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Wellness > Sex + Relationships

ICYMI, Everyone Wants A Sexy Rodent Boyfriend

On TikTok, we’ve seen golden retrievers, black cats, and even German shepherds — and I’m not talking about the animals. Now, the internet has officially welcomed the “rodent boyfriend.” But what is a rodent boyfriend, or “sexy rat man?” And since when are we comparing our partners to, like, wild animals? 

If you’re confused, let me get you up to speed. The “rodent boyfriend,” or even the “hot rodent boyfriend” is a trend that’s gained a ton of popularity on social media. The term took over social media after the popularity of the movie Challengers, starring Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, who were admired for their rodent-like hotness, and can be humorously compared to Stuart Little and Roderick “Roddy” St James. We can also consider other hot rodent men, including (but definitely not limited to) Logan Lerman, Matty Healy, Tom Holland, and Tom Hiddleston. 

After tons of memes, however, the term went mega-viral when it was discussed on Today With Hoda & Jenna on May 23. In the segment, the hosts (Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager) go on and describe the famed rodent boyfriend: They define him as a boy who is not necessarily conventionally handsome (which makes them even hotter), has svelte, angular features and bodies, convey the opposite of toxic masculinity, and publicly love on their partners but in a “slightly weird but sexy way.” 


“I never thought of it, but okay.” 😂 #HodaAndJenna

♬ original sound – TODAY with Hoda & Jenna

Though the term doesn’t sound super appealing and may appeal to a more ugly nature, I have to say that “rodent boyfriend” is a compliment and it’s thought to be a good thing! Jenna continues, “People are saying [that men] look like cartoon mice. I mean we’re not [saying that], by the way. This is not a slam at all, it’s the opposite.” According to the internet, a rodent boyfriend is fun, interesting, and vulnerable. Maybe we should all be looking for rats, y’all.

TikTok users agree. One user writes, “Matty Healy is the king of rat boyfriends/situationships.” One proponent admits, “I’m afraid this is my type.” Another goes, “Watching Ratatouille will never be the same.”

Jenna finishes the segment by saying, “You should want to date Stuart Little.” I mean, she is right. It’s time to trade in the golden retriever boyfriend for the hot rat boyfriend, IMHO.

Gabriele Barrocas

Vanderbilt '27

I'm a freshman at Vanderbilt, studying neuroscience on a pre-medical track. I love all things fashion and advocating for ways to promote positive wellbeing. I'm from Boca Raton, Florida so of course I love spending my time at the beach.