Let a hot, sexy woman stroll through a crowd of males and one or more of them will emit this classic sound, guaranteed. (It's most accurately transcribed as "Wheet-WHOO!", although a simple "Whoooo!" might also suffice.) The Wolf Whistle is a staple of old films and cartoons of the '30s and '40s, most notably the works of Tex Avery. The Wolf would acknowledge the presence of Red with this whistle.
The Wolf Whistle isn't limited to men expressing their appreciation of women. It can also be used to express admiration for anything desirable. A hot sports car, awesome home electronics, a new jet fighter can also elicit this response.
It should be noted that the Wolf Whistle isn't restricted to men. On occasion women will use it to express approval of the new stud in the environment.
This was noted the most common Wolf Whistle, usually approval of thought to find a person sexily attractive. A slightly different version of the Wolf Whistle involves a single, lower-pitched elongated tone, usually while the character stares at the person/object in question. It more commonly used today than the classic whistle.
Variations include the "wolf howl", the "purr", the "growl", and the "dog pant". Note that carnivorous mammals always seem to be referenced.
It should be noted it's never a good idea to do this in real-life, unless you're just joking around with your girlfriend/wife. It makes women feel like they are a piece of meat, makes them uncomfortable and even afraid for their safety, and is considered irritating at best and sexist sexual harassment at worst. And just so you know, doing this to men when you're a woman, is definitely unwelcome as well.
- A 1970's commercial for Playtex cross-your-heart bras has a woman about to take off her blouse to show her friend said product, until she hears a wolf whistle.
- The trailer for The Seven Year Itch dubs this over the scene where a breeze blows the Girl's skirt upwards.
- Irish Spring, a brand of soap in the United States, carried an advertising campaign where the user would be left fresh and (pause for a wolf whistle) clean as a whistle. For instance, this spot from 1980, complete with accents of debatable quality.
- Spice and Wolf's Ending theme song in the show was called the Wolf whistle song.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Kamina whistles appreciatively when he sees his love interest Yoko for the first time. Partly because of her good looks, partly because she just dropped in through the roof and knocked back a huge gunman with her sniper rifle.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Crow lets one out when Aki enters the room in her form-fitting Riding Duel outfit.
- In a Fan Vid called "Hornblower Spoof" which is an Affectionate Parody of Horatio Hornblower with slashy interpretation, the trope is mentioned by name when Horatio is having a shower on deck and other officers approve of his hotness. See it here.
- Dungeon Keeper Ami: From Beryl's Plan: Some people in the audience of a striptease make some:
the crazy dark elf undulating to goblin music and slowly doffing her clothes, accompanied by wolf whistles
- Famously done in the Humphrey Bogart film To Have and Have Not: Lauren Bacall instructs Bogey: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow." When she's gone, he tries it, and produces a wolf whistle.
- In The Girl Can't Help It, a paperboy does this after seeing Jerri (Jayne Mansfield).
- Batman Returns: At Gotham City's tree-lighting ceremony, someone in the crowd lets one out when the Ice Princess slips off her fur coat, revealing she's wearing only a one-piece underneath.
- The Mask: It's actually brought up in the film that hero Stanley Ipkiss is a huge fan of Tex Avery's cartoons. After donning Loki's mask, he goes to see Tina Carlyle at the Coco Bongo Club and pays tribute to Red Hot Riding Hood by transforming into a green wolf, complete with whistle.
- Space Jam has a wolf whistle coming from the audience upon Lola Bunny entering the arena for the game.
- In one short from The Three Stooges, Larry is describing to Moe the wonders of camping. One such wonder is the call of the wolf, to which Curly whistles and says, "Hiya, babe!"
- After losing a hand of poker in the 1998 version of The Parent Trap, Hallie makes Annie skinny dip in the lake. One of the spectators wolf-whistles at her.
- Jessica Rabbit received several throughout Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- In It's a Wonderful Life, young adult George whistles at young adult Violet the first time he (and we) see her. "That's some dress you got on, Violet."
- Tippi Hedren's character receives one of these from a little boy at the beginning of The Birds.
- In Woody Allen's Radio Days, a commercial jingle for a laxative ("Get regular with Relax...") is punctuated with these.
- In Brooklyn, Tony takes Eilis to Coney Island to celebrate her finishing her bookkeeping course with top grades. After she changes into her bathing suit, he stares at her for several seconds before putting his fingers to his lips and whistling his appreciation.
- Disney's animated Robin Hood has Robin and Little John disguise themselves as Gypsy women as part of a scheme to swindle Prince John. Little John, being the larger of the pair, comes off looking like a Big Beautiful Woman with colossal breasts, on account of the fact that he's hiding a pile of gold coins in his fake cleavage, and one of the prince's guards wolf-whistles in his direction.
- Daredevil: Upon seeing Elektra for the first time, In a pair of skin-tight leather pants and crop top, Bullseye gives a wolf whistle. Elektra isn't flattered by this at all, seeing as he murdered her father.
- In The Takers, a modern-day Indiana Jones pastiche by Jerry Ahern, Mary-Frances Mulrooney's skirt has a habit of blowing up providing everyone with a Panty Shot. She gets a Wolf Whistle too while boarding a nuclear submarine. A naval officer tells off the seaman responsible, then explains that none of the women who boarded earlier got a whistle like that.
- Whateley Universe: Used a few times, such as here:
- ''Who Dun It?: After Hive walks out of the shower, she gets one from Carmilla:
I washed my hair, got out, and dried my hair and myself. Slipping back into my bedroom, I heard a wolf whistle from the living room, then, My, my, I didnt know toes could blush. I continued into the bedroom and got dressed in my jeans and flannel shirt.
- The Devil's Dance (Part 1): Hippolyta, Does Not Like Men, and has a bad reaction to hearing a wolf whistle at her Halloween costume:
Her golden hair was obviously windswept and seemed to bode hell for brushing it out later. Her outfit was fur; light violet in color and well, it covered the important bits. Dimly I recognized her as being dressed as a character from a video game, Chrono Triggers Ayla. Not to be confused with the quiet spoken Ayla of Team Kimba, Hippy is um, loud, outspoken and rash.
Oh My God! said Mercy with a wide eyed expression, Who talked her into that?
That would be telling, replied the Fuub with a smirk.
I cringed as Hippy directed her seeming ire on someone whose wolf whistle was louder than the music in the background. Oh shit, she is gonna moider him, I pointed to the suddenly moving Hippy and the crowd that dispersed around Akira, who it seemed was coming as Tenchi too, along with the rest of the Power Rangers.
- ''Who Dun It?: After Hive walks out of the shower, she gets one from Carmilla:
- Our Miss Brooks: At the end of "Wake Up Plan", Mr. Boynton falls asleep on a chair in the hall. Miss Brooks doesn't wake him up, but sits beside him. Mr. Boynton whistles in his sleep!
- Blake's 7. In "City At The Edge Of The World", Vila is fiddling with an electronic lockpicking device when a previously leather-clad Action Girl enters having cleaned herself up and changed into a dress. The device promptly makes an appreciative electronic sound.
- Starsky & Hutch: A "massage parlor" in "Gillian" sells novelty whistles that make this sound.
- A cartoon George Booth did for The New Yorker shows a young guy sitting on some steps silently watching a woman stroll past on the sidewalk. He, in turn, is being watched by two older women, one of whom says "Whistle, you dumb bastard!"
- In the Four Lads' hit version of "Standing on the Corner", the choruses are punctuated with these.
- The Black Keys invoke even if not employing it in "Howlin' For You".
- In the University expansion of The Sims 2, this is one of the actions a Sim can do to turn another one on.
- Only a wolf whistle is seen in the top caption after Locke has stolen and then worn the clothes from enemies in the SNES version of Final Fantasy VI.
- There's an optional sidequest in Tales of Vesperia in which Flynn will do this upon seeing Yuri in a soldier's uniform.
- In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood, during the second charge against Guybrush, Bosun Kathryn Krebbs jumps up and sits atop the witness stand, making the crowds wolf-whistle as she shows them the scar on her leg.
- The Pokémon Lopunny has a digitized cry that has the same distinct note progression as a wolf whistle. It's a rabbit creature with a strikingly feminine physique. Take that how you will.
- Red Hot Riding Hood. About ten examples in the first minute alone, by a literal wolf. Grandma did this joke once to him in the cartoon too.
- In Hollywood Steps Out, a selection of Hollywood hunks (e.g., Wallace Beery, Ronald Colman, Errol Flynn, William Powell, Aubrey Smith, and Spencer Tracy), while watching "bubble dancer" Sally Rand, wolf-whistle and go, "Baaaby!"
- In the Family Guy episode "The Perfect Castaway", Peter says that he used to be a construction worker in New York, but he never got the catcalling right. Cue to Peter working on a construction site with three other guys while an attractive woman walks by:
First worker: (whistles)
Second worker: Yeah, baby!
Third worker: I want a piece of that!
Peter: You suck!
- The Ren & Stimpy Show does this when Ren takes off his fur for a coat and lets out the Whistle.
- In SpongeBob SquarePants "Grandma's Kisses", SpongeBob thinks Patrick would be right when he says, "Don't be a baby!" Patrick asks, "Have I ever not been right?"
- Note, he is always giving out wrong advice to SpongeBob by the last part of the show, while being tainted to be too sexy in their black suits.
- It happens again a few more times of a joke, in the later series.
- Rocko's Modern Life has the main character go get a drink while being naked. There his friends take a photo of him naked and he is wolf-whistled by a tease.
- The Merrie Melodies "Stage Door Cartoon" had Elmer Fudd's face briefly turn into a wolf while whistling at the Chorus Girls' legs.
- Porky in Wackyland: When the monster terrorizing Porky suddenly says "Boo!" to him and trundles off effeminately, a wolf whistle can be heard.
- In "Rhapsody Rabbit", Bugs Bunny flips his book of sheet music and stops on a pin-up girl. A wolf whistle emits from the audience, and Bugs embarrassingly flips the book further.
- A guy with a jackhammer does this when he sees Fifi Le Fume in the episode "Aroma Amore" of Tiny Toon Adventures. As soon as he realizes she's a skunk however he freaks out.
- Monty does this upon seeing Mitzi in "Prom-ise Her Anything".
- Bugs Bunny once gave a teasing one to Elmer Fudd upon discovering he wore a girdle (This was during the brief period in time Elmer was drawn chubby).
- Animaniacs call of "Helllooooo Nurse" uses the same cadence even though it isn't technically a whistle.
- Raphael once did this in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode "Michelangelo The Sacred Turtle" when he saw April in the maid servant outfit Professor Tut was forcing her to wear which showed her legs.