Bob is your average, macho, heterosexual man. Everyone knows that he is an average, macho, heterosexual man. But nonetheless, Bob will routinely make outrageously homoerotic comments and suggestions to his (presumably also straight) friends and co-workers. Why? It's actually a way to reinforce just how macho he is; by doing this Bob appears to be utterly secure with his own sexual identity, and if he unsettles other people by doing this, then Bob is the one who comes out looking the most unflappable and collected (and above all, manly) in the room. It's a kind of homoerotic jiu-jitsu. Sometimes the target buckles in uncomfortable silence, or sometimes they'll catch it and reverse it (Gay Bravado Chicken: whoever loses, the Yaoi Fangirls win!)
Occasionally, Bob will make the mistake of accidentally directing one of these comments or suggestions to a man who is, unbeknownst to Bob, Straight Gay. This is almost always Played for Laughs at Bob's expense.
It's worth noting that this is not just innuendo. Someone shooting for Gay Bravado does not stop at merely innuendo. Nor is this just normal dialogue accidentally mistaken for homoeroticism, or innocent dialogue intended to remind the audience of homosexuality. This is completely intentional. There are of course some Unfortunate Implications in that male homosexuality is treated as a joke at best, and at worst as a weapon to make straight men uncomfortable.
A subtrope of Faux Yay. Contrast Girl-on-Girl Is Hot. See also Real Men Wear Pink, where men do stereotypically gay or feminine things but aren't doing them to show off their heterosexuality. On the surface appears to be a complete inversion of Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?, but can be simply a way of making the same point by means of irony. Near inversion of Armoured Closet Gay.
- Yu Narukami from Persona 4: The Animation has a very quirky sense of humor, and does this against both Kanji and Yosuke at different points.
- The "trash talk" scene in The 40-Year-Old Virgin ends this way.
- In the 1986 tennis movie Jocks, one of the players on the team psychs out his opponents by pretending to be gay and making kissy-faces at them. When they face off against a better team, his opponent takes the gay Up to Eleven, and he freaks out and leaves the court, calling him a faggot.
- Played with in Plan B, to the point of deconstruction. Bruno spends most of the film developing a homoerotic-laden friendship with Pablo as part of a Zany Scheme to get back together with his ex-girlfriend and the two of them joke to their friends about being boyfriends and even kiss for a female friend's enjoyment. However, it's also shown that their bravado breaks down when they're confronted with the notion that they really may be gay/bi for each other: Pablo is much more reluctant to kiss Bruno when they're alone and don't have the excuse of being drunk or dared to do it by others and Bruno reacts to a friend asking him seriously if he likes guys by throwing up, and their emotional turmoil over falling in love with each other for real is not Played for Laughs in the slightest.
- Jarhead has an entire mock-orgy, just out of view of a TV camera nonetheless.
- A running gag in Saving Private Ryan, and one of the film's few moments of levity, is the squad making kissy-faces and sexual comments at each other. One of the signs that Upham is finally being accepted by the squad is Reiben commenting on suddenly being attracted to him when Upham translates a French love song being played on a record before the final battle.
- This is basically the plot of the movie Humpday. After a long night out drinking, two straight friend decide to shoot a gay porn movie because "they're totally okay with that". It turns into a game of gay chicken when neither of them wants to admit that they think it's a terrible idea - one because giving up means he's now settled into his 9 to 5 life, the other because giving up means he's not actually a cool drifter who can't be bothered by anything.
- There's a scene in Skyfall in which the villain touches James Bond in a very suggestive manner, asking, "First time for everything, yes?" Bond matter-of-factly responds by asking him, "What makes you think this is my first time?". That's right—James freaking Bond, womanizer extraordinaire, just insinuated that he's gotten it on with another man.
- When the ultra-macho biker gang the Satan's Helpers threatens Pee-wee Herman in Pee-wee's Big Adventure, their sadistic suggestions for what to do to him start to get a little...interesting, such as when they contemplate forcibly tattooing him (presumably after a Shameful Strip). They are, however, 100 percent straight, because only the lone female member of the gang makes a pass at Pee-wee.
- Exploited by the pansexual Wade Wilson in Deadpool (2016) to threaten the pizza boy stalker in the opening.
- In their introductory scene from Clerks, staunchly heterosexual (later confirmed to be deeply-closeted bi) Jay randomly tells his Heterosexual Life-Partner Silent Bob that he's "cute as hell" and wouldn't mind going down on him. He then mimes this, then realizes what he's doing, calls Bob a faggot and announced to no-one in particular "I LOVE WOMEN!!"
- Alien: Resurrection: Johner is The Big Guy of the group of space pirates, and earlier in the film tries to flirt with Ripley 8. However, at the very end, when he is lucky enough to be one of a handful of the Dwindling Party to survive, he spontaneously plants a Smooch of Victory on his teammate Vriess.
- In Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain reveals just how incessant this is in restaurant kitchens, with the predominant insults revolving around "who takes it up the ass". Someone with Gay Bravado, as Bourdain demonstrates, will get more respect than someone who gets offended. Truth in Television, as anyone who's ever worked in the restaurant biz can tell you.
- Marco of Animorphs frequently refers to his and Jake's friendship as a marriage, not to unnerve anyone but merely to lampshade their Ho Yay.
"Well, I don't have any secrets from Jake. I think that's the basis of a good marriage: openness, honesty."
- The Wire:
"And if I'm wrong, I'll give you a backrub you ain't ever gonna forget.""Look at that bow-legged motherfucker. I made him walk like that."
- Bunk is possibly the best example. Some gems from him include:
- Occasionally, another character (usually McNulty) will throw it right back at him.
Bunk: It's time you show Bunk the love.McNulty: You want love, you come and sit on my lap.
- Hawkeye does this a lot in early episodes of M*A*S*H, usually to unnerve the extremely homophobic Frank Burns, but occasionally to Henry Blake or Trapper John as well.
- In The Thick of It Malcolm Tucker loves this, and uses it with practically every other male character, often combined with No Sense of Personal Space.
Jamie: "I'm not leaving it to you, eh? You couldn't organise a bumrape in a barracks."Malcolm Tucker: "Au contraire..."
- Many of the jokes in How I Met Your Mother are essentially this
- Sometimes it occurs more between the writers and the audience, such as showing Barney and Marshall in a bathtub together.
- Other times it's simpler, such as Marshall coming back from the bathroom and realize Ted wasn't in there... and informing the group he may have made some wildly inappropriate homoerotic comments to a guy with the same shoes as Ted.
- Dr. Cox and his brother-in-law Ben from Scrubs have been known to use "Gay Chicken" in place of RockPaperScissors to settle disputes.
- JT on Degrassi: The Next Generation does this for one episode.
- It's not normally in their characters, but the main characters of '"Peep Show'' are forced to act like this at one point to impress their sexually adventurous girlfriends. Being Peep Show, it quickly becomes ridiculous, ending in a full-on kiss as each tries to outlast the other. One thinks "if I keep going the longest, it'll prove that I'm the most heterosexual".
- Glee's Puck and Sam, with exchanges between these masculine characters including the lines "Dude, your mouth is huge. How many tennis balls can you fit in there?", the response "I don't know, I've never had any balls in my mouth... have you?" followed by a smirk, and, in a later episode, followed up by "Dude, that makes your mouth look even... bigger..." Of course, what with multiple other allusions to the possibility that Sam's sexuality is not quite what it seems, this could be a potential aversion. Puck still fits this trope quite nicely though.
- Big Bad Moriarty in Sherlock is introduced as poor Molly's Transparent Closet boyfriend. After this turns out to have been him hiding right under Sherlock's nose, he says he was "playing gay" but continues to blatantly flirt.
- Many of the comedians on Have I Got News for You will flirt with each other, but probably the best example of this trope came during the extremely memorable episode where the position of chairman was taken by BRIAN BLESSED, who has been in a heterosexual marriage since 1978. He spent some time alluding to being "a lovely bit of rough" for great stage actors and coming on to Paul, who eventually gave in to his advances during The Stinger.
- A flashback in Breaking Bad shows Hector Salamanca make lewd comments and kissy faces while publicly urinating towards two men inexperienced in criminal dealings while waiting for their cartel don, although it's probably less about being playful or asserting comfortable sexuality and more about being sexually aggressive and domineering (a prior flashback had also established his racist feelings towards the men in general).
- Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor and Jack take part in this quite often, although it should be noted that both characters are bisexual (well, Jack is loud-and-proud Extreme Omnisexual and the Doctor is technically the same but in practice more bisexual), and they also flirt with each other unironically at other times. It seems they started flirting as masculine posturing, and carried on because they both fancied each other.
- The Master loves this tactic, especially with the Doctor. Of course their infatuation with each other isn't so much subtext as text.
- In The Outer Limits (1995), episode "Dark Child", an Alpha Bitch harrasses Tammy and accuses her of being a lesbian. Tammy drives her away by claiming she actually is one and then hitting on her.
- Green Wing: Boyce initially does this to his tutor Alan to troll him, but both get really into the dynamic over time. Alan eventually starts to just roll with it, finding excuses to snog Boyce. (Boyce isn't bothered.)
- Taken to extreme extremes with The Lonely Island's "No Homo." The characters all suggest doing increasingly homoerotic things such as hot-tubbing naked ("We're all friends, ain't no need for trunks!"), watching a gay porno ("..as a joke..."), having sex with men and coming out of the closet. But they're not gay, because they said "no homo" afterwards.
- Lumbee Warrior demands the referee check his opponent for weapons, normal enough. But then he demanded the referee pat him down for weapons, front and back, lifting his own sash off his hips to make it easier.
- Even with his strip dances, pink attires and hip gyrating, Magnum TOKYO did not fear getting called something he was not.
- Mr. Cacao, better known for his Macho Pump gimmick which started in 2001 at Michinoku Pro Wrestling. He goes beyond the usual baby oil associated with pro wrestlers and put on a dog collar and in general seems like an aggressive Hard Gay, but is 100% straight.
- Bob Sapp often wore pink feather boas and danced his way to the ring, but nobody in Japan would have called him gay, and pretty much nobody in the world would have had guts to do it, at least during his prime.
- April Hunter developed a lesbian following based on T&A tag team with Talia Madison. When approached, Hunter would describe other women intriguing and beautiful but state to not being sexually attracted to them in the same sentence.
- Final Fantasy:
Barret: Come waltzin' in here makin' a big scene!Cloud: It's no big deal. Just what I always do.Barret: Shit! Havin' everyone worried like that and you don't give a damn 'bout no one but yourself!Cloud: (Striking a pose) Hmm... You were worried about me!Barret: Wha!? ...I'm takin' it outta your money, hot stuff!
- Cloud's "flirting" with Barret in Final Fantasy VII, particularly during the early hours of the game when the two of them are duelling egos trying to out-masculine each other. Cloud seems less concerned with proving his own heterosexuality than he is in annoying Barret for his own amusement, though.
- In Final Fantasy VII Remake, Cloud and Rufus continually trade sexual innuendos while squaring off on the Shinra building's roof ("Now it's just the two of us." "Let's make it a night to remember.") He also repeats his slight flirtation with Barret as their friendship develops, calling each other 'SOLDIER boy' and 'big man'.
- In Ultros's storyline in Mobius Final Fantasy, Ultros makes a fuss of calling Wol pretty and hitting on him, obviously insincerely ('did that creep you out?'). Wol calls his bluff by flirting back, grossing out the octopus, and forcing him to admit he actually hates muscleheads.
- The Demoman from Team Fortress 2 has one line that plays with this trope. "If I wasn't the man I was, I'd kiss ye!"
- In Metal Gear Solid, Snake flirts with most villains he meets as an act of intimidation, including the men.
Ocelot: Finally, just the two of us. How are you feeling?Snake: Not bad. I caught a nice nap on this revolving bed of yours. Too bad I was sleeping alone.
- When Raven emerges from the tank, Snake suggestively comments, "must have been a tight fit for a big boy like you".
- After Snake is captured to be tortured on Ocelot's revolving torture table:
- Solid Snake also hits on Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2 a couple of times, mostly to get an annoyed reaction out of him (such as commenting on him looking good in the uniform and making a comment about his 'walk', and being amazed Raiden can walk around like that). He also teases Otacon in decidedly flirty terms - "Reminds me of when we first met".
- Brent from PVP has a go at it here. Max reverses it on him neatly.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath Belkar of The Order of the Stick has been shown trolling Roy by engaging in this. In one instance, after Roy had a Gender Bender due to putting on a magical belt, Belkar pretends he doesn't know it's Roy and continually flirts with him/her, explaining to Durkon and Elan that he's secure enough in his manhood to go that far to embarrass him. Also, in this strip, he claims that participation in gladiator training has made Roy and himself turn gay and makes several homosexual innuendos.
- xkcd played with this once or twice.
- Dave Strider of Homestuck. Sometimes he does this to troll others, with spectacular results.
- Due to the differences between troll and human sexuality, this distinction was probably lost on the target audience in the above incident, explaining why Tavros was so weirded out by it.
- Dave also tends to start gay chicken with John, who usually plays along. This probably contributes to the widespread fandom disbelief over John's claim to Karkat that he's not into dudes.
- Later becomes a Discussed Trope, with the 16-year-old Dave confessing to John that this was something he did when he was younger in order to disguise his genuine feelings of insecurity about the topics of sexuality and masculinity, implying that he may actually be bisexual.
- Manly Guys Doing Manly Things: Kratos and Leonidas engage in a round of Gay Chicken. Spartans play for keeps.
Coelasquid: Consensus on the debut of this game was that Spartan Gay Chicken ends in a 30 year committed relationship complete with bickering over when to open a joint bank account and where to place the ottoman.
- Lay does this all the time in War Gamers, crossing over with Vulgar Humor. It leads some minor characters to think he's just openly gay, and some others to think that he's in a Transparent Closet.
- Omnipresent in Jerkcity. The Jerk City Players think Queer People Are Funny and spend absurd amounts of time talking about how gay they are and licking each others' dicks. It is so extensive it comes across as being actually gay.
- The Gay Chicken episode of commodoreHUSTLE. Features, among other things, Morgan climbing into bed with Bill half-naked, and both of them cupping each other's balls.
Morgan: Bill's gotten a lot more... gay... lately. Bill's always been a stone-faced recipient of my misplaced gaiety, but now he's actively responding in kind. I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that.
- In an episode of Game Grumps, Arin recounts the story of a group he once belonged to, called the "D Club", which started for this very purpose. It must be heard to be believed.
- Honestly, about half of Arin's dialogue with his co-hosts, Danny especially, revolves around this trope.
- Markiplier is entirely straight, but by his own account, his humor is founded on nothing but dick jokes. He will use almost any opportunity to reference penises or gay sex — e.g. using a word or phrase for it as an answer in a quiz or improv game, constructing a penis in a sandbox game, drawing one in a game that allows it...and so on. He and his male friends often engage in Gay Bravado with each other by making verbal or visual innuendos, pretending to flirt with each other, deliberately Ship Teasing, or commenting on the attractiveness of male people or characters. And lastly, he is also a member of the above-mentioned D Club.
- This was a main tool in Bugs Bunny's arsenal of provocation.
- This is probably the subtext for almost all of the high-school bullying among males, or at least some of it. And when teenaged boys threaten to undress and/or rape other boys, it's definitely present. In these cases, the intent is probably not to establish manliness, but to make the victim feel effeminate. (Also applies to Prison Rape.)
- Some teenagers have a version called "Are you uncomfortable yet?" in which teens of either the same sex or both sexes (depending on if you have friends of both sexes or associate exclusively with the same sex) get progressively closer to and more suggestive with one another, while asking the above question. Whoever says "yes" first loses. A lot of this is really just an excuse for teens to explore their sexual identity/get close to cute people in a socially acceptable manner.
- Another name for it is 'gay chicken', in which two reportedly heterosexual males get progressively closer to kissing each other and the first one to flinch loses.
- Thanks to Rule 34, there's a gay porn version of Gay Chicken where kissing is only Step One.
- A joke goes that the longest game of 'gay chicken' went for 17 years when in the process of adopting their second child one guy said "Sorry man I just can't take it, this is too gay."
- Another name for it is 'gay chicken', in which two reportedly heterosexual males get progressively closer to kissing each other and the first one to flinch loses.
- David Cameron appears to have adopted this as his favoured way of coping with the tidal wave of Ho Yay innuendo around his coalition deal with Nick Clegg (see "as someone who has recently gotten into bed with an ardent Europhile", and recent references to Brokeback Mountain). Clegg has not tended to join in much, possibly for good reason.
- On pretty much any given Heroes commentary track, particularly from the first season, plenty of (ostensibly) straight male cast members can be seen blithely remarking on the Ho Yay in their own scenes. Or on the attractiveness of other castmates.
Sendhil Ramamurthy: [during a particularly intense conversation between Mohinder and Sylar] Are we becoming one now? note
- There are several YouTube videos of men, including soldiers, dancing to Lady Gaga. It's almost certain that you'll find a few comments on how secure they must be in their heterosexuality.
- A lot of heterosexual actors who have played gay characters, most notably James Franco, seem to enjoy the sexuality speculation that develops around their choices of roles and tease the media about it rather than outright dismissing the rumors. But even with those who are more transparent, there seems to be an awareness in Hollywood that too much defensiveness and evasiveness only raises people's suspicions, and so many straight actors who come up against these rumors manage to clarify them in a way that still shows their comfort with the gay community and how much they love their gay fans. (One notable example is Darren Criss explaining in Out how as a musical theater geek from San Francisco, so many people automatically assumed he was gay that he essentially had to "come out" as straight.)
- Three words: Robert Downey, Junior.
- Ewan McGregor is another good example. He also once hilariously kissed a highly uncomfortable Craig Ferguson on live television and often smooched Hayden Christensen when they were working on/promoting Star Wars together.
- Jonathan Rhys Meyers. Here and here.
- Misha Collins, happily married with two children has no problem gleefully fueling Destielnote , even insisting he is the 'top' in the relationship. This naturally leads to certain fans shipping the actors themselves, something he also seems to take in stride.
- Can occur in high school team sports where the guys are comfortable being naked or showering around others, such as naked hugging. Or done around others to make other people uncomfortable.
- Get Vitriolic Best Buds/Heterosexual Life-Partners Dwight Schultz and Dirk Benedict ("Howling Mad" Murdock and Face respectively from The A-Team) in the same room together. Odds are that within minutes (if not the very first lines out of their mouths) they'll start flirting with each other.