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Princess of quite a lot

Mary Engelbreit gets this trope perfectly.

"For a princess is an elegant thing,

Delicate and dainty as a dragonfly's wing.

You can recognize a lady by her elegant air,

But a genuine princess is exceedingly rare!"
Once Upon a Mattress, "Many Moons Ago"

You've turned on the latest kids' TV program, and look, there's a girl in a pink, floofy dress with a wand -- and she's got a tiara and ermine cape. Whether she's The Chick, an Action Girl, a Magical Girl, leader of La Résistance, or whatever you can think of, there's one very strong possibility: she's royalty; specifically, a princess.

After years of exposure to the classical princess we have this interpretation that princesses have it easy. They don't have to work (that's their parents' job!), they get everything they want (money and power go a long way) and, in girls' series, they have very marketable wardrobes (blame the Ermine Cape Effect).

Usually, if she's got powers, she's The Chosen One, and it's all because of her lineage. Her sheltered life has left her ill-prepared to cope with real adversity, however, so don't expect her to be much of a hero. She'll likely be the White Magician Girl at best. This also tends to be true even if she grew up in a normal family to hide from her enemies -- perhaps frailty is just in the blood.

Any Kingdom worth the name has a princess. If that's the case, expect a violent conflict with her Aloof Big Brother, The Evil Prince, and/or the Evil Chancellor.

By the way do not expect princes to be given anything like the same sympathy as their sisters (at least in modern works). They are very often either outright bad or well meaning but stupid.

Note that you rarely see any minor nobles as lead female characters, nor any young queens. If she's a royal, she's the princess. Her sketchy genetic makeup will be avoided altogether, and you won't see a single Habsburg chin around.

If she's surprisingly good in a fight despite her sheltered upbringing, it might be because Authority Equals Asskicking.

Oftentimes, especially in video games, she is the 100% ruler of a region. This is sometimes Justified by the region in question being a principality rather than a kingdom. Of course, it is also often not.

Something of a Dead Horse Trope nowadays due to literally centuries of overuse, and having become firmly recognised as a Common Mary Sue Trait. But due to the Grandfather Clause, teenage girls, and how easy it is to parody, plenty of princesses will appear in the pages yet to come.

A Super-Trope to Princess Classic.

Examples of Everything's Better with Princesses include:

Anime & Manga Edit

  • Sailor Moon
    • The title character turns out to be Princess Serenity, whom everyone had been searching for. In the manga and the English dub, all the other senshi were princesses, too.
    • There's Princess Kakyuu in Sailor Stars. One gets the impression that the Sailor Soldiers exist to protect their planet's Princess, because when Kakyuu gives up her life to protect the Starlights from Galaxia in the anime, they go on a suicidal bumrush at the Big Bad to avenge her. Ironically, at the end they are the ONLY characters to survive without the help of Sailor Moon's revival powers.
    • There's also Sailor Moon's Daughter, Chibi-Usa, who is heir to both the Moon and Earth Kingdoms, with a name to fit, Princess Usagi Small Lady Serenity Tsukino. Though she does not exactly make things better...
  • You are facing a giant carnivorous eel in an environment that's thicker than water? Yuri Zahard is here to dynamically enter on your face and give you an ultimate sword. You best friend is dying of blood loss, but the exam won't be stopped because of something as trivial as that? Androssi Zahard is here to kick the examiners ass (a legitimate way of making your team pass the exam)! The team's power houses are about to be humiliated and killed? Enter Yuri Zahard with her Glowing Eyes of Doom. Yes, Zahards Princesses kick ass.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch has another princess brigade, with seven nations being ruled by princesses who themselves answer to a spectral queen who rarely shows up. At least they're Royals Who Actually Do Something.
  • Fushigiboshi no Futagohime, starting with the titular twins and encompassing most of the main cast. The marketing was all over this, tiaras and all: the publicity events were even called "Princess Parties" and they gave out kingdom seals.
  • Mako from Mahou no Mako Chan is the daughter of the King of the Sea.
  • Mint from Magical Angel Sweet Mint is the princess of the show's Dream Land.
  • Princess Silver from Yume no Crayon Oukoku is the princess of the Crayon Kingdom.
  • Magical Princess Minky Momo even has it right there in the title.
  • Princess Comet is the princess of Harmonica Star. Unsurprisingly, she dresses all in pink.
  • In a variation on the frequent "Magical Girl as princess" theme, Himeko of Himechan no Ribon is an otherwise ordinary Magical Girl with an Alternate Universe counterpart who's a pink-wearing princess.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena, while not having any real royalty among its cast, thoroughly explores the stereotype and one of the main plotlines focuses on the titular protagonist trying to decide whether she wants to become "a princess" or "a prince". The series is also famous for postulating that all girls are princesses but there aren't enough princes for everyone.
  • Dai Mahou Touge is a twisted, savage, yet strangely hilarious subversion of the stereotype.
  • Futari wa Pretty Cure
    • In an odd twist, the princess was a typical cute, mostly useless Distressed Damsel... and the mascot creature. Hikari from season two, however, filled this role more traditionally, despite being (somewhat) a Queen.
    • Elsewhere in the Pretty Cure franchise, Yes! Pretty Cure 5 added a Princess among an influx of royals. Yes, they were also mascot creatures.
    • In The Movie of Yes! Pretty Cure 5, the girls and the mascots visit "Princess Land", a theme park where the female patrons all get to wear ballgowns and pretend they're princesses. As you would expect, it seems to be a very popular place.
  • Thanks to the title, Princess Tutu seems like it'd play this trope straight... particularly since the main character Duck (or Ahiru) turns into the eponymous Magical Girl. But the show subverts this with an Aesop that Duck has to accept the person she truly is, and eventually has to give up the ability to become both Tutu and a girl (she's an actual bird). The Dark Magical Girl Princess Kraehe has a difficult home life as well (... to say the least). When Princess Kraehe shows up, Herr Drosselmeyer comments "Two heroines? That simply won't do."
  • Averted in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Like many Magical Girl shows with a fantasy bent, female royals exist, in this case, from Ancient Belka. However, unlike many Magical Girl shows with a fantasy bent, they are not princesses. Instead, they are Kings that possess massive destructive capabilities that make them symbols of power that lead their country to war. Yeah, the title of King seems to be unisex for Ancient Belka. The main character adopts the clone of one of them as her kid. That said, ViVid reveals that they are still referred to as Princesses before they take the title of King. The Saint family, at least.
  • Zero no Tsukaima: Henrietta is the perfect princess... but she doesn't spend much of the story as one, quickly becoming Queen and staying that way.
  • Subverted in Berserk. Princess Charlotte should normally fit the trope to a T with her Princess Classic characterisation. But there is no such thing as all good in the series' Crapsack World. Hence, the girl is reduced to being nothing but a Meal Ticket for Griffith who plans to use her to access to the throne of Midland legally. Being the consort of a Dark Messiah, she is very unlikely to have a positive impact on the story.
  • The Six Flowers of the Hibiscus Shield (magic fairies living in Orihime's hair clips) became the Six Princess Shielding Flowers in the English dub of Bleach.
  • Code Geass largely subverts the stereotype, seeing Britannian princesses (three, thus far) fight and experience all cruelties of war just like their brothers. Euphie seemed to fit, with her naivety and struggle for peace, which only made her subversion the cruelest of all. Though what they did to Nunnally was pretty sick, too. Cornelia, who doesn't even start off well. She's vicious (and a virulent racist) from the get-go. Even if she does have a soft spot for Euphemia.
    • Kaguya also fits, though not literally being a princess, she is the highest ranking of the surviving Japanese noblewomen, delicate, though spirited, with all the personality of a traditional fictional princess, and the head of the NAC, which governs the Japanese "on behalf" of the Britannain Prince/Princess in charge of Area 11. Though she's not said to suffer as much as the Britannian Princesses, all of her family are dead, and by the end of the series, she is the chairwoman of the UFN - composing of the countries of at least half the world - though at the cost of her self-declared husband.
  • Vision of Escaflowne has some princesses who fit the stereotype and some who don't.
  • Hyatt in Excel Saga is apparently a princess of some alien race, but this is never elaborated further in the series.
  • Grenadier contains a notable aversion: its young female royal is a crowned Empress, not a princess.
  • Gundam successors like toying with the notion:
    • This probably goes back to the original series, whose Sayla Mass (real name: Artesia Som Deikun) is a princess-in-exile of The Kingdom-like Republic of Zeon founded by her father. By the time of MSG, however, the former Republic is taken over by the villainous Zabi family and transformed into a "Principality", so her heritage doesn't do her any favor. There's also Kycillia Zabi, who subverts the trope in a big way, being more coldblooded & ruthless than all but one of her brothers.
      • Sayla doesn't really count considering her father was a democratic leader, and Zeon only became a monarchy after her father died.
    • 08th MS Team has Aina Sakharin, the Love Interest whose family was treated as nobles in the aforementioned Principality.
      • She doesn't really count, since her status does not resemble that of any other princess-like figure nor was she in a princess-like position
    • Zeta Gundam and Gundam ZZ have Mineva Zabi, the last member of the Zabi family. She also features prominently in the latest Gundam Unicorn novel, and other (non-canon) adaptations.
      • Mineva is just a puppet, though. She's seven years old and ruthlessly manipulated. By the way, how is she considered a princess? She's the last surviving Zabi, she should be queen even if she does need Haman as a regent.
        • She's still a princess because Zeon is principality, not a kingdom. The ruler of a principality has the title of "prince" or "princess", depending on gender.
    • Gundam F91 has Cecily Fairchild, aka Berah Ronah.
    • Victory Gundam has Shakti Kareen.
    • G Gundam, the first show with a new continuity, also brings the first real princess, the very Moe Moe Maria Louise of Neo France.
    • Relena Darlian (real name: Relena Peacecraft) of the Sanc Kingdom in Gundam Wing. Like Sayla, she is exiled, too, and comes with an evil brother.
    • Turn a Gundam: Diana Soreil is not a princess; she's the Queen.
    • Gundam SEED has two subversions: Cagalli Yula Athha is a legitimate but Rebellious Princess of Orb Union, while Lacus Clyne is not a real royalty but de facto the most powerful political figure in the entire Earth sphere. She is also much more lady-like than tomboyish Cagalli.
    • Gundam 00 drives it to the extreme with Marina Ismail, arguably, an Expy of Relena and Lacus and an elected princess of a constitutional monarchy.
    • Fact: it's easier to list those Gundam series without a princess or two, than those with them.
  • Maria Grace Fleed in UFO Robo Grendizer, sister to Duke Fleed was a Spoiled Sweet Tsundere, Warrior Princess and mecha pilot.
  • Murder Princess is yet another subversion. The real princess of The Kingdom of Forland is a weak-willed Ojou but soon switches bodies with the most Badass Action Girl in history, who proceeds to kick much ass and become the titular character.
  • Pacifica in Scrapped Princess is a subversion as she is a pure-blood princess but must endure very harsh conditions, starting with the small fact that almost the entire world population believes that her head on a stake is a good idea...
  • Sakura in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, and side-characters Tomoyo and Emeraude.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico spent a whole episode late in the series establishing that Ruri was actually the princess of a cheap imitation (literally The Theme Park Version) of Switzerland. This episode was never referenced again, not even in Ruri's next "Previously On..." narration in which she's too embarrassed to explain it. Also played with in the same episode, when she attempts to research the concept and hits a Magical Girl series with her first search. Her response is to narrow the parameters.
  • Lord Genome, immortal ruler of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann's pseudo-Empire, apparently genetically engineered little human girls just for the sake of having a princess around. The result we see, Nia, hits this trope pretty damn hard in title, attitude, appearance, and usefulness.
    • Except for the fact that she is hot-blooded like NOBODY's business.
    • Actually, Lord Genome's princesses were born naturally from his relationships with girls hand-picked because of their special genetics
  • Guess who's a real princess in Mai-Otome? Not Mashiro, who is crowned queen in the third episode. Not even Nina, the real heir to Windbloom's throne (who never claims it). It's actually Mai, whose brother is the prince of Zipang -- a fact often overlooked. And Mashiro is a subversion, not just because she's spoiled, but because everyone expects her to be responsible, and when she abuses her power, it never ends well.
  • Sasami seems to embody this trope the most in the Tenchi Muyo universes. Aeka also has her moments, but isn't quite as sweet.
  • Dianeira in Heroic Age somewhat averts the trope. She's portrayed as pure and a borderline Messiah, but has a limited wardrobe, plot-relevant powers, and has had to do diplomacy and give people orders.
  • Amelia from Slayers. She's a princess of Sailune, an influential kingdom -- though you wouldn't know it from looking. Somewhat ditzy and easily confused, she makes up for her naiveté with sheer bravado and single-minded belief in "the power of justice". A decent mage in her own right, she quixotically pursues her quest for justice by following Lina and fighting (what appears to her as) villains. Hilarity frequently ensues. This is perhaps lampshaded at one point when Lina is bossing Amelia and Martina (another princess, from a kingdom Lina blew up a while ago) around, causing Martina to complain about haughty commoners.
  • Subverted in Naruto. Sakura is the only one of the main Power Trio that comes from a normal civilian family; more directly, Tsunade is descended from a former Hokage and often referred to as "Princess", but is the most Real Life-administrator-like Kage depicted so far.
    • To be fair, that is probably because three of the four Hokages preceding her were dead when the series started and the Third was something of a figurehead (at least after he came out of retirement due to the Fourth's death). And since the main characters are in Konoha, there's not much of a reason to see the other Kages doing boring paperwork.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima, more than once
    • Recent events confirm that Negi's mother is/was a princess (and later a Queen) as well -- and Asuna's... some sort of relation. This means that Negi & Asuna are related, and also that Negi is therefore a prince!
  • Flame of Recca has Yanagi, who Recca declares is his princess at the beginning of the series, and this becomes her nickname from then on. Later on in the manga, we learn that she's the reincarnation of a real princess named Sakura, who once knew Recca's father.
  • Deconstructed in Rose of Versailles, as Marie Antoinette thinks this trope is how she should live, which adds a lot of Irony to the series. How much she did in actual history is a matter of debate, but let's put it this way: Marie Antoinette liked to go to the countryside. She thought it was lovely and idyllic. Problem: No one was particularly interested in disabusing her of this notion. So when she got there, it would be a sanitized version of the real thing; the cows were scrubbed, there wasn't a pat to be seen, chickens got fresh hay every hour on the hour (for pooping on, I mean), and such peasants as might have been lurking around were pretty clean and well-fed too. So when the news came that the peasants were revolting because they had no bread, it's almost a wonder that she didn't actually say a certain famous, if inaccurate, expression of her belief that the peasantry had access to sugary confections.
    • Also note that this is one of the few series where the lead female, Oscar, is minor nobility.
  • At least one of the female Spider Riders is royal, too.
  • GoLion (Voltron) had Princess Fala (Allura), ruler of the planet that Golion protected who'd later go on to pilot the Blue Lion when the original pilot was killed off (or Put on a Bus in Voltron).
  • Princess Sapphire, the eponymous Princess Knight.
  • Rather disturbing example in Yu-Gi-Oh, in Kaiba's virtual reality video game there is a princess whose appearance is based on Mokuba. (Probably Kaiba lampshading Mokuba's Distressed Damsel tendencies.) Naturally, Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series had a field day with this.

 Yugi: Just what the hell are you anyway? Are you a boy or a girl?

Joey: Maybe it's a shemale. You know, like Bakura.

  • Kuro in Kurokami is a princess.
  • Kimi no Kakera, a manga by the same author as Saikano, subverts this trope, stomps on it, drags it through the mud, and shoots it. Icoro, the child princess in the story, has been reduced to little more than a servant to the people of the ruling Politik and Warmonger tribes after a political coup ended the monarchy and her parents disappeared. She bears backbreaking work, little food, and constant cruelty from everyone (including the talking stuffed animal that's supposed to be her companion) so that none of it will be forced on her little brother, the prince, who is also blind. The suffering common people that she meets later don't know about any of this, and on hearing she's princess, scorn her for the privilege they believe she enjoys. It's pretty much to the point that her being the princess is the root of all Icoro's problems.
  • Guess who Esther Blanchett in Trinity Blood turns out to be in the end. Yes, you got it: the long-lost heiress to the Albion throne, of all places.
  • Gratuitous princesses are taken to their logical extreme in Macross Frontier, where the writers don't let the fact that Princess Alto is neither nobility nor even female get in the way of making him the series's pretty little Rebellious Princess.
  • In the first installment of Project A-ko, C-ko is revealed to be an alien princess.
  • When Yotsuba&! first glimpses tomboy Miura's highrise apartment:

 Yotsuba: Miura's house is huge! Are you a princess?!

Miura: Yes. I've been hiding it, but I'm actually a princess. Listen, don't tell anyone, OK? It's a secret.

  • The titular heroine of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water is a circus acrobat who performs under the stage name of "Princess Nadia", unaware that her Orphan's Plot Trinket identifies her as a genuine princess from a lost civilization. Subverted in that Nadia doesn't like being called "princess" because the word has bad associations for her.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist mostly avoids the trope, but does have one character - Mei Chang - who is a daughter of the Emperor of Xing. She's only rarely identified in-story as a princess, however, and almost never acts like one; she's too busy being Badass Adorable.
    • In what can only be described as a subversion, there's also Olivier Mira Armstrong, whose mannerisms are about as un-princessy as you can get while still being a regal Lady of War. But in the manga, her men (the Briggs Bears) occasionally refer to her as "the Princess" as a sign of their love and respect.
  • To Love Ru has Lala, Momo and Nana Deviluke, all regularly identified by their titles.
  • Completely inverted in Digimon Adventure in the one episode when Mimi becomes a "princess" (though she's pretty much self-proclaimed). A bunch of Geckomon need her voice to wake up their lord, she seizes the opportunity to the fullest and milks the poor creatures for all they're worth. She becomes spoiled, betrays her friends and overall acts as a total bitch until a terrible nightmare makes her realize her wrongdoings.

Card Games Edit

  • The Yu-Gi-Oh card game has Princess Pikeru and Princess Kuran, a pair of weak magicians that once they go through a "trial", become considerably stronger and their respective card effects double in power.

Comics Edit

  • Princess Diana of Themiscyra, a.k.a. Wonder Woman. The only thing she has in common with most on this list is the tiara (though she has been known to break out the dress for formal occasions).
  • Princess Projectra (Vauxhall-Wynzorr) of the Legion of Super-Heroes is a fabulously rich illusion caster from the treasure-planet of Orando. (Until her homeworld was blown up.)
    • Though, to be fair, the first incarnation of Princess Projectra did eventually become Queen Projectra.
  • Runaways: Although she has no royal blood at all, Princess Powerful would like to have a word with you.
  • Princess Silvy of Illusitania in the Italian comic storyline Mickey Mouse and the World to Come.
  • The princess who is Little Nemo's dream playmate.
  • Princess Iolande of The Green Lantern Corps
  • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld
  • The Archie comic of Sonic the Hedgehog has Princess Sally. There's not much princess-y about her, so probably the only reason she got the title in the first place was this trope (though the comics eventually expanded on this backstory).
    • She was princess of the kingdom before it was taken over by Robotnik so it actually makes sense that she's still princess. She won't become queen until they take back the land and she can be crowned.
    • In the comics, once they did take back the land, her parents were revealed to be alive, the powers that be tried to kill her off but got an Executive Veto, and an older brother popped up out of nowhere. Pretty strong evidence of a conspiracy to keep her a princess.
      • And hilariously, it ended up causing problems down the line when her subjects decided they wanted democracy. It wasn't quite as big a mess as Civil War but it did end up with the leader of the revolution (Tails' father) in a swordfight with the current king (Sally's brother) until Sally came in and told them to act like adults.

Fan Works Edit

  • Averted with Princess Jody, the Big Bad of Super Milestone Wars.
  • Princess Marissa Amber Flores Picard Gordon, heir to the Throne of Essex.
  • Several princesses can be found in That Damn Mpreg, ranging from Rebecca Altman-Kaplan, who eventually abdicates her position in favor of her younger brother to Princess Surdani of the Inhuman Royal Family, who eventually becomes Queen due to one brother being insane and the other brother refusing to be exposed to the Terrigen Mists.
  • Marina and Magalie, princesses of the Aequori mermaids and Sierra the Princess of Nadir in Keepers of the Elements.

Films -- Animation Edit

  1. Princess Snow White -- Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  2. Cinderella -- Cinderella (1950)
  3. Princess Aurora -- Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  4. Princess Ariel -- The Little Mermaid (1989)
  5. Belle -- Beauty and the Beast (1991)
  6. Princess Jasmine -- Aladdin (1992)
  7. Pocahontas -- Pocahontas (1995)
  8. Mulan -- Mulan (1998)
  1. Tiana -- The Princess and the Frog (2009): Notably, the first one to be created after "Disney Princess" became an official franchise. Her friend Charlotte seems to be a spoof on this mindset.
  2. Princess Rapunzel -- Tangled (2010)
    • Most of these characters either are princesses by birth or become princesses by marriage. Oh, and the REAL reason Disney didn't add Giselle from Enchanted to the lineup was because they'd have to pay the actor royalties. (Although it's also true that Giselle never technically becomes a princess, going from a peasant to a fashion designer.)
    • The reason the Disney Animated Canon is stuffed with princesses is actually because they draw so much on fairy tales... but as of the 1990s, they centered merchandising on the princess characters, and you know the rest. Actually, only some of the princess characters got in; those that had bit parts, were from unpopular movies, or just weren't as merchandisable were shoved in the back. And they've tried a few times to add non-royals into the line, despite Mulan, Esmeralda, and Alice definitely not being princesses, either to ease concerns that the classic pantheon wasn't dynamic and/or integrated enough (Mulan being the best Action Girl they could use, since they didn't have one) or to fill out various storybooks, music albums, etc. Pocahontas, another honorary member of the group, actually is, but might not have been considered "classic" when the line was introduced. (That, or her clothes aren't considered pretty enough.) Naturally, this was somewhat referenced in Kingdom Hearts, where those who qualified as "Princesses of Heart" just happened to be popular characters on both sides of the Pacific. Alice, a non-princess, was in fact added to the list, with the thin justification that she becomes a queen in the original books (and as foreshadowing that another seemingly normal character is also one). Ariel was in fact REMOVED from the list for Kingdom Hearts, probably because, as a mermaid, she wouldn't be able to leave Atlantica to interact with the larger plot, but she gets to be an Action Girl Guest Star Party Member.
    • Most people would now count Pocahontas as a princess, and she's usually merchandised as one, but this is very amusing (or annoying) for somebody who actually knows something about Native American culture. Her father being the chief says nothing about her "royalty".
    • Other commonly forgotten Disney princesses (or queens) include Eilonwy, Tiger Lily, Kidagakash, Maid Marian (mentioned in the film to be King Richard's niece), and Nala (by marriage to Simba). If you stretch, you can also include Jane (queen of the jungle), Alice in Wonderland (who becomes a queen in the chess sense in Through the Looking Glass), and Megara (who originally was a daughter of King Chreon).
    • Heck, the princesses were featured prominently at Disney Theme Parks even before the big marketing push began.
    • Ironically, the Powers That Be at Disney have decided to start deliberately averting this trope (to a certain extent) after theorizing that marketing The Princess and the Frog as a Princess movie turned away the male demographic. The major results so far have been:
    1. Changing the title of their "Rapunzel" adaptation to Tangled, and...
    2. Shelving an adaptation of "The Snow Queen", whose female protagonist is, ironically, neither a princess nor in love with a prince. [1]
      1. Now its been announced they are going to do an adaption of "The Snow Queen" now renamed Frozen, following the lead of Enchanted and Tangled.
    • And then there's Atta and Dot from A Bugs Life. Despite both of them being insects, they are actually the only two princesses created specifically for a Pixar film.
    • Now Mérida, from Brave, is going to be Pixar's first female character in a starring role -- and yes, she's a princess.
    • Eilonwy of The Black Cauldron: There's absolutely no point to having her be a princess. She does doesn't do anything princessy. She doesn't wear fancy dresses, give orders, I don't know sing. We don't even see her kingdom or castle. All she has going for her is the name so really there's not reason for it.
    • Kidagakash from Atlantis the Lost Empire, who is the only princess created by Disney to ever become a Queen at the end of her film.
  • Spoofed all over the place in the Shrek franchise, especially the third film. (The princesses from that got their own toy line, too, but this seems to be a further parody rather than hypocrisy.)
  • Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. Not that you could tell there's royalty around without being told so.
  • The Swan Princess
  • The Flight of Dragons has Princess Melisande, the Happily Adopted foster daughter of the wizard Carolinus. Her being a princess has nothing to do with the story, and probably the only reason she is one at all is so that the hero can win the heart of a princess like in any proper fairy tale.

Films -- Live-Action Edit

  • Star Wars. Let's not forget Princess Leia. The plot of the series could have been exactly the same were she not a princess (the princess of a planet that is brutally destroyed in the first movie!), and yet she is. (Padmé from the prequel series was a queen, though, and only that in the first movie.)
    • Weirdly, Padmé is specifically an elected queen, even though she's barely in her teens. One wonders what the other candidates must have been like.
      • This seems to be common practice on Naboo; Episode III featured an even younger Queen, and according to the EU most Naboo politicians retire at 20, though both Padmé and Palpatine defied this trend. Well, we do get the impression the planet's supposed to be too idealistic for its own good. The EU also gave Padmé a Princess title in her past; she was Princess of Theed (and governing the place at the age of 12!) before she was elected Queen.
        • Monarchy does not work that way! Well, this is a "Galaxy far, far away".
        • Admittedly, in the Expanded Universe, they explain this as Naboo colonists coming from another world, which had (and continues to have) a hereditary monarchy. While the Naboo gave up the government structure, they kept the traditional titles for head of state and other positions despite their elected nature. Reminiscent of the fact that one of the proposed and rejected titles for the first president of America was "His Elected Majesty".
    • Also, in the Star Wars Expanded Universe, there's:
      • Jedi Princess Kendalina;
      • Warrior Princess Plourr, X-Wing Pilot;
      • One-armed Jedi Princess (later Queen) Tenel Ka.
  • Averted in Dungeons and Dragons: Thora Birch's character is an empress.
  • In the movie Stardust all the princes (save one) are evil, but their sister the princess is as sweet as can be. The book avoided this. She wasn't exactly evil, but growing up surrounded by vindictive princes and later a vindictive witch made her very shrewd and cold-hearted. In both versions, she is the hero's mother.
    • Possibly justified in that the princes were expected to kill each other off until there was only one left to inherit the throne. Since girls couldn't rule the kingdom, there was no reason for the princess to be involved in such scheming.
  • Bill and Ted have a time machine in which they can bag any historical babe they wanted. No points in guessing who they pick.
  • The makers of the Dead or Alive movie probably thought of this trope when they made Kasumi a ninja princess.
  • A Kid in King Arthur's Court took out Guinivere and gave the widowed King Arthur two daughters, Princess Katey and Princess Sarah.
  • The Disney Channel movie Princess Protection Program gives princesses... well, their own protection program should they find themselves in danger. Presumably this trope is the reason why princes are not mentioned as getting the same privileges.
  • Neytiri from Avatar. Did she really need to be The Chief's Daughter? (To be fair, her place as the successor to the tribe's shaman gave her statement that there had been a sign from Eywa considerable weight, but still.)
  • The Princess in The Thief of Bagdad -- she's just "the Princess".
  • Princess Tamina in Prince of Persia the Sands of Time, who is apparently the princess of a city: one comment by her suggests that for some reason, each woman who guards the time-reversing dagger is called a princess.
    • The movie seems to imply that her city is an independent principality. As such the title of the city’s monarch would be princess, especially if only women ascend to the throne.
  • Altogether subverted by Mirror Mask: The Dark Princess is the Evil Counterpart of the main character, who is an ordinary circus girl.
  • In the So Bad It's Good children's adventure film Quest of the Delta Knights, it's revealed that serving wench/implied prostitute Thena is actually the long-lost Princess Athena of a neighboring kingdom.

Literature Edit

  • A Little Princess
  • Averted in the Ella Enchanted novel. She marries a Prince, yet specifically requests not to be a Princess.
  • Lloyd Alexander's The Prydain Chronicles: The chatty redhead who gets protagonist Taran out of a scrape (and proceeds to irritate him for the rest of the book) in The Book of Three turns out to be "Eilonwy daughter of Angharad daughter of Regat of the Royal House of Llyr." She's the last surviving member of a royal, magic-wielding bloodline. The complications of her ancestry form the plot of the third book in the series.
    • Justified, somewhat, in that Prydain is based on ancient Wales, which did have a number of sub-kingdoms united under the rule of a single High King. So finding a stray princess wandering around Prydain was less contrived than it might be in another fictional country.
    • Taran was pretty startled by the revelation though. He was still getting used to the idea of royalty not always looking (or acting) how he imagined. (There's also the fact that they'd spent most of the book together, and he didn't find out she was a princess until literally the last page because Eilonwy never thought it was important enough to mention.)
  • From Edgar Rice Burroughs's works: A Princess of Mars. Thuvia, Maid of Mars. Tara in Chessmen of Mars. Valla Dia in The Master Mind of Mars. And many others. Not always evident at first.
  • Averted with the ruthless, patricidal/fratricidal Idaan Machi in The Long Price Quartet.
  • The Princess Diaries seems to embrace this, so say the pretty covers and The Film of the Book. Actually, the books go into a lot of politics and how "I Just Want to Be Normal" is not such an odd complaint if you happen to become a princess. The protagonist's grandmother especially is used to dash the princess dream; besides the ridiculous self-preserving measures she uses on the titular princess, dear old Grandmere also refuses to let her ex-daughter-in-law invite her own friends to her own wedding, feeling embarrassed by them, and instead invites the likes of Martha Stewart and Coco Chanel. Mia's Soapbox Sadie friend is used in contrast to say that the monarchy is outdated and its glamour far too overrated. Nevertheless, the films are advertised as the most blatantly plotless little-girl's-wish-fulfillment thing ever.
    • In the actual movies though, the job is still shown to be pretty difficult.
  • In the eleventh book of A Series of Unfortunate Events, spoilt brat Carmelita Spats dresses up as a "tap-dancing ballerina fairy princess veterinarian."
  • You want a princess? There's, like, hundreds of princesses in War and Peace. There aren't even that many princes. Justified because in Imperial Russia, the title could (and usually did) mean the top rank of non-royal nobility. There were princ(ess)es of Imperial blood, who were actually related to the Tsar, and there were the noble-but-not-royal kind.
    • Royal princesses were usually titled Grand Duchess rather than Princess, the implication of the title being that they ranked higher than a regular princess. Since other princesses were non-royal, this was accurate.
      • Grand Duchesses were the direct relatives of the Emperor. Indirect ones were titled prince(ss)es of imperial blood.
      • The confusion is due to different conventions of translating the Russian terms into other languages. In imperial Russia there were the dignities of knyaz and knyaginya, which is usually translated as "prince" and "princess", so the higher rank of respectively veliki knyaz and velikaya knyaginya correctly should be translated as "grand prince" and "grand princess", not "grand duke" and "grand duchess". In German for instance, which also differentiates between princes and princesses who are merely non-reigning members of a reigning family (Prinz and Prinzessin) and those who actually rule a principality (e. g. the Fürst and Fürstin of Liechtenstein), the higher Russian ranks are translated as Großfürst and Großfürstin).
  • Pick a fantasy series. Any fantasy series.
    • Interestingly though, while The Lord of the Rings features royally-connected ladies like Galadriel, Arwen and Eowyn, the title "princess" is never actually used, though "prince" is.
  • Land of Oz series: Oz's Princess Ozma and Princess Dorothy.
  • Averted in The Wheel of Time. Elayne is the daughter of a queen and presumptive heir to the throne of Andor, but though the word "princess" appears exactly once, referenced as an archaic title that had long ago fallen out of use, "Daughter-heir" is used with the same frequency and arrogance.
  • In the third Book of Swords, Mark rescues a young woman from a cage in Vilkata's camp. No, he was not sent to rescue her nor did he have any idea who she was. Both are seriously wounded, but thanks to the Power of Love (quite literally by summoning Aphrodite) they both survive. And inexplicably, the woman turns out to be the Princess, though she is the top Royal and is obviously in charge, of the lands Mark was sent to. Though neither of them knew it until her people cheer her.
  • Princess Marjorie Bruce from Girl in a Cage. She, of course, is the girl in the cage
  • Averted in the Bahzell series. Although the main character is technically a prince, he's way way down the list to inherit the throne and Word of God states he won't be king. Further he's the son of a king, but the king was chosen from all the tribal chiefs of their people.
    • It gets further complicated with many different cultures and a rash of history that leaves the king of as least one good size country using the title of baron due to the historical king being long dead and no noble above king surviving the Godamerung. So far most of the women saved in the series tend to be lower class being abused by evil royals. And the badass female warriors all have lower class backgrounds.
  • Averted in The Council Wars by none of the good guys having true royals. The government is a republic modeled off Rome.
  • Subverted in the book Summer Knight of The Dresden Files, where the Big Bad turns out to be Aurora, the effectively-princess of the usually-nicer half of the Fair Folk.
  • Princess Irene, the title princess of George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin and The Princess and Curdie.

 While the princess stared bewildered, with her head just inside the door, the old lady lifted hers, and said, in a sweet, but old and rather shaky voice, which mingled very pleasantly with the continued hum of her wheel:

"Come in, my dear; come in. I am glad to see you."

That the princess was a real princess you might see now quite plainly; for she didn't hang on to the handle of the door, and stare without moving, as I have known some do who ought to have been princesses but were only rather vulgar little girls. She did as she was told, stepped inside the door at once, and shut it gently behind her.

    • However, it is worth mentioning that the author either subverts this trope or takes it Up to Eleven by breaking the fourth wall to tell the reader that they are a princess too.
  • Princess Saralinda in James Thurber's The 13 Clocks
  • Quite literal in The Phantom Tollbooth, with the Princesses of Sweet Rhyme and Pure Reason, of the Kingdom of Wisdom. They are apparently high enough in authority that their brothers King Azaz and the Mathemagician, rulers of their own respective countries, appeal to them when there's a dispute... and once they're banished, Wisdom goes to Hell in a handbasket. It's only after they're rescued in The Quest that the Kingdom becomes sane again... everything is, in fact, better with them in charge.
  • In Patricia A. McKillip's The Bell at Sealey Head, sometimes Emma opens a door and meets up with the Princess Ysabo; they talk, but Emma never dares go into the room for fear the door won't open for her.
  • Liriel Baenre. Of course her kingdom is evil, so she's fleeing it.
  • The Belgariad has, of course, Princess Ce'nedra. The same author also has Princess Danae, who's really the Child Goddess Aphrael in the Sparhawk novels.
  • Ranger's Apprentice has Princess Cassandra, who eventually becomes a Rebellious Princess Action Girl.
  • Brandon Sanderson seems to like princesses. Elantris has Sarene of Teod, a highly competent politician and diplomat (and part-time Action Girl). In Warbreaker we have Siri, a happy-go-lucky free spirit who gets forced into a marriage with someone everyone thinks is an A God Am I Evil Overlord. The truth is rather more complex. Her older sister Vivenna is highly intelligent and poised but has her illusions about the moral superiority of herself and her nation pretty much torn up during the course of the book though she becomes a better person for it, gaining sympathy for the lower classes she never had before. They have a middle sister too, a member of the national religious order who doesn't do a whole lot to advance the plot.
  • Averted in The Chronicles of Narnia where the two Pevensie girls, Susan and Lucy, become Queens of Narnia in the first book, bypassing Princess altogether.
  • In The Royal Diaries it's played with to become everything's worse with princesses as all of the narrators are technically royal and young but that's what makes their lives worse than a non-princess sooner or later. Hope that it's sooner.
  • Definitely The Faerie Path series by Frewin Jones, where seven main characters are princesses.
  • Another aversion comes from Mary deMorgan's The Necklace of Princess Fioremonde" about an evil princess who traps her suitors' spirits in the beads of her necklace.
  • The Honor Harrington series has its fair share of princesses. The first member of the Manticorian Royal Family adopted by a treecat was Princess Adrienne, Princess Ruth the member of the Royal Family to become a spy.
  • Averted in the Safehold series by David Weber. The lead female character is beautiful, headstrong, and most importantly, spunky, but she's an actual queen.
  • Miriamele in Memory Sorrow and Thorn is the Rebellious Princess version, fleeing the Arranged Marriage her Jerkass father attempts to force upon her and becoming part of the desperate struggle against the Storm King's power. She's not bad in a fight, being The Archer, and plays a significant role in the redemption of the monk, Cadrach. True to the trope, she's also The Hero Simon's Love Interest and becomes his queen after his Moses in the Bulrushes reveal.
  • Invoked in Seven Ancient Wonders, when the heroes are given cutesy nicknames by a 5-year-old girl. Naturally, she calls The Chick "Princess". Heavily inverted in the sequels, when they meet a real princess.
  • In The Princess Series, the three main characters are the princesses Cinderella, Aurora and Snow White. Also in the second book they fight against Princess Lirea (Ariel the little mermaid).
  • Buttercup, in The Princess Bride, was a commoner elevated to the status of Princess to be able to wed Crown Prince Humperdink. She proved a quick study in expressing the Royal attitude.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Black Colossus", Yasmela.
  • There has been a recent trend in religious books geared towards young girls (toddlers to teens) to remind them that they're "God's Special Princess!" Boys are not told they are princes. They are "God's Mighty Warrior!" Make of that what you will.
  • Cheerfully played with in the novel The Ordinary Princess. The title character is the youngest child of a king and queen whose daughters are all named for jewels; she is Amethyst. When her fairy godmother gives her the gift of being ordinary, she becomes perfectly plain-looking and prefers to go by the name of Amy.
  • Miya Black, Pirate Princess isn't JUST a pirate.
  • In Cry of the Icemark, Thirrin starts as a princess, interestingly, we first encounter her out hunting. She does go on to be a warrior queen so your mileage may vary.
  • The warlord Manzai from Chorus Skating evidently believed this in-universe, as he collected princesses abducted from neighboring countries. The party that freed his collectibles found this trope subverted when their five rescued charges prove to be quite a handfull.

Live-Action TV Edit

  • Power Rangers Wild Force has Princess Shayla as their mentor. No particular plot-relevant reason for her to be a princess.
  • Inverted in Tin Man: True, DG is a princess and the best hope of the resistance, but it's also all her fault that there's a need for a resistance in the first place! She also seems to conspicuously lack the floofy dress and tiara.
    • Justified! She never wanted to be a princess or even dreamed that she was. She takes after great-grandma Dorothy, who was quite the Action Girl!
  • Xena: Warrior Princess messes with this, though Xena is a princess in honourary title only. Revealed in a flashback, Xena's mentor says that Xena will be her "warrior princess" fighting for love, peace, and all that jazz -- thus explaining away the show's title.
    • Gabrielle, her sidekick, is an Amazon princess, sorta. She gets to be an actual Amazon princess by the Queen of the Greek Amazons' younger sister and heir transferring her right of caste (a.k.a. princess-hood) to her before dying; she then gets to be Queen further on.
  • The Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog features a Five-Man Band of warriors who utilize elements -- earth, air, fire, water and, oddly, forest. Four of the Knights are male, one was female -- Princess Deirdre.
  • Kings is good for this. In a court filled with adulterers, corruption, misdirection and all manner of levels of deceit, only Princess Michelle cares about the health care of the people and is willing to sacrifice. Unfortunately for her, Good Is Dumb.
  • The only female in the Five-Man Band of Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger is Princess Mei. The rest of them are titled are Warriors... well, except Geki, who is a Prince.
    • Natsuki Mamiya from Go Go Sentai Boukenger is also a Princess of a Lost Civilization of Lemuria. Except that her kingdom's long gone, buried in the water.
    • Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger also has Princess Ahim de Famille, who's... actually the last survivor of her destroyed clan.
  • In Red Dwarf, there's inexplicably a princess in the middle of World War 2, apparently there solely so Ace Rimmer can rescue her while fighting Nazis. What a guy.
  • Delenn in Babylon 5 is a Satai and a descendant of Valen, and just acts like a princess.
  • Played straight in Merlin with Princess Elena, who herself is a Deconstruction of a Tomboy Princess but is nevertheless called a "princess" despite her father only carrying the title of "lord." It's played even straighter with Princess Mithian, though she's a case of Princesses Rule.
    • And is otherwise Averted throughout the rest of the series. High-born ladies such as Morgana and Vivian are referred to as "ladies", despite them being the daughters of kings though in Morgana's case, her paternity was kept a secret, and Guinevere is a servant girl who jumps straight to the title of Queen when she marries Arthur.

Music Edit

  • The Coup "Wear Clean Draws", the rapper Boots Riley gives advice to his daughter:

 "Tell your teacher princesses are evil/how they got all the money is they kill people"

Theater Edit

  • Aida features one secret princess as the slave of another princess.
  • Princess Winifred the Woebegone from Once Upon a Mattress (see the page quote) can swim the moat, scale the castle walls, lift weights, arm wrestle, drink you under the table, sing like a sousaphone, and dance everyone in the palace to exhaustion ... but just one little pea can ruin her evening.

Theme Parks Edit

  • Disney Theme Parks believe firmly in the truth of this trope, to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars a year. They even have the "Bibbity Bobbity Boutique", in which little girls who are visiting the theme parks can get a "princess makeover" that includes tasteful makeup, getting their hair done, and dressing up in a gown themed after their favorite Disney Princess.
    • Little boys who want to dress up as the heroic princes (who, if one remembers, were also a part of the action that made the Disney princesses famous) are, to coin a phrase, "shit out of luck". Because (as one ten year old boy was overheard saying, outside of the Magic Kingdom's "Bibbity Bobbity Boutique", "Disney doesn't care about little boys. They only like little girls."

Toys and Games Edit

  • Barbie plays a princess in some of her movies. Plus some of the dolls are named as though she is a princess, like the "Winter Princess" line.
  • All the My Little Ponies are now princesses. Something Positive isn't entirely sure how that works.
  • The game "Pretty Pretty Princess".
  • Shogi, commonly known as Japanese chess, is notably lacking in the queen piece that western chess features. However, one variant of the game features a piece called "the princess", which basically acts like a queen. This variant is called Okisaki - which means princess.

Video Games Edit

  • Princess Peach of Super Mario Bros. is always a princess, even when she's the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom. Some adaptations add on a father, but he's mysteriously absent otherwise.
  • [Princess Zelda seems to suffer similar Parental Abandonment.
    • Not exactly; Zelda's father the king was referred to several games. In The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past he was somehow removed by Agahnim and "recovered" during the ending sequence. In The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time he was just off camera in the scene where Link and Zelda spy on Ganondorf during their first meeting; god knows what happened to him after that. He was actually a named character (Gustav) in The Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap and charged Link with his mission after Zelda was turned to stone by Vaati.
    • It gets especially bad in The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess, in which Zelda is the actual, absolute ruler of Hyrule -- when the evil overlord invades, he goes to her to get the surrender! Yet Zelda still holds the title "Princess". This goes double, because the titular Twilight Princess is also apparently the absolute albeit recently deposed ruler of the Twilight Realm.
      • This is because she in fact is the queen, but they didn't have time to do the ceremony of crowning, so her "princess" title remained. Or so I was told...
      • Of interest is the fact that Midna was apparently elected by the people to serve as the Princess, instead of Zant. A democratic monarchy. That may just be the first time that particular situation has come up in a video game.
      • Note that while "Princess" is not the correct title for the female ruler of a kingdom, it is correct for the female ruler of a principality. Since Hyrule is always called a kingdom, the problem still applies.
      • According to the Super Smash Bros Brawl manual, Zelda is indeed a queen by the end of the game...
      • Furthermore, according to the Twilight Princess trading card deck, Zant's arrival in Hyrule came a few days before what was supposed to have been Zelda's coronation day. So she was going to be Queen, but the invasion kind of disrupted the proceedings.
      • Something similar applies to The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks: Zelda is not the queen, because she's just a child yet and therefore actually only second-in-command to her Minister, Cole. It's unclear if she became Queen by the end of the game or if a new Minister was named, due to the original one being killed in the final battle, along with Malladus.
    • Furthermore, in the cartoon, the fairy Sprite wasn't just any fairy, but proved to be the daughter of the fairy king Oberon. Yes, that Oberon.
    • In the cartoon, there was a rather goofy king, making Zelda's title fitting.
    • In The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker, she's the only known surviver of the royal line, although her ancient ancestor, the antediluvian King of Hyrule, is still alive. Not that this makes much difference, since when he dies and leaves her the throne, he takes all of Hyrule with him!
    • An aversion actually occurs with Zelda's The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword (which is currently the very first game in the series on a chronological sense) incarnation, who is not a princess or royalty, but still an important figure in the story. Makes sense, seeing as the Kingdom of Hyrule doesn't exist yet.
  • Taken to extremes with Princess Shine in Super Robot Wars. She's not only a ruling princess of the nation of Riksent, but the rest of the world is one nation! It's handwaved by saying that Riksent is a special area, but why don't we see any other leaders except for the President of the Federation?
  • All of the female PCs in Odin Sphere are princesses, although none of them are useless. The only one who actually resembled this trope is Mercedes, who grows out of it and takes a level in badass after she becomes queen.
  • Princess Elise. But she decidedly did not make things better in Sonic 2006. Even those who did like the game had some inconvenience with it.
    • Oddly, Elise should be a duchess, but she's called "princess" anyway.
      • Actually, no. The ruler of Soleanna is called Princess if it is a woman on the throne.
    • And Blaze, though she's more the Defrosting Ice Queen type, and also one of the few new characters not hated by the fanbase.
      • It might also be because she was originally shown to be a queen, rather than a princess.
  • Disgaea gives us demon princess Rozalin in the second game and human princess Sapphire Rhodonite in the third. Of course, Rhodonite has a (not unfounded) reputation as an unflinching berserker while Rozalin has a bloody history as Xenon, the "God of All Overlords".
  • Princesses were involved in all three of first Final Fantasy games. Final Fantasy I has Princess Sarah, not to be confused with Final Fantasy III's Princess Sara. And in Final Fantasy II, there is the original Princess-slash-La Résistance leader, Princess Hilda.
    • Final Fantasy IV has King Giott of the Dwarves and his daughter, Princess Luca (and her Nightmare Fuel doll collection).
    • Final Fantasy V has three: Lenna, Krile, and Faris, who is Lenna's long lost older sister. By about the halfway point of the game, they constitute three quarters of the playable characters, making Final Fantasy V probably the most princess-heavy installment of the series.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, Rinoa leads La Résistance, and the others refer to her as a "princess." She's later revealed to be the daughter of a high-ranking member of the occupying country's government.
    • Final Fantasy IX has Garnet/Dagger, who has a Heroic BSOD around the same time she's crowned queen.
    • Final Fantasy XII's Princess Ashe is a Deconstruction. She's the leader of La Résistance, all right, but can hardly be said to have it easy. She's stuck in a surprisingly realistic depiction of the burdens of a real leader, and is the one who has to make all the hard choices.
    • Also subverted in Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles My Life As a Dark Lord, in which the playable princess is a dark, um, lady.
  • Subverted in The Witcher. Princess Adda is evil, power hungry, and spoiled. She tries to kill her father and usurp his throne, murder the hero to cover it up and at the end of the day she gets away with it all because of her social standing. She also started her life as a stillborn infant that was turned into a flesh eating monster and still has some leftover personality traits from that time including a taste for raw meat and an aggressive sexual appetite.
  • As mentioned before, Kingdom Hearts uses the full cast of Disney Princesses as "Princesses of Hearts", minus Pocahontas and Ariel (although she still appears) and plus Alice Lidell and the Nomura-designed character Kairi, who seems to be kind of the Princess of the Final Fantasy themed-world "Hollow Bastion/Radiant Garden". Despite this, she's shown to be an average school girl on Destiny Island and not especially beautiful compared to the other girl(s) on the Island. She's only distinguished from normal girls by her absolutely pure heart (Which seems to grant her the ability to strengthen the light in other peoples' hearts, as seen with Sora) and her ability to unseal the keyhole of Radiant Garden. She can also wield a keyblade, but probably that's not due to her status as Princess.
    • In fact, the only qualification for being a Princess on Heart is having a pure heart. Notice that only three of the seven Princess (Snow White, Aurora, and Jasmine) were actually royal by blood. While Cinderella and Belle would eventually become royalty by marriage, they hadn't yet in the continuity of the game, and Alice, in her Disney film, never becomes royal at all.
  • Both averted and played straight in the Fire Emblem series. Put briefly, the series loves its royalty, especially princes and princesses who actually do something.
    • Guinevere in Fire Emblem 6, who becomes a Rebellious Princess and joins Roy in his quest to stop her embittered and disenchanted older brother, King Zephiel.
    • Fire Emblem 8 has three princesses. One of the main characters, Eirika, is a Lady of War Princess and swordwoman from Renais. Her best friend, the Pegasus Knight Tana, is the princess of Frelia. And another friend of hers, L'Arachel, is the princess of Rausten.
    • Elincia is only a princess in Fire Emblem 9; in Fire Emblem 10, she's The Woman Wearing the Queenly Mask, and is crowned at the end of the game. She's surprisingly competent at it given her mostly passive role in Path of Radiance. Sanaki, on the other hand, is both the legitimate empress and the false apostle of Begnion.
    • Fire Emblem 1 features a veritable cavalcade of Princesses working in Marth's army, including his sister Elice, the princesses of Macedonia Minerva and Maria, the princess of the Divine Dragons Tiki, and Caeda, Princess of Talys.
  • Exception: Queen Ming in Lost Odyssey.
  • The Princess Maker series.
  • Ogre Battle takes this trope literally: a Princess is one of the (if not the absolute) best soldiers in the game, mostly for the fact that every soldier in a unit led by a Princess gets an extra attack. The Princess herself has a powerful, hit everyone, white magic attack, which is also subject to getting an extra by the previous ability.
  • Princess Kumatora in Mother 3. Both straight and subverted - the only reason she's a "princess" is because some people decided that everything's better with them.
  • The titular character of Tsukihime (literally "Moon Princess"), Arcueid Brunstud, is the princess of the True Ancestor vampires. Though she follows hardly any of the usual tropes, her title actually makes an odd amount of sense, since she was created by the nobility and had extremely limited freedom and a particular defined purpose in life ( hunt down and kill fallen True Ancestors, that is). Of course, Princess is still her formal title, despite being possibly the last (and certainly the last royal) True Ancestor still alive (having killed the other ones herself).
    • As I understand it, her title of Princess (and more importantly, Brunstud) comes from the fact that she's the closest thing the True Ancestors were able to make to a clone of their progenitor, Crimson Moon Brunstead, the Type spirit of the Moon, and that her ability to summon Castle Brunstud is proof that one day Type Moon will revive in her body. Unless her pseudo little sister Altrouge Brunstud, who can also summon Castle Brunstud, does it first.
  • The Princess is a class in the Sega RPG 7th Dragon. It appears to be exactly equivalent to the bard-type class in similar games, supporting the other units in the party.
  • Compiling a list of all the princesses in the Suikoden series would take some time, and comparing them would take fair longer. Consider, though, Lady of War Chrodechild; the young, innocent, and feisty Lymselia; and The Archer Flare, who stands directly between those extremes in terms of personality (and combat efficacy).
  • Mega Man Battle Network has Princess Pride.
  • The Touhou series, having an Improbably-Female Cast, naturally includes a number of princesses, including Yuyuko (princess of the spirit world), Kaguya (former princess of the moon), and the Watatsuki sisters (current princesses of the moon). A couple of other characters may also qualify: fanon has it that Alice may well be the daughter of the Queen (Well, goddess, but whatever) of the Underworld, for instance. However, only the Watatsuki sisters really behave in anything even remotely resembling a princessly manner; Kaguya, despite being a gracious hostess, is more of a sheltered Ojou, and Yuyuko... well, depending on who you ask, she's either The Ditz or one Magnificent Bastard.
    • From the long-forgotten PC98 era is Kotohime, but she thinks she's a cop.
    • To be more precise, Yuyuko's the sort of girl who'd joke and laugh and make merry during a Mahjong match, so no-one'd take her seriously, then suddenly pull a big winning hand out of seemingly nowhere, as her opponents weren't paying enough attention to her plays.
  • There's Princess Olivia Von Roselia in Battle Fantasia, who is very much what you would expect out of a princess, kind-hearted and putting her kingdom above all else! Although she does cross the Rebellious Princess line a few times, as she does leave the castle, without her father's permission in order to solve the mystery of a bad omen, as well as consistently denying to return to the castle after being asked by one of her father's best friends, the Bunny Wizard, Watson. Also, considering it's a fighting game, she doesn't seem to mind solving some disputes with violence, despite her kind personality, and she does it well too.
  • There's also Estelle from Tales of Vesperia, who meets Yuri and follows him on an adventure in order to warn Flynn about danger. Oh, and also to discover a world outside of the royal palace.
  • Need an excuse for over-the-top bloody cartoon violence? Rescue the Fat Princess.
  • Valkyria Chronicles has Princess Cordelia, a figurehead ruler who has passed off responsibility for her nation to the regent Evil Chancellor. Her parents, strangely enough, were an Archduke and Duchess: both positions outrank a princess (and, somehow, the Duchess isn't an Archduchess, so their marriage must've been morganatic). Furthermore, Gallia maintains a Royal Guard, which should only apply in a kingdom, not a principality.
  • Monica in Dark Cloud 2 is a princess. Considering that the first thing we see her do is chopping up Emperor Griffen's men, we can tell she's far from helpless.
  • The third Etrian Odyssey game has Princesses as one of the playable classes, appearing to be the Landsknecht's replacement. While Princes exist, Japanese preview media focuses on the Princess as the "default" of that class, featuring her prominently in most advertisements and throwing in her male counterpart almost as an afterthought. May be averted if the class name gets changed in translation.
  • Hildegard "Hilde" Von Krone of the Soul Series. Her main outfit consists of a full suit of armor rather than anything vaguely Princess like (though her alternate outfit is a dress, but it's Not pink) and duel wields a spear and sword in battle.
  • She's not actually stated to be a princess directly however, rather she's said to be the Daughter of the King of Wolfkrone, who has been driven mad by the Evil Seed, and has since been leading the kingdom in his stead. Her alternate outfit pieces are listed as "Princess ___" however hinting this is her title even if she is acting ruler.
  • In Mitsumete Knight, Princess Priscilla Dolphan fits the bill. She's a Princess Incognito Genki Girl who longs for a life as a normal commoner girl, and is only Wearing The Queenly Mask in important receptions for pleasing her beloved father. She of course sports a lot of Princess Tropes (and nicely subverts or plays with some of them, see her entry in the game's Character Sheet), and is a Nintendo Hard character to get the ending of, due to being a Princess.
  • Infinite Space has Princess Glorinda and Katida. Glorinda borders on Lady of War given her capabilities as a fleet admiral, and having her as a crew member will increase the damage done by your fighters. Katida, on the other hand, is a more classic example of this trope, most notably for filling the role of Distressed Damsel and has shades of Royal Brat. She can ultimately subvert this trope if you don't recruit her, which gives FAR worse impact for the storyline.
  • Princess Yggdra from Yggdra Union is an interesting example. Her parents the king and queen were recently killed in the invasion of her country, and as she's on the run, she doesn't have anyone to coronate her properly. Until midway through the game, where she does become queen. And the accompanying class change makes her much more kickass.
  • One of the oldest video game examples (and Action Girl to boot!) is Princess Rosella of Daventry!
  • Feena Fam Earthlight from Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro na is a princess, despite the fact that matriarchal monarchy seems to be an unlikely government type for a country that was founded by humans who had colonized the moon. Royal politics do come into play later in the story, however.
  • Jabless Adventure features what we can only assume is a parody of the standard "rescue the princess" plot. Specifically, the princess isn't even mentioned until the game is almost over:

 Jables: If we've found a jet pack, then we're probably nearing the end of the game.

Squiddy: Oh, I guess you're right.

Jables: Yeah.

Squiddy: On the bright side, you'll get to meet the princess soon.

Jables: I didn't know there was a princess.

Squiddy: Neither did I...

    • Then, after you defeat the final boss, said princess shows up out of nowhere.
  • There's Catiua in Tactics Ogre. Not only is Princess one of the best classes in the game, she gets three unique classes, more than any other character.
  • Hyper Princess Pitch stars a princess, who's also a demigod apparently. Rather then concern herself with affairs of state, her only goal in life seems to be bringing an end to christmas and causing gratuitous explosions.
  • Twin princesses Teri and Tina in Snow Brothers, whose kisses cause the snow to melt from the heroes.
  • Invoked as part of the game's Fairytale Motif in Rule of Rose, as the ruling rank in the Red Crayon Aristocrats is the Princess of the Red Rose, who is supposed to fulfill all the stereotypical princess-tropes. Since the Aristocrats are a Deadly Decadent Court consisting solely of young girls, she doesn't quite hold up to them, even if she wasn't an inanimate china doll or appeared to be one, in any case. There's also the game's insistence of calling every single female character save for the protagonist a Princess in the narration.
  • Dark Souls has not one, not two, but three different princesses. Rhea of Thorolund is the princess of The Theocracy. Dusk of Oolacile is the Last of Her Kind after her kingdom was destroyed an untold number of years ago. Princess Gwynevere is the daughter of Gwyn, the Lord of Sunlight and ruler of the world.

Webcomics Edit

  • Lampshade Hanging on the whole phenomenon is done in this strip of Misfile.
  • Subverted in Eight Bit Theater with the princess taking over the Big Bad duties due to the absurd levels of incompetence shown by the rest of the villains.
  • Played straight so far in Last Res0rt with Princess Adharia Kuvoe, complete with Orphan's Plot Trinket. Oh, and we forgot to mention, she's blonde with pink fur. Possibly a Rebellious Princess as well.
  • The Princess Planet is... well, exactly what it says.
  • Lampshaded pretty thoroughly in the Punyverse of Sluggy Freelance. After all, who would ever have guessed that Secret Angel Princess-Princess is really... Princess Princess-Princess?
    • "Boy that sounded stupid when I said it out loud!"
  • In Drowtales, maybe 1/3 of the cast is either the daughter, grandaughter, adopted daughter, etc., of an Ilharess; plus there is Vaelia, advertised as "An Emberi Princess", and "Queen Liriel Blueberry the Third".
    • Partial aversion as well: only a handful (if that) have personalities that fit this trope.
  • The second alien Bob ever met in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob is the beautiful Princess Voluptua. The first was Ahem, the three-legged talking jellyfish she was being forced to marry. Ew... Of course, she's not really humanoid either, but they're still physically very different.
  • The first arc of I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space is an attempt by the crew to find their long, lost Lesbian Princess. Which they do -- it's just not the person they expect. The second arch appears to be about returning the princess to her mother.
  • In No Rest for The Wicked, November really is a princess (specifically, the princess from "The Princess and the Pea"); unfortunately, no one believes her, because traveling through the woods on her quest has made her look too ragged. (She can tell who really has royal blood and who doesn't, but that doesn't seem to be a common ability.) She subverts this trope at times and also plays it straight.
  • Averted in Cwen's Quest where the princess is quickly exiled by her father and becomes a tough-as-nails fighter to get revenge. Also, later she ends up the very young Queen of the kingdom next door.
  • Justified in Erfworld with Jillian Zamussels, since her side was destroyed by Stanley and the rules of the world mean she couldn't become queen. Of course, that's changing...
  • Feferi Peixes of Homestuck is never referred to explicitly as a princess in the comic, but considering that she's next in line to become empress of the galaxy-spanning Alternian Empire, wears a tiara at all times and lives in a giant undersea palace, she belongs on this list.
    • In addition to this, every player of SBURB is a prince or a princess of Derse or Prospit, the kingdoms of light and darkness warring in the game. That makes Feferi, accordingly a princess of Derse, a double princess.
    • Another character, Eridan Ampora also possibly counts as a prince of the same empire (or at least aspires to be by getting in a redrom relationship with Feferi), is also a prince of Derse, and his game title is the Prince of Hope, making him a triple prince. Except, as it turns out, everything's not better with him around.
  • In The Devils Panties Jenni, the main character has, in addition to the traditional Angel and Devil on her shoulder a Pink Princess representing her girlie side.
  • Princess Amazia in the Show Within a Show in Plus EV.
  • Last Res0rt has HRH Adharia Kuvoe, a Fallen Princess far away from her homeworld (with said world not yet fully exposed to intergalactic society). The end result is her royal nature is little more than a quirk and excuse to dress herself (and her hapless lieutenant) up in harem gear... wait, where did that thing in the bottle come from?!
  • Played straight as an arrow with Samurai Princess. If this comic did have a princess or two in it, the comic would probably need a new name.

Web Original Edit

  • Justified in Decades of Darkness, since the first part is in the time when royal marriages were real diplomacy.

Western Animation Edit

  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends special, Destination Imagination, Frankie is referred to as Princess Frankie throughout a majority of the plot by her new imaginary friend, World, who even treats her as such by giving Frankie her own castle made entirely of chocolate and giving her a ball gown and a collection of tiaras. She even acts as the Distressed Damsel of the story.
  • All the fairies of Winx Club are princesses. Except the main character, who's a normal girl from Earth... oh, yeah. She turned out to be a princess too. Look at that.
    • Strictly speaking, only Bloom, Stella, Galatea, and Layla/Aisha are princesses in all versions. Tecna is a princess in the comics. Roxy is the daughter of Queen Morgana, but she abdicates the throne shortly after learning this.
      • Actually, Roxy should still be considered a princess. Morgana seemed to be saying she was too young to rule The Earth Fairies, so Nebula became queen until Roxy is ready to take over.
  • Elyon in WITCH is revealed as a princess fairly early on. She hung a lampshade on it in during the Nerissa arc when, after mediating an endless series of boundary disputes, she remarked that she was getting the "queen" part of being a princess, but missing out on the "princess" part (the Prince Charming, the moonlight balls, etc.).
  • Following Disney tradition, Mira Nova of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, the only woman on Buzz's team, is an alien princess. The show takes the intangibility of her people of more importance than her blue blood, though, and has even been shown to resent her royalty being acknowledged ("Good one your Highness!" "Just call me Mira...").
  • Kim Possible may have harbored some subversives within Disney: the mocking way in which Shego would insult Kim by calling her "Princess" might be a dig at the entire phenomenon. Of course, Shego probably would know what being a princess is like... *cough* Nicole Sullivan *cough*
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has three Pegasus unicorn Princesses: the two Royal Pony Sisters Celestia and Luna and Celestia's niece Cadance. Apparently, Celestia, in addition to running Equestria, also governs the rising and setting of the sun, and took over her sister's role over the moon once she became Nightmare Moon and had to be sealed (this thousands of years ago. She hasn't aged a day.) Her title is princess even though she's apparently divinity. Word of God says that Celestia was originally going to be a Queen, but was demoted due to Executive Meddling--meddling done entirely due to the existence of this trope (and God Save Us From the Queen), and awareness that audiences expect it.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender
    • Subverted: Katara's father Hakoda is a tribal chieftain, but not nobility. Azula is a princess, but evil through and through. Toph might be taking this a little more straight: while not a princess, she is from a noble family, though she's dislikes it and is as far from The Chick as is physically possible.
    • Played straight with Princess Yue, alias Moon Princess Perfecta. She's sweet and pretty and pale-haired, with magical moon princess powers; the only thing keeping her life from being perfect is that she's betrothed to a nobleman she doesn't love. Oh, and that she dies.
  • Princess Candy in Dave the Barbarian is a Deconstruction of the trope Played for Laughs. She doesn't much want to be ruler, she'd much rather just be a normal eighteen-year-old girl. Normal eighteen-year-old girls hang out with their friends and worry if their outfit will impress boys. Princesses who have been left in charge while their parents fight evil have to rule the country, which is far more time-consuming than most people are inclined to believe and involves an obscene amount of paperwork. It actually gets to the point where she gets so fed up with being robbed of the years of her life where her responsibilities are minimal that she actually abdicates to Dave temporarily so she can just go do stuff.
  • Princess Gwenevere/Starla of Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders (known as Starla and the Jewel Riders outside the US). Gwenevere and her Arch Enemy/aunt Kale are both princesses. However, Kale is an evil sorceress who wants to rule New Avalon. Gwen and her crew have to stand between Kale and that ambition.
  • Lady Lovely Locks is a Princess in the show of the same name.
  • Even Danny Phantom has one in the form of Princess Dorathea, who has the ability to turn into a dragon via a pendent. Her life isn't as glamorous as she looks though: she has an abusive brother whom she's stuck doing various slave labor-inducing tasks for.... That is, until her brother kidnaps Sam, who introduces feminism to the kingdom.
  • Two of the Dora the Explorer specials invoke this: "Dora's Fairytale Adventure" has her journey to become a princess to wake up her Sidekick Boots from an enchanted sleep, and "Dora Saves the Snow Princess" is not only Exactly What It Says on the Tin, but has her become the new Snow Princess at the end.
  • Aelita from Code Lyoko is nicknamed "Princess" by her friends since early on in Season 1. She has Reality Warper powers on Lyoko, and the unique ability to deactivate the Towers. At the end of Season 2, we learn that she is actually the daughter of the creator of Lyoko... making her indeed the Princess of this virtual world.
  • Princess Natasha Student Secret Agent Princess, a flash animation series developed for AOL Kids.
  • She Ra Princess of Power: Technically, Adora is a princess (Prince Adam/He-Man's twin sister) but the show doesn't play up that aspect of her character. Fortunately, Glimmer's around to take up the princessly slack.
  • One would think this would fit with Professor Princess of Transformers Animated, a cute child-like supervillain obsessed with destroying violent toys. However, according to supplementary materials she didn't take the title because she wanted to sound cute -- Professor Princess is her real name. (Well, part of it. Her first name is Penny.)
  • Phantom Girl from Legion of Super-Heroes, technically a president's daughter, but otherwise fits.
  • The 2009 Strawberry Shortcake revamp reintroduces the Berrykins, who are ruled by Princess Berrykin (not to be mistaken for the Berry Princess, who took care of the Berrykins, from the 1985 special).
  • Averted with Princess Mandie (the second syllable pronounced "die") in The Fairly Odd Parents, who is completely Ax Crazy. Played straight in an early episode with Princess Protazoa, a singular cell princess, though it wasn't clear what she was princess of.
  • Teen Titans: Starfire and Blackfire are both princesses of Tamaran, which is less of a kingdom and more of an entire planet. Being Human Aliens of the Proud Warrior Race Guy variety, both kicks ass: Starfire for a living, and Blackfire for kicks. Except for special occasions, neither wear dresses, and then frilliness is foregone in favor of slink (think Little Black Dress, but Starfire prefers pink).
  • In Adventure Time, there are more than 20 princesses, all apparently the princess of [insert noun here]. Lovely Princess Bubblegum, Lumpy Space Princess, Hot Dog Princess, Slime Princess, Ghost Princess, and the list goes on and will probably extend as the show goes on.
    • There're also a few kings or men of similar titles: Giant Worm King, King of Thieves, Duke of Nuts, Fire Count, and Ice King. As well as the Lich King before his "king" title was removed.
    • There are also some queens: Marceline, the Vampire Queen, who is Affably Evil, and Lady Rainicorn, the "Rowdy Queen" of the Cloud Kingdom.
  • Care Bears: Share Bear Shines has Princess Starglo, the mother of all stars.
  • Not only Amalia Sheran Sharm of Wakfu's Five-Man Band is an adventurer-princess, there is an early episode entirely devoted to princesses, "Miss Ugly".
  • In The Simpsons, The Krusty Show added the new character Princess Penelope, specifically to exploit this trope.
  • Re Boot subverts this in a game called "Castles and Knights". Since Bob rebooted into a knight, the viewer assumes that Dot has rebooted into the princess and is the damsel in distress. The subversion comes when it's revealed that Enzo has rebooted into the princess, and Dot rebooted into another knight. Very disturbing when you think of what this would do to a little boy's psyche.
  • The main character of Xcalibur is a princess. However, considering she wears a slightly impractical body armor for the entire show, you'd probably never think about this.
  • Princess Ingrid, a member of the Opposing Sports Team in the French series Pierre et Isa. (A series about the Winter Olympic Games.)
  • Princess Dawn in Here Comes the Grump is a Princess Classic whose royal heritage is never really relevant to the plot.
  • Pretty much the entire point of Sea Princesses.


  1. You'd think they'd remember how well their last adaptation of a Hans Christian Andersen story worked out.