In her commonly known fairy tale incarnations, Little Red Riding Hood was a naive, helpless little girl who was at the mercy of a vicious predator. The story has become so ingrained into Western culture that any time we see a little girl dressed in a red hooded coat on television, it is reasonable to expect that something terrible is going to happen to her.
However, given the popularity of the Fractured Fairy Tale, it was inevitable that this story would recieve modern updates. Modern versions of "Little Red Riding Hood" tend to have a feminist vibe, making her tough, streetwise, and able to take care of herself, thank you very much. This updated version will almost always be named "Red."
A popular, Grimmified variant is to give her a gun, an axe or some other weapon and have her hunt down the "wolf" (Who may or may not be a literal wolf) herself. This variant will feature a teenage or adult Red, who will naturally be Hotter and Sexier, making her double as a Lady in Red. If she says "What big eyes you have" it will be a Pre-Mortem One-Liner right before putting one right between said eyes.
A more subtle version simply has a young woman entering a dangerous situation dressed in a red jacket, seemingly to invoke Little Dead Riding Hood, only to then subvert it by revealing her toughness.
Note that, despite the title, Red does not have to be an Action Girl to qualify as this trope. Any "updated" version of the character who is shown to be capable of taking care of herself is valid.
The Trope Codifier is James Thurber's "The Little Girl and the Wolf" (1939), in which the titular character blows the wolf away with an automatic gun she carries in her basket. Contrary to what modern audiences might think, Thurber's parody is not necessarily also the Trope Maker: among the many traditional folktales of the Red Riding Hood family, there are many in which the heroine escapes from danger by her own wits, and some in which the villain dies. Indeed a look into the original Brothers Grimm book reveals that the familiar tale in which Red Riding Hood gets saved by a huntsman is directly extended with an alternate variant in which Red Riding Hood runs into yet another wolf; wisened up by her previous experiences, she outsmarts the wolf and with a ploy devised by granny, drowns him in a trough of water.
Sub-trope of Red Riding Hood Replica.
- Fairy Musketeers has Riding Hood, Snow White and the Sleeping Beauty as a Magical Girl Power Trio.
- Akazukin Cha Cha an earlier show with riding hood as magical girl (especially the Anime). With one of her sidekicks being a wolf-boy.
- The Anime Adaptation of Grimms Notes uses this trope to great effect. The Chaos Tellers echo the worries of Little Red Riding Hood who manipulates the story into changing and becomes The Monster of the Week. She disappears from the village just as it's time for her to fulfill the role of her namesake and plays the role of a frightened child when discovered by the trio of protagonists. All the while, she systematically turns everyone in the village into monsters, including her own mother. Upon being exposed as the villain, she rants wildly about how everyone always says such inconsiderate things to her and pressures her to hurry and grow up so she can fulfill her role in the story. She adds that noone even considered how she felt about having to get eaten by the wolf and that even after she disappeared they were only worried that things wouldn't go according to plan. All efforts to reach her prove vain and she undergoes a transmogrification that allows her to summon monsters at will and fight efficiently against the heroes.
- Ringo Akai from Ōkami-san is a Japanese version of Red Riding Hood, carrying weapons in her basket and often showing a Battle Aura of malign power. She acts as support to the fighters in the group.
- In Ludwig Revolution, she is a badass hitman named Lisette who went Ax-Crazy on her parents.
- Queen's Blade Grimoire has Zara who is a demon hunting Riding Hood who survive being eaten by the wolf, and gains Healing Factor powers.
- This is one of Sophie's figments of the imagination she meets in the Immateria in Promethea. Notably she criticizes Sophie for drawing her guns poorly while fighting humanity's subconscious fear of wolves.
- Mark Texeira's re-imagining of the tale for Penthouse Comix. "Red" is a werewolf hunter who catches her quarry by posing as a prostitute and... you can probably figure out the rest.
- In Crimson, a comic book about vampires (and other monsters) there was a badass female who wore a red hood named Scarlet (obviously). While in the story she fought with and against, mostly vampires, her origin centered around fighting werewolves (obviously).
- Fables first introduces Red Riding Hood as a courageous survivor of the Adversary's conquering legions and the love of Boy Blue's life. The story in which she's introduced shows that she willingly stays behind to fight to the death at his side, unaware that a plan had been put in place to let him escape and be with her. Later she appears under similar conditions and turns out to be Baba Yaga in disguise, acting as a spy for the Adversary (a deception which he saw through fairly quickly). After Boy Blue's rampage across the homelands to find her he discovers that the first one he met was also a disguised spy (apparently she's an easy subject for producing doppelgangers) and the real one has never met him, but he ends up bringing her back to Fabletown anyway. She is shown to adjust to her new life surprisingly quickly, and is not a fighter but is nonetheless strong and self-reliant, and is the active party in pursuing a romantic relationship with Flycatcher the Frog Prince.
- One issue of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose has Raven Hex wandering through a bunch of fairy tales and putting her over-sexed spin on them, including turning Little Red Riding Hood into a gun-toting vigilante.
- In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, Chloe Cerise, who has a motif based on Red Riding Hood obtains a red cloak called the Cloak of Marchosias and Wepawet; that is a red cloak with gryphon wings and a serpent tail and a wolf hood that lets her cast fire. She then starts getting into more fights with it along with her donut holer.
[[folder:Films — Animation]]
- Freeway features Reese Witherspoon as a street-wise girl who encounters a rapist named Bob Wolverton while driving to her grandmother's house. She shoots him in the face.
- Red Riding Hood features Amanda Seyfried in the title role who ends up arming herself and going out to kill the werewolf terrorizing her village.
- Hard Candy has a teenage girl with a red hoodie being lured into a confrontation with a child predator she met online. The twist is that she knows he's a dangerous pedophile, and wants to do terrible things to him.
- This symbolism is the result of a lucky coincidence, however, as the hoodie was actually orange and only turned red in color correction. The film makers swear up and down this was not meant to be symbolic. That didn't stop it becoming central to the advertising campaign, however.
- In Enchanted, Giselle claims what really happened is that Red was evil and tried to kill the Wolf with an ax before Pip saved him.
- Red, in Avengers Grimm, is actively hunting down The Wolf with bow and sword.
- Invoked by Serge Wells in Dog Soldiers
Sergeant Harry Wells: If Little Red Riding Hood should show up with a bazooka and a bad attitude, I expect you to chin the bitch.
- The Asylum film Little Dead Rotting Hood has the red cloak be the uniform of the Protector of the Forest, bane of werewolves.
- Little Red Riding Hood was walking in the woods one day when the Big Bad Wolf jumps out from behind a tree and says, "Little Red Riding Hood I'm going to rape you." Little Red Riding Hood looks at the wolf, reaches into her basket and pulls out a .44 magnum, sticks it right to the Wolf's nose, thumb-cocks it and states, "No you're not, you're going to eat me like the book says..."
- Roald Dahl:
Not only has two wolfskin coats,
- The retelling from Revolting Rhymes:
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
- She puts in a reappearance in "The Three Little Pigs", and by the end:
But when she goes from place to place,
She has a pigskin travelling case.
- The retelling from Revolting Rhymes:
- The very earliest versions of the folktale didn't include the hunter, killed the grandmother off for real, but had Red Riding Hood escape the wolf by herself, if she wasn't eaten. Perhaps we have a Cyclic Trope on our hands?
- Angela Carter, known for making updated, modernized versions of fairy tales (many of them collected in The Bloody Chamber), has two short stories involving this to varying degrees. In Werewolf, the little heroine is attacked by a werewolf on her way to her grandmother's place and cuts off its paw with a knife. Upon arrival, she finds her grandmother delirious and missing her hand. The grandmother is subsequently stoned to death and the little girl inherits her things. In the other story, The Company of Wolves, the girl meets a charming young man on the way. When she arrives at the house, she finds that the young man is actually a wolf in disguise, who has already killed her grandmother. Her reaction is to laugh at the standard "What big eyes you have" routine and promptly hop into bed with him.
- In The Princess Series, Roudette, the Lady of the Red Hood, was a well-known and feared assassin. Her cloak either protected her from magic or turned her into the Big Bad Wolf, depending on whether she wore it fur in or fur out. After her death at the hands of one of Talia(Sleeping Beauty)'s Fairy Godmothers, the cloak is claimed by Talia (herself a talented fighter thanks to applying the gift of grace to martial arts), who actually prefers being thought of as Little Red Riding Hood than being recognized as Sleeping Beauty.
- The entire point of Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. One of the two main characters, Scarlett, obsessively hunts Fenris down and kills them. Her grudge against them comes from being attacked by one as a small child; she managed to kill it in order to defend her sister, but not before the wolf killed their grandmother and ripped off half of her face and her right eye, leaving her horrifically scarred.
- Marissa Meyers' Scarlet knows how to handle both a shotgun and the handgun she carries with her, and takes matters into her own hands regarding her grandmother's disappearance.
- In Mercedes Lackey's fairy tale-inspired Elemental Masters novels, the Red Riding Hood character grows up to be a Magic Knight monster hunter.
- In the original Brothers Grimm's "Rotkäppchen" ("Little Red-Cap"), the familiar tale in which Red-Cap is devoured by the wolf and saved by a huntsman is directly extended with a second variant in which Red-Cap meets another wolf who tries the same trick on her as the first wolf. Red-Cap goes straight to her grandmother's house and warns her about the wolf; the wolf arrives and pretends to be Red-Cap to get the grandmother to open the door. As this naturally does not work, the wolf climbs onto the roof to wait for Red-Cap leaving the house. Meanwhile Red-Cap and grandmother fill a trough with water in which sausages have been boilt; the smell arouses the hungry wolf's interest, so that he falls from the roof and into the trough, where he drowns.
- The Syfy original movie, Red, starring Felicia Day as a werewolf hunter variant.
- A similar take on the Riding Hood story is created in the finale of Syfy's Face/Off. One of the final character makeups is a werewolf huntress in a red cloak based directly on the fairy tale (as required by the competition).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Played With in "Fear Itself", when Buffy dresses up as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween.
Xander: [wolf-like] What you got in the basket, little girl?
- In the opening of "Earshot" when Buffy is pretending to be a Victim of the Week to lure out a demon, she's wearing a red hoodie.
- Played With in "Fear Itself", when Buffy dresses up as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween.
- Red Riding Hood and her Granny in Once Upon a Time are scary in a fight (Granny packs a crossbow), and that's even without the family lycanthropy curse kicking in.
- Cheryl Blossom of Riverdale is a modern version of this at some occasions. The most notable moment is when she shoots an arrow at the Black Hood in an red hunting cape.
- AdventureQuest Worlds features Red Hunting Hood, who is Red Riding Hood all grown up and now hunting wolves with an axe.
- Bulleta (dub name Baby Bonnie "B.B." Hood) from Darkstalkers (pictured above), the resident Little Miss Badass Normal, Ax-Crazy, Bounty Hunter, Creepy Child, Faux Affably Evil and Dark Action Girl with Psycho Weapon. And she's noted in canon as being "a human with such darkness in her heart that even lower level Makai monsters shake in fear from meeting her gaze".
- The video game Fairytale Fights.
- Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ. Yes, really.
- Red is portrayed this way whenever she's a playable character in a Shrek video game. Namely Shrek 2, Shrek SuperSlam, and Shrek Smash N'Crash Racing.
- Annie from League of Legends has a Little Red skin, which barely qualifies her, but if Bulleta counts, so does she.
- Arena of Fate has Little Red Ridding Hood as a playable hero. She is armed with a huge sword while fighting the Big Bad Wolf Fenrir.
- The cancelled MOBA Dawngate had Freia, the Survivor. She was once a courier who happened to deliver the wrong package to a certain Harkund Fenmore—an incognito, wolf-themed warlord with the recently-acquired ability to control *ravenous ghost wolves*. She let it slip that others had seen her with the package in question. She was repaid by the rest of her village being slaughtered by said ghost wolves to hide the info trail—finding out she had literally doomed her own hometown, and was now the only survivor of her village. Her pure rage—at circumstances, Fenmore, and herself—attracted the and let the Spirit of Rage bond to her. As a Shaper, she wears her bloodstained cloak and wields her fallen woodcutter brother's axes. She has one goal in mind: get the power to murder Fenmore bloodily and repeatedly until the end of time.
- In Fire Emblem Fates, a girl named Velouria has a Little Red Riding Hood aesthetic, ironically enough given that she's a Wolfskin.
- Lobotomy Corporation: One of the abnormalities you have to manage is Little Red Riding Hooded Mercenary, who may or may not be the original Little Red Riding Hood grown up into a bounty hunter with a vendetta against The Big And Might Be Bad Wolf.
- One thing to note about her, though. She can actually take on bounties for the facility, as she can be hired to track down any abnormalities that get out. However, if she and The Big And Might Be Bad Wolf are within a certain proximity of each other, she'll drop whatever she's doing and start hunting him.
- Shall We Date?: Lost Alice gender-flips Red into a gun-toting young man who shot the wolf antagonist's father. Funnily, Hansel claims that he got his name not from the color of his cloak but from his tendency to blush very easily and often.
- In Shadowverse, Maisy, Red Riding Hood's flavour text depicts her turning around and killing the wolf after her. Her evolved form emphasizes this with more aggressive voice lines.
- Red Riding Hood from Mary Skelter: Nightmares is a heroic Tyke Bomb Cool Big Sis who leads a team of Blood Maidens (likewise named after fairy tale heroines) that stand as humanity's last hope against the horrific creatures from the Jail, one such creature being a giant wolf.
- Most playable classes in Night Of The Full Moon are alternate takes on this concept, as Little Red fights her way through the forest in search of her grandmother. Her options range from swordsmanship and archery to becoming a Badass Preacher or Black Magician Girl. The one exception is the Werewolf class, who is instead Reds friend the carpenter and may be forced to fight her as a boss.
- Red Riding Hood from SINoALICE likes nothing more than to play. Too bad for everyone else, her definition of "play" pretty much translates to wanton slaughter and is armed with an assortment of nasty weapons and tools for her to play with. Her Concept is even stated to be that of Violence. Her Half-Nightmare form even takes this to horrifying degrees as she finds joy in disemboweling herself.
- Woolfe - The Red Hood Diaries stars Red Riding Hood as an Action Girl looking to discover the truth behind her father's death.
- Akaneiro Demon Hunters is an action-MMORPG that features Little Red Riding Hood themes, mixed with Japanese folklore. The player is a red-hooded, Katana-wielding warrior who fights against hordes of demon wolves.
- Zig-zagged with the titular character of Little Red Hood; Little Red Hood cannot directly attack her enemies (despite the game's cover art depicting her kicking an enemy), but she can throw slingshots.
- Overwatch invokes this with Ashe's "Little Red Ashe" skin, dressing her up in a mildly short version of the usual garb and losing none of her badass gunslinging points. Her rifle is even outfitted with an axe at the end like a bayonet, and her personal assistant B.O.B. is redesigned to look like a wolf... who dresses like a grandmother.
- RWBY: Ruby Rose is introduced in the prequel Red Trailer as a girl in a red hooded cape who is walking alone through a forest after visiting someone's grave, only to be attacked by wolf-like monsters that she then proceeds to destroy using a hybrid sniper rifle/scythe. Inspired by Little Red Riding Hood, Ruby is almost never seen without her hooded red cape and various wolf imagery, from her wolf-shaped sleeping mask in Volume 1 to a wolf-patterned ammo pouch in Volumes 7-8. As a Silver-Eyed Warrior, she is destined from birth to become one of the world's greatest warriors, using her combat prowess to protect the people from the monsters that populate the world of Remnant.
- RWBY Chibi: In Season 1, Ruby casts herself as the lead in a stage adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood, the plot twist being she's armed herself against the Big Bad Wolf with her real weapon instead of a prop. The play falls apart when her team-mates accuse her of turning Little Red Riding Hood into a Mary Sue.
- Red in Ever After is a particularly Ax-Crazy version of one of these, armed with the second little pig's wood saw. The comic starts with her breaking out of containment, again. And vivisecting some guards.
- "Red" in No Rest for the Wicked. Hunts wolves (and any other "clever beasts" she comes across, given half a reason) with an ax. Flashbacks reveal that she seemed to be the traditionally innocent young girl of the fairytale before her meeting with the wolf, which broke her so badly she ended up like she is in the current story.
- Similar to the Hard Candy example: Oasis's trademark hoodie during the "Phoenix Rising" arc of Sluggy Freelance.
- Red Hot Riding Hood in the Tex Avery shorts is no helpless waif when it comes to fending off wolves.
- Little Red Riding Hood from Super Why!.
- The Looney Tunes short "The Trial of Mr. Wolf" has the Wolf tell his version of events, in which Red and Grandma conspire to kill him for his fur coat. Unfortunately for him, his story is so farfetched, that it's clear the jury - despite being composed entirely of wolves - doesn't buy it.
- The Groovie Goolies musical number "Where You Going Little Ghoul?"
- In Samurai Jack, Aku makes a hilarious Self-Insert Fic that results in this, and he keeps his Eye Beams in the fic.
- The Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater episode "Little Red Bunny Hood" moves the story to The Wild West. When Red is attacked by the wolf (who just wants to eat her lunch), she yells, "Eat this!" and rams her bouquet of flowers into his face, which knocks him into a well after he sneezes from them. She then pulls him out in exchange for him helping her. Later, Red and the wolf help foil a bank robbery.
- The Colombian animated short "Red" portrays the Little Red Riding Hood as a Badass Adorable girl who is able to kill the Big Bad Wolf using only a knife. In fact, the end reveals her hood is red because it is tainted with the wolf's blood.
- The Super Mario Bros Super Show!: In "Little Red Riding Princess", Princess Toadstool decides to visit her grandmother with a basket of goodies, and wears a red cloak and hood for warmth because it is snowy. King Koopa ambushes her by disguising himself as her grandmother (after beating up the Big Bad Wolf who had the same idea). When he reveals himself, she actually does a good job of fending him off with her basket and other improvised weapons, then leads him on a chase through the woods. She is finally captured when Koopa reveals his troops holding her grandmother hostage. Eventually, Mario, Luigi, Toad, and the Big Bad Wolf (who wanted revenge for Koopa attacking him) rescue the two.