Cat: You're right. We're nuts. This is an insane conversation.
Lister: She'll never leave Fred and we know it.
Perverse Sexual Lust is a term for a real person's attraction to a fictional character.
It originated in a reader poll during the early days of the Webcomic It's Walky!. The author wished to know the reason behind the slightly loopy church-girl character Joyce Brown's popularity, and saw this option achieve an overwhelming win.
It's somewhat justifiable in live action, especially if the character is played by a hot person, although it does raise the question of what is actually being fancied. Is a viewer fancying CSI: NY's Lindsay Monroe because of Anna Belknap, the character herself, or a combination of the two?
It gets into the seriously weird when you're dealing with animated characters, although putting purely fictional characters into… ahem… situations has less creepy spillover to any real life people. Of course, many animated characters are intended to be attractive to the viewer, in which case it could be argued that this is the response the character designers intended in the first place.
As with many things, Japan has a specific term for Perverse Sexual Lust: "Nijigen no fechi" (二次元のフェチ) — literally, "two-dimensional fetish". More than a few otaku suffer from this syndrome, developing crushes on popular anime, manga, and even video game characters, in some cases to the point where they prefer the objects of their crushes to "real" people. In fact, according to these news articles, some fans even go so far as to attempt to marry the objects of their desire. The related terms "waifu" and "husbando", which became subject to Memetic Mutation, are broader in scope and can also apply to real people.
When a fictional character lusts after a Real Life person, then it may be a Celeb Crush. If a creator falls in love with their own character, who then comes to life, see Pygmalion Plot. Author Appeal sometimes involves the real-life creator being attracted to their own fictional characters. If this is directed at a poster or painting, see Admiring the Poster. Often a trait of most nerdy characters (not just Otaku) as Nerds Are Pervs.
No real life examples, please.
- Anne Happy: There is nothing perverse or sexual about it given her personality, but Ruri is in love with the mascot found in construction sites' safety signs.
- Discussed in Gintama: When Hijikata buy a cursed sword that turn him into a Otaku, during a debate between Idol Otakus and Anime Otakus in a tv-show, he argue that having a crush on a Idol Singer is about as realistic as this trope. This cause the situation to escalate into a fistfight between the two sides.
- Kaguya-sama: Love Is War Spin-Off series We Want to Talk About Kaguya establishes that Erika's childhood crush was the mascot for her family's miso company, Marukose-kun (a parody of the mascot for the real life miso company Marukome). Notably, this is the only time she shows any interest in the opposite gender.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Sho Marufuji/Syrus Truesdale displays attraction to a number of female trading card characters throughout the series. In this case, the object of attraction is not entirely fictional as it's established that the cards do have spirits, but if any of them reciprocated it's certainly not shown (except for that one time Dark Magician Girl kissed him).
Alexis Rhodes: (as Syrus and Chumley are drooling over Maiden in Love) Uh, guys? Try and remember it's just a card you're looking at?
Zane Truesdale: Try and remember who you're talking to. When Sy and I were growing up, he used to claim he was going steady with Dark Magician Girl.
Alexis Rhodes: Is that so? She break your heart, Sy, or did you just decide to see other monsters?
- Blixemi: Mocked in the "What your Favorite Warrior Cat Says About You" videos, as liking certain characters apparently implies a taste in other characters as well. For example, liking Tigerheart means you had a crush on Kovu.
- Danny Phantom: Stranded: Danny Fenton admits to having a crush on Kim Possible, who is fictional in the series. Conveniently, his love interest is a cheerleader who knows how to fight.
- Miller of Hellsing Ultimate Abridged has a thing for Sonic the Hedgehog Rule 34, as he stops resisting Zorin's illusion powers when they conjure up the titular hedgehog with a foot-long erection. This leaves Zorin both confused and disgusted.
- Cool World: Not only does Jack Deebs have it for Holli, a cartoon character he himself created, it could be argued that the entire movie is in fact about the subject, and may be the only major Hollywood production to deal with the subject. Though, like with Jessica Rabbit mentioned below, it seems that Holli is also "real" and that Jack channeled her and other characters when making his comic, but this movie is very unclear with its worldbuilding.
- In the first American Pie Jim gushes over how hot he finds Ariel (a sentiment Norm Peterson shared years before in an episode of Cheers and Joey Tribbiani shared years later in a late episode of Friends).
- Hinted at in Wayne's World, when Garth asks Wayne if he ever found cross-dressed Bugs Bunny attractive.
- Played with in regards to Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. While she's a bombshell Toon who attracts many human admirers in-universe, in this universe Toons are real creatures who live in a town adjacent to Los Angeles. So, because Jessica is a real, live person (so to speak), the humans have no hesitations about fawning over her and Jessica has no problem with the attention. Now, if it is possible for Toons to have sex, the film sidesteps that one by implying Toons play "patty-cake" together in place of intercourse.
- Charlie in So I Married an Axe Murderer describes his attraction to several female cartoon characters in a beat poem.
- All of the nurses in Doctor in Trouble lust over the fictional TV doctor, Dr. Dare.
- Isaac Asimov's "Feminine Intuition": The planetologists at Flagstaff Observatory are initially wary of the JN-5 robot that was brought to them to determine where the most likely habitable exoplanet is, but when they hear her voice, she immediately becomes "Jane", and they try impressing her.
"She said, 'Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am so glad to meet you.' And it came out in this beautiful contralto...That was it. One man straightened his tie, and another ran his fingers through his hair. What really got me was that the oldest guy in the place actually checked his fly to make sure it was zipped. They're all crazy about her now. All they needed was the voice. She isn't a robot any more; she's a girl."
- Bridget Jones: Bridget harbors this for the Colin Firth version of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy (as do Jude and Shazzer). Notably, she frequently refers to the actor as "Mr. Darcy" instead of by his real name. This aspect of her character was dropped for the film adaptation, probably because her main love interest was played by Colin Firth.
- The Princess Diaries: More than once Mia's friends tease her about her weird love for two-dimensional guys, including "Hellboy, Tarzan, the Beast, Tom Sloane, and that hot soldier guy".
- Making this Older Than Radio: Henry Fielding's Shamela (1741) is a satire of Samuel Richardson's then-wildly popular melodrama Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded, about a servant girl whose master attempts to seduce her. The novel exaggerates and lampoons the sexual aspects of the story, beginning with the introduction, a vivid recommendation of Pamela by one (fictional) Reverend Tickletext that quickly becomes thinly veiled lust for the protagonist:
Reverend: The Author hath reconciled the pleasing to the proper; the Thought is every where exactly cloathed by the Expression; and becomes its Dress as roundly and as close as Pamela her Country Habit; or as she doth her no Habit, when modest Beauty seeks to hide itself, by casting off the Pride of Ornament, and displays itself without any Covering ... ——Oh! I feel an Emotion even while I am relating this: Methinks I see Pamela at this Instant, with all the Pride of Ornament cast off.
- Red Dwarf: In the season 3 episode "Backwards", Lister and the Cat debate the attractiveness of Wilma Flintstone. They also state they find Betty Rubble desirable, but consider her a second choice. They eventually declare that the conversation is insane, because "she'll never leave Fred, and we know it!"
- Friends: Chandler keeps a list of five celebrities he'd like to date. While most of them are attractive Hollywood actresses who exist in the real world, this list also includes Jessica Rabbit, a cartoon character.
- In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, the girls get a Disney Princess makeover at Disneyland. When Penny walks into Leonard's apartment he immediately drops his pants after seeing her dressed as Aurora. Howard does pretty much the same thing seeing Bernadette as Cinderella. Poor Amy as Snow White fails to get Sheldon's attention. In another episode, during a conversation with Leonard, Penny reveals how both she and a former childhood friend had crushes on Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street and how the friendship ended because they both wanted Ernie. Leonard is surprised by this and Penny replies "the Heart wants what the heart wants".
- In a late season 6 episode, an inmate in Emerald City is seen playing one of the Tomb Raider games in the computer rec coom. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Lara Croft is one of the main draws.
- Of all things, the inmates also lust after a children's show host (Miss Sally) because of her large breasts. Though in this case it's a bit more understandable, given that she's played by a live-action actress. There's even a subplot with a woman pretending to be Miss Sally (she did work on the show, but only answered fan mail) starting a relationship with one of the nicer inmates.
- In the Supernatural episode "ScoobyNatural", Sam and Dean are sucked into a Scooby-Doo cartoon. While there, Dean repeatedly attempts to hook up with Daphne and mentions having always had a crush on her.
- Conan: During Conan's "Clueless Gamer" review of Tomb Raider (2013), he was gushing over Lara Croft's looks pretty much the entire way through. This made his later interview with Camilla Luddington rather... interesting.
Conan: Whoever thought up this game is a genius.
- The Rotten Tomatoes Show: One of Brett's "Secret Movie Confessions" has him admitting his love for various Disney animated heroines, such as Ariel, Jasmine, Jessica Rabbit, and Cute Girl Squirrel. He then proceeds to run away from the camera in shame.
- Masters of Horror: Rob falls in love with Valerie, who turns out to be a fictional character come to life with literally no personality of her own outside Rob's championing for her Damsel in Distressness. Even later he finds out that he's a figment of someone's mind himself.
- Every Witch Way: Andi harbors it for a zombie from a video game, even going so far as to consider him her actual boyfriend. Then this becomes true when he becomes a Refugee from TV Land.
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy and Jacqueline both recall a childhood attraction to the cartoon fox version of Robin Hood, on account of "that voice" and "how he didn't wear pants".
- The Golden Girls:
- One episode had Rose recently breaking up from a passionate relationship with a Disney World employee. When pressed for the cause, she admits she lost interest when "he took off the Goofy head."
- In an earlier Christmas episode, Blanche revealed that she had a special fixation for guys in Santa Claus suits. Dorothy's response: "You do realize that you're in the minority here." Blanche also said she was quite literally able to become aroused just by a single line in the children's nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty" (specifically the one about "all the king's men").
- In Left on Read, if the protagonist says that sci-fi movies are his favorite, he'll say that EVE is "hot", only to backtrack and say that WALL-E is his favorite childhood movie instead.
- In Love & Pies, Amelia and Yuka both have a huge crush on Miguel, the eponymous protagonist of The Mysteries of Miguel, to the point that Yuka requests a cardboard cutout of him for her special order. She then thinks of taking it home with her, but Amelia suggests putting it on display at the café. Amelia herself also used to imagine that Miguel was her father until she developed a crush on him, and she doesn't want to imagine that anymore.
- Sandra on the Rocks: Marie is a 17 year old Gamer Chick with an obvious lady boner for Link. One strip even shows her biting down on her lower lip as she plays one of the 3DS titles.
Marie: (thinking) "Unf! Link, come to MOMMA!!"
- Shortpacked!: A very negative in-universe example: Omnios appeared in a three-strip run in November 2008, a 26-year-old social outcast with "Aspergers-y" symptoms who continuously raves about his crush on Jenny Wakeman. Turns out that Omnios was a real user on the Allspark Forums, which David Willis is a member of. Omnios has since been banned, but he's achieved a bit of Memetic Mutation as one who One Who Must Not Be Spoken Of amongst the Allspark users.
- After Hours
- Soren Bowie finds Nala really attractive. (But only adult Nala, not cub Nala.)
- Katie defies this trope when the group discuss it. After trying and failing to come up with something she would want to do with Indiana Jones, she lands on: "At the end of the day, I guess I don't care if I hypothetically bang a fictional character."
- Daniel O'Brien from the same show admitted on his own show, Obsessive Pop-Culture Disorder, that Ariel was his first crush.
- The Nostalgia Chick: With All Women Are Lustful in full force, plenty of it going around:
- In the Top 10 Hottest Animated Guys video, we get good details on the three leading ladies' animated hottie preferences: Elisa likes them stoic and brooding like Goliath and Batman, Nella just goes crazy over Thomas and Dmitri (the latter partly because he resembles the former), and Chick has had childhood crushes on Aladdin and... Batty.
- Referenced by The Nostalgia Critic in his review of Space Jam. He was really weirded out by how sexualized Lola Bunny was, given that she's an anthropomorphic rabbit. He had to reverse this in a later review.
Nostalgia Critic: Remember how I said that people don't want to fuck bunnies? Apparently, some people do.
- TB Skyen, who has confessed to having a thing for muscular women, is momentarily rendered unable to speak coherently by Akali's rework in League of Legends.
- In The Runaway Guys' playthrough of Star Fox 64, this gets Played for Laughs. Jokes about Emile resembling the character of Slippy Toad slowly become jokes about Emile being in love with him.
Emile: [Reading out the abbreviated planet names] "COMEFOSXTIBOVE". It sounds like some kinda, like... festival, like, 'Come down to Sextibove!'
Jon: I honest to God am surprised you went there; I thought you were going to make a cow reference. 'Come for Sexti-Bovine~!'
Emile: Sexti bovines...! [Beat] ...But Slippy's not a cow.
Jon: I was waiting for it! I knew it! I knew it! That's a confession!
- Helluva Boss lampshaded this in "Spring Broken" when it came to Loona, Blitzo's adopted Hellhound daughter when she volunteers to go Earthside and help.
- The Heavies from Pootis Engage are fueled by their love for extra thicc anime thighs and ass to start storming Area 51 for it's rumored stash of it. The fact that said fuel seems to turn them into Comically Invincible Heroes (the hero part is debatable).
- All Grown Up!: A G-rated example happens in "Separate but Equal" when Phil and the other boys agree that Yu-Gotta-Go (the show's Yu-Gi-Oh! parody) character Princess Nioko is hot.
- Bob's Burgers:
- In the episode "Mutiny on the Windbreaker", Gene falls in love with Marilyn the Talking Manatee, a manatee puppet from a ventriloquist's act.
- In "Steal Magazineolias", Tina develops a crush on Professor Foxtail, the educational mascot of a children's magazine.
- Fillmore!: The teacher in "Masterstroke of Malevolence" is revealed very early on to be crushing on the subject of the painting "The Lobstermen At Port". One of the art museum personnel turns up really quickly, bearing an extremely awkward expression, to get her to stop, presumably to spare everyone the need for Brain Bleach.
- In The Owl House episode "Adventures in the Elements", Amity is revealed to have drawn some romantic fanart of herself with Malingale the Mysterious Soothsayer from The Good Witch Azura. We find this out because Luz had lent her the latest book in the series and she accidentally left the loose leaf with the picture on it in between the pages when returning the book.
- In The Simpsons episode "Three Men and a Comic Book," Homer shows an attraction to Wonder Woman, saying "she could tie me up with that golden lasso anytime!"
- VeggieTales: In "Barbara Manatee," one of the Silly Songs With Larry segments, Larry appears to be crushing on a manatee from a TV show. He even has a plush of her, which he sings to and dances with.