A lot of characters don't have a love interest right off the bat, but when a character that was introduced three seasons (or twenty chapters) ago still hasn't shown any interest in anyone of either sex or even mentioned any old flames, fans can start to wonder. This trope is especially likely when the character in question doesn't even seem to have any chemistry
with anyone else. Eventually, these clues will lead to a Fanon
proclamation of asexuality. That is when this trope applies.
There are plenty of reasons writers leave a character's asexuality up for debate. The first may be a fear of the backlash that is still sometimes seen when a character is revealed to be anything other than heterosexual. The second is likely an unwillingness to preclude a character from any sort of Shipping
or potential romances down the line (which isn't actually necessary, but given the amount of research
some writers do...).
Fan speculation of Asexuality
is inevitable concerning characters who don't appear to be attracted to either sex. It's a tricky orientation to identify in a story. Short of an explicit statement in Canon
or Word of God
that a character is asexual, there's no way to be certain. One can be asexual without being aromantic, and like all sexuality, asexuality is not dichotomous, but lies on a spectrum.
Note that this trope is often Jossed
with the introduction of a love interest out of the blue. Because the general consensus within the fandom is often that these characters don't have any sort of sexual chemistry with anyone else, this can lead to Designated Love Interest
, Strangled by the Red String
, and Romantic Plot Tumor
, Ambiguously Gay
, and Ambiguously Bi
. This trope often goes hand-in-hand with No Social Skills
, though this is by no means a prerequisite.
A Subjective Trope
, so place it only on YMMV pages.
Anime & Manga
- Light Yagami from Death Note. Never shows any interest in dating despite the fact he's a Chick Magnet, is bored to death by porn (which he only reads as part of a ruse to fool the police), and has no sexual interest at all in his sexy super-model "girlfriend" (whom he is dating only because he is using her in his plot to wreck havoc on the world.) Yaoi fangirls have other interpreations, however.
- Code Geass:
- Lelouch Lamperouge. The boy has an unwanted harem of girls whom he barely notices. When he does notice, he does not reciprocate. He sleeps in the same bed with CC but Wordof God never once saw her as potential lover or anything more than his Platonic Life Partners. He ignores naked Kallen, isn't distracted by girls in swim suits, ignores Rolo, and Word of God says he died a virgin.
- Lloyd Asplund, a brilliant scientist who cares more about science and giant robots than humanity, including romantic pursuits of any kind. He agreed to an Arranged Marriage to a beautiful girl (who was only in it for the honor it would bring her family), but seemed happy enough when it was called off.
- Sasuke of Naruto is considered by fans to be revenge-sexual or Ambiguously Gay.
- Takatsuki from Hourou Musuko is this. They're the only character to not have an explicit crush for most of the series but being that they're not even thirteen during much of the series their young age might be the thing. When all the other kids start having crushes he starts worrying. In late middle school Saori assumes they have a crush on a teacher but on graduation it's confirmed they admire him but they don't have feelings for the teacher. Late into the series Takatsuki confesses they have a crush on Nitori but that doesn't exclude them from being asexual, just probably not aromantic.
Film - Animated
- Though Rorschach from Watchmen has some possible Ho Yay with Dan, from his actions, he's most likely asexual.
- Madame Ratzal aka Warrior Woman, although married to Ubermensch (Master Man) by order of Hitler, openly despised him and forbade him to touch her. Despite her habit of wearing very provocative clothing, she seemingly had no use for any man but Hitler. Although it is possible to read her as a lesbian, there is no substantial evidence of such. Her style suggests she may have an interest in bondage play, if she has any sexual inclinations at all.
- Elsa from Frozen. She never seems to have any interest in romance, and Hans claims that "no one was getting anywhere" with her romantically, which is why he tries to woo Anna and have Elsa killed so that he can rule Arendelle.
- Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter was this until confirmed Wordof Gay. Lord Voldemort is probably an aromantic asexual as he has never loved anybody, which has Unfortunate Implications for asexuals if you think about it.
- Enjolras from Les MisÚrables: he is described as never once looking at a woman, let alone having one (as opposed to all his friends), channeling all his energy into politics. However, some fans bring up his Ho Yay-infused death scene with Grantaire (whom he despises), while other fans see the way his introductory paragraph was worded as him being more of a Chaste Hero.
- Sherlock Holmes, in the original stories at least. He flirts, and even once gets engaged, when it helps his investigations, but never pursues anything once the case is closed. Once or twice Watson tries to set him up, with no success. The only woman Holmes has any strong thoughts for is Irene Adler, who tends to get an elevated love-interest role in adaptations, but in the stories it's purely because she outwitted him.
- Apparently some CSI: Crime Scene Investigation fans theorized this about Gil Grissom (see the CSI YMMV page)until it was ruled out with his romance with Sara.
- Temperance "Bones" Brennan was thought to be this at the beginning of the series Bones, having no interest in family, dating, or going out (her best friend's catchphrase was pretty much "You Need to Get Laid"), and being obsessed with logic and rational behavior, fans believed she wouldn't be interested in sex. About midway through the first season, the audience finds out this simply isn't true.
- Zig-Zagged with Lieutenant Commander Data of Star Trek: The Next Generation, an emotionless android who is stated to have no sexual desire, but he is equipped with a fully functional set of reproductive organs and makes use of them when under the influence of a personality-altering virus in the early episode The Naked Now.
- The Game of Thrones version of Joffrey. In the books, it's much more heavily implied (if not outright stated) that violence turns him on, but the tv series makes it look like his desire to make others suffer is something completely different and he's not really interested in sex at all. Sure, he's a complete sadist, but that doesn't have to stem from sexual desires.
- Zig-Zagged In Doctor Who, depending on the era and the The Nth Doctor in question. In series one The Doctor has a granddaughter, Susan, but in 50 years of the series we never meet her parents, or more importantly, her parent's mother, nor do we know how time lords do the whole reproduction and family unit thing (we are told that yes, he was a father, just not that the kids weren't adopted or something). Some Expanded Universe material goes so far as to state Time Lords are "loomed" into being from whole cloth, although it's of dubious canonicity at best. Most other incarnations show no inclination towards romance what so ever (despite constantly traveling with young, attractive people), the Doctor's typical eccentrics make it hard to picture him in a functional relationship with anyone, and the show's No Hugging, No Kissing status only added to it. Subverted, or possibly outright Averted in the revival with Ten who shows clear romantic affection for both Rose and Madame De Pompadour, and married Elizabeth I (it was an Accidental Marriage on his part, but it was heavily implied they slept together) and Eleven who is Married to River Song.
- It was very well accepted within the House fandom that Foreman was asexual until he and Thirteen suddenly got together mid-season 5.
- Sonic the Hedgehog, at least in the video game continuity. Amy Rose has a crush on him but he doesn't seem at all interested in women.
- Lightning from Final Fantasy XIII. The only male character who is object of her attention is Hope, and even said attention is purely maternal in nature.
- Every character in Touhou. Despite the numerous Shipping in the fandom, none of the official materials ever show the girls having any romantic affections for each other.
- This was the case for Stimpy of Ren and Stimpy, until the Adult party cartoon revealed him to be gay.