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A largely outdated plot.

A group of male characters set to go on some stereotypically male-oriented activity like hiking in the wilderness. A group of females ask to join them and are rebuffed with sexist arrogance on how they would be helpless in the manly activity. Insulted, the female characters go on their own.

As it turns out, the male characters turn out to be completely incompetent in taking care of themselves in the activity while the female characters, who have taken the time to learn how to do the same activity properly, operate as if they had done it all their lives - or, at least, are able to pitch a tent and catch a fish without maiming themselves or setting their station wagon on fire.

Eventually, the male characters find themselves in terrible danger and the female characters have to rescue them.

In the end, the male characters learn their lesson and both parties finish the activity together with relative harmony.

A variant just eschews the female characters altogether, and shows the male characters failing miserably. Another variant has multiple female characters, who all go on a separate trip after being rejected, and are shown having a good time while the males fail miserably.

A subtrope of Don't Go in The Woods. Horrible Camping Trip is this trope without the Anvilicious rebuff of male chauvinism. This trope is a classic example of Positive Discrimination in action.

See Cosmetic Catastrophe for the female version of this trope.

Examples of Macho Disaster Expedition include:


Anime and Manga

  • Subverted hilariously in School Rumble. The four main girls agree to have a swimming race with a group of boys they met at the local pool, the cost of their losing being having to go out on a date with them, and if the girls win, the boys have to buy them an extremely expensive meal. Tenma can't swim, but figures among her three friends (one of whom is extremely athletic), one of the girls is surely fast enough to beat the boys. When they jump into the water, all four girls sink straight to the bottom. Turns out none of them could swim and were all thinking the same thing Tenma was.

Live Action TV

  • In an episode of Home Improvement, a team of guys (a bunch of football players and Tim) think that they can construct a house better and faster than a team of women (plus Wilson and Al). Naturally, they've learned their lesson by the end of the episode.
    • There was another episode where Jill and Tim visit an army base and are allowed to have a quick race using a pair of tanks. Naturally, Jill beats the pants off Tim, who can barely get his tank pointed in the right direction, but the difference in skill makes perfect sense when you remember Jill is a Military Brat.
      • Well, Tim did prove that tanks can destroy golf carts without any problems.
  • Subverted on an episode of Friends. The guys play poker. The girls want in. The guys imply they wouldn't be any good at it, and the girls call them sexist and challenge them to a serious poker game. Of course, never having played before tends to be a disadvantage no matter what gender you are, so the guys easily beat them and take all their money.
    • Further subverted later in the episode after the girls get advice from an experienced female poker player. After their one lesson, the girls are still not as good as the more experienced guys.
  • Happened in one episode of Dinosaurs: the guys go on a hunting trip and end up hopelessly lost. They are rescued by the females, who had spent the day doing typical male activities (watching sports, drinking beer, etc.), resulting in something of a gender reversal.
  • The girls of The Partridge Family went out camping and the guys followed them. The girls handled themselves pretty well and the guys ended up starving.
  • Toyed with in 'Alpha Male' of Gene Simmons Family Jewels. Sophie got her family to go camping. Gene was convinced that as the alpha male, he can provide the food but he got squeamish when baiting a fishing hook. On the other hand, Shannon could clean fish and had actually explained to a stunned Nick how to decapitate a chicken by swinging it around by the head and then how to get the feathers off.
  • Done in I Love Lucy as well. Ricky wants to go camping by himeslf, but Lucy demands to come with, so he figures he'll go on a really hellish, miserable experience to make her sorry she came. Lucy overhears this and, with help from Ethel, decides to cheat and beat him at every camping activity. Like when they arrive, they decide to race to the campsite, each taking different paths. While Ricky runs and rushes to beat her, Lucy waits 'til he's out of sight and just has Ethel drive her. Naturally, Lucy being Lucy, she gets caught in the end.
  • A variation on Parks and Recreation, where the boys' misery was due not to incompetence, but instead to Ron Swanson's "misery builds character" attitude. The resolution sees not one, but two co-ed groups; the have-fun one Leslie Knope started, and a more rough-and-hearty one she founds in Ron's name after his kids all jump ship.

Web Comics

  • Once in Nodwick, Artax suggested to Yeagar and Nodwick that they go camping "suicidally rugged" style, later it turned out he had inhaled some Storm Giant testosterone while mixing potions but by then they were hopelessly lost. Fortunately Piffany enlisted the forest critters to help find them.

Western Animation

  • One of the very first episodes of The Simpsons sent the family camping. Lisa and Marge successfully build their own campfire, while Homer ends up cold, naked and ultimately mistaken for Bigfoot.
  • Female-less version: Hey Arnold, "Fishing Trip".
  • The Proud Family did this with a camping trip in the surprisingly named episode "Camping Trip". Not only do the ladies one-up the guys, but the kids do too.
  • Inverted in It's a Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown!. The girls have a terrible time of it because of Pepperment Patty's less-than-brilliant leadership skills and because they insist on voting for everything. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown (for once) gets to be the "winner" by demonstrating good leadership and planning skills. In one scene, Chuck breaks out the canned rations and Patty grumbles about the quality of the food and how she wants pancakes for breakfast, causing Charlie to chew her out for how unrealistic that is.
  • In an episode of Maxi's World, it's played just about to the t besides that the girls use such things as cosmetics or small electric appliances to help. Then, at the end where an attempt to scare the girls with a fake bear is spoiled when a real bear appears and the boys and girls fend it off and both admit their mistakes.
  • An episode of The Flintstones that also featured a Bewitched Crossover. The men go camping and the women tag along with their new neighbour (who happens to be a witch). Fred and Barney constantly mock Wilma and Betty for coming, but the witch Samantha makes sure that they survive out there with her magic, all the while punishing the guys for their misogyny. This becomes less "don't mess with women, guys" and more "don't mess with MAGICAL women, guys!" Samantha's attempts to make sure the women stay ahead and punishing the boys for attempting to cheat their way in front elevate from "Poetic Justice" to "being a bitch for being a bitch's sake".
  • Played straight, and then subverted in the Fairly Oddparents episode "Squirrely Puffs" where Timmys dad leads a camping trip for the Boy Scouts expy The Squirrel Puffs, while Timmys Mom leads the Girl Scout expy the Cream Puffs. The trip goes about how you'd expect, with the boys having a miserable time, and the girls easily thriving in the woods, to the point where they are joined by singing woodland creatures. It is then subverted when the Puffs end up being trapped by a storm, and the animals refuse to stop singing, not to mention weaving posionous berries into their hair, while the boys trip starts going smoother.
  • In the episode "Lewis and Clark and Larry" from Time Squad, this trope comes into play when the famed explorer team split up, in a way that is deliberatly played like a relationship split. Larry ends up going with Lewis, and their exploration trip is a breeze, while Tudrussel and Otto, who go with Clark, goes through a nightmarish death march of a trip, including getting lost because none of them know how to read a map, almost starving to death and being chased by a bear.
  • Another female-less version in Kick Buttowski between the titular character and his older brother, Brad. Tagging along with Kick to "protect him" in the wilderness, Brad falls victim to a number of poor choices (such as sleeping with a blanket made of poison ivy) since he believes himself to be better than Kick... Kick of course manages to conquer the wilderness the moment he enters it.
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