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This trope is under discussion in the Trope Repair Shop.

"You're prettier than half my daughters."
Craster, talking about Jon Snow, Game of Thrones

You know that ruggedly handsome manly man the ladies all sigh for?

This isn't that guy.

Oh, he still gets the sighs, but it's because he is so damn pretty. These guys are often slender or slight, with fine facial features (sharp cheekbones but narrow chin) and lovely hair. Facial hair is uncommon, and if present it's a well-groomed goatee or moustache (certainly not Perma-Stubble). Being a Sharp-Dressed Man can add to it. Prettiness is often associated with appearing youthful, sometimes factoring into Older Than They Look. If he's on the shorter side he tends to be more scrawny, if taller then he probably has a lean athletic build.

This doesn't necessarily mean he's androgynous or looks like a girl, though. The Bishōnen is a subtrope more common in East Asian works, especially Japanese anime, where the main distinction is that the character is a lot more feminine in appearance and gentle in mannerism. Check out the Bishie Sparkle.

The Pretty Boy also isn't necessarily effeminate or weak. He may well be as strong or physically powerful as the other, more muscular guys, and as macho as the more ruggedly handsome ones. Expect one of his more rugged counterparts to sneeringly call him "pretty boy" at least once. Increasingly common for even his detractors to comment on just how much they appreciate his looks.

Assemble enough of these guys, and you end up with a Cast Full of Pretty Boys.

A Sister Trope is Agent Peacock. If the pretty boy also has long, flowing hair, he is a Long-Haired Pretty Boy. He may be accompanied by sparkles. White Hair, Black Heart is a subtrope that marks a character out as a villain. May overlap with Beauty Equals Goodness or Beauty Is Bad, especially when the character's beauty stands out.


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  • David: David is depicted with a youthful and handsome appearance. He's certainly fit but not overly muscled and his face is made of soft angles. His curly hair helps complete the picture.

    Comic Books 
  • Red Robin: Tim gets a lot of compliments and unwanted admirers. While not every artist gets his good looks across, Marcus To draws a really pretty Tim Drake with fabulous hair.
  • Daken and Gambit; they have a scene in Daken's solo comic where they snark at each other, using it as an insult.
  • Warren Worthington, aka Angel/Archangel. Not every artist can pull it off, of course, but he is supposed to be unnaturally, ethereally beautiful, to the point that the wings aren't what you notice first if you're close enough to make out his features. This even continued when he was blue. Amusingly, his time-displaced teenaged self jokingly acknowledges this while on a date with X-23, making himself out to be prettier than Jean Grey.
    Laura: Jean is prettier than me.
    Warren: That's not true.
    Laura: You're prettier than me.
    Warren: That is true.
  • Quasar of the The Avengers. In one issue of his solo series, he was even called 'Pretty Boy' by a bad guy.
  • In-universe, Nightwing has had quite a few people—of both genders—point out just how attractive he is; it's pretty much generally accepted that he's one of the most attractive men in the DCU. As far as out-of-universe examples go, IGN ranked him at #1 on their list of the sexiest men in comics, and both the list and the comments considered it a no-brainer. Comics Alliance also ranked him at #1.
  • Victor Mancha of the Runaways is usually drawn as the most attractive boy on the team. His handsomeness is such that Chase feared losing Gert to him. Taken to extremes in "Dead End Kids", where Lillie McGurty spends a century devising a scheme to get Victor to travel back in time and fall in love with her younger self.
  • Jem and the Holograms (IDW):
    • For a geeky Gadgeteer Genius, Techrat sure fits. His slim physique and long hair make him quite pretty and slightly androgynous.
    • Riot was a hunky 80s rockstar in the original cartoon. In the comic reboot, he is one of these instead. He was always a Long-Haired Pretty Boy but now his hair has reached extreme lengths. He also wears lipstick and has a less weathered face.
  • The Ultimates: Loki. His appearance in The Ultimates 2 is actually what kicked off the trend of Loki being portrayed as (relatively) young and attractive, as his classic appearance in the 616-verse usually had him drawn as sickly, older, and a bit craven.
  • Wonder Woman's husband Steve Trevor often gets comments in-universe about his attractive pretty features, though whether or not the artists get this across is another story. He becomes more ruggedly handsome over the years with his more "pretty" days tending to have been during WWII. In The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Steve's pretty eyes and boyish charm are emphasized in this iteration, with newspapers even commenting on his pretty eyes.
  • Jonathan Samuel Kent, son of Superman and Lois Lane, became one after a Plot-Relevant Age-Up. Case in point.

    Fan Works 
  • A fan-made chapter of the Space Marines of Warhammer 40,000 fame, the Pretty Marines. They have some sort of gland that creates the sparkle, and their guns have roses on them. Their scouts are cute boys, and they have legions of female fans. And this is all well and good… just watch out for the Chaos Pretty Marines.
  • Neo in The Matrix fanfic Bringing Me To Life is almost explicitly called a pretty boy. He's tall, slim, and has a pretty face, with equally pretty eyes.
  • In The Secret Life of Dolls, Lyra from The Golden Compass and Elizabeth Swann from Pirates of the Caribbean have this discussion about a picture of the Will Turner doll:
    Lyra popped up over Elizabeth's shoulder. "That scarf is a girly scarf."
    "Well, that's just how guys dressed back... now."
    "In tights?"
    She sighed. "Sometimes Will was prettier than I was."
  • Don't Go Stealing My Heart: Lambert calls Jaskier a pretty boy, which Jaskier takes offense to.
  • In Little Fires, Rabbitpaw notes that Eagleclaw is a pretty tom. He's noted as a handsome Chick Magnet with especially attractive amber golden eyes. For Emberpaw, it's love at first sight.
  • Much Ado About Shakespeare: Love's Labours Won: In this fic, Horatio Hornblower bets his friend Archie Kennedy drinks and dinner that he can't speak only in Shakespeare's quotes for 6 hours. However, Archie has apparently memorized the Bard's entire work. He gets carried away and inadvertently compares Horatio to Adonis. They have an argument soon after because Horatio is angered and Archie is embarrassed. Horatio muses over it and figures out he's actually flattered. In this fandom, the title of resident Pretty Boy is usually reserved for Archie, but youthful Hornblower sure fits the bill with his handsome face, high cheekbones and he has a profile of a Greek god. Archie also longs to touch Hornblower's curly hair and admires his brown eyes.
  • In Lavandula Somnambulist, the moment Aizawa and Hisashi meet Izuku, they immediately see the resemblance between him and his mother Midnight, and Shinso developed an infatuation with him when they meet. Considering his mother built her career on her sex-appeal, this is a given.

    Films — Animation 
  • "Field Test", the third segment of Batman: Gotham Knight, gives Bruce Wayne a rather pretty-boy-esque look (which doesn't exactly fit Kevin Conroy's voice that well).
  • Beauty and the Beast: At the end of the movie... The Beast himself, restored to his true form, a handsome young Prince with flowing dark blonde hair.
  • Cinderella's prince from Cinderella is a handsome guy with prominent eyelashes. This is especially pronounced in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
  • Sylvain in the weird, Animesque French animated film Gandahar (AKA Light Years).
  • Even though he didn't start off this way, Andy Davis from Toy Story becomes this in the third film at a hearty seventeen years of age.
  • Camilo Madrigal from Encanto: has not become one of the biggest Ensemble Dark Horse in Disney history for nothing. He is a handsome teenager with a beautiful singing voice and despite being the Madrigal with the least screen time, several fangirls (and even fanboys) like to shipping themselves along with him.
    • Bruno is considered weird by everyone in the universe, but hardly any fans think the same way. Fangirs have admitted to being attracted to him and even claim that they would like to have him as a husband.
  • Hans from Frozen has a slender face and build befitting a Prince Charming compared to beefy Mountain Man Kristoff. by contrast, he also happens to be an evil, manipulative Smug Snake compared to Kristoff's honorable grump.
  • In Inside Out, Joy and Sadness wind up in Imagination Land, where they see Riley's Imaginary Boyfriend. He's tall, has thick curly hair, and no real personality other than posing dramatically and expressing his Undying Loyalty to Riley. It's worth noting that he's basically a handsomer version of Jordan, the nameless boy whom Riley meets at the end.
  • The Once-ler from the 2012 film The Lorax, with his big blue eyes with huge eyelashes, babyface, and everything. This led to a bizarre Tumblr fanbase.
  • Jack Frost in Rise of the Guardians. He even has Tooth and her helpers fangirling all over him, although it may be solely to do with his teeth.
  • Prince Charming from Shrek is a handsome young prince with flowing blonde hair and since his personality is obnoxious, his name refers entirely to the way he looks. He's a Chick Magnet and Puss even calls him "dreamy".
  • In Turning Red, all five of the members of 4*Town have clean-shaven boyish looks, befitting a late-1990s/early-2000s Boy Band that mostly appeals to teenage girls.
  • Rancis Fluggerbutter from Wreck-It Ralph is the most effeminate looking of the Sugar Rush boys.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • X-Men Film Series: The movie series contains more examples of this trope than one would normally expect for a superhero property (which typically promotes a more traditional ideal of the masculine form). Honest Trailers even poked fun at this by saying that the X-Men franchise starred a lot of twinks.note 
    • Bobby Drake's dainty facial features quickly communicate to the audience that he's a good-hearted person. This is especially true in the first movie, where he was only a minor character, but viewers were able to tell right away that "the cute guy" is sincere when trying to befriend Rogue. Moreover, being forced to abandon his family in the second film is more painful when his expression is very much like a puppy dog who has just been kicked.
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Appearance-wise, Dr. Charles Xavier is strongly defined by his boyishness: he has a soft, round face, baby blue eyes, cherry-red lips (the colour is so deep at times that it almost looks like he's wearing lipstick), and is of shorter-than-average height. It's symbolic of his sensitive, nice guy qualities. Erik Lehnsherr even calls him "adorable" when Charles tries the Cerebro machine for the first time. With his fair complexion, the young telepath resembles a living porcelain doll, and his fragility becomes evident when he "breaks" physically and emotionally during the climax.
      • Dr. Hank McCoy is quite similar to Xavier (just younger and a lot more insecure), and while this may be a coincidence, it's nevertheless convenient that he shares some facial features with his mentor, like pale skin, blue eyes and thick reddish lips. The one big physical difference between them is that Hank is a lot taller.
    • The Wolverine: Wolverine invokes this when he confronts Harada, presumably as an attempt to deride the latter's masculinity. Harada has an elegant face, a slim build, and is an agile ninja, in contrast to the macho bruiser Logan.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Peter Maximoff is baby-faced with reddish lips and cute in an impish way. It's a visual cue to the audience that he's an immature prankster who doesn't take life seriously.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse:
      • Professor X is around 50 years old, yet before he loses his hair, he's still gorgeous and youthful-looking for his age (he can pass for a man in his early 30s)—in fact, he doesn't appear all that different from his graduate student days in First Class. This alludes to him embracing his former naïvety again, and it makes him look much more helpless and vulnerable when he becomes Apocalypse's prisoner. Being boyishly beautiful also emphasizes Charles' status as a victim when he's Mind Raped by Apocalypse, which is a metaphor for sexual assault. Because Beauty Equals Goodness for James McAvoy's Xavier, maintaining his dainty appearance even when he's being viciously battered, bloodied and bruised on the astral plane connotes that he's a person with a tenderhearted soul who's dying.
      • Repeating a theme from First Class is Hank being a mirror image of Charles with a few key differences. McCoy remains pretty and boyish in a similar way to Xavier, but despite being a decade younger, he is much more cautious and realistic than his ex-mentor, and he makes plans to ensure that the X-Men have everything they need when (and not if) the peace between mutants and humans is shattered.
      • Warren Worthington III aka Angel is beautiful, and it's meant to be ironic that an angelic-looking youth is actually quite ruthless and deadly.
      • Although Nightcrawler falls more on the "cute" side, he is extremely attractive with his elfin features (particularly larger, more prominent ears) which are further enhanced by his adolescent development. They reflect his dorky personality, and even with the scars on his face, the impression Kurt Wagner leaves on viewers is that he's a lovely blue elf rather than a freaky blue demon.
      • Quicksilver is affirmed to be Magneto's son, so Peter's softer, delicate features juxtapose his father's Villainous Cheekbones. Quicksilver fights for the heroic team and Magneto sides with the Big Bad. Maximoff's puckish looks also mark him as a Manchild and a Basement-Dweller. During his confrontation with Apocalypse, Quicksilver moves gracefully as a Fragile Speedster, and once Apocalypse takes away his Super Speed advantage, Peter is wholly defenseless. Because Maximoff's face exudes an aura of innocence, it evokes the imagery of a "lamb to the slaughter" when Apocalypse offers his bare neck to Psylocke for execution.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The race of fair-skinned long-haired peroxide boys. Legolas especially takes the cake.
    • Frodo, as he is fairly good-looking for a Hobbit. Being portrayed by Elijah Wood helps.
  • Let Me In: The main character Owen has very fine facial features, a very slender physique, big blue eyes, and full lips. Unfortunately, it makes him a target for bullies with the most common insult directed towards him is "little girl". In the director's commentary, director Matt Reeves mentions he thinks Owen's actor had a "beautiful face".
  • The Hobbit
    • Kíli is very youthful (his beard is only just starting to grow in) and has nice large brown eyes, making him almost bishie by Dwarf standards (and notably, Tauriel, an Elf who is surrounded by Pretty Boys among her people, becomes attracted to him).
    • The Elvenking Thranduil is Elfeminate with long platinum blond hair, striking blue eyes with long, thick eyelashes, dainty facial features, a long neck and a svelte frame. Dáin brings up Thranduil's prettiness when he threatens the latter.
      Dáin: If [Thranduil] chooses to stand between me and my kin, I'll split his pretty head open!
      • In the Extended Edition of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Dáin refers to Thranduil's feminine looks a second time.
        Dáin: Ya think I give a dead dog for your threats, you pointy-eared princess?!
  • Neo in The Matrix. The stereotypical pretty-boy taunt comes from Cypher, who mocks Neo's "big pretty eyes."
  • Didier Revol the French exchange student in Son of Rambow is so beautiful that Even the Guys Want Him.
  • Many vampires in Interview with the Vampire fit in the pretty boy aesthetic with very pale complexion, making them look androgynous.
  • Brian Slade of Velvet Goldmine fits this trope rather well, as one might reasonably expect from a nineteen-year-old Jonathan Rhys Meyers in make-up… He manages to be more delicate and prettier than his own wife (who is not bad-looking or particularly butch.)
  • Luke from Cherrybomb (2009), to the point where fangirls started suggesting that Rupert Grint's character should get with HIM instead of the female lead, on the basis that "Luke is prettier". To be fair, the levels of Ho Yay in this movie probably made this reaction unavoidable.
  • Ra in Stargate is supposedly the same entity as the Egyptian god of the Sun. He has very delicate feminine features and wears make-up, including heavy eye-lines. His voice is disturbing and he's creepy as hell.
  • The two leads in Withnail and I look like they've been battered and malnourished for far too long, but still… "I" has the same looks he later had for the Eighth Doctor and Withnail is pouty-mouthed, has big blue eyes and his hair goes fluffy when they hit the countryside. The battered factor even adds to the appeal.
  • Michael Cimino's The Deer Hunter has Nick, played by a very young, very pretty Christopher Walken. Effective Dawson Casting. Walken was 35.
  • Johnny Depp as Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette Edward in Edward Scissorhands. He plays a fragile robot who is almost upgraded to a human being and resembles a doll.
  • In film adaptations of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is often played by one, probably to help justify why young Juliet would fall so madly in love with him so quickly. Examples include Leonard Whiting in Franco Zeffirelli's version,note  Leonardo DiCaprio in William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet, and Douglas Booth in the 2013 film version.
  • In the up north melodrama parody "The Fatal Glass of Beer", W.C. Fields observes "My Uncle Ichabod said, speakin' of the city, 'It ain't no place for a woman, gal, but pretty men go thar.'"
  • Golden-haired Joe with a pretty face from The Western parody Lemonade Joe. The Chanteuse Tornado Lou falls for him hard, and Doug Badman who loves Lou is shocked, shocked! that Tornado Lou, a lioness of a woman, a storm of a woman, a fate of a woman would fall for such a pretty naive boy who drinks only lemonade.
  • The actor who portrayed Tadzio in The Film of the Book from 1971, Death in Venice, then-14-year-old Björn Andrésen, was so mind-numbingly beautiful that his life actually began to mirror that of his character's. It's not a comfortable story to hear, and it makes him a Truth in Television case of So Beautiful, It's a Curse.
  • James Bond
  • Exaggerated by Luba (Robert Sheehan) in Film/Mute; Luba is highly androgynous, wearing makeup, tight clothes, and a feminine hairstyle. It may be a sort of uniform, as he works in a strip club where both male and female staff are presented as feminine. Later it's discovered that he works as a female prostitute on the side.
  • Star Wars:
    • Anakin Skywalker has wide blue eyes, a muscular figure, and sweet boyish looks that make him very attractive. He uses good looks to impress the slaver queen during the Kadavo arc, much to Ahsoka's chagrin.
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace. Even after getting the beard, he is revealed to still be one when being shaved for his transformation into a more rugged Rako Hardeen. Satine even comments that his beard hides much of his pretty face.
    • Luke Skywalker, with his large blue eyes (which can easily swing between innocent and icy), wavy golden hair and boyish good looks. This is a nice contrast to Han Solo, who is more of a Hunk, and adds emphasis to their Noble Male, Roguish Male dynamic.
    • A villain, General Hux, is pretty, largely due to actor Domhnall Gleeson shaving his beard and being naturally pale and skinny.
    • Sequel Trilogy: Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. Though a tall, strapping, muscular guy, he is a very pretty young man with flowing black hair, plump lips, and soulful, puppy-dog eyes.
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean, while it's obvious that Will Turner fits the bill due to being played by Orlando Bloom, Jack Sparrow should also get a mention: in the fourth film, Jack's former flame Angelica has found him the easiest to impersonate, and as Jack, she recruits pirates and finds a ship for her father, Blackbeard.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: Loki has big, expressive blue eyes, an elegant face, a slimmer build than other Asgardian males, and always moves gracefully, even when he gets into a fight. He's also clean-shaven (facial hair is the norm for Asgardian men). Loki's physical appearance is meant to be a sharp contrast to Thor's Hunk looks. In later movies, Loki qualifies as a Long-Haired Pretty Boy.
    • Doe-eyed Bucky Barnes also qualifies, as does pre-serum Steve Rogers.
    • Tom Holland's Peter Parker, especially in his first few movies has a doe-eyed innocence and charm about him. It's even Lampshaded in Spider-Man: Far From Home where MJ tells him he looks pretty too after he compliments her.
  • Dune (1984): Because Paul Atreides (played by then-25-year-old Kyle MacLachlan) is the Kwisatz Haderach and can access the genetic memories of his female and male ancestors, his androgynous looks reflect his unique skill.
    • Timothée Chalamet plays Paul Atreides in the 2021-2023 version, and he doesn't stray too far behind in terms of boyish beauty, either.
  • Trance: Simon Newton is boyishly beautiful and coupled with his charm, it's why Elizabeth Lamb falls head over heels for him despite knowing full well how unethical it is for a therapist to be dating her patient.
  • Victor Frankenstein: Finnegan's dainty facial features are an extension of his vanity (he's always dressed to the nines and is impeccably groomed) and his privileged position in society (he likes to mock people who are poorer than him). Being born with a silver spoon in his mouth allows him the luxury to preen and to be puerile—you only have to glance at him to know that he's a Spoiled Brat.
  • Jareth, the main villain of Labyrinth, is played by the thin and elegant David Bowie and decked out in downright fabulous makeup, hair, and clothes.
  • The Prophecy 3: The Ascent: Pyriel, the Angel of Genocide, is an almost androgynous-looking celestial.
  • The unnamed lead character in the 2018 Canadian figure skating short film Attainment (which contains no dialogue) is played by Canadian figure skater Roman Sadovsky, who is one of the most ethereally graceful men's singles skaters in the sport. He's tall, lissome, long-limbed with above-average flexibility, and has large, soft green eyes with long eyelashes. Sadovsky was cast partly because of his looks; his onscreen persona undergoes Break the Cutie in the story, so his boyish beauty amplifies his fictional counterpart's emotional vulnerability.
  • Hunky Dory: Davy possesses an ethereal attractiveness, complete with high cheekbones, curly hair, delicate green eyes (which Tim acknowledges are very dreamy) and a round, gentle face. He's so gorgeous that he serves as a Closet Key for Evan, who is questioning his sexuality. Viv, their drama teacher, who in an early scene had gushed over Davy's dulcet voice, has trouble resisting temptation when Davy wanders into her bedroom; she invites him to sit next to her on the bed, and then she kisses him on the lips. When Davy wears make-up (as an homage to David Bowie because he sings "Life on Mars?") while performing in his school's play/musical, his androgynous appearance is devastatingly beautiful.
  • Pablo from Plan B is a bit scruffier-looking than the norm for this trope, but still has a slender build, soulful eyes, and is called "beautiful" by Bruno more than once.
  • R in Warm Bodies, who is portrayed by Nicholas Hoult. There's no denying he is incredibly sexy despite being a zombie.
  • The prettiness of Patrick (played by Heath Ledger) in 10 Things I Hate About You gets explicitly mentioned, verbatim, by the other characters:
    Cameron: And Kat likes pretty guys.
    Patrick: Are you telling me I'm not a pretty guy? (Cameron frantically backpedals)
  • They/Them (2022): Gabriel is a very slim, handsome androgynous-looking gay man with long hair.
  • Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow in Batman Begins, in sharp contrast to the usual depiction of the character, is a short, slender young man with big blue eyes and delicate, feminine facial features.

  • The protagonists in the Warchild Series are usually depicted as Pretty Boys, even when they have extensive combat training and are capable of great violence. The third book, "Cagebird" has a protagonist described as cherubic-looking who eventually becomes a prostitute/assassin, and the protagonist from her second book is said to be a beautiful boy with large, kittenish eyes.
  • William Shakespeare's Sonnets: The addressee of some of the sonnets, known as the Fair Youth, fair friend, aristocratic youth or young boy is described as divinely beautiful, but he's also selfish, indifferent to those gorgeous love confessions, narcissistic and so full of himself. From Sonnet 20: "A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted hast thou, the master-mistress of my passion", until Nature "pricked him out for woman's pleasure."
  • The temporary protagonist of Crow on the Bridge by Max Frei reminisces meeting one of these, a young man of blinding beauty.
    "Entered the room a young man of such a blinding beauty that to me it seemed not as much pleasant to the eye as absolutely out of place in the given circumstances. Really, here happens such things, I should make the Gloves of Death and it's yet unknown how to survive this fancy-work; civil war continues for umpteenth year in Conjoined Kingdom, and ultimately the world will fall soon; and he walks here with such a look as if a human had no more important task than to look beautiful. My feelings were about these, though when spoken aloud they sound absurd, I see it myself."
  • Edward Cullen, the male vampire and main love interest in The Twilight Saga. He comes with the Bishie Sparkle pre-packaged, and his pretty appearance is described in gushy detail.
  • There are a bunch in A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Ser Loras Tyrell is described as "beautiful" rather than handsome, called "The Knight of Flowers" and wears rainbow armour until he joined the Kingsguard. Of course, this is probably to do with the fact that he's only about sixteen at the start of the series.
    • Joffrey Baratheon — who is said to look like a girl by Jon Snow — and is described as a combination of his sister Myrcella and his uncle/father Jaime (who is also called pretty).
    • Rhaegar Targaryen was a beautiful boy who — despite being a great warrior — was also a sensitive/emo man who liked to play the lyre. Interestingly enough, this trope regularly has a habit of cropping up often enough with Targaryen princes for it to be remarked upon in songs, histories, and stories if they somehow didn't quite fit the white-haired, violet-eyed dream-boat template (as in the case of Rhaenyra Targaryen's boys with Laenor Velaryon). At least, as young men. Staying attractive, however... is not always possible, as the young lads who became Aegon "The Unworthy" and Aerys "The Mad" so dramatically showed. And, as Rhaegar's brother, Visaerys, (although never as pretty as Rhaegar, Viserys still wasn't all that hard on the eyes, either) was beginning to prove in the main series itself, too.
    • "Young Griff" is a beautiful young man who has eyelashes long enough to make most young ladies jealous. He also dyes his hair blue in the Tyroshi manner ostensibly to honour his dead mother — which does absolutely nothing to hide his attractiveness. He's actually the white-haired son of the above-mentioned beautiful Rhaegar and trying to hide the connection... or, at least, he's a very convincing impostor trying to almost hide the connection. Targaryen template: check!
    • The Citadel student Alleras is probably the female Sarella Sand in male disguise, with the result that (s)he fits and is described as being comely, pretty, etc. as opposed to handsome.
    • Satin, a former male prostitute who joins the Night's Watch, is described with pretty characteristics rather than handsome.
  • Dark Life has a male character called Pretty. He's very pretty and usually also very scary.
  • Thomas Raith from The Dresden Files. He is a White Court vampire (aka an incubus). He's got a very pretty face and from the neck down he's built "like the high priest of Bowflex".
  • Marcello Clerici, the protagonist of the 1951 novel The Conformist, is described as very handsome and feminine-looking both in adolescence and adulthood.
  • Galad Damodred from The Wheel of Time is often described as being "almost too handsome for masculinity".
  • Many male characters from The Vampire Diaries novel series, especially Stefan and Damon Salvatore. In the books, Damon is described to be more handsome and edgy while Stefan is described to be more boyish and innocent with finer facial features. So it could be assumed that Stefan fits the description of pretty boy more than Damon.
  • Kavik from Of Fear and Faith is described as quite pretty and handsome. He was relentlessly bullied during his teenage years over this and the resulting stress and anger helped forge the Hot-Blooded Blood Knight we know and love in the story proper.
  • St. John Rivers from Jane Eyre is tall, fair, blue-eyed, and with a Grecian profile and described as extremely handsome several times. Mr Rochester says he's present in Jane's imagination as graceful Apollo.
  • The Reynard Cycle: Tantilis (a man who brought an entire kingdom down in flames) is described as being more beautiful than most women. Apparently, female actors are always hired to portray him during theatrical performances.
  • In Dragon Bones, this is played for drama; Ward notes that Oreg, the Really 700 Years Old Genius Loci of castle Hurog, who was born human, but was Made a Slave to be an immortal slave to the owners of Castle Hurog, is a pretty boy. Ward suspects that some of his rather unsavoury ancestors sexually abused Oreg, and pities him.
  • Protector of the Small's main antagonist, Joren of Stone Mountain, is frequently called lovely and "as rosy-cheeked" as a girl in the narration, and Kel even stops to admire his good looks before he shows himself to be a git. Word of God is that he was based on a real person who was also pretty outside and rotten inside, but there's unintentional ironic value in such a hardline misogynist looking so feminine.
  • The Hunger Games has Finnick Odair, whom Katniss initially dislikes as a "pretty womanizer" and who is very aware of his own attractiveness. It's deconstructed in the last book, however, when it's revealed that particularly physically attractive victors, Finnick included, are forced into prostitution by President Snow.
  • In Kushiel's Legacy, the d'Angeline people tend towards this thanks to angelic blood in their distant ancestry. The men tend to have fine features, little body hair, and not go bald in old age. Discussed when Phèdre explains to foreigners why her companion Joscelin is so darned pretty for a master warrior.
  • Aqib in the novella A Taste of Honey. Even though he's not the best dancer at the prayers, everyone agrees that he's the prettiest one, granting him all the attention. His prettiness and slight built are also some of the things that draws Femysade to him.
  • Eclipse Hunter gives us Daren Solaris, who is so pretty that the series' resident Tsundere bishoujo Action Girl goes into a mad rage when she sees that he normally wears glasses that disguise his prettiness, going as far as to tear his glasses off of his face and grind them into dust. LITERALLY.
  • Rowan in Chronicles Of Magic is known for his handsome, slender features and long blonde hair. Taunted by the soldiers with names like "pretty-boy" and "blondie".
  • Outlander Leander series:
    • Leander, the main character, is a pretty boy. He mentions at one point that his dad wasn't sure if he would turn out pretty or handsome.
    • Valli, who is transgender, is continuously described as beautiful. He's shown binding and getting chest surgery.
  • The Phantom of the Opera’s Raoul de Chagny is described as having the complexion of a girl despite also having a moustache, pretty justifiable In-Universe since Raoul is just shy of 20 years old and has been raised by his older sisters and aunt since childhood.
  • The Ruby Red Trilogy: The physical attractiveness of Gideon and his brother Raphael are noted repeatedly throughout the books, both in the narration (Gwyneth's point of view) and in dialog, primarily discussions between Gwen and her best friend Lesley or Gwen and the gargoyle Xemerius. Their striking green eyes, long eyelashes, and Gideon's pretty, shoulder-length curls are recurring themes.
  • Captive Prince: Prince Laurent is a fine-featured, clear-skinned, leanly muscular blond, which is frequently remarked upon with varying degrees of vulgarity. The viewpoint character Prince Damen spends an inordinate amount of time Eating the Eye Candy. Exploited when Laurent is Disguised in Drag; a soldier even remarks that "Lady Jokaste's" legendary beauty was not exaggerated.
  • The Vipers Scheme: Multiple characters comment on Esares' good looks, with one actually calling him "pretty." It makes sense since he was specifically chosen to go undercover as a Sex Slave and seduce someone. On the whole, he seems to embrace it; he even acknowledges that he doesn't mind wearing makeup and accessories, though it's something he wouldn't have done back home.
  • Sam in These Words Are True and Faithful is a pretty boy, complete with a slight build, which is the reason why Ernie finds Sam attractive and why Rob does not.
    Rob said, "You two can fight over him; he’s too much of a pretty boy for me."
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rowley's favorite singer, Joshie, is more or less described as being one of the sort. Emphasized in The Ugly Truth when Rowley goes to a Joshie concert and notices that he is the only boy in the audience.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Alias: Julian Sark; lampshaded by Daniel Ryan in "Facade", who had never met Sark face-to-face but was informed that the young man (who is around 20 years old at the start of the series) was a pretty boy.
  • Connor from Angel. Willow describes him as Angel's "handsome yet androgynous son". By contrast, his father Angel is a grade-A Hunk (though on one occasion, the Monster of the Week disparagingly refers to him as a "pretty boy").
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • Apollo's Pretty-Boy appeal is the case of Beauty Equals Goodness and he's supposed to possess unnaturally good looks.
    • Starbuck gets mistaken for a girl by one of the androids in "Greetings from Earth". Needless to say, Apollo and Cassiopeia were both amused.
  • Chris Halliwell from Charmed. So much so that Demian from Television Without Pity nicknamed his actor, Drew Fuller, 'The Pretty.'
    Demian: Big Chris's hair has gotten a little shaggy from all the excitement, and sweet Jesus he's pretty. Oops. Sorry. We've known that for nearly a year, haven't we? And yet The Pretty retains its ability to shock on occasion.
  • The 2003 Children of Dune miniseries has a teenage and virginal Leto Atreides II. The camera angles and close-ups often focus on his physical beauty, and it symbolizes what a huge personal sacrifice it is for him to give up his own humanity (by transforming into a grotesque Sand Worm) so that he can initiate the Golden Path and save humankind from extinction.
  • Spencer Reid of Criminal Minds, played by Matthew Gray Gubler. As co-star Shemar Moore bluntly put it, "Matthew is so pretty he's almost a girl." Dr. Reid is practically the living, breathing definition of this trope. Even in-universe, one of his nicknames is "Pretty Boy".
  • Dark Angel has a younger and prettier Jensen Ackles as twins Ben and Alec. The latter wears Stoic Spectacles in one episode.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Jamie's prettiness is actually a Chekhov's Gun in "The Highlanders", where the Doctor gives a speech about how beautiful and fine his features are at the end of the episode to bluff that Jamie's actually a handsome prince.
    • The Eighth Doctor. Some fans jokingly call him The Oncoming Pretty. He's played by young Paul McGann and one of this Doctor's major traits is his Innocent Blue Eyes.
    • The Tenth Doctor. He looks very boyish and wears cute glasses. Female characters on the show think he's pretty, too.
      River Song: Pretty boy! With me I said.
      [Long pause. Donna looks at the Doctor suggestively]
      The Doctor: Oh, I'm "Pretty Boy"!
      Donna: Yes! [shocked at her own enthusiasm] Oh, that came out a bit quick.
    • The version of the Master played by Sacha Dhawan. Floppy hair, Puppy-Dog Eyes, pouty lips, a youthful, clean-shaven, and inappropriately innocent-looking face...not for nothing do The Guardian recaps call him "the hot Master."
  • Friends: Tag Jones is a young man who Rachel hires as her assistant merely because he's so pretty. She first thinks he confused rooms and came to audition for modelling as she works in the fashion industry. Tag has soft, almost feminine features, and almost every woman on the show comments about how hot he is.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jon Snow has a fair, boyish face and long curly black hair. It is something of a running joke that he's prettier than the daughters of most men. He's prettier than half of Craster's daughters, according to Craster himself. And both of Tormund's daughters. He's also called pretty by Orell and Ygritte, Orell claiming that Jon's good looks are the only reason why Ygritte likes him.
    • In the very first episode, Ser Jaime Lannister, queen's twin, is introduced as the most handsome man in the Seven Kingdoms. Jaime's younger brother Tyrion, a dwarf, says that the queen has two brothers, the pretty one and the clever one (himself). As Jaime gets older, his looks get considerably rougher, but his mercenary Bronn says all the ladies still look at him with lust and Bronn snarks that in that regard, he preferred tagging along with the dwarf.
    • Ser Loras Tyrell; George R.R. Martin even described the character as "...the teen idol of Westeros" in this HBO featurette. Sansa Stark has a crush on him because of his good looks. Two lowborn Lannister soldiers consider him to be prettier than the Queen. In "The Climb," Olenna calls Loras "...the pride of Highgarden, the most desirable bachelor in all of the Seven Kingdoms."
    • Lancel Lannister is in his late teens with soft features and golden hair (the hair colour is a Lannister trait). He becomes the Queen's toy boy.
    • Olyvar is a male prostitute of Littlefinger's who fits the physical description of The Twink. His Adonis-like beauty and physique make him very appealing to his clients, which includes Prince Oberyn Martell, who is willing to pay the young man's "wildly expensive" fee.
    • Despite Oberyn's anger at Rhaegar Targaryen's abandonment of Elia, he acknowledges that Rhaegar was beautiful. Petyr Baelish also admits that Rhaegar was incredibly good looking.
    • If you can overlook how insufferable he is, Viserys Targaryen. He's a young exiled prince who has a beautiful face and very blond, almost silver hair.
  • Glee:
  • In The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, we have young Teen Idol Joe Hardy (aka Shaun Cassidy).
    Joe: Just because I'm younger, smaller, and more easily intimidated…?
  • Horatio Hornblower:
    • Young Hornblower. He's tall and of the darker charms, slender, and he has a handsome, pleasant face. Several women flirt with him or fall for him, like Duchess of Wharfedale, Mariette, or Maria Mason.
    • Midshipman (later Lieutenant) Archie Kennedy, played by Jamie Bamber. He has longish fair hair, innocent blue eyes, a chiselled jawline, the cutest smile ever, and has the body of a sailor.
    • Mr. Midshipman Wellard from Series Two is a cutie-pie. Teen-aged, with very fair skin, black hair, dark eyes, and soft features. He is still a fairly competent officer, despite the fact that a mad captain made him his whipping boy.
    • Midshipman Jack Hammond from Series Three. He's very young and good-looking with delicate features. Lt. Bush calls him "little gentleman", although it was a Last-Second Word Swap. He probably wanted to say "little bastard", but you can't really swear at a nephew of a high-ranking, distinguished captain.
  • Many characters Mathew Baynton plays in Horrible Histories—most notably including Charles II and highwayman Dick Turpin—take full and explicit advantage of this trope. To the extent where his HH co-stars' standard (if less-than-serious) response when asked about the show's success is "Mat's eyes".
  • Chase on House, a fair-haired and baby-faced doctor. His prettiness sometimes becomes a plot point. For instance, a Littlest Cancer Patient develops a crush on him and manipulates him into kissing her. Or House bets Chase gets more dates on speeding date night than him, and House stays a medical doctor while Chase takes a personality of a lazy bum.
    Dr. Foreman: Chase, you're a pretty boy. Works well with the ladies, not so much with the patients. No one wants an underwear model performing their splenectomy.
  • On How I Met Your Mother, after Ted and Robin break up, Robin meets a cute Argentinian guy Gael (played by Enrique Iglesias) and they date. Ted is very jealous and describes him as an Adonis. Gael turns out to be just a short-term rebound boyfriend.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • Louis de Pointe du Lac is a slim, very handsome man with fine features and a long neck who can sometimes appear boyish, sports a small goatee, and dresses in very dapper clothes. This results in Love at First Sight from Lestat de Lioncourt, as he's smitten by Louis' good looks, complimenting Louis about them at length with adjectives like "beautiful" and "pretty" (plus being biracial only attracts him more). When Claudia is rescued from a burning house by Louis, she believes that he's a beautiful Black angel.
    • Armand is a young-looking, doe-eyed, gorgeous man, with luscious curls, dainty features, a slender build, and is always clean-shaven. Daniel Molloy disparages his prettiness by referring to him as "the rent boy."
    • Lampshaded by Lestat in the second episode when he describes the most attractive human man at the bar as "the prettiest girl at the party," and he understands why Louis wants to target the sailor because "I admire the aesthetic."
    • In 1973, Louis retains his habit of heading "Straight to the prettiest girl at the party" because he makes a beeline for the 20-year-old Daniel when the latter enters Polynesian Mary's (a gay bar), and Louis immediately flirts with the young man. Daniel is curly-haired with a round face and soft features, and Louis' Affectionate Nickname for him is "boy," which highlights his youth.
  • The Last Kingdom: Aethelred, the arrogant lord of Mercia, is a very good-looking, slender young man. It turns out to be a case of Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon because a cruel sadist lurks behind that pretty face.
  • Law & Order: UK: When he isn't being hit on because of his good looks, the gorgeous DS Matt Devlin (Jamie Bamber) is somehow being insulted because of them—a corrupt cop sneeringly refers to him as "your boy-band partner", and even the man suspected of being behind his murder—he isn't, ironically, sarcastically refers to him as "pretty-boy cop".
  • Legion:
    • David Haller's physical attractiveness is imbued with a boyish quality which includes Innocent Blue Eyes, which serves as a visual shorthand that he's an immature Manchild. Syd thinks he's cute, and Lenny describes him as "Such a pretty boy." When speaking to the rational side of his mind, David tells him, "I am pretty." Although David becomes a supervillain in the Season 2 finale, a residual cuteness in his visage in Season 3 reminds the audience that on an emotional level, he's a lost, little boy with severe abandonment issues who just wants to be loved and Desperately Craves Affection, especially from his biological parents.
    • Charles Xavier has elegant facial features, gentle green eyes, a gracefully long neck and a slim build. His good looks, along with his empathy and kindness, accentuate his image as a romantic figure when he courts Gabrielle, his Love Interest who later becomes his wife. Because they do get married on the show (unlike in the comics), the showrunners wanted to avoid the Ugly Guy, Hot Wife trope by applying Adaptational Attractiveness to Charles in order to present him as one half of a very beautiful couple. note  For viewers who don't read comic books, Charles' prettiness helps them to identify the character as David's biological father when he first appears in Season 3, and it further reinforces the Like Father, Like Son connection.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, Waldreg describes Sauron as being a "beautiful servant" who shall return one day to rule the Southlands. With the revelation that the dashing, Loveable Rogue Halbrand is Sauron in disguise, he wasn't wrong to describe Sauron as such.
  • Merlin:
    • Merlin is a Pretty Boy.
      Barmaid: Mmm, you're an handsome fellow.
      Arthur: Well, just wouldn't be the first to say it.
      Barmaid: Oh. No, sorry. I was talkin' about your friend here. [looks suggestively at Merlin]
      Arthur: [shocked] Him?
      Merlin: [smirks at Arthur] Thank you.
    • Lancelot manages to be a Pretty Boy and a Hunk. Hard to pull off, but it's the Perma-Stubble offsetting the Puppy-Dog Eyes.
  • Mr. Brain: In "Eccentric Neuroscientist vs. Beautiful Revived Ghost" the "beautiful revived ghost" isn't a woman. The ghost is played by the very pretty, yet very male GACKT. Gackt himself finds Gackt rather tasty.
  • Murdoch Mysteries:
    • James Gillies is pretty for a man, which no doubt helps him to pass himself off as a woman when he wishes to elude the police or frame a female character for murder.
    • Leslie Garland is a handsome youth and a law student. When constable Henry Higgins tries to console constable George Crabtree over his apparent jealousy and hurt feelings (because Crabtree courted Dr. Grace who liked him, but then was very much interested in Leslie Garland), he says that Leslie is pretty—almost too pretty for a man.
    • Johnny Brackenreid, a teenage son of Inspector Brackenreid. He's a lovely boy with soft features, fair hair, and fair face. He's a major theatre buff like his father and even performs in amateur productions. He happens to play a female role and embraces it so much that his father is worried he might be "a nancy boy". When John comes of age, he wants to follow in his father's footsteps and joins the Toronto Constabulary, thus becoming the youngest, prettiest Fair Cop of Station House 4.
  • Cyrus from Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, who is referred to being a Pretty Boy explicitly by the Red Queen.
  • Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders, played by Cillian Murphy, has a beautiful face with big blue eyes. He's also rather small, but his 5'7 height is never remarked upon, presumably because everyone is afraid of him.
  • Poldark: Captain Ross Poldark, Esq. played by renowned beautiful man, Aidan Turner. "Let the swooning commence."
  • Prison Break: Michael (Wentworth Miller) is the perfect combination of prettiness and manliness.
    T-Bag: One thing's for sure, you just as pretty as advertised. Prettier even.
  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch arranges a literal date with Destiny. Turns out Destiny is a Pretty Boy these days (played by Brian McFayden. Even his horses are gorgeous (according to Sabrina, anyway).
    Sabrina: Sorry, I was expecting you to be—
    Destiny: Old as time, long white beard, robe, chariot. Most women prefer this look, but I can change if you want
    Sabrina: No, that's fine.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel: Percy's friend Lord Tony Dewhurst is an endearing slender young man; he's golden-haired, blue-eyed, fair-faced, and has an adorable stutter. Played by 25-year-old Jamie Bamber.
  • Skins gives us a Cast Full of Pretty Boys on the male side, which has to do with the aversion of Dawson Casting and the fact that the characters are played by teenage actors.
    • Tony Stonem of the first generation is played by then 18-19-year-old Nicholas Hoult, which gives us a tall, lean male Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette with glazing blue eyes and a complexion which several Southern Belles could be jealous of. His attractiveness, along with being The Ace and The Charmer allows him to become the male vamp of the series. One of the very first scenes involving him actually shows the entire population of an all-girls school and their female teacher fawning over Tony.
    • Maxxie Oliver, played by the blond and gorgeous teenage Mitch Hewer, is even prettier than Tony. He's also a token gay character in the first generation, an aspiring dancer and a talented artist, and frequently used in the show as Mr. Fanservice; all of which somewhat play up the "pretty boy" aspect of the character. Also, he briefly catches the attention of womanizer Tony and, despite being widely known as gay, gains a very driven female Stalker with a Crush.
    • Freddie McLair of the second generation is very much Tall, Dark, and Handsome but has a slender, boyish build and a very pretty face with big brown eyes (stated by his father to look just like Freddie's mother's), long eyelashes, and full lips. He has also the two would-be queen bees of the group competing over him at some time.
    • The third generation's resident gay character Alex Henley is a good example. He's one of the physically slimmest characters in the series and also has a pretty face and fairly large eyes, making him an example of this trope.
    • Rich of the same generation is one of the most youthful-looking males in the series and has a soft face, big eyes, and delicate skin. Those features become especially visible after his Expository Hairstyle Change.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • Narek is attractive enough to catch the eye of Soji's Trill friend from a distance, who had no idea up until that moment that a Romulan could be so hot, to which Soji agrees. His most beautiful physical feature are his expressive, gentle blue eyes, and when combined with his curly hair, he has a softer, warmer demeanour than most Romulans, who are usually severe and cold. He exploits this along with his charm to seduce Soji as a Honey Trap. Hugh describes Narek as a dashing young Romulan spy.
    • At least as pretty and more androgynous-looking (being long-haired and clean-shaven) is Elnor, the elfeminate Romulan swordsman played by real-life model Evan Evagora. He's basically a dark-haired Legolas. In addition, he was raised by an all-female order of warrior nuns, gaining him the unflattering epithet "sisterboy."
  • Supernatural:
    • Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). His face combines prettiness and manliness, and although he's roughened slightly with age, he's still quite pretty.
    • Sam Winchester is rather pretty for the first season or two, with his soft features and flowing bangs, and he isn't even really growing facial hair at this point. He grows into his features around Season 5 and 6 and goes full Hunk.
    • Castiel (Misha Collins), an angel who ups the ante by also being slender and the shortest (barely) of the main trio. Co-star Jared Padalecki has said of Collins: "With those big blue eyes, he can't play a demon. They're like, 'awww... he's too pretty'." Lampshaded in-universe:
      Japanese Game-Show Host: Mr. Trickster does not like pretty-boy angels!
  • Jonah Simms from Superstore is a pretty young man with white skin and black hair (almost of Raven Hair, Ivory Skin appeal). His appearance is often commented on: he gets likened to a male Tinker Bell, he's said to have geisha features, or that he looks like an elf or a baby of a panda and a Disney princess.
    Jonah: The other night, when we were all locked in the store, Dina kind of... came on to me.
    Garrett: Wow.
    Jonah: Yeah, right?
    Garrett: I didn't know Dina was into fancy little porcelain doll-men.
  • Steve Harrington from Stranger Things is a popular jock with a slender build, boyish good-looks and well-groomed '80s Hair.
  • Michael Kelso from That '70s Show, who describes himself as "man-pretty". Donna once tells him that he's "pretty like a girl", and he agrees.
  • In Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood, we have Sharp-Dressed Man Ianto Jones, whom John Hart frequently refers to as "Eye Candy".
  • The bouncy, sunny Hypomaniac, Campbell Bain (Played by a very young David Tennant) in the Scottish miniseries Takin' Over the Asylum.
  • The White Queen: Richard, Duke of Gloucester begins the series as a sweet, adorable, and innocent youngster, with cherubic features to match, including curly hair. When coupled with his shorter height relative to his brothers, they signal visually that he's The Baby of the Bunch among the York siblings. Anne Neville, his childhood friend, has a Puppy Love crush on him. When Richard reaches adulthood, his big, expressive green eyes, long eyelashes, the well-defined cupid's bow of his lips and his rounder face give him a softer appearance than his brothers, and he's kinder and more gentlemanly than they are. His elegant looks conveniently accentuate the image of a romantic hero when he takes on a Knight in Shining Armor / Prince Charming role during his Rescue Romance with Anne.
  • Without a Trace's Martin Fitzgerald is referred to as a "choirboy" by a prostitute who turns out to be an undercover vice cop. Whether because she's trying to maintain her facade or is genuinely ridiculing him over his boyish good looks is unclear.

  • In Toni Basil's one-hit wonder "Mickey", she tells her Love Interest:
    Oh Mickey, you're so fine
    You're so fine, you blow my mind

    Oh Mickey, you're so pretty, can't you understand?
  • Depeche Mode has a song entitled "What's Your Name?" (although it's sometimes referred to as "Pretty Boy"), and the chorus is:
    Hey you're such a pretty boy
    Hey you're such a pretty boy
    Hey you're such a pretty boy
    You're so pretty
  • Eminem's appearance led to him becoming a Teen Idol in 1999 despite really being a Hardcore Hip Hop artist who rapped Black Comedy Horrorcore scenarios about murder and suicide. In one of Insane Clown Posse's Diss Tracks against Eminem, "Nothing But a Bitch Thang", they insult him by saying he makes "prettyboy rap" for an audience of infatuated eleven-year-old girls. Eminem himself was aware of his prettiness and proud of it, self-describing as 'cute' and 'pretty' in several of his songs - most acidly in "White America", a song calling out the racism that led to him becoming so much bigger a star than his black contemporaries, in which he points out that his supposed cuteness is really just him being white enough to fit the beauty standard.
  • Paul McCartney's song "Pretty Boys" from the album McCartney III is about just that, reflecting on how male models make a career out of being valued only for their good looks.
    Cause here come the pretty boys
    They're gonna set your world on fire
    Objects of desire
    Preaching to the choir
    They can talk, but they never say much

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Norse Mythology
    • Balder is so pretty that everything in the universe that can pledges their love to him.
    • Loki. Even in the post-Christianization days, he's described as "pleasing and handsome" (an alternate translation is "beautiful and comely," which is closer to our modern definition of a Pretty Boy) in appearance, and has a lithe frame.
  • Greek Mythology:
    • The ultimate Greek mythology Pretty Boy: Apollo. Look how all the nymphs agree. He was the ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth).
    • Greek god Dionysus is portrayed as youthful Pretty Boy in some depictions, such as Euripides' Bacchae. In the myths proper, he's an Unkempt Beauty who enjoys mysteriously losing his clothes and throwing legendarily wild parties. Although if you get him mad, he will drive you insane or rip you apart with his bare hands. Many view him as a Foil to Apollo as the "Chaos" to Apollo's "Order."
    • Eros aka Cupid or Amor is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction, and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the goddess of love Aphrodite/Venus. In Classical Greek art, he's a slender youth with wings. Later on, he was portrayed as a chubby boy.
    • Homer described Ganymede as the most beautiful of all mortals, on top of the fact that he's the only of Zeus' lovers that was ever made immortal, is also quite telling.
    • The Greeks had an odd subtrope: Pretty Boy Dies and Is Turned Into a Flower.
      • Apollo's lover, Hyacinth, was very handsome, athletic, and beautiful. Zephyr also desired him, and a Love Triangle ensured. When Hyacinth died (because of jealous Zephyr), Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, from his spilled blood.
      • Narcissus was way hot and beautiful, and proud of it. Nymph Echo fell in love with him, but he was not into her. Goddess of revenge, Nemesis, took Narcissus to a pool where he saw his own reflection and fell in love with it, not realizing it was merely an empty image. He stayed there until he died. After he died, in his place sprouted a flower bearing his name.
      • Adonis, who's So Beautiful, It's a Curse. He was so lovely that the goddess Aphrodite herself fell in love with him, among other gods and goddesses. (The word "adonis" is often used in modern times to describe this very archetype.) One day Adonis was gored by a wild boar during a hunting trip and died in Aphrodite's arms as she wept. His blood mingled with her tears and became the anemone flower.
      • Mecon was Demeter's boyfriend, a beautiful young Athenian man, who was turned into a poppy.
  • Christianity:
    • In canon, Jesus was described as The Nondescript, plain-looking enough that Romans couldn't tell him apart from any of the other Jews. In fanon, however, this is the overwhelming interpretation. People want their messiah to look good, of course, but the idea of Jesus as the Hunk—big, strong, physically imposing—seems at odds with his characterization. Thus people have landed on the idea of Jesus as attractive, but slight and with soft features. He doesn't have a powerful body; he has powerful words and ideas. Art often makes Jesus a Long-Haired Pretty Boy too. Unlike many pretty boys, though, he is often depicted as bearded. This dates to early Greek and Roman portals of him that drew upon artistic tropes of the time: the bearded Greek philosopher (beard denoting wise teacher) and powerful bearded top gods like Jupiter and Serapis (beard denoting divinity).
    • Saint Sebastian, one of the most popular martyrs in Christian iconography, is traditionally depicted as a beautiful young man with no facial hair — tied, almost naked and in agony as he is being shot by arrows, looking up to heaven. Sometimes a Long-Haired Pretty Boy as well.
    • Lucifer has sometimes been depicted as a graceful and beautiful man. A good example would be the French statue “Le génie du mal.
  • Celtic Mythology:
    • Cu Chulainn is described in Celtic Mythology as a very attractive man of the elfish, smooth-faced sort, at least when he wasn't in a warp spasm.
    • Aengus Og, the god of love, is noted for his youthful good looks by the other gods.
  • Hindu Mythology: Krishna is a male deity often depicted in art as a pretty young man. His name could mean either "Black" or "Beautiful", and he also had a bit of a following of squeeing "fangirls" among the milk maids (or gopis). He was the Ur-Example of a "Teen Heart-throb" though it's emphasized it has more to do with a "divine love" component rather than just being, "Oh wow, he's cute!"


    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Pretty boy Pit bull Kenny King. On the 9/26/2013 TNA Impact, Austin Aries split him open, and Kenny's response was to get in front of the camera and boast "I'm still pretty!"

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000!! (as "pretty boy" as you can get in the ultra-gritty universe):
    • The Eldar (elf). Described as such: "The Eldar are physically similar to humans, but with longer, cleaner limbs, slim and elegant features, pointed ears, and penetrating eyes."
    • The Primarch of the Blood Angels, Sanguinius, who has angel wings and everything (of course, his death caused all the Super Soldier armies based on him to become bloodthirsty and prone to going insane). Additionally the chapters based on Sanguinius' gene seed are also noted as being somewhat prettier than the other marines.
    • The Emperor's Children (Chaos) Space Marine Legion. So pretty that they are derisively referred to as "peacocks" by most of the other legions while they are still loyal to the Imperium's cause. Their primarch, Fulgrim, is one of the prettiest humans alive. Furthermore, even after falling to Chaos, they continue trying to make themselves look as alluring and attractive as possible, part of their pact with the Chaos god Slaanesh. It doesn't help that their armour is various shades of purple and pink… The pre-Heresy Emperor's Children were just as brutal and ruthless as any other Space Marines, so looks can be deceiving.
  • "Pretty Boy Look" is an Advantage in GURPS (introduced in GURPS Mecha), which works like Attractive, except the bonus to reaction roles apply to both sexes. In 4e the same Advantage is simply named "Androgynous".

  • Tanz Der Vampire:
    • Herbert von Krolock is one of these whenever the actor's makeup can create the effect, and the results tend to be stunning.
    • His father, Graf von Krolock, is an older example. He looks like the less fortunate end result of the formula "Pretty Boy + age + suffering and guilt". That being said, Krolock is getting played by increasingly younger and more handsome actors, and his makeup (at least for the Russian and 2019 Vienna productions) has eased up on the "age" part. Compare Mark Seibert in Hamburg and Vienna.
  • Roger in RENT describes himself as "the pretty-boy front man" in "One Song Glory". The implication is that he thinks his modest success as a musician has all been attributable to his looks. But he's just as likely to actually be played by a more ruggedly handsome actor, although he is the Tenor Boy.
  • It's implied in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street that Sweeney was one fifteen years prior to the start of the play, before his Break the Cutie process started.
    Mrs Lovett: There was a barber and his wife… and he was beautiful…
  • Elisabeth:
    • Death. His prettiness is even mentioned in the libretto, which referred to him as an "androgynous pop star". He's been played by a whole fleet of pretty actors and actresses. It's an advantage because he is meant to seduce Elisabeth and Rudolf, either as an outside Grim Reaper entity or a manifestation/artistic interpretation of the characters' suicidal ideation.
    • Rudolf is very pretty in some productions. It's helped by some actors having played both Death and Rudolf, most commonly in the Takarazuka Revue, but other productions (such as Toho with Furukawa Yuta) have also gotten in on casting former Rudolfs as Deaths. It creates a contrast with his father Franz Joseph, who is typically played by (non-Takarazuka, that is) actors hewing closer to masculinity, and emphasizes how much the Crown Prince takes after the Empress.
  • In Cirque du Soleil's Crystal, the male love interest is typically portrayed by an androgynous, often Asian aerialist.
  • Westeros: An American Musical: Jon Snow is called "that pretty crow" in one of the songs, "crow" being the nickname given to people in Jon's line of work by the speaker. The play also cast a woman for Jon's role.

    Video Games 
  • Link of The Legend of Zelda in most of his incarnations, especially Breath of the Wild. He most often tends to be portrayed as a slender, somewhat androgynous young man to the point that some players have even initially thought he's a girl.
  • In Persona 4, Teddie's human form makes extensive use of the Bishie Sparkle to manipulate women that he comes across. Not to mention, during the crossdressing scene, he was the only one able to pull off looking like a girl. One male commentator from the audience even exclaims "I'd hit that."
  • Leon Kennedy of Resident Evil fame. Lampshaded in the Resident Evil 4 (Remake), where Krauser explicitly refers to Leon as a pretty boy.
  • Male blood elves in World of Warcraft, even though they can have a little bit of facial hair. Lampshaded in some of their /silly and /flirt emotes. A silly—"Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"
  • Johnny Cage of the Mortal Kombat series, though Johnny himself is the one who enforces it. He constantly refers to himself as "pretty" and is always praising his own good looks. Even one of his battle cries revolves around how pretty he thinks he is:
    Johnny: Oh yeah! I'm so pretty!
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer takes this concept into an odd place by making the resident Pretty Boy, Gannayev, a Cute Monster Guy member of a species otherwise known for being invariably hideous. Creator Chris Avellone's response to the reason for this basically boils down to: "Because."
  • Nightwing in Batman: Arkham City lives up to his comic book counterpart's reputation as a Pretty Boy. It's even commented on by some of the mooks, who express an interest in making him much less pretty.
  • Dragon Age:
    • Fenris from Dragon Age II, an elf with white hair and body tattoos made out of lyrium, and also happens to wear skin-tight clothing. You can, of course, compliment his looks when flirting with him, which sometimes results in him giggling.
    • Dorian from Dragon Age: Inquisition is very pretty and very aware of it. One of his battle cries is even "I'm too pretty to die!"
      Iron Bull: Watch yourself. The pretty ones are always the worst.
  • Rhys from Tales from the Borderlands is regarded to be pretty handsome in-universe, so much so that Vaughn says that when the two of them were in college, Rhys was able to get into parties based solely on looks.
  • Most of the male characters in the Dark Parables lean more toward the Hunk category. However, in the seventh game Ballad of Rapunzel, two young men are encountered in the bonus chapter who are very Pretty Boys. Kai and Gwyn were previously encountered in an earlier installment as young boys; ten years have passed and they are all grown up. They return as main characters in The Thief and the Tinderbox, set a few years later, and are still quite pretty.
  • Ellis from Left 4 Dead 2 's facial features are based on an actual male model, which is part of the reason why most Left 4 Dead fanworks involve him in some way.
  • Subverted in Ride to Hell: Retribution. One of the bosses is nicknamed Pretty Boy, but when you finally meet him, it proves to be an Ironic Nickname: he's bald, noticeably muscular, and has horrible burn scars over half of his body.
  • Connor of Detroit: Become Human. While he's tall, he has a slender, almost delicate build and big brown Puppy-Dog Eyes.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty introduces Raiden, with shoulder-length blonde hair that gets him mistaken for a girl, long eyelashes, and a slim figure with wide hips. Even being converted into a cyborg doesn't keep him from having a pretty, sad-puppy look to his face in the next game he appears in, and being tauntingly called "pretty boy" by his enemies in his spinoff. Interestingly, this effect was very intentional for a series full of grizzled supersoldiers; Hideo Kojima reportedly received fan letters from women stating that they didn't want to play video games where they had to play as "old men", and designed Raiden to be an "exceptionally beautiful man" to appeal to women, baffling his staff and character designers.
  • Ky Kiske of Guilty Gear is a fit and handsome young man to contrast with his rival Sol Badguy. Several characters have commented on his androgynous looks, sometimes even comparing him to a woman. Jam in particular finds him rather attractive and flirts with him to no avail.

    Visual Novels 
  • Sunrider:
    • Veniczar Fontana, whose pretty boy good looks are commented on by several characters. The Sunrider Academy Highschool AU plays it for laughs: he initially gets the entire female student body’s vote during the campaign for student council president simply because they think he’s hot, and the “secret weapon” he employs during the final round of speeches is just him ripping off his shirt to let the ladies have their fill of the eye candy.
    • Kayto Shields is something of a pretty boy. In Sunrider Academy, Cullen even calls him a “flimsy she-man” at one point during Asaga’s route.
  • Miles Edgeworth in Ace Attorney is regarded by multiple characters as being pretty handsome, and in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, Shi-Long Lang often refers to him as "pretty boy".
  • Arsenik and Night are the pretty boys of War: 13th Day. Arsenik is keenly seen as a Lust Object by the Valkyrie women, while Night is so handsome that it's even possible for the woman he blackmails to develop feelings for him. But given the game's Unreliable Narrator, this may or may not be entirely accurate...
  • The protagonist of the animesque visual novel Missing Stars, Eric, is a handsome teenage boy who is more than a bit pretty.

  • Rieken in A Distant Soil fits perfectly, down to white hair so long it drags on the ground. The twist, though, is that despite being so very pretty, he is probably the most supernaturally powerful being alive.
  • Young Bernard from Angel Down was rather handsome, and his slinder build and longer hair gives him a anotably androgynous look. His older form is notably more masculine.
  • Rabbit from Skins. Slender, tall, and lean but muscled, he has no body or facial hair and has really pretty features.
  • Parody/subversion: This strip from the Stick-Figure Comic Stickman and Cube has the cartoonist supposedly draw the two characters as Pretty Boys. The joke is that they look exactly the same, being of course a stickman and a cube, except with added Bishie Sparkle. But... so bishie!
  • Maxim in Girl Genius, sporting a narrower, pointier face, thinner build, and longer, bishi-er hair than his compatriots Dimo and Oggie, very nearly fits here. There are only a couple things off: First, he has purple skin, smiles too much, smiles too big, and has a mouth full of sharp teeth, all because he is a Jaegermonster. Second, he's too fun-loving, upbeat, and goofy, also because he is a Jaegermonster. Third, his personality is far too distinctive. Other than that he fits perfectly. Foglio has said that he designed Maxim for fun, to see if he could draw a bishonen Jaeger. Well, he can! Though as the strip progresses, his art evolves away from this trope, with his nose in particular starting to emulate Pinocchio.
  • Silver Bullet Nights has Jekkel. Long-haired and albino, he's definitely Pretty Boy material. Of course, his almost spiritual beauty doesn't detract from the fact that he's Axe-Crazy.
  • The title character from Terinu is definitely bishie, coming from a genetically uplifted race designed to look cute. Being marsupials, even the females are fairly androgenous in appearance (flat-chested after all).
  • The Cyantian Chronicles: Jules thinks that Sean is pretty. Although that might just be because of his beautiful wings.
  • Blip portrays Lucifer as Pretty Boy. At one point, Luc meets an angel who is his exact double. His reaction: "I'm... gorgeous!"
  • Tom from Khaos Komix. Being fantastically handsome comes hand in hand with being FtM transgender, at least for him. He doesn't have any of the typical personality traits, however, being Straight Gay bordering on Manly Gay.
  • Oswald of Knights Errant gets special mention for being known as a Pretty Boy in-story and being transgender. Most of the other characters aren't too bad-looking either.
  • In Moon Crest 24, Dwayne certainly falls under this category. Specially after his introduction where he refers to himself as a Bishonen, which is the Japanese counterpart of Pretty Boy.
  • Rolan of Ears for Elves is the long-haired type. The artist has even described him as a bishie a couple times, and circles and pentagons follow him when he's being cute just as flowers appear around Myari.
  • Homestuck: Because the art is stylised so readers can't really tell, but Meenah outright describes Rufioh as a Bishonen in one flash. These good looks together with his kind, relaxed personality apparently made him very popular with the other trolls.
  • El Goonish Shive: Tedd isn't quite a classic Pretty Boy, but he is still both androgynous enough and attractive enough when he takes his glasses off to cause homophobic bully Tony to go into full-scale panic.

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • The Critic. Even he lampshaded it in the Battlefield Earth review by trying to say he got more handsome, but couldn't do it and chose "pretty" instead.
    • The forgotten guy (Dan Roth) in The Nostalgia Chick's show. Even though they forget he exists constantly, the Chick dated him in high school, Maven tried to bite his neck and Elisa was paired with him during the fucked up Parody Commercials.
  • David Chapman from you could make a life, although his asocial and insecure personality leaves him unaware of it.
    Jake: You have no idea what you look like, do you? Dude, Team USA used to call you the pretty boy.
    David: I doubt it was a compliment.
    Jake: From them, no. From me, totally. They were just jealous because their girlfriends all thought you were adorable.

    Web Video 
  • The digital series Pretty Dudes is built on this trope. In the first two episodes main characters call out how "pretty" they are in dialogue and narration, all under the concept of a quickly disproven "pretty boy curse." One character's girlfriend even breaks up with him claiming that he's just too pretty.

    Western Animation 
  • The Venture Bros.: Dean Venture. Given the character's design and the fact that he is drawn as a handsome young man with very youthful, boyish features, he manages to attract a certain level of beauty. He's also a frequent Chick Magnet.
  • Teen Titans (2003):
    • Aqualad is a slim, long-haired boy who is so pretty that he makes Raven (who is normally The Stoic) lovestruck.
    • Just like in the comics, Robin counts. It's even more pronounced when he grows into Nightwing. He lacks the muscular body of his comic version and instead trades it in for long hair and a skinny body.
  • Adrien Agreste/Cat Noir from Miraculous Ladybug is very slender with fine facial features. He's even a model!
  • Arcane: While Jayce's shirtless scenes show him being quite muscular, he is far leaner than his game counterpart. He is shown being a handsome young scientist, who attracts the attention of Mel Merdara, and Vi even calls him "pretty boy" jokingly.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender wouldn't be Animesque without a few of these.
    • In the original Avatar: The Last Airbender series:
      • Haru is the most classical example: long hair, a long face with narrow eyes, and generally smooth features. It's due in part to the art in his introductory episode; on his return, he's grown a moustache and has a slightly squarer face. Parodied in this fan video, which advertises a beauty product to make you almost (but not quite) as pretty as him.
      • Zuko manages to be quite the pretty boy in spite of the horrible burn scar that mars a large portion of his face, his prettiness is accentuated in seasons two and three after his hair grows out and softens the harsher edges of said scar.
      • When Big Bad and Evil Overlord Fire Lord Ozai finally shows his face, he turns out to be one. You'd expect a family resemblance, between him, Zuko, and Azula but still very unexpected for anyone who expected this evil, shadowy figure to have a suitably monstrous appearance. Subsequent appearances are used to demonstrate that, looks aside, he is as monstrous as they come.
  • Ben 10: Ben, in contrast to Kevin's Hunk, has slim features and large expressive green eyes. Also Alan Albright in Alien Force and Ultimate Alien.
  • Chip Skylark from The Fairly OddParents!. Not only does every woman in town Squee over him, so does Timmy's dad.
  • Terry McGinnis in Batman Beyond, fitting with the Chick Magnet nature of all Batman iterations. In addition to the normal high school girls who fawn over him, he also manages a few instances of Dating Catwoman thanks to his good looks.
  • Lance from Sym-Bionic Titan is pretty. Most of the girls at Sherman High swoon over him.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, Zarkon's son Lotor, when compared to other Galra, who look more alien, his fine facial features stand out. Given that he's half-Altean on his mother's side, this makes sense.
  • Baron Helmut Zemo in Avengers Assemble's fifth season, has a more attractive face, due to becoming younger by the Super Soldier Serum.



Underneath his mask, Balan is a tall pretty-boy.

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