Follow TV Tropes


Extraordinarily Empowered Girl

Go To
Jessica Jones demonstrates one kind of empowerment.

There is a niche between the ordinarily powered heroine and the superpowered superheroine. She has a little extra something that most humans don't have, but is nowhere near the territory of The Cape.

She is independent and strong willed, but vulnerable. Her little extra something isn't powerful enough that she won't have to use her brains to solve a problem, but she can occasionally call on that something for a solution most people couldn't use.

She is essentially a fantastic expression of "Girl Power", whatever that means for the show's target generation.

See also: Magical Girl, Action Girl, Cute Bruiser. Plucky Girl is the 'non-superpowered, but gets the job done anyway' version.

Not to be confused with a girl with an extraordinary amount of the Most Common Superpower.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the first part of Soul Eater, Maka is this. Her only ability is to not go insane, and uses this as creatively as possible. This is no longer a characteristic of her after she learns to fly, however.
  • Haruko from FLCL. She's from outer space, wields a gasoline-powered Rickenbacker bass guitar as a weapon, and plays baseball improbably well.
  • Mikura from Mezzo Forte supplements her un-paralleled hand-to-hand fighting and weapon skills with a touch of Psychic Powers: at times she is able to gain mysterious glimpses into the future. The same also applies to her sister, Yakuza Princess Momomi Minoi.
  • Ino Yamanaka from Naruto evolves into this in the Shinobi war.
  • The girls from Windy Tales with their Wind Manipulation powers.
  • Miki, Mozu, Sakaki, and Kei in AKIRA.
  • Mio Mizumori from Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo evolves into this.
  • The protagonists in Magic Knight Rayearth are each given elemental magic and Evolving Weapons (as well as Humongous Mecha) but they still need to rely on each other and their ingenuity to survive their journey through Cephiro.
  • Played for laughs in Urusei Yatsura with Asuka Mizunokoji and her mom. Both characters have Super Strength for literally no reason other than just a quirk of genetics, and the trait is exclusive to women, as Asuka's brother Tobimaro lacks it entirely. Additionally, Asuka mainly uses her superhuman strength to throw fearful temper-tantrums at the sight of men or ladle out exaggeratedly painfully overbearing affection to the few men she trusts, mostly her brother.

    Comic Books 
  • Since Empowered's suit doesn't always work well, she has to think up other ways of defeating supervillains. Like ramming them with an SUV going 70 miles per hour.

    Fan Works 
  • Helen Bennett from the Rise of the Guardians fic Guardian of Light is this. She has the ability to create/control light, which comes in handy when fighting Pitch, the personification of darkness.
  • Lucille Harewood, the girl shown at the beginning of Star Trek Into Darkness, becomes this in the fic Safe and Sound, after Khan's blood turns her into an augment. Although because she's still only eight, she does need a bit of help on occasion.
  • In Child of the Storm, Carol Danvers becomes a Super Soldier thanks to a temporary Plot-Relevant Age-Up - and, though she reverts afterwards, she is noted earlier as being both clever and an extraordinarily talented athlete. Like, 'arm wrestles the entire football team, in succession, and wins' talented. Despite this enhancement and natural ability, however, she ends up dealing with monsters capable of matching three similarly aged up characters, Harry, Diana and Uhtred. The first two are classic Flying Bricks, and Uhtred is a straight up Brick. This means that she has to rely more on her smarts. She does, and much butt kicking ensues. It turns out that the mountain only enhanced/woke up what was already there-namely, her latent super-soldier genes from her great-grandfather, Steve Rogers.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, Terry Pratchett's recurring theme of extremely tough attitudinal women characters is taken a step further, with good reason. Girls who graduate from the Guild of Assassins' school needed to have something a little bit special in the first place. Seven years of very thorough training, delivered by tutors and role-models like Miss Alice Band, Johanna Smith-Rhodes and others, tends to create a Graduate Assassin with skills, aptitudes and determination to succeed which isn't far short of an SAS trooper or a MOSSAD agent. Indeed, in the tale Gap Year Adventures, a Cenotian graduate actually is headhunted for her country's equivalent of the MOSSAD. In a voyage of cheerfully distributed mayhem across an entire continent not unlike Africa, she and a Rimwards Howondalandian best friend demonstrate their training and competences. Many times.
  • Chloe Cerise of Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail starts off as a girl with a donut holer but in Act 2, she gains two artifacts that lets her cast fire and summon demons. This helps out in a lot of ways but she still uses her fighting skills and keen mind against the baddies like the Organ Man. Delirium, The Bogeyman and Walter and Henry.

  • Sometimes trouser-wearing Alice of The Witch Watch can summon fire, but the process is incredibly draining and will lead to her fainting after two or three attempts, so she normally ends up having to rely on her brains or on her little gun.
  • In the Animorphs prequel book The Hork-Bajir Chronicles heroine Aldrea is this. She's the only character in the book to possess the morphing ability, at a time when the technology was still brand new.
  • Anita Blake in the first few novels, before rampant Power Creep kicked in.
  • Matilda has the power to move small objects with her mind.
  • Jane Doe from The Bright Falls Mysteries is a weredeer who solves mysteries.
  • Three Parts Dead: Cat is a mouthy, but otherwise pretty normal junkie who can take care of herself and use her brains when she's not currently suffering from withdrawal. She's also an agent of Justice, meaning when she dons the Blacksuit she becomes stronger, faster and and able to think completely logically. The downside is that she then loses her individual thoughts and becomes part of Justice's Hive Mind, so she spends most of the book avoiding that to be better able to think for herself.
  • Marasi in Wax and Wayne is a Pulser, an Allomancer with the power to create a bubble of time that moves slower than the world around her. Her abilities tend to require niche situations (such as trapping criminals and waiting for backup, or not waiting for a play to start), and most of her contributions have to do with her detective and gun skills.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Out of This World (1987): One of the earliest EEGs was Evie Garland from this 80s Sitcom, who derived her extraordinary powers from her half-alien heritage. All Anterians have a variety of powers, including the ability to "Gleep", or to will simple, non-mechanical objects into existence. As Evie is only half-Anterian, her powers are less refined than a full-blooded Anterian. Evie's main power is the ability to freeze and unfreeze time by placing her fingers or palms together, respectively. Later in the show, on her sixteenth birthday, she gets the ability to teleport.
  • Ta'ra, from the short lived series, Something Is Out There.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch used a similar formula, substituting "alien" for "witch". It should be noted Sabrina has been around since the 60s.
  • Joss Whedon has admitted to having a thing for this trope, noting after Firefly that he "can't seem to create a show without an adolescent girl with superpowers" in it.
    • The title character of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Whedon's most well-known TV creation, for instance, was one of the most notable instances on TV of this archetype.
    • However, she's by far not the last Whedon character to fit the trope: in addition to other Slayers seen throughout the Buffyverse (especially but not exclusively in the comics, such as Fray or Buffy Season Eight), there's also psychic Waif-Fu user River Tam from his shorter-lived cult hit Firefly.
    • He "has a thing" to the point that his Astonishing X-Men run that, while mostly universally acclaimed, was also criticized by some circles for overusing Kitty Pryde, a character who was one of Whedon's favourite growing up and his main inspiration for a lot of his EEG characters.
    • He also wrote an arc of Runaways. Admittedly, the EEG characters weren't his creation (except the two he added), but we're pretty sure they're the reason he likes that comic enough to write it anyway.
    • Even non-Slayer women in the Buffyverse may end up as EEGs. Case in point: Willow, most of the time. She took a trip to "super" status on a few occasions. When you get down to it, Willow is the most powerful human in the Buffyverse. Too bad With Great Power Comes Great Insanity.
  • Max of Dark Angel.
  • All three of the main trio of Birds of Prey (2002) were this at one point, although one of them only in flashback on account of paralysis.
  • The Secret World of Alex Mack: Alex Mack.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • Impure Blood: Dara's psychic powers appear to have less to do with her Action Girl status than her upbringing by warrior monks
  • The Witch's Throne: Agni and her potions provide quite the fight, but sometimes they aren't enough.

    Western Animation 


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: