|“||That was pretty hardcore.||”|
|—Tigress to Po, Kung Fu Panda 2|
Master Tigress is one of the main supporting characters of the Kung Fu Panda franchise. She is a member of the Furious Five as well as one of Master Shifu's students at the Jade Palace. She is a master of the Tiger Style of kung fu.
Tigress first lived at the Bao Gu Orphanage as a child, where she received help in controlling her strength and temper from Shifu, who later took her in as his student. Over the years, she trained under Shifu's strict instruction, developing into a powerful fighter and forming a stern personality. Eventually she became a member of the Furious Five along with Mantis, Viper, Monkey, and Crane. Of the Five, she was the most skeptical of Po's calling as the Dragon Warrior, but has since accepted his title. She now fights alongside Po as a loyal friend and ally.
Early yearsTigress was left at the doorstep of the Bao Gu Orphanage for unknown reasons by her birth parents when she was a young child.
As a cub, Tigress was raised in the Bao Gu Orphanage, presumably located in the Valley of Peace. However, the residents of the orphanage lived in fear of her due to her violent temper and frightening strength. One night, Tigress escaped from the room and innocently approached the children in an attempt to play. However, her fangs and claws scared them off, and a rejected Tigress once again lost her temper. After being put in an isolated room, Tigress soon began to see herself as a monster, as everyone else did. Unsure of what could be done with the tiger cub, the caretakers summoned the aid of Master Shifu.
After meeting Tigress, the red panda firmly told her that she was not a monster, and introduced her to a game of dominoes, which required discipline to master. At first, Tigress couldn't place the dominoes correctly, often breaking the fragile wooden tiles in her grip, which frustrated her. But Shifu was a calm and patient teacher, and over time he instructed her to control her temper and her strength, teaching her the importance of discipline.
Finally, after much training, Tigress presented her hard work to the other children of the orphanage by skillfully placing the dominoes correctly with precision and agility; when she finished, she tipped the placed dominoes to form the symbol of yin and yang, earning the trust and friendship of the caretakers and other orphans. Despite this, the adults who came to adopt children were still afraid of her, and she was still left at the orphanage. However, Shifu decided to take her in, giving Tigress a new home at the Jade Palace.
Before Kung Fu Panda
|The canonicity of this section is questionable.|
|Information in this section may conflict with previously established canon.|
Even in her new home, Tigress still felt unaccepted due to Shifu's closed and often stern personality, caused by the betrayal of his adopted son and former student, Tai Lung. She also formed an aversion to asking questions, as she had been ridiculed by others for her childlike curiosity in the past.
However, Shifu was seen encouraging young Tigress in a moment where she failed to perform a side kick, and assured her that she would get the move right when she needed it, cheering her up afterward by offering to play a game of checkers. As the years passed, Tigress strove to gain Shifu's approval by bettering herself in kung fu and becoming a strong and dedicated student. One of the many ways of training she endured was punching the iron-wood trees outside the Jade Palace, an exercise that eventually resulted in her having no feeling in her paws .
Over time, Tigress was joined by four other students: Masters Monkey, Mantis, Crane, and Viper, and the group collectively became the new Furious Five. Tigress became a master of the Tiger Style of kung fu. As the unofficial leader of the group, she and her comrades protected the Valley of Peace and gained great fame across China with their many accomplishments in battle.
Despite all the progress she achieved over the years, Tigress still felt the need to prove herself to Shifu, and saw her chance one day when Master Oogway had a vision of Tai Lung breaking out of prison and returning to the Valley to get the Dragon Scroll. Alarmed, Shifu (acting on Oogway's suggestion) announced a tournament to declare who the Dragon Warrior would be out of the Furious Five.
On the day of the tournament, each of the Five publicly exhibited their talents one at a time, with Tigress performing last. Before she had the chance to start, Oogway sensed the presence of the Dragon Warrior, and it was time for the choosing. It appeared that Oogway was about to point at her — until a fat panda named Po seemingly fell out of the sky and landed right in front of Oogway's pointing claw.
Confused, Tigress asked if the old tortoise was pointing at her, but Oogway was convinced that Po had been chosen by the universe, and the panda's appearance was not by accident. He proclaimed the panda as the Dragon Warrior — much to Tigress' and Shifu's horror, and as Po was carried off to the Jade Palace, Tigress apologized to Shifu for failing him. The diminutive red panda stopped her, saying that if he hadn't made the panda quit by the next morning, then it was he who failed his students.
Through the rest of the day, Shifu did his best to discourage Po and try to make him leave. He tried to intimidate him by showing him the Training Hall and allowing the panda to be humiliated in front of the Five. The derision that Shifu felt was echoed by Tigress herself; she was offended that "a fat, flabby panda" like Po would be chosen over a loyal student like herself, and she made sure that Po knew her opinion of him—going as far as to scathingly tell him that night that he was a disgrace to kung fu and that, if he respected the martial arts or the Five at all, he would be gone by morning.
To her dismay, Po didn't leave the next morning, and he still wanted to learn kung fu. Attempts were made throughout the day to discourage Po and make him quit, but he persevered and made it through the second day—even after sparring with most of the Five and literally being thrown out by Shifu and tumbling down the steps of the palace. While most of the Five grew to be impressed at the panda's indefatigable tenacity, Tigress simply conceded that Po was there to stay whether she liked it or not. While Po received acupuncture from Mantis and Viper, Tigress confided to Po the story of Tai Lung and Shifu's role in his life, while also hinting at her own past, that she never received the same love that Shifu once showed for Tai Lung.
Later on, Po began opening up more to the Five while preparing noodle soup for dinner which, to their delight, was among the most delicious dishes they've ever eaten —— save for Tigress, who remained distant and ate tofu instead. The peaceful atmosphere was shattered, however, when Shifu arrived to bring them terrible news: Tai Lung had indeed escaped prison, and to make things worse, Oogway had just passed away. Tigress begged her master to let the Five and herself stop Tai Lung, stating it was what he had trained them for. Surprisingly, Shifu said that it wasn't her destiny to defeat Tai Lung. He was now convinced that it was Po's job to stop Tai Lung after all, and nothing she could say would change his mind.
However, Po had run away in fear of his upcoming challenge, and she secretly followed Shifu when he chased after him to bring him back. There she overheard Po admitting his own lack of confidence, seeing neither he nor her master had a solution on just how Po could possibly defeat Tai Lung. She decided to try to stop Tai Lung herself, immediately setting out on her own. To her surprise, she found that Viper, Mantis, Monkey, and Crane had followed her, and they stated that they wanted to help her in her endeavor.
Traveling as fast as they could, it took days to intercept Tai Lung at the Thread of Hope, a network of rope bridges that connected the mountain tops, Tigress finally able to meet the snow leopard face to face in combat. When asked where the Dragon Warrior was, she tried to imply that she herself was the Dragon Warrior, but Tai Lung was not fooled, and a battle ensued, which was made difficult by the rope bridge itself as well as Tai Lung's great strength and skill. Tigress worked together with the others, displaying her greatest strength as a team leader/player, and she and her comrades managed to overpower the snow leopard in a stunning show of strength and cunning.
At first, they assumed that they had vanquished him completely, but sure enough, Tai Lung reappeared, swinging back from the opposite peak with the ropes from the now-destroyed bridge, and landing behind the startled team. Taking advantage of their unpreparedness, Tai Lung used a technique that Shifu hadn't taught them: chi blocking. Jabbing each of the Five in vital pressure points, he paralyzed them all—with the exception of Crane, whom he had left unparalyzed so he could carry the defeated warriors back to the Jade Palace as a warning; that he could defeat the strongest warriors in China.
It was with great shame that Tigress faced Po and Shifu when released from the effects of the chi block back at the Jade Palace, feeling that she had failed Shifu. He quietly rebuked her, telling her she could have been killed, but he added that Tai Lung's attempt to strike fear into their hearts wouldn't work: he had been busy training Po while the Five were absent, and he felt that the panda was now ready to receive the Dragon Scroll. Wasting no time, they all assembled in the Palace, where Shifu retrieved the scroll and proceeded to give it to Po. Upon opening it, Po relayed a most surprising bit of information: the legendary scroll, thought to endow the Dragon Warrior with unlimited power, was blank.
There was nothing else that could be done; Shifu ordered the Five and Po to evacuate the Valley in a last ditch effort, while he stayed behind to stall Tai Lung as long as possible. He expected to die during the battle, and his parting words to them were the ones that Tigress had always longed to hear from her master: that he was proud of them and that he was honored to be their master. The dismal feeling that everyone felt as they left had to be pushed aside once they started gathering the villagers. Tigress fell into her role as leader and began to lead the evacuation in spite of her sadness. After leading the populace to the surrounding mountains through the stormy night to morning, she and the Five were stunned as they witnessed a bright wave of light and energy coming from the middle of town.
Deciding to go back, they discovered that Po had fought Tai Lung and defeated him with the legendary Wuxi Finger Hold. Amazed, Tigress finally let go of her pride, realizing that she had been wrong about the panda, and she approached Po and bowed to him with a smile, honoring him for the first time as a kung fu master and the true Dragon Warrior.
After defeating several boar bandits, Tigress and the other Five were shocked to find out that Po was going to be hosting the Winter Feast dinner at the Jade Palace. Tigress offered her and the rest of the Five's assistance to Po in preparing for the sophisticated event, but Po insisted he could do it himself. When he was later overwhelmed by the many responsibilities, he decided to call on the Furious Five to finally assist him with the preparations. Tigress used kung fu to assist with place settings for the feast, performing her Tahlia Leap to set up lanterns.
When all the tasks had been fulfilled, she later sat at the table with all the other kung fu Masters for the Palace Winter Feast, but the formal dinner was interrupted by Po himself, who explained to the Masters his own family traditions, and excused himself to be at his home with his father on the holiday. Tigress and the rest of the Five understood Po's decision, recalling common holiday traditions they enjoyed in the past, and they joined Po at the Noodle Shop. Tigress wished Po a "Happy Holiday" and later playfully helped to feed a little toddler piglet. Afterward, Tigress partook in a group portrait of the Furious Five, Po, Mr. Ping, Shifu, and Wo Hop.
"Art of Balance"
Tigress and the Five appeared at the start of Po's dream, facing off with a group of villains. Before they fought, Po jumped in out of nowhere and accidentally landed on them, much to their chagrin. The villains proceeded to attack and a fierce fight ensued, after which Po's dream ended.
"The Dragon Chef"
Po enlisted the help of Tigress and the rest of the Five to run the noodle restaurant for a day, as Mr. Ping was sick. When the others became nervous at the sight of the large, riled group of customers at the shop, Tigress gave a rousing speech, saying that they had faced far more fearsome difficulties, and inspired them to help run the restaurant. She then helped out in the kitchen by cutting up vegetables with her claws and asking customers if they were satisfied.
However, the Five's attempts to use kung fu to perform the menial tasks of cooking and serving ended in disaster, with customers getting food spilled on them in the process. In the nick of time, Mr. Ping returned, cured of his illness, and Tigress and the Five watched the goose effortlessly cook and take care of his customers with swift expertise. Tigress and the Five, impressed, then praised Mr. Ping as the "Dragon Chef".
"Touch of Destiny"The Five played a game of "Elimination Tag". After Po tagged Mantis, Tigress appeared at the end and confronted the panda by the riverside. After sweeping his legs out from under him, she tagged him and won the game. Po then declared her the winner, asking her and the rest of the Five if they would like to play another game of Elimination Tag.
Constantly striving toward kung fu perfection, Tigress is completely devoted to her craft and sometimes has a hard time understanding Po's more irreverent style. Tough, aggressive and fearless, she is one of the strongest members of the Furious Five and she won't hesitate to use her razor sharp claws in a fight. Enemies shudder in her presence and know that Tigress will protect her Jade Palace family at any cost.
Throughout the series, Tigress finds Po annoying but no longer dislikes him. Despite having accepted him as the Dragon Warrior, however, she still seems doubtful that Po is capable of being the Dragon Warrior.
In "Scorpion's Sting," Tigress caught River Fever, a disease harmless to children, but fatal to adults. Since Tigress never had River Fever as a cub, she faced against the worst of the fever's symptoms and was bed-ridden whilst Po and Monkey went to obtain the sun orchid needed to cure her. The duo barely made it back and Tigress became fully healed. Also, it was revealed that Tigress hates clowns; When "Mr. Clown" asked Tigress her name she replied "back away" and when Mr. Ping left he said he was going to make friends with "something friendly".
In "Chain Reaction," Tigress and Po get chained together during a fight with Fung and his band of crocodiles and found it hard to cooperate with each other effectively. Though the two had their moments, Tigress constantly became angry and annoyed with Po, even going so far as to state her belief that perhaps Oogway made the wrong choice for the Dragon Warrior, though regretted it afterward. But after she gets captured by the crocodile bandits, Po rescues her and together they defeat the bandits, Tigress then apologizing and taking back that statement.
In "Kung Fu Day Care," Tigress and Po came across a young gosling named Zan being chased by Fung and his gang. Rescuing the child, they brought Zan back to the palace. While the other members of the Five searched for Zan's parents, Tigress was tasked with taking care of him. Though she was highly reluctant, the experience brought back memories of her childhood, and Tigress slowly warmed up to Zan. When Fung and his gang returned, along with his extremely large younger cousin Lidong, Tigress was forced to battle the enormous crocodile alone. She eventually succeeded in defeating Lidong and saving Zan, only for Crane and Viper to return moments later with Zan's mother. Though saddened, Tigress bade Zan goodbye as he left, promising to come visit.
Tigress and the others of the Furious Five were first seen in the Jade Palace's Training Hall encouraging and supporting Po in his endeavor to stuff forty bean buns into his mouth, something she would normally have grimaced at or refused to take part of before.
Later, Tigress learned that a village of musicians was under attack by a pack of wolf bandits set on stealing all the metal they could find. She immediately alerted Po of the matter, also telling him not to take any snack stops, and the six set out to the village to fight off the bandits. When Po was temporarily dazed by the sight of an emblem on one of the wolf assailant's armor, she attempted to intercept the wolf's hammer blow, but was too late and she and Po were knocked aside. As the wolves escaped with most of the town's metal, the concerned Tigress asked Po what had happened to him, but he didn't answer her and instead ran off.
The next day, Shifu informed Po and the Five of Master Thundering Rhino's death at the hands of Lord Shen, and tasked them with traveling to Gongmen City to destroy the weapon responsible — one that he described as being able to "breathe fire and spit metal". They set out to do so, but were stopped by Mr. Ping, who has packed bags for Po's journey. After being slightly amused to see Po's action figures of herself and the rest of the Five, Tigress saw the goose was worried and assured him that Po would soon return before she left with the others.
On the last night of their journey, Tigress was awoken when Po had suffered a nightmare. Concerned, Tigress followed him outside and helped him relieve his frustrations by sparring with him. Tigress told him about her harsh training exercises in her youth, and how her "hardcore" style allowed her to ignore pain. Po then shared with her how he had recently learned that Mr. Ping was his adoptive father (though this hardly surprised Tigress). When Po commented on his slight envy over Tigress' "hardcore" ability to ignore emotional pain, Tigress was taken aback. However, she didn't have time to say anything before arriving at Gongmen City.
Tigress and the others snuck into the city and evaded more of Shen's wolves when they found Masters Storming Ox and Croc in Gongmen Jail. After unsuccessfully trying to convince them to escape and aid them in their mission, they were discovered by Boss Wolf and attempted to intercept him before he could alert Shen. Although Tigress was able to help Po catch up to him, they ended up being ambushed and were quickly captured.
Tigress and the others were brought before Shen himself in his ancestral palace. But while Po was speaking to him, Viper successfully picked the lock on Tigress' cuffs, allowing her to help free the others and destroy Shen's cannon. However, Tigress was surprised when she saw Po once again dazed by the pattern of Shen's feathered tail, allowing the peacock to escape. Now under assault from the rest of Shen's cannons, she took matters into her own hands as she reached the bottom of the tower and quickly scouted the area outside, deftly defending herself and her friends from a hail of fire arrows from the wolves. Deducting an escape route, Tigress led the others to safety by scaling the outside of the falling tower and springing off it over the wall bordering the palace grounds.
Returning to the jail to hide, she angrily confronted Po over why he let Shen escape, as well as almost getting them all killed in the bargain. When he refused to answer, she ordered him to stay in the company of Storming Ox and Croc, thinking that Po was not capable of completing the mission due to his unspoken hindrance. Po was adamant upon going with them however, leading the two to spar once more.
Tigress had swiftly subdued Po and again demanded to know the truth. Po finally admitted how he remembered that Shen was present the night his biological parents abandoned him, and he needed Shen to tell him what happened despite all odds thrown against him, finally commenting that Tigress wouldn't understand due to her being too hardcore. Tigress lunged at Po, supposedly infuriated by his remark, but to the surprise of everyone else, she hugged him and told him that she did understand. Nevertheless, she gently told Po to stay behind, as she didn't want to see him be killed.
Tigress and the rest of the Five made their way over to Shen's refinery where they intended to ignite powder kegs around the factory to destroy it. However, much to her shock, she saw that Po had disobeyed her and was confronting Shen alone. Fearing for Po's safety, she and the others quickly doused the fires to the powder kegs and they began to make her way towards the two in order to protect Po, fending off Shen's elite soldiers along the way. Unable to reach him, she watched in horror as Po was blasted out of the factory and into the river by Shen's largest cannon. The Five were subsequently captured. Fearing that the worst had happened to Po, Tigress felt she had failed him.
The Five were shackled securely to the flagship of Shen's veritable armada of cannon-armed ships as they began their traverse down the river to the harbor. Shen mocked them for their sadness over the "death" of Po and bragged about how he would kill them and their "precious kung fu" upon reaching the harbor; Tigress snarled back, but was unable to resist in any way. Monkey was the only one of the chained Five that seemed to retain any fighting spirit and looked to Tigress for support, but she merely responded with a defeated expression. She was further disgusted by Shen's lack of concern for the well-being of the bystanders witnessing the event by blasting away a bridge to clear a path, which led her to call him a coward.
She was perhaps the most astonished when Po revealed himself to be alive and rescued her and the rest of the Five. She and the others managed to fight their way along Shen's fleet with the assistance of Croc and Ox, who were freed and accompanied by Shifu. The nine kung fu masters proceeded to destroy much of the fleet, blocking the way to the harbor with their own boats. Shen fired his cannon at Po, but Tigress managed to knock him aside and was blown into the river along with the other masters.
Wounded and floating on a piece of driftwood, Po waded towards her and gripped her limp paw. She feebly lifted her head, but was too weakened to say anything. Tigress then watched helplessly as Po stood upon the wreckage of an overturned boat, facing the remaining cannon-armed fleet on his own. As the first shot was fired, she, along with every other witness, was astounded when Po deflected the projectile and every other one that Shen fired, even going so far as to knock some back at the fleet. After the flagship's destruction, she witnessed Po's final battle with Shen, and the lord's defeat at the hands of his own work.
After the battle, she helped Po out of the water and onto a dock, commenting his work as "pretty hardcore." She was surprised once more when Po hugged her in a manner similar to how she did in the prison—so much so that she didn't have time to react before he was enthusiastically greeted by the rest of the Five. Along with the rest of Gongmen City, she watched as the burning remains of Shen's flagship set off a fireworks display.
Tigress and Mantis helped Po sneak inside the Jade Palace one night, under the impression that it was an emergency. However, as soon as they got in, they saw that Po just wanted to see the new Masters' Council exhibit, which wasn't scheduled to open until the next day. Unimpressed, they were about to leave when Po drew attention to the sarcophagus that held Su Wu of the Wu Sisters.
Tigress and Mantis were unfamiliar with Su Wu and her sisters, so Po began to tell them the story of how they were the most feared villains to ever terrorize China, but had a role in bringing together the three masters of the Kung Fu Council: Thundering Rhino, Storming Ox, and Croc. After he had finished the story, all three saw that Shifu had found them. The old master dismissed Tigress and Mantis, but kept Po behind to fix the hole in the roof he made while breaking into the Palace.
In the English teaser trailer, Tigress was shown partaking in an exercise with Po and the other members of the Five, contributing her skill to transport a cup of tea to Shifu through the obstacles in the Training Hall.
PersonalityTigress is the strongest and boldest of the Furious Five. She is noted to have the typical qualities of a hero: overachieving, brave, fearless, and willing to do anything to save the day. The one exception to her willingness, however, was to believe in Po, whom she thought was a joke. But even the strongest can be wrong, and Tigress learned that destiny sometimes arrives in unexpected ways. Since the events of the first film, she has been unwaveringly loyal to Po and what he represents as the Dragon Warrior. But underneath her stoic, iron-jawed exterior is a warm compassion that others seldom see.
She is generally friendly, but the least sociable of the Five, and can be very intimidating at times due to her incredibly serious and direct demeanour. In many scenes of the first film in which the other four of the Furious Five and/or Po were joking or having fun, Tigress would often remain quiet and withdrawn. At the time, it was strongly believed, by Shifu and herself, that Oogway was about to choose her as the Dragon Warrior before Po's entrance, despite Oogway's statements. As a result, Tigress bitterly resented Po for thwarting her dream, and was the most vocal of the Five in her contempt for the panda and his perceived lack of respect for kung fu, even while her comrades grew to respect him, perhaps still believing she was the Dragon Warrior.
When she was a young cub, Tigress had trouble controlling her violent temper. Shifu had helped teach her how to control this temper since then, but she still occasionally loses control. This is shown during the first film while she was telling Po about Shifu's past with Tai Lung and herself. She had mistaken Po's sudden facial expression into thinking that he was making fun of her. She reacted by pulling back her paw and unsheathed her claws, having every intention on striking him. Mantis stopped her before she could do so, confessing that he accidentally hit his facial nerve with one of his acupuncture needles, to which she pulls back.
However, Tigress does possess a "soft side", particularly towards children in some instances. This is shown near the end of the first film where she politely helped some young villagers evacuate the Valley, and in Kung Fu Panda Holiday, where Tigress playfully helped to feed a young toddler piglet during the Winter Feast. Tigress appears to have sustained a more calm and content attitude since the events of the first film, and in the holiday special she is seen to behave in a kinder and friendlier way, as demonstrated when she and rest of the Five help Po with his difficulties in preparing for the Winter Feast.
However, in "Kung Fu Day Care", Tigress said that she does not like children when a small child named Zan is taken for ransom by the Croc Bandits and takes a particular liking to her when he is saved by her and Po. She was assigned to be his guardian by Shifu for this reason, and was very reluctant to do so. In the end, once she remembered how she felt and what Shifu did for her as a child, she felt bittersweet when he went back home with his mother, and promised to visit him.
Tigress is also not without insecurities, as a result of years of training under the initially stern and mostly withdrawn Shifu, whom she calls the closest thing to a father she has ever had. Consequentially, both Kung Fu and her master's approval form a very large part of Tigress' self worth, which both the films and series occasionally imply she struggles with. In the first film, as she recalls in a flashback how Shifu has never loved anyone like he loved Tai Lung, young Tigress lands a strong blow on the training doll, only to have her posture silently corrected by a glaring Shifu. As she looks after him sadly, the scene fades into the now adult Tigress, still baring the same sad look for a moment before covering it up with her usual severity. Also, in The Spirit Orbs of Master Ding, Tigress is unable to cope with the idea that Po is becoming better than her in every way that is important to her, since she does not know how to do much else besides kung fu. After Shifu complements Po, Tigress' jealousy finally gets the better of her and causes her to act recklessly, becoming the catalyst for the events of the episode.
Before Po's arrival, Tigress was the only member of the Furious Five who was completely serious and stoic, although her humourlessness in the first film could also be attributed to her anger at Po for accidentally crushing her dream. However, after Po is accepted by, and begins to really integrate with the Five, his general levity seems to cause Tigress to lighten up and become more playful. In the credits of the first film, she is seen toying affectionately withe the panda training doll, similar to a cat with a ball of wool, in between savaging it. She is also seen copying Po's imitation of Shifu, this time to her master's face, who seems to enjoy her impression immensely. In the TV series, though still retaining her characteristically serious attitude, she often shown to have a dry and sarcastic sense of humour, and often appreciates, and very occasionally participates in, the jokes and pranks that Po and the Five play on each other.
The traditional Tiger fighting style is powerful, strong, firm, and aggressive—and adding a bit of Wushu-like acrobatic flair to the mix, Tigress is a warrior to be feared and admired. She strikes directly without hesitation, utilizing speed, agility and power to shatter opponents' defenses. Like the traditional tiger fighter, Tigress stays close to the ground; she is agile, acrobatic and elegant.
In her past twenty years of dedicated training, Tigress has enhanced these skills enough to enable herself into learning new techniques and abilities. One of Tigress' famous moves, for example, is the "Tahlia Leap", which she uses against Tai Lung in the first film and in Kung Fu Panda Holiday to help Po with place settings and some minor decorations for the formal Winter Feast dinner. Similarly, she is also able to accurately catch fire arrows and hold them without burning herself. She also continues to build her strength, possessing enough at one point to be able to catch and hold Po in midair with ease, despite the panda's weight.
Tigress also mentions in Kung Fu Panda 2 how she used to punch the ironwood trees by the palace to train, and now "feel[s] nothing." This kind of severe training enables Tigress to possess a high trait of physical endurance and tolerance to pain, unable to feel some varieties of physical pain in her arms and paws.
When Tigress was very young, she was taken in by Shifu. As her new master, and possibly the only person unafraid of her and who hadn't regarded her as a monster, she was always eager to please him. But Shifu's stern and bitter personality disheartened her, always making her feel like her efforts weren't enough. She worked hard at her kung fu training to make him proud, and perhaps wished to become the Dragon Warrior herself as a means to do so.
Though she failed in achieving the title, and in defeating Tai Lung, Shifu declared he was proud of all his students, including Tigress, before parting with them on what they thought would be their last meeting.
Tigress obeyed his orders to evacuate the Valley without question, even in knowing her master would likely lose his life. At the end of the first film, however, Shifu finally accepted her after he had attained inner peace due to Po's efforts of defeating Tai Lung, and a scene during the end credits showed Tigress at the kitchen table with a noodle dangling from her upper lip, imitating Shifu in the similar way Po did in the first film, and the red panda is seen to be laughing at the display.
In "Kung Fu Day Care", Tigress had a flashback to when she was a cub trying to learn how to do a side kick. She cried out of frustration, claiming that she'd never get it right, but Shifu calmly encouraged her, saying she would get it when she needed to get it. Shifu then tried to cheer her up by kindly asking her to play a game of checkers, to which she agreed. This shows that Shifu possibly wasn't always bitter towards Tigress while she grew up in the palace.
In the episode "Father Crime", Tigress also admitted that Shifu is the closest thing to a father she's ever had.
Tigress' relationship with the Dragon Warrior was initially cold owing to her feeling that he cheated her out of the title that she strove for all her life, and she attempted to discourage him from following his new calling. However, she along with the rest of the Furious Five grew to respect Po's tireless tenacity, his admiration of her and the others never wavering for all his abuse. When Po defeated Tai Lung in single combat, Tigress was duly impressed and allowed herself to bow him with a smile.
In the events depicted in Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, Tigress' friendship with the panda gradually grew. While Po's immaturity, clumsiness and habit for hasty decisions is still very much an irritant, she has come to realize that he is a resourceful warrior who truly deserves to be the Dragon Warrior. In turn, her dedication to emotional control has been challenged in the series, and her personality and way of doing things has tended to clash with Po's. The idea of there being some kind of potential romance between the two has been explored for comedic effect throughout the series. In "Midnight Stranger", Tigress becomes enamoured of the Midnight Stranger, and begins to act in an awkward, uncharacteristically lovestruck manner, much to the delight of Po, who is actually the Midnight Stranger, and who becomes desperate to tell Tigress the truth. However, eventually Tigress discovers Po's secret and, realising she had been fantasising about Po all along, is utterly horrified and has to leave to "throw up". Furthermore, in "Bride of Po", Tigress is skeptical and suspicious of Po's new fiance, and whilst her suspicion proves to be correct, Po continues to misinterpret them as romantic jealousy, to the point where Tigress gets so annoyed she resorts to physical violence.
In the sequel, Tigress has come to accept Po as a friend and fellow warrior, whilst his easygoing manner has rubbed off on her slightly, causing her to interact with him in a more casual and lighthearted manner. This was seen when Po stuffed forty bean buns in his mouth, and Tigress encouraged him rather than regarded him with disgust, as she would have in the first film. Furthermore, she fought in sync with Po in battles in a strong comradeship, having grown used to working with him.
Tigress also showed kindness towards Po when she helped relieve his stress about finding out that Mr. Ping wasn't his biological father by sparring with him on the boat ride to Gongmen City. Tigress approached him in a serious but friendly manner and inquired as to what was really troubling him. Through this, he revealed to her what he knew of his parentage and how envious he was of her ability to not feel any pain, even emotional pain, as he had come to believe. This, however, caused Tigress to reflect inwardly on herself and understand how others perceived her.
Tigress also demonstrates unwavering loyalty towards Po, as well as being very protective over him, doing whatever she can to pull him out of danger. Her protective behavior has been shown to be so strong, that at one point she resorts to leaving Po in prison to "keep [him] far away from danger" when he refused to explain the inexplicable hesitation he faced in the middle of capturing Lord Shen (allowing the peacock to escape to his fireworks and destroy the building he was previously in, putting the Five and Po in peril), and even went so far as to fight him off when he adamantly refused to stay. This protective behavior over Po, however, was shown at it most extreme when she went as far as to push him out of firing range of one of Shen's cannons, and taking most of the impact of the explosion from the cannon as a result.
Though she demonstrated her strict nature by ordering (and eventually fighting) Po to stay behind in the prison for refusing to explain his sudden hesitation in catching Shen, she also showed compassion towards him at Po's revelation of his parentage, surprising him and the rest of the Five when she hugged him instead of lunging at him, and saying she did understand Po's troubles, but wanted him to remain in the prison because she couldn't watch her friend be killed, showing him that she wasn't quite as unfeeling as Po thought. Later when she and the other Five found Po in Shen's fireworks factory, Tigress went after Po to prevent him from being hurt, but was too late as Shen blasted Po from the building with a cannon.
When Po seemingly "died" from Lord Shen's cannon, Tigress was seen chained with the others and hanging across a boat, with Monkey being the only one to hold up a fighting spirit and turn to her for support, saying Po would want them to be strong, resulting in nothing but an expression of sorrow from Tigress.
Near the end of the film, after Shen was defeated, Po hugged Tigress after she complimented his heroic actions as "pretty hardcore". Tigress was shocked and did not react, but she watched the fireworks with Po and others with a smile on her face, showing that she wasn't angered by Po's attempt to come emotionally close to her.
The Furious Five
As a member of the quintet of warriors, Tigress is a close friend to them all. This friendship paid off when the Five battled Tai Lung in the first film. At first, she thought that she could beat Tai Lung alone, but however, almost lost her life in the process. Her teammates realized that she was in distress, and rushed to her aid. Her fellow comrades understand her strength and power and revere her as their unofficial leader, shown mainly in the both films when they quickly obey any commands she gives them.
Her title is well deserved, though, amongst the Five, as she constantly displays quick reflexes and a mind that can hatch plans and fighting tactics which get her and her team out of impossibly dangerous situations.
While they show respect to Tigress, they have shown to be intimidated by her on occasion, often avoiding the risk of pushing her temper. For example, Mantis slowly crawled away when Tigress began walking into Po's room while the panda was telling them about his knowledge of Tai Lung. Also, in the second film, when Tigress' powerful glare stopped Po in his tracks as he was about to protest in being left behind in the hunt for Shen, the rest of the Five watched in stunned fear, and Monkey covered his mouth. This shows that Tigress' ability to be easily provoked is well known amongst her friends.
Tigress' outfit consists of basic clothing most students would wear to practice the art of kung fu in. Unlike the other Furious Five, however, Tigress is the only member to wear a shirt: a traditional red Chinese vest with golden vine patterns and black trim, held together with small metal fasteners and a waist wrap. She also wears black silk pants and black sandals with soles designed to resemble paw pads.
In Kung Fu Panda Holiday (during the Winter Feast dinner at the Jade Palace and later at the noodle shop), Tigress and the other members of the Furious Five each wear an outfit similar to their normal attire, but with colors that match the colors of the holiday. Tigress wears a silver vest with red vine patterns, a red Shaolin waist wrap, and dark brown silk pants as opposed to her usual black. Tigress also briefly wears a headdress similar to some of the other masters at the table during the Palace dinner.
Tigress' outfit has also included her having sleeves in non-canonical appearances, such as in early concept art and during a 2D-animated appearance at the end credits of the first film.
In images for Kung Fu Panda 3, Tigress is seen in a new outfit that consists of a long-sleeved yellow garment with red vine patterns, similar to the designs on her usual vest.
- According to the filmmakers of the first film, Tigress is Po's favorite of the Furious Five despite the fact that she shows considerable disrespect and disgust at him throughout most of the film.
- The chunk of wood that Po picks up as a souvenir of Tigress' "awesomeness" was deemed "the love chunk" by the film's layout department.
- In the first film, Tigress insists on fighting and defeating Tai Lung, whose name translates to "Great Dragon". This may be a reference to the Chinese belief that the tiger and the dragon are eternal rivals.
- Tigress' favorite food has been noted to be tofu stir fry.
- Tigress' battle weakness is located in her armpits.
- For designing Tigress, the filmmakers made a conscious effort to not make Tigress appear humanly feminine, instead using her facial markings to resemble makeup.
In popular culture
- A spoof version of Tigress appears with Po and the rest of the Furious Five in the MAD episodes "Kung Fu Blander" and "PO-blivion".