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Hands-On Approach
A particularly cringeworthy Pun involving clubs and holes was carefully avoided here.

"Okay, anytime a man shows a woman how to do something from behind, it's just an excuse for him to get really close and breathe on her neck. Watch any sports movie."
Nick Miller, New Girl

Alice is helping Bob practice something like a sport or playing a musical instrument. Alice needs to help walk Bob through some motions. So Alice takes his arm or shoulder to put them in the proper position. Why is Bob blushing like crazy? And why does it take him forever to get it right?

A common Ship Tease situation that can be as awkward as it is sweet. Because one character has a secret crush on the other, or because they are two adamant Just Friends, or because they're arch enemies, the necessary physical contact takes on much more significance than intended for one or both.

Expect any bystanders to comment, "It's getting a little hot in here." See also Zip Me Up and I Didnt Mean to Turn You On.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Haruko in FLCL showing Naota how to "swing the bat" in episode 4. A baseball bat, that is, but with the show's love of Double Entendre, you can be sure that's not all she's talking about....
    Haruko: Ka King.
  • Maison Ikkoku: In a scene, tennis teacher Mitaka is teaching Kyoko to improve her swing using this approach. When he notes Kyoko is reluctant to stay so close to him, he assures her that his behaviour in the court is downright professional and he would never try to hit on a woman while pretending training her. Kyoko is reassured by this, but Mrs. Ichinose exceptically notes that he still is keeping his hand on Kyoko's waist.
  • Happens in Revolutionary Girl Utena with Ruka teaching a stance to an anonymous female fencing student with a Luminescent Blush. Notably, actual practitioners have pointed out that the stance is wrong, and therefore he was doing it purely to feel her up.
  • In Bleach, Yoruichi demonstrates proper kendo form to Soi Fon... by doing the standing equivalent of spooning. Oh, and they're both girls in case you were wondering.
  • Marlene does this to Yuji in Blue Gender. Yuji promptly blushes when Marlene's breasts press up against his back, and she makes an annoyed comment along the lines of "Get used to it."
  • Negima!. A magically aged up Negi and Asuna go on a pretend date to the Mahora Festival so that she can prepare for a future date. While Asuna is playing the Goldfish Scooping Game, Kamo demands that Negi invoke this but even being ten, Negi knows that it's a bad idea. Eventually he caves, and awkwardness ensues on both sides.
  • In episode 2 of Phantom: Requiem for Phantom, Emotionless Girl assassin Ein teaches Zwei the proper way to hold and aim a gun using this method.
  • In the X1999 anime, Sorata does this to Arashi to teach her how to chop onions. Blushing ensues.
  • In The Cherry Project, Chieri gets really embarassed when Tsuzuki tries to show her how to do a certain figure skating movie and thinks to herself that he must be trying to pull this trope.
  • In kissxsis, Keita does this to help Ako and Riko with archery.
  • In Junjou Romantica, Usagi starts to teach Misaki how to tie a tie after seeing him fail miserably. Usagi notices Misaki's shirt is buttoned up incorrectly. The situation escalated.
  • Non-Ship Tease and rather cruel example: In episode 3 of Fist of the North Star, a villager is being forced to shoot a can off the head of his son with a bow and arrow, William Tell-style. The villager, for obvious reasons, can't go through with it, so one of the bad guy's mooks takes it upon himself to "help" him by means of this trope, but he deliberately shakes up the poor guy's aim just to be a sadistic asshole. When the arrow finally does get launched, only Kenshiro's intervention keeps it from going into the boy's head.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Mikoto Misaka teaches Uiharu Kazari the violin this way. Mikoto is completely oblivious to the implications, while Uiharu gets embarrassed and flustered.
  • In chapter 63 of Black Butler Sebastian does this to Ciel.
  • THE iDOLM@STER - Ritsuko shows how to do a dancing routine the Ryuugu Komachi was rehearsing.
  • In My Bride Is a Mermaid, Masa teaches Nagasumi a dance this way. As expected, it looks really gay and Sun Seto even accuses Nagasumi of cheating on her with him.

    Art 
  • This one is at least Older Than Feudalism, as this statue from ca.100 BC depicts a lascivious Pan teaching his eromenos to play the Pan pipes (the potential for Double Entendre is just staggering...)
  • There are many pictures of a man teaching a young woman to play a keyboard or stringed instrument. A harpsichord/piano, a violin, and a cello are the three most common subjects.

    Comic Books 

    Fanfic 
  • In Solar Winds, Blaine teaches Kurt a breathing technique to help him improve his Firebending. Kurt finds that this makes it rather more difficult to control his breathing.
  • In the Discworld novella The Graduation Class, teaching Assassin Miss Alice Band (depicted as a rather gay blade) enjoys giving this sort of tuition to an attractive Watchwoman.
    She also paid particular attention to one Watch recruit, a lance-constable with long flowing dark hair, taking the girl in hand, moulding her body into Alice's to demonstrate best posture, using physical closeness to mirror the Watch girl's body to Alice's.
    Be careful, Alice. You're not on the pull, you're teaching her how to use a bow and nothing more, she reminded herself, noting to her pleasure how the Watch girl didn't pull away and seemed to like the body contact. (At the end of the day, however, Alice was pleased to leave with a name and address, ostensibly for private lessons at some unspecified future time).
  • This trope occurs a lot in Harry Potter fanfiction, as it's mentioned in the early books and at least twice in the movies that Hermione cannot fly and is afraid of heights. This somehow changes in the later books, but doesn't deter fanfic authors of any ship from writing quite a few flying lessons.

    Film - Animated 

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Harry Potter
  • In Teen Wolf, Scott sidles up behind Pamela and guides her arm to teach her how to bowl. Pamela plays along with the Hands-On Method in order to get Mick jealous. It works.
  • Jamaal Wallace does this ostensibly to teach a girl about basketball in Finding Forrester. Her dad comes onto the scene right when he's "teaching her to play defense".
  • The Slap-Slap-Kiss couple in the film Father Goose get into an intimate position when the male shows the female how to catch a fish from a stream. And suddenly neither of them can carry on a conversation. In fact they seem to have entirely forgotten why they got in that position....
  • Hicks (Michael Biehn) showing Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) how to use a pulse rifle in Aliens. The intimacy of the situation is specifically mentioned in the novelisation.
  • Dorothy and the games teacher doing football drills in Gregory's Girl.
  • The cello scene in Cruel Intentions.
  • Happens in the film Ghost, except that the scene is intentional and romantic instead of accidental.
  • In Imagine Me And You, Luce teaches Rachel to project her voice by placing her hand over her diaphram. Though it's unclear whether Luce is aware of the sexual tension, Rachel initiates further physical contact by claiming she still doesn't understand.
  • In Back To The Future Part III, Doc and Clara act out this trope when he helps her operate a telescope. Bonus points because Doc's dialogue about how "everything becomes clear" also doubles as romantic innuendo.
  • The stone-skipping scene in The Wolfman (2010). Oops, is that a little blush we see on your face, Gwen?
  • In Girl with a Pearl Earring Johannes Vermeer attempts to teach Griet (Scarlett Johansson) to grind paints by placing his large manly Dutch Master hands over hers, totally obliterating the proper social barriers between them—-she gets pretty flustered. Johansson can't do anything in that movie without exuding sexual tension, though, so it was only to be expected.
  • In the Disney film Swiss Family Robinson, Roberta invokes this by asking Ernst to teach her how to shoot a musket. When Ernst goes off to take care of some other business, Fritz offers to finish the lesson, only for Roberta to show that she already knows how to shoot.
  • In Batman Returns, when Lisa Guerrero's volunteer character tells The Penguin that he's "the coolest role model a young person could have", he replies "And you're the hottest young person a role model could have", then pins one of his mayoral campaign buttons to the chest of her sweater, taking additional time to cope a feel there.
  • In Batman Begins, Bruce seduces the secretary at Wayne Enterprises with this technique under the pretense of showing her how to play golf. It doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny as he managed to do this in only a few seconds.
  • Chubs does this to Happy Gilmore ("It's all in the hips"), causing him to get embarrassed and pull away.
  • In the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of Lolita, middle-aged widower Charlotte Haze tries to set this up by teaching a reluctant Humbert to dance the foxtrot. She is not pleased when events are interrupted by her daughter coming home early from a Slumber Party.
  • In Tin Cup, Roy does this with Molly until her fiancee shows up.

    Live Action TV 
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Moze helpes Ned use some tools in Shop Class... in the episode when Ned has said She Is Not My Girlfriend and has begun to question how true that is. Perfect timing!
  • Invoked by Gina on an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. While fooling around at a firing range she's told to do it properly and tells Sergeant Jeffords to "Show me! Like wrap your thick, muscular arms around me and... [trails off]" He does, to correct her stance, and she's clearly loving it.
  • The X-Files uses the baseball variant, with Mulder coaching Scully. This of course involves him having his arms around her and his hands over hers. There's a Fridge Brilliance moment to this interaction, which hinges on Mulder teaching Scully—the self-professed novice—how to play baseball. In reality, Scully was a major tom-boy with two brothers. Brothers who did things like buy her a BB gun for her birthday and take her shooting in the woods. The likelihood of her not knowing how to hit a baseball is pretty small. And judging from the giant smile Scully was wearing, she didn't mind in the least. It also helps that the speech Mulder gives her, as well as the obvious metaphor of baseball, only serve to heighten their sexual tension. "Hips before hands" indeed.
    Mulder: It's not a bad piece of ash, huh?
    [Scully gives him a look]
    Mulder: The bat...I'm talking about the bat.
  • One episode of Frasier had Daphne teaching Niles how to dance. The tango was involved.
  • The gun training scene between Gwen and Jack in Torchwood series one reeked of this.
  • Downton Abbey: Thomas Barrow teaches new footman Jimmy how to wind the clocks.
  • In Farscape, apparently Aeryn needs to practically sit on John to teach him how to fly better, a fact that causes him to notice that the Raised by Wolves soldier has suddenly started wearing perfume.
  • The 2006 adaptation of Jane Eyre involves Mr Rochester helping Jane on with a dressing gown in just this way.
  • A throwaway subplot in season 3 of The Sopranos was (groan) a lesbian tennis coach showing blatant favoritism towards Adriana when she and Carmella took up tennis. She also does the Hands-On Approach. The reason why is all but spelled out, but Adriana herself doesn't get it.
  • Elle shows Sylar how to use his new lightning powers in this manner in Heroes. Not to mention that he's shirtless.
  • In Season 4 of Smallville, Clark and Chloe re-enact a scene where Lex and his murdered lover make out in an elevator, in order to find an earring. Suuuuuure, Chloe, we believe you. Although Clark was enjoying himself a bit as well, as he darted behind Chloe once they were interrupted to, erm, hide.
  • Subverted in an episode of Flight of the Conchords, where a woman teaches Bret to play pool in this manner. Neither blushes, though Bret is clearly uncomfortable. The woman is implied (and later clearly shown) to be interested in Bret only for sex.
  • Ricky from The Secret Life of the American Teenager likes using this. In a season one episode, he helped Grace with a baseball bat, and in a season three episode he helped Amy with a golf club. The second one is kind of a subversion though, since they were already together at that point.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
    • Angel doing Tai Chi with Buffy leads to some awkward tension, as they Can't Have Sex, Ever.
    • Xander showing Willow how to ballroom dance leads to them kissing, which freaks them out as they're both seeing other people.
    • In "Superstar" Riley Finn tries to apply this trope when showing Buffy how to throw a ball through the mini-basketball hoop in his room. However Buffy is still upset that Riley slept with Faith, so she just walks out the door the moment the sexual tension gets too high.
    • Buffy and Spike have a variation of this in Season 7, in that they're sparring to teach the Potentials how to fight off a vampire. This would be normal if it wasn't slightly sensual and didn't end with Buffy pinning Spike to the ground and straddling him, then worrying she's agitated his wounds and trying to rip off his shirt to check. One of the watching Potentials even comments that it's "hot", and another girl questions, "So, we're supposed to make out with the vampire?"
  • In season 3 of Angel, when Angel is teaching Cordy how to fight, there are definitely a few moments of this, (mirroring the Tai Chi-type stuff he did earlier with Buffy) and amping up the UST between them. The funniest of these is when Angel doubts that Cordy's cheerleading experience allows her to remember the moves he's teaching her; she does a "cheerleading routine" with her sword and ends up about an inch away from him, holding the sword to his throat; whereupon he laughs nervously and says "Go Team!"
  • Played absolutely straight in the NCIS episode "Grace Period" with Gibbs, Hollis Mann, and softball, except a) he was very definitely kissing her neck, and b) either she had a real natural talent, or she already knew how to hit. Possibly both.
    • This must be a standard Gibbs seduction technique. In "Doppelganger" he shows a redhead he fancies how to sand his boat, complete with Double Entendres.
    "Feel that wood? You won't get that sensation from a power tool."
  • Played with a creepy undertone in The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Automatic for the People", where Cameron attracts the attention of several men who work at a nuclear power plant by visiting a bar they frequent and asking for "help" in playing pool. While one man gives her a hands-on approach in handling the pool cue, she takes the opportunity to scan his badge's bar code, and then proceeds to thoroughly school the whole group in the subsequent game of pool.
  • Likewise, the golf scene from High School Musical 2 (pictured above) ends with Sharpay executing a perfect swing after Troy has left, showing she was manipulating him into this trope the whole time.
    • Lampshaded in a German parody of the movie with Troy saying: "You can press your butt tighter to my crotch."
  • Tristan from All Creatures Great and Small shows his date how to play the guitar.
  • Referred to in the MythBusters episode "Baghdad Battery". When Kari and Scottie are throwing pots for the titular project, their pottery expert occasionally comes in to help them in this fashion (in a purely professional manner, of course). The narrator remarks that the expert gets asked about the memorable scene from Ghost all the time.
  • Done with Eliot and the client of the week in Leverage - "The Studio Job". Slightly different in that she sits on his lap in front of him to show him the guitar chord progression.
  • A client of Katczmerek does this in The Defenders when describing how she had to wrestle with a customer. It has more intentions than that: she's actually a petty thief, and wants to lust her way from Katcsmerek not taking her case.
  • Played for creepy in Chase (NBC), where the fugitive, a lolicon Corrupt Cop, shows a girl how to cut a tomato rose.
  • A creepy guy attempts to do this to Shawn in an episode of Boy Meets World under the guise of teaching him to play foosball. It makes sense in context as Shawn is dressed as a girl and on a date with the guy to help Cory write a story for the school paper.
  • The Game of Thrones episode "Dark Wings, Dark Words" has King Joffrey teaching Margery to use a crossbow; as Margery asks him to do this, it's clear she's using this trope to manipulate him.
  • On Murdoch Mysteries, Inspector Brackenreid was taught how to shoot by a sexy female gun-slinger in the episode "Mild Mild West".
  • A rare inversion of this trope happens in season one of Castle where Castle pretends that he doesn't know how to shoot a target so Beckett "teaches" him how. She stands behind him and moves his body around, completely missing the shit-eating grin on his face as this was his plan all along. However, it's less sleazy and more cute as he also wanted to cheer her up after they hit a dead end during an investigation. Plus, there's this line.
    Castle: (after firing before he could aim) Woah, shot too soon.
    Beckett: Well, we could always just cuddle, Castle.
    Castle: (shocked, but pleased look)
  • On Murphy Brown, when Miles and Corky's romance is first budding, she uses this technique to "teach him" how to bowl. Subverted when Jim obliviously walks in, points out the flaws in her technique, and takes over instruction himself.

    Literature 
  • A Quantum Murder by Peter F. Hamilton. Teenage heiress Julia Evans sets this up deliberately by hiring a handsome swimming champion to coach her, despite the fact that she can swim perfectly well.
  • In the lesbian romance An Emergence of Green, attraction becomes evident while one woman is teaching the other to swim.
  • In one of the earlier Runelords books, a knight is teaching Myrrima to use a bow and does this. She almost immediately screams "rape" and kicks him in the crotch.
  • An interesting example in the Sword of Truth books is when Richard is teaching Kahlan how to shoot. In a demonstration he claims that nothing can break his concentration while he is shooting. Kahlan takes it as a challenge and starts stripping him.
  • Used by William Crimsworth when leaning over Frances Evans' shoulder to correct mistakes on her papers in Charlotte Bronte's first novel The Professor.
  • Alluded to in the Ciaphas Cain note  novel Death or Glory. One of the signs that morale is going up along the refugees is that the men who know how to use guns are offering to teach any attractive women in the group; Cain considers this a good sign, since it means they're recovering from the horrific conditions of their prior imprisonment.
  • Song at Dawn: Dragonetz' singing lessons include proper breathing when mentions placng his hand on her stomach to guide when to inhale or exhale.
  • John Varley’s Red Lightning: “The best way to teach somebody how to shoot a long-barreled gun is to stand behind him or her—and in this case, very definitely her—and show how it’s done. (...) Luckily the gun went off before I did.
  • Lolita. While Dolores is playing tennis with another underage girl, Humbert goes onto the court to show her partner how to hold the racket. Dolores doesn't hide her squick reaction, being perfectly aware why he's doing it.

    Music 
  • Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" contains among other speculation about what her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend is doing, "Right now, he's probably up behind her with a pool stick showing her how to shoot a combo."

     Newspaper Comics 
  • Blind FoxTrot character Denise used this trope to her advantage while courting Peter: she lets him "help" her through the crowded high school hallways by wrapping his arm around her waist instead of using her cane.
  • In Beetle Bailey, General Halftrack observes that a tennis instructor can get away with a lot of touching, and it's okay because he's just giving lessons. Dirty Old Man that he is, the next panel shows him with an arm on either side of his Sexy Secretary Miss Buxley and his hands on her hands, saying, "Let me show you a little typing trick."

    Theater 
  • The Most Happy Fella gives the Beta Couple an opportunity to get physically close and literally bond with each other when Herman teaches Cleo how to use "the ol' sticky stuff" to paste labels on boxes of grapes. When he asks her if she wants to try it alone now, she shakes her head "no."
  • Parodied in the recent Broadway run of The Merchant of Venice, in which Launcelot Gobbo gives Jessica a dance lesson, seemingly as an excuse to lean in as close to her as possible. It doesn't get him anywhere, seeing as he spends the whole scene telling her that she's probably going to Hell for being a Jew. And he keeps dropping her in his attempts to dip her. Oh, and Jessica just got back from her elopement.

    Web Comics 
  • In Wapsi Square, the first meeting between Shelly and Justin occurred off-screen when he invoked this trope on the receiving instruction end in her kickboxing class. Eventually, she figured out that he wasn't as inept as he acted.

    Web Original 
  • In the third book of Shadow Of The Templar, Simon teaches Jeremy how to use a gun and ends up pressing against him quite a bit to adjust his posture. Considering that they are in a relationship (albeit a secret one), Jeremy is all too happy to encourage Simon to do so.
  • In The Secret Life Of Dolls, Éowyn finagles an "archery lesson" out of Faramir.
  • The College Humor Hardly Working sketch "Flirting" takes this to the logical extreme, with a dude flirting with a girl by pressing up against her and showing her how to, among other things: hit a golf ball properly, walk, and have sex with a different man.
  • Will and Shaima in Sherwood Forest: "She’d never been touched so gently by a man before. She hoped he wouldn’t take her response for attraction."

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender : Katara corrects Aang's stance while teaching him the Octopus move. Maybe he wouldn't have gotten so flustered if she weren't wearing her new Fanservice swimwear at the time.
  • Code Lyoko: This is how Yumi and Ulrich met in a martial arts class.
  • In Ben 10, Gwen teaches Ben how to slow dance, and they're both visibly nervous but also happy. Yes, this is an American children's cartoon. Yes, they are cousins. Why do you ask? (They may both agree "This is so gross," but their grandfather thinks, "Aww, isn't that sweet.") note 
  • Parodied in an episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer and Marge bond by learning to curl. Marge uses the hands on approach to help Homer with his sweeping and Homer uses it to help her drink a beer.
  • Black Canary in Justice League needs Green Arrow's help at one point. In order to be sure she gets it, she does a small strip tease, some abjectly shameless flirting, and a sparring match deliberately mixed with this trope in order to rope him in. After seeing her in action (and seeing her pull a similar stunt on a former teacher) he realizes that it's part of her MO and tries to walk out of the mission, feeling played. By the end of the episode she makes it clear that even though she overdid the act, she really does have feelings for him.

    Jokes 
  • There is a joke where one boy cites this as the proper technique for teaching a girl how to swim when his friend asks him for advice. That is, until he learns the girl his friend is planning to teach is his sister. If you're teaching your sister, you just need to push her off the dock.

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