You can teach 'em to type, but you can't teach 'em to grow tits.
A character is hired for a job solely because of their good looks. Whether or not (usually not) they have the skillset or experience for the job is a non-issue for their employer who just wants some Eye Candy
around the workplace. Often times their good looks are a form of job security as in cases where they are glaringly incompetent their employer will often ignore or bear with it for the sake of keeping them around.
Compare to Bunny-Ears Lawyer
, Casting Couch
, and Nepotism
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- Paine in Crimson And Clover. She has no training as a model but is just perfect for the dress Yuna lacks a model for. Then, she's also said to be very beautiful and is approached by other modeling agencies.
- In The Obsidiandawn, Leonardo suspects this is the reason Rudolphus keeps Clarisse around.
Film - Live Action
- An Evil Lawyer Joke has a law firm looking for a new secretary. The applicants are told to put their hands behind their heads and walk into a wall. If their breasts touch the wall before their elbows do, they're hired.
- Another Evil Lawyer Joke: A law firm is told they need to hire more women and make one partner. So, they hire three women and devise a test to decide who makes partner. On their next paychecks, all of the women get overpaid by $5,000. The first takes the money and says nothing. The second returns the money immediately. The third takes the money, but comes back later with a check for $7,500, claiming she got a good stock tip and wanted to split the difference with the firm. So who made partner? The one with the biggest tits.
- Inverted (or perhaps played straight in a different way) in the Mercedes Lackey Oathbound, where a knight desires a pair of guards for his wife—and instead of hiring two handsome men, hires Tarma and Kethry instead. His wife is disappointed.
- In Artemis Fowl, Holly maintains that Lily Frond was only able to get a job with the LEP for being a good-looking bimbo with Blue Blood.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Cersei Lannister hires Aurane Waters as Grand Admiral Master of Ships, because he looks like Rhaegar Trargaryen. When Cersei is imprisoned for adultery by the High Sparrow, Aurane abandons Cersei, and sets himself as a new pirate lord with the ships he was given.
- In Spin City, Caitlin hired a guy who probably moonlit as a Chippendale's dancer (almost immediately after she chewed out Charlie for the same thing).
- In Family Ties, Alex P. Keaton hired Karen as a housekeeper, despite her being a klutz and having no experience.
- On Just Shoot Me!, Maya does an experiment for an article in which she sends two people to interview for the same job, one extremely qualified but homely-looking, the other a handsome but dim-witted model. The model gets the job, as Maya predicted, but she also ends up falling in love with him.
- Rachel ends up hiring an inexperienced young man (Tag) as her assistant solely because he was cute.
- Rachel herself counts as it seems that Gunther hired her only because he had a crush on her and she could have the job as long as she cared even though she was not a competent waitress.
- In The Office, it appears that the new executive assistant, Jordan Garfield, will be this. This is certainly what some people (Pam and Dwight, for instance) think in-universe. It remains to be seen if that will prove to be the case.
- In the Married... with Children episode "Rain Girl" (s4e21), Kelly Bundy becomes a TV station's "weather bunny" at a higher salary than the station's professional meteorologist, to his outrage.
- An episode of Simon And Simon has them hiring a secretary. They look at the first one, a grandmotherly looking woman with an impressive resume, but go with a beautiful blonde who doesn't even have enough sense to answer a ringing phone.
- JT from Step by Step hires a beautiful model as a housekeeper despite the fact that she's terrible at it. She eventually quits when she realizes this fact.
- In Restaurant Stakeout, Willie suspected that the general manager of a restaurant partook in this trope. He had two undercover women attempt job interviews for waitressing with this manager, and confirmed Willie's suspicions when he hired the young, inexperienced teenage girl over the older, but vastly more qualified woman. He even went so far as attempting to flirt with her.
- House hired Cameron because it's like having a nice piece of art in the lobby even though she was in the top of her class (But not THE top) and did an internship at the Mayo Clinic but she insists that she worked very hard to get where she is. In a subversion, House points out that Cameron, as a beautiful woman, could have easily done well for herself in life without resorting to working her ass off to become a doctor. Since she for some reason chose a difficult path when she could have had an easy one, House knew that she would have Hidden Depths.
- A Kids in the Hall sketch had Dave as a business man unable to fire a French pyromaniac named Monique because she's beautiful, even as she's igniting things in his office.
- iCarly: When the Power Trio need to hire an assistant to help with the eponymous show-within-a-show, Sam and Carly hire a hunky and INCREDIBLY stupid guy. Freddie retaliates by hiring a really dumb girl though it turns out that she was a college student using the experience as source material for a sociology class.
- Lampshaded in one Australian mini-series where a group of women are starting their own business and need a secretary. One woman proposes they do what any man would do — interview a bunch of applicants and "pick the one they fancy the most".
- Sloan Sabbith from The Newsroom. She is hired because she's an economist who "doesn't look like George Bernard Shaw". Mac seems to hope that people will actually pay attention to her when she talks about economics.
- Arguably a subversion since she goes on to prove herself more than capable for the role.
- Jimmy Kent in Downton Abbey is hired to be a footman in large part because he's very good-looking. Truth be told, this was a bona fide qualification for a footman: footmen's good looks and poise were intended to reflect well on the family they served. Even Carson, the butler—no great fan of Jimmy—admits that he's perfect in this regard.
- Inverted on Strong Medicine, where it's implied that Chief of Staff Dr. Jackson did not hire a qualified as his secretary because she's extremely overweight. She files a discrimination lawsuit, but the issue is never resolved, as she suffers a stroke due to the weight-loss pills she's taking.
- Faeries Landing: Yuri is cast as a replacement for Yeongyeong in her film, purely because of her beauty.
- Courtney in Retail was hired solely for her looks and tends to take lots of "sick days" sometimes showing up at the mall to shop on said days looking perfectly healthy. But Stuart refuses to fire her.
- A large number of the WWE Divas, who are too often models, dancers or aspiring actresses looking for their big break (see Stacy Keibler). Some of them do successfully make the transition to wrestler (like Trish Stratus) but too many of them don't. Fandom is divided over whether this is a good thing or not.
- Played with in Family Guy where Stewie's nursery is cared for by an attractive but extremely neglegent and borderline abusive woman (she leaves the children unattended for several hours and at one point dislocates Stewie's arm in her careless handling of him). He fails to have her found out because Brian insists he keep his mouth shut until he's scored a night in bed with her (though calls the police himself when it turns out she has a boyfriend).
- Nurse Bendy on Moral Orel. She doesn't really have any medical knowledge and is at one point told to "sit there and look pretty." This is later revealed to be part of her trauma, that people only see her as a Brainless Beauty and she copes with this through her pretend family of teddy bears.