• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
"Food, baby! PETA is wrong, I'm right. I'm adhering to the natural order, tooth fang and claw is it! To try and tell me that I can't eat flesh is just weird. I dunno even how to respond to such stupidity. This meat is food, case closed."
Ted Nugent, speaking on Penn and Teller Bullshit, S2 episode 1

That cow? Food. That dog? Food. That grizzly bear? Food. That roadkill? Eh... food.

If you're a man, eat food. If you don't eat meat, you're not manly. And eat red meat. Who only eats the white stuff? That's not meat; it's gotta bleed before it's meat. What are ya? Some skinny punk? A girl?

In case you haven't guessed, real men eat meat. They are obsessed about meat, and the bigger, redder, bloodier the better. Chicken and (most) fish barely qualify as manly meat, but if the guy is eating poultry, you can bet it's a big greasy drumstick. If it's fish, he probably got it with dynamite or it's some kind of shark. The other end of the spectrum goes up to deer, bears, dinosaurs and anything bigger, depending on the setting. Bonus points if the meat is something he himself killed.

It never occurs to them that meat is simply part of a complete meal involving salad, meat, vegetables, dairy products, fruit, and this bowl of Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.

If a girl is a carnivore, unless she's a holdout for low-carb, it's to show that she's tomboyish.

A subtrope of Testosterone Poisoning. Related to Manly Men Can Hunt and unrelated to Large Ham (although overlap is possible).

See also Real Men Hate Sugar.

Examples of Real Men Eat Meat include:


  • The Burger King "I Am Man" ads: I am man, hear me roar, in numbers too big to ignore/And I'm way too hungry to settle for chick food...
  • The Burger Chef Rancher, basically a very large hamburger with no bun or condiments, with a side of "Texas toast" (regular toast sliced twice as thick as usual). The ads showed a big James Garner-looking guy coming in and going "I'LL HAVE A RANCHER."
  • Speaking of James Garner, he used to voice-over those all-American "BEEF: IT'S WHAT'S FOR DINNER" ads brought to you by the National Livestock and Meat Board.
    • Sam Elliot and Robert Mitchum were part of that campaign too. Just smell the testosterone!
  • When Wendy's introduced a new line of salads, their commercials addressed this stigma: a guy is taunted by his buddies for ordering a salad, until they see how delicious it looks.

Anime and Manga

  • Luffy, the Hot-Blooded pirate captain of One Piece, has an obsession with meat and hates vegetables. In the Toriko Manga Crossover, it's revealed that his full course menu is meat. All of it. Including the Salad, Soup and Drink categories.
  • Vegeta from Dragon Ball has this attitude. After being absorbed by Super Buu, he is disgusted upon seeing that the monster's stomach is full of sweets and "not a single bit of meat".
  • Hunny of Ouran Host Club tries to follow this in as a part of building himself as a suitable heir for his family. It doesn't take and he goes back to eating sweets.
  • Hajime no Ippo: Ryuuhei Sawamura likes meat. Really, really likes meat. In a twist of the trope, it's used to emphasize on his insane tendencies. Oh, if I say he likes meat, I mean he also likes the meat of his enemies, strongly resembling cannibalism.
  • The stage adaptation of Bleach has an extra song with Ikkaku teaching Hanataro how to be manly. Eating RAW meat is one of the things a real man must do.

Comic Books

  • Lance Blastoff (a politically incorrect parody character from Frank Miller) who converts a beautiful vegetarian to meat eating by the extremely manly act of killing and roasting a dinosaur.
  • Asterix and Obelix both really like their roast boar.
  • Averted in Superman Birthright, which established Superman as a vegetarian in keeping with his cherishing and protection of lives in general.
    • And is then basically ignored. Both before and after that story he's been shown as a meat eater. His favorite meal is beef bourignon with ketchup. The problem was where his vegetarianism came from. Superman was basically revealed to have "soul vision" so he can see the souls in everything. Both additions to his character were quietly bundled together and discarded.


  • The fishing scene in Waterworld.
  • Zardoz. The Exterminators are outraged when their god tells them to grow grain.
  • This might be the Aesop of Troll 2. Eating veggies is bad for you!


  • The warriors on Gor are quite fond of meat. In one book Tarl and his friend are at a fancy dinner party, but they both preferred a big steak to the delicacies being served. In another book he and his (different) friend take time out of their Quest to go hunting because they "need" to eat meat.
  • Real kzin eat meat. At least, modern male kzin do. The Kzinti have taken it so far, that as a Proud Warrior Race they went from ancestral omnivores to dedicated carnivores (except for ice cream).
    • And to make it even more manly, they eat raw meat. When fresh meat is not available, they heat it up to about body temperature to make it feel more authentic.
  • One of the most literal examples of all time in The Stormlight Archive. Alethi men eat meat, spiced food, and other thick, hearty fare. Women eat sweet food, fruit, and other similar dishes. This is not a matter of choice. It is considered abhorrent in their culture for men to eat women's food or vice versa.
  • Whenever a story has a scene where Conan the Barbarian is having a meal, he's usually eating a "joint of beef" and washing it down with either ale or wine.
  • Sam Vimes prefers his BLT sandwiches with as little L and T as possible, and with all the more B.
  • Jerry Spinelli's Fourth Grade Rats sees peer pressure for boys to pack no sandwiches that don't have meat in them.

Live-Action TV

  • Parodied in a Armstrong And Miller sketch where a King is hosting a massive banquet for the man of honor, but he doesn't really likes the food and so says he'll just eat his couscous he's brought in a tupperware box. He gets called out on his and says he'll gorge on the very next disk, a large roasted wild boar that has an apple in it's mouth. He leans over, grabs the apple and takes a bite, then complains that it's a Granny's Apple.
  • According to one episode of The Red Green Show, Dalton Humphrey only eats meat.
  • After That 70s Show's Red Forman is forced to go on a low-protein diet after his heart attack, he complains that the salad Kitty makes for him "is not food, this is what food eats."
  • Earl was astounded when his son, Robbie, became a vegetarian. Since they are Dinosaurs, it is treated like a gay/fantastic drug sort of thing.
  • Big Eater Ron Swanson of Parks and Recreation planned a junket trip to Indianapolis around visiting his favorite steakhouse. The discovery that it had been shut down sent him into full-blown Heroic BSOD. He consoles himself by eating his other favorite food, breakfast, ordering all the bacon and eggs in a diner.
    • Ron got on well with Andy after Andy recommended a burrito place for lunch - Ron cuts his suggestion short with "You had me at 'meat-delivery device'.
  • Jim and his brother-in-law from According to Jim proudly live by this trope, though said brother-in-law would try (or pretend to try) to have a vegetarian diet if his date does it herself.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Amy's Choice", one of the Dream Lord's insults implies this:

  "[Y]ou're probably a vegetarian, you big flop-haired wuss."

  • On several occasions the hosts of The Man Show would crack jokes at the expense of vegetarians.


  • The Scottish folk song "Tatties and Herrin" can be seen as an inversion, though it also invokes National Stereotypes:

 Fan the queen's wantin' men tae gang fecht wi' her foes

It's nae tae the roast beef devourers she goes

But awa' tae the north amongst the brave and the darin

Tae the lads that were brocht up on tatties and herrin'


Newspaper Comics

Video Games

  • Rune. Ragnar will pick up whole roast legs (not poultry, BIG legs, like lamb or venison probably) and strip them to the bone, or pluck giant lizards off walls and bite their head off in a single ravenous bite, then throw the bone/body over your shoulder? And wash that down with a flagon of mead, which you also casually toss aside to shatter on the floor. Oh, sure, there's sissy fruit growing on bushes occasionally. But aside from that, Health Food has never been manlier than Rune.
  • In Team Fortress 2, Saxton Hale here.
  • Jack T. Ladd in Guilty, even when hungry, turns down bread and potatoes. He needs his fats and proteins!
  • A gender-flipped version comes from Disgaea 2 Cursed Memories, with Rozalin. During the beginning intro to chapter 7, as the team's getting ready to head to bed, she admits to wanting "a nice, bloody prime rib", and when Etna talks about the reason she ditched Laharl (him eating her pudding), Etna claims sweets are a girl's best friend, to which Rozalin shoots her down with "I really don't like sweets. I'm more of a meat eater." The manga adaptation explores this a bit more, as when she got a cake as a child, it was WAY too sweet for her, which lead to her dislike of sweet things altogether.
    • Might be intended a clue that's she's actually Zenon, whose original gender is unknown and might be masculine, trapped in the body she's using since Real Men Hate Sugar in Japan.
  • In several of the Castlevania games, health is regenerated by finding power-ups that resemble a pot roast, sirloin, or roast turkey.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender is obsessed with meat (in contrast to vegetarian Aang).
    • In fact, while trapped in the ground, he even admits that it's half of his personality: he's "Sokka, the meat and sarcasm guy" (but he's willing to give all that up and become "Sokka, the veggies and straight talk fellow" if he can just get out of that hole in the ground).
  • Lampshaded in Powerpuff Girls when a boy claims eating the flesh of lesser animals is manly. His father agrees, but then is made to eat his vegetables by his wife.
  • In the South Park episode "Fun with Veal", Stan refuses to eat meat after saving some baby calves from a meat plant, which causes him to break out in sores that turn out to be miniature vaginas.
  • Hank Hill, who is appalled when his son Bobby temporarily becomes vegetarian to impress a girl. In another episode, when sarcastically asked "How many cows does your family eat in a year" he replies "Wait, we figured this out once..."
  • My Gym Partner's a Monkey: Made fun of when Adam invites Amazon Kevin to Darwin Middle School, a hyper-masculine rugged adventurer who advertises cereal made made of miniature pieces of meat that turn red when dipped in milk.
  • Yam Roll of Yam Roll becomes quite offended at a restaurant when the waitress tells him that they don't serve short ribs and offers him strawberry shortcake instead.
  • Ren and Stimpy - Ren volunteers to be 'fake dad' to problem-child Kowalski, who looks like the scariest guy in prison. At a picnic, Kowalski requests a meat-on-meat sandwich washed down with a glass of meat.

Real Life:

  • Vilhjalmur Stefansson experimented with the no-carbohydrate diet after observing that the Inuit diet consisted of mostly meat and fish, since there is very little vegetation in the Arctic circle. Here is the article in question.
  • The book The Sexual Politics Of Meat is about this from a female perspective, making the case for vegetarianism from a feminist perspective.
  • Simply called TurBaconEpic, it's a bird, in a bird, in a bird, in a bird, in a bird, in a pig with endless bacon strips and bacon stuffing, garnished with Baconators.
  • Real Life inversion: Vegan bodybuilders
  • Alternate inversion: Vegan firefighters.
  • Steppe Nomads were very carnivorous. And while many have said nasty things about them, no one has called them unmanly. For reasons you can guess.
  • Friedrich Nietzsche believed that vegetarianism was bad for the human spirit (not just men, but his philosophy definitely emphasized manliness (although Nietzsche's definition of "manly" is much more cerebral/Apollonian than most people's); he specifically calls it a cause of "physiological inhibition" in On the Genealogy of Morals.
    • This is possibly a reasonable stance for the time given that a poorly-managed meat-free diet can result in a lack of energy and other health problems. Of course, these days it is much easier to engage in vegetarianism or veganism and still receive one's required nutrients.
  • A lot of evidence shows that the early Neanderthals had a mostly meat-based diet. Researchers also believed this carnivorous diet may have been partially responsible for their demise, as the end of the ice age meant there was no big game for them to catch and little knowledge on how to grow crops, unlike their rivals and human ancestors, the Cro-Magnon.
    • Recent finds suggest that the end on the Ice Age did little harm to the biosphere, and actually increased the biomass and biodiversity of the early European lands, which became a home to what is now known as a European megafauna. The lack of big game that brought the demise of the Neanderthals is entirely their own fault: they've simply hunted and ate it all. Similar situations repeated many times when the early humans arrived at the pristine ecosystems, like the Clovis culture in early North America and ancestors of the Aborigines in Australia and New Guinea.
  • Inverted: Alec Baldwin is a vegetarian animal rights activist... that pretty much settles it.
  • Another inversion: vegetarianism and veganism are very popular in the hyper-masculine Heavy Metal and Hardcore Punk scenes. Attila Csihar of Mayhem, Gaahl of Gorgoroth, Mark "Barney" Greenway of Napalm Death, Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath and Ian MacKaye of Minor Threat are examples.
  • Subverted by the tenth-century warrior-saint Gerald of Aurillac. Although he would eat meat, especially venison, he preferred fish and vegetables. This did not make him any less Badass.
  • Subversion: Former Hockey enforcer Georges Laraque is a vegan and an active member of the Canadian Green Party.
    • See also vegetarian slugger Prince Fielder, of the Milwaukee Brewers (at least for the next month or so. After free agency, who knows where he'll be?)
  • Several cultures, such as the Massai of Africa and the Mongols of Central Asia, subsist on diets that are almost entirely meat due to living in grasslands where there is little vegetation that humans are capable of digesting. Cattle, on the other hand, thrive on grasses.
  • Another straight example: Ted Nugent, who provides the page quote, basically subsists on a meat and booze diet and yet somehow remains healthy as a horse. Say what you will about the Motor City Madman, just don't say it to his face; when an animal-rights protestor threatened The Nuge's family, Nugent put the guy in an armlock and bodily dragged him down to the police station single-handedly.