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When the little girl opened the door of her grandmother's house she saw that there was somebody in bed with a nightcap and nightgown on. She had approached no nearer than twenty-five feet from the bed when she saw that it was not her grandmother but the wolf, for even in a nightcap a wolf does not look any more like your grandmother than the Metro-Goldwyn lion looks like Calvin Coolidge. So the little girl took an automatic out of her basket and shot the wolf dead.
(Moral: It is not so easy to fool little girls nowadays as it used to be.)
In her original fairytale incarnation, Little Red Riding Hood was a naive, helpless little girl who was at the mercy of a vicious predator. The story has become so ingrained into Western culture that any time we see a little girl dressed in a red hooded coat on television, it is reasonable to expect that something terrible is going to happen to her.
However, given the popularity of the Fractured Fairy Tale, it was inevitable that this story would recieve modern updates. Modern versions of "Little Red Riding Hood" tend to have a feminist vibe, making her tough, streetwise, and able to take care of herself, thank you very much. This updated version will almost always be named "Red".
A popular, Grimmified variant is to give her a gun and have her hunt down the "wolf" (Who may or may not be a literal wolf) herself. This variant will feature a teenage or adult Red, who will naturally be Hotter and Sexier, making her double as a Lady in Red. (Bonus Points- can anyone find a version that has her say "What big eyes you have." just before she shoots someone?)
A more subtle version simply has a young woman entering a dangerous sitiuation dressed in a red jacket, seemingly to invoke Little Dead Riding Hood, only to then subvert it by revealing her toughness. This lacks the Narmy vibes of the other works, as the Fairytale Motif is limited to the coat only.
Note that, despite the title, Red does not always have to be an Action Girl to qualify as this trope. Any subversive, "updated" version of the character who is shown to be capable of taking care of herself is valid.
- Otogi Juushi Akazukin has Riding Hood, Snow White and the Sleeping Beauty as a Magical Girl Power Trio.
- Ringo Akai from Ookami-san is a Japanese version of Red Riding Hood, carrying weapons in her basket and often showing a Battle Aura of malign power. She largely acts as support to the fighters in the group, however.
- B.B. Hood from Darkstalkers.
- This is one of Sophie's figments of the imagination she meets in the Immateria in Promethea. Notably she criticizes Sophie for drawing her guns poorly while fighting humanity's subconscious fear of wolves.
- Mark Texeira's re-imagining of the tale for Penthouse Comix. "Red" is a werewolf hunter who catches her quarry by posing as a prostitute and...you can probably figure out the rest.
- Red Hood in Kingdom Come.
- In Crimson, a comic book about vampires (and other monsters) they had a human female who wore a red hood named Scarlet (obviously). While in the story she fought with, and against mostly vampires, her origin centered around fighting werewolves (obviously).
- Red in Hoodwinked is an Action Girl.
- Freeway features Reese Witherspoon as a street-wise girl who shoots a would-be rapist in self-defense while hitchiking to (where else?) her grandmother's house (that's only about the third-to-halfway point in the film.)
- Red Riding Hood features Amanda Seyfried in the title role who ends up arming herself and going out to kill the werewolf terrorizing her village.
- Hard Candy's
heromain character goes hunting in a red coat.
- Roald Dahl's retelling from Revolting Rhymes:
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers.
- The very earliest versions of the folktale didn't include the hunter, killed the grandmother off for real, but had Red Riding Hood escape the wolf by herself. Perhaps we have a Cyclic Trope on our hands?
- Angela Carter, known for making updated, modernized versions of fairy tales (many of them collected in The Bloody Chamber), has two short stories involving this to varying degrees. In Werewolf, the little heroine is attacked by a werewolf on her way to her grandmother's place and cuts off its paw with a knife. Upon arrival, she finds her grandmother delirious and missing her hand. The grandmother is subsequently stoned to death and the little girl inherits her things. In the other story, The Company of Wolves, the girl meets a charming young man on the way. When she arrives at the house, she finds that the young man is actually a wolf in disguise, who has already killed her grandmother. Her reaction is to laugh at the standard "What big eyes you have" routine and promptly hop into bed with him.
- In The Princess Series, Roudette, the Lady of the Red Hood, was a well-known and feared assassin. Her cloak either protected her from magic or turned her into the Big Bad Wolf, depending on whether she wore it fur in or fur out. After her death at the hands of one of Talia(Sleeping Beauty)'s Fairy Godmothers, the cloak is claimed by Talia (herself a talented fighter thanks to applying the gift of grace to martial arts), who actually prefers being thought of as Little Red Riding Hood than being recognized as Sleeping Beauty.
- The entire point of Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce. One of the two main characters, Scarlett, obsessively hunts Fenris down and kills them. Her grudge against them comes from being attacked by one as a small child; she managed to kill it in order to defend her sister, but not before the wolf killed their grandmother and ripped off half of her face and her right eye, leaving her horrifically scarred.
- The Sy Fy original movie, Red, starring Felicia Day as a werewolf hunter variant.
- A similar take on the Riding Hood story is created in the finale of Sy Fy's Faceoff. One of the final character makeups is a werewolf huntress in a red cloak based directly on the fairytale (as required by the competition).
- Played with in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Buffy dresses up as Little Red Riding Hood for Halloween.
Xander: (wolf-like) What you got in the basket, little girl?
- Red Riding Hood and her Granny in Once Upon a Time are scary in a fight (Granny packs a crossbow), and that's even without the family lycanthropy curse kicking in.
- Red in Into the Woods is pretty much a Heroic Sociopath. The work goes in a different direction than the norm though as part of the Character Development involves her learning morality.
- Bulleta (dub name Baby Bonnie "B.B." Hood) from Darkstalkers, the resident Little Miss Badass Normal, Ax Crazy, Bounty Hunter, Creepy Child, Evilly Affable and Dark Action Girl With Psycho Weapon. And she's noted in canon as being "a human with such darkness in her heart that even lower level Makai monsters shake in fear from meeting her gaze".
- The video game Fairytale Fights.
- Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ. Yes, really.
- Red is portrayed this way whenever she's a playable character in a Shrek video game. Namely Shrek 2: The Video Game, Shrek Super Slam, and Shrek: Smash n Crash Racing.
- Ruby Rose in RWBY, oh so much.
- Red in Ever After is a particularly Ax Crazy version of one of these, armed with the second little pig's wood saw.
- 'Red' in No Rest for The Wicked. Hunts wolves (and any other "clever beasts" she comes across, given half a reason) with an ax.
- Red Hot Riding Hood in the Tex Avery shorts is no helpless waif when it comes to fending off wolves.
- Little Red Riding Hood from Super Why!.
- The Looney Tunes short "The Trial of Mr. Wolf" has the Wolf tell his version of events, in which Red and Grandma conspire to kill him for his fur coat.
- The Groovie Goolies musical number "Where You Going Little Ghoul?"