"Nice view. You wanna make out? Just two gruff, military hardened dudes sitting in an elevator, snuggling out their woes in a totally hetero way."
Bob is your average, macho, heterosexual man. Everyone knows that he is an average, macho, heterosexual man. But nonetheless, Bob will routinely make outrageously homoerotic comments and suggestions to his (presumably also straight) friends and co-workers. Why? It's actually a way to reinforce just how macho he is; 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 (and above all, manly) in the room. It's a kind of homoerotic jiu-jitsu. Sometimes the target buckles in uncomfortable silence, or sometimes they'll catch it and reverse it (Gay Bravado Chicken: whoever loses, the Yaoi Fangirls
Occasionally, Bob will make the mistake of accidentally directing one of these comments or suggestions to a man who is, unbeknownst to Bob, Straight Gay
. This is almost always Played for Laughs
at Bob's expense.
It's worth noting that this is not just innuendo. Someone shooting for Gay Bravado does not stop at merely innuendo. Nor is this just normal dialogue accidentally mistaken for homoeroticism
, or innocent dialogue intended to remind the audience of homosexuality
. This is completely intentional. There are of course some Unfortunate Implications
in that male homosexuality is treated as a joke at best
, and at worst as a weapon to make straight men uncomfortable.
A subtrope of Faux Yay
. Contrast Girl-on-Girl Is Hot
. See also Real Men Wear Pink
, where men do stereotypically gay or feminine things but aren't doing them to show off their heterosexuality. On the surface appears to be a complete inversion of Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?
, but can be simply a way of making the same point by means of irony. Near inversion of Armoured Closet Gay
Anime and Manga
- Yuu Narukami from Persona 4: The Animation has a very quirky sense of humor, and does this against both Kanji and Yosuke at different points.
- The "trash talk" scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin ends this way.
- In the 1986 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.
- A very strange version of this makes up the main plot of the Argentinian film Plan B: Bruno goes to great lengths to befriend, flirt with and even kiss Pablo, but it's all right because he's just doing it to drive him away from his ex-girlfriend Laura so that he can hook back up with her. Until he finds himself falling in love with Pablo for real...
- Jarhead has an entire mock-orgy, just out of view of a TV camera nonetheless.
- A running gag in Saving Private Ryan, and one of the film's few moments of levity, is the squad making kissy-faces and sexual comments at each other. One of the signs that Upham is finally being accepted by the squad is Reiben commenting on suddenly being attracted to him when Upham translates a French love song being played on a record before the final battle.
- This is basically the plot of the movie Humpday. After a long night out drinking, two straight friend decide to shoot a gay porn movie because "they're totally okay with that". It turns into a game of gay chicken when neither of them wants to admit that they think it's a terrible idea - one because giving up means he's now settled into his 9 to 5 life, the other because giving up means he's not actually a cool drifter who can't be bothered by anything.
- There's a scene in the James Bond film Skyfall in which the villain touches Bond in a very suggestive manner, asking, "First time for everything, yes?" Bond matter-of-factly responds by asking him, "What makes you think this is my first time?". That's right—James freaking Bond, womanizer extraordinaire, just insinuated that he's gotten it on with another man.
- Well, he was a public schoolboy with all the tropes that implies.
- Anything for Queen and Country.
Live Action Tv
- In Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain reveals just how incessant this is in restaurant kitchens, with the predominant insults revolving around "who takes it up the ass". Someone with Gay Bravado, as Bourdain demonstrates, will get more respect than someone who gets offended. Truth in Television, as anyone who's ever worked in the restaurant biz can tell you.
- Marco of Animorphs frequently refers to his and Jake's friendship as a marriage, not to unnerve anyone but merely to lampshade their Ho Yay.
- Bunk from The Wire is possibly the best example. Some gems from him include:
"And if I'm wrong, I'll give you a backrub you ain't ever gonna forget."
"Look at that bow-legged motherfucker. I made him walk like that."
- Hawkeye does this a lot in early episodes of Mash, usually to unnerve the extremely homophobic Frank Burns, but occasionally to Henry Blake or Trapper John as well.
- In The Thick of It this trope is one of Malcolm Tucker's favourite tactics for unnerving male colleagues:
Jamie: "I'm not leaving it to you, eh? You couldn't organise a bumrape in a barracks."
Malcolm Tucker: "Au contraire..."
- An extremely upsetting variant on this is when he attempts to force Olly to continue a relationship he doesn't want to be in through physically sexually harassing him, to indicate who's supposed to be in charge.
- Many of the jokes in How I Met Your Mother are essentially this
- Sometimes it occurs more between the writers and the audience, such as showing Barney and Marshall in a bathtub together.
- Other times it's simpler, such as Marshall coming back from the bathroom and realize Ted wasn't in there... and informing the group he may have made some wildly inappropriate homoerotic comments to a guy with the same shoes as Ted.
- Dr. Cox and his brother-in-law Ben from Scrubs have been known to use "Gay Chicken" in place of Rock-Paper-Scissors to settle disputes.
- JT on Degrassi The Next Generation does this for one episode.
- It's not normally in their characters, but the main characters of '"Peep Show'' are forced to act like this at one point to impress their sexually adventurous girlfriends. Being Peep Show, it quickly becomes ridiculous, ending in a full-on kiss as each tries to outlast the other. One thinks "if I keep going the longest, it'll prove that I'm the most heterosexual".
- Glee's Puck and Sam, with exchanges between these masculine characters including the lines "Dude, your mouth is huge. How many tennis balls can you fit in there?", the response "I don't know, I've never had any balls in my mouth... have you?" followed by a smirk, and, in a later episode, followed up by "Dude, that makes your mouth look even... bigger..." Of course, what with multiple other allusions to the possibility that Sam's sexuality is not quite what it seems, this could be a potential aversion. Puck still fits this trope quite nicely though.
- Big Bad Moriarty in Sherlock is introduced as poor Molly's Transparent Closet boyfriend. After this turns out to have been him hiding right under Sherlock's nose, he says he was "playing gay" but continues to blatantly flirt.
- Many of the comedians on Have I Got News for You will flirt with each other, but probably the best example of this trope came during the extremely memorable episode where the position of chairman was taken by BRIAN BLESSED, who has been in a heterosexual marriage since 1978. He spent some time alluding to being "a lovely bit of rough" for great stage actors and coming on to Paul, who eventually gave in to his advances during The Stinger.
- A flashback in Breaking Bad shows Hector Salamanca make lewd comments and kissy faces while publically urinating towards two men inexperienced in criminal dealings while waiting for their cartel don, although it's probably less about being playful or asserting comfortable sexuality and more about being sexually aggressive and domineering (a prior flashback had also established his racist feelings towards the men in general).
- Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor and Jack take part in this quite often, although it should be noted that both characters are bisexual (well, Jack is loud-and-proud Extreme Omnisexual and the Doctor is technically the same but in practice more Bi the Way), and they also flirt with each other unironically at other times. It seems they started flirting as masculine posturing, and carried on because they both fancied each other.
- In The Outer Limits (1995), episode "Dark Child", an Alpha Bitch harrasses Tammy and accuses her of being a lesbian. Tammy drives her away by claiming she actually is one and then hitting on her.
- Green Wing: Boyce initially does this to his tutor Alan to troll him, but both get really into the dynamic over time. Alan eventually starts to just roll with it, finding excuses to snog Boyce. (Boyce isn't bothered.)
- Cloud's "flirting" with Barret in Final Fantasy VII, particularly during the early hours of the game when the two of them are duelling egos trying to out-masculine each other. Cloud seems less concerned with proving his own heterosexuality than he is in annoying Barret for his own amusement, though.
Barret: Come waltzin' in here makin' a big scene!
Cloud: It's no big deal. Just what I always do.
Barret: Shit! Havin' everyone worried like that and you don't give a damn 'bout no one but yourself!
Cloud: (Striking a pose) Hmm... You were worried about me!
Barret: Wha!? ...I'm takin' it outta your money, hot stuff!
- The Demoman from Team Fortress 2 has one line that plays with this trope. "If I wasn't the man I was, I'd kiss ye!"
- Brent from PvP has a go at it here. Max reverses it on him neatly.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath Belkar of The Order of the Stick has been shown trolling Roy by engaging in this. In one instance, after Roy had a Gender Bender due to putting on a magical belt, Belkar pretends he doesn't know it's Roy and continually flirts with him/her, explaining to Durkon and Elan that he's secure enough in his manhood to go that far to embarrass him. Also, in this strip, he claims that participation in gladiator training has made Roy and himself turn gay and makes several homosexual innuendos.
- xkcd played with this once or twice.
- Dave Strider of Homestuck. Sometimes he does this to troll others, with spectacular results.
- Due to the differences between troll and human sexuality, this distinction was probably lost on the target audience in the above incident, explaining why Tavros was so weirded out by it.
- Dave also tends to start gay chicken with John, who usually plays along. This probably contributes to the widespread fandom disbelief over John's claim to Karkat that he's not into dudes.
- Manly Guys Doing Manly Things: Kratos and Leonidas engage in a round of Gay Chicken. Spartans play for keeps.
Consensus on the debut of this game was that Spartan Gay Chicken ends in a 30 year committed relationship complete with bickering over when to open a joint bank account and where to place the ottoman.
- Lay does this all the time in War Gamers, crossing over with Vulgar Humor. It leads some minor characters to think he's just openly gay, and some others to think that he's in a Transparent Closet.
- This was a main tool in Bugs Bunny's arsenal of provocation.