Follow TV Tropes


All the Good Men Are Gay

Go To
Okay, sometimes it's a little bit more complicated.

Connie: Oy vey, why do all the good ones have to be oy gay?
Maurice: It's a man's choice to be gay! Please respect a man's right to choose!
Connie: Yeah... Waitó What's that now?!

A woman looking for Mr. Right eventually finds a great guy with all the right things she's looking for — but it turns out he's homosexual, leading to the dismissive statement about straight men. This is loaded with the Unfortunate Implication that only (and all) gay men possess the qualities women want — tenderness, consideration, etc. — while heterosexual men are pretty much primitive cavemen or perverted jerkasses who don't know how to act in public and treat other people.

Ironically, there is no shortage of gay men saying the reverse: that all the good men are taken or straight, admiring the stereotypical positive traits of straight men (masculine mannerisms, straightforward with emotions, laid-back attitude, etc.). There's some Truth in Television here though; given human nature, healthy relationships are a seller's market — the most desired goods are either out of stock or otherwise unavailable for sale — on both sides. Not to mention people's tendency to make sly, humorous negative observations along the lines of Murphy's Law. Realistically, given the (alleged) percentages of straight and gay men in the human population, however, "All The Good Men Are Straight" is closer to an accurate statement than this trope's title.

See Forbidden Fruit if the fact that he's sexually unavailable to her only intensifies her attraction. Compare to Incompatible Orientation, where she may still love him despite his being gay. Also compare Sorry, I'm Gay where he may actually be straight and still trying to ward off her advances. Settled for Gay is this trope exaggerated and happens if the woman in question eventually gives up on straight men and prefers the company of gay men, even though she knows she will never be involved with any of them. This may be the attitude the Last Het Romance of a gay man takes after he comes out.


    open/close all folders 

  • Happens in this ad by an insurance company; not only the good men, but all men in the world are gay.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Doonesbury, Mike's secretary Marcia Feinbloom set out to prove to Mike that all the good men were either married or gay. She called out to a good-looking jogger, asking if he were married or gay, and he answered, "Both." note  She then turned to Mike and said, "See? It's getting worse!"
  • In Non Sequitur, Danae and Lucy pretend to be grown women at a bar. Danae denounces the character of all men and dismisses Lucy's immediate counterexample as gay. (Which implies that gays aren't actual men.)

    Fan Fiction 
  • When Euphemia's relationship with Sir Albert Raleigh grew rocky in My Mirror, Sword and Shield, she finds a great guy in Suzaku. Heís loyal, kind, professional, resilient, determined... and gay. And has a thing for her brother, Lelouch.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • Tea laments that "every time I meet a guy, he's either gay or a villain in disguise!" Of course, most of them are both.
    • Serenity mentions this at the end of her FAQ mini-episode. She thinks Bakura sounds like a jerk, but his accent is hot — unfortunately, he already has dinner plans with Marik.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged parodies this trope with the incredibly handsome and effeminate Zarbon, who Bulma has the hots for (before he transforms into his monster form anyway). Not only is Zarbon NOT gay (he claims to have an off-screen girlfriend we never see), he's also very, very evil and sadistic.
  • Referenced in But You Won't Have to Do It Alone. When her friends reveal that they went to a gay bar without her, Usagi completely misses the point and gets offended at the idea of trying to pick up gay men. It turns out that none of them wanted to come out to Usagi because they see her as an Innocent Bigot who would think weirdly of them being into girls (despite the fact Usagi herself is bisexual, though she doesn't realize it).

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the movie of P.S. I Love You, Lisa Kudrow's character repeatedly asks out guys by asking them first if they are single, then asking if they're gay.
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno: Miri's high school crush returns to their small town for a high school reunion. Well... he brought his boyfriend, and they're both porn stars.
  • In a rare gender swap of this, the main character of Chasing Amy finally finds the perfect girl for himself: she's smart, funny, attractive, witty, creative, and talented. But she's a lesbian.
  • Played for Laughs in In & Out; after Emily finds out that her fiancée is actually gay, she hits on another man, who also is gay. The result is a bit of a Heroic BSoD and the Crowning Moment of Funny in the movie.
    Emily: [screaming] Is everybody gay?! Is this The Twilight Zone?!
  • In Clueless, the female main character falls for an attractive male classmate. The way that she fails to notice that he's gay, when most of the audience and their school friends will have spotted the fact within minutes if not seconds, is a big sign that she's not quite as smart as she thinks.
  • In Gorgeous, Bu — a dreamy young girl from a simple village — finds a Message in a Bottle from a rich, successful photographer and magazine editor who is seeking his true love. She immediately travels all the way to the big city to find the man who wrote the letter, who she assumes is the man of her dreams... only to find out that he turns out to be gay, and the letter is meant for his future boyfriend.
  • Stormbreaker: Jack, the American housekeeper, mentions that "the problem with this country is that all the good-looking men are either gay or married".
  • In "Crocodile" Dundee in LA, an attractive woman tries flirting with Mic after he demonstrates his ability to tell time by looking at the sun, then asks if he's gay (apparently the possibility that he might already be in a relationship never occurred to her). Mic answers that yes, he's pretty gay, pretty happy most of the time, at which point she leaves in disappointment.
  • Gender-inverted in Sin City when Marv expresses disappointment that Lucille, his parole officer, is a lesbian.
    "With a body like that, she could have any man she wanted."
  • Absolutely Anything: Catherine's friend concludes that Neil has to be gay, as he's such a good guy, so Catherine decides to proposition him for sex as a test (and he accepts, proving this wrong).

  • Q. Why is it difficult to find a boyfriend who is sensitive, caring, and good-looking?
    • A. They all already have boyfriends.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 30 Rock:
    Liz: What did I tell you?
    Jenna: Not to freak out.
    Liz: Right, and what else?
    Jenna: Stop falling in love with gay guys.
    Liz: About this.
  • The 'good' part gets subverted in Buffy the Vampire Slayer with her Season 3 Romantic False Lead Scott Hope. He's the lone Nice Guy out of all her potential boyfriends and then breaks up with her because she seems disinterested in him. He's later revealed to have come out as gay... after he spread a rumor that Buffy herself was.
  • Doctor Who: "The Unicorn and the Wasp" gives us this exchange, after Donna notices some 1920s-style Ho Yay.
    Donna: All the decent men are on the other bus.
    The Doctor: Or Time Lords.
  • In Eureka, after discovering that her New Old Flame is actually a Ridiculously Human Robot, Jo complains that all the good ones are "either married, gay, or robots".
  • In the Frasier episode "Out with Dad", Martin pretends to be gay to fend off the advances of an older woman. When asked by her daughter, she sighs, "Opera queen" in a tone that clearly states they're quite common. Subverted when Martin's gay act makes him a perfect target for the daughter's uncle. It must be noted that Martin only goes along with her when she assumes he's gay when he stumbles over why he can't date her.
  • In Game of Thrones, Sansa has had a crush on Loras Tyrell since the first season, and in the third finds some of the little happiness she's had lately when she finds out she might be able to marry him. She's completely ignorant of his real sexuality and the marriage gets called off before it can happen. Similarly, Brienne of Tarth is in love with Renly Baratheon, the lover of the aforementioned Loras, since he's one of the few men who's ever been nice to her and is similarly ignorant of his orientation.
  • The TV series Happily Divorced explores this trope. Based on Fran Drescher's real life, the character had been married 18 years to a very nice man, but he realized he was gay. They remained good friends and still lived in the same house even after the divorce.
  • Subverted in the Modern Family third-season episode "Treehouse". After inverting Sorry, I'm Gay when Cameron wins a bet with Mitchell and their likewise-gay friend Longinus by getting a woman at the bar to give him her phone number (funnier still when you keep in mind that Eric Stonestreet is straight in real life), Cameron winds up getting close enough to her to not want to let her know until Mitchell shames him into doing it. But when he does, after hiding any evidence of Mitchell or Lily from their apartment before she comes over, it turns out that she knew all along; she just wanted to have a gay male friend because it would be cool. He then rebukes her for viewing him through a tropish lens (perhaps angry that his portrayal didn't fool her), and then just as Mitchell returns the episode subverts its own subversion: she makes the angry, hurt speech you'd expect if the show had simply played the trope (ahem) straight.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • A riff in the Jack Frost episode:
      "Every time I meet a man, he's either gay or a bear."
    • Also used almost unchanged in Devil Fish:
      "Every time I met a man, he's either married, gay, or getting eaten by a giant octopus."
    • And given a Call-Back in the RiffTrax of Batman Forever.
      "Every time I meet a guy, he's either gay or Batman... sometimes both!"
  • In one episode of The War at Home, Kenny complimented on Hillary, Larry's sister, and eventually spent a lot of time with her. Hillary proposed Kenny to be her boyfriend by kissing him, but Kenny avoid himself from the kiss because he's got a crush on Larry (hence he's gay). But then he's Flying Under the Gaydar, so he had to lie that he doesn't want to be her boyfriend because he wants to treat her like a sister.
  • Brought up in the 1985 Shelley Fabares unsold pilot Suburban Beat, in reference to an attractive guy who turns out to be one of the criminals she and her Neighborhood Watch are trying to unmask.
    "All the good men are either married, gay, or felons!"
  • In Diplomatic Immunity, a one-episode character is a man called The Niu - a charming, charismatic surfer who is a kind person in addition to his looks (although a bit of a ditz). Every female character (and a couple of the males too) is in love with him. Of course he hits on Leighton, revealing how hopeless their attractions were.
  • Discussed in Coronation Street when Katie and Sarah are going to a gay bar. Katie says it's a shame the men are gay because they're attractive and fashionable while being more hygienic than the coarse slobs she normally hangs around with. Used for Dramatic Irony, considering Sarah's fiance was in the middle of a storyline discovering he was gay.
  • Uncomfortably used in the widely-despised The Twilight Zone (2019) episode "Not All Men". Where a meteor shower causes men to devolve into what can be described as testosterone-driven neanderthals hurting everyone around them. The only character who isn't affected is a gay man (though another gay man in the episode is affected too). In the end, he's the one who says there's nothing supernatural going on and the men are just using the meteors as an excuse to act on their primal urges and he has it as an inherent part of himself as well but he holds it back.

  • Described in the spoof country song, "All the Men I've Loved are Either Married, Gay or Dead".
  • The Weezer song "Pink Triangle" is about a man who finds his dream woman, only to discover that she's a lesbian.
  • The Robbie Williams song "Supreme" includes the line "And all the best women are married, and all the handsome men are gay."
  • At the end of the music video for Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe", the hot guy she's been singing about writes "call me" to one of her male bandmates.
  • Indie pop singer Upsahlís "The Other Team" is about this, particularly when she laments in the chorus, "That boyís swinging for the other team, itís such a shame Iím not even in the game."
  • In the Garfunkel and Oates song "Gay Boyfriend", the POV woman has found the perfect boyfriend but is pretty sure he is gay.

  • In the one-act play This Phone Will Explode At The Tone, the following exchange occurs:
    Woman 2: All the guys who aren't scum are married, or gay, or -
    Woman 1: Becoming priests.

    Video Games 

  • This is Eglante's reaction to learning that Galehaut is gay in the contemporary Arthur, King of Time and Space. (In the baseline arc, Eglante and Galehaut are in a relationship, although she does sometimes wonder about his knightly devotion to Lancelot. In the space arc, Eglante and Galehaut are in a relationship, and it's not clear if she knows he's also attracted to Lancelot or not.)
  • Susan's introduction to Justin's gayness in El Goonish Shive. Notable for her having just told her mother that Justin was gay so he could stay the night. Later, after Justin becomes popular around school for beating up a fire monster, it comes up again.
    Girl 1: I can't believe he's gay! Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just upset that I can't ask him out.
    Girl 2: Don't you already have a boyfriend?
    Girl 1: Of course I do. He's right here.
    Boyfriend: I am less than happy right now.
  • Played with in Girls Only, where at a school with over 400 girls and 32 men, they only think that the men are all gay. It turns out, they're actually straight, they just like to pretend so that the fanservice they deal out allows them to be given better treatment.
  • Fletcher of Nothing Nice to Say actively attacks this trope in one strip, when a woman at a bar utters it practically word for word. His response? "You mean, why are the only guys you find non-threatening the ones with no possible ulterior motives to sleep with you? Yeah, the mind boggles." Fletcher is, perhaps rather obviously, far from the best example to the contrary of this trope...
  • Played with in Shortpacked!. Amber's mom comes to visit and is initially unimpressed with her boyfriend Mike. She would rather her daughter pursue her gay friend Ethan ("I hear they can fix these people in camps"). When one of Amber's other co-workers runs past screaming in terror because two beautiful women want to have sex with himnote , Amber's mom asks if there are any straight people in this town. Amber says it's just her and Mike, to which her mom replies "No wonder."
  • Sticky Dilly Buns:
    • Amber occasionally invokes this trope, usually when she's complaining about her dating problems in the presence of the Camp Gay Dillon, if only to flatter him.
    • Minor character Clara uses a variation of the phrase, again in relation to Dillon, here.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Happens twice on Futurama:
    • The gang is at a club, and Bender's built-in gaydar shoots down the girls' hopes when they see good-looking men. ...Or he's getting interference from a gay weather balloon.
    • A Gym Bunny comes along and tries to wrest Leela away from Fry, but when Fry just gives up because he reckons it's already half-hopeless between him and Leela anyway, the other guy reveals he's a professional beach bully; a guy like Fry ponies up a couple hundred bucks, the muscular guy comes along and starts hitting on the nerd's girlfriend, then backs down when the nerd stands up to him in a staged fight, and the bully leaves with the girlfriend duly impressed. Leela decides she really does prefer the bully, and guess what: He's gay.
  • A lampshading occurs at one point in The Simpsons when the recently-widowed Ned Flanders begins dating again, and his date comments that she's so glad that he's extremely nice, well-groomed, in shape and not gay.
    • Another one had a waitress lament that "All the good men are either gay or have no face!" It Makes Sense in Context. (Granted, she was saying this about a paroled criminal and Sideshow Bob, so she's not exactly the best judge of character).
  • Inverted in The Critic. Everyone assumes Jay is gay, despite his insistence he's not (his constant Camp Straight tendencies don't help his case). Love interest Alice tells her ex-husband (who wants to get back with her) that Jay is not gay after he called Jay her "little gay friend." She then later sings to Jay:
    Alice: (singing) Jay...I'm glad that you're not gay. / I may show you why someday. (kisses Jay)
    Jay: Yay!
  • In King of the Hill, one episode had Bill and Luanne working at a trendy hair salon for women, but no one will go near Bill because the thought of a straight man working their hair disgusts them. They think Bill is "a sleazy barber". To get more clients, Bill and Luanne try emulating the popular Camp Gay stylist on staff. All of Bill's female clients, including the staff, tell Bill how sad it is that he's gay because they would love to have a boyfriend like him. When Bill finally reveals he's straight, the women go back to being disgusted.
  • Referenced in one exchange on Big Mouth between the two Hormone Monsters.
    Connie: Oy vey, why do all the good ones have to be oy gay?
    Maurice: It's a man's choice to be gay! Please respect a man's right to choose!
    Connie: Yeah... Wait— What's that now?!