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I Was Beaten by a Girl

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"Nooooooooo! Impossible! I can't be beaten by a little girl! I'm a warrior!"
Vikke (upon being killed by Juliet Starling), Lollipop Chainsaw

The instituted rules of masculinity say that a man cannot be beaten by a woman. Of course, any such man who is beaten by a woman is pretty unhappy.

Rationale for No Guy Wants an Amazon. Waif-Fu may be in evidence. Related to Samus Is a Girl, if the man wasn't aware his opponent was female before losing. May be the punishment of the Straw Misogynist, whose sole purpose is to be beaten by the woman. Also expect this to be said by a He-Man Woman Hater before An Aesop about girls being as good as boys.

This trope doesn't cover all situations where the girl wins the fight — the guy has to feel a particular injury to his pride because of the situation, especially if it bothers him above and beyond simply getting his ass kicked by a supposedly weaker foe. Sometimes may be invoked by an Arrogant Kung-Fu Girl who really wants to twist that knife (i.e. "How strong are you really if I could beat you?").

Truth in Television: there are some men that really feel this, especially considering the societal gender belief about men being stronger than women.

As this is a Defeat Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Comic Books 
  • The Flash: In Terminal Velocity, the super villain Kobra manages to (temporarily) kill Wally West, resulting in Wally's girlfriend Linda going on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge that very nearly takes down Kobra himself, though he manages to gain the upper hand and is only defeated when Wally returns from the dead. When Kobra returned years later during Wally and Linda's honeymoon, he revealed that he was seeking revenge on Linda, not Wally, because he can't bear that he was nearly thwarted by a woman.
  • Lil i Put: Miksja beat the crap out of Ivan and his band of dwarves with her magic during their first clash, which led Ivan to several revenge attempts trying to kill Miksja… But to be fair Ivan's pride wasn't hurt as much due to Miksja's gender and more the fact she's an elf.
  • One Lucky Luke story has all the bankers refusing to report that they have been attacked by Ma Dalton, because if a Miniature Senior Citizen can rob you you're not a really good bank. It's only when it becomes a clear case of Never Mess with Granny people are more open about her crime spree.
  • During a storyline, The Punisher went after the Runaways after The Kingpin hired them to steal a hyperdrive device. This ended up as one of the most humiliating moments in Castle's life, as Molly "Princess Powerful" Hayes defeated him with a single punch.
  • In one Spider-Man comic, the Chameleon seemed to be on cloud nine; he had broken out of Ravencroft Asylum, discovered Spider-Man's identity, and on top of it all, learned that he was his old partner Kraven the Hunter's half-brother, not just some lowly servant that Kraven had been bullying. (Sure, that made him a younger brother that Kraven had been bullying, but still...) He was so full of himself that he decided to pay a visit to Mary Jane disguised as Peter... Only for her to see through his disguise quickly and beat him senseless on her own, with a baseball bat. His lofty rush of confidence fell pretty quickly and only went downhill from there.
  • Superman:
    • In the The Legion of Super-Heroes! story, which introduced the homonymous super-team, Superboy's first task in order to join the team is to compete against Saturn Girl (part of the main Power Trio of the Legion) in retrieving a sunken statue from the ocean. However, Superboy is just barely on his way when he gets sidetracked by a crisis involving the local school's robot Superboy. By the time he resolves it, Saturn Girl has completed the task. When both returned to the clubhouse, Cosmic Boy takes the opportunity to rub it in (Although this was part of a Secret Test of Character to see how Superboy would react to losing):
      Cosmic Boy: "You lost out on your first task... and to a girl! Is this the great Superboy we learned about in school? What's your excuse?"
    • In Superboy 1949 #80, Supergirl time-travels to the past to meet her teen cousin. Superboy is happy to have someone to play with, but when his cousin wins their first game he's surprised that "a mere girl" can best him. Kara states he'll have to get used to the idea that a girl can be a match for him.
      Superboy: How did you, a mere girl, ever get here ahead of me?
      Supergirl: You'll just have to get used to the idea that a Supergirl can be just as super-duper as a Superboy!
    • The Death of Luthor: Luthor's ego does not take well the fact that he has been both beaten and saved by a girl. He picks a machine-gun and -uselessly- fires at Supergirl, yelling she has turned him into the underworld's laughingstock.
  • Astro City: When Steeljack was being pummeled by Goldenglove's teen daughter, his only fear was if Samaritan was using his super-senses to see him get beaten up by a 15-year-old girl.

    Comic Strips 
  • FoxTrot:
  • Garfield: Jon while arm-wrestling.
    Jon: My arm is killing me!
    Garfield: What happened?
    Jon: I arm-wrestled my old gym teacher and lost badly!
    Garfield: Hey, it's not like it's the end of the world.
    Jon: And I had Miss Bryant right to there!
    Garfield: Okay, it's the end of the world.
  • Wallace the Brave: This trope was subverted when Wallace lost a bet to a female classmate. While he was upset he lost, he made it clear to Amelia it was not because of this trope.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Hoodwinked!, the Wolf relates his side of the humiliating story of getting beaten up by Red Puckett. Altough in this case, the humiliation mostly comes from the fact that Red is younger than Wolf, rather than her being a girl.
    Nicky Flippers: So! You really took a beating, from a little girl? [Cuts to Red standing next to a picture of herself as the "Forest Regional Karate Champion"]
  • In The Lion King (1994), Simba gets pinned by his friend-turned-eventual-girlfriend Nala on three separate occasions. The first two times were when they were just cubs, arguing over who deserves credit for their plan on losing Zazu. Simba pounces on Nala to make her admit he deserves the credit, only for her to easily flip and pin him, and playfully tease him. Simba pushes her off him and glares at her, clearly annoyed at being beaten so easily, and pounces on her from behind while she's distracted. Unfortunately, he accidentally sends them both tumbling down a hill, and Nala once again flips and pins him, now smugly rubbing her win in his face, with him only able to silently glare at her in defeat as she holds him down. The third time is when they are now adults, having not seen each other in years, with Simba attacking Nala when she tries hunting his friends. Though Simba does much better this time, he is still beaten by the same move Nala used on him in their first two fights, but he also recognizes her thanks to this. Though in his case he eventually returns the favor, but on much more playful and romantic terms.
  • Averted in Mulan. Though Shan-Yu is understandably furious with Mulan for destroying his army, he doesn't seem to care that she is a woman. In fact, he's one of the few male characters in the whole film who never outright says anything sexist towards Mulan. This is either Fridge Brilliance or Accidentally-Correct Writing, as many nomadic tribes (including both the actual Huns and the Xiongnu, who were the ones that actually attacked China but whose name wasn't used, probably because it doesn't rhyme with "sons") did have warrior women. So even though we don't see any in Shan-Yu's army, he may have been familiar with them.
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, Doctor Cockroach mocks the Missing Link for being "out-monstered by a girl."
  • Wonder Woman (2009): Diana invokes in this in the final battle with Ares.
    How do you expect to defeat Zeus when you can't even beat a girl?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Uttered (in almost exactly the same words, no less) by one of the heroes of Polish cult sci-fi film Sex Mission, after, well... It (like many other quotes from this film) has since entered Memetic Mutation.
  • When the Dragon/Brute from Dragonheart is mortally wounded by an Action Girl, his response is to incredulously repeat "A girl?!" several times before dying.
  • Implied and barely subverted in Deep Red, the protagonist scoffs when his female counterpart claims that a woman can be just as strong as a man. She challenges him to an arm wrestling contest in which he begins to lose. He stops and claims she is cheating somehow and gives it another time before almost losing again and stopping to make similar complaints. It's obvious he did not want to invoke this trope or expect this to become Foreshadowing for a future encounter where it wouldn't just be his ego that would be at peril.
  • In Serenity: "Start with the part where Jayne gets knocked out by a 90 pound girl, cause I don't think that's ever gettin' old."
  • Ryan Dunn knows this is going to happen to him in the Jackass: The Movie segment "Ass Kicked by Girl." He gives it the old college try, but still gets the stuffing knocked out of him by female kickboxer Naoko Kumagai.
    "Seriously, my jaw is, like, two inches to the left."
  • An Invoked Trope in Strange Days. Lenny is beaten up by Gant's thugs, one of whom is a muscular woman who does the hitting while the men hold Lenny and taunt him over this trope. This turns out to be Tempting Fate when Action Girl Mace appears and beats up the thugs.
  • True Grit (1969). Chaney's fellow gang members mock him mercilessly after he's wounded by 14 year-old Mattie.
  • Cool Runnings. During the montage showing the team trying to raise money to go to the Olympics, the strongest and most muscular of the four is shown participating in arm-wrestling contests. He beats every opponent with ease—until he's finally shown struggling and being completely overwhelmed by a large woman who isn't phased in the slightest.
  • After his apparent death in Revenge of the Pink Panther, Clouseau returns home and finds his manservant Cato has turned his apartment into a Chinese themed brothel. Under the assumption that Clouseau is a masochist, the brothel madam introduces him to... Lotus, the Fire Eater.
    "And another Round-Eye bites the dust..."
  • Cited in the movie Pride when a ragtag swim team takes on that from an elite private school. The wealthy team's coach blasts one of his swimmers who loses a race—"You let a girl beat you!" (Undoubtedly adding insult to injury for this Jerkass, the girl in question was African-American).
  • The Art of Self-Defense (2019). Anna (Imogen Poots) viciously beats up Thomas (Steven Terada) out of rage at not being promoted to black belt.
  • Girlfight: The men whom Diana beats at boxing (which includes her boyfriend) both are embarrassed by the fact they lost to a woman.
  • A variation in Daredevil (2003). When Kingpin unmasks Matt Murdock during their fight, he threatens to reveal Daredevil's Secret Identity to the world. Matt just scoffs, pointing out that the all-powerful crime boss could never afford to admit to his fellow criminals that he has been "beaten by a blind man".
  • Discussed in S.W.A.T. (2003). Female patrol officer Chris Sanchez has passed the SWAT Team qualifications three times but been rejected by the sexist Captain Fuller, with her number of excessive force complaints used as an excuse. When queried on this by Hondo, she blows the complaints off as male suspects who resisted arrest and then were embarrassed at being beaten by a girl.

  • One song by Phil X and The Drills contains the choice lyric "I'm the air hockey champion of the world, of the world ... except for the time I got beat by a girl!"
  • Joe Jackson's "Real Men" contains the lines:
    Time to admit
    What you call defeat
    'cause there's women running past you now,
    And you just drag your feet

    Mythology and Religion 
  • In The Bible, we have the story of Abimelech, who was mortally wounded when a woman dropped a millstone on his head. He had one of his men kill him so that people wouldn't say that a woman killed him. This is referenced later on and unfortunately for him, they still say a woman killed him.
  • In Norse Mythology, Thor once lost a wrestling match to an elderly woman, and everybody makes fun of him. Learning that she was Elli, the Anthropomorphic Personification of Old Age, who cannot be defeated because nothing is immune to aging, not even the Gods, doesn't cheer him up. (In some versions of the story it's made clear that some of the audience's amusement at Thor and his companions - who have been shown up all evening in a variety of equally deceptive contests - was all in his mind, and in fact his hosts were awed that he very nearly won that match. Still doesn't cheer him up.)

    Professional Wrestling 
  • El Profe went ballistic after losing to Monster Ripper at WWC's 18th Aniversario show. While it's true he was tripped up by her manager before getting pinned, his had tripped her up first to give Profe that advantage.
  • This happened to MANY guys who faced Miss Texas (Jacqueline) in Memphis, as she got over by beating up both men AND women. At WCW Halloween Havoc 97, she defeated Disco Inferno (who was WCW World Television Champion at the time) in a non-title matchnote . (because WCW wouldn't/couldn't sanction an intergender match for the title). She defeated Harvey Wippleman for the WWE Women's Title.note  Right before being pushed out the door in 2004, she defeated WWE World Cruiserweight Champion Chavo Guerrero Jr. for the title, who was so incensed he tied one hand behind his back during their rematch to "prove" he could beat a woman.
  • MsChif started her career in Missouri, particularly in Gateway Championship Wrestling, this way, going on an undefeated streak that saw her usually defeating men. And no man took it harder than Sean Vincent.
  • Raven tried to get this reaction out of CM Punk by sending out Trinity with the mission to beat Punk down. Punk retaliated by having Lucy beat down Raven.
  • While Alexis Laree had pinned three members of Bolin Services, it was Mike Mondo who took it personally, to the point he tried to force one of OVW's bookers, Maria Kanellis, into a match to prove he could beat a woman.
  • Moxley Moxx didn't take to losing to girls too well. His most infamous instance wasn't even a loss when he gave a referee a stunner for awarding one fall out of three to Traci Brooks but his most high profile case was a definite loss to then rookie teen wrestler La Amazona in the IWA Puerto Rico Cruiserweight Title Tournament.
  • Santino Marella has lost to a lot of women. Maria Kanellis, Mickie James, Beth Phoenix...and this had an odd affect on his psyche, as he would try to prove his manliness by beating divas at traditionally girly tasks. The divas are wearing bikinis? Behold, the mankini! Nothing says manly like a Battle Royal to determine Miss Wrestlemania!
  • After Ken Oka lost the SGP title belt to Mio Shirai as Dramatic Dream Team was reviving Union Pro, primarily as a Joshi(read:women's) fed, he fought the DDT wrestlers for the right to join Union himself, defeating Masao Orihara but then failing to win the belt back from Shirai in the rematch. Mio herself went on to lose it to Cherry, meaning he was defeated by a girl indirectly too and proved it wasn't just about the belt as he continued to face and lose to Shirai, though by the anniversary show they had formed a Tag Team, one good enough to defeat the Evil Russians KGB48 (Ivan Markov and Bonnie). He'd eventually manage to beat Shirai toward the end of the next year but then continued to lose to her.
  • Mike Bennett clocked Kimber Lee after their match and tried to give her a package pile driver on the edge of the ring when he became the latest person to fail to stop her 2014 undefeated streak in Beyond Wrestling when she pinned him out of a piledriver attempt with an alligator clutch.
  • In CHIKARA, this was a major element in Claudio Castagnoli's departure. He was leading the BDK, and was one half of the Tag Team Champions with Ares. His stablemate Sara Del Rey, teaming with Daizee Haze as Death Haze, won three points to challenge for the titles, and Claudio began to be intimidated by her rise up the card and refused to let Death Haze cash in their shot. Death Haze would lose a tag match and as such all their points and their contendership. This caused Del Rey to challenge Claudio, who responded by kicking Death Haze out of the BDK and injuring Daizee, which caused SDR to do what Claudio had been worried about all the time and kick his ass. A subsequent loss to Icarus caused Claudio to ragequit Chikara and join WWE as Antonio Cesaro.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Munchkin, the Amazon's "Bad Stuff" says: "You have had your butt kicked by a woman. Your macho pride is lost." (They won't attack female players.)

  • In Puccini's Tosca, the female protagonist stabs Scarpia in the gut; "that was Tosca's kiss". Realizing the wound is fatal his reaction is: "Oh killed by a woman, what a disgrace."
  • In A Very Potter Musical, after Hermione uses the Jelly-Legs Jinx to get past him, Goyle laments "that was royal hypogriff. Beaten by a girl... who's a nerd."

  • In BIONICLE Hakann gets beaten by Lariska (much to his surprise).


    Web Original 
  • In The Antithesis, the first episode of the story (I. The Encounter) recounts Alezair Czynri nearly getting killed by Leid Koseling in the battle of Jerusalem circa 1180. Alezair's ego is significantly damaged by this, and this initiates the entire story, making him want to pursue her and perhaps fight her again. Later in Decus, Qaira Eltruan gets his ass beat by Leid on numerous occasions after losing his temper (or after she makes him lose his temper), and often he becomes so impossible to deal with that she must smack some sense into him. This is also ego-damaging to Qaira, since he is what we would deem a "manly-man", also a chauvinist, and also a misogynist. Although the readers find Qaira's beat-downs rather funny, Qaira, in fact, does not.
  • In the Whateley Universe, huge Montana (who looks like a Sasquatch) gets challenged to a fight by petite Sassy Black Girl Chaka, who proceeds to utterly pwn him. In front of a big portion of the school. This does eventually lower his jerk quotient.

    Web Videos 
  • Omega Zell from Noob gets a few interactions with this trope. The tournament from the comic has him fight against Golgotha and he gets genuine fear of losing against her due to the fact that he has shown hints of not entirely considering her a woman (he considers all his other female peers as unable to overpower him). In the webseries, he lets his loss of a Curb-Stomp Battle with Saphir pass due to her being a much higher level player than he is, but doesn't take loosing his first real duel against Gaea well at all.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Beaten By A Girl


Feather Paws

Only Bianca would ever be able to call the mighty Captain Barnacles "Feather Paws".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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