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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.



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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.

     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 
  • Wonder Woman once fought a villain called the Lumberjack, who fit every part of this description.
    • In the Wonder Woman (Rebirth) continuity Hercules genuinely redeemed himself and retired to the woods to live as a lumberjack before dying and leaving his earthly belongings to Diana.
  • 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.


  • 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  
  • 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!"
  • In the series finale of Dexter Dexter Morgan has faked his death and run off to be a lumberjack. It went over exactly as well as one might expect.
  • 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 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.
    • Subverted - incredibly so - by Monty Python's Flying Circus. Look up The Lumberjack Song, after which nobody will see this trope in the same light ever again.

     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 
  • In a Time Magazine article named "Chopping Wood a Manlier Feel than Sports" about research indicating that chopping wood increases testosterone even more than competetive 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 
  • Crossed with Wrestling Doesn't Pay: In the late 1980s in the AWA, John Nord and Scott "Flapjack" Norton were teamed as the Lumberjacks, complete with flannel shirts and axes.
  • During his "Real Man's Man" gimmick, William Regal was portrayed like this.

  • 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 

  • 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  
  • In the The Simpsons episode "The Blunder Years" Marge becomes infatuated with the lumberjack that is the mascot for a brand of paper towels.
  • In one episode of Johnny Bravo, 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.
  • 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.
  • Invoked in Hoodwinked! with Kirk the Woodsman, an actor playing a burly German axeman in commercials.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show's "Lumber Jerks". Somewhat subverted in that Ren isn't exactly a paragon of manliness.
  • 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.
  • Wacky Races: Rufus Ruffcut is a stereotypical Canadian lumberjack. His car reflects this since it's made from logs, with circular saws as wheels.