Follow TV Tropes


In Touch with His Feminine Side

Go To
So feminine, he must've turned into a girl.

"Men get pedicures! Or what was all this equal rights talk all about?"
Rogelio, Jane the Virgin

A character who is In Touch With His Feminine Side, also known as a Tomgirl, a Girly Boy, a Femboy or a Sensitive Guy, is a male character who lacks certain stereotypically male traits and may adopt some stereotypically girlish traits.

Both genders have their stereotypical roles in society — to prove it, you can read up on them in the Gender Dynamics Index — but society has come a long way, and characters that subvert expected gender roles are on the rise, becoming more accepted and even popular. The Tomboy in Tomboy and Girly Girl might have been ridiculed in the past, but now she is mostly accepted along with her more "feminine" counterpart, at least up to a certain point (there is still a certain point at which tomboys are no longer considered acceptable if they are seen as too masculine). The Sensitive Guy in Sensitive Guy and Manly Man is somewhat arguably less socially acceptable in its extreme forms (Double Standard strikes again, more severely this time, due to most Western societies, particularly the United States, placing greater emphasis on masculinity over femininity) and may subvert gender norms, but characters which embody this trope are no less interesting than any other. There are generally two types of sensitive guys, depending on their degree of femininity vs. masculinity:

  1. Tomgirl is fairly feminine, but not overly "feminine" nor overly masculine either. Most of his qualities and interests are feminine, while some of his qualities and interests are masculine as well, and is still easily identifiable as a boy, and some of the clothes he wears are feminine while some of the clothes he wears are what other boys typically wear, and if he's good at sports, he plays sports that are not typically considered "manly," such as golf, tennis, and volleyball. He can be straight, gay, or bisexual, but is usually straight.
  2. Girly Boy is very feminine, to the point of actually being "girly," and has lots of feminine interests. He wears makeup and clothes that only girls would typically wear, and is usually not good at sports at all (other than perhaps dance sports). He can be straight, gay, or bisexual, but is usually gay.

Between the two types of sensitive guys, the tomgirl is considered somewhat more socially acceptable than the girly boy. Keep in mind that our views of gender have actually changed over time, and some traits which now might be considered masculine or feminine, actually weren't in the past, so this is mostly only valid for modern characters. Also, people are different, and even characters who are unquestionably "manly" might have a few of these traits. Like tomboys, tomgirls aren't necessarily gay, they're split into three types, such as straight, gay, and bisexual. More often than not, however, tomgirls are usually straight. Girly boys, however, more often than not, are usually gay.note 

The outcome of the Sensitive Guy's character arc tends to indicate the intended Aesop. If the Sensitive Guy doesn't "grow out of it," or find his inner masculinity, this suggests that gender and sexuality boundaries are more permeable and that transgressing these boundaries is acceptable. If, on the other hand, a Sensitive Guy is often hard to be normalized in some way, this implies that his feminine appearance or traits are always problematic. Consequently, the feminine traits of his can serve as an exploration of gender and sexuality. Also like when the media, more often than not, usually portrays the type 2 effeminate tomboy as the "better" type of tomboy, they more often than not usually portray the type 1 tomgirl as the "better" type of sensitive guy.

In order to qualify, a character must have a large percentage of these traits and/or have their effeminate-ness be remarked on in-universe.

  • Lack of Athleticism: Where the Manly Man is very physically active, this character is much less so. He may have no interest in sports. His skills and interests simply lie elsewhere, such as fine arts and crafts, because he's more artistically cultured than most other guys, or he may have a disability or illness of some kind which would prevent him from being active even if he preferred to be. Conversely, he may simply appear to be physically "wimpy" but he actually Minored In Ass Kicking, or have his skills as an Ace Pilot honed to perfection, or be Weak, but Skilled. Or, if he is good at sports, he plays sports that are not exactly seen as "manly," such as golf, tennis, and volleyball.
  • Lack of Aggression: Aggression tends to be associated with males, but this character's first response to anger will not be physical, he'd much rather avoid confrontation altogether or talk things over. If that isn't possible, he may just concede to whatever would stop the ensuing fight. While it's perfectly sensible not to want to get beaten up over something that doesn't matter, some may confuse this for being a coward.
  • An Open, Emotional Personality: The stereotype is that men don't talk about their feelings, or don't talk much at all. The Sensitive Man probably does like talking, maybe quite a bit, and may be very open or in touch with his emotions and therefore appreciate such things as a good Chick Flick and may prefer dramatic or romantic media over action-oriented media. May also be "motherly" or take on a kind, nurturing role that is more traditionally attributed to girls.
  • Typically Feminine Interests: The character has interests that are usually considered feminine, such as interests that rely on aesthetic abilities such as art, decorating, hair-styling or clothing and fashion, things which are typically "woman's work" such as cooking, and sewing, nurturing professions such as child-care, teaching, and nursing, or things which are considered "emotional" pursuits, such as poetry and certain types of music. Keep in mind that "acceptable interests" for genders have changed over time, and can be variable depending on the time period.
  • Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance: The character may have a feminine appearance, or lack certain masculine ones. He may be physically shorter than the average male, or quite skinny and not especially muscled. May have a more delicate, one might say feminine appearance, or be a Long-Haired Pretty Boy. Or just be exceptionally well-dressed or fashionable. He may have glasses, which while not associated with femininity, are associated with introversion and lack of interest in physical activities.

Keep in mind that the term effeminate can also be used to describe tomboys who are relatively more feminine than other tomboys, at least in terms of appearance and/or personality, even if their interests may still be fairly masculine, but relatively effeminate tomboys typically also have a sizable portion of feminine interests as well.

The "Sensitive Guy", "Tomgirl", or "Girly Boy", while not being exactly embraced by males, is very popular with females, possibly for the same reason the Tomboy is popular with males. Girls identify with them more than they might other male characters, and may find them attractive based on shared interests, or find they are a better Audience Surrogate. Japanese slang often calls this character an "Onee"note , although it tends to be shared with characters that enter the Camp side of femininity.

For the Distaff Counterpart, see Not Like Other Girls, One of the Boys, Butch Lesbian, and The Lad-ette. Often justified in universe with I Have Sisters. For similar tropes regarding ethnicity, see Pretty Fly for a White Guy and The Whitest Black Guy.

A Super-Trope to:



    open/close all folders 


    Anime and Manga 
  • Death Note:
  • Hyouka: Satoshi Fukube. And how. He's pretty cheerful, sweet, flamboyant, loves getting close to Oreki, occasionally wears a pink t-shirt, and his cell phone (as shown in episode 16) is pink.
  • Osomatsu-san: Todomatsu AKA Totty, the youngest of the sextuplets, has the most feminine characteristics of the brothers, and sometimes tends to do things that girls would be noted to do (e.g. during the "Bathhouse Quiz" segment of Episode 3, he's notably the only one of his brothers to cover his chest the entire time). To further drive it home, his associated color is pink. This is exaggerated during "Osomatsu-kun Returns", where he's characterized as being so effeminate that Totoko just concludes he turned into a girl, pictured above. Some of the official non-canon works featuring him outright have him crossdress to keep up the femininity allusions.
  • The Princely Young Man Tamaki Suoh from Ouran High School Host Club. A caring emotional Keet who constantly talks about love and doesn't seem to have much interest in sports (although he does prove quite athletic). Forming the eponymous Host Club was entirely his idea, and he's both the driving force behind the club and its most popular host by a significant margin.
  • Kimihiro Watanuki from ×××HOLiC enjoys cooking and cleaning, tends to make homemade gifts, acts like a giggly schoolgirl over his crush Himawari, has a fairly delicate appearance, appears to have no interest in physical activities, sometimes is ill, and frequently ends up in situations where he becomes a damsel for Doumeki to save. One aversion is that he's noted to be pretty good in gym class, specifically at running or just anything that involves leg work, but that comes with the territory of being a Weirdness Magnet that has grown up learning how to escape being chased by the otherworldly things he constantly attracts.
  • Natsume Takashi from Natsume's Book of Friends is lean and short, very kind and soft-spoken, as well as constantly being mistaken for his grandmother (when she was his age), who from flashbacks, was easily more manly in behavior than he is. You could easily replace him with a girl in the story and the characterization would be spot on. Being a male protagonist of a shoujo work may have something to do with it. Hinoe straight-up thinks of him as a girl, if only to rationalize her attraction.
  • Shun from You and Me, who is mistaken for a girl more than once on looks alone (he had very long hair until getting a haircut), and basically acts more girlish than most of the actual girls on the show. He's kind, cute, and enjoys baking and taking care of people. He once spread his femininity to Chizuru for a few minutes when the two were at his house baking a cake. Natch as soon as Chizuru realized it he freaked out.
  • More than one character from Hetalia: Axis Powers is this:
    • Italy dislikes fighting and is an excellent artist.
    • Austria is an aristocratic person who is also bad at fighting.
    • China is very feminine in appearance and is very mother-like to the other Asians.
    • France has been getting prettier due to Art Evolution and has a very romantic personality.
      • Furthermore, all four are very good chefs.
  • One story in Black Jack features a boy with a talent for things traditionally considered feminine, like embroidery. It's established early on that he is rather well-known for making very nice handbags. It's later revealed that when he was a baby, he was nearly killed by a violent attack and was saved after a doctor used some of the brain tissue from a recently deceased woman to repair the effects of a head injury. It's left ambiguous as to whether or not that's the cause of the boy's inclination for feminine activities (he believes it is, but the doctor insists that the woman's brain tissue should have merged completely with his own by that time).
  • Sailor Moon: Umino is a nerdy/bespectacled/non-athletic guy whose close friends all seem to be girls. He's into things like gossip, doesn't hide his romantic notions and at one point in the '90s anime, he even dons a pink dress.
  • The titular character of Blue Exorcist Rin might be the Son of Satan...but it's pretty hard for the fandom to see him as any kind of threat to the forces of good (unless they manage to piss him off), what with him loving animals, cooking like a god, enjoying romance manga, being very emotionally open (to the point of crying), somewhat desperate for friends, and possibly love, The Movie shows he's a fair hand with kids and he generally acts girly enough (his name doesn't help in that regard) that Gender Flip is incredibly easy for the fandom to pull off. Basically, aside from his rough, clueless and Hot-Blooded traits, he's the perfect Househusband.
  • Shinji Ikari of Neon Genesis Evangelion is infamously wimpy and girlish, along with the fact that he does all the cooking and cleaning at home, Apologizes a Lot, and (kind of) pairs up with a rather aggressive young lady - that is, when he isn't busy blushing over Kaworu.
  • The Camp Straight Team Rocket member James from Pokémon: The Series is definitely in touch with the feminine side while his partner, Jessie, is in touch with her masculine side. James' purple hair has the style similar to that of a woman's even though it's shorter than Jessie's. He is also very flamboyant and crossdressed frequently in early episodes. Also, there was the infamous "flaming Moltres" joke. Even though he is a Team Rocket member, James is the most sensitive of the Rocket trio as he loves his Pokémon
  • Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!: Yumoto's got the effeminate appearance down pat, loves fluffy things (including a certain wombat), and isn't aggressive. Then again, this is a Parody of the Magical Girl genre
  • Seiji of Hayachine grew up somewhat sickly due to asthma, so he is justifiably disinclined towards athletics. On days he was out sick from school he developed a skill in embroidery and handicrafts well beyond his years. The acceptance he received in Ohasama has done a lot to give him more self-confidence after everyone including his own grandmother would give him grief over it.
  • In Inuyasha the Movie: Fire on the Mystic Island you can see the young half-demon Shion. He is very shy and reserved. He also shows that he is more peaceful and gentle. Another half-demon named Asagi even calls him to behave "like a man".
  • In Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, the Jindai High Rugby Club is anything but a rugby club. They treat everything with carefulness and femininity, which leads the principal to nearly disband the team. Kaname and Sousuke are tasked with reforming the team into an actual team. Which Sousuke does... a little too well.
  • Prince in the Run with the Wind Anime is a downplayed example since he doesn't display any outright "girly" interests but he is the most feminine character of the cast, lacking athleticism and preferring to only read manga in his free time, including romance manga. He also looks quite feminine with his rose-colored hair and slender physique.
  • The main character of Only Sense Online, Shun, heavily enjoys cooking, can act quite girly, and is androgynous-looking enough that he managed to cross-dress (unwittingly) in the past. Predictably, the titular VRMMO misidentifies him as a girl and gives him a female avatar (made worse by the feminine in-game name of Yun, due to a typo, and the avatar is also quite a beautiful girl to boot), and no one in the game that isn't his real-life acquaintances believe that he's a guy when he protests. Even him using masculine speech pattern is only thought of as him being a Bokukko girl. Made even worse by the fact that two women in-game, one of whom is his Onee-sama real-life older sister, believe that he's even more feminine than them.
  • Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun:
    • Mikoshiba is non-athletic, well-versed in flower knowledge (including how to draw them), has the cute nickname "Mikorin", and is surprisingly bashful. His character profile also says he sometimes wears cute or pink clothes, a result of copying fashion magazines. His personality is what one would expect from a Tsundere shoujo manga heroine, which is exactly why Nozaki based Mamiko on him. He also uses the fake identity "Mamiko" when he's messaging Nozaki's brother Mayu (who Mikorin thinks is a girl named MayuMayu).
    • Nozaki himself, though it's Played for Laughs. Whenever a hypothetical romance or boy/girl scenario is presented, Nozaki will unequivocally take the girl role, though this always devolves to his perception of female characters which are full of clichés. This happens regardless of whether there's a girl present, and in spite of him being the least girly character in the whole story. He also writes shoujo manga under a female pseudonym.
    • Kashima thinks Hori is trying to subtly explore this, so she decides to "help", such as by taking his pants and leaving him her skirt and shoes in his locker (which he grudgingly admits were well-coordinated).
    • Wakamatsu, despite being a star basketball player, is still probably the most sensitive guy of the main cast, except maybe Mikorin. He loves shoujo manga, and often bases life decisions around it. He's definitely more effeminate than Seo, though that's not saying much.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Noonbory and the Super 7, Totobory, an eightish-year-old boy, has notably more feminine interests than the other male Super Sensors; he likes making flower crowns and gardening. He is also the softest and shyest of the male characters.

    Fan Works 
  • In the The Death Eaters' Disney World Trip continuity, Draco Malfoy is apparently "addicted" to The Twilight Saga and acts like a Bratty Teenage Son most of the time, so much that his mother compares him to "many other teenage girls" for this while his father chides him on his lack of masculinity.
    Draco: (tapping his foot impatiently while in the line for Space Mountain) This is lame! Father, you know I wanted to ride the Snow White ride!
    Lucius: (snorting with disgust and smacking his son on the back of the head) Why can't you actually be a man for once in your life?!
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Italy has an open, emotional personality with interests in art and cooking.
  • Spooky: Echo the Uni is the family's cook and acts as a parental figure, in contrast to the timid Komo and the actively malicious Claw and Tombstones.
  • Luca (a Gender Flip Lucy Heartfilia) in The Gender Bend Cliche is frequently made fun of by his male guildmates for being just as feminine as his female counterpart, being a Pretty Boy who takes pride in his appearance and lacks the aggressive nature that's completely normal in most of the men within the guild.

    Films — Animation 
  • Mater from the Cars series is more in touch with his feminine side because he doesn't seem to argue back with McQueen during their fight in Cars 2. Mater also shows no aggression whatsoever in either film. He's like a very sensitive flower that gets genuinely upset and hurt easily.
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: Emmet actually gets mocked and chided for this, since being warm and peppy and building an adorable cottage clashes with the general feel of Apocalpyseburg. He then decides to try to shed this part of his personality and become tougher and grittier. As things go on, this turns out to be a big mistake.
  • In Turning Red, Tae Young not only likes to wear makeup and paint his nails, but he also has a taste for things related to romance and love. In Mei's fantasy, when Robaire proposes to her, a visibly moved Tae Young is shown touching his chest tenderly and in various poses he makes heart signs with his hands while showing a delicate smile.
  • Zootopia has Benjamin Clawhauser, who is the Non-Action Guy at the precinct and a completely non-threatening character. He's also obsessed with a pop singer and openly emotional, has girlish body language such as face cradling, squeals with excitement, gushes over cuteness, and speaks in a soft, expressive tone.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the Bedazzled remake, the hero makes a wish to be the most sensitive man in the world. He ends up crying over everything, pretty much.
  • Peter from I Love You, Man is this sort of person and as such has few male friends and is Mistaken for Gay a few times despite the fact that he isn't especially Camp, he just likes making desserts and watching Chick Flick movies.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: By Asgardian standards, Loki is not "manly" enough primarily due to his Typically Feminine Interests (magic is a woman's domain in Asgard, and he loves to wear ornate armour and stylish clothing) and Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance (he's a Pretty Boy with a slim frame). To a lesser extent, this is also due to his relative Lack of Athleticism (he was a Bookworm growing up; he's a good fighter, but he's definitely not in the same league as Thor) and his relative Lack of Aggression (Loki has indulged in extreme violence, but he generally favours diplomacy and manipulation).
  • X-Men Film Series: Professor Charles Xavier scores high on androgynous personality traits because he possesses qualities from all of this trope's five broad categories: Lack of Athleticism (especially after he becomes wheelchair-bound), Lack of Aggression (he prefers negotiation over violence to resolve problems), An Open, Emotional Personality (he's the epitome of a Sensitive Guy), Typically Feminine Interests (he's a teacher, which is considered to be a "nurturing" profession), and Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance (he's a shorter-than-average Pretty Boy). In X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past, one of his button-front shirts are periwinkle and pink, respectively, plus he has a lilac sweater in X-Men: Apocalypse; they are not considered to be masculine colours, and they reflect his androgynous temperament. In the latter film, Charles' tenderness is one of his greatest strengths because it allows him to wield The Power of Love, which in turn makes him a more successful leader than the titular Big Bad.

  • The premise of A Brother's Price revolves around inverted gender roles, making it a very convoluted example. In the book, men are in touch with their 'masculine' side by default, 'masculine' here meaning gentle and nurturing, corresponding to femininity in our world. Protagonist Jerin's patience with his toddler sisters is remarked upon by visitors as a very attractive trait of his. He has also beautiful long hair, which he braids every morning, and knows how to decorate the interior of a house to make it nicer to live in. However, as a spirited young gentleman who knows how to ride and defend himself, he is also in touch with his 'feminine' side.
  • You could definitely add the Deryni men to this one, though there are human men in the books that have aspects of this. Primarily it's in terms of emotions, for Deryni are empathic and telepathic; they live their lives with the ability to pick up the emotions of others and the constant prospect of responding emotionally to them. Many major characters often communicate thoughts, feeling, and memories directly. They almost have to be in touch with their feelings as a result. Not that any of this stops some of them from being badasses of one form or another.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rowley is a fan of some rather effeminate pop singers.
  • Fisk from the Knight and Rogue Series is good with needlework.
  • Rhett from Gone with the Wind. Unlike most men during the book's setting, he is an active and loving father, proud of his taste in fashion and home decorating, and perfectly fine with asking women for advice.
  • I Am Jazz: Discussed. Jazz's family thought she was a boy who just liked to wear dresses, but she turned out to be a trans girl.
  • Jeeves and Wooster has Bertie Wooster. Highly emotional, mostly inactive, loves to buy clothes, avoids confrontation, and often seeks sympathy and support from others. If he's ever in a romantic relationship, he will invariably be bossed around by the girl.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, Firesong turns out to be able to utilize the power of Need — an Empathic Weapon whose magic is specifically designed to be used by women — without difficulty. When other characters familiar with Need's power express their surprise, Need explains that Firesong is "balanced" between the masculine and feminine in a way that allows him full use of her power.
  • The Hunger Games: Peeta Mellark is the Non-Action Guy to Katniss' Action Girl, he prefers diplomacy to violence except when he's been hijacked, wears his heart on his sleeve, paints flowers, bakes (his specialties include cookies shaped like flowers) and decorates cakes. However, the book never makes any comment on him being any less masculine than his rival Gale. It helps that while Peeta certainly plays up that whole "camouflage (i.e. painting) is my main survival ability" thing, he is still a baker's son who hauls around a lot of heavy stuff and looks like a Hunk. In the film, he throws a hundred-pound weight across the room.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Fitz from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; he's a complete Non-Action Guy who managed to escape conflict using negotiation, is easily the most sensitive member of the cast and the one most open about his feelings, is the shortest and least athletic built and something of a Pretty Boy, and in general is noted for his lack of masculinity. Because of this, it made him something of a Morality Pet for most of the cast and has made him fairly popular with the show's LGBT fandom (likely helped by his Ambiguously Bi status).
  • The Big Bang Theory Raj is a self-labeled 'Metro-sexual' and has most of his family and friends thinking he's gay. The fact that he's more feminine than the show's girl characters doesn't help.
  • Richard Castle tends towards being this, no doubt at least partly due to having been raised by a single mother and in turn raising a teenage daughter as a single parent. Detective Ryan also has increasingly become this due to his relationship with his girlfriend (later wife) Jenny, much to the amusement of his more typically alpha male manly man partner Detective Esposito.
  • Troy from Community. You never would have guessed it from his first appearances, where he seemed like the traditional Jerk Jock, but he's really The Heart of the group, who's highly emotional and loves cooking.
  • Chandler Bing in Friends is sensitive, peaceful, obsessed with Broadway plays, and often Mistaken for Gay. He's also best friends with the manly Joey, and falls in love with the strong-willed Monica. Both relationships emphasize his feminine side, but given how he takes care of Joey and calms Monica's stressing, they're pretty thankful for it. Chandler manages to hit almost every definition of feminine guy by the end of the series. Lack of Athleticism: Although he's ok athletically, he doesn't enjoy sports and can be very clumsy. Lack of Aggression: He's the least aggressive friend of the group and frequently plays peacemaker. Open or Emotional Personality: Sweet, sensitive, and talkative. Typically Feminine Interests: Loves Broadway shows, parades, and watching E! Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance: He's the smallest of the guys compared to the tall Ross and more burly Joey, with fairly delicate features.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • In terms of this trope's five broad categories, Lord Renly Baratheon is strongly defined by his Lack of Athleticism, Lack of Aggression, and his Open, Emotional Personality (specifically his compassionate side).
    • Ser Loras Tyrell fits into Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance and Typically Feminine Interests (e.g. his enthusiasm for fashion).
  • Kurt Hummel from Glee is a Camp Gay teenager whose singing can often be mistaken for a woman's. Not only does he have many stereotypically feminine traits and interests, but when the characters are divided up by gender he has been shown to prefer the company of the girls.
  • Both Ted and Marshall from How I Met Your Mother. They are often referred to in feminine terms whenever the gang is engaged in a typical bout of blunt, good-natured trash-talk. In both cases, their feminine sides are often shown in contrast (and Played for Laughs) to their spouses (Lily and Robin) Ladette-like behaviour. See Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy.
  • In the Flesh: Kieren is skinny, long-lashed, decidedly non-aggressive, and loves art in contrast to Rick (and later Simon).
  • Married... with Children: Jerry Springer As Himself as the host of the show "The Masculine Feminist." (This was before The Jerry Springer Show became what it is today.)
  • Modern Family: Phil Dunphy is very needy and emotional, much to his father-in-law's annoyance. He also has several "feminine" hobbies (for instance, he was a cheerleader in college.) However, he is definitely heterosexual, as his children found out when they walked in on him and his wife having sex.
  • Mr. Robot: The protagonist Elliot Alderson fits most of the traits, which include: Lack of Athleticism (he has zero interest in sports and wonders why men get so emotional about it), Open, Emotional Personality (despite his antisocial personality, he is still open about his feelings and remains kind-hearted) and Non-Masculine Appearance (he is short, skinny and has Pretty Boy features).
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: Tom Servo is an odd case. He loves cars, is just as much of a Deadpan Snarker as the rest of them, and has a rather boisterous personality at times, but he often wears women's clothing as part of a sketch, due to his shape, and would often cry when something frustrates or terrifies him.
  • Timothy McGee from NCIS has mentioned on more than one occasion that he enjoys getting a manicure, though he attributes it to "sensitive cuticles". He also uses skincare products, which one character assures him "there's nothing gay about it...not that there's anything wrong with that." He's seen as much more sensitive by the women NCIS agents, he's definitely more intellectual than his male coworkers, and his attempts at being more "manly" are often played for laughs.
  • JD from Scrubs is very concerned with the welfare of others as well as not being especially 'manly', and is often accused of being girly by his senior, Dr.Cox. He later gets flanderized to Camp Straight.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • Narek's androgynous personality is expressed through his relative Lack of Athleticism (although we briefly see him fight in "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", he's nevertheless depicted as being a far less capable combatant than Narissa and Elnor because Narek is helpless when his sister throttles him, and he can't free himself from the grip of two Soong-type androids twice, whereas Elnor has no trouble handling the synths and he never gets caught), his Lack of Aggression (he doesn't have a taste for violence, and he's a proponent of using his charisma to influence Soji to do his bidding; even when the time comes for Narek to terminate her, he opts for a device which releases a poisonous gas — his choice is "feminine" because poison is a woman's weapon), and Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance (he's a Pretty Boy with the distinction of being the first Romulan male character in the franchise who's acknowledged to be good-looking in-universe).
    • Elnor fulfills three of the five main criteria. He has an Open, Emotional Personality (being a disciple of the Way of Absolute Candor means that he always expresses what he's feeling, and he's very good at reading the emotional state of his crewmates as demonstrated in "The Impossible Box"), Typically Feminine Interests (by Romulan standards, he's considered to be effeminate because he was cared for and trained by the Qowat Milat nuns; he dresses and behaves like they do, so he's perceived to be doing "women's work"), and Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance (he's a Long-Haired Pretty Boy, the most Elfeminate-looking Romulan in the franchise).
    • Hugh exhibits his feminine side through his Lack of Athleticism (he's a Non-Action Guy who's useless in a combat situation), Lack of Aggression (he's a Pacifist who isn't naturally inclined towards violence), An Open, Emotional Personality (he wears his heart on his sleeve, and he takes on a nurturing role when he's providing emotional support to the xBs on the Artifact), and Effeminate or Non-Masculine Appearance (he's short in stature, being only 5'7", which is the height of his actor). Jonathan Del Arco had played Hugh as being in love with Elnor, so that would make Hugh either gay or bisexual.
  • Teen Wolf: Stiles Stilinski, the main character's Muggle Best Friend. Lack of Athleticism: While his friends are all kickass werewolves, hunters, and kitsunes who can decapitate their enemies within seconds, he's hopelessly clumsy, spends most of his time on the lacrosse team as a bench-warmer or getting his butt kicked, and his go-to weapon is a baseball bat that breaks the first time he uses it. Emotional Personality: Although he can be cynical and snarky he's very affectionate with those he cares about and wears his heart on the sleeve about how much they mean to him (particularly Scott and his Dad), is the confidant for numerous characters on the show, prefers talking to fighting and is prone to babbling and over-thinking compared to the stoicism of other male characters. The fact his actor can produce heart-breaking sob fests at the drop of a hat also helps. He's also got a very Non-Masculine Appearance with Pretty Boy features and doe eyes that have drawn more than a few snarky comments comparing him to Bambi.
  • Exploited by Ken Titus from Titus, who's shown watching a Chick Flick at the theater and openly weeping... and seeking consolation from not one, but two women who were there alone.

  • The Dropkick Murphys satirize this trope in "Wicked Sensitive Crew":
    Well, it's all gone to hell now, the wimps have gangs
    Pop punk tough guys with neck tattoos?
    If you guys are hard, I'd rather be soft
    I gotta find me some seriously sensitive dudes!
  • Genesis: According to Peter Gabriel, the plot of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is about its protagonist, Rael, learning to embrace his femininity, having previously spent his life attempting to project a hypermasculine image of himself.
  • The Christine Lavin song "Sensitive New Age Guys" is all about this.
    Who like to talk about their feelings?
    (Sensitive New-Age Guys)
    Who's into crystal, who's into healing?
    (Sensitive New-Age Guys)
    Who like to dress like Richard Simmons?
    (Sensitive New-Age Guys)
    Who are hard to tell from women?
    (Sensitive New-Age Guys)
    • Although there is a subversive moment:
      Who's concerned about your orgasm?
      (spoken) ...Hey, wait a minute, wait a minute, you guys said you were sensitive?
      (Well, Christine...we're sensitive — but we're not *that* sensitive!)
  • Men Without Hats' "Hey Men" has the lead singer singing "I've got a woman inside."
  • Tears for Fears:
    • In the original 1981 single version of "Suffer the Children", the verses sung by Curt Smith convey the band's rejection of the "boys don't cry" mentality.
      Hold him, tell him that you love him
      Tell him he's allowed to cry, it's alright
    • In "Head over Heels", the verse "It's hard to be a man when there's a gun in your hand" criticizes the idea that a man must engage in violence in order to prove his masculinity.
    • In "I Believe", Roland Orzabal's emotional vulnerability is expressed by how easily he cries.
      And I believe that if I'm crying while I write these words
      Is it absurd, or am I being real?
      I believe that if you knew just what these tears were for
      They would just pour like every drop of rain
    • At the beginning of the "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" music video, a kid in a cowboy costume (cowboys are an icon of American machismo) points his toy pistols at Smith — a Long-Haired Pretty Boy dressed in pink — who simply ignores the child's "tough guy" posturing as he drives away. This mirrors the group's disdain for macho behavior, subtly blaming America's aggressive "cowboy culture" for its role in the Cold War (which is the subject of the song).
    • The verse "Free her" in the feminist anthem "Woman in Chains" has double meaning; it's not just about liberating women from the shackles of patriarchy, but it's also about allowing men to freely express their feminine sides. According to Orzabal (the songwriter) in this interview:
      So when I sing "Woman in Chains", I'm singing about the oppression of women around the world, but I'm also singing about the repression of the female anima within myself. At the end when I sing, "Free her", I'm also saying, "Free me."

    Myths and Religion 
  • According to The Bible, Jesus Christ himself had shown a tender side of himself to everyone he met. There was even a moment when he shed a tear for a recently deceased man. Then again, since he came from God, whose gender is often debated, it's no surprise he would express both feminine and masculine emotions.
  • In Norse Mythology, Loki is the epitome of an effeminate male — he's a Gender Bending Pretty Boy who has gotten pregnant more than once, and he thrives on pulling off pranks rather than engage in combat. He's the antithesis of what the macho Norse culture considers to be the ideal man.

    Video Games 
  • Thoma from Genshin Impact is the sociable and responsible housekeeper for the Kamisato Clan and a well-known "fixer" in Inazuma. Many of his favorite hobbies are more feminine include cooking, sewing and caring for animals.
  • Hajime from Ensemble Stars! is sweet, gentle, soft-spoken, and sensitive, his interests include tea and herb sachets, and he can often be found doing laundry or other domestic tasks for his other unit mates. However, he doesn't like being called a girl and would prefer to be more cool and manly - in particular, he's not fond of his girlish bob and wanted to get a buzz cut at one point but was talked out of it by his unit mates for clashing too much with their unit's cute theme. There's also Shu, a prissy and elitist fashion designer who has pink hair, wears frilly clothing, and adores Gorgeous Period Dresses and Victorian dolls. The self-proclaimed Cool Big Sis Arashi would also count as this if you don't see them as a straight-up trans girl.
  • Persona 4: The character Kanji Tatsumi has hobbies that he's made fun of because they're often seen as feminine and therefore, he's not a real man. So he ends up putting on the act of a tough guy to show how masculine he can be.
  • In Roots of Pacha, Jukk likes sewing wraps and clothes for the other villagers and styling the protagonist. He has a soft personality compared to the other romanceable boys such as Jelrod and Touk, who are manly men who love athletics.
  • Parodied in Super KO Boxing 2. The last opponent in challenge mode, Executioner, looks like a florist while still looking really scary.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
    • Makoto himself, to the point where he's jokingly considered the 'heroine' of THH. He hits almost all the tropes; he's short and unathletic, he's an Actual Pacifist, he's open with his emotions and can befriend almost anyone, and in middle school he was part of a club that took care of animals.
    • The trial of Chapter 2 reveals that Chihiro Fujisaki crossdresses as a girl because as a boy, he was bullied for being small, shy, and gentle, and he hoped that no one would mock those traits in a girl. Unfortunately, this only exacerbated his perception of himself as weak, since he had to lie to escape bullying. He eventually decides to get stronger so he can accept himself as who he was... but that got cut off when he was murdered. Ironically, his killer Mondo thought that Chihiro was the stronger of the two for being willing to own up to his weakness and refuse to allow Monokuma's threats to break his spirit, when Mondo saw himself as too weak to do the same. This unfortunately lead to Mondo killing Chihrio in a blackout rage- something he deeply regrets afterwards.

    Web Animation 
  • Captain Flowers from Red vs. Blue, the former (and now dead) CO of the blue team and Doc the medic (for both teams). Unless they're being possessed by O'Malley anyway. Donut might also count, but his effeminacy is much more exaggerated and Played for Laughs.
  • Shishihara: Sota looks feminine and does feminine things such as cooking, sewing etc. However he can still get into fights.


    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic is considered by others "pretty" rather than handsome, Screams Like a Little Girl, is in the submissive role when giving out fanservice, has a fetish for overly tough women and owns testosterone pills.
  • Ten Little Roosters reveals that Gus is like this, enjoying writing poetry. He's frustrated that he can't openly share the poetry despite the fact that his office is also Barbara's and he considers her One of the Guys.
  • The entire male cast of Critical Role. (Not necessarily all of the male characters, though a lot of them certainly qualify, like Vax, Scanlan, Molly, and Caduceus. But appreciation of the cast, on a separate level from their characters, is very much a part of the fandom for this show, since they're willing to show a lot more of themselves and their real lives than actors in traditional TV shows do.) Taliesin has the "excuse" of being bisexual and making this very obvious through his fashion sense, but Liam is straightnote  and still is a cuddle bug who wears his heart on his sleeve and is basically waging a one-man war against toxic masculinity. Sam and Travis may not be so keen on cuddles as the aforementioned guys, but Sam clearly lives to cheer other people up and despite playing Plucky Comic Relief-type characters and seeming not to take the story too seriously, he gets so invested in his friends' fictional romance storylines that he starts crying during their love confession scenes. Travis at first glance seems like the resident Manly Man in the group - but he's really more of a Gentle Giant who is happily cheering on his wife's character's romance storyline and slowly learning to overcome his embarrassment about public displays of affection or sexual jokes when they involve himself. And Matt very much enjoys playing Camp Gay and female characters, (all the other guys except Travis have invented and played queer characters as well, for months or years on end), and out of character he's a true sweetheart who has never said an unkind word about anyone and who gets praised by the othersnote  for his empathy - and while he's not the one to pull others into a hug, he will happily snuggle up to anyone offering. Overall, the group is just very keen on showing that it's okay and healthy for guys to be sweet and soft and affectionate, both with each other and with female friendsnote  and that there's nothing squicky about it even if you do go so far as to go well beyond "bromance," as Liam and Sam occasionally pretend their relationship doesnote . There's a reason that the motto of the after-show Talks Machina is "Don't forget to love each other." They even got a therapy dog to break the ice!
    [After Matt freely admits to crying during movies all the time, and Marisha recounts a story about how she got Liam to listen to Pink Floyd to see if he would break down crying like Matt did.]
    Matt: Liam is like me, but with the added weight of children. You think I'm ready to cry at the drop of a hat? He's like brimming at all moments, so...[beat]...[apologetic] Love you Liam!
    Brian (host of Talks Machina): [realizing] We're a group of sensitive boys, aren't we?
    Marisha: Aw, I love my sensitive boys!
    Matt: Yeah, we are.
    Brian: [shrugs] I wouldn't have it any other way.
    Matt: Me neither! Are you kidding me? I'd rather feel really hard than not feel at all, man.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Leslie the flower has a feminine appearance, voice, and usually hangs out with the girls, rather than the guys.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Despite Sokka's sexist leanings toward the beginning, his sister Katara was the only other member of the Southern Water Tribe in his age group, and it shows. He's often seen with his hands on his hips, he's concerned with things like his belt matching his bag, and shopping always cheers him up; he even does the little fast clapping and yelling "Shopping!" He also wore a full-on dress and makeup in "The Warriors of Kyoshi".
    • Aang is this trope: He's a pacifist who openly shows his emotions and affections. Toph even quotes this trope to the letter while teasing him.
    • When he's not brooding and angsting, Zuko fits the bill. He was very sensitive as a child, and was close to his mother. As a teenager, he takes his girlfriend to watch the sunset and cries openly while reconciling with his uncle. Zuko clearly spent a lot of time with his sister and her friends growing up and is still very much One of the Girls.
    • A Running Gag in the original series is that extremely masculine and intimidating men turn out to be very gentle and kind when you get to know them. In one episode, Aang is thrown in prison with a bunch of tattooed, scarred crooks. When next we see them, they're giving him relationship advice.
    • The Legend of Korra brings us Bolin. He's a big, bulky pro earthbender, but he is also a hopeless romantic who's open about his emotions.
  • Shifty Dingo from The Adventures Of Blinky Bill, the Token Good Teammate of the dingoes, and a Precious Puppy who skips with flowers and cries at the drop of a hat. He has also helped his sister, Daisy Dingo, out in her beauty salon.
  • Uncle Rad of the Australian cartoon Bluey is shown to be a very kind and sensitive man who is responsive to the concerns and feelings of implied girlfriend Frisky, with whom he enjoys talking about almond milk shampoo. He is also shown to strongly disapprove of Bandit's attitude toward Stripe in an early scene from the episode "Fairytale" and he also likes to act out Disneyfied Fairy Tale stories.
    • Although his younger brother Bandit has more of a masculine personality, the series has demonstrated that he doesn't mind doing work around the house from time to time.
  • Craig of the Creek:
    • Craig Williams. His satchel is actually a purse, but he doesn't pay it any mind. In "Operation Hive-Mind", he gets a fuchsia-colored splint for his bee-stung finger as he mentions fuchsia is his favorite color. Fuchsia technically falls under pink which is seen as more of a "girly" shade to modern times.
    • The Secret Keeper has an effeminate voice and wears a flower-like dress.
  • In The Looney Tunes Show, Daffy Duck becomes this; then again, he isn't really sure what "gender" is anyway.
  • Doctor John A. Zoidberg of Futurama is considered to be the most sensitive member of the Planet Express crew as he is very emotional. He also enjoys knitting and painting and owned a make-up kit in one episode.
  • PJ on Goof Troop has the defining characteristics of being sweet, timid, emotionally vulnerable, and very passive. He is only into casual sports (like skateboarding) and dislikes most of the "manly" things his father wants him to do. He has significantly more in common with his mother than he does with his father. He is much more likely to feel dejected than he is to become angry, and when he does become angry he's more likely to resort to passive-aggression than direct confrontation. He also fell in love with someone who recited poetry that spoke to him twice, as well as showing some talent in that area himself. The second movie averts No Guy Wants to Be Chased with him. His focus episodes tend to be significantly more internal and interpersonal in conflict form than the other characters'.
  • Johnny Bravo once met a "sensitive male" who was liked by the girls who rejected Johnny in the episode. One of his hints to Johnny was getting In Touch with His Feminine Side. Johnny dressed himself as a woman.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • Jimmy. Not only does he hang around the girls, but he also shows many feminine interests, such as playing with dolls, baking, cheerleading, etc.
    • Invoked by Eddy in "High-Heeled Ed", who says they need to get in touch with their "sensitive sides" in order to make products that appeal to Sarah, Jimmy, and Nazz.
    • Though not as extreme as Jimmy, Edd himself dips into this territory at times being the emotional and sensitive member of the trio. His body language is delicate and can be refined; in "Honor Thy Ed", when he reacts to the Armenian hot sauce he does so with his hand gently resting on his chest. Eddy even comments on such feminine behavior when he catches Edd sewing in "Momma's Little Ed".
    Eddy: Gee whiz, Double D. I never realized you were into such girl stuff.
    Edd: Household tasks are not just for girls, Eddy. And if you must know, I was asked to mend the curtains by Mother.
  • Dukey of Johnny Test has cross-dressed on some occasions and has some effeminate mannerisms that could be taken to be Ambiguously Gay but has shown attraction to Missy, a female dog as he is a dog himself.
  • Pleakley from Lilo & Stitch. He dresses like a woman, is a total Neat Freak, wears his heart on his sleeve, and prefers a nonviolent solution whenever possible.
  • Although Tooey from Molly of Denali isn't the most feminine guy around, he is gentle, sensitive, and an Animal Lover. He seems to be ashamed of this, as he actively goes out of his way to be seen as brave or 'manly', which is the complete opposite of what he really is.
  • Sanjay from Sanjay and Craig; he dresses up like a girl on occasion (mostly in late season 1-onward), owns a fair number of dolls including a unicorn he calls "Mr. Tinkles", has a high-pitched voice, and is one of the most gentle and innocent characters on the show.
  • Gromit from Wallace & Gromit is a very sensitive individual who has a love for knitting and isn't afraid to cry when things really get bad, but is nonetheless pretty brave and heroic.
  • On Daria, this is why Straw Feminist Mrs. Barch winds up with Hippie Teacher Mr. O'Neill.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Steven Quartz Universe is very open about his emotions, loves things that are cute and huggable, wears pink on a daily basis, and was the Non-Action Guy before Character Development began taking effect. He has no problem putting on a dress and going up on stage for a concert performance. The rest of the town have no problem either. Though they would also presumably prefer a dress to going naked, which is apparently what he did 2 years ago.
    • In early seasons, Lars started out as a brooding, bitter teenager. Later on, when invited to a party, he doesn't show up; he's concerned about what others will think of him taking up baking. When he and Steven are kidnapped, he begins to open up more about his feelings which he had been reluctant to discuss with anyone. After Lars is resurrected by Steven, his skin is as pink as Lion's, and he becomes leader of the Off-Color gems and has a more positive outlook on life, and is actually comfortable with his hobby of baking.
  • Spike the dragon from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He's quite sensitive, can get very emotional and wears a pink apron when he bakes cookies. This is all because he was raised by ponies as even the female members of his species tend to boast a tough typically masculine demeanor.
    • Zephyr Breeze, Svengallop, and Big Macintosh can also count for this trope. In Big Mac's case, it helps that he lives with his grandmother (Granny Smith) and two sisters (Applejack and Apple Bloom) and is The Quiet One.
  • DJ from Total Drama is an emotional, sensitive Gentle Giant who loves to cook, bake, and do ribbon dancing. He is very open about his emotions and sensitive towards animals.
  • Lincoln Loud from The Loud House, despite his occasional attempts to remind himself he is a man, very much shows he's lived and been raised his entire life around girls, courtesy of his ten sisters. He knows how to knit, design and make clothing, enjoys mud facials and baking, discusses ships on TV shows, has a stuffed rabbit named "Bun-Bun", and overall is very kind and sensitive (his selfish tendencies aside).
    • His father Lynn Sr. is this as well, as he regularly does the cooking for his family, which is traditionally considered a feminine chore. He also cries openly at times (sometimes in the most undignified of ways).
    • And then, there's Lori's boyfriend Bobby Santiago. He enjoys watching sappy romance movies, theatre, unicorns, and getting facials. He's also not afraid to cry in front of other people.
  • On Franklin, Bear is attached to his plush toys, has feminine interests, volunteered to design costumes for the school play, and is more sensitive and effeminate than the other kids.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants of course. SpongeBob is a Neat Freak, owns lots of make-up, and is as emotional as one can get, and he is very open about all those things.
  • Ready Jet Go!
    • Mitchell had no problems with wearing a lavender nightgown as part of the Christmas pageant ( when he took over for Sean after the latter got stage fright) in "Holidays in Boxwood Terrace". Also, in "Try and Try Again", he happily agreed to wear Mindy's lucky helmet....which has unicorns and rainbows on it. However, this is Mindy we're talking about here, maybe he just wanted to make her happy.
    • Carrot is a stay-at-home dad who cooks, which is often seen to be feminine. He also likes to do ballet, and admired himself in a mirror while wearing a pink scarf in "Castaway Carrot".
  • Lampshaded on Rocko's Modern Life in the opening to the Show Within a Show, Meet the Fatheads. Mr. and Mrs. Fathead are being assembled in a factory, and the machine reaches over to a "North American Fatwood" tree (a strange-looking tree with pictures of random fat people on it) and pulls off a man and a woman. The woman is placed into Mr. Fathead's body, and the man is placed into Mrs. Fathead.
  • Gene Belcher from Bob's Burgers, while having no problem with hanging out with other guys, has stated that he prefers the company of girls. This is likely a result of him spending almost all of his time with his two sisters, both of whom are close to him in age.
  • Gravity Falls: Downplayed or Zig-Zagged with Dipper Pines. He has few qualms about showing his emotions (especially in comparison to his Grunkle Stan), he tends to eschew violence and use it as a last resort, he's the Brains to Mabel's Brawn, and he likes girly Icelandic pop sensation BABBA. However, his affinity for the aforementioned music group is treated as a Guilty Pleasure, and many of the traits that form the crux of his character are traditionally masculine; he's very brave, rational, resourceful, and he takes the initiative on adventures. He also adapts to his training with the Manotaurs fairly quickly, he enjoys bonding and swapping macho banter with Stan, and hygiene isn't exactly his strong suit. One episode, "Dipper vs. Manliness", involves Dipper learning to accept all sides of himself and stand up for what he, rather than society, thinks it means to be a man.
  • The Simpsons: Played for Laughs in one episode where Bart gets rid of Marge's birth control (out of desperation to have a brother). Nelson ends up finding and taking them and becomes stereotypically emotional like a woman for the rest of the episode.
  • The Fairly OddParents! had an episode showing that Timmy enjoyed soap operas and trips to the spa. In that episode, it's also revealed that his crush is a Closet Geek that enjoys comic books. The lesson is "The opposite gender is human, don't think they can't enjoy what you enjoy."
  • The Family Guy episode "I Am Peter, Hear Me Roar" has Peter Griffin become feminine after taking sensitivity training. At first Lois is relieved but soon grows tired of it (and Peter ends up annoying all of his friends by calling them to chat).
  • Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: Brad is a tomgirl. He loves traditionally feminine things such as butterflies and ballet, but he still likes traditionally masculine things like comics.

  • Canadian illustrator Elise Gravel created a cute poster called "Boys Can Be" which tells boys that it's okay for them to be "sensitive, caring, quiet, gentle, artsy, dreamers, scared, affectionate, pretty — and don't let anyone tell you otherwise."
  • While Tom Hiddleston's interpretation of Loki is in the strictest sense androgynous (so a mix of feminine and masculine traits), one of the actors who portrays Loki at Disneyland — whose appearance is plainly modeled on Hiddleston's youthfulness and sculpted eyebrows in Thor — exaggerates the character's femininity in voice and mannerisms. It's unclear if his employer insisted that he play Loki in an effeminate fashion, or if the actor himself just isn't good at observing/imitating Hiddleston's performance (but even in the case of the latter, his employer still approved of it). It's an unusual example of the owners of the franchise (Disney runs the Marvel Cinematic Universe) depicting their male character as being more "womanly" than he actually is.
  • A joke based on this phrase: "If I had a feminine side, I'd be touching it all the time!"

Alternative Title(s): Sensitive Guy