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No Guy Wants to Be Chased

"Lookit, the only thing men actually care about as far as dating is concerned is "The Chase". If you want that guy to look your way, listen to me carefully, ignore the living hell out of him."
Dr. Cox, Scrubs

This is where a guy is shown to be actively put off by a girl's aggressive pursuit of him. Conversely, if she were more shy and modest about her feelings, he would like her more. The use of this normally implies that men want to be the ones to chase and pursue a relationship, and hate it when it looks like, for any moment, this is not the case. To put it simply: A man wants to catch a woman; not be caught. This idea, especially when pounded into the viewer's heads as true or "right," has heavy Unfortunate Implications.

This trope may be the reason why the man will not be afflicted with The Dulcinea Effect towards this girl. To contrast, he will instead be shown to be afflicted with it towards a girl who is more passive. It doesn't matter whether the girl is (or isn't) an Action Girl - even if she's strong in combat, as long as she's shy romance-wise, she'll still be more desirable compared to a Damsel in Distress who is too eager. Compare My Girl Is Not a Slut; the logic may be that a woman so eager to pursue one man will be just as eager to pursue another man. (As if it had nothing to do with her crush on one particular man.)

On the other hand, it may be that the girl comes on too strong for the guy, who might otherwise return her affections. If the girl is a yandere, then running away as fast as possible is understandable.

This is routinely Gender Flipped where the girl is the one who's put off by a guy who continually hits on her; note that in that case, it can be considered stalkerish on the guy's part, or lead into a Dogged Nice Guy plot where he eventually "wins her over."

Compare with No Guy Wants an Amazon, where the man feels threatened because the girl is physically more intimidating (overlap between the two is common).

Aggressiveness is often a trait of the Abhorrent Admirer, though it's definitely not the only trait that puts the guy off. If the girl stops chasing him, it could lead to an Unrequited Love Switcheroo.

It's prevalent in anime, as the Japanese have different ideas of gender roles relative to the Anglosphere and Europe. Let's leave it at that.

Not to be confused with No Guy Wants To Be Chaste.

Examples

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    Advertising 
  • A Crest 3D White toothpaste commercial begins by listing off how great a guy might be, but first, a woman must get him to say hello (by having a pearly white smile). No way could she possibly walk up to Mr. Right and be the first to say hello!

    Anime & Manga 
  • Mirai Nikki: Yukiteru repeatedly says that Yuno's obsessive pursuit is what is scaring him off. He has crushes on two other girls who act shy or reserved with him, and he seems to like Yuno best when she acts flustered and embarrassed. However, it may be not so much her pursuit that puts him off as her cheerfully killing anyone who gets in the way.
  • In The World God Only Knows Keima uses the example of Yandere Kanon to explain that girls pursuing the main character are death traps… in games, that is.
    • Seen again when Nagase-sensei becomes friendly with him before he can "plan his route".
    • Averted later on in the series when Haqua infers that he is weak against aggressive women.
  • Saber Marionette J: Otaru claims he loves all three girls (Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry), he never mentions it being equal and the series implies that his favorite is Lime, who is the most innocent and non-romantically aggressive. Both Cherry and Bloodberry are shown to be extremely aggressive with their affection for Otaru and constantly fight over him.
  • Downplayed in To Love-Ru, early on Rito much prefered the shy Haruna to the comparitively aggressive Lala, but ends up falling in love with both anyway.
  • In Ludwig Revolution, Ludwig is constantly on the lookout for a cute girl to become his wife. Consistently, throughout the entire series thusfar, the extremely well endowed, scantily clad witch Dorothea has been throwing herself at him. He's annoyed with her, and she's the girl he's least interested in.
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Tsuna has blushed and felt his heart flutter for every main girl character (Obviously Kyoko, Bianchi, Chrome, Lal Mirch, even Uni) except Haru. Out of all of them, towards Tsuna, she is the most aggressive and direct in her pursuit (granted, if Bianchi were even interested in Tsuna, she very likely would be the most aggressive). Tsuna makes it very clear that he has no romantic interest in Haru, and constantly has to try to slap down all of her advances.
  • Tenchi from Tenchi Muyo! (the original OVA's, at least) seems especially put off by Ryoko's (and occasionally, Washu's) aggressive sexual advances. On the other hand, he seems more romantically interested in polite and reserved Ayeka, girlish Sasami, and spacey Mihoshi.
  • D Grayman. Allen has specifically said in volume 4 that because of his work he has no time for a girlfriend, it only makes sense for him to ignore any obvious pursuers.
  • Fruits Basket. Kyo is put off by Kagura's overly lovey-dovey, possessive nature and her hair-trigger tendency to beat him to a pulp. Their Childhood Marriage Promise was extracted at knifepoint. The manga reveals the reason for her pursuit; the abuse is Personality Powers at work.
  • Sousuke from Full Metal Panic!: Tessa was a gentle, weak Dojikko Damsel in Distress... sounds good so far for the manly ego, right? Only... her pursuit and tactics for chasing him are way too aggressive. He was scared of her, and had to constantly protect himself from being taken advantage of by her. Numerous times, she slithered out of her bed at night and tried to take advantage of him in his sleep. Unfortunately for her, it's explained that ever since the past, Sousuke has gotten SICK of aggressive admirers trying to rape him. (Gauron made it worse.) The fact that she's his commanding officer seems to have a lot to do with Sousuke's nervousness with her affections. He understands and is comfortable with the power dynamic between a commander and a subordinate, but when she tries to push a more, err, personal element into it, that drives him out of his comfort zone and into a social dimension where he does not know how to respond. On the other hand, the first girl he ever develops feelings for is a bashful Tsundere who expresses her feelings for him in the most roundabout way. Nami is similar.
  • In Ranma ˝, Ranma expresses little to no interest in every girl that aggressively chases him (100% of his suitors). This is played with in an arc where a reversal jewel made Shampoo give up on him and act aloof; he starts pursuing her. This was due to his ego rather than any desire to 'catch her'. He never chaes anyone.
  • Ataru from Urusei Yatsura will not give up any opportunity to go out with, ogle, or feel up a girl...except for his hot alien princess fiancee, Lum, who's the only female who'd be happy to get his attentions. Her tendency to shock him whenever she gets excited and glomps when happy drives him further away.
    • In one chapter she vanishes without explanation. He is heartbroken and cries for her to come back, not to mention goes to great effort to find her. When she leaves for a space ceremony where she might get married to another man, he borrows Ten's very small ship and goes to interfere.
    • During a harem dream, Lum is present by his side, along with many other girls. In other words, he wants her... but he wants other women, too.
    • In another episode, Lum forgets how to speak Japanese through some mishap and spends most of the episode working on some project. At first, Ataru goes to party his butt off and enjoy his time away from Lum. As time passes, he feels increasingly saddened at the fact that Lum is ignoring him and even went so far as to cry in her lap and begs her to talk to him. The end of the episode reveals that Lum was working on a translator that looked like an alligator's gaping maw to strap onto Ataru's face so she could understand him and simultaneously scare any other girl away.
  • Russia from Axis Powers Hetalia wants to become one with everybody, especially with the sweet and mild-mannered Lithuania who's more scared of him than anything else. Except for his sister Belarus, the one nation who actively tries to become one with him to the point of reducing him to Tears of Fear.
    Belarus: Russia... I've disposed of the doorknob that was keeping us apart... now let's get married... married... married...
    Russia: Will you please just go away?
  • In Battle Royale, this is Lampshaded by Takako Chigusa during her Tear Jerker Anguished Declaration of Love towards Sugimura. When she asks him if she was ever more than a friend to him, or if they could ever have been more, he hesitates. She then proceeds to joke, "Too intimidating for you, huh?" As Takako is known for being an more aggressive woman, it's later shown that the girl Sugimura likes, Kayoko, was a more gentle, shy girl.
  • Daisuke of Bitter Virgin is disgusted by Kazuki's relentless pursuit of him. This less because of her aggressiveness and more to do with her psychopathy. she's always carrying a pair of scissors around.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler Hinagiku believes that Hayate would think less of her if she chased him (like the other girls of the series do). In the Golden Week chapters he has shown that he is interested in her, though she is also turning towards the path of chasing him.
  • Yukinari of Girls Bravo is wary of girls in general because he's been beat up/bullied by them his entire life and he developed an allergy to girls as a result. This is why he likes the sweet, ditzy Miharu and is creeped out by Lisa's constant attempts to abduct and seduce him.
  • Haiyore! Nyarko-san offers this as justification for the male lead Mahiro's Can Not Spit It Out attitude. Nyarko's a little too clingy, manic, and horny for his tastes, but he's obviously attracted to her (seen in the few times when she lowers her "volume"), and he's even admitted to himself that he'd be more open with his feelings if she were like that more often.
  • Choku!: Nao is disgusted at Serika's pursuit of him and she always has nosebleeds whenever she lays her eyes on him.
  • Soul Eater
    • For a possibly non-romantic example: Soul is unimpressed when people (all of them girls) request to be his "partner". He doesn't bother responding to them or making a comment of any sort, which annoys/bothers/worries Maka, his current partner. He is also more annoyed than anything else when Blair decides to follow them home after their failed attempt to eat her soul, although this may be because Maka blames and throws books at him for Blair's suffocating him with her boobs and his subsequent (and no-longer-existent) nosebleed.
    • For a romantic but female example, Kim comments that she wanted Ox to tune down his affections for her.
  • Mawaru-Penguindrum: Kanba Takakura explicitely tells his sister (and prospect love interest) Himari that he HATES it when girls follow him around and give him presents like handmade sweaters or lunches. His Clingy Jealous Girl suitor Masako knows it, but she's unfazed and goes Dangerously Genre Savvy via deliberately invoking this trope on him. (So does her penguin Esmeralda, who chases after Kanba's penguin #1).

    Comic Books 
  • Ethel from Archie Comics. She was always after Jughead who was continually running away from her.
    • Likewise many girls who go after Jughead - one new girl in town was duped by Betty and Veronica into thinking he was a great catch (to divert her away from Archie.)
      • Averted by Archie himself in one story where he and the other characters go on strike and talk directly to the actual editors of the comics. Instead of him constantly chasing girls, Archie demands that the script be changed so that the girls chase him. On the other hand, it's played straight in some of the early stories from the 1950s and 1960s, where Archie tends to be put off by Betty when she comes on too strong.
  • In one W.I.T.C.H. comic book storyline, a bunch of kids from the girls' school are away on an exchange student program, including three of the girls from the team. One day they run into Martin Tubbs from school, who begs them to hide him from his Stalker with a Crush, a chubby local girl named Mathilda. Since Martin himself is a Stalker with a Crush who has been making moves on Irma since issue one, the irony is obvious.
  • In Astro City, Irene Merriweather's fanatical obsession with proving her coworker Adam Peterson is Atomicus (due to being under the impression that this was a game that she was supposed to win and prove herself to him) drove Atomicus to leave Earth forever, because "if this is humanity, I don't want any part in it!" Of course, Atomicus was technically a child in a man's body, born just a year or so before; the glint in his eye that she interpreted as a dare was actually him trying to communicate fear of a world that he doesn't understand. As she would later put it, "I chased him, so he ran."
  • Kaito from Ano Natsu De Matteru outright says this much and that he wants to be the one doing the chasing.
  • Played with in Justice League Europe: Captain Atom didn't mind being pursued by Catherine Cobert, but he did mind being chased by the Crimson Fox, mostly because the Fox just outright sexually harassed him. She would have qualified as an Abhorrent Admirer, except that that trope specifies that the admirer must be physically ugly, and the Crimson Fox was anything but.

    Film 

    Literature 
  • Grandmere claims this in the book version of The Princess Diaries and makes Mia read Jane Eyre as a guidebook to how to get a man.
  • In Robert E. Howard's The Vale of Lost Women Conan the Barbarian scornfully tells a woman offering herself if only he will rescue her that she's nothing special, and he could have her without fighting for her anyway.
  • In Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, Simon Doyle claims this as the reason that he broke off his relationship with his fiancee Jacqueline and married Jackie's best friend Linnet. He said he was put off by the fact that Jackie loved him more than he loved her, and that "a man wants to own his woman. He doesn't want to feel that she owns him." Simon was being honest about his feelings about possessive women, but it was Linnet he thought was trying to own him, not Jackie.

    Live Action TV 
  • In the earlier seasons of Smallville, Clark is awkward at best towards Chloe's advances.
  • Friends. Rachel is attracted to a cute guy but he's not asking her out. Pheobe suggests that she simply ask him out instead, but Rachel can't do it because she has never asked anyone out in her entire life; all her relationships having been initiated by guys. So she decides it would make her sound "too desperate" and instead resorts to dropping hint after hint, trying to get the guy to chase her.
    Joshua : How do I look?
    Rachel : Well, speaking as a single woman, who is available, I have to say you look really good.
    • Another Friends example: when Phoebe proposes to Mike, they get booed by an entire baseball stadium and mocked by the announcer because she's the one proposing to him.
  • Mash: Hawkeye meets a lovely young Swedish doctor. He does his Hawkeye thing and tries to seduce her. But he is instantly put off when, over a drink, she makes a move and kisses him.
  • Al Bundy does not like it when his wife comes on to him.
    • Bud doesn't like it either, mostly because the women (and one man) who hit on him are usually Abhorrent Admirers. A possible subversion exists when you consider that Bud probably would like to be chased by attractive girls...but being a Bundy he rarely is.
  • Subverted in Gossip Girl, where Chuck outright tells Blair that it's her turn to chase him now. Which she does.
  • Lampshaded on The Red Green Show when Red is talking to a teenage gas station attendant. The middle-aged, old-fashioned Red is more than a little surprised when the attendant says that the girl was the one who asked him out on a date.
  • In the All in the Family episode "Mike and Gloria Mix It Up", Mike resents Gloria coming on to him, thinking that the man should make the first move; this sets up a big argument between the two.
  • Subverted in Boston Legal. Denise is trying to get Alan Shore to lose interest in her, and attempts to invoke this trope. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Kermit on The Muppet Show was always very reluctant when it came to Miss Piggy's advances. However whenever she focused her attention on a male celebrity guest (most notably Peter Ustinov, and Christopher Reeve), Kermit would promptly become jealous.
  • The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries: The episode "Death Surf". The older waitress Bernie seriously hits on Joe, who is shown to be highly uncomfortable and not interested — then the trope gets averted at the end, with Joe and Bernie going out on a date.
    Joe: (trying to get information on a missing girl) Can I talk to you for a second?
    Bernie: Suuuurrre!!! (sitting down eagerly) You've got beautiful eyes. Has anyone ever told you that?
    Joe: (uncomfortable) Not today.
    Bernie: They're kinda melty...so warm and green. You're so nice and handsome...
    Joe: (seriously at a loss for words, visibly backing away in his chair): Ah...
  • On an episode of The Simple Life, Paris advises that a girl should never ask a guy out first or be the one to make the first move as that implies that she's easy.

    Music 
  • The alternate version of Delain's "Frozen" switches between the perspectives of a woman and the object of her affections, who is deeply disturbed by it and responds as follows:
    I foster illusions of which I am afraid
    Unknown emotions repel your embrace
    I foster illusions of which I am afraid
    Afraid of your embrace

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Daisy Mae's relentless pursuit of Li'l Abner.
  • Peanuts had Lucy chase after Schroeder, while Sally chased after Linus.

    Theater 
  • In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Demetrius tells off Helena in no uncertain terms when she comes after him.
    Demetrius: I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
    And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
    Helena: The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
    Run when you will, the story shall be changed:
    Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
    The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
    Makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,
    When cowardice pursues and valour flies.
    • However, Helena is not happy with this situation either, and says woman "were not meant to woo."

    Video Games 
  • Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury seems to provoke this in Andy Bogard. His feelings for her emerge only in situations when she's not pressing him to feel attracted to her.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog is turned off by Amy's constant advances. In one game he complains about so many girls being attracted to him. Since it's Sonic, it's unclear as to why he's complaining. Either he doesn't understand romance, avoids it on purpose, or is annoyed by all the flirting.
    • In Sonic Chronicles, you can unlock a romance subplot with her depending on how nice the player acts towards her. Most of the time, she's so obsessed with the idea of him not just going out with him, but with marrying him, that it's off-putting, verging on creepy in some games. This is heightened in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) game where she can turn invisible. The viewers, and Sonic, know damn well how she'd use that power.
    • Part of this could have to do with the (long since unmentioned) plot point of her being chronologically 8 years old, having aged her self up to 14 using magic to make herself more "appealing" to him. It's possible that this was retconned out, but taking that into consideration makes his reaction more justifiable.
    • The same trope is zigzagged with Knuckles and Rouge, shown most clearly in Sonic X. They're clearly attracted, but he acts like he hates her, and she's just flirting to antagonize him. In any case, Knuckles always puts his duty to guard the Master Emerald before anything else, so he's most likely intentionally avoiding anything romantic with anyone, which plays this trope straight.
  • The Touhou hentai doujinshi Whimsical Parasite has Yukari randomly gap into the house of some guy. Said guy doesn't like it that Yukari has the advantage over him, and tries to turn the tables. In fact, nearly any scene of Yukari being dominant gets cut short either by the end of the chapter or the guy claiming that he's too tired.
  • Lampshaded in Final Fantasy IX, when Eiko's hitting on Zidane makes him realize what he's been putting Dagger through. In this case, it's "Nobody Wants To Be Chased."
  • Inverted in the Union society in Culpa Innata, which is built entirely on "scientific principles". It's the women who are expected to chase men, but only for the same purpose as Hollywood assumes men chase women in Real Life: sex and brief relationships. Long-term attachment is frowned upon in the Union and marriage... sorry, "nuptual agreements" are against the law. This is problematic for immigrants from so-called "rogue states" (e.g. Russia, China, India), which have more traditional values. A couple of Russian "primary sexual partners" is present in the game who were married back in Russia. Many women interviewed by the protagonist claim to have been hit on by the Russian man, only to feel disgusted. The Russian woman, in contrast to the Union women, is shown to be fairly passive and appears to be unlikely to engage in "the Chase".
  • Mass Effect 3: While the base game paints Wrex as something of a Krogan Casanova, and he discusses how much he's looking forward to making babies again after the Genophage is cured... the Citadel DLC reveals that, being the krogan leader (And thus, clearly the strongest of the krogan), an awful lot of krogan women want him to be the father of their firstborn, and Wrex is less than happy about this. Of course, Wrex probably might not have minded so much if he was actually able to get a break from the whole thing and give his poor quad a rest. The fact that Eve/ Urdnot Bakara is encouraging it doesn't help the matter.

    Web Comics 
  • Megatokyo Largo and Erika's relationship is complicated. Their first encounter involved him hitting on her and her breaking his arms. This is because she thought that all he was interested in was sex. Then she becomes his gaming/computer-building student. As he proves earlier, while teaching his class, Largo takes people who pursue such knowledge very seriously, and doesn't want to dishonor or disrespect Erika by letting lust or romance "distract" him.
  • Misfile: Male-to-female Gender Bender Ash likes Missi, and feels truly happy while dating her — but becomes extremely uncomfortable upon realising that Missi is playing the traditionally masculine "pursuer" role in the relationship, always trying to convince Ash to get physically intimate, while Ash is the one who keeps resisting in a stereotypically feminine way. Somewhat justified because Ash is trying to hold on to his male identity despite the Gender Bender, and so whenever he finds himself playing a traditionally feminine role in any context, he sees it as a sign of the impending destruction of his "male psyche". Ash feels much safer being attracted to the more traditionally feminine Emily.
  • In Girls Only, the only way to get JC to stop flirting with Myke is for Myke to flirt back, and harder. This causes JC to get flustered blushy and retreat.

    Western Animation 
  • Fifi LaFume on Tiny Toons, during the rare cartoons where she's the main character instead of an extra, will obsessively pursue any reasonably attractive appropriately-aged male. This is fitting, since she's an Expy of Pepe LePew, another skunk from Looney Tunes who carried this tendency.
    • It's interesting to note that he frequently chases any animal he perceives to be a female skunk, and most often he pursues a shy female cat named Penelope Pussycat. While she's turned off by his overly aggressive behavior and odor, she is nevertheless attracted to Pepe and has, on more than one occasion, been shown to harbor an equally powerful desire to chase, capture and smother Pepe in overwhelming amounts of passion and romance (much to Pepe's fright, as he, perhaps because of him being accustomed to being the chaser and not the chasee, has an ironic phobia of women trying to capture him).
  • The Fairly Oddparents
    • Timmy is considerably creeped out by Tootie's constant advances. He also finds Veronica creepy, despite her being almost on par with Trixie in terms of beauty.
    • An episode had Wanda getting hit by a love arrow and falling in love with Juandissimo, who has been her Stalker with a Crush since the series began. Instantly Juandissimo becomes terrified of her. When the arrow wears off, she returns to normal and Juandissimo wants her again.
  • Wayside School: Todd isn't amused at Maurecia's affections, though in one episode he admits he simply doesn't want a girlfriend.
  • In Ed, Edd n Eddy, the Kanker Sisters seem to inspire abject terror in the Eds due to their constant romantic pursuits, though they seem to inspire non-romantic terror in pretty much everyone else.
  • Hey Arnold!. In one episode Helga advises Rhonda to act attracted to her Stalker with a Crush, Curly, assuming this sudden reversal will drive him away. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Looney Tunes Pepe LePew's cartoons end with a reversal where the object of Pepe's affections no longer sees him as an Abhorrent Admirer and begins to chase him. No matter how hard Pepe pursued the poor girl before hand, Pepe is universally horrified by aggressive women and the cartoon ends with him running away from her.
  • In some Harveytoons cartoons, and in at least two Popeye cartoons, the male protagonist would run screaming in horror from the country-bumpkin woman who shrieked "A MAAAA-YUN!" and started to chase him.

     Real Life 
  • Decidedly NOT Truth in Television. Many men prefer to be asked out, as it saves them the trouble and it's a great ego boost. However, this trope is a very common perception, even among modern "love doctors" and advice columnists.
    • Rory Raye encourages women to act with passively receptive "girl energy" (and to occasionally become the Hysterical Woman due to being so in touch with her emotions) rather than proactive "boy energy" because men will be put off by a woman who acts like a man in pursuit of a relationship. This not only includes "big" things like walking up to him and saying hello first, asking him out, or asking that the relationship become exclusive, but even small, day-to-day things like reaching over to hold his hand during a movie on your fourth date. Apparently, women are not supposed to do anything but exist and respond to the man's overtures, never making one of her own at any point for any reason.
    • The modern version of this advice is usually justified by saying all men are perverts (which in itself brings loads of Unfortunate Implications, even ignoring the fact that it is not the case) and they prefer to be asked out too much and won't say no often enough. So supposedly a man saying yes doesn't really tell a girl if he really likes her or just didn't have anything better to do at the time.
  • Once on the old Arsenio Hall Show a leather clad blonde actress was all over Arsenio, sitting on his lap, grabbing his knee and wrapping her leg around his head. Arsenio had to fight her off and in doing so ripped her jacket. Then she removed her jacket and approached him slowly. Arsenio Hall ran off the stage and she chased him, thus ending their interview early and giving Daisy Fuentes an unscheduled appearance to fill the time slot. Arsenio complimented the blonde woman (whom he joked was on crack) on her breasts and legs, so who knows, he might have gone for it, but according to him he had a girlfriend at the time (possibly Paula Abdul who he dated around then) and this was televised after all.

National Stereotyping TropesStereotypeOnce Acceptable Targets
No Guy Wants an AmazonGender Dynamics IndexQuickly Demoted Woman
No BisexualsDouble StandardParenting the Husband
No Guy Wants an AmazonLove TropesNo Hugging, No Kissing
Neutral FemaleWomen Are DelicateThe Ophelia
Pervert DadMen Are ToughSexy Man, Instant Harem
Mystery MagnetImageSource/OtherNoodle Implements

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