"Yeah, it's Bud. No, I don't give a fuck about how it tastes. Piss off."
"All right, I drink more than you
I party harder than you do
And my car's faster than yours too"
She likes sports, beer, cars, swearing, fighting and sex. She is crude, rude, often hygienically challenged and cheerfully ignorant and aggressive. If you are a guy, she'll probably challenge you to a fight or a drinking competition, win both and then take an aggressive lead in anything sexual that happens, before kicking you out the front door the following morning or teasing you mercilessly if she lets you stay some more.
In short, she is a young woman with the personality of a frat boy. She is the Lad-ette.
Despite (or perhaps because of) their masculine personalities, Lad-ettes are generally heavily sexualised and are not likely to let any males in the company forget they are female. They usually disdain the hassle of highly elaborately feminine clothing/hair/makeup, but don't often dress in a truly cross-dressing way; Tank-Top Tomboy
is a common Lad-ette style. They are also generally attractive; a genuinely ugly
Lad-ette is very unusual. Male characters may well be sexually interested in Lad-ettes for various reasons, whether it's appreciation of their masculine personality and interests, because they don't disapprove of laddish behaviour, because Lad-ettes have lower body modesty and a more practical attitude than more "ladylike" women and hence show more skin, or simply because of their assumed willingness to engage in casual sex. In turn, a Lad-ette can be utterly shameless in exploiting male sexual interest for her own personal advantage.
Sometimes, this woman's personality is explained by her having grown up with brothers
or been raised as a boy
Also note that The Lad-ette in fiction not uncommonly winds up dropping her lifestyle in favour of something more conventional
. It is difficult to tell whether this is Truth in Television
or not, given how relatively recent the character type is, but there is probably at least an element of wishful thinking at play.
Compare and contrast with other tropes about women who look/behave in a traditionally "masculine" way: the Tomboy
(she might have been one when young); Bifauxnen
(where the girl can effectively pass as a male - though ironically while lacking most of the 'masculine' behaviour of the Ladette); Pirate Girl
; and her grandmother, who shares some of her mannerisms and points of view, but retains a more feminine image: The Flapper
. Also compare the Butch Lesbian
, with which this trope may or may not overlap. If that hot girl is acting like a guy because she's not 100% girl, it's a case of Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite
. Sometimes, especially in anime and manga, one of these gets teamed up with a more-refined masculine-acting character
Also compare her female drinking mates, the Hard-Drinking Party Girl
and the Lady Drunk
. And, for the ideologies for and against her, see Girls Need Role Models
, Real Women Don't Wear Dresses
and Vasquez Always Dies
. The Squadette
may also be a Lad-ette, but it's not a job requirement.
A Gender Bender
plot (especially via a "Freaky Friday" Flip
) can often result in a girl with a literal
masculine personality who acts much like a Lad-ette.
Contrast with Yamato Nadeshiko
and Proper Lady
; two ideals of feminine beauty (Eastern Asia and Western Europe, respectively.) Also contrast with the Iron Lady
, a similarly masculine woman with a very different personality.
Due to the "frat boy in a girl's body" nature of this trope, the Lad-ette is the most likely to be a female Gasshole
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- The star of this beer commercial.
- The main character of this commercial.
Anime and Manga
- Lois Lane from Superman may be the original example in comic books. While she certainly doesn't mind wearing an elegant dress to a formal occasion every now and then, whenever she is seen lounging at home, it's often in tomboy-ish attire or sometimes in Clark Kent's old high school football jersey. And whether she's at home or out in Metropolis, Lois unabashedly loves a good pizza, a good beer, and keeping up with sports scores. Oh, and she knows how to brawl and can fight off most (non-superpowered) attackers, thanks to growing up in a military family.
- Depending on the Writer and the era. She was always a bold working woman willing to get into dangerous situations but especially during the Silver Age and a good portion of the Bronze Age, she was much more traditionally feminine than she is now.
- Agency X Outlaw.
- The Authority's Jenny Sparks: chain-smokes, drinks like a fish, has lots of casual sex, kicks a lot of ass, yells and takes charge a lot.
- Battle Chasers: Red Monika is a tall, leggy, cartoonishly well-endowed, beer-drinkin', hard-livin' air pirate. "Sexy" doesn't begin to describe her.
- Birds of Prey: Lady Blackhawk, resident pilot. She knows how to order beer in 30 different languages.
- And from the 2011 relaunch, Starling aka Ev Crawford is a tattooed, gun-toting woman with an implied shady past.
- Hack/Slash: Cassie. Although she constantly looks like a stripper, she's tough, cold, and quite prone to delivering a Cluster F-Bomb.
- Grendel: Susan Veraghen is a Samurai Biker Lad-ette in an age of Samurai Biker Lads.
- Secret Six: Scandal, to point where she sleeps in boxers.
- She-Hulk, a.k.a. Jennifer Walters, when she's hulked out and less emotionally inhibited.
- Red She-Hulk fits this trope even more, making Jen look like a girly girl in comparison.
- Tank Girl. She lives in a tank, consumes more alcohol than would be possible in a world that obeyed conventional laws of physics, gleefully kills people on a daily basis, and has a large collection of insanely overpowered weapons.
- Kate Spencer, the modern Manhunter, smokes, drinks and works as a Federal prosecutor for her day job, and in her off hours she takes out Karma Houdini criminals and does not abide by the Thou Shall Not Kill rule most heroes follow.
- Red Sonja - everything but the sex. And that's only because having sex will strip her of her divinely-gifted prowess as a swordswoman. note The very first scene of Gail Simone's run on the book has Sonja being annoyed at being woken up with a severe hangover.
- Tallulah Black is a Wild West variant.
- The inappropriately-named Peaceful in Castle Waiting, who even retains some of the personality elements after she becomes a nun. Although the Solicitines' concept of appropriately nun-like behaviour is extremely lax.
- Plourr Ilo of the X-Wing Series is chaste but otherwise this to the hilt. She can be soft-spoken, nice, and diplomatic - she just generally doesn't see the need. She also turns out to be a princess, and manages to balance what she was raised to be with what she made herself into pretty well.
- Rat Queens. All four protagonists, and several other female characters, are female Standard Fantasy Setting adventurers who are into booze, drugs, casual sex, and extreme violence, in no particular order of preference.
- Captain Kanril Eleya from Bait and Switch has traits of this. She's a Starfleet captain now, and was a Bajoran Militia sergeant before that. She's a drinker (though not to excess, usually), she swears a lot, she pays attention to pro sports on Bajor, and she wasn't averse to casual sex before she fell in love with Gaarra (they met when she picked him up in a bar) and likes to take the lead.
- Evangelion 303:
- Misato is the commanding officer of the "Evangelion" Air Force squad. She is an experienced soldier and an Ace Pilot. She is also a slob who likes partying (sometimes with her subordinates), drinking heavily and having sex.
- Kelly Wallis is a soldier who likes war planes, drinking, playing rough sports (such like rugby) and is pretty sexually active.
- It was hinted at in Harry Potter canon, and Dumbledore's Army and the Year of Darkness makes it explicit — Ginny Weasley:
”I’m the only girl in a family of seven! I could belch the entire Chudley Cannons fight song by the time I was four, but Katie Bell had to tell me when I needed a bra and show me how to put the effing thing on, so don’t act like I’m supposed to be some sheltered little flower about how boys are put together.”
- Agnes Grey: Matilda Murray embodies this trope back in Victorian England, and needless to say this does not go over well at all.
- Tales of an Mazing Girl is more of a nerd then a pure Ladeette-but she will still get drunk and fool around-only she does it at Warhammer40k tournment not a bar.
- The Discworld novel Monstrous Regiment explores this. Many of the characters have been keeping up the Sweet Polly Oliver act for so long that, at one point in the story, they have a hard time passing for female.
- After centuries of being indistinguishable from the men, Dwarf women in Ankh-Morpork are experimenting with femininity and mostly hitting this point.
- Namely, they started wearing leather or mail skirts with their armor and sometimes wear make-up, or slight heels on their iron-shod, hobnailed boots. Beards, armor, helmets, axes, drinking, singing about gold, etc.—stays the same. That being said, they don't drink beer so much anymore.
- In Thud!, the girls of the City Watch elect to go out on the town with Nobby's inexplicably-hot new girlfriend Tawneee. The rather conservative Sergeant Colon describes the ladette behaviour of the policewomen with the very apt pun minge-drinking.
- Dragonlance has Kitiara Uth Matar, the love interest of Tanis Half-Elven and the Blue Dragonlord. Kit is has been shown to drink with her (mostly male) soldiers, happily engage in random battle and has no qualms about using her sexuality to further her goals or just to satisfy her boredom.
- Her showing these traits and her lack of inhibitions are what attracted Tanis (and indeed several other major players in the Dragonlance universe) in the first place.
- This may be deconstructed in that it's implied such actions have to do with her author-stated Evil alignment and below-average Wisdom; they're symptoms of her inherently self-destructive lifestyle which leads to her getting killed.
- Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: Idgie Threadgood (and Eva Bates to a lesser extent). Idgie overlaps with the Butch Lesbian and Eva with the Good Bad Girl.
- Interestingly enough, Eva does enjoy some aspects of femininity - the book mentions that she even wears lipstick and beads to go fishing - but her fondness for beer, sex, and ungenteel company is pretty Lad-ette-ish for the 1930s South.
- The Kinsey Millhone series. The titular character, although she softens a bit in the later books.
- The Saga of Recluce has Tamra.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Asha Greyjoy, to a degree because Ironman culture has Testosterone Poisoning, Asha is essentially required to be a Lad-ette if she is to get any respect from the men under her command. This is not to say she doesn't enjoy it.
- The Temeraire series. Captain Jane Roland might be an example of a Manette - which is to say, she has traits of The Lad-ette, but rather than acting like a stereotypical young man acts like an adult man, showing an easy emotional maturity most Lad-ettes don't. She smokes, drinks hard liquor, plays cards, speaks plainly, wears pants, sleeps with men she likes, and oh yeah, is in command of one of the deadliest dragons in the British Aerial Corps. All this in the early 19th century. She usually has or rather had, before being named a Peer and Admiral of the Air to fake ladylike appearance and dress outside of the coverts where the Aerial Corps spend most of their time, it is just that a certain breed of dragon will only accept female captains and so leeway must be granted resulting in a unique subculture.
- Her daughter Emily is showing every sign taking after her, to no-one's surprise.
- The In Death series has Eve, who can't understand the appeal of anything feminine or frilly. In fact, she was down right panicked the time she had to host a bridal shower.
- Naomi Landsman of The Yiddish Policemens Union, a small-craft pilot and Determinator, who describes herself as a Butch Lesbian "in everything but sexual preference." Oh and she's dead before the beginning of the novel.
- Anita Blake, and how. Particularly pronounced as the series went on and all women except the titular character became characterized as weak, jealous, or otherwise not in contention for Anita's enormous reverse harem. Anita Blake is the distaff version of a male fantasy - where the titular character raises the dead, works for the police but also plays vigilante, and let's not forget the harem. Thirty or so men, with at least six regulars, and at least one new flavour per book. She's the biggest swinging dick in the series, and she makes sure you know it.
- Calamity Jane in the novels of J.T. Edson.
- In Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt, Beatrice Löwenström is pretty much a 19th century version of this trope. She's a tomboyish (but also bookish) proto-feminist, who competes with men in ice-skating and horse-riding. But despite that, and even though she's described as not that good-looking, she can also attract men if she wants to. And even though she never has casual sex, she has an affair with Seth before getting married to him, and that's enough for her own uncle to call her a slut.
- Magdalena Swärd in "De skandalösa" isn't as tomboyish as Beatrice, but still, she has a feisty proto-feminist attitude (and she's happy to not have to wear a corset during a costume party), that could make her qualify as a 17th century version of this trope. And just like with Beatrice, she never is promiscuous. But still, she's not a virgin until her wedding night.
- "Bad Girlfriend" by Theory of a Deadman.
- Bowling for Soup: "Girl All the Bad Guys Want"
- Garth Brooks. "That Girl is a Cowboy".
- The Coasters' "Lady Like" is a song about a girl who isn't.
- The Donnas's music is full of partying, drinking, drug use, sex, and tough girl attitude For example, "Take it Off" is about the singer getting drunk and aggressively demanding sex. Other songs include; "40 Boys in 40 Nights", "It's on the Rocks" "Smoke You Out", and "Take Me to the Backseat"
- Evelyn Evelyn. The title character from this (unofficial) video.
- Wanda Jackson's Fujiyama Mama.
- Jessie J's "Do It Like a Dude" seems to have been created for the purpose of being The Lad-ette's anthem.
- Kaiser Chiefs' video for "The Angry Mob" centers on rival lad-ette hen-parties.
- Toby Keith's "Whiskey Girl."
- Kesha. Or at least the character she plays in her songs.
- Interestingly enough, Lady Gaga. During her concerts, she's loud, and crass, swearing and grinding on her dancers, and generally pissing off the Moral Guardians with her decidedly unlady-like behavior all while having a blast. Has also stated she would carry around a razor in her mouth when she was growing up in New York.
- Marina & the Diamonds Girls,.
- Maybe "Guys do it All the Time" by Mindy McCready (the final verse suggests that she may be putting it on to try to get her boyfriend to see how she feels when he acts like this)
- Natalie Portman in a Saturday Night Live digital skit.
- Paradiso Girls' Patron Tequila.
- P!nk about half the time, if not more. "Get the Party Started", "Trouble", "Cuz I Can", "So What", "Bad Influence"...
- The Prodigy's video for "Smack My Bitch Up": the main character.
- Rihanna, her actions after Good Girl Gone Bad indicate this, but Gangasta 4 Life proves it a fact.
- All of Shampoo's work. Especially "Girl Power", which invented the phrase before the Spice Girls hijacked it and took the threat out.
- Ashlee Simpson: "Autobiography" and "Rule Breaker" helps her cause.
- Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman".
- Miley Cyrus, of all people, has grown up into this, as indicated by "We Can't Stop" and its Surreal Music Video. This was also cemented by her VMA 2013 performance, in which she behaves in a raunchy and provocative manner, twerking against Robin Thicke and groping one of her dancers. This is no doubt at least partly rebellion against her Contractual Purity from working at Disney as a teen, though this doesn't stop Moral Guardians.
- Janis Joplin was another Real Life one of these.
- Rodgers and Hart's The Lady is a Tramp is essentially an anthem for this type of character.
- Snow tha Product. Most of her lyrics wouldn't be out of place coming from a dude, nor are they out of place when she says them. It helps that, unlike certain other female rappers, she doesn't force her voice to sound squeakier or higher.
- Nemi showed the signs for a long time, but really qualified when she admitted that she learned her boyfriend's name after they had sex for the first time.
- Beetle Bailey has Sergeant Louise Lugg, who's a female version of Sergent Snorkel in most ways, which definitely puts her here, though it also means she's not terribly young or attractive. She certainly likes her beer, sports and swearing, though, and, unlike Sarge, is sexually quite aggressive, much to the discomfort of the men at the camp.
- Jacqueline as manager to the Acolyte Protection Agency, America's Most Wanted and Beer Money Incorporated. Two beer drinking poker playing Hired Guns, two beer drinking cowboys and a beer drinking cowboy with a man who imagined himself a corporate executive...Bobby Roode was the odd shoe in all this, Jacqueline fit in just in fine, though at times was a exasperated by just how quickly James Storm could go through AMW's liquor reserves. But only at times, as he liked to party with her when she was drunk.
- Though TNA loudly flaunts that the TNA Knockouts (read: women wrestlers) are not the typical "divas," they went ahead and gave us the exact opposite of a diva anyway, in the form of "ODB," who fit this trope like a glove. Built like a brick shithouse, given to smoking, drinking, and violence, and unlikely to win a beauty contest, her name stands for "One Dirty Bitch". It was unsurprising when TNA then turned her and Jacqueline into a tag team.
- TNA had another, less extreme, example in "The Hardcore Knockout" Roxxi. She's not constantly getting liquored up and cracking dirty jokes like ODB, but her punk look and Garbage Wrestler style definitely set her apart from the more feminine members of the roster.
- Questionable Content: Faye is like this, to a certain extent. Subverted in that she is recognized as being an alcoholic and, at times, a total bitch. Plus, you know, the daddy issues.
- A straighter example would be Natasha (a.k.a. Nat). No love for hygiene, rude, crude, and often inappropriate. And once passed out topless on the copying machine at her workplace.
- Loserz Jodie as shown here, and lampshaded here.
- Shadowgirls Charon is the poster-child for this trope.
- Bomango: Gogo is a Nigh Invulnerable tall muscle-bound Boisterous Bruiser and Big Eater. One time she is shown joining an all-male rugby team.
- The Non-Adventures of Wonderella Wonderella.
- Ménage à 3 Zii.
- Pauline from Our Little Adventure
- Camille, Shannon's sister from Bloody Urban takes the "Generally Attractive" part and subverts it.
- Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki Otsana, Justified as she is a real live cavewoman. Her introductory bio states "She likes smashing things and meat."
- Rumors of War Illyra likes to party and have fun — which can include Conversational Troping and trashing bozos. She thinks the rest of her adventuring party (including the devil-may-care Anti-Hero) need to lighten up. She gets the closest to vice she can in a setting that doesn't acknowledge drinking, swearing, or sex. Not a straight example, however, since she wears a dress and actually has a good deal of cunning.
- In Drowtales, the females of the drowolath species as a whole could be considered examples, since their sexual dimorphism is the opposite of humans and their drowussu cousins with females being the social, military and political leaders. While more conventionally feminine women certainly exist drow militaries especially seem to be full of this trope.
- Kiel exhibits many of the characteristics of this trope, but at 24 years old, she's still a minor for her long-lived race. Even more so after a 15 year timeskip.
- An adult example is Sil'lice's daughter Kadara (the one with blue facial tattoos) whose foul mouth and butch appearance caused quite a bit of Viewer Gender Confusion until Sil'lice called her "daughter" and settled the question.
- Shelly of Wapsi Square tends towards this at times.
- Haley from The Order of the Stick is a wildly unrepentant thief, capable of murdering her way through a house filled with her former allies, and makes no bones about the fact that one of the primary appeals of her boyfriend is what he's got "under the hood". If she's actually acting girlish in a way more involved than showing cleavage, it's probably because she's trying to con you or flirting with you.
- Frigg of Guilded Age. Swears, drinks, loves fighting, and is a messy eater.
- Cho of Kagerou fits the trope to a T.
- The appeal of these characters to men is discussed in Irregular Webcomic!, with reference to The Lord of the Rings:
What is it about Éowyn, anyway? I would have thought guys would rather go for Arwen. Mercutio:
Arwen's cute and all, but she'd only be into elfy
things, like gardening and embroidery. Whereas Éowyn is equally hot, but would also knock back a beer and play Quake Deathmatch
- In Rusty and Co., the Anti-Hero Princess.
- Rowen from Nodwick. She's pretty much a female version of her "boyfriend" Yeagar, only saner.
- Sire features the Hyde-Child, Susan. She murders. Gropes. Swears... and is generally a jerkass. But a very Lad-ette jerkass.
- From Unsounded there's Knock-Me-Down Frummagem. At first it was hinted at, but it was confirmed when the comic's creator described Knock's ideal date:
: Enormous meal, lots of booze, hit up the playhouse, or a wrestlin' tourney, or an execution, get the blood pumpin', have some laughs, then messy sex somewhere filthy. She gets to be on top.
- Billy is every inch the Lad-ette in Niels, though she's an unusual bisexual-leaning-towards-lesbian example. She drinks, swears, rides a motorcycle and expresses affection for her best friend Duncan by kicking his ass in fights.
- Adrestia from morphE. She has a foul mouth, was raised on the streets and is physically the strongest of the heroes by a wide margin.
- The Nostalgia Chick. When she's not reviewing, she'll be dressed in messy clothes with her hair down and no make-up on. In the beginning of Kickassia, she spends most of her time drinking beer and disinterestedly going along with the crowd—and it's quite clear, once the Critic becomes N Bison, that her submissive little conservative woman persona is, aside from a dig at Sarah Palin, an act to get herself more power.
- She was also known by the username "The Dudette" when she joined That Guy With The Glasses.
- The Ballinger Girls. Rachel has an athletic body, enjoys working out, and has a more 'masculine' fashion sense, while Colleen, seemingly the more feminine of the two, is a Gasshole with a crude sense of humour.
- In the Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time episode Cookie Cataclysm, one is being served. Even the chef has to quickly run away in fear.
- In Suburban Senshi this is revealed to be Sailor Uranus' real personality. Her fancy one seen in the series is a public facade.
- Fireflare from Equestria Chronicles fits the bill perfectly. Except in the sex category.
- Foul Bachelorette Frog
- Girl Writes What of... Girl Writes What. She drinks, smokes, uses unladylike language, has short hair, and is a proud MRA.
- Bunny has some shades of this and is a more downplayed example. It is mentioned on her profile that she enjoys beer and guns and the first story she appears in has her swearing, generally being unladylike, mostly justified in that she is in her twenties. She phases out of it later on, though, but she still likes beer and guns.
- Ascension's Aida is this, as she swears in every other sentence she speaks, fights with a pair of daggers, eats like a pig, takes part in drinking contests, and is a kleptomaniac.
- Joan of Arc: In so far that she dressed up as a male to lead the French army.
- Queen Christina of Sweden, who even dressed up as a man.
- Calamity Jane
- Alice Glass of Crystal Castles, as well
- Amy Winehouse
- Billie Holiday was known for often being even more fond of drinking, brawling, gambling, and sex than the bands she toured with; in fact, she won so much money in dice rolls when touring with Dizzy Gillespie's band that she actually had to buy Christmas gifts for the families of the losers.
- Blues singer Memphis Minnie was known for being a tough woman who could hold her own and defend herself against anyone who would try to mess with her. She was also considered a guitarist up level with her male compatriots.
- Catherine the Great was seen as this.
- Courtney Love
- Denise Van Outen, Sara Cox, Donna Air actually any number of young, female British TV presenters of The Nineties.
- Drew Barrymore: She is a Barrymore, you know. She partied harder than you when she was eleven.
- Emily Youcis, the creator of Alfreds Playhouse, is a good real-life example of this trope. She's pretty energetic and outspoken, likes to drink, makes sexually explicit and violent videos, and swears quite a bit.
- Girl Writes What
- Grace Slick from Jefferson Airplane
- Gretchen Wilson both lampshades and subverts this in "One Of the Boys".
- Janis Joplin
- January Jones, apparently.
- Joan Jett
- Julie d'Aubigny: Though she had a quite successful career as an opera singer in the 17th century, she had a life that reads like the one of Jack Sparrow.
- Ran away from Paris with a young man at age 18.
- Ended up in Marseille, where she made money by fighting duels.
- Seduced a nun and was tried for kidnapping and setting fire to a convent.
- Pardoned by the King, and returned to Paris.
- Started a duel at a royal ball over a girl.
- Escaped from the law to Brussels, where she had an affair with the duke of Bavaria.
- Returned to France when she was pardoned, again.
- And she wasn't the only one. Opera singers in the 17th century were what rock stars are today, stereotypical behaviour included.
- Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis' daughter
- Lucy Lawless worked as a miner in Australia when she was 19. Miners are pretty hardcore types even from the guys' perspective.
- Nicki Minaj started out with this sort of image, but has moved increasingly away from it.
- P!nk often presents herself this way.
- Sarah Silverman seems to pride herself on being as vulgar and unladylike as possible.
- Tallulah Bankhead could be considered an early Hollywood example, particularly with regards to her unapologetically brash attitudes toward sex.
- Zoe Bell