Identifying dudes: From bros to douchebags to dicks and beyond
This being the Internet and all, we thought it would be a good idea to start the proceedings by stating, unequivocally, that there are plenty of great, wonderful, smart, kind, giving, loveable guys. And many fantastic and endearing kinds of guys. So many, we couldn’t make a list of them all because that list would be so long, we would all grow old and die reading it. To be clear: We’re not saying, in any way, shape or form, that there aren’t amazing, incredible, terrific guys out there (although someone will definitely say in the comments that we did).
What we are saying is that there are also a lot of different kind of dudes out and about. And we mean very specifically dudes – not guys, not boys, not men – but dudes. This is important. Dudes – and again, dudes are a particular variety of male – are out there, like, being dudes. But not all dudes are the same, and lumping them all together creates a kind of chaos and confusion that can and should totally be avoided. So, to more distinctly identify each type of dude from their brethren, here is a list that makes clear where the boundaries for one dude end and another dude begin. Below is a detailed report on the unique traits that identify douchebags, bros, dicks, assholes, scumbags and tools.
Douchebags. Semi-awful. Definitely the most wealth-obsessed of all the categories of dudes. Complete lack of self awareness means he constantly refers to other dudes as “douches” and – on his most terrible days (i.e., every day) – “d-bags.” Brings coke to parties but doesn’t share with anyone except for the woman he’s trying to sleep with, who he’s actually vaguely aggressive with about snorting it. (If she doesn’t have sex with him, definitely decides she’s “a lesbian.” Also: Isn’t totally sure how words work.) Finally got hip to the AXE Body Spray / douchebag connection and instead started wearing TAG Body Spray. Broke up with a girl once because he thought her ankles were a little fat. Not cankles fat, but fat enough. Definitely fucked that one waitress in Cabo. If he’s trying to pick up a girl and her phone goes off, says cheesy stuff like, “You’re blowing up!” Mentions he has a six-pack hoping you’ll ask to touch it. (When you don’t, calls you “a lesbian.”) Wants to live in a world with only Kanye, Diplo, Scott Disick and Evan Spiegel. Says he loves music but really only listens to shitty EDM.
Bros. More innocuous and sweetly earnest than douchebags. Really enjoys chilling – probably has some of his frat bros coming over this weekend to, you know, chill. Spends the entire summer in flip flops, even – no, especially – at inappropriate events. (For this reason, should never be allowed to choose dress-up party attire for himself.) Still thinks Williamsburg is “artsy” and “kinda weird.” Misquotes Fight Club and Dylan lyrics, but really is trying. Benches 120, flexes in the mirror, thinks: “Fuck yeah.” Earnestly believes he has something insightful and deep to contribute to the conversation, which is adorably wrong. It should be mentioned that this category now includes a hipster-bro hybrid who wears ‘50s style white t-shirts with skinny jeans and is into artisanal pizza, suspenders, bespoke drinks and high-end shaving kits. Though it’s been said a million times and is obvious to the point of absurdity, Matthew McConaughey remains the Alpha and Omega of Bro. (If they were manufactured in a factory, bros would be made out of a super common material called McConaughite.) Is best friends with one bro exactly like Owen Wilson and another bro exactly like Ryan Lochte. Says he loves music but only listens to shitty EDM and Bob Marley’s “Legend.”
Dicks. Full-on awful. Is endlessly arrogant to cover up the deep well of insecurity he still carries from being picked last for kickball so many times as a kid. Is technically quite smart, but so insecure he can’t help but constantly prove it in super obnoxious ways. Pretends not to get your references. Creates uncomfortable silences in conversation on purpose. If you tell a joke, says something rude or cutting afterward to prove that, oh, he got it, he just didn’t think it was funny. Enjoys being “politically incorrect” and then playing dumb when challenged on it. Actually lies to his therapist, making the whole exercise a tremendous waste of money. Spends the first five minutes after meeting you trying to figure out your points of emotional vulnerability. Secretly cries after masturbating. Hates himself, and deep inside knows there is a hole that can never be filled. Role models include Vincent Gallo and Andy Dick (ironically). Says he loves music but mostly just enjoys collecting music facts so he can tell people they’re wrong about songs they love.
Assholes. A close cousin of the dick but not quite as sharp. When he agrees with something you’ve said, starts his response with, “No, but..” and then repeats exactly what you just said, exactly the way you just said it. Starts talking while you’re talking and then keeps talking louder and louder until you finally give up. Thinks women don’t get him but doesn’t understand the actual problem is that they get him all too well. Blatantly steers the conversation back to his areas of knowledge when it starts to drift toward things he doesn’t know about, which is a lot. Feels most at home screaming at waitresses until they tear up and leaving lengthy notes on the backs of receipts explaining why he didn’t leave a tip. (tl; dr: Because he’s an asshole.) Is only semi-aware that every fuck has been a hate-fuck for him. Blissfully unaware of how awful he is. Likes the way Mike Love does business and still chuckles to himself remembering mean things Simon Cowell said. Thinks Biff from Back to the Future had his good points. Says he loves music but then argues with you about Every. Single. Band.
Scumbags. Here’s the thing about the scumbag: He is actual slime and kind of a sociopath, and by far the most dangerous dude on this list. Lies about weird stuff like what he had for breakfast this morning but is unfailingly honest about the disgusting and immoral way he treated some nice girl last week. Thinks telling people he’s about to have sex with that he has an STD “ruins the mood.” Constantly suggesting to women he’s just met that his “tongue never gets tired.” Currently dating a woman who doesn’t speak a word of his language because it’s “just easier.” Stands out in front, waiting to walk into a party until he can go in with another friend who actually brought a bottle of wine. If you resist his (inevitably gross) advances at a bar, keeps coming up every 15 minutes to ask, “Would you want to make out now?” If he’s in a band, secretly lives in the practice space. Learned just enough about feminism to get laid. Admires John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas and thinks Dov Charney of American Apparel got a raw deal. Not that it needs to be mentioned, but really looks up to Terry Richardson. Says he loves music and, actually, has pretty good taste.
Tools. Although the term feels a little outdated, it’s an an oldie but a goodie that still applies in a startlingly large number of cases. Thinks he’s projecting an image of roguishness and suave sophistication when, in fact, he is projecting the reality of a tragicomedy with legs. Women can smell the stench of desperation coming off him a mile away, but he mistakes their indifference as “playing coy.” In high school he was always “dating a model who lives in France.” As an adult, he frequently drops boastful, unsubtle hints about the number of women he’s slept with to distract anyone from guessing the actual number is two. Misuses hip-hop slang in a way that feels not just embarrassing but borderline offensive. Has a guy he hangs around with all the time who he doesn’t realize is making fun of him. When he finds himself in a conversation where he doesn’t quite get what’s going on, tries to look really deep in thought so people mistake his confusion for depth. Doesn’t get the David Brent character from The Office UK because it’s too much like looking in a mirror. See also: Piers Morgan. (Despite these examples, isn’t necessarily British. Tools have no home country.) Says he loves music, and will now prove it by making a scene with that guitar he found in the corner.