"You're prettier than half my daughters."You know that ruggedly handsome manly man the ladies all sigh for? This isn't that guy. Oh, he still gets the sighs, but it's because he is so damn pretty. These guys are often slender or slight, with fine facial features. Height is variable: if his prettiness comes from his youthfulness, then he's probably shorter; if it comes from his status as Mr. Fanservice, then he's going to be taller. This doesn't necessarily mean he's androgynous or looks like a girl, though. (That's a different trope, Dude Looks Like a Lady, or Viewer Gender Confusion, if he's androgynous enough that the audience is genuinely confused about his sex.) The Pretty Boy also isn't necessarily effeminate or weak. He may well be as strong or physically powerful as the other, more muscular guys, and as masculine as the more ruggedly handsome ones. Expect one of his more rugged counterparts to sneeringly call him "Pretty boy" at least once. Increasingly common for even his detractors to comment on just how much they appreciate his looks. Assemble enough of these guys, and you end up with a Cast Full of Pretty Boys. Note: East Asian media (particularly Japanese and Korean) uses a related trope, Bishōnen. The main difference appears to be that western media believes that males can be too pretty, and keeps the manpretty below a certain level for fear of making their heterosexual male viewers uncomfortable or confused. A Sister Trope is Agent Peacock. If the pretty boy also has long, flowing hair, he is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy. He may be accompanied by sparkles. White Hair, Black Heart is a subtrope which marks a character out as a villain.
— Craster, talking about Jon Snow, Game of Thrones
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- Pietro "Quicksilver" Maximoff from X-Men certainly counts as Pretty Boy. It depends on the artist, however. For example, in Wolverine and the X-Men, he looks even older than his father.
- Daken and Gambit, they have a scene in Daken's solo comic where they snark at each other using it as an insult.
- Warren Worthington, aka Angel/Archangel. Not every artist can pull it off, of course, but he is supposed to be unnaturally, ethereally beautiful, to the point that the wings aren't what you notice first if you're close enough to make out his features. This even continued when he was blue. Amusingly, his time-displaced teenaged self jokingly acknowledges this while on a date with X-23, making himself out to be prettier than Jean Grey.
Laura: Jean is prettier than me.
Warren: That's not true
Laura: You're prettier than me.
Warren: That is true.
- Quasar of the The Avengers. In one issue of his solo series, he was even called 'Pretty Boy' by a bad guy.
- In-universe, Nightwing has had quite a few people—of both genders—point out just how attractive he is; it's pretty much generally accepted that he's one of the most attractive men in the DCU. As far as out-of-universe examples go, IGN ranked him at #1 on their list of the sexiest men in comics, and both the list and the comments considered it a no-brainer. Comics Alliance also ranked him at #1.
- Victor Mancha of the Runaways is usually drawn as the most attractive boy on the team. His handsomeness is such that Chase feared losing Gert to him. Taken to extremes in "Dead End Kids", where Lillie McGurty spends a century devising a scheme to get Victor to travel back in time and fall in love with her younger self.
- Of course as always Depending on the Artist, but teenage Loki in their masculine form. The first reaction to their looks by a teammate was "OK. Now he looks like trouble.", in a later series this also earned them a Running Gag about looking "One Direction-y". During the AXIS arc even their callsign is 'Pretty Boy' and it's stuck beyond that arc. Even old Loki calls them that.
- A fan-made chapter of the Space Marines of Warhammer 40,000 fame, the Pretty Marines. They have some sort of gland that creates the sparkle, and their guns have roses on them. Their scouts are cute boys, and they have legions of female fans. And this is all well and good… just watch out for the Chaos Pretty Marines.
- Neo in The Matrix fanfic Bringing Me To Life is almost explictly called a pretty boy. He's tall, slim and has a pretty face, with equally pretty eyes.
- In The Secret Life of Dolls, Lyra from The Golden Compass and Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean have this discussion about a picture of the Will Turner doll:
Lyra popped up over Elizabeth's shoulder. "That scarf is a girly scarf."
"Well, that's just how guys dressed back… now."
She sighed. "Sometimes Will was prettier than I was."
Films — Animation
- "Field Test", the third segment of Batman: Gotham Knight, gives Bruce Wayne a rather pretty-boy-esque look (which doesn't exactly fit Kevin Conroy's voice that well).
- Shang in Mulan. Yao even refers to him as Pretty Boy during his Shirtless Scene.
- Jack Frost in Rise of the Guardians. He even has Tooth and her helpers fangirling all over him, although it may be solely to do with his teeth.
- In Inside Out, Joy and Sadness wind up in Imagination Land, where they see Riley's Imaginary Boyfriend. He's tall, has thick curly hair, and no real personality other than posing dramatically and expressing his Undying Loyalty to Riley. It's worth noting that he's basically a handsomer version of Jordan, the nameless boy whom Riley meets at the end (and is dating in the sequel short).
Films — Live-Action
- X-Men Film Series: The movie series contains more examples of this trope than one would normally expect for a superhero property (which typically promotes a more traditional ideal of the masculine form). Honest Trailers even poked fun at this by saying that the X-Men franchise starred a lot of twinks.note
- Bobby Drake's dainty facial features quickly communicate to the audience that he's a good-hearted person. This is especially true in the first movie, where he was only a minor character, but viewers were able to tell right away that "the cute guy" is sincere when trying to befriend Rogue. Moreover, being forced to abandon his family in the second film is more painful when his expression is very much like a puppy dog who has just been kicked.
- X-Men: First Class:
- Appearance-wise, Dr. Charles Xavier is strongly defined by his boyishness: he has a soft, round face, baby blue eyes, cherry-red lips (the colour is so deep at times that it almost looks like he's wearing lipstick), and is of shorter-than-average height. It's symbolic of his sensitive, nice guy qualities. Erik Lehnsherr even calls him "adorable" when Charles tries the Cerebro machine for the first time. With his fair complexion, the young telepath resembles a living porcelain doll, and his fragility becomes evident when he "breaks" physically and emotionally during the climax.
- Dr. Hank McCoy is quite similar to Xavier (just younger and a lot more insecure), and while this may be a coincidence, it's nevertheless convenient that he shares some facial features with his mentor, like pale skin, blue eyes and thick reddish lips. The one big physical difference between them is that Hank is a lot taller.
- The Wolverine: Wolverine invokes this when he confronts Harada, presumably as an attempt to deride the latter's masculinity. Harada has an elegant face, a slim build, and is an agile ninja, in contrast to the macho bruiser Logan.
- X-Men: Days of Future Past: Peter Maximoff is baby-faced with reddish lips and cute in an impish way. It's a visual cue to the audience that he's an immature prankster who doesn't take life seriously.
- X-Men: Apocalypse:
- Professor X is around 50 years old, yet before he loses his hair, he's still gorgeous and youthful-looking for his age (he can pass for a man in his early 30s)—in fact, he doesn't appear all that different from his graduate student days in First Class. This alludes to him embracing his former naïvety again, and it makes him look much more helpless and vulnerable when he becomes Apocalypse's prisoner. Being boyishly beautiful also emphasizes Charles' status as a victim when he's Mind Raped by Apocalypse, which is a metaphor for sexual assault. Because Beauty Equals Goodness for James McAvoy's Xavier, maintaining his dainty appearance even when he's being viciously battered, bloodied and bruised on the astral plane connotes that he's a person with a tenderhearted soul who's dying.
- Repeating a theme from First Class is Hank being a mirror image of Charles with a few key differences. McCoy remains pretty and boyish in a similar way to Xavier, but despite being a decade younger, he is much more cautious and realistic than his ex-mentor, and he makes plans to ensure that the X-Men have everything they need when (and not if) the peace between mutants and humans is shattered.
- Warren Worthington III is beautiful, and it's meant to be ironic that an angelic-looking youth is actually quite ruthless and deadly.
- Although Nightcrawler falls more on the "cute" side, he is extremely attractive with his elfin features (particularly larger, more prominent ears) which are further enhanced by his adolescent development. They reflect his Adorkable personality, and even with the scars on his face, the impression Kurt Wagner leaves on viewers is that he's a lovely blue elf rather than a freaky blue demon.
- Quicksilver is affirmed to be Magneto's son, so Peter's softer, delicate features juxtapose his father's Villainous Cheekbones. Quicksilver fights for the heroic team, and Magneto sides with the Big Bad. Maximoff's puckish looks also mark him as a Man Child and a Basement-Dweller. During his confrontation with Apocalypse, Quicksilver moves gracefully as a Fragile Speedster, and once Apocalypse takes away his Super Speed advantage, Peter is wholly defenseless. Because Maximoff's face exudes an aura of innocence, it evokes the imagery of a "lamb to the slaughter" when Apocalypse offers his bare neck to Psylocke for execution.
- Thor: Loki has an elegant, youthful face (which alludes to his cultural sophistication and his mischievous nature), a slimmer build than the other Asgardians, and always moves gracefully, even when he gets into a fight. His physical appearance is meant to be a sharp contrast to his ruggedly handsome and very muscular brother Thor.
- Lord of the Rings:
- The race of fair-skinned long haired peroxide boys. Legolas especially takes the cake.
- Frodo, as he is fairly good-looking for a Hobbit. Being portrayed by Elijah Wood helps.
- Kili in the film version of The Hobbit is very youthful (his beard is only just starting to grow in) and has nice large brown eyes, making him almost bishie by Dwarf standards (and notably, Tauriel, an elf who is surrounded by Pretty Boys among her people, becomes attracted to him).
- Neo in The Matrix. The stereotypical pretty-boy taunt comes from Cypher, who mocks Neo's "big pretty eyes."
- Newt in The Maze Runner Series, as portrayed by Thomas Brodie-Sangster, with his soft, almost androgynous facial features and blond hair.
- Didier Revol the French exchange student in Son of Rambow is so beautiful that Even the Guys Want Him.
- Many vampires in Interview with the Vampire fit in the pretty boy aesthetic with very pale complexion, making them look androgynous.
- Brian Slade of Velvet Goldmine fits this trope rather well, as one might reasonably expect from a nineteen-year-old Jonathan Rhys Meyers in make-up… He manages to be more delicate and prettier that his own wife (who is not bad-looking or particularly butch.)
- Luke from Cherrybomb, to the point where fangirls started suggesting that Rupert Grint's character should get with HIM instead of the female lead, on the basis that "Luke is prettier". To be fair, the levels of Ho Yay in this movie probably made this reaction unavoidable.
- Ra in Stargate is supposedly the same entity as the Egyptian god of the Sun. He has very delicate feminine features and wears make-up, including heavy eye-lines. His voice is disturbing and he's creepy as hell.
- The two leads in Withnail & I look like they've have been battered and malnourished for far too long, but still… "I" has the same looks he later had for the Eighth Doctor and Withnail is pouty-mouthed, has big blue eyes and his hair goes fluffy when they hit the countryside. The battered factor even adds to the appeal.
- Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter has Nick, played by a very young, very pretty Christopher Walken. Effective Dawson Casting. Walken was 35.
- Johnny Depp as Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette Edward in Edward Scissorhands. He plays a fragile robot who is almost upgraded to a human being and resembles a doll.
- In film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is often played by one, probably to help justify why young Juliet would fall so madly in love with him so quickly. Examples include Leonard Whiting in Franco Zeffirelli's version,note Leonardo DiCaprio in William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, and Douglas Booth in the 2013 film version.
- In the up north melodrama parody "The Fatal Glass of Beer", W.C. Fields observes "My Uncle Ichabod said, speakin' of the city, 'It ain't no place for a woman, gal, but pretty men go thar.'"
- Golden-haired Joe with a pretty face from The Western parody Lemonade Joe. The Chanteuse Tornado Lou falls for him hard, and Doug Badman who loves Lou is shocked, shocked! that Tornado Lou, a lioness of a woman, a storm of a woman, a fate of a woman would fall for such a pretty naive boy who drinks only lemonade.
- The actor who portrayed Tadzio in the 1971 Film of the Book Death in Venice, then-14-year-old Bjorn Andresen◊, was so mind-numbingly beautiful that his life actually began to mirror that of his character's. It's not a comfortable story to hear, and it makes him a Truth in Television case of So Beautiful, It's a Curse.
- Star Wars:
- Luke Skywalker, with his large blue eyes (which can easily swing between innocent and icy), wavy golden hair and boyish good looks. This is a nice contrast to Han Solo, who is more of a Hunk, and adds emphasis to their Noble Male, Roguish Male dynamic.
- Anakin Skywalker somehow manages to take the middle ground in the prequels before he was burned alive in Mustafar. On one hand, he's got wide Blue Eyes, a slim figure and sweet, boyish looks which make him a Pretty Boy—especially in the 2nd prequel movie. On the other hand, he's tall, ripped and broodingly handsome which make him a total Hunk when he's older. Meanwhile, he even uses those good looks to impress the slaver queen in the Kadavo arc, much to Ahsoka's chagrin.
- Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace. Even after getting the beard, he is revealed to still be one when being shaved for his transformation into a more rugged Rako Hardeen. Satine even comments that his beard hides much of his pretty face.
- Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, sort of. Being a moody young Eerie Paleskinned Brunette with a gentle face played by Adam Driver helps. On the other hand, he's very tall and very ripped. Another villain, General Hux, also fits the bill, largely due to actor Domhnall Gleeson shaving his beard and being naturally pale and skinny.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean, while it's obvious that Will Turner fits the bill due to being played by Orlando Bloom, Jack Sparrow should also get a mention: in the fourth film, Jack's former flame Angelica has found him the easiest to impersonate, and as Jack she recruits pirates and finds a ship for her father, Blackbeard.
- Dune: Because Paul Atreides is the Kwisatz Haderach and can access the genetic memories of his female and male ancestors, his androgynous looks reflect his unique skill.
- Trance: Simon Newton is boyishly beautiful, and coupled with his charm, it's why Elizabeth Lamb falls head over heels for him despite knowing full well how unethical it is for a therapist to be dating her patient.
- Victor Frankenstein: Finnegan's dainty facial features are an extension of his vanity (he's always dressed to the nines and is impeccably groomed) and his privileged position in society (he likes to mock people who are poorer than him). Being born with a silver spoon in his mouth allows him the luxury to preen and to be puerile—you only have to glance at him to know that he's a Spoiled Brat.
- Jareth, the main villain of Labyrinth, is played by the thin and elegant David Bowie and decked out in downright fabulous makeup, hair, and clothes.
- Enjolras in Les Misérables is described as "angelically beautiful," with "an exceedingly youthful look, as fresh as a young girl's." Victor Hugo (the author) makes sure to emphasize numerous times throughout the book just how very, very pretty Enjolras is.
- Jerin in A Brother's Price. His long hair dangles between his feet when he braids it, and he dresses well. Almost all women who are not related to him make at least one comment on how pretty he is. Paying lots of attention to his appearance is part of his culture, but the beautiful face is genetic.
- Legolas in The Lord of the Rings in particular is described as being "fair of face beyond the measure of Men."
- Ax from Animorphs in his androgynous male human morph, which is made of DNA from Rachel, Cassie, Jake, and Marco.
- Sauron was revealed to be one◊ until the War of the Last Alliance and the loss of the One Ring prevented him from taking any form that wasn't as ugly and nasty as his spirit.
- The Honor Harrington series by David Weber uses the trope extensively.
- Victor Cachat is described as being young and very cute at least once in every book he appears in.
- Jeremy X was genetically engineered to be one—he is designed to the point were he can't have any facial hair even!
- Justified by all the Designer Babies roaming around, Magic Plastic Surgery, and by the pro-long life extension treatments that can make a hardened military officer that is over 40 years old look like he is barely out of high school.
- Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray is described as an intoxicatingly, androgynously beautiful and sweet blond boy.
- Aramis in The Three Musketeers is described as being as pretty as a woman. Of course, he's the one of the Musketeers who's most popular with women.
- Raziel in Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal is pretty enough even to provoke Stupid Sexy Flanders moments from the First-Person Smartass protagonist, Biff. It's apparently a standard angel trait.
- The War Against the Chtorr:
- Lizard and Ted describe the teenage protagonist Jim McCarthy this way, though he doesn't believe them.
- Definitely the case with Shaun—a sixteen year-old, bisexual attendant on the luxury airship Hieronymus Bosch, whose duties include prostitution and military defence.
- The protagonists in the Warchild Series are usually depicted as Pretty Boys, even when they have extensive combat training and are capable of great violence. The third book, "Cagebird" has a protagonist described as cherubic-looking who eventually becomes a prostitute/assassin, and the protagonist from her second book is said to be a beautiful boy with large, kittenish eyes.
- Shakespeare's Sonnet 20. The young boy is described as such: "A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion", until Nature "pricked him out for woman's pleasure."
- The temporary protagonist of Crow on the Bridge by Max Frei reminisces meeting one of these, a young man of blinding beauty.
"Entered the room a young man of such a blinding beauty that to me it seemed not as much pleasant to the eye as absolutely out of place in the given circumstances. Really, here happens such things, I should make the Gloves of Death and it's yet unknown how to survive this fancy-work; civil war continues for umpteenth year in Conjoined Kingdom, and ultimately the world will fall soon; and he walks here with such a look as if a human had no more important task than to look beautiful. My feelings were about these, though when spoken aloud they sound absurd, I see it myself."
- All of the male vampires in Twilight, especially Edward Cullen. They even come with the Bishie Sparkle pre-packaged and their appearance is described in gushy detail. With the exception of Emmett and Felix, who are the other good looking male character type. They also never sparkle in the books once.
- There are a bunch in A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Ser Loras Tyrell is described as "beautiful" rather than handsome, called "The Knight of Flowers" and wears rainbow armour until he joined the Kingsguard. Of course, this is probably to do with the fact that he's only about sixteen at the start of the series.
- Joffrey Baratheon — who is said to look like a girl by Jon Snow — and is described as a combination of his sister Myrcella and his uncle/father Jaime (who is also called pretty).
- Rhaegar Targaryen was a beautiful boy who — despite being a great warrior — was also a sensitive/emo man who liked to play the lyre. Interestingly enough, this trope regularly has a habit of cropping up often enough with Targaryen princes for it to be remarked upon in songs, histories and stories if they somehow didn't quite fit the white-haired, violet-eyed dream-boat template (as in the case of Rhaenyra Targaryen's boys with Laenor Velaryon). At least, as young men. Staying attractive, however... is not always possible, as the young lads who became Aegon "The Unworthy" and Aerys "The Mad" so dramatically showed. And, as Rhaegar's brother, Visaerys, (although never as pretty as Rhaegar, Viserys still wasn't all that hard on the eyes, either) was beginning to prove in the main series itself, too.
- "Young Griff" is a beautiful young man who has eye lashes long enough to make most young ladies jealous. He also dyes his hair blue in the Tyroshi manner ostensibly to honour his dead mother — which does absolutely nothing to hide his attractiveness. He's actually the white-haired son of the above-mentioned beautiful Rhaegar and trying to hide the connection... or, at least, he's a very convincing impostor trying to almost hide the connection. Targaryen template: check!
- The Citadel student Alleras is probably the female Sarella Sand in male disguise, with the result that (s)he fits and is described as being comely, pretty, etc. as opposed to handsome.
- Satin, a former male prostitute who joins the Night's Watch, is described with pretty characteristics rather than handsome.
- It's implied that Henry from The Time Traveler's Wife is this trope. Apart from being called "pretty" on occasion, it's also mentioned that he looks a good deal like his attractive mother.
- Harry Potter:
- We have Cedric Diggory AKA "Pretty Boy Diggory". The first things we learn about him are that he's a good flier and just mentioning him can make the girls on the Gryffindor team break into giggles. Robert Pattinson is one of the few Potter actors who isn't an example of Adaptational Attractiveness.
- Young Tom Riddle, as seen in flashbacks, has Raven Hair, Ivory Skin appeal.
- Tadzio from Death in Venice is a stunningly good-looking, aristocratic boy of fourteen. An older author becomes obsessed with him because of his divine looks.
- Finding H.F.: Bo, H.F.'s best friend (and likely half-brother). He takes utmost care of his appearance, his wavy blond hair.
- Sufi poetry extols the beauty of beardless boys, and some mystics believe such boys represent the perfectness of God.
- Fablehaven has the Last Episode, New Character Bracken, who is tall, willowy, youthful, and has long, soft silver-white hair.
- Diane Duane's Young Wizards series gives us Roshaun ke Nelaid, a Human Alien prince with golden hair and a really stuck-up attitude. He improves, though.
- This is the defining characteristic of Markus in the Lonely Werewolf Girl books. Apparently he looks even hotter in a frock too and is interested in fashion.
- The Outsiders: Sodapop Curtis is described as being incredibly handsome and resembling his beautiful mother. Cue The Film of the Book, where he is he's played by Rob Lowe.
- Despite the scars, many characters in Wicked Lovely explicitly refer to Niall as 'pretty boy'.
- Lord John Grey from the Outlander series of books (and eventually his own). He's blonde, pretty, and a bit on the petite side.
- Torak from The Belgariad was often described as "overly pretty" (that was before he had the left side of his body burned off).
- The Secret History:
- Francis is described like one of these, as well as a fastidiously flamboyant dresser.
- Charles is a pretty man, but only because he looks like his twin Camilla.
- Dark Life has a male character called Pretty. He's very pretty and usually also very scary.
- Thomas Raith from The Dresden Files. He is a White Court vampire (aka an incubus). He's got a very pretty face and from the neck down he's built "like the high priest of Bowflex".
- Marcello Clerici, the protagonist of the 1951 novel The Conformist, is described as very handsome and feminine-looking both in adolescence and adulthood.
- Galad Damodred from The Wheel of Time is often described as being "almost too handsome for masculinity".
- Many male characters from The Vampire Diaries novel series, especially Stefan and Damon Salvatore. In the books, Damon is described to be more handsome and edgy while Stefan is described to be more boyish and innocent with finer facial features. So it could be assumed that Stefan fits the description of pretty boy more than Damon.
- Kavik from Of Fear and Faith is described as quite pretty and handsome. He was relentlessly bullied during his teenage years over this and the resulting stress and anger helped forge the Hot-Blooded Blood Knight we know and love in the story proper.
- St. John Rivers from Jane Eyre is tall, fair, blue-eyed and with a Grecian profile and described as extremely handsome several times. Mr Rochester says he's present in Jane's imagination as graceful Apollo.
- The Reynard Cycle: Tantilis (a man who brought an entire kingdom down in flames) is described as being more beautiful than most women. Apparently, female actors are always hired to portray him during theatrical performances.
- In Dragon Bones, this is played for drama; Ward notes that Oreg, the Really 700 Years Old Genius Loci of castle Hurog, who was born human, but was Made a Slave to be an immortal slave to the owners of Castle Hurog, is a pretty boy. Ward suspects that some of his rather unsavoury ancestors sexually abused Oreg, and pities him.
- Protector of the Small's main antagonist, Joren of Stone Mountain, is frequently called lovely and "as rosy-cheeked" as a girl in the narration, and Kel even stops to admire his good looks before he shows himself to be a git. Word of God is that he was based on a real person who was also pretty outside and rotten inside, but there's unintentional ironic value in such a hardline misogynist looking so feminine.
- The Hunger Games has Finnick Odair, whom Katniss initially dislikes as a "pretty womanizer" and who is very aware of his own attractiveness. It's deconstructed in the last book, however, when it's revealed that particularly physically attractive victors, Finnick included, are forced into prostitution by President Snow.
- In Kushiel's Legacy, the d'Angeline people tend towards this thanks to angelic blood in their distant ancestry. The men tend to have fine features, little body hair, and not go bald in old age. Discussed when Phèdre explains to foreigners why her companion Joscelin is so darned pretty for a master warrior.
- Alias: Julian Sark; lampshaded by Daniel Ryan in "Facade", who had never met Sark face-to-face, but was informed that the young man (who is around 20 years old at the start of the series) was a pretty boy.
- Apollo and Starbuck from the original Battlestar Galactica. While Apollo's is the case of Beauty Equals Goodness as per Word of God, it is Starbuck who gets mistaken as a girl by one of the androids in 'Greetings from Earth'. Needless to say, Apollo and Cassiopeia were both amused.
- Connor from Angel. Willow describes him as Angel's "handsome yet androgynous son". By contrast, his father Angel is a grade-A Hunk (though on one occasion, the Monster of the Week disparagingly refers to him as a "pretty boy")
- Chris Halliwell from Charmed. So much so that Demian from Television Without Pity nicknamed his actor, Drew Fuller, 'The Pretty.'
- Demian: Big Chris's hair has gotten a little shaggy from all the excitement, and sweet Jesus he's pretty. Oops. Sorry. We've known that for nearly a year, haven't we? And yet The Pretty retains its ability to shock on occasion.
- The 2003 Children of Dune miniseries has a teenaged and virginal Leto Atreides II. The camera angles and close-ups often focus on his physical beauty, and it symbolizes what a huge personal sacrifice it is for him to give up his own humanity (by transforming into a grotesque Sand Worm) so that he can initiate the Golden Path and save humankind from extinction.
- Spencer Reid of Criminal Minds, played by Matthew Gray Gubler. As co-star Shemar Moore bluntly put it, "Matthew is so pretty he's almost a girl." Dr. Reid is practically the living, breathing definition of this trope. Even in-universe, one of his nicknames is "Pretty Boy".
- Dark Angel has a younger and prettier Jensen Ackles as twins Ben and Alec. The latter has Stoic Spectacles in one episode.
- Doctor Who:
- Jamie's prettiness is actually a Chekhov's Gun in "The Highlanders", where the Doctor gives a speech about how beautiful and fine his features are at the end of the episode to bluff that Jamie's actually a handsome prince.
- The Eighth Doctor. Some fans jokingly call him The Oncoming Pretty. He's played by young Paul McGann and one of the Doctor's major traits are his Innocent Blue Eyes.
- The Tenth Doctor. He looks very boyish and wears cute glasses. Female characters on the show think he's pretty, too.
River Song: Pretty boy! With me I said.
[Long pause. Donna looks at the Doctor suggestively]
Doctor: Oh, I'm "Pretty Boy"!
Donna: Yes! [shocked at her own enthusiasm] Oh, that came out a bit quick.
- According to the TARDIS, Rory is "the pretty one", which is played as a joke, as he's generally thought of as significantly below Amy Pond in the looks department. Amy doesn't seem to think of this as a joke however, although it could just be a case of beauty is on the inside.
- Game of Thrones:
- Jon Snow is prettier than half of Craster's daughters, according to Craster himself. And both of Tormund's daughters. He's also called pretty by Orell, Tormund, Ygritte...
- Ser Loras Tyrell; George R.R. Martin even described the character as "...the teen idol of Westeros" in this HBO featurette. Sansa Stark has a crush on him because of his good looks. Two lowborn Lannister soldiers consider him to be prettier than the Queen. In "The Climb," Olenna calls Loras "...the pride of Highgarden, the most desirable bachelor in all of the Seven Kingdoms."
- Lancel Lannister is in his late teens with soft features and golden hair (the hair colour is a Lannister trait). He becomes the Queen's toy boy.
- Olyvar is a male prostitute of Littlefinger's who fits the physical description of The Twink. His Adonis-like beauty and physique make him very appealing to his clients, which includes Prince Oberyn Martell, who is willing to pay the young man's "wildly expensive" fee.
- In The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, we have young Teen Idol Joe Hardy (aka Shaun Cassidy).
Joe: Just because I'm younger, smaller and more easily intimidated…?
- Two examples from Hornblower:
- Archie Kennedy, played by the always awesome Jamie Bamber. He has longish fair hair, innocent blue eyes, a chiselled jaw line, the cutest smile ever, and has the body of a sailor. He is a Foil to Horatio's taller and darker charms.
- Mr. Midshipman Wellard from Series Two is a cutie-pie. Teen-aged, with very fair skin, black hair, dark eyes, and soft features. He is still a fairly competent officer, despite the fact that a mad captain made him his whipping boy.
- Many characters Mathew Baynton plays in Horrible Histories—most notably including Charles II and highwayman Dick Turpin—take full and explicit advantage of this trope. To the extent where his HH co-stars' standard (if less-than-serious) response when asked about the show's success is "Mat's eyes".
- Chase on House, a fair-haired and baby-faced doctor. His prettiness sometimes becomes a plot point. For instance a Littlest Cancer Patient develops a crush on him and manipulates him into kissing her. Or House bets Chase gets more dates on speeding date night than him, and House stays a medical doctor while Chase takes a personality of a lazy bum.
Dr. Foreman: Chase, you're a pretty boy. Works well with the ladies, not so much with the patients. No one wants an underwear model performing their splenectomy.
- On How I Met Your Mother, after Ted and Robin break up, Robin meets a cute Argentinian guy Gael (played by Enrique Iglesias) and they date. Ted is very jealous and describes him as an Adonis. Gael turns out to be just a short-term rebound boyfriend.
- Law & Order: UK: When he isn't being hit on because of his good looks, the gorgeous DS Matt Devlin (also played by the above-mentioned "always awesome" Jamie Bamber) is somehow being insulted because of them—a corrupt cop sneeringly refers to him as "your boy-band partner", a juvenile delinquent suspect tauntingly tells him "you've got a gay face", and even the man suspected of being behind his murder—he isn't, ironically, sarcastically refers to him as "pretty-boy cop".
- Merlin◊ is a Pretty Boy.
Barmaid: Mmm, you're an handsome fellow.
Arthur: Well, just wouldn't be the first to say it.
Barmaid: Oh. No, sorry. I was talkin' about your friend here. [looks suggestively at Merlin]
Arthur: [shocked] Him?
Merlin: [smirks at Arthur] Thank you.
- Lancelot manages to be a Pretty Boy and a Hunk. Hard to pull off, but it's the Perma-Stubble offsetting the Puppy-Dog Eyes.
- Merlin◊ is a Pretty Boy.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers had Tommy Oliver◊, the late-arriving Green Ranger and Breakout Character. Saban bent over backwards to keep the Green Ranger around far longer than the original source material allowed, and then assigned him a new color to keep him around for subsequent seasons.
- Mr. Brain: In "Eccentric Neuroscientist vs. Beautiful Revived Ghost" the "beautiful revived ghost" isn't a woman. The ghost is played by the very pretty, yet very male Gackt. Gackt himself finds Gackt rather tasty.
- Murdoch Mysteries:
- James Gillies is pretty for a man, which no doubt helps him to pass off as a woman when he wishes to elude the police or frame a female character for murder.
- Leslie Garland is a handsome youth and a law student. When constable Henry Higgins tries to console constable George Crabtree over his apparent jealousy and hurt feelings (because Crabtree courted Dr. Grace who liked him, but then was very much interested in Leslie Garland), he says that Leslie is pretty—almost too pretty for a man.
- Cyrus from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, who is referred to being a Pretty Boy explicitly by the Red Queen.
- Prison Break: Michael (Wentworth Miller) is the perfect combination of prettiness and manliness.
T-Bag: One things for sure, you just as pretty as advertised. Prettier even.
- Sabrina the Teenage Witch arranges a literal date with Destiny. Turns out Destiny is a Pretty Boy these days (played by Brian McFayden. Even his horses are gorgeous (according to Sabrina, anyway).
Sabrina: Sorry, I was expecting you to be—Destiny: Old as time, long white beard, robe, chariot. Most women prefer this look, but I can change if you want—Sabrina: No, that's fine.
- Skins gives us a Cast Full of Pretty Boys on the male side, which has to do with the aversion of Dawson Casting and the fact that the characters are played by teenage actors.
- Tony Stonem of the first generation is played by then 18-19 year old Nicholas Hoult, which gives us a tall, lean male Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette with glazing blue eyes and a complexion which several Southern Belles could be jealous of. His attractiveness, along with being The Ace and The Charmer allows him to become the male vamp of the series. One of the very first scenes involving him actually shows the entire population of an all-girls school and their female teacher fawning over Tony.
- Maxxie Oliver, played by the blond and gorgeous teenage Mitch Hewer, is even prettier than Tony. He's also a token gay character in the first generation, an aspiring dancer and a talented artist, and frequently used in the show as Mr. Fanservice; all of which somewhat play up the "pretty boy" aspect of the character. Also, he briefly catches the attention the womanizer Tony and, despite being widely known as gay, gains a very driven female Stalker with a Crush.
- Freddie McLair of the second generation is very much Tall, Dark and Handsome, but has a slender, boyish build and a very pretty face with big brown eyes (stated by his father to look just like Freddie's mother's), long eyelashes, and full lips. He has also the two would-be queen bees of the group competing over him at some time.
- The third generation's resident gay character Alex Henley is a good example He's one of the physically slimmest characters in the series and also has a pretty face and fairly large eyes, making him an example of this trope. he's also a total slut
- Rich of the same generation is one of the most youthful-looking males in the series and has a soft face, big eyes and delicate skin. Those features become especially visible after his Expository Hairstyle Change.
- Matty, Nick's Big Little Brother, is just as pretty as his sibling, but significantly more visibly fragile. Also two of the heroines fall for him almost instantly after seeing him for their respective first times. Actually every teenage male character of the third generation (besides Alo) can be considered a Pretty Boy to varying degrees.
- Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). His face combines prettiness and manliness, with a bit more of prettiness.
- Castiel (Misha Collins), an angel who ups the ante by also being slender and the shortest (barely) of the main trio. Co-star Jared Padalecki has said of Collins: "With those big blue eyes, he can't play a demon. They're like, 'awww... he's too pretty'." Lampshaded in-universe:
Japanese Game-Show Host: Mr. Trickster does not like pretty-boy angels!
- Michael Kelso from That '70s Show, who describes himself as "man-pretty". Donna once tells him that he's "pretty like a girl", and he agrees.
- In Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, we have Sharp-Dressed Man Ianto Jones, whom John Hart frequently refers to as "Eye Candy".
- The Pretty boy Pit bull Kenny King. On the 9/26/2013 TNA Impact, Austin Aries split him open, and Kenny's response was to get in front of the camera and boast "I'm still pretty!"
Religion and Mythology
- Norse Mythology
- Balder is so pretty that everything in the universe that can pledges their love to him.
- Loki. Even in the post-Christianization days, he's described as "pleasing and handsome" in appearance, but never the rugged, muscled type.
- Greek Mythology:
- The ultimate Greek mythology Pretty Boy: Apollo. Look how all the nymphs agree.◊ He was the ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth).
- Greek god Dionysus is portrayed as youthful Pretty Boy in some depictions, such as Euripides' Bacchae. In the myths proper, he's an Unkempt Beauty who enjoys mysteriously losing his clothes and throwing legendarily wild parties. Although if you get him mad, he will drive you insane or rip you apart with his bare hands. Many view him as a Foil to Apollo as the "Chaos" to Apollo's "Order."
- Eros aka Cupid or Amor is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the goddess of love Aphrodite/Venus. In Classical Greek art, he's a slender youth with wings. Later he was portrayed as a chubby boy.
- Apollo's lover Hyacinth was depicted as very handsome, athletic and beautiful. He was also admired by Zephyr (God of west wind) and his beauty caused a feud between the two gods. When he died (because of jealous Zephyr), Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, from his spilled blood.
- Homer described Ganymede as the most beautiful of all mortals, on top of the fact that he's the only of Zeus' lovers that was ever made immortal, is also quite telling.
- Adonis, who's So Beautiful, It's a Curse. He was so lovely that the goddess Aphrodite herself fell in love with him, among other gods and goddesses. (The word "adonis" is often used in modern times to describe this very archetype.)
- Narcissus was way hot and beautiful, and proud of it. Nymph Echo fell in love with him, but he was not into her. Godess of revenge Nemesis took Narcissus to a pool, where he saw his own reflection and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an empty image.
- Paris from The Iliad, who runs away from the fight with Menaleus he was begging for to seduce Helen (whom he kidnapped) at (Aphrodite's) gunpoint. It only gets better when Hector finds him sitting in his room—with an enormous battle raging outside the walls of Troy—"polishing his armor!"
- A surprising amount of images of Jesus. He's mostly depicted as a youthful-looking man with soft features. Divine beauty goes hand in hand with the whole "son of the God" thing. Thing is, Jesus was described as being plain looking enough in the Bible that Romans couldn't tell him apart from any of the other Jews.
- Celtic Mythology:
- ''Warhammer 40,000!! (as "pretty boy" as you can get in the ultra-gritty universe):
- The Eldar (elf). Described as such: "The Eldar are physically similar to humans, but with longer, cleaner limbs, slim and elegant features, pointed ears, and penetrating eyes."
- The Primarch of the Blood Angels, Sanguinius, who has angel wings and everything (of course, his death caused all the Super Soldier armies based on him to become bloodthirsty and prone to going insane). Additionally the chapters based on Sanguinius' gene seed are also noted as being somewhat prettier than the other marines.
- The Emperor's Children (Chaos) Space Marine Legion. So pretty that they are derrisively referred to as "peacocks" by most of the other legions while they are still loyal to the Imperium's cause. Their primarch, Fulgrim, is one of the prettiest humans alive. Furthermore, even after falling to Chaos, they continue trying to make themselves look as alluring and attractive as possible, part of their pact with the Chaos god Slaanesh. It doesn't help that their armour is various shades of purple and pink… The pre-Heresy Emperor's Children were just as brutal and ruthless as any other Space Marines, so looks can be deceiving.
- "Pretty Boy Look" is an Advantage in GURPS (introduced in GURPS Mecha), which works like Attractive, except the bonus to reaction roles apply to both sexes. In 4e the same Advantage is simply named "Androgynous".
- Despite metal growing out of his body, and his muscles, and clothing so scanty as to show off those muscles, Magic: The Gathering's Koth of the Hammer has a very pretty face.
- In Rocket Age the Julandri courtesans are a Martian slave caste engineered for physical and intellectual beauty. The men are just as pretty and delicate as the women. They all have female names.
- Tanz Der Vampire:
- Herbert von Krolock is one of these whenever the actor's makeup can create the effect, and the results tend to be stunning◊.
- His father, Graf von Krolock, is an older example. He looks like the less fortunate end result of the formula "Pretty Boy + age + suffering and guilt".
- Roger in RENT describes himself as "the pretty-boy front man" in "One Song Glory". The implication is that he thinks his modest success as a musician has all been attributable to his looks. But he's just as likely to actually be played by a more ruggedly handsome actor, although he is the Tenor Boy.
- It's implied in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street that Sweeney was one fifteen years prior to the start of the play, before his Break the Cutie process started.
Mrs Lovett: There was a barber and his wife… and he was beautiful…
- A Very Potter Musical:
- Draco Malfoy, who's played by a girl
- But it's not just him—prettiness runs in his family. His father is very pretty too.
- Male blood elves in World of Warcraft, even though they can have a little bit of facial hair. Lampshaded in some of their /silly and /flirt emotes. A silly—"Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"
- Johnny Cage of the Mortal Kombat series, though Johnny himself is the one who enforces it. He constantly refers to himself as "pretty" and is always praising his own good looks. Even one of his battle cries revolves around how pretty he thinks he is:
Johnny: Oh yeah! I'm so pretty!
- Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer takes this concept into an odd place by making the resident Pretty Boy, Gannayev, a Cute Monster Guy member of a species otherwise known for being invariably hideous. Creator Chris Avellone's response to the reason for this basically boils down to: "Because."
- Nightwing in Batman: Arkham City lives up to his comic book counterpart's reputation as a Pretty Boy. It's even commented on by the mooks, who express an interest in making him much less pretty.
- Fenris from Dragon Age II, an elf with white hair and body tattoos made out of lyrium, and also happens to wear skin tight clothing. You can, of course, compliment his looks when flirting with him, which sometimes results in him giggling.
- Dorian from Dragon Age: Inquisition is very pretty and very aware of it.
Iron Bull: Watch yourself. The pretty ones are always the worst.
- Most of the male characters in the Dark Parables lean more toward the Hunk category. However, in the seventh game Ballad of Rapunzel, two young men are encountered in the bonus chapter who are very Pretty Boys. Kai and Gwyn were previously encountered in an earlier installment as young boys; ten years have passed and they are all grown up.
- Subverted in Ride to Hell: Retribution. One of the bosses is nicknamed Pretty Boy, but when you finally meet him, it proves to be an Ironic Nickname: he's bald, noticeably muscular, and has horrible burn scars over half of his body.
- Arsenik and Night are the pretty boys of War: 13th Day. Arsenik is keenly seen as a Lust Object by the Valkyrie women, while Night is so handsome that it's even possible for the woman he blackmails to develop feelings for him. But given the game's Unreliable Narrator, this may or may not be entirely accurate...
- Rieken in A Distant Soil fits perfectly, down to white hair so long it drags on the ground. The twist, though, is that despite being so very pretty, he is probably the most supernaturally powerful being alive.
- Rabbit from Skins. Slender, tall and leanly muscled, he has no body or facial hair and has really pretty features.
- Parody/subversion: This strip from the Stick Figure Comic Stickman and Cube has the cartoonist supposedly draw the two characters as Pretty Boys. The joke is that they look exactly the same, being of course a stickman and a cube, except with added Bishie Sparkle. But... so bishie!
- Maxim of Girl Genius, sporting a narrower, pointier face, thinner build, and longer, bishi-er hair than his compatriots Dimo and Oggie, very nearly fits here. There are only a couple things off: First, he has purple skin, smiles too much, smiles too big, and has a mouth full of sharp teeth, all because he is a Jaegermonster. Second, he's too fun-loving, upbeat, and goofy, also because he is a Jaegermonster. Third, his personality is far too distinctive. Other than that he fits perfectly. Foglio has said that he designed Maxim for fun, to see if he could draw a bishonen Jaeger. Well, he can!
- The title character from Terinu is definitely bishie, coming from a genetically uplifted race designed to look cute. Being marsupials, even the females are fairly androgenous in appearance (flat-chested after all).
- The Cyantian Chronicles: Jules thinks that Sean is pretty. Although that might just be because of his beautiful wings.
- Blip portrays Lucifer as Pretty Boy. At one point, Luc meets an angel who is his exact double. His reaction: "I'm... gorgeous!"
- Tom from Khaos Komix. Being fantastically handsome comes hand in hand with being Ft M transsexual,at least for him. He doesn't have any of the typical personality traits, however, being Straight Gay bordering on Manly Gay.
- Oswald of Knights Errant gets special mention for being known as a Pretty Boy in-story an being transgender. Most of the other characters aren't too bad-looking either.
- In Moon Crest 24, Dwayne certainly falls under this category. Specially after his introduction where he refers to himself as a Bishonen, which is Japanese counterpart of Pretty Boy.
- Rolan of Ears for Elves is the long-haired type. The artist has even described him as a bishie a couple times, and circles and pentagons follow him when he's being cute just as flowers appear around Myari.
- Homestuck: Because the art is stylised,so readers can't really tell, but Meenah outright describes Rufioh as a Bishonen in one flash. These good looks together with his kind, relaxed personality apparently made him very popular with the other trolls.
- El Goonish Shive: Tedd isn't quite a classic Pretty Boy, but he is still both androgynous enough and attractive enough when he takes his glasses off to cause homophobic bully Tony to go into full-scale panic.
- This beautiful comic features a sweet little love story between a Pretty Boy and a not-so-jerkish Jerk Jock. The latter initially uses this trope as an insult, only for the titular pretty boy to become his Closet Key, leading to a growing friendship that becomes a romance and finally a marriage.
- Stand Still, Stay Silent: Emil has actually been called "pretty boy" by Sigrun, and has an entry on Improbable Hairstyle due to somehow maintaining extremely clean, glossy and Bishie Sparkle inducing chin-length hair despite working as a Demolitions Expert handling high grade explosives After the End.
- The Nostalgia Critic:
- The Critic. Even he lampshaded it in the Battlefield Earth review by trying to say he got more handsome, but couldn't do it and chose "pretty" instead.
- The forgotten guy (Dan Roth) in The Nostalgia Chick's show. Even though they forget he exists constantly, the Chick dated him in high school, Maven tried to bite his neck and Elisa was paired with him during the fucked up Parody Commercials.
- David Chapman from you could make a life, although his antisocial and insecure personality leaves him unaware of it.
Jake: You have no idea what you look like, do you? Dude, Team USA used to call you the pretty boy.David: I doubt it was a compliment.Jake: From them, no. From me, totally. They were just jealous because their girlfriends all thought you were adorable.
- Julio Blanco from the MTV cartoon Spy Groove is so pretty that Leonardo DiCaprio is considered a suspect in his death. He faked it.
- Brackus from Di-Gata Defenders was revealed to be one when he was younger. Blatant Fanbase pandering by the animators.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender wouldn't be Animesque without a few of these.
- Haru is the most classical example: long hair, a long face with narrow eyes, and generally smooth features. It's due in part to the art in his introductory episode; on his return, he's grown a moustache and has a slightly squarer face. Parodied in this fan video, which advertises a beauty product to make you almost (but not quite) as pretty as him.
- Zuko manages to be quite the pretty boy in spite of the horrible burn scar that mars a large portion of his face, his prettiness is accentuated in seasons two and three after his hair grows out and softens the harsher edges of said scar.
- When Big Bad and Evil Overlord Fire Lord Ozai finally shows his face,, he turns out to be one. You'd expect a family resemblance, between him, Zuko and Azula, but still very unexpected for anyone who expected this evil, shadowy figure to have a suitably monstrous appearance.
- The Legend of Korra:
- Tall, Dark and Handsome Mako takes over the throne for Zuko in this department.
- Mako's younger brother Bolin plays with this trope: He's also considered very attractive (especially by the fanbase), but is shorter and stockier than Mako, blunt-featured, and more cute than pretty.
- Jerk Jock and Agent Peacock Tahno; Korra even disparagingly calls him such in "The Spirit of Competition".
- Book 3 gives us Huan Beifong, his mid-back-length undercut, and his eyebrow piercing.
- Chip Skylark from The Fairly OddParents!. Not only does every woman in town squee over him, so does Timmy's dad.
- Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond, fitting with the Chick Magnet nature of all Batman iterations. In addition to the normal high school girls who fawn over him, he also manages a few instances of Dating Catwoman thanks to his good looks.