- "Too often, the thing you want most is the one thing you can't have."-Meredith, Grey's Anatomy
- Harry Potter. This is part of what's so enticing about the Mirror of Erised. It shows you what you want most, but for some people, that can never happen. Dumbledore says that some people get caught up in the mirror until it ruins them, because it's the only way to get a glimpse of what they want. For example, Harry sees his parents, still alive.
- How I Met Your Mother
- Robin doesn't want kids. Really, she doesn't. She's never wanted kids in her life. Until she realizes that she's infertile.
- She also doesn't have strong feelings for Barney, who has been chasing her for entire seasons...until he finally gives up on their relationship, and decides he doesn't want to be with her after all.
- Eminem's song "Superman".
"You want what you can't have, ooh girl that's too damn bad"
- Inverted in Sinéad O'Connor's song "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got":
I'm walking through the desertAnd I am not frightened although it's hotI have all that I requestedAnd I do not want what I haven't gotI have learned this from my motherSee how happy she has made meI will take this road much furtherThough I know not where it takes me
- Commented on in The Eagles' song "Desperado":
Now it seems to me some fine thingsHave been laid upon your tableBut you only want the ones that you can't get
- In Into the Woods, the two Princes Charming (brothers) fall in love and marry Cinderella and Rapunzel who are fascinating because they elude them, but after the "happy ending" of the first act, their hearts wander to Snow White and Sleeping Beauty because they're an unattainable challenge. One of their songs includes the line "Agony! Beyond power of speech, When the one thing you want is the only thing out of your reach..."
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.