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Shrinking Violet

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Rick: Sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it?
Alice: What?
Rick: The mirror. You can't see yourself in it.
Alice: I don't want to.

Painfully shy and quiet, the Shrinking Violet is the withdrawn character, usually but not always female, who walks through the school hallways with her head down and wants nothing more than to blend in with the scenery to avoid all attention because she believes that her presence is worthless or unwanted. Often The Quiet One. Expect her to apologise a lot. She will usually be better than average in scholastic classes, and her appearance will often be pretty in a bookish sort of way, although not all shrinking violets need to be geniuses or nerds. Bonus points if she has long dark hair that hides her eyes.

The reasons for her (lack of) self-confidence vary, but they usually include intimidation (or bullying) by the popular ones, or being the youngest and more sheltered daughter in the family, or in more dramatic cases, a personal event that convinced her that the world would be better off if she just shut up. In other cases, the Shrinking Violet actually manages to avoid the brunt of fights or taunts that more vocal outcasts take, presumably because she's so quiet that she might as well be invisible.

Some Shrinking Violets will accept their status, but be plagued with that nagging feeling that they can be more than they assume. Other Shrinking Violets will hate their crippling insecurities and want to reach out to others, but be paralyzed by fear of rejection. Some start out hating their fears, but learn that Fear Is Normal. Unlike The Snark Knight, they didn't choose to be alone, but feel powerless to change it. They may even harbor a secret crush on a popular male classmate, or even on a male classmate who frequently gets picked on, which they, time and time again, cannot spit out. Prone to blushing. Some versions may be Prone to Tears as well, while others are better at repressing their emotions.

One advantage to being the Shrinking Violet is that, being outside the viciously popular circle, the few friends she manages to make are the loyal, lifelong ones who'd give their right arms to help a true friend in need. Which they will, because the Shrinking Violet is invariably of the sweet-tempered, delicate type who makes a great friend and a lousy criticism taker from the Alpha Bitch or her Girl Posse.

In the end, the Shrinking Violet will always find her inner beauty and strength with the help of her newfound friends (or lover), Grow a Spine, and blossom into a mature, self-confident woman who would make her parents proud. Well... not always. But generally. Sometimes the shy exterior remains towards strangers, and it's only the new friend (and the audience) who gets to see the wonderful person inside. The Beautiful All Along discovery is optional, but highly recommended.

In stories taking place in an Asian-like place, particularly Japan, the Shrinking Violet may grow into a Yamato Nadeshiko; still unassuming and possibly quiet, but no longer weak. Silk Hiding Steel is another possibility, which her reputation as this trope will strengthen.

In rare cases, a Shrinking Violet's mousiness will conceal a malevolent and/or violent personality. Sometimes, this is also used to conceal the extremely creepy Uncanny Valley Girl.

A male version of this trope may be treated as an instant Butt-Monkey for everyone to martyr, or just called out as an emo (unlike the female one, who is so sympathetic that beating her up or even yelling at her is akin to a MAJOR offense for her friends), or he might be given the role of sympathetic Plucky Comic Relief and overlap with a Lovable Coward. A male Shrinking Violet protagonist will usually face a conflict that finally forces him to come out of his shell, or he'll be thrown headlong into sociability and adventure at the start of the series by a Genki Girl, Magical Girlfriend, or Manic Pixie Dream Girl. However, straight examples are not uncommon, especially for younger boys.

Shrinking Violets are often associated with cool colors, especially violets/purples and sometimes blue, in their clothes, eye, or hair color. See also Shy Blue-Haired Girl.

If two Shrinking Violets fall in love with each other, expect them to be Twice Shy.

Friendless Background can cause this.

Examples with their own subpages:

Other examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes:
  • Felipe from Mafalda is a male Western example.
  • In New Crusaders, we have Ivette Velez, who becomes the new Jaguar.
  • Believe it or not, seductive vamp Poison Ivy from Batman was one, before she became the psychopath she is today.
  • Klara Prast of the Runaways. Given her horrible, abuse-filled past, this is probably not surprising.
  • X-23 has shades of this. Because of her Dark and Troubled Past she struggles to express herself or connect with others emotionally, frequently goes through periods where she avoids contact with others, and is often withdrawn and quiet.

    Fan Works 
  • Chrono Reflect has Standard Rainbow Dash, which is especially jarring considering how her canon counterpart acts. She is Rainbow Dash without her massive ego, also with a friend who abuses her. These two things combined have served to turn her into a timid wallflower. It takes Machine Rainbow Dash, who acts more like her canon counterpart, to draw her out of her shell.
    • Also, Standard Pinkie Pie, who suffers from anxiety. Once again, this is in contrast to how her canon counterpart acts.
  • A Crown of Stars: Parodied. When Hikari and Touji fainted after Asuka poked fun at their relationship, Daniel said: “Well, let’s get these two shrinking violets inside”.
  • Danganronpa: Memento Mori: Umiko Nitori displays regularly shy behavior, such as stuttering her way through lines, looking incredibly withdrawn, and not being talkative in conversations.
  • Date A Re:Live:
    • Yoshino Mizui is incredibly quiet and has trouble talking to people. But unlike Origami below, she has some social skills by letting Yoshinon talk for her. As she learns to talk to people herself, she shows to already be good at being social with others.
    • Origami Tobiichi is a bit different from Yoshino above as she’s able to be more social and louder, but Origami tends to stutter a lot and often looks clearly nervous and scared when talking to people. Also, if put on the spot, she might say something odd and confusing because of her panic.
  • In the Death Note fic Lies On Light Yagami has shades of this, mostly due to Power Incontinence issues due to his new incubus powers acting up but even before that he was too shy and worried about his image to ask the unique-looking stranger he was interested in out for coffee.
  • The Differentverse: Per canon, Marble's pretty shy. She eventually starts to come out of her shell, which is represented in-story when she starts to speak at a normal volume instead of whispering all the time.
  • In the Discworld of A.A. Pessimal, the tale Strandpiel follows the fortunes of the Smith-Rhodes-Stibbons family. Ruth, the youngest daughter of Wizard Ponder Stibbons and Assassin Johanna Smith-Rhodes is bookish, brilliant, talented, and cripplingly shy. Her two older sisters, who are far more confident and outgoing, love her and are ferociously protective of her. But Ruth still has to fight her own battles at school. One day the classroom bully pushes her too far. And forgets she is the daughter of an Assassin - until the meek, shy and retiring Ruth stabs her with a schoolroom compass and pins her hand to the desk.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami has several that wouldn't count except in context. Lishika- a youma with severe Power Incontinence issues -acts a lot like this. She grows extremly nervous when anyone speaks to her. It dosen't help that she has so little control over her powers she once set herself on fire. Ami also qualifies, especially when compared to other keepers.
  • In the Fairly Oddparents fanfiction, Never Had a Friend Like Me Norm's lamp ends up in the hands of the shy, eight-year-old Original Character, Amanda Adams. She tries to hide in her turtleneck sweater, she avoids any kind of attention, and she generally keeps her eyes locked on the ground.
  • Fresh Blood: Stormer has always been shy but her shyness got worse in middle school. She spent much of her teenage years with a Friendless Background. Stormer avoided going to college specifically because she didn't want to endure a new experience alone.
  • Kit Sakura, the Red Ranger from Power Rangers: Shuriken Force. Painfully shy, she's unassuming and quiet, though there's steel underneath when she gives her Rousing Speech to Dare to Be Badass to her teammates.
  • In FREAKIN GENSOKYO we have Maria, a timid witch with what seems to be a tragic past. Definitely not to be confused with Marisa.
  • Hinata in Escape from the Hokage's Hat. Slowly starts becoming less reserved since Tsunade and Shizune offer support with Naruto repeatedly hammering You Are Better Than You Think You Are with all the subtlety of a brick through a stain glass window.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: In addition to being The Stoic, Japan is this as well. However, he is becoming a little less shy thanks to Italy's influence.
  • The Legend of Genji: As a result of her Friendless Background and past experience with bullying, Nami begins the story as a quiet and withdrawn girl who clearly feels uncomfortable being around other people and shies away from social interaction.
  • In Let Us Be Your Poison, Ruby is a nervous, socially awkward teenage girl made more nervous and socially awkward by the fact she's gone from a normal high schooler to a huntsman-in-training despite being two years her peer's junior. Ruby contrasts with her social butterfly sister Yang.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton:
    • Danny notices on his date that Violet Parr is this. Fortunately, he's able to get her to open up.
    • Ginger Foutley has shades of this too, due to still being sore over her breakup with Darren.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, due to torture at the hands of Wily, Peekaboo is a very shy, gentle Metool. He's gotten less afraid of things under Roll's care, but is still easily spooked.
  • My Choices: Twisted Tales Through Time: Posey, due both to sharing Fluttershy's timidity and being a servant in a highly stratified society, is extremely timid and insecure, especially around more socially powerful people.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Keiko is pretty shy, wimpy and mousy. Upon learning that she has been chosen as the Sixth Child, Shinji muses that she reminds him very much of himself back when he first become a pilot... just with breasts.
  • Downplayed in Queens of Mewni: While Celena is still known as 'The Shy' and she does have some genuine shyness, much of it is also an act so she could see people's true intentions; after all, a corrupt noble would think nothing of trying to manipulate a queen they regard as weak-willed. Glossaryck was the only one that saw through her ruse.
  • Twilight Sparkle, of all ponies, became one in Rainboomsand Royalty. In this fic, Rainbow Dash became Princess Celestia's student instead of Twilight, because she was in Cloudsdale when Rainbow's Sonic Rainboom occured. While in the original story, Princess Celestia stopped Twilight's magic surge and made her a student, Twilight's surge went on until she stopped from exhaustion. Having caused a lot of destruction, and having got her cutie mark at the same time, she believed her talent was causing destruction, and she hid herself away, not wanting to hurt others. Rainbow Dash's friendship and fighting her brainwashed brother helped bring her out of her shell.
  • Surprisingly, the version of Violet in Rise of the Galeforces adheres to this trope a lot less often than the canon version does. She is still somewhat insecure, and her awkwardness around others does show up here and there. However, she becomes increasingly outspoken as the story progresses, and eventually throws the Shrinking Violet shtick out the window completely when the Big Bad makes the fatal mistake of pushing her too far. That's right - she may still be a Shrinking Violet to some degree, but her anger is literally deadly!
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Seven Little Killers, Canada starts out as this, just like in the real thing; Subverted when he turns out to be the Ax-Crazy seventh killer, just as strong and twice as bloodthirsty as his more globally prominent brother. Then Double Subverted when it turns out that he's only involved with the killers because he's afraid to let go of his older brother's guidance.
  • Vale Whitaker, the protagonist of the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning, is a Shrinking Violet who loves books (and wants to write her own), is very prone to blushing, and interestingly, has Type B Tsundere tendencies, as well. She's also a bit of a Cowardly Lion.
  • Two different Calvinverse stories, Trouble Island and Retro Chill, show Retro's Cowardly Sidekick Bob to be one of these (especially in the latter story).
  • Serenity Wheeler from Ultimate Re-Imaginings is depicted like, and so is Andrea Rourke when she's introduced. This is of course taken for a violent turn when she becomes a Yandere intent on killing any perceived threat she finds.
  • Warriors Redux: Frequent stutterer Ravenpaw has been a shy Nervous Wreck almost from birth. It even took his mother two months to get him out of the kitten nursery.
  • Derpy Hooves in We're Gonna Get There Soon, due to fear of being mocked for her eye condition and general clumsiness. It takes Thunderlane, resident Nice Guy and someone already familiar with her, to bring Derpy out of her shell.
  • Yamujiburo's fan kid for Dawn and Zoey, Aurora, is very shy. She also gets embarrassed easily and prefers to keep her mouth shut to avoid further embarrassment.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: Per series canon, Ocellus (who's introduced in the sequel, Diplomat at Large). As her mother notes, she's always been a little shy; her response to Twilight Velvet coming up and saying "Hi" to her is to squeak in fear and turn herself into a rock.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 7 Yüz: Pınar, the shy and introverted protagonist of "Hayatın Musikisi", who clams up when put on the spot. It doesn't help that she's an anomaly in an office filled with social butterflies.
  • Ally Dawson from Austin & Ally has major stage fright.
  • Betty: Honeybear is shy and reserved (though ironically she also dresses in a very revealing way).
  • Black Mirror: Yorkie, one of the two protagonists in "San Junipero", is a painfully shy and quiet young woman. Justified - being comatose for the past 40 years doesn't give you many chances for social interaction with other people.
  • On Boy Meets World when Eric goes to hollywood to be an actor on a Self-Parody Show Within a Show the actor who plays the Shawn expy is one of these, in contrast to the more confident character he plays.
  • Julianne Simms from Breakout Kings has pretty severe social anxiety, so it suits her well to be a Voice with an Internet Connection. Her love interest Lloyd is often shown trying to coach her on interacting with others.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • One episode had a girl who acted this way; nobody in the school noticed her, or for that matter even knew she existed. Through a combination of quantum physics Techno Babble and the nature of the Hellmouth, she became invisible and snapped, taking revenge on the popular girls. The end of the episode revealed that she apparently wasn't the first girl this had happened to.
    • Tara also fits this trope, especially in her early appearances (in season 4 and early season 5). She gets killed, though.
    • Willow began the show as a painfully shy and innocent Shrinking Violet, but as her self-confidence and magical abilities improved, she evolved into more of a live-action Cute Witch. Her biggest insecurity was that she still remembered her stammering pushover phase and based too much of her self-esteem on magic (complete with a temporary transformation into a Dark Magical Girl).
  • Conversations with Friends: Frances is pretty quiet and shy, often thinking but not saying things like her friend Bobbi points out, who says it makes her seem enigmatic. She gets embarrassed easily by Bobbi, who's more outspoken by far, revealing personal information of hers to others (such as that she's a communist or a bisexual).
  • Dates: Erica is a shy, studiously polite young woman who's a closeted lesbian hiding her sexuality to please her family at first. Her character arc involves defying them to be herself and come out.
  • Firefly: Simon. He's meek, polite and has a hard time admitting he loves Kaylee.
  • Game of Thrones: Melara Hetherspoon is very deferential to Cersei and is afraid of Tywin. Wisely so.
  • Glee's Tina Cohen-Chang is so painfully shy she faked a stutter so that she wouldn't have to interact with people.
  • Good Trouble: Alice is the true epitome of a B-type personality whose arc mainly consists of her learning to assert herself.
    • In one episode, she becomes distressed with paying for toilet paper for the whole building but is too timid to ask the residents to provide for themselves. Once she brings it up they agree and consider it no big deal.
    • Part of her second season arc is gaining the confidence to go for a program that one of her stand-up comedy peers is also going for. They both get in.
    • In the third season Mariana takes her out to try to get her to take a more assertive role in her romantic relationships.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street: Brodie is a shy, gentle man prone to stammering over himself, which doesn't exactly help his status as a No-Respect Guy.
  • The Letter People: Mr. X is a rare male example of this, being very shy around the other letter people due to his X causing everything to go all wrong. He comes out of his shell a bit once Mr. K and Mr. S let him borrow their sounds, which cancels his "all wrong" effect.
  • Merlin: Guinevere is shy, but she can get ticked off, though. She originally had a crush on Merlin, but got over it and got a crush on Arthur, and became the High Queen of Camelot.
  • Yuri Kazune from Mr. Brain is shy, although she does have a few moments of assertiveness. Not that anybody listens to her when she does, though.
  • From Noah's Arc, Noah briefly became painfully shy after being gay bashed.
  • Odd Squad: Flashbacks in "Training Day" show that Olive was very shy as a young agent-in-training, which wasn't helped by Todd consistently abusing her, both verbally and emotionally, as they eventually became partners. She had no self-confidence either, and often let Todd take the lead on cases. Once he is fired, becomes a villain, and unleashes a pienado into Headquarters that injures several of her co-workers, she gains newfound confidence.
  • Young Ned from Pushing Daisies. His shyness, albeit to a lesser degree, extends into adulthood.
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger: Kotoha Hanori is shy, except when she is around one of her common shipping partners (Chiaki or Takeru, sometimes Genta) or her Friend/Big sis figure Mako.
  • Keith Dudemeister from Scrubs, at least in his debut episode. "My Intern's Eyes" is mostly shown from his perspective (hence the title), and he spends the bulk of the episode trying and failing to work up the courage to say something to his superior, JD. Later episodes alter his characterization into a more confident Ace, however.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Lt. Reginald "Reg" Barclay is painfully shy, especially in his earlier appearances. In his debut episode, "Hollow Pursuits", he talks to Geordi about how difficult it is for him.
      Barclay: I am the guy who writes down things to remember to say when there's a party. And then, when he finally gets there, he winds up alone, in the corner, trying to look comfortable examining a potted plant.
      Geordi: You're just shy, Barclay.
      Barclay: "Just shy." Sounds like nothing serious, doesn't it? You can't know.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Tobin, one of the previous hosts of Dax, was prone to biting his fingernails and apologizing for everything. Also, according to Ezri, he could never bring himself to discipline his children.
    • Star Trek: Enterprise: Malcolm Reed is very shy and quiet.
  • Lilian from The Trouble With You Lilian is shy and insecure, painfully so, brought on by living with someone as demanding and domineering as Madge.
  • The West Wing: President Bartlet's middle daughter Ellie is extremely shy and reserved, preferring to focus on her work as a scientist and rejecting the media attention that comes from being in a political family. This is one of the reasons she and her outgoing father struggle to get along, as he just doesn't register how uncomfortable being in the spotlight makes her.

  • mothy's song Daughter of White (and hell, the character of Clarith in general) is a major one of these.
  • Queen's "Sheer Heart Attack" seems to describe one of these, with the lyrics "Well you're just seventeen, all you wanna do is disappear..."
  • Alessia Cara's debut single "Here," written after realizing how much she hates parties and large crowds.
    Right next to the boy who's throwing up/Cause he can't take what's in his cup no more/Oh God why am I here?

  • Yuki from Sequinox is rather shy, especially when it comes to people she has a crush on. When she's fighting in her Magical Girl form as Winter, though, she becomes a Large Ham.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Harriet is withdrawn, self-loathing, and feels she doesn't deserve the attention or love of others. She frequently appears to be skittish, and her dialogue contains a lot of ellipses.
    • Ivy is shy, introverted, has a stutter, hates standing out, and has strong self-esteem issues. While she can stand up for herself, or for her friends, the moments are few and far-between.
    • Jenna is quiet, shy, and tends to fret over the little things. This has worsened since she gained her power, which turned her into a mass of insects and all but forced her to constantly hide herself with a hoodie.
    • Josephine is very reclusive, and suffers from a low self-esteem and distrust of others. She fears that people will think she's annoying if she tries socialising with them. She can barely even manage to say hello when she comes across Hyeon.
  • Gloria Benson in V4 of Survival of the Fittest. She's always whispering, stuttering, and blushing when she speaks. Even when she talks to her friends, she's painfully shy/quiet, and keeps apologizing for what she says. Lucy Ashmore, also from v4, qualifies as well. She's just as shy, due to bullying. Sometimes this slides into Cute Clumsy Girl territory as well, due to her nervousness.
  • We Are Our Avatars: At first, Marcia did not like talking with the others. But she warms up to them and becomes more friendly over time.

  • Laura from The Glass Menagerie fits this to a T. She is so shy that she cannot leave the house or get a job, and (hooray symbolism) spends a lot of time caring for her collection of fragile, delicate glass animals.
  • Some productions of Hamlet play Ophelia this way.
  • The titular character of Dear Evan Hansen is a male example, with his severe social anxiety and low self-esteem leaving him fitting this trope perfectly.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney
    • Ron DeLite of the third game, to the point that his dialogue often trails off into inaudibility (represented by the text fading into the background). This is rather ironic because his alter ego is the flamboyant thief Mask☆DeMasque.
    • Also, Ben Woodman, the ventriloquist from the second game. Ben, in fact, is so bad about this that he completely lacks the capacity to function among other people without the aid of his (rather abusive) dummy, Trilo Quist.
    • Will Powers is a bit of a Shrinking Sunflower as well.
    • Vera Misham, the defendant from case 4-4, is a Hikikomori who talks... in fragmented... sentences... and hides... from you... when you visit... the Detention Center...
  • C14 Dating: Shoji's default setting outside of his Situational Sociability is to rarely be the one initiating conversations, keep what conversations are initiated by others short, not liking to be in the spotlight and being quite passive unless he realises something quite bad may happen if he doesn't speak up (such as a diabetic classmate having hypoglycemia and two other classmates having a fight right in front of the closest source of sweet edibles). The few times he's the one approaching Melissa, he later turns to have been mentally preparing for it for a surprising amount of time. In his romantic route, he has trouble believing Melissa is actually interested in him because he considers himself to not have an attractive personality.
    • Nagisa Furukawa. Tomoya tries to get her to open up more. During at least one other route, he knows she falls directly into this and reacts accordingly. For example, he knows she won't scare Kotomi.
    • Ryou Fujibayashi. In contrast to her more headstrong twin sister Kyou, she is often rather shy and mellow, which makes her role as Class Representative more difficult.
    • Kotomi Ichinose. Especially at first, since she's very withdrawn and reluctant to make friends. She gradually becomes more sociable over time.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
      • Chihiro Fujisaki. It stems from school bullying, specifically he was teased about how weak he was for a boy, which he dealt with by crossdressing - people stopped teasing him since it's normal for a "girl" to be weak. As a result, he doesn't want to get close with people lest they find his secret and the bullying resumes.
      • Toko Fukawa is a more unique example. Instead of this trope being played for cuteness, Fukawa is instead a very unpleasant Jerkass and tends to be rather depressing and moody. In Ultra Despair Girls, she DOES get better, due to her forming a friendship with Komaru.
    • Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair:
      • Kazuichi Souda reveals in his final Free Time Event that he used to be this back in middle school and used to believe that anyone who spoke with him was nice, making him a target for exploitation. He has been trying to grow out of this, changing his image to what he believes will make him more popular and help him make new friends at Hope's Peak.
      • Taken to the extreme with Mikan Tsumiki, who always seems to be on the verge of tears when anyone talks to her. When she's outed as the murderer in Chapter 3's trial, she stops being this. Not to say she isn't an example of this trope. There are very extenuating circumstances in Chapter 3. Some of it is fake though, as a lot of her embarrassing actions are on purpose, done to get people to notice her.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony: It may not look like it at first, but Miu Iruma is actually a shy and submissive girl with many insecurities. She tries to cover it up by acting loud-mouthed and perverted, but it does not take a lot of effort to get her to crack and shrink back to her shy self. Her shy self is perhaps best shown in her Love Suite Event with Shuichi, especially when she nervously explains why he, as her childhood friend, may have his way with her. Haruka Ishida, her Japanese voice actress, says in the artbook that Miu is a fundamentally adorable girl who happens to have very extreme sides.
      Miu: ... D-Don't laugh...okay?
      Shuichi: Alright. I won't laugh.
      Miu: You won't...shout at me?
      Shuichi: Of course I won't. Don't worry.
  • Yuri from Doki Doki Literature Club! is particularly timid, Apologises a Lot, and puts herself down frequently. However, she tends to get assertive when she has a clear opinion, and opens up rather easily when talking about subjects she likes, especially literary analysis and critique.
  • Shindou Chihiro from ef - a fairy tale of the two..
  • Sakura Matou from Fate/stay night, due to the horrendous mental and physical abuse that she suffers from her brother and Grandfather.
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: Makina hates crowded places and meeting new people, so she’s extremely shy around Yuuji at first.
  • Gnosia: Remnan quiet and shy enough to get him in trouble in debates, as he'll hesitate to speak up for himself.
  • Halloween Otome: Mr. Wolf, demonstrated by his stammering, copious uses of “uh” and “um”, as well as his ability to get embarrassed very easily. Downplayed by his satisfactory conversation skills and especially by his singing career.
  • Hanako Ikezawa of Katawa Shoujo most definitely counts. The first time Hisao tries to talk to her, she actually runs away. Hanako deconstructs this, showing in detail one of the kinds of traumatic events that would lead a person to be like this and how difficult her life is because of it. By the time the player learns all she has been through, the tears won't stop coming. Even more so, she's well-aware of how harmful being a Shrinking Violet and if Hisao and Lilly don't stop trying to coddle her... she will explode and call Hisao out on his white knighting.
  • Rin from Little Busters! is an interesting example - while she's definitely very shy and fearful when it comes to people she doesn't know, her personality around people she is close with is more like that of a Tomboyish Tsundere.
  • Becca from Melody doesn’t like interacting with strangers, and believes that she’s not a pretty girl.
  • Missing Stars: Annaliese is this in a manner that isn't played for cuteness. She's shy to a very painful degree and freaks out when interacting with people. Annaliese prefers to stick to herself and listen to music with her expensive-looking headphones.
  • Karen, the girl who gives Masayuki a love letter in A Profile, is so shy and socially misfit that when giving a love letter (something that Masayuki's friends laugh at) she forgets to add her name or meet him for several days despite the fact that he responds rather positively.
  • Kotonoha from School Days. Her beauty and apparent aloofness lead others to assume she's unapproachable, when really she just has a rather negative self-image that prevents her from reaching out to other people. Unfortunately, this appears to be only the tip of the iceberg as far as her mental issues are concerned.
  • Shannon from Umineko: When They Cry. However, she's later shown to be more confident and determined when it counts.
  • Shiraki Aeka from Yume Miru Kusuri is the most obvious example in the game, but the seeming Manic Pixie Dream Girl Cat Sidhe Nekoko doubles as one once her "true self" is revealed.
  • Maino Honma from Yumina the Ethereal. Naturally, she's the school's librarian.

    Web Animation 

  • Mina in Alien Hand Syndrome isn't completely withdrawn, but she's certainly awkward and uncomfortable in social situations. Her friend Erin alternates between making fun of her shyness and trying to cure it.
  • Lidusis from Black Haze is a classic example, only male. He's quiet, rarely shows his eyes, and is the victim of some pretty severe bullying. One might expect the latter to be the cause of his Shrinking Violet nature, but a flashback reveals he was like this as a kid, too.
  • Male example: Doug from Fletcher Apts, especially when it comes to women. Also he's a Nerd and Butt-Monkey when Bill is involved.
  • Clementine in Frivolesque definitely qualifies. She has no confidence, considering herself too tall and forgettable, and blushes every time someone talks to her.
  • Rhoda of El Goonish Shive is a near-literal example, a petite girl whose perception of her own size actually shrinks when she feels intimidated. She appeared early on in the background of one single strip, and became a bit of a fan favorite despite the fact that she hadn't done anything at that point.
  • Calixta from Ennui GO! is extremely shy, easily flustered, and speaks with a stutter. Also helps that she literally has violet-colored hair and eyes. Of course, she's also prone to show her affection through physically assaulting someone, like her crush/boyfriend Max Pritchard.
  • Yuri, aka Iron Violet: The Shy Titan is a very shy and insecure girl. Abusive Parents are implied to be the cause of this plus past bullying. Due to the kindness of her best friend, and her adventures as a superhero, she's slowly attempting to overcome this. She's taken on a robot girl with super-speed and a fire-throwing supervillain, yet she still blushes at the thought of wearing a miniskirt.
  • Secret of Keychain of Creation is like this, a renegade abyssal who suffers from severe self-esteem issues.
  • Neeka from Late Blooming is impossibly shy, to the point of hardly ever talking to anyone and putting all effort into avoiding contact with people.
  • Curio from morphE. To the point where he makes a habit of faking death under pressure.
  • Pluto from Nebula is a male example; he's incredibly lonely at the edge of the solar system and wants desperately to talk to the planets, but is too shy to actually approach them. They, meanwhile, think that his distance from everyone else is aloofness and that he doesn't want anything to do with them.
  • 9th Elsewhere: The main character, Carmen, has elements of this.
    • While a party for her is being thrown downstairs: "Maybe if I stay up here long enough they'll decide to just leave me alone."
  • Gebo, the white wolf in Off-White. More like a real wolf than the evil, vicious monster, or emotionless, badass loner, stereotypes.
  • In Our Little Adventure, Emily the witch is a downplayed example of this.
  • Shinbi Yun from Surviving Romance is by far the shyest and most withdrawn member of the class. She even wears a hoodie she likes to shrink into.
  • The title character of Rain starts as a shy and soft-spoken teenage girl but eventually grows confidence as the story goes on.
  • Katherine of Wapsi Square started out like this, but she is now a bit more confident, and at least willing to speak to some people.
  • Wright As Rayne proudly features Laura Croft, who unlike a different character with a similar name, couldn't be more timid if she tried.
  • In Yumi's Cells, Yumi has a lot of trouble speaking her mind and standing up for herself, partly due to a breakup doing a number on her self-confidence.

    Web Videos 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Jane is a quiet and lonely girl who doesn't have any friends and any good family. She's nice, but has No Social Skills. It's quite unusual that such a girl would start vlogging and sharing her life with the internet. She considers it a challenge and a brave thing to do, and she would like to get some help from her viewers.
  • Subverted in Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. The title character is painfully shy, and has been quietly in love with a girl from his laundromat for months. Ironically, his alter ego is a megalomaniacal villain who wants to rule the world.
  • In Hi I'm Mary Mary, Mary avoids showing her face in full in the series, citing the fact that she's shy.
  • lifeattheextremes has documentaries on what it's like to have the DSM recognized personality disorders including the avoidant.

Please stop looking at me...


Kotomi Ichinose

Kotomi Ichinose has no idea how to communicate with other. Often sees everyone else as a "bully".

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShrinkingViolet

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