troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Testosterone Brigade

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?.


Examples:

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, though they certainly would've enjoyed some more eye candy.
  • Sailor Moon. While it is primarily a shojo anime, it actually 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Usagi Drop, the anime adaptation is well liked among male viewers simply because they find the story to be incredibly adorable and heartwarming.

Film

Live-Action TV
  • 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 pandered to the Testosterone Brigade — and unfortunately, she's probably right.
  • 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 guys in the cast. It also has an amazingly high amount of good-looking girls 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Miley Cyrus of Hannah Montana, Selena Gomez of Wizards of Waverly Place, Bridgit Mendler of Good Luck Charlie, Debby Ryan of Jessie, Laura Marano of Austin & Ally, and Dove Cameron of Liv and Maddie. (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), and Kelli Berglund from Lab Rats.
  • 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.
  • While now it's reached Deader Than Disco status, back in The Nineties Ally McBeal was also popular among men, due to the attractive female lead actresses (which had Lucy Liu among them). This is even Lampshaded by the Futurama episode "When Aliens Attack," where all Omicronians (especially Lrrr, the Emperor of Omicron Persei 8) love Single Female Lawyer which is a direct parody of the series.

Magazines
  • 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.

Music
  • 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.

Professional Wrestling
  • 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.

Sports
  • 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.

Stores
  • 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.

Web Animation

Western Animation
  • 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 Nineties.
    • 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).
    • 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. Yes, there are definitely a lot of Elsa fanboys on the internet.
  • The famous "Brony" fanbase of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Also a rare example that doesn't use Fanservice. (Not for most people anyway.) Though Female Cosplay and Gijinka (personified fanart of not human characters) of the characters invokes different reactions.
  • Jem had and has tons of male fans. Part of it is a LGBT Fanbase, but many boys watched it for the girls.

Teen IdolFandomTrekkie
Tear JerkerYMMV/Home PageThat One Achievement
Tear JerkerYMMVThat One Achievement
Rule 50ImageSource/Western AnimationWinged Unicorn

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
54706
33