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Everyone Looks Sexier if French

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Certain nationalities are stereotypically presented as inherently "sexier" than others, to those not of that nationality. Often the accent, or, if female, a French Maid dress, has a part in it.

For the more technical minded readers, this can be due to Allophilia and is possibly explained by evolution: more dominant genes, and an improved immune system in the offspring.

Compare Gorgeous Gaijin and, of course, Everything Sounds Sexier in French. If a member of a stereotypically sexy group has mixed-race kids who are also seen as attractive because of said stereotype, see Mixed Ancestry Is Attractive. Subtrope of Foreign Fanservice.

Merci de bien vouloir vous abstenir d'ajouter des exemples issus de la vraie vie!Translation



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Parodied in Hetalia: Axis Powers, where France is actually a Handsome Lech who often gets bitchslapped for being a pervert. He still manages to undress and grope (and some more) the other nations, though.
  • Tamaki Suou, overlord of the Ouran High School Host Club, is half-French half-Japanese, and therefore blond. Everyone is much taken with his beauty and sophistication, especially himself.
  • The fans of Infinite Stratos (as evidenced through fanart) would seem to indicate this as the case for Charlotte Dunois.
  • The general rule in Baccano! is that if you are French, you will be ridiculously hot. Renee is described as someone who would be in Playboy had it existed at the time, whereas Huey and Sylvie even distract same-gendered onlookers. Also Huey's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
  • Marginal Prince is full of pretty boys, but the French guy Henri is the only one to have his beauty explicitly spelled out in his profile.
  • Tsukipro is full of beautiful characters, but Rikka is one of the ~10% of them who goes past that, into "so pretty it's hard to function around him" territory... and he's half French.
  • High School Star Musical averts this, somewhat. Yuzuriha, a returnee from France, tends to Bishie Sparkle a lot, and he's incredibly flamboyant, but he isn't necessarily labeled as more beautiful than the others - the only one who gets that label is his teammate Otori.
  • Richard of The Case Files of Jeweler Richard looks exactly like his French actress mother, so closely that she can be mistake for him in drag, and they are both so gorgeous they turn heads and overwhelm people with interest only in their appearance.

  • The Swing: This French painting was scandalous (and by extension, beloved) for the various sexual allusions going on in the picture. First, the two men covet the woman in the swing, who is wearing a pink dress and looking flirtatiously at one of them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Didier, the French exchange student of Son of Rambow.
  • In Love Actually an English guy moves to America specifically so that he can exploit this trope. He claims that to American girls, he'll be like Prince William without a weird family. It works.
  • Played the other way around in À nous les petites anglaises, in which several French schoolboys become infatuated with the local girls while on a foreign exchange to England. It's quite realistic since at the time English girls and women were considered more "liberated" than their French counterparts (it had to do mainly with better access to contraception)
  • Nothing's match for a French Bruce Campbell, as seen in Spider-Man 3.
  • Colleen Camp and her amazing push-up French maid outfit in Clue.
  • Julie Delpy in Killing Zoe.
  • Mélanie Laurent as Shosanna Dreyfus in Inglourious Basterds. A young Nazi officer and nationally revered hero fancies her a lot and becomes nearly obsessed with her. He tries to pursue her romantically, no matter how many times she suggests that she's not interested.
  • Moushumi pulls off a Desi version of this in The Namesake having gone to university at the Sorbonne. On a date with Gogol she does little sexy things with her cigarette, hair, glasses, pulling her skirt a bit higher, etc. When Gogol asks her "How'd you get so sexy?" she whispers "Paris". She ends up leaving him for a French guy, too.
  • French movie La Lectrice is built around the trope of "I read+I'm female+I'm French - sexy". in this farce. Miou-Miou plays Constance, an ingenue told she has a beautiful reading voice, who rents out her services as a professional reader. The problem is... people tend not to believe the only service on offer is a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice who will read a book to you. The local Vice Squad, in particular, insist "une lectrice" is a code word for a more unspecified sexual service - as do many of her would-be clients. with one or two clients she eventually gives in and provides that little bit extra - but nothing goes as she plans it...
  • In National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze, a student hires an escort the same day a French foreign exchange student is to arrive at the dorm. The escort is assumed to be the foreign exchange student, despite her lack of an accent.
  • Rio Lobo: Cordona. When (in response to being nicknamed "Frenchie") he exasperatedly tells McNally that he's half Mexican to, McNally joking asks if its the Mexican half that's been wooing Shasta.
  • Lost & Found (1999) stars David Spade as a restaurateur who attempts to woo his new neighbor, a beautiful French cellist played by Sophie Marceau, by kidnapping her dog.
  • Stations of the Cross: Maria's self-hatred and shame are the shadow of her worship for Bernadette, the family's beautifulau pair who's perfection is only furthered by the fact that she's not plain German like Maria is, she's French.
  • Ticket to Paradise: Upon meeting Georgia's handsome younger French boyfriend, Beth-Anne comments that the French are great lovers.
    David: That's a rumor they started about themselves.
  • In Island of Death, Christopher and Celia's first victim is a French painter who expresses sexual interest in Celia.

  • Beauxbatons in Harry Potter - specifically Fleur Delacour, and possibly other students. This is because Fleur is part-Veela, and full-Veela are naturally alluring to men, as we see during the 1994 Quidditch World Cup.
    • Exaggerated in the films, where the other schools sent single-gender groups to Hogwarts. Beauxbatons' delegation is all pretty French girls in chic uniforms who summon butterflies and blow kisses to the Hogwarts boys.
  • Jean-Claude, a love interest in the Anita Blake books, and his entourage, is French. As well as other characters.
  • The D'Angelines from Kushiel's Legacy are a Fantasy Counterpart Culture to the French. They're all incredibly beautiful and base their culture around Eternal Sexual Freedom.
  • In The Woman with the Velvet Necklace, although the very sexy Arsene is French, the narrator does not say she is desirable because she is French. Instead, Hoffman's fiance, Antonia, is half-German and half-Italian (the two races which Dumas says compete for the title of most beautiful), and explicitly owes her attractiveness to her heritage.
  • In The Scarlet Pimpernel novels, English aristocrats seem to have a thing for Parisian beauties and are very eager to marry them. Poor English gals, they are doomed to die old spinsters at that rate.
  • While probably not French by blood, Sebastian Verlac from The Mortal Instruments was raised in France and represents the Paris institute, and certainly comes off as unusually attractive.
  • Vampire Academy:
    • Most of the Moroi are of Eastern European origin. Their names are Russian and Romanian in origin. They look like supermodels.
    • Dimitri. A very attractive Russian guy with a matching accent. Rose falls hard for him.
  • Discussed and subverted in The Mark and the Void. Many of Claude's colleagues assume and joke that he must have all the women he wants because he is French. In fact, Claude Cannot Talk to Women and doesn't have a particularly successful love life.
  • The Geronimo Stilton spin-off series Thea Stilton has a family-friendly example in Colette, a Mouseford Academy student who hails from France and is very pretty (though not much more than her fellow Thea Sisters).
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: It is noted that the French witch Claudette is especially skilled in cosmetic and beauty magic, and she manages to maintain her appearance despite grim conditions.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One 3rd Rock from the Sun episode had the family trying to decide what ethnicity to be. Dick asked Mary, an anthropologist, what the best ethnic group was. She claimed it was all subjective, but when he asked which ethnicity was sexiest, she immediately responded, "Italians. Smokey, swarthy, gotta have 'em."
  • The Affair: Noah's new love interest in season 3 is Juliette, a French college professor who specializes in medieval Courtly Love literature.
  • Played with in a number of ways in 'Allo 'Allo!, variously with the sultry Yvette, the implied affair between the bed-ridden grandmother and LeClerc, the way in which both the waitresses AND the camp German officer are attracted to the balding, middle-aged Rene, another waitress named Mimi LaBonque and oh so many others....
  • There's an episode of Boy Meets World where Shawn finds out this nerdy girl is Swiss (yet he invariably refers to her as Swedish) and makes her popular by playing up fetish stereotypes.
  • Luc Laurent from Brothers & Sisters, who Sarah meets on a wine buying trip in France and has "sexy French dude" played so highly that's clearly done for laughs.
  • In one episode of Coupling, Susan is chatted up by someone who assumes she is French and is attracted for this reason alone. Susan also admits to liking Australians. Later in the episode, Jeff responds similarly to the idea of a client being French.
  • In one episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca stays at home with depression and watches a French film, where a French woman says "I'm so depressed." Because the French woman looks so much sexier being depression than Rebecca does, she imagines singing the song "Sexy French Depression," which both embraces this trope and deconstructs it, showing that even if she were French, depression is not sexy.
  • Even happens on French TV. TF1's long-running popular sitcom Les Filles d'à côté ran on this trope, dealing with the lives of two sets of neighbours and the gym/health club they visited. Both the "girls next door" and their male neighbours are walking paradigms of 1990's French chic, as are the troop of extras in the gym. Even the slobby Marc is above-average good looking and presentable.
  • One episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was full of lines about how French girls are promiscuous.
  • In Harper's Island, Sully and Cal are both convinced that Chloe only likes Cal because of his British accent.
  • Duncan's season one lover in Highlander, Tessa Noel, was a sexy Frenchwoman, and the series writers weren't afraid to run with it. She takes a very steamy shower in the pilot that required extra Censor Steam for the American version and had a few provocative love scenes with Duncan which also tended to get Edited for Syndication.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • On the pilot episode, Barney comments that Lebanese women have replaced half-Asian women in his fantasies.
    • Ted runs into his ex Stella after she left him at the altar, his friends rate how he handled the situation favorably on a scale from Sobbing-like-a-baby-about-how-his-life-is-ruined to Dating-someone-exactly-like-her-but-French-and-with-bigger-boobs (in the fantasy, even Stella's new husband tries to hit on her French version in front of her).
    • Robin returns to New York from her vacation with an Argentinian boyfriend. Every woman in the pub swoons over Gael's foreign charm, his accent, his stories etc. Ted and Barney envy him and pretend to be out-of-towners to score hot chicks as well. It works.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): How do you make an alluring vampire even sexier? Make him a French vampire, bien sûr note ! Lestat de Lioncourt is a Frenchman who speaks English with a French accent, which imbues his baritone voice with a seductive quality, and he occasionally includes French words and sentences (Lily remarks that Lestat's French "sure sounds nice"). He also embodies the French stereotype of being extremely romantic and debauched, so this magnifies his sex appeal. In Season 1, Lestat is the most overtly sexualized character because he has the most nude and Shirtless Scenes.
  • Lost Girl. In "La Fae Époque", Bo is walking through Dyson's memories of his time in 1899 Paris, with the other contemporary characters appearing as people he had met back then. Bo's Love Interest Lauren appears as The Chanteuse, and Bo objects when she has to leave in the middle of the song because that's what Dyson did. "No, she hasn't finished singing yet! In French!"
  • Murdoch Mysteries: The very pretty doctor Emily Grace gets even sexier when she's asked to play a suspect in episode "The Murdoch Sting". She plays a "gold-digging trollop" with a thick French accent called Désirée Deneuve. Mademoiselle Deneuve unexpectedly meets Leslie Garland (who knows and recognizes Emily). So Emily Grace decides she must kiss him in order to keep the scheme going. Everyone thinks Mademoiselle Deneuve is ravishing.
  • One episode of My Name Is Earl revolved around Earl trying to make amends with a French exchange student, Pierre, that he bullied in school for being different. He flies the guy back to Camden County in a bid to make him not hate America, but this is almost ruined when Randy strangles him for hitting on his green-card wife, Catalina. Earl goes to apologize, only to discover that the reason he came to America is because American girls thought his accent was sexy. This gives Earl the idea to cross him off the list by reconnecting him with the girls he was planning to kiss as a kid. This included the teacher.
  • As with Les Filles d'à côté above, comedy sketch show Vous Les Femmes seems to pride itself on its visual presentation. The filming locations chosen are visually attractive and the cast are always stylishly and impeccably dressed - even (perhaps especially) when casual indignities and humiliation are about to be perpetrated on them. Each comic sketch feels like the best French cinematography, a whole movie condensed into two or three minutes.
  • In Waking the Dead Stella Goodman is half-French half-English and often seen as the sexiest member of the team.

  • Parodied in the Rammstein song "Pussy". This is why there's the Gratuitous German in a predominantly English song (yes, aware of the irony). Also a parody on the sex tourism trade. The lyric, "I can't get laid in Germany" is a nod towards the trope.
  • Played for squick in the Evelyn Evelyn Concept Album. "Sandy Fishnets" is about a girl from Quebec who was forced into prostitution at her American orphanage. She was the most popular girl until she grew "too old" and was killed.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Out of Pogo's paltry female cast, the designated potential love interest — introduced being courted by Porkypine and almost immediately horned in on by Albert — is Miz Ma'm'selle Hephzibah, a skunk who speaks in a mix of broken English and sometimes-even-broken-er French.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Eddie Izzard mentioned this in one of his sketches in Dress To Kill. According to him, French actors play more "esoteric" characters in American movies: "Hello, my name is Pierre. I come from Paris. I have come to have sex with your family." — "Help yourself!" — "... Because of the debt of honor to General Lafayatte!" — "You know your own history, yeah?"
  • Greer Barnes on Comedy Central had a great sketch involving a European accent towards an American female..."You. You there. You are very pretty." - "Thanks, are you some kind of weirdo?" - "No, I am from Europe" (takes drag on a smoke) (pause) "What color panties are you wearing?" - "Oh my god, you're a pervert." - "No. I need to know"... and this goes on and on until he actually gets her panties in his hand on a busy street with the phrase "Take them off.", and then asks the audience what would happen if he did it in his New York accent; "Yo, fine mama, lemme see yo' panties", then he gets arrested.

  • The Manic Pixie Dream Girl lead of The Drowsy Chaperone decides its a good idea to test her finance's fidelity by disguising herself with a French accent and trying to seduce him. This works, seeing as how she's exactly the same person but with a different name and slightly altered voice.
    Janet: The wedding is off! Robert kissed a French girl. Her name is Mimi. She's very beautiful.
    Robert: I couldn't help it, Janet! She was just like you — only French!
  • In Stephen Sondheim's Anyone Can Whistle repressed nurse Fay Apple disguises herself in a Wig, Dress, Accent as a sexy French woman (The Lady from Lourdes) and seduces Hapgood. She is only able to be uninhibited when in the costume.

    Video Games 
  • Both French people from the two Laura Bow games are massive flirts, and the first one is actually a French Maid... ooh la la.
  • Cécile from Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is a blonde, French Ms. Fanservice who both Kaz and Doctor Strangelove try to get with.
  • The RED Spy from Team Fortress 2 seems to have this property exaggerated, since he never takes off his balaclava (even while having sex), but the BLU Scout's Mom still finds him incredibly attractive. (And if voice commands can be considered canon, Spies of both colors can say: "Well, off to visit your mother!" after killing an enemy Scout, so it's possible that BLU Spy is in a similar relationship with the RED Scout's mother.)
  • Overwatch has quite a few attractive women in its roster, but the most overtly sexualized is probably Widowmaker, who wears a Spy Catsuit with a Navel-Deep Neckline, high heels, and a very defined ass. She is, of course, the representative from France.
  • The Ms. Fanservice of ARMS is Twintelle, a famous French actress who is also an Arms fighter.
  • KanColle's take on the Marine Nationale (so far) has this trope in effect through Richelieu and Commandant Teste.
  • Identity V has Joseph (The Photographer), and Vera (The Perfumer), both French and both often rated among the most attractive characters, and often given costumes that show off their looks. There's also Mary but she's Austrian...
  • Dead or Alive has Helena Douglas, the blonde, buxom, French woman. Granted, Dead Or Alive is well known for its attractive female cast.
  • One of the main characters in Telling Lies is a camgirl who occasionally pretends to be French for this reason.
  • Taking place in a region based on France, Pokémon X and Y features this in spades with some characters. Most notably Professor Sycamore, who, unlike the previous professorsnote , has a good physique, charming mannerisms, and is an all-around good guy. His theme, featuring a violin, helps too.

    Web Original 
  • Mocked in an Onion Point/Counterpoint article. Point: [American woman] "European Men Are So Much More Romantic Than American Men" Counterpoint: [Italian man] "American Women Studying In Europe Are Unbelievably Easy"
  • Homestar Runner: In one of the possible endings to "Halloween Potion-ma-jig", a magic potion turns Homestar into a sauve-looking French version of himself, much to Marzipan's delight.
    Marzipan: Ooh, goody goody gumdrops!
    Suave Homestar: (in a thick French accent) Ah say, Mah-zee-pan, let us away to mah romantic chateau in ze Fantastique Mountahns!
  • The New Humans has a Frenchwoman, Melusine. According to the narration, when people ask to be drawn like their French girls, they really mean her.
  • Parodied in Shipwrecked Comedy's "American Whoopee," where two of the characters become enamored with a perfectly normal, if somewhat goofy, Canadian boy.
  • Honest Trailers' video on Arcane came up with a variation, "French Animators Make Everything Look Sexual", to explain how stuffed the characters' interactions were with romantic and sexual subtext.

    Western Animation 
  • On Family Guy Joe's wife Bonnie finds sleazy French perverts very attractive. One even tells her that with his accent it will take her three years to realize he is a jerk.
  • An episode of Pond Life introduced two French characters, Didier and Michelle, whom every other character perceived as being drop-dead gorgeous.
  • In an early episode of The Simpsons, Marge takes up bowling lessons after Homer thoughtlessly buys her a bowling ball for her birthday (which he really bought for himself with the intention that she wouldn't want it), and is attracted to her French bowling teacher, Jacques. Jacques knows how to turn the charm on, and Marge finds herself attracted to him, culminating in a highly romantic fantasy involving ballroom dancing and elegance. Turns out Jacques actually lives in a slightly sleazy singles apartment and, after arranging a rendezvous with Marge, is seen gloating about how he's finally going to get some action with her. Marge doesn't actually find this out; she decides not to cheat on Homer after all. The character of Jacques was originally intended to be named Björn, but after they heard Albert Brooks' attempt at a Swedish accent, they made him French instead.
  • Zig-Zagged Trope with Pepé Le Pew from Looney Tunes. He's usually an Abhorrent Admirer, but his "love interest" finds him irresistible if circumstances make it such that she thinks he's a cat or she otherwise gets over his scent problem.

Alternative Title(s): Foreign People Are Sexy