Spoilers! Season 3 has followed Rebecca as she adjusts to her borderline personality disorder diagnosis, and the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend episode "Nathaniel Gets The Message!" begins with a difficult, but necessary break-up. While Rebecca is clear that her dumping of Nathaniel is solely based in her own need to avoid old patterns, that doesn't stop Nathaniel from feeling some major pain in the wake of it. Soon, he and the also recently dumped White Josh explore what happens when performative masculine confidence clashes head-first with rejection. And it culminates in the latest of many memorable songs that have come from Season 3 of CXG.
The beginning of Nathaniel and WhiJo's grief journey begins over guilt-eating baskets of fries and ends with them onstage at a gay bar proclaiming that they "have childhood traumas, just like you." While Rebecca and Darryl quickly manage to channel their post break-up energy towards their respective goals (helping Valencia run her business and attempting to win money to buy an egg to have a new child, respectively), Nathaniel and WhiJo discover that they're more lost without their partners than they expected. All his despite the fact that they're ostensibly "the hot ones." However, just because they're attractive, buff dudes doesn't mean they're free from pain. As these two end up singing at the end of the episode, "fit hot guys have problems, too."
Reminding each other that they were clearly the "catch" of each other's relationships is their first step towards building a wall of confidence to prevent the negative emotions of their respective breakups from affecting them. After Nathaniel and WhiJo accept that digging into fried foods is only going to make them feel worse, the two get to the next stop on their breakup tour: Nathaniel's apartment. They both take turns using Nathaniel's severe workout equipment, decorated with spikes in the hopes that it will "scare the fat out" off them. They measure each other's body fat and remind each other of the lingering childhood traumas that push them to stay fit (bullying and fat-shaming for White Josh, and an unloving father for Nathaniel).
In yet another effort to strengthen the emotional walls that keep them from having to confront the dissolving of their relationships, the two decide to go out to a club to pick people up. While Nathaniel initially questions White Josh's decision to take them to a gay bar, White Josh informs Nathaniel that there are plenty of straight girls there. "It's actually horrible," he explains. "Straight girls are ruining the best part about being gay. Used to be the one place that belonged to us!" As annoyed as he is by straight women playing tourist in gay bars, White Josh accepts that it will help both of them enjoy their night.
Though it won't be difficult for either of them to find someone to go home with, the distraction doesn't work. No matter how many times they say the phrase "mutual breakup" there was nothing mutual about either of their splits. No amount of body fat loss or flirting is enough to remove the pain of what Nathaniel and White Josh have been through, even if an irritating bachelorette party ("This bar is not for you! There are straight bars everywhere!" "Yeah, called bars!") insist that men who look like them "don't have real problems."
White Josh and Nathaniel may have objectively ideal male bodies and exit pools in slow-motion, but they're still sad. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a show very familiar with the flaws and trappings of masculinity, and "Nathaniel Gets The Message!" takes a look at how the men who try to fit society's expectations of what men can and should be can find themselves ignoring their own emotions. The shirts come off as the two start singing "Fit Hot Guys Have Problems Too" which serves as an anthem for any man who ever felt that the best solution to uncomfortable feelings was to pretend not to feel them. No matter who you are and what percent body fat you have, there's no shame in digging into a basket of onion rings, stopping by the zoo, and having a good ugly cry.