Created By: NerdaRena on July 25, 2011 Last Edited By: NerdaRena on April 22, 2016

Real Men Open Jars (formerly Jar Of Manliness

Opening jars requires brute strength and is therefore a man's work.

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Trope
Alice is having some trouble opening a jar. She hands it to Bob, who twists the lid off with ease. Also commonly subject to a Gender Flip, particularly in shows that are either Rated M for Manly or full of Testosterone Poisoning: Bob can't open the jar, but Alice can. (Cue Bob insisting that he loosened it.)

Up for Grabs.
Community Feedback Replies: 43
  • July 25, 2011
    randomsurfer
    The subversion happens in a Cold Open on Mad About You.
  • July 25, 2011
    noblesix
    Subverted on The Big Bang Theory. Sheldon, in an attempt to help Leonard appear masculine to his new girlfriend, Stephanie, feigns being unable to open a jar. Leonard, playing along, is actually unable to open the jar.
  • July 25, 2011
    noblesix
    Also played with in Hancock. Charlize Theron's character, who has powers like Hancock, including super-strength, asks her husband to open a jar for her.
  • July 25, 2011
    Angewomon
    (erases example) Never mind, it wasn't an example.
  • July 25, 2011
    Psychobabble6
    In an episode of That 70's Show, Midge asks Bob to open a jar to make a point to Donna about how women have men under their thumbs. He has a lot of trouble opening it, and it's implied that Midge was only doing it to make him feel manly.
  • July 25, 2011
    SunnyV
    • Subverted on Buffy The Vampire Slayer at the end of an episode: Xander asks Willow to help him with a jar just before the credits roll.
  • July 25, 2011
    KevinKlawitter
    In one episode of Johnny Bravo the titular meathead finds himself captured by a group of amazons and the final part of a test he is given to prove he is worthy enough to be their man is to open a jar of pickles. Said image would also be the perfect image for this article
  • July 26, 2011
    BraveHoratio
  • July 26, 2011
    IronLion
    The gender-flipped version is precisely that: a Gender Flip, not a subversion.
  • July 26, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    Referenced in this You Tube video.
    Frollo: [God] made the devil so much stronger than a man!
    YTPrenewed: What, did he have more ease opening a jar of pickles than you?
  • July 26, 2011
    terrafox
    This is a staple of Dom Com shows. Gender Flip examples and subversions are more commonplace because it is an easy gag to pull off. The most common setup for the Gender Flip or subversion of it is for male characters to be in a conversation heavy on either Rated M For Manly or Testosterone Poisoning, cue a well-timed request from a nearby female character to have a jar opened, followed immediately by several seconds of unsuccessful effort to open the jar. Alternatively, the guy grabs a jar to open it, struggles with it for several seconds, sets it on a table. Cue a petite female character walking by, suddenly wanting whatever is in the jar, nonchalantly opening the jar and then walking away while the guy insists he loosened it.
  • July 26, 2011
    NerdaRena
    Okay, so, aside from what I called a subversion actually being a Gender Flip, are there any other major errors or things that should be mentioned in the description? (--bump.)
  • July 26, 2011
    thegrenekni3t
    • At least one episode of The Powerpuff Girls has the Mayor calling the girls on the emergency hotline in order to get them to open a jar of pickles.
  • July 27, 2011
    TonyG
    • Invoked on Monsters Vs Aliens
      Ginormica: I mean, did you see how strong I was? I bet there wasn't a jar in the world I couldn't open.
    • On Kim Possible, When Shego leaves Dr. Draken, Draken brags that he could do just fine without her, but spends the entire episode trying to open a jar. At the end, Shego returns and opens the jar for him, with Draken giving her the "after I loosened it up for you" line.
    • Played with in Kung Fu Panda when Po can't open the container with the Dragon Scroll. After Shifu opens it with ease, Po says "sure, after I loosened it up for you."
  • July 27, 2011
    RedneckRocker
    In a strip of Fox Trot, Jason's having trouble opening a jar, so Peter offers to do it for him. It's eventually revealed that Jason glued the jar shut for laughs.
  • July 27, 2011
    GoopsWorld
    • Not exactly a jar, but close enough. In order to get into the Salty Spitoon, Spongebob Squarepants tried to open a new bottle of Ketchup.

      • If I could just run this under some hot water.........
  • July 27, 2011
    SalFishFin
    I think the title could be a bit clearer.

    Real Men Open Jars?
  • July 27, 2011
    Aminatep
    Subverted on 5 Second Movies. Jars. Bottles. Cans. All hard to open. If you're retarded!
  • July 28, 2011
    Arivne
    Seconding Real Men Open Jars.
  • July 28, 2011
    goodtimesfreegrog
    Thirding that.

    Also, are there any examples with child-proof safety caps? You'd think that'd be a thing.
  • July 28, 2011
    MetaFour
    • In an early Dilbert strip, Dilbert has trouble opening a jar. Dogbert tries to show him how to do it, but he can't open it, either; he thinks to himself, "This would have worked in Family Circus." Dogbert then gives the jar to Bob the dinosaur, who just smashes it.
  • July 28, 2011
    EmbracingShadows
    Commonly subverted, when a woman steps in and uses her gentle touch. The guy usually says "I loosened it".
  • July 28, 2011
    sgamer82
    • In an episode of Full House, Danny laments to his girlfriend, who was just promoted ahead of him, that he had always believed that the man of the house should be older, stronger and more successful. His girlfriend soon after pops open a jar Danny was having trouble with. Danny can only lament that at least he's still older.
  • July 29, 2011
    Chabal2
    • Another Spongebob example: in the episode where Patrick decides to copy Spongebob exactly, he gets a job at the Krusty Krab. Spongebob tries to find a task even Patrick can do, and settles for opening a jar. After much effort, the jar is OPENED.
    • Not a jar, but the episode of The Simpsons ends with the First Lady needing to get back in the helicopter, but the straining team of bodyguars is incapable of opening the door. She kicks it and gets on, thecaptain muttering that they'd loosened it for her.

  • July 29, 2011
    TonyG
    ^To expand on the Spongebob example, Patrick couldn't open the jar because it was hard to open, but because he's too incompetent to find the lid. In fact, he had a hard time finding a jar, period.
  • September 15, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    You still here, Nerda Rena? You say it's up for grabs but first I want to find how frequently you check this YKTTW now.
  • September 16, 2011
    Medinoc
    The Robin Hood parody When Things Were Rotten has Maid Marian distract a pair of guards with the Pickle Jar Trick: She asks them to open a pickle jar for her (possibly one that's glued in place).
  • September 17, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    Memebase can probably supply a picture of a character feeling manly/emasculated after opening/failing to open a jar. But whatever we dig up might be a little too meme-y.
  • September 17, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    Perfectly Cromulent Word seems like it`d be a more fitting pothole for meme-y @ Commander Panda
  • September 17, 2011
    CommanderPanda
    It's just that Tropes aren't Memes. The picture may be a good image, but the meme-nature of it may be a disqualifying factor. Which I felt was more important to point out than my Neologism.
  • September 17, 2011
    X2X
    Early on in Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple, Kenichi's father Mototsugu attempts to open a pickle jar when his wife Saori muses that she can do the task herself. After much straining, Kenichi nonchalantly takes the jar from his dad, instantly opens it, and leaves, much to his father's bewilderment. This is Mototsugu's first clue that his son is beginning to come out of his shell and becoming a stronger, more self-confident person, although he initially gets the wrong idea about what's going on the Ryozanpaku dojo.
  • September 18, 2011
    TairaMai
    Subverted in Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino in "Frankie and Johnny". Frankie (Pfeiffer) opens the jar Johnny (Pacino) has trouble with. Johnny just got out of prison, I guess not a prison with weights. The producer said that Pfeiffer has large hands for a woman so that's why he put the scene in.
  • May 3, 2014
    Grithalmur
    One of the bonus cases in Touch Detective 2 1/2 tasks Mackenzie to help open a bottle of tea that has it's cap screwed on too tight. The one who is able to open it? Penelope, much to Mackenzie's surprise. Presenting it to anyone else will have them try, struggle, and quickly admit defeat.
  • May 3, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Parodied (?) in The Bionic Bunny Show, when Wilbur (the Bionic Bunny's actor)'s wife asks him to open a jar and he, despite playing a superhero, can't do it. The story closes with one of their children opening it.
  • May 3, 2014
    surgoshan
    The Gender Flip is a subversion, because it's playing on the belief that men are always stronger than women; thus if the woman ends up stronger, it's a subversion of expectations.
  • May 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Who wanna grab this?
  • May 27, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    I don't know.
  • May 27, 2014
    Alvin
    Invoked by Sondra's somewhat chauvinist cboyfriend Elvin on The Cosby Show. Clair then gives him a talking-to.
  • May 8, 2015
    jormis29
    • Life Support: In the seventh episode of season three, Sigourney does a segment on tightening jars around the house so that your boyfriend can open them and get a boost to his ego.
      Sigourney: So, if you want your boyfriend to feel like the big man, you only have to give him something little to do. So get yourself a tightening tool, tighten every jar in the house and watch his self confidence flourish.

  • May 10, 2015
    MetaFour
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic. In "The Mysterious Mare-Do-Well", the tomboyish Rainbow Dash is trying to prove her mettle as a hero. But no one needs rescuing at that moment—then Dash sees another mare struggling to open a jar of jelly, so she "heroically" insists on opening the jar for her. Naturally, she fails. Then the other pony taps the lid on a rock to loosen it and easily opens the jar.
  • May 10, 2015
    Berrenta
    Video game example:

    • Discussed in Tomodachi Life, occasionally, when a female Mii talks about her husband. She'd mention how she has a hard time opening jars and the husband can open it easily when she gives it to him.
  • May 11, 2015
    hbi2k
    Comic Books
    • In a play put on in-universe in Y The Last Man, the first scene has a woman's grief over her husband's death (along with the rest of the male gender) brought home to her when she has trouble opening a jar. It's lampshaded as a cliché, and having been something of a running joke between the two of them.
  • April 22, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    • Inverted in The Powerpuff Girls. A Running Gag is that the Mayor loves pickles but cannot open the jar. He often gets either his secretary Ms. Bellum to do it or asks the titular five-year old superheroines.
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