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Nubile Savage

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No cavewoman ever looked like this.

"Three figures stepped into his line of vision. They were obviously female. They were abundantly female. They were not wearing a great deal of clothing and seemed to be altogether too fresh-from-the-hairdressers for people who have just been paddling a large war canoe, but this is often the case with beautiful Amazonian warriors."

A young woman from prehistory or a primitive tribal culture depicted as a ravishingly sexy bombshell to modern audiences, even if circumstances make that unlikely and/or her appearance wouldn't be considered attractive by her contemporaries.

The life of a savage can be pretty hard, what with the lack of modern medicine, hygiene, sanitation, nutrition, etc. It's not surprising that a good number of cavemen are nasty, brutish, and short. But their women more than make up for it. Your average cavewoman has the body of a pinup model, with long legs, shapely hips, a flat stomach, thin arms, and an impressive set of bam-bams, all nicely framed by a Fur Bikini made a few scraps of animal hide, regardless of the weather. When she's dressed to impress, a Feather Boa Constrictor is always a tasteful accessory. (If she's being depicted in a non-visual medium, you may see an alternative approach in which she is simply naked, but the narration avoids describing her naughty parts.) Her skin is clear and fresh; her teeth are perfect; her hair is no more than artfully tousled. She has no body hair whatsoever and no cuts on her legs even though her only razor is a sharpened cowrie shell. And her features are accented in a way that only expertly applied modern cosmetics (rather than, say, clay and crushed berries) can achieve. It's enough to make you wonder why we crawled out of the Stone Age.


Like most Fanservice Costumes this trope is often — but not always — female. A man sporting the Nubile Savage look will be impressively muscled and garbed in a leopard-skin loincloth (or less). His hair will be wild but not too wild, his facial hair no more than Perma-Stubble or perhaps a tastefully-short beard that still accentuates his jawline (you'd see messier beards on any modern college campus), and if he has any hair below the neck, it'll be groomed to be as pleasing to the eye as possible (no back hair or hobbit feet). He will also have good teeth and neat, clean hands with trimmed fingernails, even though he swings from vines all day and has never seen a dentist.

Of course, if you'll watch a National Geographic-type documentary, you'll quickly see that women in cultures removed from civilization, while often topless, do not generally resemble Hollywood models. In Comic Books most caveman/amazon-themed superheroes adopt this look.


Science marches ever onward though, becoming a little Truth in Television. The overall interpretation of prehistoric humans, the typical example of a "savage", is based on present day Real Life hunter-gatherer tribes, virtually all of whom live in isolation and/or deteriorating biomes and thus are largely forced to stay in one place, which invites the proliferation of disease and parasites as well as further degradation by the people themselves. And even they are not as unhygienic. An early modern human female from a hunter-gatherer culture probably looked more like this.note 

The standard look for The Chief's Daughter and Jungle Princess. Less standard but still common for the Indian Maiden. Will often be an Amazonian Beauty.

Compare with Frazetta Man. Contrast National Geographic Nudity.

See also Noble Savage, Pelts of the Barbarian.

Distaff Counterpart of Handsome Heroic Caveman and Tarzan Boy.


    open/close all folders 

  • The advertising for the 8-bit game "Legend of the Amazon Women" attracted complaints for its double-page spreads of not-particularly-well drawn Nubile Savages. One letter wondered if the artist had misread the title of the game as "Leg End of the Amazon Women".

    Anime & Manga 
  • Jungle de Ikou!: The main character, Natsumi, can transform into the extremely busty Nubile Savage Mii by doing a Fanservice-y dance. Take one look at her, and you won't be surprised to learn that Mii is a goddess of fertility and reproduction.
  • Princess Mononoke: San is quite pretty and well groomed for somebody Raised by Wolves, aside from the fact that her face is often smeared with blood. It may have something to do with the fact that the wolves that raised her are also magical Shinto demigods.
  • Shokugeki no Soma: When describing Rindou Kobayashi's nature, the last of her three faces is described as a brave barbarian who carves into any kind of food and devours it all. Due to the nature of the show, the imagination shot depicts her as a beautiful, scantily-clad, wild warrior lady, including her signature lipstick. Then again, it's just one of the series typical fanservice imagination shots.
  • Wild Rock: Has both men and women who all look far too perfect for the setting.

    Comic Books 
  • Cavewoman: Might be the most exaggerated example, especially when drawn by creator Budd Root—he really has a thing for huge breasts. Even though she's not an actual cavewoman, she lived as one for most of her life and still manages to look hotter than most supermodels. Plus her body was "hardened" as a result of time traveling.
  • The Savage Land in the Marvel Universe. The entire place. The ONLY reason for the existence of a tropical region in the middle of the Antarctic is so that residents and visitors can fit this trope. The fact that female superheroes who end up there usually have their outfits go the same way has become something of a Running Gag. Savage Land resident Shanna the She-Devil is one of Marvel's most prominent examples. And her husband Ka-Zar is perhaps the most prominent male example of this trope outside of Tarzan himself. Both are modern-day Caucasians rather than natives of the region (with Ka-Zar also being Raised By Smilodons after his parents were killed by the natives), somewhat explaining why they so closely conform to modern standards of beauty despite living as low-tech "savages" and wearing nothing but very skimpy animal-skin clothes.
  • In Tragg and the Sky Gods, Lorn, the first modern woman, is a redheaded hottie in a Fur Bikini with artfully tousled hair, perfect skin and no body hair. It seems alien manipulation of your DNA can perform miracles.
  • The Warlord: Shakira is a long-legged, black-haired, pale-skinned beauty who runs around in an extremely abbreviated Fur Bikini (and a Slave Collar). She always looks remarkably unmussed no matter what hardships she encounters in the Lost World.(Tara, who dresses similarly, at least hails from the mightiest city in all of Skartaris and so is not a savage and would have access to beauty regimens.)

    Fan Works 
  • Uplifted: In this fanfic series it's played with and inverted. This is how Hanala initially seems to view Joachim Hoch. Seeing him as a male version of one, despite the fact that by Earth standards he is a well dressed, relatively educated, intelligent man.

    Films — Animation 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Princess Kida is a downplayed example—the city of Atlantis is by no means a savage civilization, but then again, Kida herself has been alive since the Flood itself. And the way she dresses certainly evokes this trope.
  • Pocahontas: The titular character is one of the more obvious examples of the trope, as she and her people are referred to as "savages". Pocahontas herself is depicted as a beautiful woman in her early 20's, and none of the other female members of her tribe are far behind her.
  • The Road to El Dorado: Chel is very shapely and scantily-clad.
  • Tarzan: The titular character was raised by apes. He later figured out shaving by himself.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Avatar: The Na'vi's teeth are either white or slightly off-white, no one but Jake ever seems to get dirty, and their hair is pretty much perfect all the time. The Na'vi females do not always cover their breasts. Count Neytiri, Princess of the Omaticaya Tribe, as the most famous among the female Na'vi.
  • Caveman: Barbara Bach played a cavewoman, while the cavemen tended to look like Ringo Starr. And they fight with dinosaurs.
  • The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas: In spite of the Flintstone Theming, Jane Krakowski as Betty Rubble, née O'Shale.
  • The Queen in Heart of Darkness (1958) is a downplayed version. She isn't really used for visual Fanservice, but she is intended to be attractive to both Marlow and the audience even though the rest of her tribe are portrayed as grotesque Hollywood Natives.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss is rather tall and healthy-looking for someone who nearly died of starvation as a child and hunts and kills her own food to survive.
  • Land of the Lost: The females of Chakah's species look like this (scantly clad, brown women).
  • A rare Medieval European version is featured in The Name of the Rose with the feral peasant girl that regularly visits the abbey to trade sexual favors in exchange for food and has impromptu sex with Adson after meeting him. She is so feral in nature that she is tried as an witch by the Inquisition.
  • One Million Years B.C.: Loana the Fair One (Raquel Welch, pictured above) has well-styled hair, a surprisingly 20th-century style hot body, and a surprisingly 20th-century style Stripperific costume, while playing a cavewoman. This movie was actually a remake of the 1940 film One Million B.C. in which similarly curvaceous and similarly scantily-clad Carole Landis played Loana.
  • Prehistoric Women: This Hammer film features an entire tribe of gorgeous dark-haired warrior-women, and their gorgeous blonde slave girls, all dressed in the finest of fur bikini fashion. For bonus points, the Evil Queen is played by Martine Beswick, who previously played the role of "Cavewoman who cat-fights Raquel Welch" in One Million Years B.C..
  • Kinda averted in the foreign language film (foreign to everybody) Quest for Fire, it's Ron Perlman!). Ika (Rae Dawn Chong) and the other early homo sapiens were plenty nubile, but being covered in clay and occasionally mud and dirt and being placed in some pretty unpleasant situations meant that it wasn't really highlighted all that much.
  • Shandra: The Jungle Girl is a Fur Bikini cladwild woman dwelling in a Sothe American jungle, who is sexually irresistible to men.
  • The National Lampoon's Stoned Age has not only the girl-next-door Fardart (Ali Larter), but also a tribe of Amazons ruled by Carol Alt playing Queen Fallopia.


By Author:

  • Edgar Rice Burroughs
    • Any pre-technological female in any book will qualify, though they frequently don't bother with the Fur Bikini. Men from the same civilizations are almost invariably described as ugly. Ditto Lin Carter.
    • Barsoom isn't pre-technological, but it wouldn't be unfair to describe most of the planet as "savage" anyway. Both men and women there are almost invariably beautiful/handsome and as nearly naked as practicality allows (you've got to have a place to hang weapons and, for some occupations, tools from). There are only a handful of characters in the entire series who are described as "ugly", and even those are mostly just old (for a variety of reasons it's very rare on Barsoom for a person to reach the age of physical decrepitude, so most people there have never seen a person who actually physically appears old).
    • Tarzan. Unlike the apes who raised him, he loved water, and swam and bathed regularly. When puberty hit, he taught himself to shave with a knife he found in his father's cabin. He taught himself to only shave the face while leaving his scalp alone, too.

By Work:

  • Stealing a page from Edgar Rice Burroughs (as did pretty much the entire book) the Gura males in Robert E. Howard's novel Almuric look like Neanderthals while the females look like fashion models.
  • Though not scantily clad, Ayla the Cro-Magnon heroine of Jean Auel's Earth's Children series fits this trope. Auel goes to great lengths to justify this — Ayla learns to brush her hair with a teasel pod, swims and bathes regularly, eats a varied diet, and even wears a leather band around her explicitly large and perky breasts. Also Deconstructed, since she grew up among Neanderthals and thinks of herself as ugly according to their standards of beauty.
  • Rincewind of the Discworld series came into contact with a tribe of these after spending a very long time alone on a deserted island. Unfortunately, the long solitude and monotonous diet had left him a bit addled and had left a few of his desires severely crossed... he thought that the beautiful young women who wanted him to help them continue their bloodlines wanted to give him potatoes. It probably didn't help that Discworld wizards are required to be celibate; he already had half a lifetime's worth of experience suppressing his desires. And a fairly horrific memory of what happens when wizards do reproduce to give him a bit more impetus to keep those desires firmly fixated on innocuous root vegetables.
  • Eudena from H. G. Wells' The Idler wasn't scantily clad insomuch as completely free of clothing whatsoever.
  • Mowgli from The Jungle Books, especially as a young teenager in the second book. Looks more mature than his years because "hard exercise, the best of good eating, and baths whenever he felt in the least hot or dusty, had given him strength and growth far beyond his age". And he too doesn't bother with clothing at all when there are no humans around to make him.
  • A sci-fi equivalent occurs and is lampshaded in Anne McCaffrey's Planet Pirates series. In one of the books Sassinak talks about a fanservice-heavy movie series about a gorgeous Action Girl that she watched as a kid and mentions that now that she's older, she thinks it's rather unlikely that a girl who was raised as a slave in a mining colony would grow up to have the body of a supermodel, or that said girl could climb up a sheer cliff in the buff and reach the top looking like she'd just come back from the spa.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Beer Bad", a cursed batch of beer turns a bunch of frat boys into cavemen, with crooked teeth, heavy brow ridges, plenty of extra hair - and Buffy, who had plenty to drink, looks like Buffy with sexy-unkempt hair (though Xander cut her off sooner than the others).
  • Doctor Who: "Jungle warrior woman" companion Leela. Although after her first episode, she's living in the TARDIS, which presumably offers better sanitation and hygiene facilities. Not quite fitting the trope, as she was a descendant of a survey team that had degenerated. They also had some technological access.
  • In the Farscape season 1 episode "Jeremiah Crichton", Crichton is forced to seek shelter on a planet where technology refuses to function after being accidentally left behind when Moya enters an unintentional StarBurst. The planet's entire population, male and female alike, consist of this. The Grandier (the local chieftain) is no older than his late-40s and still in his prime, and there's not a bit of chest or leg hair to be seen. It's the "civilized" Crichton, of all people, who is the only one wearing facial hair, an epic Beard of Sorrow. Justified because the people of the planet are descendants of a technologically advanced culture deliberately marooned there by the Hynerian Empire, and when the energy field suppressing their technology is deactivated they show no trouble getting the complex machinery back online.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Osha might be a wildling, but she's also very attractive. She uses this to seduce Theon and an Ironborn with 'wild things'.
    • Ygritte even moreso. While she's dressed accordingly for her environment, she's much cleaner and prettier than would be expected.
  • Most women (but mostly the Amazons) in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and its spinoff, Xena: Warrior Princess, which were just about equal parts Camp and Fanservice.
  • It's About Time: Cavegirl Mlor, the daughter of Shad and Gronk. She's a beautiful teenaged blond, dressed in animal furs. This is in spite of living in a cave in a million B.C, amongst a very primitive tribe. Astronauts Mac and Hec were both instantly smitten when they first met her in "And Then I Said Happy Birthday To You".
  • Power Rangers: Maya, the Yellow Ranger in Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, originated from a native tribe before she became a Ranger. As a "native", she wore an animal skin outfit that essentially just covered her breasts and lower regions, plus boots. Oddly (or perhaps not quite so oddly), once she becomes a Ranger and moves to Terra Venture, nobody suggests getting her some more civilized clothing.
  • Veronica Layton in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, she's the stereotypical Jungle Girl as an orphan Feral Child raise in the forest alone since childhood, yet she is perfectly shaved and had great teeth.
  • Star Trek
    • Spock and McCoy meet one of these in "All Our Yesterdays". It turns out she's from the planet's future, and was exiled to the distant past via a time machine by a dictator.
    • The series penchant for Green Skinned Space Babes and various Anvillicious messages about tolerance led to quite a few of these, but a notable one is in "The Paradise Syndrome", where Kirk gets Amnesia and is believed to be divine by a group of Native Americans In Space. He is promptly married to The Chief's Daughter, Miramanee, who plays this role to a T.
    • Downplayed, but still present, in the DS9 episode "Time's Orphan". After Molly O'Brien ends up trapped in the past for 10 years, she's rescued as an 18 year-old Wild Child. Somehow, despite being eight when she was lost and with no other intelligent life on the planet on which she was stranded, she managed to survive and grow up into a quite pretty young woman, with no sign of disease or injury.

  • Katy Perry: Wore a jungle queen costume she while singing "Roar" on Saturday Night Live.
  • The Slits: The cover of their 1979 LP Cut features the girl-group as a more realistic sort of Nubile Savage: dressed as cavewomen in loincloths and primitive necklaces, with proto-'80s Hair, but otherwise covered in mud and dirt as a concession to the expected reality of their situation. The NSFW album sleeve is depicted here

  • Female mixed martial artist Felice Herring likes this look. Her fighting gear often incorporates leopard print, and she's showed up to a few weigh-ins in what's basically cavewoman lingerie - a leopard print bikini and sash cut so they look ragged at the edges, and armbands to help show off her biceps.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Kingdom Death: To quote the page description, "it is a hellish universe cloaked in utter darkness, where humans find themselves at the bottom of a vast, monstrous food chain". And every female character is depicted as young and buxom with long flowing hair, striking unlikely poses in their Fur Bikini. Things don't improve too much once your civilization manages to invent armor either.
  • Space 1889: Illustrations of Hill Martian men and women sometimes fall into this trope combining it with Green-Skinned Space Babe and Desert Punk. The of Steppelords of Mars, though, makes it clear that wasting water for washing is a crime and a taboo but there is not trace of this in the illustrations.

    Video Games 
  • Chrono Trigger: Ayla, despite living in a grass hut, being The Big Guy of all the playable characters, and having the most rudimentary grasp of spoken words, has curled blonde hair that's perfectly styled, coupled with Boobs of Steel. Ayla's boyfriend Kino is also pretty, well-groomed and clean shaven. This pretty well applies to all of the unnamed backround characters living in the human villages of the game's prehistoric era.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim : The Forsworns are Breton reachmen who live in the old way. Naturally, they all wear Fur Bikinis and decorate their homes with animal bones and feathers. You can become one if you help their leader to escape from Markarth.
  • Evil Genius: Mariana Mamba, the first super-agent you rile up, is one of these, being the "tamed" last of her Amazon tribe and everything. Even her special power is an exotic allure that dramatically drains the Loyalty stat of any nearby minions.
  • Fallout: New Vegas: Waking Cloud's physique is especially impressive considering that she has given birth to three children.
  • Fallout 2: You can play one, and many characters find the fact that you are a "tribal" quite attractive.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: Aloy, whilst not being overtly sexualized like the other examples, fits this very well, as she, despite the setting, has glossy eyes (framed by perfectly sculpted eyebrows), great teeth, impeccable blemish-free skin and a fantastic physique (though that could be justified by her being an Action Girl), with the only "savage" parts being her hair and clothes (the latter of which can be changed around throughout the game). Nearly every character in the game is like this, but Aloy, being the protagonist, is the most obvious example.
  • Star Fox: Krystal, for her first appearance in Star Fox Adventures. She lived on the dinosaur-laden planet of Sauria for her entire life until Fox showed up, and the place doesn't have much in the way of civilization to speak of. In spite of all that, Fox was smitten with Krystal the instant he laid eyes on her. Starting with Assault, after she joined the Star Fox team, Krystal's outfit was appropriately updated to be more inline with the futuristic style of the Star Fox universe.

  • Cadet Danni from Alone, Together has been abandoned and forgotten on a tropical island. She reasons that wearing her Imperial Army uniform every day will ruin it, so she ultimately fashions an outfit from a sarashi and a thong. Danni is conscious that she looks like "some kind of tropical savage," which her society would frown upon, but she's practical enough to keep herself alive on that tiny, sun-baked island for more than a year.
  • The Meek: Angora counts as a subversion. She spends most of her introduction chapter wearing nothing, but by physicality she's not much different from a regular fit teenage girl.
  • Sinfest: After Satan bomphs Tangerine, she wears the appropriate attire and acts in total obliviousness to society, though not with the usual Exposed to the Elements results. This is despite living in a modern-day city, and the fact that Devil Girls in this comic normally wear either modern human attire or modern non-fur bikinis.

    Western Animation 
  • The Flintstones: Maybe three quarters of all the women would count. The men, not so much. May be a Justified Trope, as the world of the Flinstones has everything we do—including beauty parlors and cosmetic supplies—just rock or dinosaur based.
  • Futurama: Has an entire planet of Amazonian women. Amy briefly dressed like one. In the episode "A Clockwork Origin" some nanobots, after becoming trilobots, devour the ship, Farnsworth's new house... and most of the crew's clothes. With most of their outfit ripped, Amy and Leela look like this.
  • ThunderCats (2011): Pumyra was imprisoned for quite some time, was left to die before then, and yet still is fairly attractive. The revelation that she was Dead All Along makes it a bit more justified.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Tri-Stone Area", most of the female characters' prehistoric counterparts count towards this trope.


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