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Brawn Hilda

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Dude... it's definitely over.

"It ain't over till the fat lady sings."
Common expression

Brawn Hilda is essentially a strong, mannish, usually foreign woman (often Celtic, Germanic, Nordic or Slavic). However, she's not an Amazonian Beauty, her strength is seen as unattractive, as she usually (purposely or not) "emasculates" the hero by beating him up or outdoing him in "manly" activities (such as arm wrestling, boxing, hot dog eating, pretty much anything unfeminine really). She usually has a thick stereotypical accent, a masculine face, and is often a stereotypical female immigrant (maid, mail-order bride, etc.) or some sort of hardcore Olympic-esque athlete. She's also something of an archetype for opera singers, for reasons we'll get into in a minute.

Her personality can run from motherly but overprotective to gruff and cantankerous, but the vast majority of the time her personality is irrelevant: she's just a gag character whose humor stems from being the opposite of a hot exotic chick. In one Stock Plot, for example, Bob books "Ekaterina" as his masseuse or cleaning woman, expecting someone young and attractive, and gets this character instead, who violently rearranges his house and life (and, if a masseuse, also causes him considerable personal discomfort). In more serious contexts, she tends to turn into The Rosa Klebb version of The Baroness. Bonus points if she's blond, wears braided twin tails, and possesses the name Helga, Hilda, or Olga (which is the Russian version of Helga!).


Of course, both in Real Life and in-universe, you can always expect someone to find this type very appealing. In-universe examples, whether a male badass has finally found the other half of his Battle Couple or simply a Chubby Amazon Chaser has found hisnote  dream girl, may even be played as a Heartwarming Moment as Hilda finds someone who truly appreciates her for all of her qualities.

If a cave woman is not a Nubile Savage, she will probably be this instead. Contrast with Amazonian Beauty, when she's attractive because of her physical strength; with The Baroness, who is the classic East-European Femme Fatale; with the Big Beautiful Woman, whose bulk is considered attractive in and of itself, and who is often non-European. Gonky Femme is when a character looks like this but is actually feminine. Compare No Guy Wants an Amazon, when this keeps her from finding a man; Butch Lesbian, if she prefers the ladies, and Vasquez Always Dies, where the Brawn Hilda dies first when the less-brawn female character survives. See also Lady Looks Like a Dude.


The trope name is a reference to the Icelandic queen Brunhildnote  in the German epic Das Nibelungenlied, the Trope Codifier, if not Trope Maker, for such characters. In the story she challenges men who attempt to wed her into warlike games, throws boulders with ease, and even ties her own husband up and hangs him on the wall. These traits, combined with the large women who usually play her in operatic adaptations, have led people to commonly assume she's an unattractive, mannish woman, even though the story actually describes her as more akin to the The Lad-ette trope. Big women (like Frieda Leider, Birgit Nilsson, and Jessye Norman), however, play her in the operas because they're usually the only ones with the vocal vigor to take on Brünnhilde's role. Specifically, singing those long sustained Wagnerian phrases is apt to develop your chest, back and shoulder muscles, making you look more like this even if you aren't fat.note  "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings" is likely a reference to Brünnhilde's famous (and memetically glass shattering) immolation scene in Richard Wagner's Götterdämmerung adaptation of the story, fully capable of making a lesser woman simply collapse under the effort — in essence, to sing the part of Brünnhilde you have to be a Brawn Hilda.

Unrelated to the comic/series Hilda or the comic strip witch Broom Hilda.


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  • When the UK banned all tobacco advertisements, cigarette manufacturers Silk Cut ran their final billboard advert just before the law took effect... a large woman singing.
  • One dressed in full viking regalia shows up at the end of this commercial for McDonald's Looney Tunes Happy Meal toys, singing, "What you want is what you get at McDonald's today!", McDonald's' slogan at the time.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The manga of AKIRA gives us one particularly badass aunt who is the size of a mountain and strong enough to smash bad guys' heads in by using a rocket launcher as a blunt weapon. She's a heroic protagonist, but really not very good-looking at all.
  • Undine of Claymore has this appearance, being noticeably bulkier compared to her fellow Claymores, most of whom look like regularly built (if muscular) young women. It's eventually shown that this is actually a result of shape shifting to create more muscle mass, and Undine's real form makes her one of the frailest Claymores seen.
  • Cutey Honey: While not foreign, every schoolmate of Honey — excepting her friend, Natsuko — are mannish ugly women that look just like muscular men with breasts and Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. They are all portrayed in a negative light due their status as Butch Psycho Lesbians.
  • The Alpha Team's housekeeper in Dinosaur King.
  • Dr. STONE: Downplayed with Niki Hanada. While her figure is definitely 'Amazonian' and she's not exactly ugly either, Nikki is drawn with a lot of muscular bulk, has a rough personality, and isn't styled to be as beautiful as other prominent female characters. Her character design gets some changes around the Treasure Island arc, where she's drawn with slimmer muscles and larger eyes, veering her closer to Amazonian Beauty.
  • In Fairy Tail, the Gonk fetishist has a couple of these in his employ, but the summon spirit Virgo takes the cake; she's approximately the size of a minivan, with a face like a pug that hates everyone in the world, alarmingly out-of-place Girlish Pigtails, and such an expansive bosom that her blouse's buttons burst. Later, when Lucy makes a contract with her, it turns out she actually can look very attractive if she wants, but she always takes on the form she thinks will please the contract-holder. Contrary to Natsu's observation, she's not any less powerful in a more compact form.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist plays this for laughs with two of Alex Louis Armstrong's sisters, Strongine and Amue, who both look just like Alex (except in dresses and sans facial hair). Alex's other sisters avert this: his eldest sister, Olivier, is a strong yet beautiful woman; while his younger sister, Catherine, is petite (but no less strong than her elder siblings).
  • Zorin Blitz of Hellsing has a tall, androgynous, and muscular appearance, as well as bulkier, more conical breasts compared to the other females in the series. Pip Bernadotte calls her an "ugly dike" several times as an insult. Bonus points in that she's from Germany.
  • Hunter × Hunter:
    • Biscuit usually takes the appearance of a cute young girl but her real form is huge, muscular and very manly. She's aware of this and hates using her real form.
    • There's also Tsubone, one of the Zoldyck family's butlers, who in addition to her build looks much older than Biscuit's true form (Biscuit herself being in her fifties).
  • One Piece:
    • We have Boa Marigold of the Kuja Amazons, who, oddly enough, used to be a skinny and conventionally attractive girl, but bulked up using the same methods used by Sumo wrestlers. As a bonus, her hair looks a bit like a Valkyries' helmet.
    • This trope holds for most of the Gonk type women among the Kuja. To they themselves, however, it can be considered as an aversion in universe; in the eyes of the Kuja tribe, strength itself is beauty. Most outsiders will likely disagree, however, with the exception of Boa Hancock, who just so happens to be beautiful in the conventional sense and the strongest woman on the island.
    • Then we have the biggest Brawn Hilda of them all, Big Mom. A pirate who has (almost) always been bigger, stronger, uglier, and meaner than all the rest and who's main concern is eating. She doesn't become one of the Four Emperors for nothing.
  • Mari from Project A-Ko. Considering she's Kenshiro of Fist of the North Star turned into a Huge Schoolgirl by the most minimal physical alterations (maybe not minimal, but she's huge!) and a uniform.
  • In Übel Blatt, Lebellont's daughter Supaz is unattractive and brawny (she's larger and chunkier than her brothers) until her capture, defection to and empowerment by Glenn, which somehow turns her into an Amazonian Beauty.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: The Long Halloween had Mafia Princess Sofia Falcone, a brutish woman strong enough to overpower Batman who became a Serial Killer by the name of Hangman.
  • In Gold Digger, Gina and Britanny's grandma on their mother's side is a very tall and massively muscled extradimensional warrior woman named Brunhildegard. She's a sweet and doting grandma who can chop an ogre in half without trying too hard.
  • Much to the dismay of the men she saves, Big Bertha of the Great Lakes Avengers is one of these. Much to her dismay, Deadpool is a fan. She only looks like that when she's using her powers. In civilian mode, she looks like this. As of the 2016 ongoing she always looks like that. It's unclear if her base body changed or if she got tired of the incredibly squicky, and possibly painful and unhealthy, transformation process (she had to vomit up the excess bulk) and just decided to remain in her fat and powered form.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • Ogress was a frustrated defense attorney exposed to gamma radiation by the Leader. She gained massive super strength, but unlike that other gamma powered lady lawyer did not keep her attractiveness.
    • She-Hulk's gamma form has become larger and more muscular to reflect her inner turmoil after being put in a coma and her cousin being killed in Civil War II.
  • Monstress of the post-Zero Hour Legion of Super-Heroes is a girly-girl type who was accidentally mutated into a tall, stout, and very muscular Brawn Hilda build. The comic refrains from depicting her strength as particularly unattractive—she doesn't humiliate any male teammates and pseudo-Cloudcuckoolander Element Lad seems to find her appealing - but she's definitely no Amazonian Beauty either. Her personality is largely that of a teenaged Apron Matron. Judging by her original green skin color, the idea seemed to be, "What would She-Hulk look like if she actually had a physique like the Hulk?" Later, Element Lad changed her skin color to orange (probably a Shout-Out to the Thing) and she decided she liked it.
  • Queen Christine from Motor Crush can be seen as this, as Domino makes fun of her 'busted-ass face'.
  • New Gods: Stompa of the Female Furies certainly qualifies, being stout and mannish but definitely female.
  • The Baker Twins in Strangers in Paradise are big, tough and battle-scarred. They tower at least one head height over every other character and are the top enforcers for The Syndicate. They are never portrayed as "ugly," but are also never portrayed as feminine. An Amazon Chaser could definitely go for them, though.
  • Bianca Castafiore in the Tintin books ("The Milanese Nightingale") is somewhat like this, but some opera singers are like this in real life.
  • Irma "Irma Geddon" Warnow in Top 10 is a stout, plain, working-class Gun Nut in Power Armour who has a motherly personality in private.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Fat Broad from B.C..
  • Sergeant Louise Lugg from Beetle Bailey is Distaff Counterpart to Sergeant Orville Snorkel, so what else could she be? She's not foreign, but is blond, obese, physically powerful, aggressive, and foul-mouthed (though often also femininely sensitive in some ironic way). The biggest difference between her and Snorkel is that she's sexually aggressive, whereas he's afraid of women.
  • Helga from Hägar the Horrible. She also sings when the mood takes her, and her voice can shatter an iron goblet.
  • In Phil Dunlap's Ink Pen, Norse demigod Tyr, himself a big dude, has a wife who positively dwarfs him (we only see a portion of her as she's too big to fit in the strip's panels).
  • Katrinka in Fontaine Fox's Toonerville Folks.

    Fan Works 
  • Citadel of the Heart: Reoccurring Digimon OCs Flare, Raiga, and Sigma are female individuals of WarGreymon, Omegamon, and Alphamon respectively. However, their actual visual appearances look 100% identical to the standard designs of their given species, which in canon have traditionally been portrayed as being male with one exception regarding Alphamon being more akin to an Ambiguous Gender in Cyber Sleuth. In Raiga's case, as well as Sigma's whenever she's in Ouryuken Mode, both Digimon are the result of a Fusion Dance between a femalenote  and malenote  Digimon which both have the female half taking dominance of the resulting form.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: Despite being male in canon, Dodoria is revealed to be a woman here. She was even considered attractive by her race's standards before Frieza blew up her home planet.

    Films — Animation 
  • In How to Train Your Dragon, most of the grown Viking women, even the short ones, have this sort of build. (Hiccup finds out, for example, that his Missing Mom's Breast Plate was reforged into two helmets, just after one was given to him. Though she's quite slim when she appears in the sequel.)
  • One of these appears as a wedding singer in The Illusionist (2010).
  • Incredibles 2: One of the new Supers recruited by DEVTECH is Brick, a large top-heavy woman with strength and durability comparable to Mr. Incredible and a vaguely European-sounding accent (though she turns out to be from Wisconsin).
  • In Pinocchio (1992), there is a woman like that who picks up the money to enter Mangiafuoco's theater of puppets.
  • Rise of the Guardians: Subverted with Cupcake, who is introduced as a brawny, angry girl about to smack some kids down for hitting her with a snowball... until Jack Frost hits her with some of his fun-loving magic, at which she laughs and joins them in a snowball fight. Later we see Cupcake has typical girly-girl tastes in pink clothes and unicorns.
  • Lady Kluck, Maid Marion's Lady In Waiting in Robin Hood (1973), is a chicken, and thus looks quite stout for her size. She is also easily a badass, shooing away her charge when the archery tournament breaks down into chaos before diving into the fray to help Little John against the Royal Guards - who are rhinos.
  • Aunt Figg actually dressed up as one for a few seconds during her Villain Song from the infamous 1992 animated film Tom and Jerry: The Movie.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The woman in the opening scenes of The Boondock Saints.
  • The Climax has Mama Hinzl, the landlady of Angela's boarding house. Extremely large, motherly and overprotective, she used be a soprano herself, and she keeps trying to fatten Angela up, because, as she puts it, "Who ever heard of a skinny opera singer?".
  • In Deadpool (2016), the title character delivers some jabs towards Angel Dust being too masculine, at one point in the trailers even saying that she's "way too much dude for me". A lot of his jokes about her were ad libbed by Ryan Reynolds, and Hilarious Outtakes actually has him apologizing to Gina Carano after the "less mean looking Rosie O'Donnell" line.
  • DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story has one straight example, played by Missi Pyle. She looks a lot better in the epilogue after losing the unibrow. Also one in a girl scouts team.
  • In The Fifth Element, the government's plan to sneak the hero Korben Dallas onto a galactic cruise ship involves passing off one such agent as his wife. Interestingly, it's not the primary reason he turns them down...
  • In Grown Ups 2, Beefcake Kitty is mocked by others for her muscular physique. There are some jokes implying she has a penis. They're usually made by other characters. But there was one implying she needed a jockstrap. However Marcus seems quite into her, but that was played for laughs a couple of times.
  • Husky Russkie Mother Russia from Kick-Ass 2. In spite of her stripperific outfit, her musculature makes her more intimidating as it's mentioned in her introduction that she literally ate her cellmate alive.
  • Stupid Crooks comedy Kidnapping Granny K has as one of Granny's friend a giant of a woman, who looks like she might be seven feet tall. The kidnappers hide out at her house, and part of the Happy Ending has one of the kidnappers marry her.
  • A stocky German woman appears in The Living Daylights, who does a fairly good job at distracting her supervisor while Bond helps Koskov defect to the West.note 
  • The Trunchbull from Matilda.
  • Coach Balbricker in Porky's.
  • In Revenge of the Nerds, the homely sorority that teams up with the nerds includes a very large girl who holds her own in the arm-wrestling contest before being (narrowly) defeated by Ogre, who cries after nearly losing to her.
  • Robin Hood: Men in Tights parodies Maid Marian's lady in waiting in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves; she's even named "Broomhilde." Little John, however, definitely doesn't see her as unattractive...
  • In Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Maid Marion's lady in waiting is an example.
  • The brief appearance by Helga in Shallow Hal.
  • Wonderfully subverted by Big Bertha in Super Mario Bros. (1993): although she's a corpulent (VERY corpulent) muscular woman who beats up everyone she sees, she carries and dresses herself as a Femme Fatale. When the almost-as-corpulent Mario tries to seduce her for the film's MacGuffin, it's played straight, and he's more than happy when she plants a kiss on him afterward.
  • The East German Olympic team in Top Secret!, based on the real-life Olympic doping scandal. (They're depicted by a bunch of male bodybuilders in drag.)
  • In What's New Pussycat?, such a woman is married to Viennese psychiatrist Peter Sellers — she tracks him down to a hotel in full Wagnerian dress to stop his philandering, and appears to be a Freudian nightmare to Woody Allen.

  • Henrietta Harcourt, the DuCaral household cook in Aunt Dimity: Vampire Hunter, is described as physically massive and she proceeds to haul a wet and shivering Kit and Lori into her kitchen. She also physically took them to the scullery, helped them clean up in an experience Lori likens to "taking a ride in a spin dryer," and drags them into the kitchen to sit and eat while their clothes dry.
  • Eorache of Bored of the Rings, as a parody of Éowyn, a Germanic warrior-maiden.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Latricia Hooks, one of the residents of Surrey Street. She's 6'2", has a very broad physique, used to bully Rodrick when they were younger, and during the snowball fight between the Surrey Street residents, she's shown punching people in the face on two occasions.
  • Discworld:
    • In The Fifth Elephant, Vimes' wife sings part of a very famous dwarf opera, at which point Vimes mentions that given a winged helmet and a horse, she'd have no problem ferrying dead warriors off the battlefield.
      • This description of Sybil also appears in her first book, Guards! Guards!, where Vimes muses that 'She could have carried off a battalion'. Later on, she casually lifts a panicking Sam onto the box of her coach. With one hand.
      • And, in a true Discworld fashion, it's directly explained as being a descendant of an old family whose aristocratic status dates all the way back to the days when the people on top were the ones who could crack the most skulls.
    • There's sort of a stereotype in British literature (but sometimes American works, too) of having a female gym instructor be like this — in the Discworld book Soul Music, the protagonist sees an actual valkyrie whom she imagines as looking like her gym mistress.
    • In Maskerade, Agnes Nitt joins the Opera House in Ankh-Morpork. She has an incredible voice, and the chorus master muses that her figure "should prompt a revival of The Ring of the Nibelungingung," but because leads like her are out of fashion, the company asks her to dub over a thin, pretty girl who's a horrible singer, in parody of The Phantom of the Opera. It's noted in the narration that this build is actually considered desirable in her homeland since a woman of such size and strength will not only be a great homesteader but is evidently from a family that enjoys their own cooking, but she's so shy she never found this out.
    • Policewoman Precious Jolson has ancestry in a part of Howondaland where women are built big. She is described as "having the muscles of a troll on her" and her first appearance involves having to dismantle a stripper's pole with her bare hands to rescue a dancer who has just had a muscle seizure. In her second appearance it's mentioned that she arrests people by picking them up in one hand and throwing them into the back of the police wagon.
    • Sergeant Jackrum from Monstrous Regiment notes to Polly that she came from a part of Borogravia where the feminine ideal was "a woman who can carry a pig under each arm". Having shown Polly a portrait of herself in her younger days with her boyfriend, she notes that the day after her boyfriend had joined the army, she was carrying a pig under each arm, had lost a clog in the mud, and her dad was yelling abuse at her, which prompted her to recall that her boyfriend never treated her like this, so she ran away and joined the army right alongside him. Nobody ever figured it out.
  • In the Fairy Oak series, Mrs. Rye can control her six mischievous and one calmer boys because of this.
  • There was a kid's novel called Fearsome's Hero in which the titular "Fearsome" was a sixth-grade girl named Honey, who was bigger and stronger than all the boys in her school, and who had been a bully to the main character, Tully, for several years prior. At the start of the novel, Tully kept her out of trouble with some policemen, and she fell in love with him instead, which was even worse than the bullying.
  • Millicent Bulstrode from Harry Potter is described as reminding Harry of a picture he'd seen in "Travels with Trolls" and enjoys putting Hermione in headlocks whenever she corners Hermione.
  • In A Harvest of War the main character is this, though it's portrayed more as the effects of age and too much fighting on a former Amazonian Beauty and she's still not completely unattractive.
  • Tisala of the Hurog series is very tall and muscular for a woman, and not exactly a beauty. For most characters she probably falls into the Brawn Hilda category, though the hero finds her attractive because of her strength.(He's not one who feels emasculated easily.)
    • In Atharon , the relationship between Nick and Victoria can be explained the same way as above.
  • Honoria Glossop, Cora Bellinger ("Pretty massive. In shape, a bit on the lines of the Albert Hall"), and Madeleine Bassett's friend Hilda (!) Gudgeon in P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster stories.
    • Wodehouse's description of Cora Bellinger in Very Good, Jeeves! is priceless:
    ... she proved to be an upstanding light-heavyweight of some thirty summers, with a commanding eye and a square chin which I, personally, would have steered clear of. She seemed to me a good deal like what Cleopatra would have been after going in too freely for the starches and cereals. I don't know why it is, but women who have anything to do with Opera, even if they're only studying for it, always appear to run to surplus poundage ... [she] had sung us a few songs before digging in at the trough, and nobody could have denied that her pipes were in great shape. Plaster was still falling from the ceiling.
  • The protagonist of Fay Weldon's The Life and Loves of a She-Devil is this trope for most of the novel.
  • Agatha Trunchbull from Matilda is a hulking, squinty-eyed, downright scary ex-jock with a rotten temper. She probably offed her brother-in-law, too.
  • Though she's been subject to a good deal of Adaptational Attractiveness over the years, Madam Thénardier from Les Misérables is described as large, burly, and physically unattractive in Victor Hugo's original novel.
  • Massha from the Myth Adventures series is big, fat and assertive. A mean-spirited guest at her wedding quips to his companion that the feast won't be over until she sings. (Bunny, upon hearing this, goes to have a serious talk with him.)
  • Clarisse La Rue from Percy Jackson and the Olympians is a daughter of Ares, whose children are very often more muscular and stronger than the other demigods - who are already superhumanly strong. Most of Ares' daughters are this trope or Amazonian Beauties.
  • In Eduard Uspensky’s Prostokvashino franchise, there is Aunt Tamara, a retired colonel with a heap of military medals and orders, who is so fat she requires a double bed all for herself. She has a Hidden Heart of Gold but advocates draconian military discipline, which is why the protagonists have a much better relationship with her when she is not visiting them.
  • Sookaiya "Soo" Venatosh, a Binnikod mercenary in Riesel Tales: Two Hunters, is muscular, heavyset, tall, masculine, and speaks in a deep (but still surprisingly feminine) voice. This is enhanced by how her species is something of a cross between a minotaur (replete with horns) and a collie dog.
  • Brienne of Tarth from A Song of Ice and Fire is something of a deconstruction of the trope. She's a huge, ugly, tomboyish woman who desperately wants to be a knight, but who constantly suffers for not fitting society's mold. Her Ironic Nickname is "Brienne the Beauty."
  • Roseroar in the Spellsinger novel Day of the Dissonance is an eight foot tall tiger who weighs 500 lbs and is made of pure muscle. Jon-Tom and Mudge are very complementary of her appearance because they're terrified of pissing her off (she's not actually ugly, she's just a big cat and therefore doesn't really fall under normal human measures of attractiveness).
  • Spitfire has Sir Sieglinde, a member of Prince Caederyn's guard. She's a blonde, red-faced woman who's often compared to a mountain due to her impressive, unmatched height and bulk. (However, her appearance is never played for laughs, nor is she treated unkindly.)
  • First-contact specialist JD Sauvage from Vonda N. McIntyre's Starfarers quartet plays with this. She's a swimmer who's repeatedly described as big, husky, and plain; however, at very least Zev and Victoria are romantically interested in her.
  • Though not foreign, Lieutenant Violette Retancourt, a recurring character of Fred Vargas's crime novels, is positively huge, often described as unattractive (and disliked by some of her fellow policemen solely because of her appearance) and physically stronger than any of the men at the Brigade. While she is not portrayed very sympathetically when she is first introduced in Have Mercy On Us All, the main character, Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg, eventually develops a vitriolic friendship with her, and her incredible strength and resilience become essential points in some novels (especially This Night's Foul Work).
  • Sci-fi writer Poul Anderson wrote a comedic short story entitled "Wherever You Are" in which a woman of this type is stranded among bug-eyed monsters along with a milquetoast man. Ends like you'd expect, but manages to subvert most BEM-cliches in the process.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Private Elsa Bigstern in two episodes of 'Allo 'Allo!; she's attractive enough, but her height, strength, lack of indoor voice and dominant personality all match this trope.
  • Hellga in the reboot of American Gladiators.
  • Eric considers this as a character option when he disguises himself as a woman on Boy Meets World.
    "My name is Olga Svetlana. I am shot-put champion. I don't shave my armpits."
  • Grendel, the ancient Celtic warrior woman, in Dead Gorgeous.
  • Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones is a towering woman who wants to be a knight, but is generally mocked behind her back by the same men she beats up in tournaments. She is played by 6′3″ Statuesque Stunner Gwendoline Christie.
  • Glee:
    • Dot Jones later deconstructs this role as the football coach Shannon Beiste ("It's French").
    • Glee also gave us Cameo (the scary black girl who punched Holly Holiday's lights out) and Lauren the wrestler; however, with the latter the trope is increasingly subverted as it becomes evident that Puck finds her both her physical strength and her breezy self-confidence very sexy indeed.
      Puck: What I like is that you're a girl who's an even bigger badass than I am!
  • General Burkhalter's shrewish, controlling widowed sister Gertrude Linkmeyer (played by Kathleen Freeman and Alice Ghostley) in Hogan's Heroes. She's the only recurring female in the show who isn't conventionally attractive and much comedy is gained from Burkhalter's attempts to marry her off (especially when the target is Klink).
  • Honoria Glossop (Liz Kettle) in the Jeeves and Wooster series based on the Wodehouse stories. She doesn't really look the part, but she has the personality down.
  • The TV adaptation of Fay Weldon's The Life and Loves of a She-Devil looked long and hard for an actress who could fill the role. They found Julie T. Wallace - who stands six feet two and who is a very imposing presence.
  • Miranda (2009): Miranda Hart, who at six-foot-one decided there was only one way to go with what Nature had given her - comedienne and comic actress. Her self-titled TV show depicts her as Bridget Jones Meets Brawn Hilda in contemporary London.
  • Parodied as Gretel (Dot Jones) in the bowling episode of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody .
  • Eartha Brute in Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?.

  • Jim Croce's song "Roller Derby Queen" (lyrics and a link to a video of him performing it here) tells of a man who fell in love with a Brawn Hilda when he saw her on TV in the Roller Derby.
    ''And the roller derby program said
    that she was built like a 'fridgerator with a head,
    Her fans call her "Tuffy"
    But all her buddies called her "Spike"


    Pro Wrestling 
  • GLOW Girls Mountain Fiji and Matilda the Hun. Incidentally, this didn't stop Fiji from becoming the biggest face on the show.
  • Rhonda Singh - she was trained in Stu Hart's Dungeon and wrestled as Foreign Wrestling Heel Monster Ripper in the AWA, WWC, AJW) and Trailer Trash Bertha Faye for WWF. She gradually became a face by default in WWC though, even entering into feuds with repulsed men such as El Profe.
  • Bull Nakano, particularly in the WWF, though Jerry Lawler acted as if Alundra Blayze was the mannish one on commentary. AJA Kong more briefly in WWF, though she also served the role in CMLL and even her native Japan, excepting her role in Fighting Opera Hustle as Erica. Also Dump Matsumoto when she and Nakano teamed as "The Devils Of Japan" in the USA.
  • Chyna(though she wasn't "foreign" in any sense) - before her makeover and becoming an Amazonian Beauty (after which she did go to Asia)
  • Nicole Bass, billed as one of the largest and strongest women in the world.
  • Asya played this trope straight for the most part. However, since she was popular among Amazon Chasers before ever starting pro wrestling, she wore skimpy outfits and used moves that emphasized her legs, making her a sort of pandering-to-the-base Amazonian Beauty as well.
  • Jazz, during her WWF/E run. In her ECW run she had a One of the Boys gimmick and was pushed as a face(she was briefly a foreign heel for a crossover with FMW), her attractiveness was never so much as discussed. This was most likely due to how she would probably have beaten the crap out of anyone who said she wasn't attractive (though Tommy Dreamer got away with it). She did participate in the WWE Divas photo shoots, but was never the star attraction.
  • Kia Stevens, better known as Amazing Kong (Zenjo), Awesome Kong (TNA) and Kharma (WWE). In SHIMMER, she was even billed from Tokyo Japan (where she had resided for a while, but still)
  • Psycho in World Xtreme Wrestling, who was big and butch enough to make the bulky sharp cheek boned amateur accomplished Phoenix look like a helpless rag doll. Phoenix would eventually defeat Psycho, but suffered from nagging injuries and mental trauma from their encounters.
  • The already big and bulky Killer Kat gradually came to represent this trope as her career went on, getting baggier ring gear with skull motifs, painting her face and developing a frightening grin.
  • Nyla Rose is another baby face example, as she can be absolutely horrifying. In Valkyrie Women's Pro, for example, she feuded with the Holier Than Thou "Top Shelf" Troy Nelson who pegs her as the type of woman who ruins everything. In an inversion of stereotypes, she's an indiginal Amerindian, which in the USA is about as far away from foreign as you can get, but played straight in Japanese feds like Marvelous, Sendai Girls and Pro Wrestling ZERO1.

  • This happens a good deal in opera, particularly with Heldensopran parts, due to the necessity of finding women with sufficient lung power to outsing a 100-piece orchestra without amplification. This is also sometimes done deliberately for comedy effect, as in the part of the Fairy Queen in Gilbert and Sullivan's Iolanthe. Other common examples include:
  • A situation similar to the Wagner example in the main description comes up in productions of Puccini's Turandot. The eponymous princess is supposedly so beautiful, men will risk beheading for her hand in marriage — and yet, because you need "a silver trumpet instead of vocal cords" for the part, most of the sopranos cast in the role fall squarely in this category: Monserrat Caballé Gwynneth Jones; Eva Marton; Birgit Nilsson
  • Fruma Sarah, Lazar Wolf's deceased wife in Fiddler on the Roof, is sometimes depicted as one of these.
  • Cha-Cha DiGregorio is intended to be this in the musical Grease, and was usually played by larger women. Some stagings avert this and try to cast more conventionally attractive actresses, due to the popularity of the film version (where she was much prettier).
  • My Fair Lady references this trope during one of Henry Higgins's Misogyny Songs, when he anticipates all the annoyances that romance with a woman could bring. One such potential annoyance is Obnoxious In-Laws, including the hypothetical woman's "large Wagnerian mother with a voice that shatters glass!"
  • Such a woman is a One-Scene Wonder in The Sound of Music, when she wins second place at the concert and won't get off the stage to keep soaking up applause.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The execrable F.A.T.A.L. enforces this. In FATAL's stats, female characters with high strength stats suffer inversely scaling penalties to their charisma stats - the stronger a female character is, the uglier she is.

    Video Games 
  • Shar-Teel from Baldur's Gate is a strong warrior woman, blond-haired, more masculine than conventionally attractive, wearing a horned helmet, and with a gruff voice. (Her figure is just the female warrior model's, which is relatively large, but it's not like there's a choice about that in the game anyway.) She shows up looking for men to beat in battle, though you need to beat her instead to get her to join your party.
  • The alternate female version of the Vanguard of Bloodline Champions is this. The normal one is large, tall, and has a paunch while the female version is more or less the same size.
  • The Wattle-Gobbler DLC of Borderlands 2 features Mister Torgue's grandma, who is effectively just a palette swap of the heavily-muscled Torgue himself in a pink T-Shirt.
  • Nurse Nina of Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! is a Battle Axe Nurse who is large, strong, speaks broken English with a thick Eastern-European accent, and is regarded as both terrifying and not especially attractive (That said, one sidequest demonstrates that at least three bamdits are pining after her).
  • The Lifeguard from Citizens of Earth is a massive, muscular Russian woman. The Vice President expresses disgust at having to receive mouth-to-mouth from her (her breath has the power of granting Super Not-Drowning Skills), and once he gets rid of the Giant Squid that she was concerned about, he talks his way out of a congratulatory kiss.
  • Helga from Clayfighter.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 has the Animals, a gang of roided-out cyborg transhumanists led by a veritable mountain of a woman called Sasquatch, who fights like a cornered gorilla when V encounters her.
  • Sakura Ogami from Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is built like an Olympic body builder, is covered in scars, has a deep gravelly voice, and generally looks like she walked out of an episode of Fist of the North Star, to the point that her sailor fuku uniform and noticeable breasts (when she's not covering them with a Badass Arm-Fold) are the only major indications that she's actually a girl (Ishimaru mistook her for a guy at one point regardless).
  • Lt. Typhon of a Doom mod called Lt. Typhon is an extremely muscular and manly female soldier. Thanks to her superhuman strength, she can punch the demons hard enough to knock them far away, throw heavy things like pillars or anti air shells, and use various huge guns. She can even use two Gatling Guns at once.
  • In Double Dragon, Linda the token female mook was a tough mohawked chick with a muscular but mannish build. She became Progressively Prettier to a great degree during the Double Dragon/Battletoads crossover games, though, and was fanservicey to the point of parody in Double Dragon Neon.
  • The first level of Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp has Dirk escaping his mother-in-law, who comes complete with horned helmet and Rolling Pin of Doom, and is royally pissed about Daphne getting kidnapped again.
  • In Exit Fate, the character Brunhild fits this trope for many reasons. She's not fat, but vaguely tomboyish, more resolved than her twin brother and fights more physically-oriented than him.
  • Fable II has Hannah, a bulky woman with great strength, which lead the other monks to nickname her "Hammer", a monkier which she adopts when she joins you. A female protagonist with a really high Strength will also become this.
  • Fallout:
    • Female super mutants in the series are like this, and sound exactly like the males. Averted by the Vault 87 Super Mutants of Fallout 3 who have No Biological Sex.
    • Ethyl in Fallout 2 is the Mama Bear of New Reno's Wright crime family, and is described as a "pleasantly plump woman with rose cheeks". She's a staunch Moral Guardian who remains blissfully unaware of her family's role in the alcohol trade, and if the player chooses to tell her the truth while persuading her to take matters into her own hands, she'll roll up her sleeves (revealing very muscular arms) and storm off to smash up their stills herself.
    • In Fallout 4, the player can design a female Sole Survivor as this trope, minus the deep voice.
  • A supernatural version appears in Ghostbusters: The Video Game. And good heavens, her scream hurts.
  • They appear a lot in Nitrome's Icebreaker series as puzzle elements.
  • The second Neighbours From Hell game introduces Olga, a woman with a manly face who is larger and buffier than her neighbour Rottweiler.
  • Inge Wagner, one of the main antagonists in the original No One Lives Forever.
  • Madame Flurrie from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Heck, one of the first moves she knows when she joins your party is Body Slam, where she flies through the air and flops on her target with her massive bulk.
    • Marilyn, the middle sister of the Shadow Sirens, also counts. She's undoubtably the muscle of the group, sporting an equally bulky appearance to Flurrie. True to the trope, her attacks hit quite a bit harder than both of her sisters.
  • Any Conkeldurr, Machamp or similarly muscular Pokémon that happens to be female.
    • The Pokemon Jynx appears to be based on this. With her husky, bulky appearance, breast plates and tendency to sing.
  • Psybadek's Game Over screen depicts a fat opera singer screaming bloody murder.
  • Helga from the Ratchet & Clank series.
    • One of a tag team of robot gladiators in the Annihilation Nation arena from Ratchet & Clank 3.
    • Not to mention an entire army of enemy Valkyries in A Crack in Time.
  • Space Mama from Rayman.
  • In Road Runner's Death Valley Rally, one dressed in full Viking regalia (including the horned helmet) comes out at the end of each boss level to begin to sing, with Wile E. Coyote holding up a sign saying, "NOT YET" in the first four levels. Maybe if he let her sing earlier, she wouldn't have been the Shadow of Impending Doom that gives Wile E. his final humiliation in the ending.
  • Big Bertha is considered the strongest human in all of Almia in Shadows of Almia.
  • There exists a mod of Team Fortress 2 that turns the Heavy into one of these.
  • In ToeJam & Earl, one dressed in full Viking regalia shows up as a helpful Earthling. For three dollars, she will kill all onscreen enemies with her voice.
  • In Urban Rivals, Kimberley is a former cheerleader who responded to being dumped by her boyfriend by becoming a bodybuilder so the next time she sees him she can smash his head in. As a cheerleader she might have had potential to become an Amazonian Beauty, but her artwork is borderline grotesque and makes her unattractive even as a cheerleader.
  • Total War: Warhammer II: Giant River Troll Hags introduced in The Warden And The Paunch Downloadable Content, are not only this, but The Pig-Pen and have abilities related to stink and vomit. They’re actually considered one of the most useful hero units in the game, with their toughness, regeneration, and spellcasting.
  • The Wolfenstein series has Gretel Grosse in Wolfenstein 3-D, and Helga von Bulow in Return to Castle Wolfenstein.

    Web Comics 
  • Quain'tana of Drowtales is either this or an Amazonian Beauty, seeing as she's built like a bodybuilder to the point of Viewer Gender Confusion on the part of many readers.
  • Adelgund from Furry Fight Chroniclesis a large woman with a masculine appearance, much to Muko's disappointment, as she expected her opponent to have a more Ms. Fanservice appearance befitting of a Combagal.
  • Scandinavia and the World:
    • Lady Germany has considerable physical power, a no-nonsense attitude, and, apart from her Boobs of Steel, is fairly masculine looking, at least for a chibi (she even has facial hair!).
    • The hard-drinking, homely Sister Finland also counts as one of the few people who can put her brother in his place has a fierce, aggressive nature, and was even drawn with a more mannish build according to the author.
  • Sauerkraut of Trigger Star, the party's resident Genius Bruiser. Take the traditional portrayal of Conan the Barbarian. Now add breasts. Suitably big ones. Add a Lantern Jaw of Justice and you have Sauerkraut.

    Web Original 
  • Gully of Worm has massively overdeveloped musculature as a result of her Case 53 origins, leaving her eight feet tall and near hunchbacked with a severe underbite and her hair in two long braids. Because she doesn't project the clean, heroic image the Protectorate likes to project she's been passed over for several promotions and is understandably bitter.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, after time traveling into an alternate future where Jimmy is rich, he soon discovers he has a cranky, hideous nanny named "Hilgo".
  • Doctor Robotnik's mother in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog is clearly one of these. The most effective description of her is "Robotnik, complete with his baldness and moustaches, but twice as big, and with breasts and dainty eyelashes, crammed into a pink dress".
  • Adventure Time:
    • Both Muscle Princess and Susan Strong. Both of them are about three times Finn's height and as big across at the shoulders as Finn is tall. Neither one is actually presented as explicitly attractive or ugly, since everyone's pretty cutesy in the show's signature noodle-style. Muscle Princess is particularly proud of her beef; she remarks that her hairstyle is deliberately unflattering so as not to distract from her muscles.
    • Muscle Princess seems to be a much straighter example, but Susan strays closer to Amazonian Beauty territory; while Finn doesn't necessarily have an opinion either way on Susan's physique, he does gravitate towards her because Finn believes her to be a human like him. He even blushes at one point during "Beautopia" when she touches his neck and discerns that he has no gills.
  • The wife of the Odifferan leader Prince Uncouthma in an Aladdin: The Series episode; she was named Brawnhilda (everyone in the series had a Punny Name, after all.)
  • Animaniacs:
    • Invoked by Ralph the Guard in an episode. As the "Ride of the Valkyries" plays, he (defending a car from airborne pigeon attack) falls into other cars and debris. He rises... looking a bit more like the page image than you'd want to see in dear Ralph.
    • Doctor Scratchansniff dates a very brawny woman of apparent germanic descent named Frau Hassenfeffer, who is rather rude and doesn't like when the Doctor flirts with her, but enjoys food. While scared at first, she ends up getting attached to the Warner Siblings.
  • In Courage the Cowardly Dog Muriel gets mistaken for a Valkyrie by an entire race of Brünnhilde-esque Valkyries.
  • In an episode from Dave the Barbarian ("Beef!"), Princess Candy has eyes for a hunk named Golder the Hot. However, he (and most of the other male villagers) are wooed by Bicepia the Warrior Woman, a tall and muscular Action Girl. Seeing that she needs to bulk up if she hopes to snatch away from Bicepia, Candy digests magic broccoli to achieve the same effects, gaining a similar figure and rechristening herself "The Can".

    While Candy is seen as an Amazonian Beauty at first, she still feels that Bicepia is bigger than her and continues to eat more broccoli. With each and every stalk, Candy grows more and more buff, at the cost of her beauty and brains (halfway through the episode, Candy even starts using Hulk Speak). Eventually, everyone is freaked out (especially Golder, who promptly decides to cancel his picnic date with Candy), forcing "The Can" to realize that she was better off as regular ol' Candy, a moral she quickly forgets seconds afterward.
  • An episode of DuckTales (1987) was actually about Mrs. Beakley being kidnapped by Vikings due to her being dressed up like this while performing at an opera.
  • Disney's World War II propaganda film, "Education for Death: The Making of the Nazi" (1943) depicts the "Sleeping Beauty", Germany, this way.
  • Subtly implied by Kronk in an episode of The Emperor's New School ("The Astonishing Kuzco-Man"), where he remarks that Yzma, having used a ray that previously gave Kuzco superpowers (but now set to "Medium") to transform into a muscular (and deeper-voiced) version of herself (now dubbed Yzma Woman), "looks more like Pajama Llama than Kuzco does." That being said, he does give something resembling a gesture of admiration to her flexing right after, although that could just be Kronk's Punch-Clock Villain tendencies coming into play.
  • In the second episode of Glenn Martin DDS ("The Grossest Show On Earth"/"Circus"), Jackie Martin befriends the circus strongwoman (herself a shining example of this trope and Husky Russkie) and decides to take up a training regime. Unbeknownst to her, the strongwoman slips in a cheat card: steroids. Thus, when Jackie finishes her very brief workout, she immediately removes her jacket to reveal huge guns and chiseled abs. She still retained her beauty in the facial department (and believed herself to very much be an Amazonian Beauty), but she sported a deepened voice and increased aggressiveness as a result of the roids (at one point, she strips Glenn—who has an Oh, Crap! expression—down to his underwear, and then tells him to hang on to the bedpost as she forcibly has sex with him). Most characters seemed to ignore her muscularity, but those who didn't always mistook her for a man, earning them a punch from an offended, violence-prone Jackie. At the end of the episode, she walks into a men's bathroom and checks herself out, commenting that she's hot, but then two guys mistake her for a guy again, and Jackie finally agrees with their sentiment that she's unattractive. By the next episode, the muscle (and all of the other negative side effects) is gone.
  • Hey Arnold! Big Patty is big and plain-looking with a Big Ol' Unibrow, speaks in a monotone voice, and always willing to beat up anyone who crosses her.
  • In the Johnny Bravo episode "To Helga and Back", the main character buys a mail-order girlfriend and gets a beefy European woman who happens to have the same (low-brow) interests as Johnny.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Millicent the "Slobovian rabbit" in the 1957 short "Rabbit Romeo".
    • The titular acrobat in "She Was An Acrobat's Daughter" sports bulging biceps, Boobs of Steel, a Butter Face, and Fan Disservice-y circus tights.
    • Averted when Bugs Bunny disguises himself as "Bwunhilde" to fool Elmer Fudd (depicted as the hero Siegfried) in "What's Opera, Doc?" (as it was when he had originally dressed as her in "Herr Meets Hare"); his valkyrie is actually quite petite. The horse more than makes up for it.
  • Abby Bominable from Monster High has many aspects of this. She's a yeti transfer student who speaks very succinctly in an accent and has no problem testing her strength against anyone. The only thing keeping it from being complete is the series' wide focus on Cute Monster Girl.
  • Niko and the Sword of Light has the rather creatively named Brohilda, the pig-tail wearing leader of a race of "dudebro" armadillo-like people.
  • Frau Brumhandle from Peter Pan & the Pirates is this in spades. Her singing has the power to turn most who hear it into her servants. She also doubles as an Abhorrent Admirer for Captain Hook.
  • An episode of Samurai Jack had the Scotsman ask for Jack's help to rescue his kidnapped wife. He talks about her as if she's the daintiest, most beautiful woman on Earth, but when we finally see her in person, she turns out to be quite the opposite of that. She's also a huge bitch who spends the whole time berating the two of them for incompetence, and even forces the two of them to carry her because she's too damn lazy to move. When the Scotsman and Jack get attacked on the way out and seem outmatched, they resign themselves to death... and then the leader of the kidnappers calls the Scotsman's wife fat. She clobbers every last one of them in a violent rage with her bare hands. Unlike most examples, however, her berserk strength is treated as attractive; Jack's reaction implies he suddenly realizes what the Scotsman sees in her. Also, when she calms down she's just as polite and lovey as the Scotsman described her... until Jack mistakenly calls her fat when trying to find an exit from the castle.
  • The Simpsons
    • This trope is parodied when Bart's impression of an East German woman consists of a fake mustache and saying "Kiss me or I crush you!" in a deep voice.
    • Also Lisa's gym teacher Brunella Pommelhorst.
  • Alice from Superjail! A slight variation in that she's transgender.
  • Total Drama:
    • Eva from Total Drama Island is the strongest chick in the show and is even seen arm wrestling in the opening song; she has a nasty temper and, of course, all of the other characters fear her (except Izzy and possibly Noah).
    • Revenge of the Island brings us Jo, who is the strongest female contestant physically. However, this falls more into Informed Attribute and is Played for Laughs. It's pretty obvious to the viewer that she's female. And pretty much everyone else except Lightning, who doesn't get that she's female until she's eliminated.
  • Transformers:
    • Strika from Transformers: Animated looks to be a giant robot version of this, from the two or three minutes we saw of her. She's, er, "big-boned" even relative to other Cybertronians. Not that Lugnut seems to mind.
    • Her namesake from Beast Machines has shades of this as well, although the Vehicon generals tend to be less human-like than other installments of the franchise. Still, Obsidian, Thrust and Jetstorm transform into a helicopter, a bike and a jet, all pretty sleek, while Strika's truck mode is about as bulky as that of Tankor, who's... well, a tank.
  • Devastation, a Wonder Woman villain, is portrayed as a huge, muscular woman on Young Justice.
  • Bertha from The Hair Bear Bunch episode "Bridal Boo Boo" fits the bill. She's huge and extremely militant in that she takes over running the zoo upon her arrival. A clone of her appears in the finale "King Klong vs. The Masked Marvel" as a housewife who cuckolds her mousy husband into the wrestling ring to face the Marvel.