The Tease

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
"Favours to none, to all she smiles extends"
Robert Browning, "The Rape of the Lock"
"And that is why the girl is called a tease, and that is why the guy is called a sleaze"
The Dresden Dolls, "Shores Of California"

A person who loves to tease others sexually, often the main character. Maybe they'll offer sex, or maybe they show some nude skin for him. Erotic Eating is another tactic. But mostly, they are not being serious. Almost always, the teased person will act in various comical fashions, maybe because he's immature. Since Most Writers Are Male, this Trope is unavoidable for Fan Service. When a show does it to the male audience, it's Hello Boys.

Girls have been accused of this since forever. Sometimes it's true, more often it's wishful thinking, but it does occur in fiction a lot. Occasionally it's given a more dramatic justification when it's revealed that this insincere sexual aggression is really a way of feeling powerful and in control, covering up deep seated emotional insecurities. Thus explaining why they can never act on them. Compare Tsundere and Yandere for other common ways fictional character cover their emotional insecurities.

Almost Always Female, but occasionally gay men are also depicted as The Tease. Almost never applies to straight men though. Often associated with the Bottle Fairy. A standard tactic of The Vamp and the Femme Fatale.

If the target is Not Distracted by the Sexy they might be immune to teasing, expect The Tease to become frustrated and either give up, or up the teasing to dangerous levels. (Possibly with an Aesop when the target suddenly decides to accept their offer at a point when backing off isn't an option anymore).

A trope loaded with Unfortunate Implications and prone to enrage at least some women, because it has sometimes been used as an argument that "she really wanted it" and thereby justifying rape.

Sometimes these unfortunate implications are even Lampshaded with a Gender Bender or a Disguised in Drag scenario. The reverse with a Sweet Polly Oliver incident is rarer, but also tends to be Darker and Edgier.

Not to be confused with either the Innocent Fanservice Girl, or a character who usually doesn't tease people, but ends up in a certain situation requiring them to Show Some Leg.

Sometimes a character might only tease their Love Interest. This might be considered flirting instead of teasing, since the assumption is that that Will They or Won't They? eventually will become They Did. (Denial of the implied sex is what makes a tease a tease, if a tease later puts out her past teasing retroactively becomes flirting).

No real life examples, please; real people are not defined by a single trope.

Examples of The Tease include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Bleach, Yoruichi likes to show herself naked in front of Ichigo, because of his hilarious reactions. To a lesser extent, Rangiku as well.
  • Aiko from Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu is this to the extreme, any appearance she makes is to tease boys, especially Tsuchiya. And when she says she's not wearing any panties or a bra, she is very likely telling truth.
  • Tsuruya in the Suzumiya Haruhi novels really likes suggesting to do some intimate stuff with Kyon (And Mikuru). Kyon doesn't fall for it.
    • In fact, Haruhi herself sometimes does it:

"Swimsuits! Swimsuits! Everyone get dressed in your swimsuits and meet in the hall! Hee hee, I've helped choose these two cuties' swimsuits! You must be looking forward to them, right Kyon?" Haruhi revealed an expression of "I know what you've been thinking already" and smiled evilly, revealing her white teeth.

  • Ranma of Ranma ½ is a Gender Bender thanks to a fall in a Jusenkyo spring. While he desires nothing less then to be cured, he is still more then willing to use his female form's attractiveness to his advantage. In fact, he even seems to enjoy being able to make idiots of other guys simply by getting wet and then playing on their hormones- though he goes more for "cute" than outright sexy, at least by default, and he is not only straight, but prone to reacting violently to those who do try to act on those urges he stirs. Mostly, he uses this to charm guys into giving "her" free food or extra helpings, something a Big Eater always welcomes, but he also enjoys using it to mess with the ever-so-shy (and clueless) Ryoga Hibiki. As two of his enemies, namely Tatewaki Kuno and Happosai, are massive perverts, he also finds himself falling into this routine easily to gain an extra advantage against them. In fact, against Happosai, this is often the only way Ranma can set things up so he can beat the disgusting old lech.
    • Heck, even in his male form he isn't above attempting to use his sex appeal to manipulate (apparent) females. Didn't work so well on the crossdresser Tsubasa, and arguably worked too well on his mirror clone.
  • Urd from Ah! My Goddess does this a lot, especially with Keiichi.
  • Kitsune from Love Hina does this, mainly to blackmail money or to cause trouble for Keitaro.
  • Akemi from Maison Ikkoku definitely counts, unfortunately she's not very good at making clear she's just joking.
  • Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo! Of course she means her offers towards Tenchi, but she teases others.
  • Naruto's Sexy Jutsu, which appears to turn him into a naked woman. This results in The Nose Bleed for any male who sees it.
    • Well, except for Killer Bee, who Won't Work On Mes the Harem Jutsu, Sexy Jutsu's upgraded version.
  • Dokuro from Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan acts this way to the main character Sakura, when she's not brutally murdering him with her giant club.
  • Ami from Toradora!! occasionally tries it with Ryuuji. It mostly seems to be a way for her to grab attention while keeping on top of the situation.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has Evangeline order her Robot Girl squad to strip Negi naked and throw him into the bath with her while she changes to her her busty adult form, only for her to start phrasing things in the dirtiest way possible before licking the cut on his arm. ** Kinda makes you wonder what Evangeline would do if she saw the magically aged up Negi in the Magical World arc, doesn't it?
    • To a lesser extent, a number of girls in the class make liberal use of Marshmallow Hell (especially Ayaka). Of course, Negi is ten, so none of the girls actually get anywhere.
    • Konoka may or may not be one of these towards Setsuna. No one can seem to agree on whether Konoka is intentionally flirting or if she's oblivious of Setsuna's feelings toward her.
      • Chapter 252 makes it quite obvious that she is. She kisses Setsuna, explains that she's aware of all of Setsuna's angst regarding her own weakness, and tells Setsuna that she's strong enough and wants to be with her. She then proceeds to give Setsuna the longest, deepest, and most enthusiastic Pactio kiss yet shown in the entire series. Complete with lots of tongue. It takes two pages to properly illustrate.
      • The question is whether she really didn't understand or if it was merely Obfuscating Stupidity. There are hints that she already knew about magic (and her own ability to perform it) before she was officially let in on the secret, so this wouldn't be out of character.
  • Kazuma of Kaze no Stigma for a rare straight male example. It's very clear how she feels but by the end of the show he's still just teasing, even though he's inadvertently revealed that she's the closest living person to him now. Platonic? Romantic? Go read the light novels, maybe it's revealed there.
  • Holo from Spice and Wolf loves to tease her partner Lawrence- not with her body (they both have a pretty casual approach to nudity) but just by flirting with him about their relationship. Lawrence is quite capable of holding his own, though. The dialogue is so well written it's reminiscent of the movies of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.
    • Lawrence seems to be well able to give back all that he gets in this department. Despite her years (centuries) more experience, he seems to do better in the long run with this trope.
    • Lawrence ups his game in the second arch or season two. At that point, he was almost matching her blow for blow and and actually "won" once.
  • Sei of Mariasama ga Miteru has this trope written all over her. Most of her obviously sexual teasing is directed at Yumi, though.
    • Sachiko is also not above acting seductively toward Yumi, especially in the first and fourth anime seasons.
  • Hagino from Blue Drop starts doing this toward Mari as she gradually breaks through her composed stance.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. Asuka does this all the time to Shinji (when she's not angrily berating him for allegedly perving on her). One example is when Asuka demonstrates "thermal expansion" by cupping her hands over her breasts and asking him to calculate how much bigger they've become as a result. Shinji stammers that he doesn't know anything about all that.
    • At one point, she pulls a curtain between them and calls it the "Wall of Jericho," ostensibly warning him not to come near her. It's not clear if she's intentionally dropping a hint, but Bible-savvy viewers will remember that the Wall of Jericho is best known for falling down.
      • During her utterly awful Mind Rape at the...wings? of Arael, it is made clear that she knew very, very well what happened to the Wall of Jericho, and was hoping Shinji did too. This being Evangelion, he didn't.
  • Bakemonogatari has nine minutes straight of Hitagi starting naked, getting dressed and undressed again in front of Koyomi. Then the next episode starts with her talking about how beautiful she is and constantly skipping for absolutely no reason at all. They did not long after.
  • Satella in Chrono Crusade.
  • Chizuru in Student Council's Discretion. Except it seems like if Ken actually tried anything he would probably burst into flames, melt or get eaten by some invisible monster. Something bad, in any case. She's a little too scary, in any case.
  • In Sasameki Koto, Ushio's teasing of Sumika is a clear sign of her growing self-acceptance.
  • Bellemere in One Piece. At least, she was.
    • How about her daughter, Nami? Beyond her manipulations of Sanji, she also hits on a variety of shopkeepers to get discounts.
      • Don't forget Happiness Punch!
  • Momo of To LOVE-Ru regularly sneaks into Rito's bed, asks him where his Ero-mags are, and in one notable insistance pops up between his legs and offers to help him with his love problems. She even freely admits that she wants to be his mistress.
    • Risa is just as bad, but unlike Momo who only messes with Rito, Risa likes to tease everybody, male or female; she enjoys Skinship Grope a little too much, once pushed Rito onto her bed and began srtipping him, regularly feels up Yami-chan's legs and just generally acts as sultry as possible.
  • Chihaya of Asu no Yoichi tease Yoichi this way. It doesn't seem she's ever been serious about taking it too far, just seeing how far she can push him before she gets stopped (by her elder sister when she goes full-out). She writes manga, so it's very clear what she's looking for.
  • Sheryl Nome of Macross Frontier shows no remorse about invoking this, even on occasion invoking it on another girl (such as teasing Nanase about her voluptuous figure). Her teasing ranges from subtle and innocent to sexy and blatant, and she's especially fond of invoking it on love interest Alto Saotome.
  • Star Driver's Kanako Watanabe exists to make Takuto thoroughly uncomfortable with her increasingly suggestive comments.
  • Meme from Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko.
  • Kureha from Tokko tends to be a tease. Saya also acts as a bit of a tease towards her own brother Ranmaru.
  • Ikuto from Shugo Chara is a shameless tease and a rare male example. He has the ability to make even the most mundane things he says or does drip with seduction and sexual undertones, and he loves to ruffle the heroine's feathers, sometimes pretending like he's flirting with her or about to kiss her, only to pull a "Just kidding!" right when she's good and flustered. No wonder their relationship is the way it is.
  • Kanade from Mayo Chiki is a big one towards Jiro. Particularly hilarious during the beach scene in episode 7 when she makes some really erotic noises and suggestive lines as he tries to nonchalantly put sunscreen on her, embarrassing him a lot in the process.
  • Jura from Vandread likes to use this trope on Hibiki, especially whenever their mecha are merged together.


Live Action TV

  • Daniel assumes Vala is this. He's wrong, as she has real feelings for him, but she certainly teases other male cast members with no intention of putting out.
  • Kid-friendly example in iCarly. Carly mentions that she's making piña colada lip gloss. When Freddie asks if it actually tastes like it, she asks him if he wants to find out. Of course, he eagerly agrees. She leans in... only for her to rub some of it on her hand and smoosh it against his lips.
  • There is also a similar but slightly different scene in Two and A Half Men, where naive Jake asked the same question to a girl and when she asked if he wanted to find out he said "sure". She leaned in for a kiss, but Jake scraped his finger over her lips then put it in his mouth. For what it's worth the Two and A Half Men example aired about a year before the iCarly example, although it may have been written before or around the same time as the two and a half men episode due to the very long lead time on iCarly.
  • Ziva in NCIS frequently sends Tony's blood pressure ridiculously high on purpose.
  • Blair admits she's this on The Facts of Life.
  • Played for laughs on Criminal Minds, in which the not-involved Morgan and Garcia mutually tease each other. Their sexy phone banter is seen usually once an episode, and while their team no longer even notices their outrageous flirtations, it tends to send others for a loop. How neither of them have been called in for a sexual harrassment seminar the world may never know.
    • Probably because they do it to that level only with each other. Morgan flirts with all women to some degree, but only so outrageously with Garcia. In one flashback, it's shown it started when he casually called her a petname when they first met, she called him out on it, he immediately apologized and she admitted she liked it. It's not sexual harassment unless one of the members asks the other to stop and that person does not stop.
  • Cat in Victorious is completely good-natured, but shown to be quite flirtatious.
  • Kate Beckett in Castle loves to drive Chivalrous Pervert Rick Castle up the wall with her comments and her flirting. It's even lampshaded in one episode:

Castle: You should really moonlight [as a dominatrix]. Trust me -- you would make a fortune. Come on, isn't there anything you would like to do with your handcuffs besides arresting criminals?
Beckett: No...[seductively] but there is one hot, wild, kinky thing that I do like doing...
[Castle's elbow slips off the table as he stares at her earnestly]
Beckett: [Flatly] Putting killers behind bars.
Castle: [Disappointed] See, you're already a tease—you're halfway there.

    • Deconstructed in the fourth season when, owing to a chain of misunderstandings and secrets, Castle eventually comes to believe that it really is all just a joke to her—and, since he's fallen deeply in love with her by this point, does not take it well. Which causes a bigger mess when he starts lashing out, much to Beckett's hurt and confusion since she actually is in love with him as well.


  • "I Know What Boys Like", by The Waitresses.

Video Games

  • Excellen Browning. What? Teasing your fellow pilots to see you in Bunny Suits doesn't count?
    • Or walking around in nothing but a towel. Or mercilessly hitting on the guys she knows are either shy or easily flustered around women.
  • Sylvia Christel from No More Heroes, almost sadistically so.
    • To be fair, the person she's teasing is Travis. Watching him suffer is hilarious.
  • Karura in Utawarerumono does this a lot. Although she's generally joking or simply, well, teasing, it's pretty clear she would like to be taken up on her offers.
  • Tohsaka admits that she finds Shirou's reactions to her teasing/tormenting hilarious. He gets extremely embarrassed and shy just being alone with or near her or even just seeing her in non school clothing. On the other hand, she herself gets rather flustered by how straightforwardly honest he is. Although she is something of a love interest (confirmed to be in love with him in 3/4 routes he survives in and likely the fourth) she's not flirting, just enjoying his awkwardness.
  • Judith from Tales of Vesperia loves making Raven faint.

Judith: I wonder if I should show a little more, you know...?
Raven: Oh, yes! OH GOD, YES!

  • Keiji from Sengoku Basara is a male version, though he doesn't use his own charms. Rather, all he needs to do to make his favourite victim and resident Chaste Hero Yukimura blush is mention that he should find someone to love.
  • Sayoko Uehara, the character for Persona 4's Devil Social Link, makes her introduction by hitting on the protagonist, and does it some more for the next 3 or so levels of the S-Link. Then she stops being playful as we see another side of her...
  • Hiroki in Canvas 2 enjoys flirting with his students. Contrary to what you might expect, he never gets in trouble for it.
  • Anders accuses Hawke of this in Dragon Age 2, but the responses that continue the romance are confirmations that Hawke is interested in going beyond flirting.
    • Isabela however is this trope incarnate. She teases just about everyone during party banter, especially Carver.
    • Morrigan is a milder version in the first game, she limits her teasing to the Warden, Sten, and Alistair but certainly does tease those three quite a bit.
  • Rouge the Bat from Sonic the Hedgehog anyone? She sarcastically flirts with Knuckles, Shadow, Sonic, Tails, Eggman... (Though the first two could also be not so sarcastic.)

Web Comics

Web Original

  • Sarah does this to Danielbeast a bit in Lonelygirl15 series 1. Then she tells him to back off when she decides he's taking it too seriously.
  • Gay male example: Jeremy acts like this toward Simon in Shadow of the Templar even after they get into a sexual relationship, mainly because it flusters/irritates Simon and possibly also because it's the easiest way for him to express his deeper feelings for him.
  • Ashe Gogus in Ilivais X certainly is this. Her comments are never overtly sexual, but she's extremely flaunty and every other sentence she spouts has something to do with boobs.
  • Doug Walker tends to act like this for fun and fanservice, even including jokingly flirting with his brother.
  • The Cinema Snob's wife has shown shades of this during Softly Through Cable.
  • Dr. Tease from The Nostalgia Chick's show. Her full name is basically a pun for "cocktease".
  • In Dragon Ball Abridged, Bulma is accused of being a cock tease by Krillin.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series, Mai Valentine does this, especially just to see Joey squirm.

Western Animation