Follow TV Tropes


Yawn and Reach

Go To

"The old yawning trick. Watch his arm."

This is when a guy puts his arm around a woman's shoulders while pretending to yawn, in an attempt to look smooth and nonchalant. This trope only applies when this is a romantic gesture, rather than a comforting thing. If they're boyfriend and girlfriend, this is widespread—in TV and in Real Life. If not, hilarity is likely to ensue.


    open/close all folders 

     Comic Books 
  • In the Immortal Iron Fist comic book, the Boisterous Bruiser character Fat Cobra attempts to do this to the martial artist Tiger's Beautiful Daughter as they're sitting next to each other at dinner. For his troubles, she stabs him in the hand with one of her hairpins.
  • Pulled off successfully in American Born Chinese. Hilarity still ensues, though, as the boy realizes that by draping his arm over his love interest, he had rubbed some of the (very visible) soap bubbles on his hand onto her shoulder, and spends a good deal of time agonizing over whether she noticed or not.
  • Mac Gargan/Venom tries to pull this on Daken in Dark Avengers, but chickens out at the absolute last second. Daken responds by reaching between Mac's legs... and taking a handful of popcorn from the bag Mac is holding in his lap.

    Fan Works 
  • In Til Death Do Us Part, Misty notices Professor Oak doing this to Delia (sans yawning) while sitting on a park bench eating ice cream. It's the first time she notices the two aren't as platonic as they initially seemed.

    Film — Animation 

     Film — Live Action 
  • Lampshaded in the Hellboy movie.
    (As they watch Hellboy's crush, Liz, and John sitting on a bench)
    Kid On Rooftop: Look at him! He's yawning! He's bored!
    Hellboy: Yeah, yeah, the ol' "stretch-and-yawn" trick. Watch and learn, kid.

  • In The Hob's Bargain by Patricia Briggs, Caefawn the hob sits next to Aren and rests his tail on her other side. She moves it, only for him to slowly work it over back to her other side again.

     Live Action TV 
  • Parodied on 30 Rock, where Jenna employs this method to seduce a billionare. With her leg.
  • In The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Big Pete attempts this on his drive-in date with Ellen, but it takes him over an hour to work up the nerve, and by the time his hand actually reaches her shoulder, she's sensed what he's up to and squirms away.
  • Marcia's boyfriend doing this to her on The Brady Bunch.
  • In the Ugly Betty episode "Something Wicked This Way Comes", Gio has to pretend to be Betty's boyfriend. When he puts his arm around her, his acting becomes a little too convincing for Henry.
  • iCarly: Freddie uses one of these to try and bust a move on Carly in iDon't Want to Fight. Freddie fails, not just because he's Just Friends, but because he's interrupted by a toilet flushing (Spencer saying goodbye to a goldfish he killed). He also arguably started off too far away for a really effective move.
  • Richie attempted this on Happy Days, but he needed to use a certain arm, and so he actually asked the girl to switch places before attempting it.
    • When Joanie had a date in one episode. Fonzie taught her a countermove to such an action: elbowing your date in the gut.
  • Howard Moon does this in The Mighty Boosh to Precious Lilywhite, who is a woman made out of a coconut and some sticks. Yes, really, and it's quite charming, too.
  • Seinfeld
    • One variation that served the same basic purpose: stopping-short. While a man's driving a car with a woman in the passenger seat, he brakes suddenly and puts his arm out in front of her, supposedly to make sure she doesn't slam into the dashboard, but actually so her breasts will slam into his arm instead.
    • Also happened to George. It failed
  • From That '70s Show, Donna does it to Eric.
  • Used and lampshaded in Herman's Head when Herman is dating a TV star who had the trope used on her character. At the end of the episode, she uses the technique herself on Herman.
  • Zack tried a version of this while on a movie date in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, his excuse being that it was "chilly".
  • Tom demonstrates this technique to B'Elanna in a holographic movie theater on Star Trek: Voyager.

     Newspaper Comics 
  • A very early Doonesbury has Michael pulling this on JJ, successfully. He also tries to put his hand on her leg but manages to get a handful of ice from her soda instead.
  • Garfield with Jon. It fails.
  • Knute teaches Gunther about the proper Yawn And Reach technique in a Luann arc.

     Video Games 


     Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • Homer tries to teach Grampa this technique, complete with an explanatory song.
    • Also used with Principal Skinner and Patty, though she catches on and tells him off when he does it.
    • And in the episode where Homer and Marge tell the story of how they met as children, except it's deconstructed as it causes Marge to worry that she's boring Homer.
    • Also in the Treehouse of Horror episode "Starship Poopers" with Kang attempting to crossbreed with Marge.
    Kodos: Initiate fertilization procedure.
    Kang: (Yawn and reach)
  • Futurama:
    • At one point used by Fry toward Leela with zero success.
      Leela: Take it off or I'll break it off.
    • Kif does this to Amy with success.
  • Dale Gribble tells his son Joseph to do this on a girl he likes (Connie) when she is tutoring him in King of the Hill. "Don't forget to yawn-and-stretch!"
  • Happy Tree Friends:
    • Used when Nutty imagines dating a gumball machine and does this when he is in movies with the said gumball machine.
    • The Mole does this to Lumpy on their literal blind date. At this point, a bird pulls on Lumpy's exposed brain, making Lumpy's hand slap The Mole in the face.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug, Chat Noir chooses a bad time to attempt this trope: when Ladybug is already steaming mad for unrelated reasons. Normally she's patient with his unwanted advances, but here it was the final straw and she bolts upright to rant about her problems. Fortunately, the other cinemagoers aren't too annoyed.
  • In a Family Guy episode, when Peter wants to be a redneck, he does this...with Meg.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) has a boyfriend/girlfriend example in the episode "The People's Choice", where Casey does it to April while hanging out at his grandmother's farm.
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man's first season finale, Flash Thompson attempts this on Mary Jane Watson, with predictable results.
  • Jonesy on 6teen explains this to Wyatt when giving him his dating training.
    • Darth Mall also attempted this on Nikki, only to fail spectacularly.
  • Parodied in Kaeloo, when Mr. Cat pulls this manuever on Quack-Quack on a couch in order to punch him in the face.
  • A really cute version in Xiaolin Showdown: In one of his dreams, Raimundo and Kimiko are watching a compilation of Raimundo's best moments of the series and in the shadows you can see him stretching out his arm...only to have it fail because he ends up putting his arm around Hannibal (who is manipulating his dreams). He doesn't react well.

     Real Life 
  • Dave Barry once described doing this on a date as a youth. The joke comes as he says that his arm went numb because he had to keep it a molecule away from her actual body.

Alternative Title(s): Yawn Reach Around