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She'll leave you Cat-atonic.



Molly Hayes, Runaways

Like the Old Master, the Cute Bruiser is a living, breathing, frequently painful lesson in never judging a book by its cover.

The Cute Bruiser's Weapon of Choice will probably be Good Old Fisticuffs, a club, or martial arts that focus on direct blows to your opponent instead of pressure points or judo throws. They'll only rarely be using a bladed weapon or depending on projectile weapons, with the exception of throwing heavy objects. When confronted with an obstacle, the obstacle gets smashed.

This is usually The Big Guy in a Five-Man Band, a common subversion of the usual traits associated with that character type. Almost always a Pint-Sized Powerhouse. Often a Badass Adorable or Little Miss Badass. Possibly a Super Strong Child, in which case she may be a Glacier Waif. Tends to overlap with Small Girl, Big Gun when firearms are present.

Contrast with Boobs of Steel, as this type of character will usually be Token Mini-Moe.

Examples of Cute Bruiser include:

Anime and Manga

  • Yuri Nakamura and Kanade Tachibana/Angel(Tenshi) from Angel Beats!
  • Seras Victoria from Hellsing. In a world of Black and Grey Morality, she seems to be the lone wide-eyed idealist in the series. She also possesses vampiric super strength and is more than capable of wielding guns far too large for any human to handle, taking out mooks with her bare hands, and grinding off the heads of those who piss her off.
  • Elizabeth Middleford from Black Butler. Because she didn't want her fiancé Ciel to see her "uncute" side, she initially tries to hide her badass side and manages a very good job until finally when Ciel despite his best efforts ends up injured and unable to save her, Elizabeth candidly leaps into the air and takes down the zombies with swords in both hands
  • Akane Tendo from Ranma ½. Everyone who falls for her talks about her charm and grace and femininity and cuteness. They ignore the fact that she can shatter concrete walls with one punch or defeat groups of armed men with her bare hands. She also regularly punches Ranma a significant distance, and has effortlessly kicked a large metal globe like a football over a field.
    • Anime Chinese Girl Shampoo is strong enough that she can walk through walls (no, not phasing- simply smashing through concrete, wood, whatever with all the nonchalance of someone walking through an open door) and skilled enough that she can handle Akane Tendo with ease. In fact, her tendency to leave a trail of wreckage in her wake (walking in a straight line between points A and B, no matter how many walls or houses she has to plow through to get there, for example) might less be her unable to fully control her strength and more her being a Jerkass who knows she's got Super Strength and wants to show it off.
    • And then, of course, there's also female Ranma - a girl probably no taller than five feet, and yet has managed to obtain almost stupidly high levels of Charles Atlas Superpower...
      • Shampoo and Ranma's girl form are sometimes thought as Boobs of Steel overlapping with Cute Bruiser.
  • Bleach
    • The adorable, energetic Yachiru is the vice-captain of the 11th Division of Soul Society's thirteen court companies, capable of lifting her superior (himself a fairly large individual, a bit over twice her height and probably 8-10 times her weight) and leaping tall buildings with him in tow, apparently not affected in the least by the extra weight she's carrying over her head. She is also capable of emitting a frightening Battle Aura when angry. She has the appearance of about a 10-year-old girl.
    • The meek Ururu Tsumugiya is strong enough to beat up Soul Reapers, and when she fought Ichigo (after asking him to wear large amounts of padding), she nearly punched him through a mountain. She even has a danger mode where she enters a trance and seems to go into automatic pilot to kick hollow ass. Unfortunately, this trance doesn't seem to be able to respond quickly to fraccion transformations. She also possesses a giant bazooka that's larger than she is.
    • There is also Hiyori Sarugaki, Vaizard and erstwhile vice-captain to Shinji Hirako. She delights in hitting people with her sandal, kicking people in the face, and labeling her cohort and former CO a "dickhead". She's also about as high as your knee and has the appearance of a towheaded, foul tempered elementary schooler.
  • While not a bruiser per se, Nia from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is really, really, really strong, despite her small size pre timeskip. However, since it's a mecha show, she never gets to actually punch anyone.
    • As a kid, Simon is also implied on several occasions to be very strong, most notably in the Hot Springs Episode when he manages to lift six-feet-tall-or-so, muscle-bound Boisterous Bruiser Kamina on his shoulders without any trouble. This is despite his being two heads shorter than Kamina and a great deal skinnier. Though Rule of Funny applies to that scene as well.
      • Keep in mind that Simon used to spend most of his days digging around underground. He uses a large hand-operated drill to dig with and doing this surely requires tons of strength and stamina. Despite his appearance, it's possible that Simon is just as strong, if not stronger, than the muscular Kamina.
      • Post-time skip Simon is notably much tougher, able to throw a punch that leaves Rossiu with a swollen cheek. It's a throwback to a punch he once took from Kamina.
    • Yoko easily qualifies as this. She knows how to beat foes down as fast as they come at her. On top of that, when she gets captured in a Gunmen disguised as said hot spring with Kittan's sisters, A kitsune Beastman displays her captives on a projection- censored with pixelation. Kamina, having tried to sneak a peak at the girls thus far jumps at the chance for the Beastman to remove thr mosaic filter on everyone's precious cargo by coming out of Gurren Lagann. Turns out it was a trap- they had towels on. Gurren is whisked away, forcing Kamina to go back in the hot spring Gunmen for a rescue, while the girls manage to break out and go on the attack. Anger flaring beyond measure, Yoko, with a terrifying Death Glare glued to her face, immediately clobbers Kamina on sight with an ultra-sharp knuckle to the face and howls at him with disgust. Kamina is also disappointed to learn the towels, which were also rigged to ensnare the girls, hid skimpy swimsuits underneath and not the real deal. However... Yoko's jumpy excitement upon their defeat of the Beastman causes her buxom bust to jiggle off her bra... and Kamina and Simon see the melons underneath. Poor Yoko is left running off in total embarrassment at light speed, screaming in tears.
  • Apricot Sakuraba from Galaxy Angel, since she'll Megaton Punch any man who touches her away, thanks to her phobia. Outside of that, she's one of the space army's ace fighter pilots.
  • Compared to the many Hot Amazons that populate her class, Ku Fei from Mahou Sensei Negima is positively tiny, yet she is respectfully referred to as "Chairman" by numerous male martial artists for her fighting prowess. Also gains extra cuteness points for being The Ditz.
    • And on the male side, we have the lead character himself, his friend Kotaro the wolf boy, and (though "cute" may not be the right term) the apparent Big Bad Fate Averruncus aka "Tertium" the Third. Each is an Adorably Precocious Child, and they are some of the best fighters seen in the series so far.
    • Robotic character Chachamaru is a Huge Schoolgirl normally, but she has two body types that are much more lolirific in design without losing the Super Strength.
    • Then there's Evangeline, who even without her super vampire powers is still able to beat the crap out of a number of people due to a hundred years or so of Kung Fu practice.
      • Doesn't really fit as she's using Jujutsu. It's been stated that she's still in a 10 year old girl's body, so even a fly could knock her out if it could hit her. She can't afford to take a hit.
  • Birdy the Mighty has already been known as a Badass Action Girl, but what's surprising is that she has been that even at such a young age. The second episode of the second season has a flashback of her confronting an evil monster and tearing off its arm! During her childhood!
  • Pan in Dragonball Z/GT. She was cuter in DBZ, but bruisier in GT.
    • Her grandma, ChiChi, in the original Dragon Ball and her mom, Videl, from Dragonball Z also count.
    • The child versions of Goku and Krillin from the original Dragon Ball (and Goku in GT) may or may not count, depending on your definition of cute.
      • Then we have to add Gohan, Goten and Chibi Trunks. And maybe even Gotenks?
    • Really, it pretty much runs in the Son family.
  • Post-timeskip Sakura from Naruto. While she's primarily a Combat Medic, she makes use of her chakra control skills by building up chakra in her fists and releasing it all at once. She first demonstrates this ability by smashing the ground open.
  • Vita of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. A Little Miss Badass with a hammer that can grow really, really, really big.
    • The series also gives us Subaru. As her Fan Nickname of GaoGaiGar-tan implies, she's basically a Super Robot packed in the body of a Genki Girl. Literally.
      • Early in the series manga, she picks up her partner, throws her over a wall, and runs and jumps fast enough to catch her on the other side. Exasperated teachers (this was supposed to be a lesson in teamwork) made her do it over. We thought this super power was just the Rule of Funny. It was actually Foreshadowing.
    • Einhart Stratos is this in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid. Her child form is completely average size for her age and her adult mode is rather petite, despite this, she still is able to knock around Nove, someone who can give Subaru a run for her money in a one-on-one fight, with ease.
      • Rio, from the same manga, is also one, simply by the fact that she's the most petite of all the characters and can smash a Golem in one hit.
  • Nuriko in Fushigi Yuugi. A slender, effeminate crossdresser, whose particular ability happens to be ridiculous wall-smashing superstrength. Halfway through the series he gets an upgrade in the form of magic gauntlets that make him even more powerful.
  • All the titular girls in Gunslinger Girl have enormous strength due to their cybernetic implants. Add lots of mental instability due to their conditioning and you have a recipe for disaster.
    • Plus guns. Lots of guns.
  • Shinobu from Urusei Yatsura, whose super-strength evolved from sight gag to full-fledged super-power.
    • Though Shinobu later gets bumped to second place in strength by Asuka Mizunokoji.
  • Male example: Hani from Ouran High School Host Club. Just... don't mess with him, okay?
  • Biscuit Krueger from Hunter X Hunter. Invoked on her part because her true form is extremely muscular and... well... not cute, which is why she keeps herself in her "cute" form most of the time.
  • Hifumi from Koi Koi 7. She's perhaps the most childish of the team, yet packs the cyborg ability of super strength.
  • Excel Excel of Excel Saga may be a parody of this trope. Though she's just out of high school when she joins ACROSS, she's been known to beat the holy living hell out of entire armies with only bare fists and sheer force of hyperactivity. She's also apparently completely immune to the Puchuus' cuteness.
    • Also Ropponmatsu #2, a robot girl designed to look like an adorable and sweet young girl because of her creator's... um... preferences. She's a cute cat girl yet she can punch a cyborg through a brick wall.
  • Mikoto from My-HiME. Super strength, lightning-fast reflexes, and an extra-large sword. How the hell do you fit all that into such a small package?
  • Bu-ling Hwang/Mew Pudding from Tokyo Mew Mew, although she leans more toward the acrobatic side. Then again, she can also rend the earth with her tambourines.
  • Yuki Nagato, though even if you're aware of this trope, you wouldn't know it to look at her.
    • Not to mention that in season 2, she bent a fence without any effort.
  • Allenby from G Gundam is a teenage girl who kicks just as much ass as the rest of the kung-fu battling protagonists.
    • And Sai Saici is 16, looks around 12, and is just as much of an asskicker as Allenby and the older, more experienced Shuffle Alliance members.
  • Funnily enough, Alita/Gally from Battle Angel Alita has always been quite the shorty... and yet... [dead link]
    • They even draw attention to it: Sechs,after a body swap, thinks "How could I have been defeated by someone so short?". Sechs himself is capable beating up full grown cyborgs in a small 6-inch-tall doll body as well as taking out an entire squad of heavily armed hobby soldiers, with a small handgun bigger than said body.
  • Brock's Happiny from Pokémon: she's been seen lifting boulders, several cement blocks and her own trainer over her head.
  • Project A-ko - Title character defines the role.
  • Solty/Dike from Solty Rei.
  • The "Power" and the "Fight" card in Cardcaptor Sakura.
    • Also, Badass Normal Li Meiling. And heck, Shaoran counts as a male version, and there's Sakura as well when she uses "The Power"...
  • Chouhi (Zhang Fei), Ukitsu (Yu Ji), and Kyocho Chuukou (Xu Chu, who mixes this with Huge Schoolgirl) in Ikki Tousen. Though, this being a voluptuous schoolgirl version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms, they're more like Hot Bruisers.
    • Then again the closest things to a "cute" bruiser in Ikki Tousen is Hakufu, but even she's hot.
  • "D'aaaaw, Chopper looks so cute 'n warm 'n squishy. [dead link] I just wanna pick him and cuddle with him all day long...JESUS ON A CRUTCH, THE ADORABLE BABY REINDEER TURNED INTO A GIANT MAN-MONSTER THING!!! [dead link] AAAAAA!"
    • There's another non-female example in One Piece that nonetheless fits this trope pretty well: Zoro as a 11-12 year old. He was beating up adults before he was old enough to shave, but in the anime version of the story, he was also arguably insanely cute. (Admit it. If you're female of childbearing age, you probably squealed like mad whenever Tiny!Zoro came on-screen.)
    • And Kuina, the straightforward female example of this trope.
    • Luffy, Ace and Sabo as children. Well, Sabo never got a chance to be anything more than a Cute Bruiser.
    • There's also Alabasta's Kung Fu Dugongs: They're powerful enough to beat the shit out of humans twice their size, and cute enough to make Nami and Vivi almost experience Cuteness Overload.
  • The best example from Shikabane Hime is Saki - 10 years old, energetic, and insufferably mischievous. Wields a massive hammer (or, in the manga, a similarly oversized axe) and can chuck cars around.
  • Kagura from Gintama. Basically she's a little pale girl with a Chinese-style outfit including a red parasol. But them it turns out that she's a super-powerful alien and her parasol is also a gun. Combine her with parody Big Friendly Dog, Sadaharu, and she's absolutely terrifying.
  • Yuuna from Stitch! doesn't need superpowers, just karate—she's small, adorable, and probably the most dangerous little girl in all of Hawaii Okinawa.
  • Ran from Detective Conan, who is both a karate champion and a type dere-dere Tsundere.
  • Emily Adachi from Air Gear has insane strength. Her power is equal to (if not greater than) that of the team's initial heavy-hitter Buccha. In fact, she had above average strength even before getting into Air Trecks. At one early point, FOUR girls try to beat her up for being too friendly with Kazu (whom their leader had a crush on), and she thrashes the lot of them in a matter of seconds.
  • Another male example: Kintarou "Kin-chan" Touyama from The Prince of Tennis. Tiny, not very bright, cheerful, adorable, friendly... and with an absurd degree of Super Strength.
    • Though he is supposed to be some sort of urban-yet-wild young Tarzan, and if anyone remembers the movie, Tarzan was insanely cute (and bruiserious) as a kid, too.
  • And another male one: while Firo Prochainezo may be the size of most teenage girls and immature enough to get overly excited over something like dominoes, it's good to remember that he's a high-ranking member in the Camorra for a reason—he is stupidly good at kicking people's faces in.
  • Hungary from Axis Powers Hetalia, when young. She grew into a Ninja Maid. Also, a male example is Chibitalia aka young North Italy... in a single strip.
    • Arguably, child!Prussia and child!Switzerland are other male examples.
    • Finland also qualifies. Until the Winter War, you'd think his fighting skills were just an Informed Ability...
    • China takes a level in badass and becomes a male Cute Bruiser in the anime, able to take on two enemies with only his cookware and his martial art skills.
    • Definitely Chibimerica, the two-year-old who can swing a bison by its front hooves. And he never really grows out of it. It being a Moe anime, and all. I mean, come on, cheerfully dragging a car over to its owner to ask if he can borrow it? Cute bruiser.
  • Claymore's Priscilla post time skip, is more powerful than the abyssal ones. Just to put that into perspective, the Abyssal ones are the manga's equivalent of physical gods
  • One of Mamoru's classmates in GaoGaiGar has far more strength than she should logically have. She doesn't have superpowers or anything-but when three other classmates are falling from a window, she's strong enough to not only hold but to pull back up the entire group. It's pretty much just a comic relief device, however, as with most of the classmate interactions.
  • Mio from NEEDLESS. She may look like just a cute, pink-haired girl with a teddy bear, but both she and the bear pack enough strength to take down some of the most powerful characters in the series.
  • Gouriki Banchou from Kongou Banchou, although quite small in comparison to everyone else (except the little kids), has a "hyperion constitution", which basically gives her superstrength and a super defense - she carries around two iron balls on sticks that are far larger than she is as her weapons, and when she lands on spikes sharp enough to pierce her weapons, they bend, leaving her unharmed.
  • Eve from Black Cat. While incredibly cute and adorable, almost becoming like a little daughter to one of the main characters, she can turn any part of her body into a weapon, one of her favorites a hammer three times the size of her, and can take down fully grown men, trained fighters, with relative ease.
  • Just about every girl in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple has some level of martial arts skills.
    • Subverted by Kenichi's little sister Honoka. Being so utterly cute and adorable that no one could ever even THINK of wanting to attack you is pretty badass.
      • What she lacks in physical power, she's a VERY smart girl who is able to regularly beat all the master of Ryouzanpaku in Othello, and she's so sweet she's able to get a complete Jerkass like Tanimoto to do her bidding.
  • A male example is Astro/Atom from Astro Boy/Tetsuwan Atom. Sweet, innocent, and adorably babyfaced - and absurdly strong.
    • Slightly subverted in that his sister Uran, despite being smaller and female, is less powerful - though one might argue that she still qualifies.
  • Lirin from Saiyuki is a prime example, where even though she's a young teen with the ability to punch a hole through the gut of a 3-story giant monster crab, the main heroes still underestimate her repeatedly due to her cutesy personality.
  • Bridget L. Satellizer, one of the two main characters of Freezing, has an extremely cute, sensitive side to her personality that is discovered by the co-main character, a slightly younger teenager named Kazuya Aoi. While her normal personality cold, dangerous, and never-say-die, she is embarrassed by many things you would expect from typical 'shy anime girls.' However, if someone tries to push her around, hurt her friends or show they are superior to her, she fights with unrelenting strength, speed, and power. This will is likely partly due to past trauma, as when a evil, seducing female classmate used her 'male-followers' to almost molest Satellizer, she impaled the girl through the chest in a berserk like fury.
    • Also Lana a naive Genki Girl who can rival Satellizer in power.
  • School Rumble's Karen Ichijou is a pure Rule of Funny example. She looks like any other girl, but in her hands, pianos and sofas look like they weigh almost nothing, chopsticks can stop a fork from stabbing someone and apples can be juiced.
  • Pai from the almost forgotten 3x3 Eyes is a classic anime example of the girl who's happy being a cute, innocent little waif one moment, while running around and dispatching/vaporizing demons with her bare hands (granted, that petite little frame houses overwhelming mystical powers, not to mention a split personality) and behaving in a totally cynical, badass manner the next.
  • Shiratori from Pani Poni Dash! is a bit taller than the average cute bruiser but she is cute - and has a hand chop that has an impossible amount of power behind it. In one episode she applies a "wake up chop" to a sleeping Himeko and imprints her face into the metal plate at the bottom of the desk.
  • The bubbly, super cute, pink-haired vampire Moka Akashiya from Rosario + Vampire. With just half her strength she can punch holes into walls. With her full power though, you should run like HELL.
    • There's also her Moe Moe younger sister Kokoa, who can easily wield metal clubs, hammers, etc. over twice her size as if they were blowup squeaky-hammers.
  • Katherine Armstrong is the only member of her family who isn't ripped with muscles and interested in fighting. Instead, she's good on the piano. Or, in her words, "Under the piano."
  • Taiga uppercuts Ryuuji upon meeting him, then headbutts him in the final episode. She has 'Cute Bruiser' written all over her!
    • She's known by the nickname "Palmtop Tiger", a name that means "Small, but vicious". Like Ryuuji says during said meeting, it fits her perfectly.
  • Wendy from Fairy Tail, especially during the Edolas arc.
    • Piss off Mirajane and you're boned!!
  • Kaoru Konoe from Gate Keepers. While most of the cast look ordinary enough except for their Gate powers, Kaoru fits the trope best. As keeper of the Gate of Pursuit, she can enhance her physical abilities to superhuman levels, with all the cliches that implies.
  • Soul Eater: Maka is a prime example of the series. Black*Star might count as a male varient. Patty definitely counts, especially when she takes over as Liz's meister when Kid disappears and beats Black Star in a dual (admittedly not a straight fight).
    • Although she 'fights' (read 'Groin Attacks while his back was turned') Black Star only after thoroughly beating the whole of the rest of her class, excluding Maka (who is the only one Ox judges as possibly better than her). And Kid counts, even though at his most bruising he is more creepy than cute.
  • Arale from Dr. Slump.
  • The only flat chested character in Queen's Blade is Ymir, a cute little dwarf with a massive axe. As a dwarven princess, she's Really 700 Years Old, but she's a tiny, flat chested, Moe with easily the heaviest weapon in the tournament.
  • The lovely lady in the page image above is Ookami Ryouko of Ookami-san to Shichinin Nakamatachi. Despite her flat, slender figure, she can easily take on thugs thanks to her training in boxing.
  • Kimba the White Lion is a rare male example.
  • Any of the Magical Girls from Puella Magi Madoka Magica.
  • Mio Naganohara of Nichijou. While she is generally a nice person, whatever you do, DO NOT piss her off, or bad things WILL happen.
  • Tama-chan from Bamboo Blade. The smallest (and cutest) member of her school's Kendo team (at least of the girls) she also packs an incredible punch despite her tiny stature. Her throat strike is considered a Dangerous Forbidden Technique because with it she's capable of knocking opponents taller than she is off their feet and flying backwards. On her team only Huge Schoolgirl Saya hits with anything like the same amount of power and she's nearly twice Tama's height.
  • In Saint Beast, Gai is younger and more immature than the other Saint Beasts, but his earth elemental is very strong and he has no end of energy.
  • Mana Eimiya from Super Dreadnought Girl 4946 is both adorably cute and a physical powerhouse... though she is also... slightly taller than most of the examples on this page as well...
  • In Infinite Stratos, both Houki and Rin have melee-oriented IS suits. Additionally, Houki trained in kendo.
  • Hinako from Ultimate Teacher has had the strength and skills to kick anyone's ass since she was a kid and is also the boss of the high school.

Comic Books

  • Molly from Runaways, a super-strong mutant 11-year-old girl. Who takes this trope to fairly absurd levels what with her punishing Wolverine and her ability to rip a magically attached cloak through strength. Possibly the Trope Namer, as, though her chosen nickname is Princess Powerful, Chase calls her Bruiser. As for the cute part, well... she's cute.
    • It's been suggested that her powers are psionic in nature (due to the fact that both her parents were psychics, that she glows when she uses her powers, and that she becomes quickly fatigued when she uses them without showing many signs of physical stress) which might explain the magic-cloak-ripping thing at least a little. Tactile telekinesis, in other words.
  • Gothic Lolita from the short-lived Livewires miniseries.
  • Scrap from Dynamo 5 is the most delicate of her teammates, but possesses superstrength and invulnerability.
  • Gully from Battle Chasers, who gained Super Strength from her Disappeared Dad's magic gloves.
  • PS238 has a few of them; the most prominent are Julie "84" Finster, a 7-year-old girl who is a bit neurotic about the fact that she's the 84th F.I.S.S. (Flight, Invulnerability, Super Strength, Super Speed)... basically the superhero equivalent of Brand X. She's also strong enough to wrap a casino sign around a dude in Powered Armor and catch punches from a guy who is so huge that his gauntlets alone are almost the size of herself.
    • The PS238 RPG identifies Julie as one of the strongest of the kids at the school, after Captain Clarinet (but he's older and is a son of Superman-equivalent - who in 238-verse is the toughest Flying Brick on a whole planet where all nobility are Flying Bricks). She's basically about as strong as a 7-year-old can be in that world and, as she gains more confidence, the more formidable a combatant (however reluctant) she becomes.
    • Xavier is such a nice little kid...
    • The other is Cristina Kyle, one of the teachers at PS238 - a short lady who looks like an auntie out to spoil kids with sweets. She was also known as "Micro Might" for ability to shrink... Which made her tough enough to be hurled as a living projectile by her giant teammate to wreck things, and proportionally stronger.
  • "The Female" from Garth Ennis's The Boys comic. A petite, vaguely Asian young woman who, when first introduced, takes out a whole house full of mobsters armed to the teeth while alone and unarmed. Her teammate, "The Frenchman", may also qualify, being only slightly larger than her and just as fearsome, although he's male.
    • Calling the Frenchman "Cute" might be pushing it. He's sweet when he's around the Female, but cute? Not so much. More a case of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass really. Who would believe the guy who talks to coffee cups, plays games of reverse strip poker and generally acts like a friendly guy is actually an ultra violent and brutal individual who, along with "The Female", is considered the muscle of the team?
  • Mary Marvel would probably be one of the originals back in The Golden Age of Comic Books, even predating Supergirl. However modern DC has her use the Older Alter Ego just like her brother, making her more of a Younger Than They Look Hot Amazon.
    • In Jeff Smith's "Monster Society of Evil" mini-series, Mary Marvel's physical body remains the same age when she transforms, and definitely qualifies as a Cute Bruiser.
      • Mary has almost always looked pretty much the same when transformed, right back to the 40s. It's a wonder that she has ever been able to maintain a Secret Identity at all.
  • In Lullaby, the group's strongest member is probably Red, a little fox-girl who can take on aspects of the wolf. However, at the end of the day, she's still just a little girl, and acts accordingly.
  • In the later chapters of Bone, Thorn gains super strength among her powers as the Awakened One. She demonstrates this by picking up and throwing a large warrior—easily twice her weight—and by pulling the iron bars of her dungeon cell out of the wall.
  • Considering that, at least in Pre Crisis continuity, Superboy first donned his costume at the age of eight, he could count as a male version. And he had his powers before that. One "superbaby" story did involve l'il toddler Clark accidentally almost destroying the world.
  • Cassandra Cain (Batgirl) is a 5'5", 115 pound, pretty, rather quiet Asian girl. And she could (and often does) take out anyone without breaking a sweat, due to her ability to read body language.
  • Hisako Ichiki (Armor) from X-Men is a 5'4", 112 pound, cute and quippy Japanese girl. Her power is Psionic Exo-Armor that can take a hit from anything short of Wolverine's claws, and can lift (with a little assistance) a Skrull Tank.
  • Hit-Girl, a ten-year old vigilante who can kick 7 kinds of ass with a variety of weapons.
  • Max from Sam and Max is an adorable rabbity Cartoon Creature whose role in the Freelance Police is the Bad Cop/thug. He's shown to not be physically as strong as Sam, but who needs strength when you have a huge gun and no morals or conscience?

Fan Works

  • Paul of With Strings Attached always was known as the Cute Beatle. He doesn't look particularly strong either, having lost some weight during his “depression era.” But given that he once lifted an estimated 90 tons of solid rock statue....
  • In the Expanded Universe of The Incredibles, one of the late Supers, Stratogale, was specified as having the powers of Flight, Super Strength, and the ability to speak to birds. Rise of the Galeforces fleshes her out through a lot of Character Development, under the fanmade name of Sarah Squall, and gives her a role as one of the main characters of the fic. Essentially, she is the Tomboy to Violet's Girly Girl, being outgoing and straightforward as opposed to introspective and idealistic the way Vi is. To get a good idea of how awesome she is, her Establishing Character Moment in the first chapter involves her tying GLaDOS's cables into a knot.
  • The development of Terry Pratchett's female Assassins, who in the canon are at the moment nothing more than names, descriptions and cameo appearances. In Nature Studies, regard the slight, freckled and girlish Johanna Smith-Rhodes, who has a winning way with animals. To wit, the sort of venomous and generally dangerous fauna that would get her fan-mail from Steve Irwin. She also has a direct way of dealing with obstructive Palace Guards blocking her way to Vetinari. She teaches Natural Sciences, Zoology aand Animal Management to student Assassins and has the capacity to organise some really interesting nature trails for her pupils, in which they learn that Nature is a thing to have wonder and respect for.
  • Elsewhere, the characters of assassins Miss Alice Band, Jocasta Wiggs, and Madame Deux-Epées are similarly expanded upon in the works of A.A. Pessimal.


  • Another princess is Cindy Collins in Zoom.
    • Bonus points given that at one point she actually wanted to where a pink princess outfit, with pointed hat with tassel included, as her combat uniform.
  • Last Action Hero, where Jack Slater's teenage daughter subdues a mook in her bedroom with her bare hands and hardly breaking a sweat, all the time faking sounds of anguish and pain.
    • "Faking"? It sound like she's genuinely screaming in terror, even though she has little reason for it, as the poor mook discovers.
  • Jason Lane from Superman Returns manages to throw a piano when Lois is under imminent threat.
  • Raven in Cecil B. Demented. She's one of very few sprocket holes who escapes the police alive at the end, and in the beginning she punches a guy out.
  • Monica Keena, in a number of roles. She's cute, she's sweet, and she's definitely petite, but piss her off, and you're going down. Just ask Freddy fucking Krueger and Jason goddamn Voorhees. You don't fuck with a chick from Brooklyn.
  • Zoe Bell. Described in the script for Death Proof as "Cute-as-a-bug's-ear Kiwi stuntwoman". In one particular moment, she beats Stuntman Mike with a six-foot steel pipe she picked up off the side of the road, while he's still in the car.
  • Gogo from Kill Bill Vol. I...
  • Maruti in The Return of Hanuman is a little boy who is very strong and able to lift a house. It's justified since as the title of the film suggests, Maruti is the reincarnation of Hanuman, a Hindu god.


  • Lisbeth Salander. Described as being five feet tall and weighing ninety pounds, and at one point she beats up two bikers.
  • Sally Kimball of the Encyclopedia Brown books, a 10-year-old who can beat up any guy, any size; hence, she's the bodyguard of the titular Non-Action Guy.
  • Juliet of Artemis Fowl, especially in the third book.
  • Arya Stark at the start of A Song of Ice and Fire, before becoming an increasingly sociopathic Dark Action Girl.
  • Karrin Murphy from The Dresden Files. Despite being five-nothing, blonde and adorable, she can chip a man's molar with one punch. There's nothing supernatural about her strength, though, as she's been studying aikido since she was eleven.
    • The Denarian Tessa fits this trope—when she's not a disgusting half-mantis demon.
      • Absolutely, Tessa. Also, the junior Faerie Queens are pretty, young women that pack a BIG punch.
        • Well, Lily probably qualifies as cute, but Maeve...
    • Also, Ivy, the Archive. Several members of the White Council are under the belief that she has the power equal to one of the Faerie Queens. It's heavily implied that they are severely underestimating her.
  • Monster, a Hulk parody that showed up in the McGuiness issues of Batman/Superman comics. A cute eight year old girl that can transform into a muscle-bound brute at will. Batman is soundly horrified at the concept of bringing kids into a super-battle.
    • Because Batman would never dream of, say, taking in a young child, dressing them up in little short shorts and pitting them against homicidal clowns, acid scarred serial killers and paedophiles with a hat obsession. That would be crazy...oh wait.
  • Dors Venabili. The cute slicer.
  • Kirsty in Terry Pratchett's Johnny Maxwell series. In Johnny and The Bomb, she even took down a soldier thanks to her karate training (granted, she caught him by surprise after successfully playing a scared girl).
  • In the Mistborn trilogy, Vin, who is barely over five feet tall is one of the most powerful of the titular Mistborn, including the use of pewter which gives her super stamina and strength. This is often used to her advantage, as her opponents are less likely to see her as a threat.

Live Action TV

  • Cameron from Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
  • Rommie, the Andromeda Ascendant's android avatar from Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda: A petite brunette shown capable of taking on multiple super-strong Nietzscheans.
  • Jo McCormick from Big Bad Beetleborgs fits this perfectly (especially since she's a pre-adolescent girl).
  • River Tam of Firefly. Basically she's a genius girl of about seventeen who is insanely talented in every single thing imaginable, and starts out very innocent-looking until she suddenly beats up multiple enemies at once with her crazy martial-arts-style moves. On top of that, due to experimentation done on her by the government, she is mentally unstable, usually being very calm and soft-spoken until something sets her off (and we don't always know what that something will be).
    • This is most obvious in The Movie, Serenity, when she first beats up a whole bar full of enemies, and later when she locks herself in a room with a bunch of crazed zombie-like people, just one of whom could kill several ordinary people, and kills them all.
    • Let's just say anyone played by Summer Glau qualifies.
  • Buffy. Her, and every other Slayer. This trope was the very concept behind the show.
    • And every non-slayer chick in the Buffyverse after taking multiple levels in badass. Cordelia is by far the biggest example, but Dawn, Fred and Willow might also qualify.
  • Djaq from the 2006 BBC version of Robin Hood.
  • Jenny, "She-Force" from IPTV's No Heroics.
  • While not a superheroine/villainess Sam Puckett in iCarly is widely acknowledged as the toughest kid of either gender in her school, took down a bully twice her size and ripped the chain lock off a door when in pursuit of Freddie in "iKiss". Did I mention that she was towing a kid heavier than herself at a full run at the time and wasn't out of breath? Of course in both cases cited she was in Unstoppable Rage mode at the time but still.
    • As for the cute part, she's still a preteen and when she cleans up is quite easy on the eyes. However, asking her out may result in having your thumb broken...just ask Gibby
    • Shelby. My word Shelby. Described by one male character as smoking hot, yet still somehow adorably cute, and by a female character by something along the lines of, "I'm sure your butt is super cute." And she's a world class mixed martial arts fighter.
  • Macy Misa on Jonas is very cute and petite and acts very girly but she also plays for every sport the school has (basketball, football, hockey, baseball, bowling) and has enough brute strength to be considered The Big Guy in their Five-Man Band.
  • Male Example: Wyatt Halliwell from Charmed. Seriously, as a kid he's able to fight demons already.
    • And the one time we see him fight as a young man he looks like one of the Backstreet Boys but is the destined wielder of Excalibur and wipes out an entire room full of upper level demons just by raising his hands.
  • Supernatural has an episode revolving around an actual, working wishing well. One of the wishers was a small boy who was being bullied. He got super-strength, along with a bad temper.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O gives us Hana, who when her natural age looked quite cute and unassuming, got even cuter after she got reduced to a child. However, she's got Super Strength and isn't afraid to use it. To show the extent of it, she punched Momotaros threw the side of the Denliner without even trying.
  • Smallville's Tess Mercer is a Dark Action Girl who does not believe in Waif Fu. Most other girls on the show dance around their opponents and use a lot of kicks. Tess prefers to just punch you in the face.
  • Do Bong-soon, title character of the South Korean series Strong Girl Bong-soon, is a petite (5'2"), slightly built woman who looks at least ten years younger than her actual age of 27, and is the latest recipient of a gift of supernatural strength that is passed down through her family. Despite initially having no training in hand-to-hand combat, she is shown effortlessly defeating groups of men much larger than her, and in one episode deliberately walks into an ambush set for her to demolish every man in an entire criminal organization.


  • In Tarot Motifs, Strength is often depicted as a young girl holding up a beast.


  • Noodle of the band Gorillaz. Being the product of a Super Soldier project, she has mastery of all forms of weaponry as well as hand to hand combat.

Professional Wrestling

  • Several of the comedy-based wrestling promotions in Japan feature Kaicho Ramu, whose gimmick is that she is a little girl, possessed by a demon, and strong enough to casually suplex and chokeslam adults. She actually started when she was 6 years old and (as of 2009) is 8 or 9 years old.
  • Riho of the Ice Ribbon promotion has a similar gimmick, minus the possessed by a demon thing. She started when she was 8 years old and (as of 2011) is 13.

Tabletop Games

  • In the both Vampire: The Masquerade and Vampire: The Requiem, vampires don't age after being turned. So, in theory, if someone was Embraced four hundred years ago as an eleven-year-old girl, she could have all the awesome might of the most powerful vampire elders and look quite harmless. Similarly, it's noted in a few supplements that due to nutrition, most people were much shorter than modern average a long time ago, so that "short" vampires accorded respect by vampires you believe to be stronger than you should be afforded every courtesy...
  • In the Pathfinder RPG, there is a feat called Childlike that allows Halflings to appear to be human children. On the other hand it also has massive Squick potential...

Video Games

  • Strength from Magical Drop 3.
  • May from Guilty Gear, a cute little pirate girl who fights with an anchor as big as she is.
  • Platinum the Trinity from BlazBlue has this in spades. She wields bombs, hammers, frying pans, bats, and frickin' missiles! And then she can upgrade them into things like swords and even BIGGER hammers. Bonus cute points for the magical girl motif.
  • Presea Combatir from Tales of Symphonia, who was originally a lumberjack and wields a massive axe. She is the cutest character, bar none. At one point she is able to drag a heavy wooden log single-handed, a feat which neither Genis nor Lloyd can do together. This leads to Lloyd declaring that "I've lost all confidence as a man". She's a rare case in which the shortest character in the party is also the resident Mighty Glacier.
    • In another cutscene, the frail-looking Colette lifts Regal with one hand after Zelos couldn't lift him. This leads Raine to call all men useless.
      • And before that, when the party first meets Zelos, she grabs him and throws him with one arm when he approaches her with lecherous intent. Granted, she had lost her soul and heart at that point and could not control herself, but wow.
    • Hermana Larmo of Tales of Innocence is a fist fighter, although she focuses more on speed and multiple strikes than sheer damage like Presea. Far from emotionless, though - she apparently teaches other superpowered young children clandestinely in the sewers, and tends to draw out the last syllable of her sentences (and attack names) into a "yan". Also, she's the reincarnated form of the divine dragon Vritra, whose form she can take in her Awakening Hi-Ougi.
    • Karol Capel of Tales of Vesperia is the youngest member of Brave Vesperia (A guild he leads) Goes into battle wielding a Battle Axe while still dressed in his little overalls. He gets his moment in the Blade Drifts of Zopheir when he single-handedly fights a boss until he's disarmed, then grabs a nearby weapon and performs a backflip-attack.
    • This is further emphasized in the coliseum (in the Play Station 3 version, a "Merciless" rank is available in the coliseum for team battles - at the end you fight the party members you didn't bring in with you), where Karol is so damaging that he's one of the highest profile targets after Estelle, who is capable of some spectacular magic spells and can heal and raise the dead.
    • Sophie of Tales of Graces, the game's resident Lightning Bruiser.
    • Anise Tatlin of Tales of the Abyss, while in battle, likes to take her little teddy bear, animate it, and make it into a giant machine of mass destruction.
  • Hinako Shijo from The King of Fighters makes a rather amusing sumo wrestler, especially given the fact that she weighs just over forty kilograms (88 pounds).
    • Team Psycho Soldier has had a few cute bruisers on its roster in the later games. 2001 saw Bao, cute little boy and powerful psychic (and, to many fans, The Scrappy). XI replaces him with Momoko, a cute little Genki Girl that can perform ridiculously long attack chains.
  • Apricot Sakuraba from Galaxy Angel II. She also has a very strong case of androphobia, so whenever a man touches her, she involuntarily screams and flings him into the air.
  • Marcy of Chrono Cross is a tiny little girl in a frilly pink dress... and probably the toughest one of General Viper's elite, which includes a man about as big and strong as an elephant. Most of her moves involve beating you three ways to yesterday with yarn. Among playable characters, Leah, who despite being a child has great strength and HP; she is, in fact, basically a kid version of Ayla from Chrono Trigger.
  • Prolific in World of Warcraft, thanks to Purely Aesthetic Gender and the lack of substantial stat differences between races. You're just as likely to be beaten senseless by a two-foot tall gnome girl with pink pigtails as you are by a nine-foot minotaur warrior with a weapon larger than you are. Sometimes more likely, since the Gnomes are harder to click on in a crowded battlefield where tab-targeting is impractical.
    • With the Cataclysm expansion, female Blood Elf Warriors and female Goblin Warriors could also count as this.
    • This trope is inverted for male Draenei Priests/Mages, male Orc Warlocks/Mages, and male Tauren Priests.
  • Even more so in City of Heroes, with not only Purely Aesthetic Gender but Purely Aesthetic Appearance, period. A cute teenage girl can have the exact same powers as a hulking brute or musclebound, grizzled warrior, hero or villain. In-game examples include Mynx, a deadly Catgirl and Fusionette, a reckless and bubbly Glass Cannon.
    • This is made even more extreme by the fact that the size scale can be adjusted from 12 feet tall to a mere 3 feet in height. Tiny heroes able to floor giant men made of rock, or withstand constant barrages of machine gun fire are so popular that the game picked up a fan-term for them: Microheroes.
  • Exelica and Crueltear from Triggerheart Exelica. One main feature of the game is that they use their grappling hook howitzers to grab and throw enemies hundreds of times their size.
  • Mazzy Fentan of Baldur's Gate II is a halfling paladin in an edition that doesn't let halflings be paladins. Statistically she's a fighter with some extra spells, but the behavior is all there. Voiced by Jennifer Hale, she manages to be tiny and adorable yet classy and honorable at the same time. Oh, and more or less a living buzzsaw through the forces of evil.
  • Alena, the Rebellious Princess from Dragon Quest IV. While she's very limited in what weapons and armor she can use, Alena's physical strength and critical hit rate are so much higher than the other party members' that it doesn't really matter. Especially once you equip her with a female-exclusive weapon that lets her attack twice per round. She also largely makes up for her limited armor options by having the highest evade rate. Basically, her kung fu is stronger than yours.
  • Krile/Cara/Kururu from Final Fantasy V can fit this trope, especially if you give her physically-oriented jobs.
  • While 10-year old Relm Arrowny may not be a great physical fighter, many believe she is the most powerful pure mage in Final Fantasy VI. This, in stark contrast to her grandfather, who is a Blue Mage, and the half-Esper Terra, means that game balance might be Fridge Logic retardant.
  • As a counterpart to the supposedly elegant, graceful and druidic Viera, Final Fantasy Tactics A2 introduced the Gria, a race of dragon girls who focused on speed and raw power, wielding swords and greatswords as well as bows and hammers.
  • Cinque is a cute flower of a girl carrying a humongous mace around, and takes pleasure in swinging it all around without a care.
  • In Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy, Prishe is the Token Mini-Moe, a young Bare-Fisted Monk with Frills of Justice and purple hair. Her punch combos, particularly One-Inch Punch and Howling Fist, are incredibly powerful, those two in particular can crush guards and deflecting attacks when charged up, and her ability to link two attacks together gives her impressive power. For example, her Dragon Kick to One Inch Punch link has a base power of 25-35 if both attacks are charged up, making it one of the most powerful combos in the game.
  • Kaen from Kakurenbo Battle Monster Tactics is a confident female monster hunter whose element is fire.
  • There are a lot of characters in Touhou who could qualify. However, the greatest example would be Suika Ibuki, being barely three feet tall and about as developed as a six-year old... and an Oni with enough muscular power to smash a mountain to pieces between drunken binges.
    • She's not always that short though
    • Indeed.
    • Another good example is Suwako Moriya, who is not only an EX-Boss, but has the most damaging melee combo of any other character in the fighting spinoff, Hisotensoku.
    • Cirno is also a prime example. She's treated as relatively weak in-setting, but that's only because Touhou is full of extremely broken characters. From a normal human's (or even a weak youkai's) viewpoint, however, she's perfectly capable of freezing her opponents, the building they are in, and a good chunk of the surroundings while monkeying around. She IS right when she calls herself the strongest Ice Fairy; for her race's standards, she is enormously powerful.
  • Laharl, Etna, Yukimaru, and just about half of the units of Disgaea. It's not difficult to create an attacking force consisting entirely of BFS-wielding lolitas if you feel the urge to.
  • Amaterasu in Okami. So what if she's not human? She's female, cute enough to makes you want to Pet your TV screen while playing, and is strong enough to bite to death demons and malevolent gods. She definitively qualifies.
  • She may not have super strength, but Emilia of Yggdra Union otherwise fits the trope perfectly. The younger sister of the Big Bad, she frequently appears at the worst possible times, outdone in this respect only by Aegina and Luciana, and is one of the most difficult recurring bosses in the series... and she's only 14. Granted, the game's art style makes everyone look about 10 years younger than they really are...
  • Amy Rose, a girly pink hedgehog who has actually fully utilized her Hyperspace Mallet as her Weapon of Choice. Even in Sonic Chronicles she's classified as a support character, but has enough damage output to put the designated heavy hitters to shame. Her Sidekick Cream the Rabbit is a Cute Bruiser by proxy, letting Cheese, her Chao partner do the heavy hitting. (though in Chronicles she becomes the best White Mage ever)
  • Most female weapon-users in the Fire Emblem series are Fragile Speedsters or The Archer, but Sacred Stones gave us Amelia, who starts out as a fairly raw recruit but can eventually become a General, Great Knight, or Paladin—or, for maximum application of this trope, take the "Super-Recruit" path, thus doing massive damage (as super-recruits have high Critical Hit rates) with a lance larger than she is.
    • Jill from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn (or not) might also qualify, as she's a member of the mighty Dragon Knight class and, according to a support conversation in Path of Radiance, is about the same age as the Token Mini-Moe White Magician Girl.
    • Meg from Radiant Dawn is yet another possible future General.
    • Nono from Fire Emblem: Awakening can become one if she class changes into a Dragon Knight, as she's easily the youngest looking character out of the entire cast, yet potentially just as capable of handling a huge battle axe or lance.
      • In addition, any of the female children that are born can become a General and/or Dragon Knight as long as either their mother or father had access to the class.
  • Saki from the Oneechanbara series. She's 16, and looks even younger. She is a fairly solid swordsman... and her alternate combat style is fighting bare-handed and/or using throws, in which case she shows the ability to tear zombies' arms off with her bare hands or suplex them so hard their heads fall off. Yeah.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, if you keep Pixie with you during the whole game, you can eventually turn her into this through a sidequest.
    • This carries over to Digital Devil Saga, Persona 3, and Persona 4, with a small caveat - they're all used on you.
    • Speaking of Persona 4, Chie certainly qualifies. An Extremity Extremist that literally kicks her way out of battle, her follow-up attack allows her to turn an enemy, as well as minibosses and even bosses, into A Twinkle in the Sky. On the top of that, Chie gains the powerful physical attack God's Hand, which will bring endless amounts of pain to her adversaries.
      • This doesn't begin to describe the unmitigated cuteness that Chie represents. Especially at higher levels and with proper equipment, her agility can get very high, to the point where she's quite difficult to hit. The cute part? When she dodges, she goes "Noink!" It doesn't stop being adorable.
    • And before Chie, there was Persona 2's Lisa Silverman.
  • Wild Flower in Jade Empire is a nice little girl... except the fact that she's possessed by two demons who are battling for control of her.
  • MOMO of the Xenosaga series starts the series off as a Magical Girl, but in the second and third games, she becomes a massive bruiser who can deal the most damage out of the rest of the party barring a Game Breaker like Erde Kaiser. Not to mention her version of another party member's attack in Episode III is stronger. And the other party member is the local cyborg.
  • Pop the 12 year old Verdere Witch, considered to be a prodigy for being chosen as one at her age, use her Earth Magic to augmented her strength.
  • Cinnamon from Mega Man X Command Mission. And add that to wearing armor that looks like a nurse uniform, or, in her Super Mode, a maid's outfit.
  • Chun-Li.
    • Sakura would actually fight this trope better.
  • Ryugu Rena in Gaiden Game Higurashi Daybreak. Her first weapon is her butcher knife and when she's using it she's an uncommon female example of the Jack of All Stats. Her second weapon is an axe which makes her slightly slower but more powerful, as a subdued form of a Mighty Glacier (rare for a girl). Her EX-Weapon is a Cloud-like BFS that boosts her damage output through the roof and makes her so strong she's a Game Breaker. Subverted by the fact that she's on full-Yandere mode when wielding this weapon, making her significantly less cute than the other, non-Axe Crazy examples.
  • Fairy Leviathan from Mega Man Zero.
  • The nameable Yoshi partner in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, who in series tradition comes out scrapping for a fight (and speaking fluently) as soon as he hatches. He's able to serve as a Powerup Mount for a plumber three times his size!
  • B(aby) B(onnie) Hood aka Bulleta from Darkstalkers is a little blond girl, wearing a Red Riding Hood outfit. She's actually a bounty hunter that hunts Darkstalkers (especially Werewolves) for money and instead of bread and wine for Grandma, her basket contains machine guns and bombs. Did we mention she's also a Psycho for Hire in the most literal sense imaginable?
    • To drive the point home, if you are a muscular man that can put The Governator to shame and defeat a whole army of marines, you stand a chance at surviving an encounter with a C-class Darkstalker. A and S-class Darkstalkers (the highest there are) are outright terrified of Bulleta.
    • Hsien-Ko/Lei-Lei fits this trope as well perfectly. A cute and apparently harmless Chinese zombie girl, she can hold a wholesome set of weapons of all kinds of sizes and shapes in her sleeves. Not to mention she has strength enough to throw a character bigger than her into air.
  • Hotaru Futaba from Garou: Mark of the Wolves. She even has a Weasel Mascot!
  • Annie from League of Legends. To clarify, Annie is an eight-year-old girl, with masterful pyrokinesis and failing that, a 12-foot-tall feral shadow bear bound to her will... God help you if she invites 'Tibbers' to play.
  • In Fable II your hero as a child doesn't nearly match the levels of the other cute bruisers on the list, but he or she still manages to take down a much larger, stronger bully who managed to take down a similarly aged teen (namely Rose, your sister) with a single surprising headbutt. And does it in five short strikes with a wooden sword or a similar number of shots from a spit-shooter.
  • Talim from Soul Calibur certainly counts. She's the smallest human character, and quite possibly the lightest character. Yet despite her diminutive size of four foot nine, she can easily take down the biggest and baddest of the roster.
  • Xiaoyu, Lili, and Asuka in Tekken spring to mind. They don't look that imposing at first glance (especially waif-like Xiaoyu), but they have no trouble tossing around the heaviest of foes. Launching a 15-foot-tall demon into the air and flinging around a practically-solid-steel-and-osmium android like a rag doll, anyone?
  • Pop the Verdure Witch from Luminous Arc 2.
    • Actually, almost all of the witches from the Luminous Arc serie are this.
  • A large number of Pokémon are this. Azumarill stands out, however: an adorable, beach ball-esque rabbit. Whose physical power (thanks to its ability) rivals heavyweight behemoths like Groudon and Zekrom by mere points.
  • Itsuki from Sengoku Basara is an adorable little 12 year old girl who will smash you to a pulp with her humongous God-hammer.
  • Ceille from Arc Rise Fantasia is only 12, but her punches can send people flying.
  • Zelkova from .hack//G.U., who is a Flick Reaper.
  • From the game Star Ocean: Till the End of Time we have the character Peppita Rosetti, whom, if you take the time to train her a lot, can become stronger than characters like Cliff or Fayt.
  • Irene from Shining Force III. A tiny woman with girlish pigtails, big doe eyes and a fancy Chinese-style dress, who doesn't speak the local language well for extra vulnerability points. Her method of fighting, in a game where most humanoid characters carry big ol' swords, axes, lances and the like? One oversized boxing glove and her feet. Oh, and she's a monk.
  • Veronica of Fallout: New Vegas is a cheerful, slightly snarky girl voiced by Felicia Day whose main ambition is owning a dress (and she will Squee if you give her the right kind). She is also quite capable, with the right tools, of punching the head off of something. And she bubbles with eagerness to do so.
  • Liara in the Mass Effect series is a sweet, innocent young archaeologist who, at least out of combat, looks like a pretty standard pretty blue alien woman in a labcoat. In combat, she will start glowing blue, breaking peoples' necks by gesturing at them, and summon small-scale black holes to mess with enemy positions.
    • Depending on whether or not we'll ever see her face, Tali may count as one, too. Though she starts out relatively weak with great tech skills, upgrade her armament to Shotguns and give her the Spectre shotgun and watch her mow through some geth like nothing. And then she takes a level in badass between the first game and the sequel(especially)...
  • Ellie, the protagonist of Monster Tale, is a little girl capable of sending monsters flying across the room and breaking stone... with a satchel.
  • Milliarde of Baten Kaitos Origins is the sheltered daughter of an Alfard nobleman. She's seventeen years old, wears a cute dress, and has butterfly wings. In battle, she dual wields giant spiked clubs and sounds a little too happy, as well as serving as the party's Mighty Glacier.
  • Cecille in Suikoden III. Cute as a button teen girl who's shorter than even Thomas (and Thomas is a shrimp, by his own admission). She also patrols Budehuc Castle all day in full plate armor, wielding a spear larger than she is and a buckler, and trains every morning by running two miles in said plate armor. Her exclusive War Horse rune is also one of the most damaging attacks in the game, although it has low accuracy.

Visual Novels

  • Tomoyo Sakagami of Clannad is a quiet, somewhat soft-spoken young lady who aims to be student council president. She also used to (and still can) beat up gangs of delinquents with her bare hands and can deliver upwards of 500 kicks in a matter of two to three seconds with enough force to lift her targets off the ground and keep them there.
  • Shikikargura from Visual Novel Princess Waltz is about half the height of the other princesses and carries no weapon. Don't think that makes her weak.

Web Animation

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Heart Girl from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. Imagine Superman as a nine-year-old blonde girl with pigtails.
    • Nicholas Chandler also. A fourteen year old boy who is perhaps the only "monster slayer" on the planet more feared than Charles Carr. At age eight he used a baseball bat to kill a menacing spirit he still thinks of (at the grand old age of eleven) as "the Boogeyman". Considered the "creepy little kid" in his neighborhood, and is distrusted by parents and children alike... until the children come to him telling stories of strange things bumping around their windows at night. Lives with his parents, naturally.
  • There are plenty of Cute Bruiser characters at Super-Hero School Whateley Academy, since these are future superheroes (and supervillains and superpowered people trying not to be either). Of the main characters, Tennyo and Phase fit this trope. But the best match is probably Desidera, codenamed 'Diz Aster', an 11-year-old girl who's at Whateley because there's no other place safe to hold her. She is a PK supergirl who can apply 8 tons of force at a mere touch. And she can't turn it off! She does everything with 8 tons of force. Typing. Opening the door. Changing clothes. She can't leave her room without putting on a special power armor suit whose sole purpose is to 'use up' her PK force and keep her from destroying everything she touches.
  • Dark Rose of Blood, the leader of LessThanThree Comics' Teen Dream Team, is a cute teen gothic lolita who packs one hell of a punch. A particularly egregious example of her fitting this trope is her second fight against Tarantula.
  • Though several characters of this type exist in Fate Nuovo Guerra, the clearest cut one would Kosviel von Einzbern, a Justica model homunoculus who cosplays as her favorite visual novel character regularly... and can kill you like that character does.
  • Shadow Unit's Nikki Lau may well qualify as this.
  • Saga of Notting Cove. Characters comment on her cuteness and she easily defeats a character known for being ridiculously strong. She's also the youngest of the cast.

Western Animation

  • Spinelli from Recess fits this trope to a T.
  • All three of The Powerpuff Girls, who are canonically the most powerful heroes in their world—the fastest, strongest, toughest, and most capable.
    • Next to them, you have (had) the Rowdyruff Boys, their Spear Counterparts. They'd probably punch your lights out if you called them "cute", though.
  • Toph Beifong from Avatar: The Last Airbender, a short, little, blind girl who can Earthbend circles around pro-wrestlers and crumple solid metal between her fingertips without breaking a sweat. It was mentioned on the DVD Commentary that Toph wasn't originally female (the Earthbender in the opening and by extension The Boulder was the original design), but they changed it partially because they liked the concept of a twelve year old girl kicking the asses of a bunch of people much larger than her.
    • Which was hilariously spoofed in "The Ember Island Players," with a big muscular guy playing as Toph. While most of the characters overwhelmingly hate their character depictions, Toph, in fact, loves hers.
    • In Sequel Series The Legend of Korra Korra displays this trait as well. When the White Lotus Society first meets her, she is already bending three elements with skill... at about age four.
  • Dungeons and Dragons:
    • 8-year-old Bobby. Neither a little girl nor quite possessing super strength, but giving the squeaky-voiced little brother of the group a magic caveman club that causes earthquakes on impact has much the same "gotcha" effect.
    • His friend Diana the Acrobat, a 14-year-old gymnastics expert who has an extendable staff as her Weapon of Choice.
  • An early (male) example is Bamm-Bamm Rubble from The Flintstones, though his Super Strength was mostly done for laughs.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Starfire, an unusual tall example.
    • Terra isn't physically powerful, but her powers are more suited to blunt force than subtlety.
  • Dave's sister Fang in Dave the Barbarian. She might be more of a Parody of the trope, though.
  • Sandy Cheeks of SpongeBob SquarePants is clearly Bikini Bottom's strongest resident, occassionally challenging massive, haevily muscled fish and Larry the Lobster to weightlifting challenges.
  • Danielle in Danny Phantom. Being a clone of the main hero gives her all the powers she needs to butt kick.
    • She can kick with her butt?
      • Well, she -can- shoot laser Ecto Rays out of her feet.
  • Shayera/Hawkgirl in Justice League. While she is an adult, she is easily the tiniest (and most smash-happy) member of the Original Seven. Justice League Unlimited also throws in examples like Supergirl, Stargirl, and Black Canary.
  • Lisa Simpson in the Treehouse of Horror episode where she gains superpowers and becomes Clobber Girl.
  • Panini from Chowder - She gives a beating to Gazpacho and Gorgonzola in The Bruised Bluenana and Hey Hey It's Knishmas respectively.
    • In one instance she threatens Chowder into holding her hand while walking home.
  • In Tom and Jerry cartoons, Jerry the Mouse is usually on the receiving end of pounding and can only get upper hand through cunning and agility. But God help you if you hurt his friend - he will trash you and wipe the floor with your blue furry ass. Moreso with his cousin who doesn't even need the adrenaline surges to pummel cats.
  • Bunnie Rabbot from Sonic the Hedgehog, gaining Super Strength from being part robot.
  • June from KaBlam! can beat you so hard when she's in a bad mood, you might have to go to the ER. It doesn't help that she can lift stuff 5 times her size.
    • And Jetcat.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: Heloise is easily the smallest member of the cast. She's also the one you wouldn't want to piss off. Only slightly second to her is Saffi.
  • Jungle Boy from Johnny Bravo
  • Molly Cunningham from Tale Spin. If you ever piss her off, don't let her anywhere near your shins.
  • Kim Possible, anyone?
    • Heck, what about Ron's adopted little sister, Hana?
  • One word: Applejack. To get an idea of how powerful she is, the episode "Fall Weather Friends" featured a strength contest between her and Rainbow Dash at one point. RD manages to simply hit the bell on the strength-test machine. Applejack? Thanks to years of applebucking practice, she completely destroys it.
    • Well, Rainbow Dash herself isn't that bad. In wrestling part she easily won Applejack over.

Real Life