troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Everything Sounds Sexier in French
"I'm too sexy for this shirt".note 

"Château Haut-Brion 1959, magnificent wine, I love French wine, like I love the French language. I have sampled every language, French is my favorite — fantastic language, especially to curse with. Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connard d'enculé de ta mère. It's like wiping your arse with silk, I love it."Translation 
The Merovingian, The Matrix Reloaded

Notice how things take on an entirely different slant when you say them in a foreign language ?

The following languages hold the following stereotypes:

Spanish and Italian: Both sound Hotter and Sexier (See the Latin Lover trope for why) and exotic.

French: French sounds sexy or romantic (unless you live in France), alternatively cultured and philosophical.

English: English nearly always sounds sophisticated and aristocratic...unless it's American English, in which case it's hearty and quite possibly "cool," but uncouth, or at least unsophisticated.

Japanese: Japanese usually sounds polite and cute. note 

Greek: Greek sounds science-y: Techno Babble and Science Fiction names.

German: German is the Black Speech. Sounds either Badass, hammy, angry or evil, sometimes all four if you're doing it right.

Latin: Latin sounds pretentious, ominous, evil, Badass and intelligent.

This is of course subject to Values Dissonance, as the French don't necessarily think their language sounds the sexiest. Their dubs go to Italian for this and they usually perceive their own accent as horrible.

May overlap with Gratuitous French if there really is no reason for it to be in French. Compare Gratuitous Foreign Language, As Long as It Sounds Foreign, British Accents. See also Everyone Looks Sexier If French.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Publicité 
  • A Dunkin' Donut commercial is a Take That to this trend, where befuddled would-be customers of what's obviously Starbucks walk out of the line because they can't speak "Fritalian".
  • An advertisement for New Zealand language month features a couple talking to each other in sultry French. The subtitles revealed there was something wrong with their car, and ended with "I dunno. I'm not a bloody mechanic."
  • Some commercial exists with the premise: "French things are better", and the following examples: French kiss vs. regular kiss, French maid vs. regular maid, etc. See here.
  • A lot of adverts for fragrances come with a French voiceover and a French name. Only in French could toilet water (eau de toilette) sound sexy. It meant "preparation for the day" (like when you'd put on fragrance) before it meant the potty. "Water for your morning routine" doesn't have that same sexy zing to it, does it?
  • Heard many a year ago while driving via , a nearly word-for-word instance in a radio PSA featuring a cute Quebecois girl: "short summary of some reasons to recycle, in French - See? Even recycling sounds sehksee in French."
  • A 2008-2009 commercial for McDonalds McCafé showed how much perkier ordinary tasks were when you said them with a French accent. A "chore" may be boring, but put an accent over that final (nominally silent) e and you get "choré" (cho-RAY), which just sounds sexier.
  • A fake ad, but one of the pitch ads on The Gruen Transfer used the classiness of the French language to sell urine.
  • An Irish Carlsberg advert shows two guys told to "do something Irish" by a foreign bartender before they can get their beer. Hilarity Ensues when one decides to spout off all the random simple sentences as gaeilge he can remember from school and his friend claims the gibberish is a famous poem. It makes them very popular with the ladies.
    Irish guy: "Tabhair dom an cáca milis!" ("Give me cake!")
    Everyone else: (reverently, in hushed tones) "Caca milis..."
  • Stella Artois like to play up their beer's supposed sophistication by using French and making Le Film Artistique adverts. They even managed to make cider sound classy just by calling it "cidre".note 

    Animés et Mangas 

    Bandes Dessinées 
  • Y: The Last Man. Yorick's fidelity to his fiancée Beth is tested when riding in the back of a pickup with Russian agent Natalya, who starts unbuttoning her shirt in the heat... "And would you mind not muttering to yourself in Russian, your accent is disturbingly sexy." (Ironically she's actually talking about finding the dead body of her husband).
    • Possibly a bit of an aversion; Yorick accused French of being the opposite of the Language of Love, calling it it chauvinistic.
  • In a very early Bloom County strip, Mr. Limekiller charms an elderly woman by saying "vos lobes d'oreilles sont comme des têtes de poisson." In the last frame, he explains (correctly) to Milo that it means "something like 'your earlobes resemble fish heads'."
  • A Hägar the Horrible strip plays this with food names — the Viking hero orders something like "Saucisse brûlée sur un bâton", and of course, gets a burnt sausage on a stick.
  • In a Garfield strip:
    Jon: None of the girls I called want to go out with me on New Year's Eve. (beat) Maybe if I called them again and used a French accent...
  • These two Dilbert comics.

    Cinéma d'Animation 
  • Want to see this trope in action? Go to YouTube and search any song in the Disney Animated Canon in another language and then compare it to your native one. Compare French!"Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" and German!"Be Prepared" to their English variants.
  • Compare "The Greatest Criminal Mind" from The Great Mouse Detective in English, French and German. French sounds more romantic, German sounds more evil. The Lyrics between English and French are much closer than in The Lion King. Though the French version has even darker lyrics, with the goons mentioning how Ratigan is bloody and brutal, and how he's God's worst creature.
  • This may be a common thing with French dubs of Disney movies; the French lyrics for Hellfire, the Villain Song in Hunchback of Notre Dame, are significantly darker than the English ones. And with this song, that's saying something.
  • The French version of the song "Prince Ali" from Aladdin has a hilarious Getting Crap Past the Radar moment: the Genie spouts the line "Il y a du monde au balcon!" (roughly "there's quite some people at the balcony") just as we see three well-endowed girls swooning over Al on a balcony. And that expression is also an "elegant" way of saying that a woman has, erm, large... tracts of land.
  • Toy Story 3 has Buzz Lightyear's in Spanish Mode.

    Cinéma en Prise de Vue Réelle 
  • Le Divorce is named in reference to this trope. Though the person doing the preview's voiceover apparently couldn't be bothered to learn the proper French pronunciation, saying the first word as "lay" (which would be how one would pronounce "les", the plural article) rather than the proper "luh" (or close to it).
  • A Fish Called Wanda:
    • Wanda is turned on when Otto says anything in exotic-sounding Italian. Otto just knows scattered words and phrases in Italian.
    • Later Wanda discovers that she's far more turned on by Archie's Russian, though Russian is seldom seen as a sexy language. Archie is actually fluent in Russian.
    • Averted when Kevin Kline asked for Otto's dialog to be changed to French because he (Kline) actually knows the language. John Cleese refused.
  • Everything Julie Delpy says as titular character of Killing Zoe. It's all either sexy French, or sexy French-accented English.
  • In The Matrix Reloaded, the Merovingian states:
    "Château Haut-Brion 1959, magnificent wine, I love French wine, like I love the French language. I have sampled every language, French is my favorite — fantastic language, especially to curse with. Nom de Dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperies de connards d'enculé de ta mère. It's like wiping your arse with silk, I love it."
    • The Merovingian's curse translates to (Explicit Rudeness Warning): "In the name of God of whore of a brothel of shit of bullshits of dumbass of sodomized of your mom". It's a common practice in French to tie insults and profanities together with the word "de" (meaning "of" or "from"). Rather than make literal sense, the goal is to construct the longest string of non-repeating insults that can be managed with one's current state of displeasure. You can, ironically, come up with some pretty epic levels of cursing in French.
    • played with in Monty Python's Holy Grail, by the absurd insults spoken by the French knights defending the castle
  • The main plot of the Swedish movie Ciao Bella is that the protagonist, Iranian born Mustafa, is pretending to be an Italian so he can finally score with the girls.
  • Forbidden Zone: Frenchy Hercules. On the surface, a chick who walks around in a bathrobe, with too much make up. But now make her French.
  • Discussed in Woody Allen's Bananas when Woody is in bed with his new girlfriend.
    Woody: I love you, I love you.
    Woman: Oh, say it in French! Please, say it in French!
    Woody: I don't know French.
    Woman: Oh please... please!
    Woody: What about Hebrew?
  • In Police Academy, George Martin, third generation American, pretends to be Hispanic to get girls. It works.
  • Used and parodied in Love Actually where Collin was certain that his British accent would make him attractive to American girls, despite his friend's misgivings. Collin was right and at the first bar he goes to, he meets three lovely American girls all very interested in him and he ended up with a gorgeous girl with a Texan drawl.
  • Deployed for comedy in the Canadian film Bon Cop, Bad Cop. A man in bed with a woman uses schoolroom French drills to great effect: "Jean-Paul et Nicole aller à l'école!"Translation  "Again!" As the woman orgasm, she screams "Vive le Québec libre", which is a famous phrase meaning "Long live freenote  Quebec!" pronounced by former French President's Charles de Gaulle.
  • Played for Laughs in the movie Dinner for Schmucks, when the "idiot" Barry meets a multibillionaire Swedish industrialist, he says excitedly "I know Swedish!" then begins imitating the Swedish chef to said industrialist.
    "De bork bork bork, now I flip-a the pancakes."
  • Played straight in French Cancan: showman Danglard has a brainstorm to revive the then-passé couple's dance known as the cancan and turn it into a highly-choreographed extravaganza. He also decides to name the revised dance the French cancan to appeal to non-French audiences.

    Littérature 
  • Discworld:
    • In Hogfather, a posh restaurant is left with no ingredients, so they make do with mud and old boots and name all the dishes in extravagant French (or rather, Quirmish). None of the diners notice. Given the extravagance of culinary French, this is not even Lost in Translation.
    • In Making Money, Moist von Lipwig finds that the golem language (usually hell on the human tongue), "... sounded unbearably sexy when Adora Belle uttered it. It was like silver in the air."
    • In Maskerade, the operas are in "Brindisian" and, translated, are incredibly banal. One of the most romantic arias of all time is about a stuck door.
    • In Monstrous Regiment Polly mentions that while the rest of the squad looks disheveled, the vampire Maledict had only become déshabillé. Same translation, different implication.
  • In one of the only full translations of Dream of the Red Chamber into English, all the sex is in Latin.
  • The Heroes of Olympus:
    • Aphrodite apparently thinks so. Children of Aphrodite can speak and understand French. Why? Because it's the language of love, of course.
    • Subverted in Son of Neptune. Frank and Hazel try to talk to each other in French, but they’re pretty bad at it.
      • Is it because Canadian French and Creole French are somewhat different?
  • In The Host when a Soul gets a new host, they automatically gain all of that host's communicative abilties, which leads Wanderer to often mention translated idioms from previous alien cultures that she's lived in... which leads to a running gag with her noting that "it sounds better in Bear".
  • British statesman Lord Chesterfield wrote in Letters to His Son about another example with German: "'das, der donner [sic] dich erschlage'note , must no doubt, make a tremendously fine piece of 'recitativo', when uttered by an angry hero, to the rumble of a whole orchestra, including drums, trumpets, and French horns." (letter 207) This was long before Richard Wagner started to write operas.
  • Bill Bryson noted this with the descriptions on a box in Neither Here Nor There, that the Italian translation sounded pleasant and romantic, and something you might order in a restaurant, while the German text sounded "coarse and bestial", like something yelled at you in a prison camp. All the more amusing because the box in question was for a blow-up sex doll, and notes the same is often true (to his ear anyway) of more wholesome and mundane things. Ordering a coffee mit schlag may not sound particularly desirable to English speaking ears, yet is perfectly innocuous.
  • Older Than Steam: Samuel Pepys used to write the more... interesting... passages of his diary in French or Spanish.
  • Dave Barry, "Skivvying Up The Profits":
    "I wound up having to go elsewhere and purchase another famous designer underwear brand. A French one. Le Mart du K."
  • In one of the action/adventure novels by Jerry Ahern, Dan Track asks his French girlfriend to say something in French because it's sexy. She replies: "Merde alors" ("Well, shit," although "shit" tends to be a stronger expletive than "merde" is in French).
  • There is a series of translations of Latin and Greek authors known as the Loeb Classical Library. Most translations were done in the early 20th century— and it shows. In the volume devoted to the work of the Roman poet Catullus, some of the racier passages are translated into Italian — a language which innocent English schoolboys were presumed not to know. At other times, the passages were left in the original Greek or Latin, as if only "expert" scholars could be trusted with racy parts. Some of the racier works were republished in the late 20th century with entirely new translations for just this reason.

    Télévision 
  • The Addams Family:
    • The French language has an aphrodisiac effect on Gomez Addams, no matter who (or what) said it:
      Gomez: Why Morticia, that's French!
      Gomez: Why Fester, that's French!
      Gomez: Why Gomez, that's French! And me with no-one to kiss!
    • Although one time, she had to "C'est la vie" twice for the effect to take.
    • On Occasion, Morticia would say something in a different language, and immediately gets Gomez all over her (but again It's Morticia).
  • There's nothing in this world that's sexier then listening to NCIS when Ziva's showing off her incredible amount of languages, especially Hebrew. Ohhhh...
  • Played for laughs in The IT Crowd when Roy drops a date off at her house. He describes it as 'La maison de la femme', 'el casa de la senorita' and finally as 'das Haus der Frau' in a loud, harsh voice, illustrating that German is not generally considered a sexy-sounding language, unlike French and Spanish.
  • Castle:
    • Detective Kate Beckett reveals she can speak Russian. That accent is very, very hot. Emphasised by the fact that all she's wearing is red lingerie and a black jacket.
    • Ioan Gruffudd guest-starred as Eric Vaughn, a dashing inventor and a big celebrity in "The Squab and the Quill". He's Famed in Story and both Beckett and the coroner have a Celeb Crush on him. They briefly gush about his handsomeness, hotness, being rich, and his British accent.
  • Spoofed in the Irish Soap Opera Fair City. A man says something mundane in Gaelic and his Russian wife finds it incredibly erotic, and asks him to say more. He says a few phrases that all Irish people remember from school, no matter how poorly they did.
    Leo: An bhfuil cead agam dul go dtí an leithiris.
    Translation: Can I go to the toilet?
  • In the TV show My Family Roger finds out his girlfriend finds foreign languages sexy, he proceeds to woo her in Welsh! Sadly he only knows a few phrases from when he worked in a tourist information centre. Alfie then tells her that he isn't really saying anything romantic and talks to her in welsh with some romantic phrases. They don't have any effect on her though and she just goes back to listening to Roger.
  • In one episode of The Wonder Years, 8th grader Kevin Arnold has a daydream in French class. In his dream, his crush speaks sexy French to him, and Kevin responds each time with the only French phrase he knows: "Would you like some butter?" Both sides of the conversation would sound equally romantic if they weren't subtitled, though!
  • Mentioned in Scrubs where Elliot demonstrated the many ways she can speak German from cute to scary.
    J.D.: You speak German?
    Elliot: Yeah! I can do a sweet little milkmaid: "Guten Morgen... möchten sie die Kühe melken?" I can do an evil old hausfrau: "ISS DEIN SCHNITZEL, SONST KRIEGST DU KEIN NACHTISCH!"
    J.D.: German's such a beautiful language...
    • Meaning of those two sentences: "Good morning... do you want to milk the cows?" and "EAT YOUR SCHNITZEL, OR NO DESSERT FOR YOU!" respectively.
  • Spoofed in Frasier, in which Roz is dating a Frenchman despite not actually speaking French, and so enlists Frasier, who does, to help her dump him. It soon transpires that the Frenchman — who doesn't speak English himself — was actually planning on dumping her himself, and he and Frasier ultimately end up discussing where a good place in Seattle to get a steak is. Roz, of course, thinks that he's saying something immensely touching and romantic.
  • In My Name Is Earl, Catalina sometimes speaks bursts of Spanish, sounding as if she's insulting people — but what she's actually saying are things like "Thank you to the Spanish-speaking audience for watching this show" (obviously breaking the Fourth Wall.)
  • In CSI: New York, Flack finds Angell speaking French very sexy.
  • Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps
    • There's an episode where Janet reads a love letter from her ex, the decidedly English Andy. When she reads it, the voiceover is Andy's accent. When Janet's suspicious boyfriend Jonny reads it, the voiceover is a French accent.
    • Another episode has Janet attempt to make a romantic meal out of common food and drink by giving the names in faux-French (for example, "can of lager" becomes "beer a la can").
  • Would-be yuppie Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses is in the habit of throwing French words into his sentences even though he doesn't know what they mean. A full list can be found here.
  • Flight of the Conchords Foux de Fa Fa fa fa-ah
  • An episode of Heroes required Mohinder to speak French. This decision was very much appreciated by certain segments of the fandom, and prompted countless retreats to countless bunks.
  • In one episode of Red Dwarf, Lister enters a King Arthur VR simulation, equipped with a book of cheats, and attempts to seduce queen Guinevere. When he hears she speaks with a French accent, he comments:
    Lister: I just love that accent! Rawr!
  • A variation from an episode of Mash:
    Winchester: This could be pleasant, dining al fresco.
    Houlihan: "Picnic" sounds sexy in French.
    Winchester: That's Italian.
    Houlihan: That's even better!
  • Friends
    • In the episode "The One Where Joey Speaks French", when Phoebe uses French, Rachel finds it sexy and even tells her: "Seriously stop it, or I'm gonna jump on ya."
    • This was a large portion of the attraction of Paolo in the first season. That and he was a tall, beautiful Italiano.
      Phoebe: What did he say?
      Rachel: I have no idea! Isn't he great?
  • When Carter learns that Allison speaks Dutch in the third season of Eureka, he's momentarily stunned and distracted.
  • Subverted in Time Gentlemen Please:
    Marcel: But do you not find my accent, how you say, sexy?
    Connie: No, how you say, you prat!
  • In an episode of Designing Women, Julia has been taking a cooking class. When Charlene asks her what she made, she rattles of something very fancy sounding. When Charlene says is sounds good, she says "Thanks, it's macaroni and cheese, it just tastes better in French."
    • A similar scenario on an episode of A Different World had Whitley offering to make Dwayne's mother something to eat. She used the French term, but after describing it, Dwayne's mother said, "that's just a good old-fashioned ham and cheese sandwich".
  • An episode of Walker, Texas Ranger had the guys picking up their tuxedos for Walker's wedding. After one of the guys complements the tailor on his skills and asks if he learned them in Italy (where he claims to be from), an amused Walker reveals that the man's name is something wholly dull and American and that he learned his skills in prison. Upon being released and determined to turn his life around, the man opened a store and used the Italian translation of his name, correctly surmising that this would make people flock to his store.
  • Subverted the crap out of in the All That skit French with Pierre Escargot, who spoke completly Cloud Cuckoo Lander French. For example: Please remove your banjo from my bellybutton!
  • During one exchange in Criminal Minds between Derek Morgan and Penelope Garcia, Garcia signs off in French, to which Morgan tells her that it "drives (him) crazy with (her) French talk."
  • In one episode of How I Met Your Mother, Robin has a dinner date with a British doctor. She decides not to shave her legs as it would force her to behave and not have sex right away on their first date. However, he's really hot, and a doctor, and with British accent. This combination proves lethally charming and Robin spends her date trying to shave her legs.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Penny's new friend from her college class is British, and it freaks Leonard (her boyfriend) out to no ends. They discuss the trope and Penny tries to argue that British accent is not necessarily the sexiest, trying to calm him down, but ultimately she concludes that British accent is indeed the best for guys to have.
    • When Rajesh's sister first showed up, the guys talked about how her Indian accent is sexy. Raj was uncomfortable with anyone of them trying to hit on her and said that she spoke exactly like he did.
  • Horatio Hornblower:
    • In "The Frogs and the Lobsters", there is Mariette the peasant-girl-turned-school-teacher whose English is tinged with French, which is supposed to be appealing. She and Horatio have almost a thing together, though not quite because he's too innocent and she's too vapid. It's not explained in-universe how she mastered the English language.
    • Senora Ortega speaks English, but when she tries to seduce an unfortunate soldier who guarded the imprisoned Spanish ladies, she chooses to speak Spanish, a language the soldier doesn't understand. It worked on him.
  • Mad Men reveals that Megan, who's French-Canadian, managed to get the most tips when she worked as a waitress because she knew how to work the accent. Later, her idea of a birthday present for Don is a performance of "Zou Bisou Bisou" using her native accent.
  • Averted, possibly defied, on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Jean-Luc Picard is, at times, ostentatiously French, but other than occasional breaks into French (e.g. French curse words), he always speaks with impeccable British accent. Supposedly, Patrick Stewart did so deliberately so that he would not sound like an Inspector Clouseau in space.

    Musique 
  • French death metal band Eths subverts this trope pretty damn hard.
  • A substantial part of the oeuvre of Slovenian industrial band Laibach consists of deconstructions of pop songs. Many of them translate the lyrics to German to accentuate the militaristic undertones of them ("Laibach" is the German name for "Ljubljana", Slovenia's capital). The best example is Geburt einer Nation, (which in itself references DW Griffith's cinematical masterpiece glorifying the birth of the Ku Klux Klan... yes, despicable, but one of the most important movies in cinema's history); their take on Queen's One Vision in which lyrics like "One man, one goal, one mission/ One heart, one soul, just one solution" end up as "Ein Mensch, ein Ziel, und eine Weisung./ Ein Herz, ein Geist, nur eine Lösung", are sung in a totally creepy way and accompained by ominous quasi-militaristic para-fascist imagery. It's also worth mentioning that a common Nazi slogan was "Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer" (One People, One Realm, One Leader), and 'solution' recalls the 'Endlösung', the Final Solution to the Jewish Question (the Holocaust).
  • The entire point behind the Bilingual Bonus of Tool's "Die Eier von Satan". When added to the Lyrical Dissonance, the entire song's angry German vocals sound like it's a lot meaner than what it really is: a recipe for hash cookies.
    • Specifically - WITH NO EGGS
  • Two of Tom Waits's albums — Alice and The Black Rider — use frequent German words and fake accents to creepy effect. This reaches its logical conclusion with "Kommeineszuspadt", whose lack of any real meaning cleverly allows the listener to imagine something far nastier than anyone could ever write.
    • It should be noted the last song's title is misspelled (in a way that makes it literally mean "Come one too late"). Written properly makes "Komm nie zu spät", which translates to "Never be too late" or "Never come too late". (The latter does indeed carry the same Double Entendre as it does in English.) You may now Narm.
    • Both albums are based on stage musicals produced in Germany in collaboration with Robert Wilson (Black Rider also with Lou Reed), which in the original productions were in German with frequent English. The latter deliberately pronounced with a strong German accent by the performing actors.
  • Try seducing someone using the French version of "Re: Your Brains". Go ahead. Try it.
  • Spoofed in "That French Song" by Tripod. The song sounds romantic to the girl listening to it, but the subtitles reveal that the song is really the most unromantic things you could think of, such as "I have a cluster of pimples on my back shaped like the Man on the Moon."
  • The Flight of the Conchords song "Foux du Fafa" parodies this, with the two band members using basic French (including naming French celebrities) to impress a French woman. They succeed... until she asks them where the pool is.
  • The Killing Joke song "$.0.3.6" from their debut album makes use of a sample playing in the background of some guy speaking rather conversationally in German. I have no idea what is being said (in all likelihood, the band didn't either) but the fact that it's being spoken in German, coupled with Gaz's repeated references to "experiments" of some kind, makes it difficult not to think of Josef Mengele.
  • Alestorm, a "Scottish pirate folk metal" band did a foreign language cover of their song "Wenches and Mead" for their latest EP. Their only non-English song, and what is it in? German, what else?
  • Sum 41's song "Ma Poubelle" is often cooed at by teenage American girls as being romantic, sexy and wonderful. The idea of Googling what Ma Poubelle means in French is beyond them, and so they get quite confused by the loud laughter that occurs when French speakers are shown the video of the lead singer singing the song to a girl while grinning maniacally.
  • Finntroll is a Finnish metal band that sings about in Swedish because the language sounds "more trollish."
  • There's a song by The Beatles, Michelle, whose chorus goes "Michelle, ma belle, these are words that go together well, ma Michelle / Michelle, ma belle, sont les mots qui vont très bien ensemble, très bien ensemble". The lines in italics mean exactly the same. Which one do you like better?
    • And in case somebody cares, ma belle is "my beautiful one" (female, french nouns are gender-sensitive).
    • The song itself, of course, is about a guy who wants to tell a French girl he loves her, but he can't because that's the only French he actually knows.
  • Rammstein are this trope. Their use of German intentionally makes all their songs sound militaristic and hard. Notable exception being "Ohne dich".
    • The truth is, that even Germans think that Rammstein is overdoing it with the accent. Their intentional "r" and "t" sounds are nowhere in normal German to be found. The weirdest thing is: Most of the time they sing about very dirty, brutal, or downright evil things such as cannibalism (Mein Teil), father/daughter rape (Weiner Blut), necrophilia (Heirate mich), sadism (Ich tu dir Weh), anal sex, sodomy, masturbation or cunnilingus. Yet they never use dirty words (few exceptions exist). This leads to a very poetic language, that still sounds evil or fascistic to non-german speakers.
    • Same goes for other metal bands cashing in on the stereotype. Which has more to do with old soundbites of Nazis hamming it up instead of the actual language.
  • Yoko Kanno is known for having compositions that have lyrics sung in what appears to be a very distinct European language, but is in fact just a bunch of gibberish. It is claimed that she has a philosophy in writing the lyrics to the sound of the song itself, finding a focus on the music rather than words.
  • Subverted by Megadeth in "A Tout le Monde". The chorus is in French:
    À tout le monde
    À tous mes amis
    Je vous aime
    Je dois partir
  • "Voulez-vous coucher av-" * SMACK* . That's about as far as you'll get if you try using this trope on a French woman.
    • There's also a reason why many French speakers severely object to underage artists singing these lines.
    • There's also a hidden meaning - voulez-vous is a very formal way to speak. There is no toi here, so you're inviting somebody you don't know well enough to use the familiar with. Such nuances likely missed on said underage artists.
  • Played for maximum Squick with the Evelyn Evelyn song "Sandy Fishnets". The title character is French Canadian, and is the most popular girl at the brothel where she lives. Squick because of her age (she's murdered on "the day she turned thirteen").
  • Gabi Delgado-Lopez, lead singer of the German NDW band D.A.F., has such a deep, rich, sexy voice that he doesn't sing, he seductively growls his German lyrics. It's enough to create "I'll be in my bunk" moments in any New Wave afficionado.
  • The Kenneth Williams song "Ma Crepe Suzette" is a parody of this. It's described as a love song, but the lyrics are just random French or French-sounding words strung together.
  • Calexico's song "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" plays up the woman's seductive status by having almost all of her lyrics in French.
  • Julien K's song "Systeme De Sexe": a blatantly sexual song, with one of the verses being a woman speaking/moaning in French. See also: the title.

    Le Pinball 

    Marionettes 
  • An episode of The Muppet Show featured a guest, French singer Charles Aznavour (Char Aznable's namesake), who demonstrated to Kermit how easy it is to seduce women by saying anything, anything in French to them.
    Kermit: Wow, what did you just say? (meanwhile, Piggy is swooning)
    Charles: I said, "Your oil filter has a leak and your transmission is sagging." — Now watch this, I'm going to tell her the phone number of the Paris garbage dump.

    Radio 
  • Kenny Everett's character Marcel Wave was a Gallic charmer with an overinflated ego. On one occasion he pronounced "EEC" as "Ehh! Ehh! Sehhh!" and commented that "Ze French letters are so much more exciting."
  • The National Lampoon radio show/lp records had a mock ad for the Indianapolis Academy of the French Accent, promising a better life from speaking in a sexy cool accent.

    Jeu de Plateau 
  • The 7th Sea RPG has various knacks and Advantages that influence a character's social ability, one of which is "Dangerous Beauty." One of the accents found in Montaigne (an Expy of Louis-XIV-era France) grants Dangerous Beauty for free, because that accent is just so alluring.

    Théâtre 
  • In Peer Gynt, Ibsen has a quartet of characters representing national stereotypes of the English, German, French and Swedish. When the Frenchman makes a comment in his native tongue, the German comments (Ibsen being sarcastic), "Oh! French is such a stiff language."
  • The finale of the 10th anniversary concert for Les Misérables. Compare the performances of all seventeen singers, all singing lines from the same song.

    Jeux Vidéo 
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, we have a few instances where something is referred to in Spanish to make it seem cool and dangerous, such as El Pollo Diablo ("The Devil Chicken"). To further drive home the fact, you have four conversation choices in a dialogue on the subject: "What?", pretending to be El Pollo Diablo, and the translations in Spanish of the first two options.
    • There's also an option to have Guybrush say "ouch!" in a (fictional) foreign language — "Papapichu!" — every time he gets hurt.
  • Guess what language the most academically, mentally, and physically developed female character in Persona 3 (and Expansion Pack FES), Mitsuru Kirijo, knows (and occasionally drops a line in)? (This is an example of Keep It Foreign: in the Japanese, she's using Gratuitous English.)
  • Een certain adaptacions de Soneec Ze 'Edge'og, "Ro-becca", ze titular robot ees absolutament, 'ow you say, crazy for Antoine... until 'e does ees best Arnold Schwarzenegger impression, repulsing her. Soneec zen unintentionally attracts 'er attention wiz a leettle French of ees own...
    • This even applies to names as well. In Sonic Adventure 2, Rouge the Bat has been considered to have a sexy name to compliment her attractive appearance. Given that Rouge is the French word for red, this trope definitely applies.
  • Backyard Sports: "Soy Pablo. ¿Quieres jugar?" But he really speaks English.
  • Team Fortress 2. The Spy's vaguely French accent, plus the RED Spy's canonical relationship with the BLU Scout's mother, has raised the Spy to Memetic Molester / Memetic Sex God levels.
  • During Hideo Kojima's self-deprecating talk to the Game Development Conference in 2009 about Metal Gear and the things each installment accomplished as a piece of game design, he lampshaded this when showing clips of Metal Gear Solid in the languages it was dubbed into. He showed the opening conversation between Snake and the Colonel in various languages, saying after each one how it made him crave an appropriate Regional Speciality (hamburgers, German sausage, paella...), except for the French dub, which he said "just sounds romantic".
  • In the X-rated MMORPG Red Light Center, the automatic female sex responses in English have a noticeable French accent. This is not a bad thing. At all.
  • Leliana in Dragon Age: Origins is from Orlais, where everyone speaks with French accents. She's also the resident bard and sports red hair, probably a necessary combination for her to compete with Morrigan.
    • To be fair, Morrigan is voiced by Claudia Black, and everything sounds sexy coming from her, even "freeze to death".
    • On the opposite end of the spectrum is Qunlat, the language of the Qunari. Of the words we've heard, many seem to contain Rs and long As for the simple fact that it makes it extremely easy to growl the words or turn them into a guttural roar. No wonder the rest of the world thinks they're a little scary.
  • Night Trap has Mr. Martin, who tries to come off as a charming gentleman.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days Larxene's weapons all have French names.
  • Waka in Ōkami speaks with a French Funetik Aksent, even though the game doesn't have any recorded voices.
  • Yuuya of Hatoful Boyfriend likes to start every conversation with "Salut!" (Salutations, in the official English translation), ends it with "Adieu!", and calls the protagonist "Mon amie". He lived in France for a while, but it seems to be an affectation, since in a bad moment he swears in Japanese (or translated English).

    Animation sur Internet 
  • A Homestar Runner Halloween toon has a potion that turns Homestar French, whereupon he instantaneously seduces a delighted Marzipan. "A-say, Mahzipan, let us away to mah romantic chateau in ze Fantastique Mountahns!"

    Bandes Dessinées sur Internet 

    L'Internet Original 
  • Used in Benzaie's "Working at Channel Awesome" sitcom, where what he's saying both is and sounds violent... but it's in French, so at least one of the girls still swoons over it. His entire character seems to be based on this.
  • Averted by the Joueur du Grenier in The Legend of Zelda CDi Games video, where he mentions one NPC's Parisian accent as a negative point (the Joueur is from Southern France).
  • German version in Demo Reel. Carl Copenhagan has a foursome with some sexy cosplayers, and his advice to the other guy who wants in is to grow an accent.
  • Inverted in Ilivais X. Mille Chanteau has a blatantly French name and happens to speak French, but she doesn't have an accent and hardly ever says anything in French. She gets around regardless.
  • The One Semester of Spanish Love Song provides a hilarious parody of this trope as a man sings basic Spanish phrases in the form of a tender ballad.
  • Parodied in this video comparing languages, which feature the same word spoken by five different languages, four of them sounding beautiful but the German one always sounding horrific.note 
    French: Papillon.
    English: Butterfly.
    Italian: Farfalla.
    Spanish: Mariposa.
    German: SCHMETTERLING!!!

    Animation Occidentale 
  • Even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sound sexier in French, contrast [1] where they sound MORE badass.
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, the Simpsons are stranded in a jungle, making their way downstream on a raft. They pass natives staring ominously at them. We see the natives discussing something in low, scary voices. According to the subtitles they're discussing helping the travellers, possibly offering them some food.
    • In another episode, Lisa asks an Russian man for directions. He proceeds to spew angry proclamations that leave Lisa running for her life. Subtitles indicate that he was giving her the directions. "What's her problem?" Taking it an extra step, the man resumes and is beaten in a game of chess by his companion. After flipping over the chessboard, he yells "Good game, how about another?!"
      • The French-Canadian dub itself is an aversion; the characters were given working-class joual accents (used by most French-speakers in Quebec), making them sound ''less' sexy than the "bland" International French voices used for most dubbed productions, which was probably deliberate. Homer's Guttural Growler voice doesn't help matters.
  • In Dexter's Laboratory, the title genius attempts to study for a French test by listening to tapes while he sleeps. The tape skips, and he wakes up unable to say anything except "omelette du fromage" (literaly, "cheese omelette"). Turns out this, among other things, drives the girls wild. However, his inability to say anything else leads to his lab self-destructing.
    • A reference to Steve Martin's stand-up routine about speaking French in France, perhaps?
      • At least no one assumed he wanted to massage their grandmother.
  • An episode of Animaniacs is set in a drive-in theater showing a French movie. The implication given by most of the audience is that the movie is supposed to be romantic (or maybe just artsy), but whenever the movie is visible, the only dialogue is a dramatic-sounding recitation of children's songs (such as "Allouette, je te plumerai." and "Frère Jacques, dormez-vous?").
  • On The Proud Family, Sugarmama lusts after Lacienega's grandfather, who would berate her en español. She didn't know Spanish and would swoon at his every word as his family watches uncomfortably. However, it's implied that they do start dating at some point.
  • Wakfu is a French series. Also known for ''Dem Hips''.
  • In the Mickey Mouse Works short "Mickey Tries To Cook", the limit of Mickey's cooking skills is a ham-cheese-cheese-tomato-ham-cheese-ham-tomato-and-cheese sandwich... with cheese. Minnie, wanting something fancier, asks José Carioca to make them a romantic gourmet dinner, but the "gourmet dinner" turns out to be a ''presunto-queijo-queijo-tomate-presunto-queijo-presunto-tomate-e-queijo sanduíche... e queijo."
  • Antoine of Sonic Sat AM once gets a very aggressive femmebot to fall in love with him with his French accent. After a few minutes of trying to elude her in vain, he finally repels her with a surprisingly convincing Ahnold impression. Then he accidentally attracts her again by relapsing back to his French accent.
  • Looney Tunes
    Ehh ... vhat is opp, Monsieur Le Physician?
  • The Twi'lek in Star Wars: The Clone Wars are given French accents. The entire female half of their species has basically been Ms. Fanservice ever since their first appearance two decades ago.
  • On Codename: Kids Next Door a well-dressed Spanish boy is occasionally seen flirting with Numbah 3.
  • In an episode of Totally Spies!, Clover and Alex find (who knows from where) a Bishōnen pool cleaner who only speaks French. They get wooed by everything he says just because - even though he's only talking about pool water quality all the time, as Jerry tells them by the end of the episode, when they see him cleaning Mandy's pool and she reacts similarly.
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes has Heloise having a Dream Sequence where Jimmy sings for her with a (slight) Spanish accent, complete with maracas.
  • Fashion designer Hoity Toity of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "Would you do me... the GREAT honor of allowing me to feature your couture in my best-of-the-best boutique in Canterlot?"
  • With Painter Smurf, it's more like Everything Sounds Smurfier In French. Mon ami, that's ze truth!
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Run Away Runway", French fashion designer Gaston la Mode gets Candace to model a new outfit with a ridiculously high collar, and he flatters her by calling her his "cou de crayon". It's not until the end of the episode that she learns it translates to "pencil neck".
  • The Popeye short portraying Bluto as an etiquette teacher had him introducing himself as "Prof. Bluteau".

    La Vraie Vie 
  • What would you rather drink in a chic cafe — coffee with milk or "café au lait"?, not to mention that both "Chic" and "Cafe" are derived from French.
  • Isabel Allende lampshades this culinary version in her book about eroticism, Aphrodite, saying that everything sounds aphrodisiac (and tastier) when said in French: "Is not the same serving mushrooms with garlic than serving champignons à la provençale, bread toast with fish egg than croque-monsieur au caviar."
  • Dave Barry lampshades this too, saying that Ménage à trois "makes you think of three beautiful people naked on the Riviera", whereas threesome "makes you think of three mutants in a trailer park in Arkansas, and the one with the hair on his back is making pig noises."
  • Exocet sounds far scarier than "Flying Fish", making it an inversion.
  • The Citroën Traction Avant car translates as Citroen "Front Wheel Drive".
  • The phrase on the picture translates literally (but poorly) to "I'm too sexy for my shirt." In retrospect, it is corny, but who cares, it's French! Vive le français!
  • Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor is said to have said, "I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my horse." This is suspected not to be from Charles V at all, but rather an invention of one of his biographers. The best evidence for this is the fact that Charles was born in Ghent (now in the Flanders region of Belgium), considered himself Dutch, and grew up speaking Dutch, which the Dutch themselves have called "not a language, but a disease of the throat." On the other hand, the distinction between Low (northern) German and Dutch was not as clear then as it is now, so he may have been referring to Dutch. Furthermore, it is very possible that he was actually insulting God (or at least the Church), women, and men: circumstances at the time would have forced him to speak the languages he mentioned to the people he mentioned, as the Spanish Church was unusually powerful, custom dictated you speak to women in the "nicest" language you knew (i.e. Italian, if you knew it, which he did), and French was the language of politics and diplomacy (which at the time were the exclusive province of men and probably Charles's main conversation subject), leaving him able to speak only to his horse in his native tongue.
  • This applies to Spaniards and Argentinians, the former for the distinción or "lisp" which defines the Castilian accent,note  and the latter for their Italian-influenced accent. There is a warning that Argentinians "will seduce you with their accents."
  • Italian also sounds sexy and cool, even with names. The plain as anything English surname "Newhouse" becomes Casanova in Italian.
    • Victor Borge played with this in one of his routines—after Malapropering the name of the "Cara Nome" from Rigoletto, he refers to the composer as "Giuseppe Verdi—'Joe Green' to you".
    • The English comedian John Moloney plays with this in one of his jokes. He speaks a few Italian phrases ... then translates them for the audience:
    "Is there a pharmacy near here?"
    "I've got a stiffy."
    • Applies in Spanish as well. Who is sexier - Anthony Flags or Antonio Banderas?
      • Benny the Bull sounds like a hoodlum, but Benicio del Toro?
      • Even Guillermo Entradas and Esteban Trabajos sound much better than Bill Gates and Steve Jobs!
    • To some people, everything sounds hammier in Italian. It may be due to the somewhat "exaggerate"-sounding accent, compared to American English (or other Romance languages), and because when spoken it's often accompanied by an extensive use of body language.
  • German comedian Michael Mittermeier joked about it once, saying that everything said in French, or with a French accent for that matter sounds like: "Later I'll screw you on the beach" (loosely translated).
  • Though many Germans will tell you that German can sound very nice in normal conversation or singing and is not an angry language at all, most will agree that it IS a really great language for yelling, commanding, ranting and being a Large Ham
    • Behold, the official German dub of Monty Python's famous sketch "Self-defense against fresh fruits" ... in German !!! Did you know that John Cleese's German voice actor Thomas Danneberg is also the official (!!!) German dub voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, John Travolta, Terence Hill ?!? And many more ? THAT is badass German angry voice.
    • Even Those Wacky Nazis were aware of this trope, it seems. Proof: The regular German abbreviation for "concentration camp" would be KL, but they usually called it KZ - which is pronounced like "Kah-Tsett" in German.
      • There have been several theories on whether or not Hitler's speeches would have been as successful if he had used another language than German.
  • To the uninitiated, all Cantonese conversations, like German, sound like arguments or fighting. The perceived harshness of the language could be attributed to speaking loudly in casual speech, the presence of unreleased final consonants (making certain words sound short and abrupt) and low tones (making the speech sound guttural).
  • In many non-English speaking countries, everything sounds cooler in English; it's one of the main reasons why Gratuitous English is so widespread, after all.
    • This trope is so strong that translating the names of famous people (such as, say, Hollywood actors) in your native language can have the opposite effect: most of the time the translated name is either so plain that it doesn't sound cool anymore or just hilariously random.
  • This is probably why Alizee has done so well in non-French speaking countries.
  • While Parisian French is undeniably sexy, Quebecois French is less universally appreciated.
    • Incidentally, the Quebecois (and quite a few French people) tend to find Parisian French to be haughty and snobbish, not sexy.
    • And nobody, nobody, likes to talk about Cajun French. Some like to pretend it doesn't exist.
  • Actor Jamie Bamber is fluent in French and Italian and listening to him speak either language (no matter how mundane the things he's actually saying) is enough to make one spend even more time fantasizing about him than one already does. There are numerous clips on YouTube of him speaking both languages and after one bit, a forum moderator is heard teasingly telling him, "That sound you hear is of ovaries exploding".
  • Chantal Poullain is a French-Czech actress who married a Czech actor Boleslav Polivka. When asked how Czech sounded to her ears when she first heard it, she said that very deep and quite sexy, but said that it was because she was in love. Her own Czech is strongly tinged with French accent and she flatly refuses to study and use some grammatical rules, but her speeches always sound very seductively, no matter what she talks about. She's very devoted to charity work, and one would assume it helps her to gain sponsors.
    • Other people more familliar with how consonant-choked Czech is (to the point that a famous Czech word twister is an entire sentence written with just consonants) may find the statement funnier than intended.
  • During a Nerd HQ panel, Tom Hiddleston answered a question by repeating a saying in French (The Saying: On a deux vies. La deuxième commence le jour où on réalise qu’on en a qu’une. Exact translation: We have two lives. The second starts on the day we realize that we only have one.) Tom, being from London, didn't see what the big deal was, since France had always been just a short trip away. The audience, being mostly American females, started giggling hysterically.

Japanese RanguageAccent TropesFake Nationality
Everyone Gets Their TurnLanguage TropesFan Sub
Chocolate BabyImageSource/OtherFun T-Shirt

alternative title(s): Everythings Sexier In French; Everything Sounds Menacing In German
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
117478
0