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Even shows within shows aren't immune.

"That little firecracker wife turned out to be a real school marm, didn't she?"
Master Roshi to Goku about Chi-Chi, Dragon Ball Z

You have an Action Girl, who may also be One of the Boys. She rocks.

But she's probably the only female in the main cast, or at very least, the most openly tomboyish in the female cast. And it doesn't seem to be playing well with the 18-35 male demographic. So the writers, either on their own or because of Executive Meddling, soften her tough edge. Gradually, the Action Girl starts seeing significantly less action. She exchanges her armor for outfits that show off her figure. Her plotlines become increasingly centered around romance, dating, and fears that she isn't married yet. She gets easily turned into a Damsel in Distress by the same villains she would have handily thwarted previously just so the male characters can save her. The character who was once comfortable and competent has been Chickified.

This trope is not merely an Action Girl who shows "female" emotions or likes girly-girl dresses; there is no rule that a heroine cannot have feelings and express them and neither is there a rule against kicking ass in a skirt or partaking in girlish pastimes. This trope is where a character becomes more stereotypically feminine and also becomes less action oriented at the same time. The character doesn't just start wearing dresses, but adjusts to female stereotypes totally at odds from her previous behavior, warping our sense of who the character is and what we've seen her do throughout the rest of the book. This is about maturity being equated with passivity, with "girls/women can't", rather than just learning to make wise choices or cope with challenges.

If the heroine changes as the result of physical and/or emotional trauma, but maintains a strong presence in the narrative, it's more a case of Broken Bird, Break the Cutie, Heartbroken Badass, etc. Remember, Tropes Are Tools, and this is not a part of the Complaining Index either.

Compare with Girliness Upgrade, in which a woman becomes more feminine but doesn't lose her edge. Remember, there is absolutely no overlap between these two tropes. It's a question of balance, and there is often a very, very fine line between them, depending on the skill of the writer/creator. Readers don't always take kindly to a girliness upgrade and may perceive it to be chickification.

If this is done to a male character in a Slash Fic, it may be part of Ukefication or Aggressive Submissive.

If the girl used to be an active character but now is just there, the trope is Men Act, Women Are. For girls that are both badass and feminine, see Girly Bruiser. For a tomboyish woman who still has a more girlish side, see Tomboy with a Girly Streak. For a girly girl who enjoys a rough pastime, see Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak. See Faux Action Girl if the supposed female badass character never performed any such actions to begin with. When a female character wants to be more of an action girl but ends up being defied or discouraged from doing so, then it's Stay in the Kitchen.

Contrast with Xenafication, which is the exact opposite. Not to be confused with Jack Chickification.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Miki Makimura in pretty much every anime, OVA and several manga other than the original Devilman manga. In the original manga, she is shown kicking ass at times (although she ends up trying to hide her tomboyishness thinking that No Guy Wants an Amazon) but in most adaptations, and even in the Amon manga where she keeps her original personality, her aggressive part is gone or heavily toned down to the point of only berating bad boys instead of showing why she was called 'Miki the hands', and she is instead shown in a more pure light, disliking Akira's new Bad Boy attitude.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The page quote references Goku's wife Chichi, although she's actually a subversion. It's mentioned that she always wanted to live a peaceful life away from war and fighting, despite her being a rather skilled Cute Bruiser. She's the one who started training Goten how to fight. Furthermore, she does not lose her backbone. A common joke says that she's the only character who can "defeat" Goku. She does however come to see the Z Fighters as a gang of jobless thugs rather than an intergalactic superhero team, pushes Gohan to focus more on his studies than running off training to save the world, and desperately tries to force Goku into settling down and getting a job with a stable income. (Which he eventually does by becoming a radish farmer after the Buu Saga... sometimes)
    • The only character who more or less plays this straight is Videl. In both Dragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super she more or less completely drops the combative tomboy elements of her character after marrying Gohan, though it's more understandable than usual: her and Gohan's daughter Pan was conceived almost immediately after their marriage. Somewhat lessened in episodes 73 and 74 of Super, which shows that she's still a Spirited Young Lady when confronted by a Jerkass celebrity, although she still hasn't been involved in any actual fights like she used to, and in the Super Hero movie, we learn that she has a dojo. And in GT, there are two episodes showing that she still has her old superhero uniform and is willing to put it back on and fight if need be.
  • Retsuko seems to have suffered this in the Netflix adaptation of Aggretsuko, going from a woman who always strives to do her best at her job to one who wants to get married so she can quit her job. Later Character Development puts her back on her original characterization, as she decides she wants to Marry for Love and does her best with what she's been given.
  • In the anime of Blue Dragon, Kluke is changed from a self-confident, mature girl who's virtually raised herself since the deaths of her parents to basically someone who cooks and encourages Shu without explanation. She doesn't even get her powers until a quarter of the way in the series. After that point, however, she joins Shu in combat and plays a critical role in defeating General Logi.
  • The second season of Corrector Yui has both a straight example and a subversion.
  • Mai Shiranui of Fatal Fury has always been sort-of The Ditz, but she's a pretty competent Action Girl otherwise and proud of her skills. In the OVA and The Movie, however, the poor girl's primary purpose is to get kidnapped so Andy can save her. (She wins one fight and it's with another girl.)
  • Hikaru Hazama of Metal Fight Beyblade goes from Action Girl to Secretary in the second season. Justified in that after suffering a brutal defeat from Ryuga she becomes too traumatized from the experience to battle again, nearly having a mental breakdown when Tsubasa unleashed the same dark power Ryuga had used, resigning herself to this role to help forget what happened and recover, until she resumed her action girl status late in the season as the climax began.
  • Isabelle of Paris: In-universe example. The series starts when Isabelle grows out of her Tomboy phase into being a gorgeous, traditional French lady. Many characters praise this change and say it's about time she grew up.
  • In the anime adaptation of Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story, Iroha is significantly weaker than in the game. While in the game she starts off weak and becomes stronger and more self-assured over time, she can barely defeat any foes by herself in the anime and either relies completely on her Doppel or on Yachiyo to get her out of trouble. Even worse, when she would at least try to fight early on in the game, she spends that time either staring in terror or incapacitated in the anime. Many fans are hoping that season 2 will address this and make Iroha stand out more.
  • Sakura Haruno in Naruto zigzags in and out of this. On one hand she starts out as a Faux Action Girl because she's a graduate like Naruto and Sasuke and the show talks up her great ninja intelligence, but doesn't bring as much to the table as her teammates. She Took a Level in Badass during the Time Skip and defeats a member of Akatsuki, but is then quickly left Outof Focus for half the series one arc later. The few times she does shake this off, the results are genuinely impressive: like how before the Time Skip, she managed to hold off the Sound Genin with only her basic ninja training fall back on and resorted to biting to protect Lee, Naruto and Sasuke; how during the Fourth Shinobi War she discovered the Zetsu clone spies and had captured one alive; and in Chapter 632, when after perfecting one of Tsunade's best techniques she wreaks havoc among the Ten-Tails's clones - which impresses Sasuke but terrifies Naruto.
  • Pokémon: The Series started doing this after the ending of the Black & White saga, in regards to female traveling companions:
    • Serena can't seem to ever have a serious battle where she doesn't win or she calls it off for the sake of making Ash shine in them. She can't even handle Team Rocket by herself!
    • The female Alolan classmates suffer from this to various degrees, mainly being unable to own more than one Pokémon:
      • Lillie is a mess of emotions because of a traumatic incident that left her unable to touch Pokémon. Though she eventually gets over this and she makes an effort to become a battler with her Alolan Vulpix, she always needs to be bailed out by Ash or someone else to win.
      • Mallow has almost no interest in battles, though that didn't stop her Bounsweet from evolving all the way to Tsareena, except with the least amount of effort possible.
      • Averted with Lana for the most part, despite the fact the reason behind helping out Popplio was to help it make bigger balloons.
    • Journeys isn't even subtle with the trope by completely removing a real traveling female companion from Ash and Goh's worldwide trips. There is Chloe, who rarely joins with their trips, though she is very unenthusiastic about battling and prefers to pamper her Eevee by meeting every Eeveelution possible.
      • Iris's return averts her from suffering from Chickification, but only because her game counterpart eventually becomes the Unova Champion and allowed this incarnation to become one as well, albeit with a rather lacking explanation.
      • Dawn's return isn't as kind as Iris's, however. Unlike how she was an Action Girl, she can't seem to solve problems without having to call Ash and Goh for help. Especially jarring during the Winter Arc, where she doesn't even think about using any other Pokémon other than her lost Piplup despite the fact she had them all out at the beginning.
      • Korrina's return starts off with her as a PWC opponent, but her Mienshao and Mega Lucario are thoroughly steamrolled by Ash's Dragonite, whom he had just captured. It gets progressively worse for her when Ash learns Bea manhandled her better than he did. Later on, she joins Ash in finding his Lucario's Lucarionite, but notably, she never does let her own Lucario help in anything during the perilous quest and behaves more like hitchhiker more than anything. And when Ash gets to see Korrina showing up to see Bea prior his match with her, the scene fakes a mood of tension that is quickly replaced by Korrina squeeing over Bea and giving her sweets.
  • Deedlit the elf in the original Record of Lodoss War OVA series underwent this, going from a feisty, highly competent Action Girl whose pining for The Hero Parn didn't stop her from kicking ass and taking names in the first half to a helpless Damsel in Distress completely at the mercy of Wagnard's attempt to sacrifice her to resurrect the goddess of destruction Kardis in the second half; this is due to a case of Compressed Adaptation abridging and merging plot points making her a Composite Character, as in the original novels and the Chronicles of the Heroic Knight TV series the role of Apocalypse Maiden went to Little Neese, so Deedlit never lost her badass elf woman warrior cred there; there's a reason she's the playable character in the Lodoss War Metroidvania video game Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth (the title should clue you in).
  • The Sands of Destruction manga had a problem with this at the end. Morte is shown to be a hyper-competent Dark Action Girl at the start of the story, capable of superhuman feats of athleticism and totally a gung-ho Blood Knight. However, as soon as she learns that she's the Princess of Guidance, the one who wished for the world and accidentally screwed it up big time, she forgets all about her fighting abilities and her strong-willed, sharp-tongued demeanor. She has to be rescued from atop a ship, despite the fact that she'd been shown jumping similar distances with ease before, and while she does try to join Kyrie's fight against Vreveil, she just ends up shot through the heart before she can do anything to really help - aside from giving Kyrie precisely the motivation he needs to make Swiss cheese of Vreveil, of course. The game and anime it was based on is a notable example of this trope averted: while Morte does Take A Level In Kindness by the end, she doesn't lose either her fighting ability or her personality, and while Kyrie eventually grows into his role as The Hero, they become a Battle Couple instead of relegating her to the sidelines so he can shine.
  • Shirobako: In-Universe, this is what happened to the adaptation of Sailor Suits and F3s, an earlier work of Takezou Nogame (author of Third Aerial Girls' Squad, which MusAni adapted in the second half of this series). The otherwise fairly serious sports manga was retooled into a Gag Series, with its battle-hardened Action Girl protagonist being turned into a vapid moeblob.
  • Arcee and Carly Witwicky in Transformers: ★Headmasters. In the previous series the former was a bona fide Action Girl who was every bit as capable in a fight as the rest of the Autobots and wasn't above snarking with Hot Rod that she was there to protect him from danger and not the other way around. The latter was an incredibly smart, MIT educated robotics Wrench Wench who could understand and operate Cybertronian technology and also eventually became a sort of human ambassador for the Autobots. Come this series (which was treated as a direct continuation of The Transformers), both are essentially relegated to being little more than over-emotional, weeping, wailing nervous wrecks who can't handle the slightest bit of adversity without breaking down into histrionics and whose entire job is to Stay in the Kitchen at the Autobot Base and serve as nursemaid to Daniel and Wheelie. Worse yet, the other characters enforce this character change by chastising Arcee any time she thinks of doing anything aggressive or action-oriented. Because if she goes to help Rodimus find a new home planet for the Autobots, who's going to look after Daniel? (apparently the idea that his actual parents might do it never occurs to them. Nope, Arcee's just being selfish.)
  • In Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon has the Action Girl Towa Higurashi start off as a loner who often got into fights with bullies, constantly transferring schools as a result. The moment she goes back to the feudal era, she slowly (or quickly) but surely starts to lose her lone wolf tendencies and replaces them entirely with a sweeter attitude next to her long-lost younger sister Setsuna, who basically takes over Towa's previous attitude while reducing Towa to a sweet if very naive girl incapable of not getting her head cut in two in the old era, often needing aid from Setsuna (and sometimes Moroha) to remain alive. To make matters worse, Towa didn't even make any friends in the present era, but she is more than willing to make friends with just about anyone she meets in the feudal era to the point she completely trusts Riku so much after learning he is basically Kirinmaru's henchman and gives him her rainbow pearl with no questions asked. Setsuna and even Moroha scold her for doing something so dumb, which she later comes to regret the next second when she realizes how stupid that was.

    Comic Books 
  • Most of the female X-Men were temporarily hit hard by this when Chris Claremont left for the first time.
    • Storm was relegated to background scenery and occasional artillery when the romantic/heartbreak subplot got dumped.
    • Psylocke was mostly just Worfed, but it's worth noting that the villain who eventually gutted her was someone she'd previously defeated even before she'd learned martial arts.
    • Rogue, despite being strong enough to bench-press tanks and capable of outflying almost any weapons she cannot laugh off, was repeatedly pummeled by far less formidable foes, and at least once screamed for help from a boyfriend that was barely a step above Badass Normal. Her psychological fortitude went down the tubes to boot.
  • Black Canary is still capable, but not in her own book. While a leader in both Birds of Prey and Justice League of America which feature her kicking ass, Green Arrow/Black Canary treats her as a perpetual Damsel in Distress for Green Arrow to rescue.
  • Similarly, The Wasp's intelligence, combat effectiveness, levelheadedness, and leadership abilities seem to vary inversely with the degree to which the writer plays up her relationship with her ex-husband Henry Pym.
  • Prince Valiant stories: Parodied a couple of times, and lampshaded at other times (but by no means averted) where competent, resourceful girls deliberately make themselves out to be less so in order to be more appealing to the men.
  • Superman: Lois Lane was depicted as a reckless and fiery reporter throughout the late 1930s and 1940s, and then she was watered down into a comic relief who constantly needed saving in the mid 50s'. Fortunately, the late Silver Age/early Bronze Age restored her opinionated, smart and resourceful persona.
  • A lot of the female characters in Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) are hit with this, especially the love interests for the various heroes:
    • Princess Sally and Bunnie Rabbot are hit pretty hard post-time skip, Sally more than Bunnienote . It wasn't until the previous writing team left and Ian Flynn took their place that both of them were returned to their Action Girl roots (and Bunnie got Demoted to Extra, sadly).
    • Mina Mongoose, on the other hand, wasn't hit with this until after the writers changed. Since her introduction around the Sonic Adventure era, she had been played up as a budding Freedom Fighter and a perfectly competent Action Girl in her own right. Once Karl Bollers (her creator) left and Ian Flynn stepped in, she was hit with Deus Angst Machina over a failed missionnote  and retired to a life as a pop singer where she contributed nothing of value (save for turning the citizens of New Mobotropolis against Nicole after the whole Iron Dominion debacle).
  • Wonder Girl Cassie Sandsmark's character did a complete one-eighty with the dissolution of Young Justice and her move to Teen Titans under different writers. She was a compassionate geeky tomboy who was eager to jump into fights and help people, and became a moody flat character whose defining trait was her obsession with her boyfriend. It's no wonder Young Justice (2019) sank that ship given the connotations Teen Titans left for the relationship.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): When Robert Kanigher took over as writer after Marston's death most of Boisterous Bruiser Etta Candy's "non womanly" strengths were either downplayed or portrayed as flaws. When H. G. Peter also died Kanigher took the chance to retool Wonder Woman entirely (into what became her Earth-1 incarnation) and made Etta a conventionally 50's feminine (in both appearance and mannerism) Damsel in Distress whose only remaining character trait was liking candy.

    Fan Works 
  • The Legend of Korra fandom gets in on the act with Abuse Cycle, which does for Korra what The Last War does for Hermione.
  • Cori Falls loves doing this to poor Jessie in her Pokémon: The Series fics. Sure, the girl's still allowed to kick some ass, but more often than not, she's crying or swooning in James's arms or needing to be rescued from perverts.
  • The infamous Hetalia: Axis Powers fic All He Ever Wanted pulls this on almost all the female characters:
  • Some Superjail! fanfiction pulls this on the Mistress, in order to make her more "suitable" as a love interest for the Warden and not be any threat. Suddenly, the Mistress is all about angstily pining for her true love, portrayed as a submissive wife who will do anything and everything to please him, having her earlier cruelty explained away as her father sexually abusing her from childhood or having been otherwise physically abused by lovers and the Warden being the only one who can heal her. Oddly, some of these writers decry the "Hippie Mistress" twist in season 3 for making her "less strong", as well as her overall canon case of personality change in "Stingstress" beforehand, but don't seem to mind their own alterations. There's a reason why the canon change wasn't looked so fondly upon by these writers, though, considering what lead to Mistress going hippie: The Warden didn't know how to have sex with the Mistress, so Alice slept with her instead and Mistress decided she didn't need ANY men. Which kind of put a hold on the thought of pairing those two.
  • Very common in Les Misérables fics that focus on Eponine. In-canon she's street-smart, more than a little vindictive, known to stand up to gangs of armed criminals each twice her size, and is implied to have connections in the Paris underworld via ex-boyfriend Montparnasse. In fanfic, she's a weepy victim of said Paris underworld ripe for being rescued Disney Princess style by Marius or Enjolras. Though in a weird bit of meta, this is actually how the canon Eponine perceives herself.
  • Fairy Tail:
  • Frozen fanworks:
    • Fanfics pairing Elsa and Anna tend to do this to Anna. In the film, she's a strong character who's quick to take action, keeps a clear head whilst being pursued by wolves and giant snowmen, doesn't hesitate to come to the rescue of others, and never cries during the entire film, despite suffering an intensive Trauma Conga Line. Fanfiction tends to morph her into a tortured soul who managed to bottle up her grief during the events of the film, and, once everything is back to normal, quickly breaks down and pours her heart out to whatever soul will listen, usually Elsa. The wimpiness of Anna in fanfiction is usually proportional to the strength of Elsa; the more resilient Elsa is in any particular fic, the more chickified Anna becomes. Generally, Anna's sudden chickification is explained by the shock of having her sister back, and the years of loneliness she endured during the film's prologue.
    • Elsa herself can also qualify; although she is far more emotionally vulnerable than Anna and breaks down several times during the film, her tendencies tend to be exaggerated in fanfic, making her a wreck incapable of human contact as a result of isolation (despite it being her who first reached out to Anna at the party in the film and also the one who open her arms for their shared hug once Anna defrosts back to life) and constantly suffering nightmarish flashbacks to the events of the film and its climax.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic canon, Princess Celestia is a competent and wise ruler. In My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, she clings to the Distress Ball with a firm grip and runs with it.
  • Deliberately invoked in Divided Rainbow. Rainbow Dash suffers from Chickification as a result of a magical curse. Specifically, the same one that swapped her with Fluttershy in the Magical Mystery Cure episode.
  • Sailor Moon fanworks:
    • It rarely happens nowadays, but in the heyday of this fandom, it was common for writers of the Zoycite/Malachite pairing to turn the headstrong, bitchy Zoycite into a blushing prissy princess (literally in some cases) who needed Malachite to hold her hand and rescue her from Neflyte and Jedite's bullying. Other times she would tremble and cower at the mercy of Queen Beryl, who randomly had it out for her despite the two having a rather cordial professional relationship before Zoycite angered her by disobeying a direct order.
    • Also happened to Minako in fics that paired her with Kunzite or even Makoto, dialing her canon angst Up to Eleven.
    • Usagi herself gets hit with this hard in shipper 'fics despite developing into something of a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass in canon. Either she becomes the victim of a suddenly abusive Mamoru for Rei or Seiya to rescue, or a cowering submissive to the dangerously masculine Mamoru as he charms his way into her pants in mundane AU fics.
    • Some Haruka/Michiru fics have Michiru attacked by a rapist so Haruka can either rescue her or play nurse while she suffers from PTSD for many chapters. Haruka herself also gets this treatment in some Seiya/Haruka fics.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Sheik gets an odd variant of this in fan-works. Sheik in canon is a Sweet Polly Oliver and is a disguise for Zelda. Sheik in most fanfics and fanart is a man and is often completely unrelated to Zelda. These depictions of Sheik usually have Sheik in their canonical aloof 'self. In the few works that have Sheik as a crossdressing woman, this trope gets applied big time. "Female Sheik" fan-art always ultra-feminize her. Fan-works also downplay her strengths and Action Girl qualities to instead have Link be her "cool and mature" love interest (note, in male!Sheik/Link works, Sheik is instead often a stereotypical seme and Link gets the ukefication). Strangely, this only affects Zelda fan-works. Super Smash Bros. works almost always depict Sheik as a Sweet Polly Oliver/bifauxnen and an aloof Action Girl.
    • In more than a few incarnations, Zelda is shown to be a capable fighter and in all incarnations she is strong-willed. Many fan-works tone her down into a generic Princess Classic with Link as her knight in shining armor.
  • In many Gintama doujins and fanworks, Kagura gets hit with this whenever she's paired up with her Shinsengumi rival Sougo Okita. While she does have feminine interests and has her cute and soft sides, nearly all of her fire and crassness gets taken out and replaced with a more standard feisty girl whenever they want her to swoon over Sougo, and her squabbling with him always ends with him coming out on top or making her weak in the knees.
  • This happened so often to Bayonetta that her creator spoke out against it. Specifically, he protested the Rule 34 works that showed her as submissive (with the implication that he would be totally fine with NSFW works that portrayed her as dominant). Perhaps in response, later fanwork swung away from this.
  • Corrin in Peril turns the Action Heroine main character of Fire Emblem Fates into a weepy Damsel in Distress who offers little to no resistance when the Nohrians hold her captive and turn her into their personal maid/sex toy.
  • Much like her husband who gets ukefication, Kim Wexler in canon Better Call Saul is emotionally constipated, the only time she is held hostage she's very willing to shoot a man, and has a Power Dynamics Kink with Jimmy where she's on top. While most fic at least tries for this portrayal, there's a good chunk that turns her into a helpless damsel, the 'emotionally open moral centre', or secretly a sub who wants to be ravaged.

    Films — Animated 
  • Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo shows Starfire being rescued by Robin much, much more than in the series, and doing less to contribute to the group's success. At the same time, Robin himself contributes the least success, rather, the most damage - his hunt for Brushogun leads to disaster, getting himself thrown in prison for all the wrong reasons. After his escape, he has to parade around as an average Joe to avoid drawing attention, which brings him down from a costumed hero to an unnerved, edgy Badass Normal. Played for Drama - it's to help make her look and feel more vulnerable, draw closer to Robin, make him draw closer to her, and at last, bring them together for The Big Damn Kiss.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Sonya Blade is chickified about half-way through Mortal Kombat: The Movie. For the first half she's tough, cold, efficient, and mercilessly kills Kano in the ring. Then Shang Tsung sneaks up, puts her in a hammerlock, and she turns into a screaming Damsel in Distress. It's implied that she doesn't fight him off because doing so would mean accepting Shang Tsung's challenge to final Kombat, but this is not made explicit in the film.
  • Gods of Egypt: Some of the goddesses shown are victims of this:
    • Isis, goddess of magic, Action Mom who fended off Set multiple times in the Osirian cycle and one of the most powerful deities of the Egyptian pantheon, is reduced to a whimpering mess the second Osiris is shanked by Set, and then kills herself, instead of searching for her husband's body parts and ressurrecting him like in the myths.
    • Serqet, a primordial protection and healing goddess considered among the most powerful, is reduced to a weak minion of Set (and is a generic skimpy-dressed human rather than having scorpion-like traits).
  • Gone Baby Gone shamelessly Chickifies Angie, who was much tougher in the novel.
  • Jane in Johnny Mnemonic isn't exactly weak, but she's not nearly as hard-assed as her counterpart Molly in the original story.
  • Katara spends most of the film adaptation of The Last Airbender looking like she's about to cry. It's instructive to compare the different versions of her fight with Zuko - in the original, she technically wins the actual fight, only for Zuko to get a villainous Heroic Second Wind thanks to the rising sun and pull a sneak attack; whereas in the movie, Zuko hardly had to put in any effort to beat her.
  • Greg Rucka, the author of Whiteout, complained about Carrie Stetko being made weaker in the film adaptation so as to prop up the male characters. "At least they got rid of the scene in the script where she - a U.S. Marshall - hears someone following her and runs away. What's she gonna do, call the cops?"
  • Jean Grey in the X-Men Film Series suffers from a special case of this. The Phoenix storyline is major Never Live It Down material for her, so she got some major movements of power-spiking leading up to her Phoenix debut... but the rest of the time, she suffers as mentioned down in Western Animation. So she spends movie one as love interest and gets beaten by the Toad. Movie two, she uses her powers to hold back Scott's Eye Beams. Movie three, she ascends into full Phoenix mode... and though she does kill Xavier, she otherwise does nothing but be the MacGuffin of the story because her Story-Breaker Power means she can solve any problem she likes in an instant.
  • GI Joe The Rise Of Cobra featured Courtney "Cover Girl" Krieger, who in comic-continuity is a former high-fashion model who enlisted and became a missile-tank driver. Who is fond of doing all the upkeep and repair work on her own tank. In the movie, she's Hawk's Girl Friday. This is a Justified Trope though, as it's explained in the prequel novel that sometime prior to then, she was critically injured during a mission and is no longer physically capable of serving combat duty.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians turned Badass Bookworm and Action Girl Annabeth Chase from an incredibly intelligent girl and highly skilled fighter (she was once called the best fighter in the whole camp) into a borderline-useless young woman who only seems to accompany the group because she did so in the books. In particular, she gets her ass kicked by Percy, who has been training in swordsmanship for a few hours tops.
  • Female offers an ending that even for 1933 was pretty damn sexist. Allison Drake, owner and CEO of Drake Automobiles, is not only a badass, take-no-prisoners corporate executive, she also likes to indulge in consequence-free casual sex with the men in her headquarters, reassigning them to the Montreal office when they get too emotional and clingy. But when she finally falls in love with Jim, the handsome new-hire engineer, she falls apart, no longer able to deal with the pressures of business. The film ends with her giving Jim the company while declaring she will stay home and have babies.
  • Arya in Eragon. While she does need to be rescued in the book, there when she is poisoned by Durza, she's in a self-inflicted coma to slow the effects of the poison. In the film this isn't there, and she just appears to be a Damsel in Distress. What's more is that her book counterpart is an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl, covered in cuts and bruises from her torture, and is respectful to Eragon but nothing else - her film counterpart is more conventionally feminine and attractive, warm and caring to Eragon and hinting she's been Promoted to Love Interest.
  • Among the many problems of Saw 3D is this happening to John Kramer/Jigsaw's wife, Jill Tuck. In previous installment Saw VI, she ends the film by outsmarting the newest Jigsaw Mark Hoffman and placing him in a seemingly inescapable Reverse Bear Trap and leaving him to die. Here? She's seen running around and screaming bloody murder for help after Hoffman frees himself and turns into a one-man killing army just to gain access to her, which he ultimately does.

  • Circe: In-Universe. Circe is disgruntled to note that this happened to her in retellings of the Odyssey, with the poets talking in detail about how she was humbled by the great Odysseus rather than them reaching an agreement like shown in the book.
  • Feyre starts A Court of Thorns and Roses as a badass hunter who treks through the forest in winter to keep her family alive, sets up snares in her room every night, can handle herself against monsters like the naga and confronts Amarantha herself to save her boyfriend and his court. And this is before she gets magic powers. By the later books, though, she does little but hang around at home painting, shopping or being barefoot and pregnant, letting everyone else do important stuff and barely even trying to get involved in politics despite being High Lady of the Night Court. Although her pregnancy in A Court of Silver Flames is high-risk and would prevent her from being too physically active, it doesn't mean she can't do other useful things, but the story doesn't seem too concerned with this.
  • Patience, by the end of her role in Dinoverse. She starts as The Leader, more decisive and certain of herself than the others, proactive and abrasive, completely willing to plunge into the unknown. But her motivation starts to change and revolve around a pair of boys. A classmate starts telling her how she can be more feminine - don't swear, don't fight or be physical, laugh at everything a boy says, don't disagree with him, don't show him up - and follows it. A book which has Character Development for the male characters learning about self-confidence, self-assurance, and self-reliance ends with Patience going along with the Beautiful All Along scheme that she'd found utterly insulting at the start. In her last appearance she finds that the boy(s) she loves is Trapped in Another World and in need of rescue, and is content to sit back and let two guys she doesn't even know go after him while she babysits a third character she doesn't know.
  • The Heroes of Olympus: This is mentioned in The Mark of Athena, where Athena, who has been hit the hardest by the Split Personality issues most of the gods are having regarding their Greek and Roman selves, goes on a rather unnerving rant about the Romans because, as is mentioned by another character as well, they did this to her In-Universe by not making Minerva a goddess of war.
  • The Host (2008):
    • Wanderer is a strong, intelligent Soul who has been on more worlds than most and is held in high regard among the Souls. She once defeated a Claw Beast on the planet of the Bears, transplanted a friend into it on the spot, and rode it into the city. At the end of the book, she's implanted in the body of a petite young blonde girl and can't even carry her own sleeping mat without the help of her man.
    • Melanie gets it as well. She starts out as a strong survivor who opted to jump down an elevator shaft to save herself from being assimilated. Any time her boyfriend appears onscreen though, or comes to her mind, she makes some pretty stupid decisions, including letting Wanderer know where her colony of "wild" humans are hiding (keep in mind that Wanderer's job is to find and assimilate them as well). Her decision is justified. Melanie sends Wanderer her memories and emotions and shows the "wild" human colony's location only when she is sure that Wanderer cares deeply about her boyfriend and brother. Wanderer wouldn't be able to betray them, which Melanie knew, having constant connection with her mind. That said, Melanie is still heavily dependent on Jared, to the extent that she only bothers trying to "talk" when he is around. He even has to pull off a subverted Damsel in Distress rescue when she's not responding in Wanderer's head.
  • This is a significant portion of why Persona x Detective NAOTO is so disliked. In Persona 4, Naoto Shirogane is a strong, self-composed woman whose Character Development is based around realizing that being a woman doesn't mean having to abandon who she wants to be (and that this in turn means she can ditch the Sweet Polly Oliver). In this book... she spends most of the story being heavily objectified and forced through debasement to make her more of a Girly Girl, and most of the combat abilities she had in the game are flushed down the toilet. Few fans mourned when Persona 4: Arena and its sequel effectively erased the book from continuity.
  • Adaptations of The Phantom of the Opera tend to turn Christine from a stubborn, outspoken girl who's a bit of a jerk into a passive ingenue. The musical version in particular makes her more like the original novel's Decoy Protagonist than like her original self.
  • In The Priory of the Orange Tree, this happened in-universe to the warrior-mage Cleolind. In her homeland she is still revered as "the Mother" who sealed away the Nameless One. In Inys and the rest of Virtudom, she is referred to as "the Damsel" and is seen instead as the wife of Saint Galian Berethnet, and he defeated the Nameless One. The irreconcilable nature of the two versions of Cleolind is eventually given a concrete explanation: Kalyba, Galian's adopted mother, hypnotized him into thinking she was Cleolind so that he would marry her.
  • Throne of Glass: The spirit of Elena Galathynius states that this happened to her In-Universe.
    "There are many things history has forgotten about me. I fought on the battlefields during the demon wars against Erawan — at Gavin's side. That's how we fell in love. But your legends portray me as a damsel who waited in a tower with a magic necklace that would help the heroic prince."
  • Tortall Universe: Tempests and Slaughter:
    • It's explicitly stated that the Cult of the Gentle Mother from Beka Cooper did this to the Great Mother Goddess In-Universe. The Goddess is one of the Great Gods, and alongside her brother Mithros is the leader of the pantheon of the Eastern and Southern Lands, and it's made clear she is a warrior and is a known patron of Action Girls and Ladies of War. Master Ramasu speculates that Time Dissonance is the reason she doesn't appear to have noticed yet, after nearly two hundred years, but states that when she does, she will definitely do something about it. As readers should know, she already has — Alanna, heroine of Song of the Lioness, which Tempests and Slaughter overlaps, is the Goddess' answer.
    • Ramasu also mentions that priests in Carthak tried to do this to the empire's patron goddess, the Graveyard Hag. The Hag put a stop to it by punishing any priest who tried to preach the chickified version. As she's a minor trickster goddess, you may imagine what kind of things she did.
  • At the start of Universums öde by George Johansson, Amalthea is introduced as Len's equal. However, in the third book, she and Len have barely landed on New Earth when she is attacked by a predator bird and develops a phobia of violence that means that she has to Stay in the Hut while Len does the hunting.
  • Poppyfrost from Warrior Cats is initially portrayed in Warrior Cats: Power of Three as a fearless warrior. By the next series, she's an anxious wreck who stays in the nursery taking care of her kits and fretting over them.
  • Happens to Mina in many movie adaptations of the Dracula novel. In the novel, she was a well-educated assistant schoolmistress who took care of Lucy early on and kept her from sleepwalking, nursed Jonathan back to health when he was sick and functioned as the secretary of the group, organizing the notes on Dracula. After being attacked, she uses her new-found psychic link to help the males keep track of what the Big Bad was doing. All this changed in the 1931 movie adaptation and many later versions in which she was turned into a weeping, hysterical Damsel in Distress who is on one occasion in love with Dracula.
  • Jane Layton's The Boyhood Of Grace Jones takes place in the 1930s. Grace feels completely male at this point in the series. She wants to be a sailor and live as masculine a life as possible, and strenuously exercises to keep up with the strength of guys her age (eleven or so). Her parents have this whole worried conversation about her getting muscular. Fortunately, the first time she actually goes out in a boat, she gets embarrassingly seasick and the malady returns when she climbs her favorite tree, which previously she enjoyed its swaying in the wind. Nobody bothers to tell her that many salty old sea dogs began by spending most of their time leaning over the side and there's a reason sailors like crackers, ginger, corned beef and pickles. Now a Heartbroken Badass, she undergoes full Chickification and by the end of the novel is deeply into clothes, makeup and giggling over film stars, disappointing her music instructor, for one, who's enjoyed seeing her swagger into the room like Captain Bligh. Readers still complain about the way Layton "sold Grace out" although the end chapter suggests that she intended Grace to have more like a Girliness Upgrade.
  • Princess Alyssa Targaryen in Fire & Blood starts out as a bold, sporty Tomboy Princess, who dresses like a man, duels with wooden swords, and is described as having the heart of a warrior. Notable actions of hers include pouring a jug of wine onto her brother Vaegon after he insults their little sister, and later dressing up in mail to beat him up at the training grounds. Marriage and family doesn't even slow her down at first; she openly brags about having ribald sex with her husband/brother Baelon, claims the dragon Meleys, and takes her infant sons on dragon rides in the sky. However, the chickification occurs near the end of her life; after giving birth to her third child, she tells her husband "You were made for battles, and I was made for this." and goes on about how she wants to give him twenty more sons. This would end up being her last recorded words, as she died soon after the birth. While high maternity rates are common in the pseudo-medieval setting of Westeros, it does leave a bad taste in one's mouth to have such a spirited and willful character leave the world (and therefore the narrative) expressing her greatest desire to make babies for her beloved husband. Alyssa began as a woman who defied convention, only to end her life happily embracing the gender roles society imposed upon her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • American Gothic (1995): This happened to Gail Emory. At the start of the show, while not exactly an Action Girl, she was certainly a female Determinator who, as an Intrepid Reporter, was determined to find out the truth of her parents' deaths and bring their murderer to justice. But as soon as she learned her parents were not the paragons of virtue she thought them to be, her Backstory was dropped and she seemed to flounder about with nothing to do. By the end of the series, she's morphed almost completely into a Damsel in Distress, having to rely on Buck himself for protection, and in her last scene is left in a hospital bed, crying piteously over the baby she's lost—even though she didn't want it in the first place, seeing as it was the son of Satan (as depicted graphically via ultrasound—or maybe not). At least some of this may be due to Executive Meddling in order to pair up the major male and female leads, or a result of the show being Screwed by the Network so that Shaun Cassidy had to wrap everything up far too quickly and nonsensically. But some surely isn't.
  • Blake's 7:
  • Cheers did it to Ms. Rebecca Howe who went from cold, efficient manager in her first appearances to blundering, gold digging crybaby by the end of the series.
  • Charmed: Phoebe Halliwell was always very feminine and showed interest in traditionally "girly" things (especially romance), but she was also the most enthusiastic about exploring her magic abilities, often the one who'd involve the Charmed Ones with the plot of the week, and the first sister to learn martial arts to make up for her passive power set. Come Season Six, she went from being badass enough to engage the freaking Source of All Evil in physical combat to focussing exclusively on her search for a man who would father her foretold child(ren), with barely any involvement in the magical plotlines if not as a plus-one to her sisters.
  • Criminal Minds: One of Garcia's exes accuses Derek (who he's mistaken for her new lover) and then Garcia herself of doing this to herself, when comparing her present personality to her former persona as The Black Queen. Subverted as Garcia explains her present personality was always her real personality even back then and her Black Queen persona was just an act she put on for his benefit/to keep him with her and she allowed the FBI to catch her because she was tired of keeping up the act.
  • Days of Our Lives: Stephanie Johnson is one of the most blatant cases. When the character first returned to the show as an adult she was played by redhead Shayna Rose and appeared as a tough girl race car driver. After Rose was fired, the character was recast with brunette former beauty queen Shelley Hennig as a rather uninteresting fashion plate character with little or no real character.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Some fans think this happened to Sarah Jane in Doctor Who for Cast Speciation reasons. While the companion of the Third Doctor, she was intended as a tough feminist career girl who saw herself as the Doctor's equal (or even superior) no matter how condescending he was to her, and her relationship with him was quite prickly, serving as The Lancer. The Third Doctor had been nearing the end of his tenure around the time of her introduction, and the original plan was to regenerate him into a physically feeble but mentally formidable old man character; so a male companion, Harry, was introduced to serve as a Nerd Action Hero character and fight for the Doctor when required. However, the decision was instead made to cast a young, strong man as the Fourth Doctor, who was more than capable of doing the action scenes intended for Harry, and so to rebalance the dynamic Harry took over the role of The Lancer and Sarah Jane was relegated to Damsel in Distress. This also coincided with her relationship with the Doctor taking on a romantic tinge — her relationship with the Third Doctor had felt paternal due to the big physical age gap and the power dynamic, but her relationship with the Fourth Doctor, who looked younger and saw himself as equal to her, oozed Unresolved Sexual Tension to Implied Love Interest levels. Once Harry left and Sarah Jane was the sole companion, she returned closer to her original characterisation again, finding a kind of middle ground of badass and added romantic dimension (not to mention respectful treatment from her Doctor) that many fans feel is the most entertaining version of her character.
    • Another victim of this for reasons of Cast Speciation was the First Doctor companion Barbara. While she spends most of her time being confused and screaming in her first episode, this is Justified by the circumstances of her companionship, and she soon gets some Character Development and becomes The Hero of several stories (notably Part 2 and 3 of "The Keys of Marinus" and "The Aztecs"). In stories where she has a more backseat role, it tends to be a more dynamic one (such as journeying with a Thal war band in "The Daleks", and going on an expedition to defeat the Daleks in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth"). In both "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" and "The Rescue" she is shown to be willing to kill in order to protect younger female characters with her. However, after Susan, the Damsel in Distress in most of her stories, leaves, she's replaced with Suspiciously Similar Substitute surrogate-granddaughter Vicki, a more energetic and optimistic character who tended to be paired off with the Doctor so they could go on Vagabond Buddies-type adventures as a comical B Story. Since Vicki was ineligible to be the Damsel, the role got handed over to Barbara, who then started getting captured, hypnotised, sold into slavery, and threatened with rape a lot more often. A plot point in "The Crusade" even centres around her supposed unwillingness to kill, even to protect a young female character with her.
    • When Rose was the Ninth Doctor's companion, there was definitely an element of romance in their dynamic, but she still contributed to a number of storylines. After his regeneration into the Tenth Doctor, though, the romance angle was dialed all the way Up to Eleven (no pun intended) and she rarely accomplished anything important during their adventures.
  • Hawaii Five-0: Kono seems to be going this route. In season 1, she kicked ass in almost every episode. Now, she spends much of her time back in Mission Control or off doing grunt work while the new action girl gets screen time. Actress Grace Park had a child during production of S3, so that may have affected her role.
  • Kamen Rider Double: Saeko went from stoic villainess to Clingy Jealous Girl as soon as her love interest Isaka appeared on the scene, with bonus Unnecessary Makeover to boot. Some would also argue that Akiko underwent this after her Last Minute Hook Up with Terui.
  • Merlin (2008)'s Guinevere in the BBC version. She kicks some serious ass for the first season, teaching Merlin how to put Arthur's armour on properly, going into battle to defend Ealdor, facing her own execution bravely; but the moment Arthur notices in season two that he might just fancy her, she gets kidnapped and can do nothing but trip over her own feet and foul up two attempts to rescue her. She does get her normal badassery back in Series 3.
  • The New Avengers has Purdy capable of taking on the best and winning. Unless that week's episode calls for her to cry and phone Steed for rescue. The episode where important figures, including apparently Steed and Gambit, are being replaced by imposters, is a case in point.
  • Power Rangers: Both of Tommy's girlfriends. Kimberly single-handedly defeated monsters such as the Terror Toad and the Snizard, and Kat(herine) was instrumental in nearly bringing down the Rangers themselves while under Rita's spell. When they started dating Tommy, it seemed that not one episode could go by without one of them screaming "TOMMY!" at the top of their lungs. (On the other hand, given how often Tommy wound up in need of rescue...).
  • Robin Hood: Happened to both Marian and Djaq to some extent. Marian is shown to be a capable fighter throughout most of the show, but towards the end of season two she is hit in the face with the Distress Ball and ends up as the Damsel in Distress on numerous occasions. In her final appearance, just before Gisborne stabs her to death the writers ensure that our intrepid heroine is denied the opportunity to wield a sword in her defense of the king, and she's reduced to simply flailing her arms around. Djaq kicks ass right to the end, but many were put off by her abrupt declarations of love for Will Scarlett, and the fact that she spent the rest of the finale behaving like a gooey-eyed teenager before opting to stay in the Holy Land to raise pigeons with him. Conversely, the two women who were brought in to replace Marian and Djaq were Isabella and Kate: the former starts off as a Damsel in Distress before Taking a Level In Badass, but the latter is a bona fide Faux Action Girl right from the start.
  • Sanctuary has an unusual male version of this, not surprising, since the show likes to genderflip tropes. Will starts out as a Badass Bookworm and ends up the Designated Victim. In later seasons, the only time Will shows some badassery is in the Bad Future vision when a Zombie Apocalypse has forced him to Take a Level in Badass.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation. Marina Sirtis noted that Deanna Troi's intelligence and general effectiveness seemed to vary in inverse proportion to the amount of cleavage she was made to display. In later seasons, when they put the character in a Starfleet uniform like everyone else, covering her up to the neck, Troi suddenly started getting better storylines.
    Marina Sirtis: My cleavage had gone. My gray matter came flooding back. I was on away teams! I was the leader of one away team! I had a medical tricorder! And unlike Beverly, I seemed to know what was wrong with people.
  • Happens to Rei at the end of Tomica Hero Rescue Fire, when her brash and Lad-ette personality is greatly toned down and she falls for a much older man, with the implication that she will eventually quit to marry him and take care of his son.
  • The Walking Dead has Andrea. She initially was a Girl Next Door trying desperately to be an Action Girl in season 1. In season 2, she sort of made it by the end, yet was still making bad decisions. However, in season 3, she ends up basically becoming the Governor's personal slut. She slowly lets him take away her gun and her freedom. Lets him. She has plenty of outs, including leaving with Michonne, the girl who SAVED HER FREAKING LIFE on multiple occasions. What's worse, she defends the Governor despite all of the horrible crap he does.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • The Romans identified Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war, with Minerva, a considerably more domestic goddess of crafts. She was already the goddess of weaving in Greek myth, but that was a considerably minor part of her. note 
    • In contrast, Aphrodite was based on the Phoenician Goddess Astarte, Goddess of Love, Fertility, Beauty, and oh yeah, War. The Spartans, being The Spartans, fully approved. The rest of Greece did not and redefined her there as purely being the goddess of love and beauty (In The Iliad, Zeus explicitly tells her she doesn't belong on the battlefield, with the fact that it needed to be stated at all implying it may have been a debate at the time)note . She was later un-chickified by the same Romans, who rechristened her Venus, and added victory (in battle/war) tot her portfolio.
  • Mesopotamian Mythology: Observed by looking at the oldest Sumerian myths to its later derivatives. One example is Nammu, who went from the sole creator goddess in Sumerian myths to her more well-known Babylonian version Tiamat, a co-creator who after the death of her husband became a tyrant who is probably the Ur-Example of God Save Us from the Queen!. Sumerian Ereshkigal was the sole ruler of the underworld, but in later Assyro-Babylonian myths she was subdued by Nergal and forced to share her power with him. Several other goddesses are known to us mainly as Shallow Love Interests are also believed to have held more prominent roles in prehistory.
  • The earliest Welsh Arthurian Legend portrays Guinevere as a badass warrior queen and/or spellcaster. In later retellings, her main achievement is to bonk Lancelot behind her husband's back, and modern retellings can use either as the author prefers.
  • Maid Marian from the Robin Hood legends is an odd case. She was an Action Girl in some of her original appearances (fighting Robin to a standstill while disguised as a boy in one ballad). Victorian writers turned her into a Damsel in Distress. Modern writers tend to make her the Action Girl again, with The New Adventures of Robin Hood turning her into a Xena clone. The Outlaws of Sherwood, the novel, has Marian and Robin sharing the public role of Robin Hood, with Marian being the better archer of the pair.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In the 1930s and 1940s, not only did the top women's wrestlers draw just as much and sometimes more than their male counterparts in the USA, but the very best were considered equals. Over the course of five years, the top woman draw in the country, Mildred Burke, wrestled 200 men and only lost to one of them. After Mildred Burke and promoter Billy Wolfe got divorced though, Wolfe got Burke banned from the National Wrestling Alliance in 1952, which resulted in interest for women's wrestling declining and subsequently, fewer instances of women defeating men or main eventing shows.
    • Once regarded as a high peak for a woman wrestler to climb, perhaps the highest, helping usher in WrestleMania, the reputation of the WWE women's division started to deteriorate around 1995, though the causes behind it went back further. From women's champions not allowed to use any moves men were doing, to women's champions who don't bump, to Divas champions who can't run the ropes it became disturbingly common to use the very idea of WWE divas in a serious context as a punchline. Proven talents being repeatedly passed over for unproven counterparts based on presumed sex appeal, efforts to hide aesthetic injuries that would have allowed matches to be taken more seriuously and reduced match time itself also being contributing factors.
    • Introducing first, from some kind of place, weighing in at so many pounds, wrestler's name! That used to be the standard entrance for any wrestler, but at some point the WWF decided to stop giving the weight of women wrestlers. (Sensational Sherri usually weighed in at 144 lbs, for example, but Alundra Blayze's was conspicuously ignored) While plenty of other companies still recognize why listing a wrestler's weight might be important, such as Ice Ribbon eliminating the 60 KG limit on the ICEx∞ so Manami Toyota could challenge for the belt, more than a few seem to have taken the WWF's example.
    • Burial by creative direction. Mickie James, Beth Phoenix, Melina, Natalya, and Michelle McCool were all excellent workers - probably better in the ring than Trish & Lita, but didn't have character depth beyond "evil cheerleaders" or time for a feud. They also didn't get to mix it up in angles involving main-eventers like Trish & Lita did. It's almost as though WWE doesn't believe more than 4 wrestlers can be stars at a time.
    • If you've ever sat through Total Divas at all you've seen the women taking instruction from Mark Carrano, oozing visible slime as WWE's "talent relations" exec. All Carrano cares about is the Divas' image and not if they can actually entertain or not. They all speak as if they have to maintain approval under Daddy Carrano's watchful eye, like a pimp convening with his hos.
    • Women such as Sara Del Rey, known for her 60 minute time limit draw against PGWA champion Nikki Roxx, Traci Brooks, whose feud with Trinity brought women's wrestling to new venues and April Hunter, whose matches had fans around the world asking for WWE to sign her, were all passed up for WWE's women division. Body building legend Lenda Murray failed to get a developmental deal. There was only one title to wrestle for, but presumptions that the roster was simply full were disproved when it was cleaned out for the sake of untrained talent who were then pushed as wrestlers. Tori, Jacqueline, Ivory, it happened slowly at first but then in a move that somehow went unnoticed by the NAACP, Nidia, Gail Kim and Jazz were simultaneously released with failed contestants from the 2004 WWE Diva Search put in their place. While WWE somehow avoided a discrimination lawsuit for replacing all its remaining nonwhite women at once with inferior workers, it would take twelve years before their division's reputation began to recover.
    • Both Monster Ripper and Jillian Hall went into WWF/E with fearsome reputations that had to be rebuilt upon leaving. The former was given a goofy trailer park gimmick, which still managed to work until she was told not to use her slams and throws. The latter became more girly, then got saddled with many ridiculous gimmicks, which still managed to work until she became stuck doing the job for years on end.
    • Chyna, although hers was more enforced from above. She came in as a bodyguard (not valet, Bodyguard) to Triple H. She then went on to feuding with the male wrestlers, had absolutely no interest in the Women's Championship, and was the first woman to hold a man's wrestling title (not counting the Hardcore Title, but that's another story.) Toward the end, after she ended up the hypotenuse in the Chyna / Triple H / Stephanie McMahon triangle, she was pushed into the Women's Division before being quietly pushed out the door in May 2001.
    • While WWE declined to sign Traci Brooks until she retired, they did sign her rival Trinity to its ECW revival brand. Rather than her trademark death defying stunts or the hardcore violence old ECW was known for, all Trinity did was provide fanservice. Not her usual flexing of "the best biceps in the business", not even ECW style "cat fights", but parading around virtually naked aside from "caution" tape reminiscent of Orlando Jordan.
    • Natalya debuted as a powerful heel and was put into contention for the new Divas' Championship but was quickly dropped from that and eventually became a manager for the Hart Dynasty where the most she usually did was slap her guys' opponents a little. This got reversed when they brought in The Usos to feud with them who had a woman as their valet. When they split, Natalya became a prominent part of the women's division and won the title. But when that was done Natalya became little more than a joke, paired with The Great Khali and Hornswoggle and often losing to other girls like The Bella Twins.
    • Once ranked among the top wrestlers in the USA, USWA boasting that she was the very top woman in the country, Jacqueline debuted in the WWF as Marc Mero's valet Although she won the reinstated Women's Championship, Jacqueline was booked rather weakly and lumped together with the non-wrestler divas such as Terri Runnels and Sable. Fast forward a year and she gets to show off the full extent of her wrestling ability, even competing in intergender matches. She defeats Chavo Guerrero Jr. for the WWE Cruiserweight Title in 2004 before losing it back and being pushed out the door to make room for those who did not win the diva search.
    • WWE's revival of Florida Championship Wrestling seemed to be pushing Angela Fong as the next coming of Trish Stratus. When she debuted on the main television shows it was as backstage interviewer "Savannah". The only physical activity Savannah took part in was arm wrestling Beth Phoenix in WWE magazine before being let go.
    • Upon leaving WWE for the second time, Gail Kim claimed, among other things, that WWE wants the division to be more "girly" and have barred the Divas from things like punching and kicking. That obviously cuts out a lot but still leaves pretty of moves to do right? No, even go to stuff like the DDT apparently got divas reprimanded to the point they had to sneak spots past the agents. Possibly as a result, these "rules" would change week to week. Whatever WWE's case may be, the chickification of this once great women's division is obvious.
    • Many of the contestants from the Diva search, even the runner ups, had real life credentials that could have logically been transcribed into matches. Maryse was a black belt in karate but she rarely showed it, mostly slapping, running away and hitting the occasional back breaker. Eve Torres, a blue belt in Brazilian jujitsu, was taken somewhat seriously at first but if you heard anything about her background, it was probably her cheer leading and then she was reduced to a panicky mess whenever Kane appeared. So he's akin to a slasher villain she logically shouldn't have a chance against? Fine, but she does not have to stand there "Frozen in fear" as Michael Cole describes instead of making an effort to run away during his slow walk to the ring.
    • Frozen in fear also applies to Aksana, who would fight for what she wanted on WWE's version of FCW and duck out of the arena to avoid what she didn't want. On the main roster, she passively hung around general manager Theodore Long for no reason and became a nervous wreck just thinking about Kane.
    • Kara Slice was a persistent rival of independent wrestling star Alexis Laree. Since Laree got hit with this as Mickie James it was expected that Slice would follow, but she got an especially harsh case as Deuce and Domino's valet "Cherry". At first Cherry couldn't even defend herself or even run away well on her rollerskates. Cherry "progressed" to the underdog in a feud with Maryse, to a protege of Michelle McCool and to bullying victim of Natalya. Cherry did get to show some of her wrestling ability in the latter case but was never allowed to win.
    • Heidi Lovelace's selling and angles were turning heads in TNA's then developmental partner Ohio Valley Wrestling. Promotions across four countries on two continents were bidding to book Kimber Lee. Lee had an undefeated streak in Beyond revolving around outsmarting even the male wrestlers, Lovelace was A-1 Alpha Male champion. They were competed with each other to be the top wrestler of CHIKARA. In WWE both were not only restricted to women's divisions, but were jobbers in those divisions.
  • Nickla Roberts, who was best known as Baby Doll, a valet in WCW's predecessor JCP, started out as a female wrestler in WCCW with a metalhead gimmick who beat both female and male wrestlers in the ring. Once JCP hired her as a valet, though, that was the end of her actually wrestling.
  • In the late 1980s up to about 2000, many of the top women wrestlers from the continental United States Of America, such as Reggie Bennett, Bionic J, and Debbie Malenko were not known to fans in the continental USA because so many wrestled almost exclusively outside of it, often in Japan, Mexico or a territory such as Puerto Rico. It didn't help that the AWA after the nineties and WCW for almost their entire existence had nearly the entirety of their women's title defenses in Japan. Before foreigners, particularly Japanese, would often have to migrate overseas because Zenjo didn't want anyone over 25.
  • This trope was one of the motivations behind the founding of the PGWA in 1992. Since most "major" promotions in the USA were giving women five minute matches, Tom Randolph and Penny Banner decide to give them a place where most of the matches were between fifteen and thirty minutes, in order to let women show a wider range of what they could do and use the footage to increase their standings. This in particular helped Lita, who mostly worked as a valet in USA until then, get to wrestle on TV. However, it also resulted in some chickification when women they showcased got signed by a major promotion but were not pushed as strongly, such as the Heidi Lovelace mention above.
  • Daizee Haze accused Chikara of trying to downplay her worth and skills, which lead Sara Del Rey to suggest they take The BDK's side in its war on the promotion, which they did. Since its starting year the promotion had been playing around with what the roll for women would be in it exactly before just throwing its hands up and deciding as far wrestling went there was no difference between men and women.
  • Whatever you want to say about TNA's indy years (crass, dumb, offensive) they had several good points, such as recognizing the tough women on their roster and making use of their talents. Alexis Laree and Trinity in particular were likely to be competitive no matter who they were in the ring with and Traci Brooks was not too far behind them. Then Jim Cornette (Spike TV was the real culprit, but that was off screen) made it illegal for men to fight women and the girls ended up having a much more passive role as a result. At least until they got their own division, but see below.
  • The Knockout Division in TNA was chickified when Hulk Hogan appeared. Before there were all sorts of women with different styles, after Hogan came and the firing of Awesome Kong and other women being released the division suffered. Not to the extent of "The Divas", a decent match could usually be expected at least every other show but the division was hardly taken as seriously as before, by the commentary or "the writers" who couldn't seem to find time for them or thought their talents were better spent acting out soap plots or stripping; this on top of there being fewer wrestlers overall. The return of Gail Kim did lead to the knockouts eventually getting back to the main event though, especially after Havok debuted.

  • In the second half of the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama The Anachronauts, Sara is Promoted to Love Interest for Steven and acts terrified of everything, always 'clinging' to Steven, crying, paranoid and willing to do cowardly actions to survive, which at first appears to be this trope. However, it turns out that this is intentional and Steven explains to her that Sara does not show weakness, does not admit defeat and does not love him, clueing us into the fact that she is not the real Sara.

    Video Games 

  • In The Third Birthday Aya Brea is noticeably less confident and snarky taking a demure, submissive role toward her superiors, a far cry from her previous depictions in the first two games. Except this isn’t actually Aya. In actuality, it’s her clone sister Eve who lost her memory after jumping her soul into Aya’s body in an attempt to save her from SWAT officers shooting her down at her wedding. As it turns out, the real Aya Brea is as brave and sure of herself as she already was in the first two games, cooly shooting and killing Hyde Bohr as he’s about to forcibly merge himself with Eve, snarkily quipping at him.
  • Like every RPG trope and its dog, the Tales Series plays with this one.
    • Tales of Symphonia subverts this. The Action Girl Sheena is clearly crushing on Lloyd. When she eventually helps save their friend Colette, she unfortunately messes up and ends up hanging on for dear life but encourages Lloyd to go on and save the poor girl regardless. When he's out of earshot, she contemplates that perhaps some Chickification might do her some good as it would more or less guarantee that someone would rescue her when she's in danger... only to immediately dismiss the thought, as it "... wouldn't be (her) style."
    • Chloe Valens from Tales of Legendia has to be rescued by Senel from drowning (since she can't swim), and struggles with her growing feelings for him throughout the game. At the same time, she defeats Senel in single combat, is a Knight in Shining Armor who subverts Honor Before Reason when it matters most, and doesn't take revenge when she had every reason to do so. Though she may so "female" emotions, Chloe is an example of this trope done well, as she is no less of a badass at the end of the game than she was at the beginning.
  • Altered Beast (1988) is a meta-example; in Greek Mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom and war. Here, she is Chickified into a standard Damsel in Distress.
  • Knights of the Old Republic. Inverted: Bastila spends most of Taris in an enemy prison, but once you rescue her she becomes an actual Action Girl. She also takes umbrage at the idea that you rescued her; when the attempt goes sour and a fight erupts she uses the distraction as an opportunity to escape her restraints on her own and save you.
  • Odin Sphere: Likely as a reference to the above example and general Valkyrie lore, the Valkyries fear this trope. Disobedient Valkyries are punished by being placed into slumber and given away to a man who will be their husband upon awakening, whereas Valkyries who are no longer able to fight are forcefully stripped of their status and married to men, where they must be obedient wives for the rest of their lives. An early Valkyrie NPC in Gwendolyn's story is facing this fate and terrified, whereas Gwendolyn herself suffers the slumbering sort as a punishment early in her story. The rest of her story has her struggling against her growing feelings for Oswald and her new role as a non-warrior. The game later reveals that Odin only used magic to make Gwendolyn sleep and not to manipulate her emotions. No one actually tells Gwendolyn this, probably because they looked at how hostile she was to Oswald and figured she must already know she wasn't enthralled. She never seems to realize that her feelings for Oswald were always genuinely her own. Ultimately, she decides it doesn't matter if they're fake or not, because Oswald is the first person in her life to treat her like a human being as opposed to her selfish, cold-hearted father. As for fighting, she seems to have little trouble with that and rescues her husband herself from a dragon, a fire elemental king, and the queen of the dead. Clearly this trope just can't stick to her.
  • World of Warcraft has done this to Jaina Proudmoore. In Warcraft III and its expansion, she was one of few people who listened to the Prophet's Cassandra Truth and led people across the sea to escape the Burning Legion. She even helped kill her own father when she decided there was no other way to secure a peace between the Alliance and the Horde. In World of Warcraft, her role until Patch 3.3 was limited to cheering up orphans, and in Patch 3.3 she decided to see if her ex-boyfriend the Evil Overlord was redeemable. Good luck with that.
  • While Sylvanas has generally been more at risk of Jumping Off the Slippery Slope, there was an especially ridiculous example in the Sunwell Trilogy manga, when she became a Damsel in Distress in the Ghostlands. The Ghostlands are the southern half of what's left of Eversong Forest, which Sylvanas would have been intimately familiar with as bloody Ranger-General of Quel'thalas.
  • In Summon Night: Swordcraft Story, a large part of Sanary's character is centered around her desire to avoid this fate due to one of her role models falling deathly ill and requiring her lover to look after her. She does wind up falling into this, needing to be rescued twice 3 times if you count "possessed by a berserk spirit" and is forced into a maid outfit during the first. Her anger over this is what allows her to be possessed in the first place. An odd contrast is found in PrattyXRazzy's path, where Pratty notes to Razzy that a girl doesn't need to look or act feminine to be beautiful.
  • Ariel in the first Kingdom Hearts was an Action Girl able to cast powerful spells and take down The Heartless with a whip of her tail. Come the sequel, however, and she has suddenly lost all of the ability, leaving her almost (unfortunately they excluded her feisty attitude) exactly as she was in her original film, leaving many players to wonder what the point of revisiting Atlantica was to begin with.
  • Played straight and subverted in The King of Fighters:
    • Played straight: Chizuru gets hit with this after 2003, since she gets Brainwashed and Crazy, had her Yata mirror stolen and the deal badly shakes her self-esteem. (True, her life has had many Break the Cutie episodes, but until then she had managed to mostly deal). The ending of XIII implies that she got her Mirror back and that said episode was Retconned when Ash (the one who stole the Mirror from her) got himself Ret-Gone'd.
    • Subverted: Leona seemed to have been hit by this in XI, after being broken in 2003 (when her Orochi blood took over her again and she almost beat Ralf and Clark to death), prompting her adoptive father and commander Heidern to replace her with her friend and fellow Action Girl Whip. However, this turned out to be a 10-Minute Retirement: in XIII Leona was fully back, having decided to live with her condition and not break down again.
  • Terra in Dissidia Final Fantasy. The prequel addresses this by rewriting her dialog in the text scenes to her less of a Shrinking Violet who needs to be protected, and more of a Reluctant Warrior who's willing and able to fight but doesn't want to if she can help it, which is closer to original characterization. Although the timidity was in line with her fear of her own powers at the start of Final Fantasy VI, it didn't help that her protector was the Kid Hero of the group, which both made her look even more pitiful and sat oddly with her Character Development into a Mama Bear in her original game.
  • Completely subverted with Say'ri in Fire Emblem: Awakening. Excellus believes that revealing that her older brother Yen'fay didn't betray her but instead sacrificed himself for her sake will completely break her to the point of stopping fighting altogether... but, ultimately, it just pisses her off enough to come after him and, if you let her, chop his filthy head off. This subversion doesn't count as Xenafication, though; as she's badass to begin with.
  • In Spyro: Year of the Dragon Bianca was a competent (if somewhat meek and conflicted) dragon to the Big Bad until she had a Heel–Face Turn near the end. She was also shown to be a fairly good (if inexperienced) sorceress and very helpful to the heroes but after Insomniac left she was Demoted to Extra in Spyro: Enter the Dragonfly. Her voice is noticeably higher and fluffier, compared to her lower sarcasm-laden voice, despite having the same actress. She's treated more as a Token Girl whose only use is her Deus ex Machina-inducing spells. In the portable games she's treated even worse, degraded from a sorceress to a performing magician.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, Tetra starts off as a boisterous pirate captain and is one of the few early characters who doesn't sing Link's praises at every opportunity. She's not afraid to get her hands dirty either. Then at the midpoint of the game, the moment she learns she's Zelda, all her fire completely vanishes, and she can only act meek and dumbfounded as she's Put on a Bus and treated as a living MacGuffin. Subverted in the final battle, where she finally gets her act together and helps Link fight, but for a large chunk of the game Chickification is in full effect. Things don't get much better for her in the direct sequel, Phantom Hourglass; she spends the first half of the game held captive aboard the cursed Ghost Ship, and by the time Link is able to rescue her, she's been turned into a stone statue. She doesn't get better until Link takes down the Big Bad's first form, and even then she doesn't participate in the second half of the fight.
  • This is one of the major complaints levied at Metroid: Other M. Previous entries in the franchise had portrayed Samus as an unflappable one-woman army. All that goes out the window once she meets up with her former commander and father-figure, Adam Malkovich, on the Bottle Ship. All of a sudden, she's meek, obedient, and prone to emotional breakdowns and panic attacks. While she does get to kick some ass during gameplay, with the exceptions of killing the various aliens on board including the Metroid Queen and retrieving Adam’s helmet before the ship explodes at the end of the game, none of it really matters in the grand scheme of things; the plot hands all the significant actions to other characters. Taking down the traitor in the squad? Nope, that was MB, the Big Bad, and you don't even get to find out which team member it was. How about getting rid of Ridley? Sorry, he just flees after the boss fight and gets killed offscreen by what's strongly implied to be the Queen Metroid. Destroying Sector Zero and the theoretically-unfreezable Metroids it contains? Too bad, Adam steals the job for himself. Well, Samus at least gets to kill the Big Bad in the final boss fight, right? Nope.
  • Angela gets hit hard with this in Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando. After spending the first half of the game as the sinister Mysterious Thief, once defeated by Ratchet and her gender gets revealed, she drops down to Faux Action Girl level, easily getting caught by the bad guys and necessitating that Ratchet rescue her.
  • Anna in Metro Exodus used to be a Cold Sniper and a tomboy in the past game, but here she is a Friendly Sniper who wants to make a family with Artyom. It is justified in that she warmed up to Artyom and they got married, but their interactions are to the point of being Sickeningly Sweethearts.
  • Defied by Agnes in Bravely Second. The heroine of the original game, she gets kidnapped by new Big Bad Kaiser Oblivion so he may use her for his plans, and the male hero Yew leads the effort to rescue her. On paper, it may seem as though Agnes was derailed from her original Action Girl characterization for the sake of a Rescue Romance. However, rather than scream for help and cry like the usual Damsel in Distress, Agnes serves as Mission Control through her pendant, keeps a cool and collected attitude all throughout her kidnapping, and even plays therapist to her captors, listening to their psychological problems and comforting them. In addition, Yew is romantically uninterested in her, preferring to pine for his partner Magnolia; instead, it is Tiz, the original game's Deuteragonist and a returning party member, who has a Rescue Romance with her.
  • Cammy from Street Fighter is the game's most notable example. In story she debuted as a cold blooded killer but this was due to being brainwashed by M. Bison and being infused with Psycho Power. In the second game which would be her second canonical appearance she was more of a tough tomboy who wore leotards (that reveal her buns quite well when she turns her back to the player), still didn't mind harming people, and had questions about her past. In her next canon appearance IV she is similar but showed a more caring side for her friends and "sisters". In V she is much more mentally emotional, loses critical battles, and even gains dresses and other girly outfits that rival the girliness of the game's real girly girls such as Chun-Li, Ibuki, and Karin despite Cammy supposedly being a tomboy and the Tomboy to Chun-Li's girly girl specifically.
  • Asuka Kazama from Tekken. Initially she was a legit action girl who was shown to have powers similar to Jun that can have her handle and suppress the devil gene. Later she was shown getting her Osaka butt handed to her, being strangled to death and later needing to be saved by Jin after being thrown out of a sky scraper from Kazuya after she offered no resistance and was openly scared of him. When it comes to outfits despite having to be the tough tomboy when Lili debuted who is the franchise's top girly girl Asuka's alternate outfits have become progressively girlier.
  • The 1989 Shoot 'Em Up Phelios developed by Namco does this with the goddess Artemis. In Greek mythology, Artemis was the goddess of the hunt, wilderness, and chastity who took pride in never being with a man. In the game, she's the helpless Damsel in Distress who needs to be rescued from the evil Titan Typhon. However, this actually makes a lot of sense when one considers the context the game was made in. Japan during the late 80s was in the middle of a period of rapid economic growth, and with the Popcultural Osmosis that came with being so economically involved with the West, it was seen as very "cool" to replicate Western pop culture. As a result, the aesthetics of Greek mythology were heavily present in a lot of contemporary Japanese media. The 1986 movie Arion takes a lot of names and places from Greek myths, but uses them to tell a story that didn't at all reflect any actual myths. Phelios is an just example of people putting together two things that were popular at the time—Greek mythology and 80s gaming plots about saving the damsel in distress.

    Web Animation 
  • The Garnet and Gure short, Super Effective, parodies the chickification of badass video game heroines by featuring Garnet showing up for a zombie battle dressed grudgingly and inexplicably in a tutu.

    Web Comics 
  • Megagi la Skunk from Sonichu was originally a spike-wearing mohawked skunk who really stood out from the other female characters, all of whom were shallow female stereotypes with no personality (this is likely due to the author not creating her, but stealing her from a friend). She was rapidly chickified over her next couple of appearances until she became a literal cheerleader and indistinguishable from the other females in the cast.

    Web Videos 
  • In The Hero of Time, Sheik spends most of the movie helping Link fight monsters and free the sages. The pair go into the final battle only for one of Ganondorf's minions to grab her from behind and hold a knife to her throat to get leverage over Link. Link ends up stabbed because of this, and Sheik can only cry over his bleeding body after he saves her.

    Western Animation 
  • Æon Flux had this happen once, recoiling in terror from a man threatening to beat her with his wooden leg.
    • Played with in the episode "A Last Time for Everything". Aeon lets Trevor create a copy of her for his own amusement and then switches places with her so she can seduce Trevor and then let the clone kill her, thereby tormenting Trevor (rationalizing that she and the clone are identical, so she doesn't mind letting the clone take her place, but only the death of the original will really hurt him). But, to her own surprise, the original genuinely falls in love with Trevor. When the clone comes to rendezvous with her, the clone has decided against killing her so that they can both run off together; but she then sees that not only has original Aeon fallen for Trevor, but doing so has Chickified all her badassness away. They both make a run for the border, but original Aeon's heart isn't in it, so she can't dodge the automatic guns any more, and dies. Ironically, the plan works out just as they originally intended, breaking Trevor's heart mercilessly, but neither Aeon nor the clone wanted it that way by then.
    • Taken together with the wooden leg example above (who was her boyfriend at the time) it's possible that being more vulnerable and "feminine" around men she cares about is just another aspect of her character, and one that she's not particularly proud of at that.
  • Parodied with Steve Trevor, love interest of Wonder Woman in his appearance on Batman: The Brave and the Bold: In all other incarnations (comics, animation, live action TV) he is a fairly proactive guy, in The Teaser of “Scorn of Star Sapphire” he is a secret agent so confident that Wonder Woman will come to his rescue that he doesn’t move a muscle to get out of a Death Trap, letting her do all the work, and gushes in her presence. This immortal line:
    Steve Trevor: Have to say, being a secret agent is a cinch when you have a super-powered girlfriend.
  • Central Park, Season 1 "Garbage Ballet", an In-Universe example where Molly's friend Hazel reads her comic, she realizes that Molly's self-insert, Fista-Puffs, used to be a badass that was saving the city, but ever since Kite Boy showed up, the comic derailed into nothing but her swooning over Kite Boy and acting like a sad sack when Kite Boy doesn't forgive her for ruining his face.
  • DuckTales (1987): The reason Mrs. Beakley was hired as the triplets' nanny was because she was the only one "tough enough" to handle the little terrors, and for the first few episodes, she lives up to the job: breaking characters out of prison, escaping giant penguin-eating walruses, chariot-racing Vikings... and by DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, she's nothing more than a weeping fainting woman.
  • Garfield and Friends: Horrendously, horrendously done to Lanolin Sheep. In her original comic U.S. Acres, she's an aggressive badass who frequently mops the floor with her enemy, Roy Rooster. In Garfield and Friends, however, she's reduced to a laundry-doing grouch who, in the episode "Much Ado About Lanolin", randomly smiles and promises to be nicer to the other characters after they tell her about their fantasy performance of The Taming of the Shrew without her telling her side of the situation. It gets even worse in Orosn Pig's fantasies, as Lanolin's often placed in a passive Chick role-that's a love interest of Orson's role, to boot! The Taming of the Shrew performance in "Much Ado About Lanolin" even has Lanolin's role KISS Orson when she magically turns nice! And the only Lanolin-Roy confrontation to be make it into the animated adaptation has her lose to Roy. What a waste of a character.
  • Gargoyles: One of the reasons the "Goliath Chronicles" season is so lambasted by the fandom (in addition to its Word of God Canon Discontinuity) is that several of its female characters underwent the Badass Decay that had been scrupulously avoided in the first two seasons. A particularly dire example noted by series creator Greg Weisman on his blog, concerns Dark Action Girl Fox in the episode "Ransom", who becomes quite the weepy Neutral Female after her baby son is kidnapped, as opposed to a previous kidnap attempt (by Oberon, godlike king of The Fair Folk) where she calmly waited in front of his crib with a laser gun.
  • Jessica Bannon in Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures is a good example. In the first season she is tough but in the second season though she reverts more and more to the Damsel in Distress.
  • The Legend of Korra: In the first season, Asami Sato was a Badass Normal in a world where much of the population has elemental powers that proved to be a Badass Driver by strategizing on the fly in commanding her friends how/when to use their powers during a chase and on foot/solo, tranquilly take out a half-dozen Mooks as stress relief from her cheating boyfriend's dithering. However, Book 2 reduces her to this trope as Mako co-opts her sub-plot of saving Future Industries, she does zero hand-to-hand fighting and rebounds back to Mako due to desperation before being unceremoniously dumped again. Fortunately, she recovers in the following seasons to both do more and have more to do.
  • Played for Laughs in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic with Smolder, the tough and tomboyish dragoness student at Twilight's School of Friendship, whose worst fear is being chickified in this way. A Face Your Fears episode has Ocellus become Queen Chrysalis, Yona face deadly spiders, and Smolder... put in a dress and made to drink tea with a pair of cooing upper-class ponies.
  • Pepper Ann parodied this trope in an episode where a cartoon starring fictitious Comic Book heroine Tundra Woman turns her into a shopping-obsessed bimbo and her archenemy into her Satellite Love Interest boyfriend. Unfortunately, Pepper Ann's sister's protest campaign causes them to veer too far in the other direction.
  • The Powerpuff Girls also parodied this. While the girls remember stuff in a clip show, they remember that they once aged up to becoming teenagers. In this flashback they stop fighting and instead became shallow, boy-obsessed morons. This was a Take That! from Craig McCracken to Executive Meddling which attempted to chickify the girls for feminine merchandise. It was also a Take That! towards members of the fandom who would send him fanart (and fanfics) of the girls dating the Rowdyruff Boys (nevermind the fact that they're mortal enemies) forgetting that the show is an action cartoon first and has little (if any) romance in it whatsoever. Fans loved that scene and even made fanart of it.
  • Rocket Power.
    • Inverted with Clio. In her first appearance, Clio is a straight-up Girly Girl who likes ice dancing and thinks it's improper for girls to play hockey (though later she tries hockey after betting with Reggie). Later episodes show her skateboarding, rollerskating, and playing roller hockey. Justified in that Clio trying ice hockey would have made her more open to playing more male-dominated sports.
    • Reggie invokes this in "Reggie/Regina" where she falls in love with a new student from New Zealand named Trent. She pretends to be bad at surfing to get his attention. Luckily, she snaps out of it by the end of the episode.
    • Sam uses it in his game "Super Squid" where Reggie's counterpart, Reginalda, can't do extreme sports and doesn't know how to ride the ski lift and needs Sam to teach her, whereas in reality, Reggie was the one who taught Sam to ride the ski lift.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series: Black Cat was awesomely awesome during the arc "Partners in Danger," which introduced her. She leaves near the end, but puts in one more guest appearance in which she's as cool as ever. Unfortunately, when she returns again for "Secret Wars," her role in the story is to fall off of things, scream, and be caught by Captain America while Petey looks on with jealousy. Maybe it was a Skrull impostor...
  • X-Men: The Animated Series had a bad habit of doing this to Jean Grey. In the comics, she was one of the original X-Men, who even in The '60s, could hold her own against formidable opponents. In the cartoon, however, she was the go-to girl if they needed a Damsel in Distress, playing the role of The Empath more than a contributing member. Some other adaptations are worse due to the Never Live It Down status of the Dark Phoenix Saga. Writers seem to think that going Phoenix, going nuts, and dying is all she ever did, and when she's not Phoenix, being Scott's Satellite Love Interest and the girl Logan wants as his Satellite Love Interest is about all there is to her.


Video Example(s):


Sad Sack Fista-Puffs

When Molly's friend Hazel reads her comic, she realizes that Molly's self-insert, Fista-Puffs, used to be a badass that was saving the city, but ever since Kite Boy showed up, the comic derailed into nothing but her swooning over Kite Boy and acting like a sad sack when Kite Boy doesn't forgive her for ruining his face.

How well does it match the trope?

4.43 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / Chickification

Media sources: