His gaze turns little girls into men.
The Spear Counterpart
to the Estrogen Brigade
, the Testosterone Brigade is an enclave of male fans within a traditionally female-dominated (or at least gender-neutral) fandom
. While they dislike the Female Gaze
or the Mr. Fanservice
, it's very likely that they were pulled into the series in the first place because of a female character. Depending on the series, they may view it as a Guilty Pleasure
due to the amount of female fans. Occasionally, as with an Estrogen Brigade
, both sides will butt heads over largely superficial reasons
, with buckets of opposite-sex awkwardness, which can get defensive. It should also be noted that not all male fans within such a fandom are necessarily of the Testosterone Brigade.
A Testosterone Brigade is easily attracted by hints of Les Yay
or by fanservice
from main characters. See also Multiple Demographic Appeal
, Guilty Pleasure
, Best Known for the Fanservice
. When the creators of a work acknowledge this demographic and make a "girly" show that's actually aimed at men, then you've got a Jiggle Show
or (in the case of kids' shows) the trope What Do You Mean, It's Not for Little Girls?
Anime and Manga
- Most male fans of Maid-Sama! like it because of Misaki Ayuzawa, the female lead, and her dynamics with Takumi Usui, the male lead.
- Fruits Basket has a ton of male fans, but mostly because of the story/characters.
- Sailor Moon. While it is primarily a shoujo anime, it has quite a bit of a male following as well, with all the Sailor Senshi being really hot, kickass action girls. (A story about a young Moviebob, while working as a video store clerk, explaining this to a customer is recounted here.) There are Testosterone Brigades for approximately all ten of the female leads.
- Pretty Cure is also one, similar to the aforementioned Sailor Moon, has a large male fanbase in Japan, it has plenty of kickass Action Girl and fight scenes, what sets it apart is its sheer amounts of in-your-face fist fights and No Holds Barred Beat Down, for a shoujo anime. It helps that it was directed by Toei, who made Super Sentai and Kamen Rider.
- Shirokuma Cafe is a josei, but it has its loyal male fans.
- Part of Watashi ni XX Shinasai!'s appeal is that Yukina is a really hot, unusually busty, smart and independent girl who likes to take the lead. Guys really dig that.
- While the Yaoi Fangirl is a common stereotype of Axis Powers Hetalia fandom, there are male fans who are attracted to either the history, characterizations or the female Nations. Somehow ironic considering it was originally intended for adult men.
- Ouran High School Host Club:
- Though the article says it is rare, it has a substantial male following for two main reasons — it's very funny, and Haruhi is cute.
- There's also an in-show Estrogen Brigade for each and every male character, as well as an IRL one.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena is nominally intended to be a Shoujo Series, but has many male fans as well, due its complex plot (it is oftenly compared with Neon Genesis Evangelion for a reason, after all) and also the Les Yay subtext.
- Perhaps not so much in the United States, but in Japan and Latin America Card Captor Sakura was surprisingly popular among male viewers, being considered the most successful Magical Girl series since Sailor Moon. There was even a fan-made live action opening made in Japan (Please notice how said opening was played entirely by men.)
- Most of the CLAMP fandom. It helps that CLAMP is basically one Estrogen Brigade themselves.
- Speaking of CLAMP, X1999 is also worth mentioning: While technically speaking is a Shoujo series, the dark and violent nature of the plot could made it to be easily mistaken by Seinen. Also, the many religious/ apocalyptic elements of the story made it popular among viewers who are into stuff like Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Similarly, other dark Shoujo and Josei works like Vampire Princess Miyu or Pet Shop of Horrors are well liked by male anime fans who usually mistook them with Seinen.
- And in the case of the light-hearted Josei Bunny Drop, the anime adaptation is well liked among male viewers simply because they find the story to be incredibly adorable and heartwarming.
- The Bring It On movies. For the women that they were aimed at, they're about cheerleading as Serious Business. For men, they're about seeing Eliza Dushku, Kirsten Dunst, Christina Milian, Hayden Panettiere, Ashley Benson, and a whole bunch of other good-looking young women in cheerleading uniforms. Amusingly, one of the TV spots for the original film even intentionally invoked this.
- Mean Girls. While written by a woman and marketed heavily to teen girls, it was released at the height of Lindsay Lohan's "it girl" popularity, and features Lohan and a number of other young women (specifically, former Party of Five star Lacey Chabert and then-unknowns Rachel McAdams and Amanda Seyfried) in provocative dress throughout. It's no surprise that a lot of guys watch it for the hot high school chicks. The original version of the film (the script for which can be read here) was more explicitly targeted at both men and women. As originally written, Mean Girls was a hard-R sex comedy that homaged films like Porky's and American Pie, filled with innuendos, drug references, and topless scenes from Regina and Karen; creator Tina Fey said she originally envisioned it as having "wall-to-wall titties." It was Bowdlerised after Lohan was cast as the lead (she was still considered family-friendly then), and traces of this still show up in the final film.
- This is basically the point of the article Top 10 Chick Flicks That Men Secretly Love.
- The Hunger Games, despite (or perhaps because of) it being a particularly girl-powered film with a very feminist slant, gets quite a lot of this. Part of it has to do with the action and the premise and the deep political and social commentary, but the pre-Games scenes also heavily feature Jennifer Lawrence looking drop-dead gorgeous, while Catching Fire has her in a form-fitting wetsuit for the Games as well. Catching Fire also adds Jena Malone, most notably her elevator scene. Did we mention how hot Jennifer Lawrence is?
- America's Next Top Model, as well as any of the other Top Model shows, have enough Fetish Fuel and Fanservice to attract male viewers.
- Project Runway to a much lesser degree, but it still has hot girls and sexy moments.
- The L Word, as was inevitable for a show about a bunch of very good-looking lesbians. It pandered generously to straight males through extensive sex scenes, making one of the girls bisexual (which ensured at least some scenes would include a straight guy), featuring mainly straight guys in the supporting cast, and reducing gay guys to extras. Series creator Ilene Chaiken publicly claimed that the show would never have been made if it hadn't also brought in a male audience.
- Sex and the City. It's a show about four sexy older women who like to have sex and talk about it — and this being HBO, they don't cut away from the nudity. (Out of the four main cast, Sarah Jessica Parker was the only one who had a no-nudity clause and didn't have to bare her naughty bits for the show — and perhaps not coincidentally, she's also the one who is most frequently called "ugly" in lads' mags and gossip blogs.) While its male fanbase is often stereotyped as being composed primarily of Camp Gay men who watch it for the fashion, during its prime it also had a very large contingent of straight male fans, as it featured a ton of female skin and enough of the male perspective (at times) to occupy straight men's interest.
- The same could be said of True Blood and other female-targeted HBO shows, for much the same reason (plus this one doesn't exactly skimp on the gore and violence). Jessica (part-time Magical Girlfriend, full-time Cute Monster Girl) seems to have been created specifically so straight guys would have a character to gush over.
- Desperate Housewives. Its description on this wiki even describes it as "not a porn mag, but a US TV drama." At the height of its popularity, ABC even ran an ad with a guy admitting he watched it
and (unconvincingly) claiming that it was for the story. Riiight.
- VH-1's Single Ladies, for many of the same reasons as Sex and the City.
- A very, very frequent occurrence with teen- and tween-oriented shows, especially American and Australian ones. (And if any British tropers feel the UK is an exception, one word: Hollyoaks.) The lead actresses are often meant to be viewed by such shows' young female fans as the type of people that they wish they were... which includes looking gorgeous. Not surprisingly, appearances in fashion magazines and (for shows that skew a bit older) men's magazines are frequent for the stars of these shows, while those under the age of 18 may find themselves subject to some fairly creepy gushing.
- Pretty Little Liars, being aimed at girls, has an amazingly high amount of good-looking males in the cast. It also has an amazingly high amount of good-looking females in the cast (Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, Janel Parrish, Sasha Pieterse, Tammin Sursok...), a trait shared with most of its fellow Warner/Alloy series like Gossip Girl (which featured Blake Lively, Leighton Meester, and a young Taylor Momsen) and The Lying Game (Alexandra Chando, Alice Greczyn, Charisma Carpenter, Kirsten Prout in season 1).
- Victorious featured a cast made up of some of the hottest young actresses on the planet. While still aimed mostly at fellow teenage girls, Liz Gillies, Victoria Justice, Daniella Monet, and Ariana Grande attract a huge amount of interest from guys (and in the latter's case, her music career is only making it grow faster). Precursor show iCarly also developed one of these once Miranda Cosgrove and Jennette McCurdy grew up in the last few seasons, as did the short-lived crossover spinoff Sam & Cat with McCurdy and Grande. More Nickelodeon examples, like Kira Kosarin of The Thundermans and Brec Bassinger of Bella And The Bulldogs, followed afterwards.
- The Disney Channel, being a veritable Teen Idol machine that employs a lot of attractive young people (see the point above about teen shows), often winds up with this no matter how sickeningly sweet and kid-friendly they make their shows. Some (of-age) Disney stars, past and present, that attract this include Selena Gomez of Wizards of Waverly Place, Bridgit Mendler of Good Luck Charlie, Debby Ryan and Peyton R. List of Jessie, Laura Marano of Austin & Ally, Dove Cameron of Liv and Maddie, Bella Thorne and Zendaya Coleman in Shake It Up, Zendaya again (plus Veronica Dunne) in KC Undercover, and Lauren Taylor of Best Friends Whenever. (Proving how old this trope is, it goes right back to when Disney began in TV - as demonstrated by Annette Funicello.)
- Disney XD shows, while actually targeted towards boys, also apply, such as Caitlyn Taylor Love from I'm In The Band (which carried over to another Disney XD show, Ultimate Spiderman, where she portrays Ava Ayala/White Tiger), Olivia Holt on Kickin' It (which carried over to Disney Channel's I Didn't Do It while adding Piper Curda to the mix), Kelli Berglund from Lab Rats, Oana Gregory from Crash And Bernstein (Landry Bender never really got hers until Best Friends Whenever), and Paris Berelc and, even though they're not part of the main cast, Cozi Zuehlsdorff and Brooke Sorenson from Mighty Med. Expect Kelli and Paris to carry theirs over to Lab Rats: Elite Force (Lab Rats Vs. Mighty Med already provided a sneak preview).
- As badly as Netflix's entries to the Kid Com market, Richie Rich and Some Assembly Required, were received (although the latter is still well-respected in its native Canada), that didn't stop them from receiving testosterone brigades. The former is centered on Brooke Wexler and the aforementioned Lauren Taylor; Jenna Ortega, the other female on the show, is still a little too young to apply. As far as the latter goes, while Charlie Storwick isn't without her fanboys, it still pales in comparison to Sydney Scotia's (which is shown in-universe in the "Cupid's Bow" episode).
- The producers of Charmed tried to invoke this around the fifth season and so made sure the actresses' clothing was as sexy as possible. They also created plenty of episode plots where the sisters would be transformed into various magical creatures that required a different skimpy outfit. Alyssa Milano got the worst of it; a common joke was that her belly button deserved its own billing in the opening credits. (In fairness, a series with Shannen Doherty, Rose McGowan, Holly Marie Combs, and Alyssa Milano was always going to have this.)
- For more than a few male viewers, Hayden Panettiere is the primary/only reason to watch Nashville. (And, it has to be said, Heroes.)
- H2O: Just Add Water attracted this around its second season, when its three lead actresses had noticeably gotten older. It's a show about three teenage mermaids, all played by very beautiful actresses. As it's set in Australia, there are plenty of episodes featuring the girls in bikinis or walking around in short-shorts. Plus rather a lot of episodes revolve around parties, so the three leads are often dolled up. Interestingly enough the show doesn't feature that much male Fanservice, with Lewis only getting a couple of shirtless scenes (at least until Will comes along).
- Female fashion magazines and general female magazines feature enough sexily dressed women (especially in the ads) and attractive female celebrities to attract straight men who usually won't admit to flipping through them to ogle all the hot women in them.
- Allure has its own yearly "Nude" issue, that has featured Kaley Cuoco, Bridget Moynahan, and Ashley Tisdale to name a few, that feature tasteful nude pictures of females. This alone is justification for a straight man to flip through it.
- This has been the rule for most female pop/R&B idol singers and girl groups within the last 30 years. The girls come for the music, the boys come for the ladies singing it. Oftentimes, female musicians go for Hotter and Sexier images (or have it pushed onto them) specifically to invoke this.
- Kate Bush has a very large Testosterone Brigade among her fanbase.
- Female-fronted symphonic metal bands such as Nightwish, Epica and After Forever. While metal music as a whole already has a very large male following (and an Estrogen Brigade), a good number of these bands' fans are listening and going to concerts for a bit more than just the music.
- The Wiggles are one of the very few children's music groups to sometimes include attractive female dancers in some of their videos, thus catering a bit to the fathers out there stuck watching the videos. Dads tend to be fans for that.
- Female wrestlers in general are a case of attempts to exploit this trope working to the detriment of the medium. In many cases, pro wrestling companies, recognizing that many guys were watching the women's matches for the sexy catfights, have dropped all pretense of their women's divisions being about athletic competition in order to use them to supply as much cheesecake as possible. This, however, turns off many fans who had been watching because they were legitimately interested in the matches. It's telling that the most celebrated female wrestlers, past and present, among the IWC are those who were genuine Action Girls rather than just models hired to look the part.
- Lita is an interesting case. She became popular with young girls because of her One of Us image (she was a Lad Ette). She also became popular with boys because of that as well. In addition to that, boys also were turned on by the fact that she had her thong on display and removed her top in several matches.
- Trish Stratus was a similar case too; the majority of fans fell in love with her stunning looks (male and female) but along the way earned numerous amounts of respect for her desire to improve. So in Trish's case, the fans came for her beauty and stayed for the wrestling.
- Mickie James got over big time with men due to her lesbian stalker gimmick in which she would kiss women and in one instance grabbed Trish's privates and seductively licked her fingers afterwards getting an earth-shattering pop for it. Even after abandoning those characteristics, she still remains popular due to her sex appeal, Girl Next Door nature and the fact that she, like Trish, can actually wrestle.
- Paige represents a similar case of trying to cultivate a One of Us feel. Without tanning, she adopted a Raven Hair, Ivory Skin appearance, overlapping with Unkempt Beauty - and had fans in the palm of her hand. A documentary about her reveals that she was this before she was in WWE too. Her mother said all she had to do was slap her daughter's picture on something and it would sell.
- Total Divas has a huge male fanbase. Producers likely had this trope in mind - which is probably why wherever the Divas go, they always have perfect hair, perfect make-up and flattering clothes. Various episodes feature the girls going on vacations (getting them into bikinis) and even multiple appearances by a sex therapist. The show draws roughly a million viewers every week and not all of them are women.
- Race car driver Danica Patrick, who has parlayed her Testosterone Brigade into both a NASCAR career and modeling work. She's a damn good racer, making the pole position for the 2013 Daytona 500, leading laps and finishing eighth (highest finish by a female in a Sprint Cup race so far) there, as well as a good 12th place finish at Martinsville, but most people seem to best know her for her GoDaddy ads.
- The strange case of high school pole vaulter Alison Stokke.
- The Dutch women's field hockey team at the 2012 London Olympics have developed one of these.
- This was the genius of the lingerie chain Victoria's Secret (and its many imitators). Instead of only selling their products through brick-and-mortar shops, they did it through a catalogue, allowing men to shop for lingerie for the wives without the embarrassment of being seen doing so at a store. Even after the company got bought out by The Limited and focused more on selling directly to women, their catalogues were still very popular with men. To this day, Victoria's Secret stores have scads of pictures of half-naked women in the windows to get men into the store, they sponsor burlesque fashion shows that are aimed as much at men as women, and their models (known as "Angels") are regular features of men's magazines.
- When a show is packed with as much Fanservice as Totally Spies!, it's bound to pick up a lot of male fans along the way.
- Kim Possible, as evidenced by the kind of fanart showing up on DeviantArt and the abundance of Dark Fics.
- What male fans exist of the Disney's Tinkerbell movies tend to be a Testosterone Brigade, as there is a surprising amount of fanservice in the films.
- The Disney Princesses in general, especially those from the Disney Renaissance. It's been joked that they helped usher an entire generation of adolescent boys into puberty in The '90s.
- This is invoked in the first American Pie with Jim gushing over how hot Ariel is (a sentiment Norm Peterson shared years before in an episode of Cheers and Joey Tribbiani shared years later in a late episode of Friends).
- Also invoked in an episode of The Big Bang Theory when the girls get a Disney Princess makeover at Disneyland. When Penny walks into Leonard's apartment he immediately drops his pants after seeing her dressed as Aurora. Howard does pretty much the same thing. Poor Amy fails to get Sheldon's attention.
- One Disney Princess in particular worth mentioning is Elsa from Frozen, who has become probably the most famous animated sex symbol since Jessica Rabbit due to her long blonde hair, clingy outfit, and Sexy Walk. It helps that Elsa's and Jessica's dresses have similarities. Yes, there are definitely a lot of Elsa fanboys on the internet.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The famous "Brony" fanbase is a rare example that doesn't use Fanservice. (Not for most people anyway.) Female Cosplay and Gijinka (personified fanart of not human characters) of the characters invokes different reactions.
- Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse has a diverse following that the creators actively nod to, complete with scads and scads of Shout Outs. The following has been likened to that for My Little Pony, even spurring the epithet "Brobies", but "Dreamhousers" (as they prefer to be called) reject the comparison.
- Jem had and has tons of male fans. Part of it is a LGBT Fanbase, but many boys watched it for the girls.
- She-Ra, for boys who couldn't quite relate to uber-hunk Prince Adam and his army of beefcakes.