Designated Girl Fight

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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"Hey, can someone explain to me why I'm always fighting skanky chicks who fly? I mean, Sabine, Samantha, Tsukiko... I bet even the druid's hawk was some sort of a bird-hussy. I should take a level of ranger so I can choose Favored Enemy (Airborne Tramp)."


An unspoken version of Wouldn't Hit a Girl, when there's a team with one Action Girl, and there's one female opponent among several men, the two will always take care of each other. She might take out one of the guys, too, but the men will keep to themselves. It's not universal enough to list aversions, but it's definitely noticeable.

Essentially, when the Hero needs to fight a girl, he must get a Pinch Hitter to take his spot. Sometimes the Hero's girlfriend gets this as her role. Often the job of The Chick in the Five-Man Band is to smack the supervillainess around, essentially becoming the team's Designated Hitter for all female villains.

If one girl is the morality-reversed equivalent of the other, the odds are increased exponentially.

This tends to be the end result of a basically gendered aspect of many superheroes: male superheros tend to have a generally male Rogues Gallery, and females tend to have a generally female rogue's gallery. Thus, a Legion of Doom team-up tends to be fought along gender lines.

Might lead to a Cat Fight, but usually they are looking to make this more subtle. Compare Counterpart Combat Coordination.

Also see Mono-Gender Monsters, where the gender of the cast is tied to the gender of the enemy.

Examples of Designated Girl Fight include:

Anime and Manga

  • The Angewomon/LadyDevimon catfight in Digimon Adventure comes to mind. Though in this case, it's more Angewomon wanted to take LadyDevimon out herself and rebuked anyone who tried to help, and LadyDevimon was Piemon's Dragon. The fight was later repeated in Digimon Adventure 02, with this LadyDevimon serving Daemon instead.
  • In Digimon Frontier, Izumi has the most fights against Ranamon, and Ranamon was her only kill and scan in the entire series.
  • Averted in Digimon Savers. Kurata assembles a team of Psycho Rangers to fight the main Power Trio, but the female members of each don't battle each other. Instead, Nanami takes on fellow Teen Genius Touma and Yoshino faces her Stalker with a Crush Ivan. In fact, Nanami and Yoshino had almost no interaction at all during the series, unusual in that this was the Digimon iteration in which Fan Service started being a thing that regularly happens.
  • Semi-played in Digimon Xros Wars - Mervamon was one of two Digimon present for the final fight against Lilithmon, but she was working together with Beelzebumon for the entire fight, and he's the one who takes Lilithmon out.
  • One Piece:
    • It's played ridiculously straight in Enies Lobby where Oda managed to subvert an aversion. Kalifa and Sanji, the kickers of their respective teams, faced off, but due to an Honor Before Reason death wish, Sanji refused to defend himself against Kalifa. So it became Nami vs Kalifa. And what's worse, Kalifa was almost as fast as Sanji, but despite being far than able to behead Nami with her kicks, she began to fight with a shower and soap.
    • In the Thriller Bark arc, when Usopp is the only one capable of fighting Thriller Bark's female officer, Perona. Wouldn't Hit a Girl kicks in, however, in that Usopp never actually strikes Perona, just frightens her into unconsciousness. Played with in that he certainly TRIED to hit her with his attacks (he spent a whole episode chasing her), he just couldn't for various reasons. By the time he was in a position where he could've hit her, he'd already won the fight.
    • And of course, a few chapters later Nami herself started initiating a battle with Perona, which was only narrowly averted by the sudden presence of Kuma.
    • Also, Usopp and Chopper took on Ms. Merry Christmas and Mr. 4 during the Alabasta Arc. Though, being a Gonk, What Measure Is a Non-Cute? probably applies here. Not to mention Nami was busy with the much-more attractive Miss Double Finger at the time.
    • Averted in Amazon Lily, by virtue of Luffy being the only one around to fight an island full of hot amazons.
    • Luffy also struck female pirate Alvida in chapter 2 (again a major Gonk, though not later on), and also provoked a fight with Vivi in order to make a point.
    • Played straight to absurdity in Impel Down, when Gender Bender Emperio Ivankov turns himself into an attractive woman before facing the prison's only female officer.
    • This may also be partially a result of the tendency for the Strawhats to face opponents of similar skills of traits, and the Dark Chick of the team usually matches up again Nami. For that same reason Nico Robin averts this as do Boa Hancock and, when we see her, Hina.
  • History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi:
    • Played straight, mostly because of Kenichi's Wouldn't Hit a Girl honor.
    • Shigure Kousaka has had several several fights versus female opponents, including against Yami's Mikumo Kushinada.
    • Mostly subverted in "the protection of the swords" arc and "the american base" arc.
  • In the Kyoto Arc of Rurouni Kenshin:
    • The men are sent off to Shishio's lair, while the rest of the gang stays behind - and are subsequently attacked by the rest of the Ten Swords. Since the show lacks a variety of villainesses, Kaoru and Misao get their first and pretty much only real fight against Kamatari... a crossdresser.
    • Weirdly, the trope was almost not-followed-by-the-letter back then. Okina's division of enemies at first had Kaoru and Yahiko assigned to face Hen-ya, and Misao would face Kamatari alone. But then some insults from both parties reassembled them to what it ended up as. In fact, the original division would've made far more sense, as letting a novice swordsman such as Yahiko to fight by himself is not a good idea in any way, but that's a whole other can of worms.
  • Part of the new footage in the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Compilation Movie includes a fight between Yoko and Adiane outside of their Ganmen, most of which Yoko spends sporting Godiva Hair and culminating in Yoko somehow hiding a pistol in her hair scrunchie.
  • In Naruto: out of twenty competitors in the Chuunin exams, six were female. Sakura and Ino, past rivals, fought each other, as did Tenten and Temari. Averted with Kin and Hinata. Also averted in Part II outside of fillers.
    • The Naruto movies seem to avert this, especially the early ones. In the first one, Sakura and Sasuke collaborated into blowing up a female-male duo, while in the second movie, Naruto, Sakura, Shikamaru, Kankuro and Gaara faced three female villains (whom they killed.. quite gruesomely).
  • In Shaman King, it is noticeable that one of the two all-girl teams, Hao's Hanagumi (Team Flowers), fights two battles against three females- once against Anna, Tamao, and Jun, and another against the team "Magical Princess".
  • In Pokémon Special, this doesn't extend to sanctioned matches, such as gym battles, but against bad guys, yup, girls tend to match up with each other. If genders don't match up in those ultimate battles against good and evil, that's just because the gender ratio isn't evened out as many girls will paired up against each other, and whoever is left gets to fight a guy.
    • Justified in Pokemon Best Wishes with Pidove VS Snivy. Snivy (female) had been stopping all of Ash's attempts to capture it by using Attract on all of his pokemon. Then out comes Pidove, whose gender Ash was unaware of, and she proved immune to Attract due to also being female. It's a Designated Girl Fight since Pidove was the only pokemon able to fight Snivy.
  • In Bleach:
    • Matsumoto and Hinamori fight against Harribel's all female group of fraccion. When Yamamoto fought them, they combined to form a giant, not-at-all-female monster.
    • Let's not forget that Yoruichi (female ex-captain of the Gotei 13) fought Soi Fon (one of two female captains in a group of Gotei13). Orihime fought a female hollow to protect Tatsuki, while all the other boys fought male hollows, though the thing wasn't especially feminine looking.
    • Averted later when Toshiro fights Harribel and Soi Fon, Baraggan. Ishida also fought Cirucci.
    • Played straight in the Substitute Shinigami Arc, with Rukia facing Riruka.
  • In Gun X Sword, the first time we see Fasalina in action Carmen is the only one around to fight her, this is turns into a challenge so that Carmen is always looking for Fasalina, conveniently pairing them in fights.
  • In Hellsing: Seras Victoria kills Jessica, the female vampire in volume one, then she fights Zorin Blitz in a big battle. Although later it seems she was going to battle the Captain, that fight ended up more about Pip vs Captain with him giving the deadly blow.
    • Well, Pip did deliver the final blow, but that's it. Unless guiding Seras during her duel with the captain counted as doing something.
  • Semi-averted in Fullmetal Alchemist. Riza Hawkeye is the only female member of Mustang's team and Lust is Father's only daughter, so naturally an altercation between the two occurs. However, this isn't really a fight so much as Hawkeye redundantly shooting Lust repeatedly until Mustang comes along to finish things.

Comic Books

  • At least once Superman, who won't hit a woman, has stepped aside and let Wonder Woman take care of things.
  • The Justice League comics have the Crime Syndicate of America, an evil version of the Justice league from a Mirror Universe. In their first (Pre-Crisis) battle in the comics, the authors mostly avoid the common cliche of having the characters fight the mirror versions of themselves. The one exception is Superwoman, the evil counterpart of Wonder Woman, who fights Wonder Woman because they didn't want to show a man and woman fighting.
  • They used it in Runaways, which was particularly irritating since they're usually pretty aware of superhero tropes. The fact that one of the girls involved had a mind-controlled dinosaur makes it only slightly better.
  • Averted in Robert Rodi's Codename: Knockout series. Angela and Go-Go are fighting their British counterparts and losing... so they switch "dance partners".
  • X-Men:
    • When the X-Men first fought Alpha Flight, Storm and Snowbird went at it, even though Storm's powers were a better match for Shaman's and Snowbird had more in common with Wolverine.
    • Also, during a battle between the X-Men and Magneto's first Brotherhood of Mutants, Jean Grey was more than eager to fight against the Scarlet Witch, as the guys wouldn't fight her.
  • The Marvel vs. DC/DC vs. Marvel miniseries had Storm fighting Wonder Woman and while Electra fighting Catwoman, the former being the most popular superheroines in their respective universes, while the latter both fit the Femme Fatale image. It's averted, however, when teen heroes Robin and Jubilee are paired off.
  • In the early issues of Maximum Carnage, Black Cat immediately went for Shriek when Team Venom found Team Carnage.


  • In the final battle in Hot Fuzz, Skinner's attack secretary is taken out by Doris, the one female police officer. This does not go without lampshading.
  • Superman II has the evil Kryptonian woman Ursa getting punched out by Lois Lane (and apparently falling to her death) after getting depowered. Superman himself never hits her, even when she's as strong as he is.
  • In Van Helsing, the female sidekick kills Dracula's last vampire bride, but does not get to kill Dracula, even though she was supposedly fated to do it.
  • In Cradle 2 the Grave, Gabrielle Union fights Kelly "Lady Deathstrike" Hu.
  • Jinx vs. Miranda Frost in Die Another Day, although the James Bond series has featured occasions where Bond has fought and killed women.
  • In Batman and Robin the movie, Poison Ivy was reserved for Batgirl. The men just had no effect on her. Justified somewhat, in that Ivy had her special pheromone that causes men to become insatiably attracted to her (not that Uma Thurman needs help in that department, mind you...).
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom has a Designated Kid Fight when Short Round takes on the Maharajah.
  • In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra when Cobra invades GI Joe headquarters, redheaded Joe Scarlett has a brutal fight with The Baroness.
  • Dragonball Evolution:
    • Goku fights Piccolo alone while Bulma and Yamcha run to safety. Then, Yamcha disappears inexplicably while Bulma fights Piccolo's female minion Mai. This may be because there's no way Bulma could help Goku fight Piccolo, but there's also no way she'd stand a chance against Mai either ... at least, not the way she's been portrayed.
    • The older Dragon Ball: The Magic Begins averts this by having Pigsy shoot the henchwoman.
  • Bulletproof Monk has one where Action Girl Jade gets in a fight with The Dragon, who happens to be the Nazi villain's relative. It's Jaime King versus Victoria Smurfit; for a fight to the death, hotness ensues remarkably quickly.
  • Push. Cassie and the Triad girl fight. Double points since they had the same power as well.
  • In the Thai film Raging Phoenix, Jeeja Yanin(essentially a Distaff Counterpart of Tony Jaa) goes through hordes of men just to finally reach the villain..ness. Now most chauvinist guys would roll their eyes at this and lower their expectations of the fight, but what unfolds is probably the mother of all cat fights.
  • The fight between Evy and Anck-Su-Namun near the end of The Mummy Returns. The first film has a subversion, with Jonathan fighting Anck-Su-Namun. Although at least Evy and Anck-Su-Namun have significant history that would make them want to fight for personal reasons, not just because they're the only girls on their respective teams.
  • Subverted in Conan the Barbarian. It looks like this is going to happen, as Valeria goes after the Princess while the boys are holding off an army of mooks—but Valeria is far too badass to get into a catfight, and promptly passes the (now stunned and tied) princess to Conan.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World:
    • It has Knives vs. Ramona fighting for Scott's affection. There is also Ramona VS. Roxy.
    • The Ramona vs. Roxy fight has an interesting half-aversion partway in. It's pointed out that Scott has to be the one to finish off Roxy, but Scott Wouldn't Hit a Girl. To deal with this, Ramona simply gets behind Scott, grabs his arms, and uses him as a People Puppet to continue fighting Roxy.
  • Melina vs. Lori in Total Recall, though Quaid still gets to finish off Lori.
    • The remake has Melina fighting Lori as well.
  • The live action Tekken movie has Nina and Christie face off in an intergender tournament. This is also averted when Nina and Anna try to assassinate Jin and Christy kicks plenty of ass against Kazuya's soldiers.
  • Judge Dredd. While Dredd battles Rico, Dark Action Girl Dr. Ilsa Hayden has a Cat Fight with Action Girl Judge Hershey.
  • Mission Impossible, in which token heroine Jane Carter squares off with token sexy female assassin Sabine Moreau.
  • Averted in Deadpool -- Colossus, not Negasonic Teenage Warhead, takes on Angel Dust (AKA "Less Angry Rosie O'Donnell").


  • Happens in The Wheel of Time:
    • Because Rand refuses to hurt women. Different from most implementations of this trope in that the implications of his unwillingness to fight women are actually addressed in the books.
    • Practically deconstructed, when Moiraine has to step up and take on the vastly more powerful Lanfear because he can't make himself fight her, and apparently dies in battle. Rand has a Heroic BSOD as a result.
  • In the final battle of Harry Potter:
    • While Voldemort is fighting two teachers (one of them female) and an Auror, his Dragon Bellatrix Lestrange is fighting three schoolgirls...and she gets offed by one's Mama Bear.
    • According to Word of God it's also Bellatrix who kills Tonks. But that's explainable as a family conflict thing, not a case of this trope.
  • The Faerie Queene, Book 5: The female knight Britomart fights the evil Amazon queen Radigund because her boyfriend Artegall had to learn the hard way that Wouldn't Hit a Girl should not apply when said girl is trying to kill you.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Happens in The Iliad, which is to be expected in an ancien Greek story. When the gods decide to stop fighting by supporting their favorites and fight directly, Hera picks a fight with Artemis and sends her home crying to Zeus in a Curb Stomp Battle.
  • Faye and Toshiko's battle in Hard Magic. Subverted in that it's the most impressive and spectacular throwdown in a novel chock-full of them.

Live-Action TV

  • Literally Once an Episode for Waterloo Road.
  • Olivia Benson from Law and Order SVU
  • Fi from Burn Notice.
  • Batgirl in most versions, especially the Lampshade Hanging-laden 1960s Camp Batman.
  • Lampshaded, after a fashion, in an episode of Dukes of Hazzard: when the group pairs off for the big brawl at the end of the episode, Cooter laments that the only person left for him to fight is a girl. Cue Daisy, who steps forward and says, "Oh, no, she's mine!"
  • In the BBC series of Robin Hood, whenever the outlaws fought the law, Kate would always make a beeline for Isabella, the Veronica to her Betty, and her rival for Robin's affection. It was only a matter of time before the catfight ensued.
  • Power Rangers:
    • It seems to have rules for how this is done, actually not taking it easier on girls than more "adult" series:
      1. The Monster of the Week or The Dragon, usually male, dishes out equal punishment to all heroes present, regardless of gender. This is how most fights in most episodes go.
      2. If the MOTW or Dragon's weakening by round two's end, the Rangers will not take it easy on her if it's a female.
      3. If multiple combatants of multiple genders are around, they will tend to be divided by gender.
    • Done very frustratingly when Power Rangers Ninja Storm and Power Rangers Dino Thunder crossed over, where the mind controlled Ninja Rangers team squared off against the Dino Rangers, but unlike almost every such inter-ranger battle, it wasn't by color, or by power, but by gender; with the Blue Ninja Ranger fighting the Yellow Dino Ranger and vice-versa.
    • Generally with all crossovers, the girls usually fight the other girls with bits of fanservice (as in humor fanservice) wrapped around it.
    • In the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, it was fairly common to see Jason, Zack and Billy fighting Goldar while Trini and Kimberly fought Scorpina. This was back before Goldar stopped being a threat to any of them and Scorpina getting Put on a Bus, of course.
    • RPM has a fight between Summer and Tenaya 7 but it's averted throughout the series as Tenaya 7 fights each of the rangers several times, usually Dillon.
  • Super Sentai:
    • Also used a lot in Rangers' source material, in which The Chick fight the Dark Chick or Dark Action Girl.
    • Dynaman has Zenobia against DynaPink in... a battle that had them end up stripping.
    • Zyuranger has Lamie (who'd become Scorpina above) against PteraRanger
    • Megaranger has Shibolena against MegaYellow. Evidence? If you watch the show carefully whenever Shibolena fight she always fight her.
    • Gogo V has Venus against GoPink. Also singing battle in ep 45
    • Timeranger has Lila against TimePink. For 10 seconds.
    • Hurricanger has Furabijo against HurricaneBlue.
    • Shinkenger has Dayu against ShinkenPink
  • Frequently justified in series by Joss Whedon, as they are the ones who often have the fighting ability/powers. They are then done brutally and without patronizing.
  • Particularly in Season 3 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy vs. Faith. We get a rehash when Faith pulls an Unexplained Recovery in Season 4.
  • Similarly, in Firefly, Inara heads off on her own to try to stop Saffron's plans twice. The first time, Inara loses a martial arts catfight to Saffron, who doesn't get away for long. The second time, Inara gets the upper hand by watching the end of the crew's impressive Gambit.
  • In the Star Trek episode "Mirror, Mirror," it's Uhura who steps in to disarm Marlena Moreau when the latter pulls a knife.
    • In the episode "The Gamesters of Triskelion", Kirk, Chekov, and Uhura face two male and two female gladiators. Kirk and Chekov take one male each, while Uhura has to fight both women.
  • In Chuck, any and all female spies will be taken care of by — you guessed it — Sarah. The traitor in the C.A.T. Squad? Check. La Ciudad? Check. The female spy at her high school reunion? Check. And that fight was wet.
  • Used in the Sliders episode "Data World". A villain sends a male and a female Mook after the Sliders. When the male shows up, the three guys fight him while Maggie (the team's Action Girl) simply runs and hides. When the female arrives, then Maggie steps up and declares, "This one is mine!"
  • In the pilot episode of Get Smart, Agent 99 fought the only female on the opposing agency's team, while Max went up against all of the male agents. Max's fight looked staged, 99's looked real.

Professional Wrestling

  • Very common in Professional Wrestling during random two guys + one chicks tag match. When the female wrestler from one side tags in, the one on the other team will inevitably do the same in a matters of seconds. Often it's actually in the rules that they must tag in. In fact, this is given its own name. Frequently they'll mention the difference between a "Men fight Men, Women fight Women" match and an "All Bets are Off" match. One is an "Intergender Tag Team Match" the other is a "Mixed Tag Match." The WWE only has men fighting men and women fighting women.


Video Games

  • Super Paper Mario, where Peach and Mimi face off one on one at the end.
  • The slap fight between Tifa and Scarlet near the end of the second disc of Final Fantasy VII.
  • Averted in The King of Fighters '97. The New Faces team is more or less an evil counterpart to Japan's Hero Team, but the resident lightning user is female. Although considering that she's Benimaru's counterpart, perhaps it's being played straight...
  • Resident Evil 5:
    • Used to a degree, during the two-on-two boss battle with Wesker and Jill. If Chris keeps Wesker's attention on him, Sheva will engage and attempt to restrain Jill to keep her out of the fight.
    • Averted if you play as Sheva, where Chris will offer to take care of Jill while she deals with Wesker.
  • In Samurai Warriors 2, Oichi and Nohime's Gaiden battles are literal Designated Girl Fights, as they challenge each other (and all of the female characters, plus Ranmaru Mori) to see who the fairest in the land is. At the beginning of said battles, an absolutely delighted Oda Nobunaga eggs them on.
  • In Dynasty Warriors 6, when Yue Ying and Zhen Ji encounter each other at the battle of Han Zhong, they exchange insults about each other's husbands. Depending on which side of the battle you're playing, the dialogue will change slightly, but whichever one is on your side will land the final zinger, and the other will become enraged and go into hyper mode.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy:
  • Inverted in Summoner, when Jekhar and Rosalind fight Sornehan and Galienne, the player might be tempted pair them up in this fashion, but Sornehan is invulnerable to physical damage, while Galienne is invulnerable to magic, which makes such a match-up Unwinnable since Jekhar is The Big Guy and Rosalind is a White Mage.
  • In Street Fighter IV Chun-li and Cammy's designated rival fights are against Crimson Viper. Taken further in Super Street Fighter 4 where the fight is against the new bad girl Juri.
  • Originally averted by the old Smackdown vs. Raw games, which allowed male on female matches and even had an 'undetermined' gender to allow characters to win both male and female titles. One entry in the series actually had a challenge mission that tasked the player with using Candice Michelle to defeat The Great Khali. Unfortunately the series has succumbed to political correctness in recent years and the the only match type that can feature both males and females is the mixed tag match. If you are controlling a male character then the game makes it almost impossible for you to strike a female competitor and you are forced to tag out. If you do somehow manage to land a blow then you automatically lose the match by DQ.

Web Comics

  • Mostly averted in The Order of the Stick as males in the comic are willing (and in some cases, more than willing) to take on female opponents (Belkar vs Hag, Roy vs Sabine, Roy vs Miko, Belkar vs Miko, Hinjo vs Miko, Redcloak vs Miko, everyone vs Miko, notice a pattern here?). However, Haley has noted that she has a tendency to end up fighting flying, murderous skanks. She even cracks a line that Leeky's Animal Companion was likely some sort of bird-hussy.
  • Problem Sleuth: Hysterical Dame and Nervous Broad are the ones who fight and defeat Madame Murel; all three are the Distaff Counterparts of Problem Sleuth, Pickle Inspector and Mobster Kingpin.

Web Original

  • In The Gamers Alliance, Ax battles Varalia in the Ruined Kingdom.
  • In the TGWTG Team Brawl Spoony made The Nostalgia Chick fight That Chick with the Goggles while he would take Bennet the Sage. As Nostalgia Chick and That Chick with the Goggles fight Spoony and Bennet simply grabbed their cellphones and started taking pictures.
  • Completely averted in Red vs. Blue, where all of Tex's battles have been against men.

Western Animation

  • Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats had an episode featuring a female opponent for Heathcliff, Terrible Tammy, who tried to take over Heathcliff's territory. He couldn't hit her, but his otherwise ladylike girlfriend Sonja didn't mind beating her up.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Generally averted, but in one of the earliest episodes, the only girl of the hive (Jinx) fights one of the two girls of the team (Raven). Even though there were two girls, Starfire was helping Cyborg at the time. Possible Lampshade Hanging from this quote from Jinx: "You fight like a boy!"
    • Jinx is Raven's Shadow Archetype, so they end up fighting whenever the groups battle anyway.
    • When Trigon makes Evil Counterpart to three of the Titans (including Starfire) this looks to be the case as they fight their own mirrors, but then they do a Rock-Paper Switch.
  • The two-parter origin episode for Two-Face in Batman the Animated Series had Two-Face's fiancee step out of her Neutral Female role to attack the mob boss's one female minion, who was about to underhandedly enter the battle with the guys herself.
  • Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker:
  • The Batman made its version of Poison Ivy significantly younger than her comics counterpart so that she would be the same age as Batgirl. Her first appearance was in Batgirl's introductory episode and any time she shows up as the villin of the week, it is typically a spotlight episode for Batgirl.
  • In the Justice League episode "Secret Society part II" The JL and Gorilla Grodd's Secret Society battle in a football stadium. Superman is about to punch Giganta (who in this version is more girly than the Superfriends version) but hesitates when she pulls the "You wouldn't hit a woman would ya?" line. Behind Superman, Wonder Woman answers "I would!" flying in and knocking Giganta out.
  • Basically any Toyetic animated cartoon from the 1980's that had a female team member on the good guys' side had a counterpart on the opposing team. This was particularly apparent in the show Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light which had people who could temporarily turn into magical animals. Galadria of the heroic Spectral Knights turned into a dolphin, and thus the only villain she could fight was Virulina of the evil Darkling Lords, who turned into a shark.
  • Galaxy Rangers managed to be an aversion most of the time, despite having a female Big Bad and several Action Girl characters among the guest cast and Rogues Gallery. The notable exception was in "Scarecrow's Revenge" where the titular villain turned Maya Brainwashed and Crazy and sent her against Niko. The scene's almost a punchline in the fandom, as Maya had been hitting on Goose earlier.
  • In the Mega Man cartoon, one episode had Roll attacked by a female cosmetics robot who gave her a bad facial. Megaman gave the robot an equally bad facial with a tube of makeup, and offered to fight her, but Roll insisted that she handle this.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Season two largely subverts it. The good guys team is two boys and one, later two girls. The evil team is female-only. So the good guys have to hit girls. But Sokka and Aang have no problem with that as long as they are dangerous girls.
    • Played with and justified during the Grand Finale. Zuko and Azula end up in an Agni Kai and he almost wins but Katara is the one who ends up defeating her. Justified in that fire bending isn't exactly non lethal and the audience may have reacted poorly to Zuko burning his mentally unstable, Jerkass Woobie of a sibling to death.
    • Played straight when Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee attack Suki and the other Kiyoshi Warriors even though they're all female. Ty Lee even tells them that they're not prettier than them. The next time Suki runs into Azula and Ty Lee at the Boiling Rock, she looks forward to the rematch since it's personal.
  • The Pac-Man cartoon had Pac-Man and Ms Pac-Man as the good guys, and four male ghosts and one female ghost as the bad guys. Guess who fought whom?
  • Because Popeye won't hit a woman, he's always a bit helpless against a female antagonist. Olive is perfectly willing to step in and clobber them, though, with a little spinach boost.

Real Life

  • Odd Truth in Television: Lions. If an alien lioness wanders into another pride's territory, the pride's females will attack her, while the male(s) watch and do nothing. If a strange male comes in, it'll primarily rely on the pride's male(s). The females often get involved because if the male stranger wins, they'll have to say bye-bye to their cubs.
  • It's Truth in Television for most actual martial artists. Most tournaments are divided by age, rank, and gender. Classes, too, for the most part, will try to partner girls with girls during drills and sparring matches. It's done because a) it eliminates a biological strength advantage, and b) sparring and grappling with an opposite gender opponent you don't know well can be very awkward.
  • A popular strategy in jury trials is to have unfriendly female witnesses or accusers questioned by a female attorney since a male attorney tearing down a woman can often look bad to a jury even if the methods and results are legally right. This is especially so if the woman being questioned can cry (fake or not) under the pressure.