Or, if you're feeling punny, a Test Tube Babe.
More a staple of movies (especially science fiction), but also appears regularly on TV. When a male protagonist needs to consult with or bring in an expert on some obscure and/or technical subject (poisonous orchids, particle theory, rare diseases, ancient languages, prehistoric sharks, whatever), said expert will turn out to be female, drop dead gorgeous, and, at twentysomething, conspicuously too young to have possibly earned the relevant academic degrees or otherwise accrued such expertise (often this is handwaved by mentioning at some point that she was a Teen Genius). Not all of these are required, but the general gist is good enough.
The reason why this trope is popular is because men want a woman who can tell them about Lagrange points and do a lap-dance. Preferably both at the same time.
If the word "model" appears anywhere on The Other Wiki's entry on their actor, you're definitely dealing with one.
A Hot Scientist is frequently a Hot Librarian as well, and often ends up as a Girl of the Week or Temporary Love Interest. Could be considered an evolution of the Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter, combining the scientist and his daughter into one character (although they tend to be sane). She may also be an Action Girl in a Badass Longcoat.
Female protagonists, on the other hand, often get saddled with a Horny Scientist. This trope seems to be increasingly less Always Female, however. In Japanesemedia, especially the genresaimed at a female audience, expect to see pretty boys with PhDs as well.
Please note that this applies to a character, not simply any hot actor playing a scientist, for the same reason Real Life examples are not listed here. Most actors are "hot" in the first place, so it usually goes unsaid. You can have an attractive scientist without their hotness being a plot element in the work - that would not fall under "Hot Scientist".
Compare Hollywood Nerd and Nerds Are Sexy. See also Hospital Hottie, Fair Cop.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
Aria from Rising X Rydeen is head lab chief for an organization that deals with superpowered humans. Her attire is a lab coat over a cleavage-revealing crop top and miniskirt. From the start of the series it's shown that she is very attractive as multiple men, including main character, gawk at her.
In the Sailor Moon anime, the third season villain Kaolinite, while more of an assistant than a scientist, spent a fair bit of time in a cleavage-y lab coat
Maxine in Sin City is your standard Sin City woman with large breasts and is an evil scientist working for an assassin's guild to boot.
Josie Beller, a.k.a. Circuit-Breaker, from Marvel Comics' Generation One Transformers comic, was hired by G.B. Blackrock right out of high school to design what was then the world's most advanced automated deep-sea oil rig. When that was destroyed, and she herself paralyzed, by a Decepticon attack, she designed and built for herself a suit of Stripperiffic cybernetic Power Armor so that she couldfight the Transformers. She was also the primary, and almost the only source of Fanservice in the whole comic.
Viz featured a spoof science column by their sexy scientist Dr Verushka Vavavoom. She had a habit of spilling chemicals over herself while writing the column, and then asking the readers to hep her out of her wet clothes. But they'd have to promise not to look....
In The World Is Not Enough, this concept is stretched to beyond credibility by introducing Dr. Christmas Jones, a twenty-something nuclear physicist with large breasts. Needless to say, she and Bond end up in bed together.
Interestingly, Word of God says she actually DID do modelling work to put herself through college.
The 2008 Iron Man 1 film features Tony Stark himself, who's a brilliant engineer and billionaire playboy.
In Fantastic Voyage, Raquel Welch plays Cora Peterson, assistant to Dr. Peter Duval. She wears a lab coat for perhaps two minutes before spending the rest of the movie in a skin-tight scuba outfit.
This type of character was a staple of the Attack Of The Killer Whatever "B" movies of the '50s. For example: Joan Weldon's character in the giant-ant classic Them!; the daughter half of a father-daughter entomologist team, the first we see of her is a pair of shapely legs emerging from an airplane hatch.
Marina in Local Hero, who actually has an excuse for wearing a bathing suit in the lab and in the field. Played for Laughs, for the most part.
In The Amazing Spider-Man, we have the highschool student Gwen Stacy acting as the head intern of one of the greatest scientist in the world. She is of course the only one wearing a mini lab coat allowing the viewers to appreciate her legs
In the Fantastic Four we have the twenty something Sue Storm acting as a brilliant scientist who is head of the Genetic Department for one of the largest companies in the world. She spends a significant time part of the movie in a skin tight suit and there is of course a lingerie scene
Diane Duane deliberately played with this, noting in the blurb for her Star Trek novel The Wounded Sky that the Enterprise crew are assisted by "a pretty alien scientist". What she conspicuously failed to note was that K't'lk, while indeed quite lovely, is also a giant glass spider!
The backstory of ''Unwise Child by Randall Garrett has the robot scientists bring in a child psychologist to help them develop their latest AI. Precocious child, special schooling, early college and doctorate, beautiful skin, curves in all the right places, clear blue eyes, sleek red hair. She is the resident expert on that particular robot, and an assistant to the lead on the project.
Live Action TV
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation also has a periodic Hot Scientist, a forensic anthropologist that Grissom tries to call in to consult at every available opportunity.
Lampshaded in the episode Two and a Half Deaths. A TV producer who worked with a murdered sitcom actress visits the lab. After seeing several of the team he muses that there might be a market for a show about attractive people working in a high-tech crime lab.
Subverted in an episode of Hustle in which the already-lovely Stacie, when impersonating a professor's research assistant, uses false teeth to give herself an unattractive overbite.
Liz Shaw wears knee-length boots and very short skirts, and also has doctorates in biochemistry and astronomy.
The Doctor's companion Romana, despite technically being a psychologist and/or historian, fits this trope reasonably well, and her attractiveness is confirmed by K9 and later by the Doctor himself.
Also, Peri is a botany student and is well known for her cleavage.
River Song is no slouch in the sciences (she understands the TARDIS' physics) or the looks (she could fell an ox with that cleavage) departments.
Jadzia Dax, though her talents seem to run towards the practical sciences, is nonetheless science-division teal (rather than engineering yellow) in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She fully embodies the trope, being both physically attractive and (when she wants to be) sexually adventurous, that last being a gift from her (male) predecessor Curzon, who actually went Out with a Bang.
While she's not an accredited scientist, her big brain allows Seven Of Nine to function as Voyager's resident theoretical and applied physicist. Her big...tracts of land, on the other hand, allow her to function as eye candy.
Forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan in Bones seems improbably young to be both an internationally known expert and a best-selling author of multiple novels. Bonus: She is also an expert in Spock Speak.
In the original novels, Temperence "Tempe" Brennan is somewhat older and only busts out the Spock Speak when she actually needs it. Still hot, though. Judging from the author's photo on the dust jacket, this may be Truth in Television.
Brennan: I don't want to be the "sexy scientist"!
She strips down to her underwear once in a season opener while on a dig. Why? In order to convince a few local guerillas that they're just hot girls on vacation and not a threat.
It should also be pointed out that there is a dress code and she is expected to follow it. The director actually enforced it in one episode, then Abby complained to Gibbs about said enforcement, the dress code issue was never enforced on her again. Not from within, anyway.
In the second season The Man from U.N.C.L.E. episode "The Nowhere Affair", a THRUSH computer picks an ugly duckling sexy THRUSH scientist to seduce Napoleon Solo, in the hopes of reversing the Easy Amnesia that was induced when Solo took "Capsule B" before his capture by THRUSH.
On Quantum Leap, the most we hear of Project QL staffer Tina is Al talking about his latest sexual escapade with her. Indeed, when we first see her on screen, she looks and sounds like a typical bimbo. But she's no secretary; she's a Pulse Communications Specialist (whatever that is), and she definitely wouldn't be working there if she was a dummy. And let's not forget Dr. Sam Beckett himself. . .
MAD had a parody of the '60s I Spy show where the agents went to rescue a bikini-girl nuclear physicist from the Red Chinese. When they're informed by the bad guys that the girl they were after wasn't the real physicist, they reply that they knew it all along, because she wasn't sexy enough to be a nuclear physicist on a tv show.
Mocked on 30 Rock, when Tracy tried to cheer Pete up (and possibly tempt him into adultery) by having a party in the office with a number of very attractive women. Upon hearing that he is a TV producer, one of the ladies begins flirting with him and says, "Really? I'm an actress. Did you ever see the movie Secret Touchings? I was a scientist in that."
Cosmological physicist, Doctor Plimpton(Judy Greer), from The Big Bang Theory easily seduces three of the main characters and tries to start a four-way with them.
There's also the male scientist, David Underhill, who works in the same department as Leonard and briefly dates Penny.
Bernadette who wears normal clothes to work, but in recent episodes wears a lot of fanservicey clothes at home.
Several valuable CONTROL-affiliated scientists on Get Smart (the first we see is the chemist Dr. Steele). This is explained by their cover - they're employed full time as showgirls, and do their real work in a secret lab accessible through the backstage area of a theatre - often while rehearsals or shows are going on that they're in. (The sheer Refuge in Audacity does work: that may be the least-broken cover CONTROL employees ever have in the series.)
Samantha Carter of Stargate SG-1 in "Moebius, Part 2". Jack O'Neill (well, an alternate Jack, anyway) commented that he was definitely not used to such sciencey talk coming out of someone so hot. And she was in battle dress at the time! The "real" Carter didn't qualify nearly as often, since she was also a military officer and therefore spent a lot of time bloody and bruised, but when she did? Yowza!
In Episode 3.12 of The X-Files, War of the Coprophages, Mulder meets the charming scientist Dr. Bambi Berenbaum, whom he finds so attractive that he even ignores calls from Scully while in conversation with her. In the end, Dr. Bambi is seen flirting with the elderly, wheelchair-using Dr. Ivanov, both apparently enjoying the other's intellect in an apparent case of Pair the Smart Ones.
The Professor of Gilligan's Island is a rare male example, which the writers seemed to become aware of by the second season, ship teasing him in one episode after another with each of the 3 female cast members and a guest star who fell in Love at First Sight with him.
Annals of Improbable Research has an advice column by "scientist/supermodel" Symmetra.
Public Service Announcements
In July 2012 the European Commission as part of a series of films attempting to encourage more women to consider careers in science published Science: It's A Girl Thing which has three sexy actresses flouncing about a laboratory writing equations and playing with the balls from ball-and-stick molecular models coyly, juxtaposed with images of high heels and make-up. It quickly garnered a negative response on Youtube and amongst actual scientists on Twitter and was soon removed.
Joining the ranks of Hot Computer Scientists is Kamui from the .hack series, although she does more exterminating than research... and all we usually ever see is her online avatar, though, in volume 3 of the .hack//Legend of the Twilight manga, there is a pin-up poster,.hack//Unplugged, showing her and all of the other main characters in real life.
In Mass Effect, we have Dr. Liara T'Soni, who becomes the Normandy's resident Prothean and archaeology expert and a potential love interest for Shepard. She's of the Asari race, who are considered the most beautiful race in the galaxy.
In the second game, Dr. Mordin Solus is apparently considered one in-universe. As a Salarian, he has a very low sex-drive, but is nonetheless flattered that multiple species have frequently attempted to hit on him.
Not only that but Mordin is also pretty old for a Salarian (they only live to about 40). Then again, he doesn't look old to any human.
Dr. Sonya Gannon, from Tetsuko is an Omni Disciplinary Scientist who is extremely busty and wears a red mini-dress under her lab coat which shows off a good deal of cleavage.
The Whateley Universe has plenty, due to the Exemplar mutant power. In the Whateley Academy workshop there's Delta Spike and Bugs, both of whom are geniuses who happen to be among the hottest girls in a school full of superheroines.
Welcome to Night Vale has Carlos, a scientist that has come to investigate the bizarre supernatural happenings in the town. He has been described as dark, with beautiful hair (so beautiful, the town's barber, Telly, has a Despair Event Horizon after cutting it), a strong jaw, teeth "like a military cemetery", and a voice "like caramel". Night Vale's local radio host, Cecil, falls in love with Carlos instantly. And as of episodes 25 and 27, Carlos reciprocates.
As shown in the page image, April O' Neil from the 2003 series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of these; being the first media adaptation to harken back to her original portrayal in the Mirage comics (worked with Baxter Stockman right before he went openly evil), rather than a TV news reporter like everyother adaptation until that point.
Scientist, Dr Vivian Porter from Kim Possible is both blond, highly attractive, and very competent. And used as the aesop.
Lampshaded in the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Greatest Story Never Told": Booster Gold saves the world with the aid of a hot scientist. He immediately states that this is the best possible outcome: the League is currently battling with an evil magician, so he is the only one who'll save the day and get the girl.
Spider-Man: The Animated Series had Alistair Smythe, a wheelchair-bound roboticist. Just before he was turned into an incredibly buff mutant monster, it was revealed that he was an incredibly buff scientist when he was shown strapped naked to a mutant-creating machine against his will. He had a six-pack and surprisingly well-developed legs.
Eek! The Cat parodied it in its Sci-Fi parody, with Elmo having to choose between the plan of an Einstein-looking super-genius, or the plan of the Bambi twins, who had gotten a B+ in physics.
Which turned out to be the best course, as the Bambi Twins actually turned out to be incredibly intelligent and came up with a competent plan to save the day.