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Sex O Phone
"O listen to him and his saxophone
Our musical genital unicorn
He's very well hung with his golden horn"
Leonard Cohen, "Song of Destruction"

A short riff on the saxophone used to indicate the arrival or presence of a sexy woman. It can be as subtle as how loudly the music is played.

The muted trumpet can be used to similar effect.

The history of this trope comes from the fact that the roots of jazz and R&B were musicians playing in brothels and burlesque houses. The musicians were supposed to play music to, ahem, enhance the experience. Many jazz musicians' nicknames were often euphemisms, like Jelly Roll Morton, which reflected their roots as brothel musicians.

A Sister Trope to Bow Chicka Wow Wow.

Compare other Mood Motifs.

Not to be confused with the device in Brave New World, nor a character having sex with a saxophone, nor a sex hotline.


    open/close all folders 

  • A recent ad for Zoosk features a woman fantasizing about a sexy scene with a guy, accompanied by a sultry saxophone riff. And the riff promptly cuts off as soon as they smack their skulls into each other during an attempted kiss, and again when he bumps her head into a bedpost.

    Anime and Manga 


  • In the novel Brave New World, the hedonistic dystopia actually renamed the musical instrument the sexophone. (That is, if it really is the same instrument and not something... different.)
  • Played with in Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul:
    "There emerged from the car a pair of the sort of legs which soundtrack editors are unable to see without needing to slap a smoky saxophone solo all over, for reasons which no one besides soundtrack editors has ever been able to understand. In this particular case, however, the saxophone would have been silenced by the proximity of the kazoo which the same soundtrack editor would almost certainly have slapped all over the progress of the vehicle."

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the miniseries adaptation of James Clavell's Noble House, one of these was used at the beginning of nearly ever scene where Venus Poon showed up.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 has made a few jokes about this.
    • In The Brain That Wouldn't Die, this type of music plays (as the Villain Protagonist trolls for potential victims) and Tom Servo quips, "It's a sleazy morning out there. You're listening to KPORN, Holmes and Reems in the Morning, playing sleazy, slutty music all morning long. Here's one by Skinny and the Sweat Beads..."
      • Mike brings the riff back later when the music makes its reappearance. "Stay tuned for the obscene phone call of the day, on KPORN."
    • In The Horrors of Spider Island, there's a muted trumpet playing as a bikini-clad model showers. Crow quips, "Those musicians who play muted trumpet solos must love these movies."
      • And "I wasn't even acting sexy until the slutty sax music started!"
    • Tom Servo was prone to doing the mute-trumpet riff on occasion, to add sexual subtext to scene where it really didn't belong. His voice actor, Kevin Murphy, continues the tradition in various RiffTrax.
  • Used a lot in Scrubs, along with copious amounts of Gaussian Girl and Hot Wind whenever an attractive female character is first introduced.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation in "The Royale". Lampshaded by Sci Fi Debris in his review of the episode:
  • Also happens in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy", where the Doctor programs himself to randomly daydream. Given that the Doctor's programming would make him Genre Savvy as hell about this kind of information, it's perfectly logical that an extremely exaggerated version of this trope plays when he slips into a daydream about Seven of Nine, B'Elanna, and Janeway all shamelessly flirting with him. It's hilarious.
  • The theme tune to Square One TV (not the remixed version, which replaced it with a synthesizer).
  • When discussing Rep. Weiner's tweets on The Daily Show, a shirtless cameraman shows up in the background playing the sax riff from George Michael‎'s song "Careless Whisper".
  • Used once in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Buffy, under the influence of a love spell, enters the library wearing a raincoat, heels, a smile, and nothing else. Interestingly, the sax riff telegraphs her intent (to seduce Xander) every bit as much as her arrival.
  • Boy Meets World uses this once when Topanga enters the room in a sexy nightgown to show that she is finally ready to have sex with Cory, in one of her very few fanservice-y moments in the show.
  • The Munsters used this at least once, when Grampa's latest invention turned Herman into a woman.
  • In Flower Boy Ramyun Shop a sexy saxophone tune plays when Eun Bi pulls Chi Soo in for a kiss, as she was playing his own game (of seducing people because he can and then dropping them) against him.
  • On The Joe Schmo Show, a musical theme that began with this was used regularly when showing scenes of something that was sexy, or wasn't actually, but they wanted to play it as it was for comedy.
  • Used in the song "History is Made at Night" from the Show Within a Show from Smash, Bombshell.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is one of Aksana's theme songs.

  • In contrast to the high-energy "walk-up music" used by most baseball players, starting in May 2014, Oakland Athletics outfielder Josh Reddick opted for "Careless Whisper" by George Michael. The fans seem to approve.

  • Miss Saigon features a wailing saxophone song just prior to the leads having sex. They actually refer to it during the song, singing "a song, played on a solo saxaphone..."
  • All over the place in City of Angels.
  • Funny Girl: It's part of a nightclub act rather than something more risque, but the fairly stripperiffic song "Cornet Man" is unsurprisingly about a man who plays a cornet (basically a mellower-sounding version of the trumpet). Also, some of the lyrics can be taken as double-entendres suggesting the Cornet Man has reasons other than simply a "gig" to "leave his wife and kiddies" and go on the road, though it's not clear whether these were intentional or the song has fallen victim to Have a Gay Old Time syndrome.

    Video Games 
  • Spoofed in Mother 3, as it is the leitmotif of the not-quite-so-sexy Magypsies. The saxophone there had a weird, reverberated, distorted kind of sound to it.
    • Later on in the game, it even serves as a Musical Spoiler as to the true identity of Fassad as Locria, the seventh Magypsy.
  • Persona 4 has the track Muscle Blues, which is essentially the theme song for a character's fairly gay Shadow.
    • Hiimdaisy's comic, along with the fandub, manages to make the above so much funnier. "I'm Kanji Tatsumi, and I enjoy naked men! Oh yeah~"
    • Ayase/Alana in Persona. "Ow, my chest hurts!"
    • Lisa/Ginko in Persona 2 also has the Tempt/Seduce like Ayase above, with the sexophone to match. She can also drag Maya and an unwilling/embarrassed Yukino to do a triple seduce... with the sexophone to match.
  • A long saxophone solo is played when Fortune first appears in Metal Gear Solid 2. Granted, she's not particularly fanservice-happy, but she's one of only three female characters in the game.
  • Makes up EVA's theme tune in Metal Gear Solid 3, almost as a parody.
  • Bully plays a sexophone riff whenever the hero finishes a mission that ends with getting a kiss from one of the girls.
  • Krystal, at least in Star Fox Adventures, when Fox sees her.
  • In Spore, a cheesy sax riff plays when the player mates in Creature Stage. If this sounds steamy to you, you'll be disappointed to find that the mating dance consists of the two creatures waving their butts at each other.
  • In the arcade game Silent Scope, a short riff plays when you find a woman in the background and point your sniper rifle at her. It helps that the character you're playing as gasps "Wow!" at the same time. (You get a bonus life point for this.)
  • Here's this gem from the ESRB's description of Trauma Team: Female patients are asked to explain their symptoms, then lift up their shirts for closer inspection. The scene contains no nudity, but a saxophone can be heard playing in the background as a male doctor makes the following remarks: "Can she really be that thin?," "dayum!," and—after doctor's heart rate increases—"It's only natural . . . I'm a straight male."
  • Martine's theme in The 7th Guest, reprised when Carl encounters her ghost in The 11th Hour.
  • Candy's theme in Donkey Kong 64 uses the muted trumpet variation.
  • Chulip - A sax riff plays whenever a successful kiss is made.
  • In Deadly Premonition a very sultry (but hectic) jazz piece with heavy sax plays as the leitmotif for the Laura Palmer character.
  • The Consort in Mass Effect 1 is introduced with a saxophone solo, while the camera follows her lower backside up a staircase.
  • Plays when using Attract in Pokémon X and Y.
  • In Saints Row IV, the romance cut scenes end with this playing.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • A foreign dignitary once presented a saxophone to then-President Bill Clinton as a gift, with the preface that it was "an instrument of sex."
  • Prince, the musician: "If I want sax, I call Candy." (Candy Dulfer, Dutch saxophone player who collaborated with Prince. Given that it's Prince, a Double Entendre was intended.)
    • Candy Dulfer herself brought out an album (with title song of the same name) called Saxuality, playing on the same pun.

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