Hot Librarian

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Librarians give great subtext, if you catch my drift.


Booth: All right, what I want you to do is take off your glasses, shake out your hair, and say, "Mr. Booth, do you know what the penalty is for an overdue book?"
Brennan: Why?

Booth: ...Never mind.
Bones, "The Passenger in the Oven"

A very attractive but prim and prudish woman, who would be gorgeous if she would just take off the glasses (or not), let down her hair, and unbutton her top button (or not, even without blueshifting). However, they tend to prefer more intellectual pursuits. (Too bad she didn't become a Hot Scientist.) Sometime during the course of the season, the character will be forced to do all of these things to solve some sort of problem involving a lecherous man, but will always manage to escape the situation without sex.

Naturally, there's a segment of people who find this the reason they're hot in the first place. Possibly there's also a hope that she's deeply familiar with stuff in the 155.3 or 613.9 sections of the Dewey Decimal Classification System.

Contrast Scary Librarian, see also Beautiful All Along. Compare Hot for Teacher. Note that the character doesn't actually have to be employed as a librarian to fit this trope, as long as they fit the physical description (glasses, skirt, hair in a bun etc.) and share the same character traits (nerdy, shy and sexy). This is also common among school teachers, especially in Westerns and Historicals.

Compare Cute Bookworm for shy, sweet characters that like to read a lot.

Examples of Hot Librarian include:


Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]


Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • Mahou Sensei Negima has a rare male example in Albireo Imma. In-series, the girls comment on his attractiveness, and he lives under the huge Library Island surrounded by thousands of books.
  • Cecilia Lacques from Claudine, who works as a librarian in the local all girls's school and catches the attention of the main character due to her beauty. And she was one of the lovers of Claudine's father, actually. It all ends in tears.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Diana Prince in Wonder Woman, whose unbuttoning is part of her transformation into the titular character.
  • Similarly, Barbara Gordon, secretly the first Batgirl in the Batman comics and the Batman TV show. Even as the wheelchair-bound computer hacker Oracle, she's drawn as hot with glasses, simply proving that Nerds Are Sexy.
    • Bonus points for being an actual librarian back when she was Batgirl.
  • Empowered's "much-vaunted disguise, the legendary Librarian Sexy", drawn to the hilt.
    • She even Lampshaded Trope it when she first wore said outfit (as bait), wondering if anyone would be fooled by her "librarian-from-a-porn-movie" getup... seconds before being drugged, bound, and gagged by the villain of the short.
    • When she gets home in that issue, she's trying to brag to Thug Boy about her mission, but his POV of her outfit keeps shoving her talk bubbles out of the frame. Eventually he just grabs her and carries her to the bedroom.
  • Hillary Page from the Fables Spin-Off: Jack Of Fables. She even wears a T-Shirt that says "Hot Librarian."
    • Arguably, the three Page sisters qualify under this. Jack seems to think so. At least until he discovers that they are actually his half-sisters.
  • Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, secret identity/other personality of Alpha Flight's Aurora, dresses like a hot librarian, but she's a school teacher.
  • A male example; Khan from the library of time in Gold Digger.
  • Dark Avengers gave us Victoria Hand.


Fan Work[edit | hide]

    • Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic fits this trope as far as personality goes, but she's more of a Cute Librarian than a hot one. In fanart however, it's quite popular to go this route with her, especially when she's drawn as a human.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Jessica, a schoolteacher and the future Mrs. Claus from Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, right down to the Letting Her Hair Down and taking off her glasses.
  • Rachel Weisz's character from The Mummy Trilogy actually is a librarian. And extremely hot. Apparently they discover contact lenses or laser surgery in the twenties, though, because she never puts the glasses back on after the first time she takes them off.
    • Arguably, they're reading glasses, and she doesn't need them to see other things. At least until the sequel, in which she is required to read again, and still doesn't put the glasses back on.
  • Mary Bailey in Its a Wonderful Life - in a world without George Bailey, she's a spinster librarian. (But still hot!)
  • Carolina (Salma Hayek), in Desperado, although she, like the entire town, acts as a mule for the Big Bad's money; the library is just a front.
  • Lara in Doctor Zhivago spends some time as a librarian.
  • Best Film Noir example: the rare-books shop girl Marlowe encounters in The Big Sleep, who whips off her glasses, lets her hair down and closes up the shop suggestively (with Marlowe still in it) at the end of her scene.
    • Oddly enough, this scene, and the one with the taxi driver offering Marlowe her number, don't happen in the book, where Marlowe's ability to control his sexual desires is a big part of his character. However, even in the book, Marlowe notes that the bookshop clerk is very good-looking for a Jewish girl, so the trope stands.
      • Marlowe is very much in control in the movie as well; he's just luckier.
  • In Tomcats, Jerry O'Connell dated a librarian at one point. She's prim, proper, a bit shy and lives with her Gramma. Oh, and they're both into S&M.
  • The Librarian from The Station Agent definitely quantifies as an HL.
  • In Orange County, Jack Black's character unleashes the inner beast within prim desk clerk Mona (played by Jane Adams). She tries to stop him from breaking into the building and he suggests they start a revolution together. Later they're shown lying down, possibly having slept together, getting high. She ends up being an accessory in burning down the building (metaphorical for her inner sexuality-fire-having been lit up)
  • Lucy Sherwood in The Man Who Never Was was this. Her roommate was an intell analyst who was a Lady of War.
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal in Secretary is not technically a librarian (see Sexy Secretary) but fits the trope well.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • One of the ultimates is Elizabeth Peter's Jaqueline Kirby. She was a pre-Amelia Peabody Emerson, and though never as popular as that character ended up with I believe six or seven excellent third-person mysteries to her name. She is, when she lets herself "unbutton" (i.e. takes off her glasses, lets down her hair, and...well, unbuttons her blouse) a gorgeous redhead who manages to turn men to a weak-kneed jelly and is a remarkably proficient sleuth.
  • Miss Christobel Charteris, the female lead from Florence Barclay's book Through the Postern Gate. Also The Ojou.
  • On the Discworld, Sacharissa Cripslock (introduced in The Truth) was a prim and severely-dressed young woman who impressed her new boss, newspaper editor William de Worde, as no more than average-looking. However, he eventually realised that she was in fact stunningly beautiful if considered over several centuries - the equivalent of a Renaissance face, pre-Raphaelite eyes, Classical figure and, for some reason, "good medieval ears". And that as just her face; her body featured "a well crafted supply of other features that never go out of fashion at all", and for some reason she seemed to think that wearing extremely plain dresses would downplay this fact.
  • In the Wild Cards series, Jennifer Malloy, also known as the elite thief Wraith, almost qualifies. She's a very attractive blond, a librarian in the New York Public Library's rare books collection, dresses down and puts her hair up as a librarian (as Wraith she wears a black string bikini, a mask and ballet slippers)... but I don't think she wears glasses.
  • Played for Laughs with Miss Laburnum from Margaret Mahy's The librarian and the robbers.
  • Lirael, from the Old Kingdom books, may not wear glasses, and hides behind her hair rather than keeping it tied back, but its implied that she's good looking at several points, and is actually a librarian, specifically, a second assistant librarian in the great library of the Clayr, which is filled with all sorts of dangerous things, as well as books.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Jill Taylor in Home Improvement. In one episode, she and her husband debate whether she can succeed in a job interview without being good-looking. She puts her hair up in a bun and goes for the "librarian look" and Tim admits that he's more attracted to her than ever.
  • Subverted with Kitty on Arrested Development: after GOB tells her to take off her glasses and let her hair down, he shrieks at her ugliness/crosseyedness and requests she undoes them. Later, he tries various combinations of these, to no avail.
    • Of course, all efforts to make her look ugly aside, Judy Greer, who plays Kitty, is actually very attractive.
  • An episode, "Page Turner" of CSI: NY featured a fairly attractive librarian. She was, however, "hot" for another reason - she'd been murdered with radioactive Thallium 201.
  • In the first episode of Dollhouse, Eliza Dushku puts her hair up, wears severe clothes and glasses, and looks completely different. Still hot, but completely different. (She's actually a negotiator, not a librarian.)
    • Also Bennett although with a side of Ax Crazy. It's even lampshaded by Topher.
  • Wesley from Buffy the Vampire Slayer has the prim, stuck up, sexually awkward look down to a tea.
  • Joanna Frankel, one of the Power Trio on Eastwick, has a habit of looking up from under her ridiculously hot glasses.
  • In the Seinfeld episode "The Library", Kramer hooks up with a fetching librarian: "...she needs a little tenderness. She needs a little understanding. She needs a little Kramer."
    • "Yeah, and then she's gonna need a little penicillin!"
  • in the 1972 ABC TV movie Second Chance, the 1960s sex symbol Juliet Prowse played teacher Martha Foster, who didn't exactly look like the prim and proper frontier teacher heroine Geoff Smith (played by tough guy actor Brian Keith) was expecting to find.
  • Liz Lemon is called this by the 25-year-old coffee boy on Thirty Rock.
  • Tara Carlisle, the attorney of one of the Leverage team's clients, is obviously not a librarian, but she still sort of fits this trope (enough that on meeting her in person for the first time, Hardison calls her "one sexy librarian"). Or at least, she would fit the trope, if she were a real person, rather than a part played by a grifter auditioning for the team. She passed.
    • A more straight example is Maggie, Nate's ex-wife. She is an art expert, which is how she and Nate met.
  • Kelso on That '70s Show ended up impregnating a beautiful librarian, played by Shannon Elizabeth.
  • Lilith Sternin on Cheers and Frasier. She's actually The Shrink, but fits this trope by appearance and personality.
  • On the Britney/Brittany episode of Glee, Britney Spears adopts this look when she's playing the teacher in the Rachel's dream sequence (to the song "Baby One More Time" of course). Rachel, for her part, adopts the Catholic School Girls Rule outfit for the song, in imitation of Britney in the original video.
  • On a Community Valentines Day episode, Troy and Abed both fall for a sexy librarian. Being good friends, they agree to let her decide between the two of them at the holiday dance.

Troy: Why does being a librarian make her even hotter?
Abed: They're keepers of knowledge. She holds the answers to all our questions, like 'Will you marry me?' and 'Why are there still libraries?'

  • On Leverage, Tara was called this during her first appearance before it was realized that she was actually a grifter. Sophie has also played this type of role on occasion.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Lisa Loeb has the look.
  • The music video for Tears for Fears song Head Over Heels features a Hot Librarian.
  • The journalist in the music video for Adam Ant's "Goody Two Shoes." Complete with the glasses-off, hair-down, top-button bit at the end.
    • In fact, Adam Ant seems to do this rather a lot. While not strictly this trope, "Strip" music video has a very prim, proper woman in glasses shown throughout the clip, until the end, when she flips out, kicks over a table and, you guessed it, takes off the glasses and starts to strip
  • The Beatles' "Lovely Rita" has the characteristics of a hot librarian.
  • My Morning Jacket has a song off of Evil Urges called "Librarian", which includes the lyrics "Simple little bookworm,/Buried underneath/Is the sexiest librarian./Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me." It's a really good song, too.
  • The music video for Ludacris' "Splash Waterfalls" features one, getting turned on Ludacris through webcam.
  • The woman in Toto's "Africa" video.
  • Helena Bonham Carter in Rufus Wainwright's "Out of the Game" music video.

Myth and Legend[edit | hide]

  • The modern Hot Librarian is anticipated in spirit by Athena from Classical Mythology: virgin, warrior, goddess of wisdom, protector of civilization. Also, quite hot, and desired—but never actually achieved -— by any man, god, titan, or other being. Older Than Feudalism.


Theater[edit | hide]

  • The archetypal (and possibly first) Hot Librarian was Marian Paroo from the play and film The Music Man, who was literally the town librarian.
    • What can I do my dear/ to make it clear/ I love you madly, madly madame librarian, Marion!


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Grace Nakanmura from Gabriel Knight the Adventure Game/Horror series fits this to a T. Especially in the first one.
  • The title character of the game Bayonetta, to the point that people joke about her resemblance to Sarah Palin.
  • Quistis Trepe of Final Fantasy VIII certainly applies for the hot part, if not the librarian. She became a teacher at the age of 18 because she was a prodigy, though she did get fired after a year for not having "good leadership skills" (Seifer was one of her students, and look how that turned out). Even that gets reversed by the end, so it's all good.
  • Victorian Principles, from Leisure Suit Larry 7, a literal librarian example. One of Larry's goals, which he eventually achieves all too well, is to unleash her inner sex maniac, which he accomplishes by swapping one of her books with The Erotic Adventures of Hercules.
  • Jolene from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. On the job, she wears average business attire and glasses, but in the local juice shop, she sports a cocktail dress and loses the glasses. She doesn't actually say her name, just the fact that you already know her rather well.
  • TeeTee in Monster Rancher 4, Ms. Fanservice when you meet her, ends up working for a scholarly type of guy at one point and tries to pull off this trope by adding the librarian with the clothes and letting her own looks supply the "hot".
  • The Professor from Contact reacts to Terry's apparent crush on Nadia by saying she has a sort of "Evil Librarian" vibe to her.
  • Yuuko from Katawa Shoujo is one of these when she's not working at the café.


Web Comics[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Marina Orlova, a.k.a. Hot for Words, built herself on this trope. A beautiful young Russian philologist, she publishes weekly YouTube videos defining and exploring the etymologies of requested words and phrases... all the while reminding her viewers that intelligence is really sexy.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Silvia Marpole from An Extremely Goofy Movie is just like this, seeming to have never got over the end of the 70's and turned to books to compensate. Later in the film, Goofy, who never really noticed the decade was over, manages to convince her into a Beautiful All Along moment (with bell bottoms and boobtubes, no less!)
  • The Simpsons has an episode in which Marge and Lisa go to see the movie Tango de la Muerte, in which an aspiring champion dancer rejects all other partners to prefer a librarian "who's only read books on dancing". The dancer then takes her in his arms and spins her around a couple of times, prompting her glasses to fall off, her hair to come undone, and the top button of her blouse to pop off, precisely in that order.
    • Lisa has a crush on an older boy who works in the library, even though he's a Jerkass.
  • Professor Bertinelli, the secret identity of the Huntress, in Batman the Brave And The Bold.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Might as well add it because it's going to be mentioned a lot over the next few years... Sarah Palin, former governor of Alaska, former Republican vice presidential candidate and one-time Miss Alaska runner-up, was described by The Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson as "the hockey mom, who's governor by day, naughty librarian by night" ...
    • ... and logically, also the notorious Sarah Palin impersonator, described in-show as a Hot Librarian, the lovely Tina Fey.
    • In Bollywood Hero, Chris is informed that Reginald has a friend who can get him a Real Doll that looks like Margaret Thatcher. He recoils in disgust, before saying "Why would I want a Margaret Thatcher doll? Now, a Sarah Palin doll...yeah. That could be fun."
  • Need I Say More? (Not Safe for Work)
  • And of course Kate Beckinsale, who studied language and literature at Oxford. Talk about your study group partners....
  • This picture of Felicia Day has this kind of vibe.
    • Fishnets...
  • This hottie!
    • That's professional cosplayer Yaya Han and the word hottie is an understatement in this context.
  • Pages 296-297, Quiet Please by Scott Douglas, a memoir of a library worker. The section is titled "Corny Library Pickup Lines and How Librarians Effectively Shoot Them Down" which include:
    • "You must have been burning books, because you're looking hot." "My apologies. The new "Harry Potter" is coming out and I was in the back burning the Newberry winners to make room for it."
    • "Can you tell me where I can find books on overcoming a deeply passionate love I have for a librarian?" "636.45 MICH."
    • "Libraries should allow food in the building, because right now I could just eat you up." "Policy is policy, but if you'd really like to change that, the appropriate forms are behind you. Just drop it in the suggestion box when you're done and in due time it will be pulled out and set in the loser pile."
    • "What book would you recommend to help me sweep you off your feet?" "'How to Divorce a Jealous Mad Person.'"
    • "Can you tell me how to spell love? I'm writing a letter to you." "Do you mean the agape love or the love you have for someone you don't have a chance of ever getting?"
    • "Can you settle a bet? My friend says librarians have no life but I say they're wild beasts. Can I take you out to dinner and prove my friend wrong?" "Tell your friend he's right."
  • For you history geeks, Nathan Hale, anyone?
  • In the interest of gender equality we proudly present The Men of the Stacks.
  • Here a librarian and poet explores the "sexy librarian" genre.
  • The videos on Merriam-webster.com has at least one of these.