"What did you say?"
"I said 'Hi! Wanna screw?' — same thing I always say to a hot babe."
"Wow... you must get slapped a lot."
"Yeah... but I also get laid a lot."
A common feature of The Pornomancer is the ability to seduce women in the course of a five minute conversation. It gets across just how irresistible the guy is to women — to be able to go from "hi, my name is" to sex that quickly must by necessity involve some serious skill. For good guys this can often be the first step to a successful infiltration operation. Mind you, most just do it 'cause they want to get laid. Many times, it involves a code phrase.
Sometimes, this skill is not shown on screen.
This trope is, to an extent, Truth in Television, with the important caveat that no one is ever 100% successful in their pick-up attempts in Real Life. Again, in fiction, the perfect success ratings are important to establishing the character's skill.
Happens very rarely with women, since in fiction usually all they have to do is Show Some Leg or even blithely say "want to have sex?" to get most guys into the sack with them, and therefore it's not considered a special ability. (This may have something to do with the insistence on only casting highly mainstream-attractive women in the first place. Or perhaps that Most Writers Are Male and All Men Are Perverts.)
The seduction can turn into an Informed Ability if the character in question is shown stumbling over lines any time we do see them talk to a woman. Also note that a character does not necessarily need to be The Pornomancer in order to make this work—this is just the usual portrayal.
- A particular Twix "Need a Moment?" commercial a few years back had two guys at a small party running into a hot woman. One guy had a book about picking up women (and very prominently featured that on the cover) and was showing it to the second guy, who then needed a moment, stuffed his mouth with a Twix, then promptly said something about the book being degrading to women. Cue sigh of desire.
- In GTO: The Early Years, Abe does this to the (supposedly) frigid hottest girl in the school, convincing her to skip class and go to a Love Hotel. It stands to reason that this is how he acquired most of his Sexy Man, Instant Harem.
- In an extra for Eyeshield 21, it's revealed that it took Agon 5 minutes to pick up a college girl at the gym and get her to come with him (Agon himself is in 11th grade). Good-speed indeed. He then subverts the trope by having the poor girl drive him to a football game instead.
- Maken-ki! establishes Love Espada's sex appeal by having both sexes practically drooling at her feet.
- The 70.5 omake chapter features an unnamed waitress, who fell in love with her at first sight. Simply sucking tea of her fingers was enough to literally make her cream her panties (SFW).
- Later, during the Himekagura Festival, she seduces Kyoki, a member of Tenbi's disciplinary committee. Espada coaxes her into one of the clubrooms while Usui and Himegami eavesdrop, from outside. Moments later, Kyoki was lovestruck putty in Espada's hands.
- A later scene in chapter 79 has her instigate an all-girl orgy off-panel. The aftermath shows them passed out, at her feet, in various states of undress. Two are seen still trembling in orgasm.
- Wally manages to make managers swoon by using buzzwords.
- In another strip, Dilbert uses his computer to devise the ultimate pickup line: "Hi, I'm Mel Gibson. Did you see a dingo dog go by with my shirt?" We don't see its effect on women, but it sure worked on Dogbert. Of course, Dogbert is a Deadpan Snarker, so he was probably being sarcastic.
- Another, more recent arc has Wally propose a devious plan to the receptionist that will get them both out of work. She instantly falls for him.
- Handsome Rob from the The Italian Job (2003) remake. In fairness, we don't actually hear Rob's conversation, or even all of it. Though he still is successful in acquiring Becky's uniform and her work van so that Stella can infiltrate Steve's house. Lampshaded by Lyle, who is watching the whole interaction from a distance:
Lyle: Are you kidding me? How does he do that? How do you do that? What are you saying?
[Lyle narrates the conversation with a husky voice for Handsome Rob and a ditzy female voice for Becky]
"Handsome Rob": Hey, how are you?
"Becky": Oh, I'm good! I'm good!
"Handsome Rob": Nice to meet you. I'm "Handsome Rob." And you are?
"Becky": Oh, my—my name's Becky, but it's written on my shirt!
"Handsome Rob": Listen, I'm gonna need your shirt, and your truck.
"Becky": Perfect! I'll give them both to you. Would you like my virginity as well?
"Handsome Rob": If it's on the menu.
"Becky": [fake laughter] Oh, you're so witty! Why don't you take advantage of me?
"Handsome Rob": Yeah, you're not too bright, are you?
"Handsome Rob": Perfect!
- We actually get to see a conversation like this in Iron Man, while Tony Stark is still in his Jerkass phase, and it's about as believable as one would expect. A television reporter, who is skeptical of his good will, asks him some questions, he gives brief answers to her questions, asks her to sleep with him... and she does. Just like that. Though that is a Gilligan Cut. They might have skipped over the lines that actually did the work. Also being charming, handsome and embarrassingly wealthy tends to improve one's odds. And, of course, Pepper Potts is decidedly less than impressed with this reporter when she stumbles out of Stark's bed in the morning. She implies to the reporter very clearly that Stark's mainly good at reading women he can easily persuade to jump in the sack with him.
- Casanova in the film of the same name. Obviously, The Casanova doesn't have his reputation for squat. Doubly in this film because he's portrayed by Heath Ledger.
- Famously averted in The Graduate. Despite her good looks (and him being rather plain and heavily implied to be a virgin) Mrs. Robinson has to practically throw herself at Ben before he gets the idea, and then he runs off all scandalized. When he does agree to get a hotel room with her, he worries what his parents would think if they found out, is generally horribly nervous, and has to be talked into it again.
- In Quantum of Solace, Bond and Agent Fields walk into a hotel room in Bolivia. Bond immediately throws his keys on the bed and walks into another room, while Fields stands around looking confused. Bond says a line about asking her to help him look for "stationery", and she immediately laughs and goes to walk into the room. Cut to sometime later, and Bond has already bedded her by the time Mathis comes along with a party invite.
- Subverted and lampshaded in Sex And Death 101. The lead appears to be activating each girl for coitus, but he's following a prophetic list of all the people who will have sex with him in his life. Sometimes he plays with this, dropping lines that should never activate, yet still succeeds. Then he falls for a girl not on his list and determinedly does and says anything that would get her to sleep with him. After enough pressure, she mocks him for thinking she had an 'activation code', in those words. Eventually he does push the right button; she agrees to sleep with him and promptly dies.
- This is successful in-film, but fails spectacularly from a viewer standpoint, in Every Which Way But Loose. Apparently, the line "I've never met anyone who made me feel the way you do" was supposed to be accompanied by a complete change in the normally dorky sidekick's speech and body language, showing his suave side to both his love interest and the audience. As played, it's arguably the most emotionally false scene in the entire movie, due to the actor's inability to pull off the change.
- Australian movie The Wog Boy has main character Steve with a 100% fool proof pick up line. He teaches it to Stephen Curry's character and warns him to use it carefully, he doesn't. In the end, the pick up line is "if you are what you eat, then by tomorrow, I'll be you."
- In About Time Tim walks up to Mary (who doesn't know him at all), quotes pretty much her own words about Kate Moss back to her, and she pretty much swoons and invites him up to her apartment.
- Happens twice in Rush when Chick Magnet James Hunt makes out with a nurse at the emergency room and an air stewardess on a plane.
- In Cabin Fever Marcy decides on the spot that she wants to distract herself from the distressing crisis with some hot casual sex. She manages to talk the only available man into helping her out with that almost as quickly.
- An old joke that suggests that the secret is persistence and volume (as in the example from The Mentalist under Live-Action TV):
Bob sees Charlie walk up to a woman, say something, and get his face slapped.
"What did you say?"
"I said 'Hi! Wanna screw?' — same thing I always say to a hot babe."
"Wow... you must get slapped a lot."
"Yeah... but I also get laid a lot!"
- Remo Williams of the Destroyer series. He masters the Sinanju art of lovemaking, which is intensely pleasant for the woman and utterly boring for Remo. Remo mainly attracts women through pheromones (a side effect of his training). He later finds out that a diet of shark meat disrupts this effect and uses it to get some reprieve during flights and similar situations.
- Dora Wilk Series: Dora Wilk can do this with her magic (she's fertility witch - succubus-like creature). It's implied that she did it when she still had to "power herself up" to live, but the moment she can abandon this habit, she stops with relief.
- The Game: Almost a Meta example since the book is all about men trying to perfect the execution of this Trope. The process isn't only shown - it's dissected, analyzed and compared with similar processes.
- The writer Neil Strauss remarks about the guy who thought him this: "Watching Mystery work, I noticed that he used the exact same openers, routines, and lines—and got a phone number or a tonguedown nearly every time, even if the woman was with a boyfriend. I'd never seen anything like it. Sometimes a woman he was talking to was even moved to tears."
- Later he meets another man proficient at this too but allegedly even faster to seduce - to drive the point home / take it Up to Eleven / make it Exactly What It Says on the Tin, this latter man calls his method "Speed Seduction".
- Tricky Business has a more realistic example. Jock isn't especially charming or articulate, just good looking enough that women throw themselves at him.
Jock's strategy was to approach a woman, move in close, and wait until his natural studliness overwhelmed them. This didn't always work, but it worked often enough that Jock had no reason to try anything else.
- This is how the vampires in Unique have taken to hunting. Wake up, have breakfast, go to a nightclub and find someone attractive for a brief and intense encounter. At one point Ophelia uses it twice in short order: first on an attractive young woman in goth attire, then on an older but still attractive man after fleeing what turned out to be a young woman with an obsession with Vampire: The Masquerade.
The fact that Ophelia now knew anything at all about "Vampire: the Masquerade" was more than she had ever wanted to know, and the knowledge was burning her in her mind. And she expected a character from the game would have just suffered a point of "humanity loss" for ditching the girl with an excuse of needing to use the restroom, then fleeing to the other side of the club.
- Game of Thrones: It doesn't take long for Loras to be seduced by Olyvar. Justified, since Olyvar is an experienced sex worker and his target hasn't been physically intimate with anyone in quite awhile.
- The Mentalist:
- Analyzed in an episode, where one of the suspects in a murder is a "pick-up artist". He talks about his tricks for getting a woman into bed every night, but he also admits that he strikes out a lot — the key is to keep going, so through sheer volume he finds at least one receptive woman each day. As Jane (who has the potential to be this kind of person) explains, it's a good system for one-night stands, but is horrible for establishing a long-term relationship.
- The same episode plays the trope for maximum comedy effect by having the resident stoic Kimball Cho perform instant seduction at a bar as part of an undercover operation... which he proceeds to do without ever deviating from his trademark deadpan, stone-faced persona. What takes the scene to near-CMoA levels is that the Instant Seduction conversations actually are depicted on-screen, and despite (or because of) his demeanor, Cho has a high and actually quite credible success rate.
- In another episode of the show, Patrick Jane makes a bet that he can seduce the woman of Riggsby's choice. Riggsby picks the widow of the victim, not expecting Jane to actually try it.
- Okona from the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Outrageous Okona" uses this on apparently every second woman on the ship (and Wesley).
- Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl. He can seduce anyone, both male and female, in five minutes or less.
- Captain Jack Harkness of the 2005 revival of Doctor Who and of Torchwood. Somewhat subverted in Doctor Who in that it never gets past "hi", although that can be easily attributed to the family-friendly nature of the show. Torchwood demonstrates that it is completely plausible that, should the Doctor not be there to get in the way, Captain Jack will engage in sexytime with anyone.
- Leverage features this during "The Lonely Hearts Job". It is first used by a team of female grifters to con rich men out of their money. It is explicitly discussed that they rely on large amounts of eye contact and other simple tricks to make their marks fall in love with them. Nate also fakes a more genuine version of this as part of a con. Although it is largely subverted with him in that he and Sophie were already a couple, though she did force him to make it look genuine as opposed to allowing him to script it.
- Charlie from Two and a Half Men. The exact code varies.
- In How I Met Your Mother, Barney Stinson got laid by texting a question mark. True story. And it. was. legen— wait for it —dary!
- Being the series' ladies man, Barney uses this a lot; for example, when Marshall gets mugged, Barney decides to take the story as his own in hopes that it will become this.
- He once tried picking up a woman by just saying "Daddy's home." It didn't work, but he managed to fool his friends into thinking it did.
- Also from HIMYM, Lily and Marshall have obvious code words (rhinoceros, for example) where if one of them says it, they will both get up very quickly and leave holding hands. Everyone in the group recognizes what this is.
- There's a trick called The Naked Man; guy is invited back to a woman's place (not for sex). She leaves the room for a second note and he strips naked and poses. This has a roughly 66% chance of working, whether out of pity, admiration at his chutzpah, or "sure, why not?" The only one who tries it without success is Barney. Go figure.
- Subverted in an episode of Chuck, where the title character is failing his normal seduction attempt and is coached into suddenly speaking totally out of character to get closer to an enemy agent... who's totally onto his being coached.
- Joey from Friends. All he says is, "How you doin'?" and any woman anywhere will immediately leap into bed with him. He also invents a story about backpacking in Western Europe, specifically in Barcelona which accomplishes the same thing.
- Gender-reversed in Seinfeld, where Elaine tries to flirt with George's boss to distract him while George drugs him. The code in this case? "Sooo, I'm going to a nudist colony..."
- An inversion: in an episode of Corner Gas, Karen sleeps with Hank after he waxes poetic about fish. Not because she's into fish at all, but because he's into fishing so much that it brings out his poetic and sensitive side; we even see him from her point of view and he's in soft focus. It's subverted later in the episode after they decide not to continue with things, only for Karen to start in on how she likes target practice, and Hank sees her in soft focus...then she fumbles for words and the moment's lost.
- Into the Woods: "Anything can happen in the woods... may I kiss you?"
- Sealy in The Damn Few. All he has to say is, "I'm a top-secret Navy SEAL!"
- In Questionable Content, Steve suspects this of Marten, then tries to do it to Tainote , which leads Marten and Cosette to mock it.
- Tip from Skin Horse. It's referred to in-story as a superpower (semi-jokingly).
- In Sluggy Freelance Torg once tried this on Gwynn. He failed horribly.
- In Least I Could Do, this ability is attributed to Rayne, the main character. Whenever he tries to pick up a woman on-screen, he uses a comedic routine that leads to failure, whereas his off-screen attempts leads to immediate sex, often in public places. In an extreme example, one series has Rayne's brother dragging him off to go skiing. Rayne gets injured and is strapped to a gurney by an attractive paramedic. He leaves the comic for a single panel, and when we look back he's in the middle of sex with the paramedic. In the snow, while he's injured. Though he does, later on, admit that much of the reason he gets laid so much is he tries this with every girl ever, and he apparently strikes out much more than he wins... he just doesn't mention those events to his friends.
- Memorably subverted on one occasion, where Rayne approaches an incredibly attractive woman in a bar and seems to be trying this. But when it seems like he succeeded as she to brings it up, to he declines and comments that he noticed her wedding ring, but continued because he simply enjoyed the conversation.
- Jason possesses this skill, though it's attributed to some sort of genius math formula that somehow makes this possible.
- Also played with when Davan walks up to an attractive woman and simply says "Want to go to my place and have lots of sex?" and gets an affirmative. Jason, the resident Lothario, immediately starts trying to remember what special gestures or postures Davan used to make the question magically effective.
- Adam from Loserz knows a lot of these. We see some when he's "training" Ben. Possession of a guitar also seems to work on the girls at their school.
- Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: The bard demonstrates the game of love to Clover by seducing a tavern wench in under a minute.
- The French comic First Date parodies this: A pretty girl compliments a guy's watch, saying it's cute because "it's so small," and he responds with a nervous "This is the first time a girl told me that." That makes her laugh, and cut immediately to them having sex. But it's All Just a Dream, and the girl is actually married.
- Demonstrated in an episode of Futurama at the Romanticorp headquarters. The company is experimenting with pick-up lines. One dummy says, "My two favorite things are commitment and changing myself." The test subject (woman) immediately starts making out with the dummy.
Leela: Does that dummy have a brother?