Love is in the air Love Potions
Everywhere I look around
And I don't know if you're an illusion
Don't know if I see it true
But you're something that I must believe in
And you're there when I reach out for you
—John Paul Young, "Love is In the Air"
are finicky, delicate beasts. It should come as no surprise that especially poorly made or potent ones combine the far reaching effects of the Hate Plague
and the Love Potion
into a deadly smog that makes even the most Chaste Hero
and throngs of Innocent Bystanders
fall for the drinker.
When Love Is in the Air, you may see a decentralized "Love Flu" that makes everyone who comes in contact experience a rebirth of the sixties and free love. The other possibility is it acts as an amped up airborne Love Potion
, making anyone of the opposite gender fall in love and sometimes those of the same enter a murderous jealous rage (or unexplainable attraction).
Has a friend in Smells Sexy
; and the role of sex pheromones, the purpose of which (in Real Life
, that is) is to communicate one's biological availability to other members of the same species (and only that species), primarily useful if you only go into heat for a few days per year and don't know whether you'll survive the other 364 days to get another chance later. Compare Glamour
, where a character emits Love Is In The Air naturally and Living Aphrodisiac
, when this is caused by an alien or supernatural creature. Contrast Hate Plague
, which goes in the opposite emotional direction.
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Anime and Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima! used this trope in in the first volume of the manga.
- There was a chapter of To Love-Ru that featured Lala accidentally handing a Love Potion to everyone in her class. Hilarity Ensues.
- Also Celine can cause this anytime she drinks coke. Spraying pollen in the air that seem to cause anyone to fall in love with Rito due to her own feelings for him.
- In the 2006 version of Kujibiki Unbalance, a love-inducing perfume used by Shinobu in order to get her brother Chihiro to love her ends up causing her to be chased by the entire school, and its zoo.
- In Seto no Hanayome, Nagasumi unwittingly drank a love potion that made him irresistible to any females... and also had the side effect of making him completely hated by any males.
- In Akazukin Chacha a love potion accidentally gets mixed into a school lunch, dosing students and teachers alike. They chase the target person around and threaten to get into jealous fights until she hides and it wears off.
- In episode 2 of A Certain Scientific Railgun, Kuroko tried ways to get Misaka to drink a love potion she ordered via delivery, but ended up drinking the potion herself by mistake.
- In Episode 15 of Inukami!, Keita obtained a "love" medicine that makes anyone he sees fall for him, but doesn't seem to work towards Yoko, his love interest.
- Franken Fran tries to make an actor more "charismatic" using pheromones in chapter 36, but her calculations are a little off and the situation gets out of control. Notably, she acknowledges that pheromones don't normally have much of an effect on people, but somehow makes it work anyway.
- Batman villainess Poison Ivy secretes potent pheromones from her skin. In her first canonical appearance, it's enough (combined with her generally desirable appearance) to make a man leave his wife on the spot to accept a hallucinatory kiss from her. Batman himself is affected, and later on in the Batcave he won't stop talking about how beautiful and sexy Ivy is. Until Alfred turns the water in his shower freezing cold.
- New X-Men featured Wallflower, a mutant girl who could cause people to experience any variety of emotions through pheromone release. She inherited her powers from her father, who had used them to seduce her mother. The father was also introduced in the series, but Wallflower was killed off before the subplot could go anywhere.
- Recent Marvel villain Daken has this ability, and uses it CONSTANTLY. Considering he's a bad guy, that's not that surprising.
- Fellow Marvel baddie the Purple Man beat Daken to the punch by about thirty years. And for extra-special-squick, he used it to father at least one daughter with a mind-controlled ladyfriend. That daughter, known as the Purple Girl, inherited the power, and used it to mind control Northstar in her first appearance (though unlike her father, she didn't take it past going swimming together).
- The Anime Addventure features a hentai story thread where an actual infection called the Lemon Flu infected the globe. Its effects include gifting men and women with perfect bodies, and behaving like an aphrodisiac.
- Nobody Dies has this as the effect of Lilith's Anti-AT Field: any men and women caught in it immediately feel compelled to make babies. It takes extreme willpower to resist (although repeated application of cold water can help). Family members are exempt from this, fortunately. Hilarity Ensues when Shinji accidentally starts projecting the same Field at his school.
- There's a Harry Potter fanfiction out there somewhere that's based on the premise that Love Potion Number Nine (described below) is Very Loosely Based on a True Story, one that the Ministry of Magic couldn't quite cover up. And then Neville accidentally mixes it in Potions class, and it turns out that if anything, the film understated just how powerful the stuff is. Hilarity Ensues.
- In The Swarm of War, the entire royal family and the court are destroyed by Alena’s pheromones. And perhaps her psyker power as well.
- Love Potion No 9 starts with a basic Love Potion (although one that works continuously and can affect anyone with the right orientation that hears the imbiber's voice), but moves into this trope when a prostitute takes the concentrated version and empties a church just by clearing her throat.
- A variation was used in Max Keeble's Big Move. The titular character and his friends ended up adding in animal pheronomes into Principal Jindrake's mouthspray, so whenever he ends up using it, Animals will end up either crawling over him, biting him in the leg, pouncing and jumping on him, and chase him, and was primarily done to humiliate him.
- Perfume is about a sociopath who is trying to create the perfect smell. The catch? His perfume is made from the scents of murdered virgins. Once finished the perfume was so potent and delightful, that it induced a massive orgy in a enormous crowd, with just few drops.
- Ring World has a rather nightmarish example in the Ringworld Vampires, a species of non-sentient hominids which use pheromones to draw in other hominids so that they can feed off of them. This gets even more disturbing when it is revealed that they would have been destroyed long ago, except that every time there was a serious push to eradicate them, some City Builder with more lust than sense would keep a secret enclave of de-fanged vampires as sex toys, or in order to make perfume from their pheromones, and sooner or later a breeding pair would escape into the wild...
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe has at least two different alien species packing cross-species pheromones. Both of them seem to have weird effects on people, and questionable ideas as to what constitutes consent. Oh yeah, and one of the two species can bottle pheromones and produce a Love Potion for anyone who can pay. Surely such things are always used responsibly.
- One of the two species mentioned above is the Falleen. There is, against all reason, a Falleen Jedi. He does, in fact, use his pheromones to help on Jedi missions (it helps that this is the new Jedi Order) - but then, everybody else would just use the Mind Trick. And one of his squadmates threatens bodily harm if she ever finds out he's using it to "get dates".
- The other species is the Zeltrons, a race of rosy-skinned near-human hedonists with powerful pheromones. However, they also have strong receptive empathy, so it really is in their best interest to make sure everyone around them is truly happy and consenting. That said, I do recall reading of a sadistic Dark Side Zeltron somewhere.
- Bruce Coville's book Juliet Dove, Queen of Love had the titular character come into possession of a necklace formerly owned by Helen of Troy. Predictably, the necklace causes every boy in her school to fall in love with her (and cause a commotion by piling up in front of her house), and cannot be removed after being put on.
- Henry Sackerman's novel The Love Bomb fits in here better than anywhere else: A Human Alien from a peaceful and uninhibited planet lands on earth, and is mystified and chagrined with how violent and prudish the natives are. So, after many misadventures, he ends up getting his buddy to drop a chemical weapon which neutralizes people's hostilities and inhibitions. (For example, two juvenile delinquents are fighting on account of one of them having slept with the other's sister. They destroy their knives, talk the situation over like civilized young men, and Air Hug. A man who despises his wife for a mean old cow—and is despised in return for a pathetic slacker—buys her roses before he comes home, convinced that the gesture will be lost on her. He finds her cooking his favorite dish and looking dewy-eyed. And so on.) In many cases, it acts as an aphrodisiac.
- On Darkover, the kireseth pollen laden Ghost Winds have this effect. Another of the many effects is temporary amnesia, which can result in paternities being in doubt.
- In the second book of the Sir Apropos of Nothing series, Apropos comes into the possession of the "One Thing to Rule Them All". This...thing...attaches itself to his...southern region...and once it does, he can't get it off. And every woman he comes into contact with jumps his bones. In fact, at one point they tie him down just so every woman can have a turn. He's freed of the Thing by a set of adventurers and a quest he'd rather not go into.
- In Isaac Asimov's Azazel series, one of the stories is about a man whom the titular demon made emit a massive amount of pheromones. The girls are all so jealous of each other that he ends up forced to marry the strongest one.
Live Action TV
- Batrean women in Talislanta give off pheromones that are just this side of mind control. Luckily, not only are most Batrean women nice people, but the pheromones can be countered by wearing nose plugs.
- In El Goonish Shive, some of the Transformation Ray variants (especially Ellen's Venus Beam) cause the target to produce super-pheromones, which makes them attractive to everybody regardless of gender and sexual orientation. The effect wears off after about 48 hours. One result of this was that Nanase acknowledged her feelings for Ellen by rationalizing them to be a result of the latter's pheromones, then found out that there were no such things. (Dan Shive has explained that he originally intended for Ellen to be a recurring villain, and that the pheromones were meant to make her a super-seductress; when this was dismissed as being far too silly, they were adapted into a part of a Coming-Out Story.)
- In this Perry Bible Fellowship comic, Cupid stores his arrows improperly and accidentally sets them on fire, resulting in the acid rain from the love smoke washing the love potion all over a city. The result: massive orgy in the streets.
- While (thank DEITY NAME HERE) it's not love but rather unwavering loyalty, the Jägermonsters of Girl Genius apparently identify Agatha as a Heterodyne heir by her scent.
"She smells very nize"
- A Phil Foglio comic that does play this trope straight is Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire, in which brothel-madam-porn-superstar Louisa Dem Five has apparently had a procedure done enabling her to produce massive amounts of pheromones on cue. To the point of being able to charm both Buck, who is of a genetically-altered Heavyworlder subspecies and explicitly shouldn't be capable of finding low-grav women attractive, and a cyborg space pirate, who is mostly machine and shouldn't be finding her attractive. This becomes a plot point; she can't turn on anyone else on the Gallimaufrey, leading to the discovery of a motivation-sapping bioengineered virus on the station...
- Heartbreaker from Dino-Boy uses this as her weapon du jour, brainwashing men into doing her bidding (which includes stealing, opening bank vaults for her, you get the picture). It works on the titular hero too, but this is justified because he is part-human.
- Janine from Murphy's Law drank a Love Potion which caused this effect.
- Marena from Keychain of Creation, here.
- In The Challenges of Zona, Mentl, before realizing how powerful his music-based magic really is, accidentally causes all the woman in a ballroom to fall for him by singing "Love Is All Around" by the Troggs.
- In The Dragon Doctors, The Capricious Spirit of Love suggests this was an effect of the Spell Gun — although they claim it was nonsense right after.
- In Ed, Edd n Eddy Valentine's Day special, two cupids who resemble Sarah and Jimmy make Edd and May Kanker fall in love, and at one point defuse a food fight by making everyone in the room fall in love. This was finally counteracted by Rolf with dirty mop water: "The harsh realities of your miserable lives have been restored! Thank you."
- In an episode of the animated Jumanji series... that one was the result of a Love Potion that was just a BIT too effective...
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode, "Where Walks Aphrodite" has the whole town under a love spell. Animals (Like Scooby Doo) are the only one's unaffected by it.
- The Love Potion Jimmy Neutron created on said series, Jimmy Neutron. Used not once, but twice.
- Cupid of The Smurfs has been responsible for some unusual expressions of love, even among the Smurfs' enemies.
- The US Army worked upon, but finally dropped, development of a weapon dubbed the "Gay Bomb" - a chemical weapon that would make enemy soldiers fall for each other. The reasoning was that it would not only incapacitate them, but also embarrass them enough to lower their fighting potential afterwards. Apparently they never thought about what might happen if they turned out like the
Spartans Sacred Band of Thebes...