Distaff Counterpart

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The X-Chromosome marks the spot.
"Think of me as you with a vagina."
Alex, Up in the Air

One common method used in creating a Spin-Off is taking the main character of the show, creating an equivalent that's mostly the same except for being the opposite sex, and then packing the new character off to her own series. This allows the station or network to fill up extra space on the schedule with a known quantity, while (in theory) stretching its demographic to female viewers. This method is very popular among action-adventure series, which mostly appeal to young males. However, sometimes it can lead to a Counterpart Comparison situation.

While heroes are usually the ones to get this kind of treatment, it's been happening more and more to villains too.

They're also the third kind of Spin-Off, with a long-lost sister showing up or a new girlfriend brought in, only to repeat whatever circumstances gave the main character his powers/duties/what-have-you.

A male character who goes through the Gender Bender will find himself turned into his own Distaff Counterpart. The implications for the character, writers, and audience are left as an exercise for the reader.

NOTE: "Distaff" means "female". Therefore, the inverse of this (a male counterpart to an existing female character or Always Female trope) is technically and traditionally a Spear Counterpart (which was named for the spearhead-shaped end of the symbol of Mars that represents males. You may also be thinking the "spear" meant something else).

SECOND NOTE: A "distaff" is a spinning device, used with a spinning wheel and, even before that, with a spindle. More here. That's why it's used to symbolize femininity.

Compare Gender Flip, which reverses roles based on gender, rather than cloning them. If they're fan-created, it's Rule 63. If this appeals to a fan fetish, it's a form of Playing to The Fetishes. When you take this trope to its literal conclusion, you get an Opposite Gender Clone.

Usually tends to wear a Gendered Outfit.

Tropes that have Distaff or Spear Counterparts:


Examples of Distaff Counterpart include:


Distaff Counterpart Examples[edit | hide | hide all]

Anime & Manga[edit | hide]


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Supergirl is the Trope Codifier. Although not the first female copy of an established hero (Mary Marvel and Bulletgirl preceded her), she has had the most longevity and the most incarnations, including her own movie. Despite this, DC never really seems to know what to do with her, and the character has never found her niche.
    • Power Girl, being originally Supergirl's alternate universe counterpart before Crisis on Infinite Earths brought her to the main DCU, is also a distaff counterpart of Superman. DC's done a better job of finding a niche for her.
  • The Authority featured several issues where the team recruited distaff counterparts from alternate dimensions.
  • Hawkgirl, is a Distaff Counterpart of Hawkman. Hawkman has had five series, the longest of which ran for 49 issues. Hawkgirl then took over the series for the final 17 issues.
  • Immensely common in comic books. The first one was probably Mary Marvel, spun off from Captain Marvel in the 1940s, and it continues to the present day, with characters like Supergirl, Batgirl, She Hulk, Spider Woman and Stargirl (both a female Star-Spangled Kid and a female Starman). Some of these are also Legacy Characters. They can also exist in Alternate Universe Fics that are written by fans or Elseworlds published by the companies themselves, where different female characters receive the Call to Adventure in lieu of their male counterparts in the mainstream universes.
    • In comics, this is necessary for the purposes of trademark and copyright protection, since if the comic companies don't publish the obvious derivative characters then others would be legally able to do so. One well-known example of a company losing a counterpart trademark is how one of DC Comics's most famous characters is Wonder Woman, but Marvel Comics was able to secure the trademark to Wonder Man. Stan Lee specificly mentions the Wonder Woman and Wonder Man trademarks as a reason why Marvel created Spider-Woman to secure rights to the trademark.
    • The Hawk And The Dove started out with the protagonists (two brothers) as a Sensitive Guy and Manly Man. They were replaced by a Tomboy and Girly Girl (though the Girly Girl had been teaming up with the Manly Man since Post-Crisis - and, as of Brightest Day, they're back to that situation).
    • Some of the distaff counterparts are very obscure, like Element Girl, the female Metamorpho. She is mostly known for being saved by Death from a sad and lonely existence in The Sandman. Since then she has made another appearance outside of DC continuity in Wednesday Comics.[1] The concept has since been recycled in the form of Element Woman, a new Korean American successor to Element Girl.
    • One particularly shameless example is Thor Girl, obviously a counterpart to Thor. What makes it silly is that "Thor" isn't a superhero alias, it's just Thor's name. Putting "Girl" on the end of it is roughly equivalent to calling Supergirl "Clark Kent Girl" or Spider-Woman "Peter Parker Woman".
      • And then Loki had to go and one-up this, he became his OWN Distaff Counterpart for awhile by stealing the reincarnation body intended for Sif.
  • Marvel has just one-upped itself. Not content to merely turn the Hulk's nemesis Thunderbolt Ross into a palette swapped Hulk—Red Hulk, aka Rulk—they turned his daughter Betty into a distaff of the Rulk!
  • The graphic novel Camelot 3000 features Sir Tristan reincarnated as a woman, forcing him to re-examine his medieval views toward gender roles, especially since the feelings between him and Isolde, also reincarnated as a woman, are unchanged. Their enduring passion for each other ultimately transcends gender, and the two remain together.
  • The DCU now has a whole Alternate Universe (Earth-11) made up of Distaff Counterparts. All the superheroes there are gender-flipped, including a berserk-with-testosterone "Wonder Man" who's a dead ringer for King Leonidas of 300.
    • It gets a bit confusing when you considder that Earth 11 features Gender Flip versions of characters that already HAVE Distaff Counterparts, or who already ARE distaff Counterparts. For example; Superlad
  • Metal Men Issue 32 features a story called "The Metal Women Blues", where the team gets jealous of Tin and Nameless and get their creator, Will Magnus, to create opposite sex counterparts for them. During the subsequent mission, a rift grows between the males (Gold, Iron, Lead, Tin, Mercury, and Platinum Man) and females (Gold Girl, Iron Girl, Lead Girl, Nameless, Mercury Girl, and Platinum).
  • In the '90s, the producers of the Zorro comics introduced spinoff character Lady Rawhide, who, although sharing his quest for justice, was otherwise decidedly not a distaff counterpart. In the interest of being accurate to the Wild West setting, she was rather plain and wore a demure, tasteful costume. Or not.
  • She-Hulk—made shortly after a Benny Hill Show sketch which showed a woman hulking out—was a deliberate move by Marvel to ensure that a copyright for a female Hulk character was established.
    • There were also rumors at the time that CBS was planning on making a spinoff of the wildly successful Hulk TV series starring a female Hulk. At first Marvel assumed that they would automatically receive royalties from CBS should it happen. However, when Marvel moved to collect royalties from the Benny Hill sketch, Marvel's own lawyers told them they couldn't. Marvel realized that they wouldn't receive any royalties from CBS either, so they created She-Hulk.
  • Sharon Ventura aka Ms. Marvel II who became a female version of the Fantastic Four's Thing. She doesn't like the codename She-Thing.
  • Spider-Man has four different Spider-Women and two different Spider-Girls.
"All the ladies just want to be me, I guess."
Spider-Man, Incredible Hercules #139
  • American Dream, in the Marvel Comics 2 universe Spider-Girl comes from, is a distaff Captain America. A little more than half of the heroes in this 'verse are heroines, in fact.
    • A villainous example from Marvel Comics 2 is Magneta, a female version of Magneto with her own Sisterhood of Evil Mutants. And then there's Aftershock, the daughter of Electro, an enemy of Spider-Girl who's picked up the feud their fathers had.
  • Carrie Kelly, the Robin from The Dark Knight Returns. Stephanie "Spoiler" Brown's brief run as Robin may also count.
  • X-23, a female version of Wolverine with a foot claw. Better than it sounds.
  • Tallulah Black from Jonah Hex. Like Hex, she's a physically and mentally scarred individual with absolutely nothing to lose.
  • Several of Spider-Man's villains have had this done to them. A female Vietnamese scientist was transformed into Quicksand (and ironically started out fighting The Mighty Thor), Doctor Octopus has Lady Octopus as his girlfriend/student/successor, Kraven the Hunter's wife and daughter have taken up his mantle, Scorpia acquired superhuman powers and a mechanical tail similar to those used by the Scorpion, and among the several people who've taken up the mantle of Jack O' Lantern is Maguire "Maggie" Beck.
    • Not to mention newcomer Lady Stilt-Man. Who has since dropped the "Lady" despite remaining a lady.
    • Oddly enough, Lizard's distaff counterpart Komodo does double duty as both this and as a good counterpart.
  • Ms. Marvel is a distaff of Captain Mar-Vell.
  • Namora and Namorita to Namor the Sub-Mariner. All half human and half Atlantean, part of the Atlantean minority of being born pink skinned (although Namorita would later develop blue skin), with Flying Brick power set, raised within the Atlantean royal family and more importantly all known more for their connections to other hero groups than their solo adventures.
  • Miss Martian to Martian Manhunter. Notable in being one of the few superheroine distaff counterparts whose costume covers more than the male version; Miss Martian wears a Sailor Moon style outfit, which covers quite a bit more than "two leather straps and a speedo." In personality she started as pretty much an Expy of the animated Teen Titans Starfire.
  • On the subject of distaff counterparts with a more concealing costume: Bombshell to Captain Atom. Bombshell wears a t-shirt and trousers, while Captain Atom is effectively naked.
  • So you know Deadpool? There's also a female Deadpool in another universe. Named Wanda Wilson, her official name in her timeline is Deadpool as well. But she's also called Lady Deadpool, in the same way that "Zombie Deadpool's Head" is called Headpool.
    • In a recent issue, Deadpool was being coerced into joining a team of Canadian superheroes. First came the hockey-themed Puckman. Then, there was... Ms. Puckman.
  • Batwoman was introduced as a distaff for Batman back in 1956 (as well as to quell some vicious rumors circulating about Batman and his young ward), serving as a feminine counterpart to his crime-fighting adventures (using "feminine intuition" and having cosmetic-themed gadgetry, for example). When she was re-introduced in 2007's 52 and given the lead role in Detective Comics her personality and history were updated. The Cutter arc of Detective Comics goes into an explicit examination of the parallels between the two characters, with alternating pages (And sometimes even alternating panels) following both characters as they each tracked a separate criminal, each one going through the same motions, victories and setbacks as the other.
  • Strontium Dog -> Strontium Bitch.
  • From The Beano, Dennis The Menace -> Minnie The Minx.
  • Gamma Corps Black is a trio of Distaff Counterparts to Hulk villains. Aberration (Female Abomination), Axon (Female Zzazz) and Morass (Female Glob).
    • That first one is a little redundant, since the Gamma Corps proper already has Mess, a female counterpart to the Abomination.
  • Galactus now has a daughter called Galacta, who is essentially the same concept, if less powerful, pickier about her diet, and considerably more adorable. Think Empowered (same creator), but replace Emp's image issues with food issues and a daddy complex.
  • Mandrake the Magician had Master of Disguise The Clay Camel. His modus operandi (perfect disguises and a namesake Calling Card) was later co-opted by The Brass Monkey... who turned out to be his daughter.
  • The lead character of Cross Gen's Sigil was a man called Samandahl Ray. Marvel's relaunch will star a girl named Samantha Ray.
  • Near the end of Quantum and Woody, Quantum ends up partnered with a female black lesbian version of Woody.
  • Spygirl is this to Spy Boy.
  • NOW Comics Green Hornet had a female Kato, who went on to become the Hornet-inspired Crimson Wasp.
  • The New Ghost Rider is a Woman named Alejandra.
  • The Darkness universe has a triad of both Distaff and Spear Counterparts: The Darkness itself is a male entity in a male host and is diametrically opposed to the Angelus which is a female entity in a female host. In between the two is the Witchblade, a male entity in a female host.


Fanfic[edit | hide]


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]


Films -- Live-Action[edit | hide]

  • The Karate Kid -- The Next Karate Kid, featuring a then-unknown Hilary Swank.
  • Terminator 3: The T-X or "Terminatrix" a female shaped terminator.
  • Shaun of the Dead: There is a recurring female character, a friend of Shaun's named Yvonne, that is a sort of parallel universe version of Shaun. A scene where the two, along with their respective survivors, meet in someone's backyard is one of the film's highlights. At the end of the movie She appears with the British Army and saves Shaun and Liz, who are alone and have been cornered by zombies, her party's fate is assumed to have been much happier than Shaun's
  • There is Soviet movie called "My Dearly Beloved Detective", featuring two female detectives named Holmes and Watson. The male ones are fictional in the movie.
  • Revenge of the Nerds -- The House Bunny
  • In Lethal Weapon's third installment, Lorna Cole is very much the female Riggs.
  • A person wrongly convicted of murdering their spouse, escaping from custody, determined to track down those responsible, pursued—and eventually aided—by an equally determined lawman played by Tommy Lee Jones? No, not Richard Kimble. Libby Parsons. The filmmakers tried to jazz it up by having the spouse in question having faked his death and having Libby escape from parole rather than prison, but viewers and critics weren't fooled. There's a reason Double Jeopardy is referred to as "The Female Fugitive", to the point where people genuinely needed to be reminded that it was not another sequel.
  • Shiori in Kuroshitsuji is a female version of Ciel, the main character of the manga of the same name, of which the movie is an In Name Only adaptation. Shiori is noticeably less competent than her similar-looking male counterpart and very prone to being a Damsel in Distress.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Hardy Boys -- Nancy Drew
  • Conan the Barbarian -- Red Sonja
  • Biggles—Worrals of the W.A.A.F.
  • Cora, Chick Carter's female cousin, aided Chick Carter and Nick Carter (Nick Carter adopted Chick).
  • Pat Savage, cousin of Doc Savage.
  • Eisenhorn—By Dan Abnett of Warhammer 40,000 brings us Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn, a moderately powered Psyker who falls for one Alizebeth Bequin. Alizebeth is a "Blank" who not only cancels out his powers, but is difficult for him to be around as it causes him pain. Never the less they fall in love.
  • Mr. Men—Little Misses. Specific ones include:
    • Mr Happy—Little Miss Sunshine
    • Mr Chatterbox—Little Miss Chatterbox
    • Mr Greedy—Little Miss Greedy (originally Little Miss Plump)
    • Mr Noisy—Little Miss Loud
    • Mr Small—Little Miss Tiny
    • Mr Uppity—Little Miss Splendid
    • Mr Tidy—Little Miss Neat
    • Mr Clever—Little Miss Brainy
    • Mr Bump—Little Miss Whoops
    • Mr Busy—Little Miss Busy
    • Mr Rush—Little Miss Quick
    • Mr Impossible—Little Miss Magic
    • Mr Quiet—Little Miss Shy
  • Angie's First Case is about Angie Zane, the distaff to Leroy "Encyclopedia" Brown, written by the same author. It didn't go over so well with readers.
  • Jane Carver Of Waar, an Affectionate Parody of John Carter of Mars, with 21st century sensibilities.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • 24. Jack Bauer—Renee Walker.
  • The Soup -- The Dish
  • The Six Million Dollar Man -- The Bionic Woman
    • In Germany it was even called The Seven Million Dollar Woman.
      • And in Mexico, the original series was even called "El hombre biónico" ("The Bionic Man").
  • The Man From UNCLE -- The Girl From UNCLE.
  • Queer Eye for the Straight Guy -- Queer Eye for the Straight Girl replaced five gay guys with three gay guys and a lesbian and a Straight Guy with a Straight Girl. On Straight Girl, Robbie (aside from being adorable) would frequently model the women's clothing.
    • Far more interesting was Straight Plan for the Gay Man.
  • iCarly: Dave and Fleck are the male versions of Carly and Sam respectively.
  • A couple of years after The Greatest American Hero ended, there was an attempted revival in which cranky FBI agent Bill was paired up with a new "Greatest American Heroine" in the form of a chirpy, flakey, relentlessly optimistic young teacher with Eighties Hair who was something of a Genius Ditz.
  • Highlander the Series -- Highlander the Raven
  • In Doctor Who, Romana was a female Time Lord who was every bit as clever as the Doctor (although inexperienced). Hell, Romana II even dressed up in a pink and white version of the Fourth Doctor outfit sometimes.
  • Columbo -- Mrs. Columbo, which blatantly ignored Columbo's continuity, forcing the producers to change Kate Columbo's name, background, and even the show's name before it got cancelled after one season. In a later episode of Columbo, he refers to a young woman running around pretending to be his wife.
  • Life On Mars -- Ashes to Ashes
  • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight has one! Kamen Rider Wing Knight, Len has been seen as a cool guy on bike until his girlfriend Kamen Rider Siren, Kase came in with the same attitude. In it's Japanese version, Kamen Rider Ryuki, Siren was actually called "Femme". And she wasn't as big as she was in Dragon Knight.
    • Dragon Knight and Ryuki were actually beaten to the punch with Tackle of Kamen Rider Stronger, though many sources go out of their way to explicitly say that Tackle wasn't a Kamen Rider, much to the displeasure of fans.
    • The Kamen Rider Fourze and Kamen Rider OOO crossover movie Megamax gives us Kamen Rider Nadeshiko, who sports a costume and Driver similar to Fourze, though she only uses the arm Modules.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys -- Xena: Warrior Princess
    • Spoofed/referenced in Entourage, where Johnny Drama was a supporting character in a Hercules-esque show, which got completely overshadowed by its female-centric spinoff.
  • Old Battlestar Galactica—New Battlestar Galactica: Boomer becomes Sharon "Boomer" Valeri, Starbuck becomes Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, Commander Cain becomes Admiral Helena Cain. There's also a female president, but she succeeds the late (male) President Adar, who was also in the original series.
  • T'Pol from Star Trek: Enterprise is this for Spock from Star Trek: The Original Series.
  • Dr. Pulaski from Star Trek: The Next Generation was an attempt to create a female version of "Bones" McCoy from the original series. Pulaski's cold abrasiveness (with none of Bones' passionate humanism to balance it out) made her an instant fan un-favorite and she was dumped after one season.
  • Spoofed in Lois and Clark, with Ultrawoman. No, Desperate Housewives is NOT Ultrawoman: The Series.
  • The Red Dwarf episode "Parallel Universe" introduced Deb Lister, Arlene Rimmer, Hilly and a pink Skutter. The Cat was very disappointed to meet the Dog.
  • The titlar Time Warp Trio—Joe, Fred, and Sam—manage to have distaff counterparts in the form of their great-granddaughters from the future, cleverly named Jodie, Freddi, and Samantha.
  • Zorro -- Queen of Swords. Not a part of the same continuity, but so similar to her male counterpart that Zorro Productions Inc. threatened legal action against the producers of the series.
  • Indiana Jones -- Relic Hunter. Unrelated continuity, but even the producers/actors refer to it as a "female Indiana Jones".
    • Hannah Montana also features a fictional version called "Indiana Joannie"
  • Sex and the City -- Big Shots, rare case where a show with a female cast gets a male version.
    • Entourage has also been referred to as the male counterpart, with the martinis switched out for joints.
  • A rare example of this happening in-universe occured on Married... with Children when Kelly got a job as a gatekeeper at a local amusement park. She quickly turned into a Distaff Counterpart of her father Al, complete with her own horror stories involving fat women who come to the gate and generally miserable, bitter outlook on life.
    • Another example occurred in one episode where Peg watches a preview of "Psycho Mom", a female version of "Psycho Dad", Al's favorite TV show.
  • Just Shoot Me had Finch meeting his distaff counterpart Betsy, which at first seems like an incredible coincidence. It turns out he stole her entire personality in college.
  • Queer as Folk -- The L Word
  • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, the 2009/10 Super Sentai series, finally got around to the franchise's first-ever female Red Ranger, a distaff to team leader Takeru Shiba.
    • Beaten to the punch in 2005 with Power Rangers SPD. Giving us the first female Red Ranger in the entire history of either franchise, ironically given the masculine name of Charlie.
    • An unusual variant of this trope is present in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Due to the series' gimmick, the costumes and powers of various past Rangers who were male are now in use by female Rangers, complete with an appropriately gender-flipped costume.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Invitations" Jerry falls for a woman who's the female version of him played by Janeane Garofalo and they get engaged. Soon, though he realizes he can't be with someone like him because he hates himself so he breaks up with her.
    • She was about to do this herself. Probably the most mutual breakup of the series.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation uses this trope a lot. Often as a quick way to Pair the Spares:
    • Toby—Liberty
    • Damien—Liberty
    • Sean—Alex before she comes out
    • Kelly—Emma
    • Spinner—Jane, lampshaded by Marco
  • The Young Ones -- Girls On Top (Not directly connected, but also starring ex-Comic Strip Presents stars, and about four unlikeable stereotypes sharing a flat).
  • "The Big Bang Theory": Sheldon = Amy Farrah Fowler
  • Smallville: Lionel Luthor -- Genevieve Teague
  • Home Improvement—Last Man Standing. In both shows, Tim Allen plays the father to three kids. The difference is, in Last Man Standing, all the kids are daughters instead of sons.
  • Played with in The Sarah Jane Adventures, a spinoff of Doctor Who. In the first episode, Sarah Jane acts exactly like the Doctor. After years of travelling with him, she's spent the last few decades very alone and very traumatized by being left behind by him, and she refuses to let new people into her life. By the end of the first episode, she decides to adopt a lost child, and subsequently regains her humanity and starts acting less like the Doctor again.
  • The Bachelor -- The Bachelorette.


Music[edit | hide]

  • The Primettes were conceived by Motown Records founder Berry Gordy Jr. as the distaff counterpart to the Primes. The bands were later renamed the Supremes and the Temptations.
  • The Tom Tom Club is the (more or less) distaff counterpart/side project of Talking Heads.
  • Hole is the distaff counterpart to Nirvana, to the point where their respective lead singers Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain were married to each other.
  • Iron Maiden—Iron Maidens, an all-female Iron Maiden tribute band.
    • If we're talking about heavy metal tribute bands, let us not forget Lez Zeppelin.
    • Or Queen Diamond.
  • The Bangles have said in many interviews that their original goal was to be this to The Beatles.
  • The Three Tenors had distaff counterparts, The Three Sopranos.
  • Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert are both incredibly talented (and incredibly campy) singers who make heavy use of synthesizers and (at least partly) go for shock value with performances.
  • The female alternative quartet Drain STH was very much this to Alice In Chains when they first debuted in 1993.


Myths and Legends[edit | hide]

  • The Egyptian goddess Anput is largely a female aspect of her husband Anubis.


New Media[edit | hide]

  • For April Fools' Day 2009, everyone at OAFEnet was replaced by their distaff counterpart—except Artemis, whose male equivalent was "Apollo". The entire site was turned from blue to pink, and even one of their running jokes got gender-flipped for this cartoon.
  • ItsJustSomeRandomGuy, creator of the I'm a Marvel And I'm a DC series, has one in the form of his girlfriend, ItsJustSomeRandomGal.
  • Rule 63 is an internet phenomenon in the vein of Rule 34 that any sufficiently popular male will be drawn as a hot female.
    • Including some characters, mostly Superheroes, who don't need to be drawn as such because, as mentioned earlier in comics, they already have a Distaff or Spear (yes, it's done to female characters as well) Counterpart.


Toys[edit | hide]

  • Bakugan—Zoobles
  • Dragon Flyz—Sky Dancers
  • Mighty Max—Polly Pocket
  • My Buddy—Kid Sister. Their commercials were often combined into one... and they shared a Theme Tune.
  • Transformers—Sweet Secrets.
  • Digimon was originally an attempt to get boys into the whole Tamagotchi craze. Debatably, it ended up being even more popular.
  • M.U.S.C.L.E. -- C.U.T.I.E.
  • Kung Zhu—Zhu Zhu Pets


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • The Super Mario Bros. -- The Great Giana Sisters.
  • Take Pac-Man. Add pink bow. Voila! Ms. PacMan!
    • Nonsense, that's just a crossdressing cheese. But if we also add a beauty mark...
    • The ad for one home video game rendition of Ms. Pac Man in the 1980s even had her singing, "Honey, don'tcha know / I'm more than Pac Man with a bow!"
  • Grim Grimoire has Lillet and Amoretta, who are female expies of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, with additional Les Yay.
  • In Metal Slug 2, two female soldiers joined up with Marco and Tarma from the first game - Fio and Eri. Aside from when Eri (and Tarma) were booted from the playable cast for Metal Slug 4, they've remained in the series ever since. Their status as the female counterparts to the original duo is made explicit in Metal Slug 3 - halfway through the final mission, the Mars People abduct your character, and their opposite-gender counterpart takes over for the rest of the level: Fio for Marco, Eri for Tarma, and vice versa in both cases.
    • And to confirm, without a doubt, that each female is the counterpart of her respective male version, comes the fact that if there's a second player that is playing with the respective female counterpart during the Mars People abduction. The other guy/chick will be the chosen replacement for your missing character.
    • Speaking of Metal Slug 4, the characters that replaced Tarma and Eri in that game, Trevor and Nadia, were also Distaff Counterparts.
  • Hideo Kojima has a fondness for recycling alternate universe versions of characters he had created previously, almost like actors. During the development of Policenauts, he had a minor role for Solid Snake of Metal Gear - until, to shake things up, Kojima decided to make him a woman. Enter Meryl Silverburgh. When she was reintroduced in Metal Gear Solid, she was made into the niece (actually daughter) of Colonel Campbell and underwent a little Divergent Character Evolution.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, Yuriko Omega is the Japanese Schoolgirl version of Yuri from Red Alert 2.
    • Being that, while they are both given as having psychic powers, Yuri mind controls, while Yuriko tosses things around with her mind, I don't really think this qualifies. Their personalities are also different.
    • On the other hand Yuriko is slightly more powerful than Yuri, as they made a campaign focused on her which shows how powerful she really is. Plus can do all of Yuri's powers and more.
  • Harry Mason --> Rose DeSalva
  • Bayonetta is a female Dante.
  • The Elite Beat Agents' female division, the Elite Beat Divas. Curiously, the Elite Beat Divas seems to be just three girls, while there are five of the agents (and their commander).
  • It's not a straight example, but the Rogue Squadron comics had Soontir Fel, best pilot in the Empire since Vader's death, part of an elite squadron, eventually getting shot with a Y-Wing's ion cannon, being captured, and switching sides to fly in Rogue Squadron. The first Rogue Squadron game, the only one which didn't cling to the movies for characters and missions, had Kasan Moor, excellent pilot and rare female Imperial, part of an elite squadron, eventually getting shot with a Y-Wing's ion cannon, defecting, and switching sides to fly in Rogue Squadron. Her creator has said he was trying to make someone like Fel, and was a little sad to see that while Fel's role is always increasing, Kasan Moor lingers in the limbo of all Star Wars EU characters introduced in video games, and has been used exactly once since. In another video game.
  • Guy from the original Final Fight ended up being replaced by his sister-in-law Maki in the first of the two SNES sequels. The game attempts to justify the fact Maki's fighting style is identical by establishing that Maki's father was also Guy's Bushin sensei. Later, she reappeared in Capcom vs. SNK 2 and was shoehorned into the portable versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3, where her fighting style was now a bit different from Guy's.
  • Cloud Strife --> Lightning
  • Mega Man X 8 had two new Navigators to accompany Alia, a mainstay since the fifth game. Sure enough, all three of them can be unlocked as playable characters, Distaff Counterparts of the three heroes, having similar playstyles: Alia --> X, Layer --> Zero, and Pallette --> Axl. All they need to think about now is a Distaff Counterpart to Sigma. Better yet, they shouldn't.
  • The Harvest Moon video game series practically lives off of these. There's Jack --> Jill/Claire and Mark --> Chelsea—but don't worry, there's more.
  • In Pokémon:
    • Humans:
      • Red ↔ Leaf (FireRed / LeafGreen)
      • Ethan ↔ Lyra (HeartGold / SoulSilver) / Kris (Crystal only)
      • Brendan ↔ May (Ruby / Sapphire / Emerald)
      • Lucas ↔ Dawn (Diamond / Pearl / Platinum)
      • Hilbert ↔ Hilda (Black / White)
      • Lunick ↔ Solana (Pokemon Ranger)
      • Kellyn ↔ Kate (Shadows of Almia)
      • Ben ↔ Summer (Guardian Signs)
      • Volkner ↔ Elesa (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum ↔ Black/White)
    • Pokémon:
      • Nidoran-M / Nidorino / Nidoking ↔ Nidoran-F / Nidorina / Nidoqueen
      • Tauros ↔ Miltank
      • Volbeat ↔ Illumise
      • Latios ↔ Latias
      • Gallade ↔ Gardevoir (although it is possible to get a male Gardevoir)
      • Glalie ↔ Froslass (again, a female Glalie is possible)
      • Braviary ↔ Mandibuzz
      • Zekrom ↔ Reshiram: Intended to be the case according to Word of God, but both were given male voices in the anime.[1]
  • BioShock (series) 2 gives us Big Daddy --> Big Sister.
  • In the Super Robot Wars franchise, we have Ingram and Viletta Pliskin who, in their original game Super Hero Operations, started out as male and female versions of the same original player character. When their characters were later adapted into the Super Robot Wars Alpha series (and the subsequent OG series) Banpresto worked around this by changing Viletta's last name to "Vadim" and explaining that she was actually a gender-bend clone of Ingram.
    • In Super Robot Wars Reversal, you are allowed to choose between Raul and Fiona Gureden, the male and female versions of the same player character, respectively. In Super Robot Wars Original Generations, both of them are adapted into the story as Half-Identical Twins.
    • In Super Robot Wars GC, Banpresto once again allowed the player to select a male or female version of the same character. This time around, both of them actually share the same exact name—Akemi Akatsuki—only with their given names spelled using different kanji. Lord knows how Terada plans to work around that one if he ever decides to put them into the OG series.
  • Kerrigan -- Arthas
    • They start out, and remain for the respective campaigns that introduces them, a bit too different to be called distaff counterparts. Then they get a bit more things in common, and keep on picking similarities up over the course of the following campaigns and the expansions until this trope fits fairly well.
  • Parodied in Ace Attorney, where the producer of the popular series "The Steel Samurai: Warrior of Neo-Olde Tokyo" creates "The Pink Princess: Warrior of Little Olde Tokyo", featuring basically the same plot and setting but with a girlier gimmick (even the star of Steel Samurai, Will Powers, plays the Pink Princess in the sequel).
  • The Protagonist of Persona 3 has the Female Protagonist. She also has the male's Wild Card power.
  • Fenris -- Jack
  • Mortal Kombat has quite a few. Sheeva is a female Goro and Kintaro (she was even known as She-Goro in early development before named were decided upon). Chameleon has Khameleon and Sub-Zero has Frost (the latter is Justified in that Frost was--for a time—Subby's handpicked pupil). Kira is said to be a female Kano, although she also draws inspiration from Sonya.[
  • Are we not mentioning the oft-mentioned resemblance between Lara Croft and Uncharted's Nathan Drake?
  • Samus Aran -- Master Chief


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Several non-canon Megatokyo omake feature Piroko and m0h, gender-swapped versions of Piro and Miho based on their in-canon Cross Player game avatars.
  • Problem Sleuth features Distaff Counterparts/Opposite Gender Clones of the three protagonists, Problem Sleuth, Pickle Inspector, and Ace Dick, who live in the imaginary universe and which each briefly becomes during a "spiritual journey". Problem Sleuth gets Hysterical Dame, Pickle Inspector matches up to Nervous Broad, and Ace Dick gets... Ace Dick in a wig, because Ace's imagination isn't good enough to have an actual female alter-ego.
  • Boy Meets Boy had an April Fool's comic which was basically this. Amusingly, the female counterparts in Girl Meets Girl appear to be deeper thinkers than their male originals.
  • Nerf Now has female counterparts to every playable character in Team Fortress 2.
  • In Scandinavia and The World, most of the characters have sisters who (except the Swedens and the Americas) are basically the same as their brothers.
  • In El Goonish Shive, due to the existence of alternate universes, Elliot's counterpart in the Beta Universe is a female version of himself named Ellen (who is not Main Universe Ellen's counterpart), and Grace has a counterpart in the Alpha Universe named General Shade Tail. In the non-canon universes of the side strips, Tedd has a counterpart in Tess.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Played with by The Nostalgia Critic -- The Nostalgia Chick, as he's become a Sissy Villain who has testosterone pills lying around while she's a The Ladette who doesn't even know what a Chick Flick is.
  • The eponymous character from Homestar Runner was going to have one of these, but the creators decided against it. She can be seen in the background of at least one cartoon, though.
  • Girlchan in Paradise does this with maytag, a complete duplicate of Kenstar in appearance except obviously female (while still humorously poorly voiced by a man). Despite this, nobody except the viewer can make the appearance connection.

Kenstar: Wow she's so pretty
Yusuke: You're just saying that because she looks like [brief pause] a pretty girl!
Kenstar: That would be why i said that.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In Transformers Animated, the essentially-immortal Starscream creates a squad of five clones which, as the female clone points out, are each based on an aspect of his personality: A suck-up, a coward, a pathological liar, an egomaniac, and the female clone. When Starscream asks her what part of him she's from, she simply states, "Don't ask."
  • In "Dr. Quym, Medicine Woman", the Venture Brothers meet female counterparts of the main cast in the jungle, including a violent hulking female bodyguard and a pair of twin sleuths.
  • We must not forget Alvin and The Chipmunks, whose distaff counterparts are Brittany and the Chipettes. The male chipmunks already made the jump to live-action movie, so the Chipettes naturally will appear in The Squeakuel, as a product of a development that stemmed from the first movie's stinger.
  • Superjail!—Ultra-Prison, with female counterparts for all the main cast. Strangely, there were no female counterparts for the Twins... though this was probably for the better.
  • The newest incarnation of Winnie the Pooh from Disney features a six-year-old, redhaired tomboy named Darby, instead of Christopher Robin, though he's still in it.
  • He-Man and the Masters of the Universe --> She Ra Princess of Power. (Although they could hardly call her "She-Woman".)
    • The original spin-off was going to be He-Ro, an ancestor of He-Man, before eventually being dropped in favour of She-Ra. There was also talk of a He-Ro, son of He-Man, series in the mid 90s.
  • Gimpy of Undergrads, whose online alias is G-Prime, has a Distaff Counterpart in SHE-Prime; she's also his rival/love interest. Ironically, they don't realize they live next to each other.
  • Dial Tone's feminization in some newer G.I. Joe works.
  • Danny Phantom has a female clone who is pretty much this (albeit a younger one).
  • Buzz Lightyear of Star Command -- Atomic Betty
  • Terrence and Phillip, the Canadian comedy duo in South Park, have female counterparts in Katherine and Katie Queef whom they marry.
  • A recent Fairly Oddparents episode has a one-shot character in the form of Kimmy, a female version of Timmy. She appears as Sanjay's date for the school dance in that episode (and the fact that she resembles Timmy probably explains why he asked her).
    • Timmy was his own distaff, named Timantha, in an earlier episode.
  • Time Squad introduced another time squad with Tuddrussel's ex-wife who is very smart and actually competent.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures had an episode at a dance where Arnold showed up with his date who looked just like him only in a dress.
  • In The Mr. Men Show Mr Scatterbrain and Mr Stubborn are Mr Men counterparts to their Little Miss book counterparts.
  • Arguably, Totally Spies! and The Amazing Spiez as another female to (younger and mostly) male version.
  • Rated A For Awesome - Phineas and Ferb (to an extent). Both series have male protagonists, but Phineas and Ferb has more female involvement, including female focused episodes and merchandise.
  • In Adventure Time there's Fionna to Finn and Cake the cat to Jake the dog.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Yes, there once was a YWCA (as well as an Alternate Religion Equivalent, the YMHA,[2] and its Distaff Counterpart the YWHA). Eventually, as the meaning behind the acronym was forgotten, the other versions were folded into the YMCA, which then dropped the obsolete parts of their name and became the Y.
    • According to The Other Wiki, the organization is now called "World YWCA", it is independent from the YMCA and focuses more of its time now on social services and mission-type work.
      • The merging occurred at the local level: many local YWCAs are now affiliated with both YWCA USA (the American wing of World YWCA) and YMCA at the same time.


Spear Counterparts[edit | hide]

Anime[edit | hide]


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • X-23, the Distaff Counterpart of Wolverine, has Daken as her spear counterpart.
  • Superhero comics as a genre have been referred to as a Spear Counterpart to Soap Operas.
  • Gamma Corps includes Griffin, a Spear Counterpart to Betty Ross' brief time as the Harpy.
  • Power Boy is superficially a Spear Counterpart of Power Girl. He's actually a parody of all the unfortunate cliches of superheroine characterisation, by showing what they look like applied to a male character.


Film[edit | hide]

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • An unusual variant of this trope is present in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: Due to the series' gimmick, the costumes and powers of various past Rangers who were female are now in use by male Rangers, complete with an appropriately gender-flipped costume.
  • Starter Wife -- Happy Endings


Music[edit | hide]

  • Celtic Thunder is the Spear Counterpart to the popular Celtic Woman.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Dykes to Watch Out For: The Indelible Alison Bechdel included a strip called "Guys to Watch Out For" which showed each character's Spear Counterpart. In particular, Mo is being inaugurated as president of the United States.


Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • The TeenGirlSquad has a set of Spear Counterparts in the Four Gregs, though it's not quite as blatant (there's not an easy match-up of personalities, for example).


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Alice had her very own Spear Counterpart in Bruce.
  • Powerpuff Girls <=> Rowdy Ruff Boys
    • There is a feminist villain who claims that all female super heroes are just female spin offs of their male counter parts.
  • Dora the Explorer -- Go, Diego, Go!
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, judging from Rarity's portrayal of her in the play that makes up the plot of the episode Hearth's Warming Eve, Princess Platinum is one of Prince Blueblood (or he is a Spear Counterpart to her, if you go by in-universe chronology).


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The perception of our own body images. It's fairly common knowledge that girls are more easily suspectible to eating disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia Nervosa in an attempt to lose weight because they think they are too fat. Less commonly known is that the opposite generally holds true for guys, who try to get bigger instead. In the belief that they are too skinny or scrawny some will almost obsessively work out and eat a lot of food in order to put on more weight (in the form of muscle mass). This tends to happen more often to those who are already perceived as being very physically fit or muscular, and is known as muscle dysmorphia or, appropriately, reverse anorexia. Both are essentially nasty side-effects of the way our modern media portrays the ideal body figure for both women and men.
  1. For the record, both of them are technically genderless/unknown-gendered.
  2. Hebrew