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“We are the motherfuckers who are the living proof that there is a cost to being a cosmetic genetic.”

The award-winning web series Pretty Dudes produced several tropes while purposely subverting them in a series about a group of friends in the greater Los Angeles area navigating relationships both romantic and platonic from the point of view of characters from marginalized communities. Though originally an example of the Token Minority with the character of Zario being the sole queer character among his straight male friends, the main cast of characters exploded across the sexuality and gender spectrums over the course of its run.

Main Characters:

  • Zario (Bryan Michael Nuñez): a photographer struggling with depression, despite good looks that get him into several romantic entanglements
  • Ellington (Xavier Avila): an Afro-Latino business law major and budding entertainment agent with a high libido
  • Alexander (Kyle Rezzarday): a socially awkward gamer
  • Sunji (Yoshi Sudarso): an up-and-coming actor who's the landlord for all of his friends
  • Marshall (Joshuah Noah Snel): Ellington's younger brother escaping a harsh past
  • Kish (Tiffany Commons): the new housemate who desperately attempts to avoid the drama
  • December (Aria Song): an art-critic turned art gallery-owner
  • Boaz (Manny Shih): December's younger brother and Zario's best friend
  • Cassian (Christian Olivo): a towering, buff cowboy
  • Jay (Tae Song): an abrasive housemate of Sunji's who only gets along with Zario
  • Eagle (Olivia Thai): neighbor to the titular Dudes who gets into romantic entanglements of her own
Tropes used in Pretty Dudes include:
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: Alexander and his older brothers Aaron, Aiden, and Archie.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Though he waits until the first season finale, Sunji drunkenly shares his history with a male lover (who may or may not have been a vampire).
  • And Starring: In Season One this belongs to stars Yoshi Sudarso and Olivia Thai ("with" and "and" respectively), who were arguably the most recognizable faces in the first set of episodes.
    • In Season Two, there was a sole "and" for Yoshi.
  • Ascended Extra: Marshall originally appeared solely in the season end episodes before it was realized that to play such an important role (and to have such a close connection with one of the lead characters), he'd have to be introduced much earlier. This was beneficial, as once he appeared in the third episode, viewers were commenting on several of the following episodes that they wanted Marshall to return. In Season Two, Marshall became a full-fledged lead, anchoring many of the most important storylines.
  • Asian Airhead: Sunji is this to a tee. 
  • Big Eater: Jay is rarely seen without food in the early episodes of the show.
  • Brainless Beauty: Sunji is the textbook definition of this.
  • Breakout Character: This was Marshall in Season One, who became so popular that he was moved to a leading role in the second season.
  • Butt Monkey: In the first season, Alexander is near verbally abused by Jay at every turn, as is Sunji, though Sunji's lack of intelligence causes him to miss most of these moments.
  • Do-It-Yourself Theme Tune: Sung by show creator Chance Calloway, and includes vocals by show guest-star Michael Bow.
  • Dream Sequence: Zario has an intense, extended one in Season One while on a date, and an even more intense one that takes the length of an episode in Season Two during complications with an endoscopy.
  • Five-Man Band: The original group is this way, with just Zario, Ellington, Jay, Alexander, and Sunji.
    • The Hero: Ellington
    • The Lancer: Sunji
    • The Smart Guy: Alexander
    • The Big Guy: Jay
    • The Chick: Zario
    • In the second season, there is a new variation on this as Zario, Ellington, Alexander, Marshall, and Sunji all live together, with Kish as a de-facto Sixth Ranger in the basement.
    • It could be argued that Kish is actually in the five-piece and Marshall is the Sixth Ranger, as he is seen more as Ellington's brother than he is his own person among the group of friends. That would make Kish the Big Guy, and Sunji arguably more of The Hero.
  • Gender Misdirection: Eagle is referred to almost exclusively by her name in the first episodes before her appearance at the end of the fifth episode reveals their neighbor is a woman, and perhaps the prettiest Dude of them all.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Ellington and Sunji in Season Two.
  • Last-Minute Hookup: At the end of Season One, Jay and Zario literally drive off into the night together.
  • Named After Somebody Famous: The Gomez brothers are all named after influential Black Americans. Duke Ellington, George Washington Carver, and Thurgood Marshall.
    • Carver mentions they have a sister named Alvera, which is a play on Sojourner Truth according to Word of God .
    • In the same set of episodes where we find out about the Gomez brothers, Rock and Van Diolosa reveal they're named after the Rockefeller and Vanderbilt families.
  • Only Known By Their Nickname: Zario reveals his last name is del Rosario, frequently refusing to talk about his first name, though halfway through the first season he admits it's Hector. It's never mentioned again.
    • Eagle is a better example of this trope, as her real name is never revealed.
    • Inverted when Eagle doesn't believe December's birth name is in fact December.
    • Jay seems to only refer to people he cares about with nicknames, calling Zario "Zee," Marshall "Marshmallow," and his cousin Eugene "Genie."
  • Perverse Sexual Lust: In one episode, it is mentioned that Callie used to make Jay oink like a pig during sex, just episodes after we see Ellington wearing a pig mask while having sex with Callie.
  • Sixth Ranger: Eagle is referenced as early as the second episode, but it isn't until her appearance in Episode Five as the literal sixth friend in their group that the plot takes off and the friendship dynamics become set.
    • This trope becomes a bit meta considering the show features three actors who were actual Power Rangers.
  • So Beautiful It's a Curse: The entire trojan horse of a plot hinges on this trope.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: After Jay doesn't return to LA between the first and second seasons, Zario's newest friend is Boaz, another stocky, deep-voiced Asian who identifies as straight but seems to fall deeper in love with Zario as the season goes, just with vastly different results.
  • Token White: Alexander is this, despite a brief respite from Cassian in Season Two.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Jay has an unexplained, irrational, spasmodic fear of earthquakes.
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