Follow TV Tropes


Beauty, Brains, and Brawn

Go To

"Blossom, commander and the leader
Bubbles, she is the joy and the laughter
Buttercup, she is the toughest fighter"
Ending theme, The Powerpuff Girls (1998)

An Always Female group dynamic trope, a type of Power Trio where one is smart, one is tough, and one is conventionally pretty, popular, and/or feminine.

Often, to give "Beauty" a skill beyond her looks, she also acts as the Team Mom, The Kirk, or the mediator when the other two get into their frequent fights. She may also be the one who is socially adept and has the least qualms with going undercover and/or using her feminine wiles for the group's benefit, while "Brains" has technical skills but is socially awkward, and "Brawn" struggles with any obstacle she can't beat into submission. "Beauty" can also be the trio's financial backer by way of her own wealth or a rich daddy or (ex)husband.

Alternatively, "Beauty" could also be the least shallow of the trio. While the "Brains" often seeks those of similar or higher intellect, and the "Brawn" falling for those of more physical superiority. The "Beauty" being true to their title, would judge both inner and external appearances shrewdly. After all they aren't The Heart for nothing.


The personalities might also be what the Freudian Trio used to be described as:

  • Brawn — body or the impulsive, pleasure-seeking one
  • Brain — mind or the academic, reasonable one
  • Beauty — heart or the one who ties them together, as the calming, healing influence

In other words, the Brawn represents the Id, the Brain represents the Superego, and the Beauty represents the Ego.

Often Color-Coded for Your Convenience as the Brainy Brunette, the Fiery Redhead and the beautiful but Dumb Blonde (keeping with giving them a skill, sometimes they can also be an example of Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold). Contrast though as the Blonde, Brunette, Redhead tend to be portrayed as flaws while Beauty, Brains and Brawn are good.

When they form a Big, Thin, Short Trio, usually the big one will be the brawn, the thin one will be the beauty, and the short one will be the brains. When they form a Town Girls trio, usually the femme one will be the beauty, the butch one will be the brawn, and the neither will be the brains.


When this trio is exclusively female, expect Spear Counterparts (for example, the Rowdyruff Boys). When this trio is exclusively male, expect Distaff Counterparts (for example, the Chipettes).

See also: The Hecate Sisters, The Three Faces of Eve, Four-Girl Ensemble, Brains and Brawn. Subtrope to Brains Versus Brawn.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • A print ad for Metropolitan Life had the Peanuts female characters, Marcie, Peppermint Patty and Lucy for a woman's oriented commercial message with them as Brain, Brawn and Beauty respectively. Only here, the ad is clearly being sarcastic about Lucy even while being completely true about the other two.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • The Batgirls
    • Barbara - Brains (The Smart Guy of the Bat-Family, a world-class hacker, and the most mature)
    • Stephanie - Beauty (The Cutie, who's generally the most sociable and friendly)
    • Cassandra - Brawn (The best fighter, the most muscular, is quieter and Book Dumb)
  • Gen¹³
    • Sarah - Beauty (Lipstick Lesbian, also the most femininely dressed of the girls)
    • Roxy - Brawn (Likes motorcycles, has sharp tongue, and loves to smoke)
    • Caitlin - Brains (Possibly because of her straight "A" student background, she also serves as unofficial leader)
  • Josie and the Pussycats - the Rock Trio
    • Josie - Brains (the most level headed of the group and The Leader)
    • Melody - Beauty (She's not bright and the prettiest of the three. She's largely unaware of all the attention she gets)
    • Valerie - Brawn (She's the tomboy of the trio who usually protects the others from unwanted male attention)

    Fan Works 
  • Between My Brother and Me: Mors Omnibus has the trio of Y(vonne) M(ay) D(awn)
    • Yvonne - Brawn (the snarky knife-wielding Marionette Master)
    • May - Beauty (the elegant Perky Goth vampire with the parasol she wields like a sword)
    • Dawn - Brains (The perky Mission Control Playful Hacker — even though she could also double as Brawn with her enhanced arm strength)
  • The three alicorns in Celestia's Rocket Adventures serve as this:
    • Celestia qualifies as the Beauty, as her appearance, good looks and majesty serve as a cover for her power and experience, something which fools Giovanni into thinking that she's little more than a pretty curiosity.
    • Twilight serves as the Brains, as she is quick to devour any knowledge of the new world that she's in and put it to practical use.
    • Luna, being heavily active against Team Flare and leading a small army of Pokémon at the time she was reunited with her fellow Princesses, acts as the Brawn. Of the three, she's the most eager to take the fight to the enemy.
  • Child of the Storm has Harry's female friends:
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, canonical genius wizard Ponder Stibbons finds, to his surprise, that Assasin Johanna Smith-Rhodes really likes him. Scroll forward a couple of decades and they are happily married with three daughters who fit this pattern. In order of birth, they are:
    • Rebecka (Witch) - the clever, restrained, reasonable one (Beauty)
    • Famke (student Assassin) - the aggressive, combative, one (Brawn)
    • Ruth (artistic and musical) - the one with ideas, talent and a genius streak (Brains)
  • In Finding a Place, the Sirens are this. Sonata is the beauty (she's just as much of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing as her canon counterpart), Aira is the Brawn (the muscle of the three), and Adagio is the Brains (the intelligent leader and schemer).
  • Horseshoes and Hand Grenades has different ones. For example:
    • Kamen Rider Club Girls (Horseshoes and Hand Grenades)
      • Tomoko-Beauty (for having the Psychic Powers in the group)
      • Yuki-Brains (Having the most knowledge of space)
      • Miu and Erin-Brawn (Miu being the one making plans and piloting the Power Dizer. Erin for being the Aquarius Zodiarts and the healer)
    • Cosmic Hunting Dogs (Month of Sundays)
      • Mari-Beauty (The healer with a boyfriend who wants to see people smile)
      • Jun-Brains (She's the most observant of the group and questions many of their actions.)
      • Rumi-Brawn (Usually the one charging onto the field with a vaulting pole in hand)
  • Sapphire Eleanor Rose Suzette De Mont Vs Canon - the three female members of the MSEA we see the most of.
    • October: Brains; she's The Leader of the MSEA and generally makes all the decisions
    • Aphrodite: Beauty; she's a lovely young thing who's not much into physical combat—instead, she's a Cute Witch
    • Charlie: Brawn; she carries a BFG and is always eager to do the dirty work
  • Callista, Aldonza and Zapana, the three saboteurs in Zero Context: Taking Out the Trash who do the most damage to Circe and Marc's wedding, serve as this:
    • Callista is the most attractive of the three, to the point where Marc outright views her as gorgeous and contemplates adding her to his harem—to his claw-laden detriment.
    • Aldonza is the most intelligent, going hand in hand with her existence as a fox caninoid. She organizes the evacuation of civilians once the attack begins, is ranked an admiral in her organization's space navy, and identifies the best way of destroying a magic-proofed mech that was keeping them occupied.
    • Zapana is pure brawn. She admits during the fight with the above mech that if she wanted to, she could easily throw it into orbit. Her golfing the mech across the street with what is stated to be a "portion" of her full power shows that it's not an exaggeration.

    Films — Animated 
  • Arlo the Alligator Boy: The three females of Arlo's gang:
    • Furlecia - Beauty; an Action Girl furball who brings on the sass.
    • Bertie - Brains; a good-natured Gentle Giant who's the most competent.
    • Alia - Brawn; a tough tigress with crazy driving skills.
  • In Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, Batman encounters a mysterious new vigilante, Batwoman, and narrows her identity to three suspects: Mafia Princess (and Bruce's love interest) Kathy Duquesne, Gadgeteer Genius Dr. Roxanne Ballantine, and Officer Sonia Alcana. The big twist at the end is that all three women were working together and sharing the Batwoman mantle, using a voice modulator to sound the same. Batman correctly deduced that they all brought something unique to the table: Kathy provided the money, Roxanne the gadgets, and Sonia the combat training (as well as being the Team Mom). To tie them with this trope, Roxanne is Brains, Kathy is Beauty, and Sonia is Brawn.
  • Chicken Run: The main chickens, minus Ginger.
    • Babs - Beauty; The Ditz, naïve and good natured.
    • Mac - Brains; the team engineer, building all the gadgets used in their plans.
    • Bunty - Brawn; a Boisterous Bruiser, best egg layer in the farm, also the most cynical.
  • Despicable Me- Gru's adopted daughters:
    • Margo - Brains; oldest sister, the most intelligent, mature and sarcastic.
    • Edith - Brawn; mischievous tomboy, with rebellious attitude & fond of destruction.
    • Agnes - Beauty; youngest of the trio, the most joyful and tender of the family.
  • Encanto- Julieta and Augustin's three daughters:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bachelorette:
    • Reagen - Brains, the Ivy league graduate who is so capable it's scary
    • Gena - Brawn, The Lad-ette.
    • Katie - Beauty, the ditzy Fashionista.
  • Birds of Prey (2020) has the three founding members of the titular group.
    • Dinah Laurel Lance / Black Canary - Beauty; An alluring, stylish lounge singer.
    • Helena Bertinelli / Huntress - Brawn; A tough biker and crossbowwoman.
    • Renee Montoya - Brains; An experienced detective from the GCPD.
  • Charlie's Angels (2000) (the movies)
    • Natalie - Beauty (even described as The Pollyanna by the film crew)
    • Dylan - Brains (The Leader)
    • Alex - Brawn (it's Lucy Liu, so she kicks out anyone in her path)
  • The Duff: Basically how Bianca and her friends are described in the beginning.
    • Jess - Beauty, "the kind one" and The Fashionista.
    • Casey - Brawn, "the tough one" and very athletic Spicy Latina.
    • Bianca - Brains, a geeky honor student.
  • Halloween (1978)
    • Lynda - Beauty; the stylish cheerleader and the only one seen having sex.
    • Laurie - Brains; the most responsible and studious of the trio.
    • Annie - Brawn; the most assertive and brash friend of the group.
  • In the Girls with Guns action film, Killer Angels, the Blue Angels consists of the members:
    • Beauty: Yau-li / Yolanda, most feminine of the trio, a long-haired Girly Bruiser who gets to go undercover as a singer during her undercover assignment, but when it comes to taking names she is a devil with a machine gun.
    • Brains: Amy, Yolanda's Bespectacled Cutie sidekick, strategist, and partner who backs her up during infiltrations and assists in planning the mission.
    • Brawn: Amy, eldest of the trio, who fights first ask questions later and can beat up mooks with ease.
  • The Sound of Music: The three oldest Von Trapp daughters
  • Star Wars: The female protagonists from each trilogy
    • Padmé: Beauty. Kind-hearted and highly feminine.
    • Leia: Brawn. Aggressive and the series' first Action Girl
    • Rey: Brains. A Genius Bruiser who is very knowledgeable of machinery.
  • Three male examples in the film Spears, once the protagonists team up.
    • Jeff is The Charmer, who makes his money through conning lonely women, and is the most conventionally attractive of the three (Beauty).
    • Kian is a private investigator, who's also wise enough to know when to call their losses (Brains).
    • Cormac is a weapons dealer, with an aggressive personality and a desire for the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique (Brawn).

  • Avalon: Web of Magic
    • Kara - Beauty; she's so focused on looking good and otherwise girly Adrianne calls her 'Barbie'. Her original function was to power up the others, not mediate. That was Emily's job.
    • Emily - Brains; she's the one with The Plan to protect the forest or thwart the Evil Plan.
    • Adrianne - Brawn; a tomboy and so action forward Kara calls her 'Xena'.
  • Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield has this with the adopted three sisters:
    • Pauline is glamorous, with beautiful blonde hair and charisma to be an accomplished actress. She often gets roles over better rounded performers because of her looks and charisma (Beauty).
    • Petrova is more concerned with engines and books, and is the most sensible of the girls. Dance wise, she's the most technically proficient as well, even if she lacks the enthusiasm for it (Brains).
    • Posy has extreme raw talent for ballet (an incredibly physically demanding pursuit) and is bold enough to get herself hired by walking in and insisting on an impromptu audition (Brawn).
  • Circleverse: The three main female characters could fit into it, while their foster brother Briar fits a little bit into all three (being handsome, tough and clever in a street-smart sort of way).
    • Sandry: Beauty (thread based magic, clothes designer and politician)
    • Tris: Brains (weather based magic, book worm)
    • Daja: Brawn (metal work/fire based magic, smithy).
  • Dancing Shoes by the same author has this lineup with the three cousins being raised at a dancing school:
    • Dulcie, the vain and ambitious star child whose looks are praised by everyone is Beauty.
    • Rachel, who is bookish, responsible and the favourite of their governess is Brains.
    • Hilary is lively, athletic and enjoys fun dancing like cartwheels and jazz fitting Brawn.
  • The Discworld witches (in addition to being The Hecate Sisters):
  • Aphrodite, Athena and Artemis of Goddess Girls are this.
    • Aphrodite - Goddess of Beauty (Beauty)
    • Athena - Goddess of Wisdom (Brains)
    • Artemis - Goddess of the Hunt (Brawn)
  • In the H.I.V.E. Series, Laura, Lucy, and Shelby embody this.
  • The Prophecy of the Stones
    • Jade - Brawn, the hot-tempered duelist.
    • Opal - Brain, level headed and well read.
    • Ember - Beauty, sweet and kind reminder that Heart Is an Awesome Power.
  • Implied in Plato's The Republic, which includes three castes, in which men and women are included equally
    • Guardian women - concerned with Forms and philosophical, brains
    • Auxiliary women - concerned with physically guarding the city, do gymnastic, and look up to men, brawn
    • Money-making/common women (and probably how he saw most Athenian women of his day) - concerned with the appearances of things, not how they really are, beauty.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • The Stark women:
      • Catelyn - Brains. Provides counsel to Robb during his rebellion.
      • Sansa - Beauty, which is admired by numerous characters.
      • Arya - Brawn. She's a rebellious tomboy who practices fencing.
    • The Lannister siblings: Cersei (beauty), Jaime (brawn), Tyrion (brains)
  • Shallan and her two other personalities Veil and Radiant in The Stormlight Archive split these aspects between each other.
    • Beauty - Radiant is the most conventionally attractive, but Shallan is the friendliest and the best at getting people to like her, while Veil is the best at talking and tricking people into doing what she wants. Shallan is also the mediator, as the original personality.
    • Brains - Shallan is the best at thinking on her feet, while Veil is more street savvy and Radiant is ruthlessly pragmatic. After one of Veil's plans goes awry, Shallan realizes that since Veil and Radiant come from her, they can't be smarter than she is.
    • Brawn - Radiant was created to be a warrior (since Shallan's traumatic past prevents her from using her Shardblade and Veil was unavailable to learn), but Veil is capable in a scrap as well, and loves her a good drink.
  • Elderly versions in Yulia Voznesenskaya's There Lived an Old Lady Who Wore Green Boots:
    • Angelina "Lika" (Beauty) is slender, elegant, very naïve and sentimental, still retains a good deal of her former loveliness, and writes romantic poetry.
    • Agnia "Agunya" (Brains) is sensible, wise and rational, the leader of the three friends.
    • Varvara "Varezhka" (Brawn) is the healthiest and toughest (and fattest) of the three women.
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before has the Song sisters.
    • Margot - Brains, the oldest and smartest sister, who also doubles as the Team Mom of the family.
    • Lara Jean - Beauty, referred to Kitty as the prettiest of the sisters, and has a quite a few admirers.
    • Kitty - Brawn, the boisterous and sometimes rebellious youngest sister.

  • Mis-Teeq:
    • Sabrina was The Fashionista, and frequently changed her hair colour the most (Beauty).
    • Su-Elise was the one with organisational skills, and the best business sense (Brains).
    • Alesha was the aggressive rapper (Brawn).

    Professional Wrestling 
  • LayCool, whenever they were joined by Vickie Guerrero.
    • Layla - the feminine dancer, ditzy and with a fondness for sparkly gear (Beauty).
    • Vickie - the Official Consultant to Smackdown, frequently abusing her power to employ Loophole Abuse (Brains).
    • Michelle McCool - the multiple time Women's Champion, a self-professed tomboy and athlete, with a desire to hurt and humiliate enemies (Brawn).
  • The NXT stable Beautiful Fierce Females.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Legends of the Wulin: In the Tale of the Three Maidens' Answers, three concubines search for ways to preserve their value to the king. The first makes herself a wise and reliable advisor to the king (Brains), the second developed techniques for preserving and enhancing her beauty (Beauty, obvi), and the third joined the Wulin and became a powerful warrior (Brawn). The book mentions that how it turned out for each of them depends on the point the storyteller wishes to make.

  • Diva Starz: Of the whole group, fashionable Alexa is the beauty, tech-savvy Tia is the brains, and sporty Nikki is the brawn.

  • Angel Moxie: As seen in the page image.
    • Riley - The one who builds the best gadgets.
    • Tristan - The one who punches things real hard.
    • Alex - The one who fires off glorious magic spells.
  • Drowtales
    • Zala'ess Vel'Sharen - Beauty (she's used her beauty to seduce men and has dozens of children and is the most likely to flaunt her physical assets, also the clan diplomat)
    • Sarv'swati Vel'Sharen - Brawn (leader of the Sharen army and a formidable fighter in her own right)
    • Snadhya'rune Vel'Sharen - Brains (mastermind behind the conspiracy that killed her mother, as well as The Chessmaster who's manipulated her other sisters into fighting each other)
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Nanase - Brawn (she can bench press 200 lbs when she has access to her magic and 160 lbs otherwise)
    • Grace - Brains (she learns very quickly, can store a lot of info in her short term memory, has above average long term memory and is a math tutor)
    • Ellen - Beauty (her appearance is based on the Female Variant 5 form as applied to Elliot which was designed with attractiveness in mind)
  • M9 Girls!
    • Karlita/Pink Starlight - Beauty. She is the Valley Girl and The Fashionista of the group, though she is a closeted bookworm.
    • Any/Blue Destiny - Brains. She is the leader of the group, and the most dedicated to science in the team.
    • Pato/Purple Space - Brawn. The Dead Pan Snarker, she can transform into the material she touches. She usually prefers transforming into metal.
  • Princess Chroma:
    • May - Beauty. She is sweet and innocent and initially Leopold thought she would be the obvious choice for being Princess Chroma.
    • April - Brains. She is the Only Sane Woman of the group.
    • June - Brawn. Tomboyish and belligerent, she is the antithesis of a Magical Girl. Still, she is the protagonist of the comic.
  • Skin Horse: Shaenon herself said the main characters "possibly" fit into this trope.
    • Tip - the Ethical Slut psychologist who prides himself on looking great in a dress.
    • Sweetheart - the enhanced-intelligence spitz who enjoys filing and organization.
    • Unity - the nanotech zombie with zero attention span who likes killing things.

    Web Original 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Kayla's the Beauty, Portica's the Brain, Martha's the Brawn of the gal-pal trio.
    • Kayla has the traditionally "cute girly girl" personality to her, and she isn't much help in a fight or very intelligent.
    • Portica, even disregarding her psychic powers, she is clever in combat and one of the more sensible ones.
    • Martha is surprisingly good at physically fighting, despite being so nice, especially when in her element.
  • Hazbin Hotel: The three major Demon Girls.
  • Helluva Boss: The three imp assassins for I.M.P (Immediate Murder Professionals)
    • Blitzo - Beauty, due to his obsessions with the art world, especially musical theatre.
    • Moxie - Brains, as he is the most level-headed member of the team, and the Only Sane Man.
    • Millie - Brawn, with her specialty in hardcore melee combat.
  • Human Kind Of
    • Iris - Beauty. A woman who may look childish, but she has great looks.
    • Judy - Brains. A nerdy teenager who discovers she's half-alien, has a bunch of science stuff in her room, is the only one who seems engaged in science class, and has a bit of a lab set up in her basement.
    • Cory - Brawn. Judy's Only Best Friend who loves her Bizarre Alien Biology so much and is the capable fighter.
  • Red vs. Blue: The women of Project Freelancer
    • Beauty - C.T. While she’s one of the more tragic characters in the Freelancer Arc, shes downright beautiful when she smiles [1]. Word Of God has also confirmed she wears the bulkiest chest plate because she’s quite busty.
    • Brain - Carolina. Shes the team leader, and comes up with most of the mission plans. She’s also the Director’s daughter, so some of the intellect could be genetic
    • Brawn - South. shes headstrong and quick to anger.