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Characters / Kung Fu Panda Master Tigress

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Main Character Index | The Jade Palace | Po | Tigress | First Movie Characters | Second Movie Characters | Third Movie Characters | Legends of Awesomeness | The Paws of Destiny | Other Characters

"I used to punch the ironwood trees by the palace to train. Now I feel nothing."

Voiced by:
Angelina Jolie (Films)
Kari Wahlgren (TV Series)
Tara Strong (Young Tigress, Secrets of the Furious Five)
Tara Macri (Young Tigress, Secrets of the Scroll)

The strongest and boldest of the Furious Five, and tertiary protagonist of the first film (deuteragonist of the sequel). She initially resents Po for being chosen as the Dragon Warrior over her, believing herself to be more worthy, but has since mellowed out considerably and is now one of his most loyal friends.

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  • Action Girl: She isn't one of China's most famous kung fu masters for nothing.
  • Adorkable: She usually hides it well, but when caught off guard, she can be endearingly flustered or sweet. She was this in spades in her cub years.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Given the nickname "Stripey Baby" by Lei Lei.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Tigress was ostracized in her old orphanage because of her inability to control her strength.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Well, not quite. Yes, she's quite overachieving at the beginning of the series, but it's mostly to reinforce her worth at the eyes of her master, the citizens of the Valley and her teammates. Nevertheless, it's precisely these traits and the feeling of being stepped aside by another incoming and, in her eyes, undeserving student that drives much of her cruel treatment of Po during the first movie.
  • Anthropomorphic Zig-Zag: She uses her four legs in case she's in a hurry, but otherwise, Tigress is comfortable with standing on her own two feet while fighting. Which of the two positions she prefers depends heavily on which is more practical for the occasion.
  • Arrogant Kung Fu Girl: Certainly not as bad as Tai Lung, but being passed over as Dragon Warrior certainly stung her pride, as well as possible deeper desires.
  • Artistic License – Biology: In Secrets of the Scroll, her pupils turn slitted to symbolize her tiger instincts taking over. In real life, tigers don't have slitted pupils, that trait belongs to domestic cats.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: While in their introductory scene, all of the Furious Five seem to be equal in terms of combat ability and strength, it soon becomes clear that Tigress, being the most powerful, the most disciplined, and the most dedicated, towers above the rest. Such a potential is required of a position within the group and that position is of their leader.
  • Audible Sharpness: Her claws.
  • Berserk Button: While normally cold, Tigress nearly attacked Po when she thought he was mocking Shifu's tragic story...until Mantis revealed he accidentally tweaked a nerve.note .
  • Be Yourself: Tigress learns this lesson as a teenager in Secrets of the Scroll where we see that Shifu trying to teach her to be like him, and her absolute commitment to trying to be like him, is more harmful then good, to the point Oogway has to step in and put a stop to it, in his usual way. Ironically, this would become the same lesson Po learns in the third movie.
  • Big Shadow, Little Creature: As a youngster in Secrets of the Furious Five.
  • Break the Haughty: Her humiliating defeat at the hands of Tai Lung in the first film really brought her down to earth. Legends of Awesomeness also provides a few more light hearted downfalls whenever she gets too abrasive or stuck up.
  • Broken Ace: The strongest of the Furious Five and it's implied in the sequel that she can beat the crap out of Po... and she also has major Daddy Issues which gave her an inferiority complex which she masks behind an arrogant facade ( at least initially).
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Tigress is the most "hardcore" of the Furious Five, abut she does have a soft side, usually seen with her fondness for children.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to Tai Lung's Cain.
  • Cats Are Mean: Played straight in the first film in that she's the rudest of the Furious Five towards Po until the end; it's downplayed massively after that.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Easily the snarkiest character in the series (though Mantis comes pretty close).
  • Celibate Heroine: Tigress claims to avoid romantic relationships because they affect a warrior's chi.
  • Character Check: An early Legends of Awesomeness episode "Chain Reaction" went into further introspective about Tigress' bitterness over being The Unchosen One for the Dragon Warrior which, combined with Po's increasing buffoonery at the time, led her to lash out at him again. When he saves her from the Croc Bandits however, she is left humbled and drops her grudge, this time fully.
  • Character Development: Before Po's arrival, Tigress was the only member of the Furious Five who was completely serious and stoic, although her humourlessness in the first film could also be attributed to her anger at Po for accidentally crushing her dream. However, after Po is accepted by, and begins to really integrate with the Five, his general levity seems to cause Tigress to lighten up and become more playful.
  • Character Exaggeration: Compared to almost completely somber personality in the first film, episodes of the Legends of Awesomeness TV series really punctuate her role as The Comically Serious, sometimes making her almost as much of a butt of jokes as Po. This occurred in the later films as well, but to a much more subtle degree.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • In the first movie, she was shown to harbor a level of sadness and resentment that Shifu acted coldly and showed her little affection when she was growing up. However, Legends of Awesomeness and other Expanded Universe works somewhat retcon this aspect of her personality by showing that during her youth, Shifu did have moments where he showed genuine warmth and compassion for her, thus showing that her life wasn't completely dour and miserable. Possibly justified since at this point she was still seething over being rejected as Dragon Warrior, so maybe chose to Accentuate the Negative.
    • Much of the Legends of Awesomeness TV series was produced before the second film was released.note  As such Tigress' characterisation plays closer to how she was the first film, her softening being much milder and still being an Arrogant Kung Fu Girl who can barely tolerate Po. Some episodes made afterwards did give Character Checks to her gentler characterisation in the sequels, though she remained more acerbic for the most part.
    • The TV series also played out the effects of Po's ascension in the first movie differently, with Tigress being outshone by Po in several episodes and even gaining a case of Green-Eyed Monster at times. "The Spirit Orbs of Master Ping" in particular (where a frustrated Tigress repeatedly loses to Po until mental competition comes into play) looks very jarring against the later films, where she and Po are still a Strong Girl, Smart Guy dynamic and Tigress' sense of ambition has mostly dissolved.
  • The Chew Toy: Legends of Awesomeness due to exaggerating her role as The Comically Serious, often reveled in making Tigress as much a persnickety target of Po's antics as Shifu.
  • The Chosen Wannabe: She is not happy that Po was chosen over her, though it's implied that this is due to her wanting her master's affection more than the position.
  • The Comically Serious: Wise and strong. Doesn't know what the word "Relaxation" means.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Tigress does not trust anyone, not even the mailman who has come to the Jade Palace for thirty years or, as Tigress said, "planning something for thirty years".
  • Cool Big Sis: Becomes this to Po in the second movie. Played even more straight with Lei Lei in the third film, who absolutely adores her. Tigress doesn't even mind the baby panda riding on her head and appears to genuinely enjoy training her.
  • Cooldown Hug: Delivers one to Po in the second film to end their fight over why Po couldn't open up about his problems, and to show him just how much she cares for him. She is later paid back with a Bear Hug.
  • Costume Evolution: In the the third film, Tigress now sports a long-sleeved yellow tunic with red vine patterns.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Tigress has protocol for dealing with a rooster wielding a battle-axe and a banana. You have to approach from the side holding the battle-axe, because the banana's a decoy.
  • Curtains Match the Windows: She has orange fur (since she's a tiger) and she also had orange eyes, which becomes even more pronounced during the night.
  • Cute Bruiser: As a child because she couldn't control her Super Strength.
  • Daddy Issues: If only Shifu had been nicer to her when she was young...
  • Deadpan Snarker: Often at Po's fanboyism. Averted when he talks about his adoption issue, which is genuine instead of deadpan.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: From a bitter Resenter to Po, to close friend with more than a hint of a romantic attraction to him.
  • Depending on the Writer: Tigress changes characterizations between films pretty noticeably; she's back to being The Stoic in Panda 3, a far cry from being One of the Guys in Panda 2. The Legends of Awesomeness TV series goes even further the other direction and makes her The Finicky One.
  • Deuteragonist: In the sequel.
  • Did You Think I Can't Feel?: Po assumes that she can't feel emotional pain in addition to being Made of Iron. She seems taken aback, but is interrupted before she can correct him. Later, he thinks Tigress is too "hardcore" to understand why he wants to ask Lord Shen about his past. She retorts by lunging at him... and giving him a hug coupled with this little comment:
    Tigress: The hardcore do understand. But I can't watch my friend be killed.
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: In her backstory in Secrets of the Furious Five, she was feared by everyone at the orphanage she was raised in because she couldn't control her strength properly.
  • Doorstop Baby: In "Kung Fu Day Care", it's revealed that Tigress was left at the doorstep of the Bao Gu Orphanage as a baby.
  • Dull Surprise: Deliberately invoked and lampshaded.
    Tigress: (flat expression) "I am smiling. This is my happy face."
  • Feel No Pain: She spent twenty years punching the ironwood trees at the Jade Palace to the point where "now, I feel nothing". As Po points out, that is incredibly cool.
  • Femininity Failure: Doing anything stereotypically feminine is outside her skillset. She tries to sing and do the Ceremonial Princess Dance in "The Princess and the Po" and can neither dance or sing.
  • Flanderization: A more subtle example, as a mix of both this and her Character Development into a more emotive character make Tigress' The Comically Serious traits more evident with each film, to the point she verges as comic relief with Lei Lei in the last half of the third film.
  • Flat "What": She lets out a couple during the third film's training montage, and even when she doesn't say it, the emotion is all over her face.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Her temperament is primarily Melancholic, though she tends to overlap with other ones as the franchise goes on. For example, in the first film, she's a mix of both this and Choleric, being rather distant from her comrades and oriented entirely towards trying to impress Shifu. She also looks down on Po for most of the film because she sees him as unworthy, and the only emotion she seems to readily show is an extremely ill temper. After Po proves his worth and she softens thanks to his actions, she starts to overlap more with Phlegmatic, as The Stoic is still her default mood, but she has become much friendlier and more open, particularly towards Po.
  • Freudian Excuse: She acts so cold and aloof because she knows about the trouble Shifu went through with Tai Lung, which means that he hasn't let himself show any emotional attachment towards her and constantly tells her—as well as the rest of the Five—that she can do better, rather than ever say he is proud of what she has already done. She desperately wants his approval, so is understandably annoyed when Po is selected as the Dragon Warrior with zero training after spending decades of hard work trying to become Shifu's star pupil. She warms up to him when he goes through Shifu's Training from Hell and still doesn't quit, because he's always modest around all of them, and after he earns the respect of her teammates, though she's the last to show it.
  • Friend to All Children: Being around children brings out her soft side.
  • Fully Dressed Cartoon Animal: The only member of the Five to wear a full outfit.
  • Grumpy Bear: In the first film and the TV series, Tigress is recurrently irritable and standoffish, with Po being the most regular target for her temper. In the later films she lightens up, though remains a Perpetual Frowner.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: When she was younger, Tigress had issues controlling her temper. It still pops up every now and then.
  • Happily Adopted: Downplayed; she was very happy that Shifu (who trained her to control her brute strength as a child) adopted her, but until her adulthood Shifu was very cold to her.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: This exchange in the TV series.
    First Bunny Girl: So do you love Po?
    Second Bunny Girl: Is Po your boyfriend?
    Tigress: What? No!
  • Huge Schoolgirl: She was raised in an orphanage full of pigs, bunnies, and geese, and she was naturally much bigger and stronger than any of the other children. The fact that she did not know her own strength only made things worse.

  • Ineffectual Loner: She gets along well with her teammates, but isn't particularly friendly to any of them. Except Po. Eventually.
  • Interspecies Adoption: She was adopted by Shifu, a red panda.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While it didn’t excuse her rude attitude towards Po, Tigress was right to be concerned with leaving all the fate into Po’s hands while he wasn’t even well trained in the beginning. Even Po himself came to agree with her at one point by attempting to run away.
  • Jerkass Realization:
    • A few throughout Legends of Awesomeness, usually concerning her harshness towards Po. "Chain Reaction" in particular brings up her still brewing resentment over Po being chosen as Dragon Warrior. After she lashes out at him again for being unworthy, Po snaps back at her, having only ever wanted to be her friend. When he later rescues her from the Croc Bandits, she admits remorsefully to being surprised he bothered.
    • A minor one in the third film, after she chastises Po for planning to take on Kai without any strategy and still having not mastered chi, Po eventually laments she is right and he doesn't have what it takes. She suddenly emits a very forlorn, guilty look, clearly having not meant to break down Po like that.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Once she warms up to Po, she starts showing a softer side.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: In Legends of Awesomeness, Mei Li refers to her as the scary man with stripes. It becomes a Running Gag.
  • The Lancer: To Po.
  • The Leader: Of the Furious Five, being the most senior member and the most skilled. Even after Po takes up the mantle of Dragon Warrior, it's still Tigress who calls the shots and keeps the team from making bad decisions.
  • Loves My Alter Ego: In Legends of Awesomeness, she falls in love with the Midnight Stranger, who is actually Po in disguise. When Tigress finds out who he really is, she leaves to throw up.
  • Made of Iron: Po punches her in the arm and only succeeds in hurting his hand. She doesn't even seem to notice. She also counted half the planks in the Thread of Hope with her back (and two solid hits from Tai Lung in general) without much damage. Also, she took a direct hit from Lord Shen's cannon and survived. For perspective, another kung fu master known for being unstoppable died to the same cannon.
  • Mama Bear: To Zan in Legends of Awesomeness and then to Lei Lei in the third film.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Masculine Girl to Po's Feminine Boy. Po is an All-Loving Hero, easily emotional, clumsy, and can be one of the most soft-hearted characters in the series. Tigress, on the other hand, is The Stoic, has manly traits, is the stronger one of the two, and can take a while to warm up to people.
  • Maternally Challenged: Taking care of Zan in Legends of Awesomeness. Lampshaded when Shifu says she doesn't have much experience with children.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: In Secrets of the Scroll, Shifu has her repress her natural feline instincts, claiming that they show a lack of control. It's only when she finally cuts loose that she reaches her true potential and develops tiger-style kung fu.
  • Not So Above It All: Expanded Universe media such as the hand drawn shorts and Legends of Awesomeness TV series tend to convey a much more clownish and awkward side to Tigress than the films. Even in the latter, she starts becoming One of the Guys by the second film and enjoying some of Po's more immature habits.
  • Not So Stoic: She does have the (extremely) rare moment of actual emotion, most notably near the end of the second movie where she actually hugs Po. Also pops up whenever she's around children, who bring out a much softer side that not even her friends and family get to see.
  • Number Two: Is the official leader of the Furious Five and the one to keep Po on track.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Both Shifu and Po suffered a Disney Death in separate instances in Legends of Awesomeness. Tigress' response to both being revived was to glomp them in a happy fit....and then quickly try to regain her formal composure. She does this to Po in the third film as well, though since the whole group does the same, it goes less noticed.
    • In the Legends of Awesomeness episode, "The Midnight Stranger" Tigress starts fawning over the title character like a crushing schoolgirl. The others are left completely dumbfounded by this change in character.
    • The episode "Forsaken and Furious" has an especially jarring case, where she and the other Furious Five members are left so frustrated at being unappreciated by the village and Shifu in favour of Po that they angrily leave the Jade Palace and essentially spend the majority of the episode throwing a childish snit-fit.
  • Orphanage of Love: Bao Gu, where she was raised. Though it was only an Orphanage of Love after she learned to control her strength. Up until then, it was an Orphanage of Fear... and she was what everybody was afraid of.

  • Panthera Awesome: She's a tiger, and a highly awesome one. Quite popular for subjects at the Furry Fandom.
  • Parental Abandonment: She is confirmed to be an orphan, though how and why she became one is unknown.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Especially in the first movie. By the second, she's lightened up a little, having gotten closer to Po and actually enjoying his company (some of his childish antics aside), but she's still easily the most serious of the Five even then.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: A humorous Reconstruction in the third film. While she's still her usual serious-minded competent self throughout, during the last half, where she is a Fish out of Water in the consistently goofy Panda Village, she plays the role of The Comically Serious against Po's bizarre but effective training methods and Lei Lei's clinginess. She still gets her badass check in the climax against the Jade Zombies however.
  • Pragmatic Hero: She's an honorable kung fu warrior, but isn't above using dirtier tactics against her opponents, like trying to drop a rope bridge out from under Tai Lung.
  • Precocious Crush: According to Po in "Jailhouse Panda", Tigress had a crush on Shifu growing up.
  • Raised by Dudes: Shifu was the only one who raised her.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She gives a harsh one to Po in the Legends Of Awesomeness episode "Chain Reaction", saying that Po thought of everything as a game and thinks Oogway made the wrong choice in choosing the Dragon Warrior. But after Po gave a small emotional one to her in return, she regrets what she said. Averted at the end of the episode, where she thanks Po for rescuing her by saying that Oogway made the right choice after all.
  • Replacement Goldfish: She feels overshadowed by Tai Lung, and incapable of taking the place he supposedly had in Shifu's heart. As Secrets of the Furious Five reveals, she was adopted by Shifu as well, making her Tai Lung's replacement in all aspects. She's wrong at least in the sense that Shifu did a very poor job of expressing his love and approval in time to Tai Lung as well.
  • The Resenter: To Po, initially. She more than gets over it when he impresses her by defeating Tai Lung by himself. The Legends of Awesomeness episode "Chain Reaction" reveals a few remaining demons, though this is finally settled after Po rescues her and she is left openly remorseful.
  • Running on All Fours: When she's in a hurry. Ironically, she didn't always used to do this. In Secrets of the Scroll, she runs with a formal, but highly inefficient jog for most of the short. She only tries something different when she sees how easily her new teammates are outpacing her with their efficient, instinct-driven styles of movement.
  • Ship Tease:
    • With Po in the second film. And in several episodes of Legends of Awesomeness, which takes place between the first two films.
    • Her semi-catatonia to being hugged by Po at the end of the film.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Even her strength and reflexes can't save her from Amusing Injuries in some episodes of the Legends of Awesomeness, "Chain Reaction" being a defining example. Less evident in the movies, though there are still odd scenes such as Kung Fu Panda 3's Epic Fail training scene.
    Crane: Tigress is flammable turns out.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Usually keeps her arms bare, except for special occasions.
    • Averted with her new outfit, which does have sleeves.
    • Also averted with her robe in Secrets of the Scroll, which she literally tears off (sleeves included) at the end.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's just barely shorter than the 6'2 Po, which means she's around 6 feet tall.
  • The Stoic: She's very calm and collected, always keeping her guard up.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: With Po. Tigress is the leader of the Furious Five and the fiercest fighter in the Valley of Peace. Po is an Ascended Fanboy with an encyclopedic knowledge of kung fu history and trivia, along with the ability to learn new techniques incredibly quickly (at least when properly motivated).
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: The Five even lampshade the switch. She is generally friendly, but the least sociable of the Five, and can be very intimidating at times due to her incredibly serious and direct demeanour. In many scenes of the first film in which the other four of the Furious Five and/or Po were joking or having fun, Tigress would often remain quiet and withdrawn. Tigress also shows her "sugar" side towards kids.
  • Super Strength: Tigers are usually ~40 times as strong as a human, and Tigress is no exception. This caused her problems when she was young- despite being a perfectly friendly little cub, she was still an extraordinarily strong apex predator in an orphanage consisting mostly of smaller prey animals, who feared her until Shifu taught her how to control her strength.
  • Taking the Bullet: For Po against a cannonball in the second film. She survives, though.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon: The Tiger to Po's Dragon.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The Tomboy to Viper's Girly Girl.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Tigress starts off as an arrogant, stoic jerk. Later on, she shows her softer side and becomes The Comically Serious.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: In the first movie, she openly resented and scorned Po for being chosen as the Dragon Warrior. By the end, she respects him after defeating Tai Lung. Come the sequel, she is his Number Two and his most vocal supporter. Legends of Awesomeness acts as a transitional point of sorts.
  • Tritagonist: In the first film, since it focuses more on the relationship between Po and Shifu, while still giving her central role in the events surrounding her anger at not being chosen, her fall, eventual reevaluation of self and acceptance of her role as Po's Number Two for the second movie.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Deconstructed. Secrets of the Furious Five reveals she was this as a child. She was the only apex predator in an orphanage full of ducks and bunnies, and her terrifying and uncontrollable strength coupled with her non-cuddly appearance made everyone fear her. It also made her Orphanage of Love look like an Orphanage of Fear because everyone who heard of Tigress thought of her as a monster... when all she wanted was friends. Thankfully, Shifu's training helped her learn control.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: As seen in Secrets of the Furious Five and Secrets of the Scroll, Tigress wasn't always the arrogant, stoic jerk seen in Kung Fu Panda.
  • Vague Age: She looks of similar age to the rest of the Five, however she is much more serious and mature, if still occasionally sharing their childish impulses. She reveals she's been in training for at least twenty years in the second film. Played for Laughs in an episode of the TV series where Po assumes Tigress is about forty.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: It's an open secret that she really wants Shifu to be proud of her. Unfortunately, she's got some major obstacles to overcome, see Replacement Goldfish and Freudian Excuse above.
  • When She Smiles: She always tries to be the serious martial arts warrior, but when she smiles, it's like she's letting you see the true inner beauty she has. While some of her smiles might seem somewhat strained, if you're Po or a little bunny on Winter Festival Eve, you get the honest, heartwarming smile.


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