World of Muscle Men

Practically every single known male character in some works, excluding the occasional weakling, is unquestionably well-muscled. No matter what their body type (including fat) male characters have larger-than-average muscles. This is especially evident when there is a wide-range of body types, and the only common feature is heavy muscles.

This can be enforced in Video Games where everyone looks familiar because they all use the same model. If one male NPC has large muscles, all male NPCs have them. If it's a 3D game on a 5th-generation console, it may even be a technical limitation, as those consoles tend to make men be all or nothing, due to polygon count. Also particularly common in MMORPGs.

This is not about a lot of large-muscled men. This is where over 90% of the male cast shown has large muscles, making it seem like this body type is the norm rather than a slightly uncommon occurrence (as in Real Life).

Most of the time the same thing does not apply to women due to differing notions of what makes males and females attractive. It may even make all females look thin and frail while still being as strong as the men. However sometimes this trope can also have all the women be ripped as well.

Usually occurs as a result of Author Appeal. This can be a major source of Muscle Angst for the 10% that are not well-muscled. Compare World of Buxom and Heroic Build. Sub-Trope of Men Are Tough.


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     Anime & Manga 
  • Fairy Tail is a series where every male has well toned muscles.
  • Most of Fist of the North Star 's male cast qualifies.
  • Part of the Author Appeal in Fullmetal Alchemist: Hiromu Arakawa thinks men should be muscular and big, and women should be bosomy and curvy. Specifically, in one of the omake in volume 12, "Men should be buffed and women should be vavoom!" Even The Hero who is The Napoleon is still tremendously ripped, as revealed during his many, many, shirtless scenes.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure's male cast are almost entirely buff, manly men. Way back at the beginning of the series, Jonathan Joestar and Dio Brando can, at age 12, be easily mistaken for older because of this trope. However, this was downplayed starting at around Part 5, and the male characters in Part 7 and 8 hardly have any obvious musculature at all.
  • Toriko. Nearly every major male character in the series has an extremely muscled body. Except Komatsu.
  • Basically all teenage or adult males in One Piece who are not fat have a six-pack (and sometimes even when they are fat, like Hannyabal whose belly's upper part is well-toned and lower part is a beer belly). Most strong characters also have other visible muscles, but the series also likes to make the point that muscles are not everything, so while a muscular character will typically be strong, an extremely muscular character may very well be weaker than a medium-muscular one.
    • Hell, the protagonist is a scrawny brat made out of rubber; despite being muscular, he's also incredibly lean, somewhat subverting the trope.
  • Dragon Ball takes this trope to ridiculous level. Gohan developed a muscular body by the time he reached the age of five. Granted damn near every character, regardless of age, gender or even species, is a advanced martial artist in some degree in Dragon Ball, so having a muscular body at that young age wouldn't seem strange to anyone In-Universe, but still...
  • Kinnikuman could actually be translated as "Muscleman". Granted, all the characters are pro wrestlers, but the only one who isn't buff is the skeleton.

     Comic Books 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Maybe because it's based on the Superman comics but Smallville has not just Clark but all the males muscular.
  • Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Pretty much every male character of significance, and many of the extras, are Mr. Fanservice. Emphasized further by frequent nudity and/or fighting while wearing nothing but loincloths.
  • True Blood seems to be inhabited entirely by underwear models.
    • Averted with a single vampire, who is effeminate and fat. When Jason wonders why, the guy explains that vampires don't change after they're turned. Even if he tried to lose the weight, his body would restore to the same state as before (as evidence by Jessica when she lost her virginity only for her hymen to grow back a few minutes later).

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), virtually all male characters (save for Orco whose sex isn't clearly determinable) look like heavy steroid abusers, with bulging muscles especially in the upper body. This is even more apparent because many characters either wear very little to begin with or have some sort of clothing that fits extremely tight, almost like a coat of paint.
    • It's possible the toyline dictated this: in the He-Man toyline, every single male having the same muscular body meant that they could produce them all from the same plastic mold.
  • The character designs in Spider-Man: The Animated Series tend to look this. While it's not as extreme as say, He-Man, one has to wonder if the only reason Peter Parker manages to keep his ID a secret is because apparently all newspaper workers and science nerds are buff to start with.