Typically a comedy trope, in which Alice was once attracted to Bob, usually many years previous (perhaps when the two characters were in high school or college), but her attraction was unreciprocated. The characters then meet again, such as at a Class Reunion
, and Alice learns that Bob is in fact a pathetic loser: working in a dead-end job, in dire financial straits, extremely immature etc. Alice typically feels a little smug and vindicated that her life has turned out better than Bob's.
A subtrope of Future Loser
. Closely related to Old Flame Fizzle
- In 13 Going on 30, the protagonist has a crush on a boy in her school when they are teenagers. Near the end of the film, she gets into a taxi and finds that the driver is the guy in question, who is now overweight and struggling.
- In one episode of Friends, Monica runs into a guy she'd had a crush on in high school (who'd also been Rachel's date to the prom) and goes out to dinner with him, whereupon she learns that he is an insufferably childish boor: his social circle is still limited to his friends from high school, he still works in the same cinema he worked in at the time and he still lives with his parents.