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Macho Camp

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You, ordinary guy, are a sissy girl in their eyes.

"Every man ought to be a macho macho man
Have the kinda body always in demand"
The Village People, "Macho Man"

In most Western media, a man who is Camp Gay is usually of thin or average build. Not so here. Macho Camp is what you get when a campish character looks large and muscular, most often to bodybuilder level builds. Some are in the Transparent Closet, and vehemently deny their gayness, while others are quite open about it, and sometimes it's just never addressed, but one thing's for sure: it's really not something you want to tease them about. They do have muscles on muscles, after all.

Though the trope usually involves campy behavior, such characters are also often portrayed as being so overly manly that it becomes impossible to take seriously. These types tend to be prone to flexing and talking about how macho they are, all the while being a rather obvious gay stereotype.

This stereotype is somewhat more common in East Asian cultures (where it has become the default gay stereotype, as fashion-conscious pretty boys are more associated with heterosexuals there) than in the US, but is still seen in Western media (Ric Flair being a well-known example). Almost always Played for Laughs, such characters are often introduced to be Plucky Comic Relief, or to hit on the straight guy who can do little to stop it. In Japan, the stereotype has been named "Hard Gay".

While it's possible to be camp but not gay, combining this trope with Camp Straight is difficult to do in a way that doesn't just look like a straightforward case of Testosterone Poisoning or perhaps Real Men Wear Pink. And while there's nothing really stopping writers from creating bisexual or asexual Macho Camp characters, it's rather uncommon.

See also Camp Gay. Compare Leather Man. Contrast with Straight Gay. If a muscular-looking character is gay, but not a stereotype, then he's Manly Gay. If you're looking for works that are both campy and macho, see Testosterone Poisoning. May overlap with the Bara Genre in Japanese media.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Muscle Okama from Psychic Squad. Besides the leather getup, his psychic ability is crotch beams. As if calling a Macho Camp character "okama" weren't enough...
  • Despite the large number of cute girls in the show and Keita's clear interest in them, Inukami! has plenty of manservice in the form of Macho Campers; disturbingly so. Keita is on the receiving end of most of it, and is respected among the fetish and Macho Camp communities. The show has plenty of Censor Steam in the form of elephants on top of all this. It even goes so far as to give these men their own version of the ending once.
  • Parodied in the Fanservice showdown in Aoi House In Love!
  • Borderline case: Gateau Mocha from Sorcerer Hunters. More exactly, a Macho Bisexual who loves to flirt with not only girls but with his friend Marron, a very girly-looking Bishōnen. Even more in the dubs.
  • In Bleach, one of Barragan's fraccion is the very flamboyant, yet very muscular Charlotte Cuuhlhorne. Though there is a small chance he may just be a crossdresser...
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Garfiel, the burly automail mechanic who takes Winry as his apprentice. Though he might be more of a Camp Gay character depending on how you interpret him (he even cross-dresses from time to time and has an over-the-top feminine walk).
    • Alex Louis Armstrong might count as this, although there's only one incident in the whole manga that goes even as far as innuendo about his sexual orientation. Then again, this trope may have been passed down the Armstrong Line for generations!
  • It's somewhat doubtful that Geki Hyuuma, the comm-crushing, tanktop-spacesuit-wearing, ever-flexing (even in space) Lancer of GaoGaiGar's Gutsy Galaxy Guard is actually gay. But it is certain that he takes this trope as far as his Hot Bloodedness, which is to say that eleven is a good start.
  • Hapshiel the Angel from Macademi Wasshoi. Finea, Eneus' little sister, is repeatedly sent to him by Eitarou in episode nine and, despite the scarring she most likely got from seeing a muscular man in very little kiss her multiple times over, keeps going back.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • In the Distant Finale, Trunks is horrified to discover that his opponent (named Otokosuki, or "man-love") looks Manly Gay but acts Camp Gay and is positively thrilled that Trunks is such a pretty young man.
    • General Blue of the Red Ribbon Army from Dragon Ball also comes across as both Camp and Macho Camp (but calling him gay is his Berserk Button). General Blue, the humorously homosexual, yet frighteningly powerful villain who gives Goku a run for his money until he is killed by billion-zeni mercenary Tao Pai Pai.
  • Mokoyama from Yakitate!! Japan is a big muscle-man who's into crochet and baking pastries, and likes to refer to his rival Ken Matsuhiro as "Ken-chan".
  • Alain Delon in Beelzebub is turning (maybe flanderization?) into such a Camp Gay, with touches of Gayngster, working for Hell and all. There may still be Obfuscating Stupidity at work, but nothing's sure.
  • France from Hetalia: Axis Powers falls under this - he's got that Perma-Stubble paired with that long, luscious and high-maintenance hair, for starters. Most art makes him rather muscular, some doesn't. But he's pansexual rather than gay.
  • Sugarboy from Fairy Tail.
  • One-Punch Man: Pri-Pri-Prisoner. Muscled enough to rip all his clothes when he flexes, and gay enough that his superheroing uniform's a cute little sweater with a big red heart in it. And also has... self-restraint problems when it comes to handsome men, which are why he's a prisoner to start with (he put himself there so as to not use his spare time just chasing them).
  • Many characters from the first three parts of Jojos Bizarre Adventure would match this trope but Dio Brando/DIO is probably the best example. In part three, he's always wearing either leather or nothing with green lipstick and some killer eyeliner. And of course, typically for a Jojo character, he is VERY buff. It also doesn't help his case that he is canonically attracted to men.

  • The 1990's gave us The Jerky Boys, a comedy duo who specialize in elaborate prank phone calls. One of their characters is Jack Tor s, a flamboyant gay man voiced with the stereotypical lisp. Cover art for their albums depicts him as an extremely muscular bald man who wears lipstick, tight spandex shorts, and an equally tight white tank top.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Stardust has Captain Shakespeare, hiding inside a Transparent Closet. Granted, in private he's very much a Camp Gay, but it's undeniable that he's badass and a very competent pirate.
  • The black firefighter in I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry became this once he came out.
  • Phantom of the Paradise features Beef, a barrel-chested, lisping, makeup-wearing, Meat Loaf-adjacent glam rocker. Beef is the rare blend of this trope and Camp Gay, with an added dash of Bury Your Gays.
  • The first two Scary Movie films have Ray, a Jerk Jock who is in an armored yet transparent closet. In the first film, his Motive Rant upon being revealed as one of the killers shows that he sees himself as straight even though he willingly received fellatio from another man, on the grounds that it's only gay if you're the bottom. The second film, meanwhile, has him raping the possessed clown doll from Poltergeist, while his costume foreplay with his girlfriend Brenda has her dressing up in his football uniform and looking increasingly androgynous as she does so.
  • Meet The Spartans parodies the overt hyper-masculinity of 300 by depicting the Spartans as a band of muscular, shirtless, oiled up gay men. This is actually (probably unintentionally) historically accurate; romantic and sexual relationships between men were fairly common and accepted in Ancient Greece and especially in Sparta, where heterosexual intercourse was effectively outlawed for men under 30, and even married men were expected to live in barracks and only see their wives infrequently.
  • In Up the Chastity Belt, Will Scarlet is this among Robin Hood's band of Merry Men (all of whom are gay). Will is a Walking Shirtless Scene who is usually posing. However, the final fight shows that he is one of the best combatants in the film.
  • In the 1964 Italian comedy film Oh Those Most Secret Agents, a parody of then-popular James Bond films, the two main characters, believed to be gay, are "tempted" by the Russian spies with two buff, muscular, campy bodybuilders.

  • Laharl's uncle Vesuvius from the Disgaea novels is a very feminine macho man. He talks like a woman and literally wears pink, but it's unknown if he is truly gay because he is married to a woman, a really horrible woman at that. Though it just might be because he is such a masochist and she is a Torture Technician.
  • Mua, the huge, muscular valet to the Dancers in "Cata", the John Ringo and Jody Lyn Nye story in the Shared Universe book Exile: Clan of the Claw. Interesting twist in that he's a non-human version of this being a feline humanoid. Word to the wise, do not hurt his lover Emero or he will get Bronze Age on your ass.
  • Fight Club has been interpreted as a Macho Camp story thanks to subtext and the author being openly gay, as noted in this episode of Needs More Gay. The Narrator can easily be interpreted as gay: he is a single man with an interest in interior design who feels unfulfilled and out of place in the white-collar corporate world he inhabits, his interest in Marla is more platonic than romantic, and in the original book, he meets Tyler Durden on a nude beach. Tyler is an aggressively straight macho man who looks and sounds like everything the Narrator wishes he could be, because he is, in fact, the Narrator's idealized self-image — one who, in the film, looks like Brad Pitt and serves as a Walking Shirtless Scene. According to the queer reading of the text, the Narrator is a man who engages in Testosterone Poisoning out of discomfort with his sexuality.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charles Nelson Reilly, star of the Match Game who showed signs of campiness, parodied himself by saying "Yo!" in a manly tone, talked about how "butch" he was, and on an Entertainment Tonight interview in 2002, never purposefully hid his gayness from anyone.
  • Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live are an example of this, though the largely gay-culture-clueless audiences of the time (late 1980s-early 1990s) missed the obvious gay subtext.
    Hans and Franz: We're here to PUMP (clap!) you UP!

    Music Videos 
  • Rammstein's videoclip for Mann Gegen Mann is all over this trope. Probably NSFW, by the way. More context — Rammstein has a history of having fun with their status as a generally left-wing band with a right-wing fanbase. In "Mann Gegen Mann" (literally: "man against man" — in context, "man rubbing up against man man"), they have a bit of fun at the expense of the homophobes among their fans while playing out the usual straight stereotype of "gay men have an easier time looking for sex." The multi-racial man-orgy in the video is an extra Take That! to any racists in their fanbase.
  • "Macho Man" by The Village People. Ironically, the Glenn "Leather Man" Hughes was the most Camp Gay in real life.
  • Freddie Mercury, Large Ham, enjoyed invoking this trope by mixing homoerotic innuendo and imagery (like cross-dressing in the music video for "I Want to Break Free") with an overload of masculinity (like his Porn Stache, Carpet of Virility, and muscular physique).

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Wrestlers with particularly flamboyant stage personalities get accused of this even if its not part of their angle. One of the earliest was Ric Flair (who would often make his entrance in floor length sequined coats with fur trimming).
  • This is partially because the prototypical example George Wagner (the Trope Namer for Gorgeous George), did have this as part of his angle (he was not the first ambiguously gay professional wrestler, but was the first one to make it really big.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! card Muscle Medic is depicted as such in artwork, with a hyper-muscular build and a "sexy nurse" outfit, wielding a huge syringe labeled "LOVE." The contrast between him and more typical nurses is played for all it's worth in "First-Aid Squad."

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy VII:
    • In the original game's famous Honeybee Inn sequence, if Cloud chooses the "Group Room", he ends up stuck in a room full of these types, led by a man named Mukki. If he instead picks the "&$#% Room", after having a mild panic attack, Cloud will be woken up rather violently by Mukki... and the preceding text strongly implies that he was masturbated first.
    • The remake replaces Mukki and his buddies with Jules, head of the Wall Market Gym, who's a massively-built man with a mildly Effeminate Voice who wears makeup. Unlike most examples on this page, he's neither presented as sexually threatening nor as a figure of fun, but as a charismatic and highly professional Nice Guy who just wants to help people learn to enjoy getting into shape.
  • Breath of Fire often tend to feature battles with muscly, oily men in speedos... often with absolutely no explanation whatsoever.
  • An enemy type in Elona. Despite the name, the Macho Camper has the appearance of a punk or gang member (also enemy types), and explodes on contact as their primary and only method of attack, making them almost no different from the Kamikaze Samurai.
  • Cho Aniki is largely based on this, especially the later games. (It currently provides the image for this trope.) Nearly nude muscle men fly around space shooting gooey energy out of their phallic heads to do battle with other naked space monsters that are usually conglomerations of big muscular men with fairy wings or something. Please see here for a comprehensive analysis of this series. It's something that should not be missed. Really.
  • Muscle March is about several overly muscular half-naked men running in a row while flexing their muscles in various ways. This ad shows what the game is about while in itself being a perfect example of this trope.
  • Violent Storm has Julius, who even ATTACKS BY FLEXING. Beauty Is Power indeed.
  • Silver and Gold from God Hand. They look Macho Camp/Manly Gay, they act Camp Gay. It's funny until they start beating the ever-loving hell out of you.
  • Kanji from Persona 4 is afraid of being seen as this, or even stereotypically gay, just because he's, well... confused. Unfortunately for him, his Shadow plays it up for all that its worth, with a boss fight against it in the form of a muscle-bound body, a rose bouquet for a head (which is the 'gay male' flower), and Shadow-Kanji's naked torso hanging out of it, escorted by two Cho Aniki-style minibosses.
  • Half of Kessen II's cast is running dangerously close with extravagance piled upon muscles piled upon extravagance. And funny hats.
  • Shadow Hearts: Covenant: Joachim Valentine and The Great Gama carry a noticeable aura that says basically, "Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I can't crush your bones." Also, you unlock another character's special modes by paying a Camp Gay tailor with trading cards of men.
  • In Super Gem Fighter, Sakura has a special attack that summons a bunch of Macho Camp men to grab the opponent, run offscreen with him, and... well, whatever it is that they're doing to him, it involves about 20 hits of damage. And then Sakura's opponent is thrown back onto the screen, looking like s/he actually enjoyed it, male or female...
  • The third game in the Streets of Rage series had a Macho Camp miniboss named Ash who ran around, bodyslammed you, and then giggled like a little girl. When you beat him, he'd sit on the ground and cry. After beating him, you could use him as a player character. For obvious reasons, he was Dummied Out of the US version — although it's still possible to play him using Game Genie codes.
  • A very distinct version of this trope, the often crazy Ganbare Goemon game series. The psychics that tell you where to go to advance the story are wearing very little, surrounded by dancing, buff male statues. Similarly, the game "punishes" you for getting a game over by showing the "Continue?" option surrounded scantily-clad oni hula-hooping at you. If you choose to continue, the oni will start hula-hooping towards the camera. Oh, did we mention that the camera is placed at crotch level?
  • Gallacher from Absolute Obedience is an example, and the only main character to not actually engage in any of the sex scenes. Which isn't all that surprising, given the target audience.
  • Ryan Yamazaki in No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle. He's fittingly the owner of a gym and gives Travis Training from Hell while also flirting with him.
  • Mount Your Friends: You control a muscular athlete whose goal is to climb a pile of similarly muscular athletes. It's as homoerotic as it sounds.
  • In Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls, Kurokuma sarcastically asks Nagito Komaeda if he's "hard gay" in the Japanese version, referencing the chained Slave Collar he wears. He's heavily implied to have a crush on the male protagonist of Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Animation 
  • Montrose from The Leet World is this and Camp Gay, with his character model being with bared, muscled arms and a bandana, being called the best shot on the Terrorist team aside from Cortez by Cortez, and having an unforgettable comeback line — but he has said something which really make you say "gay." And was the character most pre-concerned with cleaning up the house.
  • The Adeptus Custodes have become this in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device. It's presented as a devolution from their previous mannerisms, since the Emperor would rather they be out crusading and protecting mankind rather than sitting in the palace working out their boredom through muscle-oiling contests. And even Dreadnought interrment does not quell this; Santodes had massive abs and fabulous hair installed on his.
  • Unbiased History depicts the Roman emperor Elagabalus as very flamboyant and femenine, all while looking like the Chad meme.

    Web Original 
  • In the Alternate History story Malê Rising, Theodore Roosevelt is this as a result of the butterfly effect. One reader noted that it gives a whole new meaning to the term "Bull Moose". Still no less badass, though he becomes a noted pacifist instead of a war hawk, and he directs his energies (not those kinds!) into journalism instead of the military and the Presidency.

    Web Videos 
  • Vineswole, one of Vinesauce's mascots, seems to embody this trope.
  • This suits Gilmore from Critical Role better than Camp Gay. He's flamboyant and fabulous and full of Ho Yay to be sure, but in his first appearance he's described as having "big, meaty hands" and a goatee, and he can lift Vax into the air and over a countertop with relative ease.

    Western Animation 
  • He-Man, the eponymous hero of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1983), has often been interpreted as such, as his character design seemed based around revealing as much skin as was legal in a G-rated cartoon, and in his civilian garb he wore a pink shirt. Many camera shots also seem intended to have shown his flesh, but his onscreen behavior sometimes did, and sometimes did not, corroborate the fan theory.
  • The second Johnny Bravo pilot ends with the titular character getting blown off the Island of Beautiful Women and ending up on "the Island of Beautiful Men". Needless to say, after trying to score with an entire tribe of Amazon women, this was most certainly NOT what he was hoping for.
  • The Simpsons: In "Homer's Phobia", after learning that the new family friend is gay, Homer is afraid that his influence will turn Bart gay. In an attempt to counteract this, he takes Bart to a steel mill so he can watch manly men hard at work. Then the "manly men" open their mouths to speak, and to Homer's horror, all of them except for the foreman are this trope (the foreman is also gay, he's just less camp), and when the 5 o'clock whistle blows, the entire steel mill gets converted into a gay dance club.
    Foreman: Hey! Listen up! I want all of youse to say hello to the Simpsons!
    Steelworkers: Hell-ooooooo~!
    Bart: Dad, why did you bring me to a gay steel mill?
    Homer: [on the verge of tears] I... don't... know. This is a nightmare! [yells at steelworkers] YOU'RE ALL SICK!
    Steelworker: Oh, be nice!
  • Shore Leave of The Venture Bros., who combines a Camp Gay attitude with the kind of physique appropriate to his job as a special ops agent. His first appearance with a group of other agents even looks like The Village People.
  • King Snugglemagne from Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart is a foppish, effeminate lion who is also incredibly muscular.
  • South Park:
    • Stan's pet dog, Sparky, is half-wolf, half-doberman, and gay with an interest in camp things such as diamond-studded collars.
    • Mr. Slave, a Leatherman who’s a masochistic sub and speaks in a stereotypical lisp, who later marries Camp Gay Big Gay Al.
  • In the episode "Workin' the Steel" on Sons of Butcher, Ricky tries to get advice on how to score with women from two guys who fit this trope. They're fond of calling anything that doesn't fit within their view of masculinity "queer".

    Real Life 
  • Philippe, Duke of Orleans (1640-1701), younger brother of King Louis XIV of France. Openly gay and flamboyantly effeminate, he was also a genuine military hero. In his youth he was recognised for his personal courage at the battles of Tournai and Douai, and he also achieved great success as a commander by defeating the Dutch at the Battle of Cassel in 1677.
  • John Barrowman loves to invoke this trope. Being a Large Ham doesn't hurt either.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Hard Gay


The Fabulous Custodes

A bit of 1st edition 40k lore about the Adeptus Custodes was taken to ridiculous extremes in TTS.

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