Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Ununnilium: Must these trope names begin with "all"? I mean, we do have Most Writers Are Male, so obviously we don't have to awkwardly generalize.

Anyway. Other than that, this is good.

Seth: I hereby forbid name changes - thats it, they're forbidden :p

Tzintzuntzan: This batch of tropes should begin with "all." Most Writers Are Male refers to the real world, where most but not all writers are male. All Guys Want Cheerleaders and All Girls Want Bad Boys refer to the world inside the television, where these tropes are practically immutable laws of biology.

Lale: I named it after the cheerleaders trope to ake the connection. No, not all tropes must begin with all, but since that one did, why not this one? is what I figured.

Ununnilium: Seth: Forbid name changes on tropes that have been here more than a week all you like. ^,^

And Tzintzuntzan... actually, that makes sense. Still rankles me, though.

Citizen: rawr.
Tabby: Tweaked the Kim Possible entry because I really don't see Ron as a Dogged Nice Guy.

Fly: I never was a fan of Happy Days, but I really don't remember Fonzie being a literal girl magnet...

Lale: He'd snap his fingers, and every girl in the vicinity would run to his arm... happened once per episode at the least.
Mister Six: Restored the bit Lale cut about Truth in Television.

Lale: Well,
A) It's not true. I'll give you "many," even "most" girls, but not all- this girl, for one.
B) Media portrayal of "bad boys" is hardly entirely realistic.

Mister Six: Just so everyone's aware, this is the line, with my emphasis: "In a way, this is Truth in Television - most women find confidence attractive, and those men who don't really care about anyone other than themselves have confidence in spades."

Note that it doesn't comment on the realism of the media portrayal of bad guys, nor does it say all women agree on this one point. Lale's primary objection here appears to be a misreading, not an objection with what is actually written.

All it's doing is pointing out is that there is a root for the belief that women like 'bad boys', and that's because most of them like someone who is actually confident about himself (and Lale, seriously - you don't find confident men attractive? You only find unconfident men attractive?). Restoring it again, please don't take it out a third time.

Lale: If you must know, I prefer the intellectual, creative type. Confident IMO is good — rebellious/criminal/troubled, no. Confidence is in no way connected to motorcycles and leather-jackets. I'm also offended by the assumption that girls' tastes are so simple and uniform while All Guys Want Cheerleaders says the opposite about guys'. What qualifies anyone to make that assumption anyway?

Mister Six: As I have made clear in previous points, the line only talks about confidence, not about leather or bikers or whatever it is that's upsetting you. In any case, I've added a second sentence to make this more explicit.

Additonally, there's a marked difference between uniform desires in terms of appearance (the aforementioned leather jackets, or the cheerleaders' big breasts and fake tans) and uniformity of desire in certain basic traits, in this case confidence, which is generally regarded as a good first step for anyone looking to make themselves active on the dating scene. Not the use of the word 'generally'.

I'm sure there are plenty of women that like it when a man can't get through a sentence without stumbling over his words, has trouble meeting new people and is generally introverted. But as far as I know - and housemates of mine did dull studies about this for their sociology courses, so for a time I knew far more than I could ever possibly want to - the majority of women find self-confidence to be one of the fundamental (though not neccessarily vital) aspects of their 'ideal man'.

Lale: sounds like all guys think its Truth in Television. Still don't get the "confidence" connection. "Only Troubled, but Cute aren't wimps" seems a stretch.

Mister Six: Yes, it is, but it's a stretch that you made, not me. I certainly never said anything about anyone being wimps. If all you can contribute to this discussion is (preumably wilfull) misreadings of what I've written then we might as well stop right here, before you drive me to fire up All Women Are Irrational.

Lale: Why not?

Ununnilium: I'm re-cutting the Truth in Television line. Just because a trope is related to something that happens in reality doesn't mean it's TiT. Every trope comes from something that actually happened once.

Licky Lindsay: I just thought of an example here, that might actually have some bearing on this debate about the "confidence in spades" thing. I hope you people all watched Gilmore Girls. Think about the season or so when Rory had to choose between Dean and Jess. Jess was quite obviously supposed to be the "bad boy" of the two. The writers made damn sure you knew that. But Dean was not necessarily less confident, or less social. Or less liked by fans of the show. I'm not suggesting that Gilmore Girls is necessarily closer to reality than Seventh Heaven or Happy Days, just that even on TV things are more complicated than that.

Lale: So, A) "most girls want confident guys"- true.
B) "All girls want bad boys"- cannot be proven by A.

Morgan Wick: And even in Hollywood, not all confident guys are bad boys.

Fast Eddie: yup. Generalizations will get you in trouble, generally. There is also a class of men who are attracted to rebellious, "spunky" girls/women who have a bit of a go-to-hell attitude. As in the Gilmore Girls example Licky gave, it is about the rebellion, all other things being sorta equal. I imagine that for Rory there was a bit of "life just can't be this Norman Rockwell all the time, there has to be something more exciting going on." Side note: Dean was definitely not in Rory's intellectual weight class, as well, or as well as Jess was, anyway. That was likely a factor.

Actually, when I think about it a bit, any teenage boy who is not just a little pissed off at the world probably isn't very bright. ;P

Mister Six: Okay, so cut it. I just want to repeat for the... fifth? Sixth? Time that I never said that all (or even many) girls specficially want bad boys, just that there is a truth there that the core of a bad boy's character is based around an element of personality that most women find attractive, ie: confidence. This is the root of the "all women like bastards" misonception and therefore at the heart of the "all women like bad boys" rule. This does not rule out confidence existing in other, non-bad boys, nor does it mean that women do not find non-bad boys attractive or even that they would neccessarily choose a bad boy over a nice guy.

Doug: Confidence is only a(major) factor, but in real life I would call this "Most Women want Alphas" and male "aphas," in their teens and twenties, are prone to ignoring rules and using violence. Plus Alphas go through women like kleenex and are very visible about doing so. Therefore it is no surprise that this trope developed.

Fast Eddie: Chill, Mr Six. Nobody is attacking your entry. It is just generating some discussion. I think "confidence" isn't quite being as key in defining what makes a boy "bad", though. Some other (or additional) factor seems to be at work.

Mister Six: It wasn't anger so much as weary frustration. As for the other factor, aren't bad boys in TV usually given a drunken, abusive or absent father figure? See the movie Heathers, the comic Crossing Midnight or any other number of shows.

Ununnilium: Well, yeah, Mister Six. I'm just saying, there is a kernel of truth in it, but the details have gotten so warped that you can't really call it "true".

Ikkin: The question of what defines a "bad boy" is probably more complicated than it needs to be due to the fact that there are a couple of wildly-different types that share the name: - A variation on the Jerk Jock type, who actually does tend to meet the criteria (outwardly, at least) of rebellion, confidence, and alpha-ness. Generally the version of "bad" used by guys who claim that they always lose to "bad boys." - An anti-heroic, darkly-attired guy with a Dark and Troubled Past (or a dark and troubled present) and all the issues that entails. They often meet none of the attraction criteria that real life "bad boys" have, and can even be as romantically awkward as the Dogged Nice Guy though significantly less stalkerish and more inclined to avoid starting relationships.

The latter type is often attractive for different reasons - sympathy rather than coolness - though, ironically, characters of the second type tend to be transformed into the first without explanation by the Fan Dumb.

Might it be a good idea to split these two types off in the main page, to give a better description of what's really going on? I'm thinking the first type would be best described as an "Alpha" bad boy, while the latter would be a "Loner" bad boy, to use the usual wolf parallel.

Cassius335: Lol at the Tamers reference. All Girls Want Bad Girls?

Violet Strange: Removed from the Real Life section:
  • I'm sorry, but when the girls in question are under 20 its 100% Truth in Television. Among a few examples from my life: one of my best friends and an otherwise intelligent, talented, well-adjusted person (not to mention bloody gorgeous) was so drawn to badboys that she dated a string of abusive drug dealers. In fact, in my experiences,ask just about any teenage girl of the artsy individualist variety and they'll admit being drawn to badboys.

Because the "100%" is blatantly false and fairly offensive. If the original editor wants to cut that part and rephrase the rest of it in a way that doesn't insult the entire, rather large, segment of women that doesn't like "bad boys" and didn't even when they were "under 20", feel free.

Some Guy: This entry on Manipulative Bastard has always bugged me (because it honestly doesn't seem that manipulative). I think it would be much better served on this page instead. Any thoughts?

Doctor Nemesis: Removed:

In Paul Robinson's Instrument Of God, Supervisor 246 is world-famous for being terrific in bed, such that thousands of women want the opportunity. And, to be fair, once a month, 246 offers it to them. (He's dead; in the afterlife of the story, men can have sex repeatedly.) The rest of the time he restricts himself to one or two women a day.

Because it doesn't actually seem to have anything to do with the trope at all. Is Supervisor 246 a particularly 'bad' person?

Doctor Nemesis: I think we're going to have to set up a Troper Tales link for much of the 'Real Life' section; I think we'd be better served on this page if we just had a note saying that it's heavily contested whether it is or it isn't Ti T and let people go to Troper Tales if they really want to continue the discussion.

Doctor Nemesis: And it's done.

Doctor Nemesis: I've altered this example:

Because Bingley is never a serious contender for the heroine's affections; Bingley is always attracted to the heroine's sister, who reciprocates his love. Also, the heroine likes Bingley and considers him a decent man (except for a period where it seems, inadvertently on his part, that he's been playing with the affections of her sister). Furthermore, it completely ignores the rather more obvious playing with this trope in the form of Darcy (nice guy who comes off as a bad boy) and Wickham (bad boy who comes off as a nice guy).

Lale: No, but the author obviously finds Darcy more interesting than Bingley since she gives him the A Romance Plot (I've heard theories of Author Appeal), and while Elizabeth claims that she wouldn't marry Darcy if he were the last man on Earth, it's obvious she was attracted to him. Elizabeth's criticism of Bingley has nothing to do with a Love Triangle but an explanation of why All Girls Want Bad Boys. Not a subversion as much as a meta example.

Doctor Nemesis: True, but Darcy isn't really a Bad Boy as I understand the trope to be describing one; and in any case, whilst Elizabeth might be attracted to Darcy, she's clearly a bit more into Wickham when she thinks that he's a decent guy. That's part of the point of the novel, surely - Elizabeth even points out that Darcy has all the goodness and Wickham has all the appearance of it. Granted, it might not be a subversion - now I think about it, the Bingley issue has some merit - but it's not exactly the trope, either.
Furiko Maru: Whoa... what is The Castle of Cagliostro doing on here? This is Miyazaki!Lupin we're talking about, right? The guy who's nothing but patient and considerate towards the heroine throughout the entire film and even refuses to ruin Clarisse's life by taking her with him at the end, which is more than can be said for most Loveable Rogue romantic leads (Anastasia, I'm looking in your direction)? Heck, he won't even kiss her on the lips (because he's a responsible adult)! Also, since when are Bad Boys this well-adjusted? Was there a memo I didn't get? 'Cause IIRC, they're meant to be deeply disturbed at worst and stoic at best, aren't they?

Sorry if that was too indignant, but I have a vested interest, here. Criminal acts do not a badboy make, at least not in fiction. You want a Lupin III badboy? Try Jigen or Goemon.
Doctor Nemesis: Okay, I've been wondering this for a while, now but... who exactly is that in the picture? And what does he have to do with this trope? Would it be possible to at least have a caption to contextualize him as to why he belongs here? After all, for the uninitiated in the fandom he stems from, he could be anyone. Failing that, might it be possible to replace that picture with one that might be a bit more widely recognised?

Doctor Nemesis: I've removed the picture because, really, without any sort of context it's just some guy in black. I'm not opposed to it being put back up, but it really needs some context, IMHO.
Sabre Justice: Is there an inverse for this? Guys can want bad girls too y'know.

This Troper: I think it's this but inverted, in an obv different way than Single Woman Seeks Good Man.
This Troper: Can somebody clarify what this article is actually about? Is it about the mysterious quiet types, whom I dunno why girls are attracted to, or the "asshole" type of guys who women are attracted to because they punish the girl's bad behavior and thus preserve their value in the relationship? There's quite a difference between the two imo.
Doctor Nemesis: Moved this here for archival reasons, because really it's getting a bit out of control on the page.

  • This trope is based on a highly contentious truism that essentially states that 'chicks dig jerks', and are automatically attracted to abusive assholes, jerkass bullies and the Troubled, but Cute over the Dogged Nice Guy who would treat them right. Essentially, there are two basic positions on this assertion, with your position on each seemingly to depend largely on your gender, your personality, your individual experiences and, as a more cruel troper might observe, your success rate with members of the opposite sex:
    • Those who agree with the assertion, citing anecdotal evidence of girls who stick with abusive, mean assholes and provide numerous reasons;
      • Alpha Males are Attractive: Various studies prove that women can be just as superficial as men.
      • The Early Bird Gets the Worm: Bad Boys, even less attractive ones, are more likely to initiate encounters with girls than the shy nice guys.
      • Nice Guys Don't Kiss and Tell: When Bad Boys engage in adulterous short-term relationships, they brag; people hear about them more often than more stable relationships.
      • Nice Guys Are Boring: Some girls crave drama and that won't happen with a nice guy.
      • Girls Just Want To Have Fun: Girls can be just as willing to engage in one-night-stands or no-strings-attached meaningless sex as much as the Bad Boys, who are also much more likely to be concerned with keeping emotion out of the relationship.
      • Girls Want Fixer-Uppers: Essentially, being bad implies that the boy is 'broken' in some way and, so the theory goes, girls like the challenge of 'fixing' or 'healing' him with her love. Not being broken, the well-adjusted nice guy presents no challenge, and thus no interest.
      • People Want What they Can't Have: Similarly, while nice guys tend to dote on girls, Bad Boys tend to treat them as expendible, and so seem more of a challenge.
      • Bad Boys Make Girls Feel Special: If a guy is a jerk to everyone else except the girl, then (in the mind of the girl at least) clearly there's something special about the girl that provokes this treatment. The nice guy who is nice to her and to everyone else consequently makes the girl feel less special, since he treats her the same way as he treats everyone else. This one, of course, depends on how frequently and sincerely the 'bad boy' treats the girl right.
      • Women Marry Up: Nice guys act subordinate, while Bad Boys are domineering, while and women are naturally and/or traditionally submissive.
      • Bad Boys Are "Deep": This ones tends to play on the assumption (flawed or otherwise) that angst is 'deeper' than good cheer; Bad Boys with issues are seen as having more 'substance' than Nice Guys without them.
    • Those who disagree with the assertion, and provide personal anecdotal evidence of;
      • Bad Boys Lie: They really can't get dates, but talk the talk so well everyone buys it. However, while this may occasionally be the case, experiential evidence accrued by many Nice Guys can put the lie to this one on a general level.
      • Some "Nice" Guys Aren't Actually So Nice: Many who complain about this trope aren't as nice as they think they are.
      • Girls Aren't Psychic: They date the attractive guy until they realize that he's a jerk and then dump him.
      • Not every Dogged Nice Guy is Meek: Many girls in happy relationships with stable, decent guys say there were other nice guys who just couldn't work up the courage to ask.
      • Nice Guys Are In Short Supply: Every decent guy is either Happily Married or gay: Most girls do want nice guys and the market is simply oversaturated.
      • Sour Grapes: the 'nice' guy is just jealous of the guys who are in relationships with girls they'd like to be with, and use this trope as a convenient ego-soothing crutch.
      • Niceness Is Default: essentially, being polite, respectful and nice to a girl isn't something you should do largely or solely in expectation of sex as a 'reward', and isn't in itself deserving of sex as a reward; it should be the general standard for how you treat women (and people generally) to begin with. Men who just act 'nice' to get romance / sex aren't actually being nice; they're misrepresenting themselves and their intentions.
      • Someone who is being nice to get sex isn't being nice. This is true. However, Niceness Is Default works both ways. Since the truly nice guy is nice to the other people too, he isn't really treatin the woman he's interested in in a special manner. If the guy is nice to everybody, then the niceness doesn't make her feel special. What's the solution most people come up with? Stop being a Nice Guy. It's not the ONLY working solution, but it's by far the easiest to pull off.
      • If the first solution you come up with when being nice doesn't attract a girl you're interested in is to stop being nice in general, chances are good that you weren't actually that nice to begin with.
      • Nice Guys Are Myopic: they're so insecure and / or hung up on on the girls who don't notice / aren't interested in them that they don't actually notice the girls right in front of them who are available and / or interested in them.
      • Nice Guys Can Get Girls: There are plenty of women in relationships with genuinely nice men, so someone somewhere must be doing something right.
    • There's also a third position that states that it's not quite as simple as Girls Do / Don't Want Bad Boys, exemplified by arguments such as:
      • Girls Want Confidence: the key uniting factor between people in relationships is that they have have actually had the courage to approach the other person and make their interest known. The problem is not that All Girls Want Bad Boys or that Nice Guys Finish Last, but one of confidence; if the Dogged Nice Guys doesn't have the confidence to actually ask the girl out, then of course Nice Guys Finish Last — they aren't even in the competition to begin with. Hence, what girls really like is confidence which, naturally, rebellious "Bad Boys" possess more of than meek, shy nice guys. By this rule, girls really (in general, not necessarily unanimously) want nice, confident guys.
      • All Messed Up Girls Want Bad Boys: a sort of half-way point between all of them, which suggests that the girls that the Bad Boys mostly get also tend to have plenty of issues themselves, usually of the low self-esteem type. The well-adjusted women tend to go for similarly well-adjusted men.
      • The Rescuer Role: It's not just the girls falling for the bad guys that's the problem; note how in many of these cases the Nice Guy seems to be distinctly attracted to the kind of girl who herself is attracted to abusive assholes. According to the idea of the Drama Triangle, they may be playing the Rescuer role out of a need to be seen to be rescuing the girl from a bad situation. Note that the article asserts that this role is not necessarily or entirely benevolent...
      • Umm, no. While that's the role they end up playing, it's usually the guy truly being nice, and offering the woman emotional intimacy and comfort freely, at a time where she's really not in the mood for sexual intimacy (because she was hurt by someone she was sexually intimate with). The woman freely accepts it, then when she's in the mood for more physical things, goes off to the next Bad Boy, spurning the Nice Guy once again, because he's now firmly planted in Just Friends territory. Yet he keeps on trying because he's nice. Eventually some of them snap and stop being Nice Guys. Sometimes it even gets them the girl, and they live Happily Ever After, but usually they end up with someone else.
      • With some, certainly; but the point of that article is that some of the 'nice' guys aren't actually that nice to begin with, and they're 'rescuing' the girl not because they genuinely care about her, but because they get off on being the Knight In Shining Armour.

This entire article (as do a good deal of articles on TT, for that matter) sounds like it was written by an incredibly bitter "Nice Guy" whose mouthbreathing obsession over a female friend went shockingly unreciprocated. Can the people writing these articles please actually interact with a real, live woman before making ridiculous assumptions and generalizations?

Madrugada: I've replaced the picture of Charles Manson with one of James Dean and Natalie Wood. Manson is so far from meeting the definition of "Bad Boy" as to not be an example. And far from "all girls want him; a very few are attracted to him but most would probably run in terror.