Exactly What It Says on the Tin
, it's a Princess
who is a Tomboy
, instead of the more typical traits of a princess.
There are many reasons for this trope. One unfortunate one
is that Tomboys
are depicted as "better". This might be because Most Writers Are Male
, or because Girls Need Role Models
, but either way it seems to be a way of saying "see, our Princess is a role model for modern girls". Expect there to be several girly traditional Princesses for contrast
. Occasionally both the Tomboy and the Girly Princess might learn to appreciate each other in spite of their differences. In these types of uses the Tomboy Princess is used to tell An Aesop
about gender roles. This isn't necessarily a bad thing
, as long as it doesn't overwhelm the character and story
A more moderate approach is to use the "Tomboy Princess" as a way to combine the Tomboy and Girly Girl
into one character. Who says tomboys can't be girly? Who says girly girls can't be tomboys? This has the advantage of appealing to a lot of girls who both want to play with the boys, but also like wearing tiaras
and fancy dresses
(also showing that She Cleans Up Nicely
). These Tomboy Princesses are usually too busy being awesome to bother with trying to teach Aesops. Although occasionally they'll have a Very Special Episode
to teach one. The most common pitfall for a writer with this type of Tomboy Princess is having her become too awesome
Those are the most common forms of the Tomboy Princess, but there are other uses. For example, a Princess might be made a Tomboy so as to make her more down-to-earth than the rest of the nobles. In this case the focus is more on class roles rather than gender roles.
Can also overlap with a Rebellious Princess
. If your princess is also an Action Girl
, or Badass Princess
, then there are very good chances she might be this.
Contrast Princess Classic
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Anime and Manga
- Yuri Zahard of Tower of God. She her first contact with Baam is a rough jump onto his face.
- Code Geass Cornelia, Lady of War and older sister of Rebellious Princess Euphie.
- The Gundam series. It's been a while, so over that time Gundam has come a cross a few.
- Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind Nausicaa. Kushana takes it straight into Badass Princess territory.
- Princess Knight Princess Saphire.
- The Slayers: Amelia, fighter for JUSTICE!
- Sailor Moon: Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter and Haruka Tenoh/Sailor Uranus were princesses in the Silver Millennium, just like the rest of the Sailor Team.
- Though it is never made clear if they had the same personalities in the Silver Millennium
- Ozma from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Despite it being justified by Tip/Ozma undergoing a Gender Bender, the original books and most other versions of the series completely avert this.
- Seness Giat of Scrapped Princess, whose short temper has earned her the nickname of "Beast Princess". She contrasts with the more girly princess Pacifica.
- Princess Yuzu from Anpanman. She skilled in using a spear in combat, and loves to get out of her castle to just have fun, avoiding her duties whenever she can. The only problem is she's very tiny, she's able to ride a pigeon as a steed, so she's an easy target.
- Also on the show is Princess Salad. She hates her duties and wants to explore so much that she created the persona of Prince Salad, so she can leave the castle without suspicion.
- Princess Marie-Ange from Doki Doki Pretty Cure is good at some hobbies typically enjoyed by men, such as horse-riding and sculpting. She's also a capable fighter and plays karuta. It helps that she fights Monsters of the Week with a laser-bladed spear in her introductory episode.
- Subverted in Murder Princess. Alita is a typical girly princess, but since she has switched bodies with the Badass Tomboy Farlith, "Princess Alita" has become a Badass Princess who slays monsters.
- The Courageous Princess Mabelrose.
- Star Wars Expanded Universe The X-Wing Series has Plourr Illo◊. She's an extraordinarily Boisterous Bruiser.
"Plourr, try to remember that we're supposed to keep a low profile."
"I'm not exactly little miss wallflower, Wes, but I'll make you a deal. I won't beat on any of the resident scum unless they hit me first—or they pick on my friends—or I feel like it!"
Film — Animated
- Disney movies, especially during or around the 90s, tended to noticeably have these.
- The Black Cauldron: Princess Eilowny. Not as much as in the original book series (see below), but she still has her moments.
- The Lion King: Nala is probably one of the clearest Disney-related examples, as is easily apparent when she play-wrestles with Simba on her way to an elephant graveyard with him. That far into the movie, they're just friends (and they don't take seriously the idea that they'd grow up to be more than friends) and you could almost forget they're opposite genders if not for the voices. The Lion King has its protagonist and princess more similar to each other than arguably most Disney movies do. Well, early on in the movie anyway. Obviously things change after the stampede scene, but more so for Simba than for Nala. After Simba returns, Nala says to Simba some of the exact same things Simba said earlier on.
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Princess Kida, which seems to be part and parcel of her being The Chief's Daughter, right up to the point where they actually show her climbing up a large rock structure while wearing a long, flowing dress at the end of the film!
- Ariel from The Little Mermaid, and her daughter Melody in the sequel even moreso.
- Princess Merida from the Pixar film Brave.
- Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph, a spunky and tomboyish little kart racer, is revealed to be a princess at the end of the movie, although she gives up that title to become a President instead.
- In The Swan Princess, Odette is one as a little girl. When she's introduced to Prince Derek, she instantly puts up her fists; later she's seen fighting him with a wooden sword. She becomes more of a girly girl, but stays badass as well.
- Princess Mononoke definitely counts. Also counts as Badass Princess.
Film — Live-Action
- The Hidden Fortress Princess Yuki, who tries to talk like Toshiro Mifune and enjoys riding and hitting people with a stick.
- The Star Wars series. Princess Leia Organa, of course, volunteers for commando missions. This is a trait she shares with her biological mother, Queen Padme Amidala.
- Princess Fantaghiro.
- The Chronicles of Narnia, The Horse and His Boy has Aravis Tharkeena, who upgrades from a Tomboy Noblewoman to a Tomboy Princess when she marries Shasta aka Crown Prince Cor. Lucy The Valiant is a Tomboy Queen who is good with archery and acts like a Cool Big Sis to Aravis when they meet. The girliness and reluctance to openly fight unless it's truly needed is for her older and more quiet sister, Queen Susan the Gentle.
- The Ordinary Princess by MM Kaye. Princess Amy is plain and tomboyish after she was cursed at birth to be "ordinary".
- Lloyd Alexander is obviously into this trope:
- A Song of Ice and Fire Arya Stark is a tomboy from the start, and a princess after her brother Robb is acclaimed king.
- Subverted by Dany Targaryen, who is a tomboy Action Girl... and a Princess in Rags instead of an archetypical princess. Her arcs are about her rediscovering her heritage and fighting her way back.
- Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, who tries to learn such unfeminine and un-princesslike things as magic and fencing. When her parents still try to force her into a proper marriage, she runs away to go live with a dragon.
- The Royal Diaries has a couple. Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess would rather climb trees than dance while in Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles Archduchess Antonia's favorite activity is horse riding astride through the mud.
- Bridge to Terabithia a has Leslie who's the only girl wearing cut-offs and a t-shirt, wants to run with the boys and finds a space outside that can be the land of Terabithia. She will be it's queen and her friend will be it's king. She's an imaganary tomboy queen but still.
- While Sorcha in Daughter of the Forest is traditionally Feminine in the sense of being "caring and motherly" rather then "ferocious and warlike" in her nature, she prefers wandering in the woods with her brothers to being dressed up like a doll, and knows such things as surviving in a forest, identifying herbs, building fires, and how to avoid offending guess who.
- Princess Elena in Merlin.
- Princess Mithian is exactly half this trope. On the one hand, she enjoys outdoor pursuits, especially hunting. On the other hand, she is always immaculately groomed and dressed. Tomboy Princess in spirit, Proper Lady in conduct and appearance.
- Downton Abbey: Sybil is a Tomboy Aristocrat, as she rebels against corsets, wears bloomers instead of dresses, trains as a nurse and prefers hanging out in the garage with the chauffuer than attending fancy parties. Edith also develops this in Season 2 as she learns to drive and helps with farmwork.
- Dragon Quest IV Tsarevna Alena of Zamoksva. She is also a Rebellious Princess.
- Final Fantasy V Faris. This is because she spent the latter part of her childhood among pirates.
- Fire Emblem:
- In Blazing Sword, Lyndis aka Lyn is this and The Chief's Daughter, since her mom was a Lycian princess and her dad was the chieftain of the Lorca tribe.
- Same goes to Sue, a Horse Archer and the princess of the Kutolah tribe in Binding Blade (who may be Lyn's daughter, if you paired her up with Sue's dad Rath in the prequel). Double if she falls for Roy and marries him, since their common ending mentions how the Lycian nobles look at Sue kinda weirdly for being a tomboyish and free-spirited Duchess of Pherae.
- Averted by Eirika from The Sacred Stones, who is quite proactive but still a Lady of War. Her best friend Tana plays it a little straighter.
- Princesses Ayra of Isaac, Lachesis of Nodion and Tiltyu of Freege from Seisen no Keifu play this straight as well. Also Bridget of Jungby, but that's because she also spent her childhood as a Pirate Girl.
- Miranda of Alster and Mareeta of Rivough from Thracia 776, in a Fallen Princess way.
- And Fire Emblem Awakening gives us Chrom's teenage sister, Princess Lissa of Ylisse, as well as his future daughter(s), Princess Lucina and her potential sisters Cynthia or Kjelle. There's also Princess Say'ri of Chon'sin.
- Morgan can also be this if the Avatar marries Say'ri or Lucina.
- Monica Raybrandt from Dark Cloud 2.
- Ashelin from Jak II: Renegade is an extreme example.
- Zelda series. The titular Princess Zelda in some incarnations:
- The Mega Man Battle Network series has Pride, the operator of Knightman, princess of Creamland.
- MOTHER 3 Kumatora is one, although she isn't really a princess; that's just a title.
- Recettear It's implied that Charme the Thief of all people is the heir to the throne of a fallen kingdom known for its booze.
- The Super Mario Bros. series. Daisy, pictured at the top of the page, is described as a tomboy within the series.
- So much, in fact, that her only Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophy is part of the Mario Strikers Charged series (which also includes Mario and a Kritter, who have trophies of their normal versions). She does have a sticker depicting her usual attire, but it is shared with Peach, so it is not a solo sticker.
- Depending on how you raise your girl in the Princess Maker games, she may grow up to be any kind of tomboyish swordswoman or sorceress who works part-time lumberjacking or keeping the dead down in the local graveyard. Whether she actually becomes a princess is a different issue.
- Criosa in the Neverwinter Nights mod series The Aielund Saga is a princess and the heir to the throne of Aielund, and is also a wizard/rogue of a level on par with your character and runs around in pants with a sword more often than not.
- Street Fighter III has Elena, an African princess with a tomboyish theme tune.
- Marle of Chrono Trigger; a princess, sheltered by an over-protective father and encouraged to be a Proper Lady... who runs away from home to have fun, wields a bow (and later, magic) and breaks pretty much every rule of lady-like etiquette generally. Her tomboyish actions even make her the talk of the Millennial Fair.
- Adventures of the Gummi Bears has Princess Calla. She dislikes having to act prim and proper and would rather take part in governing and defending her kingdom. She's skilled in the use of weapons, and one episode has her entering and winning tournament in secret that was to determine who would be her royal protector.
- The Legend of Zelda animated series. Princess Zelda, much more so than her video game counterpart, which generally causes Well, Excuse Me, Princess! situations.
- Sonic Sat AM has Princess Sally, who despite her title actually has several roles, many of which are stereotypically associated with males, such as that of battle strategist, engineering technician, and of course, as a fighter. No major female character in the show conforms entirely to female stereotypes, but Sally is especially divergent from them.
- Arguably Princess Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, seeing as she almost never spends much time worrying about her looks, instead devoting the time to studying magic instead.
- Elizabeth II seems to have had elements of this when she insisted on joining the Army during World War II and became a mechanic and truck driver. As it is, she is the only remaining head of state who is a vet of that war.
- Her daughter Princess Anne was an olympic-level equestrian in her youth. In eventing, no less, the sport that took out Superman. Anne's daughter Lady Zara Phillips has taken up the riding as well, participating in the London Olympic Games.
- Several Medieval European Noblewomen had this characteristic to some degree. Someone had to take care of the castle while all the knights were busy killing each other, including its armed defense when necessary. At least one Arab visitor commented on how forward Western women were.
- Christina, Queen of Sweden, who took up traditionally-masculine hobbies and interests (like fencing, shooting and alchemy), dressed and behaved like one of the guys - and associated with them in a manner considered inappropriate for her time, and, of course, was suspected to have both male and female love interests, but never married. Invoked by her father, Gustavus Adolphus, who ordered that his sole heir be raised as a prince, and possibly complicated by the allegations of Ambiguous Gender raised at her birth.