An Action Girl is a female badass who is tough and kicks butt. Damsel in Distress? Not her. She is featured in far more than the Designated Girl Fight. Expect regular appearances in action scenes, facing dangerous foes and deadly obstacles, and expect her to win.

For the longest time in many cultures, Double Standards in both fiction and real life meant that went it came to action and fighting, guys definitely out numbered girls. Men Act, Women Are was the rule of thumb, which led to the Action Girl being a subversion of what is acceptable. As society has marched on, this view has faded in some media, leading to stories where Action Girls become the norm rather than the exception, such as stories set in a World of Badass, and especially a World of Action Girls. In real life, at least in western society, most people are okay with the idea of a woman defending herself (after all, it's not like she has any real choice. However, there is still somewhat of a stigma against the idea of a woman voluntarily putting herself in situations where she is likely to be fighting, such as the military or combat sports.

The broad Action Girl concept can take many forms. Faux Action Girl is a case of presenting a character as this, only for them not to live up to the standards of this trope. Dark Action Girl is the villainous variety, Affirmative Action Girl is a cast addition intended to balance out gender ratios that typically also falls under this trope. Less action-y versions include You Go, Girl! and Plucky Girl.

This is somewhat of a Cyclic Trope, with Action Girls often having surges in popularity in the 1940s, 1970s, 1990s, and 2010s, probably not coincidentally times when the women's movement increased in prominence.

See below for even more subtropes and other variants.

A Super Trope To:

Genres and words populated by Action Girls

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