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
. 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
of the Spicy Latina. Please keep this in mind while adding examples.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- 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.
Film - Animated
Film - Live Action
- Nellie Gomez in The 39 Clues.
- 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.
Live Action TV
- Ana Lucia Cortez from LOST, not coincidentally played by Michelle Rodriguez.
- 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).
- Rosie Perez on 21 Jump Street. It was The Danza, as her character was named Rosie.
- 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.
- Pilar Zuzua in Weeds.
- 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.
- Vanessa from Six Feet Under.
- Alex from Degrassi: The Next Generation.
- And now Bianca, Alex's spiritual descendant.
- Santana Lopez on Glee.
- 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.
- Trina on Victorious, her sister Tori not so much.
- Your mileage might vary if Daniella Monet, who plays Trina, is this too or not.
- Maritza Cruz on Third Watch.
- Salma Hayek in her guest appearances on 30 Rock.
- Gloria on Modern Family, played by Sofia Vergara. Her hot-bloodedness and Ms. Fanservice tendencies are heavily featured
- Gabrielle, played by Eva Longoria Parker, on Desperate Housewives. The character is decidedly "spicy" even without the stereotypical accent.
- Charo, the Coochie Coochie girl.
- Nadine Velasquez as Catalina on My Name Is Earl.
- Adrian Lee of The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
- 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 it's 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.
- Romeo's first-season girlfriend Sophia on The Steve Harvey Show.
- Trish on Austin & Ally.
- Mimi Morales from Saturday Night Live.
- 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.
- For a Spear Counterpart, in WWE, Eddie Guerrero's Red Baron was "Latino Heat." 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. 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.
- The famed WWC (World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico) Women's 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. It can apply to Sweet Nancy, Leandra and Amazona too, temper wise.
- Ivelisse Velez 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.
- 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.
Stand Up Comedy
- Anecdotally, every single Latina girlfriend Pablo Francisco has ever had.
- 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.
- Clementina, the Spanish lady in The Desert Song.
- Marisol from SSX Tricky. Being voiced by Patricia Velasquez doesn't hurt, either.
- Cynthia from Silent Hill 4
- Isabela from Dead Rising. Confrontational, Rough background, Good fighter and all the way around Hot.
- Catalina from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- Ashley in Mass Effect is canonically Hispanic. She's also the toughest and best-armed person on your team, shamelessly flirts with Male!Shepard if you pay any attention to her at all, and has a habit of snapping at important people without thinking first.
- Isabela from the Dragon Age series is a fiercely independent pirate captain from Rivain, a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Spain in Thedas. True to this trope, she is shapely raven-haired, olive-skinned Action Girl with an exotic accent, who radiates such sexy appeal that Even the Girls Want Her (and she's one of the few openly bisexual characters in the games).
- One of the selectable voices for the main character in Saints Row 2 is definitely this. Below are a few examples.
I think I need a bigger gun.
I dare Ultor to try and stop me.
I got the biggest balls in this whole city. That's right I said it.
I sure wish I was killing something about now.
You can never have enough guns, that's what I always say.
Sobriety tests are for pussies.
- Monica Villareal in Wapsi Square. And she's half-Irish too. What a combination.
- Araceli from Out There is an aversion to the trope. She's more shy and vulnerable than the other two (white) female leads, and usually dresses more conservatively. Less of a tomboy as well. And a lesbian, if that means anything. Sherry actually fits the trope reasonably well, notwithstanding the fact that she's not a Latina.
- In Sinfest, Slick's Dark Side goes looking for this.
- 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.
- 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".