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Wolf Whistle

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If only he could actually whistle.

"As I got out of the car arriving I got the most gorgeous wolf whistle from somebody, and I thought, 'Huh! This is going to be alright!'"
WAAF Mary "Bubbles" Moore, Death by Moonlight.
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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.

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's more commonly used today than the classic whistle.

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Variations include the "wolf howl", the "purr", the "growl", and the "dog pant". Note that carnivorous mammals always seem to be referenced.

May also have the whistler become an actual wolf, or have a wolf head. Not to be confused with a wolf fifth.

Related to Construction Catcalls, with the difference that this trope is always used for comedy, never for drama except as an intentional subervsion, due to the Grandfather Clause induced by the Tex Avery cartoons that made the Wolf Whistle way too characteristic of parodic cartoons to be taken seriously as anything else.


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Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 

    Anime & Manga 
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Marya is rather amused by the men trying out pick up lines on her while she's acting as a lifeguard, one of whom is shown giving a wolf whistle as he spots her. She doesn't actually respond to any of them as she's on the clock, but does check them out to pick out the cute ones, mentally commenting that American men are a tease, implying that her attempts to follow up on their flirting have led to dead ends.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • Tippi Hedren's character receives one of these from a little boy at the beginning of The Birds.
  • 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.
  • 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 Girl Can't Help It, a paperboy does this after seeing Jerri (Jayne Mansfield).
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • 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.
  • Forbidden Planet. When the officers have talked to Morbius and his beautiful daughter Altaira for a while, Chief Quinn calls up to check they're alright. To confirm he's not speaking under duress, The Captain pans around a small camera attached to his communicator, and when it passes over Altaira we hear the Chief giving a loud wolf whistle, to his captain's embarrassment.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Starsky & Hutch: A "massage parlor" in "Gillian" sells novelty whistles that make this sound.
  • Person of Interest. When Root (played by Amy Acker) tasers the guards on a prison bus and steps onto it to free one of the cons, the other cons show their verbal appreciation including this trope. Root takes it in stride, casually tasering one man with an Offhand Backhand when he gets too annoying.

    Music 
  • The Black Keys invoke even if not employing it in "Howlin' For You".
  • In the Four Lads' hit version of "Standing on the Corner", a specific line in the choruses are punctuated with whistles thusly: "Watchin' all the girls, watchin' all the girls, watchin' all the girls... [whistle] go by"
  • Steve Miller Band's "The Joker" features a few of them, with the guitarist making the sound on the guitar. It was famously covered by Tom Petty as "I'm a Joker."
  • The guys from Mötley Crüe do this at the end of "Girls, Girls, Girls" upon seeing the approach of one of the strippers.
  • Steve Vai does one near the beginning of David Lee Roth's "Yankee Rose".
  • Spike Jones features a wolf whistle (among many other sound effects he was known to sprinkle into songs) in "Laura," everytime the woman's name is sung.
  • 3OH!3 released a song in 2009 called Starstrukk that features wolf whistles heavily in between lyrics describing how attractive women are. It went memetic for a time with edits that replaced the whistling with another sound, one that either also sounds like whistling or comically doesn't.

    Pinballs 

    Print Media 
  • 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!"

    Theatre 
  • In "We Are What We Are" from La Cage aux folles, one of the choruses incorporates both the wolf-whistle and the "hey, taxi!" whistle.
  • In "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" from South Pacific, there is a break in which the sailors wolf-whistle at attractive women.

    Video Games 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the University expansion of The Sims 2, this is one of the actions a Sim can do to turn another one on.
  • 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.
  • There's an optional sidequest in Tales of Vesperia in which Flynn will do this upon seeing Yuri in a soldier's uniform.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • 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 didn't 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 Trigger's 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.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: In "Daddy Queerest", Stan whistles at a woman passing by. However, this still doesn't convince Terry's horribly homophobic father that Stan isn't gay.
    Tank: Yeah, whistle a show tune, YA DRAG QUEEN!
  • Animaniacs: Yakko and Wakko's call of "Helllooooo Nurse" uses the same cadence even though it isn't technically a whistle. Dot's response to her brothers' actions is always the same: "Boys..."
  • 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!
  • 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!"
  • Looney Tunes:
    • 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.
    • 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).
  • 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.
  • The Ren & Stimpy Show does this when Ren takes off his fur for a coat and lets out the Whistle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • A guy with a jackhammer does this when he sees Fifi Le Fume in the episode "Aroma Amore". As soon as he realizes she's a skunk, however, he freaks out.
    • Monty does this upon seeing Mitzi in "Prom-ise Her Anything".
  • The Batman: In the episode “Two of a Kind”, this is Joker’s reaction the first time he sees Harleen Quinzel in her full Harley Quinn ensemble.

    Real Life 
  • The screaming piha, a bird from South America, makes a call that sounds nigh identical to one of these. It's one of the loudest birds in the Amazon, too.
  • Prostitutes in Ancient Rome were called lupa (she-wolves), apparently due to the wolf-like howl they used to attract the attention of clients.

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