In your opinion, what's the definition of a "Manchild"?

I see the term thrown around all the time but every single person seems to have a completely different definition of it, from “Any man above the age of 20 who still plays video games” to “Men who literally throw screaming temper tantrums in public over minor things”

I always thought I had the “common” one, basically any person above the age of 21 who is completely incapable of “normal” life activities and cannot sustain themselves without the direct help of parents, loved ones, or their spouses, not due to any disabilities they may have but rather due to sheer laziness.

I see it as this, broadly. Any man who is old enough to live in his own place but either doesn’t, or does but is incapable of doing basic adult tasks - cooking, cleaning, eating healthily.

Also, any man over 18 who rides around on a skateboard. That’s a personal beef of mine.

Any male who modifies his vehicle to increase the noise level. Toddlers need to get the attention of the grownups around them, whether by banging Mommy’s pans in the kitchen, revving motorcycles, or turning up some pounding bass. Adults are capable of existing within society without constant validation and the childish need that everyone else notice them.

Any guy who needlessly increases the workload/emotional labor for his significant other.

He only empties the dishwasher/takes out the garbage/runs the vacuum cleaner/wipes his ass when his girlfriend nags at him multiple times. And since no one wants to be a nag, she will often do these tasks while he sits on his ass, playing video games or watching TV.

I don’t think just having"childish" interests makes someone a manchild. Lots of high-functioning people play video games and ride skateboards.

I always thought it was Mowgli as described by Baloo.

Inhales This is fine.
Overall, I agree with nearly everyone. Basically, they are physically mature but not emotionally. Not mentally, as many people who are mentally delayed have no ability to make a change in this area. Rather, if they act like a child (cries when they lose their phone, temper tantrums, etc.) but physically and mentally are mature, this is a manchild. It still applies to other genders as well, as I know quite a few women in the office where I currently work who believe that their “beauty” allows them to work less.

In my opinion, someone who is physically a mature man but emotionally an adolescent qualifies. The occasional faux pas doesn’t qualify. It has to be, basically, a mindset.


That would be “man cub”. :stuck_out_tongue:

Aw c’mon. Nothing wrong with adults playing on skateboards, or wakeboards, etc.

I had an elderly relative who upon retirement, decided he was going to master the unicycle. And did pretty well. We were visiting when my kids were young (3 yr old) and he demonstrated his unicycle in the driveway. My son was mesmerized. When I asked him “What does that look like?” He smiled and yelled “A Clown!” My 60 yr old uncle had to stop riding to laugh at this. He shook his head and said: “Out of the mouths of babes…”

To me, it’s any adult male who is either unwilling or unable (with the obvious exception of those with debilitating mental illnesses or developmental disabilities) to take care of themselves. Think “Should be able to, but doesn’t.” This includes failure-to-launch adults, or men who’s significant other or housemate(s) is forced to take on the role of “mommy.”

Any male that disagrees with me an an argument!


I’m a manchild! A fully employed, self-supporting, emotionally mature manchild!

And so is my father! (Though he has my mother to cover for him.)

Hmm, I suspect that most males two or more generations ago were manchildren by this definition. Wimmin’s work, and all that.

Exactly this. Especially if he knows what’s going on and considers it “winning”; like, he’s proud of his “strategy”. It’s laziness crossed with a profound lack of empathy, almost to the point of solipsism.

Me! I refuse to move past 10 mentally.

Yeah, yeah…I know. That explains a lot of my posts! :smiley:

That’s a pretty good definition, and a I know a few… although I’d like to point out there are some really immature women out there too.

There’s some overlap with being a NEET (which, despite the stereotypes, are not all male).

Fictional manchildren seem to require less parental support, if only because adding parents to the narrative means adding more characters to the story.

I’ve always defined an adult as someone who pays their own way. The only difference between adults and children that I’ve seen is grown ups pay.

Some adults can’t pay for very good reasons.

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You mean “Step Brothers” wasn’t a documentary? :confused:

For people my age: Sam Malone
For people 10 years younger than me: Barney Stinson
For people 20 years younger than me: Jake Peralta

Naw, these are all successful adults with some childish interests and habits. They own businesses, hold down good jobs, are good at what they do but two of them really like to bang women without commitment and the other settled on one woman early and took a while to win her over then married her. Aside from Barney, who puts his friends into predicaments they never asked for, they handle their own emotional labor and don’t offload that onto friends and significant others.

Can’t get onboard with these guys as manbabies. And Jake is actually pretty woke.