Created By: JackSlack on June 13, 2010 Last Edited By: JackSlack on June 19, 2010
Troped

Gay Bravado

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What happens when Refuge in Audacity meets Faux Yay in a bar one night, and Refuge in Audacity keeps jocularly hitting on it.

The scenario is this: Bob is straight. Everyone knows Bob is straight. But none the less, Bob will make outrageously homoerotic comments and suggestions to his (presumably also straight) friends and co-workers. Why? It's actually an odd form of macho; by doing this Bob appears to be utterly secure with his own sexual identity. And if he unsettles other people by doing this, then Bob is the one who comes out looking the most unflappable and collected in the room. It's a kind of homoerotic ju-juitsu. Sometimes the target buckles in uncomfortable silence, or sometimes they'll catch it and reverse it.

It's worth noting that this is not just innuendo. Innuendo is way too mild for this trope. It's flat out homoerotic suggestion by the time it's gotten to Gay Bravado.

Examples:

  • If it weren't for the no-no that example titles are, I'd have named this trope Bunk Gay, for Bunk from The Wire. He is a master of this. Some gems include:
    Bunk: And if I'm wrong, I'll give you a backrub you ain't ever gonna forget.
    Bunk: Look at that bow-legged motherfucker. I made him walk like that.
    Bunk: Now it's time for you to show the Bunk some love.
    Caught and reversed by McNulty: You want some love? Come over here and get in my lap.
  • Brent from PVP Online has a go at it here. Max reverses the blow.
  • Hawkeye used this early on in M*A*S*H.
  • Kitchen Confidential sees a lot of this, though more in a display of one-upmanship than to taunt and unnerve.

Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • June 9, 2010
    whereismytea
    Essentially Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today using the reverse form of logic.
  • June 10, 2010
    LShapedTetrisBlock
    I don't think this is the same as Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today at all... in fact, I'm kind of confused as to how you could make that connection, as the only thing in common at all is an affiliation with Ho Yay (and that the characters doing it are definitely straight), and that's both in a very different way in each trope, and hardly unique to either.

    In fact, I know I've Seen It A Million Times, so at the very least, it's a very common specific variant. I just can't think of any good examples.

    Here's a thought, though, would Hamish and Andy count? Hamish refers to Andy both as "my wife" and "your mother" when directing a question to the listening audience, and makes pretty frequent comments about spooning with him, being turned on by his behaviour, and so on. Andy does the same thing to Hamish sometimes. They're a weird pair.
  • June 10, 2010
    Mimimurlough
    Very common in Real Life, so I think that a Troper Tales section would be interesting (or maybe even redundant?)

    Hard to find examples in fiction though. How I Met Your Mother may be playing on this with the audience, seeing as the somewhat effimenate and sentimental Marshall and Ted are treated as being on a higher tier than the extremely heterosexual Barney.

    Definately used in Scrubs, and more often it seems as the series progressed.
  • June 10, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    @L Shaped Tetris Block: Sorry, I meant in a compare/contrast type of thing, I do think this is a trope. A character who invokes Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today is concerned about perceived heterosexuality and so tries to affirm it by overemphasizing it, whereas this character uses the opposite logic, that if they appear so unconcerned and nonchalant (even though they are not) about homoerotic subtext in their comments and go out of their way to make them, they will reaffirm their heterosexuality by inherent bravado. They are doing the same thing, but one is more openly insecure whereas the other covers it up with confidence.
  • June 10, 2010
    Mimimurlough
    One can add that this has a load of Unfortunate Implications. This is a form of joke that hinges on the thought that of course the character isn't gay, and the very idea that a macho or relatively normal guy could be gay is nonexistant, not to mention a homosexual relationship is treated as a parody of a heterosexual relationship.
  • June 10, 2010
    SevenOfDiamonds
    • Shawn from Psych does this occassionally.
  • June 10, 2010
    Duncan
    • In the 1986 So Bad Its Horrible Tennis movie Jocks, one of the players on the team psychs out his opponents by pretending to be gay and making kissy-faces at them. When they face off against a better team, his opponent takes the gay Up To Eleven, and he freaks out and leaves the court, calling him a faggot.
  • June 10, 2010
    Chabal2
    I read a book by a guy who works in the restaurant industry, in which he describes two guys putting their hands next to the other's balls, as if to say "I am so not gay, I can even do this!"
  • June 10, 2010
    shimaspawn
    ^ The book is Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  • June 10, 2010
    Reflextion
    With the Internet being what it is, this tends to be all too common throughout online gaming communities.
  • June 10, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    The Todd from Scrubs in particular seems to walk a line of Anything That Moves, Gay Bravado and Faux Yay depending on Rule Of Funny.
  • June 10, 2010
    SalFishFin
    The Game of "Gay Chicken" is some twisted form of this. The two players (Always Male, since Girl On Girl Is Hot) move toward each other as if about to kiss. The loser is the one who "chickens out" first.
  • June 10, 2010
    randomsurfer
    According to Mick Foley's book Have a Nice Day! he and Al Snow did this constantly with each other.
  • June 10, 2010
    Jordan
    In the Inspector Montalbano mysteries, an Italian mystery series, Montalbano, who is definitely heterosexual (he's a real Chick Magnet) does this a lot to his childhood friend Gege, who became a drug dealer and pimp. Like he'll make jokes about Gege's technique in giving blowjobs and things like that. Gege isn't gay either, but he employs a lot of male prostitutes.
  • June 11, 2010
    LShapedTetrisBlock
    Seems like there's a few examples on the Faux Yay page that fit into this trope a bit better. Like, eg, the gay chicken scene.

    Also: in early episodes of MASH, Hawkeye would do this from time to time.
  • June 11, 2010
    JackSlack
    I think the gay chicken is a bit different. It's similar, but that's not quite this trope either, since it's on both sides.

    It's a tricky trope. I need more time to think about it. Maybe it's just too specific.
  • June 11, 2010
    Mimimurlough
    Not really, we just have to figure out the core of it and move from there. If we can figure out the point of this trope, we can see what could be fit into it an what couldnt.
  • June 11, 2010
    lemler
    This is Faux Yay, just a specific kind of Faux Yay. I don't see any justification for creaing this trope, and keeping Faux Yay as it is. If people feel that Faux Yay is too broad, perhaps there could be two distinct tropes that deal with the two (arguably) most prevalent kinds of it: the kind described here, and the phenomenon of women acting like lesbians to turn people on.

    The problem with doing that is that there are other types of Faux Yay out there: for example, two women who will tell people that they're lesbians when they're out at bars and clubs to avoid being hit on. Or a man trying to get out of trouble for heterosexual indescretions by kissing a male friend, because if people think he's gay then no one will think he was the one who grabbed that woman's ass, or knocked up so-and-so.

    Because there are numerous Faux Yay scenarios that can't be easily classified, I'd recommend just keeping all of them in the one trope, the way it is now, unless it becomes way too big.
  • June 11, 2010
    Mimimurlough
    Does it count, though? Considering that the whole thing hinges on audience and jokers ignoring that same sex attraction actually exists in their immediate enviroment (it falls apart as soon as someone even considers the possibility of there actually being an attraction, after all), this comes across as less of a performance and more of playing around with a thought that is absurd to all of the involved. That is, they are not pretending to be gay; they are denying that homosexuality could even exist in their reality.
  • June 11, 2010
    LShapedTetrisBlock
    This isn't exactly Faux Yay, I think: Faux Yay is pretending to be gay, where this is, as Mimimurlough said, joking about being sexy/flirtatious with the same sex content in the knowledge that no one actually thinks of it as you being gay. Related tropes, yes, but I don't think they're quite the same.
  • June 12, 2010
    JackSlack
    I totally disagree with the claim that it's just Faux Yay. As noted, Faux Yay is about creating the appearance of homosexuality. This is anything but that; if anyone is under any illusion about sexual orientation, it falls apart.

    That said, I utterly agree that Faux Yay has grown too broad and needs to be broken down into more succinct tropes, but that's another issue.

    I'm still unconvinced that this trope should be launched, though. I don't feel I've defined it well enough to work.
  • June 12, 2010
    WorldWalker
    If this does get launched, without being defined very differently than it is here, then Tiny Cooper from "Will Grayson, Will Grayson" would count
  • June 12, 2010
    Duckay
    @Jack Slack Yes, but that's what YKTTW is for! There's some good meat in here, we just need to refine it a bit.
  • June 12, 2010
    Mimimurlough
    Indeed. We seem to be pretty far along the way in defning it already. From what I can gather this trope A) differs from Faux Yay in that it hinges on that everyone involved erases the possibility of homosexuality being a real thing and B) that doing this gives the performer a boost to his sense of masculinity. Anything I've missed?
  • June 12, 2010
    OmarKarindu

    While I think the current title is easily the best for this, a pun-addicted part of me wants it to be called Ho Ho Yay. But that sounds like a trope involving Santa's orientation, so never mind. Or perhaps Gay For Play?
  • June 12, 2010
    Unknown Troper
    IIRC, an early xkcd strip pulls this. Anyone know which one?
  • June 12, 2010
    Duckay
    I think that's a pretty good assessment, Mimimurlough.

    I'm still trying to think of more examples, and not coming up with anything. I do note though that it's always used on other straight guys, or guys suspected of being straight (who, if they turn out to be gay, becomes the joke): playing the bravado to a gay man wouldn't work. Which, of course, ties in to your point A, that no one involved thinks of homosexuality as a thing... except, I think, the one exception to that is if the guy who is the target of said Gay Bravado gets freaked out, because then the bravado-er looks more masculine and secure by comparison.
  • June 13, 2010
    LShapedTetrisBlock
    What about situations where a gay man uses his sexuality aggressively against a homophobic straight guy? Obviously that's not the same trope, but this just made me think of it. Is that tropable?
  • June 13, 2010
    Mimimurlough
    It proabably is, although finding examples may be a bit tricky. I got to think of a scene in Philadelphia where Miller does something like this, but it straddles the line between that trope and Gay Bravado a bit, so I'm unsure of where to put it
  • June 13, 2010
    Duckay
    Yeah, they aren't really the same trope, but there's a connection there, and I see what you mean. YKTTW it!

    Are there any more examples of Gay Bravado? And do we need to further refine this thing?
  • June 13, 2010
    JackSlack
    I've added some examples; one because I know it personally, others because the example given seems to fit. The other examples may also qualify and should be added if this is launched as a trope. But unless I can verify them, I don't want to put them in here yet.
  • June 19, 2010
    Unknown Troper

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=ni781v5qcvf5zj5sh3cm5g6g