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Light Feminine and Dark Feminine

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"I shall be dark and French and fashionable and difficult. And you shall be sweet and open and English and fair. What a pair we shall be! What man can resist us?"
Anne Boleyn about herself and her sister Mary, The Other Boleyn Girl

This is a character contrast trope. Both female characters are decidedly feminine but in different ways. The light is generally angelic and feels love, whereas the dark is generally devilish and plays with desire. The light is usually sweet and naïve, whereas the dark is usually aloof and brooding. Either type applies to a Tomboy and Girly Girl contrast. May overlap with Hair-Contrast Duo when their hair color is used to denote their light-and-dark femininity. When a love interest is involved, it's likely to lead to a Betty and Veronica love triangle: Betty being the Light Feminine, and Veronica being the Dark Feminine.

As with any two-character trope, the two characters have to have some sort of relationship with each other, be it friends, family, love interests, or rivals for a love interest, so the two characters can be playing the traits directly off each other.


The dark feminine character is not always a villain or a whore, or even necessarily half of a "good girl, bad girl" or "naughty and nice" pair. It could be that she's just the more serious, sophisticated, or mature half of the pair. In some cases, she's even as sweet and innocent as her Light counterpart but finds herself drawn to the shadows. Remember, Dark Is Not Evil. Likewise, Light Is Not Good and the Light Feminine need not be either The Ingenue or The Pollyanna but may be distinguished by her nobleness, proactiveness, or determination.

Compare the innocent child and the seductress of The Three Faces of Eve as well as the sweet-naïve one and sexy one of the Four-Girl Ensemble. With a duo consisting of a Magical Girl and a Dark Magical Girl, in general, the Magical Girl is Light Feminine and the Dark Magical Girl is Dark Feminine.


The Spear Counterpart is Noble Male, Roguish Male — two guys who are both masculine but in different ways.

In modern Western culture, "feminine" usually implies Light Feminine, while "masculine" usually implies Roguish Male. When Dark Feminine and Noble Male are paired up, you usually get Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy.

Not to be confused with Pale Females, Dark Males. This is about personality, not fur/skin color.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Matoi from Ayakashi Triangle embodies both sides: Her real identity is a boisterous drunk, an imposing authority figure (both to her subordinates and her own child), and a provocatively-dressed tease. Her disguise as the assistant teacher Ibuki is much more modest, demure, and passive to the point of being harassed by her own students.
  • In Black Clover, Mimosa is the Light to her cousin Noelle's Dark. Mimosa is kind, polite, and modest about her social class, while Noelle is outwardly haughty, cold, and flaunts her status as a royal. Mimosa is more sweet about her affections to Asta while Noelle is a Tsundere to him. Mimosa is more of a recovery mage, using a restorative flower dress, in contrast to Noelle who grows to become an attack mage, forming an elegant water armor to fight up close.
  • Bleach: Rangiku and Momo's zanpakutos fit this trope. Haineko is a Cat Girl Tease and interested in fashion, boys, and her looks; by contrast, Tobiume is very cute and ladylike looking and refers to herself as a Yamato Nadeshiko (though technically, she's more of a Tsundere), as well as less open about her own share of fangirlism.
  • Case Closed:
    • The happy, friendly Ran as the light and the Broken Bird Haibara as the dark (the former being the subject of Shinichi's Single-Target Sexuality and the latter being implied to have strong feelings for him).
    • Yukiko Kudo and Sharon Vineyard aka Vermouth. Yukiko is Shinichi's kind and beautiful mother who is also kind of a Womanchild sometimes, and Sharon is her long-time friend and quite the dangerous mixture of Femme Fatale and Dark Action Girl.
  • Count Cain's sweet, energetic, Rebellious but utterly good-hearted baby sister Meriweather and jealous, Trickster-ish, spider-controlling... something Mikaela vie for his attention through much of the Godchild arc. They even dress in clothes that resemble Sweet and Gothic Lolita, respectively.
  • Crossplay Love: Otaku x Punk: Hana is blonde, dresses in more feminine clothing like dresses, and is much kinder and softer than the dark-haired Mei, who dresses more androgynously and still shows some of Shuumei's Hot-Blooded personality. Both of them are actually crossdressers, but don't know the other is as well.
  • Dear Brother:
    • Nanako Misonoo and Mariko Shinobu, contrasting with the Bifauxnen and Lad-ette duo of Rei and Kaoru. While cute, mild-mannered and softspoken Nanako sits firmly on the Nice Girl spectrum, Mariko is a mixture of Yandere and Tsundere from day one. It's lampshaded in a scene at the start when Nanako tells Mariko that she's fascinated by the latter's ruby-red lips and she explains that she keeps them like that via biting on them... then tries to get Nanako to do it, but she gets scared and runs off.
    • Nanako and the very elegant and aloof Fukiko "Miya-sama" Ichinomiya, who displays her own share of femininity in a very sophisticated and high-class way.
  • Digimon Data Squad: This is the case between the two Bridge Bunnies Megumi Shirakawa and Miki Kurosaki. As if their last names and hair colors (blonde and dark purple, respectively) aren't enough, each of them has a PawnChessmon as a partner, with Megumi having the white one and Miki having the black one. Personality-wise, Megumi is the more cheerful one, and Miki is the more serious and mature one. They later switch their uniforms for rider suits, with Megumi's being more modest to fit her cute personality and Miki's being more revealing to show off her sex appeal. Their Digimon partners eventually evolve into two different kinds of Digimon once they reach their Perfect-level. Megumi has the white BishopChessmon who is more magic-orientated, while Miki has the black RookChessmon who is more physically orientated.
  • Fruits Basket:
    • In the manga version, the kind and sweet Yamato Nadeshiko Tohru Honda is the Light to the sexy Broken Bird Rin Sohma's Dark.
    • There's Tohru's friends, Uotani (a tall, outgoing, tough former gangster) and Hanajima (a Perky Goth who's frail and tends to creepily threaten people with her psychic powers, if they upset Tohru).
    • Later in the manga, we also get sweet, happy Tohru and the depressed, broken Akito, a much-abused young woman and who keeps the Sohma clan's reins through fear and anger (and sometimes sex, in the case of Kureno and Shigure). Tohru then helps the Sohmas through her issues, thus she becomes Akito's target... and she ultimately manages to reach for her too.
  • Futari wa Pretty Cure: Nagisa, a sporty tomboy on the lacrosse team, is oddly the Light Feminine considering her generally upbeat nature (to say nothing of her love for sweets), and Honoka, the more down-to-earth scientist, is the Dark Feminine considering she literally pulls no punches against the enemy.
  • The Haruhi Suzumiya series has a one-woman example with Mikuru Asahina: her sweet and shy younger self is the Light Feminine, and her sexy and manipulative future self is the Dark Feminine.
  • Highschool of the Dead portrays Rei and Saeko as polar opposites in more ways than one:
    • While Rei is a Martial Pacifist, Saeko's an Ax-Crazy Blood Knight. In her recount of how she'd once been accosted by a would-be rapist, Saeko told Takashi that realizing she had the upper hand and seeing his fear was exhilarating for her, which incited her to beat him within an inch of his life. By contrast, when Rei was given the opportunity to kill Shidou (whom she loathes), seeing the fear in his eyes had the opposite effect.
    • This is also reflected in their ongoing Love Triangle with Takashi, with Rei being the "Betty" to Saeko's "Veronica". As such, Rei is the Childhood Friend/Girl Next Door with a crush, whereas Saeko prefers to let her sex appeal do the talking and flaunts it. This is further reflected by the difference in the way they dress. Rei wears her school uniform, with knee and elbow pads for protection. Saeko modified hers to include: garter belts, lacey black thigh-high stockings, and stiletto-heeled boots, along with a matching mini-skirt with a split seam so high, it flashes her panties when she walks. When Rei and the others see what she's wearing, Rei explodes:
      Rei: (incredulous) What the heck is THAT!? Aren't you embarrassed showing off like that!? I can't believe you're walking around like that!!
  • In Idol Densetsu Eriko we have the two main ladies, the aspirant Idol Singer Eriko Tamura and the already famous performer Rei Asagiri. Eriko is the Light thanks to her child-like appeal which fits well in Japanese society's obsession with cuteness and innocence and her position as a Naïve Newcomer to the business which will make her suffer more than once, while Rei is the Dark since she's an Ice Queen with Hotter and Sexier looks, quite a bit more of singing/performing experience under her belt and a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Initial D gives us the only team made of girls: the driver Mako Satou, who is a Nice Girl, and her best friend/co-pilot Sayuki who goes the Femme Fatale way.
  • Inuyasha has the good-natured, cheerful Kagome, and the brooding, vengeful Kikyou. Despite Kagome being Kikyou's reincarnation, inheriting her looks and Miko powers, the two are exact opposites of each other: Kagome is plucky and optimistic while Kikyou is broken and embittered.
  • Kimagure Orange Road: Hikaru Hiyama and Madoka Ayukawa were a Tomboy and Girly Girl duo as little girls, but switched to this as teenagers. Bright, naïve, cheerful Hikaru is the Light, while initially harsh yet kindhearted and very sexy Madoka is the Dark. This is also emphasized by their hair color (Hikaru is blonde while Madoka is dark-haired) and even their names (Hikaru's name references the sun and light while Madoka's name references the night and darkness).
  • Ranka Lee (Light—Moe, A-Cup Angst, naïve, youthful) and Sheryl Nome (Dark—Broken Bird, Buxom Is Better, Stripperiffic when on-stage) in Macross Frontier.
  • In the American arc of Marmalade Boy, Jinny Golding was the flirty Femme Fatale Dark to Doris O'Connor's mature Cool Big Sis Light.
  • Gundam SEED has Lacus Clyne as Light opposite Fllay Alster as Dark. Lacus is softspoken and ladylike and a Token Wholesome in looks (save for sometimes showing off her long legs), while Fllay is a very busty Broken Bird with serious issues and who uses her looks to her advantage. They are also interested in the same guy, Kira Yamato, though not at the same time; Fllay is his First Love and ultimately The Lost Lenore to him, while Lacus becomes his Second Love and end-game Love Interest.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny has the aforementioned Lacus and her much Hotter and Sexier Body Double, Meer Campbell. It's also deliberately invoked: Chairman Dullindal and his entourage carefully craft Meer's Hotter and Sexier image to make her (or better said Lacus') popularity soar and use it to their advantage. Heartbreakingly, Meer pulls a Heroic Sacrifice for Lacus and perishes in her arms.
  • My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, as I Expected has cheerful and outgoing Yui as the light feminine, and initially harsh and cold, but kind-hearted Broken Bird Yukino as the dark feminine.
  • In Natsu e no Tobira Ledania is the Light, as a shy woman with gentle and chaste behavior plus blond hair; Sara is the Dark as an older and sex-aware older woman, with Raven Hair, Ivory Skin looks. It's especially empathized by how they're viewed in-story: the chaste-looking Ledania is a symbol of passive innocence who can only watch as everything goes to Hell, while the sensual Sara is more of an "adult lover" and The Tease who dramatically "moves" the plot as she appears. Tellingly, one of Sara's most story-important actions happens when she takes The Protagonist Marion's virginity, while Ledania has her "child-like" love for Marion rejected and ends up as the "neutral" vortex of a Love Triangle between two of Marion's friends.
  • In One Piece, Nami and Robin are both an interesting mix of both types of femininity. Nami is not afraid to show her feelings and tell if she is fond of someone (as a friend, that is), and she has a soft spot for cute animals and children, but she is more known for being greedy, wearing skimpy clothes and using her feminine attributes to blackmail just about everyone. Robin is polite, motherly and has many Proper Lady traits, but on the flip side, she is something of a Broken Bird, she always thinks up macabre things, and she is absolutely ruthless in battle.
  • Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt has the light feminine Stocking and the dark feminine Panty. Stocking dresses like an Elegant Gothic Lolita, believes in true romance, and has a comparatively tame vice in the form of sweets. Panty, on the other hand, wears skimpy outfits, only sees romance as sex, and has an endless desire for it.
  • In Princess Tutu, Ahiru/Duck is a cheerful and clumsy Genki Girl whose mission in life is simply to get Mytho, the boy she admires, to smile. Rue is an elegant and aloof girl who also cares for Mytho, but in a far more possessive way due to her Broken Bird nature. Both girls have white and black costumes of their respective Magical Girl personas, Princess Tutu and Princess Kraehe, who are both based on Odette and Odile from Swan Lake.
  • In Private Actress, we have the actresses Sayuri Nagasawa (the main character's mother) and Ruriko Daichi. Both women are pretty and talented performers, but whereas Sayuri is a classical beauty who plays "Nice Girl" roles, Ruriko has sexier looks (huge breasts included) and tends to play Ice Queens or Rich Bitches, often as the "love rival" or "bully" to a chara by Sayuri.
    Shiho: Ruriko Daichi, the person known as Japan's Marilyn Monroe in terms of sensuality... She is the opposite of the pure and innocent Sayuri Nagasawa.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica, "best friends" Madoka and Homura (post-reveal) are Light and Dark respectively. Madoka is an open-hearted, generous girl who grew up in a good neighborhood and grows up to become the goddess of hope itself, and Homura is a determined, pragmatic warrior who doesn't trust most people further than she can throw them. Their shipping fanart usually plays up this contrast.
  • Another one-woman example occurs with the dual personalities of Moka Akashiya in Rosario + Vampire, with the more personable Outer Moka being the Light Feminine and the Terror Heroine Inner Moka being the Dark Feminine.
  • Sonic X has the happy-go-lucky Cute Bruiser Amy as light feminine and seductive Ms. Vice Girl Rouge as dark feminine.
  • Tomo-chan Is a Girl!: Cheerful, seemingly-naïve, Perpetual Smiler Carol is the light to prickly, scheming, Evil Grin-wearing Misuzu's dark. The trope isn't played perfectly straight, however; as Carol's Hidden Depths are revealed and we find out that she too can be manipulative, just she's a lot nicer about it.note 

    Comic Books 
  • In Asterix and the Actress, a Roman actress named Latraviata pretends to be village sweetheart Panacea with the goal of retrieving some treasure unwittingly fenced by the Gauls, and vamps the character up significantly. Although she is a Honey Trap, it's apparent from early on that she's not a bad person, and she ends up being something of a sexy, clever love interest for Guile Hero Asterix, where Panacea is an innocent, delicate love interest for Kindhearted Simpleton Obelix. Both Latraviata and Panacea start out as rivals but end up as best friends by the end.
  • Vampirella has this dynamic between the heroine (Dark) and her protege Dixie Fattoni (Light). Whereas Vampirella is a seductive and alluring Lady in Red, Dixie is a vulnerable teenager who grows into a Badass Normal under Vampi, who serves as a Cool Big Sis figure to her.
  • Wonder Woman and her Friendly Rival Artemis have this dynamic. While Diana is diplomatic, patient, and kind, Artemis is brash, aggressive, and rude to anyone who isn't a Bana Amazon.


    Film - Animation 

    Film - Live-Action 
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You, a modern adaptation of Taming Of The Shrew, elder sister Kat is snarky, intellectual, and aloof (dark) while her younger sister Bianca is bubbly and outgoing (light).
  • In Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010) the White Queen is the sweet and benevolent light while her sister the Red Queen is the tempestuous and murderous dark.
  • The Babysitter (2017): Melanie and Bee are both friends with Cole and have varying degrees of affection for him. Between the two, Bee fills the "dark" role as Cole's hot babysitter, whom he has a childhood crush on. By contrast, Melanie is Cole's 12-year old neighbor and his only real friend at school. But as the film progresses, Cole finds out Bee and her friends are a Satanic cult that intends to kill him, prompting Melanie to let Cole seek refuge at her parents' house. In the end, Bee's cult is defeated and Cole's friendship with Melanie has advanced to puppy love.
  • Barbarella: Sweet, naive and eager-to-please Barbarella is light, while her enemy/sorta-suitor, the Black Queen, is more overtly sexual, debauched and domineering, and therefore the dark.
  • Batman Forever has Two-Face's molls, Sugar (played by Drew Barrymore) and Spice (played by Debi Mazar). Subverted in that both of them are "bad", and "Sugar" is probably worse because she gives The Riddler the cube with the information about Bruce Wayne's Secret Identity.
  • Batman & Robin had a dark villainous character (Poison Ivy) and a light heroic character (Batgirl).
  • Blue Velvet: Sandy and Dorothy fall into this trope, the former being a high school friend of Jeffrey, the latter being a diva vocalist who has some dark secrets. David Lynch is very fond of this trope in general, Mulholland Dr. offering another example with Betty as the light feminine and Rita as the dark one.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula had Mina Murray as Light Feminine, a prim and proper schoolteacher whom Dracula legitimately falls in love with, and the Dark Feminine being her best friend Lucy, a flirty highborn-lady.
  • Daphne and Luster in The Gamers: Dorkness Rising. Daphne is Lawful Good, dresses sensibly, and usually conducts herself with (relative) dignity. Luster is a Stripperiffic Heroic Comedic Sociopath.
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: Jane Russell is the dark, snarky and seductive character is the Dark Feminine, while Marilyn Monroe is the blonde, vapid and flirty Light Feminine.
  • Inglourious Basterds two female characters fit this trope well—Light, glamorous movie star, Bridget Von Hammersmark; and dark Unkempt Beauty on a vendetta, Shoshana Dreyfus.
  • Kiss of the Damned: Redhead Djuna wears fairly light colors usually. She's a Vegetarian Vampire who resists the urge to feed on humans most of the time. Her sister Maia is a brunette, wears dark clothing and has no compunctions at all about lethally feeding on people. Both have long hair and favor feminine clothing like blouses, dresses or skirts, often of a very high quality.
  • Lili is both of these over the course of Legend (1985), first as an innocent and naïve virgin in a white dress, then as a sexy and cunning Manipulative Bitch in an extremely low-cut black gown. It's all an act, however. She's actually a Fake Defector trying to fix her own, terrible, mistake.
  • In Lemonade Joe, Or Horse Opera, Winifred Goodman and Tornado Lou both love the Ideal Hero Joe. Wini is a sweet and naïve Ingenue with who dresses in white and is usually seen helping her Preacher Man father or visiting her mother's grave, while Tornado Lou is a Soiled Dove and a Chanteuse who wears dark and skimpy outfits and works in a saloon but dreams of becoming a different, better person.
  • Love Actually has the two interests of Alan Rickman's character — his wife and his aspiring mistress. Guess which one is which...
  • Mean Girls had dark Alpha Bitch Regina and light Hollywood Homely Cady.
  • Maria and her mechanical doppelganger in Fritz Lang's Metropolis are an example of this trope. Maria is loving, kind, and saintly, whereas the machine-woman is a demonic temptress deliberately created by Rotwang and Joh Fredersen to discredit her.
  • My Night at Maud's: The one woman in the protagonist's life, Maud, is a free-spirited Ethical Slut who doesn't believe in God and tries to seduce the protagonist. His other woman, Francoise, is sweet and sleeps with a crucifix above her bed.
  • In The Other Boleyn Girl, Mary Boleyn is kind and humble (and rather more chaste than the actual one), while her sister Anne is (You Should Know This Already) a flirtatious and hot-tempered woman who wants to be queen.
  • Pal Joey: Vera (Rita Hayworth) is a former stripper and an example of All Women Are Lustful who is perfectly ok with keeping Joey around as her boy toy. She also smokes and drinks. Linda (Kim Novak) is rather virginal, has never taken a drink, is horrified when Joey suggests she do a striptease in the club, and is very self-conscious when she does it in rehearsal.
  • Pretty Persuasion had two BFF's plotting the demise of their teacher in their search for fame — light Brittany (naive) and dark Kimberly (Fille Fatale).
  • Sunrise: The Woman from The City is the Dark Feminine (hedonist, cheater), while The Wife is the Light Feminine (goody-goody all the way through).
  • Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl: Adele starts out as very sweet and naïve. Her friend and later romantic interest Beth is rebellious and worldly.
  • The Virgin Spring features Karin, the innocent who is specifically stated to be a virgin, and is also a Christian, and Ingeri, her servant girl, who is about eight months pregnant, isn't married, and is a secret pagan.
  • In Vertigo, the cool, mysterious Madeleine is the Light Feminine that Scottie obsesses over and the earthier Judy is the Dark Feminine that Scottie tries to mold into Madeleine's image.
  • In X-Men: First Class (at least in the beginning), there is a textbook contrast between Raven/Mystique the ''usually'' blonde ingenue, and Angel, the dark-haired former-stripper-turned-Dark Action Girl.

  • Anna Karenina: Kitty and Anna are at first friends, with Kitty being younger and a great admirer of Anna's beauty and personality. They also both love Count Vronsky who courted Kitty but fell for Anna. Anna is a beauty who ends up being an adulteress while Kitty is a pretty girl who ends up in a happy marriage.
  • The two leading ladies in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Blithedale Romance. Priscilla is the demure, fragile, domestic (read: conservative) Light Feminine; Zenobia is the mysterious, sensual, outspoken, transcendental feminist (read: liberal) Dark Feminine.
  • Jane Austen:
  • Ellony Leckery and Pharinet Palindrake in The Chronicles of Magravandias, Ellony being a straight example of The Ingenue while Pharinet is something of a Yandere when pushed. Other female characters in the story, particularly those who fill similar roles or are related to them or are named for them are more balanced between the two extremes.
  • In Dragonlance, Kitiara is the dark one, a cross between a Blood Knight and a Femme Fatale; Laurana is the light one, a sweet royal turned Pretty Princess Powerhouse.
  • Gone with the Wind: Melanie is the sweet and demure Light Feminine, Scarlett is the more flirtatious and ambitious Dark Feminine.
  • Virginal, timid and highborn Rowena with the strong, fiery Jewish Rebecca from Ivanhoe.
  • The Jack Weyland book Michelle and Debra has the obedient Michelle as the light and her rebellious best friend Debra as the dark.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth introduces the twin princesses of Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason. Rhyme is golden-haired and always on the verge of laughter; Reason is dark-haired, thoughtful, and serious. Both are necessary to bring peace to the kingdom.
  • Practical Magic has motherly Sally (light) and seductive Gillian (dark). That goes double for the movie adaptation. In fact, a quote in the book used to describe them sums up this trope quite nicely:
    Night and Day, the aunts called them, and although neither girl laughed at this little joke they recognized the truth in it, and were able to understand that the moon is always jealous of the heat of the day, just as the sun always longs for something dark and deep.
  • In "De skandalösa" by Simona Ahrnstedt, Magdalena Swärd (the story's female protagonist) ends up being a spicier contrast to Venus Dag och Natt, the girl who Gabriel (the story's male protagonist) has pretty much promised his mother that he will marry. Magdalena is the intelligent, brooding, cynical, and more mature woman, who is not afraid to have sex with Gabriel to get what she wants (dark feminine). Venus is much more sweet-natured, beautiful, docile, and slightly naive (then again, she might be a bit naive simply because she's only sixteen years old) (light feminine).
  • Odile and Odette, despite being associated respectively with a black swan and a white swan, have the personality shades reversed in The Sorcerer's Daughter. Odile is sweet, childlike, and friendly, while Odette is stern, brooding, and proud to the point of haughtiness.
  • This trope used in reverse is significant in The School for Good and Evil. Blonde, pink dress-wearing, fairy tale-obsessed Sophie and sullen, black-wearing, morbid Agatha appear to everyone as a cut and dry Light and Dark respectively, but Sophie is vain, selfish, and seductive while Agatha is gentle, considerate, and loyal.
  • Tasakeru: Hanami is the Light Feminine, proper, timid, and girlish... while Faun is a confident, sexy trickster.
  • Twilight's adoptive sisters Alice and Rosalie. Alice is happy in nature. She adores Bella from the start and cares about Bella's safety above anything. Rosalie is proud of her great beauty. She is initially annoyed by Bella's presence but she is the most respectful of Bella's choices.
  • Lissa Dragomir and Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy. Rose is the seductive, temperamental, and violent of the duo while Lissa is the more light-hearted, even-tempered, and angelic-looking of the two.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 2 Broke Girls: Max is the Dark Feminine (snarky, dark-haired), Caroline is the Light Feminine (blonde, rich, and a bit naïve).
  • At the beginning of the second season of Agent Carter, Daniel Sousa is attracted to two women: Violet, his bubbly blonde nurse girlfriend (who bakes), and Peggy, the snarky brunette secret agent coworker for whom he harbors an unresolved crush that hasn't quite gone away.
  • In Arabela, we have sisters Xenia (dark, seductive) and Arabela (light, pure).
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Buffy and Faith are Vampire Slayers, the Chosen Two. Bad girl Faith says that killing vampires always makes her hungry and horny contrasted with Buffy who sometimes craves a nonfat yogurt afterward and cares about always doing the right thing. This trope gets a thorough workout when their bodies are switched.
  • Conversations With Friends: Frances is more shy, reserved and vulnerable. Her best friend/former lover Bobbi is bold, confident and very outspoken. Frances complains how they clash at times, with Bobbi thinking that she's repressed as her emotional life isn't as strong and open, while judging things too much for her tastes. It's a pretty interestring portrayal of an introvert and extrovert being friends, who have realistic difficulties given that. However, even so Frances movingly tells Bobbi that she's the center of her world.
  • Degrassi has the noble Emma as light and her best friend the provocative Manny as dark.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Enemy of the World", the two heroic "Bond girl" characters are Astrid—wholesome, a pilot working for the good guys, optimistic and with a Stiff Upper Lip; and Fariah, a woman heavily implied to have dark secrets in her past. Astrid is innocently charming, very honest, and fights with straightforward Action Girl methods, while Fariah is beguiling, mysterious, and fights with social manipulation. Both Astrid and Fariah flirt with men at one point to get them to do what they want, but when Astrid does it she just ends up gushing to the Doctor about how wonderful he is, while Fariah will smolder on cue if it means Salamander is less likely to suspect her of leaking information.
    • Rose Tyler and Lady Cassandra are presented in this fashion. Rose is an honest, fun-loving, and caring humble heroine with a slight selfish streak that loves the Doctor in an almost naive fashion. Lady Cassandra, being a Foil to Rose, is an arrogant, vain, and racist upper-class lady that lived a good part of her life fooling her lovers in order to gain more wealth. The story arc involving the two explores British class warfare, ideas of beauty, and what makes a person "human".
  • Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23: Most of the show's storylines are generated by the contrast between the short, trusting, and sweet June and the tall, manipulative, and promiscuous Chloe. Of course, the plot is driven by the fact that June can keep up with Chloe and regularly gives her a taste of her own medicine.
  • Euphoria:
    • Brunette Maddy and blonde Cassie. The former wears outfits with darker colors like purple while Cassie's outfits have lighter tones like pastel blue. Maddy is more seductive and brooding. Cassie is sweet and desperate for love.
    • Rue and Jules similarly have brown vs blonde hair while wearing darker or lighter colors. In Rue's case she's a troubled drug addict who's pretty cynical and keeps aloof a lot (except for from Jules). Contrasting this, Jules is more light-hearted, open and wants approval. They date, but have a difficult relationship.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Hilary (dark) and Ashley (light).
  • Gilmore Girls: For a while, Rory unexpectedly enters the role of Dark Feminine in a Betty and Veronica triangle with Lindsay, Dean's wife. Seeing how OOC Is Serious Business, it doesn't last that long and comes with some repercussions.
  • The Golden Girls: Rose and Blanche are the most traditionally feminine of the four characters. Where Rose is a sweet, if somewhat ditzy woman, Blanche is self-centered and obsessed with men.
  • Gossip Girl: Best friends and sometimes enemies Serena and Blair. Serena is usually the light, and Blair usually the dark, but it's zigzagged & subverted throughout the series. Serena acted as a dark feminine pre-series whereas Blair was fierier but ultimately light feminine before both use both types at different places during the show's run.
  • In Grey's Anatomy, there are several distinct duos. Lexie, The Ingenue, is the light to her friend Sadie, who has all the markings of The Tease, as well as Julia, Mark's other love interest at this point. Ellis Grey, the bossy former mistress of Richard is the dark to his wife, Adele. In a similar fashion, and in a rare example where the protagonist is played in some way as the dark half of this duo, Meredith is played for a while as the dark to Addison's light.
  • Hawkeye (2021) has a case that twists the visual reference, in that Kate Bishop, who loves dark colors (specially purple) is the cheerful optimist, while Yelena Belova dresses in bright colors (aside from her black tactical suit) yet is cynical and distrustful.
  • HEX has a little fun with this trope.
    • Bookish, virginal Cassie, kindly teacher Jo and nice Series 2 Beta Bitch Alex start out as the Light. Yet Cassie under Azazeal's control becomes a full blown vamp for a while and then sacrifices herself to protect the resulting son. Jo also falls for Azazeal's charms and undergoes a Face–Heel Turn for his sake. Alex goes darker when Malachi grants her wish to supplant Roxanne as the Queen Bee and is turned into a succubus as a result.
    • Roxanne, Gemma and Ella all lean towards the Dark with the first two being more concerned about sex than relationships and the latter being willing to use Leon as demon bait. Gemma becomes the Light as she leaves the school when Troy does, realising she really does love him, Roxanne undergoes a moral awakening late in Series 2 and Ella comes to realise how much she really does love Leon, and spends the last moments of the series making out with him as the apocalypse begins.
  • It's Okay to Not Be Okay: Nam Ju-ri is the Light to Ko Moon-young's Dark. Ju-ri is a kind, shy nurse from a modest background. Moon-young is an antisocial, elegant dark children's book author often dressed in haute couture.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • The series has Guinevere, the good-hearted heroine, and Morgana, the villainess. Interestingly, Gwen is linked more with desire than Morgana, who (despite a couple of early Femme Fatale scenes) almost comes across as asexual in her complete lack of interest in men. And as an added ironic bonus, Guinevere (light) is played by mixed-race Angel Coulby, and Morgana (dark) is played by extremely pale Katie McGrath—though with very dark hair.
    • In the episode The Hunter's Heart, Guinevere gets a turn at playing the dark feminine in contrast to visiting Princess Mithian's light.
  • In Mr. Robot, Angela Moss is the Light Feminine to Darlene Alderson's Dark Feminine. Angela is blonde, innocent, even-tempered, in a steady relationship, and holding a steady job with a cybersecurity company. Darlene is dark-haired, flirty, hot-tempered, unafraid of casual sexual encounters, and involved with a radical hacker group. Their first scene together, in a ballet class, subtly highlights this: Angela wears a traditional pink leotard with a skirt, while Darlene wears provocative black short-shorts with a gothic-looking black mesh top.
  • No Tomorrow: Evie is sweet, cheerful, naive and only wants to have a monogamous, committed relationship. Kareema, her best friend, is a sarcastic nihilist who (before Sofia) only engages in casual sex.
  • In Parks and Recreation, the bubbly and optimistic blonde Leslie is the epitome of Light Feminine. Her foil is the brunette Ann Perkins, who is realistic and snarky, as is Leslie's protégée April Ludgate.
  • Pretty Little Liars has two pairs among the four main characters: Hanna and Emily are light, while Aria and Spencer are dark—they are more flirtatious and employ different degrees of the Fille Fatale trope.
    • Allison is a Dark feminine contrast both to Emily herself when they enter a relationship, and to Paige - her rivaling love interest for Emily. Paige is also the light to Maya's dark before Maya is killed.
    • There is also a similar contrast between Paige's love interests: Nice Girl Emily and Shana the Wild Card, who is an aggressive flirt as well as a total psycho.
    • Allison is also the dark to Aria's light as Ezra's love interests.
  • In Riverdale, the OG Betty and Veronica are a pretty obvious case of light and dark - Betty is the chaste Girl Next Door and a Stepford Smiler, while Veronica is a flirty Spicy Latina from the Big Applesauce.
    • Later in the season, a new Betty and Veronica duo appears - Valerie is the light feminine, girly, and a bit of a pushover, while Miss Grundy is the Hot for Student cougar with a Dark and Troubled Past. Veronica is also later contrasted as the dark to Valerie's light both as her short term replacement with the Pussycats and as Archie's eventual love interest.
    • After the reveal of their family bond, Betty and Cheryl can be an exemple as well as Betty is the light while Cheryl is the dark.
  • Robin Hood:
    • The first 2 series has Marian as the light feminine, who was replaced by Isabella, the dark feminine.
    • In the third series, in which Isabella and Kate are rivals for Robin's affection, Kate would also count as the light feminine in contrast to Isabella's dark. However, after Isabella's Face–Heel Turn it became a blatant Madonna–Whore Complex.
  • In Runaways (2017), Nico the surly brunette goth girl with black magic powers, and Karolina the blonde smiling sweetie with an alien heritage. They're an item.
  • On Schitt's Creek:
    • Moira's hair color changes with her wigs, but she often has dark hair and dresses in black and white clothes, and she has a melodramatic, self-centered personality. Her friend Jocelyn, on the other hand, is a blond, Stepford Smiler who often puts the needs of others above her own, at least until she reaches her Rage-Breaking Point.
    • Dark-haired Stevie is an introverted, cynical and pessimistic young woman, while the blond Alexis is a bubbly, cheerful, optimistic and energetic young woman.
  • The Tudors has the seductive, manipulative, and tragic Anne Boleyn (dark-haired) contrasting with the good-hearted, subservient, and also tragic Jane Seymour (light-haired). Exaggerated though it may be for fiction, this fits the traditional views of both doomed women.
  • At the beginning of Smash, sweet, Midwestern Naïve Everygirl Karen is the Light Feminine to sexy, jaded, and been-around-the-block Ivy's Dark Feminine. In a variation on the usual corresponding physical tropes, Karen is tall and brunette while Ivy is short and blonde. As the series goes on and Karen comes face-to-face with the ruthless ambition required to be a star on Broadway, her wide-eyed innocence fades.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Jurati is the light to Raffi's dark. Jurati is bubbly and talkative while Raffi is a brooding drug addict. Subverted, however, when Jurati proves to be less light than she seems.
  • Supernatural has a very literal version of this trope in Season 4, which sees Sam Winchester enter into a destructive love affair with a dark-haired, manipulative demon named Ruby while his brother Dean has a fling with a kind, idealistic, red-headed Fallen Angel named Anna. In a twist, when Ruby and Anna spend time together, they get along quite well.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Elena is the Light Feminine and Katherine is the Dark Feminine. Elena and Katherine, who are both doppelgangers, share an uncanny physical resemblance, but in terms of morals, Elena is known as good and moral, while Katherine is known as bad and immoral.
  • A Veronica Mars episode plays the dark/light contrast between Meg and Veronica herself (who also serve as a Betty and Veronica triangle for Princely Young Man Duncan), in his own dream. Veronica is wearing a skimpy black outfit—Meg is in an angelic white dress. Veronica gags Meg who scolds Duncan for forgetting about the love they had and then goes off on Duncan for his childish feelings for Meg.
    Veronica: Is that really what you want? Teddy bears and mash notes. Grow up. Grow up and get over it!
  • Xena: Warrior Princess (dark, being a warrior) and Gabrielle (light, being more of a diplomat). Granted, Xena was a Tomboy Princess, but in her first appearance, she was also quite decidedly The Vamp.

  • Alvaro Véliz's songs "Ni tú ni ella" ("Neither you nor her") are about a guy who can't choose between two loves. The girl he's "singing" to is the Light Feminine — sweet, gentle, kind, whom he cares for dearly. The other girl he's referring to in the lyrics is the Dark Feminine — sensual, a Blithe Spirit, passionate and able to bring his wilder side.
  • The two halves of off-beat duo Garfunkel and Oates are this trope: Kate Micucci (dark, Italian-American) and Riki Lindhome (blonde, Swedish-American).

  • In apocryphal Abrahamic mythology, Lilith (the first wife of Adam, who refused to submit) represents the Dark Feminine — while Eve (Adam's second wife) is the Light Feminine.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • At Ring Warriors Bombshells and Jingle Bells, the overly kind, sweet and hyperactive Su Yung (Light) and the confrontational, temperamental and cocky Amazona (Dark) are equally enthused about teaming with each other to take down the Canadian brutes Silver and Gold. Su's ring gear was traditional in form but otherwise overly feminine in design, being colored bright purple and stamped with heart symbols. Amazona's was less orthodox, including a headband in addition to being all black save her feathers, which were merely dark brown, but was still distinctly feminine, including a skirt. Su and Amazona would remain friends, with Yung becoming known for physical but innocuous displays of affection, whereas Amazona would spank people.
  • The ninth LLF tag team champions "La Chica Celestial" Angelica and "La Guerrera Sensual" Amazona(no relation to the above). They're both warriors, being a pareja\tag team, but Angelica doesn't resort to squeezing heads or throats with her thighs, to say nothing of Amazona's cabezazo, which is basically a spread leg headbutt to the crotch. Visually, Angelica wears noticeable "beauty" makeup but also wears a mask in lucha libre tradition, and her gear is adorned with religious symbols to invoke her namesake and Red Baron. Amazona shows her face for all to see and usually wears black mixed martial arts gear when she isn't in a bodysuit she neglected to zip all the way up.
  • In TNA we have Rosemary and Allie. Rosemary is a gothic zombie hybrid creature who speaks in plurals and refers to herself as "The Demon Assassin", with dark theme music and frightening skull or death-themed face paint. Allie is a bubbly blonde happy go lucky girl, initially played as a straight-up ditz in TNA. On the independent circuit, Allie as Cherry Bomb was the (light) Know-Nothing Know-It-All Proper Lady heel and Rosemary as Courtney Rush was the(dark) extroverted but socially inept and reckless face, whom Cherry Bomb triggered the birth of Rosemary in by traumatizing Rush. But they were an inseparable pair in TNA/Impact after Rosemary saved Allie from a beat down because the voices in her head told her to protect Allie, the innocent bunny surrounded by danger. They have become known collectively as Demon X Bunny, and have their own custom merch reflecting their Dark & Light unlikely friendship. The trope was subverted in May 2018 when Rosemary was written off TV to rehab an ACL tear. Allie in her absence has become seemingly possessed by Rosemary's darkness and seeks revenge on Su Yung, who put Rosemary out of action.
  • The team of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross fit this trope, though Alexa is usually in a traditional sexy-girl heel role while Cross is more in a comedic heel. Alexa usually wears outfits that range from Disney princesses to Harley Quinn cosplay while Cross has become a dress all-in-black tomboy.



    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: Portica is the Light Feminine, and Killdra is the Dark Feminine. Both of them are less than fond of each other, and are prone to getting into arguments, even in the middle of a battle with an enemy.
    • Portica is still a bit of a tomboy, but she is also into jewelry, outfits, and isn't above gossiping. She doesn't really like Killdra because she thinks Killdra is creepy and weird.
    • Killdra acts very dull and sarcastic but she still has a girly side to her, like squeeing about music. She doesn't really like Portica because she thinks Portica is pompous and judgmental.
  • Dreamscape: Anjren is the Light Feminine and Keela is the Dark Feminine. They don't quite see eye-to-eye, but they don't outright dislike each other either.
  • In Season 4 of The Most Popular Girls in School, we have Mackenzie (who dresses in red and pink to show that she's more controlled than her friend) and Brittnay (who dresses in all black during her Mercenary Cheerleader stint).

  • Rebirth: Parish is the light feminine, with golden hair and and light color scheme, to Lena's dark feminine, with lavender hair and darker clothes. Ironically, Parish is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who ignores one of her own children and cheated on her husband with his older brother while Lena is quite sweet and a good mother to her daughter.
  • Medea and Psyche from Your Throne. Medea is stoic, cunning, jaded, and has dark purple hair and wears black and purple, in contrast with sweet, naive, and empathetic Psyche, who is blonde and associated with white and gold.

    Web Original 
  • Cream Heroes: The shy, sensitive Chuchu is the Light to sassy diva Lala's Dark. Of the more maternal female cats, the loving and sociable Nana is the Light while the aloof and stoic TT is the Dark.
  • Monster High plays with this trope. While Draculaura dresses mostly in black clothing, she is actually the Light Feminine. Whereas Cleo is the Dark Feminine, despite wearing a lot of glittery gold... and being deathly afraid of the dark.

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, Princess Bubblegum is pink and tries to uphold a sugary persona befitting the ruler of the Candy Kingdom (Light). Marceline the Vampire Queen meanwhile revels in her reputation as a mischievous punk rocker (Dark).
  • In Albert the Fifth Musketeer, Queen Anne is sweet-natured and amiable (Light Feminine), as a contrast to the seductive villainess Milady De Winter (Dark Feminine).
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Ty Lee (Light) and Mai (Dark) - Ty Lee is bubbly and approachable, has big eyes, and wears pink; Mai is aloof and snarky, has Raven Hair, Ivory Skin, and wears red.
  • Most episodes of Ewoks, feature both princess Kneesaa and her best friend Latara. They're literally light and dark; and personality-wise, one is ridiculously innocent most of the time, all about sharing and caring, while the other starts out as a melancholic starving artist type and turns out to be a manipulative prima donna in the second season, after Character Exaggeration.
  • Gravity Falls: Mabel (Light) and Pacifica (Dark).
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: bubbly, pink-haired Ami is the Light Feminine, while sarcastic, blue-haired Yumi is the Dark Feminine.
  • The titular Kim Possible is a model student-athlete, a loyal friend, and has a little side gig saving the world from evil (Light). Shego serves the Big Bad Drakken, is the biggest Deadpan Snarker in the series, and has long black hair (Dark).
  • The Loud House: Among the two eldest Loud sisters, Leni Loud is the Kindhearted Simpleton Light Feminine, and Lori Loud is the Big Sister Bully Dark Feminine.
  • The Magic School Bus has Phoebe Terese, the animal-loving Nice Girl, as the Light Feminine and Keesha Franklin, the bossy Agent Scully, as the Dark Feminine.
  • Two female characters from Miraculous Ladybug fulfill this role: the sweet, girly, pink-wearing and extroverted Rose and her best friend or something more, the gothic, quiet, and introverted (but still kindhearted) Juleka.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, there is Celestia (Light) and Luna (Dark) who are two alicorn princesses with a lot of their contrast with each other to do with this trope. Celestia is an utterly Benevolent Boss, compassionate, and too forgiving for her own good, and her job is ruling the sun, day, and light. The only times when she actually gets angry come into Tranquil Fury. Luna is the outgoing, self-confident ruler of the moon, night, and darkness. Nevertheless, she can be aggressive with Unstoppable Rage and is the only member of royalty who has ever lost her temper.
  • Susie from Rugrats, who fulfills the big sister role, is the Light Feminine to Spoiled Brat Angelica's Dark Feminine.
  • Teen Titans: Starfire is bubbly and naive (Light Feminine), while her sister Blackfire is a cunning, seductive criminal (Dark Feminine), who also happens to look just like Starfire but with darker colored hair and clothing and narrower eyes. Within the Titans, Starfire contrasts as the Light to Raven's Dark, with the latter being generally much more serious and seeks calm in her leisure time; the season one episode "Switched" did a "Freaky Friday" Flip between them in order to draw out the differences in their powers (Starfire's are powered by emotion to function, while Raven's are always at risk of running out of control if she doesn't reign hers in) and the subsequent effects on their contrasting personalities.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Light Feminine Dark Feminine, Dark Feminine Light Feminine


Apple White and Raven Queen

The daughters of Snow White and the Evil Queen are every bit as opposite as you can get.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine

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