A character believes they are in a romantic relationship with another character when they are not.
A character may be just a little out of touch with reality, a Yandere stalker, an arrogant Casanova or just confused. One way to help show this is to have them believe that they are in a romantic relationship with another character when they're actually not; or that another character loves them when the other character actually doesn't. This delusion is known in psychological circles as erotomania, and it features a lot when dealing with stalkers in general. Sometimes when the character tries to tell the deluded character directly that they are not in a relationship and/or that they do not love them, the deluded character responds in one of two ways:
- They brush the character's rejection off, rationalizing that they're too shy to show their true feelings or are playing hard to get, or...
- They do not take the rejection well, which depending on the nature of the deluded person may lead to all kinds of things.
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion Ritsuko deludes herself that Gendo genuinely loves her instead of just having her as a mistress. When she is proven wrong, she incinerates the Rei clones and in End of Evangelion, she hacks the MAGI to remotely self-destruct it as a final up yours... only to have the woman personality of Naoko in Casper-3 veto the order. Gendo instantly pulls a gun and kills her.
- In School Days one hint that Kotonoha is not entirely sane comes when she keeps telling other people that she is the girlfriend of Makoto even though he broke up with her. Sekai acts much the same way about Makoto as well.
- In Revolutionary Girl Utena Saionji feels that he and Anthy love each other and are destined for one another. However, Anthy doesn't feel the same.
- Nozomu from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei seems to accidentally attract every girl in his class, with the students thinking he's in love with her. For example, Matoi (Stalker With a Crush) falls in love with him and stalks him, even though it's a completely one-sided relationship. Trust me, there are more.
- In Peanuts Linus is NOT Sally's "Sweet Baboo". Sally has a huge Puppy Love crush on Linus and acts like he's her boyfriend, but he isn't interested.
- In Fatal Attraction, Alex believes herself to be in a relationship with Dan after they have their one-night stand. But the further Dan tries to distance himself from her, the more unhinged Alex gets until she goes off the deep end into full-on Yandere.
- Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber is convinced that Mary Swanson, a woman he only drove to the airport, is in love with him.
- In The Adventures Of Tom Thumb And Thumbelina the Mole king believes Thumbelina to be his bride so when Thumbelina chooses Tom instead the Mole king doesn't take it well.
- The Reveal of He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not.
- In Wayne's World, Wayne's Psycho Ex-Girlfriend acknowledges that he broke up with her, but thinks that's no reason they can't still be together.
- In Caught in the Act by Peter Moore, Lydia believes herself to be in a relationship with Ethan. However, Ethan tells her they are not dating. Lydia does not take it well.
- In True Blood even after Bill tells Lorena multiple times that he hates her guts and can not stand the sight of her, she still has the nerve to ask him when will they see each other again.
- In Oz Claire believes that Tim has feelings for her after they go out at her insistence and have sex. Tim tells her he does not and Claire does not take it well.
- Eye of the Stalker is a TV movie starring Jere Burns as a delusional legal assistant who believes that the daughter (Brooke Langton) of a judge (Joanna Cassidy) is a perfect match and that he is destined to marry her, based on a true story.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Spike has this for the title character when they weren't together anyway.
- Harmony with Spike. She continues to call him things like her "Little Lamb" and her "Boo Boo" and insist that they have a mutual relationship despite the fact that Spike told her that "I love syphilis more than you," once staked her when she wouldn't stop talking, and let her know that he is pretty much in it for the sex (which he still has to work himself up for most of the time). Yet she still calls him her boyfriend and keeps living with him in his crypt.
- In Psych, the serial killer "Mr. Yang", who's actually a woman, believes herself to be in a romantic relationship with Sean. In Seasons 4 and 5 when they're dealing with her counterpart, "Mr. Yin", Sean and Gus often have to visit her in jail to get information about Yin. Each time, Yang treats Sean as if he's her significant other/boyfriend, treating their exchanges as coy flirtations or relationship fights.
- An episode of Law & Order deals with a woman with erotomania (the medical term for this delusion) who kills the wife of the man she's obsessed with. That she's otherwise incredibly intelligent, cogent, and calm leads the police to believe she's actually having an affair with the man and that they conspired to kill his wife.
- C.C. Babcock on The Nanny is convinced that she and Maxwell Sheffield are in love, even though Maxwell repeatedly states that they are business partners, and nothing more.
- In her review of the girl-group TLC, The Nostalgia Chick apologizes to her love Todd in the Shadows after displaying some Perverse Sexual Lust for another male singer. The rest of the time she keeps on being his Stalker With a Crush.
- Berry from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends totally fits this trope, acting sweet and kind, but being homicidally jealous of anyone who she perceives as a threat to her relationship with Bloo, which is even more imaginary than she is.
- Pepe Le Pew frequently does this in regards to the current object of his affections.
- Meg in one Family Guy episode believes herself to be in a relationship with Brian who even tells her that they are not dating.
- In Futurama Zapp Brannigan sometimes seems to think he is in a relationship with Leela. As shown here, he takes being a Lovable Sex Maniac to Cloudcuckoolander levels.
- Lola on The Looney Tunes Show. Bugs meets her on a blind date, decides that she's not right for him afterwards at least partially due to her being a Stalker With a Crush on him, and Lola goes from being distraught about it to believing that she's still involved with Bugs to the point where she has Bugs (unwillingly) at the altar with her. Bugs is thankfully saved from the And Now You Must Marry Me situation she has put him in by her invocation of Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace on the grounds that she has decided that she loves Pepe le Pew.
- The Kanker Sisters believe that the titular Ed, Edd n Eddy are their "husbands/boyfriends" but the Ed's are terrified of them and hate them.
- In Tiny Toon Adventures Elmyra thinks she and Monty are together but Monty doesn't think so.
- Chowder with Panini. "I'M NOT YOUR BOYFRIEND" Though, they do end up getting married as adults.
- The official psychological term for this brand of delusion is erotomania, though it has also been called de Clerambault syndrome.
Hello, Unknown Troper. You'll need to get known to lend a hand here.