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The Queenpin

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Now that's what I call a girlboss.

"You picked the wrong side, stranger. It doesn't matter who's king, as long as there's a queen!"
Jarvia, Dragon Age: Origins

The female version of The Don. Despite organized crime being an expectedly misogynistic world in which traditional gender roles are often mercilessly enforced, some works of fiction are showcasing women as the leaders of crime syndicates in their own right.

Expect her leadership to be challenged by men who believe women should Stay in the Kitchen, which is fairly common due to the violence inherent to this line of work.

Since she isn't supposed to elicit endearment nor pity but fear and deference, a woman in this position is almost always more cunning, violent, demanding and cutthroat than her male counterparts to justify and assert her authority, which is precarious by definition. Likewise, she will often be unapologetically callous towards other women as well, especially towards Housewives and prostitutes who she often sees as weak and pathetic or as competitors if they're younger and/or prettier than her (though she's not above employing pretty women as spies). Also expect her to be called "Ma" or "Mama" when she grows older and/or her children are part of the gang.

Depending on how dark and realistic the show is intended to be, she will either be Friend to All Children in order to show a more humane side of her or she will simply show no mercy towards kids, sometimes not even her own. Usually, this character avoids conspicuous promiscuity since she must always be on her guard and sex puts her in a vulnerable position. Thus, she's either a skilled seductress who only uses sex as a weapon to control whomever she sleeps with or a pragmatic Black Widow who kills her lovers once she doesn't need them anymore. Or a complete asexual in some cases.

May also be a Dragon Lady when the setting involves the Yakuza or The Triads and the Tongs. She may also be a woman formerly affiliated with the organization before taking over, such as the Lady Macbeth, Dark Mistress, Daddy's Little Villain or Mafia Princess — in those cases, there may be overlap with Never a Self-Made Woman. In thrillers it may overlap with the Sleazy Politician or Corrupt Corporate Executive.

In many ways, this trope is the Evil Counterpart of the Iron Lady, another female authority figure who must show toughness to succeed but whose goals are usually benevolent. Goes hand in hand with Girls Behind Bars, a setting this character almost always experiences at one point or another if she gets convicted, in which case expect her to become the prison Alpha Bitch before long.

Not to be confused with the Gayngster, which usually is a male homosexual gangster (lesbian gangsters are rarer).

This trope is actually Truth in Television but a very sporadic one for the reasons cited above.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Jack features the leader of a gang of kidnappers, who is also a loving mother to her son. Right before she is arrested, Black Jack changes her face so that her son never finds out.
  • Black Lagoon: Balalaika, an ex-Spetsnaz soldier, is the female leader of the Russian mafia group Hotel Moscow and the single most powerful and feared person in Roanapur.
  • The Garden of Sinners: During the ten-year Time Skip between the main body of the novel and the Mirai Fukuin epilogue, Shiki Ryougi goes from Mafia Princess to mafia queen by inheriting her father's Ryougi Group. This is a rather predictable development since Shiki was groomed as his successor almost from birth, despite having an older brother, because unlike him, she has manifested the family trait of having Multi-Gendered Split Personalities, which has traditionally marked the true heirs of the Ryougi. And although her male personality "died" due to a brain injury she sustained at the age of 16, she instead gained the ability to kill literally anything. By the time she inherited the Group, she molded her presence into something both perfectly regal and utterly terrifying — at least to those in her debt, like Mitsuru Kamekura, from whose perspective we see her in Mirai Fukuin.
  • In Great Pretender, Akemi Suzaku, the Arc Villain of the final arc, has led the Suzaku yakuza group since her husband died.
  • Noir: Silvana "Intoccabile" Greone is summoned from Sicily by the American mafia to take over the leadership of the local mob after Kirika and Mireille assassinate the previous caporegime. It is never made clear why Silvana is held in such high esteem by the Family ("Intoccabile" literally means "untouchable"), but she immediately goes on to prove her credentials by mercilessly cleansing the mob of traitorous members, taking out those who ordered the hit on the old boss, and going after his assassins.
  • One Piece: "Big Mom" Charlotte Linlin is equal parts this and a pirate captain. As one of the "Four Emperors" (4 strongest pirate crews), her influence spreads to multiple islands, including those that she claimed as her own (that are forced to give her a supply of sweets every month in exchange of her protection). She also puts her many children on Arranged Marriage with powerful people/families in order to strengthen her group's connection. She's also a big name in the "underworld", with many big-name acquaintances (including the president of the world's newspaper company) under her name.
  • Madame Boss is the founder of Pokémon's Team Rocket and Giovanni's mother. She only appears in a Drama CD.
  • In The Way Of The House Husband, Hibari Torii was the co-leader of a Yakuza group alongside her husband. After he passed away, the Torii Group disbanded. Hibari and three of the group members who had nowhere else to go became supermarket employees. Torii still carries herself with the authority and attitude of a Yakuza leader, commanding her remaining men to follow the codes and lashing out when someone looks down on them.

    Comic Books 
  • Astro City has the Red Queen, a.k.a. Lucia, childhood girlfriend of the Mock Turtle. She built up a criminal empire using a combination of her own cleverness and guile, his intelligence, and various stolen goods.
  • The DCU:
    • Batman:
      • In Batman: Dark Victory, Sofia "Giganta" Falcone is the new head of Gotham's crime families, following the death of her father Carmine Falcone at the end of The Long Halloween.
      • In Batman Eternal, Selina Kyle (Catwoman) is revealed to be the daughter of Rex "The Lion" Calabrese, who was Gotham's top mob boss before Carmine Falcone, leading to a story arc in Catwoman where she hangs up the cat costume to be the head of the Calabrese crime family.
    • Robin (1993): Lynx was essentially running the Ghost Dragons long before King Snake died, and took over Gotham's powerful China Town gang with glee once her hated boss was murdered by his son.
    • Superman:
    • The Teen Titans and Vigilante both clashed with Donna Omicidio (a.k.a. 'The Godmother'): a ruthless mobster who's had her hands in many shady dealings ever since she made it big during the prohibition.note 
    • Wonder Woman:
      • Wonder Woman (1942): The rather brutal Yellow Mask Gang, which conducts its business internationally, is run by the Faux Affably Evil Tirza.
      • Wonder Woman (1987): After crime lord Tony Sazia's death his widow Julianna takes over his enterprises, and decides to take over all the organized crime in Boston in a bloody gang war.
  • Marvel Universe:
  • Dominique Muerta in Ms. Tree, who inherited control of the Muerta crime family following the death of her husband.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Aftermath of the Games universe, the human Changelings are an infamous mafia that specializes in fake IDs led by the human version of Chrysalis. She's interested in the Equestrian Magic seeping into the Human World because she knows that being able to harvest it and learning how to control it before the Equestrians make official First Contact with the Humans will allow her mob to dominate the criminal underworld.
  • Roman's Empire: Violet Kincaid is the main mob boss in Vale and controls organized crime for quite some time before Roman stepped up his game.
  • Vale's Underground:
    • Cinder is portrayed as a mob boss and she absolutely dominates every other mob boss in the city even if only unofficially. She was a former Mafia Princess before her mother, Salem, raised her to be a mobster in her own right.
    • Raven Branwen also counts. She works with her brother, but she's the one working on the ground. Qrow needs to keep his hands clean publicly.
    • Salem is a former mob boss and Cinder's predecessor.
    • Vale's Underground (rewrite): Cinder is now officially the prevailing mob boss in Vale with everyone working under her as her underbosses. Sienna Khan plays a similar role since she the leader of the White Fang.

  • In Animal Kingdom, grandmother Janine's sons and grandsons do all the dirty work, but they are completely under her thumb and clearly answer to her, as she is a strategist.
  • Irinia in The Con is On. Her cruelty and sadism make her The Dreaded throughout the underworld. When Harry and Peter lose the money from one of her drug deals, they flee to another continent, and even then know that is only buying them time to rectify their mistake.
  • In Dredd, Madeline "Ma-Ma" Madrigal, a former prostitute turned drug lord and criminal kingpin who is the sole supplier of Slo-Mo, a new and addictive drug. She rules over Peach Trees compound with an iron fist.
  • Future World (2018): The Drug Lord's actually a woman with a sizeable gang who follow her.
  • After Ghost Dog from Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai finds out that the mafia family he's been serving as an assassin has put a hit out on him after his latest job, Ghost Dog kills the higher-ups in the Family, secretly hoping that Louie, the mobster he reported directly to and who saved his life years earlier will wind up becoming either the new boss of what is left of the Family or starting a new one where he is the boss. Instead the old Don's daughter takes over, with Louie implied to be her Number Two.
  • The John Wick series has several different female crime bosses. Two of the twelve bosses who have seats at the High Table are Gianna D'Antonio, who heads the Camorra, and the Director, who leads the Ruska Roma.
  • In Kill Bill, O-Ren Ishii has been using the skills she learned as part of Bill's gang to take over the Yakuza in Japan and has become the "Queen of the Japanese underworld" before The Bride comes after her.
  • Mafia Mamma is about a suburban soccer mom who, upon the death of her Italian grandfather, winds up thrust into leadership of the Mafia family he ran.
  • Sailor Suit and Machine Gun is about a teenage girl becoming one of these. Izumi Hoshi is a Japanese schoolgirl who, after her father's death, is kidnapped by a Yakuza clan and finds out that her father was their leader, and therefore, she's inherited the organization.
  • In the Star Wars universe, there are many female organized crime bosses, particularly among the Hutts:
    • Gardulla Besadii the Elder is one of the Hutt bosses and member of the Hutt Council, which is essentially the Hutt version of "the Commission" that once ruled over The Mafia. Given the entire species is basically gangsters, this is their formal government too (although the individual crime families hold all the real power).
    • In Solo, Lady Proxima is a Grindalid crime boss operating in Corellia and the leader of the White Worms, formed by orphaned young Corellians. By the end of the film, Qi'ra, a former White Worm, becomes the leader of the Crimson Dawn syndicate after she betrays her master Dryden Vos. However, Vos was just a figurehead and public face and so Qi'ra is still subservient to Darth Maul. It's played completely straight in the Expanded Universe comic Star Wars: War of the Bounty Hunters; Maul is long-dead by this point and Qi'ra is fully in command of the organization.
    • Maz Kanata is a somewhat heroic example. She aids the heroes in their quest, but she also has a reputation as a "pirate queen" and owns a castle that serves as safe haven for smugglers.
  • In the movie Traffic (2000), Helena Ayala goes from a pampered socialite who's genuinely clueless about the true nature of her husband's business — he's a drug lord — to the epitome of this — she takes over his organization while he's in prison, and has the chief witness against him killed to ensure his freedom.

  • Doctrine of Labyrinths: Kolkhis of Britomart runs a crime syndicate and had Mildmay (one of the protagonists and her former protege/lover) doing assassinations for her as a teenager.
  • Garrett, P.I.: Belinda Contague as of "Faded Steel Heat".
  • Masquerade of the Red Death: Alicia Varney runs a huge underworld empire in addition to her "legitimate" businesses.
  • In one of her adventures, Phryne Fisher discovers that a ruthless local drug lord is actually an upper-class housewife.
  • The Power: Roxy, a Mafia Princess starting out, turns into this after taking control over the crime family her dad runs by force.
  • Scavenge the Stars: Romara acts as the new leader of the city's criminal underworld after she takes control from her father. She now controls the city's illicit gambling and criminal activities. She keeps control through a carrot and stick approach of rewarding her loyal followers very well and torturing her disloyal ones.

  • Shadows of the Limelight: Corta heads a crime family and is considered one of the top three most powerful criminals in her city.
  • Worm: Skitter is referred to a few times as a kingpin and once explicitly as a queenpin after she becomes leader of the gang of villans who have claimed the city of Brockton Bay as their territory and made clear that all criminal ventures and superpowered actions happen with their okay or not at all. More often she is simply referred to with a more accurate term, warlord, given she did so openly, to the point that local schools have posters of the various territories of her gang so students know who is controlling the area.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Awkward.: Becca was the cunning, ambitious, and manipulative leader of the "Asian Mafia" that ran her school from the shadows, with the power to do outrageous things like getting a student sent to a different state. Then, after Becca's repeated attempts to destroy Ming, Ming stood up to her in such a way that she became the new leader of the Asian Mafia.
  • The Burmese gang in Barry is led by the intimidating and forceful Esther. Her Establishing Character Moment is stabbing her own hand with a straight face.
  • Eleanor Guthrie of Black Sails. She technically represents her father Richard, but in practice, she has total control over the island of New Providence and controls which pirates get to sell their goods and to whom.
  • During an episode in the first season of Burn Notice called "Broken Rules", Michael is asked to break up a Protection Racket that is terrorizing Miami's "Little Havana". He's mildly surprised to learn that the head of the extortionists is a ruthless woman that the other gangsters call "Concha". Michael snarkily comments on how progressive the whole thing is.
  • Caprica: In the last episode of the series, the Guatrau of the Ha'la'tha mob on Caprica is replaced by his daughter, who has him killed as a peace offering to Joseph Adama, whose son William inadvertently became collateral when the Guatrau put a hit out on him. In return, Joseph promises his loyalty to the new Guatrau, avoiding a civil war within the Ha'la'tha.
  • Several in Netflix's The Defenders series:
    • Daredevil (2015):
      • Madame Gao, leader of The Triads and the Tongs of Hell's Kitchen, runs a heroin dealing operation as a partner to Wilson Fisk. She's later revealed in Iron Fist (2017) as a leader of The Hand.
      • Vanessa Marianna wants to think of herself as this in season 3, insisting on having a more active role in Fisk's affairs after she returns to New York and agrees to marry him. However, her first action, ordering the murder of Ray Nadeem, instead ends up undoing Fisk's whole operation.
    • Luke Cage (2016): Mariah Dillard becomes leader of the Stokes crime family's gun-running business after killing her cousin Cottonmouth. In season 2, she fully embraces her role as a crime boss by ditching the Dillard surname after Bushmaster insults her by regularly using her maiden name.
      • When Mariah and Cottonmouth were kids, their grandmother "Mama" Mabel Stokes ran the family with her husband Buggy and his brother Pete. Buggy was killed in the course of assassinating his business partner Quincy McIver (Bushmaster's father) in exchange for the Italians leaving the Stokes alone, while Pete was later killed by Cottonmouth on Mama Mabel's orders for regularly molesting Mariah and siring Tilda in the process. It's clear from the way Shades talks about her that Mabel was the main brains of the organization after Buggy died.
      • Also seen in season 2 is Rosalie Carbone, leader of the Carbone crime family. Her father was the mob boss who tried to drive the Stokes out of Harlem in the 1970s, and Luke has to negotiate a truce between her, the Puerto Ricans and the Koreans after they begin fighting each other for control of Mariah's turf following her incarceration. Rosalie later reappears in the third season of Daredevil as one of the crime bosses that Fisk is extorting protection money from.
    • Iron Fist (2017): In season 2, we have Sherry Yang, wife to Yangshi-Gonshi boss Hi-Qing Yang. Sherry steps up as the Yangshi-Gonshi's boss after Davos murders her husband.
  • Gotham has Fish Mooney, a glamorous and intimidating crime boss initially working for Carmine Falcone but who later climbs up the ranks over the organized crime of Gotham.
    • Barbara Kean and Sofia Falcone also both ascend to this position at different times during the series.
  • Grand Hotel: Teresa Williams is the head of the criminal organization that Santiago owns money to, and she installed Mateo in the hotel to act as a liaison between them.
  • Guiding Light's Carmen Santos, who quickly proves herself to be as ruthless as her male counterparts.
  • Hightown:
    • In Season 3 Renne starts up her own drug operation, having strippes deal cocaine to customers inside the night club she's managing.
    • Rowena Castro (Lady Castro) is a major player in the drug trade of Tampa, Florida.
  • Intergalactic: Zedda is a female crime boss on Pau Rosa who controls the local town where the ship puts down. Tula buys the route to Arcadia from her, but is quickly double crossed (it turns out this was fake).
  • Jane the Virgin's Big Bad is cruel and manipulative drug kingpin Sin Rostro, who is eventually revealed to be Rose, the Solanos' stepmother.
  • The Big Bad of Season 2 of Justified is Mags Bennett, the reigning head of the Bennett crime family, an older woman who bullies, manipulates, and outsmarts every member of her family.
    • Her adopted daughter, Loretta, returns and seems to be taking over Mags' position by buying up land in Harlan County, although she works alone for now.
  • In Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Bill Church Sr., the head of the Intergang, marries a seemingly Brainless Beauty blonde named Mindy. By the end of the episode, he and his son both find themselves in jail, thanks to her, and she puts herself in charge of the organization. Her next appearance starts with her pulling a Board to Death moment on her rivals.
  • Orange Is the New Black: Befitting an a women's prison, all gang leaders are (of course) female.
    • Red is a sympathetic figure who runs the illegal smuggling operations, having run her Big, Screwed-Up Family's crimes on the outside.
    • Red's Evil Counterpart, Vee, is also this on both the inside and outside. She adopts children solely so they can act as drug runners for her, deals with all the money, has many corrupt cops on her payroll, and kills anyone who steps out of line.
    • Piper herself becomes this (reluctantly) to the White Power Group in Season 4 over her underwear empire, though she later turns her back on it after being punished by the Dominicans.
  • Queen of the South, being an adaptation of the above-mentioned La Reina del Sur, details the rise of Teresa Mendoza from a mere money-changer to the "queenpin" of cocaine. The series also features two other mafia queens - Camilia Vargas, Teresa's nemesis for the first three seasons, and Oksana Volkova, one of Teresa's allies.
  • The second season of Narcos introduces Judy Moncada the (fictional) wife of Real Life narco Gerardo "Kiko" Moncada, one of Pablo Escobar's top lieutenants. After Kiko's death at Escobar's orders, Judy takes over her husband's cocaine-processing laboratories and alligns herself with the Cali Cartel and the founders of the Autodefensas Campesinas de Córdoba y Urabá (a far right paramilitary death squad) to found Los Pepes, a death squad that targets Pablo Escobar's collaborators. After Los Pepes are disbanded, she becomes an informant for the CIA to remain in power.
  • Pandora: Tierney's first appearance suggests she's only a handler to Billy, but it's later revealed she's actually the leader of the Hypatia Syndicate.
  • Rake: After the death of her abusive husband, the otherwise timid Kirsty Corolla takes over his loan shark operations, and proves herself to be just as ruthless, though less vicious or chaotic, when necessary.
  • The Rookie (2018): Sandra de La Cruz ("La Fiera") is a woman who's the boss of a major Guatemalan drug cartel. Her nickname means "The Fierce", and she's earned it, being very ruthless.
  • Episode 2 of Sherlock features General Shang, the female leader of the Black Lotus Triad.
  • The Sopranos: In season 2, Tony and several of his associates go to Italy to forge new relations with the Neapolitan Camorra. However, The Don turns out be a senile old man and his daughter Annalisa is the one who is really in charge, and remains so throughout the rest of the series. She explains to Tony that the rest of her criminal brothers and cousins were all killed in feuds or targeted by the authorities, but that for these Italian mobsters obeying a woman boss is like obeying their mother.
  • Star Trek: Discovery: Despite being essentially a state leader, Osyraa runs the Emerald Chain much more like a Queenpin than anything else.
  • Star Trek: Picard: Bjayzl runs a crime syndicate on Freecloud and oversees criminals who are murdering ex-Borg and butchering them for parts.
  • Strike Back, Vendetta. Arianna Demachi starts out as the Dark Mistress (or wife, rather) to an Albanian crime lord, then takes over his organization when he's killed, even killing her own son when he tries to intervene.
  • Tidelands (Netflix): Adrielle leads the L'Attente commune, which is part of a drug ring. Her underlings always address her as "madam". Her actual title among the Tidelanders is even Queen.
  • Willow: Scorpia, a female warrior, is the leader of the Bone Reavers Bandit Clan in the Wildwood.
  • Your Honor:
    • Big Mo is a female crime boss and rival to Jimmy Baxter in New Orleans.
    • Gina is the Lady Macbeth to Jimmy and constantly accuses him of being too weak. By Season 2, she's openly suggesting that she should be running the family instead of him, but her father nixes that idea due to the patriarchal Mafia system. By the end of the series, she's usurped both her husband and father, taking control of the family business.

  • Boney M.'s "Ma Baker" was based on sensationalised news reports of Kate "Ma" Barker being the ringleader of her crime syndicate during The Prohibition.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Blades in the Dark has several notable mafia queens, such as Lyssa, a disgraced noble who took over the leadership of the Crows gang by murdering her old boss; Mylera Klev, a master swordswoman who runs the Red Sashes martial arts academy as a front for one of the largest drug rings in town; and Djera Maha, an Iruvian honey trader who is also secretly the leader of one of the two largest crime syndicates of Duskwall.

    Video Games 
  • Grand Theft Auto III:
    • Catalina, the Big Bad of the game. She's the absolute leader of a large drug cartel based on Liberty City, wielding resources that even Salvatore Leone can only dream of. Her organization traffics tons of drugs on ships and is extremely armed.
    • Asuka Kasen. She's the leader of the Yazuka, after all.
  • Dragon Age: Origins: After the death of the previous boss Beraht, Jarvia takes over the carta, the main organized crime outfit in the dwarven city of Orzammar, and proves to be both more ruthless and more effective than her predecessor. She takes advantage of the political chaos caused by the royal Succession Crisis to greatly expand the carta's reach and influence into previously untouched segments of the city.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has Auntie Poulet, an elderly Haitian matriarch who leads the Haitians street gang. She and her gang are known to practice Haitian voodoo and are in constant war with the rival Cubans gang.
  • In the Nyakuza Metro DLC from A Hat in Time has The Empress, who is the leader of the Nyankuza.
  • In Overwatch, the Deadlock Gang is a gang of Outlaws in the American Southwest who traffic in weapons and military hardware. In the present day, they are led by one of the founders, Elizabeth Ashe.
  • In the Saints Row franchise, in the second and third game, the Boss of the Saints, the character that the player controls, can be this if they decide to make them a woman.
  • Shadowrun Returns: Kindly Cheng is the Yellow Lotus's Straw Sandal — district manager — in Heoi and is the player character primary employer and fixer. In the expansions, her superior also ends up dying during the events of the endgame, leaving Cheng to take his place.
  • Tales from the Borderlands has Vallory, also known as the Queenpin and the Godmother of Crime. She's the leader of a local crime gang on Pandora (though the exact difference between this and a Bandit boss is never stated), has her reasons for searching for the Gortys project, and is also August's mother. She's Large and in Charge and quite scary when you cross her, but isn't unreasonable and negotiates a rather favorable deal for Fiona and Rhys to continue on their search for the Vault of the Traveler. She even hires Mordecai and Brick to capture Athena, made easier because they had their own reasons for capturing her.
  • Yachie Kicchou and Saki Kurokoma from Touhou Kikeijuu ~ Wily Beast and Weakest Creature each lead one of the four groups that fight for dominance in the Animal Realm. Both are even described as kumichou, the term for yakuza bosses in Japan. Of the two of them, Yachie is more mafia-like, a charismatic schemer with a power to remove people's will to fight back against her. Bonus point for being a literal Dragon Lady. Saki acts more like a thug, as she and her group value physical strength, but don't really think things through. On a related note, Touhou Gouyoku Ibun ~ Sunken Fossil World introduces the third leader: Yuuma Toutetsu, a ruthless pragmatist driven by a bottomless greed. The leader of the fourth unidentified group may also qualify (what with the series' Improbably Female Cast), but since they have neither been given an appearance or alluded to like Yuuma was, we don't actually know about them.
  • Like a Dragon:
    • Yakuza 2: Yayoi Dojima took over as Interim Chairman of the Dojima family between her husband's death and her son's ascension to the office. The fact that she, as a woman and not a sworn member of the family, took over would make her remarkable enough, but she also manages to keep the unruly family together by sheer force of personality. Even old street monsters like Majima and Kashiwagi show her nothing but deference and respect.
    • Yakuza: Like a Dragon has Seong-Hui, head of the "Geomijul" and one of the pillars of the underworld of Ijincho. Unlike Yayoi, she's the official head and not an acting boss.
  • Due to the Purely Aesthetic Gender nature of player avatars in Town of Salem, a player choosing a female avatar may very well end up as the Godfather role.
  • Aria T'Loak in Mass Effect 2 is the ruler of the Wretched Hive Omega. While not referred to by any official title, she has the entire crime life on Omega in her pocket and shows many of the mannerisms associated with this trope. She's also big on keeping the (relative) peace in Omega. The third game shows that her power seems to extend beyond Omega, as she's capable of bypassing Citadel customs simply by calling up the Asari Councilor and she can potentially end up controlling three of the biggest PMCs of the galaxy.
    Aria: I'm the Boss, CEO, Queen if you're feeling dramatic. It doesn't matter. Omega has no titled ruler and only one rule - Don't. Fuck. With Aria. (smiles)
  • In Watch Dogs: Legion, we got Mary "Bloody Mary" Kelley who takes this role as the feared Queenpin of Clan Kelley and a rather vicious one at that as the slaves that she kept and regularly abuse in her household can attest. That's not even mentioning various illegal businesses that her gang participates in such as Human Trafficking, Organ Theft, Drug trade and Cybercrimes.
  • Cyberpunk 2077 contains numerous examples, including Fixers Regina Jones, Wakako Okada, Dakota Smith, and "Queen of the Fixers" Rogue Amendiares. Two major gangs - The Mox and Voodoo Boys - are run by women, and a third (Maelstrom) can end up run by a woman based on the player's actions. Female V can also become this in The Sun ending, where she succeeds Rogue as Night City's top fixer.

    Visual Novel 
  • Monster Prom: Vera Oberlin wants to be an organized crime leader, but laments how the sexism in the "line of work" is an obstacle.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Lil' Miss Malachite is the head of the Spiders, the largest organized crime syndicate in Mistral. Her web of connections is vast since she can get information on most people's whereabouts in exchange for compensation. Her gang's presence is signified by having a spider tattoo somewhere on your body, and Cinder notices that everyone in the bar that Lil' Miss meets her in has the spider tattoo.

  • Schlock Mercenary: Joanna Shephard ends up running Haven Hive, with her retired-mercenary son as her primary enforcer, after the previous leadership gets removed.
  • Lady Sapphira in Crimson Dark is the Arbitrator of the Creer Syndicate, a position she was elected to by the Seven Families. It doesn't make her any less ruthless, especially to her predecessor.
  • Queen Lucy of The Glass Scientists leads the all-female and quite well-organised Forty Elephants gang in the seedy underbelly of steampunk London.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force has Ma Vreedle, the leader of the Vreedle criminal family.
  • Ducktales: In both the 1987 original show and the 2017 reboot, the leader of the Beagle Boys is Ma Beagle, who is both the matriarch of the syndicate and the Boys' actual mother.
  • Kid Cosmic has Boss Fiosa, the two-headed alien crime lady of the Bagai Crime League. She was once the moll of the previous boss of the League, who was given two of the Cosmic Stones of Power by him as a gift. But she then used their power to kill him and take control of the organization for herself.
  • The Lion Guard: Mama Binturong is a binturong who terrorizes the jungle with her porcupine henchmen mafia-style, collecting all the tuliza flowers for herself. Since the tuliza is a flower which calms the mind when consumed, she's essentially running the G-rated version of a drug cartel.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: Previous Star Trek shows had established that the apparent race of sexy green skinned otherwise human looking aliens who were also pirates who sold their own women as slaves - do not actually sell their women at all this was a ploy to get other races to let their guard down and they were actually Matriarchal Pirate Syndicates. It also turns out adorable science officer D'Vana Tendi is the heir to the third biggest syndicate on the planet but she wants no part in this hence her joining Starfleet, despite having the title "Mistress of the Winter Constellations". Tendi's younger sister D'Erika operated the syndicate as Queenpin in D'Vana's stead.

    Real Life 
  • Moll Cutpurse, a woman who ran organised crime in London - in the age of William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth I. She specialised in gambling, prostitution, and - especially - in providing "male escorts" for older women with money and inattentive husbands.
  • Fredericka "Mother" Mandelbaum was a 19th century New Yorker fence who has been so successful in trading stolen goods that she soon graduated to financing (and profiting from) other major crime operations, such as burglaries and bank robberies. Later on, she ran an actual school for young pickpockets and conmen (shutting it down when she got wind that the police infiltrated it) and had dealings with the infamous political machine of Tammany Hall. Her organization was only shut down when the Pinkertons got involved.
  • Jemeker Thompson-Hairston, an American, who rose to the top of the cocaine trade during the peak of the 1980s crack epidemic in the United States. She was based in "South Central" Los Angeles and had cocaine distributors, working for her, in multiple cities of the United States. She was the subject of the 8th episode of the first season of Gangsters: America's Most Evil in A&E.
  • Griselda Blanco, a major Colombian drug lord based in Miami who was instrumental in the cocaine trade during the Escobar era. She was one of the focuses of the documentary Cocaine Cowboys and the Netflix series Griselda.
  • Averted with the American Mafia, as it still remains a male-only criminal society. To get inducted, one has to be of full Italian descent and trace their lineage back to Italy. Females are usually associates or stay as mistresses of made men.
  • Stephanie St.Clair was technically a Harlem racketeer between the The Roaring '20s and the The '40s, and she actually resisted the Mafia. But, she has the reputation to have inspired fictional queenpins such as Fish Mooney.
  • Zheng Yi Sao (better known as Ching Shih in the West) was a Chinese prostitute that rose to unofficially head up the Guangdong Pirate Confederation, commanding around 60,000 pirates with 400 ships. Her fleet was powerful enough to spread across the South China Sea, defeating the Qing Chinese and periodically handling Portuguese and British East India Company merchantmen (contrary to some urban legends, she pointedly avoided confronting European navies, because she knew she would lose), and her husband and second in command Zhang Bao (who is more famous in China and the wider Sinosphere) was briefly floated as a possible pretender to be Emperor. However, this resulted in the Qing reaching out to the Portuguese and to a lesser extent the British to hammer her, but she managed to negotiate her surrender to the Qing Chinese government and received a pardon as a result, still commanding around 1,000 pirates with 24 ships at the time. As a result, she died free and of natural causes at about 68. Given this, she's described as the most successful female pirate of all time, and one of the most successful historical pirates period.
  • Arizona Donnie Clark, better known as Kate "Ma" Barker was the mother of a large brood of bank robbers, known as the Barker—Karpis gang, and considered on of the "Public Enemies" of the new Federal Bureau of Investigation. Barker died in a shootout after the FBI tracked her and one of her sons, Fred, at a safehouse in Florida. Her actual involvement in the crimes of the gang became a debated topic after her death, with those critical of J Edgar Hoover think he embellished her reputation after the fact to justify her death in the raid.
  • Since the 2000's, female cartel bosses, dubbed "Las Patronas" have started to gain power in many South American countries.
  • Cheng Chui Ping or "Sister Ping" was the leader of a human smuggling ring ("snakehead") that smuggled immigrants from China to the United States. The operation ran from 1984 to 2000 and was described as the "largest, most sophisticated operation of its kind".


Video Example(s):


The Empress

The most feared and respected crime boss of the Nyakuza gang, and she knows it.

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5 (5 votes)

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Main / TheQueenpin

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