Rodent and dog-like men are the hottest heartthrobs (2024)

Generation Z have branded society's biggest heartthrobs into boyfriend tribes.

It might feel like there's a new tribe to learn about every other week, from Golden Retrievers to cinnamon rolls, and most recently, hot rodent men.

The dating trend marks a clear change from the celebrities of the 1970s and '80s, who rocked a 'bad boy' image as they prioritised appearing strong and successful over sensitive and creative.

Today, Golden Retrievers, such as Sam Thompson, are praised for their loving and loyal qualities, while hot rodents are attractive because of their quirky appearance.

However, the label is not definitive. For example, Tom Holland was once thearchetypal Golden Retriever, with his boyish charm and floppy hair. However, his newBritpop-esque short haircutplaced him under a newcategory - baby girl.

From Golden Retrievers to baby girls and most recently, hot rodent men, Gen Z have branded a new cohort of boyfriend tribes

The frequent introduction of new boyfriend tribes can mean that they can be difficult to keep up with.

The dating trend first saw the likes of Harry Styles and singer Frank Ocean being branded as cinnamon rolls.

Today, hot rodent men are having a moment, with famous faces like Barry Keoghan and Kieran Culkin, under the spotlight.

Here, FEMAIL explain the Gen Z's latest boyfriend tribes, who's in them, and what they mean.


The latest global dating trend of hot rodent boyfriends might sound offensive, but in reality, it's anything but.

Women are longing for someone who is loyal, unconventionally attractive with sharp eyes and angular faces - otherwise known as a hot rodent boyfriend.

Zendaya's latest blockbuster film, Challengers, is largely responsible for the new dating trend, thanks to leading stars Mike Faist and Josh O'Connor having hot rodent qualities.

Elsewhere, pop sensation Sabrina Carpenter has bagged herself a hot rodent boyfriend with Barry Keoghan and fans of The Bear consider Carmy, played byJeremy Allen White, to have an endearing yet rodent-like appearance.

With an edgy exterior but still showering his partner in love and affection, the hot rodent boyfriend is on the rise among non-celebrities too.

Generation Z have coined a new phrase of endearment for unconventionally attractive men - hot rodent

Sabrina Carpenter has bagged herself a 'hot rodent' boyfriend with Saltburn star Barry Keoghan (seen at Cannes Film Festival 2024)

Josh O'Connor's role in Challengers helped give rise to the 'hot rodent' trend (seen at the 2024 Met Gala)

In order to be classed as a hot rodent man, one must have a personality to match the looks. Unlike a 'himbo', there must be more beneath the surface.

Not only should they be funny, but sensitive at the same time with the ability to form meaningful connections with those around them.

While Matty Healy has been dubbed hot rodent man, the trend largely gained momentum after the release of Hollywood's latest blockbuster, Challengers.

The film follows the 27-year-old Euphoria star, Zendaya, as Tashi, a former professional tennis player turned coach who is helping her husband have his own comeback in the sport.

It was praised for its seductive energy, thanks to Zendaya's interactions with Mike Faist as Art Donaldson and Josh O'Connor as Patrick Zweig.

Kieran Culkin (seen in 2021), best known for his role as Roman Roy in Succession, has been dubbed a hot rodent

The Bear star, Jeremy Allen White (pictured in 2023), has also been associated with the 'hot rodent' phrase

Ty Burr at the Washington Post hailed it as a 'slick, sexy, hugely entertaining tennis romantic triangle'.

Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter's David Rooney said the film was 'smart, seductive and bristling with sexual tension'.

The film's 'sexy' energy stems from its leading stars - Mike and Josh – who helped establish the newly established category of heartthrobs: hot rodent men.

Mike and Josh are both praised for their unconventionally handsome appearances, with angular features and piercing gazes.

Elsewhere, fans of Succession star Kieran Culkin have admired him for his unconventional good looks, open affection for his wife Jazz Charlton, and endearing sense of humour - firmly placing him in the hot rodent category.


Dubbed the 'Cinnamon Roll Man', the artsy heartthrob is an erudite two fingers up to toxic masculinity - with Harry Styles leading the field.

With a passion for high culture, ethical collaborations and beautiful clothes, while still loving their mothers, the Cinnamon Roll Man is apparently on the rise.

Where does the phrase 'Cinnamon Roll Man' come from? Apparently its origins are in romantic literature, where a new generation of writers are featuring male protagonists who are anything but the traditional knight in shining armour, reflecting a more modern, less overtly masculine male.

Harry isn't flying the Cinnamon Roll Man flag alone though, there's a whole raft of gentler, sweeter souls capturing hearts.

Need a masterclass in how to shrug off an alpha male persona? Refer to former One Direction hero Harry Styles, who has shimmied his way into the world's hearts wearing everything from spangles to spandex while performing in almost every continent.

Harry Styles continues to woo, well, most of the world, with his exuberant outfits and on-stage charm

Mad about Harry: The star ticks every Cinnamon Roll Man box. He's stylish, polite, and always down to earth

His chart hits exude the sweet, squidgy Cinnamon Roll message; imploring people to 'treat people with kindness' and telling fans that he just wants to 'adore you'.

On chat shows, he's the epitome of self-deprecation... polite, charming and never crude. And his ascent from boy-bander to global star has been carefully crafted, he's chosen interesting roles from the off; a soldier in Dunkirk, a gay officer in The Policeman and heading back to the stylish 50s in Don't Worry Darling.

Critical acclaim for his film work eludes him but they've all been wise moves in helping create a more thoughtful persona for the star.

Styles isn't alone though. County Kildare-raised Mescal, 28, who shot to fame as sensitive student Connell in the hit lockdown adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People, played perhaps the most alpha of males in the West End this year.

Yet he emerged from playing brutal, complicated Stanley Kowalski in Rebecca Frecknall's version of A Streetcar Named Desire with his Cinnamon Roll reputation still very much in tact.

Mescal has the world at his feet, but remains attractively grounded; he took his mum to the Oscars after his nomination for Aftersun

Seemingly shy in interviews, Normal People star Mescal effortlessly cuts a stylish figure on the red carpet

The 27-year-old received an Oscar nomination for his role as a doting father in Aftersun and has described his ascent to the A-list as 'kinetic and energised', telling the BAFTA red carpet last year that he'd felt a wave of 'kindness' in response to his films.

His 'idols' remain high profile members of the Irish acting fraternity including Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson.

Down-to-earth and almost shy in interviews, Mescal has a slick dress sense, with a diamond stud and brooches making frequent appearances on his award ceremony suits - and his mullet going nowhere fast.

CMR have also captured the hearts of Americans, and the sweet jams of Frank Ocean's Blonde has been regarded as an anthem for the Soft Bois of TikTok - the Cinnamon rolls' cousin, described as a softer and cuter version of a player.

Stylish, cultured and seeking 'love and joy', singer Frank Ocean radiated Cinnamon Roll Man energy

Ocean is cinnamon down to his choice of breakfast, telling Dazed in 2019 he liked to start the day with a milky bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.

In the same interview, the singer, 36, described himself as a 'little synthetiser' and called 'love and joy' the 'ultimate luxury'.

The singer has been waving the LGBTQ+ flag since he suggested he was bi or gay in a Tumblr post in 2013.

The singer also cultivates his cultured side and has recently published a book with photographs taken by none other than himself.

Ocean has a knack for fashion as well, and founded Homer, his independent luxury brand in 2023.


Gen Z also branded a dating trend that has singles seeking out a golden retriever boyfriend - fun-loving, doting, and eager to please.

The phrase recognises men who make warm and affectionate partners and are emotionally available - otherwise known as a golden retriever boyfriend.

Fans ofI'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of are well acquainted with golden retriever energy, having seen it radiating out of Sam Thompson, 31, who bounced around the camp, and presumably continues to do so back home with girlfriend Zara McDermott, 27.

Across the pond, Ryan Reynolds, 47, is known for his 'Golden Retriever' tendencies.The Deadpool actor's relationship with Blake Lively, 36, is light-hearted and loving, and the pair regularly banter with each other over social media.

Ryan, who welcomed his fourth child with Blake last year, regularly shares sweet insights about his wife on social media.

Golden retriever boyfriend's is a new trend on the dating scene. Pictured is Sam Thompson, a golden retriever type

Since his feature on ITV's I'm a Celebrity, Sam Thompson has been described as a golden retriever. He is pictured above with his girlfriend Zara McDermott in 2019

Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively (left) has bagged herself a Golder Retriever husband in Ryan Reynolds (right)

With a passion for home comforts while still loving their mothers, the Golden Retriever boyfriend is on the rise among non-celebrities too.

A golden retriever boyfriend is defined as 'a significant other that is easy going and makes it fairly simple to maintain a happy and fulfilling relationship,' according to Urban Dictionary.

It's a definition that appears to match Jamie Laing's relationship style with former Made in Chelsea star Sophie Habboo.

After featuring on the reality show together, Jamie and Sophie started dating in 2019.They tied the knot last year in a lavish Spanish ceremony.

Their podcast - NewlyWeds - gives the public an insight to their relationship, with Jamie repeatedly proving his energetic, playful, and loyal qualities.

Jamie Laing repeatedly proves he's a Golden Retriever husband to wife Sophie Habboo on the NewlyWeds podcast (seen in March)

London-based dating coach Hayley Quinn said the benefits of dating a Golden Retriever boyfriend are clear to see.

Speaking to HuffPost, she explained: 'It's not difficult to see the appeal of a golden retriever boyfriend,' she told HuffPost, describing the type as 'caring, reliable and emotionally available.'

'The truth is that whilst certain traits we'd associate with 'bad boys' such as confidence and assertiveness can be viewed as attractive, long-run good partnership qualities of being caring and considerate win out,'

'There's often a gap between what makes us attracted to someone enough to go on a first date with them, to what makes us choose them as a long-term partner,' she added.


'So 'babygirl', is a new term of endearment for attractive men that's taking over social media -but the multi-faceted phrase is tricky to define.

While the moniker's true meaning is hotly debated across the globe, a man who's attractive with soft features and a cutesy air of vulnerability are amongst the criteria to be a babygirl.

'Babygirl' gained recognition when Jacob Elordi, 26, in other words, 'babygirl of the century', discussed the term on Saturday Night Live: saying: 'Me? I'm babygirl.'

According to the Urban Dictionary, the term 'He's so babygirl' is defined as: 'A person (typically female) will say this about another person (typically male) when he is looking extremely attractive but in a softer more lighthearted way.

'So baby girl' is Generation Z's term of endearment for attractive men, including Jacob Elordi (pictured)

Kylie Jenner has bagged herself a 'babygirl' man in Timothee Chalamet (pictured), according to social media users

Tom Holland ditched the Golden Retriever look in May when he played around with fashion and changed his style

And Elordi isn't the only 'baby girl' type among us - fellow actor Tom Holland has become aligned with the tribe's criteria following his rebrand.

Eagle-eyed fans of the star will have noticed that the actor has undergone a rebrand in recent times.

Holland, 27, has always been a sharp dresser; opting for well-tailored three-piece suits and dress shoes polished to perfection. But as he took to the stage at the Duke of York's Theatre in London last month, his image appeared to have had a complete overhaul.

The actor, who is in a relationship with 27-year-old Zendaya, swapped tailoring for T-shirts and trainers - and he has even debuted a new hairstyle to boot.

His once bouncy curls have been traded in for a Britpop-esque short cut, prompting fans to go wild for his new look.

Bending the rules of fashionis another telling sign of a 'babygirl', according to Vogue.

The magazine explained that creative industries have eliminated the idea that taking an interest in fashion is effeminate. Instead, it is now considered 'cool' for men to don elaborate styles.

The Spider-Man actor, 27, sent fans into a frenzy after he ditched his floppy waves for a low taper fade

Jeremy Strong (pictured) has been associated with the phrase due to his character Kendall Roy in HBO hit series Succession

Elsewhere, Jeremy Strong, 45, has been put under the same umbrella due to his representation of Kendall Roy in the hit series Succession.

During an interview with the New York Times, Strong responded to his association with the phrase.

'There's something about this character, about this kind of boy-man – there is a lot of male vulnerability, which is something that always affected me growing up when I saw it in storytelling,' he said.

'At this moment in our culture, people either respond to that in a derisive way or in an empathic way.

He concluded: 'It's not my job to tell anyone how to respond to it, but there is something about vulnerability that is polarising.'


Unlike the complex 'so baby girl' types, Himbos are, fortunately, much easier to define.

With a passion for the gym and looking good, Himbos must have big muscles and take an interest in sport - think Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

A Himbos' appearance can lead to a common misinterpretation that these types of men are a sporty jock type, and while their outside appearance may resemble one, they vary significantly.

Their charming looks might trick you into thinking they're a toxic type, but instead, they're extremely sweet and friendly to every person they come across.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson (pictured) might be called a Himbo type of man - ripped, friendly, and lovable

Magic Mike star Channing Tatum (pictured) is also a Himbo, and he's known for his lovable traits and bulky body type

Pop sensation Taylor Swift has bagged herself a Himbo lover with Travis Kelce (pictured), who ticks all of the boxes for a Himbo

And while they're genuine to all they meet, they might not have the greatest awareness of their surroundings.

Magic Mike actor Channing Tatum, 43, falls under the category. The lovable actor is known for characters that might not be quick witted, but they mean well and make a good-willed, entertaining watch.

Taylor Swift's latest beau Travis Kelce, 34, is another Himbo example. Like The Rock, Travis boasts a muscly physique and an endearingly sweet personality.

Back when the pair first started dating, Swifties were quick to dig out Kelce's posts on X, back when it was called Twitter.

The pair seem inseparable, and have put on adorable public displays of affection since announcing their relationship

Swifties dug out some of the Kansas City players old posts on X, and they radiated Himbo energy

Travis wasn't afraid to share what was on his mind, and shared his trails of thoughts with the world.

The Kansas City player didn't care for spellings or grammar, he simply shared what was on his mind.

One 2010 post read: 'I HOP!!!!!! I love commin here for breakfast! Ummm I think ill have the T-bone steak n Eggs please! Haha with some white toast on the side!'

Elsewhere in the same year, Travis updated his followers about his favourite song: 'Ooo Girl!! Shock me like an electric eal!!! Haha MGMT-Electric Feel has been playing in my head all day!'

In another instance, he wrote: 'I just gave a squirrel a piece of bread an it straight smashed all of it! I had no idea they ate bread like that! Haha #crazy.'

From himbos to Golden Retrievers, cinnamon rolls, and baby girls, Generation Z have been quick to devise a new era of heartthrobs.

Their creative traits have redefined masculinity and welcomed an inclusive range of qualities.

But the list won't stop there, and in true Gen Z fashion, they'll likely be a new type of attractive male taking over social media in no time at all.

Rodent and dog-like men are the hottest heartthrobs (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Neely Ledner

Last Updated:

Views: 5389

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Neely Ledner

Birthday: 1998-06-09

Address: 443 Barrows Terrace, New Jodyberg, CO 57462-5329

Phone: +2433516856029

Job: Central Legal Facilitator

Hobby: Backpacking, Jogging, Magic, Driving, Macrame, Embroidery, Foraging

Introduction: My name is Neely Ledner, I am a bright, determined, beautiful, adventurous, adventurous, spotless, calm person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.