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"Hey, I have heat sensors. I know what you were thinking when she gave you that smile..."—Talking Gadgetmobile, Inspector Gadget movie
Unresolved Sexual Tension is always fun when played for laughs and amusement. Two characters are totally into each other but it's never acknowledged, just heavily implied.
That is, until a character with some form of Super Senses comes into the picture.
See, Super Senses let you see things like body temperature, or pheromone levels. And what can you infer from those signs? Why, UST of course. This non-human character just proclaimed (loudly) that My Sensors Indicate You Want to Tap That. Usually causes embarrassment on the part of the other characters and everyone tries to ignore it for the sake of awkwardness. It can be seen as a form of Lampshading the UST.
Anime & Manga
- Mahou Sensei Negima:
- Chachamaru does this to some who's trying to deny their attraction to Negi. Chachamaru even offers to replay a video of it.
- Of course, Chachamaru's creator does this to Chachamaru herself by looking through her memory files and finding a folder full of pictures of Negi.
- In first episode of Shin Negima, class rep is strutted by an array of sensors indicating body temperature, heartbeat rate, etc. Result? Obviously in love.
- Subverted in one early episode of Ah! My Goddess: Belldandy senses a sudden increase in Keiichi's heart rate and temperature when he's stressing out over whether to tell her he loves her, and immediately concludes that he's coming down with an illness. Well, the poor schmuck is lovesick.
- Migi of the manga Parasyte comments to the hero about this. Of course, everyone's right hand knows what they want, it's just that for most people it can't talk. It wouldn't be so bad if it didn't manifest its knowledge of his desires by morphing into a giant penis.
- In Love Hina, Motoko experiences physiological symptoms of love around Keitaro, much to her dismay. Turns out to just be the flu.
- At least in the anime, it comes across as ambiguous, or perhaps as a combination of the two. It's certainly that way in the manga as well, what with her Suspiciously Specific Denial.
- Funniest line in Chobits is said by Chi: "Pervert! Hideki is a pervert!" In one translation, that line (mostly, being reassigned to Hideki compels her to call him "my master") is also given to Sumomo/Plum.
- Ren from DearS can tell when she's arousing her master. (And, of course, she's completely ready to hop in bed with him.)
- Future GPX Cyber Formula: Even though Asurada doesn't really know or care of any love-related conflict around Hayato, Asuka, and Randoll, he still detects his partner's heart rate increasing by 1.2 times and demands to know what a kiss is.
Comics -- Books
- From Ms. Marvel; "I analyze your every word, identifying subconscious speech patterns that betray your poorly hidden lust for my rock-hard robot body." -- Aaron Stack, the ☠☠☠☠-ing Machine Man.
- In X-Men: Kingbreaker, when Korvus hurts himself in battle, his "healbot" from the Shi'ar world senses that "his body temperature and heart rate has increased" as he watches Rachel Summers with whom he had a fling. Korvus responds with a definitive "shut up," as he is embarrassed by the robot's intuitive perceptions.
- In Empowered, the Caged Demonwolf has this role.
Films -- Live-Action
- In one of the Not Quite Human movies, Ridiculously Human Robot Chip is able to tell that his human sister has a crush on a guy at school.
Becky: What makes you think I like him?
Chip: Your skin flushed, your breathing rate changed, and your body temperature rose two degrees.
Becky: Three degrees means I like him, two degrees just means... I think he's okay.
Chip: Oh. Well, his body temperature rose three degrees. Does that mean he likes you?
- In Transformers, Sam obviously has a crush on Mikaela. But when the Autobots show up, Ratchet sniffs, then delivers the precious line, "The boy's pheromone levels suggest that he wants to mate with the female." Cue poor Sam looking like he wants to die.
- In Spaceballs, Princess Vespa's robot-maid Dot Matrix has a "Virgin Alarm" that emits a loud noise just as Lone Starr is about to get to first base with her.
Dot Matrix: It's programmed to go off before you do!
- In the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven, when the guy is visiting the owner of a Pagan-esque shop to see if he can get Reese Witherspoon to stop haunting him,
Napoleon Dynamitethe shop owner can immediately read the auras of both people in the shop - and proceeds to inform them both that they've got some pretty strong feelings for each other! "Righteous."
- Race to Witch Mountain has Sara (the girl with Psychic Powers) commenting that the Hot Scientist lady found The Rock's character attractive. This, of course, sets him to wondering about it, spacing out for just long enough to let himself get caught by the mobsters chasing him, and for him to lose track of the kids in a crowded casino.
- The My Favorite Martian movie sets up the friendship of Tim and Lizzie. Early on, circumstances force Martin to take Tim's form so that he can get rid of Lizzie, who showed up at a bad time. He ends up kissing her. Later, Martin reveals that the process of taking Tim's shape caused him to read Tim's unconscious mind and found an attraction to her, which is why he thought kissing her was appropriate.
- Robin Williams as Andrew Martin in Bicentennial Man uses this in a logical assertion that Portia is attracted to him, saying her pulse and breathing rate have increased, and even that she's putting out pheromones.
- Johnny English Reborn. The Love Interest is a psychologist who specialises in reading body language. When she and English share an intimate moment he gently spoofs this by listing her emotional indicators (dilated pupils, flushed cheeks, etc) that indicate they're going to kiss.
- In Eragon, Saphira says something to the effect of "you find her form pleasing," referring to Hot Amazon Arya.
- In Isaac Asimov's The Naked Sun, R. Daneel is suspicious that Elijah is falling for the prime suspect in the murder they're investigating:
R. Daneel: And though I cannot share human reactions to stimuli, I would judge, from what has been imprinted on my instruction circuits, that the lady meets any reasonable standard of physical attractiveness. From your behavior, moreover, it seems to me that you were aware of it and that you approved of her appearance.
R. Daneel: Are you perhaps being influenced by extraneous motives of your own, Partner Elijah? Mrs. Delmarre is an attractive woman and you are an Earthman in whom a preference for the personal presence of an attractive woman is not psychotic.
- The Mechanical Horse of the priest protagonist in The Quest for Saint Aquin (a 1951 short story by Anthony Boucher) says something similar when he insists on going back to a bar with an attractive waitress.
- In the short story Liar!, the mind-reading robot Herbie can tell when humans have fallen in love, although he doesn't understand how love works. He reads romance novels to try and get some education on the subject.
- A vampire named Sally is able to discern Angua and Carrot's feelings for each other by reading their heart rates. Unusual in that this wasn't news to anyone.
- Gaspode the Wonder Dog can also tell when two humans are attracted, often well before they do. To his way of thinking, human sex can already be going on when the potential mates are sitting on opposite sides of a campfire, steadfastly refusing to speak to one another, as in Moving Pictures. Noted again in The Fifth Elephant.
- You Bastard, the camel mathematician... ahem, regular camel whose skills aren't really anything special compared to some of the camels whose postulates he uses in his work, can likewise spot a hookup-in-the-making in Pyramids.
- In the Mercy Thompson books, this trope makes it impossible for homosexual werewolves like Warren to remain in the closet. To make matters worse, werewolves are socially conservative. It's a testament to Warren's fighting skill that he's survived as a gay werewolf for over 150 years.
- The Sky People by S.M. Stirling. Venusian cave princess Tessa of the Cloud Mountain People knows that Marc Vitrak is attracted to her from his scent. Of course even the fellow members of the Earth expedition can detect this because, as one of them points out, Marc is wearing a loincloth which makes it clear that he's... aroused.
- Subverted in the Prince Roger series. One of Despreaux's fellow marines monitors her biometrics to know when to send in a Moment Killer to keep her and Roger from getting it on. Oddly enough, this doesn't work on Roger. Nothing raises his heart rate or blood pressure except exertion.
- In the Episode of Stargate SG-1 entitled "Divide and Conquer," long time maybes Sam and Jack are exposed as liars by an alien lie-detecting device, because when describing an off-world event they did not recount the emotional intensity of the experience. This prompts the eternally ship-supporting line by Jack:
O'Neill: Because I care about her. A lot more than I'm supposed to.
- In an episode of Angel, when Illyria meets Connor for the first time, she comments that "This one is lusting after me." Which led to one of the funnier lines of the fifth season, when Connor tells Angel that he's "always had a thing for older women"; Angel mutters "They were supposed to fix that."
- A milder example in Doctor Who, when Rose recognizes the Doc on a screen:
Dalek: The female's heartbeat has increased!
Mickey: Yeah, tell me about it.
- Star Trek: Voyager
- In "Parturition", Neelix attacks Tom Paris over his attraction to Kes. She's convinced he's wrong about this, but when she shares her frustration with the holographic Doctor, he gives her a list of telltale physiological changes he's noticed in Paris when Kes is nearby.
EMH: Whenever you walk into the room, his respiration increases, his pupils dilate and the coloration of his ears turns decidedly orange. Until I noticed the pattern, I thought he was suffering from Tanzian flu. It's there for anyone to see. Maybe not in the same diagnostic detail as I see it...
- Later on, Icheb's Borg-enhanced senses lead him to conclude that B'Elanna is attracted to him. She isn't, of course, but she briefly plays along to get him to shut up. (Icheb isn't very good at this -- at one point he thinks B'Elanna has some kind of intestinal parasite, only for Seven to inform him we call this particular condition pregnancy.)
- Happens twice in "Revulsion," in which certain Voyager crewmembers show anything but for each other.
B'Elanna: Does this mean you're too tired to meet later in my quarters?
Tom Paris: Are you sure your heart can take it?
EMH: I'm detecting elevated hormonal levels. If you two don't take it easy I'll have to declare a medical emergency.
- And of course Seven of Nine's classic comment to Ensign Kim:
Seven: I may be new to individuality, but I am not ignorant of human behavior. I've noticed your attempts to engage me in idle conversation, and I see the way your pupils dilate when you look at my body.
- This one gets played around with a LOT in various Star Trek series, usually as a subversion. Take for example in TNG, Lwaxana Troi's frequent insistence that Captain Picard has the hots for her, and Lal's hilarious misinterpretation of human social interaction in Ten-Forward.
- It goes way back to Star Trek: The Original Series:
- In "Mudd's Women", where Kirk asks the computer to describe the effect the title women are having on the crew, and it starts to describe the male crewmen as having increased perspiration, respiration, pulses and so on. Kirk has it struck from the record in an aside.
- In fact, it goes all the way back to the original pilot "The Cage". Shortly after Number One and Yeoman Colt are beamed down to Talos IV minus the men in the landing party, the Talosian Keeper describes in clinical detail how the two secretly feel about Captain Pike.
- Dr. McCoy deducing what Spock's Pon Farr is from a medical examination would also count.
- Pushing Daisies
- Napoleon LeNez smells the pheromones that Ned is releasing in the presence of his girlfriend.
- Cameron, a Terminator in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, only has to observe two secondary characters conversing to get a reading.
Cameron: She doesn't love you. Not in the way you love her.
- Used on Sherlock when the titular character realizes that Irene Adler's feelings for him are genuine because he Sherlock Scanned her biological reactions to him (pulse and pupil dilation) on multiple occasions, which allows him to finally figure out the code on the phone.
- Also used earlier in the episode, when Sherlock deduces that Molly clearly has a crush on someone. Taken to hilarious / heartbreaking levels when the otherwise perspicacious Sherlock completely fails to realise that the person she's crushing on is him.
- On The Big Bang Theory, Leslie discovers Leonard's attraction to Penny after noticing his pupils dilate.
- Truth in Television, actually. Surprisingly, pupils dilatation is the tell-tale sign of physical interest, more likely to happen than any other (such as erection, pheromones, overheat and sweating).
- Done on House after House and Cuddy hooked up (maybe). House uses some kind of heat sensor to detect that Cuddy got warmer in his presence and thus is actually attracted to him. Or maybe just angry. Or both.
- Regarding the above: wasn't it confirmed that House and Cuddy never hooked up, and that the entire night, including House's horrific withdrawal from Vicodin, was actually a Vicodin-induced hallucination?
- Answer: Yes, yes it was. And the lipstick was his Vicodin bottle, and he ends up in rehab.
- Regarding the above: wasn't it confirmed that House and Cuddy never hooked up, and that the entire night, including House's horrific withdrawal from Vicodin, was actually a Vicodin-induced hallucination?
- In the Legend of the Seeker episode "Listener" a young mind reader rescued by Richard and Kahlan informs them both that yes, their to-date undisclosed feelings for each other are mutual, which opens an important can of worms.
- Knight Rider.
- In the original series, KITT generally seems more knowledgeable and sly with his remarks.
- However, the 2008 reboot KITT is essentially completely naive about the whole process of human relationships, and it is played on pretty heavily in several scenes, mostly between Michael and Sarah, but also a few times between Zoe and Billy.
- Becomes a major plot element in the Norwegian sf series Blindpassasjer when the alien doppelganger fails to respond "correctly" to the sexual advances of the original's lover (because they are in the wrong location).
- The 1972-3 series Search (and its pilot film Probe) featured agents who carried tiny scanners that transmitted images, sound and physiological data back to a base station and a crew of monitors. At least one of the agents (all male) was prone to sudden increases in heart rate and like symptoms upon encountering an attractive woman, which was promptly and loudly announced in the control room (and in the hearing of the agent, too, thanks to the comm gear he wore), leading to a number of running jokes. In the earliest episodes, the technician who did this had a distinct jealous streak; eventually, she somehow got out of the control room and ended up as Girl of the Week for one episode, after which she vanished.
- In season 3 episode 4 of Lost, Sawyer is fitted with a heart monitor with unknown consequences if he reaches 140 bpm. When Kate starts to change nearby, he almost triggers it.
- In an episode of Babylon 5, Talia Winters, a telepath, enters the elevator while talking about her abilities (and the fact that some thoughts get through her barriers) with a client. Garibaldi just happens to be riding the same elevator behind her and is seen staring behind her.. A few seconds later, she randomly elbows him in the gut before walking out. He stands there for a few seconds, clutching at his gut and says "I think I'm in love".
- At the end of Star Fox Adventures, after Krystal comes on board and Slippy teases him about being slightly tongue-tied:
R.O.B.: My sensors indicate that Fox's temperature is rising. Are you all right, Fox?
(the organics other than Fox laugh)
Fox: I'm gonna be just fine.
- The first Disgaea gave us this lovely quote:
Multi-Purpose Super Robot Thursday: BEEP BEEP BLIP BEEP...
GORDON KEEPS STARING AT JENNIFER'S THIGHS. PERVERT PERVERT PERVERT...
- Planescape: Torment:
Nordom: I estimate Fall-from-Grace to be found attractive by the male sex of 321,423 separate species. Give or take five.
Fall-from-Grace: Oh? Does that include modrons?
Nordom: I am no longer able to answer that question. I do not know.
- Besdies the fact that Modrons are genderless, the actual reason he can no longer answer that is because he is no longer a Modron.
- A version in which the one with the sensors, Visas Marr, also wants to tap that comes from Knights of the Old Republic II if you're playing a male character.
- In Star Control II, the neo-Dnyarri names a couple of your crew members with crushes on you. (Then, when you tell them he's been listening in, they start envisioning creative ways of killing the neo-Dnyarri instead. It's hilarious.)
- In Starcraft, Kerrigan before she gets infested, if you click on her enough, will give the phrase "Doesn't take a telepath to know what you're thinking." She even calls Raynor out the first time they meet.
Kerrigan: Captain Raynor, I've finished scouting out the area and... you pig!
Raynor: What? I haven't even said anything to you yet.
Kerrigan: Yeah, but you were thinking it.
- Inverted in the Sam and Max episode "They stole Max's Brain!"
Max: Why don't we just cruise for chicks?
Skun'Ka'Pe: Strange. My scans indicate you don't even like girls.
Doctor Bunnigus: You've been watching me?
Tag: I watch everything.
Doctor Bunnigus: I'm... not sure how I feel about that.
Tag: Infrared emissions indicate that you are feeling a mixture of embarrassment, anger, and arousal... shifting to anger exclusively.
- Also here:
DoytHaban: Indeed, with my sensor arrays, you might as well have been shouting "I'm in love with someone" the whole time we spoke.
Elf: Sensors? So you're a voyeur, then?
DoytHaban: Hey, I wouldn't be a man if I didn't look.
Elf: But it's cheating to be able to scope women out while still making eye-contact.
- Zig-Zag in Sabrina Online can tell when someone's had sex the night before.
- Possibly explained by the fact that, at some level, they are still animals, and that ZZ is the owner of a porn movie studio.
- Spamusement: Spam email promise "We have located several horny women in your area!" gets the Visual Pun treatment.
- The lesbian pirates' ship in I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space has a "Gaydar" device that "detects lesbian thoughts". At one point, Susie uses it to summon help.
- A variant appears in Goblins, when Psi-Max, trying to figure out why his attempt to erase a demiplane failed, interrogates Minmax and Kin. He concludes that "as childishly cliched as it is, the previously unnoticed detail is love." Effectively, a case of "My research indicates you want to tap that."
- Justice League Unlimited
- In the episode "Far From Home", Green Arrow discusses Brainiac 5's (a descendant of Brainiac from the 30th century) growing attraction to Supergirl:
Green Arrow: Admit it, genius: you're in love with her.
Brainiac 5: Ludicrous. We just met. Moreover, as a Coluan, I'm ruled by intellect, not emotion.
Green Arrow: So in love with her...
Brainiac 5: Increased sweat gland production... Shortness of breath... Inability to concentrate... I thought it was guilt, but... I am in love! How did you know?
Green Arrow: Just call me Cupid, junior. I never miss.
Skeets: Sir, according to my thermal sensor readings of Dr. Simmons, you just missed a prime opportunity to... well, I believe the phrase is, "kiss the girl."
Booster: Kissing girls is for heroes, Skeets.
- Toph from Avatar: The Last Airbender, who can sense the vibrations of heart rate and breathing to tell if somebody is lying, pulls this when Katara denies having feelings for Jet.
Toph: (done in a singsong voice) I can tell you're lying.
- A wonderful variation from the The Legend of Zelda cartoon. Zelda has spent the entire series denying that she loves Link. Due to a wacky accident, Link's spirit gets separated from his body, so he and Zelda go on a quest to find his body and pull him together. While everyone can hear his voice, Zelda is the only one who can see him. When Ganon learns this, he mutters that that must mean that she loves him. Link and Zelda overhear this, and Link shouts for joy at this undeniable proof that she does love him -- thus giving away their location and starting a fight scene with the bad guys.
- Big Guy and Rusty The Boy Robot: An evil A.I. comments to Dr. Slate that her body temperature rises each time it mentions Lt. Hunter, suggesting she either has a crush on him, or the two of them are plotting against it. Both were true.