Follow TV Tropes


Macho Latino

Go To
"El Macho" likes to drink his rattlesnake venom real fresh...

Es macho, es muy macho, es muy más macho!

A tendency for overtly masculine, aggressively manly men to hail from and be embraced by Latin America and by Latinos and Hispanics in the USA note  and Belize note , this regional variant of the Macho Macho Man has a special place in the hearts of Spanish and Portuguese note  speakers. It should — they invented the word machismo. Strong, fierce men are culturally revered, from great generals to luchadores. Perhaps not unrelated, per The Other Wiki, the Nahuatl word macho means "one who is worthy of imitation", despite being etymologically unrelated. The roots of Latin macho and machismo run deep.

Can be, but is not always a Latin Lover. Distinct from the generally more reserved and sophisticated Dashing Hispanic, though the two can and do overlap. The macho latino is a common stereotype in Telenovelas.

This trope is, of course, Rated M for Manly, and can result in Testosterone Poisoning if not monitored. Part of National Stereotypes, and found in Latin Land, Spexico, and beyond. Despite the name this could just as easily apply to a macho Filipino note , a macho Chicano (a native-born citizen of the USA with Mexican heritage), a macho Puerto Rican, a macho Badass Native or other ethnicity (Hispanic or not, be they white, black, or Asian, not just mestizo) from Mexico or other Latin American country, or a native of mother Spain or Portugal. May sport one of the Magnificent Moustaches of Mexico, but is just as likely to go clean-shaven or wear a neatly-trimmed goatee.

Subtrope of Testosterone Poisoning.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency has the Pillar Men, a group of 7 foot tall, extremely muscular and powerful ancient Aztec vampiric beings who enjoy making poses when they aren't busy slaughtering their opponents.

    Comic Books 
  • Bane from Batman, who first appeared in Knightfall and hails from the vaguely Spanish Santa Prisca. Unlike the more ludicrous or flashy abilities or themes of the rest of the rogue's gallery, Bane's thing is hopping himself up on fantastic steroids called Venom and just beating the man-shit out of his foes with overwhelmingly brutal superhuman strength. Even without his venom he's a force to be reckoned with, being a wall of muscle at peak physical fitness with genius-level intellect. He's best known for being the guy broke the Bat, both physically and mentally, when he out-Batman Gambitted Batman and literally broke the hero's back.

    Films — Animation 
  • A villainous example from Despicable Me 2. Gru describes "El Macho", a Latino supervillain and the provider for the page image, as hypermasculine in every way possible, down to the way he died (though Gru suspects the death was faked, because they never found the body, only a pile of singed chest hair). He is right about that.
  • The Book of Life: Joaquin is obsessed with his manliness, and as a child he hopes he'll grow a mustache. Manolo, meanwhile, is shunned by his father for not being manly enough to slay a bull.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A Spanish example would be Benito González (played by then-23 year old Javier Bardem) in Golden Balls, an ambitious engineer/construction worker who's flamboyant, brash, pushy and fast-talking, and exudes sexual energy. Very much a deconstruction of the trope.
  • Robert Rodriguez is a fan of this trope.
    • His "Mexico Trilogy" of El Mariachi, Desperado, and Once Upon a Time in Mexico feature both the titular mariachi, a musician who gets dragged into the criminal underworld and winds up making Senseless Violins his calling card, and the various bad guys he faces off against, including the gangster he is mistaken for. Rodriguez intended El Mariachi specifically as an Affectionate Parody of low-budget Mexican action movies, but since very few of those movies were ever shown in the US, the joke flew over the heads of American audiences and they embraced the mariachi as a straightforward example of this trope.
    • From Dusk Till Dawn is filled with these types as the villains. Even before we find out that the Bad Guy Bar is also a vampire bar, they routinely accost the protagonists and boast about how only bikers and truckers (i.e. tough guys) are allowed to patronize the Titty Twister.
    • The Machete films star the titular Federale (whose name really is Machete) as an indestructible Action Hero with a mustache and a lot of knives. His actor, Danny Trejo, is often typecast in these sorts of roles, and here, he played it to the hilt. He had previously shown up in the Spy Kids films, where he wound up in Badbutt mode due to the PG rating and family audience, but here, he was able to show precisely where he got his reputation from.
  • Common in ¡Three Amigos!. One example is in the Mexican cantina, where the various MANLY patrons mock the Germans for their sissy guns and dress (with disastrous consequences). Another would be when Jefe forces Ned Nederlander to dual with a MAAAAAAN'S GUN instead of the "sissy gun" he originally had.
    Jefe (changing Ned's gun): You wanna die with a MAAAAAAN'S GUN. Not a little sissy gun like this.

  • The Choirboys: in which Officer Roscoe Rules, the most macho cop in the LAPD, gets into a who-blinks-first clash of heads with a Puerto Rican streetfighter, and tears his moustache off - provoking a Curb-Stomp Battle in which two cops end up receiving a beating.
  • Don Quixote has a healthy dose of this in the tale of the old knight who takes it into his head to go on a quest in Spain and backs down from no perceived peril.
  • The Puerto Rican-Jewish J of I Am J is obsessed with masculinity, which is troubling because most still see him as a teenage girl. J mocks himself for doing something as "un-Puerto Rican" and "wimpy" seeming as hanging around a Manhattan Starbucks.
  • The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love: Deconstructed, in a tale of two Cuban immigrant brothers who form a band. Cesar is this to the extreme, drinking and whoring and bedding truckloads of women while being a super-macho bandleader. The result of this is that he dies a forgotten, drunken wreck, forgotten by everybody including the daughter he abandoned. Delores shows how this culture victimizes women; she wants to go to college and educate herself, but Nestor refuses to allow it because Cuban husbands aren't supposed to let Cuban wives do things like that. Nestor is not this, being a quiet man given to depression. But the expectation to be a Macho Latino leaves him unable to deal with his feelings and the world, and makes things worse, which at one point the book explains in detail.
    "He didn't know what was going on. Cubans then (and Cubans now) didn't know about psychological problems. Cubans who felt bad went to their friends, ate and drank and went out dancing. Most of the time they wouldn't think about their problems. A psychological problem was part of someone's character. Cesar was un macho grande; Nestor, un infeliz. People who hurt bad enough and wanted cures expected these cures to come immediately."

    Live-Action TV 
  • A famous sketch from the February 17, 1979 episode of Saturday Night Live consisted of a game show called "Quien Es Mas Macho?" The sketch, delivered entirely in Spanish, had the contestants picking which of various Hispanic celebrities were more macho.
    "Quien es mas macho? Fernando Lamas, o Ricardo Montalbán?"
  • A common stereotype used in Telenovelas where usually the male lead is a macho latino. Some specific examples of this:
    • Pasion de Gavilanes is about three macho brothers working for a hacienda ruled by three strong women. The story is focused mostly in these brothers, being the three of them the classical stereotype of the macho latino.
    • Machos is about a patriarchy of only men. Although every member of the Mercader family has a different and distinctive male stereotype, the father and one of the sons can be marked under this stereotype as the "machos" of this Chilean telenovela.
  • Sense8:
    • Mexican telenovela actor Lito has built his public image around this. He plays manly action heroes and is seen as a Latin Lover — which is why being Forced Out of the Closet and outed as a gay man winds up being very damaging to his career. Even before that it's obvious that he doesn't fit the stereotype, as he's a sensitive, emotional noncombatant who primarily acts as The Face for the cluster.
    • Joaquin is the embodiment of negative stereotypes about Mexican machismo, as he's chauvinistic and violent.
  • Criminal Minds: Played for Drama in the episode "Machismo", in which this mentality makes the Mexican police act incompetently when there is a Serial Killer running around murdering old women (because of several reasons: the murderer happens to be a serial rapist that escalated, and the man happens to be running around dressing like an old woman to infiltrate his victims' homes).
  • Saved by the Bell has A.C. Slater, the (mostly) Lovable Jock of Latino descent who is much more blatantly manly than either Zack or Screech. His numerous athletic talents included basketball, football, weightlifting, dancing and his primary sport, wrestling.

  • Some Mexican singers who have a Mariachi background (being the son of a famous one or themselves started as one) like Alejandro Fernandez and Pedro Fernandez (not related, it's his artistic name), usually appear to have the stereotype of macho latino, not just in his albums and in concerts, but in other appearances as in movies and series (the latter usually in telenovelas).

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WWE had various wrestlers with this stereotype in its history, not just luchadores. One of the most recent examples was Alberto Del Rio, a Mexican wrestler stated as a macho and millionaire who looks like a Telenovela actor.
  • Male lucha libre wrestlers are usually depicted as hyper-macho and manly as part of their over the top personas.

    Video Games 
  • Subverted in Red Dead Redemption II: In one campfire scenario involving Micah Bell, when Javier Escuella (who is from Mexico) punches Micah Bell for telling him to "''fuck off back to Meh-HEE-co", the latter insults him for the way he punches by saying, "You hit like you dress... all feminine." He also seems less manly than the other men in Dutch's gang.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories:
    • Cuban gang leader Umberto Robina often talks about having "big cojones". He is also voiced by Danny Trejo.
    • Colombian drug lord Ricardo Diaz also qualifies, although he has more of a Hair-Trigger Temper.
  • Vaas Montenegro from Far Cry 3 is a Hispanic pirate operating from the mysterious Rook Islands who captures Jason Brody and his friends to sell them as slaves. Most of the time, Vaas comes across as a Psychopathic Manchild in the way he treats his captives like toys for him to play with, but there are times when this Ax-Crazy pirate acts like he's trying to assert his dominance over them too. Observe this line from Vaas to Jason's brother Grant:
    Vaas: (In response to Grant mumbling behind his gag) I'm sorry, what did you say? What did you say? Do you want me to slice you open like I did to your friend? SHUT THE FUCK UP! Okay? I'm the one with the fucking dick! Look at me, look me in the fucking eye. HEY! YOU FUCK! Look me in the eye. You're my bitch. I rule this fucking kingdom. Shut the fuck up... or you die.
  • Garcia F***ing Hotspur, the Player Character of Shadows of the Damned, is a foul-mouthed, tattooed, leather-wearing Hispanic demon hunter who goes on a murderous rampage through the underworld after the demon king Fleming kidnaps his girlfriend Paula.

    Web Videos 
  • "Angry Joe" Vargas, as befitting his nickname, often plays this up for comedic purposes. He's rarely having more fun than when he's playing/spoofing hyper-macho video game characters in his reviews, and of course, he can go off on a tear on a game or movie he hated.

    Western Animation 
  • In Archer, Archer has to act as a Honey Trap and seduce a Cuban man. When his Camp Gay twink act completely fails to do the act, his two Camp Gay coaches inform him that he may have to out-macho the Cuban, as Latinos are all about machismo.
  • The Fairly OddParents!: Juandissimo is a macho male Latino fairy who loves showing off his muscles.
  • Being an Affectionate Parody of Masked Luchadores and in general Mexican Lucha Libre, ¡Mucha Lucha! includes a lot of characters that fit the macho latino stereotype, good and bad guys as well. La Pulga (The Flea), the most famous of them, is also part of the protagonist group.