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Plucky Girl

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Running on pluck. Running on waves and pluck.

"Aren't you scared?"
"Oh, yeah. But while I'm mouthing off, I'm Feisty Heroine. Nothing bad happens to Feisty Heroine."
Wisdom # 6

Plucky means "brave and optimistic".

You might be able to pile life complications onto this young woman/girl, to the point where the audience would forgive her if she just refused to go on. She might even have an episode or so where she does throw in the towel, because human beings can only take so much of what the universe is handing out for her. But the Plucky Girl always comes back. That's the bravery part.

The optimistic part is the rest of it. This character leans toward the sane version of The Pollyanna, blending the agency of the Action Girl with the sweetness and wise charm of the Spirited Young Lady, while exhibiting a strong sense of optimism and an unassailable spirit that differentiates her from the grimness of a Determinator. You can beat her, but damned if she'll let you break her.


Male versions exist, but they tend to be closer to Determinator territory instead, because men always have to be MANLY.

Not to be confused with Plucky Office Girl, though they may overlap once in a while.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Asteroid in Love, Mira and Misa are polar opposites, but they share one thing in common: their insistence on self-reliance.
    • In the seventh chapter, Moe is going to tell Misa that Mira and Ao want to discover an asteroid together when Mira pulled Moe back, saying she'd rather do it by herself (i.e. without Misa's assistance).
    • Right after the previous scene, Mira gives Misa the banded stone she found during Chapter 4 as a good-luck charm for the latter's college entrance exams. While we immediately know Misa uses that for Mira's aforementioned Goal in Life, Chapter 31 revealed why Misa does that—she wants to do that herself.
  • In Attack on Titan, Sasha Blouse's energetic disposition and pluckiness lands her here. As emphasized in her introduction: Shadis sentenced her to run until she collapses, and she does it without complaint. What got her upset was being denied any dinner. Sasha later has several brushes with death, but never loses her optimistic nature.
  • Casca from Berserk zigged in and out of this trope. She was first like this when Guts patronized her for being a weak female when she fell ill during her period, but she never let him get to her. After Guts returned after a year's absence when everything came crashing down for the Hawks, Casca had an emotional breakdown and nearly committed suicide, but Guts saved her and gave her some emotional strength while admitting their love to each other. After that, Casca more or less resumed her role as the strong female acting-leader of the Hawks, and even managed to keep her cool in the wake of a bad situation when the Eclipse began, and the Hawks were warped to another dimension. And then that bad situation turned worse. Casca did not come out very well - AT ALL.
  • Noelle Silva of Black Clover. She refuses to give up in tough situations, convincing Nozel that the elf-possessed humans do not have to be killed and will be saved by them. She passionately asks Patry to help her and the other Magic Knights grow stronger to defeat the Spade Kingdom. When asked what makes her think they can become strong enough in little time, she states that giving up is even harder than getting stronger.
  • Bleach:
    • After many, many ordeals and Break the Cutie episodes, both Rukia Kuchiki and Orihime Inoue end up graduating into this at different times.
    • In the Everything But The Rain arc, Masaki Kurosaki is this through and through. In a more quiet way, we may also count Kanae Katagiri.
    • Uryuu Ishida is also a very rare male version of this, being closer to this archetype than to the grim Determinator, and probably taking up cues from his Missing Mom aka the aforementioned Kanae Katagiri. It seems that his Face–Heel Turn has changed things, but then it' revealed that he's faking it.
  • All of the girls in Bokurano have their plucky moments, specially Anko Tokosumi, Kana Ushiro and Youko Machi.
  • Candace White "Candy" Andree from Candy Candy. She has her breakdowns, but as soon as she's back to her feet, she comes back stronger than ever.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura Kinomoto to some extent. While she is rather determined and frequently shows little concern for her own well-being, her disposition better resembles that of a real child under such situations, as such she does actually show fear and break down at times, relying on her friends' support to recover her strength.
  • Code Geass:
    • Kallen Kouzuki When faced against the now practically superhuman Suzaku, she fights him to a standstill, reducing both of their machines to scrap before finally destroying Suzaku's machine with the very last blow she has left before her machine shuts down. Suzaku even wonders aloud how he can't beat her, even with his "live" Geass.
    • Euphemia li Britannia and Shirley Fenette also count. Doesn't work as well, though.
  • Aura of Corsair boisterous, opinionated, and quick-tempered, and remains so even after she is kidnapped and threatened with execution.
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!:
    • Yumoto Hakone is a Rare Male Example. He eagerly accepted his role as protector of the planet and he's usually the most proactive and energetic fighter during Monster of the Week battles.
    • Gora Hakone qualifies; it must be a family trait. His parents disappeared when he was young and he's had to raise his brother from infancy to adolescents by himself while running a business. Despite that, the brothers have a healthy relationship, the bathhouse provides stable income, and Gora remains mostly well-adjusted. That's not even counting his stint as a Magical Boy Warrior.
  • In Dear Brother and specially in the anime verion, Tomoko Arikura is a perpetually feisty Genki Girl who supports her shy and sweet best friend Nanako no matter what and always does so with a huge smile.
  • Detective Conan has several: Ran Mouri, who either witnesses or is subjected to Break the Cutie many times but ultimately brings herself back; Sonoko Suzuki, who never loses her Genki Girl behavior for too long despite her amazingly bad luck; Masumi Sera, a Biker Babe bifauxnen who does her best to help her friends and look for her missing older brother, Miwako Sato, who is a physically and mentally strong Action Girl; Hina Wada, an Action Girl who believes in aliens and says she'd love to "have a heartfelt conversation with them using her fist" if they tried to invade...
  • Mimi Tachikawa and Hikari Yagami of Digimon Adventure. In the second part Hikari's will falters once in a while but she ultimately recovers and stays as this, and she's also joined by Miyako Inoue and Jun Motomiya. Sora Takenouchi zigs in and out of the trope, specially in the first part, but in the end she played it more or less well.
  • Katsuhiro Otomo's early manga Domu: A Child's Dream gave us Etsuko, a little girl with immense Psychic Powers she uses to battle a Psychopathic Manchild Serial Killer. All the while she is spunky and headstrong, first responding to seeing him psychically manipulate a baby to fall off the roof of the apartment complex with, "What an awful brat you are! Really now?!" and scaring the old man by using her powers to rattle the bench he is sitting on.
  • Mai and Mami from Explorer Woman Ray, twin girls who travel to South America in search of hidden treasure, aiming to meet up with the Adventurer Archaeologist title character. Despite their youth, naivite and obvious inexperience, even being shot at by the bad guys in search of their stolen MacGuffin doesn't deter them.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Erza's an example of the more masculine Determinator trope.
    • Lucy is a more traditional example, as while she has cried in despair several times over the course of watching her friends and Celestial Spirits get hurt for her sake, losing her father and Never Got to Say Goodbye, losing her contract with Aquarius after breaking her key to save her friends, she still manages to pull herself together and remain cheery as ever.
    • Mavis Vermillion might be the pluckiest of all. For the record, her backstory is probably one of the most tragedy-filled of all the members of the members of Fairy Tail, and yet despite having been sent over the Despair Event Horizon after being cursed into an Enemy to All Living Things she still managed to come back as bright and compassionate as ever.
  • Fatal Fury (anime):
    • Despite being helpless in combat and painfully knowing it, Sulia Gaudeamus keeps going on and doing her best to help Terry, Joe, Andy and Mai stop her evil brother, Laocorn, and save him from himself. And if she has to commit suicide to save him... she will.
    • Kim's wife, Myenungsuk. When Kim was in the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle, she kept her cool and her trust in him, refusing to cry and break down for the sake of him and their kids as well as herself.
  • Tohru Honda from Fruits Basket plays with this trope. She still is optimistic despite being orphaned, temporarily homeless, and living in a tent, bullied in the past, and helping a whole DysfunctionJunction with their trauma. Then we learn that this is her way of dealing with all the pain in her life—she's not exactly a Stepford Smiler, as she is sincerely happy often, but she also uses it as a way to keep from succumbing to grief and accepting that her beloved mother is gone. And then... it's reconstructed and reinforced: when a maddened and despaired Akito tries to definitely break her as the members of the Dysfunction Junction are being released of their curses... Tohru aknowledges that not so strong part of herself, accepts it, and manages to kindly speak to Akito and offer her kindness as well. This finally breaks the vicious cycle that has trapped the Sohma clan, and even when Tohru is severely injured after falling off the cliff she's standing, it kickstarts Akito's Heel–Face Turn, and helps Tohru herself to deal with her own suffering.
  • Fuuka: Fuuka is an optimistic, energetic girl - and once she gets inspired, it would probably take a speeding truck to dislodge the idea from her head.
  • Hajime Ichinose from Gatchaman Crowds. She's actually so cheerful and strongwilled that she can get Berg Katze to back off her case, simply because they is no darkness in her heart.
  • Maya Kitajima and Ayumi Himekawa from Glass Mask. The first decides to fulfill her dream of being an actress despite how odds always go against her, the latter refuses to have things handed to her and wants be famous for her own merits.
  • Hanako from Goodbye My Rose Garden may be an easily flustered bookworm, but she's notably strong-willed and determined, speaking out against any injustice she witnesses or experiences. In her Establishing Character Moment, when a book publisher brushes off her attempts to contact the writer Victor Franks, with his justification being that Franks would be uninterested in a woman's "emotional" writing, Hanako snaps and tells him that she didn't cross an ocean simply to be mocked. The noblewoman Alice Douglas witnesses this outburst, and later cites Hanako's unshakeable will as the very thing that made her decide to hire her.
  • Wendy Garret of GUN×SWORD has all the stubbornness of the Determinator combined with a sometimes inordinate amount of optimism. The introductory narrative to the second episode explicitly indicates that Wendy symbolizes hope in opposition to the despair of her partner, Van, but it wouldn't be hard to figure that out without the narration.
  • Ohana Matsumae, the main character of Hanasaku Iroha, is an interesting take on this Trope in that her pluckiness is presented as both a weakness and a strength. On one hand, her optimism and sincere desire to help people lets her accomplish some good things, but on the flipside her tendency to dive headfirst into something without a solid gameplan does backfire on her from time to time.
  • Most of the girls in Hetalia: Axis Powers. These're be comfirmed in their profile especially:
    • Belarus is described as one by Russia. But he quickly adds: "In a bad way."
    • Resident Lady of War Vietnam is one too, as her profile says she's "a very headstrong woman" and that "there are many strong women in her history".
    • Taiwan gets her profile in the fourth manga volume ("An island girl nation with a headstrong and easygoing personality!") She shows it via cheering up Vietnam, teasing her brothers, and interacting with all of them as an equal. "It's okay, us Taiwanese don't believe in bad fortunes!" It's confirmed by her Image Song, "Poipoipoi." 'Poi' means "poof," and it's used in-context as "making problems and bad luck go POOF!"
    • And throw Prussia inside for a Rare Male Example.
    • Poland is an even better one. Who says that a Wholesome Crossdresser Valley Boy can't be unfailingly stubborn as well?
    • Korea, too. He will never ever give up chasing after his siblings, saying stuff "belongs to him" and being almost always unfailingly cheerful while doing so.
    • Ukraine's latest profile says that she "will stand her ground until the last," and in-comic Belgium seems to almost refer to herself as one.
      Belgium: I may be a bit plain, but I'm doing my best!
    • Word of God refers to Liechtenstein as mature and strong-willed. Considering that she handles her older brother Switzerland's mood swings rather calmly and skillfully, it's not an Informed Ability.
    • There's also Seychelles, who tries hard just to get people to know her name. She keeps doing it, and also manages to keep both England's arrogant behavior and France's lechery at bay.
    • Also the Principality of Wy, in a Little Miss Snarker way.
    • Even Monaco, the resident Ojou has shades of this with sketches of her in armor and having her profile describe her as someone who worries a lot, but gives off a proud impression. She also has an attitude like this when it comes to poker.
    • Belgium, too. She sometimes frets over her Aloof Big Brother Netherlands, but most of the time she keeps her bright smile and her teasing, cheerful behavior no matter what.
    • The example in the series, however, is Hungary. Shown clearly not just in the profile, but in her interaction with pretty much everyone: she takes her Meido position in stride despite how it's not exactly easy, fights the aforementioned Prussia without hesitation, refuses to stay put when someone she dislikes is around...
  • Inuyasha:
    • Kagome Higurashi has got self-esteem problems, is the reincarnation of a priestess who Came Back Wrong, her love interest can be a real jerk despite having a good heart, her friends have huge troubles of their own... and yet she stands by them no matter what. Sure, she has more than one breakdown, but she still stands by her friends is more concerned with her love life and her grades.
    • Rin may not be much use in a fight, but let's face it, she's brave as hell. Heck, the first time she meets Sesshomauru she doesn't run screaming when he snarls at her but actually dumps water on him; and when Jaken's sick she climbs a mountain filled with demons to find a cure for him, without a second thought.
  • Kaleido Star:
    • Sora Naegino practically embodies this trope. No matter how much Training from Hell she is put through or what sort of abuse she receives, she always manages to pull through using sheer optimism and determination. And if she feels her strength sapping away, she will soon recover it. It's also kind of a plot point, as if she stays down for too long, she will stop seeing Fairy Companion Fool and completely lose her chance.
    • May Wong becomes this once she gets over her Jerkass phase. Anna Heart, Mia Guillem, Rosetta Passel and Katie Taylor are already there, and the backstory gives us Sophie Oswald.
  • Nanami Momozono from Kamisama Kiss. Her defining character trait, besides Chronic Hero Syndrome, is that she likes to see other people happy and will go out of her way to make them happy. Even if it means that she has to get hurt or sacrifice something to make it so.
  • While Ryuko Matoi from Kill la Kill is more of a female Determinator, her Only Friend Mako Mankanshoku is this through and through. She always comes out of any situation with a smile on her face, no matter what. She's pushed to her limits when sharing a stand with the demoted Elite Four while cheering Ryuko on during the King of the Hill Final Battle, resorting in her cheering for herself so she won't crack under the pressure.
  • Yuriko of Kotoura-san. Nothing seems to stop this fiercely determined young woman in her quest to change society's views against Psychic Powers.
  • Lakshu from Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato. She can't fight, the Goddess/mother figure she's a priestess of is Taken for Granite, her crush and her friends get hurt and/or die as they try to restore her... and Lakshu will help no matter what.
  • Anju Kitahara from Marmalade Boy, a quiet Yamato Nadeshiko who handles her Ill Girl and Love Hurts problems with amazing strength.
  • Sayaka Yumi from Mazinger Z: Her mother was dead. Her father cared for her, but he was Married to the Job and nearly never was there for her. the guy she liked was a sexist jerk (okay, Jerk with a Heart of Gold). One of her classmates was a borderline Stalker with a Crush. And her country -and the whole world- was under attack of a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds and Mad Scientist who took lessons from Hitler. And she still was brave, hopeful and optimistic, not allowing anything got her down for long -she had several Heroic BSoD moments, but they did not last long-, and trusting they would win and things would get better, not matter what.
  • Relena Peacecraft, Hilde Schbeiker, Sally Po, Cathy Bloom, Long Meiran and Lucrezia Noin from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. All of these young women knew they were getting into huge messes, and that they'd likely not get out of there alive (and Meiran ultimately died), but neither gave up on their purposes.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00:
    • A dark example is Nena Trinity. While throwing the V-Sign around, she absolutely refuses to give up her quest for three things: revenge, survival and (after achieving those) happiness, even in the face of death. She doesn't succeed, as her early screw ups catch up with her.
    • A lighter example is Mileina Vashti, almost always plucky and happy despite being caught in the middle of a war. She lives to tell. Also Mileina's Onee-sama and fellow Bridge Bunny, Feldt Grace. She gets very broken in season 1, then some more in season 2, but also pulls through and lives.
  • Ochaco Uraraka from My Hero Academia was deliberately written this way in order to have a more natural relationship with the more pessimistic and self-conscious main character, Izuku Midoriya.
  • Naruto:
    • Hinata Hyuuga. Her other theme, aside from her nice, gentle personality and her love for Naruto, is her self-improvement and shredding her Shrinking Violet side. She's one of the first people to adopt Naruto's ninja way: knowing that he's watching, she refuses to give up against Neji despite severe injuries, even standing up one last time after the referee ends the match to keep her from getting killed. She reaffirmed her pluckiness by doing what she could to protect Naruto from Pain, fully knowing that this might be her last stand. The manga made it both awesome and heartbreaking, the anime made it doubly awesome and doubly heartbreaking.
    • Also Sakura Haruno. See her fights vs Ino (where she deliberately pressed Ino's Berserk Button to avoid getting sympathy and broke Ino's Mind Switch Jutsu, albeit with a little help from Naruto's cheering) and Sasori (where she got serious injuries and kept fighting anyway).
  • Many girls from Negima! Magister Negi Magi qualify, but Nodoka surpasses them all. Every time she's encountered an enemy, despite having no combat skills whatsoever, her first reaction is to get out her artifact and fight, even when up against opponents completely out of her league, even when everyone else is panicking, lost in despair, or running away, even when she only just figured out that magic even exists. In the middle of the battle between Fate's party and Ala Alba at Ostia instead of retreating with the rest of the party she forced Kotarou to take her right in front of Fate so she could get his true name and then interrogated him as he was attempting to petrify her. And of course, when everything went wrong and several of her friends were erased from existence right in front of her by one of the most powerful characters in the entire series she gets up, steals HIS artifact, downloads the instruction manual from his brain, and teleports away so she can tell the rest of Ala Alba they're taking the battle to the enemy.
  • Ringo Oginome and Masako Natsume from Penguindrum. Himari graduates into this on episode 18, which also shows us exactly how indomitably plucky the deceased Momoka was.
  • Pokémon Adventures:
    • When told that the boy who rescued her two years ago has gone missing (and hasn't seen since), Yellow immediately agrees to go out and look for him despite the fact that she barely knows anything about Pokemon battling.
    • Green could also count. She's usually upbeat and optimistic despite having some of the worst luck ever. Especially at the beginning of the FireRed/LeafGreen arc, where her parents disappear right in front of her (though that trauma does give her a Heroic BSoD for a while).
  • Tomoka Osakada from The Prince of Tennis never ever loses her smile, her stubborness, and her will to support Seigaku and her beloved Ryoma through thick and thin. An Tachibana from Fudomine is somewhat more serious, but she's not to be trifled with either.
  • Kiku Takane from Ring ni Kakero, who will always support and look after her little brother Ryuuji and work hard to guide him through their shared dream of reaching the World Boxing Championship.
  • Madoka Kyouno from Rinne no Lagrange, going so far as to sing in the cockpit during a mecha battle... the same battle in which she deliberately tries to keep collateral damage to areas she knows to be empty of bystanders (such as the lot of a recently demolished house or a shop that had gone out of business the week before). Considering the genre she's in, she angsts remarkably little - and even when she does, she shrugs it off quickly and jumps right back to the other extreme on the optimist-realist scale. It is later revealed that she wasn't always like this: after her mother's death, Madoka was a depressed wreck until her cousin inspired her into the energetic girl always ready to help everyone regardless of what needs to be doing. Truly, Madoka's motto in life is Jumped at the Call: she doesn't pilot because she has to, she pilots because she wants to help.
  • Juliet Capulet from Romeo X Juliet who has more moments of Break the Cutie than her play counterpart. The poor girl's parents were killed when she was both dethroned and forced to be a Noble Fugitive at a young age, forced to dress as a boy most of her life, then being shocked and unprepared as she remembers her parents' death was forced and expected by her guardians to lead a revolution when she's not ready to. And to top it all off, she falls in love with the son of the man who killed her parents and though she has a moment of giving up and wishing she was dead she still retains her sweet lively fiery and lighthearted personality and is eventually ready to lead a revolution.
  • The Sacred Blacksmith has Cecily, who in the anime, despite losing and needing saving a lot, never stops practicing and fighting.
  • Saori Kido aka Athena from Saint Seiya. And the same goes to the Athena that came before her, Sasha from Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas. Both girls are the local Barrier Maidens and go through quite the Break the Cutie, but refuse to give up.
  • Cleao Everlasting from Sorcerer Stabber Orphen will not let Orphen go kill himself before he returns her the Sword of Baltanders that her father gave her before dying, and which he needs for a very important quest. So what if she has to tag along with him and his apprentice Majic despite all the dangers it'll bring to her? She will follow them, become the Team Mom, and pull through no matter what.
  • Ai from Sunday Without God is brave, optimistic, and determined, and she goes out her way to help those in need. Of course, since she's resolved to save the world God has abandoned, this is the attitude she needs.
  • Keiko Yukimura from Yu Yu Hakusho. While she's usually a Neutral Female, it's pretty amazing she pulls through after all the traumatizing events her boyfriends' life/career puts her in. In the manga, she didn't hesitate to ask to be taken to the Dark Tournament when she found out Yusuke had gone there. She may be a bit frailer in the anime, but she still does her best to be there for her friends when needed. To different degrees there's also Yukina, Shizuru, Botan, Ayame, Hinageshi from The Movie, Kokou, Natsume, the Lady Doctor aka Yuusuke's ancestor and Mukuro.

    Comic Books 
  • Of the The Avengers:
    • Mockingbird, while more cynical than most examples, has also suffered so much that it'd be insane for her not to be cynical. Listing everything she's suffered would be a pretty big wall of text, but they include being raped, tortured, abducted, stalked, divorced, shunned by her own family, and yet she's pretty eager to just get back into the action and still cracks jokes all the while, and despite the tortures she's suffered, she's typically one of the fun ones of any group she's with.
    • Founding member The Wasp; losing her dad is what spurred her onto becoming a superhero, but she didn't become an angsty vengeance seeker, instead becoming the plucky idealist of the group. After her bitter divorce from her husband after his mental breakdown though, during which she was physically assaulted and left humiliated, she decided to commit to heroism more and took leadership of the team, turning the low point of her life into the start of her high-point. She's suffered still since, most notably spending time trapped in another universe believed dead by her friends and family, but still remains one of the most hopeful of the team, if not The Heart at times.
  • Batman: Stephanie Brown, the third Batgirl. Her ex-con of a father is starting to cause trouble again? Her mother's an addict? Her dad's trying to kill her? The father of her baby abandons her and she almost dies during delivery? The boy she's got her eyes on and who happens to be Robin's not interested in her? Batman tries to get her to quit being a crimefighter again and again - then fires her as Robin? She gets tortured, humiliated and almost killed and is forced to leave Gotham to heal? ... C'mon, you don't actually think that's gonna stop her, do you?
  • Empowered could be considered a Reconstruction of this trope; the superheroine, Emp, continuously tries to be a hero despite having an abysmal track record of getting tied up and humiliated at virtually every turn. She does not simply ignore or brush off the failures, nor does she dispute that being repeatedly rendered a powerless, sexualised toy of thugs and supervillains despite her very best efforts is deeply traumatic, (she openly admits to having nightmares about being tied up, but says they're not so bad because she can wake up from them, unlike the countless times it's happened to her in real life) and she spends a fair amount of time in each volume sobbing uncontrollably. However, because the few times she does win are spectacularly awesome enough to see her through the bad times, and because every time she dons the suit she convinces herself that maybe it won't happen this time, she remains a Nice Girl with Heroic Willpower who is noted by a growing number of characters to be vastly stronger than many more badass characters who seldom have to deal with humiliation and helplessness.
  • Mary Jane Watson from Spider-Man. Although she's gone through some rough patches and worries more than most examples of this trope, she still the type of character that will have no qualms about beating a B list hero with a baseball bat or bringing Peter out of slum with some helpful optimism.
  • X-Men:
    • Kitty Pryde, the Trope Codifier for comic books. Parents splitting up, new school, new freaky powers that somehow aren't quite as useful as the powers of your new classmates, and a demon attack on your first Christmas there? Not a problem! It Gets Worse? She gets over it.
    • Jubilee. From about middle school age on life has constantly tried to crap all over her but not the murder of her parents, homelessness, being separated from her surrogate father figure, being captured and tortured by anti-mutant government initiatives, having the boy you have a crush on blown up, being crucified, losing her powers, or being turned into a vampire will stop her from forging ahead and realizing that life's what you make of it, so why not make it fun.
  • Luke Pearson's Hilda doesn't let trolls, giants, or big scary dogs get her down.

  • Annabelle Lennox in the Transformers fanfic Black Crayons. She's sweet and friendly, but she can be as brave and stubborn as her parents (or Ironhide) when she needs to. She sneaks her way into a warzone because she thought she needed to be there. Keep in mind that she's six years old at the time.
  • Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles:
    • Cloud Kicker; for most of the time, whatever she's doing, she acts like a true optimist.
    • Then there is Rainbow Dash, who isn't afraid to tackle any kind of challenge, believing fully she'll be able to handle it.
  • Blood and Honor: Vette doesn't let torture, slavery, the uncertain fate of her family, the downtrodden state of her people, or anything else get her down for long. In the first few chapters of the story she faces near-certain death with unflinching bravery. She's certain that things will work out, one way or another, and on the off-chance they don't, she's determined to go down with her head held high and a good one liner.
  • Kumiko of Despair's Last Resort. She's hyper and fun loving despite having to deal with trials and murder. The first murder does break her for a while, considering that the victim was her best friend Chiyo.
  • Jana Teires in Tom Riddle's Schooldays. No misfortune stops her, or even slows her down for long.
  • Avalina in Hope for the Heartless (Disney's The Black Cauldron fanfic). After ending up in the Horned King's castle during one stormy night, she's forced to remain there as a prisoner who's not allowed to leave the lich's lands. She's permitted to say her farewells to her family and takes with her only her faithful Cool Horse. She comes close to death several times (because of the Horned King or otherwise), greatly misses her home and you'd want to hug her whenever she cries. Still she manages to keep going as the Horned King's Morality Pet.
  • Chloe Cerise in Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail starts out as a Shrinking Violet in her world before she gets onto the Infinity Train where she quickly proves that with a bit of confidence and a steel pipe, that she can tackle any and all foes. By the time Act 2 starts, she's quite the determined warrior who is off to topple the Apex.

    Film — Animation 
  • Rapunzel from Tangled. This trait was something that varied between scripts in development. In Rapunzel Unbraided she was a plucky girl but in the darker Rapunzel she was more demure and anxious. In the final Tangled she is very optimistic and chipper despite being locked up for eighteen years with no human contact besides her mother.
  • Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph has enough spirit to power a jet fighter, reacts to her circumstances as The Pollyanna and is the Determinator in her dream of becoming a racer. She's probably this trope PERSONIFIED, because after all the bullying and abuse she's been through, she's still optimistic and happy. Wow.
  • Anna from Frozen. The traits that define her are her sheer optimism and energy. Similar fo the above-mentioned Rapunzel, in earlier versions of the film Anna apparently lacked much of this. In the full version of the "That's no blizzard—that's my sister!" Missing Trailer Scene (which dates back to when Elsa was still the Big Bad), she showed fears about jumping off a mountain and in the Cut Song "More Than Just A Spare" she has more self-confidence issues than in the final product.
  • Judy Hopps from Zootopia. No amount of discrimination will stop her from helping others. What temporarily brings her down is realizing her own unconscious bigotry actually made things worse for others.
  • Wendy's daughter Jane from Return To Never Land is this Played for Drama. She strives to be a Plucky Girl but has forgotten what it means to be a child, since she comes from the England of World War II - so she has all the practicality but none of the enthusiasm. By the end, she has recovered her spirits and has morphed into a straight example of it.
  • Dory from Finding Nemo and its sequel, Finding Dory. Despite having short-term memory loss, she remains extremely optimistic and her main saying is "Just keep swimming!".
  • Miriam from The Prince of Egypt. Her optimism and her willingness to put herself on the line for what she believes in are pretty impressive considering she is a Jewish slave whose people have been under Egyptian oppression for 400 years.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The girl Micha from a German film Stahlnetz: PSI. She is kidnapped for ransom which her family cannot pay as it's not actuall rich and cannot escape on her own, but she still holds herself with dignity until the very end, (though she slowly begins to resign, but in her situation, it's hard not to; and she still doesn't break).
  • The title character of The Journey of Natty Gann is bound and determined to find her father, and nothing is going to keep her from doing it, no matter how many people tell her that he abandoned her. She hops trains and hitchhikes from Chicago to Seattle, with little idea of exactly where her father is beyond "somewhere in Washington".
  • Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) in Labyrinth won't give up her attempts to solve the Goblin King's seemingly-impossible maze and retrieve her baby brother.
  • Star Wars: Rey in The Force Awakens. She was abandoned at the age of five on Jakku and is forced to work as a scavenger, but honestly believes that her family will return for her.

  • Arabian Nights:
    • Scheherezade, the protagonist from the Framing Device, so much that she has a gambit named after her. She volunteers to marry King Shahryar (a madman who hates women and has ordered all his previous wives executed after the first one cheated on him) as part of a plan to cure his insanity - and she succeeds, becoming his Queen.
    • Some other characters in the individual stories qualify too, such as Morgiana, the Guile Hero of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. Morgiana being an Author Avatar for Scheherezade is lampshaded in at least one adaptation.
  • Illiana Henriksdotter in Betvingade has a tyrannical father and a cold-hearted mother, who never show her any love. But as soon as she gets married, she pretty much puts her abusive parents behind her.
  • The Chalet School is full of these, to the point where you wonder if it's a requirement to get into the school. Joey Bettany - who shares more than a few similarities with another Jo - is but one example. Childhood illness, running away from the Nazis, war, her husband Jack being temporarily MIA, the deaths of friends, a shedload of children...nothing will keep her down for long. And then there's Corney Flower, Biddy O'Ryan, Daisy Venables, Mary-Lou Trelawney, Carola Johnstone, Len Maynard...the list goes on.
  • Circleverse: Sandry tends to come across as the sweet, optimistic one of the four, but she survived several days alone in a dark, concealed room, with only a basket of embroidery thread for company while half the city died of plague around her, and when once again trapped in the dark (by an earthquake, no less) she is the one who figures out how to get herself and her friends out (though they all participate).
  • Conan the Barbarian has Zenobia from The Hour of the Dragon, an harem girl that has no martial training whatsoever, but is brave and resourceful enough to save Conan when he is thrown into prison by the conspirators, arranging for his escape and showing no fear whatsoever. Her courage ends up making him fall for her.
  • Gemma from Dark Life. She's an orphan whose beloved older brother was sent to a reformatory, escaped from her cruel headmistress, went subsea on her own despite not knowing how to swim, and is constantly delighted by all the wonderful sea creatures she comes across.
  • Enola Holmes is the definition of this, eventually. It does take her running away from home with her brother, Sherlock Holmes, hunting her to force her into finishing school, and finding that she's a great detective herself at the age of 14. At the end, Sherlock and Mycroft are agape at how capable she is for her age.
  • Angel in Gene Stratton-Porter's Freckles. It seals Freckles' Love at First Sight.
    She did know. She was not in the least afraid. She was depending on a rattlesnake to live up to his share of the contract and rattle in time for her to move. The one characteristic an Irishman admires in a woman, above all others, is courage. Freckles worshiped anew.
  • Journey to Chaos: Imagine being stuck in the lair of an Evil Sorcerer for months and then learning the Awful Truth that you are an Artifical Human with implanted memories; do you think would have both the courage to continuing trying to escape, and the presence of mind to act like a Proper Lady? Vaya Kloac can, and does; she even rescues a captured mercenary in the process.
  • Maree Mallory of Deep Secret has "sheer if not-always-nice pluck" as one of her defining character traits. How much of a fighter is she? At one point, she permanently loses half her soul. Most people die within hours of this happening. Maree not only fights back, she walks miles to recover in Babylon. To put things in perspective, the only other person to survive this that we know of? A powerful and charismatic emperor who once conquered eleven different core universes and untold others.
  • Roald Dahl's Matilda is ignored by her parents and terrorised by the awful Miss Trunchbull, and just 6-7 years old. So what's a little super-smart girl to do? Obviously, play some 'subduing' pranks on your boastful, corrupt father to take him down a peg, then develop your latent psychokinetic powers to help that nice teacher who recognised your genius.
  • Don't forget the eponymous Momo in the novel of Michael Ende. The evil men actually take over the world, but she still attempts to save it. She even dares giving one of the grey men a Care-Bear Stare while she's left by all her friends.
  • Beatrice Löwenström in Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt is a tough girl, but it seems like the Universe itself is out to break her down. But once the worst is over, she gets over it and moves on.
  • Ninevah "Nin" Redstone from Seven Sorcerers by Caro King. Her Motto is "Have Courage and never give up!" She confronts a Bogeyman while armed only with a toothbrush and goes to insane lengths to rescue her brother, along with everybody else needing help.
  • Lia in Skinned by Robin Wasserman. Despite getting in a car accident, having her brain put in an android, her friends abandoning her, her sister sleeping with her boyfriend, and people believing she doesn't deserve to exist, she still keeps going.
  • Arya Stark from A Song of Ice and Fire. This becomes less appealing and more creepy as the story goes on though, as the goals Arya persists in achieving pretty much amount to mass murder. Her sister Sansa, too, who manages to stay cool even when life seems more and more persistent to break her.
  • Stephanie Plum from the books by Janet Evanovich. Faces down homicidal rapists and madmen with pluck, snark, and heavy coats of mascara. Interestingly enough, she's not entirely plucky - pretty much every time she's in direct danger, she's a terrified, blubbering wreck. She deserves the moniker because, even when she's out of her depth, terrified, and facing fates too horrible to consider, she doesn't give up.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Shallan Davar gives off this vibe, always ready with a smile and a quip, persevering through sheer pluckiness. It soon becomes clear that she's faking nearly all of this in order to keep herself functional. She goes as far as actively repressing memories, but when push comes to shove she turns into a stone cold pragmatist who is willing to do anything to survive. She killed her mother in self-defense when she was eleven, and later poisoned her father to stop him from killing her brother. When that failed to kill him, she calmly strangled him while her brothers watched in horror.
  • In C. S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces, Istra, aka Psyche, is this. To the extent that she angers her older sister, Orual, for not being worried about being offered to a local god as a "bride", saying the god might actually be nice. It turns out Istra is right, and everything works out in the end.
  • Tortall Universe: Daine is probably the most obvious example. Her house was burned by raiders, her family killed and she survived only by accident, she was almost raped/murdered by an ex-suitor of her mother's, and was Raised by Wolves — all before the book starts. She then proceeds to demonstrate a great deal of ass-kicking, particularly so in the later books; in the third one, after she is told that the Emperor killed Numair, she proceeds to wake up an army of fossilized dinosaurs and rip the everloving shit out of the palace. She's not done. In the fourth book, after even more tragedy occurs, she kills Ozorne with only a badger claw, naked, and entirely out of magic. Yeowch.
  • Mavra Chang from Jack Chalker's Well World series absolutely refuses to give up despite all of the Body Horror inflicted on her — seemingly cripplng mutations and body modifications only seem to make her even more determined. Hell, Mavra's probably ar her most dangerous when she doesn't even have any hands.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz features Dorothy, a resourceful, smart little girl who is willing to slap lions in the face and learns not to be afraid of the Wicked Witch of the West.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Susan Grey from The Bletchley Circle is the driving force behind the investigation, the one who gets the band back together.
  • Carmen Carrillo from Carrusel. She may not have the best family situation at first, but she always makes sure to study and do well in school, so that someday she can go to college and obtain a career. Plus she is always nice to everyone. She is very prim and proper- while always remaining determined, so her being ladylike and staying out of trouble may be a not so obvious way of remaining strong so that she can achieve her goals.
  • Miki Momozono/Goggle Pink from Dai Sentai Goggle Five. She gets hit massively with a fatal bomb that nearly killed her, yet she still dragged her body to get up so her friends and Kid Sidekick won't worry about her. Then she gets trapped in a devil diary, is tied up and the diary gets burned from the outside (which would burn her eventually), and her friends can't get her out, only able to watch as she burns. Instead, she escapes from the book on her own using just her wits and brains, delivers a condemning speech to those who trapped her (and dozens of innocent kids), then proceeds to kick ass.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Vicki, the First Doctor companion. She was orphaned by a space accident, and we meet her after she's been stranded on an isolated desert planet awaiting a rescue mission while being psychologically terrorised by a repugnant monster with unclear motivations who turns out to be a man she thought was her friend in disguise — she'd still been making the best of it, by befriending the local wildlife. After the Doctor takes her on she will have occasional scenes where she will remind the others of what she's lost and that the Doctor is now her only family, but is mostly resolute and cheerful, happy to take the lead in a crisis (like in "The Space Museum"), and with a big scoop of Nightmare Fetishist and Fluffy Tamer to boot.
    • Lampshaded in "The Unicorn and the Wasp" when the Doctor introduces himself to the guests at a 1926 dinner party as a Scotland Yard detective and Donna as "The plucky young girl who helps me out."
      Donna: "The plucky young girl who helps me out"?
      The Doctor: No policewomen in 1926.
      Donna: I'll pluck you in a minute!
    • Amy Pond and Clara Oswald generally fit this, though each in their own way: Amy's the more sanguine, cheeky go-getter, while Clara tends to be more introverted and shy whenever she's not wisecracking or fooling around.
  • The titular character in Dong Yi never gives up on, or breakdown over whatever she is doing, even when the odds are completely against her.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Despite all the loss and suffering Arya Stark goes through, she just keeps on going.
    • When Stannis takes her along on his march to take Winterfell from the Boltons, Shireen declares she won't be afraid during the battle.
  • Audrey Parker Of Haven: A young FBI agent who is sent to the small town of Haven, Maine to capture a killer but stays to solve the terrifying "Troubles" that afflict the town and to find her long lost mother and learn to be a "small town cop." Being cocooned alive, almost driving off a cliff and dealing with super powered freaks of nature only makes her pissed and/or more determined. Also a very capable Action Girl but could be considered a Broken Bird at times because of the emotional distance she keeps from people.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Nico Saiba is in-universe example of Tastes Like Diabetes and determined enough to stick around the resident Token Evil Teammate and flip off Ctulhu if she thinks the situation calls for it. One example for all came when she hit Kamen Rider Genm with a mop.
  • LazyTown:
    • Stephanie. The character is defined by her can-do attitude; she has a song called There Is Always a Way.
    • Sportacus is both a Rare Male Example and a rare adult one. He's as cheerful and encouraging as Stephanie, despite the added pressure that come with being the town savior and dealing with the Big Bad.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Princess Aurora, lampshaded when she is called this by her kidnapper, Cora, when Aurora flatly refuses to play along with her games.
    • Gretel/Ava is driven by her faith that she'll find her father again. In Storybrooke, she's managed to take care of herself and her younger twin brother while hiding the fact that their parents are missing, and in the Enchanted Forest, she even manages to stand up to Regina by telling her that family will always find each other. At the end of "True North," the two children are reunited with their father.
  • Djaq from Robin Hood originates from the Holy Land which is being torn apart by war in which she lost her father, mother and twin brother. She was then enslaved and brought to England in chains, all the while hiding her gender from her jailers. When she's rescued by Robin Hood, her fellow prisoners abandon her while she's helping out the outlaws. Yet she joins the gang, contributing her skills as a scientist and a medic to the country that is at war with her own, overcoming race and gender prejudices, and proceeding to kick ass all over the place whilst keeping her rather wicked sense of humor, resulting in one of the few times in which a character with obvious Mary Sue qualities manages to be imminently likeable.
  • Schitt's Creek has Alexis Rose, who is cheerful, brave and optimistic no matter what the circumstances despite her lack of book smarts and losing her family's fortune.
  • In Smallville, as much as we love to see one of Chloe Sullivan's many Break the Cutie moments, she always pulls herself together to help Clark at the end of the day. Season eight, "Abyss", "Bride" and "Legion", for instance. She has her memory slowly destroyed, making her gradually forgetting everything and everyone, attacked at her wedding, Jimmy almost dies, she is kidnapped by Doomsday to be possessed by Brainiac, and the Legion is about to kill her before Clark rushes in. She is up and about almost unnaturally quickly after the ordeal. And that isn't even half of it.
  • Allison Young in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, a resistance fighter captured by Skynet in the future who absolutely refuses to give in, even when pushed to the point of total emotional collapse. She tries to escape twice, refuses to eat when the machines try to interrogate her, and spins a story designed to trick the Terminator that tries to mimic her into walking into a trap. It doesn't work, and Cameron kills her for her troubles, but she gave it her best shot. And even when dying, she stares her killer defiantly in the eye and refuses to yield an inch.
  • Caroline Forbes from The Vampire Diaries, no matter how many times she's abused, tortured, neglected or loses someone she loves, she always holds her head high, smiles and is there for her friends.
  • Veronica Mars of Veronica Mars, the unflappable young PI who is roofied and date-raped, best friend is killed, family splits up, ostracized by her old friends, yet somehow trudges through and comes out mostly on top. And her relationships? Suspected murderer of best friend, and also a man who could possibly be her biological brother (he's not). Well, let's just say she's incredibly determined.
  • Subverted by Gabrielle in Xena: Warrior Princess. She starts off plucky, but in season 4, she joins the church of the One True God, throws in the towel, her staff and her joy. she becomes a determinator and never comes back. Lampshaded in an episode set in modern time. Mad Scientist raids Xena and Gabrielle's tomb and clones them. Gabrielle is plucky, Mad Scientist turns her into a determinator. Fan complains, Mad Scientist says you will only ever see plucky Gabrielle in the repeats of Seasons 1-3 - "Only in the re-runs."

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Antigone from Greek Mythology, who refuses to abandon her father Oedipus even after learning the truth of her birth. She also defies her uncle Creon when he orders to not give burial to her brother's corpse, and prefers execution rather than renouncing to her beliefs.
  • Many Christian martyrologies have tales about young and not-so-young girls who choose torture and death rather than renouncing to their beliefs and worshipping non-Christian Gods, and many of them are described as plucky to the extreme.
    • For that matter, the Blessed Virgin Mary is this to Catholics, oh so very much.


  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Zia has gone through a higher quota of trauma than most, and is still fighting against a deep depression that she hides beneath her cheerful snark, but she's determined not to let it overtake her, and has a flirty, friendly personality.
    • Destiny has had to put with a lot, being one of the few poor kids living in a rich town, but she hasn't let it get her down and maintains a positive attitude and a level head.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Blood Bowl, the former pig farmer turned Star Blitzer Karla von Kill has had to deal with low level sexism from Cablevision reporters, as well as major injuries caused by Minotaur that apothecaries said should have ended her career but has been determined to push onwards regardless. Karla’s attitude is was ably demonstrated during the 2492 Blood Bowl final where she attempted to stop the Mighty Zug only to be knocked out for her trouble. Karla didn’t let this stop her however and, once she regained consciousness, immediately singled out Zug again and actually managed to knock down the famously solid Blocker, something that gained her a nod of respect from Zug himself.
  • In Heroine, one of the players plays the eponymous Heroine, who is defined by her pluckiness. Sure, she also has flaws she has to overcome in the course of the story, but as a rule of thumb, optimism and resourcefulness are a requirement in this role.

  • Deconstructed in Bertolt Brecht's Mother Courage and Her Children. The main female's pluckiness, perseverance and resourcefulness were supposed to show how dehumanized Mother Courage had become thanks to her sucky life (the deaths of her children included), as a detestable personification of the evils of capitalism. The audience embraced her instead.
  • Romeo and Juliet: Juliet Capulet, believe it or not, and especially considering the time period it's set in. She disobeys her parents, follows her heart, takes the initiative even more than Romeo (to the point of them qualifying as Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy in the era's standards), braves disownment and being trapped in a tomb to stay true to the man she loves (or at least believes she loves - give her a break, she is a teenager after all) and chooses to die with him rather than just bow to her elders.
  • Molly Brown in The Unsinkable Molly Brown. "I ain't down yet" is her Catchphrase.
  • Swanhilde from Coppélia. She's unwilling to just take her boyfriend Franz's sudden abandonment to favor the titular Coppelia and later desert him when it turns out that he's in danger of losing his own soul. So she will go into Dr. Coppelius's home to see what's going on with her "love rival" with her own eyes and later protect Franz as much as she can once Coppelia's Robot Girl nature is revealed

    Video Games 
  • Fatal Fury, aside of all the girls who double as The King of Fighters Action Girls, adds ladies like Tsugumi Sendou and Hotaru Futaba. In The Movie, Kim's wife Myeungsuk also qualifies as such.
  • Fire Emblem gives us both female and male examples:
    • Linde from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light and Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem. Alongside Maria, post-Heel–Face Turn!Minerva, Yumina, Lena, Elice, Tiki, Feena, etc. Gaiden adds Celica, Sonya, etc. Merric and Rickard are Rare Male Examples.
    • From Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, we have several either in the White Mage or the Action Girl fields.
      • The first generation: Adean, Briggid, Tailto until she's horribly broken, Ferry, Mahnya, Raquesis, Sylvia and Ayra. Dew is The One Guy, sorta.
      • The second generation: Lana (and Mana), Patty (and Daisy), Fee (and Femina), Nanna (and Janne), Altena, Larcei (and Radney), Leen (and Laylea). On the enemy side, we have the Anti-Villain Ishtar. On the rare male example side, there's Corple (and Sharlow) and specially Seliph.
    • Fire Emblem: Thracia 776: The aforementioned Nanna alongside Mareeta, Tanya, Karin, post-Heel–Face Turn!Olwen, Sara, Safy, Lara, Tina, Eda, Linoan, Misha and Princess Miranda, with Evayle or better said, an amnesiac Briggid, Machyua, Selphina and post-Heel–Face Turn!Amalda as older versions. The Hero Leif and Asvel are rare male examples.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade:
      • Nino the Mage/Sage. Oh poor little innocent, sweet, freaking determined Nino.
      • Lyndis/Lyn, Louise, Priscilla, Serra, Farina, Fiora and Rebecca, too. A good part of Florina's Character Development comes from her doing what she can to become one. If you want rare male examples, look no further than Sain, Guy and Wil.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade (set 20 years after The Blazing Blade) Princess Lilina is this and some more. Makes sense since her dad is Lord Hector and her mom can either be Lyn, Farina or Florina. Other than her, we have: Clarine, Ellen, Princess Guinevere, Thany, Thite, Lalum, Sue, Milady and Fir. Adult versions include: Echidna, Igrene, Cecilia and Niime. "Mayfly" versions include the dragon Fa Rare male examples include Lugh, one of Nino's sons and The Hero Roy whose mom can be either Fiora or Lyn.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones:
      • Princess Tana. So plucky that she refuses to stay on the sidelines even when her brother Innes demands her to do so, helps both Eirika and Ephraim as much as she can despite her limited battle experience, can convince the very distraught Cormag to defect with words alone and hook up with him if they have an A support, and pulls Ephraim out of his Heroic BSoD after he sees that he can't bring Lyon back and loses one of the stones to him.
      • Eirika, too. Despite her naivete and seeing her kingdom and others go down, she keeps going on.
      • And L'Arachel, too. So plucky that she can bring Eirika out of an Heroic BSoD when she has to assume that Lyon's too far gone to be truly saved, after his Superpowered Evil Side uses him to steal the MacGuffin from her.
      • Also Natasha and Amelia. Both young ladies come from Grado, an Empire that is starting to invade and threaten other countries, but they decide to fight back and join Eirika and/or Ephraim's groups so they can save the world and Grado itself.
      • The rare male examples? Ewan and Ross; both begin as quite weak fighters but evolve into much stronger ones without losing their cheerful dispositions.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn: Mist, most prominently. Also to some extent Mia, Jill, Lucia, Elincia after her Character Development, Sanaki, Laura, Micaiah, Heather, Eda and others. The rare male examples are Rhys, Oscar, Rolf, Boyd, Geoffrey and specially Kieran.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening:
      • A female Avatar (default name: Robin), Sully, Lissa, Maribelle, Nowi, Tharja (in a... strange way, that is), Cordelia, Sumia (who's normally more of a submissive badass), Emmeryn (specially when she fearlessly goes through an Heroic Suicide to stop an upcoming war, Say'ri and the grown-up Tiki. And maybe Ke'ri, if Lon'qu's testimony is to be believed.) And let's not forget the male Avatar, Prince Chrom, Stahl, Vaike, Henry, Donnel and Ricken as Rare Male Examples.
      • From the second generation there's Sully's daughter Kjelle, Sumia's daughter Cynthia, Cordelia's daughter Severa, Nowi's daughter Nah, Tharja's daughter Noire (in her own way) and Chrom's daughter Lucina. And there are some rare male examples like Olivia's son Inigo and Lissa's son Owain. Oh, and Morgan counts in here whether as a boy or a girl unless they get corrupted by Grima after the death of his Avatar mom/dad.
    • Fire Emblem Fates continues the tradition with the Female Avatar (default name: Kamui or Corrin), Azura, Hinoka, Elise, Camilla, Mozu, Oboro, Selena aka an Older and Wiser version of the aforementioned Severa, Felicia, Peri (in a rather terrifying way), Effie, Hana, Reina, Kagero, Anna, Sophie, Ophelia and Soleil. The Rare Male Examples include the Male Avatar, Silas, Leo, Arthur, Odin aka an Older and Wiser Owain, Laslow aka an Older and Wiser Inigo, Azama, Hinata, Siegbert, Asugi, Percy, Kiragi, Shiro and Forrest. And Kana counts whether as a boy or a girl too.
    • Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia fleshes out its once rather flat cast, and as a result many of the girls become this. The biggest examples are the female lead Celica and the cleric Silque, and they're joined soon by Faye, Clair, Mathilda, the Whitewing Sisters (Palla, Catria and Est), Mae, Tatiana, Sonya, Emma, Shade and Yuzu. There are also male examples: the male lead Alm, Gray, Tobin, Lukas, Clive, Forsyth, Atlas, Celica's half-brother Conrad, Jesse, Valbar and especially Leon.
  • The title character of the freeware action/adventure Iji is a teenage girl who wakes up six months after an alien attack kills her family to discover that scientists have implanted nanotech in her to combat the invaders, but her only support is her little brother Dan, who has grown bloodthirsty, cynical and emotionally distant. Even after she discovers that humanity is on the brink of extinction and the earth is a charred husk, she presses on with the mission Dan gives her. This first quest fails miserably, the second makes the situation even worse, and, depending on the player's actions, Iji fails to save her brother from an assassin, which traumatizes her horribly. And yet she still carries on. The player can choose to play her as an Action Girl or pacifist; regardless, the final boss is awed by her determination.
  • From No One Lives Forever we get Cate Archer, superspy extraordinaire. Almost the entirety of UNITY believes a woman can't be a proper spy, her mentor is killed, every single agent has died before her, she's continually put on missions often promised to be simple but always end up extremely dangerous, and she's being sabotaged. Of course this doesn't stop her. She gets bonus points for having been a very successful cat burglar, starting out when she was just a teenager.
  • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening:
    • Sigrun is unusually cheerful for being a member of a group of Death Seekers with the goal of achieving a Heroic Sacrifice, joking that she'll try harder next time whenever she gets through a battle. During party banter with Nathaniel, she states that being Wangsty about it doesn't really help her much, and demonstrates that it would just get annoying really fast.
    • Leliana in Origins lives through a tremendous amount of nasty stuff, yet comes out of it stubborn, courageous, and possibly the sweetest girl you will ever meet.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Krile from Final Fantasy V. She's already an orphan when you meet her. Then watches her grandfather die right in front of her. Then his spirit tells her she needs to take his place in defeating the warlock that just killed him. And she does, while still being cheerful enough to poke fun at the hero and pioneer the role that would appear in every numbered Final Fantasy after her.
    • Aerith from Final Fantasy VII. She had a pretty terrible upbringing as a flower girl in the slums, but she still maintains a feisty and flirtatious personality (but also a kind heart too), and she never backs down from anyone. Pretty hands on for the White Magician Girl too. Unfortunately this independent streak of hers ends in disaster when she takes the responsibility of bringing down Sephiroth on herself, leaves the party and is murdered by the man she was trying to stop. Given the final shot of the game before the credits roll though, that may have been her plan all along.
    • Selphie Tilmitt from Final Fantasy VIII. Her original home was destroyed, many of her friends were killed, the world was about to end, and she still maintained her plucky attitude and sense of humor. Worryingly, she's also always the first one to propose an excessively violent solution to a problem, such as skinning a Moomba to use as a disguise for escaping captivity.
      "Blow it to smithereens with a rocket launcher! BOOOOOM!"
  • Alena from Dragon Quest IV.
  • Persona:
    • The female protagonist route added to Persona 3 in the PSP version turns the player character into one. The darker the game's plot gets, the more determinedly upbeat her dialogue options become.
    • All of the Persona 4 girls show different shades of this after their Shadows are dealt with. Special mention goes to Rise Kujikawa, who took control of her Persona, Himiko, right after the Shadow Rise fight.
    • And beating them all out is Maya Amano from Persona 2, whose catchphrase is "Let's think positive!" She remains upbeat throughout Innocent Sin, serving as a Team Mom for the group. Her pluckiness remains palpable even after she becomes a Heroic Mime when promoted to Protagonist in Eternal Punishment.
  • Maria Renard from Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, doubled as a Badass in Distress. Right after being freed, you can control her all the way from where she's held captive to beat up Dracula all by herself and her pets (which is a case for most people anyway, since she's stronger and faster than Ricther.)
  • Ghost Trick's Lynne gets killed no less than five times in one night, but she'll be damned before that will keep her from laughing it all off with her cheerfull theme tune every time Sissel has to go back in time to undo her deaths. And then there is the bravery she displays when she gets trapped in a sinking submarine with Kamila. Kamila couldn't wish for a finer protective older sister surrogate even if she wanted to try.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Chun Li. Oh my, Chun Li. The first Action Girl in fighting game history simply can't be less. Followed by Cammy White, "Rainbow" Mika Nanakawa, Sakura Kasugano, Karin Kanzuki, Elena, Ibuki, Maki Genryusai, Makoto, Rose, Ingrid...
    • In regards to non-fighting female charas, Yun's Hot-Blooded "non-girlfriend" Houmei is this; considering how calm she is when around her, her little sister Shaomei might count too. Eliza Masters can be considered to be an Older and Wiser version: she's not seen a lot but when she does appear she's almost always smiling and patient, and the mere fact that she's Happily Married to a dude who's very often fighting out there implies that she's got quite the patience.
  • BlazBlue:
  • Kairi from Kingdom Hearts. She was prepared to take on Saix unarmed at one point, and Axel commented on her guts.
  • Quite a lot of the female characters from the Soul Series. Nearly every female character who has ever appeared in a Soul game is either this trope, or an Ice Queen. Cassandra, Xianghua and Talim are this big time, Sophitia and Seung Mina were this in their earliest incarnations but grew out of it to eventually become other tropes, and in the most recent game Soul Calibur V, Pyrrha (specially when she manages to pull herself together after years of Break the Cutie), Yan Leixia (who runs away to both refuse an Arranged Marriage and to seek for adventure) and Natsu (Taki's pupil and one of Leixia's travel partners).
  • In Tears to Tiara 2 we have Charis. The little girl around seven or eight years of age right smack in the middle of a war, has to abandon her home, and witness destruction, atrocities, and quite a number of monsters. And she never gives up and never stops being cheerful. At Eburon Hamil is about to charge suicidally into the Imperial ranks for a chance to take Izebel with him, before Tart points out to him Charis is going to follow him on his suicide charge, all cheerful and smiles. He stops himself to not get her killed.
  • While most Toads from Super Mario Bros. are portrayed as Lovable Cowards, Toadette is portrayed as, well, brave and optimistic. Even in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, the initial reason why she was captured by Wingo was that she wouldn't let go of the power star she and the Captain found. Even then, this is only temporary.
  • Recette from the game Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale fits this trope to a T. She's a young, naive, and overwhelmingly optimistic girl who, despite her desperate circumstances, is determined to make the best of them and is nice to most everyone (even people who previously tried to kill her!) She starts off the game in danger of being evicted from the only home she's ever known because her father irresponsibly ran off on an adventure and left behind a huge debt that she must now repay. In spite of this, Recette manages to keep a smile on her face and pay back her father's debts. She may act rather dumb at times and obsess over sweets, but ultimately Recette's infectious optimism and kindness is what wins her both customers and friends. Even the player cannot help but be endeared to her!

    Visual Novels 
  • Mary Clarissa Christie, the main character from Shikkoku no Sharnoth. The minigame is even based off of it: If her mental state falls too far, you lose.
  • Sakura from Fate/stay night, who lives with an abusive family but still manages to by sweet and cheerful. Until she snaps in the third route.
  • Emi Ibarazaki from Katawa Shoujo, a young woman who lost her legs and her father in an horrifying accident, but around a year later she had already relearned to walk, and is the star of Yamaku High's track team. Once the player pursues her route, though, it's a Deconstructed Trope. Emi knows that loss of a relationship is normal, and it is best to be strong and move on. However, at the same time, the same stubbornness that enables her to deal with her issues prevents Emi from growing close to anyone because she is afraid that the pain of loss will prevent her from moving onto the future. This prevents anyone from helping her when she does need it, so Hisao must be VERY patient and persistent with her.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend:
  • From the Ace Attorney games, there is Maya Fey - always doing her best to smile in the face of all kinds of crap. She's followed by Trucy Wright in Apollo Justice and Athena Cykes in Dual Destinies.
  • The main character of Ikemen Sengoku has her entire life upended when she abruptly gets sent back in time to Japan's Sengoku period and has to survive in a time where wars and deaths are commonplace for at least three months before she can return home. Despite getting frightened or horrified at various points by how much more dangerous the Sengoku period is compared to her more peaceful modern day time, her resolve to survive it and be productive in her new job as chatelaine of Azuchi Castle instead of just sitting around and waiting never falters and she can even snark about the more absurd aspects of her new life.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • Kaoru shows little fear in the presence of spirits, and is determined to do anything to hunt down and save Ami from Kakuya. Even if the scare is put in her, she'll eventually bounce back and keep on moving.
    • Ami's kindness and optimism allow her to get along with pretty much everyone she meets, and she has a noted stubborn streak that's enough to get Akira, who otherwise doesn't like bothersome things, to play along with her.

  • Feferi Peixes, of Homestuck, is one. She'd almost be a Princess Classic, if not for her easily riled temper and lack of subtlety.

    Web Original 
  • From New Vindicators, there's Kirstie Arnett, also known as Parabola. While her Neo-Sapien powers can be useful, and she's not entirely helpless in a hand to hand fight, she's not quite an Action Girl and relies more on strength of character.
  • RWBY: Ruby has an enduring optimism that she can make the world a better place for everyone. She was raised on children stories about great heroes protecting and inspiring people and is determined to become a Huntress to help people survive the world of monsters in which they live. When Blake tries to tell her she's fantasising like a child and the real world isn't so kind, Ruby simply tells her that the reason people like them exist is to make the real world a nicer place. When she regrets dragging her friends on a dangerous quest across the continent of Anima, Jaune tells her that she didn't drag anyone — her optimism and determination gave them the courage to follow her. When Ruby cheers up the terrified Oscar with advice on how she copes with the terrible things the world has been throwing at her, Oscar and Professor Ozpin discuss her unique ability to lift and inspire others with her constant optimism and determination. Her optimism drives a bitter Roman to rage about her detachment from a world in which the realists only concentrate on survival. There are strong hints that Salem sees Ruby as the key to winning her ancient war with the equally optimistic Ozpin: by breaking Ruby's optimism, she can break Ozpin and defeat him by destroying the world he protects right in front of his eyes.
  • Rebecca Stone from Demo Reel. She's had a difficult life, with misogyny in the industry, Abusive Parents and a sexually abusive uncle, but she's an optimistic Nice Girl all the same. Plus can beat the crap out of anything that hurts Tacoma or Donnie.

    Western Animation 
  • Lilo Pelekai in Lilo & Stitch: The Series. This little Hawaiian girl is not afraid of dealing with destructive, mischievous aliens on a regular basis as she helps them use their abilities for constructive purposes.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Gender Inverted with the eponymous Steven. Both a young warrior and the only human/gem hybrid, he manages to be a sweet and cheerful boy regardless.
    • While Connie starts out as shy and friendless, things gradually change when she meets Steven, and she still manages to become bold and a bit more cunning while still trying to be a Nice Girl. By the second season, she learns how to handle a sword, go on adventures with the Gems, and stand up for Steven because he helps her to make friends, and she cares so much for him and their inseparable bond of friendship that she wants to be a part of his universe.

    Real Life 
  • LaToya Jackson. She was in an abusive relationship for a decade and then suffered the loss of her brother. Yet when you watch her in interviews, she's the happiest she has ever been.
  • Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani Human Rights Activist. She became famous after being shot in retaliation for advocating education for girls, but survived and continued speaking out. After the attempt on her life, she was forced to leave Pakistan in order to continue her work internationally. In spite of facing criticism, threats, and opposition to her advocacy, she has continued to speak out in favor of peace, compassion, and answered her critics with kindness.
  • US Olympic gymnast Kerri Strug. In the Atlanta Olympic Games she gave the performance of her life, anchoring team USA — forever after nicknamed "The Magnificent Seven" — to its first-ever team gold medal. But the Americans' last rotation, vault, was a disaster. No gymnast — not even the fabled Shannon Miller — had managed to "stick the landing", and every step was another chip in their lead. Then disaster struck — Dominique Moceanu sat down her vault. Twice. Last to go, everything rested on Kerri — who sat down her first vault, severely spraining her ankle in an injury that normally renders someone unable to walk. But not Kerri, who stood up, shook it off, limped back to the start of the runway, and vaulted again. This time, she stuck it — on one foot — and ensured that team USA would indeed win gold. Then she crumpled to the mat in agony, and had to be carried by her coach to the podium so she could stand with the rest of her team.
  • Aliya Mustafina, the greatest Russian gymnast since Svetlana Khorkina, was on top of the world in 2010, winning all-around gold and qualifying into every single event final at the World Championships. She was expected to dominate the next two years and be a major threat to the all-around podium in London. But at the 2011 European Championships, Mustafina tore her ACL on a vault, instantly ending her season. In gymnastics, an ACL tear is almost always a career-ender, and many people wrote her off. But Aliya didn't write herself off, and a year later she came out of the London Games as the most decorated gymnast there — including a bronze in the all-around and Russia's only gold medal — and first in three Olympics — on the uneven bars. Never again shall Aliya Mustafina be counted out of anything.
  • Haru Urara, a Japanese mare that became a national symbol of courage and optimism during the final years of the Lost Decade. After a decade of economic stagnation, people in Japan related to the story of a plucky racehorse that always tried her hardest, but never won a single race. She was nicknamed the "Shining Star of Losers Everywhere" and cited by people as an inspiration to keep trying no matter how many times they failed. Because of her popularity, the failing racetrack where she ran was saved and continues to operate to the present day.


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