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Distaff Counterpart

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One common method used in creating a Spin-Off is taking the main character of the show, creating an equivalent that's mostly the same except for being the opposite sex, and then packing the new character off to her own series. This allows the station or network to fill up extra space on the schedule with a known quantity, while (in theory) stretching its demographic to female viewers. This method is very popular among action-adventure series, which mostly appeal to young males. However, sometimes it can lead to a Counterpart Comparison.

While heroes are usually the ones to get this kind of treatment, it's been happening more and more to villains too.

There's also the third kind of Spin-Off, with a long-lost sister showing up or a new girlfriend brought in, only to repeat whatever circumstances gave the main character his powers/duties/what-have-you.

Just like how many female characters are defined by their relationship to the default or already established male character, many distaff counterparts are defined primarily by their relationship to the male counterpart. This can be shown through their visual properties, narrative connection, and occasionally promotional materials. They are often a wife or girlfriend, but can be a sister or friend to the male counterpart. Often, and especially if the characters in question are animals, the female character will have a bow on her head or other Tertiary Sexual Characteristics defining her as female and to set her apart from the "default" male characters. In other words, the male character or characters may have little or no stereotypical masculinizing gender specifiers, but his or their distaff counterpart or counterparts will have stereotypical feminizing gender specifiers to mark them as female. If the distaff counterpart is a girlfriend, she is usually the Love Interest to the male character.

A male character who goes through the Gender Bender will find himself turned into his own Distaff Counterpart. The implications for the character, writers, and audience are left as an exercise for the reader.

NOTE: "Distaff" means "female". Therefore, the inverse of this (a male counterpart to an existing female character or Always Female trope) is technically and traditionally a Spear Counterpart (which was named for the spearhead-shaped end of the symbol of Mars that represents males. You may also be thinking the "spear" meant something else).

SECOND NOTE: A "distaff" is a spinning device, used with a spinning wheel and, even before that, with a spindle. More here. Textile Work Is Feminine; that's why it's used to symbolize femininity.

Usually tends to wear a Gendered Outfit.

Compare Gender Flip, which reverses roles based on gender, rather than cloning them. If a normally gender-specific trope is played on its opposite gender anyway, that's a Gender-Inverted Trope (otherwise known as a rare male/female example). If they're fan-created, it's Rule 63. If this appeals to a fan fetish, it's a form of Fanservice. When you take this trope to its literal conclusion, you get an Opposite-Sex Clone. See also Contrasting Sequel Main Character. Contrast with I Just Want to Be Badass.

The laws of probability and large numbers will in all likelihood turn this into Truth in Television eventually for most of us.

Tropes that have Male - Female Counterparts

Indexes that have Male - Female counterparts

Distaff Counterpart Examples

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  • Japanese Pepsi mascot Pepsiman has Diet Pepsiwoman, whose only commercial is advertising Diet Pepsi Twist where she was wearing a lemon-themed balaclava, just like Pepsiman was in his commercial for non-diet Pepsi Twist.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In chapter 98 of Ai Kora, Maeda runs into a girl named Chizuru who turns out to be a "parts lover" like him... and happens to think he has really sexy hands.
  • Aoi House = Uri House.
  • Black Jack = Ray, from the manga and anime series of the same name.
  • Captain Harlock has two within the works of creator Leiji Matsumoto. Fellow space pirate Queen Emeraldas has the same scar across her face while Captain Bainas (from Ozuma) has the messy red hair. Both also happen to be badass captains who have a penchant for badass capes.
  • Cutey Honey was originally created as a distaff counterpart to Warrior of Love Rainbowman.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys has an interesting In-Universe use. A series of stinger skits called High School Girls are Funky features Habara, Yanagi and Ikushima, three girls who look, act and talk remarkably like their male counterparts Tadakuni, Hidenori and Yoshitake, respectively.
  • Devilman Lady was spawned from Devilman, although it evolved into its own strange series. Since that name kind of doesn't make much sense, the official English version of the anime is called The Devil Lady.
    • This was at least partially the inspiration for Kinnikuman Lady - though in that case, it's an alternate universe where everyone is gender-flipped except Meat. Instead of being about the world's beefiest buffoon, it's about the world's ditziest bimbo. Joining the "stupid, inherently contradictory name" race is Kinnikuman Lady's bestest pal Terryman Girl.
  • Digimon has several:
    • Angemon/HolyAngemon — Angewomon
    • Seraphimon — Ophanimon
    • Devimon/NeoDevimon — LadyDevimon
    • Daemon — Lilithmon
    • Wizardmon — Witchmon
    • Beelzebumon — BelleStarrmon
  • Dragon Ball Super is very fond of this trope:
    • Kale turns out to be one to Broly, a popular Non-Serial Movie villain.
    • Some have called Caulifla a counterpart to Goku: she's a fighting prodigy who masters new techniques with extraordinary speed and can act rather silly and excitable when she isn't being serious. She loves the prospect of a good fight, but then all Saiyans share this trait. She's also rather uncouth and rude, but deeply caring towards her friends, much like Goku.
    • Vados is one to Whis, though this is one at least justified by her being Whis's sister.
  • Eyeshield 21 has The Hero Sena and Action Girl Karin. Both were recruited initially against their will to join a football team. Both are considered the best in their specialty (running back and quarterback respectively) and both Apologises a Lot with low self-esteem and being the Nice Guy / Nice Girl. The only thing really different about them is their gender and appearance.
  • Getter-1Getter Q
    • As well, Getter-2 — Getter Shou/Neo Getter-2
  • Hyouka: Houtarou Oreki and Fuyumi Irisu. When you think about it, both have a lot in common.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, while Nanoha and Fate get their own rivals in form of Vita and Signum, Yuuno and Arf get Distaff/Spear Counterparts in form of Shamal and Zafira. Both Yuuno and Shamal are passive Barrier Warriors, have similar abilites and similar roles and they have green magic colors.
  • Mazinger ZAphrodite A, Diana A and Minerva X
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack has Dark Action Girl Rezun Schneider as the Distaff Counterpart to Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam's Yazan Gable. Both are thuggish badass normals who joined the military in order to legally kill as many people as possible and have no regard for The Laws and Customs of War.
  • Osomatsu-san gives us the Girlymatsus, a group of petty and flighty girls who form a sisterhood rather than be sisters. The biggest difference between them and the Matsunos is that most of them managed to get jobs. On the other hand, Totoko ends up being a counterpart to their base personalities rather than certain character traits; She's just as jobless, attention-seeking, and broke as they are.
  • While both are genderless, the Mewtwo in the 16th Pokémon movie is more feminine than the more masculine one seen in the first one. It is also more of a pure hero, while the one in the Kanto movies was more of an Anti-Hero.
  • Flamenco Girl from Samurai Flamenco. In a rare subversion, she's actually far more competent and effective than her male counterpart.
  • Soul Eater (Manga): The whole Spartoi group.— When the group goes into the Book of Eibon after Noah and Kido-kun, the first chapter, "Lust" turns the males female and vice versa. They then make comments on how odd they look, until a team of Female Succubus come and try to defeat them.
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear is essentially a female-centric version of the "pretty boys in armor" subgenre of Shōnen fighting anime that began with Saint Seiya.
  • Tachibanakan To Lie Angle is a Yuri send-up to Accidental Pervert ecchi manga, particularly those that follow the To Love-Ru model. Even the name is a quick and dirty shout out to its inspiration. The localization team apparently caught on quickly, because the english version of the title (Love To-LIE-Angle) is worded remarkably similar to its male counterpart.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Evil HERO Inferno Wing is a female Evil Counterpart to Elemental HERO Flame Wingman and both of them even share the exact same Fusion Materials. They share the same stats, but Inferno Wing's Monster Effects are improved versions of Flame Wingman's. Notably, since their Fusion Materials consist Featherman/Avian and Burstlady/Burstinatrix, it's not illogical how Inferno Wing ended up as a Distaff Counterpart.

    Comic Books 
  • Immensely common in comic books. The first one was probably Mary Marvel, spun off from DC's Captain Marvel in the 1940s, and it continues to the present day, with characters like Supergirl, Batgirl, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman and Stargirl (both a female Star-Spangled Kid and a female Starman). Some of these are also Legacy Characters. They can also exist in Alternate Universe Fics that are written by fans or Elseworlds published by the companies themselves, where different female characters receive the Call to Adventure in lieu of their male counterparts in the mainstream universes.
    • In comics, this is necessary for the purposes of trademark and copyright protection, since if the comic companies don't publish the obvious derivative characters then others would be legally able to do so. One well-known example of a company losing a counterpart trademark is how one of DC Comics's most famous characters is Wonder Woman, but Marvel Comics was able to secure the trademark to Wonder Man. Stan Lee specifically mentions the Wonder Woman and Wonder Man trademarks as a reason why Marvel created Spider-Woman to secure rights to the Spider-Woman trademark.


  • Supergirl is the Trope Codifier. Although not the first female copy of an established hero (Mary Marvel and Bulletgirl preceded her), she has had the most longevity and the most incarnations, including her own movie and Live-Action show.
    • Power Girl, being originally Supergirl's alternate universe counterpart before Crisis on Infinite Earths brought her to the main DCU, is also a distaff counterpart of Superman.
    • In the New 52, a significant addition to Supergirl's Rogues Gallery has the distinction of being the Distaff Counterpart to two major Superman foes- Reign has a very Doomsday-like originnote , and a very Zod-like personalitynote . Incidentally, she basically presents herself as Kara's Evil Counterpart as well.
  • Hawkgirl is a Distaff Counterpart of Hawkman. Hawkman has had five series, the longest of which ran for 49 issues. Hawkgirl then took over the series for the final 17 issues.
  • Hawk and Dove started out with the protagonists (two brothers) as a Sensitive Guy and Manly Man. They were replaced by a Tomboy and Girly Girl (though the Girly Girl had been teaming up with the Manly Man since Post-Crisis - and, as of Brightest Day, they're back to that situation).
  • Element Girl, the female Metamorpho. She is mostly known for being saved by Death from a sad and lonely existence in The Sandman. Since then she has made another appearance outside of DC continuity in Wednesday Comics.[1] The concept has since been recycled in the form of Element Woman, a new Korean American successor to Element Girl.
  • Aquagirl, the female equivalent of Aquaman's sidekick Aqualad.
  • The Joker has Harley Quinn, while the Riddler had a short-lived female counterpart named Quelle.
    • Before Quelle, Riddler had a pair of female associates named Query and Echo.
  • The DCU now has a whole Alternate Universe (Earth-11) made up of Distaff Counterparts. All the superheroes there are Gender-Flipped, including a berserk-with-testosterone "Wonder Man" who's a dead ringer for King Leonidas of 300.
    • It gets a bit confusing when you consider that Earth 11 features Gender Flip versions of characters that already HAVE Distaff Counterparts, or who already ARE distaff Counterparts. For example; Superlad.
    • The Ame-Comi Girls universe features most of the primary hero roles in the hands of the usual female distaff counterparts. So Jesse Chambers is The Flash, Carrie Kelly is Robin, Natasha Irons is Steel, etc.
  • Metal Men Issue 32 features a story called "The Metal Women Blues", where the team gets jealous of Tin and Nameless and get their creator, Will Magnus, to create opposite sex counterparts for them. During the subsequent mission, a rift grows between the males (Gold, Iron, Lead, Tin, Mercury, and Platinum Man) and females (Gold Girl, Iron Girl, Lead Girl, Nameless, Mercury Girl, and Platinum).
  • Zatanna, the daughter of Zatara. Rare case where the distaff counterpart completely overshadowed the original in terms of popularity.
  • Carrie Kelly, the Robin from The Dark Knight Returns. Stephanie "Spoiler" Brown's brief run as Robin may also count.
  • Tallulah Black from Jonah Hex. Like Hex, she's a physically and mentally scarred individual with absolutely nothing to lose.
  • Miss Martian to Martian Manhunter. Notable in being one of the few superheroine distaff counterparts whose costume covers more than the male version; Miss Martian wears a Sailor Moon style outfit, which covers quite a bit more than "two leather straps and a speedo." In personality she started as pretty much an Expy of the animated Teen Titans Starfire.
  • On the subject of distaff counterparts with a more concealing costume: Bombshell to Captain Atom. Bombshell wears a t-shirt and trousers, while Captain Atom is effectively naked.
  • Natasha Irons started off as the replacement Steel when her uncle John took a break from his Powered Armor. She ended up changing her Code Name to Vaporlock after gaining her own powers.
  • Batwoman was introduced as a distaff for Batman back in 1956 (as well as to quell some vicious rumors circulating about Batman and his young ward), serving as a feminine counterpart to his crime-fighting adventures (using "feminine intuition" and having cosmetic-themed gadgetry, for example). When she was re-introduced in 2007's 52 and given the lead role in Detective Comics her personality and history were updated. The Cutter arc of Detective Comics goes into an explicit examination of the parallels between the two characters, with alternating pages (And sometimes even alternating panels) following both characters as they each tracked a separate criminal (eventually revealed to be the same criminal, but the Batman scenes were about five years earlier), each one going through the same motions, victories and setbacks as the other.
  • Green Arrow's Kid Sidekick Emiko Queen is one for Batman's Kid Sidekick Robin, specifically the Damian Wayne version. Mixed-race child of one of the hero's enemies? Check. Also directly related to the hero? Check. Raised from birth to be an assassin? Check. Violent and surly but slowly defrosting demeanor? Check. Acts much older than she actually is? Check. Desperately wants to one day succeed the hero and don their mantle? Check. Adorkable? Check.
  • In the Silver Age, DC Comics had a character called Johnny DC, who would tell kids about upcoming books. In Ambush Bug this character gets reinvented as Jonni DC, Continuity Cop.


  • Subverted with these exaples:
    • Despite the similar name, Spider-Woman is not a spin-off of Spider-Man. She does not resemble Spider-Man, and the characters have nothing to do with each other. (Though, like all Marvel Universe characters, they occasionally cross paths.)
    • Ms. Marvel, although starting as a distaff counterpart of Captain Marvel, has now taken the Captain Marvel title herself, and is more important to the Marvel universe than the original Captain Marvel ever was (making her more of a successor, rather than a spin-off). [Note that this is referring to Marvel's Captain Marvel, not DC's Captain Marvel (which spawned the distaff counterpoint Mary Marvel, as mentioned above).]
  • Thor Girl, obviously a counterpart to Thor. What makes it silly is that "Thor" isn't a superhero alias, it's just Thor's name. Putting "Girl" on the end of it is roughly equivalent to calling Supergirl "Clark Kent Girl" or Spider-Woman "Peter Parker Woman".
    • Jane Foster is the new Thor starting in 2014 following Original Sin. Because she wields Mjolnir and is worthy, she is Thor. Which is still confusing, since it's a name rather than a title.
      • In a What If? story depicting her discovering Mjolnir instead of Donald Blake during the first Thor story, she was called Thordis instead.
  • She-Hulk — made following rumors at the time that CBS was planning on making a spin-off of the wildly successful Hulk TV series starring a female Hulk. Marvel wouldn't see any royalties from that unless they had a trademark on "female Hulk", so they created She-Hulk. (Contrary to popular belief, this wasn't due to a sketch on The Benny Hill Show with a female Hulk, which aired over a year after She-Hulk was created.)
    • The same is true for Spider-Woman who was created when Marvel found out that Filmation was going to create their own super heroine with that name.
  • Marvel has just one-upped itself. Not content to merely turn the Hulk's nemesis Thunderbolt Ross into a palette swapped Evil Counterpart of the Hulk — Red Hulk, aka Rulk — they turned his daughter Betty into a Red She-Hulk, making her both a Distaff Counterpart of the Hulk's Evil Counterpart and an Evil Counterpart of the Hulk's Distaff Counterpart!
  • In The Ultimates, there's the Giant-Woman Squad, an entire unit of female S.H.I.E.L.D. agents with costumes and abilities patterned after those of Giant-Man.
  • Sharon Ventura aka Ms. Marvel II who became a female version of the Fantastic Four's Thing. She doesn't like the codename She-Thing.
    • The Marvel NOW FF series introduces Miss Thing, a young woman in a Thing costume.
  • Spider-Man has had five different Spider-Women (Jessica Drew, Julia Carpenter, Mattie Franklin, Charlotte Witter and an Alternate Universe Gwen Stacy), two different Spider-Girls (May Parker and Anya Corazon), and the heroine Silk (Cindy Moon), who has the same powers as Peter but chose her own codename. Interestingly, the first two Spider-Women, Jessica and Julia, have origins completely unrelated to Spider-Man and never even met him until after they were already established.
    "All the ladies just want to be me, I guess."
    Spider-Man, Incredible Hercules #139
  • American Dream, in the Marvel Comics 2 universe May Parker's Spider-Girl comes from, is a distaff Captain America. A little more than half of the heroes in this 'verse are heroines, in fact.
    • On the subject of Captain America distaffs, Dani Cage (the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones) is the new Captain America in Ultron Forever, while a woman named Roberta Mendez is the new Captain America in the Marvel 2099 timeline.
    • A villainous example from Marvel Comics 2 is Magneta, a female version of Magneto with her own Sisterhood of Evil Mutants. And then there's Aftershock, the daughter of Electro, an enemy of Spider-Girl who's picked up the feud their fathers had.
    • The Ladyhawk twins, who were inspired by (and wear costumes patterned after) The Falcon.
  • Rikki Barnes started off as (essentially) the female version of Captain America's sidekick Bucky.
  • Sunfire's little sister Sunpyre, who had a costume and powerset nearly identical to those of her brother.
  • X23, the Opposite-Sex Clone of Wolverine. She's this to Daken as well, possibly even more so than with her "father".
  • Rachel Alves, the female partner from Greg Rucka's run on The Punisher. She wears the exact same outfit as her male counterpart, with very little skin showing. Rucka's run ended with Alves hauled off to prison after accidentally killing an innocent cop, and his concluding "War Zone" miniseries has Frank freeing her to carry on the mission in Los Angeles.
    • However, she's only the second female Punisher. The first was Lynn Michaels, an ex-cop turned vigilante.
  • Several of Spider-Man's villains have had this done to them:
    • A female Vietnamese scientist was transformed into Quicksand (and ironically started out fighting The Mighty Thor), Doctor Octopus has Lady Octopus as his girlfriend/student/successor, Kraven the Hunter's wife and daughter have taken up his mantle, Scorpia acquired superhuman powers and a mechanical tail similar to those used by the Scorpion, and among the several people who've taken up the mantle of Jack O' Lantern is Maguire "Maggie" Beck.
    • Not to mention newcomer Lady Stilt-Man. Who has since dropped the "Lady" despite remaining a lady.
    • Oddly enough, Lizard's distaff counterpart Komodo does double duty as both this and as a good counterpart.
    • The Venom symbiote once took a female host, known as She-Venom. A clone of the symbiote has had two hosts, both female - one called She-Venom (again) and one called Mania.
  • Namora and Namorita to Namor the Sub-Mariner. All half-human and half-Atlantean, part of the Atlantean minority of being born pink skinned (although Namorita would later develop blue skin), with Flying Brick power set, raised within the Atlantean royal family and more importantly all known more for their connections to other hero groups than their solo adventures.
  • So you know Deadpool? There's also a female Deadpool in another universe. Named Wanda Wilson, her official name in her timeline is Deadpool as well. But she's also called Lady Deadpool, in the same way that "Zombie Deadpool's Head" is called Headpool.
  • Psylocke briefly served as the Mandarin's distaff, fittingly named Lady Mandarin.
  • For a brief period Polaris became this to Magneto, complete with a feminized variant of his costume.
  • Gamma Corps Black is a trio of Distaff Counterparts to Hulk villains. Aberration (Female Abomination), Axon (Female Zzazz) and Morass (Female Glob).
    • That first one is a little redundant, since the Gamma Corps proper already has Mess, a female counterpart to the Abomination.
  • Galactus now has a daughter called Galacta, who is essentially the same concept, if less powerful, pickier about her diet, and considerably more adorable. Think Empowered (same creator), but replace Emp's image issues with food issues and a daddy complex.
  • The 2011 Ghost Rider was a woman named Alejandra.
  • In the pages of Marvel Age Magazine, Fred Hembeck introduced a Distaff Counterpart to Brother Voodoo, appropriately named Sister Voodoo.
  • The villain Thanos briefly created Terraxia the Terrible during his run in The Infinity Gauntlet, in an attempt to replace Death as his consort. Terraxia was an Amazonian Beauty female version of himself (she has the same purple skin, black empty eyes and wrinkled chin, as well as dresses in similar gold and blue). She apparently had all of his (non-Infinity Gauntlet) powers as well, including Thanos' strength, in that she was easily able to slay Iron Man and Spider-Man.
  • For a while Pepper Potts was a Distaff Counterpart to Iron Man, under the name Rescue. While her armour was destroyed, she still has implanted repulsor-tech, giving her a few Iron Man-like powers.
  • It can get confusing when you realize that there are currently two Hawkeye's in the Marvel universe - the original, Clint Barton and his Distaff Counterpart Kate Bishop. The latter took up the mantle (later officially acknowledged by Captain America) as part of the Young Avengers when the former was dead. When Clint came back, he ended up acknowledging that Kate was the best archer he'd ever met and simply allowed her to keep the monicker, even when he went back to being Hawkeye himself.
  • Marvel "What The..." parody series milked the trope for all what's worth. A "Wolverina" appeared possibly even before X-23.


  • The Authority featured several issues where the team recruited distaff counterparts from alternate dimensions.
  • The graphic novel Camelot 3000 features Sir Tristan reincarnated as a woman, forcing him to re-examine his medieval views toward gender roles, especially since the feelings between him and Isolde, also reincarnated as a woman, are unchanged. Their enduring passion for each other ultimately transcends gender, and the two remain together.
  • From the British Fleetway stable: Cor!! featured Ivor Lott and Tony Broke, which was about a rich boy who was endlessly mean to his poor neighbour but inevitably got his comeuppance. Jackpot featured Milly O'Naire and Penny Less, which was about a rich girl who was endlessly mean to her poor neighbour, but inevitably got her comeuppance. Both comics were ultimately merged into Buster, where Milly and Penny were made co-stars in Ivor and Tony's strip.
  • Season 9 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduces Billy Lane in the aptly named Billy the Vampire Slayer. He is a gay teenage vampire hunter who joins Buffy against the outbreak of zompires (zombie-vampires). The possibility of him gaining actual Slayer powers is brought up in season 10, but nothing comes of it and he is yet to make a reappearance.
  • The German comic series Die Abrafaxe eventually spun off their protagonist trio of Abrax, Brabax and Califax into a quarterly series starring their female counterparts Anna, Bella and Caramella.
  • The Darkness universe has a triad of both Distaff and Spear Counterparts: The Darkness itself is a male entity in a male host and is diametrically opposed to the Angelus which is a female entity in a female host. In between the two is the Witchblade, a male entity in a female host.
  • In Italy Disney Ducks Comic Universe Daisy get a superhero alter ego, Paperinika who is a female counterpart of Paperinik (Duck Avenger), the famous Donald alter ego. Like Donald, she take this identity initially just to avenge personal sorpruse. While the character was prominent in Brazilian comics in the '80s, in Italy was quickly Demoted to Extra because are Always Someone Better to Donald and an unlikeable Straw Feminist. Thankfull this trait is dropped in the modern appearances.
  • NOW Comics The Green Hornet had a female Kato, who went on to become the Hornet-inspired Crimson Wasp.
  • Josie and the Pussycats started out as a distaff counterpart to Archie Comics named She's Josie. It was eventually retooled into a more adventurous, music based comic.
  • Noob has a couple of cases.
    • One short story from earlier comics has a Coalition player who happens to be Omega Zell's boss in real life turn out to be a Straw Feminist version of Omega Zell ; the fact even gets lampshading by Gaea.
    • Couette started out as this to Sparadrap. While Divergent Character Evolution is on its way personality-wise, both remain interchangeable if one needs a an adorable, childish, Stupid Good, semi-competent healer.
  • Near the end of Quantum and Woody, Quantum ends up partnered with a female black lesbian version of Woody.
  • The lead character of CrossGen's Sigil was a man called Samandahl Ray. Marvel's relaunch starred a girl named Samantha Ray.
  • Spygirl is this to SpyBoy.
  • Strontium Dog -> Durham Red (whose first solo story was called "Strontium Bitch").
  • The Terminator comic "End Game" has Jane Connor, which is apparently what you get if Sarah Connor gives birth in a hospital. The birth of Jane Connor apparently cuts the war against Skynet's timeline in half, with the humans winning earlier.
  • In the '90s, the producers of the Zorro comics introduced spin-off character Lady Rawhide, who, although sharing his quest for justice, was otherwise decidedly not a distaff counterpart. In the interest of being accurate to the Wild West setting, she was rather plain and wore a demure, tasteful costume. Or not.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • Thirty HsMy Immortal: Same Canon Defilement of the Harry Potter universe, same blatant disregard for any sort of plot coherence. One has groinsaws, demonic astronauts, The Power of Rock, and gratuitous gore; the other has Wangst, vampires, Mary Sue, and Costume Porn.
  • Last Child of KryptonSuperwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Same merged universes, same powers, same enemies, same themes... but in the first story the male lead gets genetically modified with Superman's DNA, and in the second one it is the female lead who gets Superman genes. Also, the latter was deliberately done to be a female counterpart to the kind of fics the former belongs to.
  • Raven Child's The Smurfette Village features a village full of Distaff Counterparts of the male Smurfs.
  • The Bridge:
    • After repeatedly feeding on his emotions and gaining his powers, Aria Blaze starts mentally and physically turning into a female version of Kaizer Ghidorah.
    • The Mirror Universe's version of Princess Cadance is basically its version of King Sombra.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hal Roach created the Double Act of Cloud Cuckoo Lander ZaSu Pitts and Only Sane Man Thelma Todd to be this to Laurel and Hardy. They made a bunch of short films together for MGM, then Pitts demanded a pay rise and Roach replaced her with Deadpan Snarker Patsy Kelly for another run of films which was ended by Todd's tragically early death. Kelly was then paired up with, in turn, Pert Kelton and Lydia Roberti, before finally making a feature film with Pitts. The Pitts and Todd/Todd and Kelly films are almost forgotten now and their quality can be erratic, but at their best they're genuinely funny and worth hunting up, not least for their startling amounts of Slapstick Knows No Gender and Les Yay.note 
  • The Next Karate Kid, featuring a then-unknown Hilary Swank.
  • The T-X or "Terminatrix" in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines is a female shaped terminator.
  • Shaun of the Dead: There is a recurring female character, a friend of Shaun's named Yvonne, that is a sort of parallel universe version of Shaun. A scene where the two, along with their respective survivors, meet in someone's backyard is one of the film's highlights. At the end of the movie She appears with the British Army and saves Shaun and Liz, who are alone and have been cornered by zombies; her party's fate is assumed to have been much happier than Shaun's.
  • There is a Soviet movie called "My Dearly Beloved Detective", featuring two female detectives named Holmes and Watson. The male ones are fictional in the movie.
  • Revenge of the NerdsThe House Bunny
  • In Lethal Weapon 3, Lorna Cole is very much the female Riggs, being as tough as he is and a fan of The Three Stooges.
  • A person wrongly convicted of murdering their spouse, escaping from custody, determined to track down those responsible, pursued—and eventually aided—by an equally determined lawman played by Tommy Lee Jones? No, not Richard Kimble. Libby Parsons. The filmmakers tried to jazz it up by having the spouse in question having faked his death and having Libby escape from parole rather than prison, but viewers and critics weren't fooled. There's a reason Double Jeopardy is referred to as "The Female Fugitive", to the point where people genuinely needed to be reminded that it was not another sequel.
  • 2010: The Year We Make Contact, the sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey, introduces the SAL 9000 computer — apparently identical to HAL 9000 but with a female voice and a blue "eye" instead of a red one.
  • Reservoir Cats (Not to be confused with the The Itchy & Scratchy Show parody of the same name) is a remake of Reservoir Dogs with all the male characters replaced with female ones.
  • Superman II used Superman's mother Lara as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute to his father Jor-El in Superman: The Movie because the producers didn't want to pay Marlon Brando the amount of money he was asking for to use footage that had already been filmed since Superman I and Superman II were originally filmed back-to-back.
  • Lady Deathstrike to Wolverine in X2: X-Men United, having an adamantium skeleton like he does and showing what he could have been if he hadn't escaped from Stryker.
  • A handful of James Bond movies have presented the Bond Girl as this, with some very significant characteristics in common—Anya Amasova is introduced snuggling in bed with her lover, much like Bond frequently is, Pam Bouvier and Wai Lin are Action Girls who can kick ass just as well as him, if not better, and Jinx pulls a Not Staying for Breakfast on him.
  • Rey turns out to be this for Luke in The Force Awakens; they both grew up on a desert planet without their biological parents (Tatooine with Luke, Jakku with Rey), both are mechanically savvy pilots, and they're both destined to be Jedi.
  • Emma Cullen from The Magnificent Seven (2016) is one of Rikichi from Seven Samurai. Both have had spouses taken from them by the enemy (her husband was killed while his wife was abducted), they actively seek out the heroes needed to protect their towns, and both Took a Level in Badass over the course of their respective films.

  • Mina Davis of Hungover and Handcuffed and Asshole Yakuza Boyfriend is meant as one for both Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.
    • Supporting character Reno Bangs is one for James Bond.
  • The Hardy BoysNancy Drew
  • Conan the Barbarian: Red Sonja is commonly treated as this. However, Jirel of Joiry predates her.
  • Biggles — Worrals of the W.A.A.F.
  • Cora, Chick Carter's female cousin, aided Chick Carter and Nick Carter (Nick Carter adopted Chick).
  • Pat Savage, cousin of Doc Savage.
  • Eisenhorn — By Dan Abnett of Warhammer 40,000 brings us Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, a moderately powered Psyker who falls for one Alizebeth Bequin. Alizebeth is a "Blank" who not only cancels out his powers, but is difficult for him to be around as it causes him pain. Never the less they fall in love.
    • Relevant in that she forms an organization of blanks called the Distaff.
  • Mr. Men — Little Misses. In some cases, they are explicitly stated to be the sisters of the corresponding Mr Men. Specific ones include:
    • Mr Happy — Little Miss Sunshine
    • Mr Chatterbox — Little Miss Chatterbox
    • Mr Greedy — Little Miss Greedy (originally Little Miss Plump)
    • Mr Noisy — Little Miss Loud
    • Mr Small — Little Miss Tiny
    • Mr Uppity — Little Miss Splendid
    • Mr Tidy — Little Miss Neat
    • Mr Clever — Little Miss Brainy
    • Mr Bump — Little Miss Whoops
    • Mr Busy — Little Miss Busy
    • Mr Rush — Little Miss Quick
    • Mr Impossible — Little Miss Magic
    • Mr Quiet — Little Miss Shy
  • Angie's First Case is about Angie Zane, the distaff to Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, written by the same author. It didn't go over so well with readers.
  • Jane Carver Of Waar, an Affectionate Parody of John Carter of Mars, with 21st century sensibilities.
  • Jill Chill, in Jill Chill and the Baron of Glacier Mountain by Ed McCray, is a distaff counterpart to Jack Frost.
  • The Iron Sister to The Silent Brothers in The Mortal Instruments.
  • In Safehold:
    • The Sisterhood of Saint Evahlyn and Sisters of Saint Kody to Brotherhood of Saint Zherneau. All of them are preservers of Mankind's past history, all of them have went into hiding during the War of the Fallen and all have founders that were more that they let on.
    • Nimue Chwaeriau to Merlin Athrawes, as both are derived from original Nimue Alban.
    • Aivah Pahrsahn/Nynian Rychtair to Nahrmahn Baytz - a Magnificent Bitch and Magnificent Bastard.
  • The Hunger Games: President Alma Coin to President Snow.
  • GreyfriarsCliff House. The adventures of Billy Bunter's sister Bessie and her friends at Cliff House School for Girls were written by Hilda Richards, supposedly Frank Richards's sister (but actually, both Richardses were pseudonyms used by Charles Hamilton and others) and appeared in The Schoolgirl magazine.
  • In The Maze Runner series, most of Group B (introduced in The Scorch Trials) are the Distaff Counterparts to most of Group A. Specific examples include:
    • Harriet to Minho as of the point where the two groups meet up in the Scorch. It is not known if Group B had any leaders prior to Harriet, but Group A have been through two leaders by the time Minho assumes the role.
    • Rachel to Thomas. However, since the former is a Posthumous Character, she doesn't appear directly until The Fever Code (the fifth book in the series in order of publication, but the second in order of chronology) apart from in one of Thomas's memory dreams.
    • Beth to Gally. Both go missing in their groups' respective Mazes days before each group launches their escape attempt, only to turn up in the final chamber, at which point they are manipulated into killing one of the survivors.
  • Christopher Wood, Trope Codifier of the Awful British Sex Comedy with his pseudonymous "Timothy Lea" books, wrote a similar series of books as Lea's distaff counterpart "Rosie Dixon".

    Live-Action TV 
  • The BachelorThe Bachelorette.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978)Battlestar Galactica (2003): Boomer becomes Sharon "Boomer" Valerii, Starbuck becomes Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, Commander Cain becomes Admiral Helena Cain. There's also a female president, but she succeeds the late (male) President Adar, who was also in the original series.
  • The Big Bang Theory has Sheldon — Amy Farrah Fowler. And before Amy's introduction there was Sheldon — Mrs. Hofstadter. While the latter acted almost exactly like Sheldon in every way, the former started off as such but the character grew to have her own personality and quirks to differentiate herself from Sheldon.
  • Bosom Buddies subverted the trope. Kip and Henry appeared as their "female" alter-egos, Buffy and Hildegarde, but their neighbours also knew them as Kip and Henry, Buffy and Hildy's brothers.
  • ColumboMrs. Columbo, which blatantly ignored Columbo's continuity, forcing the producers to change Kate Columbo's name, background, and even the show's name before it got cancelled after one season. In a later episode of Columbo, he refers to a young woman running around pretending to be his wife.
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation uses this trope a lot. Often as a quick way to Pair the Spares:
    • Toby — Liberty
    • Damien — Liberty
    • Sean — Alex before she comes out
    • Kelly — Emma
    • Spinner — Jane, lampshaded by Marco
  • Doctor Who:
    • Romana was a Time Lady who was every bit as clever as the Doctor (although inexperienced). This especially applies to the Romana II version, who is introduced wearing an exact copy of the Fourth Doctor's outfit (and later switching it for a fitting, pink version), has her own sonic screwdriver, and often takes the plot role that the Doctor would usually take (most obviously in "The Horns of Nimon").
    • The Rani was also, basically, a female version of the Master.
    • The novelisation of "Shada" has Romana make a throwaway line suggesting she'd encountered the female equivalent of the Meddling Monk (another Time Lord Renegade) — "the Interfering Nun".
    • In a possibly unique application of this trope, the series has established that it is possible for Time Lords of one gender to regenerate into the other, becoming their own distaff counterparts!
      • The Corsair, per "The Doctor's Wife", was a friend of the Doctor's who tended to go through Gender Bender regenerations quite frequently.
      • The Master's third incarnation in the New Series, known as Missy, played by Michelle Gomez. She was introduced in "Deep Breath" and revealed as the Master in "Dark Water".
      • The Time Lord General introduced in "The Day of the Doctor" regenerates in "Hell Bent", also changing gender from male to female. However, dialogue establishes that this is actually a case of the General returning to her baseline gender, and therefore is more accurately the spear counterpart of this trope. (It should be noted that the series has yet to establish whether the Corsair or the Master/Missy have a baseline gender too.)
      • In "Twice Upon a Time", it became the Doctor's turn, regenerating from the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi, into the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker.
    • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, a spin-off of Doctor Who, Sarah has developed into a cool older character who fights aliens, and likes having younger people around to share in the magic of the universe; in other words, a female version of the Doctor.
    • River Song comes across as somewhat of a female version of the Doctor. She travels through time having adventures, has a mysterious past and snarks a lot. She can also regenerate, being half-Time Lord, and has had several incarnations. The only real difference between them is that, while the Doctor carries a sonic screwdriver, River carries a gun.
    • Clara Oswald develops into a distaff counterpart of the Doctor during her time on the show, to the point where in two episodes she actually pretends to be the Doctor (giving viewers their first glimpse at what a female Doctor might look like, with one of those episodes even incorporating a Couch Gag into the opening credits about it), and ultimately becomes in everything but name, and ability to regenerate, a Time Lord with her own TARDIS, an infinite lifespan, and even her own companion. Her similarity to the Doctor is directly discussed on screen in "Hell Bent" and other episodes.
    • The Doctor Who – Expanded Universe gives us Iris Wildthyme, a Time Lady who travels through time in a red bus that's smaller on the inside. In one of the books she blatantly introduces herself as being a feminist reimagining of the Doctor. She's also shown to be very working class, to contrast with the Doctor who is usually upper class.
  • In 2003, ESPN's Cold Pizza was an attempt to create a more female-friendly version of SportsCenter, to compete with network morning shows like Good Morning America. The original format lasted little more than a year before a revamp removed most of the non-sports content and added more Pardon the Interruption "hot take" debates. The show was cancelled in 2007 and immediately replaced with First Take, which was basically the "1st and 10" debate segments spun off to show length.
  • A couple of years after The Greatest American Hero ended, there was an attempted revival in which cranky FBI agent Bill was paired up with a new "Greatest American Heroine" in the form of a chirpy, flakey, relentlessly optimistic young teacher with '80s Hair who was something of a Genius Ditz.
  • Hannibal: Hannibal Lecter and Bedelia Du Maurier.
  • Hercules: The Legendary JourneysXena: Warrior Princess
    • Iolaus — Gabrielle
    • Spoofed/referenced in Entourage, where Johnny Drama was a supporting character in a Hercules-esque show, which got completely overshadowed by its female-centric spin-off.
  • Highlander: The SeriesHighlander: The Raven
  • Home ImprovementLast Man Standing. In both shows, Tim Allen plays the father to three kids. The difference is, in Last Man Standing, all the kids are daughters instead of sons.
  • House had Amber, a smug know-it-all who has no problem lying, cheating, and manipulating people to get what she wants. Of course Wilson, House's only friend, is in love with her.
  • Ted and the Mother in How I Met Your Mother share a similar appearance, being the Nice Guy / Team Dad and Nice Gal / Team Mom of the group and having several quirks such as loving road side detours to unusual landmarks and wearing driving gloves.
  • iCarly: Dave and Fleck are the male versions of Carly and Sam respectively.
  • Indiana JonesRelic Hunter. Unrelated continuity, but even the producers/actors refer to it as a "female Indiana Jones" (even though the series actually came out after the popularity of another distaff counterpart to Indiana - the Tomb Raider games.
    • Hannah Montana also features a fictional version called "Indiana Joannie".
  • Just Shoot Me! had Finch meeting his distaff counterpart Betsy, which at first seems like an incredible coincidence. It turns out he stole her entire personality in college.
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight has Kamen Rider Siren, the girlfriend of Kamen Rider Wing Knight, who's got the same kind of personality and also kicks a lot of butt. In the original Japanese version, Kamen Rider Ryuki, Siren was actually called "Femme" and fell more under The Smurfette Principle. Among other things, Dragon Knight expanded the character's role; Femme was only around for a single Alternate Continuity movie, and she died at the end of it.
    • Before all this, Kamen Rider Stronger partnered up with Tackle, a girl who had likewise been cybernetically augmented by the series' villains. She was never called a Kamen Rider, which remained a sore point with fans for years and required various justifications over the yearsnote 
      • Kamen Rider Kabuto, already reminiscent of Stronger in many ways, carried the Homage further in one of the stage shows by introducing Kamen Rider Lady, effectively a modernized version of Tackle; her names derives from her theme insect being the ladybug.
    • The Movie for Kamen Rider Decade introduced Kamen Rider Kiva-la. While her civilian identity, Natsumi Hikari, was indigenous to the Decade canon, Kiva-la is part of Kamen Rider Kiva, this she kinda doubles up as a Distaff for both Decade and Kiva.
    • Movie Wars Megamax, the Crossover between Kamen Rider Fourze and Kamen Rider OOO, introduces Kamen Rider Nadeshiko as a female version of Fourze. This instance is justified, as Nadeshiko is an alien Shapeshifter who learns by imitating; it copied a real high school girl, then after witnessing Fourze transform it copies his Transformation Trinket so it can help out.
  • Life On MarsAshes to Ashes
  • Spoofed in Lois & Clark, with Ultrawoman. No, Desperate Housewives is NOT Ultrawoman: The Series.
  • The Malcolm in the Middle episode "If Boys Were Girls" features Lois' fantasies about how her life would be different if Dewey, Reese, Malcolm, and Francis were instead Daisy, Renee, Mallory, and Frances.
  • The Man from U.N.C.L.E.The Girl from U.N.C.L.E..
  • A rare example of this happening in-universe occured on Married... with Children when Kelly got a job as a gatekeeper at a local amusement park. She quickly turned into a Distaff Counterpart of her father Al, complete with her own horror stories involving fat women who come to the gate and generally miserable, bitter outlook on life.
    • Another example occurred in one episode where Peg watches a preview of "Psycho Mom", a female version of "Psycho Dad", Al's favorite TV show.
  • NCIS: Recurring character CGIS Agent Abigail Borin is a Hero of Another Story Distaff Counterpart of Agent Gibbs. They have many of the same mannerisms. It's Lampshaded several times.
  • Person of Interest has Sameen Shaw as this to John Reese.
  • Queer as FolkThe L Word
  • Queer Eye for the Straight GuyQueer Eye for the Straight Girl replaced five gay guys with three gay guys and a lesbian and a Straight Guy with a Straight Girl. On Straight Girl, Robbie (aside from being adorable) would frequently model the women's clothing.
    • Far more interesting was Straight Plan for the Gay Man.
  • The Red Dwarf episode "Parallel Universe" introduced Deb Lister, Arlene Rimmer, Hilly and a pink Skutter. The Cat was very disappointed to meet the Dog.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Invitations" Jerry falls for a woman who's the female version of him played by Janeane Garofalo and they get engaged. Soon, though he realizes he can't be with someone like him because he hates himself so he breaks up with her.
    • She was about to do this herself. Probably the most mutual breakup of the series.
  • The Six Million Dollar ManThe Bionic Woman
  • Smallville: Lionel LuthorGenevieve Teague
  • The SoupThe Dish
  • Dr. Pulaski from Star Trek: The Next Generation was an attempt to create a female version of "Bones" McCoy from the original series. Pulaski's cold abrasiveness (with none of Bones' passionate humanism to balance it out) made her an instant fan un-favorite and she was dumped after one season.
  • Super Sentai/Power Rangers:
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger finally got around to Super Sentai's first-ever female Red Ranger, a distaff to team leader Takeru Shiba.
    • Beaten to the punch in 2005 with Power Rangers S.P.D.. Giving us the first female Red Ranger in the entire history of either franchise, ironically given the masculine name of Charlie.
    • An unusual variant of this trope is present in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Due to the series' gimmick, the costumes and powers of various past Rangers who were male are now in use by female Rangers, complete with an appropriately gender-flipped costume.
  • The titlar Time Warp Trio — Joe, Fred, and Sam — manage to have distaff counterparts in the form of their great-granddaughters from the future, cleverly named Jodie, Freddi, and Samantha.
  • The Young OnesGirls On Top (Not directly connected, but also starring former The Comic Strip Presents stars, and about four unlikeable stereotypes sharing a flat).
  • ZorroQueen of Swords. Not a part of the same continuity, but so similar to her male counterpart that Zorro Productions Inc. threatened legal action against the producers of the series.

  • The Primettes were conceived by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. as the distaff counterpart to The Primes. The bands were later renamed The Supremes and The Temptations.
  • "The Boy is Mine" (1998, Monica ft. Brandy) and "Same Girl" (2007, R. Kelly ft. Usher) are R&B songs about Love Triangles.
  • The Tom Tom Club is the (more or less) distaff counterpart/side project of Talking Heads.
  • Hole is the distaff counterpart to Nirvana, to the point where their respective lead singers Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain were married to each other.
  • Joni Mitchell has been often described as 'the female Bob Dylan', to which she famously replied: "Nobody would call him the male Joni Mitchell". She and Neil Young are eccentric Canadian singer-songwriters who found fame on the L.A. music scene.
  • Iron Maiden — Iron Maidens, an all-female Iron Maiden tribute band.
    • If we're talking about heavy metal tribute bands, let us not forget Lez Zeppelin.
    • Or Queen Diamond.
    • Or Misstallica.
  • Girlschool to Motörhead. If their collaboration St. Valentine's Day Massacre as "Headgirl" doesn't convince you, nothing will.
  • The Bangles have said in many interviews that their original goal was to be this to The Beatles. Of course they didn't make nearly the same impact.
  • The Three Tenors had distaff counterparts, The Three Sopranos.
  • Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert are both incredibly talented (and incredibly campy) singers who make heavy use of synthesizers and (at least partly) go for shock value with performances. Not surprisingly both are known to be bisexual.
  • The female alternative quartet Drain STH was very much this to Alice In Chains when they first debuted in 1993.
  • K-pop has a few. Typically they will be from the same company as their counterpart and said company or fans of the company will hype them up by using this trope. Examples include:
    • 2NE1 to Big Bang - both have edgy music perceived to have the most Western influence.
    • Girls' Generation to Super Junior, due to the many members and similar pop sound. The former were even originally going to be called the Super Girls.
    • Fx to SHINee for their focus on impressive and flashy choreographies.
    • AOA Black, the band part of AOA, to well-known Korean bands FT Island or CN Blue, depending on which fan you ask. Their company FNC seem to agree to either.
  • Examples from the '70–'80s funk scene:
    • Parliament/Funkadelic begat the Brides of Funkenstein.
    • Rick James begat the Mary Jane Girls.
    • Prince's music factory cranked out a whole series of distaff Prince bands: Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Wendy and Lisa, Sheila E...
  • Fifth Harmony - One Direction, since they both have 5 members and they both started out on The X Factor (the former in the US version, the latter in the UK version). That's not all, they both consisted of five solo artists who were put into a group after getting rejected, they both finished third, became the most successful act from their respective country's show, and they have similar shorthand names (5H and 1D).
  • Little Mix to One Direction: Both are British pop groups formed on The X Factor as solo before turning into a group, both have 4 members (although 1D started out with 5), and Perrie Edwards was engaged to former member Zayn Malik. The difference is in their musical styles as Little Mix prefer R&B-tinged pop, and Little Mix won their season, while 1D finished in third; on the other hand, One Direction have been far more popular and successful (especially in the US) than Little Mix.
  • Quite surprisingly, Chris Boltendahl of Grave Digger has one in Federica de Boni of White Skull, despite his voice being about as gruff as you can get without edging into death growl territory. Chris has even done guest vocals on a couple of White Skull songs, seemingly just to demonstrate how uncannily similar their vocal styles are.
  • Critic Robert Christgau referred to R.E.M. and 10,000 Maniacs as musical "kissing cousins". Michael Stipe performed some guest vocals on the latter's In My Tribe album, making this one more or less official.
  • German song and cellphone company Jamster/JAMBA created a female counterpart to Schnuffel (Snuggle) named Schnufflienchen (Snuggelina) in 2011 who is also Snuggle's girlfriend due to the popularity of Snuggle in Germany. Both have there own songs, but most of Snuggelina's songs are her referring to her boyfriend except for the song "Butterfly".
  • In the early '00s, Linkin ParkEvanescence. Both Nu Metal bands that took on pop sensibilities and saw massive success in doing so. They even have similar sounding Signature Songs with "In the End" and "Bring Me to Life" respectively, though the latter is more of Black Sheep Hit in their case. They are also the two most likely bands you'll hear an anime Fan Vid on Youtube.
  • Five Finger Death Punch has one with the female-fronted In This Moment. Both are groovy alt-metal bands with hard-hitting yet radio friendly sounds, frequently subject to Narm Charm with how over-the-top their music is, and have received a very divisive reception by metalheads. Fittingly. they've toured together and frontwoman Maria Brink appeared in their song "Anywhere But Here".
  • In Metalcore, Issues has one with Conquer Divide. Both are eclectic takes on the genre, with Soprano and Gravel dynamics between a harsh vocalist and one that sounds like a Top 40 pop star. The comparison has been drawn quite a few times by listeners.
  • Boy George had one with Annie Lennox in terms of their iconic androgynous looks during The '80s (George being a long haired Dude Looks Like a Lady and Lennox being a short haired Bifauxnen, though the difference between them was that George was gay and Lennox was straight), as seen in this Newsweek article.


    Print Media 
  • Playboy magazine — Playgirl magazine.
  • Esquire magazine — Cosmopolitan magazine.

  • The Magic Flute: Birdman Papageno gets his birdwoman Papagena.
  • Kabuki theatre (all-male in addition to creating an entire industry of Gender Bender "actresses") has one with Takarazuka (all-female, modern version of the original casting format of Kabuki theatre, where it originated as female only and had females playing male roles before it became male only in 1629) in terms of Crosscast Roles.

    Myths & Legends 
  • The Egyptian goddess Anput is largely a female aspect of her husband Anubis.
  • The incubus (a male demon which lies upon sleepers, in order to have sexual intercourse with them) has the succubus as a female counterpart.
  • Freyr and Freyja in Norse Mythology. Their names are even the masculine and feminine form of the norse word for "lord".

    Pro Wrestling 
  • In the 1980s Rock n Wrestling Connection, Wendi Richter was the female version of Hulk Hogan.
  • GLOW could be argued to have many distaff counterparts to male wrestlers (Big Bad Mamma to Papa Shango perhaps) but the standout example was Justice, who was a distaff counterpart to Shaft!
  • The New World Order was so popular that copycat organizations couldn't pop up fast enough, including distaff counterparts such as the fWo in the NWA and the pWo in Women's Extreme Wrestling.
  • Lita was this to the Hardy Boyz (bonus points for being like this before they were teamed together, though they had offered to train her back when she was with Christopher Daniels).
  • Sara Del Rey in her initial face persona was this to Bryan Danielson (she was trained by him). She used his LeBell Lock finisher, used "The Final Countdown" as her entrance music and called herself "The American Angel" (he was "The American Dragon").
  • Tiger Mask, specifically Satoru Sayama, gave his blessing to a Joshi who became Tiger Dream Candy Okutsu. World Wonder Ring STARDOM had a parody in Yuzupon Mask Yuzuki Aikawa, which wasn't even a spoiler to most Japanese fans.
  • Mima Shimoda and Raven Hiroka ended up becoming distaff counterparts to 1000% Guaperrimo Shocker while they teamed in Mexico, as part of an Evil Is Sexy/Foreign Fanservice deal(Shocker also had male partners for his Guapos Internacional branch)
  • AAA gave one to La Parka, La Novia De La Parka Sahori. Lucha Libre USA gave him one to in Rosetta Par-K. Tracy Taylor, in case you're wondering
  • Delirious unveiled one to aid him in his "feud" with CM Punk...Shelirious...who was his long term nemesis turned translator, Daizee Haze.
  • Chikara shot for its own distaff counterpart in Kiryoku Pro, which also failed to catch on. The work of one Mercedes Martinez caught the eye of Dave Prazak though, leading to a SHIMMER invite.
  • IWA Mid-South owner Ian Rotten helped train one for his promotion, Mickie Knuckles.
  • The 2005 LLF rookie of the year Tsunami was called "La Chica" Kane because it was obvious she was a big fan of USA style pro wrestling, she seemingly appeared out of nowhere to destroy people and she used a choke slam.
  • On a promotional level, Pro Wrestling SUN was one to Pro Wrestling Zero 1. Sadly, it did not last but lived on in some of its wrestlers continuing to compete for Zero 1 as Team SUN.
  • Memphis Ladies Wrestling initially served as an obvious distaff counterpart to Jerry Lawler's Memphis Wrestling, with its first top stars being Lawler's then nemesis/girlfriend Su Yung (an accidental pun if there ever was one) and Tasha Simone, who opposed Yung similarly to how Simone opposed Miss Texas in Lawler's USWA. Initially. The company's gradual transition into the less regional "Magnificent Ladies Of Wrestling" involved a Genre Shift, among other things.
  • While Aja Kong had long been called a distaff counterpart to Big Van Vader, WSU gave him an official one in Big Van Missy. Mask, squash match, Vader Bomb and all.(and in Aja Kong's case, an equal case could be made for EMLL luchador Kung Fu during the later stages of his career)
  • Irregular WCW wrestler Shark Boy was so unexpectedly popular he managed to get two distaff counterparts: Shark Girl and Shark Solo.
  • Starting in 2009, Michelle McCool became this to AJ Styles when she started using the Styles Clash, which she renamed the Faith Breaker, as her finishing move. Later became more apparent when she and Layla started wearing hooded robes as part of their LayCool entrance. Oddly extends to Real Life as well, since both are devout Christians from the Deep South.
  • The Original Baka Gaijin of Big Japan Pro Wrestling, Mad Man Pondo, got one in REINA in the form of Crazy Mary Dobson, Miss Baka Gaijin.
  • The Chick Busters (AJ Lee and Kaitlyn) were this to the Dudebusters (Trent Barreta and Caylen Croft, occasionally joined by Curt Hawkins).
  • AJ Lee eventually became one to CM Punk, especially after AJ delivered a blistering Worked Shoot promo against the rest of the WWE Diva roster, with worked shoots in WWE's "Reality Era" being the wheelhouse of CM Punk. It's no surprise that the two ended up together in real life, and are now married.
  • In 1984, South African wrestler Steve Simpson came to the USA and formed the S&S Express with Joe Savoldi. In 2012 Nevaeh formed an alliance with Sassy Stephie and later Jessie Bell Smothers, which came to be known as the SNS Express.
  • After the SNS Express forced the breakup of the American Sweethearts on the WWN, Amber O'Neal claimed to have joined Bullet Club and set out to be one to Doc Gallows.
  • Emma is not the distaff counterpart to Santino Marella, but she did debut one to his cobra finishing move, Ven-Emma.
  • In the early 1990s, the Montreal based International Championship Wrestling promotion had Sexy Team #1 and Sexy Team #2, who teamed up as the imaginatively named "Sexy Team". In 2014, Canadian Dark Angel formed "El Sexy Team" in CMLL with Estrellita and Goya Kong.
  • Trent Baretta and Chuck Taylor formed a tag team called "Best Friends" in Pro Wrestling Guerilla during 2013. In 2015, Arisa Nakajima and Tsukasa Fujimoto formed team of the same name in Ice Ribbon.
  • In WWE, Charlotte Flair is one to Ric Flair minus the party lifestyle. She's called the Nature Girl, her entrance theme includes the famous intro of his, and she has adopted several of his moves and mannerisms (Figure 4, knee drop, strut, WOOOO, etc.). This is not lost on people; in fact the sheer number of borrowed aspects from her father has been openly criticized both in-universe by her rivals and by a growing list of detractors amongst the fans.
    • During her time in WWE NXT, Charlotte was also part of a power stable called the "Four Horsewomen" (with Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Bayley) which served as this trope to her father being part of The Four Horsemen alongside Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson and Tully Blanchard. This goes double as the Four Horsemen already had a distaff counterpart in mixed martial arts, that involved at least two pro wrestling fans that eventually made their way to the same shows as the NXT group.

  • The Women's National Basketball Association, which even started with a copycat logo (now updated to change) and has several teams with names inspired by the city's NBA one - helped by them usually sharing the same owner:
    • Current team pairs: Washington Wizards/Mystics, Minnesota Timberwolves/Lynx, Phoenix Suns/Mercury. Plus a coincidental: Dallas Mavericks/Wings; the Wings relocated from Tulsa after the 2015 season, and are owned separately from the Mavericks.note 
    • Current NBA team, moved WNBA team: Utah Jazz/Utah Starzz, and after the team's first relocation, San Antonio Spurs/Silver Stars, with the WNBA team changing its name to Stars in 2014; after the 2017 season, the Spurs sold the Stars and the new owner moved the WNBA team to Las Vegas. Orlando Magic/Miracle; the Miracle are now known as the Connecticut Sun. Detroit Pistons/Shock (both named after car parts). When the Shock moved to Tulsa after the 2009 season, it created a coincidental example; as the Oklahoma City Thunder had moved from Seattle to OKC a year earlier. As noted above, the Shock moved yet again after the 2015 season to become the Dallas Wings.
    • Current NBA team, defunct WNBA team: Houston Rockets/Comets, Miami Heat/Solnote , Portland Trail Blazers/Fire, Sacramento Kings/Monarchs.
    • Continuity Snarl: Charlotte Hornets/Sting. The snarl involves the Hornets—that was the original version of the Hornets, which moved to New Orleans and eventually became the Pelicans. The expansion team that Charlotte later got, originally known as the Bobcats, eventually got the Hornets name back. The Sting folded in 2007.
  • Also relevant to basketball, netball was originally derived as a variant of early basketballnote  deemed suitable or women to play (according to the accepted standards of the time)- though actual women's basketball in the modern sense evolved in parallel, itself having little variation in the men's game other than the size of the regulation ball and (in some leagues) the distance of the three-point arc.note 
    • However, in the U.S., the convergence between men's and women's basketball is Newer Than They Think. The complete story is too long to tell here, but American women's basketball developed as a 6-on-6 game in which each side had three players exclusively on offense and three on defense. College basketball did not fully adopt full-court, 5-on-5 play until 1971, and 6-on-6 girls' basketball continued at the high school level even longer. Although most states switched to the full-court 5-on-5 game by the end of the 70s, Iowa didn't change until 1993 and Oklahoma held out until 1995. Also, women's basketball used the same ball as the men until the mid-1980s—though international women's play continued to use the men's ball until 2004.
  • In football/soccer, countless top-level men's clubs have counterpart women's clubs, usually wearing very similar kit. Sometimes, both clubs are merely sections within a much larger multi-sport club.note  In other cases, the women's club is underneath the umbrella of the men's club.note  In still others, the women's club is technically independent, but has agreements to use the facilities and (often) trademarks of the men's club.note 
  • Golf has a few of its own (men's competitions listed first).
    • When it comes to major championships, all four of the men's majors have a direct women's counterpart:
      • Masters/ANA Inspirationnote  – The tournaments are not run by the same body, but they are de facto counterparts. Both are the first majors of their respective seasons, and are held at the same course every year.note  Most notably, both have a unique tradition surrounding the winner. The Masters winner is fitted with a special green jacket that identifies members of Augusta National, the club that runs the tournament. The winner of the Inspiration traditionally jumps into a pond behind the 18th green.
      • U.S. Open/U.S. Women's Open – Both are operated by the United States Golf Association, the governing body for golf in the U.S.
      • The Open Championship/Women's British Open – Both are held in the UK, and since 2017 are run by the same body–in this case The R&A, which along with the USGA sets the rules of golf.note 
      • PGA Championship/Women's PGA Championship – Both are run by the PGA of America, the trade association for U.S. club professionals (which has been separate from the PGA Tour since 1968). Before the 2015 season, the Women's PGA Championship was known as the LPGA Championship and run by the (U.S.) LPGA, a trade association for women golf professionals (both club and touring).
    • The Tour Championship/CME Group Tour Championship (season-ending events, both with limited fields, on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour)
    • Ryder Cup/Solheim Cup (USA vs. Europe professional team competitions held every two years)
    • Walker Cup/Curtis Cup (USA vs. Great Britain & Ireland amateur team competitions held every two years)
  • In ice hockey, the Canadian Women's Hockey League have the Calgary Inferno, a counterpart of the NHL's Calgary Flames, and Les Canadiennes de Montréal, a counterpart of the Montreal Canadiens.
  • In tennis:
    • The WTA Tour to the ATP World Tour. There are several sub-examples within these tours:
      • The WTA Premier Mandatory and Premier Five events, collectively, to the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 — the top events on the tour, apart from the four Grand Slam events.
      • The WTA Finals to the ATP Finals — season-ending events for the very top players.
    • The Fed Cupnote  to the Davis Cup — annual events for national teams.
  • In American college sports, baseball is for men and softball is for women.
  • For some reason, Hurling is referred to as Camogie when played by women. There is literally no difference in rules between the two.

  • Bakugan—Zoobles
  • Dragon Flyz — Sky Dancers
  • My Buddy — Kid Sister. Their commercials were often combined into one... and they shared a Theme Tune.
  • Transformers — Sweet Secrets.
  • M.U.S.C.L.E. — C.U.T.I.E.
  • Kung Zhu — Zhu Zhu Pets
  • The Trash PackShopkins. Both are mini collectible figures that are both created by Moose Toys and share a supplemental universe.
  • Mr. Potato Head has his wife Mrs. Potato Head.

    Video Games 
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • The Great Giana Sisters started out as a direct port of the original Super Mario Bros before Nintendo cut the cord. The first game is very similar to Mario (especially the first few levels), to the point where Nintendo ordered a cease and desist on it. Twenty years later it was revived but is different enough that it's no longer a distaff counterpart.
    • Toadette is this to the 'main' Toad.
  • Take Pac-Man. Add pink bow and a BeautyMark. Voila! Ms. PacMan!
  • In a direct homage to Ms. Pac-Man, the sequel to 'Splosion Man is Ms. 'Splosion Man.
  • GrimGrimoire has Lillet and Amoretta, who are female expies of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, with additional Les Yay.
  • In Metal Slug 2, two female soldiers joined up with Marco and Tarma from the first game - Fio and Eri. Aside from when Eri (and Tarma) were booted from the playable cast for Metal Slug 4, they've remained in the series ever since. Their status as the female counterparts to the original duo is made explicit in Metal Slug 3 - halfway through the final mission, the Mars People abduct your character, and their opposite-gender counterpart takes over for the rest of the level: Fio for Marco, Eri for Tarma, and vice versa in both cases.
    • And to confirm, without a doubt, that each female is the counterpart of her respective male version, comes the fact that if there's a second player that is playing with the respective female counterpart during the Mars People abduction. The other guy/chick will be the chosen replacement for your missing character.
    • Speaking of Metal Slug 4, the characters that replaced Tarma and Eri in that game, Trevor and Nadia, were also Distaff Counterparts.
  • Hideo Kojima has a fondness for recycling alternate universe versions of characters he had created previously, almost like actors.
    • During the development of Policenauts, he had a minor role for Solid Snake of Metal Gear - until, to shake things up, Kojima decided to make him a woman. Enter Meryl Silverburgh. When she was reintroduced in Metal Gear Solid, she was made into the niece (actually daughter) of Colonel Campbell and underwent a little Divergent Character Evolution.
    • Olga Gurlukovch, a nomadic commando encountered in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, to Snake. She does not smoke (Nastasha already filled the chain-smoking Eastern European quota in MGS1), but the rest of her character makeup in on-target: she packs nearly the same kind of pistol, utilizes cover and corner-learning during fights, isn't afraid to fight dirty to win (lobbing grenades, blocking Snake's line of sight with various objects, etc), and is quite scraggly for a solider. When Olga calls herself 'a nomad', Snake replies 'I'm a nomad too', and in Metal Gear Solid 4 he and Otacon live in a plane called the NOMAD. The difference is that Olga's a terrorist-for-hire, whereas Snake is a counterterrorist. Olga later defects to Snake' camp at the cost of her own life, so she's not all bad.
    • Snake's Archnemesis Dad, Big Boss, got his own distaff counterpart in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater when he was assigned to kill his mentor, The Boss. As this game takes place in the 60's, The Boss originates the use of Snake's trademark sneaking suit and bandanna, and indirectly invented the "Sneaking Mission" during her hostage rescues in WWII.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series:
    • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, Yuriko Omega is the Japanese Schoolgirl version of Yuri from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2. That said, while they are both given as having psychic powers, Yuri mind-controls, while Yuriko tosses things around with her mind. Their personalities are also different.
    • Going back to the original Command & Conquer: Red Alert 1 and 2, Tanya is a Guns Akimbo Action Girl version of the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series Commando.
    • 2 Yuri's Revenge, in adding Yuri's faction as playable in skirmish mode, introduced the "Virus" unit, basically a female version of the British-exclusive Sniper. Red Alert 3 continued that with the Soviet hero character Natasha. Additionally, Yuri's Revenge had Boris, the Soviet equivalent of Tanya with different strengths and weaknesses (can destroy buildings without having to reach them, but can't [or refuses to] swim).
  • Harry Mason —> Rose DeSalva
  • The Elite Beat Agents' female division, the Elite Beat Divas. Curiously, the Elite Beat Divas seems to be just three girls, while there are five of the agents (and their commander).
  • Rogue Squadron: It's not a straight example, but the Rogue Squadron comics had Soontir Fel, best pilot in the Empire since Vader's death and part of an elite squadron, eventually getting shot with a Y-Wing's ion cannon, being captured, and switching sides to fly in Rogue Squadron. The first game, the only one which didn't cling to the movies for characters and missions, had Kasan Moor, an excellent pilot and rare female Imperial who was part of an elite squadron, eventually getting shot with a Y-Wing's ion cannon, defecting, and switching sides to fly in Rogue Squadron. Her creator has said he was trying to make someone like Fel, and was a little sad to see that while Fel's role was always increasing, Kasan Moor lingered in the limbo containing all the Star Wars Legends characters introduced in video games who weren't involved with Revan or Kyle Katarn, and has been used exactly once since. In another video game (though at least it's one from a different studio, unlike every other character stuck in that limbo).
  • Guy from the original Final Fight ended up being replaced by his sister-in-law Maki in the first of the two SNES sequels. The game attempts to justify the fact Maki's fighting style is identical by establishing that Maki's father was also Guy's Bushin sensei. Later, she reappeared in Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium and was shoehorned into the portable versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3, where her fighting style was now a bit different from Guy's.
  • Sakura Kasugano and Karin Kanzuki from Street Fighter Alpha are essentially high school girl versions of Ryu and Ken. Though Karin has no direct connection to Ken (as opposed to Sakura, who is Ryu's apprentice and fellow Shotoclone), she has the same color palette (blond hair with a red outfit) and acts as The Rival to Sakura, much like Ken does to Ryu.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The design team for Final Fantasy XIIIs Lightning were literally told to make a female version of Cloud from Final Fantasy VII. In design terms, she fits, having a similar hairstyle and face, a weather-related name, and a similar cold attitude. She's even introduced in a big Homage Shot to Final Fantasy VII when she gets off a train along with a black male gunner, who even says "you're a former soldier" (referencing Cloud's designation as an 'ex-SOLDIER'). However, her personality is quite different to Cloud's, except on the superficial level of them both being stylish, aloof Jerkasses, with Lightning being a lot tougher than the secretly weak Cloud. This is even addressed in Dissidia: Final Fantasy 012 where Cloud admits to Lightning that he sees her as 'the real soldier'.
    • Tiamat is both a Distaff Counterpart and Evil Counterpart to Bahamut following Dungeons & Dragons tradition. This is especially noticeable in Final Fantasy VIII, where Tiamat is a Palette Swap of Bahamut and her Scan description indicates she underwent a Face–Heel Turn from being a Guardian Force.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man X8 had two new Navigators to accompany Alia, a mainstay since Mega Man X5. Sure enough, all three of them can be unlocked as playable characters, Distaff Counterparts of the three heroes, having similar playstyles: Alia —> X, Layer —> Zero, and Pallette —> Axl. All they need to think about now is a distaff counterpart to Sigma. Better yet, they shouldn't. (Well, there is always Lumine—no, wait. False alarm.)
    • A cross-series example exists in Ring.EXE from the Battle Network Gaiden Game Battle Chip Challenge, who is, to date, the only NetNavi whose gender is the opposite of the Robot Master they were based on. In case you didn't pick up on the hint, Ring Man was male.
  • Early Harvest Moon games practically lived off of these with their "For Girl" versions, which also were updated rereleases that fixed and added material. Eventually the games added the ability to choose your characters gender at the start.
  • In Pokémon:
    • Humans:
      • Red ↔ Leaf (FireRed / LeafGreen)
      • Ethan ↔ Lyra (HeartGold / SoulSilver) / Kris (Crystal only)
      • Brendan ↔ May (Ruby / Sapphire / Emerald)
      • Lucas ↔ Dawn (Diamond / Pearl / Platinum)
      • Hilbert ↔ Hilda (Black / White)
      • Nate ↔ Rosa (Black 2 / White 2)
      • Calem ↔ Serena (X / Y)
      • Sun ↔ Moon (Sun / Moon)
      • Lunick ↔ Solana (Pokemon Ranger)
      • Kellyn ↔ Kate (Shadows of Almia)
      • Ben ↔ Summer (Guardian Signs)
      • Volkner ↔ Elesa (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum ↔ Black/White)
    • Pokémon:
      • Nidoran-M / Nidorino / Nidoking ↔ Nidoran-F / Nidorina / Nidoqueen
      • Tauros ↔ Miltank
      • Volbeat ↔ Illumise
      • Latios ↔ Latias
      • Gallade ↔ Gardevoir (although it is possible to get a male Gardevoir)
      • Glalie ↔ Froslass (again, a female Glalie is possible)
      • Darkrai ↔ Cresselia: Subverted in that Cresselia is female, but Darkrai is genderless (though always given a male voice and sometimes referred to with masculine pronouns).
      • Braviary ↔ Mandibuzz
      • Zekrom ↔ Reshiram: Averted. Intended to be the case according to Word of God (at least as far as appearance is concerned), but both were given male voices in the anime.note 
      • Mega Mewtwo X ↔ Mega Mewtwo Y: Subverted in that both are alternate transformations of the same Pokémon, are genderless, and that a masculine Mega Mewtwo Y exists in Super Smash Bros..
  • BioShock 2 gives us Big Daddy —> Big Sister.
  • In the Super Robot Wars franchise, we have Ingram and Viletta Pliskin who, in their original game Super Hero Operations, started out as male and female versions of the same original player character. When their characters were later adapted into the Super Robot Wars Alpha series (and the subsequent OG series) Banpresto worked around this by changing Viletta's last name to "Vadim" and explaining that she was actually a gender-bend clone of Ingram.
    • In Super Robot Wars Reversal, you are allowed to choose between Raul and Fiona Gureden, the male and female versions of the same player character, respectively. In Super Robot Wars Original Generations, both of them are adapted into the story as Half-Identical Twins.
    • In Super Robot Wars GC, Banpresto once again allowed the player to select a male or female version of the same character. This time around, both of them actually share the same exact name — Akemi Akatsuki — only with their given names spelled using different kanji. Lord knows how Terada plans to work around that one if he ever decides to put them into the OG series.
  • Parodied in Ace Attorney, where the producer of the popular series "The Steel Samurai: Warrior of Neo-Olde Tokyo" creates "The Pink Princess: Warrior of Little Olde Tokyo", featuring basically the same plot and setting but with a girlier gimmick (even the star of Steel Samurai, Will Powers, plays the Pink Princess in the sequel).
  • Persona 3 Portable subverts this with its Female Protagonist route. Though she shares the male protagonist's Wild Card power and has a gender-flipped version of his starting Persona, she's otherwise very different from him; the male is blue-haired, wields swords, and is stoic to the point of occasionally bordering on apathetic, while the female is auburn-haired, wields naginatas, and is a Plucky Girl who is determinedly cheerful and energetic.
  • Mortal Kombat has quite a few. Sheeva is a female Goro and Kintaro (she was even known as She-Goro in early development before names were decided upon). Chameleon has Khameleon and Sub-Zero has Frost (the latter is justified in that Frost was—for a time—Subby's handpicked pupil). Kira is said to be a female Kano, although she also draws inspiration from Sonya.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog — Amy Rose. Amy even started out as basically a pink version of Sonic with clothes on before being redesigned.
  • The Wii Fit series has two generic fitness trainers, a man and a woman, that help players with exercises. Both of them also appear together in the fourth Super Smash Bros. game.
  • In Robopon, Cherry and Diane are this to Sunny and Sun-02.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Lucina in Awakening is deliberately this to Marth from Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, including going by his name early on in the game. After all, Lucina is a direct descendant of Marth.
    • Morgan also counts. They can be male or female, but they serve the same purpose: in this case, female Morgan is a perfect mirror of her father, the male Avatar. Both wear the same robe, have the same backstory (they were stricken with amnesia and discovered and recruited by Chrom's Shepherds), and in-game they share the Tactician and Grandmaster classes, which are exclusive to the Avatar and his/her children (and Streetpass/Einherjar characters, but they're non-canon), and have the unique capacity to reclass into any other class in the game (except the female-exclusive Pegasus Rider line for males and the male-exclusive Barbarian line for females).
    • Micaiah in Radiant Dawn is the counterpart to Ike, hero of Path of Radiance. Both are charismatic and effective military commanders who come apparently out of nowhere and save their respective countries by finding the previous king's secret heir and restoring them to the throne. Bastian points out the parallels in a letter to Ike.
  • For the 3DS edition of Hyrule Warriors, Linkle is a subversion. Despite having a similar name and appearance to Link, she has her own distinct story branch and character. Her childish "wannabe" characteristics actually make her more similar to Tingle than Link.
  • Tekken 7 introduces a female superior to Raven named "Master Raven".
  • Katrielle Layton, daughter of Professor Layton.

    Web Animation 
  • The eponymous character from Homestar Runner was going to have one of these, but the creators decided against it. She can be seen in the background of at least one cartoon, though.
  • Girlchan in Paradise!! does this with maytag, a complete duplicate of Kenstar in appearance except obviously female (while still humorously poorly voiced by a man). Despite this, nobody except the viewer can make the appearance connection.
    Kenstar: Wow she's so pretty
    Yusuke: You're just saying that because she looks like (brief pause) a pretty girl!
    Kenstar: That would be why i said that.
  • In RWBY, villain Roman Torchwick eventually gains a sidekick named Neo, who wears a feminized version of his outfit with softer colors and wields a Parasol of Pain compared to his Gun Cane. According to Monty Oum, Neo's design was based on a female friend of his cosplaying as Roman.
    • Team JNPR are based on this; being Distaff and Spear counterparts to heroes of real-world mythology that cross-dressed. Pyrrha Nikos and Nora Valkyrie are this to Achilles and Thor respectively.

    Web Comics 
  • Several non-canon MegaTokyo omake feature Piroko and m0h, gender-swapped versions of Piro and Miho based on their in-canon Cross Player game avatars.
  • Problem Sleuth features Distaff Counterparts/Opposite Sex Clones of the three protagonists, Problem Sleuth, Pickle Inspector, and Ace Dick, who live in the imaginary universe and which each briefly becomes during a "spiritual journey". Problem Sleuth gets Hysterical Dame, Pickle Inspector matches up to Nervous Broad, and Ace Dick gets... Ace Dick in a wig, because Ace's imagination isn't good enough to have an actual female alter-ego.
  • Boy Meets Boy had an April Fool's comic which was basically this. Amusingly, the female counterparts in Girl Meets Girl appear to be deeper thinkers than their male originals.
  • Nerf NOW!! has female counterparts to every playable character in Team Fortress 2.
  • In Scandinavia and the World, most of the characters have sisters who (except the Swedens and the Americas) are basically the same as their brothers. The only notable exception is France, where the default representative is female, and Brother France is officially her spear.
  • In El Goonish Shive, due to the existence of alternate universes, Elliot's counterpart in the Beta Universe is a female version of himself named Ellen (who is not Main Universe Ellen's counterpart), and Grace has a counterpart in the Alpha Universe named General Shade Tail. In the non-canon universes of the side strips, Tedd has a counterpart in Tess.
  • The main character of Bugged Run, Chrys, is a Gender Flip of the classic Always Male Bug Catcher NPC trainers.

    Web Original 
  • For April Fools' Day 2009, everyone at OAFEnet was replaced by their distaff counterpart — except Artemis, whose male equivalent was "Apollo". The entire site was turned from blue to pink, and even one of their running jokes got gender-flipped for this cartoon.
  • ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, creator of the I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC series, has one in the form of his girlfriend, ItsJustSomeRandomGal.
  • Rule 63 is an internet phenomenon in the vein of Rule 34 that any sufficiently popular male will be drawn as a hot female. Including some characters, mostly Superheroes, who don't need to be drawn as such because, as mentioned earlier in comics, they already have a Distaff or Spear (yes, it's done to female characters as well) Counterpart.
  • Played with by The Nostalgia Critic & The Nostalgia Chick. He's become a Sissy Villain who has testosterone pills lying around while she's a The Lad-ette who doesn't even know what a Chick Flick is.
  • In The Nostalgia Critic, Douchey McNitpick — Hyper Fangirl. They're both anti role model Straw Fans, just the former is aimed at misogynist fanboys and the latter at Loving a Shadow fangirls.
  • Online web novel Pact has Rose , an alternate version of the protagonist Blake that exists only in mirrors and has power over them, and his closest ally. He and she speculate that she was created by their grandmother as a loophole in the mystical inheritance agreements that state that only a female grandchild will inherit the grandmother's manor, fortune, and impressive numbers of enemies.
  • They Made Me Watch This discussed this when he mentioned that the Nostalgia Critic hired the Nostalgia Chick so he wouldn't have to to review all the girlie stuff. Then when he mentioned getting his own counterpart, he realized she would instead get to review all the action flicks, and then realized that was already Allison Pregler.
  • Even Internet memes have produced these. For example, the popular meme characters Scumbag Steve and Good Guy Greg both have their own respective distaff counterparts, Scumbag Stacy and Good Girl Gina. Somewhat subverted by the fact that unlike the original male examples (which can involve Jerkass / Nice Guy activities in any type of situation), the female versions tend to focus primarily on sex and relationship topics, perhaps because most Internet meme creators are male. In particular, the Good Girl Gina meme has been accused of Unfortunate Implications, as most of her "good deeds" are agreeing to performing various sexual favors as imagined by the male image creators. One Good Guy Greg image even lampshaded this issue.

    Western Animation 
  • Many classic cartoon characters have female counterparts, usually serving as their love interest:
  • In Transformers Animated, the essentially-immortal Starscream creates a squad of five clones which, as the female clone points out, are each based on an aspect of his personality: A suck-up, a coward, a pathological liar, an egomaniac, and the female clone. When Starscream asks her what part of him she's from, she simply states, "Don't ask."
  • In "Dr. Quym, Medicine Woman", the Venture Brothers meet female counterparts of the main cast in the jungle, including a violent hulking female bodyguard and a pair of twin sleuths.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks, whose distaff counterparts are Brittany and the Chipettes.
    • Alvin — Britanny: The leader of the group, argumentative, superficial, most likely to follow traditional gender roles.
    • Simon — Jeanette: Tall, nerdy, wears glasses. (Simon is way more snarky than Jeanette though. And sometimes they're distinguished by Jeanette being a literary geek, rather than a science geek like Simon.)
    • Thedore — Eleonore: Short, plump, loves to eat (but Eleonore has still managed to become good at sports).
  • Superjail! — Ultra-Prison, with female counterparts for all the main cast. Strangely, there were no female counterparts for the Twins... though this was probably for the better.
  • The newest incarnation of Winnie the Pooh from Disney , "My Friends Tigger and Pooh", features a six-year-old, redhaired tomboy named Darby, instead of Christopher Robin, though he's still in it.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983) —> She-Ra: Princess of Power. (Although they could hardly call her "She-Woman".)
    • The original spin-off was going to be He-Ro, an ancestor of He-Man, before eventually being dropped in favour of She-Ra. There was also talk of a He-Ro, son of He-Man, series in the mid 90s.
    • She-Ra's very name is this, as it's a reference to the Egyptian sun god Ra.
  • Gimpy of Undergrads, whose online alias is G-Prime, has a Distaff Counterpart in SHE-Prime; she's also his rival/love interest. Ironically, they don't realize they live next to each other.
  • Dial Tone's feminization in some newer G.I. Joe works.
  • Family Guy has Penelope, the female version of Stewie.
  • Danny Phantom has a female clone who is pretty much this (albeit a younger one).
  • South Park gives us Katherine and Katie Queef the female counterparts of Canadian comedy dou Terrence and Phillip, whom they marry.
    • Season 21 actually has a number of these, with Strong Woman and Miss Conduct serving as the female counterparts to PC Principal and Mr. Mackey respective. However the most shocking of them all is Heidi Turner becoming the female counterpart to Eric Cartman.
  • One episode of The Fairly OddParents! had a one-shot character in the form of Kimmy, a female version of Timmy. She appears as Sanjay's date for the school dance in that episode (and the fact that she resembles Timmy probably explains why he asked her).
  • Time Squad introduced another time squad with Tuddrussel's ex-wife who is very smart and actually competent and her robot partner being high tech and up to date and serious about his job.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures had an episode at a dance where Arnold showed up with his date who looked just like him only in a dress.
  • In The Mr. Men Show Mr Scatterbrain and Mr Stubborn are Mr Men counterparts to their Little Miss book counterparts.
  • Rated "A" for Awesome - Phineas and Ferb (to an extent). Both series have male protagonists, but Phineas and Ferb has more female involvement, including female focused episodes and merchandise.
  • Grojband has The Newmans, the musical rivals of the titular band. Three fourths of this band are female versions of the male Grojband members, whilst the remaining fourth, Larry, is a male version of Laney, the only female Grojband member.
  • The Smurfs have Clockwork Smurfette for Clockwork Smurf.
  • Orel's mutual crush Christina in Moral Orel is this, while their respective family members are the same gender. Both puppets even have the same head, but with different haircuts.
  • Little Bill has his cousin, Fuschia. She is of the same age, is part of his main group of friends, and is Little Bill's classmate.
  • The Batman introduced Smoke, a female sidekick for Mirror Master, and Blaze, a female sidekick for Firefly. So far they're both Canon Foreigners and have yet to appear in the actual DC Universe.
  • In Muppet Babies, Skeeter was the Canon Foreigner tomboy to Scooter.
  • Dan Vs.: Elise can be seen as a Distaff Counterpart to the protagonist, Dan. Both are snarky, cynical, deceptive Determinators from abusive families who are so vindictive that they can (and do) go to crazy lengths to seek revenge on whatever has wronged them. In addition, both are associated with Chris to the extent that they serve as Vitriolic Best Buds to him. Elise has admitted that she actually enjoys some of Dan's revenge schemes. She even does the Skyward Scream whenever something angers her, and in one episode literally participates in Dan's opening scream.
  • Uncle Grandpa once fought Aunt Grandma, a woman who tried to act as a more practical and efficient replacement to him by simply giving kids gifts instead of taking them on outlandish adventures. This is because when she was a kid in the 90s, he took her on an adventure when she asked him to repair a tiny chipped-off piece on her baking soda volcano and she got 2nd place in her science fair, so years later she wants to run him out of business so other kids don't suffer the same.
  • SheZow has DudePow, his gender-flipped alternate dimension counterpart who dons a male costume instead.
  • In the Rick and Morty Mobile Phone Game Pocket Mortys, one of the Alternate Universe version of Morty is a female version named Morticia. According to the in-game description, she is the result of her mother’s womb being 32.54 degrees Fahrenheit degrees warmer during the early stages of gastrulation. The moon was also 384,900km away.
  • The Bump in the Night Christmas Episode "Twas the Night Before Bumpy" had the toy robot Destructo's Christmas present being a female version of him named Destructette.

    Real Life 
  • Yes, there once was a YWCA (as well as an Alternate Religion Equivalent, the YMHAnote , and its Distaff Counterpart the YWHA). Eventually, as the meaning behind the acronym was forgotten, the other versions were folded into the YMCA, which then dropped the obsolete parts of their name and became the Y.
    • Not entirely true for the YMHA and YWHA—they merged with one another, but not with the YMCA/YWCA. Most locations of those groups now call themselves Jewish Community Centers. However, some locations under the JCC umbrella still call themselves the Y (or formally, "YM-YWHA"), with perhaps the most notable example being the famous 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.
    • According to The Other Wiki, the YWCA organization is now called "World YWCA"; it is independent from the YMCA and focuses more of its time now on social-services and mission-type work.
      • The merging occurred at the local level: many local YWCAs are now affiliated with both YWCA USA (the American wing of World YWCA) and YMCA at the same time.
    • The above does not apply to Canada where YMCA and YWCA remain separate organizations and while they both offer programming for men and women, Canadian YWCAs continue to offer a large amount of female-centric programming related to health as well as social issues.
  • The Statue of Liberty was based on what the Colossus of Rhodes might have looked like as a woman, albeit much more modestly dressed. She is approximately the same height and wears a very similar crown to popular depictions of the Colossus.
  • The Girl Guides/Girl Scouts was set up as this for the Boy Scouts, after many girls expressed interest in joining the movement. Though (at least in the UK) the Scouts now accept girl members as well as boys, the Guides still remain as a distinct entity aimed at girls.

Spear Counterparts

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • X-23, the Distaff Counterpart of Wolverine, has Daken as HER spear counterpart.
  • Gamma Corps includes Griffin, a Spear Counterpart to Betty Ross' brief time as the Harpy.
  • Power Boy is superficially a Spear Counterpart of Power Girl. He's actually a parody of all the unfortunate cliches of superheroine characterisation, by showing what they look like applied to a male character.
  • Squirrel Girl has Chipmunk Hunk.

    Fan Works 
  • Rise of a Star Knight, a RWBY and The Hobbit Fusion Fic, has the titular Star Knights as distaff counterparts to the Maidens. Unlike the Maidens, being a Star Knight is hereditary, passed on to the oldest son, though there is one single recorded case of a woman inheriting the powers after her brother died childless.

    Films — Animation 
  • Aladdin:
    • According to the writers of Aladdin, Jafar, the film's Big Bad, is essentially a male version of Maleficent. What makes those two villains similar is the fact that they both wield magic powers, they both wear long, flowing black robes, they both carry staffs in their arms, they both have birds for henchmen, and they both turn into reptilian monsters at the end of their respective films. Ironically, according to the show House of Mouse, Maleficent actually ended up falling in love with Hades of all people!
    • In fact, the whole film of Aladdin could be considered the Spear Counterpart to the Disney Princess films. It is often outright seen as a Princess film due to it being created when a lot of Disney Princess films were and because of Jasmine, though Aladdin is the protagonist.
  • A similar thing happened with The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Frollo is a spear counterpart of Lady Tremaine.

    Films — Live-Action 

    Live-Action TV 
  • An unusual variant of this trope is present in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Due to the series' gimmick, the costumes and powers of various past Rangers who were female are now in use by male Rangers, complete with an appropriately gender-flipped costume.
  • Starter WifeHappy Endings
  • Buffy the Vampire SlayerAngel. A rare example of a show about a female getting a male spin-off. Creator Joss Whedon once said "Buffy is the show about women, and Angel is the show about men."
  • Sex and the CityBig Shots, rare case where a show with a female cast gets a male version.
    • Entourage has also been referred to as the male counterpart, with the martinis switched out for joints.
  • As indicated above, Doctor Who has established that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate, making it possible for them to have their own distaff and spear counterparts. At least one "spear counterpart" is known as a result: the Time Lord General first seen as male in "The Day of the Doctor" who later regenerates into a female in "Hell Bent". Dialogue after the change establishes that the character is actually female, but was saddled with a male body for the first time in her previous incarnation, therefore retroactively making the male General seen previously her own spear counterpart.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The mythological male equivalent of mermaids are the Mermen.
  • The male equivalent of the Amazons are the Gargareans.


    Pro Wrestling 
  • As Josie Wahlford(AKA Minerva) was the first known "World Champion" recognized by any significant part of the pro wrestling industry, the wrestler to be recognized as a World Champion among male wrestlers, George Hackenschmidt, was her spear counterpart.
  • Backyard Wrestling is basically the more derided spear counterpart to the more private phenomenon of apartment wrestling in popular perception(both genders are involved with both but "apartment wrestling" has been used as a redirect to Cat Fight on That Other Wiki). Apartment wrestling had a stint of national acceptance after The Fabulous Moolah went to Bill Apter's magazine to commercialize the concept in the 1970s, selling him pictures of her students posed for photos in apartment rooms(usually not having budgets fans were more likely to use their own bedrooms until then). Backyards wouldn't get close until the release of two video games centered around Insane Clown Posse in the 2000s and participants could only gain acceptance from the industry by leaving yards altogether(falls count anywhere matches notwithstanding, such as when The Hardy Boys bizarre "Final Deletion" almost saved the TNA brand in the 2010s)
  • All Japan Pro Wrestling was basically the spear counterpart to All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, the two even having similar developments. AJW was the last surviving member of a similarly named larger organization while AJPW was a breakaway from JWA. AJW became one of the top promotions in the world by having its wrestlers beat up evil foreigners from WWWA and AGWA, and taking the WWWA title belts as its own when WWWA closed down while AJPW used a lot of NWA and AWA evil foreigners and used the NWA International Heavyweight belt as one of the foundations for the Unified Triple Crown. Both also declined in the 2000s, though the spear counterpart was able to bounce back and ended up outlasting the older company.
  • While in TNA, James Storm has basically been a spear counterpart to Jacqueline, specifically when she was Miss Tennessee but also her own role during her TNA runs to a lesser extent. On the flip side. Jacqueline and ODB together are almost a distaff counterpart to James Storm's team, America's Most Wanted.
  • Los Spice Boys of AAA weren't spear counterparts to any lucha libre\pro wrestling group but were instead male knockoffs of a UK female music group known as The Spice Girls.
  • Another AAA case was Butterfly, a spear counterpart to Princesa Sugeith
  • After Cody Rhodes was "disfigured" by Rey Mysterio(it was Cody's own fault and he looked exactly the same afterwards), he began forcing all the ugly people (anyone he could get his hands on) to wear paper bag masks, making him a one man spear counterpart to TNA's The Beautiful People.
  • No Bella Twins have worked for the NWA as far as we know, however, Vendetta Pro and Ultra Championship Wrestling Zero have had matches featuring the Fella Twins. Though mostly subverted in that Tommy Puur and Chip are generally baby faces and thus don't switch. After their breakup "Boy Diva" Rick Cataldo and Eddy McQueen were quick to appropriate the gimmick in NWCY and WSU.
  • reDRagon are either spear counterparts to the ARSION Tag Team ReDragon or the first attempt by Shayna Baszler create a group similar to The Four Horsewomen for pro wrestling. The CamelCase suggested a mixture of referencing the older tag team with an unhealthy fixation on Davey Richards but then Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish insisted Baszler had been the mastermind the whole time when she appeared in ROH while Baszler would later state multiple times in SHIMMER that she had been trying to duplicate her mixed martial arts career through pro wrestling...
  • Christina Von Eerie, already a member of Las Gringas Locas (with Jennifer Blake and Sexy Star, a send up to Louie "Madonna's Boyfriend" Spicolli, Art Barr and Eddie Guerrero's Los Gringos Locos) in turn got a spear counterpart in brother James Von Eerie, who dresses in a similar manner to her and recycles some of her lesser used looks, such as Sunglasses at Night.
  • While the original "Sexy Team" were men, Máximo forming his own "El Sexy Team" with Johnny Idol, Marco Corleone on the heels of Dark Angel's departure from CMLL naturally made them the spear counterparts to her trio.

  • The Mighty Max toyline was created in 1992 as a Spear Counterpart of the Polly Pocket toyline, which was introduced in 1989.
  • The G.I. Joe toyline (which started in 1964) is often considered as an Spear Counterpart for the Barbie toyline which was available since 1959).
  • The Easy Bake Oven is usually aimed at girls, though in the 2010s they revamped it for an unisex audience. Another company has the "Creepy Crawlers" oven aimed at boys. It creates candy versions of "gross" or "scary" animals like spiders or scorpions.
  • Digimon was originally an attempt to get boys into the whole Tamagotchi craze. Debatably, it ended up being even more popular.

    Video Games 
  • Dream Festival was conceived as the male counterpart to Aikatsu!.
  • In-Universe for Lunar: Nall is Team Pet in Lunar: The Silver Star. Ruby fills the same role in the sequel Lunar: Eternal Blue, but now with femininity, pinkness, and a big yellow bow on her her head.
  • Lubba to Rosalina.
  • Bunnelby and Diggersby (normal-looking rabbit which evolves into larger, very masculine rabbit) to Buneary and Lopunny (normal-looking rabbit which evolves into larger, very feminine rabbit).
  • Sean Matsuda from Street Fighter III to Sakura Kasugano from Street Fighter Alpha. Both are teenage Shotoclones, as well as the apprentices of Ryu and Ken (though Sakura is an unofficial pupil of Ryu's).
  • Touken Ranbu is essentially this to Kantai Collection; they're both free-to-play browser Card Battle Games hosted on the same website, but Touken Ranbu's characters are male personifications of historically famous Japanese swords rather than female personifications of Japanese WWII battleships. Amusingly, the series would get its own distaff counterparts in the all-girl Shinken!! (also hosted on the same site) and Tenka Hyakken (by the same developer behind Kantai Collection).
  • Cloud Strife in Final Fantasy VII is too similar to Celes Chere from Final Fantasy VI for it to be coincidental. Both of them are magic-using swordspeople who have been enhanced via Magitek, and share a similar personality and appearance. They also both get a strong character moment early on where they're forced to dress up in feminine clothing in order to fool a perverted comedy villain. Cloud later was used as a basis for the female character Lightning above.
  • In The Idolmaster:
    • The all-male idol group Jupiter were seen as the counterparts for 765 as a whole, given their rivalry and some similarities to the main group.
    • Ryo Akizuki of Dearly Stars serves as this for Makoto Kikuchi of the mainline games. While Makoto is a tomboy popular with girls who was raised to be masculine and wants to be seen for her feminine side, Ryo is a (quite unwilling) Wholesome Crossdresser popular with boys who was signed onto 876 Productions as a girl and wants to be seen as a male idol. Both get their wish; Makoto's feminine side is seen as an endearing quality to her boyish attitude, and Ryo's fans never stop following him when he outs himself as a boy. It's even shown in an epilogue that Ryo later went on to become a successful male idol.
    • 315 Productions is this to 765, 876, and 346 Productions. It focuses on producing solely male idols, with some even being Gender Flipped versions of tropes found in other series' idols. Even its secretary, Ken Yamamura, is this to Chihiro and Kotori. It's worth noting that the above listed male idols ended up signing on to 315 some time after their stories ended in their home games.

    Web Animation 
  • The Teen Girl Squad has a set of Spear Counterparts in the Four Gregs, though it's not quite as blatant (there's not an easy match-up of personalities, for example).

    Web Original 
  • The three main characters of Where the Bears Are are very clearly patterned off of Dorothy, Blanche, and Rose from The Golden Girls. Nelson is generally level-headed but has his neurotic moments, especially where Todd is concerned (Dorothy). Reggie is a well-connected writer and is the horniest of the bunch (Blanche). Wood's sweetness is only outdone by his stupidity (Rose).
  • Aside from the distaff counterparts listed above, the other members of Team JNPR in RWBY, Jaune Arc and Lie Ren, are based on Joan of Arc and Mulan respectively.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The perception of our own body images. It's fairly common knowledge that girls are more easily suspectible to eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa in an attempt to lose weight because they think they are too fat. Less commonly known is that the opposite generally holds true for guys, who try to get bigger instead. In the belief that they are too skinny or scrawny some will almost obsessively work out and eat a lot of food in order to put on more weight (in the form of muscle mass). This tends to happen more often to those who are already perceived as being very physically fit or muscular, and is known as muscle dysmorphia or, appropriately, reverse anorexia. Both are essentially nasty side-effects of the way our modern media portrays the ideal body figure for both women and men.
  • Since so many of Disney's holdings, such as Disney Fairies and Princesses, appeal so much more easily to girls, Disney found that their market share in young children's entertainment was lopsided, so Disney XD was specifically created in order to cater to boys. However, Disney has yet to develop a specific line such as the Fairies or Princesses aimed at boys; instead, Disney bought both Marvel Comics and Star Wars (thus accessing their lines of boy-friendly characters).
  • Spike TV can be seen as the Spear Counterpart to Lifetime, having been conceived as a television network geared toward men. The channel is now Paramount Network and pretty much features a mixed bag geared to both genders.

Alternative Title(s): Spear Counterpart