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Sensitive Guy and Manly Man

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John: They take every chance to lampshade Matt's queerness or lack of traditional masculinity. He's prissily-exasperated in a very period coded-gay way. He's the pansy foil to Basil St. John's mysterious yet alluring swashbuckler.
Josh: I like when Basil shows up in Puerto Rico and is wearing a Zorro mask for no reason.
The Toast, "We Watched Brenda Starr (1989)"

What makes Odd Couples odd is that they put together people with conflicting personalities in hopes that hilarity will ensue. A common variant is to have two male characters that are at the opposite ends of masculinity.

One guy will be your everyday Macho Man. He's rough, aggressive, and strong (or at least that's how he sees himself). He loves sports, cars, power tools, and general physical activity. The other guy, in contrast, will be much "softer". He loves poetry, literature, art, and is generally more In Touch with His Feminine Side.

Occasionally these personality traits extend to their looks. The Manly Man will be tall and well-muscled. The "Sensitive Guy" or "Girly Boy" will be slender. Anime usually gives him a Bishōnen look while Western production might go for a nerdier one. If the characters are both meant to be attractive, the manly guy will often be a Hunk, and the sensitive one will often be a Pretty Boy.


They may have an Odd Friendship or will be Those Two Guys in an ensemble cast. More frequently they are rivals or even enemies, especially in schoolyard settings. This is because the Manly Man may see the Sensitive Guy as a "wuss" for not displaying stereotypical masculine behavior. Similarly, the Sensitive Guy may resent the Manly Man for perpetuating those stereotypes in the first place. This is very apparent if the two are caught in a Love Triangle as the female will theoretically choose which of them she sees fulfilling the role of "man" best, and they are probably in a male version of a Betty and Veronica dynamic, although who plays each role is relative. Often also used as a way to indicate that works relying on Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast still have room for more than one stereotype per gender.


These two tend to get into a lot of Ho Yay or Foe Romance Subtext which drives a certain group of fans wild. If they're an actual romantic couple, they'll get Uke and Seme comparisons too. Related to Red Oni, Blue Oni with the Manly Man almost always Red and the Sensitive Guy almost always Blue. Also related to Power Trio with the Manly Man usually the id and the Sensitive Guy usually the superego.

There are two types of sensitive guys and two types of manly men, depending on their degree of masculinity vs. femininity:

  • Types of sensitive guys:
    • Type 1: Tomgirl: This type of sensitive guy is fairly feminine, but not overly "feminine" nor overly masculine either. Most of his qualities and interests are feminine, but also has some masculine qualities and interests as well, and is still easily identifiable as a boy, and some of the clothes he wears are feminine while most of the clothes he wears are what other boys typically wear, and if he's good at sports, he plays sports that are not typically considered "manly", such as golf, tennis, and volleyball. He can be straight, gay, or bisexual, but is usually straight. Acts as a counterpart to the Moderate Girly Girl.
    • Type 2: Sissy: This type of sensitive guy is very feminine, to the point of actually being "girly", and has lots of feminine interests. He wears makeup and clothes that only girls would typically wear, and is usually not good at sports at all (other than perhaps dance sports). He can be straight, gay, or bisexual, but is usually gay. Acts as a counterpart to the Proper Girly Girl.
  • Types of manly men:
    • Type 1: Extreme Macho Manly Man: This type of manly man is very manly, and tends to have a strong disliking for anything that is considered "feminine". Acts as a counterpart to the Butch Tomboy.
    • Type 2: Moderate Manly Man: This type of manly man is gender-neutral, fairly masculine, but not overly manly. Most of his qualities and interests are traditionally masculine, although he may also have a few "feminine" qualities and interests as well. Acts as a counterpart to the Effeminate Tomboy.

Between the two types of sensitive guys, the tomgirl is considered somewhat more socially acceptable than the extremely girly sissy. Keep in mind that our views of gender have actually changed over time, and some traits which now might be considered masculine or feminine, actually weren't in the past, so this is mostly only valid for modern characters. Also, people are different and even characters who are unquestionably "manly" might have a few of these traits. Like Tomboys, Tomgirls aren't necessarily gay, they're split into three types, such as straight, gay, and bisexual. More often than not, however, tomgirls are usually straight. Sissies, however, more often than not, are usually gay. Also like when the media, more often than not, usually portrays the type 2 effeminate tomboy as the "better" type of tomboy, they more often than not usually portray the type 1 tomgirl as the "better" type of sensitive guy.

In order to qualify, a character must have a large percentage of these traits and/or have their effeminate-ness be remarked on in-universe.

Tomboy and Girly Girl would be their Distaff Counterpart, especially if there's only Two Girls to a Team.

Expect the Action Hero to be a Manly Man and the Action Survivor to be a Sensitive Guy in an Action Duo. Compare Sibling Yin-Yang and Red Oni, Blue Oni. When the Manly Man happens to be a woman it is a case of Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy. Contrast Emotional Bruiser where they combine. Compare with Noble Male, Roguish Male, where the Noble Male is still considered to be "manly" in a chivalrous fashion, and Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple for explicitly romantic duos.

Important Note: While this is usually a straightforward trope, examples can still get subjective in regards to whether or not one of the guys is sensitive enough, the other is manly enough, or whether they're different enough. Keep a few points in mind when editing.

  1. The two guys do not have to be polar opposites of each other to fit this trope.
  2. The manly man does not have to be macho and eschew everything feminine (Real Men Wear Pink)
  3. The sensitive guy does not have to be a total weakling, and does not have to have no masculine traits (Agent Peacock)
  4. Using #2 or #3 to justify deleting an example invokes the very same negative stereotypes mentioned above.
  5. When you post an example, be sure to explain how one is a sensitive guy and how the other is a manly man, not necessarily which type of sensitive guy and/or which type of manly man each guy is.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • CLAMP seem to be into this trope:
  • Beastars: Legosi and Louis play with this. Legosi is a very tall guy with muscles, and, being a carnivore, he's also much stronger and powerful than most of the cast, but he's also extremely shy, meek and introspective, virgin, caring and loves small things like bugs and Haru. Louis, on the other hand, is much smaller and more physically frail, by virtue of being a herbivore, but he's also outgoing, ruthless, domineering, has an active sex life, and even terrifying to other people, even those that should be able to easily deal with him. It's worth noting that their characters arcs are about meeting in the middle. Louis mellows out and learns to have consideration and care for the struggles of carnivores, while Legosi grows to be braver and utiliza his strength to protect herbivores precious to him.
  • Berserk: Guts and Griffith. The two were best of friends and while Guts is possibly the manliest man you'll see in any manga, Griffith is poetic, attuned to the emotions of people, and is described as "beautiful". Guts is a person who would just kill the problem with his sword as soon as it's a possibility. It's too bad that Griffith later betrays Guts and his other comrades in order to become a perfect demon that is powerful enough to be in the God Hand group.
  • Bleach:
    • Ichigo is passionate, aggressive, rough, and physical, and spent years courting a jerkass image and delinquent reputation. He solves problems fists first. Uryuu is quiet, reserved and one of the two main stars of the sewing club. He has excellent tailoring skills, although the men he tailors for tend to view his designs as too feminine. Together, the pair are Vitriolic Best Buds, with Uryuu trying to get Ichigo to think more in battle and Ichigo getting impatient with Uryuu thinking too much.
    • Before Ichigo met Uryuu, Ichigo's oldest male friend is Sado. Sado is a huge, physically powerful man who can shrug off motorcycle collisions and falling steel girders even when powerless. However, he is extremely gentle, refuses to fight to defend himself, and adores cute animals and teddies. Ichigo, therefore, fights to protect Sado, who only ever fights to make sure Ichigo (or any other friend) doesn't get too badly roughed up in battle.
    • Ganju is a rough, aggressive boisterous man, who rides boars for fun and fights with every dirty trick he can think of. Hanatarou is a gentle healer, a mouse of a man who shies away from combat, and whose Empathic Weapon is a sword that heals injuries before it can strike just once. Together, they actually make a good team... in a brawn-and-brains sort of way.
    • Hisagi has a flair for the rebellious image. He's covered in tattoos, loves to fight dirty, to the extent of hiding bombs in his armbands. He even once got in trouble with the captains for bringing a motorcycle back from the World of the Living and causing trouble with it in Soul Society. Kira is a gentle, constantly-worrying poet who believes War Is Hell. However, during the Fake Karakura Town battle, the pair are forced to confront an overly emotional Yumichika. Hisagi takes the Sensitive Guy route of attempting to talk Yumichika down. Kira doesn't bother and simply tranquilizes Yumichika into unconsciousness, disapproving of the way a fifth seat is talking to a lieutenant.
    • The anime plays straight with Ikkaku (manly man) and Yumichika (sensitive guy) solely through a considerable softening of Yumichika's character. However, they're subverted in the manga and databooks: Ikkaku's good at meditation and inner communion and is more in touch with Kenpachi's feelings than Yumichika. Yumichika's true idea of beauty is that only flowers are beautiful and people can only achieve it at the moment they're torn to death. While Ikkaku tells some slackers they're idiots for getting caught, Yumichika tells them he'll kill them if they don't do a perfect job. Lampshaded when Yumichika and Ganju fight; Ganju observes how sadistic Yumichika's personality really is.
    • Love is a rough, physical guy who wallops his way through his fights with a giant club and who tackles his problems as aggressively as possible. Rose is a poet and musician who doesn't so much as fight as engage in an "artistic performance". Rose won't make a move if he can't do something artistically. Love just crashes through life without a care.
  • Cells at Work! features this in the main pair of T cells. Killer T is the loud, brazen, and very chiseled leader of his squadron. Helper T is more relaxed, friendlier, and has a Spot of Tea whenever he's on break. Their days in training were the exact opposite, where young Killer was weak-willed and prone to tearing up while young Helper was colder and willing to fight.
  • Code Geass: Played with for Suzaku and Lelouch, especially in the sound dramas. Lelouch is much more feminine in his tastes and appearance while Suzaku is far more masculine. Yet of the two, Suzaku seems much more kind and sensitive than snarky, aloof Lelouch. Of course, Code Geass being the universe it is, this gets deconstructed. As children, however, they played this trope straight as Suzaku was rough, boisterous, and a bit cruel whereas Lelouch was sensitive, sheltered, and more gentle.
  • D.Gray-Man:
    • Allen Walker and Yu Kanda.
    • The second being Froi Tiedall and Cross Marian. The latter are a bit similar in that Cross seems to have a softer side, but he tries to keep his in check. Said he laughs at Tiedoll's being openly sensitive, and affectionate with his pupils, even though it's said by Hoshinon he thinks Allen is cute. So, seems Cross may see Tiedoll as a bit overly openly emotional-possibly a crybaby, and Tiedoll, thanks to Cross' hiding his true self and being Jerk with a Heart of Gold, seems to find Cross to be a hoodlum. And while Cross hates the Order, Tiedoll has been known to blow it off in favor of what he feels are other matters. While Winters and Klaud returned to HQ before the others with no issues.
  • Digimon Adventure has this with troubled, sensitive musician Matt and Hot-Blooded soccer player Tai respectively.
  • Dragon Ball Z has Goku and Vegeta, respectively. In this case, the characters' relative appearances are inverted, with Goku being taller and more physically imposing than Vegeta, who's shorter than his wife.
  • Eyeshield 21: Rikiya Gaou and Hiromi Kisiragi of the Hakushuu Dinosaurs. Interestingly, they are both Blood Knights who share an obsession with physical strength and power and serve as Co-Dragons to Big Bad Marco; the difference is in their appearances and attitude, with Gaou being a beefy lineman who loves direct assault for its own sake, while Kisiragi is a mincing Bishōnen who waxes eloquently about the beauty of raw destruction.
  • Fate/Zero has RIDER, KING OF CONQUERORS!, and his sidekick, er, summoner, Waver Velvet.
  • The blood brothers Toki and Raoh from Fist of the North Star have this kind of relationship, with the former being a healer who treats the sick and the latter a tyrannical conqueror. Of course, Toki can kick as much ass as his brother Raoh, it's just that he's more reserved about it and only does it when necessary.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric is tough and short-tempered and his brother Alphonse is a sensitive Kindhearted Cat Lover. They subvert the stereotypes as for most of the story Edward is a short but muscular teenage boy while Alphonse is stuck in a suit of armor, and thus looks older and scarier than Ed.
  • Future GPX Cyber Formula:
    • Hayato Kazami (sensitive guy) and Naoki Shinjyo (manly man). While Hayato is generally polite and energetic when it comes to racing, Shinjyo is moodier and has a more focused approach in his skill.
    • For side characters, Gudelhian and Heinel and Bootsvorz and Osamu. Katagiri plays the sensitive guy to Shinjyo's manly man.
  • Professor Go (sensitive guy) and Chujo (manly man) from Giant Robo. Professor Go is always getting overcome with emotion and crying, but Chujo keeps walking along as a stoic paragon of masculinity. Naturally, the two are best friends.
  • Badass thief Ray/Noir and emotional aristocrat Florian from the manga Gorgeous Carat.
  • Gundam:
    • From the original Mobile Suit Gundam are Char Aznable and Garma Zabi in Zeon. Char is an Ace Pilot (who also happens to be hell-bent on avenging himself on the Zabis) and one of the best warriors in Zeon. Garma is softer and very in love with his girlfriend and feels inadequate next to both his siblings and Char. He's also the Zabi who is probably least deserving of Char's retribution.
    • George de Sand is the sensitive guy to Chibodee in Mobile Fighter G Gundam. George is a Cultured Warrior with a strong code of chivalry (and the pilot of Gundam Rose). Chibodee is a Boisterous Bruiser who leaps without looking and uses both boxing and gunslinging as his method of fighting.
    • Gundam Wing has Quatre and Trowa. Quatre is a Technical Pacifist who always tries to negotiate before he has to kill his opponents and wants to bring peace above all else. Trowa, although very kind beneath the surface, is cold and calculating in battle.
  • Harlem Beat: there are Sakurai-Umakure Imagawa-Kobayashi, and Takao Yuuta.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: Several examples.
    • Chibitalia and Holy Roman Empire. Chibitalia is a meek, cross-dressing artist while HRE is a bold warrior who wears men's clothes. HRE even mistakes Chibitalia for a girl.
    • Sweden and Finland. The former is a tall, stoic, and assertive man. The latter is a short, expressive, and passive boy. Additionally, Finland refers to himself as "a delicate flower" in the dub.
    • Germany and Austria downplay it. They both read, cook, and have stern dispositions, but Germany is a soldier whereas Austria is a non-combatant who receives protection from the female Hungary. They also subvert it since Germany is a virgin and Austria is sexually experienced.
  • Mikael and Raphael from I'm Gonna Be an Angel! mostly play it straight - visually, Mikael is of slight build, feminine looking and Raphael is more muscular and manly looking in comparison. In terms of personality though, they have lots of shades of their opposite spectrum - Mikael is mostly cold, stubborn and shows that he can be pretty aggressive and determined when the need arises, while Raphael has a rather mellow and carefree attitude and shows lots of kindness towards not only Mikael but also Noelle and Natsumi. That said, the last episode plays it straight again, though - in the climax scene, it shows that Mikael is totally dependable on his teacher and helpless without his help, while Raphael appears as a strict and unbending, leaving his student to clean up the mess his responsible for.
  • Etienne and Nicolas from Innocents Shounen Juujigun are the main duo of the series, with Etienne being a gentle, feminine boy with endless compassion and a soft heart, and Nicolas being a hotheaded, aggressive young knight who'd rather cut down the infidels than show them kindness. The two are best friends and extremely close, with Nicolas willing to die and kill for Etienne's sake.
  • The Irresponsible Captain Tylor plays this straight for laughs early on. Two terrorists seize a building, one of them an effeminate "sensitive guy" and the other one more traditionally manly, despite being an alien.
  • K has Shiro and Kuroh. Shiro is a Non-Action Guy who carries a Parasol of Prettiness and is incredibly Moe. Kuroh is a swordsman who is the most powerful fighter in the series other than Kings, whose supernatural powers make them unbeatable except by other Kings (even Shiro). Played with in that Kuroh cooks for their team, but he doesn't consider that to be a gendered trait - the body requires sustenance, after all. He learned cooking from the same person who taught him sword-fighting, helicopter piloting, poetry, and everything else a proper vassal to a king should know.
  • Sensitive Eagle Vision and Manly Lantis from Magic Knight Rayearth.
  • Mahou Shounen Majorian blurs the line between this and Tomboy and Girly Girl with Iori and Masaru. Iori is extremely feminine in appearance and manner, and Masaru is a typical boy who plays sports and doesn't like girls because he has four obnoxious sisters. Then they're both turned into magical girls by aliens who mistook Iori for a girl. Naturally, Masaru has a huge problem with that.
  • Akito and Gai from Martian Successor Nadesico.
  • In fitting with their girlfriends being the Tomboy and Girly Girl of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, motorcycle-riding boxer Hamasaki Masahiro and junior Keet Shiroi Nagisa are Manly and Not, respectively.
  • The eventual alliance between Paptimus Scirocco and Yazan Gable in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam comes off as a twisted version of this trope, with cultured psychological predator Scirocco as the Sensitive Guy and op brutish physical predator Yazan as the Manly Man. While neither one actually cares about each other, they genuinely seem to enjoy one another's company and make a very effective duo.
  • From Monster, Roberto is burly, loves to fight, and is generally as manly can be. Johan is beautiful, well-read and highly intellectual, and far more in touch with his feminine side. Why do they even associate with each other? Johan likes to make use of Roberto's muscle to kill people and ruin their lives during those pesky times when he's too busy driving small children or his sister to nearly kill themselves or otherwise proving why he's been compared to both Hitler and the Antichrist, while Roberto is completely in love with Johan.
  • Nozaki of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is the manly man who gives his advice and support (with, admittedly, mixed results) to the sensitive and naive Wakamatsu, who has been Nozaki's underclassman since middle school.
  • My-HiME:
  • Physically, best friends Takeo and Suna from My Love Story!! match. Takeo is an absolutely huge boy who looks like a stereotypical gonk (though his girlfriend finds him very attractive) and is very muscular. Suna, however, is a skinny and Bishōnen Chick Magnet with absolutely no interest in girls. Personality-wise, Suna isn't quite feminine, though Takeo is more masculine than him.
  • Naruto: Naruto is the Sensitive Guy to Sasuke's Manly Man. Naruto is more cheerful and pretty emotional, one of his hobbies is watering and taking care of plants, and he develops into an All-Loving Hero. Conversely, Sasuke is very stoic, hardly lets anyone into how he really feels, and has a real ego at times and develops into a Byronic Hero.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has Quintessential British Gentleman Negi Springfield and his best friend and rival, Hot-Blooded Wolf Man Kotarou Inugami.
  • Sion is the sensitive guy to Nezumi's manly man in No. 6. Sion is a sweet Nice Guy while Nezumi is a badass Jerk with a Heart of Gold. They also have a lot of Ho Yay between them.
  • Penguindrum: Shouma is the polite, expressive, Househusband-in-training sensitive guy to Kanba's blunt, stoic, playboy manly man. It extends to their appearance as well - Shouma has Tareme Eyes, visible eyelashes, and longer hair, while Kanba has Tsurime Eyes and shorter hair.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • Sort of inverted with the doubles pair of Ohtori and Shishido. Choutarou Ohtori, the taller, physically stronger of the two, is sensitive and nice (he even plays classical violin and wishes for world peace), while Ryou Shishido is shorter, louder, bad-tempered and much more butch (he even has the scars to prove it!).
    • Another subverted example would be Seiichi Yukimura and Genichirou Sanada. The first is polite, soft-spoken, with frail health and long hair...; the other is very tall, stern, and the Kendo Team Captain in a tennis setting. The subversion comes from Yukimura being the captain of their team as well as a Knight Templar Magnificent Bastard when it comes to tennis, and Sanada being extremely devoted to Yukimura - like a Samurai's devotion to his feudal lord (and yes, they're one of the most popular Ho Yay couples in the fandom).
  • Rurouni Kenshin has Kenshin (short and lean Warrior Poet and homemaker in his spare time, with a pink kimono and white hakama as his most remarkable outfit) and Sanosuke (immature, Hot-Blooded lancer, former professional brawler, appropriately One Head Taller).
  • Sailor Moon:
  • Ryu and Joe in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, sort of. Ryu is definitely the softer-hearted of the two but is far from "in touch with his feminine side". Joe is definitely a guy's guy but in a more grizzled way rather than oozing testosterone. Ken and Joe's dynamic is sort of a subversion; Ken only looks the part of the doe-eyed sensitive one, but it's his repression of emotions that leads to some rather ugly outbursts.
  • Both of the same-sex partners in Sekirei are this, with the Ashikabi as the Sensitive Guys to their Manly Man Sekirei.
    • Minato is gentle and deeply emotional, and looks up to Kagari as a "cool guy". Kagari is a chain-smoking Casanova and a Mysterious Protector and remains the more traditionally masculine of the pair even after his unstable state results in him becoming a Gender Bender.
    • Mikogami and Mutsu are a villainous example, playing the trope completely straight. The former is The Dandy, and highly emotional while the later is a quiet, serious Master Swordsman.
  • Death the Kid is the sensitive guy to Black*Star's manly man in Soul Eater. This is most easily noticeable in the episode where they go to find Excalibur together, and Kid winds up riding on Black*Star's back, so as to avoid the water on the floor. Oddly enough, this is the episode where they become friends.
  • Played with in SWOT. Iwashida, the sensitive guy, is fairly typical since was the weakly kid who was always victimized by the delinquents in his school. He's also all about being loyal to his newfound friendships. The manly man is Manabizaki who is crass, arrogant, routinely beats up delinquents, and has a Hair-Trigger Temper. He's also a "swot," someone who studies way too much, and is initially dismissed as a harmless nerd.
  • Simon and Kamina are like this at the start of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. By the end of the series, Simon grows into the Manly Man role fantastically. Kamina even says that Simon's become more of a man than him during Simon's time in the Lotus-Eater Machine.
  • Subverted with Kaneki Ken and Hideyoshi Nagachika from Tokyo Ghoul, at first it was played straight where Hide is more brash and loud compared to the more shy and quiet Kaneki. But later in the series, Kaneki becomes Ax-Crazy after his transformation and Hide is a Non-Action Guy.
  • In Wild Rock, Yuuen is the small and pretty Non-Action Guy and Emba is the cheesecake Hunter Trapper with a big sword.
  • Wolf's Rain:
    • Hubb and Quent.
    • Also Tsume and Toboe.
  • In Yellow, Goh is the more macho of the duo, whereas Taki takes the sensitive guy role as he increasingly gains woobie points. There are many partnerships/rivalries/brother duos that play with this concept to different degrees: Shun and Hyoga, Shiryu and Seiya, Seiya and Jabu, Aiolos and Aiolia, Asterion and Moses, Hyoga and Isaac, Kanon and Saga, Milo and Camus, Mu and Shiryu, Shiryu and Ohko, Aphrodite and Deathmask...
  • Tetsuo and Taichi from Yuureitou. Tetsuo is an assertive and cool Byronic Hero while Taichi is a more average guy with Distressed Dude and Lovable Coward qualities. Taichi is the one who ends up Disguised in Drag, though Tetsuo is far more Bishōnen than Taichi. They end up the Official Couple.

  • The superheroes Hawk and Dove (the originals) would qualify.
  • The Authority: Apollo and Midnighter, Apollo being the sweet-natured, long-haired beauty and Midnighter being the gruff, leather-clad Anti-Hero. They're both extremely badass, though, and come across as equally Straight Gay.
  • Watchmen: Nite Owl and Rorschach.
    • Also implied in the backstory with the meek, amicable Captain Metropolis and the brutal, violent Hooded Justice.
  • Archie Comics:
    • Dilton and Moose.
    • Even Archie and Reggie.
  • British Kid's comics usually work on the "schoolyard rivals" model. Dennis the Menace bullies Walter the Softy, Bully Beef is regularly outsmarted by Chips, Smudge refuses to be clean like Percival Prim, Tough Nut picks on Softy Centre, etc. Which character the reader is supposed to root for varies from story to story, but it's often the tough kid, further perpetuating the stereotype.
  • Batman (manly) and Robin (sensitive), except when the Robin is Jason Todd.
  • Hawkman is this to himself. "Carter Hall is a man of culture who enjoys fine wine, yet Hawkman is a barbarian who you can only be happy is on your side" as described by the Atom once.
  • Power Ring and Deathstorm in Forever Evil. Power Ring is a huge coward that hides behind his Ring of Power while Deathstorm is a stoic that calms Power Ring when he gets scared.
  • Asterix and Obelix, although their roles aren't what you'd think by looking at them. Asterix is smaller and physically weaker but has a hard-headed, mature, and quite a sneaky personality. He is a good swordsman, enjoys one-upping the Romans but doesn't mess with them outside of an actual need to, and is more flirtatious and in-control around women than Obelix. Obelix is larger and stronger but is mostly written to show off his cute, innocent traits, with even his love of punching Romans coming from a place of genuine, childlike appreciation for how much fun it is rather than any sadism. He also has a sweet little dog that he's dedicated to and tends to cry and fall in love easily.
  • The two main boy characters in the syndicated strip Wallace the Brave. The title character is a Fearless Fool daredevil, while best friend Spud is a Nervous Wreck.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The Big Bad of Beauty and the Beast is Gaston, a conceited, disgustingly muscular hunter. His Straight Man? LeFou, a tiny man who is easily intimidated.
  • The Book of Life:
    • Manolo is the All-Loving Hero, aspiring musician Sensitive Guy to rough-and-tumble soldier Joaquin's Manly Man. They're best friends since childhood, but also rivals for the same girl, and the contrast shows itself in how they try to impress her.
    • The Candlemaker is the fun-loving, humble Sensitive Guy to Xibalba's rascally, gambling Manly Man.
  • A Bug's Life has two rare variants of this trope, one of which comes from the evil side, and the other with three characters having this dynamic with each other:
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
    • Phoebus, the manly Noble Top Enforcer, and Quasimodo the Gentle Giant.
    • The two male gargoyles Victor and Hugo also qualify. Victor is the more emotional and sensitive of the two while Hugo is the more reckless and aloof of them. Ironically it is manly man Hugo who enters into a same-gendered romance with Esmeralda's male pet goat, Djali.
  • Grandpa Longneck and Cera's father from The Land Before Time. The former is friendly, soft-spoken, and nurturing, while the latter is tough, aggressive, and short-tempered. They become foils in the third film where they clash over parenting methods and how to handle a crisis.
  • Lilo & Stitch:
    • The two aliens Jumba and Pleakley. Jumba is manly due to his love for science, dressing in more manly clothes, and having a more impulsive approach to finishing missions while Pleakley is an emotional, nonviolent Wholesome Crossdresser who has a lot of campy interests and tries to find a more reasonable and nonviolent approach to completing tasks.
    • In the later films and series, Gantu and Reuben (Experiment 625). Gantu is the more hot-headed and reckless of the two as evidenced by his actions and voice while Reuben, despite being a Deadpan Snarker is much nicer and more interested in making sandwiches than capturing experiments.
  • The Lion King: Timon (Manly Man) and Pumbaa (Sensitive Guy). Timon is a meerkat who is sarcastic, reckless, self-centered, and dislikes cross-dressing as shown in the first film. Pumbaa, on the other hand, is a cheerful, emotional, and kind warthog who does seem absent-minded at first but is shown to be very cautious and he crosses dresses a lot in his and Timon's own series.
  • One Stormy Night has Gabu, a rough-looking but sweet wolf and his best friend Mei, who is a cute little goat who wears a pink handkerchief.
  • Tarzan: As unbelievable as it sounds, the titular king of the jungle is the sensitive guy to Clayton’s manly man. The former is smooth, slender, and noticeably prettier than the hairy, hulking, rugged hunter.
  • The major supporting cops in Zootopia are the leader of the precinct, Chief Bogo, a no-nonsense, curt, intimidating, bossy, muscular, deep-voiced cape buffalo, and the front desk officer, Benjamin Clawhauser, a flamboyant, emotional, sweet, accommodating, rotund, high-voiced cheetah. Their dynamic helps to defy the movie's central stereotypes about savage predators (vs sensitive guy Clawhauser) and meek prey (vs Manly Bogo).

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You, Cameron is sweet and delicate, whilst Patrick is an intimidating bad boy.
  • Big Trouble in Little China: Jack Burton is a tough-talking, blue-collar manly man (played by Kurt Russell) and his buddy Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) is a sentimental and straight-laced businessman who is very much in love with Chinese Girl Miao Yin. Differences notwithstanding, they're friends.
  • Carlito's Way: Kleinfeld is a nervous, insecure, whiny Amoral Attorney who's a cocaine addict. Carlito is a gangster through-and-through, stoic and dashing. Deconstructed when Kleinfeld's insecurities cause him to sell Carlito out.
  • In The Double, Simon is shy and reserved, while James gets into fights and probably sleeps with half of the women in the movie.
  • Peter Highman (Robert Downey Jr.) and Ethan Tremblay (Zach Galifianakis) from the movie, Due Date. The former is short-tempered and mostly has a no-nonsense serious attitude, while the latter is soft-spoken, emotional, and childlike in comparison.
  • The Fifth Element: Corbin Dallas is a tough ex-soldier, while his sometimes-sidekick Ruby Rhod is a campy Lothario.
  • Serge and François in Les Roseaux sauvages (Wild Reeds). Serge: he's good at math and bad at French, he's macho, good at sports, into girls, and he's a country lad who wants to work on his parents' farm. François: he's good at French and bad at math, he's quiet, he has a heart condition that means he can't play sports, he's into film and literature, his best friend's a girl, he introduces Serge to the Big City (Toulouse, in this case) and he's into guys. François falls in love with Serge, who cannot reciprocate.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Faramir is the sensitive one in comparison to his brother Boromir — a more cerebral, less visceral war leader. In the Extended Edition, Faramir understands that Denethor regards him as being "weaker" than Boromir because he falls a bit short of the masculine ideal, and his father angrily accuses him of being a "wizard's pupil" (having Gandalf as a tutor resulted in him being more scholarly and less interested in combat for its own sake than Boromir), but Pippin views Faramir's gentler and more thoughtful nature as a positive trait.
    Faramir: [The armour] note  Never fitted me, either. Boromir was always the soldier. They were so alike, he and my father. Proud. Stubborn even. But strong.
    Pippin: I think you have strength of a different kind. And one day your father will see it.
    • Interestingly, while at first glance, it appears Boromir is the manly man to Aragorn's sensitive guy due to his physical prowess and martial skill, but Boromir is actually the more sensitive of the two. He is shown having more of a Big Brother Instinct towards the Hobbits, particularly Merry and Pippin. He comforts Gimli in Moria after Gimli discovers Balin's tomb and Frodo in Lorien after Gandalf's apparent death. He also advocates to Aragorn to give the fellowship a moment to mourn just after leaving Moria. Notably, his doubts and sensitive nature allows the Ring to easily prey on him as it exploits his desire to protect others. Immediately after trying to take the Ring from Frodo, Boromir is beside himself with grief and horror.
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance stars Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne. This trope is sort of in place by default.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has some pairings like this.
    • Just like in Norse Mythology, Loki's the wily Sensitive Guy to Thor's warrior Manly Man.
      • Thor: On Jötunheim, Loki utilizes diplomacy to try to ease the belligerent tension which is brewing between Thor and Laufey, whereas Thor wants to incite Laufey to attack him. A skirmish then breaks out, and Loki relies on magical throwing knives and his illusion spells to kill Frost Giants from a distance, which juxtaposes Thor bashing them directly with Mjölnir.
      • Thor: The Dark World: After their mother is murdered, Loki experiences a complete emotional breakdown in his prison cell while Thor starts to plot to avenge her. During their clash with Malekith, Loki defends Jane (a more "passive" role) whereas Thor is the aggressor (a more "active" role).
      • Thor: Ragnarok: When they meet Hela, Loki tries to negotiate with her, and when that fails, Thor launches Mjölnir at her. On Sakaar, Loki charms and manipulates his way to the top, and when he offers his brother the chance to join him at the Grandmaster's side, Thor rejects it, preferring to participate in the gladiator games. Loki, who isn't anywhere near strong enough to take on Hela in a one-on-one confrontation, sneaks away from the battle in order to place Surtur's crown in the Eternal Flames (and the incantation he utters suggests that some sorcery is involved) as Thor continues to fight their sister.
    • The Avengers gives us the Odd Friendship variant on this trope when introverted, tormented Bruce Banner and snarky show-off Tony Stark hit it off as soon as they meet.
  • Murder by Numbers has Richard Haywood and Justin Pendleton. Richie's a blond-haired, popular, swaggering womanizer (though with a metrosexual streak a mile wide) who seems to be mostly interested in sex, money, showing off, and driving his Mustang. Justin's big on literature and being Nietzsche, and is smaller, far smarter, and occasionally wears glasses. They have an... odd friendship, possibly forged on the exclusive basis of being evil and having immense amounts of sexual tension.
  • Played with in The Other Guys. At first, it looks like Extreme Doormat Allen (Will Ferrell) is the sensitive one and cynical Terry who wants to be The Hero (Mark Wahlberg) is the manly one. But then again, Allen is the ladies' man with anger management issues while Terry is the one who knows ballet and how to play the harp (which he insists he learned as a kid in order to make fun of the sensitive guys who actually liked that stuff).
  • The Rock: Goodspeed is sensitive and fairly meek, while Mason is a cavalier and irreverent spy.
  • Stargate: Col. Jack O'Neill is a gruff soldier, while Dr. Daniel Jackson is a sensitive scholar. Together, they fight aliens.
  • Comes up in Trevor. Thirteen-year-old Trevor likes Diana Ross, musical theatre, and writing in his diary. He falls in unrequited love with the star of the intermediate baseball team.
  • Victor Frankenstein: Igor's gentle and docile nature juxtaposes Victor's more brusque and domineering personality. Whenever they have a disagreement, Igor tends to cave in to Victor's demands, but it's part of the former's Character Development to eventually learn to stand up to his overbearing friend. Igor is shown to be very caring and romantic during his courtship of Lorelei, but Victor considers the couple's relationship to be a harmful distraction to their scientific work. When Inspector Turpin threatens Victor and Igor with a gun in Victor's basement, an unarmed Victor is able to fight back and even manages to cripple Turpin when the latter loses his hand. The non-violent Igor, meanwhile, keeps his distance as he shouts out Victor's name in order to stop his friend from going too far (injuring a police officer is bad enough, and Igor certainly doesn't want Victor to become a cop killer).
  • X-Men Film Series
    • X2: X-Men United: The rule-abiding, Nice Guy Iceman juxtaposes the rebellious, Jerkass Pyro. At the museum's food court, John is being rude to a young man who asks to borrow his lighter, and Bobby tells his friend to knock it off, plainly disapproving of John's annoying behavior. When the police order the mutants to get on the ground, Drake immediately obeys, but Allerdyce attacks the officers with giant fireballs.
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles Xavier is the Sensitive Guy to Erik Lehnsherr's Manly Man. They display this dynamic in their personalities (All-Loving Hero vs. Anti-Hero) and physique (Pretty Boy vs. Tall, Dark, and Handsome) as well as their philosophies and methods (Wide-Eyed Idealist vs. Pay Evil unto Evil).
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Charles in 1973 is more accurately an Overly Sensitive Guy with Wolverine taking over the Manly Man role. Logan has to act as the "glue" which barely holds the emotionally fragile Xavier together in order to complete their mission. Their opposite natures are most directly contrasted in the Pentagon kitchen scene, where Charles attempts to persuade the guards that he and his partner have a valid reason to be there, while Wolverine just knocks them out with a frying pan.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse has Kurt Wagner, the Badass Adorable (Sensitive Guy) and Scott Summers, the snarky, patriotic bad boy who had the idea to skip class for the mall (Manly Man).

  • Jane Austen loves this trope:
    • Pride and Prejudice: Mr. Darcy is the Troubled, but Cute loner (the Bad Boy of his time, at least on the surface), and his best friend Mr. Bingley is perfect, charming, agreeable, and too easily swayed by others.
    • Sense and Sensibility has shy, sweet Edward Ferrars and world-weary ex-soldier Colonel Brandon whose favorite hobby is suffering quietly.
    • In Emma there's Mr. Knightley, the very organized authority figure who always speaks his mind (in a way that could potentially be misconstrued as rude) and Frank Churchill, who loves parties and dancing at balls.
    • Northanger Abbey has two brothers. The elder, Captain Tilney, is a soldier who likes 'sowing his wild oats,' whereas his younger brother Henry is a clergyman who likes reading novels.
  • The submissive, always crying Mock Turtle and the gruff, impatient Gryphon from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • The Bible:
  • In Caleb Williams, Falkland is the Sensitive Guy to Tyrrel’s Manly Man. Manly Tyrrel is furious at being unseated by "this Frenchified rascal."
  • Played with in Darkfall by Dean Koontz. Two supporting characters are introduced early on, the meek-looking, bowtie-wearing Nevetsky and the tough, mean-looking Blaine. Jack Dawson assumes Nevetsky is the Sensitive Guy and Blaine the Manly Man; in reality, the big and tough Blaine is the kind and gentle one while the less intimidating-looking Nevetsky is the loudmouthed, antagonistic brutish one.
  • In "De skandalösa" by Simona Ahrnstedt, Gabriel Gripklo (seemingly roguish) and his friend Ossian Bergman (nerdy and noble) have this kind of dynamic.
  • Nick and Alan in The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. Since they're brothers it also makes them a case of Sibling Yin-Yang.
  • Best friends Ishmael and Razz from Don't Call Me Ishmael!. Ishmael is quiet, sensitive, at one point faints due to nervousness, and avoids conflict to the extent that he lets bullies walk all over him. He prefers writing to physical activity. Razz is very loud, athletic, loves attention and while he doesn't intentionally hurt people, he sometimes makes very insensitive comments. The contrast between the two is shown in a scene where Ishmael refuses to watch a video of one of their friends undressing (that was recorded without her knowledge), while Razz tries to persuade Ishmael to watch it.
  • In Dragon Bones, Beckram is an irresponsible ladies' man, while his twin brother Erdrick is rather shy, likes to read, and is described as "coward" by their cousin Ward, the protagonist. Then there is Ward, who is loud, brutish and stupid, and his brother Tosten who is sensitive, easily startled, and a talented harper and bard. Only that Ward's stupidity is an act, he's actually a Gentle Giant, who is able to talk quietly if he wants to.
  • Druss and his nearly lifelong companion Sieben in the Drenai saga. Druss is a powerful warrior, deadly with a battle-ax; Sieben is a wand-slim poet obsessive about his appearance — in one scene he inwardly fumes when the coverings of the chair he's forced to sit in clashes with his shirt.
  • In Enoch Arden, Philip and Enoch are this respectively, though neither is a caricature. Enoch is described as a bold and dashing sailor, confident, and physically strong (but not reckless, and a caring family man). Philip cries more easily as a boy, and in his courtship of Annie he is very gentle and sensitive to her feelings (but he also works hard in his mill, and he bottles up his feelings for years after Annie marries Enoch).
  • Skylar and Rafael in Gives Light. Skylar is mellow and thoughtful while Rafael is quick to settle arguments with his fists. In a subversion, though, Rafael likes art, romance, and fairy tales, while Skylar likes baseball and slasher flicks.
  • Gotrek & Felix. As a swashbuckling adventurer poet who travels the world, Cool Sword in hand, and woos all kinds of exotic foreign women as he goes, Felix would be a manly protagonist indeed... if only he wasn't in the Warhammer world. So instead he plays second-fiddle to a psychotic dwarf Slayer who has personally slain giants, vampires, dragons the length of football fields, and the physical manifestations of rage and violence from the most psychotic Berserker War God in fiction. Poor guy.
  • The Hardy Boys books use this for Frank and Joe. Frank is the more intellectual, cool-headed brother who likes art, literature, and strategy. Joe is the athletic hot-headed sports-fan who likes to charge in headfirst. While this only showed up in faint traces in earlier books, in more recent series, after a small bit of Flanderization, it's become much more prominent, with the boys actually arguing about which is the better tactic when it comes to solving a case.
  • In Horatio Hornblower, Hornblower and his Number Two, Bush, are this kind of pair. Hornblower is a broody, self-loathing mess when he's not being a brilliant naval captain and can't stop thinking about the prospect of death and mutilation in battle even if he never shirks from it. Bush is a stolid and stoic Lightning Bruiser who's unfazed by hardship but also lacking in Hornblower's genius.
  • In The Hunger Games, Katniss begins to see potential loves interests in two guys, Peeta, the baker's son who decorates the cakes and Gale, her hunting partner. Gale is angry with the Capitol for making them participate in the games while Peeta is reflective of how he can maintain his identity in the games despite the Capitol using them.
  • Lord of the Flies' Ralph is the sensitive guy to Jack Merridew's manly man. Red-haired Jack is aggressive, even downright brutal, and loves confrontation, compared to fair-haired Ralph who dislikes violence and is much more of a pacifist. They even practice different activities, as Ralph usually stays in the same place, watching over the younger boys and trying to assure them their safety, while Jack runs around the entire island and is obsessed with hunting and killing animals.
  • To an extent, Crowley and Aziraphale from Good Omens fit this trope, although this might also be because they are a Demon and an Angel, respectively. It should also be noted that the reason they each like the other so much is because Crowley sees Aziraphale as being just enough of a bastard to like, and Aziraphale sees Crowley as just enough of a good person not to hate, much to both of their chagrin.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Boromir and Faramir, sons of the Steward of Gondor, fit this trope to a "T": Boromir is a mighty warrior and military leader, interested in warfare and little else, Faramir loves poetry and lore (although he's also a soldier). In this case, the difference is mostly one of attitude - Boromir loves fighting and being a soldier for its own sake (though he's guided by a strong sense of honor, duty, and patriotism) while Faramir views soldiering as a service he must render for the good of his people even though he's a scholar by inclination. Unlike most examples, both brothers truly love each other unconditionally and appreciate their differences. The only source of friction comes from their asshole of a father Denethor who openly favors Boromir and treats Faramir like crap.
  • In The Moomins, Sniff is so cowardly and delicate, that Moomin and Snufkin have no problem looking manly in comparison.
  • Alec Lightwood and Jace Wayland from The Mortal Instruments. Alec is shy, reserved, and is easily hurt emotionally. Jace is aggressive, forward and often downright antagonistic even in the face of Shadowhunters of much higher rank than him.
  • Njáll and Gunnar in Njáls Saga. Gunnar is the stereotyped Viking Boisterous Bruiser. Njáll is a wise sage, and a clever lawyer and interclan diplomat.
  • C.L. Moore's Northwest Smith and Yarol the Venusian provide an interesting variation on the trope. While Smith is a rugged, muscular space cowboy and Yarol is a delicate-looking young man who resembles a choirboy, the former occasionally displays flashes of sensitivity whereas the latter doesn't possess a shred of kindness or decency.
  • Dashing Gentleman Thief Raffles and his Cowardly Sidekick Bunny are this: Raffles is athletic, macho and aloof, whereas Bunny is emotional, naive and serves as The Conscience for the duo.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Samwell Tarly is a meek and sensitive young man who loves books, music, and kittens. His best friend is Jon Snow, a bold young man of action who yearns to be a ranger.
  • A rather down-played example in Why We Took the Car: Maik is politer and nicer in general, likes drawing and has a thing for Beyoncé, while Tschick is rather rude, bold and steals cars.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kindhearted Simpleton Kenneth Parcell and Frat Bro Tracy Jordan in 30 Rock.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978) has the cigar-chomping Starbuck and the mild-mannered Boomer.
  • Howard and Raj on The Big Bang Theory. Raj is sensitive and utterly Camp Straight (Or possibly Camp Bi) while Howard is the Casanova Wannabe.
  • Blake's 7 often teamed up the meek, cowardly Vila with the cynical, snarky Avon.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • Walter White and his brother in law, Hank Schrader, at first. Hank is brash, crude and boisterous, an avid sports fan and gun enthusiast, and his work as a DEA agent often puts him in danger. Walt is a mild-mannered and milquetoast high school chemistry teacher, much more of an intellectual and something of a dork. As the show progresses, however, they both shift around the spectrum: Hank reveals an increasing amount of emotional problems and insecurities, as well as some nerdy interests, while Walter becomes increasingly cold, ruthless and dangerous.
    • Walt (gruff, stoic) and Jesse (emotional) also have this going on.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Detectives Jake Peralta and Charles Boyle are Manly and Sensitive respectively. Jake is a childish, athletic, and very enthusiastic detective with compulsions to act out action-hero fantasies who excels as a detective through a combination of natural knack and sheer luck. Charles is a submissive, eager-to-please foodie who gets by as a detective through sheer effort and who is very insecurely defensive of his place as Jake's best friend and #1 choice to partner on cases.
    • Many other character pairings produce the paradigm, such as the two commanders of the 99; yogurt-loving, 'proud mama hen' and doting father Sergeant Terry Jeffords and stoic, professional Captain Raymond Holt.
  • On the series Caprica there are the Adama brothers, Joseph and Sam.
  • Choujuu Sentai Liveman gains a duo who fit this trope mid-season: Tetsuya Yano/Black Bison and Jun’ichi Aikawa/Green Sai (Rhino). Tetsuya is overall more tough and more stoic than Jun'ichi, and is shown practicing boxing in the opening credits. Jun’ichi, the youngest of the Livemen and still in high school, is generally more “heart on his sleeve” and appears more emotionally invested in the scenarios that Brain Army Volt cooks up. When he becomes a host for a Brain Beast’s offspring in one episode, he even eventually becomes (emotionally) attached to the progeny. When Tetsuya first refers to Jun’ichi, he describes him as his like his “little brother”, while Jun’ichi always calls Tetsuya "Tet-chan"; "-chan" being a Japanese honorific suffix indicating strong affection. To symbolize their bond in a fairly literal way, their respective mechs Bison Liner and Sai Fire combine into the giant robot Live Boxer.
  • Also played with in Criminal Minds: From their first appearances, Morgan and Reid seem set up to be this trope (Morgan is playing a vaguely "educational" drinking game with a group of women, whereas Reid, the genius prodigy, is interrupting mentor/team leader Gideon's lecture on profiling and tailing him like a puppy). As the series goes on, though they both display examples of following the trope (e.g., Morgan is the team's designated door-kicker and likes portraying himself as either a ladies' man or strong enough to handle anything, while Reid prefers trying to talk unsubs down from confrontations, very visibly has trouble with some cases, is a Distressed Dude, and can barely talk to a woman outside of his mother or the context of work), and going against it (e.g., Reid takes cases personally hard, but has had to work at making himself more sympathetic and tactful toward victims and persons of interest, while Morgan often ends up in a nurturing role towards other team members, especially Garcia and Reid). One typically masculine trait both of them share? Although Reid's emotional responses to situations are more visible, more often than not, both are loath to talk about their feelings.
  • Dalziel and Pascoe. Peter Pascoe is the modern, thoughtful, psychologically-trained police officer, Andy Dalziel is pure Old-Fashioned Copper.
  • Womanizer rocker Drake and nerdy shy guy Josh from Drake & Josh.
  • EastEnders has the wimpy and weak, emotionally vulnerable Ian Beale (sensitive) and the tough and violent, thuggish Phil Mitchell (manly).
  • In Firefly the greedy thug Jayne, is hostile toward the classy doctor Simon. Their contrasting personalities are best seen in "Jaynestown" where Jayne feels comfortable in the rough, poor world and Simon clings to being proper. Their rivalry is best seen in "Ariel" when Jayne demands that Simon be left on the core planet after being stabbed by Simon's sister. Mal then deals with Jayne's defensiveness and Simon's concern for his sister.
  • Frasier:
    • Martin Crane is a tough, no-nonsense former cop, while his two sons are sophisticated psychiatrists who are into high art.
    • Niles is the sensitive guy to Frasier's manly man, by a very narrow margin. Both are pretty sensitive, but Niles' fussy, effeminate manner and weak constitution put him over the top.
    • At the radio station, Frasier is often pitted against sports show host Bob "Bulldog" Briscoe, a crass, short-tempered, womanizing Jerk Jock.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Will is the cool ladies man (manly) and Carlton is a studious Hollywood Dateless dork (sensitive).
  • Friends:
    • Chandler (sensitive) and Joey (manly). Generally, Joey will sleep with girls for a night and Chandler will make them breakfast the next morning.
    • Played with in one episode: Phoebe was dating two guys at the same time, a manly fireman named Vince and a sensitive teacher named Jason. She tries to break up with Vince but discovers that's he's also sensitive and artistic to boot ("He has access to lots of charcoal"). She tries to break up with Jason while he's fixing up his apartment, and he's totally hunky. In the end, both break up with her after they meet and learn the truth.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Renly is sensitive, thoughtful, smart, politically savvy, and doesn't particularly like fighting, in contrast to his whoring, war-hero, drunkard of a brother, Robert, and notable warrior Stannis. This dynamic is also present in Renly's relationship with Loras. Renly looks tougher, but has never seen a battle; Loras is a very pretty, very dangerous knight.
    • Samwell Tarly is a meek and sensitive young man who loves books, music, and kittens. His best friend is Jon Snow, a bold young man of action who yearns to be a ranger.
  • In GARO: Kouga Saezima is the serious, no-nonsense, straightforward, and dutiful Makai Knight is Manly Man to Rei Suzumura who is cheerful, quite playful and also relaxed with a high level of emotions. But in Makai Senki, Kouga still remains manly as the previous series but with the capability to show his nice side. And Leo the idealist nice guy and emotional is obviously the Sensitive Guy among Kouga and Rei Manliness.
  • On Glue, best friends Rob and James fit this pattern. Rob is what passes for a manly man at their age: he's the Life of the Party, cocky and self-important, and claims his basic necessities are "food, a roof, weed, pussy, and Mars bars!". James, meanwhile, is introverted and introspective, waxes poetic about the countryside (when he's not being The Quiet One, that is), says things Rob deems "cheesy", and is an all-around sensitive soul.
  • In Hannibal, Will Graham is a scruffy loner who likes fishing, drinking, and dogs, while Hannibal Lecter is an erudite European socialite whose hobbies include art, composing for the harpsichord, and gourmet cooking. Also, Hannibal's a psychopathic cannibal serial killer. Unusual in that the more outwardly masculine of the two is also the more emotionally sensitive and mentally fragile, to the point where it's the awful superpower he has to wield against Hannibal.
  • Richie on Happy Days was the humdrum Nice Guy while the Fonz was...well, the Fonz.
  • The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: Almost right down to a T: Frank Hardy, Manly (Parker Stevenson being the muscled prep-school jock into surfing). Younger Brother Joe, Sensitive (Shaun Cassidy, slender teen-idol musician). Interesting to note, this is the absolute opposite of the way things were in the books: usually Frank is the intellectual one more likely to enjoy art, and Joe is the more athletic jock. Though the show occasionally played with it by having Frank shove Joe out front in dangerous situations:
    (as the brothers are about to step into a crypt containing god-knows-what)
    Joe:'re the oldest.
    Frank: Yeah, but you're more agile on your feet—and stronger.
    Joe: Since when?
    Frank: Since right now.
  • Home Improvement. Tim was a tool-loving manly-grunting man and Al was the sensitive and overly emotional type (though still very burly and masculine-looking). Being a real man was one of the show's main themes and Al's sissy-ness was the butt of many jokes but Al was shown to be much smarter than Tim. In addition, they were united as an Odd Couple by their mutual love of craftsmanship. Tim was also contrasted with his neighbor Wilson, an introspective Renaissance Man. Tim himself embraces Testosterone Poisoning to the degree that every other man on the show looks like the sensitive guy in comparison.
  • House of Anubis:
  • Barney, The Casanova Jerkass and Ted, the Dogged Nice Guy, from How I Met Your Mother. Marshall qualifies as the sensitive guy as well. This might be more of a Gentle Giant thing though.
  • Kenan & Kel has impulsive and ambitious schemer Kenan and neurotic, cautious and childish Kel.
  • ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning show uses this trope, with Mike Golic (a former NFL defensive lineman) as the manly man and Mike Greenberg as the Sensitive Guy. One of the features of their column in ESPN the Magazine is the "Manly/Metro tip", with Golic's "manly" tip accompanied by an icon of a beer mug and Greeny's "Metro" tip accompanied by an icon of a martini glass.
  • Modern Family:
    • Jay, a stoic former military man with fifties-era values of manliness, is often embarrassed by his touchy-feely son-in-law Phil, who is not only incompetent at most masculine interests, but also has a stereotypically female job (realtor), and was a male cheerleader to boot.
    • Phil's main competitor in realty is Gil Thorpe, who has a Jerk Jock personality.
    • Played with Mitchell and Cameron. Physically, Cameron is the bigger and stronger than the two, and was even a football star in high school, yet is by far the most sensitive of the two; while skinny Mitchel is (relatively) Straight Gay and takes the role of disciplinarian in the household.
    • Artsy, mature for his age Manny contrasts with Luke, who is more of a typical Hormone-Addled Teenager.
  • Subverted in My Three Sons. Bub O'Casey is a gruff housekeeper while Steve Douglas is a levelheaded aeronautical engineer.
  • NCIS has McGee, who is more or less a Camp Straight, and Tony, who, hiding his true side behind a jerkass mask, constantly derides him for it. Interestingly, McGee's 'soft side' tends to get him dates; Tony, more of a slick womanizer by nature, often sticks his foot into his mouth by making fun of McGee's feminine tendencies in front of sympathetic ladies. It's also played with in that, while Tony is a tough guy type, more physically capable and stereotypically masculine than McGee (he's a street-smart athlete to McGee's academia and noodle-arm), he's also a dedicated follower of fashion where McGee wore the same suit for his first four seasons. He makes fun of McGee for moisturizing, but he spends $100 on a tie.
  • Noah (sensitive) and Wade (manly) from Noah's Arc. Also, to an extent Junito (sensitive) and Ricky (though Ricky's "manly" tends to be sexually aggressive and detached).
  • Parks and Recreation likes to contrast manly man Ron Swanson with overenthusiastic New Age health nut Chris Traeger.
    • There's also Ron from Eagleton, who certainly looks like a Manly Man (he's played by Sam Elliot, whose mustache puts Nick Offerman's to shame). Swanson initially likes the other Ron ... until he discovers the other Ron is a vegetarian sandal-wearing practitioner of yoga, at which point his comment is "I no longer like Ron."
  • British cop shows love this. In the late 70s and early 80s, The Professionals had the rough, tough, SAS-trained Bodie and the more gentle and sophisticated Doyle.
  • Doctor Cox (manly man) and JD in Scrubs. Also, to some extent, Turk and JD, though, while Turk is quite sensitive himself, he cannot compare to JD.
  • Star Trek
  • The Suite Life of Zack and Cody stars twin boys where Cody loves school and cooking while Zack is the more cool brother. Zack does have his sensitive moments though especially in "On Deck". Most notably in "Flowers and Chocolate" when he is seen bawling during a romantic film.
  • Supernatural appears to be a textbook version of this trope, but hard-drinking and -playing, gun-happy 'Manly Man' Dean is more often in a nurturing role than little brother Sam, and will unashamedly cry where his family's concerned. While Sam's more likely to cry even for strangers and prefers nonviolent paths, he becomes single-minded enough to forsake his characteristic empathy under the wrong circumstances. Which are common.
    • Pertinent to this trope, many of Dean's jokes make the punchline Sam's lack of (what he sees as) masculinity. Although Sam does get his own back occasionally:
      Dean: Of course, the most troubling question is, why do these people assume we're gay?
      Sam: Well you are kind of butch, they probably think you're overcompensating.
  • That '70s Show:
    • Eric the nice guy (sensitive) and Hyde the Troubled, but Cute "bad boy" (manly).
    • Fez the Camp Straight foreign kid (sensitive) and Kelso the dumb narcissistic ladies man (manly).
  • Jack is Manly and Ianto is Sensitive in Torchwood.
  • The two brothers on Two and a Half Men fulfill this stereotype to the letter. Charlie is arrogant, hedonistic and Really Gets Around, Alan is a neurotic Butt-Monkey who's awkward with women.
  • Matt the Lovable Jock and Tyler the Jerk Jock in the early episodes of The Vampire Diaries.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock: Gobo and Wembley. While Gobo is an explorer who follows in the footsteps of his brave yet clumsy uncle Travelling Matt and is sometimes stubborn and too eager to do things on his own, Wembley is a youthful, insecure Extreme Doormat (before he learns to stand up for himself) who always finds it difficult to make a choice, because he refuses to hurt anyone's feelings. The two are usually seen as best friends and roommates, much like Mokey and Red.
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: Baloney and Mr. Potato Head have this dynamic; Baloney has little problem expressing his softer emotions and is into things like aromatherapy, while PH tends to only express manlier emotions like anger and annoyance, and is ashamed to be found dancing.
  • In That Puppet Game Show, the soft-spoken music geek Eddie Watts is best friends with the brash, outdoorsy Jake Hamilton-Jones.


    Tabletop Games 
  • The elegant and aristocratic Fulgrim and the burly, short-tempered Ferrus Manus from Warhammer 40,000 had one of the closest relationships in a family of 18 brothers. Until, literally, all hell breaks loose and civil war breaks out with the Horus Heresy, and Fulgrim gleefully kills Ferrus. Fulgrim still doesn't take it well, in the end.

  • Especially prominent in the 20th-anniversary production of Elisabeth, with Mark Seibert as Death in contrast to his Franz Josephs and Rudolfs, with the latter being extremely prominent - Seibert!Death is an aggressive, traditionally masculine being note  with a muscular build, and Crown Prince Rudolf is slim, nervous, and hypersensitive.
  • In Mozart's The Magic Flute, Tamino and Papageno tend to come across this way, though how much depends on the production. Ironically, Tamino, the Manly Man (even though he faints at the sight of a big snake), is a light tenor role, while Papageno, the Sensitive Guy, is a baritone.
  • The Odd Couple has Felix, Neat Freak and Nervous Wreck, and Oscar, a man's man.

    Video Games 
  • A3 has Tsumugi and Tasuku as the Sensitive Guy and Manly Man respectively. Tsumugi is a gentle, Nice Guy who is also a Caring Gardener and best known for his subtle and delicate acting, whereas Tasuku is a blunt, stoic fitness nut who is a Mr. Fixit and best known for his bold acting. Tsumugi is also slim, whereas Tasuku is muscular and strong enough to give Tsumugi a Bridal Carry.
  • Bully has Petey play the sensitive guy to both Gary and Jimmy's manly men.
  • Zigzagged and downplayed in Death Stranding, with Sam and Deadman. Sam is a Working-Class Hero, who trecks through dangerous terrain and fights BTs on the regular, while Deadman is an eccentric scientist who never leaves Capital Knot City and can't fight. When the two are whisked away by a time supercell that puts them on a World War II era battlefield, Sam has to do the actual fighting to get them back home, while Deadman can only hide and wait in fear. It gets subverted when it comes to their personalities and emotions: Sam is very shy and submissive in pretty much all social interactions, he's prone to crying and immidietly bonds with the BB he travels with, and while Deadman isn't emotionless, exactly, he's way more subdued and rational, especially at the start of the game.
  • Dragon Quest V: Pankraz and Sancho. Pankraz is a brooding, stoic swordsman who tries to keep his emotions in check for his son's sake. His servant and friend Sancho is a pugdy, kind-hearted man who wears his heart on his sleeve at all times.
  • Ensemble Stars! has Kuro and Shu: Kuro being a rough-speaking, reserved, karate-performing former delinquent, and Shu being a fussy, elitist, and prissy fashion designer. However, don't mistake sensitivity for kindness - while Kuro looks intimidating, he's a very caring big brother figure, while Shu is an arrogant Jerk with a Heart of Gold. The two are Childhood Friends, and naturally, a fairly popular ship. Less obviously, Keito could also qualify as a Sensitive Guy to Kuro's Manly Man - he's more gender-neutral than feminine, but he's far less physically fit than the other members of his unit and is just as fussy and particular as Shu when it comes to rules, not to mention being far more easily swept up in emotion (albeit to his own embarrassment).
  • Fallout: New Vegas and All Roads in particular casts Benny and Swank like this. Benny is scheming to take on Vegas, Swank is worried about the extremes he'll go to... and about him getting cigarette burns on the carpets.
  • The Jin brothers from the Fatal Fury series. The sensitive guy of the brothers is Chonshu since some people think that he's a girl, plus he has a feminine voice. The manly man is Chonrei, who is a Knight Templar Big Brother.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Dorcas and Bartre in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, exemplified in their support conversations: Bartre is a Hot-Blooded Boisterous Bruiser whose solution to every problem is punching things in the face, while Dorcas is calm, paints as a side hobby and fights to earn money to support his sick wife. Interestingly, both are Axe Fighters, the archetypal "manly" class in the series.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: The Golden Deer house has the merchant-born childhood friends Raphael and Ignatz. Raphael is a Boisterous Bruiser who is passionate about building his muscles, wants to protect everyone, loves jumping right into the fray, and deeply wants to become a knight. Ignatz is shy, artistic, awestruck by beauty, prefers more refined fighting styles, and it's implied he's only becoming a knight instead of a professional artist because his family expects him to.
  • God of War (PS4): This game gives out a father/son example in the form of Kratos (manly) and his son Atreus (sensitive). Kratos, as shown in the games he appeared in is a reckless and angry demigod who has killed a lot of gods and is very impulsive, even though in the reboot, he is trying to work on his temper. Atreus is a young boy who is not very comfortable with killing unless if he is helping his dad fight monsters.
  • Parodied in Grand Theft Auto IV with the television show "The Men's Room With Bas And Jeremy", Jeremy St. Ives being an effeminate pacifist who's main advice usually revolves around "rectal marital issues" and "colon cleansing", and former ultimate fighter Bas Rutten (as he is portrayed in this game) being a hyper-masculine, borderline Ax-Crazy who's every sentence eventually devolves into violence sprinkled with gore.
  • Guilty Gear: Sol Badguy the eternally-pissed off rogue Gear with his Heroic Build, mouth like a Marine and heavy smoking is a sure-fire Manly Man to Ky Kiske, a dutiful knight who collects tea-cups and dearly loves his Cute Monster Girl wife Dizzy. That said, Ky is no weakling or pushover, and Sol is a Heartbroken Badass once you get past the tough-guy image.
  • Legacy of Kain: Brusque warlord Kain is a Manly Man while thoughtful, angsty Raziel is a Sensitive Guy. This trope can also apply to Manly Man Vorador (callous, violent, has a harem) and his sire Sensitive Guy Janos Audron (kind, understanding, hermetic).
  • Link and Prince Sidon from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Link is a short, slim Long-Haired Pretty Boy Hylian boy who looks very pretty when Disguised in Drag. Sidon is a tall and muscular Zora man. Inverted personality-wise as Link is The Stoic with occasional elements of Jerk with a Heart of Gold while Sidon is very charismatic, expressive, and always acts as a Nice Guy even when chastising Muzu for his anti-Hylian prejudice. Link is also a powerful knight, subverting the "weak" cliche.
  • Mass Effect 3 has James Vega as the "manly man" and Steve Cortez as the "sensitive guy". James is a Boisterous Bruiser full of macho bravado who refuses to show sadness (although he has plenty to be sad about). Steve Cortez is emotionally drained but far more level-headed shuttle pilot (although he can hold his own in combat), and at one point openly weeps in front of Commander Shepard. Steve is also less built than James, but not by much.
  • Mega Man (Classic) and Proto Man, with Mega Man being the Sensitive Guy and Proto Man being the Manly Man. Also Mega Man X and Zero. This last one is particularly interesting in that the one who viewers have sometimes mistaken for a girl isn't X but Zero, the Manly Man of the equation. Likely because his creator saw it fit to give him flowing, hips-long hair and such other characteristics.
  • Solid Snake (manly man) and Otacon (sensitive guy) from Metal Gear Solid are made of this trope, although Snake's more philosophical and Otacon's sexual history is significantly more important to the plot than Snake's. And both are as emotionally needy as each other, although they show it in different ways.
  • Zigzagged in Persona 4 with Ryotaro Dojima and Tohru Adachi. At work, Dojima is the grizzled, hard-boiled Manly Man to Adachi's goofy and bumbling Sensitive Guy. However, they switch places off the clock; Adachi is the snide and antisocial Manly Man to Dojima's soft-spoken and paternal Sensitive Guy.
  • Pokémon:
  • Radiant Historia features protagonist Stocke and his best friend Rosch. Rosch is the big, burly Captain and Supporting Leader, while the slim, Bishōnen Stocke is The Confidant and The Ace. Despite his demeanor, Stocke is also a ridiculously nice guy who's surprisingly good with people, even helping Rosch with relationship problems.
  • Street Fighter has Claw as the Sensitive Guy and Boxer as the Manly Man.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario and Luigi, to some extent. Mario has a quick-to-act get-up-and-go fearless attitude, while Luigi has a hesitant, cautious, and timid demeanor. "Mario" even means "manly".
    • Then there's aggressive, Hot-Blooded Manly Man Bowser that Mario becomes a Sensitive Guy to.
    • One of the partners in the Paper Mario series follows this trope too. Kooper is the Manly Man, who is more adventurous, brave, and being much more fearless, in comparison to Koops, being the Sensitive Guy who is much more shy, timid, and clumsy.
    • Count Bleck of Super Paper Mario is a melodramatic cape-swooping bad guy whose entire villainous motivations stem from his emotions towards losing his only love. To contrast him, O'Chunks is a loud Violent Glaswegian who acts as one of his villainous enforcers. And he usually leaves the scene by farting away.
  • Undertale has skeleton brothers, Sans and Papyrus. Sans is lazy and secretly cynical, loves pranking others, spending time in bars and sleeping and is insanely powerful and willing to kill you over and over again if you go too far, making him the manly man, while his younger brother Papyrus is a cheerful and egotistical sweetheart and optimist who loves creating puzzles, cooking spaghetti, and while still powerful, he is far less powerful than Sans and he is not willing to kill you, no matter what- he in fact SPARES YOU immediately on Genocide Run, where you killed everyone before him just to help you become a better person and on Pacifist/Neutral run, he specifically wants to capture you, not kill you and will end the fight if your HP drops to 1- making him more sensitive of the two.
  • Wild ARMs 1 has Rudy and Jack. Rudy is a kind hearted and idealistic hero who will do anything to help and protect others while Jack is a cynical Jerk with a Heart of Gold who gets very aggressive when dealing with the demons attacking the world.
  • In World of Warcraft we have the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn as the manly man, and due to his characterization from the third expansion onwards, his son, Prince Anduin Wrynn, as the Sensitive Guy. Of course, Rule of Drama extends this dichotomy to cause them to have a rather dysfunctional father and son relationship, and opposing views on how to solve the ongoing conflict with the rival faction of the Horde.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kaito Momota and Shuichi Saihara from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, with Kaito being loud, passionate, and aggressive. His first significant interaction with Shuichi being punching his cheek for disrespecting Kaede's promise. Shuichi, on the other hand, is notably timider, slips into depressive episodes frequently, and tends to need constant reassurance from others. (He gradually grows out of this.)
  • Keiichi and Satoshi from Higurashi: When They Cry are presented in this fashion despite never interacting (except for in an anime OVA that ended up being All Just a Dream). They're foils to each other and Keiichi is very similar to Satoshi. Satoshi has a soft color palette of blond hair and, almost pink, red eyes while Keiichi has darker brown hair and blue eyes. Keiichi is somewhat perverted and Hot-Blooded while Satoshi is more mild-mannered. Satoshi is voiced by a woman despite being older than Keiichi and has a softer voice than him as well.
  • Monster Prom has many variations of it:
    • Among the player characters, Oz/Yellow is a meek and shy Pretty Boy and a Humanoid Abomination, while Brian/Green is a deadpan guy with attitude and a Hunk zombie.
    • Among the Love Interest characters, Liam, Damien and Scott have a varied dynamic: Liam is an artist with slim looks and a Deadpan Snarker being a sensitive guy to the other two manly men. However, among the other two, Scott is a Kindhearted Simpleton Lovable Jock, while Damien is a Bad Boy who likes to cause destruction and mayhem, so among the two, the former is a sensitive guy to the latter's manly man.

    Web Animation 
  • In Homestar Runner, would the relationship between Strong Bad and Strong Sad count? It's more antagonistic though, with Strong Bad making Strong Sad's life as miserable as possible. But there are instances of them getting along.

  • Dear Children:
    • Devin and Joshua are a pretty straightforward example. Devin is loud, aggressive, and doesn't seem to do well with emotions. Josh is timid, nurturing, and soft-spoken.
    • Also, Devin and Gabe, to a lesser extent.
  • El Goonish Shive would seem to have this at first, with Elliot and best friend Tedd. Elliot is taller, does martial arts, and has Bully Hunter tendencies. Tedd is shorter, inventive, and has an androgynous appearance. However, before Characterization Marches On, Tedd was the letch and Elliot has always been very sensitive and treats everyone (except bullies) with respect.
  • Gil and Tarvek of Girl Genius. Tarvek is the Sensitive Guy compared to Gil's Manly Man. He's calmer, more thoughtful, fashion-oriented, and less prone to fits of violence.
  • Guy and Jay in Good Guy Comic. Guy is an introvert and Jay likes to roughhouse.
  • Hark! A Vagrant gives us Chopin and Liszt, Kate Beaton-style.
  • Hodges Pond gives us two examples:
    • Orville (Sensitive) and Roy (Manly): Orville is a quiet, well-mannered squirrel who dreams of flying while Roy is a mischievous prankster raccoon.
    • Matt (Sensitive) and Ricky (Manly): Matt is a hopeless romantic who constantly picks flowers while Ricky is basically an Expy of Roy from the original Orville comic.
  • John and Dave of Homestuck. John is a Pollyanna who staunchly believes in the power of friendship. Dave is a Stoic Deadpan Snarker badass.
    • The trope is reflected even more strongly with their respective biological fathers Jake and Dirk. Dirk is a stoic, aggressive asshole and probably the most traditionally masculine character in the comic; while Jake is shy and unassertive, likes wearing short shorts, and cries easily.
  • Elan and Roy in The Order of the Stick. In an inversion of the usual stereotype, "manly" Roy is the brains and leader of the group, and "sensitive" Elan is a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Welcome to Hell: Sock is an androgynous boy who wears a Skirt over Slacks and has a perpetually upbeat personality. Jonathan has a darker color palette and is a sullen, taller boy who is usually apathetic and asocial.
  • What's Normal Anyway? has the sensitive and somewhat girly Mel and his dudebro best friend Beef.
  • Jack (Sensitive) and Zill (Manly) from Zoophobia. Jack is quiet, shy, and interested in outer space while Zill is the outgoing popular guy. They're also best friends.

    Web Original 

  • The Call of Warr: Prince and Glintz-Terry have this dynamic, with Prince being the aggressive, impulsive, and pragmatic second-in-command, and Glintz-Terry being emotional, romantic, and a guy who tries to be nice to everyone.
  • Cream Heroes: An even split among the male cats. Humble DD, distant Coco and polite Toto are the Sensitive Guys. Boisterous Momo, mischievous Lulu and aggressive Dodo are the Manly Men.
  • Epic Rap Battles of History has several matchups like this. This trope appears to be the entire point of "Genghis Khan vs the Easter Bunny." Guess who spends his second verse trying to calm down his opponent, before telling him to leave.
  • Gaming Garbage hosts Rich "Lowtax" Kayana, a bossy Large Ham Announcer, and Dave "Shmorky" Kelly, a Keet In Touch with His Feminine Side.
  • The short-lived Fan Fiction archive Fanlib failed after leading a particularly offensive and ill-advised marketing campaign starring "Pink Guy" and "Blue Guy." After apparently mistaking its primarily queer female audience for heterosexual teenage boys, "Pink Guy" and "Blue Guy" appeared in an ad promoting Fanlib as manly and powerful/attractive and non-Fanlib as feminine and weak/unattractive.
  • Monster High:
    • Jeckel and Hyde routine is done like this, with Jackson being a typical soft-spoken nerd with a dislike of loud music, and Holt being a loud-mouthed disc jockey with flaming red hair.
    • As of season 3, Clawd and Deuce.
  • The Nostalgia Critic and The Other Guy (Doug and Rob Walker) seem to go for this trope, with Critic being quite girly and The Other Guy much more in control. Or it could be that Doug is the younger brother who is very often either being moe or a total limelight-loving flirt while Rob stays in the background.
  • A twofer in Demo Reel with Donnie DuPre and Carl Copenhagan, and Tacoma Narrows and Quinn. Donnie was a Cuddle Bug queerball who had no complaints with wearing eyeliner and lipstick, while Carl used to work with The Stasi and thought everything could be solved by shooting at it. Tacoma was a Nice Guy whose voice gets mistaken for his mother's sister, plus he was delighted to hear that he didn't look bad in a dress, while Quinn was a purely Irish Good Is Not Nice Blood Knight.
  • Ian and Anthony of Smosh. Ian (sensitive) is slightly more emotional, gets insulted more easily, and has even cried on camera for real. Anthony (manly) is the more vitriolic friend, makes fun of Ian more than Ian makes fun of him, and has never really shown a sensitive side, although his girlfriend claims he DOES have one.
  • Matt and Pat in Two Best Friends Play. Matt likes games like Kirby's Epic Yarn, while Pat likes games like Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Then again, Pat turns out to be a brony. Inverted AND Played for Laughs when they both flip their respective personalities, with Pat being the Wuss and Matt being the tough guy when they play Slender and its sequel.

    Western Animation 
  • The 7D has cheerful, enthusiastic, impulsive Happy and wisecracking, tough-talking, no-nonsense Grumpy.
  • American Dad! has three primary examples of this:
    • A father/son example with Stan and Steve. Stan being an arrogant, stoic, hypermasculine man's man and Steve being a cowardly, hypersensitive mamma's boy who occasionally shows signs of being spoiled rotten. Much of the show focuses on Stan's involvement in Steve's life as Steve comes of age. The show does invert this at times, with Stan having such a hard time showing emotion that he tends to go to extremes when he does, while Steve continues to grow out of his childishness (albeit at a very slow pace), both of which often have hilarious results. As the show progresses, Stan slowly continues to open up to his family, while Steve grows his own personality.
    • Then there's Stan (macho) and Roger (sensitive). Roger is so effeminate and irresponsible, that it results in an even more extreme example of this.
    • Steve and Roger are the third variation, though it's dependent on the situation as to who plays who (or to be exact, it's more dependent on which persona Roger's playing).
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Gumball (manly) & Darwin (sensitive), Gumball is very reckless, blunt, impulsive, and rude, while Darwin is more naive and sympathetic.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang and Sokka, to an extent, as well as Sokka and Zuko. Personality Powers can go a long way towards this trope. Interestingly enough, Sokka switches roles depending on who he's partnered up with. He is manly in comparison to the happy and playful Aang, but sensitive compared with the emotionally-repressed Zuko. But all good male characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender show a sensitive side to some degree.
  • Austin from The Backyardigans is absent from at least 40% of episodes, leaving us with the other two males: the hot-headed Pablo and the soft-spoken Tyrone. When Austin does appear, he is usually a middle ground for the other two.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Ben (a male version of Sailor Moon) and Kevin (the stereotypical bad boy who averts Save the Villain).
  • Dan Vs.: The vindictive title character bent on vengeance to anyone who he feels has wronged him and his friend, the nice pushover Chris.
  • Daria: Sensitive Mr. O'Neill becoming friends with manly man Mr. DeMartino.
  • The Dragon Prince has this with Soren (manly) and Callum (sensitive). Soren is tall, buff, great at swordfighting and other physical activity, brash in personality, and in many ways a stereotypical jock. Meanwhile, Callum is physically much smaller, rather clumsy, harbors a love for "cute" things, and much prefers art to any sort of fighting. In contrast with Soren's brashness, Callum is sweet, empathetic, and optimistic, as well as also startling easily; overall he has no inhibition towards openly showing emotion (including tears.)
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy alternates this trope with different pairs.
    • Shy and polite Edd (sensitive) and loud, short-tempered Eddy (manly).
    • Geeky, studious, well-mannered Edd (sensitive) and big, dumb, strong Ed (manly).
    • Affectionate, animal-loving Gentle Giant Ed (sensitive) and rude, aggressive, ambitious Eddy (manly).
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends has the shy and warm-hearted Mac and his rebellious and reckless imaginary friend Bloo. Mac is also considered this to his brother Terrence, who takes on the role as the tough, physically strong, Big Brother Bully.
  • Futurama:
    • Zapp is a classic Small Name, Big Ego Captain and sees himself as a manly courageous stud. Kif, on the other hand, starts out as a weary Deadpan Snarker but grows more into the Sensitive Guy mold through his relationship with Amy.
    • Lrrr and Jrrr in "T: The Terrestrial": Lrrr is a very aggressive alien who is a wannabe overlord and has a booming and snarling voice and does not hesitate in invading planets but Jrrr is not interested in invading planets and wants to befriend humans rather than hurt them. Jrrr is Lrrr's 12-year-old son and Jrrr's sensitive nature is what causes Lrrr to become obsessed with making his son into a man through unorthodox means but they fail until Jrrr stands up to his father.
    • Fry the Socially Awkward Hero and Bender the boisterous Hedonist.
  • Gargoyles. The gargoyles Brooklyn and Broadway. Brooklyn is the more reckless and rebellious member of the Wyvern clan as he frequently questions Goliath's leadership. Broadway, on the other hand, is an easygoing, lovable oaf who likes modern culture and does not question Goliath's authority
  • Goof Troop has Pete, the deep-voiced, dominating, aggressive, bold, easy-to-anger Fat Bastard who likes to hunt, camp, and play "real" sports, and PJ, the high-voiced (even as an adult), submissive, passive, shy, vulnerable Gentle Giant who likes to engage in casual sports and write and listen to poetry. Pete is PJ's father, and he exploits his son's different nature on some occasions, chastising it on others.
  • Gravity Falls: Daniel "Manly Dan" Corduroy (macho) and Tyler Cutebiker (sensitive). Manly Dan, as shown by his name, is a macho outdoorsman who loves lumberjacking. cutting wood, fishing, and is an aggressive man who can punch down wooden poles and trees with his bare hands. Tyler Cutebiker is more flamboyant and effeminate as he likes wearing jean shorts, goes Christmas shopping when its summer, and likes the boy band Sev'ral Timez.
    • Grunkle Stan and his twin brother Ford. Stan is a tough, selfish, Book Dumb, world-weary, temperamental, and manipulative con artist, while Ford is a level-headed, sensible, generous, honest but detrimentally naive Bookworm and later Badass Bookworm. It's heavily implied that Stan has an inferiority complex due to being devalued because of this dynamicnote , which is a major component in his falling out with Ford. It's implied that Mabel shares this inferiority complex in regards to Dipper for much the same reason.
    • There's also Ford (the strong) and his friend Fiddleford (the soft). Ford is well, as mentioned above and Fidds is an ex-hippie who (usually) is as nice as he seems. They obviously get lots of Ho Yay moments.
  • Johnny Bravo: the eponymous character (who did everything to be seen as a cool macho man) was paired with the sensitive geek Carl.
  • Johnny Test:
    • Johnny (manly) and his dog Dukey (sensitive). Johnny is the manly man due to his love for video games and rock music, hatred of cross-dressing even though he does it sometimes, and performs reckless and rebellious behavior while Dukey is the more cautious, emotional, and more effeminate of the two.
    • In the episode "Hoist The Johnny Roger", the pirates Blackbeard and Nobeard, who are both brothers. Blackbeard is basically a stereotypical pirate who does the usual pirate things like pilfering and plundering treasure. Nobeard is also a pirate but he is also Ambiguously Gay as he admitted that he never wanted to be a pirate in the first place but went along with it because piracy was in his family business and he is more interested in finding treasure and using it for pet shops, opera theatre, kitchens, and classical dancing rather than pilfering and plundering like Blackbeard. Both of their crews all fit in this too.
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy and Quack Quack are both Sensitive Guys to Mr. Cat's Manly Man. Stumpy is a jittery Butt-Monkey and Kindhearted Simpleton (at least in earlier episodes) and Quack Quack is gentle, sensitive and one of the nicer characters in the show. Meanwhile, Mr. Cat is a weapon-wielding, sarcastic Jerkass who loves torturing Quack Quack.
  • The Legend of Korra: Bolin is The Big Guy, yet he's also the most naive and emotional, compared to Mako's stoic Team Dad.
  • Looney Tunes: Chow Hound features a meek mouse and a manly dog.
    • The Mouse No, not again, please, not again! Oh, sir, I beg you to spare me the indignity.
    • The Dog Shyedup! And get to work.
  • Mike Chilton and Chuck appear to be this in Motorcity, although Mike, while still the leader of the group and very strong, is actually the group's Team Mom / Papa Wolf and is quite sensitive.
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey: Adam and Jake are pretty much the Expy of Mac and Bloo from Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends.
  • My Little Pony Tales: Shy, sensitive, and kindhearted Lancer and macho prankster Teddy and jerk jock Ace. Lancer tends to side with the girls, while Teddy and Ace are interested in pranking others and sports respectively. Though Teddy is also the sensitive guy to Ace's manly man as he does have a soft side toward Sweetheart and secretly keeps a teddy bear.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The episode "Twilight's Kingdom" provides a villainous example between Discord (sensitive) and Tirek (manly). One is the lord of chaos... who enjoys tea parties at Fluttershy's and likes pink cotton candy clouds. The other is a big, red, deep-voiced, muscular demon who loves blowing everything up with his power blasts.
  • The Pink Panther: Averted with Manly Man (and his relatives) working with the Pink Panther. The Pink Panther even shows a degree of manliness too. The episode 7 Manly Men, a Lower-Deck Episode / A Day in the Limelight which was a wholly blatant shout-out to YMCA and contained Ho Yay, was built on this trope - 6 manly men and a sensitive pirate-type guy. The original cartoon in question can be seen here (albeit in Spanish, but the 1995 Pink Panther episodes are hard to find, so Keep Circulating the Tapes applies, and there is currently no DVD of the full 1993 - 1995 series, only Season 1 from 1993, which upset the fans.
  • Recess: The four boys in the main cast consist of two Sensitive Guys, poetic Mikey and timid, nerdy Gus, and two Manly Men (er, boys), Guile Hero T.J. and Lovable Jock Vince.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show: Kind-hearted Stimpy and ill-tempered Ren respectively.
  • Rick and Morty: The show gives out a grandpa/grandson example with the two titular characters. Rick (manly) is a violently crazy alcoholic Mad Scientist who is a very snarly and amoral jerkass. His grandson, Morty (sensitive) basically serves as Rick's Morality Pet as he is the more cautious of the two and does not hesitate to call Rick out on his crazy and violent antics.
  • Rocket Power has the rebellious, manly Otto Rocket and the nerdy, sensitive Sam Dullard. Twister is in-between.
  • Rugrats: Shy and timid Chuckie Finster and adventurous Tommy Pickles. And their respective fathers share the same dynamic.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Nerdy, sensitive Milhouse being the foil to brash, extroverted mischief-maker Bart.
    • Thoughtful, polite, and religious Ned Flanders is a foil to the aggressive, beer-drinking Homer.
  • Sofia the First has Prince Hugo (Sensitive Guy) and his older brother Axel (Manly Man). Their father pushes them to be the best at any rugged sport, and the macho Axel appears to take the pressure better than the lovably dorky Hugo, who is visibly affected by peer pressure, not to mention hurt by Axel's emotionally hurtful "jokes".
  • South Park:
    • This trope is primarily played with the naive and idealistic Butters to the sadistic and aggressive Cartman.
    • Adding on to this, the main characters generally form two pairs for who is sensitive and manly respectively. Stan is an animal lover and usually prefers making peace rather than fighting while Kyle holds the highest morals in the group and is generally the most compassionate of his friends (although he has one hell of a temper) (Sensitive Guys). On the other hand, Cartman (despite his fondness for tea parties) is forceful, aggressive, and sadistic as mentioned above while Kenny is primarily interested in sex and drugs and perhaps has been seen crying the least among his friends (Manly Men). Within those specific pairs, Stan (Sensitive) is much less willing to get confrontational about things while Kyle (Manly) is pretty hot-headed, and Kenny (Sensitive) is laid-back, good-natured and heroic in form of Mysterion while Cartman (Manly) is a sociopathic Villain Protagonist. Butters tends to be the Sensitive Guy to the rest of the main characters in general.
  • Super Noobs: Memnock (Type 1 sensitive) and Zenblock (Type 2 manly), the two alien warriors. Memnock is the sensitive guy as he is an immature Camp Straight alien who likes cooking, is more reasonable and nice towards children, and has a huge childlike fascination with the many cultures of Earth. Zenblock is the manly man due to his Schwarzenegger like voice, impulsive and reckless Jerk with a Heart of Gold behavior, his skills in mechanics, his dislike of butterflies, and his reluctance with exploring Earth culture. However, Zenblock does join in with Memnock in touring around Earth's cultures if it either involves candy, involves doing childish things, or offers Zenblock a chance to compete against Memnock in something. Both of them also share some manly interests as well such as football, basketball, and fishing.
  • The Tick: Tick is a huge, burly guy who leaps into action and saves the day even if it means wrestling the tongue of a giant dinosaur man. Arthur is meek and timid, afraid to get into a fight. His Battlecry is "Not in the face!"
  • Time Squad: Buck Tuddrussell (Type 1 macho) and the Larry 3000 (Type 2 sensitive) — in the first seven episodes of season one, at least. From the episode "Larry Upgrade" to the series finale ("Orphan Substitute"), the pairing went from "Macho Man and Sensitive Guy hanging out with an orphaned eight-year-old history buff" into Larry and Buck acting like a married couple/foster parents to Otto. It doesn't help matters that the Larry 3000 comes off as Ambiguously Gay at best and Camp Gay at worst.
  • Total Drama: The first season is unique in terms of not having just two but three guys fit for this trope with all of them being on the same team. Juvenile delinquent Duncan is the manly man while Animal Lover DJ is the sensitive guy. Surfer Dude Geoff personifies both traits of this trope as he is the sensitive to Duncan's manly and the manly to DJ's sensitive. Coincidentally, all three of the guys are the last three members of their team remaining after the merge passed and when Bridgette was eliminated.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • Dr. Venture and Brock Samson (although "sensitive" isn't exactly the best term to describe Dr. Venture)
    • The brothers themselves, Hank (manly) and Dean (sensitive). Their dynamic is not dissimilar to The Hardy Boys, especially early in the series.
    • In later seasons, Brock is often paired with Shoreleave on operations. Since Shoreleave is sassy, flamboyant, and extremely gay, this trope might be expected, but it's averted. Shoreleave is every bit as violent and assertive as Brock, managing to be both Camp Gay and Manly Gay at the same time. He even calls out Pete White as a sissy because he assumes that Pete is in the closet.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Manly Man And Sensitive Guy


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