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The Twink
A young gay man, usually in his late teens or early twenties, getting his first taste of gay life. He might still be a closet case or he might have been out and proud since he was 12, but he has only recently started prowling the bars as a legal adult, especially if he's in college and away from his parents' watchful eyes for the first time. He starts out naive, and risks being exploited the older men around.

Appearance-wise, he's stereotypically rail-thin with a boyish face and minimal facial and body hair. If white (and he usually is, where fiction is concerned), he'll be bleached-blonde with skin that's either pale or artificially tanned. He tends to buy all his clothing from Hollister, Old Navy, Abercrombie & Fitch, and the like, and will wear flip-flops in the dead of winter. note 

As he adapts to the gay scene, he will begin to realize the power he holds over other men with his youthful looks and might become full of himself. Or he'll tire of the "Meet cute, fuck fast, bye-bye" routine and slow down before he risks ending up with an STD or drug addiction (or sometime after). If the story covers enough time, he'll hopefully be brought back down to earth sometime in his mid-20's or early 30's, when his maturity kicks in and/or his boyish looks start to fade. At which point, he begins to morph into some other gay trope.

The etymology of the word is a little ambiguous, but it's generally agreed to refer to the snack food Twinkies, because they're gold, delicious, and full of cream, but have absolutely no nutritional value. Similar terms include "cub" for young bears, "baby dyke" for lesbians, and "baby queer" as a more general term. This is essentially the caterpillar to the butterflies of the other gay archetypes. See Uke for the rough Japanese equivalent. Arguably the gay Spear Counterpart to The Ingenue.

Not to be confused with "Twinking", a gaming term referring to either lower level characters using hand-me-downs from their higher level characters that are still enough to make them overpowered, or God Modeing.

Examples

Comic Books
  • Jetlad in Top 10: The Forty-Niners, though he notably avoids the "full of yourself" phase.

Fan Fiction
  • Fanon example: Utivich is almost always portrayed this way in Fan Fic (unless it's a Mary Sue story) because he is generally accepted as the youngest and certainly most Bishōnen of the Basterds. It sometimes happens to Omar, too.
  • Ryan Evans. Every time. No exceptions.

Film

Live-Action TV
  • Marco from Degrassi The Next Generation, particularly when paired with older boyfriend Dylan.
  • Game of Thrones: Ser Loras Tyrell fits the physical description to a tee, but the trope is somewhat subverted with regards to his romance with Lord Renly Baratheon (who is an "otter") because Loras is the emotionally dominant partner in their relationship despite being a few years younger.
    • It was unclear in Season 3 what Olyvar's sexual orientation was, but it's confirmed in "Breaker of Chains" that he's gay.
  • Kurt Hummel from Glee.
  • Kenny James from My Name Is Earl, especially in later seasons.
  • Rasmus of Never Wipe Tears Without Gloves.
  • Beecher in his relationship with Keller in Oz.
    • Also, Timothy Kirk, though he's a much more minor character. Pretty well summarized by Reverend Cloutier, after Kirk makes a sexual advance on him: "You've made a lifetime out of being adorable, sexy in a lost-little-boy kind of way, but ... it's time for you to be a man."
  • Justin from Queer as Folk.
    • And Nathan, the equivalent character in the original British version.
  • Richie in the first season of The Secret Life Of Us.
  • Maxxie of Skins fits the description in appearance, but in personality he seems to be a bit savvier. We think. He never gets enough screen time for us to really tell.
  • Justin in Ugly Betty.
  • Jack from Will and Grace, in the episodes which flash back to his teens.
  • Brandon Wright and Dante from The Wire are both twinks, but played in slightly different ways; Brandon is more the naive and easily led type, while Dante shows signs of arrogance and a tendency to try to manipulate Omar, with his jealousy being one of the factors to drive a wedge between them.

Webcomics
  • James from My Life In Blue.
  • Don from Trying Human.
  • Chase in Multiplex jumps into this role within a few days of his first homosexual experience. He then piles on the Camp Gay, much to the annoyance of the series other gay character, Neil.

Web Original

Western Animation
  • This term was referenced in a Family Guy manatee gag, where they're watching a documentary about Twinkie the Kid, which implies him to be gay.


Long-Haired Pretty BoyA Pretty Boy Index    
TransvestiteQueer as TropesUke

alternative title(s): Twink
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