So, you've got a mysterious and strange character that needs a name...Oh, it's a male? No worries, then. Just slap an adjective in front the word "man", place a "the" in front of it all, and bravo! You have a name!

For some reason, these characters tend to almost always be villains with a [[HiddenAgendaVillain hidden agenda]], and, as can be inferred by the name of the trope, almost AlwaysMale (though some cases might be better described as "[[HumanoidAbomination male-ish]]"). There's something about the phrase "the _____ man" that just seems to appeal to people. Perhaps it's the right degree of [[UncannyValley familiarity mixed with strangeness]]? Or perhaps it brings up images of strange people we see often but don't know the names of? Or perhaps [[EveryoneIsJesusInPurgatory it's all just a great big coincidence]]? No matter the reason, there's just something primal about this wording.

Different from SomethingPerson in that characters following this particular naming convention aren't superheroes, also there's the "the" in front of the name. Also different from TheAdjectivalSuperhero, where the "the" and adjective are an optional addendum to the name. This trope is surprisingly prominent in SciFi and {{Horror}} stories, which may explain why most examples tend to be supernatural and/or antagonistic.

Compare EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep. Not to be confused with TheMan. Compare NamesToRunAwayFrom/TheAdjectiveOne.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Laughing Man from ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex''.
** He was inspired by The Fox-Eyed Man from the real-life [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glico_Morinaga_case Glico-Morinaga case]].
* The Unknown Man from ''Manga/ElfenLied''.
* Parodied in ''Anime/ExcelSaga'', with That Man, who is consequently the main villain. In the last episode, we get several clones of That Man, including That Man Over There.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* The Gray Man from ''ComicBook/FallOfCthulhu''
* {{Lobo}} is The Main Man.
* In some stories, Franchise/{{Batman}} is referred to by people as The Batman.
* The Purple Man is a villain from Creator/MarvelComics.
* As well as the pranksterish Impossible Man.
* John Doe's code name is [[NthMan The Nth Man]].
* YTheLastMan
* Crusher Creel, aka The Absorbing Man, sometimes enemy of Comicbook/TheIncredibleHulk and Thor.
* The Invisible Woman, member of the ComicBook/FantasticFour.
* The ComicBook/ElongatedMan, aka Ralph Dibny.
* Parodied in ''Comicbook/ThePro'' with The Grammatical Team of Grimness, a villain team consisting of The Noun, The Adjective, The Adverb and The Verb.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* The Tin Man from ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', a rare non-villainous example (still transhuman, though).
* The Pale Man from ''PansLabyrinth''
* ''Film/TheThinMan''.
* The Tall Man, the BigBad of the ''Film/{{Phantasm}}'' series.
* The Creepy Thin Man from the Film/CharliesAngels movies.
* ''Film/TheRunningMan''
* ''Film/TheOmegaMan'': Second film adaptation of ''Literature/IAmLegend''.
* ''Film/TheThirdMan''
* ''Film/TheIncredibleShrinkingMan:'' Based on a book by Creator/RichardMatheson.
* ''Film/TheIncredibleMeltingMan:'' MST3K stock.
* The Fat Man, a moniker applied to heavyset actor Sidney Greenstreet.
* In ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'', program trafficking is coordinated by the Train Man.
* Slim, aka "The Thin Man" from ''Film/{{Metropolis}}''
* Before any of ''Film/{{Halloween|1978}}'s'' characters knew Michael Myers' name, they simply referred to him as "The Boogeyman".
* ''Film/TheInvisibleMan''. As well as the remake: ''Film/HollowMan''.
* ''Film/TheTallMan'', not to be confused with any of the other Tall Men. Incidentally, this name was chosen by the town in which the film takes place, and those involved don't seem particularly fond of it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In the ProfessorMoriarty and Colonel Moran-centered book ''Literature/TheHoundOfTheDurbervilles'', Sherlock Holmes is only referred to by name once. He's more commonly referred to as The Thin Man of Baker Street, with his brother being known as the Fat Man of Whitehall (the latter being the seat of British government).
* The [[ThievesGuild Mockers]] of [[RiftwarCycle Krondor]] are ruled by a series of different people under various names, the most popular being "the Upright Man." Others include "the Virtuous Man," "the Sagacious Man" (who later became the second Upright Man), and "the Square Man" (the original leader of the group that would become the Mockers).
* In the CthulhuMythos, one of Nyarlathotep's avatars is called "the Dark Man," or "the Black Man," the latter borrowed from a figure said to appear at witches' Sabbaths (who may well have been said avatar).
* ''Literature/TheInvisibleMan''
* ''The Illustrated Man'' by Creator/RayBradbury, wherein the eponymous man's tattoos provide the story's FramingDevice.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blue_Man The Blue Man]]'', a nefarious possible-alien who kills a man, and the man's nephew goes after him.
* The first warning regarding Long John Silver of ''TreasureIsland'' fame? "Beware the One-Legged Man."
* The Cunning Man from ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight''
* [[BigBad Randall Flagg]] of ''TheStand'' is known as the Dark Man. Oh, and the Walkin' Dude. There's also Trashcan Man, but he's a [[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds somewhat]] nicer guy. "The Man In Black" shows up once or twice, hinting again at Franchise/TheDarkTower link, and "The Man Without A Face." The Black Man also shows jp, mostly from Joe/Leo, the one-time feral boy.
* J G Ballard's short stories "The Overloaded Man" and "The Subliminal Man."
* ''Literature/TheTerminalMan'' by Creator/MichaelCrichton.
* Creator/JDSalinger's ''The Laughing Man,'' the namesake of the ''GhostInTheShell'' character.
* In Creator/StephenKing's Franchise/TheDarkTower series, "The Man in Black" and "the Good Man" are mentioned as villains. They may also be the same person.
** Stephen King also had the Low Men featured in HeartsInAtlantis and the Dark Tower.
** The Raggedy Man from ''Literature/{{Cell}}'', who changes the story from [[spoiler: ZombieApocalypse to absolute MindScrew]].
* The Pale Lady and the Faceless Man in ''Literature/MoonOverSoho''
* The man in the yellow suit in ''Literature/TuckEverlasting.''
* The title of Joanna Russ's feminist SF novel ''TheFemaleMan'' is partly a subversion of this trope.
* Rare example that's both non-villainous *and* human is "The Green Man" in the second {{Dinotopia}} book, "The World Beneath".
* [[TheDresdenFiles Molly Carpenter]] gets known as "The Ragged Lady" in an effort to become Chicago's new supernatural [[TheDreaded dreaded]].
* The main villain of Literature/TheBookOfLostThings is known primarily as The Crooked Man.
* The Gray Man from ''Literature/TheTruthOfRockAndRoll'' is apparently benevolent, but definitely mysterious (and mysteriously powerful).
* The Dark Flame and the Black Torrent in ''Literature/{{Relativity}}.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The Cigarette-Smoking Man and the Well-Manicured Man from ''Series/TheXFiles'' are the two most recognizable examples from that show. There were also the Crew-Cut Man, the Hispanic Man, the Black-Haired Man, the Gray-Haired Man, the (very minor) Red-Haired Man, and the Toothpick Man.
* The One-Armed Man from ''Series/TheFugitive''.
* The One-Armed Man from ''TwinPeaks'' (not to mention the Log Lady and the Man From Another Place).
* The Rubber Man from ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryMurderHouse'' is a rapist and killer who runs around in a full latex BDSM suit.
* Thomas Veil was erased and became the ''Series/NowhereMan''.
* The Shadow Man from the episode of the same name on ''[[TheTwilightZone The New Twilight Zone]]''.
* Most recently, there is a rare feminine variation in ''Series/Resurrection'': Elegant Woman.
* ''Series/TheBionicWoman'' was the female counterpart of ''TheSixMillionDollarMan'', who is referred to as the first "bionic man." The Bionic Woman reboot series combined their powers into just her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The orange man in the DresdenDolls song "Slide"
* "The Automatic Man" by BadReligion
* "Ballad of a Thin Man" by Music/BobDylan. Includes a couple of others.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:New Media]]
* TheSlenderManMythos, featuring...the Slender Man.
* TheFearMythos includes such fiends as "the Dying Man" and "the Blind Man".
* The web novel Glitch has the Stalker Men running around.
* [[http://www.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/sp9vo/the_smiling_man/ The Smiling Man]], a creepypasta originally posted to Reddit and made into a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u6Tt3PqIfQ short film]] that makes great use of the UncannyValley.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Videogames]]
* The Purple Man from ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys is a killer who, you guessed it, is purple.
* The G-Man from the VideoGame/{{Half-Life}} series.
* The Illusive Man from ''Franchise/MassEffect''
* The Tall Man from the ''VideoGame/ChzoMythos'' - there are also many other individuals who are given nicknames such as "the arrogant man", but the Tall Man is the main one.
** The Tall Man ''is'' The Arrogant Man. Or at least he was, [[spoiler: until Chzo sucked the presumptuous man who would dare try to summon him into ''his'' world, instead, and proceeded to torture him for countless centuries until he became a submissive HumanoidAbomination.]] He's also known as The Prince.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas '' includes cryptic references to The Burned Man. He was lit on fire and thrown to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, but is rumored to have survived as a barely-human horror.
** DLC confirms that he ''did'' survive, [[{{Determinator}} against all odds]]; [[spoiler: and repented of his past life, becoming much nicer as a result]].
* A Defiant NPC in ''{{Rift}}'' is named The Faceless Man.
* The Grey Man (with no canon name), in VideoGame/LSDDreamEmulator
* [[NebulousCriminalConspiracy The Gray Men]] from ''AceCombat5TheUnsungWar''.
* The Scissor Man, from the first two VideoGame/ClockTower games.
* The Thin Men and the Fat Men from ''LoneSurvivor''.
* ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' takes an even more minimalistic approach with the villain simply called "That Man".
* ''The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind'''s Bloodmoon expansion has a book called "Aevar Stone-Singer", which involves a character known as "The Adversary", also known as "The Greedy Man".
* VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIIILiberation has the Company Man, the BigBad of the local Templars. [[spoiler:Minor twist in that the Man is in fact a ''woman.'']]
* The titular character from ''Videogame/TheCrookedMan'', who is also your antagonist.
* Virtually Everyone in FallenLondon has this sort of name. It really augments the creepiness.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* The Thin Man is also a villain in the webcomic ''Webcomic/{{Flipside}}''.
* In ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'', prior to Ysengrin's first appearance in-comic, he's referred to by one of his followers as "the very nice man".
* One of the superheroes in ''{{Magellan}}'' calls himself "The Man Who Can". '''Don't''' leave off the "The".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Urban Legends]]
* The Urban Legend of [[http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/horrors/a/the_hook.htm the Hook Man]] (also simply called "the Hook"). Interestingly, the titular character [[NothingIsScarier never physically appears in the story]], but his defining characteristic does.
* [[http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread567227/pg1 The Grinning Man.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Old lore has The Green Man.
* The Red Man and the Black Man were used to describe Native Americans and people of African descent respectively. Similarly, the White Man is often used to denote Caucasians in general.
* Similarly, Myth/CelticMythology has the Red Man and the Hunger Man, [[DemonicPossession possessive demons]] of anger and hunger, respectively.
** In Celtic mythology, there's also a Druid called The Dark Man, or Fear Doirche. Sadhbh, mother of Fianna warrior [[WarriorPoet Óisín]] was turned into a doe for not loving him. A messenger of The Dark Man told Sadhbh that should she set foot in the castle (or dún) of the Fianna, the Dark Man would have no power over her. Cue Fionn - he found her in animal form, but brought her back to the Fianna castle as his hounds-turned-people Bran and Sceolan sensed she was a human in animal form. Once back, she became human again. They fell in love and Sadhbh got pregnant, but when Fionn was out fighting Vikings, The Dark Man used false images of Fionn, Bran and Sceolan to entice her out of the castle. She left to meet her husand outside, but just as she reached them the image turned into The Dark Man, who promptly turned her back into a deer. Fionn never saw her again, but found their son in the wilderness.
* Music/BlueManGroup
* In Paranormal stories of Shadow People or even Shadow Men, a commonly reported appirition is called The Hat Man seeminly because of a fedora style hat that he is reported to wear.
* [[BigfootSasquatchandYeti The Abominable Snowman]].
* The Black Man was a figure said, during the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bideford_witch_trial Bideford witch trial]] (among others), to appear as an avatar of Satan at witches' masses.
[[/folder]]

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