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Territorial Smurfette

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Han Solo (Peter): Hey check it out, it's another chick. The only other chick in the galaxy.
Leia (Lois): I don't like her.

Congratulations! You just received a new team member; and against all odds... it's a girl! Everyone on the team is happy to finally have a new girl to help balance out the gender ratios... everyone except for the sole girl already on the team! She isn't happy about the equaling of the gender ratio. Turns out, she actually took pride in the fact that she was the only girl on the team. Like the queen bee in a beehive,note  The Smurfette doesn't take kindly to her male teammates gushing over the new girl, and takes great exception to her presence. As luck will have it, however, the Smurfette will end up being accused of just being catty because the new friend is a girl.


In stories where Status Quo Is God, you'll see the Smurfette turn out to be right because the new girl was either the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing or a Sixth Ranger Traitor, typically with only Smurfette to see through the act. In stories where there can be legitimate progress, the new girl will just be a target of shallow jealousy because the new girl is markedly more feminine or able to get along with the men more easily. In the end, the two women may end up becoming friends. Sometimes these two courses for the story get combined, leading to more interesting results.

A subtrope of The Smurfette Principle. Compare to the Alpha Bitch (who's just a territorial female, period). Almost Always Female, though a gender inversion may occur, especially in series that use The One Guy.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Played with in Accel World, as when Chiyu asks Taku to install Brain Burst on her Neurolinker so she can join him and Haru, she's hesitant to join up with Kuroyukihime, since things are somewhat tense between them at this point, due to shared jealousy over Haru. Kuroyukihime doesn't have any objections to Chiyu joining, although she does find it somewhat unlikely that Chiyu would be able to qualify. In fact, the old Nega Nebulus was mostly female, so it's not as though Kuroyukihime has a problem with other girls being around.
  • In Akatsuki no Aria, Ayako Nishimikado and Aria Kanbara don't get along since Ayako is a bit of a Spoiled Brat and Aria is the family's Heroic Bastard... but when Natsuo's arranged girlfriend Beniko arrives at the scene, both girls hate her pretty much at first sight.
  • In Bleach, Riruka Dokugamine behaves rather harshly towards Orihime Inoue when she comes into the X-Cution headquarters. Orihime doesn't take the bait, and Riruka softens up to her anyway. (Sorta)
  • Played straight and then downplayed with Sanae from Captain Tsubasa:
    • Played straight and for absolute comedy: in Yayoi's first apparition in the elementary school arc, Sanae was pissed and openly jealous. It's not helped by a totally oblivious Yayoi revealing her past with Tsubasa and, well, by both of them being little girls back then. (They're hinted to have become good friends as teenagers.)
    • In a filler arc from the first TV series, Sanae also shows jealousy of Rika Oosawa — to the point that when Tsubasa's mother Natsuko decides to go to France (where Tsubasa and Rika actually are, alongside the Japanese Team), Sanae tags along with her (and Manabu) all the way from Tokyo to Paris. Even when Rika does not have any kind of Ship Tease with Tsubasa. Again, it's totally Played for Laughs and Sanae is supposed to be seen as immature and clingy for it.
    • Downplayed: Sanae showed some jealousy when Kumi arrived, but this was mostly because she openly said she joined due to Tsubasa and other than that they're best friends. Also, Sanae is the one who brought Yukari to the team and never showed anything similar to jealousy towards her.
  • In Code Geass, Kallen is miffed when C.C begins hanging around with the Black Knights, mainly because she feels jealous about C.C's evident closeness with their leader Zero, who Kallen has an obvious crush on. She eventually gets over it and she and C.C become Lovely Angels Vitriolic Best Buds (the vitriol due to C.C being an incorrigible Troll.)
  • In Cyborg 009, when 009 brings Helen back to the Dolphin, 003 gets a bit upset and asks why he seems so keen on defending her against 004's accusations that she's dangerous. Amusingly, 001 immediately lampshades this by flat-out telling 009 that 003 has developed romantic feelings for him and is a bit jealous. The whole thing is pretty downplayed, since the next scene with Helen shows her and 003 acting very friendly towards each other, and 004 lamenting that he seems to be the only one left with suspicions about Helen's allegiances.
  • In One Piece, after Nico Robin joins the crew, Nami is the first of the crew members to voice her objection over Robin forcing herself into the crew. Robin manages to win Nami over quickly by giving her money, and later she refers to Robin as her Cool Big Sis. Of course, Nami's objections were less about Robin's gender, and more because she was The Dragon of the previous Arc Villain. The fact that Nami had an "older sister" type friendship with Vivi — the princess whose kingdom went through intense turmoil because of Robin's actions — and probably had the most empathy of anyone in the crew for the pain she went through probably had something to do with it as well.
    • Speaking of Princess Vivi, it should be pointed out that Nami had no objections to letting her travel with the crew back when she was still the only woman in it. In fact, it was her idea.
  • Zig-zagged in Sorcerer Stabber Orphen Revenge. Cleao and Lycoris don't get along at first, but it's less about romantic/sexual jealousy and more because of their personality clashes. And the first time they fought, the actual cause was a doppelganger that tricked Cleao into believing that Lycoris was The Mole. Once they have to go through Teeth-Clenched Teamwork and understand each other better, they become very close friends.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Yoko has some difficulty dealing with Nia when she joins Team Dai-Gurren, more because her Moe-ness wins over the guys than because of her being the Big Bad's daughter. Possibly justified in that, back then, she considered Nia dead weight: they were fighting a rebellion, and Nia had no combat skills. Then Nia won Yoko over via showing her Silk Hiding Steel side, specially via not even blinking when Yoko released her from a monster via shooting said monster when it was holding Nia hostage. It was sealed when Nia asked Yoko to give her an Important Haircut (as she lost a bit of hair in the rescue process) and when Yoko was cleaning it up, she asked why Nia just closed her eyes and looked content. Nia answers that Yoko is a master with a rifle, showing she had complete trust in Yoko. Yoko realizes that she was being a jerk and ends up becoming a Cool Big Sis to Nia.
    • It may not entirely count anyway, as there were other females in the team already before Nia joined. (Kittan's sisters, anyone?)

    Comic Books 
  • Marvel Star Wars: Princess Leia shows signs of this when a Fiery Redheaded wingmate of Luke's, one Shira Brie, starts flirting with him, although she gets over it. Then Luke discovers that she was an Imperial Deep Cover Agent after unwittingly shooting her down during a mission; she survives, and eventually returns as "Lumiya".
    • In the same series, Leia also dislikes Dani, a Zeltron woman who travels with them on several occasions and also has a thing for Luke. But after they work together on a mission, this dislike largely fades.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Inverted in The Prayer Warriors, during Battle with the Witches. When Ebony (no, not that Ebony), approaches Hermione to take her key to Dumbledore's office, Hermione willingly surrenders it and agrees to convert to Christianity. Ebony is willing to trust her, but Michael only reluctantly agrees to accept her conversion. Draco and Hagrid, the other named male Prayer Warriors, never express their opinions, though, although given that Draco apparently marries Hermione, he may not have objected.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live Action 
  • Present in Captain America: The First Avenger, where Peggy Carter the only active female agent of the SSR finds the secretary (the only other woman with speaking lines) making moves on her man. She's more mad at Steve for allowing this, but this still counts as a minor conflict between the two women.
  • The women of the Guardians of the Galaxy tend to not get along. In the first film, Nebula and Gamora compete with each other for mercenary assignments, to the point where Nebula would rather cut off her own hand rather than ever cooperate with Gamora. In the second film, Gamora trusts Mantis the least of the team and is hostile whenever she approaches. However, she learns her competitive streak has consequences when she hears Nebula tell her how Gamora constantly beating her in battle caused their captor Thanos to continually torture Nebula. This prompts a Heel Realization in Gamora that leads to the two women beginning to patch their relationship.
  • Subverted in Iron Man 2. Tony Stark expects this to happen with Pepper and the new aide Natalie Rushman, but the two of them actually get along fine. Pepper lampshades the trope when she takes it as a sign of Tony's arrogance that he'd assume another Love Triangle would form over him. Pepper does once snap at Natalie, but it had nothing to do with her being a woman or any Love Triangle, but because of the very correct observation that things seemed to go bad whenever Natalie was in the area (since Natalie aka Natasha Romanova aka Black Widow is actually an undercover agent of S.H.I.E.L.D). By their next scene together, Pepper has calmed down and made up with Natalie.

  • In Lockwood & Co., Lucy is incredibly jealous of new colleague Holly for her beauty, brains and competence and especially for the attention Lockwood pays her. Though she gets better later in the series, Lucy's attitude towards Holly is so vitriolic at first that she very nearly drives Holly to resign. And Holly isn't even interested in Lockwood that way.
  • Vin tends to behave like this in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, mostly notably in The Well of Ascension, as she's the only plot-relevant female of The Final Empire. But in the sequel she is immediately hostile towards Tindwyl and Allrianne, though she does soften up to the former as she gets to know her, she remains needlessly rude and hostile to the latter.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Annabeth acts this way towards Rachel Elizabeth Dare, though it's mostly out of jealousy because Percy has clearly fallen for her.
  • When Wendy joins Peter Pan's group, Tinkerbell goes ballistic over this and tries to get Wendy shot by the boys.
  • Alyss treats Evanlyn this way in Ranger's Apprentice, because she thinks that the princess is into Will. While there was significant Ship Tease between them in earlier books, the reader knows that it's entirely died out by now and that she's only interested in Horace. Whether or not Alyss' jealousy is unreasonable is left up to the readers to decide.

    Live-Action Television 
  • The Big Bang Theory: Penny acts like this a couple of times toward an attractive Girl of the Week who will usually be using one of the boys for something. When more permanent members Bernadette and Amy join, though, she's very friendly and bonds with them quickly. Even afterward she ends up this way toward Raj's sister Priya for a while but ends up befriending her as well (bonding, ironically enough, over their sex life with Leonard.)
  • An episode of The Brothers Garcia had Carlos and Lorenna trying to join a band. The girl in the band (aptly named "Diva") protested against Lorenna joining because she wanted to be the only girl.
  • This is Buffy the Vampire Slayer's initial reaction to Faith's arrival in "Faith, Hope and Trick". There are female Scoobies, but none of them is a Slayer. To her credit, Buffy gets over this issue quickly, which is just as well because Faith has some issues of her own.
  • Chiana in Farscape tolerated Aeryn, even seeing her as something like a sister (Aeryn was also on the ship before Chiana was) but reacted this way toward both Jool and Sikozu when they came aboard.
  • As ferals on Mutant X are notoriously territorial, Shalimar did not take kindly to another feral joining the team. Per the trope, the new girl was a joy bringer everyone else liked. Worse, Shalimar was ordered to stay at Home Base due to an injury but was normally the I Can Still Fight! type without two layers of jealousy for extra motivation. It turned out the new feral was even more territorial. She staged the accident that injured Shalimar then joined the team to finish her off.
  • Averted in an episode of The Office (US). When a purse saleswoman comes into the office to sell her products, Michael jokes that Pam will be catty to her since she [Pam] is no longer the hottest woman in the office. Both women are understandably repulsed by Michael's statement.
  • Lampshaded in Red Cap, and put down to the instinctive need of a woman to remove a female rival. When Jo complains this is sexist, her male partner says he'll stop having this belief when women stop proving him right.
  • Kate from Robin Hood is in the midst of a conversation with Much and Allan in which she explicitly identifies herself "the girl" of the gang. Seconds later Robin turns up with Isabella in tow. Kate immediately snarls: "what's the reason for her?" It all culminated in a Love Triangle and a Cat Fight.
  • Carla toward Dr. Clock in Scrubs. Mainly because as a psychiatrist Clock was just as good, if not better, at being The Chick and began solving everyone else's problems (while, ironically enough, doing a study into exactly the same sort of workplace hostility while being unaware of Carla's grudge).
    • Carla does this with other women a lot. She and Elliot were at each other's throats in Season One until Turk and J.D managed to bring them together and they became good friends after that, she and Jordan didn't get along for a while as they were in something of a Love Triangle with Doctor Cox and Carla refused to invite Dr. Miller to her wedding because she was "too pretty". The only woman she consistently liked and respected from the beginning was Laverne.
  • In Sliders, Wade Wells's character does not respond well to the adding of Maggie Beckett to the group. Wade was the only woman in the first seasons.
  • On That '70s Show, Eric's hot cousin Penny comes to visit and ticks Donna and Jackie off because the guys keep fawning over her.
    Jackie: How dare she come into our town, and try to out-hot us?

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Sharmel was the only woman of the main event mafia. She was rubbed the wrong way by Jenna Morasca buying her way into the group.

    Video Games 
  • Parodied in Fire Emblem: Blazing Blade. Serra is at first super bitchy to a VERY pretty new member of the group... who turned out to be a girly-looking guy.
  • For a good part of Lufia & The Fortress of Doom, the only female character in the party is Lufia. When you get your final party member, Jerin, the others refuse to take her at first and when they finally do, it is revealed why: Lufia reacts very negatively to another girl being close to HER Hero. Get ready for lots of bickering from that point onwards.
  • Ashley of Mass Effect is critical toward Liara joining the squad. Though in this case, it was not specifically because Liara was female (...sort of...), but because she was the daughter of a major enemy agent. However it's played a little more straight in that there can be a little bit of jealousy regarding a romanced Liara, as well as a bit of hostility at other points (Ashley once snaps at Liara for speaking up during a strategy meeting, accusing Liara of overstepping her bounds). Additionally, by this point, Tali, the other female squad member, will have joined. It is also subverted in that Shepard might also be female. Her primary issue however is the fact that Liara isn't human serving on the most advanced ship in the Alliance fleet. By Mass Effect 3, if she survives, she's not only gotten over it and, assuming you take the correct steps, not only fights alongside Liara, Tali, and EDI but is even very forgiving if a male Shepard left her for Tali in the second game.
  • Averted in Persona 5. Ann, the first female Phantom Thief, initially dislikes Makoto, the Student Council President, because Ann believes that Makoto willingly turned a blind eye to Kamoshida's crimes (including those against Ann and her best friend, Shiho), but the truth is that Makoto believed she couldn't do anything and feels guilty. Once Makoto joins the team, she and Ann have a heart-to-heart talk that results in them exchanging apologies and getting on a First-Name Basis, and Ann even says she's glad to have another girl on the team.
  • Also averted in Persona 4, where the first person to join the Investigation Team after Chie is Chie's best friend, Yukiko. Chie sometimes worries about Yukiko but is glad to have her around.
  • Played with in Persona 3. While Mitsuru, one of the founders and the first female member of SEES doesn't dislike Yukari, Yukari isn't fond of Mitsuru's distant attitude and tendency to keep secrets at first. The two girls become closer over time, though, and are best friends by the end of the game.

    Web Comic 
  • In General Protection Fault, Ki, the "Smurfette" of the eponymous company, takes an instant dislike to Trudy when the latter is hired, largely because Trudy's a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who's only nice to Dwayne (her boss), and Nick (the guy she likes), although she does say that it's nice to have another woman at work. Since Ki also likes Nick, there's an element of jealousy at play, and Nick, who's more trusting of Trudy than most, suspects that Ki's hatred of Trudy is irrational. Of course, when Sharon gets hired, she and Ki become close friends.
  • An odd variant in Something*Positive: PeeJee joins Jhim's role-playing group and designs a female character. Mike, who had previously been the only one with a female character, objects to having two in the party. The Dungeon Master, annoyed, declares that something Mike did in their last session has given his character a permanent Gender Bender.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied by The Nostalgia Chick. She's The Lad-ette who doesn't know what a Chick Flick is at first and had a whole mini-arc about not wanting to do just girly movies anymore, but she'll still threaten anyone who dares go into her area of female nostalgia.
  • From Phelous's review of Stay Alive: "I'm jealous of her cause I'm a girl."
  • In Red vs. Blue, when Agent Tex first met Sister, she was rather hostile toward Sister, even going so far as to lay down the law in a private conversation (which Sister, who is one of the Cloudcuckoolanders of the series, mistook as "you know, girl stuff").
  • Gender Flipped and Played for Laughs in Teen Girl Squad: in a bonus scene to the Prom episode, Tompkins (who was apparently intended to be The One Guy when he was introduced) grumbles that if the Four Gregs hadn't come along, he could have been massacred as one of the girls' dates. (He is then massacred by something unrelated.)

    Western Animation 
  • Averted on Avatar: The Last Airbender. Katara and Toph clashed after Toph joined but this had nothing to do with gender (Katara even liked having another girl around) and everything to do with Toph's standoffish attitude. Plus the fact that the entire Gaang was sleep-deprived at the time kept everyone on edge.
    • This does briefly show up in the first season of The Legend of Korra, with Korra initially disliking Asami due to Asami's relationship with Korra's crush, Mako, as well as Korra's Love Triangle-addled perception of Asami being a stuck-up prissy rich girl. This jealousy only lasts for about half an episode, though; as soon as Korra and Asami actually spend some time together and get to know one another, they become good friends. The trope is ultimately defied with a vengeance when they become girlfriends in the series finale.

  • Lampshaded in the quote above from the Star Wars parody episode in Family Guy.
    • In "Forget-Me-Not" Stewie puts Peter, Brian, Joe, and Quagmire in a simulation where they all have amnesia and are the only people around due to Stewie believing Peter and Brian were only friends from circumstance. Aside from a misunderstanding that leads the others to believe Peter destroyed everyone else on Earth, they get along fairly well and Stewie admitted to being wrong when Brian took a bullet for Peter after defending him from accusations over said misunderstanding. In the end, we see Stewie has done the same thing with Meg, Lois, and Bonnie. They started clawing at each other's throats after just a few minutes.
    • Played with in a cutaway gag where a couple of women compliment each other with unflattering remarks. It then cuts away to two guys who genuinely get along, ending with people singing, "Men! We know how to be friends!"
  • Parodied in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: One episode featured a tribe of Smurf expies and Grim tried to capture them. One of his attempts consisted of disguising himself as a female of their species, resulting in him getting a beating from their Smurfette, which was quite larger than them.
  • Bizarrely inverted in the The Simpsons "Bart Star" where Lisa tries to pull off a Jackie Robinson Story and announces she's joining the football team. Only when she gets there she finds out there's three other girls on the team already and the coach is welcoming. Enraged she can't be the only girl on the team (or protest the use of pigskin footballs since they're entirely synthetic and the producing company donates to charity) she runs off crying.
  • Happened between Windblade and Strongarm in Transformers: Robots in Disguise (2015) much to the irritation of the fanbase. Thankfully, the tension was gone by the next episode they had together.
  • Kimiko from Xiaolin Showdown reacted poorly to the addition of the mermaid Dyris to the team, mainly because Dyris had no problem flirting with the boys to get them to do things for her. Then Dyris taught Kimiko the same trick and they became great friends... but it was discovered later that Dyris was actually evil and that went out the window.
    • Happens again in the sequel series, Xiaolin Chronicles between Kimiko and Willow. And once again, the new addition is actually evil and ends up leaving so that Kimiko remains the sole female on the team.
  • Boom-Boom/Tabitha is the only girl in the Brotherhood house in X-Men: Evolution and when Mystique arrives back she leaves saying "too many girls in this house". Then again, Boom-Boom tended to get along well with other girls as proved by her Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Amara, and she never really fit in the Brotherhood too well. And considering the stuff Mystique did later...
  • Subverted on Young Justice. M'gann actually tried to befriend Artemis, but the latter ignored her efforts and openly ogled Superboy, M'gann's crush. M'gann was clearly aggravated, but after some light bickering, decided to keep being friendly anyway. Sure enough, the two become close friends. Also Averted later when Zatanna and then Rocket show up.


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