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Sorry, I'm Gay

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Alicia: (who is trying to butter up the paper's owner for professional advancement) There's something I'd like to discuss. I didn't want to bother you upstairs. I feel an obligation to... act on this directly with you because I think we have a good - I think we have a good relationship... (smiling) and I'd like to take it further. And I think the way to do that is face to face. You know, you and I, face to face.
Graham Keighley: Alicia?
Alicia: Yeah?
Graham Keighley: I'm gay.
Alicia: (stuttering) Oh, umm... well, I mean, I wasn't - I mean, that's fine.
Graham Keighley: Alicia?
Alicia: Yeah?
Graham Keighley: I'm kidding.

An admirer (possibly abhorrent) is putting the moves on someone who clearly has other plans. They rebuff the other's advances by simply saying "Sorry, I'm gay", regardless of their true sexuality. This trope is meant to be gender-neutral but for some reason, "Sorry, I'm a lesbian" usually just doesn't work as well (not that "Sorry, I'm gay" works all of the time for men either). And saying "Sorry, I'm asexual" just gets confused stares at best, and at worst having to deal with the other person trying to "change their mind".

A subtrope of Ignore the Fanservice. The opposite of Mistaken for Gay. Not to be confused with Faux Yay, which is a behavior, while this is just a quick way to halt the seduction in progress but one can lead to the other.

A sub-trope of You're Not My Type. See also Incompatible Orientation, when the person is actually telling the truth, and Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?, when the person claims they're gay but is never seen showing attraction towards anybody of the same sex. Compare to All the Good Men Are Gay, Last Het Romance, and Dude, She's A Lesbian. Sister Trope to Seduction-Proof Marriage, which is when the character rebuffs the unwanted advances because they're in a committed relationship. This can serve as a Queer Establishing Moment if they're indeed telling the truth.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Nezumi of No. 6 once does this in order to get a prostitute away from Shion.
  • In Pretty Face, Dr. Manabi gets rid of his creepy Stalker with a Crush by showing to her that he's into guys (when in fact, he isn't).
  • Early in Princess Princess, Toru's cousin, who's a Stalker with a Crush, shows up to harass him. After several unsuccessful attempts to get rid of her, Shihoudani puts his arm around Toru's shoulders, gives the stalker a very catty look, and says "Sorry, he's taken." ...He then proceeds to kiss Toru on the lips to drive the point home. Toru and Shihoudani's relationship beyond that is up in the air, but there are plenty of further hints.
  • Two occurrences in The Gentlemen's Alliance: Takanari tells Haine and his many female admirers at school that he's gay (and that Maguri is his lover) to dissuade them from pursuing him; this isn't true. In one side-story, Maora, after taking up cross-dressing so that he and Maguri can marry, cheerfully tells him that now they can be together - to which Maguri says he's only interested in boys. Who look like boys.
  • In the 10th episode of Space☆Dandy, when the gang stays on Meow's home planet and are caught in a time loop, at one point Meow drunkenly proposes to his childhood crush Katie who is working as a barmaid. To his disappointment and horror, she reveals to him that she's a lesbian and is dating to the female bartender. An abrupt cut makes it appear as if Meow's attacking the couple in a jealous rage, but he's actually just trying to smash the item causing the time loop.
  • The Voynich Hotel, the female drug dealers' attempt to bribe the sniper that's been sent to kill them by showing him their boobs fails for this reason.
  • In Dragon Ball Bulma attempts to distract General Blue by wiggling her butt at him, but because of this all it does is annoy him.
  • Maria the Virgin Witch: Maria's succubus goes to find a priest and sleep with him to get an army to leave... except the succubus finds the priest going down on a monk. This prompts Maria to make an incubus, but because she's a virgin he ends up lacking certain task-vital components.

    Comic Books 
  • Nightwing, who has a quite a history with both crime fighters and redheads, and especially those who fall into both categories, once made a friendly pass at the red-haired Batwoman, a lesbian. She told him that he wasn't her type, making it one of the very few times Nightwing has ever been turned down.
  • Transmetropolitan, Issue 9. Spider Jerusalem is the guy (obviously). His query: "Would you like to go out to dinner?"
    Kisako St. Exupery, Director of Cultural Reservation Systems: Sorry, got plans tonight. And, well, I play on the other team, if you see what I mean.
    Nurse: Sorry, I don't eat.
    Random Girl: Sorry, no. I'm Breatharian. [Layman's terms: They don't eat, they just breathe.] ("How about going to bed with me instead" "I went neuter last year. Sorry.")
    (And the coup-de-grace) Hannah Enkidu, SPKF Feedsite Listener: Sorry, no. I'm married, not hungry, infected with seven unknown diseases, gay, pregnant with lizards, and clinically dead. [Just to twist the knife, she was on a live broadcast at the time.]
  • The Midnighter serial has Midnighter break it to a female time cop from the future the reason why he won't have sex with her. After some confusion as to what the words "gay" and "straight" actually mean, she explains that no one regards sexuality in that manner anymore and everybody just does everybody.
  • In a run on X-Men by Grant Morrison, Beast is approached by a woman who dumped him rather harshly a few issues previous. She seeks to get back together with him, and he rattles off a short list of reasons why he didn't want to, ending with "Also, I think I might be gay." This actually became a (sub)plot point for a few issues, with Beast eventually out-and-out saying to Cyclops that he only said it to make his ex feel bad.
  • In Action Comics Weekly there was a short-lived version of the Secret Six concept; one of the characters told a grateful rescuee this when she came on to him, which was The Reveal to the readers as well (he also lampshaded the "rescue romance" concept).
  • In the Dark Reign arc of Young Avengers, when Enchantress hits on him, Wiccan, bewildered, responds with "I'm with someone. And gay! Did I not indicate that?! Very, very gay." It doesn't seem to deter her, though.
  • In Stormwatch 46, a rare Breather Episode, Fahrenheit, Jenny Sparks, and Flint are at a restaurant in Paris, and Fahrenheit has already picked up a hot guy, but when she calls Flint over to translate what he's saying, it turns out what he was trying to tell her was he's gay. Fahrenheit jokingly suggests that the three women kidnap him and "keep at him until he starts liking girls..."
  • A male-to-female version in The Punisher:
    Soap: You know, Molly... you're really...
    Molly: A lesbian.
  • The campy spy send-up Codename: Knockout explores the adventures of super-spy Angela Devlin and her gay sidekick "Go-go" Fiasco. At one point a super-villain's seductive "assistant" attempts to seduce Go-go for information:
    Anita: Don't be coy with me Mr. Fiasco. You're a man, I'm a woman...
    Go-go: I'm not coy, I'm gay.
    Anita: ...GAY?
    Go-go: Yeah, GAY. Pansy, Fruit, Invert, Fairy, Back-Door Boy — The lot. I'm here, I'm queer, let go of me! You get the picture.
  • Veronica from Archie Comics is smitten by the new guy, Kevin Keller. He has to let her down gently since he's, well, gay.
  • In Uncanny X-Men volume three, Emma frost is trying to help Benjamin Deeds control his powers. His assignment is to hit on a girl, which he doesn't want to do because he's gay. Emma doesn't care.

    Fan Works 
  • There's a Knights of the Old Republic, So Not My Problem taking place at the Sith Academy on Korriban. Carth, passing as the PC's slave, manages to attract the attention of Lashowe, one of the students. His last-ditch effort to dissuade her before actually breaking cover to run or fight was "Sorry, I'm a eunuch!" It's also a Shout-Out to Baldur's Gate 2, where a Male PC gets hit on rather forcefully by a Drow priestess and can resort to the same excuse.
  • The WWE fic I'm Not That Different. In the story, Chris Nowinski falls in love with Molly Holly, but she tells him that the reason she's never had sex with a man is that she's a lesbian. She tries to be gentle about it, but he reacts by going to the ring and outing her in the middle of the show.
  • Nukicide's hilarious F.E.A.R. Troll Fic Beyond the Final Door has a character named "Fast Soldier" use this as his main defense against Alma's Attempted Rape.
    Then stupid gurl try and has sexy time with Fast Soldier but Fast Soldier is fag so he pushd her off.
  • L in Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami uses this to get rid of Night Yagami who is trying to seduce him into giving up his real name. She then takes off her lipstick gets a magic genderbending tattoo that says "IM A DUDE", which turns her into a man, and then seduces him. However, she is still referred to as "she", wears a bra the whole time, and is presumably never turned back into a woman. This is never addressed.
  • In Fever Dreams Light resorts to telling Misa this to prevent Rem from forcing him back into a relationship with her.
  • In The Shinigami Wing Deal Light attempts to politely turn down Misa:
    Light: I'm afraid what you're asking is impossible for a number of reasons. For one, I am already in a relationship...
    Misa: Who?! She can't be prettier than me! I can do it better for you, Light! Who is she? I'll kill that bitch!
    Light: She is a he. So you see we're just not compatible.
    Misa: What do you mean by that?
    Light: I'm gay, Misa.
    Misa: Nooooo! You're too pretty to be gay!
  • Occurs in It's a Trap when Erika gets a call on her cellphone partway through her date with Brock. She went on the date only because she thought he already knew (though, being Erika, the entire date could have been a joke):
    Brock: "Who was that?" Your boyfriend?
    Erika: "Oh, of course not. That was Sabrina."
    Brock: "Sabrina! You mean, you-"
    Erika: "Yes, I am a lesbian. Didn't you already know that?"
  • In The Touch of Green Fire, Kim thinks that Shego has a thing with Drakken or Senõr Senior Junior. As Shego tells her, neither had a chance in the first place.
    Shego: "Junior? "Señor Senior Junior? No... No little Princess. Not Junior. In his wild wet dreams perhaps but no my dear, I play on the other side of the fence."
    Kim: "Excuse me? You mean... Señor Senior Senior?"
    Shego: "Nope, I graze even greener pastures than him. They are not in my league Kimmie. So is 50% of the population truth be told, more so if you take into consideration the straights but some of them have found themselves wanting..."
    Kim Possible: "The straights? "You mean... You're a..."
    Shego: "A Lesbian?"
  • To Belong: When Dimitri tries to flirt with Anya, she swiftly tells him that she isn't interested in men.
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • Weiss does this upon being asked out by Cardin for the second time. He won't take "no" for an answer, so she tells him exactly why she hates guys like him who only see her as a Trophy Girlfriend and concludes with mentioning she's gay before slamming her door in his face. This gets Cardin angry.
    • Later on, a boy flirts with Weiss at a party. She tries to dissuade him by telling him she's gay, but he isn't put off because, in his words, "there's a first time for everyone". Weiss gets him to back off when she yells at him for not even knowing that the party is a charity drive.
  • The Hounds of Vegas: Chapter 3 of Roulette is literally titled "Sorry, But I'm Gay." In this case, it refers to Lexi's creepy boss who's been stalking her.
  • In Spotless, when Ladybug gets sick of Chat's incessant flirting, she tells him that she has a girlfriend and that he should quit with he's ahead.
  • A Horrible World of Plot Holes and Spelling Errors: When dealing with the unpleasant Parody Sue Milk, Wakko suggests to Yakko that he try using this trope. Yakko is quick to point out that it would fail because he actually flirted with Milk before realizing she was a Sue.
  • White Owl, a Harry Potter / X-Men: Evolution crossover: In chapter 5, Pietro decides to flirt with Rose Potter, handing her a rose with the words "A beautiful flower for a beautiful lady". Rose proceeds to give it away to Pietro's sister Wanda with the exact same words, plus a kiss, and then outright says "Sorry, but she's more my type" just to hammer it in. Wanda, for her part, inverts it later by telling Rose that "Just so you know, I have a boyfriend". (Fortunately, Rose — who'd already figured this out — isn't offended.)
  • Guys Being Dudes: Arlo attempts to get on Blanche's nerves by claiming that Candela and Blanche didn't need to disguise their intentions when they drag him to the mobile lab to interrogate him about his relationship with Spark. If they wanted a threesome, he'd totally oblige. Blanche quickly shuts him down by stating that they aren't oriented in his direction and already have an emo love interest in their life.

    Film — Animation 
  • At the end of ParaNorman, Mitch invokes this without even realizing he's doing it, apparently being oblivious to Courtney's attraction to him throughout the whole movie.
    Courtney: So I was thinking maybe we could...catch a movie some time. Nothing scary.
    Mitch: That sounds great, Kathy. You know, you're gonna love my boyfriend. He's, like, a total chick-flick nut!
  • In Superman: Red Son, Wonder Woman initially seems flirty with Superman, but she's not interested in Superman romantically. She's not even into men. She turns down Superman when he tries to kiss her.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In The Specials, Amok makes a pass at Power Chick, who thinks he's joking because she's openly gay, even bringing up that she was on the cover of The Advocate.
  • Tank Girl. To stop Sgt. Small's sexual harassment of Jet Girl, Tank Girl kisses her in front of him and says Jet Girl is her girlfriend. Small reacts with disgust and leaves.
    Jet Girl: It worked!
    Tank Girl: (innocent smirk) What worked?
  • Half Baked:
    Brian: Hey, Jan... will you be my girlfriend?
    Jan: Well, I would, but I'm gay. I'm a big dyke.
    Brian: Oh. What's that like?
  • In In & Out, Emily offers herself sexually to Peter. The following, paraphrased exchange happens.
    Emily: Would you sleep with me?
    Peter: ...what?
    Emily: Well, why not? Are you married, already taken, or what? I don't care. You're a man! I'm a woman!
    Peter: Thanks for the offer, but... I'm gay.
    Emily: Is everybody gay?!
  • In What Women Want, Mel Gibson's character has used his powers of telepathy to seduce a hot but insecure barista. The barista chases him up afterwards and demands to know why he's been avoiding her ever since, putting it to him that he "must" be gay because he talks and thinks like a woman. When he overhears her frantic thoughts that she can't bear to be rejected for any other reason, he decides to go with it.
  • In The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes escapes the amorous advances of a Russian ballerina by insinuating that he and Watson are a couple. Watson, when he finds out, is not pleased.
  • Invasion of the Bee Girls has the bee girls seduce and kill various men, but being gay Dr. Murger is immune to their pheromone-based charm. ... which annoys one so much she runs him over in a car, giving the FBI detective a good clue as to their MO.
  • In Hamburger: The Movie, the main character is about to be molested by a female character, so he pretends to be gay so she'll leave. This is odd considering she was set on "not taking no for an answer", so you wouldn't think she would care if he were gay or not.
  • In Hansel vs. Gretel, Jacob refuses Gretel's request to have sex with her and then pluck his eyes out with a line of, "I can't. I'm gay."
  • In The Faculty, Stokely pretends to be a lesbian in order to avoid the attention of her classmates. (Ironically, her actress Clea DuVall would later come out as a lesbian.)
  • In The Rage: Carrie 2, Mark attempts to bribe Rachel in order to get his hands on the pictures Rachel has of him with Lisa (who had just killed herself due to Mark's Jerk Jock antics), first with money and then with sex. Rachel responds to the latter by falsely claiming "I'm a dyke." This bites Rachel in the ass when Mark later jokes, right to Rachel's face, that Jesse scored a "conversion" when he slept with her... which promptly bites Mark in the ass when this pushes Rachel to her Rage Breaking Point, unleashing a telekinetic Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Quiz Lady: Jenny hits on the doctor who fixes her dislocated hand. He tells her he is both married and gay.
    Jenny: Why did you have to say two reasons?

  • Done in the YA lit book Another Kind Of Cowboy. He's telling the truth, though.
  • In the novel Fluke, Nate resorts to this, because he's finding it incredibly difficult to have a conversation with a naked woman who won't stop trying to seduce him.
  • Spellsinger features a gang of rogues trying to lure a unicorn with a virgin. It doesn't work on this particular unicorn, because they use a virgin GIRL.
  • Stephanie Plum uses this one to discourage an admirer while getting him to keep talking to her and giving her information she needs about a case. Lula helps out by playing Stephanie's girlfriend.
  • Seraphina expects Lars to go this route when he thinks she is about to profess attraction to him.
  • In the Doctor Who New Series Adventures novel Big Bang Generation, Peter Summerfield spends pretty much the entire book saying this to Kik the Assassin.
  • Esther Diamond Lopez's oldest brother claims this to combat their mother's I Want Grandkids. Their other brother says he's becoming a priest.
  • Star Wars: Aftermath: Sinjir responds to Jas propositioning him by revealing that he's only into men.
  • Spellster: Marin politely tells Dylan she's a lesbian when he hits on her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000: This was one of Mike and the bots' riffs from Danger: Diabolik. Diabolik's girlfriend shows some leg in order to hijack a truck. One of the SOL crew says, "Sorry, I can't help you. I'm gay."
    • In the RiffTrax riffing of The Room (2003), Mike's solution for Mark: "C'mon, just say "I'm gay", problem solved."
  • How I Met Your Mother: While on a girls' night out, all of the men in the bar are hitting on Robin while completely ignoring Lily. She soon figures out that it's because of her engagement ring and takes it off (at Marshall's suggestion, no less!) to see how many men she can attract. When one guy finally approaches her, she suddenly becomes horrified at her "infidelity", putting the ring back on and rushing into an explanation of why she took it off—only for the guy to cut her off with, "Yeah, I'm gay. I just came by to let you know you sat on a grape."
  • In Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Rebecca offers a kiss to the imaginary professors teaching her the math of love triangles via musical number. They respond, "Lady, we're all gay. We get nothing out this!"
  • Frasier:
    • Martin plays along when he is Mistaken for Gay by a woman at the Opera, because he wants to evade her advances. So she tries to hook Martin up with her uncle.
    • Inverted example in "The Matchmaker", during another Mistaken for Gay plotline:
      Frasier: Tom, I'm sorry but we seem to have gotten our lines crossed here. The truth is, I'm entirely straight.
      Tom: Hey, if you're not interested, just say so!
  • NYPD Blue: Licalsi pretended to be gay to discourage Martinez. He backed off at least somewhat (so it did work), but later she outed herself as straight-but-not-interested.
  • Hustle:
    • In one episode, the target of a Bavarian Fire Drill comes on to Stacey. She replies "Sorry, I'm gay," which doesn't entirely dissuade the man she's talking to, who tries to find out if she and her fictitious partner would both be willing to- you know.
    • Played with in another episode, where Danny gets rejected by a pretty hotel receptionist and decides that she must be a lesbian. At the end of the episode, it turns out that he's right.
  • Used in Torchwood with the evil alien in a human body who derives energy from sex picking random blokes from the waiting area of a sperm bank and literally dragging them off to bang them. One of the men tells her (in an effeminate Welsh accent): "Oh, I don't think so, love, I'm gay!" Not that it helped him very much.
  • Used later in the parent show Doctor Who where Bill Potts finds a place to live with other students, and one of the male ones fancies her. Bill lets him down politely because she's a lesbian, and he immediately apologizes. They both laugh it off, and it's a nice tension breaker before the creepy stuff starts back up.
    • Bill has to do this again in a later episode during a trip back in time to Roman Britain when a legionary she meets starts flirting with her. When Bill tells him that she's only interested in women he accepts it easily enough as he's bisexual (which he suggests is the norm for Roman society) and one of his fellow soldiers is gay.
  • In Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert tries to find a way to break up with his immensely hot girlfriend. Due to her aforementioned hotness, no one can believe that he actually wants to break up with her (even though she is the most irritating woman on the planet). Robert finally goes to her ill-tempered Italian father to explain "I have to tell you something: I am a homosexual."
  • In one episode of The Bill, fat, balding, crime scene tech Eddie tried to chat up big-breasted DC Jo Masters. She took him to a bar after work to explain (off-screen) that she was a lesbian.
  • In The First Shop of Coffee Prince, Han Kyul hires Eun Chan to pretend to be his gay lover and show up during the dates his mother has set him up on, to scare away prospective girlfriends.
  • On season 4 of Weeds, Nancy's former best friend Celia is spying on her for the cops. Nancy quickly claims that Celia is her girlfriend, who suspects Nancy of cheating on her. This convinces Guillermo both that Celia is not a spy and that Nancy is not on the market and he should stop pressing his luck. Later, when Nancy's love interest brings up the issue of her "girlfriend" Celia, Nancy smiles and says that it's easier to be friends with Guillermo when he thinks she's a lesbian.
  • Inverted on My So-Called Life, as when Rickie finds out that Delia has a crush on him, he tries feebly to ask her out...only for Delia to tell him that she knows he's gay and that she only has a crush on him because she wants one that "can't hurt so much".
  • Played for Laughs in Degrassi: The Next Generation. When Marco is helping Ellie move into her dorm, she introduces him to her roommate. "Oooh, he's cute, you'll have to tie the sock on the doorknob when he comes around," she coos, and he smiles, sticks out his hand to shake, and says, "Hi, I'm gay."
  • In Misfits, ineffectual Time Master Curtis accidentally gets caught in a "Groundhog Day" Loop and finds himself having to break up with Samantha numerous times. He makes various foolish excuses as he tries to find the least upsetting way of dumping her, and claiming to be gay is one of the first things he tries. It backfires massively, as Sam sees it as a huge betrayal that made their whole relationship a lie.
  • Jake 2.0 used the girl-is-a-lesbian variant, but interestingly, it was treated exactly the same way as the guy-is-gay variant. Then again, Jake's not the type to suggest a threesome.
  • Hilariously done in Lost in Austen when Amanda tries to convince Mr. Bingley that nothing could ever happen between them.
    Mr. Bingley: I am drawn to you! I am a man!
    Amanda: And I'm a woman! And I'm drawn to... other women.
    Mr. Bingley: So... you mean there really are women who... steer the punt from the Cambridge end?
  • In Lost Girl 1x06, the protagonist is trying to charm her way past a security guard without using her succubus powers on him.
    Bo: I just love a man in uniform.
    Guard: Honey, that makes two of us.
  • Inverted in the Modern Family episode "Treehouse". At a bar, Cameron (played by Eric Stonestreet, whose real-life heterosexuality made this more amusing) successfully bets his partner Mitchell and another gay friend that he can get an attractive woman at the bar to give him her phone number.
    • More subverted than anything. When he hits it off amazingly well with the girl, he later freaks out over how to break it to her that he's actually gay, as he believes she's fallen in love with him. Turns out, she knew he was gay all along and didn't get why he was coming out to her - she just wanted a gay best friend. Though she does play along with the ruse for his sake so that he can still win his bet with Mitch.
  • Used unsuccessfully by the two main ladies of Rizzoli & Isles. The guy is undeterred, and suggests a threesome. Jane is horrified, Maura thoughtful.
  • Warehouse 13 had Jinks and Claudia together on their first mission. After a series of misunderstandings, including Claudia lampshading their supposed UST he stops her with this line. Commence awkwardness.
  • The Jori shippers were put in mind of this trope in the episode of Victorious where Jade and Tori were forced to go on a "date" for an assignment, then immediately hit on by two obnoxious guys. Their song, "Take A Hint", is basically this trope in song form.
  • According to Jim: When Andy tries to flirt with Dana's boss, she says she is a lesbian. After he says he had no idea, she says that she just became one.
  • Played with slightly in Drop the Dead Donkey. Helen’s response to George (eventually) asking her out is first to tell him that she’s seeing someone else. After George accepts this gracefully, Helen then clarifies that she is a lesbian and that this person is a woman – which George then does not believe, given she had previously been married to a man, incorrectly assuming that she was lying to spare his feelings.
  • In The Office, Andy pulls this to get out of a long-term relationship. She thinks it makes sense.
  • Sort of a weird inversion in Faking It, where in the pilot Liam chats up Karma, even though he thinks she's a lesbian, and she shows obvious interest in him even after they're "outed"...which only seems to attract Liam further. (Of course, she is, well, faking it.)
  • On All My Children, Skye flirted with Michael, only to have him name-drop this trope.
  • On One Life to Live, Max Holden egotistically assumed that this was why Maggie was rebuffing his advances. It turns out to be because she was studying to be a nun.
  • In Coupling, this line doesn't work on crazy Jane, who thinks she can date gay men because she's bisexual.
  • Connor tries this in an episode of How to Get Away with Murder when invited to a sex party. The lady just smiles and tells him that that's perfect, since he's just her husband's type.
  • Played with on iZombie. Lowell says this to Liv after they've been dating for a couple of episodes and then has to clarify that it's only because he ate the brain of a gay guy. He promises to make sure his next brain is "ludicrously straight," and floats the idea of digging up Wilt Chamberlain.
  • Sam Malone, The Casanova running Cheers, had this as his Plan Z: If a one-night stand ever became too attached to him, he would have one of his guy friends pretend to enter a gay relationship with him. He invoked this plan when he thought Rebecca was trying to make him hers for keeps. She wasn't; she was trying to discuss pure business with him concerning his bar. When she learns it was a hoax anyway, she manages to get Sam and his friend to kiss just to see if they would even go THAT far to sell the impression... after which Sam allows himself to get punched in the face.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus inversion: In "Biggles Dictates A Letter," Biggles' secretary can't get dictating instructions right, leading to this:
    Biggles: No, no, no, you loopy brothel inmate!
    Secretary: I've had enough of this. I'm not a courtesan.
    Biggles: Oh, "courtesan." Oh, aren't we grand. Harlot's not good enough for us, eh? Paramour, concubine, fille de joie, that's what we are not. Well, listen to me, my fine fellow. You are a bit of tail, that's what you are.
    Secretary: I am not, you demented fictional character.
    Biggles: Algy says you are. He says you're no better than you should be.
    Secretary: And how would Algy know?
    Biggles: And just what did you mean by that? Are you calling my old fictional comrade in arms a fairy?
    Secretary: Fairy! Poof's not good enough for Algy, is it? He's got to be a bleedin' fairy! Mincing old RAF queen!
  • In Stranger Things, Steve is encouraged by Dustin to date to Robin, although Steve vehemently insists he does not like Robin. Despite this, Steve starts to warm up to Robin as they sneak in and out of the Russian lab under the Starcourt Mall. When Robin reveals that she sat behind him in a class in High School, Steve mistakes this for her confessing her feelings for him. In reality, she later adds she was jealous of him because he always stole the attention from Tammy Thompson, a girl she crushed on in the same class.
  • Dates: Erica cuts off her date with Callum by telling him she's a lesbian (it was her brother who arranged this since he won't accept her orientation).
  • Manhattan Love Story: Chloe, annoyed by her mom's annual attempts to set her up with a guy, says she's a lesbian. It doesn't work out-not to be deterred, upon hearing this her mom brings in a young Butch Lesbian for her. Chloe plays along briefly, but she then comes clean that she's straight.
  • Special Ops: Lioness: Bobby replies that she's a lesbian when Kamal first starts to hit on her.
  • The Beauty Queen of Jerusalem: Mr. Zacks reveals he's gay when Mercada shows a romantic interest in him.

  • I Wish shows that Lyu-Ui used this as his reason to not date any women at his school, citing that he was in a relationship with protagonist K. Given that Lyu-Ui is a gadfly, it's unclear just how serious he was with his words.


    Newspaper Comics 
  • In an early FoxTrot comic, Paige was trying to avoid being asked out by Morton Goldthwait and thought of several excuses she could use, including this one.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • On the 1/3/2002 episode of WWE Smackdown, Stephanie McMahon tries to seduce an usher, who has been preventing her entry all night, to let her inside. His response? "Stephanie, I'm gay." To add the exclamation point, he commented on Billy and Chuck, who just walked by, stating that if they released a calendar, it would be unbelievable!

    Video Games 
  • In The Longest Journey, when April tries to get past a security guard by acting cute, all he says is "Sorry, ma'am, but I'm gay".
  • Another female example in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines, where one woman can turn down a male Player Character by telling him "I just remembered, I'm gay." Then inverted if playing a female character, where she'll say "I just remembered, I'm straight."
  • In Princess Maker 4, Marie (one of the player character's daughter's possible best friends) gains a very persistent Stalker with a Crush. She finally manages to get rid of him by telling him she's not interested in men and is dating your daughter (who, playing along, tells him to back off of her girl).
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins:
      • Played with; the player always has the option to turn down offers of unwanted romance, and while sexual orientation is never explicitly stated, some dialogue options imply it ("I think you're getting the wrong idea about me.").
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • Sera will tell a male Inquisitor they have "too much in common, yeah? Because we both like women?"
    • Dorian also has a variation of this; if you flirt with him as a female Inquisitor, he does actually flirt back, believing it to be a joke between friends — he clarifies this once he's come out to you as being gay, however, putting a dampener on whatever romance the player may have thought was brewing.

    Web Animation 
  • Sonic pulls this in Sonic Zombie. He says it when Amy asks him to "comfort" her after Cream is found dead.
  • In Sonic for Hire, Sonic often tries to get out of awkward situations by claiming he's gay. A good example would be in the "Wrestlemania" episode, where Sonic forces all of his love interests to fight for his affection. When Amy actually wins, Sonic admits he was only using the fight as a chance to entertain himself and didn't actually intend to honor the winner.
    Sonic: I'm gay, or whatever.

  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan tried to get out of prison by tempting his guards with an illusion of a woman — only to find that one guard was married and the other gay.
    • In a bonus comic from one of the books, Miko tries to attend dinner with two other female paladins to celebrate new years. Her overbearing personality gets on their nerves, and they claim that they are dating so that she will let them have some alone time. In an interesting twist, the two then ponder whether they will have to atone for their lie to keep their paladin powers, and one suggests that they could actually make out instead. Later on, they are seen in a restaurant doing just that.
  • Sam & Fuzzy lampshades this here. Extra bonus: pretending to be gay is actually the second lie - the first was pretending to be a guy!
  • Ethan from Shortpacked! refuses Conquest's advances with this. He did sleep with her earlier (and enjoyed it too), but only realizes he's gay after he's told that he's supposed to be.
  • Keychain of Creation has Marena's attempt to seduce someone result in this. Takes a slightly unusual result, as she's a Gender Bender, and he's a currently genderless gay transformer.
  • In Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy, the gay alien-posing-as-exchange-student X Hoshibana befriends Cheesecake St Cherrywell, much to the annoyance of The Girls Of The Class:
    "Hey! You're not supposed to LIKE Cheesecake! You're supposed to be disgusted because she's so lezulated!"
    "You guys do know that I'M gay, don't you?"
  • Similar to the above FoxTrot example: in an early Penny and Aggie strip, Aggie considers several possible responses to turn down a boy who asks her out, among them "I'm not even sure I like guys." She later thinks, "Ironically, that one's sorta true, and it just makes them more interested."
  • The entire premise of Girl's Only is a group of guys in a school with too many aggressive females pretending to be gay so the girls leave them alone. They take it a bit farther though...
  • The Las Lindas bonus comic, "Building an Empire" has Tootsie turn down an offer of dinner at her moms because a snobby guy she doesn't like will be there. When she asks why she doesn't like him, she responds with the infamous line, "I'm busy being a lesbian, okay!?". She claims to be kidding. Alej(And the fanbase at large) have their doubts.
  • In Questionable Content, Steve calls his girlfriend out after she blushes at a compliment from Marten. To prove that she'd be jealous if the roles were reversed, he immediately begins hitting on Marten's boss Tai, who gives him the response: "Ugh. Sorry dude, I've got the right parts but a tooootally different instruction manual."
  • In It Sucks to Be Weegie!, Link is Luigi's popular, attractive, and (at first) only best friend who has to fight off the ladies with a stick (while Luigi is ignored). He's shown on this page to use this trope as his excuse for not being flattered by Daisy's fawning over him, but other times he shows indications that he might have been telling the truth. In general, he doesn't care much for his female fan following, but there are specific examples like when Luigi begins to complain about being hit on by Samus whom he mistook for a guy since she was still in armor and Link thinks he's going to talk about "that incident in '93" which was "a really awkward time" for Link.
  • This ends up being how Mikey ultimately breaks off whatever he had with Lisa in The Class Menagerie. It's sincere in his case, but he actually tolerated her glomping him for a long time because he just didn't want to admit it to himself. He finally does toward the end of the comic, she respects his decision and decides to leave him alone from now on, and she finds another guy to presumably glomp to her heart's content.
  • Paranatural: Inverted. Agent Day, who is a lesbian, tells Spender that she has a boyfriend when she thinks he's hitting on her. Spender, confused, just says "So do I?" Day, embarrassed, admits she doesn't actually have a boyfriend. Spender, still confused, says he still has one.
  • Near the beginning of Winter Moon, two girls see Florence and try to seduce gold out of him. He responds with this.
    Florence: Ha! Nice try, noobs! I'm gay!
    • He also shoots down Risa the same way.
      Risa: ...Wanna go on a date with me?
      Florence: I'm gay.
      Risa: ...Shit.
  • Miss Abbott and the Doctor: The desperate-for-love Mateo tries to form a relationship with Rebeca, but she gently lets him down by telling him that she's into girls.
  • In the Oglaf strip "The Magma Chamber" a young woman offered as a sacrifice gets spat back out so she can tell the priest that the volcano god is gay and wants male sacrifices instead.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • On The Simpsons, "I am gay" was Homer's suggestion to Bart as to how to let Bart's teacher down "easy" after Bart sent her a series of prank letters pretending to be a man responding to her personal ad. Homer's suggestion to Lisa how to gently let down Ralph was Six simple words: "I'm not gay, but I'll learn."
  • In an episode of Futurama a stereotypical musclebound beach bully picks on Fry while flirting with Leela. When Fry is indifferent, he explains that he's a professional beach bully whose job is to steal the girlfriends of weak-looking guys, and then go down in one punch to make the weak guy look tough and manly in front of his girlfriend. Fry says that he and Leela are not together, so the bully can date her if he wants. Leela is enthusiastically on board with dating the bully, but the bully turns her down because he's actually gay.
  • On South Park, Chef tries to seduce a substitute teacher, Miss Ellen, only to find out that she is a lesbian. The boys, who all have Precocious Crushes on her, don't know what a lesbian is, and a flustered Chef explains that it means she only dates other lesbians. Naturally, the boys decide to become lesbians themselves, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Family Guy
    • In "The Giggity Wife", the guys all go to Boston and go on a drunken bender. During which time Quagmire married an old, washed-up prostitute named Charmise. Quagmire doesn't want to be married to a prostitute (pretty rich coming from him!) but then learns that he'll likely lose a great deal of assets in a divorce. After two weeks of marriage, Charmise demands sex, and Quagmire tells her he's gay so he won't have to have sex with her. She grants him a no-fault divorce, but then catches Quagmire with heterosexual porn. Enraged, she calls off the divorce. Quagmire still insists that he's gay, and Charmise asks him to have sex with another man in front of her to prove it. Quagmire enlists Peter to "help" him, but both are repulsed by the idea. Charmise sees this, and grants Quagmire his divorce because she saw how far he was willing to go for it.
    • In "Friends Without Benefits", Meg becomes obsessed with Kent Lastname, a jock in her school. Eventually, she decides to just ask him on a date and is over the moon when he accepts. He drops this on her when she tries to kiss him when he takes her home (her invitation to the movies was quite ambiguous, and he got the impression that she knew he was gay, and that she meant 'as friends'). And he has a crush on Chris. That girl can't catch a break.
    • Earlier, in "Barely Legal", Brian tries to get out of a date with Meg by claiming that he's gay.
  • In Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Birdgirl tries to get out of marrying Phil (not knowing she is his daughter) by saying, "I uh...I'm into girls?" Phil simply responds with, "Me too, been into them all my life, we'll have a gay wedding. Tell you what, I'll be the 'dude' in the relationship."
  • The trope is employed with a twist in the episode "Bot Seeks Bot" of The Venture Brothers. A woman at a bar makes a pass at the man next to her, who engages her enthusiastically. Too enthusiastically: He gushes about her outfit, orders them both appletinis, and even does a wrist flip. She walks away disappointed. The irony is that the man is O.S.I. agent Shoreleave, who being thoroughly gay and Macho Camp acts like this all the time. The double irony is that he was undercover at a supervillain nightclub, so in effect, he preserved his cover by acting exactly like himself.

    Real Life 
  • This is an easy and very common excuse when someone is hit on in real life, especially if they don't want to insult the person hitting on them.
  • Pop star Ricky Martin, who came out of the closet as a gay man in 2010, has remarked that despite having publicly stated both that he's gay and that he is in a relationship with another man, women still proposition him.
    Ricky: They say very beautiful, very erotic things to me about what they want to do with me, which is nice, but I’m not interested.
    • He mentions in his autobiography when he lost his virginity and how he found it to be meaningless, though he liked the girl. This could be just because it was awkward or maybe an early sign of being gay.
  • This Not Always Right story.

Alternative Title(s): Sorry I Am Gay


Sorry Ma'am

April's attempt at flirting with a cop hits a bit of a snag.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / IncompatibleOrientation

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