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Mighty Lumberjack

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"In a period of industrial development and modernization in urban areas, logging remained a traditional business in which the workers exhibited pride in their craft, their physical strength and masculinity, and guarded their individualism. Their camps were a bastion of the traditional workplace as they defied modern rationalized management, and built a culture around masculinity."

Lumberjacks are commonly used to represent strength, man's dominance over nature, and the idea that axes are pretty cool. In fiction they tend to be badass, often to the point of Testosterone Poisoning. Either that, or to sell paper towels.

Because people will expect a lumberjack to be manly, they are almost always men. They tend to dress like a stereotypical 19th century Paul Bunyan type with a flannel shirt, rugged outdoorsman look, some Manly Facial Hair, and large muscles developed from years of swinging an axe. The much rarer female lumberjack will either be a Butch Lesbian and Played for Laughs, or look exactly like a normal girl wielding a giant axe, with her lumberjack heritage used to Handwave her insane Super-Strength.

Occasionally seen in a log-rolling contest. Often found roaming the forests of Canada, Eh?.


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  • The Brawny Paper Towel company tries to link this trope to the strength of their product by making their mascot a giant lumberjack.
  • Lumberjack Bread was a brand of sandwich bread sold in the Pacific Northwest. It naturally used a burly lumberjack as its mascot.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Andrew Graham of Mobile Fighter G Gundam became a lumberjack after losing his wife in an accident five years earlier, blaming Space Pirate Argo Gulski for the loss. His Gundam is basically a giant robot lumberjack as well.
  • Taiju Togakushi of Shinkansen Henkei Robo Shinkalion Z has this vibe, coming from the thickly wooded town of Kiso, Nagano Prefecture. As with the aforementioned Andrew Graham, this also applies to his Humongous Mecha, the Shinkalion Z E7, which is the physically strongest of the Shinkalion Zs.

    Comic Books 
  • Lucky Luke: One story has the Daltons flee north to Canada, where they encounter a lumber camp filled with enormous lumberjacks. The Daltons attempt to join in, but they find their real talent in putting on an accidental clownshow as they try to escape on the logs floating in the river.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wondy once fought a villain called the Lumberjack, who fit every part of this description.
    • In the Wonder Woman (Rebirth) continuity, Hercules genuinely redeems himself and retires to the woods to live as a lumberjack before dying and leaving his earthly belongings to Diana.

    Film — Animated 
  • Hoodwinked!: Invoked with Kirk the Woodsman, an actor playing a burly German axeman in commercials.

    Film — Live-Action 

  • At one point in the mountain path of Creature of Havoc, you might get attacked by a burly, ax-swinging lumberjack, one of the strongest human-based enemies in the entire book.


    Live-Action TV 
  • In the series finale of Dexter, Dexter Morgan has faked his death and run off to be a lumberjack. It goes over exactly as well as one might expect.
  • Full House: Joey spent some time hosting a children's television show and invited Jesse to join it. Jesse scoffed at the idea, thinking it below him, till he was offered a role whose manliness satisfied him: "Lumberjack Jess."
  • Malcolm in the Middle played with this for a while, with Francis and his friend from military school believing they would be able to run off to Alaska and become these relatively easily.
  • Flirted with and then subverted in the Monty Python's Flying Circus Lumberjack Sketch. The singer dreams of being a lumberjack ... and a Wholesome Crossdresser at the same time. His girl lampshades the discrepancy, crying out, "Oh, Bevis, and I thought you were so rugged/butch!"
  • The Six Million Dollar Man went undercover at a lumberyard ("Target in the Sky"), which of course involved several of these guys. He even wound up in a log-rolling match with one of them.

  • The rock band Jackyl's most well-known single, "The Lumberjack", is rather obviously about this trope, with the song even featuring the lead singer doing a solo with a chainsaw!
  • "The Haircut Song" by Ray Stevens is about a variety of haircuts Stevens has received from insane barbers. Whenever he is feeling intimidated by a barber and is asked what he does for a living, his immediate response is "I'm a logger!":
    Now a lot of people would be intimidated in a situation like this...I was not. I am what I am, play my piano, and sing my little songs. I looked him right in the eye and I said, I'm a logger - just up from Coos Bay, Oregon. Been toppin' trees - quite possibly the toughest man in the entire world.

    Oral Tradition 
  • Paul Bunyan is the Ur-Example, having originated in Canada in the early 19th century. There are many myths surrounding him, the most famous of which is that the 10,000 Lakes of Minnesota were formed by him and his sidekick, Babe the Blue Ox, as they walked around in a blizzard. It's worth noting that most of the Paul Bunyan myth, including everything about Paul being a giant with a giant pet ox, was actually the invention of a 20th century copywriter who spun Paul Bunyan into a mascot for a logging company.

    Print Media 
  • A TIME Magazine article titled "Chopping Wood a Manlier Feel than Sports", about research indicating that chopping wood increases testosterone even more than competitive sports, makes references to the perceived manliness of lumberjacks, as well as displaying a picture of a lumberjack wearing the stereotypical flannel outfit.

    Professional Wrestling 

  • Strapping, axe-wielding British Colombian lumberjack Johnny Canuck was the primary logo of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks in their pre-NHL era from 1945-1969, and a modified version is one of the current franchise's secondary logos. The character can be seen wrestling a bear representing the Boston Bruins in a series of short films.
  • Averted with the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks football team — despite the name, they don't use the idea of being lumberjacks to scare opponents, they instead use the city's elevation as intimidation tactics (at 7000 feet above sea level, though, altitude sickness is very real and if you're not used to playing intense sports in those conditions it's definitely against you).

    Tabletop Games 
  • Reaper Miniatures produces a "Bill Foster, Lumberjack" model for their Chronoscope line.

    Video Games 
  • Montana, the minigun-wielding, tiny-headed, Top-Heavy Guy from Battleborn, was one before he joined the UPR.
  • Breath of Fire has the Recurring Character Babadel (renamed Bunyan in the English releases), first appearing in Breath of Fire II up to Breath of Fire IV. His most important role is in Breath of Fire III, in which he acts as a Parental Substitute to the group of orphans that Ryu is a part of.
  • Crusaders of the Lost Idols has Jim the Lumberjack, who can quickly become one of the most powerful crusaders on the player's team.
  • Don't Starve: The playable character of Woodie is a Canadian lumberjack with a magic ax.
  • Kingdom of Loathing: In Little Canadia, the player can encounter lumberjacks, lumberjills, and lumberjuans. The lumberjack supervisor carries two double-sided axes.
  • Completely subverted in Kingdom Rush: Vengeance. Human Woodcutters are one of the enemies in the game and appear to look like these... and they're the weakest enemy and are only encountered in the Video Game Tutorial level.
  • In Lumberwhack: Defend the Wild, almost every single one of your enemies is a lumberjack of some sort that's trying to cut down your forest, several of which wear checkered flannel shirts and sport rugged looks. The "mightiest" ones would be the Giant Choppers, who are larger than the rest, have a good amount of health, hit hard and stun your animals with their dual axes.
  • The first level of Ninja: Shadow of Darkness contains lumberjack enemies, near the end of the forest; as Kurosawa the Ninja tries crossing a forest path, trees start collapsing all around him which he must swiftly dodge, and at the end of the route he's beset by a group of lumberjacks who set up the trap for him. These enemies only show up right here, however, and nowhere else in the entire game.
  • In Princess Maker 2, being a lumberjack increases your strength, which increases your attack power, which means if you do it enough, One-Hit Kill will be standard.
  • Sang-Froid: Tales of Werewolves: Two lumberjacks protect their sister from the Devil's minions.
  • Subverted by Hey Ho, Sonic 3 & Knuckles' Act 1 boss of Mushroom Hill Zone. He's a robotic lumberjack who's also the first boss of Sonic and Knuckles and is thus an easy fight.
  • Tales of Symphonia: Presea Combatir is a female lumberjack. She looks about twelve years old but carries an axe bigger than some of your other party members.
  • Um Jammer Lammy has Paul Chuck, a chainsaw-wielding beaver lumberjack, though the "mighty" part of the trope is a bit lost due to his intentionally goofy voice.
  • In Urban Rivals, the first boss card you get in your collection is a lumberjack. He starts looking like the stereotype and hulks out when leveling up. Also adds bonus damage to the whole team.

  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, lumberjacking makes people susceptible to Paul Bunyan's Disease, which causes those it affects to turn into a giant lumberjack who is "enraged at how many trees still stand within his vicinity."
  • Bobbinsverse: The trope is invoked, in somewhat ironic form, here, by Amy, to describe Tim (entirely accurately) after he's gone to live in the woods as a reaction to a romantic incident involving Shelley. Note that Shelley is always a woman with a healthy appetite for the macho.
    Amy: He's dressed like a tragic modern men's fashion lumberjack.
    Shelley: Beard wax, muscles and plaid? I'm contrite, but also into it.
  • Miss Abbott and the Doctor: Andreas tries to act and dress this when he runs off to become a hermit after thinking Cati rekindled her love with Kuarahy, her first boyfriend. But his middle-class upbringing means he's not that outdoors-y, unable to fully chop wood with an axe.

    Western Animation 
  • The Angry Beavers once had to save their woods from a group of singing lumberjacks. When not chopping down trees, the men would eat tall stacks of pancakes and drink black coffee.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Manly Dan Corduroy, Wendy's outrageously macho father. Wendy herself counts as one to an extent thanks to her 'freak lumberjack genes' and weapon of choice.
    • "Northwest Mansion Mystery" features the ghost of a lumberjack who died building the local rich family's mansion, now haunting them as punishment for their callousness. Supplementary material reveals his name to be Archibald Corduroy, suggesting he's an ancestor of Manly Dan's.
  • Johnny Bravo: In one episode, Johnny competes in a lumberjack competition to win a kiss from a pretty female lumberjack. Unfortunately for him, he was actually competing for and wins the kiss from a different woman.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show's "Lumber Jerks". Somewhat subverted in that Ren isn't exactly a paragon of manliness.
  • The Simpsons: In "The Blunder Years", Marge becomes infatuated with the lumberjack that is the mascot for a brand of paper towels.
  • Wacky Races: Rufus Ruffcut is a stereotypical Canadian lumberjack. His car reflects this since it's made from logs, with circular saws as wheels.