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Tomboy Princess

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Daisy's contemporary vernacular, at-least-always-stronger-than-Peach strength, hair to match, and of course, not pink colors, are all indications that she is not the girly princess.

Exactly What It Says on the Tin, it's a Princess who is a Tomboy, instead of, or perhaps in addition to, the more typical traits of a princess.

There are many reasons for this trope. A very unfortunate one is that Tomboys are depicted as "better" than Girly Girls. This might be because Most Writers Are Male, or because female writers project their issues with femininity on their writing, or because there's a need for role models, or because Real Women Don't Wear Dresses, but either way it seems to be a way of saying, "See, our Princess is a role model for modern girls! She's not girly like the stupid and shallow princesses from the past, she's better!" Expect there to be several girly traditional Princesses for contrast. Occasionally both the Tomboy and the Girly Princess might learn to appreciate each other in spite of their differences. In these types of uses the Tomboy Princess is used to tell An Aesop about gender roles. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as long as it doesn't overwhelm the character and story.


A more moderate approach is to use the "Tomboy Princess" as a way to combine Tomboy and Girly Girl and Tomboy with a Girly Streak into one character. Who says tomboys can't be girly? Who says girly girls can't be tomboys? This has the advantage of appealing to a lot of girls who both want to play with the boys, but also like wearing tiaras and fancy dresses (also showing that She Cleans Up Nicely). Maybe she considers a Pimped-Out Dress to be the princess version of the Ermine Cape Effect, and her style of everyday Modest Royalty happens to appear quite boyish (if only by comparison).

These Tomboy Princesses are usually too busy being awesome to bother with trying to teach Aesops. Although occasionally they'll have a Very Special Episode to teach one. The most common pitfall for a writer with this type of Tomboy Princess is having her become too awesome.


These are the most common forms of the Tomboy Princess, but there are other uses. For example, a Princess might be made a Tomboy so as to make her more down-to-earth than the rest of the nobles. In this case the focus is more on class roles rather than gender roles.

Because she doesn't care as much about keeping up the a feminine and demure appearance, she might not be a Pretty Princess Powerhouse even if she's a fighter. There also may be some overlap with Rebellious Princess, depending on the character and the narrative.

Contrast Princess Classic.


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    Anime and Manga 

  • The Courageous Princess Mabelrose.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe The X-Wing Series has Plourr Illo. She's an extraordinarily Boisterous Bruiser.
    "Plourr, try to remember that we're supposed to keep a low profile."
    "I'm not exactly little miss wallflower, Wes, but I'll make you a deal. I won't beat on any of the resident scum unless they hit me first—or they pick on my friends—or I feel like it!"
  • Adrienne Ashe from Princeless is sarcastic, direct, easily annoyed; doesn't wear pink clothes, clads herself in armor, begins sword-fighting, and questions her supposed role as a Princess Classic.
  • Princess Ulga of Princess Ugg loves fighting and is more of a rough barbarian compared to her much more feminine princeless classmates.
  • Starfire from Teen Titans is a warrior princess.

    Film — Animated 
  • Disney movies, especially during or around The '90s, tended to noticeably have these.
    • The Black Cauldron: Princess Eilowny. Although heavily watered down from her original characterization, which fits this more.
    • Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Very feisty, active and adventurous, and can hold her own against a shark—the start of a Renaissance-era tradition involving the Disney Princesses. Her daughter Melody in the sequel fits as well.
    • The Lion King: Nala (although she's never called a princess), as seen when she play-wrestles with Simba on her way to an elephant graveyard with him. That far into the movie, they're just friends (and they don't take seriously the idea that they'd grow up to be more than friends) and you could almost forget they're opposite genders if not for the voices. The Lion King has its protagonist and princess more similar to each other than most Disney movies do. Her rebellious, boisterous young daughter Kiara is another example, especially as Nala matures and becomes more regal.
    • Pocahontas has the titular character, who is athletic, scales mountains, climbs trees, jumps off cliffs, and steers her canoe into turbulent waters. After Merida, she's probably one of the most tomboyish Princesses.
    • The eponymous character of Mulan is not a princess, but she is part of the official Disney Princess lineup, and she's tomboyish to the extent of pretending to be a man to join the army.
    • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: Princess Kida, which seems to be part and parcel of her being The Chief's Daughter, right up to the point where they actually show her climbing up a large rock structure while wearing a long, flowing dress at the end of the film!
    • Princess Merida from the Pixar film Brave. This is the root of the conflict with her mother; she hates the courtly education Elinor gives her and doesn't want to marry. She just wants to ride horses and practice archery.
    • Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck-It Ralph, a spunky and tomboyish little kart racer, is revealed to be a princess at the end of the movie, although she gives up that title to become a President instead.
  • In The Swan Princess, Odette is one as a little girl. When she's introduced to Prince Derek, she instantly puts up her fists; later she's seen fighting him with a wooden sword. She becomes more of a girly girl, but stays badass as well.
  • Strange Magic: Princess Marianne who used to be more of a Princess Classic. After finding out her fiancee was cheating on her the day of her wedding, becomes a pants wearing, sword wielding Action Girl. Interestingly, as part of her transformation, she also starts wearing blue eyeliner, making her a Tomboy with A Girly Streak.
  • In the first Shrek movie, Fiona was this before she turned into an ogre.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Hidden Fortress has Princess Yuki, who tries to talk like Toshiro Mifune and enjoys riding and hitting people with a stick.
  • The Star Wars series. Princess Leia Organa, of course, volunteers for commando missions, eventually being promoted to the rank of General of the Army of the Galactic Republic, and also of the Rebellion that helped restore it and works alongside it against the First Order.
  • Princess Fantaghirò.

  • In A Brother's Price, all the princesses, by default. This is a world where gentleness, needlework and beautiful walking robes are for men. The princesses go and chase bandits.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia, The Horse and His Boy has Aravis Tharkeena, who upgrades from a Tomboy Noblewoman to a Tomboy Princess when she marries Shasta aka Crown Prince Cor. Lucy The Valiant is a Tomboy Queen with some traces of girliness who is good at archery and acts like a Cool Big Sis to Aravis when they meet. The femininity and reluctance to openly fight unless it's truly needed are for her older, wiser, quieter sister, Queen Susan the Gentle.
  • The Ordinary Princess by MM Kaye. Princess Amy is plain and tomboyish after she was cursed at birth to be "ordinary".
  • Lloyd Alexander is obviously into this trope:
  • A Song of Ice and Fire Arya Stark is a tomboy from the start, and a princess after her brother Robb is acclaimed king. The main advantage of this trope is shown when she has to go on the run during a Civil War, often posing as a commoner (usually a boy).
  • Cimorene from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, who tries to learn such unfeminine and un-princesslike things as magic and fencing. When her parents still try to force her into a proper marriage, she runs away to go live with a dragon… where, ironically, her duties consist largely of cooking and cleaning. OTOH, it does promote her to the status of Royals Who Actually Do Something.
  • The Royal Diaries has a couple. Anastasia: The Last Grand Duchess would rather climb trees than dance while in Marie Antoinette: Princess of Versailles Archduchess Antonia's favorite activity is horse riding astride through the mud.
  • Bridge to Terabithia has Leslie who's the only girl wearing cut-offs and a t-shirt, wants to run with the boys and finds a space outside that can be the land of Terabithia. She will be its queen and her friend will be its king. She's an imaginary tomboy queen, but still.
  • While Sorcha in Daughter of the Forest is traditionally Feminine in the sense of being "caring and motherly" rather then "ferocious and warlike" in nature, she prefers wandering in the woods with her brothers to being dressed up like a doll, and knows such things as surviving in a forest, identifying herbs, building fires, and how to avoid offending guess who.
  • In Walter Jon Williams' Drake Maijstral series, Roberta, the Duchess of Benn, is a top-ranked amateur racer, and can hold her own in a fight. She's also the owner of the famous Eltdown Shard, and a fan of Drake—despite the fact that she's fairly sure he plans to steal the Shard.
  • A Taste of Honey: As the daughter of the Blessèd Femysade, Lucretia is a princess, but spends any free minute she can outside hunting or at her father's Menagerie, and her witch powers are also of the more hands-on nature, like moving big stones through telekinesis whenever needed for construction purposes.
  • Princess Dzhavakha: Princess Nina Dzhavakha is a headstrong girl who loves riding far into the mountains and excels at trick riding as well. When her scandalized grandmother compares her to a Proud Warrior Race Guy, Nina takes it as a compliment.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones: Lyanna was the daughter of one of the most powerful lords of Westeros, she loved horseback riding and she's shown to be savvy enough to give Hodor advices about how to spar with Benjen. She definitely was this.
  • Princess Elena in Merlin, as a side effect of the Sidhe that has been possessing her all her life. Once it's gone, she becomes a Princess Classic.
    • Princess Mithian is exactly half this trope. On the one hand, she enjoys outdoor pursuits, especially hunting. She's also pretty damn good at burping. On the other hand, she is always immaculately groomed and dressed. Tomboy Princess in spirit + Proper Lady in conduct and appearance = Tomboy with a Girly Streak.
  • Downton Abbey: Sybil is a Tomboy Aristocrat, as she rebels against corsets, wears bloomers instead of dresses, trains as a nurse and prefers hanging out in the garage with the chauffuer than attending fancy parties. Edith also develops this in Season 2 as she learns to drive and helps with farmwork.

     Religion And Mythology 
  • In Classical Mythology, Artemis and Athena (are you going to say a goddess is not a princess) both have a bit of Tomboy in them but Artemis is the goddess of the wilderness and Athena is the goddess of civilization.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons. Princess Alusair Nacacia Obarskyr (daughter of King Azoun in the Forgotten Realms setting) who became a fighter and an adventurer. She was also a Rebellious Princess because she took off without her father's permission.
  • Lace & Steel. Linette Vulpiniere, the example character used to illustrate the rules throughout the book, is of genteel birth but rejects the in-universe notions of the proper lady behavior and instead goes for mostly combat-oriented skills.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy V has Faris. This is because she spent the latter part of her childhood among pirates.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Blazing Sword, Lyndis aka Lyn is this and The Chief's Daughter, since her mom was a Lycian princess and her dad was the chieftain of the Lorca tribe.
    • Same goes to Sue, a Horse Archer and the princess of the Kutolah tribe in Binding Blade (who may be Lyn's daughter, if you paired her up with Sue's dad Rath in the prequel). Double if she falls for Roy and marries him, since their common ending mentions how the Lycian nobles look at Sue kinda weirdly for being a tomboyish and free-spirited Duchess of Pherae.
    • Averted by Eirika from The Sacred Stones, who is quite proactive but still a Lady of War. Her best friend Tana plays it a little straighter.
    • The original Fire Emblem heroine, Princess Shiida/Caeda of Talys, is also a bit of an aversion. She's very feminine, but her preference to take on the battlefield like a Lady of War is why she's called a tomboy.
    • Princesses Ayra of Isaac, Lachesis of Nodion and Tiltyu of Freege from Seisen no Keifu play this straight as well. Also Bridget of Jungby, but that's because she also spent her childhood as a Pirate Girl. Ayra's daughter Lakche and Altenna from Thracia are this too.
    • Miranda of Alster and Mareeta of Rivough from Thracia 776, in a Fallen Princess way.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening has Chrom's teenage sister, Princess Lissa of Ylisse, as well as Chrom's prospect daughter(s) Cynthia or Kjelle (Lucina is more of a Tomboy with a Girly Streak). Princess Say'ri of Chon'sin is in the fence, as she is rather straightforward but very much a Lady of War. Morgan can also be this if the Avatar marries Say'ri or Lucina, and probably Lissa as well.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has Princess Hinoka of Hoshido, a tomboyish Amazonian Beauty and Pegasus Warrior who is the most outwardly tomboyish of the princesses in the game.
  • Kairi in Kingdom Hearts, albeit her "Princess" title being based around her heart rather than true royal lineage.
  • The Legend of Zelda. The titular Princess Zelda in some incarnations:
    • Ocarina of Time: A Gossip Stone claims that she's one, which is something that, if kept in mind, makes a certain reveal later on less surprising. There's also Princess Ruto, who has a tomboyish attitude towards Link when he tries to rescue her, but in the future she behaves in a more affectionate way.
    • The Wind Waker, because she is the alter ego of pirate captain Tetra.
    • Spirit Tracks. Zelda acts a little girly sometimes, but is a lot more assertive and Hot-Blooded after taking over a Phantom for the first time. She's more than willing to help Link on his quest.
    • Breath of the Wild. She is an aspiring Adventurer Archaeologist researching the Lost Technology of ancient Hyrule who is more commonly shown wearing a Modest Royalty outfit with pants than a dress, and isn't afraid to get dirty handling things in the wilderness, to the point of excitedly picking up a frog and trying to get Link to eat it.
  • The Mega Man Battle Network series has Pride, the operator of Knightman, princess of Creamland.
  • MOTHER 3 Kumatora is one, although she isn't really a princess; that's just a title.
  • Recettear It's implied that Charme the Thief of all people is the heir to the throne of a fallen kingdom known for its booze.
  • The Super Mario Bros. series. Daisy, pictured at the top of the page, is described as a tomboy within the series. So much, in fact, that her only Super Smash Bros. Brawl trophy is part of the Mario Strikers Charged series (which also includes Mario and a Kritter, who have trophies of their normal versions). She does have a sticker depicting her usual attire, but it is shared with Peach, so it is not a solo sticker.
    • However, recent developments on Princess Daisy show her to be getting away from this, to the point where her tomboyishness is an Informed Attribute at most. Her Smash 4 trophy has Daisy back in her standard Princess Attire, and quite a few recent games have dialed up her femininity.
  • Depending on how you raise your girl in the Princess Maker games, she may grow up to be any kind of tomboyish swordswoman or sorceress who works part-time lumberjacking or keeping the dead down in the local graveyard. Whether she actually becomes a princess is a different issue.
  • Criosa in the Neverwinter Nights mod series The Aielund Saga is a princess and the heir to the throne of Aielund, and is also a wizard/rogue of a level on par with your character and runs around in pants with a sword more often than not.
  • Street Fighter III has Elena, an African princess of a Kick Chick with a tomboyish theme tune.
  • Marle of Chrono Trigger is a princess, sheltered by an over-protective father and encouraged to be a Proper Lady… who runs away from home to have fun, wields a bow (and later, magic) and breaks pretty much every rule of lady-like etiquette generally. Her tomboyish actions even make her the talk of the Millennial Fair.
  • Sarna of Chronus Arc, who wields a spear in battle, whose battle sprite shows her wearing the most armor, and even her character portrait makes her look like she's striking a martial arts pose.
  • Dishonored 2 allows the player to take control of Emily, the daughter of the previous empress and the previous player character. She clearly prefers sneaking around the city's rooftops over ruling its citizens.


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Rankin Bass adaptation of The Emperor's New Clothes, the titular Emperor has one for a daughter, who serves as the love interest of one of the tailors (who in this version are given a dose of Adaptational Heroism). The short plays it for parody; she deludes herself into thinking that he is the hero who can save her from her father's Evil Chancellor, when she is clearly the tougher of the two, and she is right about that first part.
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears has Princess Calla. She dislikes having to act prim and proper and would rather take part in governing and defending her kingdom. She's skilled in the use of weapons, and the episode "Girls Knight Out" has her secretly entering and winning the tournament that was to determine who would be her royal protector. Even better, when King Gregor, her father, learns the truth, he is deeply impressed at what a powerful warrior his child has become.
  • The Legend of Zelda animated series. Princess Zelda, much more so than her video game counterpart, which generally causes Well, Excuse Me, Princess! situations.
  • Sonic Sat AM has Princess Sally, who despite her title actually has several roles, many of which are stereotypically associated with males, such as that of battle strategist, engineering technician, and of course, as a fighter. No major female character in the show conforms entirely to female stereotypes, but Sally is especially divergent from them.
  • Depending on the episode, Princess Bubblegum in Adventure Time. It's especially seen in the comics tie-ins, like Marceline And The Scream Queens, where she actually leaves Finn to rule the Candy Kingdom in her stead to accompany Marceline as she's touring.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Princess Ember from the episode Guantlet Of Fire, daughter of the Dragon Lord Torch, an action girl who take part in the gauntlet of fire to prove to her father and the other dragons that she is not a weak little princess and become the new Dragon Lord Ember.
    • While she's only slightly tomboyish, Twilight Sparkle's focus on her studies is, relatively speaking, not quite as conventionally feminine as Rarity's fashion design, Fluttershy's animal care, or Pinkie Pie's catering, making her more tomboyish than average, at least as far as the Mane Six go. She's certainly the most tomboyish of the princesses; Celestia and Cadance are each clearly shown to be acting according to the in-universe traditions of the lands they have authority over, and Luna thinks she is.
  • Disenchantment has Princess Tiabeanie, or Bean for short. She's rebellious, doesn't mind getting her hands dirty at times and loves to fight and drink.

    Real Life 
  • Elizabeth II seems to have had elements of this when she insisted on joining the Army during World War II and became a mechanic and truck driver. As it is, she is the only remaining head of state who is a vet of that war. Her daughter Princess Anne was an Olympic-level equestrian in her youth. Anne's daughter Zara Phillips has taken up riding as well, participating in the London Olympic Games.
  • Several Medieval European Noblewomen had this characteristic to some degree. Someone had to take care of the castle while all the knights were busy killing each other, including its armed defense when necessary. At least one Arab visitor commented on how forward Western women were.
  • Christina, Queen of Sweden, who took up traditionally-masculine hobbies and interests (like fencing, shooting and alchemy), dressed and behaved like one of the guys — and associated with them in a manner considered inappropriate for her time, and, of course, was suspected to have both male and female love interests, but never married. Invoked by her father, Gustavus Adolphus, who ordered that his sole heir be raised as a prince, and possibly complicated by the allegations of Ambiguous Gender raised at her birth.
  • Khutulun, daughter of Kublai Khan's brother Qaidu. One of the great warriors of eastern Asia, as well as a great leader and politician. When her family demanded she marry, she promised to marry the first man who could beat her at wrestling, and that she would take one hundred horses from any man who lost such a challenge. After winning ten thousand horses and gaining no husband, her family backed off.

Alternative Title(s): Tomboy Princesses