main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Playing With: Xena Fication
Basic Trope: A Damsel in Distress or other non-action woman abruptly Takes A Level In Badass or even evolves into an Action Girl.
  • Straight: Alice, normally a non-violent civilian who lets the Five-Man Band handle crises, has her previously-mentioned archery hobby suddenly come in handy when the Mooks attack when she has access to a hunting bow and appropriate arrows.
  • Exaggerated: Princess Charlotte, who was raised in a convent and whose most frequently used line up to this point was "Save me, Bob!" picks up a sword for the first time in her life, and engages in a duel to the death with The Dragon (which she wins) while Bob takes on the Big Bad... and dies. Charlotte then avenges him with ease.
  • Downplayed: Alice has been a fighter from the start of this show, but the first version of Alice wasn't.
  • Justified:
    • Alice has been taking self-defense classes at the Y. Or she lives in a Crapsack World where you'd better level up or die.
    • Or the old "adrenaline gives you great strength" line.
  • Inverted: Chickification.
  • Subverted: The mook Alice just beat up? Paid to take a dive.
  • Double Subverted: But when she stiffs him on the bill, his attack is easily dealt with by her genuine hidden combat abilities.
  • Parodied: Princess Charlotte goes from damsel in distress to army-destroying warrior whenever she cracks her knuckles.
  • Zig Zagged: Sometimes Alice can suddenly bust out ninja skills, sometimes she remains a Distressed Damsel, depending on the plot of the episode. People trying to stat Alice out for role-playing games get very frustrated.
  • Averted:
    • No characters show suddenly improved fighting skills; any Action Girl types are well-established as such from the beginning.
    • Alice is shown training hard for a number of scenes/episodes beforehand.
  • Enforced:
    • "Hey, I dropped a bunch of money on those fencing lessons. Any chance my character Princess Charlotte could, say, use a sword in this movie?" "Okay, Alice, but it will have to be pretty late in the story, we've already got the early scenes storyboarded."
    • "Alice is turning into The Scrappy because people are sick of seeing her get captured every episode. So how about, next episode, she actually takes down the Monster of the Week on her own?"
  • Lampshaded: "Since when does Princess Charlotte know how to use a sword? They didn't teach that at the convent!"
  • Invoked: Alice takes self-defense classes at the Y so she's not as defenseless the next time the bad guys attack.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: Alice refuses to learn any combat skills on the grounds that it's not ladylike.
  • Discussed: "Hey, this ain't gonna be one of those things where the dame suddenly can toss me around like a sack of potatos, is it? 'Cause I hate that."
  • Conversed: "They hired Writer X on Generic Fantasy Show, I see. Five gets you ten Princess Charlotte gets a lot better at combat, because he loves that sort of thing."
  • Deconstructed: Alice's fluke success in battle makes her overconfident and think she's ready to fight evil full-time. She isn't, and the next fight she's in gets Alice severely wounded or killed.
  • Reconstructed: Alice learns her lesson from that experience and buckles down to real training to improve her skills.

Back to Xenafication, and empower yourself!

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy