Created By: RedneckRocker on June 23, 2011 Last Edited By: captainpat on October 5, 2012
Troped

Hired for their looks

Good looks are the only reason a character got a job they may or may not be qualified for.

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Trope

A character is hired for a job solely because of their good looks. Whether or not (usually not) they have the skillset or experience for the job is a non-issue for their employer who just wants some eyecandy around the workplace. Often times their good looks are a form of job security as in cases where they are glaringly incompetent their employer will often ignore or bear with it for the sake of keeping them around.

Compare to Bunny-Ears Lawyer, Casting Couch, and Nepotism.


Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • In Artemis Fowl, Holly maintains that Lily Frond was only able to get a job with the LEP for being a good-looking bimbo.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Humor]]
  • An Evil Lawyer Joke has a law firm looking for a new secretary. The applicants are told to put their hands behind their heads and walk into a wall. If their breasts touch the wall before their elbows do, they're hired.
    • Another Evil Lawyer Joke: A law firm is told they need to hire more women and make one partner. So, they hire three women and devise a test to decide who makes partner. On their next paychecks, all of the women get overpaid by $5,000. The first takes the money and says nothing. The second returns the money immediately. The third takes the money, but comes back later with a check for $7,500, claiming she got a good stock tip and wanted to split the difference with the firm. So who made partner? The one with the biggest tits.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action Film]]
  • The title Representative from Charlie Wilson's War purposefully surrounded himself with Sexy Secretaries, and hired them based on looks.
    'You can teach 'em to type, but you can't teach 'em to grow tits.'
  • In American Reunion [[Jerkass Stifler]] tells group of pretty women "Ladies, you'd better be working hard - you weren't hired for your looks. Actually you were.". He then points to another woman and says "Not you."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • In Spin City, Caitlin hired a guy who probably moonlit as a Chippendale's dancer (almost immediately after she chewed out Charlie for the same thing).
  • Alex P. Keaton hired Karen as a housekeeper, despite her being a klutz and having no experience. Karen being played by Geena Davis.
  • On Just Shoot Me!, Maya does an experiment for an article in which she sends two people to interview for the same job, one extremely qualified but homely-looking, the other a handsome but dim-witted model. The model gets the job, as Maya predicted, but she also ends up falling in love with him.
  • On Friends, Rachel ends up hiring an inexperienced young man (Tag) as her assistant solely because he was cute.
    • Rachel herself counts as it seems that Gunther hired her only because he had a crush on her and she could have the job as long as she cared even though she was not a competent waitress.
  • In The Office, it appears that the new executive assistant, Jordan Garfield, will be this. This is certainly what some people (Pam and Dwight, for instance) think in-universe. It remains to be seen if that will prove to be the case.
  • In the Married... with Children episode "Rain Girl" (s4e21), Kelly Bundy becomes a TV station's "weather bunny" at a higher salary than the station's professional meteorologist, to his outrage.
  • An episode of Simon & Simon has them hiring a secretary. They look at the first one, a grandmotherly looking woman with an impressive resume, but go with a beautiful blonde who doesn't even have enough sense to answer a ringing phone.
  • JT from Step by Step hires a beautiful model as a housekeeper despite the fact that she's terrible at it. She eventually quits when she realizes this fact.
  • In Restaurant Stakeout, Willie suspected that the general manager of a restaurant partook in this trope. He had two undercover women attempt job interviews for waitressing with this manager, and confirmed Willie's suspicions when he hired the young, inexperienced teenage girl over the older, but vastly more qualified woman. He even went so far as attempting to flirt with her.
  • In House the title character bluntly tells Cameron he hired her solely because her good looks. She's a good doctor but House chooses her over even better doctors because she's attractive.
  • A Kids in the Hall sketch had Dave as a business man unable to fire a French pyromaniac named Monique because she's beautiful, even as she's igniting things in his office.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
  • Courtney in Retail was hired solely for her looks and tends to take lots of "sick days" sometimes showing up at the mall to shop on said days looking perfectly healthy. But Stuart refuses to fire her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Played with in Family Guy where Stewie's nursery is cared for by an attractive but extremely neglegent and borderline abusive woman (she leaves the children unattended for several hours and at one point dislocates Stewie's arm in her careless handling of him). He fails to have her found out because Brian insists he keep his mouth shut until he's scored a night in bed with her (though calls the police himself when it turns out she has a boyfriend).
[[/folder]]
Community Feedback Replies: 51
  • June 23, 2011
    Maklodes
    In The Office, it appears that the new executive assistant, Jordan Garfield, will be this. This is certainly what some people (Pam and Dwight, for instance) think in universe. It remains to be seen if that will prove to be the case.
  • June 23, 2011
    TonyG
    • On Just Shoot Me, Maya does an experiment for an article in which she sends two people to interview for the same job, one extremely qualified but homely-looking, the other a handsome but dim-witted model. The model gets the job, as Maya predicted, but she also ends up falling in love with him.
    • On Friends, Rachel ends up hiring an inexperienced young man as her assistant solely because he was cute.
  • June 23, 2011
    MetaFour
    It's been a while since I've seen this one, so I may be off:
    • In The Producers, Max hires an attractive European woman who likes to dance as the secretary. It's unclear if she ever actually gets any secretarial work done.
  • June 24, 2011
    randomsurfer
    .
  • September 22, 2012
    captainpat
    Alright, there's a good trope here so let's finish this.
  • September 22, 2012
    NimmerStill
  • September 22, 2012
    Dacilriel
    To clarify The Producers example: The woman is Ulla, the gorgeous Swedish secretary/receptionist. In the original movie she is clearly nothing but a rather dim-witted piece of eye-candy. In the musical her character is expanded and it's hinted that she may be Obfuscating Stupidity, but she still qualifies.

    Hiring Ulla: Leo: We may have a position for you. Max: In fact, we may have several positions for you. (from the musical version)
  • September 22, 2012
    captainpat
    ^^ I don't think that's an example. He got the job, I think, because of his reputation and hype not his looks.
  • September 22, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^Ok, didn't see that in the description. It fits the name to a T though. That should probably be clearer.
  • September 22, 2012
    captainpat
    Yea, the name could probably be clearer.
  • September 23, 2012
    MorganWick
  • September 23, 2012
    captainpat
    ^ I like Only Got The Job For Their Looks for it's clarity. I'm sure we can shorten it though.
  • September 23, 2012
    zarpaulus
    Newspaper Comics
    • Courtney in Retail was hired solely for her looks and tends to take lots of "sick days" sometimes showing up at the mall to shop on said days looking perfectly healthy. But Stuart refuses to fire her.
  • September 23, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    • Ms. Buxley in Beetle Bailey.
    • In the Married With Children episode "Rain Girl" (s4e21), Kelly Bundy becomes a TV station's "weather bunny" at a higher salary than the station's professional meteorologist, to his outrage.
  • September 23, 2012
    peccantis
    Compare with Bunny Ears Lawyer, who looks unqualified (either by looking goofy or "obviously hired for looks") but actually is competent.
  • September 23, 2012
    captainpat
    ^^ Need some context for the Beetle Bailey example.
  • September 23, 2012
    SKJAM
    The song "Attractive Stupid People" talks about this, first in general terms, then mentions a particular U.S. President.
  • September 23, 2012
    KevinKlawitter
    The titular Representative from Charlie Wilsons War purposefully surrounded himself with Sexy Secretaries, and hired them based on looks. His justification for this could make an excellent page quote:

    'You can teach 'em to type, but you can't teach 'em to grow tits.'
  • September 24, 2012
    Chabal2
    See also Casting Couch.

    An Evil Lawyer Joke has a law firm looking for a new secretary. The applicants are told to put their hands behind their heads and walk into a wall. If their breasts touch the wall before their elbows do, they're hired.
  • September 24, 2012
    Astaroth
    In Artemis Fowl, Holly maintains that Lily Frond was only able to get a job with the LEP for being a good-looking bimbo.
  • September 24, 2012
    acrobox
    What about just Pretty Unqualified eliminate the 'but.' for the double meaning of pretty (mostly unqualified / beautiful person unqualified (my pretty)'
  • September 24, 2012
    JohnnyCache
    [[Folder:Web Original]]
    • The "Mastermind" series of Flash movies features a second-in-command with a very obvious pair of qualifications. (Warning: NSFW!)
    [[/Folder]]
  • September 24, 2012
    Psi001
    • Played with in Family Guy where Stewie's nursery is cared for by an attractive but extremely neglegent and borderline abusive woman (she leaves the children unattended for several hours and at one point dislocates Stewie's arm in her careless handling of him). He fails to have her found out because Brian insists he keep his mouth shut until he's scored a night in bed with her (though calls the police himself when it turns out she has a boyfriend)>
  • September 24, 2012
    captainpat
    ^ I'm not sure that's an example unless she was hired solely for her looks.

    How about Beauty Over Job Qualifications?
  • September 25, 2012
    Tallens
    An episode of Simon And Simon has them hiring a secretary. They look at the first one, a grandmotherly looking woman with an impressive résumé, but go with a beautiful blonde who doesn't even have enough sense to answer a ringing phone.
  • September 25, 2012
    elwoz
    Blonde Republican Sex Kitten is another related trope.
  • September 25, 2012
    Psi001
    ^^^ I thought it might be a Played With example, since while she isn't specifically said to be hired for her looks, it's a primary reason she hasn't been fired.
  • September 25, 2012
    Waterlily
    JT from Step By Step hires a beautiful model as a housekeeper despite the fact that she's terrible at it. She eventually quits when she realizes this fact.
  • September 26, 2012
    TBeholder
    why not simple Hired For The Looks?
  • September 26, 2012
    XFllo
    ^ I like Hired For The Looks the best (or perhaps Hired For Their Looks would do).
  • September 26, 2012
    captainpat
    Alright lets go with that.
  • September 26, 2012
    CrystalGlacia
    We've been reading Death Of A Salesman in English class, so that's what I thought of when I saw this.

    • Willy, the eponymous salesman of Death Of A Salesman seems to think that attractiveness and popularity are the way to lifelong success. Unfortunately for him, that and the American Dream are the exact things that the play tears apart.

    And another one in Live Action TV:

    • In Restaurant Stakeout, Willie suspected that the general manager of a restaurant partook in this trope. He had two undercover women attempt job interviews for waitressing with this manager, and confirmed Willie's suspicions when he hired the young, inexperienced teenage girl over the older, but vastly more qualified woman. He even went so far as attempting to flirt with her.
  • September 26, 2012
    captainsandwich
    In House there is a doctor who was/is quite qualified for her job. However she got her job (position or whatever) partly on her looks, as house wanted eye-candy (he did pass over at least a handful of even more qualified doctors).
  • September 28, 2012
    captainpat
    ^^ I don't think that Death Of A Salesman is this trope.
  • September 30, 2012
    captainpat
    This looks about ready.
  • September 30, 2012
    lexicon
    When I read this the first thing I thought of was the House example. Since it does count I think the page should say that the person isn't necessarily unqualified ("they have neither the skill set or experience for" "being glaringly incompetent") just that the person wouldn't have gotten the job if not for her looks.

    Cameron was hired because it's like having a nice piece of art in the lobby even though she she was in the top of her class (But not THE top) and did an internship at the Mayo Clinic but she worked very hard to get where she is.
  • September 30, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    in How I Met Your Mother, Barney tells a group of pretty women to "get to work ladies, you weren't hired for your looks" then "oh, wait, yes you were" (or something) then turns to a rather plain older woman and says "you weren't, get to work" (again, something along those lines).
  • September 30, 2012
    HeartOfAnAstronaut
    Truth In Television: models, obviously.
  • September 30, 2012
    NimmerStill
    ^If we go by the laconic or description, then that's not an example. A good-looking person (generally) *is* qualified for the job of a model, and when they're not (unable to keep the poise, unprofessional, etc.), they're generally not hired even with good looks.
  • September 30, 2012
    lexicon
    I noticed that this is Up For Grabs. Should we say that person might be qualified but her looks gave her something extra to be hired or should we take away the House example?
  • September 30, 2012
    NimmerStill
    Yeah, it should be mainly about the motivation of the hirer; the hirer should simply be indifferent to the person's actual qualifications. But models, again, don't count, since there the looks *are* the qualification.
  • October 1, 2012
    lexicon
    House's motivation for hiring Cameron was her looks even though she is a good doctor. So you think we should take out the "being glaringly incompetent" part and keep the House example?
  • October 1, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Another Evil Lawyer Joke: A law firm is told they need to hire more women and make one partner. So, they hire three women and devise a test to decide who makes partner. On their next paychecks, all of the women get overpaid by $5,000. The first takes the money and says nothing. The second returns the money immediately. The third takes the money, but comes back later with a check for $7,500, claiming she got a good stock tip and wanted to split the difference with the firm. So who made partner? The one with the biggest tits.
  • October 1, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Possibly how models can be hired instead of actors to play the part of models being hired instead of someone qualified to do the job, so they're not necessarily good actors but they look right.
  • October 1, 2012
    captainpat
    Alright, I broaden it. I think that How I Met Your Mother example is supposed to be American Reunion. It's in the trailer.

    ^ I'm not understanding. It would be helpful to have a specific example instead of something broad.
  • October 2, 2012
    captainpat
    Alright, this looks ready.
  • October 2, 2012
    captainsandwich
    I wish we had a way to delete our comments
  • October 2, 2012
    lexicon
    There's no reason to delete the comments. They won't be posted on the launched page. If someone's ready to launch it and create the links they should go ahead because it does have it's hats and I think it looks fine.

    What about the index? What ones are there to put it on?
  • October 4, 2012
    captainpat
    ^ The Beautiful Tropes.

    How about this Archie Comics panel as a trope image?
  • October 4, 2012
    norsicnumber2nd
    Yeh, Stifler says it in the American Reunion trailer, but I'm sure Barney does it when they move into the new office for GNB or something?
  • October 5, 2012
    Duncan
    A Kids In The Hall sketch had Dave as a business man unable to fire a French pyromaniac named Monique because she's beautiful, even as she's igniting things in his office.
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