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Ambiguous Gender

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Owen: Excuse me, miss?
Bartender: [turns to face Owen]
Owen: Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were a woman!
Bartender: ... I am a woman.
Owen: [cringes in embarrassment]

Halfway between Lady Looks Like a Dude and Dude Looks Like a Lady is a character who in some way defies the conventions of male and female, and no-one can decide which side, if any, the character actually belongs on. Lots of subterfuge always follows, as everyone follows them around to try and determine their gender once and for all. Expect a Gender-Blender Name, lots of Gender-Neutral Writing and Pronoun Trouble. Usually, their gender will never be revealed, and no-one will be any the wiser, usually subject to The Un-Reveal.

The technical term for this kind of person is "androgyne", from the Greek for "man-woman." Used as an adjective, it's "androgynous".

See also Viewer Gender Confusion, something which invoking this trope may cause to persist even if the character does get a Gender Reveal. Also compare Alien Gender Confusion, when a member of one group seems ambiguous by the standards of another. Compare and contrast No Biological Sex, for characters who have no physical sex, and Hermaphrodite, for characters who have more than one. They may or may not look as androgynous as the ones whose gender is simply ambiguous. Can be one of the attractive things that leads to Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite. There's also Purely Aesthetic Gender, for characters whose assigned genders are trivial for gameplay.


Compare Crossdresser, who may be attempting to invoke this trope, and Transgender, as some gender identities are androgynous. Do not confuse this with Ambiguous Gender Identity, which is about ambiguously transgender characters. Also do not confuse with characters having non-binary gender; this trope is about unknown gender.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Dororo (2019): It's hard to tell whether Mutsu is a feminine looking and sounding young man or a cross-dressing woman with a deep voice. She's confirmed to be the latter when Hyogo calls her aneue, an archaic word for older sister.
  • In .hack; it's unknown if Helba's Player is a guy or a girl, or whether the player is a single person or a group using a collective identity.
  • Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin has Pink Dragon. Fans believed that he was female for years (Not that we can really blame them) until it was discovered that Meteor Gin, the series' info book, very, very heavily implies that the wolf in question is actually male.
  • Crona from Soul Eater. Japanese doesn't have to use gendered pronouns, and doesn't in this case. Any cases of "guy" or "daughter" in fan translations are so far just the translator's guesses. The author has stated that he neither knows nor cares what Crona's true gender is. The official English dub refers to Crona using male pronouns, but only because the writers (who are just as clueless) didn't want to resort using neutral pronouns 'it/they' because of the assumption that it would be "insulting" to Crona as a character.note  It also has Medusa refer to Crona as "my child" or "it" to avoid any gender orientation, with the later doubling as a Woolseyism since it reflects how she treats Crona. Likewise, all the other characters far more often say Crona's name instead of using he, she, him, or her. There is also a strong possibility that Crona is neither or both. Oddly, in-series Crona's androgyny is never commented upon except when Patty asks if Crona is a boy or girl when Kid fought Crona on the Nidhogg.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • Anakuro Hirooki, a.k.a. Space Hero "Thirteen", is referred to as the "gentleman hero", but their actual gender is unclear. Both the manga and anime make it a point to never show Thirteen's body outside of their space suit costume, their costume appearing empty after being torn open by Kurogiri, and their hospitalized body being off screen while the scene focuses on their costume against a wall. The only part of their body that is visible in costume is their thin legs, which doesn't help. The anime further complicates matters by giving them a female voice actress in both the original Japanese and English dubs, as it is not uncommon to give male characters female voices to simulate a higher pitched male. In the English dub, they're the only one of the teachers helping out in the final exams who aren't addressed as "Mr." or "Ms."- in Japanese, the "-sensei" honorific is gender neutral. The question was finally settled by a guidebook released for the manga's five-year anniversary, Ultra Analysis, which revealed that Thirteen is... female.
    • The eighth-ranked hero Wash wears a costume resembling a washing machine that only shows their eyes under the lid in the darkness, and their real name is unknown.
  • In Fruits Basket, Akito by Word of God is female, however she was raised male by her family and drawn masculine looking because of this. Before the gender reveal it's implied that Akito really is male so that's what the anime creators assumed. Therefore, in the anime Akito is male and in the manga Akito is female.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Due to the revelation that the spirit of Blue-Eyes White Dragon was carried by Kisara's soul, there are debates whether Blue-Eyes is female or not. But it's never answered officially.
  • Yubel in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX. No body except a demonic arm, uses 'boku' and initially primarily a female voice. Then, Yubel starts shifting from a feminine to a masculine voice and back, and also mixes that in with the voice of their host's. Characters also refer to him/her as, well, him and her. The answer, of course, is that Yubel is an intersex human/dragon fusion spirit, with a literal male left side and a female right side. The weirdest part is, Yubel was once human, a friend of the young prince who would become Judai in a future life, and volunteered to become the demonic creature to act as his spirit guide. But even then, whether Yubel was a boy or a girl while human, despite being seen in a flashback, is hard to tell.
  • Kino, the main character from Kino's Journey, is pretty darn ambiguous. Kino's gender female is indirectly revealed in one episode, and in one of the movies Kino has a monologue about whether to use male or female pronouns (eventually deciding on "boku").
  • Pokémon:
    • Most of the mons belonging to characters in the anime do not have their gender confirmed. Further complicating the issue are the ones that only have confirmed genders in one language. After that, viewers have to deal with whether to use male or female pronouns for the officially non-gendered mons (Ditto, Shedinja, a couple Steel-types, and most legendaries) as even the dubs have used genders in some cases.
    • Ash's Pikachu. Arguments often occurred over his (now-confirmed) gender. Even the makers of the show didn't know what gender he was, until they decided to throw a Togepi with Attract at him and Meowth. Attract only works on Pokémon of the opposite gender; Meowth was confirmed male LONG ago, therefore the Togepi is female, therefore Pikachu is male (Attract affected him). The games have also confirmed this in their own way: ever since minor (not always obvious) physical differences between female and male Pokémon were added to the franchise, female Pikachu have a notch at the end of their tails, which Ash's Pikachu has always lacked. Averted in the Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese dubs; these languages do not have gender-neutral pronouns and referred to Pikachu with male pronouns.
    • Attract quickly became the go-to move to confirm a Pokémon's gender in the anime. Emolga abused the hell out of it before Iris caught her (and many times afterward too), and Snivy had the move used against her by another female Snivy.
    • The Staryu and Starmie from the anime confuse the issue even further. Despite one evolving from the other, the Staryu has a male-sounding voice while the Starmie's voice sounds female. According to the Pokédex in Japanese version, Staryu is classified as a Hermaphrodite.
  • Belial from Angel Sanctuary. All the angels are supposed to pick a specific sex and take drugs to change their body to match. Belial quits partway through the process and ends up androgynous.
  • In Bungo Stray Dogs, Q's gender has not been officially stated, and even his character page is written gender-neutrally, although most assume him to be male as the writer he based around was. Q's ambiguous gender is lampshaded in a BSD Wan! chapter where the Black Lizard try to investigate whether Q is a girl or a guy, but decided in the end it doens't matter as long as Q is happy.
  • Hellsing's Heinkel Wolfe and Alucard's 'Girlycard' form in The Dawn.
  • Edward in Cowboy Bebop is introduced like this. Male name, lanky but with prepubescent features, typically dresses in a baggy white shirt and biker shorts (when in a dress, the effect is... sort of like drag). Regardless of attire, characters are often visibly confused, as Ed's behavior and voice reveal only childlike androgyny. In Ed's introductory episode, the ambiguity is resolved in the very last line, as we cut to an external shot of the ship while Faye wrestles with her: "Hey, you're a girl?!" Also, "Ed" is a pseudonym - her real name is the rather more feminine Francoise.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
  • Otto during Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. As revealed in the supplementary manga, even most of her fellow Numbers were unsure if Otto was a male or a female, with the few who knew being told to keep quiet about it by Quattro. Eventually revealed to be female, though Seven Arcs continues to play up her ambiguous gender by, for example, excluding her from the Numbers' Fanservice posters.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has the Innovators AKA Innovades, a group of Artificial Humans, most of which are either sexless or genderless according to the people who made the show (excepting Anew, who's completely female).
  • The 7-Tailed Beetle's host in Naruto. When the host comes back to life, they're confirmed as being a girl.
  • Mammon in Reborn! (2004) of the Varia is stated to be a man but his future self looks suspiciously feminine. Also Daisy of Byakuran's Six Funeral Wreaths. Turns out to be a guy but for a while he was right in the middle.
  • Prunus Girl: Aikawa says he's a guy on a regular basis and still ends up ambiguous—he's really good at playing a girl, periodically hinting at Recursive Crossdressing and inviting Maki to personally confirm his gender.
  • One Piece:
    • Mr. 2 Bon Kurei apparently thinks that he falls under this category, although he isn't very feminine looking (aside from the makeup and tutu). Emporio Ivankov and his Newkama army come a little closer by being able to change genders whenever he feels like it.
    • Haruta, going with the way the series' non-Gonk female characters are usually drawn (ridiculous hourglass bodies and big irises), is probably male, but exceptions are made from time to time. And even if Haruta's a male, then he is a quite effeminate-looking one, which isn't typical of the guys either. In the anime, they have a female Seiyuu (but a male voice actor in the English dub), though that is not canon (they have no spoken lines in the manga). Word of God later indirectly confirmed Haruta to be a male by stating that no female members of Whitebeard's crew were present at the Marineford battle.
  • Hunter × Hunter:
    • Kurapika was this for a while until he was confirmed to be male, and there are many people who still aren't convinced. His tribal wardrobe and habit of dressing as females for undercover missions don't help things.
    • Nefelpitou. Unlike Kurapika nothing has been confirmed.
    • Alluka is referred to as female by Killua and male by Illumi to add to the confusion. It's implied she's a trans girl and Killua is the only one in the family who doesn't misgender her.
  • Toto of Deadman Wonderland does this on purpose, although he occasionally slips up and uses gendered language.
  • Played with: Being a fox spirit, Laon's gender changes to suit (and seduce) whoever is closest to him/her at the time.
  • New Zealand from Hetalia: Axis Powers had this going for a while until he was confirmed to be male. Hidekaz Himaruya seemed to have fun being deliberately vague about it beforehand, though.
    Fans: Is NZ a boy or a girl?
    NZ: Which do you think I am? :D
  • Hänsel and Gretel in Black Lagoon appear to be Half-Identical Twins, but they actually both have short hair and swap a wig and voices. As they both wear fairly-unisex school uniforms, their actual sexes are impossible to determine. In the "gender swap" omake, they don't change at all.
  • In 07-Ghost, Kuroyuri's gender has yet to be revealed. Even the other characters don't know, Kuroyuri threatens them with death if they tell.
  • In Family Compo, Shion is automatically thought of as a woman for the early chapters. Then Shion announces the intent to go to university as a man. Shion's cousin then searches the family photo albums and realises Shion has been switching genders at every school attended. Attempts to find proof of Shion's gender have failed.
  • The King in Arisa; the official translation uses the pronoun 'he' but notes that the Japanese pronoun is gender-neutral.
  • Arimaru from Gamaran has a masculine sounding name, but is mostly referred to with feminine pronouns (though others use masculine ones). However, unlike most of the examples on this page, this is not due to the fact they're a gorgeous androgynous being but rather a grotesque, huge brute with dark skin and claw-like nails, and a really freaky face.
  • The title character Maria Rose of Bara no Maria. A running gag in the series is whether Maria is a pretty guy or a pretty girl. It doesn't help Maria displays both typical boyish and girlish reactions and attitudes.
  • Inukashi, or Dogkeeper, from No. 6. their gender hasn't been confirmed. Though they uses one of the masculine Japanese Pronouns "Ore" to refer to him/herself, there are scenes which present him/her in a feminine light, most notably the one in which the child that Sion sends to him/her calls him/her "Mama" as they hold him.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Hange Zoe, the Mad Scientist squad leader. Completely androgynous in appearance, because of the author's tendency to use Gender-Neutral Writing, fans have long been confused concerning Hange's biological sex and/or gender. Word of God finally stated that since Gender Is No Object, fans are free to decide for themselves what they want Hange to be. The anime and the live-action movie does portray Hange as female, however.
    • The androgynous Nanaba, until the editors confirmed that she is female.
  • Frosch from Fairy Tail. All of the previous cats have clearly been male or female, and matched the gender of their Dragon Slayer companions. Frosch is given a fair few female indicators while paired with a male Dragon Slayer, and has an androgynous baby voice in the anime. When a question as to Frosch's gender came up on the Q&A section in one of the manga volumes, the people answering questions couldn't agree on what gender they thought Frosch was. Hiro Mashima has also told curious fans who contacted him over Twitter that Frosch's gender is a secret.
  • Is Junketsu from Kill la Kill male or female? Assuming all kamui have an assigned gender, we don't know this since it never speaks, aside from screaming when Ryuuko ripped it off of her.
  • Majestic Prince has Ange Kuroki, whose gender is never revealed and the show makes a bit of a Running Gag out of it. Even the main characters are stumped, and most of them keep going back and forth on what gender they consider Ange on an episode-by-episode basis.
  • In Death Note, Mello's first appearance has him in rather gender-neutral clothing, with a rather androgynous-looking figure and hairstyle, and it takes quite a few pages for the character to be referred to as a "he". Many readers assumed Mello was a girl. This leads to some fan speculation that Mello may be Transgender or something along those lines.
  • In Knights of Sidonia, Izana is a member of a third gender created via LEGO Genetics to replenish populations decimated After the End. Members of this group start out intersex, but they will change to either male or female based on their attraction to a particular individual. (They become male if attracted to a female, and female if attracted to a male.) After falling in love with Tanikaze, Izana begins a difficult transformation into a girl. At the academy, their uniforms are just like the girls' uniforms, but with shorts in place of skirts.
  • Kuromaru in UQ Holder! appeared to be this for some time, claiming to be male but with several hints of being female. Turns out he's from a species that has No Biological Sex until age sixteen, at which time they choose one and gain a form to match, and he anticipates picking male... but his form is still completely androgynous for now.
  • Sekirei: They play with this a little bit in the between-season OVA "Two Gossip Topics". In the first topic, "Sekirei Diagnosis," Homura (whose sex has been kept pretty ambiguous) stands in front of the diagnosis center wondering which direction to take (because there are male Sekirei such as Shiina). We never see Homura make a choice because the building gets destroyed during an incident inside. The same thing happening at "Sekirei Resort" also saves Homura from having to commit in the second part. But then it gets terribly serious once season two proper starts. It turns out Homura really is ambiguous, shifting between the two sexes until being drawn towards one through the attraction to an Ashikabi. That proved to be Minato, his sixth; Homura's powers (including Gender Bender) stabilize upon winging, but because Minato is male, Homura is seen more often as a female going forward.
  • Possibly the most baffling example occurs in the dubbed movie Serendipity the Pink Dragon, in which the bird Peela-Peela is referred to as male in the first half of the movie and female in the second half. The voice actor seems to be female, though.
  • Tokyo Ghoul does this occasionally with Juuzou Suzuya who was raised as a girl by his ghoul mom to the point of castration so he wouldn't grow up to be manly, and is androgynous enough that characters are confused as to which gender Suzuya is. In an omake Hanbee pictures Suzuya as wearing a wedding dress if they were to get married.
  • Najimi Osana of Komi Can't Communicate sometimes identifies as a guy, sometimes as a girl, wears the skirt from a girl's uniform with the tie of a boy's uniform, and is fairly feminine in appearance. Najimi wore a boys' uniform in junior high, and while they claim Tadano must be thinking of somebody else when he brings it up, a flashback to those days confirms that Tadano is telling the truth.note  This leaves almost everyone confused about Najimi's gender, to the point fan translations have characters referring to Najimi as "he/she". Tadano usually operates under the assumption that Najimi is a guy, keeping "him" away from the girls whenever there is a social outing that involves the girls getting naked.note 
  • Husky from +Anima is an in-universe example; he makes it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he's a boy, but he's so pretty and feminine looking that everyone else gets confused sometimes—including his friends, toward which he resorts to...hilariously desperate measures to convince them.
  • Dr. Stone has Francois, the butler to Ryusui Nanami. Even Ryusui doesn't know what their gender is (nor does he really care). When revived from petrification (everyone wakes up naked), they immeditely grab a pair of clothes Yuzuriha has on hand and gets dressed in a flash.
  • In Land of the Lustrous, the lustrous have an androgynous appearance and go by they/them pronouns. However, in the original Japanese, most of the lustrous default to masculine pronouns.
  • Love Hina: Nobody in the Hinata House seems to be sure of Tama the turtle's gender. Keitaro refers to it as a boy while Naru and Shinobu refer to it as a girl. Mutsumi presumably knows (since her family are turtle breeders) but she never specifies one way or the other.


    Comic Books 
  • Indigo of Sovereign Seven was said to be able to swap between male and female at will.
  • Desire of the Endless in The Sandman has no fixed sex, and is androgynous, fluctuates between sexes, or both. Being the anthropomorphic personification of desire, to the reader (and to presumably most people who perceive it) Desire usually shows a mix of traditional gendered traits, such as a suit and tie with feminine facial features and lipstick.
  • After preventing Morbius from attacking a (male) victim, Spider-Man tells him to pick on someone his own size and/or gender, then asks what gender Morbius is anyway. Subverted in that Spider-Man knows perfectly well Morbius is male and the question is intended as an insult.
  • Yazz in Justice League of America was an alien who looked like a blue pterodactyl in a vest. When The Flash asked "Don't you miss the female of your species?" Yazz replied "What if I am the female of my species?" Wally then kept badgering the alien to say whether or not that was a joke, and Yazz found this need to know so intriguing that they decided to leave it ambiguous so as to continue observing the behaviour.
  • In Red Robin, the Council of Spiders member code named "Goliath" is large, vaguely humanoid with spider-like attributes, of unknown possibly extraterrestrial origin and never addressed with gendered pronouns.
  • The Invader Zim (Oni) comic series features Recap Kid, who gives a (suitably manic and inaccurate) Previously On… at the beginning of most issues. Jhonen Vasquez wrote the character's dialogue for the first issue, but commented "He (or she? I never specified and Aaron Alexovich‘s art keeps it mysterious)..." For what it's worth, Recap Kid has eyelashes, but when asked if this makes them a girl, story artist Megan Lawton responded "Recap Kid is a kid."
  • Chlorophylle: It was unclear in the first issues if Torpille la Loutre (Torpedo the Otter) was male or female. As loutre is a feminine noun, Torpille is often referred as a "she" but lacks feminine characteristics such as eyelashes. From la Revanche d'Anthracite, Torpille is clearly female.

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey: Discussed. Beetle wonders out loud whether a random long-haired passer-by is a girl or a guy. Killer sneers that if you can't even tell, he's not interested either way.
  • The title character of Krazy Kat had their stated gender change every other strip, something which factored into the very surreal tone of the setting. Herriman described Krazy as "androgynous, but willing to be either". In-strip, Krazy did get called "him" often, but the mannerisms were either way. However, Krazy was female in the 1962-63 animated series.
  • One The Far Side strip showed a group of jellyfish in the ocean, with two outhouses, each with identical pictures of jellyfish on them. The caption below it reads "Only they know the difference".
  • Played for Laughs in one of the later Peanuts strips, the day after Halloween, where Charlie Brown, Lucy, and Linus were talking:
    Charlie Brown: Well, the Great Pumpkin didn't show up again.
    Lucy: No, she didn't, did she?
    (Big Oh, Crap! look from Linus)
    Lucy (With a smug smirk): Never occurred to you, did it?

    Fan Works 
  • Played with in Tale of Solaron: being a Snake Person, Solaron's gender is hard for humans to tell, leading one of the party to convince the elf in the party that Solaron is female for a joke.
  • Brox in With Strings Attached seems like a five-year-old child who dresses to create an impression of indeterminate gender. Turns out the body is male and the soul is female, which explains why the Baravadans use the genderless pronoun “sar” to refer to everyone. Also, the god Ardav.
  • The Last Wizard in The Keys Stand Alone, when he/she first appears on the scene, is dressed and smeared in such a way as to completely blur her/his gender. After the four manage to de-curse the Last Wizard, the person is able to behave normally, and the gender is revealed as female—at least in this current incarnation.
  • Derrick in Adventures of the Writer, despite using a male name, is specifically stated to be of unknown gender.
    The story does sort of hint that they are female, mentioning that they cannot take Wolfie's advice on principle because he is "a straight male."
    They does also lead a horde of fangirls, with no definite males among their ranks.
  • The Guidestuck character Cal Strider. All that we know about their gender is that he/she got extremely angry at being called "Mr. Strider".
  • Ashes of the Past gives us the Lake Trio, who refuse to clarify their gender beyond stating that "it's obvious" and may be clueless that others don't think so, and then there's Mew, whose sex is unknown, and uses both masculine and feminine pronouns because (s)he finds binary gender boring.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, the Conduit's gender hasn't been revealed yet and they are always referred to as 'he/she/it.' It's implied that they may not even be human.
  • In Bad Future Crusaders Babs Seed has to ask what Bright Eyes' gender is since all changelings look the same. She settles on calling him a "he" when he doesn't bother to answer.
  • In the original Dante's Night at Freddy's Bonnie is never given a gender-specific pronouns, though it is identified as a he after confirmation in Five Nights at Freddy's 2. The Marionette is treated similarly before being revealed as a he.
  • In Movie Night At Freddy's, Bonnie the Bunny is referred to with 'they/them' in order to adhere to the now-extinct AU created by Rebornica (and to avoid fan debate about Bonnie's gender).
  • Invoked In-Universe in the Five Nights at Freddy's Alternate Universe Fic, Something Always Remains when Mike wonders if Toy Bonnie's redesign was an effort to better match the character's girly name, and again when Vanna picks up on the fact that Spring Bonnie, at that point assumed to be a he, was originally built as a she. This becomes plot important later when it's revealed that the character was based off the woman who built and worked the suit, and later versions of Bonnie made the character male as part of the rebrand after her death. It gets even more complicated when the ghosts haunting the suit don't always match the current presented gender.
    • The Puppet is only ever referred to as "it," and Mangle is never referred to as a specific gender, though like with Toy Bonnie, the redesign compared to the original Foxy gets noted In-Universe.
  • Camphor Effect: Neither Iratus nor Istlek have confirmed genders. The other trolls actually end up arguing about this.
  • In the Worm fanfic A Skittering Heart The villain Circus is embodies this trope. The identification of Circus as male or female shifts depending on the character observing and no one, not even Circus, is definite about their gender. This is implied to be one of their super powers, to be able to switch gender or pick anything in between during their interlude.
  • In Reverse the bijuu don’t actually have any gender, but Kurama tends to default them all as male. It isn’t until he meets the Seven Tails and Two-Tails, that he realizes that some identify as women.
  • In A Gem, a Human, and a Baby, Greg's next-door neighbor is referred to only using the "they" pronoun and their appearance is not described in any way.
  • Robin, the protagonist of Alterity, never has their gender specified beyond 'borl'.note  Characters swap between referring to them with male terms, female terms, and gender-neutral terms.
  • In Fire and Shadow, Mistystar and Firestar's kit Bluepaw is accidentally referred to with both male and female terminology.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Shane Acker's 9, the twins 3 and 4 don't have any discernable gender. While they are 8-inch-tall automatons, the other ragdolls clearly identify as male or female, 3 and 4 are never referred to as either.
  • People are STILL debating the genders of some of the appliances (especially Toaster) from The Brave Little Toaster. On the Disney wiki, several of them have entire sections of their articles devoted to evidence of their genders.
  • The genders of Aunt Sarah's pet Siamese cats Si and Am from Lady and the Tramp are never revealed, although they are both voiced by a woman Peggy Lee, their voices are just androgynous enough to be either.
  • Simba and Nala's cub at the end of The Lion King. The gender of the cub is never stated however the way they look highly suggests that they're male (only male cubs in the series have whiskers and ear markings). A series of books released after the film came out had the cub as a male named "Kopa". The sequel film, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, however has the cub as a female named "Kiara". The film also noticeably changed the cub's design to look female, suggesting a Gender Flip retcon. In production Kiara (then called "Shani") had a twin brother named "Chaka", which could have handwaved the issue, however he was scrapped in production.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • After playing the trans woman Dil in The Crying Game, Jaye Davidson was cast as Ra in Stargate precisely to be ambiguously gendered.
  • The Passion of the Christ subverted the traditional, unambiguously male image of Satan by having the character played by a woman with her head shaved and her voice altered in post-production to make it sound more masculine. Thomas Aquinas would approve: Satan, as a pure spirit, has no gender.
  • Dr. Crow from Carry On Spying, who is portrayed by a female actress, yet dubbed by a male voice actor in a Funetik Aksent. It even confuses other characters, who don't use pronouns to describe the villain.
  • The archangel Gabriel in Constantine dresses as a man, but is played by Tilda Swinton, made to look as androgynous as possible.
  • Sadako Yamamura of Ringu is intersex; though she appears feminine, her genetic makeup is stated differently several times throughout the films, novels and manga.
  • Briefly parodied in a scene of Mars Attacks!, with the person at the press conference who asks if the Martians have two genders, like humans.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gimli says, "Dwarf women are so alike in voice and appearance that they're often mistaken for dwarf men. This in turn has given rise to the belief that there are no dwarf women and that dwarves simply spring out of holes in the ground, which is of course ridiculous." (Aragorn adds to this, "It's the beards.")
  • The Ghost of Christmas Past from The Muppet Christmas Carol appears as a childlike creature whose gender is never stated. The spirit in the original novel is described as looking like a cross between a child and an old man – though always referred to as "it," not "he" – but is voiced by a girl in the film.
  • In Star Wars cosmology, the Hutts are actually genderless (being hermaphrodites) but most are referred to by either "he" or "she" depending on the Hutt's own personal preference. (Referring to one as "it" is considered rude, and given what they tend to do to people who offend - or even annoy - them, not wise.) Other species, like the Verpine, don't have the same concept of gender most species would, leading to gender-neutral terminology as "younglings" and "gentlebeings" being in common use, particularly in the Republic.
  • Vidocq intentionally leaves the true sex of the Alchemist vague for most of the film. The character is covered in loose black robes and wears a head-covering mask. The letters written by the Alchemist vary from demonic threats to feminine coyness, and the character's shrill, metallic voice sometimes has a distinctly feminine edge, especially the moans in some battle sequences. All these are Red Herrings. The Alchemist is male.
  • This was the entire joke of It's Pat!, that tried to take the idea Up to Eleven and make it funny. Formerly a skit from Saturday Night Live about a character named Pat with ambiguous gender, the movie had him/her fall in love with Chris, a character who also had an ambiguous gender. (The Pronoun Trouble alone comprised half the jokes.) Suffice to say, it was universally panned by critics.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Pokémon do usually have genders, but it's generally hard for humans to tell. Mewtwo (who has No Biological Sex in the games) blurs this further by being voiced by both a male and female actor at the same time.
  • The Dark Crystal:
    • SkekEkt the Ornamentalist. Word of God states that while there are no specifically female Skeksis (they're all meant to be an uncomfortable combination of both genders), skekEkt is the most effeminate.
    • Aughra too is meant to be a combination of male and female genders, being a large, burly, mustachioed humanoid with the voice of a bossy old lady and a feminine-sounding name.
  • The Dinobots in Transformers: Age of Extinction are all new versions of the classic characters (except newcomer scorn) and have distinctly male robot modes. Yet, in Transformers: The Last Knight, there are three baby Dinobots as well and an implication that they were sired somehow by Grimlock, Strafe, and Slug. This brings the Dinobots' genders into question, especially considering that in the Bayverse Cybertronians are suggested to have a much more... human-like method of reproduction.


By Author:

  • H. P. Lovecraft, who took a great deal of inspiration from Poe, wrote several short stories, among them "The Nameless City", "The Festival", "The Hound", "Ex Oblivione", "Cool Air", "The Music of Erich Zann", and "What the Moon Brings", all of which never explicitly state the gender of the protagonist.
  • China Miéville:
    • Taken to the extreme in Iron Council, where one of the characters, devotee of a god of secrets, doesn't even know their own gender. Followers of this deity forfeit knowledge about themselves to honor their patron, and this particular priest lost knowledge of what sex he/she happened to be. Self-examination can't clarify matters, as the character is blind to their own body features.
    • In Railsea, Dr. Fremlo is agender in the more usual way, and their physical sex is never revealed.

By Work:

  • In The Android's Dream, Sam Wentworth is never referred to in gendered language. This was apparently unintentional on the author's part at first; later in writing, he noticed and decided to run with it. Word of God is that he himself doesn't know what Sam's gender is or whether Sam has one.
  • In the original Japanese version of Another Note, A is not given a gender. All we know about A, in fact, is that A was being groomed as a successor to L, liked math, and was ultimately Driven to Suicide due to the pressures of the L Program. (And also that he/she must have meant something to B, because B goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge after A's suicide.) However, many translations give A as being male, likely because of the relative lack of prominent female characters in the Death Note universe. Given the ambiguity, though, it is not uncommon to see fanworks describing A as a girl.
  • Soulcatcher from The Black Company is this in the first book. 'Catcher is a centuries old sorcerer who always goes around in a leather outfit and mask which completely conceals their features, and their voice constantly shifts between numerous different ones, implied to be the voices of 'Catcher's victims. 'Catcher is usually referred to as "he" and considered male by the narration, but he's very slim and androgynous, and if you look at him closely enough you can see very slight curves that might be female hips and bust, or might just be a trick of the light. Soulcatcher is a woman, as revealed at the end of the book, and this is simply treated as a given in later volumes.
  • In Bridge to Terabithia, Jess isn't sure whether Leslie's a boy or a girl when they first meet, and gets frustrated that the name could go either way as well, but guesses (correctly) that she's female. The book includes a picture of her, showing her looking very androgynous, with a boyish haircut.
  • In Chrysalis, it's explicitly stated that the Terran Was Once a Man, but it's unclear what their gender was in life, or, in light of their new status as an uploaded consciousness with an inhuman body, if they even have a gender now. The Terran creates a simulation of themself with a human body watching television in a living room, but even this fails to enlighten. Chapter 10 reveals that the Terran is an extreme example of a Mind Hive, as the minds of five separate human researchers of mixed sex merged into a single consciousness that behaves like- and entirely believes itself to be -a single entity.
  • The Dinosaur Lords has street urchin Petit Pigeon. Rob can't decide whether he should call them girl or boy, and can't find a way to ask without being laughed off. Pigeon's fellow kids seem not to know either.
  • Discworld:
    • Dwarfs all look male, including with beards, and their language only has one third-person pronoun, usually translated as "he"; thus, even they have a hard time telling the sex of another dwarf. (Figuring this out is the first step in courting someone.) There are a handful of known females (Gloria Thogsdaughter, Cheri Littlebottom, Lars Skulldrinker, Dee, and Rhys ( later Blodwen) Rhysson) and one known male (Casanunda). Beyond that, any dwarf could be either.
    • The idea is played with in Feet of Clay, in which he introduces a dwarf keen on asserting her femininity (Cheri, above) with techniques such as makeup. However, she refuses to shave her beard because, though she is proud to be a female, she felt that doing so would be denying that she was a dwarf.
    • Later in the series, the possibility of new ambiguity is introduced when it's acknowledged that presenting as female doesn't mean the dwarf's identity has to line up with their physiology. Specifically, there's nothing stopping a so-interested male dwarf from wearing skirts and make-up.
    • Inverted in the case of the golem that looks over Moist von Lipwig in Going Postal and Making Money. An employee who considers herself a Moral Guardian insists that only a female can clean the women's restroom, so Moist stuck a dress on one and called it "Gladys" to keep her quiet. It took its assigned gender to heart.
    • No-one knows what sex Great A'Tuin the Star Turtle is, although a lot of people are interested in finding out. It's obviously heading somewhere, what if it's migrating to a mating ground? Suppose it met another star turtle, would they fight or mate? If they mate, who's going to be on top? The matter is never settled, though it's at least revealed that it was actually checking on its offspring who were just about to hatch.
  • Lisme in Dragon Age Last Flight is genderfluid, choosing to appear as male on some days and female on others.
  • The gender of secondary character Merideth in Vonda N. McIntyre's Dreamsnake is left entirely up to reader discretion. (Quite tellingly, when asked who would play the character in a film adaptation, McIntyre mentioned both Jaye Davidson and Tilda Swinton as possibilities.)
  • The Extreme Monsters book Battling Bigfoot mentions that one of Team Pendant's new athletes is an ogre who is described as being hard to tell if male or female.
  • The gender of Hilary Tamar, the protagonist of a series of mystery stories by Sarah Caudwell, is never revealed.
  • In How To Be Comfortable In Your Own Feathers, the protagonist of the story's gender is not revealed. It has eyelashes, so maybe it's a girl, but it's still hard to determine. The doctor and the "food voice counsellor"'s genders also haven't been specified.
  • In the Imperial Radch series, all Radchaai citizens are this, as their culture does not mark gender differentiation in any way; in the text, Translation Convention means all characters are referred to as "she" unless Breq is speaking in another language.
    • In the novel Provenance, a standalone in the same universe, Radchaai are noted to be disconcertingly difficult to gender to the Hwaean people.
  • Inheritance Cycle: We eventually learn that one of the Ra'zac is female, but her sibling remains unknown. Also, we briefly see a Helgrind priest(ess) who is so mutilated that their gender can't be identified.
  • Mallory's gender in the Jacob's Ladder Trilogy is ambiguous and the narration goes the great lengths to keep it that way; though it does slip a couple of times and calls Mallory 'he'. Mallory claims at one point to not be a man, and has a penis, masculine body, breasts, and a feminine face, but due to the nature of the setting it's inhabitants are able to change their physical traits at will, so everyone tends to conform to whatever gender they feel they are. Similarly, Nova has some trouble in the second volume to settle on a gendered pronoun and keeps switching back and forth. That is said to be due to being an amalgam of several people of different genders.
  • A Lion In The Meadow:
    • The dragon's sex is never said.
    • In one version of the book, the boy has a sibling, but their gender is unclear because, while they have short hair, they're only a baby, and they lack any Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. The family also has a cat in this version, but its gender is also unrevealed (though it is a ginger cat, so it's statistically more likely to be male).
  • Magisterus Bad Trip: Frey(ja). He/she freely transforms between a man and a woman (though it's suggested that this might just be an elaborate disguise) and expresses attraction to both genders.
  • Douglas Hofstadter's Metamagical Themas features a dialogue between people of intentionally unspecified gender, named Chris, Pat, and Sandy (interestingly, in the context of a discussion of the life of Alan Turing). When translated, the translators used epicene names in their own language, such as Dominique in French.
  • Pwt in Muse Magazine. The subject is one of constant argument on the Muse Mail page. There was one cartoon in which the crow sings a limerick about how pleased he is Pwt, having a cold, can't keep up with him to chase him. He repeatedly refers to Pwt with male pronouns. Perhaps he just felt the need to use pronouns and flipped a coin or something, but it was once cited in a letter as proof Pwt is male.
  • The Angel Islington of Neverwhere is so androgynously beautiful that it has no obvious gender and is referred to as "it". A few characters do call it a "he" at some points, but always go back to calling Islington an "it", implying that they only do so because they're not used to talking about a genderless being. The narrative persists in using the dehumanizing "it", which suggests a certain ambiguity about its nature.
  • In Catherynne M. Valente's The Orphan's Tales, there is a whole religion whose acolytes present to the world (and to each other) as androgynes. They live in the Tower of Hermaphrodites, and they find the sacred in perfect balance between opposites, starting with "male" and "female".
  • Alex, the protagonist of Pharmakembru: The Face never has their gender stated.
  • In The Princess Diaries, there's a character called Perin in Mia's French class. Mia and her friends can't figure out whether Perin is male or female until their French teacher calls Perin a boy, leading poor Perin to have to point out in front of her entire class that she's actually a girl.
  • Yuu Valentine from Project NRI. In-text, the pronoun used for Yuu is 'they'.
    "A... man? A woman? Noriko couldn't tell, but with their chiseled features and gentle demeanor, they were certainly very beautiful."
  • In Raptor, Thorn (the main character) is intersex. "He" lives most of his life as a male but lived in a convent for a year and can easily pass as attractive members of both genders (voice midway, taller than some men but shorter than some women, etc). Early in the book, he deliberately dresses in ambiguous clothing, confusing his hunting companion who simply can't figure out his gender (and won't ask, since he figures Thorn is deliberately hiding it). He meets another one. They have lots of sex. Then the second one turns out to be a real bitch.
  • Robin Hobb's Realm of the Elderlings sequence consists of several trilogies. In the Farseer trilogy there's the Fool, who the narrator Fitz believes is male. The Liveship Traders trilogy has a totally different dramatis personae, including the female Amber. It's never stated that these two are the same person, but more and more clues are dropped as the trilogy progresses, and because Amber advises Althea on how to disguise herself as a boy we start to think he/she is really female and was disguised as male in the earlier books. But in the Tawny Man trilogy, where we and Fitz are told outright that both characters are the same person, there's a section where Fitz inhabits the Fool's body and can presumably tell what sex he/she is, but never tells us! Fitz implies that the Fool's kind are so different from humans that neither gender is appropriate — but then there's the Pale Woman to account for, who is clearly female, leading to the conclusion that not all Whites are the same. This is in line with the Fool's claim that where he comes from, people don't insist on the existence of only two genders.
  • In River of Teeth, Hero's gender is kept a secret throughout the story, and the narration uses gender-neutral pronouns when talking about them. It is made clear that Hero does not conform outwardly to any gender and several characters seem confused, though only the bad guy makes any verbal note about it. Hero seems prepared to avoid questions regarding their gender and is surprised when Houndstooth does not pry any further even after they become lovers.
  • The Person of Indeterminate Gender from A Series of Unfortunate Events, who is called "he or she" or "it" even by other members of Count Olaf's troupe. The closest we get to a name is "The Big One". Possibly due to the Unfortunate Implications of this writing in the TV adaptation they are changed to an overall more pleasant person who seems to be interested in social issues.
  • Nyumba in Someone Else's War. Actually, her gender is never officially stated, except that the narrator assumes she's a girl.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe: Aftermath: Life Debt: The pirate Eleodie Maracavanya is referred to as male, female and the gender-neutral "zhe" or "zher". The author has stated Eleodie is Human with a non-binary gender (the first such character in a Star Wars work).
  • Ditto for Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart". The narrator's gender remains a mystery.
  • Terra Ignota: Very nearly everyone. Gender pronouns have been greatly depreciated by Mycroft's time, to the point that whenever he does use them, he apologizes to the readers. Sometimes he even admits that his pronouns aren't matching an individual's biological sex, but he still uses the pronoun he does because the person acts so stereotypically masculine/feminine, no matter what their biology.
  • The Traitor Son Cycle: The Outwaller shaman Walks On Clouds is always referred to as "he/she" in the narration, and POV characters who meet him/her for the first time find themselves at loss as to their gender or biological sex. He/she eventually claims he/she's a "changeling", able to take on a more masculine or feminine quality at will, but how far does this stretch is unclear.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Dr. Haru Tanaka on Bones has a deep voice and an unusual style of dress. No one uses any gendered pronouns without dispute to refer to Tanaka. This led Angela to ask:
    Angela: That doctor, dude or dudette?
    Hodgins & Sweets: I dunno.
    • This is established as a choice on Tanaka's part, and it drives all the other characters crazy (aside from Dr. Brennan, who doesn't care about things like that). Angela eventually figures it out in the end by giving Tanaka a hug, after which she declares "It moved. He's a guy."
  • Doctor Who: The Judoon all look extremely similar underneath their helmets, and are all voiced by Nicholas Briggs. "Fugitive of the Judoon", however, implies that Judoon Captain Pol-Con-Don might be female when the Thirteenth Doctor offers to talk with them "woman to woman".
  • Isabel on HawthoRNe. Aside from the name, it's hard to tell.
  • One episode of Jonathan Creek has a police officer of unknown gender. Creek and Maddy spend the episode following them around to find out their name, to see which toilets they use, etc. By the end of the episode both Creek and Maddy have reversed their opinions of the officer's gender, leaving them (and the audience) none the wiser. The character, Sgt Richie, was played by a man, with really bad hair.
  • The sex of Hal and Lois' baby on Malcolm in the Middle was kept under wraps to the point that, when the writers couldn't just keep calling it "the baby", they revealed the name as Jamie.
  • A Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featured a '50s "educational" short called Mr. B Natural, which had a woman in the title role. While "Mr. B" was (despite the name) pretty unambiguously female, Joel and the 'Bots had a lot of fun riffing over the character's presumed androgyny, and devoted a whole host-segment sketch to the question of exactly what (s)he was supposed to be. The Other Wiki mentions that photo captions in C.G. Conn's magazine refer to the character as "he", adding to the confusion.
  • The Saturday Night Live character Pat appeared in multiple sketches devoted to this trope, ultimately scoring a feature film, It's Pat!. Pat is also in an on-again/off-again relationship with another ambiguous character, Chris.
    • In one segment, there's Pat's equally-ambiguous parent, Frances, whom Pat refers to by first name, due to the fact that Frances had to act as both mom and dad to Pat after Jean left the family.
    • Fans often point out one of Pat's last sketches, in which Pat tilts her head back slightly when kissed, as evidence that the character is a woman. This was unintentional by the actress, Julia Sweeney, but she decided that Pat was officially female for this reason.
  • In Loriot's sketch Weihnachten bei Hoppenstedts the gender of the child is deliberately left vague, and as the child is only known by the nickname "Dicki" ("Fatty") there is no way to tell. (Dicki was actually played by a young girl wearing unisex clothing and a thick pullover, but that has no bearing on what the character was supposed to be).
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Person of Indeterminate Gender is played by a man who wears primarily women's clothing.

  • Id looks female (especially in the early art), dresses somewhat like a man, is regularly mistaken for a woman, loudly exclaims he's a man at every point, has strange costume folds that slightly hint of cleavage, and is quite careful to never expose the chest area. In the original novels Id is unambiguously male.

  • The music video for "Lightning Crashes" by Live features an androgynous-looking angel (played by a woman) guiding human souls from death to rebirth.
  • David Bowie built much of his career on this. He also used it in his song "Rebel Rebel," where even the character's mother is "not sure if you're a boy or a girl."
  • Annie Lennox from the Eurythmics got some heat over looking a little more masculine than some would prefer.
  • Gorillaz bassist Murdoc has a pet raven named Cortez. The name is masculine and Murdoc refers to it with male pronouns, but he also mentions it laying eggs. Either he or the writers are doing some Artistic License – Biology. Then again, it's very hard to tell the gender of ravens, and it doesn't really matter except to other ravens.
  • "Turn the Page" by Bob Seger:
    "Most times you can't hear 'em talk
    Other times you can
    All the same old cliches
    Is that a woman or a man?
    And you always seem outnumbered
    You don't dare make a stand"
  • Visual Kei:
    • Yoshiki until he dropped the style somewhat in the mid 1990s and hide of X Japan were some of the Trope Makers in Visual Kei.
    • Mana of Malice Mizer and Moi dix Mois. It doesn't help that he never lets anyone hear his voice in public.
    • Hizaki of of Versailles and Jupiter. His late Versailles bandmate, bassist Jasmine You, was equally so.
    • Kaya. The contrast between his singing and speaking voices only adds to the confusion.
    • The 2010s bring Leoneil of the band Vaniru.
  • "Sunshine and Summertime" by Faith Hill:
    "You'll see rock hard bodies and bikini hotties
    And everybody's got it goin' on
    And showin' what they've got"
  • Eurovision Song Contest:
    • The winner of 2007, Marija Serifovic for Serbia confused many, but seen from her name, she's a woman. The runner up, Ukraine's Verka Serduchka is a drag queen character of comedian Andriy Danylko, who is a man.
    • Serbia's 2010 entry, Milan Stanković, is a man, but from the way he carried himself and dressed for the show, many were also confused.
    • Winner of 2014, Austria's Conchita Wurst, is a drag queen persona used by the male Thomas Neuwirth, who considers himself a woman when in the persona but not otherwise.
  • The people who the main protagonist had one night stands with in "You Can't Do That" by KT Oslin:
    "Well, let's talk about my love life
    It used to be so free
    If I saw something I wanted
    I just drag it on home with me"
  • In "3", Britney Spears isn't specific as to whether she's suggesting an mmf bisexual, mfm, mff or an all girl threesome:
    "Merry the more
    Triple fun that way
    Twister on the floor
    What do you say?"
  • "Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?", by '60s garage rock band The Barbarians.
  • Scorpions' "He's a Woman, She's a Man" from their Taken By Force album has the narrator extremely confused and extremely attracted to the extremely androgynous person they met on the street. They spend the whole song confused until the last refrain where we learn that it is a woman.
    It turned around right then and looked at me
    I said oh no, it really couldn't be
    It was a man, it was a woman, too
  • Alternative R&B duo Rhye are notable for singer Milosh's androgynous vocals.
  • The Vocaloid characters Hime and Mikoto don't have an assigned gender, since their lore states spirits are genderless by default. Further muddying the waters is that their motif was partially inspired by fellow GYNOID co. vocal flower, whose androgyny theme references real life flowers' hermaphrodidic qualities.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 
  • It's a Downplayed Trope, but the baby penguin Miss Piggy takes home from Argentina in The Muppets. Piggy uses male pronouns, despite naming the penguin Gloria Estefan. Uncle Deadly uses female pronouns. The truth is unrevealed.
  • The Muppets' Wizard of Oz previously suggested that all Muppet penguins are "unisex".

  • Angels are often played as this, if not unambiguously female, Bishōnen or Pretty Boy, though in the original texts they are always referred to as male, possibly just for convenience sake because there is no clear reason why they would even have a gender anyway. Except in the specific case where they are mentioned that one group of angels has "the loins of men" and who took "wives of the daughters of man." Beyond that, no other mention is made or needed, and several angels are described in ways that are decidedly not humanoid.
  • The Jewish God comes off as this to those who know enough Hebrew. Most if not all of "His" names and titles (such as Father and Lord) are male, and the religion is usually patriarchal, but many of the god's attributes such as "His" spirit, breath, presence or wings are described in feminine terms due to the Semitic languages' grammatical gender. It is not so noticeable in English due to its lack of gender outside of obviously male and female words, but even then God is described as a mother bear at one point. A bit less ambiguous in Christianity, due to many of its texts being in Greek (which doesn't have this ambiguity), the whole Father-Son dynamic - the truly ambiguous member of the Christian Trinity is the Holy Spirit, who is often depicted in a feminine form if given an kind of form at all.
  • In Buddhism, Guanyin (known as the God/Goddess of Mercy) is a bodhisattva that is depicted as either male or female. It's not uncommon for Buddhist temples in East Asian countries that have statues that depicts Guanyin as male, while others depict the bodhisattva as female. This is a justified trope, as it represents the limitless transcendence beyond gender, as gender does not have any meaning with Guanyin as long as the person understands what Guanyin represents.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Unknown Armies, any avatar of the Mystic Hermaphrodite plays this role to the hilt. Particularly powerful avatars are even able to switch their physical gender daily, making the question unanswerable. The Freak, godwalker of the Mystic Hermaphrodite, is at the point where neither he nor she is the right word - and indeed no one seems to know which gender it used to be, if either. The novel Godwalker reveals it used to be female.
  • The Chaos god Slaanesh in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 is referred to (among its many names) as both "She Who Thirsts" and "the Prince of Excess", and is frequently depicted as either intersex or completely genderless, depending on what has the highest chance of turning the viewer into a Nightmare Fetishist. Slaanesh is explicitly all genders and no genders at the same time, as it is the Anthropomorphic Personification of desire, and thus is the most desirable to whomever views it.
  • Old World of Darkness:
    • Tzimisce named character Sascha Vykos is exclusively referred to with the pronoun "it" and is so extensively fleshcrafted that any trace of its original gender, or indeed body, is unidentifiable. A lot of Tzimisce, especially those on the Path Of Metamorphosis modify their bodies in extreme ways in order to distance themselves from their former humanity, but Vykos takes it to a level even other Tzimisce find extreme. As of recently, however, Vykos has taken to referring to themselves as "they," showing a complete divorce from gender while still maintaining a sense of identity (and probably to avoid unfortunate implications as towards nonbinary individuals).
  • New World of Darkness:
    • Vampire: The Requiem features the Galloi, a Nosferatu bloodline that decides to trade in "the crawling creepies" for "beauty beyond compare." It doesn't quite work out as planned; they become beautiful and utterly androgynous, but they're so beautiful that they can't possibly be anything natural, and thus still unnerve people. On top of that, a lot of them worship Cybele, and prefer to do so the old-fashioned way.
    • A Mage: The Awakening sourcebook (Legacies: The Sublime) describes the Daksha, a Legacy of Mages who seek to ascend to a higher evolutionary stage. That higher form happens to be three-eyed and hermaphroditic, which apparently extends to personality and gender identity. To confuse matters further, they are able to shift to a biologically male or female form at will.
    • Also in Awakening, all but one of the ruling Exarchs are referred to alternately as male or female (the exception being the Father, who embodies the divine patriarch). Given that they sloughed off their physical forms to become Platonic ideals of power and subjugation, whatever gender they identified with as human is likely irrelevant.
  • Luna, Exalted's goddess of the Moon, is typically identified as female, but is also likely to show up as a hermaphrodite or a man. The Lunar Exalted's powers allow them to be female, male, or neutral as they see fit, and at least one canon Lunar no longer identifies with a particular gender.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons, there are the ormyrr, a non-humanoid race that look like huge worms with big, toad-like heads, and four arms. While they do have genders, it's impossible for members of other races to tell them apart. Most other races use neutral pronouns when referring to them (which doesn't offend them, apparently).
  • The Planeswalker Ashiok from Magic: The Gathering. This became a sort of contention when both the player's guide, the German translation and the official comic referred to them as "male", but the official stance is that their gender is ambiguous/nonexistent. Considering what exactly Ashiok is...
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Dharc, the Dark Charmer. There are 4 other monsters with similar names, all of which have been female, but Dharc could easily go either way. According to the French translation, it's a girl; the German translation opts to make it a boy.
  • Pathfinder has the Empyreal Lord (basically an archangel) Arshea, whose form "suggests the best traits of both the masculine and feminine" and who the text avoids referring to with any pronoun at all.

  • The play Sylvia, by A.R. Gurney, has a character named Leslie, a person of indeterminate gender, that asks the other characters to assign gender roles to him/her when they first meet.
  • Mistoffelees from Cats, though he is referred to as a "he", tends to share the choreography of the female cats more than the toms, in several stage versions he isn't matched with anyone at the mating dance, and a line from his signature song implies that "he" has had kittens. In the original T.S. Eliot poem, it's more obvious that Mistoffelees is actually a female cat.
  • Angel from RENT was presumably assigned male at birth but dresses as a woman most of the time. Sometimes they refer to themself using male pronouns and sometimes with female ones. So do their friends and love interest. It's left pretty open if they're a drag queen, a trans woman, genderqueer, or none of the above.
  • In the Israeli otaku musical And Sushi for Free, the main protagonist is a child of about ten, allegedly the star of some anime, with the ambiguous name Daniel, who looks rather ambiguous, is addressed by people as either and doesn’t seem to mind. Some characters are confused about this with no response, which is somewhat of a running gag that’s quickly dropped, but later turns into a Chekhov's Gun.
  • The eponymous Angel in Angels in America is like this. While it can be placed as being on the more feminine side of androgynous, it also has multiple penises and notes that angels don't really have sex or gender in the same way that humans do. Prior Walter still awakens confused after his encounter with it, remarking that in his dream he'd had sex with a woman - adding that the Angel "wasn't a regular woman".

  • All Beanie Babies made since 1996 come with a descriptive four-line poem on their tags. In most cases, it's obvious that a particular Beanie is canonically male or female: either the poem specifically uses "he" or "she", the name is clearly gender-specific, or the design is a giveaway. (For instance, there are several kangaroos; while only one explicitly uses "she" in the poem, all of the others except Austin are clearly female despite their non-gender-specific names, as they have joeys in their pouches.) However, there are just some cases where the name is gender-neutral and either the poem is in first-person, or it just manages to get to four lines without using a pronoun.
  • Every LEGO minifigure pre-90s could technically qualify, especially when using the default "Yellow smiley face". Though largely averted with the town themes that actually have molded hair and more varying faces.
  • Pikmi Pops have a whole lot of their characters' bios lack pronouns or use "they/them", with only a select few characters known as a he or a she. All Pikmi Pops have eyelashes, however.
  • Both The Trash Pack and Shopkins, two blind bag toylines by Moose Toys, had issues with calling characters by various pronouns in various areas of media, leaving it muddy on their true genders. It also doesn't help that pretty much every character from Trash Pack lack eyelashes regardless of gender, while nearly every character from Shopkins have eyelashes regardless of gender.

    Video Games 
  • Quina from Final Fantasy IX (and by extension, most of the Qus, essentially a Genderless Race). The Lamias' "attract" attack works on them, so whatever they are they're attracted to women. Zidane won't protect them when equipped with the Protect Girls ability, though that could mean he doesn't know himself.
  • Story of Seasons:
    • Jamie, the player character's nemesis from Magical Melody, dresses in clothes that deliberately make them appear androgynous (they look the same regardless of whether you choose to play as a boy or a girl, and is officially female if you are male and vice versa).
    • Often times your child has no official gender, mostly in earlier games, so you can chose its gender. It doesn't affect the game, and the games don't refer to them using any pronouns. This applies to rival children as well in Harvest Moon 64, though one line by Popuri shows her kid with Gray is female.
  • The title character of NiGHTS into Dreams... is sexless and has "apparent gender" that's whatever would be appropriate for a particular viewer. They were given an English accent that sounds like a cross between a teenage girl and a little boy.
  • Onmyōji: It is impossible to determine what gender Kohaku is, thanks to its androgynous voice and its using its name in place of a first-person pronoun. It is confirmed to be male.
  • Summon Night:
    • Arno from Swordcraft Story 2. Their gender is never revealed and calls themself a 'child of the wind'. This isn't helped that in the English games its voice is masculine, but in the original Japanese it's feminine. The Japanese official site seems to suggest they're female by putting them with Dinah and Aera, while the confirmed male summon beasts are with Aera's male counterpart.
    • The Dragon Child Coral of Summon Night 4 is explicitly this as a direct result of Schrödinger's Gun. When the Dragon Child is first met, the protagonist is asked by another character what the Dragon Child's sex is. The response options are "male", "female", and "I don't know". Coral is the result of choosing the third option. Gameplay and Story Integration keeps this up as Coral ignores sex restrictions on equipment and can be used in both the Undead Ship Captain and Dryad collaborative summons, which requires 4 male characters and 4 female characters respectively.
  • Birdo from Super Mario Bros. wears a bow to signify femininity, and was originally classified as "a boy who liked to dress up as a girl", but the official stance on its gender seems to vary from game to game (and region to region).
  • In Sunless Skies, the Incautious Driver is always referred to with neutral they/them pronouns. And they wouldn't have it any other way: when required to fill out a medical form, they resolve the ambiguity... by neatly crossing out the relevant field as not applicable.
  • Revan in Knights of the Old Republic is never referred to in the game as male or female because Revan is the player character, which can be male or female depending on the player's selection at the beginning. There is one line of dialogue, spoken by Juahni, that refers to Revan as female, but this was an error in the coding that missed an if/then note earlier in the game. Other characters, particularly Canderous, use male pronouns to refer to Revan note  — which is canon, as confirmed by The New Essential Chronology. note 
  • Final Fantasy VI's Gogo, thereby introduced as:
    Shrouded in odd clothing this a man...?
    ...a woman...?
    ...or should we ask...?
  • Flea from Chrono Trigger:
    Frog: This is no ordinary woman! Meet Flea, the magician!
    Flea: What the...?! Hey, I'm a GUY!
    Robo: But its exterior is that of a female...
    Flea: Male... female... what's the difference? Power is beautiful, and I've got the power!
  • In Chrono Cross the computer program FATE is often referred to as the "Goddess of Fate", and in battle it boasts feminine features. However, the target does say that it is male, and on top of that it had inhabited a male form for the entire game up until that point. Since it is actually a supercomputer, though, gender might be a moot point.
  • Yumeji from the Samurai Shodown series.
  • Baten Kaitos:
    • The Great Mizuti, however during a very important scene near the end of the game the truth is revealed: Mizuti's a girl.
    • Guillo from Origins might count since as an animated puppet, they don't really have a gender. Guillo's personality is a gestalt created from the lingering memories of a man and a woman, thus is both and neither at once.
  • Nergal's morphs in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade are supposedly genderless. Gets applied to Limstella the most often, although Ephidel is probably just as ambiguous.
  • Applied to two of the playable classes in the first three Geneforge games, though the Agent is clearly female. Interestingly, while the first and second game have the same character model for the Shaper, the drawings accompanying the loading screens make "him" look more male in the first game and more female in the second. (The third solves the problem by showing the Agent in the drawings.)
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance also makes generic allies and enemies androgynous, with the exception of the Viera. Characters are randomly assigned male or female names, though the former seem to be more common.
  • Poison in Final Fight. The designers were worried about her, given that North American players might have objected to a character hitting a girl, so whether she was female, a male transvestite, or transsexual was debated for awhile. They finally settled on male-to-female transsexual in all continuities, the only difference being whether she's pre-op (Japan) or post (everywhere else that cares). (Of course, this ignores the fact that there were two female Mooks in the original game; Poison and Roxy were color swaps, and Roxy was definitely female. A profile of the characters that claimed Poison was a man also addressed Roxy as a "she" who disliked Poison's cross-dressing.)
  • Zohar from Silhouette Mirage. He/She changes genders based on what powers they're using. Though, they're a computer program, so gender might be irrelevant.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Majora's gender is never stated and left ambiguous. Its final form is muscular like a male, yet the "eyes" of the mask resemble breasts, and it has a high-pitched voice.
  • Team Fortress 2: At first, given that Pyro had the same voice actor as the clearly male Spy, all indication were that Pyro was a guy. The confusion started in a line on the Pyro's profile that stated "...if he is even a man". This was apparently meant to be about the Pyro's evil personality (which turns out isn't entirely right), but several fans thought that meant the Pyro might be female. Later on the developers ran with it and an update added a flowery purse to the inventory (apparently as a lame reference to Pyro being a "flamer") leading to more confusion on the part of the user base. Since the full body-suit and mask prevented any real confirmation, Valve ran with the idea, editing the posts on the official blog, changing subtle references to the Pyro's gender, just to screw with people's minds. This ambiguity then carried into in-game with the pre-2011 menu interface, in which the class recommendation window has the seemingly innocent and consistent line "Why don't you give him a shot?" when recommending a class to the player... Except when the Pyro appears, it changes randomly between "him" and "her". Word of God is "Not telling is funnier than anything we could say".
  • Bloodhound from Apex Legends wears concealing clothes in addition to only being referred to with non-gender specific pronouns in their character bio. They have a female voice actor but their dialogue is pitched down and filtered to sound androgynous. Word of God said they identify as non-binary.
  • No one knows for sure what Seem's gender in Jak 3: Wastelander is. Their body type is ambiguous, which is amplified by the many layers of clothing and armor they wears. They could be male, because they were originally scripted as such. Daxter refers to him/her as 'monk boy' and Seem never corrects him. The trophy for rescuing him/her at the temple is titled "dude in distress". In the Spanish, Italian, German and French versions of the game, Seem is stated to be male and is voiced by a male actor. A fan emailed Naughty Dog and the answer received was "Seem is male." And the official Jak 3 website gives their gender as male. The URL showing the final concept art on Bob Rafei's website contains "Seem girl merged". Another fan emailed Naughty Dog as well and the answer they received was "Seem is a girl." And the creator commentary and official guide refer to him/her as female.
  • The Makeover Mage in RuneScape. The mage may appear, when you first see him/her, to be man or a woman. That's because the mage keeps switching between being a guy and being a girl, so it's impossible to tell their gender.
  • The merfolk in Tales of Monkey Island. Guybrush is rather unsettled that he can't tell what gender they are. Winslow seems to be less unsettled and ends up in a romance with one.
  • This is a trait of the Lapine race in Pandora Saga; the race has no gender selection as the males and females are almost impossible to tell apart. At one point the lapine host of the first trailer gets angry at the audience for not being able to tell. Naturally, the real answer is interrupted.
  • The first thing Subaru from Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love does in the game is respond to the protagonist wondering about Subaru's gender by saying that the "difference in organs" doesn't really matter, and "Subaru is Subaru". This ambiguity persists throughout the game; for every line that hints that Subaru is really female, there's another that suggests that Subaru's really male. In the English version, characters refer to Subaru as "she" (as does Subaru on one occasion, which seems a bit out of character, but it can't be easy to translate for an ambiguously-gendered character who's also a Third-Person Person); however, in the original Japanese, Subaru is never referred to by a gendered pronoun at all. NIS America deals with this by referring to Subaru in a promotional ad as a "guygirl".
  • The Magypsies in Mother 3. Since they lack a gender, they have rather feminine names, have feminine hair, and wear women's clothing despite the fact that they have facial hair and facial structures like men.
  • Anna Hottenmeyer of Mr. Driller is a girl that can get some people to believe she's a guy (even in her normal person get-up).
  • All the dogs in Dog's Life, besides Jake and Daisy. They all have Barbie Doll Anatomy and don't interact with Jake much, though you may hear a human refer to a few of them as being male or female (such as Lopez being a girl, the sheep-dog being female, and Snookie apparently being male).
  • World of Warcraft has the bronze dragon Chronormu/Chromie. Due to the dragonflights' Theme Naming any name ending in -ormu is male while females are -ormi, but whenever they assume a humanoid form it's always as a female gnome, and no other dragon has been shown shifting into a humanoid form of a different gender. Word of God later confirmed her to be female, meaning that for her species, she had a Gender-Blender Name and goes with a somewhat more feminine-sounding name instead.
  • Vestera, a Vernal god/dess from Lusternia. Appropriately, their dominion is over illusions and dreams, so gender is less relevant anyway.
  • The protagonist of Pirouette is referred to as both a "daughter" and as a "husband" by various characters and has an androgynous appearance.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, the Daedric Princes are technically genderless deities. However, most take humanoid forms when dealing with mortals. The majority maintain a consistent gender in these forms (ex. Azura and Meridia as female, Sheogorath and Mehrunes Dagon as male), however, a few are known to change it up between appearances. For example, Boethiah, the Daedric Prince of Plots, has made three appearances in the series' to date as male and two as female. Boethiah's worshipers and cultists refer to Boethiah as both "he" and "she", sometimes in the same sentence. Similarly, Mephala, a Daedric Prince whose sphere is unknown to mortals but who is associated with manipulation, is a hermaphrodite. She is typically referred to as a "she" though, and speaks with a female voice.
  • Captain Viridian in VVVVVV is never explicitly assigned a gender. Even when giving (somewhat less-than-fulfilling) romantic advice to a trusted member of their crew, the issue of Viridian's gender is entirely unresolved in any capacity. The retro graphics do ultimately little to help clear anything up.
  • In Journey, the mysterious robed player character has no gender.
  • Mega Man Juno, the Final Boss for the first Mega Man Legends game, courtesy of a feminine facial structure, long, pink tresses, and being named after a Roman goddess. While it's made known that Juno is male, western players were struck with Viewer Gender Confusion due to his voice actor's (also male) vaguely feminine voice (in the Japanese version, it's more obvious, being voiced by Akira Ishida and all).
  • Omochao from Sonic the Hedgehog. In Sonic Adventure 2, it sounds like a young boy, and in Sonic Generations, it sounds like a little girl, furthering the confusion.
  • A Running Gag in the Disgaea games is the gender of the Alraune class. They look like flat-chested females, but one character that tried to flirt with one had an Unsettling Gender Reveal. Disgaea 3 and 4 also introduce them as male when you create one (though they don't mind if you prefer to think of them as girls). And they respond to gender specific in-game effects as female. Since they are plants, it's possible that they have no actual gender, and Rule of Funny applies.
  • Fallen London:
    • You can play as a lady, a gentleman, or an individual of mysterious and indistinct gender. This last option causes the NPCs to stutter in confusion ("sir- er, mad- er, yes") and just sort of give up when the dialogue calls for them to refer to the player character by gender. It also has its own gender portraits. It doesn't affect anything else, since the game has Purely Aesthetic Gender.
      My dear sir, there are individuals roaming the streets of Fallen London at this very moment with the faces of squid! Squid! Do you ask them their gender? And yet you waste our time asking trifling and impertinent questions about mine? It is my own business, sir, and I bid you good day.
    • The Rubbery Men are only referred to as 'men' by convention (the player character occasionally gets an impression that one of them is female, but it's rather difficult to be sure), and the Masters of the Bazaar style themselves as businessmen with names like Mr Cups and Mr Iron but wear all-concealing black hooded cloaks which make it difficult to ascertain either their gender or their species. Both groups are commonly referred to as 'it'.
    • The Muffled Intriguer, a minor character who you mainly interact with when trading Influence items. Their gender is ambiguous mainly because they wear layers upon layers of clothing, which obscures their identity as well.
  • Sunless Sea, made by the same company and set in the Neath as well, is the same in this regard. You decide how your captain's addressed, and gender-neutral options and portraits are available as always. The game also tends to actively avoid using genders for your crew and your captain, too, so as to keep them ambiguous (and in your zailors' case, which pronoun is used is a tossup, your crew has both men, women, and neutral/unknown). Finally, there are multiple characters whose given gender is never referred to, such as the Irrepressible Cannoneer and the Voracious Diplomat, and one overtly ambiguous character in the Alarming Scholar, who makes the narrator constantly struggle when referring to her (him?).
  • The playable Old Axe Armor in Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin reuses Johnathan's voice clips for various actions, but enemies react to it as they would with a female character (e.g. the Zacchino enemy type offers it flowers rather than attempting to stab it). Official art exists showing the character to be female, however.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Sabor is female in her source film, but male in Kingdom Hearts. It may be a journal error, but since she and her world have been retconned out of existence, we will never really know. To make matters more confusing, Sabor is referred to as "it" in the novel adaption.
    • Three Dream Eaters, Meow Wow, Meowjesty and Flowbermeow. Their journal entries speak of whether they are male or female, or if they are cat or dog (or chicken in the latter's case). This is also true with most of the other Dream Eaters, but a few, such as the Kyroo triplets, are stated to be male.
  • Rche from beatmania IIDX 19 Lincle is heavily implied, but not outright stated, to be a crossdressing male. Rche bears a male symbol tattoo on the bellybutton and references to Rche's gender in supplemental material are mosaic-censored. Notably, one piece of side material describes Rche as a "[censored]の娘" (no ko, literally "daughter of"); this could be interpreted to mean Rche is the daughter of a character with a one-kanji name, or that Rche is an "男の娘" (otoko no ko, a slang term for a crossdressing male).
  • Shittyghost in Quest Fantasy. He's referred to as a boy in most of the games, but then in Love Plus Shoujo Edition she is inexplicably considered a girl. They're a ghost of a male character, though.
  • The P.E.K.K.A from Clash of Clans is so heavily armored, no one knows if it's male or female. However, one of the hints at the game's loading screen implies that it might be female, though that might be a typo. For added confusion, "Pekka" is a common Finnish male name, which is where the makers of the game, Supercell, originates from.
  • The eponymous protagonist of Dominique Pamplemousse is not only androgynous, but genderqueer as well, to the point they don't know what gender they identify as.
  • Steve/Alex, the player from Minecraft, has short hair if you play as Steve, and long hair if you play as Alex, but besides that (and the masculine name of "Steve"), there's no indication whatsoever of the player's gender. Alex in particular seems purposefully designed to be androgynous. Their name could easily be short for either Alexander or Alexandria, and long hair and skinnier arms are hardly exclusive to women. However, Alex definitely seems feminine when contrasted with Steve so a lot of people just assume Alex is female.
  • Mangle in Five Nights at Freddy's 2 is the only animatronic whose character doesn't have a generally agreed-upon gender. While all versions of Freddy and Bonnie are male, and all versions of Chica are female, Mangle may or may not be a different gender from its predecessor Foxy. Seeing as it's introduced as a barely-functional scrap heap of an animatronic, it's not easy to tell, and its intact Funtime Foxy design in Five Nights at Freddy's World has several elements of its design that conflict with either gender. Any other pieces of in-game evidence have been deliberately confusing. When the creator, Scott Cawthon, finally "confirmed" its gender, all he gave was a Mathematician's Answer. Many flame wars have arisen over the subject.
  • Puck, the Faerie Dragon is male in Defense of the Ancients, but in Dota 2 their gender is not known. Puck has a voice that sounds like it could belong to either a young boy or a girl. Lampshaded if you have the Bastion announcer, who will sometimes comment on this when Puck is chosen.
    Rucks: Cute little fella, ain't he... she... whatever.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, there's the Amalj'aa, which are a race of huge and burly lizards. The Amalj'aa are an interesting case since they do have males and females, but due to the fact that both sexes look and sound exactly alike and the race don't consider gender identity to be of any importance, it's quite difficult to tell who is what. Word of God says that even the Amalj'aa sometimes get confused with identifying each other, but when it's time to mate, their bodies release a unique scent that helps the race identify each other's sex.
    • Sylphs are another interesting case, they have two distinct subsets that KIND OF count as genders, in the sense that they define their reproductive habits and naming conventions, but neither could strictly speaking be classified as 'male' or 'female', and both types appear feminine by our standards.
  • Everyone in Wonderland Adventures.
  • While Touhou Project is well-known for its Improbably Female Cast, this wasn't established until the second game. The first game, Highly Responsive to Prayers, has no dialogue and no character profiles, leaving the genders of Konngara and Sariel completely up to speculation given their androgynous appearances, and SinGyoku makes things more confusing by shifting between a masculine form and a feminine form.
  • Len'en takes this trope and applies it to nearly every single character in the series. Out of a cast of over thirty characters, only one of them (a grandfather of one of the other characters) has a confirmed gender.
  • In Undertale the protagonist's gender is unknown, and is referred to as "they" to preserve ambiguity; the same is true of the ghosts except for Mettaton (who seem to be genderless by default), Monster Kid, the River Person (who lampshades it when first met), and the First Fallen Human. This is likely intended to enable players of any gender to relate to the player's avatar.
    • Monster Kid was originally referred to as "he" in the art book, though this was later edited, and uses masculine pronouns in the Japanese localization. (Specifically, Ore.) The rest remain ambiguous.
    • Onionsan's gender is also never stated, and many of the random monster encounters (such as Froggit and Whimsum) are usually referred to with "it" instead of gendered pronouns.
  • Deltarune's main character Kris is a Contrasting Sequel Main Character to the main character of Undertale, but Kris is still referred to exclusively with gender-neutral pronouns. They are called a "Momma's Boy" and their appearance in the World of Darkness riffs on classic takes on male RPG heroes, but it's still kept intentionally ambiguous.
  • Telltale Texas Hold 'Em, Poker Night at the Inventory, and Poker Night 2 all canonically feature the same protagonist, "The Player". "The Player" is deliberately left silent and mostly nondescript, as The Player is meant to be you, playing as yourself.
  • TOMCAT, the expert hacker from Read Only Memories has no stated gender, and goes by the pronoun "them". Also, your Robot Buddy Turing has no gender identity either.
  • Gigantic has Tyto the Swift, whose identity, including their gender, is unknown to everyone. When the fans asked about Tyto's gender, the developers said that even they didn't know what gender Tyto is.
  • Yutani from Subway Surfers is a kid in an alien costume. For a while, her gender wasn't hinted at aside for lips and eyelashes, until both the web-cartoon and bio confirmed that Yutani is female.
  • It's completely unclear whether the player character of Dark Tales is male or female. Some of the games suggest that it's a male, some suggest it's a female, and the rest make no hints about it either way. This is especially jarring since it's supposed to be the same character in each installment.
  • Demon Lord Ninetails has no clearly defined gender in Ōkami. It's unknown if it is male or female. But considering it is a demonic creature with deific power, as well as being a shapeshifter that can take on male and female forms, it is likely genderless. Amaterasu has also stirred confusion, as she urinates with her leg up when using the Golden Fury ability. This confusion likely derives from the common misconception that only male canines can urinate with one leg up. This is more related to the degree of dominance a canine has, rather than its gender.
  • In Dark Souls, Sif the Great Grey Wolf has stirred some gender controversy due to their name (which may or may not be a Gender-Blender Name). The name Sif is a woman's name in most Proto-Germanic languages. It's especially jarring when considering the fact that the English translation of Sif translates to the words "wife" and "bride". There is also a goddess named Sif, who comes from Norse mythology.
  • The character Anri of Astora from Dark Souls III is a potential spouse for your character and their gender is consequently set to be opposite that of your own character.
  • Kyros the Overlord, the triumphant Evil Overlord of Tyranny, is so Shrouded in Myth that nobody even knows their gender; it's noted that women tend to assume they're a woman, and men tend to assume a man. Then again, it's not even clear if they're a single individual, remotely human, or even real either. Only the Archons have met Kyros in person and therefore possibly know Kyros's gender (or in any case what Kyros actually is), but when they are asked about it, they always reply with "Kyros is mother and father." Or, in Sirin's case, switch pronouns randomly to screw with the Fatebinder for laughs. It's worth noting that Tunon, Kyros' oldest and most devoted Archon, consistently refers to Kyros with female pronouns, though he gets annoyed if pressed on the matter.
  • Persona 5: Funny Animal Morgana, one of the party members, has the name of a legendary woman from the King Arthur myths, but uses masculine Japanese Pronouns and identifies as male. In both the English and Japanese versions, he's voiced by women performing childlike, somewhat-androgynous voices that the game itself describes as "boyish" (the rest of the party's voices are firmly described as "Boy's voice" or "Girl's voice"). Early in the game there's a dialogue option to guess his gender - saying that he's a girl causes him to get flustered and say he thinks he's a boy. The Maniax Handbook lists his gender as "???".
  • The Dwarf's gender in Stardew Valley seems to have been left up to player interpretation. Though a good chunk of the fandom appears to be guessing that they're male, no pronouns are ever actually used in reference to the Dwarf in-game. Their generic name and obscured face only add to the ambiguity.
  • Fate/Grand Order: The Chevalier d'Eon is extremely androgynous, having traits of both men and women but nothing definitive. The game states that one of the d'Eon's magical abilities is to change their sex whenever they please, and they seem indifferent when the player guesses their gender, whatever the answer is. The game's code considers them "genderless" for gameplay purposes (some abilities and events only affect male or female characters), with a couple of exceptions.
  • Moshi Monsters has several characters whose genders just aren't revealed, but a notable example is Sweet Tooth-the last person to ask is still hospitalized and "wearing a gobstopper".
  • In Secret of Mana, the sprite child Popoi has long hair and wears long robes. Popoi was made male for the English version, while the German version treated Popoi as a girl, and the Japanese version using non-gender pronouns. The remake has Popoi voiced by women doing a high-pitched, young voice, and uses the Japanese pronoun 'oira' to refer to themselves, which is generally associated with masculine speech, but can be used by some women. The English translation of the remake simply chooses to use the genderless 'they' for Popoi.
  • Cookie Run:
    • A few Cookies (including Angel, Snow Sugar, Peppermint, and Cinnamon) are referred to with "it" pronouns. They're popularly interpreted to be non-binary.
    • While Dark Choco Cookie has a very masculine appearance, official content goes out of its way to avoid using any pronouns for them, gendered or otherwise. Their costume's title, "Sovereign of Darkness", also uses a gender-neutral descriptor.
  • In The Spectrum Retreat, Cameron Worrall's logs are written in first person, and that, coupled with a first name that can be used by both men and women, makes their gender basically impossible to determine.
  • Karma the Chameleon from Best Fiends goes by feminine pronouns in her bio, but her gender is also explicitly listed as "unknown", the only Fiend to do so. Some bios end up forgoing pronouns entirely for her as well, or even giving masculine pronouns instead, hinting at a genderfluid nature. Despite this, the book "The World of Best Fiends" lists Karma's gender as female, contradicting the website and game.
  • The cat-like imps in Cloud Spires in Spyro: Year of the Dragon all wear dresses, but their faces are masculine, and have gender-neutral names. The reimagining makes them even more androgynous with all except Fluffy sounding like preteen boys.
  • Versus Umbra: It's not clear what Bane's gender is due to them wearing a cape. The arena host even uses "his or hers" during a conversation with them.
  • In The Sims 4: Realm of Magic game pack, the NPC Morgyn Ember is marked as male in Create-a-Sim, however their preference is set to feminine clothes, they can't pee standing up, and they can't get anyone pregnant or become pregnant.
  • Niko, the adorable (and definitely not a cat) protagonist of One Shot. When asked if Niko was a boy or a girl, the developers replied "Yes, Niko is a boy or a girl".
  • The unnamed blacksmith deity in the reveal trailer for Elden Ring by FromSoftware was by some viewers assumed to be two different people, since they look wildly different from different angles and camerashots, depending on the lighting. A fullbody view of them from the back is mostly androgynous, with closeups varying between more masculine and more feminine.
  • Pilgrim (RPG Maker): The Doors, being living doors, don't have any obvious gender identifiers.
  • Xaku from Warframe is an odd example. While Xaku is reffered to as "they", it could be referencing how they look like neither male nor female, thus being nonbinary. However, they're also comprised of multiple warframes too, thus they could be both male and female and/or be multiple people. Either way, Xaku's pronouns are still "they/them".
  • In Puyo Puyo and Madou Monogatari, Carbuncle's bios don't specify if he's male or female. He has Bust-Waist-Hip measurements in his Madou Monogatari Saturn bio, which is normally reserved for females, but it could have also been done as a joke.
  • Tekken: Leo. Word of God says female and she gets a bikini in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 to affirm this fact. If one goes by voicing, though, it is hazy; Veronica Taylor provides Leo's voice during the time she is speaking English, but when she switches to speaking German, a male voice actor is provided. In Tekken 7 she can be customised to wear both male and female clothing too, blurring the line even further. If we go by her full name - Eleonora Kleisen, so a girl.

    Visual Novels 
  • Umineko: When They Cry:
    • Lion Ushiromiya has a deliberately ambiguous gender that is probably essential to the mystery itself. All the pronouns are deliberately written as ambiguous, and even the translations kept them perfectly ambiguous. At one point, Willard even wonders if Lion is a "fairly slender boy" or a "serious, no-nonsense girl". Lion refuses to answer him directly, and Bernkastel confirms that she hid Lion's gender on purpose.
    • By extension, Sayo Yasuda, also known as Shannon/Kanon/Beatrice and Lion's Alternate Self, also has an ambiguous gender that is deliberately hidden from the readers. Since Sayo has two female personas (Shannon and Beatrice), one male persona (Kanon) and is stated to have appeared as a man in one game (the Man from 19 Years Ago), their true gender is essentially left to the audience. However, the manga heavily implies that Sayo was designated male at birth but Raised as the Opposite Gender, though even then it's unclear what they identify as.
    • And then there's Zepar and Furfur, twin demons who are stated to be of opposite genders, though it's never revealed which is which. They serve as a Greek Chorus in EP6 and EP7 and they represent Lion and Sayo's Ambiguous Genders, as well as Sayo's gender confusion as a whole.
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, the Ultimate Imposter's gender is unknown. They do spend the game disguised as Byakuya Togami, who is male, but when they reveal their real voice, they sound rather androgynous. However, in the prequel Danganronpa 3: Despair Arc, the Imposter's true face and voice are revealed, and they appear quite masculine.
  • Alex Cyprin, the protagonist's boss in Astoria: Fate's Kiss, is an androgynous demigod referred to by the neutral pronouns "they" and "them". They are stated to be gender-neutral.
  • In Reflections on the River, the gender of Zheng, the protagonist, isn't specified — the narration uses singular "they", and so does at least one character. The word "witch" probably causes some people to assume female (not necessarily so, especially historically), while on the other side, Zheng can (depending on what path players choose) impersonate a male nobleman without it seeming odd. A questionnaire put out by the developers actually asks what gender players perceived Zheng to be, so the ambiguity is presumably intentional.
  • SOON: It's never really clear whether Atlas is a man or woman. The text always uses third person pronouns for them. Lampshaded by baby!Atlas, who alternatively calls Atlas "Mummy" or "Daddy".
  • The Devil in We Know the Devil is referred to at different times with she, he, and it pronouns. Fitting since the devil seems to be different things: self-love, a manifestation of repressed desires and anxieties, a push for a newer, better world.
  • Feed The Cat: None of the cats' genders are revealed; the only clue is that they're all ginger and eighty per cent of ginger cats are toms.
  • I Love You, Colonel Sanders!: It's never actually commented on whether the player is male or female.

    Web Animation 
  • Prima from Of Weasels And Chickens is often thought to be male. Although canonically Prima is referred to mostly by she/her pronouns, according to the Word of God any pronouns are fine "since these animals probably didn't think a lot about gender identity". Although there is a fair amount of Cross-Dressing Voices since the entire cast is female, there isn't a lot of confusion with the other characters.
  • In Inanimate Insanity, Paintbrush is the only contestant whose gender is still a question. Many fans rage that Paintbrush is male or female, however some say Paintbrush has no gender at all. Many who protest they are male refer to when Paintbrush responded "Yeah!" once Nickel asked if they were a guy. However, it was confirmed that they were responding in happiness that they were picked for Team Epic. Many also use the example when Knife mentioned that they could come in handy. It's later revealed that they're actually non-binary, but never mentioned it out of fear of being rejected.
  • Jaiden Animations: Though she defaults to male pronouns for him, Jaiden has confirmed that she doesn't really know if her pet bird Ari is male or female, noting that the only way to know for sure for his species is through a blood test (which costs about 25 dollars). Jaiden has noted that she doesn't really care what gender Ari is and loves them no matter what.

  • The Alchemist in Agents of the Realm is always referred to as "they" and wears a cowl, further obfuscating their gender.
  • In Alice and the Nightmare, the identical Vena twins apparently identify as "they" rather than male or female.
  • The Hellsing fancomic And Shine Heaven Now continues this tradition for Heinkel, until it's revealed Heinkel is intersex.
  • The Bedfellows: Fatigue exhibits masculine and feminine traits; other characters refer to Fatigue as a man or woman, Fatigue has a tampon in his purse, and in one episode, Fatigue appears to be peeing standing up in one episode when he's really pouring spoiled milk down a toilet. Additionally, Fatigue is shown to be the "woman of the house" compared to Sheen, and has Camp Gay tendencies.
  • The Bird Feeder has Exotic, an exotic bird of indeterminate species and gender. The characters page states, "It is of uncertain gender, as no one has ever taken the time to check."
  • None of the characters depicted in the comics of Fifteen Minds have any kind of gender indicator, and since there's no dialogue or written language, nothing is ever stated on the topic, out of apparently deliberate artistic choice in order to keep the focus on the artwork and events of the comics.
  • Charby the Vampirate: King Samrick has a number of colorful feathered beings who have named themselves after their favorite foods working for him whose genders are not apparent.
  • Styx in Coga Suro. Although originally appearing by taking over several nominally female characters, Styx's later appearances, in physical, robot bodies, only get more and more ambiguous.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures:
  • Chacal from Da Pukas, no one knows Chacal's gender, except for Chacal, and they aren't telling. They even used it to taunt Artifice
  • In Deep Rise Nobles don't have genders at all.
  • The main character from Demon Eater, Saturno. At least, that's what the author tells us. Used as a plot point in later story arcs.
  • Kanryl of Ears for Elves looks reasonably androgynous, though it seems many readers refer to "him" as male, and there is no word about what "his" gender actually is. Archmage has stated he's keeping a tally of how many people consider "him" male or female.
  • Noah, from El Goonish Shive, whom we know as a boy only because it was said and in comparison to whom Tedd doesn't look "that androgynous" at all, despite this being an old Running Gag. Tedd himself falls into this, even in-universe. Even without resorting to Gender Bender technology or spells. At one point he finds he has a new spell that will turn him into a girl, whereupon he and his girlfriend Grace note how redundant that is.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court,
    • The processing of fairies and animals who want to become human and join the Court is done by a tall willowy person with no obvious characteristics. After they re-establish that animals become male to balance the all-female fairies, Annie asks if the processor is a former fairy or a former animal, and is told "Um ... neither. I'm from Cardiff."
    • In City Face 2, our heroic pigeon develops a rivalry with Bobeyes, a magpie. In the eighth strip (of 10), The Rant refers to Bobeyes by female pronouns, which is the first and only indication of her gender. In the in-universe Shout Box, Magpie55 is taken aback to realise the "awesome tough guy" is a girl, although he later says "she is beautiful".
  • Homestuck:
    • Calmasis, a character in a book-within-a-webcomic is said to be "androgynous" and referred to as s/he. Whether this means Calmasis merely chooses to conceal their gender, is a person of non-binary gender identity, or is a non-human with No Biological Sex is as yet unknown.
    • Calliope and Caliborn, who share a body, both have specific genders they identify with (Calliope being female and Caliborn being male), but the body they share is very androgynous-looking, having huge eyelashes, no hair and being flat chested. However, you can tell them apart by the colour of their cheek swirls. Adult cherubs appear externally male and female, though in the example we're given, if the female wins their mating duel she lays the egg inside the male. Presumably, if she lost, the male would fertilize her.
    • Davepetasprite^2, a combination of a male human and a female troll (among other things), references this soon after coming into being: "Yo um... I'm confused about my gender suddenly. What am I now?"
    • Minor animal characters (like Serenity the firefly or Vodka Mutini the cat) get this a lot, sometimes thanks to multiple name changes. Is John's adopted salamander the female Casey or the male Viceroy Bubbles von Salamancer? Is the Con Air bunny the same gender as Liv Tyler or Terry Kiser?
  • Insecticomics has fun with this: the giant androgynous robots are whatever gender and gender role they feel like being at the time. Thrust even changed gender to female as a mocking response to Lady Jaye's complaints about gay robots—and has kept it that way ever since, though no other aspects of her personality have shifted. Just to demonstrate how ambiguous the concept of gender can be around giant robots, another instance has the Insecticons changing Lazorbeak's gender through electoral fraud. This gender change also sticks.
  • In Kaspall, the Captain is an androgynous bipedal rat from the city police force, and has never found it necessary to specify plumbing or pronouns on-screen. (As the author put it in the comments: "Feel free to assign [the Captain's gender/sex] as you like, as it has no bearing on this story whatsoever.")
  • SPDA from Magic And Physics is ambiguous to the point the creators don't know.
  • Monsterkind has Louise, who is later revealed by Word of God to be non-binary, and preferring they/them pronouns.
  • Taking cues from The Order of the Stick, elves from Murphy's Law have much less noticeable secondary sexual characteristics.
  • Nebula: The characters are all Anthropomorphic Personifications and are all canonically non-binary, though some look more masculine or feminine and use gendered pronouns.
  • Neo Kosmos takes place in the distant future, where nearly all of humanity is extinct and the only survivors are raised by aliens with no concept of human ideas of gender; there are several different varieties of Ambiguous Gender at play.
    • The (mostly alien) doctors simply refer to their charges as "human type x" and "human type y"; the humans themselves don't see gender as a thing that means anything to them, and use they/them pronouns; by and large they're all agender. The only exception is Iris, who is fascinated by ancient human culture and who thinks of herself as a girl.
    • The compies are vaguely-feminine looking Lizard Folk, and are implied to either be a One-Gender Race (with that gender not nessesarily being male or female), or simply not to have gender at all. They all use they/them in most situations, but use she and her as terms of endearment with romantic partners.
  • RJ from Paranatural wears a face-concealing hoodie and only talks when alone with Johnny's gang. They've since been confirmed to be non-binary and use they/them pronouns.
  • A lot of characters in Pilot are like this, so much so that they've come up with a solution: colored armbands that tell what pronouns you should use when referring to someone; Blue for he/him, Pink for she/her, purple for they/them, gray for xe/xyr, and green for people who don't care.
  • Planetary Moe: Earth is androgynous and never gives a straight answer about what gender they are when one of the other characters tries to ask about it. Even their human name (Terry) is confirmed by the author to have been chosen because its unisex, giving no hints either way.
  • Ky(lie) Coven from RAIN. Although biologically female, Ky sometimes presents as a boy and sometimes as a girl depending on how they're feeling. There are also occasions where Ky prefers to identify as androgynous, though not too often. The author usually uses male pronouns for him in the commentary, though many characters and readers believe Kylie is genderfluid.
  • Sidekick Girl has Chris. However, it is Justified as Chris' power is causing confusion.
  • Riley from Sire is invisible and hides their gender for the lulz.
  • Rachael from Silver Bullet Nights. Although she identifies most frequently as female, she sports a flat chest, feminine hips and angular features. Occasionally she feels the need to indulge her "boy side" as she puts it.
  • Pippin from Stupidity in Magic, the bisexual Author Avatar's boyfriend/girlfriend. The other characters treat him as male, but admit at intervals that they're not really sure, and the happy couple's keeping mum.
  • Sydney Morgan from This Is Not Fiction is an anonymous romance novelist who the main character has fallen in love with. He's convinced that she's female but everyone else is not so sure.
  • Although he is unquestionably male in canon now that Star Fox Command has come out, the VG Cats comic "It's Pat" (named for the above example) gives this status to Slippy from Star Fox, with Aeris and Leo following him to the loo to try to identify his gender - only to be foiled when instead of going into the male or female toilets, he pees in the break room.
  • Cody (nickname Sausage) of Woo Hoo is an androgynous child whose gender is stated to be "neither." Other characters freely use xe/xyr/xem pronouns in reference to xem.
  • The leads of Pon and Zi are designed to be gender-neutral to relate to everyone. You can identify them as whatever you like.
  • Nobody knows what gender Pebble is from Pebble and Wren. They're probably male, but it's hard to determine. The creator has called them "he", but he's also called them "they", and even their own mother has called him "they", so maybe nobody knows.

    Web Original 
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared:
    • Sketchbook has a voice somewhere between a woman and an almost pubescent boy. Word of God hasn't confirmed or denied anything
    • The can of spinach from the fifth video has a similarly androgynous voice.
  • P. Monkey, the Companion Cube character from lonelygirl15, has been variously described as a "she", a "he" and an "it", a practice which is finally lampshaded in "I Miss Her" - Bree isn't sure whether to call P. Monkey a boy or a girl.
  • The Pink and Blue unicorns in Charlie the Unicorn.
  • Jessica of Fat, French and Fabulous, despite having an unambiguously feminine name and no apparent problem with feminine pronouns, makes frequent references to herself using ambiguous or explicitly masculine terms, creating a question mark around her gender that is never fully clarified.
    Jessica: "I've always identified as a bus."
    Janel: "I mean, that's less confusing than your current gender identity, to be honest. I would accept you identifying as public transit before I will accept you as a woman."
    Jessica: "That's fair."
  • Jamie Carson, codename Heyoka, in the Whateley Universe. Formerly female, s/he is now a intersexed due to his/her powers, and looks and dresses very androgynously. This is made worse because Heyoka can gain the powers of spirits, and then physically shifts to look like that spirit, so Jamie has been extremely male (after getting the power of the bear spirit), and extremely female (after getting the power of a female earth spirit). Jamie has been beaten up because of this too, so it's not a good thing.
  • Flaky the porcupine from Happy Tree Friends. It was a long-standing debate due to her ambiguous appearance (unlike the other female Tree Friends, she lacks Tertiary Sexual Characteristics). Flaky's voice actress said in an interview that Flaky's female, the official character page lists Flaky's gender as "?", co-creator Ken Navarro loved trolling the fandom by playing up the debate for all it's worth, but the authors eventually settled the debate, as they constantly repeat in interviews that Flaky is indeed a girl, since they admitted they are tired of the trolling already.
  • Sweet Tooth from Moshi Monsters. A running joke was that Sweet Tooth would get angry whenever their gender was asked about. There have been some slip-ups where they were accidentally referred to with a gender-specific pronoun, but many of these were edited out.
  • Worm has Circus, a mercenary who dresses as a woman in costume and has a male civilian identity. Even Tattletale isn't sure what biological sex Circus is or how he/she identifies.
  • Despite having a female body design Breeze Rider from Dusk's Dawn is voiced by a male actor and is most likely male. Still, it's never really made clear.
  • In 20 Haunting Halloween Facts by Matt Santoro, Matt talks about how ancient Celts believed that spirits roamed the Earth on Halloween night, and began wearing costumes to avoid being recognized as a man or a woman.
  • Parodied in Dino Attack RPG. In a shout-out to Team Fortress 2, there is a character named Pyro based off the pyro class. It was firmly established that the character was a man, but his mysterious nature led to some in-universe debates on his gender. When the mask finally came off, Pyro was apparently revealed to be a woman, but then it turned out that she was actually an imposter standing in for her father, the real agent Pyro.
  • In Carmilla the Series LaFontaine lives in a female dorm and the other characters refer to them as a woman, but they're quite butch in appearance and they go by their family name because they loath their much more feminine given name, Susan. Word of God is that Laf is non-binary, but because they aren't out yet to the rest of the characters, the show maintains the ambiguity.
  • In Yandere High School, there is an androgynous psychic named Ellen, unfortunately for Grian, who briefly dates xir, and gets teased about it. Also not helped by Ellen dating another person who wears a full-body suit of armor, Da Pie Lord, who shows up to prom in a dress (over the suit) and also shows interest in Grian.
  • In the creepypasta I Miss Halloween, it's never specified if the narrator is a woman or gay man (though some story details imply the latter).
    • Many Creepypasta narrators are this due to liberal use of The All-Concealing "I". While many times there are story clues or other characters that hint at or confirm their genders, other times they just avoid confirming it one way or another. The narrator of Mr. Widemouth is a noteworthy example, as they tell the story from the first person perspective and none of the other characters, including the titular Mr. Widemouth, refer to them by gendered pronouns or as a boy or girl.
  • Not Always Right: In several stories, the gender of the customer/employee/whatever isn't stated until halfway through. Sometimes, it isn't stated at all. This is usually a result of the site's editors removing such mentions, which can get messy if they miss some. This is nominally to avoid gendered stereotypes being assumed by the reader, especially commentors.
  • SCP Foundation
    • Agent Diogenes has been exposed to so many magical artifacts that everyone has lost track of their gender, and Diogenes refuses to tell anyone. Diogenes is comfortable living looking and being androgynous, also the only Agent to regularly pass psychological evaluations. Despite this, Diogenes' psychologist is still romantically interested in Diogenes regardless of Diogenes' gender, which is why Diogenes is called in for so many psychological evaluations. Unfortunately, he Cannot Spit It Out and Diogenes is Oblivious to Love.
    • SCP-1575 ("Venus Statue"). When a male animal drinks water from SCP-1575 and changes into a human being, the result usually has an androgynous appearance and its genitalia are either nonfunctional or completely missing.
  • Arkn: Legacy: Ryael counts, being a character that presents as both male and female. They also identify as non-binary.
  • Petscop:
    • Some of the Pets have this: Randice (due to not having facial features, like the rest, and its description is never shown), Wavey (its description is never shown as well) and Roneth (because it hasn't been caught yet).
    • Technically the game's protagonist, since neither "Paul" or the game ever refer to it directly.
  • Team Four Star have said in their Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 playthrough that Frogurt, their Frost Demon character, is omnisex and doesn't associate themselves with any type of gender. Frogurt's character entry uses the singular they pronoun for them.
  • AFK: It's left ambiguous if Q identifies as male or female offline, as she has alts with both genders in the game world.
  • The guys of make up a guy can be of any gender, and are referred to with "they/them" pronouns (though earlier tweets use "he/him" pronouns for all of them). This is likely so anybody of any gender can relate to the guys.

    Western Animation 
  • The Squeaky Peepers from Abby Hatcher have feminine-sounding voices, but their genders have not been specified. Little Do was the first established as female in "Abby's Squeaky Peeper Panic". Big Do was established as female in "Abby Loses Elvin", but was erroneously called a male in "Abby's Track and Field Day". La was established as female in the short "Fuzzly Treasure Hunt".
  • Adventure Time has BMO aka Beemo, a living video game console voiced by a woman. Some characters refer to Beemo as female, while some refer to it as male. In "BMO Noir" BMO has a fantasy noir adventure in thrall to a femme fatale. In "BMO Lost" BMO acts as a surrogate mother for a baby and "marries" a comparatively masculine bubble. In a couple episodes BMO is seen speaking to their reflection, and pretending it's a relatively feminine alter-ego called "Football". When Football asks if BMO is a robot, BMO says, "I'm a little living boy." Later, Football calls herself a "real baby girl". In "Be More", BMO's creator calls BMO "he". A Channel Frederator video (fact 33) states that BMO is genderfluid, switching between male and female.
  • Roger from American Dad! is an alien and always referred to as male, but is apparently able to produce an egg and transmit it through 'kissing' someone. He also lactates. It doesn't help that on one occasion, he claimed he "doesn't have a wang," yet in another episode he claims he's just really small due to steroid abuse. He's also implied to be sexually attracted to both males and females at different points, has camp tendencies and assumes identities of both genders with his many disguises.
  • Beast Wars:
    • Although stated as female, Airrazor was physically ambiguous enough that when the show was dubbed for a Japanese audience, her gender changed. The odd part is that the toy was ostensibly, but not obviously, male. The character profile used male pronouns, but the show writers wanted more female presence. The blurb was rewritten and the character portrayed as female on the show. She was changed back to male in Japan because they thought it might sell more toys. This had some unintended consequences later on, when Tigatron and Airrazor's romance went beyond Implausible Deniability, and the writers just went with it after that. The self parodical Legends manga, aimed at an older audience of Beast Wars and Generation 1 fans, seemingly changed Airrazor back to female - except not actually, instead portraying him as an effeminate crossdresser along with decidedly male Beast Machines character Nightscream for some reason.
    • Transmutate's gender was a mystery. Other characters mostly referred to the deformed Transformer with "it". Aside from that, there was one utterance of "she" as a pronoun, and Transmutate was given voice by the show's voice director and Transformers alum Susan Blu, leading to the prevailing contention the character was female. This was later confirmed in the IDW Beast Wars: Uprising comics where she uses the same design as Arcee from Transformers: Prime but with the pale gold and teal coloration from Beast Wars.
  • The snake from the Big City Greens episode "Cheap Snake" was called a female by the pet store owner, whereas it was referred to as male by Cricket and his family.
  • Blaze and the Monster Machines:
    • The three baby t-rexes in "T-Rex Trouble" had rather ambiguous-looking faces. None of them were referred to with gender-related pronouns, which led to confusion over what their genders are. The only exception is Chompy, the red t-rex, who was called female by Blaze.
    • While the monkey and elephant that help AJ in "AJ to the Rescue" were male, the firefly was never referred to with gender-related pronouns, and even had ambiguous-sounding vocal effects.
    • Out of all the animals in the Great Forest in "The Flying Lion", only the panda was referred to with gender-related pronouns as male.
  • Fluffy and Uranus from Duckman. The title character's teddybear secretaries, they have distinct feminine voices, wear bows around their necks, and their behavior is mostly feminine, but apparently they have male genitals as they were humping a woman's leg in one episode and they say that they haven't been neutered. This is lampshaded in a later episode where the men and the women are separated from each other and forced to live on opposite sides of the city, but they can't decide on which side Fluffy and Uranus belong on so they make them crossing guards.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Soos and the real girl", there was a part where Soos is trying to figure out the gender of a goth at the mall. "So you're probably a girl, right? Wrong? Nah, I was right. Wrong?"
  • The titular character of Kaeloo, in-universe. While she uses she/her pronouns, none of the cast members are sure of her gender. Word of God says that Kaeloo is a hermaphrodite, but the other characters clearly don't know.
  • In an episode of Lloyd in Space, the characters spend an episode trying to figure out the gender of a new kid named Zoit. When asked about it at the end of the episode, Zoit reveals that members of its (alien) species have no gender until they turn thirteen, at which point they have to decide to be male or female. Zoit chooses a gender, but it's never shown or told which.
  • In Mission Hill, the gender of Carlos and Natalie's baby was never revealed, and on top of that its name wasn't mentioned at any point in the series; everyone called it "The Baby".
  • Molang: The titular Molang and his friend Piu Piu are stated on Wikipedia to be neither male nor female, but "beings".
  • One episode of The Penguins of Madagascar had an annoying kid at the zoo informing Alice that the only way to tell a male penguin from a female was with a DNA test. The penguins laugh at his naivety until Alice declares that she only knows they have three males and one female, and "the birds know which is which." All four had been assuming they were all male, leading to a mass identity crisis as they tried to figure it out. According to their DNA test, all four ARE male. Alice is just uninformed.
  • The caterpillar in Disney's Pluto the Pup short "Springtime for Pluto", who first seems to sing with a deep voice, which is later revealed to be a gag because it was underground and its voice was echoing through the tunnel, because once it emerges, its voice is very high-pitched and falsetto. However, during its Transformation Sequence, it again sings in a deep bass, though its mouth is never shown to move in sync with the words so it's questionable whether the caterpillar is even singing the song at this point. However since when it finishes its metamorphosis and emerges as a Spicy Latina butterfly, this could be a case of was female all along or a Gender Bender.
  • Kodos of The Simpsons, thanks to a throwaway line in the seventh Halloween special, is under scrutiny by fans on what gender they actually are. Previous and later episodes would indicate that Kodos is male, but in one of the video games Kodos is able to take part in a mission that only female characters can do (while Kang isn't). The Futurama crossover has a Post Credits Scene where the pair meet Lrrr and Ndnd, who are having a fight. Ndnd runs off, and Lrrr asks "the one of you who is female" to go and console her, and both of them go.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Gems appear feminine and are all voiced by women, but that is simply a projection, their actual bodies being their gems. "She" and "her" pronouns are used, but Steven regularly refers to them as "guys" and is confused when others use gendered terms about them like sisters or mothers. And while Rose is consistently referred to as Steven's mother Gems usually reproduce asexually, his conception being completely unique, and they seem to be borrowing Earth terminology. Word of God is that they have No Biological Sex and no human genders. ("There are no female Gems. There are only Gems.")
    • As Steven's Half-Human Hybrid status makes him the only Gem with a gender at all, him fusing with anyone but another male human introduces some level of androgyny:
      • Stevonnie, the fusion of Steven and Connie, has feminine and masculine traits, a voice that could be described as either, and has female and male characters attracted to them. Characters familiar with Stevonnie use "they" pronouns, though it's often ambiguously worded whether said pronouns refer to Stevonnie or Steven and Connie collectively. An online profile Stevonnie makes for themselves in one of the Dove Self-Esteem Project shorts lists them as being non-binary and intersex.
      • Steven's fusion with Amethyst, Smoky Quartz, is also androgynous, has never been addressed by any third-person pronoun in-show, and the show's crews have never specified an appropriate pronoun. However, his other fusions with gems are less androgynous, and the staff have stated "they/them" and gendered pronouns are equally valid. With Sunstone (Steven+Garnet) and Obsidian (all of the main Crystal Gems together), Steven is outnumbered by female-presenting Gems in both cases (as Garnet is herself a fusion), so female pronouns are also OK with both. Obsidian in particular is by far the most feminine-looking of Steven's fusions with other Gems, although less so than when Rose was a component. On the flip side, Rainbow Quartz 2.0 is unique in that he is much more boyish than any of Steven's other fusions, and as such male pronouns are absolutely OK for him. He's even voiced by a man. After all, Pearl has been known to rock a tuxedo.
    • Sequel Series Steven Universe: Future introduces in episode 9 new character Shep, Sadie's new romantic partner, and the show's first non-binary human.
  • Alice from Superjail! used to be this for fans until the second season (and Word of God beforehand in a 2009 interview) confirmed her as being a transgender female.
  • Thomas the Tank Engine: Despite being male in the books, Rusty was never referred to by gender-specific pronouns in the TV series and had a rather ambiguous-looking face and persona. This led to... interesting results when new writers were brought into the series.
  • Parodied in The Critic where someone is on Saturday Night Live flat out asking Pat from It's Pat! is a boy or a girl. Jeremy Hawke just comes from off screen and outs her as a girl and takes off her wig showing she has much longer hair. Pat tells Jeremy that was her whole bit and he has ruined her career. He just states "oh well" and moves on to announcing the opening.

  • Avatar Portal's Tera253 has a repeated running gag on whether or not he/she is male or female. Even after the user produced "proof" of their gender, it is still a common running gag that the user plays along with.
  • One of PETA's mascots, a chick named Nugget, flip-flops through genders. The site refers to it as male, and some early material with it shows it in a masculine role, but sometimes Nugget has been shown as a girl. His voice is childish and gender-neutral too.

    Real Life 
  • Babies. A lot of baby clothing can be gender-neutral, and depending on age and how the parents dress them/cut their hair, it can be difficult to know if a baby or toddler is male or female.
  • The human fetus does not have a distinguishable sex for the first several weeks; during this period, short of genetic testing, sexing a fetus is impossible.
  • The difference sexes of most animals are either Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism, or largely indistinguishable unless you take a look at their genitals.
    • Hyenas have a matriarchal social structure, the female is bigger and more aggressive than the male, and their genitals are almost identical due to the female's usually high level of testosterone, to the point of making ancient people think they were Hermaphrodites or Gender Benders.
    • Birds. Usually, either the male is more flamboyant and colorful than the female, as with peafowl, or they look identical but the female is bigger, as with eagles. However, some bird species lack sexual dimorphism (and the genitalia tend to look identical, given that most male birds do not have an external penis), so the only way to tell some for certain is to get a DNA test. Sexing chicks is a full-time job in chicken hatcheries.
    • In ancient Egypt, due to the fact that Egyptian vultures have almost no sexual dimorphism, it was believed that all vultures were female, and as such, they were revered, because this in turn meant that vultures were all the result of virgin births.
    • Walruses all have thick, bushy whiskers that look like mustaches. Even the babies have them. Both genders also have tusks, as they use them for defense and acquiring food and not in mating rituals like other mammals with tusks and antlers.
  • Users on the internet, due to the ease of anonymity. Just because someone has a male or female-sounding name or even refers to themselves as gender specific pronouns means absolutely nothing. This is what started the meme There Are No Girls On The Internet.
  • There is a very rare genetic disorder that causes male children to be born with female looking genitals but male brains before they go through puberty, causing them to be unfortunately Raised as the Opposite Gender until they grow a penis.
  • Transgender people can have this going on from a physical perspective. There are some Trans people who, while they identify with the opposite gender they were born with, still choose to retain certain physical characteristics they were born with (such as a female-to-male getting Breast Reduction surgery, but choosing to keep the vagina he was born with).
    • Transgender individuals who choose not to have sex-change surgery are referred to a "non-operative" as opposed to transgender individuals who have yet to have a sex-change operation but plan to do so, known as "pre-operative". Be aware that many transgender activists take offense to the use of the term "pre-operative" for any transgender person who has not had sex-change surgery but has not stated whether they plan to do so, as it incorrectly presumes all transgender persons want to have the surgery. If you're not sure what the transgender person's plans are surgery-wise then it's been suggested you include both options such "pre-operative/non-operative (pre-op/non-op) transgender person" rather then just assuming or guessing. Note also though that some self-identified transsexual people object to the umbrella label "transgender" and some self-identified transgender people object to being called "transsexual", further complicating things. Some people use the term "transsexual" to refer only to pre-op/post-op transsexuals, with the term "transgender" being a broader umbrella term including those not wishing to have sex-change surgery, for their issue solely about internal gender identity, rather then external sex characteristics.
    • There are also non-binary and genderqueer individuals. While not all of them will want to present in an androgynous way, or do so all the time (and with many questioning what presenting androgynously would even mean), this can be a deliberate effect that people want to go for. Some people would do this with just clothing, while others may medically transition in a way that would allow them to appear more androgynously.
    • This Twitter post demonstrates one of the issues that can arise from such an appearance.
    • Up to Eleven with people who are intersex. Born a combination between both sexes physically, while they identify as one, the other, or in some cases neither, they can be, say, a woman with a male voice and lower male genitalia, or have any combination of genitalia.
    • In many cases there is significant room for ambiguity as to whether historical people may have been transgender or non-binary, in large part because trans and non-binary issues were frequently not well understood. The French writer George Sand (neé Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin) is a good example; she was known for flaunting many of the gender norms expected of women in her day, to the extent that her contemporary Victor Hugo remarked, "George Sand cannot determine whether she is male or female. I entertain a high regard for all my colleagues, but it is not my place to decide whether she is my sister or my brother." (Although she is less widely known now, Sand was actually the most popular writer in Europe during her lifetime, and Hugo was an immense admirer of her work.) Her gender identity might be regarded as non-binary or gender-fluid today, although it is possible that she was also simply cross-dressing and adopting a masculine appearance to gain increased access to venues to which women were often barred.
  • Tara Gilesbie, the mysterious author of the infamous My Immortal. They claimed to be a teenage girl, had a female username and the fic's protagonist, Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way, appears to be a Self-Insert. However, because My Immortal is generally regarded as an intentionally bad Troll Fic, it is equally reasonable to assume that "Tara" is actually a man trying to parody the mindset of a teenage fanfic writer. This possibility has been exploited by imposters who came forward claiming to be "Tara", and indeed, most people who initially bought into their claims never questioned when these imposters turned out to be male, citing the aforementioned anonymity of the internet as a reason to believe them. We may never know for sure though.

Alternative Title(s): Androgynous, Ambiguous Sex


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