Note, most of the elements of this page have come from the Playing With section or are already implied in the current definition. The main new elements are explicitly allowing the character to be more active (to avoid The Chick = The Load or Damsel in Distress), and a section on powers and abilities like current versions of The Smart Guy and The Big Guy
The emotional ground, and feminine member of the cast. This character is Always Female, and the only female in a true traditional Five-Man Band with four other guys who fill the other archetypes. In a more gender equal team she's usually the girliest among other girls.
As gender roles evolve, how The Heart meets femininity has had a broad range. The Chick can be shy and demure, or brave and adventurous. As an example, there is a history of The Chick relying on the help of her teammates, barely contributing anything, and constantly having to be rescued. Now many examples from at least the turn of the millennium on are Action Heroines who can stand on their own.
Common variants and traits to mix and match include:
- The emotionally intelligent Heart and Team Mom. Because Women Are Wiser and Closer to Earth, she takes care of the smaller details within the group and in the world outside. She looks after innocents, delivers An Aesop, and mediates the arguments. Even if she's on the quieter side, her presence alone is encouraging and calming to the others. She keep the rest from Jumping Off the Slippery Slope.
- The Spirited Young Lady who is 'the backbone' as much as 'the heart.' Proactive, opinionated, and may surprise chauvinists when she subverts traditional gender roles. She'll be found calling out wrongdoing and standing up to bad guys just as often as she is taking care of the people they hurt (often with a no nonsense tough love.) Elements of Tomboy Princess or Shorttank may land here. Tough on the surface but still very caring.
- The cute, sweet, Girly Girl. At her best she's the Cool Big Sis, and at her worst the Lovable Alpha Bitch. She always livens the mood and keeps people on their toes. Her emotional impact comes from her high energy. Infectious to most, or annoying to a Grumpy Bear. Flighty, but may have Hidden Depths.
Powers and skills common to the Chick include:
- Her superpowers are generally more supportive than combative, playing roles like The Medic or Barrier Warrior. Her emotional intelligence can manifest by being The Empath.
- She gets nurturing Elemental Powers like Air, Water, or Plants. As you get more fantastic, she goes for Light to speak to her purity or Hearts and Flowers.
- Prefers bows, guns, or magic and psychic powers to fight from a distance.
- If she has to get up close, expect Waif-Fu. She may use a lighter version of The Hero's weapon like a short sword compared to a BFS. Other common weapons include naginata, war fan, or a frying pan for laughs.
- Particularly if she's a Mysterious Mystical Waif, she may be a Barrier Maiden or some other type of MacGuffin Girl.
The Chick also tends to have a real job that's gives her plot relevant access, acting as The Face for the rest of The Team. Like being an Intrepid Reporter, a Princess, or just being more in the know about whatever magical secrets or organizations we're going to encounter. Regardless, there's a tendency to make her the Naïve Newcomer. Either the muggle on a team of mages, or a all star mage on a team of muggles.
If she gets a lot of screen time she'll be in a Power Trio with The Hero and The Lancer. Often the mediator of their Foil Pair, if not in the middle of their Love Triangle. Otherwise she may form a trio of sorts with The Big Guy and the Smart Guy with the three representing mind, body, and soul.
See also her Evil Counterpart, the Dark Chick. The Chick sometimes gets hit with Chickification or a Distress Ball but neither trope is inherent to this one. If she starts out more passive then Xenafication can push her towards the Spirited Young Lady.
See here for notes on the prominence of this archetype.