->''"Are we like those poor couples\\
you feel sorry for in restaurants?\\
Are we the dining dead?"''
-->-- '''Joel''', ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind''

AliceAndBob went through the whole RomanceArc. They started out as JustFriends. They developed some UnresolvedSexualTension. Then the two shared their FirstKiss and it was magical. Alice and Bob were on the road to HappilyEverAfter (or at least HappilyMarried).

But that was all a long time ago.

Now they're the couple who sit silently across from each other at the restaurant, eating perfunctory dinners. The sex is rote (assuming they [[SexlessMarriage even have sex anymore]]). Alice finds herself noticing that Chris is looking especially good lately and wonders what it would be like to kiss him. All the little quirks Bob found endearing about Alice now drive him up the wall.

Maybe there was passion here once, but now there's nothing but [[TitleDrop Dead Sparks]].

Unfortunately TruthInTelevision.

Compare NoAccountingForTaste, NoSparks, AwfulWeddedLife.


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/EternalSunshineOfTheSpotlessMind'', we first meet Joel and Clem when they are at the Dead Sparks stage of the relationship. The rest of the movie is about how they ignited those sparks in the first place and ends with the hope that they could be reignited.
* In ''Film/{{Unbreakable}}'', the Dunns' marriage is like this.
* In ''Literature/OrdinaryPeople'' (both the book and the film), the death of their oldest son pushes Beth and Calvin to this point. It doesn't end well -- she walks out at the end.
* ''Six Degrees of Separation'': John and Louisa Kittredge's relationship is DeadSparks throughout.
* In ''Film/TheSixthSense'', we're led to believe that Malcolm and his wife have this problem. Subverted of course, with TheReveal: [[spoiler:[[ItWasHisSled he's dead, and she's in mourning]]]].
* One of the oldest and most concise examples can be found in ''Film/CitizenKane'', where one scene tracks the progression of Kane's relationship with his wife by looking at their breakfast discourse over the years.
* ''Film/ThePowerAndTheGlory'' (1933): Tom and Sally were once deeply in love but later, after they've become rich and Tom has become a great businessman, their marriage has descended into sniping. Sally begs Tom to take her on a trip to Europe so they can re-connect, but it's too late; Tom has fallen in love with Eve. Tragedy ensues.
* In ''Film/MrAndMrsSmith'' the eponymous characters' marriage has hit this stage. But it seems that trying to kill each other creates enough [[StuffBlowingUp sparks]] to [[FoeYay revitalise]] the relationship.
* In ''Film/DateNight'' Steve Carrell and Tina Fey play a married couple who have lost the spark. But not to worry! Nothing a few spy-related adventures can't fix!
* ''Film/BlueValentine'': The present day Dead Sparks scenes are made much more painful by being intercut with [[{{Flashback}} scenes]] of the couple falling in love.
* ''Hope Springs''
* This ends up being pretty much the whole arc of ''Like Crazy''.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* Margaret Peterson Haddix's ''Literature/JustElla'': The premise is that this is experienced by Literature/{{Cinderella}} sometime following her marriage to PrinceCharming.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In ''Series/PeepShow'', [[spoiler:this is what happens after Mark finally gets together with Sophie. It doesn't stop him from marrying her (or, at least, from calling off the ceremony)]].


[[folder: Music ]]

* This theme is covered in a lot of CountryMusic songs:
** Music/JohnnyCash and June Carter's "Jackson"
** Tanya Tucker's "Love Me Like You Used To"
** Music/GeorgeStrait's "I Know She Still Loves Me"
** Music/RebaMcEntire's "Somebody Should Leave"
** Tracy Byrd's "I Wanna Feel That Way Again" is right there in the title.
** As is the BradPaisley/CarrieUnderwood duet "Remind Me".
** Lorrie Morgan's "Five Minutes"
** Music/LukeBryan's "Do I"
** Jill King's "98.6 Degrees and Falling"
** Andy Griggs' "Tonight I Want to Be Your Man," about a husband who realizes his relationship with his wife has hit the DeadSparks stage and wants to fix it.
** Clay Walker's "This Woman and This Man"
** Faith Hill's "It Matters to Me"
** Garth Brooks' "Somewhere Other than the Night"
* Clay Davidson's "Sometimes" is a variant. In the first verse, the female fears that this trope is setting in; she wants to be assured that he still loves her, and not just sometimes. He asserts his position in the second verse.
* Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)" starts out this way:
-->I was tired of my lady\\
We'd been together too long\\
Like a worn-out recording\\
Of a favorite song
* Music/CarlySimon's "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be" describes every marriage the narrator has ever seen as having turned out like this.
* Music/SimonAndGarfunkel's "The Dangling Conversation" and "Overs".
* Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind".
* Music/CaroleKing's "It's Too Late".
* Music/AmandaPalmer's "The Bed Song".
* Music/NeilDiamond's duet with BarbraStreisand, "You Don't Bring Me Flowers".
* Music/TracyChapman's "Smoke and Ashes".
* Israeli singer Arik Einstein’s song “''Tsa‘ar Lakh''” (‘You are Woeful’), about a couple that’s been reduced to this having a casual conversation over lunch.
* "For No One" by Music/TheBeatles. "And yet you don't believe her when she says her love is dead, you think she needs you."


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* In ''Theatre/TheBarberOfSeville'', Figaro helps the OfficialCouple get together. By the time of ''Theatre/TheMarriageOfFigaro'', that same couple is now pretty dysfunctional, and the plot of the latter revolves around Figaro trying to bring those DeadSparks back to life before the Count decides to bed ''Figaro's'' wife instead.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' after its [[UnCancelled UnCancellation]], Lois starts calling out male celebrities' names during sex instead of Peter's. He fears that it's the first step toward a life where all they do is sit across from the table from each other talking about Special K cereal.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Psychologists assume that the powerful infatuation and powerful sexual drive will last at maximum of four years. Unless the partners have anything other (hobbies, interests, likes) in common, the prognosis of the relationship is poor after four years.
* This phenomenon appears to be so common amongst Lesbian couples that it has a specific name: [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lesbian_bed_death Lesbian Bed Death]].