Main All Girls Want Bad Boys Discussion

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12:29:25 PM Dec 3rd 2017
edited by Metalhead33
Not sure if it's appropriate to discuss tropes in real-life (or rather, how tropes apply in real life), or how they are combined with other tropes in fiction here, but... Girls only love handsome bad boys. Both in real life, and in fiction. A bad boy who is ugly will probably get rejected even more quickly than the "Nice Guy".

Hell, even on the picture on the page, you can see how the Bad Boy is displayed as a handsome guy. The girl doesn't necessarily like the guy for being an abusive badboy (in fact, she may fall for him DESPITE him being a badboy) - she probably likes him because he's handsome.
01:25:32 PM Dec 3rd 2017
You were correct at the start—that isn't appropriate to discuss here. Try Trope Talk on the forums if you want to tell others your personal opinions.
07:26:14 PM Jul 16th 2016
I know this falls under No Real Life Examples, Please!, but I just found an interesting discussion ( ) that suggests that the "all girls want bad boys" concept is also statistical and genetic;
Recent research using DNA analysis answered this question about two years ago. Today’s human population is descended from twice as many women as men. I think this difference is the single most underappreciated fact about gender. To get that kind of difference, you had to have something like, throughout the entire history of the human race, maybe 80% of women but only 40% of men reproduced. ... For women throughout history (and prehistory), the odds of reproducing have been pretty good. Later in this talk we will ponder things like, why was it so rare for a hundred women to get together and build a ship and sail off to explore unknown regions, whereas men have fairly regularly done such things? But taking chances like that would be stupid, from the perspective of a biological organism seeking to reproduce. They might drown or be killed by savages or catch a disease. For women, the optimal thing to do is go along with the crowd, be nice, play it safe. The odds are good that men will come along and offer sex and you’ll be able to have babies. All that matters is choosing the best offer. We’re descended from women who played it safe.

For men, the outlook was radically different. If you go along with the crowd and play it safe, the odds are you won’t have children. Most men who ever lived did not have descendants who are alive today. Their lines were dead ends. Hence it was necessary to take chances, try new things, be creative, explore other possibilities. Sailing off into the unknown may be risky, and you might drown or be killed or whatever, but then again if you stay home you won’t reproduce anyway. We’re most descended from the type of men who made the risky voyage and managed to come back rich. In that case he would finally get a good chance to pass on his genes. We’re descended from men who took chances (and were lucky).

07:56:03 AM Jul 17th 2016
That is some ridiculous pontificating
06:25:56 PM Oct 21st 2015
"Both Korra and Asami naturally fall for the dark, brooding, distant Mako instead of his cheerful, approachable younger brother Bolin."

Mako really isn't a "bad boy" though. Sure, he's standoffish and not very friendly at first, but he's also the Team Dad and a cop. Between him and Korra, he's shown to be the one with more restraint and caution. And are we forgetting him and Asami's first meeting? Mako is a huge dork.

If anything, I'd say Mako and Korra are a gender-flip of this trope, given their Uptight Meets Wild dynamic.
06:24:30 AM Oct 22nd 2015
Yeah, neither Bolin nor Mako are really a bad boy. Mako's quieter, but he's also a responsible guy who's about as lawful as you can get.
04:12:51 PM May 22nd 2013
Do people who debate this realize that's there different definitions of nice guy and bad boy floating around with some more similar than others?
08:08:49 PM Oct 28th 2012
Interestingly enough, according to Robin Baker of Sperm Wars, women are found to be more likely to conceive when having sex in a short fling with a promiscuous male due to the increased chance of the genes being passed along.
03:24:02 PM May 22nd 2012
edited by MithrandirOlorin
The attraction has a tendency to be mutual, which this article doesn't mention. Which is why "Good girls like Bad Boys" is more accurate. Because the Gender reverse is true too, the Bad Girls aren't as enthralled by equally Bad Boys, but rather what Wholesome or at-least Honorable good guys.

Which is why I don't consider Aphrodite and Ares an example, she's as Bad as he is (Like most "Love" Goddesses she's really more about Lust).
02:28:08 PM Dec 15th 2011
edited by shiro_okami
It's been theorized that how "bad" or "nice" a guy is has nothing to do with it. Rather, women are attracted to confident and dominant guys who view women as chasing them as opposed to impressing them to get their attention (or sex). Cocky, arrogant bad boys are just more likely to be that type of guy as opposed to your generic Nice Guy, especially a Dogged Nice Guy who is the opposite. Your Mileage May Vary, of course.
10:39:20 AM Dec 11th 2011
What a lot of authors who use this trope don't realize(Stephanie Meyer, I'm looking at you) is that the Bad Boy isn't supposed to be bad to the girl that loves him. Badness is what the rest of the world sees in him. She sees the gentleman that he really is inside. In Perrault's "Beaty and the Beast," as opposed to the Disney version, the Beast only LOOKS scary. Once Beauty gets to know him, she finds that he's kind, gentle and considerate, and always resepects the choices she makes.
07:35:28 PM Oct 28th 2011
I think found a second good quote to start the page - I don't know if its the kind of thing a troper just does without discussion "Shut up! I'm not interested! These are just some of the things you'll be hearing if you answer this ad. PS: No dogs." - Roy, The IT Crowd in a Lonely Hearts advert
01:22:57 AM May 26th 2011
edited by LentilSandEater
"For reasons discussed below, it is commonly and quite hotly debated whether this is Truth in Television or not — and that is all we need to say about this topic in real life on this page." This is in the penultimate paragraph of the description, so is it me, or is this sentence self-contradictory? If we've decided No Real Life Examples, Please!, where is the discussion referred to?
  • Presumably the previous Real Life section that used to be on this page, as well as discussions on other parts of the internet and real life.
06:40:32 PM Sep 29th 2010
This was starting to get a but Nattery, so I took the liberty of reworking it:

  • This study.
    • ...Which now stands as one of the most awesomely honest things ever put up on the Internet.
    • OR perhaps one of the most bunk-as many astute commentators pointed out in the page. Relying on self-report by people for whom narcissistic lying/deceit is listed as one of their defining traits? Or that actively pursuing short relationships with many partners would mean a person scores more through the sheer volume of such a quick turnover rate? How many of the relationships were started because the bad boy hid his dark triad tendencies behind a good mask, thus the girl didn't even know she was tangling with a bad boy? And then keep in mind the research mantra that correlation does not equate causation...
      • Someone definitely took a Critical Thinking course. Kudos!
      • Whatever you can say about its methods, it may be worth considering that a scientist would probably have taken these issues into consideration when developing this study. So obviously the methods would have been developed based on a scientist's assessment of these issues; what makes you think your own is any better?
11:38:39 PM Aug 13th 2010
edited by Soupdragon
What I don't get is all those stories of the whimpering girl that look for emotional support by the nice guys. It can't be that hard to get them to like you if they look for emotional support to you can it? Just don't make a long long confession.

Just get her to hug you, try to get further, if she says "I just want to be friends", overrule her. done.
07:58:35 PM Jul 26th 2011
That last full sentence sounds disturbingly like the xkcd strip linked to above...
10:00:07 PM Mar 18th 2010
Removed this from the Real Life section, which I think is the sort of contentious rambling the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment is supposed to exclude.

  • This trope is based on a highly contentious truism that essentially states that 'chicks dig jerks', and are automatically attracted to abusive assholes, jerkass bullies and the Troubled, but Cute over the Dogged Nice Guy, the Ridiculously Average Guy or a genuine Nice Guy who would be more likely to treat them right. Essentially, there are two basic positions on this assertion; most girls in general are attracted to bad boys and most girls aren't. Your position seemingly depends largely on your gender (men seem to go for the former, women for the latter), your personality (a common rebuttal for this argument is that the 'nice guys' who complain about this trope aren't quite as nice as they'd like people to think, or that girls who do go for bad boys tend to have plenty of psychological issues themselves), your individual experiences and, as a crueler troper might observe, your success rate with members of the opposite sex (since many of the men who complain about this trope oddly enough tend to be single). While there are numerous theories, studies, and positions which seem to go either way, most arguments on the subject tend to boil down to anecdotal evidence.
    • Furthermore, people are way more complicated and can't be looked at as "nice guys" and "assholes". The truth of the matter is that it's not the persona and stereotypes that attract women (this is where complainers often get stuck, they only look at the stereotypes) but instead the qualities that a person might have. It all really depends on the man, the context, the woman and many other variables. It depends on so many different things: A person who is a jerk may be arbitrarily classified that way because of his impulsive, thrill-seeking, super-confident being fueled by passion. Whilst person who's a "nice guy" may just be a manipulative socially inept guy who desires a girlfriend for the sake of having a girlfriend and too self-absorbed in his own problem he prefers to blame stereotypes when things don't go his way. With this description and context, who would you pick? Because these are the only options.
      • Of course overly confident passionate thrill seekers still might not necesserily make the best companion. And being impulsive is definitly not always a good trait to have. As these types usually end up bringing the woman down, and ruining their lives. Which might explain why male criminals tend to have female acomplices. But eitherway it is their choice to make.
  • A EXTREMLY dicey example of this is when a lot of upwardly mobile suburban black men explain why they date white women. Saying black women only wanted thugs and gang bangers. The guys would often say the black women in question would call them "bourgeois".

08:11:43 PM Apr 1st 2010
Fair point; I have put a one-sentence 'remember the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement version' there, however, because we should probably mention it even if that's all we do.
06:04:03 PM Jul 12th 2010
It's truer saying that chicks dig guys that dismiss them, show thuggish or dangerous confidence and play up a certain image. Only certain types of women are directly attracted to the wifebeater image. Many happen to get involved with a guy that beats them, but that's after they're swooped with his more sensible, level-headed side.

The real bad guys in this world that actually deserve the bad boy rep scare off girls like you'd expect. Most chicks just can't take the reality, rather living with dream ideas manufactured with Hollywood's seal of approval.
08:02:21 AM Aug 4th 2010
edited by Yayoiyukino
I think this strip explains in a very concise way, why this trope prevalence perception on Real Life is faulty at best:
09:23:30 AM Nov 30th 2010
"I think this strip explains in a very concise way, why this trope prevalence perception on Real Life is faulty at best."

That strip's just as cynical as the belief that All Girls Want Bad Boys in the first place. Just on the other side of the fence. Seems a bit reactionary as well.
02:12:58 AM Jan 13th 2011
I wonder why this trait still occurs today? i mean we have already live in an enlightened (or not) world and still some women have to reduced themselves to this? what is their true purpose anyway? .
02:04:22 AM Mar 4th 2011
The fantasy of the bad boy who gets girls and The myth of the woman who craves abuse should probably be required reading for anyone who wishes to express an opinion on the real life quotient of the trope.
10:07:41 AM Dec 6th 2011
edited by Soupdragon
I don't think so. The first article talks about how jealousy leads to these types of characters. I knew plenty of friendly guys in highschool and college who had problems getting a girlfriend. I can't get jealous of Bob not getting a girlfriend and Alice only noticing Charlie the womanizer, since I'm not Bob and wouldn't get jealous if Bob got a girlfriend, since Bob was a great guy. I also knew some annoying guys and they seemed to get girlfriends really really quick. In fact, the more annoying the guy was one-upping and needling everyone, the faster this guy seemed to get himself a girlfriend. It wasn't just any guy in the bar as the article describes. It was the guy that seemed to enjoyed making fun of everyone he saw as a loser. It was the guy who called himself Mister Casanova (it was even part of his e-mail address) and bragged to his friends how he was lying and deceiving the girls and that he was going to dump them within a week, while the girls were all thinking they'd be forever with him. It was the loudest guy of the group who would throw insults to everyone passing him by, hoping he could start a fight. And they weren't very good hiders. Mister Casanova certainly wasn't and he was the best hider of the bunch. The girl who went to be bed with him truly thought he was going to stay with him and thus was tricked, despite his bragging and despite the warnings from other girls, unlike the article implies that she either knew, or his jerkiness was invisible. One of her friends said "We told you so. He can't be trusted." after he broke up with her (Mister Casanova told he was not like other casanovas, he was decent enough to break up first before immediately going to the next).

Also, bad boys is not the same thing as misogynists as the first article implies, nor was Mister Casanova a woman-hater.

I would rather think that the writers writing down these type of guys is because they have experienced no girlfriends plus a Mister Casanova themselves in highschool/early college and found the whole situation incredibly dumb and frustrating. Also, dismissing Bob as dull is superficial. Anyway, I'd rather think it's just crazies going for those bad boys.
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