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There's All Amazons Want Hercules for the idea that strong women want men stronger than themselves, but an even older stereotype goes even further; that the crucial part isn't even just being significantly stronger than the woman he's trying to win over; it's being strong, period. In turn, even a weak woman isn't going to be impressed by a guy merely stronger than her; he has to be fairly strong as far as guys go, too.

It all goes back to the old stereotype that women prefer strong men, at least as far as dating goes, no matter how weak or strong the woman herself is.

Note the phrase "as far as dating goes." Even works applying this assumption may still portray women as befriending normal guys, or perhaps even considering them "cute" in a very literal sense of the word; but it will still present a major in-universe obstacle to less brawny guys looking for a date.

Contrast Weakness Turns Her On.

Examples of Women Prefer Strong Men include:

Anime and Manga

  • Possible with Bulma in Dragon Ball, which might explain her falling for Vegeta, a once-genocidal villain turned Anti Hero, in Dragonball Z. In return, Dragon Ball Super all but states that Vegeta fell for Bulma because of her Plucky Girl behavior.

Comic Books


  • The pictured example from Toy Story 3 is more of a parodical example.

Live Action TV:

  • The Big Bang Theory — All of Penny's ex-boyfriends are dumb, muscular people.
  • The Flash — Iris West is seen repeatedly fawning over muscly billionaire Oliver Queen. Her own boyfriend, and later fiancé, Eddie Thawne, is also very jacked and male model-looking.
  • In the Louie episode "Bully," the middle-aged Louie is on a date with a middle-aged woman. It goes well until a teenager whom Louie asked to quiet down comes over and threatens to beat Louie up. Louie backs down and his date explains in brutally honest fashion that while she understands intellectually that Louie made the sensible, adult choice, at some gut level for her he's simply not a sexual or romantic prospect anymore because he wasn't "strong." They exchange awkward, mutually unhappy goodbyes, with both of them acknowledging that this is a screwed up situation, and the date ends.
  • Noah's Arc — This is a major point in an episode. When Wade and Noah briefly live together for the first time, Noah sees all the beauty products Wade uses. Noah later comments with his friends about how the whole "metrosexuality" thing is a bit of turn off and prefers a strong, rugged man.

Video Games

Web Comics:

Western Animation:

  • In the Daffy Duck short "Muscle Tussle," Daffy's girlfriend is swept off her feet by a muscular beach hunk.
    • This short has a cruel subversion though. Daffy makes himself stronger, and beats up the rival. Daffy's girlfriend still stays with the rival because she feels sorry for him now that he's weak.
  • A central trope throughout all Popeye cartoons, with Popeye and Bluto trying to perform greater feats of strength to impress Olive Oyl.
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