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Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne Trio

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Arlo (Androgynous), Cliff (Masculine), and Sierra (Feminine).

A tendency for a group of three characters, often a Power Trio, to have one typically masculine member, one typically feminine member, and one who is androgynous or of Ambiguous Gender at first glance. Since three is an odd number, depicting the third member as androgynous makes the group seem balanced without favoring males or females like Two Guys and a Girl and Two Girls and a Guy. Having two members who present at extremes of the gender binary and one who falls in the middle also allows for varied appearances and personalities within the trio.

The androgynous member may identify as a particular gender, fall outside the gender binary, have no sex, or be both at the same time. Nonhuman Sidekicks count as long as they are not particularly masculine or feminine in appearance. They may also be portrayed as a prepubescent child due to the lack of secondary sex characteristics, and can be part of the reason that main characters often have A Boy, a Girl, and a Baby Family. The baby, no matter its gender, will be too young to be outwardly feminine or masculine. Likewise, the masculine member does not have to be male (they can be The Lad-ette or a Butch Lesbian, for example) and the feminine member does not have to be female (they can be Camp Gay or In Touch with His Feminine Side).

Although this dynamic is most common in trios, an androgynous character can be used to round out any odd-numbered group like five or seven.

Compare Town Girls (a similar all-female ensemble with one masculine member, one feminine member, and one who is neither masculine nor feminine) and Gender-Equal Ensemble, a way to even out the gender ratio with an even number of characters.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The main student trio of Assassination Classroom consists of Karma, a tall, rebellious young man with red hair and a sadistic streak; Kayano, a Girly Girl who is secretly a famous teen movie actress; and Nagisa, a short, effeminate young man whose appearance sometimes gets him Dragged into Drag.
  • The 3 main characters of Berserk are Guts, a six-and-a-half-foot-tall muscular behemoth of a man with undying fury (Masculine); Griffith, an Ambiguously Bi Agent Peacock with long flowing white hair (Androgyne); and Casca, a short-haired Ambiguously Brown Amazonian Beauty (Feminine). This is a somewhat strange example since Griffith arguably looks more feminine than Casca, but Griffith usually receives a voice almost as deep as Guts' in adaptations. Their partnership collapses when Griffith betrays the other two to ascend to godhood and rapes Casca in front of Guts, with the latter narrowly escaping the same fate.
  • The protagonist of Boku Girl is Mizuki, an effeminate boy who is turned female, but still androgynous enough to pass as male. The other two main characters are his best friend Takeru, a guy who's tall and muscular, and his crush Yumeko, a girl who's cute and busty. Eventually, it's shown Mizuki's natural personality is the most feminine, while Yumeko's is more tomboyish.
  • From ChocoMimi, there's the pets of the main trio: Chiffon, Huckleberry and Picho, which is most pronounced in the "Pichokleffon" side stories, which literally humanizes them. Chiffon is a male dog who desperately wants to be seen as a noble samurai (and hates it when his owner Mimi dresses him up in cute frilly outfits). Huckleberry is a female cat who, when made to look human, is a cute girl in a fluffy dress. Picho is a small bird with the human form of an androgynous child who nobody can tell the gender of In-Universe, with Picho noting only bird experts can know for sure.
  • Deca-Dence: Mindy, Mundy and Mendy, the recurring triplets. Mundy is a muscular man. Mendy is a petite woman wearing pigtails. Mindy is muscular with short hair and a face closer to her brother's, with her tip-offs of being female being her chest, emulating her sister's midriff-baring style and her voice.
  • Family Compo plays with many gender tropes with the Wakanae family. Yukari and Sora are a trans woman and trans man, respectively, and their daughter Shion was allowed to present as either a boy or girl whenever she pleased but seems to mainly live as a woman, though she wishes to go to college as a man and has apparently switched gender presentation every time she has changed schools.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) and earlier chapters of Fullmetal Alchemist, the Homunculi most active against the heroes are Lust (who resembles a beautiful woman), Gluttony (who resembles a fat young man), and Envy (who has an androgynous appearance, has an Ambiguous Gender Identity that is never really clarified, and is always referred to with gender-neutral pronouns). During this time, the three usually appeared as a trio. They are as diverse in body types and attitudes as well.
  • The three primary characters of Gunbured × Sisters. Dorothy is a buxom and traditionally feminine Lady of War (Feminine). Maria is a foul-mouthed tomboy and as a dhampir is the most powerful physical fighter of the three (Masculine). Shannon is a graceful bifauxnen swordsperson with an Ambiguous Gender Identitynote  (Androgyne). Dorothy is the clear leader of the three, being both the Manipulative Bitch who brought the trio together and the apex of the Love Triangle between them.
  • Healin' Good♡Pretty Cure: The Quirky Miniboss Squad of the season consists of the musclebound brute Guaiwaru, the ladylike Shindoine, and the Pretty Boy Daruizen.
  • The Chimera Ant Royal Guards of Hunter × Hunter. Neferpitou is a cat person with curves, a bob haircut, and eyelashes (feminine); Menthuthuyoupi is a muscular brute (masculine); Shaiapouf is a slender bishounen who dresses fancy and sports large, colorful butterfly wings (androgyne). However, it's Pitou who has an Ambiguous Gender; Pouf is referred to as male.
  • The main trio of Komi Can't Communicate is composed of the Dandere and beautiful Komi, the Nice Guy and Everyman Tadano and the Cloudcuckoolander Najimi (whose gender is yet to be known).
  • The protagonists of Liar Game are the pathologically honest Kanzaki Nao, her con artist mentor Akiyama Shinichi, and their unwillingly-befriended rival Fukunaga, a trans woman willing to use masculine guise if it gives her an advantage.
  • The main characters of Made in Abyss are Riko, a human girl; Reg, a Ridiculously Human Robot boy; and Nanachi, a rabbit-like humanoid of Ambiguous Gender.
  • Naruto's Legendary Sannin: Jiraiya (muscular and coarse man), Tsunade (buxom and beautiful woman known for her healing, although still The Lad-ette), and Orochimaru (a slender being with long hair who has inhabited both male and female bodiesnote ).
  • The Goldfish Poop Gang Team Rocket trio in Pokémon: The Series. Jessie is the woman, James is the man (although personality-wise they are a Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy pair), and their talking cat Pokémon Meowth rounds out the trio.
  • In Soul Eater, Maka (a sweet and responsible girl) and Soul (an impulsive "cool guy") formed a trio with Crona after the latter's Heel–Face Turn. Crona is androgynous and never had their gender confirmed.
  • The three main characters of Tokyo Godfathers: Gin is a gruff, hairy, alcoholic man, Miyuki is a teenage girl, and Hana is a transgender woman. The "feminine" and "androgyne" roles fit the latter two in two different ways: appearance-wise, Miyuki has a small, lithe build whereas Hana has a tall, wiry physique, but personality-wise Miyuki is a tomboy whereas Hana is very emotional and motherly.

    Comic Books 
  • Cerebus the Aardvark: In the comic's final issue, after Cerebus dies, he sees in the "light" his best friend Bear, his former lover Jaka, and his favorite author Ham Ernestway standing together and apparently welcoming him, only for them to turn distorted and horrific and drag Cerebus' soul into the light. This ties into Dave Sim's unusual religious beliefs regarding the God/YHWH argument, as he believes the YHWHnote  tries to cover all genders at once, and refers to it as "he/she/it", as opposed to God who is inherently masculine. This makes the apparitions take on a dual meaning—they're not only the three people Cerebus is most eager to be with, they represent the three aspects of the YHWH—masculine Bear, feminine Jaka, and neutered Ham ("unmanned" by both his wife's hints about his sexual preferences and his suicide), and are thus the perfect lure to trap Cerebus.
  • In Grant Morrison's run of Doom Patrol, Larry Trainor's negative energy spirit underwent a metamorphosis that absorbed him and his nurse Eleanor Poole into an alchemical composite being that called itself Rebis.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Mina Murray, Allan Quatermain, and Orlando eventually start living as a threesome, with Orlando cursed by the Gods to change sex from male to female involuntarily.
  • The Sandman (1989): The Endless, comprised of Dream and his six siblings. Dream, Destiny, and Destruction are portrayed as men; Death, Despair, and Delirium are portrayed as women; Desire, being the personification of lust/love, is Otherworldly and Sexually Ambiguous.

    Films — Animated 
  • In the final act of Promare, Galo, Aina, and Lio act as a trio. Galo has an extremely masculine appearance which is accentuated by his lack of a shirt, Aina is the only girl and has the most feminine design, and while Lio is male, he has a very slim and short build, giving him an androgynous appearance.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Ghosts of Christmas in The Muppet Christmas Carol. The Ghost of Christmas Past appears as a delicate young girl (feminine), the Ghost of Christmas Present as a large bearded man (masculine), and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come as a mysterious figure hidden beneath a hood (androgyne). In the original book, both Past and Yet to Come are of Ambiguous Gender.
  • In Shredder Orpheus, Axel is a grizzled, tough-talking war veteran and the most Masculine of the prominent Grey Zoners, Razoreus acts as the Feminine as he wears bright colors and is the youngest and most emotionally sensitive of the trio, and Scratch is described in-movie as Androgyne; she identifies as female and shreds with the boys like the best of them, with her design and clothes being unisex.

  • A Song of Ice and Fire has a seven-person variation in the Faith of the Seven, which is comprised of three masculine figures (the Warrior, the Father, and the Smith), three feminine figures (the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone), and the Stranger, a mysterious figure who is neither male or female and sometimes depicted as nonhuman. This androgyny is because they represent death and the unknown.
  • The Stormlight Archive: The three Bondsmith spren. The masculine Stormfather, created by male god Honor, the feminine Nightwatcher, created by female goddess Cultivation, and the androgyne Sibling, created by Honor and Cultivation together.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Inai Inai Baa!: Wan-Wan is male, the onee-san is always female, and U-Tan doesn't have a specified gender.

  • Synth V: The synthesisers released by Eclipsed Sounds, LLC each present differently in addition to taking on one of the three primary Cosmic Motifs. Solaria (representing the Sun) is inspired by sun goddess imagery, Asterian (representing the Moon) wears masculine clothing and has a deep oktavist register, and Saros (representing Stars) is based on the androgyny of the Glam Rock era.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the board game Eclipse: Second Dawn For the Galaxy, the players can play as one of six alien races or one of six Jack of All Stats humans. The six human characters feature two male characters (who are player colors Red and Black), two female characters (Blue and White), and two androgynous characters (Green and Yellow).

    Video Games 
  • Baten Kaitos Origins has Sagi, a boy, as the main character, Milly, a runaway noblewoman who accompanies him, and Guilo, Sagi's oldest friend and a puppet animated by ancient magic who is voiced by both a man and a woman.
  • Played with in Deltarune. The three main party members consist of the male Ralsei, the female Susie, and the nonbinary Kris. However, Susie and Ralsei have a respective Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy dynamic, with Susie being crude and initially predisposed to violence and Ralsei being a kindly White Mage. When the team is expanded in Chapter 2, Kris forms this dynamic with Berdly, a more traditionally masculine nerd, and Noelle, a more traditionally feminine mage.
  • Five-member example in Dicey Dungeons: the playable dice cast has two boys (Warrior and Thief), two girls (Inventor and Witch), and one nonbinary dice (Robot). When the nonbinary Jester is turned into a dice and joins the team, it becomes a Gender-Equal Ensemble.
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. In Tribunal iconography Sotha Sil (a wise and mysterious wizard) is masculine, Almalexia (a brave and compassionate queen) is feminine, and Vivec portrays himself as a hermaphrodite as a symbol of duality (although he seems to identify as male).
  • Littlewood: The Player Character is of Ambiguous Gender, while the two first people they meet after waking up with amnesia at the beginning of the game are their companions from their adventuring days, the feminine Willow and the masculine Dalton.
  • NiGHTS into Dreams… and NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams's titular character and the human dreamers fall under this. In the former, Claris Sinclair is the female, and Elliot Edwards is the male. In the latter, Helen Cartwright is the female and William Taylor is the male. In both ensembles, NiGHTS (whose gender, canonically, is up to the player, and they have an appearance and voice to match the fact) fits the androgyne role.
  • In the Orochi Saga of The King of Fighters, the Sacred Treasures Team are formed by Kyo Kusanagi (male), Chizuru Kagura (female), and Iori Yagami (androgynous). Although they aren't a formal team (more of a Hero, Rival, Baddie Team-Up), they're the canonical team that defeated Orochi in KOF'97.
    • Their Evil Counterpart, Team New Faces/Team Orochi, has this dynamic as well, with their lineup consisting of Yashiro (male), Shermie (female), and Chris (androgynous).
  • Pokémon:
    • The team leaders of Pokémon GO. Spark is an energetic young man (masculine), Candela is an approachable and level-headed young woman (feminine) and Blanche is androgynous in both facial features and style of dress, in addition to using they/them pronouns in English. The Team Rocket members introduced in this game (pictured above) are buff bearded man Cliff (masculine), beautiful Sierra (feminine), and Pretty Boy Arlo (androgyne).
    • Pokémon X and Y uses a Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne design scheme to differentiate the Kalosian starter evolutionary lines. Although all three can be of either sex, the Grass-type Chesnaught is a hunched-over and imposing porcupine resembling a Knight in Shining Armor, the Fire-type Delphox is a feminine fox sorceress, and the Water-type Greninja is a slim ninja frog.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon also uses a Masculine, Feminine, Androgyne design scheme to differentiate the Alolan starters as well. The Fire-type Incineroar is a muscular, masculine large cat pro wrestler, the Water-type Primarina is a demure and beautiful feminine siren, and the Grass-type Decidueye is a stealthy owl archer who has a grass hood, so it is much more androgynous than its peers.
    • Prince Lear Pokémon Masters and his subordinates fit this, with his bodyguard Sawyer as the Masculine, his right-hand woman Rachel serving as the Valley Girl Feminine, and Lear himself as the eccentric androgynous.
    • The rival trios in both Pokémon Sword and Shield and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet fit the mold — in the former, there's the Hot-Blooded Hop (masculine), sole female Marnie (feminine), and Insufferable Genius Bede (androgyne); in the latter, there's sole male Arven (masculine), Cool Big Sis Nemona (feminine), and The Cracker Penny (androgyne).
  • In the "Guadia Quest" game in Retro Game Challenge, the party consists of three characters- one who is clearly male, one who is clearly female, and a third whose art is ambiguous (though their sprite makes it more likely that they're intended to also be female).
  • Secret of Mana's main characters are a young man (Randi), a young lady (Primm), and a sprite child (Popoi, whose gender is different depending on the game's localization but is referred to with "they" in English and is just plain ambiguous in Japan).
  • Splatoon:
    • Marketing for most installments puts focus on three characters: a girl (usually the mascot), a boy, and an untransformed squid or octopus of indeterminate gender. In Splatoon 3, the third party is instead a Salmonid.
    • In Splatoon 3, the idol group Deep Cut is a trio made up of the masculine manta ray Big Man, the feminine inkling Frye and the androgynous octoling Shiver.
  • All three Torch 60 games have this:
    • Brave Hero Yuusha has the main trio, with the titular gender-ambiguous hero, the feminine Princess Glynn, and the masculine Demon Lord Volza.
    • Soma Spirits has the three deities of the planet Soma. Form, the Great Spirit of Joy, is a female jester who rules over a world of eternal happiness; her brother Dissonance, the Great Spirit of Sorrow, is a Tin Tyrant who rules over a world of eternal sadness; and Absolution is a genderless Eldritch Abomination.
    • Soma Union again has the playable trio, the Recon Team. Zero, the leader, is a gender-ambiguous purple jester Spirit; Reca is a sentient acorn Plucky Girl; and Lumen is the grumpy Dr. Jerk.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles: The series loves this trope. One character even has a place in multiple triads.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 1:
      • Zanza's Trinity of masculine Dickson, feminine Lorithia, and androgynous Alvis.
      • The three gods of the world. Masculine Zanza, feminine Meyneth, androgynous Alvis/Monado.
    • The Trinity Processor of Ontos, Logos, and Pneuma. In Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Pneuma takes the form of a woman named Mythra, later splitting off and forming an alternate personality named Pyra as well. Pneuma's brother Logos takes the form of a man named Malos. Ontos first appears in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 in the form of an androgynous character named Alvis, who is believed to be male by the main party. It isn't revealed until Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed that Ontos is actually nonbinary, being between Pneuma and Logos and serving as an intermediary between them. In fact, by the time of Future Redeemed, without Pneuma and Logos there to keep them grounded with compassion and logic respectively, Ontos splits into two beings too, the masculine Alpha and the feminine A.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Monster Camp, Joy's villainous exes appear as minor characters either trying to get back together with her or get closure. They are respectively Salomé, a feminine weather elemental, Gerard, a masculine necromancer, and Axarax, a nonbinary bug person.

  • Beyond the Canopy: The seven sovereigns consist of three males (Redwood, Kyrimus, and Patchverk), three females (Dewdrop, Excella, and Aurora), and Glamrock, who is visually inspired by Glam Rock performers (who were known for their androgyny) and is referred to with they/them pronouns.
  • Very early strips of El Goonish Shive feature Elliot with masculine short hair, Tedd with androgynous longer hair, and Sarah with similarly longer hair but obvious though small breasts.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Emil's young cousins all wear a similar outfit consisting of a sweater and pants, but:
    • Håkan is the only one with short hair, making him very obviously a boy.
    • Anna is the only one with pigtails, making her obviously a girl.
    • Sune has long hair that would first seem to belong to a girl, but people familiar with the comic will recognize his hairstyle as being identical to Emil's, resulting in him overall giving mixed signals on top of having been confirmed to be a boy.
  • Triplings stars three siblings: Jude, the feminine sister, Wyatt, who is nonbinary and androgynous, and Elias, the masculine brother. When they learn they're going to have a baby sister, Jude brags about how the girls rule the house now.

    Web Original 
  • 17776: The main trio of A.I.s: Nine is referred to with they/them pronouns and confirmed by Word of God as non-binary, Ten goes by she/her pronouns and is referred to as a lady, and Juice goes by he/him pronouns and tends to use coarser language compared to the others.

    Western Animation 
  • Craig of the Creek: The Ice Pop Trio forms this dynamic. Deep-voiced and Badass Biker Cannonball is the Masculine. The glittery Magical Girl Sparkle Cadet is the Feminine. Craig is the Androgynous, falling right between the two, as he wears relatively masculine clothes at the Creek in addition to a purse.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Towards the end of Season 1, we are introduced to Kipo’s burrow friends, male Troy, female Dahlia, and non-binary Asher.
  • Steven Universe despite gems almost universally using female pronouns (aside from Steven) The three main Crystal Gems do follow this trope. For the most part.
    • Pearl represents the feminine side with her ballerina-like outfits consisting of skirts, ribbons, and pastel colors.
    • Amethyst is loud, boisterous, messy, and aggressive which represents a more masculine side.
    • Garnet is a fusion between a masculine-presenting soldier Ruby and a more feminine-presenting and aristocratic Sapphire (although during their wedding, Ruby opts for a dress while Sapphire wears a suit). Garnet herself is very androgynous with their form neither being too feminine nor too masculine.
      • Also technically applies to the secondary Crystal gems as well. Lapis being feminine, Bismuth being Masculine, and Peridot being Androgynous.