Muscle Beach Bum

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So much for fun under the sun.

It's a lovely day at the beach. Sun, surf and good times. You're probably out with your friends or your girl catching some rays, playing some volleyball, frisbee or suikawari, and/or simply enjoying the beach scenery.

Then he shows up. He's big. He's strong. He's most likely without a shirt and wearing speedos. He may try to impress the ladies by flexing and demonstrating his strength. He may belittle, bully or make jealous any non-muscly guy in his presence. He just might ruin your day. You have just met the Muscle Beach Bum.

The Muscle Beach Bum is essentially a cross between a Hunk and a Jerk Jock found primarily in beach settings. On one hand, he can be as dumb as a bag of hammers, an antagonist who flaunts his muscles around, or both. On the other, he's just not antagonistic but is a major annoyance to those around him. If he has a job, he's most likely to be a lifeguard (whether or not he's actually competent or just to impress ladies is to be seen).

The Trope Name comes from Muscle Beach, a location in Santa Monica (a Los Angeles suburb) known as the birthplace of the modern bodybuilding and fitness boom in the mid-1930s. In a Beach Episode, it's highly likely you'll find him and his type. May be related to/can also be a Surfer Dude.


Examples

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     Advertising  

     Comic Books  

  • Red Ears parodies this in a comic with a tall bodybuilder and a short guy walking up to a sunbathing woman on a beach, with the bodybuilder doing some impressive flexing while the other guy just waits patiently until he's finished. Then the short guy simply pulls down his pants, causing the woman to gasp in amazement and walk off with him instead of the muscle guy.

     Film  

  • American International Pictures and its "beach party" genre of movies in the mid-1960's. In fact one such movie was Muscle Beach Party which naturally had plenty of these.

     Live Action TV  
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus. One of the animations was a parody of the Charles Atlas ads. A weakling has sand kicked in his face by a beach bully, who then steals his girlfriend. He exercises and develops a massive physique. When he returns to the beach, the bully shoots him in the head with a cannon and steals the girlfriend again.
  • Punt And Dennis: One character played by Hugh Dennis was Kurt Wenker, a buff, tanned German windsurfing instructor who constantly boasts of stealing British tourists' girlfriends.

     Newspaper Comics  
  • This early Garfield strip shows Jon trying to woo the girl of a nearby man buried in the sand. Jon throws sand in the guy's face only for him to rise and reveal himself to be full of muscle. Cue a different kind of burial of sand.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Sandy Beach, the closest thing to a recurring antagonist during Pro Wrestling Zero 1's Hawaii-Japan friendship series.

     Video Games  
  • Super Macho Man from Punch-Out!! is one of these as a boxer. He's full of muscle, has a tan and tends to speak in surfer lingo. His first image of his pre-fight montage even shows him working out and impressing ladies at the beach.
  • Earthbound: The "Tough Guy" is an enemy you can find in Summers. He's literally a muscled blonde guy in a Hawaiian shirt.
  • Aaron in Undertale is a seahorse whose main hobby is flexing his well-muscled torso, which has been known to intimidate some other monsters.

     Western Animation  
  • The Looney Tunes cartoon "Muscle Tussle" has Daffy Duck antagonized by a muscular duck who steals his girlfriend away.
  • The Pink Panther: In "Come On In! The Water's Pink", Pink squares off against one. By using a variety of inflatable objects, Pink is able to best his nemesis. The Muscle Beach Bum turns out to be an inflatable as well.
  • Larry the Lobster from Spongebob Squarepants. He's a bodybuilder who's always wearing swim trunks, even when he's not lifeguarding at the Goo Lagoon. Larry is egotistic and a bit thick headed, but not intentionally malicious, and has been shown to be good friends with Sandy Cheeks.
  • The Academy Award-winning short Ersatz has one that steals the protagonist's girlfriend. (The cartoon also deals with inflatable objects and is in fact the inspiration for the Pink Panther cartoon described above).
  • Ren & Stimpy: "Ren's Pecs" inverts this with the fat guy with pecs at the beach who picks on Ren for being weak. Played straight with Charles Globe (a play on Charles Atlas), a muscled bodybuilder, who shows up and advises Ren on how to get his pecs.
  • The Futurama episode "When Aliens Attack" plays with this trope shamelessly. During the staff's beach day, Fry encounters a "professional beach bully", a muscular guy who offers to steal men's girlfriends then let the boyfriends punch him, thus impressing the girl, in exchange for 50 bucks. Fry refuses to pay that much and when Leela offers to walk with the bully, the bully says he is actually gay.

     Real Life  

  • Many major beach cities in the US have areas called "muscle beaches", which are named after the area in the title and best locations to find them. The one in Santa Monica is the first and best-known example.


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