Follow TV Tropes


Urban Legend Love Life

Go To

"It's always interesting to see how people perceive you. I was perceived as being very sexual, I think, in the beginning, and that's just a big hoot: 'Who, me?'."

Hide your daughters, here comes the show's resident Romeo. Every attentive father in the room loads his shotgun, older brothers form a protective circle around their baby sister like wildebeest facing down lions, and boyfriends stop making out with their significant others in the car and drive away at top speed instead, because everyone knows that when this guy's around, even the most wholesome and naive of girls is likely to forget herself.

Even though he's never had a girlfriend, and as far as the viewer can see has been celibate the entire time he's been on the show.

You see, just like an Urban Legend, everyone is absolutely positive that this guy (and it is usually a guy) is a stud/player/The Casanova because he's a flirt and they heard from a friend of a friend of a friend that their cousin's sister's best pal had their heart broken by the guy, and they said he'd had more partners than a maverick cop.

But — again, just like an urban legend — there's no actual proof.

Yes, he's always talking to girls. Yes, he flirts. Maybe he even makes entirely heterosexual males wonder if it might be worth making an exception, just this once. His friends scold him for "playing around" and "toying with people," maybe he's even got a few (un)flattering nicknames...

But then, why the hell is he permanently single?

The reader (or viewer) has never seen him with a partner, not even a Girl of the Week sneaking out of his room at dawn after a one-night stand. He's never encountered a previous partner on the street. Females might drop at his feet, but he never bothers to pick them up, dust them down and escort them to his bedroom. In fact, he's quite the gentleman, in a lot of ways.

The character with an Urban Legend Love Life tends to come in two distinct types. The first is where even the reader isn't quite sure what to make of him; the other characters claim he's promiscuous, he's charming and chatty with the ladies, and innuendoes are made left, right and center. Yet it seems as though his romantic success is a bit of an Informed Ability — with the possible exception of his canon love interest, he doesn't seem to be making serious advances on anyone. He's not likely to steal anyone's girlfriend or wife, although he may well flirt with them, and may in fact be much better behaved than more "sensible" male cast members. We're not sure whether to assume that he has other lovers on the go off-screen or off-page, and the writer hasn't deemed his sex life important enough to be in the plot, or whether a higher purpose has made him put romance on hold, or whether he is genuinely pretty chaste, if not actually a virgin.

The second type is the Chaste Flirt. This guy just likes girls and knows how to make them smile without any intention of marking notches on his bedpost. He's very socially skilled, but may not have much experience beyond the "chat-up" stage. Perhaps he flirts deliberately because he's virginal/celibate, and has found that flirting means that people assume you have a love life and stop asking embarrassing questions. Expect The Reveal to be made to his official girlfriend, when she starts worrying about the number of partners he's had before her. Sometimes, the audience is in on the secret, making the other character's accusations and remarks humourous or bittersweet in effect.

In the case of a girl with an Urban Legend Love Life, she'll nearly always be the Chaste Flirt (or Chaste Vamp in some cases), because heroines are always "good girls" at heart. Milder/younger versions of the trope omit the sexual overtones and this is the guy who "could date any girl he wants"... but oddly enough, never seems to have a girlfriend.

Compare Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today? and Of Course I'm Not a Virgin.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Kamito Kazehaya from Bladedance of Elementalers has a reputation as being a perverted ladykiller. He earned the nickname Demon King of The Night because of his supposed sexual escapades, and it even spread to other countries. However, he's really a Clueless Chick-Magnet.
  • Dorian, in From Eroica with Love has a rather obscure love life, as one Canon versus Fanon article notes. He has a legendary status as a homosexual Casanova. However, despite a few off-hand remarks about "trysts" and accusations of being a "pervert," Dorian doesn't seem particularly bothered about partners who aren't Klaus, his polar opposite and target of most of Dorian's outright sexual interest. When we see him in bed, he's always alone, despite the "harem" that makes up his gang of thieves. The only two people he pursues with any real intent are the pretty and quickly forgotten Caesar Gabriel, and the aforementioned love interest, Klaus. We know he was the victim of statutory rape when he was thirteen, so he's not a virgin, but we don't really know anything else. If anything, Dorian views most attractive men the same way he views the artwork he adores; pretty to look at, but ultimately for viewing purposes only.
    • There's conflicting information about his accountant, James. Some stories hint that Dorian occasionally sleeps with him, but in "Dramatic Spring," Dorian remarks that kissing James is stooping to ridiculously low levels.
  • Roy Mustang in Fullmetal Alchemist use this persona to fool almost everyone around him, so they won't take him for more than a womanizer and ruthless careerist. But his comrades know him better than that; his visits to a house of ill repute are actually to get information from the girls and say hi to his foster mother, who runs the place. He is known to call girls from his desk at work, but the "girls" are actually trusted members of his personal staff answering to aliases, all but one of whom is male; in one issue of the manga, he even uses this system to coordinate a covert op. He has a journal in which he records all the details of his love life, which is actually his encrypted alchemy research notes. Word of God says that the only reason he hadn't married his second-in-command Riza was because it was prohibited under the Amestrian military's anti-fraternization regs.
  • Leon, in Pet Shop of Horrors, supposedly has a bad track record with dating... but to be honest, the only evidence that he has any track record at all is occasional drooling over women and a few anecdotes. Oh, and three instances of actual interaction — one where he's chatting quite innocently to some girls at the beach, one where he's rather harshly turned down, and finally one instance where he's chatting up a flower (long story).
  • Shigure from Fruits Basket. He definitely slept with two characters at least, but Akito's and Mayuko's accusations of being extremely promiscuous seem slightly suspect in the light of the Sohma curse. Either Shigure's pretty inventive (presumably with his own personal hug-free Kama Sutra) or Hatori's been really busy with memory wipes...
  • The difference between "flirting" and "forming relationships" is highlighted throughout the Ouran High School Host Club series, thanks to the nature of the club, which is basically behind-the-scenes with a collection of Chaste Flirts.
  • Soul Eater: Spirit Albarn is supposedly such a womanizer that it causes great grief on Maka's part, and has just recently been divorced from her mother. Yet he's never seen doing anything. He goes to Cabaret Clubs, but apparently all he ever does there is talk about Maka; something the hostesses are used to.
  • Kazuma in Kaze no Stigma is more than just a flirt, he's actually a straight guy that's The Tease. He flirts or makes innuendo with girls and is perfectly happy to lick wine off Ayano's cheek... but he never makes a move towards anyone throughout the show. It's strongly implied that he acts like this to actually keep girls away because of how poorly his first love turned out. Or if not keep them away, manipulate them and their families. He does seem to warm up to Ayano though, but the show ends before anything is resolved.
  • Hidamari Sketch: Sae, who writes romance stories, frequently claims to have extensive experience in love, but whenever she is questioned about it, she becomes very flustered and awkwardly (and badly) makes something up. Miyako and Yuno seem to buy it, with Hiro innocently prompting her just to tease her. At one point Sae claims to have had eight boyfriends in junior high, needing to switch every day. The others are nice enough to not call Sae out on that one.
  • Hayate of Hayate the Combat Butler plays the 'could date any girl he wants' part very well, even dedicating chapter 273 to show it, but he's got a Failure Knight complex preventing him from seeing it, and instead, all of the girls officially in his harem can see that he's got them all wrapped around his finger.
  • Code Geass: Lelouch Lamperouge is quite popular at his high school, and has quite the fangirl following. However, he is pretty much a Celibate Hero throughout the whole series. This doesn't stop Sayoko from assuming that he's a womanizer, and setting up 108 dates for him. This ends up giving him this reputation, much to Shirley's annoyance.
    • In the series' only actual case in which Lelouch might just get all the girls: Kaguya-hime offers herself to him in the late first season, he declares that he's already sold his soul to a devil. Kaguya, of course, interprets "sold his soul" as "I already have a girlfriend", rather than the intended "I'm a horrific monster who can only find solace in the one person immune to my misfortune". Then he, his bodyguard, and the aforementioned devil go missing for a year... she assumes that he's had his way them both, and comes to the decision that this is fine, so long as she's involved, too.
    • Note that he and C.C. are Undercover as Lovers. Anyway, it's clear that Lelouch is celibate only because he's not interested (except for the infamous "comfort me" scene).
  • Miroku from InuYasha falls into this category. He's in love with Sango, but he flirts with every girl he meets, with the stated goal of producing children. Despite his reputation, he never seems to get anyone in bed, usually because the girls that accept are either possessed by or are demons in disguise (and those who are neither tend to turn out to be gonk). It's implied though, that he has been with enough women that he can't remember if he spent the night with one in particular, but apparently his success with the ladies went downhill once he joined the team.
  • Raphael from I'm Gonna Be an Angel! is an interesting case, because he is an angel and is generally invisible/untouchable to humans, but because of his flirtatious behaviour toward Mikael, most fans assume that he must be a lecherous pervert, thinking only about one thing, when in fact, there is nothing in the series to prove that assumption. The fact that Mikael himself kinda treats him like a perverted nuisance doesn't help matters.
  • Ryoji Kaji of Neon Genesis Evangelion is depicted as a suave and seductive Handsome Lech, flirting with nearly every (adult) female character he comes across; however, it becomes increasingly clear as the series progresses that his flirtatious behavior is at least party an Obfuscating Stupidity act and that he only really cares about the affections of Misato Katsuragi, and is otherwise uninterested in romance. Misato herself is perceived as flirty and promiscuous, yet in reality, she is crushingly lonely, being stuck in a circle where she dislikes being single, yet is also terrified of commitment, and (though it takes her the bulk of the series to come to terms with it) in love with Kaji. One of her lines even imply that Kaji might be the only person she has ever actually had sex with.
  • In Hetalia: Axis Powers, France almost never manages to score with other nations, but it's implied that he's more successful with humans. At least the cute meido from The Movie was rather flattered when he flirted with her...
    • Greece on the other hand has been confirmed to get laid the most out of any of the nations, and once has sex with Japan out of pity.
  • Riko of Love Lab is an unusual female example. She accidentally ends up pretending to have dated tons of guys, but she's actually never had a boyfriend. All the guys she knows are well aware of this, but Maki (a Love Freak who has, like Riko, never dated anyone) forms the other half of the trope: the girls worship her almost as much as the guys, and she often makes people think a guy has done something naughty to her when she overreacts to something meaningless.
  • Taishi in Servant × Service is apparently very popular amongst the townsfolk, and Yutaka claims that he received many marriage proposals whenever they went around the town providing community service.
  • Atsuyuki Kido in Monkey High! - described as a serial flirt and "a player" right from the first chapter, and he certainly keeps flirting with the manga's heroine for three-quarters of the series, despite the fact that she starts dating his best friend in the second chapter. That said, the manga's author pointed out in the final volume's notes that Atsu is never shown even taking a girl out on a date at any point in the series, and the closest we ever get to confirmation is that one middle school kid crushing on Atsu knew of two ex-girlfriends of his; hardly a world-shattering number for a high school student and off-screen at that.
  • Ryuu from Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! keeps telling everyone how popular he is with girls, but no one has actually seen him with a girl. Given the nature of the show, this is invariably lampshaded.
  • Negi Springfield from Negima! Magister Negi Magi was elevated from Chick Magnet to this in the sequel series UQ Holder!.
    Mizore: They say in his heyday, he could impregnate a woman with but a glance!
    Kirie: Just a... do you even know what you're saying!?
  • Saori Takebe of Girls und Panzer fancies herself as a love expert, claims to have problems because boys keep greeting her every morning as she walks to school, and boasts about having boyfriends in almost every port in Japan. In actuality, she's never been in a relationship before, evidenced by the fact that she sulks when the first-year members of Ooarai's tankery team ask how many boyfriends she has had before.note  In her case, she wants people to think she has a fantastic love life, but almost everyone actually sees through it, making her more of a Casanova Wannabe.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice has Victor Nikiforov. One of the older female characters, Minako, describes him as "worldly," he has legions of fans (of both genders) and is known as a Sex God due to his sheer sex appeal on the ice. Yet he is never actually seen with anyone, or even hitting on anyone besides his eventual fiancé Yuri. In interactions with anyone else, even the highly flirtatious Chris, Victor maintains a certain distance. The actual nature of Victor's love life is never explicitly stated (aside from Yuuri cutting him off before he can talk about his previous lovers), but later episodes imply that his fame as a playboy is really just a public persona. In reality, he takes his relationship with Yuri very seriously indeed, and before then he dedicated his entire life to his career, never having real time to date or dedicate to himself personally.
    • The show uses this trope to set up the story's major twist. Both the viewers and Yuri are initially led to believe that Victor's highly affectionate overtures to Yuri are merely part of his "player" nature: casually flirtatious and intended to provoke a response from his easily-flustered student. As it turns out, Victor's not teasing an easy target, he's flirting with a man he wants a committed relationship with — and he had grounds to believe that Yuri would be responsive to the direct approach.
  • In the light novel series Omae o Otaku ni Shiteyaru Kara Ore o Riajuu ni Shitekure, the main heroine has a real reputation around school, with some saying she's had several boyfriends simultaneously, but she's actually a borderline androphobe with absolutely no experience with men.
  • Galko from Please Tell Me! Galko-chan is a stereotypical Gyaru Girl, and everyone's convinced she's got an incredibly hot love life and possibly also does Compensated Dating on the side. The truth is that she's so pure she can't even talk about kissing without turning beet red.
  • Similarly, Yuzu from Citrus is a Gyaru Girl so people assume she's had at least a couple of boyfriends, when in reality she's totally inexperienced when it comes to love - and ends up in a relationship with her Not Blood Related step-sister.
  • The second story in the collection Salad Days has a guy getting close to a girl who kisses him on the train. His friends almost immediately start warning him to stay away from her because she's got a huge reputation as a really loose girl. When he tries to be just friends and lets his concern slip she's crushed, and her best friend chews him out for believing rumors spread by a jealous Alpha Bitch.
  • Shirogane from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has quite the reputation despite having only shown interest in a single person over the course of his life. Tsubasa initially comes to him for love advice for this very reason. In the manga, it's established that Shirogane himself gets just enough anonymized attention (like gifts in his locker) to think he's popular with girls, but that the gifts are coming from the small number of "odd girls with odd tastes" who find him attractive at a distance. Most girls do admire him from that distance, but aren't physically attracted and are too intimidated to even try to get to know him: it's the habitual presence of even-more-admired Kaguya (a visibly-Defrosted Ice Princess who's out of everybody's league) at his side which makes girls assume if he could get her, all the other girls must find him attractive even if they themselves don't. Thus the rumors.
  • Ayakashi Triangle:
    • Many unacquainted characters come to believe Soga is a Chick Magnet who got the attention of Suzu, Matsuri, and Reo. The reality is that none of them have shown any attraction to him, or (in Suzu and Matsuri’s case) even realized Soga’s attraction to them.
    • Matsuri is genuinely a Clueless Chick-Magnet, but is only interested in Suzu. But after Suzu very publicly shows her affection for Matsuri, he diverts everyone’s attention from her by pretending to flirt with Reo. He succeeds better than he hoped, as people believe he’s also hitting on Soga, and Matsuri becomes known as "the enchantress who seduces both guys and girls".
      Matsuri I need to up my seduction game!
      Suzu: Nope, no need for that.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In The Hill of Swords, Shirou gains the reputation of constantly having threesomes due to Louise's spreading an edited account of his escapade in the ruined church.
  • In Harry Potter's Crazy Mother-In-Law Harry mentions to Charlie Weasley that Sirius used to claim to have dated a string of girls in order to hide his homosexuality.
  • After his unfortunate portrayal in the Ember Island play, Zuko in The Stalking Zuko Series ends up with a reputation as a sex fiend who constantly has threesomes when he only had one girlfriend in his life.
  • In Uninvited Guests, people are convinced Toshiro Hitsugaya can score with any woman he wants, and nickname him Hitsu-playa. He's very irritated by this.
  • In Lily Potter's Biggest Secret Draco Malfoy has become known as the "Slytherin Sex God" of Hogwarts despite still being a far-from-blushing virgin.
  • In My Huntsman Academia, Nora manages to convince Team MADE that Izuku is a sex god who pleasured Yang repeatedly over and over during sparring class by referring to his Glenn Smashes as "finger-banging". Eijirou and Denki both congratulate Izuku for his monumental feat of manliness as Momo looks on in horror. Meanwhile, Izuku passes out standing up from embarrassment and has to be dragged back to his dorm room by Weiss.
  • Marceau in Silencio has been shipped with pretty much everyone he/she encounters, but in reality, it's either a misunderstanding or someone involved messing with people. She eventually ends up in a committed relationship with Amy.

  • After three movies of playing the slut, Wendy of the Porky's movies claims to have only slept with three guys in her life. This is intended to show that she's not as easy as her reputation would have it. (This doesn't come off quite as innocent as the movie tries to make it—she's still a teenager and the movies are set in the '50s.)
  • Similarly, American Beauty includes the character of Angela Hayes, a teenage girl who the 42-year-old main character Lester becomes obsessed with after watching her cheerleading routine. She routinely brags (to Lester's daughter) about her sexual conquests. Lester tries to seduce her and he would've succeeded, but changes his mind when she admits she's actually a virgin.
  • Fierce Creatures demonstrates from the inside how this can happen unintentionally. It turns out the process is similar to that which makes an Accidental Pervert, but with more of a tendency towards Accidental Innuendo.
  • In Rustlers' Rhapsody, Rex O'Herlahan backs down from a gunfight because he isn't "a confident heterosexual." He later reveals that, since it's 1884, he's never gotten past First Base.
  • In Singin' in the Rain, Don is becoming obsessed with Kathy. Don's friend and sidekick Cosmo tells him, "She's the first dame who hasn't fallen for your line since you were four." We never actually see Don in action with the other ladies, or any other hint of womanizing.
  • This is the entire premise of Easy A, where a teenage girl only claims to have slept with different boys in return for favors so that they can increase their sex appeal. She only realizes how far this backfired when she becomes an outcast at the school and a guy who mistook her for an actual hooker almost date rapes her.
  • Happens to the main character in Bad Reputation, after she is gang-raped by jocks, and made out to be a whore by their girlfriends.
  • Finch in American Pie sets himself up as this by paying a girl to plant rumors about him in order to attract women with his new reputation. In the end, he still ends up dateless at the prom (although he does hook up in the very very end).
  • Played with in American Pie 2. Kevin claims to have slept with three girls during his first year at college, while Vicky claims to have slept with just one boy. Their respective friends convince them that each actually meant the number the other said because men tend to exaggerate and women tend to play down their number of sexual partners. Of course, the supreme irony is that the real number for both of them is zero.
  • In the original Emmanuelle film, the titular character's husband believes that she must have been having affairs left and right while they were apart, when in fact she is completely faithful to him... up until she flies over to join him in Bangkok when she grows so restless on the flight that she decides to join the mile-high club with someone she just met.
  • In For a Good Time, Call..., Katie Steele has made a living as a phone-sex operator for years, and thus her roommate Lauren assumes that she must be very sexually experienced. It later turns out that Katie is still a virgin who doesn't even masturbate.
  • Beverly Marsh in It (2017) is introduced as a loner who gets routinely and unfairly slut-shamed by the girls she goes to school with, whose awful treatment of Beverly is fueled by jealousy over her looks. Unfortunately it isn't just her classmates, but the entire town who believes these rumours, completely taking out of the equation the fact that Beverly is only a child.
  • Iron Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tony Stark is a notorious womanizer, but the only time we ever see him have casual sex is in the first movie when he sleeps with a reporter. When Pepper sends her off in the morning with her outfit dry-cleaned and a limo to drop her off wherever, it's implied to be routine, but this is the only time we see Tony sleeping around. He enters a relationship with Pepper in the second movie and remains with her—ultimately marrying her and having a child—for the rest of his time in the MCU. Even when Captain America: Civil War shows that they had briefly broken up, we don't see him chasing tail. Most of his womanizing habits were given to his father Howard in the TV series Agent Carter—set in the 40's—where his promiscuity is a Running Joke.

  • Francesco in Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. The women even confirm it.. Doesn't mean there was anything between them - doesn't even mean it was Francesco himself who was seen talking to the "lover". And he ends up the Unlucky Childhood Friend for it!
  • In A Case to Answer by Margaret Yorke, elderly Charlotte takes in her step-granddaughter Imogen, who is pregnant at 17 and won't reveal the identity of the father. She hints that there are several possible candidates, but when she tries to seduce Jerry, he realizes she's a virgin and just made up the pregnancy to get attention from her warring parents.
  • The Cinderella Murder:
    • Rosemary states with disgust that one of the most popular internet sleuth theories about her daughter's murder is that she was "some kind of slut involved with half the men on campus" and that's why she was killed. Laurie herself discovers one prevailing theory is that Susan took part in some kind of sex game with director Frank Parker in an attempt to secure a role in his movie, which ended in her death. While Susan was an attractive and popular girl, there's no evidence she was involved with anyone besides her long-term boyfriend Keith; when Laurie brings up the possibility, Rosemary even says she wishes Susan had stepped-out on Keith with someone else, given how little Rosemary thought of him.
    • Grace finds a gossip website called "Who's Dated Who?" (which Jerry grumbles should actually be called "Who's Dated Whom?"), which purports to collect information on which celebrities have been romantically involved with each other. Alex Buckley has a section, linking him to numerous actresses, models, anchorwomen and so on. Laurie (who has a crush on Alex) feels a bit uncomfortable about it, while when Alex himself reads it, he remarks that's he's never even heard of most these women he's supposedly dated.
  • From The Dresden Files, Warden Carlos Ramirez is a type one, with an extensive reputation and who talks a great game. Naturally, we find out in White Night that he is actually a virgin. Notable, in that Harry, a detective who can read people like a book, has no clue about this, until Lara Raith blurts it out after one look at Ramirez.
  • Shintaro Karish in the Hero Series by Moira J. Moore is the personification of this trope. He's nicknamed "The Stallion of the Triple S" and is well known for his charm, wit, and looks. But do you EVER see him dating someone other than Lee in book 3? And yet his partner Lee remains convinced of his superstud ways.
  • Phoebe in It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips has created a reputation of being a slut through a combination of having great boobs, dressing hot and flirting, posing naked for artistic purposes, and running around with a lot of closeted gay men.
  • Inverted in the Left Behind series, where the authors' attempt to portray Rayford as being sexually faithful to his wife right up until the Rapture and only considering an affair with a stewardess - but he comes off looking like a massive lech who probably doesn't sleep around only because the women won't have him. He also considers making out with another woman at an office Christmas party (while his wife stayed home due to being heavily pregnant) to not count as cheating.
  • Played straight and inverted in The Legend of Sun Knight: The Storm Knight is supposed to be a footloose charmer/ladykiller, but the current one is supposedly still a virgin and there's never been a pregnant woman telling him to take responsibility. The Earth Knight is supposed to be honest, loyal, sincere, and not used to speaking with girls, but the current one is always luring women into his bed.
  • One minor character in the Serge Storms novels is a trust fund kid living the life of a playboy who, despite his great skill in being able to get dates, has never once actually gotten laid.
  • In The Millennium Trilogy, much is made of Lizbeth Salander's supposed promiscuity, but while she does sleep with quite a few people and has a very casual attitude towards sex, as the series goes on, she is shown to be very particular about who she actually sleeps with.
  • Nero Wolfe is convinced that his assistant Archie Goodwin has some kind of unfailing effortless ability to charm women, but this is mainly due to Wolfe's own lack of ability to charm women. Goodwin himself isn't opposed to the idea and will occasionally joke around about it, and is not exactly lacking in charm, but generally has a more realistic understanding of his skills in this area. He does mostly possess what Wolfe needs there, being able either to fetch women to Wolfe's office or to impose himself on their company, but has mixed success at leaving them with no bad feelings afterwards, and most of his actual dates are looking for novelty rather than a relationship. Live-in French chef Fritz's opinion is that Archie at least possesses the social awareness and skills to treat any woman properly in any social situation, and while that doesn't mean he could get any available woman the exceptions aren't worth pursuing.
  • Night World: In Secret Vampire, vampire James Rasmussen has a reputation as The Casanova, going through numerous girlfriends throughout the school year. None of his relationships last more than a few months, tops. In reality, he secretly feeds off the girls and dumps them before long to avoid developing an emotional attachment to them (which is forbidden under Night World law).
  • Deconstructed in Ring Of Lovers. The main character, a Captain Gahagan is invited to a dinner party with several other famous men apparently chosen at random. Near the end of the party, he learns that their host had, by intercepting correspondence, discovered that his wife was cheating on him, but not who the other man was, and that the men at that dinner party had been selected as those whom the host believed most likely to seduce another man's wife. Despite the fact that Captain Gahagan had not in fact slept with anyone since he was a soldier on leave during the First World War (many years before this), he realized at this point that he had been delaying proposing to the girl he loved (and who loved him back), simply because he was unwilling to give up the notoriety, the false reputation as a playboy and ladykiller.
  • In Star Wars Legends, Luke hears rumors about Lando having a relationship with Mara Jade and unconvincingly insists he's not jealous (of Lando, that is). It turns out Mara was undercover at the time and the person she was investigating saw women as objects, so to further that assumption she went along with the target's belief that she was Lando's woman. When she answered the comm wearing Lando's shirt, it was because she didn't know who was calling and if she might need to further the masquerade. Of course, she did let Luke believe she was with Lando for years because she was feeling a little vindictive that he believed she'd sleep with Lando in the first place.
  • In The Wheel of Time series, Rand is in love with three women (who all love him) and has a batshit crazy Forsaken named Lanfear/Cyndane pining for him, Perrin is married and is nevertheless relentlessly pursued by Berelain sur Paendrag, and Mat is a flirt and playboy and continues his flirting ways despite being married to Seanchan Empress Fortuona... and each one frequently muses that the other two understand women much better than they do. Of the three, only Perrin is right. Special emphasis on Mat, who is considered an irredeemable lech and certainly loves a dance and a bit of canoodling with a willing woman, but who never presses his attentions on anyone who's not interested and whose final confirmed partner count as of the final book is two. Only one of which was consensual on his end.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Tony in NCIS is an intentional example. After the events of season four, he seems to revert back to his previous Handsome Lech behavior, rather to Ziva's irritation... but midway through the sixth season, he admits to a minor character that he's been completely celibate.
  • Friends: Has anyone actually ever seen any evidence of Joey having a one-night stand? Because he only seemed to have girlfriends who he actually enjoyed spending time with, despite the show constantly professing him to be so ridiculously talented at seduction, with the implication of hundreds of little flings ala Charlie Harper.
    • The only real mention we get is from Chandler. Joey also asks Rachel to get rid of one of his girls and implies that he had Chandler do the same. On the other hand, Joey did once brag about getting a threesome after he (on Rachel's advice) told a girl that he wanted to take things slowly.
    • He does have a massive panic attack when he learns condoms are less than 100% effective. . .
    • Joey slept with the stripper he hired for Ross's bachelor party. And when the others found out about it, he acted like that was not an unusual thing to do.
    • They showed the morning after of several of Joey's one-night stands, most notably a brunette played by Kristin Davis from Sex and the City. Rachel is living with him at the time and is annoyed when he asks her to make pancakes for the girl as he is leaving...but still does it, rather than explain that Joey has no real interest in her.
  • Captain Jack Harkness of Doctor Who and Torchwood is famed for having sex with all kinds of lifeforms. But we only see real evidence of a scant handful of relationships, and plenty of other characters get more action than he does.
  • The Todd from Scrubs. While he talks about sex all the time, there was one episode where it was revealed he hadn't gotten laid once that year and took frequent cold showers. Every now and then he is evidently sleeping with someone, but mostly there's no proof he's not nearly all talk.
    • There was also an episode where various women he had allegedly slept with denied it. At least one of them lied, and since that's the one that happened to be passing by, maybe they all did.
  • Neal Caffrey in White Collar is a prime example. He's very handsome and flirts with everything that moves, but never even seems to try to hook up with anyone. Peter Burke, the FBI agent he works with, keeps assuming that Caffrey gets loads of tail, but we see no evidence on the show that this is true. This is probably due to his missing partner-in-crime Kate being his One True Love.
    • Flirting is a very useful skill for a conman to have. The rest of the time, he's probably doing it out of habit.
    • It is implied that Neal is actually monogamous. As long as he believed that Kate did not leave him of her own free will, he was not going to cheat on her. After Kate's death he seems to have a casual relationship with Alex and when Alex leaves he starts a relationship with Sarah.
  • To some degree, Captain Kirk from Star Trek: The Original Series. While he flirts with and even kisses quite a few women over the course of the show, he only canonically has sex with four: Drusilla the slave girl in "Bread and Circuses", Deela in "Wink of an Eye", and Miramanee (who he married and got pregnant) in "The Paradise Syndrome", and in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan there's Dr. Carol Marcus, whom he (unknowingly) had a son with.
    • Kirk's reputation seems to have been greatly exaggerated. He did fall in love with Edith Keeler (with whom he had a very chaste relationship) and fell for Rayna as well (over a year between both), and while with Miramanee he had amnesia. In one episode he was mind-controlled into almost marrying a woman, but he got over it. In every other case, it was generally the woman who fell for Kirk, and more than once he spurned their advances. When he didn't, it was often as a manipulation to get information or a solution. He did have several ex-girlfriends who showed up, but not more than the average man in his 30s might have, and never when this happened did he even talk about rekindling their romance.
    • Dr. Julian Bashir on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is a self-proclaimed lothario, but he only landed three girls in the entire series — and one of those was offscreen. Compare with Riker, who only had to cast his eye on a heaving rack and it'd be undressed in half a minute.
    • Tom Paris on Star Trek: Voyager was supposedly a ladies' man, but Chakotay, Tuvok, Harry, and the Emergency Medical Hologram all had more romantic relationships than he did, and he settled into an Official Couple with B'Elanna.
  • Agent Derek Morgan on Criminal Minds enjoys sexual banter with Garcia (it's entirely platonic) and he and the other agents comfortably talk about his sex life but his nerdy coworker, Reid, has kissed more half-naked women onscreen than him.
    • He has been on a few dates on the show, though, and perhaps the trope here is justified—given that this isn't a show about the team's personal lives, the writers may feel that showing Morgan on his many flings wouldn't be important to the narrative.
      • It's also on its way to being subverted, as Season 9 introduces us to Savannah, Morgan's girlfriend.
    • David Rossi fits this trope too. Aside from arriving to work with his tie undone after a night out (leading Morgan to crack that he was "working on wife No. 4") and a few references by the team about his flings (Rossi was apparently the reason why the FBI's fraternization rules exist), the show doesn't do anything to actually show Rossi's Casanova ways. Justified as per the line above about Morgan.
  • Richard Castle is reputedly something of a lothario with a long list of girls in his past, but we've only ever seen him hook up with about three women. And two of them were his ex-wives.
    • Actually, he's had onscreen relationships with more than three women. Ellie Munroe, Gina, Alexis's mom, Scarlett, Amanda Livingston, Beckett, Kyra Blaine, and it's implied that he once had an affair with his agent, Paula. Beckett, however, is a tease and a flirt but has only had onscreen relationships with 4 men, and an admission of love for another.
      • There's also the fact that he's over 40 with a teenage daughter and has had two marriages which suggests that he's looking for a more solid relationship. He's had at least 20 years to enjoy the fans.
      • In addition, it's a plot point that he's interested in Beckett very soon after they met, so even though they're not an official couple, he isn't pursuing other women as much during the show as he used to and is more likely to reject their advances.
  • Cheers: Lampshaded by Woody when alcohol gives him a case of Brutal Honesty.
    Sam: Why do you keep calling Paul "Ms. Crapins"?
    Woody: Well, come on. He's never had a successful relationship, none of us have ever seen his alleged ex-wife, he keeps bragging about his sex life and yet he's always here. Do the math, Sam. [beat] Or should I say Samantha?
  • Jay from The Inbetweeners. By his accounts, his love life is like a Penthouse forum letter. But in one episode, his dad lets slip to his friends that he has never had a girl ever.
  • Much of Dennis' spectacular pickup abilities on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are informed. He isn't lying about it (in fact he has video proof) but when it comes to him getting any on-screen action, his efforts are almost always foiled by the rest of the gang. "The Waitress" is one of his few on-screen conquests.
  • The Office (US) gives us Todd Packer. Michael goes on and on about "how many girls he banged", but we never see anything Todd do with women except getting shot down after calling Jim gay, calling Karen a "dude" and making horribly offensive jokes that would make 50's sitcom characters complain that he went too far.
  • Winky (yes, that's the character's name) in the 1950's sci-fi series, Rocky Jones, Space Ranger. He has the little black book, does mention women friends several times, even laments that duty disrupts his love life, but we never actually see him with a woman. Then again, this was the 1950s, and the show was intended for general viewing.
  • Degrassi: The Next Generation:
    • Justified in the case of Riley, who had a reputation as a habitual womanizer yet we never hear about any girl he actually hooks up with. The reason being that while Riley does have an active love life, it's with members of his own gender and the stories of him being a womanizer are part of keeping up the facade that he's straight. His attempts at intimacy with his female classmates always fall flat and ultimately he comes out of the closet.
    • Blue, Holly J's Satellite Love Interest who supposedly deflowered lots of girls but was pretty much a Chaste Hero with Holly J.
  • In Twin Peaks, Audrey Horne almost seduces an FBI agent, sashays around in red stiletto heels, and even works as a callgirl, and yet in the last episode she reveals she's a virgin.
  • Tracy Jordan of 30 Rock has to maintain his reputation of constantly bedding tons of different women in order to maintain his street cred: if he loses his street cred, his movies and music won't sell, and his income will dry up...and he couldn't do that to his beloved wife Angie, to whom he has been completely faithful since they first met. So he goes to clubs and flirts with women and hands out random phone numbers (once, the random phone number turned out to be that of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams), and then comes home and only sleeps with Angie. It gets to the point where his wife demands that he have an save his street they can pay for something or other.
  • Sam Seaborne from The West Wing is constantly portrayed as the dashing young seducer, but he actually scores once in the pilot episode, and then never again in the entire series. Though he does say that he is engaged in the finale.
  • Vince Noir of The Mighty Boosh is supposed to be a bed-hopping sex magnet, who certainly has a lot of admirers of both sexes, but we never actually see him date or sleep with any of them. The closest he's come to is almost kissing The Head Shaman's wife when he thought she was single, and bringing a goth girl back to his house who left before doing anything. When we finally see him kiss anyone, it's his best friend Howard in the second-to-last episode, which was only to convince the aforementioned Head Shaman that they were in a relationship to save his own life. We later see him jump on a bouncy castle with a girl in the same episode, but she's gone by the next one with no mention.
  • Matt Murdock from Daredevil (2015) leaves Foggy under the impression that he gets all the girls. Yet aside from his brief fling with Claire in season 1, with Karen in season 2, and with Elektra in flashbacks, he doesn't seem to show much interest in a dating life.
  • Tim Riggins from Friday Night Lights has a reputation as a notorious and prolific womanizer. Even the adults seem aware, with parents cringing at the thought of Riggins taking an interest in their daughters. In contrast to his reputation, throughout the series, we see him engaged in long-term, albeit extremely tumultuous, relationships with just three women (Lyla, Tyra, and Jackie) and he is genuinely distraught when each woman breaks up with him.
    • It should also be pointed out that people often claim that Tim has slept with half of the girls (and women) in Dillon, but because of the odd way time passes on the show, for the majority of the show he is between 15-17 years old. So either there is a lot of exaggeration or a large number of older girls and older women ignored the age of consent.
  • Hannah Baker of 13 Reasons Why has a reputation as the "class slut". Most of the stories about her are lies, although she's not totally inexperienced.
  • Discussed on The Golden Girls. Rose reveals that she and her late husband had a very active sex life, making love at least once a night throughout their marriage. This shocks the other girls since she's always so demure and uncomfortable talking about sex. She nonchalantly replies, "It's my understanding that the people who constantly talk about it don't do it nearly as much as they claim." Suddenly everyone looks at Blanche.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Surprisingly, Sidney Fernwelter in Ernie. "I must have gone out with every eligible chick in Bayonne . . . once."

    Professional Wrestling 

    Video Games 
  • Link of The Legend of Zelda game series. He's a Chick Magnet and then some, but when girls are fawning over him, he, being the player character, simply plays their minigame and moves on to the next temple. Link and Zelda are considered the Official Couple in Fanon only because Zelda is the main female character (this is especially true of the Ocarina of Time version (the first game in which Zelda played a direct role rather than just being seen when Link rescues her), though nothing like the relationship between Link and Zelda in the Animated Adaptation is seen in any game. Of course, that'd require speaking ability on Link's part.)
    • Skyward Sword and Spirit Tracks are the closest a real relationship has ever happened on-screen (and still requires a little inference, rather than outright stating anything). Zelda II ends with a kiss, but there's nothing to suggest it goes further than that.
  • Edgar in Final Fantasy VI arguably fits this trope. Though his first reaction to meeting Terra is a spectacularly bad pickup line, and the girls around Figaro obviously think he's a ladies' man, his on-screen behavior for the rest of the game is more in line with old-fashioned chivalry than the Chivalrous Pervert. In fact, he becomes visibly flustered when accused of having amorous intentions towards anyone. It gives the impression that the accusations Locke makes against Edgar - which are the main reminder that he's supposed to be a Casanova - are more to disguise and excuse his own arguably unfaithful serial romances.
  • Zidane in Final Fantasy IX also seems to suit this trope. Although he admits freely to constantly having the ladies on his mind and is an incorrigible flirt, his advances never seem to move past appreciative banter and the occasional suggestion of a date, usually rebuffed with a modicum of shyness/dismissiveness/pleased giggling. In fact, his overtures are so cheerfully obvious that they somehow manage to circle back around and become bizarrely charming. The fun for Zidane seems to be in the game of pursuit, not the 'catch'...and when he does find the girl of his dreams, it only takes a few weeks for his focus to narrow drastically.
  • Wayne from Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns gets this treatment, albeit jokingly, since anyone who really knows him is aware that he's not as much of a playboy as he appears to be. He treats women very affectionately and charms them easily, as his grandfather raised him with the idea that women are beautiful and should be treated nicely, and has a fan club that spend his lunch break with him. But Wayne considers himself to be a gentleman, and he never goes beyond his usual charming ways, unless he's actually intending to be romantically involved with one woman.
  • Despite being surrounded by his fawning hangers-on when the party first meets him, Zelos of Tales of Symphonia shows little interesting in anything more than flirting with women. He has an alibi for doing so, but it hardly justifies his reputation as a predatory lech.
    • His reputation as a lech is mostly given to the player though Sheena warning the others about him. Sheena being the one girl that Zelos seems to have a genuine interest in.
  • This is a large source of irritation for the asari of Mass Effect. Their physiology allows them to mate with any species, of any gender, and they have a much more relaxed and open attitude on sex than some other species, but they are not an entire species of sex-crazy maniacs. Unfortunately, since so few people really take the time to understand how their physiology works, or the underlying social mores that govern their behavior, everybody views the asari as the sluts of space. It doesn't help that they're considered attractive by every other race, so the ones that do pursue sex work get a disproportionate amount of attention; the exotic dancer industry in particular seems to be almost exclusively Asari. Liara T'Soni, a party member and potential love interest, finds this common misconception rather uncomfortable. Amusingly, both of her parents deliberately played it up in different ways; her mother by weaponising her sex appeal for political reasons, and her father by being a Dirty Old Woman who's had partners from seemingly every sapient race.
  • In Bayonetta, Luka brags to Bayonetta that he has many girlfriends named Trish, Claire, Silvia, and Ammy. Though she teases him, she congratulates him on his accomplishment. Supplemental materials reveal Ammy is really his dog, and the rest are his cats.
  • Isabela of Dragon Age II is actually rather expansive in her sexual endeavors but her reputation has far outstripped the reality. Mostly she doesn't mind but it occasionally gets on her nerves, such as when a sheltered young man is desperate to lose his virginity, and the party suggests Isabela simply takes care of the problem.

    Visual Novels 
  • Yuuya Sakazaki of Hatoful Boyfriend is referred to as an 'infamous studmuffin' and very popular. In the second game, Ryouta can accuse him of skipping class all the time to date girls. Really he's a Teen Super Spy and so overworked he has to make time for even the protagonist, if she pursues him.
  • Nanase Katagiri from Nukitashi is known as the biggest slut of Minotsuki Academy and is subjected to outrageous rumours, but there isn't any proof beyond her looks and she's still a virgin. She never clears up the misunderstanding and takes advantage of her fame to escape from perverted sex.
  • Asmodeus of Lust from Umineko: When They Cry is a virgin and wants people to think she's full of the Sin she represents but that's so her fellow demons respect her as an adult. (Note, while this sounds adorable, she'll still eviscerate you if you can't prove she doesn't exist.)

  • In Sins, the embodiment of Lust has only had sex with 2 people total. Ever.
  • Sinfest. Self-proclaimed pimp Slick is more a case of Have I Mentioned I Am Sexually Active Today?. However, everybody including the cast page assumes and repeatedly states that 'Nique is a total slut, and yet she's seen being intimate or close to a guy precisely never.
  • In Girl Genius, Gilgamesh Wulfenbach maintained a persona in Paris for quite some time as a debauched libertine sleeping the town. However, it was only a cover. And as the only one of these women we've seen is Bangladesh Dupree, it's unlikely he was doing anything with any of them.
  • Oglaf features an odd take on this, with a man who would have gotten an Amulet of Sexual Prowess, but there's apparently no such thing, so he just got an Amulet of Making People Say You're Awesome In Bed Even Though You're Not.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Diane discovers she developed a reputation for sleeping with all of the boys she dated which is a decent fraction of her high school. This comes as a shock to her since she's a virgin. Appropriately enough, the storyline in which this occurs is called "The Legend of Diane".

    Web Original