A young gay man, usually in his late teens or early twenties, getting his first taste of gay life. He might still be a closet case or he might have been out and proud since he was 12, but he has only recently started prowling the bars as a legal adult, especially if he's in college and away from his parents' watchful eyes for the first time. He starts out naive, and risks being exploited by the older men around.
Appearance-wise, he's stereotypically rail-thin with a boyish face and minimal facial and body hair. If white (and he usually is, where fiction is concerned), he'll be bleached-blonde with skin that's either pale or artificially tanned. He tends to buy all his clothing from Hollister, Old Navy, Abercrombie & Fitch, and the like, and will wear flip-flops regardless of the weather. note
As he adapts to the gay scene, he will begin to realize the power he holds over other men with his youthful looks and might become full of himself. Or he'll tire of the "Meet cute, fuck fast, bye-bye" routine and slow down before he risks ending up with an STD or drug addiction. If the story covers enough time, he'll hopefully be brought back down to earth sometime in his mid-20's or early 30's, when his maturity kicks in and/or his boyish looks start to fade. At which point, he begins to morph into some other gay trope.
The etymology of the word is a little ambiguous, but it's generally agreed to refer to the snack food Twinkies, because they're gold, delicious, and full of cream, but have absolutely no nutritional value. Similar terms include "cub" for young bears, "baby dyke" for lesbians, and "baby queer" as a more general term. This is essentially the caterpillar to the butterflies of the other gay archetypes. See Uke for the rough Japanese equivalent. Arguably the gay Spear Counterpart to The Ingenue.
Not to be confused with Princess Peach's infant star helper, "Twinking", a gaming term referring to lower level characters using hand-me-downs from their higher level characters that are still enough to make them overpowered, or God Moding.
- Jetlad in Top 10: The Forty-Niners, though he notably avoids the "full of yourself" phase.
- To some extent, Michael in Parting Glances. This movie also contains a subversion in the form of Peter ("you're into the realm of the Supertwinkie") who is actually "a wolf in Twinkie clothing." Also Nick used to be 'quasi-Twinkie'.
- Andre from "But I'm a Cheerleader'' is probably the campiest version of this trope to date.
- These Words Are True and Faithful: A running joke is that blond twinks are the only type that Ernie finds attractive. Ernie sees Sam as this, to Sam's annoyance.
- Game of Thrones: Ser Loras Tyrell fits the physical description to a tee, but the trope is somewhat subverted with regards to his romance with Lord Renly Baratheon (who is an "otter") because Loras is the emotionally dominant partner in their relationship despite being a few years younger.
- It was unclear in Season 3 what Olyvar's sexual orientation was, but it's confirmed in "Breaker of Chains" that he's gay.
- Arguably, all the gay boys from Glee fit the bill given their age and being at a point of self-discovery, but Kurt and Sebastian are the closest in characterization, albeit in different ways.
- Beecher in his relationship with Keller in Oz.
- Also, Timothy Kirk, though he's a much more minor character. Pretty well summarized by Reverend Cloutier, after Kirk makes a sexual advance on him: "You've made a lifetime out of being adorable, sexy in a lost-little-boy kind of way, but ... it's time for you to be a man."
- Justin from Queer as Folk (Nathan in the UK version). The series opens with him going to Babylon for the first time where he meets the older Brian, who takes his virginity. Their on-and-off relationship serves as the backbone of the series. The original idea for the closing scene in the series finale was to show a brand new baby gay come of age by visiting Babylon the same way Justin had, showing that the main characters' lives as gay people were just a few of many.
- Maxxie of Skins fits the description in appearance, but in personality he seems to be a bit savvier. We think. He never gets enough screen time for us to really tell.
- Jack from Will & Grace, in the episodes which flash back to his teens.
- Brandon Wright and Dante from The Wire are both twinks, but played in slightly different ways; Brandon is more the naive and easily led type, while Dante shows signs of arrogance and a tendency to try to manipulate Omar, with his jealousy being one of the factors to drive a wedge between them.
- Todd Grimshaw in Coronation Street is a self-centred twink who has used his attractiveness to break up a heterosexual relationship involving the older Marcus, a bisexual who tried to go straight with a girl, only for Todd to take pleasure in wrecking it. Todd is not a nice boy to know.
- Discussed in How to Get Away with Murder - Oliver accuses Connor of treating him like "a disposible twink". Connor rebuttles this accusation saying Oliver is too old to be a twink anyway.
- Kenny, the main character of The Real O'Neals, is an Irish-Catholic teen who has recently come out and is struggling to fit in on the gay scene. While he does has his moments of self-centeredness, mostly he's just Adorkable, and since he's still in high-school, a sexual relationship is still out of the question.