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Artists Are Attractive

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Lisa: Do you play?
Colin: Just piano, guitar, trumpet, drums and bass.
Lisa: (thinking) He's pure gold! For once in your life, be cool!

Characters often assume that artists - of any kind - have higher levels of compassion/insight/patience than the "average Joe". By this logic, they will make good spouses. (That a teenybopper writing smutty fanfiction is just as much an artist as Johann Sebastian Bach was will rarely be mentioned.) Bonus points if the artist in question seems tortured or vulnerable. Often, part of a character's attraction to an artist comes from the belief- true or false- that art is a window into the depths of the soul. The artist in question may also be something of a rebel, so this trope can often overlap with All Girls Want Bad Boys. Sometimes, it's not just artistic talent but also eccentricities that may come with said talent that make a character appealing. A male artist may be said to be In Touch with His Feminine Side, especially fine artists and poets, but not always.


On the flip side, a character might try to learn to play an instrument or attempt to appear more creative or artistically talented in order to woo a potential mate. Alternatively, they may lament that they can't compete with someone who can play guitar, or wonder why everyone seems to swoon over that poet over there. Characters may end up competing, either one on one (such as a Dance Off) or by entering a formal competition (like a Battle of the Bands), in order to win the heart of a love interest.



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    Comic Books 
  • In The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion, the image of Vanya in Diego's heart is of her playing the violin in a rundown apartment, eyes closed- completely oblivious to the grime and poverty surrounding her. It is one of the few panels in which she is truly content. (They used to be in a band together before things went to hell.)
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac mocks this trope a bit. In particular, Tess outright admits that she put up with her boyfriend because he's in a band, though whether this is because she actually likes musicians or to seem cool and to be a part of the in crowd or both isn't clear.
  • In Young Inhumans, San is an Inhuman with a diminutive frame, a dog-like face, and tentacle-like hair. Nobody would call his appearance attractive, but his powers allow him to create small organic sculptures, and everyone seems to like those. It even earns him a human girlfriend.

    Film - Animation 
  • The Simpsons Movie provides the page quote, when the intellectual Lisa is clearly enraptured by Colin's musical skill. The sadness of their separation is punctuated by him writing a song for her.
  • In Sleeping Beauty, the second magical blessing bestowed upon the infant Princess Aurora is "the gift of song," ensuring that her musical talent would be one of the things which draws people to her. Sure enough, sixteen years later, her extraordinary singing in the forest is the first thing which catches the attention of Prince Philip. In a short montage of singing and dancing, they fall in love. (Good thing they're already engaged.)
  • For the penguins of Happy Feet, this trope is a cultural norm. Every penguin has a personal, instinctive 'heartsong', and they select mates based on which heartsongs meld the best. That said, how well someone's heartsong is expressed also matters; talented singers like Gloria attract many suitors regardless of how dissimilar their songs are to hers, and croaky-voiced Mumble is spurned by everyone because he has a heartdance. Naturally, in the finale of the movie, he shows everyone that dancing can be beautiful too.

    Film - Live Action 
  • In 10 Things I Hate About You, Patrick goes into the fake-boyfriend scheme expecting that Kat (the girl he's deceiving) will have bad taste in music. His realization that she does not is one of many scenes where he begins to fall in love with her for real. His Apology Gift to her is a specific guitar she's wanted for some time. It proves his sincerity not because of its financial value (though that is also substantial) but because it shows he was listening to her and cared about her desires.
  • In Not Another Teen Movie, according to narrative tradition, Jake begins to see Janey as more than an object of derision when she shows him her emotional, passionately crafted stick figure paintings.
  • In The Princess Diaries, Michael is introduced playing in a garage band to establish that he's the protagonist' (and many other girls') crush.
  • In Ivan Vasilievich Changes Profession, when Zina tells Shurik she's leaving him for Yakin, her director, she says, dreamy-eyed: "Yakin... Yakin is talented"! When she quarrels with Yakin, her ultimate insult towards him is "And you are a mediocrity!"

  • In Gone with the Wind, although Scarlet detests Rhett in the opening chapters, she is willing to concede that he dances "divinely".
  • In the The Princess Diaries series, among Tina's criteria for a boyfriend is that he play a musical instrument.
  • In the romance novel Tropical Dragon Diver, Bastian (an unusually pacifist dragon shifter) is surprised and gratified when his girlfriend recognizes the value of his hoard, that being archaeological and artistically arranged. Other dragons just pile up every financially valuable possession they have and call it a day.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In The Book of Heortling Mythology, Orlanth and Emperor Yelm decided to Compete for the Maiden's Hand through a test of music. Orlanth played on the bagpipes, a new and ungraceful instrument that disgusted the court's snooty judges, and lost. However, he made the "maiden" (Ernalda) and many of Yelm's servants laugh, which won them to his side later on.

  • In Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick is sure to include "excellent musician" in the description of his perfect woman.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "A Star Is Burns", this trope is parodied. An indie film connoisseur is brought to tears by the "soul of a poet" revealed in Barney Gumble's autobiopic, yet recoils in disgust from the actual man. In a later scene, Barney's flowery, self-conscious monologue on the horrors of alcoholism does nothing to stop him from drowning himself in booze.
  • In Family Guy, Brian tries to exploit this trope, boasting about his literary ambitions to make himself seem hip. However, as anyone who's been around him for longer than 5 minutes realizes, he cares only about his image, not about putting actual effort into writing. This is why he's never published anything.
  • In Futurama Leela reveals she has a thing for musicians, having dated a saxophone player (until he cheated on her) and swooned over Fry when he played the holophone for her when he was infected by a parasite that made him smarter, and again in the original finale when he traded his hands for the robot devil's
  • Wendy from Gravity Falls seems to be into musicians if her relationship with Robbie is any indication, and this trope plays a major part of the episode Boyz Crazy
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Love That Squid", Squidward gets too nervous to speak to a lady customer, so Spongebob has to do the talking in order convince her to go on a date with him. When she's unsure, Spongebob lists all of Squidward's good personality traits along with his hobbies, including his ability to play the clarinet and paint, to make him sound appealing. Given her love for the arts, it works and she agrees to the date.
  • The Ice King attempts to invoke this trope, particularly in the episode I Remember You. It doesn't work.

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