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Tomboy with a Girly Streak

Most Tomboys in fiction tended to dislike "girly" things and being associated with them, but sometimes something sneaks through. She might like the color pink, have a thing for frilly and girly dresses despite her usual boy-ish wear, is easily enamored by cute things, or she's a surprisingly good cook and has neat domestic skills.

Reactions to this trait may vary. The tomboy in question might either be ashamed by her girly lapse and try to hide it, or she might actually be proud of it and be ready to give a hard smack to anybody who teases her about it. Usually her peers will be surprised, and those who tease will pay.

Compare Tomboy Princess. Contrast One of the Boys, The Lad-ette, and Girly Bruiser. For the Spear Counterpart, see Real Men Wear Pink.


Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Anatolia Story, Yuri is more comfortable in clothing meant for younger boys and prefers working on her fighting skills rather than getting oil baths from her maids. She still has some pretty romantic views of love and marriage that she carried over from modern times, which she clings to and which she isn't shy about sharing with other female characters (for instance, telling Princess Alexandra that she shouldn't be with any man she doesn't love).
  • Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh is an in-universe example to her friends, who initially believe she's a delinquent, due to frequently showing up with her hands or face bandaged, creating the impression she often gets into fights. Plus, she's the best athlete at the school. So Chiyo and Kagura are surprised when they eventually learn that Sakaki's actually shy and quite feminine; preferring cute things over being cool.
  • Bleach has the boisterous Rukia, who likes drawings of bunnies and wears dresses. Her bankai invokes the looks of the very beautiful and feminine yukionna spirits, and Rukia herself is seen wearing a pretty white kimono when she uses it.
  • Mikoto Misaka from A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun. She wears shorts under her skirt, and when allowed seems to prefer to do away with the skirt altogether. She's a bit violent and seems to enjoy a friendly fight. She's also a complete sucker for cute childish Gekota (an in-universe frog mascot) items, and she likes large stuffed animals.
  • In the reboot of Dirty Pair Kei is typically shown as a tomboy, to contrast with her extremely girly partner Yuri. However, in the first episode she stops to look at a cute little pink purse, and when her partner catches her looking at it, immediately puts it back with an embarrassed scowl.
  • In Gunslinger Girl, as each cyborg's handler selects their name and style of dress, their tomboyish side may be purely a facade.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya is one of the most athletic cast members and quite possibly the most adventurous. She's also very heavily into pursuing a romance with aliens, time travelers, sliders, ESPers, and the like (the other party's gender be damned).
  • Masaki from Ice Revolution is a Karate champion raised in a hyper-macho all male environment who switches to the equally demanding sport of figure skating because it allows her to use her athleticism to express beauty.
  • Erza Scarlett from Fairy Tail is a tomboyish Badass Action Girl but she does enjoy feminine costumes ranging from fancy dresses to a bunny outfit.
  • Lyrical Nanoha
  • In Macross / Robotech, Misa Hayase / Lisa Hayes. The tough - as - nails second - in - command of the Macross is dreaded by most of the air wing, but off-duty she enjoys wearing dresses and doing domestic chores. She is very insecure when it comes to romance.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club Haruhi is a tomboy that dresses like a boy and doesn't care if people mistake her for a guy but is shown to have a Fear of Thunder and have hobbies that include cooking, cleaning and sewing. She also sometimes doesn't mind dressing up in feminine clothes.
  • Alice from Pandora Hearts acts like this. She is tough and wild, eats meat and can beat up her manservant, Oz, because she is the chain B-rabbit, but despite her tomboyish demeanor, she does not mind wearing elaborate dresses much.
  • Pokémon:
    • Misty is a tomboyish girl with a temper to match, and is the Trope Codifier for Shorttank. However, she occasionally displays fondness for romantic scenarios, and if she spots one she will cheerfully and heartily gush over it to the disgust of Ash and Brock. There's also the rare occasion where she lets her hair down or dresses in something more womanly, usually for the beach or a festival. Whenever that occurs, Ash is always very confused.
    • Similarly, Iris of the later seasons is an athletic Wild Child who loves cute things and who reveals in one episode that she likes dancing in a ridiculously cute way.
  • In Princess Knight, Sapphire's Boy Heart means that she exhibits masculine qualities like being a great swordfighter and enjoying adventuring, but her Girl Heart means that she also enjoys wearing beautiful dresses and wants to marry Prince Charming. Friebe, meanwhile, loves running around as a lady knight, but ultimately dreams of marrying a great warrior.
  • Ranma ˝:
    • Akane is extremely tomboyish, enjoys martial arts and has quite a temper. However, she likes cute things and prefers to wear skirts and girly outfits, so if one were to judge based solely on appearance she's more like a girly girl with a tomboy streak. She aspires to be more like her Yamato Nadeshiko older sister, Kasumi, but unfortunately her domestic skills are... lacking. In her case, it's justified as Akane has a very idealised view of femininity coming from the early death of her mother - it's implied that she wants to be more girly to emulate the dead Mrs. Tendo.
    • Ukyo is a tomboyish Bifauxnen and an excellent cook. She also keeps her hair very, very long and sometimes gushes like a schoolgirl when she fantasizes about Ranma.
  • Makoto Kino from Sailor Moon. On the one hand, a Tomboyish Huge Schoolgirl and Bully Hunter who gets unfairly painted as a Delinquent, is The Big Gal of her Five-Man Band and the one who gets most physical of them in a fight (besides Haruka/Sailor Uranus). On the other hand, she is the best among at domestic skills, from cooking and sewing to general housekeeping, and dreams of becoming a florist and baker.
  • Himeko from Sket Dance is a fiery ex-Delinquent who can go absolutely crazy about cute things.
  • When Lina Inverse from Slayers (normally very tomboyish) tries to charge Zelgadis three million gold pieces for the orihalcon statue, she fantasizes briefly about what she's going to do with this money. Her fantasy involves her in a castle as a princess in a frilly dress.
    • She also looks quite cute when dressing up, as long as the outfit isn't too extravagant. When she put on a a lovely blue gown in the first anime, Gourry and Amelia were geniuinely surprised to see how nicely Lina can clean up.
  • The World God Only Knows:
    • One of Keima's capture targets, Kusunoki Kasuga, is a female martial artist who as an Heir to the Dojo repressed her feminine side and love for cute things believing they would make her weak. After her capture, she begins to accept her feminine side.
    • Another capture target, Yui Goidou, approaches it from the other direction. After her initial capture arc, she transforms from a Yamato Nadeshiko with a fondness for drumming into a masculine Bifauxnen, but one who still retains some girly mannerisms such as being nervous in a haunted house or fantasizing about her dream wedding with Keima (even if she imagines him being the one wearing the dress).
  • Miura from Yotsuba&! is a mischievous tomboy, but is surprisingly squeamish and with a distaste for anything slimy and gross. Inversely, Ena appears to be the girly girl of the two, but not only is she unfazed with the things that Miura finds gross, she even thinks that large frogs are cute.
  • Itsuki Myoudouin from HeartCatch Pretty Cure! is a Student Council President who is into martial arts and is a Bifauxnen because she's taken interest in martial arts in order to take the place of her sickly brother Satsuki as the Heir to the Dojo, repressing her feminine interests such as Squee-ing over cute things, to the point that it becomes a point why she's turned into a Desertrian by Cobraja. She makes sporadic reappearances later, developing that it's okay to be a tomboyish martial artists and liking cute things and being into fashion, they're not mutually exclusive... and she continues to develop from there after becoming a regular cast as Cure Sunshine.
  • Juliet from Romeo X Juliet. She's a girl who's had to live her life as a boy for VERY complicated reasons, but when she's given the chance to put on a cute dress for a party, she enjoys it quite a bit. Later, she has no real problem with wearing dresses in private.
  • Casca from Berserk. Since she's a mercenary, her normal attire are men's clothes and armor (and also Boyish Short Hair to match), but when the Hawks were promoted to nobility and were put in different environment, Casca is seen wearing much more fanciful and feminine clothing. When Guts was teasing her (only after gawking at her very pleasing appearance), Casca truthfully said that she has no problem with wearing dressing, but it's just not practical for her to do so with her profession and living environment.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Fiction 
  • Megumi Yamada, from the upcoming Futari Wa Pretty Cure Dimensions, is a Passionate Sports Girl on the karate and volleyball squads at her school, and boy, does she like snarking. She also happens to be one of the better chefs among the characters, and then there's her sweet tooth, an intense like for "cute and cuddly animals" like, for instance, cocker spaniels, and a love for J Pop music. Oh, and pink is one of her theme colors.
  • Tsumugi Nikaido from Rhythmic Pretty Cure is a tough-as-nails karateka who will gladly give you what's for if you threaten her family or her friends (that, and she's already a 3rd dan, the highest black belt rank a junior karateka can achieve). She's also a rhythmic gymnastics student and a fangirl of Magical Girl anime (specifically, Pretty Cure itself). As Cure Clubs, her finisher, Pretty Cure Passion Pirouette, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin and also includes a lot of baton twirling.
  • In the semi-genderbent Sword Art Online fanfiction story The Kirita Chronicles, Kirigaya Kazuta (the genderbent counterpart of the main character Kirigaya Kazuto/Kirito) has taken karate classes and has admitted to herself she finds it easier to beat up boys than to talk to them. She prefers to be a male player in video games, she enjoys fighting in virtual reality games, and she was the best Beta Tester for Sword Art Online. However, she is proud of her long hair, and she enjoys cooking.
  • The Harry Potter fanfic Weasley Girl depicts an Alternate Universe in which Ron Weasley was born a girl. Much like her canon male counterpart, Veronica "Ronnie" Weasley is a brash, physical and occasionally insensitive Deadpan Snarker, which is explained in-universe by having five older brothers. However, she also adores (and is adored by) animals, wears pink pyjamas and secretly wishes she was prettier. If Fred and George are to be believed, she also used to hold tea parties for her dolls when she was younger.

    Film - Animated 
  • Edith from Despicable Me. She is interested in Gru's cool high-tech gadgets, thinks its cool that her bed is a hollowed-out bomb, was excited about Gru shaping her pancakes like a "dead guy", is violent to grown-ups she doesn't like and has a generally gross sense of humor. However, she is in the same ballet class as her sisters and is always seen wearing pink, especially her pink sherpa hat.

    Film - Live Action 
  • One of the minor characters of But I'm a Cheerleader is a softball-playing tomboy who, halfway through the movie, freaks out about having been confined to a re-education camp to cure her of lesbianism because, short hair and love of sports aside, she actually likes boys.

    Literature 
  • Animorphs does this for both its female characters, as each is very traditionally feminine in some ways and very not in others, so which is which in the Tomboy and Girly Girl duo depends on the situation. Animal-lover Cassie never hesitates to get dirty and her version of high fashion is socks that have no holes and maybe even match... but she is The Heart and conscience of the team. Badass Rachel who loves a good scrap and scares herself with her Blood Knight streak would probably be a supermodel if not for the whole Alien Invasion thing eating up so much of her time. Very pretty and fashionable and described as having her own private spotlight.
  • Similar to the Animorphs example above, the tiefling twins Farideh and Havilar from Brimstone Angels both mix "tomboy" and "girly girl" traits so that which is which varies based on the situation. Farideh is the more withdrawn, broody one who has less interest in physical things but is skilled at magic, and she also cares relatively little for physical beauty or romantic relationships (outside of the weird love-hate thing she's got going on with Lorcan, the cambion devil with whom she made a deal for her powers). Havilar, by contrast, is energetic and outgoing, flirts heavily with the only male character about her age (and they end up together in the second book), and loves the chance to look pretty, but she's also athletic, aggressive and more than a bit of a Blood Knight who'll lay the smackdown on you with her glaive and love every minute of it if you get on her bad side.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia has Queen Lucy show one in The Horse and His Boy, where she talks with fellow Tomboy Princess Aravis about dresses and girly things.
  • Vin, the heroine of Mistborn: The Original Trilogy starts out a pure tomboy but develops into one of these after realizing that despite what her abusive older brother raised her to believe, she can be girly without being weak.
  • Julie Sims in 1632 is both a cheerleader and a sniper.
  • Harry Potter: Ginny grew up with many brothers and thus learned to be tough. She loves playing sports such as Quidditch and insists on joining Harry and the others in fighting against the Death Eaters. She also is very popular amongst the boys, keeps a pink Pygmy Puff as a pet, and nursed a crush for Harry for quite some time (implicitly since she was eleven).
  • Beatrice Löwenström, the ladette-like female protagonist of Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt, might compete with men in ice-skating and horse-riding. But she also tries to follow the fashion of the era and can be seen wearing fancy dresses, make-up and high heels.

    Live Action TV 
  • Penny from The Big Bang Theory is something of an inversion, she's about 75% girl with a couple of tomboy qualities. That only serves to highlight that she is still more masculine than most of the guys on the show, as they don't know much about fishing or shooting guns and prefer video games.
  • In Blue Bloods Danny and Jacquie are forced to shelter a witness in Jacquie's home and Danny is surprised to find signs of femininity from a tough-as-nails cop.
  • On Dancing with the Stars Chelsie Hightower is said to be a tomboy by just about anyone who meets her. Then we remember; she is a ballroom dancer, which is about as girly as it gets.
  • Friends: Monica who despite being bossy, competitive and loud is also very domestic, longs for a family and children and loves cleaning and cooking.
  • On How I Met Your Mother Robin is this, being a gun toting, scotch drinking Canadian who was raised as a son by her father but eventually rebelled as a teenager. As a result she has an odd mix of masculine and feminine traits.
  • P.J. from My Boys knows how to dress up for the occasion and admits to Stephanie that she sometimes enjoys being feminine for a night. But in general she loves poker, sports and drinking.
  • Jennifer "Moze" Mosely from Neds Declassified School Survival Guide may be tough-as-nails, aggressive, and One of the Boys, but she still has some girly interests, such as shopping and going to the spa. But in one episode where she is dared to wear a dress for the whole day, she calls it "pure torture".
  • Some Super Sentai females have been this, such as Juri/Oh Yellow and Mako/Shinken Pink.
  • It happens in Power Rangers too. Tori of Power Rangers Ninja Storm is an Action Girl and pro surfer who is not amused when her friends neglect to mention a cute guy showing interest in her.
    Tori: You don't get it either. I'm a girl. Girrl.
    Dustin: Yeah, I know, but - like, you're not a girl-girl.
    Shane: You're like a guy-girl.
    Kelly: My advice to you both? Stop trying to make it better, 'cause it's only getting worse.
  • House of Anubis has Patricia. She's stubborn and gothic, never backs down from her problems, and is often called a 'witch' by the other members in her House. However, she is close friends with girly-girls like Joy and Amber, seems to have an interest in fashion, and in the The Touchstone Of Ra, the first time she was ever seen wearing a dress, while she only did it to impress Eddie and tended to complain about it, she was also worried about going into the cellar, because the dress could get ruined. She then added, "Did I reallyjust say that?"
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena is great at embroidery. She's a woman of many skills.
  • Everwood: Delia is a cute tomboy girl who loves sports and wears baseball caps and the like, but she gets excited when she's promised a pony. She later has more typically feminine interests once she befriends Girly Girl Brittany.

    Video Games 
  • Veronica from Fallout: New Vegas. She's a Gadgeteer Genius who's follower perk lets you make certain things without the assistance of a workbench, as well as a proficient martial artist who favors a Power Fist as her weapon of choice. She also really wants to own a formal dress.
  • In Fire Emblem Akaneia's remake, Princess Sheema is a badass General... and has a doll collection.
  • Persona 4 has Chie Satonaka (who's a straightfoward Tomboy) and Naoto Shirogane (a bifauxnen). Both reveal their feminine sides later on in the game; Chie has girly traits like being scared of bugs, while Naoto has a hidden Shrinking Violet side (and occasionally drops her bifauxnen look in favour of a girlish school uniform, but only if the protagonist romances her and directly asks her to).
  • Princess Daisy from Super Mario Bros.. While she's described as a Tomboy Princess in the series, she wears a dress that's nearly as pimped out and girly as Princess Peach, she has a flower motif in all of her outfits, and she prides herself as being the "fairest of them all".
  • Sheena from Tales of Symphonia. While she's very tomboyish, she actually likes cooking and wears pink accesories in her outfit.
  • Marina Wulfstan from Valkyria Chronicles is a cold, aloof hunter with short hair and an athletic build who considers her most important interpersonal relationship to be with her rifle. She actually performs better when alone and worse when in company - and she has such a soft spot for cuddly animals that in one of the DLC's she gets her entire squad into serious trouble chasing one. She ends up being the primary caretaker of Squad 7's mascot, a little piglet... but otherwise, remains completely the exact same person.

    Visual Novels 
  • Saber from Fate/stay night is a stoic female warrior who refuses to think of herself as a woman. However, she keeps her hair in a Prim and Proper Bun kept in place with a ribbon, wears very feminine dresses (like the long skirt/blouse combo given to her by Rin, and a Battle Ballgown when fighting) and loves stuffed animals.
  • Mion Sonozaki from Higurashi: When They Cry is a very boisterous Genki Girl who seems like a tomboy, so much so that Keiichi considers her to be too manly to appreciate the gift of a doll, which he gives to Rena, thus inadvertingly triggering feelings of jealousy in Shion and causing a tragedy. Later, we learn that Mion is actually really girly and that she really wanted the doll. She gets it in the Massacre Arc.
  • Jessica Ushiromiya from Umineko: When They Cry has less of a girly side than Mion, but she's still very interested in romance and secretly wants a boyfriend.

     Webcomics 
  • Nepeta Leijon of Homestuck hunts wild animals and dresses in a rather tomboyish way, but she's also unabashedly interested in romance and cute things.
  • Taffe Torbern of Pacificators wears a pair of pegasus hairpins (she likes them quite a bit), and... she gets regularly mistaken for a boy, because she really looks a lot like a boy.
  • Violetta from Girl Genius may be a kickass Smoke Knight, but what she really wants is to attend a fancy party in a pretty dress. If anything she becomes even more badass once she has the promise of a pretty dress to fight for.

    Web Original 
  • This voice acting exercise sums up the trope very well. FemScout of Team Fortress 2 is bought some clothes from from her mother. She goes crazy about the hat, declaring she's going to paint it pink, but when offered a dress she gets very annoyed and complains loudly about it. She's fine with skirts because she can still run in them, but hates every second in the dress.

    Western Animation 
  • Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender is an ass-kicking Action Girl who doesn't take crap from anybody. But she does know high society mannersvery well, can use them if she absolutely has to, and actually enjoys her spa day with Katara in Tales of Ba Sing Se.
    • May apply to Suki as well, who reminds Sokka at the end of her debut episode that she's also a girl as well as a warrior. When they meet up again in season 2 she almost squeals his name (once he remembers who she is), and in season 3 her Kiyoshi warrior attire is replaced with more feminine Fire Nation wear (and some more humorous reactions to the craziness that surrounds her as well). She's even shown looking a little upset, as if concerned about her sex appeal, when Sokka seems to ignore her when they're hanging out on the beach despite the fact that she's wearing a fairly skimpy bikini (and looking a little confused as to what he's doing before she realizes that he's trying, unsuccessfully, to make a sand sculpture of her - despite how badly it turns out she appreciates the "sweet" intentions of the effort).
  • Numbuh 86 from Codename: Kids Next Door is a bossy girl and has more Rainbow Monkeys than Numbuh 3.
  • Sarah from Ed, Edd n Eddy is tough, loves sports, fighting, and hates dresses, but she loves to have tea parties and play with dolls with her friend, Jimmy.
  • Helga from Hey Arnold! is an extremely tomboyish and violent Tsundere, but she always wears pink dresses and when she's in private she gets very romantic about her secret crush on Arnold.
  • Rainbow Dash might be one of the more prominent Tomboys in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, but she isn't above being in a fashion show, modeling for Rarity's clothing (a nod to the second My Little Pony G3 Rainbow Dash, who was all about fashion), or going to the spa (she draws the line at getting a hooficure but that's from being ticklish there).
    • In Seasons 1 and 2, she fangirl-squees over her idols, the Wonderbolts. In Season 3, she stops squeeing, but only because she's become an Ascended Fangirl, enrolling in the Wonderbolts Academy. Then Season 4 introduces her to the real Daring Do....
    • Though Applejack is similarly tomboyish, being a hard-working, plain-talking farm girl character with a characteristic disdain for anything "too frou-frou", she displays a similar willingness to indulge in more feminine things, like wearing a fancy dress to the Grand Galloping Gala in season one, or happily going to the spa and getting a massage in season two.
    • Scootaloo, the tomboy of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, is still the only one to care enough about her appearance on camera to smile and pose, rather femininely. Also, despite her protests regarding mushy stuff, she's on board with playing Shipper on Deck for her teacher Cheerilee and Big McIntosh.
  • In the Peanuts animated universe, tomboy Peppermint Patty is a fan of (and participates in) figure skating.
  • Nova from Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go! is a tomboyish and feisty Cute Bruiser, but she actually loves cute things, stuffed animals and even has a tea set in her room. In one episode she makes sure none of her teammates is looking as she hugs a bunch of stuffed animals.
  • Groj Band: Laney is a perfect example of this trope. While her looks make people think she's a boy, she has shown a hidden girly side multiple times on the show.
  • In Angry Birds Toons, Matilda has some pink accents on her body to look a bit more like a girly bird.
  • Mike from Mike, Lu & Og, despite being a tomboy to Lu's girly-girl, is shown sporting pigtails and wears a skirt. In one episode, she gave herself a Girliness Upgrade, though it was to scare away some abhorrent admirers.

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