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Oooooh, Mr. Ike, OOOOOOHHHHH!!!!

The classic European and American standard of male beauty[1], the hunk is two things: handsome and manly.

His face tends to be squarish and sharp-featured, often with a prominent chin. He has big, well-muscled arms and a large torso with pronounced muscles. He also has fairly thick, muscular legs, though they get less attention. It is often implied that he is as well-endowed between the legs as in the arms. The hunk may or may not have body hair, depending on the time period, and facial hair is negotiable. Guaranteed, however, to adopt Perma Stubble during his choice moments as Estrogen Brigade Bait.

Clothing tends to be simple and timeless. Nowadays, a hunk's casual wardrobe will consist of tight jeans and either a tank top, tight T-shirt, or flannel shirt (if he wears one at all. Works directed at a female audience have him not in increasing numbers). For work and formal events, a smart suit is a given.

The hero of a story, if male, is frequently a hunk, particularly in an action series. If the lead character is a woman, the leading man or the heroine's Love Interest, if not both, tends to be a hunk.

It is rare for a hunk to be an outright villain. However, a nasty hunk is often used to deliver the Moral of the Story. In this case, the (usually young, often teenage) heroine will imagine him to be a perfect Knight in Shining Armor type, but he's actually a Prince Charmless, Jerkass or vain prick, thus proving that one should not judge another based on appearances.

Mr. Fanservice is usually one of these. Contrast Pretty Boy. East Asian pop-culture tends to use Bishonen as the go-to "hot guy standard" instead.

Examples of Hunk include:


Advertising

  • Calvin Klein hires hunks as underwear models.
  • Abercrombie and Fitch is built on this trope.
  • The Old Spice Guy openly exploits and lampshades this trope.


Anime and Manga


Comics

  • Superman is usually drawn this way. Clark Kent varies by the artist.
  • Bruce Wayne aka Batman is also frequently drawn in a hunky manner.
  • Most incarnations of Nightwing.
  • Most male comic book heroes, really. It would probably be quicker to list the aversions of this trope.
  • Bruce Banner averts it, being short and skinny. His alter-ego doesn't fare much better, as he is generally drawn as extremely muscular but troll-faced. However, during the 90s Bruce Banner and the Hulk were merged into a single persona and this new incarnation was drawn with the Hulk's body and Banner's face, creating a (green) hunk.


Film


Literature

  • Carrot Ironfoundersson in Discworld is described as being pretty hunky.


Live-Action TV


Professional Wrestling


Video Games

  • Chris Redfield and Billy Coen in Resident Evil.
  • Solid Snake from Metal Gear Solid, is considered this for a reason.
  • The Lords from Fire Emblem tended to be Pretty Boys, but this has changed in recent times:
    • Hector from Blazing Blade started the trend...
    • And Ike from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn codified it. Pictured above is his Vanguard incarnation (equivalent to his Radiant Dawn self), as shown in Fire Emblem: Heroes.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening has Chrom (though he also has some Pretty Boy traits) and a Male Avatar with the biggest build. Vaike and Priam (said to be a descendant of Ike) are non-Lord examples.
    • Fire Emblem Fates has both Crown Princes, Ryoma and Xander, Ryoma's retainer Saizo, Princess Elise's retainer Arthur, and Ryoma's son Shiro.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: a Male Byleth is another blend of both Hunk and Pretty Boy (especially if reclassed into the right classes), while Caspar von Bergliez and Prince Dimitri Alexander Blaiddyd go from Pretty Boys to this after the Time Skip. Byleth's Hot Dad Jeralt Eisner, Raphael Kirsten, Balthus von Albrecht and Dedue Molinaro fit in here from the very start.
    • And from the earlier games, there's Ogma from the Akaneia continuity. His once plain-looking companion Barst is notoriously hunkier in the card games and Heroes.
  • Jecht from Final Fantasy X and Dissidia is actually described as having "the body of a bronzed god," which is in stark contrast to the many, many bishies in the series.
  • Riku, Sora's best friend from Kingdom Hearts, is designed like this.
  • Little Mac from Punch Out can be seen as this since his Wii redesign.
  • Ryu from Street Fighter.
    • Vega aka Claw (also know as Balrog in Japan).
    • Ken Masters, Ryu's best friend and rival.
    • The newest games have Cody (especially after he cleans up his act in SF V), Rashid and Luke.
  • Tekken is littered with these; Kazuya Mishima, Paul Phoenix, Marshall Law, King (mask and all), Fei Weng, Miguel Caballero Rojo, etc. Others like Kazuya's son Jin, Lars Alexandersson and Steve Fox manage to blend Hunk with Pretty Boy.


Web Originals


Western Animation

  1. there was a period in the 18th and 19th centuries when Pretty Boy was the standard, but hunks have been more commonly admired at other times
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