"Food, baby! PETA is wrong, I'm right. I'm adhering to the natural order, tooth fang and claw is it! To try and tell me that I can't eat flesh is just weird. I dunno even how to respond to such stupidity. This meat is food, case closed."That cow? Food. That dog? Food. That grizzly bear? Food. That roadkill? Eh... food. If you're a man, eat meat. If you don't eat meat, you're not manly. And eat red meat. Who only eats the white stuff? That's not meat; it's gotta bleed before it's meat. What are ya? Some skinny punk? A girl? In case you haven't guessed, real men eat meat. They are obsessed about meat, and the bigger, redder, bloodier the better. They will often brag about how rare they like it; "it should moo at me!" Chicken and (most) fish barely qualify as manly meat, but if the guy is eating poultry, you can bet it's a big greasy drumstick. If it's fish, he probably got it with dynamite or it's some kind of shark. Bonus points are awarded if those items were deep fried or smothered in hot sauce (or both). The other end of the spectrum goes up to deer, bears, dinosaurs and anything bigger, depending on the setting. Bonus points if the meat is something he himself killed. It never occurs to them that meat is simply part of a complete meal involving salad, meat, vegetables, dairy products, fruit, and this bowl of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.note Also prevalent is a conviction that however much non-meat food a man eats, he'll still be hungry, for some reason. If a girl is a carnivore, unless she's a holdout for low-carb, it's to show that she's tomboyish. A subtrope of Testosterone Poisoning. Related to Manly Men Can Hunt and unrelated to Large Ham (although overlap is possible). Bacon Addiction is a Sister Trope. See also Real Men Hate Sugar and Meat Versus Veggies (men are more likely to be on the meat side).
open/close all folders
- The Burger King "I Am Man" ad for the Texas Double Whopper: I am man, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore/And I'm way too hungry to settle for chick food...
- The Burger Chef Rancher, basically a very large hamburger with no bun or condiments, with a side of "Texas toast" (regular toast sliced twice as thick as usual). The ads showed a big James Garner-looking guy coming in and going "I'LL HAVE A RANCHER."
- Speaking of James Garner, he used to voice-over those all-American "BEEF: IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER" ads brought to you by the National Livestock and Meat Board.
- Sam Elliot and Robert Mitchum were part of that campaign too. Just smell the testosterone!
- When Wendy's introduced a new line of salads, their commercials addressed this stigma: a guy is taunted by his buddies for ordering a salad, until they see how delicious it looks.
- Commercials for Black Angus restaurant like this one feature a tough-looking outdoorsman who practically radiates testosterone. (Or satirizes such people.)
Anime and Manga
- Luffy, the Hot-Blooded pirate captain of One Piece, has an obsession with meat and hates vegetables. In the Toriko Manga Crossover, it's revealed that his full course menu is meat. All of it. Including the Salad, Soup and Drink categories.
- Vegeta from Dragon Ball has this attitude, and when he's originally introduced he's casually munching on a bug-man's arm on a a planet he and Nappa had just conquered. While he and Goku explore the innards of Super Buu, he is disgusted upon seeing that the monster's stomach is full of sweets, with nary a bit of meat in sight.
- Saiyans in general tend to prefer meat over other kinds of food. Ironically, all the Saiyans have names based on vegetables.
- Hunny of Ouran Host Club tries to follow this in as a part of building himself as a suitable heir for his family. It doesn't take and he goes back to eating sweets.
- Hajime No Ippo: Ryuuhei Sawamura likes meat. Really, really likes meat. In a twist of the trope, it's used to emphasize on his insane tendencies. Oh, if I say he likes meat, I mean he also likes the meat of his enemies, strongly resembling cannibalism.
- The stage adaptation of Bleach has an extra song with Ikkaku teaching Hanataro how to be manly. Eating RAW meat is one of the things a real man must do.
- In Eyeshield 21, Gaou will only eat meat. Considering he's modeled after a T-Rex, it's not at all surprising. Other characters love meat too, but they only consider it as a tasty treat or source of protein, in case of Shin.
- Takes up a large amount of stories in Toriko, as mentioned above.
- Inverted in Living Dead! as Toriko, a female zombie, loves to eat meat and has great knowledge on different types of meat. In fact, if she doesn't eat enough meat, she'll revert to a mindless zombie until she eats some.
- Isana's father in Yumekui Merry uses this to justify snatching up all the meat during dinner, even while arguing that Yumeji doesn't eat enough vegetables. Yumeji counters by claiming tomatoes are a good enough (and manly enough) vegetable, and he eats plenty of those.
- Subverted in Silver Spoon: The biggest carnivore at a school full of large, burly manly men is Ikeda, a small, shy, timid girl. She was one of the biggest investors in both incarnations of the Pork Fund, and the mention of 100% beef hamburgers causes her to spontaneously materialize with a facial expression high school girls normally reserve for members of their favourite Boy Band.
- Lance Blastoff (a politically incorrect parody character from Frank Miller) who converts a beautiful vegetarian to meat eating by the extremely manly act of killing and roasting a dinosaur.
- Astérix and Obelix both really like their roast boar.
- Averted in Superman: Birthright, which established Superman as a vegetarian in keeping with his cherishing and protection of lives in general. Other stories tend to go back and forth on whether he's a vegetarian or not, ones that don't will make his favorite food beef bourguignon with ketchup.
- Ultimate Bruce Banner is a vegetarian. Ultimate Hulk eats meat, including bad guys. His girlfriend seemed a little turned on.
- In the mainstream Marvel universe, Banner and Hulk both love meat.
- This might be the Aesop of Troll 2. Eating veggies is bad for you!
- The fishing scene in Waterworld.
- Zardoz. The Exterminators are outraged when their god tells them to grow grain.
- The two Retired Badass uncles of Secondhand Lions have a diet that consists of mostly meat. Walter insists they change this later on.
- The Croods averts this. Eep, her mother, and her grandmother are happily carnivorous. Watch just how fast the giant bird's leg disappears in Eep's care. Granted, they're all likely opportunistic omnivores, but jeez...!
- Subverted in My Favorite Wife: The very macho Stephen Burkett, played by the very macho Randolph Scott, is a vegetarian.
- The warriors on Gor are quite fond of meat. In one book Tarl and his friend are at a fancy dinner party, but they both preferred a big steak to the delicacies being served. In another book he and his (different) friend take time out of their Quest to go hunting because they "need" to eat meat.
- Known Space: Real kzin eat meat. At least, modern male kzin do. The Kzinti have taken it so far, that as a Proud Warrior Race they went from ancestral omnivores to dedicated carnivores (except for ice cream). And to make it even more manly, they eat raw meat. When fresh meat is not available, they heat it up to about body temperature to make it feel more authentic.
- One of the most literal examples of all time in The Stormlight Archive. Alethi men eat meat, spiced food, and other thick, hearty fare. Women eat sweet food, fruit, and other similar dishes. This is not a matter of choice. It is considered abhorrent in their culture for men to eat women's food or vice versa.
- Whenever a story has a scene where Conan the Barbarian is having a meal, he's usually eating a "joint of beef" and washing it down with either ale or wine.
- Sam Vimes of Discworld prefers his BLTnote sandwiches with as little L and T as possible, and with all the more B. His wife has been getting on his and his subordinates' case to reduce the B on any given sandwich (especially the burnt crunchy variety). It rather ties into his ongoing internal conflict with the feeling he's getting old and gentrified, and maybe even a little emasculated.
- Jerry Spinelli's Fourth Grade Rats sees peer pressure for boys to pack no sandwiches that don't have meat in them.
- In the Young Bond novel SilverFin. Hellebores Sr. and Jr. are sitting down, having an all-red meat dinner, and it makes the son think of his mother, whose past influence in the household used to provide more varied meals. Even though it takes place in the 1920s, older Hellebore is consistently shown to be retrograde throughout the whole book.
- Alluded to in The Tamuli, when Mirtai and Kring discover the picnic lunch Sarabian's servants packed for them is some sort of poultry.
Mirtai: We're both warriors, my betrothed. We're supposed to eat red meat.
- In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea this is a problem for mostly manly man Ned Land since the Nautilus rarely goes even remotely close to shore. He does eventually get some pork... and promptly stops wailing about not having meat when they almost are murdered by natives. Amusingly enough, Nemo is also willing to risk his life helping Ned get the pork back to the Nautilus.
- Parodied in a sketch from The Armstrong and Miller Show where a King is hosting a massive banquet for the man of honor, but he doesn't really likes the food and so says he'll just eat his couscous he's brought in a tupperware box. He gets called out on his and says he'll gorge on the very next dish: a large roasted wild boar with an apple in its mouth. He leans over, grabs the apple and takes a bite, then complains that it's a Granny Smith spple.
- According to one episode of The Red Green Show, Dalton Humphrey only eats meat.
- The sketch in which they revealed that is something of a subversion of the trope. That's because Red was trying to get Dalton to guess the word 'vegetable'; after thirty seconds of false starts, Red got Dalton to (successfully) complete the sentence "Your father ate nothing but red meat for seventy years and now he's a....."
- After That '70s Show's Red Forman is forced to go on a low-protein diet after his heart attack, he complains that the salad Kitty makes for him "is not food, this is what food eats."
- Used as a Spoof Aesop in Robocop The Series; while in prison, the Mad Scientist Dr. Cray-Z, who happens to be a vegetarian, watches an animated commercial where an atypical, muscular, square-jawed superhero tells kids about the benefits of eating meat. (Ironically, Robocop himself can't eat meat, or any solid food, at all.)
- Earl was astounded when his son, Robbie, became a vegetarian. Since they are Dinosaurs— specifically, megalosauri, which are bipedal carnivores similar to the more familiar tyrannosaurus rex— it is treated like a gay/fantastic drug sort of thing.
- On Home Improvement, Tim and Al build "The Man's Kitchen", which is designed to cook only two vegetables, beans and potatoes. Meat, however? It has its own butcher shop! Unfortunately, the butcher nearly drowns when Tim shows off the kitchen's self-cleaning feature.
- Big Eater Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation planned a junket trip to Indianapolis around visiting his favorite steakhouse. The discovery that it had been shut down sent him into full-blown Heroic BSOD. He consoles himself by eating his other favorite food, breakfast, ordering all the bacon and eggs in a diner.
- Ron got on well with Andy after Andy recommended a burrito place for lunch - Ron cuts his suggestion short with "You had me at 'Meat Tornado'.
- Although he likes fishing, Ron won't eat fish because "Fish is practically a vegetable."
- Ron is also the inventor of the "Turf N'Turf": a 24oz T-bone steak "garnished" with a 16oz porterhouse steak. That's two and a half poundsnote of meat in one sitting, folks.
- Jim and his brother-in-law from According to Jim proudly live by this trope, though said brother-in-law would try (or pretend to try) to have a vegetarian diet if his date does it herself.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Amy's Choice", one of the Dream Lord's insults implies this:
"[Y]ou're probably a vegetarian, you big flop-haired wuss."
- Crosses over with Continuity Nod: the Doctor became a vegetarian at the end of "The Two Doctors." It didn't stick, though: the Ninth Doctor enjoyed a steak dinner with Margaret Slitheen in "Boom Town."
- On several occasions the hosts of The Man Show would crack jokes at the expense of vegetarians.
- Xander to Anya in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: "Yes. Men like sports. Men watch the Action Movie. They eat of the beef and enjoy to look at the bosoms. A thousand years of avenging our wrongs and that's all you've learnt?"
- In the Seinfeld episode "The Wink", Jerry goes on a vegetarian diet for health reasons and is worried that the Girl of the Week will not respect his virility.
- The Scottish folk song "Tatties and Herrin" can be seen as an inversion, though it also invokes National Stereotypes:
Fan the queen's wantin' men tae gang fecht wi' her foes
It's nae tae the roast beef devourers she goes
But awa' tae the north amongst the brave and the darin
Tae the lads that were brocht up on tatties and herrin'
- Rune. Ragnar will pick up whole roast legs (not poultry, BIG legs, like lamb or venison probably) and strip them to the bone, or pluck giant lizards off walls and bite their head off in a single ravenous bite, then throw the bone/body over your shoulder? And wash that down with a flagon of mead, which you also casually toss aside to shatter on the floor. Oh, sure, there's sissy fruit growing on bushes occasionally. But aside from that, Health Food has never been manlier than Rune.
- Team Fortress 2:
- Saxton Hale seen here.
- Also, one Power-Up for the Heavy is the Buffalo Steak Sandvich, which is not actually a sandwich, but just steak. ("Who needs bread?")
- Also, the Soldier, as "digesting ribs" is on his list of four things men should be engaged in at all times.
- Jack T. Ladd in Guilty, even when hungry, turns down bread and potatoes. He needs his fats and proteins!
- A gender-flipped version comes from Disgaea 2, with Rozalin. During the beginning intro to chapter 7, as the team's getting ready to head to bed, she admits to wanting "a nice, bloody prime rib", and when Etna talks about the reason she ditched Laharl (him eating her pudding), Etna claims sweets are a girl's best friend, to which Rozalin shoots her down with "I really don't like sweets. I'm more of a meat eater." The manga adaptation explores this a bit more, as when she got a cake as a child, it was WAY too sweet for her, which lead to her dislike of sweet things altogether.
- Might be intended a clue that's she's actually Zenon, whose original gender is unknown and might be masculine, trapped in the body she's using since Real Men Hate Sugar in Japan.
- In several of the Castlevania games, health is regenerated by finding power-ups that resemble a pot roast, sirloin, or roast turkey.
- The charr in Guild Wars 2 don't waste time with many earthly pleasures, but good meat is one that they utterly love, men and women alike. As Cat Folk, they're exclusively carnivorous, and the only known charr holiday is called Meatoberfest.
- In Persona 4 Arena, Akihiko's obsession with protein is a variation on this trope. Chie's love of meat leads to her receiving the tagline, "The Carnivore that Discarded Womanhood."
- In Fire Emblem Tellius Ike's favorite food is (spicy) meat, along with him being a Big Eater. This trait tends to be Flanderized in fan works to the point where readers might think all he ever did was eat and occasionally swing a sword.
Ike: I'll pass on the desserts... But I'll take extra helpings of meat!
- More or less alluded to in the Tales Series. Sometimes different characters make different recipes with different ingredients, and often characters have a preference for certain foods. Some of the manly men who prefer beef in their dishes include Lloyd, Flynn, and... er... Anise...
- During Bang's gag reel in BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma, round four of the King of Men competition is an all-you-can-meat spectacular. Much to his misfortune, Jin is a vegetarian, and is eliminated in short order this round. Azrael mocks him for it, hence this trope.
Jin: Ugh... I cannot eat meat... how unfortunate... *collapses*
Azrael: Fool. How can you call yourself a man if you cannot consume flesh?
- It's slightly more complicated than real men (due to a society of animals), but in Kevin & Kell, carnivores are expected to be carnivores and herbivores are expected to be herbivores. If one becomes 'trans-diet', as Bruno had, he can expect prejudice and accusations of betraying his kind.
- One of the things Seymour does on Sin Fest to get more manly is eat a steak, which is drawn to look pretty rare.
- James Lileks' skewering of a meat cookbook.
- Epic Meal Time has this but it was subverted for Fanservice in Massive Meat Log and it was played straight when they bring the girls in to eat dessert in The Black Legend.
- And in one episode of the parody series Regular Ordinary Swedish Meal Time, the chef "accidentally" makes a salad. When he realizes this, he gets pissed off. Even more than he usually is.
- LoadingReadyRun`s "Man Cooking" sections. In a nice case of deliberately Completely Missing the Point, they once did a vegetarian episode, which involved making and cooking a giant mushroom shape. Out of meat.
- A recurring theme on The Best Page in the Universe.
- One recurring joke of the Overly Manly Manmeme is that he thinks salad is what food eats to become food.
- SCP Foundation: Testing with SCP-458 (a magic pizza box that generates the favourite pizza of whoever opens it) has shown that SCP-076-2's favourite pizza is a large thick-crusted pizza topped with meatballs, pepperoni, bacon, Canadian bacon, sausage and hamburger meat. To wit, SCP-076-2 "Able" is basically Guts with the psychosis and badassery ramped Up to Eleven. Manly man, manly pizza.
- In "20 Ways to Lose Your Man Card" by Matthew Santoro, Matthew says that all men, with the exception of ones who have freak conditions where they're poisoned by meat, should eat meat, or else they're not manly.
- Parodied by The Nostalgia Critic in his review of Demolition Man, as he's in a "really wants to be a man" mood and so eats a heart.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Sokka is obsessed with meat (in contrast to vegetarian Aang). In fact, while trapped in the ground, he even admits that it's half of his personality: he's "Sokka, the meat and sarcasm guy" (but he's willing to give all that up and become "Sokka, the veggies and straight talk fellow" if he can just get out of that hole in the ground).
- In the Fire Nation, even the meat eats meat.
- Lampshaded in The Powerpuff Girls when a boy claims eating the flesh of lesser animals is manly. His father agrees, but then is made to eat his vegetables by his wife.
- In the South Park episode "Fun with Veal", Stan refuses to eat meat after saving some baby calves from a meat plant, which causes him to break out in sores that turn out to be miniature vaginas.
- King of the Hill:
- Hank Hill, who is appalled when his son Bobby temporarily becomes vegetarian to impress a girl. In another episode, when sarcastically asked "How many cows does your family eat in a year" he replies "Wait, we figured this out once..."
- This was Deconstructed in one episode when Hank's high meat low fiber diet left him with bad constipation that actually threatened his health.
- My Gym Partner's a Monkey: Made fun of when Adam invites Amazon Kevin to Darwin Middle School, a hyper-masculine rugged adventurer who advertises cereal made made of miniature pieces of meat that turn red when dipped in milk.
- Yam Roll of Yam Roll becomes quite offended at a restaurant when the waitress tells him that they don't serve short ribs and offers him strawberry shortcake instead.
- Ren and Stimpy - Ren volunteers to be 'fake dad' to problem-child Kowalski, who looks like the scariest guy in prison. At a picnic, Kowalski requests a meat-on-meat sandwich washed down with a glass of meat.
- In "Lair of the Lummox", Stimpy angers the Lummox by rejecting its offer of meat by saying he's a vegetarian.
- In the Bounty Hamster episode "Fashion Victim", though she's not a man, Cassie claims "Vegetarianism's for wimps!" which her partner Marion, himself a vegetarian, takes offense to.
- Vilhjalmur Stefansson experimented with the no-carbohydrate diet after observing that the Inuit diet consisted of mostly meat and fish, since there is very little vegetation in the Arctic circle. Here is the article in question.
- The book The Sexual Politics Of Meat is about this from a female perspective, making the case for vegetarianism from a feminist perspective.
- Simply called TurBaconEpic, it's a bird, in a bird, in a bird, in a bird, in a bird, in a pig with endless bacon strips and bacon stuffing, garnished with Baconators.
- Real Life inversion: Vegan bodybuilders
- Alternate inversion: Vegan firefighters.
- Steppe Nomads were very carnivorous. And while many have said nasty things about them, no one has called them unmanly. For reasons you can guess.
- Friedrich Nietzsche believed that vegetarianism was bad for the human spirit (not just men, but his philosophy definitely emphasized manliness (although Nietzsche's definition of "manly" is much more cerebral/Apollonian than most people's); he specifically calls it a cause of "physiological inhibition" in On the Genealogy of Morals.
- This is possibly a reasonable stance for the time given that a poorly-managed meat-free diet can result in a lack of energy and other health problems. Of course, these days it is much easier to engage in vegetarianism or veganism and still receive one's required nutrients.
- A lot of evidence shows that the early Neanderthals had a mostly meat-based diet. Researchers also believed this carnivorous diet may have been partially responsible for their demise, as the end of the ice age meant there was no big game for them to catch and little knowledge on how to grow crops, unlike their rivals and human ancestors, the Cro-Magnon.
- Recent finds suggest that the end on the Ice Age did little harm to the biosphere, and actually increased the biomass and biodiversity of the early European lands, which became a home to what is now known as a European megafauna. The lack of big game that brought the demise of the Neanderthals is entirely their own fault: they simply hunted and ate it all. Similar situations repeated many times when the early humans arrived at the pristine ecosystems, like the Clovis culture in early North America and ancestors of the Aborigines in Australia and New Guinea.
- Inverted: Alec Baldwin is a vegan animal rights activist... that pretty much settles it.
- Another inversion: Vegetarianism and veganism are very popular in the hyper masculine Heavy Metal and Hardcore Punk scenes. Attila Csihar of Mayhem, Gaahl of Gorgoroth, Mark "Barney" Greenway of Napalm Death, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath and Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat are examples.
- See also Vegan Black Metal Chef.
- Subverted by the tenth-century warrior-saint Gerald of Aurillac. Although he would eat meat, especially venison, he preferred fish and vegetables. This did not make him any less Badass.
- Subversion: Former Hockey enforcer Georges Laraque is a vegan and an active member of the Canadian Green Party.
- See also vegetarian slugger Prince Fielder, of the Milwaukee Brewers (at least for the next month or so. After free agency, who knows where he'll be?)
- Several cultures, such as the Massai of Africa and the Mongols of Central Asia, subsist on diets that are almost entirely meat due to living in grasslands where there is little vegetation that humans are capable of digesting. Cattle, on the other hand, thrive on grasses.
- Another straight example: Ted Nugent, who provides the page quote, basically subsists on a meat diet and yet remains healthy as a horse. Say what you will about the Motor City Madman, just don't say it to his face; when an animal-rights protestor threatened The Nuge's family, Nugent put the guy in an armlock and bodily dragged him down to the police station single-handedly.
- The Lewis and Clark expedition was so put off by the idea of subsisting on fish, of all things, that they resorted to buying dogs from the Native tribes as they journeyed west. They ended up consuming about two hundred and fifty dogs in all, though by all accounts they'd resigned themselves to eating fish like the natives by the time they reached the coast.
- The reason the beefsteak banquet was once popular as a political fundraiser (and began to disappear due to women getting the vote). It's also the reason they haven't disappeared altogether.
- Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead loathed vegetables and lived on a diet of mostly meat, cheese, and Jack Daniel's. Amazingly, he was quite healthy for being in his late-60s (aside from the terminal cancer, obviously) and is well-known for his Rated M for Manly music and for allegedly bedding over 2,000 women in his life.
- The "paleo" diet trend, which emphasizes eating only foods that would have been available to our caveman ancestors and is very popular among male-heavy circles that usually eschew diet trends, tends to be very meat-heavy.
- Truth in Television: building muscle mass requires a large amount of protein, usually gained from a combination of whey supplements and meat. While it is possible to get all the protein one needs to build muscle mass without eating meat, you have to really know what you're doing, especially since large amounts of soy (a popular non-meat source of protein) can cause an excess of estrogen. Turkish oil wrestlers ideally eat four kilos of meat a day along with half a kilo of honey for this reason.
- With common chimps (Pan troglodytes), the males go off on hunting raids and enjoy the meat themselves. They might share the meat with females, but usually only as a bargaining chip for sex. At least one population of chimps, however, has seen females learning to hunt for themselves instead of waiting for a male to notice them and share.
- Averted by Roman gladiators who seem have had a mostly vegetarian diet.