The idea that babies (or small children) put women in a Romantic Mood. (Not their own babies, of course, but somebody else's). Particularly true for an Old Maid, as it warns them that their biological clock is ticking. After all, it's a given that everyone thinks babies are cute. Complete strangers stop and tell you, "What a cute baby!"
A sister or brother with a niece or nephew that needs somebody to look after the child for an episode is a common way of invoking this trope. Expect the reactions of the various male Love Interests to be parsed for evidence as to which would make a good father. The one who deals best with children is upgraded in attraction points.
Some men will realize this and go to extra efforts to gain the children's affection and approval. Especially cunning men might even try to engineer the situation by borrowing a niece, nephew, or cousin to trigger this response. Like all simple plans, it rarely works as smoothly as he hoped.
Occasionally, a child will come along who realizes the extortion potential, and torments the men accordingly. Sometimes then the man who sees through the manipulation and stands up to the child ends up getting the relationship points (since he showed he can be a disciplinarian).
Contrast with Single Parents Are Undesirable.
Can also work with non-human children — see Animal Chick Magnet.
- A rather weird example from Ranma ½ has a girl-Ranma that had been turned into a little kid suddenly being picked up and taken to an amusement park by Kuno, who, thinking that the toddler Ranma was the real Pigtailed Girl's baby sister, picked her up so he could look after her until her "older sister" (whom he is obsessively attracted to) arrived and thus have a reason to get close to her.
- Inverted in Tenchi Muyo!: Washu got seriously upgraded in the Harem pecking-order when Tenchi was asked to take care of his nephew for a while. While the kid manages to drive all the other girls to the point of exhaustion, Washu handles him like a virtuoso, and thus manages to impress on both the audience and Tenchi that she'd make a good mother for his child. Then she transforms into a grown woman and suggests it outright.
- In Knights of the Dinner Table, Johnny Kizinski comments on how his infant son is a chick magnet. Of course, the effect is somewhat mitigated by him smoking like a chimney around the kid, which usually provokes rebukes from the women the child attracts.
- Sid the Sloth tries to use this in Ice Age... and it actually DOES seem to be working, until Manny the Mammoth steps in. A cut-out scene shows Sid attempting to complete the 'score' after Manny's taken away their youthful charge, and predictably it ends badly.
- Gru in Despicable Me is forced to take the girls to their dance class where he is the only male parent present. When Agnes gives him his ticket for the recital, which he promises to attend, every single mom present goes instantly from being bored to instantly smitten for Gru.
- A whole musical montage in Three Men and a Baby is dedicated to this.
- Sonny Koufax tries this in Big Daddy to impress his ex-girlfriend.
- In the film About a Boy, the character played by Hugh Grant pretends to be a single father in order to pick up women. Unusual variation as he starts with a made-up toddler while trying to meet women at a support group for single parents. Then later in the film, pretends the pubescent boy he's befriended is his son (the woman in question at that point has a son the same age), convincing the kid to go along with it.
- In the film of Marley & Me, John is on a walk with his friend Sebastian. When Sebastian sees an attractive girl at an ice cream stand, he takes the stroller with baby Patrick away from John and walks toward her, with John good-naturedly protesting, "Come on, that's my son!"
- A Brother's Price Many women are impressed by Jerin's gentle yet firm manner of dealing with young children. Subverted in that it is women who intentionally invoke this to get their reluctant sister to agree to marry Jerrin. They engineer a situation where she accidentally watches him playing with her younger sisters. While she is impressed, she doesn't change her mind because of it.
- An old fantasy story has a man who is going to die anyway sell his soul to the devil for the power to be irresistible to women for his last few years. He wakes up in a baby carriage kicking his tiny legs in rage while women coo over him "Isn't he adorable?"
- Ken picks up a few women this way on Titus when the titular Titus was younger. Ken compliments Titus as "not completely useless," then tells him to work on a diner waitress.
- Full House: Jesse, in the quoted example, used his niece Michelle to pick up women and apparently, quite frequently.
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
- When Will sees how popular a single father at school is, he lies that his cousin, Nicky, is his son. He then embellishes the story even further which causes people to start giving more and more stuff, culminating in a trip to Hawaii because of his "courage". Will feels bad, comes clean and gives everything to the other guy. When everyone leaves, the guy thanks him... and adds "Just Between You and Me, this isn't my kid. Aloha." OUCH.
- A potential future step-sister played by Raven Simone tries to reassure him, "When you take me to the parks, I can pick up more babes than a puppy."
- 7th Heaven: Matt and Simon take the twins to the promenade, thinking they'll attract family-oriented girls with good values. Unfortunately, the only girl who talks to them chastises them for having the babies out so late in the cold.
- Joey and Chandler intend to use Ross's baby son Ben to pick up women in the Friends episode "The One With the Baby on the Bus", but the first woman Ben snares thinks Joey and Chandler are a gay couple. Later they get chatting to a couple of women... and, distracted, manage to leave the baby on the bus when they get off.
- Eric from Boy Meets World combined having a cute baby at hand with additional lies about being in law school and the Secret Service with reckless abandon.
- When Mark has to watch Nora unexpectedly in an episode of In Plain Sight, he takes her to a "steak house" and women at the bar start making eyes at them. Though she is his kid, it's still a blatant use of this trope.
- There once was a Disney Series, where the teenagers had to care for babies in school class. Our hapless protagonist remembered how one girl said that she liked it when guys treated babies as carefully as their football... so he took the Baby under his arm, like a football.
- In one episode of How I Met Your Mother, Barney and Ted decide to become parents together. Then Barney mysteriously produces a baby (he was just babysitting his niece). It takes about ten seconds after walking outside for some two dozen women to swarm around them.
- P.J. does this with Charlie in an episode of Good Luck Charlie. He later discovers that his date likes Charlie more than she likes him.
- The Parkers: Kim is looking after her boyfriend's baby and her friend T takes the baby with her to "get Uncle T some honeys". T ends up getting a number from a young woman of twin boys, to his detriment.
- On Corner Gas, Wanda asks Brent to babysit her Enfante Terrible son Tanner, which he flatly refuses. Later, Lacey mentions she finds men who like kids attractive, at which point Brentoffers to babysit Tanner. He asks Lacey to join him, but she tells him "No way, I hate kids".
- In Parenthood, Crosby takes his newly discovered son Jabbar out and arranges playdates with kids who have single mothers for this reason.
- Castle mentions in one episode that he liked taking Alexis to the park when she was little since it was a great place to pick up single mothers.
- In The Brothers Garcia, after the kids believe their mom is having another baby, Carlos has an Imagine Spot of himself charming girls with his baby sibling.
- Step by Step: J.T. is excited when he finds out that his baby sister Lily is a chick magnet. He lies that he's widowed and pretends to be smoking a pipe. One of the girls he picks up gets invited to the Lamberts' place. The girl sees Dana's photo and assumes it's a picture of his deceased wife, when in reality Dana is his very much alive step-sister with whom he doesn't get along. Hilarity ensues.
- Dilbert tried this with fake babies. The first time he tossed two at a cashier that tried to avoid having her named revealed, and that was foiled. In another strip, a woman was attracted to him - but a fly was pestering him so much that he forgot he was trying to pick up girls and used one of the babies to smash it.
- Subverted in For Better or for Worse when John tells Michael to take the infant April for a walk telling him that this trope is Truth in Television. Unfortunately for Michael, all of the women swooning over April are all elderly.
- This happened in the Johnny Bravo episode "Lil' Johnny", when Johnny tries to pick up babes with a baby he agreed to watch over. This included dressing the baby in his trademark shirt and hair.
- Played straight in the For Better or for Worse specials when Michael is forced to take the toddler April to her birthday party at a restaurant and soon is being approached by multiple young women.
- Done inadvertently by Homer on The Simpsons episode Large Marge. Home gets tricked by Lisa into participating in Habitat for Humanity and while working he removes his wedding ring to not get any paint on it. As he is helping Lisa, Lindsey Naegle and Cookie Kwan take notice for being a decent parent.
- In the Egg Sitting episode of Batman Beyond, Terry is given an egg he has to babysit for his Family Studies class, but, unable to find a babysitter, is forced to take it crime-fighting with him. At the end when everyone is receiving their grades, the teacher says that almost everyone only did a C average job since while they attended to their babies' physical needs they didn't mentally stimulate them. Only Terry's egg was fully stimulated (having fun watching Terry defeat the bad guys) and the teacher says it was her pleasant surprise to learn that Terry is ideal father material causing every female student in class to start giving him bedroom eyes, especially his girlfriend Dana.