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Monogender Monsters

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Along with Monster of the Aesop there's a tendency for all the monsters in a given show to be male or female; rarely will there be a mixed bag. The exception is if the The Dragon or the Big Bad are a different gender and deign to fight the heroes. And much like Monster Misogyny applied in reverse, guy heroes will only fight guy monsters, and girl heroines will only fight girl monsters. Though girl heroes fighting male monsters is not uncommon either, male is kinda of the default gender for Mooks (if not the default gender in fiction).

This also tends to follow the predominant gender among the cast. Mostly girl heroines? Then it's female monsters. Mostly guy heroes? Then it's male monsters.

There's really two reasons this happens:

  1. It's a lot easier on the costume/animation department if everything is fairly uniform across the board for the generic cannon fodder and slightly less generic Monster of the Week. There's also an easy story justification when monsters are involved: simply put, they are all modified forms of one design, pressed from a single mold, created by the same spell or, in the case of the first generation of Imperial Storm Troopers, cloned from the same guy.
  2. In the case of where the single gender protagonist(s) fight single gender monsters, this is probably to avoid Unfortunate Implications. Violence of men against men and women against women isn't viewed with the same sort of sensitivity as men against women. By reserving the men against women for developed characters (where you can develop very good reasons why they need to fight each other) and not having it for the Always Chaotic Evil Mooks that get steamrolled every episode, you can avoid accusations of the piece being inherently misogynistic or misandristic.

Subtrope of One-Gender Race. See Designated Girl Fight. Contrast Female Monster Surprise.

Example Boysters:

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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • While some male superheroes have at least one or two well-known female villains, the vast majority of Spider-Man, Superman and The Flash's rogues are men, and their few recurring villainesses—such as Calypso or Syrene— have not entered pop culture quite like the Green Goblin and Lex Luthor. In contrast, the vast majority of enemies of female heroes like Wonder Woman and Supergirl are female.

    Fan Works 
  • The Negaverse drones from Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm appear to be genderless. Despite being at least partially organic, they are described as being built, and so have no need to reproduce naturally.
  • This trope is mentioned and subverted in Splint. In The Lord of the Rings, it's hinted that there were female Orcs, but they are never seen or directly mentioned. In Splint, it's made very obvious there are female Orcs (and baby Orcs too); after all, one of the main protagonists is an Orcess. Rukhash explains that Saruman and Sauron kept a lot of the women back in the "breeding pits" to continuously supply Mordor’s armies with soldiers, while the men were sent out into battle, which explains why few female orcs were seen. Under normal circumstances, female Orcs also often fight alongside the males, with Cadoc later admitting he never really bothered to look too closely to tell the difference when he fought them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • All the Mogwai and Gremlins seen in the Gremlins movies are (ambiguously) male save Greta, the one female in the second movie, who was only such because she had gotten a hold of a gender-changing potion in a lab. Any reproductive processes not involving a splash of water are not discussed.
  • The The Lord of the Rings movies had only male orcs in line with its source material, though in the final movie there are two orcs that appear to be strikingly female, like the one who orders for the catapults during the Minas Tirith battle, and some orcs, such as the one who inspects a freshly born Uruk-Hai in The Fellowship of the Ring, were played by women. Whether they were meant to be orc women, who knows... In The Hobbit, Bolg was changed from being described as Azog's son, to his spawn, likely to leave the idea of how orcs have familial connections more ambiguous.
  • Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and onward had the Clone Troopers, clones of Jango Fett.

  • In just about any fantasy setting, it is rare for female goblins, orcs, trolls, ogres, or giants to be mentioned. There are of course exceptions (such as Xanth, Shrek, and tabletop games run by particularly forward-minded Game Masters), but they tend to be rare.
    • When Our Dwarves Are All the Same, Our Dwarves are usually all male as well, or at least, dwarf women aren't recognizable as women to non-Dwarves.
  • All Orcs mentioned by name in The Lord of the Rings novels are male. However, since Tolkien had written that "Orcs multiply after the fashion of the Children of Ilúvatar", i.e. elves and men, there must have been female Orcs somewhere, but given the times and his source materials Tolkein probably just discounted them. There aren't a lot of females on the heroic side either.
  • The taratzes from the German SF series Maddrax are mostly male. When a pack of them attacks, both male and female taratzes will fight. But almost all taratzes known by name are male.
  • The Koloss from Mistborn are all male, and the one Koloss questioned about it has a hard time grasping the concept of gender at all (and he was a smart one). This is because Koloss are an artificial race created by transforming humans with Black Magic- they don't technically have sexes, because they don't reproduce sexually, but are generally referred to as male.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Doctor Who:
    • Sontaran soldiers are cloned in batches and are always male. The Sontaran Strax in the new series can't quite mentally come to grips with the idea of more than one gender and often addresses women as "boy" or men as "girl". He does try his best though.
    • Daleks are entirely genderless—and gendered beings of other species who are converted into Daleks become genderless in the process—but they all have the same (shrill) male voice.
    • Similarly, Cybermen lose all gender identity when they are converted, but voices and body shape are clearly masculine. One "partially converted" cyberwoman appearing in an early Torchwood episode was obviously still female.
    • Classic-series Silurians showed no perceivable females, although the new series have quite a few of them.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: Because the Orcs from the show are close in design to those from the movies, is quite hard to distinguish male from female. Even if female Orcs might exist , their are probably outnumbered by their male peers, as all the named Orcs and those with speaking lines were male.
  • Power Rangers tends to limit itself to two female monsters per season, though there is always at least one female Dragon.
    • Though a lot of monsters tend to be gender ambiguous at best.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a few female orcs in the fiction (there is one particular in the latest few Drizzt books). There are rules for them, in that orcs and many other humanoid monsters have tribal rules in their monster entries, covering how many females/elders/infants/so forth should be part of any group of Monster X. Somewhere between the inattention to detail of most games, the vague distaste for genocide, and the fact they don't provide much in the way of XP, they tend to get ignored.
    • For orcs, it's justified that you don't often fight females—the males usually treat them as breeding stock whose place is in the home, so in any scenario where conflict with female orcs is possible there's also probably orc kids and babies around, and any sane DM would probably advise players of non-evil characters to tread very lightly...
      • The Forgotten Realms novel Evermeet quotes an Orc proverb "If Gruumsh had intended females to lead, he would have given them bigger muscles."
    • And for trolls it's averted, since they're matriarchal.
    • This is typically applies to gnolls too, which is a little strange since real life hyenas are matriarchal.
  • The Orks of Warhammer 40,000 are basically "drunk football lout" crossed over with "genocidal zealot", and are universally ridiculously masculine. Justified because they reproduce asexually — biologically, they're a lot like fungi.

    Video Games 
  • The Donkey Kong Country series had no female Kremlings until Kalypso and Kass appeared in Donkey Kong Barrel Blast.
  • Downplayed in Drakensang: while there are female Dwarves (and you can istantly recognize their gender with a look), the playable chatacter can only choose male Dwarves. All Orcs, Ogres and Trolls (in both games) are male though, while Goblins are mostly male with a single female NPC in both games.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there appear to be no female giants. There are also no Female Draugr, although due to randomly generated clothing you may occasionally encounter a crossdressing Draugr.
  • EverQuest II: Lampshaded with the "Orcs of Norrath" book, where the researcher who studied the Orc race for most of his life seems rather baffled why a female orc has never actually been seen. The best he can conclude is that they are so incredibly rare, that those who are born are used as a Baby Factory deep in some secluded area where they'd never see the light of day.
  • The Super Mutants of Fallout all look male, but it's revealed in files that the FEV virus which creates them makes both genders visually identical (secondary sexual characteristics like breasts and high-pitched voices disappear). Indeed, in Fallout: New Vegas, there are several female Super Mutants who, yes, sound exactly like the men (though they don't necessarily act like the men; one is a sweet old granny).
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics, the thieves have an ability "Steal Heart" that charms the opponent, but only those of the opposite gender of the user. All monsters are considered male with regards to this ability, which means female thieves have an advantage. Don't think about this too hard.
  • Halo: Virtually all the Covenant soldiers we see in the games are male (the ones that have a gender, anyways), though we see a lot more females in the expanded universe. This is justified by the Elites and Brutes, who have patriarchal warrior societies. This is also justified by the Jackals in a different way; they live in a matriarchal society where the females do the commanding and the males do the fighting. Halo 5: Guardians finally introduces a Sangheli female as a member of the Arbiter's "heretical" resistance cell, but only as a voice over a radio.
  • Samus Is a Girl, yet all space pirates in Metroid are referred to as male. In fact, almost everything Samus fights is either male or gender-neutral. Of the few female characters other than Samus, Dark Samus and the SA-X are only "female" by the technicality of being Samus's Evil Twin, and the Mother Brain is a giant brain in a jar and displays no obvious female characteristics. The only enemies Samus ever fought who were definitely female were the Metroid Queen and Gandrayda.
  • All of the zombies in the original Plants vs. Zombies and both Garden Warfare games are exclusively male, in contrast to the more gender-diverse Plants. Female zombies are finally introduced halfway through the second game, It's About Timenote . Female zombies have appeared more frequently ever since, in games like Heroes and Battle For Neighborville.
  • Pokémon has quite a few single-gender mons, starting with the Nidorans in Red and Blue.
  • Lampshaded in Titan Quest, where you end up fighting hordes of assorted beastmen of various types (Satyrs, Centaurs, Crocodilemen, Tigerfolk and demons of Hades) but they're usually all males. The Lampshade Hanging comes from a letter you can find on a rare boss which actually points out how odd is that there are no female satyrs or male Maenads around, and fears that they'll be called sexists.
  • The orc part is averted in the Warcraft series, a female orc was seen as early as Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. Though being an army building game, its mostly played straight with the other races, female humans alone weren't seen until the third game and it took till World of Warcraft for females of most of the other races such as Trolls, Tauren, and Dwarves to show up on screen. Despite that, this is pretty much played straight with most other monstrous races. Ever seen a sea giant or fel orc?
    • Centaurs are one of the few exceptions to this rule, as both male and female models exist. However races derived using their skeleton, such as the magnataur, appear strictly male.
    • Apparently played straight with the tol'vir when first included but later averted. A priestess appeared in a later patch using the same masculine model as the rest of the race.
    • Ogres have appeared as solely male throughout the games. During Cataclysm development they were the first choice of new race for the Horde but the designers had issues developing a female model they were happy with. Eventually the idea was scrapped and they have remained single gender since.
  • The later Wizardry games. In Bane of the Cosmic Forge, all dwarves, giants, gremlins, knights, samurai, ninjas, and rogues are male. In Crusaders of the Dark Savant, all Rattkin, Gorn, Munk, Dane, and Umpani are male. There is only one T'Rang female, justified in that she's a bloated egg-laying queen, and Wizardry 8 adds the Rattkin females... most players rather wish they hadn't.

    Web Comics 
  • Rich Burlew explained in a Q&A about The Order of the Stick that he deliberately made the Hobgoblin army all identical males in contrast with the variety of human soldiers (of both genders) as a quick way of characterizing the Hobgoblins as evil Mooks.

    Western Animation 

Example Girlsters:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Cardcaptor Sakura mostly fights cards that seem female when they aren't too ambiguous, but this might be just because they're so cute looking.
    • With some of the things implied about their in-universe creator, it'd be unsurprising if he specifically decided he wanted them cute looking.
  • Zig-zagged in Claymore. The all-female Claymore warriors mostly fight male Youma, but the most powerful Youma are the Awakened Beings, who are female due to being former Claymores themselves. One of the first big Plot Twists of the story comes when the characters encounter a male Awakened Being. In fact most Awakened Beings of note seem to be male - unknown to the protagonists at the time, the reason Claymores are always women is because the Organization's initial male Claymores were much more vulnerable to Awakening, and large numbers of them managed to escape before they could be put down. Due to improvements in Claymore technology over time, however, younger Awakened Beings tend to be stronger than older ones of equal rank, and the absolute strongest enemies in the series are female.
  • Cutey Honey may possibly be the Ur-Example, being the forerunner to the Magical Girl Warrior subgenre of Magical Girl series. True to the author's style, the monsters, while female, were always hideous.
    • However, the Panther Claw mooks that Cutie Honey could mow down several of in each episode are all male.
  • In what is probably a nod to Sailor Moon, the Pretty Sammy series employs exclusively female "Love-love Monsters", which are mundane objects animated into anthropomorphic creatures with similar traits.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, all witches are all female... not that you could tell by looking at them. This is because they're actually corrupted magical girls.
  • All of the Dolems in RahXephon had female characteristics, their avatars were women in skimpy outfits, and their Mulian controllers were all women as well. There are two exceptions, both of whom are plot relevant to the lead and the tormented leader of Terra.
  • While Sailor Moon arguably popularized the female Monster of the Week and Monster of the Aesop tropes, and unlike Cutie Honey usually gave those girl monsters super model proportions and porn star attire, the show actually averted this trope throughout its run: monsters were generally a mixed bag of genders, even when having mixed genders wouldn't make sense, like the fake-sailor-senshi Phages from the Stars season. Usually it depends on their origins: Manufactured monsters such as 1st season's early youmas and 3rd season's daimons are all female, but monsters resulting from some kind of The Corruption or Demonic Possession such as 1st season's latter youmas and 5th season's phages follow their victims' genders. Then there are other examples such as Fisheye from the Amazon Trio in the fourth season who only targeted males and thus only summoned male lemures to fight the Sailor Scouts. The only reason people think the show followed this rule is because female monsters were more common during the more popular seasons.
  • Based on their voices and booklet art, all of the Marriages of StrikerS Sound Stage X appear to be female.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • All vampires in We Are the Night are female. The male vampires were killed by the female vampires two hundred years before the plot. And they vowed never to turn a man into a vampire again. It gets inverted in an alternate scene and the book to the film. There a young policeman who is in love with the heroine of the film is turned into a vampire by her.

  • This is what everyone thought about the Dragon Princesses from InCryptid. Turns out that they're female dragons with an extreme case of sexual dimorphism and the ability to produce daughters through parthenogenesis. They need to mate with male dragons to produce more males and periodically introduce some genetic variation into the females.
  • Xanth: For a long period, all harpies were female, due to a curse that made all the males fall for other species and thus die out. Being half-human and half-vulture, the harpies survived by mating with humans and vultures in alternate generations, but for some reason this only produced more daughters. Eventually one male harpy was found preserved by the Brain Coral, and apparently he was able to have sons.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Weeping Angels in Doctor Who all appear as feminine statues, though given their power it's unclear whether it's merely their "stone" appearance.

    Video Games 
  • Sensibly enough, it's impossible to play a male Amazon in Drakensang. Or encounter one for that matter.
  • EverQuest II: There are no male Sirens, Harpies, Faeriesnote , Naga, or Naiadsnote . It's never reflected upon just why no males exist, or how these species reproduce.
  • In Final Fantasy XIV, almost all of the beastmen are a mixture of male and females, but they all have builds that look more suited to males. The Anata are a race of snake people that are exclusively all female and they find the concept of other races needing males to reproduce a little odd.
  • In Scarab of Ra, the pyramid is infested with monkeys, cobras, and lionesses.
  • Besides Pyramid Head and the Abstract Daddy (which is a monster created by Angela's mind), all the monsters in Silent Hill 2 are vaguely feminine in appearance. As an inverse of the usual usage of this trope, it makes the male player character fighting them more disturbing. It also hints that James is fighting them and ended up in Silent Hill because he killed his wife.
  • In Titan Quest again, female-only monsters include different types of beastmen (well, beastwomen) such as Maenads, Gorgons, Harpies, Lamiae and no less than three different races of all-female demonessess in Hades.
  • In Warcraft all Harpies are females.
  • The Helazoid race in Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant are a thriving all-female culture. Justified by their use of advanced technology to reproduce and only produce female children.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation