Follow TV Tropes


Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes

Go To

"Now, should we treat women as independent agents, responsible for themselves? Of course. But being responsible has nothing to do with being raped. Women don't get raped because they were drinking or took drugs. Women do not get raped because they weren't careful enough. Women get raped because someone raped them."
Jessica Valenti, The Purity Myth: How America's Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women

Rape is one of the more difficult subjects to handle in a work of fiction, not least because (unlike, say, a gruesome and violent murder) there is a higher chance that one of the work's readers has experienced this crime first-hand. For the most part, the tropes that have been collected here describe less sensitive and sometimes downright backwards depictions of sexual violence.

For obvious reasons, many of these tropes are considered crossing the Moral Event Horizon. Though it's sometimes used as a cheap way to make the heroes look better in comparison even if they don't herald any heroic impacts either.

Contrast Flirting and Courtship (trying to get it on with someone properly).

Note that these tropes have all real life examples blocked, per the Content Policy. See also No Real Life / Sex, Sexuality, and Rape Tropes.


  • Adaptational Consent: A sexual act which was consensual in the original is non-consensual in an adaptation (or vice versa).
  • Aliens Made Them Do It: A third party or some outside factor (often a supernatural one) forces two people to copulate.
  • All Abusers Are Male: The inaccurate belief that only men can be perpetrators of sexual abuse.
  • All Gays Are Pedophiles: The homophobic stereotype that every single gay man is a potential sexual predator of young boys.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Not always related to rape, but perverts are more likely to be rapists.
  • Anal Probing: When aliens who have kidnapped a human decide to insert a medical instrument up the victim's rectum, well needless to say this is basically forced sodomy and an extreme physical violation of their personal privacy. Though this is very often played for laughs.
  • And Now You Must Marry Me: Since marriage usually means legal sexual access to one's spouse, forced marriage implies forced sex.
  • Aren't You Going to Ravish Me?: Someone at another's mercy is surprised, angry, or even insulted when rape/sexual harassment doesn't happen.
  • Attempted Rape: An assailant does not succeed in committing rape.
  • Baby Factory: When taken to extremes, it basically turns into Gratuitous Rape crossed with Mate or Die.
  • Bathe Her and Bring Her to Me: The villain orders his goons to capture a woman and groom her so he can rape her.
  • Beautiful Sexual Assault Victim: A character's likelihood of being a sexual assault victim, as well as whether their claims of victimization are believed, is tied to whether people think they're beautiful.
  • Bed Trick: Impersonating someone's significant other (or at least someone the other person is attracted to) to deceive them into agreeing to sexual intercourse, which is blatantly nonconsensual due to being a form of rape by deception.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Seeing as animals aren't sapient and can't talk to humans (unless they're anthropomorphic/talking animals), you can't get their consent, and therefore, bestiality/zoophilia can be considered rape.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Rape is depicted for dark humor.
  • Blaming the Victim: While not exclusive to this, it's not uncommon for victims of sexual harassment and/or assault to be blamed for it in some way (as demonstrated in the page quote).
  • But Liquor Is Quicker: Having sex with someone while they're inebriated is considered rape because the person likely wouldn't have consented if they were sober.
  • Casting Couch: Becomes rape if the person says no to the sex but has to do it to get the part anyway.
  • Chained to a Bed: Can be a part of it, if it's being played seriously.
  • The Chikan: Somebody who uses the cover of crowded public transportation to sexually assault people.
  • Child by Rape: A child is conceived via rape.
  • Contraception Deception: Lying about contraception usage to a sexual partner is considered rape-by-deception in some jurisdictions.
  • Creepy Gym Coach: A school gym teacher or youth sports coach with a pedophilic interest in the kids they're mentoring.
  • Creepy Uncle: A man who has an incestual interest in his own niece or nephew.
  • Crotch-Grab Sex Check: Grabbing a person's crotch to find out their sex.
  • Date Rape: A person dates another with the intent of raping them.
  • Date Rape Averted: When someone looks like they're about to rape their date but someone else stops them.
  • Defiled Forever: The idea that losing one's virginity before marriage means that they're irrevocably tainted and no one would want them. This includes rape, but can also include consensual sex outside of marriage.
  • Depraved Bisexual: This character may be portrayed as a sexual predator of male and female victims alike.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Same as the above, except they're only targeting (straight) people of the same sex as themselves.
  • Dirty Old Man: Not every old man with a sex drive is a pervert, but there's a reason we call this one "dirty".
  • Dirty Old Woman: Ditto for old women.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal: Rape isn't considered wrong if the rapist is a deity.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: A woman raping another woman isn't depicted as wrong.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: A woman raping a man isn't depicted as wrong.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male: A man raping another man isn't depicted as wrong.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Sex without consent is achieved using pheromones, mind control devices, and the like to seduce the victim and this isn't considered as bad as straight-up rape.
  • Downfall by Sex: The downfall for a certain character is linked to them sexually assaulting another person.
  • Droit du Seigneur: When the ruler believes that being in charge of their land means they can have sex with whoever they want, to hell with consent.
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: If someone actually has sex with someone in a coma, then it's rape because you obviously can't get consent from someone who is unconscious. Kissing someone in a coma could be considered sexual assault, unless you are giving them mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Ephebophile: Likely, though not guaranteed, to overlap with this (specifically statutory rape depending on the local age of consent, and sometimes veering into forcible rape).
  • False Rape Accusation: When someone dishonestly claims that an innocent person committed sexual violence.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Originally, this referred to rape as being worse than death, but now it's a blanket term for anything that's considered worse than death.
  • Fetishized Abuser: Extreme examples of abusive lovers can end up as outright rapists.
  • Forced Orgasm: A character is brought to climax against their will, deliberately or accidentally.
  • Forceful Kiss: Kissing someone by force with or without having established consent for it beforehand.
  • Gratuitous Rape: A work of fiction features a rape scene just because.
  • Got Over Rape Instantly: Victim immediately offers romantic or sexual interest after sexual assault and the trauma is never addressed or brought up again.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: The villain has the girl in his grasp and doesn't even try to deny having unsavory intentions with her.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: The rationalization that men who rape do so because they're that desperate for sex.
  • Implied Rape: The word rape is never uttered but is implied.
  • Jailbait Taboo: It is considered immoral to have sex with underage teenagers because individuals below the age of consent are not considered to be mentally mature enough to consent to sex with adults. The term "jailbait" refers to how pursuing minors for sex is illegal and likely to result in incarceration.
  • The Jailbait Wait: A person is attracted to a minor, but takes the precaution to avoid getting in trouble for committing statutory rape by waiting until the person they're attracted to reaches the age of consent.
  • Karmic Rape: A bad person gets raped and it is treated like the person getting their just desserts.
  • Karmic STD: The trope sometimes revolves a rapist or sexual harrasser getting a STD in "payment" for their crimes.
  • Lie Back and Think of England: If sex is something to be endured, there's a good chance it isn't entirely consensual.
  • Marital Rape License: The rationalization that marriage entitles people to rape their spouses whenever they want sex.
  • Medical Rape and Impregnate: Using medical equipment to impregnate women without their consent.
  • Memetic Molester: A fictional character is interpreted on the Internet as some kind of sexual predator due to statements, mannerisms, and actions that can be seen as unsavory.
  • Mind Rape: Not necessarily actual rape as it's not always sexual, but it can be.
  • Murderers Are Rapists: A criminal rapes their victim before killing them.
  • Naughty Tentacles: While the monster may not know what it's doing is wrong, it's still technically rape.
  • Near-Rape Experience: Rape nearly happens, but stops at the last second.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Even if someone enjoyed or orgasmed from the sex, it's still rape if the person didn't get permission.
  • Outfit-Rip Sex Check: It's not always sexual, but it extremely violating and counts as sexual harassment.
  • Pædo Hunt: Anyone suspected of molesting or raping children will be hunted down and systematically destroyed.
  • Pants-Pulling Prank: Legally a form of sexual harassment, if not always treated as such in media.
  • Parental Incest: The most common form of child sexual abuse in Real Life, and always rape due to the nature of the parent-child relationship.
    • Lecherous Stepparent: A stepparent who is attracted to their stepchild. It's not always non-consensual, but it usually is either coerced or forced (and if the stepchild is still a minor, then it's always pedophilia / ephebophilia / statutory rape).
    • Pervert Dad: A father who has a disturbing interest in his own daughter or son.
  • Pedophile Priest: A religious clergyman with an unholy sexual interest in their underage parishioners.
  • Pervy Patdown: Someone uses a patdown as an excuse to sexually grope another person.
  • Pink Is Erotic: The color pink represents eroticism and scenes of a sexual nature. When associated with this trope, the color indicates harassment and sexual violence.
  • Post-Rape Taunt: A rapist gets a rise out of someone close to their victim by smugly claiming that their victim enjoyed it.
  • Prison Rape: When prisoners get raped by other inmates (or the guards).
  • Promiscuity After Rape: A character who became sexually promiscuous as the result of being sexually abused in the past.
  • Psychosexual Horror: A subgenre that explores psychosexual development as a subject matter, including themes of sexual development and sexual activities.
  • Questionable Consent: When it's unclear whether it was rape or not.
  • Rape and Revenge: Victim gets even with their rapist.
  • Rape and Switch: The idea that being raped will change your sexual orientation.
  • Rape as Backstory: A character was the victim of sexual assault in their past.
  • Rape as Drama: Rape is treated seriously and is used to add drama to the story.
  • Rape by Proxy: Forcing two people to have sex with each other.
  • Rape Discretion Shot: When a character is about to be raped, we don't actually see the rape happening.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Rape is treated as the most reprehensible and unacceptable crime imaginable.
  • Rape Leads to Insanity: Rape is depicted as causing victims to go insane.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: Razing a village may involve the inhabitants getting raped.
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: A mean character becomes nicer after getting raped.
  • Romanticized Abuse: Abuse, including sexual, is made to look more attractive and arousing than it is in reality.
  • Scrubbing Off the Trauma: Truth in Television reaction of many victims of sexual abuse is to obsessively try to clean their bodies.
  • Serial Rapist: A rapist keeps raping different people.
  • Sex Slave: Someone is enslaved for the purpose of forcing sex upon them, or for selling them into forced prostitution.
    • Breeding Slave: Someone is forced to become a living Baby Factory.
    • Human Traffickers: If the traffickers are intending to sell their captives (mostly women and girls, sometimes boys and men) into forced prostitution.
  • Sexual Extortion: Forcing people into sex by either promising to give them what they want or need in exchange, or else threatening them with something bad such as blackmail.
  • Shameful Strip: Forcing someone to strip is definitely a form of harassment and can veer into assault.
  • Sleazy Photoshoot: A model is forced or manipulated into doing suspect things in a photoshoot, like taking risque shots or performing sexual acts.
  • Slipping a Mickey: When drugging the beverage leads to Date Rape.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Stalking someone out of an obsessive physical attraction to them is considered to be a form of sexual harassment.
  • Stalking Is Funny if It Is Female After Male: Stalking is Played for Laughs if it's a female perp chasing after a male victim, even though it is still harassment.
  • Wife Husbandry: An older man grooms an underage girl to become his wife. Creepy and borders on pedophilia in real life.
  • The Women Are Safe with Us: When rape is not allowed among the protagonists' forces.

Alternative Title(s): Rape Tropes, Rape And Sexual Harassment Tropes