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My mommy has a trainer, and every time he comes over, they take a nap.
Anonymous 6 year-old girl

Alice is helping Bob practice something like a sport or playing a musical instrument. Alice needs to help walk Bob through some motions. So Alice takes his arm or shoulder to put them in the proper position. Why is Bob blushing like crazy? And why does it take him forever to get it right?

A common Ship Tease situation that can be as awkward as it is sweet. Because one character has a secret crush on the other, or because they are two adamant Just Friends, or because they're arch enemies, the necessary physical contact takes on much more significance than intended for one or both. Another situation involves a women having a personal trainer or an instructor in anything who she's instantly attracted to and the actual lessons become foreplay and they end up having sex at the end of the session.

Expect any bystanders to comment, "It's getting a little hot in here." See also Zip Me Up and I Didn't Mean to Turn You On.

No real life examples, please; This is Tropedia, not Tropes After Dark

Examples of Hands-On Approach include:

Anime and Manga

  • Haruko in FLCL showing Naota how to "swing the bat" in episode 4. A baseball bat, that is, but with the show's love of Double Entendre, you can be sure that's not all she's talking about....
  • Happens in Revolutionary Girl Utena with Ruka teaching a stance to an anonymous female fencing student with a Luminescent Blush. Notably, actual practitioners have pointed out that the stance is wrong, and therefore he was doing it purely to feel her up.
  • In Bleach, Yoruichi demonstrates proper kendo form to Soi Fon... by doing the standing equivalent of spooning. Oh, and they're both girls in case you were wondering.
  • Marlene does this to Yuji in Blue Gender. Yuji promptly blushes when Marlene's breasts press up against his back, and she makes an annoyed comment along the lines of "Get used to it."
  • In episode 2 of Phantom: Requiem for Phantom, Emotionless Girl assassin Ein teaches Zwei the proper way to hold and aim a gun using this method.
  • In the X 1999 anime, Sorata does this to Arashi to teach her how to chop onions. Blushing ensues.
  • In The Cherry Project, Chieri gets really embarassed when Tsuzuki tries to show her how to do a certain figure skating movie and thinks to herself that he must be trying to pull this trope.
  • In Kiss×Sis, Keita does this to help Ako and Riko with archery.
  • In Junjou Romantica, Usagi starts to teach Misaki how to tie a tie after seeing him fail miserably. Usagi notices Misaki's shirt is buttoned up incorrectly. The situation escalated.
  • Non-Ship Tease and rather cruel example: In episode 3 of Fist of the North Star, a villager is being forced to shoot a can off the head of his son with a bow and arrow, William Tell-style. The villager, for obvious reasons, can't go through with it, so one of the bad guy's mooks takes it upon himself to "help" him by means of this trope, but he deliberately shakes up the poor guy's aim just to be a sadistic asshole. When the arrow finally does get launched, only Kenshiro's intervention keeps it from going into the boy's head.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Mikoto Misaka teaches Uiharu Kazari the violin this way. Mikoto is completely oblivious to the implications, while Uiharu gets embarrassed and flustered.
  • In chapter 63 of Black Butler Sebastian does this to Ciel.
  • THE iDOLM@STER - Ritsuko shows how to do a dancing routine the Ryuugu Komachi was rehearsing.

Comic Books

  • Empowered recalls a moment where Major Havoc tried to do this when instructing her in the use of her powers. "Spread those legs! Give me the power stance!" This does not go over well.
  • Briefly shows up in Double Happiness, when Ji Lian shows Tom how to use chopsticks.

Film - Animated

Film - Live-Action

  • The Film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix gives Harry and Cho a moment like this. Harry helps Cho reposition her wand as she casts a Levitation Charm... And she promptly drops her subject to gaze awestruck at Harry.
  • A deleted scene in the first Harry Potter movie has Ron teaching Hermione how to skip stones across a lake. According to what David Yates said in an interview, Hermione is pretending to be bad at it in order to get some physical contact.
  • In Teen Wolf, Scott sidles up behind Pamela and guides her arm to teach her how to bowl. Pamela plays along with the Hands-On Method in order to get Mick jealous. It works.
  • Jamaal Wallace does this ostensibly to teach a girl about basketball in Finding Forrester. Her dad comes onto the scene right when he's "teaching her to play defense".
  • The Slap Slap Kiss couple in the film Father Goose get into an intimate position when the male shows the female how to catch a fish from a stream. And suddenly neither of them can carry on a conversation. In fact they seem to have entirely forgotten why they got in that position....
  • Hicks (Michael Biehn) showing Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) how to use a pulse rifle in Aliens.
  • Dorothy and the games teacher doing football drills in Gregory's Girl.
  • The cello scene in Cruel Intentions.
  • Happens in the film Ghost, except that the scene is intentional and romantic instead of accidental.
  • In Imagine Me and You, Luce teaches Rachel to project her voice by placing her hand over her diaphram. Though it's unclear whether Luce is aware of the sexual tension, Rachel initiates further physical contact by claiming she still doesn't understand.
  • In Back to The Future 3, Doc and Clara act out this trope when he helps her operate a telescope. Bonus points because Doc's dialogue about how "everything becomes clear" also doubles as romantic innuendo.
  • Skipping stones in The Wolf Man (2010).
  • In Girl with a Pearl Earring Johannes Vermeer attempts to teach Griet (Scarlett Johansson) to grind paints by placing his large manly Dutch Master hands over hers, totally obliterating the proper social barriers between them---she gets pretty flustered. Johansson can't do anything in that movie without exuding sexual tension, though, so it was only to be expected.
  • In the Disney film Swiss Family Robinson, Roberta invokes this by asking Ernst to teach her how to shoot a musket. When Ernst goes off to take care of some other business, Fritz offers to finish the lesson, only for Roberta to show that she already knows how to shoot.
  • In Batman Returns, when Lisa Guerrero's volunteer character tells The Penguin that he's "the coolest role model a young person could have", he replies "And you're the hottest young person a role model could have", then pins one of his mayoral campaign buttons to the chest of her sweater, taking additional time to cop a feel there.
  • Chubs does this to Happy Gilmore ("It's all in the hips"), causing him to get embarrassed and pull away.
  • In Batman Begins, Bruce seduces the secretary at Wayne Enterprises with this technique under the pretense of showing her how to play golf. It doubles as a Crowning Moment of Funny as he managed to do this in only a few seconds.

Live-Action TV


"It's not a bad piece of ash, huh?"
(Scully gives him a look)
"The bat...I'm talking about the bat."

    • There's a Fridge Logic moment to this interaction, which hinges on Mulder teaching Scully—the self-professed novice—how to play baseball. In reality, Scully was a major tom-boy with two brothers. Brothers who did things like buy her a BB gun for her birthday and take her shooting in the woods. The likelihood of her not knowing how to hit a baseball is pretty small.
    • Slightly subverted in that, judging from the giant smile Scully was wearing, she didn't mind in the least.
    • It also helps that the speech Mulder gives her, as well as the obvious metaphor of baseball, only serve to heighten their sexual tension. "Hips before hands" indeed.
  • One episode of Frasier had Daphne teaching Niles how to dance. The tango was involved.
  • The gun training scene between Gwen and Jack in Torchwood series one reeked of this.
  • In Farscape, apparently Aeryn needs to practically sit on John to teach him how to fly better, a fact that causes him to notice that the Raised by Wolves soldier has suddenly started wearing perfume.
  • The 2006 adaptation of Jane Eyre involves Mr Rochester helping Jane on with a dressing gown in just this way.
  • A throwaway subplot in season 3 of The Sopranos was (groan) a lesbian tennis coach showing blatant favoritism towards Adriana when she and Carmella took up tennis. She also does the Hands-On Approach. The reason why is all but spelled out, but Adriana herself doesn't get it.
  • Elle shows Sylar how to use his new lightning powers in this manner in Heroes. Not to mention that he's shirtless.
  • In Season 4 of Smallville, Clark and Chloe re-enact a scene where Lex and his murdered lover make out in an elevator, in order to find an earring. Suuuuuure, Chloe, we believe you. Although Clark was enjoying himself a bit as well, as he darted behind Chloe once they were interrupted to, erm, hide.
  • Subverted in an episode of Flight of the Conchords, where a woman teaches Bret to play pool in this manner. Neither blushes, though Bret is clearly uncomfortable. The woman is implied (and later clearly shown) to be interested in Bret only for sex.
  • Ricky from The Secret Life of the American Teenager likes using this. In a season one episode, he helped Grace with a baseball bat, and in a season three episode he helped Amy with a golf club. The second one is kind of a subversion though, since they were already together at that point
  • In season 3 of Angel, when Angel is teaching Cordy how to fight, there are definitely a few moments of this, (mirroring the Tai Chi-type stuff he did earlier with Buffy) and amping up the UST between them. The funniest of these is when Angel doubts that Cordy's cheerleading experience allows her to remember the moves he's teaching her; she does a "cheerleading routine" with her sword and ends up about an inch away from him, holding the sword to his throat; whereupon he laughs nervously and says "Go Team!"
  • Played absolutely straight in the NCIS episode "Grace Period" with Gibbs, Hollis Mann, and softball, except a) he was very definitely kissing her neck, and b) either she had a real natural talent, or she already knew how to hit. Possibly both.
    • This must be a standard Gibbs seduction technique. In "Doppelganger" he shows a redhead he fancies how to sand his boat, complete with Double Entendres.

"Feel that wood? You won't get that sensation from a power tool."

  • Played with a creepy undertone in The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Automatic for the People", where Cameron attracts the attention of several men who work at a nuclear power plant by visiting a bar they frequent and asking for "help" in playing pool. While one man gives her a hands-on approach in handling the pool cue, she takes the opportunity to scan his badge's bar code, and then proceeds to thoroughly school the whole group in the subsequent game of pool.
  • Likewise, the golf scene from High School Musical 2 (pictured above) ends with Sharpay executing a perfect swing after Troy has left, showing she was manipulating him into this trope the whole time.
    • Lampshaded in a German parody of the movie with Troy saying: "You can press your butt tighter to my crotch."
  • Tristan from All Creatures Great and Small shows his date how to play the guitar.
  • Referred to in the MythBusters episode "Baghdad Battery". When Kari and Scottie are throwing pots for the titular project, their pottery expert occasionally comes in to help them in this fashion (in a purely professional manner, of course). The narrator remarks that the expert gets asked about the memorable scene from Ghost all the time.
  • Done with Eliot and the client of the week in Leverage - "The Studio Job". Slightly different in that she sits on his lap in front of him to show him the guitar chord progression.
  • A client of Katczmerek does this in The Defenders when describing how she had to wrestle with a customer. It has more intentions than that: she's actually a petty thief, and wants to lust her way from Katcsmerek not taking her case.
  • Played for creepy in Chase, where the fugitive, a Lolicon Corrupt Cop, shows a girl how to cut a tomato rose.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Superstar" Riley Finn tries to apply this trope when showing Buffy how to throw a ball through the mini-basketball hoop in his room. However Buffy is still upset that Riley slept with Faith, so she just walks out the door the moment the sexual tension gets too high.


  • A Quantum Murder by Peter F. Hamilton. Teenage heiress Julia Evans sets this up deliberately by hiring a handsome swimming champion to coach her, despite the fact that she can swim perfectly well.
  • In one of the earlier Runelords books, a knight is teaching Myrrima to use a bow and does this. She almost immediately screams "rape" and kicks him in the crotch.
  • An interesting example in the Sword of Truth books in which Richard asserts that nothing can break his concentration while he is shooting. Kahlan takes it as a challenge and starts stripping him.
  • Used by William Crimsworth when leaning over Frances Evans' shoulder to correct mistakes on her papers in Charlotte Bronte's first novel The Professor.


  • Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" contains among other speculation about what her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend is doing, "Right now, he's probably up behind her with a pool stick showing her how to shoot a combo."

Newspaper Comics

  • In one Beetle Bailey strip. Miss Buxley tells General Halftrack that she has a tennis lesson with Rolf, the the civilian tennis instructor on her lunch hour. He then says to Major Greenbrass, "What gets me is that she pays him.".
  • Blind FoxTrot character Denise used this trope to her advantage while courting Peter: she lets him "help" her through the crowded high school hallways by wrapping his arm around her waist instead of using her cane.


  • The musical The Most Happy Fella gives the Beta Couple an opportunity to get physically close when Herman teaches Cleo how to use "the ol' sticky stuff" to paste labels on boxes of grapes.
  • Parodied in the recent Broadway run of The Merchant of Venice, in which Launcelot Gobbo gives Jessica a dance lesson, seemingly as an excuse to lean in as close to her as possible. It doesn't get him anywhere, seeing as he spends the whole scene telling her that she's probably going to Hell for being a Jew. And he keeps dropping her in his attempts to dip her. Oh, and Jessica just got back from her elopement.

Web Comics

Web Original

  • In the third book of Shadow of the Templar, Simon teaches Jeremy how to use a gun and ends up pressing against him quite a bit to adjust his posture. Considering that they are in a relationship (albeit a secret one), Jeremy is all too happy to encourage Simon to do so.
  • In The Secret Life of Dolls, Eowyn finagles an "archery lesson" out of Faramir.
  • The College Humor Hardly Working sketch "Flirting" takes this to the logical extreme, with a dude flirting with a girl by pressing up against her and showing her how to, among other things: hit a golf ball properly, walk, and have sex with a different man.

Western Animation


  • In pornography and romance novels, these lessons invariably lead to sex, when a woman takes lessons with a male instructor. In novels, that's the the real reason why female characters sign up to take lessons with him.
  1. Ben was only happy because he was finally learning. They were both disgusted at having physical contact, especially when their grandfather caught them.