What Is The Wife Guy And Why Is He So Unintentionally Hilarious?

The wife guy remains at large.

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It’s a jungle out there, you guys. You never know when a heterosexual man, suddenly and without warning, will emerge from the ether and out himself as a member of the ethnographic group known as wife guys. But who are these men, and why are they so deeply and unintentionally hilarious?

The term ‘wife guy’ emerged in around 2019 when a bunch of heterosexual men made a name for themselves by going on about their wives. Shaun McBride may have been the prototype; a man who posted on Instagram about his wife, Jenny, “falling off a cliff” in Hawaii. (She fell about four metres but was basically fine.)

Robbie Tripp is another pioneer of the genre: he became famous for declaring his love for his “curvy” wife Sarah to declaring that she embodied “what a real woman” looked like; and even going as far as to record a song (and music video featuring Sarah herself) called ‘Chubby Sexy’.

And we’d be remiss not to mention shredded cheese wife guy, known mononymously as Jason, who thoroughly documented his wife’s gruelling 18-minute wait for a plate of cheese.

The wife guy was hilariously profiled in The New York Times, when writer Amanda Hess described the fledgling subculture as a kind of “overreaction to being married” and a sign of a “deeply ambivalent state” regarding state-mandated heterosexual relationships.

And maybe that’s why wife guys — when they appear, unbidden, as they do — are so powerfully funny. While back in the day, pretty much every man was destined to be a husband, regardless of sexual orientation, entering the institution of marriage in 2022 is very much something that is a choice rather than a necessity, and one that the ‘wife guy’ seems insistent of having everyone know about.

“If you go out to dinner and still feel like fucking afterwards the restaurant has failed,” a Twitter user called @ThePostsOffice tweeted earlier this week, before a man called Zach emerged to say his piece: “There’s not a restaurant on this earth that will keep me from wanting my wife.”

And that, my friends, is the wife guy. A man who is married to a woman; is sexually attracted to that woman, and wishes to make this known to as many people as possible.

There’s a sense of tragedy built into the wife guy persona. They seem desperate to prove something about themselves to the world, even — as Zach has shown us — no one knows who they even are. The wife guy wants to make it clear that they are married to a hot woman, and they’re just sorry you couldn’t be too.

Hess says the wife guy seems to have a kinship with the incel; a subculture of men who create online personas about their non-existent sex lives and feel entitled to sex with women, the wife guy has built an identity about their existent sex lives with their wives. And it’s just very funny.

Maybe the identification of ‘wife guy’ as a category also seems to signal that our culture is finally starting to see marriage as the slightly weird and anachronistic arrangement that it is. And maybe wife guys, in making it known that they have a wife — and doing their best to signal how stoked they are about it — are beginning to see that too.

Photo credit: Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images