"The old yawning trick. Watch his arm."
This is when a guy puts his arm around a woman's shoulders while pretending to yawn, in an attempt to look smooth and nonchalant. This trope only applies when this is a romantic gesture, rather than a comforting thing. If they're boyfriend and girlfriend, this is widespread—in TV and in Real Life
. If not, hilarity is likely to ensue
- In the Immortal Iron Fist comic book, the Boisterous Bruiser character Fat Cobra attempts to do this to the martial artist Tiger's Beautiful Daughter as they're sitting next to each other at dinner. For his troubles, she stabs him in the hand with one of her hairpins.
- Pulled off successfully in American Born Chinese. Hilarity still ensues, though, as the boy realizes that by draping his arm over his love interest, he had rubbed some of the (very visible) soap bubbles on his hand onto her shoulder, and spends a good deal of time agonizing over whether she noticed or not.
- Mac Gargan/Venom tries to pull this on Daken in Dark Avengers, but chickens out at the absolute last second. Daken responds by reaching between Mac's legs... and taking a handful of popcorn from the bag Mac is holding in his lap.
- Lampshaded in the Hellboy movie.
(As they watch Hellboy's crush, Liz, and John
sitting on a bench)
Kid On Rooftop: Look at him! He's yawning! He's bored!
Hellboy: Yeah, yeah, the ol' "stretch-and-yawn" trick. Watch and learn, kid.
- Grease, in the drive-thru scene (it fails).
- King Kong Lives... done by Kong to Lady Kong.
- Doug from A Night At The Roxbury does this. The girl moves his hand from her shoulder, to her breast.
- In the Steve Martin film, Lonely Guy, Larry tells the story of how he tried this on a girl and apparently everything went better than expected. Up to the point where he spent the majority of the movie with his hand on her breast. Until the lights came up and he realised his hand was actually on her purse...
- Lois McMaster Bujold calls it the "I'm-just-resting-my-arm-on-the-back-of-this-chair technique". It's her young-lothario character, Ivan, that does it, in Cetaganda.
- In The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs, Caefawn the hob sits next to Aren and rests his tail on her other side. She moves it, only for him to slowly work it over back to her other side again.
- Subverted in Kushiels Legacy. Phedre reaches for a knife on a nightstand, to assassinate Waldemar Selig. Her movement wakes him, and so she plays it off as this trope, instead.
- The Ur Example of this was Marcia's boyfriend doing this to her on The Brady Bunch.
- In the Ugly Betty episode "Something Wicked This Way Comes", Gio has to pretend to be Betty's boyfriend. When he puts his arm around her, his acting becomes a little too convincing for Henry.
- iCarly: Freddie uses one of these to try and bust a move on Carly in iDon't Want to Fight. Freddie fails, not just because he's Just Friends, but because he's interrupted by a toilet flushing (Spencer saying goodbye to a goldfish he killed). He also arguably started off too far away for a really effective move.
- Richie attempted this on Happy Days, but he needed to use a certain arm, and so he actually asked the girl to switch places before attempting it.
- Howard Moon does this in The Mighty Boosh to Precious Lilywhite, who is a woman made out of a coconut and some sticks. Yes, really◊, and it's quite charming, too.
- One variation that served the same basic purpose: stopping-short. While a man's driving a car with a woman in the passenger seat, he brakes suddenly and puts his arm out in front of her, supposedly to make sure she doesn't slam into the dashboard, but actually so her breasts will slam into his arm instead.
- Also happened to George. It failed
- From That '70s Show, Donna does it to Eric.
- Used and lampshaded in Herman's Head when Herman is dating a TV star who had the trope used on her character.
- Zack tried a version of this while on a movie date in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, his excuse being that it was "chilly".
- A very early Doonesbury has Michael pulling this on JJ, successfully. He also tries to put his hand on her leg but manages to get a handful of ice from her soda instead.
- Garfield with Jon. It fails.
- Knute teaches Gunther about the proper Yawn And Reach technique in a Luann arc.
- In The Sims 1, when you sit on the couch with someone and select "cuddle", this is what happens.
- This returned as a new interaction called "make move" in The Sims 3: Late Night expansion and The Sims 4.
- In Lucky Rabbit Reflex, if you're at a high affection level with Marius and Shuppin and go on a date to the cinema with both of them, they attempt to do this with you. Simultaneously. Hilarity Ensues.
- This happens more than it ought to in Real Life, usually in what in fiction would be close to a Lampshade Hanging between friends- accompanied by an overacted 'yaaaaaaaawn...'
- Dave Barry once described doing this on a date as a youth. The joke comes as he says that his arm went numb because he had to keep it a molecule away from her actual body.