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Rebellious Princess

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Jasmine: Please try to understand. I've never done a thing on my own. I've never had any real friends... [Rajah makes a surprised and offended growl] ...Except you, Rajah. I've never even been outside the palace walls.
Sultan: But, Jasmine, you're a princess.
Jasmine: ...Then maybe I don't want to be a princess any more!
Sultan: Ooh!!! [to Rajah] Allah forbid you shall have any daughters!
— Disney's Aladdin

To the Rebellious Princess, being part of the royal family is overrated: You have no control over the path of your life, your responsibilities are numerous and burdensome (or not burdensome enough), you're generally under everyone's thumb, or you're destined to live unhappily in a political marriage. The only options are to throw off your frilly dress and to run off with the first hero who passes through (in old-fashioned stories), or set off for adventures on her own on the sly (in the modern ones).

The Rebellious Princess is usually a teenager, typically brash (since it goes hand in hand with being rebellious). If she's not the hero, quite often she's the hero's love interest. This will sometimes invoke Marry for Love not only as another way for her to rebel, but to also get out of an Arranged Marriage. She usually qualifies as a Royal Who Actually Does Something. Sometimes the Rebellious Princess is the White Magician Girl, but not always: in video games, she can also be an archer, warrior, or Black Magician Girl. Mage princesses are more likely to be found Kicking Ass in All Her Finery. She may also be a Politically-Active Princess depending on the nature of her "rebellion".

When written badly, this trope evokes a spoiled brat who is simply whining about how bad their palatial life is when they have never seen how the "lower classes" live; their "rebellious nature" is not based in any actual ethics or logic. For this reason, people who write this trope must remember to give royal status suitable drawbacks that she wants to get away from.

Somewhat more common in the earlier days of the RPG genre than they are now; their population has dwindled with the reduced number of games involving monarchies. Male examples are rare but not unheard of.

Can be an example of Modest Royalty. Often experiencing Rich Boredom and likely to invoke a Caged Bird Metaphor. For characters a little lower on the social hierarchy, see Spirited Young Lady. Might be confused with a Princess in Rags who is forced into not being a princess where the rebellious one chooses not to be.

Contrast Princess Classic, Idle Rich.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Basquash!: Flora Skybloom, after feeling the pure hotbloodedness of Dan and the rest of his team from their Bigfoot basketball matches, escapes from her castle, hides her identity, and makes her way into his inner circle.
  • Farnese from Berserk is a deconstruction (although she's technically not a princess). She becomes rebellious and pyromaniac because her parents never paid any attention to her (when her father instructed her to burn an old toy of hers, her half-brother Serpico remarks that it was the first time her father spoke to her in a year). This earns her the social isolation it would realistically earn her, and she eventually burns down her family's mansion out of frustration. She then gets shipped off to a convent and becomes the figurehead leader of the Church Militant because that's all the various nobles and churchmen believe her to be good for.
  • Bokura no Kiseki: Veronica. While mostly mindful of her responsibilities, she was still very easygoing and flouted rules of propriety left and right.
  • Candy Candy: Variation. Candy plays the role quite well, but she's a member of the extremely rich and high-class Andree family only after being adopted by the leader and against the will of several other members.
  • Code Geass has a few. Notably, Euphemia li Britannia disapproves of the social Darwinism found throughout The Empire, and makes a point of telling her sister Cornelia something along those lines, hinting that she'd even eye the throne at one point if it meant social reform. Lelouch, meanwhile, is literally a Rebel Prince against Britannia.
  • Played with in Corsair, where Aura is the princess of a pirate clan and already has the freedom most Rebellious Princesses want. She still rebels though, to the point where Canale knocks her out during a major attempt to rescue her because she refuses to place her safety above his own and go ahead without him. She also thinks she is The Hero's love interest until Ayace callously tells her she can't marry Canale because they're lovers.
  • Princess Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi, the titular heroine of Cross Ange, starts off as a fairly unlikeable, prissy, prejudiced princess of an Empire that disapproves of anyone who cannot use the Light of Mana. But when she herself is outed as a "Norma", exiled to Arzenal, made to fight monsters that eat humans in a Humongous Mecha, and later tries to come back to the Misurugi Empire only to suffer an attempted execution, she firmly becomes this as she now sees how savage and barbaric non-Normas are.
  • GoLion: Princess Fala doesn't actually run away, but has to go against her advisors (who even tied her up at the start to keep her from piloting the blue lion). Later, she gets her wish to join the team as their Chick. She takes it a step further in a later episode, ultimately refusing a demand from fellow planetary sovereigns that she take full command of Go Lion. She is at last confident enough to lead a planet and an alliance of planets, but still be just a team member when it comes to the Super Robot, albeit designated as Black Lion's alternate pilot. Of course, her possible romantic feelings for Akira Kogane may play a role in that as well. The same applies to her Voltron counterpart Allura.
  • Gundam seems to have a fair number of these:
    • Cagalli Yula Athha in Gundam SEED is de facto the princess of the neutral state of Orb, but runs off to wage guerrilla warfare against ZAFT in Africa. She is much less volatile in the sequel, Gundam SEED Destiny.
    • In G Gundam, we have the tomboyish and willful Maria Louise from Neo France doing lots of un-princess-like things to get the attention of her "Knight in League" and local Gundam Fighter, George de Sand. After she grows up and learns her lesson, Maria doesn't lose her spirit and does what she can to aid George and the Shuffle Alliance.
    • Relena Peacecraft/Darlian in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. Even after being made Queen of the World Sphere Alliance, she refuses to go along with Romefeller's plans, makes her own policy instead, and when she can't fully institute it she prefers to leave matters to Treize rather than being a puppet and bowing to the noblemen. Her full and public rejection of the Princess mantle during Endless Waltz which is televised worldwide.
    • If we count the Deikun clan from Mobile Suit Gundam as royalty, then Zeon Zum Deikun's daughter and Char Aznable's / Casval Deikun's sister Sayla Mass/Artesia Deikun fits the trope quite well.
    • Gundam Unicorn has Audrey Burn, a.k.a. Princess Mineva Lao Zabi, the last survivor member of the Zabi family and heir to the Principality of Zeon, formerly a figurehead used by previous Neo Zeon movements, she's now decided to go out on her own to try to stop another war from breaking out.
    • Deconstructed with Princess Marina Ismail from Gundam 00. No matter what she tries to do, she's just a figurehead and never really accomplishes much despite her struggles. Until the second season finale, where she starts rebuilding Azhadistan after the war is over.
  • Macross Frontier's Alto Saotome, while not technically royalty (nor female), counts. The heir to a well-known family of Kabuki actors, he instead went and pursued his dream of becoming a pilot. It also helps that he really does look like a Japanese princess whenever we're shown a flashback of his kabuki days.
  • Being the top-ranked priestess and direct conduit to the Purato god, JuJu of Magical Circle Guru-Guru is as close to a princess as you can get without being actual royalty. She opts to run away and seek out the heroes after a Running Gag involving a Clingy MacGuffin makes things too ridiculous to tolerate at home.
  • Lucia Nanami of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch is the heroine, but doesn't understand nor appreciate her position — so she just tries to do what she wants.
  • Princess Ana Medaiyu of Overman King Gainer becomes a willing hostage to have some fun, and play along with going on Exodus with the Yapan. Later she tries to return but decides to stay once her father publicly disowns her to protect her from London IMA in case the Duke's line is discontinued, for allowing such a large Exodus to take place.
  • Queen's Blade: Claudette regards her younger sister, Leina, as such since she's chosen the life of a vagabond, rather than take her rightful place on the throne. Which Claudette absolutely won't tolerate, so she sends their youngest sister, Elina, to find Leina and capture her.
  • All this trouble in Sailor Moon started because a certain Moon Princess chose to be with the Earth's Prince, against her entourage's advice.
  • The Secret of Twilight Gemini: Lara is a literal example, as she's the rebel leader of the oppressed Geltic Tribe. However, she doesn't find out about her royal lineage until the Elder reveals it to her and Lupin, before the battle to reclaim their ancient homeland.
  • Naga the Serpent of Slayers is the missing first princess of the kingdom of Saillune, Gracia Ul Naga Saillune, and the older sister of Amelia, one of the four major protagonists. After witnessing the assassination of her mother, she ran away from home on a quest to learn the ways of the world, become more powerful (she doesn't, but that really depends on the media), and drink. The Light Novels imply that she does return to her home sporadically, and she even stays in contact with her loved ones, but more often than not for financial reasons. The anime more or less states that she hasn't returned at all, which is a large source of well-hidden angst for Amelia.
  • Lala from To Love Ru runs away, to have control over who she marries.
  • The Vision of Escaflowne has Princess Millerna, who rebels against the desire of her father of marrying Dryden Fassa.
  • Defied in Windaria. Veronica is set up to be this but reluctantly carries out her mother's will.

    Comic Books 
  • Destrii - the Primatrix Destriianatos - from Doctor Who Magazine. A decidedly different take on the trope, in that Destrii's a Dark Action Girl rebelling against her Evil Matriarch mother, and while her people see her as their heroine, she only wants to escape her dystopian homeworld. When she finally does, she has repeated run-ins with the Eighth Doctor, which eventually see her homeworld's nobility overthrown, her mother dead, and Destrii herself slowly starting a Heel–Face Turn under the Doctor's tutelage.
  • Princess Sally from Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics). Several times in the comics, most recently her (annulled) marriage with Patch show her dislike for the duties and protocols associated with her position as princess. And often times she will have a rather stern word about it to the powers that be.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • In the original comics after Steve Trevor crashed on Paradise Island, a contest was held to determine which Amazon would return him to the outside world. Princess Diana wanted to enter the contest but her mother Queen Hippolyta forbade her to do so. Diana entered the contest in disguise and bested all of the other contestants, winning the right to leave. Most retellings of Wonder Woman's origin maintain at least some tension between Diana and her mother when she first goes into Man's World (in the DC Animated Universe, she outright steals the Wonder Woman armor when Hippolyta takes a not-our-problem approach to the white martians' invasion). But it's outright deconstructed in Jill Thompson's The True Amazon, where Diana is portrayed as an immensely spoiled Jerkass who takes up the mantle of Wonder Woman as penance for getting several other Amazons killed during the Contest.
    • Post-Crisis. Artemis finds her father distasteful and is only stopped (by Athena) from jumping in herself when Zeus tries to rape Diana though she still helps Diana more indirectly. On that note, Athena carefully works and manipulates things for years so that she can usurp her father cleanly since she disapproves of his entitled misogynistic and pitiless attitude.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016) is a revisiting a slight tweaking of Diana's WWII-era origin as a child and young adult, she wants no part of being her mother's heir and runs away to secretly get training and learn things her mother tells her to drop and give up.
  • Ninjette from Empowered is the Rebellious Ninja Princess of her clan.
  • Adrienne from Princeless is one of seven daughters who have all been locked up in towers waiting for princes to rescue them, but quickly decides to take matters into her own hands and not just break herself out, but also rescue her sisters and usurp their father's throne.
  • Tales of the Jedi: Princess Galia of Onderon is a positive example. She was opposed to her parents' evil ways and had secret dealings with the underground resistance movement, which is how she met and fell in love with Beast Rider noble Oron Kira. She conspired with him to have herself seemingly kidnapped from her palace chambers so that she could marry him. Together they would become the first rulers of Onderon in centuries who were not followers of the Dark Side.
  • X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Plourr initially rejected her inheritance as heir apparent of Eiattu's monarchy after the rest of her family was murdered, running off to join the Rebel Alliance and becoming a pilot with Rogue Squadron. She's called back by her people later and eventually accepts the role, but on her terms. Plourr makes it clear there will be changes on Eiattu.

    Comic Strips 
  • Princess Aura, daughter of Ming The Merciless in Flash Gordon was rebelling all the way back in the 1930s. She was just as determined to marry Flash as Ming was to kill him. The fact that Dale Arden was Flash's love interest simply complicated things more.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In The Brothers Grimm's "Maid Maleen", the titular princess refuses to go through an arranged marriage and is locked away in a tower as punishment. When she realizes nobody will come to free, she and her chambermaid dig a hole in a wall and run away.

    Fan Works 
  • In Red as Fire Harry's mother gave up her inheritance to the Northern throne of dragonkind so she could marry Snape.
  • Astrid from What The Water Gave Me falls into this category. Because of Hiccup's sacrifice and the death of Astrid's parents, Stoick adopted Astrid with intentions of making her his successor. The only problem is that she doesn't want to become chief.
  • In Harry Potter and the Heir to Atlantis Harry's grandmother was crown princess of Atlantis before she ran away with one of her protectors, swearing not to return unless she was relieved of her duties.
  • Jack plays a male example in Frost Killing Hour. After the death of their parents, Elsa is due to be crowned queen, but she feels she's emotionally unable to do so right now and tries to get her younger brother to become king instead. The rebellious Jack is unwilling to take up the mantle.
  • Ozma Sees Herself is an interquel story meant to delve into how Princess (in name alone, as Ozma is actually a queen) Ozma felt about her new role after The Marvelous Land of Oz. Ozma spent her entire life as a farm boy, so she doesn't take to her new life easily. She avoids her work to just climb trees and play. Ozma ends up running away, but eventually she comes back and accepts her place as princess.
  • Weiss is the heiress to the throne in RWBY AU: Birds. However, she hates being caged in the castle by her father and frequently escapes to do as she pleases.
  • In Infinity Train: Crown of Thorns, Princess Protagonist Acerola, despite severe pressure from the ghosts of her ancestors, has no desire to uphold the legacy of the Alolan royal family, which is part of the reason why she gets taken by the Train.

    Films — Animated 
  • Outside of the interactive electronic oeuvre, practically every female protagonist in the Disney Animated Canon since The Black Cauldron has been of this type (Eilonwy, Ariel, Jasmine, Pocahontas, etc., etc., etc.), possibly as a response to feminists complaining about how "Disney Princesses" had been treated previously (almost exclusively) as damsels in distress.
    • Even Aurora to some extent; once she learns that she is a princess and will be subject to an Arranged Marriage, she is not happy with the idea, although she goes along with it. On the flip side, Philip wasn't about to accept his end of the bargain either.
    • Cinderella in Cinderella II: Dreams Come True. She had to follow the traditional role of a Princess, until she decided to break the traditions, much to the King’s (eventual) approval.
    • Jasmine in Aladdin, even more so in the stage adaptation.
    • Mei, Ting-Ting, and Su from Mulan II. At the end of the film, rather than marrying the princes that live on the other side of China, they all instead hook up with Yao, Ling, and Chien-Po, respectively.
    • Moana downplays this. While Moana is drawn to sail the ocean she is willing to put those desires aside to fulfill the responsibilities of being the next chief of her village. It is only when she learns her childhood encounter with the ocean really happened and that Te Ka's curse will impact Motonui regardless of what they do does she leave on the quest to restore the heart of Te Fiti, but even then it's done to save her people.
    • Kiara from The Lion King II: Simba's Pride plays this trope rather existentially, as she fears that her role as princess, then queen, will consume her entire identity, leaving her just a piece of a larger plan. As a teen, she also falls for Kovu from a banished pride.
  • Merida from Brave plays this trope straight at first, then deconstructs it. The film itself really only starts this way, and it's really only the loving yet very strict mother who Merida is up against (when not getting involved with exciting drinking parties, her father is perfectly okay with much of it and even gave her her first bow for her birthday). In the end, it's not so much about her getting her way as it is about her and her mother getting an understanding of each other's opinions and finding a balance after Merida goes through a very rude awakening and lots of Character Development coming from her poorly-thought "rebelliousness".
  • In The Emoji Movie, one of the princess emojis is mentioned as having run away from Textopolis and with the help of Jailbreak, went to live on the cloud. it's later revealed that Jailbreak herself is the missing princess, who left because she was tired of the limits and stereotypes associated with her role.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • When Knighthood Was in Flower: Princess Mary refuses her brother Henry VIII's orders to marry the king of France, instead engaging in a forbidden affair with a commoner.
  • In The Princess and the Pirate, the princess is fleeing from an Arranged Marriage, until she is kidnapped by the pirate. Luckily Bob Hope is there to save her.
  • Gender-flipped in Ever After: Prince Henry does not want to have an Arranged Marriage and take on the duties of his kingdom. See Rebel Prince.
  • Princess Ann in Roman Holiday, who runs away for a day in the city of Rome due to the pressure put upon her.
  • Princess Vespa from Spaceballs becomes a Runaway Bride rather than be wed to the drippy Prince Valium, and proves herself to be very spoiled and headstrong in her interactions with Lone Starr.
  • Star Wars:
    • Subverted with Princess Leia, who may be a rebel, but so is her father Bail. Despite this, she (and her twin brother) are still rebelling against their biological father. The Princess Leia Diaries has her rebelling against social norms as well.
    • The Rise of Skywalker ultimately reveals that Rey is the long-lost granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, who offers to pass down his position to her so she can be Empress during the climax, but she refuses and duels with him instead with the spirits of his sworn enemies, the Jedi, lending their strength to help her.
  • Jodhaa in Jodhaa Akbar definitely fits the bill. She's a beautiful Rajput princess who's not only an Action Girl who can hold her own in a sword fight against the Mughal emperor of Hindustan, but she also refuses to marry him (and after she marries him, show him outward affection) until he shows her and the rest of India religious tolerance.
  • Princess Yuki in Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress which is the basis for the original Star Wars. She's a tomboy who always argues against and contradicts the loyal general (Toshiro Mifune) protecting her as they travel through enemy territory in disguise.
  • MirrorMask features an evil one who is willing to destroy the world she's from in order to keep from going back there.
  • In Legend (1985), it's implied that Lili frequently sneaks off into the woods to visit friends, one of whom even comments that she should be back at the palace and not hanging out with poor folks like them.
  • Jen from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, though she isn't a princess, but a governor's daughter. She longed for an exciting life of adventure and didn't want to get married.
  • Elizabeth from Pirates of the Caribbean is a governor's daughter instead of a princess, but shows the usual rebellious princess traits.
  • The Princess: The princess secretly trained in combat without permission by her father the king, refusing to submit when coerced into marrying by Julius, fighting both him and his men.

  • Alexis Carew: The titular character is effectively a duke's granddaughter by her homeworld's standards (technically non-titled gentry). She balks at the gender roles society wants to place her in, refusing to marry some asshat solely so her family's land stays in the family and instead joining the Royal Navy as a midshipman while her grandfather tries to get the agnatic primogeniture law changed. Note that these gender roles have only been legally enforced on her planet for two generations at most and the law is nationally unconstitutional (but enforcement is lax to nonexistent in the Fringe), so she's got some reason.
  • The Apprentice Rogue: Downplayed. While Leona is willing to go along with her arranged marriage she is not completely docile. She rebels by seducing her bodyguard and having sex with him on the night before her wedding to her bodyguard's boss.
  • The Belgariad: Ce'Nedra has the attitude and the love interest bit down, though she actually loves being a princess — one of her major problems with marrying Garion was the fact that, as Overlord of the West, he outranked her. However, she did run away from home with only her personal tutor, because a treaty required that she present herself in her wedding gown at the throne of the Rivan King to be betrothed to him on her sixteenth birthday. She thought it was completely pointless and humiliating, because there hadn't been a Rivan King in hundreds of years. She is, of course, found by the group that includes Garion — who is the heir to the Rivan throne.
  • Books of the Raksura: Gender-flipped with Moon, a Raksura who was Raised by Humans. When he joins a Raksura court, he learns that, as a Consort, he's expected to be a refined, shy, dainty piece of arm candy. He deliberately ignores all that and continues to be an adventurer and front-line fighter.
  • Princess Halley in A Brother's Price ran away from her duties in order to find out who murdered a big part of her family. While the princesses are expected to do things, her family is displeased because she doesn't write letters, and they don't even know whether she's still alive.
  • Chronicles of the Kencyrath: Jame is not happy at all when she finds she's a Highborn lady of the highest rank and the sister of the Highlord. The rigid gender roles and restrictions chafe and she ultimately rejects them.
  • The Chronicles of Prydain: Princess Eilonwy, whose outspokenness and rebelliousness at times border on childish brattishness. Since Disney created The Film of the Book with The Black Cauldron, Eilonwy would also be part of the Disney line-up; however, her characterization is a bit different in the film. As we see in The Book of Three that when her kinfolk, the Sea People, went to war, the women rode out with the men. In The High King, the ladies of the Court of Mona who were trying to teach her how to act "ladylike" were the weird ones.
  • Jelka Tolonen in David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series borders on this, due to an Arranged Marriage.
  • In Dead West, Lady Arabell of Atholl. Technically, she is a duchess, but otherwise qualifies, and she was specifically chosen as a bride to the Porcelain Doctor because of this characteristic. Arabell proves herself when she flees from Scotland before her Arranged Marriage (after her planned marriage to Niall has already been broken up by her parents) to Africa, where his previous groom is stationed. She does this alone, without any kind of help except her gifts, and makes Niall very confused but otherwise proud. Cedric certainly approves of her spunkiness, viewing Arabell's Action Girl tendencies as worthy of a MacArkill, and most likely this is why the Shotgun Wedding with Niall ends up as a Perfectly Arranged Marriage.
  • Susan Sto Helit of the Discworld books is a reigning duchess rather than a princess but otherwise fits the bill in that she displays no interest whatsoever in using her title or position and ends up taking a job as a lowly schoolmistress. Though it must be said she has very few of the traditional personality traits associated with this trope.
  • Aeriel in The Dreamland Chronicles is a minor aversion. She is an Amazon Princess so her adventuring doesn't really make her a rebel. What makes her a rebel to her people is that she falls in love with a man and is willing to do things for him that her tribe considers dishonorable.
  • Princess Laurana from the Dragonlance series. Blond, brash, and a teenager (by Elven standards anyway.) She runs away from home to try and win back The Hero even though he has just rejected her and her family disapproves of him for being a bastard half-human. She then becomes a Lady of War, even though elven women are not supposed to take up arms. After being reunited with her family, she immediately runs away again, this time to steal a Dragon Orb, from her father and deliver it to the Whitestone Council to help them fight the evil Dragonarmies. She wins the admiration of the highly chauvinistic Knights of Solamnia for her courage and skill in battle and is given command of their army, which she leads to a series of victories through highly innovative and risky tactics. And then, ignoring the advice of Team Dad, Flint Fireforge, she abandons her army to try and rescue her Love Interest, Tanis, only to be betrayed and captured by her Arch-Enemy, Kitiara.
  • Subverted by Princess Sarene of Elantris. She's very much got the personality, but since she's not the heir (she's got a brother ahead of her in the line of succession) and her father finds having a strong-willed diplomat who can handle herself in a swordfight if she has to and is more than capable of planning on the fly to be a far greater asset to the nation than a pampered princess would be, nobody minds.
  • Princess Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles - early in the first book, she intentionally gets herself "kidnapped" by a dragon in order to escape her current life and an Arranged Marriage. Before this, she insisted on her teachers teaching her things not normally covered: magic, cooking, politics, fencing, Latin, etc. She also fights off many of the princes and knights to come to rescue her herself to prevent them from bringing her home and changes her official title (among the dragons) to "Chief Cook and Librarian" to help drive them away.
  • A Hole in the Fence: Saura is daughter of the man who has been the governor of Metropolis for forty years, and as far she is concerned, her privileged position means she cannot live her own life. She has been bickering with her father for years because he will not let her move out of the city and live a simple life, and he is still bitter about Saura marrying a man of the High Country against his wishes.
  • The Horse and His Boy: Aravis, princess of the Calormene province of Calavar who prefers hunting and riding and scimitar-fighting to what princesses like her best friend Lasaraleen are expected to do. Even leaves her home rather than being forced to marry the Smug Snake of the Tisroc's Prime Minister. Ends up marrying Shasta aka Prince Cor and becoming the Queen of Archenland.
  • The titular princess from the children's story King Dicky Bird and the Bossy Princess, who is quite happy being unmarried and running her father's kingdom by force of will, and is deliberately rude to all her suitors to put them off - including the sincere, persistent but unhandsome King Richard. Her father consequently declares that he'll marry her to the first beggar who offers to take her. One soon does. She makes the best of things in some fairly unprincessy ways (she supports herself and her husband by making and selling items made of upcycled rubbish) and eventually finds out that the beggar is King Richard in disguise, having discovered that he's an enlightened ruler with whom she could have a good marriage. So she rebels... only to end up where she would have been had she not rebelled.
  • Anne Dare of Greg Keyes's Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone tetralogy — though she is thwarted in her rebelliousness first by family members who are actually smart enough to predict her defiance and catch her at it, then by some (well-deserved) guilt-tripping from her friend and maidservant, and finally by, well, reality, in the form of a legion of disasters, tragedies and prophesied battles.
  • The Legend of Drizzt: Drizzt Do'Urden is a famous Rare Male Example, who displays both the characteristics and the character arc in increasingly overtly defying his family and gods. This is aided by the exotic gender dynamics of his society, which is matriarchal, and so places him in an analogous role.
  • The Lord of Bembibre: Doña Beatriz was a pretty dutiful daughter until her father the Lord of Arganza attempted to force her into an arranged marriage which she did not want.
  • Deconstructed in A Memory of Flames. Jaslyn is a princess who loves dragons more than people and loathes the thought of being Queen, which she eventually becomes. However, her desire for rebellion leads her to single-handedly do more harm to the realms than anyone save Kemir; she raises and awakens Silence, one of the most bloodthirsty and cruel dragons of all. The trope comes full circle when she is eventually driven virtually to madness by the potions designed to protect her from Hatchling Disease and submits to her new role.
  • Princess Miriamele from the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series disguises herself as a boy and flees her father's castle to avoid an Arranged Marriage, and also because she hates what he's doing with the kingdom. True to the trope, she ends up being the Love Interest for Simon and kicks no little ass herself. What makes her interesting is that her ultimate motivation is to return home to redeem her father, which fails to stop the Evil Plan but does set her up to kill her father when it's the only way to defeat the Storm King afterwards.
  • A Necklace of Fallen Stars: Kaela is one of the princesses of Visin, and she hates the pageantry and formality of court life.
  • Of Fire and Stars: Mare stoutly rejects the expectation that as a princess she'll marry to further the family, along with female gender norms overall in how she dresses and acts most times. She also has no desire to ever be a mother at all, which they expect of her. Frequently she goes off into the city to get intelligence with her friend and former lover Nils, which they would absolutely forbid for her safety if they knew.
  • Princess Amy from The Ordinary Princess bolts from her home after her parents and their councilors come up with a plot to hire a dragon and imprison her in a tower in order to force some prince into marrying her. Amy's deception of being an ordinary person is helped by the fact that, as a baby, a fairy actually blessed her to be ordinary — she doesn't look or act like a stereotypical princess at all!
  • Ista from Lois McMaster Bujold's Paladin of Souls would fit this almost perfectly were it not for the detail of being a forty-year-old widow and mother of the young queen. She started out guilting her keepers *cough* attendants into permitting her an incognito vacation *ahem* pilgrimage, and by the end...
    dy Hueltar: [having caught up with Ista after the breaking of a sorcerous siege] Now that you are calmer, Lady Ista, surely it is time we began to think of going safely to Valenda....
    Ista: I'm not going back to Valenda. I'm going to follow the army into Jokona to hunt demons for the Bastard. Safety has little to do with the god's chores.
  • Nerilka of Pern isn't a princess, but she's the closest Pernese equivalent. She refuses to sit at home and waste her skills during a devastating plague, quietly leaving to work incognito with the healers instead.
  • In the backstory of The Price of the Stars, Perada Rosselin, Domina of Lost Entibor, Entibor-in-Exile, and the Colonies Beyond, took pains to give her only daughter and rightful heir Beka the sort of life that the war which eventually destroyed her homeworld robbed her of (one which many who knew her suspected that she would not have liked that much herself). Beka responded by getting a Commercial Starpilot's Licence on her seventeenth birthdaynote  and talking her brother into 'convincing' a safe berth to hire her on that night.
  • Mia in The Princess Diaries is extremely displeased to find out that she's a princess, largely because of all the stereotypes associated with the position. It should be noted that her parents specifically limit the amount of money she's allowed, and her new title requires her to spend years being trained in courtesy and diplomacy by her overbearing grandmother, who she legitimately hates. She grows into the position eventually, but most of the series devotes itself to answering; "What would a shy, anxious teenager with all the responsibilities of royalty and very few of the automatic privileges be like?" Answer: Not very happy.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: As said in Boyfriends and Other Minor Annoyances, Princess Priscilla ran away from home to avoid going to school.
  • Although the title "princess" is not used in the world of Patricia A. McKillip's The Riddle Master Trilogy, the heroine Raederle, daughter of the land-ruler of An, certainly fits the description of a rebellious one. As do Lyra and Tristan, her traveling companions in the second volume, Heir of Sea and Fire.
  • Princess Meg from The Runaway Princess, a typical "hates doing princessy things like embroidery" princess, starts off the book by questioning the stereotypical princess story her mother reads to her before bed, and later defies her father and attempts to interfere with the contest he set up to marry her off and help stimulate the kingdom's economy. She ends up winning the contest herself, accidentally.
  • In Victoria Hanley's The Seer and the Sword, Torina in the opening wants to ride out instead of staying in, and when her father arrives and presents her with the enslaved prince of the conquered country, she declares if she can really do anything with him, she's freeing him.
  • Princess Briony from the Shadowmarch series also sort of qualifies. Her father is in captivity and after her older brother Kendrik dies she is forced to pick up the crown. She is not so much averse and seems to enjoy it in principle - if only she were a boy and not subject to the expectations of the courtiers. She does not run away at first at least, but shocks everyone in the castle by wearing her twin brother's clothes most of the time. She does not want to stop being a royal altogether but would like to be treated like her brothers.
  • Annice of Sing the Four Quarters by Tanya Huff. Her even being a bard is the direct cause of her having been legally stripped of royal status mostly because her brother had a snit fit when she refused the Arranged Marriage he'd set up in favour of attending the Bardic College - the prince he was setting her up to marry came from a queendom that was rabidly phobic of bards. The Fridge Logic inherent in his attempt is pointed out near the end of the book when the Bardic leader pretty much hits the king over the head with the fact that the bard-hating queendom wouldn't even have considered Annice as an eligible candidate once word of her ability to Sing the kigh got out. She and her brother don't talk much, even after he fixes his mistake and apologizes.
  • Deconstructed in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire: Arya Stark doesn't want to be held down by Westerosi tradition and wants to be a warrior. She gets her wish but only after her father is killed, she becomes a fugitive forced to live in the street and consort with the wrong people.
    • Fire & Blood has a few more examples:
      • Saera Targaryen, who is at the extremely negative end of this, turns into a right little shit of a teenager. Dad has her locked up to try and get her to behave better - she runs off to become a High-Class Call Girl, and never comes back.
      • Baela Targaryen, daughter of the infamous Daemon Targaryen, inherits some of his rebellious streak, and a fondness for hanging out with soldiers that was considered "unladylike". On the plus side, this meant during the Dance of the Dragons she manages to escape a coup attempt, and cripple Aegon II. A few years later, when Aegon III's regents are worried about the line of succession, they try to have her married off quickly and lock her up when she refuses their initial choice of Thaddeus Rowan. The next morning, it's turned out Baela's already managed to sneak out of the castle, and by the time they find her, she's gotten married to her cousin, Alyn. By this point, the regents throw up their hands and decide it's best to act like that was the plan all along.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Star Beast Lummox is young and doesn't care about her important duties to her subjects. Having one sole hobby, she intends to raise humans, and will only return to her commitments if she gets to continue this activity indefinitely. Somewhat unusual in that she is a multi-ton, eight-legged space lizard.
  • In a short story titled, The Story of a Disfigured Princess, Kamilah was something a downplayed version of this, as, initially, she was obedient to her loving but very overprotective and, subtly, overbearing family, regardless of their restrictions. However, because of her family's wants and expectations and the fact their relationship with her seemed to be one-sided, she decides, after an argument, to mutilate her face, grab as much stuff and wealth as she can, change her name to "Barabel", and flee to another village. Her mourning family sends people to look for her but, because of her scars, they don't recognize her, leaving her to live quietly but happy with the villagers, said villagers loving her as much she does they.
  • In The Sword-Edged Blonde, the small job Eddie takes at the start of the book is to retrieve a princess who has either been kidnapped by bandits or else run away with them due to foolish notions of romance. It turns out that she's neither kidnapped nor deluded — she's not really the biological daughter of the king in question, and consequently has an unhappy life which she's trying to get away from.
  • Princess Andromeda (Andie) in the second book of Mercedes Lackey's Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms novels. Subverted slightly in that Andie is led to rebellion by her intelligence and virtue, as the Queen and her Chief Advisor have nothing but bad intentions. This is a world where tropes have a force stronger than law itself. The Queen and her advisor couldn't have been good, and the book says so.
  • The Queen's Thief: Gen, the titular Thief, although the also male Sophos may count as well to a degree.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • The Lord of the Rings: Although Éowyn does not carry the title of "princess," her uncle is the king and her brother Éomer is his heir (after their cousin Théodred died in the war); she also marries Faramir, Prince of Ithilien, a province of Gondor. Her uncle had given her the responsibility of leading the people to the safety of Dunharrow in the mountains. When she was later despairing about things, she secretly rode into battle with the rest of the army disguised as a man, where she killed the Witch-king (with Merry's help).
    • Beren and Lúthien: Lúthien's father King Thingol sends her beloved Beren on an impossible suicide quest to get rid of him and imprisons her in a treehouse to keep her from following. Lúthien escapes, rescues Beren from the dungeon he's ended up in and helps him fulfill the quest so they can get married.
    • The Silmarillion: As the daughter of Finarfin who, at the time of her birth, was a prince and later became the King of the Noldor living in the Undying Lands, Galadriel was is a princess and she was certainly rebellious. She felt trapped in Valinor and longed to see the far-off lands of Middle-earth and establish a realm of her own that she could rule as Queen, so became a prominent leader in the Flight of the Noldor. She was not involved in the Kinslaying of Aqualonde however and may have actively fought against Fëanor in defence of her Teleri kin. After the Kinslaying she was too proud to turn back and seek the pardon of the Valar and therefore fell under the Doom of Mandos and was exiled from the Undying Lands along with her brothers, cousins and uncles Fëanor and Fingolfin. This ban was not lifted until thousands of years later during the events of when she managed to overcome the temptation of the One Ring and assisted the Fellowship in the destruction of the Dark Lord Sauron.
  • The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: Entry number two on Princesses. They are spirited, willful young women who often disguise themselves as boys and marry "commoners" who turn out to be royalty too.
  • Both of the "Twice Royal" Balitang girls in Tamora Pierce's Trickster's Duet. Sarai takes the traditional rebellious teenager route, while Dove becomes an actual rebel.
  • Lissa Dragomir from Vampire Academy. She is dating a bad boy in Christian Ozera. She is mostly obedient to Queen Tatiana Ivashkov, but rebels against her mentor's expectations when it comes to her dating life.
  • In Bujold's The Vor Game, Emperor Gregor is almost a male version of this, partly because he's suicidal and afraid of going insane and being a horrible ruler. He gets over it.
  • Leeana Bowmaster from David Weber's War God series is the daughter of a Baron rather than a King, but otherwise fits this trope to a T. Doesn't want to dress or act like a traditional noblewoman, is looking to escape an Arranged Marriage and eventually runs off to join the War Maidens.

    Unusually, while her parents are sad to see her go (mostly because by doing so she is no longer legally their daughter) they also acknowledge that she will be much happier with the War Maids and quietly support her choice.
  • In Warrior Cats, Squirrelflight, the daughter of Firestar, leader of ThunderClan is this; she's often strong-willed and disobedient, and ends up sneaking off to join Brambleclaw on his quest.
  • In Why Polly?, the princess will sneak off to the ball, despite being forbidden to by her father.
  • In E. D. Baker's The Wide-Awake Princess, Annie is Anti-Magic and has none of the Fairy Godmother gifts that make Gwendolyn so skilled. She deliberately learns nothing Gwendolyn does the same way — she learns dancing from gypsies — or not at all, and deliberately learns things that Gwendolyn doesn't, such as riding sidesaddle and reading and writing.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Baywatch episode "Princess of Tides" revolves around a princess, from a fictional European country, escaping her bodyguards to get away from her pampered life.
  • Downton Abbey: Sybil is a Rebellious Aristocrat, as she's more interested in politics, women's rights, and nursing than wearing fancy clothes and going to parties. She eventually falls in love with the family chauffeur Tom, a similarly rebellious Irish Socialist, and they go to Ireland where they can be together and get married freely.
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode "Nice Lady", Will is responsible for taking a young British aristocrat, Lady Penelope, to an opera; she instead ends up running off and partying around Los Angeles. Not technically a princess, though Geoffrey does mention that she's in succession for the throne, albeit too far down the line to mean much.
  • Game of Thrones: Arya Stark is one to a degree, she listens to her father but she abhors and dodges the traditional roles meant for noblewomen. Ned is cool enough with that and puts her under the tutelage of a "dancing" master.
  • Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls became pregnant with Rory at sixteen but chose not to marry the father, Christopher Hayden. Instead, she left her privileged world and moved to Stars Hollow where she became employed at the Independence Inn. There Lorelai progressed from maid to executive manager.
  • The Glamorous Imperial Concubine: Fu Ya starts out as one, doing things like risking her life to save a prisoner and taking a foreign prince hostage.
  • Goodbye My Princess: Xiao Feng is arguably a deconstruction, since her rebelliousness leads to her running away, which is how she meets Cheng Yin, which sets in motion all the tragedy that follows.
  • Vagrant Queen: Elida never wanted her royal position, even while she was a child, and disliked anything involved with this. The idea of succeeding her father and becoming queen never interested her.
  • Willow: Kit is a tomboy who is unhappy with her arranged marriage to Prince Graydon and uninterested in the traditional ladylike things expected of her. She gets ready to run away, and then goes off on a quest when her brother's kidnapped.
  • Wonder Woman: Against the orders of her mother, Queen Hippolyta, Princess Diana participates in the tournament that allows her to become Wonder Woman. Doing so results in her leaving Paradise Island and venturing to Man's World, much to her mother's dismay.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Norse Mythology we have Brynhildr, who was a valkyrie and a princess. She defied Odin and let the wrong army win a battle so Odin stripped her of her powers and turned her into a "Sleeping Beauty"-esque Princess Classic - as a punishment.

  • From the HoneyWorks music video for "Pride Kakumei", we have the ponytail boy, though this is more of a case of a noble than a princess. She spent her days learning how to fight and use a sword, and seemed to run away from home in order to do it. Eventually her family caught up to her, but she was able to go back to training at the dojo.
  • The character Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova (aka Nastya Rasputina) from the band The Mechanisms spent much of her early life as a princess in the Empire of Cyberia, blissfully unaware of the suffering around her until she broke out of her virtual world and was mechanized by Dr. Carmilla.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Forgotten Realms:
    • Alusair, a princess of Cormyr, decided that everything may go far and fast but she would devote to her adventures (in different senses) all the time she could spare. Frequently to the point of prolonged inaccessibility via all but emergency communication means. Some people were displeased, but few dared to confront her and she was only the second daughter, not the crown princess, anyway. That is, until she was forced to become Steel Regent. Earned the nickname "The Steel Princess" not just because she had access to high-end equipment and elite troops, but via constant training and enough experience to write "The Steel Princess' Field Guide to Tactics of the Purple Dragon". And when talking with her sister about how few less-than-elite commanders read this book...
    Tanalasta: Perhaps because your style was stiff. I'll be happy to help you liven it up in a revision.
    Alusair: There isn't going to be a revision — there's going to be an order.
    • Liriel Baenre earned this summary from the city's Archmage (before she did anything really wild):
      Gromph: Please, save that look of wide-eyed innocence to beguile the house guards. I know only too well the mercenary captain who boasts that he taught a princess to throw knives as well as any tavern cutthroat alive! Though how you managed to slip past the guard-spiders that Matron Hinkutes'nat posts at every turn, and find your way through the city to that particular tavern, is beyond my imagination.

  • Cesare - Il Creatore che ha distrutto shows an idealistic young Cesare Borgia as this. The kingdom he's rebelling against is the Catholic church, which Cesare sees as corrupt and incapable of solving society's problems.

    Video Games 
  • From Arc the Lad, Sania of Milmana and Kukuru of Seyra, princesses and wanted terrorists: Sania is not averse to the idea of blowing up her own capital if this means killing her enemies.
  • Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island, along with the Japan-only Atelier Liese: The Alchemist of Orde features this in Liese Randel herself. It's a little different in that she actually loves her parents and they love her... however, her father is a financial idiot and has managed to get the entire kingdom into a multimillion-gold debt to a foreign bank, and if the kingdom can't pay it off, the bank will foreclose on the rights to rule the kingdom - by any means necessary. Thus Liese disguises herself and leaves home to make a fortune in a neighboring kingdom, setting Atelier Liese's action and plot into motion. She fits the other parts of the trope to a T, being a bit brash and overbearing and she did technically dodge an arranged marriage by doing this - an arrangement to the Prince of the kingdom she's now in. Ooops.
    • This pops up again when Liese appears in Atelier Annie; she's evidently given her parents, who she did manage to bail out in the last game, the flip and run off to Sera Island to participate in the development contest, ostensibly for the prize money. That may not be her only motivation for coming, though...
  • Nalia from Baldur's Gate II follows this trope to the letter, except that she's nobility rather than royalty. She also spouts somewhat condescending quasi-liberalisms about helping the "less fortunate", but in a world where even the most egalitarian governments tend to be oligarchic and the economy is a sort of capitalism, she's fighting a losing battle. She's also shown as being somewhat of a self-righteous poser. Nalia's character is somewhat vindicated about halfway through the D'Arnise hold quest, where the player character meets her aunt- a woman who is outraged that some of her servants left their posts at the castle after trolls attacked and conquered it. When the player considers that this attitude is in line with what many other noble NPCs believe, suddenly Nalia's hopeful idealism doesn't sound so bad.
  • Milly in Baten Kaitos Origins is an aristocrat's daughter who got fed up with the lifestyle, ran away, and latched on to Sagi. She's actually not rebellious at all - her father, Baelheit, sent her after Sagi to spy on him. It does get played straighter later, when she stops giving Baelheit useful information.
  • Bioshock Infinite: Technically, Elizabeth Comstock doesn't have a drop of royal blood, but since the floating city she lives on is convinced her father was anointed by God to rule them, and he claimed her as his heir in a prophecy, there's little difference. She resents him for neglecting her and screwing the city up.
  • Bravely Default: Edea Lee, after witnessing the atrocities committed by the generals of her father's army, outright turns traitor out of sheer disgust and throws her lot in with the Wind Vestal, joining your party as a playable character.
  • Marle from Chrono Trigger also exemplifies this trope, even going so far as to use a pseudonym (her real name is Nadia). And if the Imagine Spot of her family line is any indication, rebelliousness is In the Blood—all of her female ancestors either married into nobility or favored peasant clothes until they took the throne.
  • In Dark Realm 2: Princess of Ice the title royal, faced with a loveless political marriage, steals a magic weapon, disguises herself and runs off to find the man she loves.
  • Princess Sapphire of Disgaea 3 believes that the best way to defend her kingdom is to assassinate enemies before they get around to starting a war. The player never meets her parents or advisors, but they've probably told her to stop if they aren't terrified of her for good reason.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Princess Alena from the second chapter of Dragon Quest IV. The keepers of her castle had to board up the walls in her bedroom specifically because she kept knocking them down to steal away and go on adventures behind the king's back. In fact, within the realm of video games, she's probably the ur-example — and definitely the ur-example for the series.
    • Dragon Quest VII: Maribel isn't actually royalty; however, her father is the richest man in town, and she disobeys him at every turn, causing him no end of grief.
    • Dragon Quest VIII: Jessica Albert is not a princess, but her house is one degree away from royalty, thus making her a Rebellious Noblewoman. Although in Jessica's case, her idea of rebelling is going off to avenge her dead brother rather than be a proper lady.
    • Dragon Quest IX: Princess Simona is well-mannered and polite, but she's got no intention to heed her father's wishes.
  • Extremely common in Final Fantasy games:
    • Faris in Final Fantasy V - having disguised herself as a man and become the captain of a gang of pirates, distinctly more so than the former. To her defense, she had been adopted by the pirates' captain after a tragic Hiryuu accident.
    • Another rebellious prince, Sabin, appears in Final Fantasy VI, having given up the throne for his own freedom to train as a monk (and defeat trains as a monk), after winning a coin toss between him and his brother Edgar to decide his own fate. It's later revealed that Edgar rigged the coin toss in his brother's favor—shouldering the burden neither brother really wanted to bear.
    • Yuffie of Final Fantasy VII is the daughter of Lord Godo, thus making her the princess of Wutai. In Crisis Core she even gives herself the title Treasure Princess. If you follow her sidequest you find out that she does not get along with her father, who she considers a coward for not fighting Shinra. Though they do manage to patch things up (if you have her go through all five levels of the pagoda) Yuffie never does act like you'd expect from a princess.
    • Rinoa of Final Fantasy VIII is not quite a princess, but fits the trope nicely — she's the leader of a terrorist group seeking to overthrow the Galbadian government, of which her father is the Minister of Defense. And her party nickname IS "princess".
    • Garnet from Final Fantasy IX is a borderline member — she has a much calmer, shyer personality than most, but she's still a Rebellious Princess.
    • Ashe from Final Fantasy XII is the rebellious princess in the way that she is leading a rebellion against the Archadian Empire that took over Dalmasca and she wants it back to the way it was, initially willing to go through any means.
  • Fire Emblem is somewhat unusual when it comes to this trope in that rebellious princes outnumber their female counterparts. Probably the most famous of these is Hector of Ostia from Blazing Blade; he's technically a minor noble compared to others (until he becomes the leader of Ostia by the end of that game, and later of the whole Lycia alongside Eliwood), but otherwise hits every note of this trope.
    • Princess Tailtiu of Friege in Genealogy of the Holy War though her dad is a duke instead of a king. Pretty much she's the only noblewoman in the first generation who ran away from home because she disagreed with their methods (Princess Ayra of Isaach did run off from home, but she still adheres to her Kingdom's ethics and it was per her brother the King's request since she had to keep Prince Shannan safe).
    • In The Binding Blade, there's Princess Guinevere of Bern who's on the run for openly questioning her older brother, King Zephiel. She's finally crowned as Queen when Zephiel dies at the hands of Roy, but still has lots of nobles hissing at her.
  • Tahlkora from Guild Wars. The fact that she is a princess is kept secret from the player until halfway through the game when you find her chatting away with her father, the Prince you've just spent several missions trying to get to.
  • While not actually royal, Soon-to-be-Queen Isabel in Heroes of Might and Magic V definitely has these traits early on. The demons are all too aware of it and use it against her.
  • In Hexyz Force, Princess Irene is the illegitimate daughter of the former emperor. When her brother, who becomes the new emperor, decides to have one of their oldest friends arrested to be executed later and start a war of extinction, she goes right to the enemy, arranges a prison break for the captured hero, and spends the rest of the game trying to stop him.
  • Jade Empire has Silk Fox, who enjoys escaping the pressures of palace life by donning a disguise that looks like a cross between a ninja suit and a harem girl outfit. Mainly, she just wants to take down the Evil Chancellor to her father. Interestingly enough, her character model is the only one that changes throughout the entire game: She removes her veil in the Imperial Palace and after the Point of No Return.
  • Jak and Daxter: While only a "princess" by virtue of being the Evil Overlord's daughter, Ashelin is so rebellious that she helps the movement that's trying to knock her father out of power.
  • Parodied in Kingdom of Loathing, in which one of the randomly encountered enemies in the "Penultimate Fantasy Airship" zone is the Spunky Princess. Well, they're certainly rebellious enough to attack you on a random airship instead of whatever princesses should be doing.
  • Lady from the Japanese-only game Lady Stalker is a rich girl instead of a princess, but is otherwise not only a perfect example but is so much like Alena that she's one of the pieces of evidence used to back up the rumor that the game was originally intended as a Dragon Quest Gaiden Game focused on Alena.
  • Princess Zelda can fit this trope, depending on the incarnation in question. In some games, she's stated to frequently sneak out of her castle (The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, for instance), and when her kingdom falls in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, she becomes a Ninja instead of hiding out the old fashioned way. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, she's known as Tetra, the very un-princessy captain of a pirate crew who dresses like a boy and kicks considerable butt. Tetra is something of an aversion since for most of the game she was completely unaware of her own identity.
    • Princess Zelda in The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks would count, especially at the beginning of the game, when she has Link sneak her out of the castle so she can investigate strange goings on.
    • Midna is forced to become one in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess when Zant takes over her kingdom. She has the brash, stubborn personality down perfectly, though.
    • Zelda again in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. She's perfectly aware that she is the only one who will be able to seal away Ganon with her divine power, but because she struggles to awaken her power, she prefers to spend her time as a scholar exploring Hyrule. Her father disapproves of her choice and has Link guard Zelda against her own will.
  • In Littlewood, Queen Iris is a queen, but she's still grown fed up with royal life. After making a brief attempt to form a political marriage with the Hero, she decides to abdicate her throne to come live in the town to get away from all her royal duties. And she's not too beat up about all the people now vying for her throne, either.
  • Kitana from Mortal Kombat. She is part of the royal family of the Outworld and as such, works for Shao Khan originally, but turns against him and helps the warriors of the Earthrealm. Mileena pulls this off as well but for a somewhat different reason. It doesn't go so well for her.
  • Elise from My World, My Way is a spoiled brat of a princess who goes out to become an adventurer after an adventurer rejects her.
  • Oracle of Askigaga: The princess of Hachisuka would rather go out and mow down the armies of Askigaga herself instead of marrying their prince to bring peace like her father wants.
  • Princess Seraphine from Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. The player character is supposed to escort her to the court of the man to whom she's betrothed, but she begs for help in escaping. If the player elects not to force her into her arranged marriage, she joins the party and aids with future battles.
  • Elsa is only the daughter of a Baron in Quest for Glory. After being rescued and despelled in QFG1, she departs for the locale of QFG5 to become an Action Girl. According to the backstory, she resented the Baron's restrictions on her fighting lifestyle and fled them.
  • Princess Eruca of Radiant Historia takes this to the logical extreme by actually leading the rebellion against her stepmother.
  • Uriel Chuluun in Rift is the daughter of a former tribal chieftain. She'd rather spend her time studying necromancy, bitching about the way Daddy is holding everyone back, and swooning over a certain elven assassin. Not to mention almost getting herself killed by messing around with the Endless Court.
  • Selphy in Rune Factory Frontier is heavily implied to have run away from her position as princess of some unnamed country. She then fulfills her dream in Trampoli, not of being an Action Girl or anything of the sort, but of being a shut-in running the library.
  • In Shop Heroes, Odette (an Elective Mute Ninja) is rumored to be runaway royalty from a distant kingdom. Her personal quests reveal that it was an arranged marriage that prompted her to flee.
  • In Shuyan Saga, Shuyan feels restricted by her status as princess, and dodges official duties to study kung fu (which, depending on player choice, she may say is "the one thing I have chosen for myself"). Her mother is unimpressed, but her father is a bit more tolerant. When the Guer attack, however, she's just as dedicated to her country as anyone else.
  • Is it still rebellious if Daddy was the same way? Flare of Suikoden IV is strong-willed and, if not brash, at least unflinchingly true to her core principles. Then again, King Lino en Kuldes spends most of his days in sandals and a sleeveless t-shirt. C'mon. You know you want this royal family.
    • Flare runs away from home in Tactics to help Kyril and his crew defeat Iskas and his crowd. Semi-subverted because she sees it as duty to her country and her father ends up catching up with them. Also semi-subverted because she had her hypochondriac doctor guard with her throughout unless you let him die, then he's dead forever.
    • Princess Lymsleia from Suikoden V qualifies, although her being rebellious is aimed towards the Godwins' scheming and is trying to be as much of a hindrance to them as possible until the prince can stop them.
      • Suikoden V also has Yuma Vayla, better known by her alias Josephine, the younger sister of one of the New Armes Kingdom's most powerful nobles. She's rebellious purely out of boredom and of finding her own nation lacking in "culture". So she runs off to Falena, her nation's arch-rival, hoping to find people who meet her decidedly odd definition of "cultured".
    • The first Suikoden also has Odessa Silverberg being an example, you probably won't notice unless you read the novels. She starts out as The White Princess, but fell in love with a rebel leader, and starts seeing the error of The Empire. When her lover is about to get executed, she broke through the execution in an attempt to rescue her lover, with a sword and wearing a wedding dress. Her lover still died, but at least she got him out of being executed by the enemy and he still gets to transfer his ideals to her, leading her to become the leader of The Liberation Army.
    • Suikoden III has Lilly Pendragon, the Spoiled Brat daughter of the leader of the Tinto Republic. A super-bossy Heroic Wannabe, she finds an excuse to head into the Grasslands just before things start going to hell and insists on staying there until she can complete her self-assigned mission. In the end, she has to leave when their funds run out... only to lead Tinto's army back in to officially align with the Fire Bringer and join the war.
  • The Incognito Princess from Sunless Skies is hinted to be rather bothered by her status if we are to believe her answer to the question "Why are you travelling around the High Wilderness?":
    The Incognito Princess: "The ambition of any Princess worthy of the name is not to remain so."
  • Super Robot Wars has not one, but three:
    • Princess Shine from the Super Robot Wars: Original Generation series, who starts piloting a Humongous Mecha to liberate her kingdom and eventually ups and joins the heroes outright...
    • Princess Armana Tiqvah from the Super Robot Wars Alpha series (actually, Alpha 3), who bucks the trend by being a princess of The Empire instead.
    • One of the protagonists of Super Robot Wars 64, Manami Hamill, actually fits this despite not being a Princess, but an Ojou. She's a daughter of a high-ranking family that actually supports the resistance force in an attempt to liberate the Earth.
  • Angela of Trials of Mana. While her motive might not quite fit the trope (she runs away from home because she doesn't want to become sacrificed), her personality and actions are certainly a match. In that game's predecessor, Secret of Mana, Primm runs off with the hero in search of her love interest, Dyluck. (However, she's not actually a princess, but rather the daughter of a noble.)
  • Princess Sadira of Vanguard Bandits personally heads out into combat to route out all the corruption in The Empire. Against the wishes of nearly everyone in power who is corrupt and even her own father.
  • Wild ARMs gets Cecilia the princess of Adlehyde. Her rebellion against her father unfortunately puts the Plot Coupon in the hands of the demons and inadvertently kills her father She rebels because she feels isolated due to her status but eventually realizes that it's her on coldness that keeps people at a distance.
  • Yes, Your Grace: Princess Asalia is quite dismissive of standard princess duties and prefers engaging in her Tomboy Princess hobbies. She will react to the news that an elderly king wants to marry her by cutting her hair, piercing her nose, and retailoring her dress into something easier to move in. In addition to this, getting her good ending requires the Player Character to allow her to run off with her true love.

    Visual Novels 
  • Double Homework gives Amy. The strained relationship between Amy and her mother becomes especially clear in her epilogue when they disagree about the prospect of a college education. Even in Morgan’s epilogue, Amy attends a concert in defiance of my mother’s wishes.
  • Inverted by Princess Cordelia of Hise in Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem. She's the black sheep of her nation's nobility, and is at the Summit in the hopes of escaping to a life that better suits her... because she's a demure Proper Lady from a nation of roguish pirates.
  • Asaga di Ryuvia of Sunrider is the crown princess of the planet Ryuvia, and she has run away from home to escape an arranged marriage to Veniczar Arcadius, the tyrannical leader of PACT. After Arcadius murders her father, she vows to return home and restore the kingdom to its former glory once the war with PACT is over. In the meantime, she’s more than happy to earn her Pretty Princess Powerhouse credentials as an Ace Ryder Pilot.

    Web Comics 
  • Princess Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! has issues with her father the Emperor, not the least of them being that he tried to marry her off to a walking jellyfish.
  • Although Princess Saffron Lachesis of Fetch Quest: Saga of the Twelve Artifacts respects her father, she doesn't really cut most people's expectations of a modest princess. The fact that she wields a cane sword and beats up criminals doesn't help.
  • A Magical Roommate: Aylia is a duchess and is legally required to obey her parents. However, as her mother has proven her incompetence to her by sending her off to college, so whilst away from the castle she continued to practice the wizardry that her mother thought was "not for ladies."
  • Jillian Zamussels in Erfworld did not get along with her father King Banhammer, and preferred to spend as much time as possible away from home on mercenary missions. After her kingdom fell while she was away, she had no interest in returning home to re-establish it until politics and circumstances forced her in that direction.
  • Fauna in Curvy is a princess (well, her royal title is "despoina") and love interest on the run from an Arranged Marriage.
  • Feferi of Homestuck is next in line to be the Empress of all Trolls, but she despises the hemospectrum caste system their society has and aspires to change it into a more unified and caring system that protects weaker members of the race instead of culling them.
    • Subverted in that, whilst she despises the caste system, she doesn't shy away from becoming the Empress in order to exact her changes.
    • There's also Feferi's ancestor/descendant Meenah, who ran away to the moon to avoid becoming empress, which was a position she saw as a glorified slave. Unlike most examples, she's far from heroic. Ironically, after the Scratch she wound up in servitude to Lord English, and actually became a glorified slave.
  • Ame and Suko from Heartcore are examples of this, considering how they fought against their father Royce (A demon king) and other high-ranking demons in order to escape their royal home.
  • Tanna of Ears for Elves fits this trope, though her culture doesn't have royalty. Zalanna despairs at her, but Luero comments on how Tanna likes that role.
  • In Magience, Crystal is not pleased to be playing a princess, so she runs away.
  • Pheia from Holystone ran away and became a pirate in order to escape becoming something akin to both pope and queen of the world—an idea she found oppressive, no thanks to her mother's abusive levels of pressure and ambition.
  • The Princesses of Jahad in Tower of God seem to be largely free to do whatever they want other than needing to look like they're faithful to the king, and not have romantic affairs (so as not to spread around Jahad's superpowers to any offspring), but some of them still manage to be rebellious.
    • Yuri Jahad, a Tomboy Princess, known ruffneck, rule-breaking maverick of a warrior who openly sides with an N.G.O. Superpower. Even when she was chosen as a princess, her plan was to somehow bring down all the rules that bind the princesses. She does the rule-breaking out of sight, though, so for a long time, barely anyone notices or complains. Except for Evan, her guide.
    • The original Anaak Jahad ran away to marry and have a child. She was killed for it. Her daughter, who goes by the same name, is sort of a princess, but in a way that makes her very existence an act of rebellion, not to mention her intention to take revenge on the Jahad family.
    • Endorsi Jahad has been asking around about other princesses who defected — she seems to be considering it, possibly in order to be with a man (albeit one who's expressed no interest himself).
    • Garam Jahad is the opposite of the brash teenage archetype — an old princess who's probably the most mature of all the ones seen by the end of the second season. (The default for most princesses seems to be violent and narcissistic, even when they're sympathetic characters.) She defected and hid herself when she found out about corruption in the royal family and wanted no more part in it.
  • Prince Ossian in Sword Princess Amaltea is a gender-flipped version, thanks to the story being held in a Matriarchy. He's conscious that he's destined as either a Meal Ticket or as another offer in a future alliance, so in rebellion, he cut his long hair, uses pants, and speaks his mind, especially towards heroine Amaltea.
  • Jade Marigold in The Story of Anima would rather be hanging out with the mercenaries hired to keep her safe then give speeches. It's no surprise she's so to get to go on a real adventure.
  • In Princess Princess, Amira runs away to rescue princesses instead of staying at home and marrying a prince.
  • Cosmoknights is about a rebellious lesbian princess waging a war of attrition against a galactic blood sport where the prize is selling princesses to mega-corporations.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: Princess Maya crosses this and Pretty Princess Powerhouse. We first see her in Gladiator Games arranged by two of the more sociopathic members of the Rogues Gallery, having been captured from her home world. After she and the Rangers break free, she goes back and insists on bringing modern technology to her Space Amish people in order to protect them from interstellar threats, even if she has to openly revolt against her own father to do it.
  • Played with in Adventures of the Gummi Bears. Princess Calla, a Cute Bruiser in training who loves to go adventuring, has her father discover her secret participation in a contest for the winner to become an official protector for herself. However, far from disapproving, he is deeply impressed with her physical prowess and says publicly that it's clear she needs no personal protector after all.
  • Animaniacs sent up the above example in their Pocahontas parody with the song "Just the Same Old Heroine." ("First I tuned an aerial / Then I rang a bell...")
  • Disenchantment: Princess Tiabeanie, better known by her nickname, Bean, takes this trope to some new levels. Like typical rebellious Princesses, Bean desires the freedom to make her own choices in life and believes that everyone should have that freedom as well. Unlike typical rebellious Princesses, Bean is an alcoholic and has been known to get drunk and gamble. But in the end, she will protect her home and loved ones.
  • Doc McStuffins: Downplayed in the short "Sir Kirby and the Plucky Princess". Princess Persephone is a friend's doll who is simply tired of always being the Damsel in Distress in playtime scenarios and thus wants to reverse the traditional roles with Sir Kirby (she even has a helmet with a tiara design on it to substitute for her tiara) — who scoffs at the idea that a princess can do the same things a knight does. During the resultant competition between them to see who's better at traditional knight skills she helps rescue him when the scaling-the-wall event goes awry. At the end, Doc suggests to her friend that the princess can be the hero in their next make-believe game; the friend happily agrees to the idea, not having thought of it before, and "Peri" is visibly grateful.
  • Justice League: Princess Audrey of Kasnia. More of a party girl ala Paris Hilton, but doomed to an arranged marriage. She strikes up a friendship with Wonder Woman to have a night on the town to go shopping and clubbing. Subverted, however, when her father is poisoned and goes into a coma: she immediately becomes serious about her royal duties and has the wedding take place immediately so that the Kasnian people will have assurance of the royal family's continuity. Too bad her husband-to-be was really the villain Vandal Savage and it was all a part of his plan to gain power.
  • My Little Pony (G3):
    • Rarity was a young filly who just wanted to have fun and had no desire to be a "rainbow princess." In her case, choosing fun over duty is a Bad Thing and she must learn otherwise.
    • The fact that being a princess isn't as much fun as little girls think was pretty much the whole point of "The Princess Promenade." Wysteria, a gardener who basically becomes a princess by finding a certain flower, she is at first willing to take up the mantle and everyone is supportive of her. However, in being trained to be refined and never get her own hooves dirty with manual work and to remember that her friends were now her subjects and she couldn't spend time with them as if nothing had changed, the whole idea quickly soured. She finally finds a loophole: she makes everyone a princess.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The dragon princess Ember, in "Gauntlet of Fire". She ran the Gauntlet of Fire — a dangerous Death Course inside an unstable volcano meant to decide who would be the next Dragon Lord — despite not being as big or strong as other dragons and against the wishes of her father, the Dragon Lord Torch, since she believed intelligence could make up for lack of brute force.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Star Butterfly is not one who conforms to the standards of a princess. In fact, just mentioning St. Olga's Reform School for Wayward Princesses absolutely terrifies her. It soon turns out she has every reason to be scared of it, especially when she sees what it has done to fellow Rebellious Princess, Pony Head (She gets better). Later episodes actually have her referred to as a "Rebel Princess."
  • In the Strawberry Shortcake episode "A Princess Named Rap", a retelling of Rapunzel, the titular princess wants to be a good ruler but has a hard time keeping her individualistic tendencies at bay. At one point, she even sings a preteen anthem with the line "Why can't the things I love be part of royalty?"
  • Tangled: The Series offers us Princess Rapunzel, who is a Justified Trope: Having being The Pawn of The Sociopath Mother Gothel who kept her in a Gilded Cage for the first 18 years of her life, she wants to know about the world before assuming the burdensome responsibilities of being a Princess, and she is also The Chosen One destined to save the world from destruction, so she manages to get on adventures with her One True Love. The series chronicles her evolution from an Adult Child Stepford Smiler to... an Adult Child Stepford Smiler Royals Who Actually Do Something who is pretty capable of Kicking Ass in All Her Finery.
  • Wakfu: Amalia Sharan Sharm won't hesitate to remind you that she is the princess of the Sadida people, but basically ran away from her royal duties to go adventuring around the world, and joined Yugo's quest to find his true family on what amounts to a whim. In "Moon Island", she admits to Yugo that she feels life in her castle is complicated and cramped.

    Real Life 
  • Saint Elisabeth of Hungary, either as a princess (she spent her time in direct charity rather than just making donations, which the other nobles didn't approve of and even her husband Ludwig was skeptical of, fearing her proteges would abuse her kindness) or as a widow (she left the Warburg court willingly after her husband's death so she wouldn't have to bow to her brother-in-law's regency, wanted to be a nun rather than re-marrying, went through Training from Hell to enter the Dominic Tertiaries and even threatened to disfigure herself so her power-hungry relatives wouldn't trap her in an Arranged Marriage).
  • Another famous and very rebellious Elisabeth was Elisabeth of Bavaria, Empress Consort of Austria and Queen Consort of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, better known as Sisi. Her position as the Rebellious Empress and the eccentric Bunny-Ears Lawyer in the Austrian Imperial Court would bring her much misfortune, and her myth was the inspiration for the "Sissi" movie trilogy (Sissi, Sissi — Die junge Kaiserin, Sissi — Schicksalsjahre einer Kaiserin) starring Romy Schneider, the German musical Elisabeth and the Princess Sissi TV series - as well as for the Historical Hero Upgrade she went through there.
    • Her granddaughter, Archduchess Elisabeth Marie (Erzsi to her family), was no slouch on the rebellion either. She successfully persuaded the ultra-conservative Emperor Franz Joseph (who took custody of her after the death of her father Rudolf) to let her marry Prince Otto Weriand of Windisch-Graetz note . Reportedly, Erzsi married Otto specifically because her mother Stéphanie didn't like him. She also shot and killed an actress Otto was having an affair with, in the actress' bedchambers. After the marriage to Otto deteriorated, both parties openly had affairs. A sensational custody battle ensued during their divorce proceedings, with Erzsi supposedly retaining custody of her four children by threatening Otto either with a house full of armed Socialists or with her suicide. She joined the Social Democrats, married a fellow Socialist (who was a commoner), and earned the nickname "the Red Archduchess".
  • Princess Stéphanie of Monaco. Her mom, Princess Grace Kelly, nicknamed her "Wild Child", and for good reason. And that's not even getting into her multiple love affairs, including her terrible relationship with Mario Oliver and her very tempestuous marriage to her bodyguard Daniel Ducruet.
  • Saint Philomena. According to her myth, she was a Greek princess who spurned the affections of The Emperor (in this case, Diocletian) because she wanted to keep her virginity vows and hated the idea of becoming a child bride just to sign the peace between Rome and her kingdom. It went From Bad to Worse, needless to say. note 
  • St. Dypmha, who escaped to become a nun after her chieftain father nearly forced her into marriage... to him! She and her protector ended up dead at the end of her maddened dad's sword.
  • Alvilda (Who may or may not also be Alfhild) is a possibly real example. She decided to be a pirate because she didn't like the idea of getting married or being pampered.