Women have a variety of ways to show their indignation, displeasure, or what-have-you at something that offends them. In anime and manga, however, a girl has to do this without appearing threatening, mainly because the illustrator wants to convey that she's annoyed or irritated or objecting to what's going on without compromising her cuteness. Enter the Cute Indignant Girl Stance.
There is no in-universe justification for this trope. It solely exists for Rule of Cute, and the body language itself is meant to emphasize this: Her arms will be straight and her hands balled into fists with her wrists bent at ninety-degree angles so as to project her fists outward in opposite directions; her shoulders will be bunched up to help emphasize this. Meanwhile, her facial expression, while conveying annoyance, displeasure, etc., will vary depending on the level of gravitas (or lack thereof) in the scene. She may be bent forward slightly, or she may not.
This trope exists as a lighthearted way for a female character to use her body language to convey her irritation, indignation, or some other form of displeasure. Note that in-universe the female character's not trying to come across as anything; it's just the audience perceiving her as cute when she does this that makes her cute for doing so, simply because the illustrator thought she'd look cute this way.
Any female character archetype can pull off this trope as long as the character is cute; we wouldn't expect Xena or Wonder Woman to engage in this trope not because they're badasses, but because they're drawn realistically with no intention to be cute.
Expect the Clingy Jealous Girl to do this as part of her schtick.
Compare and contrast Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose.
- Gamble Fish: Natsumi Kimura reacts this way when the other members of Tomu's harem start glomping him. Additionally, her pigtails go up on either side for Rule of Funny.
- In an episode of To Love-Ru Darkness, Momo does this when Nemesis has Rito accompany her for a day about town as her servant.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: Dark Magician Girl sports this trope (while floating) during the Virtual World Arc in response to Crump being a jerk and a pervert. Despite being the franchise's unofficial sex symbol, she's able to pull this trope off due to how adorable her expression is.
- Chivalry of a Failed Knight: Stella Vermillion does this during Ikki's match with the Hunter. After Ikki takes a few of the Hunter's blows, the spectators start to look down on him, thinking he doesn't have talent. Stella has none of it and calls them out on it for only getting by on their natural talent and not being able to appreciate the hard work Ikki's put into honing his skills.
- This is a Running Gag for whenever Fujiwara starts getting frustrated while training Shirogane in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, though she does so with her hands wide open instead of curled into fists.
- In Act 1 Chapter 6 of Soul Eater: Troubled Souls, Claudia is described as assuming this pose ("Claudia stomped on the ground with one foot, both arms down, and her knuckles up") because her weapon meister, Caius, refuses to go shopping in Ireland after killing their target. Naturally, it's Played for Laughs.
- Blaz Blue Chrono Phantasma: in one Gag Reel where Ragna gets the Spectacles of Eros plastered onto him, when Noel sees Ragna act awkwardly when Celica says she likes Ragna (when he would deny other girls' confessions), Noel strikes this pose while being angry at Ragna (although we only see her hips and her right hand, visibly stretched down and angled sideways).
- Marvel vs. Capcom 3: One of Phoenix Wright's Limit Break has his partner Maya appear in front of him and strike this pose, before rushing at the enemy while flailing her arms.
- Ibuki in Street Fighter X Tekken does this◊ when annoyed at Rolento when suggesting if their mission is successful she will get a promotion and she angrily states she doesn't want one.
- This occurs about once every two minutes in Ace Attorney when your cutesy female assistant inevitably gets cross with you. Most assistants have some variant on the theme, but the most typical are Maya◊ and Rayfa◊.
- Missing Stars: One of Natalya's sprites is doing this pose. The first time Erik sees her doing it, he notes that it looks more cute than intimidating.
- Princess Sally does this in some of her exceptionally childish arguments with Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), even adding a tantrum-esque foot stomp to the mix.