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Born Sexy Yesterday

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A naive woman created to love Joe Average

This trope has been Nuked
Proposed By:
solgaleo on Apr 30th 2017 at 6:39:27 AM
Last Edited By:
ceetallis on Nov 13th 2018 at 11:36:51 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

A life form has just come into being, and is highly intelligent or physically skilled, but is a little less knowledgeable about common place things, like what a faucet is or how men and women interact. This being has the body of a fully-grown adult (almost Always Female), but little to no personal history. The hero, a typical down on his luck, fairly ordinary man, escorts this new being around, showing her the wonders of modern society and protecting her from those who would take advantage of her innocence. While not required, it is not uncommon for the woman to appear innocently naked, being unaware of the social taboos or other implications of that action.

The trope name comes from the idiom "born yesterday," meaning that someone is extremely naive or ignorant; being literally born yesterday is not a requirement of the trope, but could possibly be used given the nature of science fiction. It is related to the 1950 film Born Yesterday, in which a woman who is purposefully ignorant is educated by a smarter man.

The gender-swapped version of this trope, where a naive man is guided by and romantic with a knowledgeable woman, is rare. When this does occur, his naiveness is more often played as humorous, not sexy, and if she falls for him, it's in spite of this ignorance not because of it.

The name and in-depth analysis of this trope were introduced by Pop Detective on Youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0thpEyEwi80) in April 27, 2017.

See also: Innocent Fanservice Girl, Really Was Born Yesterday, and Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Examples of this trope:

  • Leeloo from The Fifth Element is a literal case, where a new body was crafted from just a few cells of remaining DNA. She speaks a foreign, archaic language and requires Bruce Willis's character to show her around the world and complete her mission.
  • Quorra from TRON: Legacy is essentially a human avatar for a computer program. As such, she is incredibly wise but usually takes everything literally. She is also an adept combatant.
  • Sonmi~451 from Cloud Atlas
  • Ashi from Samurai Jack Season 5.
  • Nearly every alien female Kirk romances in the original Star Trek. This sometimes appears in later series, but with far less frequency.
  • Chi from Chobits. A naive android with cat ears that looks exactly like a teenage girl is lead through life by Hideki Motosuwa,
  • Madison from Film/Splash
  • Gender-Flipped in Thor (2011). Thor is a Fish Out Of Water on Earth, his shirtless body is commented on by Darcy and Jane, and his naive communication skills are treated as a sexual advance

Feedback: 43 replies

Apr 30th 2017 at 6:44:11 AM

The Laconic is too long, which defeats the whole point of a laconic.

Apr 30th 2017 at 7:05:25 AM

This is so out-of-format, could we make it the Darth Wiki version of the trope? Please?

Laconic: A sci-fi convention where a sexualised woman actually has a naive mind.

Transplant current laconic into description, and work from there.

Apr 30th 2017 at 7:23:13 AM

The closest I can think of in terms of existing tropes is Innocent Fanservice Girl, but I feel not even that correctly covers this. So this might be worth pursuing.

Gotta love how there's already one bomb thrown. That's really fair...

Apr 30th 2017 at 11:18:15 AM

In addition, the current "description" has a weblink. This is similar to Weblinks Are Not Examples. Thus, it needs to go.

Apr 30th 2017 at 10:41:58 PM

This would make a solid sister trope to the Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Apr 30th 2017 at 11:04:13 PM

See also innocent aliens

Apr 30th 2017 at 11:32:03 PM

There is probably a solid trope buried here if you remove all the surrounding pop psychology and make this about newly created beings who are highly sexualised, and stop talking about subtext.

May 1st 2017 at 6:43:42 AM

There might be a trope here, but since this is one of the most zero-effort attempts at a TLP I've ever seen, tough to tell. Do we have a trope for fetishizing "little girl" behavior because that's a really common trope, especially in anime.

Who gave this a freaking hat?

May 1st 2017 at 12:54:03 PM

This may already be covered by Really Was Born Yesterday, or at least it's a subtrope of that.

May 1st 2017 at 1:11:07 PM

There really is something creepy in how Really Was Born Yesterday female characters are portrayed vs Really Seven Hundred Years Old female characters.

  • "She looks like a child, but she's actually an immortal who's already hundreds of years old, so it's totally okay to bone her!"
  • "She acts like a child because she was literally born yesterday, but she looks like a grown woman, so it's totally okay to bone her!"

"Do we have a trope for fetishizing "little girl" behavior because that's a really common trope, especially in anime."

We have Kawaisa regarding Japan's "cult of cute" in general, and Kawaiiko for female characters who try to be as kawaii as possible.

May 1st 2017 at 2:31:08 PM

Not quite that, though. Would recommend watching the vid, but there are key ideas from Innocent Fanservice Girl, Nubile Savage, Wise Beyond Their Years, Simple Minded Wisdom and Closer to Earth, Usually is Badass Adorable and Skilled but Naive, to be taught by Joe Schmoe. Examples include Leeloo from the Fifth Element, Quorra from Tron Legacy, Chii from Chobits,... There's definitely something there.

May 1st 2017 at 2:31:08 PM

Not quite that, though. Would recommend watching the vid, but there are key ideas from Innocent Fanservice Girl, Nubile Savage, Wise Beyond Their Years, Simple Minded Wisdom and Closer to Earth, Usually is Badass Adorable and Skilled but Naive, to be taught by Joe Schmoe. Examples include Leeloo from the Fifth Element, Quorra from Tron Legacy, Chii from Chobits,... There's definitely something there.

May 1st 2017 at 2:34:02 PM

This is really NSFW. I vote for a discard.

May 1st 2017 at 3:23:07 PM

Well, "fetishized Really Was Born Yesterday female characters" sounds like a risque idea for a trope that people likely would be disgusted at... but I don't see why it's not tropeworthy. (Aside from, well, being already covered)

May 1st 2017 at 6:00:49 PM

I note that OP has zero edits, zero forum posts, and no Tropers/ page.

While I don't, at this point, dispute that the trope is a trope, it might be better if someone who is actually in some way familiar with the TLP process tried handling this. (And who watched the whole video, unlike me who got bored five ish minutes in.)

May 1st 2017 at 6:03:38 PM

This whole entry in the TLP (and possibly the person who wrote it) seems to be rooted in misandry and male bashing and is not trope worthy. Plus I can think of literally no examples of what they are talking about

May 2nd 2017 at 5:05:28 PM

Already covered, violates Weblinks Are Not Examples, and too long of a laconic. Torch this TLP and run.

May 2nd 2017 at 6:47:12 PM

I'll message the user about the TLP guidelines. As for discarding, as the issues have never been acknowledged, I'll do the honors.

May 8th 2017 at 12:37:52 PM

Born Sexy Yesterday isn't really covered on TV Tropes, because it touches on a way more specific, yet recurring trope, that has more focus on sexualization. In the video the narrator says that BSY has very specific origins - the woman has either literally just been born, or has been isolated from any and all "normal" society and thus doesn't understand the culture. She meets one man that "takes her under his wing" and teaches her about the normal process of existing as a human being, which to her seems extraordinary because he is the first and only man she's ever met. She also needs to be extremely skilled in something that the man will find respectable; usually combat. The trope has more nuance to it than Innocent Fanservice Girl, and while it's similar, they're definitely not the same. So even though this particular article is obviously not ready yet, I think that Born Sexy Yesterday is a good addition.

May 7th 2017 at 2:28:08 PM

Obviously as originally presented, not ready, but it really is a unique subtrope. While it would need work, if fleshed out I think it would be a positive addition.

May 13th 2017 at 9:15:39 AM

this guy knows to never listen to machintosh

May 15th 2017 at 8:15:27 AM

Instead of shitting on the page for being lazily written and incorrectly formatted, why don't we just agree that there is some merit to the idea and make the page better? I started it but have no idea how to complete it since i'm new here on tvt.

May 22nd 2017 at 11:40:23 AM

I made some edits as well. I think if more people pitch in, it'll be a really solid page.

May 23rd 2017 at 8:41:25 PM

To say that a female character fits the “Born Sexy Yesterday” trope is to say that any hopes, dreams, ambitions that she might have outside of a man—and, you know, that whole personality thing—mean nothing. To say a female character fits the “Born Sexy Yesterday” trope is to say that she is nothing more than a silly, doesn’t-know-anything sex object, because that is literally what the trope describes.

Jun 2nd 2017 at 2:44:38 PM

I agree the page needs a bit more fleshing out like the video describes in detail, but I still think the meaning behind the trope rings true. It may borrow from other tropes, but so do many others. Even though the tropes it borrows from each have their own flaws, this trope shows the embodiment of their worst qualities. While some of the characters themselves are very empowering and present good role models like Leeloo or Quora, it is the nature of the relationship with the protagonist that is seen as bad, and that is what this trope highlights. Quora might indeed change the world with new and unique ideas, but her relationship with Sam, despite him being a good guy who wouldn't take advantage of her, is fundamentally imbalanced in terms of experience and cultural maturity. The trope does not criticise the characters, merely their relationship to the protagonist. Anything about the characters are, within the context of the story they are in, meant to highlight them as special is more about endearing them to the protagonist, which becomes compounded by their sudden fascination with him and his sense of superiority as a sort of teacher to her.

Jun 3rd 2017 at 6:59:13 PM

It's not ready to be published but its a legitimate trope that addresses a concept not fully addressed by other current tropes.

As for, "stop talking about subtext" I don't understand how subtext isn't important, are there no tropes which ever deal with the subtext that is implied by certain events, relationships, or character archetypes?

And why should it be discarded because the trope is NSFW? What does it being a trope that deals with NSFW concepts have to do with whether or not it should be discarded?

Then someone else claims that the trope is 'rooted in misandry' without providing any actual arguments as to why they think this is the case, and goes on to claim that there 'aren't any examples of the trope' despite there LITERALLY being specific examples given.

I don't want to give it a hat, because right now it isn't ready to be published. But at this point based on the lack of credible arguments presented for why Born Sexy Yesterday should be discarded, but the strangely disproportional number of Bombs given, I'm going to just throw my hat in regardless. This is a trope, yes this page is not currently ready to be published, but I'm forced to conclude that a selection of those who've bombed Born Sexy Yesterday have decided to do so due to an emotional reaction rather than having any actual reasons for discarding it.

That said, if someone would like to present actual arguments using reason (in the philosophical sense preferably) as to why the concept described by Born Sexy Yesterday is not in face a trope at all, I would love to hear them. Maybe I'm wrong, and if I am I would sincerely hope someone would show me why that is the case.

Jun 12th 2017 at 9:51:04 PM

I just completely reworded the entire trope from the Laconic down. Hopefully it has the same essence while having a more proper format.

Sep 18th 2017 at 1:25:59 PM

Angela Balzac from Expelled From Paradise. It's an interesting use/examination of the trope; Angela is actually an uploaded personality in her fifties, but chooses to look like a tween in the virtual environment and ends up physically meeting a human male for the first time as a teenager because she was too impatient to let her organic body grow completely - and as she was uploaded as a baby, she never experienced adolescent hormones. On top of that, the so-called "Joe Average" - though provocative when he thought she was an adult - is put off by Angela's physical youth, and instead treats her more like an intelligent but naive sibling. Most of the subtext in the movie is Angela swinging the Tsundere trope like a rusty gate due to the man being mostly indifferent to her (she's used to being flirted with non-stop in the virtual world) except when she needs some kind of assistance.

Nov 28th 2017 at 12:39:33 PM

Well, is been 3/4 of a year since this was suggested, nearly 6 months since the last comment. a majority think it qualifies as a trope So why has nothing been done?

Jan 19th 2018 at 6:58:19 PM

Another good example of this trope would be Nyu from the anime series "Elfen Lied". Nyu is physically a young adult woman, who behaves like a two-and-a-half-year-old due to what is best described as a form of psychosis or Hollywood style multiple personality disorder, but the writers and plot don't seem to have any problem with the "nice guy" male lead Kouta taking her in, having a romantic relationship with her, and performing acts of intimate personal care (like dressing and undressing her and bathing her). In her alternate persona, she is superpowered in combat.

Feb 10th 2018 at 5:59:44 AM

Saw a video about Battle Angel Alita that was focused on this. I think it seems like many characters a fish out of water with a side of being a sexy female character. I started watching the video above but found it funny to think about Sam Flynn being naive about the grid and exploited in the same movie.

Feb 20th 2018 at 9:37:02 PM

This describes Aira Flight from Vanna Bonta's "Flight" to a tee!

Mar 30th 2018 at 6:26:16 AM

Meet Joe Black is a rare male example where Death Takes A Holiday by taking over the body of a young man. Death is smart and contemplative, but extremely inexperienced at life, and has sex for the first time with the female protagonist.

Apr 13th 2018 at 12:13:44 PM

I would recommend adding the gender reversed version of Thor and Jane in (Thor 2011)

Jun 12th 2018 at 7:27:09 PM

This is literally just Emergent Human, except an internet academic narrowed it down to one specific field of internet academia (i.e. alleged media biases against women). Starman? City Of Angels? Plenty of romance stories about a tender, newly-human man who needs the gentle touch of a woman to teach him how to really embrace being alive.

Adding examples to the Emergent Human page regardless of how the work alleged "objectifies" its newly human character would probably be better than creating a separate subcategory solely because an internet academic named a thing in a video.

Also, the video page specifically states the trope is caused by "male insecurity". Yet of the works listed on the prospective page, one (Cloud Atlas) was by two transwomen, one (Chobits) was by a team of four female manga creators, and one (Star Trek) famously had a female script editor and multiple female writers.

Jul 2nd 2018 at 10:21:40 PM

genuine question: why is this nuked when there's three times as many hat votes?

Jul 14th 2018 at 12:58:38 PM

Because a former Feminist Frequency writer and Patreon-supported YouTuber made a video where he pretended to come up with a trope This Very Wiki had for years (Emergent Human, as I mentioned above), added an alleged "anti-woman" slant to it, and used a sockpuppet account to make a TVTropes entry that drives traffic to his videos.

At least, I'd hope that's the reason.

Jul 18th 2018 at 12:20:11 AM

I can see Emergent Human being the primary trope applying for Seven-of-Nine or Sonmi-451, but characters like Leeloo and Ashi pretty clearly don't fit that mold and are better fit by this sub-trope.

Jul 21st 2018 at 8:44:07 AM

I haven't seen the final season of Samurai Jack, so I won't comment on it.

But. Emergent Human fits Leeloo better than this alleged subtrope does.

For starters, Korben Dallas is not a schlubby ordinary everyman, he's an ex-special forces soldier. And while he does show Leeloo some of the "wonders" of modern society, when he tries to kiss her she pulls out his gun and points it at his temple. So he doesn't really protect her from other people trying to take advantage of her, either.

Aaaaaand that's about all that differentiates this alleged subtrope from Emergent Human. Compared to that, Emergent Human is practically a checklist of her character traits.

Taking an existing trope and tacking "And that's why meeeeeen oppress women!" onto it is as partisan and unnecessary as conservat-izing homosexuality tropes to align with the fundamentalist belief it's a wicked and sinful lifestyle. Jonathan McIntosh is a culture war profiteer (his Patreon earns him $5,174 per video, as of July '18), and this site doesn't need to become a propaganda office for his business.

Oct 23rd 2018 at 10:52:36 AM

Well... I think this is a trope, but it needs a lot of work before launching.

For example, it might be worth spending more time discussing ways in which this trope can be used legitimately. For example, the cynical man who wants to return to an innocence he has lost - thus in many ways the innocent woman might be the dominant one in the relationship (see Manic Pixie Dream Girl).

Or maybe discuss how this is a female wish fulfillment too. While men may enjoy the fantasy of showing the world to an innocent woman, many women have a fantasy of being shown the world by a more experienced man. (Just look at things like Twilight).

I mean, it just seems to me that this is really is a trope, I certainly see it a lot, but tropes are not always bad. And currently this is written that way. Watching the video demonstrates an even more biased view. For example, citing Blast From The Past as a rare male example and then claiming that male innocence is not attractive and that the woman falls for the male lead in spite of that innocence - which completely ignores the fact that it is the male innocence that wins the girl in Blast From The Past - that's sort of the whole point of that film.

Maybe the real core here is a trope about an Emergent Human as a Love Interest? Written in a more even handed tone?

Nov 13th 2018 at 11:36:51 AM

An example of this could be Starfire from Teen Titans.

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