Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"O listen to him and his saxophone
Our musical genital unicorn
He's very well hung with his golden horn"

—"Night Magic", Leonard Cohen

A short riff on the saxophone used to indicate the arrival or presence of a sexy woman. Second only to the "bow-chicka-wow-wow" guitar when people make jokes about "porno music".

It's hard to do subtly.

The muted trumpet can be used to similar effect.

The history of this trope comes from that the roots of jazz and R&B were musicians playing in brothels and burlesque houses. The musicians were supposed to play Mood Music to, ahem, enhance the experience. Many jazz musician's nicknames were often euphemisms, like Jelly Roll Morton, which reflected their roots as brothel musicians.

Compare other Mood Motifs. Not to be confused with the device in Brave New World.

Examples of Sexophone include:


  • A recent ad[when?] for Zoosk features a woman fantasizing about a sexy scene with a guy, accompanied by a sultry saxophone riff. And the riff promptly cuts off as soon as they smack their skulls into each other during an attempted kiss, and again when he bumps her head into a bedpost.

Anime and Manga


Two naked men appear and come after her. Luckily, no saxophones are playing at the time, so it becomes an action movie.

  • The love theme from Blade Runner, composed by Vangelis and featuring a sax performance by Dick Morrissey.
  • Used in Goldfinger when Pussy Galore's Flying Circus leave their planes.
  • Spoofed in The Naked Gun 33 1/3, as the camera pans up the Femme Fatale's ankles... to her knees... to her ankles...
  • This is used in Felidae of all things.
  • When Laura Kensington (a first-class Femme Fatale) shows up in The Curse of the Jade Scorpion, the music shows right up with her.
  • Played for Laughs in Tango and Cash when Cash dresses in drag to escape from a nightclub.
  • The muted trumpet version is used for Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. This is further expanded on when Monroe reveals to one of the main characters (Who is a Saxophone player himself) that she has a "thing" for Sax players, detailing her romantic exploits with other Sax players.
  • Plays when Milo first meets Helga Sinclair in Atlantis: The Lost Empire
  • The main theme from Grindhouse/Planet Terror, which plays over Cherry's go-go dance routine, and later given the action treatment in "Cherry's Dance of Death" when she has her big asskicking scene later in the movie.
  • Dmitri Shostakovich's Second Waltz, which Stanley Kubrick used as the opening theme in Eyes Wide Shut.
  • A Running Gag in The Movie of Our Miss Brooks is a sexophone riff that plays everytime Miss Lonelyhearts gets up from her desk and walks through the newspaper office.
  • Played with, along with Feet First Introduction, with a trombone in Airplane!. Turns out the owner of the sexy legs is playing it.
  • A Running Gag in Fatal Instinct; the Femme Fatale is always accompanied by a steamy sax tune because a professional sax player follows her around, providing her with a theme tune while hiding in hallways, closets, even in her bed.


  • In the novel Brave New World, the hedonistic Dystopia actually renamed the musical instrument the sexophone. (That is, if it really is the same instrument and not something... different.)
  • Played with in Douglas Adams' The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul:

"There emerged from the car a pair of the sort of legs which soundtrack editors are unable to see without needing to slap a smoky saxophone solo all over, for reasons which no one besides soundtrack editors has ever been able to understand. In this particular case, however, the saxophone would have been silenced by the proximity of the kazoo which the same soundtrack editor would almost certainly have slapped all over the progress of the vehicle."

Live-Action TV

  • One of the oddest examples was in the miniseries adaptation of James Clavell's Noble House. One of these was used every time Venus Poon showed up. It doesn't matter if you agree with Clavell's politics. That sticks out like a sore thumb in his kind of stories.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000 has made a few jokes about this.
    • In The Brain That Wouldn't Die, this type of music plays (as the Villain Protagonist trolls for potential victims) and Tom Servo quips, "It's a sleazy morning out there. You're listening to KPORN, Holmes and Reems in the Morning, playing sleazy, slutty music all morning long. Here's one by Skinny and the Sweat Beads..."
      • Mike brings the riff back later when the music makes its reappearance. "Stay tuned for the obscene phone call of the day, on KPORN."
    • In The Horrors of Spider Island, there's a muted trumpet playing as a bikini-clad model showers. Crow quips, "Those musicians who play muted trumpet solos must love these movies."
      • And "I wasn't even acting sexy until the slutty sax music started!"
    • Tom Servo was prone to doing the mute-trumpet riff on occasion; his voice actor Kevin Murphy still does in various Riff Trax.
  • Used a lot in Scrubs, along with copious amounts of Gaussian Girl and Hot Wind whenever an attractive female character is first introduced.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation in "The Royale". Lampshaded by Sci Fi Debris in his review of the episode:
  • Also happens in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy", where the Doctor programs himself to randomly daydream. Given that the Doctor's programming would make him Genre Savvy as hell about this kind of information, it's perfectly logical that an extremely exaggerated version of this trope plays when he slips into a daydream about Seven of Nine, B'Elanna, and Janeway all shamelessly flirting with him. It's hilarious.
  • The theme tune to Square One TV (not the remixed version, which replaced it with a synthesizer).
  • When discussing Rep. Weiner's tweets on The Daily Show, a shirtless cameraman shows up in the background playing the sax riff from George Michael's song "Careless Whisper".
  • Used once in Buffy the Vampire Slayer as Buffy, under the influence of a love spell, enters the library wearing a raincoat, heels, a smile, and nothing else. Interestingly, the sax riff telegraphs her intent (to seduce Xander) every bit as much as her arrival.
  • Boy Meets World uses this once when Topanga enters the room in a sexy nightgown to show that she is finally ready to have sex with Cory, in one of her very few fanservice-y moments in the show.
  • The Munsters used this at least once, when Grampa's latest invention turned Herman into a woman.
  • In Flower Boy Ramyun Shop a sexy saxophone tune plays when Eun Bi pulls Chi Soo in for a kiss, as she was playing his own game (of seducing people because he can and then dropping them) against him.


  • Miss Saigon features a wailing saxophone song just prior to the leads having sex.
    • They actually refer to it during the song, singing "a song, played on a solo saxaphone..."
  • All over the place in City of Angels.

Video Games

  • Spoofed in Mother 3, as it is the Leitmotif of the not-quite-so-sexy Magypsies. The saxophone there had a weird, reverberated, distorted kind of sound to it.
    • Later on in the game, it even serves as a Musical Spoiler as to the true identity of Fassad as Locria, the seventh Magypsy.
  • Persona 4 has the track Muscle Blues, which is essentially the theme song for a character's fairly gay Shadow.
    • Hiimdaisy's comic, along with the fandub, manages to make the above so much funnier. "I'm Kanji Tatsumi, and I enjoy naked men! Oh yeah~"
    • Ayase/Alana in Persona. "Ow, my chest hurts!"
    • Lisa/Ginko in Persona 2 also has the Tempt/Seduce like Ayase above, with the sexophone to match. She can also drag Maya and an unwilling/embarrassed Yukino to do a triple seduce... with the sexophone to match.
  • A long saxophone solo is played when Fortune first appears in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. Granted, she's not particularly fanservice-happy, but she's one of only three female characters in the game.
  • Makes up EVA's theme tune in Metal Gear Solid 3, almost as a parody.
  • Bully plays a sexophone riff whenever the hero finishes a mission that ends with getting a kiss from one of the girls.
  • Krystal. At least in Star Fox Adventures, when Fox sees her.
  • In Spore, a cheesy sax riff plays when the player mates in Creature Stage. If this sounds steamy to you, you'll be disappointed to find that the mating dance consists of the two creatures waving their butts at each other.
  • In the arcade game "Silent Scope", a short riff plays when you find a woman in the background and point your sniper rifle at her. It helps that the character you're playing as gasps "Wow!" at the same time. (You get a bonus life point for this.)
  • Here's this gem from the ESRB's description of Trauma Team: Female patients are asked to explain their symptoms, then lift up their shirts for closer inspection. The scene contains no nudity, but a saxophone can be heard playing in the background as a male doctor makes the following remarks: "Can she really be that thin?," "dayum!," and—after doctor's heart rate increases—"It's only natural . . . I'm a straight male."
  • Martine's theme in The 7th Guest
  • Candi's theme in Donkey Kong 64

Western Animation

    • Also, Bleeding Gums Murphy's album "Sax on the Beach".
  • Shego makes an entrance (at 1:20) as a distraction, with squealing trumpet.
  • In Disney's Hercules, a sexophone riff shows up when Megera says to Hercules, flirtatiously: "I'm a big tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything."
  • The Sexophone is played in The Emperor's New School whenever Kuzco sees Malina.
  • The same sexy saxophone riff shows up in all of MGM's golden age cartoons whenever an attractive female shows up, like Tom and Jerry and shorts by Tex Avery.
  • The same three-note sting is played every time someone on 6teen looks "sexy", whether female or male.
  • Both played straight and averted in The Ren and Stimpy Show. The sexophone was used both upon arrivals of attractive women, as well as various scenes involving Stimpy (e.g. a scene of him stripping of his fur before going skinny-dipping).
  • In Family Guy‍'‍s viewer request episode, Peter wishes for his own personal soundtrack from a genie. The music engages in some Mickey Mousing, but when Peter and Lois are about to get intimate it turns into funky Sexophone music.
    • And there's the two of them engaging in "phone sax", which is playing sexy saxophone songs over the phone to each other. Lois does it with her vagina.

Peter: "Don't wash the mouthpiece."

  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Beauty and the Beet", this is used for Hot Scientist Rhoda Dendron.
  • One would occasionally be played for Rosie O'Gravy from Dog City. Specifically whenever Ace Hart has an internal monologue in which he thinks fondly of her. Given the animated segments of the series parody classic detective stories, this is perhaps not surprising.

Other Media

Real Life