Tiger Lily resides in the Indian encampment on Neverland. She serves as the princess of her people, ruling the tribe along with her father, the imposing chief. Tiger Lily is established as a close friend of Neverland's local protector, Peter Pan. Peter Pan suggests that their relationship is romantic, as Tiger Lily and Peter displayed a mutual attraction (even sharing a kiss at one point). As such, Tiger Lily is deathly loyal to Peter, standing her ground to protect him even in the face of Captain Hook.
Tiger Lily is brave, strong-willed, and incredibly proud. She speaks only when she feels is necessary, and is often portrayed with a stoic expression and powerful stance (apparently taking after her father). She cares deeply for her friends, as she refused to give in to Captain Hook's demands regarding Peter even with her life was at risk. For all of her seriousness, she has also displayed a fun-loving side to her personality. She enjoys dancing and celebration within her tribe. She is also flirtatious with Peter, rendering him a blushing goof at one point.
Tiger Lily has tanned skin, black eyes, red lips and long black hair which is tied in two braids with yellow hair ties. She wears a fringed buckskin dress with pink and red stripes and blue moccasins. She also sports a blue headband with a feather on her head.
In the movie, her friendship with Peter Pan leads Captain Hook to believe that Tiger Lily knows where Peter Pan's hideout is located. With the assistance of Mr. Smee, Captain Hook kidnaps Tiger Lily and takes her to Skull Rock. The Indians believe that she was captured by the Lost Boys, and so do not come for her. Captain Hook places the bound Tiger Lily on a rock sticking out of the sea. He offers to set her free if she reveals the home of Peter Pan. He points out the rising tide, noting that Indian belief says that an Indian who dies by drowning cannot make it to the Happy Hunting Grounds. However, Tiger Lily knows better than to take the Captain at his word and refuses to talk, even if it means that she cannot ascend to the hunting grounds. Losing his patience, Hook lifts her right up and screams right in her face that Tiger Lily has one more chance, blasting her braids back with the force of his yelling.
Unknown to any of them, Peter Pan and Wendy have spotted the trio. Peter Pan is able to spook Hook and Smee by mimicking a spirit. When Hook leaves to find the source of the voice, Peter Pan begins imitating Hook. In Hook's voice, Pan orders Smee to return Tiger Lily to her people. Smee complies but is then yelled at by the real Hook, who orders Smee to put Tiger Lily back where he had her. Pan and Hook go back and forth until Peter Pan is discovered by Hook. After a short battle, Hook is chased off by Tick-Tock the Crocodile. By this time, Tiger Lily has almost drowned beneath the rising tide. Peter Pan doesn't notice this until it is pointed out by Wendy. Peter Pan rescues Tiger Lily, and they, along with Wendy, return to the Indian Camp.
At the camp, Peter is named Chief Flying Eagle by the Chief as a reward for saving Tiger Lily's life. During the following celebration, Tiger Lily, as an additional reward for him saving her life, flirts with and even kisses him, causing Wendy to leave the camp in a jealous huff. She is last seen dancing alongside Peter and sharing a nose kiss as the party continues.
Actress Sara Tomko portrays Tiger Lily (a fairy in this incarnation) in the sixth season.
After the birth of Fiona's son, Tiger Lily and the Blue Fairy visit Fiona, and Tiger Lily is revealed as the child's fairy godmother. Later on, after Fiona learns of her son's fate as the Savior, Tiger Lily helps her to find the child destined to kill Fiona's son in the far future. Breaking into the Sacred Vault of the Fairies, Tiger Lily is tricked by Fiona, who intends to create a curse to banish all the children of their land to the Land Without Magic and witnesses Fiona's transformation into the Black Fairy upon becoming corrupted by the dark magic she creates. Before Tiger Lily can be killed by the Black Fairy, the Blue Fairy appeared and banished the Black Fairy to the Dark Realm.
At some point, Tiger Lily gives up her fairy wings and relocates to Neverland where she has a history with Captain Hook. Years later, she comes across him once again and teams up with him to send word to the current savior, Emma, that the Black Fairy, intends to kill her during the Final Battle. Tiger Lily later helps Hook escape from the Lost Boys into a portal back to Storybrooke. Years later, after somehow regaining her fairy status, Tiger Lily becomes the fairy godmother to Lucy, Henry Mills' daughter and Rumplestiltskin's great-granddaughter. When Lucy comes to her for guidance after Henry goes missing, Tiger Lily asks her to have faith, telling her that she will be reunited with her father sometime in the future.
Tiger Lily will appear in the live-action film Peter Pan and Wendy. This version will be a 15/16-years-old teenager and will have a horse sidekick. In this version, Tiger Lily will play a larger role than in the original film and will be portrayed as "a fierce warrior and a serene and benevolent leader" who protects both Neverland, the Lost Boys, and Neverland's visitors from Captain Hook. This version will also be bilingual, being able to speak both English and her native language.
Tiger Lily appears briefly in the video game, where Peter needs to speak with her father, but the entrance is locked. She tells him he needs to make a sort of music to unlock the entrance. Her appearance in this game marks Tiger Lily's longest speaking time.
In the July 1995 issue of Disney Adventures magazine promoting the movie Pocahontas, there's a behind-the-scenes section of pages, one of which features a title card from pre-production that includes an early version of Pocahontas who looks a lot like this Tiger Lily, her arms folded, head held up high, eyes closed, and is surrounded by a few forest animals (a poster matching this description can also be seen in the documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty).
In real life, calling the daughter of a tribal chief a "princess" is now often considered derogatory, like the way Native Americans were seen in this film.
Although the totem can be seen, she never returned in the sequel Return to Never Land. This may have been due to controversy.
Ironically, Tiger Lily is the only member of the Indian tribe in the "What Makes the Red Man Red" sequence who is portrayed with a realistic appearance and skin color. Despite this, she is still absent in most future renditions of the Peter Pan story.