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Nothing Nice About Sugar and Spice

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You don't want to be her date to prom.

Amma killed Lily all by herself, hit her on the back of the head with a stone, then strangled her with bare hands, plucked the six teeth, and cut her hair. All down an alley, behind that Dumpster where she'd left the body. She'd brought the rock, pliers, and scissors to school in the hot pink backpack I'd bought for her. Lily Burke's chocolate-colored hair Amma braided into a rug for my room in her dollhouse.

This woman or girl is More Deadly Than the Male. Well, gone are the days where these women are restricted by Men Are Strong, Women Are Pretty and Real Women Don't Wear Dresses. This woman wears dresses (the girlier, the better), loves pink, flowers, and shoes, keeps cuddly things around, is image-conscious, Thinks Like a Romance Novel... and is out for blood.

Unlike her sisters the Girly Bruiser or the Lady of War, this woman is an invariably dark character, usually a Psychopathic Womanchild. She lacks scruples. For this reason, the trope mostly applies to female villains, although the odd very dark Anti-Hero or Anti-Villain may be found somewhere. If she's a supervillain, she might have Super Cute Superpowers such as a Heart Beatdown. She may be genuinely Affably Evil or a heroic character who is driven to commit cruelty. Whatever their stated goal, they will get down and dirty in fighting; they can be a Dark Action Girl, but they don't need to be. They'll kill. A simple Alpha Bitch doesn't qualify here, but a particularly clever, violent, or manipulative one might. They use their girlishness and/or traditional femininity to disarm those around them, but their femininity isn't a façade. It will often increase, rather than disappear, when they are committing murderous or evil acts. Their favorite tactics will be Wounded Gazelle Gambit and Obfuscating Stupidity. Some examples are Silk Hiding Steel, but in general, most of the examples here are more like pink angora rather than silk. Also, they usually don't hide their cores of steel very well - at least, not to the audience. Whatever girlish hallmarks they have will soon appear very sinister.

A Sister Trope to Sugary Malice, although this extends to costume, appearances, and props and is specifically feminine. Also, these characters are defined as being dangerous - not merely malicious. This woman uses Womanliness as Pathos.

Soundtrack Dissonance follows them around, as they'll usually be big fans of pop (especially boy bands), Retail Therapy, and other traditionally feminine media such as the Chick Flick. But they will also be ready to fight, stalk, and plot revenge. If there's a particular sinister scene of them smearing makeup over their face, it can almost be guaranteed that they qualify. When they're not wearing pink, they might be seen in an Ethereal White Dress, but whatever they wear, they follow Light Is Not Good and Bright Is Not Good.

They also have equally uncomfortable relationships to being Ms. Fanservice and Cute But Psycho. There will always be an effort to look cute, but how successful it is depends on individual portrayals. If they are a yandere - one of the more common types, although not all of them are - they will often use Distracted by the Sexy intentionally. However, it's just common for these women to try and perfect a highly sexualized image to such a degree that it's actually portrayed as downright scary and Fan Disservice. Some portrayals will exploit this to suggest that Makeup Is Evil or Vanity Is Feminine.

Decoy Damsel and Uncanny Valley Girl are usually Sub Tropes. See also Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon.

This trope is Always Female and sometimes a foil in a Tender Tomboyishness, Foul Femininity dynamic. The Distaff Counterpart to Sissy Villain, where male villains dress or behave effeminately.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Happy Sugar Life: Satou (whose name can actually mean "sugar") seems like a popular Rose-Haired Sweetie who works part-time as a waitress in various cute-themed cafes. She's also a yandere murderer who had butchered her neighbour for finding out about her secret and also kills her own best friend for taking pictures of her and Shio.
  • Is It My Fault That I Got Bullied?: Shiori's Gang of Bullies act like a gaggle of sweet, energetic besties, even pretending to be close friends with their favorite punching bag. Behind closed doors, however, the claws come out, and they're quick to turn upon each other as well.
  • In Kill la Kill, Nui Harime is the Grand Courtier of REVOCS and an out-of-control, psychotic Dragon to the main villain. A Kawaiiko dressed in a frilly pink dress and Girlish Pigtails, she dances and giggles around the battlefield while murdering people and presenting one of the most formidable challenges to the heroes. She also murdered Ryuko's father, which she gleefully gloats about.
  • Maria no Danzai: Kumiru definitely has shades of this. Her form of bullying Kiritaka is to sit back and gleefully watch him get tortured while recording everything he’s put through. It is outright confirmed when we get to see her being the focus of Maria's revenge, she is shown to be a fully blown Bitch in Sheep's Clothing that orchestrates a Frameup to socially isolate Kiritaka and regularly indulges in Badger Games with emotionally vulnerable men in order to extort them out of huge amounts of money. All this to win the heart of Okaya.
  • Urusei Yatsura: Ran is a very feminine girl who wears pink dresses and is an excellent cook. She's also bipolar as hell and constantly plotting to get revenge on Lum.

    Comic Strips 
  • Bloom County: Parodied with the Mary Kay Commandos, an all-female group of corporate enforcers who work for a cosmetics company engaged in unethical animal experimentation and are so exaggeratedly feminine they wield pink uzis.

    Fan Works 
  • In the infamous fanfic Cupcakes (Sergeant Sprinkles), Pinkie Pie is a Serial Killer and cannibal who not only uses pieces of her victims in her cupcake recipe but also takes cutie marks, pegasus wings, and unicorn horns and adds them to the dress she wears when torturing somebody.

    Films — Animated 
  • Cats Don't Dance: Sickeningly adorable child star Darla Dimple is the villain of the film. She wears her hair in ringlets, dresses exclusively in pink, and projects an air of cute, animal-loving goodness onscreen and to the public. Behind the scenes, she's a self-centered prima donna who's unwilling to share the limelight with anyone else. Especially animals.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Audition: Asami appears to be the perfect woman: a soft-spoken, badly abused ballet dancer who always wears white and just wants to be loved. However, if she senses she has any competition - regardless of what it is - she will drug, torture, and slowly, sadistically dismember them...while retaining her soft voice and childlike manner.
  • Invoked in Black Swan. Nina sees Lily like this for being overly sexual and liberated and begins to imagine that Lily is out to sabotage the more traditional 'good girl' Nina. But played with. Lily never seemed to have any particular ill will towards Nina and it was Nina herself who ended up losing her mind and stabbing herself, not attacking or harming Lily in any way.
  • Gone Girl: Amy wears a lot of angelic white, uses fluffy gel pens, is a master of the False Rape Accusation, and is a huge fan of Jane Austen and love stories. She's also plotting to frame her husband for her own murder and gets dressed up in a lacy slip in order to murder her ex-boyfriend while they have sex.
  • The "insane" Jackie in The House of Yes permanently dresses as Jackie Kennedy in the famous pink suit and forces people to call her Jackie-O, while trying to persuade her twin brother to restart their sexual relationship, despite him being engaged to Leslie and eventually kills him rather than let him leave her.
  • Lola in The Loved Ones (pictured above) is Daddy's Little Villain: an insane yandere in a bright pink dress whose overly-invested father makes a "prom" for her every year where they kidnap a teenage guy, torture him, and force him to go along with their sadistic games before drilling a hole in his head and locking him in their basement to be tortured even more and starve.
  • Played with in Midsommar. Dani is a makeup-free tomboy for most of the film, but her Girliness Upgrade including wearing a huge floral dress marks her induction into a murderous cult and agreement for Christian to be ritually sacrificed.
  • Adopted daughter Esther in Orphan is a Deliberately Cute Child in little Victorian dresses and pigtails - and she's also a grown woman who's plotting to massacre her new family so she can have the father all to herself.
  • A rare Anti-Hero version: Cassie in Promising Young Woman always wears highly feminine clothes (always pink or another bright color) and lots of makeup, while she's pretending to be drunk so that men will take her home and she can punish them for trying to rape her. And she's trying to get revenge on the people who drove her best friend to suicide, even if that means making an ex-friend think she was raped and pretending to set a teenage girl up to be raped.
  • Stoker: India Stoker is a solitary teenage girl who always wears old-fashioned dresses or modest shirt-skirt combinations, often in silk, is attracted to her murderous uncle, and stabs her would-be rapist with a pencil when he tries to attack her. She also kills her uncle Charlie and the film ends with her accepting the family creed of murder and killing a police officer, while dressed in the same way.


By Author:

  • Gillian Flynn is a big fan of this trope:
    • Kristi in Dark Places is a more sympathetic version. She was an extremely cute, gossipy, peak-80s tween when she tried to seduce Ben (who was eighteen), and then falsely accused him of sexual abuse, getting him sent to prison. When Libby catches up with her, she's a stripper with a terrible breast enlargement who, while she admits to lying about Ben, still expects Libby to feel sorry for her.
    • Gone Girl: Amy has always played the role of a specific form of Girly Girl for her boyfriends and even her friends. Desi in particular is a huge fan of her always dressing in pastel shades and she falsely accuses both Nick and her own father of brutal physical and sexual abuse to get sympathy and attention from him. Nick's version of Amy is cooler, more hipster, and "modern" but still girly in a way that appeals to Nick (hairless, sexy).
    • Amma and Adora in Sharp Objects are both generation-specific versions. Evil Matriarch Adora is The Münchausen and enjoys making all her daughters sick and being viewed as the perfect mother even if it meant killing her youngest, Marion. Amma, on the other hand, is viewed as an innocent little girl while murdering rivals for her mother's and Camille's attention and putting their teeth in her Creepy Dollhouse.

By Work:

  • Dolores Umbridge of Harry Potter is fond of wearing pink clothes and an Alice band in her hair. She also loves making pupils write lines with their own blood and persecuting hybrids and Muggle-borns.
  • In The Hunger Games and the film, all of the female winners seen - especially Johanna and Katniss - are tomboys. However, although she appears to be a Faux Action Girl judging by how she can't use a bow and arrow, Glimmer is the District One tribute and she is blonde, bouncy, and is either completely naked or wears a fluffy pink dress for her public displays before the Games. Judging from Katniss's reactions, this is a very common image for a Tribute.
  • Matilda: When discussing Matilda, Miss Trunchbull believes that a bad girl is a far more dangerous creature than a bad boy.
  • Jill Wolcott in the Wayward Children series wears elaborate frilly dresses, strives to behave like a refined lady, and is willing to deceive and kill without compunction to get what she wants. She spent her adolescent years as the adopted daughter of a vampire lord and adopted both the ladylike mannerisms and the ruthless amorality to please him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Criminal Minds episode "If the Shoe Fits" has Claire Dunbar, an abused young woman who identifies with Cinderella; she steals gowns from her workplace and talks like a romance novel, but this being the show it is, she's also extremely unhinged towards men who don't live up to her hopes; before the BAU catches her she's killed three men and smashed up their cars.
  • Fargo: Season Four: Subverted by Zelmare Roulette and Swanee Capps, two Ax-Crazy outlaw lovers. Swanee dresses in masculine cowboy clothes while Zelmare is the more feminine one in a dress and fur coat; however, over the season her clothes get progressively rattier as she has no interest in maintaining them. In one episode they enter an enemy house disguised as prostitutes, but since neither is particularly good at playing feminine they start shooting up the place immediately.
  • Serena Joy in The Handmaid's Tale, especially the flashbacks but coming out more after she left Gilead. She was one of Gilead's main architects and their impeccably dressed public face before the Sons of Jacob took over, and could be found espousing sexist rhetoric while wanting to be treated differently. Her motif is a ballerina (although she herself doesn't do ballet). her hair is always perfectly curled, and she wears pink and white.
  • Villanelle in Killing Eve. A highly trained assassin, she is also a huge Francophile, has an extremely feminine dress sense, including wearing couture gowns to her therapy sessions, and she's a psychopath with almost no empathy who enjoys killing people.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The evil trio of teenage girls in "Mean." They torture everybody in their school and then when the Alpha Bitch senses a rival for her (adult) boyfriend, they kidnap and physically torture their own friend before setting her on fire to kill her. They even take her rings and wear them in court.
  • Angelica Bain, the killer of "The Mermaids Singing", in Wire in the Blood is a pre-op trans woman and regarded uncritically as a Creepy Crossdresser and Depraved Homosexual. Everything in her house is horrifically pink, she wears lots of makeup and dresses in extreme fetish wear. Then she seduces men by posing as an erotic caller and savagely tortures them to death.
  • Yellowjackets: Misty is a perky and romantic nurse with a fondness for musicals and candy-colored knitwear. She's also a murderous sociopath and a cannibal.

  • Miranda Lambert's "Gunpowder & Lead", a Revenge Ballad in which a battered woman waits for her boyfriend to get home after making bail for assaulting her. The nursery rhyme including the trope name is referenced in the chorus:
    I'm goin' home, gonna load my shotgun
    Wait by the door, and light a cigarette
    If he wants a fight, well, now he's got one
    And he ain't seen me crazy yet
    He slapped my face, and he shook me like a rag doll
    Don't that sound like a real man?
    I'm going to show him what little girls are made of
    Gunpowder and lead

    Music Videos 

    Video Games 
  • Five Nights At Freddys:
    • The animatronics in Sister Location are pink and purple, and generally designed in a way that suggests that they are intended for young girls. However, not only are they Hostile Animatronics, but they are expressly designed for the purpose of abducting and killing children. Of particular note is Ballora and Circus Baby. Ballora is a purple-and-white ballerina animatronic whose game mechanics involve not making as much noise as possible traversing her gallery as she dances and sings around the area and was designed to misdirect victims. Circus Baby is a little girl animatronic with a soft voice who kills a child by luring her with ice cream, then crushing her inside herself. She is also a Manipulative Bitch who is the mastermind behind the scheme to combine into one animatronic, "scoop" the player character (who is the girl's brother), and wear his hollowed-out corpse to escape the facility. She returns in Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator as a direct antagonist. And the soul inside her, the same little girl she killed? She's more than ecstatic to help her father out.
    • It's implied that Vanny/Vanessa was a fairly normal Girly Girl before her run-in with Glitchtrap. It's mentioned in the Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery emails that, alongside her more bizarre and gruesome Internet search history, she also looks up things like bees, flowers, rainbow hair extensions, books of cupcake recipes, and glittery pink journals with pictures of puppies on them. She is also shown skipping in full costume throughout Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach, is represented as a princess in a series of minigames, and is visibly wearing purple nail polish as her guard persona. As a copycat killer of William Afton, she has a similar modus operandi and preferred target.
    • Also from Security Breach is the Glamrock variant of Chica. She is the Girly Girl of the Glamrock band, so naturally, she has a pink and white color scheme, a bow holding feathers in a way that resembles a ponytail, and visible makeup and eyelashes. Not only does she hunt down Gregory like the other animatronics, but she does so even after she gets damaged by a trash compactor.
  • Genshin Impact: The Fatui Agents are one of the enemies the player has to defeat along with the Hilichurls, Treasure Hoarders and Abyss Mages. They're mostly males and very tough, but the female ones (the Cicin Mages) are very feminine in comparison and so dangerous and tough to beat as their male counterparts. There're two types of Cicin Mages that are differentiated for the elements and colors (Electro/purple and Cryo/light blue), but both of them wear spandex clothes, fur coats with big hoods with bunny ears, being the Ms. Fanservice of all enemies of the game.
  • In the Hitman: Blood Money level "You Better Watch Out", a woman wearing a Sexy Santa Dress can kill 47 if he doesn't take care of her beforehand.
  • No More Heroes: Bad Girl is a young woman who wears a pink frilly dress and high heels. She's also an Ax-Crazy maniac who beats people to death with a baseball bat.

    Visual Novels 

  • The demon general Shugari in Angel Moxie is just as evil as the other demon generals but looks and acts like a 12-year-old girly-girl who loves pink, puffy-sleeved princess dresses, (killer) bunnies, and boy bands. She passes herself off as a normal tween called Candi Shugari (Candy Sugary) to attend the school of the heroines.
  • Helen Narbon of Narbonic is a super-girly Mad Scientist. She is heavily associated with the color pink and heart icons, wears pink glasses, and loves cutesy things like kittens and gerbils- particularly when she's able to mutate them into adorable abominations of mad science to take over the world and destroy her enemies.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: Just Girly Things, SCP-4319, masquerades as an innocent website devoted to girly things but is dangerous because it actively brainwashes its viewers into conforming to its owner's extremely narrow conception of femininity. You must have long hair, you must have no interest in martial arts or sports, you must always listen to your husband or boyfriend even if he's abusing you, your appearance must be perfect even if you have to lose dangerous amounts of weight... and so on. The site's owner is also viciously bigoted towards trans people and lesbians.

    Western Animation