One of the Boys

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
One of these things is not like the others.

Some girls pal around with male friends instead of having girl friends. They play male games (baseball instead of softball), and might even become accepted as just one of the boys. She might be rude, and use crude, or less refined slang like a boy. She spits, bleeds, and plays in the dirt, without caring about getting dirty. She'd never say something like "I Broke a Nail".

When introduced, she might proceed to beat the crap out of the biggest boy (who probably made some comment about how girls are too weak or girly to play with) to make sure everyone understands that she's one of the boys and not expecting any special treatment.

Of course, because of the Double Standard and Wouldn't Hit a Girl restraints she usually is treated differently, but not as much as other girls.

Usually a Tomboy, and often subject to a She Cleans Up Nicely in a Beautiful All Along plot, but unlike other girls she protests and is very upset about the event, considering herself a victim as being forced to wear a dress is humiliating, and she probably looks pretty nice already. Not to mention it undermines all the work she put into getting the boys to accept her as one of them. Often following such an event she has to beat one of the boys up all over again.

In a strange twist, Chickification is often seen as an improvement for this character. The boys she hangs with often find the development of feminine attributes in their best friend a positive development as they now have an approachable girl. Other times her Tomboyish ways backfire on her when her friends who are boys get to a dating age, and all come to her expecting advice on how court their latest crush. She might feel left out by this development. Other times one of her friends will be unable to find a date for the dance, and suddenly turn to her and say: "Hey! You're a girl!" and suggest she become his date for the night—just to help out a pal of course, it doesn't mean anything. She might not be too happy about this.

More modern media may instead opt to for the girl to simply tone down instead of completely grow out of her tomboy ways. This development came as adult men became far more accepting of tomboyishness post-teenagerhood, and nowadays it's very much not unusual for some women to stay One of the Boys even into their adulthood.

An Action Girl is sometimes portrayed as being someone who is still "one of the guys" at age 15-30. Possibly a form of subtle Fan Service (or not so subtle, depending on the character).

Sometimes a Wholesome Crossdresser, which might cause a Sweet on Polly Oliver situation. Might someday become The Ladette, but usually not. Often a Redhead. Might have been Raised by Dudes

Truth In Television for many women who used to be, or still are, Tomboys.

Examples of One of the Boys include:

Anime & Manga

  • Ukyō from Ranma ½ was this explicitly when she and Ranma were young children together, and he insists on treating her the same way now, despite the fact she came after him because she wanted to fulfill their Childhood Marriage Promise. She also continues using male pronouns.
  • Deunan in Appleseed
  • Aoba in Cross Game.
  • Karin Kurosaki from Bleach.
    • Rangiku Matsumoto is an adult version, though she does get along nicely with other girls (like Momo and Orihime) as well.
  • Sora Takenouchi of season 1-2 of Digimon is very much this. It also serves to make her the Tomboy To Mimi's Girly Girl.
    • Rika Nonaka from Digimon Tamers is an Action Girl, is much more willing to fight than Takato or Henry, and has the title of "Digimon Queen" due to being extremely proficient in the Card Game.
  • Tio of Gash Bell exudes this aura, especially in flashbacks, but she's always seen wearing a dress.
  • Area no Kishi: When Kakeru played alongside his teammate Seven in elementary school football, he thought of her this way. He didn't start to notice Seven's more "girly" aspects until just before she had to transfer schools. When she transferred back in high school, however, the difference was quite obvious.
  • Misty from Pokémon. Her sisters give her constant crap for not being girly enough, and since they're all airheads (well, in the dub, anyway) she just kind of runs with it to distance herself from them. Usually seen competing with Ash in pretty much every open competition they come across or cockblocking Brock.
  • Casca from Berserk also qualifies since she hung out mostly with men from her early teens onwards.
  • Wrench Wench Fio Piccolo of Porco Rosso.
  • Makoto from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, who is quite a Tomboy but still manages to be girlishly charming in her own right.
  • Another Makoto, but from THE iDOLM@STER much to her dismay, since she became an Idol exactly to shed that exterior image of hers.


Films -- Live Action

  • Jenna Elfman's character in "Keeping the Faith"
  • McCoy of Streets of Fire. Her part was actually originally intended for a man.
  • Anybodys in West Side Story would like to be this trope, but the guys don't accept her for the majority of the play.
  • Watts from Some Kind of Wonderful. She hooks up with her male friend at the end, but doesn't undergo any Chickification, and her "She Cleans Up Nicely" moment sees her turn into a Bifauxnen.
  • Reporter Amy Archer in The Hudsucker Proxy is a fast-talking career gal and one of the boys on the job, though not tomboyish in appearance. Because she's attractive, she gets the occasional come-on but responds with a earth-shattering slap to the face.
  • A lot of females in superhero movies fit this trope. A good example is Alicia Silverstone's Batgirl in 'Batman and Robin' acted as if she had something to prove to Robin and her character was seen doing such things as participating in a motorcycle race.
  • Saga in Mitt liv som hund (My Life as a Dog).
  • Laure in the French movie Tomboy.. She poses as a boy and pals around with the other boys.
  • Viola Hastings from She's the Man is a girl with a strict no ruffles policy and wants to join the boys' soccer team.
    • Amanda Bynes played a similar role as the titular character in Sydney White, who knows more about plumbing then she does about acting "ladylike".
  • Amanda Lemmon from It Takes Two protests at having to wear a dress.
  • Robin's daughter, Gwyn in Princess of Thieves will steal a horse fairly but won't take it by the poor reason of her gender.
  • As Ever After begins Danielle tells her friend Gustave that no matter her gender she can "whip" him. By the time her step-mother arrives the girl has some mud on her but her friend is covered.
  • Natalie Sue "Natty" Gann in The Journey of Natty Gann is introduced sneaking off with several boys to share a cigarette in the men's bathroom, and gets into a fistfight with one of them when he insults her father.


  • The Great Brain series has Dorretha "Britches Dotty" Blake. Including her beating up the local bully, naturally she's a redhead.
  • Pepper in Good Omens, definitely, though the last three paragraphs don't really apply. She's also a redhead.
    • Oh lordy, yes, Pippin Galadriel Moonchild is totally this. (attacked by Pepper for using the name)
    • Sadly, there are some signs that puberty, as it sets in, might start to complicate this a little - not so much for Pep as for the guys, who are already starting to notice that play-wrestling with her has more of an effect on them than it used to.
  • Encyclopedia Brown's sidekick Sally Kimball
    • Sally suffered from inconsistent characterization, and ranged from this trope to "regular girl who just happens to be able to punch like a truck" and just about everywhere in between.
  • Idgie in Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe starts out as this and becomes even more so as she gets older.
  • Leslie Burke of Bridge to Terabithia is a sort of for this trope. Her first friend is a guy, and it is implied that she doesn't have any others. Plus the main character befriends and spends time with her to get away from his girly-girl sisters, despite the fact that she's a girl as well.
    • The very fact that it's because of this trope that she gains her (implied) second friend, the girl who used to be a bully.
      • Being one of the boys gets her a female friend? so Janice Avery was only friends with boys?
  • Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird.
  • Birgitte in the Wheel of Time series is like this to Mat; he sees her more as a drinking partner or fellow soldier than as a woman.
  • Petra in Ender's Game is one of the only girls in Battle School and wants to be considered by the boys as just one of them
  • Subverted with Harry Potter: Hermione is seen as this, much to her chagrin when a dance comes around and neither Harry nor Ron ask her, even when they are talking about getting their own dates.
    • A desperate Ron does eventually think to ask her and even uses the phrase "hey, you're a girl," only to be told (to his extreme disbelief) that she is already going with someone else. When Hermione shows up at the ball with Krum, Ron spends the whole thing with "jealous" stamped on his forehead, but refuses to come out and say it. Harry, who's busy wishing he had asked Cho before Cedric did, just tries to stay out of the crossfire.
  • Karrin Murphy of The Dresden Files is a lot like this, and in her case 'the boys' are police officers and the literal monster-fighting main character. In spite of lacking any magic or supernatural powers, she is Harry's go-to person when he feels a need for back-up against the supernatural. Harry's occasional concerns over including her in his plans aren't as much because she's a woman as because he has Chronic Hero Syndrome and feels guilty when anyone helping him gets hurt.
  • Wilhelmina "Bill" Robinson of Enid Blyton's Malory Towers, the only girl slap-bang in the middle of seven brothers, with whom she mixes easily and on an equal level.
  • Queen Christina from The Royal Diaries envies the freedom that boys have and enjoys besting her male friend in sports.
  • Alanna from Song Of The Lioness is the short-tempered and blunt girl who posed as a boy to become the kingdom's only female knight.
  • Rachel's father in Animorphs tells her mother in # 7 The Stranger that Rachel is as good as a son because she's a tough as a boy. They go hiking, watch ball games and go to gymnastic events together. Double subverted, though, since Rachel is also characterized as The Fashionista who insists on hiding outfits (not clothes, outfits) in Cassie's barn just because she wants to look immaculate at all times.
  • Honor Harrington.
  • Thirteen-year-old squad leader Jade in Someone Elses War.

Live Action TV

  • Step by Step – Frank's daughter, Al, fit very much in this trope in early episodes, due to her interest in sports (and the apparent lack of girls-only teams in Port Washington). Although Al very much may have continued her interest in sports later, this is very much forgotten onscreen by midway through the series as Christine Lakin entered puberty and the producers wanted to take advantage of her physical attractiveness.
    • In addition, there were several episodes where Frank (a construction contractor) hired female construction workers who very much had male-oriented interests and spent off-work time with the guys. Said episodes would invariably deal with Carol's insecurities over Frank's relationship with the worker he hired.
  • PJ, of the TBS sitcom My Boys, sort of fits this trope; she works in a predominantly-male profession (sportswriting), has a group of male friends she hangs out with, likes to play poker, and typically dons jeans-and-sweatshirts attire. But she also has a close female friend and isn't averse to occasionally acting more girly.
  • Elaine from Seinfeld. In one episode the fact that she only hangs out with guys becomes a plot point.
  • Similar to Elaine, CJ from The West Wing. Her male coworkers completely accept her as part of the staff's boy's club (her best friend is a man), and treat her feminine characteristics as extensions of her personality rather than a divide between themselves and her. In an added layer, the only things she has that resemble female friends are Abbey and Donna, who are her boss's wife and a much younger underling respectively, and either never gets close to or outright dislikes the women on the same level as her.
  • Of the most, if not the most frequent subject of MTV's MADE is a burping, swearing, and usually athletic tomboy who wants to become a girly-girl of some caliber (usually a beauty pageant queen, but some of them just settle for just the femininity lessons) to make boys stop seeing her as One of the Boys and want to go out with her. Since All Guys Want Cheerleaders, simply finding a guy who likes tomboys is of course out of the question.
  • In NCIS, Ziva is very much this. She takes pride in "boy" things such as the many ways she knows how to kill people.
  • Djaq, from Robin Hood. At one point, a fellow outlaw says: "Apart from being a girl, Djaq is one of the lads."
  • Dexter: Debra Morgan, detective of the Miami Metro Police Department Homicide division and sister of Dexter, ability to be "one of the guys" is what allows her to be so effective at her job.
  • Ivy from Beverly Hills, 90210 is a surfer chick who gets very testy when someone doesn't treat her as Just One of the Guys
  • Olivia Benson can question suspects use the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique with the best of them. And her partner is Elliot UnStabler, so that's saying something.
  • Moze from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. Her best friend is Ned, doesn't have any real female friends (she spends some two seasons hunting for one), is agressively athletic and actively hates skirts.
  • Erin from Titus. While she is certainly fine with acting girly, the producers admitted that they wrote Erin as being One Of The Guys and Tommy had more aspects of being The Chick.
  • Daughter Allie on Step by Step. Her distinguishing characteristic that seperated her from Dana (the smart one) and Karen (the pretty one) was that she was good at sports
  • Tori on Saved by the Bell
  • Sarah Schneider on MTV's The College Humor Show
  • On one of the earliest Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes, Willow is chagrined when Xander calls her a 'guy friend' who knows about girls (particularly since he's getting advice from her on how to click with Buffy). Later on, she's quietly pleased when Buffy tells him he's 'like one of the girls' to her.
  • DC Riley of "Whitechapel" is this. Lampshaded in universe.
  • The X-Files Scully is like this, and in flashbacks, is shown to have been like this as a child. Her brothers even went so far as to get her a rifle for her birthday. She chooses not only a male-dominated college major (her undergraduate degree was Physics; her medical degree is specialized in pathology), but a male-dominated profession (the FBI), which is commented on at times in the series. While not a tomboy in clothing or mannerisms, she gets very upset when someone does not treat her as One of the Boys. She puts up a tough front on pretty much everything; it takes a season and a half of Mulder telling her she can lean on him and a kidnapping encounter with a sociopath to even get her to lower her walls at all. And even though she's small, she's mighty. She's got great aim with her gun and can kick ass with the best of them. Evidenced by how many times she has to save Mulder when he'd gone half-cocked into a dangerous situation.
    • It makes the end scene from "The Unnatural" funny, actually. She denies ever playing baseball when Mulder asks, followed by Mulder "teaching" her to play. Given that she was a tomboy as a child with two brothers, it was very unlikely she'd never hit a baseball before.
  • Susan Ivanova in Babylon 5 is very much the hard-edged officer, and pals around with her male colleagues like it's nothing (which to some degree it is in 23rd-century human society). On the other hand, she does strike up friendships with other women, including Delenn, and even falls in love with Talia. Any complexity in her relationships with other women have tended to be on account of the fact that most other human women she interacts with are telepaths, and her relationship with telepathy and the Psi Corps is... not very good.
  • Emotionless Girl Ellie from Degrassi the Next Generation is a drummer in an otherwise all-male garage band with a number of piercings. She does have a good female friend, but she is the only girl by season five who has strictly platonic relationship with a guy and she does maintain friendships with a couple of others.
    • After she upsets Darcy, Jane says she can't deal with girls because they're too sensitive. Later on Jane joins the football team.
  • Jenny from The League is better-versed in football and fantasy football than her own husband, and seems to mostly hang out with the guys even when their wives are around (case in point, Sofia). However, she is still quite feminine in many ways.
  • Jackie Curatala in Blue Bloods is kind of like this being comfortable in a male environment and having a rather hardbitten personality. She is nice but she is edgy and is obviously not a Proper Lady.
  • Power Rangers Ninja Storm (the first PR series with a single female Ranger) - Shane offhandedly tells Tori that a guy at the beach was asking about how her. When she asks why he didn't tell her this before the guy (who she thinks is cute) left, he doesn't get it. Later, he and Dustin dig themselves even further into a hole.

Tori: You don't get it either. I'm a girl. Girrl.
Dustin: Yeah, I know, but - like, you're not a girl-girl.
Shane: You're like a guy-girl.
Kelly: My advice to you both? Stop trying to make it better, 'cause it's only getting worse.

  • Riley in the new MacGyver is one of these. She is the team's Techno Wizard and generally acts as more a member of the team then anything else. She does however clean up nicely when she has to play dress up (for infiltrating a swank party for instance) and even at other times she looks quite well.


  • David Bowie plays with this trope in his song "Rebel Rebel", which is about an extravagant drag queen who the narrator sees as One of the Boys.
  • Katy Perry's "One of the Boys", played straight with Chickification being a good thing. Balanced out when she snubs the guy she originally chickified for - who is totally oblivious to her crush since he thought of their relationship as Like Brother and Sister.
  • Ke$ha's stage persona and lyrics are more or less this, at least according to her entry...


Video Games

  • Jak and Daxter gives us Keira: resident Wrench Wench and childhood friend of the protagonists.
  • The female Shepard in Mass Effect is typically one of these.
    • A Citadel sub-plot at the local nightclub shows us a lady talking to one of the guys on her squad, wanting to hang out with the rest of the guys while they're on leave. The guy tries (first by beating around the bush, then coming right out with it) to explain the other guys would be uncomfortable with letting their hair down around her, but she just bulldozes over his excuses in a decidedly crude, "I'm one of you guys" manner until he gives in.
  • Mion in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Talks about herself as an old man, openly perverted, boyish, no obvious girly interests... but she actually does have them, and is upset to realize that Keiichi more or less really does see her as a guy. It's a problem when the guy you obviously like barely even recognizes your gender.
  • Elh Melizée from Solatorobo. While she doesn't seem to have any truly "boyish" interests (and even knows a bit about flowers, but only because they grew in her home village, of course), she wears boys' clothing, uses male pronouns, and appears male enough that Red and Chocolat mistake her for a guy at first sight - even a guard at an all-boys magic school that she sneaks into notes that, upon close inspection, "he couldn't possibly be a girl". Red flips out when he learns she's a girl, but even after that, he continues to treat her pretty much the same as he did when he thought she was a guy (aside from the Ship Tease, anyway).

Web Comics

  • Jodie from Loserz is seen by the two boys she hangs out with as one of them and has never been established as having romantic feelings toward either of them. Lampshaded here.
  • Millie from Ozy and Millie ends up in this niche, but not from any effort on her part. She's not the typical jock version of a tomboy, but still hangs out with boys, doesn't do anything too girly and objects to being that. Then turned on its head when Stefan asks Ozy if he knew any girls to ask about dating advice. Millie objects, standing right there. Stefan then asks her if SHE knows any girls to ask. "Why doesn't anyone notice I'm a girl?" indeed.
  • Haley Starshine from Order of the Stick, of the rather crude and loud variety, at least compared to Roy and Elan.
  • Hazel in Girls with Slingshots is definitely one of the boys; she hangs out with the guys during the bachelor party and has been repeatedly mentioned as actually being "the guy" in her relationship.
  • In Tales of the Questor, Kestrel is the only female student who continues to study as an Artifactor for more than a week. Understandably, but no less frustratingly to her, her classmates turn their affections elsewhere. When she got mistaken for a boy, she lost her temper and gave him Marshmallow Hell.

Western Animation

  • Yumi Ishiyama of Code Lyoko prefers martial arts to any girly activity, hangs out solely with boys for the whole Season 1, and only gains a female friend once Aelita is materialized.
  • Margaret "Moose" Pearson from Pepper Ann is extremely tomboyish. She has a very deep voice (especially for her age), she hates girly activities, she refuses to wear dresses, she mainly hangs out with boys, she loves extreme activities and sports, doesn't mind getting dirty, cracks her knuckles, and can belch louder than any boy in the school.
    • In one episode Pepper Ann is worried about her very boyish behavior and tries to make her act more feminine. It doesn't work, but in the end she decides that if she's happy being the way she is, she'll leave her alone.
  • Gosalyn Mallard in Darkwing Duck is extremely tomboyish and, when shown with other kids, it doesn't seem like she as any female friends at all.
  • Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls is the unfeminine one of the group. At school, she hangs out with the boys in their class. She can also belch loud enough to make buildings shatter, she loves getting dirty, and she hates some of the things her sisters like, including make-up, jewelry, dolls, ponies, and the color pink.
  • Melissa in Home Movies hangs out exclusively with her friends Brendon and Jason, and her father gets worried that she acts more tough and manly than either of them (which, to be fair, is not much).
  • Sam(antha) Manson in Danny Phantom hangs around with best pals Danny and Tucker. Though she's not too much of a tomboy, she often participates in activities her male friends do and there are a few instances where Danny and Tucker take her gender for granted, treating her more "like a guy" then the girl she is, causing her to be annoyed.
  • Jade from Jackie Chan Adventures is very much like this. One male friend, and a definite interest in martial arts.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Toph. As a prodigious Earthbender (who uses it to simulate sight) the girl quite literally loves to play in mud (she considers a coating of dirt to be healthy) and her favourite pastimes include practice brawls with Aang and ribbing Sokka.
    • Before joining the group, she belonged to a professional wrestling troupe and the undefeated champion of the arena.
    • She even teases Aang about not being manly when they first meet (in the ring), saying "nobody wants to see TWO little girls fight", and nicknames him "twinkle toes" because of how lightly he walks (consider how she "sees" and what her first impression would be in that case)
    • At one point, Aang and Sokka are playing around with Appa's shed fur. Katara is grateful to have another girl on the team, until Toph decides to joins them.
    • She is quite capable of putting on a Yamato Nadeshiko act as she's descended from a noble family, as a subversion... she just doesn't care for it.
  • The Legend of Korra gives us Korra, who doesn't like makeup and shopping and would much rather be playing sports alongside her guy-friends and besting them in belching contests.
  • Gina Gillotti in Dennis the Menace, who often hangs out with Dennis, Joey, Peebee and Jay. Sometimes subverts this by spending time hanging around with Margaret Wade instead though.
  • Recess's Spinelli is a wrestling fan and the "toughest kid in school".
  • Jessica in Wheel Squad.