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The Ingenue

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The Ingenue, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1877)

"What are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM."
Mary Lane, Reefer Madness: The Musical (2005)

The Ingenuenote  is a young virginal woman with the purity of a child.

She is kind, sweet-natured, polite, and optimistic, and on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, she falls very much on the idealistic side. Her innocence will often inspire protective feelings in heroic characters, and she is frequently one of the more beautiful characters because of the convention that Beauty Equals Goodness. Unfortunately, her innocence also means she can't tell the difference between a true gentleman and a rake who will ruin her purity and leave her in shame. As a result, the ingenue is one of the most common Damsels in Distress. She is also immune to sexual innuendo. In a worst-case scenario, the character will be given no personality beyond her purity and innocence.

The ingenue is a Stock Character found throughout all media but is especially popular in Opera where it is almost always voiced by a lyric soprano. The Princess Classic is one of the most common examples of this. If this character is played straight and not in a traditionally romantic setting, she may be Wrong Genre Savvy, and will usually be screwed over.

A young actress in a theatre troupe is often called an ingenue, as she is frequently cast in this role. Expect the White-Dwarf Starlet to wax poetic on how she was The Ingenue once.

Partially because All Men Are Perverts is alive and well in our culture, there are few modern Spear Counterparts to the Ingenue that share the same characteristics and positive connotations. The closest equivalents for male characters would be Tenor Boy, which is specific to theater, or Manchild, which is often viewed as immature and emotionally weak, with the emphasis being more on the lack of adult traits in the manchild versus their childlike purity. There existed something close to a counterpart during the sturm und drang period of Romanticism, in the form of various Too Good for This Sinful Earth Romantic heroes based upon the popular reinterpretation of The Sorrows of Young Werther. It is, however, reasonably common for subverted ingenues to have male love interests who ironically fit the part far better, especially in theatre (Johanna and Anthony in Sweeney Todd, Eurydice and Orpheus in Hadestown, Sarah and Alfred in Tanz Der Vampire, etc).

The trope name is standard theatrical terminology and is derived from French for 'guileless'.

Compare Manchild, The Pollyanna, Princess Classic, The Cutie, Purity Sue, Parasol of Prettiness, Proper Lady, and the "Child" archetype of The Three Faces of Eve. These characters are particularly prone to the Caged Bird Metaphor.

Contrast The Vamp, Femme Fatale, Heroic Seductress, Innocent Bigot, Seemingly-Wholesome '50s Girl, Stepford Smiler, Wide-Eyed Idealist, Covert Pervert, Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose, Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date, Psychopathic Manchild, Yandere, The Hecate Sisters, and the "Wife" and "Seductress" archetypes of The Three Faces of Eve.

See also Evil Desires Innocence.

If she acts as The Heart to a Byronic Hero, you're looking at Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You:
    • Shizuka Yoshimoto is tiny, quiet, shy, and frequently compared to a small animal. The rest of the cast are all very protective of her and one of the few times an antagonist does upset her, it enrages them into a version of Super Saiyan called "Super Smitten". Nano, in particular, is fond and protective of Shizuka such that, in a Baby Morph Episode, she has the exact same response to Shizuka that she does to her babified friends: "If no one protected this lifeform, it would perish." She isn't entirely immune to adult-oriented thoughts, but they're a much more downlplayed part of her personality compared to the blatant perverts Hakari and Hahari.
    • Yamame Yasashiki is Shizuka's physical opposite, being the tallest girl in the cast with strength to match. However, like Shizuka she has a purity to her that is so strong it upsets Hakari's attempts to teach her how to be sexy. Hakari's attempts to make sexy glamour shots all turn out wholesome and Hakari's ideas for Yamame to seduce Rentaro keep being mistaken for more innocuous acts, such as pretending to trip so Rentaro can catch her making him fear she's unwell. One of the things Yamame likes about Rentaro is the fact that he will step into danger to protect her, even knowing that she's strong enough to do the protecting herself.
    • Rin Baio is a subversion: she's a kind, polite girl from a sheltered background, but she lacks the usual innocence, having an avid fetish for violence, whether watching it, delivering it, or experiencing it (though she's a consensual sadist rather than someone who simply enjoys hurting others).
  • Ah! My Goddess: Belldandy. Her pastimes include cleaning, talking about how much she loves cleaning, and coddling various inanimate objects because love makes machines work better. She'll give any and every stranger on the street a hug, but hasn't gotten past second base with the boyfriend she's lived with for years. There are occasions where she is shown as being aware of the situation, but these are typically the exceptions rather than the rule.
    • For example, her knowledge of sexual innuendo is woefully limited, allowing her to misunderstand comments such as how Keiichi doesn't get much sleep when he's with her. She also misses Keiichi's hints about moving their relationship forward sexually, such as when they were standing in front of the love motel during an Urd-created rainstorm. On the other hand, she is at least somewhat aware that Keiichi has sexual desires, but admits she is not ready to fulfill them.
    • When they were at the hot Springs and Keiichi was trying to cover up his nakedness, Belldandy was totally unaware of Keiichi's embarrassment at being nude in front of a group of girls and thought that Marller had hurt him. Both Marller and Urd considered her complete obliviousness to be scary.
  • While Mai "Ino" Inose, the Token Mini-Moe of Asteroid in Love, has moments of covert perversion, she is generally unaware of the sexual intentions of the people around her. For example, while even Mira can get occationally fed up by Moe's perversion, Mai doesn't seem to understand what's in Moe's mind as the latter says she likes "gathering girls' data." Mai co-stars in the Print Bonus strip called Suzu's Research, where she often just sits around Moe as the latter peeps into the club room.
  • Krista Lenz from Attack on Titan actively cultivates this kind of image, as part of her overall issues with herself. She desperately wants to be thought of as a virtuous, innocent, and gentle girl to the extent she puts herself (and others) into harm's way. She is a kind person, but not nearly as innocent or virtuous as most people are lead to believe.
  • Eve Genoard from Baccano!, who is the only character in the entire series who isn't a crook, psycho, or dabbling in organized crime in some way - as far as she knows. In Drugs & the Dominoes she demonstrates that even Moeblobs of the Baccano! universe are prepared to remorselessly blow your head off in revenge.
  • Chobits: Chii is a justified example. Her memory and personality were wiped clean so she has the maturity and awareness of a child.
  • Claudine: Rosamarie's innocence causes trouble for those around her as well as herself. As a young girl, she often tried to hog Claude all to herself, which only resulted in Claude distancing himself from her. When she was older, she caught Auguste with his lover, Cécilia, then told Louis, not realizing that Louis and Auguste were also lovers. This drove Louis into a jealous rage, leading to Auguste, Cécilia, and Louis' deaths and Rosemarie with half of her face covered in burn scars.
  • Code Geass:
    • Nunnally Lamperouge is a sweet young girl unaware of anything beyond her brother and school. Then R2 rolls around, and we see that despite being blind and wheelchair-bound, she's still her father's daughter...
    • Euphemia is the only pacifist in her family of soldiers and strategists.
    • Shirley is the nicest girl in the series and only peripherally connected to the war theme.
  • Crimson Spell has Valdrigr, the sweet, innocent, Obliviously Beautiful Prince Charming. As a knight, he's not unfamiliar with violence, but keeps to a strict ethical code and is genuinely shocked when others behave differently. He's so sexually naive that kissing Halvir to administer an antidote arouses him, he barely seems to recognize what he's feeling. His purity inspires devotion and protectiveness in everybody he meets (except the villains, who feel the urge to despoil him). Even after he ditches the "virginal" aspect, he hangs on to the wide-eyed idealism and downplays his desires so much that when his uninhibited alternate self is made a Literal Split Personality, he comments that Vald makes him sick. And like most Rare Male Examples, this is used to facilitate a romance with his cynical, casually-sexual traveling companion, Halvir.
  • Himeko from Destiny of the Shrine Maiden is an innocent, naive high school girl who becomes swept in conflict after falling for Aloof Dark-Haired Girl Chikane.
  • FAKE: A rare male version is Ryo. He is not a Manchild and a very mature Straight Man to contrast his partner Lovable Sex Maniac Dee. However, he is extremely naive when it comes to intimate matters and often nearly taken advantage of as a result. Sexual innuendo tends to fly over his head, has little experience in relationships, and is hardly able to keep his partner's (or his boss's) sexual advances at bay. In the English version, other characters call him 'Sandra Dee', an actress known for playing the Ingenue in many roles.
  • Fruits Basket: Tohru Honda, on top of being a very cute and friendly girl, is so pure that even the most obvious of innuendos and sexual subtext fly straight past her head. And because the wrong people will try to take advantage of her, it often forces Kyo and Yuki to be on her guard at all times.
  • May Chang from Fullmetal Alchemist is a sweet, naive, and well-meaning princess. Did we mention that she can also kick your ass?
  • Miaka Yuki from Fushigi Yuugi takes this trope to its logical extreme.
  • Golden Boy: Noriko is a kind, shy, and gentle virgin who becomes the faux girlfriend and target of a yakuza member looking to take over and close down her family's ramen shop. Even when he tries to coerce her into sex, she becomes extremely uncomfortable and Kintaro has to protect her from falling prey to the criminal.
  • Hanamaru Kindergarten: Nanako Yamamoto. Her obliviousness to romantic overtures appears to be genetic. She and her sister are both aware the other has men interested in them, but fails to notice when someone makes romantic overtures to them.
  • Hidamari Sketch.: Yuno certainly has Character Development, but still is childish and naive compared to her co-tenants.
  • In the Clear Moonlit Dusk: Despite her princely demeanor and appearance, Yoi's personality is more in line with this trope. She is beautiful, polite, and surprisingly innocent in comparison to her peers due to her lack of experience with men cause by her Bifauxnen looks. She turns beet red from Ichimura picking her up and carrying her princess style. Seeing the gap between Yoi's princely persona and more innocent personality is actually what ends up appealing to Ichimura.
  • Yamada from Kase-san. One chapter has Kase subtly try to see if she wants to have sex, and Yamada is shown to be completely oblivious to what it is Kase is asking.
  • Kimi ni Todoke: Sawako Kuronuma fits this as a modern-day reinterpretation. Academically, she's very bright but has almost no social skills. She falls for a guy who became incredibly popular at school due to his penchant for being nice to people. While she does get into "distress" from time to time, it's usually high school issues that pose the threat, and her friends encourage her to solve the problems herself.
  • Kiniro Mosaic's Alice is small by Japanese standards (despite being an English girl!) and has the naivety of a child.
  • In Lucky Star, Tsukasa leans toward this trope, while Yutaka is a definite example. She is cute, sweet, and innocent, and her ignorance of sexual themes is made clear when she asks what yaoi means.
  • Magical Taruruto-kun: Iyona Kawai is an angelic All-Loving Heroine who tries to get along with everyone and is very modest about her appearance. While she might have a more mature figure for her age, she's a child at heart and has a much more pure and clean personality in contrast to her friends, her mutual crush Honmaru in particular.
  • Both Yuuya and Inori from Nukoduke are unbearably pure, especially during their school days. After seeing the two sweetly sleeping on each other's shoulders, a teacher provocatively asked them how "far" they've taken their relationship. They innocently replied that they went all the way to another city to buy some special edition sweet. To make things "worse", they weren't even alone together, as their friend/guardian Yamato went with them.
  • Sailor Moon: Usagi, when her more obnoxious traits are toned down her kind heroic traits are more apparent. Ironically, this happens most noticeably when she takes the form of Princess Serenity, who is more powerful and more mature.
  • Yuki from School-Live! is extremely friendly, bubbly, and innocent. She looks and acts much younger than she is. Yuki is also The Ophelia, as spends much of the series blissfully ignorant of the Zombie Apocalypse surrounding her. That trait also helps emphasise her naivety to Too Dumb to Live levels.
  • Seitokai Yakuindomo is a series full of Vulgar Humor, Deadpan Snarkers and lustful women. The only exception is the President of the Judo Club, Mutsumi Mitsuba. Every dirty joke either goes over her head, is misinterpreted, or is unheard (since Tsuda covers her ears to protect her innocence). She's so pure that when she says her dream is to be a bride, the radiance blinds everyone present.
  • Shelter: Rin still acts like a child despite being 17-years-old. Justified, because she was a child when she first entered the virtual world and is living all on her own.
  • In Strawberry Marshmallow, Matsuri's way more easily fooled by Miu's antics than the others.
  • The original Super Dimension Fortress Macross: Lynn Minmay. They made her more of an Ingenue in the American version, Robotech. However, she matures into an all-around woman by the end of both series. In some ways she deconstructs the trope without taking things for a darker turn; she can be Innocently Insensitive at times, can be a Spoiled Brat, and it leads to her struggling post-war as the strain of her Idol Singer career gets to her.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's Nia Teppelin also exhibits this trait, as she was extremely sheltered until the age of 14. Her innocence and cheer enable her to become The Heart of Team Dai-Gurren and Simon's Love Interest.
  • Saku "Loli" Momoi from Wasteful Days of High School Girls is notoriously naive and childish, making her Embarrassing Nickname markedly fitting. She still believes in Santa Claus as a high school girl, and later Tanaka convinces her that babies are made when couples submit an application to the government.
  • Akari Akaza of YuruYuri is a prime example. She's naive, modest, charitable and tender-hearted (She gets a BSOD from stepping on what she thinks is a live snake because she thinks she hurt it); and her friends can describe her with no other words than "good girl".

    Comic Books 
  • CrossGen Comics had a conscious, self-aware example: Persha of The First, a centuries-old goddess of secrets who deliberately affects the behavior of a nosy, naive teenager, and remarks aloud that she is keeping secrets from herself in order to remain innocent.
  • Tailgate of The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye is a rare non-female and non-human example, although his purity and naivety are largely the results of both his youth (having only been actively 'online' for a few years following a six-million-year coma) and his having missed out on the entire Autobot/Decepticon war. True to the trope, another character takes advantage of his innocence to try and manipulate Tailgate into becoming a Fall Guy for a power play, expecting him to try and alter Megatron's memory and be murdered in the process. In the Season 2 promos, he is even referred to as 'the ingenue' - writer James Roberts was unaware that the term refers to female characters, but was pleased when it was pointed out to him, as part of his general approach to handling gender identity and assignment in a race of Mechanical Lifeforms. (Tailgate has been presented to date as having 'holoavatars' - human-appearing holograms that reflect the psyches of the users - resembling an ambiguously gendered baby and later a young child, so his 'gender' is still ambiguous.)

    Fan Works 
  • Always Visible: Delia gives Galbraith this impression.
  • Entity in the Avantasia Protag Au series is a rare male example. He is also a rare not young example, being in his late 30s. But he also doesn't remember his past and was thrown across dimensions and was isolated before running into the other main characters. He's sweet and purely childlike, loving plushies and anything cute or sparkly. He's kind to everyone he meets, even to those he shouldn't be. When brought into the police station, he's given coloring books to entertain him while his roommate gets lectured. The officer on his case views him as a child in an adult body. He's also virginal and doesn't quite seem to understand sexuality). Interestingly, although he's rarely a true Damsel in Distress due to his strength and other physical capabilities, he often believes he is for a while and cries until instinct takes over and he breaks himself free (or sometimes rescuing his family). Unlike a Manchild though, his behavior and personality is portrayed positively and these traits sometimes end up saving the day.
  • In Fluttershy's Night Out, the teenage Fluttershy has obviously never even gone out on a friendly date with a stallion before.
  • Madavi, the protagonist of Freedom's Limits, qualifies as this. Though she's not a virgin for most of the story (and in fact is quite sexually active later on), she's young, beautiful, kind-hearted and rather innocent and naïve. Some of this is justified to due being Born into Slavery and never setting foot outside of Barad-dûr before she was fourteen, but even Pratima says she can be too trusting at times. Given the story's Foregone Conclusion, this ultimately leads to tragedy.
  • Subverted. Italy sure seems like a male example in Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità with how innocent he appeared, but in reality, he wasn't.
  • Ana is portrayed as a bit of one in Lucky Number Thirteen, as she is in the original books. However, it's deconstructed and Played for Drama in this fic; Ana is so naive about sex and BDSM, she is easily manipulated by Christian and misjudges or misinterprets a lot of his more harmful behaviour. Sharon helps open her eyes and she is not happy when she realises what's actually going on.
  • More generally, Y/N of many a Reader-Insert Fic is portrayed as this.
  • Subverted in Of Siblings and Masks. Nunnally keeps a facade of being ingenue because that's what her brother would have wanted from her. She's actually very cold and serious.
  • Pokemon: Shadow of Time makes Sabrina a mix of this and Manchild; due to her having been possessed by a psychic parasite since she was twelve years old, once the parasite becomes trapped in Ash's subconscious, Sabrina regresses back to her twelve-year-old persona, which leads to her 'imprinting' on Ash and Misty to the extent that she explicitly calls Ash 'Daddy', even though she's almost a decade older than him and has very obvious cleavage.
  • The Story of Apollo, Daphne and Luca: An Italian Tragedy: Rosa is a sweet, kind and innocent young girl with a very idealistic view on romance.
    • Luca is a Rare Male Example of the tropes. Like Rosa, he has a very sweet and innocent personality and can be quite naive and oblivious, especially regarding Vincenzo's budding crush on him.
  • Deconstructed in Wicked Wiles. Snow White is frustrated that, even eight years into their marriage, her husband treats her like a naive child.

    Fairy Tales 
  • Pintosmalto of "Pintosmalto" is a male version and his naivety and innocence is particularly strong during the feast held in celebration of his and Betta's wedding. He is said to "had only opened his eyes on the wickedness of the world three hours before" and this the queen makes use of to abduct him with ease.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the Disney Animated Canon: This is a common attribute in some Disney princesses:
    • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Snow White accepts a 'magic wishing' apple from an Obviously Evil crone and uses it to wish for a prince on a white horse.
    • Sleeping Beauty: Aurora was raised by three fairies who have no idea how to raise a girl into a woman. She's lucky that the man she met in the woods was her Prince Charming.
    • The heroine of Cinderella maintains her optimism and purity even while living a crapsack life. Fanon has Flanderised her into this though - as in the movie itself she does display more sass than usual for this type of character.
    • Enchanted: Giselle hearkens back to this archetype, and comments on it in the general theme of the "Disney Princess in the Real World" that goes on through the whole movie. Maturing into a grown woman is a plot point and she's a businesswoman by the end; the childlike innocence helps her connect with like-minded children seen in the epilogue.
    • Tangled: Rapunzel is more confident and capable than the classic archetype, but fits as a result of being cut off from the world. The movie doesn't hesitate to play her naivety for as many laughs as possible though.
    • Frozen: Anna was sheltered from the outside world at a young age because of her sister's dangerous powers. When the castle finally opens to outsiders, she promptly falls in love with the first handsome man she sees who turns out to be taking advantage of her naivete; and when her sister blankets the kingdom in Endless Winter, she rushes headlong into the cold to find a way to reach her without bothering to put some winter clothes on at first and nearly freezes to death as a result.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Deconstructed in Black Swan. Nina is very much a real-life Ingenue - a quality that makes her perfect to play the pure White Swan in a production of Swan Lake. However these qualities prevent her from really being able to play the Black Swan - and it's outlined that Nina's purity is really just repression as a result of being smothered by her Beloved Smother.
  • Janet Colgate from Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which is why she's chosen as the mark by competing con artists Freddy Benson and Lawrence Jamieson. Subverted when it turns out that she's a con artist herself, and she successfully scams them both.
  • In Frankenstein 1970, the jealous Judy refers to Caroline as an ingénue, and it is readily apparent that means both the characters she plays and Caroline herself. Caroline's behaviour through the movie reinforces this opinion, and she becomes the object of Victor's desire.
  • In Ghost Ship, Katie's ghost stays immune from the evil infecting the other spectres as she died an innocent young girl, not yet susceptible to human weakness as the adults on board were.
  • Melanie Wilkes of Gone with the Wind. It's the reason why her husband Ashley married her, and why Scarlett is jealous of her and of him marrying her. Her actress Olivia de Havilland was often cast in similar roles.
  • Grease: Sandy Olsson is mocked for this by the other girls in "Sandra-Dee" song.
    "Look at me I'm Sandra-Dee, lousy with virginity...I don't drink I don't swear, I don't rat my hair.."
  • Caroline in Kid Detective (2020) has been Raised by Grandparents and is very naive, wholesome and chaste. This ends up being a major plot point in the central mystery case.
  • Played with in The Lodgers. On one hand, Rachel is a beautiful, chaste young woman whose life-long isolation from society at large makes her naive to the ways of the world. On the other hand, her isolation is enforced by a hereditary curse that demands she and her twin brother keep themselves "pure" for one another until they're compelled to produce children together.
  • Laura in Logan blends some elements of this with Feral Child. Although 11 years old in the film, she demonstrates many behaviors — such as playing with the buttons on an elevator, or eating mashed potatoes with her hands — of a much younger child. A Freeze-Frame Bonus of her Transigen records directly states she has the emotional IQ of a child of around six years old.
  • Metropolis: Maria wholeheartedly believes that a violent worker's uprising can be averted by a single person's intervention - even after the uprising takes place.
  • Reefer Madness: Mary Lane. This is played for laughs in the musical and gives us the page quote.
  • Rehearsal for Murder: Karen was this at the time of the original play. In the year since, she has reinvented herself. Alex comments on her new image and she replies "It was time to stop playing the ingénue".
  • Angelina Tyler in Scream 3 has been cast as the Final Girl Sidney in the in-universe slasher movie Stab 3, and in public, she very much looks and plays the part. It's all an act, though. She's actually a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who used the Casting Couch to get the part — and this being a series that revels in satirizing Slasher Movie tropes, the revelation of this leads to one of the fastest-acting cases of Sex Signals Death ever seen in a horror movie. What's more, in the original script she was supposed to be one of the killers.
  • Stella from the 1918 film Stella Maris was crafted into one. After being born paralyzed, Stella's family decided to try and shield her from the world. She was kept in her room and only shown the good things of the world, like kittens and happy children playing. After she gains the ability to walk and becomes more independent, Stella quickly learns that the world isn't all fluff like she was raised to believe. Stella is played by Mary Pickford in her signature curls, which makes her look all the more innocent and naïve.
  • Pearl is stuck in a very innocent, childlike state in To the Bone, most likely due to her eating disorder.
  • The Waterboy's titular character, Bobby Boucher, is a Rare Male Example, largely thanks to My Beloved Smother treating him like a child.

  • Invoked in The Alice Network. Eve pretends to be naive and innocent so people — especially René — will underestimate her, but she's actually quite cynical even at the beginning, and becomes more so as the book goes on.
  • In Amaranthine Saga's Tsumiko and the Enslaved Fox, Tsumiko is so kind, accepting, and generous that others assume she must be naive and easily manipulated. Tsumiko herself disputes this, pointing out that she was ignorant, not naive, when she was first introduced to The Masquerade, and she has taken pains to educate herself, and that she has only given her trust to people who are actually worthy of it. Later, she proves herself to actually be a bit of a Guile Hero by putting on a show total childlike innocence and naivety while completely shutting down her "relatives" who are hoping to pin her down into marriage to one of their sons.
  • And Then There Were None. Vera Elizabeth Claythorne is a gentle, sweet, naive girl who genuinely loves her boyfriend Hugo, but he can't marry her since he's got no money to do so. She loves him so much that she murders Hugo's nephew Cyril, who was her charge, by letting him drown in the sea so Hugo could inherit the family estate and marry her.
  • The Chronicles of Magravandias: Ellony Leckery down to disliking sex when her husband finally deflowers her. Her best friend turned (unknowingly to Ellony) rival Pharinet wonders at certain points if Ellony represses memories to remain as innocent as she is.
  • Dangerous Liaisons has Cecile, who has been deliberately educated to be an ingenue. Valmont, The Casanova, casually deconstructs the trope in his first mention of her after being challenged to Corrupt the Cutie, implying that her sheltered education will lead to something closer to the Catholic School Girls Rule:
    What do you propose to me? To seduce a young girl, who has seen nothing, knows nothing, and would in a manner give herself up without making the least defence, intoxicated with the first homage paid to her charms, and perhaps incited rather by curiosity than love; there twenty others may be as successful as I.
  • Dracula: Contrary to how she's often portrayed in adaptations, the original novel depicts Lucy Westenra as a sweet, innocent young girl who hides how badly Dracula's attacks are affecting her because she doesn't want people to worry. When she rises as a vampire her cruelty and desire to attack children are used as signs that she's no longer truly herself.
  • Anastasia Steele from Fifty Shades of Grey. Twenty-one, naïve, and so virginal she never even masturbated before meeting Christian Grey.
  • Hard to Be a God: Kira is one of the very few natives on the planet that Anton identifies as a good person. That is more or less her only trait, but in a Crapsack World, it counts for a lot.
  • In the Victor Hugo vein, Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. How she remained pure and naive when hanging around with a bunch of thieves and prostitutes, and doing sexy dances in public, is confusing. Most adaptations deal with this by making her a much more worldly woman.
  • Invisible Man: Sybil is a deconstruction of this. Not just in the sense of being a Seemingly-Wholesome '50s Girl (which she technically is), but in the sense of having herself more than a few issues relating to how she's been sexually stifled. She feels she will be liberated if she's raped by a black man, and when the main character gets her drunk enough to convince her that he did the deed (without actually having done it), he remarks that she was "raped by Santa Claus," as he was to her just as much of a fantasy gift-giver.
  • Danusia, a Lady-In-Waiting to Princess Anna and the protagonist's (courtly) Love Interest in The Knights of the Cross, is unbelievably sweet and cute.
  • A rare male example in the Angela Carter short story The Lady In The House of Love. It concerns a female vampire that seduces and preys on young men. A virgin soldier comes to her mansion and, as she takes him into her bedroom, she cuts her finger. When he kisses the cut, she finds herself unable to feed on him.
  • Cosette from Les Misérables spent her school days in a convent before moving into a very secluded house with her secretive father.
  • The Little Drummer Girl: Charlene plays these roles in her theatre troupe, but is anything but.
  • Invoked in The Little Sister: The title character, Orfamay Quest, presents herself as an innocent small-town girl. However, it's not long before Marlowe starts noticing signs that she's not as ingenuous as she'd have him believe, and by the end of the novel she's been revealed as a hypocritical schemer who would sell out her own family for her own profit.
  • The ingenue version of Christine is parodied in Maskerade, where she's so woefully oblivious to her complete lack of operatic talent that she entirely misses the fact that a dowdier but incredibly gifted woman is actually doing all the singing!! She's as self-centred as a gyroscope and finishes every sentence with two exclamation marks!!
  • The Monk: Antonia is extremely sheltered from having grown up in an isolated castle with her mother. She read an edited version of the Bible because her mother believed the text to be too violent. Things do not go well for her when she meets the Villain Protagonist and title character of the book.
  • In New Grub Street, Marian Yule is an ingenue who grows up by becoming less naïve, more independent and self-assured; but still dutiful and nice.
  • From The Night Angel Trilogy, we have Doll Girl in spite of being horribly scarred. When Azoth as Kylar Stern meets her as Elene Cromwyll, she is a highly religious ingenue. This continues to be true until the events at the end of book 2, involving her stabbing a Khalidorian but that hardly stops her.
  • Night World novel Witchlight:Iliana's behavior is explained this way by another character. "She's too pure to deal with this kind of stuff." Considering that her life has been that of a normal teenager but she is in fact in a world with vampires, witches, werewolves, and shapeshifters, and that she is well-liked enough that people try to be good people around her, this is understandable. She toughens up some later.
  • In Nightmare Alley, the character of Molly is young, beautiful, and almost painfully naive and trusting, something which the main character Stan preys on and manipulates relentlessly. Growing up she was very close to her father after the death of her mother when she was very young. Since her father's sudden death she has been forced to work at a travelling carnival for money and lodging. Compared to the rest of the carnival folk, she is very sheltered and innocent of the ways of the world.
  • Alec is a rare male example in the first 2 books of the Nightrunner series - kind, honest, unworldly, amazingly polite for someone who grew up a peasant, blushes often, especially when faced with nakedness (even that of other men), inspires goodness in random strangers, hardly ever gets angry and forgives easily. Also, he's a virgin until the second book and apparently hadn't even had any sexual thoughts or urges until that point in his life (age 16). Trauma just slides off him like water off a duck. And of course, he's blond, blue-eyed, and unconsciously pretty. He inspires the protective feelings of Lovable Rogue Seregil (to the point that he wants to protect Alec from his own "corrupting" influence and occasionally kind of regrets teaching him to lie and steal), as well as playing the Damsel in Distress in the narrative, at least in the beginning.note  That he's a rare male example is perhaps explained by the fact that he was written by a first-time author trying to write gay romance in the 1980s/1990s. So she used a lot of classic hetero romance tropes and just gender-flipped the heroine.
  • Averted with Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, where she may be a daydreamer, but also a Well, Excuse Me, Princess! whose pluck and stubbornness unnerve Raoul several times before he realizes how wrongly he's misjudged her just because she isn't a meek little ingenue-type. Played straighter in many of the adaptations.
  • Pansy Osmond in The Portrait of a Lady, who retains a childlike innocence and devotion to her father despite being fifteen when she is introduced. Her naiveté is a cause of some annoyance to Henrietta Stackpole, who finds her "incomplete".
  • Pride and Prejudice: Jane Bennet. Her sheer, blinding goodness, which includes never thinking or speaking ill of someone who is clearly mistreating her, sometimes frustrates her otherwise adoring sister, heroine Lizzie.
  • Invoked in Replica: the protagonist, Nadia, and all other women in the Executive class are expected to behave like demure, innocent ingenues.
  • Sepulchre: Leonie is naive and idealistic, something the villain uses to his advantage. It is also used as a reason why other characters keep secrets from her. Unfortunately, this is just playing into the villain's hands.
  • The Sharing Knife plays with this trope in the form of Fawn, who still manages to be innocent and vulnerable as a child while fighting Eldritch Abominations and eagerly enjoying mind-blowing sex with Dag.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Sansa Stark shows how this character type cannot exist in the Crapsack World of Westeros. She's acquired some Jade-Colored Glasses since the series' beginning.
    Littlefinger: "Life is not a song, sweetling. You may learn that one day, to your sorrow."
  • Shallan Davar falls under this trope near the beginning of The Stormlight Archive. By Words of Radiance, however, she is beginning to settle into her true nature as a Lightweaver Radiant, and mostly only uses The Ingenue as a mask.
  • Tell Me How You Really Feel: Rachel describes Sana as one, and it fits her in a lot of ways. While probably not a virgin, she is caring, friendly and upbeat most of the time.
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Ramandu's daughter is a beautiful, ladylike innocent who enchants Caspian with her purity. It's worth noting that she's actually a star in human form.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kenneth the pageboy from 30 Rock is a male version of this trope — differing only in that his youthful appearance hides the fact that he's at least 40 or 800.
    • Parodied in one episode when Liz is growing cynical about New York. An innocent-looking young woman steps off a bus, and enthusiastically asks: "say, where does a young prostitute go to get a start in this city?"
  • Dr. Jemma Simmons from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. She is one of the younger members of Team Coulson and is the kindest and gentlest by far, as she's a scientist rather than a soldier or spy, and she is the one whom everybody takes it upon themselves to protect. Even when she and Agent Fitz are captured by former member-turned-villain Ward, he can't bring himself to renege on his promise to never harm her and uses Loophole Abuse to get someone else to torture her instead. While Simmons does pick up some combat ability over the course of the series, she never fully loses her Ingenue qualities.
  • Sister Mary Eunice in American Horror Story: Asylum... briefly. Then she becomes possessed by a demon and quickly transforms into The Vamp.
  • Trance Gemini of Andromeda likes to give this impression, but it's not true.
  • Lucy of The Bletchley Circle is younger than the other women, and much more innocent.
  • Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer was originally this, before Angelus broke her. Her innocence, purity, and innate goodness and belief in God are what drew Angelus to her.
    • Dawn Summers takes over this role in the later seasons, Glory even commenting that her beloved Key must be pure when in human form (therefore it cannot be Spike as her minions suggest).
  • Carnivàle: Even though she has been working as a prostitute and stripper since her early teens, Libby fits surprisingly well into this trope. Her characterization relies heavily on her attempting to reconcile the realities of her life with her identity as a normal 1930s-style ingenue. She is extremely trusting and innocent (at least, with regards to human nature and life), has few social ties outside and information sources outside of 30s popular media and her immediate and extended Carnival family (who, despite farming her out at an early age out of necessity, obviously love and protect her). She dresses and behaves like the traditional ingenue, has unrealistic dreams, and is genuinely very vulnerable and sweet. She also seems to be somewhat misinformed about sex (for example, telling Sophie that you can't get pregnant your first time). When she becomes romantically involved with Sophie and Jonesy, she is no more equipped or experienced than your average ingenue would be (despite knowing a lot more about sex): her shyness and vulnerability is presented as genuine.
    • Despite being in her early to mid-twenties, Sophie knows almost nothing about sex. Her mother Appollionia actively prevented her from interacting with the strippers and other performers, and her few social contacts (Appollionia, Jonesy, Samson, and Libby) are very protective of her and actively discourage attempts to explore her sexuality. Although she dated Jonesy prior to the start of the series, their relationship was not sexual and she remains a virgin until the incident during the dirtstorm with a man she knew was probably married. It is subverted particularly brilliantly when Sophie seduces and sexually humiliates Libby for the sake of revenge . Consequently, her occasional nastiness, as well as her active attempts to explore and express her own sexuality might prevent her from being a completely straight example of this trope, but it certainly doesn't stop everybody around her seeing her as the classic Ingenue.
  • Annie in Community gives this impression; and, despite her efforts to subvert it (and her personal history), it's mostly true.
  • Rebecca in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend sometimes attempts to present herself this way (it's even in the theme song for the second season: "I can't be held responsible for my actions!" "She's an ingenue!"). But while frequently naive, Rebecca is actually very sexually experienced. The whole show is a deconstruction of female stereotypes and relationship tropes, as well as a pastiche of musical theater, so it's no surprise that the series plays with the concept of the ingenue.
  • Carla and Jessie from Dancing on the Edge are both young singers who join the jazz band and are completely overwhelmed by the attention and success that follows. It's deconstructed a bit in Jessie's case, as she lets the fame go to her head and gets into deep trouble over it.
  • Daisy in Downton Abbey is a kitchen maid who has no idea of the ways of the world.
  • Foyle's War. 'Sam' Stewart is always cheerful, loyal, kind, well behaved and seldom has a bad word to say about anyone. However, she does engage in activities her vicar father would not approve of, such as helping with murder investigations. However she also shows great strength of character, bravery, and generally sees through anyone who tries to fool her.
  • Game of Thrones: While not stupid by any means, Sansa is woefully naive, to the point where "Mhysa" reveals her belief that the vulgar way of saying dung is "shift". One suspects this is part of the reason so many characters in King's Landing seem to take it on themselves to try and protect her (though, unfortunately, just as many as seek to exploit her). Later, she shows the effects of a Crapsack World on this type of character.
  • Rachel Berry of Glee calls herself this in the very first episode, though she doesn't fit the archetype very well.
    • Ironically, the character closest to The Ingenue would be Brittany. Despite not being a virgin, she is rather naive to extreme levels and yet is pure-hearted and idealistic enough to still believe in Santa Claus and magic combs.
    • Outside of the Glee club, Emma is something of a modern-day Deconstruction of The Ingenue.
    • Season 2 gave us Sunshine, though she was never able to do anything with the club after getting snatched up by Vocal Adrenaline. Season 4 gave us Marley, who fits the trope to a T.
  • In the opening episodes, at least, Mia Kirshner plays this part very straight (well...) as Jenny in The L Word.
  • Minnie in Lark Rise to Candleford fits this trope. She had a drink with a man and thinks she's pregnant.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Harriet Conklin is kind, sweet and optimistic, suprisingly given her father Mr. Conklin is a Mr. Vice Guy. While Miss Brooks is a nice person, she's somewhat too much a Deadpan Snarker to meet this trope.
  • Pandora of Skins series 3 (and occasionally series 2) is sheltered and naive, self-confessed to be useless, and often is the unwitting source of innuendo. Partway through the third series she falls in love with Thomas, an African immigrant, and a true gentleman. But later in Thomas' absence, she is seduced by Cook, and quickly loses her blissful ignorant disposition as this complication comes to light.
  • Captain Kirk and his many female conquests in Star Trek: The Original Series: "What is this, 'love?'" Andrea Android from "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", Shahna from "The Gamesters of Triskellion", Kelinda from "By Any Other Name", and Rayna Kapec from "Requiem For Methusaleth" all come to mind.

  • The young lady in "Madeira M'Dear" by Flanders and Swann is evidently an ingenue:
    She was young, she was pure
    She was new, she was nice
    She was fair, she was sweet seventeen...
  • Lana Del Rey's "National Anthem" from Born to Die depicts an ingenue:
    He says to be cool, but, I don't know how yet

    Myths & Religion 

  • Micaela from Bizet's Carmen, the sweet and innocent village girl engaged to Don José, and a stark contrast to Femme Fatale Carmen.
  • Zerlina from Mozart's Don Giovanni. She's a young bride who's almost seduced into sleeping with Don Giovanni and she doesn't realize it until Donna Elvira shows up and puts a stop, declaring that she would protect her.
  • Tatiana from Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin is this to a T. A young girl who loves romance novels and dreams of finding love with the titular character, she writes a letter with mad hope of him reciprocating her feelings.
  • Mimi from Puccini's La Bohème falls under this category. Listen to her aria "Si, mi chiamano Mimi" for further details.
  • Lakmé from Delibes' Lakmé definitely counts: She's a sweet, virginal Hindu priestess who falls passionately in love with Gérald, a British officer. Listen to her aria "Les fleurs me paraissent plus belles" in Act I, which she sings after falling in love with Gérald.
  • Elsa of Brabant from Wagner's Lohengrin, who naively asks the titular hero for his name, despite her not supposed to do so.
  • Cio-Cio-san from Puccini's Madame Butterfly. She's sweet, innocent, and slightly childlike with a strong sense of hope.
  • Gilda from Verdi's Rigoletto, since she falls in love with a womanizer and is so happy to be in love, yet she is sadly killed by the end of the opera.
  • Rusalka from Dvorak's Rusalka is this, as she sings a sweet song about wishing to fall in love and be human, and gives up her voice and immortality to fall in love with the Prince.

  • The White Singer in Alegría — according to the All There in the Manual material, she represents the goodness that existed and endured in the otherwise corrupt old order. She also has a touch of mischievousness about her, as seen during the Act Two opening sequence in which she brings a man from the audience onstage to dance with her.
  • Hope Harcourt from Anything Goes. Main character Billy is completely smitten with her despite sexy Reno Sweeney hanging on his arm.
  • A male example (to an extent) in Jeremy Heere from Be More Chill. He's young, in love, a bit naive, and easily manipulated (though the latter could be explained by the villain prying on his low self-esteem and self-loathing). Subverted heavily, however, in that in his very first appearance he's trying to watch porn.
  • Lampshaded in the Flying Karamazov Brothers' adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors - a letter to one of the characters is changed to a telegram, addressed to "The Ingenue".
  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Deconstructed by Roxane, who is highly intelligent and practical, but is completely convinced her (and Christian) lives are like the Romance Novels she had read. Notice that no one of his suitors tries to force her to accept reality until Christian wants her to choose between Cyrano and him at Act IV and that her Hidden Depths and Character Development demonstrate that she could handle reality very well.
  • Phoebe D'Ysquith from A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder up until the end where it's revealed she might be more of a Good Bad Girl than we all thought.
  • Orpheus is a male example in the Broadway version of Hadestown, as he's innocent, naive, and sees the best in the world and people while also appreciating the world for what it is. He falls in love with Eurydice at first sight and asks her to come home with him before even knowing her name, and is confident he can finish a song to bring back spring to the harsh world.
    • In Vermont, the concept album, and NYTW productions of Hadestown Eurydice was more naive to the ways of the world, and fell for Hades' promises under the belief that she was different than his other workers.
  • Eliza Schuyler Hamilton from Hamilton starts off as this trope; she's wealthy, lovestruck, and naive. This changes after Hamilton cheats on her (and then years later reveals what he did to the world in a bid to save his image) and she loses her eldest son. After the former event, she even has a solo where she essentially hopes Hamilton goes to hell for what he did. Though after the latter event and much guilt and repentance from Hamilton, she also shows the ability to forgive him.
  • Cordelia from King Lear is the sweet younger sister in contrast to her two wicked sisters Goneril and Regan. She's one of the most moral characters in the play but ends up Too Good for This Sinful Earth. She does at least get to be the one who pulls Big Damn Heroes by leading the French army against her sisters.
  • Lois Lane, a character in Kiss Me, Kate, plays the ingenue in the Show Within a Show, but is decidedly less virginal off that stage.
  • Cosette in Les Misérables, mainly because she does little other than wonder why she almost never leaves the house, and then fall in love with a boy who followed her home and hopped her fence in order to tell her that he loved her after saying less than 10 words to her. She's more or less what Johanna (see below) initially appears to be.
  • Anne from A Little Night Music is young, vivacious, virginal (despite being married) and extremely shallow.
  • Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812: Natasha is a pure hearted ingenue through and through. She is madly in love with her fiance Andre and spends her days pining for him to return from war. However, it is established very quickly that she is also extremely naive and that while she knows what love is (with her romance with Andre being depicted as rather chaste), she isn't so familiar with feelings of lust. And when Anatole swoops in to seduce her (specifically for the purpose of eventually sleeping with her), she is unable to process the new feelings that he makes her feel. This leads her to conflate love and lust, and by the end of the first act she is convinced that she loves him just as much as she loves Andre, despite the fact that she's know Andre for over a year and Antatole for only a few days. This eventually leads her to break off her engagement with Andre only to learn that Anatole is a cad who was already married.
  • Christine in Phantom. She's a pure, innocent, wide-eyed soprano who starts out selling songs about Gay Paree outside of the Opera. Both Erik and Philippe fall in love with her because of her purity and innocence. She accepts whatever the plot gives her without question and is happy to merely be in the Opera at all, whether onstage or backstage. She also falls prey to Carlotta's sabotage plot by taking a drink that allegedly would help with the nerves before her big production, but actually causes her to lose her voice. She naïvely believes that if Belladova could stand the sight of Erik's face then so could she, because both women regard him with affection. She runs off screaming or faints at the sight, depending on the production.
  • Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, is actually called "your precious little ingenue" (by her rival). She's a little older and much less childish than the typical ingenue, though, and as the story progresses she becomes a case of Silk Hiding Steel.
  • Subverted by Rose Maybud in Ruddigore, who appears innocent at first until it turns out she's not so much innocent as obsessed with etiquette and gold-digging.
  • Wendla Bergmann from Spring Awakening, to tragic effect. Her mother refuses to give her The Talk, so she doesn't understand how having sex with Melchior caused her to become pregnant. To make matters worse, her mother never explains, and she dies of a botched abortion without ever having learned the truth.
  • A Streetcar Named Desire: This is the image Blanche Dubois tries to project around others. It turns out not to be the case.
  • Johanna in Sweeney Todd initially seems like a classic example of this, but it's gradually subverted as it becomes clear that she's a brittle, anxious, cynical mess with no real faith in happy endings or the kindness of the world thanks to her perverted adoptive father, and that's before she's locked up in an insane asylum where she ends up shooting and killing the owner. Her love interest, Anthony, ironically fits the type better, despite being a strapping young baritone sailor who's been all over the world.
  • Sarah in Tanz Der Vampire subverts this trope outright. She's a pretty, sheltered, pure girl on the cusp of womanhood who longs for romance and excitement. She's also a shameless flirt who lies to get what she wants and spends hours at a time quite possibly pleasuring herself in the tub, vocalizing orgasmically about it.
  • Miranda from The Tempest. Of course, this is mostly to do with the fact that she was raised on a desert island and was apparently unaware of the existence of humans other than her father until well into her teens. When Ferdinand turns up, she immediately falls in love with him.
  • Westeros: An American Musical:
    • When Dontos offers to rescue Sansa from her predicament in King's Landing, Sansa admits to be trusting him just because she's still just barely naïve enough to do so.
    • Margaery claims to be an ingenue at some point in her debut song but is shown to be more of a case of Silk Hiding Steel.

    Video Games 
  • Merrill in Dragon Age II crosses this with Cloud Cuckoo Lander. In a non-mage Hawke playthrough, Bethany plays the trope straight in Act 1, and graduates into either Silk Hiding Steel or an Iron Lady, depending on where she spends the remaining two acts.
  • Fairly common in Final Fantasy, which tends to combine it with White Mage and Love Interest.
    • Rosa Farrell in Final Fantasy IV looks like one, although she's really more of the Team Mom in practice — it's actually non-genue Cecil's naivete that causes the most trouble.
    • Lenna in Final Fantasy V is a very Naïve Newcomer to the world of adventuring who thinks that asking pirates for a ride won't result in, say, them holding her for ransom. (Not that Galuf's plan was any better.)
    • Aerith in Final Fantasy VII is a subversion. With her pink dress and flowers she might look the part, but living in the slums has made her very sharp and streetwise.
    • Garnet in Final Fantasy IX is so sheltered she doesn't know what a dagger is (although that opens up some Fridge Logic considering that it's a fairly standard piece of weaponry for, say, a castle guard). She spends most of the first disc trying to overcome it.
    • Yuna in Final Fantasy X, but not in the sequel thanks to having her faith shattered (and changing occupation to a gunslinging treasure hunter).
  • Amiti in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is a rare male example. He is Spoiled Sweet, he has Black-and-White Morality (which is rare in his world), and considering that he genuinely believed that he was a virgin birth until his guardian revealed the truth, it's possible that he is clueless about sex, despite canonically being the fancy of "all the girls in Ayuthay". It is ironic because he is the oldest person in your party for a good half of the game and yet he seems to be the most naive.
    • He can't be that clueless about sex; he sure knew where Eoleo was going with that "real clothes" comment.
  • Azusa Miura from The Idolmaster is a rather uncommon example of this. She's the oldest of the idols, making her the local Cool Big Sis. The problem is she's The Ditz who has No Sense of Direction, as well as having an innocence to match even her younger co-workers.
  • In Immortal Souls, John's Love Interest Allison is a sweet little innocent woman. She's always clueless about the extent of the danger she's in, though she gets suspicious now and then.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kairi and Namine. Every single Disney Princess appearing in this series seems to be watered down to fit this trope quite nicely too (save for Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora, who always were Ingenues).
    • Ventus is a very good male example, though the reason that he is so pure and innocent is that Master Xehanort forcibly extracted all the darkness from his heart. Still played straight though, as the Ven in the flashback is shown to be largely the same as his present self.
  • Paya from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild spends most of her day doing both her own and her grandmother Impa's duties around Kakariko Village. She doesn't seem to have had any interaction with people of her own generation (who seem absent from the village) and is a major Shrinking Violet. She's so ignorant of romance that when she develops a crush on Link, she thinks she has fallen ill at first.
  • Liara T'Soni starts this way in Mass Effect. By the time of Mass Effect 2, she has lost a lot of her innocence as a result of losing Shepard and the Normandy, going through hell and high water to recover Shepard's body and pursuing a vendetta against the Shadow Broker for trying to sell said body to the Collectors that killed him/her, to the point that when she is re-introduced in Mass Effect 2, she's channeling her mother Benezia and threatening to flay someone alive with her mind. By the start of Mass Effect 3, she is introduced briefly being pursued by two bad guys before she lures them into an ambush and dispatches them with ease using a combination of biotics and pistoleering.
  • Recette from Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale. She's cheerful and friendly to a fault, and seemingly incapable of thinking anything bad about anyone else. Her innocent friendliness ends up winning over a large number of people in-game, including (to his endless consternation) a demon who hates humanity as a whole. Fortunately, she has Tear, a rather more down-to-earth and cynical fairy as a companion who is able to keep others from taking advantage of her.
  • Tsuruhime from Sengoku Basara is a young miko who had a sheltered upbringing due to being an oracle. Because of this, she is quite naive and unable to realize when someone is trying to manipulate her.
  • Fina from Skies of Arcadia starts out like this, but Takes a Level in Badass as the game goes on.
  • Cream The Rabbit from Sonic the Hedgehog gives off this vibe. She's probably the nicest character in the franchise and in Sonic Rush she immediately befriends Blaze The Cat upon first sight, and while Blaze agrees she also warns Cream that she shouldn't be so trusting towards everyone.
  • Princess Peach from Super Mario Bros. is very kind, overly courteous, laid back, and relentlessly cheery and optimistic. Nothing appears to faze her at all to the point where some mistakenly assume she's an airhead (an image certainly not helped by her portrayal in games like Super Mario Sunshine). Of course, this tends to get her into obvious trouble, but is also not to be underestimated whenever she decides to fight on occasion.
  • Colette from Tales of Symphonia fits this to a T. She's sweet-natured, caring, likes animals (particularly dogs and turtles), and self-sacrificing. Colette believes everyone has some good inside them (even assassins who have repeatedly stated their intention to kill her), and she worries about others more than herself (to the point of not telling the rest of the party things they really wouldn't mind knowing about because she doesn't want them to worry), and any sexual innuendo flies over her head.
  • Samantha of Vagrant Story is an example of the trope played utterly straight; she's a commander of the VKP, but she's dressed as a schoolgirl, spends the entire game attached to her lover Guildenstern at the hip, and most of her dialogue centers either on being in love or marveling at her surroundings. In general, she's just a sweet, relatively normal young woman with a good heart. And it's intentional: Guildenstern promoted her to be his right-hand lady so he could sacrifice her to the Dark as a pure soul.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nagisa Furukawa from CLANNAD is very sweet, compassionate, easygoing, supportive, and understanding, but she is also rather naive, clueless, vulnerable, insecure, and childlike. She does get better, though.
  • Chihiro Shindou from ef - a fairy tale of the two. tried to isolate herself due to her amnesia, until she met Renji. Though she is actually one year older than him, her mental age will always be 13 years old, which is the time when the amnesia-inducing accident hit her.
  • Deconstructed with animal tamer Regina Berry from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice For All, who was so Innocently Insensitive about Acro's brother's (near) death that he plots to kill her. Zigzagged with twin sisters Iris and Dahlia — one actually is this trope and the other can convincingly fake it.
  • Princess Penelope of Wellin in Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem is shy, inexperienced, and utterly sweet-natured. The player character may also fall into this trope if she has high levels of Romanticism, Compassion, and Humility combined with low levels in things like Self-Defense, Manipulation, and Autonomy. As both she and Penelope are delegates representing their kingdoms at an international summit filled with political intrigue, this is not entirely a good thing.
  • Ambrosia of War: 13th Day is both a sweetheart and a delicate lady. Of course, given the game's Unreliable Narrator, there may be more Beneath the Mask than we realize.

    Web Animation 

  • Daisy of Bobbinsverse's Giant Days; home-schooled in a tony community and sweetly naive, if occasionally a little annoyingly so.
  • Knights of Buena Vista is a Campaign Comic covering Frozen. Mary plays Anna with exaggerations of this trope, including being scandalized at hearing The Talk from Elsa, and insisting that Hans was too much of a gentleman to "do such filthy things to me!".
  • MYth has spring goddess and underworld queen, Persephone. She may be the most naive of the goddesses, not even second thinking and saying straight out that Zeus is her daddy while in the mortal world and not knowing how the "bees and the birds" work in the Irresponsable omake, driving Zeus and Aphrodite insane. Also, thanks to her godly beauty and naiveness, Zeus had to put undercover gods to bodyguard her way to the place Hades can find her, so nobody does something to her.
  • Oasis from Sluggy Freelance alternates between being The Ingenue and being an Ax-Crazy assassin, sometimes within the span of a single sentence. What do you expect when you take a supernatural killing machine and brainwash her to be "as giddy as a schoolgirl"?
  • Ruby of Sticky Dilly Buns deconstructs the trope, at least in the first volume. She's younger than most of the rest of the main cast, woefully naive (and at least one older figure has taken advantage of this in the past), virginal, and if not immune to sexual innuendo, certainly very bad at handling it. However, she's also petulant, arrogant, and insecure, and her "purity" is treated as both a symptom and a cause of emotional damage. She's also determined to succeed on her own terms, and would probably be angry if anyone tried to play Prince Charming for her. Character Development eventually abrades away most of her naivety and some of her petulance.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ingenue


In My Life

Cosette, her hair loosely braided and in a white dress, sings about wanting to know more about the world and wondering about her love interest Marius in a light soprano.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / InnocentSoprano

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