[[quoteright:270:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/lovepotion_8381.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:270:Accept no substitutes!]]

->'''King Harold:''' You can't force someone to fall in love!\\
'''Fairy Godmother:''' I beg to differ. I do it all the time!
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek 2}}''

Ah, the Love Potion. Not since the Eskimo Freezer was patented has there ever been such a useless invention. Not that love potions are ''ineffective'', mind you; it's just that they rarely ever work ''as intended'', to the point where one wonders why a character would even bother to use them at all. When you see someone employ a Love Potion these days, you almost ''expect'' it to fail. It should be a DiscreditedTrope by this time, but for some reason, characters continue to use Love Potions, with said potions continuing to cause far more trouble than they're worth.

If the plan for using the Love Potion is actually well thought out and ''shouldn't'' go wrong, expect some ContrivedCoincidence to ensure that it does.

The Love Potion comes in three general forms:
# [[LoveAtFirstSight Love First Person Sighted]] potion
# [[SingleTargetSexuality Love Only Person X]] (often [[SympatheticMagic containing a hair or other piece of Person X]]) concoction
# [[KissingUnderTheInfluence Get In Touch With Your Wild Side]] aphrodisiac

Of course, no matter which type of potion is used, the chances that the right people will actually drink the potion are less than .00001% on average. Even if the potion is put into a drink that's placed ''directly'' into the hands of the people it's intended for, ''some'' kind of mix-up is always bound to occur. For instance, if the Love Potion is given to the princess in an attempt to get her to fall in love with the hero, you can bet your life savings that she'll slip and fall, causing the potion to splash up into the open mouth of the hero-hating {{Tsundere}}. If the potion is a "drink it and fall in love with the first thing that you see" type of deal, it is virtually ''guaranteed'' that the first face the hero will see upon sipping the mixture is that of his own horse or that of his PluckyComicRelief Sidekick. Even if it's only an aphrodisiac, a ''lot'' more people than expected are going to unknowingly chug it and engage in activities that put the [[WildTeenParty raunchiest teen parties]] to shame.

Villains don't usually have all that much luck with Love Potions either, as they're often all-too susceptible to being rendered ineffective through that annoyingly pesky "[[ThePowerOfLove Power of True Love]]" thing. No matter how strong a Love Potion might be at first, it will almost invariably fail once the entranced heroine sees her True Love lying bleeding and battered on the floor, seconds away from doom. In most cases, this will lead to a tearful reconciliation between the hero and heroine and to the hero [[HeroicSecondWind picking himself up and kicking a lot of ass]] (as well as to the villain wondering just where he can get a refund on that stupid wonky potion). An even more chaotic backfiring is when the villain her/himself accidentally drinks said potion. HilarityEnsues.

Villains may employ other means besides potions for winning someone's love ([[HypnotizeThePrincess spells, brainwashing, illusions, and the like]]) but these usually have a comparable success rate (i.e: ''none''.) If it's particularly potent, it might cause LoveIsInTheAir and affect not just the intended drinker but ''everyone.''

Even on occasions where a love potion works exactly as intended (most often in the case of Love Only Person X), with the right target falling for the right person, the whole thing has a tendency to [[GoneHorriblyRight work a little too well]]. The user will find, to their chagrin, that being obsessed over to the point of absurdity either destroys what they found attractive about the love interest in the first place or is simply [[{{Yandere}} too much to handle]]. Or they might come to realize that they'd rather their love remain unrequited than be ''artificially'' requited, thus learning a valuable {{Aesop}}.

Every once in a blue moon, you get a ShipperOnDeck type who wants to use a love potion not for their own benefit, but on behalf of two people who would be "so perfect together", if only they just had a ''little'' nudge towards each other. But even the purest of intentions can lead to disaster, and it's a safe bet the would-be matchmaker will be desperately scrambling to undo their handiwork in short order.

The [[DoubleStandardRapeSciFi morality]] of magically forcing someone to fall in love or have sex with another is often overlooked, but occasionally explored.

Frequently comes as a [[SmellsSexy perfume]] rather than a drinkable. In these cases simply replace "drinks" with "gets sprayed with", as all the same mishaps tend to happen.

Compare HypnoRay, HypnoTrinket. Contrast HatePlague.

[[noreallife]]
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!!Examples:
[[index]]
* LovePotion/{{Advertising}}
* LovePotion/AnimeAndManga
* LovePotion/ComicBooks
* LovePotion/FanWorks
* [[LovePotion/LiveActionFilms Films Live-Action]]
* LovePotion/{{Literature}}
* LovePotion/LiveActionTV
* LovePotion/TabletopGames
* LovePotion/{{Theatre}}
* LovePotion/VideoGames
* LovePotion/WebComics
* LovePotion/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Helga tries to rekindle the love of ''ComicStrip/HagarTheHorrible'' to her twice. Once, she puts a love potion in his soup, and he immediately shouts how he '''loves''' - the soup. Another time, she puts an amulet of love under his pillow. Which he falls in love with.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Defied in ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'': [[GreatGazoo Genie]] states that one of his rules is that he can't make people fall in love. Young children watching might think this is just a lame cop-out to keep from [[StoryBreakerPower resolving the plot too easily]], but older viewers will understand that this would be rape plain and simple. Later, when [[EvilChancellor Jafar]] has the lamp, he wishes for [[RebelliousPrincess Jasmine]] to fall in love with him. Just as Genie tries to explain that he can't do that, [[TheHero Aladdin]] sneaks in to steal the lamp back; Jasmine sees him and [[GuileHero suddenly begins to flirt with Jafar]] as a distraction, to Genie's complete confusion.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek 2}}'' has one of these. (If you look carefully, you'll see that the bottle has "IX" written on it.) Fiona's fairy godmother orders the king to pour it into Fiona's drink so that she will fall in love with Prince Charming instead of Shrek. It doesn't work because the king decides not to give Fiona the potion-laced drink after seeing how much she loves Shrek.
-->'''Fairy Godmother''': (''furious'') HAROLD! You were supposed to give her the potion!\\
'''King Harold''': (''smugly'') Well, I guess I gave her the wrong tea.
* The main conflict of ''WesternAnimation/StrangeMagic'' is formed around a love potion. Making one is incredibly difficult since you need the petal of the primrose flower which only grow on the border of [[TheLostWoods the Dark Forest]] and are constantly being cut down by the {{mooks}} of [[EvilOverLord the Bog King]]. The only one who can turn the petal into the potion is the Sugar Plum fairy, whose imprisoned by the Bog King. He really, really doesn't want there to be love potions. [[spoiler: He's got practical concerns since it can and does lead to chaos, ''but'' his real reason is that the love potion failed to work for him since [[ThePowerofLove true love]] overpowers the potions.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* The song "Love Potion #9" (recorded first by The Clovers and then The Searchers, among others) plays with this trope, illustrating why, if you ever get your hands on a love potion, you should ''not'' test it on yourself.
* In the song "Funky Cold Medina" by Tone Loc, the singer attempts to test the eponymous substance on his dog. If he'd paid proper attention to the results, he would have realized that it doesn't work exclusively on the opposite sex rather than having to figure that out [[IncrediblyLamePun the hard way]]. He continues using it anyway until he finds out that some of the people he's using a Love Potion on [[IdiotBall will react by wanting to marry him]] in addition to having sex with him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* [[Wrestling/KatarinaWaters Winter]] used one on Wrestling/AngelinaLove that resembled a [[VoodooZombie bokor's hoodoo zombie drug]] better than most actual depictions of HollywoodVoodoo(including TNA's early stint with Roxxi Laveaux). Love eventually snapped out of it, [[TheBadGuyWins but decided she still loved Winter anyway.]][[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* Averted in ''WebAnimation/TheSpiderCliffMysteries'': [[spoiler:Katherine Sprawling]]'s use of a love potion on [[spoiler:Thomas Elkwood]] hit the correct person and resulted in a 30 year marriage. [[spoiler:Annabelle]]'s attempt at using a potion appears to have failed due to [[spoiler:the intended target being forewarned about the exact mode of delivery.]]
* ''Machinima/Supermarioglitchy4sSuperMario64Bloopers'':
** In "Peachosal Love", after Mario's final attempt to get Peach to love him fails thanks to "gay Bob-ombs", he attempts this with help from [[VideoGame/PaperMario Merlon]]. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, it turns Peach into a raging monster]].
** In "Awkward Weddings", Mario and Luigi get a love potion from the Rock Wizard so that Peach and Daisy would fall in love with them. Unfortunately, they fail to hear the warning about the first person in the drinker's sight being their love (because an old man in a bathtub ran over the wizard); as a result, it backfires horribly, with instead [=SMG4=] and X being the first people Peach and Daisy see, which almost results in them getting married. Thankfully, Ruffman8890 (the Rock Wizard's crazed assistant), who was demanding who used all of his toilet paper at the time, farted, breaking the spell.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''ErikasNewPerfume'''s eponymous perfume seems to work like this, among doing other things -- since it was used on them both Erika and Sarah have found someone, and Marie seems to have found a boy she likes to pick on too.
* From the ''Roleplay/GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'', Ambrosia is a living Love Potion. She emits super-powered pheremones that cause men to just lose their cotton-picking minds, falling all over themselves to make her happy. The power has made her very, very cynical about the opposite sex.
* [[http://addventure.bast-enterprises.de/26281.html The story thread "Lust Dust"]] on the [[http://addventure.bast-enterprises.de/ Anime Addventure]] features a powerful aphrodisiac that makes a mess of many, many relationships.
* In ''Literature/ReceiverOfMany'' golden arrows shot by Eros are very potent in igniting love and desire. Even being close to one can make someone aroused against their will. Being simply scratched by the arrow causes Hades to obsess over Persephone. If it has actually reached its target his heart he would probably be driven mad with need and snatch her away and had sex with her the moment he found her.
* In the ''WebVideo/SuperMarioLogan'' episode, "The Love Potion!", Cody invents a love serum for Bowser Junior to inject into Britknee, the newest student, to get her to fall in love with him. However, there are two catches; once injected, she falls in love with the first person she sees (who happens to be Jeffy), and after a few hours, the serum turns her into a dragon.
* ''WebVideo/CriticalRole'' has one pop up in its 109th episode. [[spoiler: Taryon had intended Vax to slip it to Grog, but Vax thought better and let Scanlan have it (giving it to the player who gave it to him, even). Scanlan proceeded to fall in lust with Percy, which greatly vexed Vex, and [[HilarityEnsues shenanigans ensued for about 40 minutes of playing]].]] Making it even better, it was an episode with a live audience, so there was instant feedback on how great it all went.
[[/folder]]
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