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What Do You Mean, It's Not For Little Girls?
Youtube user: Is this a children's show? If so, why is there a picture of girl mounting another girl lying on the floor?
Uploader: it's NOT a children show.
— Comments on the opening to Hidamari Sketch

So you find a new show and it has an all female cast, lots of pastel colors, and Tastes Like Diabetes levels of cuteness. And you think "this would be a perfect show for my eight-year-old sister."

And then you discover that the show airs at three AM and has a fandom that's mostly 16 to 40 year-old males who consider the girls to be lesbians. After the initial shock is over you start to wonder why any man would even consider watching a show like this. Well, it's because men like cute girls.

Though it's not to say that this show would be inappropriate for your little sister, it's just that it's not specifically intended for little girls to watch. In fact these kinds of shows often have a sizeable female fanbase.

Of course, it must be noted that entertainment often targeted to young girls, especially in the field of music, has become increasingly sexualized. The classic examples are idol singers and girl groups such as Britney Spears, the Spice Girls, and Destinys Child. The effect has blurred the line in a way many are uncomfortable with: just take a look at any Toddlers And Tiaras type show.

A subtrope of What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?. Not to be confused with a Subverted Kids Show, which is meant to horrify, or a show that is for little girls but also has an older male fanbase.

See also Moe, Girl-Show Ghetto, Testosterone Brigade and Values Dissonance. Can be a problem if a Moral Guardian shows this to a child and it's a Yuri show. Compare with Multiple Demographic Appeal.

Do note that not all of these are necessarily family unfriendly at all; all that is actually required for this trope is that it is aimed at an older audience.


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     Anime and Manga  

  • Barbara Slate's Angel Love comic book series of the 1980s, having rather cute cartoonish artwork, yet dealing with serious topics such as drug abuse, abortion, critical illnesses, and incest.

     Live Action TV  

  • There's a video of a five-year-old girl singing the "voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?" line from Labelle's "Lady Marmalade." Presumably the train of thought was "It's about dancing, right? Girls love dancing!" Too bad it's not about dancing, it's about a prostitute, and the line translates to "do you want to sleep with me tonight?"
  • The Spice Girls. It's hard to tell exactly how much of their "Girl Power" theme was serious, and how much was self-parody, but it their lyrics make it clear that it was at least about sexual liberation... to the dismay of the parents of the 8 year olds who would parrot the lyrics.
    • Kids Rock changed the line in Wannabe from "If you wannabe my lover" to "If you wannabe my brother"; it is unknown how much the rest of the lyrics are modified, but if it's not at all, it adds whole new dimensions of creepy to the song. (it's unknown because the chorus was all that was heard on the advertisement)
  • Oingo Boingo's 1981 track "Little Girls" is indeed about them...but from a certain point of view.

     Video Games  
  • Touhou. A cast of characters that's almost entirely female, lots of fun songs (like this one), and lots of pretty colors. The games also have a cast consisting of various Youkai with some rather frightening powers, as well as claims of eating humans. And since the majority of the game's popularity comes from fan works on the Internet, unsuspecting girls are that much more likely to run into Rule 34. (They could just play the games, but then again, there's a reason they're called Bullet Hell...)
  • TheIdolmaster. A cute game about pop stars! With catchy songs, cute dresses and tons of accessories to dress up. But the target audience is otaku, with overpriced DLC no young girl (or most adults) can afford. Worth noting though is that Bandai-Namco is trying to get more girls to play the games, by adding male characters. But the original demographic complained!
  • Harvest Moon was aimed at a gender-neutral audience originally but you wouldn't know it by its mainly female fandom. The first few games had male-only protagonists but eventually they added girls, either in a Game-Favored Gender manner or in their own Distaff Counterpart's. Modern games always have an option to chose your gender. Recent incarnations of the game have began to look a lot more Bishoujo than before.
  • Lollipop Chainsaw. Despite the fact that it has "Chainsaw" in the title, has a clear M-rating on the cover, and the cover also shows that the main character will be having the disembodied head of her boyfriend hanging from her thigh, clueless parents might still think it's fine for their young daughter to play, just because it's about a cute cheerleader who kills zombies. Here's some of the content the game has: Zombies being chopped and cut apart by a chainsaw (although it's not as violent as most zombie games), lots and lots of swearing (one boss even attacks by yelling swear words which become physical and fly at you), dialogue involving sex, penises, erections, and naked pole-dancing, and a Game Over screen that shows the main character becoming a zombie and coming out of her grave, while her boyfriend says in an upset tone that he wishes he could've saved or protected her.

  • Last Res0rt. Bright, Cartoony, Cyberpunk... wait, what?
    • Word of God claims it's meant to be more Feminist vs. meant for little girls... But, Furry Fandom being what it is, it's no shock that the majority of the audience is still teen-to-college-age guys.
  • minus is a brightly-colored cute-looking webcomic about an omnipotent little girl, albeit with a ton of Fridge Horror, but if TV Tropes is anything to go by, most of the people who read the comic are men.

     Western Animation  
  • The Powerpuff Girls was not originally intended for little girls. Craig McCracken created it as a parody of the Magical Girl genre, as he was getting sick of Sailor Moon playing on Cartoon Network every day. As a Take That, he set the girls' ages very low, had them do very inelegant things, and made the villains cheesier than Kraft Macaroni and Cheese Dinners. The intended audience for it was the same as Dexter's Laboratory — animation fans in their teens, 20s, and 30s — but it had to be child-appropriate (This was in the days before [adult swim]). A show like this naturally attracted little girls anyway.
    • McCracken's college assignment that spawned the series, Whoopass Stew (the title alone should make it clear which demographic he wasn't shooting for), went as follows. Girls beat the crap out of the Ganggreen Gang. Amoeba Boys rob a bank. Girls try to stop them but get stuck in their bodies. Girls prevail by flying to the sun, which kills the Amoeba Boys in seconds. Yeah. Not exactly tote bag-friendly icons, huh?
      • Speaking of Magical Girl, by sheer irony, Toei Animation (the creators of 'Sailor Moon'') remade the series as "Powerpuff Girls Z", a actual retelling of the series with a magical girl theme.
  • The Bratz dolls are more kid friendly, the TV show is definitely intended for their original target audience, teens and preteens. Among other things, the show actually has an episode where the girls investigate to see if Burdine murdered her last intern.
  • Lauren Faust has stated that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic was intended for little girls and their parents, so they wouldn't get bored if forced to watch it. Eventually, the series gave way to a surprisingly large adult-male fanbase.
  • My Little Pony itself was meant to be aimed at both boys and girls. The original of the two My Little Pony TV Specials really shows this. Though as All Girls Like Ponies Hasbro began marketing it more and more at girls. By the end of G1 it was known as the Distaff Counterpart to Transformers.
  • Making Fiends is actually a relatively dark cartoon about attempting murder with demons, and the colors are anything but bright, pastel or pink. But the two main characters are young girls. The original web animation was for a neutral demographic, but the daughter of a Nickelodeon producer loved it, and so Nick made a deal with Amy Winfrey to turn it into a cartoon. If you look at any of the message boards for Making Fiends, you'll see that male fans are extremely rare, though the show has gotten positive reviews from many male critics.
    • Considering Nickelodeon only aired six episodes of the show back in 2008, it could just be that people in general, male and female, haven't had a chance to see it.

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