Above the Influence
"There are names for men who take advantage of women when they are vulnerable, but I shall never rightfully be called any of them."—Kvothe, The Name of the Wind
So Bob's got a crush on Alice. We've seen him looking at her longingly, or heard him saying how good-looking she is. But Alice isn't all that keen on Bob. He may have asked her out and been turned down before, or she may be in a relationship. Or they may be together, and Bob's waiting to take it to the next level, but Alice's waiting for the right time.
But now, there's something different. Now Alice wants sex with Bob, and she wants it now! Maybe she's drunk, drugged, or under some other influence. Maybe she's broken up and on the rebound, or wants to make another guy jealous. Bob's dream has come true!
Only Bob knows that it wouldn't be right. He politely (and often insistently) declines her offer, pointing out that it would be wrong to take advantage of her like this. He often tells her this while she's coming onto him, often in a near-predator manner.
Bob will often then feel bad for possibly hurting a girl's feelings and may get some mocking from people he tells. Occasionally, though, Alice will thank him for being so noble and drop hints that he's actually an OK guy. Sometimes they get it together after this little talk.
This is almost always a guy refusing a girl because on TV, men refusing sex is almost unthinkable. Also note that if the character had slept with the intoxicated person, it might be considered rape, depending on the level of intoxication.
Not to be confused with the American campaign of the same name, part of the US Government's "war on drugs".
Anime & Manga
- In the Ah! My Goddess chapter "Belldandy's Tempestuous Heart", where a mismade love potion has Belldandy doing everything short of ripping off her clothes and shouting, "Take me now!" at Keiichi, he keeps her off because she's not acting like the girl he fell in love with.
- This was adapted into the anime episode Ah! Please don't look at me like that! in the first season. He doesn't know what caused the change, but still refrains; you gotta respect that.
- In Ranma ½|Ranma ½, Ryouga forcefully rejects a female Ranma's amorous advances after the latter was bewitched by a "Fishing Rod of Love." Note that Ryouga, being Ranma's rival (and, often, enemy) is thoroughly freaked out by this, and when push comes to shove, he even goes as far as to attempt to bury Ranma deep in the woods to get her to stop (but can't actually do it anyway).
- In Akikan, Najimi, drunk off soda, is revealing her true feelings and asking Kakeru to do the deed with her, not caring that there are other people around. Kakeru is moral enough and declines.
- Love potions strike twice in Zero no Tsukaima. Although the second time it devolves into massive Les Yay, the non-potion-ed characters are mostly noble.
- Dee spends the majority of FAKE trying to coax Ryo into having sex with him, but when Ryo, emotionally shaken after meeting and being unable to shoot his parents' murderer, comes on to him, Dee backhands him and tells him not to tempt him into taking advantage of him in an emotionally vulnerable state. (He does subsequently try to find out if Ryo really does want it because it's him, but Bikky interrupts them before anything can happen.)
- In Tytania, Lira comes on to Fan Hyulick in an attempt to keep him from leaving, as she needs his help to further her cause. Despite the fact that she makes great omelettes, he declines.
- Toward the end of To LOVE-Ru manga, Yami gets a blast of Celine's pollen and asks Rito on a date, then tries to kiss him. While his refusal may've been at least partly for fear of what she'd do to him after sobering up, she interprets it as this trope. Notably, an issue or so later, she doesn't slash or clobber him for seeing her in a swimsuit.
- There was an earlier incident where Lala accidentally gave almost everyone in her class a Love Potion. Naturally, Rito ended up having to fend off Haruna's advances.
- In Seto no Hanayome, a Love Potion results in Nagasumi having every girl in his school chasing after him. Then when he finally gets home and tries to take a bath, Maki, San, Lunar, Akeno, and Mawari all show up in swimsuits and start coming on to him simultaneously. He ultimately resists, although a side effect of the Love Potion means that San's dad and his own dad both beat the crap out of him.
- In Kaichou wa Maid-sama, when Misaki is hypnotized into acting as though she's drunk and starts trying to take off her clothes, Usui rolls her up in a blanket rather than taking advantage, in spite of having already made his interest in her very clear.
- In Trigun: Badlands Rumble, Vash, being the Chivalrous Pervert that he is, could have taken advantage of Amelia when she was drunk, but instead offered to simply carry her home, much to her expressed dismay. It didn't help that she couldn't hold her booze and ended up throwing up on him on the walk back to her hotel room anyway.
- A variation of this occurs in How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord. Initially, Sakamoto is an Otaku who has fantasized about the scantily clad female characters in his fantasy online game. Thus, when two ditzy (but sexy) would-be sorceresses summon him into said game and accidentally put Slave Collars on themselves, he could likely do anything he wanted to them with no chance of retribution or comeuppance. But he can't make himself. No matter how much he plays the part of a tyrannical demon lord, he's still just playing the part.
- Y: The Last Man gives Yorick, the literal last man on Earth, plenty of opportunity to parlay his status into physical gratification. However, as he himself explains it, he would not feel right taking advantage of women like that.
- Tim Drake, the third Robin, current Red Robin (yeah, seriously, that's his codename now), and Chick Magnet supreme who has probably had more girlfriends than Nightwing, is also the king of Let's Wait a While. So naturally, he politely declined a drunken Rose Wilson's offer to "be friends." Unfortunately, this led to a Not What It Looks Like moment between him and Kid Devil, Rose's other interest.
- The Arabian Nights: On night number one-hundred and eighty-three, two djinn stick the two prettiest mortals they know of, Kamar and Budur, in the same room. Kamar holds off on doing anything to the sleeping Budur because he thinks his dad the king is trying to trap him into showing interest in women, which he'd previously sworn off.
- Part ] of the Knights of the Old Republic fanfic Call Me Mud [dead link].
- In the Firefly fanfic Forward Jayne is rather (pleasantly) surprised when River suddenly starts trying to make out with him. However, he quickly realizes something is wrong, then douses her with ice water to snap her out of it. Shortly afterward, they learn that there's a psychic who has been influencing everyone around them, and that said psychic was deliberately pushing River and Jayne at each other because otherwise River would have been observant enough to recognize said psychic.
- Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery: Austin, for all his womanizing and love of free love, turns down a kiss from Vanessa because she's drunk.
- In Ghostbusters, Peter Venkman (who usually gets Distracted by the Sexy pretty easily) refused Dana, because she was possessed by Zuul. Unlike the others, he did it with insulting zingers.
- "I want you inside me." "Go ahead - no, I can't. Sounds like you got at least at least two people in there already. Might be a little crowded."
- This happens to the central couple in 10 Things I Hate About You, with the girl drunk after a party.
- Although it's a slight subversion in that, rather than think of the male lead in a new light after discovering he is too noble to take advantage of her, the female lead hates his guts for seeing her in a moment of weakness.
- In The Cutting Edge the poor hero refuses the drunken Defrosting Ice Queen, she reacts very badly and yells at him, he goes off alone and depressed and gets very, very drunk, and then The Vamp turns up and of course lacks his nobility...
- Superbad uses this, although having sex is the point of the teenager's plan. It does have him getting together with the girl at the end.It's also subverted somewhat, as Jules is completely sober, and Seth is very much drunk.
- Happens at the climax of Superbad, along with a more toned-down gender-flipped variant.
- The Auteur's Arturo Domingo is a porn creator who seems to be completely above the subject of his films. Seemingly detached and virginal prior to his marriage; and remaining faithful to his wife after. He seems to live vicariously through his star, Frank.
- Mitch in Real Genius comes home to his dorm room to find Sherry Nugil there, on her quest to sleep with the ten smartest men in the world and Mitch has just turned legal. He bolts from her advances and runs to his sweetheart Jordan to tell her what almost happened. Dispirited but incredulous, she asks "Don't you want to do it?" at which point Mitch replies "Yes, I want to do it. Just not with her."
- In The Bobo, Peter Sellers' character declines a drunken offer from Britt Ekland's courtesan character to take advantage of her,possibly because he'd made a wager that he could seduce her, but it had to be in her apartment where it could be confirmed.
- Of course there's Pinto in Animal House, who gallantly declines to take advantage of his 13-year-old date who has passed out (to the disgust of his Shoulder Devil).
- In The Transporter 2, despite finding her attractive and despite her wanting a relationship with him, Frank politely declines, because it would be unprofessional to sleep with the wife of his current employer.
- In Machete, the hero declines a drunk Sartana's advances and merely sleeps with her in his arms. When she wakes up and realizes he didn't take advantage of her, she falls for him.
- After downing the wrong potion, a lady friend of Harry Dresden is feeling rather grabby. Much worse is the fact that Dresden is naked, and they're stuck in a rather small protective barrier that would break should they do anything, and she'd rather grope and tell him to take her right there. There's a bit more than chivalry going on in the situation though; there's a large demon waiting outside the barrier, waiting for them to break the barrier. Look, It Makes Sense in Context, okay?
- In the short story Last Call Harry has a chance to have a threesome with a magically-drunk and very willing Murphy and a goddess (Greek, since you asked). Not only does he violently resist, he also refrains from telling Murphy that she came on to him after the spell wears off and erases her memory of the event. Mind you, that's highly-illegal mind magic, punishable by death.
- All of Harry's interactions with Lara, the current, de-facto head of a species of succubi. Also, with Madeline Raith. It helps that he's protected by love.
- Succubi? Succubuses? stupid latin correspondence course.
- Harry once worked on the set of a porn film. That's how he met Lara, incidentally. When asked if he had tapped that, Harry notes that he's still breathing, so he had to be this trope.
- In regards to his apprentice, Molly. Her dad is one of Harry's two best friends.
- The Summer and Winter Ladies, several times. The Winter Queen, Mab.
- Lasciel can appear to him as anyone, and do anything with him and it'll seem real.
- Harry is surprised when Marcone makes Harry a platinum member of his "health club". Harry and Marcone both know that Harry is this trope in regards to Marcone's... "trainers", but Marcone was actually doing it so that Harry would be too distracted by the good treatment to blow up any of Marcone's buildings. Again.
- The Drizzt Do'Urden novels feature a scene where, possessed by her sword (long story), Catti-brie rushes into Drizzt's room wearing a flimsy nightdress and glomps him. He spends a couple minutes with his brain and hormones going haywire and almost gives in... then he starts adding up certain incongruities and realizes it's not her. They don't get together for years afterward, but their mutual respect jumps several notches.
- Something of this line is implied to happen with Alan and Mae in The Demon's Lexicon.
- Lee from the Hero Series does this to herself, at first starting to seduce Taro while high on music, then breaking it off. Then she comes back to get it on after she sobers up.
- Kvothe from The Name of the Wind finds it best if he doesn't follow up on Denna's request to join her for a swim in the lake after she's been subject to denner resin.
- In Linnea Sinclair's Gabriel's Ghost, Sully's high on some liquid courage and works up the nerve to kiss his long time crush. She resists because he's drunk; if he really wanted her surely he would have made a move when he was sober, therefore it's just the drugs and he'll regret it in the morning. Then he accidentally implies that he's looking for a one night stand, and she gets angry at the insult and walks away.
- Dirk in the Second Sons trilogy proves to be Above the Influence when Tia accidentally gets really high on some very powerful aphrodisiac mushrooms.
- Jake does this with Dark in the Spy High series. She's not actually drunk or on drugs, but he knows that she is just desperate for affection and encourages her to have more respect for herself.
Live Action TV
- Star Trek: Voyager episode "Blood Fever" when B'Elanna Torres had her mating instincts triggered and Tom Paris declined to take advantage of her (they eventually married).
- A similar plot happened in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Bounty" when T'Pol went into premature pon farr. Both Phlox and Reed turn down her offers.
- In "Man of the People", Troi, under attack and Not Herself, comes onto Riker. He backs off and gets slashed across the neck and face with her nails for his trouble.
- An episode of Malcolm in the Middle" had Malcolm get drunk with a girl at a party at Thanksgiving. When the both of them ended up well beyond tipsy until the girl collapses on the floor. She then propositions Malcolm to have sex with her, on the floor, in a room full of people. Malcolm refuses and then ruins his family's Thanksgiving dinner by whining about how he was too moral to take advantage of her (also by vomiting in the turkey).The girl instead of being thankful to Malcolm, she threatens to have her brother beat him up if he tells anyone about her propositioning him.
- Stargate SG-1: "The Broca Divide". Let's just say "Carter," "sweet little tank-top number," and "de-evolution" and leave it at that.
- In The Big Bang Theory, Leonard gets a kiss from Penny, whom he has been nerdily lusting over (while she's wearing a Catgirl suit no less), but then rejects her on the basis that it's more to do with the fact she just had an argument with her ex and was very drunk.
- The duplicate Dax created from Bashir's imagination in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is rather...eager. The scene where Bashir is using his tricorder to try and figure out what is wrong with Dax while she is trying to seduce him is hysterical.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a couple.
- In "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered", Xander is Above the Influence of every female in Sunnydale, particularly Buffy... well everyone except for Cordelia, who the spell was actually intended for. The spell was botched, and she ended up the only woman protected from the spell.
- Oz is Above the Influence with Willow at more than one point.
- Also happens with Giles and Jenny Calender at one point, but she's possessed by a demon at the time, so it soon escalates into a big fight.
- In the Star Trek episode "Dagger of the Mind", Dr. Helen Noel flirts with Kirk, but he refuses to reciprocate. Later on, Kirk is Brainwashed into thinking he's in love with her and she desperately tries to explain what happened, in fact seeming rather creeped out.
- Family Matters did an episode where Steve Urkel gets accidentally splashed with some pheromones and has to fight off aggressive advances from the normally-hostile Laura. At the end she doesn't seem to remember what happened, and the situation reverts to status quo.
- In Friends, although Rachel wasn't technically drunk, her grief over her father's ill health left her feeling vulnerable enough to try and get Ross to console her. However, in spite of their fairly lengthy history (and Ross' six-month dry spell), Ross declines, feeling that he shouldn't take advantage of her in her state of mind. However, in an unusual twist, she holds it against him.
- The subject of a hilarious exchange the night Chandler and Monica first had sex:
Chandler: How drunk are you right now?
Monica: Drunk enough that I want to do this. Not drunk enough that you should feel guilty about taking advantage.
Chandler: That's the perfect amount!
- Cheers had an episode where a depressed Rebecca gets roaring, sloppy drunk and comes on hard to Sam; notorious horndog Sammy, who's been lusting after her since day one, responds in the negative, and gives two reasons: "One, you've been drinking, and a gentleman has his principles. Two, you look kinda disgusting right now."
- In the That '70s Show episode Roller Disco, Fez rejects a drunken Jackie's advances. Bonus points for creative use of the Good Angel, Bad Angel trope (Batman vs. Riddler variant).
- In Ashes to Ashes, Gene shows some noteworthy character development by backing away from a drunk, needy, getting-that-speculative-look-in-her-eye Alex... who proceeds to get even more hammered and jump into bed with, quite literally, the next man who makes eye contact with her, but never mind that.
- Oh so very averted in House, where Chase finds Cameron high on Meth and wastes no time sleeping with her. They end up married a few seasons later. The justification for this is the 'good girl' Cameron really wanted to bang Chase, and the drugs gave her the testicular fortitude to actually do it.
- On an episode of Skins, Michelle breaks up with her boyfriend and practically throws herself at Sid, who has had a crush on her since they were kids. Only he knows she's just doing it because she's upset and that she really loves Tony, who is his best friend, so he ends up refusing her.
- In Dollhouse, Whiskey makes a solid attempt at seducing Topher, mostly in order to Mind Screw him, but he not only turns her down, he is royally creeped out by the whole thing, in spite of the Fetish Fuel staring him in the face. It likely had something to do with the fact that normally she loathes him.
- Echo attempts to seduce Paul as well, but he turns her down because he thinks it's because the Dollhouse mind screwed her.
- A nasty use of Invoked Trope comes into play on the New Zealand soap Shortland Street, where a girl drunkenly comes on to her psychotic Stalker with a Crush, who murdered her brother, among other people, because said brother wouldn't have been cool with his schoolgirl sister dating his thirty something year old friend. Basically, the girl has had a crush on psycho for a long time, but he kinda screwed his chances up when he tried to strangle her for suspecting him of involvement in her brother's death. It's been a while since that happened, but she's still doubtful about a relationship with him. So he shows up, gets her drunk, then invokes this trope when she goes to kiss him. Cue the poor girl deciding that he must actually be a decent guy, and they get together pretty much the next day. It don't work out.
- iCarly: The episode iSaved Your Life'. After risking his life to push Carly out of the way of a truck, Carly is lovestruck and they enter a relationship. Soon, Freddie realizes that Carly is potentially only in love with him because he saved her life, so he tells Carly they should wait a while, and see if she still has feelings for him later.
- In the Firefly episode "Our Mrs Reynolds", Wash manages resist Saffron's attempts to seduce him. Mal conducts himself quite admirably until she shows up naked in his bed, and even then most of the crew berates him for "taking advantage" of her. Also, he appeared to be in the process of backing out on her when the drugs kicked in.
- "But she was naked! and all ... articulate!"
- Ahem. "Special Hell."
- "But she was naked! and all ... articulate!"
- On Lois and Clark while everyone is under the influence of a Love Potion (except Clark himself because he's an alien) Clark spends a good part of the episode fending off a lovestruck Lois (and at this point in the series, she was still in her Loves My Alter Ego phase).
- On The Big C, at a party, some of Adam's friends invite him to basically participate in a gang rape of a drunk girl, but he declines.
- On Eureka, Sheriff Carter refuses Allison's advances when she's under the influence of a plant spore that removes inhibitions.
- The canon explanation for Degrassi the Next Generation's season finale, though there's really no evidence Sean even knew Ashley was on drugs.
- Played With in both directions in How I Met Your Mother, when Robin, after her nasty breakup with Don, tells Ted that she's pretty sure that she'll try to have revenge sex with him in the near future. Ted swears that he'll be Above The Influence, prompting Robin to laugh and explain just how utterly ruthlessly she will stalk and seduce him and have no qualms about exploiting him the first time she catches him in a moment of weakness. However, when she does try this a couple weeks later, the rumors of her wiles turn out to be greatly exaggerated.
- Averted and gender-flipped in the first season episode "The Pineapple Incident", when a sober Trudy eagerly hauls a completely smashed Ted up to his apartment for sex after he propositions her, but of course, no one considers her sleazy or irresponsible at all.
- During Kyou's route in Clannad, Ryou takes a joke Tomoya makes a little too seriously and pretty explicitly offers to sleep with him. However, he declines as he feels it wouldn't be right since he doesn't really love her. Not that he really admits that part yet, instead reasoning that it's far too early in their relationship for something like that.
- In Mass Effect 2, you can't actually complete Jack's romance subplot unless you prove to be above the influence (after all, she won't open up if she thinks you're only interested in her for sex).
- Likewise in Baldur's Gate 2 with Aerie, who will break up with the player for having sex with her prematurely. Normally, the ME2-plot would be somewhat of a recycling, but since Aerie and Jack more or less are polar opposites...
- In Odin Sphere, the only thing Oswald really wants is for someone - anyone - to love him, to the point that he only agrees to kill a dragon for King Odin after Odin offers him his daughter Gwendolyn's hand in marriage as a reward. But when Oswald is told that Gwendolyn is under a spell that will make her love the man who wakes her, he flatly refuses to do so and instead goes out on a mission to find a way to undo it.
- Katawa Shoujo:
- At one point in Hanako's route, she gets quite drunk and becomes very clingy with Hisao. He gets very uncomfortable and tries to put her to bed as quickly as possible before either of them does something they'll regret.
- Something similar happens with Rin after she takes just a little too much cold medicine (active ingredient: codeine). When Hisao visits her, she's only in her shirt and panties and gives him a kiss, but he quickly puts her in bed.
- In Shizune's route, a very emotionally unstable Misha asks Hisao to "comfort" her. Whether he is or not above the influence this time, unlike the others, depends on the player's decision. If he's not, it leads to the Bad End.
- In Something*Positive, Aubrey comes onto Jason while very drunk. He refuses on this basis, for which she thanks him the next morning. In a karmic sort of way.
"But I'm not drunk now..."
- It's explained early on in Erfworld that lower-ranking units will do whatever their superiors tell them to do. It's also implied (and later stated) that while the beings of Erfworld don't reproduce sexually, they do have sexual relations. Parson puts two and two together, and realizes that as a high-ranking strategist he can have his pick of women, without them ever objecting or even conceiving of rejecting his affections—and immediately after thinking of this as "awesome," it hits him hard that this is essentially rape, and he reconsiders (he does spend a lot of time with female soldiers, but apparently he's trying to romance them).
- Maggie is actually surprised that he hasn't taken advantage. The reason he tells her is that the scale difference (they're all at most a quarter his size and half his height) squicks him out and brings up the issue of causing physical injury.
- In Bittersweet Candy Bowl's chapter "Another Shoulder", Lucy goes to Paulo after getting shut down hard by Mike. Paulo just barely resists taking advantage of her throwing herself at him, though a later chapter, "Another Path", explores the possibilities of what would have happened if he hadn't.
- Angus in Questionable Content refuses Marigold's advances toward him while she was drunk, although she truly did have feelings for him.