It's the people she gathers and keeps at her side who'll do a lot of the heavy lifting. She'll encourage loyalty and teamwork, give them the courage or hope to unlock their true potential, be a Token Good Teammate that keeps her friends from Jumping Off the Slippery Slope. She's usually a Nice Girl, but her demeanor can go anywhere from shy and demure, to brave and adventurous. She is rarely The Heroine of a story.
Her functional role will often be The Heart, the social influence of the group. Sometimes this means she'll serve as the Team Mom, taking care of the smaller details, both within the group and in the world outside. She looks after innocents, delivers The Aesop, mediates the arguments, and slaps some sanity on The Lancer before he ends up getting too dark. It's not the coolest job in the world, but it's helpful.
Yes, we understand that a role very like this could be filled by a male, but this is a trope is component of a Five-Man Band, which is specifically four guys and a girl. Examples of male characters acting in this way can be found in The Heart.
Never to be confused with Jack Chick.
Examples of the standard Chick
Anime and Manga
- Sakura of Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle is both a straight example and a subversion, since that character had already appeared in another work by the same authors, where she was The Hero. She kept exactly the same personality, but with a serious downgrade in magic abilities and three fighting experts as companions she transformed into a Chick. She also regularly lampshades the fact that she feels useless in the group because of her inability to fight. Later she upgrades to being an Action Girl once she gets her hands on some guns and A Day in the Limelight. She also doubles as The Empath, the Oracular Urchin and The Messiah. Later, in Infinity country, once a certain member of the group has left, she arguably becomes The Hero and (literally) The Chessmaster.
- Nami of One Piece, though she too has Taken A Level In Badass as of late. Nami and Robin seem to share this role as of the formers acceptance in the crew. Both pull double duty as The Smart Guy most of the time.
- "G-3" Jun the Swan from Gatchaman. A Trope Codifier for Anime/Manga characters. Primarily, the Token Girl from being on an all male team. She can be seen as either an Action Girl who is self-sufficient from owning and running her own snack bar and a skilled fighter that can knock thugs unconscious with the same ease of her male companions, or a victim of Chickification and occasional Damsel in Distress when the story calls for it to give Ken/Joe some hero spotlight moments. Also, since she's the technical and demolitions expert of the team, she is arguably better at being The Smart Guy than the show's actual smart guy.
- Total inversion: The Aasu sisters from Puni Puni Poemi are all Chicks, all five of them. Their powers also suck.
- Outlaw Star makes two other bandmates women in order to counterbalance The Chick Melfina; specifically, The Big Guy (Aisha) and The Sixth Ranger (Suzuka).
- Tsubaki and the Thompson sisters,Liz and Patti,from Soul Eater are card carrying Chicks.
- Inoue Orihime from Bleach. She heals and build barriers, is sensitive and nurturing, cries the name of the main hero, she gets saved, she's part of a five-man band made up of Ichigo, Uryu, Chad, herself, and Rukia (Yes, Rukia is also a girl - but while she can be pretty girly sometimes, she's quite more action-oriented).
- Botan, Keiko, Yukina, Shizuru and Atsuko from Yu Yu Hakusho. All five have needed to be saved at some point (manga-only, in Atsuko's case), but are generally side characters just outside of the Competence Zone. They're all tougher than the normal Chick (Botan, Yukina and Shizuru have more-or-less useful powers too) and can hold their own against humans, but they still can't reach Badass Normal level when facing demons. Or can they?
- Anzu/Tea of Yu-Gi-Oh!, and Shizuka/Serenity when she was around.
- Caro in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, who manages to fit this role in a mostly female cast by being a ten-year old who has Status Buffing as one of her specialties and is generally less action-oriented compared to everyone else. Of course, since this is Nanoha, where small and female are traits you should run away from, her other specialty is summoning dragons. Big dragons. Approach chick with caution.
- Azmaria in Chrono Crusade, the Token Loli with spiritual powers that allow her to heal others and fly...and not much else. In the anime she's mostly there to look cute and get in trouble, although she does serve as a peacemaker of the group. In the manga she behaves this way at first, but through Character Development she slowly becomes stronger and more determined—enough that, during the final battle, her ability to stay calm under pressure holds the rest of the team together during a crisis and her spiritual knowledge serves a key part in stopping the Big Bad and his plans.
- Mikuru from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, the only member of the Five-Man Band that Haruhi gets right.
- GoLion's Princess Fala takes the role of both this, and the Blue lion Pilot after the demise of Takashi.
- Scheza from Wolf's Rain may be an example of this trope carried out well.
- Shannon in Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
- Kanzaki Nao from Liar Game is this in a canon all about social and psychological manipulation. This is lampshaded in the prelims to the 4th round, where Nao's Code Name is literally "The Chick".
- Fairy Tail has Lucy, who is rare in that she has the Point of View of the story and is a Supporting Protagonist. She is also useful in battle, but indirectly kicks ass through Summon Magic. The other girl of the team, Erza, is The Big Guy.
- Both Silk Spectres from Watchmen. They're deconstructions of both The Chick and Ms. Fanservice.
- Scarlett, the original G.I. Joe chick.
- Princess Leia is the Action Girl version of the Chick. As is her mother, Padme Skywalker, nee Amidala
- Mary McDonnell in Sneakers.
- Judy in Night of the Living Dead is rather noteworthy in that her character was created specifically because the crew were enchanted by how cute the actress was.
- While Animorphs fans have had some trouble agreeing on who's actually The Chick, Rachel has never been a contender. She's beautiful, her hobby is gymnastics, and she loves both shopping and her boyfriend, but she's The Big Guy, an Action Girl who becomes a Blood Knight.
- Being The Chick may be all that is consistent in Trillian across all versions of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Douglas Adams admitted that he didn't write her as a well-rounded character because he never really understood women.
- In Enid Blyton's Famous Five books Anne is so much of The Chick she verges on a Yamato Nadeshiko. Oddly though it is Dick though that takes the role of The Heart.
- Journey to the West features a very... odd subversion of this trope - the monk Xuangzang is so perfect an example of The Chick he's (note the masculine) sometimes even portrayed as such. This, of course, leads to tons of Ho Yay with the other main character of the story, Sun Wukong. Given his overall uselessness, stupidity, and propensity to be captured by anything under the sun, it's no wonder why most everyone who reads the story kinda really hates him. In a double subversion, it's also as become common to protray Wukong as the girl, just to make him (her?) seem more awesome.
- There are a variety of psychology/morality puzzles that involve four people who get themselves into a situation where a series of events occur, usually culminating in tragedy, and the listener is charged with putting the characters in order from who acted the most "right" and who acted the most "wrong". Of the four, only one will ever be female, she will always be The Chick, and usually she's the one who suffers the tragedy. Where the listener places her in the morality spectrum represents their views on women, regardless of what she does in the puzzle story; the other three usually represent specific virtues or behaviors, but the female represents only women as a whole. With most of these puzzles, putting the female character at anything lower than the Most Right (or, less often, Second Most Right) will label you a misogynist.
- Jacyl from Black Dogs is extremely fond of clothes and beauty products, and one character remarked that she was found while her house was burning down, and that she was trying to rescue her wardrobe. Naturally she's one of the more levelheaded and pacifistic characters in the book.
- Willa from Kingdom Keepers.
- Jenna Heap from Septimus Heap. She is usually the one who cares about people and prevents the others from ignoring them in their actions.
Live Action TV
- Princess Deirdre of The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog
- Gwen from Torchwood prior to becoming second-in-command to Captain Jack. Even before then she could hold her own in combat.
- A lot of The Doctor's companions.
- Kimberly from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is the typical Valley Girl with a crush on the Sixth Ranger. In the pilot episode she teased that she didn't want to join the group because of "helmet hair." Trini on the other hand, despite having a few chick-like elements, has more in common with The Lancer and The Big Guy.
- Kim's Suspiciously Similar Substitute Kat ended up not much different from her, but as a whole the female Rangers have drifted to all Action Girls even while generally keeping the Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic.
- Sweet Dee from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is "the useless chick" according to Mac's breakdown of the Five-Man Band. She certainly seems to be the most emotional member of the Gang, but that may be because she's also the Butt Monkey.
- Detective Irene Daniels of The Closer, who isn't seen in too much physical combat (although she can certainly hold her own), and is much more girly than the rest of the all-male Priority Homicide Squad (besides, of course, Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson). However, she is apparently brilliant at forensic accounting - tracking down relevant documents relating to murder victims and suspects.
- Detective Judy Hoffs(Holly Robinson) on 21 Jump Street.
- Cordelia Chase from Angel.
- Robin Quivers of The Howard Stern Show. Her official position is to deliver the news, yet often she's the heart of the show.
- Princess Peach from the Super Mario Bros. games. Even in her solo game, Super Princess Peach, her abilities are very stereotypically feminine. More evident in Super Smash Bros. - in The Subspace Emissary she makes herself useful by breaking up fights and turning potential enemies into friends, mysteriously producing tea, in contrast with the Action Girls Samus and Sheik.
- Rika of Phantasy Star IV is The Chick for most of the game once all of the permanent, non-optional members are in—she's even briefly The Chick in a Power Trio. However, she's much more well-balanced than the typical RPG example: all of her magic-- all of it—is healing or status magic, but she's a powerful melee fighter and her physical attacks are second only in damage output to Chaz once he gets the Elsydeon. Before that, they're about equal.
- Flonne plays this trope straight. Yukimaru subverts it by having better combat skill than most chicks.
- Curly Brace from Cave Story is both this and Action Girl. In-battle, she's only slightly less dangerous than the protagonist (on-screen at least). Outside of battle, she adopts orphaned Mimigas, and a kind word from her is enough to make a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad completely forget (if only briefly) that he's supposed to kill her.
- In No Rest for The Wicked, November is both very fragile and the person holding the entire group together. Then again, she's also The Hero.
- Zoe from Sluggy Freelance, by virtue of being the only character who thinks playing with dimensional portals, Tomes of Eldritch Lore, and powerful explosives is a bad idea.
- Angelika is something of a subversion, but Julie from Our Little Adventure is more of a chick, but also the leader.
- Daphne Blake of Scooby Doo. Subverted in the movie, where she's still The Chick of the group but has additionally Taken A Level In Badass. (Being played by Sarah Michelle Gellar pays off.) Since Daphne's a clear-cut Chick, Velma is The Smart Guy as another woman.
- April O'Neil in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Note that her characterization differs according to the movies or series.
- Starfire of Teen Titans, though she is of the Action Girl and Cute Bruiser variety.
- Maguro from Sushi Pack
- Arcee from G1 Transformers. It helps that she's pink. So very, very pink. Or, as The Nostalgia Chick puts it: PIIIINNNNKKK!!!
- Abby aka Numbuh 5 from Kids Next Door: A definite Lancer. Much less girly than Kuki aka Numbuh 3.
- Daizy from Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! is the demure, feminine member of the four friends, contracting with Widget's more tomboy-ish personality.
- Elisa and later Angela on Gargoyles both hold The Chick role (Angela moreso than Elisa). They are both highly competant in combat though.
- Mirage, the fashion-savy crimesolver of COPS.
- Sheila, the thief of the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon.
- Shandala, the one main female character from Broken Saints. And yet it still doesn't come off as ridiculous, silly, or sexist.
- Jenny in Park Bench, although she's not part of a Five-Man Band.
Examples of The Chick who doubles as another member
Anime and Manga
- Hiro in Wa ga na wa Umishi. Technically a full member of Nanba Salvage, her main duties seem to be cooking, bitching at the guys, walking around in her underwear and, occasionally, data collection.
- Sailor Moon:
- Sailor Moon herself is pretty firmly The Chick, despite being the main character and The Messiah. She acts as the team's moral and emotional pillar, and is least often the one to take frontal assault duties when fighting various enemies, generally doing her best to simply survive until she has a chance to whip out a Finishing Move. This also makes sense when you consider that Sailor Venus was originally the leader in some incarnations.
- Also, Ami aka Sailor Mercury, is sweet, shy, bookish and has defensive abilities based on water and ice, so you'd expect her to be a secondary Chick after Moon. Instead, she's The Smart Guy, since she also happens to be a Teen Genius.
- Cyborg 009, Francoise aka 003 generally senses danger so the big strong men can deal with it, holds the psychic baby and is usually the one who bemoans the fact that their duty as cyborgs keeps herself and the others from living peaceful lives. Yet she always joins the team in battle when they need her abilities no matter what horrible things she has to see or sense to aid them, keeps her cool when it's needed, gives the bratty Lancer of the group verbal beatdowns more than once without flinching, is Dr. Gilmore's most reliable assistant, and when necessary she proves that she is fully capable of defending herself and even occasionally saving the day singlehandedly. Thus, she doubles as The Chick and The Smart Guy, with some dashes of The Lancer when on her boldest.
- Sapphire from the Disgaea series is a rare Ax Crazy chick. Has elements of The Big Guy.
- Amy Rose starts out playing the trope straight, but starting with Sonic Heroes has become an Action Girl, gaining elements of The Big Guy like Sapphire above.
- In Mass Effect, both Tali and Liara serve as both The Chick and The Smart Guy. In the sequel, Tali and Kasumi both serve as Smart Guys, Miranda serves as The Lancer and a bit of The Smart Guy and Jack serves as one of The Big Guys.
- Mira Nova from Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: A princess, so definitely The Chick, but a well-rounded heroic type who contrasts Buzz, so also The Lancer.
- Gadget from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers: As implied by her name, The Smart Guy. It can even be said that, since Gadget very rarely acts girly, the team has a woman, but no Chick.
- Katara, the Team Mom of and the original Messiah of Avatar: The Last Airbender, combines the roles of The Chick and of The Lancer.
- Silverhawks: Emily Hart, A.K.A Steelhart, is somewhere between The Big Guy (Boisterous Bruiser), and The Smart Guy (she's somewhat smarter then her brother).
- Danny Phantom has Jazz. She doesn't join the team at first, but she remains a kind and compassionate person who sees the good in others and drives them to better themselves throughout the series, even if others can be a tad annoyed with her because of it.