Follow TV Tropes

Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope.
Examples can go on the work's YMMV tab.


Viewer Gender Confusion

Go To
Hey everyone, it's time to play "Guy or Girl?".note 

Snake: [Yoshi] lays eggs and throws them, right? …then it must be female.
Otacon: ...actually, it's a "he". At least, that's what it says.
Snake's Codec conversation on Yoshi, Super Smash Bros. Brawl

You have been watching this series for a while, be it since childhood or since yesterday. You are just in the middle of an exciting scene where Miss Lovecuddles reveals that she was actually behind everything that… wait a minute, Mister? Lovecuddles is a guy?

Congratulations, you've just become a happy victim of Viewer Gender Confusion!

Sometimes this is because a cheap dub uses badly Cross-Dressing Voices, sometimes because the language you're enjoying your story in doesn't have gender differentiated pronouns, or because they have a name rarely used for that gender, or it was clear from the beginning and you were just holding the Idiot Ball for the day and missed it fabulously.

Compare She's a Man in Japan (where the character's gender actually was changed while adapting), Bifauxnen, Samus Is a Girl, Alien Gender Confusion (where this happens in-universe to members of different species), Female Monster Surprise (where you are expected to be mistaken at first) and Ambiguous Gender Identity (where the character's sex is (probably) known but their gender isn't). Contrast (or compare?) Dude Looks Like a Lady or Lady Looks Like a Dude when it's other characters who are confused.

See also Ambiguous Gender for characters who have no canonically stated gender, and Viewer Species Confusion for when it happens to an animal or other non-human character. May be solved with the use (or lack) of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics. Can be seen as the viewer-perspective version of Unsettling Gender-Reveal. Anything that makes the character's sex obvious may act as a Gender Reveal. Can overlap with Viewer Name Confusion.

Examples Subpages:


    open/close all folders 

  • In spite of the Gender-Blender Name and higher-pitched voice, Carly Cardinal, the mascot for the National Arbor Day Foundation (and star of the popular "Trees Are Terrific!" PSA) is indeed a male.

  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf:
    • Many people thought Jonie is a boy goat, due to her voice and being a tomboy.
    • Wilie's Cutesy big eyes and higher voice probably makes him seem more like a female.
    • Little Fairy's gender is still technically unknown, but it looks more like a lady.
  • In the Chinese animated film Nezha Conquers the Dragon King (1979), the title character is a little boy but he looks and acts more like a little girl—the hairstyle, clothing, and voice don't help either.
  • In The Adventures of Little Carp Aoqi the seahorse often gets mistaken as a female due to his pink coloring and feminine poses. In addition Bubbles, the main character, also often gets confused to be female due to the constant comparison to him and his grandmother. They are even voiced by women in the original but some languages actually have them being voiced by full-grown men.
  • Infinity Nado
    • Pandora despite his appearance and name is actually a boy. In fact, many viewers often think that Pandora is the "girlfriend of the main character Jin" due to their closeness and occasional tensions that greatly resembles your traditional Ship Tease dynamic with male and female characters.
    • This can also be said for Eli and even Jin to some extent due to their haircuts (with Eli even wearing a red headband) and being voiced by women in the original as they are young/adolescent boys.
    • There are other feminine characters such as Temperance from seasons one and three and Yintian (a child who accompanies the Indian Hunter God in season two) who have occasionally used male pronouns (with Temperance once using female pronouns in season one) in the original series though they can also be categorized in the Ambiguous Gender tropes as their genders were never explicitly stated.
  • Screechers Wild a.k.a. Opti Morphs: Artificial Human Bai Jing was actually the half identical twin of of another artificial human named Hēi Yào (Dark Blair) except with blue hair but still looks rather effeminate since he is a young boy. In his and Hēi Yào's debut episode, he was asked if they were "brother and sister". This actually becomes a case of Shesa Manin Japan(or in this case China) with the English dub as Bai Jing was dubbed "Snowy Girl" who uses she/her pronouns and was asked if she sisters with Dark Blair instead.
  • The titular Rabbit and the meek boy Menyus from the dialogue-free Hungarian cartoon The Rabbit with the Checkered Ears are often mistaken for girls because of their big eyelashes and their tendency to hang out with Kriszta, the show's only actual girl character, who ironically has no eyelashes and is more of a tomboy. Menyus's gender is obvious from most episodes though, and his name is a variation of the masculine name Meinhard. As for the Rabbit, even official sources are often confused, with most English language materials calling him an "it" due to the Hungarian language lacking gendered pronouns, and because he is a living stuffed toy and technically genderless. He was however referred to as a "he" in the series' original English concept summary, which also gave Menyus' English name as Martin. Possibly to put this confusion to rest, the Rabbit's redesign for the scrapped 4th season (which only lasted one episode that is now lost) removed his eyelashes.

  • Nearly any modern portrayal of Mori Ranmaru falls heavily into this if you aren't already aware of the historical figure. Historical artwork of him is a bit better.
  • Recent artwork of Hindu gods or goddesses tends to portray them all as quite androgynous. This is only partly true for historical depictions; while male figures were still drawn or sculpted as lithe, slender, and smooth-skinned, the secondary sexual characteristics of females were… much less ambiguous.
  • Renaissance-era depictions of The Beloved Disciple (John) and sometimes even John the Baptist (!) show beardless pretty boys who could be taken for girls.
  • The Last Supper's depiction of John is often mistaken for a woman due to Leonardo's attempt to convey youth through John's long hair and lack of a beard. This confusion has lead to wild mass guessing that Leonardo's John is supposed to be a depiction of Mary of Magdala, although this idea leaves Jesus with an Apostle missing from his supper.

    Comic Books 
  • While Siobhan from Anya's Ghost does have a feminine name, it's a very obscure Irish one, and she dresses in a male school uniform, complete with necktie, for the entire story. She isn't even referred to with female pronouns until well past the halfway point of the book.
  • X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Xarcce Huwla is an alien Tunroth, making her big, muscular, and with a very inhuman face. Since these comics were drawn with minimal concern for Fanservice, even when sparring in tight clothing (Xarcce Huwla wearing red in the picture) her body is easily taken for male, and since she's largely out of focus pronouns only come up a few times. It's much the same with Ibtisam the Mon Calamarian, who looks almost exactly like (male) Admiral Ackbar if you discount her having light blue skin instead of red.
  • In the graphic novel Level Up, one of the angels (the one with orange hair) appears to be a girl, but when she reveals her true form as a Pac-Man ghost and Dennis eats her, she is referred to with male pronouns. However, he/she may have No Biological Sex due to being not a human ghost, but an Anthropomorphic Personification of a broken promise Dennis's father made to his dad.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): Before Dust Devil was confirmed to be non-binary with they/them pronouns in a tweet, many fans assumed they were male due to their angular muzzle, and because they weren't referred to any third-person pronouns at all in the arc's first two issues.
  • Many non-Brazilian fans have confused the titular protagonist of Monica's Gang to be a boy due to her short haircut and the lack of any Tertiary Sexual Characteristics in her design. The fact that her dress looks like an oversized t-shirt doesn't help either.
  • Played for Laughs in MAD. When the NBA started requiring its athletes to dress in formal wear for publicity appearances, MAD ran a comic listing the upsides to this. One of them was, "You'll be able to tell the difference between the NBA players and the WNBA players."

    Comic Strips 
  • Krazy Kat never displayed a specific gender trait of any type, but was in an ongoing love triangle of sorts between two identifiably male characters.
  • While this was less true in the early days, post-'80s, some people begun to mistake Peppermint Patty from Peanuts due to a mixture of Schultz drawing her with shorts (rather than a skirt, to illustrate that she is a tomboy), longer hair on younger boys becoming more acceptable than it was in the '50s and '60s, Marcie always calling her "Sir", as well as her being voiced by an actual boy in the specials, Patty has been mistaken for a boy later on. This has, however, still contributed to a few popular theories about her and Marcie's relationship. Happens In-Universe too, with one series of comics having her get a boy's haircut from Charlie Brown's dad thinking she was a boy.
  • Zoe and Wren in Baby Blues. Shortly after the first comics of Baby Blues, Zoe was given three hairs on her head, so as not to make viewers think she's a boy. One comic had people calling Zoe a "boy", with Darryl repeatedly telling them she's a girl. Wren (a girl, not a boy) took this to the next level. Smart Practice's recall card description says "Full-color dental postcard features little Zoe explaining certain grown-up facial expressions to her baby brother, Wren.". 12 years later, Wren would later receive a redesign which now features a full set of hair instead of three, making her appearance look more like a young girl.
  • Buster from Buster Brown was boyish in the 1900s but his pageboy haircut and clothes (which are sometimes pink) make him more androgynous to modern audiences.

    Fan Works 
  • Yume Ni's official artwork from the Gensokyo 20XX series has her looking similar to a boy, aside from her eyelashes. We also get this Enoki, whose appearance was initially gender neutral, however, by 20XXV, she was identified to be female and had new picture, complete with Tertiary Sexual Characteristics.
  • From Kill la Kill AU, if it wasn't stated or shown to a certain degree otherwise, you probably would have thought Mako was a boy, as she has pretty short hair but, otherwise, wears a dress. Likewise, same can occur for Shiro, who, despite his masculine clothing, has something a feminine hairstyle.
  • Breeze Rider from Dusk's Dawn is a boy. A cursory glance at the works trope page will show you how difficult it is for the audience to pick up on that.
  • Shadow's Chao Jazz from Shadamy Comic is female, but she's a Shadow Chao so she looks just like her male owner.
  • Swear Not By The Moon: Due to Cassandra going by the title of Prince, many readers thought that she was Gender Flipped in this fic. In actuality, she is still female but goes by that title.
  • In Hungarian, pronouns aren't gender based, leading generations of The Lord of the Rings readers thinking that the Witch-King was killed by Merry, not Éowyn. And coincidentally, neither the appendices nor the prophecy (No man shall kill him—it was a Hobbit!) contradicts this. But it's clear in the original.
  • For a long time, half of the Harry Potter fandom thought Blaise Zabini was a girl, since he's just a name until book 6. (Specifically, a name which is masculine in Europe but usually feminine in the United States.) Some who wanted more Slytherin girls used "her" extensively as an O.C. Stand-in in Fan Fic. It's now known that "she's" a he.
  • If you're well-informed enough to know that the Groke of the Moomin series is female, try figuring out Thingumy and Bob, or the Fillyjonk's children from the anime. Too-ticky can also be misleading because of her appearance, but it's pretty clear she's a woman.
    • Too-ticky is at least partly based on Jansson's sculptor girlfriend, which may account for her relative butchness.
    • In the original Swedish, the Groke is called Mårran which manages to sound both feminine and threatening.
    • Thingummy and Bob wear dresses, and in the original are named Tofslan and Vifslan—so there is no "Bob" to confuse people. (Their particular way of speaking is an in-joke on the lingo Jansson and her first girlfriend, Vivica Bandler, used. "Tove" and "Vivica" become "Tofslan" and "Vifslan" when you speak like that...) The whole plot about the Ruby and the Groke is a metaphor for them having to hide their relationship back in the days homosexuality was still a crime and taboo in Finland.
  • A milder form of this occurs in Honor Harrington. The Royal Manticoran Navy has nearly 50-50 gender equality, and many characters are referred to as their title, i.e. Admiral, Captain, Exec., etc. To compound this, many of the women are given masculine nicknames, like Michelle becoming "Mike", while some men are given female nicknames, such as a Gervais becoming "Gwen". You may need to take notes.
    • Possibly compounding the issue is the fact—never explicitly stated—that almost any character, when talking about someone of unknown gender, will use their own pronoun (i.e., men call unknowns "he" while women call them "she").
    • Maybe more of Translator's Gender Confusion, but in Polish translation (where gender pronouns are everywhere) Patricia Givens was a man for two books because she was always referred to as "admiral Givens" or "Pat".
  • Max, from the Maximum Ride series. Considering that the book is written entirely in first person and her masculine name, it's no wonder. It's not clear at all that she's female until at least about fifty pages into The Angel Experiment, when she is finally referred to with a female pronoun.
  • Discworld
    • Most dwarfs look male, but that doesn't mean they are. And they're rarely described as other than male, unless they're making the point, because Dwarfish only has one set of pronouns.
      • This is expanded upon with Cherri Littlebottom, a feminist in a race where discovering the other's gender is part of the mating ritual. She would wear makeup, but refused to shave her beard because to do so would deny being a dwarf.
      • Never really resolved in Unseen Academicals with Madame Sharn. She claims female terminology but never really a female identity, and her lover is a gay male (biologically human) dwarf. Thanks to the weird interactions between dwarf and human ideas of sexuality she could equally be male, female, transgender, or not fit cisgender terminology at all.
      • There's a picture by Paul Kidby in Nanny Ogg's Cookbook of two bearded and armoured dwarfs with two dwarf children, one about half the size of an adult dwarf but already bearded, the other a baby with stubble. There was some discussion in the fandom as to which dwarf was the dad in this family group, until it was reprinted in one of the art books with the title "Mothers' Meeting".
    • Many characters in Monstrous Regiment are very convincing crossdressers.
  • In the kid's magazine Muse, four New Muses are guys, four New Muses are girls... and nobody can agree what gender Egyptian-born Pwt (pronounced "pwit") is. Word of God confirmed that Pwt is a male, but some readers still think he's a girl.
  • In Goblin Moon, the anthropomorphized Nine Seasons are the setting's equivalent of gods. Four are male, four are female, and one (corresponding to mid-spring, a changeable season) is depicted as androgynous in religious art.
  • The first two chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird leave Scout's gender very much in question. (She's a girl.)
  • The Timothy Zahn novella Cascade Point is told in the first person, and the narrator's name is not gendered. Only the cover art assigns a gender.
  • The Cherub in L. Frank Baum's John Dough and the Cherub. The publishers wanted the author to end the confusion, so he agreed to a write-in a contest. Since the first two winners chose differently, the gender of the Cherub remains unknown.
  • Zom-B by Darren Shan: One of the two big twists at the end of the first book is that main character B Smith is a girl. The book had done a damn good job of leading the reader to believe otherwise, from the fact that most of B's friends are boys to the illustrations always showing her from behind (with a slim build and shaved head.)
  • In the original Winnie the Pooh books Christopher Robin wears flowing blouses and has medium length hair. While this may have been unisex looking or even masculine in the 1920s, to modern audiences he's easily mistakable for a girl. The more well-known Disney incarnation averts this.
  • In The Cosmere, the first time Bavadin was referred to, it was without a gender pronoun. Maybe because it was in the same sentence as (confirmed to be male) Rayse, but for the next two years, everyone was confident that Bavadin was a man until Arcanum Unbounded explicitly said "she". Also, Word of God has muddied the waters since, implying that Bavadin's gender is a bit more complicated than usual, leading to some debate over the proper pronouns, though most fans stick with "she".
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Warriors suffers from the authors being confused. The series has several writers and tons of characters (over a thousand, mostly composed of extras and bit characters). Many characters suddenly change pronouns between books or even within the same book. For example, as a kit and an apprentice Sedgewhisker was male but she turned female once she became a warrior.
    • Rushtooth's gender keeps on getting mixed up. Rushtooth is introduced as a female but gets called "he" and "him" a few times afterwards. Fans don't know what gender to identify them as, though the unofficial Wiki went with male.
  • In the Elephant & Piggie series, it's very easy to mistakenly assume that Piggie is a boy because of her gender-neutral name (not helped by her friend Gerald having a clearly masculine name), complete lack of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, and most of the books' back cover summaries using no pronouns for the characters, and be subsequently taken aback when you read the book where she puts on a dress for a party.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Chinese Mythology: Nezha is a seven-year-old boy and is often depicted with long flowing hair with Odango, bright pink facial makeup, and wearing a Stripperific mini dress. Resulting in people easily confusing him for a girl at first sight.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Sesame Street
    • Big Bird is sometimes mistaken for a girl, thanks to his high-pitched voice, his lack of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics, the show's young target audience, and the puppeteer's Gender-Blender Name (yes, Caroll Spinney is male).
    • Sesamstraat, the Dutch version of Sesame Street features a blue Big Bird called Pino, who started out being played by a man. When he retired a woman got the role, there was actually some debate among the creators about whether they should make the bird a pink girl and rename her Pina. In the end they chose gender confusion over gender bending.
    • Sesamstraße, the German version also had a snail called "Fienchen" note . Fienchen started out being male, but due to his "cute" name and high pitched voice, he caused so much gender confusion, they actually changed him into a girl. That's the one case where gender confusion would be appropriate. Snails are hermaphrodites.
  • Despite her feminine-sounding voice, Click from Between the Lions is sometimes mistaken for a boy due to her lack of eyelashes.
  • Bear in the Big Blue House: Many have mistaken Treelo for a girl (he is brightly colored and has a feminine Elmo-like voice) and Ojo for a boy (she has no Tertiary Sexual Characteristics and a Tomboyish Voice).
  • Lamb Chop's Play-Along: Lamb Chop is sometimes mistaken for a boy, due to her lack of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics and the fact that her "brothers" Charlie Horse and Hush Puppy are both boys. The segments showing her as a baby avert this, though, since there she wears a pink onesie and a headband with a pink bow.
  • The Chica Show: Even though her name means "girl" in Spanish, Chica is sometimes mistaken for a boy.
  • Donkey Hodie:
    • The titular character is sometimes mistaken for a boy. Part of this confusion may stem from the fact that the original Donkey Hodie from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was male.
    • The penguin in "Squibbit" sounds and looks like a boy, but is actually female according to the official description of the episode. Not helping matters is that she lacks the eyelashes that the other female characters have.
    • The Moustro from "Hidden Orchestra" also lacks eyelashes and has a male-sounding name, but is actually female.

  • BIONICLE: The toys have little room for Tertiary Sexual Characteristics due to their modular nature (it is a LEGO product line), so the only reliable way to pick out which one is the girl is the series' color-coding — the blue heroes were mostly girls. Same thing in-story, but at least the characters can use voice and body language to tell genders apart.
    • Roodaka, despite wearing black instead of blue, is the only woman with an actual feminine figure — but males of her species look exactly like her, causing confusion in the other direction. One comic colorist tried to color-code a male by painting him green, but Word of God says that picture is non-canon, and all of the members of the species (the Vortixx) have the exact same colors. Yes, even the males have huge breast-plates, wide hips, a ponytail, walk around in high-heeled boots, and not one of them has any variation in their coloring. The only way you can identify the genders is that if you see a Vortixx suffering or doing some incredibly tedious and tiring work, it's a male.
    • Things wouldn't be so difficult if the female sets had been designed to look the part. Jaller Inika, for instance, was the manly leader of his group, yet he was the only one who looked at least a bit feminine — the real girl, Hahli, received a huge chin, a bald head, and a mustache and goatee in the form of breathing tubes! The Inika were of course a Deconstruction of certain Toa-related tropes, but only in the story. Sets could have followed a more conventional approach. Although there is nothing to suggest this wasn't the result of test groups' dissatisfaction with female-looking toys.
    • Hahli's infamous tube-stache wasn't the first instance of a female character receiving a misleading mask. There was Macku, who had this long, pharaoh-beard like structure on the underside of her mask. The first movie redesigned that mask-type so that it would have a mechanical "beard". Macku's movie-mask got a shortened version, but it still looked off.
    • Arguably, the least feminine of them would be Gali Nuva. Thats right, the one with dual battleaxes, wide chin and ahnold pecs is the female.
      • This is Gali Nuva again, in her Adaptive Armor. With her flat chest, wide shoulders, gorilla-arms, hunched posture, and broad, protruding chin, bald head, waffle-eye and jet-wing ears(?), not only does she look even less feminine than her "base" Nuva form, she doesn't quite look like anything else seen in the story. As a result, it's one of the most unpopular figures of the franchise, and perhaps the main reason why the "Mistika" set-line got such an unfavorable fan-reception.
    • One prime example was with the "Mistika" characters, as Word of God had said one of the three Makuta in the set was to be female, and since none of those three were blue the color code wasn't going to be any help. When the fanbase got pictures, many guessed it was Krika, a sleek white character with a feminine-ish name and an elongated head/mask reminiscent of a ponytail. It turned out that the female was actually Gorast; a short, squat, green-and-black hag with four arms.
    • And did we mention that when the series got ReTooled with a new setting, the color code ceased to apply to gender? (The girl is still blue, but there's also a male blue character.)
      • But at least that one single female character was designed to actually have some feminine physical characteristics, like a slender body, and... wait, that was it.
    • There are some subtle hints sometimes though, such as Nokama Metru's smoother mask design, Hahli Mahri's sleeker mask and her angel wings, and Gali Mata's inverted legs and extra chest-piece. But that's as helpful as it can go.
    • When the original line first hit, there was next to no supplementary material to educate buyers on which gender the characters were, but thankfully the narrator on the early promotional CDs, which only saw a limited release, made a point of referring to Gali by using female pronouns as many times as possible. On the other hand, he did call Nokama, the only other female set sold at that point, a "he", thus muddling up the then-introduced "blue=girl" rule.
    • BIONICLE's successor Hero Factory has Breez, who is female despite looking just as manly as the others.
      • It helps that her full name is Natalie Breez, though others mostly just call her Breez anyway. As for her looks, her helmet's eye-holes at least looked feminine at first. Then, she switched them to a generic design, along with adapting this huge, manly chin underneath.
    • The sheer number of occasions that LEGO and associates mistakenly or by necessity made men out of their women is enough to confuse every outsider. Besides the thing with Nokama on the promo CD mentioned above, Hahli also got a male voice in the online Toa Mahri mini-movie and in the video game BIONICLE Heroes (Roodaka, perhaps the only obvious female toy of the franchise, also received generic male grunts in that game), the Voya Nui On-Line Game referred to Dalu as a "he" at one point, and more recently, the web bio of Hero Factory's Natalie Breez also used masculine pronouns. Then, there are the Direct to Video movies, which gave random background Ga-Matoran (all female) male voices.
    • The 2015 reboot continues in this tradition: in addition to being ambiguous visually, Gali is named the Master of Water (and foreign translations also refer to her by masculine designations); and the online animations, which have a male narrator "voicing" all the characters, further this confusion.
  • The Beanie Baby Erin. Paired up with the Princess Diana bear. Green, as opposed to Diana's more feminine purple. Especially if you were unaware of the differences between Aaron and Erin (phonetically identical in some varieties of English) as a child.
  • The toyline-only character Sonar from Beast Wars is considered female by some fans due to the lack of gender-specific pronouns on the toy's bio.
    • Confirmed in the comics, which took advantage of the lack of pronouns to add another female to the ranks.
  • My Little Pony:
    • Mainly thanks to the cartoon adaptation many ponies were considered male, such as Gusty or Applejack. There are some collectors who played with the toys as kids in the 80s who still insist 20+ years later Applejack was male; it wasn't too unknown to see debates on it in the 2000s.
    • G1 is mainly known for being almost entirely made up of mares and fillies but males existed, most popularly the Big Brother Ponies. They're not that much masculine from the females, the only real difference having fetlocks and being associated with 'masculine' roles (American football, pirates, sailing, etc). They come in pastel pinks and yellows and have have long eyelashes.
    • Kingsley is a lioness with a mane and masculine name. Most people consider her male but everything official states otherwise.
    • Prince Firefly from G2 is purple and shares the name of the most famous Pony until G4. But he's not called "prince" for nothing.
    • Prism Glider, a background pony from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, is clearly a stallion in the show and on his collector's card, but his blind bag figure uses the standard female Pegasus mold (as opposed the male design used for Thunderlane, Flash Sentry, etc.). Likewise, Neon Lights' blind bag toy is a palette swap of Vinyl Scratch/DJ PON-3.

    Web Animation 
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • Flaky is thought to be a boy because, unlike Giggles and Petunia, Flaky doesn't have eyelashes but is given a distinct feminine voice, it shows neutral characteristics for any gender but the voice actor suggests female, even the creators are undecided. It's even lampshaded a few times.
    • Cuddles can even be mistaken for female by some who are watching the show for the first time.
    • Sniffles too. This is largely attributed to his voice actress.
  • YouTube comments on newer Baman Piderman episodes frequently ask if Pumkin is a girl, perhaps due to his cute, awkward nature ever since gaining a body and his actions towards Piderman, despite him being unambiguously referred to as male In-Universe.
  • Nerris from Camp Camp was mistaken for a young boy by several people watching the trailer due to her boyish clothes and hairstyle, with her most girlish feature (the eyelashes) being easy to miss. Even when she actually speaks in the show proper, her female voice actress could be mistaken for a case of Crossdressing Voices and the first line that establishes her gender is easily missable due to being said at the same time as another line. She's even this in-universe in the episode "Egg Benefits", when Cameron Campbell falters on whether to call her a mom or a dad.
  • Busy Beavers had a character named Baby Kangaroo, who was mistaken for a baby boy, due to her lacking eyelashes and a bow. It wasn't until the "Characters" song that Baby Kangaroo was confirmed a girl.
  • Battle for Dream Island big time. The fact that they are objects doesn't help things either, as the only thing to go off of is voices.
    • Lollipop, Pie and Gaty all have deeper voices, but are female.
    • Conversely, Lightning and Cake have feminine voices, but are distinctly male.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • In The Nostalgia Critic review of "Nickcoms", he plays a game called "Boy or Girl" with the kids from You Can't Do That on Television.
  • Diamanda Hagan's strong facial features and husky voice trip up a lot of first-time viewers, and leads to a lot of questions in the comment section as to her actual gender (for the record, she's a woman and a Butch Lesbian).
  • Minky Steve from Parsley Boobs. He/she is either a slightly masculine-looking woman or a very Camp Gay man.
  • In The Guild, Bladezz's pre-adolescent sister has long hair, but it just makes her look even more like her brother. She has a husky voice for a girl and is first seen wearing a baseball cap and rather gender-neutral clothing.
  • The infamous Sankis of Boatmurdered was in fact female. Most references use male pronouns for her, including Blizzard and This Very Wiki.
  • Many people don't realize that Tarder Sauce, best known as Grumpy Cat, is female.
  • Sketchbook from Don't Hug Me I'm Scared has a voice somewhere between a prepubescent boy and a young woman, has rainbow colored "hair", and is a talking sketchbook. The character's gender is unconfirmed officially, though has been portrayed as female in fanon .
  • Lulu from Cream Heroes is frequently mistaken for female by fans due to his name being feminine in English. (The reason for this is all the cats have repeated phonetic syllables for names and Lulu was simply unlucky in that regard.)
  • In What's Your Problem? E7, Wiremu has pink clothing and Girlish Pigtails. To non-Maori viewers, his name is also ambiguous.note