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.
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 guy 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
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- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Daisy Mae's relentless pursuit of Li'l Abner.
- Peanuts has two examples. Lucy was attracted to piano player Schroeder. He was more annoyed by her constant desire for attention and how it disrupted his piano playing.
- Another example would be Sally and Linus, though Linus just seems to get annoyed whenever Sally calls him her 'sweet babboo.'
- 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."
- 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. She's still mentally a kid; not only would this be uncomfortable to Sonic, it explains why she goes flat-out to marriage instead of dating.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the 21st century, 'conventional wisdom' says that you should not only ignore a woman, but belittle every word that comes out her mouth. Worse or better?
- 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 woman 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.
- The supposed self-help book He's Just Not That Into You drives this point home. While it makes the valid point that no woman should waste her time with a guy who isn't interested, it also makes it seem that a guy isn't interested if a woman has to pursue him at all. Ergo, she shouldn't ask him out, she shouldn't call him, etc.