Follow TV Tropes

Following

Not Like Other Girls

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_notlikeothergirls.png

Tywin: Aren't most girls interested in the pretty maidens from the songs? Jonquil, flowers in her hair?
Arya: Most girls are idiots.
Advertisement:

On the surface, it's nice to hear someone say you're special. It's flattering to the ego to hear that you're better than the competition. That might be why this line is almost only found in young adult and teen stories. Writers may not expect teens to take subtext or larger social implications into consideration.

However it's meant, this line can be interpreted as a backhanded compliment, or even outright Condescending Compassion. By saying that your intelligence, sense of humor, chastity, lack of interest in makeup, independence, or whatever make you "different from other guys/girls," it's implied that your gender is inferior by default (compare You Are a Credit to Your Race).

A more tactful person may ease the blow to feminism by saying she's different from other girls he knows or the kind of girls he usually dates. The inverse of this works as well.

Advertisement:

This line is also commonly used with girls with superpowers or some other kind of secret for the irony factor.

Often said by the Ladykiller in Love. Compare and contrast I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me. Related but distinct tropes include Real Women Don't Wear Dresses, Madonna–Whore Complex, Makeup Is Evil, Beauty Is Bad, and Slut-Shaming. A Female Misogynist may describe herself this way. This trope is one of the most Common Mary Sue Traits, although a character described this way (or who describes herself this way) is not necessarily a Mary Sue.


Advertisement:

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Kodachi meets Ranma for the first time in Ranma ½ and remarks, "You're no ordinary girl."
  • Destruction Flag Otome: Played with. In the original timeline, Gerard met Maria when she was climbing a tree, which led to him striking up a conversation, finding out more about her, and falling in love. Eventually, this relationship led to the death of the spoiled noble Katarina, who Gerard grew up with. However, in the altered timeline, Katarina remembers her previous life as an average Japanese girl, and is... quirky. Among other things, she climbs trees all the time, so when Gerard meets Maria, he doesn't think much of her doing the same thing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: At the high school dance, Luke Perry's character delivers this line to Buffy. She denies it while clutching a wooden stake as they slow dance.
  • Ella Enchanted:
    Prince Charmont: Ella of Frell, you're not like other girls.
    Ella: You have no idea.
  • In The Gamers: Dorkness Rising the comment "You know, you're unlike any other woman I've ever met" is used this way from one female character to another as a form of flirtation. Seeing as how the female character saying this is played by a Man, the target character responds with "Right back at ya".
  • In Operation Petticoat, the chief, who doesn't like the idea of women on boats, finally gets to see the good side of the Chief Nurse and says, "You're not like other women. You're an engineer."
  • Naveen's bungled attempt to propose to Tiana in The Princess and the Frog has him attempting to show her how much she means to him by saying that, rather than being like the "thousands" of women that he's gone out with, Tiana's different because she's "one of the guys".
  • King Kong (1933) doesn't even try to hide the misogyny. To be fair, it was the 30s.
    Jack: I guess I love you.
    Anne: Why, Jack! You hate women!
    Jack: Yeah, I know. But you aren't women.
  • In Small Soldiers part of bonding between Alan and Christie is, after finding out she likes Led Zeppelin, remarking she's not like regular girls. This gets him a smile from her. It seems there's some of this in-universe, as Christie has a massive doll collection and seems to be embarrassed about it.
  • Miss Congeniality tackles this in a good way. Gracie Hart is a tomboy and Lad Ette through and through, who views all the pageant contestants as bimbos. But as she gets to know them she becomes good friends with several of them and gains a lot of respect for both the girls and herself in the process, as by the end of the movie she's still a badass FBI agent and considerably more well-groomed and refined, showing that you can be both and they are not mutually exclusive.
  • Fighting with My Family does this in a similar way. Saraya is contrasted with some more conventionally attractive model-turned-wrestlers in WWE developmental, and feels out of place so she alternates between trying to imitate their looks and assuming they're a Girl Posse making fun of her. She also views them as Hired for Their Looks who don't care about wrestling, and are only looking for a stepping stone to fame. Then she learns that one of the girls has a daughter she's missing time with to train, and decides to use her experience to help them improve their own talents - while also staying true to her own style.

    Literature 
  • Peaceable in The Sherwood Ring proposes to Barbara (after she's tricked him into drinking sleeping drops) specifically because she's the only woman he's met who didn't act stupid in front of him. In Peaceable's defense, acting ditsy was the fashion among young women at the time. "I refuse to marry until I meet a woman as intelligent as I am—and not before." Point proven, Barbara.
  • Subverted — in fact, run through with a sword, repeatedly and with prejudice — in all books of the Tortall Universe by Tamora Pierce. The books are Feminist Fantasy, but it's pointed out multiple times over the series that there are many kinds of girls in the world and that being one is nothing to be ashamed of, whether you're The Chick or an Action Girl. In Squire, Lady Alanna notes that people think of her this way so that they don't have to challenge their assumptions of women as a whole, hence why no one tried out for knighthood until Keladry came along and proved it was attainable for any girl, not just a "special" one.
  • Explored and mostly subverted in A Song of Ice and Fire with characters like Cersei, Asha, Brienne and Arya. Cersei tends to think this about herself as a misogynist, and wishes she could have been raised a warrior, not because of any fascination with a sword but because she feels that a sword would give her an easier road to respect, fear, and power. Asha has also come to these same conclusions in her society which is even more misogynistic than general Westeros, but despite playing the role of the warrior there's no real indication she actually disdains feminine activities. Brienne and Arya could both be described as tomboys, but they're similar in that doing so is partly because they have trouble adopting traditional feminine pursuits rather than actual dislike of them - Arya comes off as the Unfavorite compared to her more skilled older sister, and Brienne's homely face and rather masculine body shape means she literally cannot be accepted as feminine in Westerosi culture, and has chosen to pursue masculine pursuits because her body type makes her much more inclined that way.
  • Shay says this to Calla in the YA novel Wolfsbane. Though he's a bit more specific than the norm in that he only says she's not like other girls he's dated.
  • In A Grief Observed, C. S. Lewis's memoir of the aftermath of his wife's death, he mentions having told her once that his relationship with her felt more like his friendships with other men than any other relationship he'd ever had with a woman. She had to point out to him that it's a bit insulting if the highest compliment you can pay to a woman is that she's almost like a man and asked what he'd think if she started praising him for his "feminine virtues." He was convinced.
  • Mara Wilson in her autobiography deconstructs this trope in one chapter - detailing her experiences in the politics of high school show choir. She was initially part of a clique that was jealous of their more talented peers, but thought they were better because they weren't like "othergirls" (yes, one word). Naturally, the clique imploded with a lot of bitchy backstabbing, and Mara notes that real-life Alpha Bitches come in many varieties, and in their view everyone is 'othergirls'.
    "Anyone can play the game, but the only way to win is to not play at all."
  • This trope pops up a lot in The Hunger Games trilogy when it comes to Katniss. For instance, Katniss is depicted as her family's breadwinner because her female relatives are pretty much useless - her father was the one who taught her how to hunt, but her mother is too overcome with crippling depression to provide for her daughters and her younger sister is so meek and innocent she can't bear killing animals and there are no other female hunters mentioned besides Katniss, who typically fails at anything remotely "feminine". An example of this is in Catching Fire, where she claims to have become good friends with Madge, the Mayor's daughter, because unlike other girls they don't sit around talking about boys or clothes, even though Katniss was previously gushing over the new gear Cinna made for her and angsting about how both Peeta and Gale are in love with her.
  • Implied about Anastasia in Fifty Shades of Grey when Christian tells her that she is the first submissive partner he's ever had that has unintentionally encouraged him to go on dates, share a helicopter ride, have sex with outside his sex dungeon, and even change a flavour of ice cream.
  • In The Lie Tree Faith is initially hostile and dismissive towards other women, particularly her mother, Myrtle. Her attitude changes after she gains some understanding of the pressures they face and how hard it is to defy societal expectations.
Faith had always told herself she was not like other ladies. But neither, it seemed, were other ladies.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Arya behaves like this in the early seasons, though fortunately, she does start to grow out of it as she gets older.
    Tywin: Aren't most girls interested in the pretty maidens from the songs? Jonquil, flowers in her hair?
    Arya: Most girls are idiots.
    • Pops up a bit with Talisa as well, as when she is explaining why she left Volantis to become a field nurse, she tells him that a slave saved her brother's life even though he would be put to death for doing so, which inspired her to go do something with her life, not like "all the other highborn maidens who only cared about dancing at balls".
      • A good refutation of her argument and how it's both anachronistic and misunderstanding of their society can be found here
  • October Road episode "How to Kiss Hello":
    Eddie Latekka: You know what? You're not like the other girls I usually date. You're smart and funny and beautiful inside and out.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series pilot, "The Cage", Captain Pike says this about Number One.
    Number One: She's replacing your former yeoman, sir.
    Pike: She does a good job, all right. It's just that I can't get used to having a woman on the bridge. No offense, Lieutenant. You're different, of course.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer - in the very early "Witch" episode, Buffy, all loopy under a spell, is acting affectionate toward Xander, to Willow's dismay. When she says "You're not like other boys at all." Xander smiles modestly; when she adds "You are like, completely, totally one of the girls! I'm that comfy with him!" his expression drops, and Willow smiles (he had said the same thing to her earlier).
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun:
    • The gender-flipped version made an appearance, with the secret identity twist:
      August: Listen, I ran out because I was disappointed in you. I thought you were different than other guys.
      Tommy: Oh, I am different. You have no idea how different I am.
    • Also, with Harry:
      Vicki: You know, I like you, Harry. You're — you're not like the other guys.
      Harry: Ah! No, ma'am!
    • And with Sally:
      Michel: I never met a woman like you.
      Sally: And you never will again.

    Music Videos 
  • In the music video for "Thriller", Michael Jackson asks a girl to go steady with him. He then tells her the gender flip of this trope "I'm not like other boys." She responds "I know! That's why I love you!" And then Michael was a werecat.
  • Hailee Steinfield's "Most Girls" video starts with her hearing this from a guy she's apparently connecting with until he tells her the trope name, immediately turning her off: "I gotta go." Considering the rest of the video is about extolling the virtues that "most girls" have, it's clear that the guy's meaning was taken as "inferior gender" instead of making Hailee feel special.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is actually the Catchphrase of Nia Jax, who truly does stand out from all the other girls on the WWE roster by being absolutely massive (she was a plus-sized model before taking up wrestling) and a brutal Wrestling Monster rather than a slim, athletic performer like the rest of the female roster.
  • Paige had this schtick early on (fittingly Fighting with My Family is a biopic of her). At the time she was signed, she was one of the few indie wrestlers among model-turned-wrestlers in developmental. So her Raven Hair, Ivory Skin was used to sell her as the 'Anti-Diva'.
  • A.J. Lee played this up as well on NXT, selling herself as representing all the nerds and preaching that she didn't go to her prom and preferred playing video games to going out. She later played it up when she was Divas' Champion - but this time as an arrogant heel move that alienated the entire division against her.

    Video Games 
  • In Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, if Anomen and a female CHARNAME have continued their relationship, he will tell her that she's nothing like any other woman he's known (mostly referring to those who shared his former social position). CHARNAME can hang a lampshade: "I think there's a compliment in there somewhere." Not only is this the less problematic version of this trope, however, it's part of a conversation where he admits that his usual approach to romance is useless to express how much he loves her.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • Mary Sue Problems has a lot of jokes about Mary Sues saying they're this. She even did one for Marty Stus. The writer for the blog has discussed the internalized misogyny behind it, the desire to be unique, and other reasons behind this trope. She also discussed why we shouldn't hold ourselves to this standard.
  • The series "Stuff Your Mom Never Told You" (part of How Stuff Works) deconstructs this trope and discusses its Unfortunate Implications. Basically no girl is like other girls and other girls are not like one another.
  • The infamous Creamsicle characters started out as a parody of this, with Snowflake's half of the chart talking about how much she's a thoughtful, caring, kind girl compared to the clearly biased, vapid, Dumb Blonde stereotypes she writes on Sunglasses' (then known as "Other Girls") side. Then someone decided to pair them up...
  • Lindsay Ellis briefly references this in the video "Dear Stephenie Meyer", a retrospective look on the Twilight series and the vitriolic backlash the books, its fandom and its author received, chalking up a portion of the backlash that largely came from other girls and women to the fact that the books were aimed at and were popular with preteen/teenage girls, who are often considered an Acceptable Target in society. She even uses this page's quote to punctuate her point, as well as admitting she herself fell into this trap when she was younger.
    "I may get some blowback for stating what is kind of the obvious to everyone of all stripes, but we, and by we, I mean our culture, we kind of hate teenage girls. We hate their music (plays One Direction's "You Don't Know You're Beautiful"), we hate their insipid backstabbing, we hate their vanity, we hate their selfie sticks, we hate their makeup, we hate their stupid books and the stupid sexy actors they made famous and their stupid sparkly vampires. And then we wonder why so many girls are eager to distance themselves from being the objects of societal contempt. (plays the Tywin-Arya scene) Hell, there's a reason why in 1999, I went hard on the nu metal while openly broadcasting my disdain for the boy bands that other lesser more womany girls voted for on TRL."
  • And like most things there's a subreddit for it. With all the Real Women Don't Wear Dresses, trying too hard to be cool/quirky/edgy and/or a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, and other shades of this trope you could ask for.
  • Youtuber ContraPoints jokingly used this phrase in her video "Are Traps Gay?" when describing how straight men often find transgender women, such as herself, attractive.
    "Sometimes I get the impression that my cis girlfriends don't really understand why I'm presenting in such a meticulously feminine way. Like, they think I'm wearing ombre lips at 11 A.M. because I'm playing some kind of clout game, which I am, but also if one person calls me "sir", that's gonna ruin my day. So I'm desperately throwing glitter spaghetti at the wall in hopes the light catches some glimmer of womanhood. I think butch or gender-nonconforming cis women sometimes side-eye hyper-feminine trans women because they don't identify with this vision of womanhood at all and they've had to struggle since childhood against a society that's told they have to be feminine, and I completely sympathize with that. I think there should be more gender freedom, less coercion, less restriction. But also, I've had to fight against the same society that told me I should really, really, really not be this, so I feel like we should be able to form some kind of solidarity here."
  • Sarah Z discusses and deconstructs this trope in a video with the same title - where her thoughts on the matter say that it's far from just internalized misogyny or shallow bullying, but representative of a deeper problem where society pressures girls to conform to traditionally feminine traits and both accepting or rejecting femininity can result in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation.

    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers:
    • Louise Belcher cops this attitude, but it's more an indication of her immaturity (as she's only 9 years old) rather than superiority. When she develops her first crush on Boo-Boo, a member of the titular Boy Band in the episode "Boyz4Now", she's legitimately terrified by her own feelings and feels like she's been infected. It's all Played for Laughs.
    • Her brother Gene is a downplayed gender-inverted version of this. He's seen hanging with guys and doesn't hate other boys his age, but he's made a lot of comments about preferring the friendship of women and even considering himself "one of the girls".
  • Danny Phantom has this:
    Danny: How can I trust her (Paulina)? She's a girl, girls can't keep secrets! )Danny notices Sam looking at him crossly) Uh, except for you, you're... different.

Alternative Title(s): Not Like Other Guys

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report