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Magnetic Girlfriend

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"Oh dear, here we go again, thought Vimes. Why did I have to wait until I was married to become strangely attractive to powerful women? Why not when I was sixteen? I could have done with it then."

A common observation in fiction: Once you get a girlfriend, other girls just come naturally.

The lead male character may be nice, kind, and fairly attractive. He may adopt stray kittens, help old ladies across the street, do charity work in Third World countries. It doesn't matter, because he's never, ever going to be able to find a least, not until a girl swoops down out of nowhere and attaches herself limpet-like to his arm.

Suddenly he has an embarrassment of riches. Girls who wouldn't even look at him before are now beating down his door. Old acquaintances he can't even remember will appear and claim to have loved him for years. He can walk down the street and have new characters pop up claiming Love at First Sight.

This can also happen even when the girl is still only a Love Interest, which makes it even harder for the guy to brush away the other girls and convince her that she's his One True Love (which she is). It also makes it harder for him to brush off in general, but that's another story entirely.

As a part of the wish-fulfillment element that defines the Harem Anime genre, the Magnetic Girlfriend will not be jealous of the other girls that enter the equation. This is because she is either too naive to notice their affections, so nice that she would rather be their friend than their rival, or that she trusts her boyfriend to not cheat and so doesn't feel threatened by the extra girls. Oddly enough, her upbeat and kind personality is usually enough to win over their friendship, but the race for the guy is most definitely still on.

Note that if the Magnetic Girlfriend is somehow detached, her effect will often wear off. If the magnetic effect is unnecessary, the guy is a natural Chick Magnet.

Compare Operation: Jealousy where the same 'attraction of the unavailable' is at work.

Truth in Television. Sometimes, the experience of getting a girlfriend gives men newfound confidence that makes them more attractive to other women. Sometimes, the fact that a man isn't on the hunt anymore makes them more relaxed and natural and thus less awkward. Finally, the fact that he has a girlfriend signals to other women that there is something desirable about him. In academia this phenomenon is called "mate choice copying," and it has been observed in many species.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Belldandy for Keiichi in Ah! My Goddess. Keiichi's pseudo-rival is only vaguely interested in Bell because she isn't. Sayoko is arguably less interested in Keiichi than annoyed at Belldandy stealing away most of the attention from her classmates, as well as the protective nature of Bell and Kei's wish causing problems for anyone intruding on them.
  • In Ai Yori Aoshi, Kaoru and his childhood friend Aoi secretly get engaged and move into a mansion with the cover story that she's his landlady. Soon a large number of girls move in as Aoi's tenants, and by the end of the story all of them have fallen for Kaoru as well. Both Tina and Mayu loved him already, but the presence of competition motivates them to try harder for his attention.
  • Touma in A Certain Magical Index is not an example. It's stated that his teacher and all of his classmates, and a great many other females, are attracted to him, or at least find him cute because of his bad luck, before Index comes along.
  • A mild version happens in Seinen manga and anime If I See You In My Dreams. The wimpy Masuo Fuguno falls in love with the beautiful Nagisa, and suddenly a lot of women began to insinuate/try to seduce/trip on him scantly dressed/fall in love with him. Masuo, being a man with no romance experience, doesn't know how to cope with this or convince Nagisa that everything is a misunderstanding; and Nagisa, being almost as inexperienced as him and a bit of Tsundere, doesn't believe him and gives the cold shoulder. Notorious because, even with this setup, it doesn't become a harem series.
  • Once Keitaro meets Naru in Love Hina, other women start showing up like it's a haremette convention.
  • Midori Days takes this to extremes - Midori is not only both figuratively and literally attached to Seiji, but her appearance on his right arm sparks a run of luck where quite a few women (and one slightly nerdy boy) fall for Seiji. Justified as Seiji was a Jerkass before Midori started forcing him to change his ways, so his Character Development made him more attractive to the people around him.
  • Nagasarete Airantou almost fits this trope to a T. The magnetism, however, is due not to the guy getting a girl, but to the fact that the guy is the guy — the only human male on the island. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi has an... interesting take on this; when Negi asks to speak to Ku Fei after class, a bunch of the other girls automatically assume he likes her and begin making their own attempts to win him. Of course, after they all work themselves up over it, it turns out that he wanted learn martial arts from her.
    • It also happens in a more traditional sense. Nodoka confesses to him and explains to the other girls that she likes his maturity and determination. Cue numerous other girls beginning to be attracted to him for the same reasons. Up to and including a robot.
  • Himari of Omamori Himari. All the Cute Monster Girls (and one Dark Magical Girl) seem to have come out of the woods right after Himari entered Yuuto's life, although that may have more to do with the awakening of his demon-hunting powers when he turned 16.
  • Rosario + Vampire: Nice Guy Tsukune gets a girlfriend on his first day at Yokai Academy, the incredibly gorgeous and friendly vampire girl Moka Akashiya. It's not long before several more girls fall for him: A succubus with a Buxom Beauty Standard figure, a young Cute Witch who also has a crush on Moka, a Yuki Onna who's a Stalker with a Crush, and an older Hot Witch (though she's not too crazy over him like the others are).
  • It's only after a chance encounter with his first Sekirei Musubi that Minato starts to encounter more of them in particular the five others who bond with him. It's even noted that a Ashikabi like Minato becomes more magnetic to Sekirei as they wing more particularly with strong bonds.
  • Tenchi Muyo!. Poor naive Tenchi frees Ryoko from her prison, where she has been locked for 700 years. Within a matter of days five or six more show up, almost all of whom are capable of blowing up his house at minimum, the planet at maximum. All of whom are heavily connected to Ryoko, even if some of them don't realize it.
  • Lala, Rito's Magical Alien Fiance (of sorts), from the To Love Ru manga. Before he met her, he was pretty much just some average and nice guy who can't admit his crush on an old friend (who apparently also has a crush on him that he isn't aware of). After meeting Lala, however, a series of events is set off that sees him unwittingly gathering an Unwanted Harem so big that Lala agrees with (her sister) Momo's idea to make an official harem for him!.
  • A running gag in the early Video Girl Ai manga and anime is that Youta Moteuchi's name, if you mispronounce the kanji as "Motenai Yo Da," means "Dateless." He did everything in his power to be noticeable, even buying magazines for tips. Once he met and lost Ai, however, everyone from his Unlucky Childhood Friend to the Girl Next Door to a former classmate who had a crush on him (as well as an amnesiac Ai) falls head over heels for him.

  • Advice and Trust:
    • Girls suddenly find Shinji a lot more attractive once he and Asuka open up to each other. Of course, since they're trying to keep their relationship a secret, Asuka can't do anything but glare menacingly and curse under her breath while other girls try to steal her man.
    • Rei actually invokes this by pretending to be going out with Kensuke in order to get him a real girlfriend.

    Films - Live Action 
  • In The Three Stooges' Brideless Groom, Shemp starts out as a bachelor music teacher, when Moe comes in, telling Shemp that his Uncle Caleb has just died, and if Shemp gets married in time, he'll inherit $500,000 from his Uncle Caleb. Shemp goes out looking for his would-be bride, only to experience mishaps in a telephone booth which collapses, and gets slapped about by a woman who accuses him of impersonating her cousin. Later, Shemp proposes to his musical pupil, which she accepts; unfortunately, things get complicated when the announcement of Shemp's inheritance is published in the papers, and numerous other gold-digging women start showing up, demanding that Shemp marries one of them. After a long-fought battle amongst the suitors, Shemp finally marries his musical pupil, Fanny Dinkelmeyer.

  • A Downplayed Trope with regard to Sam Vimes, but Lampshaded in Night Watch Discworld: when accosted by Madame Roberta "Bobbie" Meserole, he wonders "Why did I wait until I was married to become strangely attractive to powerful women? Why didn't it happen to me when I was sixteen? I could have done with it then."
  • When the usually-isolated Utahraptor packs of Raptor Red are brought together by a field of carrion-scented flowers, Raptor Red's consort, being a consort, attracts the attention of other raptor females, forcing Raptor Red to fight for him. The consort himself isn't exactly thrilled by this.
  • Discussed in Spice and Wolf; a barmaid tells Lawrence that having a beautiful "companion" (who even went to the effort of marking him with her scent) makes him more desirable.

    Live Action TV 
  • 30 Rock based a whole episode on this, and called the phenomenon "when it rains, it pours."
  • Happens to Mike in Off Centre. It's actually lampshaded and later subverted when he then tries to cheat on his girlfriend. The girls that were all over him suddenly hate his guts.
  • This happens to JD in Scrubs. In the course of an episode he goes from dateless, to having a girlfriend and back, while a random woman in a bar follows this to a tee.
  • This happens to Dean in the season 6 premiere of Supernatural: he's wearing a wedding ring (although he's not married, he is shacking up with someone at the time) and a waitress at a bar gives him her phone number along with the check. Dean lampshades it to his buddy that he's in the bar with, but it turns out it's really a demon trying to get him alone so she can kill him.
  • George Costanza of Seinfeld once heard that women dig married guys, so he goes to a party wearing a wedding band and pretending to be married. Pretty much every woman there comes onto him, when they likely wouldn't have looked twice at him otherwise. Of course, he doesn't get anywhere with them because they all think he's married.
    Woman: So, uh, are you really married? Because I've actually heard of single guys who wear wedding bands to attract women!
    George: [nervously chuckling] You would have to be a real loser to try something like that...
    Woman: That's too bad, because I really have a thing for bald guys with glasses. [leaves]

  • The Last Five Years: Newly married Jamie sings the song "A Miracle Would Happen" about this.
    Jamie: Everyone tells you that the minute you get married
    Every other woman in the world suddenly finds you attractive.
    Well, that's not true.
    It only affects the kind of women
    You always wanted to sleep with,
    But they wouldn't give you the time of day before
    And now they're banging down your door
    And falling to their knees.
    At least that's what it feels like
    Because you. Can. Not. Touch. Them.

  • A platonic example is seen in this comic of Living with Hipstergirl and Gamergirl. An acquaintance of Artur's, Megan, is talking to a co-worker of his, dismissing Artur before both women notice Artur being greeted by Erika and Sophie. Needless to say, the girl becomes quite interested now. According to a few comments, this is actually fairly common to be a joke in Latin America. While Artur isn't in a relationship with either, they are pretty close and there has been a healthy amount of Ship Tease.
  • Nancy in Ow, my sanity, for unusual (but perfectly logical) reasons.
  • Tai of Questionable Content has an interesting theory on the phenomenon.
  • Kevin makes this observation in Wapsi Square here.
  • In the webcomic YU+ME: dream , once everyone knows Fiona is a lesbian, they kiss her or threaten her to stay away from "their girl".

    Western Animation 
  • The episode "Terry's Friend Dates a Robot" of Batman Beyond has a nerd who (successfully) attempts to emulate this effect by purchasing an illegal android girlfriend. He's instantly considered more popular, and girls who already have boyfriends offer to "double date" with him. Unfortunately, the robot's a Clingy Jealous Girl...