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Carla: You should have just asked him out. Men love that.Carla: That's the worst advice I've ever heard!
Dr. Cox: No, Carla. Men don't love that. It turns out we don't love picnics, foreplay, candles, baths, photo albums or when you drive so that we can "relax" and, as always, we're not that big on Hugh Jackman. Lookit, the only thing men actually care about as far as dating is concerned is "The Chase." If you want that guy to look your way, listen to me carefully, ignore the living hell out of him.
This is where a guy is shown to be actively put off by a girl's aggressive pursuit of him. Many times, it will be implied (or outright said) that if she were more shy and modest about her feelings, he would like her a lot more. The use of this normally implies that men want to be the ones to chase and pursue a relationship, and hate it when it looks like, for any moment, they would not be the ones wearing the pants in the relationship. To put it simply: A man wants to catch a woman. Not be caught. This idea, especially when pounded into the viewer's westernheads as always being true or "right," tends to have heavy Unfortunate Implications.
Quite a few times, this trope will be the reason why the man will not be afflicted with The Dulcinea Effect towards this girl. And to contrast, he will instead be shown to be afflicted with The Dulcinea Effect towards a girl who is much more passive. Granted, it doesn't matter whether the girl is (or isn't) an Action Girl - even if she's strong in combat, as long as she's passive and shy romance-wise, she'll still be more desirable compared to a Damsel in Distress who is too eager. Compare My Girl Is Not a Slut; the logic may be that a woman so eager to pursue one man will be just as eager to pursue another man. (As if it had nothing to do with her crush on one particular man.)
All of the above aside, of course, it may just be that the girl comes on too strong for the guy, who might otherwise return her affections. This, of course, is routinely Gender Flipped when the girl is the one who's put off by a guy who continually hits on her; note that in that case, it would be more likely to be considered stalking on the guy's part.
Aggressiveness is often a trait of the Abhorrent Admirer, though it's definitely not the only trait that puts the guy off. If the girl stops chasing him, it could lead to an Unrequited Love Switcheroo.
Quite prevalent in anime, as the Japanese have quite different ideas of gender roles relative to the Anglosphere and Europe.
Not to be confused with No Guy Wants To Be Chaste.
Anime & Manga
- Mirai Nikki. Yukiteru makes it very obvious that Yuno's Yandere, insanely aggressive obsession and pursuit of him is what puts him off and scares him away from her. Numerous times, he suggests that if she were to be more passive and gentle, he would fall for her completely in an instant. It's not hard to figure out, looking at his track record of girls he harbored crushes on, he has a thing for unaggressive shy girls. In fact, the times where he's shown to like Yuno more is when she acts flustered and embarrassed, which prompts him to think she's "cute," and feel "manly" when he comforts her. Except... she tends to ruin the progress by doing something insane.
- Seeing as when it comes to Yuno pretty much the only two options are "shy and flustered" or "cheerily committing violent homicide", you can't really blame the guy. He seems to like Hinata just fine when she aggressively pursued friendship with him, at least.
- In The World God Only Knows Keima uses the example of Yandere Attention Whore Kanon to explain that girls pursuing the main character are death traps… in games, that is.
- Seen again when Nagase-sensei becomes friendly with him before he can "plan his route".
- Averted later on in the series when Haqua infers that he is weak against aggressive women
- In Saber Marionette J, although Otaru claims he loves all three girls (Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry), he never mentions it being equal. And the series implies heavily that his favorite is Lime, who, out of the three, is the most innocent and non-romantically aggressive. Both Cherry and Bloodberry are shown to be extremely aggressive with their affection for Otaru, constantly fighting over him.
- Subverted in To Love Ru, early on Rito much prefered the shy Haruna to the comparitively aggressive Lala, but ends up falling in love with both anyway.
- In Ludwig Revolution, Ludwig is constantly on the lookout for a cute girl to become his wife. Consistently, throughout the entire series thusfar, the extremely well endowed, scantily clad witch Dorothea has been throwing herself at him. He's annoyed with her, and it becomes apparent that she's the girl he's least interested in.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn. So far in the series, Tsuna has blushed and felt his heart flutter for every main girl character (Obviously Kyoko, Bianchi, Chrome, Lal Mirch, even Uni) except Haru. Out of all of them, towards Tsuna, she is the most aggressive and direct in her pursuit (granted, if Bianchi were even interested in Tsuna, she very likely would be the most aggressive). Tsuna makes it very clear that he has no romantic interest in Haru, and constantly has to try to slap down all of her advances.
- Tenchi from Tenchi Muyo! (the original OVA's, at least) seems especially put off by Ryoko's (and occasionally, Washu's) aggressive sexual advances. On the other hand, he seems more romantically interested in polite and reserved Ayeka, girlish Sasami, and spacey Mihoshi.
- Allen from D.Gray-man. Road's very direct and persistent approach did not go over well with him. (Granted, she was his enemy...) And Rohfa's very obvious attempts at courting him don't really seem to be working all that well - in fact, he seems to be deliberately ignoring any romantic implications of her actions, no matter how obvious. On the other hand, he seems to be much more appreciative of the shy, chaste, cute interactions he has with Lenalee. He certainly seemed much more appreciative and attentive of For's Tsundere-ish ways and the way she was shyly trying to console and help him.
- Fruits Basket. Kyo is totally put off by Kagura's overly lovey-dovey, possessive nature. That and her hair-trigger tendency to beat him to a pulp. Their Childhood Marriage Promise was extracted at knifepoint. The manga reveals the reason for her pursuit; the abuse is probably Personality Powers at work.
- Sousuke from Full Metal Panic is this, all the way. Made especially obvious with Tessa, who was actually a gentle, weak Dojikko Damsel in Distress... sounds good so far for the manly ego, right? Only... her pursuit and tactics for chasing him were way too aggressive. To the point where he was actually scared of her, and had to constantly try to protect himself from being taken advantage of by her. Numerous times, she actually slithered out of her bed at night and tried to take advantage of him in his sleep. And unfortunately for her, it's explained that ever since the past, Sousuke has gotten SICK of aggressive admirers trying to rape him. (No, Gauron didn't help his case, either.) On the other hand, the first girl he ever develops feelings for is a bashful Tsundere who expresses her feelings for him in the most
roundhouseroundabout way. And Nami, who was quite similar to Kaname in that aspect, seemed to make his heart flutter the same way.
- The fact that she's his commanding officer seems to have a lot to do with Sousuke's nervousness with her affections. He understands and is comfortable with the power dynamic between a commander and a subordinate, but when she tries to push a more, err, personal element into it, that drives him out of his comfort zone and into a social dimension where he does not know how to respond.
- In Ranma ½, Ranma expresses little to no interest in pretty much every girl that aggressively chases him (which are 100% of his suitors). This is furthered when it's shown that once Shampoo gives up on him and acts aloof, he actually starts pursuing her.
- Ataru from Urusei Yatsura will not give up any opportunity to go out with, ogle, or feel up a girl...except for his hot alien princess fiancee, Lum, who's pretty much the only female who'd be happy to get his attentions. Her tendency to shock him whenever she gets excited and glomps him doesn't help.
- On the other hand, when she vanishes without explanation in one chapter, he is heartbroken and actually cries for her to come back, not to mention goes to great effort to find her. When she leaves for a space ceremony where it seems she might get married to another man, he borrows Ten's very small ship and goes to interfere. And during a harem dream, Lum is present by his side, along with many other girls. In other words, he wants her... but he wants other women, too.
- Russia from Axis Powers Hetalia wants to become one with everybody, especially with the sweet and mild-mannered Lithuania who's more scared of him than anything else. Except for his sister Belarus, the one nation who actively tries to become one with him to the point of reducing him to Tears of Fear.
Belarus: Russia... I've disposed of the doorknob that was keeping us apart... now let's get married... married... married...
Russia: Will you please just go away?
- In Battle Royale, this is directly Lampshaded by Takako Chigusa, during her Tear Jerker Anguished Declaration of Love towards Sugimura. When she asks him if she was ever more than a friend to him, or if they could ever have been more, he hesitates. She then proceeds to joke, "Too intimidating for you, huh?" As Takako is known for being a more aggressive woman, it's later shown that the girl Sugimura likes, Kayoko, was a more gentle, shy girl.
- Daisuke of Bitter Virgin is disgusted by Kazuki's relentless pursuit of him, and instead has feelings for the shy heroine Hinako.
- Hinagiku of Hayate the Combat Butler seems to believe this, thinking that Hayate would think less of her if she did chase him (like the other girls of the series do). In the Golden Week chapters he has shown that he is interested in her, though she is also turning towards the path of chasing him.
- Carrot Glace in Sorcerer Hunters is this trope. He'll chase after a string of random girls, but flee anytime Chocolat Misu offers herself to him (or her and Tira, in the TV anime). Possibly justified in that he grew up with Chocolat and Tira, and can only see them as sisters.
- Yukinari of Girls Bravo is rather wary of girls in general because he's been beat up/bullied by them pretty much his entire life and he developed an allergy to girls as a result. However, it's obvious he likes the sweet, ditzy Miharu and is creeped out by Lisa's constant attempts to abduct and seduce him.
- Nyarko San fits this trope very well. The heroine Nyaruko's perverted love towards the protagonist Mahiro makes her a nuisance towards Mahiro. She (intentionally or not) constantly annoys him so much that he wanted to drive her out of his life whenever there is an opportunity presented. Nyaruko's desire to make kids with Mahiro always drove him to the edge. How does Mahiro fend her off? With his trusty fork!
- Nyaruko gets a dose of Laser-Guided Karma in the form of Cuuko.
- In ehe manga Choku! Nao is constantly disgusted at Serika's pursuit of him and she always have nosebleeds whenever she lays her eyes on Nao.
- For a possibly non-romantic example: Soul is utterly unimpressed when people (all of them girls) request to be his "partner". He doesn't even bother responding to them or making a comment of any sort, which annoys/bothers/worries Maka, his current partner. He is also more annoyed than anything else when Blair decides to follow them home after their failed attempt to eat her soul, although this may be because Maka blames and throws books at him for Blair's suffocating him with her boobs and his subsequent (and no-longer-existent) nosebleed.
- For a romantic but female example, Kim comments that she just wanted Ox to tune down his affections for her.
- Kanba Takakura from Mawaru Penguindrum swears by this trope, explicitely telling his sister (and prospect love interest) Himari that he HATES it when girls follow him around and give him presents like handmade sweaters or lunches. His Clingy Jealous Girl Masako knows it, but she's unfazed and actually goes Dangerously Genre Savvy via delierately invoking this trope on him. (And so does her penguin Esmeralda, who chases after Kanba's penguin #1).
- Ethel from Archie Comics. She was always after Jughead who was continually running away from her.
- Likewise many girls who go after Jughead - one new girl in town was duped by Betty and Veronica into thinking he was a great catch (to divert her away from Archie.)
- Averted by Archie himself in one story where he and the other characters go on strike and talk directly to the actual editors of the comics. Instead of him constantly chasing girls, Archie demands that the script be changed so that the girls chase him. On the other hand, it's played straight in some of the early stories from the 1950s and 1960s, where Archie tends to be put off by Betty when she comes on too strong.
- Likewise many girls who go after Jughead - one new girl in town was duped by Betty and Veronica into thinking he was a great catch (to divert her away from Archie.)
- In one WITCH comic book storyline, a bunch of kids from the girls' school are away on an exchange student program, including three of the girls from the team. One day they run into Martin Tubbs from school, who begs them to hide him from his Stalker with a Crush, a chubby local girl named Mathilda. Since Martin himself is a Stalker with a Crush who has been making moves on Irma since issue one, the irony is obvious.
- In Astro City, Irene Merriweather's fanatical obsession with proving her coworker Adam Peterson is Atomicus (due to being under the impression that this was a game that she was supposed to win and prove herself to him) drove Atomicus to leave Earth forever, because "if this is humanity, I don't want any part in it!" Of course, Atomicus was technically a child in a man's body, born just a year or so before; the glint in his eye that she interpreted as a dare was actually him trying to communicate fear of a world that he doesn't understand. As she would later put it, "I chased him, so he ran."
- Kaito from Ano Natsu de Matteru outright says this much and that he wants to be the one doing the chasing.
- Played with in Justice League Europe: Captain Atom didn't mind being pursued by Catherine Cobert, but he did mind being chased by the Crimson Fox, mostly because the Fox just outright sexually harassed him. She would have qualified as an Abhorrent Admirer, except that that trope specifies that the admirer must be physically ugly, and the Crimson Fox was anything but.
- Common in Die for Our Ship fanfic, when the "rival" to a fan's OTP is portrayed as a shameless hussy throwing herself at the guy and is inevitably told off for being so "brazen." Of course, if the preferred girl does it it's seen as cute...if she does it. This Trixie Belden fic is a prime example.
- This author has many of her heroes being repulsed if a girl chases him. Joe Shimamura ponders how he prefers sweet, gentle souls to outgoing flirts, while Mark is able to tell a fake Princess from the real one by how the fake "comes on too strong."
- Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown.
- "I'm a man, and I prefer to do my own hunting."
- Grandmere claims this in the book version of The Princess Diaries and makes Mia read Jane Eyre as a guidebook to how to get a man.
- In Robert E. Howard's The Vale of Lost Women Conan the Barbarian scornfully tells a woman offering herself if only he will rescue her that she's nothing special, and he could have her without fighting for her anyway.
- In Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, Simon Doyle claims this as the reason that he broke off his relationship with his fiancee Jacqueline and married Jackie's best friend Linnet. He said he was put off by the fact that Jackie loved him more than he loved her, and that "a man wants to own his woman. He doesn't want to feel that she owns him." Simon was being honest about his feelings about possessive women, but it was Linnet he thought was trying to own him, not Jackie.
- Catherine Anderson's novels are almost pathological about this trope. If another woman desires the hero and makes it known through physical advances or flirting, she is portrayed as undeniably evil or at least antagonistic.
Live Action TV
- Friends. Rachel is attracted to a cute guy but he's not asking her out. Pheobe suggests that she simply ask him out instead, but Rachel can't do it because apparently she has never asked anyone out in her entire life, all her relationships having been initiated by guys. So she decides it would make her sound "too desperate" and instead resorts to dropping hint after hint, trying to get the guy to chase her.
Joshua : How do I look?
Rachel : Well, speaking as a single woman, who is available, I have to say you look really good.
- Another Friends example: when Phoebe proposes to Mike, they get booed by an entire baseball stadium and mocked by the announcer because she's the one proposing to him.
- M* A* S* H: Hawkeye meets a lovely young Swedish doctor. He does his Hawkeye thing and tries to seduce her. But he is instantly put off when, over a drink, she makes a move and kisses him.
- Margaret Houlihan later calls him on this, which results in a Crowning Moment of Awesome for her.
- Al Bundy does not like it when his wife comes on to him.
- Bud doesn't like it either, mostly because the women (and one man) who hit on him are usually Abhorrent Admirers. A possible subversion exists when you consider that Bud probably would like to be chased by attractive girls...but being a Bundy, he never is.
- Subverted in Gossip Girl, where Chuck outright tells Blair that it's her turn to chase him now. Which she does.
- Lampshaded on The Red Green Show when Red is talking to a teenage gas station attendant. The middle-aged, old-fashioned Red is more than a little surprised when the attendant says that the girl was the one who asked him out on a date.
- In the All in The Family episode "Mike and Gloria Mix It Up", Mike resents Gloria coming on to him, thinking that the man should make the first move; this sets up a big argument between the two.
- Subverted in Boston Legal. Denise is trying to get Alan Shore to lose interest in her, and attempts to invoke this trope. Hilarity Ensues.
- Daisy Mae's relentless pursuit of Li'l Abner.
- Peanuts had Lucy chase after Schroeder, while Sally chased after Linus.
- In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Demetrius tells off Helena in no uncertain terms when she comes after him.
Demetrius: I'll run from thee and hide me in the brakes,
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
Helena: The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will, the story shall be changed:
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
Makes speed to catch the tiger; bootless speed,
When cowardice pursues and valour flies.
- However, Helena is not happy with this situation either, and says woman "were not meant to woo."
- In Tales of Legendia, this is a probable reason for why Senel didn't really seem all that interested in either Shirley or Chloe. Both were definitely pretty aggressive about their feelings for him. And the girl he loved the most (for, pretty much, most of the game) was Stella.
- Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury seems to provoke this in Andy Bogard. His feelings for her emerge only in situations when she's not pressing him to feel attracted to her.
- Ruto from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time has traits of this, especially in Fanon.
- Sonic the Hedgehog is really turned off by Amy's constant advances. In one game he complains about so many girls being attracted to him.
- But it really seems Sonic doesn't seem to quite understand attraction either that or he just seems clueless because he's Asexual or is actually just annoyed by it becuase he's a Celibate Hero and avoids it on purpose.
- He does, however, treat Amy quite well considering, and in Sonic Chronicles, you can even unlock a romance subplot with her depending on how nice the player acts towards her. But most of the time, she's so obsessed with the idea of him not just going out with him, but with marrying him, that it's just a little bit off-putting, verging on creepy in some games.
- The Touhou Hentai Doujinshi Whimsical Parasite has Yukari randomly gap into the house of some guy. Said guy doesn't like it that Yukari has the advantage over him, and tries to turn the tables. In fact, nearly any scene of Yukari being dominant gets cut short either by the end of the chapter or the guy claiming that he's too tired.
- In fact, there's a lot of doujinshi like that: If a girl starts in the lead, expect the guy to turn the tables. Happens too often for comfort.
- Lampshaded in Final Fantasy IX, when Eiko's hitting on Zidane makes him realize what he's probably been putting Dagger through. That said, Zidane doesn't seem too bothered by Eiko chasing him-the reason he doesn't return her affections, of course, is the fact that she's only six years old.
- Interestingly subverted in Persona 3 Portable. While the Male Protagonist relationships with up to six girls are automatically romantic in context, the Female Protagonist has to fulfill certain conditions in order to get hers to turn romantic.
- Inverted in the Union society in Culpa Innata, which is built entirely on "scientific principles". It's the women who are expected to chase men, but only for the same purpose as Hollywood assumes men chase women in Real Life: sex and brief relationships. Long-term attachment is frowned upon in the Union and marriage... sorry, "nuptual agreements" are against the law. This is problematic for immigrants from so-called "rogue states" (e.g. Russia, China, India), which have more traditional values. A couple of Russian "primary sexual partners" is present in the game who were married back in Russia. Many women interviewed by the protagonist claim to have been hit on by the Russian man, only to feel disgusted. The Russian woman, in contrast to the Union women, is shown to be fairly passive and appears to be unlikely to engage in "the Chase".
- Largo from Megatokyo is dramatically turned off when Erika becomes aggressive. Especially Egregious since his first encounters with her involved him hitting on her and her breaking his arms.
- It's not that she was aggressive it's because she thought that all he was interested in was sex and that he wouldn't be interested afterward.
- Misfile: Male-to-female Gender Bender Ash very much likes Missi, and feels truly happy while dating her -- but becomes extremely uncomfortable upon realising that Missi is playing the traditionally masculine "pursuer" role in the relationship, always trying to convince Ash to get physically intimate, while Ash is the one who keeps resisting in a stereotypically feminine way. Somewhat justified because Ash is trying to hold on to his male identity despite the Gender Bender, and so whenever he finds himself playing a traditionally feminine role in any context, he sees it as a sign of the impending destruction of his "male psyche". Ash feels much safer being attracted to the more traditionally feminine Emily.
- In Girls Only, the only way to get JC to stop flirting with Myke is for Myke to flirt back, and harder. This causes JC to get flustered blushy and retreating.
- Fifi LaFume on Tiny Toons, during the rare cartoons where she's the main character instead of an extra, will obsessively pursue any reasonably attractive appropriately-aged male. This is fitting, since she's a kinda-copy of Pepe LePew, another skunk from Looney Tunes who carried this tendency.
- It's interesting to note that he frequently chases any animal he perceives to be a female skunk, and most often he pursues a shy female cat named Penelope Pussycat. While she's turned off by his overly aggressive behavior and odor, she is nevertheless attracted to Pepe and has, on more than one occasion, been shown to harbor an equally powerful desire to chase, capture and smother Pepe in overwhelming amounts of passion and romance (much to Pepe's fright, as he, perhaps because of him being accustomed to being the chaser and not the chasee, has an ironic phobia of women trying to capture him).
- In all fairness, Fifi's relentless pursuits toward any male are more or less justifiable, as Fifi is more of a sympathetic nature than her Looney Tunes counterpart.
- On The Fairly Odd Parents, Timmy is considerably creeped out by Tootie's constant advances. He also finds Veronica creepy, despite her being almost on par with Trixie in terms of beauty.
- Todd on the Animated Adaptation of Wayside School isn't amused at Maurecia's affections, though in one episode he admits he simply doesn't want a girlfriend.
- The Kanker Sisters seem to inspire abject terror in the Eds due to their constant romantic pursuits, though they seem to inspire non-romantic terror in pretty much everyone else.
- Subverted on Hey Arnold. In one episode Helga advises Rhonda to act attracted to her Stalker with a Crush, Curly, assuming this sudden reversal will drive him away. Hilarity Ensues.
- As suggested above, many of Pepe LePew's cartoons end with a reversal where the object of Pepe's affections no longer sees him as an Abhorrent Admirer and begins to chase him. No matter how hard Pepe pursued the poor girl before hand, Pepe is universally horrified by aggressive women and the cartoon ends with him running away from her.
- When Kim Possible, under the influence of the "Moodulator", pursued Ron Stoppable, Ron was scared half to death, partly from the prospect of losing Kim's friendship if a romance between them didn't work out. Drakken was having the same trouble with Shego during that episode. When the Moodulator shifted from "romance" to "rage" it got worse!