Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl

She's LITERALLY dragging him along!

Mac: Goo, I'm really sorry for what I said about you. You're not weird. You're really creative and funny and nice, and if you're not too mad at me, I really wanna be your friend too.
Goo: (excited) Okay! (Hugs and squeezes Mac)
Mac: Okay...that's're...crushing me.

This is when there's a potential pairing (platonic or otherwise) between a pragmatic guy and a girl who is very full of energy.

The usual gender stereotype is that guys are physically better and may only care about sex, while girls are soft but nice or just smart. This averts that stereotype hard (for the most part at least): the guy is the smart but physically inept one and it seems he got himself the company of a girl who most guys would have trouble keeping up with in the first place.

The girl tends to act like her IQ is low. In some cases, she can be smarter than the guy, but because she's too busy trying to have fun, this is occasional at most. Perhaps this is why she acts as a Morality Pet sometimes. Compare Good Is Dumb, although she's more likely to merely be calling out the savvy guy than be evil in her smart moments.

If the guy and the girl are in a romantic relationship, the girl may also be a Manic Pixie Dream Girl. If this girl is living with several savvy guys, she's likely a Nerd Nanny.

It doesn't even have to be a guy or a girl, either. Many works featuring male x male or female x female romantic relationships will also follow the trope, with one partner being perky and optimistic while the other is savvy and smarter.

Compare Perky Female Minion, Uptight Loves Wild, Red Oni, Blue Oni, and Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy. For another couples trope based on personality, see Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl.


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     Anime and Manga 
  • Eris/Manami and Kio from Asobi ni Iku yo!.
  • Takagi and Miyoshi from Bakuman。.
  • Sanae Nakazawa and Manabu Okazaki from Captain Tsubasa are the very rare non-romantic version, and according to the Road to 2002 anime they remain as this even as adults.
  • Chrono and Rosette in Chrono Crusade, although with a few slight variations. For one thing, Chrono is actually stronger than Rosette, but since their contract means his powers take time away from Rosette's lifespan, Chrono prefers to let Rosette take the lead in combat situations and only uses his true power as a back-up plan. And for another, while Chrono comes across as much more rational than Rosette, it's actually only because Rosette is very Hot-Blooded and impulsive, and Chrono has much more experience than she does. When he's matching wits with someone closer to his true age, Chrono comes across as someone with average intelligence and much more impulsive and emotional than is obvious when he's with Rosette.
  • Code Geass: Lelouch Lamperouge and nearly any girl he can be paired with, because Lelouch is a Squishy Wizard of sorts. Even his own little sister is shown to be more energetic than him. (Which is even more hilarious when you realize that said little sister is paraplegic at the time of the series itself.)
    • C.C., however, the girl he spends the most time with overall, is at most a downplayed example. Granted, she's still doubtless more energetic than the endlessly cerebral Lelouch, and has a bit of a penchant for mischief (usually of the kind intended to give Lelouch a heart attack), but her typical demeanour is aloof and snarky, averting this trope for the most part.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami and Misa Amane, but Light never loves Misa although he shows concern for her well-being when suffering from his self-inflicted amnesia.
  • Detective Conan has several of these couples:

    Comic Books 
  • Young Liars: Sadie acts the way she does because a bullet in her head destroyed her inhibitions and ability to recognize consequences. Danny was her stalker prior to the shooting, and since then has taken advantage of it to make her completely dependent on him.
  • Ragamuffin and Lenore from Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl.
  • Lois Lane and Clark Kent are possibly the Ur-Example of this trope, definitely so in the genre of comics. The question isn't so much who's smarter as it is who's running headlong into danger for a story while the other struggles to keep up. This doesn't completely apply to Lois and Superman, however.
  • Tim Drake/Robin (goal-orientated serious introvert) with Stephanie Brown/Spoiler (plucky, street smart people person).
  • Batman and Catwoman often have a downplayed version of this relationship: while they're both fairly cynical, she fully embraces the flirtatious side of their encounters, teases him enough that his Deadpan Snarker tendencies show up, and as Nightwing notes, reignites his sense of humor even away from her.

     Fan Works 

    Films - Animation 
  • Carl and Ellie from Up
    "You know, you don't talk a lot." (beat) "I like you!"
  • Blu and Jewel from Rio.
  • Manfred and Ellie in the Ice Age series, although Ellie becomes a lot more level-headed in later installments.
  • Dory and Marlin in Finding Nemo. Marlin tends to be cautious while Dory tends to be happy-go-lucky.
  • Buzz and Jessie in Toy Story 2.
  • Zig-Zagged in Tangled. Their personalities fit the trope because Rapunzel is an energetic Genki Girl and Flynn is a Deadpan Snarker. However Rapunzel has major conflicting feelings of excitement to finally see the world, and guilt for disobeying her mother's orders of staying in the tower. Trying to trick her into dropping the deal, Flynn tells her that this is just a part of growing up. A little adventure, a little rebellion... that's good. Healthy, even.
  • Gru and Lucy from Despicable Me 2. She's a major Genki Girl with a Motor Mouth, he's a Deadpan Snarker Villain Protagonist. Let the shipping commence!
  • This defines Anna and Kristoff's relationship in Frozen nicely. She is a spunky princess willing to do whatever it takes to bring her sister home, he is a grumpy, rough-around-the-edges ice harvester helping her along the way.
  • Wreck-It Ralph gives us a non-romantic example of Ralph and Vanellope.
  • In Corpse Bride, we have Emily and Victor. The former is a dead bride who is rather lively and spiritual for a corpse, while the latter is a live man who is incredibly shy and awkward almost to a fault.
  • How to Train Your Dragon has Hiccup (savvy guy) and Astrid (energetic girl).
  • Mr. Peabody & Sherman:
  • Even though she barely speaks to him throughout the movie, Ariel and Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid also fit the trope.
  • Inversed in Princess And The Frog - Tiana is a hard-working, down to earth girl, and Naveen is the Fun Personified prince.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Down-to-earth Michael and flighty ditz Delysia in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.
  • The first time Emily Friehl meets Oliver Martin in A Lot Like Love, he tells her that in six years he plans to be settled and content in both life and career while she lives life by the moment.
  • Larry Daley and Amelia Earheart of Night at the Museum. Bonus points taking that Larry is portrayed by Ben Stiller.
  • A gender-flipped and downplayed version appears in The Hot Chick: April's batty, meddlesome, slightly paranoid mother and her low-key father who usually responds by telling her to get a life.
  • Joel and Clementine from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

  • Winston and Julia in 1984.
  • Montag and Clarisse in Literature/Fahrenheit451.
  • In 1948, Alice and Jasper met in a small diner in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Alice approached him as if they were already close friends and told him that he'd kept her waiting a long time. Jasper was mystified and wary, but his ability to feel Alice's joyful emotions impacted him greatly, which allowed him to take her hand when she held it out, saying that, "For the first time in a century, I felt hope." He then learned to reciprocate her feelings.
  • Raul and Aenea in Endymion.
  • Witch hunter Newt and mystic Anathema in Good Omens. Of the Dating Catwoman variaton.
  • Winterbourne and Daisy in Daisy Miller — Winterbourne is too social-savvy for his own good, whereas Daisy is one odd girl.
  • Raven and Wendy in War of the Dreaming.
  • Jack Weyland's Charly has a Latter-day Saint BYU student, Sam, and his free-spirited non-Mormon love interest, Charly.
  • A brother-sister example. The Chronicles of Narnia books portray the adult versions of Edmund as a silent, wise, cold-thinking man, who did all the justice, and Lucy as a wild, bright, tomboyish girl. Their movie versions are close to this, since Edmund is a brooding Deadpan Snarker and Lucy an optimistic, happy-go-lucky girl.
  • Flipped has energetic, friendly, outgoing and socially-inept Juli and Stepford Smiler Jerk with a Heart of Gold Bryce who just wants to keep his head down and get through school without becoming a social pariah. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Asher and Eliza in Someone Else's War.
  • Septimus Heap: Septimus and Jenna, sometimes.
  • Fish and Rose are this in the Fairy Tale Novels, particularly in "Waking Rose".
  • Genderflipped in Florence Barclay's Through the Postern Gate, where Guy "Boy Blue" Chelsea is the Energetic Guy to Christobel Charteris's Savvy Girl.
  • Journey To Chaos: Tiza and Nolien contrast each other in this way. Tiza is a high energy Glory Seeker that loves jumping into danger, and the more the better! Nolien is cautious and more rational and gets metaphorically or literally dragged into Tiza's danger while snarking at her.
  • Wellington Books and Eliza Braun in the Ministry of Peculiar Occurances series of Steampunk novels by Pip Ballatyne and Tee Morris are a brain-and-brawn partnership with Meaningful Names. Books is in charge of the Archives and chiefly concerned with maintaining his analytical engine, while Braun is a field agent who was "trained at an early age by her parents in the art of hand to hand combat, sharpshooting and pouring the perfect pint".

    Live Action TV 
  • Big Time Rush has Logan and Camille.
  • Friends:
  • McGee and Abby on NCIS, though Abby's very smart apart from her slight... oddness.
  • Gilmore Girls: Luke and Lorelai own this trope, even when they weren't a couple. The series is full of these couples:
    • Lorelai's neighbors are cool, calm, and collected Morey and his loud and gossipy wife Babette.
    • Lorelai had this relationship with most of her romantic interests. In fact, Max and Lorelai probably didn't stay together because he couldn't keep up with her, as Dean noted.
    • Luke and Nicole were a negative version of this, meant to be compared with Luke and Lorelei's relationship.
    • Go-Getter Girl Paris and her first boyfriend, Jamie. He couldn't keep up, so she leaves him and embarks on a May-December Romance with Silver Fox Asher Flemming, who is infinitely savvier.
    • Jimmy Mariano (Jess' father) and his girlfriend Sasha echo the Lorelei and Luke dynamic very accurately.

  • Emmett and Elle in Legally Blonde: The Musical; less so in the movies, but still there.
  • Up and Taz in Starship certainly apply.
  • Tracy Turnblad and Link Larkin from Hairspray.

    Video Games 
  • Fire Emblem has MANY of these: Azel and Tiltyu, Shannan and Patty/Daisy, Orson and Karin, Lalam and Roy, Shanna and Roy or Dieck, Erk and Serra, Oswin and Serra, Lowen and Rebecca, Rhys and Mia, Rennac and L'Arachel, Ephraim and L'Arachel, Innes and L'Arachel...
    • As of Fire Emblem Awakening, the newest examples are: Lissa and several guys she can marry (like Lon'qu, Frederick or a male Avatar), Nowi and almost everyone she can marry (specially Libra and Lon'qu)
      • Subverted with Sumia and Gaius. Personality-wise, she's more of a Shrinking Violet and Submissive Badass so they'd be more likely to play out Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl... and yet she and Gaius play this trope to the very hilt as they look for honey to bake cakes and Hilarity Ensues.
      • Genderflipped with Henry and several of his prospect brides. Particularly Miriel, Tharja, Cherche, the aforementioned Sumia, or a female Avatar.
      • Almost any pairing that includes either girl!Morgan or Cynthia is this to the hilt. Special mention goes to the aforementioned Laurent, Gerome and, in Cynthia's case only, a male Avatar.
  • Keiji and Kasumi in Mass Effect 2, though since Keiji died before the story began the only screen time we get is a recording of a message for Kasumi.
    • A Female Shepard and Kaidan Alenko have this dynamic. Kaidan might kick some ass, but he's leagues behind Shepard.
      • Fem!Shepard and damn near any male team member have this dynamic. The only inversion is when you're teamed with Grunt.
  • Nice!Hawke and Isabela in Dragon Age II, or Silly!Hawke and either Anders or Fenris.
  • Aggressive!Hawke and Merrill have some shades as well.
    • And Alistair and the Warden can be this in Origins.
    • So can Leliana and a more level-headed Warden.
  • Valkyria Chronicles: Homer Pieron and Edy Nelson. Although she's more of a Leeroy Jenkins rather than dumb, and he's mostly lucid until one appeals to his masochistic side.
  • Squall/Rinoa and Irvine/Selphie from Final Fantasy VIII.
  • Kyosuke Nanbu and Excellen Browning from Super Robot Wars.
  • Jenon and Siskier in Blaze Union.
  • Vincent Valentine and Yuffie Kisaragi in the Final Fantasy Compilations, especially Dirge of Cerberus. Whether their relationship is romantic is a matter of speculation.
  • Zhou Yu and Xiao Qiao in Dynasty Warriors.
    • Exactly the other way round with the "Little Conqueror" Sun Ce and Da Qiao. Actually, Sun Ce - Zhou Yu and Da Qiao - Xiao Qiao also qualify.
  • From Psychonauts, Sasha Nein (that's the guy) and Milla Vodello, who are partners in the Psychonauts and Love Interests. (Technically not together, but we know she likes him and it doesn't take much to read it as being reciprocal.)
  • Reiji Arisu and Xiaomu from Namco X Capcom.
  • Two of the minor Masters participating in Fate/EXTRA's Holy Grail War. Having entered as a couple on the girl's suggestion, they find the rules prevent them from becoming a Battle Couple as she originally planned. The boyfriend realizes the full implications of what they've gotten themselves into much sooner, while the girl remains cheerful, optimistic and sunny.
  • Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Estelle and Joshua, though I wouldn't call Joshua physically inept. He IS a bracer, after all. He just prefers reading a book to hiking or fishing.
  • Borderlands 2 has Roland and Lilith. While Roland is straightforward and seemingly humorless, Lilith is snarky and outgoing. In this case, it's a rare example of exes, though they separated mainly due to their war with Handsome Jack getting in the way and the two still care about each other.
  • The Professor Layton series, in the second arc, pairs the Professor with Emmy Altava. She packs some serious martial arts skill to complement the Professor's sharp mind. Although the Professor himself is no slouch in a fight, and Emmy solves puzzles just as easily, they do fit the trope.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey (or Ema Skye), and his successor Apollo with his long lost sister Trucy. Even more so with Miles Edgeworth and Kay Faraday, since Edgeworth's supposed to be extremely competent at what he does.
    • Either Phoenix or Apollo is this to Athena in "Dual Destinies". She turns out to be this to Simon Blackquill too, specially after their shared Dark and Troubled Past is revealed.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry has Keiichi and Mion.
  • In Little Busters!, the Riki/Haruka pairing starts off as this, though Cerebus Syndrome hits them early and hard, draining much of Haruka's energy.
  • Kyon and Haruhi on The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. She forces him into membership of her club he didn't even want to join in the first place, but later goes along with it anyway.
  • Kaito and Akiho from Robotics;Notes. Akiho is a brilliant but spastic teenage girl who is obsessed with building a fully functional Mecha based on the one from her favorite anime. Kaito is her Brilliant but Lazy male classmate who would rather play video games all day than build robots. Akiho is consistently frustrated with Kaito's lack of motivation and Kaito sarcastically chides Akiho at every opportunity.
  • Sachi in Sharin No Kuni. She's actually nearly at genius level IQ but you wouldn't know that from looking at her.
  • Katawa Shoujo subverts this with Hisao Nakai and Emi Ibarazaki. Emi might be the Genki Girl among the love interests but she turns out to have far more issues than she lets Hisao see.
  • The eventual relationship of Byakuya Togami and Genocider Syo/Genocide Jack in Danganronpa. The fact that things develop this way bothers him to no end.

    Web Comics 
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
    • The Austro-Hungarian Empire. Also, two Ho Yay versions: Germany and Italy, and England and America.
    • Taiwan is this to China in a Drama CD, where they have a rather... weird interaction (She lectures him for being Totally Radical and loud, then ends up breaking his arm while attempting to fix his back). In the fourth volume she's the energetic girl to pretty much everyone in Asia, whether males (China, Japan, HK, Macau) or females (Vietnam).
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Andrew and Parley. This applies to their superpowers, too: Andrew spontaneously creates organization and solves problems, while Parley can teleport, but she has difficulty controlling her teleportation without Andrew's help.
  • Genderflipped with Zoophobia's Spam and Vanex.
  • More like Sarcastic Guy Energetic Girl, since he's not had too much experience, but Conrad and Toni from Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name count for their shippers.
  • The two leads in A Miracle of Science.
  • Ardam and Tesla in Adventurers Interestingly, Tesla is less Genki Girl-like (if only somewhat) when Ardam isn't present.
  • Kristoph Gavin and Shirley Patton in Kristoph Gavin: Ace Attorney could be considered this.
  • Tedd and Grace from El Goonish Shive.
  • Kazuo and Miharu of Red String.
  • Jordan and Li of Extra Ordinary.
  • Nimona and Lord Ballister Blackheart from Nimona.
  • Roy and Celia from The Order of the Stick fit this description, though it's worth noting that this is an example where the girl isn't any less intelligent than the guy, just not as down-to-earth (pun not intended); at worst, Celia is just a little nave when it comes to humans, what with her being a sylph and all.
  • Mnage 3 repeatedly evokes the trope, mostly in Gary's relationships. He is "savvy" in the sense of being deeply knowledgeable concerning geeky matters, but not by any other definition of the word; virtually any woman in the comic is energetic by comparison to him.
    • His relationship with Yuki seems to fit the trope, but hits the problem that Yuki isn't just energetic, but is flat-out and rather dangerously crazy.
    • His relationship with Sonya rapidly collapses because she is a passionate with a love of excitement and novelty - and she rapidly comes to find him simply boring.
    • Senna energetically drags him onto a flight to Paris and seduces him - but she has no respect at all for his brand of savviness.
    • His so-far-platonic friendship with Sandra (mostly depicted in spinoff comic Sandra on the Rocks) actually invokes the trope quite strongly, in that Sandra respects and needs Gary for his savviness in the geek world, and energetically pushes him into pursuing a career in videogames (and into her employer's drinks cabinet).
    • The one exception is Gary's brief fling with Kiley, who is far more savvy than him.
    • And for variety - Erik seems to see his relationship with Zii in terms of this trope, but fails to anticipate the implications.
  • Larisa and Landon from Sandra and Woo.
  • Nepeta and Equius in Homestuck.
    • Dave has this with Terezi and Jade.
  • Sword Princess Amaltea: Princess Amaltea is a Hot-Blooded Royal Brat that fights before and thinks later while Prince Ossian is a more sensitive, Down To Earth character with a practical mind. Ossian very often calls Amaltea for her impulsiveness and she answers with sarcasm.
  • Unsounded: Duane and Sette. Duane is probably the most skilled and educated spellwright in the world; but he's also a zombie owned and occasionally controlled by Sette, a hyperactive thief girl who's only smarter than Duane in the Street Smart sense.

    Web Original 
  • Doki and Nabi from There she is!!. Also, he's a cat and she's a rabbit.
  • With superheroes the key part of the Whateley Universe, it happens all the time. Jade Sinclair (Generator) and Stephen Lee (Thuban). Toni Chandler (Chaka) and Scott Emerson (Thunderbird). Anna Parsons (Aquerna) and Jerry Walsh (Hazmat). Since Hazmat is an inventor and Aquerna is a bubbly babbler with squirrel powers, they may be the classic example so far.
  • Paw Dugan and Pushing Up Roses, when they work together.
  • Quincy Bolthouse and Megan Kher from the Playdom game Gardens of Time. Megan is more of a Nave Newcomer than The Ditz, though, and she has a huge crush on Quincy that he's oblivious to. For a while, anyway.
  • RWBY's Lie Ren and Nora Valkyrie. About the only thing they have in common is skill at fighting, but they've been friends such childhood.

    Western Animation