Main Action Girl Discussion

Collapse/Expand Topics

07:12:41 AM May 20th 2017
I've taken the liberty of creating Write An Action Girl. Any contributions appreciated.
02:01:42 PM Apr 6th 2015
Hey, I'm confused about something. Does being a female Bad Ass automatically make you an Action Girl?
10:30:17 AM Jan 11th 2015
If this trope is the distaff counterpart to Action Hero, why is it not called Action Heroine?
09:07:57 AM May 3rd 2014
The article has a blaming subtones,that implie,that the apperance on TV is less than real action oriented girls.i doubt that.I thing the trope is used obverly;more than it have action girls in real life or femal soldiers.
09:39:43 AM May 3rd 2014
Eh, I don't see it.

Also, please try and write better.
04:06:57 PM Sep 21st 2013
edited by
Could an Action Girl be a Lightning Bruiser? I'm not talking about Wonder Woman, I mean in Real Life. In Professional Wrestling, there are Fragile Speedsters (Gail Kim, AJ Lee, the latter who could fall into Glass Cannon territory at times), Pint-Sized Powerhouses (Kaitlyn, Jacqueline, Jazz, Aksana), Acrofatic Foreign Wrestling Heels (Aja Kong, Bull Nakano), Jills Of All Stats (Molly Holly) and true Amazonian powerhouses (Chyna, Beth Phoenix). Then there were those such as Ivory and Luna Vachon who were primarily technical wrestlers and did not emphasize either speed, strength or endurance. I'm just wondering what a female pro wrestler would have to do/be in order to qualify for Lightning Bruiser.

Thank you very much in advance.
05:58:54 PM Oct 9th 2013
Lightning Bruisers are just people who are faster, stronger, and tougher than almost everyone else. So, yes, it's possible. Let's say, a large, athletic woman who was born with all the right genes, who trains herself competently. If the end result is someone who is faster/more agile than most of their competition, stronger/harder hitting than most of their competition, and better at rolling with hits/just plain tougher than most of their competition, their a Lightning Bruiser.
12:30:28 AM Nov 6th 2011
edited by AnOtherT
I suggest rephrasing the Beaten By A Girl from 'Losing a fight to an Action Girl is often a blow to a male opponent's ego.' to Losing a fight to an Action Girl is +portrayed as+ a blow to a male opponent's ego.'
10:25:42 AM Jul 17th 2012
Whatever floats your boat, broski. I'm fine with it either way.
12:00:37 PM Oct 27th 2011
Where does the Actiongirls porn-movie series (by Scotty JX) stand with regards to this trope? Is it a case of "Hotter and Sexier Invoked Trope for faptastic Fanservice"?
02:46:19 PM Aug 22nd 2012
shhh....! don't say the P-word out loud...
06:53:40 AM Apr 3rd 2013
What? Porn?
09:33:04 AM Jun 3rd 2011
edited by Stoogebie
Okay, I found this in the Playing With entry under "subversion":

  • Alice kicks ass and takes names, but is shown to have a softer (and perhaps more "feminine") side to her personality, or like "girly" hobbies such as baking cakes and cross-stitching off the battlefield.

I don't think this would count as a subversion, because the idea is that an Action Girl is simply a girl who kicks ass. If she happens to be feminine, then it's still this trope because said femininity doesn't detract from her badassery. That section sounds like (or at least is encouraging) Real Women Never Wear Dresses to me. We should take that one down.

A true subversion would be Faux Action Girl, since it sets up the expectation for one trope, and then falls flat when called to act. Please, please someone change that.

EDIT: It's potentially Hilarious in Hindsight when you consider the trope Girly Bruiser. But it's still pretty sad when far too many people on This Very Wiki are firm believers in Real Women Never Wear Dresses.
02:36:08 AM Aug 24th 2010
In the Avatar: The Last Airbender entry, shouldn't Azula, Mai and Ty Lee be removed, since they're Dark Action Girls?
05:46:45 AM Aug 18th 2011
edited by rottenvenetic
It's a subtrope, so IDK. As far as I'm concerned, Ty Lee isn't ever Dark, though, and Mai compensates by staying Dark even after her Heel–Face Turn.
10:44:28 PM Aug 13th 2010
Just curious why we have such a broad trope. "Girl that does stuff, and its action-y". There's ALOT of that in fiction. I tried an failed to find one page without Action Girl on it. I think this thing should just be deleted, its too abstract and broad to be a trope.
10:47:15 PM Aug 13th 2010
WTF ? ? ?

You have such a narrow definition of the term.
03:46:00 AM Aug 16th 2010
Agreed. It's way too broad. Anytime a female character does anything remotely combat related, she is classified as an Action Girl. We don't have an Action Boy trope do we?
02:03:13 PM Aug 16th 2010
edited by KilgoreTrout
Maybe it should be restricted to women who kick ass on a regular basis, or a character who's had extensive combat training even if she never needs to use it. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, for example, Tasha Yar would be an Action Girl because because she's been fighting pretty much since she was a kid and up until her death she was head of security, meaning it was her job to take on bad guys, get in shootouts, and throw down in hand-to-hand combat if need be. Troi, by contrast, would not qualify as an Action Girl just because she kicked that one guy's ass that one time.
02:13:08 PM Aug 16th 2010
The trope is fine as it is,period.
03:22:40 PM Sep 12th 2010
edited by RedViking
I really think this has undergone some Trope Decay. I'm noticing quite a few cases where female characters are labeled an Action Girl simply because they do something awesome one or two times. This trope isn't supposed to be that. This trope is supposed to be the Distaff Counterpart of an Action Hero.

If that wasn't bad enough, these non-action girls get labeled as a Faux Action Girl when they revert back to their normal selves and don't do anymore asskicking. It's almost like there's the expectation that Real Women Never Wear Dresses.
10:24:17 PM Oct 7th 2010
With the Tasha Yar example above, I think she would run and hide rather than fight the rape gangs. There's a quick flashback in Where No One Had Gone Before that suggests she had not yet Took a Level in Badass.
12:15:02 PM Jan 19th 2011
@Red Viking: From the Action Hero trope page: "An Action Hero is, perhaps obviously, The Hero of a Summer Blockbuster Action Adventure Movie".

If Action Girl really is the Distaff Counterpart of the Action Hero, then it should only be applied to female protagonists in action-genre works who actively participate in the ass-kicking. That doesn't come up in the description of the trope. Maybe it ought to, though? It would certainly narrow things down quite a bit.
10:08:55 AM Jan 31st 2011
As repeatedly suggested above, I'm in favor for abolishing this trope. As it stands, "female character who does some kind of fighting, be it physical or magical" is very broad and falls into People Sit on Chairs category. (Not to mention it somehow gives the impression that it's somehow unusual or unrealistic.)
03:07:14 AM Sep 24th 2012
I guess I'm having trouble seeing how this is exactly a trope. There doesn't seem to be an Action Guy trope or anything of the sort, so why does a character's gender matter when describing something like "A character renowned for their athletic and combat-oriented prowess." At that point we might as well just include Action Black Guy and Action Brunette as tropes too.

Gender-specific tropes tend to involve things related to associations or stereotypes with the gender, or with aspects that are mutually exclusive to each gender such as body type or, you know, other obvious things that make each gender different from one another. Having an Action Girl trope is basically saying "Females showing aptitude in physical fitness and in a combat environment is something that is notable and set apart from the norm of female roles." We even dismiss the role they play. They aren't women, they're "girls."

The whole thing just screams Dead Horse to me, like why does a character's gender matter in describing their role as a protagonist/adept human being? Can we get an Action Midget trope page started to describe all the short people that happen to fight other characters/monsters?
08:34:19 AM Aug 6th 2010
Something about this trope just doesn't sit right with me. I can't even put my finger on it, precisely. I suppose it's that we feel the need to create tropes to point out when a woman is doing something or when a man is not. It just seems as though it's becoming an increasingly meaningless distinction when half the examples given for specific works are something along the lines of "practically every female character in the cast." If the trope exists to delineate the uniqueness of a female action hero, and that position is becoming less and less unusual, shouldn't Action Girl and Non-Action Guy alike simply be absorbed into broader tropes such as Bad Ass or Action Survivor?
09:00:34 AM Aug 6th 2010
@Calamity Jane: Unfortunately, many an Action Girl is also put in the role of Ms. Fanservice, for reasons I can't fathom.

@gfrequency: In the mind of the public (or, at least, the movie industry) a female action hero is still a novelty and an anomaly. Also, a female action hero is usually portrayed differently as compared to a male action hero (being stuck as a Faux Action Girl, for example, or Ms. Fanservice.)

...At least, that's what I think.
08:12:57 PM Aug 21st 2010
If an action-oriented woman were still an anomaly, I think we'd see far fewer examples here in which most of the women are as physically capable of the men. There's certainly a vocal subset of any fandom that will say some incredibly nasty things about a woman who can take care of herself in a fight, but it's just not as rare as it once was. (And, although certain mindsets die hard, some guys actually do find physically capable women attractive — hence the frequent fanservice angle.)

I'm not advocating the dissolution of the trope or anything like that — but as Dolescrounger said below, we don't have an Action Boy trope. Instead we have the Badass page, which is overwhelmingly male, and no one seems to feel the need to point out that a character is kicking ass even though he's a guy, OMG. Sticking the women who would qualify for said page in their own little special corner, separate from the "proper" badasses, just seems vaguely condescending.
05:45:31 AM Aug 18th 2011
edited by rottenvenetic
Maybe a useful distinction would be to have the Action Girl trope reserved for female asskickers who have Fanservice as an integral, defining, constant or nearly constant part of the character, whereas those who have it only as a rare, incidental characteristic should be lumped with the men in Bad Ass and Action Hero where they belong (IMHO). Forex, under this distinction, Katara from Avatar The Last Air Bender remains an Action Girl, whereas Toph would not be considered one, making only one abortive attempt to pretty herself up in Tales of Ba Sing Se.

It would also address the complaint that it's too broad. Though, unfortunately, it would only shave off a small number of examples, and if I could get off my fat arse and actually finish stories (and make them remotely enjoyable) that would change a bit.
04:08:47 PM Jul 18th 2010
Calamity Jane: What I'd like to know is why the image on this page is a midriff-baring woman in hotpants? I can see that the image really fits the idea of the trope, as she's jumping right into the action and firing a gun, but I feel that the irreverence of her outfit detracts just a bit from the overall idea of the page.
09:08:46 AM Aug 6th 2010
It's because the vast majority of Action Girls also happen to be in Stripperific outfits. That's just how it is.
10:29:51 AM Jul 17th 2012
If you want, you can always pick a new image. There's a lot to choose from.
09:31:17 AM Sep 2nd 2012
Also — Lara Croft happens to be one of the first well-known Action Girls in video gaming, which was previously dominated by an overwhelming majority of male protagonists. In fact you could argue that she paved the way for other female protagonists, fanservicey and otherwise. I'd be just as fine with Samus Aran, but since her gender is rather difficult to discern when she's wearing her armor, I'd say there's nothing wrong with Ms. Croft remaining.
Collapse/Expand Topics