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As TV audiences become more genre-savvy, tropes like The Smurfette Principle are becoming increasingly more obvious. Naturally, the quicker people pick up on this the more complaints the show is likely to get. So how do modern writers address this problem? Give the Five-Man Band two girls early on. Although this may not seem like much of an improvement, it does signify a (small) shift in how females are portrayed in media. For one, a 3:2 male-female ratio is far closer to the actual male-female population than 4:1. Similarly, it also shows that being a female in a male-majority group does not instantly relegate one to the position of The Chick or The Heart (though those positions will usually be filled by a female). It also acts as a happy medium for writers who want the group to seem "equal", but don't want the show to be mistaken as "for girls". (Note that having a mostly male team is still perfectly unisex.)
Also note that while two girls in a Five-Man Band are where they're most the common, they're also seen in groups of 6-8 as well (rarely ever in groups of 4, because then the split would actually be even). If it's two girls and one guy then it's Two Girls and a Guy, which is usually only present in female-targeted shows. This trope is about two females in unisex or male-targeted shows.
This trope gained prominence in the '90s and is still very common (especially in children's works) today. Frequently the second female will be the Smart Guy of the group, due to tropes like Closer to Earth. See also Tomboy and Girly Girl and Red Oni, Blue Oni, which is often what the two girls will be towards each other. Affirmative Action Girl is when the second girl is specifically added later on; this trope applies both to series that started out with two girls and girls that were added.
Also see Girls Night Out Episode. At least once in the series, there will be an episode where the boys are incapacitated, forcing the two girls to work together and possibly bond, despite any differences they might have.
Anime & Manga
- Occurred in Digimon Adventure and its sequel Digimon Adventure 02: Sora and Mimi prior to Hikari/Kari joining followed by Miyako/Yolei and Hikari/Kari in 02.
- Genshiken was this until Ogiue joined. Ironically, the club is now almost all-girls.
- Rukia Kuchiki and Orihime Inoue (with Uryu Ishida, Ichigo Kurosaki, and Yasutora Sado). They also function more or less in a tomboy/girly girl contrast.
- Also Soifon and Unohana among the captains. At the very end there's four ladies among the captains: Soifon (still in the 2nd Division), Rukia (recently appointed as the late Ukitake's replacement in the 11th Division), Isane (instead of the also late Unohana, for the 4th Division) and Lisa Yadomaru (captain of the 8th Division since Shunsui is in the 1rst Division AND is Captain Commander, with Nanao as his Liutenant).
- Inuyasha: Kagome and Sango (with Shippo, Inuyasha, and Miroku).
- Yu-Gi-Oh! made keeping the number of girls on the show practically an art. Season one had Tea and Mai. Season two, they got a little crazy and had Tea, Mai, Ishizu, and Serenity all involved, although only rarely all in the same episode, as Ishizu wasn't really a member of "the gang". So, they sent Mai's soul to the Shadow Realm (and left her comatose), and then left Ishizu behind when they shuffled the cast off to the filler arc, leaving just Tea and Serenity for half of Season three. Season four had Tea and Rebecca, and also for the first half of season five. The final arc had two different five man bands, one modern, one ancient, with the ancient one having both Isis and Mana.
- Eyeshield 21 has Mamori and Suzuna who are both The Chick (though only Mamori is The Heart).
- In One Piece, Nami and Nico Robin. And before that, Nami and Vivi.
- In Tiger and Bunny we have Karina/Blue Rose and Pao-Lin/Dragon Kid. Played with in that Camp Gay member Nathan/Fire Emblem also considers himself "one of the girls", to the others' chagrin.
- Haruko and Ayako of Slam Dunk.
- Team Natsu in Fairy Tail has the exact gender ratio of 3:2, the two girls being Lucy and Erza. Not counting Happy who is not a human, the ratio is actually 2:2.
- And after Wendy joined Team Natsu, the ratio was tipped into the girls' favor... Even counting Happy, Wendy brings Carla, a female of the same race, with her.
- Cowboy Bebop has Faye and Ed (despite the name, she's a girl).
- Princess Fala/Allura and Princess Amue/Romelle become this around halfway through GoLion and Lion Voltron. The Dairugger XV / Vehicle Voltron side had three girls, one per each team: Haruka/Lisa, Patty/Ginger and Moya/Cinda.
- Young Avengers starts with four guys, but introduces two girls in the first couple of issues.
Films -- Live Action
- The Breakfast Club has Allison and Claire.
- In Alien there are two female characters: Ripley and Lambert. In Aliens there is Vaquez and Ripley. In Alien Resurrection there is Call and Ripley.
- In Prometheus, which is set in the same universe their are also two major female characters: Meredith Vickers and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw.
Films -- Animation
- Susan (Ginormica) and Insectosaurus from a group of five monsters from Monsters vs. Aliens.
- Tigress and Viper of Kung Fu Panda.
- Astrid and Ruffnut of How to Train Your Dragon.
- Chronicles of Narnia: Susan and Lucy in Prince Caspian.
- Rachel and Cassie in Animorphs, a group with four guys.
- The Famous Five has Julian, Dick and Timmy to Georgina and Anne. But only counting the humans, it's a Gender Equal Ensemble.
- Shows in both, the Super Sentai and Power Rangers franchises, have featured two female rangers instead of just one depending on the year. Super Sentai in particular have started featuring two female rangers on each team since its 1984 incarnation Choudenshi Bioman, with periods where the franchise would switch back and forth between having just one female ranger per team (1988-1989, 1992-1994 and 1998-2003) and then going back to having two girls again (1990-1991, 1995-1997 and almost all the current teams since 2004). Usually the two girls will wear Pink & Yellow, but other pairings have been used as well such as Pink & White, White & Blue and Blue & Pink.
- Power Rangers would try to enforce this trope in its early incarnations by gender flipping the yellow ranger if the Super Sentai counterpart was male. In fact, the Yellow Ranger from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was based on the male Tiger Ranger from Zyuranger, while four later Yellows (namely the ones in Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force and Wild Force) all had male counterparts in Super Sentai. No genders were changed for Ninja Storm and Dino Thunder, since those teams started with three rangers instead of the usual five and none of the extra rangers were androgynous enough to get away with converting any of them into females.
- Gekiranger is the only team that had only one female ranger since the tradition of two female rangers per team was brought back to Sentai. However, a female villain named Mele switches sides during the final story arc and helps out the heroes, providing the show with a second heroine of sort. This was naturally carried over to Jungle Fury, since the gender switching practice was abandoned by that point.
- In Go-onger/RPM, the second female ranger was not a starting member, but an extra ranger who joins the team mid-series with her twin brother, giving us another unusual color combination for the female rangers (Yellow and Silver).
- Star Trek:
- Star Trek: The Next Generation has Deanna Troi and Beverly Crusher, after Tasha's death. Both had maternal and supportive roles, being the ship's head counselor and Chief Medical Officer respectively, but Troi was more exotic while Crusher was more of a down-to-earth character.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has Kira and Jadzia, contrasting Kira's emotional performances with Jadzia's much more grounded and calm nature.
- Star Trek: Enterprise has T'Pol and Hoshi.
- How I Met Your Mother
- Fringe: Astrid and Olivia (the males Peter, Walter and Broyles, complete the group of five)
- Breakout Kings: Julianne (Mission Control), and con Erica, ( with Shea, Roy, Lloyd and Charlie make up the complete group of six)
- House: While House's team follows The Smurfette Principle as strictly as can be, the overall show always have two women: Cuddy and a female duckling who is pretty much interchangeable.
- Angel: In the third season, Winifred aka Fred was added to the cast of three guys (Angel, Wesley and Gunn) and one girl (Cordelia). Cordelia was The Heart of the group, Fred was both The Smart Guy and The Chick . Although considering Wesley was already used mostly for his brain, Fred's role could be seen as primarily to act as the Damsel in Distress that Cordelia could no longer realistically fulfill. Therefore playing this trope straight.
- NCIS: Abby and Kate in seasons 1 & 2, then Abby and Ziva in later seasons.
- Leverage features this with Parker and Sophie
- A few Final Fantasy examples
- Rydia and Rosa in Final Fantasy IV. Although the game also has a third female party member (Palom's twin sister Porom), she's never in the player's party when either of the other two is present (except in the GBA version, which has a customizable party feature).
- Lenna and Faris in Final Fantasy V, at least before Galuf kicks the bucket and his spot is taken by his granddaughter Krile, making it three girls and a guy.
- Terra and Celes in Final Fantasy VI before Relm joins the party.
- Aerith and Tifa in Final Fantasy VII if the player chooses not have Yuffie. Later, Tifa and Yuffie after Aerith dies
- Chun-Li and Cammy in Super Street Fighter II.
- Also Chun-Li and Rose in Street Fighter Alpha, before the addition of Sakura in Alpha 2 and even more girls (Karin, Mika, Maki Genryusai, Ingrid.) in subsequent games.
- Elena and Ibuki in Street Fighter III before Chun-Li's return and the introduction of Makoto in 3rd Strike.
- Chun-Li (again) and Crimson Viper in the arcade version of Street Fighter IV. The updates add several other women as well: Cammy, Sakura, Juri Han, Poison, etc.
- Averted in Street Fighter V, since there are five women in the roster from the start: Chun Li, Cammy, Rainbow Mika, Karin and Laura. The updates, again, add other ladies: Sakura, Juri, Kolin, Ibuki...
- SNK fighting game examples.
- King and Yuri Sakazaki in the first two Art of Fighting games (although Yuri was only an NPC in the first). The third game had three female fighters (Kasumi, Lenny and Sinclair).
- Mai Shiranui and Blue Mary from Fatal Fury 3 and onward (before the addition of Li Xiang-Fei in Real Bout 2 and Tsugumi Sendo in Wild Ambition).
- B. Jenet and Hotaru in Garou: Mark of the Wolves
- Charlotte and Nakoruru in the first Samurai Shodown, and Nakoruru and Rimururu in Samurai Shodown III
- A literal example with Jill Valentine and Rebbecca Chambers in the first Resident Evil, although they technically work for different divisions of S.T.A.R.S.
- Gloria and Sharon in Final Fantasy Legend 3.
- Tales of Phantasia has Mint and Arche in a Five-Man Band with three guys. The later remakes added Suzu to even things out.
- Blue Dragon has Zola and Kluke to Shu, Jiro and Marumaro.
- The Original Arc of TV Tropes the Webcomic featured Ms. Naf as The Chick and Ere as The Lancer (in addition to Report, Yug, and Ayers).
- In Homestuck, the gender ratio of the kids in the Earth Session is completely equal; Two Girls, and Two Guys. The same goes for all other sessions, apparently, with the number of players always being an even number and dividing equally along the gender line. So far we know of a two-player session, a 12-player session, a 48-player session, and an 8-player session partially composed of the four players from the first four-player session.
- The Nostalgia Chick and Marz Gurl are the only women in Kickassia (That Chick With The Goggles was invited but has been inactive for quite awhile). The usual Double Standards are averted as they're as Axe Crazy and fight-happy as the guys.
- Pretty Dudes does this in its second season, bringing in Kish as a new character and upgrading December, who was only a recurring character in the first season. The two characters also become friends independent of the main cast of men before even knowing they're connected to the same men.
- The Mighty Ducks cartoon: one very nerdy duck-girl and one very excited tomboy.
- Not counting the Kanker Sisters (who aren't part of the cul-de-sac), Ed Edd and Eddy has Nazz and Sarah.
- The Smurfs themselves had this later on with the introduction of Sassette.
- Justice League: Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman, two of seven. While their appearances might suggest a Tomboy and Girly Girl dynamic, the actual contrast was in their experience (with Wonder Woman as the Naive Newcomer and Hawkgirl as a bit of a cynic) and in their attitudes towards men, with Wonder Woman having a touch of Women Are Wiser at first. Notably, neither was The Chick, as that role was filled by The Flash.
- Young Justice: Artemis and Miss Martian. This trope is so enforced in the minds of its demographic that rumors that another female team member (either Wonder Girl or Secret) will be joining the cast has launched much speculation that either Artemis or Miss Martian will be outed as The Mole, die, or otherwise leave the team.
- This trope, and the anxiety associated with it, has been averted with the inclusion of Zatanna as a long term member without any other character being removed from the team. As for the series's other big team, the Justice League, although there are three female members on the team, which technically means it doesn't count, the full roster is sixteen members so the essential truth of this trope is still in play. Interestingly, Wonder Woman, seems to be actively working against this, as one of her stated criteria for an ideal new member to the League is that they be a woman to help shift the gender ratio.
- As of the end of season 1 Rocket and Zatanna have joined the Team, so that the gender ratio is even with four boys and four girls.
- Teen Titans: Starfire and Raven. More of a Red Oni, Blue Oni dynamic than a straight up Tomboy and Girly Girl situation. The second season added a third girl, Terra, but she was The Mole and didn't last beyond that.
- Gi and Linka from a group of five Planeteers from Captain Planet and the Planeteers.
- On the topic of Gi, the Planeteers also anticipated the "token black guy, token Asian girl" trope. Indeed, one could say the whole show is Token Overdosed.
- Grammi and Sunni Gummi of Adventures of the Gummi Bears
- Daphne and Velma of Scooby Doo were an early example of the trope.
- Codename: Kids Next Door gave us Tomboy and Girly Girl duo Kuki/Numbah Three and Abby/Numbah Five.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender plays with this trope,the first season runs very much on The Smurfette Principle with Katara as the only female out of three,the second season then adds Toph which evens it out exactly,the final season Suki is the Eleventh-Hour Ranger to the team,...except Zuko already made his Heel Face Turn and joined,...keeping the team even.
- Recess gave the Five-Man Band a super-duper dorky girl Gretchen and One of the Boys Ashley Spinelli.
- Code Lyoko: One of the Boys Yumi Ishiyama and Princesses Prefer Pink Aelita Stones amongst the Lyoko Warriors.
- Wakfu: Rebellious Princess Amalia and her bodyguard, The Archer Evangelyne, amongst the Brotherhood of the Tofu.
- Super Why! has Red (Wonder Red) and Princess Pea (Princess Presto) on the main team. Notable as the main team has four characters in it, making this an even split between the male members, Pig (Alpha Pig) and Whyatt (Super Why!) and the female members mentioned. Note that this is a Five-Man Band -- it's just that the fifth member is supposed to be the viewer, who of course could be of any gender.
- Bessie and Abby from Back at the Barnyard.
- Tasha and Uniqua from The Backyardigans.
- Cheetara and Wilykit of Thundercats and ThunderCats (2011). In the original series, it became three girls when Sixth Ranger Pumyra showed up.
- Cathy and Samantha from Monster Buster Club.
- Bunnie and Sally in Sonic the Hedgehog, before Dulcy showed up.
- In Sonic Boom, Team Sonic with Amy and Sticks.
- Cindy and Libby of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron.
- Cookie and Strudel in The Hub's Pound Puppies.
- Sonya and Kitana from Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm. They're also the two most famous female protagonists in the video game.
- Gargoyles, after Angela joined the main cast.
- Voltron: Legendary Defender has Princess Allura and... Pidge, who in this Continuity Reboot is a girl named Katie who starts as a Sweet Polly Oliver. Romelle does join them later, however.
- Later, the MFE pilots have Nadia Rizavi and Ina Leifsdottir.