Move over rat girl summer, TikTok celebrates the hot rodent boyfriend trend

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Jun 5, 2024 at 01:06 PM

Reading time: 2 minutes

People have always found beauty in the combination of charisma and unusual features. The early 1990s were controversially filled with the pale skin, dark under-eyes, and bony frame of the heroin chic look. In the last few years, the internet has had an obsession with actors and influencers who look like Tim Burton characters—think Timothée Chalamet and Emma Chamberlain—and now the cultural lens has moved over to rodent men. That’s right, Hollywood’s sexiest heartthrobs are now being likened to mice and rats but in the most flattering way possible!

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What are rodent men?

Simply put, rodent men are guys with rodent-like features, meaning that they are often skinny and brunette, with a long, chiselled jawline.

Who would have thought that Gen Z could transform the epithet ‘rat’ to a new moniker for hot? It certainly wasn’t on my 2024 bingo card but I’ve started to expect the unexpected.

Some critics have noted that this trend is nothing but another iteration of ‘ugly hotness.’ In case you’ve forgotten, content creator Violet Marmur first coined what became known as the “hot ugly” TikTok theory in 2021. In it, the self-proclaimed ugly hot theorist hypothesised that people are either ‘hot hot’ or conventionally attractive, ‘hot ugly’ and subjectively attractive, or ‘ugly hot’ and attractive despite having ‘ugly’ features.

Keeping that in mind, it’s easy to see that rodent men might simply just be another synonym for the hotness discovered in men with unusual, unconventionally attractive features.

Which actors are rodent men?

I’m so glad you asked. First on the list, we have ‘rat men’ or ‘rat boyfriends’. In terms of appearance, rat men have black or grey hair paired with uniquely sharp and pointy features. Popular examples include Josh O’Connor, Timothée Chalamet, Barry Keoghan, and Matty Healy.

Then, we have ‘mice men’ of course. Mice men have lighter brown-ish hair, softer rodent features, and smaller eyes. Some of the internet’s favourite mice boyfriends include Mike Faist, Harry Styles, Kieran Culkin, and Jeremy Allen White

Why are rodent men so controversial?

Well, men don’t appreciate being called rodents for one. Some men are even calling out a potential sexist double standard, noting that women would strongly oppose being likened to animals that are known for damaging properties and spreading diseases.

This isn’t exactly true. In the past, we witnessed the emergence and widespread popularity of rat girl summer. The trend was about women embracing rodent characteristics, such as nibbling on snacks all the time and chewing noisly while rotting in bed. Sounds like a good time to me.

After all, rodents are also known as intelligent pets and witty cartoon characters. Anyone remember the 2007 movie Ratatouille? I suppose it’s up to the individual men to define whether they like their new classification. But one thing is for sure, gone are the days of the golden retriever boyfriend. People are looking for edgier, sexier and broodier rodent men now.

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