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The Tease

"Favours to none, to all she smiles extends"
Alexander Pope, "The Rape of the Lock"

A person who loves to tease others sexually, often the main character. Maybe she'll try Erotic Eating. Maybe she'll sidle sensually or walk with an extra bounce in her step around him. Maybe she'll go all the way and outright offer sex. But mostly, they are not being serious. Almost always, the teased person will act in various comical fashions, maybe because she's immature, or maybe because she just wants some fun.

Since Most Writers Are Male, this trope is unavoidable for Fanservice. When a show does it to the male audience, it's Sex Sells.

Girls have been accused of this since forever. Sometimes it's true, more often it's wishful thinking, but it does occur in fiction a lot. Occasionally it's given a more dramatic justification when it's revealed that this insincere sexual aggression is really a way of feeling powerful and in control, covering up deep seated emotional insecurities, thus explaining why they can never act on them. See Tsundere and Yandere for other common ways fictional character cover their emotional insecurities.

Almost Always Female, but occasionally gay men are also depicted as The Tease. Almost never applies to straight men, at least in fiction, unless they're a comedic Casanova Wannabe. Often associated with the Hard-Drinking Party Girl. A standard tactic of The Vamp and the Femme Fatale.

If the target is Not Distracted by the Sexy they might be immune to teasing, expect The Tease to become frustrated and either give up, or up the teasing to dangerous levels. (Possibly with an Aesop when the target suddenly decides to accept their offer at a point when backing off isn't an option anymore).

A trope loaded with Unfortunate Implications and prone to enrage at least some women, because it has sometimes been used as an argument that "she really wanted it" and thereby "justifying" rape. Sometimes these unfortunate implications are even Lampshaded with a Gender Bender or a Disguised in Drag scenario. The reverse with a Sweet Polly Oliver incident is rarer, but also tends to be Darker and Edgier.

Not to be confused with either the Innocent Fanservice Girl, or a character who usually doesn't tease people, but ends up in a certain situation requiring them to Show Some Leg.

Sometimes a character might only tease their Love Interest. This might be considered flirting instead of teasing, since the assumption is that that Will They or Won't They? eventually will become They Did. (Denial of the implied sex is what makes a tease a tease, if a tease later puts out her past teasing retroactively becomes flirting).

Compare with The Gadfly, a nonsexual version of this trope to provoke a reaction for amusement.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime / Manga 
  • In Bleach, Yoruichi likes to show herself naked in front of Ichigo, because of his hilarious reactions. To a lesser extent, Rangiku as well.
  • Aiko from Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu is this to the extreme, any appearance she makes is to tease boys, especially Tsuchiya. And when she says she's not wearing any panties or a bra, she is very likely telling truth.
  • Tsuruya in the Suzumiya Haruhi novels really likes suggesting to do some intimate stuff with Kyon (And Mikuru). Kyon doesn't fall for it.
    • In fact, Haruhi herself sometimes does it:
      "Swimsuits! Swimsuits! Everyone get dressed in your swimsuits and meet in the hall! Hee hee, I've helped choose these two cuties' swimsuits! You must be looking forward to them, right Kyon?" Haruhi revealed an expression of "I know what you've been thinking already" and smiled evilly, revealing her white teeth.
  • Ranma of Ranma ˝ is a Gender Bender thanks to a fall in a Jusenkyo spring. While he desires nothing less then to be cured, he is still more then willing to use his female form's attractiveness to his advantage. In fact, he even seems to enjoy being able to make idiots of other guys simply by getting wet and then playing on their hormones- though he goes more for "cute" than outright sexy, at least by default, and he is not only straight, but prone to reacting violently to those who do try to act on those urges he stirs. Mostly, he uses this to charm guys into giving "her" free food or extra helpings, something a Big Eater always welcomes, but he also enjoys using it to mess with the ever-so-shy (and clueless) Ryoga Hibiki. As two of his enemies, namely Tatewaki Kuno and Happosai, are massive perverts, he also finds himself falling into this routine easily to gain an extra advantage against them. In fact, against Happosai, this is often the only way Ranma can set things up so he can beat the disgusting old lech.
    • Heck, even in his male form he isn't above attempting to use his sex appeal to manipulate (apparent) females. Didn't work so well on the crossdresser Tsubasa, and arguably worked too well on his mirror clone.
  • Urd from Ah! My Goddess does this a lot, especially with Keiichi.
  • Kitsune from Love Hina does this, mainly to blackmail money or to cause trouble for Keitaro.
  • Akemi from Maison Ikkoku definitely counts, unfortunately she's not very good at making clear she's just joking.
  • Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo! Of course she means her offers towards Tenchi, but she teases others.
  • Naruto's Sexy Jutsu, which appears to turn him into a naked woman. This results in The Nose Bleed for any male who sees it.
    • Well, except for Killer Bee, who No Sells the Harem Jutsu, Sexy Jutsu's upgraded version.
  • Dokuro from Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan acts this way to the main character Sakura, when she's not brutally murdering him with her giant club.
  • Ami from Toradora!! occasionally tries it with Ryuuji. It mostly seems to be a way for her to grab attention while keeping on top of the situation.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has Evangeline order her Robot Girl squad to strip Negi naked and throw him into the bath with her while she changes to her busty adult form, only for her to start phrasing things in the dirtiest way possible before licking the cut on his arm.
    • Kinda makes you wonder what Evangeline would do if she saw the magically aged up Negi in the Magical World arc, doesn't it?
    • To a lesser extent, a number of girls in the class make liberal use of Marshmallow Hell (especially Ayaka). Of course, Negi is ten, so none of the girls actually get anywhere.
    • Konoka may or may not be one of these towards Setsuna. No one can seem to agree on whether Konoka is intentionally flirting or if she's oblivious of Setsuna's feelings toward her.
      • Chapter 252 makes it quite obvious that she is. She kisses Setsuna, explains that she's aware of all of Setsuna's angst regarding her own weakness, and tells Setsuna that she's strong enough and wants to be with her. She then proceeds to give Setsuna the longest, deepest, and most enthusiastic Pactio kiss yet shown in the entire series. Complete with lots of tongue. It takes two pages to properly illustrate.
      • After that, even resident pervert Chamo asked if they wanted to just skip straight to a full pactio, commenting on their kiss being the longest yet.
      • The question is whether she really didn't understand or if it was merely Obfuscating Stupidity. There are hints that she already knew about magic (and her own ability to perform it) before she was officially let in on the secret, so this wouldn't be out of character.
  • Kazuma of Kaze no Stigma for a rare straight male example. It's very clear how she feels but by the end of the show he's still just teasing, even though he's inadvertently revealed that she's the closest living person to him now.
  • While there are many beautiful women in Highschool Dx D, Akeno Himejima is the Queen of Tease. It doesn't help that she is actively pursuing the Mistress role and is considered equal to Rias in terms of beauty.
  • Holo from Spice and Wolf loves to tease her partner Lawrence- not with her body (they both have a pretty casual approach to nudity) but just by flirting with him about their relationship. Lawrence is quite capable of holding his own, though. The dialogue is so well written it's reminiscent of the movies of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
    • Lawrence seems to be well able to give back all that he gets in this department. Despite her years (centuries) more experience, he seems to do better in the long run with this trope.
    • Lawrence ups his game in the second arch or season two. At that point, he was almost matching her blow for blow and and actually "won" once.
  • Sei of Maria-sama Ga Miteru has this trope written all over her. Most of her obviously sexual teasing is directed at Yumi, though.
    • Sachiko is also not above acting seductively toward Yumi, especially in the first and fourth anime seasons.
  • Hagino from Blue Drop starts doing this toward Mari as she gradually breaks through her composed stance.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. Asuka does this all the time to Shinji (when she's not angrily berating him for allegedly perving on her). One example is when Asuka demonstrates thermal expansion by cupping her hands over her breasts and asking him to calculate how much bigger they've become as a result. Shinji stammers that he doesn't know anything about all that.
    • At one point, she pulls a curtain between them and calls it the "Wall of Jericho," ostensibly warning him not to come near her. It's not clear if she's intentionally dropping a hint, but Bible-savvy viewers will remember that the Wall of Jericho is best known for falling down.
      • During her utterly awful Mind Rape at the...wings? of Arael, it is made clear that she knew very very well what happened to the Wall of Jericho, and was hoping Shinji did too. This being Evangelion, he didn't.
  • Bakemonogatari has nine minutes straight of Hitagi starting naked, getting dressed and undressed again in front of Koyomi. Then the next episode starts with her talking about how beautiful she is and constantly skipping for absolutely no reason at all. They did not long after.
  • Satella in Chrono Crusade.
  • Chizuru in Seitokai no Ichizon. Except it seems like if Ken actually tried anything he would probably burst into flames, melt or get eaten by some invisible monster. Something bad, in any case. She's a little too scary, in any case.
  • In Sasameki Koto, Ushio's teasing of Sumika is a clear sign of her growing self-acceptance.
  • Bellemere in One Piece. At least, she was.
    • How about her daughter, Nami? Beyond her manipulations of Sanji, she also hits on a variety of shopkeepers to get discounts.
      • Don't forget Happiness Punch!
  • Momo of To Love-Ru regularly sneaks into Rito's bed, asks him where his Ero-mags are, and in one notable insistance pops up between his legs and offers to help him with his love problems. She even freely admits that she wants to be his mistress.
    • Risa is just as bad, but unlike Momo who only messes with Rito, Risa likes to tease everybody, male or female; she enjoys Skinship Grope a little too much, once pushed Rito onto her bed and began srtipping him, regularly feels up Yami-chan's legs and just generally acts as sultry as possible.
  • Chihaya of Asu no Yoichi! tease Yoichi this way. It doesn't seem she's ever been serious about taking it too far, just seeing how far she can push him before she gets stopped (by her elder sister when she goes full-out). She writes manga, so it's very clear what she's looking for.
  • Sheryl Nome of Macross Frontier shows no remorse about invoking this, even on occasion invoking it on another girl (such as teasing Nanase about her voluptuous figure). Her teasing ranges from subtle and innocent to sexy and blatant, and she's especially fond of invoking it on love interest Alto Saotome.
  • Star Driver's Kanako Watanabe exists to make Takuto thoroughly uncomfortable with her increasingly suggestive comments.
  • Meme from Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko.
  • Kureha from Tokko tends to be a tease. Saya also acts as a bit of a tease towards her own brother Ranmaru.
  • Ikuto from Shugo Chara! is a shameless tease and a rare male example. He has the ability to make even the most mundane things he says or does drip with seduction and sexual undertones, and he loves to ruffle the heroine's feathers, sometimes pretending like he's flirting with her or about to kiss her, only to pull a "Just kidding!" right when she's good and flustered. No wonder their relationship is the way it is.
  • Kanade from Mayo Chiki! is a big one towards Jiro. Particularly hilarious during the beach scene in episode 7 when she makes some really erotic noises and suggestive lines as he tries to nonchalantly put sunscreen on her, embarrassing him a lot in the process.
  • Jura from Vandread likes to use this trope on Hibiki, especially whenever their mecha are merged together.
  • Usui in Maid-Sama!, as a rare example of a straight male tease.
  • Lucy of Fairy Tail, although it's usually overshadowed by other character traits, or just not plot-relevant. However, she does vocally admit to putting effort into being cute for this purpose, although her outfits also tend to be overshadowed by the more Stripperific outfits worn by... well, everyone. Other 'clues' are also semi-frequently given, such as Erza's reaction to some of her underwear in a drawer.
    Lucy: Aww, come on. How much is it really worth? Surely you can cut me a deal. (later) That trick usually works! So much for using my feminine wiles...
  • Panty of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt plays this at least once in almost every episode. Way too much to count. Knowing her...
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss is another rare male example. He is Bishounen Little Bit Beastly Kitsune who is not wholly unaware of his attractiveness and can be quite pragmatic about employing both his looks and his charms when it suits him. To prove a point, he acts like this towards Nanami once. Oh to add more fun to the mix he is a Shapeshifting Seducer too.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, WORST, the Evil Twin of the MISAKA network, tries to seduce Accelerator with some Erotic Eating. It completely fails, since he views the clones as somewhere between his sisters and his daughters, but definitely not love interests.
  • Riko Mine Lupin IV in Hidan no Aria. She knows that Kinji's Hysteria Mode is triggered by sexual arousal and shamelessly takes advantage of this (and of the information she has about his brother) to be very... close to him — under the pretext of helping him activate HSS at will, but Kinji doesn't really buy it. Later though she understands that Kinji is more aroused by Aria than by her, and does such things as imitating Aria's voice in a sensual tone or licking her neck in front of him. Yes, her Tease status actually has a practical use.
  • Aikuro Mikisugi of Kill la Kill, Ryuko's homeroom teacher and secret Sexy Mentor, loves nothing more than annoying her with suggestive comments, stripping, and a complete disregard for personal space

     Literature 

     Live Action TV 
  • Daniel assumes Vala is this. He's wrong, as she has real feelings for him, but she certainly teases other male cast members with no intention of putting out.
  • Kid-friendly example in iCarly. Carly mentions that she's making pińa colada lip gloss. When Freddie asks if it actually tastes like it, she asks him if he wants to find out. Of course, he eagerly agrees. She leans in... only for her to rub some of it on her hand and smoosh it against his lips.
  • There is also a similar but slightly different scene in Two and a Half Men, where naive Jake asked the same question to a girl and when she asked if he wanted to find out he said "sure". She leaned in for a kiss, but Jake scraped his finger over her lips then put it in his mouth. For what it's worth the Two and a Half Men example aired about a year before the iCarly example, although it may have been written before or around the same time as the two and a half men episode due to the very long lead time on iCarly.
  • Ziva in NCIS frequently sends Tony's blood pressure ridiculously high on purpose.
  • Blair admits she's this on The Facts of Life.
  • Played for laughs on Criminal Minds, in which the not-involved Morgan and Garcia mutually tease each other. Their sexy phone banter is seen usually once an episode, and while their team no longer even notices their outrageous flirtations, it tends to send others for a loop. How neither of them have been called in for a sexual harrassment seminar the world may never know.
    • Probably because they do it to that level only with each other. Morgan flirts with all women to some degree, but only so outrageously with Garcia. In one flashback, it's shown it started when he casually called her a petname when they first met, she called him out on it, he immediately apologized and she admitted she liked it. It's not sexual harassment unless one of the members asks the other to stop and that person does not stop.
  • Cat in Victorious is completely good-natured, but shown to be quite flirtatious.
  • Kate Beckett in Castle loves to drive Chivalrous Pervert Rick Castle up the wall with her comments and her flirting. It's even lampshaded in one episode:
    Castle: You should really moonlight [as a dominatrix]. Trust me — you would make a fortune. Come on, isn't there anything you would like to do with your handcuffs besides arresting criminals?
    Beckett: No...[seductively] but there is one hot, wild, kinky thing that I do like doing...
    [Castle's elbow slips off the table as he stares at her earnestly]
    Beckett: [Flatly] Putting killers behind bars.
    Castle: [Disappointed] See, you're already a tease—you're halfway there.
    • Deconstructed in the fourth season when, owing to a chain of misunderstandings and secrets, Castle eventually comes to believe that it really is all just a joke to her — and, since he's fallen deeply in love with her by this point, does not take it well. Which causes a bigger mess when he starts lashing out, much to Beckett's hurt and confusion since she actually is in love with him as well.
  • In a famous scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, renegade Slayer Faith does a Grand Theft Me on Buffy and encounters vampire Spike while dancing at the Bronze. She proceeds to explain in lurid detail exactly what a hot chick with Super Strength could do to him if she wished, but then smirks and says, "But it would be wrong." Spike is needless to say furious, but thanks to his inhibitor chip can't do anything about her taunting. At least, not that season.

     Music 
  • "I Know What Boys Like", by The Waitresses.
  • "Day Tripper" by The Beatles.

    Video Games 
  • Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Excellen Browning. What? Teasing your fellow pilots to see you in Bunny Suits doesn't count?
    • Or walking around in nothing but a towel. Or mercilessly hitting on the guys she knows are either shy or easily flustered around women.
  • Sylvia Christel from No More Heroes, almost sadistically so.
    • To be fair, the person she's teasing is Travis. Watching him suffer is hilarious.
  • Karura in Utawarerumono does this a lot. Although she's generally joking or simply, well, teasing, it's pretty clear she would like to be taken up on her offers.
  • Judith from Tales of Vesperia loves making Raven faint.
    Judith: I wonder if I should show a little more, you know...?
    Raven: Oh, yes! OH GOD, YES!
  • Keiji from Sengoku Basara is a male version, though he doesn't use his own charms. Rather, all he needs to do to make his favourite victim and resident Chaste Hero Yukimura blush is mention that he should find someone to love.
  • Sayoko Uehara, the character for Persona 4's Devil Social Link, makes her introduction by hitting on the protagonist, and does it some more for the next 3 or so levels of the S-Link. Then she stops being playful as we see another side of her...
    • Rise Kujikawa is a more lighter version of this trope. After getting rescued by the Protagonist, she develops a crush on him. Unlike the other possible love interests in the game, Rise is really forward about her feelings, and constantly flirts with the Protag throughout the game.
  • Anders accuses Hawke of this in Dragon Age II, but the responses that continue the romance are confirmations that Hawke is interested in going beyond flirting.
    • Isabela however is this trope. She teases just about everyone during party banter, especially Carver and Aveline.
    • Morrigan is a milder version in the first game; she limits her teasing to the Warden, Sten, and Alistair but certainly does tease those three quite a bit.
    • Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening comically reveals Oghren to be this; Sigrun finally responds to his drunken come-ons and he doesn't take her up on it, and she crows that he's all talk.
  • Rouge the Bat from Sonic the Hedgehog anyone? She sarcastically flirts with Knuckles, Shadow, Sonic, Tails, Eggman... (Though the first two could also be not so sarcastic.)
  • Kyrie from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny, who hits on both Fate and Chrono during during her matches against them.
  • Falls-From-Grace of Planescape: Torment. She's a succubus and she's not above joking about it, either.
    • For instance, attempting to unequip her bodice:
    "We don't know each other well enough yet."
    "I'm afraid if you were to remove that... I would be naked."
    • And equipping a ring:
    "Oh! Does this mean we are engaged?"
    "A ring? Without a proposal? How improper!"
  • From Quest for Glory III, the Welcome Woman, Janna Jamir. The player can flirt with her, and some of her dialog doesn't so much fly in under the radar as it does a full-scale suppression run. Nothing ever comes of it (though it's a good and quick way to build your Communication score), and it should also be pointed out that she's married. Not that it stops her from often being the instigator of the exchanges. Additionally, she'll strike a sexy pose (well, by the standards of 256-color VGA graphics c.1992) when she goes to get your meal if you choose to flirt.
    Janna: It is not just the room you warm with your sunshine, oh prince of passion. Your words inflame my cheeks, and other places.

    Visual Novels 
  • Tohsaka admits that she finds Shirou's reactions to her teasing/tormenting hilarious. He gets extremely embarrassed and shy just being alone with or near her or even just seeing her in non school clothing. On the other hand, she herself gets rather flustered by how straightforwardly honest he is. Although she is something of a love interest (confirmed to be in love with him in 3/4 routes he survives in and likely the fourth) she's not flirting, just enjoying his awkwardness.
    • This gets turned on its head in the Unlimited Blade Works route, where she and Shirou actually do hook up. Shirou eventually starts getting her back by taking her jokes at face value, which in turn causes her to get all embarrassed and flustered. And then there's this scene from late in the route...
  • Hiroki in Canvas 2 enjoys flirting with his students. Contrary to what you might expect, he never gets in trouble for it.
  • Sakazaki Yuuya of Hatoful Boyfriend shows signs of this. He's a massive tease but his flirtations seem to be more for fun than serious - he's actually too busy to "take you somewhere nice" or just about anything else.
  • Shion Sonozaki in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni likes to hit on Keiichi to make her twin sister Mion (who has a crush on him) jealous, by doing such things as squeezing his arm between her breasts. She doesn't have any real feelings for him though... at first. Compare with Mion, her gad fly sister.
  • Kurugaya from Little Busters loves to tease Riki by doing things like casually asking him to take a bath with her or sending him a photo of a striped piece of paper and telling him it's of her panties because she finds it adorable how flustered he invariably gets. It takes him a while to realise that, while she's very adept at dishing it out, she isn't at all used to getting it back, and when he starts teasing her a little after they start going out she gets every bit as flustered as he does.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 
  • Sarah does this to Danielbeast a bit in lonelygirl15 series 1. Then she tells him to back off when she decides he's taking it too seriously.
  • Gay male example: Jeremy acts like this toward Simon in Shadow Of The Templar even after they get into a sexual relationship, mainly because it flusters/irritates Simon and possibly also because it's the easiest way for him to express his deeper feelings for him.
  • Ashe Gogus in Ilivais X certainly is this. Her comments are never overtly sexual, but she's extremely flaunty and every other sentence she spouts has something to do with boobs.
  • Doug Walker tends to act like this for fun and fanservice, even including jokingly flirting with his brother.
  • The Cinema Snob's wife has shown shades of this during Softly Through Cable.
  • Dr. Tease from The Nostalgia Chick's show. Her full name is basically a pun for "cocktease".
  • In Dragonball Abridged, Bulma is accused of being a cocktease by Krillin.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Mai Valentine does this, especially just to see Joey squirm.

     Western Animation 


Sexy Coat FlashingFlirting And Courtship    
Taking Advantage of GenerosityCharacter Flaw IndexTeens Are Monsters
Territorial SmurfetteAlways FemaleTiny Tyrannical Girl
Betty BoopImageSource/Western AnimationBeverly Hills Teens
Shameless Fanservice GirlAttraction To OutliersTroubled, but Cute
The TalkSex TropesTechnical Virgin
Strangely ArousingAdministrivia/No Real Life Examples, Please!Technical Virgin

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