Main Faux Action Girl Discussion

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09:36:16 PM Sep 28th 2015
Wanted to add a comparison of Ramona Flowers (Scott Pilgrim) from the movie to the original but not sure at the moment how to concisely compare. While in the graphic novel series she both sees a bit more action and this is no more relevant, I feel the issue here is based in the compression of a year or so of plot into a few days, removing some minor character goals there wasn't time to justify or present, and - while it's not the fault of the movie - obscuring the way in which the setting subverts the Action Girl/Guy trope itself. Instead of Everybody Is A Super making the world an unrecognizable place filled with heroes, villains, Mundane Utility and enormous scale, it reduces spectacular actions and their potential consequences down to the everyday level; it's entirely plausible half the random spectators could kick some of the exes' asses but they know nothing's happening that's worth getting involved in and there wouldn't be any point anyway to doing so. Nobody is going to be stealing WM Ds and holding the world for ransom, there won't be any grand thefts, massive property damage or random casualties... even fights to the death, while death clearly isn't a slap on the wrist here, feel more like they result in cutting somebody out of somebody else's life (maybe "a slap in the face and a restraining order") than permanently erasing an existence. From the setting's perspective we're seeing more social activity than criminal - one confrontation can be smoothly resolved in a brunch appointment because it's no more or less significant or meaningful to eat, talk and maybe watch TV or something together than to have a knife fight at dawn.

In the original it's clear Scott's fights themselves are far less important - and often as not, anticlimactic - then the weeks leading up to each one facing issues he has which would sabotage a relationship with Ramona even if somebody simply removed the League from the equation. While Ramona has some problems that go equally deep, she's also much more functional at the surface level; thus it's a while before anybody's around it would mean much for her to fight.

The narrower focus of the film more greatly dramatizes the intrusion of a Carnival of Killers plot into what seems a fairly mundane slice of life and doesn't have the time to get the audience "beyond the pale" into the resident worldview where this doesn't seem really cruel and unfair to Scott and where the events don't seem worth picking up the phone to call the police over, much less giving him any help he isn't at least asking for. My point of probably contention is that while Ramona can reasonably come off as a Faux Action Girl in the film, this time it's not so much a male/female thing as that while the film makes a genuinely good effort it can't manage to hammer in the fundamental subversion of the setting. She comes off as fake in the film not because we don't see her fight but because we do, making the apparent disconnect between ability and action bigger than with female characters such as Scott's younger "big sister" Stacey who never enter the audience's perception as potential Action Girls at all. (Some cases where other people do get involved, such as "The Boys and Crash" intervening in one fight or a number of Scott's associates getting annoyed enough with Patel to stop the demon hipster chicks cold, weren't carried into the movie. Possibly because they stole focus.) Again, I've got no problem with the film example as included; posting this here because I feel the distinction in adaptations, and what I think to be the distinction in causes, may be notable and don't see any clear, concise, and non-flame-war-inducing way to sub-bullet it.
11:21:29 AM Jun 24th 2014
About Rebecca Chambers from Resident Evil 0 and 1... Is it fair to qualify it as a Faux Action Girl in 1?

According to the timeline, it's clear that she's suffering from sleep deprivation by the time RE 1 starts. That, and she probably skipped a few meals. That's assuming she packed some water when leaving. So a noticeable drop in performance from someone who's deprived of sleep, food and water qualifies her as a faux action girl? As a side note, is there even a trope for someone in a dangerous situation while not at peak capacity?
03:25:03 PM Apr 2nd 2015
12:38:27 PM Jun 9th 2013
The example from Jack the Giant Slayer needs to be removed. It outright states that the male characters don't fare better than her, therefore she's not an example. If a female is incompetent in an entire cast of incompetent people then she's not a Faux Action Girl.
01:39:19 PM Jun 9th 2013
Okay, already removed.
03:48:54 PM Dec 25th 2012
Morgana from Merlin may be a defeated villain of the episode, but that doesn't necessarily make her incompetent.
07:51:18 AM Jan 22nd 2013
Exactly. When is Morgana meant to be a skilled swordswoman? When was she taught? Did I miss something? And besides that I seem to remember her successfully freeing herself from an army of bandits in season 2. She had a bit of help from Gwen but still...

And Isolde, when is she stated to be an excellent fighter? She's a smuggler/bandit, not a trained knight. And she defeats Morgana's Dragon at the end of the episode.

This trope seriously needs work.
03:11:21 AM Nov 24th 2012
Batgirl on the 60s Adam West TV show isn't listed, they can't possibly be because no one thought of it, I was expecting her to be labeled the Trope Codifier. So is some reason she doesn't qualify I'm missing?
09:59:47 PM Sep 12th 2012
edited by PitchesandScores
Uhhh, regarding Trish, shouldn't the fact that she's a playable character in 2 and all of her fights in her Gloria persona be more than enough to qualify her as an Action Girl?
03:26:16 AM Sep 5th 2012
Is Hawkeye from The Avengers a *male* Faux Action Girl? Other than not being a woman, he fits damn near the entire description, *and* spends most of the movie kidnapped and brainwashed.
06:35:18 AM Sep 5th 2012
What movie were you watching?
06:50:16 AM Nov 25th 2012
I don't consider an Archer a character Action Girl or Action Hero at all.
08:00:23 AM Nov 26th 2012
Well, too bad? Some odd bias against a particular character type on your part really isn't at all relevant.
05:58:42 PM Jun 2nd 2012
How is Kayley from Quest for Camelot an example? Reputation as a fighter? It's made perfectly clear in the film that she's never left her farm so that's all the actual experience she's gotten. She dreams of being a knight sure but it's pretty obvious her father never trained her. She behaves exactly like the way you'd expect a naive girl with a lot of dreams to when she's thrust into the action. And she actually gets fairly competent about halfway through the film. I'll count the things she does right:
  • When Garrett gets shot and the villains are approaching, she ties a rope around a forest creature and helps subdue them. Plus she carries Garrett to safety.
  • When they find the sword and the ogre wakes up, it's her idea to swing her back and forth to hypnotise it to sleep and she grabs the sword.
  • When they get to Camelot and the wagon stumbles, she knocks the thing holding her away and cuts herself free to warn the knights. And when Ruber's guys clean house, Kayley does much better than Arthur's knights who go down straight away.
  • She swings a massive plank of wood down to knock Ruber right out of the round table room.
  • She uses Garrett's Chekhov's Skill to make sure the villain is defeated forever.

Yeah, not a Faux Action Girl in my opinion.
05:00:50 AM Apr 22nd 2012
... Oh God. I'm looking at the page and my head is starting to hurt with all of the sething hatred for women here. It's creeping me out how anything a woman is nitpicked, super analyzed, chewed, vomited, and etc. to make her look like crap, whether it's true or not.

This page neds serious trimming to cut down the glaring misogyny. It's further proof that women are put under the lamp far more than men and the standards for female characters are often resumed in one single word: "HDU NOT ACT LIKE A STRONG MANLY MAN". And it's freaking UNFAIR.
08:57:28 AM Apr 22nd 2012
Are you volunteering to trim this page? If so can you offer an example of how to reduce the biased entries in the list?

To be honest, some of these entries look puzzling to me.
  • In Western Animation, Pepper Potts a non-powered character with limited to combat training gets termed a Faux Action Girl for loosing to superior opponents. The definition of the article calls for examples to actually have established reputations as fighters. She doesn't.
  • The literature section includes character Sabrina, not for failing to fight. But for failing to lie convincingly, being unable to maintain a poker face while doing so.
  • In the live action film section, there is no context in the Sheena example. "Pulled along by a television anchorman". I am not certain what this describes. Being rescued by a rookie? Dragged along in an adventure? something else?
  • In the Anime section, character Aya is added for gaining a scar while trying to tame a horse. The point being? That is not a mark of incompetence.
01:15:03 PM May 14th 2012
edited by ManwiththePlan
Pepper wouldn't be here if not for the fact that the show itself seems to honestly be trying to sell her as a cool chick who would make a good SHIELD agent or superheroine if she were given her own armor, but when you really look at it, that doesn't come across at all since she's such a Dumbass In Distress. So yeah, I'd say she'd have to stay an example here.

Also, I don't think the contributers to this page have "seething hatred of women". They have a seething hatred for weak women, (or, unfortunately, what THEY SEE as weak.)
09:56:01 AM Jul 5th 2012
I think this trope needs a trip to the TRS or Special Efforts workshops. It's going to need some concentrated effort to clean.
06:21:48 PM Apr 29th 2013
Agreed, any time a woman doesn't completely kickass she's labeled "faux action girl," but a guy is labeled "non action guy" in many of the same instances. Heaven forbid a female character not be able to beat everyone in a fight.
05:13:41 AM Apr 13th 2012
Pulled this:

  • Zev Bellringer, from Lexx. She's supposedly an ass-kicker (hence footage of her fightin' away in the opening credits), yet she never, ever, ever gets out of a scrape without help from Kai (the morose zombie she spends all her free time mooning over) or a convenient Deus ex Machina. But then, if you want intelligent, interesting, strong female characters, what on earth are you watching Lexx for? They made up for it in Season 4 with Vlad, though.
    • Zev was never an Action Girl though, she grew up in a box, was raised to be a submisive wife and then was turned into a sex slave.

Since it's disputed. If it does belong, please return it to the page without the natter-y contradiction.
11:43:42 AM Mar 30th 2012
This entry is the subject of an Edit War:

  • Oddly and infuriatingly enough, Irene Adler becomes this in the BBC series Sherlock. In the books, she was a genuine action girl and Holmes's intellectual equal but in the series she just comes off as an extremely poor man's River Song. After being established as a woman who can blackmail the monarchy and single-handedly defeat the band of thugs who effortlessly defeated her bodyguard, then knock out Sherlock himself and escape, she later turns up in the same episode telling Sherlock that she's in danger and begging him to protect her. Who she's in danger from, why she can't protect herself and why she needs Sherlock to do so is never explained.

Work it out here, please. And please do not add the natter-y editorializing about the quality of the episode.
03:43:00 PM Mar 30th 2012
This was not an edit war. One user reverted me under incorrect premises and I reverted him. You'd have to revert someone many times indeed for it to be considered an edit war. The fact is that Irene Adler was debased to a Faux Action Girl in this particular "episode".
03:44:27 PM Mar 30th 2012
Here's proof from one of the few intelligent reviews of that episode on the net.
07:02:06 PM Mar 30th 2012
It's been removed and restored twice. That's enough to make it an edit war. Clearly someone doesn't agree with the example.

I'm already aware that you believe it's an example. However, it's clear that at least one other person doesn't. And since I don't know the show in question, I have no opinion one way or the other - but it's my job to make sure that people aren't edit warring over the page.
07:02:24 PM Apr 1st 2012
Wasn't the entire point of the Irene blackmailing people was so that that she could use that as protection against various groups and governments? Then, when Mycroft took away her blackmail material, she was left defenseless against people who wanted her dead. That pretty much explains why she needed to be rescued. She was set to be executed and sent Sherlock a text. The fact that she had to be rescued doesn't make her any less of an Action Girl than she was in the beginning of the episode.
10:40:15 AM Feb 18th 2012
Ummm...I was wondering why Rukia hasn't been mentioned in the anime examples, even though her entry on the character sheet does so?
05:54:59 AM Mar 31st 2012
If you think it fits the trope, you should add it.
06:24:01 PM Jan 14th 2012
So was the image removed with any discussion? Because I can't find it.
01:52:29 PM Sep 30th 2011
I don't get the Eragon exmaple, Arya is a Fa Action Girl because she didn't fight when she was unconscious, eh?
07:49:41 PM Dec 4th 2011
I deleted that, and it's worth noting that the very first thing she did after recovering from being tortured and comatose for weeks was find Eragon on a training field and challenge him to a duel. Then spend the whole thing effortlessly toying with him.
07:09:13 AM Aug 17th 2011
Annabeth Chase and Katara have been removed. I watched both of those films back and looked carefully, and neither of them fit. Katara kicks plenty of ass and demonstrates her abilities, not as much as she did in the cartoon but it's there. Annabeth does as well, driving the car that distracts Medusa (saving Percy), shooting five guards at the Parthenon (without missing), holding her own against the Hydra and taking out a couple of guys at the Lotus Casino. She's more Overshadowed by Awesome than Faux Action Girl.
08:05:32 PM Jul 9th 2011
Why does a character qualify if she does have the Designated Girl Fight. Surely that counts as kicking ass or is the trope implying that a girl has to beat up a man to qualify as an Action Girl?

I don't think Anna from Van Helsing counts. The reason she had a bit of a losing record was because she had four vampires trying to kill her. She successfully drove the carriage through the woods, killed Aleera, caught a single stake flying through the air while swinging from a wire and got Van Helsing with the cure.
08:29:56 AM Sep 1st 2011
I'd say it's mostly because the Designated Girl Fight doesn't count as kicking ass. In most series that have the mentality that results in said trope in the first place. If a female character is said to be an amazing fighter and then the only time we're given any indication that this is the case is when she fights another girl, it undermines her reputation. Designated Girl Fight still has that "Pssh, don't worry, viewers, men are still stronger, it's not a real fight" vibe going through it.
05:35:03 PM Nov 30th 2011
Even if said Designated Girl Fight isn't fanservicey (and maybe even a Fan Disservice), and includes some rather gory and gruesome violence?
03:56:14 PM Apr 2nd 2015
I think that depends and can't be a generalized. Does the first person, who happens to be a woman, that she beats, also happen to be a woman who has bested several men? Is it a random mook? Does she need to be rescued even in her designated girl fight? Does her rescuing someone else lead to her designated girl fight?

Granted, the term designated girl fight implies the female opponent hasn't fought any men to best or for the shero to rescue. But maybe the female opponent demonstrated some feat of strength or skill many respected men can duplicate? Maybe she's about to attack a man and gets cut off?
03:01:09 PM Mar 20th 2011
edited by ninjadude853
Can we talk about the page quote?

"I'm... Supposed to be a Ninja, but all I can do is cry [...] I can't do anything, I can't say anything- all I can do is believe in [the boys to sort everything out]!"
— Naruto's Sakura Haruno, in a moment of clarity

I'm reasonably sure she never actually said that. I can't remember a time when that quote came up, or if it did, i read a different translation. So if someone can provide a link, then I'll be quiet.
05:16:22 PM Apr 9th 2011
Seriously, if someone can't show me a time when she actually said that, I'm changing the quote.
03:09:59 PM May 3rd 2011
Been searching for it. Haven't found it. Just take it out, wouldn't be surprised if it was placed htere by a Sakura basher either making up shit or taking stuff outta context.
08:05:36 AM May 11th 2011
edited by EmptyHandle
Sleepy Fans scanlation

"I'm supposed to be a ninja, but all I do is cry and rely on Naruto... I thought I'd shaken that off when I came here... but I couldn't do it... I can't do anything, I can't say anything. All I can do... is have faith in them!"

HisshouBuraiKen translation

"I'm supposed to be a ninja, but all I've ever done is lean on [Naruto] and cry... I was supposed to change that...I came here, I thought I was ready... But I can't do anything..I can't say anything... The only thing that remains for me... Is to believe in them!"

The page quote isn't exact, but it pretty much conveys the same thing. You could have at least tried looking for it before dismissing it as a Sakura hater putting up lies.
01:44:37 PM May 15th 2011
I'm changing the quote to the Sleepy Fans version.
07:27:36 PM May 16th 2011
Aaaaaaaand changed.
07:38:35 PM Dec 4th 2011
Oh, and for the record, the reason i wanted to change it was because it did in fact come across as character bashing, especially the parts in parentheses.
11:02:34 AM Jan 17th 2011
I took out the Harry Potter entries because neither one counted. Fleur was, as the natter attested, doing about as well as her other competitors in a rigged competition. Tonks definitely did more than the entry gave her credit for, and did in fact win or succeed in a few on-camera fights. Just because she fell in love and bore her husband's child doesn't make her this and the insinuation is rather insulting.
07:52:29 AM Dec 1st 2010
I can't be the only one who finds it strange that a pic from Voltron is our page image, but that Voltron doesn't have an example on the page itself. I'd add an example, but I've never actually seen Voltron, so I don't really know anything about it.
11:00:56 AM Jan 17th 2011
It's been way to long since I watched Voltron or Go Lion, so I can't really comment either. I think a new page image is in order though.
04:21:42 PM Oct 8th 2010
  • In the original series, we have Mai Kujaku, who was supposedly a top duelist of her time, but couldn't hold a candle to the main cast. In an egregious display of Plot-Induced Stupidity, she loses to Yugi in the Duelist Kingdom semi-finals after being intimidated by his skill into missing a game-winning move. In an even MORE egregious example from Battle City, she showboats away a quarter-final match against Malik, eschewing an obvious game-winning move in order to attempt to beat him with his own Winged Dragon of Ra, leading to her Mind Rape at Malik's hand, which subsequently causes her Freak Out!.
  • As Yu-Gi-Oh The Abridged Series sarcastically put it while replaying her 0 for 3 onscreen win record: "Yeah, that Mai Valentine is a great duelist, alright." When the series gets to her only on-screen victory (against one off character Jean Claude-Magnum in a filler episode), Téa says "I can't believe we found a duelist worse than Mai!"

Considering that she was one challenging and tough opponent in ALL the fights that she losed not importing her opponent, her skill is not of the "informed" variety. Seriously, she realized only ONE error in each one of the mentioned duels and in both the cases she has one clear advantage by more of the duel.
01:29:55 PM May 14th 2012
The Informed Ability is that she's one of the "world's greatest duelist", which simply doesn't come across on-screen. But even with her losses, she is a great duelist: I think people take LittleKuriboh a little too seriously, and I don't like the logic that you're a Faux Action Girl if you don't WIN!
07:19:52 PM Sep 21st 2010
I removed Leela. The original text (with justifying edits) read:

  • Leela of Doctor Who perfectly embodies this trope. She grew up in a warrior tribe, supposedly constantly needing to fight just to survive, and she certainly talks a lot about the fighting she plans on doing any time the Monster of the Week is revealed. Unfortunately, every time trouble shows up, she does little more than scream for The Doctor while getting captured or knocked out or otherwise defeated.
    • That, and bumping off quite a few mooks. Her problems with the Monster of the Week are usually because they're Immune To Knives.
    • And the Doctor consistenly prevented her from using her lethal janis thorns.

First off, everything in those justifying edits is true. She killed plenty of baddies in her time and it's not her fault that most Doctor Who monsters can't be taken out with conventional weaponry. The fact that she doesn't cause a blood bath every week has less to do with her ability and more to do with the fact that this is a kids show.

What bugs me most is that there are no examples cited for the claim that she does "little more than scream". She only screamed once in the whole show! What about the time she secretly followed the Doctor to make sure he'd be okay and ended up killing a potential assassin? What about the time she turned a man's own shotgun back on him? Or when she kept a whole community of criminals from killing her by making it clear that she'd take a whole lot of them with her if she died, and then challenged their leader to a knife fight? Or when she knocked down a man's door with an ax because she wanted to talk?

tl;dr version: If Leela "embodies" this trope than I am a little pink bunny rabbit.
11:34:04 PM Aug 15th 2010
Not sure that I agree with:

  • Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop. For such a badass bounty hunter, she sure needs Spike to bail her out a lot.

Sounds more like a case of Badass in Distress.
10:12:34 PM Aug 28th 2010
edited by Heart-mint
Then I guess it depends on how often she's in distress. I don't remember her doing a whole lot, but I don't know the series that well.
03:00:27 AM Sep 12th 2010
The problem with Faye is that she can't fight on foot, she's not that good with a gun, and she doesn't even seem to know hand to hand combat. She's not that bad with her aircraft but she's not Spike Spiegal. This wouldn't be a problem is she would figure that out but she doesn't learn and tries to be the female Spike. During the movie she has her target (a stupid hacker) playing a video game but she tries to be smooth, and ends up losing her target.

02:30:50 PM Oct 27th 2010
She also needs Spike to save her and just can't take care of herself. I suggest putting her back in.
10:25:04 AM Jul 21st 2010

  • Practically every female protagonist in every Tentacle Rape Hentai ever. It'd be faster to say which ones didn't fit into this trope.

'Cause it doesn't fit the trope.
07:39:08 PM Jul 11th 2010
Okay, the entry on Ginny Weasley bugs me. Even if we don't get to see much of it firsthand, that doesn't change the fact that she has some very legitimate accomplishments. I edited it a while back, but it keeps getting swept under the rug as "secondhand" and therefore, irrelevant to her more embarrassing moments.
10:27:57 AM Jul 21st 2010
Anyone want to debate removing the Ginny entry?
05:55:19 AM Aug 26th 2010
Removed it already. Seeing how people seem to grasp at all kinds of straws to make her look bad, I'll take any reverts with a grain of salt. *sigh*
07:39:25 AM Sep 27th 2010
edited by Nev
Okay, I have removed this:

  • Ginny Weasley. All the characters praise her for her bravery and her strength, but she proves rather useless in battle. Despite having even a personal powerful spell (the Bat Bogey Hex), all she accomplished in the last 3 books was: breaking her ankle (book 5), being saved by her boyfriend (book 6), and finally joining Luna and Hermione in the duel with Bellatrix, only to be saved by her mom(book 7). Ginny is sometimes mentioned as doing impressive things, but the reader only ever hears about it second hand.

Again. Ginny does not fit this trope. First, no one ever claimed she was super awesome in a duel. The only claim that was made about her was that she was good with the Bat bogey Hex and she did okay in the DA.

Second, even if Ginny hexed people off screen, she still hexed people. Unless you want to believe everyone in the book was lying to make Ginny look good, second hand accounts still count. When Ron, Neville and Ginny escaped in Oot P, the tale of how they did so was second hand. Does that mane they didn't escape after all, because Ginny is still a "faux action girl?"

Third, we have seen Ginny fighting, and she holds her own. We saw her place a "well aimed" jinx on Death Eaters in DH. In HBP, she was fighting Carrow when Harry interfered, yes, but she was DODGING his curses quite easily. There was no indication she was in danger of being hit- it's not like he was standing over her unconscious body and Harry dived to the rescue. In DH, she was also conscious and still fighting and keeping herself alive against Bellatrix. A curse almost hit her. WOW. How often does that happen in a duel? Are Luna and Hermione faux action girls too because they were "saved" along with her? No one would claim that. And yes, she broke her ankle in Oot P. Let's not forget that everyone except for Harry and Neville (sort of, he still broke his nose) was hurt badly in that fight.

In other words, this is just another way for Ginny haters to bash her. She does no worse than anyone else in HP, she just gets less screentime. As no one protested the first time this trope was deleted, please DON'T put it back in again.
04:58:50 AM Oct 2nd 2010
I think you're generalizing. Whoever put it there doesn't necessarily have to be a 'Ginny Hater'. Are you 'Ginny Lover's' because you removed it?

While the text (besides Book 6) never tries to convince us that she's all that and a bag of chips, that infamous JKR interview could have influenced their decision. She said things like Ginny and Harry were equals, that she had seven child of seventh child powers, and that we'd see her powers in book 7. We never saw any of those things in Book 7, which actually fits this trope. It's a fairly common problem in JKR's writing style. I can understand why whoever it was put it up there without attaching Ron the Death Eater type motives.

I'm not trying to start a fight or even suggesting it be put back in just don't have such a bad attitude about it.
07:31:38 PM Oct 3rd 2010
edited by Nev
Um, okay. Sorry I had a bad attitude. Just because the example has been such a back and forth thing with the people who re-adding it never giving a reason, I figured I would have to write an essay to "defend Ginny's honor". I think the only really hostile thing I said was implying some people on this site might hate Ginny- and there's pretty solid evidence we've got quite a few Harmonians waging war against Ginny and Ron, so I didn't think that was an off-base assumption to make.

"Infamous interview", huh? First of all- interview canon that was just JKR's opinion on the character and likely some stuff she didn't have space to add in doesn't count. And why does "equals" have to mean "equals in combat?" If I remember the context correctly JKR was saying they'd both been heavily affected by Voldemort and had to overcome it- which there is no denying, not anything about Ginny's mad magic skillz.

I saw nothing saying Ginny was a great combatant in book 6- I saw a lot about Harry thinking she was great. Clearly he was supposed to constantly criticize the person he had a crush on, that would have showed his true affection?
11:22:01 PM Dec 20th 2010
Please can somebody stop deleting this article? This is quickly turning into an Edit War. If you don't agree with the note, just edit it a 'YMMV' and leave it in. Remember this is not Wikipedia.
12:46:24 AM Dec 21st 2010
edited by SpellBlade
If you don't agree with the note, just edit it a 'YMMV' and leave it in.

No, because that would be Natter, and that isn't wanted.

Plus, this isn't a YMMV article, meaning examples here need to have have at least some basis in objectivity as opposed to personal opinion.
02:17:47 AM Oct 18th 2011
When I first read the Trope description, an image of Ginny popped up in my head, unbidden- and I ship Ron/Hermione, like the Weasley family and didn't really care who Harry ended up with. I know it's a sore spot for a lot of people who are tired of hearing complaints about her, but without getting too nasty about Ginny herself, she does display major symptoms of this trope.

Think about it- all the fighting she's done has some way of her getting out of it through things other than her own skills. The duel in HBP shouldn't be talked about because of the Felix Felicis, making everyone's skills skewed by luck. She never lives up to all of the amazing things everyone says about her being great in a duel, and the Bat Bogey Hex, which was enough to make Slughorn invite her into his club, is never used to any effect in combat. You can say lots of things about Ginny, but to say she lives up to being an Action Girl... not so much.
04:48:20 PM Feb 28th 2012
Seems like Nev is a blatant Ginny-stan. She's a fictional character, and doesn't need anyone to 'defend her honour'. Just because you like her doesn't mean she doesn't fit this trope to a T. Rowling is not a perfect, infallible author. She makes mistakes - in terms 'faux action girl' related, Ginny was one of them.
01:27:23 PM May 14th 2012
Agreed. I don't hate Ginny either, but she's no Hermione, that's for sure.
05:04:07 AM Apr 11th 2010
edited by HappyMan
Does this trope have a Spear Counterpart?
06:46:42 PM Dec 23rd 2011
No, I think. Action-oriented males who is shown failing to be capable in battle is not very common, It's because action males are naturally defined as strong and useful gender. A guy with Action Girlfriend (like Ron Stoppable) is quite close. He likes to boast around or tries to get his butt in a trouble mainly that he thinks he can handle a situation for his girl. He may get his action sometimes, though not that often. Then again, not every of them are action guys to begin with.
12:45:09 AM Mar 6th 2012
I think the lack of a spear counterpart is sort of why this trope exists. If a man gets his ass kicked in a battle, it's due to either his opponent's superior strength or his own personal failings, a la Miles Gloriosus. If a woman gets her ass kicked, the implication in most shows is that it's because she's a woman and shouldn't be trying to fight in the first place.
03:44:33 PM Apr 6th 2010
Why is Hamlet a page quote. Hamlet never prentended Queen Gertrude or Ophelia were Action Girls? I'd use the dumbass in distress quote from Nostalgia Critic.
09:03:35 AM Apr 6th 2010
edited by ^_^
Okay, moving this here to talk about:

  • Trish did do something of note: she is the only DMC woman who fights the Big Bad at the end of her game. While Lady and Lucia had to leave the fight entirely to Dante, Trish charged in when Dante was about to be killed by Mundus and summoned her lightning to finish off Mundus and save the day. Granted, Dante was the one who pulled the trigger, but it was still her power. Furthermore, while we are shown her taking out only a few mooks in the fourth game, her saying "no matter how many you kill, more will come" and later Dante's request to protect the townspeople from a whole invading army of demons implies that she took out a lot of them offscreen.

Lucia fought Arius with Argosax's power and proved herself capable of holding her own, and Lady showed up and offed her father. Pretty notable in that she still managed that as a human, capable of doing impressive feats and then some. Trish only charged in at the last moment through a Deus ex Machina to save Dante, which comes after Mundus is already weakened and falling apart. She barely fought.

The last sentence is probably the most telling of her status as a Faux Action Girl. We're only informed that she saved the townspeople and took down a lot of lesser demons but she did it offscreen— As in, no one sees this but we're supposed to be taking someone else's word for it. Also, lesser demons. Nero can take them out. Lady can take them out. Dante even more so, and if Trish is supposedly on his level, why is she not handling tougher things than Scarecrows?

Lastly, Dante didn't request that she save the townspeople, he only accepted Credo's request of saving his family, while she immediately decided not to help him in his task, but to go off to do the (presumably easier) job of evacuating the citizens. Dante even protests "Hey! Is this your way ditching and dumping this mess on me?" so not only is it evident that she started the problem of the fourth game in the first place, she's the one deciding to take the easy way out by the end. And yeah, offscreen heroism/fighting skill is pretty much a requirement of this trope.
10:01:07 AM Apr 6th 2010
edited by :)
Lucia fought the weakened form of Argosax after Dante had already beaten it, and Lady offed her father when he was badly injured, unable to move and completely defenceless. Trish is the only one who actually made a difference by giving Dante her powers when he was about to be killed by Mundus. Deus Ex Machina or not, she still saved the day.

Onscreen, she effortlessly takes out eight or so mooks in a few seconds, without even using her lightning power because she was pretending to be human and had to hold back her superhuman abilities. That should be enough to show that she could take out a lot of demons, even if we don't see it.

And in the anime, we are shown Trish (and Lady) taking on Sid's whole army of invading demons and killing a bunch of them, and when Dante comes back the demons are all gone, so it's undeniable that the two women defeated countless demons: even if we only see part of the ongoing battle, we clearly see the beginning and the aftermath. At the very least, that means that Trish took out half an army of demons and wasn't even injured. Also, in the anime, Trish defeats Lady despite the fact that Trish was holding back (because she knew that Lady was on Dante's side and she didn't want to seriously harm her) whereas Lady was fighting to kill.

I'm just perplexed by the double standard. You consider Lady and Lucia to be Action Girls, even though both of them were rescued by Dante once, never rescued him in turn, were only able to kill the Big Bad after Dante had severely beaten him, and Lady was defeated by Trish. Meanwhile Trish, who was rescued once but then saved the day against the Big Bad, defeated Lady while holding back, and easily and quickly defeated a bunch of mooks while holding back, is the Faux Action Girl because some of her accomplishments (which are obviously well within her abilities, judging by her onscreen mook fight in DMC 4 and by the onscreen scenes of the battle against Sid's army in the anime finale) happen offscreen?

Also, lesser demons. Nero can take them out. Lady can take them out. Dante even more so, and if Trish is supposedly on his level, why is she not handling tougher things than Scarecrows?

Trish isn't on Dante's level, and nobody ever said she is. When she attacked him, he defeated her easily, and she was extremely impressed with his power. There is no doubt that Dante is much more powerful than her.

But the point is, Dante is much more powerful than anybody. He wouldn't even take the Savior seriously as a threat, and just stepped aside to let Nero handle him. In the whole series, the only ones who come close to Dante's power are Vergil and Mundus, and Dante still defeated them. Being weaker than Dante does not make a character a Faux Action Girl.

Lastly, Dante didn't request that she save the townspeople

He did. Before he goes on to fight the Saviour, she and Trish meet again.

Dante: That's one sword... Trish: And one to go. Need some company? Dante: I think you'd better help the others. Try to get them as far away from here as possible. Trish: Got it.
11:08:52 AM Apr 6th 2010
..... No. Lucia fought Arius-Argosax, and Dante locked himself in Hell to face Argosax the Chaos. The two were in different planes fighting different entities at almost the same time. Dante did not weaken Arius beforehand. In fact, all Arius did was get stronger.

Trish went in and "made the difference" at the point where Mundus was already weakened, crumbling, falling apart and still laughing at Dante, so she still did not actually fight Mundus. She got the last shot in. Dante did most of the work.

Really. When they fought in the church, Lady remarked that Trish 'really hates to lose', and throughout the fight, for some reason Trish can't hold her own against Lady in a straight-fistfight even while holding back and had to depend on her lightning powers to make Lady keep her distance. (Although honestly, if she didn't want to fight Lady because she knew they were on the same side, she should have, uh, said something beforehand rather than just casually taking it, but that's a whole nother story.)

I consider Lady and Lucia to be Action Girls because they fight within the scope of their abilities and their "status". Lady is a human, Lucia is supposedly a 'defective' copy of the Secretary Clones, but not only does Lady fight demons without suffering a hit (similar to how Trish does in the fourth game), she even tried to hold her own against Dante with a leg injury that should have crippled her, and Lucia faced off against Arius after he had taken power from Argosax, with no prior "weakening" beforehand.

Alright, then, she isn't on Dante's level (I guess her toting around the Sparda at the end of the first game should have been a hint), but saying that Dante is much more powerful than her loops right back around to her somehow managing to make a difference against Mundus when Dante couldn't. How is that possible? Being weaker than Dante doesn't make her a Faux Action Girl, of course. I never said that. But she still suffers from not being able to save herself despite the Informed Ability of her lightning speed and motorcycle-chucking strength. That lacks an explanation.
11:41:42 AM Apr 6th 2010
edited by :)
Fair enough about Lucia.

Yes, but still, Dante would have died if Trish hadn't rescued him, so she did make a difference.

Trish defeated Lady once, when she shot her hair instead of her body, and again later, when she started using her lightning powers and was getting ready to shock a knocked down Lady. How is that failing to hold her own?

Trish did want to fight Lady, she just didn't want to actually kill or seriously hurt her. Dante explains that Trish craved a good fight, and since Lady was a better fighter than the demon Trish was after, Trish decided to fight with Lady instead, and so purposefully pretended to be an evil demon so Lady would fight her.

When Dante fought Lady, I believe he went very easy on her on purpose. And anyway, if a human can stand up and fight after she got stabbed through the thigh with a large knife, that's a Deus Ex Machina too, because there is no way something like that makes sense.

Btw, I really like Lady and definitely consider her a real Action Girl. I'm just saying that she and Trish have similar merits and similar flaws, so I don't think only one of them can be considered a real Action Girl.

Trish could make a difference because Dante was exhausted and injured after a long and hard fight, whereas she was in good shape and had the advantage of surprise.

She stupidly got in a Damsel In Distress situation once in the first game of the series. That was definitely a Wallbanger, but I don't think it's fair to dismiss all of her merits and call her a Faux Action girl just because of that.
02:52:44 PM Apr 10th 2010
edited by ^_^
I think it was the part where she needed to use her lightning powers but should have had enough strength without it to be able to defend herself. She did effortlessly toss a motorcycle once. Not that I'm saying she should have tossed anything, of course, but if she has that strength already, and they were already at the point where even Lady commented that they were 'fighting like humans' (as in, punches and kicks), why would she have had to resort to the long-ranged powers?

Honestly, I found the entire premise of the episode to be so dumb I actually forgot there was an explanation for the whole fight. I find her about to shock down a knocked over Lady to be... kind of counterproductive to not wanting to seriously hurt her. What was she going to do, just make her hair stand on end? Lightning isn't harmless.

Actually that's just Fridge Logic combined with Made of Iron, but I'm not going to contest that. I actually hated that part since Executive Meddling made it inconsistent with Mission 13. (a guest panel with Reuben Langdon had him present a deleted scene where Lady actually defended herself against both Dante and Vergil before the plot twist was revealed, removed because "she shouldn't be that strong". Words can't describe the argh.)

... I hate almost all of the female characters, especially Lady. But that'd be for a slightly different reason than Trish, which is neither here nor there.

I have a problem with more of the way Trish is being written than anything. There is still every other trope displayed around her—

  • She caught Dante off guard in the beginning but didn't make a dent even with that and existed only to acknowledge his incredible power otherwise, and then she failed trying to get him again even with the help of Nightmare. Never mind that it was already shown in the beginning cutscene (and all that talk about "incredible power") that she was weaker than he was and wouldn't have had much of an effect since Dante had just beaten Nelo Angelo, Griffon, and Phantom in reverse order and she would have needed to be stronger than all of them since the beginning for Mundus to logically even consider her as one of the last lines of defense. Also, she needed to catch him off guard then too.
  • The Informed Ability was already mentioned.
  • She got subdued by Mundus and used as a hostage and her plight was played for drama which overlaps with the Informed Ability (she couldn't save herself from a pillar that would hit her in 4 seconds after she'd seen it, but saving Dante in 2-3 seconds is alright? arghflabble).
    • As a subpoint, her dying suddenly absolved her of how much of a horrible partner she was throughout the rest of the game. Lightning aside, she didn't even pretend to help Dante around in the castle. I do not approve. And then
  • The plot forgot that she was weaker than Dante (and Mundus as well) just to have her save the day because even the cracking statue god was laughing at Dante being too weak to finish him, also forgetting how the Agony Beam killed her in just one hit. (Also also forgetting about Mundus having the power to create more of her, as many as he likes, but that's another story.)
  • Just when she started showing a sign of Character Development in the anime by leaving Dante to become a freelancing demon hunter presumably because she didn't want to wait around for calls, and preferred to bring the fight to the demons' doorstep (not to mention the whole "she looks like a woman than Dante said she'd never live up to" part of her character), she proved to be so ineffectual that she came back for DMC 4 and works under Dante again. Why isn't she making a name for herself? Why can't she?
  • Her sudden proficiency in combat with short knives for one moment in DMC4 was barely explained either, not to mention the plot that didn't need to be started that she was responsible for.

... I guess if I'm not able to fault her for being a Faux Action Girl, I can use those other tropes, And That's Terrible. .... Man I'm beginning to hate the writing. Capcom should be ashamed of themselves.
09:56:57 AM Oct 4th 2016
edited by GlitteringFlowers
  • Your average Mobile Suit Gundam series is bound to have a least one of these. From Sayla Mass of the original Mobile Suit Gundam to Fa Yuiri of Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam to Sochie Heim of ∀ Gundam to Arisa Gunhale of Mobile Suit Gundam AGE, Gundam in general has a rather dubious record regarding female mobile suit pilots. Of course, this is a franchise that has had only one "main" female pilotnote  over its thirty five plus years of running, so it's safe to say Gundam isn't meant for women (despite what some would claim about certain series).
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny: Lunamaria Hawke is set up to be an Ace Pilot like her teammates Rey and Shinn. While she's certainly competent at taking out Mooks, she suffers from a bad case of Overshadowed by Awesome and is largely there to provide emotional support to the near Ax-Crazy Shinn.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 actually has a ''dark'' version of this trope in Nena Trinity. While appearing to be imposing in her Throne Drei, the unit itself is very weak as it was designed for stealth, and the only things Nena ever succeeded in killing were a bunch of people at a wedding, an intensely loyal Hong Long, and Wang Liu Mei. During three battles in the first season, the Throne Drei got easily knocked around, and poor Nena saw it get brutally dismembered by a revenge-driven Louise with her Regnant before being cut in half after saying "This isn't how I want to die!", not to mention in physical combat, Nena was easily stopped by Ali al-Saachez and got punched in the face for her troubles. Of course, her fans in Japan and those on the Ensemble Dark Horse side of the Broken Base in the West like her more for her personality.
    • Gundam Build Fighters Try actually uses this with Fumina Hoshino as part of her Character Development. At the beginning, she's shown to be a competent Gunpla Builder and Fighter, but ends up requiring the help of Rookie Red Ranger Sekai Kamiki (a virtual nobody to the world of Gunpla) to win the day. When the two and Yuuma Kousaka form Team Try Fighters, she relegates herself as support with the Winning Gundam, keeping her in a competent zone, but never actively fighting. However, after getting curbstomped by Saga Adou's Gundam The End and having her inspiration Lady Kawaguchi force her into fighting with the Winning Gundam solo and making her realize she has no idea what her weapons do and how to use them correctly, Fumina quickly realizes she can't just hang back and hope the boys can bring home the bacon and reworks the Winning Gundam into the Star Winning Gundam, a powerful suit that goes head to head with G-Portent, a Gunpla built by Shia Kijima, a member of the prestigious Gunpla Academy.

The wording is supiciously biased and it reads like copy/pasted from the early 2000's anti all female character sites. (Plus Fa was NEVER intended as an Action Girl, she weas an Action Survivor TOPS). Taking it here until it can be rewritten with less gnashing of teeth.
10:14:08 AM Oct 4th 2016
"copy/pasted from the early 2000's anti all female character sites" I don't know what this means, especially since the entries are if anything feminist (because they're complaining about Gundam's poor portrayal of women).
08:25:49 AM Nov 8th 2016
I think I can try to pair it down to a point where it doesn't seem this way, though IMO, I think bringing back the old entry should be what should happen:

  • A problem with many of the Mobile Suit Gundam series is that, if there is a major heroine, there is a heavy chance that they will be hit with this trope. At its best, it's a case of Overshadowed by Awesome; a female character may be a decent pilot in battle and may even be in possession of a Gundam herself, but the main male character is most likely the one with the better Mobile Suit (usually a Super Prototype) and probably even have super powers (or greater super powers if the female has them, too). At its worst, a female character may be The Load; the character may be an Action Survivor, but their actions and piloting skills may be poor enough that they become a detriment to everyone and barely make a dent in the action.
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