Pick one or the other.
Works which feature only male named characters or only female named characters, but not both. Commonplace in works in which the setting would necessitate such a casting choice: prison dramas, war films, sports dramas etc.
Depending on the choice of sex (or gender: see the note below), it can serve as the exact opposite of The Bechdel Test
or its logical extreme. As the examples below demonstrate, most works like this tend towards the former.
Note that all of the characters have to be explicitly male or female to qualify for this trope: the presence of named characters whose sex or gender is left ambiguous (such as the Pyro from Team Fortress 2
), or characters of sexes/genders that don't fit into a traditional male-female dichotomy (as in many sci-fi and fantasy works
, or simply individuals with queer gender identities) automatically disqualify a work from being an example of this trope. It's slightly trickier for works that feature transgender characters, but as a rule of thumb if the character is presented as genuinely
identifying as the opposite gender from their physical sex (and not, for example, simply crossdressing for fun or to get a sexual thrill
), they qualify as that gender. It also doesn't matter if the characters are played by an actor of the opposite sex (as in many Shakespearean productions, or Bart Simpson
): what matters is that the characters
are all of one sex/gender.
See also Improbably Female Cast
, female-dominated casts in unlikely situations, and The Smurfette Principle
, for when a single female character is introduced into an otherwise all-male cast as a sop to gender equality (The One Guy
is the much less common Spear Counterpart
). Contrast Gender Equal Ensemble
, which averts this trope and the three aforementioned completely. Compare Monochrome Casting
, the equivalent of this trope in race.
When adding examples, please be descriptive. Zero Context Examples
are not allowed on the wiki.
- The only female character of significance in The Shawshank Redemption is Andy's wife, who is never named and is killed in the first five minutes.
- 12 Angry Men (though often performed as a play as 12 Angry Jurors, averting this trope).
- Reservoir Dogs, concerning a group of male bank robbers. The original script did have a female speaking role and the actress cast in the role filmed her scenes, but the director cut the scenes as they revealed too much about the twist too soon.
- The first Dirty Harry film: the only female character who impacts upon the plot in any way is the villain's teenaged kidnap victim, who doesn't even appear onscreen until after she's dead.
- Platoon, appropriately given the military setting. The only women who appear onscreen are unnamed Vietnamese civilians.
- Ice Station Zebra has an all male cast.
- The Thing 1982 takes place in a research station in Antarctica, with only men working there. Because of the setting, no women appear in the movie at all.
- Originally, one of the researchers was female, with an actress cast, but she had to pull out due to illness and the role was recast with a male actor.
- My Dinner With Andre features only two characters, both of whom are men.
- Lawrence Of Arabia has no female speaking parts (unless you count people singing in the background).
- Das Boot, set on a German U-boat. Like most militaries of the time the Kriegsmarine didn't allow women to serve as anything but nurses.
- Master and Commander: Justified. Neither the French nor Royal Navies allowed female sailors, and privately owned ships generally considered it bad luck to have women aboard ship. The solitary woman in the movie is a Brazilian lady who's on screen for all of five seconds doing nothing but twirling a Parasol of Prettiness.
- Both The Hunt For Red October and the novel of the same name by Tom Clancy.
- K 19 The Widowmaker, set on a Russian submarine during the Cold War.
- The Enemy Below.
- Apocalypse Now, which is both based on a book which is also an example of this trope (Heart Of Darkness; see below) and set in the military: almost every character is a member of the armed forces. The only female characters who appear at all, aside from unnamed Vietnamese and Cambodian civilians, are three Playboy bunnies sent to Vietnam to entertain the troops: needless to say, they receive little screen time and don't play much of a role in the actual plot.
- Withnail And I, centering on the two titular characters and Withnail's uncle Monty. All of the secondary characters are also male. The only female characters who appear onscreen are a local farmer's wife who has three or four lines of dialogue, and a handful of extras.
- Gettysburg contains no women except for a few briefly seen townspeople.
- David Mamet's plays American Buffalo and Glengarry Glen Ross (the latter was adapted as a film, which is also an example of the trope).
- The Boys In The Band, whose plot revolves around a group of gay men in New York.
- All the versions of Sleuth (the original play, the 1972 movie version, and the 2007 remake) have a Minimalist Cast, where the male stars are pretty much the only characters we ever see. The 1972 movie has one short scene with a female character, but she isn't named.
- Waiting For Godot: Vladimir, Estragon, Pozzo, Lucky and a small boy (some productions play with this, given that "Pozzo" and "Lucky" are decidedly androgynous names).
- All of the named characters in Spec Ops The Line are male, much like the works the game took inspiration from (Heart Of Darkness and Apocalypse Now; see above for more information). Most of them are members of the armed forces. Female civilians do pop up here and there, but they never really feature in the plot or receive names.
- The original Spyro the Dragon features about 80 named, voiced characters, all male. There are female-looking enemies in a couple of stages, but they're not named.
Anime and Manga
- Yuru Yuri does not have a single male character in the anime version, with the exception of one male character, who is both a Show Within a Show character and a robot, and technically androgynous (he only remotely even resembles a human).
- Strike Witches: the only characters shown are all female.
- The 1939 version of The Women went so far as to have all the animals seen on screen be female as well as the cast. All the paintings are of women, too. The film's source play is also an example of the trope.
- The French movie Innocence, directed by Lucile Hadzihalilovic, is set in a mysterious boarding school for girls, where the staff is all-female too. A few males appear briefly, but they have no speaking roles.
- The Descent features only female named characters; according to Word Of God, the original plan was to have a gender diverse cast, but this was changed before entering production.