Playing With / Never a Self-Made Woman

Basic Trope: Female characters never accomplish anything by themselves. They always have a man to thank for their achievements in one way or another.
  • Straight: Maureen, a seasoned Action Girl who achieved a lot through continuous endeavours and training, never could get to where she is now if she wasn't the daughter of Bruno, a Retired Badass who taught her how to master her emotions and make rational decisions, and the lover of Tobias, an Action Hero, who trained her and taught her how to fight and survive.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • Maureen owes her fighting skills to her father Bruno...who paid for her to go to Amazon Fighting School.
    • Maureen is a clan diplomat, arbitrator, matchmaker or similar office, in a tribal society, so of course her success comes from family. Family is her job. But she would not have had the job if she had not impressed people with her intelligence and wisdom.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • Bruno trained hard to become the best fighter, but could not get to where he is now if he wasn't the father of Maureen.
    • Alice would be very powerful... if it weren't for her father and boyfriend, who have (intentionally or not) torpedoed her every chance of making something of herself.
  • Gender Flipped: Tobias, an Action Hero, honed his fighting skills and survival techniques thanks to his mother who trained him from childhood.
  • Subverted: Maureen is very Genre Savvy and knows all to well that No Guy Wants an Amazon. Hence, she makes believe that she got into the business thanks to parental pressure. But in actuality, she chose that lifestyle herself, without using any connections to get to her current position.
  • Double Subverted: ...However it turns out that, even with her best efforts, she still ends up needing her dad or Tobias to help her dealing with her everyday tasks.
  • Parodied: Maureen's father and boyfriend are both incompetent idiots who accidentally teach Maureen several moves, yet she still have them to thank for.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Maureen only became a good fighter with the help of Tobias, but Tobias is actually revealed to be Tabitha, who herself had to be trained by her father. However, Tabitha's father was only successful because he was taught by his sister...
    • The male and female are skilled in different fields. They therefore rely upon each other on something they don't expertise. Thus there are moments and prospects where this trope is played straight and subverted.
  • Averted:
    • Relationships to the men in her life are irrelevant to Maureen's line of work, whichever it is.
    • Maureen, a seasoned Action Girl who achieved a lot through continuous endeavours and training, never could get to where she is now if she wasn't the daughter of Michelle, another Action Girl.
  • Enforced:
    • The writer believes that women can't be successful (for whatever reason(s)) without a man by her side.
    • "Male viewers/readers always feel threatened by strong female characters. Make Maureen's father and husband stronger and better than she is, else she will never appeal to the male audience."
  • Lampshaded: "Maureen, honey, don't fool yourself. Without your dad and your man, you're pretty much a nobody."
  • Invoked: Maureen's father taught her from young not to be too independent.
  • Exploited: "Don't worry Chancellor Bob. Every haughty Feudal Overlord in The Kingdom will think my girl Alice just got the throne because I have no sons. She'll eat them all alive while they are underestimating her."
  • Defied: "You know, just because I'm Bruno's daughter doesn't mean my dad has anything to do with me being good at what I'm doing."
  • Discussed: "What's up with all the questions about my father, uncles and brother? It's like you can't accept that I got my physics degree on my own effort."
  • Conversed: "And out of nowhere comes Maureen saying she owes it all to her father, even though her mother is standing right there! What the hell is that thing that affects Hollywood scriptwriting?? Hidden misogyny, outdated values, OR WHAT?!"
  • Deconstructed:
  • Reconstructed:
    • ...and then it is revealed that it's not her father who taught her but her mother.
    • Her father only taught Maureen the basics; she developed her own moves by herself.
    • The men in her life gave her her start; she eventually evolved to stand on her own.
    • Hypocritical Humor, where a Fridge Horror occurs to everyone afterwards that they couldn't be what they are today either without their parent, loved ones and friend's support.

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Alternative Title(s): Female Success Is Family