->''"He's a man! Such a man! He's a real, a real man's man!"''
-->-- Wrestling/WilliamRegal's ([[NeverLiveItDown old]]) WWE theme

This is the character who is always trying to be the Ideal Man, usually by being [[HotBlooded brave]], responsible or [[KnightInShiningArmor chivalrous]]. He sometimes has some kind of inferiority complex due to an overbearing older sibling [[WellDoneSonGuy or father]]. Is sometimes heard shouting about being a man at the top of his lungs while posing dramatically on a rock (bonus points for crashing waves or a sunset). Generally on their way to being a badass of some form. Occasionally has an IllGirl younger sister or {{Keet}} little brother.

Oh, and [[BerserkButton never mention]] any child-like or cute attributes he might have.

Compare with the TheIdiotFromOsaka and HotBlooded, contrast {{Emo}} (in any of its forms), often overlaps with LoserProtagonist. Also heavily overlaps with IJustWantToBeBadass given that the concepts of ''badass'' and ''manly'' are frequently interconnected.

Not to be confused with [[VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy I Wanna Be The Guy]], which is more MachoMasochism than it is manliness. Or BecomeARealBoy, which is not about seeking manliness but humanity.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* Yukimura from ''LightNovel/BokuWaTomodachiGaSukunai'' hopes to achieve this by emulating Kodaka. [[spoiler:Despite being a girl.]]
* In ''Anime/CaptainHarlock'', this is the defining characteristic of Tadashi Daiba, in both the first anime series and in the "Endless Odyssey" OAV series. In the latter, in fact, Daiba's father is so convinced that Daiba must become a man that he makes Captain Harlock promise to kill Daiba immediately if, for whatever reason, he thinks that Daiba cannot become a man -- a promise that Harlock [[HonorBeforeReason has no compulsions about breaking, even if this means getting himself killed.]]
* From his childhood, Hiroki of ''Manga/JunjouRomantica'' continually talks and worries about performing masculinity properly, leading to many of his relationship issues later in life, such as feeling unable to vocalize something as simple as "I want you to stay over tonight" because it shows weakness/sentimentality. Fortunately for him, his boyfriend overcompensates with his earnest and lovey-dovey behaviour.
* The titular character of ''Manga/KunisakiIzumoNoJijou'' aspires to be one, mainly because he got fed up on being always [[DudeLooksLikeALady mistaken as a girl]].
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': Touji is very much this type, everything he does in the series is to help or protect his friends and family.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** This is stated to be Usopp's dream. He refers to it as being a "true warrior of the sea", and takes inspiration from giants, who are the series' Viking analogues.
** Chopper qualifies too. In the Skypeia Arc, after he [[spoiler: fails to protect the Merry from having the mast burned]] he jumps up onto the railing and begins shouting about how he's going to become 'a real man!' and never let his TrueCompanions down again. ''While on fire from sheer determination to do just that.''
* ''Anime/OsomatsuSan'': Karamatsu, who by equating manliness with being a ladies' man wears CoolShades all the time and tries to woo girls. How much does this work? Considering he was so desperate he tried to woo a(n actual) fish with a love letter, "it's not working" is an understatement. Made even worse by his 5 brothers, one of which is older, and the affection for Totoko which all 6 of them have.
* This was Hani's original intention in ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' before he was convinced by Tamaki to join the Host Club. He failed spectacularly.
* Practically the whole premise of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' - Ranma constantly wants to reaffirm his masculinity, which is made more difficult due to his annoying habit of turning into a girl at inopportune times.
** In his case, it's at least partly because his father made a vow that Ranma would have to commit {{Seppuku}} if his mother ever thought he wasn't a real man.
* The purpose of the Otokojuku ('Man School'/'Manly Tech') in ''Manga/SakigakeOtokojuku'' is to mould JapaneseDelinquents into ideal men.
* ''Anime/SmilePrettyCure'': Pop wants to be seen as manly. Not doing him any favours is the fact that he's a plushie-lion-fox-fairy thing, which often gets him labelled cute, much to his frustration. He compensates this by acting like a ninja/samurai.
* ''Manga/ToLoveRu'': Ren spends an entire episode of the anime trying to get more manly so he could marry Lala. Until he sneezed, causing his [[GenderBender other half]], Run, to take over.
* ''Anime/TheTowerOfDruaga'': Jil is like this sometimes, especially in the first episode.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'''s Jonouchi, and his quest to become a "True Duelist" with honor and pride in Battle City.


[[folder: Films -- Animated ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/MadagascarEscape2Africa'' lampshades this with Alex wanting to prove to his dad he's a real lion, and Marty doing a little bit of the DeadpanSnarker that ''everybody'' thinks when somebody pulls the old "this'll show them I'm a real man" lines.
--> '''Alex:''' Maybe my dad will think I'm... I want to show him I'm a real lion.
--> '''Marty:''' ''(sarcastically)'' As opposed to a ''chocolate'' lion.
* ''Disney/{{Mulan}}'' has a song called ''I'll Make a Man Out Of You'' where a training montage takes place where the army recruits get better and better at being soldiers. Particularly Ping, the kicker being that the audience is well aware that "Ping" is the very ''female'' Mulan [[SweetPollyOliver in disguise]].
** And it's Mulan having the smarts to figure out how to use the weights to shimmy up the pole and grab the arrow that turns the sequence from a {{failure montage}} into a string of [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome Crowning Moments Of Awesome]].
* This is part of Hiccup's motivation at the beginning of ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon''. He wants to slay a dragon to prove that he can be a tough Viking like his father the chief.
** The subject is brough up again in the spin-off series ''WesternAnimation/DragonsRidersOfBerk''. A portrait of Hiccup and Stoick has Hiccup looking more muscular than he is in real life, making him feel like his father is disappointed in him. This prompts Hiccup to go on a dangerous treasure hunt that even Stoick was unable to finish.


[[folder: Films -- Live-Action ]]

* Steve Rogers felt the need to be treated like a man after continually being denied entry into the army. He made up for it when he became ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger''.


[[folder: Live-action TV ]]

* ''Series/FrontierCircus'': In "Never Won Fair Lady", Red Buttons plays the milksop son of a famous general sent to the circus to toughen him up. After falling in love with the female lion tamer, he decides he wants to become brave.


[[folder: Professional wrestling ]]

* "The Last Real Man" Silas Young, who also demands a certain degree of manliness from all his associates(he has few friends). In Wrestling/RingOfHonor, he took it upon himself to teach Dalton Castle's boys how to be men when they were acquired by his TagTeam partner, The Beer City Bruiser. Young found his work was cutout for him when he had to stop them from using a women's bathroom.
* Also, WWE's Wrestling/SantinoMarella, though his methods to prove his manhood were, questionable, such as trying to enter the "Miss Wrestle Mania" Battle Royal.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* Dave Strider in ''WebComic/{{Homestuck}}'' has a fixation on becoming "a hero", like his [[AloofBigBrother unbelievably badass older brother]]. However, he later admits that his idea of "heroism" was really just another word for traditional masculinity, with its completely rigid and impossible standards of manliness that no real person could possibly live up to -- and that he's now given up trying. He makes this realization in the process of discovering his own latent bisexuality, and also [[BrokenPedestal coming to the conclusion that his brother wasn't a "hero" or a "real man" but an abusive asshole who never deserved his respect or admiration anyway]].


[[folder: Web Original]]
* Two characters from the roleplay group ''Roleplay/RouletteRampage'' share this desire: the first session's Ryouta Akagi and ''Reloaded's'' Kiyoyuki Irino. In the latter's case it becomes his entire character arc for the game, as he's a short, fickle, [[{{Bishounen}} androgynous-looking]] boy who desires nothing more than to become more masculine for the roles he ''wants'' to do. His idolization of Tetsuo Shingen is in part based off of this desire, as he's everything he wanted to be as a man save for profession. Eventually he comes into his own by the end, but by being himself and finding his strength in [[TheHeart emotion]] rather than in physicality or some other ideal.

[[folder: Web Video ]]

* ''WebVideo/FoldingIdeas'': The Foldable Human sees this as Jack's motivation for rebelling against society and starting a ''Film/FightClub''. The reason why Jack wants to be considered masculine, according to him, is because he wants to feel like he fits in. Unfortunately, this doesn't cause him to become more responsible or brave, so much as more violent.


[[folder: Western animation ]]

* In an episode of ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'', Kif tries to be more masculine to impress Amy and her parents. The main way he does this is by smoking, which causes a very bad reaction.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', Ron discovered that his certificate of manhood (signed after his bar mitzvah) wasn't signed. He decided to strive for manliness.
* This is one of Sokka's motivation is ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. It's partly caused by the residual sexism of the Southern Water Tribe, but a lot of it also comes from him being a WellDoneSonGuy caused by his father and all the men in his tribe going to fight in the war, and leaving him, a twelve year old boy, in charge of his village. The fact that he accidentally let his girlfriend [[spoiler:turn into the moon]] probably didn't help, either.
* Dipper Pines also wants this in ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''. He shows great dislike for being called adorable, and the episode 'Dipper Vs Manliness' is all about this trope.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheMarvelousMisadventuresOfFlapjack'', Flapjack desires to be a real adventurer and this is often equated with being manly. A recurring character named "A Real Adventurer" is even a shirtless block of muscle. Unfortunately, [[TheBlindLeadingTheBlind he takes most of his advise]] from [[MoochingMaster Captain K'nuckles]].
* Marco from ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'' has had this problem sometimes, but it's taken to extremes in "Running With Scissors" where he literally spends ''sixteen years'' in Hekapoo's dimension becoming big and muscular to track her down so he could prove he would earn interdimensional scissors. Hekapoo even gave him the option of going back to Earth originally. Sadly, [[spoiler: it's mostly undone when he goes back reverting to his original body as time moves differently in her dimension.]]