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Distaff Counterpart

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

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.

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.

A male counterpart to an existing female character or Always Female trope is technically and traditionally a Spear Counterpart, named for the spearhead-shaped end of the symbol of Mars that represents males. You may also be thinking the "spear" means something else... and you'd be right.

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 and indexes that have Male - Female counterparts:

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Example subpages:

Distaff Counterparts:

  • 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 and 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.
  • Bakugan: Elfin from New Vestroia is like a female version of Preyas from the first season. They are both Aquos Bakugan who can change their attribute and they're both rather goofy. Preyas eventually returns to Marucho while Elfin is still his guardian Bakugan and they interact a lot.
  • 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.
  • Crayon Shin-chan have the Show Within a Show, Shin-Chan's favorite toku Action Mask, and a spin-off titled Action Musume. Turns out the original Action Mask, Gotarō Gō, is ready to retire after fighting crime for years, and chose a 19-year-old college girl and kickboxer, Misato Yashio, as his successor, which she initially declines but eventually gives in. Her debut even sees Action Mask and Action Musume going Back-to-Back Badasses on the villains.
  • 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. There's also Wasteful Days of High School Girls, a manga by Bino which has a similar tone and premise but with girls.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tengen Uzui’s three wives are curiously similar to the main male lead characters, Tanjiro, Zenitsu and Inosuke regarding their basic personality traits: Hinatsuru is the peace maker and heart of the trio, like Tanjiro is; Suma is the overly emotional roller-coaster, cries and screams in fear a bit too much, like Zenitsu does; then comes Makio as brash and gutsy who’s always bickering with Suma, just like Inosuke acts with Zenitsu. The similarities are so obvious that several fan works do not let these similarities pass by unnoticed.
  • 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
    • Takeru Takaishi — Hikari Yagami
  • Dragon Ball Super is very fond of this trope:
    • Kale turns out to be one to Broly, a popular Non-Serial Movie villain. Ironically when Broly became a Canon Immigrant in Dragon Ball Super: Broly, the rebooted Broly technically became one to Kale since she was introduced into canon first.
    • 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
  • GTO: The Early Years: Shinomi is very much like a female Eikichi in terms of personality — they're both Hot-Blooded, blond-haired bikers, and have quite the Belligerent Sexual Tension. Part of this may be deliberate, since she tried to make herself into the type of girl he would like.
  • Hyouka: Houtarou Oreki and Fuyumi Irisu. When you think about it, both have a lot in common.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Yuuno gains a counterpart in Shamal. Both Yuuno and Shamal are passive Barrier Warriors, have similar abilities 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.
  • Komi Can't Communicate: Onemine Nene can be seen as to be this to Tadano. Like him, she acts as the only sane woman in all her class. She also is the Cool Big Sis who supports everyone around her, including Komi, being one of the few who is capable of understanding her with no words needed.
  • 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 Kid, 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.
  • Spy X Family : Fiona Frost a.k.a "Nightfall" can be considered a female equivalent to both Loid Forger/Twilight and Yuri Briar. Like Loid, she is a highly competent agent who can do a very effective job and is also a capable strategist. On the other hand, she parallels Yuri in the sense that she is also a Stalker with a Crush who has a great obsession with Twilight and is capable of making serious damage to anyone who interferes between them, even if that means eliminating Loid's own "wife".
  • Symphogear is essentially a female-centric version of the "pretty boys in armor" subgenre of Shōnen Fighting Series 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.
    • Matome Groggy Heaven is a shoujo counterpart to Accidental Pervert-style ecchi comedy, though it focuses on a female protagonist with a male harem rather than an all-girl cast.
  • In Takeru: Opera Susanoh Sword of the Devil, the three Takerus arrive at the Kingdom of Jagara, where their three princesses share basic personality traits as the main heroes. The youngest princess is quiet and demure like Oguna, the second princess is brash and hot-headed like Kumaso, while the eldest is in between the two like Izumo.
  • 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.
  • Pretty Cure serves as this for Toei's live-action Henshin Hero properites Super Sentai and Kamen Rider, often being promoted in magazines and at events alongside those shows.

    Comic Strips 
  • From The Beano:
    • Dennis The Menace -> Minnie The Minx.
    • Super School has Bananagirl, described as "Like Bananaman ... only shorter" and said to be either his cousin or his niece.
  • Mandrake the Magician has Master of Disguise The Clay Camel. His modus operandi (perfect disguises and a namesake Calling Card) was later co-opted by The Brass Monkey... who turned out to be his daughter.
  • Roy of the Rovers' younger sister, Rocky Race, appears in a free text story, and a strip in the Tammy and Jinty Special 2019, to tie in with the 2019 Women's World Cup.
  • While not as exact as Jean Arbinkle in an episode of Garfield and Friends (see Western Animation subpage), one Garfield comic strip had Jon preparing for a date and being unable to decide which look to go for, so what he ends up wearing includes a farmer's hat, a suit jacket and he is carrying a basketball. His date, Gwen, turns up and while she doesn't look much like Jon physically, her outfit includes in a cowgirl hat and majorette jacket and she is carrying a tennis racket. Garfield remarks "God made two of them!"

    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, 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.
  • Sky invokes this in her eponymous Friday Night Funkin' Game Mod. She is obsessed with Boyfriend to the point where she looks like a female version of him.
  • All Mixed Up!: Downplayed with Mariana Mag, the story's Big Bad. She is similar to Odd Todd only in backstory (being former Odd Squad agents who made Face-Heel Turns and enacted revenge against Odd Squad and Precinct 13579 in particular) and in how she became evil (was denied a chance to do something that she wanted, and rebelled accordingly). However, she makes it very clear that she isn't a female counterpart to Odd Todd in any way besides that.

    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 and Les Yay.note 
  • Booksmart is usually seems like the female derivation of Superbad because both movies basically have the same plot: A group of losers wants to go to the big last high school party before graduation. Although it's fair to say Booksmart takes its character arcs in a more serious tone, the movie as a whole has a heavy dramatic feeling. In the other hand Superbad works better as a comedy with many memorable jokes. Also, Superbad ends in a Downer Ending , while Booksmart apparently would follow the same way, but the last seconds of the film makes it ends in a Surprisingly Happy Ending .
  • 13 Going on 30 is basically a female complement to Big as both movies are about teenagers who wish to be grown-ups and with the help of some mystical forces their dream become true.
  • 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.
  • The Street Fighter series (starring Shinichi "Sonny" Chiba) and its sister (pun intended) series Sister Street Fighter (starring his student Etsuko "Sue" Shiomi)

  • 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 Fussy — 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".
  • The Bad Guys: The all-female International League of Heroes is this to the all-male Good Guys Club. The ILH has also been in operation for longer and use their experience to train the relatively new GGC. In Book 10, the two groups officially combine to form Shadow Squad G.
  • The Asterisk War: One class of Genestella can use their mana and prana for Psychic Powers or Elemental Powers. Females of this type are called Stregas (Italian for "witch"), while males are referred to as Dantes (seemingly referring to Dante Alighieri).

  • 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 LGBT (specifically bisexual and gay respectively).
  • 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.
    • f(x) 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 a Black Sheep Hit in their case - notably "Bring Me To Life" features a Vocal Tag Team of Amy Lee and Paul McCoy that's similar to Linkin Park's singer/rapper dynamic with Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, but McCoy was a guest vocalist and no other Evanescence songs have featured any rapping. They are also the two most likely bands you'll hear an anime Fan Vid on YouTube.
  • A male trio named Sporty Thievz came out with "No Pigeon", a male version of the TLC song No Scrubs which follows the same melody
  • 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.
  • Billy Bragg and Kirsty Mac Coll tend to be seen this way by their Friendly Fandoms: both are distinctly English artists known for witty takes on relationships.
  • The Slits to The Pop Group: Punk groups who incorporated reggae and dub into their sound. Members of the two groups also turned up on each other's records, worked together in other projects and even shared a split single.
  • Taylor Momsen to Drake. While their styles are very different, both were on popular teen dramas before they both quit acting to focus on music becoming some of the most popular artists in their genres.

    Mythology and 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".


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

    Professional 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 Shangonote  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 a 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.
  • Victoria was an odd one to Raven. While Raven was a Surfer Dude party boy who fell into a chronic depression and lashed out at the world, Victoria was a fun loving ho who liked to dance, but inexplicably became a violent psychopath. After the coming down with their mental illnesses, both gained the intense devotion of Stevie Richards. Richards in turn got a distaff counterpart in Francine, who followed him with the same devotion he followed Raven.
  • 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 chokeslam.
  • On a promotional level, Pro Wrestling SUN was one to Pro Wrestling ZERO1. 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 (A.J. 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 have been married since 2014.
  • 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.
  • In 2004 and 05, NWA East and Pro Wrestling eXpress booked Scott Venom and All Business Brant as the Tag Team "Better Than You". Among the many teams to take up this name after they broke up were Marti Belle and Jayme Jameson in 2014 at SHINE, usually shortening it to BTY.
  • 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 a 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 [though she now uses a bridging version], 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.
    • In later years, Charlotte has been compared to Roman Reigns; both are considered creator's pets who have been heavily pushed from 2015 onward and come from a wrestling family. Like Roman, Charlotte was constantly pushed for title runs, overshadowing other wrestlers to the point the more popular Becky Lynch and Dean Ambrose are nothing more than their best friends.
  • InstaGraham and SnapChad, the hipster luchadors of the SMS stable commonly found in Austraila's PWA gained a Distaff Counterpart FaceBrooke during 2017.
  • After helping Shannon Moore off of his path to self-destruction, Lindsay Snow, who formerly was an All-American Face, became his distaff counterpart, showing a similar xenophilia for Japanese culture that he had developed while running with Tokyo Gurentai and painting her face in a similar manner to his.
  • As the top women's pro wrestling promotion in Japan, World Wonder Ring ST★RDOM was seen as this to New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Its purchase by NJPW parent company Bushiroad in October 2019 sealed the deal.

    Puppet Shows 

  • 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.
    • Moved NBA team, current WNBA team: Seattle SuperSonics/Storm. Although the names have little relation beside their mutual connection to the city of Seattle, the teams shared colors and similar logos. When the Sonics were moved to Oklahoma City, the Storm were not part of the sale and remained in Seattle. (Interestingly, the Storm have since changed team colors to the previous/original colors of the Sonics.)
    • Stealth example: Although the New York Liberty has a name different from that of any of its market's NBA teams, it has always shared ownership with one of them—the New York Knicks from 1997 to 2018, and the Brooklyn Nets since 2019.
  • 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 1984—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/Chevron Championshipnote  – 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. Since 1988, the winner of the Chevron has jumped into a pond behind the 18th green. The current Houston-area host club embraced the tradition that had been established in California, building a pond behind the 18th hole complete with a net to keep alligators out and a dock and ladder to facilitate the jump.
      • 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).
      • 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 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 
    • 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)
    • Korn Ferry Tour/Epson Tour (official second-tier tours for the top US tours)
    • Challenge Tour/LET Access Series (European equivalent to the above)
  • In ice hockey, the Canadian Women's Hockey League, which folded after its 2018–19 season, had the Calgary Inferno, a counterpart of the NHL's Calgary Flames, and Les Canadiennes de Montréal, a counterpart of the Montreal Canadiens. The CWHL's former US counterpart, the Premier Hockey Federation, averted this trope; although all of its teams were in NHL markets (as of its final season in 2022–23, seven), none had names similar to those of NHL teams. After said 2022–23 season, the PHF was purchased by the backers of a new women's pro league and shuttered, with the new Professional Women's Hockey League starting play in January 2024. All of the six inaugural PWHL teams are in NHL markets, but their names have yet to be officially announced.
  • In tennis:
    • The WTA Tour to the ATP World Tour. There are a couple of sub-examples within these tours:
      • The WTA 1000 events 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 Billie Jean King Cupnote  to the Davis Cup — annual events for national teams.
  • In American college sports, baseball is for men and softball is for women.
    • Related to the above: The Men's and Women's College World Series are the final phase of the NCAA Division I championships in those respective sports. However, the NCAA didn't consistently use the word "Men's" in the branding of the baseball championship until 2022.
  • For some reason, the Gaelic sport of hurling is referred to as camogie when played by women. There is literally no difference in rules between the two.
  • As of 2023, each of the three "Grand Tours" of men's road cycling has a women's version. The Giro d'Italia has the Giro Donne, the Tour de France has the Tour de France Femmes, and the Vuelta a España has La Vuelta Femenina. In all three cases, the women's tours are far shorter than the men's versions.note 



    Web Animation 
  • The eponymous character from Homestar Runner was going to ha ve one of these, but the creators decided against it. She can be seen in the background of at least one cartoon, though.
  • Girl-chan 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.
  • RWBY: The 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.
  • In the Caillou The Grownup episode "A Very Caillou Thanksgiving" we are introduced to Caillou's cousin Boue who's a female version of him, she wears a dress with his signature colors, is also bald but has a few thin strands tied with bows, and just as whiny, spoiled, and immature as he is.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Pals introduces Miree and CAM-E, female counterparts of Aree and CAM from Star Wars: Galaxy of Creatures. Both are sets of a safari droid and a camera droid, tasked with the care and habits of species of the universe. Miree and CAM-E focus on care of younglings, while Aree and CAM focus on the care and habits of wild creatures.

    Web Comics 
  • Boyfriends. has a group of polyamorous girlfriends that share the same character archetypes as the titular characters.
  • 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.
  • Subverted in the Bravoman webcomic. Bravo Woman is seemingly a female version of the title character. However, their powers are completely different (Bravoman has the ability to stretch his arms and Bravo Woman is a Flying Brick) and she is arguably more competent and succesful than Bravoman, who spends most of his time playing video games and less time foiling evil plots and schemes.
  • The main character of Bugged Run, Chrys, is a Gender Flip of the classic Always Male Bug Catcher NPC.
  • 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.trainers.
  • 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.
  • Nerf NOW!! has female counterparts to every playable character in Team Fortress 2.
  • Problem Sleuth features 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.
  • 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.

    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.

    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.
  • Peter Pan syndrome is a metaphor to refer to an adult, typically a male, who refuses to grow up and prefers to be a permanent infant. The wendy syndrome, the female equivalent, refers to an adult, usually female, having an obsessive need to satisfy others, mainly because of a fear of rejection and abandonment.
  • 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.
  • Shoe store chain Foot Locker and its female counterpart, Lady Foot Locker.
  • Fraternities, which basically are college organizations for male students to (partially) provide networking opportunities, have their equivalent in sororities, which are basically the same but for female students. This applies only to social fraternities/sororities; colleges have many honorary societies, often with the same types of Greek-letter names as the social organizations. The vast majority of honorary societies are open to outstanding students regardless of sex, though a few such groups are specifically for women.
  • In addition to drag queens, there are also drag kings; performers, usually crossdressing women, who base their acts around an exaggeration of masculinity in the same way drag queens perform femininity.
  • Henry is a British brand of vacuum cleaners known for the smiling cartoon face adorning their products. In 2007, they introduced Hetty, a pink (and later yellow) variant with eyelashes who is otherwise virtually identical to Henry in both appearance and function.
  • The magazine Magazine/Playgirl was created to be the distaff counterpart to Magazine/Playboy and Magazine/Penthouse by having male covers to appeal to female fans.

Spear Counterparts

    open/close all folders 

    Multiple Media 
  • Dear Daniel to Hello Kitty: A Japanese male bobtail cat just like Hello Kitty herself, often being depicted as her boyfriend.
  • Terence, from the Disney Fairies franchise, is basically a male version of Tinkerbell, serving as her main romantic interest.Sorta.

    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Strips 
  • Dykes to Watch Out For: The Indelible Alison Bechdel included a strip called "Guys to Watch Out For" which showed each character's Spear Counterpart. In particular, Mo is being inaugurated as president of the United States.

    Fan Works 

  • The term "Gary Stu" (Or Marty Stu) was coined as the male equivalent of the Mary Sue archetype commonly found in several fanfiction works.
  • Loved and Lost: Prince Jewelius is more-or-less a stallion version of Queen Chrysalis, with both being manipulative and having schemes that parallel each other. Chrysalis tries to marry Shining Armor while turning him along with Princess Celestia, the Mane Five and Spike against Twilight, while Jewelius intends to marry Twilight whom he manipulates to turn against her brother, mentor and friends.
  • Rise of a Star Knight, a RWBY and The Hobbit Fusion Fic, has the titular Star Knights as spear 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.
  • The "Boy's Side" stories of the Tokimeki PokéLive! and TwinBee series are just like the normal girl-focused Main Stories, which are lighthearted Slice of Life affairs, though with an all-male ensemble of characters instead of the all-female cast the normal PokéLive! stories have.
  • The Hunger Games Prequel Collection has a character called Circuit who's a male version of canon character Johanna Mason. Like her, he pretends to be weak and helpless so that the other tributes will overlook him, then reveals himself to be a deadly killer. However, while Johanna won her first Games and went on to be District 7's female tribute in the third Quarter Quell note , Circuit is killed by his district partner, Astrid, after they both make it to the final two.
  • Jerk in Sheep's Clothing: At first glance, Henri LeRoi seems like a caring companion to Marinette and the only ally she has when Lila is manipulating her classmates. In reality, he is just as much of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing as Lila is, though instead of trying to control the class he wants to control Marinette through manipulation and threatening her friends.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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!
  • Along with Aladdin, The Lion King is often seen as the Spear Counterparts of the entire Disney Princess franchise (though Aladdin is technically included in that franchise due to Jasmine), as they both follow male protagonists on quests to become royalty. Most notably, one of The Lion King's TV spinoffs, The Lion Guard, was deliberately promoted as a boy-oriented equivalent to the more girl-targeted Sofia the First.
  • A similar thing happened with The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Frollo was designed to be the male counterpart of Lady Tremaine.
  • Henry Pym Jr. from the animated movie Next Avengers: Heroes of Tomorrow is a younger, male counterpart for his mother, Janet van Dyne, The Wasp, having a similar outfit and powers.
  • In an earlier version of Turning Red, Mei had a cousin named Leo who would have served as this for her.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Carrie in Carrie and Carrie (1976) — Andrew in Chronicle. Both are loners who are bullied at school and physically abused at home by a single parent, Carrie's mother and Andrew's father (although Andrew's mother is dying rather than dead or absent). Both are severely mistreated, depressed loners who, despite a Hope Spot, go on murderous fiery rampages.
  • CluelessHitch
  • The CraftThe Covenant. Stories centered on a group of teenage witches and a group of teenage warlocks, respectively.
  • The Dagger Debs (later Jeezebels) for the Silver Daggers in Switchblade Sisters.
  • Made of HonorMy Best Friend's Wedding: Both movies follow an almost identical plot: Person realizes they're in love with their opposite-sex friend just as said friend announces their engagement and engages in Relationship Sabotage while helping them plan their wedding.
  • The 1987 film, like father, like son can be considered the male twin of the original Freaky Friday (1976) as both movies are about parents dealing with their rebellious children who suddenly switch bodies with them. Interestingly enough, the 2003 remake apparently inspires on like father, like son on the idea of the body change being the consequence of some magical intervention. In the original, the reason for the body change is never explained.
  • Where the Heart IsThe Terminal: Both films can perfectly-being summary up like "for reasons against her/his will a person ends living in an unusual place ( in the case of Natalie Portman is a Walmart, in the case of Tom Hanks is the JFK international airport). During their standing, they find love and change the lives of everyone around them".

  • Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined is a Gender Flip version of Twilight's first novel: Instead of Bella, the main character is a male teenager called Beau (Beaufort) Swan.
  • Harry Potter could be seen as a Spear Counterpart of The Worst Witch, as both works seem to have more than one similarity:
    Suppose you're a kid attending wizard school, with classes in Potions and Broom Flying, in a medieval castle surrounded by dark forests. It's hard for you, since you weren't raised by a magical family, but you make two best friends pretty quickly, and then spend the rest of the series getting into adventures with them—usually of the out-of-bounds kind. Your chief rival, meanwhile, is the stuck-up scion of an old magical family... who, to make things worse, is blatantly the favourite of one of your most-hated professors, the sour-faced potions teacher. At least the kindly old head teacher is on your side...
  • Maria Watches Over Us, which takes place at a Catholic all-girls school, has an official spin-off focusing on the rival all-boys Buddhist school in the series in the form of Oshaka-sama mo Miteru (Buddha Watches Too).
  • The second book of the Raggedy Ann series by Johnny Gruelle introduced the brother of the titular character, Raggedy Andy, as her Spear Counterpart.
  • A Woman Alone with Her Soul"Knock": Both are extremely short tales about the last person in the world hearing a knock in the door, being the only difference the gender of the main character. While "Knock" is far more well known, "A Woman Alone with Her Soul", predates it by several years.
  • Little WomenLittle Men
  • Prince Cinders is a humorous Gender Flip retelling of Cinderella, where the main character is a young man bullied by his three big hairy brothers.
  • My Sister The Vampire has a spear counterpart series by the same author named ''My Brother The Werewolf''.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The mythological male equivalent of mermaids are the Mermen.
  • The all-male, lesser known equivalent of the Amazons are the Gargareans. They occasionally met to reproduce, sending male babies to them and the females to the Amazons.
  • Warlocks are the male counterpart of witches - when they're not simply called "witches". Real life male neo-pagans call themselves witches and consider "warlock" a slur.
  • The male counterpart of the succubus is known as the "incubus".

     Print media 

  • Vogue — Men's vogue

    Professional 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. However, while Wahlford was recognized as wrestling champion by the United States, her status as world champion was (and is) still highly disputed, despite traveling to other countries. Cora Livingston is more widely accepted as the first World Women's Champion, and her reign began five years after Hackenschmidt's.
  • 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 Wikipedia). 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.
  • The exótico luchador Cassandro is not a spear counterpart to any luchadorea, but took his ring name from a famous, benevolent prostitute in Tijuana.
  • The Canadian Glamour Boys Sean and Shane, best known for their runs in the British All-Star Wrestling and Puerto Rican based WWC, are spear counterparts to the Glamour Girls Leilani Kai and Judy Martin.
  • While in Impact Wrestling, 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/Alternate Company Equivalent 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 to 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 Ring of Honor 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.
  • Glamour Boy Shane's protege Angel Fashion is more or less the spear counterpart to La Morena, the Queen Of Fashion and violence.
  • While the original "Sexy Team" were men, Máximo forming his own "El Sexy Team" with Johnny Idol and Marco Corleone on the heels of Dark Angel's departure from CMLL naturally made them the spear counterparts to her trio.

  • The NBA Cupnote  is this to the WNBA Commissioner's Cup. Both are in-season tournaments, with all games except the championship final counting fully toward regular-season results. It's listed here instead of "Distaff Counterpart" because the WNBA got there first—the Commissioner's Cup was first played in the 2021 season (delayed from 2020 by COVID-19), while the NBA Cup debuted in the 2023–24 season.

  • 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. While it never matched Tamagotchi at the height of its popularity, Digimon did enjoy more longevity.
  • Poopsie now has the Hangrees, which gets rid of the Blind Bag Collectables gimmick Poopsie is known for and, instead of unicorns, portray slime-pooping parodies of characters from franchises like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, and even Five Nights at Freddy's.
    • MGA's apparently trying again with Rainbows in Pieces, which keeps the unicorns, but removes the surprise gimmick and the slime and replaces Toilet Humor with straight-up gore.
  • Kung Zhu was created in the year 2010 as a spear counterpart (specifically aimed at boys age 8–12) of the Zhu Zhu Pets toyline, available since the year 2009.
  • Dragon Flyz — Sky Dancers. However, this only applies to the toyline, since the Animated Adaptation of Dragon Flyz debuted one year before Sky Dancers respective Animated Adaptation.
  • The short-lived Disney Adventurers toyline was intended to serve as a male counterpart to the Disney Princess franchise, without achieving the same level of success.

    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).
  • Peppa Pig has a Vietnamese knock-off web series named Wolfoo where the main character is a little wolf boy instead of a pig girl.

    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).
  • YouTuber Brizzy Voices has two: Brian Hull (For their voice impressions, voice acting gigs and love of Disney- they have collaborated 10 times!, and even has narration roles in two Osmo Super Studio sets) and British YouTuber Seamus Gorman (Both fans of Disney and Harry Potter).

    Real Life 
  • The perception of our own body images. It's fairly common knowledge that girls are more easily susceptible 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.
  • In Japan, Valentine's Day is seen as a day in were only women give a present (frequently chocolate) to their male love interest. White day, on the other hand, consists of a day where the males give a present to their confessed crush as a form of thanks (frequently white chocolate, where the day takes its name). What about non-heterosexual couples and why don´t both genders give presents to their special beloved ones on the exact same day? only Japanese people will know
  • Shirley Temple "mocktails" consist of ginger ale (OJ, Sprite, or lemonade), grenadine, and a cherry. Roy Rogers mocktails consist of cola, grenadine, and a cherry. Both are named after mid-20th century thespians, a child actress and a singing cowboy, respectively.
  • Father´s day is this to mother´s day as if was internationally established some years after the second one.
  • In 1989, clothing chain Express started a second store brand for men's apparel known as Structure. This was renamed Express Men in 2001.
  • International Men's Day was inaugurated since 1992 by Thomas Coulter, as the Spear Counterpart of the International Women's Day, established since 1909.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Spear Counterpart


The Rowdyruff Boys

The episode introduces the titular mischief-making, gender-flipped versions of the Powerpuff Girls; who were all equal to the girls in power, combat and unique fighting styles but also being on the opposite side of morality, wanting to cause nothing but mayhem and destruction.

How well does it match the trope?

4.92 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / DistaffCounterpart

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