Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / CodeWordCoitus

Go To



A character says something to instantly attract romantic or sexual interest from another character. It frequently converts a mildly interested character into one overcome with burning desire. This is generally made possible by the two dimensional nature of miscellaneous female cast members in the average TV sitcom or drama. It's generally used to further assert the established superior wooing ability of one (generally male) character over another.

It assumes, of course, that all women in the show are completely uninterested in pairing off unless [[TriggerPhrase some sort of activation code is delivered]] in the process of courting. This more often than not takes the form of a statement displaying fake sensitivity. The practitioner need only mention his concern for the cute little puppies of the world, or the plight of little old ladies, to reap the benefits. Also of note is the polar shift the activation code elicits. A female character, regardless of her initial interest level, will be instantly converted to a hedonistic Succubus once the code has been uttered. If the show is meant for a younger age group or simply has a lower focus on sex, she will simply exhibit intense romantic interest.

For example:

Nifty [=McSuave=] will be sitting in a restaurant with his companion Dorky [=McInept=]. Dorky will remark that the waitress is quite cute and then proceed to attempt to woo her in a fairly standard manner: "Hi my name is Dorky, are you new here?" etc. He will, of course, be so thoroughly ignored that viewers will be left wondering whether the two protagonists have accidentally stumbled into a nunnery. However, as the scene plays out and the waitress casts her attention to Nifty, he will sigh forlornly and utter some variation of, "I can't eat, I'm far too concerned about my sick/puppy/grandma/child/all the starving orphans," and it will be all that he can do to keep her from tearing off his clothes and having him right on the table.

It should be noted, however, that Code Word Coitus will generally work only for a character who has already been established in the mythology of the series as a "ladies' man". In the rare event that the code works for another character, it will do so only if he has been expressly instructed to deliver it by the "ladies' man", further establishing the latter's skill.

Compare InstantSeduction, where the mechanism to instantly seduce people is kept offscreen.
----
!!Examples

[[AC:{{Advertising}}]]
* A particular Twix "Need a Moment?" commercial a few years back had two guys at a small party running into a hot woman. One guy had a book about picking up women (and very prominently featured that on the cover) and was showing it to the second guy, who then needed a moment, stuffed his mouth with a Twix, then promptly said something about the book being degrading to women. Cue sigh of desire.
** It's all about sensitivity... [[FairlyOddparents if you can fake that, you're in!]]

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* Subverted and lampshaded in ''SexAndDeath101''. The lead appears to be activating each girl for coitus, but he's following a prophetic list of all the people who ''will'' have sex with him in his life. Sometimes he plays with this, dropping lines that should never activate, yet still succeeds. Then he falls for a girl not on his list and determinedly does and says anything that would get her to sleep with him. After enough pressure, she mocks him for thinking she had an 'activation code', in those words. Eventually he does push the right button; she agrees to sleep with him and promptly dies.
* This is successful in-film, but fails spectacularly from a viewer standpoint, in ''Every Which Way But Loose''. Apparently, the line "I've never met anyone who made me feel the way you do" was supposed to be accompanied by a complete change in the normally dorky sidekick's speech and body language, showing [[HiddenDepths his suave side]] to both his love interest and the audience. As played, it's arguably the most emotionally false scene in the entire movie, due to the actor's inability to pull off the change.
* Australian movie TheWogBoy has main character Steve with a 100% fool proof pick up line. He teaches it to Stephen Curry's character and warns him to use it carefully, [[HilarityEnsues he doesn't]]. [[spoiler:In the end, the pick up line is "if you are what you eat, then by tomorrow, I'll be you."]]

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* In ''HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', Ron mentioned house-elf welfare around Hermione for the first time in the entire book, and...

[[AC:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* Charlie from ''TwoAndAHalfMen''. The exact code varies.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Barney Stinson got laid by texting a question mark. True story. And it. was. legen - wait for it - dary!
** Being the series' ladies man, Barney uses this a lot; for example, when Marshall gets mugged, Barney decides to take the story as his own in hopes that it will become this.
** He once tried picking up a woman by just saying "Daddy's home." It didn't work, but he managed to fool his friends into thinking it did.
** Also from [[HowIMetYourMother HIMYM]], Lily and Marshall have obvious code words (rhinoceros, for example) where if one of them says it, they will both get up very quickly and leave holding hands. Everyone in the group recognizes what this is.
* Subverted in an episode of ''{{Chuck}}'', where the title character is failing his normal seduction attempt and is coached into suddenly speaking totally out of character to get closer to an enemy agent... who's totally onto his being coached.
* Joey from ''{{Friends}}''. All he says is, "How ''you'' doin'?" and any woman anywhere will immediately leap into bed with him. This may also be due to his KavorkaMan status.
** He also invents a story about [[NoodleIncident backpacking in Western Europe]], specifically in Barcelona which accomplishes the same thing.
* Gender-reversed in ''{{Seinfeld}}'', where Elaine tries to flirt with George's boss [[WeNeedADistraction to distract him while George drugs him]]. The code in this case? [[AllMenArePerverts "Sooo, I'm going to a nudist colony..."]]
* In ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' (both television series and movies), Gomez immediately becomes very amorous whenever Morticia [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench says anything in French]].
** It's a RunningGag in the cartoon: he'll start kissing her arm and telling her "Speak some more, speak some more!" if she so much as uses biker slang. It's a sign of how much of a funk he's in when she has to speak French twice in a row to get his attention. "Slowed down my reaction time..."
* An inversion: in an episode of ''Series/CornerGas'', Karen sleeps with Hank after he waxes poetic about fish. Not because she's into fish at all, but because ''he's'' into fishing so much that it brings out his poetic and sensitive side; we even see him from her point of view and he's in soft focus. It's subverted later in the episode after they decide not to continue with things, only for Karen to start in on how she likes target practice, and Hank sees her in soft focus...then she fumbles for words and the moment's lost.
* [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Captain Jack Harkness]] in ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' frequently says some variation of "Captain Jack Harkness, and you are...?" In the Doctor's presence, this is [[RunningGag usually followed]] by a scolding to "Stop it!"

[[AC:NewspaperComics]]
* In ''{{ComicStrip/Dilbert}}'', Wally manages to make managers swoon by using buzzwords.
** In another strip, Dilbert uses his computer to devise the ultimate pickup line: "Hi, I'm Mel Gibson. Did you see a dingo dog go by with my shirt?" We don't see its effect on women, [[EvenTheGuysWantHim but it sure worked on Dogbert]].
*** Of course, Dogbert ''is'' a DeadpanSnarker, so he was probably being sarcastic.
** Another, more recent arc has Wally propose a devious plan to the receptionist that will get them both out of work. She instantly falls for him.

[[AC:WebComics]]
* Adam from ''Webcomic/{{Loserz}}'' knows a lot of these. We see some when he's "training" Ben. [[http://the-qlc.com/loserz/go/229 Possession of a guitar]] also seems to work on the girls at their school.
* Played with in ''SomethingPositive'', when Davan walks up to an attractive woman and says "Want to go to my place and have lots of sex?" and gets an affirmative. Jason, the resident Lothario, immediately starts trying to remember what special gestures or postures Davan used to make the question magically effective.
* ''YetAnotherFantasyGamerComic'': [[http://yafgc.net/?id=549 The bard demonstrates the game of love]].
* [[http://xkcd.com/853/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{XKCD}}'' comic is a rather good example.
* The French comic [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/first-date First Date]] parodies this: A pretty girl compliments a guy's watch, saying it's cute because "it's so small," and he responds with a nervous "This is the first time a girl told me that." That makes her laugh, and cut immediately to them having sex. [[spoiler:But it's AllJustADream, and the girl is actually married.]]

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* Demonstrated in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' at the Romanticorp headquarters. The company is experimenting with pick-up lines. One dummy says, "My two favorite things are commitment and changing myself." The test subject (woman) immediately starts making out with the dummy.
-->'''Leela:''' Does that dummy have a brother?

----

to:

A character says something to instantly attract romantic or sexual interest from another character. It frequently converts a mildly interested character into one overcome with burning desire. This is generally made possible by the two dimensional nature of miscellaneous female cast members in the average TV sitcom or drama. It's generally used to further assert the established superior wooing ability of one (generally male) character over another.

It assumes, of course, that all women in the show are completely uninterested in pairing off unless [[TriggerPhrase some sort of activation code is delivered]] in the process of courting. This more often than not takes the form of a statement displaying fake sensitivity. The practitioner need only mention his concern for the cute little puppies of the world, or the plight of little old ladies, to reap the benefits. Also of note is the polar shift the activation code elicits. A female character, regardless of her initial interest level, will be instantly converted to a hedonistic Succubus once the code has been uttered. If the show is meant for a younger age group or simply has a lower focus on sex, she will simply exhibit intense romantic interest.

For example:

Nifty [=McSuave=] will be sitting in a restaurant with his companion Dorky [=McInept=]. Dorky will remark that the waitress is quite cute and then proceed to attempt to woo her in a fairly standard manner: "Hi my name is Dorky, are you new here?" etc. He will, of course, be so thoroughly ignored that viewers will be left wondering whether the two protagonists have accidentally stumbled into a nunnery. However, as the scene plays out and the waitress casts her attention to Nifty, he will sigh forlornly and utter some variation of, "I can't eat, I'm far too concerned about my sick/puppy/grandma/child/all the starving orphans," and it will be all that he can do to keep her from tearing off his clothes and having him right on the table.

It should be noted, however, that Code Word Coitus will generally work only for a character who has already been established in the mythology of the series as a "ladies' man". In the rare event that the code works for another character, it will do so only if he has been expressly instructed to deliver it by the "ladies' man", further establishing the latter's skill.

Compare InstantSeduction, where the mechanism to instantly seduce people is kept offscreen.
----
!!Examples

[[AC:{{Advertising}}]]
* A particular Twix "Need a Moment?" commercial a few years back had two guys at a small party running into a hot woman. One guy had a book about picking up women (and very prominently featured that on the cover) and was showing it to the second guy, who then needed a moment, stuffed his mouth with a Twix, then promptly said something about the book being degrading to women. Cue sigh of desire.
** It's all about sensitivity... [[FairlyOddparents if you can fake that, you're in!]]

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* Subverted and lampshaded in ''SexAndDeath101''. The lead appears to be activating each girl for coitus, but he's following a prophetic list of all the people who ''will'' have sex with him in his life. Sometimes he plays with this, dropping lines that should never activate, yet still succeeds. Then he falls for a girl not on his list and determinedly does and says anything that would get her to sleep with him. After enough pressure, she mocks him for thinking she had an 'activation code', in those words. Eventually he does push the right button; she agrees to sleep with him and promptly dies.
* This is successful in-film, but fails spectacularly from a viewer standpoint, in ''Every Which Way But Loose''. Apparently, the line "I've never met anyone who made me feel the way you do" was supposed to be accompanied by a complete change in the normally dorky sidekick's speech and body language, showing [[HiddenDepths his suave side]] to both his love interest and the audience. As played, it's arguably the most emotionally false scene in the entire movie, due to the actor's inability to pull off the change.
* Australian movie TheWogBoy has main character Steve with a 100% fool proof pick up line. He teaches it to Stephen Curry's character and warns him to use it carefully, [[HilarityEnsues he doesn't]]. [[spoiler:In the end, the pick up line is "if you are what you eat, then by tomorrow, I'll be you."]]

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* In ''HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows'', Ron mentioned house-elf welfare around Hermione for the first time in the entire book, and...

[[AC:{{Live-Action TV}}]]
* Charlie from ''TwoAndAHalfMen''. The exact code varies.
* In ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Barney Stinson got laid by texting a question mark. True story. And it. was. legen - wait for it - dary!
** Being the series' ladies man, Barney uses this a lot; for example, when Marshall gets mugged, Barney decides to take the story as his own in hopes that it will become this.
** He once tried picking up a woman by just saying "Daddy's home." It didn't work, but he managed to fool his friends into thinking it did.
** Also from [[HowIMetYourMother HIMYM]], Lily and Marshall have obvious code words (rhinoceros, for example) where if one of them says it, they will both get up very quickly and leave holding hands. Everyone in the group recognizes what this is.
* Subverted in an episode of ''{{Chuck}}'', where the title character is failing his normal seduction attempt and is coached into suddenly speaking totally out of character to get closer to an enemy agent... who's totally onto his being coached.
* Joey from ''{{Friends}}''. All he says is, "How ''you'' doin'?" and any woman anywhere will immediately leap into bed with him. This may also be due to his KavorkaMan status.
** He also invents a story about [[NoodleIncident backpacking in Western Europe]], specifically in Barcelona which accomplishes the same thing.
* Gender-reversed in ''{{Seinfeld}}'', where Elaine tries to flirt with George's boss [[WeNeedADistraction to distract him while George drugs him]]. The code in this case? [[AllMenArePerverts "Sooo, I'm going to a nudist colony..."]]
* In ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' (both television series and movies), Gomez immediately becomes very amorous whenever Morticia [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench says anything in French]].
** It's a RunningGag in the cartoon: he'll start kissing her arm and telling her "Speak some more, speak some more!" if she so much as uses biker slang. It's a sign of how much of a funk he's in when she has to speak French twice in a row to get his attention. "Slowed down my reaction time..."
* An inversion: in an episode of ''Series/CornerGas'', Karen sleeps with Hank after he waxes poetic about fish. Not because she's into fish at all, but because ''he's'' into fishing so much that it brings out his poetic and sensitive side; we even see him from her point of view and he's in soft focus. It's subverted later in the episode after they decide not to continue with things, only for Karen to start in on how she likes target practice, and Hank sees her in soft focus...then she fumbles for words and the moment's lost.
* [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Captain Jack Harkness]] in ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' frequently says some variation of "Captain Jack Harkness, and you are...?" In the Doctor's presence, this is [[RunningGag usually followed]] by a scolding to "Stop it!"

[[AC:NewspaperComics]]
* In ''{{ComicStrip/Dilbert}}'', Wally manages to make managers swoon by using buzzwords.
** In another strip, Dilbert uses his computer to devise the ultimate pickup line: "Hi, I'm Mel Gibson. Did you see a dingo dog go by with my shirt?" We don't see its effect on women, [[EvenTheGuysWantHim but it sure worked on Dogbert]].
*** Of course, Dogbert ''is'' a DeadpanSnarker, so he was probably being sarcastic.
** Another, more recent arc has Wally propose a devious plan to the receptionist that will get them both out of work. She instantly falls for him.

[[AC:WebComics]]
* Adam from ''Webcomic/{{Loserz}}'' knows a lot of these. We see some when he's "training" Ben. [[http://the-qlc.com/loserz/go/229 Possession of a guitar]] also seems to work on the girls at their school.
* Played with in ''SomethingPositive'', when Davan walks up to an attractive woman and says "Want to go to my place and have lots of sex?" and gets an affirmative. Jason, the resident Lothario, immediately starts trying to remember what special gestures or postures Davan used to make the question magically effective.
* ''YetAnotherFantasyGamerComic'': [[http://yafgc.net/?id=549 The bard demonstrates the game of love]].
* [[http://xkcd.com/853/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{XKCD}}'' comic is a rather good example.
* The French comic [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/first-date First Date]] parodies this: A pretty girl compliments a guy's watch, saying it's cute because "it's so small," and he responds with a nervous "This is the first time a girl told me that." That makes her laugh, and cut immediately to them having sex. [[spoiler:But it's AllJustADream, and the girl is actually married.]]

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* Demonstrated in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' at the Romanticorp headquarters. The company is experimenting with pick-up lines. One dummy says, "My two favorite things are commitment and changing myself." The test subject (woman) immediately starts making out with the dummy.
-->'''Leela:''' Does that dummy have a brother?

----
[[redirect:InstantSeduction]]


** He also invents a story about [[NoodleIncident backpacking in Eastern Europe]] which accomplishes the same thing.
** Since when is Portugal in Eastern Europe?

to:

** He also invents a story about [[NoodleIncident backpacking in Eastern Europe]] Western Europe]], specifically in Barcelona which accomplishes the same thing.
** Since when is Portugal in Eastern Europe?
thing.


[[AC: RealLife]]
* Many dubois ads promise this. It is highly doubtful that any work.

Added DiffLines:

** Since when is Portugal in Eastern Europe?



to:

** It's all about sensitivity... [[FairlyOddparents if you can fake that, you're in!]]


* The French comic [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/first-date First Date]] parodies this: A ManicPixieDreamGirl compliments a guy's watch, and he responds with a nervous "This is the first time a girl told me that." That makes her laugh, and cut immediately to them having sex. [[spoiler:But it's AllJustADream, and the girl is actually married.]]

to:

* The French comic [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/first-date First Date]] parodies this: A ManicPixieDreamGirl pretty girl compliments a guy's watch, saying it's cute because "it's so small," and he responds with a nervous "This is the first time a girl told me that." That makes her laugh, and cut immediately to them having sex. [[spoiler:But it's AllJustADream, and the girl is actually married.]]


* [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Captain Jack Harkness]] in ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Torchwood]]'' frequently says some variation of "Captain Jack Harkness, and you are...?" In the Doctor's presence, this is [[RunningGag usually followed]] by a scolding to "Stop it!"

to:

* [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Captain Jack Harkness]] in ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Torchwood]]'' ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' frequently says some variation of "Captain Jack Harkness, and you are...?" In the Doctor's presence, this is [[RunningGag usually followed]] by a scolding to "Stop it!"



to:

* [[EvenTheGuysWantHim Captain Jack Harkness]] in ''Series/DoctorWho'' and ''Series/{{Torchwood]]'' frequently says some variation of "Captain Jack Harkness, and you are...?" In the Doctor's presence, this is [[RunningGag usually followed]] by a scolding to "Stop it!"



to:

* The French comic [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/first-date First Date]] parodies this: A ManicPixieDreamGirl compliments a guy's watch, and he responds with a nervous "This is the first time a girl told me that." That makes her laugh, and cut immediately to them having sex. [[spoiler:But it's AllJustADream, and the girl is actually married.]]

Added DiffLines:

** Also from [[HowIMetYourMother HIMYM]], Lily and Marshall have obvious code words (rhinoceros, for example) where if one of them says it, they will both get up very quickly and leave holding hands. Everyone in the group recognizes what this is.


* Australian movie TheWogBoy has main character Steve with a 100% full proof pick up line. He teaches it to Stephen Curry's character and warns him to use it carefully, [[HilarityEnsues he doesn't]]. [[spoiler:In the end, the pick up line is "if you are what you eat, then by tomorrow, I'll be you."]]

to:

* Australian movie TheWogBoy has main character Steve with a 100% full fool proof pick up line. He teaches it to Stephen Curry's character and warns him to use it carefully, [[HilarityEnsues he doesn't]]. [[spoiler:In the end, the pick up line is "if you are what you eat, then by tomorrow, I'll be you."]]


* In ''{{Dilbert}}'', Wally manages to make managers swoon by using buzzwords.

to:

* In ''{{Dilbert}}'', ''{{ComicStrip/Dilbert}}'', Wally manages to make managers swoon by using buzzwords.


* Subverted and lampshaded in ''{{Sex and Death 101}}''. The lead appears to be activating each girl for coitus, but he's following a prophetic list of all the people who ''will'' have sex with him in his life. Sometimes he plays with this, dropping lines that should never activate, yet still succeeds. Then he falls for a girl not on his list and determinedly does and says anything that would get her to sleep with him. After enough pressure, she mocks him for thinking she had an 'activation code', in those words. Eventually he does push the right button; she agrees to sleep with him and promptly dies.

to:

* Subverted and lampshaded in ''{{Sex and Death 101}}''.''SexAndDeath101''. The lead appears to be activating each girl for coitus, but he's following a prophetic list of all the people who ''will'' have sex with him in his life. Sometimes he plays with this, dropping lines that should never activate, yet still succeeds. Then he falls for a girl not on his list and determinedly does and says anything that would get her to sleep with him. After enough pressure, she mocks him for thinking she had an 'activation code', in those words. Eventually he does push the right button; she agrees to sleep with him and promptly dies.



* In ''HowIMetYourMother'', Barney Stinson got laid by texting a question mark. True story. And it. was. legen - wait for it - dary!

to:

* In ''HowIMetYourMother'', ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Barney Stinson got laid by texting a question mark. True story. And it. was. legen - wait for it - dary!

Added DiffLines:

[[AC: RealLife]]
* Many dubois ads promise this. It is highly doubtful that any work.


* In ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' (both television series and movies), Gomez immediately becomes very amorous whenever Morticia [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench says anything in French]].

to:

* In ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' (both television series and movies), Gomez immediately becomes very amorous whenever Morticia [[EverythingSoundsSexierInFrench says anything in French]].



** Another, more recent arc has Wally propose a devious plan to the receptionist that will get them both out of work. She instantly falls for him.

to:

** Another, more recent arc has Wally propose a devious plan to the receptionist that will get them both out of work. She instantly falls for him.
him.



* Adam from ''{{Loserz}}'' knows a lot of these. We see some when he's "training" Ben. [[http://bukucomics.com/loserz/go/229 Possession of a guitar]] also seems to work on the girls at their school.

to:

* Adam from ''{{Loserz}}'' ''Webcomic/{{Loserz}}'' knows a lot of these. We see some when he's "training" Ben. [[http://bukucomics.[[http://the-qlc.com/loserz/go/229 Possession of a guitar]] also seems to work on the girls at their school.



----

to:

----

Showing 15 edit(s) of 49

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report