Distracted By The Sexy: Live-Action TV
- Lizzie Mcguire: In "The Greatest Crush of All", nearly all the girls in English class have the hots for their new substitute teacher, Mr. Keith. They get stunned, spout unrelated words, and before class, a staring girl walks facefirst into an open locker door.
- Smallville: A very common occurrence whenever something makes a girl Not Herself, but there are also other times.
- Bonanza: The 1960 episode "The Ape," where Hoss' friend, a simple-minded giant of a man named Arnie (whom Hoss is trying to mentor and help become a farmer), is forever distracted by a sexy saloon girl named Shari. Despite Hoss warning Arnie many times that Shari wants nothing to do with him except take advantage of him, and that her friends are snakes in the grass, Arnie constantly goes to the saloon to be with her and make her his bird in his cage. (The episode ends tragically. When Arnie learns that Shari is exactly as Hoss said, he kills her, after which he is shot by a posse.)
- There was a plot that spanned several episodes where a woman who wore a bra as a top indirectly caused a car wreck.
- In another episode, Elaine wears a low-cut top and unknowingly distracts numerous men.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
Xander: The band. Yeah. They're great. They march.Willow: Like an army. ...Except with music instead of bullets, and...usually no one dies.
- Very early in the first episode, Xander first sees Buffy and promptly does this, skateboarding into the railing for the stairs up to the front of the high school.
- No one does this more so than Sid the dummy.
- In "Prophecy Girl", Willow sits enraptured while Xander tries his pick-up lines on her. When he asks for Buffy, Willow points out she's gone, and pathetically offers to let him practice on her some more.
- Xander losing his train of thought as Willow's leg creeps up his shin. ("Band Candy")
- Wesley's introduction to comely Cordelia ("Consequences"). "In fact, I am... here to watch... girls."
- Subverted with Angel in Season 8 who, after seeing two attractive woman kiss, just wants to get on with the fight.
- Faith looks like she is going to pull this in Season 9 when a slayer picks a fight with the Arsenal football team, and she later muses how she would have done it before. It turns out Faith used beer as a viable solution to the conflict.
- Married... with Children:
- Steve once ran a marathon without meaning to because he was following a girl in short running shorts.
- In the episode "Alley of the Dolls", the Bundys bowl against Peggy's high school rival and her family. Kelly is a bad bowler, but she proves to be useful by distracting the men on the other team.
- Jeff from Coupling does this.
- In Teen Wolf, Danny never stood a chance with a shirtless Derek in the room.
- And Scott tends to float off into La-la Land whenever Allison's around or even mentioned.
- In Waking the Dead a group of Private Military Contractors is discussing VIP protection when Stella Goodman walks into the room. As one of them is distracted by her (she is a Fair Cop), the guy leading the session mimes shooting him in the back of the head. Then directly comments on this sort of thing.
- What I Like About You has an interesting twist: anytime Gary Thorpe is topless (usually as part of his job), everybody is dumbstruck... except his best friend Holly Tyler, since they're Platonic Life Partners.
- Top Gear
- In an episode, the cameraman is Distracted by the Sexy and drifts over to film some beach volleyball players instead of James May and the Honda FCX Clarity he is reviewing.
- Another episode has Jeremy Clarkson explaining about the "most dangerous time of year to drive" being in the summer:
Clarkson: Topless women! Mustn't look! Mustn't look!
- Invoked by Jeremy Clarkson during Hot Hatchback challenge when they raced around the Monaco GP Circuit:
Clarkson: They just put me off! These great orbs!
- One blooper collection shows Clarkson attempting to describe the Porsche 911 line in terms of women in skimpy tops (or as he puts it Plain English. He doesn't get far.
- A serious example of this trope happens in the first episode of the Australian mini-series Janus. A woman is being hammered on the witness stand by the lawyer of her psychopathic ex-boyfriend, who's staring coldly at her the whole time. Realizing this, the policewoman guarding her sits in the front row of the public gallery, crosses her legs and makes eye contact with him. With her boyfriend's attention off her, the witness rallies under the questioning and provides the testimony they need.
- Saturday Night Live has one in a commercial parody called "I'm No Angel" where a pregnant redneck woman (played by Amy Poehler, who really was pregnant at the time the fake commercial first aired) distracts the men in a country western bar with her pre-natal sexy.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway?
Steve Frost: (as a Violent Glaswegian soccer fan) YOU'RE GOIN' 'OME WITH A GREAT BIG STIFFIE!
- One suggestion for the always funny "Scenes from a Hat" game lampshades this trope: Ryan as a lion-tamer attempts to place his head between Colin The Lion's jaws when he is Distracted by the Sexy. So is Colin's Lion.
- Earlier in the UK version, one game of "Weird Newscasters" had Ryan doing the weather while "distracted by a couple making love in front of him".
- An outtake from the US version has a rather busty blonde audience member brought on stage for the purpose of one of the cast member improvising a song about her. The guy can't resist referencing her figure, rendering the song (and the skit) not safe for broadcast.
- In "One Shot One Kill" a warehouse manager is distracted from DiNozzo's questioning by the sight of Kate's ass as she crawls around on the floor looking for evidence. DiNozzo is rather annoyed, presumably because lusting after Kate is his job.
- Ziva, on the other hand, regularly distracts Tony by stretching. She even got Gibbs attention once by crawling under a desk.
- Another notable instance was when Abby was dressed as Marilyn Monroe for Halloween, Tony and McGee never stood a chance.
- Celebrity Poker: Jennifer Tilly is really good at poker. We suspect a lot of that is psychological.
- Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. Mike Hammer (Stacy Keach) sees a therapist in an effort to give up smoking. Unfortunately he's too busy checking out her ample bosom during the relaxation exercise (the fact that she's going on about "deep valleys" and "rolling hills" doesn't help). Then when answering the phone he automatically takes out a packet of cigarettes and lighter, both of which are removed from his hands by the therapist, who dryly informs Hammer that the treatment appears not to be working.
- Lexx's Lyekka uses this to stun her victims (along with a little telepathy).
Reporter: For a rampaging monster she sure is gorgeous. I know that offers little consolation to the legions of Japanese people now being crushed to death by the monster, but wow, is she hot!
- In the Good Luck Charlie episode "Baby Come Back", P.J. takes his baby sister out for a stroll in the park. He runs into a post at the sight of Emma, a cute girl taking her baby brother out for a stroll. This would've been only mildly amusing if not for the following:
Teddy: (furious) How could you bring home the wrong baby?
P.J.: I'm sorry; I got a little distracted: Emma is really cute!
Teddy: Yeah, so's our little sister.
- Robin Tunney on The Mentalist — in the Gag Reel. Both she and the other main female cast member just stand there as the guy who plays Rigsby tries to put his shirt on over his wet, glistening muscles. "Brian said that Justin was in love with her..." (both women keep staring at him). "Brian said that Justin was in love with her and my brain is dead I'm so sorry."
- Mash: In the episode "The Moose," Hawkeye is playing poker with a soldier who has a Korean woman as an "indentured servant," so Hawkeye tries to win her and thus liberate her. To effect this, he has an earpiece in which Radar (from a distance using a telescope) is transmitting the opponent's hand. But Radar gets distracted as a nurse wearing only a towel on her way to the nurse's showers walks by.
- Night Court does this when Harry has to arm-wrestle a stereotypical Texas big-money type to save a orphanage. He holds his own for a bit, but starts to lose — so Christine, the 'sweet innocent' type, waves to get the guy's attention and flashes her breasts at him. Everyone else is focused on the match, so nobody else sees her do this. The Texan later tells her it was Worth It.
- Used in a short film (no memory of a title or origin, sorry) entirely shown through the scope of a Cold Sniper about to shoot someone coming out of a hotel — but who's distracted by a woman stripping down to her underwear at a window. It comes to the point that the hitman ends up too late to shoot the target, whom gets into a car, and he starts cursing loudly. Then the voyeur witnesses a man, probably a jealous boyfriend, entering the same room as the woman, slapping her and pulling a handgun... and the sniper shoots him. (Thus being an extreme form of a Wife-Basher Basher... probably because the guy wanted not "only" to beat her.)
- A few TV bloopers involving this trope:
"See how your brand of chicken..." (woman walks by and he glances at her then back to the camera, then continues in a more subdued manner) "stacks up against mine."
- Life's Most Embarrassing Moments showed one blooper where a TV reporter was doing a report at a beach when he got distracted by a bikini clad girl who walked by, resulting in garbled lines and the cameraman focusing on the said girl.
- TV's Funniest Commercial Goofs had one commercial outtake where a guy advertising a brand of chicken got interrupted when a very busty woman passed right next to him. His line went like:
- When the boys play the girls in a Thanksgiving Day game of touch football, Phoebe distracts Chandler by lifting her shirt.
- Earlier in the series, he accidentally sees Rachel half-naked. Later on Rachel asks him why can't he stop staring at her breasts, and it takes a few seconds for him to register the question and lift his gaze.
- When Frank Jr meets his sister Phoebe's friends for the first time, he's bowled over by Monica and Rachel and asks the boys how on earth they can get anything done. Chandler admits they don't.
- In one season 5 episode, Joey spends the entire episode trying to locate a hot, sexy woman who lives in Ross's apartment block. At one point, Chandler watches Joey tear out of the room after spotting her through Monica's window before exclaiming, "I gotta check out this hot girl!". He only remembers his girlfriend is in the room just as he reaches the window, swerves away from it and lands on the couch next to Monica, adding a sheepish "There she is!" and a kiss before Monica can react.
- A very common gag on The Benny Hill Show.
- In one sketch set in WWII, Benny plays a sniper tasked to shoot Hitler. However, as he's testing the sights, he spots a fraulein in skimpy dress by a window. He keeps ogling while distractedly putting together his sniper riffle, which ends up in a twisted, useless shape.
- A sort of PG-rated example happens in an episode of Power Rangers Lost Galaxy, where Trakeena goes to Terra Venture in disguise, and pretty much everyone starts to follow her as she suggestively walks down the street, many of them stumbling as she does so, and then a lot of them scrambling to catch a lipstick that she drops. (On purpose; the one who actually picks it up quickly finds himself holding a cockroach. Clearly, she was doing this simply to have fun with them. Ironically, in this episode, the Monster of the Week was charged with stealing the beauty from the female inhabitants of the city in order to give to her, under her order.)
- 30 Rock
- This scene.
- See also "The One with the Cast of Night Court".
- One suspect on Monk was a woman who had been blinded by an accident years earlier. Monk proves that her blindness was only temporary (despite her pretending to still be blind) by convincing a male streaker to run past her. She reacts with approval and gives herself away.
- Doctor Who
Doctor: Rory? Did you drop the couplings?
- In "The Girl in the Fireplace," this happens to the Doctor when he sees Reinette as an adult for the first time. He's uncharacteristically speechless for a good minute.
- BBC's 2011 Comic Relief benefit featured a six-minute Doctor Who short in which the TARDIS is endangered because of this trope. Here's part 1. And Part 2.
Doctor: How could you do that? I told you not to drop them! I specifically mentioned, no dropping them!
Amy: It was my fault.
Doctor: Of course it wasn't your fault.
Rory: It kinda was her fault.
Doctor: How could it be your fault?
Amy: Because it was my skirt, and my husband, and your glass floor.
Rory: Have you ever seen Amy drive?
- Also from the same mini-sode, Amy apparently got her driver's license on her first try because she wore the same skirt to her driver's exam.
Rory: Neither did her driving examiner.
Amy 1: Do I really look like that?
- Also from that mini-sode, Amy is distracted by, well, Amy, which distracts Rory again. (probably distracted us all for a moment quite honestly)
Amy 2: Yeah, yeah you do.
Amy 1: Mm, I'd give you a driving license.
Amy 2: Mm, I bet you would.
Doctor: Oh, this is how it all ends, Pond flirting with herself — true love at last. [remembers Rory] Oh, sorry Rory.
Rory: [in a near-catatonic lust-induced haze] Absolutely no problem at all.
- In one of the Series 7 episodes, the Doctor finds himself momentarily distracted at the thought of Clara wearing a tight skirt.
- This contestant on the Family Feud.
- In Kath and Kim a flashback reveals how Brett fell for Kim (a question many viewers were asking). He was originally Sharon's boyfriend, but when he saw Kim he was so Distracted by the Sexy that said relationship apparently disappeared entirely, including from everyone's memory... save Sharon's.
- Poked fun at on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson Warning: If you are a man, you may go gay after seeing this.
- In an episode of Community, while trying to infiltrate a law firm, Annie complains to Troy and Abed that all she’s been used for that night is bait and distraction. They’re too busy staring at her chest to catch what she says.
Abed: You get any of that?
Troy All I heard was suck.
- The West Wing: Josh and Amy have one of their vaguely insulting, vaguely flirtatious conversations on the way to Josh's office. Amy finishes her point and the conversation ends when they reach the office. She hands him her coat, revealing an outrageously sexy red dress underneath. Josh is stupefied for a couple seconds, then mumbles, "What?" Amy, looking quite satisfied, points out that she didn't say anything.
- Glee: From "Hold On To Sixteen": Rachel, upon seeing Sam, as a stripper, on stage in just boxers tells Finn "Give me a dollar."
- In one second-season episode of Gold Rush, the mechanic, James Harness is supposed to be welding a water filter system. Then his girlfriend flies up to the Klondike from the "Lower 48".
- American Idol
- This more or less describes Haley Scarnato's entire run.
- And the aptly-named "Bikini Girl". They actually didn't bother calling her anything else on the show. And Kara got jealous. YA RLY.
- On Boardwalk Empire, an authoritative "beach matron" combs the beaches of Atlantic City, fining girls 10 dollars each for wearing skirts that are too low. Showing too much leg was actually a punishable offense in 1921. Angela's new friend Louise is forced to cover up her shapely legs with a towel, causing a group of raucous boys on the beach to cry out in dismay as she does.
- In one episode of "The Big Bang Theory", one of the main characters serves as a translator between his friend's deaf girlfriend and his friend when asking her about being a gold-digger, but becomes distracted by attractive women. Note - They are at a gym, with sweaty, gorgeous women walking around.
- Sheldon has to trade research with Kripke so they can work on a grant proposal together. It turns out that Sheldon's research isn't as far advanced as Kripke's. Kripke suggests that Sheldon's research suffers because he's in a relationship and is Distracted by the Sexy. Given that Sheldon is a Celibate Hero, this is very much not true, but Sheldon goes with it to avoid embarrassment.
- Two clips on America's Funniest Home Videos: one had a man videoing his kids get distracted by two hot women in bikinis walking by and following them with the camera, while another had two Buddhist monks turn to look at a lady walking down some steps in a short skirt.
- A dramatic version occurs on Heroes in which Sylar strips his shirt off, soaks himself in order to look like he just showered, and seduces Maya in order to cover up the fact that he had just murdered her brother minutes earlier.
- JAG: In "Yesterday’s Heroes", as part of the plan of busting a drug kingpin is having Mac approach him in a two piece swimsuit. It works.
- In Zoey101, when the girls meet James, they immediately forget that came to ask Logan and Michael if they want to play basketball.
- In the very first episode, Chase sees Zoey from a distance, waves, and promptly runs into a flagpole. On his bike. This became a Running Gag for Chase, who then proceeded to have a painful accident every time he saw Zoey after a long absence—including falling off a wall and down a flight of stairs in the series finale.
- After a bump on the head in an episode of Stargate Atlantis, Rodney hallucinates Sam Carter to help him escape a sinking jumper. When the Sam part of his mind doesn't like the plan the rest of him comes up with, "she" invokes this trope by taking off her top and making out with him. It only works briefly.
- Person of Interest: Finch in "Identity Crisis".
- Sarah on Chuck is called on to do this practically Once an Episode. She even lampshades how often she's had to wear skimpy clothing to distract men on missions in a final season episode when another character balks after being asked to do so.
- In Game of Thrones:
- "The Wolf and the Lion": Jory stares at a prostitute and Ned has to yell at him to get his attention. The same gag is repeated in Season 3 with Tyrion and Pod.
- Also in this episode, Sir Gregor's stallion costs him a jousting match because the opponent's mare is in heat.
- "The Ghost Of Harrenhal": Gendry works shirtless forging metal. Arya Stark can't help but stare at his abs.
- "The Gift" : Stannis gets distracted by Melisandre leaning over his war table and starts caressing her lower back.
- "The Wolf and the Lion": Jory stares at a prostitute and Ned has to yell at him to get his attention. The same gag is repeated in Season 3 with Tyrion and Pod.
- Exploited in an episode of Bay Watch when the naked woman was secretly working with a thief to rob people who weren't looking.
- The X-Files, "Bad Blood": The story is told in "Rashomon"-Style, but at least according to Agent Mulder, Agent Scully was distracted by the sexy representative of the local law enforcement when the agents first met him. According to Mulder, she didn't pay attention and repeated the same questions which Mulder had already asked. And indeed, even in Scully's own version, Sheriff Hartwell was a Southern Gentleman type with cowboy looks, somewhat tough, yet boyish and cute. She kept watching him dreamily and was practically swooning over him.
- A more subtle example of this trope happens in the pilot. While getting ready for a shower, Scully finds bumps on her back similar to those on the victims of the case she and Mulder are investigating. She panics and runs to Mulder's hotel room in nothing but her underwear and her robe. She drops the robe so Mulder can inspect the marks. Mulder is dumbfounded and more than a little distracted at first. Completely understandable, considering they'd known each other a grand total of two days.
- Captain Hastings in Poirot is prone to this:
Hastings: What a stunning girl!
Poirot: I sometimes think, mon ami, that you are too easily stunned.
- In an episode of Mchale's Navy the boys are hosting a swimsuit competition on the boat. This causes a german u-boat commander to accidentally run his boat aground where it is captured by Allied forces.
- Home Improvement: One of Tim's teenage sons guest-stars on Tool Time With Tim Taylor, the Show Within a Show and gets distracted by Heidi the Tool Girl. He tries to end the show with "See you next time".
- "Knee You Sex Time!"
- On one episode of The Wire, Bodie is trying to get other members of the Barksdale crew ready for battling corner boys from a rival gang, but Poot is more interested in two girls who are walking by.
- Babylon 5:
- When Sinclair and G'Kar find Londo in a Bikini Bar to confront him about his lack of action on their negotiations, G'Kar keeps peeking glances at the dancer on the stage.
- When Londo takes Lennier to that same bar, he stops talking mid-sentence when a dancer drops her skirt right in front of them.
- Delenn can make Sheridan forget what he was doing by appearing in a Little Black Dress.
- In River of Souls Zack is visibly distracted when he sees an image of Captain Lochley in a holobrothel.
- Miss Chambers in "The Lost Tales" wears a camera pinned to her blouse, right next to a Cleavage Window to make sure her interviewees look into it.
- In the Korean drama Lie To Me, all of Ah Jung's friends get distracted by the sexy Ki Jun.
- Sherlock has Irene Adler causing Sherlock's scan go into a bunch of ??????
- On Arrow, when Caitlin visits the Arrowcave, she asks Felicity what the salmon ladder is for. Felicity sighs and says it's for "distracting [her] from work."
- Middle school version on One Hundred Things To Do Before High School. In the episode "Be a Fairy Godmother Thing!" Crispo got a 19 on a history test because he was distracted by girls' pony tails.
- Inverted in the same episode when CJ's brother uses wigs of the founding fathers with pony tails to get him to learn.