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[[quoteright:300:[[WebOriginal/OSTan http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/shrinking_violet_2.jpg]]]]

->'''Rick:''' Sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?\\
'''Alice:''' What?\\
'''Rick:''' The mirror. You can't see yourself in it.\\
'''Alice:''' I don't want to.
-->-- ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet4TheDreamMaster''

Painfully shy and quiet, the Shrinking Violet is the withdrawn character, usually but not always female, who walks through the school hallways with her head down and wants nothing more than to blend in with the scenery to avoid all attention because she believes that her presence is worthless or unwanted. Often TheQuietOne. Expect her to [[ApologisesALot apologise a lot]]. She will usually be better than average in scholastic classes, and her appearance will often be pretty in a bookish sort of way, although not all shrinking violets need to be geniuses or nerds. Bonus points if she has long dark hair that [[PeekABangs hides]] her [[BlindingBangs eyes.]]

The reasons for her (lack of) self-confidence vary, but they usually include intimidation (or [[BreakTheCutie bullying]]) by the popular ones, or being the youngest and more sheltered daughter in the family, or in more dramatic cases, a personal event that convinced her that the world would be better off if she just shut up. In other cases, the Shrinking Violet actually manages to avoid the brunt of fights or taunts that more vocal outcasts take, presumably because she's so quiet that she might as well be invisible.

Some Shrinking Violets will accept their status, but be plagued with that nagging feeling that they can be more than they assume. Other Shrinking Violets [[IJustWantToHaveFriends will hate their crippling insecurities and want to reach out to others, but be paralyzed by fear of rejection]]. Unlike TheSnarkKnight, they didn't choose to be alone, but feel powerless to change it. They may even harbor a [[SingleGirlSeeksMostPopularGuy secret crush on a popular male classmate]], or even on a [[FanOfUnderdog male classmate who frequently gets picked on]], which they, time and time again, [[CannotSpitItOut cannot spit out]]. Prone to blushing.

One advantage to being the Shrinking Violet is that, being outside the viciously popular circle, the few friends she manages to make are [[TrueCompanions the loyal, lifelong ones who'd give their right arms]] to help [[AFriendInNeed a true friend in need]]. Which they will, because the Shrinking Violet is invariably of the sweet-tempered, delicate type who makes a great friend and a lousy criticism taker from the AlphaBitch or her GirlPosse.

In the end, the Shrinking Violet will always find her inner beauty and strength [[ThePowerOfFriendship with the help of her newfound friends]] (or [[ThePowerOfLove lover]]), [[GrewASpine Grow a Spine]], and blossom into a mature, self-confident woman who [[WellDoneSonGuy would make]] [[SoProudOfYou her parents proud]]. Well... [[BreakTheCutie not]] [[KillTheCutie always]]. But generally. Sometimes the shy exterior remains towards strangers, and it's only the new friend (and the audience) who gets to see the wonderful person inside. The BeautifulAllAlong discovery is optional, but highly recommended.

In stories taking place in [[FantasyCounterpartCulture an Asian-like place, particularly Japan]], the Shrinking Violet may grow into a YamatoNadeshiko; still unassuming and possibly quiet, but no longer weak. SilkHidingSteel is another possibility, which her reputation as this trope will strengthen.

In rare cases, a Shrinking Violet's mousiness [[BewareTheQuietOnes will conceal]] a [[CuteIsEvil malevolent]] and/or [[CuteAndPsycho violent]] personality. Sometimes, this is also used to conceal the extremely creepy UncannyValleyGirl.

A male version of this trope [[DoubleStandard may be treated as an instant]] ButtMonkey [[DoubleStandard for everyone to martyr]], or just called out as an emo (unlike the female one, who is so sympathetic that beating her up or even yelling at her is [[KickTheDog akin to a]] [[ThisIsUnforgivable MAJOR offense]] [[TrueCompanions for her friends]]), or he might be given the role of sympathetic PluckyComicRelief and overlap with a LovableCoward. A male Shrinking Violet protagonist will usually face a conflict that finally forces him to come out of his shell, or he'll be thrown headlong into sociability and adventure at the start of the series by a GenkiGirl, MagicalGirlfriend, [[BreadEggsBreadedEggs or]] ManicPixieDreamGirl. However, straight examples are not uncommon, especially for younger boys.

Especially in Anime, the Shrinking Violet is likely to have [[YouGottaHaveBlueHair blue hair]]; that trope is ShyBlueHairedGirl.

If two Shrinking Violets fall in love with each other, expect them to be TwiceShy.

FriendlessBackground can cause this.


* ShrinkingViolet/AnimeAndManga
* ShrinkingViolet/ComicBooks
* ShrinkingViolet/FanFiction
* ShrinkingViolet/{{Film}}
* ShrinkingViolet/{{Literature}}
* ShrinkingViolet/LiveActionTV
* ShrinkingViolet/VideoGames
* ShrinkingViolet/VisualNovels
* ShrinkingViolet/WebComics
* ShrinkingViolet/WebOriginal
* ShrinkingViolet/WesternAnimation
* ShrinkingViolet/RealLife



* What's the difference between an introverted engineer and an extroverted engineer?
** An introverted engineer looks at his shoes while he talks to you; an extroverted engineer looks at ''your'' shoes as he talks to you.

* Music/{{Mothy}}'s song [[Franchise/EvilliousChronicles Daughter of White]] (and hell, the character of [[TheWoobie Clarith]] in general) is a major one of these.
* Music/{{Queen}}'s "Sheer Heart Attack" seems to describe one of these, with the lyrics "Well you're just seventeen, all you wanna do is disappear..."
* Music/{{AlessiaCara}}'s debut single "Here," written after realizing how much she hates parties and large crowds.
--> "Right next to the boy who's throwing up/Cause he can't take what's in his cup no more/Oh God why am I here?"

* Laura from ''Theatre/TheGlassMenagerie'' fits this to a T. She is so shy that she cannot leave the house or get a job, and (hooray symbolism) spends a lot of time caring for her collection of fragile, delicate glass animals.
* Some productions of ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' play Ophelia this way.
* The titular character of ''Theatre/DearEvanHansen'' is a male example, with his severe social anxiety and low self-esteem leaving him fitting this trope perfectly.

[-- Please stop looking at me... --]