In most visual media, just about everyone is beautiful. But what are writers to do when someone's attractiveness is a plot point? Anime artists have Bishie Sparkle, Western animators have (or used to have) the Twinkle Smile - simple visual shorthands that viewers intuitively understand. But in live action, often the only choice is to have the other characters tell us how attractive they are. Whether or not the viewer finds the character to be attractive, we must accept that within this fictional world, they are.
This trope is about characters pointing out how exceptionally attractive they think a character is, not whether they're being drawn attractive, or whether the viewers think they're attractive. And having an unusually active sex life isn't a part of this trope either, unless a character says outright that the reason that person is being pursued is that they're the best looking of the group.
Of course, this trope is difficult to avoid in literature and other storytelling styles without high-resolution graphics or visuals. Some works may describe a character's appearance in glowing terms and let readers realize for themselves that the character is quite attractive, while others are content to just tell us that they're beautiful and move on.
This trope is related to The Glasses Gotta Go and She Is All Grown Up, where we're informed that a particular character is more attractive than they were. It can be a consequence of Generic Cuteness, since there no way to tell which character is supposed to be prettier than the others. The inverse of Informed Attractiveness is Hollywood Homely, where we're told that a character is unattractive no matter what the viewer might think about the issue.
Remember that this is not about how attractive or unattractive you subjectively believe the character to be.
Haruhi Suzumiya is described as being stunningly beautiful in both the novels and the anime.
Mikuru is constantly being called beautiful, gorgeous, and one of the cutest girls in school, to point where a picture of her in Haruhi's bunny-girl suit was selling like wildfire among the male students. Of note is the fact that the narrator Kyon adores Mikuru and that his assessment is colored by that emotion.
Ran Mouri from Detective Conan is supposed to be extremely attractive such that she's always the one who gets picked up.
Tokidoki Rikugou of Amatsuki is always being told how cute and good looking he is, and has people falling for him left and right. Kon never gets treated like that. The manga does briefly acknowledge Kon as handsome, but he's apparently "not much fun."
Sakura has several prominent admirers, including the main character. It's suggested in-universe that Naruto's crush on her is a driving force behind many of his actions.
Kouko Ibuki from CLANNAD. Tomoya (in his guise as the show's narrator) tells us how beautiful she is. In After Story, Nagisa also at one point turns out to be quite the super-attractive guy magnet, which is even weirder since her looks didn't get much mention before.
Sae Kashiwagi of Peach Girl is always described as "really pretty" and "cute" by most of the guys in her school. None of the other girls tend to be described as attractive.
Orihime is the target of Kon and Keigo's worship, especially her cleavage. Even the Girls Want Her as Chizuru is her very own Stalker with a Crush. Yumichika, who classifies beauty by his own unrelenting standards, is reduced to a mumbling wreck when he first meets her. By the time she's in her final year of school, she's the subject of wide-spread school gossip about how she's so beautiful and sneaking photos of her face. At one point, Shishigawara is sent flying backwards by her appearance alone, leaving him dazed, shaken and wondering if she's inhuman because nobody human could be that beautiful.
When Tatsuki reveals Ichigo's back story during the period when his mother died, she states that Masaki was a beautiful woman. Masaki, however, is no more or less beautiful than any other woman in the manga.
According to Word of God and All There in the Manual, Captain Unohana is worshipped as the most beautiful woman in Soul Society, Rangiku can get any man to do anything for her because she's the sexiest woman in Soul Society and Byakuya is considered the sexiest man in Soul Society. None of them are unusual for the standards of beauty most of the entire cast display.
When Ichigo sees Yoruichi naked, Yoruichi shows off her body telling Ichigo to take a good look because he'll never see such womanly perfection ever again. She's mostly just teasing him because he's so flustered but Soifon truly does believe Yoruichi is the most beautiful woman ever, even a goddess. Her Undying Loyalty to Yoruichi is, in fact, based partly on this. Yoruichi herself is no more or less attractive than many other females.
When Riruka first gets a good look at Ichigo's face, she cries out and collapses to her knees, breathless and flushed, simply from the mere sight of him. She keeps her distance after that, just in case it happens again.
During the Everything but the Rain flashback arc which reveals that Masaki and Ryuuken went to the same school when they were teenagers, it turns out that Ryuuken's the school heart throb. One of Masaki's friends admits to Masaki that she'd jump his bones if she ever got the chance. However, Ryuuken's no more or less attractive than many other male characters.
In One Piece, Boa Hancock is said to be absolutely freaking gorgeous. Considering Hancock is easily the most physically powerful female character introduced thus far, it's likely that there's an element of Amazon Chaser to this attraction. Likewise, the Mermaid Princess, Shirahoshi. Even before either had actually been seen on-panel, there were characters arguing about which of them is the most beautiful woman in the world.
Neviril of Simoun is supposed to be awe-strikingly stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks gorgeous.
Most of the supposedly inhumanly attractive characters from Noblesse aren't really drawn any differently from 'normal' characters, but people constantly stop and stare at them, clearly awestruck. Raizel is particularly prone to this, even though he really is almost identically drawn to Frankenstein.
Toradora!: Ami Kawashima is presented as the most attractive female member of the cast, despite being drawn similarly to other characters. The only signs pointing to her beauty are the fact that she worked as a model and that most of the male class members are all over her once she joins class 2-C. In the Manga, one can notice that she has slightly longer legs than the other girls, but she's also the tallest of the lot, so it could easily be chalked up to that. We do have to keep in mind that boys stood in line to confess their love to the female lead, Taiga before she gained her nickname of Palmtop Tiger so Ami does have some stiff competition.
In Tomodachi no Hanashi, Moe is apparently considered drop-dead gorgeous, which seems to be mainly because she's drawn with larger eyes than most of the other characters.
Haruhi from Ouran High School Host Club has nearly all the members of the club fawning over her cuteness even though they're dealing with dozens of pretty girls on a daily basis, and nearly all other guy (and girl) in general who meets her is smitten with her almost instantly, even though the only thing that separates her looks from the other girls is short hair and boy's clothing. Although, it's her ability to be "naturally cute" that's hinted to be the reason for her popularity.
Wonder Woman is canonically described as the World's Most Beautiful Woman, having being blessed at birth by the goddess Aphrodite, even though she probably isn't drawn any more attractively than any other DC chick.
Tulip from the Preacher comics is treated by her male companions and female best friend like she's the perfect woman. Jesse is also referred to by several characters as incredibly handsome.
Mystique briefly infiltrated the X-Men as a new student named Foxx. Character dialogue constantly reminds us she is stunningly gorgeous, to the point she drove one character into insane lust and possibly seduced Gambit.
In Mandrake The Magician, writer Lee Falk sometimes went to extreme lengths to point out just how beautiful Mandrake's fiancée Narda is. She once won a secret contest arranged by a mad collector to determine who is the most beautiful woman in the world (not that she was happy to win it, since the collector was really mad, and wanted to include her in his collection). She also won an intergalactic beauty contest, competing against ten million alien women!!
In the comics, Daisy Duck is considered the most attractive woman in all of Duckburg, and has even done some modeling work. She looks just like Donald Duckin a dress.
Vanity Smurf of The Smurfs is constantly informing us that he's the most handsome Smurf in the village, though it's unclear if we're supposed to accept this self-critique. Physically, he's drawn identically to the rest of the Smurfs.
Smurfette in Empath: The Luckiest Smurf makes a big deal out of how attractive and handsome Empath is despite the fact that, without his star-shaped birthmark or his black suit with white stars on it, he looks no different from an ordinary male Smurf.
In-universe example occurs in Wreck-It Ralph when Felix becomes enamored with Calhoun. From the perspective of the humans playing the game, Felix is a cartoonish 8-bit character whereas Calhoun is rendered on modern technology with a more realistic art-style to represent the better graphics of the gaming generations compared to previous ones. However, when seen outside of the game world, all characters are rendered in high resolution CG and this distinction is lost.
Felix: (referring to Calhoun) "Look at that HIGH DEFINITION!"
Lisa from The Room. The main characters state that she's "so beautiful" almost ad nauseam. There's even a side character whose only line in the movie is "Lisa looks hot tonight." To make matters worse, he says it to a woman who's possibly his date/wife.
In 10 Things I Hate About You, another teen movie from the 90s, all guys are crazy about Bianca Stratford, including the school's Jerk Jock. Heath Ledger's character, Patrick, is not that impressed and lampshades it.
Patrick: "What is it with this chick? She have beer-flavored nipples?"
Twilight: When Edward Cullen is first introduced (slow motion entrance), Jessica describes him as "totally gorgeous" while Bella and Angela are practically drooling over him. The waitress at the restaurant is also shown checking him out. People also gush about Bella even though the school is filled with attractive girls actresses and the character is crushingly antisocial.
Princess Leia in Star Wars. Luke gushes "she's beautiful" upon seeing her for the first time in a grainy, miniature hologram.
Elizabeth Berkley in Showgirls gets a lot of praise, especially for her breasts.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture has Ilia, a Deltan whose beauty and pheromones give a sexual reaction in many species, so much so that she has an "Oath of Celibacy" on record. She's played by Persis Khambatta, a professional model and Miss India 1965. The male bridge crew all stare when she arrives, with Sulu having the most obvious Hello, Nurse! reaction. They just return to professionalism once she announces the oath of celibacy. This is all in spite of the fact that she's completely bald, which one of the authors found quite sexy.
Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man. Peter Parker harbors a very long crush on her and thinks she's gorgeous. She also easily lands a number of strapping, handsome boyfriends such as James Franco and a hero astronaut.
A Knight's Tale has a great deal of fuss made of Jocelyn's beauty. The main character is immediately entranced by the sight of her and does everything in his power to gain her favor. Not much is made of the rest of the female cast. Played for Laughs when William is thinking of complementing Jocelyn's breasts, only for Kate (the only girl in his inner circle) to state that her breasts aren't that impressive.
Any adaptation of The Iliad will use this trope in respect to Helen of Troy, who is the most beautiful woman in the world as selected by Aphrodite. Even in the nonmagical Troy, Helen is beautiful enough for Paris to start a war over.
Gilderoy Lockhart, played by Kenneth Branagh, has a considerable in-universe fan girl following.
Fleur Delacour. In the movies she is described as a breath-taking beauty with Veela (a stunningly beautiful magical creature) ancestry. Possibly justified in that the books imply that she possesses a magic charm that men find entrancing.
In Ocean's Eleven, Matt Damon's character moans, "This is the best part of my day," like he's about to orgasm right then and there as Julia Roberts walks down the stairs, basically acting like she's the hottest person he's ever seen in his life, an opinion backed up by all and sundry who get a look at her.
Being There, in which Chance the Gardener is described by a senator's wife as "very, very sexy" to Eve, who agrees with that assessment. In the book, he's described as a cross between a young Ted Kennedy and Cary Grant. Interestingly, Sellers deliberately gained weight for the role, believing that Chance would live a sedentary lifestyle.
Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science is supposed to be the absolute teen dream girl.
In El Mariachi, Domino is supposed to be so beautiful that the local crimelord is willing to shower her with gifts to have her. The Mariachi sidesteps around this trope by saying, "She was the most beautiful creature I'd seen all day... next to the turtle." Director Robert Rodriguez apparently realized that his microscopic budget wasn't going to afford any supermodels, so he'd better not go overboard.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Lucy and Johanna, whom the Judge goes psycho over. Sweeney himself as a youth was so beautiful that Mrs Lovett is willing to become his grisly accomplice out of memory of his beauty.
Summer Finn in (500) Days of Summer has an entire scene in the film that explains the "Summer Effect", which is basically this trope. There's a lot of work put into making sure that the audience understands that it isn't only Tom that's crazy about her. Tom gets into a bar fight over her with another guy for saying that she's too good for him.
In The Hottie & the NottieParis Hilton is the most beautiful woman in Los Angeles to the point where guys flock around her jogging route just to see her run. It may or may not be significant that Paris Hilton is one of the executive producers.
Amanda Jones in Some Kind of Wonderful is said to be the most attractive girl in school , while tomboy Watts is pretty much invisible to her best friend Keith.
In American Pie, Stifler's mom is considered something of a legend among high school boys and apparently even popularized the term MILF.
Silken Floss is repeatedly called "the most beautiful woman ever" by the Octopus' goons in The Spirit. Sand Serif, played by Eva Mendes, doesn't get this hyperbolic of an assessment. The people who make this statement, however, are simple-minded clones who were created by Floss to begin with.
In 25th Hour, Ed Norton's character is apparently supposed to be a pretty boy. Numerous characters cringe at the thought of "what they do to guys like him in prison." Norton's character is so scared that he's too pretty for prison that he forces his friend to pummel his face into hamburger so he'll be uglier in the critical first few weeks of his sentence.
In Nino's dream in Amélie, the headshots in one of his pictures come alive and argue over whether Amelie is all that attractive. Some will only say that she's rather pretty, but another insists that she's beautiful. Interestingly, the character was written for Emily Watson, and was probably going to be somewhat Hollywood Homely before Audrey Tautou was cast. During the press tour, one reporter even asked Jean-Pierre Jeunet why he had bucked his previous tradition by casting such a conventionally attractive actor in the lead.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time's Princess Tamina is said to be beautiful and when we get to see her Tus says "for once the stories are true" which all then men leer at her. Even the Prince can't take his eyes off her.
Titanic features Rose DeWitt Bukatur played by Kate Winslett. One character upon seeing her for the first time compliments her fiancé by saying, "Congratulations, Hockley, she's splendid." Leonardo Dicaprio's Jack Dawson is absolutely smitten with her at first sight and is informed that he'll never win the heart of such a beautiful woman.
In the Barbra Streisand vehicle The Mirror Has Two Faces, her plain Jane character Rose undergoes a makeover to win over her inattentive husband. Suddenly, whereas no one gave her a second look before, every male within sight is fawning and gushing over her, even her 20-something years younger students, to the point where she needs to stop in the middle of a lecture to chastise them for ogling her.
There's Something About Mary: It's right in the title. Every male wants Mary. It's not outright stated that if it is exactly her looks, or some kind of "aura". She is played by Cameron Diaz, which helps viewers understand.
The Other Guys portrays Will Ferrel's character as a Kavorka Man because he gets much more attractive women to fall in love with him. His partner, played by Mark Wahlberg, describes his wife, played by Eva Mendes, as "scalding hot." Ferrel's character keeps describing her as "plain" or "cute but not hot" until the end, when he admits that she's actually beautiful.
No less than five characters make comment on the attractiveness of Geena Davis' character in The Long Kiss Goodnight. Of course, it was produced and directed by her husband.
In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Andy's friend tells her that she's so gorgeous that she could barf all over a guy and he'd say, "Do it again."
In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the fact that Snow White is the most beautiful woman in the land according to the magic mirror is the central plot point and the reason why she is targeted by the evil queen.
In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the book had Lucy learning about a spell that would make her so beautiful that (according to descriptions of the spell book's illustration of her Imagine Spot) all of Narnia would be plunged into a bloody civil war as suitors fought for her hand.
In Pride and Prejudice, Jane Bennett is "the most beautiful of the Bennett girls" who are all extremely pretty. Characters in the story agree with the assessment.
Esmeralda from TheHunchbackofNotreDame is so beautiful that everyone who meets her falls in love with her, in some cases to the point of obsession. It certainly helps that she's also very kind and compassionate.
A Brother's Price has a male character described as handsome, to the point of being shown off to visiting royalty. He's found stripped and murdered the narration remarks that he was given no dignity in death and mentions a paunchy stomach and thin, hairy legs. Later in the book, a teacher whose family painted portraits tells Jerin that most women will see very few men without veils, so any of them with two eyes and all his teeth will be considered handsome; all the same, she'd seen many men and portraits of men, and Jerin is beautiful even with a standard of comparison. His attractiveness is remarked on throughout the book.
The titular character in The Picture of Dorian Gray is adored by everyone around him and described as enormously attractive, mostly by other men. The vanity that follows becomes the driving force of the plot.
The Forsyte Saga: Irene Forsyte is described as one the most beautiful women of her generation. She's frequently compared to Venus and everybody is charmed by her. Actresses who portray her in adaptations have a hard time coming close to this level of beauty.
Kvothe spends a chapter in The Name of the Wind agonizing over how to describe Denna's beauty to the man transcribing his story. During this process, his companion Bast points out that from a physical standpoint, she was rather average. Kvothe eventually recognizes that there simply aren't enough words for the singular love he has for her and decides that a simple physical description and the fact that she is beautiful to him will have to suffice.
The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter has Princess Kaguya, whose extraordinary beauty drives a significant part of the plot. Five princes and eventually the Emperor of Japan himself ask for her hand in marriage.
In season 7, Rachel chooses to hire a handsome male assistant instead of a more experienced woman, risking her job because he's just so pretty! Rachel, Phoebe, and even Chandler gush about how good-looking he is.
Ross and Monica's cousin is so attractive that Ross forgets that he's related to her, and Phoebe temporarily turns gay.
Brad Pitt shows up in an episode that basically revolves around the main cast mentioning how attractive he is.
Likewise, the first season episode with Victoria's Secret model Jill Goodacre. Chandler is nearly hypnotized by her hotness.
Chloe, the girl Chandler and Joey constantly fawn over (before we're even introduced to her!) and Ross eventually cheats on Rachel with. This one had the slight justification that, since she was referred to frequently as "the girl with the bellybutton ring," her attraction might have been less being astoundingly beautiful and more about her aforementioned navel ring and short, punk haircut might have made her seem "exotic" to the somewhat vanilla Friends.
Cameron was told she got her job because she's pretty ("it's like having a nice piece of art in the lobby"), and could have breezed through life on looks alone, yet became a Doctor, which said something for her dedication and how much she cared.
In the episode "Skin Deep" the team treats a 15 year old model. The repeatedly stated assumption is that she's so beautiful that no man could possibly pass up an opportunity to sleep with her including her own father. This is a major assumption in their diagnosis.
Hollyoaks. Sarah Barnes, a part-time model, is lusted after by just about everyone. Hannah Ashworth is so jealous of Sarah's looks and popularity that she develops a severe eating disorder in an attempt to look more like her.
Very early in season one especially, Samantha Carter is mentioned several times as being exceedingly beautiful. Nearly everyone who talks about how beautiful she is says this after only seeing her in baggy, unflattering military uniforms.
Another notable example is Hathor, who even without her seduction drugs was supposed to be irresistibly attractive.
WKRP in Cincinnati had two regular female characters. One, Jennifer, was invariably treated as a sexpot. Her photo was frequently stolen from the lobby, she maintained her job despite refusing to do much of the work associated with her position ("Get us some coffee, Jennifer" "I don't do coffee." "Oh, I'll just get it myself." "Thank you, Mr. Carlson." "No, Jennifer, thank you."), and she had an endless series of (usually rich) suitors at her beck and call.
Sex and the City has Carrie Bradshaw, who is depicted as incredibly sexy and sought-after by men, and many of her friends are envious of her looks at times.
On Star Trek: Enterprise, the production team loved to frame Jolene Blalock as Ms. Fanservice repeatedly. But on the show itself, her Vulcan character of T'Pol was presented as essentially shunned by the human crew early on. It was actually a symbol of Character Development on both sides when she was considered reasonably attractive "for a Vulcan". When stranded on a shuttlepod and thinking they were going to die, Reed mentioned to Trip how he thought T'Pol had a "nice bum", while Trip was dismissive of that. Ironically, Trip started to form a romantic relationship with her in the third season.
Mary Shannon of In Plain Sight. We're constantly told that she's gorgeous, a "hot blonde" and very attractive.
Parodied by the "Mango" sketches on Saturday Night Live, with the notion that Chris Kattan wearing gold-colored hot pants turns straight guys gay. And Ellen DeGeneres straight. And that the talent was genetic, coming from his father Papya... played by Danny DeVito.
Brian Kinney in Queer as Folk is written as if he were impossibly attractive.
A number of men fall all over themselves to sing paeans to CJ's sexiness.
A number of women fall all over themselves to sing paeans to Josh's sexiness.
In the 2006 version of Robin Hood, the character of Kate is introduced in season three, replacing Marian and Djaq as the main female character. It's love at first sight for Much, and Allan isn't too far behind. Robin tells her that she's "beautiful", Archer isn't at all interested in joining the outlaws until Kate's life is endangered, and even Little John seems rather taken with her, referring to her as "a treasure". Prince John locks her up with the intention of raping her, Rufus the tax-collector kidnaps her and forces her to dance in front of him, and even a random tavern patron tries his luck.
On Lizzie McGuire, Kate is the quintessential Alpha Bitch, including the fact that she's sought by every guy and supposedly the prettiest girl in the class. The earlier episodes stated Kate's bustiness had something to do with it, but the later episodes ceased from mentioning it.
Every single woman that Major Nelson dated for the first five seasons of I Dream of Jeannie. Even Jeannie would go on and on about how beautiful they were. Though it is justified in that Jeannie was massively jealous of all these women, and probably tremendously insecure from Tony rebuffing her advances for five years.
In the episode "Eric's Hot Cousin," Eric's cousin is supposed to be so hot that Eric lusts after her and Donna and Jackie feel upstaged by her.
Kelso goes on and on about how hot he is, and is never corrected. Apparently his hottitude is a matter of record in the T70S 'verse.
Throughout the whole series, everyone touts Donna as Point Place's single hottest girl, so much so that Eric is supposedly way out of his league to be with her.
Done somewhat oddly in Jekyll: when Tom Jackman becomes Hyde, his features alter, which is reflected in actor James Nesbitt's makeup (different hairline, jaw, etc.). People keep referring to Hyde as a "pretty boy" and the like, but little mention is given to Jackman's attractiveness.
In Burn Notice, Gabrielle Anwar's character is repeatedly referred to as attractive, even getting into parties, VIP club sections, et cetera solely on her looks.
Law & Order: Pretty much every two-man (and they were all men in the early days) cop team consisted of an old cop and a young cop, with the young cop always "informed" as being attractive. The phenomenon usually expressed itself in the form of women hitting on them, giving them phone numbers, asking them to call, or generally indicating it with body language.
In Law & Order: UK, it's Ronnie, the much older partner, who is explicitly stated to be handsome.
The character of Michelle Richardson in Skins is depicted as the best looking girl in school.
In the BBC's adaptations of the Sally Lockhart stories by Philip Pullman, they cast Billie Piper as Sally. Now Pullman is a writer who does not go in for physical description on the whole and yet on the first page of 'The Ruby In The Smoke', Sally is described as 'uncommonly pretty'.
In the Angel episode "The Bachelor Party", the fiancé of Doyle's ex-wife Harriet meets Angel and thinks that he is Doyle, saying that Harriet didn't tell him what a handsome man he was. Then he's introduced to Doyle and is relieved ("Oh, that's better").
Parodied in The Kids in the Hall with a film showing us "The Most Handsome Man in the World!", who is barely real-life average, strutting down the street, acting up to his title.
In an early episode, Sue Ellen gushes over how handsome Cliff Barnes is.
This also happens in later seasons when Cally (JR's second wife who is a twenty-something blonde hottie) is insecure about how desirable fifty-something Vanessa Beaumont is.
The Poirot television series was pretty bad about this trope, marching out a range of characters who were actresses, models, aristocrats, glamour-queens and various other "beauties" that Hastings would invariably gush over.
On one episode of Cheers, Cliff is ashamed that the woman he's dating is ugly (you'd think that he'd be glad to have anyone at all; think again). She ends up getting a makeover and having men drooling over her.
Jane on Coupling is certainly flirty as well as reasonably pretty, but in several episodes, she's hyped up more than would seem believable. One particular episode has Susan being impressed by Jane's breasts.
Nip/Tuck makes Julia McNamara's character the object of undying affection for both Sean and Christian. The guys (and later a girl) behave as though she is extremely beautiful. Christian gives her an eight out of ten.
This trope was played with on an episode of Jonathan Creek in which a pop starlet's husband is only sexually interested in her if she's wearing the tarty makeup and outfits that have made her career so successful.
In Gossip Girl, Serena is described as always being the most attractive woman in the room. So much so that Blair (Leighton Messter, considered the more attractive by most watchers) has self esteem issues because of it.
The plethora of alien beauties in Farscape. All the main female characters (Aeryn, Zhaan, Jool, Sikuzo) are considered or have been described as "beautiful" or "attractive" within the show, but special attention is always given to Chiana, who gives off a sexual vibe that men respond to. Given the fact that these alien babes aren't human, we just have to take other characters' words for it. Though, notably, the only human we watch doesn't seem remotely attracted to Chiana, and instead focuses on Aeryn.
Necessary in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys when the time comes to play out the myth of Cupid and Psyche. According to the legends, Psyche was the most beautiful woman in existence, so much so that Aphrodite herself was jealous of her beauty, though the episode makes it clear that the "real" story has nothing to do with their looks.
Much dialogue, and indeed entire subplots, are devoted in How I Met Your Mother to Robin's beauty. Also, the cast makes a big deal about the hotness of a new female bartender, though it's ultimately decided that she's hot because she's a bartender, not because she's hot and a bartender.
The 2008 miniseries of Tess of the D'Urbervilles took this to great lengths with the character of Angel Clare. During the course of the series he has four milkmaids (including the title character) who worship the ground on which he walks.
Hyacinthe from Keeping Up Appearances has an unusual number of men over the course of the series get the palm sweats over her. It's usually the Major, whose advances Hyacinth tolerates to some extent because he's very-well-connected-socially. Rule of Funny, really, and usually Lampshaded. Same goes for Onslow. His wife Daisy is unaccountably fascinated with his body. Even Onslow is at a loss to comprehend it.
In an episode of A Touch of Frost entitled "Deep Waters" a girl is pushed down a flight of stairs by a stalker. Throughout the entire episode she is repeatedly referred to as being one of the most attractive women in Denton by everyone including: Inspector Frost, her best mate, her boyfriend, her Dean, her stalker's best mates.
On The Golden Girls, we were constantly informed how beautiful and sexy Blanche Devereaux was. Most often by Blanche herself.
Phoebe Halliwell on Charmed. People on the show talked about her as if she were the most gorgeous creature to ever walk the Earth. Despite the attractiveness of her sisters.
Edie and Gabrielle were both praised for their appearances much more than the other main cast members on Desperate Housewives.
The Russian/Argentine telenovela titled ''Tango's Rhythm." One of the characters is repeatedly showered by complements throughout the show regarding her intelligence, charisma, but most of all, her "great beauty," that made her a searing Femme Fatale and had all the man literally fighting for and throwing themselves on her.
Special attention has been drawn to the attractiveness of Sarah on Chuck on a few occasions.
On Sports Night, Sally Sasser is discussed as if she's the best-looking woman anyone in the show had ever seen.
In an episode of Medium the main character Alison Dubois spends half the episode talking about how attractive a woman she has dreamt about is.
Played with in an episode of Corner Gas where Lacey discovers that every girl in Dog River thinks Brent is the most attractive male in town.
Family Matters: Steve regards Laura Winslow as the most beautiful girl in the world (as do several of the other boys who show interest in her), remaining in love with her to the point of obsession throughout the show's duration.
Brenda Chenowith in Six Feet Under has no problem seducing and having casual sex with lots of very good-looking men who tell her she's gorgeous.
The Brady Bunch: This trope is the very reason why Jan Brady will spend most (if not all) of her adult life cursing the name of her sister Marcia (to a long line of therapists trying to reconstruct her self-esteem, most likely), having spent her entire childhood being told Marcia is prettier than she is.
In Being Human, several women mention how attractive they find Mitchell, usually while talking to George.
Played with in regards to Rory in Doctor Who. When Rory is first introduced, he's presented as much less attractive than another friend of Amy's. The Doctor expresses some shock that Amy, who is played by a former runway model, would go out with someone who looks like Rory. Making fun of his Cleopatra Nose is also a Running Gag for several episodes. The Dream Lord who is actually the Doctor's split personality refers to the Doctor as the "handsome hero" in comparison to Rory. Later, however, the TARDIS refers to Rory as "the pretty one," to the Doctor's shock. Amy also calls him "the most beautiful man in the world," though she seems to be talking about him as a person.
Mary on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was constantly referred to as being, as one of her co-workers put it, "terrifically attractive and desirable," and virtually every male guest character fell for her and wanted to date her. MAD made this the entire focus of their satire of the show, only to Subvert it at the end by having Ted give a bouquet of flowers to Rhoda, because she was the only level-headed woman on the show.
Parodied in Son Of The Beach where everyone (apart from the Only Sane Woman Kimberlee) seem to consider Notch Johnson as having perfect male physique. In reality he is ordinary-looking, skinny, pasty-white, middle-aged and balding.
On Supernatural, Dean Winchester is often referred to as "the pretty one" or "Abercrombie".
In the Danish cop show Rejseholdet (known in English-speaking circles as Unit One) Detective Chief Inspector Ingrid Dahl is described in the first episode as having "the best arse in the force". This being a Danish cop show, we are denied any visual confirmation.
In The Big Bang Theory, most male characters who have met to Penny comment on how attractive she is.
One of Liz Lemon's boyfriends had this as a defining character trait in 30 Rock. Helps that he was played by John Hamm.
In Continuum, some of the other cast members mention how pretty the main character Kiera Cameron is upon meeting her and bring it up time and time again thereafter, and various other recurring/one-episode characters regularly do the same.
In the US version of The Office, Pam is said to be incredibly hot by several people in the office.
In the series Doc starring Billy Ray Cyrus as Dr. Clint Cassidy, every episode went out of its way to tell the audience how good looking Dr. Cassidy was: female patients would become giddy in his presence; female background characters, including extras with non-speaking roles, would frequently look at him with lust in their eyes; any female character he met for the first time would almost always make some flattering remark about his appearance; he even had a gay guy hitting on him in one episode.
Played for Laughs in Malcolm in the Middle. One episode revolves around Lois being encouraged to wear makeup at her job due to some secret shopper evaluations. Despite Lois finding her makeup ugly, men suddenly find her significantly attractive.
Played for Laughs with Ja'mie King in Summer Heights High. Ja'mie is played by a middle-aged man in a wig (Chris Lilley) and yet the focal point of her character is her "hotness." All of the people around her, along with Ja'mie herself, constantly talk about how she's the hottest girl in school. Also justified, given that Ja'mie is a parody of the Alpha Bitches that are common in many private schools and how narcissistic they usually are.
In the Only Fools And Horses prequel Rock and Chips, while Joannie is decent looking, the sheer amount of gushing she gets over her looks, from pretty much everybody, is somewhat disproportionate.
Helen of Troy is described as the most beautiful woman in the world in Greek mythology, as determined by the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Homer, in Iliad, encountered the problem of describing her beauty, so he simply stated she was worth the war. Artists had a much harder time. One of them tried to draw her with golden paint, after which everyone complained she's supposed to be beautiful, not dressed up.
Psyche, Eros' wife, who was so beautiful people began to follow her instead of worshipping Aphrodite.
Pro wrestling is very prone to this, showing up in two ways:
They seem to randomly assign somebody as more attractive than the others, and frequently talk them up as such. Kelly Kelly has somehow gotten the reputation (mostly thanks to Jerry Lawler obsessing over her) as the most beautiful Diva on the roster.
A (usually female) stable will frequently become a group of Alpha Bitches, will be considered, by themselves and others, the most beautiful and start to attack others female wrestlers they don't see as worthy. Lay Cool did it, as did TNA's The Beautiful People, who said point-blank they were "Cleansing the World, One Ugly Person at A Time."
Suikoden V: Lyon gets a lot of attention from the males, more than any other female, even more than Jean!
There are repeated references to how incredibly beautiful both Rin and Saber are.
Also, Gilgamesh's A+ Charisma rank. Supposedly this should make him more popular than most popular person on the planet (Saber has B Charisma "Suitable for a king of a country", while most popular person on the planet would have an A rank). He is quite literally described as So Popular Its A Curse.
In Tales of Phantasia, during a Skinship Grope scene, Arche claims that Mint has a really nicely-sized pair of breasts. Arche is often described as attractive too.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team also plays this for laughs with Dreamy Broque Monsieur stating that Dreamy Luigi is much like the real Luigi except taller and handsomer, even though the only change to Luigi's appearance is that his sprite is seen from a Side View. This may be a result of Luigi having become a Dream Sue.
According to NPC chatter in Final Fantasy X, Seymour is quite the catch and Yuna is lucky to have him. Seymour is apparently one-quarter plant, with disproportionately large, long-fingered and longer-clawed hands, a pattern of ridges on his face that resemble nothing so much as veins, blue hair that grows into tree-root-like stalks, and a handful of other strange features. His robes are also loosely tied giving him an Absolute Cleavage outfit. However, it gives him the distinct look of having a hairy beer-belly. Part of his appeal is apparently his status as a maester and talented summoner.
For both the games and anime, Milotic is stated to be the most beautiful Pokémon in existence. Later generations of Pokemon games introduce Pokemon Contest, which includes beauty as one of the Pokemon's primary stats, though a Pokemon with a maxed out beauty stat is going to look exactly the same as one with nothing invested in it.
Dragon Age: Origins generally assumes that you're going to make your PC attractive, and a number of characters, maleor female, will tell you that you're the sexiest thing since sex, no matter what you make your character look like. Any other reaction from NPC dialogue could risk alienating the significant number of players whose base their characters on their real life appearance.
Hilariously, the female PC and the party run across a group of bandits on their way into Lothering—and the leader cheerfully announces that "I'd guess the pretty one's the leader" while pointing to the Warden, with Morrigan standing right next to her.
Dragon Age II has characters describe the player's character as attractive except for Viveka, who will say that Hawke isn't much of a looker after you insult her own appearance.
In Knights of the Old Republic 2, the six Echani Handmaidens are supposed to look identical except for differences in the last, who had a different mother and takes after her mother. She is also supposed to be more beautiful than her half-sisters. Guess what? Her model is exactly the friggin' same!
In Mass Effect 1, it is implied from dialogue between male Shepard and Kaidan Alenko that Liara is desirable.
In Mass Effect 2, Miranda is supposed to have been genetically modified to be perfect, even her looks.
In Rise Of The Kasai, the twins are apparently supposed to be attractive female sorceresses who are able to enslave the whole Horde (the all male army of the Kasai cult) through magically assisted seduction, and even manage to do this to the main hero, Rau. How much of their power was meant to be based off of actual attractiveness and how much was meant to be pure magic is never really addressed.
The Order of the Stick has a number of these because of its medium, what with them all being stick figures. Whoa, that was a nice Samus Is a Girl reveal of the beautiful Miko there, wasn't it? And you can totally see why all the boys are chasing Julia, mreeow! This has resulted in fans widely assuming nearly every character is attractive, unless specifically stated otherwise.
Inverted in Something Positive: Several characters have said that Davan is particularly unattractive.
All of the females in Sonichu, except for Mary Lee Walsh, who has Informed Great Age instead.
Dominic Deegan has a few, particularly Luna, who is said to be quite fetching despite her tusks.
8-Bit Theater. White Mage is described as really hot (at least by Black Mage). Being a Sprite Comic, it's rather necessary to let the reader know.
In the character bios for Keiki, Peter Paltridge admitted that he couldn't draw beautiful girls very well back then, and asked the readers to "take [his] word" about Marie Magnolia's beauty.
Looking for Group has Cale: he's frequently referred to as an attractive woman. Given the large number of Shirtless Scene episodes, in which he's quite fit and masculine, it's a little puzzling to the readers.
Also, 'Nique is held to be so attractive that fifteen seconds in a sexy outift is enbough to persuade hundreds of men to the devil. Even though her figure is exactly like the devil girls, who don't get nearly that response.
In Homestuck Karkat is called cute a few times, and though he most definitely is when members of Hussie's art team draw him, we never really get to see it from Hussie himself due to the simple cartoony style used most of the time.
Played for laughs in the College HumorHardly Working shorts. Sarah is the only recurring female character. In some sketches every man in the office will be lusting after her, while other times they'll talk about how sad it is that she can't attract a man.
Played for Laughs in The Nostalgia Critic's review of Scooby-Doo, which he does along with his past and future selves. In the present, he becomes excited when he discovers that Isla Fisher is in the movie, only for him to be disappointed when he finds her less attractive than expected. His past self becomes confused, describing her as "okay." His present self insists that she's supposed to be a bombshell. The reason for their harsh reaction is apparently because she has blonde hair for the role instead of her natural red.
In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Mary Jane is presented as so stunning even the popular girls are instantly jealous of her, even though really she and geeky Gwen having basically the same design; Gwen just wears glasses and less fashionable clothes. Late in season 2 Gwen stops doing that, and everybody comments about how stunning she is. Though the fans see this as an Unnecessary Makeover as it pretty much just makes her look like a blonde MJ.
The third grade girls made a list ranking all of the boys in their class from cutest to ugliest. They must have been going by hair, since in all other respects the boys all look exactly the same except for Cartman, Jimmy, Timmy, and Token.
In one episode it is revealed that Stan's mom is considered quite hot.
Inverted with the character Ugly Bob from Show Within a Show "Terrance and Phillip". He is regularly mocked by other characters for his hideous appearance, although he looks just like all the other "flappidty-headed" Canadians. The episode "Royal Pudding" shows that his ugliness had a Medusa-like effect over the tooth decay monster.
Parodied in "Quintuplets 2000"
Kyle: Those contorting Romanian chicks rule!
Cartman: Yeah, especially that second one from the left. She was fine!
Cartman: Not that second one from the left; she had it goin' on!
Justin from Total Drama Island takes this to ridiculous extremes; nearly every female character (as well as a few male characters and most animals) become dreamy idiots whenever he walks into the room (or rips off his shirt, which he does ridiculously often). Alejandro seems to be getting even more attention than Justin ever did, though they look nearly the same. To a lesser extent Heather gets this too. Geoff called her "the hottest girl on the show" (after she had become bald) and Harold expressed his attraction to her early in Total Drama Action (again, when she was bald).
Lois Griffin from Family Guy is often described as very attractive and would normally be way out of Peter's league. Inverted by her daughter Meg, who is treated as though she were the single ugliest thing ever to exist in this or any other universe. What makes this really funny is, the only physical difference between them drawing-wise is that Lois is taller, slightly thinner, and red-headed.
Quinn Morgendorffer's attractiveness is mentioned frequently throughout the Daria series, and even the other highly popular girls of the Fashion Club can be jealous of the attention she gets. Quinn's sister Daria is mostly ignored, though one episode showed that she can look rather like Quinn if she puts forth the effort.
Played for laughs in Futurama: Bender's Game. Hermes turned into Hermaphrodite, the most beautiful of centaurs. He merely looked like a centaur version of Hermes with a boob job and blonde hair.
Starfire from Teen Titans is constantly praised for how beautiful she is by the heroes, villains, and bystanders.
Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic is stated to be the most beautiful mare in Ponyville. Fluttershy is considered so attractive that she had a highly successful (but brief) career as a model. It's worth noting that 90% of the mares in the show, Rarity and Fluttershy included, have the exact same body type and differ only in coloration, eye shape, and hairstyle.
Stan Smith in American Dad! is constantly talking about how hot Francine's sister Gwen is, but so far she's never appeared on screen.
Nazz on Ed Eddn Eddy is treated by all of the boys (except Jimmy and Rolf) as to be the perfect thing of beauty. Could be partially explained that they aren't many females in the cast to be compared to (and Sarah is too young to be lusted after, and the Kanker sisters are all aggressive in pursing the Ed boys.) Also, Nazz was Formerly Fat so the boys may be gushing over her not but because she is beautiful, but because she looks MUCH better than she used to.