An Always Male character devoted to enforcing the standards and principles regarding how "real men" act and behave, whether it's around women or otherwise. One of his top priorities is maintaining the comfort, safety, and reputation of ladies, thinking that the idea of a woman being One of the Boys is plain old wrong. His ideals go beyond common courtesy. This can lead to serious problems considering how closely related this attitude is to Stay in the Kitchen (whether the writers or the audience realize it or not), or if someone is willing to take advantage of his beliefs.
Any attempts to resist or otherwise convince said character that his principles are archaic rarely come up or fall flat on their faces. A rare success will result in a wake up call to the man that he might be trapped in the wrong era or the wrong culture.
If he practices what he preaches, especially if it's in terms of romance, then he will probably win over the other characters like a natural Prince Charming. If one of these characters is female, then you have Single Woman Seeks Good Man. If his ladylove is similarly old-fashioned, they become a Lady and Knight couple. Some hand-kissing may be in order and no puddle shall go un-coated.
If he's not just a gentleman but an Officer and a Gentleman, he probably belongs to an order of knighthood and follows the more classic code of chivalry. In that case see Knight in Shining Armor. He might also be a Sharp-Dressed Man.
Contrast Stay in the Kitchen, where the male character may act on such old-fashioned ideals in an even less supposedly noble manner, and Would Hit a Girl, where the male character abandons all thought of preferential treatment. Compare Prince Charming Wannabe.
- Rurouni Kenshin: A female ninja is escorting a Dutch visitor about and is disconcerted when he wants her to walk through a door ahead of him. When he explains chivalry dictates it as a way of showing respect for women, she just laughs it off.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Blazen Sun is a firm believer in this, and once gave all his Guards a royal chewing-out for not helping a couple of old mares when it was raining. Its become a trait of the entire Celestia Guard since then.
- Kate & Leopold: Hugh Jackman's character is a nobleman from 1876. He is accustomed to stand when a lady leaves the table, is often mocked for things like his idea of the culinary arts. He becomes more modern and learns that obligation will trump integrity. He also woos Kate with a moonlight dinner and dancing on the roof, breakfast the next morning, etc.
- Princess of Thieves
Gwyn: Now you let me steal your horse?
Prince Philip: I give it to you freely madam. A woman should not have to walk.
Gwyn: Has not a woman legs? Do we not walk and run just as you do?
- The Mask of Zorro
Alejandro: All that shooting guns, racing around on horses—gives me a frightful headache. It's hardly the work of a gentleman.
Elena: What is? Climbing in and out of carriages?
Alejandro: No, but increasing one's holdings so as to provide comfort to ladies. Such as yourself.
- In Aussie cinema, truckers are often romanticised as modern day cowboys who stand up for the underdog and are always polite to women. Examples include Stacy Keach in Road Games, and Mory in Savages Crossing.
- James Bond:
- In Thunderball, the lack of this tips him off to the fact that the widow of an assassin is actually the assassin himself—"she" opens her own car door, rather than letting any of the surrounding men do it.
- Casino Royale (2006). The two times Bond and Vesper share a meal, he stands whenever she leaves the table, a classic rule of etiquette.
- In Spectre he stands when Madeline approaches the table, also a classic rule of etiquette.
- Stagecoach: the Southern gentleman Hatfield behaves in a very old-fashioned, chivalrous way to Mrs. Mallory. This almost ends in disaster when he prepares to give her a Mercy Kill to prevent the Indians from capturing her.
- Dracula: Van Helsing and the rest of the heroes decide it's best if Mina Harker stays safe at home while they go out each night vampire-hunting. They do it because they think it's for her own good, in her best interest, the right/gentlemanly thing to do and they'd be cruel and reckless if they included her. It backfires and they learn their lesson.
- Journey to Chaos: Nolien's manners and value system are classic gentleman and because of this he fits in better with traditional nobles than the modern mercenaries he works with. Tiza, the usual target of his courtesy, finds it stifling.
- Harry Dresden of The Dresden Files is a proponent of this trope, which annoys Karrin Murphy-since she had to fight her way to the top in a man's world, she feels like she's being treated like a weak, effeminate lady.
- On an episode of M*A*S*H, Major Winchester does not want to talk to Radar's elderly mother, angrily protesting when asked to. However, when he does so, he quickly switches to his polite, gentlemanly, and proper tone as he speaks to her.
- Firefly: Simon Tam is a well dressed doctor who doesn't swear or have casual sex. Needless to say he doesn't fit in with the thieves he lives with, but he says that he has to be proper because it's all he has.
- An episode of Highlander discussed this with Duncan reluctant to kill a female Immortal (who had helped him become a gentleman in the first place) and Methos mocking the entire chivalry attitude. Methos took it upon himself to deal with the dangerous woman.
Woman: Who are you?
Methos: Someone who was born a long time before the age of chivalry.
- An episode of Corner Gas has Brent start treating The Lad-ette Wanda more nicely and not making her work as hard when she shows up to work in a skirt one day. Lacey theorizes that seeing the skirt caused his male protector instincts to kick in, and Wanda tries to test this by looking and acting more and more feminine. It seems to work too, except when we switch over to Brent's perspective, we find out that the real reason he's treating Wanda so gently is because her out-of-character behaviour is making him think she's going nuts.
- Law & Order. A murder suspect of all people stands when Anita Van Buren enters the interrogation room, insisting, "A gentleman always stands when a lady enters the room." He's elderly and likely harkens to old-fashioned rules of etiquette. It's that same charm that enabled him to cajole the address of his victim out of the man's secretary, information that should never be given out. (Helps that the guy was an Asshole Victim who ripped him off).
- In an episode of Amen, Thelma entertains a doctor and the Reverend. She leaves and re-enters the room several times—but they stand up everytime she does.
- This rule was also followed by General Hospital's Stefan Cassadine. It's especially noteworthy when he visits his ex-wife Bobbie. Despite their brief marriage and acrimonious divorce, he stands whenever she enters the room.
- Frankie Kazarian displayed this in TNA, during his run as a baby face anyway. Even when he was embroiled in a feud against Robert Roode and Traci Brooks he wouldn't tolerate the former mistreating the latter, and as it turns out, Miss Brooks was appreciative of being shown how a "real man" treats a lady, when before she acted as the vamp to any man feuding with Roode who was foolish enough to show her kindness. Kazarian's gimmick later was taken by Tomko.
- From Katawa Shoujo, Hisao is a subtle example—when he and Lilly first tell Akira that they're going out, he bows to her and tells her that he will take care of her sister. Akira comments on this, mentioning that she always expected Lilly would get together with an old-fashioned sort of guy.
- War: 13th Day: Arsenik is always attentive to the needs of his ladylove, apologizes if he feels he's been too forward, and becomes indignant when she is disrespected. When Ambrosia is propositioned to and consequently blackmailed by a Handsome Lech, he even begins a fight to defend her honor.
Arsenik: A gentleman doesn't foster a lady's embarrassment nor is he party to rumormongers.