Created By: laila on March 5, 2011 Last Edited By: laila on August 13, 2016

Demoted to Love Interest

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Raye Penber: Look, I know you were an excellent FBI agent... but you're here now as my fiancée, and nothing else.
Death Note, Chapter Eight

Do We Have This One?? Needs More Examples and possibly Needs a Better Title. Rolling Updates.

Sometimes, becoming the Designated Love Interest isn't a good thing. This is the process by which a character who was formerly presented as interesting and capable in their own right is stripped of pretty much all their personality - not to mention an awful lot of competence - in favor of becoming a Shallow Love Interest the minute the romantic subplot kicks in. Everything that made them individual is largely ignored from then on: hooking up with their partner is presumed to be the end of their Character Arc and whatever they do after that is little more than Filler.

Overwhelmingly likely to be female. May involve picking up the Distress Ball. Compare Chickification.


Anime and Manga
  • Mamoru Chiba/Tuxedo Mask in Sailor Moon. Before he got with Usagi he actually fought monsters. Afterward he just shows up occasionally to encourage Sailor Moon from the sidelines while she does all the work. He's basically just there to ensure the existence of Chibi-Usa and for Usagi to gush over.
  • In Death Note, what Raye Penber seems to want former FBI agent Naomi Misora to become. Because Love Makes You Dumb, she agrees with him to the extent she apologizes to him for daring to venture an opinion on the Kira case in front of him. She gets better, but only after Raye gets killed.

Fan Works


Live-Action TV
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • March 5, 2011
    Star Wars Example Padme/Amidala was continually demoted in each prequel trilogy movie until in Episode III she did little more than get strangled by Anakin and give birth to the twins.
  • March 5, 2011
    This is done to Hermione in a lot of Harry Potter fanfics. Especially those written by Harmonians.
  • March 6, 2011
    • Definitely Mamoru in Sailor Moon. Before he got with Usagi he actually fought monsters. Now he just shows up occasionally to encourage Sailor Moon from the sidelines and she does all the work. He's basically just there as a sperm bank to ensure the existence of the future Chibi-usa and for Usagi to gush over.
  • February 20, 2012
    Bump. Do we have this? Anyone want to take it?
  • February 20, 2012
    Rare male example: the cop in Catwoman (film). He starts off as a principle-minded detective, ends up as a bemused and bewildered romantic accessory.
  • February 21, 2012
    This seems to be a cousin of the Quickly Demoted Woman and possibly The Obi Wrong.

    • Harvest Moon -- at least in Two Towns and Grand Bazaar. All th love interests have hopes and ambitions of their own...until they marry you. Especially true of some of the women in Two Towns. For a female main character, the guys will continue to run their businesses and go travelling after they marry. If I remember correctly, when a male main character marries, the female love interestwill not leave your farmhouse. So Laney gives up on moving to the city, and Georgia stops working at her father's stable.
  • February 21, 2012
    The male partner may have a Stay In The Kitchen attitude toward the woman.
  • February 21, 2012
  • February 21, 2012
    • While he doesn't become completely worthless, Syaoran Li suffers some extent of this in Cardcaptor Sakura, as a result of his role as The Rival ending once Sakura becomes Master Of The Cards, most of his original facets and mystique dissolve in favor of making him a comedic Dogged Nice Guy for her. He also suffers a bit to The Worf Effect (he still actually helps Sakura physically at times or even rescues her, albeit largely for developing said romantic role).

    • Many accuse Sally Acorn's Chickification being caused by this in Sonic The Hedgehog comic series. Granted it wavers due to her on off relationship with Sonic and occasional arcs complicating the situation.
  • March 3, 2012
    so it's a variety of Chickification?
  • August 13, 2016
    An identical trope was launched under the title Demoted To Satellite Love Interest, so this proposal has become redundant. Throwing in a bomb.