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? The implication that it's anything other than a normal man? 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.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* The Laughing Man from ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex''.
** He was inspired by The Fox-Eyed Man from the real-life [[ 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.

* The Gray Man from ''ComicBook/FallOfCthulhu''
** There was also a recurring ''Comicbook/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica'' villain named The Gray Man, during the Giffen/[=DeMatteis=] run on the book.
* 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.
* ''ComicBook/NthManTheUltimateNinja'': John Doe's code name is The Nth Man.
* ''ComicBook/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.
* Drom the Backwards Man is a villain with MerlinSickness who once fought Spider-Man and Iron Fist.
* ''Comicbook/AstroCity'' character The Steel-Jacketed Man, who later shortened his name to Steeljack.
* The Infinite Man, occasional ''Comicbook/LegionOfSuperheroes'' villain.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'': Stupendous Man, Calvin's superhero alter-ego, is only ever referred to by that title.

* The Tin Man from ''Film/TheWizardOfOz'', a rare non-villainous example (still transhuman, though).
* The Pale Man from ''Film/PansLabyrinth''
* ''Film/TheThinMan''.
* ''Film/FunnyMan''.
* 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:'' [[Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000 MST3K]] stock.
* ''Film/TheAmazingColossalMan'', another [=MST3K=] target.
* 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.

* TheUglyBarnacle: The titular character is only referred to by his adjective(ugly) and his species(barnacle)
* In the Professor Moriarty and Colonel Moran-centered book ''Literature/TheHoundOfTheDurbervilles'', SherlockHolmes 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).
* ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'': [[ThievesGuild The Mockers of 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 Franchise/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.
* ''[[ 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 ''Literature/TreasureIsland'' fame? "Beware the One-Legged Man."
* The Cunning Man from ''Discworld/IShallWearMidnight''
* [[BigBad Randall Flagg]] of ''Literature/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 ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'' 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 Literature/{{Dinotopia}} book, "The World Beneath".
* [[Literature/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).
* There are two groups of assassins in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire called The Faceless Men and the Sorrowful Men. One of The Faceless Men is only known as The Kindly Man.
** There is also a Wildling general called The Weeping Man.
* The Dark Flame and the Black Torrent in ''Literature/{{Relativity}}.''

[[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 Old Man from ''Series/{{Millennium}}''.
* The One-Armed Man from ''Series/TheFugitive''.
* The Pallid Man from ''Series/TwelveMonkeys''.
* The One-Armed Man from ''Series/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 ''[[Series/TheTwilightZone The New Twilight Zone]]''.
* A rare feminine variation in ''Series/{{Resurrection}}'': Elegant Woman.
* ''Series/TheBionicWoman'' was the female counterpart of ''Series/TheSixMillionDollarMan'', who is referred to as the first "bionic man." The Bionic Woman reboot series combined their powers into just her.
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has the titular character of the episode ''The Naked Man''.
* The Pale Man from ''PansLabyrinth''.

* The orange man in ''The Dresden Dolls'' song "Slide."
* "The Automatic Man" by Music/BadReligion
* "Ballad of a Thin Man" by Music/BobDylan. Includes a couple of others.

[[folder:Mythology and Folklore]]
* Old lore has the Green Man, a figure depicted as having a face covered in or made out of leaves, generally used as a symbol of summer and fertility.
* Myth/CelticMythology:
** The Red Man and the Hunger Man are [[DemonicPossession human-possessing 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.
* In paranormal stories of Shadow People (or, alternatively, Shadow Men) a commonly reported apparition is called the Hat Man, because of a fedora-style hat that he is reported to wear.
* [[BigfootSasquatchandYeti The Abominable Snowman]] of the Himalayas.
* The Black Man was a figure said, during the [[ Bideford witch trial]] (among others), to appear as an avatar of Satan at witches' masses.
* Robin Hood is sometimes referred to as the Hooded Man.
* In Italian folklore, the Boogeyman (who itself fits this trope) is referred to as the Black Man.

[[folder:New Media]]
* Franchise/TheSlenderManMythos, featuring... the Slender Man.
* Franchise/TheFearMythos includes such fiends as "the Dying Man" and "the Blind Man".
* The web novel Glitch has the Stalker Men running around.
* [[ The Smiling Man]], a creepypasta originally posted to Reddit and made into a [[ short film]] that makes great use of the UncannyValley.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/TheUndertaker, aka the Deadman.

* The Purple Man from ''VideoGame/FiveNightsAtFreddys is a killer who, you guessed it, is purple.
* The G-Man from the VideoGame/HalfLife 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 ''VideoGame/{{Rift}}'' is named The Faceless Man.
* The Grey Man (with no canon name), in ''VideoGame/LSDDreamEmulator''.
* [[NebulousCriminalConspiracy The Gray Men]] from ''VideoGame/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".
* ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'''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 ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'' has this sort of name. It really augments the creepiness.
* Every robot master in the ''Franchise/MegaMan'' games. Well, except for Splash Woman because she's a [[CaptainObvious woman]].

* 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 ''Webcomic/{{Magellan}}'' calls himself "The Man Who Can". '''Don't''' leave off the "The".

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Podcast/AliceIsntDead'', the {{Narrator}} dubs her HumanoidAbomination stalker "The Thistle Man" after the word "Thistle" that appears on the right breast of his uniform polo shirt, in absence of a definite name or company logo.

[[folder:Urban Legends]]
* The Urban Legend of [[ the Hook Man]] (also simply called "the Hook"). Interestingly, the titular character [[NothingIsScarier never physically appears in the story]], but his defining characteristic does.
* [[ The Grinning Man.]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* 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.
* Music/BlueManGroup.