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Everyone Looks Sexier If French
aka: Foreign People Are Sexy

Certain nationalities are stereotypically presented as inherently "sexier" than others, to those not of that nationality. Often the accent, or, if female, a French Maid dress, has a part in it.

For the more technical minded readers, this can be due to Allophilia and is possibly explained by evolution: more dominant genes, and an improved immune system in the offspring.

Compare Foreign Fanservice and, of course, Everything Sounds Sexier in French. Merci de bien vouloir vous abstenir d'ajouter des exemples de la Vie Réelle!

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Live Action 
  • Didier, the French exchange student of Son of Rambow.
  • In Love Actually an English guy moves to America specifically so that he can exploit this trope. It works.
  • Played the other way around in Ā nous les petites anglaises, in which several French schoolboys become infatuated with the local girls while on a foreign exchange to England.
  • Nothing's match for a French Bruce Campbell, as seen in Spider-Man 3.
  • Colleen Camp and her amazing push-up French maid outfit in Clue.
  • Julie Delpy in Killing Zoe.
  • Melanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus in Inglourious Basterds. A young Nazi officer and nationally revered hero fancies her a lot and becomes nearly obsessed with her. He tries to pursue her romantically, no matter how many times she suggests that she's not interested.
  • Moushumi pulls off a Desi version of this in The Namesake having gone to university at the Sorbonne. On a date with Gogol she does little sexy things with her cigarette, hair, glasses, pulling her skirt a bit higher, etc. When Gogol asks her "How'd you get so sexy?" she whispers "Paris". She ends up leaving him for a French guy, too.

    Literature 
  • Beauxbatons in Harry Potter, excepting Fleur Delacour and possibly other students. This is because Fleur is part-Veela, and full-Veela are naturally alluring to men, as we see during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup.
  • Jean-Claude, a love interest in the Anita Blake books, and his entourage, is French. As well as other characters.
  • The D'Angelines from Kushiel's Legacy are a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the French. They're all incredibly beautiful and base their culture around Eternal Sexual Freedom.
  • In The Woman with the Velvet Necklace, although the very sexy Arsene is French, the narrator does not say she is desirable because she is French. Instead, Hoffman's fiance, Antonia, is half-German and half-Italian (the two races which Dumas says compete for the title of most beautiful), and explicitly owes her attractiveness to her heritage.
  • In The Scarlet Pimpernel novels, English aristocrats seem to have a thing for Parisian beauties and are very eager to marry them. Poor English gals, they are doomed to die old spinsters at that rate.

    Live Action TV 
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • On the pilot episode, Barney comments that Lebanese women have replaced half-Asian women in his fantasies.
    • In a later episode Ted runs into Stella after she left him at the altar, his friends rate how he handled the situation favorably on a scale from Sobbing-like-a-baby-about-how-his-life-is-ruined to Dating-someone-exactly-like-her-but-French-and-with-bigger-boobs (in the fantasy, even Stella's new husband tries to hit on her French version in front of her).
  • One 3rd Rock from the Sun episode had the family trying to decide what ethnicity to be. Dick asked Mary, an anthropoligist, what the best ethnic group was. She claimed it was all subjective, but when he asked which ethnicity was sexiest, she immediately responded, "Italians. Smokey, swarthy, gotta have 'em."
  • There's an episode of Boy Meets World where Shawn finds out this nerdy girl is Swiss (yet he invariably refers to her as Swedish) and makes her popular by playing up the stereotype for Fetish Fuel.
  • Luc Laurent from Brothers and Sisters, who Sarah meets on a wine buying trip in France and has "sexy French dude" played so highly that's clearly done for laughs.
  • In one episode of Coupling, Susan is chatted up by someone who assumes she is french and is attracted for this reason alone. Susan also admits to liking Australians. Later in the episode, Jeff responds similarly to the idea of a client being French.
  • One episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was full of lines about how French girls are promiscuous.
  • In Harper's Island, Sully and Cal are both convinced that Chloe only likes Cal because of his British accent.
  • In Waking the Dead Stella Goodman is half-French half-English and often seen as the sexiest member of the team.
  • Played with in a number of ways in 'Allo 'Allo!, variously with the sultry Yvette, the implied affair between the bed-ridden grandmother and LeClerc, the way in which both the waitresses AND the camp German officer are attracted to the balding, middle-aged Rene, another waitress named Mimi LaBonque and oh so many others....
  • Played on The Vampire Diaries with Stefan and Damon Salvatore. They are American-born but are of Italian descent on their paternal side.

    Music 
  • Parodied in the Rammstein song "Pussy". This is why there's the Gratuitous German in a predominantly English song (yes, aware of the irony). Also a parody on the sex tourism trade. The lyric, "I can't get laid in Germany" is a nod towards the trope.

     Professional Wrestling 

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Eddie Izzard mentioned this in one of his sketches in Dress To Kill. According to him, French actors play more "esoteric" characters in American movies: "Hello, my name is Pierre. I come from Paris. I have come to have sex with your family." — "Help yourself!" — "... Because of the debt of honor to General Lafayatte!" — "You know your own history, yeah?"
  • Greer Barnes on Comedy Central had a great sketch involving a European accent towards an American female..."You. You there. You are very pretty." - "Thanks, are you some kind of weirdo?" - "No, I am from Europe" (takes drag on a smoke) (pause) "What color panties are you wearing?" - "Oh my god, you're a pervert." - "No. I need to know"... and this goes on and on until he actually gets her panties in his hand on a busy street with the phrase "Take them off.", and then asks the audience what would happen if he did it in his New York accent; "Yo, fine mama, lemme see yo' panties", then he gets arrested.

    Theatre 
  • The Manic Pixie Dream Girl lead of The Drowsy Chaperone decides its a good idea to test her finance's fidelity by disguising herself with a French accent and trying to seduce him. This works, seeing as how she's exactly the same person but with a different name and slightly altered voice.
    Janet: The wedding is off! Robert kissed a French girl. Her name is Mimi. She's very beautiful.
    Robert: I couldn't help it, Janet! She was just like you — only French!
  • In Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle repressed nurse Fay Apple disguises herself in a Wig, Dress, Accent as a sexy French woman (The Lady from Lourdes) and seduces Hapgood. She is only able to be uninhibited when in the costume.

    Video Games 
  • Both French people from the two Laura Bow games are massive flirts, and the first one is actually a French Maid... ooh la la.
  • The RED Spy from Team Fortress 2 seems to have this property exaggerated, since he never takes off his balaclava (even while having sex), but the BLU Scout's Mom still finds him incredibly attractive.

    Web Original 
  • Mocked in an Onion Point/Counterpoint article. Point: [American woman] "European Men Are So Much More Romantic Than American Men" Counterpoint: [Italian man] "American Women Studying In Europe Are Unbelievably Easy"
  • Played with in a Homestar Runner cartoon. A magic potion turns Homestar French, and Marzipan immediately is seduced by him.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Pond Life introduced two French characters, Didier and Michelle, whom every other character perceived as being drop-dead gorgeous.
  • In an early episode of The Simpsons, Marge takes up bowling lessons after Homer thoughtlessly buys her a bowling ball for her birthday (which he really bought for himself with the intention that she wouldn't want it), and is attracted to her French bowling teacher, Jacques. Jacques knows how to turn the charm on, and Marge finds herself attracted to him, culminating in a highly romantic fantasy involving ballroom dancing and elegance. Turns out Jacques actually lives in a slightly sleazy singles apartment and, after arranging a rendezvous with Marge, is seen gloating about how he's finally going to get some action with her. Marge doesn't actually find this out; she decides not to cheat on Homer after all. The character of Jacques was originally intended to be named Björn, but after they heard Albert Brooks' attempt at a Swedish accent, they made him French instead.
  • Zig Zagged Trope with Pepe Le Pew from Looney Tunes. He's usually an Abhorrent Admirer, but his "love interest" finds him irresistible if circumstances make it such that she thinks he's a cat or she otherwise gets over his scent problem.
  • On Family Guy Joe's wife Bonnie finds sleazy french perverts very attractive. One even tells her that with his accent it will take her three years to realize he's a jerk.

    Real Life 
  • Single pictures of naked women in the United States before the magazine era were called "French Postcards", even if they weren't produced in or came from France.

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alternative title(s): Foreign People Are Sexy
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