is a trio
of characters, either female or for girls
, consisting of one who is butch, one who is femme
and one who is neither. Butch and femme are lesbian identities for gender expression, in this case it is referring to masculinity displayed by a female beyond what would be considered typical of a tomboy
and femininity beyond what would be considered typical of the Girly Girl
. The femme one is like a fashionable uptown girl. The one who is neither butch nor femme is like a Street Smart
girl from down town. The butch one is like someone whose rude behavior could be excused by saying that she's from out of town — maybe a Country Mouse
. Thus the Town Girls
are from uptown, down town and out of town. Bonus points if the geography is literal.
The one who is neither butch nor femme is usually the smart, friendly and well-intentioned Girl Next Door
. She can also be more free-spirited, either with her mind
or her body
. The butch character is likely a tough chick
but might be more of a Femme Fatale
or be sexually aggressive
. The Femme one is either high-maintenance
, romantically assertive
If they're love interests then the easiest one to be with will be the middle one like Betty in Betty and Veronica
. Might overlap with Beauty, Brains and Brawn
or Blonde, Brunette, Redhead
. An exaggerated example would include a Princess Classic
, Hot Librarian
, and Butch Lesbian
Note that they're always listed as femme, neither, butch.
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Anime & Manga
- Ai Yori Aoshi has spoiled Mayu, demure Aoi and loudmouth Tina.
- AKB49 - Renai Kinshi Jourei has haughty Ai, quiet Hiroko and charismatic Minorunote .
- Blue Exorcist has Shiemi, Izumo and Shura for the leads. If you go by the students, Shiemi, Paku and Izumo is the order.
- FLCL: Mamimi, Eri Ninamori, and Haruko.
- Highschool of the Dead has spear martial artist Rei Miyamoto (butch), brainiac Saya Takagi (neither), and ditzy school nurse Shizuka Marikawa (femme). Saeko Busujima, being both a Lady of War and the kendo club's captain, is more or less a one-woman group of Town Girls.
- The first series: Ojou Aoi is the femme, tomboy Minami is the butch, and shy but snarky Rinko is the neither.
- Jewelpet Sunshine: shy and understanding Hinata is the femme, delinquent tomboy Shouko is the butch, and haughty Kanon is the neither.
- Jewelpet Happiness: Proper Lady Nene is the femme, tomboy Ruruka is the butch, and clumsy, cheerful Chiari is the neither.
- Kirarin Revolution has this dynamic in MilkyWay during the third season: newcomers Noel and Kobeni are the Butch and Femme, respectively, and returning character Kilari is the Neither.
- The pink leaders of Pretty Cure are not so much a straight example as they are a sliding scale of this. Nagisa Misumi, Saki Hyuuga, and Hibiki Hojo are on the butch side of the scale; Nozomi Yumehara, Miyuki Hoshizora, and Haruka Haruno are on the femme side; and Love Momozono, Tsubomi Hanasaki, Mana Aida, and Megumi Aino are all neithers.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica we have Hitomi, Madoka, and Sayaka. Hitomi is the Femme, Madoka is the Neither, Sayaka is the Butch.
- There's also a secondary "trio" with Homura as the Neither, Mami as the Femme, and Kyoko as the Butch.
- Rebuild of Evangelion has Rei Ayanami (femme), Mari Illustrious Makinami (neither), Asuka Shikinami Langley (butch).
- Alien Nine has Yuri Otani (femme), Kumi Kawakmura (neither), and Kasumi Tomine (butch).
- From Saber Marionette J we have the Saberdolls: Luchs (Femme), Tiger (neither), and Panzer (Butch).
- Also, the Marionettes: Lime (neither), Cherry (femme), and Bloodberry (butch).
- The Outer Senshi from Sailor Moon: Haruka (butch), Michiru (femme), and Setsuna (neither).
- Among the Inner Senshi, Usagi plays a different role in each of two such trios: she's the femme to Ami's neither and Rei's butch, and the neither to Makoto's butch and Minako's femme. Rei is herself the neither to Ami's femme and Makoto's butch. Interestingly, in the Usagi-Ami-Rei triad, Usagi is a borderline case: she's more romantic than Ami, but Ami was herself very shy at one time before befriending Usagi, who is the more outgoing of the two.
- In the Manga, Minako is butch, while Rei is femme, and Makoto is neither.
- Shugo Chara! has Amu's guardian characters: sporty Ran (butch), artsy Miki (neither), and prim and proper Su (femme).
- Urusei Yatsura: Benten -who is tomboyish, bad-mouthed and violent-, Oyuki -who is calm, demure and feminine-, and their best friend -and female lead- Lum -who is neither tomboyish nor girly-.
- Classic example in Magic Knight Rayearth with boisterous tomboy Hikaru (Butch), bookish smart girl Fuu (Neither) and long haired ojou Umi (Femme).
- In the Archie Gender Flip issue, the female counter parts of the three main boys fit this:
- Definitely, Maybe has demanding Emily, free-spirited April and aggressive Summer.
- The Hong Kong flick Heroic Trio consists of a young girly-girl, a dark anti-hero, and their leader the motherly one who seems to be somewhere in between in terms of femininity.
- The women of the Indiana Jones films: Willie Scott, Dr. Elsa Schneider, and Marion Ravenwood.
- Despicable Me has Margo as the neither (the oldest, smartest and more level-headed one), Edith as the butch (the middle one who could well be One of the Boys) and Agnes as the femme (the youngest, sickeningly cute one).
- In Mean Girls we have The Plastics (Femme), Janice (Butch) and Cady (Neither). Cady's chickification becomes one of the major plot points.
- Bess, George and Nancy in all incarnations of Nancy Drew. Also a good example of Blonde, Brunette, Redhead and Beauty, Brains and Brawn, though not respectively.
- In 'Phenomena'' are the 3 main girls Mijam (Femme), Millian (neither), and Ilke (Butch).
- The Wheel of Time gives Rand one each in his harem: Aviendha is butch, Min is neither (or rather, both), Elayne is femme.
- Lori, Cally and Bex in Spy High
- Season one of Degrassi The Next Generation has queen Bee Paige, nice girl Terri, and top dog Ashley.
- Season five of Sabrina the Teenage Witch has sorority girl Morgan, well adjusted Sabrina and punk Roxy.
- Sonny With A Chance has narcissistic Tawni, optimistic Sonny and dangerous Zora.
- Victorious has the sweet, naive and innocent Cat, the creative, responsible, and friendly Tori and the dark, sarcastic and rude Jade.
- The first season of Zoey 101 has ditzy, boy-crazy Nicole, bright and friendly Zoey, and aggressive tough girl Dana.
- In Smallville, Lana Lang is the femme, Chloe Sullivan is in between and Lois Lane is the butch.
- Bomb Girls has tomboyish Betty, girl-next-door Kate, and uptown Gladys.
- The first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation had Counselor Deanna Troi, Dr. Beverly Crusher, and Lt. Tasha Yar.
- Tattooed Teenage Alien Fighters from Beverly Hills brought use rich girl Nicole, tough girl Drew, and in-betweener, Lori.
- Seasons 1 through 3 of Star Trek: Voyager have the sweet unofficial nurse and aspiring botanist Kes, the maternal and protective Captain Janeway, and the conflict-prone half-Klingon engineer Lt. Torres.
- Friends has spoiled rich girl Rachel, bossy and domineering Monica, and in-between Granola Girl Phoebe.
- Last Man Standing has girly girl Mandy, in-betweener Kristin, and tomboy Eve.
- House of Anubis has sweet fashionista Amber (femme), level-headed Nina (neither), and hot-tempered Patricia (butch).
- Saved by the Bell featured three girls in Zack Morris's life: Kelly (femme) Nickie (neither) and Tori (butch).
- Step by Step has ditzy Valley Girl Karen (femme), athletic tomboy Al (butch), and in-between Dana.
- H2O: Just Add Water has sweet naive Cleo (femme), level-headed Emma (neither) and rebellious tomboy Rikki (butch).
- The Big Bang Theory has adorable girly Bernadette (femme), brainy Amy (neither) and The Lad-ette Penny (butch).
- Seventh Heaven has Na´ve Everygirl Lucy (femme), tomboy Mary (butch) and the youngest sister Ruthie is in-between.
- Pixelface has the bubbly ditzy dance host Kiki (femme), aristocratic Action Girl Alexia (neither), and the Survival Horror waitress turned zombie killer Claireparker (butch).
- Final Fantasy X-2 has the three main playable characters; Rikku (neither), Yuna (femme), and Paine (butch).
- In Final Fantasy XIII , the three female playable characters apply, with Fang as the butch, Vanille as the femme, and Lightning as neither. It also helps that there is a lot of Subtext in Fang and Vanille's relationship.
- In BlazBlue, Noel, Tsubaki and Makoto were this when they were in the NOL academy. They even fit the geographic part; Noel (middle) was adopted into a minor noble family, Tsubaki (girly) came from a noble family and Makoto (tomboy) was a squirrel beastkin who came from the countryside outside the cities.
- The 3 main ladies of Final Fight are Jessica (Femme), Lucia (Butch) and Maki (Neither)
- Siskier (femme), Aegina (neither), and Medoute (butch) in Blaze Union.
- Fire Emblem:
- In Fire Emblem Tellius, the Greil Mercenaries' female members fit this trope, with Mist (femme), Mia (neither), and Titania (butch).
- In Fire Emblem Awakening we have Sumia (Femme), Sully (Butch) and Cordelia (Neither).
- The heroines of the three routes of Fate/stay night are the shy domestic Sakura (Femme), the competitive overachiever Rin (Neither), and the stoic fighter Saber (Butch).
- The Powerpuff Girls has Bubbles (she is the joy and the laughter!), Blossom (commander and the leader!), and Buttercup (she is the toughest fighter!). They're supposed to be representations of "sugar, spice and everything nice" (Bubbles, Buttercup and Blossom respectively). This is more relevant in the anime remake Demashita! Powerpuff Girls Z.
- 6teen has Caitlin (the fashionable girly girl), Jen (the smart, sensible girl), and Nikki (the sarcastic punk-rocker). Interestingly, while Caitlin acts more like the uptown girl and Nikki the out of town girl, Caitlin is the one who is technically from out of town since she is the newest member of the group.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has the Cutie Mark Crusaders; the ditzy Sweetie Belle, the plucky Applebloom, and the tough Scootaloo.
- The six main characters can also be grouped this way, although there would obviously be two for each role: athletic tomboys Applejack and Rainbow Dash are both butches, fashionista Rarity and painfully shy Fluttershy are both femmes, and Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie are neither.
- Monster High uses sarcastic exchange student, Abby, and royal superdiva, Cleo, in connection with average, everyday girl, Frankie.
- W.I.T.C.H: Irma can be seen as Butch, Cornelia as Femme with Will, Taranee and Hay Lin as Neither.
- X-Men: Evolution has Kitty Pride, Jean Grey, and Rogue.
- Sky Dancers Jade is Uptown (Ballerina, raised by successful parents), Camille is Downtown (Likes Jazz, is a creative thinker), and Angelica is Out-of-Town (Southern rocker, has sarcastic demenor).
- Stoked is the Expy of 6teen, with Emma as Downtown, Lo as Uptown, and Fin as, well, Out-of-Town.
- Adventure Time has the three girls in Finn's life: Priness Bubblegum as the Femme, Marceline as the Butch, and Flame Princess as the Neither.
- Teen Titans has Starfire as the sweet, naive, girly one (femme), Raven as the level-headed bookworm (neither), and Terra as the tomboyish new girl (butch).
- Winx Club has six girls can be grouped as this, Stella and Flora are femmes, Musa and Aisha are butch, and Bloom and Tecna are neither.
- Beverly Hills Teens: Literally, all girls are uptown, but can be done up for two girls per role. alpha bitch Bianca and southern belle Tara are both femmes, Athletic tomboys Blaze and Shanelle are both butches, and Larke and Nikki are neither
- Drawn Together features Princess Clara as femme, Foxxy Love as butch, and Toot Braunstein as neither.
- Strawberry Shortcake has another six girl grouping: Fashionista Raspberry Torte, and beautician Lemon Meringue are the femme group, country store workaholic Orange Blossom, and practical jokester Plum Pudding are the butch group, leaving the title character with Blueberry Muffin in the neither group.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender has Katara (Femme), Suki (Neither), and Toph (Butch).
- The villains feature Ty Lee (Femme), Azula (Neither), and Mai (Butch).
- The quiet Mai is the Neither, the ruthless Azula is the Butch, and the perky Ty Lee is the Femme.
- Gravity Falls has Mabel and her two friends Grenda and Candy (introduced in "Double Dipper"), who are Femme, Butch, and Neither respectively.
- From Ed, Edd n Eddy the sweet, pretty cheerleader Nazz is the Femme; Sarah, who enjoys playing with dolls but is also very tough is the Neither; and all three Kanker Sisters, who live outside the Cul-de-sac and are very aggressive, are the Butch.
- From Totally Spies! we have the Butch, Femme, Neither trio represented by Alex, Clover and Sam.
- The Chipettes from Alvin and the Chipmunks: Brittany (Femme), Eleanor (Butch) and Jeannette (Neither).
- Henry VIII's first three wives and the mothers of his children are proud Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon, most beloved, modest, maternal Jane Seymour and the exotic, seductive, ambitious Anne Boleyn.