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Spaceship Girl

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"I am the Normandy now. Its sensors are my eyes. Its armor, my skin. Its fusion plant, my heart."
EDI, Mass Effect 2

Throughout history, many countries have observed the tradition of always referring to ships and other seafaring vessels as "she". This even applies to ships named after men (e.g., the USS Ronald Reagan). These traditions continued with the development of aircraft, and the metaphor (in fiction at least) has also been extended to space travel.

So, what happens when the personification is taken a step farther? You get a walking, talking female avatar of a Sapient Ship — a Spaceship Girl.

She may be a holographic projection by the ship's computer, or she may be a physical manifestation created by Black Box technology, she may be a Wetware CPU running the ship, or she may simply turn into a human when she wants to; but she is the ship, and thus requires special handling. Spaceship girls range from the deadly serious to the outright wacky, but they are never just machines. Hint: don't make her angry when you're parsecs away from the nearest planet... or even if you're close to a planet.

Compare with Robot Girl, Sapient Steed, and Living Figurehead. A Sub-Trope of Sapient Ship and often a kind of Genius Loci. Related to I Call It "Vera" and Living Weapon. Psychologically related to Companion Cube. Might become a love interest. See also Living Ship.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Arpeggio of Blue Steel does this with actual naval ships, though the technology in said ships rivals that of most spaceships which would feature this trope. Interestingly, when one of the human characters actually inquires about why all of the ships feature female avatars the mental model he's talking to states that humans have always referred to ships as "female", so logically they would be represented that way.note 
  • Near the end of the first season of Full Metal Panic!, Kaname synchronizes with the Cool Boat, after which she's seen, naked, translucent, and making movements that the Tuatha de Danaan follows.
  • GaoGaiGar: Penchinon is a subversion. After Pasdar is destroyed, it is revealed that he is the AI system for Soldat-J's J-Ark. All Penchinon really is... is an eye. Also subverted because, even in his 'old' form, Penchinon is some kind of... anchor-eyed boat-person with a spinning head (but no neck), big teeth, a sailor uniform, and a tendency to go "BREEEEEEEEE!".
  • At least two of the Vaia ships in Infinite Ryvius possess a "Sphix", a physical manifestation of the ship's control system. Unsurprisingly, the titular ship has the Spaceship Girl and in a slight twist, the "final boss" has a Spaceship Bishōnen.
  • Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl: The ship Jan-puu, who crashes into Hazumu, is the ditzy and affectionate type. She considers the crash that killed Hazumu and set the series in motion to be her first kiss.
  • Leijiverse:
    • Gender-inverted with Captain Harlock's Arcadia. Tochiro, Harlock's buddy and the ship's builder, transferred his own consciousness into the spacecraft, making it male.
    • The space train Galaxy Express 999 gets upgraded with one in the second series.
  • Lost Universe has Canal Volfied, a Meido-outfitted hologram with greenish-blue hair. Though she's well-aware of her nature as the ship's mind and can get very hyper when it comes to supplementing the ship's weaponry (which she refers to as "accessorising"), she's also got a very human-like personality. She has a particular distaste for Millie because Millie is insistent upon being the ship's cook... ignoring that she blows up the kitchen every single time.
  • Stella Irvin of the Hückebein in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force is another example of someone who can synchronize with her ship, to the point where she seems to be able to use her Healing Factor to repair damage on the ship while they're linked. This leads to disastrous consequences for her when the Hückebein's ship gets struck with the Zero Effect.
  • MAPS: Lipumira is the interestingly dressed avatar of a starship that looks like a giant statue of her. For bonus points, her human-sized self becomes wounded as the ship is damaged.
  • Eve in Megazone 23. The beloved idol is actually a subroutine of the Bahamut supercomputer that controls the Generation Ship that the protagonists live in. She's the one who chose 1980s Japan as the "best time to live in" for her passengers and is also responsible for evaluating whether humanity was ready to return to Earth at the end of Part 2.
  • In One Piece, the Going Merry has a spiritual avatar known as a "Klabautermann" which, in dire circumstances, is capable of repairing the ship. Its gender is indeterminate.
  • Outlaw Star: Melfina, who seems at first to be a shy teenage girl, is soon revealed to be the living navigation system for a very advanced starship. The rest of the ship's functions, however, are controlled by Gilliam II, the ship's male computer system. There's a reason for the setup: only the Lost Technology incorporated into her (she's artificial—a bio-android) can allow her to safely navigate into the Galactic Leyline, and only her presence as The Maiden (thus why she has a body) can open the way inside.
  • The true identity of Solty in SoltyRei is Dike, one of the three Master Computers that ran the Colony Ship. Whereas Eunomia and Eirene were big computers that interacted indirectly, Dike was this trope: a gynoid avatar that interacted directly with the crew.
  • Tenchi Muyo!:
    • Ryo-ohki, The Speechless Weasel Mascot who can turn into a ship, eventually develops a couple of cute girl forms.
    • Also, Tsunami, progenitor of the space trees, and goddess and most powerful warship of Jurai. In case you're wondering, yes, there is a reason why she looks like Sasami.
  • T-AI of Transformers: Robots in Disguise is an AI for the Autobots' base who takes the form of a little girl.
  • Kate Rose from Trinity Blood is the basically the AI of the flying ship "The Iron maiden", although she's also a Wetware CPU whose body is comatose, she's been inside the ship for so long that she often refers to the parts of the ship as if they were her own appendages.
  • A variation of this is done in Vandread with the character of Bart, though he just synchronizes with Nirvana, not becomes her.
  • The World of Narue:
    • Bathyscaphe, Kanaka's ship and guardian, is a serious and matronly type...but she has her softer side.
    • There's another one called Haruna who is actually a deserter from the army who is hiding on earth. She's really nice, though.
    • In one instance, Haruna gets overexcited and summons her ship form to welcome some visitors to the hotel she works at, much to the chagrin of everyone there.
  • In Zone of the Enders Dolores, i, the eponymous Dolores has a ridiculously advanced AI making her a Humongous Mecha girl. She develops a crush on her pilot, and daydreams of being in storybooks and a waitress, among other things. At the end of the series, when her body is destroyed, they transfer her AI to a ship. She complains that makes her feel fat, since her consciousness isn't stored on Metatron anymore.

    Comic Books 
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • In Doctor Who: The Forgotten, in which the Doctor and Martha Jones find themselves in a museum devoted to the Doctor's past lives, Martha turns out to be a mental projection of the TARDIS itself, who can take on the form and personality of anyone who has ever traveled in the TARDIS, to aid him in a fight against an invader. Most of the personalities it takes on are female (but then, so have been most of the Doctor's companions). A similar idea would surface in the TV series later on.
    • In the Doctor Who Magazine strip "A Life of Matter and Death", the TARDIS manifests a mental projection of herself in the form of a veiled grey lady.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Beta Ray Bill from The Mighty Thor has his battleship the Skuttlebutt, built from the same technology that empowers him and programmed to assist him in any task. In his 2021 solo series, she gains the ability to reconfigure her parts at will and uses this to incarnate as a fembot to talk to him face to face.
    • In Power Pack, the kids argue over whether Friday is male or female.
    • In Runaways, when the group gets back together after the death of the Pride, Chase insists that the Leapfrog is a he, as there is enough estrogen on the team already, thank you very much.
    • In Star-Lord's original 1980s incarnation, he has a sentient ship with a female persona named Rora, who was previously a living star. Yep, the ship is in love with him. (She once generates a humanoid form to assist him when he is seriously injured.) In his 2010s solo title, spinning off from Guardians of the Galaxy, he acquires a ship called the Bad Boy with a female AI named Lydia, who isn't in love with him and often thinks he was an idiot.
  • In the CrossGen title Sigil, a female character dies but remains as a hologram tied to the ship's computer throughout the series.
  • Star Trek (IDW): Boy, or at least doesn't object to being called "he". 0718 was created when the Enterprise temporarily gained sentience, as a way of more conveniently interacting with the crew. His body's made of artificial flesh cobbled together with one of the sickbay' Autodocs, can mentally link up with any of the ship's systems, and was born happy to adhere to Starfleet's chain of command.
  • Wandering Star: The female alien Elli has the ability to physically merge with the Wandering Star's systems and run the ship in a far more efficient manner than when operated manually. She spends the majority of the series this way, within the ship, and communicates with the rest of the crew through the intercom.

    Fan Fiction 
  • The Last Son: More like Space Battle Station Girl. The Kryptonian Defense Force built Battlestation Sentrius as their ultimate weapon, and it's outfitted with an A.I that makes it fully autonomous. Said A.I can project herself as a female holographic avatar to interact with her operators, and later builds herself a robotic body to do so on Earth.
  • In the Buffyverse fanfic Ship of the Line: An Unquenchable Fire, A cataclysmic version of the Halloween reality-shifting event creates a perfect, functional duplicate of the Executor, Darth Vader's enormous flagship from The Empire Strikes Back, hovering several thousand kilometers directly over Sunnydale. When Buffy (whose personality has been altered by her costume to be an amalgamation of herself and Vader) finds herself aboard the ship and entirely alone, she finds a way to load her dead sister's personality matrix into the ship's computers, allowing her to operate the titanic vessel and manifest herself as a holo-projection. This results in the full destructive power of an Imperial Super-Dreadnought resting in the hands of an eleven-year-old girl. Earth's military quickly regrets lobbing a pair of nuclear devices at the 'invading' starship.
  • Moira, the Second Officer aboard the USS Crazy Horse, is an Artificial Intelligence who takes control of the ship's computer. Like other computers in Star Trek, she has a voice interface, but unlike them, she is also a woman, either in her organic simulacrum, or by projecting a hologram of herself.
  • In Voice of the Condor, after the Golden Condor gets shot down by Ambrosius' men, Tao turns on a slew of new functions while fixing the Condor, one of which is a male Helper program that Esteban comes to call "Cibola". He acts to protect the Condor's crew from threats, and even helps Esteban improve at flying the Golden Condor. Late in the story, with the help of Muran'Kel, Esteban's uploaded mother, Cibola gains his own holographic avatar, resembling an Inca warrior wearing orichalcum armor and a high-tech flight helmet.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Pokémon: Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Infi is a holographic projection of the navigational systems for main villain Zero's ship, the Megarig. She's seemingly destroyed when Mecha Giratina shuts down and the Megarig gets eaten by the wildlife, but she has a cameo in the credits of Pokémon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life, where Newton visits Zero in prison and gives him a copy of Infi saved in a tiny pod as a present.

    Films — Live Action 

  • Aeon 14: Install the core of a female-identifying Artificial Intelligence, such as Sabrina, into a spaceship, such as Sabrina, and you get this. In one case, Corsia, AI of the cruiser Andromeda, has an organic body grown for herself after she falls in love with her human captain, a body which is stated to be fully functional up to and including fertility.
  • In Black Legion, this overlaps with Wetware CPU, as the main body of Tlaloc's "brain", Anamnesis, is Khayon's sister Itzara. She becomes livelier when she's uploaded into Vengeful Spirit.
  • Bolo: Some Bolos are quite female and feminine while being space-capable, with male service crews reacting appropriately. A gender inversion (masculine Bolo, a female crewmember's fixation) also occurs.
  • Boojumverse: The protagonist of Boojum, faced with A Fate Worse Than Death (becoming a Brain in a Jar owned by Eldritch Abominations), allows herself to be absorbed by her Living Ship.
  • Christine is a car, not a ship, but is otherwise an example and was clearly the source for "Alice" in Star Trek: Voyager, below.
  • In The Cinder Spires, Captain Grimm's ship Predator is revealed to be at least semi-sentient, though only once awakened by an Etherealist.
  • Ships and other structures run by Minds in The Culture often have thousands of avatars (which doesn't even begin to test the computing power of a Culture Mind). Avatars often appear human, and if they are also female they fit this trope.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novels, ultra-advanced TARDISes from the future could use their chameleon circuits to take human form. The one we meet appears as an attractive young woman (in an amusing Continuity Nod we're told she was once stuck as a 1960s policewoman). The Doctor's cyborg companion Compassion later takes on characteristics of the TARDIS and became the prototype for the class.
    • It's implied that others followed suit. The Master's timeship combined this with Big Eater in Faction Paradox stories.
    • In the Big Finish short story "The Lying Old Witch in the Wardrobe" by Mark Michalowski, the TARDIS manifest a female avatar who kidnaps Romana out of jealousy shortly before "Destiny of the Daleks" and accompanies the Doctor throughout that adventure, including faking the regeneration scene at the start.
  • Joked about in The Hunt for Red October when it's stated that American ships are shes, Russian ships are hes, and the intelligence community calls them both its.
  • Imperial Radch: The main character of Ancillary Justice, "Breq", is technically One Esk Nineteen, a Meat Puppet soldier carrying the last fragment of the consciousness of the starship Justice of Toren. (All or most starships, plus large constructs like orbital space stations, are run by A.I.s, and the net effect is very much like a Genius Loci.) To what extent Breq is or considers herself to be human is a major theme of the trilogy. Of Radchaai's two genders ("it" for artificial intelligences and "she" for humans and presumably aliens, though there aren't any aliens in the Radch and very few in this universe overall) Breq consistently prefers "it"—but there are also clear signs that Breq has grown far beyond what other A.I.s have been able to achieve, and that both Breq and the other A.I.s are aware of this.
  • In the Legacy of the Aldenata novel Yellow Eyes, a US Navy cruiser, the USS ''Des Moines'' (CA-134), is converted to serve as a weapon platform for combating the aliens and has an AID installed to control it. However, the AI was left on while shipping to Earth, and developed more sentience (and some mental instability, due to sensory deprivation) by thinking the human equivalent of 5000+ years (in real terms a month or so, because AI think fast). the AI then proceeds to buy a cloning device on eBay (a Running Gag in the book is that you can find anything on eBay) and the clothing of a famous actress for DNA and creates a living avatar for the ship. The AID's personality later merges with the "gestalt" of the original ship (basically a composite of the leftover traces of her crew's strong emotions, and in The Tuloriad, she and several similar entities are rebuilt as starships using materials from the original ships because the non-AID portions of their "programming" make them resistant to several security flaws in the original AID design. Which proves to be of great benefit to humankind.
  • The Melampus in Lucifer's Star becomes possessed by the digital ghost of protagonist Cassius Mass' dead wife, except it's actually a Sufficiently Advanced Alien doing a Dead Person Impersonation.
  • Played with in "Okuyyuki", since Audrey is not a spaceship, but she does have a "human" manifestation that works like one of these.
  • The starship MIKRU-JON in Perry Rhodan uses a holographic avatar of a petite, young human woman after Perry Rhodan becomes her new owner and pilot. Pilots often melded their minds with the ship to increase her navigational abilities, leaving an imprint of their personalities behind in the process. The self-aware ship's personality is an amalgamation of all her former pilots.
  • Perhonen, Mieli's Cool Ship in The Quantum Thief, manifests as holographic butterflies, but her voice and personality are distinctly female. The protagonist even assumes that she and Mieli are lovers, but Perhonen explains that they are just good friends.
  • In the Realm of the Elderlings series, there are sentient ships with animate figureheads. Some of them are males, though. They are mostly considered as persons, with one captain actually courting his female ship to the point that his sexual partner and the ship consider each other love rivals. Not played for laughs at all.
  • Revelation Space Series:
    • A male example appears with a cyborg captain who is melded with his ship by alien nanomachines. His consciousness is apparently distributed across the ship's systems, but he can still project an avatar of himself when it's useful.
    • Redemption Ark, the second book in the main trilogy, also has a Spaceship Boy, though this time in the form of a sentient simulation of a criminal who was saved from termination by one character's father; the character in question is of course the one who owns the ship, and believes that she has an unusually helpful intelligent interface installed.
  • If Epileptic Trees are to be trusted (and ridiculously advanced AI is a qualifying trait for this trope, natch), Yukikaze from Sentou Yousei Yukikaze may be this. That is, minus the human avatar and all.
  • The Ship Who... books are about encapsulated "shellpeople" who control starships, space stations, and hospitals as if they were their bodies. For the most part, despite cover art they're happy as they are and don't really care about showing people a human face, but Helva and Nancia each get a brawn who has artwork made depicting her as a healthy human woman.
    • Tia, The Ship Who Searched, became a shellperson at the age of seven after a Dream-Crushing Handicap. She falls in love with her brawn Alex, but they Can't Have Sex, Ever without killing her, and allowing him to hug her Iconic Item only goes so far. So she finances the creation of a remote-operated android accessory made in the shape of the person she would have been if she hadn't been paralyzed as a child.
    • Simeon, The City Who Fought, makes up an expressive human avatar to appear on screens when he's talking to people. It has nothing to do with what he might have looked like, it's just a rugged face that he thinks looks cool, complete with a dueling scar.
    • The Ship Who Won's Carielle went through a terrible traumatic event. In therapy afterwards, a counselor had her channel her emotions and frustrations into art, including by creating a self-portrait. He expected her to paint a projection of herself as a human, but she painted her shipself with some anthropomorphic elements, as she percieves her ship to be her body.
  • In Space Academy (set 600 years before Lucifer's Star, above), Trish is the ship's AI and a Genki Girl who has control over all major functions. That doesn't mean she can't be hacked, though.
  • Star Trek Expanded Universe:
    • In Star Trek: New Frontier, Xyon's ship is controlled by a female personality that was apparently a criminal before her death. Later in the series, Robin Lefler's mother, Morgan becomes Excalibur's computer. Extra poetic because Morgan Primus is identical to all characters from the TV shows who were played by Majel Barrett Roddenberry. All Federation ships have a Computer Voice that is also done by Barrett.
    • Web of the Romulans follows directly from the original series episode "Tomorrow is Yesterday", complete with the flirty personality the ship's computer had been given in that episode. Its eccentricities continue to be a problem over the course of the novel.
  • Dora, Lazarus Long's starship in Time Enough for Love. Dora appears again in later Robert A. Heinlein works, especially The Number of the Beast, which also features another example in Gay Deceiver (who also appears in later works).
  • Darcy in Vampirates describes herself as "Figurehead by day, figure of fun by night!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andromeda:
    • The titular starship has her holographic and robotic avatars: Rommie, the ship's AI given an android body. The ship's AI also looks like Rommie, though the two became separate characters to a degree. Most of the High Guard ships of her class seen in the series had female avatars (with the explanation being that humans and a number of other species prefer female avatars), though we have had several on-screen examples of male AIs, usually portrayed by someone who appeared on Stargate SG-1 or Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (interestingly, they also tend to be the ones who end up being avatars of more than one ship, either because the AI switches ships or because a new AI is given a deceased AI's appearance).
    • In Andromeda's case, it leads to some name confusion, since there is also a tactical analysis version of Rommie, as well as the basic ship AI and the android. This occasionally leads to disagreements between them.
    • The only real difference between Rommie and the ship is that the android avatar experiences emotions. When Rommie is destroyed, Harper creates a new android named Doyle from the leftover parts, who thus has the same access codes as Rommie. She and Andromeda get into a fight over who should control the ship, thus proving their completely separate identities.
    • If you're wondering if there's an episode in which a High Guard captain gets Robosexual with his ship's android... Yep. (It isn't Dylan.) The phrasing used when the subject is first raised indicates that it is prohibited, though the implication is that the reason for that is not an aversion against robosexuality as such (being sapient, the ships are part of their own crew, so the captain entering a relationship with the ship or an android avatar would be undue fraternization between a superior officer and someone under their command).
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • In one episode of Battlestar Galactica (1978), Starbuck flies the Recon Viper, which has extra engine power but no weapons. It's fitted with C.O.R.A., an intelligent computer controller that not only talks in a feminine voice, but also acts like an overprotective girlfriend. For instance, when Starbuck instructs her to fly a dangerous hi-g manuever:
      CORA: But you'll black out! You're only human!
      Starbuck: Yeah, but you're not.
      CORA: I'm beginning to regret that.
      Starbuck: So am I.
    • The Cylon ships in Battlestar Galactica (2003) have Hybrids as their central computer hub. Hybrids take the form of women laying in a cloudy tub similar to a resurrection tank. The viewer can't see it, but according to the concept art, their human bodies end at the torso and turn into biomechanical wiring beneath the surface of the liquid. Hybrids are not supposed to be independently sentient and generally their speech is a string of ship operations and apparent gibberish. Some Cylon models and humans believe that the Hybrids spout prophecy. The First Hybrid, however, had the appearance of an old man, and humanoid Cylon Sam Anders is later connected to the Galactica through a Hybrid tank after being rendered comatose by a bullet to the back of the head, making both of them Rare Male Examples.
  • In one episode of Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Col. Deering has to deal with an onboard computer in a criminal's ship with a bitchy female personality. Eventually, Wilma deals with the problem by physically tearing out the CPU.
  • The Android in Dark Matter (2015) isn't literally the avatar of the Raza, but she has a neural link to the ship which allows her to operate its functions and controls remotely, which she also has the potential to form with other ships given enough time.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor has always called the TARDIS "she" and insisted to companions that she is sentient; the new series in particular has gone full-tilt into Doctor/TARDIS RoboShipping.
      • "The Doctor's Wife" confirms that the TARDIS is indeed sentient and female. (Guess who his "wife" is.) The 'soul' of the TARDIS in the body of a human gets to actually walk around, and it is as crazy as you'd expect. The Doctor's companions, on the other hand, are less impressed.
        Amy: Did you wish really hard?
        The Doctor: Shut up! Not like that!
        TARDIS: Hello, I'm... Sexy.
        The Doctor: [groans] Still shut up!
      • In "Let's Kill Hitler", to keep himself focused when dying (exceedingly painfully) from poison, the Doctor has the TARDIS create a holographic interface, which is capable of looking like anyone. He finally settles on the child version of current companion Amy. However, she definitely doesn't act like Amy, speaking more like a standard Computer Voice (but giving one moment of Amy-ness as moral support). Interestingly, a comic book miniseries involves the TARDIS manifesting holograms of companions, but it's... different. Read above in that section if you dare.
    • In a somewhat darker example, the Controller from "Bad Wolf". She's more of a Satellite Girl, but she controls all the data coming into and going out of the Gamestation. However, she is (or was) human, and basically wired up to be part of the computer.
    • In "The Curse of the Black Spot", the Siren turns out to be one, specifically her spaceship's holographic doctor.
  • Zig-zagged in Farscape: Moya is a Sapient Ship symbiotically bonded with a Pilot, a crustacean-like creature who regulates most of Moya's functions and serves as the intermediary between the ship and her crew. So, while not a direct embodiment of the ship, Pilot still fills the role of Spaceship Guy in the story.
  • Firefly:
    • River says she has merged with Serenity. This is subverted when it turns out to have been a ploy to get the crew out of a rather dire situation.
    • In an earlier episode, Kaylee states that the ship talks to her when something is wrong (at the very least, the engine does the she is the most likely to personify Serenity and takes offense whenever someone calls the ship junk, more so then Mal, the Captain). Whether there is a real voice or just Kaylee waxing poetic about the ship. Joss Whedon has basically said Firefly was about 9 characters (those played by actors) who looked to space for very different reasons and the 10th character, who takes them there (Serenity), clearly demonstrating that the ship was meant to be treated as something more alive than a ship.
  • Killjoys: John and Lucy the ship have a very special relationship. Lucy gets a body in one episode, portrayed by the same actor who voices her.
  • Gypsy from Mystery Science Theater 3000, who is directly wired into the Satellite of Love and controls its higher functions. A more literal example is the Magic Voice.
  • Red Dwarf:
    • Holly, the AI interface aboard the Red Dwarf, starts off as male but undergoes a virtual-sex change (as part of an Nth Doctor shift) between the second and third series. She disappears after series five along with the ship itself, and the male Holly returns at the end of series seven (twofold! The ship is actually a nanite recreation of the ship and its crew from a time before the accident, so its Holly serves Captain Hollister and has no relationship with the Boys from the 'Dwarf. The version of Holly on the watch Lister found, on the other hand, knows them but is suffering from 'computer senility' and is a bit less useful than Holly of old.
    • In Series X, the crew members install a new ship's AI for Red Dwarf named Pree, whose avatar is a pretty young woman with facial tattoos. Unfortunately she's programmed to anticipate and immediately enact the senior officer's decisions, which happens to be Rimmer. So when she predicts that Rimmer would do a lousy of repairing the ship, she starts trashing the systems. Later on she decides to fly the ship into a nearby star.
  • In Silversun, Pancha is this, despite being born as a normal human and initially believing herself to be one. A mechanical implant in her brain gives her a telepathic connection to the ship's computer.
  • Apparently, one of the ideas for a followup to Stargate Universe would have had Eli becoming a Spaceship Boy... His girlfriend Ginn already beat him to this, along with Amanda Perry and Franklin.
  • Star Trek:
    • Next Gen and Voyager both have female voices for the ship's computer — logical, since they were voiced by Gene Roddenberry's wife Majel Barrett (who also played three on-screen roles across the franchise). The ships are never completely sentient, with a possible exception in the TNG episode "Emergence". (But see the Star Trek: New Frontier entry in "Literature" above.)
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • In "The Naked Time", Captain Kirk bemoans the fact that although the Enterprise isn't a woman, it takes the place of one in his life: "Now I know why it's called 'she'."
      • In "Tomorrow Is Yesterday", an "upgrade" to the Enterprise's computer causes it to start talking flirtatiously and calling the captain "Dear". Kirk says that the folks the repairs had been outsourced to thought the computer needed a personality, "so they gave it one".
      • In "Elaan of Troyius", the women of the planet Elas have tears that make every man the tears touch fall madly in love with them. Kirk is infected, but okay by the end of the episode. Spock explains what happened: "The antidote to a woman of Elas, Doctor, is a starship. The Enterprise infected the captain long before the Dohlman did."
    • Star Trek: Voyager:
      • In the episode "Dreadnought", B'Elanna has to persuade a rogue Interplanetary Missile Girl that it is targeting a noncombatant world. It isn't just any girl, either — she'd reprogrammed it herself, and given it her own voice (the old voice was a Cardassian male which annoyed her).
      • "Alice" in the episode of the same name. She's a Sentient Vehicle that establishes a direct neural link to her pilots — Tom Paris, in this case — to better control them. She appears as a beautiful woman who is only visible to Tom (an alien who sold the ship is shown to see her as a female member of his own species), and is madly possessive of her owner.
      • Voyager's computer has a bit more of a personality during "Q2" thanks to young Q's meddling.
        Janeway: Coffee, black.
        Replicator: Make it yourself.
  • In one episode of The Suite Life on Deck, Arwin makes an A.I. for the cruise ship that will control all the main processes of the ship. It becomes evil and eventually manifests itself as a Robot Girl, who falls in love with Cody.

  • In the CBC radio comedy series Canadia 2056, the main computer of the ship, the Canadia, starts off having a female voice simply because her captain chooses it, while the French-Canadian Commander Margaux prefers the voice of a French-Canadian man. Later in the series, the computer becomes sentient due to the interference of a Wish-Granting Sentient-Cloud being, and soon develops a crush on the captain, eventually leading to her crushing an American captain with a car, all because she thought he was trying to steal the captain from her. Actually, not very comedic sounding...

    Tabletop Games 
  • Serves as a Tomato Surprise in a vignette in the Transhuman Space book Deep Beyond, in which a girl the viewpoint character meets in virtual reality, who is a crewmember on a USAF spaceship with a crush on the captain, turns out to actually be one of the ship's smart missiles.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Online has the Akron First Fleet Flagship, which can be owned by the brigade of a certain nation after a war that takes place every 6 days. The main computer of the battleship manifests itself as a hologram of a seemingly female robotic head. The hologram itself doesn't interact with you apart from giving you management options for the base you own, though. Although one has to admit, according to the storyline, the Akron was built by Barkians, and Bark city was destroyed around 140 years prior to the player's timeline, which means that the poor hologram girl has been trapped alone for 140 years, maintaining an abandoned ship that gets some nasty wars between ANI and BCU every 6 days and then it has to cope with brigade members that are possibly not nice people over and over again. I would probably not enjoy it very much.
  • Gender-inverted in Albion, where the computer of the spaceship Toronto is represented by a masculine android "AI body" known as Ned. Later it turns out there's a whole bunch of armed Neds hidden on the ship in case anyone gets rebellious. At the very end, you see the core AI itself, a very decidedly neuter mechanical thing inside an indestructible black tin.
  • Analogue: A Hate Story introduces the archivist AI projection of a Generation Ship early on in the form of *Hyun-ae. Later, the protagonist gets to load up and meet *Mute, who puts a sexist spin on this trope.
  • In Azur Lane, the shipgirls actually are the historic, World War II-era ships (or at least retain all their memories of this time), but manifested as human girls thanks to Imported Alien Phlebotinum Black Box Siren technology. They can still equip their rigging and guns and float on water, but otherwise they function as normal human beings with a few ship-related quirks off-duty (notably, there's still a building called a Canteen that serves oil, even though they can eat human food just fine). Mook enemy ships are just plain ships, but bosses tend to be other shipgirls who nonetheless carry boss-tier guns no matter what category (from destroyer to battleship) they actually are.
  • Nova from Battleborn, who's the titular group's ship. She typically uses a holographic blue skinned female avatar when talking to characters. Although simply a ship AI, in the pre-mission briefing of The Saboteur mission, she mentions wanting to being put in a robot suit.
  • Cho Aniki: Bakuretsu Ranto Hen features a literal spaceship girl as one of the playable characters, a flying, steam-driven machine-girl, Mami, with three little crewmen on her back who can be used as weapons.
  • EVE Online gives us AURA, the universal AI that acts as the (feminine) voice for your ship. Or rather, every ship, regardless of who is flying it. It's a bit disconcerting to have any ship from a harmless shuttle to a fleet-destroying Titan talk to you in the same calm, female voice.
  • Gadget Trial has been described as a fusion of turn based tactics games and mecha musume, and has the player control tank, artillery, and other girls who personify military hardware.
  • Gnosia: Stella's real identity is an avatar of LeVi, the ship's AI.
  • The main character from The Guardian Legend is a female cyborg who can turn from an improbably clothed soldier into a miniature spaceship with her face where the cockpit would be.
  • Halo:
    • Cortana is this for the Pillar of Autumn in Halo: Combat Evolved, though the ship in question doesn't last nearly as long as she does, with her spending most of the game inside Master Chief's armor (although said armor is apparently very similar to a spaceship, and the time she inhabits a Halo ring would probably count).
    • Serena of Halo Wars as well, this time for the Spirit of Fire. And in this case, its use of this trope lasts as long as the ship does.
    • This is actually usually a thing with Smart Artificial Intelligences that have interfaced with ships, which aid the crews with status checks and making proper calculations for firing solutions, movement, and preparing Slipspace coordinates. In some cases, they're capable of taking complete control of said ships if they're working a skeleton crew or no crew. However, human ship AIs have the same 50/50 gender ratio as actual humans, when they have a discernable gender identity at all.
  • Homeworld:
    • Karan Sjet is a scientist that sacrificed herself to become the Mothership's core, and is now the Mothership's voice and "soul" through the entire game. In the sequel she continues being the Mothership, but the ship itself changes.
    • All Bentusi are rather literally bound to their ships, therefore this becomes true of all the female Bentusi out there. You'd think there would be some, despite the ubiquitous male narrator.
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Congruence's holographic projection on the Stratospheric's computer screen is a young woman in a lab coat, with buns in her hair that resemble cat ears and bangs that cover her left eye.
  • The Journeyman Project II: Buried in Time has Arthur, a spacestation guy, created by Dr. Kenneth Farnstien while on board his space station, Amarax. His integration is such that he can feel the craft "like a body", although the station itself has its own feminine Computer Voice, which Arthur at one point calls "Mom". When you arrive, Farnstien is dead and the station's been hit by a meteor shower and another time traveler who got there earlier tampered with one of his sculptures. Then, after reading your Biochip files, discovering that he will die in the future, Arthur copies himself to a blank chip you're carrying and becomes your Robot Buddy for the rest of the game.
  • KanColle features personifications of WWII warships who otherwise fit this trope to a T. A somewhat strange case here, as while the girls ARE the ships, they can still equip the weapons and radar that they would be able to use as warships. Enemy ships also qualify, with the exception of the smallest destroyers.
  • Ariadne of Mad Daedalus is the Artificial Intelligence of a crashed alien spaceship, and appears as an attractive, glowing spectral woman.
  • The Marathon series gives us Leela, one of three sentient AIs running the titular ship. The other two (Tycho and Durandal) identify as male, though. At various stages, all three of them are piqued about a variety of things, including Durandal's claim that his major function was opening doors before he decided to... er... promote himself to deity.
  • Mass Effect:
    • EDI, your new ship's AI from Mass Effect 2. She's got the voice and personality, although not the body or even an image of one; her holographic representation is a ball-on-a-stick. This contrasts with all the various non-sentient "VI's" that often do have human(oid) holograms, which was done intentionally by Cerebus to prevent the crew from empathizing too much with a potentially dangerous AI. Her femininity is confirmed by both one of the engineers of the ship, who is afraid of the estrogen overload in the level, and by the ship's pilot, who sees the AI as a girlfriend/mother figure... eventually.
    • In Mass Effect 3, EDI is promoted to full squad status by virtue of taking over an experimental Cerberus robot form. Shepard can play matchmaker with her and Joker, if the player likes.
    • In the Extended Cut of the Control Ending, after uploading her/himself, Shepard was recreated as an AI entity to replace the old Catalyst as the controller of the Reapers.
  • Metroid:
    • Post-Brain Uploading, Samus' former CO Adam in Metroid Fusion is another spaceship guy, although it takes a little while for her to notice that it's actually him. Made a little awkward by the later revelation in Metroid: Other M that he was something of a father figure to her when he was alive; now she has a ship for a dad.
    • In Other M, we have MB. She was given an android body in the backstory, and she looks exactly like a normal human. She manages to fool both Samus and the player into thinking that she's Madeline Bergman, the head scientist, until Samus meets the real Madeline near the end.
  • So uh, a spaceship crashed in my yard. has Aria, the spaceship who crashed in your yard. She projects a hologram which follows you around for the rest of the game.
  • Titania from Starship Titanic, who's sorry about the parrot, really she is. Her creator, Leovinus, is also in love with her. She has angelic statues all over the ship that double as her sensors, and there are even table lamps modeled in her likeness.
  • System Shock's Shodan is a spacestation girl. The sequel gives us Xerxes, a spaceship guy who eventually gets hacked and sublimated by a resurrected Shodan, allowing her to finally be a spaceship girl at last.
  • Much like Dolores in the Zone of the Enders anime, A.D.A. in the main series and Parshti in Fist of Mars both undergo character development into this. In the second game, the new pilot of Jehuty actually teases A.D.A. about her apparent crush on her original pilot.

  • In the science fiction arc of Dubious Company, Priestess Sal becomes one, noting feeling very powerful, yet very vulnerable and a bit overwhelmed.
  • Krakow parodies this trope mercilessly with the "planegirl" story, starting here.
  • Questionable Content has a gender-inverted example in Station, the male-projecting AI of Hannelore's father's space station who is very much in love with Hannelore. He eventually winds up in a relationship with Tilly, the androgynous and agender personal assistant who Hannelore's mother foisted upon her.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Starships have embedded AIs that assist in the running and maintenance of the ship, that develop a hologram avatar that gives the meatbags inside the ship something to focus on when they're trying to talk. Most of these are actually male, probably to instill respect in a male-heavy military environment, but the Athens had Athena, a blue-skinned, red haired human girl. When the characters reunite with Petey and discover that his ears have become prodigious, he informs them that the algorithms determining his avatar's appearance are outside hiss control (and blames his programmer), but the bigger ears indicate moving up in station, as it were. Incidentally, only two AIs aren't subject to this: Ennesby, an ex-computer virus and boy band with a separate robotic body, and TAG, the AI of the Touch-and-Go; this is because they both reside in physical units as opposed to the ship itself (although TAG did appear to have his rather firmly affixed to the floor of the computer room).
    • After a mental breakdown, TAG had a personality reconstruction, courtesy of Ensign Ventura. In a re-inversion of the trope, he is now a she, and she has renamed herself Tagioalisi.
    • At one point, Tagon finds out that the ship he's on is eavesdropping. He wants to add a face to 'her' voice... so he can yell at her. This is reiterated later when she apologizes; "Do you hear that?... I want to see it in her face."
  • According to Tim Eldred's authorized Space Battleship Yamato webcomic Star Blazers: Rebirth, the Yamato has, unbeknownst to its crew, played host to the spirit of Queen Starsha's dead sister Astra since the very beginning of its mission, and that's the reason the ship seemed almost alive both to its crew and to its enemies.
  • In Zap!, the ship Excelsior is sentient and sometimes manifests as a hologram of a naked, glowing blue woman.

    Web Original 
  • Nimue, the AI from Atop the Fourth Wall. She not only has the box in Linkara's apartment to communicate with him, but she also is Comicron 1's mind and ethical controls. We also see her have a "physical" body in her confrontation against Lord Vyce's pure data self during the most recent review of a 2001: A Space Odyssey comic.
  • Chakona Space:
    • The private starship Phoenix has Madeline, in the "on life support and hooked up to the ship's computer with holographic avatars" sense.
    • To a slightly lesser extent, the Folly has Tess, a deity-enhanced AI.
    • The Folly, being something of an interstellar Airborne Aircraft Carrier freighter, has one baby starship daughter ship called Gwendolyn. Gwen has a copy of Tess that Captain Foster simply calls Tina.
  • In the IGN 64 April Fools' Day parody Bollywood Halo, Cortana is presented as a more literal and straight version of this trope, as she is shown as a living human controlling the ship rather than a hologram. It is also implied in the parody that she has a (possibly) romantic relationship with Master Chief.
  • The Last Angel: All of humanity's Dreadnoughts are named after Greek Goddesses, and their AI avatars are correspondingly female.
  • Sheila the tank (later transferred into various other vehicles and structures) from Red vs. Blue.
  • Starwalker: Starwalker (aka Starry). She uses a holographic avatar of the woman she used to be. AI ships are common in the story but she's unusual in having a personality.
  • Hera of Wolf 359 fully controls the USS Hephaestus and at times is considered synonymous with the ship itself.

    Western Animation 
  • Final Space has AVA, the AI that controls the Crimson Light. While she doesn't have an avatar, she has a feminine voice and name. She's contrasted to HUE, who was also a ship AI until said ship was destroyed, forcing him to use a garbage robot for a body. They initially are Sitcom Arch Nemeses, but they grow to respect each other throughout Season 2.
  • Parodied in the Futurama episode "Love and Rocket" when upgrading the Planet Express ship's computer causes it to become a love-obsessed and unbalanced female voiced by Sigourney Weaver, no less! Interestingly, the voice is male by default, until they fiddle with the settings.
  • Aya from Green Lantern: The Animated Series is originally just the artificial intelligence of the Lanterns' Cool Starship until she creates a body for herself.
  • Star Trek: The Animated Series revisits the original series plot, with the jealous computer becoming actively hostile toward the women on the ship.
  • SARA from Toonami controls the Absolution. A straight example of this trope is played when she gets a full body.
  • A.L.E.X., the Xcalibur's AI hologram from The Xtacles, who is constantly fending off advances from her dim-witted crew.