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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 she 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 and Dislikes the New Guy. 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. See also All Women Hate Each Other, where the territorial attitude is due to a supposed fickleness in female relationships.


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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.
  • When Irene Adler shows up in Moriarty the Patriot, Miss Hudson does not like her. shocked and horrified by her apparent relationship with Sherlock (which is an act Sherlock didn't consent to anyway) and also that Adler is a more stunning natural beauty. However, they come to terms and Miss Hudson is willing to help save Adler.
  • In One Piece, Nami is initially hostile towards Robin when she first joins the crew, which is understandable since until a few days ago she was Crocodile's Number Two (that and she's rather shamelessly charming her way through the rest of the male crew members). She quickly changes her tune when Robin bribes her with some jewels she stole from Crocodile, and they genuinely get along from then on.
  • 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.
  • Played With regarding Anzu Mazaki/Tea Gardner in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Whenever the main protagonists befriends a girl duelist (like Mai Kujaku/Valentine or Rebecca Hawkins), she usually takes the longest to warm up to them. This is on account of the girl acting condescending, antagonistic or trying to make a move on her on-and-off crush Yugi. Though she does welcome their company after she gets to know them better. In the dub, Tea constantly wishes she had more female friends.

    Comic Books 
  • Star Wars (Marvel 1977): 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.

  • 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.


    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 García 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.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "School Reunion", Rose quickly becomes jealous of Sarah Jane when she temporarily rejoins the Doctor and his companions; the feeling is mutual. This is somewhat more understandable as they both have a close relationship with the Doctor, yet the Doctor never even mentioned Sarah Jane existed, while Sarah Jane spent decades not knowing if the Doctor was alive only to find him running around with a new companion. The two women are passive-aggressive towards each other, culminating in a shouting match where they each try to outdo each other in the cool things they've seen on their adventures. Then they realize how ridiculous they're being and become friends. By the end of the episode, Rose actually seems disappointed when Sarah Jane declines the offer to travel with them.
  • 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.
  • Frasier:
    • Daphne hates Niles' mid-series love interest Mel, partly because she's just realized Niles has a crush on her, but also because Mel is unbelievably rude to her, treating Daphne like a maid-servant.
    • Season 10 has the love triangle between Frasier, Roz, and Julia Wilcox, with Roz taking an instant dislike to the rude, pushy, and just generally obnoxious Julia apparently because of an attraction to Frasier, which eventually culminates at the end of the season with Roz demanding he chose between them and threatening to walk away if he chooses Julia. This... didn't go over well, so season 11 begins with utterly dumping that idea, and Roz mocking the idea she has any sort of romantic feelings for Frasier whatsoever. Julia is given the boot an episode later.
  • Averted with the original cast of Misfits, but played straight in later seasons when Jess is initially the only girl of the group consisting of her, Finn, Rudy, and Curtis and in two Love Triangles with Alex and Finn, then Finn and Rudy. When Abby joins them, Jess is the only one who outright dislikes her, calling her a "slut" for sleeping with Finn once (which Abby outright states she didn't find particularly enjoyable and she just did it to see if it would jog her memories at all) and a freak multiple times and on a couple of occasions, to her face. Abby doesn't especially care but it's still quite jarring how needlessly rude the otherwise Only Sane Man Jess is to her.
  • The Muppet Show: In Steve Martin's episode the Muppet Theatre is auditioning new acts. Mary Louise, the only female singer auditioning, gets repeatedly yanked offstage by a Vaudeville Hook before she can finish a song. After the third time it's revealed that Miss Piggy was on the other end of the hook.
    Miss Piggy: I keep telling you, I'm the girl singer on this show. Move it. Move it!
  • 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 as "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 token girl 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?
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Dee often acts this way. In particular, when Mindy Kaling guests for one episode and Dennis comes back, Dee throws her under the bus.
  • Young Sheldon: In "A Free Scratcher and Feminine Wiles":
    Dr. Lee: Can you believe there were only three women in my major?
    President Hagemeyer: Well, at least you had each other.
    Dr. Lee: Those bitches? Pass.

    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: The 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. She's also surprisingly nice to Florina (the only woman she can support with), and wants to get on Lyn's good side after learning that she's a noble, so it's not as though Serra has a problem with women- only those she sees as threats.
  • 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.
  • For most of the Crash Bandicoot games, Coco was the only prominent female character. Following Nina Cortex entering the series however, Coco quickly becomes her Sitcom Arch-Nemesis. Given Nina's a snarky villain (and at one point kidnaps Coco to do her bidding), this would make sense, though it becomes bizarre in Crash Tag Team Racing. Nina doesn't even interact or discuss Coco at any point in the game. Half of Coco's dialogue seeps in her hatred of Nina, even when it's unrelated.

  • 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.
  • Inverted in Tawawa on Monday. It's all the other men in the office that are suspicious of the pretty saleswomen who try selling insurance to them, because since they're already used to Kouhai's good looks, they can see the women's offers for what they really are.

    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 (2006): "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 her, 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.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: Played with. Astrid seems to react this way when Heather first appears, but she's actually quite justified, as Heather gives the riders a Conveniently Unverifiable Cover Story of being attacked by pirates and losing her memory before washing up on Berk, and then charms the boys into telling her the strengths and weaknesses of their dragons. After Heather is revealed to be an unwilling mole for Alvin the Treacherous, Astrid rescues her and they become friends for the rest of the series.
  • 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!"
    • As the page quote shows, Leia (Lois) takes an instant disliking upon meeting the only other onscreen female, Mon Mothma (Angela).
  • 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 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 Pseudo-Romantic Friendship with Amara, and she never really fit in the Brotherhood too well. And considering the stuff Mystique did later...
  • Subverted on Young Justice (2010). 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.


Video Example(s):


Agent Tex

Tex comes back after an absence to find that Blue Team has a new female recruit. Having been used to being the only woman in Blood Gulch, she's not happy about it.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / TerritorialSmurfette

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