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A romance trope where a character is sexually attracted to or even in love with a member of the clergy (who will almost always be a Sexy Priest or a Naughty Nun to justify the character's affections in the eyes of the audience). May also occur when both partners are members of the clergy (i.e., a priest and a nun, for instance).

Truth in Television, and justifiably common when you consider that not all religions demand vows of chastity. Anglican and Protestant clergymen, for example, are free to do so, which was one of the major issues of the Reformation. And despite the common misconeception, it was't always required in the Roman Catholic Church; for its first thousand years it was legal under church law for anyone from a local priest to the pope himself to marry and have children, though how acceptable it was considered to be varied. In the Victorian era such a clergyman was actually considered top-notch husband material because he had a guaranteed income, social status, and probably wasn't going to spend his time fooling around with the housemaid (arguably). On the other hand, a curate was at the very bottom of the ecclesiastical ladder, and was generally not nearly as well paid as his superiors.

In fiction, however, this trope will typically be played for drama with Catholic priests or nuns, for an added element of Forbidden Fruit to it. When a work is simply about desire for, say, a Protestant minister, the conflict around this trope tends to be lessened.

Cases where a celibate clergy member eventually reciprocates the feeling may or may not follow, though whether or not they will abandon their chastity vows, or entire vocation, to be with their beloved varies a lot.

Not related to Get Thee to a Nunnery, though the above trope may have played a part in the latter's origins. People who feel this way will often say "I'm Going to Hell For This."

Compare Nun-Too-Holy. Disturbingly inverted in the figure of the Pedophile Priest.


Anime and Manga

  • Eventually happens in One Pound Gospel.
  • Maria Holic plays with this trope when Father Kanae thinks this with Kanako but he himself is after Mariya.
  • The basis of Chrono Crusade: this is the story of a Battle Couple made of a nun and a demon.
  • Princess Fianna from Record of Lodoss War falls for Etoh, priest of Falis. They get married, and become King and Queen of Valis.
    • Neese from the Six Legendary Heroes was a cleric of Marfa, and when the cast meets her she's a widow with a daughter and fellow cleric named Leylia. Leylia also plays this straight with the wizard Slayn, and the sequel has their daughter Little Neese as one of the main characters.
  • In Trigun Milly is attracted to Wolfwood, the resident Badass Preacher. They even make love the night before he's killed.
  • In Trinity Blood, two different nuns show clear romantic feelings for the lead character, who's a Catholic priest. And a frighteningly powerful super-vampire, but that's not important to this trope. It's never treated as any kind of "forbidden fruit" situation, though, because it takes place in a distant future where the Catholic Church no longer requires clerical celibacy.
  • Spoofed in Sailor Moon Super S alongside Interspecies Romance, when Artemis the cat seems to have a crush on a beautiful nun named Sister Maria. He was mostly fantasizing about cat marriage in a Catolic church... in front of one where Sister Maria volunteers. And then she's captured by a member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad...


  • The Sound of Music, where the Captain falls for Maria alias the nun postulant whom he's hired as his nanny.
  • One of the fake trailers at the beginning of Tropic Thunder was a parody of Oscar Bait films that involved two monks being sexually attracted to each other.
  • Blood on Satan's Claw (aka The Devil's Skin) has a horror example. The Satan worshipping school girl tries to seduce the town preacher, going so far as to strip for him. He does not give in.
  • The Crime of Father Amaro, inspired by a Portuguese novel of the same name. With Gael Garcia Bernal as the Sexy Priest who has a relationship with the local Naive Everygirl.
  • Quills has some UST between Madeleine and the Abbé du Coulmier.
  • In Love Exposure, a woman falls for a Catholic priest.
  • In Priest, Robert Carlyle (playing Graham) has the hots for Linus Roache (Father Greg). It's reciprocal
  • Pavilion of Women, an adaptation of the Pearl S. Buck novel of the same name. Though there's a romantic attraction between Madame Wu and Father Andre in the book, the film makes it much more explicit and unlike the novel, has the couple act on their feelings for each other.
  • The early '70s film Pieces of Dreams involves an affair between a priest and a divorced social worker.


  • In The God of Small Things, Baby Kochamma fell in love with an Irish missionary when she was younger.
  • Pretty much the plot of The Thorn Birds.
  • It used to be very common in the Victorian era (generally in the form of falling in love with the poor but virtuous and handsome young curate), so much so that it was a convention of novels and plays mocked by W.S. Gilbert in two separate works: "The Rival Curates" (which eventually got turned into Patience and featured rival poets instead) and The Sorceror (in which the much older vicar, Dr. Daly, is adored by young Constance).
  • This is the premise of the 19th century Portuguese novel O Crime do Padre Amaro ("The Crime of Father Amaro"), where it ends in tragedy. As seen above, it was adapted for the big screen.
  • Sissy from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn once tried to seduce her priest, since she didn't believe in celibacy.
  • In The Three Musketeers, Milady is a nun who has seduced a monk and left the convent, only to abandon the monk to marry Athos, only to abandon him to marry Lord de Winter, whom she poisons. She is not a nice Milady.
  • A medieval cantiga (monophonic song) from Portugal tells the story of a man who went after an Abbess... to ask her to prepare him for his wedding night.
  • An example of this where the attraction for a Puritan minister is frowned upon for leading not to marriage but to adultery (complete with a bastard child) can be found in The Scarlet Letter.
  • Aliena in The Pillars of the Earth is in love with Jack, who becomes a monk largely because he thinks she isn't.
  • In The Sparrow, we have Father Emilio Sandoz who is chaste, charming, funny, intelligent, Roman Catholic priest, and apparently not bad to look at. The Catholic schoolgirls call him Father What-a-waste, and a main character grows to love him.
  • Father Amadi from Purple Hibiscus is the main character's first crush. She's fifteen, and he's at least in his twenties, but he never leads her on romantically.

Live Action TV

  • On Mash, Father Mulcahy had this happen when he helped one of the nurses study to become a doctor.
  • This would often be a running gag on the The Benny Hill Show.
  • In The Sopranos, the sexual tension between Carmela Soprano and Father Intintola is a plot point.
  • Early episodes of Soap had Corinne in love with Father Tim. He eventually left the priesthood to marry her. Then they had a demon baby; after it was exorcised it was Put On A Perambulator.
  • Brazilian Soap Opera Mulheres Apaixonadas ('Women in Love') had a subplot where a woman fell in love with a Catholic priest. Eventually she got him to abandon clergy life and marry her.
  • Assumpta and Father Peter in Ballykissangel.
  • On Kung Fu Caine was the object of this a time or two.
  • Frequently in The Vicar of Dibley, and in both directions. Naturally though, the guys who are interested in Geraldine are nothing like the guys she's interested in herself.
  • Angel's twisted obsession with Drusilla stems from the fact that she is a "saint", as he calls it. She wants nothing more than to become a nun. Guess how that one turned out...
  • Samantha in Sex and the City found herself a Sexy Priest to lust over.
  • The Chilean actors Claudia DiGirolamo and Francisco Reyes often played couples in Chilean Soap Operas of The Nineties and the Turn of the Millennium, and got to play the trope straight in two of them. In Estúpido Cupido she played a nun and Cool Teacher who's attracted to his character, a hot radio DJ; in Romané (pictured above) he was a handsome and kind priest while she played a middle aged Hot Gypsy Woman who dated his brother in the past with disastrous results and, after being gone for a long time, returns and has Ship Tease with him. Neither relationship ended with them together.


  • 'Dont Mess With The Missionary Man', a song by Eurythmics.
  • "Goin' Down" by The Pretty Reckless is a song about a 16 year old girl seducing a priest in a confessional, in attempt to get into heaven after killing her boyfriend.

Newspaper Comics

  • There was a storyline in the newspaper comic 9 Chickweed Lane about a priest and a nun who fell for one another. They did not pursue the romance at the time, but both left the church soon afterwards, and they eventually got married.


  • In accordance with The Zeroth Law of Trope Examples, the Duke in Measure for Measure falls in love with Isabel, a postulant for the Poor Clares. (This has quite unnecessarily scandalized some commentators.)
  • In Euripides' Hippolytus, the eponymous hero is a devotee of Artemis and has dedicated his virginity to her, when his mother-in-law Phaedra falls in love with him. All ends in tears.

Video Games

  • In Fallout 3 there is a minor sidequest in Rivet City where a woman has eyes for the local preist's apprentice and asks for your help. Solutions include convincing him yourself, telling his boss that he's already done the nasty and get him thrown out anyway and gettng the woman some royal ant jelly (which temporerily gives a large boost to charisma at the cost of intelligence) so he actually will break his vows. If you're successful you can attend their ceremony.
  • Happens more than once in Fire Emblem when certain characters support to A level with a Monk, a Cleric, a Priest or people in similar classes. Some cases include:
    • Genealogy: anyone who marries either the Cleric/High Priest Edain or the Bishop Claud in Gen 1, and later whoever falls for the Cleric/High Priest Lana (Adean's daughter) or the Priest Corple (Silvia's son);
    • Blazing Blade: the Cleric Serra and either Oswin, Matthew or Erk; for some, the Monk Lucius and Raven.
    • Sacred Stones: the monk Artur and Lute, the cleric Natasha and either Seth or Joshua.
    • Awakening: Libra the war monk can marry most of the first-gen women and be the father of their children. Among the children, there's the priest Brady.
    • Three Houses: An avatar of either gender can marry archbishop Rhea.
  • In other Fire Emblem games that don't necessarily relay on support conversations, we have the cleric Lena and her love interest Julian. Not to mention she was supposed to marry Prince Michalis, but decided to run away...
  • One of the possible romance options in Dragon Age II is with Sebastian, a celibate Sexy Priest.

Web Comics

  • One of Jay Naylor's adult comics features Rachel invoking the inverse of this trope. She goes to confess, in excruciating detail, all of her sexual endeavors. The comic ends with her giving him a bj in the booth.

Western Animation

Real Life

  • A notable case (and an inversion) is that of Renaissance painter Fra Filippo Lippi, who was a friar but apparently had little inclination for chastity. He allegedly seduced a novice from the convent of S. Margherita of Prato and employed her as a model for his Madonnas.
  • There was a brothel in medieval England that catered to customers with a Naughty Nuns fetish. None of the employees were actually nuns, but they wore the full costume.
    • Shakespeare uses "nunnery" as a slang term for a brothel.
  • This trope led to the fall of Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart during the late 1980s.
  • In Chile, high-ranked lawyer Clara Szczaranski fell in love with a well-known Jesuit priest and uni professor named Renato Hevia. After quite the media circus due to the objections raised by the local Cath church, he left clergy and they got married.
  • Father Cutie. Yes, that is his name.
  • Martin Luther and his wife were once a Monk and Nun until that whole Protestant business.
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