Study Guide

The Rocky Horror Picture Show Brad Majors, A Hero (Barry Bostwick)

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Brad Majors, A Hero (Barry Bostwick)

Brad Is the Pits

Brad is your typical Texas good ol' boy, which means on the surface, he appears to be charming and romantic. He thinks he's a hero, and his character name in the credits even calls him one. But underneath his good ol' boy exterior, he's…boring and kind of a jerk.

Brad is so boring, in fact, it's hard to come up with anything to say about him.

Janet has an interesting character arc, going from virgin to, um, not in less than sixty minutes. Brad, on the other hand, isn't bound by societal conventions to remain virginal before marriage. It is never implied that he's "saving himself" for Janet the way she is for him. But Brad still gets to explore his wild side, engaging in some steamy sex with Frank.

FRANK: Oh come on, Brad, admit it, you liked it, didn't you? There's no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure, Brad. Oh Brad, you've wasted so much time already. Janet needn't know, I won't tell.

In other words, Brad kisses a boy and he likes it.

Both Brad and Janet hypocritically get upset at the other when they find out they had an affair with Frank. In talkbacks at live shows, Janet gets the moniker "slut" while Brad is often called "asshole" or, if you're British, "arsehole." (Source)

Why is that? Well, men are often unable to be sluts, instead being praised for their sexual promiscuity rather than demeaned for it. But why's Brad called asshole? He's a jerk because he pressures Janet into a situation she is uncomfortable with, and then is offended when she becomes at ease with the fringe sexuality on display in the castle.

Plus, he fails to protect Janet when things get dangerous—come on, dude: if you're going to be all into to restrictive gender norms, you best hold up your end of the restrictive gender norm bargain.

Instead, he says:

BRAD: You're a hot dog, but you better not try to hurt her, Frank Furter.

Woo-eee. That's terrifying.

It's big talk, but not only does Brad make a bad pun, he's immediately turned into a statue by Frank. Brad is all talk, no action. And no, not that kind of action.

Okay, we're guilty of piling on Brad here. Just as Janet isn't really the "slut" that talkbacks would lead you to believe, Brad isn't an "a**hole" either. He does what society expects him to do: propose to his sweetheart. If he and Janet hadn't met Frank, they would have had 2.5 kids and a picket fence. He (probably) would have stayed faithful to her.

But all of those things are old-school ideals, and in Frank's castle, Brad learns that he doesn't want to live an old-school, traditional kind of life. He wants to keep moving forward…and he wants to move forward while wearing some freaking phenomenal stilettos.

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