Tomboys, Ladettes, or at least don't act in a "proper" girlish manner. This is Truth in Television for many tomboys in Real Life, due to being an easy to do style that gets your hair out of the way. In fiction, odds are that if a girl is wearing a ponytail (save for one paired with an elegant hairstyle), she's not going to act demure or feminine, at least not all the time. Bonus points if she wears overalls or is a Rebellious Princess. Back when girls just didn't have boy hair, no matter what, ponytails were a way for tomboys to rebel against the curls their mothers wished they'd worn. At least this was the case in 60s-80s girl empowerment fiction. Keep in mind that since not all tomboys wear ponytails, and not all "feminine" girls avoid ponytails, there isn't much point in listing aversions to this. Compare Slipknot Ponytail, Girlish Pigtails, Braids of Action, Boyish Short Hair, Tomboyish Sidetails, Sailor's Ponytail and Samurai Ponytail. Contrast Regal Ringlets, Ojou Ringlets, Long Hair Is Feminine, Prim and Proper Bun and Motherly Side Plait.
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Anime and Manga
- Vietnam of Axis Powers Hetalia.
- Bleach: Action Girl Yoruichi. She used to have short hair, but a hundred years spent mostly as a cat allowed her hair to grow out. Now she spends most of the time with it tied back in a ponytail while she kicks butt with the best of the men. Since her extremely high aristocratic rank wasn't quite high enough to be a Rebellious Princess, she also doubles as a Spirited Young Lady, too.
- Asaka (AKA Neuroloid Girl) in Dokkoida?!
- Misaki of Excel Saga.
- Sango in InuYasha has her long hair bound in a ponytail when she's in her battle-garb. Otherwise she has it tied at the end with a ribbon.
- Signum of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, a stoic Magic Knight and generally one of the least feminine women on the show.
- Presea from Magic Knight Rayearth. Also, tomboys Tarta and Hikaru have their hair in a braid. Contrast to the girlier girls Emeraude, Alcyone, Tatra, and Umi, who wear their hair down. Caldina, Fuu, and Aska are harder to classify, since they have both tomboy and girly girl traits, but all wear different hairstyles.
- Kyoko Sakura of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. While her magical girl outfit isn't really tomboyish, she's the only character seen in causal clothes other than a school uniform (she wears a green hoodie and shorts in most scenes).
- Ukyou from Ranma ˝ wears her waist length hair in a ponytail and still comes off as Bifauxnen.
- Ranma wore "her" long hair this way while training in China.
- Makoto, aka Sailor Jupiter, of Sailor Moon has a long ponytail, and she's the brawler in the group.
- Yui Goidou of The World God Only Knows after she goes Bifauxnen.
- Subverted in the Pretty Cure franchise. Every team has atleast one character with a ponytail who is mostly a white or blue Cures. And those said Cures are actually the most feminine members, though that doesn't stop being an (competent) Action Girl. The only blue Cures who don't have a ponytail in their Cure forms are Cure Marine (Erika) and Cure Beauty (Reika), but they wear sometimes ponytails in their civilian identities. Notably, Reika wears a ponytail whenever she practices kyudo. The pink Cure Blossom and the yellow Cure Peace have also a ponytail, but both are Shrinking Violets, while the pink Cure Heart is at least described as prince in her civilian identity, twice, both by a female and a male. The only ones who play this tropes straight are Cure Sword and especially Cure March who has also one in her civilian identity.
- In The Movie, Reika cosplays Momotaro and wears a ponytail.
- Evangelion 303: In chapter 6 Asuka braided her hair in a ponytail. It made her looking more masculine and more aggressive.
- Once More with Feeling: Fiery Redhead Hot-Blooded Tsundere Action Girl and Ace Pilot Asuka started to wear a ponytail in chapter 11.
- Rise of the Galeforces: Sarah Squall, aka Stratogale, has one.
- Bait and Switch (STO): Captain Kanril Eleya wears her hair in a slightly messy ponytail, and notes in her narration that she could have never gotten away with wearing her hair that long when she was an enlisted woman. The ponytail keeps the hair out of her face, but it's not like there's much she can get it caught in on a starship's bridge.
- Sassette of Empath: The Luckiest Smurf sports one instead of her usual Smurf hat and dual braids.
- In Mean Girls Ponytails are usually used in the film to signify a character being less concerned with their appearance. Cady wore her hair like this before she joined the Plastics but starts wearing her hair down as she falls in with the Plastics, and then goes back to the occasional ponytail after her Heel Realization. The Plastics actually tell her that they have a rule about only wearing hair in a ponytail once a week. Janis, the goth/alternative outcast, always wears her hair back. All the Plastics wear their hair down throughout the film, but Regina starts sporting a ponytail as she gains weight and is forced to wear less glamorous clothing. She is also wearing a ponytail at the end of the film, where she is a lacrosse athlete and has a more down-to-earth wardrobe.
- Laney of She's All That, to show how she's too weird to be pretty.
- Which got mercilessly mocked in Not Another Teen Movie.
- Thor: Sif, a talented woman warrior, wears one whenever she's seen going into battle.
- The titular character of Calamity Jane sports a Tomboyish Ponytail throughout the entire movie.
- Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph has one, tied up with a piece of licorice.
- Wyldstyle from The LEGO Movie has a small one on the top of her head.
- In The Book of Life, Maria is the only female character to wear her hair this way, and she doesn't seem to be as ladylike as the other girls in town.
- Jenit Sulla in Ciaphas Cain, a Leeroy Jenkins female officer in the Imperial Guard.
- Thursday Next.
- Kate Whetherall from The Mysterious Benedict Society. Also Jillson, who ties her ponytail with wire.
- Sasha Hunter of Greek Ninja.
- Annabeth Chase regularly wears her hair in a ponytail to show she's an Action Smart Girl .
- Jo from The Facts of Life.
- Kara Thrace from Battlestar Galactica, when her hair is long enough to be tied back.
- Lois Lane often sported a Tomboyish Ponytail on Smallville.
- Phoebe and Monica from Friends, sometimes.
- When going into dangerous situations, Detective Jane Rizzoli puts her hair up into the Ponytail of Righteous Justice.
- Lara Croft from Tomb Raider.
- Hilda (Touko in the Japanese version), the female player character in Pokémon Black and White, has a huge, voluminous ponytail, complete with Hair Antennae. Her look gives off a convincing Tomboyish feel, and fan interpretation commonly presents her as One of the Boys/a Lad-ette.
- Marle of Chrono Trigger.
- Lip of Panel de Pon, also a Tomboy Princess.
- Princess "Eva" Evangeline of the Kingdom of the Northern Reaches, poster girl for Dungeon Siege II, sports this look, as did her predecessor from the first game, officially known as Farm Girl.
- Claire Redfield of the Resident Evil series, she's even described as 'a bit of a tomboy' in the instruction manual for Resident Evil 2.
- Samus Aran of Metroid usually sports a long ponytail when not in her Powered Armor.
- In Saints Row: The Third, Shaundi Took a Level in Badass from the previous game, and also traded her dreadlocks for a ponytail.
- Alexandra Roivas of Eternal Darkness.
- Zoe from Left 4 Dead, which also has the advantage of being easy to convincingly animate.
- Shantae keeps her hair like this, since swinging it like a whip is her main method of attack.
- Coco Bandicoot from Crash Bandicoot keeps her hair in a ponytail in every game except Crash of the Titans.
- Dixie Kong. Like Shantae, the ponytail is used as a weapon. It is also Helicopter Hair.
- Rita from Gifts Of Wandering Ice
- Zii of Ménage ŕ 3.
- Kate of Rhapsodies (When she doesn't have it in a pencil studded bun.)
- Sam of The Wotch.
- Nanase of El Goonish Shive tends to wear her hair this way when it it is the appropriate length for it.
- Yihwa Yeon from Tower of God, interestingly enough after her run-in with Viole, who had the same hair-do.
- From The Far Side of Utopia both Naomi and Mione where their hair in pony tails and tend to have the behavior to match.
- Widget of the Whateley Universe, who is a tomboy and inventor who usually wears a ponytail pulled through a bicycle cap. And a Whateley labcoat. Despite that, she has a bad crush on Thunderbird and wishes Chaka hadn't snatched up Thunderbird when he was (apparently) available.
- Golgotha's early appearance in Noob.
- Leela of Futurama.
- Plum Pudding from Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures.
- Applejack's mane in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is styled like this, cementing her place as one of the tomboys in the main cast. Since her tail has this style, it's also a "pony" tail.
- Megan from the original My Little Pony series wore her hair like this.
- Bridgette and Eva of Total Drama Island.
- The title character from Atomic Betty.
- Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes.
- June of KaBlam!.
- Judy Jetson from The Jetsons.
- Talon from Static Shock.
- Julie from Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi.
- Charmcaster, a Black Magician Girl with a bad attitude, from the original Ben 10.
- Young Justice: Quite obvious in the Tomboy and Girly Girl pair of sweet and demure Miss Martian, who wears her hair loose around her shoulders and brash Tsundere Artemis who wears hers in a tight ponytail at all times.
- Sissy Blakely from Johnny Test.
- Lola Bunny from The Looney Tunes Show is an Ears as Hair example. Her long ears are tied down like a high ponytail in the show.
- Avatar Korra combines the ponytail with Tomboyish Sidetails to show she is an Action Girl.
- Pumyra from ThunderCats (2011) also combines this with Tomboyish Sidetails, and she is by far the most masculine female in the series.
- Amethyst in the Steven Universe episode "Beach Party".
- Abby Archer from Grossology.