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Tomboy and Girly Girl

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When the main characters in a show are both females, or if there are only Two Girls to a Team, it almost always leads to a case of this trope. The "Girly Girl" will highly care about her appearance, pursue "girly" interests, and is often (though not always) The Heart or the Team Mom. The "Tomboy", who is often The Big Girl, will be into sports, mechanics, house and/or building construction and/or renovation, or the like. She couldn't care less about her hair or makeup but is often an Unkempt Beauty anyway. Like their Spear Counterparts, Sensitive Guy and Manly Man, they are candidates for an Odd Couple and Odd Friendship brought together in the attempt to make hilarity ensue.

The two ladies will have some sort of relationship with each other, whether they're best friends, sisters, on the same team, or even explicit lovers. Even when they aren't explicit lovers, this may lead to deliberate or accidental Homoerotic Subtext due to the overlap with the Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple stereotype. If they're together for reasons outside their control (e.g., part of a team), they might initially dislike or confuse each other with their ways, until the inevitable Girl's Night Out Episode forces them to put aside their differences and forge a common bond (note: if there are more than two girls in the group, these two must have some kind of relationship over the others). When one is the mother of the other, the mother will almost always be the girly girl, and the daughter will almost always be the tomboy. If they're female twins, chances of this trope are more than fair. If they are sisters of different ages, the older sister will almost always be the girly girl, and the younger sister will almost always be the tomboy.

This trope can find itself incarnated in musical theater with the Soprano playing the girly girl and the Mezzo/Alto (or, face it, any female with a significantly lower vocal range) playing the tomboyish one, or the girly girl role being the role that requires a lot of singing, while the tomboy role requires more dancing.

It may lead to Fan Dumb or Hate Dumb if one is portrayed as being "better" than the other, if the girly girl is portrayed as shallow or less strong, or if the tomboy is portrayed as a cold man-hater or even Ambiguously Gay for taking a less traditional gender role. Works that involve Values Dissonance are particularly vulnerable to this. At its most extreme, it reinforces the mindset that Men Are Generic, Women Are Special, where males on the team have varied personalities unrelated to their gender (due to maleness being seen as normal) while the females are defined by their femininity or lack thereof (thus limiting their characterization and role variety).

Compare the mannish one and the sweet-naive one of the Four-Girl Ensemble.

Feminine Mother, Tomboyish Daughter is a Sub-Trope that uses this contrast to explore changing gender norms. Tender Tomboyishness, Foul Femininity is another subtrope where the tomboy is nice while the girly girl is mean.

Compare/contrast Bifauxnen and Lad-ette (the equivalent of this trope, only without the girly girl involved), Light Feminine and Dark Feminine (the other equivalent, usually without the tomboy: although if the tropes are used together then the Dark half is usually the tomboy and the Light half is the girl girl), and Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple (an equivalent involving a couple). Contrast Silk Hiding Steel, Spirited Young Lady, Girly Bruiser, Lady of War, and often Pretty Princess Powerhouse; all of which are a mixture of the two. When a third girl is part of the dynamic but does not fit in either category, then she's among the Town Girls (Butch, Femme and Neither).

Note: The name of this trope can be controversial due to the original definition of "tomboy", which is "a boy who is rambunctious, mischievous, or misbehaved." In addition, the phrasing of "tomboy" and "girly girl" comes off with the negative implication that girls who look or act masculine are defined by their activities, and thus not considered girls except by the current definition. Conversely, the term used for girls who act feminine can be seen as too redundant in its literal phrasing ("girly girl").

Important Note: While this is usually a straightforward trope, examples can still get subjective in regards to whether or not one of the girls is tomboyish enough, the other is girly enough, or whether they're different enough. Keep a few points in mind when editing:

  1. The two girls do not have to be polar opposites of each other to fit this trope.
  2. The tomboy does not have to be a total man-beast with no feminine interests (Tomboy with a Girly Streak).
  3. The girly girl does not have to be a total priss with no masculine interests (Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak).
  4. Using #2 or #3 to justify deleting an example invokes the very same negative stereotypes mentioned above.
  5. When you post an example, be sure to explain how one is a tomboy and how the other is a girly girl, not necessarily which type of tomboy and/or which type of girly girl each girl is.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • The Burger King Kids Club Gang: Boomer (tomboy) and Snaps (girly girl). They are later joined by Jazz (as a tomboy and a girly girl, thus having a split personality) in the early 2000s.
  • Sanrio's Cinnamoroll features two girls in the group: the quick running sports buff, Chiffon, and the fashionista, Mocha.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics:
  • Cheer Up! Love and Pompoms: Annie is the Tomboy to Beatrice's Girly-Girl. Annie loves wearing black clothing and stomping boots. Beatrice likes wearing makeup and being a cheerleader. They, of course, fall in love.
  • Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl: Supergirl is the Tomboy to Batgirl's Girly Girl. Kara is a masculine and aggressive brawler, has a crew cut and wears trousers and sweaters. Barbara is a feminine Badass Bookworm, has long hair, and wears dresses and jewelry.
  • Justice League International: Beatriz/Fire and Tora/Ice play around with the trope. While Beatriz is much bolder and more extroverted than Tora, she hardly disdains so-called "girly" things; she even had a stint as a musical showgirl back in Brazil. Likewise shy, sweet Tora had no idea many of the "girly" things even existed until introduced to them... by Beatriz.
  • Les Légendaires has girly Magical Girl Jadina and tomboyish elven elemental-powered Shimy. While both actually are good at fighting, Jadina is portrayed as overly girly in the first books to the point of comedy. Ironically enough, the two of them hate each other... sort of.
  • New Mutants:
  • Robin (1993): The group Tim hangs out with at school only really includes two girls his rather girly girlfriend Ariana who wants to be a fashion designer and the rather tomboyish Callie Evans who structures her life around basketball and plays tabletop RPGs with the guys. Amusingly both of them play basketball for the school though Ariana drops off the team. After Ariana and Tim break up Callie only seems to become more of a tomboy, chopping her hair into a short pixie cut no longer wearing feminine tops.
  • Molly Hayes and Klara Prast of the Runaways. Molly's a Cute Bruiser who's become notorious for punching some of the toughest, manliest anti-heroes in the Marvel Universe over embarrassingly vast distances. Klara's a plant-controller who ties up bad guys in vines and then turns them into living floral arrangements.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Tomboy princess Sally Acorn and sweet, romantic Amy Rose
    • For that matter Sally and any other girl in the Freedom Fighters. Especially after the Continuity Reboot. Even Bunnie Rabbot is more feminine than her.
    • Sally is also the tomboy to Fiona Fox, who is a villainous foil to her. Fiona is The Vamp who plays on her feminine charms to manipulate male heroes like Tails into doing what she wants, much to the disgust of the tomboyish Sally, who once gave her a gut punch for this. Fiona also looks a little more feminine, given the bow and skirt, as well as the bodysuit she used to wear as a hero, compared to Sally's more masculine appearance. That being said, Fiona does have a rough attitude and ironically calls Sally a 'Sugar Queen' despite the latter's tomboyishness.
    • Before the Reboot, the Chaotix had the soft spoken Saffron who preferred to wear dresses and the former Dark Legioner Julie-Su who has always been a bit of a warrior.
  • Spider-Man: The two great loves of Peter Parker's life, Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy, at least during the era where Gwen was alive. Gwen wears miniskirts, go-go boots and headbands, thinks often about boys, was the "beauty queen of Standard High", and often plays the role of the damsel in distress. Mary Jane (while she has a girly side) wears jeans and t-shirts, is a free spirit who shies from commitment, has taken on bad guys on her own, is brassy and bold and extroverted, and seems to live to have fun. This is contrary to their portrayals in a number of adaptations.
  • Ten Thousand Black Feathers: Trish is the Girly-Girl and Jackie is the Tomboy. Jackie has short-cut hair dyed pink even as a child, wears boyish or gender-neutral clothing and gets her nose pierced in high school. Trish, on the other hand, has long hair throughout life and wears more feminine clothing as a child (but more gender-neutral ones as an adult).
  • Tomboy, an obscure 1950s superheroine has the secret identity of "perfect little lady" Janie Jackson.
  • Mercy St. Clair and her neighbor now girlfriend Molly in Ron Randall's Trekker: Mercy is a badass bounty hunter; Molly is a musician. That being said, Mercy does have her more feminine side, especially when she is with Molly.
  • Vixens Keep A furry comic. One of the plot lines is the relationship of two female warriors, one of whom is a feminine vixen whose fighting skills are inadequate and a tough rabbit warrior who disdains traditional feminine pursuits. Eventually, the pair find they can help each other with the rabbit teaching the Vixen to fight more effectively. In return, the Vixen helps the rabbit to dance since she was missing out dancing with the Vixen's brother, and is successful even if she had to describe the moves in terms of combat ("First, your sword arm, then your shield arm and repeat...)
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Volume 1, Sensation Comics & Comic Cavalcade: Glamora Treat and Bobby Strong are Holliday Girls, and are close friends that are rarely seen without the other. Glamora is demure and fashion conscious, Bobby is rough and tumble and loves to go hunting. They're both excellent fighters, crack shots with a riffle and boy crazy to the point that Diana is concerned when she realizes the two of them are going to accompany Steve Trevor on a mission.
    • Volume 2 & Volume 5: When teaming up, Artemis and Wonder Woman have this dynamic with Artemis as the Tomboy to Wonder Woman's Girly Girl.
  • Young Avengers: Kate Bishop, although she's handy at asskicking, is wealthy, graceful, and feminine in quite a lot of ways. She plays the girly girl to the tough-talking, surly, rather violent America Chavez.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dennis the Menace Gina usually wears jeans and sneakers and plays sports with the boys. Margaret wears a flouncy skirt and pushes a doll in a baby carriage. Dennis, who makes a big deal about his own butchness, is more comfortable with the former.

    Fan Works 
Avatar: The Last Airbender
  • Kyoshi Rising: Mei eagerly dresses up for special occasions and acts like a proper lady, while her sister Kyoshi is an Earthbender who has a serious aversion to being dressed up and would much rather stay at home and work on the farm.

Dragon Age

  • Skyhold Academy Yearbook: Bethany is The Fashionista, having a college degree in fashion design and manufacture, and many of her activities throughout the series fall in line with her love of pretty clothes. Her sister, Hawke, meanwhile, makes a number of remarks about her dislike of dressing up, has Boyish Short Hair, and delights in her best friend Varric's assertion that "you're the only person in Thedas who can kick my ass." The sisters are extremely close, however.
  • Twice Upon an Age: Lady Inquisitor Victoria and her good friend Cassandra are both sword-wielding warriors, but Victoria, unlike Cassandra, is perfectly willing to let her hair down and put on a dress. Cassandra is a Tomboy with a Girly Streak, however, owing to her love of romantic literature and gestures.

Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi / The Untamed

  • An Acceptable Arrangement has this dynamic between Nie Hongshan's two wives, Hou Yue and Sun Qiu. The former is demure, more traditionally feminine, and loves sewing and walks in her garden. The latter's favorite pastime is archery and she bitterly misses Night Hunts when she can't go on them. Hou Yue is still said to have gone on Night Hunts, however.

The Hunger Games

  • A neat summary of Katniss and Glimmer’s dynamic in the Valkyrie on Fire series, with Katniss rougher around the edges and with little clue about how to use her femininity while Glimmer is the better dressed and more obviously attractive, even if they’re each skilled fighters.

Kamen Rider



One Piece

  • One Piece: Parallel Works: While Aki loves pretty Chinese dresses, is usually concerned about her appearance, loves to be with her boyfriend, Heathcliffe, and is a weaker fighter, Yuki-Rin is a great fighter with a katana, loves to explore new islands, and fully embraces and supports her pirate lifestyle.

Ranma ½

  • Lost Together: Ranko is a very energetic and confident martial artist who's rather awkward with her femininity (mainly because she used to be a boy even if she doesn't remember), proactively seeks for a cure to her amnesia and jumps into a fight with the Seven Lucky Gods who abducted her friend Lychee, refusing to consider a less violent interaction. Said friend Lychee Thinks Like a Romance Novel and is waiting for a Prince Charming to marry her, needs her pet elephant to protect her as she has no fighting skills, and when informed of the conflict between the Seven Lucky Gods and Ranko attempts to find a peaceful resolution through talking.


  • Erin's Total Magical Adventure:
    • Sylvia hates girly stuff like dresses and prefers wearing a skirt over her pants, and kicks butt, while Selene wears dresses aside of her standard outfit, which has pants, and is more openly feminine, likes cute stuff.
    • Artemis is a stubborn, brash and feisty jock, while Svetlana is a perky, Olympic Gymnast who wears lipstick and mascara.
    • Coco wears pink comes from a rich family and is interested in fashion and hates being dirty, and her main outfit is skimpy, Hollie, on the other hand, is a shy, clumsy Cute Bookworm, wears blue and her main outfit has sneakers.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail:
    • Of the Red Lotus Quarto, we have girly-girl Chloe Cerise with her dresses and flowing red hair in comparison to the pantsuit stoic Amelia Hughes.
    • Chloe is again the girly girl to the pants and sneakers wearing Grace Monroe.
  • Khaos Omega turns several canon tomboys into girly girls, famously including Galaxy Angel II's Anise Azeat. This is largely because Khaos has preferences for long hair and high heels, two things usually seen on the girly girl.
  • The Night Unfurls:
    • Kyril's female apprentices, Sanakan and Lily, have such a dynamic. Sanakan is a Hot-Blooded Screaming Warrior with shorter hair, while Lily is a peaceful Combat Medic with longer hair.
    • The cousins Alicia Arcturus and Prim Fiorire from the Seven Shields. They are both Princess Knights, but Alicia is more of a knight than a princess, while Prim is more of a princess than a knight.
    • Celestine Lucross and Claudia Levantine are an almost straight version of Lady and Knight, with Celestine being The High Queen and Claudia being the armoured paladin sworn to defend her. It's clear which one is the girly girl / tomboy.
  • A Shadow of the Titans: Jade hates girly stuff like dresses, while Jinx wears a skirt and is more openly feminine (and, according to TT canon, likes unicorns). Ironically, they seem to have an Odd Friendship going on.

  • Two women are talking:
    Alice: I just broke up with my boyfriend.
    Betty: Why?
    Alice: Could you live with an unemployed chain smoker who swore a lot?
    Betty: No way.
    Alice: He couldn't either.

  • Iggy Azalea has served as the tomboy to the girly girls of Charli XCX , Ariana Grande , Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears in “Fancy”, “Problem”, “Booty” and “Pretty Girls” respectively.
  • Akira (tomboy) and Marcy (girly girl) from Disacode. This is due to Akira being a Bifauxnen wearing men's clothing in music videos and performances along with her hairstyle being a slightly spiky long black hair with a blonde streak and has been a female model for Kera and Kera Boku alternative magazines and having an occasional career as an actress since she played Narase Kaoru in the Live-Action Adaptation of Ai Ore! Love Me! and in a Crosscast Role as Uesugi Kenshin in the stage show adaptation of Sengoku Basara, while Marcy tends to wear colorful clothing, in addition, bleaching her hair blonde (as she is a natural brunette and at one point, she sported pink hair) with a Hime Cut and sometimes sporting her hair down, in a ponytail, in Girlish Pigtails or in odango buns.
  • Dschinghis Khan. You also get this vibe from Henriette Strobel-Heichler and Edina Pop, the ladies in the 80's disco band. In the video for "Moskau, Moskau", "tomboy" Henriette wears a red and gold jumpsuit similar to that the guys wear (one of them being her husband) and "girly girl" Edina is dressed in a very feminine yellow dress.
  • Fleetwood Mac: Christine McVie wasthe tomboy and Stevie Nicks was the girly girl. McVie admitted this in a 2015 cover story on Stevie: “I’m a tomboy,” says McVie. “I love men. I love hanging around with men. And Stevie is kind of a girly girl.”
  • M 2 M. Marit was the tomboy and Marion was the girly girl.
  • Puffy AmiYumi. As mentioned, Yumi Yoshimura and Ami Onuki, when they're on stage.
  • "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift: "She wears short skirts/high heels, I wear T-shirts/sneakers, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers..." which refers respectively to the nerdy neighbor girl protagonist and cheerleader antagonist of the song.
  • t.A.T.u. Yulia (tomboy) and Lena (girly girl). Hardly a surprise, considering the marketing.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Girls Just Wanna Have Lunch" invokes this trope in the first line. "Some girls like to buy new shoes/ while others like driving trucks and wearing tattoos...."

    Professional Wrestling 
  • All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling:
    • Classic tag team the Beauty Pair are probably the Trope Codifier for this in professional wrestling. Short-haired and athletic Jackie Sato was the tomboy while long-haired and pretty Maki Ueda was the girly girl. It was a formula AJW would repeat later on with the even more successful Crush Gals with Lioness Asuka in the Jackie Sato role and Chigusa Nagayo in the Maki Ueda role, although both girls leaned far more towards the tomboy side.
    • And after that, Toshiyo Yamada (tomboy) and Manami Toyota (girly girl). Aside from their physical appearances, Yamada used a lot of stiff kicks, while Toyota focused on speed and high-flying maneuvers.
  • Smoky Mountain Wrestling: Dirty White Girl & Tammy Fytch (Tammy "Sunny" Sytch), the latter briefly took up a Stay in the Kitchen attitude after being in a few matches and continued to rely more on manipulation and seduction to solve problems even after learning the error of her ways.
  • WWE: Trish Stratus vs. Lita. Trish, in her early days, was a former fitness model and only good at being Ms. Fanservice (although she did improve as time went on) while Lita was a punk-rocker with actual wrestling experience. Later Stratus was the tomboy compared to Stacy Keibler.
  • The ChickBusters A.J. Lee and Kaitlyn. The personalities were played with as although AJ is smaller and more frail, she is the Tomboy with an interest in comic books, action movies and cars. Kaitlyn is the big muscley girl who was presented as a clumsy ditz. Kaitlyn has described herself as the girl who was both Homecoming Queen and Class Clown.
    • On the NXT season the two of them were on, they were both the Tomboys along with Aksana (former body builder albeit with Amazonian Beauty) contrasted with former dancer Naomi, Ice Queen Maxine and former nurse and ring announcer Jamie Keyes.
  • The Bella Twins:
    • WWE has Nikki as the Tomboy to Brie's Girly Girl. Nikki was a soccer captain in school, played video games and is a Big Eater. Brie was a ballerina (though she also played soccer), is a lover of nature and animals (as well as being a vegan). Around 2013-ish, their ring gear and wrestling evoked this: Nikki wore a Tomboyish Baseball Cap and wrestled with more power moves. Brie wore ruffles on her tights and utilised Waif-Fu moves.
    • Oddly enough it's the other way around when they're not in ring gear. Brie is more likely to be shown in jeans and a t-shirt while Nikki dons cocktail dresses and high heels. Additionally Total Divas first presented Nikki as the Alpha Bitch to Brie's Granola Girl.
  • The brief alliance of Team BAE had Becky Lynch as the Tomboy to Sasha Banks's Girly Girl. Becky was a rocker who loved to head bang, while Sasha favoured outfits with lots of rhinestones on them. Speaking of which, Becky has played the tomboy to quite a few other more feminine wrestlers over time.
    • Becky Lynch is also the tomboy to best friend (or Arch-Enemy) Charlotte Flair's girly girl. The two are "The Man" and "The Queen" respectively. Their example is similar to AJ and Kailyn's above in that while Charlotte is big, tall and muscular (though Becky has a decent, well toned muscular physique in her own right, though she's not as big as Charlotte), Becky has the more tomboyish personality. Since her 2018 heel turn, Becky has been compared to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin with a rough and edgy attitude (even before the heel turn, Becky once did a re-enactment of Stone Cold's famous King of the Ring speech along with fellow male superstars) and wears shirts, dark pants and jeans. Charlotte, especially when heel, has an Alpha Bitch type of personality and often wears attires which sparkle and shine. Even before her heel turn, Becky was always the "lass kicker" who just enjoyed to fight and wasn't bothered about looking glamorous in front of the camera.
    • Then there was her feud with Lacey Evans with Evans acting as the "lady" to her "man". With Becky's aggressive persona looking to be ground-breaking in the women's division and Lacey's Southern Belle-cum-Alpha Bitch persona that appears to be a throwback to The '40s and '50s, they couldn't foil each other better if they tried. Even better is how this dynamic is fully lampshaded between the two, with Lacey arguing that her mission is to bring "class" back to the women's division that Becky is ruining by being a bad example for young girls and even making barbs about Becky being a "typical man".
    • Becky Lynch can also be considered the tomboy to Sonya Deville's girly girl. The interesting thing here is that they both started out as tomboys, and despite the two not having that much to do with each other on-screen, Sonya has made an effort to copy Becky's masculine persona to get herself over (they each refer to themselves as "The Man" and "Daddy Deville" respectively, at least as far as social media is concerned). But ironically, Sonya has been undergoing a gradual on-screen Girliness Upgrade over time (compare when she made her debut to her recent dominatrix look, for example), in contrast to Becky's Tomboyness Upgrade since her earlier years.
    • However, earlier when she was paired up with Mandy Rose, Sonya herself was very much the tomboy to Mandy's girly girl, with Sonya as the tough one who had an MMA background and Mandy as the hot and sexy one.
  • "The Punk-Rock Ragdoll" Heidi Lovelace and Princess Kimberlee/Kimber Lee. Heidi has worn Boyish Short Hair at times during her career. Kimberlee has long blue or even purple hair, along with her usual blonde. In Olde Wrestling in Ohio, they were repackaged as Heidi The Riveter and "Kickin'" Kimber Lee, a wrestling Flapper. Dori Elizabeth Prange (Heidi) was a rock climbing instructor in college, while Kimberly Frankele has a Ballet background and has worked as a ballet instructor away from wrestling. That said, Heidi (WWE's Ruby Riott) cleans up very nicely as seen in this post from her Instagram. Also, both of them are Pint Sized Powerhouses who have been able to throw around MEN who are much bigger than they are.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Season 2 of Roland Rat: The Series introduced Roxanne Rat, an assertive and ambitious career woman who was after Roland's job, in contrast to Glenis the Guinea Pig, who is pampered and unworldly due to growing up in Harrods' pet department.

  • The Tomboyish mezzo soprano Patrice and the Dumb Blonde soprano Kendra in 13 although the alto Lucy and Kendra are an aversion since they're both just as girly.
  • All Shook Up has Wrench Wench Natalie and her girly friend Lorraine. Later in the show, Natalie's tomboyishness is shown in contrast to the glamorous Miss Sandra.
  • As You Like It 's Rosalind and Celia. Rosalind is very feminine in private, but her Sweet Polly Oliver disguise lends her a boyish boldness.
  • Also, in La Bohème there's the Innocent Seamstress Lucia/Mimi and the Femme Fatale Tsundere Musetta (both lyric sopranos).
  • Roxie Hart (the girly girl/singer) versus Velma Kelly (the tomboy/dancer) in Chicago.
  • Grease contrasts the sweet and innocent Girly Girl Sandy with the tough, sarcastic, tomboyish "bad girl" Rizzo. In the end, however, Sandy gets a Tomboyishness Upgrade when she dons black leather and tight pants to become a greaser babe.
  • In Gypsy, Louise and June are very much this. Louise is just a generic performer who is in her sister's act as one of the Newsboys, while June is for all intents and purposes a classically trained ballerina who knows how to rock a pretty dress onstage. Their performance of "May We Entertain You?" even establishes them like this with not just their respective costumes but also a couple of lines they sing back-to-back.
    Baby June: I will do some kicks
    Baby Louise: I will do some tricks
  • In Philip Barry's Holiday, Linda is the tomboy and Julia is the girly girl. The "dramatis personae" describes them as follows:
    Linda: She is slim, rather boyish, exceedingly fresh. She is smart, she is pretty, but beside Julia's grace, Julia's beauty, she seems a trifle gauche, and almost plain.
    Julia: She is twenty-eight and quite beautiful.
  • Into the Woods sees a contrast between Cinderella (girly girl, again, a soprano) and the Baker's Wife (tomboy with a lower vocal range).
  • Kiss Me, Kate contrasts the tough diva Lilli with Brainless Beauty Lois. However Lilli the tomboy is the soprano singer while the girly Lois is the dancing alto. This was based on The Taming of the Shrew with tomboyish "shrew" Katherina and her much more feminine sister Bianca.
  • Les Misérables: Cosette the graceful soprano and Eponine the hardscrabble mezzo-soprano.
  • In Much Ado About Nothing Beatrice is the tomboy (although she prefers battles of wits over physical confrontations) while Hero is much more passive and conventionally feminine.
  • In Le nozze di Figaro, there's the feminine and quiet Countess Rosina and her plucky maid Susanna. Both are played by sopranos, but in a variation, the "girly" Countess has a deeper tone (full lyric) than the "tomboyish" Susanna (light lyric) since she's the Older and Wiser of the duo.
  • Depending on how the actress plays it, sometimes Laurey and Ado Annie from Oklahoma! can come across as this, with Laurey as the tomboy despite being the soprano. Sometimes she's as girly as Annie, just more sensible.
  • In Picnic, Millie is studious, bookish, wears glasses, smokes, and plays basketball. Her sister Madge is gorgeous and wears pretty dresses and says Millie should dress nicer.
  • In RENT, this shows up with Joanne and Maureen: Butch Lesbian Joanne is the organized, career-driven lawyer, while Maureen is the diva performance artist with commitment/fidelity issues. Interestingly, Maureen was originated by Idina Menzel, who also originated tomboy Elphaba in Wicked.
  • In Agnes de Mille's ballet Rodeo,, the Cowgirl (tomboy) competes with the Rancher's Daughter (girly girl) for the attentions of the Head Wrangler.
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie has the mezzo tomboy Millie with her best friend, the girly soprano Miss Dorothy. This contrast is shown by having Miss Dorothy wear her hair long and traditional dress while Millie has a short bob and "modern" 1920s flapper clothes.
  • In Wicked, Elphaba is certainly the tomboy, being unafraid to express her mind or get her hands dirty, while Glinda is almost ridiculously girly. (Again, Glinda is a soprano and Elphaba is a mezzo-soprano.)


    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Athena Cykes and Juniper Woods. Athena is Genki Girl with confirmed interest in martial arts, implied in sports in general, and Tomboyish Ponytail, while Juniper is calm with interests like gardening and knitting.
    • In a weird variant Robin Newman is this with herself. When we meet her she's rather aggressive, loud, and could easily pass as a boy. After her gender is revealed her personality is turned on it's head, and she's dancing around with huge smile, is prone to crying and fainting and generally displays every girly habit possible.
  • Ascension (2013) has the heroine Aida, who is crass, feisty, and knows her way around knives. Aida also has no problem fighting anyone who challenges her, and even goads people into starting fights. Her Heterosexual Life-Partner, Sky, is a Neutral Female who is quick to cry (she develops into Silk Hiding Steel though), and only becomes an Action Girl in Chapter 2 where she has an electrified glove, effectively making her a Lady of War. She is often shown to be afraid of physical altercations as often as she is annoyed by having to take part in them.
    • Though the two barely interact, Nagisa and Tomoyo fit this trope perfectly and subvert it as well. Nagisa, a Girly Girl, is timid, shy, and lacks self-confidence. She mostly speaks in a formal, polite way. However, she seeks to become more stronger. Tomoyo speaks in an informal way, but wants to be more feminine.
    • Brash Tsundere Kyou is a Tomboy to her shy and kind twin, Ryou's Girly Girl.
    • The brash, protective Misae played the Tomboy to her friends' Girly Girls.
    • Ushio has this dynamic with Fuko when they become best friends. Ushio has Boyish Short Hair, likes toys geared towards boys (especially robots), and practices baseball with her grandfather. Meanwhile, Fuko is more feminine, as she has longer hair and likes starfish.
  • Evie and Ambrosia in the Death Room. Evie's not afraid of picking up a gun and being sassy, while Ambrosia is a total sweetheart for the most part.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: Mion and Shion Sonozaki try to pass themselves off as this, one a loud and devious Club President and the other a sweet and shy girl who wears Fanservice with a Smile to work. They go so far as to have Mion pass herself off as Shion when her dere side manifests, so as not to damage her reputation - and when Shion gets violent: both in flashbacks and early arcs, she's dressed up as Mion and has the whole town fooled. However, both of them are more complex than this, and both take part in the final battle for everyone's lives and sanity, with 'girly' Shion being the one with the gun. Much of this trope is averted, as Mion early on calls herself the "sweet" one and Shion the "nasty" one.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • The sisters Akira and Lilly Satou. Older sister Akira is a Bifauxnen whom Hisao mistakes for a man at first, is a bad cook and tends to act much less refined than her younger sister. Said younger sister Lilly is a Yamato Nadeshiko who enjoys drinking tea, and speaks more formally.
    • Played with by Emi Ibarazaki and Rin Tezuka. Emi is the star of the track team, and her infamous "anal scene" happened because the track team captain, a gay man, convinced her to try it. But she's probably the more girly of the pair in general in looks and is something of a Token Mini-Moe with her Girlish Pigtails. Her best friend Rin, on the other hand, is blunt, snarky, and completely un-girly most of the time; she even wears a male uniform (partly to avoid panty shots since she has no arms and thus does everything with her feet).
    • Shizune and Misha are a downplayed version. Shizune is short haired, blue haired, and (sometimes awkward levels of) assertive while Misha is the more feminine and pink haired. In the beta version Misha even mentions Shizune doesn't really like dressing up much like she does.
  • Little Busters! has wild, blunt, Tsundere-ish Rin and nurturing, clumsy, Wide-Eyed Idealist Komari.
  • Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair has Rie and Runa. Rie is the loud and excitable type who likes throwing parties for her friends, while Runa is polite, reserved and ladylike.
  • War: 13th Day gives you Wildfire, the rough, tough-talking, sexually aggressive tomboy, and Ambrosia, the sweet, genteel lady - whose girliness is hilariously cranked up to eleven when Wildfire's the narrator. They get along a little like fire and ice, as one might expect.

    Web Animation 

    Web Videos 
  • Channel Awesome:
    • MarzGurl and The Nostalgia Chick in Kickassia. Of course, Marz is being a Drill Sergeant Nasty because she likes the power and the Chick is being an epic Bitch in Sheep's Clothing because she wants to rule the micro-nation, so this is a pretty negative example.
    • Subverted in Suburban Knights. It starts out Chick (as Arwen) is the tomboy while Obscurus Lupa (as Snow White) is the girly girl, but Lupa gets tired of that crap and picks up a gun, while Chick gets Jaffers in a fairly decent headlock.
    • While on at different times (Rachel quit and Tamara took over), Rachel the character and Tamara the character is the girly girl and tomboy in The Nostalgia Critic respectively. Rachel had the long hair, was the Broken Bird Token Good Teammate and all the giggly girly roles, while Tamara has Boyish Short Hair (though it's got longer), makes it clear she's The Lad-ette and Critic hires her because she beats him up good.
    • The abused daughters in the Sweater Family sketches. One has Tamara dressed up in pigtails and rocking with teddy bears, while the other is louder and dresses in tomboyish clothes.
  • Shopping in a Zombie Apocalypse features two girls breaking into a large grocery store after a, well, zombie apocalypse. Although both are quite beautiful, one is quite content to stay up front, play music over the PA, and do a sexy dance atop the checkout, while her girlfriend does a sweep of the store, casually (almost gleefully) dispatching a number of zombies with her cricket bat... while wearing rollerskates!. When the store has been cleared her girly friend rewards her with a kiss, then joins her for a shopping spree now that the danger has been dealt with.

    Real Life 
  • Queen Elizabeth II was, in her youth, a Tomboy Princess who was trained as a mechanic during WWII. Her younger sister Princess Margaret was deeply invested in music and ballet in her lifetime.
  • Tennis rivals, and good friends, Martina Navratilova (Tomboy) and Chris Evert (Girly-Girl). The various contrasts between the two played a big role in cementing their rivalry in the public eye, even as the two have kept a close friendship throughout the years.
  • Alyson Michalka has claimed to be the Tomboy to best friend/costar Ashley Tisdale's Girly Girl.
  • When The Runaways were still a band, two of its members consisted of leather-donned, foul-mouthed Joan Jett and corset-wearing, sexy Cherie Currie.
  • Real-life best friends and co-stars of Charlie's Angels (2000) self-proclaimed tomboy Cameron Diaz and girly girl animal lover Drew Barrymore are this.
  • This dynamic applied to the Simpson sisters' respective musical (and fashion) styles. While Ashlee rocked out in sporty tees and runners, Jessica was pure pop in blouses and stilettos.
  • From the Aughts music scene, Vanessa Carlton and Michelle Branch, two pop singers of the anti-Britney wave of female musicians who often got mistaken for one another due to their similar looks. Vanessa was more baroque pop with her piano, wore skirts and had a breathier voice while Michelle Branch wore more black, did rock pop with her guitar, wore jeans and black outfits and tended to belt it more.
  • For the ladies of NewTens Country Music (who did "Somethin' Bad" together): Miranda Lambert, huntsman and carnivore; and Carrie Underwood, activist and vegetarian. Ditto for Anglo/Nordic vs. Greco-Latin/Mediterranean women. The first are encouraged to be very independent and career-oriented, while the latter are more expected to be traditionally feminine.
  • This trope is the most popular stereotype of lesbian relationships: the short-haired and gruff Butch Lesbian dating a beautiful high-femme Lipstick Lesbian.
  • Offstage, the actresses of Takarazuka Revue follow an unspoken rule of dressing/behaving in public according to their professionally-assigned gender. This is in effect until they have graduated from the Revue. Thus, otokoyaku (male role actresses) are the tomboys, and musumeyaku (female role actresses) are the girly girls.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Girly Girl And Tomboy


D.W. and W.D.

D.W. and W.D. are both girls, but D.W. has stereotypically girly interests like princesses, fairies, and unicorns, while W.D. has a stereotypically boyish interest in racecars.

How well does it match the trope?

3.67 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / TomboyAndGirlyGirl

Media sources: