattishness.
    • Since Disney created The Film of the Book with The Black Cauldron, Eilonwy is would also be part of the previously listed Disney line-up; however, her characterization is a bit different in the film.
    • As we see in The Book of Three that when her kinfolk, the Sea People, went to war, the women rode out with the men. In The High King, the ladies of the Court of Mona who were trying to teach her how to act "ladylike" were the weird ones.
  • Although the title "princess" is not used in the world of Patricia A Mckillip's The Riddle Master Trilogy, the heroine Raederle, daughter of the land-ruler of An, certainly fits the description of a rebellious one. As do Lyra and Tristan, her traveling companions in the second volume, Heir of Sea and Fire.
  • Ista from Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls would fit this almost perfectly were it not for the detail of being a forty year old widow and mother of the young queen. She started out guilting her keepers *cough* attendants into permitting her an incognito vacation *ahem* pilgrimage, and by the end....
    dy Hueltar: (having caught up with Ista after the breaking of a sorcerous siege) "Now that you are calmer, Lady Ista, surely it is time we began to think of going safely to Valenda...."
    Ista: "I'm not going back to Valenda. I'm going to follow the army into Jokona to hunt demons for the Bastard. Safety has little to do with the god's chores."
    • Her other series, the Vorkosigan Saga, has Emperor Gregor, who's almost a male version of this in The Vor Game, partly because he's suicidal and afraid of going insane and being a horrible ruler. He gets over it.
  • Ce'Nedra from David and Leigh Eddings's Belgariad series certainly has the attitude and the love interest bit down, though she actually loves being a princess — one of her major problems with marrying Garion was the fact that, as Overlord of the West, he outranked her.

    However, she did ran away from home with only her personal tutor, because a treaty required that she present herself in her wedding gown at the throne of the Rivan King to be betrothed to him on her sixteenth birthday. She thought it was completely pointless and humiliating, because there hadn't been a Rivan King in hundreds of years. She is, of course, found by the group that includes Garion — who is the heir to the Rivan throne.
  • Princess Andromeda (Andie) in the second book of Mercedes Lackey's Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms novels. Subverted slightly in that Andie is led to rebellion by her intelligence and virtue, as the Queen and her Chief Advisor have nothing but bad intentions. This is a world where tropes have a force stronger than law itself. The Queen and her advisor couldn't have been good, and the book says so.
  • Princess Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles - early in the first book, she intentionally gets herself "kidnapped" by a dragon in order to escape her current life and an Arranged Marriage. Before this she insisted on her teachers teaching her things not normally covered: magic, cooking, politics, fencing, Latin, etc. She also fights off many of the princes and knights to come to rescue her herself to prevent them from bringing her home, and changes her official title (among the dragons) to "Chief Cook and Librarian" to help drive them away.
  • Princess Meg from The Runaway Princess, a typical "hates doing princessy things like embroidery" princess, starts off the book by questioning the stereotypical princess story her mother reads to her before bed, and later defies her father and attempts to interfere with the contest he set up to marry her off and help stimulate the kingdom's economy. She ends up winning the contest herself, accidentally.
  • Princess Amy from The Ordinary Princess bolts from her home after her parents and their councilors come up with a plot to hire a dragon and imprison her in a tower in order to force some prince into marrying her. Amy's deception of being an ordinary person is helped by the fact that, as a baby, a fairy actually blessed her to be ordinary — she doesn't look or act like a stereotypical princess at all!
  • Annice of Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff. Her even being a bard is the direct cause of her having been legally stripped of royal status mostly because her brother had a snit fit when she refused the Arranged Marriage he'd set up in favour of attending the Bardic College - the prince he was setting her up to marry came from a queendom that was rabidly phobic of bards. The Fridge Logic inherent in his attempt is pointed out near the end of the book, when the Bardic leader pretty much hits the king over the head with the fact that the bard-hating queendom wouldn't even have considered Annice as an eligible candidate once word of her ability to Sing the kigh got out. She and her brother don't talk much, even after he fixes his mistake and apologizes.
  • Anne Dare of Greg Keyes's Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone tetralogy — though she is thwarted in her rebelliousness first by family members who are actually smart enough to predict her defiance and catch her at it, then by some (well-deserved) guilt-tripping from her friend and maidservant, and finally by, well, reality, in the form of a legion of disasters, tragedies and prophesied battles.
  • Aravis of The Horse and His Boy — princess of the Calormene province of Calavar who prefers hunting and riding and scimitar-fighting to what princesses like her best friend Lasaraleen are expected to do. Even leaves her home rather than being forced to marry the Smug Snake of the Tisroc's Prime Minister. Ends up marrying Shasta aka Prince Cor and becoming the Queen of Archenland.
  • Arya Stark from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is a deconstruction of this. In order to survive in Westeros, she has to become a Dark Action Girl, and eventually progresses to being a cold-blooded Sociopathic Hero.
  • Nerilka of Pern isn't a princess, but she's the closest Pernese equivalent. She refuses to sit at home and waste her skills during a devastating plague, quietly leaving to work incognito with the healers instead.
  • Both of the "Twice Royal" Balitang girls in Tamora Pierce's Daughterofthe Lioness books. Sarai takes the traditional rebellious teenager route, while Dove becomes an actual rebel.
  • Susan Sto Helit of the Discworld books is a reigning duchess rather than a princess but otherwise fits the bill in that she displays no interest whatsoever in using her title or position and ends up taking a job as a lowly schoolmistress. Though it must be said she has very few of the traditional personality traits associated with this trope.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth:
    • Although Éowyn of The Lord of the Rings does not carry the title of "princess," her uncle is the king and her brother Éomer is his heir (after their cousin Théodred died in the war); she also marries Faramir, Prince of Ithilien, a province of Gondor. Her uncle had given her the responsibility of leading the people to the safety of Dunharrow in the mountains. When she was later despairing about things, she secretly rode into battle with the rest of the army disguised as a man, where she killed the Witch-king (with Merry's help).
    • Lúthien in The Silmarillion: Her father King Thingol sends her beloved Beren on an impossible suicide quest to get rid of him, and imprisons her in a treehouse to keep her from following. Lúthien escapes, rescues Beren from the dungeon he's ended up in, and helps him fulfill the quest so they can get married.
  • Princess Miriamele from the Memory Sorrow And Thorn series disguises herself as a boy and flees her father's castle to avoid an Arranged Marriage, and also because she hates what he's doing with the kingdom. True to the trope, she ends up being the Love Interest for Simon and kicks no little ass herself. What makes her interesting is that her ultimate motivation is to return home to redeem her father, which fails to stop the Evil Plan but does set her up to kill her father when it's the only way to defeat the Storm King afterwards.
  • Princess Briony from the Shadowmarch series also sort of qualifies. Her Father is in captivity and after her older brother Kendrik dies she is forced to pick up the crown. She is not so much adversed and seems to enjoy it in principle - if only she were a boy and not subject to the expectations of the courtiers. She does not run away [[, at first at least,]] but shocks everyone in the castle by wearing her twin brothers clothes most of the time. She does not want to stop beeing a royal altogether but would like to be treated like her brothers.
  • Aeriel in The Dreamland Chronicles is a minor aversion. She is an Amazon Princess so her adventuring doesn't really make her a rebel. What makes her a rebel to her people is that she falls in love with a man and is willing to do things for him that her tribe considers dishonorable.
  • Princess Laurana from the Dragonlance series. Blond, brash, and a teenager (by Elven standards anyway.) She runs away from home to try and win back The Hero even though he has just rejected her and her family disapproves of him for being a bastard half-human. She then becomes a Lady of War, even though elven women are not suppose to take up arms. After being reunited with her family, she immediately runs away again, this time to steal a Dragon Orb, from her father and deliver it to the Whitestone Council to help them fight the evil Dragonarmies. She wins the admiration of the highly chauvinistic Knights of Solamnia for her courage and skill in battle and is given command of their army, which she leads to a series of victories through highly innovative and risky tactics. And then, ignoring the advice of Team Dad, Flint Fireforge, she abandons her army to try and rescue her Love Interest, Tanis, only to be betrayed and captured by her Arch-Enemy, Kitiara.
  • A rare male version is present in Meghan Whalen Turner's Thief books. It's Gen, the titular Thief, although the also male Sophos may count as well to a degree.
  • Jame, the heroine of PC Hodgell's Chronicles of the Kencyrath, is not happy at all when she finds she's a Highborn lady of the highest rank and the sister of the Highlord. The rigid gender roles and restrictions chafe and she ultimately rejects them.
  • Leeana Bowmaster from David Weber's War God series is the daughter of a Baron rather than a King, but otherwise fits this trope to a T. Doesn't want to dress or act like a traditional noblewomen, is looking to escape an Arranged Marriage and eventually runs off to join the War Maidens.

    Unusually, while her parents are sad to see her go (mostly because by doing so she is no longer legally their daughter) they also acknowledge that she will be much happier with the War Maids and quietly support her choice.
  • Lady Jessica Atreides in Dune is an interesting twist. She has Undying Loyalty to the Atreides family. She is rebelling against the Bene Gesserit order by having a son instead of a daughter (yes she can control that — she's a Bene Gesserit). She's also the daughter of the Baron Harkonnen. As in head of House Harkonnen, the Atreides' mortal enemies, via a Bene Gesserit breeding scheme. She doesn't know it at first, and she's not pleased when she finds out.
  • Subverted by Princess Sarene of Elantris. She's very much got the personality, but since she's not the heir (she's got a brother ahead of her in the line of succession) and her father finds having a strong-willed diplomat who can handle herself in a swordfight if she has to and is more than capable of planning on the fly to be a far greater asset to the nation than a pampered princess would be, nobody minds.
  • The titular princess from the children's story King Dicky Bird and the Bossy Princess, who is quite happy being unmarried and running her father's kingdom by force of will, and is deliberately rude to all her suitors to put them off - including the sincere, persistent but unhandsome King Richard. Her father consequently declares that he'll marry her to the first beggar who offers to take her. One soon does. She makes the best of things in some fairly unprincessy ways (she supports herself and her husband by making and selling items made of upcycled rubbish) and eventually finds out that the beggar is King Richard in disguise, having discovered that he's an enlightened ruler with whom she could have a good marriage. So she rebels... only to end up where she would have been had she not rebelled.
  • Jenna in Septimus Heap starts off as this, but she becomes more accepting of her role as the series progresses.
  • In E. D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess, Annie is Anti-Magic and has none of the Fairy Godmother gifts that make Gwendolyn so skilled. She deliberately learns nothing Gwendolyn does the same way — she learns dancing from gypsies — or not at all, and deliberately learns things that Gwendolyn doesn't, such as riding sidesaddle and reading and writing.
  • In Victoria Hanley's The Seer and the Sword, Torina in the opening wants to ride out instead of staying in, and when her father arrives and presents her with the enslaved prince of the conquered country, she declares if she can really do anything with him, she's freeing him.
  • The Apprentice Rogue: Downplayed. While Leona is willing to go along with her arranged marriage she is not completely docile. She rebels by seducing her bodyguard and having sex with him on the night before her wedding to her bodyguard's boss.
  • Deconstructed in A Memory Of Flames. Jaslyn is a princess who loves dragons more than people and loathes the thought of being Queen, which she eventually becomes. However, her desire for rebellion leads her to single-handedly do more harm to the realms than anyone save Kemir; she raises and awakens Silence, one of the most bloodthirsty and cruel dragons of all. The trope comes full-circle when she is eventually driven virtually to madness by the potions designed to protect her from Hatchling Disease and submits to her new role.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Star Beast Lummox is young, and doesn't care about her important duties to her subjects. Having one sole hobby, she intends to raise humans, and will only return to her commitments if she gets to continue this activity indefinitely. Somewhat unusual in that she is a multi-ton, eight legged space lizard.
  • In the backstory of The Price of the Stars Perada Rosselin, Domina of Lost Entibor, Entibor-in-Exile, and the Colonies Beyond; took pains to give her only daughter and rightful heir Beka the sort of life that the war which eventually destroyed her homeworld robbed her of (one which many who knew her suspected that she would not have liked that much herself). Beka responded by getting a Commercial Starpilot's Licence on her seventeenth birthdaynote  and talking her brother into 'convincing' a safe berth to hire her on that night.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Baywatch episode "Princess of Tides" revolves around a princess, from a fictional European country, escaping her bodyguards to get away from her pampered life.
  • In the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "Nice Lady", Will is responsible for taking a young British aristocrat, Lady Penelope, to an opera; she instead ends up instead running off and partying around Los Angeles.
  • Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls became pregnant with Rory at sixteen but chose not to marry the father, Christopher Hayden. Instead, she left her privileged world and moved to Stars Hollow where she became employed at the Independence Inn. There Lorelai progressed from maid to executive manager.
  • Downton Abbey: Sybil is a Rebellious Aristocrat, as she's more interested in politics, women's rights and nursing than the wearing fancy clothes and going to parties. She eventually falls in love with the family chauffuer Tom, a similarly rebellious Irish Socialist, and they go to Ireland where they can be together and get married freely.

    Mythology 
In Norse Mythology we have Brynhildr, who was a valkyrie and a princess. She defied Odin and let the wrong army win a battle so Odin stipped her of her powers and turned her into a Sleeping Beuty-esque Princess Classic - as a punishment.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Forgotten Realms setting, Alusair, a princess of Cormyr, decided that everything may go far and fast but she would devote to her adventures (in different senses) all the time she could spare. Frequently to the point of prolonged inaccessibility via all but emergency communication means. Some people were displeased, but few dared to confront her and she was only the second daughter, not the crown princess, anyway. That is, until she was forced to become Steel Regent. Earned the nickname "The Steel Princess" not just because Authority Equals Asskicking (though access to high-end equipment and elite troops doesn't hurt) but via constant training and enough experience to write "The Steel Princess' Field Guide to Tactics of the Purple Dragon". And when talking with her sister about how few less-than-elite commanders read this book...
    Tanalasta: Perhaps because your style was stiff. I'll be happy to help you liven it up in a revision.
    Alusair: There isn't going to be a revision — there's going to be an order.
    • Liriel Baenre earned this summary from the city's Archmage (before she did anything really wild):
    Gromph: Please, save that look of wide-eyed innocence to beguile the house guards. I know only too well the mercenary captain who boasts that he taught a princess to throw knives as well as any tavern cutthroat alive! Though how you managed to slip past the guard-spiders that Matron Hinkutes'nat posts at every turn, and find your way through the city to that particular tavern, is beyond my imagination.

    Video Games 
  • Nina, in the first and third Breath of Fire games, starts off as one of these but eventually ends up as a Royal Who Actually Does Something who keeps her strength while also gaining a sense of responsibility.
  • Extremely common in Final Fantasy games:
    • In Final Fantasy IV, the player encounters Edward/Gilbert, a rebellious prince who masquerades as a "Spoony Bard".
    • Faris in Final Fantasy V - having disguised herself as a man and become the captain of a gang of pirates, distinctly more so than the former. To her defense, she had been adopted by the pirates' captain after a tragic Hiryuu accident.
    • Another rebellious prince, Sabin, appears in Final Fantasy VI, having given up the throne for his own freedom to train as a monk.
      • And defeat trains as a monk, am I right?
    • Yuffie of Final Fantasy VII is the daughter of Lord Godo, thus making her the princess of Wutai. In Crisis Core she even gives herself the title Treasure Princess. If you follow her sidequest you find out that she does not get along with her father, who she considers a coward for not fighting Shinra. Though they do manage to patch things up (if you have her go through all five levels of the pagoda) Yuffie never does act like you'd expect from a princess.
    • Rinoa of Final Fantasy VIII is not quite a princess, but fits the trope nicely — she's the leader of a terrorist group seeking to overthrow the Galbadian government, of which her father is the Minister of Defense. And her party nickname IS "princess".
    • Garnet from Final Fantasy IX is a borderline member — she has a much calmer, shyer personality than most, but she's still a Rebellious Princess.
    • Ashe from Final Fantasy XII is the rebellious princess in the way that she is leading a rebellion against the Archadian Empire that took over Dalmasca and she wants it back to the way it was, initially willing to go through any means.
  • Marle from Chrono Trigger also exemplifies this trope, even going so far as to use a pseudonym (her real name is Nadia).
  • Kitana from Mortal Kombat. She is part of the royal family of the Outworld and as such, works for Shao Khan originally, but turns against him and helps the warriors of the Earthrealm.
  • Princess Seraphine from Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. The player character is supposed to escort her to the court of the man to whom she's betrothed, but she begs for help in escaping. If the player elects not to force her into her arranged marriage, she joins the party and aids with future battles.
  • Princess Alena from the second chapter of Dragon Quest IV. In fact, within the realm of video games, she's probably the ur-example — and definitely the ur-example for the Dragon Quest series.
    • Lady from the Japanese-only game Lady Stalker is a rich girl instead of a princess, but is otherwise not only a perfect example, but is so much like Alena that she's one of the pieces of evidence used to back up the rumor that the game was originally intended as a Dragon Quest Gaiden Game focused on Alena.
  • Nalia from Baldur's Gate 2 follows this trope to the letter, except that she's nobility rather than royalty. She also spouts somewhat condescending quasi-liberalisms about helping the "less fortunate", but in a world where even the most egalitarian governments tend to be oligarchic and the economy is a sort of capitalism, she's fighting a losing battle. She's also shown as being somewhat of a self-righteous poser. Nalia's character is somewhat vindicated about halfway through the D'Arnise hold quest, where the player character meets her aunt- a woman who is outraged that some of her servants left their posts at the castle after trolls attacked and conquered it. When the player considers that this attitude is in line with what many other noble NPCs believe, suddenly Nalia's hopeful idealism doesn't sound so bad.
  • Parodied in Kingdom of Loathing, in which one of the randomly encountered enemies in the "Penultimate Fantasy Airship" zone is the Spunky Princess.
  • Princess Peach in her own game, Super Princess Peach and Super Mario RPG. In pretty much any other game, she's a Distressed Damsel, though.
  • Jade Empire has Silk Fox, who enjoys escaping the pressures of palace life by donning a disguise that looks like a cross between a ninja suit and a harem girl outfit. Mainly, she just wants to take down the Evil Chancellor to her father. Interestingly enough, her character model is the only one that changes throughout the entire game: She removes her veil in the Imperial Palace and after the Point of No Return.
  • Super Robot Wars has not one, but three:
    • Princess Shine from the Super Robot Wars Original Generation series, who starts piloting a Humongous Mecha to liberate her kingdom and eventually ups and joins the heroes outright...
    • Princess Armana Tiqvah from the Super Robot Wars Alpha series (actually, Alpha 3), who bucks the trend by being a princess of The Empire instead.
    • One of the protagonist of Super Robot Wars 64, Manami Hamill, actually fits this despite not being a Princess, but an Ojou. She's a daughter of a high ranking family that actually supports the resistance force in attempt to liberate the Earth.
  • Princess Tiltyu of Freege in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War though her dad is a duke instead of a king. Pretty much she's the only noblewoman in the first generation who ran away from home because she disagreed with their methods (Princess Ayra of Isaac did run off from home, but she still adheres her Kingdom's ethics and it was per her brother thr King's request, since she had to keep Prince Shanan safe).
    • In Sword of Seals, there's Princess Guinevere of Bern who's on the run for openly questioning her older brother, King Zephiel. She's finally crowned as Queen when Zephiel dies at the hands of Roy, but still has lots of nobles hissing at her.
    • Fire Emblem is somewhat unusual when it comes to this trope in that rebellious princes outnumber their female counterparts. Probably the most famous of these is Hector of Ostia from the seventh game; he's technically a minor noble compared to others (until he becomes the leader of Ostia by the end of Blazing Sword, and later of the whole Lycia alongside Eliwood), but otherwise hits every note of this trope.
  • Angela of Seiken Densetsu 3. While her motive might not quite fit the trope (she runs away from home because she doesn't want to become sacrificed), her personality and actions are certainly a match.
    • In that game's predecessor, Secret of Mana, Purim runs off with the hero in search of her love interest, Dyluck. (However, she's not actually a princess, but rather the daughter of a noble.)
  • Atelier Annie, along with the still-Japan-only Atelier Liese features this in Liese Randel herself. It's a little different in that she actually loves her parents and they love her... however, her father is a financial idiot and has managed to get the entire kingdom into a multimillion-gold debt to a foreign bank, and if the kingdom can't pay it off, the bank will foreclose on the rights to rule the kingdom - by any means necessary. Thus Liese disguises herself and leaves home to make a fortune in a neighboring kingdom, setting Atelier Liese's action and plot into motion. She fits the other parts of the trope to a T, being a bit brash and overbearing and she did technically dodge an arranged marriage by doing this - an arrangement to the Prince of the kingdom she's now in. Ooops.
    • This pops up again when Liese appears in Atelier Annie; she's evidently given her parents, who she did manage to bail out in the last game, the flip and run off to Sera Island to participate in the development contest, ostensibly for the prize money. That may not be her only motivation for coming, though...
  • Is it still rebellious if Daddy was the same way? Flare of Suikoden IV is strong willed and, if not brash, at least unflinchingly true to her core principles. Then again, King Lino en Kuldes spends most of his days in sandals and a sleeveless t-shirt. C'mon. You know you want this royal family.
    • Flare runs away from home in Tactics to help Kyril and his crew defeat Iskas and his crowd. Semi-subverted because she sees it as duty to her country and her father ends up catching up with them. Also semi-subverted because she had her hypochondriac doctor guard with her throughout unless you let him die, then he's dead forever.
    • Princess Lymsleia from Suikoden V qualifies, although her being rebellious is aimed towards the Godwins' scheming and is trying to be as much of a hindrance to them as possible until the prince can stop them.
      • Suikoden V also has Yuma Vayla, better known by her alias Josephine, the younger sister of one of the New Armes Kingdom's most powerful nobles. She's rebellious purely out of boredom and of finding her own nation lacking in "culture". So she runs off to Falena, her nation's arch-rival, hoping to find people who meet her decidedly odd definition of "cultured".
    • The first Suikoden also has Odessa Silverberg being a Rebellious Princess, you probably won't notice unless you read the novels. She starts out as The White Princess, but fell in love with a rebel leader, and starts seeing the error of The Empire. When her lover is about to get executed, she broke through the execution in attempt to rescue her lover, with a sword and wearing a wedding dress. Her lover still died, but at least she got him out of being executed by the enemy and he still gets to transfer his ideals to her, leading her to become the leader of The Liberation Army.
    • Suikoden III has Lilly Pendragon, the Spoiled Brat daughter of the leader of the Tinto Republic. A super-bossy Heroic Wannabe, she finds an excuse to head into the Grasslands just before things start going to hell and insists on staying there until she can complete her self-assigned mission. In the end, she has to leave when their funds run out... only to lead Tinto's army back in to officially align with the Fire Bringer and join the war.
  • Milly in Baten Kaitos Origins is an aristocrat's daughter who got fed up with the lifestyle, ran away, and latched on to Sagi. She's actually not rebellious at all - her father, Baelheit, sent her after Sagi to spy on him. It does get played straighter later, when she stops giving Baelheit useful information.
  • Elise from My World My Way is a spoiled brat of a princess who goes out to become an adventurer after an adventurer rejects her.
  • Kara from Illusion of Gaia, though she does continue to act like a spoiled princess for some time.
  • Tahlkora from Guild Wars. The fact that she is a princess is kept secret from the player until halfway through the game, when you find her chatting away to her father, the Prince you've just spent several missions trying to get to.
  • Princess Zelda can fit this trope, depending on the incarnation in question. In some games, she's stated to frequently sneak out of her castle (The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, for instance), and when her kingdom falls in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, she becomes a Ninja instead of hiding out the old fashioned way. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, she's known as Tetra, the very un-princessy captain of a pirate crew who dresses like a boy and kicks considerable butt. Tetra is something of an aversion, since for most of the game she was completely unaware of her own identity.
    • Princess Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks would count, especially at the beginning of the game, when she has Link sneak her out of the castle so she can investigate strange goings on.
    • Midna is forced to become one in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess when Zant takes over her kingdom. She has the brash, stuborn personality down perfectly, though.
  • While not actually royal, Soon-to-be-Queen Isabel in Heroes of Might and Magic V definitely has these traits early on. The demons are all too aware of it and use it against her.
  • Princess Sapphire of Disgaea 3 believes that the best way to defend her kingdom is to assassinate enemies before they get around to starting a war. The player never meets her parents or advisors, but they've probably told her to stop if they aren't terrified of her for good reason.
  • From Arc The Lad, Sania of Milmana and Kukuru of Seyra, princesses and wanted terrorists: Sania is not adverse to the idea of blowing up her own capital if this means killing her enemies.
  • Wild ARMs 1 gets Cecilia the princess of Adlehyde. Her rebellion against her father unfortunately puts the Plot Coupon in the hands of the demons and inadvertently kills her father She rebels because she feels isolated due to her status but eventually realizes that it's her on coldness that keeps people at a distance
  • Jak and Daxter: While only a "princess" by virtue of being the Evil Overlord's daughter, Ashelin is so rebellious that she helps the movement that's trying to knock her father out of power.
  • Elsa is only the daughter of a Baron in Quest for Glory. After being rescued and despelled in QFG1, she departs for the locale of QFG5 to become an Action Girl. According to the backstory, she resented the Baron's restrictions on her fighting lifestyle, and fled them.
  • Selphy in Rune Factory Frontier is heavily implied to have run away from her position as princess of some unnamed country. She then fulfills her dream in Trampoli, not of being an Action Girl or anything of the sort, but of being a shut-in running the library.
  • Princess Sadira of Vanguard Bandits personally heads out into combat to route out all the corruption in The Empire. Against the wishes of nearly everyone in power who is corrupt and even her own father.
  • Uriel Chuluun in Rift is the daughter of a former tribal chieftain. She'd rather spend her time studying necromancy, bitching about the way Daddy is holding everyone back, and swooning over a certain elven assassin. Not to mention almost getting herself killed by messing around with the Endless Court.
  • Princess Eruca of Radiant Historia takes this to the logical extreme by actually leading the rebellion against her stepmother.

    Web Comics 
  • Princess Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has issues with her father the Emperoror, not the least of them being that he tried to marry her off to a walking jellyfish.
  • Although Princess Saffron Lachesis respects her father, she doesn't really cut most people's expectations of a modest princess. The fact that she wields a cane sword and beats up criminals doesn't help.
  • Aylia is a duchess and is legally required to obey her parents. However, as her mother has proven her incompetence to her by sending her off to college, so whilst away from the castle she continued to practice the wizardry that her mother thought was "not for ladies."
  • Jillian Zamussels in Erfworld did not get along with her father King Banhammer, and preferred to spend as much time as possible away from home on mercenary missions. After her kingdom fell while she was away, she had no interest in returning home to re-establish it until politics and circumstances forced her in that direction.
  • Fauna in Curvy is a princess (well, her royal title is "despoina") and love interest on the run from an Arranged Marriage.
  • Feferi of Homestuck is next in line to be the Empress of all Trolls, but she despises the hemospectrum caste system their society has and aspires to change it into a more unified and caring system that protects weaker members of the race instead of culling them.
    • Subverted in that, whilst she despises the caste system, she doesn't shy away from becoming the Empress in order to exact her changes.
    • There's also Feferi's ancestor/descendant Meenah, who ran away to the moon to avoid becoming empress, which was a position she saw as a glorified slave. Unlike most examples, she's far from heroic. Ironically, after the Scratch she wound up in servitude to Lord English, and actually became a glorified slave.
  • Ame and Suko from Heartcore are examples of this, considering how they fought against their father Royce (A demon king) and other high ranking demons in order to escape their royal home.
  • Tanna of Ears for Elves fits this trope, though her culture doesn't have royalty. Zalanna despairs at her, but Luero comments on how Tanna likes that role.
  • In Magience, Crystal is not pleased to be playing a princess, so she runs away.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs sent up the above example in their Pocahontas parody with the song "Just the Same Old Heroine." ("First I tuned an aerial / Then I rang a bell...")
  • Played with in Gummi Bears. Princess Calla, a Cute Bruiser in training who loves to go adventuring, has her father discover her secret participation in a contest for the winner to become an official protector for herself. However, far from disapproving, he is deeply impressed with her physical prowess and says publicly that it's clear she needs no personal protector after all.
  • The Legend of Korra takes place in a time when royalty has more or less been phased out, but Asami Sato still fits this trope's spirit very well. She's the aristocratic, wealthy daughter of the guy who invented automobiles, who has never wanted for anything... but as we see later, when her hometown is being torn apart by revolution, her character is generous and deeply moral- willing to fight against her own family if that is what it takes to keep the fascistic rebels and equally fascistic city leaders from killing innocent people.
    • Korra, who in "Book Two: Air" was revealed as the niece of the Northern Water Tribe's leader and daughter of the original heir could count as well. After some doubts she rejects her uncle's takeover the Southern Tribe, and she sides against him in the civil war that follows.
  • In the Strawberry Shortcake episode "A Princess Named Rap", a retelling of Rapunzel, the titular princess wants to be a good ruler, but has a hard time keeping her individualistic tendencies at bay. At one point, she even sings a preteen anthem with the line "Why can't the things I love be part of royalty?"
  • Princess Maya from Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers crosses this and Badass Princess. We first see her in Gladiator Games arranged by a two of the more sociopathic members of the Rogues Gallery, having been captured from her home world. After she and the Rangers break free, she goes back and insists on bringing modern technology to her Space Amish people in order to protect them from interstellar threats, even if she has to openly revolt against her own father to do it.
  • Princess Audrey of Kasnia in Justice League. More of a party girl ala Paris Hilton, but doomed to an arranged marriage. She strikes up a friendship with Wonder Woman to have a night on the town to go shopping and clubbing. Subverted, however, when her father is poisoned and goes into a coma: she immediately becomes serious about her royal duties and has the wedding take place immediately so that the Kasnian people will have assurance of the royal family's continuity. Too bad her husband-to-be was really the villain Vandal Savage and it was all a part of his plan to gain power.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Princess Celestia may be a physical goddess and only a 'princess' due to Executive Meddling, but that doesn't stop her from teasing her subjects to get them to relax around her, or from wanting to hang out at a doughnut shop with friends.
    • Princess Luna as well (her actual rebellion withstanding). When she finds out her subjects are celebrating a holiday based on her, she swings by in her Gothic chariot and decides to join in the fun. It... eventually ends well.
    • At the beginning of Season 4, Princess Twilight states that, while it's OK for others to address her by her new title, she doesn't feel comfortable with her friends doing so; she just wants to be treated like everypony else.
    • And FIM is not the first generation of My Little Pony to have it. Generation 3 Rarity was a young filly who just wanted to have fun and had no desire to be a "rainbow princess." In her case, choosing fun over duty is a Bad Thing and she must learn otherwise.
    • Also in G3, the fact that being a princess isn't as much fun as little girls think was pretty much the whole point of "The Princess Promenade." Wysteria, a gardener who basically becomes a princess by finding a certain flower, she is at first willing to take up the mantle and everyone is supportive of her. However, in being trained to be refined and never get her own hooves dirty with manual work and to remember that her friends were now her subjects and she couldn't spend time with them as if nothing had changed, the whole idea quickly soured. She finally finds a loophole: she makes everyone a princess.

    Real Life 
  • Saint Elisabeth of Hungary, either as a princess (she spent her time in direct charity rather than just making donations, which the other nobles didn't approve of and even her husband Ludwig was skeptical of, fearing her proteges would abuse her kindness) or as a widow (she left the Warburg court willingly after her husband's death so she wouldn't have to bow to her brother-in-law's regency, wanted to be a nun rather than re-marrying, went through Training from Hell to enter the Dominic Tertiaries and even threatened to disfigure herself so her power-hungry relatives wouldn't trap her in an Arranged Marriage)
  • Another famous and very rebellious Elisabeth was Elisabeth of Bavaria, Empress Consort of Austria and Queen Consort of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, better known as Sisi. Her position as the Rebellious Empress and the eccentric Bunny-Ears Lawyer in the Austrian Imperial Court would bring her much misfortune, and her myth was the inspiration for the German musical Elisabeth and the Princess Sissi TV series - as well as for the Historical Hero Upgrade she went through there.
  • Princess Stéphanie of Monaco. Her mom, Princess Grace Kelly, nicknamed her "Wild Child", and for good reason. And that's not even getting into her multiple love affairs, including her terrible relationship with Mario Oliver and her very tempestuous marriage to her bodyguard Daniel Ducruet.
  • Saint Philomena. According to her myth, she was a Greek princess who spurned the affections of The Emperor (in this case, Diocletian) because she wanted to keep her virginity vows and hated the idea of becoming a child bride just to sign the peace between Rome and her kingdom. It went From Bad to Worse, needless to say. note 
  • St. Dypmha, who escaped to become a nun after her chieftain father nearly forced her into marriage... to him! She and her protector ended up dead at the end of her maddened dad's sword.
  • Alvilda[1] [2], Alfhild, Alwilda, Alvild, or ÆÆlfhild is a possibly real example. She decided to be a pirate because she didn't like the idea of getting married or being pampered.


Real Women Don't Wear DressesGender Dynamics IndexSpirited Young Lady
Protagonist Without A PastVideogame CharactersThe Red Mage
Rebel PrinceCharacters as DeviceReckless Sidekick
Quickly Demoted WomanAlways FemaleReluctant Fanservice Girl
Princess in RagsPrincess TropesSpoiled Brat
The President's DaughterWomen Are DelicatePale Females, Dark Males
Rebel RelaxationRebel TropesRebellious Rebel
Proper LadyLove InterestsReformed Rakes
Raven Hair, Ivory SkinAdministrivia/Pages Needing Example ContextSay My Name
Flash GordonImageSource/Newspaper ComicsFoxTrot

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