Every man has had the experience of opening up his fridge and finding three of the least compatible ingredients he could possibly conjure up in his mind sitting on its shelves as his only option for a meal that night. Rather than shutting the fridge and giving up, however, every man has also had the experience of letting out an exasperated sigh and doing his best to create a moderately edible meal out of these three ingredients. When a man does this, he is taking part in the iconic cultural experience known by the world as “boy dinner.”
The official definition of boy dinner is “any low-effort meal a guy eats for dinner,” but it is so much more than that. Some examples of standout boy dinners include a sandwich consisting solely of unseasoned microwave ramen noodles, one entire loaf of bread, oatmeal composed of a vast array of abstract ingredients, the classic bowl of rice with chicken and broccoli and potato chips with beef jerky. These dinners are usually washed down with beverages that are equally as lazy and unhealthy as the dishes themselves; some examples of popular boy dinner beverages are Mountain Dew (specifically Baja Blast), whole milk, any Arizona-brand canned drink and tap water.
My personal favorite boy dinner experience would have to be the time I took leftover fried rice and liberally poured a combination of soy sauce and Terry Ho’s Yum Yum Sauce over it to make a soupy mixture, and it was quite honestly one of the better meals that I have eaten at two o’clock in the morning.
Boy dinner spawned in contrast to the popular TikTok trend known as “girl dinner,” which can be characterized as similar to boy dinner due to how little effort is put in, but girl dinner often takes the time to make the meal look at least somewhat presentable (see Lillian Reith’s recent opinion article for more information on girl dinner). However, boy dinner is quite literally food on a plate or food in a bowl, and that is all the more formality that you’re going to get.
When asked for his thoughts on boy dinner, Clay Brouwer made the important distinction that Pringles can make any boy dinner at least ten times better. When asked to elaborate on this, Clay said that “a single one of those Pringles Snack Stacks can turn any array of food into a tasty meal.”
While I agree with this sentiment, I believe that boy dinner is something to be done in moderation. Boy dinner is known for not having much differentiation between meals, and those who regularly partake in boy dinner often find themselves eating the same meal anywhere from three to four times in the same week.
Too much boy dinner in someone’s life can lead to the drastic deterioration of one’s physical and mental health due to how little nutrition usually comes from these meals as well as the aforementioned potential for repetition of the same few dishes. As stated earlier, boy dinner is an iconic part of the male experience, but there is so much more to the male experience than just boy dinner. Have some fruits and veggies every once in a while; they are good for you.