Spicy Latina

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"My mom's Puerto Rican. That's why I'm so lively and colorful."

Latin women in media (particularly American media) are usually portrayed as sultry temptresses with fierce tempers. The old westerns and pulp fiction usually depicted them as raven-haired, olive-skinned, and red-clad, with an accent that can melt butter. Modern portrayals, however, are usually more urban.

This character is very Hot-Blooded and confrontational, and often times has a rough background where they had to learn to defend themselves. They usually display an almost Tsundere-ish quality of having a soft side that occasionally peeks out from their tough exterior. Expect the Spicy Latina to be a good fighter who can take care of herself, which ironically can lead to her becoming the designated early casualty. There's also a crossover with Mama Bear in some cases. The Spicy Latina can make for a great Femme Fatale for The Hero. Even if the Spicy Latina is a bit tomboyish, she will be irresistible. If not tomboyish, she's usually wearing a lot of sexy tight clothing and she would happen to be very flirty. Despite this, she is often a devout Catholic.

When they aren't masculine, a Spicy Latina will usually be a great beauty and highly sought after, as well as being an accomplished fighter. For a male hero, having her as a Love Interest is therefore an indication of unusual prestige, self actualisation, and both pyschological and physical strength, since he will need to be able to restrain her fiery nature and martial ability at times, without destroying the relationship.

Actresses likely to play this role include:

Close cousin to the Sassy Black Woman, but generally more erotic (the two tropes can overlap if the character is mixed). Also see Latin Lover — and speaking of which, the same rule about particular non-Latin ethnicities still counting also applies here. Its Old World analog is the Hot Gypsy Woman. Overall, an enduring character-type, even if the characters themselves are not.

Important Note: just because a Latina character is attractive does not neccessarily make her fiery or spicy. A Latina played as a down to earth Girl Next Door or a bubbly Brainless Beauty is not an example of this trope because such a character lacks the attitude and personality of the Spicy Latina. Please keep this in mind while adding examples.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In One Piece, the country of Dressrosa (which is based on Spain) is famous for these. Every time a man cheats on or just disappoints a Dressrosan woman, she will stab him.
  • Anita in Hi-Speed Jecy is the leader of a guerrilla force engaging in war against President Markham, who is considered to be a dictator.

    Comics 

    Fan Works 
  • In his long-running In Which I Watch Sailor Moon, cartoonist-critic Shadowjack has found himself reimagining shrine maiden Rei "Sailor Mars" Hino as a Latina — complete with Spanish punctuation in her dialogue.
  • In the Discworld fic Clowning Is A Serious Business, the character of Dolores Estefaña Chiliconcarne y Fajitas y Cuidado de las Llamas de Guttieriez is introduced. She is the Fools' Guild's principal tutor in Circus Skills and hails from a small country a long way away from Ankh-Morpork. Which speaks a language suspiciously like Spanish and where men are men and women are women.

    Film - Animated 
  • Both of the Adelita Twins in The Book of Life. Kicking ass while arguing over shoes.
    • Maria herself definitely falls under this trope — she's feisty, beautiful, and can fight with swords better than any man.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Lupe Velez, who committed suicide in 1944 having made the "Mexican Spitfire" comedies, embodies this trope in how she was presented, marketed, and perceived, let alone the way she was expected to perform in films, as evidenced by her nicknames "Mexican Spitfire" and "The Hot Pepper". She may be the Ur-Example of this trope in film.
  • Carmen Miranda who was actually a Portuguese-born Brazilian, but who still for a certain generation embodies that "South of the Border" attitude and personality.

    Literature 
  • A Confederacy of Dunces: One of the "hostesses" at the Night of Joy bar is a "Latin" woman (nationality unspecified) who affects this style—to the point of being pushy and abrasive. She also has a thick accent and really bad breath.
  • In the Backstrom novels of Leif G.W. Persson, there is Officer Magdelena Hernandez, a positive product of Sweden accepting refugees from elsewhere. Also Officer Felicia Petterson — a Swede by upbringing, adopted from a South American orphanage by Swedish foster-parents. Bäckström's opinion of them is pretty much Spexico.
  • Amber Sorrel from The Crush plays with this. She's fierce and loyal when it comes to her loved ones, but practices a cool and calm demeanor. She even references this trope by name, saying she doesn't want to be lumped into it.

    Live Action TV 
  • Ana Lucia Cortez from Lost, not coincidentally played by Michelle Rodriguez. She even seduces Sawyer to get a gun out of him.
  • MadTV parodied this with Debra Wilson and Nicole Sullivan playing Latinas Melina and Lita in a recurring skit.
  • Rosie Perez (sense a trend?) played one on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, in an episode where her son was molested by her husband (whom he actually met while she was homeless).
  • Ugly Betty is a very intentional aversion of this trope, although her sister Hilda plays it straight, as did Salma Hayek when she guest-starred.
  • Judy Reyes as Carla from Scrubs. Lampshaded when a new Latina nurse is described as "spicy". The Janitor then calls her "a young Carla".
  • A fair few of the characters on the Miami-based Dexter, most notably Lt. LaGuerta. Miguel Prado counts too once you factor in all the Ho Yay.
  • Roxanne Dawson, who played B'Elanna Torres, the resident Chief Engineer of Star Trek: Voyager.
    • A bit of a subversion, as she has stated that she gets her temper from her Klingon mother.
  • Noah's Arc: Despite being male, Ricky fits this trope, being aggressive and somewhat confrontational, flirtatious, highly sexual, and displaying the Tsundere-like inner kindness every so often.
  • Gloria on Modern Family, played by Sofia Vergara. Her hot-bloodedness and Ms. Fanservice tendencies are heavily featured in the show.
    Gloria: I am Colombian! We get excited! My country is covered in coffee!
  • Gabrielle, played by Eva Longoria Parker, on Desperate Housewives. The character is decidedly "spicy" even without the stereotypical accent.
  • Francia Raisa played a no-less spicy character on the made-for-TV third and fourth installments of The Cutting Edge.
  • A gender-flipped example of the trope at work in a show's ads: the TNT show Hawthorne, a medical drama, advertised its first season with somewhat somber music, though occasionally featuring a gospel choir. Then for season 2, they added Latin singer Marc Anthony to the cast. All of a sudden, the ads are filled with exciting salsa music and the ad's narrator promises "Things will be heating up at the hospital!"
  • Food Network used to feature Ingrid Hoffman, hostess of "Simply Delicioso" in this role. The show can still be seen in re-runs on Food Network's spinoff channel, the Cooking Channel.
  • As noted by the page quote, averted in Parks and Recreation. April Ludgate (Puerto Rican on her mom's side) is the resident Snark Knight at the Parks Department and says almost everything in a flat monotone.
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place, this is Theresa, when the mood strikes her. Averted with Alex who's too all-American to fit this.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Downplayed with Detective Rosa Diaz. She is a hot-tempered, strong-willed, sexually confident Biker Babe who's not afraid to get physical, but she also is much more deadpan and stoic than the typical example.
    • Subverted in the same show with Detective Amy Santiago, who is also Latin American but is Diaz's complete opposite, being a buttoned-up, Adorkable and klutzy goody two-shoes with a competitive streak and plenty of neuroses and insecurities for the both of them.
  • In Blue Bloods, both of Detective Danny Reagan's road partners have been these: Jackie Curatola (played by Jennifer Esposito) and Maria Baez (played by Marisa Ramirez).
  • The nearest that British TV has got to this trope might be Scottish/Spanish actress Michelle Gomez, who brings something of the flamboyant spicy-Latin to everything she appears in, albeit with a Glasgow accent. (Although she played a South American footballer's wife in her first big TV series, The Book Group.)

    Music 
  • Just about any song by Shakira (Colombian) or Jennifer Lopez (Brooklyn descendant of Puerto Ricans).
  • Romanian singer Inna planned on calling an album LatINNA, and the lead single "Cola Song" even exploits the trope with the chorus "Soy Latina baby" (Romania isn't even if the country isn't Latino per se, though their language also comes from Latin).
  • The White Stripes gives us (from "Icky Thump"):
    Redhead senorita, lookin' dead, came and said, "need a bed?" in Espanol...
    • Bear in mind that Jack White regards redheads as the hottest thing ever.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • For a Spear Counterpart, in WWE, Eddie Guerrero's Red Baron was "Latino Heat."[1] He and Chyna were (Kayfabe) seeing each other for a while, with her specifically liking him for his "Spicy Latino Heat."
  • WWE Diva Lita (who had a Mexican grandparent) was originally this as Essa Rios's valet. After her falling out with Rios, she dropped the Latin shtick to become Matt Hardy's high-spirited girlfriend.
    • WWE usually plays this down for both sexes in recent years. The characters often come off as being ambiguously Latin. Take Melina, full name Melina Naya Perez, for example. Before her Heel–Face Turn, she was depicted as dark-skinned, slutty, and confrontational, but otherwise "Anglo." Similar cases can be made for Paul London and Eve Torres. The Bellas' (Brie and Nikki) Mexican background is mostly ignored in favor of their Italian roots. Costa Rican Rosa Mendes is about the only one playing this straight. Ivory, real name Lisa Moretti, is Italian-American and her original gimmick was as the white manager of a black Tag Team, D'Lo Brown and Mark Henry. However, on the 2003 WWE Divas: Desert Heat DVD, she described one of her grandmothers as a "hot little, hot-to-trot Spanish lady."
  • Subverted with Victoria (now Tara in TNA), who is part-Puerto Rican; and with Paul London, who is part-Mexican. Defied with Carlito Colón, whose whole gimmick revolved around being "cool". Completely inverted with Kerwin White (who was actually, of course, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Eddie's nephew) and then really inverted with Shelly Martinez. The latter appeared in (WW)ECW as "Ariel," a Gypsy fortune-teller. After being "bitten" by Kevin Thorn and "turned into a vampire", she became startlingly "white" (as in albino, which is to be expected from an "undead" creature). Of course, after leaving WWE, the pale makeup vanished and Martinez played this trope completely straight in TNA as the mannish yet somehow alluring "Salinas" of the Heel Tag Team the Latin American Xchange.
  • Another WWE Latina who completely reversed her image was Nidia (Guenard), who was romantically paired with Jamie Noble in a "trailer-trash" gimmick. She even affected a stereotypical "hillbilly" accent to sell the part (unlike Noble, who really is a hillbilly). In Real Life, Nidia was a Puerto Rican of French descent - making her WWE character a non-spicy Latina! Though her Latina background was played up once in a Big Lipped Alligator Moment where she yelled at Trish Stratus in Spanish. She was billed from Puerto Rico after she was moved to Raw too.
  • Lilian Garcia. She was accused of "passing" for Anglo over latina even though she's from Spain. In Real Life she has released an album of Latin pop music , and toward the end of her career she began announcing Hispanic wrestlers more accurately than she had before ("Rey Mysterio" to "Rrrey Meestairr-eeo!", for example). Affirms her Spanish roots, but Latina refers to people from Latin America.
  • Former TNA Knockout Tag Team Champion Sarita has embraced this since her Face–Heel Turn. May be a case of Fake Nationality as Sarah Stock is Canadian though her pre-TNA fame came from wrestling frequently in Mexico. Her kayfabe cousin Rosita plays this straight as well, purposely removing her earrings while talking trash as a signal that she is ready to fight.
  • Alberto Del Rio: Kind of skirts the line, being from the right area and having a temper. Other elements of his character, like the fact he identifies with his Spanish (as in Spain) roots and feuded with The Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus, who were much more hotheaded, kind of diminished from it.
  • Naturally, the large majority of the LLF roster in Monterrey, who have at times acting as something of a feeding ground for CMLL and AAA's women's divisions.
  • The famed WWC (World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico) Women's Champion Debbie Ross, known for beating people down back stage for slights like smeared makeup.
  • Another famed WWC champion, La Rosa Negra. Black Rose is usually friendly enough as a technico anyway but is still known for outbursts of rage that can get pretty explosive. In fact, this can apply to quite a few WWC talents such Sweet Nancy, Leandra and Amazona, temper wise.
  • Ivelisse Vélez played this up a lot more after her release from WWE, dying her blonde hair brown to make herself look more Hispanic and adopting a tough Spicy Latina attitude.
  • By contrast, Valentina did not let her pale skin or blonde hair get in the way of dubbing herself "Latina Heat". Though she's more known as Alexis Laree's scorned sister, TNA's evil cheerleader or the tone deaf Kandi Kisses, she did feud with fellow spicy Latina Eric Porter in UPW (herself better known as Jungle Grrl). Valentina likely got some of it from her trainer, Homicide, who is about as spicy as Latinos come, once going on a fork wielding rampage through Ring of Honor to get revenge on everyone who had so much as annoyed him in the past.
  • Bandita from Wrestlicious was outright referred to as a Spicy Latina on the show's website. She manages the bullfighter Maria Toro who is one as well, and the wrestler that plays her (Mercedes Martinez) is a fairly straight example too.

    Radio 
  • Bleak Expectations: Season 3 has Juanita Hotchile, one of Harry Biscuit's impulsively married replacement wives, who he correctly suspects is using him for citizenship purposes. She quickly dumps him for Mister Gently Benevolent, and begins playing this trope to the hilt... even after having her brain placed in the body of a dinosaur (or, as she puts it, dinophwoar). Both Biscuit and Benevolent are deeply troubled by her being such a sexy dinosaur.
    Mr. Benevolent: Get a grip, Gently, she's a dinosaur!

    Theatre 
  • Anita from West Side Story stands out from the other Shark girls (already a fairly spicy lot) by virtue of sheer spice. She has the most exuberant choreography and catchiest songs of the entire show.
  • Mimi from RENT is the Spicy Latina meets The Woobie. Meets some heroin.
  • Taz from Starship is a parody, often using random Spanish words that make no sense in context.
  • In Damn Yankees, Lola takes on this persona ("Señorita Lolita Rodriguez Hernando... Miss West Indies of 1957") in an attempt to seduce Joe.

     Video Games 

    Webcomics 

    Web Video 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Susanna-Maria Ramirez Gonzalez, a Hispanic maid at Mr Rochester's house. She's bothered that Jane cannot pick up her clothes for washing and loudly complains about it in Gratuitous Spanish, mocking Jane for her lack of social skills. She's later very pleased and looks excited when Jane's nice to her, but displeased when Jane doesn't understand her name in Spanish, and makes her Susan, albeit reluctantly. She first appeared in episode 7.
  • Discussed in the ''Stereotypology'' series where the trope is discussed as just a narrow view of individual Latina women, if they're found attractive or passionate or upset, they're dismissed as "spicy". That's the least of the problem.

    Western Animation 
  • An oddball example would be Hawkgirl on the Justice League animated series. She's from the planet Thanagar, not Latin America, and speaks perfect English, but fits much of the trope. And (like all other Thanagarian characters on the show) she's played by a Hispanic actress, which was a conscious decision, to give them a slightly "alien" sound.
    • A more literal example would be Fire, who also shares the same voice actress as Hawkgirl.
  • Courtney from Total Drama Island is Latina according to Word of God and is a noticeable Tsundere.
  • Cheerleader Liz Allan on The Spectacular Spider-Man, particularly after she's been defrosted. Just check out her perky cheer pose when she appears on the opening credits.
  • Done literally in South Park season 7 episode 5 "Fat Butt and Pancake Head" with a parody of a parody (you read that right) of Jennifer Lopez, "played" by Cartman's hand, performing the song "Taco Flavored Kisses".
  • Paulina from Danny Phantom. Very stubborn and the most beautiful girl at Casper High.


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