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Dude Looks Like a Lady

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To be fair, it is more masculine than his prior hairstyle.

Hideyoshi: [in trunks] Hey! How's it going you guys? Finally done changing. Sorry for the delay.
Lifeguard: W-what do you think you're doing!? Get back in there!
Hideyoshi: Are you guys closing?
Lifeguard: Why aren't you wearing a top with that?
Hideyoshi: Because this is a guy's swimsuit; it doesn't come with a top.
Lifeguard: Well, girls shouldn't be wearing guys' swimsuits out here.
Hideyoshi: I agree with you, but I'm not a girl.

Whether it is due to their gorgeous hair, delicate features, snazzy dressing, or fey nature, some boys get called "little lady" more often than they'd like. The opposite of Lady Looks Like a Dude, this trope involves male characters who, despite entirely identifying as male and making no effort to seem otherwise, are frequently mistaken for female (by other characters).

Not to be confused with:

Frequently results in an Unsettling Gender-Reveal; the difference is how much another character has invested in the dude actually being a lady (The Crying Game versus any scene with Kazuki in Get Backers).

Named for the Aerosmith song, a Real Life example as it was allegedly written about Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil.

Compare Ambiguous Gender and Bifauxnen. Could result in Viewer Gender Confusion. May be a Gendered Insult, if the implication is that looking like a lady is a bad thing. See also Elfeminate.

In-Universe Examples Only. See Viewer Gender Confusion for female-looking characters who aren't mistaken as female in-universe.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Husky the fishboy from the manga +Anima is so girly in appearance, even the reader isn't sure of his gender until he complains about being forced to dress like a girl. When he's introduced, he's a circus attraction... the "Mermaid Princess". Characters frequently mistake him for a girl, and his friend Nana at one point becomes convinced that he's a girl in disguise due to his appearance and the fact that he's more girly than she is. Poor Husky is forced to prove his masculinity by getting naked and showing a horrified Nana his manly bits. As it turns out, the reason he doesn't care much for girls is because of how much he was teased for looking and acting like one as a boy. A side character even falls in love with him after Husky saved him from drowning... poor guy thought he was, well, the mermaid princess. A group of teenage boys invite him to come "play with them", thinking he's a girl. One mentions "she" is a bit young, but apparently the leader "likes [his girls] young". Even after Husky attacks them in rage they don't realize he's a boy.
  • Agravity Boys has Chris, who is the most feminine of his friends and has sometimes been mistaken for a girl.
  • Aharen-san wa Hakarenai: Reina Aharen's brother Ren is about the same height as Aharen herself and wears his hair long the same as she does. As a result, it's very common for others to mistake Ren for his sister or vice-versa. Raido does this the first time he meets Ren, as do some elementary school kids Aharen befriended.
  • Keiichi from Ah! My Goddess normally doesn't fit this trope, but one story arc had him sprout long hair and breasts after drinking Urd's potions (it's not a Gender Bender because the lower half of his body stays the same, much to his relief). Fortuitously, this happens just before a psycho ex-boyfriend of Urd's stops by; thinking that Keiichi is a girl, he doesn't inflict the standard "make bugs crawl out of his orifices" punishment on him that he inflicts on any other man who breathes within Urd's vicinity... at least, until Keiichi accidentally walks onto him in the bath while naked and he sees that Keiichi's lower body parts are definitely not that of a girl's.
  • Minoru in AKB49 – Renai Kinshi Jourei, which inspired him to cross-dress and participate in the same auditions as his crush to secretly provide her some moral support.
  • Akira Shiraishi in Ai Ore! Love Me!, the "princess" of his all-boys school, and considered a girl even by his brothers. Also dating the "prince" of an all-girls school, Mizuki Sakurazaka. This generally leads to people around them being shocked when they go out on a date and overhear Akira calling Mizuki his girlfriend or Mizuki mentioning Akira as her boyfriend.
  • Air Gear: In chapter 279, while fighting Agito, the girlish loli Shalott reveals to Agito that he is actually a guy.
  • In Angel Sanctuary, the only thing Rosiel needed to do to fool mooks into thinking he was a woman was to talk in falsetto.
  • In Inoue Kazurou's short story Aoi Destruction, the titular father of the main character is a 38 year-old man, yet looks like a little girl.
  • Nagisa Shiota from Assassination Classroom. He confused many readers into thinking he's a girl. At one point it's lampshaded—the class goes swimming, and a couple girls are surprised he's in male swimwear. Becomes a plot point later when he dresses up like one to help the other girls while infiltrating a resort, at which point Karma snidely remarks that he's more convincing as a girl than as a boy. This is deconstructed when it's revealed that his mother is a Control Freak who wanted a daughter instead and forced him to adopt a more feminine appearance to invoke this. Upon learning this, one of the girls who had previously teased him for his appearance apologizes. And then immediately forces him to crossdress again for their cafe.
  • Huey Laforet from Baccano!. One character (Tick's younger brother) had to guess at his gender based on his voice — and, even then, he wasn't really sure. Firo also skirts the trope a bit. Nobody's ever mistaken him for a woman, but cops and FBI members have a habit of taking jabs at his appearance, like insinuating that he only got promoted to Capo because he was pretty enough to sleep his way up the ranks.
  • Hideyoshi Kinoshita from Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts. Hideyoshi looks like this. He has to keep reminding Akihisa (and everyone else) that he's actually a guy, and is at one point mistaken for his twin sister. This has gotten to the point that a) Hideyoshi being a third gender is a Running Gag, and b) Hideyoshi gets most of the Fanservice shots of the series... in what would be extremely potent female fanservice moments/poses, if not for Hideyoshi being, er, not female. Stupid Sexy Flanders ensues.
    Hideyoshi: I don't want to be alone with girls in the women's bath!
    Yuuji: Don't worry, Hideyoshi. See?
    [curtain pulls back to reveal bathing area labeled "Hideyoshi"]
    Akihisa: So it's acknowledged by society.
  • Yut-Lung from Banana Fish looks very feminine and is mistaken for a woman several times.
  • Rentaro Taki from Battle Club takes this to the point that he literally looks like a woman, complete with relatively large breasts and an attractive feminine figure. Even Word of God states that he's a dude in spite of his appearance. The only thing that makes him a male is that he has male genitalia.
  • A few characters in Betrayal Knows My Name:
    • Most notably Yuki who's even told he looks like a girl by other characters. Which is quite understandable as he has been a girl in all of his previous lives.
  • Black Bird (2006) has Kyo, whom Misao mistakes for a pretty girl upon seeing him as an adult.
  • Black Butler: Ciel. Joker even had to ask if Ciel was a boy to make sure. Also, in the Green Witch arc Rudgar is surprised to learn that Ciel's a boy and Sullivan grabs his crotch while asking "which one" he is.
  • Hideri Kanzaki from Blend-S fit this trope, due to him being a cross-dresser and wanting to be a famous idol.
  • Black Lagoon: In the omake episode Boys and Girls (in which everyone is gender-swapped to their opposite genders), Revy (who gender-swapped to male) looks much like his original female version, such as the clothes and hairstyle, which causes Rock (who gender-swapped to female and has gone a bit insane because everyone is gender-swapped and he's the only one who remembers their original genders) to believe that Revy is still a woman, but Revy admits to her that he is a guy and proves it by taking off his shorts and showing Rock his genitalia.
  • Ryousuke from Bokura no Hentai has long eyelashes and is noted in elementary to have looked like a short haired version of his sister (made even more obvious as family photos reveal Yui herself looked like Ryousuke when she was younger and had Boyish Short Hair). In middle school Ryousuke keeps his hair long to dress up as her.
  • Mizuki, the main character of Boku Girl, is a guy, but he looks so much like a girl that about everyone has mistaken him for one his whole life. He has even received several love confessions from guys who may or may not be demotivated by his real gender, to his great dismay. To make matters worse, the goddess Loki decides to play a prank on him and turns him into an actual girl!
  • In Brave10, Kamanosuke prompts a lot of confusion and has to do very little to look feminine, something he used to ambush people during his time as a bandit. When the Braves meet Jinpachi, Jinpachi immediately starts hitting on him, thinking he's the hot teammate Kakei told him about:
    Jinpachi: Whoa, a strong-willed woman! You'd make a great pirate!
    Kamanosuke: Have you got a screw loose, asshole!? What part of me looks like a woman!? I'm a man!!
  • Seiji Asou from Case Closed is strong enough in this department that his actual gender was not questioned after being on a Harmless Lady Disguise for two years.
  • It's fairly easy to mistake Castle Town Dandelion's Haruka for his twin sister. In Chapter 26, Shuu even commented he'd look fine in a skirt.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Last Order asked Accelerator if he was a boy or a girl because she couldn't tell.
  • Mumu Momoyama from ChocoMimi gets mistaken for female by both Choco and Mikachin when they meet him. He does occasionally wear skirts, and once dressed as a maid to advertise the class cafe, but he doesn't like being mistaken for a girl. Mikachin does assume he's a Sweet Polly Oliver once though.
  • There are several examples in Classi9:
    • Ren says she often forgets Liszt is actually a man because of his long hair and gentleness.
    • Beethoven was mistaken for a crossdressing girl while walking with Ren by two guys who came to Vienna to pick up girls. Salieri says he has feminine features and his long hair and short stature don't help. Since the two guys wouldn't give up about taking Ren and Beethoven on a double date, even after Salieri confirmed their alleged gender, Beethoven outright stripped to prove he was, in fact, a man.
    • In-universe only, Rentarou tries to avoid that trope as much as possible. However Mozart tells Ren she already looks girly and fragile because she is so petite and baby-faced, and her jittery behavior doesn't help. Wagner interpreted the imposter's accusations as this trope because of that jittery behavior and Tchaikovsky figures out Ren's secret because she's trying too hard.
  • Code Geass has Stupid Sexy Lelouch, who just needs a dress and wig to look better than every other woman in the series. In fairness, he really does take after his gorgeous mother a lot in looks.
  • In Count Cain, the only thing Cain needs to do to convincingly cross-dress is to wear a wig. He managed to fool a man into thinking he was a High-Class Call Girl once, even though the man was literally inches away from his face.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Gren from "Jupiter Jazz". The second he speaks, it's obvious that he's a man, but he looks very feminine and due to an experimental and highly addictive drug, he has boobs. Big ones.
  • Sakuragaoka from D-Frag!. Not only does he look and sound exactly like a girl, but his female clubmember, Tsutsumi Inada, finds him extremely attractive when he crossdresses, often finding any excuse to get him to wear girlish outfits.
  • Yu Kanda from D.Gray-Man was mistaken for a girl by Lenalee the first time they met as children. Even now, main character Allen has been known to use "girly face" as an insult for Kanda. In chapter 210 there's a scene where a random guy in a bar hits on Kanda, thinking he's a girl.
  • Daisuke Niwa from D.N.Angel. He was made to dress up as the princess in a play and made a very convincing girl with just a wig and dress. On one occasion, one of his friends comments on how girly he looks.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Inosuke Hashibira is a psychotic, muscular Walking Shirtless Scene who almost always wears a boar mask. Underneath it, however, he has a face that shocks people with how Bishōnen it looks. At one point this makes disguising himself as a female prostitute incredibly easy.
  • Hinata (Hina) Omori of Desire Climax looks enough like his beautiful sister Mio Omori that her boyfriend almost mistook him for her in the dark.
  • Rune of Dragon Knights us used as a body double for a princess in the first volume. Later on, he gets proposed to by a man who then pats down Rune's chest to confirm his claims of masculinity.
  • Historical Japanese figure, Nasu no Yoichi, from Drifters is presented this way, to the extent that Toyohisa and Nobunaga both thought he was a girl at first.
  • Eljuia from Endride, whose long hair, long eyelashes, and general Bishōnen appearance cause some confusion, to the point of it being lampshaded when Shun is trying to describe the Ignauts to an innkeeper:
    Shun: Have you seen a guy with a feather sticking out of his hat? Or this guy who kind of looks like a girl?
  • Hiromi Sugita from ERASED has both a feminine appearance and name and was allegedly murdered by a serial child kidnapper and killer who targets girls because he was mistaken for one. Satoru later theorizes that the killer was well aware of Hiromi's gender and killed him in order to remove himself from the list of suspects, as anyone who knew Hiromi would also know that he's a boy and thus be discounted by the police as a serial killer known for targeting young girls. As it turns out, Satoru's theory is correct, as the killer is revealed to be both his and Hiromi's fifth-grade teacher.
  • In the original manga version of Fairy Tail, Midnight's gender is very ambiguous, but the anime adaptation makes it more obvious that Midnight is a man thanks to voice acting. The makeup makes it easy to think that Midnight is actually a woman. Gajeel even lampshades this in the Key to the Starry Skies arc:
    Gajeel: You look like some angsty kid to got into his mother's makeup.
  • Fate/Apocrypha has Astolfo, Paladin of Charlemagne, who has long, pink hair in a braid, a penchant for rather androgynous clothing, a high-pitched voice, and the personality of a spunky teenage girl. He is also a guy. In-story, the only one who seemed to not realize this was Jeanne d'Arc, who freaked out a bit upon running into Astolfo coming out of the shower. Astolfo himself occasionally likes to mess with people by playing up his gender ambiguity, and is noted to not care particularly much about gender differences.
  • Rei in Fist of the North Star actually takes advantage of this—he disguises himself under a sheet, leaving only his very feminine eyes showing, and then kills the bandits that try to take advantage of him.
  • The Five Star Stories' Amaterasu dis Grand Grees Eydas IV and his sort-of honorary nephew Maximum HOLTFORS Ballanche Kaien, Duke of Fates. The guys could win any androgyny contest just by showing up, and surprising unsuspecting males is a Running Gag for Amaterasu when he goes to fool around incognito. Hell, there was a moment when Amaterasu was impersonated by a full-on woman, and nobody noticed.
  • Tokiya Mikagami in Flame of Recca. A death glare awaits those who think he's actually a girl in disguise. It's even more explicit in the anime than in the manga. When a guy identifies the only teenage boy around as being Fuuko, an enraged Tokiya shouts, "You idiot! I bet you thought I was a girl!"
  • Free!:
    • In the drama CD, it's mentioned that Rin has a pretty face and looks very good in a maid dress. His own sister calls him pretty.
    • Nagisa was this way prior to hitting puberty. He had a feminine voice and was In Touch with His Feminine Side. His older sisters bullied him by forcing him into a dress.
  • Several characters in Fruits Basket:
  • This ambiguity of this trope got played around with. Kakeru started calling Yuki, who gets told he looks like a girl rather often, "ranger pink". He's androgynous enough that Kakeru tricked his girlfriend into believing he really was a girl who was cross-dressing as a boy.
  • Envy from Fullmetal Alchemist, who is male in the first anime series being Hohenhemin and Dante's son, but can shapeshift into a woman if he wishes. In the official character book for the manga, the section under Envy is described as "of uncertain gender". He even had a female voice actor in the original Japanese, English, and Hungarian dubs, and this appearance is played for laughs in the Chibi Party OVA.
  • Fushigi Yuugi:
    • Hotohori is initially mistaken for a woman due to his effeminate appearance.
    • Nuriko is also like this, though the dress probably guided most assumptions. Even when Nuriko stops wearing dresses and wears more masculine clothing, this trope becomes more apparent for him, especially when he still wears his hair in a long braid.
  • Kazumi in Gargoyle of the Yoshinagas. That he looks like a girl is one of the things his little sister teases him about to no end. Still, he's generally a nice guy and even has a girl that has a crush on him.
  • Yellow Belmont in Genesis Climber MOSPEADA disguises himself as a female pop singer to avoid detection by the Inbit. His natural appearance is so feminine, however, that in one episode, while sunbathing almost completely naked, he is still mistaken for a woman by a tribal youth seeking a wife.
  • When Kazuki of the Strings in Get Backers assists a person in a hospital, not only does the head nurse assume he is a woman, she thinks he is a trainee, makes him wear a nurse's uniform, and takes his clothes. Ren also mistakes him for a girl, and is in turn mistaken for a guy by Shido. Amon goes so far as to hit on him. On many occasions, main characters have been peeping on what is supposedly a girl bathing, approached a "girl" from behind, or otherwise been completely blindsided when they see the face and realize that they've been attracted to Kazuki. Major spoilers: the end of the manga reveals that the GB world is an AI simulation with Infinity Tower as its conduit, explaining the superpowers the characters have. In the "real world", Kazuki really is female, and is married to Jubei, bearing his child.
  • Lucille, the vocalist in the manga Grand Guignol Orchestra, is often mistaken for a woman.
  • .hack//SIGN: Tsukasa, the main character. Unlike the other more masculinely-designed male characters, his design is a very cute, vulnerable-looking Bishōnen (like Shinji below), and his clothing includes a long skirt that can make us overlook his equally long pants underneath, although it's downplayed in that he is still recognizably male. This Foreshadows the fact that his player is actually a girl.
  • Ranmaru Fujieda from Haikara-san ga Tooru, being a kabuki artist and also doing acting training.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler's Hayate Ayasaki has a face girly enough that both Nagi and Maria are occasionally compelled to make him play dress-up for them. The result of those projects sends the Moe factor of the show through the roof.
  • Hellsing:
    • Alucard's apparently female form counts, as despite looking the part, he still retains his deep, obviously male voice.
    • Also Schrodinger. It helps that he shares a similar design to Seras (sans the hilariously large bust)
  • Shun in Here is Greenwood. As a practical joke, several older residents of the dorm convince the main character (who is Shun's roommate) that Shun is in fact a cross-dressing girl. This deception holds until Kazuya runs into Shun using the urinal.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Several people thought that China was a girl, him with his ponytail and all. Well, it's not that hard to believe with pictures like these. It's no wonder the fans are confused. Lampshaded by the creator:
      The only female member of the Allies...not.
    • Chibitalia (young North Italy). Many nations, including his caretaker Austria, were convinced he was a girl, and the Holy Roman Empire even fell for him. Until Italy reaches puberty and his voice changes.
    • Poland already looks girlish, and then he talks in a schoolgirl dialect (translated to Valley Girl in English) and, when he feels like it, cross-dresses. When they were children, Prussia pointed out that Poland looks like a girl and, because the Teutonic Knights had a vow of chastity, he had to touch his balls...Poland wasn't up to it.
  • Hunter × Hunter has some examples:
    • Chrollo mistakes Kurapika for a woman when he first meets him. Then again, Kurapika was dressed as a woman with a feminine hairstyle, and he did it very convincingly too. Chrollo seems more shocked at getting Kurapika's gender wrong than him being incapacitated and tied up in Kurapika's car.
    • The youngest Zoldyck son Kalluto has a very feminine haircut and always wears a black kimono. His fighting style involves a fan (an instrument commonly associated with femininity) he moves to manipulate paper cuts.
    • Even his older brother Illumi, with his dark long hair, his big eyes and his thin silhouette, could easily pass as a crossdressing woman.
  • If Her Flag Breaks: Due to his very feminine appearance and attire (thigh-high socks and shorts), Megumu is mistaken for a girl by many characters when they first meet him. The fact that he wears the male uniform (or, at least, the male blazer) is the only way anyone could see that he was actually a boy.
  • Inazuma Eleven: Madoka is explicitly mentioned to often be confused for a girl. He wears earrings, has a feminine bob hairstyle, and has prominent eyelashes. his name is also a Gender-Blender Name. Even in Inazuma Eleven Go, Kirino has feminine eyes and a rose pink hair tied into two pigtails. He is actually a boy, so don't be fooled be his appearance.
  • In Jin, Tanosuke is so feminine, his acting career begun with him playing female characters. If it wasn't for his short hair, you probably wouldn't guess he's a man.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Golden Wind: Narancia Ghirga certainly qualifies, being a skinny teenage boy in a sleeveless black attire with neck straps, an orange skirt, a pixie-like medium-length hairstyle and a rather feminine voice. (Amusingly, his Stand, which are often named after music references in the series, is named Aerosmith, known for the song "Dude Looks Like A Lady"). Also, Bruno Bucciarati and Leone Abbacchio, with their androgynous faces, feminine haircuts and Abbacchio's use of makeup, also occasionally get new viewers misled, though they at least sound clearly masculine.
    • Steel Ball Run: Dr. Ferdinand has delicate features and appears to be wearing lipstick, which combined with the multiple roses on his outfit makes him look quite androgynous.
    • The JoJoLands: Dragona has a very feminine appearance. Jodio states that he loves girl-like fashion and the slight swelling in his chest is from cosmetic implants.
  • Suriou from Kamisama Kiss. Some of the other characters even lampshade it when they remark that he is prettier than the female lead, Nanami.
  • Karakuridouji Ultimo:
    • Rune. It's actually lampshaded; he was a girl in his past lives.
    • If you prefer to believe the Doji actually have genders (they are supposed to be robots) then Ultimo, Desir, Jealous, and most especially Sophia and Service all count (the former for his feminine name, and the latter for being a Captain Ersatz of Tamao)
  • Pre-Gender Bender Hazumu of Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl. Yasuna, who Does Not Like Men, accidentally mistook him for a girl when he was still a "he".
  • Kagemiya Sen from Kekkaishi can be easily mistaken for a female due to his face shape and hairstyle. This is also noted by the other characters in the manga itself, much to Sen's displeasure.
  • Kemono Jihen: Kabane admits that he initially thought Akira was a "very pretty girl" when they first met, much to the latter's frustration. It doesn't help that Akira has long hair and eyelashes.
  • The titular character of Kunisaki Izumo no Jijou looks like a girl and is often mistaken for one. Because of that, he is also invariably assigned as an onnagatanote  in the kabuki plays organised by his family's troupe, much to his chagrin.
  • Yuuta of Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! looks quite feminine according to a few characters and, in the light novels, himself.
    Isshiki: Hmm, it's disappointing! Why weren't you born as a girl?! Ah, but maybe you'll do if we put you in female clothing... how about it?
  • Macross:
    • Lord Geppelnitch (or, rather, the human body he's possessing) from Macross 7 looks and sounds so ridiculously feminine that nobody among the fans could believe he was a man. Near the end of the series he is seen shirtless, which finally proves it.
    • Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier. Well, it generally happened offscreen, but his fine features and long hair make such reports rather believable. The fact that he's a trained (and talented!) Kabuki actor, who frequently played female roles, and is a dead-ringer for his gorgeous Missing Mom doesn't help either. Frequently addressed as "Princess", at one point he is even offered female clothing by a salesman who mistakes him for a girl. The first time he meets Ranka, she mistakes him for a beautiful woman. And even later describes him to Ozma with that in mind.
      Ranka: He was really pretty, like a princess.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic:
    • Titus is so girly-looking that Aladdin actually gropes his chest when they first meet in order to make sure Titus is a guy. Turns out there's a good reason for his feminine looks since he's an Opposite-Sex Clone of a female Magi.
    • Prince Ren Kouha of the Kou Empire already looked quite girly when Aladdin first meets up with him. After the timeskip, when Alibaba sees him with his hair down and loose, he thinks that a pretty woman is walking up to him carrying a heavy load of fish.
  • Mashuu Hayami of My Boy is a long-haired, fine-skinned 12-year-old boy who is initially mistaken for a girl by Satoko Tawada when she first meets him.
  • Spade from Mysterious Joker. Due to his long hair and long eyelashes, some people might assume he was a girl in masculine clothing at first glance.
  • Totsuka Saika from My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, as I Expected. The adorable tennis club member is noted to be cuter and more feminine than most actual girls by the protagonist narrator.
  • Naruto:
    • Haku looks feminine to the point that the main character is left in shock when he learns that Haku is actually a boy.
      Naruto: No way?! He's prettier than Sakura!
    • Filler villain Benten in the Shippuden anime. This is to the point where Chūshin quips that whenever Benten opens his mouth, it looks and sounds strange due to his masculine voice and feminine appearance.
    • Upon seeing Sasuke as a baby, Kushina thought he was a girl. He also looks similar to his mom. Itachi even more so. He looks just like his mom and has really long eyelashes.
    • Neji Hyuga is said to be pretty like a girl, and that he has the same face as his cousin Hinata in the spin-off series Rock Lee's Springtime of Youth . It helps that his hair falls to his waist.
  • In Natsume's Book of Friends, Natsume Takashi's most defining physical characteristic is his uncanny physical resemblance to his grandmother at that age. While humans don't tend to mistake him for the opposite gender (except for that one time where he was possessed by a female Youkai and started giving his male friends thoughts), Youkai seem to do it all the time, and according to Madara, the vast majority of Youkai do not make a distinction between genders.
  • Shinji from Neon Genesis Evangelion is essentially a Gender Flip of Nadia (see here for notes from Sadamoto himself). He was described by Sadamoto as looking like "a boyish young girl" (more evidence here), and was made as such to distinguish him from the mecha heroes at that time. Shinji's feminine facial features are brought up by Misato in the first episode, and during the eighth and ninth episodes he's made to look like a girl from nothing more than a wardrobe change. A scene from the Neon Genesis Evangelion 2 video game had Fuyutsuki say that Shinji looked just like Yui and then crossdress Shinji for the role all while saying how beautiful "she" looks; Fuyutsuki's actions soon become overtly sexual. Shinji and Kaworu also make rather pretty girls with little more than a hair and eyelash change (and breasts) in the GenderFlip version of episode 24, longer haired Shinjiko ends up looking like a young version of Yui. The issue is not helped by Maya, who is essentially Shinji in a female officers uniform. And female, obviously.
  • No. 6:
    • Nezumi. He makes a living performing in Shakespeare plays. In episode 5, he was playing a girl. In episode 1, Shion even states that he looks like a girl.
    • Inukashi (Dogkeeper), if you go with the theory that (s)he's a guy. The manga, anime, and light novels support varying interpretations of his/her gender, and it's never stated outright. Either way, (s)he's got really long hair from never cutting it and a thin build from malnutrition.
    • Shion. He's Bishōnen, has a face similar to Safu's (who's a girl), and in chapter 6, a guy hits on him and tells him that he's "very pretty".
  • Shun/Yun from Only Sense Online. In real life, he looks so feminine that, when he was once forced into competing in a beauty contest, he was the winner. In the titular game, he's been assigned a female avatar, due to the system mistaking his actual gender.
  • Ouran High School Host Club plays with this, in that Haruhi would fall into this perfectly, and does in the eyes of the Host Club's customers...except she actually is a girl.
  • Patlabor: The Mobile Police: Baddo is a 12-year-old boy from India who looks so feminine that he could be a dead ringer for Nadia, albeit with longer hair. Richard Wong uses it to his advantage at the end of the Griffin arc by disguising Baddo in feminine Indian garb to cover their escape.
  • Peacemaker Kurogane:
    • Souji Okita looks eerily like a woman. Other Shinsengumi members lampshade it a few times by reproaching to him that he walks like a woman, acts like a child and is girlishly pretty that he resembles a young girl. That, and he almost never carries a sword around when he's off-duty.
    • Also, Suzu. Especially after he starts wearing makeup and revealing clothes in the sequel manga. Even the other characters in the series comment on how beautiful he is.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors:
    • Count D is often mistaken for a woman, to his great annoyance. Probably doesn't help that his traditional Chinese clothing looks rather ambiguous.
    • Papa D (and Sofu D), being genetic copies of him, look the same. Papa D also has long, flowing hair to make it even better.
  • Tooru and Yuujirou in Princess Princess frequently get asked out by other guys (when not in their princess garb). The aforementioned two have also stated that when Mikoto is standing next to his girlfriend, they look like two beautiful girls instead of a guy and his girlfriend.
  • In Pump Up! the protagonist mistakes a male classmate for a girl. It doesn't help that their uniform is androgynous, aside from girls wearing skirts and boys wearing slacks, and he's short for a boy. His feminine looks have made him popular with guys too.
  • After Art Evolution, Reborn! (2004) has suddenly started getting a bunch of them, including the protagonist. Chief offenders include Kikyo and Daisy of the Real Furneral Wreathes. Only in the latest chapter has the translator been certain that Kikyo is male and no one can be certain if Daisy is this or a Bifauxnen.
  • In Red River (1995), Yuri mistakes a guy named Tito for her little sister Eimi. Funny, since Yuri herself is a Bifauxnen.
  • Junior of R.O.D the TV is pretty enough that one of the Paper Sisters invites him to be their younger sister, so they can all play Little Women together. This...throws him somewhat.
  • Rose of the Prophet: Mathew is so pretty that he is mistaken for a woman by both Auda's slaver caravan (who promptly make him dress like one, with him forced to go along with it to survive), and Khardan when he saves him from them.
  • Kenshin of Rurouni Kenshin, who was based on a real historical figure who used his feminine appearance to his advantage, getting up close to his targets so he could assassinate them and hiding out in brothels after a kill. We see Kenshin doing exactly that in a flashback.
  • Saint Seiya:
    • Andromeda Shun gets this a lot, even in-universe. His own older brother fell in love with a girl who looked identical to Shun "except for her gender and the color of her hair." It doesn't help that his patron constellation is Andromeda the Princess, or that his (pink) armor appears to have been tailored for a woman, complete with breasts in its first form. It even fooled one of the dubbing teams, who cast a female voice actor right up until Ikki first called him "little brother."
    • The Gold Saint Aphrodite Pisces, who is obsessed with beauty above all other things. He's even named for the Greek goddess of love. Again, this is acknowledged in-universe.
      Seiya: Is he even a man...?
    • The Silver Saint Lacerta Misty.
    • Frequently done in Kaori Yuki manga, not just in terms of art, but as part of the storyline.
      • Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas:
      • Phantasos is a goddess who uses her power to try and trap El Cid in a dream world where can have the thing he most desires. This will leave her and the other Gods free to kill all of humanity. However, El Cid's only dream is to make his sword the sharpest blade in existence. Thus when he obtains said blade in the dream, he uses it on her immediately. Her beauty shatters revealing that she's a crazed middle-aged man who is absolutely furious with El Cid for ending the facade.
    • Veronica is a long-haired, purple-lipstick clad and extremely feminine male. Oddly this doesn't seem to be a difficult fact for Tenma and company to recognize.
  • Samurai Deeper Kyo has Yukimura, a handsome bishonen who is sufficiently androgynous that he can easily pass for a woman in the right clothes, and has a FEMALE ninja as his body double. Not a macho-looking female ninja either.
  • Samurai High School: Kou, who crossdresses to pretend he is his twin sister, already looks and acts very feminine. His sister Tsukiko, however, is very masculine. They dress up as eachother since the samurai school they attend frequently tests the guys' masculinity and the girls' femininity. Pretending to be the opposite gender, they both excel in the aforementioned fields.
  • Seraph of the End:
    • Asuramaru. A young, girly face, long hair, wearing long opera gloves and most importantly a slitted dress that reveals most of the legs, yet he is officially confirmed to be male due to him being formerly Ashera Tepes, Krul Tepes' brother.
    • Kiseki-O. Although not as girly-looking as Asuramaru, he still looks like a Shorttank short-haired young girl and even wears very short shorts. However, his usage of the pronoun "washi" gives away his gender, and he is actually considered masculine by Japanese standard, due to the belief that young male demons are baby-faced, despite being seen as effeminate elsewhere.
  • Shimoneta: Oboro not only looks the part, but even sounds like one in the anime without having to disguise himself, or his voice.
    • Everyone refers to him as "Ms. Tsukimigusa" and, had it not been for Tanukichi's accidental discovery in episode 9, no one would suspect any different. Such that Ayame initially thought Tanukichi was lying when he tried to tell her Oboro's true gender.
    • Made moreso during the end credits of the same episode, which briefly shows him fully nude. Not only does he appear to have B-Cup sized breasts, he's seen with his arms crossed over them just as a woman does when they're topless.
    • In episode 12, he was able to strip down and change clothes in the womens room with another girl present, without her realizing Oboro was a guy. All she saw was what she thought was an attractive looking darkhaired girl in lingerie.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: Gowther has No Biological Sex as a life-size living doll, but he has a lithe male body with a very effeminate face and can easily be mistaken for a girl. This is actually commented up on the spin-off which details the second High School AU of the series. He's so effeminate that with a simple change of hairstyle and clothes, he was able to pass a checkpoint disguised as a schoolgirl. Jericho in the spin-off also does note that he didn't have to crossdress to make the disguise work as his appearance with a mere different hairstyle was more than enough for him to easily pass off as a girl. It's later explained by Meliodas why Gowther looks like this. The reason is that Gowther's creator had modeled the doll Gowther's face in his lover's image. However, in order to not feel any sexual desire towards his creation as that would've made his commandment affect him, the original made the doll male.
  • Shugo Chara!: Nagihiko, otherwise known as Nadeshiko. Yup, that Nadeshiko. This is a guy, believe it or not.
  • Wapourif from Simoun. The people of his world are female until they turn 17, at which point they choose their adult gender, but the change isn't immediate. Wapourif hasn't been a man long enough for his big breasts to flatten out, and still wears his hair long. One could easily be forgiven for thinking he was a Wrench Wench.
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: While several characters quickly recognize Kazuki as a Long-Haired Pretty Boy there are plenty of others who mistake him for a girl, most prominently Ryuu who spends their entire interaction trying to figure out how to ask his gender to have it cleared up only after Kazuki flaunts off to find Shirayuki.
  • A lot of guys from The Story of Saiunkoku, but especially Sa Sakujun, with his long pink hair. In the manga, Ko Kijin wins a men-in-drag contest basically by showing up.
  • Yoshiki Nakameguro from Student Council's Discretion. It's enough to instill some Stupid Sexy Flanders moments in Ken in episode 12 of the anime.
  • Sword Art Online, due to the random generation of the avatar, Kirito, who already looks rather feminine ends up with this appearance while in GGO. As if he didn't have enough problems already (what with a guy running around doing real PKs), he now has to go around looking like Snow White! Played for Laughs as not only does every player in-game aside from Death Gun initially assume he's a girl, a rather cute one at that, he eventually starts playing into it for his own amusement.
  • Zaji of Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee has garnered more than few double-takes for his androgynous appearance.
  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime: Though he's technically sexless despite identifying as male, Rimuru Tempest's human form is repeatedly confused for a girl at first glance by strangers due to his natural beauty, with some even thinking he's a goddess. Justified in that his human form is based off the female Shizue Izawa, who asked to be absorbed by him in her dying moments.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Suzuya and Sasaki make quite the attractive ladies merely by changing into feminine attire and Sasaki wearing a wig. Tsukiyama occasionally crosses into this in the sequel when he's in his Angst Coma showing him to be even more beautiful and frail than usual. Kanae was initially this before he was revealed to actually be a woman.
  • Tono to Issho: Motochika, to the extent that he's voiced by Mamiko Noto and his retainers refuse to accept he's a boy, making him wear a miniskirt and fantasizing about marrying him.
  • Loran Cehack from ∀ Gundam is effeminate enough that, in masculine clothing, Guin Lineford called him "Laura" (also used by the Earth Militia and Dianna Counter when referring to him). He also cross-dresses rather convincingly. Lineford himself lampshades the name, saying it suits Loran better. It's turned into an important plot element as the enemy (and most of the militia) are convinced the "White Doll's" pilot is female. Rumor has it that Loran's design was Tomino's Writer Revolt against the execs not letting him have a female main character.
  • Played with in UQ Holder!. The supposedly-male Kuromaru is extremely girly and gets mistaken for a girl and called "miss" by about every other character. However, while Kuromaru isn't lying when claiming not to be a girl, "he" is not actually a "dude" either. Turns out Kuromaru has No Biological Sex: the particular breed of demons he is descended from do not become male or female until 16 years of age, at which point they make a conscious decision which to become. Kuromaru is currently leaning towards male (hence why he identifies as such), but hasn't reached that age yet (and, due to his immortality, it's possible, though unconfirmed, that he never will). To make things more complicated, Kuromaru is beginning to think about becoming female, due to developing a crush on the male main character.
  • Nagisa from Urusei Yatsura looks, acts, and sounds like a girl, the viewer thinks so until her fiancé Ryunnosuke finally tells her that she’s actually a girl, Nagisa then pulls up her dress to reveal her male chest, as it turns out his father had told him that Ryunnosuke was a boy and so he raised him as a girl in hopes that they would marry as Ryunnosuke’s father were childhood friends and promised that their children would marry each other.
  • Hibiki Tokai from Vandread was mistaken for a young girl once by another man.
  • Canute in Vinland Saga is initially mistaken for a girl once he removes the helm hiding his face, and though the confusion gets cleared up fairly quickly, Thorfinn continues to use the insulting nickname "Princess" for a bit. Thorkell's men once make a crack that if Thorkell is the avatar of Thor, Canute must be the avatar of Freya. Once Canute's character development kicks in, he starts to look more masculine; after the Time Skip, he has shorter hair, a beard, and a muscular build, lacking any of his previous effeminacy in appearance or demeanor.
  • Shingo in the King of Brutes storyline in Violence Jack. And, because this is Violence Jack, he is molested because of this. MANY. TIMES.
  • Wandering Son:
    • Due to being a transgender girl, Nitori's appearance counts as this. Her girly looks make it easy for her to dress up in a sailor uniform and pass for a girl as long as she doesn't speak.
    • Her trans male friend Takatsuki is an inverted version - he's biologically female so as long as he grows out his hair and dresses in the girl uniform, he will look like a girl
  • Waratte! Sotomura-san: In a flashback from when the Sotomura siblings went to a store to buy yukatas, each one was given something for the other's gender.
  • The World is Still Beautiful's Bardouin, thanks to his long hair and bishonen looks. Livius lampshades this in an argument, saying he should just look in the mirror if he wants to go after pretty girls. Bardouin doesn't react well to that comment.
  • Yoon in Yona of the Dawn is frequently mistaken for a girl. This actually helps him to infiltrate a human trafficking ring, disguised as a girl. Hilariously, this is averted with the rest of the Dragons who despite being Bishounen aren't able to pull off that feminine look.
  • Shun from You and Me starts out as a Long-Haired Pretty Boy who New Transfer Student Chizuru mistakes for a girl (and falls for). He gets a haircut for the summer and keeps it the rest of the series.
  • Oddly enough, the Yu-Gi-Oh! GX dub makes several jokes about this in the case of Professor Chronos/Crowler:
    "I didn't know he was a doctor."
    "I didn't know he was even a dude."
  • Kurama from YuYu Hakusho. In the last episode, some girls in a train station mistake him for Kuwabara's girlfriend (which seems strange, since he is quite tall, flat-chested and broad-shouldered). This is even funnier in the manga, due to the fact that Kurama briefly starts to lose his temper. When Yusuke later asks him to help nab a monster at a girls' school, he bitterly asks, "Should I wear a disguise, or shouldn't I bother?" Ironically enough, he tends to get to be the Seme in fanfics that pair him with Hiei despite this.
  • Ranewater Calder from Zombiepowder.. It didn't help that he's the leader of a gang called the "Ash Daughter Gang"...
  • Run from Dragon Knights is mistaken for a woman on more than one occasion, even managing to convince an actual demon he's the demon's long lost female lover.

  • The Last Supper: John (the apostle directly to the left of Jesus, who seems to be fainting) is depicted as a Long-Haired Pretty Boy with a very feminine face, presumably to emphasize his status as the youngest Apostle.

    Comic Books 
  • Korbinian ("Bini") from Mingamanga is a Heavy Metal fan and has the hair. Also, the teacher mistakes "Korbinian" for "Korbinia".
  • One of the protagonists of the graphic novel a + e 4ever is Asher, a teen boy "cursed with a beautiful, androgynous face" and constantly mistaken for a girl. He eventually learns to embrace his appearance and use it to get favors from guys.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The Boy Who Cried Idiot: Played with. They don't look female, but due to his low intelligence, Martin mistakes Principal Huggins and Chandler for women.
  • Death Note The Abridged Series KPTS 4 TV:
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged there's a Running Gag of Future Trunks being mistaken for a girl. He doesn't actually look that feminine, but such is the fate of a Bishōnen in a series dominated by rugged, buff men.
    • After their first meeting in Episode 34, Goku comments that Trunks is "a nice young lady".
    • When meeting baby Trunks after the time skip in the next episode, he comments Trunks is a girl's name.
    • In the adaptation of Broly: The Legendary Super Saiyan, Paragus announces him as "Princess Trunks". When Vegeta hears about this, he gleefully runs with it and decrees that everyone has to call Trunks that.
    • During Episode 60, when dead Trunks is brought to the Lookout along with Android 18 (who wasn't dead), Dende asks why two "dead chicks" were brought to the Lookout.
    • For a non-Trunk example, Krillin thought that Freeza was a girl when he first saw him, and nearly blows his and Gohan's cover when he yells in shock.
  • Deconstructed by Draw a Circle: That's Your Soul — when China gets abducted, it's hinted his captors attempt to molest him, leading them to discover the pretty "lady" actually has a penis and inflicting a Traumatic Haircut on him to make him less feminine.
  • Equestria Girls: Friendship Souls: Thorax is described as quite effeminate and quite good-looking, and (unlike his counterpart) his personality seems set to match it. It's likely part of the reason why he can impersonate Chrysalis so well.
  • Kingdom Hearts: The Antipode: Played for Laughs. The Trolls somehow mistake Donald Duck for a 'human female' and try to wed him to Kristoff.
  • In the Mega Man X fic Limitless Potential, Chiyo briefly mistakes Zero for a female reploid, though it's downplayed as it happened before she saw him up close.
  • In the Turning Red fanfic The Panda Chronicles, Aaron T mistakes Tae Young for a girl when he meets him due to his long hair.
  • The Pokémon Squad: RM is often confused for a flat-chested woman because of his long, blonde hair and effeminate looks/behavior.
  • Son of the Sannin has quite a few instances:
    • A young Naruto is taken by Jiraiya on his mission to Sunagakure, and once there he's left with the Sand Siblings with Yashamaru taking care of them. A confused Naruto asks why that "woman" has a male name and why "she" is taking care of them when he heard their uncle would do so. Yashamaru politely explains that he is their uncle, and it's not the first time someone mistakes him for a woman, much to Naruto's shock.
    • In the following chapter, Naruto visits the Hyuga estate and watches a sparring match between Hinata and Neji. Given his previous experience later, he feels the urge to ask Hikari Hyuga (Hinata's mother) if Neji is a guy, while mentioning that he saw many Hyugas who looked like women. Hikari amusingly replies that not many Hyugas were lucky enough to inherit her husband's manly features.
    • When the Genin teams are formed, Kurenai seems quite pleased when it seems she got herself an almost all-female team. Naruto can barely hold the chortles before Haku reveals that he's also male. Kurenai quickly apologizes, and figures he's probably so used to it that it doesn't annoy him anymore.
  • Stars From Home has a scene early on in which Charles speaks to a mutant prisoner at the police station and snaps at the officers for mistreating a little girl. The mistreatment is still wrong, but the mistake embarrasses the "girl"—it's Scott. Ruth later makes the same mistake and Alex teases him until he gives himself an Important Haircut.
  • In Tales of Fairies Chapter 117, not only is Rogue mistaken for a girl by the rest of the Ichiya Trauma Support Group, he's mistaken for Gajeel's little sister thanks to a photo of his child self wearing a dress.
  • It's mentioned in Unplanned that Inojin sometimes worries that he looks too feminine. His mother Ino lies and tells him otherwise.
  • In The World in Black and White, Kaizo (Kon's name in this verse) hits on three girls in his first appearance. The last "girl" is actually Uryuu. Who promptly snaps in response.
  • In the X-Men: Evolution fanfic XXY:Evolution, where most of the characters are genderbend, Morgan (male Pixie) looks feminine because of his mutant abilities, which he hates (although his butterfly wings have male patterns at least). Even before his mutation kicked in, he was always mistaken for a girl, which makes him act out. Mysterioss (male Mystique) tells him he shouldn't let his appearance dictate his masculinity.
    • Parodied in "Rayquaza Mistress" when a machine test tells him he's female and he gets an identity crisis. Turns out, it was just a glitch and RM is indeed male.
      RM: Ach! What do I do?! What if Kowalski and the others can't find proof I'm a man?! What if I actually am a flat-chested woman? What'll I tell May?! (slaps self) Don't worry, they'll definitely prove that I'm a man, and that my genderbent version is extremely busty. I'm sure they will! After all, how else would one explain my hairy legs?! And I have a Metapod! Yeah! I'm 100% man! Except I don't act like a man, I don't look like a man, I love crossdressing, I scream like a girl- (Red comes in)
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series parodies this trend in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Marik and Bakura are frequently mistaken for women, and while Duke and Yami are more easily identifiable as men, they're talked about as if they're pretty women.
    Marik: Foolish fools! There are no women in Yu-Gi-Oh!, only extremely girly men! And I am the girliest of them all!
    Pegasus: Keep telling yourself that.
  • Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse has Harumi Tsukuyomi, native to the Grand Line island of Femille, is mistaken for a girl by the Kamikazse Pirates when they first meet him. Not even Ranma Saotome (a Sex Shifter) nor Ukyo Kuonji (herself a former bifauxnen) recognize him as a Pretty Boy at first. Indeed, Ranma's literal first thoughts on meeting Harumi are about how cute "she" is, even despite his multiple existing romantic attachments. It turns out that Femille tradition is for all men to dress and act like women, to the point they have been literally bred to be bishonens.

    Films — Animation 
  • Bambi as a fawn has a somewhat feminine looking appearance, due in part to his big rounded head and eyes and eyelashes. His demure personality and girly sounding name has also caused a fair amount of confusion over his gender with audiences. Not helping matters is that his ladyfriend Faline (at least as a fawn) has nearly the same body and facial build as him (key difference being her fur color, rounder head and curly ears). It should be noted however that this is Truth in Television for fawns, as even wildlife experts have great difficulty in distinguishing the gender of a fawn at a glance. This is later averted when he grows up as, while still cute looking, he then unmistakably looks like a buck. In the midquel, Ronno notes the oddity of his name and later disparagingly refers to him as "Princess" to take him down a notch.
  • This is Francis the male ladybug's shtick in A Bug's Life. He has a very feminine face as well as a very masculine voice. This is lampshaded a couple of times; for example, when we first meet him, two bugs in the audience start hitting on him when he performs. Helps that he's voiced by Denis Leary!
    Francis: So, being a ladybug automatically makes me a girl! Is that it, flyboy?! Eh?!
    Flies: Cripes, she's a guy!

    Films — Live-Action 
  • There is an instance used in The Case Of The Mukkinese Battle Horn first heard in the radio program The Goon Show, in which Peter Sellers (in the short film, Harry Secombe in the radio show) is noticeably aroused by the veiled belly dancer in a seedy club who goes over to him and after calling "her" a beautiful creature, etc., he asks what causes "'her' to dance in such a den of sin?" "She" lifts her veil, revealing "her" to be Eccles (played by Spike Milligan), with the line "I've got to make a living, too, you know!"
  • Inverted in the film version of Dark Shadows. During the party at Collinwood, Barnabas mentions that Alice Cooper is the ugliest woman he's ever seen, not realizing that he was looking at a man. (He was confused by the name.)
  • A Flirts Mistake (1914). Fatty Arbuckle and other men are enticed by a passing creature wearing high heels, a flowing gown, and shoulder-length hair. Then he sees the person's front, and discovers the person is actually a bearded rajah. Who does not appreciate the attention.
  • In the movie of Hair, the hippies crash a party and one of the partygoers comments on the "Negro with the two young ladies" (there was only one girl in the group; the "second" was presumably Woof, who has long blonde hair and is clean-shaven).
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: In the Extended Edition, Dáin considers Thranduil to be so Elfeminate that he resembles a woman, and he calls the Elvenking a "pointy-eared princess."
  • Angelica in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides poses as Jack because he was the only (male) pirate she thought she could pass for.
  • The '60s comedy What's New Pussycat? opens with Peter Sellers in a velvet suit and shoulder-length hair, arguing with his wife, who accuses him of seeing another woman. She demands "Is she prettier than me?" He shouts "Is she prettier than you?!...I'm prettier than you!" (Note: for comparison's sake, he's nowhere near pretty.)

  • A cabbie picks up a nun. She gets into the cab, and the cab driver won't stop staring at her. She asks him why he is staring. He replies, "I have a question to ask you, but I don't want to offend you." She answers, "My son, you cannot offend me. When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a chance to see and hear just about everything. I'm sure that there's nothing you could say or ask that I would find offensive." "Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun kiss me." She responds, "Well, let's see what we can do about that: #1, you have to be single and #2, you must be Catholic." The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes, I am single; and I'm Catholic too!" "OK" the nun says. "Pull into the next alley." He does, and the nun fulfills his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush. But when they get back on the road, the cab driver starts crying. "My dear child," said the nun, "why are you crying?" "Forgive me, Sister, but I have sinned. I lied. I must confess, I'm married and I'm Jewish." The nun says, "That's OK, my name is Gary and I'm on my way to a Halloween party."

  • Most males in the Anita Blake series fit this trope except for Richard and a couple of others. Most of them are swooningly subservient, have feminine faces, slender bodies and long flowing hair.
  • Realm of the Elderlings: The Fool in Robin Hobb's works. He even spends a few years passing as a woman, and for most of the series the Fool's exact gender is unknown, until the final book of The Tawny Man series, where it is revealed that the Fool is actually male. Well, hir belongs to a non-human species and some of hir physical attributes are continually changing (skin and hair color). It is entirely possible that zee physically changes hir sex in intervals (it seemed more like zee was genuinely thinking of hirself as female-gendered for a time, not just pretending), or that hir physical sex wasn't determined until the last trilogy, considering zee was still adolescent before that.
  • Lani Garver, from What Happened To Lani Garver. In fact, although the narrator finally just refers to Lani in the masculine form, the issue is never actually resolved.
  • There's an entire species of these in Alan Dean Foster's Taken trilogy. When they talk, however, they sound like garbage disposals, as fits their combination of an absolute sense of honor and a fondness for killing.
  • Nakajima, protagonist of the Digital Devil Story series, is described as handsome in a feminine way. Specifically used as a taunt at one point.
  • Nightrunner: Seregil unintentionally manages to have a very straight man fall in love/lust with him using only a very modest dress, a little make-up, and his acting skills. (He already has a slim body, long hair, and apparently no facial hair growth.) He spent many days in that disguise surrounded by the same people on a cramped ship, and nobody noticed. His apprentice also developed a bit of a crush on him, and later unconsciously chooses a female prostitute who looked like Seregil in drag. Of course, later it turns out that the kid is bisexual and just hadn't realized it yet.
  • Journey to Chaos: Getis Darwoss is the older brother of Noreji Darwoss but Eric notes that, with his long hair and feminine face, he could be mistaken as an older sister.
  • Quintus Curtius Rufus' depiction of Alexander the Great in his book Nemesis is this, and it was intended as a Gendered Insult: although not to Alexander per se (who was 300 years dead) but to Emperor Augustus (the whole book is pretty much a thinly veiled Take That! to Augustus). However, things change, and the modern-day writers who are sympathetic to Alexander are more likely to characterize him this way (because feminine people are supposedly nicer). Of course, it is highly likely that there was some perfectly innocent gender-confusion when the Macedonians arrived in Persia however, because the two cultures had very different ideas of what constituted feminine and masculine style. Many of the younger Macedonians shaved, which would have looked effeminate to the Persians (although they would hardly have been mistaken for women) while the Persians wore long robes and makeup which would have looked effeminate to the Macedonians. Although Curtius uses this as an insult, the Persians themselves likely wouldn't have viewed the perceived effeminacy of the Macedonians as anything other than amusing since they weren't nearly as obsessed with manliness as the Romans. Macedonian/Greek racism against Persians however was definitely laced with misogyny, but fortunately was never really widespread.
  • In I Think I Love You, Bill's first reaction to David Cassidy's pictures is "She's not my type."
  • WIEDERGEBURT: Legend of the Reincarnated Warrior: Eryk mentally complains when he wakes up as his past self that between his scrawny untrained body and his long hair, he looks like a girl.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Journey of Flower: Qian Gu mistakes Qian Mo for a woman and calls him "Big Sister". It's an easy mistake to make.
  • Game of Thrones: Jaime describes Loras as a "curly-haired little girl" in "Dark Wings, Dark Words". This is of course partly because it's pretty well known that Loras is Renly Baratheon's lover, but it's also well-established that Loras is quite effeminate. Interestingly, Sansa Stark doesn't seem to think this is a bad thing; she has a bit of a crush on him.
  • Vince Noir of The Mighty Boosh is mistaken for a woman (or more specifically, as his friend Howard's wife or girlfriend) in nearly every episode. He addresses his oddly compelling androgyny himself in the episode "Party": "Of course you [fancy me] — all men do! I'm the confuser! 'Is it a man? Is it a woman? I'm not sure if I mind!'"
  • The CSI episode "What's Eating Gilbert Grissom?" features a guy killed after he is mistaken for the female victim the murderer had already picked out. The murderer did have vision problems though, due to bad laser surgery, but not confusing your victims is Serial Killer 101.
  • An episode of the German police procedural Tatort had a short scene from a rapist's point of view while he was looking for a new victim. The camera lengthily gazed over several longhaired beauties, among them one which caused the POV to rapidly shift to another when he turned around.
  • Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! had a whole song about a man whose footsteps sounded like those of a woman.
  • An episode of Mad About You had Paul and his cousin first mistaking an obese "woman" as pregnant - and when correcting for that mistake, discovering it was a man. After it was solved, they call the waiter who asks "And the lady?".
  • While Kurt from Glee doesn't look like a woman per se (though he's enough of a Pretty Boy that him doing drag isn't hard to picture), he certainly sounds like one: the second thing he usually has to say when answering the phone is "No, she's dead, this is her son." It's been lampshaded a bit, like like Sue calling him "lady face" and when the mean jocks in theatricality mentioned that they couldn't tell the difference between him and girls.
  • Played for Drama in the House episode "Skin Deep" where a model finds out that "she" has testicular cancer and a mutation that made her intersex as she was born male but couldn't process androgen, resulting in a female appearance.
  • Chappelle's Show: During Charlie Murphy's True Hollywood Stories skit about Prince, Charlie Murphy remarks how Mickey Free, a member of Prince's crew, looked like a girl.
    When he joined the group, I heard mad cats like, "Yo, Shalamar got a new girl in there, man, bitch fine like a motherfucker." They was talking about Mickey Free, man, okay? Mickey Free is not a girl."
  • 2 Broke Girls: Han remarks in one episode that a Camp Gay couple asked him if he was a "rice queen on the downlow".
    Earl: They think he's gay!
    Max: Huh... [Beat] That's a step up; usually people think he's a lesbian.
    • It happens again in "And the Pearl Necklace":
    Sophie: Where's that Asian lady who usually brings me my menu?
    Caroline: That's Han ... Han's a man.
    Sophie: If you say so ...
  • In the Bones episode "The Girl in the Mask", a doctor flies in from Japan to aid with the investigation and the team spends most of the episode trying to figure out his/her gender. Angela divines at the end of the episode through a very thorough hug that he/she is a man, despite the fact that the character was played by a woman.
  • In 30 Rock:
    Bucky Bright: I wandered the building all night. I didn't run into another single living soul. Except one giant lesbian. Who is Conan O'Brien, and why is she so sad?
  • On That '70s Show, Jackie uses makeup to glam up Kelso like David Bowie. She's delighted with the results and chirps "You're prettier than Bowie!" He's pleased with the results and chirps "I'm prettier than you!"
  • Referenced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when the Asgardian woman Lorelei sees a $100 bill for the first time and thinks that Benjamin Franklin is a woman.
  • On an episode of The Benny Hill Show, Benny is in a bar and attempts to pick up what he thinks is a long-haired woman. Benny approaches her and says "My wife doesn't understand me." The "woman" turns around, showing herself to be a long-haired man, and says "Neither does mine!"
  • Thanks to his long hair and soppy-hippie behavior, Neil of The Young Ones has been mistaken for a "damsel" by a medieval knight and a "little girl" by an accidentally-conjured minor demon.
  • Just Shoot Me!: Dennis is sometimes mistaken for a woman due to his slight physique and long-ish hair. He mentions having a resemblance to Ellen when wondering why his dad assumes that he's gay, but he still keeps having the long hair throughout the series. In "Halloween? Halloween!", Finch is mistaken for a woman by a lesbian.
  • Winter Begonia: Sort of played with given that Shang Xirui, as a mainly dan (female role) performer, spends most of his time onstage dressed as and playing the part of a female. At one point, Cheng Fengtai remarks on how amazing it is that Shang Xirui can be so feminine onstage when offstage, he isn't feminine at all.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Greek Mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection. Some say that he mistook it for a beautiful woman, while others say that he recognized himself. Either way, he lay there pining after himself until he wasted away, his body turning into a flower that bears his name. This happened because he spurned the affections of a young man named Ameinias and a (female) nymph named Echo, who prayed to Nemesis for revenge.
    • Theseus, who was raised in Troezen, was on his way to Athens when some workmen started catcalling him—in Athens men wore short tunics, so to them his long, princely robe looked more like a dress. Theseus got pissed and threw two grown oxen into the air, which apparently missed by still left them rather stunned.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Mark Briscoe refers to The Young Bucks as "the hottest babes in pro wrestling".
  • "He looks more like a woman than a man" was one of the reasons Kurt Angle gave for disliking Jeff Hardy, while Hardy was the centerpiece of Immortal and made a silver Aztec sun belt styled after his face.

  • Izael from the The Gamer's Alliance is often confused for a girl because of his looks.
  • Equestria Chronicles has Shiloh, who looks like a filly and has been mistaken for one on multiple occasions.
  • Equestrian Legends: Beret Swirl invokes this trope to get free drinks.
  • In the Roleplay wiki, one of the character profiles done is of an Androgynous ninja.

  • In Jerusalem, Ginger is mistaken for a woman by the Professor, though this is only because the former has long hair and the latter is a senile and possibly crazy old man. Nobody else has any doubts about Ginger's sex, which makes sense given that Mackensie Crook doesn't look much like a woman at all.

    Video Games 
  • Yuki from A3 is an androgynous, crossdressing boy who's received love confessions from male classmates who thought he was a girl. Taichi also thought he was a girl when they first met as children and fell in love with "her"; when they meet again, he comments on how much Yuki reminds him of his "first love" but doesn't put the pieces together.
  • AkaSeka: Yui Shōsetsu, even though he is completely unaware of this and will get very pissed when other people mistake his gender.
    • Tokugawa Yoshimune, to a lesser extent. His profile says he's "so beautiful one might mistake him for a lady".
    • Takenaka Hanbē is also mistaken for a woman once.
  • Apex Legends: Catalyst was introduced as the first Transsexual Legend. Despite the idea at first serving nothing more as a gimmick, for most players. Her character was actually well-received, between the straight and non-binary gamers. Honestly, Catalyst's model is soo feminine, a typical outsider of the game, could easily mistake her for a genuine woman, very impressive indeed.
  • Bungo to Alchemist: Kōyō Ozaki. "Who are you calling granny? I'm quite obviously a man!"
  • Bridget from Disgaea 2. Just like every other human in the game, he was cursed with the appearance of a demon. Of course, in his case, the aforementioned demon form is that of a very feminine Nymph-like creature. Unsettling Gender Reveals ensue.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Perhaps also taking cue from the original source where he's depicted as a super beautiful man, Zhou Yu of Wu is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy with feminine features in his face that you can only confirm this guy's gender by hearing his voice, which is surprisingly pretty high for a guy (but not that overexaggerated).
  • Eternal Eden: Jean has long hair, wears a jeweled circlet, and generally behaves like an Alpha Bitch that Fierro refuses to believe he's not a girl. He is also able to equip the Sexy Corset armor, which is otherwise only wearable by female party members.
  • Fire Emblem has a couple of these:
    • The first one seen by Westerners was Lucius from the seventh game, The Blazing Blade. He's even mistaken for a woman by Serra in-game.
    • Elphin from Binding Blade, like Lucius, gets mistaken as a girl, this time in his A support with Fae, who corrects her almost immediately.
    • Libra from Fire Emblem: Awakening gets mistaken for a woman by practically everyone who talks to him, due to not only looking but sounding very feminine. So much that some of them occasionally forget that he's a man, even after he points it out to them.
    • Forrest from Fire Emblem Fates continues the trend. While not as feminine sounding as Libra, he sure makes up for it by being a Wholesome Crossdresser who is very good at sewing. Not to mention his father's initial embarrassment of that lifestyle.
    • Downplayed with Dimitri from Fire Emblem: Three Houses: he was mistaken for a "young maiden" at least once in his youth; however, he has transitioned to a more conventional bishie by the start of the story, and gets a much more masculine look later (though, somewhat amusingly, combined with longer hair).
    • Rosado from Fire Emblem Engage follows tradition, whose clearly masculine voice gives a sharp contrast to his feminine appearance. He can even wear the Female version of class armor (provided he can access said class).
  • Bridget from Guilty Gear is a subversion. In older games, Bridget was referred to as a boy forced to crossdress due to a superstition from her home village, with an appearance that fooled many characters.Fun fact  Bridget didn't even bother to correct most of the cast when referred to as a girl. However, in her Guilty Gear -STRIVE- arcade mode, Bridget starts to grapple with gender identity issues, and ultimately realizes that she's a transgender woman, one that identifies as such of her own volition rather than due to being forced to by others.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty:
    • Raiden. Like Rune, he got patted down, but in... er, a different area. By the US President. It doesn't help that we're so used to visual representation of the male body as having no hips (they do, just not as pronounced as women) that Raiden is relentlessly mocked because of the figure-enhancing suit he wears. ("Hips Don't Lie" is a minor meme for male character models that look like they're just very flat women.)
    • Then there's Raikov, from the follow up game Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Raikov was created in response to the controversy surrounding Raiden following his replacement of Solid Snake as the main character. Hideo Kojima on more than one occasion has commented on Raikov's beautiful looks.
  • Felix in Radiata Stories. He has a male stalker who is shocked and appalled when it is revealed that Felix is male - yet continues to stalk him anyway.
  • Ranmaru Mori of the Samurai Warriors series has a very feminine appearance, to the point that he gets mistaken for a woman in universe to the point of Running Gag status—he even "counts" as a lady for the purposes of Designated Girl Fights. Amusingly, one of his battlecries from Warriors Orochi is "I'm as dangerous as I am manly!"
    • Also, Ne Zha from the same game. The child-like face and pink hair doesn't seem to help much on his case.
    • Ranmaru also suffers from this in Pokémon Conquest, which crosses over heavily with Samurai Warriors and Nobunaga's Ambition. One of the recurring postgame stories is of the female Warlords trying to determine which of them is the greatest beauty of Ransei - Ranmaru is also a contestant in these stories, looking very bewildered and somewhat concerned at his inclusion.
  • Parodied in the comics for Team Fortress 2. Merasmus the Magician constantly gets referred to as "ma'am" and "witch-woman" despite clearly looking and sounding like a man, purely because he wears a long wizard robe that's mistaken for a dress.
  • Twisted Wonderland: Epel Felmier is very small and delicate-looking, to the point where he's mistaken for a girl even though he goes to a school for boys.
  • The Wind Road has one of the bosses, Qu Wuxie, who looks more like a young woman than a dude given his flowing long hair, effeminate voice, shapely and feminine-looking body concealed by robes. In his first cutscene he doesn't have any dialogue and players could very well mistook him for a lady, but when confronted as a boss his voice is a man's. Also, calling him "pussy" or "sissy" is a Berserk Button guaranteed to tick him off.
  • In World of Warcraft, blood elf males invoke this trope frequently. One post-Cataclysm quest, for instance, features a parody of a Knight Errant looking for damsels in distress. One of said damsels is a male blood elf, who dropped his "purse" "crate" in the lake.
  • Tamamo-no-Mae from Onmyōji (2016), who's so feminine despite being an adult man that he's even voiced by a woman. Later skins however tone this down until he's just a Bishōnen, and then comes a skin for his SP form where even his voice actor is replaced by a male one, firmly averting this trope.
  • Papers, Please has some male entrants whose heads look like women's heads. You have to strip search them to find whether or not the passport's stated biological sex is true or not in order to determine whether to let them in or to arrest them.
  • Haukau from The Tale of Food who also crossdresses, is an Idol Singer, could apparently pass for an old man's long-lost daughter and briefly worked as the "mistress" of a teahouse. Then he gets a skin that shatters this utterly.
  • Tales of Vesperia has a Running Gag of various NPCs being surprised that Yuri Lowell is a guy. Considering this is how he looks, it's not very surprising. What is surprising is that a) not many major characters comment on it and b) Yuri just flat out...doesn't care.
  • In Castle Chase, Monica assumes that the librarian Clare is female because of "her" long blond hair and flowing robes. She learns otherwise only in Clare's ending where Clare reveals to her that not only is he a man but the reason he asked her to fetch him various items was that he wanted to use them to make a gift of affection for her.
  • In BlazBlue, Amane Nishiki is confused by a woman in multiple occasions. Just ask Bang, Hazama, Litchi, among others.
    Kagura: (After checking him out) Not another dude...
  • Many Pokémon of a single species look identical whether they're male or female, which leads to this trope with species like Gardevoir that have a very feminine appearance.
  • Hajime of Ensemble Stars!, who sports a pastel blue bob, a gentle and meek personality, and some rather feminine hobbies such as tea and herb sachets, not to mention a knack for laundry. As a result many characters refer to him as a girl, calling him a younger sister or ideal wife. However, he always insists that he's a boy and actually doesn't like being mistaken this way - he'd like to cut his hair much shorter, but his current girly style suits the youthful theme of his idol unit, so everyone freaked out and begged him not to.
    • This also happens in-universe to Kaoru - the first time he sees Souma, he mistakes him for a 'beautiful, black-haired beauty.' As soon as Souma starts talking he realises his mistake, to his embarrassment, but Souma understands neither why Kaoru called out to him now why he's now trying to ignore him, which rather sets their relationship off on the wrong foot. Kaoru also seems especially preoccupied by his girly looks even after this, to Ho Yay levels:
      Oh, geez. If you were a girl, I'd have said, "I'm going to shut that mouth which shouts abusive language", and given her a kiss~ You've got long hair and seem like a girl, but you're a guy, after all~ I don't swing that way.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City: Discussed by the band Lovefist:
    Is it true you like our curls
    Do you think we look like girls?
  • Alphinaud in Final Fantasy XIV has a soft looking face (since he's a teenager) and a pretty long ponytail. Several people mistake him for his twin sister, Alisaie, who looks almost identical to him save for her red lips and a red bow in her ponytail. The inverse of the trope happens where Alisaie gets confused with her brother after she is told how rugged she looks. This completely sets her off as she tears Estinien a new one for mistaking her for her brother.
  • Shiron in Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 looks and sounds like a girl, but is in fact actually a boy, which makes for a good contrast with his obsession with manliness. He understandably becomes pissed off when ZedΩ flirts with him and mistakes him for a girl in Epilogue ATEMS.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • In the Dissidia Final Fantasy machinima "Real Men", there's a segment where Squall states, "Only a real man hangs out with the ladies." Cloud responds with, "You know that's a guy, right?" but Squall firmly states that it's a chick, until he finally decides to ask the man/lady in question, who is Bartz. Bartz replies, "Oh yes, I am male—I mean, FE-male." Squall's response?
    Squall: ...Oh, you're dead... [gunclick]
  • Hazbin Hotel: Angel Dust dresses in feminine clothing, is fluffy and pink, appears to have breasts (is actually just his chest fluff), and has a higher voice than most men. In the pilot, Nifty actually confuses him for a woman, ignoring him completely while trying to find any men in the hotel.
  • Manga Heaven: Kanata looks a lot like his twin sister Hinata. He is often mistaken as a girl, which allowed him to go to school at Hinata's all-girls school when she felt ill.

  • Beloved: Lin was this way when he was a child. Ding Yi sees a picture of him and mistakes him for a girl. Wei also thought he was a girl at first glance. He was slim and pretty until high school.
  • Jacob the Rag doll from Monsterful, his long hair and shy personality make it even worse.
  • Al in Goud. At one point, Vincent isn't sure if Al is a guy or a girl but falls for him anyway.
  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Tedd, whenever he removes his Opaque Nerd Glasses. And even when he doesn't, "he's just that androgynous" is the oldest Running Gag of EGS. Certain habits of his don't help matters, though it's suggested that one of the reasons he does it is when he's a boy, his feminine face gets him mocked. When he's a girl, he's a hottie.note  At one point, he magically dyed his hair pink and went to a Magic: The Gathering tournament. This drew attention from straight men at the tournament, although he seems to be under the assumption that anyone attracted to him is gay.
    • Noah is even worse. Elliot's reaction when meeting him is "Who's this...guy? I think?"
  • Dan in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures with his long hair, fluffy wings, and robe, gets mistaken for a woman all the time. Sometimes he hates it, but sometimes he uses it to his advantage...
  • Penny Arcade had a running gag where Gabe kept mistaking game developer John Romero for a woman (despite Tycho's repeated corrections) because of his "long, flowing hair". They both made this mistake at least once.
  • In Rascals, thanks to the power of Issyvision, Skye temporarily does look like a lady. See it here.
  • Parodied in Insecticomics when Moral Guardian Lady Jaye attempts to make the 'naked' robots all wear censor bars. Override, who is female but has a gender-neutral body, taunts Lady Jaye by asking how many censor bars she needs. Lady Jaye eventually puts a censor bar on her groin but not on her chest, having decided that Override is male.
  • Leslie from Flaky Pastry has an ambiguous name, dresses androgynously, works as a barmaid (complete with skirt and tube top) and is surprised when the girl he asks out thinks he is gay.
  • In this Sidekick Girl strip, Chris looks like a tall, skinny girl, but in the next strip is revealed to be a young man with very long hair.
  • This Sluggy Freelance strip invokes this trope thanks to an alien race where the males look an awful lot like human females. Rather than being grossed out that they were drooling over a guy, Torg and Riff keep right on staring at his breasts. "Could you jump up and down for us, mister?"
  • Cale from Looking for Group is often referred to as "she" by Richard when the latter is still getting to know him, even after he's well aware that Cale is male. Aside from Richard's mocking, Cale's effeminate appearance continues to be used as a Running Gag with other characters as well.
  • My Life In Blue: "Your mom looks like a girl. Ooo."
  • Lovely Lovecraft: Iranon to the hilt. He's slender, has long flowing hair with flowers stuck in it, and wears colorful robes that drape over one shoulder and expose the other in a feminine fashion.
  • In Gold Coin Comics, Theo, whose job class (healer) is normally reserved for girls, is mistaken for a woman when Lance first meets him.
  • Faux Pas: Randy, who is male, once was Miss April on a calendar.
  • Heart of Keol has Danbi, who not only looks like a girl, but also practices an art traditionally reserved for women in his culture. His sexually ambiguous voice (caused by throat damage) doesn't help.
  • Kano, the main character of Kagerou. The artist has made specific note of his "absurd girl hair".
  • Eutropia of Amazoness—it's actually a plot point.
  • Chovek, a minor character in Inhuman. The fact that he's pink doesn't help.
  • A peculiar example in The Shufflers. Thanks to Märchen’s somewhat long hair and his portly figure, the hospital mistakes him for a pregnant woman and attempts to transfer him to the maternity ward.
  • Lampshaded heavily and hilariously in Chasing the Sunset, as Leaf is so girly that it often takes ages for someone meeting him to realize he's a guy. But then, he's an elf, so prettiness is pretty much par for the course.
  • Mashiro from Kurumi's After Hours, deciding to try out opening a videogame streaming channel, is surprised to find a large number of viewers on his channel, all commenting on her looks. Several other strips has him get mistaken for a girl too. His Gender-Blender Name certainly doesn't help matters.
  • The Order of the Stick's Vaarsuvius. Maybe.
    • Given the art style, pretty much everyone is of Ambiguous Gender and we have to rely on clothing and how they're referred to by other characters to tell. V wears a wizard robe, so that's no help, and the other characters aren't any better since most of them have no idea what gender V is either.
    • Apparently androgyny is a racial trait, as V's spouse and children are also androgynous, and according to the translation, the Elven language does not have gender-specific words, referring to V as other parent.
  • In spite of being an adult male well into adulthood, Vinci of Vinci and Arty is often mistaken for being a female, at one point being mistaken for a pregnant woman in labor when pulled over by a cop. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Meet Dubious Company's Elator. Later on, a drunk Tiren braids his hair with magic hair ties that won't undo. Most characters mistake him for female. Marty has problems with this revelation.
  • Unwinder's Tall Comics: Dr. Minivan, after losing his hair (for science), buys a wig to hide his baldness. The wig is so long that he gets mistaken for a woman. When this happens in a public restroom, he panics and hides in a stall, and tries to figure out how to get back out of the restroom without incurring further confusion. This takes so long that he grows a beard. Problem solved!
  • Sunstone has Alan, who is so protective of what facial hair he has not even his wedding day could part him from it. Some of the characters have a vendetta to get the man to cross dress.
  • Allen from Allen the Alien, who would't normally be this trope, is mistaken by the aliens for a girl; RR-TWTTW somehow think he resembles his daughter.
  • Life (2012) has Edward's roommate Lex.
    Lex: And yes, I am a guy.
  • Lampshaded in MMBN 7 The World Tournament, were Sean mistakes Viddy Narcy as a woman at first before their match.
  • Sequential Art: Art's neighbor, Roger Lapin, to the extent that he basically looks exactly like Jessica Rabbit, right down to the Impossible Hourglass Figure and generous bustline. Considering that Roger's very anatomy is female, as opposed to just having feminine facial features, it isn't clear whether he just looks like a woman or whether he actually is transgender. His wife, Jessica, is an inversion since she looks like a stereotypical overweight, bearded biker dude.
  • In Yokoka's Quest, Yokoka says she thought the Longhaired Pretty Boy Azha was a girl. Grace mistakenly refers to Yfa as "her", though this may have been based on his voice.
  • Cursed Princess Club: Prince Jamie of the Pastel Kingdom is so beautiful that on first meeting him (or seeing his royal portrait), people think he's another Princess. To be fair, he does have gorgeous hot-pink hair, wide magenta eyes, long lashes, flawless skin, a willowy frame, and he does exude literal sparkles wherever he goes.
  • Ask the Famous 8!: Percy looks more feminine compared to his peers, as he has long hair which he ties into a bun and a noticeable bust. Justified, as he is transgender and currently in the process of transitioning.

    Web Original 
  • Phase, in the Whateley Universe, looks and sounds so girly that he's given up and dresses in mannish girl's clothes that fit him, while he tries to find a way to change himself back to a manly guy. Even in pants and heavy coat, he still gets tabbed as a girl, much to his disgust.
  • 4chan's original character "Golden Brisk", who is CONSTANTLY mistaken for a female to his own chagrin, to the point that his day job is to model women's clothing. He spends most of his free time trying to make himself look "manlier" and failing hilariously. His love interest is his own Distaff Counterpart Silver Breeze.
  • Gaia Online's Gino Gambino at one point looked very feminine despite the memetic "Twinkie Brows"; the description for his collectible doll states that he's often mistaken for a girl. More recent manga updates featuring him have been making him a little more masculine, via Art Evolution and an Important Haircut.
  • An NHL blogger decided to list hockey players who she felt looked like Tilda Swinton.

    Web Videos 
  • Axel from Demyx Time enjoys mocking Marluxia for this. Inverted when Demyx firmly believes that Larxene is a man.
  • In a Hot Springs Episode of Fixing RWBY season 5, Roman discovers to his surprise that Lie Ren is in fact a man. The two have a whole conversation about it, with Ren listing all of the obvious signs that he is a man and Roman countering those examples.
  • The viral "Thanks my name is Felix", in which the cameraman compliments a cosplayer he assumes to be a girl, and is stunned to find it's a crossdressing male as equally crossdressing male character Felix Argyle from Re:Zero.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Leslie the flower is a boy, but his appearance and behavior make him easily pass as a female, including his pink petals. In the first season, he was treated as a female in some dubs.
  • Edd from Ed, Edd n Eddy can be seen as this. In fact, in the series finale, "Big Picture Show", Eddy's brother mistakes him for Eddy's girlfriend.
  • Home Movies: Brendon comes home to find his mom and her boss looped on wine. On seeing him the boss shouts "Well, look at you! What a perfectly adorable little young lady!". Brendon anxiously replies "Ah...well...I'm not so little...". Brendon is considered to be kind of girly by lots of folks, including his friends.
  • In an episode of Johnny Bravo, Johnny is at the beach when he approaches what appears to be a woman in a bikini, but as soon as the person turns around, it turns out to be a slender man with long hair in a speedo.
    Johnny: Whoa! I thought you were a chick!
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: "Seeing Red" features a trio of unicorns named Frank, Joe, and Phil, who are all male, but all look very feminine. They don't like being called "Girly" and beat up anyone who does so. Bloo knows this, which is why he tricks Red, Terrence's imaginary friend, into doing it.
  • On The Legend of Korra, Korra's creepy Half Identical Twin cousins Desna and Eska are introduced, and since they look almost exactly alike except for make-up on Eska (the girl), Bolin assumes they are both girls.
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012):
    • Many viewers thought that Sweet Cheeks the Sugar Glider from the episode "Pawlm Reading" was female, especially given he had a squeaky high voice and long eyelashes, when in fact he's male.
    • Princess Stori from "Terriers and Tiaras". Zoe is quite shocked upon learning this the first time he speaks.
  • Metalocalypse: Skwisgaar Skwigelf is tall and thin, with long hair, large lips and very nice butt. He does not like it when you call him a lady.
    Skwisgaar: [puts a box of tampons inside Toki's shopping cart, chucking to himself] Uhhh, hey Toki, look inside of your basket. Guess why you are is in such a crappy mood. You have ladies' tampons. Inside of it. And you buy them for yourself. Go have a conversation with all the ladies and tell them your problems!
    Toki: You lady, Skwisgaar!
    Skwisgaar: NO IS NOT!
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "S'Winter", Candace gets jealous when her crush Jeremy hangs out with "D.D.", a Swedish exchange student with long blonde hair who is only seen from behind for much of the episode. Much to her relief, "D.D." turns out to be a guy named Derek Dukenson.
  • The main joke of SheZow is the fact that the title character is a guy who has to dress like a girl due to the ring that gives him his powers. A Title Drop of the tropes is done in the first episode.
  • Sir Glossaryck of Terms’s debut in Star vs. the Forces of Evil had this exchange between him and Marco.
    Glossaryck: At your service, m’lady.
    Marco: I’m not a lady.
    Glossaryck: (looks at Marco) Coulda fooled me.
  • Family Guy:
    • On an early (as in before it was cancelled and Un-Cancelled) episode, the gang are discussing which celebrities they would have sex with if they had the chance. Quagmire says Taylor Hanson, and suffers a minor breakdown once he's told Hanson is a man.
      Quagmire: But I have all these magazines! ...Oh God!
    • Another episode has Quagmire being asked which celebrity he'd have sex with, and was given a choice between two men. He chooses Johnny Depp, because "he kind of looks like a chick, I guess".
  • The opening theme for Pepper Ann has an unidentified character ask if Pepper Ann is that girl she's always seeing everywhere, upon which Milo, in his very deep and laid-back voice, then says, "No, that's me."
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Bossy Boots", Squidward's new uniform results in a nearby fish mistaking him for a lady.
    • In "One Krabs Trash", Mr. Krabs says wearing the soda drink hat makes SpongeBob look like a girl, with the latter taking it as a compliment.
    • "Keep Bikini Bottom Beautiful" has Squidward's night shirt that everyone mistakes for a dress, complete with the sanitation police referring to him as "ma'am".
  • The Simpsons: Homer doesn’t even remotely resemble a girl, yet in one episode he still gets mistaken for one. After he gets kicked out of Moe’s Tavern, he goes to a lesbian bar. After he complains about the bar’s lack of a fire exit, he leaves. A nearby woman asks, “What was her problem?”


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Character Gender Confusion


Stormalong Girls Club

Captain K'nuckles breaks into a girls' only clubhouse for a prank, but when Flapjack does the same thing, it backfires when the girls mistake him for one of their own.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / DudeLooksLikeALady

Media sources: