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Distracted by the Sexy

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"Boobs are near the center of the universe, until you turn twenty-five or so. Which is also when young men’s auto insurance rates go down. This is not a coincidence."
Harry Dresden, The Dresden Files: Ghost Story

For some men, it's very easy to forget what they are doing when a gorgeous woman strolls past and lose control, doing things like walking into walls, tripping over themselves, dropping fragile objects, causing a Human Traffic Jam, etc. Mostly a comedy trope.

If this is induced intentionally by the woman in question when We Need a Distraction, it falls instead into Show Some Leg.

Compare Show Some Leg, Sex Sells, Sexy Coat Flashing. Contrast, naturally, Not Distracted by the Sexy, Ignore the Fanservice, and The Power of Lust (which is when the sexy inspires rather than distracts). This may occur after a Crash Through the Harem.

If the viewers are the ones Distracted By The Sexy, that's Best Known for the Fanservice. If the distracted party finds himself lost in thought over the distraction, it becomes Eating the Eye Candy. If distracted by someone that their orientation wouldn't generally be attracted to, that's Stupid Sexy Flanders. If communication is attempted, it can cause Gibberish of Love. Expect Favors for the Sexy by the distracted. If a character distracts themselves by noticing their reflection in a mirror, that's Distracted by My Own Sexy. See Cuteness Proximity for the non-sexy, non-human variant. Compare also with Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful! and Girls Stare at Scenery, Boys Stare at Girls.


The Vamp and Heroic Seductress are (usually) female characters that employ this trope.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • A Dutch insurance company, known for their slogan "Even Apeldoorn bellen" ("Time to call Apeldoorn", the name of the city where they have their main office) has a number of rather clever TV ads. In one, two roadworkers are digging a rather large hole (the road is at chest level); one of them is wielding a pickaxe. Then a stunning pair of legs walks by (that's roughly what you see, due to the camera crop), the guys look at them approvingly, the pickaxe swings down once more, a metallic "clunk" is heard and a jet of water spouts up. Slogan text blends in.
  • 2010 Super Bowl ad with Megan Fox.
  • A 1984 ad for Maaco (auto painting and repair chain) has a Too Dumb to Live guy staring at several women walking by and ends up driving his car right inside a moving van. Uh, oh. Better get Maaco, indeed.
  • Subverted and taken Up to Eleven ina 2000 ad for Kronenbourg 1664 beer It starts out with one awe-struck construction worker obliviously swinging a pickaxe while gazing at a woman, while another equally oblivious worker climbs out of a manhole in front of him. Cue a quick camera change and a sickening squish noise. It goes on like this for forty seconds, with butchers slicing off fingers, men getting hit by busses, and utility workers getting electrocuted. They're not into the woman herself, but her beer.
  • Air New Zealand Safety Videos: The guys demonstrating the brace positions in a canoe in "Safety in Paradise" keep sneaking glances at the model in the bikini on the beach.
  • The first commercial for the Sega Dreamcast in America ended with Sonic the Hedgehog losing his balance from the on-light of the Dreamcast and falling, ready to be caught by a football player, only for Sarah to walk by, distracting the player and causing Sonic to faceplant on the ground, losing rings in the process.
  • Ads for the Australian pantyhose makers Razza Matazz had a gorgeous woman (wearing the brand being advertised) going about her business when her skirt blows up in the wind - and total chaos and hilarity ensues among the innocent men going about their business around her.
  • A cellphone commercial from The '90s featured a rollerblader navigating a city. (We see this from his perspective.) About halfway through, he spots a sexy lady and keeps looking at her as he passes. He looks back at his path and sees the truck he's about to crash into. He then uses his cellphone to call his doctor and say "I did it again."
  • An car insurance ad for Allstate has a young man driving a car see a "hot babe out jogging" and run his car into a light pole. The big joke being that as with all the ads in this particular campaign, the "hot babe out jogging" is Dean Winters, this time adding a pink headband and barbells to his rumpled suit as the character "Mayhem".
  • In a DKNY commercial where Emily Ratajakowski goes out walking a dog only dressed in her underwear this is the result. Especially when a driver loses control as there's a closeup on her dog... and the car hits another car. Everybody Lives. (Including the dog.)
  • A very darkly humorous version of this (both played straight and with a gender inversion) occurs in this German ad for the fashion store NewYorker. The ad shows an attractive young woman in a minidress strolling in the city, passing several people: a skateboarder, a tattooist making tattoos for some gang members, and some firemen helping someone escape a burning building. All of them are distracted by her looks, which ends up spelling disaster (which she ignores every time): the skateboarder rolls out onto the street and is hit by a car, the tattooist accidentally tattoos a heart on a gang member's back and is shot by the other gang members, and the firemen misplace their safety net, causing the guy in the burning building to fall on the ground. She then passes by another man, whom she flirts with, but then she accidentally walks backwards right into a pit in the sidewalk, which is then filled in by rocks immediately afterwards. The ad ends on a shot of a small piece of her dress partially buried in the sidewalk while someone uses a jackhammer nearby.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In episode 2 of Season 2, Careful S. distracts a couple of guards by throwing magazines their way. The magazines' covers depict beautiful women which distract the guards.
  • Motu Patlu: In "Angry Clouds", several townspeople notice and get distracted by Motu while he is Disguised in Drag.

  • Bill Engvall discusses looking at colleges with his daughter:
    Bill Engvall: I'll tell you, it's a real slap in the face when you walk onto a college campus with your daughter and you catch some guy checking her out. (murmurs of agreement) Yeah. Then I realized it was a slap in the face; my wife caught me checking out college chicks. (laughter) "Sorry, I'm a guy."

    Comic Strips 
  • In Li'l Abner, "Stupefyin' Jones" stunned any male who gazed upon her, except if they were wearing special glasses. In the stage and movie adaptation, she was played by Julie Newmar in a skimpy skintight body suit.
  • In this strip by Quino, a man is watching a football match, when he's distracted by the fact that his neighbor forgot to close her window when she went to take a bath. Just then, one of the teams scores a very dramatic goal. He's so enraged at missing it that he throws his drink through the window and hits the neighbor in the head.
  • This is the primary function of the heroine in Wally Wood's Sally Forth; the first time she saw action was when she lured a troop of Commies to their death by bathing in a river.
  • Garfield: Happens to Jon in this comic. It causes him to crash his bike.

  • A man is walking with his wife when he sees a young woman in a Dangerously Short Skirt getting into a bus and keeps looking. His wife tells him acidly "I suppose you think I didn't catch you staring at the girl getting in the bus?" "What bus?"

  • A MAD Magazine cover parodying Sherlock Holmes, named inside as Shermlock Shomes, shows the famous detective and Dr. Whatsit starting after a hairy gentleman with a knife in his back, a bone, and a guy in his pocket, later implied to be "Arty Morty", but seeing an "interesting turn" in the case and instead following a woman with a conspicuous figure who, outlined against the lights, constitutes "a much more suspicious character to follow!"

  • "What Was I Thinkin'" by Dierks Bentley:
    I was thinkin 'bout a little white tank top
    Sittin' right there in the middle by me
    I was thinkin' bout a long kiss
    Man just gotta get goin'
    Where the night might lead
    I know what I was feelin'
    But what was I thinkin'
  • "Baby's Got Her Blue Jeans On" by Mel McDaniel is a good example of this.
    She can't help it if she's made that way
    She's not to blame if they look her way
    She ain't really tryin' to cause a scene
    It just comes naturally
    Lord, the girl can't help it
  • "Bettina, zieh dir bitte etwas an" (Bettina, put some clothes on) by Fettes Brot has the chorus "Bettina, wrap up your boobs". The song was inspired by the outfit of the host in a late night, call-in TV game show.
  • The singer of "Man on a Mission" in !HERO: The Rock Opera ends the song with "Who's that beautiful girl?", segueing into "Secrets of the Heart".
  • "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)" by The Hollies. An FBI agent is about to signal a raid on a Bad-Guy Bar but the eponymous woman catches his eye:
    With just one look I was a bad mess
    cause that long cool woman had it all
  • "Bigger Than the Beatles" by Joe Joe Diffie has a mutual example of this. A waitress in a bar and a musician who performs in the bar are very much in love. Sometimes she forgets an order because she's thinking about how handsome he is, and sometimes he forgets to sing a chorus because he's thinking about how beautiful she is.
  • Bruce Springsteen:
    • "Crush on You": the narrator is constantly getting distracted by beautiful girls to the point of wanting to drop everything and just run after them.
    • Also these lines from "Loose Change":
      Yeah, I knew she was trouble but trouble sure was lookin' fine
      When I pulled her close what I knew kinda slipped my mind
  • "I Don't Want This Night to End" by Luke Bryan:
    You got your hands up
    You're rocking in my truck
    You got the radio on
    You're singing every song
    I'm set on cruise control
    I'm slowing losing hold of everything I got
    You're looking so damn hot
    And I don't know what road we're on
    Or where we've been from starin' at you
    Girl, all I know is I don't want this night to end
  • "Younger Men" by K.T. Oslin:
    That's why younger men are starting to catch my eye
    I'm strating to stop what I'm doing
    Just to turn around and watch them walk by

    Woah, look over here
    We got a cute little ol' runner on the right
    Blue shorts, no shirt
    Whoo, you're looking good, darling
    That's right, stay in shape''
  • In Del Reeves' "Girl on the Billboard", the singer notes how the titular billboard featuring a girl in just a Modesty Towel has caused crashes on Route 66.
  • In "Parents Just Don't Understand" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Fresh Prince's night is going well until his companion unbuttons her shirt. Due to this, he fails to notice a police car and gets pulled over for speeding. This leads to an arrest and no doubt severe punishment from his parents.
    • In "Just One Of Those Days", Prince, in a desperate attempt to get to work on time, steals a child's bike and rides away on it, catching the attention of a squad of twelve cop cars. Just as he's about to shake them off, he gets distracted by a pretty girl who walks by and promptly wipes out inside a construction zone.
  • In the Four Preps' "The Girl Without a Top" a naval captain runs his submarine into a pier when he spots her through his periscope.
  • Inverted in Whitney Avalon's song "Let's Not Talk About That", where Whitney is distracted from the sexy dancing by Jordan Maron's insistence on talking about politics.
  • "Bobbie Ann Mason" by Rick Trevino mentions the title character as being a sexy distraction in school:
    It wasn't the books that I didn't read
    It wasn't the teachers who tried to teach me
    It wasn't that varsity baseball coach
    Who kept on telling them locker room jokes
    It was Bobbie Ann Mason, back in high school
    She was way too cute, she was way too cool
    How was I gonna get an education
    Sittin' right in back of Bobbie Ann Mason

    Music Videos 
  • Eric Schwartz's "Kosha Boy", a parody of "Soulja Boy", has the Kosha Boy "try to set an example", but he gets distracted by "the girl [he wants] to schtup in the third row."
  • Weezer's video for "If You're Wondering If I Want You To" has this happen to two people: one standing in the street watching said girl, and the other driving a pickup truck, which hits the one standing in the street.
  • Trace Adkins' "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" is a video about this trope in action.
  • MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This" features a scene where Hammer suddenly stops dancing to admire the backside of the girl dancing in front of him.
  • In Chris Cornell's "Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart," set in Western times on the day he and Eric Roberts are among prisoners due to be hanged, an onlooker played by Elena "Ms. Fanservice roles a specialty" Satine uses this tactic as part of a plan to save Chris. At the end it's implied that she's going to do it again for Eric. (P.S. It does work the first time.)
  • Happens to a prison guard dog in Blake Shelton's "Old Red."
  • In Cobra Starship's tie-in video for "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)", the band members smuggle live snakes through airport security in a suitcase and guitar case, by having Maja Ivarsson distract the guy who's manning the X-ray scanner.

    Myths & Religion 

  • Happens several times in ''The Fallen Gods’’.
    • When Tuatha fails several perception and intuition checks when the group is trying to procure a ship, it's chalked up to her being distracted by the hot fake ship's captain. She's also willing to employ this herself if it means she can avoid an actual fight.
    • There's also Mistress Mara the merchant, who causes this in everybody. Solvin has to step outside because it's so awkward he's about to crawl out of his skin.

    Print Media 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Great American Bash 2007 had a backstage skit where Matt Hardy started lecturing Jeff Hardy that he had to stay focused to win his upcoming match. Candice Michelle, who just had a match, started pouring water all over herself to cool off, leaving Matt, Jeff, and then Ron Simmons gawking. Jeff later lost his match.
  • During a Full Impact Pro Falls Count Anywhere match CM Punk tossed Homicide onto a table where a strip show was happening and, without missing a beat, Homicide rolled onto his elbows to enjoy it. Punk stomped onto the table, stomped on Homicide's head and then noticed the strippers, though his reaction was more so appalled by the sexy.
  • At the 2015 FIP Heatstroke Earl Kooter was more interested in making out with Veronica Voxx than watching his Trailer Park Nation partner Zane Riley wrestle. Riley ended up getting pinned by Gary Jay when he ended up paying too much attention to Kooter and Voxx make out.
  • The whole feud between George "The Animal" Steele and Randy "Macho Man" Savage in 1986-1987 WWE was centered around Steele's attraction to Miss Elizabeth, though, unlike the more overtly sexy WWE Divas who would follow, she didn't actually do anything to provoke this reaction. She was just there.
  • Happened once to Vladimir Kozlov in a backstage segment on WWE SmackDown. But then, it was Beth Phoenix.
  • Happens to a photographer in this picture from Allysin Kay's Instagram. She wasn't above trying if it would help Chest Flexor in Absolute Intense Wrestling either, though the Midwest Militia usually took a more direct and violent approach to Flexor Industries' problems.
  • Mr. America lost an arm-wrestling match to Vince McMahon after Sable flashed him.

    Short Film 
  • Used in a short film (no memory of a title or origin, sorry) entirely shown through the scope of a Cold Sniper about to shoot someone coming out of a hotel — but who's distracted by a woman stripping down to her underwear at a window. It comes to the point that the hitman ends up too late to shoot the target, whom gets into a car, and he starts cursing loudly. Then the voyeur witnesses a man, probably a jealous boyfriend, entering the same room as the woman, slapping her and pulling a handgun... and the sniper shoots him. (Thus being an extreme form of a Wife-Basher Basher... probably because the guy wanted not "only" to beat her.)

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Mutants & Masterminds supplement about Japanese media Mecha & Manga, there's a feat called "Distracting Looks" that allows your character to provoke this reaction to reduce targets' effectiveness with social skills.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 supplement Fiendish Codex I: Hordes of the Abyss, one of the Abyssal Heritor feats is "Otherworldly Countenance", which allows to choose between wretchedly hideous or stunningly beautiful. If beautiful, the character can cause a fascination effect a set number of time per day by focusing attention on a subject. Note that no mention is made of the subject needing to be of the opposite sex (or even the same species, in fact).
  • In the Pathfinderthe emypreal lord Arshea uses zir charisma modifier as zir armor. Ze offers this to zir followers who preform obediences. The ability requires the user to wear revealing clothing and no armor.
  • Shadowrun: the 4th Edition supplement Attitude notes that female Urban Brawl champion Svetlana Jurjewa is known for her tactic of opening her top and flashing her breasts at members of the other team in order to distract them while one of her teammates makes a play. It's technically against the rules but so popular with viewers that she (and other female players who started copying her) are allowed to do it anyway.
  • The "Sexualized" merit in Vampire: The Requiem lets characters use this to their advantage, at the cost of dealing with the fallout from the occasional Stupid Sexy Flanders moments they inflict on people around them.
  • Reign has the "Beauty" advantage, which is prime for this use. At lower ranks you merely turn heads, while at the highest rank comparisons are made to Helen of Troy. And that's before you intentionally use it to jack your Fascinate skill through the roof.
  • The Dark Elf Sorceress Morathi in Warhammer Fantasy so beautiful and seductive that entire units must make a morale check to avoid distracted by her mere presence in combats she is involved in.
  • A Touch of Evil: The Succubus minion gets an extra Fight Die against male Heroes.

  • As the Man in Chair tells us, the actress in the 1920s musical The Drowsy Chaperone was famous for playing "The Oops Girl", who had this as her entire shtick.
  • In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Chip Tolentino washes out of the eponymous bee when he notices Leaf Coneybear's buxom older sister Marigold in the audience just as he is given the word "tittup." Predictably, he spells it with only one "t" and is disqualified.

    Web Animation 

Alternative Title(s): Sexiness Proximity


What Can Distract a Seeker

Richard finds Kahlan bathing outdoor and stares for long enough that he fails to notice he's being robbed.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / OutdoorBathPeeping

Media sources:

Main / OutdoorBathPeeping