Most Amazon-type female societies avoid the male sex but a certain manly type of hero is capable of winning over these tribes of women, even their leaders.
Ironically, this trope may occur out of a misplaced if well-intentioned desire to make a beloved character's intended just as good as they are rather than the significant other being 'helpless'. Thus, a twist on this trope is where a female character conveniently never runs into a situation where this scenario is fulfilled, thus technically pleasing anyone still using this cliché and also those who hate it.
This trope is Older Than Feudalism: in Greek Mythology, Hercules is sent on a quest to the land of the Amazons in order to steal the golden girdle of Hippolyta. The Library of Apollodorus first tells the version in which the two of them battle to a stalemate and the queen is so impressed with him she gives it up freely (in fact, Hercules may well have married her if Hera hadn't been so intent on making his life a living hell).
Compare Women Prefer Strong Men, where the focus of the attraction is on the man simply being strong for a man rather than stronger than the woman. Also see Best Her to Bed Her, Amazon Chaser. Related to The Worf Effect or Faux Action Girl (depending on how powerful the women really are). See Never a Self-Made Woman. The evil version of this is sometimes Villainesses Want Heroes. The polar opposite of Weakness Turns Her On. Related to Love at First Punch, when the Amazon first meets her Hercules, and Battle Couple, which also involves both partners being capable fighters without the man necessarily being stronger.
This trope is not universal enough for aversions to be meaningful; examples saying "averted in..." will be mowed down like grass.
- El-Hazard: The Magnificent World: Miz Mishtal is revered as the great water priestess of Mt. Moldune, which makes her one of the most powerful beings in El Hazard. She first becomes drawn to the humble PE teacher, Masumichi Fujisawa, where he comes to her rescue at Arlamann. But when he hammertosses the mech-sized Buggorm in episode 7, Miz was sold.
Miz: [blushing] My God! Umph! What! A! MAN!!
- Inuyasha: Kagura is the one of the strongest female characters in the story. She's not only stronger than several male protagonists but she's also so strong-willed even the Big Bad can't control her without magical means. Sesshoumaru is pretty much the most powerful character in the story. He's the only character that she was never able to manipulate which led her to start freely helping him in the fight against the Big Bad and ultimately led to her falling in love with him. The manga implied that her feelings were not one-sided.
- Shampoo's Chinese Amazon tribe in Ranma ½ qualifies with the law that a warrior must marry any man who manages to defeat her. In addition to being ordered to wed him by the law, despite the fact that he didn't intend to betroth her, Shampoo genuinely loves Ranma and in no small part does so because of his superior fighting abilities. Ironically, Shampoo also has rather "un-Amazonian" views on romance, and is quite happy with the idea of being Ranma's "damsel" if he'll let her.
- In the anime, two younger Amazons, Ling-Ling and Lung-Lung, also fell for Ranma, much to his consternation and Akane's annoyance.
- Whether the Chinese Amazons gender-twist this trope to "All Herculeses Want Amazons" is unknown. Mousse, a male Chinese Amazon, is most certainly attracted to Shampoo, and being that he is comedically poor of vision, it seems to be that it's her combat expertise that drew him to her. Unfortunately for him, when he challenged her to a marriage match (they were only three years old at the time), she beat him utterly. It's not known whether or not he's tried it again since, but Cologne (who, admittedly, is also Shampoo's great-grandmother and doesn't like Mousse, particularly compared to Ranma Saotome) insists that his initial loss means he can't ever win Shampoo by that method. The fact he's stronger than she is now doesn't really mean all that much, as it's heavily implied that Mousse could never bring himself to really hurt her, and so she will always be able to beat him.
- In One Piece, Luffy winds up on Amazon Lily, an island of badass women almost totally oblivious to the existence of an opposite sex ruled over by one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, the ridiculously gorgeous Boa Hancock; a puppy-kicking Vain Sorceress-to-be who despises men and has the power to turn people to stone using their own impure thoughts. This being a shounen manga, Luffy gets his Hero on in a big way and Hancock winds up falling for him. Interestingly, Luffy not only doesn't reciprocate such feelings, he's barely aware she has them. Even after seeing her topless twice and the second time complaining because he expected food instead. Lampshaded in that former Empress Nyon implies that this happens to every Empress of Amazon Lily eventually, and subverted because it's implied that it's killed them all except for Nyon, and now Hancock (who was dying but recovered as soon as she had the chance to help Luffy and stay with him a bit longer) because they were all too stubborn to act on their lovesickness.
- Another major subversion is not only Hancock stronger than Luffy, it isn't his 'manly' traits that attracted her to him in the first place. It was his empathy, chastity (being able to resist her charms), and his general affability. In this case, it was more like all Amazons end up with Hercules because they're the only ones capable of surviving long enough to show they're not complete dicks.
- Before Hancock, there was Alvida, who became smitten with Luffy due to the fact that he was the first man to beat her in a fight.
- Angel Densetsu is complicated. Kitano is pretty strong but he's also an Actual Pacifist. His suitors are Ax-Crazy Waif-Fu practitioners.
- Gate Keepers: Cute Bruiser Kaoru seems to be attracted to Choutarou aka Bancho when he develops his own Gate Ability, the Gate of Solid Crush - which happens to be similar to Kaoru's Gate of Combat.
- Ku Fei in Mahou Sensei Negima! will only allow Negi to kiss her if he can beat her in a fight, though she settles for an arm-wrestling match since time is pressing. Afterward, she "jokes" that now he'll have to marry her. On more than one occasion, Negi's reduced her to a semi-coherent puddle by displaying how strong he's become.
- In Black Lagoon, there is a certain degree of UST between The Baroness and the local Chow Yun Fat character Expy. It has been implied that they were one of the few people to have fought the other to a stalemate. At the very least Chang is one of the few people besides Rock that Balalaika seems to flirt with but the idea of anyone dominating Balalaika is too ridiculous to contemplate.
- In Galaxy Angel, Forte Stollen's secret fantasy is to be a damsel-in-distress who has her life saved from certain death by "A Strong Man, A Really Strong Man", who will then carry her around in his arms like a bride. When she encounters just such a man — one of the galaxy's top criminals, who singlehandedly destroyed an entire planet with his bare hands and was thus imprisoned for life in a pocket dimension contained in an unbreakable boulder — she actually disobeys her orders by actively trying to get him out and manages to free him, in order to consummate her desires.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: The hot-blooded, aggressive Evangelion pilot Asuka Langley Soryu actively scorns admirers her age, but has a major crush on the suave, dashing (and much older) secret agent Ryoji Kaji. She even lampshades this at one point by saying something along the lines of, "none of these pathetic boys are a real man like Kaji." This being Eva the trope is played with by her secret attraction to the much more passive Shinji Ikari, although she is unwilling to admit this to herself.
- In Saint Seiya, female saints have to wear a mask as a symbol that they've renounced their femininity. Traditionally, if a man ever sees their face without a mask, their choices are to either kill the man or fall in love with him. This was evidenced in-story by Ophiuchus Shaina, who was seen without her mask by Pegasus Seiya, early on in the series. At first, she tries to kill him out of humiliation... but eventually she falls in love with him, to the point where she risks her life for him several times.
- Coincidentally, female Saints are called "Amazonas" in the Portuguese version (since the word Saint is replaced with Knight, and a female Knight is always called an Amazon in Portuguese), making it a bit more of a literal example.
- Bamboo Blade: Ura's father was going to confess his love to Tsubaki (Tamaki's mother) once he beat her at kendo, but he Couldn't Catch Up, never managed to win, and therefore never confessed his love.
- Possibly Grell Sutcliff from Black Butler. The men she falls the hardest for are the men who have beaten her in a fight. Incidentally, guess what her favorite color is?
- Alluded to in The King of Fighters: KYO manga. Athena Asamiya is hinted to have a crush on Kyo Kusanagi ever since he defeated her in one of the KOF tournaments, and she transfers to his school to keep an eye on him and his powers. Unfortunately for Athena, Kyo already has a girlfriend named Yuki so she has no romantic chance with him; after a skittish beginning, she backs off and settles for staying friends with them both.
- In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Mitsuri aims for this to an extent, after being rejected by all of her previous normal male suitors who thought her being inhumanly strong was a turn-off Mitsuri then hoped she could meet a man whos either equally strong as her or more so she can finally marry; as a Hashira this comment of hers ambiguously made it seem she either doesnt consider the other male Hashira strong enough or she just isnt attracted to any of them.
- Saeko Nogami from City Hunter has vowed to only marry a man stronger than herself. Or at least that's what she says: there's a good chance it's actually an excuse to get out of her father's attempts at combining her marriage... Anyway, the first six aspirants failed the "test" and ended hospitalized, and when the seventh (who was there only because he was a cop and Saeko's father was his boss) actually beat her she wasn't interested in him in the slightest (he fell for Kaori and then left town anyway). We have no news on what happened to the following aspirants, except there was at least a number 8.
- Interestingly, Saeko still plays it straight, as her two actual love interests (Ryo and the late Makimura) are stronger than her, and she knows.
- An odd example in Accel World comes with the school idol Kuroyukihime, known as Black Lotus and the Black King, one of the most powerful players in the "Brain Burst" program. She became enamored with Haruyuki (a short, fat boy with severe self-esteem issues due to his appearance and bullying) after seeing his speed and drive in his squash games, and the only reason she got higher scores than him, for the purpose of getting his attention, is she had to cheat to even surpass him. He himself still can't believe she honestly likes him in that way. The way it's presented, this in turn makes Haruyuki an unusual kind of "Hercules", but replace physical prowess with video game skill, though within a virtual game world, it still translates to physical prowess in a sense.
- Maken-ki!: During the beach party of chapter 37's bonus story, Kimmi asks the other girls what sort of guys they like. Azuki and Chacha both say they prefer "strong ones". Except, they're both so monstrously strong themselves that, compared to either of them, most guys would be considered weak.
- My Bride is a Mermaid: Heavily implied to be the case with Akeno, thanks to the love potion Ren gave Nagasumi. The potion caused Akeno to see Nagasumi as a martial artist with such an impenetrable defense, that she immediately concedes without a fight by casting down her sword. Then she blushes and tells him he can "do as he wishes".
- Sumire in Kimi wa Petto, after being dumped by men who found dating a taller and more financially successful woman to be too intimidating, decides that she'll only date a man who's taller, more well-educated, and earns more money than her. Subverted when she falls in love with Momo, a short, broke runaway who acts as her "pet" for most of the series.
- It doesn't play out like the typical scenario, but - Jennifer Walters, as Amazonian Beauty as they come, had a long-standing crush on the Marvel Universe take on Hercules. Hercules' relationship with the actual amazons is not that great, Hippolyta is still infatuated with him; however, she's an evil violent Stalker with a Crush who will do whatever she can to sleep with him including turning him into her sex slave. This trope is later subverted with her Psychopathic Man Child daughter who hates him because of her mother's obsession with him.
- Wonder Woman:
- In The DCU, she certainly had no respect for Heracles for doing the above to her mother (a concept which was played with in JLA/Avengers, where she gets to beat the crap out of Marvel's Herc), but Herc and the Amazons eventually made peace in modern times. Viciously parodied in Wonder Woman vol. 3 #24, where the producers of a Wonder Woman movie have her make an "I will only marry a man who can defeat me" vow and get beaten by Heracles. The real Wonder Woman is not impressed.
- It's played straight in Frank Miller's Dark Knight universe. Her attraction to Superman is a result of this. She even implied in The Dark Knight Strikes Again that Superman threw her on the ground and made her his own.
- Subverted in the New 52. Diana is certainly impressed by Superman's power, but she's attracted to Clark more because of his nobility and compassion. Their relationship even begins only after he reaches out and helps her out when she's questioning her worth as a heroine.
- While Diana doesn't care much for Herc her mother was falling in love with him before he and his men betrayed the Amazons and tried turning them into sex slaves. Several comics imply or outright state Hercules is actually Diana's father but her birth was delayed due to her mother's immortality.
- Monet St. Croix is a smaller example. A powerhouse mutant, who even dubs herself as the team bruiser. Her first love was Synch, a very muscular young mutant who could link up to other mutants and use their powers better than the host. Next was Strong Guy who was The Big Guy and Boisterous Bruiser of the team, possessing Super Strength as his power. Finally there was Sabretooth in Uncanny X-Men (2015), who is another powerful mutant when he's not suffering Badass Decay. He's very muscular like the other two, with Monet eyeing him up at one point and volunteering to watch while he moves heavy equipment from the Blackbird.
- Maxima was also passionately attracted to Superman because he is one of the only men in the universe who is as strong as she is and hence, a desirable father to her children. Pity that Supes doesn't give a crap because she didn't take it gracefully. At other times, she's hit on Captain Atom and Amazing Man, who are also pretty tough, and even Supergirl, which suggests that she's drawn to strong people, regardless sex.
- Subverted in Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl. The Joker bulks himself up, hoping that Batgirl will be seduced by his muscular physique. It turns out that she still despises him.
- The Hulk has this effect on women much like Herc does. Just ask Caiera.
- In the Captain N comics Samus Aran is attracted to Kevin because of his strength as a fighter, he'd make an ideal partner for her space hunting.
- Dwight from Sin City is already Mr. Fanservice but his relationship with Gail is a good illustration of this trope. Case in point: The Big Fat Kill. When he returned to Old Town after the events of A Dame To Kill For (and because he had gotten them into some trouble in this very story), Gail had a gun pointed at his head. He didn't flinch and instead, formulated a plan to get them out of the current mess they were in. He then demanded that she take the gun away. She didn't listen so he slapped her. She responded with "You bastard!" which was followed by, "I forgot how quick you were" which was then followed by her pulling him in for a quick makeout session.
- Downplayed in an issue of Marvel's Transformers comic, where Cloudburst unintentionally gained the favor of the queen of a race of alien giant amazons, but she was as impressed by his intelligence and diplomatic talent as by his fighting ability. She was... disappointed by his robotic inner self.
- Subverted with Vartox and Power Girl. He's arguably more powerful than her (has more powers, and the ones he has are at least at Kryptonian levels) but his hyper-masculinity is a complete turn-off for Kara Zor-L. It doesn't help that Vartox bears an uncanny resemblance to Sean Connery as Zed, the protagonist in the film Zardoz, nor that Vartox's world's approach to romance could be described as 1970s Hugh Hefner on acid.
- One of the stories in Phil Foglio's XXXenophile series involves an amazon who can't bed anyone but a warrior who bests her in battle, and who is constantly driven to challenge men. The story culminates (ahem) when a man bests her at a chess-like game whose name translates as battle. (The gods backing the man and the woman are, respectively, inordinately pleased and incredibly annoyed).
- Played straight and subverted within the same breath in With Strings Attached. The queen of the Warrior Women pants all over the large, handsome, muscular Hunter... but after the small, feeble, exhausted Ringo defeats the village's best male warrior in literally three seconds, she throws herself on him, as do many of the other women of the village.
- Kanril Eleya (Bait and Switch (STO) and The War of the Masters), a highly decorated Starfleet captain and space and ground combat veteran seems to prefer blond men who are bigger and stronger than she is (which takes some doing, seeing as how she's 6'2" and an accomplished hand-to-hand fighter).
- With This Ring: Maxima (mentioned above) switches targets from Superman to Grayven!Orange Lantern after he killed Klarion, a Lord of Chaos, something only an extremely capable warrior could do. Grayven, who is in a relationship already, and not anymore interested in Maxima than Superman was, ends up convincing Maxima how stupid this trope is since she's specifically seeking a co-ruler and a father for her children. A co-ruler needs to compliment her own talents as a leader, not just be another version of her, and an alien is extremely unlikely to be able to procreate with her naturally, so even if Grayven or Superman were interested, they'd have to create offspring through cloning. She ends up deciding to marry her current advisor instead, who happens to be a woman.
- In Heavy Metal, Den is a 98-pound weakling voiced by John Candy. Sent to an alternate dimension, he transforms into a bald, muscle-bound, loin-cloth-wearing Action Hero, "with his dork hanging out." He rescues a Damsel in Distress, Kath, and when they have a moment to talk in peace (Expanded upon in a deleted scene), Kath explains that she brought into that world as well and changed to her delight into a naked Ms. Fanservice ideal and would love to offer her attentions to her hero, and he accepts eagerly. Later, Den is forced to join a small raid against an evil queen's palace only to blunder into the queen in the dark. When the lights come on, he is clearly grabbing her (very much uncovered) breasts. The queen doesn't mind; a few seconds of animated sex later, she proclaims Den her messiah. About par for female characters in that movie.
- In How to Train Your Dragon, Hiccup is certain that this trope is the only way to get a girlfriend, especially the smokin' Astrid. However, when Hiccup forgets about that while befriending Toothless the Dragon, he eventually is confronted by her learning his secret. To explain the situation, Hiccup and Toothless take her on an amazing flight and she later makes it clear to Hiccup that she's thoroughly won over by him, a boy capable of exhilarating wonders no mere Hercules can match.
- In the '50s film Queen of Outer Space, one of the leaders of the all-female (and man-hating) society on Venus falls in love with a visiting male astronaut.
- Also happens to Jason and the Argonauts in the first of Steeve Reeve's Hercules movies. One wouldn't exactly call those Amazons "man-hating", but they did have a law on the books that required the men's deaths.
- PCU implies that the only thing it takes to make a Straw Feminist into a man-loving party animal is beer.
- In one of the last Abbott and Costello movies, Abbott and Costello Go To Mars (well, Venus, actually) Lou falls in love with the Amazonian Queen of Venus, a love she reciprocates until his inability to keep his hands off of her subjects, and his cohorts' foolish attempt at staging a palace revolt, gets them all shipped back to Earth. Insult is added to injury when the Queen looks at a hologram of the former King, who's one good-looking hunk, and both she and her court dismiss the dumpy Lou.
- In the Wuxia take on The Kalevala, Jade Warrior, Pin Yu doesn't even consider Sintai's advances until he easily turns away her attacks. Only afterwards (with a bit of soul-searching) does she return his love. Also a subversion, Sintai's companion Cho turns out to be her long-lost lover, and she returns to him with only a token display of kung-fu.
- Gender inversion in Sherlock Holmes (2009) with Holmes and Irene Adler. Apparently she's the only woman who's ever been able to outsmart him. Twice.
- 300: Rise of an Empire: Artemisia spends much of the film searching for "someone to stand at my side". She offers this to Themistocles, but he denies her. After sex, of course.
- Defied in Captain America: The First Avenger and the spin-off Agent Carter. Peggy Carter is a British Army Major, co-founder of S.H.I.E.L.D, and a bonafide Action Girl. So why does she keep a photo of pre-serum-boosted Steve in her desk? The implication, of course, is that Peggy didn't fall in love with Captain America, the pinnacle of human perfection and the infallible personification of the American way, but she instead fell in love with Steve Rogers, the scrawny runt from Brooklyn who wouldn't even hesitate to pick a fight with a bully who could Curb Stomp him to uphold a grieving widow's honour, or dive on a grenade to save people who were nothing but jerks to him.
- In The Loves of Hercules Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, wants a piece of Hercules so badly so was willing to change her appearance to look like his love interest Deianera, despite that she apparently believes the loss of features to be the greatest price any woman can pay. But apparently "Hercules is worth it". Although also worth noting she was probably going to turn him into a tree once she was bored with him...
- In the legends of Alexander the Great, it's often said that the Amazon Queen Thalestris invited him on a 'state visit' solely to get it on with him. It doesn't mention exactly who or where the Amazons are, unfortunately...
- In the German Nibelungenlied, Brünnhilde can only be freed from her curse (of strength) by being beaten in single combat. When defeated, she falls for Siegfried and... the whole story goes on from there.
- In the Völsung Saga, which is the Scandinavian version of the same tale, Brynhildr is punished by Odin by being put into a magical sleep until a man woke her, that man she would have to marry. Brynhildr asked Odin that at least the man would be a worthy hero, which Odin agreed too and put up a magic fire around the mountain where she sleeps so only the best man could pass through. When Brynhildr is eventually married she finds out that the worthy hero, Sigurd, has under the influence of a spell, had her marry a less worthy man. The tale goes to tragedy.
- An old novel called Who Needs Men? had a post-Gendercide all-female society who go game-hunting for the last enclave of men, in Scotland. The protagonist, a hunter of escaped men, ends up in their settlement and falls for the leader.
- The Courtship of Princess Leia has Luke as even more of a Chick Magnet than the rest of the Expanded Universe, bedding not one but two women from matriarchal societies. Of course, one is just trying to kill him and the other uses the Force to arouse him.
- Inverted in Bethany's Sin, where the Amazon-possessed women of the town not only browbeat their cringing husbands but amputate a limb from each, as they think that being amputees will concentrate the men's fertility and increase their own chances for daughters. They don't just spurn Hercules, they deliberately turn their men into his hapless, weakling opposites.
- Subverted in Reality Check by Charlie Brooks. Anne Westfeld is essentially an amazon who begins the novel dating the equivalent of Hercules in Jesse Gondolin, aka the Jungle Cat. However, it turns out she really wants Greg Crispin, a physical weakling.
- Discworld by Terry Pratchett.
- Liessa Wyrmbidder and Hrun the barbarian in The Colour of Magic. There's a bit of enlightened self-interest going on too; she wants to use him to gain power.
- Obviously set up as this but played with a subversion in Sourcery a hairdresser and a barbarian fall in love. The barbarian half is a total nerd who only knows about Barbering and is a false action hero, and the hairdresser is the child of Cool Old Guy Genghis Cohen and has sinews of steel.
- Played with in the Hurog duology. There is a woman who is as good a fighter as hero Ward. He has a crush on her. She, on the other hand, appreciates his prowess in battle but is not in love with him She falls for him eventually, but only once she gets to know him better ... and his personality his rather sweet and caring
- Malazan Book of the Fallen:
- Played for Laughs with the hulking Ublala Pung. All the amazonian women want him for his... physical assets, but poor Ublala just can't deal with being used and not getting any emotional support out of it.
- Desra believes that eventually those with weak wills will be subjugated to those with stronger wills. That is why the only person she can imagine submitting to as a lover is Nimander, whose will has never faltered.
- Chris Hargenson experiences something like this in Carrie while, as your standard Alpha Bitch she is used to wrapping boys around her little finger but is drawn to Billy Nolan because he is the first boy she hasn't been "able to dance dandle at her whim" and he controls her in the relationship.
- Ayn Rand is well known for this trope, as it falls in line with her personal fetishes. Rand liked strong, take-charge men and bodice-ripping, ravishment-type sex.
- Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged is a modernized version of this.
- Dominique from The Fountainhead.
- Parodied in The Illuminatus! Trilogy's Rand parody Telemachus Sneezed.
- Rand also wrote an essay arguing that no rational woman would ever want to be president because "the essence of femininity is hero worship the desire to look up to man." A woman president, being the supreme authority of the land, would have no superior man to admire.
- Gender-swapped in Star Wars Legends: One character notes that the only person Ace Pilot Jag Fel would ever have a relationship with would be one who could out-fly him. The jury's still out on whether he'll ever, ever get with the girl who did, much as he might want to. Given that they're currently engaged, and a comic book series set a century later strongly implies that he founded a new Imperial dynasty with her, it seems that the jury has delivered its verdict.
- Played straight in Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story Queen of the Black Coast. The pirate princess Belit becomes Conan's lover after witnessing him singlehandedly slay hordes of her crew.
- This trope is subverted in Agatha Christie's Appointment with Death, in which the protagonist Sarah has broken off her engagement with her strong-willed fiancé :
Sarah admired strength, and she thought she had wanted to be mastered. But once she met a man capable of taming her, she didn't like it at all. A high-spirited woman secretly wants a man that needs looking after.
- Gor infamously applies this idea to all women. In the first book, Tarl doesn't rape the woman he kidnaps; at first, she is offended, then she decides he isn't a real man and nearly manages to kill him. Once she does get enslaved she's totally into him after some token complaints.
- Played with in Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness: Megra insists on fighting Wakim before she'll sleep with him—because she has genetic Super Strength, and wants to make sure she doesn't break him accidentally.
- Another male version of this is Peaceable Drummond Sherwood from The Sherwood Ring. His response to a woman who manages to outsmart him (something he's never seen before) is to propose to her. Before passing out from the drug she just convinced him to drink.
- Invoked in Orlando Furioso, in the Lady Land visited by Astolpho and Marfisa as the reason for their unusual marriage custom: the only way a man can avoid being enslaved is to defeat ten champions and then bed ten women in a single night — he then has to marry the ten women and becomes the new champion. This was started when the queen's daughter desired a particularly worthy fighter, a close descendant of Hercules.
- Subverted in Matthew Reilly's book Scarecrow and the Army of Thieves. Mother, a six-foot-four, shaved bald, foul-mouthed female marine, second only to the Scarecrow himself in terms of badassery, initially seems like she might have fallen for Baba, her French equivalent who, in his own words, eats like a bear, drinks like a Viking, kills like a lion and makes love like a silverback gorilla. However, when it really comes down to it, she realises that, no matter how badass Baba may be, he just isn't her Ralphy (her tiny trucker husband).
- Queen of Zazzau: Amina is already a warrior of Zazzau when the story begins, and initially falls in love with her bodyguard's brother Suleyman, the commander of Zazzau's army. After he's murdered, she enters a sexual pact with Ruhun Yak'i, the god of war himself, and falls hard for him.
- Maxima hasn't changed much from the comic books in Smallville. At two points, when Clark Kent grabs her and she can't break his grip, she gushes.
- The title part of the trope happens literally in an episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. A group of Amazons show up and want to get it on with our hero. He explains that he's still in mourning for his dead wife. This in turn comes from the myth of the Labors of Hercules, one of which was for him to take the belt of the Amazon Queen. The king who assigned the task assumed that the Queen would never hand it over (as it was a gift from Ares). When Hercules arrives though, the Queen respects his strength and conquests and thinks he's worthy of it. Depending on the legend, they then either swap stories or she wishes to marry him. Neither case turns out well since Hera is displeased at Hercules' fortune and manipulates the Amazons into attacking him, killing the Queen by mistake in the process.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- On the one hand, Buffy is stronger than all the men she dates, making it a subversion. On the other hand, any man who she's involved with for more than a few episodes is a substantially stronger and better fighter than normal, often unnaturally so (whether due to vampirism or to the meddlings of an evil government scientist). Buffy may be stronger than anyone else around, but it still seems she wants a man who can almost defeat her. It's notable that the otherwise-progressive series never considered pairing Buffy with someone who was perfectly comfortable supporting her.
- Spike was a LUST interest initially, not a romantic interest. Later episodes saw the two of them develop a genuine, meaningful friendship that seemed more important to them than romance. Many of the things Spike did after realising he was attracted to Buffy were more selfless than lustful anyway (e.g.: willing to die being tortured by Glory rather than reveal that Buffy's sister was the Living MacGuffin the Big Bad was seeking, being protective of Buffy's family, getting his soul back for her)... also played with in that he disliked his feelings for her at first, then succumbed to the lustful aspects, and then proved more meaningful interesting in her... Even then, he rarely came close to beating her.
- Subverted, however, in that Buffy's boyfriends never defeated her. Spike came the closest in their first clash, when he nearly bashed her brains out and only failed because Buffy's mother hit him with a fire axe. By the time they got romantically involved, however, he was suffering from an advanced case of Badass Decay. Angel gave her a run for her money on several occasions but always lost in the end. Riley's occasional sparring matches with Buffy made it very clear that Riley, for all his fancy Super Soldier augmentations, was nowhere close to her level. Once the Super Soldier program shut down and Riley began to lose those augmentations, though, it was also very clear that he was terrified that this trope would come into effect and Buffy would lose interest in him.
- In Season 9, Dawn says Buffy wouldn't go for a guy like Detective Dowling - alive.
- The early episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation "Angel One" had Riker and the leader of a Women-Dominant society.
- Charmed initially plays it straight with the Cole/Phoebe relationship as he is the first alpha male figure on the show with offensive powers. Piper and Prue's love interests had either been human or just The Medic. But then later on in the show, all men with powers tended to lose them or turn evil and get vanquished.
- Firefly devotes an entire episode to subverting this, and establishing that Zoe is firmly devoted to her geeky husband and does not, nor has ever, felt any attraction to Mal. Although Wash is brilliant as a pilot, he never beats Zoe at "her own game" so to speak.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air did this in a Season 6 episode. Will gets beaten up by a girl at the gym. The next day, he comes back and beats her. She immediately throws herself at him.
- Atalanta in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In Ares, she was pleased by how Hercules nearly beat her in arm-wrestling (and lost only after being Distracted by the Sexy). In If I Had a Hammer..., she even created a metallic statue of Herc.
- Gender-inverted in Game of Thrones, where the huge and hairy Tormund falls head-over-heels for Lady of War Brienne of Tarth. Unfortunately, he's completely unable to express his feelings in a way that doesn't creep her out (and her heart is set on Jaime anyway). Not that this stopped shippers in any way, shape, or form.
- Snog, Marry, Avoid? had a female weight lifter as a contestant, and when we see her boyfriend, he was a bodybuilder who was more jacked than she was. They worked out together.
- Subverted in Saved by the Bell - where Jessie assumes that Christy the girl wrestler has to be attracted to Slater because of this trope. But it's actually Zack that Christy is interested in.
Jessie: But Lisa said Christy was dating a school Hunk!Zack: What am I? A baloney sandwich?
- In BIONICLE, Kiina begins to develop feelings for Mata Nui. His true form is a 40 million foot-tall Humungous Mecha, he's the ruler of a "universe", and he's voiced by Michael Dorn. Can't get much manlier than that. It's also the only kinda-romantic relationship among major characters in the entire story canon. The thing is, though, he doesn't even acknowledge her as more than a good friend.
- The title character in Marian Call's Firefly-inspired ballad "Vera Flew The Coop."
The man who shot her through was the only man she could admire... and as she died she said 'I love you,' and Vera always told the truth.
- Implied to be a major factor in Dragon Lady's desire for Pat Ryan in Terry and the Pirates. Highlighted in the following exchange:
Pat Ryan: Funny how women can be realistic about everything but themselves! They know they can rule an empire - but in the final pay-off they aren't satisfied unless someone rules them!
Dragon Lady: No person rules the Dragon lady!
Pat Ryan: Sure... That's what Cleopatra and Queen Elizabeth thought - but they both realized, finally, there was no use kidding themselves - that a woman can't be really satisfied with absolute power! It's her destiny to be conquered!
- In the strategy dice game Dragon Dice, the Amazon race has access to one male unit - he is their most powerful melee unit and sports a distinctly Herculean beard...
- In the city-state of Danuvia from the Talislanta role-playing game, foreign male warriors are invited to parade themselves and compete in athletic events once a year. The highest-grade beefcake is claimed for her harem by Danuvia's queen, while her Amazon warriors bid for the companionship of the runner-ups.
- Discworld has a scantily clad Amazon warrior who can only marry a man who defeats her in armed combat. To the death.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, both Sully and her daughter Kjelle are very strong Action Girls who will only accept love declarations from guys who are as strong as they are in the battlefield.
- Octopath Traveler: H'aanit the Huntress is the strongest physical female character. She regularly hunts powerful beasts and can tame them. When asked by Primrose what sort of man she would love, H'aanit states she would at least like a man stronger than her. Primrose mentally notes that H'aanit will have a very hard time finding such a man.
- In Policenauts, if you're able to beat Meryl's high score on the shooting range, she'll let you grope her boobs. Kind of subverted in that the person she eventually reveals real interest in is her friend Dave, who could never outshoot her. Plus, her breasts make an elephant trumpet sound effect when grabbed.
- Janne from World Heroes swears by this. She seems to quite... admire J. Carn if his ending is to be believed, and later considers asking Hanzou out in one of her own endings (even when Ryouko is following him around), but when Fuuma asks her out she openly turns him down. Either this or Hero-Worshipper (or maybe a mix of both) is the basis of Ryouko's massive Precocious Crush on Hanzou.
- Captain Jordan Lee from Skins. She leads the team and is a tough, capable soldier but she prefers her men to be even tougher and exclusively dates werewolves. Scenes and artwork in the comic have also implied she likes her werewolf lover Vinnie to be very dominant in bed.
- Captain Bangladesh DuPree in Girl Genius - the only time she shows any sort of attraction to anyone is to the ex-Jaeger Vole, more specifically once he starts talking about why he's changing his allegiance.
Vole: Dot's gonna be some var! Messy, terrible, civil var! De empire vill be in flames! De pipple vill be crushed between hyu! Hyu vill unleash an ocean ov blood! Dis is more den Hy effer could heff hoped for! IT VILL BE GLORIOUS!
- It only gets better once Gil pulls Vole out of the timestop and he ages hundreds of years in a few minutes - since Jaegers are immortal, this means him getting twice as tall, twice as broad, teeth as long as your hand, spikes growing out of his shoulders...
Gil: DuPree, I'm really sorry about this. I'm doing my best to-
Bang: Oh... Oh wow! Gil! Is it Christmas? My birthday?!
- It only gets better once Gil pulls Vole out of the timestop and he ages hundreds of years in a few minutes - since Jaegers are immortal, this means him getting twice as tall, twice as broad, teeth as long as your hand, spikes growing out of his shoulders...
- As mentioned in Comic Books above, Maxima also pursued Superman in the Dini-verse. At the end of that episode, she got over Superman and set her sights on Lobo! Whether that went anywhere is unknown, since the episode was Maxima's only appearance in the DCAU.
- Brock Samson from The Venture Bros. gets both sides of this:
- As a male example, he fell in love with Molotov Cocktease when, the first time they met, she kicked his ass and set the building on fire.
- Season 6, meanwhile, has a side arc involving series regular Brock Samson falling for a heroine named Warriana, who is an obvious parody of Wonder Woman. Although they start by antagonizing one another, and Warriana then has to get over some weirdness after they do hook up, in the end, she is completely protective of "her man"—out of the entire series, probably the character least in need of protection. For bonus points, Warriana is a literal Amazon (to the point of having only one breast), and she tends to calls Brock "Hercules".
- Queen Hippsodeth in Aladdin: The Series, with the unexpected result that she falls in love with the Sultan of Agrabah after he defeats her when she kidnaps Jasmine.
- The Tetramand alien species from Ben 10 and its numerous Sequel Series. They are a species of super-strong, Multi-Armed and Dangerous Blood Knights, with females being the physically stronger sex. Any male who can beat one of the females in combat wins the right to marry her. Ben finds this out just a little bit too late, and to make matters worse, he beat the Tetramand princess, who is quite the Daddy's Girl. "Daddy" in this case being willing to destroy Earth if his little girl doesn't get whatever she wants.
- Many women lauded for their combat prowess throughout history would reportedly refuse to take a husband unless the husband could beat her at her preferred combat style/weapon proficiency, invoking a variation of this trope. (Example: the Mongol princess Khutulun, daughter of Genghis Khan's great-grandson Kaidu Khan of the Chagatai Khanate, who would not marry any man who could not best her in traditional Mongol wrestling.)
- Former WWE Diva Sable is married to BROCK LESNAR, a 286 lbs. powerhouse Professional Wrestler who once superplexed the 7' 500 lbs. THE BIG SHOW!
- Joan Crawford was married four times, and it's said that her final husband, Alfred Steele, was her favourite. Barry Norman's book The Hollywood Greats attributes it to Joan being combative and temperamental with her previous husbands, whereas Al was able to handle her - and he also moved her into his life rather than into hers as the previous ones had.