Follow TV Tropes


Crotch-Grab Sex Check

Go To

"Testiculos habet et bene pendentes." Translation
— According to urban legend, what the College of Cardinals must inspect and affirm for all newly elected popes in order to avert another Pope Joan fiasco.

Let's say you've got someone with an Ambiguous Gender on your hands. Either the Dude Looks Like a Lady or the Lady Looks Like a Dude. The mystery is driving you nuts, so what's the fastest way to figure it out?

Grab a handful of "the merchandise."

When it's done to one's own self after a Gender Bender, it's Man, I Feel Like a Woman. After an accident or near-miss or otherwise worrisome body alteration, it's Testes Test.

Do Not Try This at Home. It's one of the class of acts that are known as "sexual assault" in the real world. Genitals and gender don't always correspond in the real world, either.

Compare to Crotch-Glance Sex Check, in which a character checks an animal's crotch to determine their sex, and Outfit-Rip Sex Check, which is a more extreme version where a character's clothes get ripped off.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • Yusuke figures that there's something a little off about a certain Femme Fatale opponent, so he pulls a reach-around mid-fight and finds that she's biologically male.
    • In the Edited for Syndication American dub of the anime, all the references to the female fighter actually being a man were changed to the fighter being a Manipulative Bitch who fakes her injuries so she can make her male fighters feel guilty about beating up a woman — and uses that moment of weakness to strike back.
    • In the dub of the anime released on video tape, the sex check is back, but the actual moment of contact is clipped. It is made clear that when Yusuke's handsy "upstairs check" on the chest felt odd, he decided to do a downstairs check on his visually female opponent. As he puts it:
      Yusuke: The family jewels have not been stolen.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The young Goku had difficulty with the concept of males and females, so when meeting someone, he goes up and slaps his hand or foot in the person's crotchular area, then triumphantly exclaims, "You're a boy/girl!" Notably, this causes Chi-Chi, his future wife, to push him off the Flying Nimbus in fright.
    • He first discovers this connection in the first place by pulling the panties off of a sleeping Bulma and realizing that she's missing some parts that he has. Bulma does not take it well when she finds out — namely because it leads to her inadvertently flashing the notoriously Dirty Old Man, Master Roshi, who had wanted to see her panties in exchange for his Dragon Ball.
    • Krillin manages to escape this treatment by telling Goku beforehand that he's male.
    • It takes a shockingly long time for him to stop doing this, oblivious to the fact that people react poorly. It's unclear whether he stopped because he finally got the hint or because he began to be able to distinguish sex based on other cues.
  • In season 2, episode 6 of Girls Bravo an accidental version occurs where Fukuyama doesn't realize a cross-dressing Yukinari is actually a guy until after he grabs his crotch when trying to seduce what he thinks is a beautiful girl.
  • This accidentally happens to Takatsuki, a Transgender boy, in Wandering Son once. It's Squicky being that he was around eleven then and the person who did it was an adult male (who later became his friend) who thought he was having an affair with his girlfriend. Takatsuki just puts on a brave front afterwards and holds in his tears. Shiina's actual intention wasn't likely this, however, as he thought Takatsuki was a cis boy when he grabbed him. Shiina did pat Takatsuki's chest afterwards in a more clear example of this.
  • Fushigi Yuugi:
    • Miaka rubs Hotohori's chest after finding out that Hotohori was not a girl. She wonders if she should 'check lower' just to be sure, but Tamahome quickly tells her to knock it off!
    • Even funnier, the second time she does this is to a woman who doesn't look even remotely masculine. Despite the fact that they had literally just met only seconds before, Miaka gropes her breasts purely on the basis that Hotohori and Nuriko have already fooled her before, and she "figures I have to check these days."
  • In Otome no Iroha, Ryou checks Iroha's gender (now male) this way the moment they first meet.
  • Done with Tetsuo, a trans man, in Yuureitou. Marube, a criminal prosecutor, overheard him talking to Taichi about his body earlier and questions him. Tetsuo isn't aware that Marube knows he is Reiko, a woman who killed her mom and supposedly died two years ago, and tells him he meant he has a micropenis. Marube does the crotch grab to check and (obviously) doesn't feel anything. Tetsuo keeps to his statement and says he's just small.
  • In Cross Ange, Hilda does this to Tusk to confirm that he's male.
  • Sullivan does this to Ciel in chapter 89 of Black Butler, grabbing his crotch while asking him which one he is.
    • Before that, during the circus arc, Freckle makes Ciel grab her chest in order to prove she's a girl - and then offers to let him touch her down there as confirmation. Ciel promptly refuses.
  • Tokyo Ghoul: Torso discovers Mutsuki is biologically female while choosing to live as a man when he tears open Mutsuki's shirt revealing a bound chest with scars after asking him which gender he was. Unfortunately for Mutsuki this leads to Torso becoming his Stalker with a Crush.
  • Love Stage!!: Izumi is harassed by three guys who ask what gender he is due to his feminine looks. They pin him down and pull up his shirt to show his chest revealing that he's a guy. They act disappointed but then notice that Izumi is a particularly beautiful looking boy and decide to make an exception for him. They attempt to rape him but he fights them off.
  • Reborn! (2004): Dr. Shamal feels Tsuna's chest who’s come to him for medical help because of a curse and then promptly tells him that he doesn't treat men.
  • An accidental version happens in the first episode of El-Hazard: The Magnificent World, where Makoto has been forced into an Emergency Impersonation of Princess Fatora that's so good it even fools her lesbian lover Aliellie until she gets frisky and puts her hands down his pants. Cue The Scream.
  • Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic: Titus is so girly-looking that Aladdin actually gropes his chest to confirm if he's really a guy when they first meet.
  • Shimoneta: Done by accident in chapter 10, after Tanukichi mistakes Oboro for a panty thief and wrestles her to the floor. His foot ends up pressed against her pelvic region, which is when he realizes something is 'off' and decides to double-check. It confirms his suspicion, but also inadvertently causes Oboro to get off from it.
  • Okane ga Nai: Ayase’s effeminate and beautiful features have guys falling for him left and right, some even after they discover he’s a guy. One notable example of this occurs in episode 3 of the OVA where Gion (Kanou’s brother) makes an appearance to help Kanou find a part time job for Ayase. When Gion looks at Ayase he assumes he’s a woman and Kanou’s new girlfriend. He says it’s an unexpected type for Kanou going on to say that Kanou usually prefers voluptuous women before adruptly grabbing Ayase’s crotch and shouting “Wait just a second! It’s small but he’s a male?!”
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable: Josuke and Joseph come across an invisible baby who's a Stand user, and once Joseph finally catches the baby, he comes to the conclusion that she's a girl. Josuke questions how he knows this, but once he puts two and two together that the only place he'd be able to find out is her genitalia... he screams bloody murder and chases Joseph down with his own cane.

     Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • The RWBY fic Falling Snow starts with a scene inspired by a Crocodile Dundee scene. Weiss is Forced Out of the Closet when Neptune rudely grabs her genitals and loudly yells that she has a penis. Weiss is humiliated and ashamed by Neptune's (painful) assault and outing.
  • Wei Wuxian in No Matter What You Are grasps his own groin after being resurrected and almost bursts in horrified tears when he confirms he was reincarnated in a female body.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • "Crocodile" Dundee has Mick flirting with a veiled woman. The cab driver he's been getting drunk with informs him that she's biologically male. Mick walks right up and checks the crotch for the frank and beans. She, offended, stalks off. Later in the movie, Mick sees another rather ...handsome... woman and does it again. To his chagrin (and her delight), she's got the full female package.
  • Occurs in two very different contexts in The King and the Clown. One of the Seoul jesters gets groped by audience members for this reason whenever playing a eunuch or a woman. In a much more serious moment Nok-su forcefully strips Gong-gil in a fit of jealousy, claiming she wants to find out whether he's really a man or not.
  • A variant occurs in Transamerica when pre-op transgender woman Bree visits her mother. Her mother performs the grab in order to check that she's still physically male.
  • Begbie in the film Trainspotting chats up a woman at a club and takes her to his car to get to know her better. After 'inspecting the goods' he finds out she is a transvestite and kicks her out of his ride.
  • In Escape from L.A., Snake meets a female gang boss named Hershey who has an unusually deep voice. He immediately recognizes the voice as an old buddy of his. He proceeds to perform this trope. It's not clear what he finds. It's clear the buddy had a sex change. It's not clear how complete it was.
    • When Snake pulls a small pistol out from between her legs, that he was searching her for the weapon.
    Snake: "Still keeping a loaded gun between your legs, huh Carjack?"

  • The sedes stercoraria are seats upon which a new pope is enthroned, which have a hole in seat. A popular rumor says that these are so that the college of cardinals can test if the new pope is in fact male, or if he has mangled genitals. Most historians now believe that they were just chairs that the Papacy used because they belonged to the Imperial family. The sex-check story is generally associated with the "Pope Joan" historical legend — according to that story, the cardinals took this precaution against a recurrence.

  • In the Aidan Chambers book Postcards from No-Man's Land the main character meets someone he assumes is a girl, and they have coffee. At the end of the meeting, the "girl" figures out that the main character thinks this, and grabs the main character's hand and puts it on his crotch before leaving.
  • The War Against the Chtorr. Ted tells McCarthy how while in training for the Telepathy Corps he was taught to Body Surf into other bodies with telepathic implants. As a practical joke (apparently played on all recruits) they put him in a female body without telling him. Ted only found out when 'he' tried to find 'his' penis to take a piss and was horrified to find nothing there.

    Live Action TV 
  • Farscape. In "The Flax" D'Argo discovers that the scavenger Staanz, who appears to be a rather ugly male, turns out to be, in fact, a female of her species ("considered quite the looker") when Staanz makes an Anguished Declaration of Love to him. Crichton and Aeryn witness this and joke they should Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone (D'Argo also makes a rapid departure) but afterwards Crichton asks Aeryn to confirm she's the female of her species. Aeryn responds by grabbing his crotch, which he takes as a yes.
  • Go Princess Go: It's implied Zhang Peng does this after waking up in Peng Peng's body. Unusually, in this case a character is doing it to themselves — or at least to the body they're currently inhabiting. Naturally he freaks out at what he finds.
  • In episode "Fallacy" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, the investigators discover that the boyfriend of the perp didn't know she was a preop trans woman when they tell him why she killed his brother. He rushes in, grabs her crotch to see if it's true, and then overdoses on pills.
  • This Party Quirks game of Whose Line Is It Anyway? has a humorous version, with Colin Mochrie fondling most of the cast because his quirk calls for him to personally ensure that each person is the gender he or she claims to be. This also includes groping Kathy Greenwood's breasts. Note, though, we said most of the cast:
    Drew Carey: So 1000 points to everybody but Colin, because I was sitting the entire time... waiting for you to come over...
    Mochrie: Oh, there's no doubt about you, my friend!
  • Less invasive variant in Bones where the sex of an androgynous Japanese detective is determined by a firm hug.
  • Pat from Saturday Night Live narrowly averted this a few times.
  • In Casanova, Casanova falls in love with Bellino, a male opera singer. He suspects that he's a girl and confronts him. He feels his chest and concludes that he's a girl. Bellino says it is a singer's condition. Casanova grabs his crotch and then runs off, he is a boy. Then later he comes back and tells him it doesn't matter and he still loves him. Turns out to be a false penis and a woman in disguise.
  • In an episode of Lost Girl, Bo outs an incubus cross-dressing as an Amazon by grabbing the family jewels. The Amazons quickly set on tearing him to pieces.
  • "Testiculos habet et bene pendentes." Translation is used in The Borgias, amid much snickering by the cardinals as the subject of this sex check, Rodrigo Borgia, is known to be a Dirty Old Monk who's sired children.
  • Another milder version: In the Three's Company pilot, Mr. Roper hears that Chrissy and Janet have a male roommate dressed up as a woman. He goes downstairs and grabs the chest of the tall lady in their apartment. Unfortunately for him, this isn't Jack.
  • In Mahou Sentai Magiranger, Kai and Houka get into a "Freaky Friday" Flip situation, and as it settles in that the brother and sister are in one another's bodies, they both feel their chests and crotches, with Kai making a comment about Houka's chest size in the process.
    Houka (in Kai's body): (touches chest) Nothing, nothing, (touches groin) something! Ewwwww! (wipes hands on Makito's apron)
    Kai (in Houka's body): Then... (touches chest) something, not much, (touches groin) nothing! Eughhhhh!
    Houka (in Kai's body): Whaddaya mean "not much"?!
    Kai (in Houka's body): It's not like you can help having tiny ones!
  • Downplayed for family friendly reasons in Doctor Who. At the end of "The End of Time", the Doctor regenerates into Matt Smith. Checking out his new body the Doctor realises his hair is longer and says, "I'm a girl!" only to realize otherwise when he touches his Adam's apple.

  • The Australian comedy Not Quite The News had East German female athletes having their gender checked using "the "Crocodile" Dundee test".

  • In some productions of Cabaret, this is how the MC tells Victor and Bobby apart.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc:
    • Chihiro Fujisaki is implied to invoke this by moving Naegi's hand onto his body after he confesses his true gender to him. The official translation censors this into making Naegi feel his chest.
    • Kyoko instructs Sakura to do this to Chihiro when investigating their corpse. Having previously done so herself, she's already aware of the victim's true sex, and Sakura's shocked reaction clues in the rest of the cast, ultimately helping solve the case.
  • Steins;Gate: In Chapter 4 of the VN/episode 10 of the anime, Okabe attempts to verify Luka is a boy, only to find out that's no longer the case. Because no one else remembered the previous timeline where Luka was male, this ends very badly for Okabe, courtesy of Kurisu.


    Western Animation 
  • In a subversion, the leader of an all-girls gang does this to Steve (clearly male, if a bit over-sensitive) on American Dad!. She promptly concludes that he's more girl than boy, and offers to let him join. Initiation follows.
  • Blue Eye Samurai. An accidental one is barely averted in the first episode (before the Gender Reveal of the title character) when a prostitute goes to touch up Mizu and she stops her hand just in time.


Video Example(s):


You're...a man?

Raiden finds the US President, only to receive a more out-of-left-field greeting from him.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / CrotchGrabSexCheck

Media sources: