NYT trendspots ‘Rodent Men’, with examples like Jeremy Allen White & Mike Faist

This week, the New York Times’ Style editors tried to do a trend-watch piece and it’s getting mixed reviews. The trend? “Rodent Men.” Actors or celebrity men who are some being designated as “rodent men.” Not to be confused by “rat-faces,” which really confused me. When I say someone looks like a rat or has a rat-face, I do not mean it as a compliment. It means that someone’s eyes are too close together and their features are too rat-like. The NYT seemingly explands the idea that Rodent Men are distinguished by not just their physical qualities but by their vibe and aura. Which… is very strange. The NYT says that some of the notable Rodent Men are: Jeremy Allen White, Josh O’Connor, Mike Faist, Barry Keoghan, Rami Malek, and Matty Healy. Josh O’Connor is NOT rat-faced, but he does have the look of a very sweet-faced cartoon mouse. Mike Faist, I will grant you, sort of has rat-like features. As does Matt Healy. But Rami Malek? Barry Keoghan? This whole concept doesn’t make much sense.

“Rodent Men”: What are they? Tiny men? Men who eat garbage? Some kind of furry science experiment gone wrong?

According to the tabloids, they’re actually the most physically desirable thing a man can be at this particularly disorienting moment in American history. Exemplified by the faces of actors like “The Bear”’s Jeremy Allen White and “Challengers” leads Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor; as well as the 1975 band member Matty Healy and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, hot “Rodent Men” are a loose category that seems mostly to refer to men who look a bit like mice or rats.

Rodent Man: An unconventional mousy man with a toothy smile, and instead of a chiseled face like Brad Pitt or Chris Hemsworth, it’s more pointy. It’s important for their faces to be angular, that’s the dead giveaway. That and big ears. They come off as edgy and elusive.

[From The NY Times]

My confusion is “a bit like mice or rats.” There’s a huge difference between someone who has mouse energy versus someone who has rat energy. As I said, Josh O’Connor looks like a sweet mouse and I’m appalled that someone would call him a Rodent Man. But Matt Healy? Everything he does and everything about him is so rat-like, so he IS a Rodent Man. I feel like we should talk about Glen Powell here too – his eyes are too close together and the man has a ratty vibe.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Cover Images.

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27 Responses to “NYT trendspots ‘Rodent Men’, with examples like Jeremy Allen White & Mike Faist”

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  1. jill says:

    This is the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Rodent men?! Y’all. Come on. The bar is totally in hell lol

    And Kaiser’s breakdown of rat energy and ratty vibes has me cackling.

    • Lau says:

      I hurt my ribs while trying to do yoga for the first time in like years and this article truly ended me. I think there should be a difference being made between looking like a rat or a mouse and having rat energy, please !

  2. Flowerlake says:

    Speaking of New York newspapers, did you guys see the tweet of the New York Post which seems to be alternated to make it look Biden wandered off, while in reality the situation was completely different?

    I hope they get sued for defamation.

  3. blueberry says:

    Absurd. The Times is claiming “tabloids” are saying this? Which ones? I guess they want to be a tabloid now too

    This seems like a joke gone wrong.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      The Times political coverage has been tabloid-like for 30 years going back to the Clinton administration. I guess the rest of the paper is just catching up.

    • ElleE says:

      The word “Tabloids” is giving Murdoch.
      We don’t have real tabloids like the National Enquirer anymore; so which tabloids is the NYT basing a whole trend American trend on?

  4. Jais says:

    Idk they all seem cute/hot to me? I watched challengers. I was like yes to both those guys.

  5. Loretta says:

    I love that rodent men article, I can’t stop laughing

  6. Mimi says:

    Ryan Reynolds has always looked like a handsome mouse to me.

  7. Murphy says:

    “Skinny pale guys who look like they’re dying” Simple Life era Nicole Richie would be thrilled (maybe she still is)

  8. Ameerah M says:

    I will keep saying it: Glen Powell looks like an evil CAPYBARA. But yes…he could also be mistaken for a rat.

  9. Barbara says:

    I don’t know, I kind of get it. These guys all have pretty distinctive noses and chins, most have ears that stick out a bit and their eyes are close set or monolid. I’m more into the Chris Hemsworth type but I wouldn’t say these guys are unattractive.

  10. paintybox says:

    I don’t know, imagine if the article was about rodent women? I think it’s Nazi-like to try to cast it like that, joke or no joke. You could have called Humphrey Bogart or even silent-film Rudolph Valentino a rodent man! It’s never been a thing, they’re trying to make it a thing and it comes off as envious and insulting to young actors. Get off my lawn. 😂


    I am reminded of “Bus Rodent” on “Fleabag.” Jamie Demetriou is actually very handsome without those fake choppers.

  12. tealily says:

    Uh, no.

  13. rat grrl says:

    It’s funny how every generation acts like they discovered the concept of ugly-handsome. These rat men are to Gen Z what Tom Hiddleston and Benedict Cumberbatch were to Millennials.

    It’s unfortunate how this concept doesn’t exist for women or men of colour, tbh. It’s just for white men and women. Ugly-handsome men of colour are just deemed ugly. Women of colour with unconventional features are deemed ugly, not “ethereal” like Anya Taylor-Joy.

  14. Emily says:

    There are rodent men, bird men and golden retriever boyfriends. Any other categories 😛

    I kinda think Jeremy Allen White is more of a bird man.

  15. Anna says:

    Uh, where is MATT BELLAMY on that list…?`

  16. Jilliebean says:

    I saw this article somewhere. Gross they do look like rats. And no they’re not attractive.

  17. JFerber says:

    The term “rodent men” really makes me smile. I hope the phrase never dies now.

  18. Meredith says:

    Honestly most of the guys listed just look to me like a variation on the “tumblr sexyman” type. I mean I do find them attractive I guess, but not in my top 10%. Good to know that the new generation isn’t just into gym rats I guess?

  19. Grassroots says:

    Leave Jeremy Allen White alone! He is so attractive but it’s talent and vulnerability that make him attractive. He also has amazing screen presence, like a true movie star. I actually think this article is mean and they should leave these guys alone!

  20. Abigail says:

    They’re just average white men. I don’t know why average white men are suddenly back as a trend but calling them low key ugly rodents is errr… telling, lol