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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
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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 Chic And Awe, Sex Sells, Sexy Coat Flashing, and Show Some Leg. 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.

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


Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • 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.

    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.
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    Comedy 
  • 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.

    Jokes 
  • 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?"

    Magazines 
  • Taken to Self-Demonstrating Article levels by the cover of the June 2007 issue of Latina Magazine (covergirl: Eva Longoria) in re an article about Enrique Iglesias:
    ENRIQUE: Tall, Dark, and Handsome. Oh, and he sings too!
  • 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!"

    Music 
  • "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 
  • Avoiding this is apparently the reasons certain sects of certain religions insist on their women dressing in a conservative manner.
  • Classical Mythology:
  • The Trojan War:
    • At one point in The Iliad, Hera goes to enormous lengths to seduce Zeus long enough for his pro-Trojan battle manipulations to fall apart.
    • Said to have saved Helen's life. After the Achaeans have breached Troy's walls and are sacking the city, her first husband Menelaus is furious at her as can be expected and is portrayed in various accounts as ordering his troops to execute her or even about to kill her himself before her beauty stays their/his hands (helped by some accounts saying her clothes were getting torn off in all of the drama).
  • A story in both Jewish folklore and The Qur'an: after the other Egyptian women mock her for making a fool of herself over Joseph, Potiphar's wife invites them over, then calls him in while they're cutting fruit. Multiple injuries ensue.

    Podcasts 
  • 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.

    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.

    Roleplay 
  • The "Hallucination" psi-power from A Shock to the System involves "Cramming an image of a pretty fem performing an act of depravity up [an enemy's] temporal lobe".

    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 Pathfinder, the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Touch of Evil: The Succubus minion gets an extra Fight Die against male Heroes.
  • 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.
  • The Dark Elf Sorceress Morathi in Warhammer Fantasy is 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.

    Theatre 
  • 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.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Melody:
    • Downplayed on Becca’s romantic path when the protagonist is fixing her sink and gets a view of her panties. He gets distracted from what he’s doing, but there are no bad consequences. Becca isn’t even that upset if he looks long enough that she catches him.
    • Discussed by Melody. According to her, when she and Steve were together, Steve would check out other girls while on dates with her.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • There are a lot of things that Wikipedia considers to be un-noteworthy. The Saugeen stripper is not one of those things.
  • Fey, in the Whateley Universe. After she had a near-burnout and grew, boys were walking past her dorm room to get a look. And were walking into the wall, falling down the stairs... and keep in mind that in Poe Cottage, most of these boys are gay.
  • Doctor Steel's Toy Soldiers has a Distraction Division, presumably to invoke this trope.
  • This April Fools article from Jalopnik calls for the banning of "road head" while driving since it supposedly distracts other people on the road from driving and is thus a road safety hazard.
  • Men make more short-term-oriented decisions after exposure to sexual stimuli, as explained in #3 of Cracked}'s 5 Unrealistic Movie Cliches That Are Scientifically Accurate.
  • The photo for the Distracted Boyfriend Meme features a guy who is distracted by a woman in the foreground. His girlfriend notices and is not very happy.
  • On Tumblr, Radioactivesupersonic posted an essay deconstructing the use of this trope to justify showing Action Girl characters in skimpy outfits. Their main point is that seduction is not a valid strategy in a combat situation, and is based on the assumption that the people she is fighting will be attracted to her and not be too savvy/sensible to fall for the trick — and if it were, why wouldn't male characters do it more often?
  • At one point, the female biz-bot of the Jolly Roger Telephone Company, designed to distract cold-callers, will claim to have been distracted and missed what the caller said because a really hot co-worker just walked by. "Oooh, baby!"
  • The Iced Latte with Breast Milk meme involves someone ordering a drink from a buxom, often underclad barista, only to make numerous abortive attempts to say something other than "breast milk."

    Web Videos 
  • During The Nostalgia Critic's review of Bebe's Kids, he rants about a useless music video included, until camera focuses on the main female's butt which results in a quick "Dayum" before he returns to ranting on how useless the music video is.
  • The Nostalgia Chick:
    • When it comes to David Bowie's PACKAGE, The Chick just can't help going off-track.
    • In the middle of her Matilda review, while Nella tries to convince The Nostalgia Chick and Mara Wilson to join forces instead of fighting each other, she gets distracted by Mara's breasts and tries to touch them.
  • Youtube star Miss Hannah Minx, who makes videos about random things she finds or does, as well as teaches random Japanese words and their kanji. However, I'm sure people have watched all her videos and still don't know a damn word in Japanese. Here's probably the biggest example. So much so that even Michael Swaim could not resist her Fanservice! She lampshade this here. One wonders if she purposely invokes this trope given the kinds of clothes she wears and camera angles she utilizes. Seriously, it's doubtful that she didn't know she's always wearing something revealing and/or very tight and has high camera angles to... well you know.
  • Tobuscus has a Catchphrase devoted to this phenomenon, "Hothothothothothot," which also falls under the category of Gibberish of Love, and appears to be endearing to many of the women he meets.
  • In the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who panel video, Peter Davison begins talking about the legendarily Narm-inducing decision for Peri to be leaning over his Doctor's face in a super-low-cut top during his regeneration scene, itself an example of this trope. Only as he carries on talking about it, the other old Doctors become noticeably distracted by the large-breasted sign-language interpreter on stage right as she mimes the sign for "cleavage", dropping their sentences and losing focus. Except for Tom Baker, who acts completely oblivious, and doesn't turn around to look even after Peter Davison points her out to him and starts miming the sign himself to indicate what he's missing. And then double subverts it by suddenly turning around and delivering a very flirty "hello".
  • In Episode 5 of Korra Bridged, upon discovering that Hiroshi Sato is working with Amon, Korra quickly tries to warn her friends... only to go completely brain-dead the moment she sees Asami in her swimsuit.
  • In the Wiiviewer's review of Dragon's Lair Trilogy, he gets so caught up in seeing Princess Daphne on the screen that he forgets what he's talking about.
  • Matt Santoro did a Q&A video, and someone asked him who he thought the hottest female was. He said Kate Upton, and to prove it, he played a clip of Kate Upton dancing in lingerie, which he stared at for a few seconds before regaining focus.
  • Young Justice Abridged:
    • Let's just say Wally isn't as good at hiding his attraction to Artemis here as he is in the show and just leave it at that.
    • Apparently, it's a trait shared by the other red-head; Roy gets played hard by Cheshire when she turns on the smoulder, and even funnier, he seems aware of the trope and tries to warn himself about it, but still falls for her distraction.
  • This episode of Game Theory argues the biological advantage in the Dead or Alive franchise's skimpy costumes, and their capacity to create imbalance in tournament play.
  • DashieXP's playthrough of Bayonetta 2 is rife with this, even hindering his performance (though, to be fair, it was his first time).
    DashieXP: [after Glamour emerges from the ground] Okay, we fighting some shit! We fighting some shit-(notices Bayonetta's ass) Damn, look at all that CAKE!
  • Mahu: In "Frozen Flame", a group of dryads tries to distract and even stop the forces of prince Arius by using their unnatural beauty... then a volley of rocks from the prince's trebuchets pulverizes half of these creatures, immediately breaking the spell.

Alternative Title(s): Sexiness Proximity, Web Original

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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 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / OutdoorBathPeeping

Media sources:

Main / OutdoorBathPeeping

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