The color red is often associated with courage, vigor, strength, rage, drive, and various other traits attributed to males. This can be found in fiction as well where red is worn by hypermasculine men and boys.
The association between masculinity and the color red can partly be explained by men's relationship with violence. Since red is the color of blood, it has historically been associated with danger, courage, and sacrifice. And for most of human history, warfare and bloodshed have almost exclusively been the domain of men.
Originally, pink, which is a shade of red, was considered a masculine color. Over time, pink became associated with femininity and (female) sensuality, thus Pink Girl, Blue Boy became the default colors for genders after the 20th century. These days, males who wear pink tend to be accused of being less masculine.
This trope can overlap with Fire Is Masculine in cases where Fire Is Red. It can also overlap with Red Is Violent, Red Is Heroic, and Fiery Red Head (if the male character also has red hair). Pink Means Feminine is the variant for girly girls since pink is just a lighter shade of red. See Lady in Red for when the color red is associated with female sensuality. Expect this character to be the Red Oni in Red Oni, Blue Oni.
The polar opposite and Distaff Counterpart to True Blue Femininity.
A Sub-Trope of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics.
Note: A male character simply wearing red does not qualify for this trope. To qualify they must possess extreme takes on stereotypical masculine traits such as courage, strength, muscles, pride, loudness, etc.
- Shotaro Kaneda is a tough, cocky Japanese Delinquent who participates in street fights, does drugs, leads a biker gang, and tends to leap before he looks. He also wears a red motorcycle jacket and rides a red Cool Bike.
- After his more confident and violent personality shift, Tetsuo starts wearing a red cape.
- Captain Harlock is Leiji Matsumoto's ideal of masculinity, brave, strong, determined. He also has a cape lined on the inside with red velvet, which is commonly seen thanks to the Dramatic Wind that seems to follow the man everywhere.
- Digimon Adventure 02:
- Daisuke is the most stereotypically masculine of the male Chosen Children, being hotheaded, impulsive, and competitive to a fault. He has burgundy hair, wears a jacket with a red flame design and his first Digi-Egg of Courage is red.
- Digimon Tamers: Invoked in the English dub; when designing Guilmon, Takato gives him a red color scheme because the color symbolizes power.
- Digimon Frontier: Takuya wears red in both human and Digimon form. He is the most hotheaded and passionate of the male characters.
- Digimon Data Squad: Masaru is a Hot-Blooded street fighter who loves a good brawl.. His outfits feature either orange or red.
- Digimon Adventure 02:
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward Elric wears a red coat and is shown as a muscular, angry, and heroic character who often works with the military.
- My Hero Academia: The testosterone-obsessed Kirishima has blood-red hair (it was originally black, but he dyed it) and adopts the codename Red Riot. His namesake, the hero Crimson Riot, is similarly known for his manly attitude.
- Pokémon Origins: Invoked. Red says he was given his name by his father who hoped that Red would have the "passion and energy of a red hot fire".
- The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World: The eponymous character is a male hero who is passionate about everyone and everything, wields the power of fire and is overall a Hot-Blooded Stock Shōnen Hero.
- Saint Seiya: The titular character is a stubborn, impulsive, and headstrong teenage boy who wears red clothes underneath his silver armor.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann:
- Kamina wears red shades and a red cape. He is a boisterous, well-built young man who prides himself on being "manly and tough".
- Kamina takes the red motif after Ryoma Nagare from Getter Robo, who wears a red scarf and is similarly boisterous and Hot-Blooded, to the point of not being quite sane. Ryoma also pilots the Getter 1, which gives the resulting Getter Robo combination a mostly red color.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: When Rei Saotome attempted to enroll Duel Academia during Judai's first year, she disguised herself as a boy, and therefore was placed in the Osiris Red dorm where's donning the Red dorm's boys uniform. Had she not done that, she might have been placed in Obelisk Blue like all the others girls. When she finally officially enrolls Duel Academia during Judai's third year, she decides not to wear the Obelisk Blue girls uniform and wears an Osiris Red uniform instead, with an open jacket and hot pants instead of a miniskirt. She continues to talk like a boy despite not trying to hide her gender again.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: While Jack Atlas mostly wears white, his ace monster is Red Dragon Archfiend, a fiery red dragon with a Heroic Build along with high ATK and powerful destruction effects, reflecting his fierce and Hot-Blooded personality and aggressive Dueling style. His Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V incarnation takes the theming further, with almost every card in his deck having either "Red" in its name or a fiery motif, and while he's a bit more subdued there, he's still a passionate, hot-blooded Duelist.
- The DCU:
- Green Arrow: Roy Harper is a roguish lady's man with Perma-Stubble and tattoos. He primarily wears red superhero outfits, especially in his Red Arrow alias.
- Green Lantern: Guy Gardner is the most stereotypically masculine of the male Earth Lanterns, being brash, violent, and having an appreciation for the opposite sex. He has red hair and has been a Red Lantern twice.
- Hellboy: The titular character is a Big Red Devil with a gruff exterior and a love for drinking, fighting, and smoking.
- Beauty and the Beast: The exaggeratedly manly Gaston wears a deep red costume in contrast to the earth tones of the rest of the village and Belle's True Blue Femininity dress.
- 300: The Spartan Army wears red capes. They are also passionate, proud, muscular, and vicious fighters.
- Blades of Glory: Chazz is as macho as a figure skater can get and often wears red, including his costume for the final performance. This is contrasted with his effeminate partner Jimmy, who wears blue.
- Sky High: Both the Commander and Jetstream's outfits feature the colors red, white, and blue. However, the Commander's outfit has a bodysuit that is mostly red, and he possesses Super Strength and Super Toughness, powers more stereotypical for male heroes. By contrast, his wife Jetstream has a mostly white costume and has the power of Flight.
- The Eye of Argon: The protagonist, Grignr, is a classic Barbarian Hero (i.e. excessively macho and badass) with a "surly [sic] red mane."
- Cobra Kai: After reinventing himself as the more confident and thuggish Hawk, Eli Moskowitz gets a red-tipped mohawk and a tattoo of a hawk to reflect his new, more manly persona.
- Power Rangers: Most Red Rangers are male and a number of them have very typical masculine traits.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
- Jason Lee Scott is The Leader, speaks in a very loud tone, commands a Tyrannosaurus Animal Mecha (which later becomes a dragon) and participates in just about any athletic activity under the sun from martial arts to weightlifting to scuba diving.
- Jason's successor Rocky DeSantos also qualifies to an extent, being a Boisterous Bruiser who also enjoys athletics and has a big appetite.
- Power Rangers Zeo: Zigzagged with Tommy. He has a number of qualities in common with Jason such as being the leader and loving martial arts but these were established before he became a Red Ranger.
- Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: Leo commands the Lion Galactabeast. He is also brave to the point of impulsiveness and gets quite a few shirtless scenes showing off his impressive physique.
- Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue: Carter Grayson consistently proves himself to be the bravest of his team through his actions; he is the first of the newly recruited Rangers to take the threat of the demons seriously, tries to run the Monster of the Week over with a Humvee in the first episode, nearly blows himself up to take out a monster in another episode, volunteers to infiltrate the villains' lair in order to save the Sixth Ranger in the finale and is the first to rush towards a fire disaster in the finale without a morpher.
- Power Rangers Ninja Storm: Shane and Hunter are the Red Wind Ranger and Crimson Thunder Ranger respectively. Both have typical alpha male personalities, being cocky, over-competitive, and quick to action. This is perhaps best exemplified in "Boxing Bop-a-Roo" which deals with the two having a rivalry over who is the best.
- Power Rangers: Dino Thunder: Conner McKnight is a soccer jock who is, at least initially, rather boorish. In one episode, unlocking the final stage of his powers involves him screaming at the top of his lungs.
- Power Rangers Mystic Force: Nick is the most Hot-Blooded of the Rangers, is the first to volunteer to go into a forest everyone else is afraid in the first episode, and has a Cool Bike (that isn't Ranger equipment).
- Power Rangers Operation Overdrive: Mack is a sports enthusiast and has a love of adventure. Becoming the Red Ranger is a dream come true for him.
- Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers:
- That '70s Show: Played with regarding Reginald "Red" Forman. He is a gruff, no-nonsense who enjoys stereotypical masculine pastimes like sports, hunting, and fishing. While Red doesn't exclusively wear the color red, his nickname does invoke this trope.
- Mesopotamian Mythology: Nergal's color motif is red. He is the God of Fire, the sun, war and destruction, and is noted for being hot-tempered.
- Warhammer: The forces of the Chaos God of Violence, Khorne, primarily wear red, are generally muscular, and focus almost entirely on aggressive melee combat, eschewing most forms of ranged attacks and forsaking the concept of magic. What few magical effects are present take the form of fire and heated weapons.
- Tahu, Toa of Fire of BIONICLE is the hot-headed, short-fused and occasionally thoughtlessly aggressive leader of the Toa Mata team whose solution to problems was to burn stuff. He often butted heads with Gali, the mature but similarly emotional female Toa of Water and Kopaka, the aloof Toa of Ice who had no patience for Tahu's boastful brashness. They gradually mellowed out and came to respect each other, and Tahu matured into a compassionate leader. Other Fire Toa like Vakama and Jaller were specifically written as counterpoints to Tahu to avoid the same trappings.
- Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice is passionate and headstrong, with a "passionate heart burning red". Red is also his favorite color and is featured prominently in his outfits.
- Borderlands 2: Mister Torgue is a muscular Manly Man obsessed with explosions, to the point of screwing up a task just because of the mere possibility of a massive explosion. While he goes shirtless, he wears a red cap on his head, and the higher rarity Torgue weapons tend to have red stripes somewhere on their frames.
- Devil May Cry: Dante wears a red Badass Longcoat and is a fearless demon hunter who loves a good fight.
- Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance: Red Magnus has red skin, loves muscles and tests of strength, and is as macho as a guy could be.
- Duke Nukem: The titular hero oozes of Testosterone Poisoning and wears a red tank top.
- EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy Kojiro wears a red jacket and is a hot-blooded karate practioner who makes a habit of breaking dojos. When his dying mentor gives him the Guren Stones, be becomes the Henshin Hero Guren Tiger, clad in red armour and one of the more physically powerful heroes in the game.
- Gauntlet: In Gauntlet Legends and the updated expansion, Dark Legacy, red-colored characters appear to be from some Nordic, Conan-styled tribe. Furthermore, the male-exclusive Attack classes, Warrior and Dwarf, always appear in their Red costumes on the cover art.
- God of War: Kratos has a red tattoo across his face and torso. He is also large, muscular, aggressive, and gruff.
- Guilty Gear: Sol is a stubborn, brash, and muscular bounty hunter with a deep voice and fire powers. He also wears a red headband and a red jacket.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: Knuckles the Echidna has red fur and is the series' quintessential Big Guy, possessing Super Strength said to be on par with Sonic's speed. He fights opponents by punching them or throwing heavy boulders at them, and has been established to know martial arts. He's also descended from a warrior tribe, and describes himself as "rougher than the rest of them" and "tougher than leather" in his Sonic Adventure Image Song.
- Street Fighter:
- Ken Masters wears a red gi and is a cocksure martial artist with a love of competition.
- Zangief is a Husky Russkie who wrestles with bears as a workout and wears red trunks and boots.
- Tekken: Paul is an arrogant, hotheaded biker who is determined to prove himself the "the toughest fighter in the universe" and is very determined to prove it. He also wears a red karate gi.
- Kazu Iida wears red armor and pilots a red Holon. He is known for being outspoken, rebellious, and insubordinate, which cost him the respect of his unit, who were all too happy to have him transferred to the Anvil just to get rid of him. In battle, Kazu is Hot-Blooded and fearless to the point of recklessness, and his fighting style focuses mainly on brute force.
- Kazu is also a fan of an an anime series called "RoboShogun", whose titular character is a superhero in red armor. RoboShogun also espouses stereotypical masculine beliefs such as Men Don't Cry.
- Arcane: Vi is a female version. She is a Tomboy who's appearance incorporates red and is a violent brawler.
- Castlevania (2017): Trevor Belmont wears a red cape. He is the more typically masculine between himself and Alucard, having Perma-Stubble, a scar over his eye, and a love for alcohol and fighting.
- The Fairly OddParents!: The Crimson Chin is a musclebound superhero who has a huge Lantern Jaw of Justice, wears an all-red bodysuit, and fights crime and defends the city with JUSTICE!
- Mao Mao: Heroes of Pure Heart: Mao Mao's armor and clothing are all red, fitting his uncharacteristically deep and masculine voice into this trope.
- Super Robot Monkey Team Hyper Force Go: Sprx is the Red Monkey and the most stereotypically masculine of the male monkeys, being cocky, arrogant, stubborn, boorish, and flirtatious.
- Thomas & Friends: James is red, proud, vain, impatient, headstrong and bad-tempered.