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Playing Cyrano

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"Your hair is more radiant than a thousand sunsets." "Your hair is more radiant than a thousand sunsets." "And you got a dump truck of a booty that I wanna applaud." "And you got a— Wait, what?!"

"Okay. [Cyranoing is] when a nerdy guy helps a handsome guy date the girl that he loves by telling him what to say, what to do."
Harper, Set It Up

When someone is too shy or inarticulate to pursue his dream girl, he has a friend (the Cyrano) supply his words for him. Like most Simple Plans, this naturally never works. In modern works, it's often done via Earpiece Conversation.

The plot generally plays out with the dream girl discovering the true author of the poetic courtship, and being more attracted to him than to the guy he was speaking through. Whether he's interested in her or not.

If there is a Cyrano on each side, hilarity may ensue. In such a double-Cyrano, Pair the Spares may be invoked.

Subtrope of Romantic Wingman, and a type of ghostwriter. The Trope Namer and Trope Codifier is Edmond Rostand's classic play Cyrano de Bergerac. The story may include a direct reference to the play, which will often make it very clear that the character making the reference (possibly the writer as well, possibly not) has only a very passing knowledge of the play. Could lead to a Funny Phone Misunderstanding akin to Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Date A Live where the entire Ratataskor organization plays "Cyrano" for Shido, generally with Kotori or Reine on the other end of his earpiece. The romantic subtext between "Cyrano" and the target is absent. Interestingly, neither side is all that good at it (they are both right about 50% of the time), but the combination tends to muddle through mostly.
  • In early parts of Hayate the Combat Butler we have Hinagiku acting as the Cyrano for Ayumu Nishizawa. Eventually, Hinagiku falls in love with Hayate or at least stops denying she has been for quite some time, after which the pair agrees to a fair competition of sorts.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: In the famous Valentine's day strip, Austria gives Germany advice on his confused feelings towards Italy.
  • Renai Daikou features an online company that specilizes in filling this role with both main characters making use of its services in their attempts to woo each other.
  • Used recursively in Zoids: New Century. The Ditzy Genius Steve Toros was asked to be the Cyrano by his friend Leyon — but Toros didn't feel up to the job himself, so he asked their mutual friend Oscar to be the Cyrano to his Cyrano. Unfortunately for Leyon, Oscar accidentally signed the resulting love letter as Toros, causing the girl to fall in love with Toros instead of Leyon.

    Comic Books 
  • In Bone, Ted the Bug offers to help Fone Bone cyrano a love letter to Thorn, although he's not very good.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Persona 5 High School AU fic Accidentally In Love, the introverted Futaba Sakura is secretly a master at writing love letters, and with Ryuji Sakamoto as the face they run a Cyrano business that successfully got couples like Ryuji/Ann and Makoto/Ren together. Numerous girls had commissioned the duo for love letters to win over the Ice Prince Goro Akechi, but they all get declined. As it turns out, not only has Goro found out that Futaba is the real Cyrano instead of Ryuji, but he wants to ask out Futaba because of the various letters.
  • Played with in the Fire Emblem 3 Houses Fanfic Cyrano de Huberac.
  • Occurs in the Evangelion fic Once More with Feeling, with Kaji playing Shinji's Cyrano. Unlike most examples, it goes off more or less without a hitch: Kaji is in no danger of loving Asuka as anything other than a daughter surrogate (and is already in love with Misato), Shinji repeats his given lines to himself to the point where he can quote them perfectly, and Asuka is genuinely interested in Shinji. Plus...with Ryouji Kaji as your Cyrano, how could you possibly lose?

    Films — Animated 
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Hiccup does a pantomimed version to try to help Toothless court a female. Naturally, she's not impressed, and makes this clear by smacking him on the nose.
  • Rio: Blu is trying to court Jewel but since he's never interacted that much with other birds and was raised in another country, he's incredibly awkward. Rafael, his friend, is The Charmer and decides to help Blu during a romantic ride he and Jewel end up having. Rafael tells Blu tell Jewel she has beautiful eyes. However, Blu's nervousness makes him say "I have beautiful eyes" instead. Jewel is confused and Rafael does a Face Palm.
  • Trolls: The Trolls attempt this for Bridget while she's on her date with King Gristle Jr. A rare example in that the attempt is successful.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Trope Namer's adaptations of course. Which, on this wiki, includes 1950's Cyrano de Bergerac with José Ferrer, 1990's Cyrano de Bergerac with Gérard Depardieu and Vincent Perez, Roxanne (a modern retelling of the play, with small-town fire chief C.D. Bales (Steve Martin) helping Chris, a hunky yet dimwitted newcomer to the department, woo the titular beauty (Daryl Hannah)) and The Musical, Cyrano, with Peter Dinklage.
    • Edmond is a dramatization of the writing of the play, in which Edmond Rostand ends up playing the balcony scene (and witnessing other iconic moments) in real life. Note that in this case, it's not an actual Love Triangle: Edmond is married, with children, and sees the girl (Jeanne) as his muse and refuses to take the relationship any further once he's discovered (Edmond's friend is interested in Jeanne, but only for casual sex as he's a Casanova). Unlike the play, it all works out for the best in the end.
  • In Back to the Future, Marty McFly acts as a Cyrano for his teenaged father George with the inevitable result that his teenaged mother Lorraine becomes even more attracted to Marty than before.
  • In Blades of Glory, we do get two Cyranos, but the characters having the conversation both stop listening at the right time.
  • In The Bold Caballero, Don Diego plays this role for the Commandante, helping him to woo Isabella as part of his plan to stay close to both of them till he can prove Zorro's innocence.
  • The Classic has a two-fold example. In the past, Joon-ha wrote his friend Tae-soo's love letters to Joo-hee; in the present, Joo-hee and Tae-soo's daughter Ji-hye writes letters for her friend So-kyeong to Sang-min. Sang-min later reveals to Ji-hye that he figured out she was the true writer of the letters, leading to them becoming a couple.
  • In The Double, James does this for Simon. It doesn't really work (which may be what he intended all along) and ends with James taking Simon's place and winning her over.
  • Electric Dreams involves a computer that is seducing the protagonist's next-door neighbour for him, but with the twist being that this is not an intentional plot, but the computer doing it of its own will.
  • The Half of It is a version set in a modern American high school with a lesbian Cyrano. Ellie, the Cute Bookworm and academic overachiever, runs a secret essay writing cheating scheme. She's hired by Paul - the awkward but Lovable Jock - to write love letters to Aster, the girl he has a crush on. But then Ellie realizes she has a crush on Aster as well.
  • Kal Ho Naa Ho: Aman plays Cyrano to Rohit's Christian and Naina's Roxane in his "six days to get the girl" scheme. Notably, this primarily works because although Aman loves Naina, he knows that he is dying and so wants Naina to be with someone who loves her. Notably, when Naina discovers the scheme, Aman indirectly expresses his own love for Naina, pretending that he is reading Rohit's words.
  • The made-for-TV movie Kiss My Act starring Camryn Manheim was a variation on the Cyrano story set in a comedy club.
  • The Disney movie Let It Shine is based on the actual play Cyrano de Bergerac, so of course there would be examples of this trope
  • This causes the main problem in Love Letters. Allen writes love letters on behalf of his friend, Roger, (who doesn't care one wit for the girl). Allen falls in love with this girl and the girl falls in love with the letters, thinking they're Roger's beautiful words. When she finds out that that isn't the case, things get ugly.
  • Deconstructed in Set It Up. Genre Savvy Beleaguered Assistants Charlie and Harper knowingly double-Cyrano (or as Charlie puts it, "Parent Trap" their tyrannical bosses into falling in love with one another by manipulating events and giving advice so their relationship follows the classic romantic comedy trajectory. As a result, Kirsten and Rick's relationship is largely manufactured, and Kirsten doesn't realize she and Rick (a misogynistic philanderer) are fundamentally incompatible until it's almost too late.
  • In Short Circuit 2, Number 5 the sentient robot, who has scanned through a library's worth of novels, suggests being The Cyrano for his nerdy scientist friend Ben. During Ben's date with Sandy, Number 5 hacks into an electronic billboard's system and flashes the lines Ben is supposed to say to her. The hacking goes wrong, resulting in Ben reading out nonsense (including some vulgar insults in Spanish - which unfortunately Sandy understands), but he turns a potentially embarrassing situation around by admitting the ruse to Sandy, who thinks it's sweet that he would go to such effort for her.
  • In The Terminal, Viktor — during his legal gridlock-induced stay in an airport for a year — befriends a food service worker named Enrique, who offers to keep him fed for free in exchange for getting more information with the immigration officer that he's infatuated with. Despite Viktor's initially loose grasp of English, he ends up as a surprisingly decent emissary between the two, exchanging notes on each other's behalf. Months later, they finally properly meet face-to-face and tie the knot.
  • In Disney's The Three Musketeers, D'Artagnan tries to woo a bar wench using words Athos had previous used. When he messed up twice in the first few lines, he abandons all attempts and favors Porthos's approach.
  • Another two women example: The Truth About Cats & Dogs, where Janeane Garofalo uses Uma Thurman as her unwitting Cyrano (let's just say that the first time we see Uma Thurman, a speaker stack is involved).
  • Somewhat inverted in The Ugly Truth, in which Gerard Butler's character instructs Katharine Heigl's on how to ensnare and hold on to the handsome, and comparatively charming doctor of her dreams. Instead of being interested in the Roxane of the scenario, however, Butler's Cyrano ends up falling for Heigl's Christian.
  • In Whatever It Takes (2000), Shane West and James Franco are Cyranos for each other. The nerdy accordion player (West) helps the school jock (Franco) woo his nerdy (but hot) best friend, by making him seem intelligent and sensitive. As a quid pro quo, the jock helps the nerd get the popular girl by showing him how to be a total jerk to her. In the end, the nerdy main characters end up with each other.
  • What's New Pussycat? - Dr. Fassbender (Peter Sellers) gets patient Michael James (Peter O'Toole) to speak for him to the woman he's infatuated with outside her apartment, late at night, while they're both raging drunk. She can't make out what they're saying; at one point Michael yells "I said your face is like the pale autumn MOON, are you DEAF??"

  • This trope is combined with Gold Digger in Exile's Valor, when Prince Karathanelan of Rethwellan successfully courts Queen Selenay of Valdemar due to coaching by both an experienced rake and someone with considerable inside information about the young monarch's insecurities.
  • A Marca de uma Lágrima (The Trace of a Tear Drop) is the teenager version of Cyrano de Bergerac, where a girl with no confidence helps her best friend to get the guys she's in love with by writing poems.
  • In The Mark and the Void, Claude hires Paul, a writer, to help him woo over Ariadne, a waitress that he likes but is nervous about talking to. Cyrano de Bergerac is even mentioned by name, and Paul uses "Dr. Cyrano" as a pseudonym when talking to her.
  • M Or F? by Lisa Papademetriou and Chris Tebbets uses the "double-Cyrano" variant with text-messaging. There's a slight twist: both of the Cyranos involved are gay, but the girl did not realize that the boy she was after was also using a Cyrano and so thought he was gay and in love with her Cyrano, with hilarity ensuing when she tries to test this in the most ridiculous ways possible after seeing "symptoms."
  • Only In The Movies has main character Jake's unattractive female friend Vanni acting as his Cyrano, while he pursues the very attractive Alba. She even has the big nose. It doesn't work, and Alba falls for another guy, and asks Jake to be her Cyrano, leading to a situation where Jake is standing behind a curtain, whispering lines to Alba, while Vanni stands behind another curtain whispering lines to him. In the end, Alba ends up alone while Jake ends up with Vanni.
  • In Unseen Academicals, Nutt pens a poetic love letter on behalf of his friend Trev, whose romantic compositional skills are limited to "I think you are really fit, want to go out?". Subverted in that, while Juliet is impressed by all those fancy words, she doesn't really understand their meaning, so her friend Glenda summarizes its message as "I think you are really fit, want to go out?". Bonus points for the poem as written doubling as one from Nutt to Glenda.
  • We Are The Perfect Girl is a Gender Flipped variant where Aphra, an outgoing and witty but homely teen, helps her best friend Bethany, a beautiful but extremely shy and socially awkward girl, flirt with popular guy Greg while trying unsuccessfully to not crush on Greg herself.
  • In The Wise Man's Fear, Kvothe is asked to help the wealthy Maer Alveron court Lady Meluan Lackless. He succeeds and they get married, but afterward he's quietly sent away when Meluan learns that Kvothe is an Edema Ruh. Of course, she hates Ruh because her sister ran off with one, and it's no stretch to conclude her sister is Kvothe's mother.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted in 30 Rock, when Tracy and Jack meet C.C. on the Clinton campaign headquarters. Jack tries to talk to her, and Tracy, mimicking Cyrano, spouts Non Sequiturs from under the balcony.
  • Ally McBeal does this at least twice. Once, John helps Richard win a case by talking to him through an earpiece, and a season later Claire helps Richard romance a woman through the same method. Oddly, Richard name-checks "Cyrano de Burger King" in the first case, but then later claims to have never read it.
  • The Big Bang Theory: In "The Application Deterioration", Raj talks on the phone to Emily, while Penny, Bernadette, and Amy tell him what to say.
  • Blackadder is the Prince Regent's Cyrano in Blackadder the Third. He ends up having to speak for the Prince as well when the Prince starts screwing it up.
    Amy: What about Georgey-Porgey's lovely poems that won my hearty-wearty?
    Blackadder: All writteny-witteny by me-ee we-ee, I'm afraidy-waidy.
  • Blackish: In one episode, Zoey tries to help Junior hook up with a popular girl. She uses a bluetooth headset to advise him while he asks her out.
  • Deconstructed—oh, God, is it ever deconstructed—in Bones. The victim of the week ghostwrote love letters for the romantically shy, generating complications and love triangles so tricky she ended up dead.
  • Boy Meets World has an episode NAMED "Cyrano", in which Cory and Shawn are forced to help Frankie in his "wooing" of Harley's girlfriend. They succeed, and Harley ultimately decides to be a better man and let his girlfriend have what she wants, which is Frankie (the girl naturally goes on to never be seen again). In the ending when Cory and Shawn brag about having played Cyrano for Frankie, Mr. Turner lampshades the misinterpretation of the phrase as they had not had feelings for the girl themselves.
  • Greg is Peter's Cyrano on The Brady Bunch.
  • Referenced in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as she and Xander give unsolicited advice to Giles on how to ask Miss Calendar out on a date. Rather than the real Cyrano de Bergerac's eloquence, this naturally involves the use of Buffy Speak:
    Buffy: Yeah, you just tell her "Hey, I've got a thing, you've got a thing, maybe we can have a thing!"
    Giles: Oh, thank you, Cyrano.
  • The main character in Colombian minseries/short soap Cartas De Amor, Cupido López, is a professional love letter writer, who travels from town to town offering his matchmaking and counselor services. In a truly spectacular case of The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes, his letters and advice to others works spectacularly well (at least until the other main character starts interfering with it), but his own love (and life) problems are a bit more difficult to solve.
  • El Chapulín Colorado obviously had this in an episode telling the original Cyrano story. It was also seen in the "Juleo and Rumieta" episode, when El Chapulín tries to help Juleo say some love poems to Rumieta, and Hilarity Ensues when Juleo starts botching the lines, even repeating Chapulín's "You screwed it up, you beast!" to her, not realizing it was meant for him.
  • Charmed has Coop helping a man court Phoebe. He realizes he loves her as he is feeding the lines.
  • Done hilariously in Cory in the House. Cory Meena and Stickler are all Cyrano to Newt's date with a smart girl. However, it goes overboard when the President's dog steals the microphe used to contact Newt and Newt, unaware of what is happening, starts repeating everything the dog (and everyone else who just happens to be around the microphone while this is happening) says with disasterous results.
  • In Degrassi, both Tristan and Maya had crushes on Campbell, leading Tristan to chat with him using Maya's Facerange profile to chat with him.
  • On Dog with a Blog, Nikki and Tyler play Cyrano for Avery to pretend to know Spanish to "tutor" her crush. Unfortunately, it just happens that Nikki has a crush on Tyler and is jealous of his new girlfriend. This escalates into a massive argument between Tyler and Nikki that results in them abandoning Avery on the spot.
  • Drake & Josh: In "Smart Girl", Josh uses a headset to help Drake talk to a smart girl he likes and compete in an academic contest so he can impress her.
  • This happened twice in Family Ties, with Alex P. Keaton. The first is where he gives very unhelpful (and sexist) advice to Mallory's French tutor, Jeff. He's a little more helpful with Skippy, until he himself falls for Skippy's love interest.
  • In Flight of the Conchords, Brett receives conflicting and humorously terrible instructions from his friends while trying to woo a pet store clerk.
  • Friends: Joey turns to Ross for help sounding smarter to impress Charlie, who Ross is also attracted to. Ross provides Joey with a script to memorise for a tour of the MET, but Joey screws up by turning the wrong way leaving him talking about exhibits that aren't visible and alerting Charlie to his prep work.
  • In the Glee episode "Hairography," Kurt, who is in love with Finn, pretends to help rival Rachel get Finn's attention by encouraging her to dress sexier. However, the episode subverts the trope: far from helping her, Kurt is actually trying to sabotage Rachel's chances with Finn, knowing that he prefers girls who dress more modestly and will be turned off by Rachel's new wardrobe.
  • When Lilly and Oliver of Hannah Montana find their relationship on the rocks, Rico finds that Oliver's moping is bad for business. In order to shut him up and bring the customers back, Rico helps mend their relationship by sending Lilly a love letter in Oliver's name.
  • Heroes has Hiro do this in an attempt to get his childhood hero together with the Princess. She sees right through it and falls for Hiro, making the childhood hero quite upset.
  • Twisted in Home and Away, where Romeo encourages (the fully literate) Jai to write love poems to Annie. Annie believes Romeo is the source of the poems, although whether or not Romeo is fully honest has yet to be properly revealed.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Barney asks Robin to play Cyrano when Nora finally calls him, afraid of messing things up again. Robin agrees to this, but what Barney is not aware of is that she has a Matchmaker Crush on him, and instead of exactly playing Cyrano, she's expressing her own feelings for him. Unfortunately for Robin, it works on Nora.
    • Another episode has Barney trying to vicariously perform "plays" on women through Ted, feeding him lines through an earpiece. Barney, being, well, Barney feeds Ted some awful lines.
  • Discussed and invoked in "Chapter Forty-Two" of Jane the Virgin, where Rogelio asks Jane to come with him to a dinner party and help him look smart and cultured in front of Dina's friends. Jane and Dina, who are both writers, refer to the "classic" codifiers of Playing Cyrano and Pygmalion Plot; Rogelio is only familiar with the modern remakes, clarifying that he means like in Roxanne and My Fair Lady.
  • Jessie: Not Cyrano through voice contact but rather texting. Emma asks Luke to play Cyrano for her so she can communicate with her Lovable Jock boyfriend over sports. The ruse is discovered, however, when Luke types a word wrong in Emma's text and vents his frustration so loud he is caught in the act.
  • In an episode of Lizzie McGuire,"The Courtship Of Miranda Sanchez", Lizzie is Miranda's Cyrano.
  • A professional version in Mad Men. During Don Draper's "leave of absence", Don gets Freddy to go into SC&P as a front to give pitches Don wrote so he can still work. Freddy lampshades this to Don later by calling it "This Cyrano routine".
  • Modern Family:
    • Cam helping Manny declare his love to a girl in an early episode, on the phone, in public.
      Cameron: You're the prettiest, smartest, funniest girl in the 6th grade. I know you're only eleven, but I can't stop thinking about you. I've loved talking to you online, and I think we should become boyfriend and girlfriend. [to the glaring audience] Oh no! It's not what you think. I'm talking to a little boy.
    • One episode has Phil texting Luke's crush because Luke didn't know what to say, and the conversation goes great. During their date, it turns out that the girl's mom had been texting in her place. Phil has to point out that no, it's not a Meet Cute for a Parent with New Paramour, he's happily married.
  • The Munsters has Herman write poetry for a nebbishy coworker trying to impress an attractive woman. She's falling for the poetry until Herman leaves and he's left on his own, at which point she goes after Herman instead. Naturally, once she sees his face this can only end one way.
  • An episode of Muppets Tonight had Rizzo acting as Cyrano to Bobo the Bear, feeding him lines through an earpeice to say to guest star Cindy Crawford. It all went horribly wrong when one of Rizzo's young relatives passed on the way back from the fairground, and Rizzo asks if he could play with the balloons.
  • Brian is Jordan's Cyrano in the last episode of My So-Called Life.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Cyrano de Bergerac is behind much of the mayhem in the radio episode "Poetry Mixup" and its television remake "Bones, Son of Cyrano". Mr. Boynton provides Walter Denton with a poem from Cyrano to gives to Harriet Conklin. Harriet thinks that Mr. Boynton intended the letter for her. Harriet puts the letter in an old enevelope and hands it back to Mr. Boynton. Mr. Boynton hands it to Miss Brooks. Miss Brooks gives Stretch Snodgrass (Bones in the remake) the poem as something with which to woo Harriet. Through yet another mixup, Stretch delivers the love poem to Principal Osgood Conklin instead of Miss Brooks' requisition for flowerpots.
    Mr. Conklin: (reading) "Your name hangs in my heart like a bell's tongue." Now really!
  • Discussed in Parks and Recreation when Leslie asks Ann to help her on a date and she thinks that Ann is going to suggest this, but remarks that it would never work.
  • Person of Interest. In "Bury the Lede", Finch (despite being something of an anti-social nerd) does this for John Reese when he goes on a date with a workaholic Intrepid Reporter so he can secretly protect her. Reese stuffs up because he hasn't read her dating website profile, so Finch keeps chiming in until Reese ends up Removing the Earpiece (Finch's advice isn't bad, just intrusive).
  • In an episode of Picket Fences, when the girl realizes what's gone on, she accuses those involved of rape.
  • An episode of Roseanne had Jackie as the female lead in a production of the trope naming play, but she had gotten ill and hadn't had time to memorize the lines, so Roseanne shows up at the last minute and starts feeding her the lines. Immediately lampshaded when, after Jackie tells her they can't do that, she points at that Cyrano is doing it for Christian.
  • In season 3's "Communicable Theatre" episode, Roseanne has an unusual example. Jackie is the understudy for the lead in Cyrano de Bergerac and is unprepared. Roseanne shows up to feed her the lines. When Jackie comments that they can't do that, Roseanne points out that's what Cyrano is doing.
  • Newman is Kramer's Cyrano on Seinfeld when the latter pursues Jerry's girlfriend, revealing a rarely seen poetic side. The scheme nearly derails when she mentions junk mail, and, fed by Newman, Kramer launches into a rant that so-called junk mail takes as just manpower to deliver as "precious little greeting cards."
  • Shake it Up has the episode "Opposites Attract It Up" where Rocky and Ty play Cyrano for CeCe and her nerdy boyfriend James respectively, with Rocky coaching CeCe on how to be smart and Ty coaching James on how to be cool.
  • Smallville plays with this: Clark, who is implied to have feelings for Lois, reads Jimmy's wedding vows aloud to her. However he wasn't trying to win Lois over or pass Jimmy's words off as his own, which she realizes only as she sees the vows in his hands. Lois's next line provides the Shout-Out to the trope, when she refers to Jimmy as "a regular Cyrano".
  • In Smart Guy, T.J.'s older brother starts swapping love letters with his girlfriend but he can't think of anything great to say so he has T.J. (a child genius) to write them for him. His girlfriend, so overwhelmed by how amazing the letters are, starts worrying about how badly her letters would be and asks T.J. to write them for her. So T.J. spends most of the episode writing love letters to himself.
  • Sonny with a Chance: Sonny for Tawni in the episode "Sonny In The Kitchen With Dinner".
  • On Stargate Atlantis, Lt. Cadman plays Cyrano for Dr. McKay from inside his own head.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In "Looking for Par'Mach In All The Wrong Places", Worf trains Quark in how to woo Klingon matriarch Grilka, the Ferengi's one-time wife. Worf is infatuated with her himself, but he is an exile, disgraced in the eyes of Klingon culture. Worf is also motivated by the accusation that—having been raised by humans—he doesn't know how to woo a Klingon woman.
  • It happens in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody with Maddie acting as the Cyrano for London via hidden microphones and headsets. This is because the guy London is trying to woo (played by Zac Efron) is intelligent and London is... well... not. Falls apart when the guy says something that upsets Maddie (he's a conservative, she's a liberal) and yells so loud as to uncover the ruse. Which leads to a Slap-Slap-Kiss between he and Maddie.
  • A sketch from That Mitchell and Webb Look revolved around Cyrano himself popping up to help a man woo a woman in the modern day. However, the man in question is a sensitive, good-nature fellow and the woman is crass and rude. Cyrano's advice is to be brash and offensive, and downright insulting, which the man in question takes only grudgingly. As the scene progresses, he realizes that he has absolutely no interest in going out with this unpleasant woman, and her responsiveness to his abrasive come-ons indicate that she has some real self-confidence issues and should probably seek help with her self-loathing, but Cyrano convinces him to go on anyway, since at least he can sleep with her tonight. Eventually the man refuses to continue, but Cyrano keeps shouting out the advice anyway and actually jams a small packet of cocaine into his hands, which the girl mistake for his continued efforts and she drags him inside.
  • White Collar has a brief but strange example. Peter finds himself needing to flirt with a woman in order to get access to the building where she works. His wife Elizabeth thinks this is hilarious ("you hate flirting!") and ends up feeding him a bunch of lines when he calls the woman to arrange the rendezvous.
  • This happens in an episode of Will & Grace, in which Will is Jack's Cyrano and tells him what to say to an attractive customer at the department store where Jack is working, using the headsets worn by the staff there. Jack is intimidated because the guy is a lot more smart and cultured than he is, though the guy ends up giving Will his number once he realizes what's going on.
  • Wishbone: In "Cyranose", as a Plot Parallel to the trope-naming play, Joe, Sam, and David are struggling with an assignment to write a poem for class, especially David, till he discovers a poem placed outside his home and shares it with the class. Their teacher, Mr. Pruitt, is so impressed that he tells David he wants to publish it on his behalf, till David later admits he didn't write the poem himself. They later discover that the poem was actually written by David's neighbor, Wanda, who was shown trying to encourage him earlier in the episode, and this sparks the beginning of a relationship between Wanda and Mr. Pruitt.
  • Attempted very horribly in the Wizards of Waverly Place episode "You Pop Me and We Both Go Down". After Alex accidentally brings Justin's zit to life, the talking zit attempts to be Justin's Cyrano on his date to the High-School Dance but messes the whole thing up by talking loudly to other girls and made Justin sound like a jerk in front of his date by doing so.
  • Subverted in Yo soy Betty, la fea: After Mario Calderón and Armando Mendoza decided that the only way of ensuring the safety of the company they screwed was seducing and romancing Betty, the person who they left in the financial control of everything, Mario assumes the role of planning and writing a lot of little notes, cards and letters destined to melt the woman's heart. He does that because Armando was too repulsed by Betty to do it himself, and although Mario neither likes her, at least has a cooler head and some level of "professionalism" in womanizing issues. In a tragic turn, Armando falls in love with Betty genuinely, and when he realizes that he ditches Mario's "help" and began to write himself notes with his true feelings, hoping to stop the scam and win her or real before she realized even that something was wrong. Unfortunately, when Betty (who was in love with Armando before all the scheme was even planned, and had no intention to keep the company, for begin with) eventually discovers their plan and realizes the whole ruse both men put her into, she becomes understandably enraged, and convinces herself that the "real" letters by Armando were also written by Mario. That wound lasted a lot to heal, to say the least.


  • The Trope Namer and Trope Codifier is, as described in the introduction, Cyrano de Bergerac. Cyrano is quick-witted and in love with Roxane, but is ashamed of his giant nose and considers himself unworthy. His friend Christian is handsome and also likes Roxane, but he isn't clever like Cyrano and fears disappointing her by being dull and boring. They team up to try to present Christian as the perfect guy; it works for a while, but eventually ends in tragedy.
  • In the Heights: Usnavi is too shy to ask Vanessa out properly, so Sonny gets fed up and does it himself. It actually goes much better than Usnavi expected, and the way he raps about it afterwards, you'd think he asked Vanessa himself, not Sonny.
  • Played at in Much Ado About Nothing when the Prince woos Hero for his friend Claudio.
  • Shakespeare has a field day with this in Twelfth Night, when the "Cyrano" Orsino sends is a girl disguised as a boy who's actually in love with him.
  • In the A. A. Milne play The Ugly Duckling, a prince and princess, both regarded as rather plain, each hire a Cyrano to impersonate them during the marriage negotiations. At the wedding, the prince plans to wear full armor with the visor down, while the princess wears a face-obscuring veil.

    Video Games 
  • One side mission in Akiba's Trip: Undead and Undressed has an Otaku ask Nanashi to dress him up and supply the words for his confession to a girl he has a crush on. The player can choose whether to help him out, or sabotage him for a laugh.
  • In the video game Baldur's Gate II, the character Garrick recurs from the first game, aided by a gnome named, unsubtly, Cyrando, trying (and failing) to woo a noblewoman who ends up marrying the gnome instead.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, you can be the Cyrano to your party's resident drunk dwarf. It succeeds... kind of. You also get to be the Cyrano to Aveline in Dragon Age II, but that is less wooing Donnick for her than pushing the two into Ten Minutes in the Closet scenarios.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim: There is a sidequest called The Book of Love, where you must reconcile people's love problems. The second part of the quest involves commissioning a bard/mercenary to rewrite (ghostrewrite?) an old poem of his for a several-centuries-old Altmer to woo his (human) Redguard love interest.
  • In Fable, a quest requires you to deliver a poem across most of the main continent. On its own, this wouldn't qualify, but you can claim to be the Cyrano.
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance features this in the The Amorous Adventures of Bold Sir Hans Capon DLC, as Hans intends to woo a peasant girl and has Henry hiding in the bushes to feed him lines...then cover for him when her angry father turns up with a mob outside while he's in her bedroom.
  • A side encounter in Mass Effect 3 has you playing Cyrano to the romantically awkward Garrus, assuming you didn’t romance him yourself.
  • Non-romantic example in Shadowrun: Hong Kong - on Is0bel's character-specific mission, you have to coach her through fast-talking her way into the room she needs to get to. Hilarity Ensues when someone confronts you (for hogging a computer kiosk) at the same time that she's being confronted (for being in a restricted area), and you have to come up with lines that work in both contexts.
  • In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 3: Baddest of the Bands, Homestar is an incredible R&B singer, so long as someone is cuing him the right lyrics. Strong Bad does this during his audition, and Pom Pom does this through an ear piece when the two are on-stage as "Pom Star". Strong Bad sabotages them by having the Drive-Thru Whale hijack the signal.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island: Lair of the Leviathan, Guybrush has to play this for a giant manatee to help him conquer an even bigger female manatee, who is very angry and would eat him if something went wrong.
  • In Yandere Simulator, Ayano can "eliminate" her rivals by matchmaking them. This involves setting up conversations between each rival girl and their alternate love interest, telling the latter what to say via earpiece.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kyou in CLANNAD acts like this towards her twin Ryou, trying to hook her with Tomoya. This either ends in success (her bad endnote  in the game), both of them give up about pursuing Tomoya for the sake of Nagisa (anime), or her being outed on having liked Tomoya for a long time with lots of nasty love triangle drama for everyone involved. In the end... Ryou realizes that clinging to Tomoya just isn't going to work and makes a plan with Kyou. Kyou cuts her hair to look more like her sister and Tomoya breaks up with 'Ryou' while confessing that he actually likes her sister.
  • In Little Busters!, minor character Suginami is so shy she can't bring herself to confess to her crush, Riki. Eventually, her friends overcome this for her by writing a love note for Riki and arranging for them to meet. Except in this case, Suginami had no idea her friends were doing this, leading to an awkward moment where she confesses she didn't write the note and Riki is relieved, only for Suginami to continue that she does actually like him, though.
  • Subverted by the two female "Cyranos" in School Days, due to the Matchmaker Crush situation. The first one, Sekai Saionji, ends up becoming the "mistress" of Makoto Itou, the boy she was trying to hook up with Kotonoha Katsura. The other, Setsuna Kiyoura, tries to force Makoto to break up with Kotonoha and stay with Sekai.
  • In the Queen Bean storyline of Hush Hush - Only Your Love Can Save Them, the protagonist plays Cyrano for the awkward Lotus at the behest of her brother Dmitri. He eventually begins outright calling them Cyrano when they stop by for a "Lotus Lesson."

  • In The Accidental Space Spy, the protagonist must look up proper etiquette of an alien species and quickly tell it to a member of that species so she can convince the guards she is high-class enough to be admitted to the inner hall of the president’s party.
  • In Cheer!, the spinoff of The Wotch, when a character tries this, the girl easily notices the Cyrano behind the bushes and asks her date, "Max, why is Xander hiding in a bush giving you bad advice?" Max, being The Voiceless, doesn't answer (or repeat any of Xander's lame lines).
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: Paz has Bobby the robot write a love letter to Kat, who at first thinks he wrote it on his own accord. No trouble ensues as Paz sets her straight soon.
  • In Kevin & Kell, Rudy once acts as his uncle Ralph's Cyrano, while his girlfriend Fiona plays this with her mother, Martha. Both feel guilty of starting to fall in love with "that other person". When the day of the date arrives, everything falls into place. Since Ralph and Martha were set to a relationship very similar to the one Rudy and Fiona already shared, they rapidly fell in love, and everything turned out alright.
    • And just in case one didn't get the reference the cafe where the two they were writing for meet in person has a waiter named Cyrano.
  • Ménage à 3 ran a joke high-tech version of the trope in which the phallophobic and unstable Yuki found herself locked in a formal sexual contest with Sonya for access to Gary, giving her overconfident Hollywood Psych therapist Kiley a month to "fix her brain". Kiley did what she could, but come the, ahem, climactic night of the contest, Yuki asked Kiley to provide support and advice by smartphone. This gave Kiley a close view of the ensuing disaster.
  • Oglaf has an one-off strip where a guy wooing a young woman seeks advice on what to say from his friend. Since this is Oglaf, it ends with the guy fucking his friend instead. In the stinger, the girl shows up to join them.
  • When Tess of Pixie Trix Comix finds herself going on her first date with another woman, she doesn’t have a clue about how to dress or behave, so for some reason she consults the geeky and overconfident Aaron. He actually provides some quite good advice on dress, but then they get distracted and he doesn’t have time to suggest anything about behavior. So he ends up trying to play Cyrano by text message.
  • Subverted in this strip of Two Guys and Guy.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Done in 101 Dalmatians: The Series, with Cadpig giving Rolly the words. However, Rolly mishears her, causing him to throw insults at the object of his affections.
  • On Adventure Time, both Jake and Marceline try to help Finn ask Princess Bubblegum to go see a movie. Jake's idea is to dress up in a silly costume and play the lute. Marceline's idea is to release wolves into Bubblegum's room. In an interesting twist, the episode ends with Finn realizing that he has more in common with Marceline and asking her out on a platonic date instead.
  • Done in the All Dogs Go to Heaven TV series, with Charlie giving Itchy cues via an earpiece. It all goes wrong when Charlie starts playing poker, and Itchy starts repeating his game talk.
  • Big City Greens: In episode "Gabriella's Fella" Remy hands Cricket an earpiece and relays what he wants him to say to Gabriella. Unfortunately, Remy has no idea what he's doing, and he starts yelling at Gabriella, which Cricket repeats despite that Gabriella can hear Remy. Remy has to call Vasquez to help him out, becoming a second Cyrano to Remy's Cyrano.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Sleeping with the Frenemy", Tammy ends up staying with the Belchers for a week, and Tina tries to help her win over a cute but quirky boy from out of town.
  • Subverted on The Cleveland Show, when Rallo offers to play Cyrano for Junior:
    Junior: Hasn't this bit been done to death?
    Rallo: [tossing earpiece aside] Yeah, you're right.
  • An episode of Doug has Doug believe he's being asked to do this by Fentruck, not due to shyness, but due to Fentruck's uncertain English skills. Doug's friendly nature conflicts with the fact that the letter is for "the blonde-haired girl who sits in front of" Fentruck — in class, the girl that sits in front of Fentruck is Doug's own crush Patti. It's actually Fentruck's uncertain English causing the dilemma: he's using an expression used to refer to one's elder sibling in his own language. Why he wants to write to his sister in English is anyone's guess.
  • Spoofed in a cutaway gag on Family Guy, where "woo" quickly becomes "antisemitism."
  • Futurama, "Why Must I Be A Crustacean In Love?". Zoidberg returns to his home planet to spawn and must convince Edna, a childhood friend, to receive his genetic material. Fry serves as his Cyrano after some initial failures, and it works surprisingly well until Leela tells Edna what's really going on, at which point Edna decides to seduce Fry instead.
    Fry: Start with a compliment. Tell her she looks thin.
    Dr. Zoidberg: [calling to Edna] You seem malnourished. Are you suffering from internal parasites?
    Edna: [pleased] Why, yes. Thanks for noticing.
  • The Gravedale High episode "Cleo's Pen Pal" inverts this by having Cleofatra ask Duzer to pose as her on a date with werewolf actor Billy Headstone, who Cleo has a crush on. But Duzer loves the idea of dating Billy, much to the ire of Cleo.
  • A variation of this occurs in The Little Mermaid (1989) with Ursula tricking Ariel into giving her her voice.
  • Performed in the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Trading Places", with Penny talking to Zoe's crush for her (due to Zoe having a large blemish on her nose at the time).
  • The 1937 Merrie Melodies short I Only Have Eyes for You has a nerdy bird trying to woo a canary who is obsessed with crooners, so he hires a mockingbird to his in his ice truck and croon the title song while he lip-synchs. The problems start when the mockingbird starts getting cold in the ice truck and exposes the ruse when he sneezes the top off the truck.
  • Miraculous Ladybug manages one of the two-sided versions - Alya is advising Marinette via Earpiece Conversation, and Adrien is advising Nino. Marinette has a crush on Adrien and, due to some earlier miscommunication, thinks she's going on a date with him until Nino shows up. Hilarity Ensues, and Alya and Nino end up being a couple.
  • Played with in an episode of Muppet Babies, in which Gonzo woos Piggy with the help of the actual Cyrano De Bergerac. And Steve Martin.
  • In the Pinky and the Brain episode "The World Can Wait", the Brain falls in love with a Brainless Beauty female lab mouse who thinks Pinky is hilarious but has trouble understanding Brain's usual mode of speech. So, Pinky becomes his Cyrano.
  • In the Pet Alien episode "Night of the Norwegian Boy", Granville enlists Gumpers to help him win over Melba Manners, who despises Granville but loves Gumpers' poetry. It's deconstructed in that Tommy calls Granville out for lying to her, and Melba immediately dumps Granville when she learns the truth.
  • From The Simpsons, when Homer is supplying Principal Skinner with the lines to win Edna Krabappel back:
    Skinner: So you'll be my Cyrano?
    Homer: Hey, if this thing works out, I won't have to.
  • South Park:
    • In "Erection Day" Cartman helps Jimmy woo a girl on a date using this method. Subverted in that it actually works, until Jimmy messes it up by being too forward and deviating from Cartman's plan.
    • "Deep Learning" is about Stan and Clyde using AI to generate texts to their girlfriends.
  • Teen Titans Go! has "The Bergerac" where the Titans and Bumblebee try (and fail) to be this trope to Robin as he tries to woo Wonder Girl. They fail miserably at their job.
  • Top Cat: Top Cat does it for Choo choo. As usual with this plan, it does not end well.
  • On Total Drama Island, Cody seemed to think he needed to play this role for Trent. He really didn't.
  • In Yogi Bear, Yogi once played The Cyrano for Boo-Boo. He even made Boo-Boo dress up like in Cyrano De Bergerac, though Yogi should've been the one wearing the big fake nose.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Cyrano


Blu Has Beautiful Eyes

Blu is trying to court Jewel but since he's never interacted that much with other birds and was raised in another country, he's incredibly awkward. Rafael, his friend, is The Charmer and decides to help Blu during a romantic ride he and Jewel end up having. Rafael tells Blu to compliment Jewel's eyes. However, Blu's nervousness as well as misunderstanding what Rafael said makes him say "I have beautiful eyes" instead much to the confusion of Jewel and Rafael correcting him by specifying he meant Jewel's eyes leading to Blu awkwardly correcting himself on what he said though Jewel finds his awkward attempt to correct himself endearing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / PlayingCyrano

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