MAFS: Aussie men on what the bro code really means

After being used to hide bad behaviour on shows like MAFS, we asked Aussie men what the bro code really meant to them.

In recent years on most seasons of Married At First Sight we've seen some sort of reference to the bro code and the men either using it as a form of protecting each other's bad behaviour, or accusing each other of 'breaking' the bro code if they tell their wives something that was meant to be held within the secrecy of things like 'boys night'.

After last week's fiasco on MAFS with Jono telling his wife Lauren something Jack said about his wife Tori — only for Lauren to bring it up at the dinner party resulting in the now infamous "muzzle your woman" comment (read more about that here) — MAFS fans have once again found themselves watching adult men resort to using the term 'bro code' as though it's meant to be some sort of steel trap that allows them to constantly absolve each other of any wrongdoing.

But what is the bro code and does the average Aussie man actually use it as a guide to protecting his fellow bros from bad behaviour being outed?

Jack and Jono on MAFS
How far should bros go to protect each other? Photo: Nine

We decided to go straight to the source.

Aussie men describe what the bro code means to them

"There are two VERY different definitions depending on the person/people involved," one man, a former reality TV star, told Yahoo Lifestyle.

"In the respectable adult male, the bro code is having other males' back and looking out for them and their wellbeing. Being loyal to them... and if you find out something like their partner is cheating on them, telling them. In the F-boy world the bro code is covering for your mate while they cheat on their partner and do the wrong thing."

Lauren Dunn on MAFS
Every Aussie woman when they hear the word 'bro code'. Photo: Nine

"To me, the bro code means to have each other's back in a time of need. To check in, to be helpful," another man explained. "It also means to pull them up when they're being d***heads. Or doing something wrong. If you do not have that freedom in a friendship, it's not a real friendship."


"In my circles, I wouldn’t say it is explicit, we don’t go, 'Oi bro code' but I think there is some mutual understanding/respect which I would consider bro code," another man explained. "For example having each others’ backs on nights out, being aware of troubles and mental health. But I also believe it is something that is earned, you aren’t just automatically obliged to show respect to a random guy as you would your close friends."

And one man drew a graph to explain the code.

The bro code
The bro code graph. Photo: Supplied

"There's an interplay between how close you are to the other guy and how much of a douche/arrogant prick he is," he shared.

'Many men use the bro code as a cop out'

One forthcoming man, when questioned about the MAFS storyline involving Jono and Jack specifically, then elaborated more on his bro code stance.

"It seems to me that for many men, the bro code is a cop-out," he said. "They can use it to shield themselves from things like cheating and assuming your guys will cover for you. But I do think there are some other cases like expecting your friends not to date your ex where it is more about mutual respect."

"The bro code means fuck all to me," another person told me. "I knew this too well as a person of colour and as a disabled/neurodivergent. Looking back, I was never one of the 'bros'. I had friends who wouldn't protect me when I was getting bullied."

For other men, it was pretty simple: the bro code simply only meant to not go after your mate's dates.

"I wouldn't date a friend's ex-wife," one man told me. "Don't go after your mates' ex-girlfriends," another agreed. "Or current girlfriend."

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