Professional Wrestling bookers are known to use every dirty trick in the book to make a heel hated, and Gorgeous George is one of the most basic tricks there is. The archetypal "Gorgeous George" gimmick is an effeminate pretty-boy who, if he's not an outright drag queen, at least dresses, looks, and acts very androgynous. He wears sequined robes and feather boas, he keeps his hair perfectly coiffed, his nails perfectly manicured, and if somebody hits him in the face, watch out! By presenting an effete image, coupled with the standard heel tactics of lying and cheating, he inflames the anger of the crowd. Gorgeous George never outright says that he's gay - it's constantly implied and hinted at, but if he actually admitted it, it wouldn't be Gorgeous George anymore.
The original Gorgeous George was George Wagner, who began wrestling in the 1930s, making this trope Older Than Television. Wagner became popular in the wrestling circuit for his outrageous gimmick, and with the advent of television became one of the biggest celebrities of the era. Muhammad Ali and James Brown both credited Wagner as part of their inspiration for their own flamboyant behavior, and it may require two separate wikis to list everyone whom THEY have influenced/inspirednote . Subsequent wrestlers took on similar personae, including Johnny B. Badd, Rico, Goldust (who subverted the trope by turning face), "The Model" Rick Martel, and "Adorable" Adrian Adonis.
The Gorgeous George has a lucha libre counterpart in the Exotico, who tends to be even more campy and sexually ambiguous than the American version. The major distinction is that while earlier Exoticos explicitly denied that their ring behavior reflected their actual preferences, since the 1980s many LGBTQ Exotico wrestlers have embraced their identity publicly and see lucha libre as a means for moving up in the world.
See also Sissy Villain, Depraved Homosexual, Depraved Bisexual and Psycho Lesbian. Contrast The Fighting Narcissist whose sexuality is rarely questioned. Needless to say, this can have some very Unfortunate Implications.
- Of course, the Trope Namer, Gorgeous George himself, who was incidentally one of the biggest draws of the 1930s and '40s and often credited for turning wrestling into a national spectacle. He was not the first ambiguously gay professional wrestler in the USA (at least one, Patrick Lansdowne, had a similar gimmick before him), nor did he begin as one. But when he did his FaceHeel Turn he took effeminacy and flamboyance to levels none had ever seen in professional wrestling, making him largely responsible for The Gimmick as we know it.
- Shawn Michaels had shades of this during his 1990s heel runs. He was a flamboyantly dressed, stripping narcissist who pranced around in front of a mirror and came out to a theme song called "Sexy Boy" and once posed for Playgirlnote . He also had TONS of Ho Yay with heel sidekicks Kevin Nash and Triple H. Parts of his heel runs subverted this, however, by having him hang around with Sensational Sherri or [gulp] Jenny McCarthy. His face runs tended to downplay the vanity and the Ho Yay (unless Triple H was around), but still pretty much ran with the trope.
- "Exotic" Adrian Street was, according to many wrestling fans, the best wrestler to ever work this gimmick. Street found exactly the right balance between the antics and having good matches. In his heyday in the 1970's, his rise to fame mirrored the Glam Rock trend emerging in British pop music; he took advantage of this and dressed in ways David Bowie, T. Rex or The Sweet might have thought were overdoing it a bit. He even had a "girlfriend", Miss Linda, who played a feminine inversion of the gimmick by dressing in leather and getting physically involved in matches. Despite pushing 70, Street has remained in shape and still uses the gimmick on occasion.
- "Adorable" Adrian Adonis was a shameless rip-off of Street. In the AWA, he was formerly (at least gimmick-wise) a badass biker, where he teamed with Jesse "The Body" Ventura as part of the East-West Connection (Adrian being from New York, Ventura being from California). The team was brought into the WWF, but Ventura was forced to retire after developing blood clots in his lungs. Instead, Adrian was given pink trunks to wear, as well as legwarmers, scarves, sunhats, and ribbons for his hair. While Street had a bodybuilders physique, Adonis' weight quickly ballooned past 300 lbs.
- Ventura himself may have worn feather boas and other flamboyant attire, but his gimmick was more of a tough hippie, inspired by "Superstar" Billy Graham. On the other hand, he wore glasses with rhinestones. That alone qualifies him for this trope.
- Dustin Rhodes, unable to move out of his father Dusty's shadow, enthusiastically became Goldust when joining the WWF. He combined this trope with a whole lot of other bizarre mannerisms. He was also one of the first of this type of wrestler to turn face.
- His half-brother Cody Rhodes was supposed to be a different trope with his "Dashing" gimmick, but some considered him metrosexual. When he first worked for WWE on SmackDown!, he gave grooming tips, which varied from the normal (suggestions on bathing frequency and deodorant) to the metro (lip gloss, clear nail polish). When he entered the arena, he turned to one of the screens behind him which acted as a mirror, showing a real-time video of him on the stage. Then Cody became an expy of Goldust called Stardust, making him unambiguously Gorgeous George (but still ambiguously gay). Whereas Dustin reveled in the Goldust gimmick and made it his own, Cody hated being Stardust and this is what led to him asking for his release from the WWE.
- WCW had The West Hollywood Blonds, Lenny and Lodi. They wore body glitter and, when Lenny won the WCW Cruiserweight Title, decorated it with sparkles and bows. They got pulled off television when the GLAAD threatened to sue WCW.
- After WCW's demise, Lodi signed with TNA and replaced Lenny with Bruce, who had formerly worked in WCW as Alan Funk and Kwee-Wee.
- Since we mentioned Kwee Wee, he sorta fit this trope. His character was a fashion designer whose outfits were lavender and neon orange. However, he had a feminine girlfriend (Papaya). Kwee Wee was based on a Saturday Night Live character named Mango who was also heterosexual despite acting effeminate and even sexually teasing other men.
- WWE had Billy and Chuck, who were an Ambiguously Gay Duo. They eventually turned out to be straight after all, and admitted it was all a ruse to boost WWE ratings.
- Billy and Chuck also had Rico, their "stylist". After the breakup of Billy and Chuck, Rico started trying to imitate Adrian Street's version of the gimmick, complete with a valet named Miss Jackie. After moving to Smackdown in 2004 and teaming with Charlie Haas, Rico turned face and became popular for his antics. He once kissed Bubba Ray Dudley on the lips to a massive pop from the crowd.
- Too Cool, Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty, were originally known as Too Much. "Too Sexy" Brian Christopher and "Too Hot" Scott Taylor. The duo never really got pushed or over and they were taken off TV in under a year and then repackaged as Too Cool and teamed up with Rikishi. Word is that the gay marriage angle that Billy and Chuck went through was originally intended for them.
- Long before the West Hollywood Blondes, WCW had Johnny B. Badd, one of the earliest face examples of this trope. Then again, possibly the only reason he was a face was because he was a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Little Richard.
- Going back to The '50s, Ricki Starr was a legitimate ballet dancer, who ended up in professional wrestling. He used ballet for much of his wrestling moves, wore ballet slippers in the ring, and had stereotypical gay mannerisms. For most of his career, he was a Face. Yes, in the 1950s.
- Vito, the toughest man to wear a dress, was initially a more subtle version. If one noticed the trope at all it would be in the mafia-type tough man's butterfly finishing move. Then he came out in the dress and started forcing other men's heads under it, making it obvious to everyone.
- Masked women's swimsuit wearing wrestler Japanese Pool Boy is a more comedic version than most other examples but still manages to get under a lot of fans' skin. His Christopher Street Connection partners Mace and Buff-E are openly gay though, and loved.
- Subversion: Buddy Rogers imitated Gorgeous George's mannerisms, bleached hair and robes but put off audiences more with pure arrogance and obviously false claims prowess and pedigree than ambiguous homosexuality. His successor Ric Flair looks even more like George by incorporating feather boas but is even more non homosexual.
- Razor Ramon HG, could have been considered an example early in his Fighting Opera HUSTLE career, besides the fact he was always a face but he eventually became so popular and the ambiguous elements were totally abandoned, making him more like an exotico.
- WSU has the "Boy Diva" Rick Cataldo who wears colourful and frilly outfits and has the Camp Gay behaviour down to a T. A man heel in an all-women's promotion isn't as rare as you would think, look no further than this same WSU to find "the great women's wrestler" Chris Dickinson, but a Gorgeous George is pretty out there.
- OVW had the kamikaze kid become "glamazon" Paredyse, the fabulous, flamboyant, femmeboy phenom of wrestling! CJ Lane became his manservant (she is obviously a woman). Paradyse acts stereotypically gay in his matches but will not admit to being anymore than a "revolutionary" who created "new" gender roles.
- "Stunning" Steve Austin early in his WCW career fit this mold pretty well, complete with the valet.
- Mid-carder Tony Falk adopted the "Boy Tony" persona in the mid-80's as a Shout-Out to Boy George. When he wrestled in the World Class promotion in Texas, the persona morphed into "Cowboy Tony", a Gay Cowboy gimmick.
- In his days as a wrestler, before becoming the manager of The Road Warriors, Precious Paul Ellering dabbled in this trope. He had a massively muscular physique back in the days when this was a rarity in pro wrestling, and he showed it off at all opportunities. He also had long curly blonde hair and a gaudy robe. He never really acted effeminate, but he did sometimes offer to let his opponent feel his muscles.
- Queen Christopher Love, an ambiguously gay manager in Memphis. The ambiguous part came from despite dressing in furs and feeling up his mail clients he was also touchy feely with Glamour Girls Judy Martin and Leilani Kai.
- This was once Carlito Colón's gimmick while he was in OVW. For instance, he had a move where he would put someone in rear waist lock and then send them into the canvas by forcing his pelvis into their backside.
- Pigtail-wearing Lazarus, who was in NWA Wild Side and did lap dances for the security guards. His finisher was called the Brittney Spear, a spear that would end with him on top in the missionary position.
- Gorgeous Michelle Star of ECCW and All Star Wrestling in Canada, though he most definitely was not a pretty boy. His raunchy tongue more than made up for this.
- Dramatic Dream Team: Gorgeous Matsuno is an expy of the trope namer
- Matt Sydal and Lizzy Valentine did their best Adrian Street and Miss Linda impersonations on Wrestling Society X. Didn't get them as much heat as it did laughter, as Matt came off like a kid trying to impress a babysitter.
- "Golden Chic" Calvin Couture constantly reads women's clothing magazines and the Hollywood press as he looks for inspiration for new entrance gear. He dresses like Rhett Titus, with a bow tie around his bare neck, and harasses male opponents in the same manner Titus would harass women. He has a male valet in BC Steel, but he also has a female valet Katie Arquette and considers her the more lovely of the two.
- In Discworld fics by A.A. Pessimal, the Tanty Prison in Ankh-Morpork is used as a means of taking all the prison tropes Up to Eleven in a Discworld context. One of the most popular prisoners is called Gorgeous George, known as an amenable fellow who participates in recreational activities such as dressmaking and flower arranging. When an inexperienced officer charged with prisoner morale made the fundamental error of booking a conjuring act to enertain the inmates,note George stepped in at the last minute to don the leotard and spangly tights of the indisposed Doris, and everyone agreed he was a smash-hit. But every so often, Gorgeous George reminds people of exactly why he was imprisoned in the first place...
- In Roland Barthes' essay, "The World of Wrestling", from his book, Mythologies, one of the wrestlers, Orsano, is described as "a vindictive salope, or bitch (for I do not think that the public of Elysée-Montmartre, like Littré, believes the word salope to be masculine)."
- The King of Fighters: Ash Crimson, Ash Crimson, ASH CRIMSON. At the moment you're reading this, at least one person on the planet is bashing the series solely because of his existence.
- Super Punch-Out!!: Heike Kagero, an effeminate boxer on the world circuit with bishonen traits aplenty. He has a slim build, lilac trunks and matching lipstick, long silver hair which he uses as a lethal weapon, and skips back and forth when he knocks you down. Oh, and he gives a Noblewoman's Laugh when he wins. According to the manual, Kagero was actually trained in kabuki (specifically the balletic arts of Nihon Buyo) before taking up boxing as a means of defending himself.
- Narcis Prince on the Special Circuit has traits of this as well, specifically the blonde hair, and absolute rage he flies into, should the player manage to hit his pretty face.
- Valtome from Fire Emblem 10 (Radiant Dawn). Wears makeup, has perfectly done nails, flirts with Zelgius and some interesting desires concerning Elincia.
- One of the characters in Heroes of Might and Magic IV was a pirate named Pete Girly after his long blond hair. He was very vain about his appearance, especially the hair. Of course, the first person who called him "Pete Girly" ended up dead—he started wearing the nickname with pride later.
- Zhang He in Dynasty Warriors, who gets campier and campier with every installment in the series, and has a seriously badass moveset. Whether he's a Heel or a Face depends on your interpretation of the Wei kingdom, which has traditionally gotten the Historical Villain Upgrade.
- Mocked in Looney Tunes cartoon "Bunny Hugged" with "Ravishing Ronald — the original De-natured Boy", a timid, mincing wrestler who keeps his long blond hair in a net and bobby pins. In an odd inversion, Ronald appeared to be a Face; it is his opponent, The Crusher, who is the Heel (and thus, the subsequent target of Bugs Bunny's wrath).
- Futurama: In the episode "Raging Bender", after Bender is successfully established as the tough "Bender the Offender", he's forced to become an exaggeration of this trope — "The Gender Bender" — as part of a FaceHeel Turn, in order to build up another rising star.
- On the "Gorgeous Grampa" episode of The Simpsons, Abe reveals that he used to wrestle as Glamorous Godfrey. Mr. Burns, who was Godfrey's biggest fan, convinces him to fight again, which leads Bart to emulate him. Abe feels bad about this and makes a HeelFace Turn as Honest Abe.
- In the Mickey Mouse (2013) short "Tapped Out", Mickey has to fight Pulchritudinous Pete.
- Nong Toom was a kathoey Muay Thai kick boxer, who would enter matches wearing make up and even kissing defeated opponents. A trans woman, she eventually used the money made as a kick boxer to get gender reassignment surgery.