There's All Amazons Want Hercules
for the idea that strong women want men stronger than themselves, but an even older stereotype goes even further. The crucial part isn't being stronger than the woman in question, it's being strong, period. In turn, even a weak woman isn't going to be impressed by a guy merely stronger than her; he has to be fairly strong as far as guys go, too.
It all goes back to the old stereotype, at least as far as dating goes, no matter how weak or strong the woman herself is.
Note the phrase "as far as dating goes." Even works applying this assumption may still portray women as befriending weak guys, or perhaps even considering them "cute" in a very literal sense of the word; but it will still present a major in-universe obstacle to weak guys looking for a date.
Contrast Weakness Turns Her On
and the genderflip, Amazon Chaser
, where a guy is attracted to strong girls.
Anime and Manga:
- Possible with Bulma in Dragon Ball; it would explain her falling for Vegeta, recently a genocidal villain, in Dragon Ball Z. He is in a different league than her previous boyfriend, Yamcha, a much lower threat.
- The pictured example from Toy Story 3 is more of a parodical example.
- In The Big Bang Theory, all of Penny's ex-boyfriends are dumb, muscular people. Then inverted, when she falls for Leonard, they become an item, and she finds it very hard to go back to dating such idiots.
- In the Louie episode "Bully," the middle-aged Louie is on a date with a middle-aged woman. It goes well until a teenager whom Louie asked to quiet down comes over and threatens to beat Louie up. Louie backs down and his date explains in brutally honest fashion that while she understands intellectually that Louie made the sensible, adult choice, at some gut level for her he's simply not a sexual or romantic prospect anymore because he wasn't "strong." They exchange awkward, mutually unhappy goodbyes, with both of them acknowledging that this is a screwed up situation, and the date ends.
- This is a major point in an episode of Noah's Arc. When Wade and Noah briefly live together for the first time, Noah sees all the beauty products Wade uses. Noah later comments with his friends about how the whole "metrosexuality" thing is a bit of turn off and prefers a strong, rugged man.
- Friends: Subverted with Monica when her boyfriend Pete trains to become the Ultimate Fighting Champion. (He doesn't do a good job, but is still a lot stronger than before). Monica hates seeing him hurt, and prefers him when was sweet and geeky. They eventually break up because of it.
- Also subverted with her husband Chandler. When he and Ross are armwrestling, Monica says she loves his sensitivity and kindess not strength. From his end, he happily admits that she is freakishly strong and could kick his ass.
- In the Daffy Duck short "Muscle Tussle," Daffy's girlfriend is swept off her feet by a muscular beach hunk.
- This short has a cruel subversion though. Daffy makes himself stronger, and beats up the rival. Daffy's girlfriend still stays with the rival because she feels sorry for him now that he's weak.
- A central trope throughout all Popeye cartoons, with Popeye and Bluto trying to perform greater feats of strength to impress Olive Oyl.
- In the Tom And Jerry episode Muscle Beach Tom (another Beach Episode example), Tom and Butch try to out-do each other with feats of strength in order to impress a female cat.